Proserpina peeped at his face through the gathering dusk, and hoped that he might not be so very wicked as she at first thought him. "Ah, this twilight is truly refreshing," said King Pluto, "after being so tormented with that ugly and impertinent glare of the sun. How much more agreeable is lamp-light or torchlight, more particularly when reflected from diamonds!

While the Proserpina was bearing him past the lighthouse, Gras told him that they had now reached the great harbour, and at the same time he heard the shouts, whistles, signals, and varying sounds of the landing place with its crowded shipping, and of the capital.

"I think it a very dismal one," said Proserpina. "It suits my taste, however," answered Pluto, who was apt to be sullen when anybody disagreed with him. "At all events, its water has one very excellent quality; for a single draught of it makes people forget every care and sorrow that has hitherto tormented them.

While she dwelt in the king's palace, Mother Ceres had been so continually occupied with taking care of the young prince, that her heart was a little lightened of its grief for Proserpina. But now, having nothing else to busy herself about, she became just as wretched as before.

When he had gone, Proserpina could not help coming close to the table and looking at the dried-up pomegranate with eagerness. To tell the truth, when she saw something that really suited her taste, she felt all her six months' hunger come back at once. To be sure it was a very poor-looking pomegranate, with no more juice in it than in an oyster-shell.

But still, wherever the girl went, among those gilded halls and chambers, it seemed as if she carried nature and sunshine along with her, and as if she scattered dewy blossoms on her right hand and on her left. After Proserpina came, the palace was no longer the same abode of stately artifice and dismal magnificence that it had before been.

Now, although you may not have supposed it, Proserpina found it impossible to take leave of poor King Pluto without some regrets, and a good deal of compunction for not telling him about the pomegranate.

"I think it a very dismal one," said Proserpina. "It suits my taste, however," answered Pluto, who was apt to be sullen when anybody disagreed with him. "At all events, its water has one very excellent quality; for a single draught of it makes people forget every care and sorrow that has hitherto tormented them.

"Then open your arms, mother dear," cried a well-known voice, "and take me back again." And Proserpina came running along the pathway and flung herself on her mother's bosom. It would be impossible to tell how happy they were; so happy that they cried a little, for people cry when they are very glad as well as when they are unhappy.

While the Proserpina was bearing him past the lighthouse, Gras told him that they had now reached the great harbour, and at the same time he heard the shouts, whistles, signals, and varying sounds of the landing place with its crowded shipping, and of the capital.