The very affecting history of the cruel Princess Turandot and the handsome Prince Calaf may be read in those Persian tales which are known by the name of The Thousand and One Nights.The present dramatisation of the ancient fable--a modest attempt to cast good metal anew--closely follows the Italian of the sardonic nobleman whose bones have been mouldering by the blue lagoons for over a hundred years.
he mighty Emperor's daughter, unexcelled In the mind's keenness, and of beauty such That never master's pencil limned her (spite Of the innumerable pictures of her Which travel round the world), is so conceited, And hates all men with such a ruthless hate, The greatest princes woo her hand in vain.
That ancient fable. And what follows next?
This fable is a fable that is true. Her father often sought to have her wed-- For she is sole heir to his mighty throne-- But she said "no" to every prince that came, And his soft heart would not constrain her "yea." Not seldom her refusal led to war, And, though his arms were yet victorious, He felt the approach of age, and so one day He spake to her, deliberately resolved: "Make up thy mind to take a husband now, Or else show me a means to spare my land The throes of war. Age bows my shoulders down, And I have made too many kings my foes By breaking faith with them for love of thee. So once again I charge thee, promptly wed, Or s