The Narrator’s Scene 1 Aria


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“The story I am going to tell you happened a great many years ago, it is well to hear it now before it is forgotten. The emperor’s palace was the most beautiful in the world. It was built entirely of porcelain, and very costly, but so delicate and brittle that all who touched it must be careful. In the garden could be seen the most exquisite flowers, with pretty silver bells tied to them, which tinkled so that every one who passed by would notice them. Indeed, everything in the emperor’s garden was remarkable, and it extended so far that the gardener himself did not know where it ended. Those who travelled beyond its limits knew that there was a noble forest, with lofty trees, sloping down to the deep blue sea, where great ships sailed under the shadow of its branches. In one of these trees lived a nightingale who sang so beautifully travelers told that it was the most beautiful song of all. They related what they saw; the learned wrote books, containing descriptions of the town, the palace, and the gardens; but they did not forget the nightingale.”