"One day," you said to me, "I saw the sunset forty-four times!" And a little later you added: "You know--one loves the sunset, when one is so sad . . ." "Were you so sad, then?" I asked, "on the day of the forty-four sunsets?" But the little prince made no reply.
"At night I want you to put me under a glass globe. It is very cold where you live. In the place I came from- -" But she interrupted herself at that point. She had come in the form of a seed. She could not have known anything of any other worlds. Embarrassed over having let herself be caught on the verge of such a naïve untruth, she coughed two or three times, in order to put the little prince in the wrong.
"That man," said the little prince to himself, as he continued farther on his journey, "that man would be scorned by all the others: by the king, by the conceited man, by the tippler, by the businessman. Nevertheless he is the only one of them all who does not seem to me ridiculous. Perhaps that is because he is thinking of something else besides himself." He breathed a sigh of regret, and said to himself, again: "That man is the only one of them all whom I could have made my friend. But his planet is indeed too small. There is no room on it for two people. . ."
"She would be very much annoyed," he said to himself, "if she should see that . . . She would cough most dreadfully, and she would pretend that she was dying, to avoid being laughed at. And I should be obliged to pretend that I was nursing her back to life--for if I did not do that, to humble myself also, she would really allow herself to die. . ." Then he went on with his reflections: "I thought that I was rich, with a flower that was unique in all the world; and all I had was a common rose. A common rose, and three volcanoes that come up to my knees-- and one of them perhaps extinct forever . . . That doesn't make me a very great prince . . ." And he lay down in the grass and cried.
As the little prince dropped off to sleep, I took him in my arms and set out walking once more. I felt deeply moved, and stirred. It seemed to me that I was carrying a very fragile treasure. It seemed to me, even, that there was nothing more fragile on all Earth. In the moonlight I looked at his pale forehead, his closed eyes, his locks of hair that trembled in the wind, and I said to myself: "What I see here is nothing but a shell. What is most important is invisible . . ."
After a silence the little prince spoke again: "You have good poison? You are sure that it will not make me suffer too long?"