'but remember,' said the witch, 'when once you have received a human form, you can never be a mermaid again; you will never again be able to dive down through the water to your sisters and to your father's palace. and if you do not succeed in winning the prince's love, so that for your sake he will forget father and mother, cleave to you with his whole heart, let the priest join your hands and make you man and wife , you will gain no immortal soul ! the first morning after his marriage with another your heart will break , and you will turn into foam of the sea.' 'i will do it,' said the little mermaid as pale as death.
'alas! he does not know that it was i who saved his life,' thought the little mermaid. 'i bore him over the sea to the wood where the temple stands. i sat behind the foam and watched to see if any one would come. i saw the pretty girl he loves better than me.' and the mermaid heave d a bitter sigh , for she could not weep.
'to whom am i coming?' said she, and her voice sounded like that of the other beings, so unearthly in its beauty that no music of ours could reproduce it.
'but if you take my voice,' said the little mermaid, 'what have i left?' 'your beautiful form,' said the witch, 'your gliding gait , and your speaking eyes ; with these you ought surely to be able to bewitch a human heart. well! have you lost courage? put out your little tongue, and i will cut it off in payment for the powerful draught .'