The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

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How many people do the happy prince and the swallow help ? Who are they?

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The Happy Prince asks the swallow to remove the ruby from his sword-hilt and give it to a poor seamstress whose sick son cries out for oranges. The seamstress is so poor that she can only give her son river water to slake his insatiable thirst. Even though she works...

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The Happy Prince asks the swallow to remove the ruby from his sword-hilt and give it to a poor seamstress whose sick son cries out for oranges. The seamstress is so poor that she can only give her son river water to slake his insatiable thirst. Even though she works her fingers to the bone embroidering passion-flowers on a satin gown for one of the queen's maids of honor, she is unable to earn enough money to help her poor son and so is in dire need of the prince's assistance.

After dropping the ruby by his bedside, the swallow cools the boy's fevered brow with his wings, and the child soon falls into a gentle slumber.

Next, the Happy Prince helps out a poor, struggling playwright. The young man has a deadline to meet, but he's too cold to write anymore and can't afford to heat his cramped little garret. So the prince instructs the swallow to pluck out one of his eyes, made of precious sapphire, and give it to the playwright.

The following day, at the Happy Prince's request, the swallow removes his remaining sapphire eye and gives it to a poor little match-girl. She's dropped all her matches in the gutter, and they've been ruined by the damp. The little girl is crying, as she knows that her father will beat her if she returns home without any money. When the swallow gives her the precious sapphire, the little match-girl runs home laughing at her extraordinary stroke of good luck.

Finally, the Happy Prince instructs the swallow to remove the flakes of gold leaf that adorn his statue and give them to the poor children of the town. There are many such children: cold, hungry, and without a roof over their heads. But once the swallow has distributed the gold leaf among them, they immediately start to become playful and happy.

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