The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

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What was the statue of the Happy Prince adorned with?

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The statue of the Happy Prince is notable for its lavish opulence. It's gilded all over, covered from head to foot in thin leaves of fine gold. The Prince's eyes are made out of two bright sapphires, and from the hilt of his sword gleams a large red ruby. The Town Councillors are very pleased with the statue; they think it shows they have good taste in art. It's also designed to be a monument to civic pride, something that will show the town in a good light.

But the glittering statue, with its gold leaf and precious jewels, stands in stark contrast to the deep pockets of poverty that disfigure the town. From his vantage point on top of the column, the Happy Prince can see just how much suffering there is down below, and all because so many people don't have enough money to live on. So he enlists the help of a little Swallow, getting him to remove the leaves of gold and the precious stones from his eyes and the hilt of his sword and give them to the poor.

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