I'm still struggling with this. I read it, then sit, then usually read it again. I've gone on line and seen other translations - one that makes more sense has the doctor giving the goldsmith poison but to just reveal his true nature - not handsome - then the handmaiden realizes she doesn't love him and she has an awareness that this king loved her so much he gave her what she wanted - the goldsmith- and then she loves him, the king.
Suddenly, when I was reading this particular translation I thought of one of Chaucer's tales - The Clerk's Tale of Patient Griselda. Here is a bit on her I took it from Wikipedia:
Griselda first came into prominence when Chaucer adapted her for a story in the Canterbury Tales called “Clerk's Tale.” In Chaucer’s tale Griselda is chosen to be the wife of the Marquis even though she is only a poor peasant girl. The one condition that he gives her is that she must promise to always obey him. After they have been married for several years, Griselda gives birth to a baby girl. When the baby turns six weeks old the Marquis tells Griselda that she has to give it up, so she does. Four years later Griselda gives birth to a son. She has to also give this child up after two years because it angers the other members of the court. Twelve years after she gave up her last child, the Marquis tells her to go home, which she obeys, The Marquis then comes to Griselda’s father’s house and instructs her to start preparing his palace for his wedding. Upon her arrival she sees a young girl and boy and it is revealed that these are her children. All of this suffering was a trial to test her obedience to the Marquis.
Now I'll stop for a bit because I think we all need to digest this a bit more.