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´╗┐Title: Tales of Passed Times
Author: Perrault, Charles, 1628-1703
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tales of Passed Times" ***

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It is to Perrault that we owe our acquaintance with the greater number
of good old-fashioned fairy-tales, but an edition of these, although it
includes such intimate friends of our childhood as Blue Beard, the
Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding-Hood, is hardly complete without
"Beauty and the Beast"; a version of this tale, by Mme. Le Prince de
Beaumont, has, therefore, been added to this collection. It has also
been increased, space permitting it, by the insertion of two tales by
Mme. la Comtesse d'Aulnoy; her writings, of a less robust class than
those of Perrault, possess in their atmosphere of hidden magic, the
charm which resides in that special feature of fairyland, and the
addition of "The Benevolent Frog" and "Princess Rosette" will not, we
think, be unwelcome to the youthful reader.



    THE SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOOD                          5

    LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD                                  23

    BLUE BEARD                                              31

    MASTER CAT; OR, PUSS IN BOOTS                           43

    THE FAIRIES                                             55


    RIQUET WITH THE TUFT                                    77

    LITTLE THUMBLING                                        91

    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST                                   109

    THE BENEVOLENT FROG                                    133

    PRINCESS ROSETTE                                       169



    CINDERELLA                                  _Frontispiece_

    SHE FELL INTO A SWOON                                    9

    "GRANDMA, WHAT GREAT EARS YOU HAVE!"                    25

         "YOU MUST DIE"                                     37

    PUSS AMONG THE REAPERS                                  47

    SHE GAVE IT TO THE WOMAN                                57

    THE KING'S SON GAVE HER HIS HAND                        67

         BE THE HANDSOMEST PRINCE IN THE WORLD"             85

    THE BOYS FOLLOWED HIM                                   93

         LION'S SKIN                                       137

    PEACOCKS                                               177


There were once a King and Queen, who were very unhappy at not having
any children, more unhappy than words can tell. Vows, pilgrimages,
everything was tried, but nothing was of any avail; at length, however,
a little daughter was born to them.

There was a splendid christening. For godmothers, they gave the young
Princess all the fairies they could find in the country--they were seven
in number--in order that each making her a gift, according to the custom
of fairies in those days, the Princess might, by these means, become
possessed of all imaginable perfections. When the ceremony was over, all
the company returned to the King's palace, where a great banquet had
been prepared for the fairies. The table was magnificently laid for
them, and each had placed for her a massive gold case, containing a
spoon, a fork, and a knife of fine gold, set with diamonds and rubies.

But as they were all taking their seats, there was seen to enter an old
fairy, who had not been invited, for everyone thought that she was
either dead or enchanted, as she had not been outside the tower in
which she lived for upwards of fifty years. The King ordered a cover to
be laid for her, but there was no possibility of giving her a massive
gold case, such as the others had, because there had been only seven
made expressly for the seven fairies. The old fairy thought she was
treated with contempt, and muttered some threats between her teeth. One
of the young fairies, who chanced to be near her, overheard her
grumblings, and was afraid she might bestow some evil gift on the young
Princess. Accordingly, as soon as they rose from table, she went and hid
herself behind the hangings, in order to be the last to speak, and so
enable herself to repair, as far as possible, any harm the old fairy
might have done. Meanwhile the fairies began bestowing their gifts on
the Princess. The youngest, as her gift, promised that she should be the
most beautiful person in the world; the next fairy, that she should have
the mind of an angel; the third, that every movement of hers should be
full of grace; the fourth, that she should dance to perfection; the
fifth, that she should sing like a nightingale; the sixth, that she
should play on every kind of instrument in the most exquisite manner
possible. It was now the turn of the old fairy, and she said, while her
head shook more with malice than with age, that the Princess should
pierce her hand with a spindle, and die of the wound.

The whole company trembled when they heard this terrible prediction, and
there was not one among them who did not shed tears. At this moment the
young fairy advanced from behind the tapestry, and said, speaking that
all might hear,--

"Comfort yourselves, King and Queen; your daughter shall not die of the
wound. It is true that I have not sufficient power to undo entirely what
my elder has done. The Princess will pierce her hand with a spindle,
but, instead of dying, she will only fall into a deep sleep, which will
last a hundred years, at the end of which time a king's son will come
and wake her."

The King, in the hope of preventing the misfortune foretold by the old
fairy, immediately sent forth a proclamation forbidding everyone, on
pain of death, either to spin with a spindle, or to have spindles in
their possession.

Fifteen or sixteen years had passed, when, the King and Queen being
absent at one of their country houses, it happened that the Princess,
while running about the castle one day, and up the stairs from one room
to the other, came to a little garret at the top of a turret, where an
old woman sat alone spinning with distaff and spindle, for this good
woman had never heard the King's proclamation forbidding the use of the

"What are you doing there?" asked the Princess.

"I am spinning, my pretty child," answered the old woman, who did not
know who she was.

"Oh, how pretty it is!" exclaimed the Princess. "How do you do it? Give
it to me, that I may see if I can do it as well."

She had no sooner taken hold of the spindle, than, being very hasty, and
rather thoughtless, and moreover, the fairies having ordained that it
should be so, she pierced her hand with the point of it, and fainted
away. The poor old woman was in great distress, and called for help.
People came running from all quarters; they threw water in the
Princess's face, they unlaced her dress, they slapped her hands, they
rubbed her temples with Queen of Hungary's water, but nothing would
bring her to. The King, who had run upstairs at the noise, then
remembered the prediction of the fairies, and wisely concluded that this
accident must have happened as the fairies had said it would. He ordered
the Princess to be carried into a beautiful room of the palace, and laid
on a bed embroidered with silver and gold. One might have thought it was
an angel lying there, so lovely did she look, for the rich colours of
her complexion had not faded in her swoon; her cheeks were still rosy,
and her lips like coral. Only, her eyes were closed, but they could hear
her breathing softly, which showed that she was not dead.

The King gave orders that she was to be left to sleep there in quiet,
until the hour of her awaking should arrive. The good fairy who had
saved her life, by condemning her to sleep for a hundred years, was in
the Kingdom of Mataquin, twelve thousand leagues away, when the Princess
met with her accident, but she was informed of it instantly by a little
dwarf, who had a pair of seven-league boots, that is, boots which
enabled the wearer to take seven leagues at a stride.

[Illustration: "_She fell into a swoon._"

_The Sleeping Beauty_]

The fairy set out immediately, and an hour afterwards she was seen
arriving in a chariot of fire, drawn by dragons.

The King advanced to hand her out of the chariot. She approved of all he
had done, but being gifted with great foresight, she bethought her that
the Princess would feel very lost and bewildered on awaking and finding
herself all alone in the old castle; so this is what the fairy did. With
her wand she touched everybody who was in the castle, except the King
and Queen: governesses, maids of honour, women of the bed-chamber,
gentlemen, officers, stewards, cooks, scullions, boys, guards, porters,
pages, footmen; she also touched the horses that were in the stables
with their grooms, the great mastiffs in the courtyard, and little
Fluff, the pet dog of the Princess, that was on the bed beside her. As
soon as she had touched them, they all fell asleep, not to wake again
until the hour arrived for their mistress to do so, in order that they
should all be ready to attend upon her as soon as she should want them.
Even the spits before the fire, hung with partridges and pheasants, and
the very fire itself, went to sleep. All this was done in a moment, for
fairies never lost much time over their work.

The King and Queen now kissed their dear daughter, who still slept on,
quitted the castle, and issued a proclamation forbidding any person,
whosoever, to approach it. These orders were unnecessary, for in a
quarter of an hour there grew up around the park such a number of trees,
large and small, of brambles and thorns interlacing each other, that
neither man nor beast could have got through them, and nothing could be
now seen of the castle but the tops of the turrets, and they only from
a considerable distance. Nobody doubted that this also was some of the
fairy's handiwork, in order that the Princess might be protected from
the curiosity of strangers during her long slumber.

When the hundred years had passed away, the son of the King at that time
upon the throne, and who was of a different family to that of the
sleeping Princess, having been hunting in the neighbourhood, inquired
what towers they were that he saw above the trees of a very thick wood.
Each person answered him according to the story he had heard. Some said
it was an old castle, haunted by ghosts; others, that all the witches of
the country held their midnight revels there. The more general opinion,
however, was that it was the abode of an ogre, and that he carried
thither all the children he could catch, in order to eat them at his
leisure, and without being pursued, he alone having the power of making
his way through the wood.

The Prince did not know what to believe of all this, when an old peasant
spoke in his turn, and said to him, "Prince, it is more than fifty years
ago since I heard my father say, that there was in that castle the most
beautiful Princess that was ever seen; that she was to sleep for a
hundred years, and would be awakened by a king's son, for whom she was
intended and was waiting."

The young Prince, at these words, felt himself all on fire. He had not a
moment's doubt that he was the one chosen to accomplish this famous
adventure, and urged to the deed by love and glory, he resolved,
without delay, to see what would come of it.

Scarcely had he approached the wood, when all those great trees, all
those brambles and thorns, made way for him to pass of their own accord.
He walked towards the castle, which he saw at the end of a long avenue
he had entered, and he was somewhat surprised to find that none of his
people had been able to follow him, the trees having closed up again as
soon as he had passed. Nevertheless, he continued to advance; a young
prince, inspired by love, is always courageous. He came to a large
fore-court, where everything he saw might well have frozen his blood
with terror. A frightful silence reigned around; death seemed everywhere
present; on every side, nothing to be seen but the bodies of men and
animals stretched out, apparently lifeless. He soon discovered, however,
by the shining noses and red faces of the porters, that they were only
asleep; and their goblets, in which still remained a few drops of wine,
sufficiently proved that they had dozed off whilst drinking.

He next passed through a large courtyard paved with marble, ascended the
staircase, and entered the guard-room, where the guards stood, drawn up
in line, their carbines shouldered, and snoring their loudest. He
traversed several rooms with ladies and gentlemen all asleep, some
standing, others seated. At last he came to one covered with gold, and
there on a bed, the curtains of which were open on either side, he saw
the most lovely sight he had ever looked upon--a Princess, who appeared
to be about fifteen or sixteen, and whose dazzling beauty shone with a
radiance which scarcely seemed to belong to this world. He approached,
trembling and admiring, and knelt down beside her.

At that moment, the enchantment being ended, the Princess awoke, and
gazing at him for the first time with unexpected tenderness, "Is it you,
Prince?" she said; "I have waited long for you to come." The Prince,
delighted at these words, and still more by the tone in which they were
uttered, knew not how to express his joy and gratitude. He assured her
that he loved her better than himself. His words were rather confused,
but she was all the more pleased with them; there was little eloquence,
but a great deal of love. He was much more embarrassed than she was,
which is not to be wondered at. She had had time to think over what she
should say to him, for there is reason to believe, although history does
not mention it, that during her long, long sleep, the good fairy had let
her enjoy very pleasant dreams. In short, they talked for four hours
without having said half what they had to say to each other.

In the meanwhile, all the palace had been roused at the same time as the
Princess. Everybody remembered his or her duty, and, as they were not
all in love, they were dying with hunger. The lady-in-waiting, as hungry
as any of them, became impatient, and announced loudly to the Princess
that the meat was on the table. The Prince assisted the Princess to
rise; she was fully dressed, and most magnificently, but he was careful
not to tell her that she was dressed like his grandmother, and wore a
stand-up collar, for, in spite of this, she was not a whit less

They passed into a hall of mirrors, where they supped, waited upon by
the officers of the Princess. The violins and hautboys played old but
charming pieces of music, notwithstanding that it was a hundred years
since they had been performed by anybody, and after supper, without loss
of time, the grand almoner married the royal lovers in the chapel of the

Early next morning the Prince returned to the city, where he knew his
father would be in anxiety about him. The Prince told him that he had
lost his way in the forest whilst hunting, and that he had slept in the
hut of a woodcutter, who had given him black bread and cheese to eat.

The King, his father, who was a simple-minded man, believed him, but his
mother was not so easily satisfied. She noticed that he went hunting
nearly every day, and had always some story ready as an excuse, when he
had slept two or three nights away from home, and so she felt quite sure
that he had a lady-love. More than two years went by and the Princess
had two children, the first, which was a girl, was named Aurora, and the
second, a son, was called Day, because he was still more beautiful than
his sister.

The Queen, hoping to find out the truth from her son, often said to him
that he ought to form some attachment, but he never dared to trust her
with his secret. Although he loved her, he feared her, for she was of
the race of ogres, and the King had only married her on account of her
great riches. It was even whispered about the court that she had the
inclinations of an ogress, and that when she saw little children
passing, it was with the greatest difficulty that she restrained herself
from pouncing upon them. The Prince, therefore, would never say one word
to her about his affairs.

On the death of the King, however, which took place two years later, the
Prince, being now his own master, made a public declaration of his
marriage, and went in great state to bring the Queen, his wife, to the
palace. She made a magnificent entry into the capital, with her two
children, one on either side of her.

Sometime afterwards, the King went to war with his neighbour, the
Emperor Cantalabute. He left the Queen, his mother, Regent of the
Kingdom, earnestly recommending to her care his wife and children. He
was likely to be all summer in the field, and he had no sooner left than
the Queen-mother sent her daughter-in-law and the children to a country
house in the wood, so that she might more easily gratify her horrible
longing. She followed them thither a few days after, and one evening
said to her head cook, "I will eat little Aurora for dinner to-morrow."
"Ah, madam!" exclaimed the cook. "I will," said the Queen, and she said
it in the voice of an ogress longing to eat fresh meat; "and I will have
her served with my favourite sauce."

The poor man, seeing plainly that an ogress was not to be trifled with,
took his great knife and went up to little Aurora's room. She was then
about four years old, and came jumping and laughing to throw her arms
about his neck, and ask him for sweetmeats. He burst into tears, and
the knife fell from his hands; then he went down again and into the
farmyard, and there killed a little lamb which he served up with so
delicious a sauce, that his mistress assured him she had never eaten
anything so excellent. In the meanwhile, he had carried off little
Aurora, and given her to his wife, that she might hide her in the
lodging which she occupied at the further end of the farmyard. A week
later, the wicked Queen said to her head cook, "I will eat little Day
for supper." He made no reply, having decided in his own mind to deceive
her as before.

He went in search of little Day, and found him with a tiny foil in his
hand, fencing with a great monkey, though he was only three years old.
He carried the child to his wife, who hid him where she had hidden his
sister, and then cooked a very tender little kid in the place of little
Day, which the ogress thought wonderfully good. All had gone well enough
so far, but one evening this wicked Queen said to the head cook, "I
should like to eat the Queen with the same sauce that I had with the

Then the poor cook was indeed in despair, for he did not know how he
should be able to deceive her. The young Queen was over twenty years of
age, without counting the hundred years she had slept, and no longer
such tender food, although her skin was still white and beautiful, and
where among all his animals should he find one old enough to take her

He resolved at last that, to save his own life, he would kill the Queen,
and he went up to her room, determined to carry out his purpose without
delay. He worked himself up into a passion, and entered the young
Queen's room, dagger in hand. He did not wish, however, to take her by
surprise, and so he repeated to her, very respectfully, the order he had
received from the Queen-mother. "Do your duty," she said, stretching out
her neck to him; "obey the orders that have been given you. I shall
again see my children, my poor children, whom I loved so dearly," for
she had thought them dead, ever since they had been carried away from
her without a word of explanation.

"No, no, madam!" replied the poor cook, touched to the quick, "you shall
not die, and you shall see your children again, but it will be in my own
house, where I have hidden them; I will again deceive the Queen-mother
by serving up to her a young hind in your stead."

He led her forthwith to his own apartments, then, leaving her to embrace
her children and weep with them, he went and prepared a hind, which the
Queen ate at her supper with as much appetite as if it had been the
young Queen. She exulted in her cruelty, and intended to tell the King,
on his return, that some ferocious wolves had devoured the Queen, his
wife, and her two children.

One evening, while she was prowling, as usual, round the courts and
poultry-yards of the castle, to inhale the smell of fresh meat, she
overheard little Day crying in one of the lower rooms, because the
Queen, his mother, was about to whip him for being naughty, and she also
heard little Aurora begging forgiveness for her brother. The ogress
recognised the voices of the Queen and her children, and, furious at
having been deceived, she gave orders, in a voice that made everybody
tremble, that the next morning early there should be brought into the
middle of the court a large copper, which she had filled with toads,
vipers, adders, and serpents, in order to throw into it the Queen and
her children, the head cook, his wife, and his maid-servant. She further
commanded that they should be brought thither with their hands tied
behind them.

There they stood, and the executioners were preparing to fling them into
the copper, when the King, who was not expected back so soon, entered
the courtyard on horseback. He had ridden post-haste, and in great
astonishment asked what was the meaning of this horrible spectacle? No
one dared tell him, when the ogress, enraged at what she saw, flung
herself head foremost into the copper, where she was instantly devoured
by the horrid reptiles, with which she had herself caused it to be
filled. The King could not help being sorry for it; she was his mother;
but he quickly consoled himself with his beautiful wife and children.

    Some time for a husband to wait
      Who is young, handsome, wealthy and tender,
    May not be a hardship too great
      For a maid whom love happy would render.
    But to be for a century bound
      To live single, I fancy the number
    Of Beauties but small would be found
      So long who could patiently slumber.

    To lovers who hate time to waste,
      And minutes as centuries measure,
    I would hint, those who marry in haste
      May live to repent it at leisure
    Yet so ardently onwards they press,
      And on prudence so gallantly trample,
    That I haven't the heart, I confess,
      To urge on them Beauty's example.


There was once upon a time a little village girl, the prettiest ever
seen or known, of whom her mother was dotingly fond. Her grandmother was
even fonder of her still, and had a little red hood made for the child,
which suited her so well, that wherever she went, she was known by the
name of Little Red Riding-Hood.

One day, her mother having baked some cakes, said to her, "Go and see
how your grandmother is getting on, for I have been told she is ill;
take her a cake and this little jar of butter." Whereupon Little Red
Riding-Hood started off without delay towards the village in which her
grandmother lived. On her way she had to pass through a wood, and there
she met that sly old fellow, Mr Wolf, who felt that he should very much
like to eat her up on the spot, but was afraid to do so, as there were
woodcutters at hand in the forest. He asked her which way she was going,
and the poor child, not knowing how dangerous it is to stop and listen
to a wolf, answered, "I am going to see my grandmother, and am taking a
cake and a little jar of butter, which my mother has sent her."

"Does she live far from here?" asked the Wolf.

"Oh, yes!" replied Little Red Riding-Hood, "on the further side of the
mill that you see down there; hers is the first house in the village."

"Well, I was thinking of going to visit her myself," rejoined the Wolf,
"so I will take this path, and you take the other, and we will see which
of us gets there first."

The Wolf then began running off as fast as he could along the shorter
way, which he had chosen, while the little girl went by the longer way,
and amused herself with stopping to gather nuts, or run after
butterflies, and with making little nosegays of all the flowers she
could find.

It did not take the Wolf long to reach the grandmother's house; he
knocked: tap, tap.

"Who is there?"

"It is your grand-daughter, Little Red Riding-Hood," answered the Wolf,
imitating the child's voice. "I have brought a cake and a little jar of
butter, which my mother has sent you." The good grandmother, who was ill
in bed, called out, "Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up." The
Wolf pulled the bobbin, and the door opened. He leaped on to the poor
old woman, and ate her up in less than no time, for he had been three
days without food. He then shut the door again, and laid himself down in
the grandmother's bed, to wait for Little Red Riding-Hood. Presently she
came and knocked at the door: tap, tap.

[Illustration: '_Grandma, what great ears you have!_'

_Little Red Riding-Hood_]

"Who is there?" Little Red Riding-Hood was frightened at first, on
hearing the Wolf's gruff voice, but thinking that her grandmother had a
cold, she answered,--

"It is your grand-daughter, Little Red Riding-Hood. I have brought a
cake and a little jar of butter, which my mother has sent you."

The Wolf called out, this time in rather a softer voice, "Pull the
bobbin, and the latch will go up." Little Red Riding-Hood pulled the
bobbin, and the door opened.

When the Wolf saw her come in, he hid himself under the bedclothes, and
said to her, "Put the cake and the little jar of butter in the cupboard,
and come into bed with me."

Little Red Riding-Hood undressed, and went to the bedside, and was very
much astonished to see how different her grandmother looked to what she
did when she was up and dressed.

"Grandmother," she exclaimed, "what long arms you have!"

"All the better to embrace you with, my little girl."

"Grandmother, what long legs you have!"

"All the better to run with, child."

"Grandmother, what long ears you have!"

"All the better to hear with, child."

"Grandmother, what large eyes you have!"

"All the better to see with, child."

"Grandmother, what large teeth you have!"

"All the better to eat you with!" and saying these words, the wicked
Wolf sprang out upon Little Red Riding-Hood, and ate her up.


    Now, children, take warning, and chiefly, I pray,
      You maidens so gentle and fair,
    When you come across all kinds of folk, have a care
      Not to listen to what they may say;
    For it can't be thought strange if you do,
    Should the Wolf choose to eat up a few.
    _The_ Wolf, I say here, for you'll find
    Wolves are many, and vary in kind;
    There are some, easy-mannered and tame,
    Without malice, or temper, the same,
    Most obliging and sweet in their way,
    Like to follow their tender young prey,
    And will track them right into their homes--lack-a-day!
    Who among us has not learnt by this time to know,
    The most dangerous of wolves is the soft, smooth-tongued foe!


Once upon a time there was a man who had fine houses in town and
country, gold and silver plate, embroidered furniture, and coaches gilt
all over; but, unfortunately, this man had a blue beard, which made him
look so ugly and terrible, that there was not a woman or girl who did
not run away from him.

One of his neighbours, a lady of rank, had two daughters, who were
perfectly beautiful. He proposed to marry one of them, leaving the
mother to choose which of the two she would give him. Neither of the
daughters, however, would have him, and they sent him from one to the
other, each being unable to make up her mind to marry a man with a blue
beard. A further reason which they had for disliking him was, that he
had already been married several times, and nobody knew what had become
of his wives. Blue Beard, in order to improve the acquaintance, took the
girls with their mother, three or four of their most intimate friends,
and some other young people who resided in the neighbourhood, to one of
his country seats, where they spent an entire week. Nothing was thought
of but excursions, hunting and fishing-parties, balls, entertainments,
suppers; nobody went to bed; the whole night was passed in games and
playing merry tricks on one another. In short, all went off so well,
that the youngest daughter began to think that the beard of the master
of the house was not so blue as it used to be, and that he was a very
worthy man. Immediately upon their return to town the marriage took

At the end of a month, Blue Beard told his wife that he was obliged to
take a journey, which would keep him away from home for six weeks at
least, as he had business of great importance to attend to. He begged
her to amuse herself as well as she could during his absence, to invite
her best friends, and, if she liked, take them into the country, and
wherever she was, to have the best of everything for the table.

"Here," said he to her, "are the keys of my two large store-rooms; these
are those of the chests in which the gold and silver plate, not in
general use, is kept; these are the keys of the strong boxes in which I
keep my money; these open the caskets that contain my jewels, and this
is the master-key of all the rooms. As for this little key, it is that
of the closet at the end of the long gallery on the ground floor. Open
everything, and go everywhere except into that little closet, which I
forbid you to enter, and I forbid you so strictly, that if you should
venture to open the door, there is nothing that you may not have to
dread from my anger!" She promised to obey his orders to the letter,
and, after having embraced her, he got into his coach and set out on his

The friends and neighbours of the young bride did not wait for her
invitation, so eager were they to see all the rich treasures in the
house, and not having ventured to visit her while her husband was at
home, so frightened were they at his blue beard. They were soon to be
seen running through all the rooms, and into the closets and wardrobes,
each one more beautiful and splendid than the last. Then they went
upstairs to the store-rooms; there they could not sufficiently express
their admiration at the number and beauty of the hangings, the beds, the
sofas, the cabinets, the elegant little stands, the tables, the mirrors
in which they could see themselves from head to foot, framed some with
glass, some with silver, some with gilt metal, all of a costliness
beyond what had ever before been seen. They never ceased enlarging upon,
and envying, the good fortune of their friend, who, meanwhile, took no
pleasure in the sight of all these treasures, so great was her longing
to go and open the door of the closet on the ground floor. Her curiosity
at last reached such a pitch that, without stopping to consider how rude
it was to leave her guests, she ran down a little back staircase leading
to the closet, and in such haste that she nearly broke her neck two or
three times before she reached the bottom. At the door of the closet she
paused for a moment, calling to mind her husband's prohibition, and
reflecting that some trouble might fall upon her for her disobedience;
but the temptation was so strong that she could not resist it. So she
took the little key, and with a trembling hand opened the door of the

At first she could distinguish nothing, for the windows were closed; in
a few minutes, however, she began to see that the floor was covered with
blood, in which was reflected the bodies of several dead women hanging
on the walls. These were all the wives of Blue Beard, who had killed
them one after another. She was ready to die with fright, and the key,
which she had taken out of the lock, fell from her hand.

After recovering her senses a little, she picked up the key, locked the
door again, and went up to her room to try and compose herself; but she
found it impossible to quiet her agitation.

She now perceived that the key of the closet was stained with blood; she
wiped it two or three times, but the blood would not come off. In vain
she washed it, and even scrubbed it with sand and free-stone, the stain
was still there, for the key was an enchanted one, and there were no
means of cleaning it completely; when the blood was washed off one side,
it came back on the other.

Blue Beard returned that very evening, and said that he had received
letters on the road, telling him that the business on which he was going
had been settled to his advantage.

His wife did all she could to make him believe that she was delighted at
his speedy return.

The next morning he asked her for his keys again; she gave them to him;
but her hand trembled so, that he had not much difficulty in guessing
what had happened.

"How comes it," said he, "that the key of the closet is not with the

"I must have left it," she replied, "upstairs on my table."

"Fail not," said Blue Beard, "to give it me presently."

After several excuses, she was obliged to go and fetch the key. Blue
Beard having examined it, said to his wife, "Why is there blood on this
key?" "I don't know," answered the poor wife, paler than death.

"You don't know!" rejoined Blue Beard; "I know well enough. You must
needs go into the closet. Well, madam, you shall go in again, and take
your place among the ladies you saw there."

She flung herself at her husband's feet, weeping and begging his pardon,
with all the signs of a true repentance at having disobeyed him. Her
beauty and sorrow might have melted a rock, but Blue Beard had a heart
harder than rock.

"You must die, madam," said he, "and at once."

"If I must die," she replied, looking at him with streaming eyes, "give
me a little time to say my prayers."

"I give you half a quarter of an hour," answered Blue Beard, "not a
minute more."

As soon as she found herself alone, she called her sister, and said to
her, "Sister Anne"--for so she was named--"go up, I pray you, to the top
of the tower, and see if my brothers are not in sight. They promised
they would come to visit me to-day, and if you see them, sign to them to
make haste."

Sister Anne mounted to the top of the tower, and the poor unhappy wife
called to her from time to time, "Anne! Sister Anne! do you not see
anything coming?" and Sister Anne answered her, "I see nothing but the
dust turning gold in the sun, and the grass growing green."

Meanwhile, Blue Beard, with a large cutlass in his hand, called out with
all his might to his wife, "Come down quickly, or I shall come up
there." "One minute more, if you please," replied his wife; and then
said quickly in a low voice, "Anne! Sister Anne! do you not see anything
coming?" And Sister Anne answered, "I see nothing but the dust turning
gold in the sun, and the grass growing green."

"Come down quickly," roared Blue Beard, "or I shall come up there."

"I am coming," answered his wife; and then called "Anne! Sister Anne! do
you not see anything coming?"

"I see a great cloud of dust moving this way," said Sister Anne.

"Is it my brothers?"

"Alas! no, sister, only a flock of sheep."

"Will you not come down?" shouted Blue Beard.

"One minute more," replied his wife; and then she cried, "Anne! Sister
Anne! do you not see anything coming?"

"I see two horsemen coming this way," she replied, "but they are still a
great distance off. Heaven be praised!" she exclaimed a moment
afterwards. "They are my brothers! I am making all the signs I can to
hasten them."

[Illustration: _"Your tears are useless" said Bluebeard, "you must
die!"_ _Bluebeard._]

Blue Beard began to roar so loudly that the whole house shook again. The
poor wife went down and threw herself at his feet with weeping eyes and
dishevelled hair. "It is of no use," said Blue Beard; "you must die!"
Then, taking her by the hair with one hand, and raising the cutlass with
the other, he was about to cut off her head.

The poor wife, turning towards him her dying eyes, begged him to give
her one short moment to collect herself. "No, no," said he; "commend
yourself to heaven," and, lifting his arm.... At this moment there was
such a loud knocking at the gate that Blue Beard stopped short. It was
opened, and two horsemen were immediately seen to enter, who, drawing
their swords, ran straight at Blue Beard. He recognised them as the
brothers of his wife, one a dragoon, the other a musketeer, and he
therefore fled at once, hoping to escape; but they pursued him so
closely that they overtook him before he could reach the steps to his
door, and, running their swords through his body, left him dead on the
spot. The poor wife was almost as dead as her husband, and had not
strength to rise and embrace her brothers.

It was found that Blue Beard had left no heirs, and so his widow came
into possession of all his property. She employed part of it in marrying
her Sister Anne to a man who had long loved her; another part in buying
captains' commissions for her two brothers; and with the remainder she
married herself to a very worthy man, who made her forget the dreadful
time she had passed with Blue Beard.

    Provided one has common sense,
    And of the world but knows the ways,
    This story bears the evidence
    Of being one of bygone days.
    No husband now is so terrific,
    Impossibilities expecting:
    Though jealous, he is still pacific,
    Indifference to his wife affecting.
    And of his beard, whate'er the hue,
    His spouse need fear no such disaster;
    Indeed, 'twould often puzzle you
    To say which of the twain is master.


A miller bequeathed to his three sons all he possessed of worldly goods,
which consisted only of his Mill, his Ass, and his Cat. It did not take
long to divide the property, and neither notary nor attorney was called
in; they would soon have eaten up the poor little patrimony. The eldest
son had the Mill; the second son, the Ass; and the youngest had nothing
but the Cat.

The latter was very disconsolate at having such a poor share of the
inheritance. "My brothers," said he, "may be able to earn an honest
livelihood by entering into partnership; but, as for me, when I have
eaten my Cat and made a muff of his skin, I must die of hunger." The
Cat, who had heard this speech, although he had not appeared to do so,
said to him with a sedate and serious air, "Do not be troubled, master;
you have only to give me a bag, and get a pair of boots made for me in
which I can go among the bushes, and you will see that you are not left
so badly off as you believe." Though his master did not place much
reliance on the Cat's words, he had seen him play such cunning tricks in
catching rats and mice, when he would hang himself up by the heels, or
hide in the flour pretending to be dead, that he was not altogether
without hope of being helped by him out of his distress.

As soon as the Cat had what he asked for, he boldly pulled on his boots,
and, hanging his bag round his neck, he took the strings of it in his
fore-paws, and started off for a warren where there were a great number
of rabbits. He put some bran and sow-thistles in his bag, and then,
stretching himself out as if he were dead, he waited till some young
rabbit, little versed in the wiles of the world, should come and poke
his way into the bag, in order to eat what was inside it.

He had hardly laid himself down before he had the pleasure of seeing a
young scatterbrain of a rabbit get into the bag, whereupon Master Cat
pulled the strings, caught it, and killed it without mercy. Proud of his
prey, he went to the palace, and asked to speak to the King. He was
ushered upstairs and into the state apartment, and, after making a low
bow to the King, he said, "Sire, here is a wild rabbit, which my Lord
the Marquis of Carabas--for such was the title he had taken a fancy to
give to his master--has ordered me to present, with his duty, to your

"Tell your master," replied the King, "that I thank him and am pleased
with his gift."

Another day he went and hid himself in the wheat, keeping the mouth of
his bag open as before, and as soon as he saw that a brace of partridges
had run inside, he pulled the strings, and so took them both. He went
immediately and presented them to the King, as he had the rabbits. The
King was equally grateful at receiving the brace of partridges, and
ordered drink to be given him.

For the next two or three months, the Cat continued in this manner,
taking presents of game at intervals to the King, as if from his master.
One day, when he knew the King was going to drive on the banks of the
river, with his daughter, the most beautiful Princess in the world, he
said to his master, "If you will follow my advice, your fortune is made;
you have only to go and bathe in a part of the river I will point out to
you, and then leave the rest to me."

The Marquis of Carabas did as his Cat advised him, without knowing what
good would come of it. While he was bathing, the King passed by, and the
Cat began to call out with all his might, "Help! Help! My Lord the
Marquis of Carabas is drowning!" Hearing the cry, the King looked out of
the coach window, and recognising the Cat who had so often brought him
game, he ordered his guards to fly to the help of my Lord the Marquis of
Carabas. Whilst they were getting the poor Marquis out of the river, the
Cat went up to the royal coach, and told the King that, while his master
had been bathing, some robbers had come and carried off his clothes,
although he had shouted, "Stop thief," as loud as he could. The rogue
had hidden them himself under a large stone. The King immediately
ordered the officers of his wardrobe to go and fetch one of his
handsomest suits for my Lord the Marquis of Carabas. The King embraced
him a thousand times, and as the fine clothes they dressed him in set
off his good looks--for he was handsome and well made--the Marquis of
Carabas quite took the fancy of the King's daughter, and after he had
cast two or three respectful and rather tender glances towards her, she
fell very much in love with him. The King insisted upon his getting into
the coach, and accompanying them in their drive. The Cat, delighted to
see that his plans were beginning to succeed, ran on before, and coming
across some peasants who were mowing a meadow, he said to them, "You,
good people, who are mowing here, if you do not tell the King that this
meadow you are mowing belongs to my Lord the Marquis of Carabas, you
shall all be cut in pieces as small as minced meat." The King did not
fail to ask the peasants whose meadow it was they were mowing. "It
belongs to my Lord the Marquis of Carabas," said they all together, for
the Cat's threat had frightened them. "You have a fine property there,"
said the King to the Marquis of Carabas.

"As you say, sire," responded the Marquis of Carabas, "for it is a
meadow which yields an abundant crop every year."

Master Cat, who still kept in advance of the party, came up to some
reapers, and said to them, "You, good people, who are reaping, if you do
not say that all this corn belongs to my Lord the Marquis of Carabas,
you shall all be cut into pieces as small as minced meat."

[Illustration: _Puss among the reapers._]

The King, who passed by a minute afterwards, wished to know to whom
belonged all the cornfields he saw. "To my Lord the Marquis of Carabas,"
repeated the reapers, and the King again congratulated the Marquis on
his property.

The Cat, still continuing to run before the coach, uttered the same
threat to everyone he met, and the King was astonished at the great
wealth of my Lord the Marquis of Carabas. Master Cat at length arrived
at a fine castle, the owner of which was an ogre, the richest ogre ever
known, for all the lands through which the King had driven belonged to
the Lord of this castle. The Cat took care to find out who the ogre was,
and what he was able to do; then he asked to speak with him, saying that
he did not like to pass so near his castle without doing himself the
honour of paying his respects to him. The ogre received him as civilly
as an ogre can, and made him sit down.

"I have been told," said the Cat, "that you have the power of changing
yourself into all kinds of animals; that you could, for instance,
transform yourself into a lion or an elephant."

"'Tis true," said the ogre, abruptly, "and to prove it to you, you shall
see me become a lion." The Cat was so frightened when he saw a lion in
front of him, that he quickly scrambled up into the gutter, not without
difficulty and danger, on account of his boots, which were worse than
useless for walking on the tiles. Shortly afterwards, seeing that the
ogre had resumed his natural form, the Cat climbed down again, and
admitted that he had been terribly frightened. "I have also been
assured," said the Cat, "but I cannot believe it, that you have the
power besides of taking the form of the smallest animal; for instance,
that of a rat, or a mouse; I confess to you I hold this to be utterly
impossible." "Impossible!" exclaimed the ogre, "you shall see!" and he
immediately changed himself into a mouse, and began running about the
floor. The cat no sooner caught sight of it, than he pounced upon it and
ate it.

In the meanwhile, the King, seeing the fine castle of the ogre as he was
driving past, thought he should like to go inside. The Cat, who heard
the noise of the coach rolling over the draw-bridge, ran to meet it, and
said to the King, "Your Majesty is welcome to the Castle of my Lord the
Marquis of Carabas!"

"How, my Lord Marquis," exclaimed the King, "this castle belongs to you?
Nothing could be finer than this courtyard, and all these buildings
which surround it. Let us see the inside of it, if you please."

The Marquis handed out the young Princess, and following the King, who
led the way upstairs, they entered a grand hall, where they found
prepared a magnificent repast, which the ogre had ordered in expectation
of some friends, who were to have visited him that very day, but who did
not venture to enter when they heard the King was there. The King, as
greatly delighted with the excellent qualities of my Lord the Marquis of
Carabas as his daughter, who was more than ever in love with him, seeing
what great wealth he possessed, said to him, after having drunk five or
six bumpers, "It depends entirely on yourself, my Lord Marquis, whether
or not you become my son-in-law." The Marquis, making several profound
bows, accepted the honour the King offered him, and that same day was
married to the Princess. The Cat became a great lord, and never again
ran after mice, except for his amusement.

    Be the advantage never so great
    Of owning a superb estate,
      From sire to son descended,
    Young men oft find, on industry,
    Combined with ingenuity,
      They'd better have depended.

       *       *       *       *       *

    If the son of a miller so quickly could gain
    The heart of a Princess, it seems pretty plain,
    With good looks and good manners, and some aid from dress,
    The humblest need not quite despair of success.


There was once a widow who had two daughters. The elder was so like her
mother in temper and face, that to have seen the one was to have seen
the other. They were both so disagreeable and proud, that it was
impossible to live with them. The younger, who was the exact portrait of
her father in her kindly and polite ways, was also as beautiful a girl
as one could see. As we are naturally fond of those who resemble us, the
mother doted on her elder daughter, while for the younger she had a most
violent aversion, and made her take her meals in the kitchen and work
hard all day. Among other things that she was obliged to do, this poor
child was forced to go twice a day to fetch water from a place a mile or
more from the house, and carry back a large jug filled to the brim. As
she was standing one day by this spring, a poor woman came up to her,
and asked the girl to give her some water to drink.

"Certainly, my good woman," she replied, and the beautiful girl at once
stooped and rinsed out the jug, and then, filling it with water from the
clearest part of the spring, she held it up to the woman, continuing to
support the jug, that she might drink with greater comfort. Having
drunk, the woman said to her, "You are so beautiful, so good and kind,
that I cannot refrain from conferring a gift upon you," for she was
really a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor village woman, in order
to see how far the girl's kind-heartedness would go. "This gift I make
you," continued the fairy, "that with every word you speak, either a
flower or a precious stone will fall from your mouth."

The girl had no sooner reached home than her mother began scolding her
for being back so late. "I am sorry, mother," said she, "to have been
out so long," and as she spoke, there fell from her mouth two roses, two
pearls, and two large diamonds. The mother gazed at her in astonishment.
"What do I see!" she exclaimed, "Pearls and diamonds seem to be dropping
from her mouth! How is this, my daughter?"--it was the first time she
had called her _daughter_. The poor child related in all simplicity what
had happened, letting fall quantities of diamonds in the course of her
narrative. "I must certainly send my other daughter there," said the
mother. "Look, Fanchon, see what falls from your sister's mouth when she
speaks! Would you not be glad to receive a similar gift? All you have to
do, is to go and fetch water from the spring, and if an old woman asks
you for some to drink, to give it her nicely and politely." "I should
like to see myself going to the spring," answered the rude, cross girl.

"I insist on your going," rejoined the mother, "and that at once."

[Illustration: '_She gave it to the Woman._']

The elder girl went off, still grumbling; with her she took the
handsomest silver bottle she could find in the house.

She had no sooner arrived at the spring, than she saw a lady
magnificently dressed walking towards her from the wood, who approached
and asked for some water to drink. It was the same fairy who had
appeared to the sister, but she had now put on the airs and apparel of a
princess, as she wished to see how far this girl's rudeness would go.
"Do you think I came here just to draw water for you?" answered the
arrogant and unmannerly girl; "I have, of course, brought this silver
bottle on purpose for madam to drink from! Well, all I have to say
is--drink from it if you like."

"You are scarcely polite," said the fairy, without losing her temper;
"however, as you are so disobliging, I confer this gift upon you, that
with every word you speak, a snake or a toad shall fall from your

Directly her mother caught sight of her, she called out, "Well, my
daughter!" "Well, my mother!" replied the ill-tempered girl, throwing
out as she spoke two vipers and two toads. "Alack!" cried the mother,
"what do I see? This is her sister's doing, but I will pay her out for
it," and, so saying, she ran towards the younger girl with intent to
beat her. The unhappy girl fled from the house, and went and hid herself
in a neighbouring forest. The King's son, who was returning from
hunting, met her, and seeing how beautiful she was, asked her what she
was doing there all alone, and why she was crying. "Alas! sir, my
mother has driven me from home." The King's son, seeing five or six
pearls and as many diamonds, falling from her mouth as she spoke, asked
her to explain how this was, and she told him all her tale. The King's
son fell in love with her, and thinking that such a gift as she
possessed was worth more than any ordinary dower brought by another, he
carried her off to his father's palace, and there married her.

As for her sister, she made herself so hated, that her own mother drove
her from the house. The miserable girl, having gone about in vain trying
to find someone who would take her in, crept away into the corner of a
wood, and there died.

    Of higher worth are gentle words
      Than diamonds or gold,
    And even o'er the minds of men
      A great power they hold.

       *       *       *       *       *

    It costs some pains to be polite,
      And needs some kindly thought,
    But soon or late, as here you see,
      Reward will come unsought.


Once upon a time there was a nobleman, who took for a second wife the
haughtiest and proudest woman that had ever been seen. She had two
daughters of the same temper, and who resembled her in everything. The
husband, on his side, had a daughter, of unexampled gentleness and
goodness. She inherited these qualities from her mother, who had been
the best creature in the world.

The wedding was hardly over before the stepmother's ill-humour broke
out. She could not endure the young girl, whose good qualities made her
own daughters appear still more detestable. She put her to do all the
most menial work in the house. It was she who washed up the plates and
dishes, and cleaned the stairs; who scrubbed the stepmother's room, and
those of her daughters. She slept in a garret at the top of the house,
on a wretched straw mattress, while her sisters occupied rooms with
inlaid floors, and had the latest fashioned beds, and mirrors in which
they could see themselves from head to foot. The poor girl bore
everything with patience, and did not dare complain to her father, who
would only have scolded her, as he was entirely governed by his wife.
When she had done her work, she was in the habit of going into the
chimney-corner and sitting down amongst the cinders, which caused her to
be nicknamed Cindertail by the household in general. The second
daughter, however, who was not quite so rude as her sister, called her
Cinderella. Nevertheless, Cinderella in her shabby clothes, still looked
a thousand times more beautiful than her sisters, although so
magnificently dressed.

It happened that the King's son gave a ball, to which he invited
everyone of position. Our two fine ladies were among those who received
an invitation, for they made a great show in the neighbourhood. They
were now in great delight, and very busy choosing the most becoming
gowns and head-dresses. A new mortification for poor Cinderella, for it
was she who had to iron her sisters' fine linen, and goffer their
ruffles. No one talked of anything but of the style in which they were
to be dressed. "I," said the eldest, "will wear my red velvet dress, and
my English point-lace trimmings." "I," said the youngest, "shall only
wear my usual petticoat; but, to make up for that, I shall put on my
gold-flowered cloak, and my clasp of diamonds, which are none of the
least valuable." They sent for a first-rate milliner, that their caps
might be made to fashion, and they bought their patches from the best
maker. They called Cinderella to give them her opinion, for her taste
was excellent. Cinderella gave them the best advice in the world, and
even offered to dress their hair for them, which they were very willing
she should do.

Whilst she was busy with the hairdressing, they said to her,
"Cinderella, should you be very glad to go to the ball?"

"Alas! you only make fun of me; such a thing would not be suitable for
me at all."

"You are right; they would indeed laugh to see a Cindertail at the

Any other than Cinderella would have dressed their hair awry, but she
had a good disposition, and arranged it for both of them to perfection.
They could eat nothing for nearly two days, so transported were they
with joy. More than a dozen laces were broken in making their waists as
small as possible, and they were continually before their
looking-glasses. At last the happy day arrived. They set off, and
Cinderella followed them with her eyes as long as she could. When they
were out of sight she began to cry. Her godmother, who saw her all in
tears, asked her what was the matter. "I should so like--I should so
like--" she sobbed so violently that she could not finish the sentence.
"You would so like to go to the ball, is not that it?"

"Alas! yes," said Cinderella, sighing.

"Well, if you will be a good girl, I will undertake that you shall go."
She took her into her room, and said to her, "Go into the garden and
bring me a pumpkin." Cinderella went at once, gathered the finest she
could find, and brought it to her godmother, wondering the while how a
pumpkin could enable her to go to the ball. Her godmother scooped it
out, and, having left nothing but the rind, struck it with her wand,
and the pumpkin was immediately changed into a beautiful coach, gilt all
over. She then went and looked into the mouse-trap, where she found six
mice, all alive. She told Cinderella to lift the door of the mouse-trap
a little, and to each mouse, as it ran out, she gave a tap with her
wand, and the mouse was immediately changed into a fine horse, so that
at last there stood ready a handsome train of six horses, of a beautiful
dappled mouse-grey colour. As she was in some difficulty as to what she
could take to turn into a coachman, Cinderella said, "I will go and see
if there is not a rat in the rat-trap; we will make a coachman of him."

"You are right," said her godmother, "go and see."

Cinderella brought her the rat-trap, in which there were three large
rats. The fairy chose one from the three on account of its ample beard,
and having touched it, it was changed into a fat coachman, with the
finest whiskers that ever were seen. She then said, "Go into the garden,
and there, behind the watering-pot, you will find six lizards, bring
them to me." Cinderella had no sooner brought them than the godmother
changed them into six footmen, with their liveries all covered with
lace, who immediately jumped up behind the coach, and hung on to it as
if they had done nothing else all their lives. The fairy then said to
Cinderella, "Well, there is something in which to go to the ball; are
you not well pleased?"

[Illustration: '_The King's son gave her his hand._' _Cinderella._]

"Yes, but am I to go in these dirty old clothes?" Her godmother touched
her lightly with her wand, and in the same instant her dress was changed
into one of gold and silver, covered with precious stones. She then gave
her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the world. When she was
thus attired, she got into the coach; but her godmother told her, above
all things, not to stay past midnight--warning her, that if she remained
at the ball a minute longer, her coach would again become a pumpkin, her
horses, mice, her footmen, lizards, and her clothes turn again into her
old ones. She promised her godmother that she would not fail to leave
the ball before midnight, and drove off, almost out of her mind with

The King's son, who was informed that a grand Princess had arrived whom
nobody knew, ran to receive her. He handed her out of the coach and led
her into the hall, where the guests were assembled. There was
immediately a dead silence; the dancing stopped, and the fiddlers ceased
to play, so engaged did everyone become in gazing upon the wonderful
beauty of the unknown lady. Nothing was heard but a general murmur of
"Oh! how lovely she is!" The King himself, old as he was, could not take
his eyes from her, and observed to the Queen, that it was a long time
since he had seen so lovely and amiable a person. All the ladies were
intently occupied in examining her head-dress and her clothes, that they
might order some like them the very next day, provided that they might
be able to find materials as costly, and work-people sufficiently clever
to make them up.

The King's son conducted her to the most honourable seat, and then led
her out to dance. She danced so gracefully that everybody's admiration
of her was increased. A very grand supper was served, of which the
Prince ate not a morsel, so absorbed was he in the contemplation of her
beauty. She seated herself beside her sisters, and showed them a
thousand civilities. She shared with them the oranges and citrons which
the Prince had given her, at which they were greatly surprised, for she
appeared a perfect stranger to them. While they were thus talking
together, Cinderella heard the clock strike the three quarters past
eleven; she at once made a profound curtsey to the company, and left as
quickly as she could. As soon as she had reached home, she went to find
her godmother, and after having thanked her, said she much wished to go
to the ball again next day, because the King's son had invited her. She
was telling her godmother all that had passed at the ball, when the two
sisters knocked at the door. Cinderella went and opened it. "How late
you are!" said she to them, yawning, rubbing her eyes, and then
stretching herself as if she had but just awoke, although she had had no
inclination to sleep since she parted from them. "If you had been at the
ball," said one of her sisters to her, "you would not have been weary of
it. There came to it the most beautiful princess--the most beautiful
that ever was seen; she paid us many attentions, and gave us oranges and
citrons." Cinderella was beside herself with delight. She asked them the
name of the Princess, but they replied that nobody knew her, that the
King's son was much puzzled about it, and that he would give everything
in the world to know who she was. Cinderella smiled, and said, "She was
very lovely, then? How fortunate you are! Could not I get a sight of
her? Alas! Miss Javotte, lend me the yellow gown you wear every day."

"Truly," said Miss Javotte, "I like that! Lend one's gown to a dirty
Cindertail like you! I should be mad indeed!" Cinderella fully expected
this refusal, and was rejoiced at it, for she would not have known what
to do if her sister had lent her the gown.

The next day the sisters went again to the ball, and Cinderella also,
but still more splendidly dressed than before. The King's son never left
her side, or ceased saying tender things to her. Cinderella found the
evening pass very pleasantly, and forgot her godmother's warning, so
that she heard the clock begin to strike twelve while still thinking
that it was not yet eleven. She rose and fled as lightly as a fawn. The
Prince followed her, but could not overtake her. She dropped one of her
glass slippers, which the Prince carefully picked up. Cinderella reached
home almost breathless, without coach or footmen, and in her shabby
clothes, with nothing remaining of her finery but one of her little
slippers, the fellow of that which she had dropped. The guards at the
palace gate were asked if they had not seen a Princess pass out; they
answered that they had seen no one pass but a poorly-dressed girl, who
had more the appearance of a peasant than of a lady. When the two
sisters returned from the ball, Cinderella asked them if they had been
as much entertained as before, and if the beautiful lady had been
present. They said yes, but that she had fled as soon as it had struck
twelve, and in such haste, that she had dropped one of her little glass
slippers, the prettiest in the world; that the King's son had picked it
up, and had done nothing but gaze upon it during the remainder of the
evening; and that, undoubtedly, he was very much in love with the
beautiful person to whom the little slipper belonged. They spoke the
truth; for a few days afterwards the King's son caused it to be
proclaimed by sound of trumpet that he would marry her whose foot would
exactly fit the slipper. They began by trying it on the princesses, then
on the duchesses, and so on throughout the Court; but in vain. It was
taken to the two sisters, who did their utmost to force one of their
feet into the slipper, but they could not manage to do so. Cinderella,
who was looking on, and who recognised the slipper, said laughingly,
"Let me see if it will not fit me." Her sisters began to laugh and
ridicule her. The gentleman of the Court who had been entrusted to try
the slipper, having looked attentively at Cinderella, and seeing that
she was very beautiful, said that it was only fair that her request
should be granted, as he had received orders to try the slipper on all
maidens, without exception. He made Cinderella sit down, and putting the
slipper to her little foot, he saw it slip on easily and fit like wax.
Great was the astonishment of the two sisters, but it was still greater
when Cinderella took the other little slipper out of her pocket and put
it on her other foot. At that moment the godmother appeared, who giving
a tap with her wand to Cinderella's clothes, they became still more
magnificent than those she had worn before.

The two sisters then recognised in her the beautiful person they had
seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg for
forgiveness for all the ill-treatment she had suffered from them.
Cinderella raised and embraced them, said that she forgave them with all
her heart, and begged them to love her dearly for the future. She was
conducted, dressed as she was, to the young Prince. He found her more
charming than ever, and a few days afterwards he married her.
Cinderella, who was as kind as she was beautiful, gave her sisters
apartments in the palace, and married them the very same day to two
great lords of the Court.

    Beauty in woman is a treasure rare
      Which we are never weary of admiring;
    But a sweet temper is a gift more fair
      And better worth the youthful maid's desiring.
    That was the boon bestowed on Cinderella
      By her wise godmother--her truest glory.
    The rest was "nought but leather and prunella."
      Such is the moral of this little story--
    Beauties, that charm, become you more than dress,
      And win a heart with far greater facility.
    In short, in all things to ensure success,
            The real Fairy Gift is amiability!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Talent, courage, wit, and worth,
    Are rare gifts to own on earth;
    But if you want to thrive at Court--
    So, at least, the wise report--
    You will find you need some others,
    Such as godfathers or mothers.


Once upon a time there was a Queen who had a son, so ugly and misshapen,
that it was doubted for a long time whether his form was really human. A
fairy, who was present at his birth, affirmed, nevertheless, that he
would be worthy to be loved, as he would have an excellent wit; she
added, moreover, that by virtue of the gift she had bestowed upon him,
he would be able to impart equal intelligence to the one whom he loved
best. All this was some consolation to the poor Queen, who was much
distressed at having brought so ugly a little monkey into the world. It
is true that the child was no sooner able to speak than he said a
thousand pretty things, and that in all his ways there was a certain air
of intelligence, with which everyone was charmed. I had forgotten to say
that he was born with a little tuft of hair on his head, and so he came
to be called Riquet with the Tuft; for Riquet was the family name.

About seven or eight years later, the Queen of a neighbouring kingdom
had two daughters. The elder was fairer than the day, and the Queen was
so delighted, that it was feared some harm might come to her from her
great joy. The same fairy who had assisted at the birth of little
Riquet, was present upon this occasion, and in order to moderate the joy
of the Queen, she told her that this little Princess would have no gifts
of mind at all, and that she would be as stupid as she was beautiful.
The Queen was greatly mortified on hearing this, but, shortly after, she
was even more annoyed, when her second little daughter was born and
proved to be extremely ugly. "Do not distress yourself, madam," said the
fairy to her, "your daughter will find compensation, for she will have
so much intelligence, that her lack of beauty will scarcely be

"Heaven send it may be so," replied the Queen; "but are there no means
whereby a little more understanding might be given to the elder, who is
so lovely?" "I can do nothing for her in the way of intelligence,
madam," said the fairy, "but everything in the way of beauty; as,
however, there is nothing in my power I would not do to give you
comfort, I will bestow on her the power of conferring beauty on any man
or woman who shall please her." As these two Princesses grew up, their
endowments also became more perfect, and nothing was talked of anywhere
but the beauty of the elder, and the intelligence of the younger. It is
true that their defects also greatly increased with their years. The
younger became uglier every moment, and the elder more stupid every day.
She either made no answer when she was spoken to, or else said something
foolish. With this she was so clumsy, that she could not even place four
pieces of china on a mantelshelf, without breaking one of them, or
drink a glass of water, without spilling half of it on her dress.
Notwithstanding the attraction of beauty, the younger, in whatever
society they might be, nearly always bore away the palm from her sister.
At first everyone went up to the more beautiful, to gaze at and admire
her; but they soon left her for the cleverer one, to listen to her many
pleasant and amusing sayings; and people were astonished to find that in
less than a quarter of an hour, the elder had not a soul near her, while
all the company had gathered round the younger. The elder, though very
stupid, noticed this, and would have given, without regret, all her
beauty, for half the sense of her sister. Discreet as she was, the Queen
could not help often reproaching her with her stupidity, which made the
poor Princess ready to die of grief.

One day, when she had gone by herself into a wood, to weep over her
misfortune, she saw approaching her, a little man of very ugly and
unpleasant appearance, but magnificently dressed. It was the young
Prince Riquet with the Tuft, who, having fallen in love with her from
seeing her portraits, which were sent all over the world, had left his
father's kingdom that he might have the pleasure of beholding her and
speaking to her. Enchanted at meeting her thus alone, he addressed her
with all the respect and politeness imaginable. Having remarked, after
paying her the usual compliments, that she was very melancholy, he said
to her, "I cannot understand, madam, how a person so beautiful as you
are can be so unhappy as you appear; for, although I can boast of having
seen an infinite number of beautiful people, I can say with truth that
I have never seen one whose beauty could be compared with yours."

"You are pleased to say so, sir," replied the Princess, and there she

"Beauty," continued Riquet, "is so great an advantage, that it ought to
take the place of every other, and, possessed of it, I see nothing that
can have power to afflict one."

"I would rather," said the Princess, "be as ugly as you are, and have
intelligence, than possess the beauty I do, and be so stupid as I am."

"There is no greater proof of intelligence, madam, than the belief that
we have it not; it is the nature of that gift, that the more we have,
the more we believe ourselves to be without it."

"I do not know how that may be," said the Princess, "but I know well
enough that I am very stupid, and that is the cause of the grief that is
killing me."

"If that is all that troubles you, madam, I can easily put an end to
your sorrow."

"And how would you do that?" said the Princess.

"I have the power, madam," said Riquet with the Tuft, "to give as much
intelligence as it is possible to possess, to the person whom I love
best; as you, madam, are that person, it will depend entirely upon
yourself, whether or not you become gifted with this amount of
intelligence, provided that you are willing to marry me."

The Princess was struck dumb with astonishment, and replied not a word.

"I see," said Riquet with the Tuft, "that this proposal troubles you,
and I am not surprised, but I will give you a full year to consider it."

The Princess had so little sense, and at the same time was so anxious to
have a great deal, that she thought the end of that year would never
come; so she at once accepted the offer that was made her. She had no
sooner promised Riquet with the Tuft that she would marry him that day
twelve months, than she felt herself quite another person to what she
had previously been. She found she was able to say whatever she pleased,
with a readiness past belief, and of saying it in a clever, but easy and
natural manner. She immediately began a sprightly and well-sustained
conversation with Riquet with the Tuft, and was so brilliant in her
talk, that Riquet with the Tuft began to think he had given her more wit
than he had reserved for himself. On her return to the palace, the whole
Court was puzzled to account for a change so sudden and extraordinary;
for the number of foolish things which they had been accustomed to hear
from her, she now made as many sensible and exceedingly witty remarks.
All the Court was in a state of joy not to be described. The younger
sister alone was not altogether pleased, for, having lost her
superiority over her sister in the way of intelligence, she now only
appeared by her side as a very unpleasing-looking person.

The King now began to be guided by his elder daughter's advice, and at
times even held his Council in her apartments. The news of the change of
affairs was spread abroad, and all the young princes of the
neighbouring kingdoms exerted themselves to gain her affection, and
nearly all of them asked her hand in marriage. She found none of them,
however, intelligent enough to please her, and she listened to all of
them, without engaging herself to one.

At length arrived a Prince, so rich and powerful, so clever and so
handsome, that she could not help listening willingly to his addresses.
Her father, having perceived this, told her that he left her at perfect
liberty to choose a husband for herself, and that she had only to make
known her decision. As the more intelligence we possess, the more
difficulty we find in making up our mind on such a matter as this, she
begged her father, after having thanked him, to allow her time to think
about it.

She went, by chance, to walk in the same wood in which she had met
Riquet with the Tuft, in order to meditate more uninterruptedly over
what she had to do. While she was walking, deep in thought, she heard a
dull sound beneath her feet, as of many persons running to and fro, and
busily occupied. Having listened more attentively, she heard one say,
"Bring me that saucepan;" another, "Give me that kettle;" another, "Put
some wood on the fire." At the same moment the ground opened, and she
saw beneath her what appeared to be a large kitchen, full of cooks,
scullions, and all sorts of servants necessary for the preparation of a
magnificent banquet. There came forth a band of about twenty to thirty
cooks, who went and established themselves in an avenue of the wood, at
a very long table, and who, each with the larding-pin in his hand and
the tail of his fur cap over his ear, set to work, keeping time to a
harmonious song.

The Princess, astonished at this sight, asked the men for whom they were

"Madam," replied the chief among them, "for Prince Riquet with the Tuft,
whose marriage will take place to-morrow." The Princess, still more
surprised than she was before, and suddenly recollecting that it was
just a twelvemonth from the day on which she had promised to marry
Prince Riquet with the Tuft, was overcome with trouble and amazement.
The reason of her not having remembered her promise was, that when she
made it she had been a very foolish person, and when she became gifted
with the new mind that the Prince had given her, she had forgotten all
her follies.

She had not taken another thirty steps, when Riquet with the Tuft
presented himself before her, gaily and splendidly attired, like a
Prince about to be married. "You see, madam," said he, "I keep my word
punctually, and I doubt not that you have come thither to keep yours,
and to make me, by the giving of your hand, the happiest of men."

"I confess to you, frankly," answered the Princess, "that I have not yet
made up my mind on that matter, and that I do not think I shall ever be
able to do so in the way you wish." "You astonish me, madam," said
Riquet with the Tuft. "I have no doubt I do," said the Princess; "and
assuredly, had I to deal with a stupid person, with a man without
intelligence, I should feel greatly perplexed. 'A Princess is bound by
her word,' he would say to me, 'and you must marry me, as you have
promised to do so.' But as the person to whom I speak is, of all men in
the world, the one of greatest sense and understanding, I am certain he
will listen to reason. You know that, when I was no better than a fool,
I nevertheless could not decide to marry you--how can you expect, now
that I have the mind which you have given me, and which renders me much
more difficult to please than before, that I should take to-day a
resolution which I could not then? If you seriously thought of marrying
me, you did very wrong to take away my stupidity, and so enable me to
see more clearly than I saw then." "If a man without intelligence,"
replied Riquet with the Tuft, "who reproached you with your breach of
promise, might have a right, as you have just intimated, to be treated
with indulgence, why would you, madam, that I should receive less
consideration in a matter which affects the entire happiness of my life?
Is it reasonable that persons of intellect should be in a worse position
than those that have none? Can you assert this--you who have so much,
and who so earnestly desired to possess it? But let us come to the
point, if you please. Setting aside my ugliness, is there anything in me
that displeases you? Are you dissatisfied with my birth, my
understanding, my temper, or my manners?"

"Not in the least," replied the Princess; "I admire in you everything
you have mentioned."

[Illustration: _Then said the Princess "I wish that you may be the
handsomest prince in the world."_ _Riquet with the Tuft._]

"If that is so," rejoined Riquet with the Tuft, "I shall soon be happy,
as you have it in your power to make me the most pleasing looking of

"How can that be done?" asked the Princess.

"It can be done," said Riquet with the Tuft, "if you love me
sufficiently to wish that it should be. And, in order, madam, that you
should have no doubt about it, know that the same fairy, who, on the day
I was born, endowed me with the power to give intelligence to the person
I chose, gave you also the power to render handsome the man you should
love, and on whom you should wish to bestow this favour."

"If such be the fact," said the Princess, "I wish, with all my heart,
that you should become the handsomest and most lovable Prince in the
world, and I bestow the gift on you to the fullest extent in my power."

The Princess had no sooner pronounced these words than Riquet with the
Tuft appeared to her eyes, of all men in the world, the handsomest, the
best made, and most attractive she had ever seen. There are some who
assert that it was not the spell of the fairy, but love alone that
caused this metamorphosis. They say that the Princess, having reflected
on the perseverance of her lover, on his prudence, and on all the good
qualities of his heart and mind, no longer saw the deformity of his
body, or the ugliness of his features; that his hump appeared to her
nothing more than a good-natured shrug of his shoulders, and that
instead of noticing, as she had done, how badly he limped, she saw in
him only a certain lounging air, which charmed her. They say also that
his eyes, which squinted, only seemed to her the more brilliant for
this; and that the crookedness of his glance was to her merely
expressive of his great love; and, finally, that his great red nose had
in it, to her mind, something martial and heroic. However this may be,
the Princess promised on the spot to marry him, provided he obtained the
consent of the King, her father. The King, having learned that his
daughter entertained a great regard for Riquet with the Tuft, whom he
knew also to be a very clever and wise Prince, received him with
pleasure as his son-in-law. The wedding took place the next morning, as
Riquet with the Tuft had foreseen, and according to the orders which he
had given a long time before.

    No beauty, no talent, has power above
    Some indefinite charm discern'd only by love.


Once upon a time there was a woodcutter and his wife who had seven
children, all boys. The eldest was but ten years old, and the youngest
only seven. People wondered that the woodcutter had so many children so
near in age, but the fact was, that several of them were twins. He and
his wife were very poor, and their seven children were a great burden to
them, as not one of them was yet able to earn his livelihood. What
troubled them still more was, that the youngest was very delicate, and
seldom spoke, which they considered a proof of stupidity rather than of
good sense. He was very diminutive, and, when first born, scarcely
bigger than one's thumb, and so they called him Little Thumbling.

This poor child was the scapegoat of the house, and was blamed for
everything that happened. Nevertheless, he was the shrewdest and most
sensible of all his brothers, and if he spoke little, he listened a
great deal.

There came a year of bad harvest, and the famine was so severe that
these poor people determined to get rid of their children. One evening,
when they were all in bed, and the woodcutter was sitting over the fire
with his wife, he said to her, with an aching heart, "You see plainly
that we can no longer find food for our children. I cannot let them die
of hunger before my very eyes, and I have made up my mind to take them
to the wood to-morrow, and there lose them, which will be easily done,
for whilst they are busy tying up the faggots, we have only to run away
unseen by them." "Ah!" exclaimed the woodcutter's wife, "Can you find
the heart to lose your own children?" In vain her husband represented to
her their great poverty; she would not consent to the deed. She was
poor, but she was their mother. After a while, however, having thought
over the misery it would be to her to see them die of hunger, she
assented to her husband's proposal, and went weeping to bed.

Little Thumbling had overheard all they said, for having found out, as
he lay in his bed, that they were talking of their affairs, he got up
quietly and crept under his father's stool, so as to listen to what they
were saying without been seen. He went to bed again, but did not sleep a
wink the rest of the night, thinking what he should do. He got up early,
and went down to the banks of the stream; there he filled his pockets
with small white pebbles, and then returned home. They set out all
together, and Little Thumbling said not a word to his brothers of what
he had overheard. They entered a very thick forest, wherein, at ten
paces distant, they could not see one another. The woodcutter began to
cut wood, and the children to pick up brushwood for the faggots. The
father and mother, seeing them busy at work, gradually stole farther and
farther away from them, and then suddenly ran off down a little winding

[Illustration: '_The boys followed him._']

When the children found themselves all alone, they began to scream and
cry with all their might. Little Thumbling let them scream, well knowing
how he could get home again, for on their way to the forest, he had
dropped all along the road the little white pebbles he had in his
pockets. He then said to them, "Have no fear, brothers; my father and
mother have left us here, but I will take you safely home; only follow
me." They followed him, and he led them back to the house by the same
road that they had taken to the forest. They were afraid to go inside at
once, but placed themselves close to the door, to listen to what their
father and mother were saying. It chanced that just at the moment that
the woodcutter and his wife reached home, the lord of the manor sent
them ten crowns, which he had owed them a long time, and which they had
given up all hope of receiving. This was new life to them, for the poor
things were actually starving. The woodcutter immediately sent his wife
to the butcher's, and, as it was many a day since they had tasted meat,
she bought three times as much as was sufficient for two people's
supper. When they had appeased their hunger, the woodcutter's wife said,
"Alas! where now are our poor children? They would fare merrily on what
we have left. But it was you, William, who would lose them. Truly did I
say we should repent it. What are they now doing in the forest? Alas!
Heaven help me! the wolves have, perhaps, already devoured them. Cruel
man that you are, thus to have lost your children!"

The woodcutter began at last to lose his temper, for she repeated over
twenty times that they would repent the deed, and that she had said it
would be so. He threatened to beat her if she did not hold her tongue.
It was not that the woodcutter was not, perhaps, even more sorry than
his wife, but that she made so much noise about it, and that he was like
many other people, who are fond of women who say the right thing, but
are annoyed by those who are always in the right. The wife was all in
tears. "Alas! where are now my children, my poor children?" She uttered
her cry, at last, so loudly, that the children, who were at the door,
heard her, and began to call out all together, "Here we are! here we
are!" She rushed to the door to open it, and embracing them, exclaimed,
"How thankful I am to see you again, my dear children; you are very
tired and hungry; and you, little Peter, how dirty you are! come here
and let me wash you." Peter was her eldest son, and she loved him better
than all the rest, because he was red-headed, and she was rather
red-haired herself. They sat down to supper and ate with an appetite
that delighted their father and mother, to whom they related how
frightened they had been in the forest, nearly all keeping on speaking
at the same time. The good people were overjoyed to see their children
around them once more, and their joy lasted as long as the ten crowns.
When the money was spent, however, they fell back into their former
state of misery, and resolved to lose their children again; and to make
quite sure of doing so this time, they determined to lead them much
further from home than they had before.

They could not talk of this so secretly, but that they were overheard by
Little Thumbling, who reckoned upon being able to get out of the
difficulty by the same means as the first time; but though he got up
very early to collect the little pebbles, he did not succeed in his
object, for he found the house door double locked. He was at his wit's
end what to do, when his mother having given each of them a piece of
bread for their breakfast, it occurred to him that he might make the
bread take the place of the pebbles, by strewing crumbs along the path
as they went, and so he put his piece in his pocket. The father and
mother led them into the thickest and darkest part of the forest, and as
soon as they had done so, they turned into a bypath, and left them
there. Little Thumbling did not trouble himself much, for he believed he
could easily find his way back by help of the crumbs which he had
scattered wherever he had passed; but he was greatly surprised to find
not a single crumb left--the birds had come and picked them all up. The
poor children were now, indeed, in great distress; the further they
wandered, the deeper they plunged into the forest. Night came on, and a
great wind arose, which filled them with terror. They fancied they heard
nothing on every side but the howling of wolves, running towards them to
devour them. They scarcely dared to speak or look behind them. Then
there came a heavy rain, which drenched them to the skin; they slipped
at every step, tumbling into the mud, out of which they scrambled
covered with dirt, not knowing what to do with their hands. Little
Thumbling climbed up a tree to try if he could see anything from the top
of it. Having looked about on all sides, he saw a little light, like
that of a candle, but it was a long way off, on the other side of the
forest. He came down again, and when he had reached the ground, he could
no longer see the light. He was in despair at this, but having walked on
with his brothers for some time in the direction of the light, he caught
sight of it again as they emerged from the forest.

At length they reached the house where the candle was shining, not
without many alarms, for often they lost sight of it altogether, and
always when they went down into the hollows. They knocked loudly at the
door, and a good woman came to open it. She asked them what they wanted.
Little Thumbling told her they were poor children who had lost their way
in the forest, and who begged a night's lodgings for charity's sake. The
woman, seeing they were all so pretty, began to weep, and said to them,
"Alas! my poor children, to what a place have you come! Know you not
that this is the house of an ogre who eats little children?" "Alas!"
replied Little Thumbling, who trembled from head to foot, as indeed did
all his brothers, "what shall we do? We shall certainly be all eaten up
by the wolves to-night, if you do not give us shelter, and, in that
case, we would rather be eaten by the ogre; perhaps he may have pity
upon us, if you are kind enough to ask him." The ogre's wife, who
thought that she might be able to hide them from her husband till the
next morning, let the children come in, and led them where they could
warm themselves by a good fire, for there was a whole sheep on the spit,
roasting for the ogre's supper.

Just as they were beginning to get warm they heard two or three loud
knocks at the door. It was the ogre who had come home. His wife
immediately made the children hide under the bed, and went to open the
door. The ogre first asked if his supper was ready, and if she had drawn
the wine, and with that he sat down to his meal. The mutton was all but
raw, but he liked it all the better for that. He sniffed right and left,
saying that he smelt fresh meat. "It must be the calf I have just
skinned," said his wife. "I tell you, I smell fresh meat," replied the
ogre, giving an angry glance at his wife; "there is something here I do
not understand." With these words, he rose from the table and went
straight towards the bed. "Ah!" he exclaimed, "so this is the way in
which you would deceive me, you wretched woman! I do not know what
hinders me from eating you also! It is well for you that you are such an
old creature! But here is some game, which comes in handy, and will
serve to feast three of my ogre friends, who are soon coming to pay me a
visit." He dragged the children from under the bed, one after the other.
They fell upon their knees, begging for mercy, but they had to deal with
the most cruel of all the ogres, and who, far from feeling pity for
them, devoured them already with his eyes, and said to his wife that
they would be dainty bits, when she had made a good sauce for them. He
went and took up a large knife, and as he came towards the children
again, he whetted it on a long stone that he held in his left hand. He
had already seized one of them, when his wife said to him, "Why are you
doing that at this hour of night? Will it not be time enough to-morrow?"
"Hold your peace," replied the ogre. "They will be the more tender."
"But you have already too much food," continued his wife. "Here are a
calf, two sheep, and half a pig." "You are right," said the ogre, "give
them a good supper, that they may keep plump, and then put them to bed."
The good woman was rejoiced, and brought them plenty of supper; but they
could not eat, they were so overcome with fright. As for the ogre, he
seated himself to drink again, delighted to think he had such a treat in
store for his friends. He drained a dozen goblets more than usual, which
made him feel sleepy and heavy, and obliged him to go to bed.

The ogre had seven daughters, who were still young children. These
little ogresses had the most beautiful complexions, as they lived on
fresh meat like their father; but they had very small round grey eyes,
hooked noses, and very large mouths, with long teeth, exceedingly sharp,
and wide apart. They were not very wicked as yet; but they promised to
become so, for they already began to bite little children, that they
might suck their blood. They had been sent to bed early, and were all
seven in a large bed, each wearing a crown of gold on her head. In the
same room was another bed of the same size. It was in this bed that the
ogre's wife put the seven little boys to sleep, after which she went to
bed herself.

Little Thumbling, who had noticed that the ogre's daughters had golden
crowns on their heads, and who was afraid that the ogre might repent not
having killed him and his brothers that evening, got up in the middle of
the night, and, taking off his own nightcap, and those of his brothers,
went very softly and placed them on the heads of the ogre's daughters,
first taking off their golden crowns, which he put on his brothers and
himself, in order that the ogre might mistake them for his daughters,
and his daughters for the boys whom he wanted to kill.

Everything turned out as Little Thumbling had expected. The ogre awoke
at midnight, and regretted having put off till the morning what he might
have done the evening before. He, therefore, jumped suddenly out of bed,
and seizing his great knife, "Let us go, and see," said he, "how the
young rogues are getting on! I will not think twice about it this time."
So he stole on tiptoes up to his daughters' bedroom, and went up to the
bed in which lay the little boys, who were all asleep except Thumbling,
who was dreadfully frightened when the ogre put his hand on his head to
feel it, as he had in turn felt those of his brothers. The ogre, feeling
the golden crowns, said, "Truly, I was about to do a pretty piece of
work! It's plain I drank too much wine last night." He then went to the
bed where his daughters slept, and having felt the little nightcaps that
belonged to the boys, "Aha!" cried he, "here are our fine young fellows.
Let us to work boldly!" So saying, he, without pause, cut the throats of
his seven daughters.

Well satisfied with his deed, he returned and lay down beside his wife.
As soon as Little Thumbling heard the ogre snoring, he awoke his
brothers, and bade them dress themselves quickly and follow him. They
crept down into the garden and jumped over the wall. They ran nearly all
night long, trembling the whole time, and not knowing whither they were
going. The ogre, awaking in the morning, said to his wife, "Go upstairs
and dress those young scamps you took in last night." The ogress was
astonished at her husband's kindness, never guessing what he meant, and
only fancying that he wished her to go and put on their clothes. She
went upstairs, where she was horrified to find that her own children had
been killed. The first thing she did was to faint, for it is the first
thing that almost all women do in similar circumstances. The ogre,
fearing that his wife would be too long over the job he had given her to
do, went upstairs to help her. His surprise was not less than had been
his wife's, when his eyes fell on the frightful spectacle.

"Ah! what have I done?" he exclaimed. "The young wretches shall pay for
it, and that at once." He threw a jugful of water in his wife's face,
and having brought her to, said, "Quick! fetch me my seven-league
boots, that I may go after them and catch them." He set out, and after
running in every direction, came at last upon the track of the poor
children, who were not more than a hundred yards from their father's
house. They saw the ogre striding from hill to hill, and stepping over
rivers as easily as if they were the smallest brooks. Little Thumbling,
who caught sight of a hollow rock close by where they were, hid his
brothers in it, and crept in after them, keeping his eye on the ogre all
the while. The ogre, feeling very tired with his long journey to no
purpose--for seven-league boots are very fatiguing to the
wearer--thought he should like to rest, and, by chance, sat down on the
very rock in which the little boys had concealed themselves. As he was
quite worn out, he had not rested long before he fell asleep, and began
to snore so dreadfully, that the poor children were not less frightened
than they were when he took up the great knife to cut their throats.

Little Thumbling was not so much alarmed, and told his brothers to run
quickly into the house while the ogre was sound asleep, and not to be
uneasy about him. They took his advice and soon reached home. Little
Thumbling then going up to the ogre, gently pulled off his boots, and
put them on himself. The boots were very large and very long; but as
they were enchanted boots, they had the quality of becoming larger or
smaller according to the leg of the person who wore them, so that they
fitted him as if they had been made for him. He went straight to the
ogre's house, where he found the wife weeping over her murdered
daughters. "Your husband," said Little Thumbling to her, "is in great
danger, for he has been seized by a band of robbers, who have sworn to
kill him if he does not give them all his gold and silver. Just as they
had their daggers at his throat, he saw me, and begged me to come and
tell you what had happened to him, and sent word that you were to give
me all his ready money, without keeping back any of it, as otherwise
they will kill him without mercy. As time pressed, he insisted on my
taking his seven-league boots, which you see I have on, in order that I
might make haste, and also that you might be sure I was not imposing
upon you."

The good woman, very much alarmed, immediately gave him all the money
she could find, for the ogre was not a bad husband to her, although he
ate little children. Little Thumbling, thus laden with all the ogre's
wealth, hastened back to his father's house, where he was received with
great joy.

There are many persons who differ in their account of this part of the
story, and who pretend that Little Thumbling never stole the ogre's
money, and that he really only took the seven-league boots, as he felt
no scruple in doing this, seeing that the ogre used them expressly for
running after little children. These people assert that they have heard
it from good authority, and that they have eaten and drunk in the
woodcutter's house. They assure us that when Little Thumbling had put on
the ogre's boots, he went to Court, where he knew they were in much
trouble about an army which was within two hundred leagues of them, and
were anxious to hear the result of a battle that had been fought. They
say he went to find the King, and told him that, if he wished it, he
would bring him back news of the army before the end of the day. The
King promised him a large sum of money if he did so.

Little Thumbling brought news that very evening, and this first journey
having made him well known, he got whatever he chose to ask, for the
King paid him most liberally for carrying his orders to the army; a
great number of ladies also gave him whatever he wished, in return for
news of their lovers, and this brought him in the greatest gain.

After he had been a courier for some time, and had saved a great deal of
money, he returned to his father, and it is impossible to imagine the
joy of his family at seeing him again. He made them all comfortable. He
bought newly-made offices for his father and brothers, and by these
means established them all, making his own way at Court at the same

    Often is the handsome boy
    Made, alone, his father's joy;
    While the tiny, timid child
    Is neglected, or reviled,
    Notwithstanding, sometimes he
    Lives, of all, the prop to be.


There was once a merchant, who was very, very rich. He had six children,
three boys and three girls, and as he was a man of good sense, he spared
no expense in order that they might be well educated, and gave them
masters of every kind. His daughters were all beautiful, but his
youngest one was especially admired, and from the time she was a small
child, had been only known and spoken of as "Beauty." The name remained
with her as she grew older, which gave rise to a great deal of jealousy
on the part of her sisters. The young girl was not only more beautiful
than they were, but also kinder and more amiable. The elder daughters
gave themselves great airs, for they were overweeningly proud of being
so rich, and would not condescend to receive visits from the daughters
of other merchants, as they only cared for the society of people in high
position. Not a day passed that they did not go to a ball, or a theatre,
or for a drive or walk in a fashionable part of the town, and they made
fun of their sister, who spent a great part of her time in study. The
girls received many offers of marriage from well-to-do merchants, as
they were known to be rich, but the two elder ones replied, that they
did not intend to marry anyone, unless a duke or an earl could be found
for a husband.

Beauty, the youngest, was more polite, and thanked those who asked for
her hand, but she was, as she told them, too young as yet, and wished to
remain for a few more years as a companion to her father.

Then, all at once, the merchant lost the whole of his fortune; nothing
was left to him but a little house, situated far away in the country. He
told his children, weeping, that they would be obliged to go and live
there, and that, even then, they would have to support themselves by the
work of their own hands. His two elder daughters refused to leave the
town; they had many admirers, they said, who would be only too glad to
marry them, although they were now without fortune. But these young
ladies found themselves greatly mistaken, for their admirers did not
even care to look at them, now that they were poor. They had made
themselves generally disliked, on account of their haughty behaviour.
"They do not deserve to be pitied," said everyone; "we are very glad
that their pride is humbled; let them go and play the fine lady, keeping
sheep." But people spoke differently of Beauty. "We are very sorry,"
they said, "that she is in trouble; she is such a good girl! she always
spoke so kindly to the poor! she was so gentle and courteous!" Several
of her suitors, also, still wished to marry her, although she had not a
penny, but she told them that she could not think of leaving her father
in his distress, and that she intended going with him into the country,
to comfort him, and help with the work. Beauty was very unhappy at
losing her fortune, but she said to herself, "It is no use crying, tears
will not give me back my riches; I must try and be happy without them."

As soon as they were settled in their country house, the merchant and
his sons began to till the ground. Beauty rose every morning at four
o'clock, and made haste to clean the house and prepare the dinner. She
found her duties very painful and fatiguing at first, for she had not
been accustomed to do the work of a servant; but in two months' time she
had grown stronger, and the activity of her life gave her fresh health
and colour. When her day's work was over, she amused herself with
reading, or music; sometimes she sat down to her wheel, and sang to her
spinning. Meanwhile her two sisters were wearied to death with the
dulness of their life; they stayed in bed till ten o'clock, did nothing
all day but saunter about, and for their only diversion talked with
regret of their former fine clothes and friends. "Look at our young
sister," they said to one another; "she is so low-minded and stupid,
that she is quite content with her miserable condition."

The good merchant thought differently: he knew that Beauty was better
fitted to shine in society than they were; he admired the good qualities
of his youngest child, especially her patience, for her sisters, not
content with allowing her to do all the work of the house, took every
opportunity of insulting her.

The family had lived in this solitude for a year, when a letter arrived
for the merchant, telling him that a vessel, on which there was
merchandise belonging to him, had arrived safely in port. The two elder
girls were nearly out of their minds with joy when they heard this good
news, for now they hoped that they should be able to leave the country.
They begged their father, ere he departed, to bring them back dresses
and capes, head-dresses, and all sorts of odds and ends of fancy attire.
Beauty asked for nothing; for, as she thought to herself, all the money
that the merchandise would bring in, would not be sufficient to pay for
everything that her sisters wished for. "Is there nothing you wish me to
buy for you?" her father said to her. "As you are so kind as to think of
me," she replied, "I pray you to bring me a rose, for we have not one
here." Now Beauty did not really care about the rose, but she had no
wish to seem, by her example, to reprove her sisters, who would have
said that she did not ask for anything, in order to make herself appear
more considerate than they were.

The father left them, but on arriving at his destination, he had to go
to law about his merchandise, and after a great deal of trouble, he
turned back home as poor as he came. He had not many more miles to go,
and was already enjoying, in anticipation, the pleasure of seeing his
children again, when, passing on his journey through a large wood, he
lost his way. It was snowing hard; the wind was so violent that he was
twice blown off his horse, and, as the night was closing in, he was
afraid that he would die of cold and hunger, or that he would be eaten
by the wolves, that he could hear howling around him. All at once,
however, he caught sight of a bright light, which appeared to be some
way off, at the further end of a long avenue of trees. He walked towards
it, and soon saw that it came from a splendid castle, which was
brilliantly illuminated. The merchant thanked God for the help that had
been sent him, and hastened towards the castle, but was greatly
surprised, on reaching it, to find no one in the courtyard, or about the
entrances. His horse, which was following him, seeing the door of a
large stable standing open, went in, and finding there some hay and
oats, the poor animal, half dead for want of food, began eating with

The merchant fastened him up in the stable, and went towards the house,
but still no one was to be seen; he walked into a large dining-hall, and
there he found a good fire, and a table laid for one person, covered
with provisions. Being wet to the skin with the rain and snow, he drew
near the fire to dry himself, saying, as he did so, "The master of this
house, or his servants, will pardon me the liberty I am taking; no doubt
they will soon appear." He waited for a considerable time; but when
eleven o'clock had struck, and still he had seen no one, he could no
longer resist the feeling of hunger, and seizing a chicken, he ate it up
in two mouthfuls, trembling the while. Then he took a draught or two of
wine, and, his courage returning, he left the dining-hall and made his
way through several large rooms magnificently furnished. Finally he came
to a room where there was a comfortable bed, and as it was now past
midnight, and he was very tired, he made up his mind to shut the door
and lie down.

It was ten o'clock next morning before he awoke, when, to his great
surprise, he found new clothes put in place of his own, which had been
completely spoiled. "This palace must certainly belong to some good
fairy," he said to himself, "who, seeing my condition, has taken pity
upon me." He looked out of the window; the snow was gone, and he saw
instead, bowers of delicious flowers which were a delight to the eye.

He went again into the dining-hall where he had supped the night before,
and saw a little table with chocolate upon it. "I thank you, good madam
fairy," he said aloud, "for your kindness in thinking of my breakfast."

The merchant, having drunk his chocolate, went out to find his horse; as
he passed under a bower of roses, he remembered that Beauty had asked
him to bring her one, and he plucked a branch on which several were
growing. He had scarcely done so, when he heard a loud roar, and saw
coming towards him a Beast, of such a horrible aspect, that he nearly
fainted. "You are very ungrateful," said the Beast in a terrible voice;
"I received you into my castle, and saved your life, and now you steal
my roses, which I care for more than anything else in the world. Death
alone can make amends for what you have done; I give you a quarter of an
hour, no more, in which to ask forgiveness of God."

The merchant threw himself on his knees, and with clasped hands, said to
the Beast, "I pray you, my lord, to forgive me. I did not think to
offend you by picking a rose for one of my daughters, who asked me to
take it her." "I am not called my lord," responded the monster, "but
simply the Beast, I do not care for compliments; I like people to say
what they think; so do not think to mollify me with your flattery. But
you tell me you have some daughters; I will pardon you on condition that
one of your daughters will come of her own free will to die in your
place. Do not stop to argue with me; go! and if your daughter refuses to
die for you, swear that you will return yourself in three months' time."

The merchant had no intention of sacrificing one of his daughters to
this hideous monster, but he thought, "At least I shall have the
pleasure of embracing them once more." He swore therefore to return, and
the Beast told him that he might go when he liked; "but," added he, "I
do not wish you to go from me with empty hands. Go back to the room in
which you slept, there you will find a large empty trunk; you may fill
it with whatever you please, and I will have it conveyed to your house."
With these words the Beast withdrew, and the merchant said to himself,
"If I must die, I shall at least have the consolation of leaving my
children enough for their daily bread."

He returned to the room where he had passed the night, and finding there
a great quantity of gold pieces, he filled the trunk, of which the Beast
had spoken, with these, closed it, and remounting his horse, which he
found still in the stable, he rode out from the castle, his sadness now
as great as had been his joy on entering it. His horse carried him of
its own accord along one of the roads through the forest, and in a few
hours the merchant was again in his own little house.

His children gathered round him; but instead of finding pleasure in
their caresses, he began to weep as he looked upon them. He held in his
hand the branch of roses which he had brought for Beauty. "Take them,"
he said, as he gave them to her, "your unhappy father has paid dearly
for them." And then he told his family of the melancholy adventure that
had befallen him.

The two elder girls, when they had heard his tale, cried and screamed,
and began saying all sorts of cruel things to Beauty, who did not shed a
tear. "See what the pride of this wretched little creature has brought
us to!" said they. "Why couldn't she ask for wearing apparel as we did?
but no, she must needs show herself off as a superior person. It is she
who will be the cause of our father's death, and she does not even cry!"

"That would be of little use," replied Beauty. "Why should I cry about
my father's death? He is not going to die. Since the monster is willing
to accept one of his daughters, I will give myself up to him, that he
may vent his full anger upon me; and I am happy in so doing, for by my
death I shall have the joy of saving my father, and of proving my love
for him."

"No, my sister," said the three brothers, "you shall not die; we will go
and find out this monster, and we will either kill him or die beneath
his blows." "Do not hope to kill him," said their father to them; "for
the Beast is so powerful, that I fear there are no means by which he
could be destroyed. My Beauty's loving heart fills mine with gladness,
but she shall not be exposed to such a terrible death. I am old, I have
but a little while to live; I shall but lose a few years of life, which
I regret on your account, and on yours alone, my children."

"I am determined, my father," said Beauty, "that you shall not return to
that castle without me; you cannot prevent me following you. Although I
am young, life has no great attraction for me, and I would far rather be
devoured by the monster than die of the grief which your death would
cause me."

In vain the others tried to dissuade her, Beauty persisted in her
determination to go to the castle; and her sisters were not sorry about
it, for the virtues of their young sister had aroused in them a strong
feeling of jealousy.

The merchant was so taken up with grief at losing his daughter, that he
quite forgot about the trunk which he had filled with gold pieces, but,
to his astonishment, he had no sooner shut himself into his room for the
night, than he found it beside his bed. He resolved not to tell his
children of his newly-obtained riches, for he knew that his daughters
would then wish to return to the town, and he had made up his mind to
die where he was in the country. He confided his secret, however, to
Beauty, who told him that there had been visitors at the house during
his absence, among them two who were in love with her sisters. She
begged her father to marry them; for she was so good of heart, that she
loved them and freely forgave them all the unkindness they had shown

The two hard-hearted girls rubbed their eyes with an onion that they
might shed tears on the departure of their father and Beauty; but the
brothers wept sincerely, as did also the merchant; Beauty alone would
not cry, fearing that it might increase their sorrow. The horse took the
road that led to the castle, and as evening fell, it came in view,
illuminated as before. Again the horse was the only one in the stable,
and once more the merchant entered the large dining-hall, this time with
his daughter, and there they found the table magnificently laid for two.

The merchant had not the heart to eat; but Beauty, doing her utmost to
appear cheerful, sat down to the table and served him to something. Then
she said to herself, "The Beast wants to fatten me before he eats me,
since he provides such good cheer."

They had finished their supper, when they heard a great noise, and the
merchant, weeping, said farewell to his poor daughter, for he knew it
was the Beast. Beauty could not help shuddering when she saw the
dreadful shape approaching; but she did her best not to give way to her
fear, and when the Beast asked her if it was of her own free will that
she had come, she told him, trembling, that it was so. "You are very
good, and I am much obliged to you," said the Beast. "Good man,
to-morrow morning you will leave, and do not venture ever to come here
again." "Good-bye, Beast," replied Beauty, and the Beast immediately
retired. "Alas! my daughter," said the merchant, clasping Beauty in his
arms, "I am half dead with fright. Listen to me, and leave me here."
"No, my father," said Beauty, without faltering. "You will depart
to-morrow morning, and you will leave me under Heaven's protection,
maybe I shall find pity and help."

[Illustration: '_Her father was just arriving._' _Beauty & the Beast_]

They retired to rest, thinking that they would have no sleep that night;
but no sooner were they in bed than their eyes closed. In her dreams
there appeared to Beauty a lady, who said to her, "I have pleasure in
the goodness of your heart, Beauty; your good action in giving your life
to save that of your father will not be without its reward." Beauty told
her father next morning of her dream, and although it afforded him some
consolation, it did not prevent his loud cries of grief when at last he
was forced to bid good-bye to his dear daughter.

After his departure, Beauty went back and sat down in the dining-hall,
and began weeping herself. She was, however, of a courageous
disposition, and so she commended herself to God, and resolved not to be
miserable during the short time still left her to live, for she quite
thought that the Beast would eat her that evening. In the meanwhile she
resolved to walk about and look over the fine castle she was in. She
found it impossible not to admire its beauty, but her surprise was great
when she came to a door over which was written: Beauty's Room. She
hastily opened the door, and was dazzled by the magnificence of the
whole apartment; what most attracted her admiration, however, was a
large bookcase, a piano, and several books of music.

"He does not wish me to feel dull," she said in a low voice. Then the
thought came to her, "If I was only going to live here a day, there
would not have been so much provided for my amusement." This thought
revived her courage.

She opened the bookcase and there saw a book on which was written in
letters of gold:--

"Wish what you like, Command what you will, You alone are Queen and
Mistress here."

"Alas!" she murmured, sighing, "I wish for nothing but to see my dear
father again, and to know what he is doing at this moment." She had only
said this to herself in a low voice, what was her surprise, therefore,
when, turning towards a large mirror, she saw her home, and her father,
just returned, wearing a sad countenance; her sisters went forward to
meet him, and in spite of the expression of sorrow which they tried to
assume, it was evident in their faces that they were delighted to have
lost their sister. In another minute, the picture had disappeared, and
Beauty could not help thinking that the Beast was very kind hearted, and
that she had not much to fear from him.

She found the table laid for her at noon, and during her dinner she was
entertained with a delightful concert, although no creature was visible.

In the evening, as she was just sitting down to her meal, she heard the
sound of the Beast's voice, and could not help shuddering. "Beauty,"
said the monster to her, "will you allow me to look on while you are
eating your supper?" "You are master here," replied Beauty, trembling.
"Not so," rejoined the Beast, "it is you who alone are mistress; if I
annoy you, you have only to tell me to go, and I will leave you at
once. But confess now, you think me very ugly, do you not?" "That is
true," said Beauty, "for I cannot tell a lie; but I think you are very

"You are right," said the monster; "but, besides being ugly, I am also
stupid; I know, well enough, that I am only a Beast."

"No one is stupid, who believes himself to be wanting in intelligence,
it is the fool who is not aware of being without it." "Eat, Beauty,"
said the monster to her, "and try to find pleasure in your own house;
for everything here belongs to you. I should be very sorry if you were
unhappy." "You are everything that is kind," said Beauty. "I assure you
that your goodness of heart makes me happy; when I think of that, you no
longer appear so ugly to me." "Ah, yes!" replied the Beast, "I have a
kind heart, but for all that I am a monster." "Many men are more
monsters than you," said Beauty; "and I care more for you with your
countenance, than for those who with their human face hide a false,
corrupt, and ungrateful heart." "If I had sufficient wit," responded the
Beast, "I would make you a pretty answer in return for your words; but I
am too stupid for that, and all I can say is, that I am very grateful to

Beauty ate her supper with a good appetite. She had lost almost all her
fear of the monster, but she almost died of fright, when he said,
"Beauty, will you be my wife?"

She sat for a while without answering; she was alarmed at the thought of
arousing the monster's anger by refusing him. Nevertheless she finally
said, trembling, "No, Beast." At this the poor monster sighed, and the
hideous sound he made echoed throughout the castle, but Beauty was soon
reassured, for the Beast, after sadly bidding her adieu, left the room,
turning his head from time to time to look at her again.

A strong feeling of compassion for the Beast came over Beauty when she
was left alone. "Alas!" she said, "it is a pity he is so ugly, for he is
so good!"

Beauty spent three months in the castle, more or less happily. The Beast
paid her a visit every evening, and conversed with her as she ate her
supper, showing good sense in his talk, but not what the world deems
cleverness. Every day Beauty discovered some fresh good quality in the
monster; she grew accustomed to his ugliness, and far from fearing his
visit, she would often look at her watch to see if it was nearly nine
o'clock, for the Beast always arrived punctually at that hour. There was
only one thing which caused distress to Beauty, and that was, that every
evening before retiring, the monster asked her if she would be his wife,
and always appeared overcome with sorrow at her refusal. One day she
said to him, "You grieve me, Beast; I wish it were possible for me to
marry you, but I am too truthful to make you believe that such a thing
could ever happen; I shall always be your friend, try to be satisfied
with that." "I suppose I must," responded the Beast; "I know I am
horrible to look upon, but I love you very much. However, I am but too
happy that you consent to remain here; promise me that you will never
leave me." The colour came into Beauty's face; her mirror had shown her
that her father was ill with the grief of losing her, and she was hoping
to see him again. "I would promise without hesitation never to leave
you," said Beauty to him, "but I do so long to see my father again, that
I shall die of sorrow if you refuse me this pleasure." "I would rather
die myself," said the monster, "than give you pain; I will send you home
to your father, you will stay there, and your poor Beast will die of
grief at your absence." "No, no," said Beauty, crying; "I care for you
too much to wish to cause your death; I promise to return in a week's
time. You have let me see that my sisters are married, and that my
brothers have entered the army. My father is all alone, let me remain
with him a week." "You shall be with him to-morrow morning, but remember
your promise. When you wish to return, you have only to put your ring on
the table before going to bed. Farewell, Beauty." The Beast gave his
usual sigh as he said these words, and Beauty went to bed feeling
troubled at the thought of the sorrow she had caused him. When she awoke
the following morning, she found herself at home, and ringing a little
bell that stood beside her bed, the maid-servant came in, who gave a
loud cry of astonishment at seeing her there. Her father ran in on
hearing the cry, and almost died of joy when he found his dear daughter,
and they remained clasped in each other's arms for more than a quarter
of an hour.

Beauty, after the first transports of joy were over, remembered that she
had no clothes with her; but the servant told her that she had just
found a trunk in the next room, in which were dresses of gold fabric,
trimmed with diamonds. Beauty thanked the kind Beast for his
thoughtfulness. She took out the least costly of the dresses, and told
the maid to lock the others away again, as she wished to give them to
her sisters; but she had no sooner uttered these words, than the trunk
disappeared. Her father said to her that the Beast evidently wished her
to keep them all for herself, and the trunk and the dresses immediately

Beauty dressed herself, and, meanwhile, news of her arrival was sent to
her sisters, who came in haste with their husbands. They were both
extremely unhappy. The eldest had married a young man who was as
handsome as nature could make him, but he was so in love with his own
face, that he could think of nothing else from morning to night, and
cared nothing for the beauty of his wife. The second had married a very
witty and clever man, but he only made use of his ability to put
everybody in a bad temper, beginning with his wife.

Her sisters nearly died of envy when they saw Beauty dressed like a
princess, and beautiful as the day. In vain she showered caresses upon
them, nothing could stifle their jealousy, which only increased when she
told them how happy she was.

These two jealous creatures went into the garden, that they might cry
more at their ease. They said to one another, "Why should this wretched
little thing be happier than we are? Are we not more attractive than she

"Sister," said the eldest one, "an idea has occurred to me: let us try
to keep her here over the week. Her stupid old Beast will be enraged at
her breaking her word, and perhaps he will devour her." "You are right,
sister," replied the other; "to carry out our plan, we must appear very
loving and kind to her." And having settled this, they went back to the
house and were so affectionate to her, that Beauty cried for joy. When
the week drew to a close, the two sisters showed such signs of grief at
her departure, and made such lamentation, that she promised to stay till
the end of the second one. Beauty, however, reproached herself for the
sorrow she would cause her poor Beast, whom she loved with all her
heart; and she began to miss him very much. On the tenth night of her
absence, she dreamed that she was in the garden of the castle, and that
she saw the Beast lying on the grass, apparently dying, and that he
reproached her with her ingratitude. Beauty awoke with a start, and
wept. "I am indeed wicked," she said, "to behave so ungratefully to a
Beast who has been so considerate and kind to me! Is it his fault that
he is ugly and that he is not clever? He is good, and that is worth
everything else. Why did I refuse to marry him? I should be happier with
him than my sisters are with their husbands. It is neither beauty nor
wit in a husband which makes a wife happy; it is amiability of
character, uprightness and generosity: and the Beast has all these good
qualities. I do not love him, but I respect him, and I feel both
affection for him, and gratitude. I will not make him unhappy; should I
do so, I should reproach myself for it as long as I live."

With these words, Beauty rose, placed her ring on a table, and lay down
again. The moment she was in bed, she fell asleep, and when she awoke
next morning, she saw with delight that she was back in the Beast's
castle. She dressed herself magnificently, in order to please him, and
the hours seemed to drag as she waited for nine o'clock to strike; but
the hour came, and the Beast did not appear.

Then Beauty began to fear that she had caused his death. She ran through
the castle, uttering loud cries, for she was in despair. After having
looked everywhere, she remembered her dream, and ran into the garden
towards the water, where she had seen him in her sleep. She found the
poor Beast stretched on the ground, and unconscious, and she thought he
was dead. Forgetting her horror at his appearance, she threw herself
upon him, and feeling that his heart was still beating, she fetched some
water and threw it over his head. The Beast opened his eyes, and said to
Beauty, "You forgot your promise; in my grief at losing you, I
determined to let myself die of hunger; but I die happy, since I have
had the joy of seeing you once again." "No, my dear Beast, you shall not
die," exclaimed Beauty. "You shall live to be my husband; I am yours
from this moment, and only yours. Alas! I thought the feeling I had for
you was only one of friendship; but now I know, by the grief I feel,
that I cannot live without you." Beauty had scarcely uttered these words
before she saw the castle suddenly become brilliantly illuminated,
while fire-works, music, everything indicated the celebration of some
joyful event. She did not gaze long, however, at these splendours, but
quickly turned her eyes again towards her dear Beast, the thought of
whose danger made her tremble with anxiety. But what was her surprise
when she saw that the Beast had disappeared, and that a young and
handsome Prince was lying at her feet, who thanked her for having
released him from enchantment. Although this Prince was fully worthy of
her attention, Beauty, nevertheless, could not help asking what had
become of the Beast. "You see him at your feet," said the Prince to her.
"A wicked fairy condemned me to remain in the form of a monster, until
some fair damsel would consent to marry me, and she forbade me also to
betray that I had intelligence. You are the only one who has been kind
enough to allow the goodness of my heart to touch yours, and I cannot,
even by offering you my crown, acquit myself of obligation to you."

Beauty, agreeably surprised, gave the young Prince her hand, to help him
to rise. They passed, side by side, into the castle, and Beauty nearly
died of joy, when she found her father and all her family assembled in
the dining-hall, the beautiful lady whom she had seen in her dream
having transported them thither. "Beauty," said the lady, who was a
well-known fairy, "receive the recompense of your noble choice; you
preferred virtue to beauty or intelligence, and you therefore deserve to
find all these qualities united in one person. You are soon to become a
great queen; I trust your exalted position will not destroy your good
disposition. As for you," said the fairy, turning to Beauty's sisters,
"I know your hearts and all the malice concealed in them. Be turned,
therefore, into statues, but preserve your consciousness beneath the
stone which will envelop you. You will remain at the entrance of your
sister's palace, and I impose no further punishment upon you, than to be
the constant witnesses of her happiness. You will not be able to resume
your present forms, until you have recognised and confessed your faults,
but I greatly fear that you will always remain statues. Pride, anger,
greediness, and laziness may be corrected; but nothing short of a
miracle can convert the envious and malicious heart." The fairy then
gave a tap with her wand, and all those assembled in the dining-hall
were immediately transported into the Prince's kingdom. His subjects
greeted him with joy; he married Beauty, who lived a long life with him
of perfect happiness, for it was founded upon virtue.


There was once a King who for many years had been engaged in a war with
his neighbours; a great number of battles had been fought, and at last
the enemy laid siege to his capital. The King, fearing for the safety of
the Queen, begged her to retire to a fortified castle, which he himself
had never visited but once. The Queen endeavoured, with many prayers and
tears, to persuade him to allow her to remain beside him and to share
his fate, and it was with loud cries of grief that she was put into her
chariot by the King to be driven away. He ordered his guards, however,
to accompany her, and promised to steal away when possible to visit her.
He tried to comfort her with this hope, although he knew that there was
little chance of fulfilling it, for the castle stood a long distance
off, surrounded by a thick forest, and only those who were well
acquainted with the roads could possibly find their way to it.

The Queen parted from her husband, broken-hearted at leaving him exposed
to the dangers of war; she travelled by easy stages, in case the fatigue
of so long a journey should make her ill; at last she reached the
castle, feeling low-spirited and distressed. When sufficiently rested,
she walked about the surrounding country, but found nothing to interest
her or divert her thoughts. She saw only far-spreading desert tracts on
either side, which gave her more pain than pleasure to look upon; sadly
she gazed around her, exclaiming at intervals, "What a contrast between
this place and that in which I have lived all my life! If I stay here
long I shall die! To whom have I to talk in these solitudes? With whom
can I share my troubles? What have I done to the King that he should
banish me? He wishes me, it seems, to feel the full bitterness of our
separation, by exiling me to this miserable castle."

Thus she lamented; and although the King wrote daily to her, and sent
her good news of the progress of the siege, she grew more and more
unhappy, and at last determined that she would return to him. Knowing,
however, that the officers who were in attendance upon her had received
orders not to take her back, unless the King sent a special messenger,
she kept her design secret, but ordered a small chariot to be built for
her, in which there was only room for one, saying that she should like
sometimes to accompany the hunt. She drove herself, and followed so
closely on the hounds, that the huntsmen were left behind; by this means
she had sole command of her chariot, and could get away whenever she
liked. Her only difficulty was her ignorance of the roads that traversed
the forest; but she trusted to the kindness of Providence to bring her
safely through it. She gave word that there was to be a great hunt, and
that she wished everybody to be there; she herself would go in her
chariot, and each was to follow a different route, that there might be
no possibility of escape for the wild beasts. Everything was done
according to her orders. The young Queen, feeling sure that she should
soon see her husband again, dressed herself as becomingly as possible;
her hat was covered with feathers of different colours, the front of her
dress lavishly trimmed with precious stones, and her beauty, which was
of no ordinary kind, made her seem, when so adorned, a second Diana.

While everybody was occupied with the pleasures of the hunt, she gave
rein to her horses, encouraged them with voice and whip, and soon their
quickened pace became a gallop; then, taking the bit between their
teeth, they flew along at such a speed, that the chariot seemed borne by
the winds, and the eye could scarcely follow it. Too late the poor Queen
repented of her rashness: "What could I have been thinking of?" she
said. "How could I have imagined that I should be able to control such
wild and fiery horses? Alas! what will become of me? What would the King
do if he knew the great danger I am in, he who loves me so dearly, and
who only sent me away that I might be in greater safety! This is my
gratitude for his tender care!" The air resounded with her piteous
lamentations; she invoked Heaven, she called the fairies to her
assistance, but it seemed that all the powers had abandoned her. The
chariot was overthrown; she had not sufficient strength to jump quickly
enough to the ground, and her foot was caught between the wheel and the
axle-tree; it was only by a miracle she was saved.

She remained stretched on the ground at the foot of a tree; her heart
scarcely beat, she could not speak, and her face was covered with blood.
She lay thus for a long time; when at last she opened her eyes, she saw,
standing near her, a woman of gigantic stature, clothed only in a lion's
skin, with bare arms and legs, her hair tied up with the dried skin of a
snake, the head of which dangled over her shoulders; in her hand was a
club made of stone, which served her as a walking-stick, and a quiver
full of arrows was fastened to her side. When the Queen caught sight of
this extraordinary figure, she felt sure that she was dead, for she did
not think it was possible that she could be alive after such a terrible
accident, and she said in a low voice to herself, "I am not surprised
that it is so difficult to resolve to die, since what is to be seen in
the other world is so frightful." The giantess, who overheard her words,
could not help laughing at the Queen's idea that she was dead. "Take
courage," she said to her, "for know that you are still among the
living; but your fate is none the less sad. I am the Fairy Lioness,
whose dwelling is near here; you must come and live with me." The Queen
looked sorrowfully at her, and said, "If you will be good enough, Madam
Lioness, to take me back to my castle, and tell the King what ransom you
demand, he loves me so dearly, that he will not refuse you even the half
of his kingdom." "No," replied the giantess, "I am rich enough, but for
some time past my lonely life has seemed dull to me; you are
intelligent, and will be able perhaps to amuse me." As she finished
speaking, she took the form of a lioness, and placing the Queen on her
back, she carried her to the depths of her cave, and there rubbed her
with a spirit which quickly healed the Queen's wounds. But what surprise
and misery for the Queen to find herself in this dreadful abode! It was
only reached by ten thousand steps, which led down to the centre of the
earth; there was no light but that shed by a number of tall lamps, which
were reflected in a lake of quicksilver. This lake was covered with
monsters, each hideous enough to have frightened a less timid queen;
there were owls, screech-owls, ravens, and other birds of ill omen,
filling the air with discordant sounds; in the distance could be seen
rising a mountain whence flowed the sluggish waters of a stream composed
of all the tears shed by unhappy lovers, from the reservoirs of their
sad loves. The trees were bare of leaves and fruit, the ground covered
with marigolds, briars, and nettles.

[Illustration: _She saw beside her a woman of a gigantic size._]

The food corresponded to the climate of this miserable country; for a
few dried roots, some horse-chestnuts, and thorn-apples, were all that
was provided by the Fairy Lioness to appease the hunger of those who
fell into her hands.

As soon as the Queen was well enough to begin work, the fairy told her
she could build herself a hut, as she was going to remain with her for
the rest of her life. On hearing this, the Queen could no longer
restrain her tears: "Alas, what have I done to you," she cried, "that
you should keep me here? If my death, which I feel is near, would give
you pleasure, I pray you, kill me, it is all the kindness I dare hope
from you; but do not condemn me to pass a long and melancholy life apart
from my husband."

The Lioness only scoffed at her, and told her that the best thing she
could do was to dry her tears, and try to please her; that if she acted
otherwise, she would be the most miserable person in the world.

"What must I do then," replied the Queen, "to soften your heart?" "I am
fond of fly-pasties," said the Lioness. "You must find means of
procuring a sufficient number of flies to make me a large and
sweet-tasting one." "But," said the Queen, "I see no flies here, and
even were there any, it is not light enough to catch them; and if I were
to catch some, I have never in my life made pastry, so that you are
giving me orders which it is impossible for me to execute." "No matter,"
said the pitiless Lioness; "that which I wish to have, I will have."

The Queen made no reply: she thought to herself, in spite of the cruel
fairy, that she had but one life to lose, and in the condition in which
she then was, what was there to fear in death? Instead, therefore, of
going in search of flies, she sat herself down under a yew tree, and
began to weep and complain: "Ah, my dear husband, what grief will be
yours, when you go to the castle to fetch me, and find I am not there;
you will think that I am dead, or faithless, and I would rather that you
should mourn the loss of my life, than that of my love; perhaps someone
will find the remains of my chariot in the forest, and all the ornaments
which I took with me to please you; and when you see these, you will no
longer doubt that death has taken me; and how can I tell that you will
not give to another the heart's love which you have shared with me? But,
at least, I shall not have the pain of knowing this, since I am not to
return to the world." She would have continued communing thus with
herself for a long time, if she had not been interrupted by the dismal
croaking of a raven above her head. She lifted her eyes, and by the
feeble light saw a large raven with a frog in its bill, and about to
swallow it. "Although I see no help at hand for myself," she said, "I
will not let this poor frog perish if I can save it; it suffers as much
in its way, as I do in mine, although our conditions are so different,"
and picking up the first stick she could find, she made the raven drop
its prey. The frog fell to the ground, where it lay for a time
half-stunned, but finally recovering its froggish senses, it began to
speak, and said: "Beautiful Queen, you are the first benevolent person
that I have seen since my curiosity first brought me here." "By what
wonderful power are you enabled to speak, little Frog?" responded the
Queen, "and what kind of people do you see here? for as yet I have seen
none." "All the monsters that cover the lake," replied the little Frog,
"were once in the world: some on thrones, some in high positions at
court; there are even here some royal ladies, who caused much strife and
blood*-shed; it is they whom you see changed into leeches; their fate
condemns them to be here for a time, but none of those who come return
to the world better or wiser." "I can well understand," said the Queen,
"that many wicked people together do not help to make each other better;
but you, my little Frog friend, what are you doing here?" "It was
curiosity which led me here," she replied. "I am half a fairy, my powers
are restricted with regard to certain things, but far-reaching in
others; if the Fairy Lioness knew that I was in her dominions, she would
kill me."

"Whether fairy or half-fairy," said the Queen, "I cannot understand how
you could have fallen into the raven's clutches and been nearly eaten."
"I can explain it in a few words," replied the Frog. "When I have my
little cap of roses on my head, I fear nothing, as in that resides most
of my power; unfortunately, I had left it in the marsh, when that ugly
raven pounced upon me; if it had not been for you, madam, I should be no
more; and as you have saved my life, you have only to command, and I
will do all in my power to alleviate the sorrows of your own." "Alas!
dear Frog," said the Queen, "the wicked fairy who holds me captive
wishes me to make her a fly-pasty; but there are no flies here; if there
were any, I could not see in the dim light to catch them; I run a
chance, therefore, of being killed by her blows."

"Leave it to me," said the Frog. "I will soon get you some." Whereupon
the Frog rubbed herself over with sugar, and more than six thousand of
her frog friends did likewise; then they repaired to a place where the
fairy kept a large store of flies, for the purpose of tormenting some of
her unhappy victims. As soon as they smelt the sugar, they flew to it,
and stuck to the frogs, and these kind helpers returned at a gallop to
the Queen. There had never been such a fly-catching before, nor a better
pasty, than that the Queen made for the fairy. The latter was greatly
surprised when the Queen handed it to her, and could not imagine how she
had been clever enough to catch the flies.

The Queen, finding herself exposed to the inclemencies of the poisonous
atmosphere, cut down some cypress branches, wherewith to build herself a
hut. The Frog generously offered her services, and putting herself at
the head of all those who had gone to collect the flies, they helped the
Queen to build as pretty a little tenement as the world could show.
Scarcely, however, had she laid herself down to rest, than the monsters
of the lake, jealous of her repose, came round her hut, and nearly drove
her distracted, by setting up a noise, more hideous than any ever heard

She rose in fear and trembling and fled from the house: this was exactly
what the monsters desired. A dragon, who had formerly been a tyrant of
one of the finest states of the Universe, immediately took possession of

The poor Queen tried to complain of the ill-treatment, but no one would
listen to her; the monsters laughed and hooted at her, and the Fairy
Lioness told her that if she came again to deafen her with lamentations,
she would give her a sound thrashing. She was forced, therefore, to
hold her tongue, and to have recourse to the Frog, who was the kindest
body in the world. They wept together; for as soon as she put on her cap
of roses, the Frog was able to laugh or weep like anyone else. "I feel
such an affection for you," she said to the Queen, "that I will re-build
your house, even though I drive all the monsters of the lake to
despair." She immediately cut some wood, and the little rustic palace of
the Queen was so quickly reared, that she was able to sleep in it that
night. The Frog, who thought of everything that was necessary for the
Queen's comfort, made her a bed of wild thyme. When the wicked fairy
found out that the Queen did not sleep on the ground, she sent for her:
"What gods or men are they who protect you?" she asked. "This land,
watered only by showers of burning sulphur, has never produced even a
leaf of sage; I am told, nevertheless, that sweet-smelling herbs spring
up beneath your feet!"

"I cannot explain it, madam," said the Queen, "unless the cause is due
to the child I hope one day to have, who will perhaps be less unhappy
than I am."

"What I now wish for," said the fairy, "is a bunch of the rarest
flowers; see if this coming happiness you speak of will obtain these for
you. If you fail to get them, blows will not fail to follow, for these I
often give, and know well how to administer." The Queen began to cry;
such threats as these were anything but pleasant to her and she was in
despair at the thought of the impossibility of finding flowers.

She went back to her little house; her friend the Frog came to her:
"How unhappy you are!" she said to the Queen. "Alas! who would not be
so, dear friend? The fairy has ordered a bunch of the most beautiful
flowers, and where am I to find them? You see what sort of flowers grow
here; my life, nevertheless, is at stake, if I do not procure them for
her." "Dear Queen," said the Frog in tender tones, "we must try our best
to get you out of this difficulty. There lives a bat in this
neighbourhood, the only one with whom I have made acquaintance; she is a
good creature, and moves more quickly than I can; I will give her my cap
of roses, and aided by this, she will be able to find you the flowers."
The Queen made a low curtsey; for there was no possible way of embracing
the Frog. The latter went off without delay to speak to the bat; a few
hours later she returned, bearing under her wings the most exquisite
flowers. The Queen hurried off with them to the fairy, who was more
overcome by surprise than before, unable to understand in what
miraculous way the Queen received help.

Meanwhile the Queen was continually thinking by what means she could
escape. She confided her longing to the Frog, who said to her, "Madam,
allow me first to consult my little cap, and we will then arrange
matters according to its advice." She took her cap, placed it on some
straw, and then burned in front of it a few sprigs of juniper, some
capers, and two green peas; she then croaked five times, and the
ceremony being then completed, she put on her cap again, and began
speaking like an oracle. "Fate, the ruler of all things, forbids you to
leave this place. You will have a little Princess, more beautiful than
Venus herself; do not trouble yourself about anything else, time alone
can comfort you." The Queen's head drooped, a few tears fell from her
eyes, but she resolved to trust her friend: "At least," she said to her,
"do not leave me here alone; and befriend me when my little one is
born." The Frog promised to remain with her, and comforted her as best
she could.

But it is now time to return to the King. While the enemy kept him shut
up in his capital, he could not continually send messengers to the
Queen. At last, however, after several sorties, he obliged the besiegers
to retire, and he rejoiced at his success less on his own account, than
on that of the Queen, whom he could now bring back in safety. He was in
total ignorance of the disaster which had befallen her, for none of his
officers had dared to tell him of it. They had been into the forest and
found the remains of the chariot, the runaway horses, and the driving
apparel which she had put on when going to find her husband. As they
were fully persuaded that she was dead, and had been eaten by wild
beasts, their only care was to make the King believe that she had died
suddenly. On receiving this mournful intelligence, he thought he should
die himself of grief; he tore his hair, he wept many tears, and gave
vent to his bereavement in every imaginable expression of sorrow, cries,
sobs, and sighs. For some days he would see no one, nor allow himself to
be seen; he then returned to his capital, and entered on a long period
of mourning, to which the sorrow of his heart testified more sincerely
than even his sombre garments of grief. All the surrounding kings sent
their ambassadors charged with messages of condolence; and when the
ceremonies, indispensable to these occasions, were over, he granted his
subjects a period of peace, exempting them from military service, and
helping them, in every possible way, to improve their commerce.

The Queen knew nothing of all this. Meanwhile a little Princess had been
born to her, as beautiful as the Frog had predicted, to whom they gave
the name of Moufette. The Queen had great difficulty in persuading the
fairy to allow her to bring up the child, for so ferocious was she, that
she would have liked to eat it. Moufette, a wonder of beauty, was now
six months old; the Queen, as she looked upon her with a tenderness
mingled with pity, continually said: "Ah! if your father could see you,
my poor little one, how delighted he would be! how dear you would be to
him! But even, already, maybe, he has begun to forget me; he believes,
no doubt, that we are lost to him in death; and perhaps another fills
the place in his heart, that once was mine."

These sorrowful reflections caused her many tears; the Frog, who truly
loved her, seeing her cry like this, said to her one day: "If you would
like me to do so, madam, I will go and find the King, your husband; the
journey is long, and I travel but slowly; but, sooner or later, I shall
hope to arrive." This proposal could not have been more warmly received
than it was; the Queen clasped her hands, and made Moufette clasp hers
too, in sign of the gratitude she felt towards Madam Frog, for offering
to undertake the journey. She assured her that the King also would not
be ungrateful; "but," she continued, "of what use will it be to him to
know that I am in this melancholy abode; it will be impossible for him
to deliver me from it?" "Madam," replied the Frog, "we must leave that
to Heaven; we can only do that which depends on ourselves."

They said good-bye to one another; the Queen sent a message to the King,
written with her blood on a piece of rag; for she possessed neither ink
nor paper. She begged him to give attention to everything the good Frog
told him, and to believe all she said, as she was bringing him news of

The Frog was a year and four days climbing up the ten thousand steps
which lead from the dark country, in which she had left the Queen, up
into the world; it took her another year to prepare her equipage, for
she had too much pride to allow herself to appear at the Court like a
poor, common frog from the marshes. She had a little sedan-chair made,
large enough to hold two eggs comfortably; it was covered on the outside
with tortoise-shell, and lined with lizard-skin; then she chose fifty
maids of honour, these were the little green frogs which hop about the
meadows; each was mounted on a snail, furnished with a light saddle, and
rode in style with the leg thrown over the saddle-bow; several
water-rats, dressed as pages, ran before the snails, as her body-guard;
in short, nothing so pretty had ever been seen before, and to crown it
all, her cap of crimson roses, always fresh and in full bloom, suited
her in the most admirable manner. She was a bit of a coquette in her
way, so she felt obliged to add a little rouge and a few patches; some
said that she was painted as were many ladies of that country, but
inquiries into the matter proved that this report had only been spread
by her enemies.

The journey lasted seven years, during which time the poor Queen went
through unspeakable pains and suffering, and if it had not been for the
beautiful Moufette, who was a great comfort to her, she would have died
a hundred times over. This wonderful little creature could not open her
mouth or say a word, without filling her mother with delight; indeed,
everybody, with the exception of the Fairy Lioness, was enchanted with
her; at last, when the Queen had lived six years in this horrible place,
the fairy said that, provided everything she killed was given to her,
she might go hunting with her.

The joy of the Queen at once more seeing the sun may be imagined. So
unaccustomed had she grown to its light, that at first she thought it
would blind her. As for Moufette, she was so quick and intelligent, that
even at five or six years of age, she never failed to hit her mark, and
so, in this way, the mother and daughter succeeded in somewhat lessening
the ferocity of the fairy.

The Frog travelled over mountains and valleys, never stopping day or
night; at last she drew near the capital, where the King was in
residence. She was surprised to see dancing and festivity in every
direction; there was laughter and singing, and the nearer she got to
the town, the more joyous and jubilant the people seemed. Her rural
equipage caused great astonishment, everyone went after it, and so large
had the crowd become by the time she had reached the town, that she had
great difficulty in making her way to the palace. Here everything was as
magnificent as possible, for the King, who had been a widower for nine
years, had at last yielded to the prayers of his subjects, and was on
the eve of marriage with a Princess, less beautiful, it is true, than
his wife, but not the less agreeable for that.

The kind Frog, having descended from her sedan-chair, entered the royal
presence, followed by her attendants. She had no need to ask for
audience, for the King, his affianced bride, and all the princes, were
all much too curious to know the reason of her coming, to think of
interrupting her. "Sire," said she, "I hardly know if the news I bring
you will give you joy or sorrow; the marriage which you are about to
celebrate, convinces me of your infidelity to the Queen."

"Her memory is dear to me as ever," said the King, unable to prevent the
falling of a tear or two; "but you must know, kind frog, that kings are
not always able to do what they wish; for the last nine years, my
subjects have been urging me to marry; I owe them an heir to the throne,
and I have therefore chosen this young Princess, who appears to me all
that is charming." "I advise you not to marry her, for the Queen is not
dead; I bring you a letter from her, written with her own blood. A
little daughter, Moufette, has been born to you, more beautiful than
the heavens themselves." The King took the rag, on which the Queen had
scrawled a few words; he kissed it, he bathed it in his tears, he showed
it to the whole assembly, saying that he recognised his wife's
handwriting; he asked the Frog a thousand questions, which she answered
with vivacity and intelligence.

The betrothed Princess, the ambassadors who had come to be present at
the marriage, began to pull long faces. One of the most important of the
guests turned to the King, and said, "Sire, can you think of breaking so
solemn an engagement, on the word of a toad like that? This scum of the
marshes has the insolence to come and tell lies before the whole Court,
for the pleasure of being heard!" "Know, your Excellency," replied the
Frog, "that I am no scum of the marshes, and since I am forced to
exhibit my powers: Come forth, fairies all!" And thereupon all the
frogs, rats, snails, lizards, with the frog at their head, suddenly
appeared; not, however, in the usual form of these reptiles, but with
tall, majestic figures, pleasing countenances, and eyes more brilliant
than stars; each wore a jewelled crown on his head, and over his
shoulders a regal mantle of velvet, lined with ermine, with a long train
which was borne by dwarfs. At the same time was heard the sound of
trumpets, kettle-drums, hautboys, and drums, filling the air with
melodious and warlike music, and all the fairies began to dance a
ballet, their every step so light, that the slightest spring lifted them
to the vaulted ceiling of the room. The King and his future Queen,
surprised as they were at this, were no less astonished, when they saw
all these fairy ballet dancers suddenly change into flowers, jasmine,
jonquils, violets, pinks, and tube roses, which still continued to dance
as if they had legs and feet. It was like a living flower-bed, of which
every movement delighted both the eye and the sense of smell. Another
moment, and the flowers had disappeared; in their place several
fountains threw their waters into the air and fell into an artificial
lake at the foot of the castle walls; this was covered with little
painted and gilded boats, so pretty and dainty that the Princess invited
the ambassadors to go for a trip on the water. They were all pleased to
do so, thinking it was all a merry pastime, which would end happily in
the marriage festivities. But they had no sooner embarked, than the
boats, water, and fountains disappeared, and the frogs were frogs again.
The King asked what had become of the Princess; the Frog replied, "Sire,
no queen is yours, but your wife; were I less attached to her than I am,
I should not interfere; but she is so deserving, and your daughter
Moufette is so charming that you ought not to delay a moment in going to
their deliverance." "I assure you, Madam Frog," said the King, "that if
I did not believe my wife to be dead, there is nothing in the world I
would not do to see her again." "After the wonders I have shown you,"
she replied, "it seems to me that you ought to be more convinced of the
truth of what I have told you. Leave your kingdom in charge of
trustworthy men, and start without delay. Here is a ring which will
furnish you with the means of seeing the Queen, and of speaking with
the Fairy Lioness, although she is the most terrible creature in the

The King departed, refusing to have anyone to accompany him, after
making handsome presents to the Frog: "Do not be discouraged," she said
to him; "you will meet with terrible difficulties, but I hope that you
will succeed according to your wishes." Somewhat comforted by her words,
the King started in search of his dear wife, with no other guide than
his ring.

As Moufette grew older, her beauty became more perfect, and all the
monsters of the quicksilver lake fell in love with her; and the dragons,
with their hideous and terrifying forms, came and lay at her feet.
Although Moufette had seen them ever since she was born, her beautiful
eyes could not accustom themselves to the sight of these creatures, and
she would run away and hide in her mother's arms. "Shall we remain here
long?" she asked her; "is there to be no end to our misery?" The Queen
spoke hopefully in order to cheer her child, but in her heart she had no
hope; the absence of the Frog, her unbroken silence, the long time that
had elapsed since she had news of the King, all these things filled her
with sorrow and despair.

The Fairy Lioness had gradually made it a practice to take them with her
hunting. She was fond of good things, and liked the game they killed for
her, and although all they got in return was the gift of the head or the
feet, it was something to be allowed to see again the light of day. The
fairy took the form of a lioness, the Queen and her daughter seated
themselves on her back, and thus they went hunting through the forests.

The King happened to be resting in a forest one day, whither his ring
had guided him, and saw them pass like an arrow shot from the bow; he
was unseen of them, and when he tried to follow them, they vanished
completely from his sight. Notwithstanding the constant trouble she had
been in, the Queen still preserved her former beauty; she appeared to
her husband more charming than ever. He longed for her to return to him,
and feeling sure that the young Princess who was with her was his dear
little Moufette, he determined to face a thousand deaths, rather than
abandon his design of rescuing her.

By the help of his ring, he found his way into the obscure region where
the Queen had been so many years; he was not a little surprised when he
found himself descending to the centre of the earth, but every fresh
thing he saw astonished him more and more. The Fairy Lioness, who knew
everything, was aware of the day and the hour when he would arrive; she
would have given a great deal if the powers in league with her had
ordained otherwise; but she determined at least to oppose his strength
with the full might of her own.

She built a palace of crystal, which floated in the centre of the lake
of quicksilver, and rose and fell with its waves. In it she imprisoned
the Queen and her daughter, and then harangued all the monsters who were
in love with Moufette. "You will lose this beautiful Princess," she said
to them, "if you do not help me to protect her from a knight who has
come to carry her away." The monsters promised to leave nothing in their
power undone; they surrounded the palace of crystal; the lightest in
weight took their stations on the roof and walls; the others kept guard
at the doors, and the remainder in the lake.

The King, advised by his faithful ring, went first to the Fairy's Cave;
she was awaiting him in her form of lioness. As soon as he appeared she
threw herself upon him; but he handled his sword with a valour for which
she was not prepared, and as she was putting out one of her paws to fell
him to the earth, he cut it off at the joint just where the elbow comes.
She uttered a loud cry and fell over; he went up to her, put his foot on
her throat and swore that he would kill her, and in spite of her
ungovernable fury and invulnerability, she felt a little afraid. "What
do you wish to do with me?" she asked. "What do you want of me?" "I wish
to punish you," he replied proudly, "for having carried away my wife,
and you shall give her up to me or I will strangle you on the spot."
"Look towards the lake," she said, "and see if I have the power to do
so." The King turned in the direction towards which she pointed, and saw
the Queen and her daughter in the palace of crystal, which was floating
like a vessel, without oars or rudder, on the lake of quicksilver. He
was ready to die with mingled joy and sorrow; he called to them with all
his might, and they heard him, but how was he to reach them? While
thinking over the means by which he might accomplish this, the Fairy
Lioness disappeared. He ran round and round the lake, but whenever the
palace came close enough to him, on one side or the other, for him to
spring upon it, it suddenly floated away again with terrible swiftness,
and so his hopes were continually disappointed. The Queen, fearing he
would at length grow weary, called to him not to lose courage, that the
Fairy Lioness wanted to tire him out, but that true love knew how to
face all difficulties. She and Moufette then stretched out their hands
towards him with imploring gestures. Seeing this, the King was filled
with renewed courage, and raising his voice, he said that he would
rather pass the remainder of his life in this melancholy region than go
away without them. He needed great patience, for no king on earth ever
spent such a wretched time before. He had only the ground, covered with
briars and thorns, for his bed; his food consisted of wild fruits, more
bitter than gall, and he was incessantly engaged in defending himself
from the monsters of the lake.

Three years passed in this manner, and the King could not flatter
himself that he had gained the least advantage; he was almost in
despair, and over and over again was tempted to throw himself in the
lake, and he would certainly have done so if he could have thought that
by such a deed he might alleviate the sufferings of the Queen and the
Princess. He was running one day as usual, first to one side of the lake
then to the other, when one of the most hideous of the dragons called
him, and said to him: "If you will swear to me by your crown and
sceptre, by your royal mantle, by your wife and child, to give me,
whenever I shall ask for it, a certain delicate morsel to eat, for which
I have a taste, I will take you on my back, and I promise you that none
of the monsters of this lake, who guard the palace, shall prevent us
from carrying off the Queen and Princess Moufette."

"Ah! my beloved Dragon!" cried the King, "I swear to you, and to all the
family of dragons, that I will give you your fill to eat of what you
like, and will for ever remain your humble servant." "Do not make any
promises," replied the Dragon, "if you have any thought of not
fulfilling them; for, in that case, misfortunes will fall upon you that
you will not forget as long as you live." The King renewed his
protestations; he was dying of impatience to get possession of his dear
Queen. He mounted on the Dragon's back, as if it was the finest horse in
the world, but the other monsters now advanced to bar his passage. They
fought together, nothing was to be heard but the sharp hissings of the
serpents, nothing to be seen but fire, and sulphur, and saltpetre,
falling in every direction. At last the King reached the palace, but
here his efforts had to be renewed, for the entrances were defended by
bats, owls, and ravens; however, the Dragon, with his claws, his teeth
and tail, cut to pieces even the boldest of these. The Queen, on her
side, who was looking on at this fierce encounter, kicked away pieces of
the wall, and armed herself with these to help her dear husband. They
were at last victorious; they ran into one another's arms, and the work
of disenchantment was completed by a thunderbolt, which fell into the
lake and dried it up.

The friendly Dragon had disappeared with all the other monsters, and the
King, by what means he could not guess, found himself again in his own
capital, seated, with his Queen and Moufette, in a magnificent
dining-hall, with a table spread with exquisite meats in front of them.
Such joy and astonishment as theirs were unknown before. All their
subjects ran in to see the Queen and the young Princess, who, to add to
the wonder of it all, was so superbly dressed, that the eye could hardly
bear to look upon her dazzling jewels.

It is easy to imagine the festivities that now went on at the castle;
masquerades, running at the ring, and tournaments attracted the greatest
princes in the world; but even more were they attracted by the bright
eyes of Moufette. Among those who were the handsomest and most
accomplished in feats of arms, Prince Moufy everywhere was the most
conspicuous. He was universally admired and applauded, and Moufette, who
hitherto had been only in the company of dragons and serpents, did not
withhold her share of praise. No day passed but Prince Moufy showed her
some fresh attention, in the hope of pleasing her, for he loved her
deeply; and having offered himself as a suitor, he made known to the
King and Queen, that his principality was of a beauty and extent that
deserved their special attention.

The King replied that Moufette was at liberty to choose a husband, and
that he only wished to please her and make her happy. The Prince was
delighted with this answer, and having already become aware that he was
not indifferent to the Princess, offered her his hand. She assured him
that if he was not her husband, no other man should be, and Moufy,
overcome with joy, threw himself at her feet, and in affectionate terms
begged her to remember the promise she had given him. The Prince and
Princess were betrothed, and Prince Moufy then returned to his
principality to make preparations for the marriage. Moufette shed many
tears at his departure, for she was troubled with a presentiment of evil
which she could not explain. The Queen, seeing that the Prince was also
overcome with sorrow, gave him the portrait of her daughter, and begged
him rather to lessen the magnificence of the preparations than to delay
his return. The Prince, only too ready to obey such a command, promised
to comply with what would be for his own happiness.

The Princess occupied herself during his absence with her music, for she
had, in a few months, learnt to play well. One day, when she was in the
Queen's room, the King rushed in, his face bathed in tears, and taking
his daughter in his arms: "Alas, my child," he cried. "Alas! wretched
father, unhappy King!" He could say no more, for his voice was stifled
with sobs. The Queen and Princess, in great alarm, asked him what was
the matter, and at last he was able to tell them that a giant of an
enormous height, who gave himself out to be an ambassador from the
Dragon of the lake, had just arrived; that in accordance with the
promise, made by the King in return for the help he had received in
fighting the monsters, the Dragon demanded him to give up the Princess,
as he wished to make her into a pie for his dinner; the King added that
he had bound himself by solemn oaths to give him what he asked, and in
those days no one ever broke his word.

When the Queen heard this dreadful news, she uttered piercing cries, and
clasped her child to her breast. "My life shall be taken," she said,
"before my daughter shall be delivered up to that monster; let him
rather take our kingdom and all that we possess. Unnatural father! can
you possibly consent to such a cruel thing? What! my child made into a
pie! The thought of it is intolerable! Send me this terrible ambassador,
maybe the sight of my anguish may touch his heart."

The King made no reply, but went in search of the giant and brought him
to the Queen, who threw herself at his feet. She and her daughter
implored him to have mercy upon them, and to persuade the Dragon to take
everything they possessed, and to spare Moufette's life; but the giant
replied that the matter did not rest with him, and that the Dragon was
so obstinate and so fond of good things, that all the powers combined
would not prevent him eating whatever he had taken into his head he
would like for a meal. He further advised them, as a friend, to consent
with a good grace, as otherwise greater evils might arise. At these
words the Queen fainted, and the Princess, had she not been obliged to
go to her mother's assistance, would have done the same.

No sooner was the sad news spread through the palace, than the whole
town knew it. Nothing was heard but weeping and wailing, for Moufette
was greatly beloved. The King could not make up his mind to give her to
the giant, and the giant, who had already waited some days, began to
grow impatient, and to utter terrible threats. The King and Queen,
however, said to each other, "What worse thing could happen to us? If
the Dragon of the lake were to come and devour us all we could not be
more distressed; if Moufette is put into a pie, we are lost."

The giant now told them that he had received a message from his master,
and that if the Princess would agree to marry a nephew of his, the
Dragon would let her live; that the nephew was young and handsome; that,
moreover, he was a Prince, and that she would be able to live with him
very happily. This proposal somewhat lessened their grief; the Queen
spoke to the Princess, but found her still more averse to this marriage
than to the thought of death. "I cannot save my life by being
unfaithful," said Moufette. "You promised me to Prince Moufy, and I will
marry no one else; let me die; my death will ensure the peace of your
lives." The King then came and endeavoured with all the tenderest of
expressions to persuade her; but nothing moved her, and finally it was
decided that she should be conducted to the summit of a mountain, and
there await the Dragon.

Everything was prepared for this great sacrifice; nothing so mournful
had before been seen; nothing to be met anywhere but black garments, and
pale and horrified faces. Four hundred maidens of the highest rank,
dressed in long white robes, and crowned with cypress, accompanied the
Princess, who was carried in an open litter of black velvet, that all
might look on this masterpiece of beauty. Her hair, tied with crape,
hung over her shoulders, and she wore a crown of jasmine, mingled with a
few marigolds. The grief of the King and Queen, who followed, overcome
by their deep sorrow, appeared the only thing that moved her. The giant,
armed from head to foot, marched beside the litter, and looked with
hungry eye at the Princess, as if anticipating his share of her when she
came to be eaten; the air resounded with sighs and sobs, and the road
was flooded with the tears of the onlookers.

"Ah! Frog, Frog," cried the Queen, "you have indeed forsaken me! Alas!
why did you give me help in that unhappy region, and now withhold it
from me! Would that I had then died, I should not now be lamenting the
loss of all my hopes, I should not now have the anguish of seeing my
dear Moufette on the point of being devoured!" The procession meanwhile
was slowly advancing, and at last reached the summit of the fatal
mountain. Here the cries and lamentations were redoubled, nothing more
piteous had before been heard. The giant ordered everyone to say
farewell and to retire, and they all obeyed him, for in those days,
people were very simple and submissive, and never sought for a remedy in
their misfortunes.

The King and Queen, and all the Court, now ascended another mountain,
whence they could see all that happened to the Princess: and they had
not to wait long, before they saw a Dragon, half a league long, coming
through the air. His body was so heavy that, notwithstanding his six
large wings, he was hardly able to fly; he was covered with immense blue
scales, and poisonous tongues of flame; his tail was twisted into as
many as fifty and a half coils; each of his claws was the size of a
windmill, and three rows of teeth, as long as those of an elephant,
could be seen inside his wide-open jaw. As the Dragon slowly made his
way towards the mountain, the good, faithful Frog, mounted on the back
of a hawk, flew rapidly to Prince Moufy. She wore her cap of roses, and
although he was locked into his private room, she entered without a key,
and said, "What are you doing here, unhappy lover? You sit dreaming of
Moufette's beauty, and at this very moment she is exposed to the most
frightful danger; here is a rose-leaf, by blowing

upon it, I can change it into a superb horse, as you will see."

There immediately appeared a horse, green in colour, and with twelve
hoofs and three heads, of which one emitted fire, another bomb-shells,
and the third cannon-balls. She gave the Prince a sword, eight yards
long, and lighter than a feather. She clothed him with a single diamond,
which he put on like a coat, and which, although as hard as a rock, was
so pliable that he could move in it at his ease. "Go," she said, "run,
fly to the rescue of her whom you love; the green horse I have given
you, will take you to her, and when you have delivered her, let her know
the share I have had in the matter."

"Generous fairy," cried the Prince, "I cannot at this moment show you
all my gratitude; but from henceforth, I am your faithful servitor."

He mounted the horse with the three heads, which instantly galloped off
on its twelve hoofs, and went at a greater rate than three of the best
ordinary horses, so that in a very little time the Prince reached the
mountain, when he found his dear Princess all alone, and saw the Dragon
slowly drawing near. The green horse immediately began to send forth
fire, bomb-shells, and cannon-balls, which not a little astonished the
monster; he received twenty balls in his throat, and his scales were
somewhat damaged, and the bomb-shells put out one of his eyes. He grew
furious, and made as if to throw himself on the Prince; but his long
sword was so finely-tempered, that he could use it as he liked,
thrusting it in at times up to the hilt, and at others using it like a
whip. The Prince, on his side, would have suffered from the Dragon's
claws, had it not been for his diamond coat, which was impenetrable.

Moufette had recognised her lover a long way off, for the diamond that
covered him was transparent and bright, and she was seized with mortal
terror at the danger he was in. The King and Queen, however, were filled
with renewed hope, for it was such an unexpected thing to see a horse
with three heads and twelve hoofs, sending forth fire and flame, and a
Prince in a diamond suit and armed with a formidable sword, arrive at
such an opportune moment, and fight with so much valour. The King put
his hat on the top of his stick, and the Queen tied her handkerchief to
the end of another, as signals of encouragement to the Prince; and all
their Court followed suit. As a fact, this was not necessary, for his
own heart and the peril in which he saw Moufette, were sufficient to
animate his courage. And what efforts did he not make! the ground was
covered with stings, claws, horns, wings, and scales of the Dragon; the
earth was coloured blue and green with the mingled blood of the Dragon
and the horse. Five times the Prince fell to the ground, but each time
he rose again and leisurely mounted his horse, and then there were
cannonades, and rushing of flames, and explosions, such as were never
heard or seen before. The Dragon's strength at last gave way, and he
fell; the Prince gave him a final blow, and nobody could believe their
eyes, when from this last great wound, there stepped forth a handsome
and charming prince, in a coat of blue and gold velvet, embroidered with
pearls, while on his head he wore a little Grecian helmet, shaded with
white feathers. He rushed, his arms outspread, towards Prince Moufy, and
embraced him. "What do I not owe you, valiant liberator?" he cried. "You
have delivered me from a worse prison than ever before enclosed a king;
I have languished there since, sixteen years ago, the Fairy Lioness
condemned me to it; and, such was her power, that she would have forced
me, against my will, to devour that adorable Princess; lead me to her
feet, that I may explain to her my misfortune."

Prince Moufy, surprised and delighted at this extraordinary termination
to his adventure, showered civilities on the newly-found Prince. They
hastened to rejoin Moufette, who thanked Heaven a thousand times for her
unhoped-for happiness. The King, the Queen, and all the Court, were
already with her; everybody spoke at once, nobody listened to anybody
else, and they all shed nearly as many tears of joy as they had before
of grief. Finally, that nothing might be wanting to complete their
rejoicing, the good Frog appeared, flying through the air on her hawk,
which had little bells of gold on its feet. When the tinkle, tinkle, of
these was heard, everyone looked up, and saw the cap of roses shining
like the sun, and the Frog as beautiful as the dawn.

The Queen ran towards her, and took her by one of her little paws, and
in the same moment, the wise Frog became a great Queen, with a charming
countenance. "I come," she cried, "to crown the faithful Moufette, who
preferred to risk her life, rather than be untrue to Prince Moufy." She
thereupon took two myrtle wreaths, and placed them on the heads of the
lovers, and giving three taps with her wand, all the Dragon's bones
formed themselves into a triumphal arch, in commemoration of the great
event which had just taken place.

They all wended their way back to the town, singing wedding songs, as
gaily as they had before mournfully bewailed the sacrifice of the
Princess. The marriage took place the following day, and the joy with
which it was celebrated may be imagined.


Once upon a time there lived a King and Queen who had two handsome boys;
so well-fed and hearty were they, that they grew like the day.

Whenever the Queen had a child, she sent for the fairies, that she might
learn from them what would be its future lot. After a while she had a
little daughter, who was so beautiful, that no one could see her without
loving her. The fairies came as usual, and the Queen having feasted
them, said to them as they were going away, "Do not forget that good
custom of yours, but tell me what will happen to Rosette"--for this was
the name of the little Princess. The fairies answered her that they had
left their divining-books at home, and that they would come again to see
her. "Ah!" said the Queen, "that bodes no good, I fear; you do not wish
to distress me by foretelling evil; but, I pray you, let me know the
worst, and hide nothing from me." The fairies continued to make excuses,
but the Queen only became more anxious to know the truth. At last the
chief among them said to her, "We fear, madam, that Rosette will be the
cause of a great misfortune befalling her brothers; that they may even
lose their lives on her account. This is all that we can tell you of
the fate of this sweet little Princess, and we are grieved to have
nothing better to say about her." The fairies took their departure, and
the Queen was very sorrowful, so sorrowful that the King saw by her face
that she was in trouble. He asked her what was the matter. She told him
she had gone too near the fire and accidentally burnt all the flax that
was on her distaff. "Is that all?" replied the King, and he went up to
his store-room and brought her down more flax than she could spin in a
hundred years.

But the Queen was still very sorrowful, and the King again asked her
what was the matter. She told him that she had been down to the river
and had let one of her green satin slippers fall into the water. "Is
that all?" replied the King, and he sent for all the shoemakers in the
kingdom, and made the Queen a present of ten thousand green satin

Still the Queen was no less sorrowful; the King asked her once more what
was the matter. She told him that, being hungry, she had eaten hastily,
and had swallowed her wedding-ring. The King knew that she was not
speaking the truth, for he had himself put away the ring, and he
replied, "My dear wife, you are not speaking the truth; here is your
ring, which I have kept in my purse." The Queen was put out of
countenance at being caught telling a lie--for there is nothing in the
world so ugly--and she saw that the King was vexed, so she told him what
the fairies had predicted about little Rosette, and begged him to tell
her if he could think of any remedy. The King was greatly troubled, so
much so, that at last he said to the Queen, "I see no way of saving our
two boys, except by putting the little girl to death, while she is still
in her swaddling clothes." But the Queen cried that she would rather
suffer death herself, that she would never consent to so cruel a deed,
and that the King must try and think of some other remedy. The King and
Queen could think of nothing else, and while thus pondering over the
matter, the Queen was told that in a large wood near the town, there
lived an old hermit, who made his home in the trunk of a tree, whom
people went from far and near to consult.

"It is to him I must go," said the Queen; "the fairies told me the evil,
but they forgot to tell me the remedy."

She started early in the morning, mounted on her little white mule, that
was shod with gold, and accompanied by two of her maids of honour, who
each rode a pretty horse. When they were near the wood they dismounted
out of respect, and made their way to the tree where the hermit lived.
He did not much care for the visits of women, but when he saw that it
was the Queen approaching, he said, "Welcome! what would you ask of me?"
She related to him what the fairies had said about Rosette, and asked
him to advise her what to do. He told her that the Princess must be shut
up in a tower, and not be allowed to leave it as long as she lived. The
Queen thanked him, and returned and told everything to the King. The
King immediately gave orders for a large tower to be built as quickly as
possible. In it he placed his daughter, but that she might not feel
lonely and depressed, he, and the Queen, and her two brothers, went to
see her every day. The elder of these was called the big Prince, and the
younger, the little Prince. They loved their sister passionately, for
she was the most beautiful and graceful Princess ever seen, and the
least glance of hers was worth more than a hundred gold pieces. When she
was fifteen years old, the big Prince said to the King, "Father, my
sister is old enough to be married; shall we not soon have a wedding?"
The little Prince said the same to the Queen, but their Majesties
laughed and changed the subject, and made no answer about the marriage.

Now, it happened that the King and Queen both fell very ill, and died
within a few days of one another. There was great mourning; everyone
wore black, and all the bells were tolled. Rosette was inconsolable at
the loss of her good mother.

As soon as the funeral was over, the dukes and marquises of the kingdom
placed the big Prince on a throne made of gold and diamonds; he wore a
splendid crown on his head, and robes of violet velvet embroidered with
suns and moons. Then the whole Court cried out, "Long live the King!"
and now on all sides there was nothing but rejoicing.

Then the young King and his brother said one to another, "Now that we
are the masters, we will release our sister from the tower, where she
has been shut up for such a long and dreary time." They had only to pass
through the garden to reach the tower, which stood in one corner of it,
and had been built as high as was possible, for the late King and Queen
had intended her to remain there always. Rosette was embroidering a
beautiful dress on a frame in front of her, when she saw her brothers
enter. She rose, and taking the King's hand, said, "Good-day, sire, you
are now King, and I am your humble subject; I pray you to release me
from this tower, where I lead a melancholy life," and with this, she
burst into tears. The King embraced her, and begged her not to weep, for
he was come, he said, to take her from the tower, and to conduct her to
a beautiful castle. The Prince had his pockets full of sweetmeats, which
he gave Rosette. "Come," he said, "let us get away from this wretched
place; the King will soon find you a husband; do not be unhappy any

When Rosette saw the beautiful garden, full of flowers, and fruits, and
fountains, she was so overcome with astonishment, that she stood
speechless, for she had never seen anything of the kind before. She
looked around her, she went first here, then there, she picked the fruit
off the trees, and gathered flowers from the beds; while her little dog,
Fretillon, who was as green as a parrot, kept on running before her,
saying, yap, yap, yap! and jumping and cutting a thousand capers, and
everybody was amused at his ways. Presently he ran into a little wood,
whither the Princess followed him, and here her wonder was even greater
than before, when she saw a large peacock spreading out its tail. She
thought it so beautiful, so very beautiful, that she could not take her
eyes off it. The King and the Prince now joined her, and asked her what
delighted her so much. She pointed to the peacock, and asked them what
it was. They told her it was a bird, which was sometimes eaten. "What!"
she cried, "dare to kill and eat a beautiful bird like that! I tell you,
that I will marry no one but the King of the Peacocks, and when I am
their Queen I shall not allow anybody to eat them." The astonishment of
the King cannot be described. "But, dear sister," said he, "where would
you have us go to find the King of the Peacocks?" "Whither you please,
sire; but him, and him alone, will I marry."

Having come to this decision, she was now conducted by her brothers to
their castle; the peacock had to be brought and put into her room, so
fond was she of it. All the Court ladies who had not before seen Rosette
now hastened to greet her, and pay their respects to her. Some brought
preserves with them, some sugar, and others dresses of woven gold,
beautiful ribbons, dolls, embroidered shoes, pearls, and diamonds.
Everyone did their best to entertain her, and she was so well brought
up, so courteous, kissing their hands, curtseying when anything
beautiful was given to her, that there was not a lord or lady who did
not leave her presence gratified and charmed. While she was thus
occupied, the King and the Prince were turning over in their minds how
they should find the King of the Peacocks, if there was such a person in
the world to be found. They decided that they would have Rosette's
portrait painted; and when completed it was so life-like, that only
speech was wanting. Then they said to her, "Since you will marry no one
but the King of the Peacocks, we are going together to look for him, and
will traverse the whole world to try and find him for you. If we find
him, we shall be very glad. Meanwhile take care of our kingdom until we

Rosette thanked them for all the trouble they were taking; she promised
to govern the kingdom well, and said that, during their absence, her
only pleasure would be in looking at the peacock, and making her little
dog dance. They all three cried when they said good-bye to each other.

So the two Princes started on their long journey, and they asked
everyone whom they met, "Do you know the King of the Peacocks?" but the
reply was always the same, "No, we do not." Each time they passed on and
went further, and in this way they travelled so very, very far, that no
one had ever been so far before.

They came to the kingdom of the cock-chafers; and these were in such
numbers, and made such a loud buzzing, that the King feared he should
become deaf. He asked one of them, who appeared to him to have the most
intelligence, whether he knew where the King of the Peacocks was to be
found. "Sire," replied the cock-chafer, "his kingdom lies thirty
thousand leagues from here; you have chosen the longest way to reach
it." "And how do you know that?" asked the King. "Because," answered the
cock-chafer, "we know you very well, for every year we spend two or
three months in your gardens." Whereupon the King and his brother
embraced the cock-chafer, and they went off arm in arm to dine together,
and the two strangers admired all the curiosities of that new country,
where the smallest leaf of a tree was worth a gold piece. After that,
they continued their journey, and having been directed along the right
way, they were not long in reaching its close. On their arrival, they
found all the trees laden with peacocks, and, indeed, there were
peacocks everywhere, so that they could be heard talking and screaming
two leagues off.

The King said to his brother "If the King of the Peacocks is a peacock
himself, how can our sister marry him? it would be folly to consent to
such a thing, and it would be a fine thing for us to have little
peacocks for nephews." The Prince was equally disturbed at the thought.
"It is an unhappy fancy she has taken into her head," he said. "I cannot
think what led her to imagine that there was such a person in the world
as the King of the Peacocks."

When they entered the town, they saw that it was full of men and women,
and that they all wore clothes made of peacocks' feathers, and that
these were evidently considered fine things, for every place was covered
with them. They met the King, who was driving in a beautiful little
carriage of gold, studded with diamonds, and drawn by twelve peacocks at
full gallop. This King of the Peacocks was so handsome, that the King
and the Prince were delighted; he had long, light, curly hair, fair
complexion, and wore a crown of peacocks' feathers. Directly he saw
them, he guessed, seeing that they wore a different costume to the
people of the country, that they were strangers, and wishing to
ascertain if this was so, he ordered his carriage to stop, and sent for

[Illustration: '_Oh, you are jesting;_' _replied the King of the
Peacocks._ _Princess Rosette_]

The King and the Prince advanced, bowing low, and said, "Sire, we have
come from afar, to show you a portrait." They drew forth Rosette's
portrait and showed it to him. After gazing at it a while, the King of
the Peacocks said, "I can scarcely believe that there is so beautiful a
maiden in the whole world." "She is a thousand times more beautiful,"
said the King. "You are jesting," replied the King of the Peacocks.
"Sire," rejoined the Prince, "here is my brother, who is a King, like
yourself; he is called King, and my name is Prince; our sister, of whom
this is the portrait, is the Princess Rosette. We have come to ask if
you will marry her; she is good and beautiful, and we will give her, as
dower, a bushel of golden crowns." "It is well," said the King. "I will
gladly marry her; she shall want for nothing, and I shall love her
greatly; but I require that she shall be as beautiful as her portrait,
and if she is in the smallest degree less so, I shall make you pay for
it with your lives." "We consent willingly," said both Rosette's
brothers. "You consent?" added the King. "You will go to prison then,
and remain there until the Princess arrives." The Princes made no
difficulty about this, for they knew well that Rosette was more
beautiful than her portrait. They were well looked after while in
prison, and were well served with all they required, and the King often
went to see them. He kept Rosette's portrait in his room, and could
scarcely rest day or night for looking at it. As the King and his
brother could not go to her themselves, they wrote to Rosette, telling
her to pack up as quickly as possible, and to start without delay, as
the King of the Peacocks was awaiting her. They did not tell her that
they were prisoners, for fear of causing her uneasiness.

The Princess scarcely knew how to contain herself with joy, when she
received this message. She told everybody that the King of the Peacocks
had been found, and that he wanted to marry her. Bonfires were lit, and
guns fired, and quantities of sweetmeats and sugar were eaten; everyone
who came to see the Princess, during the three days before her
departure, was given bread-and-butter and jam, rolled wafers, and negus.
After having thus dispensed hospitality to her visitors, she presented
her beautiful dolls to her best friends, and handed over the government
to the wisest elders of the town, begging them to look well after
everything, to spend little, and to save up money for the King on his
return. She also prayed them to take care of her peacock, for with her
she only took her nurse, and her foster-sister, and her little green
dog, Fretillon. They set out in a boat on the sea, carrying with them
the bushel of golden crowns, and sufficient clothes for two changes a
day for ten years. They made merry on their voyage, laughing and
singing, and the nurse kept on asking the boatman if they were nearing
the Kingdom of the Peacocks; for a long time, all he said was, "No, no,
not yet." Then at last, when she asked again, "Are we anywhere near it
now?" he answered, "We shall soon be there, very soon." Once more she
said, "Are we near, are we anywhere near it now?" and he said, "Yes, we
are now within reach of shore." On hearing this, the nurse went to the
end of the boat, and sitting down beside the boatman, said to him, "If
you like, you can be rich for the remainder of your life." He replied,
"I should like nothing better." She continued, "If you like, you can
earn good money." "That would suit me very well," he answered. "Well,"
she went on, "then to-night, when the Princess is asleep, you must help
me throw her into the sea. After she is drowned, I will dress my
daughter in her fine clothes, and we will take her to the King of the
Peacocks, who will only be too pleased to marry her; and as a reward to
you, we will give you as many diamonds as you care to possess." The
boatman was very much astonished at this proposal; he told the nurse
that it was a pity to drown such a pretty Princess, and that he felt
compassion for her; but the nurse fetched a bottle of wine and made him
drink so much, that he had no longer any power to refuse.

Night having come, the Princess went to bed as usual, her little
Fretillon lying at her feet, not even stirring one of his paws. Rosette
slept soundly, but the wicked nurse kept awake, and went presently to
fetch the boatman. She took him into the Princess's room, and together
they lifted her up, feather bed, mattress, sheets, coverlet, and all,
and threw them into the sea, the Princess all the while so fast
asleep, that she never woke. But fortunately, her bed was made of
Phoenix-feathers, which are extremely rare, and have the property of
always floating on water; so that she was carried along in her bed as in
a boat. The water, however, began gradually first to wet her feather
bed, then her mattress, and Rosette began to feel uncomfortable, and
turned from side to side, and then Fretillon woke up. He had a capital
nose, and when he smelt the soles and cod-fish so near, he started
barking at them, and this awoke all the other fish, who began swimming
about. The bigger ones ran against the Princess's bed, which, not being
attached to anything, span round and round like a whirligig. Rosette
could not make out what was happening. "Is our boat having a dance on
the water?" she said. "I am not accustomed to feeling so uneasy as I am
to-night," and all the while Fretillon continued barking, and going on
as if he was out of his mind. The wicked nurse and the boatman heard him
from afar, and said: "There's that funny little beast drinking our
healths with his mistress. Let us make haste to land," for they were now
just opposite the town of the King of the Peacocks.

He had sent down a hundred chariots to the landing-place; they were
drawn by all kinds of rare animals, lions, bears, stags, wolves, horses,
oxen, asses, eagles, and peacocks: and the chariot which was intended
for the Princess was harnessed with six blue monkeys, that could jump,
dance on the tight rope, and do endless clever tricks; they had
beautiful trappings of crimson velvet, overlaid with plates of gold.
Sixty young maids of honour were also in attendance, who had been chosen
by the King for the amusement of the Princess; they were dressed in all
sorts of colours, and gold and silver were the least precious of their

The nurse had taken great pains to dress her daughter finely; she had
put on her Rosette's best robe, and decked her all over from head to
foot with the Princess's diamonds; but with all this, she was still as
ugly as an ape, with greasy black hair, crooked eyes, bowed legs, and a
hump on her back; and, added to these deformities, she was besides of a
disagreeable and sulky temper, and was always grumbling.

When the people saw her get out of the boat, they were so taken aback by
her appearance, that they could not utter a sound. "What is the meaning
of this?" she said. "Are you all asleep? Be off, and bring me something
to eat! A nice set of beggars you are! I will have you all hanged." When
they heard this, they murmured, "What an ugly creature! and she is as
wicked as she is ugly! A nice wife for our King; well, we are not
surprised! but it was scarcely worth the trouble to bring her from the
other side of the world." Meanwhile she still behaved as if she were
already mistress of all and everything, and for no reason at all, boxed
their ears, or gave a blow with her fist to everybody in turn.

As her escort was a very large one, the procession moved slowly, and she
sat up in her chariot like a queen; but all the peacocks, who had
stationed themselves on the trees, so as to salute her as she passed,
and who had been prepared to shout, "Long live the beautiful Queen
Rosette!" could only call out, "Fie, fie, how ugly she is!" as soon as
they caught sight of her. She was so enraged at this, that she called to
her guards, "Kill those rascally peacocks who are insulting me." But the
peacocks quickly flew away, and only laughed at her.

The treacherous boatman, seeing and hearing all this, said in a low
voice to the nurse, "There is something wrong, good mother; your
daughter should have been better looking." She answered, "Hold your
tongue, stupid, or you will bring us into trouble."

The King had word brought him that the Princess was approaching. "Well,"
he said, "have her brothers, I wonder, told me the truth? Is she more
beautiful than her portrait?" "Sire," said those near him, "there will
be nothing to wish for, if she is as beautiful." "You are right,"
replied the King, "I shall be well content with that. Come, let us go
and see her," for he knew by the hubbub in the courtyard that she had
arrived. He could not distinguish anything that was said, except, "Fie,
fie, how ugly she is!" and he imagined that the people were calling out
about some little dwarf or animal that she had brought with her, for it
never entered his head that the words were applied to the Princess

Rosette's portrait was carried uncovered, at the top of a long pole,
and the King walked after it in solemn state, with all his nobles and
his peacocks, followed by ambassadors from various kingdoms. The King of
the Peacocks was very impatient to see his dear Rosette; but when he did
see her--well, he very nearly died on the spot. He flew into a violent
rage, he tore his clothes, he would not go near her, he felt quite
afraid of her. "What!" he cried, "have those two villains I have in
prison had the boldness and impudence to make a laughing-stock of me,
and to propose my marrying such a fright as that? They shall both be
killed; and let that insolent woman, and the nurse, and the man who is
with them, be immediately carried to the dungeon of my great tower, and
there kept." While this was going on, the King and his brother, who knew
that his sister was expected, had put on their bravest apparel ready to
receive her; but instead of seeing their prison door open and being set
at liberty, as they had hoped, the gaoler came with a body of soldiers
and made them go down into a dark cellar, full of horrible reptiles, and
where the water was up to their necks; no one was ever more surprised or
distressed than they were. "Alas!" they said to one another, "this is
indeed a melancholy marriage feast for us! What can have happened that
we should be so ill-treated?" They did not know what in the world to
think, except that they were to be killed, and they were very sorrowful
about this. Three days passed, and no news reached them of any kind. At
the end of that time, the King of the Peacocks came, and began calling
out insulting things to them through a hole in the wall. "You called
yourselves King and Prince, that I might fall into your trap, and engage
myself to marry your sister; but you are nothing better than two
beggars, who are not worth the water you drink. I am going to bring you
before the judges, who will soon pass their verdict upon you; the rope
to hang you with is already being made." "King of the Peacocks," replied
the King, angrily, "do not act too rashly in this matter, or you may
repent it. I am a King as well as you, and I have a fine kingdom, and
rich clothing, and crowns, to say nothing of good gold pieces. You must
be joking to talk like this of hanging us; have we stolen anything from

When the King heard him speak so boldly, he did not know what to think,
and he felt half inclined to let them and their sister go without
putting them to death; but his chief adviser, who was an arrant
flatterer, dissuaded him from this, telling him that if he did not
revenge the insult that had been put upon him, all the world would make
fun of him, and look upon him as nothing better than a miserable little
King worth a few coppers a day. The King thereupon swore that he would
never forgive them, and ordered them to be brought to trial at once.
This did not take long; the judges had only to look at the real
Rosette's portrait and then at the Princess who had arrived, and,
without hesitation, they ordered the prisoners' heads to be cut off as a
punishment for having lied to the King, since they had promised him a
beautiful Princess, and had only given him an ugly peasant girl. They
repaired with great ceremony to the prison to read this sentence to
them; but the prisoners declared that they had not lied, that their
sister was a Princess, and more beautiful than the day; that there must
be something under this which they did not understand, and they asked
for a respite of seven days, as before that time had expired their
innocence might have been established. The King of the Peacocks, who had
worked himself up to a high pitch of anger, could with great difficulty
be induced to accord them this grace, but at last he consented.

While these things were going on at the Court, we must say something
about poor Rosette. Both she and Fretillon were very much astonished,
when daylight came, to find themselves in the middle of the sea, without
a boat, and far from all help. She began to cry, and cried so piteously,
that even the fishes had compassion on her: she did not know what to do,
nor what would become of her. "There is no doubt," she said, "that the
King of the Peacocks ordered me to be thrown into the sea, having
repented his promise of marrying me, and to get rid of me quietly he has
had me drowned. What a strange man!" she continued, "for I should have
loved him so much! We should have been so happy together," and with that
she burst out crying afresh, for she could not help still loving him.
She remained floating about on the sea for two days, wet to the skin,
and almost dead with cold; she was so benumbed by it, that if it had not
been for little Fretillon, who lay beside her and kept a little warmth
in her, she could not have survived. She was famished with hunger, and
seeing the oysters in their shells, she took as many of these as she
wanted and ate them; Fretillon did the same, to keep himself alive,
although he did not like such food. Rosette became still more alarmed
when the night set in. "Fretillon," she said, "keep on barking, to
frighten away the soles, for fear they should eat us." So Fretillon
barked all night, and when the morning came, the Princess was floating
near the shore. Close to the sea at this spot, there lived a good old
man; he was poor, and did not care for the things of the world, and no
one ever visited him in his little hut. He was very much surprised when
heard Fretillon barking, for no dogs ever came in that direction; he
thought some travellers must have lost their way, and went out with the
kind intention of putting them on the right road again. All at once he
caught sight of the Princess and Fretillon floating on the sea, and the
Princess, seeing him, stretched out her arms to him, crying out, "Good
man, save me, or I shall perish; I have been in the water like this for
two days." When he heard her speak so sorrowfully, he had great pity on
her, and went back into his hut to fetch a long hook; he waded into the
water up to his neck, and once or twice narrowly escaped drowning. At
last, however, he succeeded in dragging the bed on to the shore. Rosette
and Fretillon were overjoyed to find themselves again on dry ground; and
were full of gratitude to the kind old man. Rosette wrapped herself in
her coverlet, and walked bare-footed into the hut, where the old man lit
a little fire of dry straw, and took one of his dead wife's best dresses
out of a trunk, with some stockings and shoes, and gave them to the
Princess. Dressed in her peasant's attire, she looked as beautiful as
the day, and Fretillon capered round her and made her laugh. The old man
guessed that Rosette was some great lady, for her bed was embroidered
with gold and silver, and her mattress was of satin. He begged her to
tell him her story, promising not to repeat what she told him if she so
wished. So she related to him all that had befallen her, crying bitterly
the while, for she still thought that it was the King of the Peacocks
who had ordered her to be drowned.

"What shall we do, my daughter?" said the old man. "You are a Princess
and accustomed to the best of everything, and I have but poor fare to
offer, black bread and radishes; but if you will let me, I will go and
tell the King of the Peacocks that you are here; if he had once seen
you, he would assuredly marry you." "Alas! he is a wicked man," said
Rosette; "he would only put me to death; but if you can lend me a little
basket, I will tie it round Fretillon's neck, and he will have very bad
luck, if he does not manage to bring back some food."

The old man gave her a basket, which she fastened to Fretillon's neck,
and then said, "Go to the best kitchen in the town, and bring me back
what you find in the saucepan." Fretillon ran off to the town, and as
there was no better kitchen than that of the King, he went in, uncovered
the saucepan, and cleverly carried off all that was in it; then he
returned to the hut. Rosette said to him, "Go back and take whatever you
can find of the best in the larder." Fretillon went back to the King's
larder, and took white bread, wine, and all sorts of fruits and
sweetmeats; he was so laden that he could only just manage to carry the
things home.

When the King of the Peacocks' dinner hour arrived, there was nothing
for him either in the saucepan or in the larder; his attendants looked
askance at one another, and the King was in a terrible rage. "It seems,
then, that I am to have no dinner; but see that the spit is put before
the fire, and let me have some good roast meat this evening." The
evening came, and the Princess said to Fretillon, "Go to the best
kitchen in the town and bring me a joint of good roast meat." Fretillon
obeyed, and knowing no better kitchen than that of the King, he went
softly in, while the cooks' backs were turned, took the meat, which was
of the best kind, from the spit, and carried it back in his basket to
the Princess. She sent him back without delay to the larder, and he
carried off all the preserves and sweetmeats that had been prepared for
the King.

The King, having had no dinner, was very hungry, and ordered supper to
be served early, but no supper was forthcoming; enraged beyond words, he
was forced to go supperless to bed.

The same thing happened the following day, both as to dinner and supper;
so that the King, for three days, was without meat or drink, for every
time he sat down to table, it was found that the meal that had been
prepared had been stolen. His chief adviser, fearing for the life of the
King, hid himself in the corner of the kitchen to watch; he kept his
eyes on the saucepan, that was boiling over the fire, and what was his
surprise to see enter a little green dog, with one ear, that uncovered
the pot, and put the meat in its basket. He followed it to see where it
would go; he saw it leave the town, and still following, came to the old
man's hut. Then he went and told the King that it was to a poor
peasant's home that the food was carried morning and evening. The King
was greatly astonished, and ordered more inquiries to be made. His chief
adviser, anxious for favour, decided to go himself, taking with him a
body of archers. They found the old man and Rosette at dinner, eating
the meat that had been stolen from the King's kitchen, and they seized
them, and bound them with cords, taking Fretillon prisoner at the same

They brought word to the King that the delinquents had been captured,
and he replied, "To-morrow, the last day of reprieve for my two insolent
prisoners will expire; they and these thieves shall die together." He
then went into his court of justice. The old man threw himself on his
knees before him, and begged to be allowed to tell him everything. As he
was speaking, the King looked towards the beautiful Princess, and his
heart was touched when he saw her crying. When, therefore, the old man
said that she was the Princess Rosette who had been thrown into the
water, in spite of the weak condition he was in from having starved for
so long, he gave three bounds of joy, ran and embraced her, and untied
her cords, declaring the while that he loved her with all his heart.

They at once went to find the Princes, who thought they were going to
be put to death, and came forward in great dejection and hanging their
heads; the nurse and her daughter were brought in at the same time. The
brothers and sister recognised one another, as soon as they were brought
face to face, and Rosette threw herself on her brothers' necks. The
nurse and her daughter, and the boatman, begged on their knees for
mercy, and the universal rejoicing and their own joy were so great, that
the King and the Princess pardoned them, and gave the good old man a
handsome reward, and from that time he continued to live in the palace.

Finally, the King of the Peacocks did all in his power to atone for his
conduct to the King and his brother, expressing the deepest regret at
having treated them so badly. The nurse restored to Rosette all her
beautiful clothes and the bushel of golden crowns, and the wedding
festivities lasted a fortnight. Everyone was happy down to Fretillon,
who ate nothing but partridge wings for the rest of his life.


_Colston & Coy. Limited, Printers, Edinburgh._

Transcriber's Note:

Punctuation has been standardised. Changes to the original publication
have been made as follows:

    Page 64
    as he was entirly governed by _changed to_
    as he was entirely governed by

    Page 70
    your are!" said she to them, _changed to_
    you are!" said she to them,

    Page 110
    they would he obliged to go and _changed to_
    they would be obliged to go and

    Page 115
    withdrew, and the merchant said ro _changed to_
    withdrew, and the merchant said to

    Page 124
    reassurred, for the Beast, after _changed to_
    reassured, for the Beast, after

    Page 148
    on a piece of rag; for she possesed _changed to_
    on a piece of rag; for she possessed

    Page 151
    of the room. The The King and _changed to_
    of the room. The King and

    Page 163
    windwill, and three rows of teeth _changed to_
    windmill, and three rows of teeth

    Page 191
    said that she was the Prrincess Rosette _changed to_
    said that she was the Princess Rosette

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tales of Passed Times" ***

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