Transcriber's Note: ō = macron above letter
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BOYS AND GIRLS BOOKSHELF
A Practical Plan of Character Building
COMPLETE IN SEVENTEEN VOLUMES
I Fun and Thought for Little Folk II Folk-Lore, Fables, and Fairy Tales III Famous Tales and Nature Stories IV Things to Make and Things to Do V True Stories from Every Land VI Famous Songs and Picture Stories VII Nature and Outdoor Life, Part I VIII Nature and Outdoor Life, Part II IX Earth, Sea, and Sky X Games and Handicraft XI Wonders of Invention XII Marvels of Industry XIII Every Land and its Story XIV Famous Men and Women XV Bookland—Story and Verse, Part I XVI Bookland—Story and Verse, Part II XVII Graded and Classified Index
THE UNIVERSITY SOCIETY INCORPORATED New York
BOYS AND GIRLS BOOKSHELF
A Practical Plan of Character Building
Little Folks' Section
Prepared Under the Supervision of THE EDITORIAL BOARD of the UNIVERSITY SOCIETY
Volume II FOLK-LORE, FABLES, AND FAIRY TALES
THE UNIVERSITY SOCIETY INCORPORATED New York
Copyright, 1920, By THE UNIVERSITY SOCIETY INC.
Copyright, 1912, 1915, By THE UNIVERSITY SOCIETY INC.
Manufactured in the U. S. A.
This volume is devoted to a choice collection of the standard and new fairy-tales, wonder stories, and fables. They speak so truly and convincingly for themselves that we wish to use this introductory page only to emphasize their value to young children. There are still those who find no room in their own reading, and would give none in the reading of the young, except for facts. They confuse facts and truth, and forget that there is a world of truth that is larger than the mere facts of life, being compact of imagination and vision and ideals. Dr. Hamilton Wright Mabie convinced us of this in his cogent words.
"America," he said, "has at present greater facility in producing 'smart' men than in producing able men; the alert, quick-witted money-maker abounds, but the men who live with ideas, who care for the principles of things, and who make life rich in resource and interest, are comparatively few. America needs poetry more than it needs industrial training, though the two ought never to be separated. The time to awaken the imagination, which is the creative faculty, is early childhood, and the most accessible material for this education is the literature which the race created in its childhood."
The value of the fairy-tale and the wonder-tale is that they tell about the magic of living. Like the old woman in Mother Goose, they "brush the cobwebs out of the sky." They enrich, not cheapen, life. Plenty of things do cheapen life for children. Most movies do. Sunday comic supplements do. Ragtime songs do. Mere gossip does. But fairy stories enhance life.
They are called "folk-tales," that is, tales of the common folk. They were largely the dreams of the poor. They consist of fancies that have illumined the hard facts of life. They find animals, trees, flowers, and the stars friendly. They speak of victory. In them the child is master even of dragons. He can live like a prince, in disguise, or, if he be uncomely, he may hope to win Beauty after he is free of his masquerade.
Wonder-stories help make good children as well as happy children. In these stories witches, wolves, and evil persons are defeated or exposed. Fairy godmothers are ministers of justice. The side that the child wishes to triumph always does triumph, and so goodness always is made to seem worth-while.
Almost every fairy-tale contains a test of character or shrewdness or courage. Sharp distinctions are made, that require a child of parts to discern.
And the heroes of these nursery tales are much more convincing than precepts or golden texts, for they impress upon the child not merely what he ought to do, but what nobly has been done. And the small hero-worshiper will follow where his admirations lead.
Fables do much the same, and by imagining that the animals have arrived at human speech and wisdom, they help the child to think shrewdly and in a friendly way, as if in comradeship with his pets and with our brothers and sisters, the beasts of the field and forest.
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THE OLD FAIRY TALES
THE ROAD TO FAIRY LAND 2 By Cecil Cavendish THE BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS GOLDENLOCKS 3 PRINCE HYACINTH AND THE DEAR LITTLE PRINCESS 7 By Madame Leprince De Beaumont CINDERELLA 10 By Charles Perrault THE SLEEPING BEAUTY 13 Adapted from the Brothers Grimm BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 15 PRINCE DARLING 20 RUMPELSTILTSKIN 26 Adapted from the Grimm Brothers RAPUNZELL, OR THE FAIR MAID WITH GOLDEN HAIR 28 By the Brothers Grimm SNOW-WHITE AND ROSE-RED 30 By the Brothers Grimm HANSEL AND GRETHEL 34 By the Brothers Grimm
STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS
THE FLAG-BEARER 39 By Carolyn Sherwin Bailey JOHNNY CHUCK FINDS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD 40 By Thornton W. Burgess LITTLE WEE PUMPKIN'S THANKSGIVING 41 By Madge A. Bingham THE COMING OF THE KING 42 By Laura E. Richards THE LITTLE PIG 44 By Maud Lindsay THE TRAVELS OF THE LITTLE TOY SOLDIER 44 By Carolyn Sherwin Bailey WHAT HAPPENED TO DUMPS 45 By Carolyn Sherwin Bailey THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS 47 By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow BALLAD OF THE LITTLE PAGE 48 By Abbie Farwell Brown THE SNOW-IMAGE 51 By Nathaniel Hawthorne THE CASTLE OF GEMS 55 By Sophie May THE HEN THAT HATCHED DUCKS 58 By Harriet Beecher Stowe THE BALLAD OF PIPING WILL 63 By Anna Hempstead Branch LITTLE ANNIE'S DREAM, OR THE FAIRY FLOWER 68 By Louisa M. Alcott COMPANIONS 71 By Helen Hunt Jackson PRINCE LITTLE BOY 73 By S. Weir Mitchell, M.D. THE BEE-MAN OF ORN 77 By Frank R. Stockton THE POT OF GOLD 82 By Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES
THE FAIRY THORN 87 By Samuel Ferguson FAIRY DAYS 88 By William Makepeace Thackeray THE FAIRY QUEEN 89 THE SEA PRINCESS 89 LONG AGO 89 THISTLE-TASSEL 90 By Florence Harrison SONG OF THE FAIRY 90 By William Shakespeare THE FAIRIES 92 By William Allingham OH, WHERE DO FAIRIES HIDE THEIR HEADS? 92 By Thomas Haynes Bayly
MODERN FAIRY TALES
THE ELF OF THE WOODLANDS 93 Retold from Richard Hengist Horne by William Byron Forbush PRINCESS FINOLA AND THE DWARF 95 By Edmund Leamy THE STRAW OX 100 THE LITTLE PRINCESS OF THE FEARLESS HEART 103 By B. J. Daskam MOPSA THE FAIRY 110 Retold from Jean Ingelow THE LINE OF GOLDEN LIGHT, OR THE LITTLE BLIND SISTER 114 By Elizabeth Harrison A FAIRY STORY ABOUT A PHILOSOPHER'S STONE WHICH WAS LOST 118 By M. Bowley THE BAD TEMPER OF THE PRINCESS 124 By Marian Burton THE FLYING SHIP 130 ROBIN OF THE LOVING HEART 133 By Emma Endicott Marean IN SPRING 137 A FAMOUS CASE 138 By Theodore C. Williams
THE TWELVE HUNTSMEN 139 THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES 140 EDWY AND THE ECHO 143 THE LITTLE OLD WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A VINEGAR-BOTTLE 146 THE SNOW QUEEN 148 THE MASTER-MAID 158 CAP O' RUSHES 163 FULFILLED 165 KING GRISLY-BEARD 166 Retold from the Brothers Grimm
THE FOX AND THE GOAT 172 THE TWO FROGS 172 THE DOG IN THE MANGER 172 THE STAG AT THE POOL 172 THE WAR-HORSE AND THE ASS 172 THE FROGS WHO WANTED A KING 172 THE OX AND THE FROG 173 THE HERON WHO WAS HARD TO PLEASE 174 THE SHEPHERD BOY AND THE WOLF 175 THE ASS, THE COCK, AND THE LION 175 THE LION, THE BEAR, AND THE FOX 175 THE HORSE AND THE STAG 175 THE LION AND THE BOAR 175 THE HUNTSMAN AND THE FISHERMAN 175 THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN 176 THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE 177 THE FOX AND THE WOOD-CUTTER 178 THE LION AND OTHER BEASTS ON A HUNT 178 THE EAGLE AND THE ARROW 178 THE MOUSE AND THE FROG 178 THE WOLF AND THE GOAT 178 THE BAD DOG 178 THE KID AND THE WOLF 178 THE FOX AND THE GRAPES 179 THE FOX AND THE RAVEN 180 THE BULL AND THE GOAT 181 THE RAVEN AND THE SWAN 181 THE THIEF AND THE DOG 181 THE HORSE AND THE LOADED ASS 181 THE ASS WITH THE SALT 181 THE COCK AND THE JEWEL 181 THE FOX WHO HAD LOST HIS TAIL 181 THE EAGLE AND THE JACKDAW 182 THE HEN AND THE GOLDEN EGGS 183 THE DOG AND THE ASS 184 THE NORTH WIND AND THE SUN 184 THE FOX AND THE LION 184 THE CROW AND THE PITCHER 184 THE ASS AND HIS SHADOW 184 THE WOLF AND THE CRANE 184 THE FOX AND THE CRANE 185 THE CAT AND THE MONKEY 186 THE DANCING MONKEYS 187 THE HARES AND THE FROGS 187 THE LION AND THE GNAT 187 THE FROGS AND THE BULLS 187 THE LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES 187 BELLING THE CAT 187 A MILLER, HIS SON, AND THEIR ASS 188 THE TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE 190 THE PEACOCK AND JUNO 190 THE LION, THE FOX, AND THE ASS 190 THE FATHER AND HIS SONS 190 THE DOVE AND THE ANT 191 THE FOX AND THE CAT 192 THE ANTS AND THE GRASSHOPPER 193
FABLES FROM INDIA Adapted by Ramaswami Raju
THE GLOW-WORM AND THE DAW 194 THE FOX AND THE VILLAGERS 194 THE FROG AND THE SNAKE 194 THE ASSEMBLY OF ANIMALS 194 THE COCK AND HIS THREE HENS 194 THE BLACK DOG AND THE WHITE DOG 195 THE ELEPHANT AND THE APE 195 THE CROW AND THE DAWN 195 THE LION AND THE GOAT 195 THE SUNLING 196 THE MUSHROOM AND THE GOOSE 196 THE FABLES OF PILPAY THE HINDU 196 THE FOX AND THE HEN 196 THE THREE FISHES 196 THE FALCON AND THE HEN 197 THE KING WHO GREW KIND 197
THE HORSES' COUNCIL 197 Adapted from John Gay THE OAK AND THE REED 198 Adapted from the French of La Fontaine THE ADVANTAGE OF KNOWLEDGE 198 Adapted from the French of La Fontaine THE TORRENT AND THE RIVER 198 Adapted from the French of La Fontaine THE TOMTIT AND THE BEAR 199 By the Brothers Grimm WHY JIMMY SKUNK WEARS STRIPES 200 By Thornton W. Burgess HOW CATS CAME TO PURR 202 By John Bennett
STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA
THE GREEDY CAT 207 GUDBRAND ON THE HILLSIDE 210 PORK AND HONEY 212 HOW REYNARD OUTWITTED BRUIN 212 THE COCK AND THE CRESTED HEN 213 THE OLD WOMAN AND THE TRAMP 213 THE OLD WOMAN AND THE FISH 216 THE LAD AND THE FOX 217 ADVENTURES OF ASHPOT 217 NORWEGIAN BIRD-LEGENDS 219 THE UGLY DUCKLING 222 By Hans Christian Andersen THE WILD SWANS 227 By Hans Christian Andersen TAPER TOM 235 THE BOY WHO WENT TO THE NORTH WIND 236 THE WONDERFUL IRON POT 238 THE SHEEP AND PIG WHO SET UP HOUSEKEEPING 239 DOLL-IN-THE-GRASS 241 BOOTS AND HIS BROTHERS 242 VIGGO AND BEATE 244 Translated by Mrs. Gudrun Thorne-Thompson
STORIES FROM IRELAND
THE FOUR WHITE SWANS 251 THE MISHAPS OF HANDY ANDY 258 THE GREEDY SHEPHERD 263 THE COBBLERS AND THE CUCKOO 264 THE MERRY COBBLER AND HIS COAT 268 THE STORY OF CHILD CHARITY 270 By Frances Browne THE SELFISH GIANT 272 By Oscar Wilde
STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN
THE BATTLE OF THE BIRDS, OR THE GRATEFUL RAVEN AND THE PRINCE 275 JACK AND THE BEANSTALK 277 Retold by Mary Lena Wilson TOM THUMB 280 Retold by Laura Clarke WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT 283 WILD ROBIN 287 Retold by Sophie May THE STORY OF MERLIN 291
JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES
THE CUB'S TRIUMPH 293 CHIN-CHIN KOBAKAMA 294 THE WONDERFUL MALLET 296 THE SELFISH SPARROW AND THE HOUSELESS CROWS 298 THE STORY OF ZIRAC 298 MY LORD BAG OF RICE 302 THE LITTLE HARE OF OKI 305 Retold by B. M. Burrell THE LITTLE BROTHER OF LOO-LEE LOO 309 By Margaret Johnson THE CURIOUS CASE OF AH-TOP 314 THE JACKAL AND THE CAMEL 316 HASHNU THE STONECUTTER 316 THE TIGER, THE BRAHMAN, AND THE JACKAL 318 THE STORY OF THE WILLOW PATTERN PLATE 319 Retold by M. Alston Buckley
BR'ER RABBIT AND HIS NEIGHBORS
BROTHER FOX'S TAR BABY 321 Translated by Joel Chandler Harris THE RABBIT AND THE PEAS 322 By Mrs. M. R. Allen BR'ER RABBIT'S FISHING 325 BR'ER POSSUM LOVES PEACE 326 BR'ER FOX TACKLES OLD BR'ER TARRYPIN 327 HOW COUSIN WILDCAT SERVED BR'ER FOX 329 PLANTATION STORIES 332 By Grace MacGowan Cooke
AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES
ROBIN REDBREAST 337 THE THREE WISHES 338 THE JOKER 340 LITTLE MOCCASIN'S RIDE ON THE THUNDER-HORSE 342 By Colonel Guido Ilges WAUKEWA'S EAGLE 348 By James Buckham A HURON CINDERELLA 352 By Howard Angus Kennedy THE FIRE BRINGER 356 By Mary Austin SCAR FACE 358 WHY THE BABY SAYS "GOO" 359 Retold by Ehrma G. Filer
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THE ROAD TO FAIRY LAND
The day is dull and dreary, And chilly winds and eerie Are sweeping through the tall oak trees that fringe the orchard lane. They send the dead leaves flying, And with a mournful crying They dash the western window-panes with slanting lines of rain. My little 'Trude and Teddy, Come quickly and make ready, Take down from off the highest shelf the book you think so grand. We'll travel off together, To lands of golden weather, For well we know the winding road that leads to Fairy Land.
A long, long road, no byway, The fairy kings' broad highway, Sometimes we'll see a castled hill stand up against the blue, And every brook that passes, A-whispering through the grasses, Is just a magic fountain filled with youth and health for you; And we'll meet fair princesses With shining golden tresses, Some pacing by on palfreys white, some humbly tending sheep; And merchants homeward faring, With goods beyond comparing, And in the hills are robber bands, who dwell in caverns deep.
Sometimes the road ascending, Around a mountain bending, Will lead us to the forests dark, and there among the pines Live woodmen, to whose dwelling Come wicked witches, telling Of wondrous gifts of golden wealth. There, too, are lonely mines. But busy gnomes have found them, And all night work around them, And sometimes leave a bag of gold at some poor cottage door. There waterfalls are splashing, And down the rocks are dashing, But we can hear the sprites' clear call above the torrent's roar.
Where quiet rivers glisten We'll sometimes stop and listen To tales a gray old hermit tells, or wandering minstrel's song. We'll loiter by the ferries, And pluck the wayside berries, And watch the gallant knights spur by in haste to right a wrong. Oh, little 'Trude and Teddy, For wonders, then, make ready, You'll see a shining gateway, and, within, a palace grand, Of elfin realm the center; But pause before you enter To pity all good folk who've missed the road to Fairy Land.
THE BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS GOLDENLOCKS
There was once a lovely Princess who had such beautiful golden hair that everyone called her Goldenlocks. She possessed everything that she wanted: she was lovely to look at, she had beautiful clothes, and great wealth, and besides all these, she was the Princess in a large kingdom.
In the country next to that of Goldenlocks there ruled a rich and handsome young King. When he heard about the charming Princess he decided that he wanted her for his Queen. The question was, of course, how to make her feel that she wanted him for her husband!
This young King did not go about his wooing after the manner of people that you and I know. He called one of the chief men of his court, and said: "You have heard of the lovely Princess Goldenlocks. I have determined that she shall be my bride. I want you to go and see her; tell her about me, and beg her to become my Queen."
Then the King ordered a great number of horses brought for the ambassador, and he directed his men to send more than a hundred servants also. You see, in that way he hoped to be able to impress the Princess with his wealth and importance.
The King was conceited, and did not think for a moment that any Princess, no matter how beautiful, would refuse to become his wife. So he ordered his servants to make great preparations for her coming, and to refurnish the palace. He told his ambassador to be sure to bring the Princess back with him.
The King waited with great impatience for the return of the ambassador, who had quite a long journey to make before he could get to the court of the Princess Goldenlocks. Then one day he appeared in the King's court.
"Where is my lovely bride?" the King asked eagerly, expecting the ambassador to say that she was in the next room, and would come in at once.
"Your Majesty," replied the ambassador, very sadly, "I could not bring the Princess to you. She sent you her thanks for your offer, but she could not accept the gifts which you sent her, and she will not marry you."
"What!" the King exclaimed indignantly, as he fingered the pearls and diamonds which he had sent Goldenlocks, and which she had sent back. "I and my jewels are not good enough for the Princess Goldenlocks!" And the King cried and cried, just as if he had not been grown up.
All the people in the court were greatly disturbed because the ambassador had failed in his mission. They felt themselves injured to think that Goldenlocks would not marry their King. There was one courtier, named Charming, who felt especially bad, for he was very fond of the King. He even said one day that he was certain that if the King had only let him go to Goldenlocks, she would have consented to a royal marriage.
Now, there were in that court some very jealous men, who thought that Charming was altogether too great a favorite with the King. When they heard him say that he could have won Goldenlocks for his master, they got together and agreed to tell the King that Charming was making silly boasts.
"Your majesty," one of them said, "Charming told us that if you had let him go to Goldenlocks she would never have refused to marry you. He thinks that he is so attractive that the Princess would have fallen in love with him immediately, and would have consented to go anywhere he wished with him."
"Villain!" the King exclaimed. "And I thought he was my friend."
Of course, you and I know that if the King himself had been any sort of a friend he would never have doubted the good faith of Charming just because someone else spoke evil of him. But what did the King do but order Charming put into a dungeon and given no food or water, so that the poor fellow should die of hunger!
Poor Charming was bewildered when the King's guards came to carry him off to prison. He could not imagine why the King had turned against him in this unfair way. It made him miserable enough to be in a cold, damp cell, with no food to eat, and no water to drink except that from a little stream which flowed through the cell. He had no bed—just a dirty pile of straw. But all these discomforts were as nothing to the worry he had as to why the King, whom he had always liked, had treated him so unjustly. He used to talk to himself about it. One day he said, as he had thought dozens of times before:
"What have I done that my kindest friend, to whom I have always been faithful, should have turned against me and left me to die in this prison cell?"
As luck would have it, the King himself was passing by the dungeon where Charming was confined when he spoke these words, and the King heard them. Perhaps the King's better self had been telling him that he ought at least to have given Charming a chance to tell his side of the story before condemning him to die. I do not know. At any rate when he heard this voice coming out of the dungeon he insisted on going in at once to see Charming.
"Your Gracious Majesty," said Charming, "I could not believe that it was really your wish that I be confined in this cell. All my life I have had no wish but to serve you faithfully."
"Charming!" the King exclaimed, "can this be true! They told me that you have made fun of me because the Princess Goldenlocks had refused to marry me."
"I, Your Majesty, mocked you?" Charming was astonished. "That is not true. It is true, however, that I said that if you would send me to Goldenlocks I believed I could persuade her to become your wife, because I know so many good things about you which I would tell her. I could paint such a lovely picture of you that she could not possibly help falling in love with your Majesty."
Then the King knew that he had been deceived by his courtiers, and he felt that he had been very silly to believe them. He took Charming with him to the palace right away, and, after having the best supper which the cooks could prepare served for Charming, the King asked him to go and see whether it was not yet possible to persuade Goldenlocks to marry him.
Charming did not set off with any such retinue of servants as had the other ambassador. The King gave him letters to the Princess, and Charming picked out one present for her—a lovely scarf embroidered with pearls.
The next morning Charming started out. He had armed himself with a notebook and pencil. As he rode along he thought much about what he might say to the Princess that would make her want to marry his King.
One day as he rode along he saw a deer stretching out its neck to reach the leaves of the tree above it. "What a graceful creature!" thought Charming. "I will tell Goldenlocks that the King is as graceful as a deer." Then on the road ahead he saw a great shadow, cast by an eagle in its flight. "How swift and strong that eagle is," he mused. "I will tell the Princess that the King is like the eagle in strength and swiftness and majesty."
Charming got off his horse and sat down by a brook to jot down his thoughts in his notebook. As he opened his book to write he saw, struggling in the grass by his side, a golden carp. The fish had jumped too high when it tried to catch a fly, and had landed on the ground. The poor creature was helpless to get back into the water, and was gasping for breath; fish, you know, cannot live long out of water. Charming felt so sorry for the carp that he could not write until he had put it carefully back into the brook.
"Thank you, Charming," said a voice from the water. Charming had never heard a fish speak before, and you can imagine that he was mightily surprised. "Some day I will repay this kindness."
For several days after this adventure Charming journeyed on. Then, one morning, he heard a great crying in the air, above him. A huge vulture was pursuing a raven. The vulture was drawing closer and closer to its prey—was almost upon it. Charming could not stand idly by and watch the helpless little raven fight against its enormous enemy. He drew his bow, and shot an arrow straight into the vulture's heart. The raven flew down, and as it passed Charming it said gratefully: "I have you to thank that I am not now in that great vulture's beak. I will remember your great kindness."
Not long afterward, Charming came upon a great net which men had stretched in the woods in order to catch birds. A poor owl was caught in it. "Men are cruel creatures," thought Charming. "I don't think it is very kind or praiseworthy to set a trap for these creatures who do no one any harm." And Charming proceeded to cut the net and set the owl free.
The owl flapped its wings noisily as it flew out of the net. "Thank you, Charming," it said. "You know I can't see well in the daylight, and I did not notice this trap. I shall never forget that I have you to thank for my being alive."
Charming found Goldenlocks surrounded by a splendor greater than any he had ever seen before. Pearls and diamonds were so plentiful that he began to think they must grow on trees in this kingdom! It worried him a little, for he thought he would have to be very clever to persuade Goldenlocks to leave so much luxury.
With fear and trembling Charming presented himself at the door of Princess Goldenlocks' palace on the morning after his arrival. He had dressed himself with the greatest care in a handsome suit of crimson velvet. On his head was a hat of the same brocaded material, trimmed with waving ostrich plumes, which were fastened to his hat with a clasp set with flashing diamonds. A messenger was sent at once to the Princess to announce his arrival.
"Your Majesty," the messenger said. "There is the most handsome gentleman sent from a King awaiting you below. He is dressed like a Prince, and he is the most charming person I have ever seen. In fact, his very name is Charming."
"His name sounds as if I would like him," said the Princess, musingly. "I will see him presently. Honora, bring me my best blue satin gown—the one embroidered with pearls."
Then the Princess had a fresh wreath of pink roses made to wind in her lovely golden hair; Honora pushed tiny blue satin slippers on the feet of her mistress, and handed her an exquisite silver lace fan. Then Goldenlocks was all ready. She assumed her most princess-like manner, and entered the great throne room. You may be sure, however, that she stopped on the way, in the hall of mirrors, to see that she really deserved all the compliments which her handmaids gave her.
When Goldenlocks was seated on the throne of gold and ivory, and her handmaids were posed gracefully about her, playing idly on guitars, Charming was brought in. He was as though struck dumb by the beauty which greeted his eyes. He forgot for the moment all that he had intended to say—all the long harangue prepared so carefully on the way. Then he took a deep breath, and began, just as he had intended, with:
"Most lovely Princess Goldenlocks, I have come to ask your hand in marriage for the most noble King in the world."
I think his speech must have been very interesting, for Goldenlocks did not take her eyes from Charming's face during the hour in which Charming described the glories of his King.
"What, O most gracious Princess, may I take to the King as an answer to his plea?" Charming finally inquired.
"Tell him," said Goldenlocks kindly, "I believe that no King who was not worthy and charming himself could have an ambassador like you."
"But," she added after a pause, "tell him also that Goldenlocks may not marry. I have taken a solemn vow that I will not marry until a ring which I lost in the brook a month ago is found. I valued that ring more than my whole kingdom, but it cannot be found."
Charming went away disheartened, because he did not have the slightest idea how to go about finding the Princess's ring. Luckily for him, he had brought with him a cunning little dog named Frisk. Frisk was a light-hearted creature. He always was hopeful. So he said to Charming:
"Why, master, let us not give up hope without even trying. Let's go down to the brook to-morrow morning and see if we can't find the Princess's bothersome ring."
So, bright and early the next day, Charming and Frisk walked slowly along the edge of the brook which flowed near the palace, hunting for the ring. They walked for about half an hour, when a voice spoke to them out of nowhere:
"Well, Charming, I have kept my promise. You once saved my life, you know. Now I have brought you the Princess Goldenlocks' ring."
Charming looked up and down and all around in great amazement. Then, at his very feet, he saw the golden carp which he had rescued a few days before; and, best of all, in the carp's mouth was the Princess's gold ring.
With joy in his heart Charming rushed to the palace, with Frisk dancing along at his heels. Goldenlocks was disappointed to hear that he had come back so soon. "He must have given up already," she told her handmaids, as she made ready to receive Charming.
When Charming entered the Princess's throne room he did not say a word; he simply handed her the ring.
"My ring!" the Princess called out in amazement. "You have found it!" And she seemed delighted that Charming had succeeded.
"Now," said Charming, with something of assurance, "you will make ready to return to my King with me, will you not?"
"Oh, no!" the Princess cried, as if she had never thought of such a thing. "I can never marry until an awful enemy of mine is killed. There is a fierce giant who lives near here. He once asked me to marry him, and I, of course, refused. It made him very angry. He swore vengeance upon me, and I am afraid to leave my kingdom while he is alive. I think the creature—his name is Galifron—can really have no human heart at all, for he can kill two or three or four persons a day without feeling anything but joy in his crimes."
Charming shuddered at this appalling picture of his enemy-to-be.
"If it be in my power so to do, Princess Goldenlocks, I will slay your enemy." With these words Charming turned on his heels and left the palace.
Frisk realized that Charming was worried about the difficult new task which Goldenlocks had given him. "Never you worry, Master," he said cheerfully. "If you will but attack the monster I will bark and bite at his heels until he won't know what he is doing. He will be so confused that I know you will be able to conquer him."
Charming rode up to the giant's castle boldly enough. He knew the monster was coming toward him, because he could hear the crash of trees which broke under the huge feet. Then he heard a voice roaring like thunder:
"Poof, woof, clear the way! Bing, bang, 'tis to-day! Zip, zook, I must slay! Whizz, fizz, the King's pet, Charming! Pish, tush, isn't it alarming!"
Charming trembled, and he could feel the cold perspiration stand out on his brow. But he took a deep breath, and shouted as loud as he could (which was not nearly as loud as the giant could):
"Galifron, take warning, For your day is ending. Prepare to find that Charming Is really quite alarming!"
Galifron was so high above Charming that he had to hunt quite hard before he could discover who was saying these words. When he saw the little fellow standing ready to fight him he laughed, and yet he was angry. He lifted his great club and would have knocked the life out of Charming in a trice, but suddenly he could not see. He roared with pain, for a raven had plucked out his eyes. Galifron beat wildly in the air, trying to protect himself from the bird; meanwhile Charming seized his opportunity, and it was only a moment until Galifron lay at Charming's feet. Only Galifron was so big that Charming had to stand on top of him in order to make sure that he was really dead.
To the Princess, Charming rode back as fast as his horse could carry him. In front of him, on his saddle, he carried the giant's head. The Princess was taking her afternoon nap, when she was awakened by loud shouts of "Hail, Charming! Hail, conqueror of hideous Galifron!"
Goldenlocks could scarcely believe her ears. She rushed to the front of the palace, and sure enough, there she was greeted by Charming, bearing her enemy's head.
It seemed as if such a feat of daring should have been enough to satisfy even Goldenlocks.
"Now, fair Princess, will you not return with me to my King?"
"Charming, I cannot," said the Princess; and to Charming her words sounded like the stroke of doom. "Before I marry I must have some water from the spring of eternal youth. This spring is at the bottom of Gloomy Cavern—a great cave not far from here, which is guarded by two fierce dragons. If I have a flask from that spring I shall always remain young and beautiful. I should never dare to marry without its protection."
"Beautiful Goldenlocks, you could never be anything but young and beautiful; but I will none the less try to fulfill your mission."
Even though Charming had just conquered a giant he did not feel very comfortable at the idea of having to find his way past two dragons into a dark and gloomy cavern. He approached the cavern with much determination, but with many misgivings. When Frisk saw the black smoke belching out of the rocks at the entrance of the cavern the dog shook all over with fear; and I have been told that when Charming saw Frisk run off and try to hide, he himself would have been very glad if he could have run away, too. But being a man, he, of course, had to be brave; so he set his teeth and approached the cave.
Then he saw the first dragon—a huge, slimy creature, all yellow and green, with great red claws, and a tail which seemed to Charming to be nearly a mile long.
Charming turned back and called to Frisk. "Dear Frisk," he said sadly, "I know I shall never see the light of day again if I enter this cavern. Wait here for me until nightfall; then, if I have not come back, go and tell the Princess that I have lost my life trying to win for her eternal youth and beauty. Then tell the King that I did my best for him, but failed."
Charming turned again to attack the dragon.
"Wait a minute, Charming!"
Charming looked around to see who spoke these words. "It's I, Charming, the owl you rescued from the net the fowlers set for us poor birds. Let me take Goldenlocks' flask, and I will fetch the water for you. I know every turn of that dark cavern, and the dragons will not notice whether I pass them or not." And the owl took the flask out of Charming's hand, fluttered into the cavern, and disappeared.
"Here you are, Charming. You see I did not forget your kindness to me." With these words the owl handed to Charming the flask full of water from the magic spring. Charming was so happy that he could hardly find words to thank the owl. He rode straight to Goldenlocks with the wonderful liquid.
"Beautiful Goldenlocks, here is the water you asked me to get for you. My mind cannot conceive of anything, however, which would add to your beauty. I do know, however, something which would add to your happiness. I have found your ring, slain your enemy, brought you the secret of youth and health; now will you not come with me to my King, who loves you so much that he will make you the happiest woman on earth?"
"Yes," said Goldenlocks, softly. Her answer really surprised Charming very much, because he had come to think that she would never cease to find new tasks for him to perform. She gave orders at once for the necessary preparations for the journey, and in a few days she and Charming and little Frisk set out for home, with a great retinue of servants, of course.
The King greeted them with the greatest enthusiasm. He proclaimed a holiday throughout his kingdom, and every one feasted and danced.
But, strange to say, the Princess Goldenlocks found herself daily thinking more and more, not of the King, but of Charming.
One day Charming found himself once more in prison, bound hand and foot. The King thought this would be a good way to rid himself of his rival.
Goldenlocks used to beg the King to set Charming free, but that only made things worse. Little Frisk was Charming's only comfort; he used to take him all the court news.
"Maybe," said the King to himself one day, "the reason Goldenlocks prefers Charming to me is that I am not beautiful enough to suit her. I believe I will try some of that water of eternal beauty and health that she is always talking about."
Without a word to anyone the King stole into the Queen's room and hunted about until he found the flask of water. He bathed his face in the water and stood in front of a mirror to watch the change. A few hours later the Queen found him sound asleep. She could not awaken him, and they sent for the court physician; he could not rouse the King. "The King," the physician told the Queen, "is dead."
Now this is what had happened. One day when the Princess's maid Honora was cleaning her room she knocked over the flask which contained the precious water, and broke it in a thousand pieces. Honora was terribly frightened. She would not have let the Princess know what had occurred for anything. She remembered seeing a flask in the King's room just like the one she had broken, and she put it in the very spot from which she had knocked the other.
Unluckily for the King, the maid took a flask which contained a deadly water which was used to "do away" with criminals.
"Woof, woof!" said Frisk in the Queen's ear. "Please have pity on my poor master, good Queen! Remember all he did for you, and how he is suffering for your sake now!"
Goldenlocks at once left the room where the King's body lay in state and went to the tower where Charming was confined. She opened his cell and set him free. She put a golden crown on his head, and removed the chains from his wrists and ankles.
"King Charming!" said the Queen, "now you and I shall be married, and—live happily ever after!"
PRINCE HYACINTH AND THE DEAR LITTLE PRINCESS
BY MADAME LEPRINCE DE BEAUMONT
Once upon a time there lived a King who was deeply in love with a Princess, but she could not marry anyone, because she was under an enchantment. So the King set out to seek a fairy, and asked what he could do to win the Princess's love. The Fairy said to him:
"You know that the Princess has a great cat which she is very fond of. Whoever is clever enough to tread on that cat's tail is the man she is destined to marry."
The King said to himself that this would not be very difficult; and he left the Fairy, determined to grind the cat's tail to powder rather than not tread on it at all.
You may imagine that it was not long before he went to see the Princess; and puss, as usual, marched in before him, arching its back. The King took a long step, and quite thought he had the tail under his foot, but the cat turned round so sharply that he trod only on air. And so it went on for eight days, till the King began to think that this fatal tail must be full of quick-silver—it was never still for a moment.
At last, however, he was lucky enough to come upon puss fast asleep and with its tail conveniently spread out. So the King, without losing a moment, set his foot upon it heavily.
With one terrific yell the cat sprang up and instantly changed into a tall man, who, fixing his angry eyes upon the King, said:
"You shall marry the Princess because you have been able to break the enchantment, but I will have my revenge. You shall have a son, who will never be happy until he finds out that his nose is too long, and if you ever tell anyone what I have just said to you, you shall vanish away instantly, and no one shall ever see you or hear of you again."
Though the King was horribly afraid of the enchanter, he could not help laughing at this threat.
"If my son has such a long nose as that," he said to himself, "he must always see it or feel it; at least, if he is not blind or without hands."
But, as the enchanter had vanished, he did not waste any more time in thinking, but went to seek the Princess, who very soon consented to marry him. But after all, they had not been married very long when the King died, and the Queen had nothing left to care for but her little son, who was called Hyacinth. The little Prince had large blue eyes, the prettiest eyes in the world, and a sweet little mouth, but, alas! his nose was so enormous that it covered half his face. The Queen was inconsolable when she saw this great nose, but her ladies assured her that it was not really as large as it looked; that it was a Roman nose, and you had only to open any history book to see that every hero has a large nose. The Queen, who was devoted to her baby, was pleased with what they told her, and when she looked at Hyacinth again, his nose certainly did not seem to her quite so large.
The Prince was brought up with great care; and, as soon as he could speak, they told him all sorts of dreadful stories about people who had short noses. No one was allowed to come near him whose nose did not more or less resemble his own, and the courtiers, to get into favor with the Queen, took to pulling their babies' noses several times every day to make them grow long. But, do what they would, they were nothing by comparison with the Prince's.
When he grew older he learned history; and whenever any great prince or beautiful princess was spoken of, his teachers took care to tell him that they had long noses.
His room was hung with pictures, all of people with very large noses; and the Prince grew up so convinced that a long nose was a great beauty that he would not on any account have had his own a single inch shorter!
When his twentieth birthday was past, the Queen thought it was time that he should be married, so she commanded that the portraits of several princesses should be brought for him to see, and among the others was a picture of the Dear Little Princess!
Now, she was the daughter of a great King, and would some day possess several kingdoms herself; but Prince Hyacinth had not a thought to spare for anything of that sort, he was so much struck with her beauty. The Princess, whom he thought quite charming, had, however, a little saucy nose, which, in her face, was the prettiest thing possible, but it was a cause of great embarrassment to the courtiers, who had got into such a habit of laughing at little noses that they sometimes found themselves laughing at hers before they had time to think; but this did not do at all before the Prince, who quite failed to see the joke, and actually banished two of his courtiers who had dared to mention disrespectfully the Dear Little Princess's tiny nose!
The others, taking warning from this, learned to think twice before they spoke, and one even went so far as to tell the Prince that, though it was quite true that no man could be worth anything unless he had a long nose, still, a woman's beauty was a different thing, and he knew a learned man who understood Greek and had read in some old manuscripts that the beautiful Cleopatra herself had a "tip-tilted" nose!
The Prince made him a splendid present as a reward for this good news, and at once sent ambassadors to ask the Dear Little Princess in marriage. The King, her father, gave his consent; and Prince Hyacinth, who, in his anxiety to see the Princess, had gone three leagues to meet her, was just advancing to kiss her hand when, to the horror of all who stood by, the enchanter appeared as suddenly as a flash of lightning, and, snatching up the Dear Little Princess, whirled her away out of their sight!
The Prince was left quite inconsolable, and declared that nothing should induce him to go back to his kingdom until he had found her again, and refusing to allow any of his courtiers to follow him, he mounted his horse and rode sadly away, letting the animal choose its own path.
So it happened that he came presently to a great plain, across which he rode all day long without seeing a single house, and horse and rider were terribly hungry, when, as the night fell, the Prince caught sight of a light.
He rode up to it, and saw a little old woman, who appeared to be at least a hundred years old.
She put on her spectacles to look at Prince Hyacinth, but it was quite a long time before she could fix them securely, because her nose was so very short.
The Prince and the Fairy (for that was who she was) had no sooner looked at one another than they went into fits of laughter, and cried at the same moment, "Oh, what a funny nose!"
"Not so funny as your own," said Prince Hyacinth to the Fairy; "but, madam, I beg you to leave the consideration of our noses—such as they are—and to be good enough to give me something to eat, for I am starving, and so is my poor horse."
"With all my heart!" said the Fairy. "Though your nose is so ridiculous, you are, nevertheless, the son of my best friend. I loved your father as if he had been my brother. Now he had a very handsome nose!"
"And pray, what does mine lack?" said the Prince.
"Oh! it doesn't lack anything," replied the Fairy. "On the contrary quite, there is only too much of it. But never mind, one may be a very worthy man though his nose is too long. I was telling you that I was your father's friend; he often came to see me in the old times, and you must know that I was very pretty in those days; at least, he used to say so. I should like to tell you of a conversation we had the last time I ever saw him."
"Indeed," said the Prince, "when I have supped it will give me the greatest pleasure to hear it; but consider, madam, I beg of you, that I have had nothing to eat to-day."
"The poor boy is right," said the Fairy; "I was forgetting. Come in, then, and I will give you some supper, and while you are eating I can tell you my story in a very few words—for I don't like endless tales myself. Too long a tongue is worse than too long a nose, and I remember when I was young that I was so much admired for not being a great chatterer. They used to tell the Queen, my mother, that it was so. For though you see what I am now, I was the daughter of a great king. My father—"
"Your father, I dare say, got something to eat when he was hungry!" interrupted the Prince.
"Oh! certainly," answered the Fairy, "and you also shall have supper directly. I only just wanted to tell you—"
"But I really cannot listen to anything until I have had something to eat," cried the Prince, who was getting quite angry; but then, remembering that he had better be polite as he much needed the Fairy's help, he added:
"I know that in the pleasure of listening to you I should quite forget my own hunger; but my horse, who cannot hear you, must really be fed!"
The Fairy was very much flattered by this compliment, and said, calling to her servants:
"You shall not wait another minute, you are so polite, and in spite of the enormous size of your nose you are really very agreeable."
"Plague take the old lady! How she does go on about my nose!" said the Prince to himself. "One would almost think that mine had taken all the extra length that hers lacks! If I were not so hungry I would soon have done with this chatterpie who thinks she talks very little! How stupid people are not to see their own faults! That comes of being a princess; she has been spoilt by flatterers, who have made her believe that she is quite a moderate talker!"
Meanwhile the servants were putting the supper on the table, and the Prince was much amused to hear the Fairy, who asked them a thousand questions simply for the pleasure of hearing herself speak; especially he noticed one maid who, no matter what was being said, always contrived to praise her mistress's wisdom.
"Well!" he thought, as he ate his supper. "I'm very glad I came here. This just shows me how sensible I have been in never listening to flatterers. People of that sort praise us to our faces without shame, and hide our faults or change them into virtues. For my part I never will be taken in by them. I know my own defects, I hope."
Poor Prince Hyacinth! He really believed what he said, and hadn't an idea that the people who had praised his nose were laughing at him, just as the Fairy's maid was laughing at her; for the Prince had seen her laugh slyly when she could do so without the Fairy's noticing her.
However, he said nothing, and presently, when his hunger began to be appeased, the Fairy said:
"My dear Prince, might I beg you to move a little more that way, for your nose casts such a shadow that I really cannot see what I have on my plate. Ah! thanks. Now let us speak of your father. When I went to his Court he was only a little boy, but that is forty years ago, and I have been in this desolate place ever since. Tell me what goes on nowadays; are the ladies as fond of amusement as ever? In my time one saw them at parties, theaters, balls, and promenades every day. Dear me! What a long nose you have! I cannot get used to it!"
"Really, madam," said the Prince, "I wish you would leave off mentioning my nose. It cannot matter to you what it is like. I am quite satisfied with it, and have no wish to have it shorter. One must take what is given one."
"Now you are angry with me, my poor Hyacinth," said the Fairy, "and I assure you that I didn't mean to vex you; on the contrary, I wished to do you a service. However, though I really cannot help your nose being a shock to me, I will try not to say anything about it. I will even try to think that you have an ordinary nose. To tell the truth, it would make three reasonable ones."
The Prince, who was no longer hungry, grew so impatient at the Fairy's continual remarks about his nose that at last he threw himself upon his horse and rode hastily away. But wherever he came in his journey he thought the people were mad, for they all talked of his nose, and yet he could not bring himself to admit that it was too long, he had been so used all his life to hear it called handsome.
The old Fairy, who wished to make him happy, at last hit upon a plan. She shut the Dear Little Princess up in a palace of crystal, and put this palace down where the Prince could not fail to find it. His joy at seeing the Princess again was extreme, and he set to work with all his might to try to break her prison, but in spite of all his efforts he failed utterly. In despair he thought at least that he would try to get near enough to speak to the Dear Little Princess, who, on her part, stretched out her hand that he might kiss it; but turn which way he might, he never could raise it to his lips, for his long nose always prevented it. For the first time he realized how long it really was, and exclaimed:
"Well, it must be admitted that my nose is too long!"
In an instant the crystal prison flew into a thousand splinters, and the old Fairy, taking the Dear Little Princess by the hand, said to the Prince:
"Now, say if you are not very much obliged to me. Much good it was for me to talk to you about your nose! You would never have found out how extraordinary it was if it hadn't hindered you from doing what you wanted to. You see how self-love keeps us from knowing our own defects of mind and body. Our reason tries in vain to show them to us; we refuse to see them till we find them in our way."
Prince Hyacinth, whose nose was now just like anyone else's, did not fail to profit by the lesson he had received. He married the Dear Little Princess, and they lived happily ever after.
BY CHARLES PERRAULT
Once there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former husband, two daughters of her own humor, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by his first wife, a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world.
No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the step-mother began to show herself in her true colors. She could not bear the good qualities of this pretty girl, and the less because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. She employed her in the meanest work of the house: the young girl scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and scrubbed madam's chamber, and those of misses, her daughters; she lay up in a sorry garret, upon a wretched straw bed, while her sisters lay in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, upon beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking glasses so large that they might see themselves at their full length from head to foot.
The poor girl bore all patiently, and dared not tell her father, who would have rattled her off; for his wife governed him entirely. When she had done her work, she used to go into the chimney-corner, and sit down among cinders and ashes, which made her commonly be called Cinderwench; but the youngest, who was not so rude and uncivil as the eldest, called her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, notwithstanding her mean apparel, was a hundred times handsomer than her sisters, though they were always dressed very richly.
It happened that the King's son gave a ball, and invited all persons of fashion to it. Our young misses were also invited, for they cut a very grand figure among the quality. They were mightily delighted at this invitation, and wonderfully busy in choosing out such gowns, petticoats, and head-clothes as might become them. This was a new trouble to Cinderella; for it was she who ironed her sister's linen, and plaited their ruffles; they talked all day long of nothing but how they should be dressed.
"For my part," said the eldest, "I will wear my red velvet suit with French trimming."
"And I," said the youngest, "shall have my usual petticoat; but then, to make amends for that, I will put on my gold-flowered manteau, and my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the most ordinary one in the world."
They sent for the best tire-woman they could get to dress their hair and to adjust their double pinners.
Cinderella was likewise called up to them to be consulted in all these matters, for she had excellent notions, and advised them always for the best, nay, and offered her services to dress their heads, which they were very willing she should do. As she was doing this, they said to her:
"Cinderella, would you not be glad to go to the ball?"
"Alas!" said she, "you only jeer at me; it is not for such as I am to go thither."
"Thou art in the right of it," replied they; "it would make the people laugh to see a Cinderwench at a ball."
Anyone but Cinderella would have dressed their heads awry, but she was very good, and did them perfectly well. They were almost two days without eating, so much they were transported with joy. They broke above a dozen of laces in trying to be laced up close, that they might have a fine slender shape, and they were continually at their looking-glasses. At last the happy day came; they went to Court, and Cinderella followed them with her eyes as long as she could, and when she had lost sight of them, she fell a-crying.
Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was the matter.
"I wish I could—I wish I could—" she was not able to speak the rest, being interrupted by her tears and sobbing.
This godmother of hers, who was a fairy, said to her, "Thou wishest thou couldst go to the ball; is it not so?"
"Y—es," cried Cinderella, with a great sigh.
"Well," said her godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will contrive that thou shalt go." Then she took her into her chamber, and said to her, "Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin."
Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could make her go to the ball. Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, having left nothing but the rind; which done, she struck it with her wand, and the pumpkin was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.
She then went to look into the mouse-trap, where she found six mice, all alive, and ordered Cinderella to lift up a little the trap-door, when, giving each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, the mouse was that moment turned into a fine horse, which altogether made a very fine set of six horses of a beautiful mouse-colored dapple-gray. Being at a loss for a coachman,
"I will go and see," says Cinderella, "if there should be a rat in the rat-trap—we may make a coachman of him."
"Thou art in the right," replied her godmother; "go and look."
Cinderella brought the trap to her and in it there were three huge rats. The fairy made choice of one of the three which had the largest beard, and, having touched him with her wand, he was turned into a fat, jolly coachman, who had the smartest whiskers eyes ever beheld. After that, she said to her:
"Go again into the garden, and you will find six lizards behind the watering-pot, bring them to me."
She had no sooner done so than her godmother turned them into six footmen, who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their liveries all bedaubed with gold and silver, and clung as close behind each other as if they had done nothing else their whole lives. The Fairy then said to Cinderella:
"Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball with; are you not pleased with it?"
"Oh! yes," cried she; "but must I go thither as I am, in these nasty rags?"
Her godmother only just touched her with her wand, and, at the same instant, her clothes were turned into cloth of gold and silver, all beset with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the whole world. Being thus decked out, she got up into her coach; but her godmother, above all things, commanded her not to stay till after midnight, telling her, at the same time, that if she stayed one moment longer, the coach would be a pumpkin again, her horses mice, her coachman a rat, her footmen lizards, and her clothes become just as they were before.
She promised her godmother she would not fail of leaving the ball before midnight; and then away she drove, scarce able to contain herself for joy. The King's son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody knew, was come, ran out to receive her; he gave her his hand as she alighted out of the coach, and led her into the hall, among all the company. There was immediately a profound silence, they left off dancing and the violins ceased to play, so attentive was everyone to contemplate the singular beauties of the unknown new-comer. Nothing was then heard but a confused noise of:
"Ah! how handsome she is! Ah! how handsome she is!"
The King himself, old as he was, could not help watching her, and telling the Queen softly that it was a long time since he had seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.
All the ladies were busied in considering her clothes and head-dress, that they might have some made next day after the same pattern, provided they could meet with such fine materials and as able hands to make them.
The King's son conducted her to the most honorable seat, and afterward took her out to dance with him; she danced so very gracefully that they all more and more admired her. A fine collation was served up, whereof the young Prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing on her.
She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand civilities, giving them part of the oranges and citrons which the Prince had presented her with, which very much surprised them, for they did not know her. While Cinderella was thus amusing her sisters, she heard the clock strike eleven and three-quarters, whereupon she immediately made a courtesy to the company and hastened away as fast as she could.
Arrived at home, she ran to seek out her godmother, and, after having thanked her, she said she could not but heartily wish she might go next day to the ball, because the King's son had desired her.
As she was eagerly telling her godmother whatever had passed at the ball, her two sisters knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran and opened.
"How long you have stayed!" cried she, gaping, rubbing her eyes and stretching herself as if she had been just waked out of her sleep; she had not, however, any manner of inclination to sleep since they went from home.
"If thou hadst been at the ball," says one of her sisters, "thou wouldst not have been tired with it. There came thither the finest princess, the most beautiful ever seen with mortal eyes; she showed us a thousand civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons."
Cinderella seemed very indifferent in the matter. She did ask them the name of that princess; but they told her they did not know it, and that the King's son was very uneasy on her account and would give all the world to know who she was. At this Cinderella, smiling, replied:
"She must, then, be very beautiful indeed; how happy you have been! Could not I see her? Ah! dear Miss Charlotte, do lend me your yellow suit of clothes which you wear every day."
"Ay, to be sure!" cried Miss Charlotte; "lend my clothes to such a dirty Cinderwench as thou art! I should be a fool."
Cinderella, indeed, expected well such an answer, and was very glad of the refusal; for she would have been sadly put to it if her sister had lent her what she asked for jestingly.
The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderella, but dressed more magnificently than before. The King's son was always by her, and never ceased his compliments and kind speeches to her. All this was so far from being tiresome that she quite forgot what her godmother had recommended to her; so that she, at last, counted the clock striking twelve when she took it to be no more than eleven. She then rose up and fled, as nimble as a deer. The Prince followed, but could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which the Prince took up most carefully. She got home, but quite out of breath, and in her nasty old clothes, having nothing left her of all her finery but one of the little slippers, fellow to that she dropped.
The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not seen a princess go out. To this they replied that they had seen nobody go out but a young girl, very meanly dressed, and who had more the air of a poor country wench than a gentlewoman.
When the two sisters returned from the ball Cinderella asked them whether they had had a good time, and if the fine lady had been there.
They told her: "Yes, but she hurried away immediately when it struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the King's son picked up; he did nothing but look at her all the time at the ball, and most certainly he is very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the glass slipper."
What they said was very true; for a few days after the King's son caused it to be proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, that he would marry her whose foot this slipper would just fit. They whom he employed began to try it upon the princesses, then the duchesses and all the Court, but in vain; it was brought to the two sisters, who did all they possibly could to thrust their foot into the slipper, but they could not effect it. Cinderella, who saw all this, and knew her slipper, said to them, laughing:
"Let me see if it will not fit me."
Her sisters burst out a-laughing, and began to banter her. The gentleman who was sent to try the slipper looked earnestly at Cinderella, and, finding her very handsome, said:
"It is but just that she should try, and I have orders to let everyone make trial."
He obliged Cinderella to sit down, and, putting the slipper to her foot, he found it went on very easily, and fitted her as if it had been made of wax. The astonishment her two sisters were in was excessively great, but still abundantly greater when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper, and put it on her foot. Thereupon, in came her godmother, who, having touched with her wand Cinderella's clothes, made them richer and more magnificent than any of those she had before.
And now her two sisters found her to be that fine, beautiful lady whom they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all the ill-treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and, as she embraced them, cried:
"I forgive you with all my heart, and I want you to love me always."
She was conducted to the young Prince, dressed as she was; he thought her more charming than ever, and, a few days after, married her. Cinderella, who was no less good than beautiful, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace, and that very same day matched them with two great lords of the Court.
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
ADAPTED FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM
The King and Queen of a faraway country once had a little daughter, who was more beautiful than any child that had ever before been seen. Her father and mother were so delighted that they proclaimed a public holiday on her christening, and invited to act as godmothers the seven good fairies who lived in the kingdom. Unfortunately, they forgot to ask one ugly old fairy, who had remained shut up in her tower so many years that people really had forgotten about her.
When the night of the christening arrived the castle was beautiful to behold. Lights shone even to the highest tower; beautiful music sounded from behind masses of fragrant flowers; splendidly dressed knights and ladies were there to honor the little Princess; and the seven good fairies smilingly gave her their gifts.
So excited and happy were all that no one noticed an old creature who had slipped in and stood in the shadow looking on. This was the fairy who had not been invited; and, in anger at the slight, she was waiting her chance to make trouble.
"For my gift," said the first fairy, "I grant that the Princess shall be the most beautiful person in the world."
"I give her the mind of an angel," said the second.
"She shall be grace itself," said the third.
"She shall dance like a goddess," said the fourth.
"Her voice shall equal the nightingale's," said the fifth.
"The art of playing on all musical instruments shall be hers," said the sixth.
Now the wicked old enchantress thought that all seven good fairies had spoken, so she stepped forth, her face distorted with hatred and envy, and said: "So I am not thought good enough to be a guest here: you despise me because I am old and ugly. I shall make a gift, and it shall be a curse. When your fine young lady becomes sixteen she shall fall asleep, and nothing you can do will be able to waken her."
Then with a horrid laugh the hag disappeared.
Horror seized the guests, and the party, which had been so gay, became solemn indeed.
Then the seventh good fairy sprang up and said in silvery tones: "My gift is yet to be laid before the Princess. I am young, and I can not undo the evil that has befallen. But be not unhappy, for I grant that on the day when the curse falls, every living thing in the castle shall also fall asleep. Moreover, I grant that whenever there is a Prince who is brave enough to be worthy of this lovely Princess, he shall find a way to break the spell."
As the little girl grew older the words of the good fairies came true. Not only was she beautiful and gifted, but she was so kind and thoughtful that everyone loved her dearly.
At first they were very careful to tell her nothing of the wicked fairy's curse, and then there were so many other things to think about that people forgot all about the old fairy and her gift.
The sixteenth birthday arrived, and there was a very special celebration to please the Princess. The castle was decorated more beautifully, if possible, than on the night of the christening, and everyone was dancing or laughing and as happy as could be. Suddenly the old fairy stepped out from a shadow, as she had done years before, and looking at the beautiful girl said, "Sleep." Immediately not one sound or stir was in that gorgeous castle.
Now, you must forget for a bit all about the Sleeping Beauty, and hear about a noble Prince who was born many years later in a kingdom not far from this one. Not only was this Prince handsome and brave, but he was so kind and good that people called him "Prince Winsome."
All his life he had heard terrible stories about an enchanted castle, whose towers could be seen on a clear day far off above a dense forest. It was said that the trees grew so close together in this forest that when a knight attempted to force his way through, he always became entangled in the branches and perished. Many young men were said to have met this fate; so little by little people stopped trying to reach the castle.
But the little Prince was courageous. "When I am sixteen, I shall start out for the magic forest and rescue the beautiful maiden, whom, I am sure, I shall find in the castle," he said.
True to his word, on his sixteenth birthday our Prince set off eagerly on his adventure. His courtiers urged him not to go, and his subjects pleaded with him, for they did not wish to lose their Prince. They were afraid he would die in the forest they so dreaded. They did not realize how difficulties and dangers give way before a brave, true-hearted youth.
When Prince Winsome reached the edge of the dense forest it looked as if no man could ever enter. Great trees grew close together with their branches intertwined. So thick were they that the place looked as dark as night. When Winsome came near, a marvelous thing happened. The branches slowly untwined and the trees seemed to bend apart and make a narrow pathway for his entrance. They closed immediately after him, so that his followers were closed out and he went on alone. After a long time he found himself in the courtyard of a great castle. There was not a sound or a stir; the watchman stood sleeping at the gate, and the guards were standing as if playing a game of dice, but all were sound asleep.
Prince Winsome entered the castle hall and found it full of noble ladies and knights, servants, waiting maids, flower girls, all motionless and yet the flush of life on their cheeks. The dancers seemed about to whirl away in the waltz; the musicians bent over their violins; and a servant was in the act of passing cakes to the guests—yet they all held the same fixed position, and had since that day years before when sleep overcame them.
Advancing from room to room the same sight everywhere met our hero's eyes, but his heart began to beat faster and faster, and he knew that the object of his search was near. At last he entered the throne room and there on an ivory throne, her head resting against a satin pillow, was his longed-for Princess. She was so much more beautiful than he had even imagined that he paused in rapture; then, crossing to her, he knelt by her side and kissed her tenderly on the brow.
Then what do you think happened? The Princess smiled, drew a long breath, opened her eyes slowly, and said: "Oh, my Prince! I knew you would come." At the same moment the musicians went on just where they had stopped playing so many years before; the dancers finished their waltz; the servant offered the cakes; and no one but the Prince seemed to think the proceeding strange at all.
The Sleeping Beauty and Prince Winsome were married at once, and lived long and happily.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
There was once a merchant who was extremely rich. He had six children—three boys and three girls; and as he was a very sensible man, he spared nothing on their education, but gave them all kinds of masters. His daughters were beautiful, but the youngest had such a peculiar charm about her that even from her birth she had been called Beauty; and this name caused her sisters to feel jealous and envious of her. The reason she was so much more admired than they were, was that she was much more amiable. Her sweet face beamed with good temper and cheerfulness. No frown ever spoiled her fair brow, or bowed the corners of her mouth. She possessed the charm of good temper, which is in itself beauty.
The merchant's elder daughters were idle, ill-tempered, and proud; therefore people soon forgot that they were beautiful, and only remembered them as very disagreeable.
The pride of these young ladies was so great that they did not care to visit the daughters of men in their father's own rank of life, but wished to be the friends of great ladies and princesses.
They were always busy trying to get great acquaintances, and met with many mortifications in the effort; however, it pleased them to go out and endeavor to be people of fashion. Every day they drove in the parks, and went in the evening to balls, operas, and plays.
Meantime, Beauty spent almost all her days in studying. Her recreation was to do good. She was to be found in every poor cottage where there was trouble or sickness, and the poor loved her as much as the rich admired her. As it was known that their father was very rich, many merchants asked the girls in marriage; but all these offers were refused, because the two eldest thought they ought at least to be wives of a rich nobleman or a prince.
As for Beauty, she thanked those who asked her to share their fortunes, but told them that she was too young; that she wished to be her father's companion, and cheer his old age by her loving care.
One unhappy day the merchant returned home in the evening, and told them that he was ruined; that his ships had gone down at sea, and that the firms with which he had been dealing were bankrupt.
Beauty wept for grief, because her father was unhappy and unfortunate, and asked him what was to be done.
"Alas! my child," he replied, "we must give up our house, and go into the country. There I can get a cottage to shelter us; and we must live by the work of our own hands."
"Ah!" said Beauty eagerly, "I can spin and knit, and sew very well. I dare say I shall be able to help you, my dear father."
But the elder daughters did not speak. They had made up their minds to marry one or the other of their rejected lovers, and did not intend to share their father's fallen fortunes.
They found themselves, however, greatly mistaken. The merchants who had wished to marry them when rich cared nothing for them when poor, and never came to see them again. But those who had loved Beauty crowded to the house, and begged and besought her to marry them and share their fortunes. Beauty was grateful, but she told them that she could not leave her father in his sorrow; she must go with him to console him and work for him. The poor girl was very sorry to lose her fortune, because she could not do so much good without it; but she knew that her place was ordered for her, and that she might be quite as happy poor as rich.
Very soon the merchant's family had to leave their noble mansion, to sell off all their costly furniture, and to go into the country, where the father and his sons got work; the former as a bailiff, the latter as farm laborers. And now Beauty had to think and work for all.
She rose at four o'clock every morning. She cleaned the house; prepared the breakfast; spread it neatly, and decked the board with the sweetest flowers. Then she cooked the dinner, and when evening came and brought the laborers home, Beauty had always a cheerful welcome for them, a clean home, and a savory supper. During the hours of the afternoon she used to read and keep up her knowledge of languages; and all the time she worked she sang like a bird. Her taste made their poor home look nice, even elegant.
She was happy in doing her duty. Her early rising revealed to her a thousand beauties in nature of which she had never before dreamed.
Beauty acknowledged to herself that sunrise was finer than any picture she had ever seen; that no perfumes equalled those of the flowers; that no opera gave her so much enjoyment as the song of the lark and the serenade of the nightingale.
Her sleep was as happy and peaceful as that of a child; her awakening, cheerful, contented, and blest by heaven.
Meantime her sisters grew peevish, cross, and miserable. They would not work, and as they had nothing else to amuse them, the days dragged along, and seemed as if they would never end. They did nothing but regret the past and bewail the present. As they had no one to admire them, they did not care how they looked, and were as dirty and neglected in appearance as Beauty was neat and fresh and charming.
Perhaps they had some consciousness of the contrast between her and themselves, for they disliked the poor girl more than ever, and were always mocking her, and jesting about her wonderful fitness for being a servant.
"It is quite plain," they would say, "that you are just where you ought to be: We are ladies; but you are a low-minded girl, who have found your right place in the world."
Beauty only answered her sisters' unkind words with soft and tender ones, so there was no quarrelling, and by-and-by they became ashamed to speak to her harshly.
At the expiration of a year the merchant received intelligence of the arrival of one of his richest ships, which had escaped the storm. He prepared to set off to a distant port to claim his property; but before he went he asked each daughter what gift he should bring back for her. The eldest wished for pearls; the second for diamonds; but the third said, "Dear father, bring me a white rose."
Now it is no easy task to find a white rose in that country, yet, as Beauty was his kindest daughter, and was very fond of flowers, her father said he would try what he could do. So he kissed all three, and bade them good-by. And when the time came for him to go home, he had bought pearls and jewels for the two eldest, but he had sought everywhere in vain for the white rose; and when he went into any garden and asked for such a thing, the people laughed at him, and asked him who had ever heard of a white rose. This grieved him very much, for his third daughter was his dearest child; and as he was journeying home, thinking what he should bring her, he lost his way in a wood. The night was closing in, and as the merchant was aware that there were many bears in that country, he became very anxious to find a shelter for the night.
By-and-by he perceived afar off a light, which appeared to come from a human dwelling, and he urged on his tired horse till he gained the spot. Instead of the woodman's hut on a hill which he had expected to see, he found himself in front of a magnificent castle, built of white marble. Approaching the door, he blew a golden horn which hung from a chain by the side of it, and as the blast echoed through the wood, the door slowly unclosed, and revealed to him a wide and noble hall, illuminated by myriads of golden lamps.
He looked to see who had admitted him, but perceiving no one, he said:
"Sir porter, a weary traveler craves shelter for the night." To his amazement, two hands, without any body, moved from behind the door, and taking hold of his arm drew him gently into the hall.
He perceived that he was in a fairy palace, and putting his own hands in a friendly pressure on one of the ghostly hands, said:
"You are very kind, but I cannot leave my horse out in the cold."
The hand beckoned, and another pair of shadowy hands crossed the hall, and went outside and led away the horse to the stable.
Then the merchant's first friends led him gently onwards till he stood in a large and splendid dining-room, where a costly banquet was spread, evidently intended for him, for the hands placed a chair for him and handed him the dishes, and poured out a refreshing drink for him, and waited on him while he supped.
When his repast was over, they touched him, and beckoned to him; and following them, he found himself in a bedroom furnished with great elegance; the curtains were made of butterflies' wings sewn together.
The hands undressed the stranger, prepared him a bath of rose-water, lifted him into bed and put out the light.
Then the merchant fell asleep. He did not awake till late the next morning. The sun was streaming in through the beautiful window-curtains, and the birds were uttering their shrill cries in the woods. In that country a singing bird is as rare as a white rose.
As he sprang out of bed some bells rang a silvery chime, and he perceived that he had shaken them by his own movements, for they were attached to the golden bed-rail, and tinkled as he shook it.
At the sound the bedroom door opened, and the hands entered bearing a costly suit of clothes, all embroidered with gold and jewels. Again they prepared a bath of rose-water, and attended on and dressed the merchant. And when his toilette was completed, they led him out of his room and downstairs to a pretty little room, where breakfast awaited him.
When he had quite finished eating he thought that it was time to resume his journey; therefore, laying a costly diamond ring on the table, he said:
"Kind fairy, whoever you may be to whom I owe this hospitality, accept my thanks and this small token of my gratitude."
The hands took the gift up, and the merchant therefore considered that it was accepted. Then he left the castle and proceeded to the stables to find and saddle his horse.
The path led through a most enchanting garden full of the fairest flowers, and as the merchant proceeded, he paused occasionally to glance at the wonderful plants and choice flowers around him. Suddenly his eyes rested on a white rose-tree, which was quite weighed down by its wealth of blossoms.
He remembered his promise to his youngest daughter.
"Ah!" he thought, "at last I have found a white rose. The fairy who has been so generous to me already will not grudge me a single flower from amongst so many."
And bending down, he gathered a white rose.
At that moment he was startled by a loud and terrific roar, and a fierce lion sprang on him and exclaimed in tones of thunder:
"Whoever dares to steal my roses shall be eaten up alive."
Then the merchant said: "I knew not that the garden belonged to you; I plucked only a rose as a present for my daughter; can nothing save my life?"
"No!" said the Lion, "nothing, unless you undertake to come back in a month, and bring me whatever meets you first on your return home. If you agree to this, I will give you your life; and the rose, too, for your daughter."
But the man was unwilling to do so, and said, "It may be my youngest daughter, who loves me most, and always runs to meet me when I go home." But then he thought again, "It may, perhaps, be only a cat or a dog." And at last he yielded with a heavy heart, and took the rose, and said he would give the Lion whatever should meet him first on his return.
As he came near home, it was his youngest and dearest daughter that met him; she came running out and kissed him, and welcomed him home; and when she saw that he had brought her the rose, she was still more glad.
But her father began to be very sorrowful, and to weep, saying, "Alas! my dearest child! I have bought this flower at a high price, for I have said I would give you to a wild lion, and when he has you, he will, perhaps, tear you in pieces and eat you."
And he told her all that had happened, and said she should not go, let what would come of it.
But she comforted him, and said, "Dear father, the word you have given must be kept; I will go with you to the Lion and coax him; perhaps he will let us both return safe home again."
The time now arrived for the merchant to return to the Lion's palace, and he made preparations for his dreadful journey. Beauty had so fully made up her mind to accompany him, that nothing could turn her from her purpose. Her father, seeing this, determined to take her, and they accordingly set out on their journey. The horses galloped swiftly across the forest, and speedily reached the palace. As they entered they were greeted with the most enchanting music; but no living creature was to be seen. On entering the salon, the furniture of which was of the most costly kind, they found a rich repast prepared for them, consisting of every delicacy. Beauty's heart failed her, for she feared something strange would soon happen. They, however, sat down, and partook freely of the various delicacies. As soon as they had finished, the table was cleared by the hands. Shortly afterward there was a knock at the door.
"Enter," replied the merchant; and immediately the door flew open, and the same monster that had seized the merchant entered the room.
The sight of his form terrified both the merchant and his daughter; as for Beauty, she almost fainted with fright.
But the Lion, having a handsome mantle thrown over him, advanced toward them, and seating himself opposite Beauty, said: "Well, merchant, I admire your fidelity in keeping your promise; is this the daughter for whom you gathered the rose?"
"Yes," replied the merchant; "so great is my daughter's love to me that she met me first on my return home, and she is now come here in fulfillment of my promise."
"She shall have no reason to repent it," said the Lion, "for everything in this palace shall be at her command. As for yourself, you must depart on the morrow, and leave Beauty with me. I will take care that no harm shall happen to her. You will find an apartment prepared for her." Having said this, he arose, wished them good-night, and departed.
Poor Beauty heard all that passed, and she trembled from head to foot with fear. As the night was far advanced the merchant led Beauty to the apartment prepared for her, and she retired to rest. This room was furnished in the richest manner. The chairs and sofas were magnificently adorned with jewels. The hangings were of the finest silk and gold, and on all sides were mirrors reaching from the floor to the ceiling; it contained, in fact, everything that was rich and splendid.
Beauty and her father slept soundly, notwithstanding their sorrow at the thought of so soon parting. In the morning they met in the salon, where a handsome breakfast was ready prepared, of which they partook. When they had concluded, the merchant prepared for his departure; but Beauty threw herself on his neck and wept. He also wept at the thought of leaving her in this forlorn state, but he could not delay his return forever, so at length he rushed into the courtyard, mounted his horse, and soon disappeared.
Poor Beauty, now left to herself, resolved to be as happy as she could. She amused herself by walking in the gardens and gathering the white roses, and when tired of that she read and played on the harp which she found in her room. On her dressing-table she found these lines, which greatly comforted her:
"Welcome, Beauty! dry your tears, Banish all your sighs and fears; You are queen and mistress here, Whate'er you ask for shall appear."
After amusing herself thus for some time she returned to the salon, where she found dinner ready prepared. The most delightful music was played during the whole of dinner. When Beauty had finished, the table was cleared, and the most delicious fruits were produced. At the same hour as on the preceding day the Lion rapped at the door, and asked permission to enter. Beauty was terrified, and with a trembling voice she said: "Come in." He then entered, and advancing toward Beauty, who dared not look up, he said: "Will you permit me to sit with you?" "That is as you please," replied she. "Not so," said the Lion, "for you are mistress here; and if my company is disagreeable I will at once retire."
Beauty, struck with the courtesy of the Lion, and with the friendly tone of his voice, began to feel more courageous; and she desired him to be seated. He then entered into the most agreeable conversation, which so charmed Beauty that she ventured to look up; but when she saw his terrible face she could scarcely avoid screaming aloud. The Lion, seeing this, got up, and making a respectful bow, wished her good-night. Soon after, Beauty herself retired to rest.
On the following day she amused herself as before, and began to feel more reconciled to her condition; for she had everything at her command which could promote her happiness. As evening approached she anticipated the visit of the Lion; for, notwithstanding his terrible looks, his conversation and manners were very pleasing. He continued to visit her every day, till at length she began to think he was not so terrible as she once thought him. One day when they were seated together the Lion took hold of her hand, and said in a gentle voice: "Beauty, will you marry me?" She hastily withdrew her hand, but made no reply; at which the Lion sighed deeply and withdrew. On his next visit he appeared sorrowful and dejected, but said nothing. Some weeks after he repeated the question, when Beauty replied: "No, Lion, I cannot marry you, but I will do all in my power to make you happy." "This you cannot do," replied he, "for unless you marry me I shall die." "Oh, say not so," said Beauty, "for it is impossible that I can ever marry you." The Lion then departed, more unhappy than ever.
Amidst all this, Beauty did not forget her father. One day she felt a strong desire to know how he was, and what he was doing; at that instant she cast her eyes on a mirror and saw her father lying on a sick-bed, in the greatest pain, whilst her sisters were trying on some fine dresses in another room. At this sad sight poor Beauty wept bitterly.
When the Lion came as usual he perceived her sorrow, and inquired the cause. She told him what she had seen, and how much she wished to go and nurse her father. He asked her if she would promise to return at a certain time if she went. Beauty gave him her promise, and he immediately presented her with a rose, like that which her father had plucked, saying: "Take this rose, and you may be transported to whatever place you choose; but, remember, I rely on your promise to return." He then withdrew.
Beauty felt very grateful for his kindness. She wished herself in her father's cottage, and immediately she was at the door.
Full of joy, she entered the house, ran to her father's room, and fell on her knees by his bedside and kissed him. His illness had been much increased by fretting for poor Beauty, who he thought had long since died, either from fear or by the cruel monster. He was overcome with joy on finding her still alive. He now soon began to recover under the affectionate nursing of Beauty. The two sisters were very much annoyed at Beauty's return, for they had hoped that the Lion would have destroyed her. They were greatly annoyed to see her so superbly dressed, and felt extremely vexed to think that Beauty should have clothes as splendid as a queen's, whilst they could not get anything half so fine.
Beauty related all that had passed in the Beast's palace, and told them of her promise to return on such a day. The two sisters were so very jealous that they determined to ruin her prospects if possible. The eldest said to the other: "Why should this minx be better off than we are? Let us try to keep her here beyond the time; the monster will then be so enraged with her for breaking her promise, that he will destroy her at once when she returns." "That is well thought of," replied the sister. "We will keep her."
In order to succeed, they treated Beauty with the greatest affection, and the day before her intended departure they stole the rose which she had told them was the means of conveying her in an instant wherever she might wish. Beauty was so much affected by their kindness that she was easily persuaded to remain a few days. In the meantime the envious sisters thought of enriching themselves by means of the rose, and they accordingly wished themselves in some grand place. Instead of being carried away as they expected, the rose withered, and they heard a most terrible noise, which so alarmed them that they threw down the flower and hid themselves.
Beauty was greatly troubled at the loss of her rose, and sought everywhere for it, but in vain. She happened, however, to enter her sisters' room, and, to her great joy, saw it lying withered on the floor; but as soon as she picked it up, it at once recovered all its freshness and beauty. She then remembered her broken promise, and, after taking leave of her father, she wished herself in the Beast's palace, and in an instant she was transported thither. Everything was just as she had left it; but the sweet sounds of music which used to greet her were now hushed, and there was an air of apparent gloom hanging over everything. She herself felt very melancholy, but she knew not why.
At the usual time she expected a visit from the Lion, but no Lion appeared. Beauty, wondering what all this could mean, now reproached herself for her ingratitude in not having returned as she promised. She feared the poor Beast had died of grief, and she thought that she could have married him rather than suffer him to die. She resolved to seek him in the morning in every part of the palace. After a miserable and sleepless night, she arose early and ran through every apartment, but no Lion could be seen. With a sorrowful heart she went into the garden, saying, "Oh that I had married the poor Lion who has been so kind to me; for, terrible though he is, I might have saved his life. I wish I could once more see him."
At that moment she arrived at a plot of grass where the poor Lion lay as if dead. Beauty ran toward him, and knelt by his side, and seized his paw.
He opened his eyes and said: "Beauty, you forgot your promise, in consequence of which I must die."
"No, dear Lion," exclaimed Beauty, weeping, "no, you shall not die. What can I do to save you?"
"Will you marry me?" asked he.
"Yes," replied Beauty, "to save your life."
No sooner had these words passed her lips than the lion-form disappeared, and she saw at her feet a handsome Prince, who thanked her for having broken his enchantment. He told her that a wicked magician had condemned him to wear the form of a lion until a beautiful lady should consent to marry him; a kind fairy had, however, given him the magic rose to help him.
At the same instant that the Prince was changed the whole palace became full of courtiers, all of whom had been rendered invisible when the Prince was enchanted.
The Prince now led Beauty into the palace, where she found her father. The Prince related all to him, and asked him to allow Beauty to become his wife, to which he cheerfully assented, and the nuptials were solemnized with great rejoicing.
The good fairy appeared to congratulate the Prince on his deliverance and on his marriage with Beauty. As for the two sisters, she punished them severely for their jealous and unkind behavior. But the Prince and his wife Beauty lived happily together in the royal palace for many, many years.
Once upon a time there was a young Prince who was so well liked by everyone in the kingdom where he lived that they named him Prince Darling.
This boy's father, the King, was a very good man, and his subjects loved and respected him for his justness and kindness. The King loved his son greatly, and he loved his subjects, too. He was very anxious to have his son grow up to be a splendid man, and a just ruler for his people. The King was no longer young, and he knew that it would not be many years before his son would be left without a father's advice. He knew, too, that the boy would succeed to the throne, and would have to see that everyone in the kingdom was treated justly and kindly.
One day a strange thing happened. The King was out hunting, when suddenly a little white rabbit leaped into his arms. The rabbit seemed to think that in the King's arms it would find protection from the dogs that were chasing it, and had nearly run it down. And the rabbit was right; for the King stroked the trembling creature gently, and said:
"The dogs shan't get you now, poor bunny!" Then the King took the rabbit home, and saw that the best care was given it.
That night, after everyone else had gone to bed, the King sat alone thinking about Prince Darling. Suddenly a beautiful lady seemed to come into the room. She was dressed in pure white, and wore a wreath of white roses on her golden hair.
"You don't recognize me, do you?" she asked in a lovely, clear voice. "I am the rabbit you rescued from the dogs in the forest this afternoon. The rabbit was really the Fairy Truth. I took the shape of a rabbit to see whether you were really as good as everyone said. Now I know you are, and I shall always be your friend. Isn't there something you want, above everything else in the world, which I can give you to repay you for your goodness to me?"
The King was amazed by the lovely Fairy and her wonderful offer. He thought at once that if only he could win the friendship of the Fairy Truth for Prince Darling, all would be well. So he said:
"Good Fairy, above all things I should like to know that you would be my son's friend. Will you?"
"Gladly. I will make him the richest or the handsomest or the most powerful Prince in the world. Which shall it be?" the Fairy inquired.
"I would not ask any of those things, good Fairy, but I would have him good, the best instead of the richest of princes. If he is good and his conscience does not trouble him, I am sure he will be happy. Riches and power and good looks, without goodness, cannot make him happy."
"That is all true," said the Fairy, "and I will do all I can to make Prince Darling good. He will have to do most of it himself, though. I can only advise him, praise him when he is good, and scold him when he is bad. But I will do all I can."
Not long after this strange happening the King died, and Prince Darling became King in his father's place. The Fairy Truth remembered her promise, and came to the palace with a present for Prince Darling.
"This little gold ring," she said, as she slipped it on his finger, "is my gift to you. I promised your father that I would be your friend. This ring will help you to keep my friendship. When it pricks you, you will know you have done something mean or unkind. It will warn you to stop doing such things. If you stop, I will be your friend; if you keep on doing wicked things, I will become your enemy."
Before Prince Darling could say a word the Fairy vanished.
The Prince was curious to know whether the ring really would do as the Fairy said. But he never felt a single prick from the ring. Then one day he was badly pricked. He came home from hunting in a horrid temper, and kicked his unoffending little dog, that was trying to be friendly, until it howled with pain.
"Really, Prince Darling, that is too bad of you." The Fairy's voice sounded quietly in his ear. "You lost your temper because things did not go just to suit you. Even if you are a prince, the world cannot always run just to suit your whims. What's worse, you hurt a poor creature who loves you. I don't think that's being the sort of a prince your father would be proud of, do you?"
The Prince was greatly embarrassed, and thrust his hands deep into his pockets to make himself seem full-grown up—so he would not cry! He promised to be good forever after.
But he wasn't, and the ring pricked him often. After a time he paid hardly any attention to the ring at all. Finally he made up his mind that a prince ought to be able to decide for himself what was right or wrong. Besides, the ring pricked so hard and so often that it made his finger bleed. So he threw it away entirely.
Just after this he met Celia, the loveliest girl he had ever seen. It seemed to him he could never be happy until he had made her his wife; and he lost no time in asking her to marry him.
"Sire, I cannot," said the girl.
The Prince was indignant, for he thought any girl should be proud to have him offer to marry her and make her Queen.
"Sire," Celia went on, "you are handsome and rich and powerful, I know; but the man I marry must be good."
This speech made the Prince so angry that he ordered his men to take Celia off to the palace as a prisoner.
Now, the Prince had a foster-brother who was a very wicked man. When the Prince told him about Celia, he said:
"What! a peasant girl refuse to marry the Prince! How ridiculous! The whole kingdom would laugh if they knew about it."
This speech hurt the Prince's pride, and he decided to make Celia consent to marry him at any cost. He rushed off to find her. His men had given him the key to the cell where they had imprisoned her. But the cell was quite empty.