CINDERELLA, OR THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER.
upon a time there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the
proudest and most haughty woman that ever was seen. She had two
daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things.
The gentleman had also a young daughter, of rare goodness and sweetness
of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in
wedding was scarcely over, when the stepmother's bad temper began to
show itself. She could not bear the goodness of this young girl,
because it made her own daughters appear the more odious. The
stepmother gave her the meanest work in the house to do; she had to
scour the dishes, tables, etc., and to scrub the floors and clean out
the bedrooms. The poor girl had to sleep in the garret, upon a wretched
straw bed, while her sisters lay in fine rooms with inlaid floors, upon
beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking-glasses so
large that they [Pg 2]might
see themselves at their full length. The poor girl bore all patiently,
and dared not complain to her father, who would have scolded her if she
had done so, for his wife governed him entirely.
she had done her work, she used to go into the chimney corner, and sit
down among the cinders, hence she was called Cinderwench. The younger
sister of the two, who was not so rude and uncivil as the elder, called
her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, in spite of her mean apparel, was
a hundred times more handsome than her sisters, though they were always
happened that the King's son gave a ball, and invited to it all persons
of fashion. Our young misses were also invited, for they cut a very
grand figure among the people of the country-side. They were highly
delighted with the invitation, and wonderfully busy in choosing the
gowns, petticoats, and head-dresses which might best become them. This
made Cinderella's lot still harder, for it was she who ironed her
sisters' linen and plaited their ruffles. They talked all day long of
nothing but how they should be dressed.
"For my part," said the elder, "I will wear my red velvet suit with French trimmings."
"And I," said the younger, "shall wear my usual skirt; but then, to make amends for that [Pg 3]I
will put on my gold-flowered mantle, and my diamond stomacher, which is
far from being the most ordinary one in the world." They sent for the
best hairdressers they could get to make up their hair in fashionable
style, and bought patches for their cheeks. Cinderella was consulted in
all these matters, for she had good taste. She advised them always for
the best, and even offered her services to dress their hair, 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?"
"Young ladies," she said, "you only jeer at me; it is not for such as I am to go there."
"You are right," they replied; "people would laugh to see a Cinderwench at a ball."
one but Cinderella would have dressed their hair awry, but she was
good-natured, and arranged it perfectly well. They were almost two days
without eating, so much were they transported with joy. They broke
above a dozen laces in trying to lace themselves tight, that they might
have a fine, slender shape, and they were continually at their
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—" but she could not finish for sobbing.
Her godmother, who was a fairy, said to her, "You wish you could go to the ball; is it not so?"
"Alas, yes," said Cinderella, sighing.
said her godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will see that you go."
Then she took her into her chamber, and said to her, "Run into the
garden, and bring me a pumpkin."
went at once to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her
godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could help her to
go to the ball. Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, leaving
nothing but the rind. Then she struck it with her wand, and the pumpkin
was instantly turned into a fine gilded coach.
then went to look into the mouse-trap, where she found six mice, all
alive. She ordered Cinderella to lift the trap-door, when, giving each
mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, it was that moment
turned into a fine horse, and the six mice made a fine set of six
horses of a beautiful mouse-colored, dapple gray.
at a loss for a coachman, Cinderella said, "I will go and see if there
is not a rat in the rat-trap—we may make a coachman of him."
"You are right," replied her godmother; "go and look."
brought the rat-trap to her, and in it there were three huge rats. The
fairy chose the one which had the largest beard, and, having touched
him with her wand, he was turned into a fat coachman with the finest
mustache and whiskers ever seen.
After that, she said to her:—
"Go into the garden, and you will find six lizards behind the watering-pot; bring them to me."
had no sooner done so than her godmother turned them into six footmen,
who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their liveries all
trimmed with gold and silver, and they held on as if they had done
nothing else their whole lives.
The fairy then said to Cinderella, "Well, you see here a carriage fit to go to the ball in; are you not pleased with it?"
"Oh, yes!" she cried; "but must I go as I am in these rags?"
godmother simply touched her with her wand, and, at the same moment,
her clothes were turned into cloth of gold and silver, all decked with
jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of the prettiest glass slippers
in the whole world. Being thus attired, she got into the carriage, her
commanding her, above all things, not to stay till after midnight, and
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 would become just as they
promised her godmother she would not fail to leave the ball before
midnight. She drove away, 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 from
the coach, and led her into the hall where the company were assembled.
There was at once a profound silence; every one left off dancing, and
the violins ceased to play, so attracted was every one by the singular
beauties of the unknown newcomer. Nothing was then heard but a confused
sound of voices saying:—
"Ha! how beautiful she is! Ha! how beautiful she is!"
King himself, old as he was, could not keep his eyes off her, and he
told the Queen under his breath that it was a long time since he had
seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.
the ladies were busy studying her clothes and head-dress, so that they
might have theirs made next day after the same pattern, provided [Pg 7]they could meet with such fine materials and able hands to make them.
King's son conducted her to the seat of honor, and afterwards took her
out to dance with him. She danced so very gracefully that they all
admired her more and more. A fine collation was served, but the young
Prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he occupied with her.
went and sat down beside her sisters, showing them a thousand
civilities, and giving them among other things part of the oranges and
citrons with which the Prince had regaled her. This very much surprised
them, for they had not been presented to her.
heard the clock strike a quarter to twelve. She at once made her adieus
to the company and hastened away as fast as she could.
soon as she got home, she ran to find her godmother, and, after having
thanked her, she said she much wished she might go to the ball the next
day, because the King's son had asked her to do so. As she was eagerly
telling her godmother all that happened at the ball, her two sisters
knocked at the door; Cinderella opened it. "How long you have stayed!"
said she, yawning, rubbing her eyes, and stretching herself as if she
had been just awakened. She had not, however, had any desire to sleep
since they went from home.
you had been at the ball," said one of her sisters, "you would not have
been tired with it. There came thither the finest princess, the most
beautiful ever was seen with mortal eyes. She showed us a thousand
civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons."
did not show any pleasure at this. Indeed, she asked them the name of
the princess; but they told her they did not know it, and that the
King's son was very much concerned, and would give all the world to
know who she was. At this Cinderella, smiling, replied:—
she then so very beautiful? How fortunate you have been! Could I not
see her? Ah! dear Miss Charlotte, do lend me your yellow suit of
clothes which you wear every day."
to be sure!" cried Miss Charlotte; "lend my clothes to such a dirty
Cinderwench as thou art! I should be out of my mind to do so."
indeed, expected such an answer and was very glad of the refusal; for
she would have been sadly troubled if her sister had lent her what she
jestingly asked for. The next day the two sisters went to the ball, and
so did Cinderella, but dressed more magnificently than before. The
King's son was always by her side, and his pretty speeches to her never
ceased. These by no means annoyed the young lady. Indeed, she quite
forgot her godmother's orders [Pg 9]to
her, so that she heard the clock begin to strike twelve when she
thought it could not be 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, without her carriage,
and in her old clothes, having nothing left her of all her finery but
one of the little slippers, fellow to the one she had dropped. The
guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not seen a princess go
out, and they replied they had seen nobody go out but a young girl,
very meanly dressed, and who had more the air of a poor country girl
than of a young lady.
the two sisters returned from the ball, Cinderella asked them if they
had had a pleasant time, and if the fine lady had been there. They told
her, yes; but that she hurried away the moment 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 had taken up. They
said, further, that he had done nothing but look at her all the time,
and that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful
owner of the glass slipper.
they said was 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 [Pg 10]foot
this slipper would fit exactly. They began to try it on the princesses,
then on the duchesses, and then on all the ladies of the Court; but in
vain. It was brought to the two sisters, who did all they possibly
could to thrust a foot into the slipper, but they could not succeed.
Cinderella, who saw this, and knew her slipper, said to them,
"Let me see if it will not fit me."
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 was but just that she should try,
and that he had orders to let every lady try it on.
obliged Cinderella to sit down, and, putting the slipper to her little
foot, he found it went on very easily, and fitted her as if it had been
made of wax. The astonishment of her two sisters was great, but it was
still 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 Cinderella's clothes with her wand, made them more
magnificent than those she had worn before.
"It went on very easily." p. 10.
now her two sisters found her to be that beautiful lady they had seen
at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all
their ill treatment of her. Cinderella took [Pg 12]them up, and, as she embraced them, said that she forgave them with all her heart, and begged them to love her always.
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 as good as she was beautiful, gave her two sisters
a home in the palace, and that very same day married them to two great
lords of the Court.
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOODS.
upon a time there was a king and a queen, who were very sorry that they
had no children,—so sorry that it cannot be told.
last, however, the Queen had a daughter. There was a very fine
christening; and the Princess had for her godmothers all the fairies
they could find in the whole kingdom (there were seven of them), so
that every one of them might confer a gift upon her, as was the custom
of fairies in those days. By this means the Princess had all the
the christening was over, the company returned to the King's palace,
where was prepared a great feast for the fairies. There was placed
before every one of them a magnificent cover with a case of massive
gold, wherein were a spoon, and a knife and fork, all of pure gold set
with diamonds and rubies. But as they were all sitting down at table
they saw a very old fairy come into the hall. She had not been invited,
because for more than fifty years she had not been out of a certain
tower, and she was believed to be either dead or enchanted.
King ordered her a cover, but he could not give her a case of gold as
the others had, because seven only had been made for the seven fairies.
The old fairy fancied she was slighted, and muttered threats between
her teeth. One of the young fairies who sat near heard her, and,
judging that she might give the little Princess some unlucky gift, hid
herself behind the curtains as soon as they left the table. She hoped
that she might speak last and undo as much as she could the evil which
the old fairy might do.
the meanwhile all the fairies began to give their gifts to the
Princess. The youngest gave her for her gift that she should be the
most beautiful person in the world; the next, that she should have the
wit of an angel; the third, that she should be able to do everything
she did gracefully; the fourth, that she should dance perfectly; the
fifth, that she should sing like a nightingale; and the sixth, that she
should play all kinds of musical instruments to the fullest perfection.
old fairy's turn coming next, her head shaking more with spite than
with age, she said that the Princess should pierce her hand with a
spindle and die of the wound. This terrible gift made the whole company
tremble, and everybody fell a-crying.
At this very instant the young fairy came from [Pg 15]behind the curtains and said these words in a loud voice:—
yourselves, O King and Queen, that your daughter shall not die of this
disaster. It is true, I have no power to undo entirely what my elder
has done. The Princess shall indeed pierce her hand with a spindle;
but, instead of dying, she shall only fall into a deep sleep, which
shall last a hundred years, at the end of which a king's son shall come
and awake her."
King, to avoid the misfortune foretold by the old fairy, issued orders
forbidding any one, on pain of death, to spin with a distaff and
spindle, or to have a spindle in his house. About fifteen or sixteen
years after, the King and Queen being absent at one of their country
villas, the young Princess was one day running up and down the palace;
she went from room to room, and at last she came into a little garret
on the top of the tower, where a good old woman, alone, was spinning
with her spindle. This good woman had never heard of the King's orders
"What are you doing there, my good woman?" said the Princess.
"I am spinning, my pretty child," said the old woman, who did not know who the Princess was.
"Ha!" said the Princess, "this is very pretty; how do you do it? Give it to me. Let me see if I can do it."
had no sooner taken it into her hand than, either because she was too
quick and heedless, or because the decree of the fairy had so ordained,
it ran into her hand, and she fell down in a swoon.
good old woman, not knowing what to do, cried out for help. People came
in from every quarter; they threw water upon the face of the Princess,
unlaced her, struck her on the palms of her hands, and rubbed her
temples with cologne water; but nothing would bring her to herself.
the King, who came up at hearing the noise, remembered what the fairies
had foretold. He knew very well that this must come to pass, since the
fairies had foretold it, and he caused the Princess to be carried into
the finest room in his palace, and to be laid upon a bed all
embroidered with gold and silver. One would have taken her for a little
angel, she was so beautiful; for her swooning had not dimmed the
brightness of her complexion: her cheeks were carnation, and her lips
coral. It is true her eyes were shut, but she was heard to breathe
softly, which satisfied those about her that she was not dead.
"Let me see if I can do it." p. 15.
King gave orders that they should let her sleep quietly till the time
came for her to awake. The good fairy who had saved her life by
condemning her to sleep a hundred years was in the kingdom of Matakin,
twelve thousand leagues off, [Pg 18]when
this accident befell the Princess; but she was instantly informed of it
by a little dwarf, who had seven-leagued boots, that is, boots with
which he could stride over seven leagues of ground at once. The fairy
started off at once, and arrived, about an hour later, in a fiery
chariot drawn by dragons.
King handed her out of the chariot, and she approved everything he had
done; but as she had very great foresight, she thought that when the
Princess should awake she might not know what to do with herself, if
she was all alone in this old palace. This was what she did: she
touched with her wand everything in the palace (except the King and
Queen),—governesses, maids of honor, ladies of the bedchamber,
gentlemen, officers, stewards, cooks, undercooks, kitchen maids, guards
with their porters, pages, and footmen; she likewise touched all the
horses which were in the stables, the cart horses, the hunters and the
saddle horses, the grooms, the great dogs in the outward court, and
little Mopsey, too, the Princess's spaniel, which was lying on the bed.
soon as she touched them they all fell asleep, not to awake again until
their mistress did, that they might be ready to wait upon her when she
wanted them. The very spits at the fire, as full as they could hold of
partridges and pheasants, fell asleep, and the fire itself as well. [Pg 19]All this was done in a moment. Fairies are not long in doing their work.
now the King and Queen, having kissed their dear child without waking
her, went out of the palace and sent forth orders that nobody should
come near it.
orders were not necessary; for in a quarter of an hour's time there
grew up all round about the park such a vast number of trees, great and
small, bushes and brambles, twining one within another, that neither
man nor beast could pass through; so that nothing could be seen but the
very top of the towers of the palace; and that, too, only from afar
off. Every one knew that this also was the work of the fairy in order
that while the Princess slept she should have nothing to fear from
a hundred years the son of the King then reigning, who was of another
family from that of the sleeping Princess, was a-hunting on that side
of the country, and he asked what those towers were which he saw in the
middle of a great thick wood. Every one answered according as they had
heard. Some said that it was an old haunted castle, others that all the
witches of the country held their midnight revels there, but the common
opinion was that it was an ogre's dwelling, and that he carried to it
all the little children he could catch, so as to eat them up at his
leisure, without [Pg 20]any one being able to follow him, for he alone had the power to make his way through the wood.
The Prince did not know what to believe, and presently a very aged countryman spake to him thus:—
it please your royal Highness, more than fifty years since I heard from
my father that there was then in this castle the most beautiful
princess that was ever seen; that she must sleep there a hundred years,
and that she should be waked by a king's son, for whom she was
young Prince on hearing this was all on fire. He thought, without
weighing the matter, that he could put an end to this rare adventure;
and, pushed on by love and the desire of glory, resolved at once to
look into it.
soon as he began to get near to the wood, all the great trees, the
bushes, and brambles gave way of themselves to let him pass through. He
walked up to the castle which he saw at the end of a large avenue; and
you can imagine he was a good deal surprised when he saw none of his
people following him, because the trees closed again as soon as he had
passed through them. However, he did not cease from continuing his way;
a young prince in search of glory is ever valiant.
came into a spacious outer court, and what he saw was enough to freeze
him with horror. A frightful silence reigned over all; the image of [Pg 21]death
was everywhere, and there was nothing to be seen but what seemed to be
the outstretched bodies of dead men and animals. He, however, very well
knew, by the ruby faces and pimpled noses of the porters, that they
were only asleep; and their goblets, wherein still remained some drops
of wine, showed plainly that they had fallen asleep while drinking
then crossed a court paved with marble, went up the stairs, and came
into the guard chamber, where guards were standing in their ranks, with
their muskets upon their shoulders, and snoring with all their might.
He went through several rooms full of gentlemen and ladies, some
standing and others sitting, but all were asleep. He came into a gilded
chamber, where he saw upon a bed, the curtains of which were all open,
the most beautiful sight ever beheld—a princess who appeared to
be about fifteen or sixteen years of age, and whose bright and
resplendent beauty had something divine in it. He approached with
trembling and admiration, and fell down upon his knees before her.
as the end of the enchantment was come, the Princess awoke, and looking
on him with eyes more tender than could have been expected at first
"Is it you, my Prince? You have waited a long while."
Prince, charmed with these words, and much more with the manner in
which they were spoken, knew not how to show his joy and gratitude; he
assured her that he loved her better than he did himself. Their
discourse was not very connected, but they were the better pleased, for
where there is much love there is little eloquence. He was more at a
loss than she, and we need not wonder at it; she had had time to think
of what to say to him; for it is evident (though history says nothing
of it) that the good fairy, during so long a sleep, had given her very
pleasant dreams. In short, they talked together for four hours, and
then they said not half they had to say.
the meanwhile all the palace had woke up with the Princess; every one
thought upon his own business, and as they were not in love, they were
ready to die of hunger. The lady of honor, being as sharp set as the
other folks, grew very impatient, and told the Princess aloud that the
meal was served. The Prince helped the Princess to rise. She was
entirely and very magnificently dressed; but his royal Highness took
care not to tell her that she was dressed like his great-grandmother,
and had a high collar. She looked not a bit the less charming and
beautiful for all that.
went into the great mirrored hall, where they supped, and were served
by the officers of the Princess's household. The violins and haut[Pg 23]boys
played old tunes, but they were excellent, though they had not been
played for a hundred years; and after supper, without losing any time,
the lord almoner married them in the chapel of the castle. They had but
very little sleep—the Princess scarcely needed any; and the
Prince left her next morning to return into the city, where his father
was greatly troubled about him.
Prince told him that he lost his way in the forest as he was hunting,
and that he had slept in the cottage of a charcoal-burner, who gave him
cheese and brown bread.
King, his father, who was a good man, believed him; but his mother
could not be persuaded that it was true; and seeing that he went almost
every day a-hunting, and that he always had some excuse ready for so
doing, though he had been out three or four nights together, she began
to suspect that he was married; for he lived thus with the Princess
above two whole years, during which they had two children, the elder, a
daughter, was named Dawn, and the younger, a son, they called Day,
because he was a great deal handsomer than his sister.
Queen spoke several times to her son, to learn after what manner he was
passing his time, and told him that in this he ought in duty to satisfy
her. But he never dared to trust her with his secret; he feared her,
though he loved her, [Pg 24]for
she was of the race of the Ogres, and the King married her for her vast
riches alone. It was even whispered about the Court that she had
Ogreish inclinations, and that, whenever she saw little children
passing by, she had all the difficulty in the world to prevent herself
from falling upon them. And so the Prince would never tell her one word.
when the King was dead, which happened about two years afterward, and
he saw himself lord and master, he openly declared his marriage: and he
went in great state to conduct his Queen to the palace. They made a
magnificent entry into the capital city, she riding between her two
after, the King made war on Emperor Cantalabutte, his neighbor. He left
the government of the kingdom to the Queen, his mother, and earnestly
commended his wife and children to her care. He was obliged to carry on
the war all the summer, and as soon as he left, the Queen-mother sent
her daughter-in-law and her children to a country house among the
woods, that she might with the more ease gratify her horrible longing.
Some few days afterward she went thither herself, and said to her head
"I intend to eat little Dawn for my dinner to-morrow."
"O! madam!" cried the head cook.
will have it so," replied the Queen (and this she spoke in the tone of
an Ogress who had a strong desire to eat fresh meat), "and will eat her
with a sharp sauce."
poor man, knowing very well that he must not play tricks with Ogresses,
took his great knife and went up into little Dawn's chamber. She was
then nearly four years old, and came up to him, jumping and laughing,
to put her arms round his neck, and ask him for some sugar-candy. Upon
which he began to weep, the great knife fell out of his hand, and he
went into the back yard and killed a little lamb, and dressed it with
such good sauce that his mistress assured him she had never eaten
anything so good in her life. He had at the same time taken up little
Dawn and carried her to his wife, to conceal her in his lodging at the
end of the courtyard.
Eight days afterwards the wicked Queen said to the chief cook, "I will sup upon little Day."
answered not a word, being resolved to cheat her again as he had done
before. He went to find little Day, and saw him with a foil in his
hand, with which he was fencing with a great monkey: the child was then
only three years of age. He took him up in his arms and carried him to
his wife, that she might conceal him in her chamber along with his
sister, and instead of little Day he served up a young and very [Pg 26]tender kid, which the Ogress found to be wonderfully good.
All had gone well up to now; but one evening this wicked Queen said to her chief cook:—
"I will eat the Queen with the same sauce I had with her children."
the poor chief cook was in despair and could not imagine how to deceive
her again. The young Queen was over twenty years old, not reckoning the
hundred years she had been asleep: and how to find something to take
her place greatly puzzled him. He then decided, to save his own life,
to cut the Queen's throat; and going up into her chamber, with intent
to do it at once, he put himself into as great fury as he possibly
could, and came into the young Queen's room with his dagger in his
hand. He would not, however, deceive her, but told her, with a great
deal of respect, the orders he had received from the Queen-mother.
it; do it," she said, stretching out her neck. "Carry out your orders,
and then I shall go and see my children, my poor children, whom I loved
so much and so tenderly."
For she thought them dead, since they had been taken away without her knowledge.
no, madam," cried the poor chief cook, all in tears; "you shall not
die, and you shall see your children again at once. But then you must [Pg 27]go
home with me to my lodgings, where I have concealed them, and I will
deceive the Queen once more, by giving her a young hind in your stead."
this he forthwith conducted her to his room, where, leaving her to
embrace her children, and cry along with them, he went and dressed a
young hind, which the Queen had for her supper, and devoured with as
much appetite as if it had been the young Queen. She was now well
satisfied with her cruel deeds, and she invented a story to tell the
King on his return, of how the Queen his wife and her two children had
been devoured by mad wolves.
evening, as she was, according to her custom, rambling round about the
courts and yards of the palace to see if she could smell any fresh
meat, she heard, in a room on the ground floor, little Day crying, for
his mamma was going to whip him, because he had been naughty; and she
heard, at the same time, little Dawn begging mercy for her brother.
Ogress knew the voice of the Queen and her children at once, and being
furious at having been thus deceived, she gave orders (in a most
horrible voice which made everybody tremble) that, next morning by
break of day, they should bring into the middle of the great court a
large tub filled with toads, vipers, snakes, and all sorts [Pg 28]of
serpents, in order to have the Queen and her children, the chief cook,
his wife and maid, thrown into it, all of whom were to be brought
thither with their hands tied behind them.
were brought out accordingly, and the executioners were just going to
throw them into the tub, when the King, who was not so soon expected,
entered the court on horseback and asked, with the utmost astonishment,
what was the meaning of that horrible spectacle.
one dared to tell him, when the Ogress, all enraged to see what had
happened, threw herself head foremost into the tub, and was instantly
devoured by the ugly creatures she had ordered to be thrown into it to
kill the others. The King was of course very sorry, for she was his
mother; but he soon comforted himself with his beautiful wife and his
upon a time there was a fagot-maker and his wife, who had seven
children, all boys. The eldest was but ten years old, and the youngest
were very poor, and their seven children were a great source of trouble
to them because not one of them was able to earn his bread. What gave
them yet more uneasiness was that the youngest was very delicate, and
scarce ever spoke a word, which made people take for stupidity that
which was a sign of good sense. He was very little, and when born he
was no bigger than one's thumb; hence he was called Little Thumb.
poor child was the drudge of the household, and was always in the
wrong. He was, however, the most bright and discreet of all the
brothers; and if he spoke little, he heard and thought the more.
came a very bad year, and the famine was so great that these poor
people resolved to rid themselves of their children. One evening, when
they were in bed, and the fagot-maker was [Pg 30]sitting with his wife at the fire, he said to her, with his heart ready to burst with grief:—
see plainly that we no longer can give our children food, and I cannot
bear to see them die of hunger before my eyes; I am resolved to lose
them in the wood to-morrow, which may very easily be done, for, while
they amuse themselves in tying up fagots, we have only to run away and
leave them without their seeing us."
"Ah!" cried out his wife, "could you really take the children and lose them?"
vain did her husband represent to her their great poverty; she would
not consent to it. She was poor, but she was their mother.
However, having considered what a grief it would be to her to see them die of hunger, she consented, and went weeping to bed.
Thumb heard all they had said; for, hearing that they were talking
business, he got up softly and slipped under his father's seat, so as
to hear without being seen. He went to bed again, but did not sleep a
wink all the rest of the night, thinking of what he had to do. He got
up early in the morning, and went to the brookside, where he filled his
pockets full of small white pebbles, and then returned home. They all
went out, but Little Thumb never told his brothers a word of what he
"Slipped under his Father's Seat." p. 30.
went into a very thick forest, where they could not see one another at
ten paces apart. The fagot-maker began to cut wood, and the children to
gather up sticks to make fagots. Their father and mother, seeing them
busy at their work, got away from them unbeknown and then all at once
ran as fast as they could through a winding by-path.
the children found they were alone, they began to cry with all their
might. Little Thumb let them cry on, knowing very well how to get home
again; for, as he came, he had dropped the little white pebbles he had
in his pockets all along the way. Then he said to them, "Do not be
afraid, my brothers,—father and mother have left us here, but I
will lead you home again; only follow me."
followed, and he brought them home by the very same way they had come
into the forest. They dared not go in at first, but stood outside the
door to listen to what their father and mother were saying.
very moment the fagot-maker and his wife reached home the lord of the
manor sent them ten crowns, which he had long owed them, and which they
never hoped to see. This gave them new life, for the poor people were
dying of hunger. The fagot-maker sent his wife to the butcher's at
once. As it was a long while since they had eaten, she bought thrice as
much meat [Pg 33]as was needed for supper for two people. When they had eaten, the woman said:—
where are our poor children now? They would make a good feast of what
we have left here; it was you, William, who wished to lose them. I told
you we should repent of it. What are they now doing in the forest?
Alas! perhaps the wolves have already eaten them up; you are very
inhuman thus to have lost your children."
fagot-maker grew at last quite out of patience, for she repeated twenty
times that he would repent of it, and that she was in the right. He
threatened to beat her if she did not hold her tongue. The fagot-maker
was, perhaps, more sorry than his wife, but she teased him so he could
not endure it. She wept bitterly, saying:—
"Alas! where are my children now, my poor children?"
She said this once so very loud that the children, who were at the door, heard her and cried out all together:—
"Here we are! Here we are!"
She ran immediately to let them in, and said as she embraced them:—
happy I am to see you again, my dear children; you are very tired and
very hungry, and, my poor Peter, you are covered with mud. Come in and
let me clean you."
Peter was her eldest son, whom she loved more than all the rest, because he was red haired, as she was herself.
sat down to table, and ate with an appetite which pleased both father
and mother, to whom they told how frightened they were in the forest,
nearly all speaking at once. The good folk were delighted to see their
children once more, and this joy continued while the ten crowns lasted.
But when the money was all spent, they fell again into their former
uneasiness, and resolved to lose their children again. And, that they
might be the surer of doing it, they determined to take them much
farther than before.
could not talk of this so secretly but they were overheard by Little
Thumb, who laid his plans to get out of the difficulty as he had done
before; but, though he got up very early to go and pick up some little
pebbles, he could not, for he found the house-door double-locked. He
did not know what to do. Their father had given each of them a piece of
bread for their breakfast. He reflected that he might make use of the
bread instead of the pebbles, by throwing crumbs all along the way they
should pass, and so he stuffed it in his pocket. Their father and
mother led them into the thickest and most obscure part of the forest,
and then, stealing away into a by-path, left them there. Little Thumb
was not very [Pg 35]much
worried about it, for he thought he could easily find the way again by
means of his bread, which he had scattered all along as he came; but he
was very much surprised when he could not find a single crumb: the
birds had come and eaten them all.
were now in great trouble; for the more they wandered, the deeper they
went into the forest. Night now fell, and there arose a high wind,
which filled them with fear. They fancied they heard on every side the
howling of wolves coming to devour them. They scarce dared to speak or
turn their heads. Then it rained very hard, which wetted them to the
skin. Their feet slipped at every step, and they fell into the mud,
covering their hands with it so that they knew not what to do with them.
Thumb climbed up to the top of a tree, to see if he could discover
anything. Looking on every side, he saw at last a glimmering light,
like that of a candle, but a long way beyond the forest. He came down,
and, when upon the ground, he could see it no more, which grieved him
sadly. However, having walked for some time with his brothers toward
that side on which he had seen the light, he discovered it again as he
came out of the wood.
They arrived at last at the house where this candle was, not without many frights; for very [Pg 36]often
they lost sight of it, which happened every time they came into a
hollow. They knocked at the door, and a good woman came and opened it.
asked them what they wanted. Little Thumb told her they were poor
children who were lost in the forest, and desired to lodge there for
charity's sake. The woman, seeing them all so very pretty, began to
weep and said to them: "Alas! poor babies, where do you come from? Do
you know that this house belongs to a cruel Ogre who eats little
dear madam," answered Little Thumb (who, with his brothers, was
trembling in every limb), "what shall we do? The wolves of the forest
surely will devour us to-night if you refuse us shelter in your house;
and so we would rather the gentleman should eat us. Perhaps he may take
pity upon us if you will be pleased to ask him to do so."
Ogre's wife, who believed she could hide them from her husband till
morning, let them come in, and took them to warm themselves at a very
good fire; for there was a whole sheep roasting for the Ogre's supper.
they began to warm themselves they heard three or four great raps at
the door; this was the Ogre, who was come home. His wife quickly hid
them under the bed and went to open the door. The Ogre at once asked if
supper was ready and [Pg 37]the
wine drawn, and then sat himself down to table. The sheep was as yet
all raw, but he liked it the better for that. He sniffed about to the
right and left, saying:—
"I smell fresh meat."
"What you smell," said his wife, "must be the calf which I have just now killed and flayed."
smell fresh meat, I tell you once more," replied the Ogre, looking
crossly at his wife, "and there is something here which I do not
As he spoke these words he got up from the table and went straight to the bed.
said he, "that is how you would cheat me; I know not why I do not eat
you, too; it is well for you that you are tough. Here is game, which
comes very luckily to entertain three Ogres of my acquaintance who are
to pay me a visit in a day or two."
dragged them out from under the bed, one by one. The poor children fell
upon their knees and begged his pardon, but they had to do with one of
the most cruel of Ogres, who, far from having any pity on them, was
already devouring them in his mind, and told his wife they would be
delicate eating when she had made a good sauce.
then took a great knife, and, coming up to these poor children,
sharpened it upon a great whetstone which he held in his left hand. He [Pg 38]had already taken hold of one of them when his wife said to him:—
"What need you do it now? Will you not have time enough to-morrow?"
"Hold your prating," said the Ogre; "they will eat the tenderer."
"But you have so much meat already," replied his wife; "here are a calf, two sheep, and half a pig."
"That is true," said the Ogre; "give them a good supper that they may not grow thin, and put them to bed."
good woman was overjoyed at this, and gave them a good supper; but they
were so much afraid that they could not eat. As for the Ogre, he sat
down again to drink, being highly pleased that he had the wherewithal
to treat his friends. He drank a dozen glasses more than ordinary,
which got up into his head and obliged him to go to bed.
Ogre had seven daughters, who were still little children. These young
Ogresses had all of them very fine complexions; but they all had little
gray eyes, quite round, hooked noses, a very large mouth, and very
long, sharp teeth, set far apart. They were not as yet wicked, but they
promised well to be, for they had already bitten little children.
They had been put to bed early, all seven in [Pg 39]one
bed, with every one a crown of gold upon her head. There was in the
same chamber a bed of the like size, and the Ogre's wife put the seven
little boys into this bed, after which she went to bed herself.
Thumb, who had observed that the Ogre's daughters had crowns of gold
upon their heads, and was afraid lest the Ogre should repent his not
killing them that evening, got up about midnight, and, taking his
brothers' bonnets and his own, went very softly and put them upon the
heads of the seven little Ogresses, after having taken off their crowns
of gold, which he put upon his own head and his brothers', so that the
Ogre might take them for his daughters, and his daughters for the
little boys whom he wanted to kill.
turned out just as he had thought; for the Ogre, waking about midnight,
regretted that he had deferred till morning to do that which he might
have done overnight, and jumped quickly out of bed, taking his great
"Let us see," said he, "how our little rogues do, and not make two jobs of the matter."
then went up, groping all the way, into his daughters' chamber; and,
coming to the bed where the little boys lay, and who were all fast
asleep, except Little Thumb, who was terribly afraid when he found the
Ogre fumbling about [Pg 40]his head, as he had done about his brothers', he felt the golden crowns, and said:—
"I should have made a fine piece of work of it, truly; it is clear I drank too much last night."
Then he went to the bed where the girls lay, and, having found the boys' little bonnets:—
"Ah!" said he, "my merry lads, are you there? Let us work boldly."
saying these words, without more ado, he cruelly murdered all his seven
daughters. Well pleased with what he had done, he went to bed again.
soon as Little Thumb heard the Ogre snore, he waked his brothers, and
bade them put on their clothes quickly and follow him. They stole
softly into the garden and got over the wall. They ran about, all
night, trembling all the while, without knowing which way they went.
Ogre, when he woke, said to his wife: "Go upstairs and dress those
young rascals who came here last night." The Ogress was very much
surprised at this goodness of her husband, not dreaming after what
manner she should dress them; but, thinking that he had ordered her to
go up and put on their clothes, she went, and was horrified when she
perceived her seven daughters all dead.
She began by fainting away, as was only natural in such a case. The Ogre, fearing his wife was [Pg 41]too
long in doing what he had ordered, went up himself to help her. He was
no less amazed than his wife at this frightful spectacle.
"Ah! what have I done?" cried he. "The wretches shall pay for it, and that instantly."
threw a pitcher of water upon his wife's face, and having brought her
to herself, "Give me quickly," cried he, "my seven-leagued boots, that
I may go and catch them."
went out into the country, and, after running in all directions, he
came at last into the very road where the poor children were, and not
above a hundred paces from their father's house. They espied the Ogre,
who went at one step from mountain to mountain, and over rivers as
easily as the narrowest brooks. Little Thumb, seeing a hollow rock near
the place where they were, hid his brothers in it, and crowded into it
himself, watching always what would become of the Ogre.
Ogre, who found himself tired with his long and fruitless journey (for
these boots of seven leagues greatly taxed the wearer), had a great
mind to rest himself, and, by chance, went to sit down upon the rock in
which the little boys had hidden themselves. As he was worn out with
fatigue, he fell asleep, and, after reposing himself some time, began
to snore so frightfully that the poor children were no less afraid of
him [Pg 42]than
when he held up his great knife and was going to take their lives.
Little Thumb was not so much frightened as his brothers, and told them
that they should run away at once toward home while the Ogre was asleep
so soundly, and that they need not be in any trouble about him. They
took his advice, and got home quickly.
Thumb then went close to the Ogre, pulled off his boots gently, and put
them on his own legs. The boots were very long and large, but as they
were fairy boots, they had the gift of becoming big or little,
according to the legs of those who wore them; so that they fitted his
feet and legs as well as if they had been made for him. He went
straight to the Ogre's house, where he saw his wife crying bitterly for
the loss of her murdered daughters.
husband," said Little Thumb, "is in very great danger, for he has been
taken by a gang of thieves, who have sworn to kill him if he does not
give them all his gold and silver. At the very moment they held their
daggers at his throat he perceived me and begged me to come and tell
you the condition he was in, and to say that you should give me all he
has of value, without retaining any one thing; for otherwise they will
kill him without mercy. As his case is very pressing, he desired me to
make use of his seven-leagued boots, which you see I have on, so that I [Pg 43]might make the more haste and that I might show you that I do not impose upon you."
good woman, being greatly frightened, gave him all she had; for this
Ogre was a very good husband, though he ate up little children. Little
Thumb, having thus got all the Ogre's money, came home to his father's
house, where he was received with abundance of joy.
are many people who do not agree in regard to this act of Little
Thumb's, and pretend that he never robbed the Ogre at all, and that he
only thought he might very justly take off his seven-leagued boots
because he made no other use of them but to run after little children.
These folks affirm that they are very well assured of this, because
they have drunk and eaten often at the fagot-maker's house. They
declare that when Little Thumb had taken off the Ogre's boots he went
to Court, where he was informed that they were very much in trouble
about a certain army, which was two hundred leagues off, and anxious as
to the success of a battle. He went, they say, to the King and told him
that if he desired it, he would bring him news from the army before
King promised him a great sum of money if he succeeded. Little Thumb
returned that very same night with the news; and, this first expedition
causing him to be known, he earned as much [Pg 44]as
he wished, for the King paid him very well for carrying his orders to
the army. Many ladies employed him also to carry messages, from which
he made much money. After having for some time carried on the business
of a messenger and gained thereby great wealth, he went home to his
father, and it is impossible to express the joy of his family. He
placed them all in comfortable circumstances, bought places for his
father and brothers, and by that means settled them very handsomely in
the world, while he successfully continued to make his own way.
THE MASTER CAT, OR PUSS IN BOOTS.
upon a time there was a miller who left no more riches to the three
sons he had than his mill, his ass, and his cat. The division was soon
made. Neither the lawyer nor the attorney was sent for. They would soon
have eaten up all the poor property. The eldest had the mill, the
second the ass, and the youngest nothing but the cat.
The youngest, as we can understand, was quite unhappy at having so poor a share.
brothers," said he, "may get their living handsomely enough by joining
their stocks together; but, for my part, when I have eaten up my cat,
and made me a muff of his skin, I must die of hunger."
The Cat, who heard all this, without appearing to take any notice, said to him with a grave and serious air:—
not thus afflict yourself, my master; you have nothing else to do but
to give me a bag, and get a pair of boots made for me, that I may
scamper through the brambles, and you shall see [Pg 46]that you have not so poor a portion in me as you think."
the Cat's master did not think much of what he said, he had seen him
play such cunning tricks to catch rats and mice—hanging himself
by the heels, or hiding himself in the meal, to make believe he was
dead—that he did not altogether despair of his helping him in his
misery. When the Cat had what he asked for, he booted himself very
gallantly, and putting his bag about his neck, he held the strings of
it in his two forepaws, and went into a warren where was a great number
of rabbits. He put bran and sow-thistle into his bag, and, stretching
out at length, as if he were dead, he waited for some young rabbits,
not yet acquainted with the deceits of the world, to come and rummage
his bag for what he had put into it.
was he settled but he had what he wanted. A rash and foolish young
rabbit jumped into his bag, and Monsieur Puss, immediately drawing
close the strings, took him and killed him at once. Proud of his prey,
he went with it to the palace, and asked to speak with the King. He was
shown upstairs into his Majesty's apartment, and, making a low bow to
the King, he said:—
"I have brought you, sire, a rabbit which my noble Lord, the Master of Carabas" (for that was [Pg 47]the title which Puss was pleased to give his master) "has commanded me to present to your Majesty from him."
"Tell thy master," said the King, "that I thank him, and that I am pleased with his gift."
time he went and hid himself among some standing corn, still holding
his bag open; and when a brace of partridges ran into it, he drew the
strings, and so caught them both. He then went and made a present of
these to the King, as he had done before of the rabbit which he took in
the warren. The King, in like manner, received the partridges with
great pleasure, and ordered his servants to reward him.
Cat continued for two or three months thus to carry his Majesty, from
time to time, some of his master's game. One day when he knew that the
King was to take the air along the riverside, with his daughter, the
most beautiful princess in the world, he said to his master:—
you will follow my advice, your fortune is made. You have nothing else
to do but go and bathe in the river, just at the spot I shall show you,
and leave the rest to me."
Marquis of Carabas did what the Cat advised him to, without knowing
what could be the use of doing it. While he was bathing, the King
passed by, and the Cat cried out with all his might:—
"Help! help! My Lord the Marquis of Carabas is drowning!"
this noise the King put his head out of the coach window, and seeing
the Cat who had so often brought him game, he commanded his guards to
run immediately to the assistance of his Lordship the Marquis of
they were drawing the poor Marquis out of the river, the Cat came up to
the coach and told the King that, while his master was bathing, there
came by some rogues, who ran off with his clothes, though he had cried
out, "Thieves! thieves!" several times, as loud as he could. The
cunning Cat had hidden the clothes under a great stone. The King
immediately commanded the officers of his wardrobe to run and fetch one
of his best suits for the Lord Marquis of Carabas.
"The Marquis of Carabas is drowning!" p. 48.
King was extremely polite to him, and as the fine clothes he had given
him set off his good looks (for he was well made and handsome), the
King's daughter found him very much to her liking, and the Marquis of
Carabas had no sooner cast two or three respectful and somewhat tender
glances than she fell in love with him to distraction. The King would
have him come into the coach and take part in the airing. The Cat,
overjoyed to see his plan begin to succeed, marched on before, and,
meeting with some countrymen, who were mowing a meadow, he said to
people, you who are mowing, if you do not tell the King that the meadow
you mow belongs to my Lord Marquis of Carabas, you shall be chopped as
small as herbs for the pot."
The King did not fail to ask the mowers to whom the meadow they were mowing belonged.
"To my Lord Marquis of Carabas," answered they all together, for the Cat's threat had made them afraid.
"You have a good property there," said the King to the Marquis of Carabas.
"You see, sire," said the Marquis, "this is a meadow which never fails to yield a plentiful harvest every year."
The Master Cat, who went still on before, met with some reapers, and said to them:—
people, you who are reaping, if you do not say that all this corn
belongs to the Marquis of Carabas, you shall be chopped as small as
herbs for the pot."
The King, who passed by a moment after, wished to know to whom belonged all that corn, which he then saw.
my Lord Marquis of Carabas," replied the reapers, and the King was very
well pleased with it, as well as the Marquis, whom he congratulated
thereupon. The Master Cat, who went always before, said the same thing
to all he met, and the [Pg 51]King was astonished at the vast estates of my Lord Marquis of Carabas.
Puss came at last to a stately castle, the master of which was an Ogre,
the richest ever known; for all the lands which the King had then
passed through belonged to this castle. The Cat, who had taken care to
inform himself who this Ogre was and what he could do, asked to speak
with him, saying he could not pass so near his castle without having
the honor of paying his respects to him.
The Ogre received him as civilly as an Ogre could do, and made him sit down.
have been assured," said the Cat, "that you have the gift of being able
to change yourself into all sorts of creatures you have a mind to; that
you can, for example, transform yourself into a lion, or elephant, and
"That is true," answered the Ogre, roughly; "and to convince you, you shall see me now become a lion."
was so terrified at the sight of a lion so near him that he immediately
climbed into the gutter, not without much trouble and danger, because
of his boots, which were of no use at all to him for walking upon the
tiles. A little while after, when Puss saw that the Ogre had resumed
his natural form, he came down, and owned he had been very much
have, moreover, been informed," said the Cat, "but I know not how to
believe it, that; you have also the power to take on you the shape of
the smallest animals; for example, to change yourself into a rat or a
mouse, but I must own to you I take this to be impossible."
cried the Ogre; "you shall see." And at the same time he changed
himself into a mouse, and began to run about the floor. Puss no sooner
perceived this than he fell upon him and ate him up.
the King, who saw, as he passed, this fine castle of the Ogre's, had a
mind to go into it. Puss, who heard the noise of his Majesty's coach
coming over the drawbridge, ran out, and said to the King, "Your
Majesty is welcome to this castle of my Lord Marquis of Carabas."
my Lord Marquis," cried the King, "and does this castle also belong to
you? There can be nothing finer than this courtyard and all the stately
buildings which surround it; let us see the interior, if you please."
Marquis gave his hand to the young Princess, and followed the King, who
went first. They passed into the great hall, where they found a
magnificent collation, which the Ogre had prepared for his friends, who
were that very day to visit him, but dared not to enter, [Pg 53]knowing
the King was there. His Majesty, charmed with the good qualities of my
Lord of Carabas, as was also his daughter, who had fallen violently in
love with him, and seeing the vast estate he possessed, said to
"It will be owing to yourself only, my Lord Marquis, if you are not my son-in-law."
Marquis, with low bows, accepted the honor which his Majesty conferred
upon him, and forthwith that very same day married the Princess.
Puss became a great lord, and never ran after mice any more except for his diversion.
RIQUET WITH THE TUFT.
upon a time there was a Queen who had a son so ugly and so misshapen
that it was long disputed whether he had human form. A fairy who was at
his birth said, however, that he would be very amiable for all that,
since he would have uncommon good sense. She even added that it would
be in his power, by virtue of a gift she had just then given him, to
bestow as much sense as he pleased on the person he loved the best. All
this somewhat comforted the poor Queen. It is true that this child no
sooner began to talk than he said a thousand pretty things, and in all
his actions there was an intelligence that was quite charming. I forgot
to tell you that he was born with a little tuft of hair upon his head,
which made them call him Riquet with the Tuft, for Riquet was the family name.
or eight years later the Queen of a neighboring kingdom had two
daughters who were twins. The first born of these was more beautiful
than the day; whereat the Queen was so very glad that those present
were afraid that [Pg 55]her
excess of joy would do her harm. The same fairy who was present at the
birth of little Riquet with the Tuft was here also, and, to moderate
the Queen's gladness, she declared that this little Princess should
have no sense at all, but should be as stupid as she was pretty. This
mortified the Queen extremely; but afterward she had a far greater
sorrow, for the second daughter proved to be very ugly.
not afflict yourself so much, madam," said the fairy. "Your daughter
shall have her recompense; she shall have so great a portion of sense
that the want of beauty will hardly be perceived."
"God grant it," replied the Queen; "but is there no way to make the eldest, who is so pretty, have any sense?"
can do nothing for her, madam, as to sense," answered the fairy, "but
everything as to beauty; and as there is nothing I would not do for
your satisfaction, I give her for gift that she shall have power to
make handsome the person who shall best please her."
these princesses grew up, their perfections grew with them. All the
public talk was of the beauty of the elder and the rare good sense of
the younger. It is true also that their defects increased considerably
with their age. The younger visibly grew uglier and uglier, and the
elder be[Pg 56]came
every day more and more stupid: she either made no answer at all to
what was asked her, or said something very silly. She was with all this
so unhandy that she could not place four pieces of china upon the
mantelpiece without breaking one of them, nor drink a glass of water
without spilling half of it upon her clothes.
beauty is a very great advantage in young people, the younger sister
was always the more preferred in society. People would indeed go first
to the Beauty to look upon and admire her, but turn aside soon after to
the Wit to hear a thousand most entertaining and agreeable things; and
it was amazing to see, in less than a quarter of an hour's time, the
elder with not a soul near her, and the whole company crowding about
the younger. The elder, dull as she was, could not fail to notice this;
and without the slightest regret would have given all her beauty to
have half her sister's wit. The Queen, prudent as she was, could not
help reproaching her several times for her stupidity, which almost made
the poor Princess die of grief.
day, as she had hidden herself in a wood to bewail her misfortune, she
saw coming to her a very disagreeable little man, but most
magnificently dressed. This was the young Prince Riquet with the Tuft,
who having fallen in love with her upon seeing her picture,—many
of which were dis[Pg 57]tributed
all the world over,—had left his father's kingdom to have the
pleasure of seeing and talking with her. Overjoyed to find her thus
alone, he addressed himself to her with all imaginable politeness and
respect. Having observed, after he had paid her the ordinary
compliments, that she was extremely melancholy, he said to her:—
cannot comprehend, madam, how a person so beautiful as you are can be
so sorrowful as you seem to be; for though I can boast of having seen a
great number of exquisitely charming ladies, I can say that I never
beheld any one whose beauty approaches yours."
"You are pleased to say so," answered the Princess, and here she stopped.
replied Riquet with the Tuft, "is such a great advantage, that it ought
to take place of all things besides; and since you possess this
treasure, I can see nothing that can possibly very much afflict you."
had far rather," cried the Princess, "be as ugly as you are, and have
sense, than have the beauty I possess, and be as stupid as I am."
is nothing, madam," returned he, "shows more that we have good sense
than to believe we have none; and it is the nature of that excellent
quality that the more people have of it, the more they believe they
"I do not know that," said the Princess; "but [Pg 58]I know very well that I am very senseless, and that vexes me mightily."
"If that be all which troubles you, madam, I can very easily put an end to your affliction."
"And how will you do that?" cried the Princess.
have the power, madam," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "to give to that
person whom I love best as much good sense as can be had; and as you,
madam, are that very person, it will be your fault only if you have not
as great a share of it as any one living, provided you will be pleased
to marry me."
The Princess was quite confused, and answered not a word.
see," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "that this proposal does not please
you, and I do not wonder at it; but I will give you a whole year to
Princess had so little sense and, at the same time, so great a longing
to have some, that she imagined the end of that year would never come,
so she accepted the proposal which was made her.
had no sooner promised Riquet with the Tuft that she would marry him on
that day twelvemonth than she found herself quite otherwise than she
was before: she had an incredible faculty of speaking whatever she had
in her mind in a polite, easy, and natural manner.
began that moment a very gallant conversation with Riquet with the
Tuft, which she kept up at such a rate that Riquet with the Tuft
believed he had given her more sense than he had reserved for himself.
she returned to the palace, the whole court knew not what to think of
such a sudden and extraordinary change; for they heard from her now as
much sensible discourse and as many infinitely witty phrases as they
had heard stupid and silly impertinences before. The whole court was
overjoyed beyond imagination at it. It pleased all but her younger
sister, because, having no longer the advantage of her in respect of
wit, she appeared in comparison with her a very disagreeable, homely
King governed himself by her advice, and would even sometimes hold a
council in her apartment. The news of this change in the Princess
spread everywhere; the young princes of the neighboring kingdoms strove
all they could to gain her favor, and almost all of them asked her in
marriage; but she found not one of them had sense enough for her. She
gave them all a hearing, but would not engage herself to any.
there came one so powerful, so rich, so witty, and so handsome that she
could not help feeling a strong inclination toward him. Her father
perceived it, and told her that she was her [Pg 60]own
mistress as to the choice of a husband, and that she might declare her
intentions. She thanked her father, and desired him to give her time to
went by chance to walk in the same wood where she met Riquet with the
Tuft, the more conveniently to think what she ought to do. While she
was walking in a profound meditation, she heard a confused noise under
her feet, as it were of a great many people busily running backward and
forward. Listening more attentively, she heard one say:—
"Bring me that pot," another, "Give me that kettle," and a third, "Put some wood upon the fire."
ground at the same time opened, and she saw under her feet a great
kitchen full of cooks, kitchen helps, and all sorts of officers
necessary for a magnificent entertainment. There came out of it a
company of cooks, to the number of twenty or thirty, who went to plant
themselves about a very long table set up in the forest, with their
larding pins in their hands and fox tails in their caps, and began to
work, keeping time to a very harmonious tune.
The Princess, all astonished at this sight, asked them for whom they worked.
"For Prince Riquet with the Tuft," said the chief of them, "who is to be married to-morrow."
Princess, more surprised than ever, and recollecting all at once that
it was now that day twelvemonth on which she had promised to marry the
Prince Riquet with the Tuft, was ready to sink into the ground.
made her forget this was that when she made this promise, she was very
silly; and having obtained that vast stock of sense which the prince
had bestowed upon her, she had entirely forgotten the things she had
done in the days of her stupidity. She continued her walk, but had not
taken thirty steps before Riquet with the Tuft presented himself to
her, gallant and most magnificently dressed, like a prince who was
going to be married.
see, madam," said he, "I am exact in keeping my word, and doubt not in
the least but you are come hither to perform your promise."
frankly confess," answered the Princess, "that I have not yet come to a
decision in this matter, and I believe I never shall be able to arrive
at such a one as you desire."
"You astonish me, madam," said Riquet with the Tuft.
can well believe it," said the Princess; "and surely if I had to do
with a clown, or a man of no sense, I should find myself very much at a
loss. 'A princess always keeps her word,' he would say to me, 'and you
must marry me, since you prom[Pg 62]ised
to do so.' But as he to whom I talk is the one man in the world who is
master of the greatest sense and judgment, I am sure he will hear
reason. You know that when I was but a fool I could scarcely make up my
mind to marry you; why will you have me, now I have so much judgment as
you gave me, come to such a decision which I could not then make up my
mind to agree to? If you sincerely thought to make me your wife, you
have been greatly in the wrong to deprive me of my dull simplicity, and
make me see things much more clearly than I did."
a man of no wit and sense," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "would be
well received, as you say, in reproaching you for breach of your word,
why will you not let me, madam, have the same usage in a matter wherein
all the happiness of my life is concerned? Is it reasonable that
persons of wit and sense should be in a worse condition than those who
have none? Can you pretend this, you who have so great a share, and
desired so earnestly to have it? But let us come to the fact, if you
please. Putting aside my ugliness and deformity, is there anything in
me which displeased you? Are you dissatisfied with my birth, my wit, my
humor, or my manners?"
"Not at all," answered the Princess; "I love you and respect you in all that you mention."
"I am exact in keeping my Word." p. 61.
"If it be so," said Riquet with the Tuft, "I am [Pg 64]happy, since it is in your power to make me the most amiable of men."
"How can that be?" said the Princess.
is done," said Riquet with the Tuft, "if you love me enough to wish it
was so; and that you may no ways doubt, madam, of what I say, know that
the same fairy who on my birthday gave me for gift the power of making
the person who should please me witty and judicious, has in like manner
given you for gift the power of making him whom you love and to whom
you would grant the favor, to be extremely handsome."
it be so," said the Princess, "I wish with all my heart that you may be
the most lovable prince in the world, and I bestow my gift on you as
much as I am able."
Princess had no sooner pronounced these words than Riquet with the Tuft
appeared to her the finest prince upon earth, the handsomest and most
amiable man she ever saw. Some affirm that it was not the fairy's
charms, but love alone, which worked the change.
say that the Princess, having made due reflection on the perseverance
of her lover, his discretion, and all the good qualities of his mind,
his wit and judgment, saw no longer the deformity of his body, nor the
ugliness of his face; that his hump seemed to her no more than the
grand air of one having a broad back, and that whereas till [Pg 65]then she saw him limp horribly, she now found it nothing more than a certain sidling air, which charmed her.
say further that his eyes, which were squinted very much, seemed to her
most bright and sparkling, that their irregularity passed in her
judgment for a mark of the warmth of his affection, and, in short, that
his great red nose was, in her opinion, somewhat martial and heroic in
it was, the Princess promised immediately to marry him, on condition
that he obtained the King's consent. The King, knowing that his
daughter highly esteemed Riquet with the Tuft, whom he knew also for a
most sage and judicious prince, received him for his son-in-law with
pleasure, and the next morning their nuptials were celebrated, as
Riquet with the Tuft had foreseen, and according to the orders he had
given a long time before.
upon a time there was a man who had fine houses, both in town and
country, a deal of silver and gold plate, carved furniture, and coaches
gilded all over. But unhappily this man had a blue beard, which made
him so ugly and so terrible that all the women and girls ran away from
of his neighbors, a lady of quality, had two daughters who were perfect
beauties. He asked for one of them in marriage, leaving to her the
choice of which she would bestow on him. They would neither of them
have him, and they sent him backward and forward from one to the other,
neither being able to make up her mind to marry a man who had a blue
beard. Another thing which made them averse to him was that he had
already married several wives, and nobody knew what had become of them.
Beard, to become better acquainted, took them, with their mother and
three or four of their best friends, with some young people of the
neighborhood to one of his country seats, where they stayed a whole
was nothing going on but pleasure parties, hunting, fishing, dancing,
mirth, and feasting. Nobody went to bed, but all passed the night in
playing pranks on each other. In short, everything succeeded so well
that the youngest daughter began to think that the beard of the master
of the house was not so very blue, and that he was a very civil
gentleman. So as soon as they returned home, the marriage was concluded.
a month afterward Blue Beard told his wife that he was obliged to take
a country journey for six weeks at least, upon business of great
importance. He desired her to amuse herself well in his absence, to
send for her friends, to take them into the country, if she pleased,
and to live well wherever she was.
said he, "are the keys of the two great warehouses wherein I have my
best furniture: these are of the room where I keep my silver and gold
plate, which is not in everyday use; these open my safes, which hold my
money, both gold and silver; these my caskets of jewels; and this is
the master-key to all my apartments. But as for this little key, it is
the key of the closet at the end of the great gallery on the ground
floor. Open them all; go everywhere; but as for that little closet, I
forbid you to enter it, and I promise you surely that, if you open it,
there's nothing that you may not expect from my anger."
She promised to obey exactly all his orders; and he, after having embraced her, got into his coach and proceeded on his journey.
neighbors and good friends did not stay to be sent for by the
new-married lady, so great was their impatience to see all the riches
of her house, not daring to come while her husband was there, because
of his blue beard, which frightened them. They at once ran through all
the rooms, closets, and wardrobes, which were so fine and rich, and
each seemed to surpass all others. They went up into the warehouses,
where was the best and richest furniture; and they could not
sufficiently admire the number and beauty of the tapestry, beds,
couches, cabinets, stands, tables, and looking-glasses, in which you
might see yourself from head to foot. Some of them were framed with
glass, others with silver, plain and gilded, the most beautiful and the
most magnificent ever seen.
"If you open it, there's Nothing you may not expect from my Anger." p. 67.
ceased not to praise and envy the happiness of their friend, who, in
the meantime, was not at all amused by looking upon all these rich
things, because of her impatience to go and open the closet on the
ground floor. Her curiosity was so great that, without considering how
uncivil it was to leave her guests, she went down a little back
staircase, with such excessive haste that twice or thrice she came near
breaking her neck. [Pg 70]Having
reached the closet-door, she stood still for some time, thinking of her
husband's orders, and considering that unhappiness might attend her if
she was disobedient; but the temptation was so strong she could not
overcome it. She then took the little key, and opened the door,
trembling. At first she could not see anything plainly, because the
windows were shut. After some moments she began to perceive that
several dead women were scattered about the floor. (These were all the
wives whom Blue Beard had married and murdered, one after the other,
because they did not obey his orders about the closet on the ground
floor.) She thought she surely would die for fear, and the key, which
she pulled out of the lock, fell out of her hand.
having somewhat recovered from the shock, she picked up the key, locked
the door, and went upstairs into her chamber to compose herself; but
she could not rest, so much was she frightened.
observed that the key of the closet was stained, she tried two or three
times to wipe off the stain, but the stain would not come out. In vain
did she wash it, and even rub it with soap and sand. The stain still
remained, for the key was a magic key, and she could never make it
quite clean; when the stain was gone off from one side, it came again
on the other.
Beard returned from his journey that same evening, and said he had
received letters upon the road, informing him that the business which
called him away was ended to his advantage. His wife did all she could
to convince him she was delighted at his speedy return.
morning he asked her for the keys, which she gave him, but with such a
trembling hand that he easily guessed what had happened.
"How is it," said he, "that the key of my closet is not among the rest?"
"I must certainly," said she, "have left it upstairs upon the table."
"Do not fail," said Blue Beard, "to bring it to me presently."
having put off doing it several times, she was forced to bring him the
key. Blue Beard, having examined it, said to his wife:—
"How comes this stain upon the key?"
"I do not know," cried the poor woman, paler than death.
do not know!" replied Blue Beard. "I very well know. You wished to go
into the cabinet? Very well, madam; you shall go in, and take your
place among the ladies you saw there."
threw herself weeping at her husband's feet, and begged his pardon with
all the signs of a true repentance for her disobedience. She would have
melted a rock, so beautiful and sor[Pg 72]rowful was she; but Blue Beard had a heart harder than any stone.
"You must die, madam," said he, "and that at once."
I must die," answered she, looking upon him with her eyes all bathed in
tears, "give me some little time to say my prayers."
"I give you," replied Blue Beard, "half a quarter of an hour, but not one moment more."
When she was alone she called out to her sister, and said to her:—
Anne,"—for that was her name,—"go up, I beg you, to the top
of the tower, and look if my brothers are not coming; they promised me
they would come to-day, and if you see them, give them a sign to make
Her sister Anne went up to the top of the tower, and the poor afflicted wife cried out from time to time:—
"Anne, sister Anne, do you see any one coming?"
And sister Anne said:—
"I see nothing but the sun, which makes a dust, and the grass, which looks green."
In the meanwhile Blue Beard, holding a great sabre in his hand, cried to his wife as loud as he could:—
"Come down instantly, or I shall come up to you."
moment longer, if you please," said his wife; and then she cried out
very softly, "Anne, sister Anne, dost thou see anybody coming?"
And sister Anne answered:—
"I see nothing but the sun, which makes a dust, and the grass, which is green."
"Come down quickly," cried Blue Beard, "or I will come up to you."
"I am coming," answered his wife; and then she cried, "Anne, sister Anne, dost thou not see any one coming?"
"I see," replied sister Anne, "a great dust, which comes from this side."
"Are they my brothers?"
"Alas! no, my sister, I see a flock of sheep."
"Will you not come down?" cried Blue Beard.
"One moment longer," said his wife, and then she cried out, "Anne, sister Anne, dost thou see nobody coming?"
"I see," said she, "two horsemen, but they are yet a great way off."
be praised," replied the poor wife, joyfully; "they are my brothers; I
will make them a sign, as well as I can, for them to make haste."
Blue Beard bawled out so loud that he made the whole house tremble. The
distressed wife came down and threw herself at his feet, all in tears,
with her hair about her shoulders.
"All this is of no help to you," says Blue Beard: [Pg 74]"you
must die"; then, taking hold of her hair with one hand, and lifting up
his sword in the air with the other, he was about to take off her head.
The poor lady, turning about to him, and looking at him with dying
eyes, desired him to afford her one little moment to her thoughts.
"No, no," said he, "commend thyself to God," and again lifting his arm—
this moment there was such a loud knocking at the gate that Blue Beard
stopped suddenly. The gate was opened, and presently entered two
horsemen, who, with sword in hand, ran directly to Blue Beard. He knew
them to be his wife's brothers, one a dragoon, the other a musketeer.
He ran away immediately, but the two brothers pursued him so closely
that they overtook him before he could get to the steps of the porch.
There they ran their swords through his body, and left him dead. The
poor wife was almost as dead as her husband, and had not strength
enough to arise and welcome her brothers.
Beard had no heirs, and so his wife became mistress of all his estate.
She made use of one portion of it to marry her sister Anne to a young
gentleman who had loved her a long while; another portion to buy
captains' commissions for her brothers; and the rest to marry herself
to a very worthy gentleman, who made her forget the sorry time she had
passed with Blue Beard.
upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters. The elder was so
much like her, both in looks and character, that whoever saw the
daughter saw the mother. They were both so disagreeable and so proud
that there was no living with them. The younger, who was the very
picture of her father for sweetness of temper and virtue, was withal
one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love
their own likeness, this mother doted on her elder daughter, and at the
same time had a great aversion for the younger. She made her eat in the
kitchen and work continually.
other things, this unfortunate child had to go twice a day to draw
water more than a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a
pitcherful of it. One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to
her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink.
yes, with all my heart, Goody," said this pretty little girl. Rinsing
the pitcher at once, she took some of the clearest water from the
fountain, and gave it to her, holding up the pitcher all the while,
that she might drink the easier.
The good woman having drunk, said to her:—
are so pretty, so good and courteous, that I cannot help giving you a
gift." For this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor
country-woman, to see how far the civility and good manners of this
pretty girl would go. "I will give you for gift," continued the Fairy,
"that, at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth
either a flower or a jewel."
When this pretty girl returned, her mother scolded at her for staying so long at the fountain.
"I beg your pardon, mamma," said the poor girl, "for not making more haste."
And in speaking these words there came out of her mouth two roses, two pearls, and two large diamonds.
is it I see there?" said her mother, quite astonished. "I think pearls
and diamonds come out of the girl's mouth! How happens this, my child?"
This was the first time she had ever called her "my child."
The girl told her frankly all the matter, not without dropping out great numbers of diamonds.
"With All my Heart, Goody." p. 75.
cried the mother, "I must send my own dear child thither. Fanny, look
at what comes out of your sister's mouth when she speaks. Would you not
be glad, my dear, to have the same gift? You have only to go and draw
water [Pg 78]out of the fountain, and when a poor woman asks you to let her drink, to give it to her very civilly."
"I should like to see myself going to the fountain to draw water," said this ill-bred minx.
"I insist you shall go," said the mother, "and that instantly."
She went, but grumbled all the way, taking with her the best silver tankard in the house.
no sooner reached the fountain than she saw coming out of the wood, a
magnificently dressed lady, who came up to her, and asked to drink.
This was the same fairy who had appeared to her sister, but she had now
taken the air and dress of a princess, to see how far this girl's
rudeness would go.
I come hither," said the proud, ill-bred girl, "to serve you with
water, pray? I suppose this silver tankard was brought purely for your
ladyship, was it? However, you may drink out of it, if you have a
are scarcely polite," answered the fairy, without anger. "Well, then,
since you are so disobliging, I give you for gift that at every word
you speak there shall come out of your mouth a snake or a toad."
So soon as her mother saw her coming, she cried out:—
"Well, mother?" answered the unhappy girl, throwing out of her mouth a viper and a toad.
mercy!" cried the mother, "what is it I see? It is her sister who has
caused all this, but she shall pay for it," and immediately she ran to
beat her. The poor child fled away from her, and went to hide herself
in the forest nearby.
King's son, who was returning from the chase, met her, and seeing her
so beautiful, asked her what she did there alone and why she cried.
"Alas! sir, my mother has turned me out of doors."
King's son, who saw five or six pearls and as many diamonds come out of
her mouth, desired her to tell him how that happened. She told him the
whole story. The King's son fell in love with her, and, considering
that such a gift was worth more than any marriage portion another bride
could bring, conducted her to the palace of the King, his father, and
there married her.
for her sister, she made herself so much hated that her own mother
turned her out of doors. The miserable girl, after wandering about and
finding no one to take her in, went to a corner of the wood, and there
LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD.
upon a time there lived in a certain village a little country girl, the
prettiest creature that ever was seen. Her mother was very fond of her,
and her grandmother loved her still more. This good woman made for her
a little red riding-hood, which became the girl so well that everybody
called her Little Red Riding-hood.
One day her mother, having made some custards, said to her:—
my dear, and see how your grandmother does, for I hear she has been
very ill; carry her a custard and this little pot of butter."
Little Red Riding-hood set out immediately to go to her grandmother's, who lived in another village.
she was going through the wood, she met Gaffer Wolf, who had a very
great mind to eat her up; but he dared not, because of some
fagot-makers hard by in the forest. He asked her whither she was going.
The poor child, who did not know that it was dangerous to stay and hear
a wolf talk, said to him:—
"I am going to see my grandmother, and carry [Pg 81]her a custard and a little pot of butter from my mamma."
"Does she live far off?" said the Wolf.
"Oh, yes," answered Little Red Riding-hood; "it is beyond that mill you see there, the first house you come to in the village."
said the Wolf, "and I'll go and see her, too. I'll go this way, and you
go that, and we shall see who will be there first."
Wolf began to run as fast as he could, taking the shortest way, and the
little girl went by the longest way, amusing herself by gathering nuts,
running after butterflies, and making nosegays of such little flowers
as she met with. The Wolf was not long before he reached the old
woman's house. He knocked at the door—tap, tap, tap.
"Who's there?" called the grandmother.
grandchild, Little Red Riding-hood," replied the Wolf, imitating her
voice, "who has brought a custard and a little pot of butter sent to
you by mamma."
The good grandmother, who was in bed, because she was somewhat ill, cried out:—
"Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up."
Wolf pulled the bobbin, and the door opened. He fell upon the good
woman and ate her up in no time, for he had not eaten anything for more
than three days. He then shut the [Pg 82]door,
went into the grandmother's bed, and waited for Little Red Riding-hood,
who came sometime afterward and knocked at the door—tap, tap, tap.
"Who's there?" called the Wolf.
Red Riding-hood, hearing the big voice of the Wolf, was at first
afraid; but thinking her grandmother had a cold, answered:—
"'Tis your grandchild, Little Red Riding-hood, who has brought you a custard and a little pot of butter sent to you by mamma."
The Wolf cried out to her, softening his voice a little:—
"Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up."
Little Red Riding-hood pulled the bobbin, and the door opened.
The Wolf, seeing her come in, said to her, hiding himself under the bedclothes:—
"Put the custard and the little pot of butter upon the stool, and come and lie down with me."
Red Riding-hood undressed herself and went into bed, where she was much
surprised to see how her grandmother looked in her night-clothes.
She said to her:—
"Grandmamma, what great arms you have got!"
"That is the better to hug thee, my dear."
"Grandmamma, what great legs you have got!"
"He fell upon the Good Woman." p. 81.
"That is to run the better, my child."
"Grandmamma, what great ears you have got!"
"That is to hear the better, my child."
"Grandmamma, what great eyes you have got!"
"It is to see the better, my child."
"Grandmamma, what great teeth you have got!"
"That is to eat thee up."
And, saying these words, this wicked Wolf fell upon Little Red Riding-hood, and ate her all up.