Tantissimi classici della letteratura e della cultura politica,
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Abbe Prevost - MANON LESCAUT
Alcott, Louisa M. - AN OLDFASHIONED GIRL
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE MEN
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE WOMEN
Alcott, Louisa May - JACK AND JILL
Alcott, Louisa May - LIFE LETTERS AND JOURNALS
Andersen, Hans Christian - FAIRY TALES
Anonimo - BEOWULF
Ariosto, Ludovico - ORLANDO ENRAGED
Aurelius, Marcus - MEDITATIONS
Austen, Jane - EMMA
Austen, Jane - MANSFIELD PARK
Austen, Jane - NORTHANGER ABBEY
Austen, Jane - PERSUASION
Austen, Jane - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Austen, Jane - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Authors, Various - LETTERS OF ABELARD AND HELOISE
Authors, Various - SELECTED ENGLISH LETTERS
Autori Vari - THE WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE
Bacon, Francis - THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
Balzac, Honore de - EUGENIE GRANDET
Balzac, Honore de - FATHER GORIOT
Baroness Orczy - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
Barrie, J. M. - PETER AND WENDY
Barrie, James M. - PETER PAN
Bierce, Ambrose - THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
Blake, William - SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE
Boccaccio, Giovanni - DECAMERONE
Brent, Linda - INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL
Bronte, Charlotte - JANE EYRE
Bronte, Charlotte - VILLETTE
Buchan, John - GREENMANTLE
Buchan, John - MR STANDFAST
Buchan, John - THE 39 STEPS
Bunyan, John - THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Burckhardt, Jacob - THE CIVILIZATION OF THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
Burnett, Frances H. - A LITTLE PRINCESS
Burnett, Frances H. - LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
Burnett, Frances H. - THE SECRET GARDEN
Butler, Samuel - EREWHON
Carlyle, Thomas - PAST AND PRESENT
Carlyle, Thomas - THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Cellini, Benvenuto - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Cervantes - DON QUIXOTE
Chaucer, Geoffrey - THE CANTERBURY TALES
Chesterton, G. K. - A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLAND
Chesterton, G. K. - THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE
Chesterton, G. K. - THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY
Chesterton, G. K. - THE WISDOM OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - TWELVE TYPES
Chesterton, G. K. - WHAT I SAW IN AMERICA
Chesterton, Gilbert K. - HERETICS
Chopin, Kate - AT FAULT
Chopin, Kate - BAYOU FOLK
Chopin, Kate - THE AWAKENING AND SELECTED SHORT STORIES
Clark Hall, John R. - A CONCISE ANGLOSAXON DICTIONARY
Clarkson, Thomas - AN ESSAY ON THE SLAVERY AND COMMERCE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES
Clausewitz, Carl von - ON WAR
Coleridge, Herbert - A DICTIONARY OF THE FIRST OR OLDEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH
Coleridge, S. T. - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Coleridge, S. T. - HINTS TOWARDS THE FORMATION OF A MORE COMPREHENSIVE THEORY
Coleridge, S. T. - THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
Collins, Wilkie - THE MOONSTONE
Collodi - PINOCCHIO
Conan Doyle, Arthur - A STUDY IN SCARLET
Conan Doyle, Arthur - MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE SIGN OF THE FOUR
Conrad, Joseph - HEART OF DARKNESS
Conrad, Joseph - LORD JIM
Conrad, Joseph - NOSTROMO
Conrad, Joseph - THE NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS
Conrad, Joseph - TYPHOON
Crane, Stephen - LAST WORDS
Crane, Stephen - MAGGIE
Crane, Stephen - THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
Crane, Stephen - WOUNDS IN THE RAIN
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: HELL
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PARADISE
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PURGATORY
Darwin, Charles - THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES DARWIN
Darwin, Charles - THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Defoe, Daniel - A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE PYRATES
Defoe, Daniel - A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
Defoe, Daniel - CAPTAIN SINGLETON
Defoe, Daniel - MOLL FLANDERS
Defoe, Daniel - ROBINSON CRUSOE
Defoe, Daniel - THE COMPLETE ENGLISH TRADESMAN
Defoe, Daniel - THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE
Deledda, Grazia - AFTER THE DIVORCE
Dickens, Charles - A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Dickens, Charles - A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Dickens, Charles - BLEAK HOUSE
Dickens, Charles - DAVID COPPERFIELD
Dickens, Charles - DONBEY AND SON
Dickens, Charles - GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Dickens, Charles - HARD TIMES
Dickens, Charles - LETTERS VOLUME 1
Dickens, Charles - LITTLE DORRIT
Dickens, Charles - MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
Dickens, Charles - NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Dickens, Charles - OLIVER TWIST
Dickens, Charles - OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
Dickens, Charles - PICTURES FROM ITALY
Dickens, Charles - THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
Dickens, Charles - THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
Dickens, Charles - THE PICKWICK PAPERS
Dickinson, Emily - POEMS
Dostoevsky, Fyodor - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
Du Maurier, George - TRILBY
Dumas, Alexandre - THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
Dumas, Alexandre - THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
Dumas, Alexandre - THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Eliot, George - DANIEL DERONDA
Eliot, George - MIDDLEMARCH
Eliot, George - SILAS MARNER
Eliot, George - THE MILL ON THE FLOSS
Engels, Frederick - THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING-CLASS IN ENGLAND IN 1844
Equiano - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Esopo - FABLES
Fenimore Cooper, James - THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Fielding, Henry - TOM JONES
France, Anatole - THAIS
France, Anatole - THE GODS ARE ATHIRST
France, Anatole - THE LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC
France, Anatole - THE SEVEN WIVES OF BLUEBEARD
Frank Baum, L. - THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ
Frank Baum, L. - THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
Franklin, Benjamin - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Frazer, James George - THE GOLDEN BOUGH
Freud, Sigmund - DREAM PSYCHOLOGY
Galsworthy, John - COMPLETE PLAYS
Galsworthy, John - STRIFE
Galsworthy, John - STUDIES AND ESSAYS
Galsworthy, John - THE FIRST AND THE LAST
Galsworthy, John - THE FORSYTE SAGA
Galsworthy, John - THE LITTLE MAN
Galsworthy, John - THE SILVER BOX
Galsworthy, John - THE SKIN GAME
Gaskell, Elizabeth - CRANFORD
Gaskell, Elizabeth - MARY BARTON
Gaskell, Elizabeth - NORTH AND SOUTH
Gaskell, Elizabeth - THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE
Gay, John - THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
Gentile, Maria - THE ITALIAN COOK BOOK
Gilbert and Sullivan - PLAYS
Goethe - FAUST
Gogol - DEAD SOULS
Goldsmith, Oliver - SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Goldsmith, Oliver - THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
Grahame, Kenneth - THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Grimm, Brothers - FAIRY TALES
Harding, A. R. - GINSENG AND OTHER MEDICINAL PLANTS
Hardy, Thomas - A CHANGED MAN AND OTHER TALES
Hardy, Thomas - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Hardy, Thomas - JUDE THE OBSCURE
Hardy, Thomas - TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
Hardy, Thomas - THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
Hartley, Cecil B. - THE GENTLEMEN'S BOOK OF ETIQUETTE
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - LITTLE MASTERPIECES
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - THE SCARLET LETTER
Henry VIII - LOVE LETTERS TO ANNE BOLEYN
Henry, O. - CABBAGES AND KINGS
Henry, O. - SIXES AND SEVENS
Henry, O. - THE FOUR MILLION
Henry, O. - THE TRIMMED LAMP
Henry, O. - WHIRLIGIGS
Hindman Miller, Gustavus - TEN THOUSAND DREAMS INTERPRETED
Hobbes, Thomas - LEVIATHAN
Homer - THE ILIAD
Homer - THE ODYSSEY
Hornaday, William T. - THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON
Hume, David - A TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE
Hume, David - AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
Hume, David - DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION
Ibsen, Henrik - A DOLL'S HOUSE
Ibsen, Henrik - AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
Ibsen, Henrik - GHOSTS
Ibsen, Henrik - HEDDA GABLER
Ibsen, Henrik - JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN
Ibsen, Henrik - ROSMERHOLM
Ibsen, Henrik - THE LADY FROM THE SEA
Ibsen, Henrik - THE MASTER BUILDER
Ibsen, Henrik - WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN
Irving, Washington - THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
James, Henry - ITALIAN HOURS
James, Henry - THE ASPERN PAPERS
James, Henry - THE BOSTONIANS
James, Henry - THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY
James, Henry - THE TURN OF THE SCREW
James, Henry - WASHINGTON SQUARE
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN IN A BOAT
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN ON THE BUMMEL
Jevons, Stanley - POLITICAL ECONOMY
Johnson, Samuel - A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH TONGUE
Jonson, Ben - THE ALCHEMIST
Jonson, Ben - VOLPONE
Joyce, James - A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
Joyce, James - CHAMBER MUSIC
Joyce, James - DUBLINERS
Joyce, James - ULYSSES
Keats, John - ENDYMION
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1817
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1820
King James - THE BIBLE
Kipling, Rudyard - CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS
Kipling, Rudyard - INDIAN TALES
Kipling, Rudyard - JUST SO STORIES
Kipling, Rudyard - KIM
Kipling, Rudyard - THE JUNGLE BOOK
Kipling, Rudyard - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
Kipling, Rudyard - THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK
Lawrence, D. H - THE RAINBOW
Lawrence, D. H - THE WHITE PEACOCK
Lawrence, D. H - TWILIGHT IN ITALY
Lawrence, D. H. - AARON'S ROD
Lawrence, D. H. - SONS AND LOVERS
Lawrence, D. H. - THE LOST GIRL
Lawrence, D. H. - WOMEN IN LOVE
Lear, Edward - BOOK OF NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - LAUGHABLE LYRICS
Lear, Edward - MORE NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - NONSENSE SONG
Leblanc, Maurice - ARSENE LUPIN VS SHERLOCK HOLMES
Leblanc, Maurice - THE ADVENTURES OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE CONFESSIONS OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE HOLLOW NEEDLE
Leblanc, Maurice - THE RETURN OF ARSENE LUPIN
Lehmann, Lilli - HOW TO SING
Leroux, Gaston - THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER
Leroux, Gaston - THE MYSTERY OF THE YELLOW ROOM
Leroux, Gaston - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
London, Jack - MARTIN EDEN
London, Jack - THE CALL OF THE WILD
London, Jack - WHITE FANG
Machiavelli, Nicolo' - THE PRINCE
Malthus, Thomas - PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION
Mansfield, Katherine - THE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES
Marlowe, Christopher - THE JEW OF MALTA
Marryat, Captain - THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST
Maupassant, Guy De - BEL AMI
Melville, Hermann - MOBY DICK
Melville, Hermann - TYPEE
Mill, John Stuart - PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
Milton, John - PARADISE LOST
Mitra, S. M. - HINDU TALES FROM THE SANSKRIT
Montaigne, Michel de - ESSAYS
Montgomery, Lucy Maud - ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
More, Thomas - UTOPIA
Nesbit, E. - FIVE CHILDREN AND IT
Nesbit, E. - THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET
Nesbit, E. - THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
Nesbit, E. - THE STORY OF THE AMULET
Newton, Isaac - OPTICKS
Nietsche, Friedrich - BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL
Nietsche, Friedrich - THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Nightingale, Florence - NOTES ON NURSING
Owen, Wilfred - POEMS
Ozaki, Yei Theodora - JAPANESE FAIRY TALES
Pascal, Blaise - PENSEES
Pellico, Silvio - MY TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT
Perrault, Charles - FAIRY TALES
Pirandello, Luigi - THREE PLAYS
Plato - THE REPUBLIC
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 1
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 2
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 3
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 4
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 5
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
Potter, Beatrix - THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
Proust, Marcel - SWANN'S WAY
Radcliffe, Ann - A SICILIAN ROMANCE
Ricardo, David - ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AND TAXATION
Richardson, Samuel - PAMELA
Rider Haggard, H. - ALLAN QUATERMAIN
Rider Haggard, H. - KING SOLOMON'S MINES
Rousseau, J. J. - THE ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OF INEQUALITY AMONG MANKIND
Ruskin, John - THE SEVEN LAMPS OF ARCHITECTURE
Schiller, Friedrich - THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN
Schiller, Friedrich - THE PICCOLOMINI
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE ART OF CONTROVERSY
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE WISDOM OF LIFE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
Scott, Walter - IVANHOE
Scott, Walter - QUENTIN DURWARD
Scott, Walter - ROB ROY
Scott, Walter - THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR
Scott, Walter - WAVERLEY
Sedgwick, Anne Douglas - THE THIRD WINDOW
Sewell, Anna - BLACK BEAUTY
Shakespeare, William - COMPLETE WORKS
Shakespeare, William - HAMLET
Shakespeare, William - OTHELLO
Shakespeare, William - ROMEO AND JULIET
Shelley, Mary - FRANKENSTEIN
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - A DEFENCE OF POETRY AND OTHER ESSAYS
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Sheridan, Richard B. - THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Sienkiewicz, Henryk - QUO VADIS
Smith, Adam - THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
Smollett, Tobias - TRAVELS THROUGH FRANCE AND ITALY
Spencer, Herbert - ESSAYS ON EDUCATION AND KINDRED SUBJECTS
Spyri, Johanna - HEIDI
Sterne, Laurence - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
Sterne, Laurence - TRISTRAM SHANDY
Stevenson, Robert Louis - A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES
Stevenson, Robert Louis - ESSAYS IN THE ART OF WRITING
Stevenson, Robert Louis - KIDNAPPED
Stevenson, Robert Louis - NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE BLACK ARROW
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
Stevenson, Robert Louis - TREASURE ISLAND
Stoker, Bram - DRACULA
Strindberg, August - LUCKY PEHR
Strindberg, August - MASTER OLOF
Strindberg, August - THE RED ROOM
Strindberg, August - THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
Strindberg, August - THERE ARE CRIMES AND CRIMES
Swift, Jonathan - A MODEST PROPOSAL
Swift, Jonathan - A TALE OF A TUB
Swift, Jonathan - GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
Swift, Jonathan - THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS AND OTHER SHORT PIECES
Tagore, Rabindranath - FRUIT GATHERING
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE GARDENER
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE HUNGRY STONES AND OTHER STORIES
Thackeray, William - BARRY LYNDON
Thackeray, William - VANITY FAIR
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE BOOK OF SNOBS
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE ROSE AND THE RING
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE VIRGINIANS
Thoreau, Henry David - WALDEN
Tolstoi, Leo - A LETTER TO A HINDU
Tolstoy, Lev - ANNA KARENINA
Tolstoy, Lev - WAR AND PEACE
Trollope, Anthony - AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Trollope, Anthony - BARCHESTER TOWERS
Trollope, Anthony - FRAMLEY PARSONAGE
Trollope, Anthony - THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS
Trollope, Anthony - THE MAN WHO KEPT HIS MONEY IN A BOX
Trollope, Anthony - THE WARDEN
Trollope, Anthony - THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
Twain, Mark - LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Twain, Mark - SPEECHES
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
Twain, Mark - THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER
Vari, Autori - THE MAGNA CARTA
Verga, Giovanni - SICILIAN STORIES
Verne, Jules - 20000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS
Verne, Jules - A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH
Verne, Jules - ALL AROUND THE MOON
Verne, Jules - AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
Verne, Jules - FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON
Verne, Jules - FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
Verne, Jules - MICHAEL STROGOFF
Verne, Jules - THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
Voltaire - PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY
Vyasa - MAHABHARATA
Wallace, Edgar - SANDERS OF THE RIVER
Wallace, Edgar - THE DAFFODIL MYSTERY
Wallace, Lew - BEN HUR
Webster, Jean - DADDY LONG LEGS
Wedekind, Franz - THE AWAKENING OF SPRING
Wells, H. G. - KIPPS
Wells, H. G. - THE INVISIBLE MAN
Wells, H. G. - THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU
Wells, H. G. - THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER INCIDENTS
Wells, H. G. - THE TIME MACHINE
Wells, H. G. - THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
Wells, H. G. - WHAT IS COMING
Wharton, Edith - THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
White, Andrew Dickson - FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE
Wilde, Oscar - A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Wilde, Oscar - AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Wilde, Oscar - DE PROFUNDIS
Wilde, Oscar - LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
Wilde, Oscar - SALOME
Wilde, Oscar - SELECTED POEMS
Wilde, Oscar - THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL
Wilde, Oscar - THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
Wilde, Oscar - THE HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER TALES
Wilde, Oscar - THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Wilde, Oscar - THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY
Wilde, Oscar - THE SOUL OF MAN
Wilson, Epiphanius - SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST
Wollstonecraft, Mary - A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN
Woolf, Virgina - NIGHT AND DAY
Woolf, Virgina - THE VOYAGE OUT
Woolf, Virginia - JACOB'S ROOM
Woolf, Virginia - MONDAY OR TUESDAY
Wordsworth, William - POEMS
Wordsworth, William - PROSE WORKS
Zola, Emile - THERESE RAQUIN
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ISTRUZIONI D'USO DETTAGLIATE
By CHARLES PERRAULT
LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD 21
THE FAIRY 27
BLUE BEARD 35
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOOD 47
THE MASTER CAT; OR, PUSS IN BOOTS 67
CINDERILLA; OR, THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER 77
RIQUET WITH THE TUFT 93
LITTLE THUMB 109
THE RIDICULOUS WISHES 127
Little Red Riding-Hood
Once upon a time, there lived in a certain village, a little country
girl, the prettiest creature was ever seen. Her mother was excessively
fond of her; and her grand-mother doated on her much more. This good
woman got made for her a little red riding-hood; which became the girl
so extremely well, that every body called her Little Red Riding-Hood.
One day, her mother, having made some girdle-cakes, said to her:
"Go, my dear, and see how thy grand-mamma does, for I hear she has
been very ill, carry her a girdle-cake, and this little pot of
Little Red Riding-Hood set out immediately to go to her grand-mother,
who lived in another village. As she was going thro' the wood, she met
with Gaffer Wolf, who had a very great mind to eat her up, but he
durst not, because of some faggot-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 grand-mamma, and carry her a girdle-cake, and a
little pot of butter, from my mamma."
"Does she live far off?" said the Wolf.
"Oh! ay," answered Little Red Riding-Hood, "it is beyond that mill
you see there, at the first house in the village."
"Well," 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 soonest."
The Wolf began to run as fast as he could, taking the nearest way; and
the little girl went by that farthest about, diverting herself in
gathering nuts, running after butterflies, and making nosegays of such
little flowers as she met with. The Wolf was not long before he got to
the old woman's house: he knocked at the door, "tap, tap".
"Your grand-child, Little Red Riding-Hood," replied the Wolf,
counterfeiting her voice, "who has brought you a girdle-cake, and a
little pot of butter, sent you by mamma."
The good grand-mother, who was in bed, because she found herself
somewhat ill, cry'd out:
"Pull the peg, and the bolt will fall."
The Wolf pull'd the peg, and the door opened, and then presently he
fell upon the good woman, and ate her up in a moment; for it was above
three days that he had not touched a bit. He then shut the door, and
went into the grand-mother's bed, expecting Little Red Riding-Hood,
who came some time afterwards, and knock'd at the door, "tap, tap".
[Illustration: "HE ASKED HER WHITHER SHE WAS GOING"]
Little Red Riding-Hood, hearing the big voice of the Wolf, was at
first afraid; but believing her grand-mother had got a cold, and was
"'Tis your grand-child, Little Red Riding-Hood, who has brought you a
girdle-cake, and a little pot of butter, mamma sends you."
The Wolf cried out to her, softening his voice as much as he could,
"Pull the peg, and the bolt will fall."
Little Red Riding-Hood pulled the peg, and the door opened. The Wolf
seeing her come in, said to her, hiding himself under the bedclothes:
"Put the cake, and the little pot of butter upon the bread-bin, and
come and lye down with me."
Little Red Riding-Hood undressed herself, and went into bed; where,
being greatly amazed to see how her grand-mother looked in her
night-cloaths, she said to her:
"Grand-mamma, what great arms you have got!"
"That is the better to hug thee, my dear."
"Grand-mamma, what great legs you have got!"
"That is to run the better, my child."
"Grand-mamma, what great ears you have got!"
"That is to hear the better, my child."
"Grand-mamma, what great eyes you have got!"
"It is to see the better, my child."
"Grand-mamma, what great teeth you have got!"
"That is to eat thee up."
And, saying these words, this wicked Wolf fell upon poor Little Red
Riding-Hood, and ate her all up.
"From this short story easy we discern
What conduct all young people ought to learn.
But above all, young, growing misses fair,
Whose orient rosy blooms begin t'appear:
Who, beauties in the fragrant spring of age,
With pretty airs young hearts are apt t'engage.
Ill do they listen to all sorts of tongues,
Since some inchant and lure like Syrens' songs.
No wonder therefore 'tis, if over-power'd,
So many of them has the Wolf devour'd.
The Wolf, I say, for Wolves too sure there are
Of every sort, and every character.
Some of them mild and gentle-humour'd be,
Of noise and gall, and rancour wholly free;
Who tame, familiar, full of complaisance
Ogle and leer, languish, cajole and glance;
With luring tongues, and language wond'rous sweet,
Follow young ladies as they walk the street,
Ev'n to their very houses, nay, bedside,
And, artful, tho' their true designs they hide;
Yet ah! these simpering Wolves! Who does not see
Most dangerous of Wolves indeed they be?"
[Illustration: "'WHAT IS THIS I SEE?' SAID HER MOTHER"
There was, once upon a time, a widow, who had two daughters. The
eldest was so much like her in the face and humour, that whoever
looked upon the daughter saw the mother. They were both so
disagreeable, and so proud, that there was no living with them. The
youngest, who was the very picture of her father, for courtesy and
sweetness of temper, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever
seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother even
doated on her eldest daughter, and at the same time had a horrible
aversion for the youngest. She made her eat in the kitchen, and work
Among other things, this poor child was forced twice a day to draw
water above a mile and a half off the house, and bring home a pitcher
full 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.
"O ay, with all my heart, Goody," said this pretty maid; and rinsing
immediately the pitcher, she took up some water from the clearest
place of the fountain, and gave it to her, holding up the pitcher all
the while, that she might drink the easier.
The good woman having drank, said to her:
"You are so very pretty, my dear, so good and so mannerly, 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 came home, 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 diamonds.
"What is this I see?" said her mother quite astonished, "I think I see
pearls and diamonds come out of the girl's mouth! How happens this,
child?" (This was the first time she ever called her child.)
The poor creature told her frankly all the matter, not without
dropping out infinite numbers of diamonds.
"In good faith," cried the mother, "I must send my child thither. Come
hither, Fanny, look what comes out of thy sister's mouth when she
speaks! Would'st not thou be glad, my dear, to have the same gift
given to thee? Thou hast nothing else to do but go and draw water out
of the fountain, and when a certain poor woman asks thee to let her
drink, to give it her very civilly."
"It would be a very fine sight indeed," said this ill-bred minx, "to
see me go draw water!"
"You shall go, hussey," said the mother, "and this minute."
[Illustration: "'AM I COME HITHER TO SERVE YOU WITH WATER, PRAY?'"]
So away she went, but grumbling all the way, taking with her the best
silver tankard in the house.
She was no sooner at the fountain, than she saw coming out of the wood
a lady most gloriously dressed, who came up to her, and asked to
drink. This was, you must know, the very Fairy who appeared to her
sister, but had now taken the air and dress of a princess, to see how
far this girl's rudeness would go.
"Am I come hither," said the proud, saucy slut, "to serve you with
water, pray? I suppose the silver tankard was brought purely for your
ladyship, was it? However, you may drink out of it, if you have a
"You are not over and above mannerly," answered the Fairy, without
putting herself in a passion. "Well then, since you have so little
breeding, and 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, daughter?"
"Well, mother?" answered the pert hussey, throwing out of her mouth
two vipers and two toads.
"O mercy!" cried the mother, "what is it I see! O, it is that wretch
her sister who has occasioned 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, not far from thence.
The King's son, then on his return from hunting, met her, and seeing
her so very pretty, asked her what she did there alone, and why she
"Alas! sir, my mamma has turned me out of doors."
The 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
thereupon told him the whole story; and so the King's son fell in love
with her; and, considering with himself that such a gift was worth
more than any marriage-portion whatsoever in another, conducted her to
the palace of the King his father, and there married her.
As for her sister, she made herself so much hated that her own mother
turned her off; and the miserable wretch, having wandered about a good
while without finding anybody to take her in, went to a corner in the
wood and there died.
"Money and jewels still, we find,
Stamp strong impressions on the mind.
But sweet discourse more potent riches yields;
Of higher value is the pow'r it wields."
"Civil behaviour costs indeed some pains,
Requires of complaisance some little share;
But soon or late its due reward it gains,
And meets it often when we're not aware."
[Illustration: "'WHAT, IS NOT THE KEY OF MY CLOSET AMONG
THE REST?'" ("page 40")]
There was a man who had fine houses, both in town and country, a deal
of silver and gold plate, embroidered furniture, and coaches gilded
all over with gold. But this man had the misfortune to have a blue
beard, which made him so frightfully ugly, that all the women and
girls ran away from him.
One of his neighbours, a lady of quality, had two daughters who were
perfect beauties. He desired of her one of them in marriage, leaving
to her the choice which of the two she would bestow upon him. They
would neither of them have him, and each made the other welcome of
him, being not able to bear the thought of marrying a man who had a
blue beard. And what besides gave them disgust and aversion, was his
having already been married to several wives, and nobody ever knew
what became of them.
Blue Beard, to engage their affection, took them, with the lady their
mother, and three or four ladies of their acquaintance, with other
young people of the neighbourhood, to one of his country seats, where
they stayed a whole week. There was nothing then to be seen but
parties of pleasure, hunting, fishing, dancing, mirth and feasting.
Nobody went to bed, but all passed the night in playing tricks upon
each other. In short, every thing succeeded so well, that the youngest
daughter began to think the master of the house not to have a beard so
very blue, and that he was a mighty civil gentleman. As soon as they
returned home, the marriage was concluded.
About a month afterwards Blue Beard told his wife that he was obliged
to take a country journey for six weeks at least, about affairs of
very great consequence, desiring her to divert herself in his absence,
to send for her friends and acquaintances, to carry them into the
country, if she pleased, and to make good cheer wherever she was.
"Here," said he, "are the keys of the two great wardrobes, wherein I
have my best furniture; these are of my silver and gold plate, which
is not every day in use; these open my strong boxes, which hold my
money, both gold and silver; these my caskets of jewels; and this is
the master-key to all my apartments. But for this little one here, it
is the key of the closet at the end of the great gallery on the ground
floor. Open them all; go into all and every one of them; except that
little closet which I forbid you, and forbid it in such a manner that,
if you happen to open it, there will be no bounds to my just anger and
She promised to observe, very exactly, whatever he had ordered; when
he, after having embraced her, got into his coach and proceeded on his
[Illustration: "THIS MAN HAD THE MISFORTUNE TO HAVE A BLUE BEARD"]
Her neighbours and good friends did not stay to be sent for by the
newmarried lady, so great was their impatience to see all the rich
furniture of her house, not daring to come while her husband was
there, because of his blue beard which frightened them. They ran thro'
all the rooms, closets, and wardrobes, which were all so rich and
fine, that they seemed to surpass one another.
After that, they went up into the two great rooms, where were the best
and richest furniture; 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 finest and most magnificent which were ever seen. They
ceased not to extol and envy the happiness of their friend, who in the
mean time no way diverted herself in looking upon all these rich
things, because of the impatience she had to go and open the closet of
the ground floor. She was so much pressed by her curiosity, that,
without considering that it was very uncivil to leave her company, she
went down a little back-stair-case, and with such excessive haste,
that she had twice or thrice like to have broken her neck.
Being come to the closet door, she made a stop for some time, thinking
upon her husband's orders, and considering what unhappiness might
attend her if she was disobedient; but the temptation was so strong
she could not overcome it. She took then the little key, and opened it
trembling; but could not at first see any thing plainly, because the
windows were shut. After some moments she began to perceive that the
floor was all covered over with clotted blood, in which were reflected
the bodies of several dead women ranged against the walls: these were
all the wives whom Blue Beard had married and murdered one after
another. She was like to have died for fear, and the key, which she
pulled out of the lock, fell out of her hand.
* * * * *
After having somewhat recovered her senses, she took up the key,
locked the door, and went up stairs into her chamber to recover
herself; but she could not, so much was she frightened. Having
observed that the key of the closet was stained with blood, she tried
two or three times to wipe it off, but the blood would not come off;
in vain did she wash it, and even rub it with soap and sand, the blood
still remained, for the key was a Fairy, and she could never make it
quite clean; when the blood was gone off from one side, it came again
on the other.
Blue Beard returned from his journey the same evening, and said, he
had received letters upon the road, informing him that the affair he
went about was ended to his advantage. His wife did all she could to
convince him she was extremely glad of his speedy return. Next morning
he asked her for the keys, which she gave him, but with such a
trembling hand, that he easily guessed what had happened.
"What," said he, "is not the key of my closet among the rest?"
"I must certainly," answered she, "have left it above upon the table."
"Fail not," said Blue Beard, "to bring it me presently."
After putting him off several times, she was forced to bring him the
key. Blue Beard, having very attentively considered it, said to his
"How comes this blood upon the key?"
"I do not know," cried the poor woman, paler than death.
"You do not know," replied Blue Beard; "I very well know, you were
resolved to go into the closet, were you not? Mighty well, Madam; you
shall go in, and take your place among the ladies you saw there."
Upon this she threw herself 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 sorrowful was she; but
Blue Beard had a heart harder than any rock.
"You must die, Madam," said he, "and that presently."
"Since 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:
"Sister Anne" (for that was her name), "go up I beg you, upon the top
of the tower, and look if my brothers are not coming; they promised me
that they would come to-day, and if you see them, give them a sign to
Her sister Anne went up upon 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 growing
In the mean while Blue Beard, holding a great scimitar in his hand,
cried out as loud as he could bawl to his wife:
"Come down instantly, or I shall come up to you."
"One moment longer, if you please," said his wife, and then she cried
out very softly:
"Anne, sister Anne, dost thou see any body coming?"
And sister Anne answered:
"I see nothing but the sun, which makes a dust, and the grass growing
"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 see any one coming?"
"I see," replied sister Anne, "a great dust that comes this way."
"Are they my brothers?"
"Alas! no, my dear 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 coming, but they are yet a great way
"God be praised," she cried presently, "they are my brothers; I am
beckoning to them, as well as I can, for them to make haste."
Then 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.
"Nought will avail," said Blue Beard, "you must die"; then, taking
hold of her hair with one hand, and lifting up his scimitar with the
other, he was going 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 recollect
"No, no," said he, "recommend thyself to God," and was just ready to
At this very instant there was such a loud knocking at the gate, that
Blue Beard made a sudden stop. The gate was opened, and presently
entered two horsemen, who drawing their swords, ran directly to Blue
Beard. He knew them to be his wife's brothers, one a dragoon, the
other a musqueteer; so that he ran away immediately to save himself;
but the two brothers pursued so close, that they overtook him before
he could get to the steps of the porch, when they ran their swords
thro' his body and left him dead. The poor wife was almost as dead as
her husband, and had not strength enough to rise and welcome her
Blue Beard had no heirs, and so his wife became mistress of all his
estate. She made use of one part of it to marry her sister Anne to a
young gentleman who had loved her a long while; another part to buy
captains' commissions for her brothers; and the rest to marry herself
to a very worthy gentleman, who made her forget the ill time she had
passed with Blue Beard.
"O curiosity, thou mortal bane!
Spite of thy charms, thou causest often pain
And sore regret, of which we daily find
A thousand instances attend mankind:
For thou--O may it not displease the fair--
A fleeting pleasure art, but lasting care.
And always proves, alas! too dear the prize,
Which, in the moment of possession, dies."
"A very little share of common sense,
And knowledge of the world, will soon evince
That this a story is of time long pass'd;
No husbands now such panic terrors cast;
Nor weakly, with a vain despotic hand,
Imperious, what's impossible, command:
And be they discontented, or the fire
Of wicked jealousy their hearts inspire,
They softly sing; and of whatever hue
Their beards may chance to be, or black, or blue,
Grizeld, or russet, it is hard to say
Which of the two, the man or wife, bears sway."
"The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood"
[Illustration: "AT THIS VERY INSTANT THE YOUNG FAIRY CAME OUT FROM
BEHIND THE HANGINGS" ("page 50")]
The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood
There were formerly a King and a Queen, who were so sorry that they
had no children, so sorry that it cannot be expressed. They went to
all the waters in the world; vows, pilgrimages, all ways were tried
and all to no purpose. At last, however, the Queen proved with child,
and was brought to bed of 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 (they found seven), that every
one of them might give her a gift, as was the custom of Fairies in
those days, and that by this means the Princess might have all the
After the ceremonies of the christening were over, all 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, knife and
fork, all of pure gold set with diamonds and rubies. But as they were
all sitting down at table, they saw come into the hall a very old
Fairy whom they had not invited, because it was above fifty years
since she had been out of a certain tower, and she was believed to be
either dead or inchanted. The King ordered her a cover, but could not
furnish her with a case of gold as the others, because they had seven
only made for the seven Fairies. The old Fairy fancied she was
slighted, and muttered some threat between her teeth. One of the young
Fairies, who sat by her, overheard how she grumbled; and judging that
she might give the little Princess some unlucky gift, went, as soon as
they rose from the table, and hid herself behind the hangings, that
she might speak last, and repair, as much as possible she could, the
evil which the old Fairy might intend.
In the mean while all the Fairies began to give their gifts to the
Princess. The youngest gave her for 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 have a wonderful grace in
every thing she did; the fourth, that she should dance perfectly well;
the fifth, that she should sing like a nightingale; and the sixth,
that she should play upon all kinds of music to the utmost perfection.
The old Fairy's turn coming next, with a head shaking more with spite
than age, she said, that the Princess should have her hand pierced
with a spindle, and die of the wound. This terrible gift made the
whole company tremble, and every body fell a-crying.
At this very instant the young Fairy came out from behind the
hangings, and spake these words aloud:
"Be reassured, O King and Queen; your daughter shall not die of this
disaster: it is true, I have no power to undo intirely 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 profound sleep, which
shall last a hundred years; at the expiration of which a king's son
shall come and awake her."
The King, to avoid the misfortune foretold by the old Fairy, caused
immediately proclamations to be made, whereby every-body was
forbidden, on pain of death, to spin with a distaff and spindle or to
have so much as any spindle in their houses.
About fifteen or sixteen years after, the King and Queen being gone to
one of their houses of pleasure, the young Princess happened one day
to divert herself running up and down the palace; when going up from
one apartment to another, she came into a little room on the top of a
tower, where a good old woman, alone, was spinning with her spindle.
This good woman had never heard of the King's proclamation against
"What are you doing there, Goody?" said the Princess.
"I am spinning, my pretty child," said the old woman, who did not know
who she was.
"Ha!" said the Princess, "this is very pretty; how do you do it? Give
it to me, that I may see if I can do so." She had no sooner taken the
spindle into her hand, than, whether being very hasty at it, somewhat
unhandy, or that the decree of the Fairy had so ordained it, it ran
into her hand, and she fell down in a swoon.
The good old woman not knowing very well what to do in this affair,
cried out for help. People came in from every quarter in great
numbers; they threw water upon the Princess's face, unlaced her,
struck her on the palms of her hands, and rubbed her temples with
Hungary-water; but nothing would bring her to herself.
And now the King, who came up at the noise, bethought himself of the
prediction of the Fairies, and judging very well that this must
necessarily come to pass, since the Fairies had said it, caused the
Princess to be carried into the finest apartment in his palace, and to
be laid upon a bed all embroidered with gold and silver. One would
have taken her for an angel, she was so very beautiful; for her
swooning away had not diminished one bit of her complexion; her cheeks
were carnation, and her lips like coral; indeed her eyes were shut,
but she was heard to breathe softly, which satisfied those about her
that she was not dead. The King commanded that they should not disturb
her, but let her sleep quietly till her hour of awakening was come.
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, when this accident befell the Princess; but she was instantly
informed of it by a little dwarf, who had boots of seven leagues, that
is, boots with which he could tread over seven leagues of ground at
one stride. The Fairy came away immediately, and she arrived, about an
hour after, in a fiery chariot, drawn by dragons. The King handed her
out of the chariot, and she approved every thing he had done; but, as
she had a very great foresight, she thought, when the Princess should
awake, she might not know what to do with herself, being all alone in
this old palace; and this was what she did: She touched with her wand
every thing in the palace (except the King and the Queen),
governesses, maids of honour, ladies of the bedchamber, gentlemen,
officers, stewards, cooks, under-cooks, scullions, guards, with their
beef-eaters, pages, footmen; she likewise touched all the horses which
were in the stables, as well as their grooms, the great dogs in the
outward court, and pretty little Mopsey too, the Princess's little
spaniel-bitch, which lay by her on the bed.
Immediately upon her touching them, they all fell asleep, that they
might not awake before their mistress, and 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, did fall asleep,
and the fire likewise. All this was done in a moment. Fairies are not
long in doing their business.
And now the King and the Queen, having kissed their dear child without
waking her, went out of the palace, and put forth a proclamation, that
nobody should dare to come near it. This, however, was 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 thro'; so that nothing could be seen but the very top of the
towers of the palace; and that too, not unless it was a good way off.
Nobody doubted but the Fairy gave herein a sample of her art, that the
Princess, while she continued sleeping, might have nothing to fear
from any curious people.
* * * * *
When a hundred years were gone and past, the son of the King then
reigning, and who was of another family from that of the sleeping
Princess, being gone a-hunting on that side of the country, asked,
what were those towers which he saw in the middle of a great thick
wood? Every one answered according as they had heard; some said that
it was a ruinous old castle, haunted by spirits; others, that all the
sorcerers and witches of the country kept there their sabbath, or
nights meeting. The common opinion was that an Ogre lived there,
and that he carried thither all the little children he could catch,
that he might eat them up at his leisure, without any-body's being
able to follow him, as having himself, only, the power to pass thro'
[Footnote 1: OGRE is a giant, with long teeth and claws, with a raw
head and bloody-bones, who runs away with naughty little boys and
girls, and eats them up. [Note by the translator.]]
The Prince was at a stand, not knowing what to believe, when a very
aged countryman spake to him thus: "May it please your Royal Highness,
it is now above fifty years since I heard my father, who had heard my
grandfather, say that there then was in this castle, a Princess, the
most beautiful was ever seen; that she must sleep there a hundred
years, and should be awaked by a king's son; for whom she was
reserved." The young Prince was all on fire at these words, believing,
without a moment's doubt, that he could put an end to this rare
adventure; and pushed on by love and honour resolved that moment to
look into it.
[Illustration: "THE PRINCE ENQUIRES OF THE AGED COUNTRYMAN"]
Scarce had he advanced towards the wood, when all the great trees, the
bushes and brambles, gave way of themselves to let him pass thro'; he
walked up to the castle which he saw at the end of a large avenue
which he went into; and what a little surprised him was, that he saw
none of his people could follow him, because the trees closed again,
as soon as he had pass'd thro' them. However, he did not cease from
continuing his way; a young and amorous Prince is always valiant. He
came into a spacious outward court, where everything he saw might have
frozen up the most fearless person with horror. There reigned over all
a most frightful silence; the image of death everywhere shewed itself,
and there was nothing to be seen but stretched out bodies of men and
animals, all seeming to be dead. He, however, very well knew, by the
ruby faces and pimpled noses of the beef-eaters, that they were only
asleep; and their goblets, wherein still remained some drops of wine,
shewed plainly, that they fell asleep in their cups.
He then crossed a court paved with marble, went up the stairs, and
came into the guard-chamber, where the guards were standing in their
ranks, with their muskets upon their shoulders, and snoring as loud as
they could. After that he went through several rooms full of gentlemen
and ladies, all asleep, some standing, others sitting. At last he came
into a chamber all gilded with gold, where he saw, upon a bed, the
curtains of which were all open, the finest sight was ever beheld: a
Princess, who appeared to be about fifteen or sixteen years of age,
and whose bright, and in a manner resplendent beauty, had somewhat in
it divine. He approached with trembling and admiration, and fell down
before her upon his knees.
And now, as the inchantment was at an end, the Princess awaked, and
looking on him with eyes more tender than the first view might seem to
admit of: "Is it you, my Prince," said she to him, "you have tarried
The Prince, charmed with these words, and much more with the manner in
which they were spoken, knew not how to shew his joy and gratitude; he
assured her, that he loved her better than he did himself; his
discourse was not well connected, but it pleased her all the more;
little eloquence, a great deal of love. He was more at a loss than
she, and we need not wonder at it; she had time to think on what to
say to him; for it is very probable (though history mentions nothing
of it) that the good Fairy, during so long a sleep, had entertained
her with pleasant dreams. In short, when they talked four hours
together, they said not half what they had to say.
[Illustration: "HE SAW, UPON A BED, THE FINEST SIGHT WAS EVER BEHELD"]
In the mean while, all the palace awaked; every one thought upon their
particular business; and as all of them were not in love, they were
ready to die for hunger; the chief lady of honour, being as sharp set
as other folks, grew very impatient, and told the Princess aloud,
That supper was served up. The Prince helped the Princess to rise, she
was entirely dressed, and very magnificently, but his Royal Highness
took care not to tell her that she was dressed like his great
grand-mother, and had a point-band peeping over a high collar; she
looked not a bit the less beautiful and charming for all that.
They went into the great hall of looking-glasses, where they supped,
and were served by the Princess's officers; the violins and hautboys
played old tunes, but very excellent, tho' it was now above a hundred
years since they had been played; and after supper, without losing any
time, the lord almoner married them in the chapel of the castle, and
the chief lady of honour drew the curtains. They had but very little
sleep; the Princess had no occasion, and the Prince left her next
morning to return into the city, where his father must needs have been
anxious on his account. The Prince told him that he lost his way in
the forest, as he was hunting, and that he had lain at the cottage of
a collier, who gave him cheese and brown bread.
The King his father, who was of an easy disposition, believed him; but
his mother could not be persuaded this was true; and seeing that he
went almost every day a-hunting, and that he always had some excuse
ready when he had laid out three or four nights together, she no
longer doubted he had some little amour, for he lived with the
Princess above two whole years, and had by her two children, the
eldest of which, who was a daughter, was named Aurora, and the
youngest, who was a son, they called Day, because he was even
handsomer and more beautiful than his sister.
The Queen said more than once to her son, in order to bring him to
speak freely to her, that a young man must e'en take his pleasure; but
he never dared to trust her with his secret; he feared her, tho' he
loved her; for she was of the race of the Ogres, and the King would
never have married her, had it not been for her vast riches; 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 refrain from falling upon them. And so the
Prince would never tell her one word.
But when the King was dead, which happened about two years afterwards;
and he saw himself lord and master, he openly declared his marriage;
and he went in great ceremony to fetch his Queen from the castle. They
made a magnificent entry into the capital city, she riding between her
Some time after, the King went to make war with the Emperor
Cantalabutte, his neighbour. He left the government of the kingdom to
the Queen his mother, and earnestly recommended to her care his wife
and children. He was like to be at war all the summer, and as soon as
he departed, 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.
[Illustration: "'I WILL HAVE IT SO,' REPLIED THE QUEEN, 'AND WILL EAT
HER WITH A SAUCE ROBERT'"]
Some few days afterwards she went thither herself, and said to her
clerk of the kitchen:
"I have a mind to eat little Aurora for my dinner to morrow."
"Ah! Madam," cried the clerk of the kitchen.
"I will have it so," replied the Queen (and this she spake in the tone
of an Ogress, who had a strong desire to eat fresh meat), "and will
eat her with a Sauce Robert."
[Footnote 2: This is a French sauce, made with onions shredded and
boiled tender in butter, to which is added vinegar, mustard, salt,
pepper, and a little wine. [Note by the translator.]]
The poor man knowing very well that he must not play tricks with
Ogresses, took his great knife and went up into little Aurora's
chamber. She was then four years old, and came up to him jumping and
laughing, to take him about the 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 Aurora, and carried her to his wife, to conceal her in
the lodging he had at the end of the court yard.
About eight days afterwards, the wicked Queen said to the clerk of the
"I will sup upon little Day."
He answered not a word, being resolved to cheat her, as he had done
before. He went to find out little Day, and saw him with a little
foil in his hand, with which he was fencing with a great monkey; the
child being 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 in the room of little Day cooked up a young
kid very tender, which the Ogress found to be wonderfully good.
This was hitherto all mighty well: but one evening this wicked Queen
said to her clerk of the kitchen:
"I will eat the Queen with the same sauce I had with her children."
It was now that the poor clerk of the kitchen despaired of being able
to deceive her. The young Queen was turned of twenty, not reckoning
the hundred years she had been asleep: her skin was somewhat tough,
tho' very fair and white; and how to find in the yard a beast so firm,
was what puzzled him. He took then a resolution, that he might 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 a
fury as he could possibly, and came into the young Queen's room with
his dagger in his hand. He would not, however, surprise her, but told
her, with a great deal of respect, the orders he had received from the
"Do it, do it," said she stretching out her neck, "execute your
orders, and then I shall go and see my children, my poor children,
whom I so much and so tenderly loved," for she thought them dead ever
since they had been taken away without her knowledge.
"No, no, Madam," cried the poor clerk of the kitchen, all in tears,
"you shall not die, and yet you shall see your children again; but it
must be in my lodgings, where I have concealed them, and I shall
deceive the Queen once more, by giving her in your stead a young
Upon this he forthwith conducted her to his chamber; where leaving her
to embrace her children, and cry along with them, he went and dressed
a hind, which the Queen had for her supper, and devoured it with the
same appetite, as if it had been the young Queen. Exceedingly was she
delighted with her cruelty, and she had invented a story to tell the
King, at his return, how ravenous wolves had eaten up the Queen his
wife, and her two children.
One 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 ground-room little Day crying, for his
mamma was going to whip him, because he had been naughty; and she
heard, at the same time, little Aurora begging pardon for her brother.
The Ogress presently knew the voice of the Queen and her children, and
being quite mad that she had been thus deceived, she commanded next
morning, by break of day (with a most horrible voice, which made every
body tremble) that they should bring into the middle of the great
court a large tub, which she caused to be filled with toads, vipers,
snakes, and all sorts of serpents, in order to have thrown into it the
Queen and her children, the clerk of the kitchen, his wife and maid;
all whom she had given orders should be brought thither with their
hands tied behind them.
They 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 horse-back (for he came post) and
asked, with the utmost astonishment, what was the meaning of that
horrible spectacle? No one dared to tell him; when the Ogress, all
inraged 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 for others. The King could not but be very sorry,
for she was his mother; but he soon comforted himself with his
beautiful wife, and his pretty children.
"To get as prize a husband rich and gay.
Of humour sweet, with many years to stay,
Is natural enough, 'tis true;
To wait for him a hundred years,
And all that while asleep, appears
A thing entirely new.
Now at this time of day,
Not one of all the sex we see
Doth sleep with such profound tranquillity:
But yet this Fable seems to let us know
That very often Hymen's blisses sweet,
Altho' some tedious obstacles they meet,
Are not less happy for approaching slow.
'Tis nature's way that ladies fair
Should yearn conjugal joys to share;
And so I've not the heart to preach
A moral that's beyond their reach."
"The Master Cat; or, Puss in Boots"
The Master Cat or Puss in Boots
There was a miller, who left no more estate to the three sons he had,
than his Mill, his Ass, and his Cat. The partition was soon made.
Neither the scrivener nor attorney were sent for. They would soon have
eaten up all the poor patrimony. The eldest had the Mill, the second
the Ass, and the youngest nothing but the Cat.
The poor young fellow was quite comfortless at having so poor a lot.
"My 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 with hunger."
The Cat, who heard all this, but made as if he did not, said to him
with a grave and serious air:
"Do not thus afflict yourself, my good master; you have only to give
me a bag, and get a pair of boots made for me, that I may scamper
thro' the dirt and the brambles, and you shall see that you have not
so bad a portion of me as you imagine."
Tho' the Cat's master did not build very much upon what he said, he
had however often seen him play a great many cunning tricks to catch
rats and mice; as when he used to hang by the heels, or hide himself
in the meal, and make as if he were dead; so that he did not
altogether despair of his affording him some help in his miserable
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 fore paws, and went into a warren where was great abundance of
rabbits. He put bran and sow-thistle into his bag, and stretching
himself out at length, as if he had been dead, he waited for some
young rabbit, not yet acquainted with the deceits of the world, to
come and rummage his bag for what he had put into it.
Scarce was he lain down, 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 and killed him without pity. Proud of
his prey, he went with it to the palace, and asked to speak with his
Majesty. He was shewed up stairs into the King's apartment, and,
making a low reverence, said to him:
"I have brought you, sir, a rabbit of the warren which my noble lord
the Marquis of Carabas" (for that was the title which Puss was pleased
to give his master) "has commanded me to present to your Majesty from
"Tell thy master," said the King, "that I thank him, and that he does
me a great deal of pleasure."
Another time he went and hid himself among some standing corn, holding
still his bag open; and when a brace of partridges ran into it, he
drew the strings, and so caught them both. He 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 him some money to drink.
The Cat continued for two or three months, thus to carry his Majesty,
from time to time, game of his master's taking. One day in particular,
when he knew for certain that the King was to take the air, along the
river side, with his daughter, the most beautiful Princess in the
world, he said to his master:
"If you will follow my advice, your fortune is made; you have nothing
else to do, but go and wash yourself in the river, in that part I
shall shew you, and leave the rest to me."
The Marquis of Carabas did what the Cat advised him to, without
knowing why or wherefore.
While he was washing, the King passed by, and the Cat began to cry
out, as loud as he could:
"Help, help, my lord Marquis of Carabas is drowning."
At this noise the King put his head out of his coach-window, and
finding it was the Cat who had so often brought him such good game, he
commanded his guards to run immediately to the assistance of his
lordship the Marquis of Carabas.
While 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
washing, there came by some rogues, who went off with his clothes,
tho' he had cried out "Thieves, thieves," several times, as loud as he
could. This cunning Cat had hidden them 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 King received him with great kindness, and as the fine clothes he
had given him extremely set off his good mien (for he was well made,
and very handsome in his person), the King's daughter took a secret
inclination to him, and the Marquis of Carabas had no sooner cast two
or three respectful and somewhat tender glances, but she fell in love
with him to distraction. The King would needs have him come into his
coach, and take part of the airing. The Cat, quite overjoyed to see
his project begin to succeed, marched on before, and meeting with some
countrymen, who were mowing a meadow, he said to them:
"Good 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 mince-meat."
The King did not fail asking of the mowers, to whom the meadow they
were mowing belonged.
"To my lord Marquis of Carabas," answered they all together; for the
Cat's threats had made them terribly afraid.
"Truly a fine estate," said the King to the Marquis of Carabas.
"You see, sir," said the Marquis, "this is a meadow which never fails
to yield a plentiful harvest every year."
The Master Cat, who still went on before, met with some reapers, and
said to them:
"Good people, you who are reaping, if you do not tell the King that
all this corn belongs to the Marquis of Carabas, you shall be chopped
as small as mince-meat."
The King, who passed by a moment after, would needs know to whom all
that corn, which he then saw, did belong. "To my lord Marquis of
Carabas," replied the reapers; and the King again congratulated the
The Master Cat, who went always before, said the same words to all he
met; and the King was astonished at the vast estates of my lord
Marquis of Carabas.
Monsieur Puss came at last to a stately castle, the master of which
was an Ogre, the richest had ever been known; for all the lands which
the King had then gone over 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 honour of paying his respects to him.
The Ogre received him as civilly as an Ogre could do, and made him sit
"I 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; you can, for example, transform yourself into a lion, or elephant,
and the like."
"This is true," answered the Ogre very briskly, "and to convince you,
you shall see me now become a lion."
Puss was so sadly terrified at the sight of a lion so near him, that
he immediately got into the gutter, not without abundance of trouble
and danger, because of his boots, which were ill-suited 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
"I have been moreover 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."
"Impossible?" cried the Ogre, "you shall see that presently," and at
the same time changed into a mouse, and began to run about the floor.
Puss no sooner perceived this, but he fell upon him, and ate him up.
Meanwhile 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 running over the drawbridge, ran out and said to the
"Your Majesty is welcome to this castle of my lord Marquis of
"What! my lord Marquis?" cried the King, "and does this castle also
belong to you? There can be nothing finer than this court, and all the
stately buildings which surround it; let us go into it, if you
[Illustration: "THE MARQUIS GAVE HIS HAND TO THE PRINCESS, AND
FOLLOWED THE KING, WHO WENT UP FIRST"]
The Marquis gave his hand to the Princess, and followed the King,
who went up first. They passed into a spacious 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 knowing
the King was there. His Majesty was perfectly charmed with the good
qualities of my lord Marquis of Carabas, as was his daughter who was
fallen violently in love with him; and seeing the vast estate he
possessed, said to him, after having drank five or six glasses:
"It will be owing to yourself only, my lord Marquis, if you are not my
The Marquis making several low bows, accepted the honour which his
Majesty conferred upon him, and forthwith, that very same day, married
Puss became a great lord, and never ran after mice any more, but only
for his diversion.
"How advantageous it may be,
By long descent of pedigree,
T'enjoy a great estate,
Yet knowledge how to act, we see,
Join'd with consummate industry,
(Nor wonder ye thereat)
Doth often prove a greater boon,
As should be to young people known."
"If the son of a miller so soon gains the heart
Of a beautiful princess, and makes her impart
Sweet languishing glances, eyes melting for love,
It must be remark'd of fine clothes how they move,
And that youth, a good face, a good air, with good mien,
Are not always indifferent mediums to win
The love of the fair, and gently inspire
The flames of sweet passion, and tender desire."
"Cinderilla; or, The Little Glass Slipper"
[Illustration: "AWAY SHE DROVE, SCARCE ABLE TO CONTAIN HERSELF FOR
JOY" ("page" 84)]
Cinderilla or The Little Glass Slipper
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 humour and they were indeed
exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another 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
No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over, but the stepmother
began to shew herself in her colours. 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; she scoured the dishes, tables, &c. and rubbed 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 intirely. 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
Cinder-breech; but the youngest, who was not so rude and uncivil as
the eldest, called her Cinderilla. However, Cinderilla,
notwithstanding her mean apparel, was a hundred times handsomer than
her sisters, tho' 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 chusing out such gowns,
petticoats, and head-clothes as might best become them. This was a new
trouble to Cinderilla; 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 eldest, "I will wear
my red velvet suit, with French trimming." "And I," said the youngest,
"shall only 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 make up
their head-dresses, and adjust their double-pinners, and they had
their red brushes, and patches from the fashionable maker.
[Footnote 3: 'Pinners' were coifs with two long side-flaps pinned on.
'Double-pinners'--with two side-flaps on each side--accurately
translates the French "cornettes à deux rangs".]
[Illustration: "ANY ONE BUT CINDERILLA WOULD HAVE DRESSED THEIR HEADS
Cinderilla 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 service to dress their heads, which they
were very willing she should do. As she was doing this, they said to
"Cinderilla, would you not be glad to go to the ball?"
"Ah!" said she, "you only jeer at me; it is not for such as I am to go
"Thou art in the right of it," replied they, "it would make the people
laugh to see a Cinder-breech at a ball."
Any one but Cinderilla would have dressed their heads awry, but she
was very good, and dressed 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-glass. At last the happy day came; they went to Court, and
Cinderilla 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
"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 couldest go to the ball, is it not so?"
"Y--es," cried Cinderilla, 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
"Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin."
Cinderilla 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, leaving 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 her mouse-trap, where she found six mice
all alive, and ordered Cinderilla 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 at that moment turned into a fair horse, which
altogether made a very fine set of six horses of a beautiful
Being at a loss for a coachman, "I will go and see," says Cinderilla,
"if there be never a rat in the rat-trap, that we may make a coachman
"Thou art in the right," replied her godmother; "go and look."
Cinderilla 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, but 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
it, as if they had done nothing else their whole lives. The Fairy then
said to Cinderilla:
"Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball with; are you
not pleased with it?"
"O yes," cried she, "but must I go thither as I am, in these poison
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.
[Footnote 4: In Perrault's tale: "pantoufles de verre". There is no
doubt that in the medieval versions of this ancient tale Cinderilla
was given "pantoufles de vair"--"i.e.", of a grey, or grey and white,
fur, the exact nature of which has been a matter of controversy, but
which was probably a grey squirrel. Long before the seventeenth
century the word "vair" had passed out of use, except as a heraldic
term, and had ceased to convey any meaning to the people. Thus the
"pantoufles de vair" of the fairy tale became, in the oral tradition,
the homonymous "pantoufles de verre", or glass slippers, a delightful
improvement on the earlier version.]
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 at the ball one
moment longer, her 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
every one to contemplate the singular beauty of this unknown new
comer. Nothing was then heard but a confused noise of,
"Ha! how handsome she is! Ha! how handsome she is!"
The King himself, old as he was, could not help ogling 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 honourable seat, and
afterwards 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,
shewing 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 Cinderilla was thus amusing her sisters, she heard the clock
strike eleven and three quarters, whereupon she immediately made a
curtesy to the company, and hasted away as fast as she could.
Being got 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 Cinderilla ran and opened.
"How long you have stayed," cried she, gaping, rubbing her eyes, and
stretching herself as if she had been just awaked 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," said one of her sisters, "thou
wouldst not have been tired with it; there came thither the finest
Princess, the most beautiful ever was seen with mortal eyes; she
shewed us a thousand civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons."
Cinderilla was transported with joy; she asked them the name of that
Princess; but they told her they did not know it; and that the King's
son was very anxious to learn it, and would give all the world to know
who she was. At this Cinderilla, smiling, replied:
"She must then be very beautiful indeed; Lord! how happy have you
been; could not I see her? Ah! dear Miss Charlotte, do lend me your
yellow suit of cloaths which you wear every day!"
"Ay, to be sure!" cried Miss Charlotte, "lend my cloaths to such a
dirty Cinder-breech as thou art; who's the fool then?"
Cinderilla, indeed, expected some such 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 Cinderilla,
but dressed more magnificently than before. The King's son was always
by her, and never ceased his compliments and amorous speeches to her;
to whom 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, without coach or footmen, and in
her nasty old cloaths, 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; who
said, 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
[Illustration: "SHE LEFT BEHIND ONE OF HER GLASS SLIPPERS, WHICH THE
PRINCE TOOK UP MOST CAREFULLY"]
When the two sisters returned from the ball, Cinderilla asked them if
they had been well diverted, and if the fine lady had been there. They
told her, Yes, but that 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, and which the King's son
had taken up; that he had done nothing but look at it during all the
latter part of the ball, and that most certainly he was very much in
love with the beautiful person who owned the little 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 on 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 feet into the slipper, but they
could not effect it.
Cinderilla, who saw all this, and knew her slipper, said to them
"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
Cinderilla, and finding her very handsome, said it was but just that
she should try, and that he had orders to let every one make tryal. He
invited Cinderilla 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 Cinderilla 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, Cinderilla's
cloaths, made them richer and more magnificent than any of those she
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. Cinderilla
took them up, and as she embraced them, cried that she forgave them
with all her heart, and desired them always to love her.
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.
Cinderilla, 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.
"Beauty's to the sex a treasure,
Still admir'd beyond all measure,
And never yet was any known,
By still admiring, weary grown.
But that rare quality call'd grace,
Exceeds, by far, a handsome face;
Its lasting charms surpass the other,
And this rich gift her kind godmother
Bestow'd on Cinderilla fair,
Whom she instructed with such care.
She gave to her such graceful mien,
That she, thereby, became a queen.
For thus (may ever truth prevail)
We draw our moral from this tale.
This quality, fair ladies, know
Prevails much more (you'll find it so)
T'ingage and captivate a heart,
Than a fine head dress'd up with art.
The fairies' gift of greatest worth
Is grace of bearing, not high birth;
Without this gift we'll miss the prize;
Possession gives us wings to rise."
"A great advantage 'tis, no doubt, to man,
To have wit, courage, birth, good sense, and brain,
And other such-like qualities, which we
Receiv'd from heaven's kind hand, and destiny.
But none of these rich graces from above,
To your advancement in the world will prove
If godmothers and sires you disobey,
Or 'gainst their strict advice too long you stay."
"Riquet with the Tuft"
Riquet with the Tuft
There was, once upon a time, a Queen, who was brought to bed of a son,
so hideously ugly, that it was long disputed, whether he had human
form. A Fairy, who was at his birth, affirmed, he would be very
lovable for all that, since he should be indowed with abundance of
wit. She even added, that it would be in his power, by virtue of a
gift she had just then given him, to bestow on the person he most
loved as much wit as he pleased. All this somewhat comforted the poor
Queen, who was under a grievous affliction for having brought into the
world such an ugly brat. It is true, that this child no sooner began
to prattle, but he said a thousand pretty things, and that in all his
actions there was something so taking, that he charmed every-body. I
forgot to tell you, that he came into the world with a little tuft of
hair upon his head, which made them call him Riquet with the Tuft, for
Riquet was the family name.
Seven or eight years after this, the Queen of a neighbouring kingdom
was delivered of two daughters at a birth. The first-born of these was
beautiful beyond compare, whereat the Queen was so very glad, that
those present were afraid that her excess of joy would do her harm.
The same Fairy, who had assisted 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 wit at all, but be
as stupid as she was pretty. This mortified the Queen extreamly, but
some moments afterwards she had far greater sorrow; for, the second
daughter she was delivered of, was very ugly.
"Do not afflict yourself so much, Madam," said the Fairy; "your
daughter shall have so great a portion of wit, that her want of beauty
will scarcely be perceived."
"God grant it," replied the Queen; "but is there no way to make the
eldest, who is so pretty, have some little wit?"
"I can do nothing for her, Madam, as to wit," answered the Fairy, "but
everything as to beauty; and as there is nothing but what I would do
for your satisfaction, I give her for gift, that she shall have the
power to make handsome the person who shall best please her."
As these Princesses grew up, their perfections grew up with them; all
the public talk was of the beauty of the eldest, and the wit of the
youngest. It is true also that their defects increased considerably
with their age; the youngest visibly grew uglier and uglier, and the
eldest became 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 mantlepiece, without breaking one of them, nor drink a
glass of water without spilling half of it upon her cloaths. Tho'
beauty is a very great advantage in young people, yet here the
youngest sister bore away the bell, almost always, in all companies
from the eldest; 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 turns, and it was amazing to
see, in less than a quarter of an hour's time, the eldest with not a
soul with her and the whole company crowding about the youngest. The
eldest, tho' she was unaccountably dull, could not but notice it, and
would have given all her beauty to have half the wit of her sister.
The Queen, prudent as she was, could not help reproaching her several
times, which had like to have made this poor Princess die for grief.
One day, as she retired into the wood to bewail her misfortune, she
saw, coming to her, a little man, very disagreeable, but most
magnificently dressed. This was the young Prince Riquet with the Tuft,
who having fallen in love with her, by seeing her picture, many of
which went 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 all alone, he addressed himself to her with
all imaginable politeness and respect. Having observed, after he had
made her the ordinary compliments, that she was extremely melancholy,
he said to her:
"I cannot comprehend, Madam, how a person so beautiful as you are, can
be so sorrowful as you seem to be; for tho' I can boast of having seen
infinite numbers of ladies exquisitely charming, 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
"Beauty," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "is such a great advantage,
that it ought to take the place of all things; and since you possess
this treasure, I see nothing that can possibly very much afflict you."
"I had far rather," cried the Princess, "be as ugly as you are, and
have wit, than have the beauty I possess, and be so stupid as I am."
"There is nothing, Madam," returned he, "shews more that we have wit,
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 I know, very well, that
I am very senseless, and thence proceeds the vexation which almost
"If that be all, Madam, which troubles you, I can very easily put an
end to your affliction."
"And how will you do that?" cried the Princess.
"I have the power, Madam," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "to give to
that person whom I shall love best, as much wit 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 remained quite astonished, and answered not a word.
[Illustration: "THE PRINCE BELIEVED HE HAD GIVEN HER MORE WIT THAN HE
HAD RESERVED FOR HIMSELF"]
"I see," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "that this proposal makes you
very uneasy, and I do not wonder at it, but I will give you a whole
year to consider of it."
The Princess had so little wit, and, at the same time, so great a
longing to have some, that she imagined the end of that year would
never be; therefore she accepted the proposal which was made her. She
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 facility of speaking whatever
she pleased, after a polite, easy, and natural manner; she began that
moment a very gallant conversation with Riquet with the Tuft, wherein
she tattled at such a rate, that Riquet with the Tuft believed he had
given her more wit than he had reserved for himself.
When 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
turns, as they had stupid and silly impertinences before. The whole
Court was overjoyed at it beyond imagination; it pleased all but her
younger sister; because having no longer the advantage of her in
respect of wit, she appeared, in comparison of her, a very
disagreeable, homely puss. The King governed himself by her advice,
and would even sometimes hold a council in her apartment. The noise of
this change spreading every where, all the young Princes of the
neighbouring kingdoms strove all they could to gain her favour, and
almost all of them asked her in marriage; but she found not one of
them had wit enough for her, and she gave them all a hearing, but
would not engage herself to any.
However, there came one so powerful, rich, witty and handsome, that
she could not help having a good inclination for him. Her father
perceived it, and told her that she was her own mistress as to the
choice of a husband, and that she might declare her intentions. As the
more wit we have, the greater difficulty we find to make a firm
resolution upon such affairs, this made her desire her father, after
having thanked him, to give her time to consider of it.
She went accidentally to walk in the same wood where she met Riquet
with the Tuft, to think, the more conveniently, 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 who went
backwards and forwards, and were very busy. Having listened more
attentively, she heard one say:
"Bring me that pot"; another "Give me that kettle"; and a third, "Put
some wood upon the fire."
The ground at the same time opened, and she seemingly saw under her
feet, a great kitchen full of cooks, scullions, and all sorts of
servants necessary for a magnificent entertainment. There came out of
it a company of roasters, to the number of twenty, or thirty, who went
to plant themselves in a fine alley of wood, about a very long table,
with their larding pins in their hands, and skewers in their caps,
who began to work, keeping time, to the tune of a very harmonious
The Princess, all astonished at this sight, asked them who they worked
"For Prince Riquet with the Tuft," said the chief of them, "who is to
be married to-morrow."
The Princess was more surprised than ever, and recollecting that it
was now that day twelvemonth on which she had promised to marry Riquet
with the Tuft, she was like to sink into the ground.
What made her forget this was that, when she made this promise, she
was very silly, and having obtained that vast stock of wit which the
Prince had bestowed on her, she had intirely forgot her stupidity. She
continued walking, but had not taken thirty steps before Riquet with
the Tuft presented himself to her, bravely and most magnificently
dressed, like a Prince who was going to be married.
"You see, Madam," said he, "I am very exact in keeping my word, and
doubt not, in the least, but you are come hither to perform yours, and
to make me, by giving me your hand, the happiest of men."
"I shall freely own to you," answered the Princess, "that I have not
yet taken any resolution on this affair, and believe I never shall
take such a one as you desire."
"You astonish me, Madam," said Riquet with the Tuft.
"I believe it," said the Princess, "and surely if I had to do with a
clown, or a man of no wit, I should find myself very much at a loss.
'A Princess always observes her word,' would he say to me, 'and you
must marry me, since you promised to do so.' But as he whom I talk to
is the man of 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, notwithstanding, never come to a resolution to marry
you; why will you have me, now I have so much judgment as you gave me,
and which makes me a more difficult person than I was at that time, to
come to such a resolution, which I could not then determine 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."
"If a man of no wit and sense," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "would
be entitled, as you say, to reproach you for breach of your word, why
will you not let me, Madam, do likewise 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 fact, if you please. Setting
aside my ugliness and deformity, is there any thing in me which
displeases you? Are you dissatisfied with my birth, my wit, humour, or
[Illustration: "RIQUET WITH THE TUFT APPEARED TO HER THE FINEST PRINCE
"Not at all," answered the Princess; "I love you and respect you in
all that you mention." "If it be so," said Riquet with the Tuft, "I
am like to be happy, since it is in your power to make me the most
lovable of men."
"How can that be?" said the Princess.
"It will come about," said Riquet with the Tuft; "if you love me
enough to wish it to be so; and that you may no ways doubt, Madam, of
what I say, know that the same Fairy, who, on my birth-day, gave me
for gift the power of making the person who should please me extremely
witty and judicious, has, in like manner, given you for gift the power
of making him, whom you love, and would grant that favour to,
"If 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 it on you,
as much as I am able."
The Princess had no sooner pronounced these words, but 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
enchantments of the Fairy which worked this change, but that love
alone caused the metamorphosis. They 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 homely air of one who has a
broad back; and that whereas till then she saw him limp horribly, she
found it nothing more than a certain sidling air, which charmed her.
They say farther, that his eyes, which were very squinting, seemed to
her all the more bright and sparkling; that their irregularity passed
in her judgment for a mark of a violent excess of love; and, in short,
that his great red nose had, in her opinion, somewhat of the martial
Howsoever it was, the Princess promised immediately to marry him, on
condition he obtained her father's consent. The King being acquainted
that his daughter had abundance of esteem for Riquet with the Tuft,
whom he knew otherwise 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 a long time before given.
"What in this little Tale we find,
Is less a fable than real truth.
In those we love appear rare gifts of mind,
And body too: wit, judgment, beauty, youth."
"A countenance whereon, by natures hand,
Beauty is trac'd, also the lively stain
Of such complexion art can ne'er attain,
With all these gifts hath not so much command
On hearts, as hath one secret charm alone.
Love finds that out, to all besides unknown."
[Illustration: "LITTLE THUMB WAS AS GOOD AS HIS WORD, AND RETURNED
THAT SAME NIGHT WITH THE NEWS" ("page" 123)]
There was, once upon a time, a man and his wife, faggot-makers by
trade, who had seven children, all boys. The eldest was but ten years
old, and the youngest only seven. One might wonder how that the
faggot-maker could have so many children in so little a time; but it
was because his wife went nimbly about her business and never brought
fewer than two at a birth. They were very poor, and their seven
children incommoded them greatly, because not one of them was able to
earn his bread. That which gave them yet more uneasiness was, that the
youngest was of a very puny constitution, and scarce ever spake a
word, which made them take that for stupidity which was a sign of good
sense. He was very little, and, when born, no bigger than one's thumb;
which made him be called Little Thumb.
The poor child bore the blame of whatsoever was done amiss in the
house, and guilty or not was always in the wrong; he was,
notwithstanding, more cunning and had a far greater share of wisdom
than all his brothers put together, and if he spake little he heard
and thought the more.
There happened now to come 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 all in bed and the faggot-maker
was sitting with his wife at the fire, he said to her, with his heart
ready to burst with grief:
"Thou see'st plainly that we are not able to keep our children, and I
cannot see them starve to death before my face; I am resolved to lose
them in the wood to-morrow, which may very easily be done; for while
they are busy in tying up the faggots, we may run away, and leave
them, without their taking any notice."
"Ah!" cried out his wife, "and can'st thou thyself have the heart to
take thy children out along with thee on purpose to lose them?"
In vain did her husband represent to her their extreme poverty; she
would not consent to it; she was, indeed poor, but she was their
mother. However, having considered what a grief it would be to her to
see them perish with hunger, she at last consented and went to bed all
Little Thumb heard every word that had been spoken; for observing, as
he lay in his bed, that they were talking very busily, he had got up
softly and hid himself under his father's stool, that he might hear
what they said, without being seen. He went to bed again, but did not
sleep a wink all the rest of the night, thinking on what he ought to
do. He got up early in the morning, and went to the river side, where
he filled his pockets full of small white pebbles, and then returned
home. They all went abroad, but Little Thumb never told his brothers
one syllable of what he knew. They went into a very thick forest,
where they could not see one another at ten paces distance. The
faggot-maker began to cut wood, and the children to gather up sticks
to make faggots. Their father and mother seeing them busy at their
work, got from them by degrees, and then ran away from them all at
once, along a by-way, thro' the winding bushes.
[Illustration: "HE BROUGHT THEM HOME BY THE VERY SAME WAY THEY CAME"]
When the children saw they were left alone, they began to cry as loud
as they could. Little Thumb let them cry on, knowing very well how to
go home again; for as he came he had taken care to drop all along the
way the little white pebbles he had in his pockets. Then said he to
"Be not afraid, brothers, father and mother have left us here, but I
will lead you home again, only follow me." They did so, and he brought
them home by the very same way they came into the forest. They dared
not to go in, but sat themselves down at the door, listening to what
their father and mother were saying.
The very moment the faggot-maker and his wife were got home, the lord
of the manor sent them ten crowns, which he had owed them a long
while, and which they never expected. This gave them new life; for the
poor people were almost famished. The faggot-maker sent his wife
immediately to the butcher's. As it was a long while since they had
eaten a bit, she bought thrice as much meat as would sup two people.
Having filled their bellies, the woman said:
"Alas! where are now our poor children? They would make a good feast
of what we have left here; but then it was you, William, who had a
mind to lose them; I told you we should repent of it: what are they
now doing in the forest? Alas! dear God, the wolves have, perhaps,
already eaten them up: thou art very inhuman thus to have lost thy
The faggot-maker grew at last quite out of patience, for she repeated
this above twenty times, that they should repent of it, and she was in
the right of it for so saying. He threatened to beat her, if she did
not hold her tongue. It was not that the faggot-maker was not,
perhaps, more vexed than his wife, but that she teized him, and that
he was of the humour of a great many others, who love wives who speak
right, but think those very importunate who are always in the right.
She was half drowned in tears, crying out:
"Alas! where are now my children, my poor children?"
She spake this so very loud, that the children who were at the door,
began to cry out all together:
"Here we are, here we are."
She ran immediately to open the door, and said, hugging them:
"I am glad to see you, my dear children; you are very hungry and
weary; and my poor Peter, thou art horribly bemired; come in and let
me clean thee."
Now, you must know, that Peter was her eldest son, whom she loved
above all the rest, because he was somewhat carrotty, as she herself
was. They sat down to supper, and ate with such a good appetite as
pleased both father and mother, whom they acquainted how frightened
they were in the forest; speaking almost always all together. The good
folks were extremely glad to see their children once more at home,
and this joy continued while the ten crowns lasted; but when the money
was all gone, they fell again into their former uneasiness, and
resolved to lose them again; and, that they might be the surer of
doing it, to carry them at a much greater distance than before. They
could not talk of this so secretly, but they were overheard by Little
Thumb, who made account to get out of this difficulty as well as the
former; but though he got up betimes in the morning, to go and pick up
some little pebbles, he was disappointed; for he found the house-door
double-locked, and was at a stand what to do. When their father had
given each of them a piece of bread for their breakfast, he fancied he
might make use of this bread instead of the pebbles, by throwing it in
little bits all along the way they should pass; and so he put it up
into his pocket.
Their father and mother brought them into the thickest and most
obscure part of the forest; when, stealing away into a by-path, they
there left them. Little Thumb was not very uneasy at 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 so much as one crumb; the birds had
come and eaten it up every bit. They were now in great affliction, for
the farther they went, the more they were out of their way, and were
more and more bewildered in the forest.
Night now came on, and there arose a terrible high wind, which made
them dreadfully afraid. They fancied they heard on every side of them
the houling of wolves coming to eat them up; they scarce dared to
speak, or turn their heads. After this, it rained very hard, which wet
them to the skin; their feet slipped at every step they took, and they
fell into the mire, whence they got up in a very dirty pickle; their
hands were in a sorry state.
Little Thumb climbed up to the top of a tree, to see if he could
discover any thing; and having turned his head about on every side, he
saw at last a glimmering light, like that of a candle, but a long way
from 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 towards that side on which he had seen the
light, he perceived it again as he came out of the wood.
They came at last to the house where this candle was, not without
abundance of fear; for very often they lost sight of it, which
happened every time they came into a bottom. They knocked at the door,
and a good woman came and open'd it; she asked them what they wished.
Little Thumb told her they were poor children who had been lost in the
forest, and desired to lodge there for God's sake. The woman seeing
them so very pretty, began to weep, and said to them:
"Alas! poor babies, whither are ye come? Do ye know that this house
belongs to a cruel Ogre, who eats up little children?"
"Ah! dear Madam," answered Little Thumb (who trembled every joint of
him, as well as his brothers) "what shall we do? To be sure, the
wolves of the forest will devour us to-night, if you refuse us to lie
here; and so, we would rather the gentleman should eat us. Perhaps he
will take pity on us, especially if you please to beg it of him."
The Ogre's wife, who believed she could conceal them from her husband
till morning, let them come in, and brought them to warm themselves at
a very good fire; for there was a whole sheep upon the spit roasting
for the Ogre's supper.
As they began to be a little warm, they heard three or four great raps
at the door; this was the Ogre, who was come home. Upon this she hid
them under the bed, and went to open the door. The Ogre presently
asked if supper was ready, and the wine drawn; and then he sat himself
down to table. The sheep was as yet all raw and bloody; but he liked
it the better for that. He sniffed about to the right and left,
saying, "I smell fresh meat."
"What you smell so," said his wife, "must be the calf which I have
just now killed and flayed."
"I smell fresh meat, I tell thee once more," replied the Ogre, looking
crossly at his wife, "and there is something here which I do not
As he spake these words, he got up from the table, and went directly
to the bed.
"Ah!" said he, "I see how thou would'st cheat me, thou cursed woman; I
know not why I do not eat up thee too; but it is well for thee that
thou art a tough old carrion. Here is good game, which comes very
luckily to entertain three Ogres of my acquaintance, who are to pay me
a visit in a day or two."
With that he 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 Ogres in the world, who, far from having
any pity on them, had already devoured them with his eyes; he told his
wife they would be delicate eating, when tossed up with good savoury
sauce. He then took a great knife, and coming up to these poor
children, whetted it upon a great whet-stone which he held in his left
hand. He had already taken hold of one of them, when his wife said to
"What need you do it now? It is time enough to-morrow?"
"Hold your prattling," said the Ogre, "they will eat the tenderer."
"But you have so much meat already," replied his wife, "you have no
occasion. Here is a calf, two sheep, and half a hog."
"That is true," said the Ogre, "give them their belly-full, that they
may not fall away, and put them to bed."
The good woman was overjoyed at this, and gave them a good supper; but
they were so much afraid, they could not eat a bit. As for the Ogre,
he sat down again to drink, being highly pleased that he had got
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.
The Ogre had seven daughters, all little children, and these young
Ogresses had all of them very fine complexions, because they used to
eat fresh meat like their father; but they had little grey eyes, quite
round, hooked noses, wide mouths, and very long sharp teeth standing
at a good distance from each other. They were not as yet over and
above mischievous; but they promised very fair for it, for they
already bit little children, that they might suck their blood. They
had been put to bed early, with every one a crown of gold upon her
head. There was in the same chamber another bed of the like bigness,
and it was into this bed the Ogre's wife put the seven little boys;
after which she went to bed to her husband.
Little 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, got up about midnight; and taking his brothers'
bonnets and his own, went very softly, 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', that the Ogre might
take them for his daughters, and his daughters for the little boys
whom he wanted to kill. All this succeeded according to his desire;
for the Ogre waking about midnight, and sorry that he deferred to do
that till morning which he might have done over-night, threw himself
hastily out of bed, and taking his great knife:
"Let us see," said he, "how our little rogues do, and not make two
jobs of the matter."
He then went up, groping all the way, into his daughters' chamber; and
came to the bed where the little boys lay, who were every soul of them
fast asleep; except Little Thumb, who was terribly afraid when he
found the Ogre fumbling about his head, as he had done about his
brothers'. The Ogre, feeling the golden crowns, said:
"I should have made a fine piece of work of it truly; I find I guzzled
too much last night."
Then he went to the bed where the girls lay; and having found the
boys' little bonnets: "Hah!" said he, "my merry lads, are you there?
Let us to work!"
And saying these words, without more ado, he cut the throats of all
his seven daughters.
Well pleased with what he had done, he went to bed again to his wife.
So soon as Little Thumb heard the Ogre snore, he waked his brothers,
and bade them put on their clothes presently, and follow him. They
stole down softly into the garden, and got over the wall. They kept
running almost all night, trembling all the while, without knowing
which way they went.
The Ogre, when he waked, said to his wife:
"Go up stairs 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 he intended she should dress them; but
thinking that he had ordered her to go and put on their cloaths, went
up, and was strangely astonished when she perceived her seven
daughters killed, and weltering in their blood. She fainted away; for
this is the first expedient almost all women find in such-like cases.
The Ogre, fearing his wife would be 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 cursed wretches shall pay for
it, and that instantly."
He threw then a pitcher of water upon his wife's face; and having
brought her to herself:
"Give me quickly," cried he, "my boots of seven leagues, that I may go
and catch them."
He went out; and, having run over a vast deal of ground, both on this
side and that, 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 kennels.
Little Thumb, seeing a hollow rock near the place where they were,
made his brothers hide themselves in it, and crowded into it himself,
minding always what would become of the Ogre.
[Footnote 5: That is, 'channels.']
The Ogre, who found himself much tired with his long and fruitless
journey (for these boots of seven leagues extremely fatigue the
wearer), had a great mind to rest himself, and, by chance, went to
sit down upon the rock where these little boys had hid themselves. As
he was worn out, he fell asleep: and, after reposing himself some time
he began to snore so frightfully, that the poor children were no less
afraid of him, than when he held up his great knife, and was going to
cut their throats. Little Thumb was not so much frightened as his
brothers, and told them that they should run away immediately towards
home, while the Ogre was asleep so soundly; and that they should not
be anxious about him. They took his advice, and got home presently.
Little Thumb came up to the Ogre, pulled off his boots gently, and put
them on upon his own legs. The boots were very long and large; but as
they were Fairies, they had the gift of becoming big and 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 on purpose for him.
He went immediately to the Ogre's house, where he saw his wife crying
bitterly for the loss of her murdered daughters.
"Your husband," said Little Thumb, "is in very great danger, being
taken by a gang of thieves, who have sworn to kill him, if he does not
give them all his gold and silver. Just when they held their daggers
at his throat, he perceived me, and desired me to come and tell you
the condition he is in, and that you should give me whatsoever he has
of value, without retaining any one thing; for otherwise they will
kill him without mercy; and, as his case is very pressing, he desired
me to make use (you see I have them on) of his boots, that I might
make the more haste, and to shew you that I do not impose upon you."
The good woman, being sadly frightened, gave him all she had: for this
Ogre was a very good husband, tho' he used to eat 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.
There are many people who do not agree in this circumstance, and
pretend that Little Thumb never robbed the Ogre at all, and that he
only thought he might very justly, and with safe conscience take off
his boots of seven leagues, because he made no other use of them, but
to run after little children. These folks affirm, that they were very
well assured of this, and the more, as having drank and eaten often at
the faggot-maker's house. They aver, that, when Little Thumb had taken
off the Ogre's boots, he went to Court, where he was informed that
they were very anxious about a certain army, which was two hundred
leagues off, and the success of a battle. He went, say they, to the
King, and told him that, if he desired it, he would bring him news
from the army before night. The King promised him a great sum of money
upon that condition. Little Thumb was as good as his word, and
returned that very same night with the news; and this first expedition
causing him to be known, he got whatever he pleased; for the King paid
him very well for carrying his orders to the army, and abundance of
ladies gave him what he would to bring them news from their lovers;
and that this was his greatest gain. There were some married women,
too, who sent letters by him to their husbands, but they paid him so
ill that it was not worth his while, and turned to such small account,
that he scorned ever to reckon what he got that way. After having, for
some time, carried on the business of a messenger, and gained thereby
great wealth, he went home to his father, where it was impossible to
express the joy they were all in at his return. He made the whole
family very well-to-do, bought places for his father and brothers; and
by that means settled them very handsomely in the world, and, in the
mean time, rose high in the King's favour.
"At many children parents don't repine,
If they are handsome; in their judgment shine;
Polite in carriage are, in body strong,
Graceful in mien, and elegant in tongue.
But if perchance an offspring prove but weak,
Him they revile, laugh at, defraud and cheat.
Such is the wretched world's curs'd way; and yet
Sometimes this urchin whom despis'd we see,
Through unforeseen events doth honour get,
And fortune bring to all his family."
"The Ridiculous Wishes"
[Illustration: "JUPITER APPEARED BEFORE HIM WIELDING HIS MIGHTY
The Ridiculous Wishes
In days long past there lived a poor woodcutter who found life very
hard. Indeed, it was his lot to toil for little guerdon, and although
he was young and happily married there were moments when he wished
himself dead and below ground.
One day while at his work he was again lamenting his fate.
"Some men," he said, "have only to make known their desires, and
straightway these are granted, and their every wish fulfilled; but it
has availed me little to wish for ought, for the gods are deaf to the
prayers of such as I."
As he spoke these words there was a great noise of thunder, and
Jupiter appeared before him wielding his mighty thunderbolts. Our poor
man was stricken with fear and threw himself on the ground.
"My lord," he said, "forget my foolish speech; heed not my wishes, but
cease thy thundering!"
"Have no fear," answered Jupiter; "I have heard thy plaint, and have
come hither to show thee how greatly thou dost wrong me. Hark! I, who
am sovereign lord of this world, promise to grant in full the first
three wishes which it will please thee to utter, whatever these may
be. Consider well what things can bring thee joy and prosperity, and
as thy happiness is at stake, be not over-hasty, but revolve the
matter in thy mind."
Having thus spoken Jupiter withdrew himself and made his ascent to
Olympus. As for our woodcutter, he blithely corded his faggot, and
throwing it over his shoulder, made for his home. To one so light of
heart the load also seemed light, and his thoughts were merry as he
strode along. Many a wish came into his mind, but he was resolved to
seek the advice of his wife, who was a young woman of good
He had soon reached his cottage, and casting down his faggot:
"Behold me, Fanny," he said. "Make up the fire and spread the board,
and let there be no stint. We are wealthy, Fanny, wealthy for
evermore; we have only to wish for whatsoever we may desire."
Thereupon he told her the story of what had befallen that day. Fanny,
whose mind was quick and active, immediately conceived many plans for
the advancement of their fortune, but she approved her husband's
resolve to act with prudence and circumspection.
"'Twere a pity," she said, "to spoil our chances through impatience.
We had best take counsel of the night, and wish no wishes until
"That is well spoken," answered Harry. "Meanwhile fetch a bottle of
our best, and we shall drink to our good fortune."
Fanny brought a bottle from the store behind the faggots, and our man
enjoyed his ease, leaning back in his chair with his toes to the fire
and his goblet in his hand.
[Illustration: "A LONG BLACK PUDDING CAME WINDING AND WRIGGLING
"What fine glowing embers!" he said, "and what a fine toasting fire! I
wish we had a black pudding at hand."
Hardly had he spoken these words when his wife beheld, to her great
astonishment, a long black pudding which, issuing from a corner of the
hearth, came winding and wriggling towards her. She uttered a cry of
fear, and then again exclaimed in dismay, when she perceived that this
strange occurrence was due to the wish which her husband had so rashly
and foolishly spoken. Turning upon him, in her anger and
disappointment she called the poor man all the abusive names that she
could think of.
"What!" she said to him, "when you can call for a kingdom, for gold,
pearls, rubies, diamonds, for princely garments and wealth untold, is
this the time to set your mind upon black puddings!"
"Nay!" answered the man, "'twas a thoughtless speech, and a sad
mistake; but I shall now be on my guard, and shall do better next
"Who knows that you will?" returned his wife. "Once a witless fool,
always a witless fool!" and giving free rein to her vexation and
ill-temper she continued to upbraid her husband until his anger also
was stirred, and he had wellnigh made a second bid and wished himself
"Enough! woman," he cried at last; "put a check upon thy froward
tongue! Who ever heard such impertinence as this! A plague on the
shrew and on her pudding! Would to heaven it hung at the end of her
No sooner had the husband given voice to these words than the wish was
straightway granted, and the long coil of black pudding appeared
grafted to the angry dame's nose.
Our man paused when he beheld what he had wrought. Fanny was a comely
young woman, and blest with good looks, and truth to tell, this new
ornament did not set off her beauty. Yet it offered one advantage,
that as it hung right before her mouth, it would thus effectively curb
So, having now but one wish left, he had all but resolved to make good
use of it without further delay, and, before any other mischance could
befall, to wish himself a kingdom of his own. He was about to speak
the word, when he was stayed by a sudden thought.
"It is true," he said to himself, "that there is none so great as a
King, but what of the Queen that must share his dignity? With what
grace would she sit beside me on the throne with a yard of black
pudding for a nose?"
In this dilemma he resolved to put the case to Fanny, and to leave her
to decide whether she would rather be a Queen, with this most horrible
appendage marring her good looks, or remain a peasant wife, but with
her shapely nose relieved of this untoward addition.
[Illustration: "TRUTH TO TELL, THIS NEW ORNAMENT DID NOT SET OFF HER
Fanny's mind was soon made up: although she had dreamt of a crown
and sceptre, yet a woman's first wish is always to please. To this
great desire all else must yield, and Fanny would rather be fair in
drugget than be a Queen with an ugly face.
Thus our woodcutter did not change his state, did not become a
potentate, nor fill his purse with golden crowns. He was thankful
enough to use his remaining wish to a more humble purpose, and
forthwith relieved his wife of her encumbrance.
"Ah! so it is that miserable man,
By nature fickle, blind, unwise, and rash,
Oft fails to reap a harvest from great gifts
Bestowed upon him by the heav'nly gods."
[Illustration: "ANOTHER GOWN THE COLOUR OF THE MOON"
Once upon a time there was a King, so great, so beloved by his people,
and so respected by all his neighbours and allies that one might
almost say he was the happiest monarch alive. His good fortune was
made even greater by the choice he had made for wife of a Princess as
beautiful as she was virtuous, with whom he lived in perfect
happiness. Now, of this chaste marriage was born a daughter endowed
with so many gifts that they had no regret because other children were
not given to them.
Magnificence, good taste, and abundance reigned in the palace; there
were wise and clever ministers, virtuous and devoted courtiers,
faithful and diligent servants. The spacious stables were filled with
the most beautiful horses in the world, and coverts of rich caparison;
but what most astonished strangers who came to admire them was to see,
in the finest stall, a master donkey, with great long ears.
Now, it was not for a whim but for a good reason that the King had
given this donkey a particular and distinguished place. The special
qualities of this rare animal deserved the distinction, since nature
had made it in so extraordinary a way that its litter, instead of
being like that of other donkeys, was covered every morning with an
abundance of beautiful golden crowns, and golden louis of every kind,
which were collected daily.
Since the vicissitudes of life wait on Kings as much as on their
subjects, and good is always mingled with ill, it so befell that the
Queen was suddenly attacked by a fatal illness, and, in spite of
science, and the skill of the doctors, no remedy could be found. There
was great mourning throughout the land. The King who, notwithstanding
the famous proverb, that marriage is the tomb of love, was deeply
attached to his wife, was distressed beyond measure and made fervent
vows to all the temples in his kingdom, and offered to give his life
for that of his beloved consort; but he invoked the gods and the
Fairies in vain. The Queen, feeling her last hour approach, said to
her husband, who was dissolved in tears: "It is well that I should
speak to you of a certain matter before I die: if, perchance, you
should desire to marry again...." At these words the King broke into
piteous cries, took his wife's hands in his own, and assured her that
it was useless to speak to him of a second marriage.
"No, my dear spouse," he said at last, "speak to me rather of how I
may follow you."
"The State," continued the Queen with a finality which but increased
the laments of the King, "the State demands successors, and since I
have only given you a daughter, it will urge you to beget sons who
resemble you; but I ask you earnestly not to give way to the
persuasions of your people until you have found a Princess more
beautiful and more perfectly fashioned than I. I beg you to swear this
to me, and then I shall die content."
Perchance, the Queen, who did not lack self-esteem, exacted this oath
firmly believing that there was not her equal in the world, and so
felt assured that the King would never marry again. Be this as it may,
at length she died, and never did husband make so much lamentation;
the King wept and sobbed day and night, and the punctilious fulfilment
of the rites of widower-hood, even the smallest, was his sole
But even great griefs do not last for ever. After a time the magnates
of the State assembled and came to the King, urging him to take
another wife. At first this request seemed hard to him and made him
shed fresh tears. He pleaded the vows he had made to the Queen, and
defied his counsellors to find a Princess more beautiful and better
fashioned than was she, thinking this to be impossible. But the
Council treated the promise as a trifle, and said that it mattered
little about beauty if the Queen were but virtuous and fruitful. For
the State needed Princes for its peace and prosperity, and though, in
truth, the Princess, his daughter, had all the qualities requisite for
making a great Queen, yet of necessity she must choose an alien for
her husband, and then the stranger would take her away with him. If,
on the other hand, he remained in her country and shared the throne
with her, their children would not be considered to be of pure native
stock, and so, there being no Prince of his name, neighbouring peoples
would stir up wars, and the kingdom would be ruined.
The King, impressed by these considerations, promised that he would
think over the matter. And so search was made among all the
marriageable Princesses for one that would suit him. Every day
charming portraits were brought him, but none gave promise of the
beauty of his late Queen; instead of coming to a decision he brooded
over his sorrow until in the end his reason left him. In his delusions
he imagined himself once more a young man; he thought the Princess his
daughter, in her youth and beauty, was his Queen as he had known her
in the days of their courtship, and living thus in the past he urged
the unhappy girl to speedily become his bride.
The young Princess, who was virtuous and chaste, threw herself at the
feet of the King her father and conjured him, with all the eloquence
she could command, not to constrain her to consent to his unnatural
The King, in his madness, could not understand the reason of her
desperate reluctance, and asked an old Druid-priest to set the
conscience of the Princess at rest. Now this Druid, less religious
than ambitious, sacrificed the cause of innocence and virtue to the
favour of so great a monarch, and instead of trying to restore the
King to his right mind, he encouraged him in his delusion.
[Illustration: "HE THOUGHT THE PRINCESS WAS HIS QUEEN"]
The young Princess, beside herself with misery, at last bethought her
of the Lilac-fairy, her godmother; determined to consult her, she set
out that same night in a pretty little carriage drawn by a great sheep
who knew all the roads. When she arrived the Fairy, who loved the
Princess, told her that she knew all she had come to say, but that she
need have no fear, for nothing would harm her if only she
faithfully fulfilled the Fairy's injunctions. "For, my dear child,"
she said to her, "it would be a great sin to submit to your father's
wishes, but you can avoid the necessity without displeasing him. Tell
him that to satisfy a whim you have, he must give you a dress the
colour of the weather. Never, in spite of all his love and his power
will he be able to give you that."
The Princess thanked her godmother from her heart, and the next
morning spoke to the King as the Fairy had counselled her, and
protested that no one would win her hand unless he gave her a dress
the colour of the weather. The King, overjoyed and hopeful, called
together the most skilful workmen, and demanded this robe of them;
otherwise they should be hanged. But he was saved from resorting to
this extreme measure, since, on the second day, they brought the much
desired robe. The heavens are not a more beautiful blue, when they are
girdled with clouds of gold, than was that lovely dress when it was
unfolded. The Princess was very sad because of it, and did not know
what to do.
Once more she went to her Fairy-godmother who, astonished that her
plan had been foiled, now told her to ask for another gown the colour
of the moon.
The King again sought out the most clever workmen and expressly
commanded them to make a dress the colour of the moon; and woe betide
them if between the giving of the order and the bringing of the dress
more than twenty-four hours should elapse.
The Princess, though pleased with the dress when it was delivered,
gave way to distress when she was with her women and her nurse. The
Lilac-fairy, who knew all, hastened to comfort her and said: "Either I
am greatly deceived or it is certain that if you ask for a dress the
colour of the sun we shall at last baffle the King your father, for it
would never be possible to make such a gown; in any case we should
So the Princess asked for yet another gown as the Fairy bade her. The
infatuated King could refuse his daughter nothing, and he gave without
regret all the diamonds and rubies in his crown to aid this superb
work; nothing was to be spared that could make the dress as beautiful
as the sun. And, indeed, when the dress appeared, all those who
unfolded it were obliged to close their eyes, so much were they
dazzled. And, truth to tell, green spectacles and smoked glasses date
from that time.
What was the Princess to do? Never had so beautiful and so artistic a
robe been seen. She was dumb-founded, and pretending that its
brilliance had hurt her eyes she retired to her chamber, where she
found the Fairy awaiting her.
On seeing the dress like the sun, the Lilac-fairy became red with
rage. "Oh! this time, my child," she said to the Princess, "we will
put the King to terrible proof. In spite of his madness I think he
will be a little astonished by the request that I counsel you to make
of him; it is that he should give you the skin of that ass he loves
so dearly, and which supplies him so profusely with the means of
paying all his expenses. Go, and do not fail to tell him that you want
this skin." The Princess, overjoyed at finding yet another avenue of
escape; for she thought that her father could never bring himself to
sacrifice the ass, went to find him, and unfolded to him her latest
Although the King was astonished by this whim, he did not hesitate to
satisfy it; the poor ass was sacrificed and the skin brought, with due
ceremony, to the Princess, who, seeing no other way of avoiding her
ill-fortune, was desperate.
At that moment her godmother arrived. "What are you doing, my child?"
she asked, seeing the Princess tearing her hair, her beautiful cheeks
stained with tears. "This is the most happy moment of your life. Wrap
yourself in this skin, leave the palace, and walk so long as you can
find ground to carry you: when one sacrifices everything to virtue the
gods know how to mete out reward. Go, and I will take care that your
possessions follow you; in whatever place you rest, your chest with
your clothes and your jewels will follow your steps, and here is my
wand which I will give you: tap the ground with it when you have need
of the chest, and it will appear before your eyes: but haste to set
forth, and do not delay." The Princess embraced her godmother many
times, and begged her not to forsake her. Then after she had smeared
herself with soot from the chimney, she wrapped herself up in that
ugly skin and went out from the magnificent palace without being
recognised by a single person.
The absence of the Princess caused a great commotion. The King, who
had caused a sumptuous banquet to be prepared, was inconsolable. He
sent out more than a hundred gendarmes, and more than a thousand
musketeers in quest of her; but the Lilac-fairy made her invisible to
the cleverest seekers, and thus she escaped their vigilance.
Meanwhile the Princess walked far, far and even farther away; after a
time she sought for a resting place, but although out of charity
people gave her food, she was so dishevelled and dirty that no one
wanted to keep her. At length she came to a beautiful town, at the
gate of which was a small farm. Now the farmer's wife had need of a
wench to wash the dishes and to attend to the geese and the pigs, and
seeing so dirty a vagrant offered to engage her. The Princess, who was
now much fatigued, accepted joyfully. She was put into a recess in the
kitchen where for the first days she was subjected to the coarse jokes
of the men-servants, so dirty and unpleasant did the donkey-skin make
her appear. At last they tired of their pleasantries; moreover she was
so attentive to her work that the farmer's wife took her under her
protection. She minded the sheep, and penned them up when it was
necessary, and she took the geese out to feed with such intelligence
that it seemed as if she had never done anything else. Everything that
her beautiful hands undertook was done well.
One day she was sitting near a clear fountain where she often repaired
to bemoan her sad condition, when she thought she would look at
herself in the water. The horrible donkey-skin which covered her from
head to toe revolted her. Ashamed, she washed her face and her hands,
which became whiter than ivory, and once again her lovely complexion
took its natural freshness. The joy of finding herself so beautiful
filled her with the desire to bathe in the pool, and this she did. But
she had to don her unworthy skin again before she returned to the
By good fortune the next day chanced to be a holiday, and so she had
leisure to tap for her chest with the fairy's wand, arrange her
toilet, powder her beautiful hair and put on the lovely gown which was
the colour of the weather; but the room was so small that the train
could not be properly spread out. The beautiful Princess looked at
herself, and with good reason, admired her appearance so much that she
resolved to wear her magnificent dresses in turn on holidays and
Sundays for her own amusement, and this she regularly did. She
entwined flowers and diamonds in her lovely hair with admirable art,
and often she sighed that she had no witness of her beauty save the
sheep and geese, who loved her just as much in the horrible
donkey-skin after which she had been named at the farm.
One holiday when Donkey-skin had put on her sun-hued dress, the son of
the King to whom the farm belonged alighted there to rest on his
return from the hunt. This Prince was young and handsome, beloved of
his father and of the Queen his mother, and adored by the people.
After he had partaken of the simple collation which was offered him he
set out to inspect the farm-yard and all its nooks and corners. In
going thus from place to place, he entered a dark alley at the bottom
of which was a closed door. Curiosity made him put his eye to the
keyhole. Imagine his astonishment at seeing a Princess so beautiful
and so richly dressed, and withal of so noble and dignified a mien,
that he took her to be a divinity. The impetuosity of his feelings at
this moment would have made him force the door, had it not been for
the respect with which that charming figure filled him.
It was with difficulty that he withdrew from this gloomy little alley,
intent on discovering who the inmate of the tiny room might be. He was
told that it was a scullion called Donkey-skin because of the skin
which she always wore, and that she was so dirty and unpleasant that
no one took any notice of her, or even spoke to her; she had just been
taken out of pity to look after the geese.
[Illustration: "CURIOSITY MADE HIM PUT HIS EYE TO THE KEYHOLE"]
The Prince, though little satisfied by this information, saw that
these dense people knew no more, and that it was useless to question
them. So he returned to the palace of the King his father, beyond
words in love, having continually before his eyes the beautiful image
of the goddess whom he had seen through the keyhole. He was full of
regret that he had not knocked at the door, and promised himself
that he would not fail to do so next time. But the fervency of his
love caused him such great agitation that the same night he was seized
by a terrible fever, and was soon at death's door. The Queen, who had
no other child, was in despair because all remedies proved useless. In
vain she promised great rewards to the doctors; though they exerted
all their skill, nothing would cure the Prince. At last they decided
that some great sorrow had caused this terrible fever. They told the
Queen, who, full of tenderness for her son, went to him and begged him
to tell her his trouble. She declared that even if it was a matter of
giving him the crown, his father would yield the throne to him without
regret; or if he desired some Princess, even though there should be
war with the King her father and their subjects should, with reason,
complain, all should be sacrificed to obtain what he wished. She
implored him with tears not to die, since their life depended on his.
The Queen did not finish this touching discourse without moving the
Prince to tears.
"Madam," he said at last, in a very feeble voice, "I am not so base
that I desire the crown of my father, rather may Heaven grant him life
for many years, and that I may always be the most faithful and the
most respectful of his subjects! As to the Princesses that you speak
of, I have never yet thought of marriage, and you well know that,
subject as I am to your wishes, I shall obey you always, even though
it be painful to me."
"Ah! my son," replied the Queen, "we will spare nothing to save your
life. But, my dear child, save mine and that of the King your father
by telling me what you desire, and be assured that you shall have it."
"Well, Madam," he said, "since you would have me tell you my thought,
I obey you. It would indeed be a sin to place in danger two lives so
dear to me. Know, my mother, that I wish Donkey-skin to make me a
cake, and to have it brought to me when it is ready."
The Queen, astonished at this strange name, asked who Donkey-skin
"It is, Madam," replied one of her officers who had by chance seen
this girl, "It is the most ugly creature imaginable after the wolf, a
slut who lodges at your farm, and minds your geese."
"It matters not," said the Queen; "my son, on his way home from the
chase, has perchance eaten of her cakes; it is a whim such as those
who are sick do sometimes have. In a word, I wish that Donkey-skin,
since Donkey-skin it is, make him presently a cake."
A messenger ran to the farm and told Donkey-skin that she was to make
a cake for the Prince as well as she possibly could. Now, some believe
that Donkey-skin had been aware of the Prince in her heart at the
moment when he had put his eye to the keyhole; and then, looking from
her little window, she had seen him, so young, so handsome, and so
shapely, that the remembrance of him had remained, and that often the
thought of him had cost her some sighs. Be that as it may,
Donkey-skin, either having seen him, or having heard him spoken of
with praise, was overjoyed to think that she might become known to
him. She shut herself in her little room, threw off the ugly skin,
bathed her face and hands, arranged her hair, put on a beautiful
corsage of bright silver, and an equally beautiful petticoat, and then
set herself to make the much desired cake. She took the finest flour,
and newest eggs and freshest butter, and while she was working them,
whether by design or no, a ring which she had on her finger fell into
the cake and was mixed in it. When the cooking was done she muffled
herself in her horrible skin and gave the cake to the messenger,
asking him for news of the Prince; but the man would not deign to
reply, and without a word ran quickly back to the palace.
The Prince took the cake greedily from the man's hands, and ate it
with such voracity that the doctors who were present did not fail to
say that this haste was not a good sign. Indeed, the Prince came near
to being choked by the ring, which he nearly swallowed, in one of the
pieces of cake. But he drew it cleverly from his mouth, and his desire
for the cake was forgotten as he examined the fine emerald set in a
gold keeper-ring, a ring so small that he knew it could only be worn
on the prettiest little finger in the world.
He kissed the ring a thousand times, put it under his pillow, and drew
it out every moment that he thought himself unobserved. The torment
that he gave himself, planning how he might see her to whom the ring
belonged, not daring to believe that if he asked for Donkey-skin she
would be allowed to come, and not daring to speak of what he had seen
through the keyhole for fear that he would be laughed at for a
dreamer, brought back the fever with great violence. The doctors, not
knowing what more to do, declared to the Queen that the Prince's
malady was love, whereupon the Queen and the disconsolate King ran to
"My son, my dear son," cried the affected monarch, "tell us the name
of her whom you desire: we swear that we will give her to you. Even
though she were the vilest of slaves."
The Queen embracing him, agreed with all that the King had said, and
the Prince, moved by their tears and caresses, said to them: "My
father and my mother, I in no way desire to make a marriage which is
displeasing to you." And drawing the emerald from under his pillow he
added: "To prove the truth of this, I desire to marry her to whom this
ring belongs. It is not likely that she who owns so pretty a ring is a
rustic or a peasant."
The King and the Queen took the ring, examined it with great
curiosity, and agreed with the Prince that it could only belong to the
daughter of a good house. Then the King, having embraced his son, and
entreated him to get well, went out. He ordered the drums and fifes
and trumpets to be sounded throughout the town, and the heralds to cry
that she whose finger a certain ring would fit should marry the heir
to the throne.
First the Princesses arrived, then the duchesses, and the marquises,
and the baronesses; but though they did all they could to make their
fingers small, none could put on the ring. So the country girls had to
be tried, but pretty though they all were, they all had fingers that
were too fat. The Prince, who was feeling better, made the trial
himself. At last it was the turn of the chamber-maids; but they
succeeded no better. Then, when everyone else had tried, the Prince
asked for the kitchen-maids, the scullions, and the sheep-girls. They
were all brought to the palace, but their coarse red, short, fingers
would hardly go through the golden hoop as far as the nail.
"You have not brought that Donkey-skin, who made me the cake," said
Everyone laughed and said, "No," so dirty and unpleasant was she.
"Let someone fetch her at once," said the King; "it shall not be said
that I left out the lowliest." And the servants ran laughing and
mocking to find the goose-girl.
The Princess, who had heard the drums and the cries of the heralds,
had no doubt that the ring was the cause of this uproar. Now, she
loved the Prince, and, as true love is timorous and has no vanity, she
was in perpetual fear that some other lady would be found to have a
finger as small as hers. Great, then, was her joy when the messengers
came and knocked at her door. Since she knew that they were seeking
the owner of the right finger on which to set her ring, some impulse
had moved her to arrange her hair with great care, and to put on her
beautiful silver corsage, and the petticoat full of furbelows and
silver lace studded with emeralds. At the first knock she quickly
covered her finery with the donkey-skin and opened the door. The
visitors, in derision, told her that the King had sent for her in
order to marry her to his son. Then with loud peals of laughter they
led her to the Prince, who was astonished at the garb of this girl,
and dared not believe that it was she whom he had seen so majestic and
so beautiful. Sad and confounded, he said, "Is it you who lodge at the
bottom of that dark alley in the third yard of the farm?"
"Yes, your Highness," she replied.
"Show me your hand," said the Prince trembling, and heaving a deep
Imagine how astonished everyone was! The King and the Queen, the
chamberlains and all the courtiers were dumb-founded, when from
beneath that black and dirty skin came a delicate little white and
rose-pink hand, and the ring slipped without difficulty on to the
prettiest little finger in the world. Then, by a little movement which
the Princess made, the skin fell from her shoulders and so enchanting
was her guise, that the Prince, weak though he was, fell on his knees
and held her so closely that she blushed. But that was scarcely
noticed, for the King and Queen came to embrace her heartily, and to
ask her if she would marry their son. The Princess, confused by all
these caresses and by the love of the handsome young Prince, was about
to thank them when suddenly the ceiling opened, and the Lilac-fairy
descended in a chariot made of the branches and flowers from which she
took her name, and, with great charm, told the Princess's story. The
King and Queen, overjoyed to know that Donkey-skin was a great
Princess redoubled their caresses, but the Prince was even more
sensible of her virtue, and his love increased as the Fairy unfolded
her tale. His impatience to marry her, indeed, was so great that he
could scarcely allow time for the necessary preparations for the grand
wedding which was their due. The King and Queen, now entirely devoted
to their daughter-in-law, overwhelmed her with affection. She had
declared that she could not marry the Prince without the consent of
the King her father, so, he was the first to whom an invitation to the
wedding was sent; he was not, however, told the name of the bride. The
Lilac-fairy, who, as was right, presided over all, had recommended
this course to prevent trouble. Kings came from all the countries
round, some in sedan-chairs, others in beautiful carriages; those who
came from the most distant countries rode on elephants and tigers and
eagles. But the most magnificent and most glorious of all was the
father of the Princess. He had happily recovered his reason, and had
married a Queen who was a widow and very beautiful, but by whom he
had no child. The Princess ran to him, and he recognised her at once
and embraced her with great tenderness before she had time to throw
herself on her knees. The King and Queen presented their son to him,
and the happiness of all was complete. The nuptials were celebrated
with all imaginable pomp, but the young couple were hardly aware of
the ceremony, so wrapped up were they in one another.
In spite of the protests of the noble-hearted young man, the Prince's
father caused his son to be crowned the same day, and kissing his
hand, placed him on the throne.
The celebrations of this illustrious marriage lasted nearly three
months, but the love of the two young people would have endured for
more than a hundred years, had they out-lived that age, so great was
their affection for one another.
"It scarce may be believed,
This tale of Donkey-skin;
But laughing children in the home;
Yea, mothers, and grandmothers too,
Are little moved by facts!
By "them" 'twill be received."
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