Part 3 out of 9
miou! how cold we are!" "You fools!" he cried; "why do
you scream? If you are cold, come and sit at the fire and
warm yourselves." And as he spoke two huge black cats
sprang fiercely forward and sat down, one on each side of
him, and gazed wildly at him with their fiery eyes. After
a time, when they had warmed themselves, they said:
"Friend, shall we play a little game of cards?" "Why
not?" he replied; "but first let me see your paws." Then
they stretched out their claws. "Ha!" said he; "what long
nails you've got! Wait a minute: I must first cut them
off." Thereupon he seized them by the scruff of their
necks, lifted them on to the carving bench, and screwed
down their paws firmly. "After watching you narrowly,"
said he, "I no longer feel any desire to play cards with
you"; and with these words he struck them dead and
threw them out into the water. But when he had thus
sent the two of them to their final rest, and was again
about to sit down at the fire, out of every nook and
corner came forth black cats and black dogs with fiery
chains in such swarms that he couldn't possibly get away
from them. They yelled in the most ghastly manner,
jumped upon his fire, scattered it all, and tried to put it
out. He looked on quietly for a time, but when it got
beyond a joke he seized his carving-knife and called out:
"Be off, you rabble rout!" and let fly at them. Some of
them fled away, and the others he struck dead and threw
them out into the pond below. When he returned he blew
up the sparks of the fire once more, and warmed himself.
And as he sat thus his eyes refused to keep open any
longer, and a desire to sleep stole over him. Then he
looked around him and beheld in the corner a large bed.
"The very thing," he said, and laid himself down in it.
But when he wished to close his eyes the bed began to
move by itself, and ran all round the castle. "Capital,"
he said, "only a little quicker." Then the bed sped on as
if drawn by six horses, over thresholds and stairs, up this
way and down that. All of a sudden--crash, crash! with
a bound it turned over, upside down, and lay like a
mountain on the top of him. But he tossed the blankets
and pillows in the air, emerged from underneath, and
said: "Now anyone who has the fancy for it may go a
drive," lay down at his fire, and slept till daylight. In the
morning the King came, and when he beheld him lying
on the ground he imagined the ghosts had been too much
for him, and that he was dead. Then he said: "What a
pity! and such a fine fellow he was." The youth heard
this, got up, and said: "It's not come to that yet." Then
the King was astonished, but very glad, and asked how
it had fared with him. "First-rate," he answered; "and
now I've survived the one night, I shall get through the
other two also." The landlord, when he went to him,
opened his eyes wide, and said: "Well, I never thought to
see you alive again. Have you learned now what
shuddering is ?" "No," he replied, "it's quite hopeless; if
someone could only tell me how to!"
The second night he went up again to the old castle,
sat down at the fire, and began his old refrain: "If I could
only shudder!" As midnight approached, a noise and din
broke out, at first gentle, but gradually increasing; then
all was quiet for a minute, and at length, with a loud
scream, half of a man dropped down the chimney and fell
before him. "Hi, up there!" shouted he; "there's another
half wanted down here, that's not enough"; then the din
commenced once more, there was a shrieking and a yelling,
and then the other half fell down. "Wait a bit," he
said; "I'll stir up the fire for you." When he had done
this and again looked around, the two pieces had united,
and a horrible-looking man sat on his seat. "Come," said
the youth, "I didn't bargain for that, the seat is mine."
The man tried to shove him away, but the youth wouldn't
allow it for a moment, and, pushing him off by force,
sat down in his place again. Then more men dropped
down, one after the other, who fetching nine skeleton legs
and two skulls, put them up and played ninepins with
them. The youth thought he would like to play too,
and said: "Look here; do you mind my joining the game?"
"No, not if you have money." "I've money enough," he
replied, "but your balls aren't round enough." Then he
took the skulls, placed them on his lathe, and turned
them till they were round. "Now they'll roll along better,"
said he, "and houp-la! now the fun begins." He played
with them and lost some of his money, but when twelve
struck everything vanished before his eyes. He lay down
and slept peacefully. The next morning the King came,
anxious for news. "How have you got on this time?" he
asked. "I played ninepins," he answered, "and lost a few
pence." "Didn't you shudder then?" "No such luck,"
said he; "I made myself merry. Oh! if I only knew what
it was to shudder!"
On the third night he sat down again on his bench, and
said, in the most desponding way: "If I could only shudder!"
When it got late, six big men came in carrying a
coffin. Then he cried: "Ha! ha! that's most likely my
little cousin who only died a few days ago"; and beckoning
with his finger he called out: "Come, my small cousin,
come." They placed the coffin on the ground, and he
approached it and took off the cover. In it lay a dead man.
He felt his face, and it was cold as ice. "Wait," he said
"I'll heat you up a bit," went to the fire, warmed his hand,
and laid it on the man's face, but the dead remained cold.
Then he lifted him out, sat down at the fire, laid him on
his knee, and rubbed his arms that the blood should
circulate again. When that too had no effect it occurred
to him that if two people lay together in bed they warmed
each other; so he put him into the bed, covered him up,
and lay down beside him; after a time the corpse became
warm and began to move. Then the youth said: "Now,
my little cousin, what would have happened if I hadn't
warmed you?" But the dead man rose up and cried out:
"Now I will strangle you." "What!" said he, "is that all
the thanks I get? You should be put straight back into
your coffin," lifted him up, threw him in, and closed the
lid. Then the six men came and carried him out again.
"I simply can't shudder," he said, "and it's clear I sha'n't
learn it in a lifetime here."
Then a man entered, of more than ordinary size and of
a very fearful appearance; but he was old and had a white
beard. "Oh! you miserable creature, now you will soon
know what it is to shudder," he cried, "for you must die."
"Not so quickly," answered the youth. "If I am to die,
you must catch me first." "I shall soon lay hold of you,"
spoke the monster. "Gently, gently, don't boast too
much, I'm as strong as you, and stronger too." "We'll
soon see," said the old man; "if you are stronger than I
then I'll let you off; come, let's have a try." Then he led
him through some dark passages to a forge, and grasping
an axe he drove one of the anvils with a blow into the
earth. "I can do better than that," cried the youth, and
went to the other anvil. The old man drew near him in
order to watch closely, and his white beard hung right
down. The youth seized the axe, cleft the anvil open, and
jammed in the old man's beard. "Now I have you," said
the youth; "this time it's your turn to die." Then he
seized an iron rod and belabored the old man till he,
whimpering, begged him to leave off, and he would give
him great riches. The youth drew out the axe and let him
go. The old man led him back to the castle and showed
him in a cellar three chests of gold. "One of these," said
he, "belongs to the poor, one to the King, and the third
is yours." At that moment twelve struck, and the spirit
vanished, leaving the youth alone in the dark. "I'll surely
be able to find a way out," said he, and groping about he
at length found his way back to the room, and fell asleep
at his fire. The next morning the King came, and said:
"Well, now you've surely learned to shudder?" "No," he
answered; "what can it be? My dead cousin was here,
and an old bearded man came, who showed me heaps of
money down below there, but what shuddering is no one
has told me." Then the King spoke: "You have freed
the castle from its curse, and you shall marry my
daughter." "That's all charming," he said; abut I still don't
know what it is to shudder."
Then the gold was brought up, and the wedding was
celebrated, but the young King, though he loved his wife
dearly, and though he was very happy, still kept on saying:
"If I could only shudder! if I could only shudder!"
At last he reduced her to despair. Then her maid said:
"I'll help you; we'll soon make him shudder." So she
went out to the stream that flowed through the garden,
and had a pail full of little gudgeons brought to her. At
night, when the young King was asleep, his wife had to
pull the clothes off him, and pour the pail full of little
gudgeons over him, so that the little fish swam all about
him. Then he awoke and cried out: "Oh! how I shudder,
how I shudder, dear wife! Yes, now I know what
THERE was once upon a time a poor miller who had a
very beautiful daughter. Now it happened one day that
he had an audience with the King, and in order to appear
a person of some importance he told him that he had a
daughter who could spin straw into gold. "Now that's
a talent worth having," said the King to the miller; "if
your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her to my
palace to-morrow, and I'll put her to the test." When the
girl was brought to him he led her into a room full of
straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and spindle, and said:
"Now set to work and spin all night till early dawn, and
if by that time you haven't spun the straw into gold you
shall die." Then he closed the door behind him and left
her alone inside.
So the poor miller's daughter sat down, and didn't
know what in the world she was to do. She hadn't the
least idea of how to spin straw into gold, and became at
last so miserable that she began to cry. Suddenly the
door opened, and in stepped a tiny little man and said:
"Good-evening, Miss Miller-maid; why are you crying so
bitterly?" "Oh!" answered the girl, "I have to spin straw
into gold, and haven't a notion how it's done." "What
will you give me if I spin it for you?" asked the manikin.
"My necklace," replied the girl. The little man took the
necklace, sat himself down at the wheel, and whir, whir,
whir, the wheel went round three times, and the bobbin
was full. Then he put on another, and whir, whir, whir,
the wheel went round three times, and the second too
was full; and so it went on till the morning, when all the
straw was spun away, and all the bobbins were full of
gold. As soon as the sun rose the King came, and when
he perceived the gold he was astonished and delighted,
but his heart only lusted more than ever after the precious
metal. He had the miller's daughter put into another
room full of straw, much bigger than the first, and bade
her, if she valued her life, spin it all into gold before the
following morning. The girl didn't know what to do, and
began to cry; then the door opened as before, and the tiny
little man appeared and said: "What'll you give me if I
spin the straw into gold for you?" "The ring from my
finger," answered the girl. The manikin took the ring,
and whir! round went the spinning-wheel again, and when
morning broke he had spun all the straw into glittering
gold. The King was pleased beyond measure at the sights
but his greed for gold was still not satisfied, and he had
the miller's daughter brought into a yet bigger room full
of straw, and said: "You must spin all this away in the
night; but if you succeed this time you shall become my
wife." "She's only a miller's daughter, it's true," he
thought; "but I couldn't find a richer wife if I were to
search the whole world over." When the girl was alone
the little man appeared for the third time, and said:
"What'll you give me if I spin the straw for you once
again?" "I've nothing more to give," answered the girl.
"Then promise me when you are Queen to give me your
first child." "Who knows what may not happen before
that?" thought the miller's daughter; and besides, she
saw no other way out of it, so she promised the manikin
what he demanded, and he set to work once more and
spun the straw into gold. When the King came in the
morning, and found everything as he had desired, he
straightway made her his wife, and the miller's daughter
became a queen.
When a year had passed a beautiful son was born to her,
and she thought no more of the little man, till all of a
sudden one day he stepped into her room and said: "Now
give me what you promised." The Queen was in a great
state, and offered the little man all the riches in her kingdom
if he would only leave her the child. But the manikin
said: "No, a living creature is dearer to me than all
the treasures in the world." Then the Queen began to cry
and sob so bitterly that the little man was sorry for her,
and said: "I'll give you three days to guess my name, and
if you find it out in that time you may keep your child."
Then the Queen pondered the whole night over all the
names she had ever heard, and sent a messenger to scour
the land, and to pick up far and near any names he could
come across. When the little man arrived on the following
day she began with Kasper, Melchior, Belshazzar, and all
the other names she knew, in a string, but at each one the
manikin called out: "That's not my name." The next day
she sent to inquire the names of all the people in the
neighborhood, and had a long list of the most uncommon
and extraordinary for the little man when he made his
appearance. "Is your name, perhaps, Sheepshanks
Cruickshanks, Spindleshanks?" but he always replied:
"That's not my name." On the third day the messenger
returned and announced: "I have not been able to find
any new names, but as I came upon a high hill round the
corner of the wood, where the foxes and hares bid each
other good-night, I saw a little house, and in front of the
house burned a fire, and round the fire sprang the most
grotesque little man, hopping on one leg and crying:
"To-morrow I brew, to-day I bake,
And then the child away I'll take;
For little deems my royal dame
That Rumpelstiltzkin is my name!"
You can imagine the Queen's delight at hearing the
name, and when the little man stepped in shortly afterward
and asked: "Now, my lady Queen, what's my name?"
she asked first: "Is your name Conrad?" "NO." "Is your
name Harry?" "No." "Is your name perhaps,
Rumpelstiltzkin?" "Some demon has told you that! some demon
has told you that!" screamed the little man, and in his
rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it
sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the
left foot with both hands and tore himself in two.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
ONCE upon a time, in a very far-off country, there
lived a merchant who had been so fortunate in all his
undertakings that he was enormously rich. As he had,
however, six sons and six daughters, he found that his
money was not too much to let them all have everything
they fancied, as they were accustomed to do.
But one day a most unexpected misfortune befell them.
Their house caught fire and was speedily burnt to the
ground, with all the splendid furniture, the books, pic-
tures, gold, silver, and precious goods it contained; and
this was only the beginning of their troubles. Their
father, who had until this moment prospered in all ways,
suddenly lost every ship he had upon the sea, either by
dint of pirates, shipwreck, or fire. Then he heard that his
clerks in distant countries, whom he trusted entirely, had
proved unfaithful; and at last from great wealth he fell
into the direst poverty.
All that he had left was a little house in a desolate place
at least a hundred leagues from the town in which he had
lived, and to this he was forced to retreat with his
children, who were in despair at the idea of leading such a
different life. Indeed, the daughters at first hoped that
their friends, who had been so numerous while they were
rich, would insist on their staying in their houses now they
no longer possessed one. But they soon found that they
were left alone, and that their former friends even attributed
their misfortunes to their own extravagance, and
showed no intention of offering them any help. So nothing
was left for them but to take their departure to the
cottage, which stood in the midst of a dark forest, and
seemed to be the most dismal place upon the face of the
earth. As they were too poor to have any servants, the
girls had to work hard, like peasants, and the sons, for
their part, cultivated the fields to earn their living.
Roughly clothed, and living in the simplest way, the girls
regretted unceasingly the luxuries and amusements of
their former life; only the youngest tried to be brave and
cheerful. She had been as sad as anyone when misfortune
overtook her father, but, soon recovering her natural
gaiety, she set to work to make the best of things, to
amuse her father and brothers as well as she could, and
to try to persuade her sisters to join her in dancing and
singing. But they would do nothing of the sort, and,
because she was not as doleful as themselves, they declared
that this miserable life was all she was fit for. But she
was really far prettier and cleverer than they were; indeed,
she was so lovely that she was always called Beauty.
After two years, when they were all beginning to get used
to their new life, something happened to disturb their
tranquillity. Their father received the news that one of
his ships, which he had believed to be lost, had come
safely into port with a rich cargo. All the sons and daughters
at once thought that their poverty was at an end, and
wanted to set out directly for the town; but their father,
who was more prudent, begged them to wait a little, and,
though it was harvest time, and he could ill be spared,
determined to go himself first, to make inquiries. Only the
youngest daughter had any doubt but that they would
soon again be as rich as they were before, or at least rich
enough to live comfortably in some town where they
would find amusement and gay companions once more.
So they all loaded their father with commissions for
jewels and dresses which it would have taken a fortune
to buy; only Beauty, feeling sure that it was of no use, did
not ask for anything. Her father, noticing her silence,
said: "And what shall I bring for you, Beauty?"
"The only thing I wish for is to see you come home
safely," she answered.
But this only vexed her sisters, who fancied she was
blaming them for having asked for such costly things.
Her father, however, was pleased, but as he thought that
at her age she certainly ought to like pretty presents, he
told her to choose something.
"Well, dear father," she said, "as you insist upon it, I
beg that you will bring me a rose. I have not seen one
since we came here, and I love them so much."
So the merchant set out and reached the town as
quickly as possible, but only to find that his former
companions, believing him to be dead, had divided between
them the goods which the ship had brought; and after six
months of trouble and expense he found himself as poor
as when he started, having been able to recover only just
enough to pay the cost of his journey. To make matters
worse, he was obliged to leave the town in the most
terrible weather, so that by the time he was within a few
leagues of his home he was almost exhausted with cold
and fatigue. Though he knew it would take some hours
to get through the forest, he was so anxious to be at his
journey's end that he resolved to go on; but night overtook
him, and the deep snow and bitter frost made it
impossible for his horse to carry him any further. Not a
house was to be seen; the only shelter he could get was
the hollow trunk of a great tree, and there he crouched all
the night which seemed to him the longest he had ever
known. In spite of his weariness the howling of the
wolves kept him awake, and even when at last the day
broke he was not much better off, for the falling snow had
covered up every path, and he did not know which way
At length he made out some sort of track, and though
at the beginning it was so rough and slippery that he fell
down more than once, it presently became easier, and led
him into an avenue of trees which ended in a splendid
castle. It seemed to the merchant very strange that no
snow had fallen in the avenue, which was entirely
composed of orange trees, covered with flowers and fruit.
When he reached the first court of the castle he saw before
him a flight of agate steps, and went up them, and passed
through several splendidly furnished rooms. The pleasant
warmth of the air revived him, and he felt very hungry;
but there seemed to be nobody in all this vast and splendid
palace whom he could ask to give him something to
eat. Deep silence reigned everywhere, and at last, tired
of roaming through empty rooms and galleries, he stopped
in a room smaller than the rest, where a clear fire was
burning and a couch was drawn up closely to it. Thinking
that this must be prepared for someone who was
expected, he sat down to wait till he should come, and
very soon fell into a sweet sleep.
When his extreme hunger wakened him after several
hours, he was still alone; but a little table, upon which
was a good dinner, had been drawn up close to him, and,
as he had eaten nothing for twenty-four hours, he lost no
time in beginning his meal, hoping that he might soon
have an opportunity of thanking his considerate entertainer,
whoever it might be. But no one appeared, and
even after another long sleep, from which he awoke
completely refreshed, there was no sign of anybody, though
a fresh meal of dainty cakes and fruit was prepared upon
the little table at his elbow. Being naturally timid, the
silence began to terrify him, and he resolved to search
once more through all the rooms; but it was of no use.
Not even a servant was to be seen; there was no sign of
life in the palace! He began to wonder what he should do,
and to amuse himself by pretending that all the treasures
he saw were his own, and considering how he would
divide them among his children. Then he went down into
the garden, and though it was winter everywhere else,
here the sun shone, and the birds sang, and the flowers
bloomed, and the air was soft and sweet. The merchant,
in ecstacies with all he saw and heard, said to himself:
"All this must be meant for me. I will go this minute
and bring my children to share all these delights."
In spite of being so cold and weary when he reached the
castle, he had taken his horse to the stable and fed it.
Now he thought he would saddle it for his homeward
journey, and he turned down the path which led to the
stable. This path had a hedge of roses on each side of it,
and the merchant thought he had never seen or smelt
such exquisite flowers. They reminded him of his promise
to Beauty, and he stopped and had just gathered one to
take to her when he was startled by a strange noise behind
him. Turning round, he saw a frightful Beast, which
seemed to be very angry and said, in a terrible voice:
"Who told you that you might gather my roses? Was
it not enough that I allowed you to be in my palace and
was kind to you? This is the way you show your gratitude,
by stealing my flowers! But your insolence shall
not go unpunished." The merchant, terrified by these
furious words, dropped the fatal rose, and, throwing
himself on his knees, cried: "Pardon me, noble sir. I am
truly grateful to you for your hospitality, which was so
magnificent that I could not imagine that you would be
offended by my taking such a little thing as a rose." But
the Beast's anger was not lessened by this speech.
"You are very ready with excuses and flattery," he
cried; "but that will not save you from the death you
"Alas!" thought the merchant, "if my daughter
could only know what danger her rose has brought me
And in despair he began to tell the Beast all his
misfortunes, and the reason of his journey, not forgetting to
mention Beauty s request.
"A king's ransom would hardly have procured all that
my other daughters asked." he said: "but I thought that
I might at least take Beauty her rose. I beg you to forgive
me, for you see I meant no harm."
The Beast considered for a moment, and then he said,
in a less furious tone:
"I will forgive you on one condition--that is, that you
will give me one of your daughters."
"Ah!" cried the merchant, "if I were cruel enough to
buy my own life at the expense of one of my children's,
what excuse could I invent to bring her here?"
"No excuse would be necessary," answered the Beast.
"If she comes at all she must come willingly. On no other
condition will I have her. See if any one of them is
courageous enough, and loves you well enough to come
and save your life. You seem to be an honest man, so I
will trust you to go home. I give you a month to see if
either of your daughters will come back with you and stay
here, to let you go free. If neither of them is willing, you
must come alone, after bidding them good-by for ever,
for then you will belong to me. And do not imagine that
you can hide from me, for if you fail to keep your word
I will come and fetch you!" added the Beast grimly.
The merchant accepted this proposal, though he did
not really think any of his daughters could be persuaded
to come. He promised to return at the time appointed,
and then, anxious to escape from the presence of the
Beast, he asked permission to set off at once. But the
Beast answered that he could not go until next day.
"Then you will find a horse ready for you," he said.
"Now go and eat your supper, and await my orders."
The poor merchant, more dead than alive, went back
to his room, where the most delicious supper was already
served on the little table which was drawn up before a
blazing fire. But he was too terrified to eat, and only
tasted a few of the dishes, for fear the Beast should be
angry if he did not obey his orders. When he had finished
he heard a great noise in the next room, which he knew
meant that the Beast was coming. As he could do nothing
to escape his visit, the only thing that remained was to
seem as little afraid as possible; so when the Beast
appeared and asked roughly if he had supped well, the
merchant answered humbly that he had, thanks to his
host's kindness. Then the Beast warned him to remember
their agreement, and to prepare his daughter exactly for
what she had to expect.
"Do not get up to-morrow," he added, "until you see
the sun and hear a golden bell ring. Then you will find
your breakfast waiting for you here, and the horse you
are to ride will be ready in the courtyard. He will also
bring you back again when you come with your daughter
a month hence. Farewell. Take a rose to Beauty, and
remember your promise!"
The merchant was only too glad when the Beast went
away, and though he could not sleep for sadness, he lay
down until the sun rose. Then, after a hasty breakfast,
he went to gather Beauty's rose, and mounted his horse,
which carried him off so swiftly that in an instant he had
lost sight of the palace, and he was still wrapped in
gloomy thoughts when it stopped before the door of the
His sons and daughters, who had been very uneasy at
his long absence, rushed to meet him, eager to know the
result of his journey, which, seeing him mounted upon a
splendid horse and wrapped in a rich mantle, they
supposed to be favorable. He hid the truth from them at
first, only saying sadly to Beauty as he gave her the rose:
"Here is what you asked me to bring you; you little
know what it has cost."
But this excited their curiosity so greatly that presently
he told them his adventures from beginning to end, and
then they were all very unhappy. The girls lamented
loudly over their lost hopes, and the sons declared that
their father should not return to this terrible castle, and
began to make plans for killing the Beast if it should
come to fetch him. But he reminded them that he had
promised to go back. Then the girls were very angry
with Beauty, and said it was all her fault, and that if she
had asked for something sensible this would never have
happened, and complained bitterly that they should have
to suffer for her folly.
Poor Beauty, much distressed, said to them:
"I have, indeed, caused this misfortune, but I assure
you I did it innocently. Who could have guessed that to
ask for a rose in the middle of summer would cause so
much misery? But as I did the mischief it is only just
that I should suffer for it. I will therefore go back with
my father to keep his promise."
At first nobody would hear of this arrangement, and
her father and brothers, who loved her dearly, declared
that nothing should make them let her go; but Beauty
was firm. As the time drew near she divided all her little
possessions between her sisters, and said good-by to
everything she loved, and when the fatal day came she
encouraged and cheered her father as they mounted
together the horse which had brought him back. It seemed
to fly rather than gallop, but so smoothly that Beauty was
not frightened; indeed, she would have enjoyed the journey
if she had not feared what might happen to her at the
end of it. Her father still tried to persuade her to go back,
but in vain. While they were talking the night fell, and
then, to their great surprise, wonderful colored lights
began to shine in all directions, and splendid fireworks
blazed out before them; all the forest was illuminated by
them, and even felt pleasantly warm, though it had been
bitterly cold before. This lasted until they reached the
avenue of orange trees, where were statues holding flaming
torches, and when they got nearer to the palace they
saw that it was illuminated from the roof to the ground,
and music sounded softly from the courtyard. "The
Beast must be very hungry," said Beauty, trying to
laugh, "if he makes all this rejoicing over the arrival of
But, in spite of her anxiety, she could not help admiring
all the wonderful things she saw.
The horse stopped at the foot of the flight of steps
leading to the terrace, and when they had dismounted her
father led her to the little room he had been in before,
where they found a splendid fire burning, and the table
daintily spread with a delicious supper.
The merchant knew that this was meant for them, and
Beauty, who was rather less frightened now that she had
passed through so many rooms and seen nothing of the
Beast, was quite willing to begin, for her long ride had
made her very hungry. But they had hardly finished
their meal when the noise of the Beast's footsteps was
heard approaching, and Beauty clung to her father in
terror, which became all the greater when she saw how
frightened he was. But when the Beast really appeared,
though she trembled at the sight of him, she made a great
effort to hide her terror, and saluted him respectfully.
This evidently pleased the Beast. After looking at her
he said, in a tone that might have struck terror into the
boldest heart, though he did not seem to be angry:
"Good-evening, old man. Good-evening, Beauty."
The merchant was too terrified to reply, but Beauty
answered sweetly: "Good-evening, Beast."
"Have you come willingly?" asked the Beast. "Will
you be content to stay here when your father goes away?"
Beauty answered bravely that she was quite prepared
"I am pleased with you," said the Beast. "As you have
come of your own accord, you may stay. As for you, old
man," he added, turning to the merchant, "at sunrise to-
morrow you will take your departure. When the bell
rings get up quickly and eat your breakfast, and you will
find the same horse waiting to take you home; but remember
that you must never expect to see my palace again."
Then turning to Beauty, he said:
"Take your father into the next room, and help him to
choose everything you think your brothers and sisters
would like to have. You will find two traveling-trunks
there; fill them as full as you can. It is only just that you
should send them something very precious as a remembrance
Then he went away, after saying, "Good-by, Beauty;
good-by, old man"; and though Beauty was beginning to
think with great dismay of her father's departure, she was
afraid to disobey the Beast's orders; and they went into
the next room, which had shelves and cupboards all round
it. They were greatly surprised at the riches it contained.
There were splendid dresses fit for a queen, with all the
ornaments that were to be worn with them; and when
Beauty opened the cupboards she was quite dazzled by
the gorgeous jewels that lay in heaps upon every shelf.
After choosing a vast quantity, which she divided between
her sisters--for she had made a heap of the wonderful
dresses for each of them--she opened the last chest,
which was full of gold.
"I think, father," she said, "that, as the gold will be
more useful to you, we had better take out the other
things again, and fill the trunks with it." So they did
this; but the more they put in the more room there seemed
to be, and at last they put back all the jewels and dresses
they had taken out, and Beauty even added as many
more of the jewels as she could carry at once; and then
the trunks were not too full, but they were so heavy that
an elephant could not have carried them!
"The Beast was mocking us," cried the merchant; "he
must have pretended to give us all these things, knowing
that I could not carry them away."
"Let us wait and see," answered Beauty. "I cannot
believe that he meant to deceive us. All we can do is to
fasten them up and leave them ready."
So they did this and returned to the little room, where,
to their astonishment, they found breakfast ready. The
merchant ate his with a good appetite, as the Beast's
generosity made him believe that he might perhaps venture
to come back soon and see Beauty. But she felt sure
that her father was leaving her for ever, so she was very
sad when the bell rang sharply for the second time, and
warned them that the time had come for them to part.
They went down into the courtyard, where two horses
were waiting, one loaded with the two trunks, the other
for him to ride. They were pawing the ground in their
impatience to start, and the merchant was forced to bid
Beauty a hasty farewell; and as soon as he was mounted
he went off at such a pace that she lost sight of him in an
instant. Then Beauty began to cry, and wandered sadly
back to her own room. But she soon found that she was
very sleepy, and as she had nothing better to do she lay
down and instantly fell asleep. And then she dreamed
that she was walking by a brook bordered with trees, and
lamenting her sad fate, when a young prince, handsomer
than anyone she had ever seen, and with a voice that
went straight to her heart, came and said to her, "Ah,
Beauty! you are not so unfortunate as you suppose. Here
you will be rewarded for all you have suffered elsewhere.
Your every wish shall be gratified. Only try to find me
out, no matter how I may be disguised, as I love you
dearly, and in making me happy you will find your own
happiness. Be as true-hearted as you are beautiful, and
we shall have nothing left to wish for."
"What can I do, Prince, to make you happy?" said
"Only be grateful," he answered, "and do not trust too
much to your eyes. And, above all, do not desert me
until you have saved me from my cruel misery."
After this she thought she found herself in a room with
a stately and beautiful lady, who said to her:
"Dear Beauty, try not to regret all you have left
behind you, for you are destined to a better fate. Only do
not let yourself be deceived by appearances."
Beauty found her dreams so interesting that she was in
no hurry to awake, but presently the clock roused her by
calling her name softly twelve times, and then she got up
and found her dressing-table set out with everything she
could possibly want; and when her toilet was finished she
found dinner was waiting in the room next to hers. But
dinner does not take very long when you are all by yourself,
and very soon she sat down cosily in the corner of a
sofa, and began to think about the charming Prince she
had seen in her dream.
"He said I could make him happy," said Beauty to
"It seems, then, that this horrible Beast keeps him a
prisoner. How can I set him free? I wonder why they
both told me not to trust to appearances? I don't understand
it. But, after all, it was only a dream, so why
should I trouble myself about it? I had better go and
find something to do to amuse myself."
So she got up and began to explore some of the many
rooms of the palace.
The first she entered was lined with mirrors, and Beauty
saw herself reflected on every side, and thought she had
never seen such a charming room. Then a bracelet which
was hanging from a chandelier caught her eye, and on
taking it down she was greatly surprised to find that it
held a portrait of her unknown admirer, just as she had
seen him in her dream. With great delight she slipped
the bracelet on her arm, and went on into a gallery of
pictures, where she soon found a portrait of the same
handsome Prince, as large as life, and so well painted that
as she studied it he seemed to smile kindly at her. Tearing
herself away from the portrait at last, she passed through
into a room which contained every musical instrument
under the sun, and here she amused herself for a long
while in trying some of them, and singing until she was
tired. The next room was a library, and she saw everything
she had ever wanted to read, as well as everything
she had read, and it seemed to her that a whole lifetime
would not be enough to even read the names of the books,
there were so many. By this time it was growing dusk,
and wax candles in diamond and ruby candlesticks were
beginning to light themselves in every room.
Beauty found her supper served just at the time she
preferred to have it, but she did not see anyone or hear
a sound, and, though her father had warned her that she
would be alone, she began to find it rather dull.
But presently she heard the Beast coming, and wondered
tremblingly if he meant to eat her up now.
However, as he did not seem at all ferocious, and only
"Good-evening, Beauty," she answered cheerfully and
managed to conceal her terror. Then the Beast asked her
how she had been amusing herself, and she told him all
the rooms she had seen.
Then he asked if she thought she could be happy in his
palace; and Beauty answered that everything was so
beautiful that she would be very hard to please if she
could not be happy. And after about an hour's talk
Beauty began to think that the Beast was not nearly so
terrible as she had supposed at first. Then he got up to
leave her, and said in his gruff voice:
"Do you love me, Beauty? Will you marry me?"
"Oh! what shall I say?" cried Beauty, for she was
afraid to make the Beast angry by refusing.
"Say `yes' or `no' without fear," he replied.
"Oh! no, Beast," said Beauty hastily.
"Since you will not, good-night, Beauty," he said.
And she answered, "Good-night, Beast," very glad to
find that her refusal had not provoked him. And after
he was gone she was very soon in bed and asleep, and
dreaming of her unknown Prince. She thought he came
and said to her:
"Ah, Beauty! why are you so unkind to me? I fear I
am fated to be unhappy for many a long day still."
And then her dreams changed, but the charming Prince
figured in them all; and when morning came her first
thought was to look at the portrait, and see if it was really
like him, and she found that it certainly was.
This morning she decided to amuse herself in the garden,
for the sun shone, and all the fountains were playing;
but she was astonished to find that every place was
familiar to her, and presently she came to the brook where
the myrtle trees were growing where she had first met the
Prince in her dream, and that made her think more than
ever that he must be kept a prisoner by the Beast. When
she was tired she went back to the palace, and found a
new room full of materials for every kind of work--ribbons
to make into bows, and silks to work into flowers.
Then there was an aviary full of rare birds, which were so
tame that they flew to Beauty as soon as they saw her,
and perched upon her shoulders and her head.
"Pretty little creatures," she said, "how I wish that
your cage was nearer to my room, that I might often hear
So saying she opened a door, and found, to her delight,
that it led into her own room, though she had thought it
was quite the other side of the palace.
There were more birds in a room farther on, parrots
and cockatoos that could talk, and they greeted Beauty
by name; indeed, she found them so entertaining that she
took one or two back to her room, and they talked to her
while she was at supper; after which the Beast paid her
his usual visit, and asked her the same questions as before,
and then with a gruff "good-night" he took his departure,
and Beauty went to bed to dream of her mysterious
Prince. The days passed swiftly in different
amusements, and after a while Beauty found out another
strange thing in the palace, which often pleased her when
she was tired of being alone. There was one room which
she had not noticed particularly; it was empty, except
that under each of the windows stood a very comfortable
chair; and the first time she had looked out of the window
it had seemed to her that a black curtain prevented her
from seeing anything outside. But the second time she
went into the room, happening to be tired, she sat down
in one of the chairs, when instantly the curtain was rolled
aside, and a most amusing pantomime was acted before
her; there were dances, and colored lights, and music, and
pretty dresses, and it was all so gay that Beauty was in
ecstacies. After that she tried the other seven windows
in turn, and there was some new and surprising entertainment
to be seen from each of them, so that Beauty never
could feel lonely any more. Every evening after supper
the Beast came to see her, and always before saying
good-night asked her in his terrible voice:
"Beauty, will you marry me?"
And it seemed to Beauty, now she understood him
better, that when she said, "No, Beast," he went away
quite sad. But her happy dreams of the handsome young
Prince soon made her forget the poor Beast, and the only
thing that at all disturbed her was to be constantly told
to distrust appearances, to let her heart guide her, and
not her eyes, and many other equally perplexing things,
which, consider as she would, she could not understand.
So everything went on for a long time, until at last,
happy as she was, Beauty began to long for the sight of
her father and her brothers and sisters; and one night,
seeing her look very sad, the Beast asked her what was
the matter. Beauty had quite ceased to be afraid of him.
Now she knew that he was really gentle in spite of his
ferocious looks and his dreadful voice. So she answered
that she was longing to see her home once more. Upon
hearing this the Beast seemed sadly distressed, and cried
"Ah! Beauty, have you the heart to desert an unhappy
Beast like this? What more do you want to make you
happy? Is it because you hate me that you want to
"No, dear Beast," answered Beauty softly, "I do not
hate you, and I should be very sorry never to see you any
more, but I long to see my father again. Only let me go
for two months, and I promise to come back to you and
stay for the rest of my life."
The Beast, who had been sighing dolefully while she
spoke, now replied:
"I cannot refuse you anything you ask, even though it
should cost me my life. Take the four boxes you will find
in the room next to your own, and fill them with everything
you wish to take with you. But remember your
promise and come back when the two months are over,
or you may have cause to repent it, for if you do not
come in good time you will find your faithful Beast dead.
You will not need any chariot to bring you back. Only
say good-by to all your brothers and sisters the night
before you come away, and when you have gone to bed
turn this ring round upon your finger and say firmly: `I
wish to go back to my palace and see my Beast again.'
Good-night, Beauty. Fear nothing, sleep peacefully, and
before long you shall see your father once more."
As soon as Beauty was alone she hastened to fill the
boxes with all the rare and precious things she saw about
her, and only when she was tired of heaping things into
them did they seem to be full.
Then she went to bed, but could hardly sleep for joy.
And when at last she did begin to dream of her beloved
Prince she was grieved to see him stretched upon a grassy
bank, sad and weary, and hardly like himself.
"What is the matter?" she cried.
He looked at her reproachfully, and said:
"How can you ask me, cruel one? Are you not leaving
me to my death perhaps?"
"Ah! don't be so sorrowful," cried Beauty; "I am only
going to assure my father that I am safe and happy. I
have promised the Beast faithfully that I will come back,
and he would die of grief if I did not keep my word!"
"What would that matter to you?" said the Prince
"Surely you would not care?"
"Indeed, I should be ungrateful if I did not care for
such a kind Beast," cried Beauty indignantly. "I would
die to save him from pain. I assure you it is not his fault
that he is so ugly."
Just then a strange sound woke her--someone was
speaking not very far away; and opening her eyes she
found herself in a room she had never seen before, which
was certainly not nearly so splendid as those she was
used to in the Beast's palace. Where could she be? She
got up and dressed hastily, and then saw that the boxes
she had packed the night before were all in the room.
While she was wondering by what magic the Beast had
transported them and herself to this strange place she
suddenly heard her father's voice, and rushed out and
greeted him joyfully. Her brothers and sisters were all
astonished at her appearance, as they had never expected
to see her again, and there was no end to the questions
they asked her. She had also much to hear about what
had happened to them while she was away, and of her
father's journey home. But when they heard that she had
only come to be with them for a short time, and then
must go back to the Beast's palace for ever, they lamented
loudly. Then Beauty asked her father what he thought
could be the meaning of her strange dreams, and why the
Prince constantly begged her not to trust to appearances.
After much consideration, he answered: "You tell me
yourself that the Beast, frightful as he is, loves you dearly,
and deserves your love and gratitude for his gentleness
and kindness; I think the Prince must mean you to understand
that you ought to reward him by doing as he wishes
you to, in spite of his ugliness."
Beauty could not help seeing that this seemed very
probable; still, when she thought of her dear Prince who
was so handsome, she did not feel at all inclined to marry
the Beast. At any rate, for two months she need not
decide, but could enjoy herself with her sisters. But
though they were rich now, and lived in town again, and
had plenty of acquaintances, Beauty found that nothing
amused her very much; and she often thought of the
palace, where she was so happy, especially as at home she
never once dreamed of her dear Prince, and she felt quite
sad without him.
Then her sisters seemed to have got quite used to being
without her, and even found her rather in the way, so
she would not have been sorry when the two months
were over but for her father and brothers, who begged her
to stay, and seemed so grieved at the thought of her
departure that she had not the courage to say good-by to
them. Every day when she got up she meant to say it at
night, and when night came she put it off again, until at
last she had a dismal dream which helped her to make
up her mind. She thought she was wandering in a lonely
path in the palace gardens, when she heard groans which
seemed to come from some bushes hiding the entrance of
a cave, and running quickly to see what could be the
matter, she found the Beast stretched out upon his side,
apparently dying. He reproached her faintly with being
the cause of his distress, and at the same moment a
stately lady appeared, and said very gravely:
"Ah! Beauty, you are only just in time to save his life.
See what happens when people do not keep their promises!
If you had delayed one day more, you would have
found him dead."
Beauty was so terrified by this dream that the next
morning she announced her intention of going back at
once, and that very night she said good-by to her father
and all her brothers and sisters, and as soon as she was in
bed she turned her ring round upon her finger, and said
firmly, "I wish to go back to my palace and see my Beast
again," as she had been told to do.
Then she fell asleep instantly, and only woke up to hear
the clock saying "Beauty, Beauty" twelve times in its
musical voice, which told her at once that she was really
in the palace once more. Everything was just as before,
and her birds were so glad to see her! But Beauty thought
she had never known such a long day, for she was so
anxious to see the Beast again that she felt as if suppertime
would never come.
But when it did come and no Beast appeared she was
really frightened; so, after listening and waiting for a long
time, she ran down into the garden to search for him. Up
and down the paths and avenues ran poor Beauty, calling
him in vain, for no one answered, and not a trace of him
could she find; until at last, quite tired, she stopped for a
minute's rest, and saw that she was standing opposite the
shady path she had seen in her dream. She rushed down
it, and, sure enough, there was the cave, and in it lay the
Beast--asleep, as Beauty thought. Quite glad to have
found him, she ran up and stroked his head, but, to her
horror, he did not move or open his eyes.
"Oh! he is dead; and it is all my fault," said Beauty,
But then, looking at him again, she fancied he still
breathed, and, hastily fetching some water from the near-
est fountain, she sprinkled it over his face, and, to her
great delight, he began to revive.
"Oh! Beast, how you frightened me!" she cried. "I
never knew how much I loved you until just now, when
I feared I was too late to save your life."
"Can you really love such an ugly creature as I am?"
said the Beast faintly. "Ah! Beauty, you only came just
in time. I was dying because I thought you had forgotten
your promise. But go back now and rest, I shall see you
again by and by."
Beauty, who had half expected that he would be angry
with her, was reassured by his gentle voice, and went
back to the palace, where supper was awaiting her; and
afterward the Beast came in as usual, and talked about
the time she had spent with her father, asking if she had
enjoyed herself, and if they had all been very glad to see
Beauty answered politely, and quite enjoyed telling
him all that had happened to her. And when at last the
time came for him to go, and he asked, as he had so often
asked before, "Beauty, will you marry me?"
She answered softly, "Yes, dear Beast."
As she spoke a blaze of light sprang up before the
windows of the palace; fireworks crackled and guns
banged, and across the avenue of orange trees, in letters
all made of fire-flies, was written: "Long live the Prince
and his Bride."
Turning to ask the Beast what it could all mean,
Beauty found that he had disappeared, and in his place
stood her long-loved Prince! At the same moment the
wheels of a chariot were heard upon the terrace, and two
ladies entered the room. One of them Beauty recognized
as the stately lady she had seen in her dreams; the other
was also so grand and queenly that Beauty hardly knew
which to greet first.
But the one she already knew said to her companion:
"Well, Queen, this is Beauty, who has had the courage
to rescue your son from the terrible enchantment. They
love one another, and only your consent to their marriage
is wanting to make them perfectly happy."
"I consent with all my heart," cried the Queen. "How
can I ever thank you enough, charming girl, for having
restored my dear son to his natural form?"
And then she tenderly embraced Beauty and the
Prince, who had meanwhile been greeting the Fairy and
receiving her congratulations.
"Now," said the Fairy to Beauty, "I suppose you would
like me to send for all your brothers and sisters to dance
at your wedding?"
And so she did, and the marriage was celebrated the
very next day with the utmost splendor, and Beauty and
the Prince lived happily ever after.
 La Belle et la Bete. Par Madame de Villeneuve.
ONCE upon a time there was a king who had many sons.
I do not exactly know how many there were, but the
youngest of them could not stay quietly at home, and was
determined to go out into the world and try his luck, and
after a long time the King was forced to give him leave
to go. When he had traveled about for several days, he
came to a giant's house, and hired himself to the giant as
a servant. In the morning the giant had to go out to
pasture his goats, and as he was leaving the house he told
the King's son that he must clean out the stable. "And
after you have done that," he said, "you need not do any
more work today, for you have come to a kind master,
and that you shall find. But what I set you to do must
be done both well and thoroughly, and you must on no
account go into any of the rooms which lead out of the
room in which you slept last night. If you do, I will take
"Well to be sure, he is an easy master!" said the Prince
to himself as he walked up and down the room humming
and singing, for he thought there would be plenty of time
left to clean out the stable; "but it would be amusing to
steal a glance into his other rooms as well," thought the
Prince, "for there must be something that he is afraid of
my seeing, as I am not allowed to enter them." So he
went into the first room. A cauldron was hanging from
the walls; it was boiling, but the Prince could see no fire
under it. "I wonder what is inside it," he thought, and
dipped a lock of his hair in, and the hair became just as
if it were all made of copper. "That's a nice kind of soup.
If anyone were to taste that his throat would be gilded,"
said the youth, and then he went into the next chamber.
There, too, a cauldron was hanging from the wall, bubbling
and boiling, but there was no fire under this either.
"I will just try what this is like too," said the Prince,
thrusting another lock of his hair into it, and it came out
silvered over. "Such costly soup is not to be had in my
father's palace," said the Prince; "but everything depends
on how it tastes," and then he went into the third room.
There, too, a cauldron was hanging from the wall, boiling,
exactly the same as in the two other rooms, and the
Prince took pleasure in trying this also, so he dipped a
lock of hair in, and it came out so brightly gilded that it
shone again. "Some talk about going from bad to worse,"
said the Prince; "but this is better and better. If he boils
gold here, what can he boil in there?" He was determined
to see, and went through the door into the fourth room.
No cauldron was to be seen there, but on a bench someone
was seated who was like a king's daughter, but, whosoever
she was, she was so beautiful that never in the
Prince's life had he seen her equal.
"Oh! in heaven's name what are you doing here?" said
she who sat upon the bench.
"I took the place of servant here yesterday," said the
"May you soon have a better place, if you have come
to serve here!" said she.
"Oh, but I think I have got a kind master," said the
Prince. "He has not given me hard work to do today.
When I have cleaned out the stable I shall be done."
"Yes, but how will you be able to do that?" she asked
again. "If you clean it out as other people do, ten pitch-
forksful will come in for every one you throw out. But
I will teach you how to do it; you must turn your pitch-
fork upside down, and work with the handle, and then all
will fly out of its own accord."
"Yes, I will attend to that," said the Prince, and stayed
sitting where he was the whole day, for it was soon settled
between them that they would marry each other, he and
the King's daughter; so the first day of his service with
the giant did not seem long to him. But when evening
was drawing near she said that it would now be better for
him to clean out the stable before the giant came home.
When he got there he had a fancy to try if what she had
said were true, so he began to work in the same way that
he had seen the stable-boys doing in his father's stables,
but he soon saw that he must give up that, for when he
had worked a very short time he had scarcely any room
left to stand. So he did what the Princess had taught
him, turned the pitchfork round, and worked with the
handle, and in the twinkling of an eye the stable was as
clean as if it had been scoured. When he had done that,
he went back again into the room in which the giant had
given him leave to stay, and there he walked backward
and forward on the floor, and began to hum and sing.
Then came the giant home with the goats. "Have you
cleaned the stable?" asked the giant.
"Yes, now it is clean and sweet, master," said the King's
"I shall see about that," said the giant, and went round
to the stable, but it was just as the Prince had said.
"You have certainly been talking to my Master-maid,
for you never got that out of your own head," said the
"Master-maid! What kind of a thing is that, master?"
said the Prince, making himself look as stupid as an ass;
"I should like to see that."
"Well, you will see her quite soon enough," said the
On the second morning the giant had again to go out
with his goats, so he told the Prince that on that day he
was to fetch home his horse, which was out on the
mountain-side, and when he had done that he might rest
himself for the remainder of the day, "for you have come
to a kind master, and that you shall find," said the giant
once more. "But do not go into any of the rooms that I
spoke of yesterday, or I will wring your head off," said
he, and then went away with his flock of goats.
"Yes, indeed, you are a kind master," said the Prince;
"but I will go in and talk to the Master-maid again; per-
haps before long she may like better to be mine than
So he went to her. Then she asked him what he had to
do that day.
"Oh! not very dangerous work, I fancy," said the King's
son. "I have only to go up the mountain-side after his
"Well, how do you mean to set about it?" asked the
"Oh! there is no great art in riding a horse home," said
the King's son. "I think I must have ridden friskier
horses before now."
"Yes, but it is not so easy a thing as you think to ride
the horse home," said the Master-maid; "but I will teach
you what to do. When you go near it, fire will burst out
of its nostrils like flames from a pine torch; but be very
careful, and take the bridle which is hanging by the door
there, and fling the bit straight into his jaws, and then it
will become so tame that you will be able to do what you
like with it." He said he would bear this in mind, and
then he again sat in there the whole day by the Mastermaid,
and they chatted and talked of one thing and
another, but the first thing and the last now was, how
happy and delightful it would be if they could but marry
each other, and get safely away from the giant; and the
Prince would have forgotten both the mountain-side and
the horse if the Master-maid had not reminded him of
them as evening drew near, and said that now it would be
better if he went to fetch the horse before the giant came.
So he did this, and took the bridle which was hanging on
a crook, and strode up the mountain-side, and it was not
long before he met with the horse, and fire and red flames
streamed forth out of its nostrils. But the youth carefully
watched his opportunity, and just as it was rushing
at him with open jaws he threw the bit straight into its
mouth, and the horse stood as quiet as a young lamb, and
there was no difficulty at all in getting it home to the
stable. Then the Prince went back into his room again,
and began to hum and to sing.
Toward evening the giant came home. "Have you
fetched the horse back from the mountain-side?" he
"That I have, master; it was an amusing horse to ride,
but I rode him straight home, and put him in the stable
too," said the Prince.
"I will see about that," said the giant, and went out to
the stable, but the horse was standing there just as the
Prince had said. "You have certainly been talking with
my Master-maid, for you never got that out of your own
head," said the giant again.
"Yesterday, master, you talked about this Master-
maid, and today you are talking about her; ah, heaven
bless you, master, why will you not show me the thing?
for it would be a real pleasure to me to see it," said the
Prince, who again pretended to be silly and stupid.
"Oh! you will see her quite soon enough," said the
On the morning of the third day the giant again had to
go into the wood with the goats. "Today you must go
underground and fetch my taxes," he said to the Prince.
"When you have done this, you may rest for the remainder
of the day, for you shall see what an easy master you
have come to," and then he went away.
"Well, however easy a master you may be, you set me
very hard work to do," thought the Prince; "but I will
see if I cannot find your Master-maid; you say she is
yours, but for all that she may be able to tell me what to
do now," and he went back to her. So, when the Mastermaid
asked him what the giant had set him to do that
day, he told her that he was to go underground and get
"And how will you set about that?" said the Mastermaid .
"Oh! you must tell me how to do it," said the Prince,
"for I have never yet been underground, and even if I
knew the way I do not know how much I am to demand."
"Oh! yes, I will soon tell you that; you must go to the
rock there under the mountain-ridge, and take the club
that is there, and knock on the rocky wall," said the
Master-maid. "Then someone will come out who will
sparkle with fire; you shall tell him your errand, and
when he asks you how much you want to have you are to
say: `As much as I can carry.'"
"Yes, I will keep that in mind," said he, and then he
sat there with the Master-maid the whole day, until night
drew near, and he would gladly have stayed there till
now if the Master-maid had not reminded him that it was
time to be off to fetch the taxes before the giant came.
So he set out on his way, and did exactly what the
Master-maid had told him. He went to the rocky wall,
and took the club, and knocked on it. Then came one so
full of sparks that they flew both out of his eyes and his
nose. "What do you want?" said he.
"I was to come here for the giant, and demand the tax
for him," said the King's son.
"How much are you to have then?" said the other.
"I ask for no more than I am able to carry with me,"
said the Prince.
"It is well for you that you have not asked for a horse-
load," said he who had come out of the rock. "But now
come in with me."
This the Prince did, and what a quantity of gold and
silver he saw! It was lying inside the mountain like heaps
of stones in a waste place, and he got a load that was as
large as he was able to carry, and with that he went his
way. So in the evening, when the giant came home with
the goats, the Prince went into the chamber and hummed
and sang again as he had done on the other two evenings.
"Have you been for the tax?" said the giant.
"Yes, that I have, master," said the Prince.
"Where have you put it then?" said the giant again.
"The bag of gold is standing there on the bench," said
"I will see about that," said the giant, and went away
to the bench, but the bag was standing there, and it was
so full that gold and silver dropped out when the giant
untied the string.
"You have certainly been talking with my Master-
maid!" said the giant, "and if you have I will wring your
"Master-maid?" said the Prince; "yesterday my master
talked about this Master-maid, and today he is talking
about her again, and the first day of all it was talk of the
same kind. I do wish I could see the thing myself,"
"Yes, yes, wait till to-morrow," said the giant, "and
then I myself will take you to her."
"Ah! master, I thank you--but you are only mocking
me," said the King's son.
Next day the giant took him to the Master-maid.
"Now you shall kill him, and boil him in the great big
cauldron you know of, and when you have got the broth
ready give me a call," said the giant; then he lay down on
the bench to sleep, and almost immediately began to
snore so that it sounded like thunder among the hills.
So the Master-maid took a knife, and cut the Prince's
little finger, and dropped three drops of blood upon a
wooden stool; then she took all the old rags, and shoe-
soles, and all the rubbish she could lay hands on, and put
them in the cauldron; and then she filled a chest with gold
dust, and a lump of salt, and a water-flask which was
hanging by the door, and she also took with her a golden
apple, and two gold chickens; and then she and the Prince
went away with all the speed they could, and when they
had gone a little way they came to the sea, and then they
sailed, but where they got the ship from I have never been
able to learn.
Now, when the giant had slept a good long time, he
began to stretch himself on the bench on which he was
lying. "Will it soon boil?" said he
"It is just beginning," said the first drop of blood on the
So the giant lay down to sleep again, and slept for a
long, long time. Then he began to move about a little
again. "Will it soon be ready now?" said he, but he did
not look up this time any more than he had done the first
time, for he was still half asleep.
"Half done!" said the second drop of blood, and the
giant believed it was the Master-maid again, and turned
himself on the bench, and lay down to sleep once more.
When he had slept again for many hours, he began to
move and stretch himself. "Is it not done yet?" said he.
"It is quite ready," said the third drop of blood. Then
the giant began to sit up and rub his eyes, but he could
not see who it was who had spoken to him, so he asked
for the Master-maid, and called her. But there was no
one to give him an answer.
"Ah! well, she has just stolen out for a little," thought
the giant, and he took a spoon, and went off to the
cauldron to have a taste; but there was nothing in it but
shoe-soles, and rags, and such trumpery as that, and all
was boiled up together, so that he could not tell whether
it was porridge or milk pottage. When he saw this, he
understood what had happened, and fell into such a rage
that he hardly knew what he was doing. Away he went
after the Prince and the Master-maid so fast that the
wind whistled behind him, and it was not long before he
came to the water, but he could not get over it. "Well,
well, I will soon find a cure for that; I have only to call my
river-sucker," said the giant, and he did call him. So his
river-sucker came and lay down, and drank one, two,
three draughts, and with that the water in the sea fell so
low that the giant saw the Master-maid and the Prince
out on the sea in their ship. "Now you must throw out
the lump of salt," said the Master-maid, and the Prince
did so, and it grew up into such a great high mountain
right across the sea that the giant could not come over
it, and the river-sucker could not drink any more water.
"Well, well, I will soon find a cure for that," said the
giant, so he called to his hill-borer to come and bore
through the mountain so that the river-sucker might be
able to drink up the water again. But just as the hole
was made, and the river-sucker was beginning to drink,
the Master-maid told the Prince to throw one or two
drops out of the flask, and when he did this the sea
instantly became full of water again, and before the river-
sucker could take one drink they reached the land and
were in safety. So they determined to go home to the
Prince's father, but the Prince would on no account
permit the Master-maid to walk there, for he thought that
it was unbecoming either for her or for him to go on foot.
"Wait here the least little bit of time, while I go home
for the seven horses which stand in my father's stable,"
said he; "it is not far off, and I shall not be long away,
but I will not let my betrothed bride go on foot to the
"Oh! no, do not go, for if you go home to the King's
palace you will forget me, I foresee that."
"How could I forget you? We have suffered so much
evil together, and love each other so much," said the
Prince; and he insisted on going home for the coach with
the seven horses, and she was to wait for him there, by
the sea-shore. So at last the Master-maid had to yield,
for he was so absolutely determined to do it. "But when
you get there you must not even give yourself time to
greet anyone, but go straight into the stable, and take the
horses, and put them in the coach, and drive back as
quickly as you can. For they will all come round about
you; but you must behave just as if you did not see them,
and on no account must you taste anything, for if you
do it will cause great misery both to you and to me," said
she; and this he promised.
But when he got home to the King's palace one of his
brothers was just going to be married, and the bride and
all her kith and kin had come to the palace; so they all
thronged round him, and questioned him about this and
that, and wanted him to go in with them; but he behaved
as if he did not see them, and went straight to the stable,
and got out the horses and began to harness them. When
they saw that they could not by any means prevail on
him to go in with them, they came out to him with meat
and drink, and the best of everything that they had
prepared for the wedding; but the Prince refused to touch
anything, and would do nothing but put the horses in as
quickly as he could. At last, however, the bride's sister
rolled an apple across the yard to him, and said: "As you
won't eat anything else, you may like to take a bite of
that, for you must be both hungry and thirsty after your
long journey." And he took up the apple and bit a piece
out of it. But no sooner had he got the piece of apple in
his mouth than he forgot the Master-maid and that he
was to go back in the coach to fetch her.
"I think I must be mad! what do I want with this
coach and horses?" said he; and then he put the horses
back into the stable, and went into the King's palace, and
there it was settled that he should marry the bride's
sister, who had rolled the apple to him.
The Master-maid sat by the sea-shore for a long, long
time, waiting for the Prince, but no Prince came. So she
went away, and when she had walked a short distance she
came to a little hut which stood all alone in a small wood,
hard by the King's palace. She entered it and asked if she
might be allowed to stay there. The hut belonged to an
old crone, who was also an ill-tempered and malicious
troll. At first she would not let the Master-maid remain
with her; but at last, after a long time, by means of good
words and good payment, she obtained leave. But the
hut was as dirty and black inside as a pigsty, so the
Master-maid said that she would smarten it up a little,
that it might look a little more like what other people's
houses looked inside. The old crone did not like this
either. She scowled, and was very cross, but the Master-
maid did not trouble herself about that. She took out her
chest of gold, and flung a handful of it or so into the fire,
and the gold boiled up and poured out over the whole of
the hut, until every part of it both inside and out was
gilded. But when the gold began to bubble up the old hag
grew so terrified that she fled as if the Evil One himself
were pursuing her, and she did not remember to stoop
down as she went through the doorway, and so she split
her head and died. Next morning the sheriff came traveling
by there. He was greatly astonished when he saw the
gold hut shining and glittering there in the copse, and he
was still more astonished when he went in and caught
sight of the beautiful young maiden who was sitting there;
he fell in love with her at once, and straightway on the
spot he begged her, both prettily and kindly, to marry
"Well, but have you a great deal of money?" said the
"Oh! yes; so far as that is concerned, I am not ill off,"
said the sheriff. So now he had to go home to get the
money, and in the evening he came back, bringing with
him a bag with two bushels in it, which he set down on
the bench. Well, as he had such a fine lot of money, the
Master-maid said she would have him, so they sat down
But scarcely had they sat down together before the
Master-maid wanted to jump up again. "I have forgotten
to see to the fire," she said.
"Why should you jump up to do that?" said the sheriff;
"I will do that!" So he jumped up, and went to the chimney
in one bound.
"Just tell me when you have got hold of the shovel,"
said the Master-maid.
"Well, I have hold of it now," said the sheriff.
"Then you may hold the shovel, and the shovel you,
and pour red-hot coals over you, till day dawns," said the
Master-maid. So the sheriff had to stand there the whole
night and pour red-hot coals over himself, and, no matter
how much he cried and begged and entreated, the red-hot
coals did not grow the colder for that. When the day
began to dawn, and he had power to throw down the
shovel, he did not stay long where he was, but ran away
as fast as he possibly could; and everyone who met him
stared and looked after him, for he was flying as if he
were mad, and he could not have looked worse if he had
been both flayed and tanned, and everyone wondered
where he had been, but for very shame he would tell
The next day the attorney came riding by the place
where the Master-maid dwelt. He saw how brightly the
hut shone and gleamed through the wood, and he too
went into it to see who lived there, and when he entered
and saw the beautiful young maiden he fell even more in
love with her than the sheriff had done, and began to woo
her at once. So the Master-maid asked him, as she had
asked the sheriff, if he had a great deal of money, and the
attorney said he was not ill off for that, and would at once
go home to get it; and at night he came with a great big
sack of money--this time it was a four-bushel sack--and
set it on the bench by the Master-maid. So she promised
to have him, and he sat down on the bench by her to
arrange about it, but suddenly she said that she had
forgotten to lock the door of the porch that night, and must
"Why should you do that?" said the attorney; "sit still,
I will do it."
So he was on his feet in a moment, and out in the porch.
"Tell me when you have got hold of the door-latch,"
said the Master-maid.
"I have hold of it now," cried the attorney.
"Then you may hold the door, and the door you, and
may you go between wall and wall till day dawns."
What a dance the attorney had that night! He had
never had such a waltz before, and he never wished to
have such a dance again. Sometimes he was in front of
the door, and sometimes the door was in front of him, and
it went from one side of the porch to the other, till the
attorney was well-nigh beaten to death. At first he began
to abuse the Master-maid, and then to beg and pray, but
the door did not care for anything but keeping him where
he was till break of day.
As soon as the door let go its hold of him, off went the
attorney. He forgot who ought to be paid off for what
he had suffered, he forgot both his sack of money and his
wooing, for he was so afraid lest the house-door should
come dancing after him. Everyone who met him stared
and looked after him, for he was flying like a madman,
and he could not have looked worse if a herd of rams had
been butting at him all night long.
On the third day the bailiff came by, and he too saw
the gold house in the little wood, and he too felt that he
must go and see who lived there; and when he caught
sight of the Master-maid he became so much in love with
her that he wooed her almost before he greeted her.
The Master-maid answered him as she had answered
the other two, that if he had a great deal of money, she
would have him. "So far as that is concerned, I am not ill
off," said the bailiff; so he was at once told to go home and
fetch it, and this he did. At night he came back, and he
had a still larger sack of money with him than the
attorney had brought; it must have been at least six
bushels, and he set it down on the bench. So it was
settled that he was to have the Master-maid. But hardly
had they sat down together before she said that she had
forgotten to bring in the calf, and must go out to put it
in the byre.
"No, indeed, you shall not do that," said the bailiff; "I
am the one to do that." And, big and fat as he was, he
went out as briskly as a boy.
"Tell me when you have got hold of the calf's tail,"
said the Master-maid.
"I have hold of it now," cried the bailiff.
"Then may you hold the calf's tail, and the calf's tail
hold you, and may you go round the world together till
day dawns!" said the Master-maid. So the bailiff had to
bestir himself, for the calf went over rough and smooth,
over hill and dale, and, the more the bailiff cried and
screamed, the faster the calf went. When daylight began
to appear, the bailiff was half dead; and so glad was he to
leave loose of the calf's tail, that he forgot the sack of
money and all else. He walked now slowly--more slowly
than the sheriff and the attorney had done, but, the
slower he went, the more time had everyone to stare and
look at him; and they used it too, and no one can imagine
how tired out and ragged he looked after his dance with
On the following day the wedding was to take place in
the King's palace, and the elder brother was to drive to
church with his bride, and the brother who had been with
the giant with her sister. But when they had seated
themselves in the coach and were about to drive off from
the palace one of the trace-pins broke, and, though they
made one, two, and three to put in its place, that did not
help them, for each broke in turn, no matter what kind
of wood they used to make them of. This went on for a
long time, and they could not get away from the palace,
so they were all in great trouble. Then the sheriff said
(for he too had been bidden to the wedding at Court):
"Yonder away in the thicket dwells a maiden, and if you
can get her to lend you the handle of the shovel that she
uses to make up her fire I know very well that it will hold
fast." So they sent off a messenger to the thicket, and
begged so prettily that they might have the loan of her
shovel-handle of which the sheriff had spoken that they
were not refused; so now they had a trace-pin which
would not snap in two.
But all at once, just as they were starting, the bottom
of the coach fell in pieces. They made a new bottom as
fast as they could, but, no matter how they nailed it
together, or what kind of wood they used, no sooner had
they got the new bottom into the coach and were about
to drive off than it broke again, so that they were still
worse off than when they had broken the trace-pin. Then
the attorney said, for he too was at the wedding in the
palace: "Away there in the thicket dwells a maiden, and
if you could but get her to lend you one-half of her porch-
door I am certain that it will hold together." So they
again sent a messenger to the thicket, and begged so
prettily for the loan of the gilded porch-door of which the
attorney had told them that they got it at once. They
were just setting out again, but now the horses were not
able to draw the coach. They had six horses already, and
now they put in eight, and then ten, and then twelve, but
the more they put in, and the more the coachman whipped
them, the less good it did; and the coach never stirred
from the spot. It was already beginning to be late in the
day, and to church they must and would go, so everyone
who was in the palace was in a state of distress. Then the
bailiff spoke up and said: "Out there in the gilded cottage
in the thicket dwells a girl, and if you could but get her
to lend you her calf I know it could draw the coach, even
if it were as heavy as a mountain." They all thought
that it was ridiculous to be drawn to church by a calf,
but there was nothing else for it but to send a messenger
once more, and beg as prettily as they could, on behalf of
the King, that she would let them have the loan of the
calf that the bailiff had told them about. The Master-
maid let them have it immediately--this time also she
would not say "no."
Then they harnessed the calf to see if the coach would
move; and away it went, over rough and smooth, over
stock and stone, so that they could scarcely breathe, and
sometimes they were on the ground, and sometimes up in
the air; and when they came to the church the coach began
to go round and round like a spinning-wheel, and it
was with the utmost difficulty and danger that they were
able to get out of the coach and into the church. And
when they went back again the coach went quicker still,
so that most of them did not know how they got back to
the palace at all.
When they had seated themselves at the table the
Prince who had been in service with the giant said that
he thought they ought to have invited the maiden who
had lent them the shovel-handle, and the porch-door, and
the calf up to the palace, "for," said he, "if we had not got
these three things, we should never have got away from
The King also thought that this was both just and
proper, so he sent five of his best men down to the gilded
hut, to greet the maiden courteously from the King, and
to beg her to be so good as to come up to the palace to
dinner at mid-day.
"Greet the King, and tell him that, if he is too good to
come to me, I am too good to come to him," replied the
So the King had to go himself, and the Master-maid
went with him immediately, and, as the King believed
that she was more than she appeared to be, he seated her
in the place of honor by the youngest bridegroom. When
they had sat at the table for a short time, the Master-
maid took out the cock, and the hen, and the golden
apple which she had brought away with her from the
giant's house, and set them on the table in front of her,
and instantly the cock and the hen began to fight with
each other for the golden apple.
"Oh! look how those two there are fighting for the
golden apple," said the King's son.
"Yes, and so did we two fight to get out that time when
we were in the mountain," said the Master-maid.
So the Prince knew her again, and you may imagine
how delighted he was. He ordered the troll-witch who had
rolled the apple to him to be torn in pieces between four-
and-twenty horses, so that not a bit of her was left, and
then for the first time they began really to keep the
wedding, and, weary as they were, the sheriff, the attorney,
and the bailiff kept it up too.
 Asbjornsen and Moe.
WHY THE SEA IS SALT
ONCE upon a time, long, long ago, there were two
brothers, the one rich and the other poor. When Christmas
Eve came, the poor one had not a bite in the house,
either of meat or bread; so he went to his brother, and
begged him, in God's name, to give him something for
Christmas Day. It was by no means the first time that
the brother had been forced to give something to him, and
he was not better pleased at being asked now than he
"If you will do what I ask you, you shall have a whole
ham," said he. The poor one immediately thanked him,
and promised this.
"Well, here is the ham, and now you must go straight
to Dead Man's Hall," said the rich brother, throwing the
ham to him.
"Well, I will do what I have promised," said the other,
and he took the ham and set off. He went on and on for
the livelong day, and at nightfall he came to a place where
there was a bright light.
"I have no doubt this is the place," thought the man
with the ham.
An old man with a long white beard was standing in the
outhouse, chopping Yule logs.
"Good-evening," said the man with the ham.
"Good-evening to you. Where are you going at this
late hour?" said the man.
"I am going to Dead Man's Hall, if only I am on the
right track," answered the poor man.
"Oh! yes, you are right enough, for it is here," said the
old man. "When you get inside they will all want to buy
your ham, for they don't get much meat to eat there; but
you must not sell it unless you can get the hand-mill
which stands behind the door for it. When you come out
again I will teach you how to stop the hand-mill, which
is useful for almost everything."
So the man with the ham thanked the other for his
good advice, and rapped at the door.
When he got in, everything happened just as the old
man had said it would: all the people, great and small,
came round him like ants on an ant-hill, and each tried
to outbid the other for the ham.
"By rights my old woman and I ought to have it for
our Christmas dinner, but, since you have set your hearts
upon it, I must just give it up to you," said the man.
"But, if I sell it, I will have the hand-mill which is standing
there behind the door."
At first they would not hear to this, and haggled and
bargained with the man, but he stuck to what he had said,
and the people were forced to give him the hand-mill.
When the man came out again into the yard, he asked the
old wood-cutter how he was to stop the hand-mill, and
when he had learned that, he thanked him and set off
home with all the speed he could, but did not get there
until after the clock had struck twelve on Christmas Eve.
"Where in the world have you been?" said the old
woman. "Here I have sat waiting hour after hour, and have
not even two sticks to lay across each other under the
"Oh! I could not come before; I had something of
importance to see about, and a long way to go, too; but now
you shall just see!" said the man, and then he set the
hand-mill on the table, and bade it first grind light, then
a table-cloth, and then meat, and beer, and everything
else that was good for a Christmas Eve's supper; and the
mill ground all that he ordered. "Bless me!" said the old
woman as one thing after another appeared; and she
wanted to know where her husband had got the mill
from, but he would not tell her that.
"Never mind where I got it; you can see that it is a
good one, and the water that turns it will never freeze,"
said the man. So he ground meat and drink, and all kinds
of good things, to last all Christmas-tide, and on the
third day he invited all his friends to come to a feast.
Now when the rich brother saw all that there was at the
banquet and in the house, he was both vexed and angry,
for he grudged everything his brother had. "On Christmas
Eve he was so poor that he came to me and begged
for a trifle, for God's sake, and now he gives a feast as if
he were both a count and a king!" thought he. "But, for
heaven's sake, tell me where you got your riches from,"
said he to his brother.
"From behind the door," said he who owned the mill,
for he did not choose to satisfy his brother on that point;
but later in the evening, when he had taken a drop too
much, he could not refrain from telling how he had come
by the hand-mill. "There you see what has brought me
all my wealth!" said he, and brought out the mill, and
made it grind first one thing and then another. When the
brother saw that, he insisted on having the mill, and after
a great deal of persuasion got it; but he had to give three
hundred dollars for it, and the poor brother was to keep
it till the haymaking was over, for he thought: "If I keep
it as long as that, I can make it grind meat and drink that
will last many a long year." During that time you may
imagine that the mill did not grow rusty, and when hay-
harvest came the rich brother got it, but the other had taken
good care not to teach him how to stop it. It was evening
when the rich man got the mill home, and in the morning
he bade the old woman go out and spread the hay after
the mowers, and he would attend to the house himself
that day, he said.
So, when dinner-time drew near, he set the mill on the
kitchen-table, and said: "Grind herrings and milk pottage,
and do it both quickly and well."
So the mill began to grind herrings and milk pottage,
and first all the dishes and tubs were filled, and then it
came out all over the kitchen-floor. The man twisted and
turned it, and did all he could to make the mill stop, but,
howsoever he turned it and screwed it, the mill went on
grinding, and in a short time the pottage rose so high that
the man was like to be drowned. So he threw open the
parlor door, but it was not long before the mill had ground
the parlor full too, and it was with difficulty and danger
that the man could go through the stream of pottage and
get hold of the door-latch. When he got the door open,
he did not stay long in the room, but ran out, and the
herrings and pottage came after him, and it streamed out
over both farm and field. Now the old woman, who was
out spreading the hay, began to think dinner was long in
coming, and said to the women and the mowers: "Though
the master does not call us home, we may as well go. It
may be that he finds he is not good at making pottage
and I should do well to help him." So they began to
straggle homeward, but when they had got a little way
up the hill they met the herrings and pottage and bread,
all pouring forth and winding about one over the other,
and the man himself in front of the flood. "Would to
heaven that each of you had a hundred stomachs! Take
care that you are not drowned in the pottage!" he cried
as he went by them as if Mischief were at his heels, down
to where his brother dwelt. Then he begged him, for
God's sake, to take the mill back again, and that in an
instant, for, said he: "If it grind one hour more the
whole district will be destroyed by herrings and pottage."
But the brother would not take it until the other paid