Part 7 out of 8
desperately that he could neither eat nor drink, and resolved to send
an ambassador at once to demand her in marriage. So he ordered a
magnificent equipage-more than a hundred horses and a hundred footmen-
in order to bring back to him the Fair One with Golden Locks, who, he
never doubted, would be only too happy to become his Queen. Indeed, he
felt so sure of her that he refurnished the whole palace, and had made
by all the dressmakers of the city, dresses enough to last a lady a
lifetime. But, alas! when the ambassador arrived and delivered his
message, either the princess was in bad humor, or the offer did not
appear to be to her taste; for she returned her best thanks to his
majesty, but said she had not the slightest wish or intention to get
married. She also, being a prudent damsel, declined receiving any of
the presents which the King had sent her; except that, not quite to
offend his majesty, she retained a box of English pins, which were in
that country of considerable value.
When the ambassador returned, alone and unsuccessful, all the court was
very much affected, and the King himself began to weep with all his
might. Now, there was in the palace household a young gentleman named
Avenant, beautiful as the sun, besides being at once so amiable and so
wise that the King confided to him all his affairs; and every one loved
him, except those people-to be found in all courts-who were envious of
his good fortune. These malicious folk hearing him say gaily: "If the
King had sent me to fetch the Fair One with Golden Locks, I know she
would have come back with me," repeated the saying in such a manner,
that it appeared as if Avenant thought so much of himself and his
beauty, and felt sure the princess would have followed him all over the
world; which when it came to the ears of the King, as it was meant to
do, irritated him so much that he commanded Avenant to be imprisoned in
a high tower and left to die there of hunger. The guards accordingly
carried off the young man, who had quite forgotten his idle speech, and
had not the least idea what fault he had committed. They ill-treated
him very much, and then left him with nothing to eat and only water to
drink. This, however, kept him alive for a few days, during which he
did not cease to complain aloud, and to call upon the King, saying: "Oh
King, what harm have I done? You have no subject more faithful than I.
Never have I had a thought which could offend you."
And it so befell that the King, coming by chance, or else with a sort
of remorse, past the tower, was touched by the voice of the young
Avenant, whom he had once so much regarded. In spite of all the
courtiers could do to prevent him, he stopped to listen, and overheard
these words. The tears rushed into his eyes; he opened the door of the
tower, and called: "Avenant!" Avenant came, creeping feebly along,
fell at the King's knees, and kissed his feet:
"Oh sire, what have I done that you should treat me so cruelly?"
"You have mocked me and my ambassador; for you said, if I had sent you
to fetch the Fair One with Golden Locks, you would have been successful
and brought her back."
"I did say it, and it was true," replied Avenant fearlessly; "for I
should have told her so much about your majesty and your various high
qualities, which no one knows so well as myself, that I am persuaded
she would have returned with me."
"I believe it," said the King, with an angry look at those who had
spoken ill of his favorite; he then gave Avenant a free pardon and took
him back with him to the court.
After having supplied the famished youth with as much supper as he
could eat, the King admitted him to a private audience, and said: "I am
as much in love as ever with the Fair One with Golden Locks, so I will
take thee at thy word, and send thee to try and win her for me."
"Very well, please your majesty" replied Avenant cheerfully; "I will
The King, overjoyed with his willingness and hopefulness would have
furnished him with a still more magnificent equipage and suite than the
first ambassador but Avenant refused to take anything except a good
horse to ride, and letters of introduction to the Princess's father.
The King embraced him and eagerly saw him depart.
It was on a Monday morning when, without any pomp or show, Avenant thus
started on his mission. He rode slowly and meditatively, pondering
over every possible means of persuading the Fair One with Golden Locks
to marry the King; but, even after several days journey towards her
country, no clear project had entered into his mind. One morning, when
he had started at break of day, he came to a great meadow with a stream
running through it, along which were planted willows and poplars. It
was such a pleasant, rippling stream that he dismounted and sat down on
its banks. There he perceived gasping on the grass a large golden
Carp, which, in leaping too far after gnats, had thrown itself quite
out of the water, and now lay dying on the greensward. Avenant took
pity on it, and though he was very hungry, and the fish was very fat,
and he would well enough have liked it for his breakfast, still he
lifted it gently and put it back into the stream. No sooner had the
Carp touched the fresh cool water than it revived and swam away; but
shortly returning, it spoke to him from the water in this wise:
"Avenant, I thank you for your good deed. I was dying, and you have
saved me; I will recompense you for this one day."
After this pretty little speech, the fish popped down to the bottom of
the stream, according to the habit of Carp, leaving Avenant very much
astonished, as was natural.
Another day he met with a Raven that was in great distress, being
pursued by an Eagle, which would have swallowed him up in no time.
"See," thought Avenant, "how the stronger oppress the weaker! What
right has an Eagle to eat up a Raven?" So taking his bow and arrow,
which he always carried, he shot the Eagle dead, and the Raven,
delighted, perched in safety on an opposite tree.
"Avenant," screeched he, though not in the sweetest voice in the world,
"you have generously succored me, a poor miserable Raven. I am not
ungrateful, and I will recompense you one day."
"Thank you," said Avenant, and continued his road.
Entering in a thick wood, so dark with the shadows of early morning
that he could scarcely find his way, he heard an Owl hooting, like an
owl in great tribulation. She had been caught by the nets spread by
bird-catchers to entrap finches, larks, and other small birds. "What a
pity," thought Avenant, "that men must always torment poor birds and
beasts who have done them no harm!" So he took out his knife, cut the
net, and let the Owl go free. She went sailing up in the air, but
immediately returned hovering over his head on her brown wings.
"Avenant," said she, "at daylight the bird-catchers would have been
here, and I should have been caught and killed. I have a grateful
heart; I will recompense you one day."
These were the three principal adventures that befell Avenant on his
way to the kingdom of the Fair One with Golden Locks. Arrived there,
he dressed himself with the greatest care, in a habit of silver
brocade, and a hat adorned with plumes of scarlet and white. He threw
over all a rich mantle, and carried a little basket, in which was a
lovely little dog, an offering of respect to the Princess. With this
he presented himself at the palace gates, where even though he came
alone, his mien was so dignified and graceful, so altogether charming,
that every one did him reverence, and was eager to run and tell the
Fair One with Golden Locks, that Avenant, another ambassador from the
King, her suitor, awaited an audience.
"Avenant!" repeated the Princess. "That is a pretty name; perhaps the
youth is pretty too."
"So beautiful," said the ladies of honor, "that while he stood under
the palace window we could do nothing but look at him."
"How silly of you!" sharply said the Princess. But she desired them to
bring her robe of blue satin, to comb out her long hair, and adorn it
with the freshest garland of flowers; to give her her high-heeled
shoes, and her fan. "Also," added she, "take care that my audience-
chamber is well swept and my throne well dusted. I wish in everything
to appear as becomes the Fair One with Golden Locks."
This done she seated herself on her throne of ivory and ebony and gave
orders for her musicians to play, but softly, so as not to disturb
conversation. Thus, shining in all her beauty, she admitted Avenant to
He was so dazzled that at first he could not speak; then he began and
delivered his harangue to perfection.
"Gentle Avenant," returned the Princess, after listening to all his
reasons for her returning with him, "your arguments are very strong,
and I am inclined to listen to them; but you must first find for me a
ring, which I dropped into the river about a month ago. Until I
recover it, I can listen to no proposition of marriage."
Avenant, surprised and disturbed, made her a profound reverence and
retired, taking with him the basket and the little dog Cabriole, which
she refused to accept. All night long he sat sighing to himself. "How
can I ever find a ring which she dropped into the river a month ago?
She has set me an impossibility."
"My dear master," said Cabriole, "nothing is an impossibility to one so
young and charming as you are; let us go at daybreak to the river-
Avenant patted him, but replied nothing; until, worn out with grief, he
slept. Before dawn Cabriole wakened him, saying: "Master, dress
yourself and let us go to the river."
There Avenant walked up and down, with his arms folded and his head
bent, but saw nothing. At last he heard a voice, calling from a
distance, "Avenant, Avenant!"
The little dog ran to the water-side.- "Never believe me again, master,
if it is not a golden Carp with a ring in its mouth!"
"Yes, Avenant," said the Carp, "this is the ring which the Princess has
lost. You saved my life in the willow meadow, and I have recompensed
Avenant took the ring gratefully and returned to the palace with
Cabriole, who scampered about in great glee.
Craving an audience, he presented the Princess with her ring, and
begged her to accompany him to his master's kingdom. She took the
ring, looked at it, and thought she was surely dreaming.
"Some fairy must have assisted you, fortunate Avenant," said she.
"Madam, I am only fortunate in my desire to obey your wishes."
"Obey me still," she said graciously. "There is a prince named
Galifron, whose suit I have refused. He is a giant as tall as a tower,
who eats a man as a monkey eats a nut: he puts cannons into his pockets
instead of pistols; and when he speaks, his voice is so loud that every
one near him becomes deaf. Go and fight him, and bring me his head."
Avenant was thunderstruck; but after a time he recovered himself.
"Very well, madam, I shall certainly perish, but I will perish like a
brave man. I will depart at once to fight the Giant Galifron."
The Princess, now in her turn surprised and alarmed, tried every
persuasion to induce him not to go, but in vain. Avenant armed himself
and started, carrying his little dog in its basket. Cabriole was the
only creature that gave him consolation: "Courage, master! While you
attack the giant, I will bite his legs: he will stoop down to strike
me, and then you can knock him on the head." Avenant smiled at the
little dog's spirit, but he knew it was useless.
Arrived at the castle of Galifron, he found the road all strewn with
bones, and carcasses of men. Soon he saw the giant walking. His head
was level with the highest trees, and he sang in a terrific voice:
"Bring me babies to devour;
Men and women, tender and tough;
All the world holds not enough."
To which Avenant replied, imitating the tune:
"Avenant you here may see,
He is come to punish thee:
Be he tender, be he tough,
To kill thee, giant, he is enough."
Hearing these words, the giant took up his massive club, looked around
for the singer, and perceiving him, would have slain him on the spot,
had not a Raven, sitting on a tree close by, suddenly flown out upon
him and picked out both his eyes. Then Avenant easily killed him and
cut off his head, while the Raven, watching him, said:
"You shot the Eagle who was pursuing me: I promised to recompense you,
and to-day I have done it. We are quits."
"No, it is I who am your debtor, Sir Raven," replied Avenant, as,
hanging the frightful head to his saddle-bow, he mounted his horse and
rode back to the city of the Fair One with Golden Locks.
There everybody followed him, shouting: "Here is brave Avenant, who has
killed the giant," until the Princess, hearing the noise, and fearing
it was Avenant himself who was killed, appeared, all trembling; and
even when he appeared with Galifron's head, she trembled still,
although she had nothing to fear.
"Madam," said Avenant, "your enemy is dead; so I trust you will accept
the hand of the King my master."
"I cannot," replied she thoughtfully, "unless you first bring me a
phial of the water in the Grotto of Darkness. It is six leagues in
length, and guarded at the entrance by two fiery dragons. Within, it
is a pit, full of scorpions, lizards, and serpents, and at the bottom
of this place flows the Fountain of Beauty and Health. All who wash in
it become, if ugly, beautiful, and if beautiful, beautiful forever; if
old, young; and if young, young forever. Judge then, Avenant, if I can
quit my kingdom without carrying with me some of this miraculous
"Madam," replied Avenant, "you are already so beautiful that you
require it not; but I am an unfortunate ambassador whose death you
desire; I will obey you, though I know I shall never return."
So he departed with his only friends-his horse and his faithful dog
Cabriole; while all who met him looked at him compassionately, pitying
so pretty a youth bound on such a hopeless errand. But, however kindly
they addressed him, Avenant rode on and answered nothing, for he was
too sad at heart.
He reached a mountain-side, where he sat down to rest, leaving his
horse to graze, and Cabriole to run after the flies. He knew that the
Grotto of Darkness was not far off, yet he looked about him like one
who sees nothing. At last he perceived a rock, as black as ink, whence
came a thick smoke; and in a moment appeared one of the two dragons,
breathing out flames. It had a yellow and green body, claws, and a
long tail. When Cabriole saw the monster, the poor little dog hid
himself in terrible fright. But Avenant resolved to die bravely; so
taking a phial which the Princess had given him, he prepared to descend
into the cave.
"Cabriole," said he, "I shall soon be dead; then fill this phial with
my blood, and carry it to the Fair One with Golden Locks, and afterward
to the King, my master, to show him I have been faithful to the last."
While he was thus speaking a voice called: "Avenant, Avenant!"-and he
saw an Owl sitting on a hollow tree. Said the Owl: "You cut the net in
which I was caught, and I vow to recompense you. Now is the time.
Give me the phial; I know every corner of the Grotto of Darkness-I will
fetch you the water of beauty."
Delighted beyond words, Avenant delivered up his phial; the Owl flew
with it into the grotto, and in less than half an hour reappeared,
bringing it quite full and well corked. Avenant thanked her with all
his heart, and joyfully took once more the road to the city.
The Fair One with Golden Locks had no more to say. She consented to
accompany him back, with all her suite, to his master's court. On the
way thither she saw so much of him, and found him so charming, that
Avenant might have married her himself had he chosen; but he would not
have been false to his master for all the beauties under the sun. At
length they arrived at the King's city, and the Fair One with Golden
Locks became his spouse and Queen. But she still loved Avenant in her
heart, and often said to the King her lord: "But for Avenant I should
not be here; he has done all sorts of impossible deeds for my sake; he
has fetched me the water of beauty, and I shall never grow old-in
short, I owe him everything."
And she praised him in this sort so much that at length the King became
jealous; and though Ayenant gave him not the slightest cause of
offense, he shut him up in the same high tower once more-but with irons
on his hands and feet, and a cruel jailer besides, who fed him with
bread and water only. His sole companion was his little dog Cabriole.
When the Fair One with Golden Locks heard of this, she reproached her
husband for his ingratitude, and then throwing herself at his knees,
implored that Avenant might be set free. But the King only said: "She
loves him!" and refused her prayer. The Queen entreated no more, but
fell into a deep melancholy.
When the King saw it, he thought she did not care for him because he
was not handsome enough; and that if he could wash his face with her
water of beauty, it would make her love him the more. He knew that she
kept it in a cabinet in her chamber, where she could find it always.
Now it happened that a waiting-maid, in cleaning out this cabinet, had,
the very day before, knocked down the phial, which was broken in a
thousand pieces, and all the contents were lost. Very much alarmed,
she then remembered seeing, in a cabinet belonging to the King, a
similar phial. This she fetched, and put in the place of the other
one, in which was the water of beauty. But the King's phial contained
the water of death. It was a poison, used to destroy great criminals-
that is, noblemen, gentlemen, and such like. Instead of hanging them
or cutting their heads off, like common people, they were compelled to
wash their faces with this water; upon which they fell asleep, and woke
no more. So it happened that the King, taking up this phial, believing
it to be the water of beauty, washed his face with it, fell asleep,
Cabriole heard the news, and, gliding in and out among the crowd which
clustered round the young and lovely widow, whispered softly to her-
"Madam, do not forget poor Avenant." If she had been disposed to do
so, the sight of his little dog would have been enough to remind her of
him-his many sufferings, and his great fidelity. She rose up, without
speaking to anybody, and went straight to the tower where Avenant was
confined. There, with her own hands, she struck off his chains, and
putting a crown of gold on his head, and a purple mantle on his
shoulders, said to him, "Be King- and my husband.
Avenant could not refuse: for in his heart he had loved her all the
time. He threw himself at her feet, and then took the crown and
scepter, and ruled her kingdom like a king. All the people were
delighted to have him as their sovereign. The marriage was celebrated
in all imaginable pomp, and Avenant and the Fair One with Golden Locks
lived and reigned happily together all their days.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
By Mme. d'Aulnoy
THERE was once a very rich merchant, who had six children, three boys
and three girls. As he was himself a man of great sense, he spared no
expense for their education. The three daughters were all handsome,
but particularly the youngest; indeed, she was so very beautiful, that
in her childhood everyone called her the Little Beauty; and being
equally lovely when she was grown up, nobody called her by any other
name, which made her sisters very jealous of her. This youngest
daughter was not only more handsome than her sisters, but also was
better tempered. The two eldest were vain of their wealth and
position. They gave themselves a thousand airs, and refused to visit
other merchants' daughters; nor would they condescend to be seen except
with persons of quality.
They went every day to balls, p1ays, and public walks, and always made
game of their youngest sister for spending her time in reading or other
useful employments. As it was well known that these young ladies would
have large fortunes, many great merchants wished to get them for wives;
but the two eldest always answered, that, for their parts, they had no
thoughts of marrying anyone below a duke or an earl at least. Beauty
had quite as many offers as her sisters, but she always answered, with
the greatest civility, that though she was much obliged to her lovers,
she would rather live some years longer with her father, as she thought
herself too young to marry.
It happened that, by some unlucky accident, the merchant suddenly lost
all his fortune, and had nothing left but a small cottage in the
country. Upon this he said to his daughters, while the tears ran down
his cheeks, "My children, we must now go and dwell in the cottage, and
try to get a living by labor, for we have no other means of support."
The two eldest replied that they did not know how to work, and would
not leave town; for they had lovers enough who would be glad to marry
them, though they had no longer any fortune. But in this they were
mistaken; for when the lovers heard what had happened, they said, "The
girls were so proud and ill-tempered, that all we wanted was their
fortune; we are not sorry at all to see their pride brought down; let
them show off their airs to their cows and sheep." But everybody
pitied poor Beauty, because she was so sweet-tempered and kind to all,
and several gentlemen offered to marry her, though she had not a penny;
but Beauty still refused, and said she could not think of leaving her
poor father in this trouble. At first Beauty could not help sometimes
crying in secret for the hardships she was now obliged to suffer; but
in a very short time she said to herself, "All the crying in the world
will do me no good, so I will try to be happy without a fortune."
When they had removed to their cottage, the merchant and his three sons
employed themselves in ploughing and sowing the fields, and working in
the garden. Beauty also did her part, for she rose by four o'clock
every morning, lighted the fires, cleaned the house, and got ready the
breakfast for the whole family. At first she found all this very hard;
but she soon grew quite used to it, and thought it no hardship; indeed,
the work greatly benefited her health. When she had done, she used to
amuse herself with reading, playing her music, or singing while she
spun. But her two sisters were at a loss what to do to pass the time
away; they had their breakfast in bed, and did not rise till ten
o'clock. Then they commonly walked out, but always found themselves
very soon tired; when they would often sit down under a shady tree, and
grieve for the loss of their carriage and fine clothes, and say to each
other, "What a mean-spirited, poor stupid creature our young sister is,
to be so content within this low way of life!" But their father
thought differently; and loved and admired his youngest child more than
After they had lived in this manner about a year the merchant received
a letter, which informed him that one of his richest ships, which he
thought was lost, had just come unto port. This news made the two
eldest sisters almost mad with joy; for they thought they should now
leave the cottage, and have all their finery again. When they found
that their father must take a journey to the ship, the two eldest
begged he would not fail to bring them back some new gowns, caps,
rings, and all sorts of trinkets. But Beauty asked for nothing; for
she thought in herself that all the Ship was worth would hardly buy
everything her sisters wished for. "Beauty," said the merchant, "how
comes it that you ask for nothing: what can I bring you, my child?"
"Since you are so kind as to think of me, dear father," she answered,
"I should be glad if you would bring me a rose, for we have none in our
garden." Now Beauty did not indeed wish for a rose, nor anything else,
but she only said this that she might not affront her sisters;
otherwise they would have said she wanted her father to praise her for
desiring nothing. The merchant took his leave of them, and set out on
his journey; but when he got to the ship, some persons went to law with
him about the cargo, and after a deal of trouble he came back to his
cottage as poor as he had left it. When he was within thirty miles of
his home, and thinking of the joy of again meeting his children, he
lost his way in the midst of a dense forest. It rained and snowed very
hard, and, besides, the wind was so high as to throw him twice from his
horse. Night came on, and he feared he should die of cold and hunger,
or be torn to pieces by the wolves that he heard howling round him.
All at once, he cast his eyes toward a long avenue, and saw at the end
a light, but it seemed a great way off. He made the best of his way
toward it, and found that it came from a splendid palace, the windows
of which were all blazing with light. It had great bronze gates,
standing wide open, and fine court-yards, through which the merchant
passed; but not a living soul was to be seen. There were stables, too,
which his poor, starved horse, less scrupulous than himself, entered at
once, and took a good meal of oats and hay. His master then tied him
up, and walked toward the entrance hall, but still without seeing a
single creature. He went on to a large dining parlor, where he found a
good fire, and table covered with some very nice dishes, but only one
plate with a knife and fork. As the snow and rain had wetted him to
the skin, he went up to the fire to dry himself. "I hope," said he,
"the master of the house or his servants will excuse me, for it surely
will not be long now before I see them." He waited some time, but
still nobody came: at last the clock struck eleven, and the merchant,
being quite faint for the want of food, helped himself to a chicken,
and to a few glasses of wine, yet all the time trembling with fear. He
sat till the clock struck twelve, and then, taking courage, began to
think he might as well look about him: so he opened a door at the end
of the hall, and went through it into a very grand room, in which there
was a fine bed; and as he was feeling very weary, he shut the door,
took off his clothes, and got into it.
It was ten o'clock in the morning before he awoke, when he was amazed
to see a handsome new suit of clothes laid ready for him, instead of
his own, which were all torn and spoiled. "To be sure," said he to
himself, "this place belongs to some good fairy, who has taken pity on
my ill luck." He looked out of the window, and instead of the snow-
covered wood, where he had lost himself the previous night, he saw the
most charming arbors covered with all kinds of flowers. Returning to
the hall where he had supper, he found a breakfast table, ready
prepared. "Indeed, my good fairy," said the merchant aloud, "I am
vastly obliged to you for your kind care of me." He then made a hearty
breakfast, took his hat, and was going to the stable to pay his horse a
visit; but as he passed under one of the arbors, which was loaded with
roses, he thought of what Beauty had asked him to bring back to her,
and so he took a bunch of roses to carry home. At the same moment he
heard a loud noise, and saw coming toward him a beast, so frightful to
look at that he was ready to faint with fear. "Ungrateful man!" said
the beast in a terrible voice, "I have saved your life by admitting you
into my palace, and in return you steal my roses, which I value more
than anything I possess. But you shall atone for your fault-die in a
quarter of an hour.
The merchant fell on his knees, and clasping his hands, said, "Sir, I
humbly beg your pardon: I did not think it would offend you to gather a
rose for one of my daughters, who had entreated me to bring her one
home. Do not kill me, my lord!"
"I am not a lord, but a beast," replied. the monster, "I hate false
compliments: so do not fancy that you can coax me by any such ways.
You tell me that you have daughters; now I will suffer you to escape,
if one of them will come and die in your stead. If not, profuse that
you will yourself return in three months, to be dealt with as I may
The tender-hearted merchant had no thoughts of letting any one of his
daughters die for his sake; but he knew that if he seemed to accept the
beast's terms, he should at least have the pleasure of seeing them once
again. So he gave his promise, and was told that he might then set off
as soon as he liked. "But," said the beast, "I do not wish you to go
back empty handed. Go to the room you slept in, and you will find a
chest there; fill it with whatsoever you like best, and I will have it
taken to your own house for you."
When the beast had said this, he went away. The good merchant, left to
himself, began to consider that as he must die-for he had no thought of
breaking a promise, made even to a beast-he might as well have the
comfort of leaving his children provided for. He returned to the room
he had slept in, and found there heaps of gold pieces lying about.
He filled the chest with them to the very brim, locked it, and,
mounting his horse, left the palace as sorrowful as he had been glad
when he first beheld it. The horse took a path across the forest of
his own accord, and in a few hours they reached the merchant's house.
His children came running round him, but, instead of kissing them with
joy, he could not help weeping as he looked at them. He held in his
hand the bunch of roses, which he gave to Beauty, saying, "Take these
roses, Beauty; but little do you think how dear they have cost your
poor father;" and then he gave them an account of all that he had seen
or heard in the palace of the beast.
The two eldest sisters now began to shed tears, and to lay the blame
upon Beauty, who, they said, would be the cause of her father's death.
"See," said they, "what happens from the pride of the little wretch;
why did not she ask for such things as we did? But, to be sure, Miss
must not be like other people; and though she will be the cause of her
father's death, yet she does not shed a tear."
"It would be useless," replied Beauty, "for my father shall not die.
As the beast will accept one of his daughters, I will give myself up,
and be only too happy to prove my love for the best of fathers."
"No, sister," said the three brothers with one voice, "that cannot be;
we will go in search of this monster, and either he or we will perish."
"Do not hope to kill him," said the merchant, "his power is far too
great. But Beauty's young life shall not be sacrificed; I am old, and
cannot expect to live much longer; so I shall but give up a few years
of my life, and shall only grieve for the sake of my children."
"Never, father!" cried Beauty; "if you go back to the palace, you
cannot hinder my going after you; though young, I am not over-fond of
life; and I would much rather be eaten up by the monster, than die of
grief for your loss."
The merchant in vain tried to reason with Beauty who still obstinately
kept to her purpose; which, in truth, made her two sisters glad, for
they were jealous of her, because everybody loved her.
The merchant was so grieved at the thoughts of losing his child, that
he never once thought of the chest filled with gold, but at night, to
his great surprise, he found it standing by his bedside. He said
nothing about his riches to his eldest daughters, for he knew very well
it would at once make them want to return to town; but he told Beauty
his secret, and she then said, that while he was away, two gentlemen
had been on a visit at her cottage, who had fallen in love with her two
sisters. She entreated her father to marry them without delay, for she
was so sweet-natured, she only wished them to be happy.
Three months went by, only too fast, and then the merchant and Beauty
got ready to set out for the palace of the beast. Upon this, the two
sisters rubbed their eyes with an onion, to make believe they were
crying; both the merchant and his sons cried in earnest. Only Beauty
shed no tears. They reached the palace in a very few hours, and the
horse, without bidding, went into the stable as before. The merchant
and Beauty walked toward the large hall, where they found a table
covered with every dainty and two plates laid already. The merchant
had very little appetite; but Beauty, that she might the better hide
her grief, placed herself at the table, and helped her father; she then
began to eat herself, and thought all the time that, to be sure, the
beast had a mind to fatten her before he ate her up, since he had
provided such good cheer for her. When they had done their supper,
they heard a great noise, and the good old man began to bid his poor
child farewell, for he knew it was the beast coming to them. When
Beauty first saw that frightful form, she was very much terrified, but
tried to hide her fear. The creature walked up to her, and eyed her
all over-then asked her in a dreadful voice if she had come quite of
her own accord.
"Yes," said Beauty.
"Then you are a good girl, and I am very much obliged to you."
This was such an astonishingly civil answer that Beauty's courage rose:
but it sank again when the beast, addressing the merchant, desired him
to leave the palace next morning, and never return to it again. "And
so good-night, merchant. And good-night, Beauty."
"Good-night, beast," she answered, as the monster shuffled out of the
"Ah! my dear child," said the merchant, kissing his daughter, "I am
half dead already, at the thought of leaving you with this dreadful
beast; you shall go back and let me stay in your place."
"No," said Beauty, boldly, "I will never agree to that; you must go
home to-morrow morning."
They then wished each other good-night, and went to bed, both of them
thinking they should not be able to close their eyes; but as soon as
ever they had lain down, they fell into a deep sleep, and did not awake
till morning. Beauty dreamed that a lady came up to her, who said, "I
am very much pleased, Beauty, with the goodness you have shown, in
being willing to give your life to save that of your father. Do not be
afraid of anything; you shall not go without a reward."
As soon as Beauty awoke she told her father this dream; but though it
gave him some comfort, he was a long time before he could be persuaded
to leave the palace. At last Beauty succeeded in getting him safely
When her father was out of sight, poor Beauty began to weep sorely;
still, having naturally a courageous spirit, she soon resolved not to
make her sad case still worse by sorrow, which she knew was vain, but
to wait and be patient. She walked about to take a view of all the
palace, and the elegance of every part of it much charmed her.
But what was her surprise, when she came to a door on which was
written, BEAUTY'S ROOM! She opened it in haste, and her eyes were
dazzled by the splendor and taste of the apartment. What made her
wonder more than all the rest, was a large library filled with books, a
harpsichord, and many pieces of music. "The beast surely does not mean
to eat me up immediately," said she, "since he takes care I shall not
be at a loss how to amuse myself." She opened the library and saw
these verses written in letters of gold in the back of one of the books
"Beauteous lady, dry your tears,
Here's no cause for sighs or fears.
Command as freely as you may,
For you command and I obey."
"Alas!" said she, sighing; "I wish I could only command a sight of my
poor father, and to know what he is doing at this moment." Just then,
by chance, she cast her eyes upon a looking-glass that stood near her,
and in it she saw a picture of her old home, and her father riding
mournfully up to the door. Her sisters came out to meet him, and
although they tried to look sorry, it was easy to see that in their
hearts they were very glad. In a short time all this picture
disappeared, but it caused Beauty to think that the beast, besides
being very powerful, was also very kind. About the middle of the day
she found a table laid ready for her, and a sweet concert of music
played all the time she was dining, without her seeing anybody. But at
supper, when she was going to seat herself at table, she heard the
noise of the beast, and could not help trembling with fear.
"Beauty," said he, "will you give me leave to see you sup?"
"That is as you please," answered she, very much afraid.
"Not in the least," said the beast; "you alone command in this place.
If you should not like my company, you need only say so, and I will
leave you that moment. But tell me, Beauty, do you not think me very
"'Why, yes," said she, "for I cannot tell a falsehood; but then I think
you are very good."
"Am I?" sadly replied the beast; "yet, besides being ugly, I am also
very stupid; I know well enough that I am but a beast."
"Very stupid people," said Beauty, "are never aware of it themselves."
At which kindly speech the beast looked pleased, and replied, not
without an awkward sort of politeness, "Pray do not let me detain you
from supper, and be sure that you are well served. All you see is your
own, and I should be deeply grieved if you wanted for anything."
"You are very kind-so kind that I almost forgot you are so ugly," said
"Ah! yes," answered the beast, with a great sigh; "I hope I am good-
tempered, but still I am only a monster."
"There is many a monster who wears the form of a man; it is better of
the two to have the heart of a man and the form of a monster."
"I would thank you, Beauty, for this speech, but I am too senseless to
say anything that would please you," returned the beast in a melancholy
voice; and altogether he seemed so gentle and so unhappy that Beauty,
who had the tenderest heart in the world, felt her fear of him
She ate her supper with a good appetite, and conversed in her own
sensible and charming way, till at last, when the beast rose to depart,
he terrified her more than ever by saying abruptly, in his gruff voice,
"Beauty, will you marry me?"
Now Beauty, frightened as she was, would speak only the exact truth;
besides her father had told her that the beast liked only to have the
truth spoken to him. So she answered, in a very firm tone, "No,
He did not get into a passion, or do anything but sigh deeply, and
When Beauty found herself alone, she began to feel pity for the poor
beast. "Oh!" said she, "what a sad thing it is that he should be so
very frightful, since he is so good-tempered!"
Beauty lived three months in this palace very well pleased. The beast
came to see her every night, and talked with her while she supped; and
though what he said was not very clever, yet, as she saw in him every
day some new goodness, instead of dreading the time of his coming, she
soon began continually looking at her watch, to see if it were nine
o'clock; for that was the hour when he never failed to visit her. One
thing only vexed her, which was that every night before he went away,
he always made it a rule to ask her if she would be his wife, and
seemed very much grieved at her steadfastly replying "No." At last,
one night, she said to him, "You wound me greatly, beast, by forcing me
to refuse you so often; I wish I could take such a liking to you as to
agree to marry you; but I must tell you plainly that I do not think it
will ever happen. I shall always be your friend; so try to let that
"I must," sighed the beast, "for I know well enough how frightful I am;
but I love you better than myself. Yet I think I am very lucky in your
being pleased to stay with me; now promise, Beauty, that you will never
Beauty would almost have agreed to this, so sorry was she for him, but
she had that day seen in her magic glass, which she looked at
constantly, that her father was dying of grief for her sake.
"Alas!" she said, "I long so much to see my father, that if you do not
give me leave to visit him, I shall break my heart."
"I would rather break mine, Beauty," answered the beast; "I will send
you to your father's cottage: you shall stay there, and your poor beast
shall die of sorrow."
"No," said Beauty, crying, "I love you too well to be the cause of your
death; I promise to return in a week. You have shown me that my
sisters are married, and my brothers are gone for soldiers, so that my
father is left all alone. Let me stay a week with him."
"You shall find yourself with him to-morrow morning," replied the
beast; "but mind, do not forget your promise. When you wish to return,
you have nothing to do but to put your ring on a table when you go to
bed. Good-by, Beauty!" The beast sighed as he said these words, and
Beauty went to bed very sorry to see him so much grieved. When she
awoke in the morning, she found herself in her father's cottage. She
rang a bell that was at her bedside, and a servant entered; but as soon
as she saw Beauty the woman gave a loud shriek; upon which the merchant
ran upstairs, and when he beheld his daughter he ran to her, and kissed
her a hundred times. At last Beauty began to remember that she had
brought no clothes with her to put on; but the servant told her she had
just found in the next room a large chest full of dresses, trimmed all
over with gold, and adorned within pearls and diamonds.
Beauty, in her own mind, thanked the beast for his kindness, and put on
the plainest gown she could find among them all. She then desired the
servant to lay the rest aside, for she intended to give them to her
sisters; but, as soon as she had spoken these words, the chest was gone
out of sight in a moment. Her father then suggested, perhaps the beast
chose for her to keep them all for herself: and as soon as he had said
this, they saw the chest standing again in the same place. While
Beauty was dressing herself, a servant brought word to her that her
sisters were come with their husbands to pay her a visit. They both
lived unhappily with the gentlemen they had married. The husband of
the eldest was very handsome, but was so proud of this that he thought
of nothing else from morning till night, and did not care a pin for the
beauty of his wife. The second had married a man of great learning;
but he made no use of it, except to torment and affront all his
friends, and his wife more than any of them. The two sisters were
ready to burst with spite when they saw Beauty dressed like a princess,
and looking so very charming. All the kindness that she showed them
was of no use; for they were vexed more than ever when she told them
how happy she lived at the palace of the beast. The spiteful creatures
went by themselves into the garden, where they cried to think of her
"Why should the little wretch be better off than we?" said they. "We
are much handsomer than she is."
"Sister!" said the eldest, "a thought has just come into my head; let
us try to keep her here longer than the week for which the beast gave
her leave; and then he will be so angry that perhaps when she goes back
to him he will eat her up in a moment.''
"That is well thought of," answered the other, "but to do this, we must
pretend to be very kind."
They then went to join her in the cottage, where they showed her so
much false love that Beauty could not help crying for joy.
When the week was ended, the two sisters began to pretend such grief at
the thought of her leaving them that she agreed to stay a week more;
but all that time Beauty could not help fretting for the sorrow that
she knew her absence would give her poor beast for she tenderly loved
him, and much wished for his company again. Among all the grand and
clever people she saw, she found nobody who was half so sensible, so
affectionate, so thoughtful, or so kind. The tenth night of her being
at the cottage, she dreamed she was in the garden of the palace, that
the beast lay dying on a grass plot, and with his last breath put her
in mind of her promise, and laid his death to her forsaking him.
Beauty awoke in a great fright, and she burst into tears. "Am not I
wicked," said she, "to behave so ill to a beast who has shown me so
much kindness? Why will I not marry him? I am sure I should be more
happy with him than my sisters are with their husbands. He shall not
be wretched any longer on my account; for I should do nothing but blame
myself all the rest of my life."
She then rose, put her ring on the table, got into bed again, and soon
fell asleep. In the morning she with joy found herself in the palace
of the beast. She dressed herself very carefully, that she might
please him the better, and thought she had never known a day pass away
so slowly. At last the clock struck nine, but the beast did not come.
Beauty, dreading lest she might truly have caused his death, ran from
room to room, calling out: "Beast, dear beast;" but there was no
answer. At last she remembered her dream, rushed to the grass plot,
and there saw him lying apparently dead beside the fountain.
Forgetting all his ugliness, she threw herself upon his body, and
finding his heart still beating, she fetched some water and sprinkled
it over him, weeping and sobbing the while.
The beast opened his eyes. "You forgot your promise, Beauty, and so I
determined to die; for I could not live without you. I have starved
myself to death, but I shall die content since I have seen your face
"No, dear beast," cried Beauty, passionately, "you shall not die; you
shall live to be my husband. I thought it was only friendship I felt
for you, but now I know it was love."
The moment Beauty had spoken these words, the palace was suddenly
lighted up, and all kinds of rejoicings were heard around them, none of
which she noticed, but hung over her dear beast with the utmost
tenderness. At last, unable to restrain herself, she dropped her head
over her hands, covered her eyes, and cried for joy; and, when she
looked up again, the beast was gone. In his stead she saw at her feet
a handsome, graceful young prince, who thanked her with the tenderest
expressions for having freed him from enchantment.
"But where is my poor beast? I only want him and nobody else," sobbed
"I am he," replied the prince. "A wicked fairy condemned me to this
form, and forbade me to show that I had any wit or sense, till a
beautiful lady should consent to marry me. You alone, dearest Beauty,
judged me neither by my looks nor by my talents, but by my heart alone.
Take it then, and all that I have besides, for all is yours."
Beauty, full of surprise, but very happy, suffered the prince to lead
her to his palace, where she found her father and sisters, who had been
brought there by the fairy-lady whom she had seen in a dream the first
night she came.
"Beauty," said the fairy, "you have chosen well, and you have your
reward, for a true heart is better than either good looks or clever
brains. As for you, ladies," and she turned to the two elder sisters,
"I know all your ill deeds, but I have no worse punishment for you than
to see your sister happy. You shall stand as statues at the door of
her palace, and when you repent of, and have amended your faults, you
shall become women again. But, to tell you the truth, I very much fear
you will remain statues forever."
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
ONCE upon a time there was a poor widow who lived in a little cottage
with her only son Jack.
Jack was a giddy, thoughtless boy, but very kindhearted and
affectionate. There had been a hard winter, and after it the poor
woman had suffered from fever and ague. Jack did no work as yet, and
by degrees they grew dreadfully poor. The widow saw that there was no
means of keeping Jack and herself from starvation but by selling her
cow; so one morning she said to her son, "I am too weak to go myself,
Jack, so you must take the cow to market for me, and sell her."
Jack liked going to market to sell the cow very much; but as he was on
his way, he met a butcher who had some beautiful beans in his hand.
Jack stopped to look at them, and the butcher told the boy that they
were of great value, and persuaded the silly lad to sell the cow for
these beans. When he brought them home to his mother instead of the
money she expected for her nice cow, she was very vexed and shed many
tears, scolding Jack for his folly. He was very sorry, and mother and
son went to bed very sadly that night; their last hope seemed gone.
At daybreak Jack rose and went out into the garden.
"At least," he thought, "I will sow the wonderful beans. Mother says
that they are just common scarlet-runners, and nothing else; but I may
as well sow them."
So he took a piece of stick, and made some holes in the ground, and put
in the beans.
That day they had very little dinner, and went sadly to bed, knowing
that for the next day there would be none, and Jack, unable to sleep
from grief and vexation, got up at day-dawn and went out into the
What was his amazement to find that the beans had grown up in the
night, and climbed up and up till they covered the high cliff that
sheltered the cottage, and disappeared above it! The stalks had twined
and - twisted themselves together till they formed quite a ladder.
"It would be easy to climb it," thought Jack.
And, having thought of the experiment, he at once resolved to carry it
out, for Jack was a good climber. However, after his late mistake
about the cow, he thought he had better consult his mother first.
So Jack called his mother, and they both gazed in silent wonder at the
Beanstalk, which was not only of great height, but it was thick enough
to bear Jack's weight.
"I wonder where it ends," said Jack to his mother; "I think I will
climb up and see."
His mother wished him not to venture up this strange ladder, but Jack
coaxed her to give her consent to the attempt, for he was certain there
must be something wonderful in the Beanstalk; so at last she yielded to
Jack instantly began to climb, and went up and up on the ladder-like
bean till everything he had left behind him-the cottage, the village,
and even the tall church tower-looked quite little, and still he could
not see the top of the Beanstalk.
Jack felt a little tired, and thought for a moment that he would go
back again; but he was a very persevering boy, and he knew that the way
to succeed in anything is not to give up. So, after resting for a
moment, he went on.
After climbing higher and higher, till he grew afraid to look down for
fear he should be giddy, Jack at last reached the top of the Beanstalk,
and found himself in a beautiful country, finely wooded, with beautiful
meadows covered with sheep. A crystal stream ran through the pastures;
not far from the place where he had got off the Beanstalk stood a fine,
Jack wondered very much that he had never heard of or seen this castle
before; but when he reflected on the subject, he saw that it was as
much separated from the village by the perpendicular rock on which it
stood as if it were in another land.
While Jack was standing looking at the castle, a very strange-looking
woman came out of the wood and advanced toward him.
She wore a pointed cap of quilted red satin turned up with ermine, her
hair streamed loose over her shoulders, and she walked with a staff.
Jack took off his cap and made her a bow.
"If you please, ma'am," said he, "is this your house?"
"No," said the old lady. "Listen, and I will tell you the story of
"Once upon a time there was a noble knight, who lived in this castle,
which is on the borders of Fairyland. He had a fair and beloved wife
and several lovely children; and as his neighbors, the little people,
were very friendly toward him, they bestowed on him many excellent and
"Rumor whispered of these treasures; and a monstrous giant who lived at
a great distance, and who was a very wicked being, resolved to obtain
possession of them.
"So he bribed a false servant to let him inside the castle, when the
knight was in bed and asleep, and he killed him as he lay. Then he
went to the part of the castle which was the nursery, and also killed
all the poor little ones he found there.
"Happily for her, the lady was not to be found. She had gone with her
infant son, who was only two or three months old, to visit her old
nurse, who lived in the valley; and she had been detained all night
there by a storm.
"The next morning, as soon as it was light, one of the servants at the
castle, who had managed to escape, came to tell the poor lady of the
sad fate of her husband and her pretty babes. She could scarcely
believe him at first, and was eager at once to go back and share the
fate of her dear ones; but the old nurse, with many tears, besought her
to remember that she had still a child, and that it was her duty to
preserve her life for the sake of the poor innocent.
"The lady yielded to this reasoning, and consented to remain at her
nurse's house as the best place of concealment; for the servant told
her that the Giant had vowed, if he could find her, he would kill both
her and her baby. Years rolled on. The old nurse died, leaving her
cottage and the few articles of furniture it contained to her poor
lady, who dwelt in it, working as a peasant for her daily bread. Her
spinning-wheel and the milk of a cow which she had purchased with the
little money she had with her, sufficed for the scanty subsistence of
herself and her little son. There was a nice little garden attached to
the cottage, in which they cultivated peas, beans, and cabbages, and
the lady was not ashamed to go out at harvest time and glean in the
fields to supply her little son's wants.
"Jack, that poor lady is your mother. This castle was once your
father's, and must again be yours.
Jack uttered a cry of surprise.
"My mother! oh, madam, what ought I to do? My poor father! My dear
"Your duty requires you to win it back for your mother. But the task
is a very difficult one, and full of peril, Jack. Have you courage to
undertake it?" "I fear nothing when I am doing right," said Jack.
"Then," said the lady in the red cap, "you are one of those who slay
giants. You must get into the castle, and if possible possess yourself
of a hen that lays golden eggs, and a harp that talks. Remember, all
the Giant possesses is really yours."
As she ceased speaking, the lady of the red hat suddenly disappeared,
and of course Jack knew she was a fairy.
Jack determined at once to attempt the adventure; so he advanced, and
blew the horn which hung at the castle portal. The door was opened in
a minute or two by a frightful Giantess, with one great eye in the
middle of her forehead.
As soon as Jack saw her he turned to run away, but she caught him, and
dragged him into the castle.
"Ho, ho!" she laughed terribly. "You didn't expect to see me here,
that is clear! No, I shan't let you go again. I am weary of my life.
I am so overworked, and I don't see why I should not have a page as
well as other ladies. And you shall be my boy. You shall clean the
knives, and black the boots, and make the fires, and help me generally
when the Giant is out. When he is at home I must hide you, for he has
eaten up all my pages hitherto, and you would be a dainty morsel, my
While she spoke she dragged Jack right into the castle. The poor boy
was very much frightened, as I am sure you and I would have been in his
place. But he remembered that fear disgraces a man; so he struggled to
be brave and make the best of things. "I am quite ready to help you,
and do all I can to serve you, madam," he said, "only I beg you will be
good enough to hide me from your husband, for I should not like to be
eaten at all."
"That's a good boy," said the Giantess, nodding her head; "it is lucky
for you that you did not scream out when you saw me, as the other boys
who have been here did, for if you had done so my husband would have
awakened and have eaten you, as he did them, for breakfast. Come here,
child; go into my wardrobe: he never ventures to open that; you will be
And she opened a huge wardrobe which stood in the great hall, and shut
him unto it. But the keyhole was so large that it admitted plenty of
air, and he could see everything that took place through it. By and by
he heard a heavy tramp on the stairs, like the lumbering along of a
great cannon, and then a voice like thunder cried out:
"Fe, fa, fi-fo-fum,
I smell the breath of an Englishman.
Let him be alive or let him be dead,
I'll grind his bones to make my bread."
"Wife," cried the Giant, "there is a man in the castle. Let me have
him for breakfast."
"You are grown old and stupid," cried the lady, in her loud tones. "It
is only a nice fresh steak off an elephant, that I have cooked for you,
which you smell. There, sit down and make a good breakfast."
And she placed a huge dish before him of savory steaming meat, which
greatly pleased him, and made him forget his idea of an Englishman
being in the castle. When he had breakfasted he went out for a walk,
and then the Giantess opened the door, and made Jack come out to help
her. He helped her all day. She fed him well, and when evening came
put him back in the wardrobe.
The Giant came in to supper. Jack watched him through the keyhole, and
was amazed to see him pick a wolf's bone, and put half a fowl at a time
into his capacious mouth.
When the supper was ended he bade his wife bring him his hen that laid
the golden eggs.
"It lays as well as it did when it belonged to that paltry knight," he
said; "indeed, I think the eggs are heavier than ever."
The Giantess went away, and soon returned with a little brown hen,
which she placed on the table before her husband.
"And now, my dear," she said, "I am going for a walk, if you don't want
me any longer."
"Go, said the Giant; "I shall be glad to have a nap by and by."
Then he took up the brown hen and said to her:
"Lay!" And she instantly laid a golden egg.
"Lay!" said the Giant again. And she laid another.
"Lay!" he repeated the third time. And again a golden egg lay on the
Now, Jack was sure this hen was that of which the fairy had spoken.
By and by the Giant put the hen down on the floor, and soon after went
fast asleep, snoring so loud that it sounded like thunder.
Directly Jack perceived that the Giant was fast asleep, he pushed open
the door of the wardrobe and crept out; very softly he stole across the
room, and, picking up the hen, made haste to quit the apartment. he
knew the way to the kitchen, the door of which he found was left ajar;
he opened it, shut and locked it after him, and flew back to the
Beanstalk, which he descended as fast as his feet would move.
When his mother saw him enter the house she wept for joy, for she had
feared that the fairies had carried him away, or that the Giant had
found him. But Jack put the brown hen down before her, and told her
how he had been in the Giant's castle, and all his adventures. She was
very glad to see the hen, which would make them rich once more.
Jack made another journey up the Beanstalk to the Giant's castle one
day while his mother had gone to market; but first he dyed his hair and
disguised himself. The old woman did not know him again, and dragged
him in as she had done before, to help her to do the work; but she
heard her husband coming, and hid him in the wardrobe, not thinking
that it was the same boy who had stolen the hen. She bade him stay
quite still there, or the Giant would eat him. Then the Giant came in,
"Fe, fa, fi-fo-furn,
I smell the breath of an Englishman.
Let him he alive or let him be dead,
I'll grind his bones to make my bread."
"Nonsense!" said the wife, "it is only a roasted bullock that I thought
would be a titbit for your supper; sit down and I will bring it up at
The Giant sat down, and soon his wife brought up a roasted bullock on a
large dish, and they began their supper. Jack was amazed to see them
pick the bones of the bullock as if it had been a lark. As soon as
they had finished their meal, the Giantess rose and said:
"Now, my dear, with your leave I am going up to my room to finish the
story I am reading. If you want me, call for me."
"First," answered the Giant, "bring me my money bags, that I may count
my golden pieces before I sleep." The Giantess obeyed. She went and
soon returned with two large bags over her shoulders, which she put
down by her husband.
"There," she said: "that is all that is left of the knight's money.
When you have spent it you must go and take another baron's castle."
"That he shan't, if I can help it," thought Jack.
The Giant, when his wife was gone, took out heaps and heaps of golden
pieces, and counted them, and put them in piles, till he was tired of
the amusement. Then he swept them all back into their bags, and
leaning back in his chair fell fast asleep, snoring so loud that no
other sound was audible.
Jack stole softly out of the wardrobe, and taking up the bags of money
(which were his very own, because the Giant had stolen them from his
father), he ran off, and with great difficulty descending the
Beanstalk, laid the bags of gold on his mother's table. She had just
returned from town, and was crying at not finding Jack. "There,
mother, I have brought you the gold that my father lost."
"Oh, Jack! you are a very good boy, but I wish you would not risk your
precious life in the Giant's castle. Tell me how you came to go there
And Jack told her all about it.
Jack's mother was very glad to get the money, but she did not like him
to run any risk for her.
But after a time Jack made up his mind to go again to the Giant's
So he climbed the Beanstalk once more, and blew the horn at the Giant's
gate. The Giantess soon opened the door; she was very stupid, and did
not know him again,. but she stopped a minute before she took him in.
She feared another robbery; but Jack's fresh face looked so innocent
that she could not resist him, and so she bade him come in, and again
hid him away in the wardrobe.
By and by the Giant came home, and as soon as he had crossed the
threshold he roared out:
"Fe, fa, li-fo-fum,
I smell the breath of an Englishman.
Let him be alive or let him be dead,
I'll grind his bones to make my bread."
"You stupid old Giant," said his wife, "you only smell a nice sheep,
which I have grilled for your dinner.'
And the Giant sat down, and his wife brought up a whole sheep for his
dinner. When he had eaten it all up, he said:
"Now bring me my harp, and I will have a little music while you take
The Giantess obeyed, and returned with a beautiful harp. The framework
was all sparkling with diamonds and rubies, and the strings were all of
"This is one of the nicest things I took from the knight," Said the
Giant. "I am very fond of music, and my harp is a faithful servant."
So he drew the harp toward him and said:
And the harp played a very soft, sad air.
"Play something merrier!" said the Giant.
And the harp played a merry tune.
"Now play me a lullaby," roared the Giant; and the harp played a sweet
lullaby, to the sound of which its master fell asleep.
Then Jack stole softly out of the wardrobe, and went into the huge
kitchen to see if the Giantess had gone out; he found no one there, so
he went to the door and opened it softly, for he thought he could not
do so with the harp in his hand.
Then he entered the Giant's room and seized the harp and ran away with
it; but as he jumped over the threshold the harp called out: "MASTER!
And the Giant woke up.
With a tremendous roar he sprang from his seat, and in two strides had
reached the door.
But Jack was very nimble. He fled like lightning with the harp,
talking to it as he went (for he saw it was a fairy), and telling it he
was the son of its old master, the knight.
Still the Giant came on so fast that he was quite close to poor Jack,
and had stretched out his great hand to catch him. But, luckily, just
at that moment he stepped upon a loose stone, stumbled, and fell flat
on the ground, where he lay at his full length.
This accident gave Jack time to get on the Bean stalk and hasten down
it; but just as he reached their own garden he beheld the Giant
descending after him.
"Mother! mother!" cried Jack, "make haste and give me the ax."
His mother ran to him with a hatchet in her hand, and Jack with one
tremendous blow cut through all the Beanstalks except one.
"Now, mother, stand out of the way!" said he. Jack's mother shrank
back, and it was well she did so, for just as the Giant took hold of
the last branch of the Beanstalk, Jack cut the stem quite through and
darted from the spot.
Down came the Giant with a terrible crash, and as he fell on his head,
he broke his neck, and lay dead at the feet of the woman he had so much
Before Jack and his mother had recovered from their alarm and
agitation, a beautiful lady stood before them.
"Jack," said she, "you have acted like a brave knight's son, and
deserve to have your inheritance restored to you. Dig a grave and bury
the Giaint, and then go and kill the Giantess."
"But," said Jack, "I could not kill any one unless I were fighting with
him; and I could not draw my sword upon a woman. Moreover, the
Giantess was very kind to me."
The Fairy smiled on Jack.
"I am very much pleased with your generous feeling," she said.
"Nevertheless, return to the castle, and act as you will find needful."
Jack asked the Fairy if she would show him the way to the castle, as
the Beanstalk was now down. She told him that she would drive him
there in her chariot, which was drawn by two peacocks. Jack thanked
her, and sat down in the chariot with her.
The Fairy drove him a long distance round, till they reached a village
which lay at the bottom of the mill. Here they found a number of
miserable-looking men assembled. The Fairy stopped her carriage and
"My friends," said she, "the cruel Giant who oppressed you and ate up
all your flocks and herds is dead, and this young gentleman was the
means of your being delivered from him, and is the son of your kind old
master, the knight."
The men gave a loud cheer at these words, and pressed forward to say
that they would serve Jack as faithfully as they had served his father.
The Fairy bade them follow her to the castle, and they marched thither
in a body, and Jack blew the horn and demanded admittance.
The old Giantess saw them coming from the turret loophole. She was
very much frightened, for she guessed that something had happened to
her husband; and as she came downstairs very fast she caught her foot
in her dress, and fell from the top to the bottom and broke her neck.
When the people outside found that the door was not opened to them,
they took crowbars and forced the portal. Nobody was to be seen, but
on leaving the mall they found the body of the Giantess at the foot of
Thus Jack took possession of the castle. The Fairy went and brought
his mother to him, with the hen and the harp. He had the Giantess
buried, and endeavored as much as lay in his power to do right to those
whom the Giant had robbed.
Before her departure for fairyland, the Fairy explained to Jack that
she had sent the butcher to meet him with the beans, in order to try
what sort of lad he was.
"If you had looked at the gigantic Beanstalk and only stupidly wondered
about it," she said, "I should have left you where misfortune had
placed you, only restoring her cow to your mother. But you showed an
inquiring mind, and great courage and enterprise, therefore you deserve
to rise; and when you mounted the Beanstalk you climbed the Ladder of
She then took her leave of Jack and his mother.
Retold by Joseph Jacobs
ONCE upon a time there was a Wood-cutter and his wife who had seven
children, all boys. The eldest was only ten years old. They were very
poor, and their seven children were a great burden, since not one of
them was able to earn his living.
What troubled them still more was the fact that the youngest was not
only very delicate, but silent, which they took for stupidity, but
which was really a mark of his good sense. He was very small, and when
he was born he was scarcely bigger than one's thumb, which caused him
to be called little "Hop-o'-My-Thumb." This poor child was the
scapegoat of the house, and was blamed for everything. He was,
however, sharper and wiser than all his brothers, and though he spoke
little, he listened a great deal.
At last there came a bad year, and so great a famine, that the poor
people resolved to rid themselves of their children. One evening, when
the children were all in bed, and the Wood-cutter with a sorrowful
heart, was sitting by the fire with his wife, he said to her: "You know
that we can no longer support our children. I cannot let them die of
hunger before my eyes, and I am resolved to take them to the wood to-
morrow, and lose them. It will be easy to do this, for, while they
amuse themselves tying my sticks, we have only to slip away without
their seeing us.
"Ah!" cried his Wife, "would you then destroy your children?" In vain
did her husband set forth to her their great poverty: she would not
consent. She was poor, she said. But she was their mother. At last,
having considered what a grief it would be to her to have them die of
hunger before her eyes, she agreed to her husband's plan, and went,
weeping, to bed.
Hop-o'-My-Thumb had listened to all that they had said, for having
heard them, from his bed, talking of family matters, he had risen
softly and slipped under his father's stool, in order to hear without
being seen. He then went back to bed, but lay awake the rest of the
night, thinking what he should do. He rose early and went to a brook,
where he filled his pocket with little white pebbles, and then returned
to the house.
Soon after, they all set off, but Hop-o'-My-Thumb did not tell his
brothers anything of what he knew. They went into a forest, so thick
that they could not see each other at a distance of ten paces. The
Wood-cutter began to fell a tree, while the children gathered sticks to
make up into bundles. The father and mother, seeing them thus
employed, slipped away unnoticed, and then fled rapidly, by a little
When the children found they were alone, they began to scream and cry
with all their strength. Hop-o'-My-Thumb let them cry, knowing well
how to get home; for, while walking, he had dropped along the path the
little white pebbles which he had in his pockets.
He therefore said to them, "Fear not, brothers, my father and mother
have left us here, but I will lead you to the house only follow me."
They obeyed at once, and he led them home along the same path by which
they had come into the forest at first. They did not dare to go into
the house, but placed themselves near the door, in order to hear what
their father and mother were saying.
Now it had so happened that, just as the Woodcutter and his Wife
reached home, the lord of the village had sent them ten crowns, which
he had long owed them, and which they had never hoped to obtain. This
gave them new life, for the poor creatures were almost dead from
The Wood-cutter immediately sent his Wife to the butcher's, where, as
it was long since they had eaten anything, she bought three times as
much meat as was needed for the supper of two people.
When they were seated at table, the Wife said, "Alas! where now are
our poor children? They would make good cheer with what we have left.
But it is you who wished to lose them. I always said we should repent
it. What are they doing now in the forest? Alas! alas! perhaps the
wolves have already eaten them! You were most cruel thus to lose your
The Wood-cutter at last grew impatient, for she repeated more than
twenty times that they would repent what they had done, and that she
had told him so. He threatened to beat her if she was not silent. The
Wood-cutter did not do this because he was less sorry than his Wife,
but because her reproaches angered him. His Wife now shed tears, and
cried out, "Alas! where are my children, my poor children?"
She said this so loud that the children, who were at the door, heard
her, and all cried out together, "Here we are! here we are!"
She ran quickly to open the door, and said, as she embraced them, "How
overjoyed I am to see you again, my darling children! you must be very
tired and very hungry; and you, Peter, how muddy you are! come, let me
brush you." Peter was her eldest son, whom she loved more than all the
The children then sat down at the table, and ate with an appetite which
delighted their father and mother, to whom they described, all speaking
at once, how frightened they had been in the forest.
These good people were filled with joy to have their children with them
again, and this joy lasted as long as the ten crowns held out. But
when the money was spent, they fell back into their former misery, and
resolved to lose them once more; and in order not to fail again, they
determined to take them much further into the forest than the first
They could not, however, speak of this so secretly but that they were
overheard by Hop-o'-My-Thumb, who laid his plans to escape as before.
Although he got up early in order to go out and pick up some little
stones, he could not succeed in his purpose, for he found the door of
the house shut and double-bolted. He was wondering what he should do,
when, his mother having given them each a bit of bread for breakfast,
he thought that he might use his bread instead of pebbles by dropping
crumbs along the paths as they walked. He therefore slipped the bread
into his pocket.
Their father and mother led them this time into the thickest and
darkest part of the forest, and, as soon as they were there, ran away
and left them.
Hop-o'-My-Thumb was not much troubled, because he believed he could
easily find his way by means of the bread which he had scattered as he
passed along. What was his surprise when he could not find a single
crumb: the birds had come and eaten it all.
Now was their lot indeed wretched; the more they wandered about, the
deeper they buried themselves in the forest. Night came, and a great
wind arose which frightened them terribly. They thought they heard on
all sides the howling of hungry wolves coming to eat them up. They did
not dare to speak, or even turn their heads. Rain began to fall, which
wet them to the skin. They slipped at every step, and, if they fell,
got up so covered with mud that they could hardly move their hands.
Finally, Hop-o'-My-Thumb climbed to the top of a tree, to see if he
could not discover something. Having looked on all sides, he at last
saw a little gleam of light, like that from a candle, but it was very
far off, beyond the forest. He got down from the tree: but when he was
on the ground he no longer saw anything, which troubled him greatly.
However, having walked for some time with his brothers in the direction
where he had seen the light, he again saw it as they came out of the
wood. At last they reached the house where the candle was, though not
without many alarms, for they lost sight of it whenever they descended
unto a hollow place.
They knocked at the door, which was opened to them by a woman. She
asked them what they wanted. Hop-o'-My-Thumb replied that they were
poor children who had lost themselves in the forest, and who asked, for
charity's sake, a place to sleep.
The woman, seeing how bitter they were, began to weep, and said to
them, "Alas! my poor children, whence do you come? Do you not know
that this is the house of an Ogre, who eats little children?"
"Alas, madam," said Hop-o'-My-Thumb, who like his brothers was shaking
with fear, "what shall we do? The wolves of the forest will certainly
devour us to-night, if you will not give us shelter. This being the
case, we had rather be eaten by the Ogre, and he, perhaps, will take
pity on us, if you will beg him to do so."
The Ogre's wife, who thought she might be able to conceal them from her
husband till the next morning, let them come in, and placed them near a
good fire, where a whole sheep was roasting for the Ogre's supper.
When they had begun to get warm, they heard three or four heavy knocks
at the door. It was the Ogre. His wife hastily hid the children under
the bed, and then opened the door.
The Ogre asked first if supper was ready, and the wine drawn; and then
sat down at the table. The mutton was nearly raw, but he liked it all
the better on that account.
He then began to sniff about, saying that he smelled fresh meat.
"It must be this calf which I have just been dressing that you smell,"
said the wife.
"I smell fresh meat, I tell you again," said the Ogre, looking fiercely
at his wife; "and there is something more of which I do not know."
Saying these words, he rose from the table and went straight to the
bed, where he found the poor children.
"Ah!" said he, "this, then, is the way you wish to deceive me, wicked
woman. I know not what prevents me from eating you, too. Here is
game, which comes to me very conveniently to treat three Ogres of my
acquaintance, who are coming to visit me about this time."
He then drew the little boys from under the bed, one after another.
The poor children threw themselves on their knees begging for pardon.
But they had to do with the most cruel of all the Ogres, who, far from
having pity, devoured them already with his eyes, and said to his wife
that they would be delicious morsels fried, when she had made a good
sauce for them.
He took out a great knife, and, approaching the poor children, began to
sharpen it on a long stone, which he held in his left hand. He then
seized one of them, when his wife said to him, "Why do you begin at
this time of night? Shall you not have time to-morrow?"
"Be silent," replied the Ogre; "they will be more tender if I kill them
"But you have already so much meat on hand," replied his wife. "Here
are a calf, two sheep, and half a pig."
"You are right," said the Ogre; "give them a good supper, that they may
not grow thin, and put them to bed."
The good woman was overcome with joy, and brought them their supper at
once; but they were too frightened to eat.
As for the Ogre, he set himself to drinking, delighted to have
something with which to regale his friends. He drank a dozen cups more
than usual, which went to his head, and obliged him to go early to bed.
Now this Ogre had seven daughters, who were still only children. These
little Ogresses all had beautiful complexions, for they ate fresh meat
like their father. They had little round gray eyes, crooked noses, and
great mouths filled with long teeth, very sharp and far apart. They
were not yet very wicked, but they promised well, for they already bit
little children whenever they got the chance. They had been put to bed
early, and were all seven in one bed, each having a golden crown on her
There was in the same room anther bed of the same size. Here it was
that the Ogre's wife put the seven little boy's, after which she went
to bed in her own chamber.
Hop-o'-My-Thumb, who had remarked that the Ogre's daughters had golden
crowns on their heads, was afraid that the Ogre might regret not having
killed him and his brothers that evening. So he rose about the middle
of the night, and, taking his nightcap and those of his brothers, he
went very softly and placed them on the heads of the Ogre's seven
daughters, after having removed their golden crowns. He then put the
crowns on his brothers' heads and on his own, so that the Ogre might
mistake them for his daughters, and his daughters for the boys whom he
wished to kill.
The plan succeeded as he had expected. The Ogre, having awakened about
midnight, was sorry that he had put off till next day what he might
have done that evening. He jumped quickly out of bed, and, taking his
great knife, "Let us see," said he, "how our little friends are getting
He went on tiptoe to the room of his daughters, and approached the bed
where the little boys were all asleep, except Hop-o'-My-Thumb, who was
terribly frightened when he felt the Ogre's hand touching his head, as
he had already touched his brothers'. But when the Ogre felt the
golden crowns, he said, "Indeed, I was near making a nice piece of work
of it. I see that I drank too much in the evening."
He then went to the bed of his daughters, where he felt the boys'
little nightcaps. "Ah! here they are," said he, "the fine fellows! I
must go boldly to work. Saying these words, and without hesitating, he
cut the throats of his seven daughters. Very well pleased with his
expedition, he went back to bed. As soon as Hop-o'-My-Thumb heard the
Ogre snoring, he awakened his brothers, and told them to dress
themselves quickly and follow him. They went softly down unto the
garden, and leaped over the walls. They hurried away, and ran almost
all night, without knowing whither they went.
The Ogre, when he woke up, said to his wife, "Go upstairs and dress
those little fellows who were here last night.''
The Ogress was very much astonished at the kindness of her husband, not
suspecting for a moment the way in which he meant that she should dress
them. Believing that he simply wished her to put on their clothes, she
went upstairs, where she was amazed to see her seven daughters with
their throats cut. She was so overcome that she immediately fainted.
The Ogre, thinking his wife was too slow, went upstairs to assist her.
He was no less astonished than his wife when the frightful sight met
"Ah! what have I done here?" he cried; "but those little wretches
shall pay for this, and at once."
He then threw a bucket of water into his wife's face, and, having
revived her, said, "Give me quickly my seven-league boots, that I may
go after those boys and catch them."
He then started out into the country at once, and, having rushed about
in all directions, came at last to the road where the poor children
were walking, and then not more than a hundred steps from their
father's house. They saw the Ogre striding from mountain to mountain,
and crossing rivers as if they were little brooks.
Hop-o'-My-Thumb, who saw a hollow rock near the place where they were,
hid himself and his six brothers there, and watched carefully what
became of their enemy. The Ogre, who was very tired with his long and
fruitless journey, wished to rest himself, and sat down, by chance, on
the very rock where the little boys were hidden.
As he was overcome with fatigue, he soon fell asleep, and began to
snore so frightfully that the poor children were as much frightened as
when he held his knife ready to cut their throats. Hop-o'-My-Thumb was
less afraid, and told his brothers to run into the house while the Ogre
slept, and not to worry about him. They followed his counsel, and
quickly reached the house.
Hop-o'-My-Thumb then approached the Ogre, softly drew off his boots,
and put them on himself. The boots were very long and very large; but,
as they were fairy boots, they had the gift of becoming larger or
smaller, according to the size of the wearer's leg. In fact, they
fitted Hop-o'-My-Thumb as if they had been made for him.
He then went straight to the Ogre's house, where he found his wife
weeping over her daughters.
"Your husband," said Hop-o'-My-Thumb, "is in great danger, for he has
been taken by a band of robbers, who will kill him if he does not give
them all his gold and silver. Just when they held their knives to his
throat he perceived me, and besought me to come and tell you of the
state in which he was, and to direct you to give me all that he has,
without retaining anything, since otherwise they would slay him without
mercy. As time passed, he wished that I should take his seven-league
boots, as you see, in order to make haste, and also that you might not
think me an impostor."
The good woman, very much frightened, gave him all she had; for this
Ogre was a good husband, although he did eat little children.
Hop-o'-My-Thumb, being then loaded with all the Ogre's treasures,
returned to his father's house, where he was welcomed with great joy
and where they all lived happily ever after.
THERE was once upon a time an old Queen whose husband had been dead for
many years, and she had a beautiful daughter. When the princess grew
up she was betrothed to a prince who lived at a great distance. When
the time came for her to be married, and she had to ,journey forth into
the distant kingdom, the aged Queen packed up for her many costly
vessels of silver and gold, and trinkets also of gold and silver; and
cups and jewels, in short, everything which appertained to a royal
dowry, for she loved her child with all her heart. She likewise sent
her maid in waiting, who was to ride with her, and hand her over to the
bridegroom, and each had a horse for the journey, but the horse of the
King's daughter was called Falada, and could speak. So when the hour
of parting had come, the aged mother went into her bedroom, took a
small knife and cut her finger with it until it bled, then she held a
white handkerchief to it into which she left three drops of blood fall,
gave it to her daughter and said: "Dear child, preserve this carefully,
it will be of service to you on your way."
So they took a sorrowful leave of each other: the princess put the
piece of cloth in her bosom, mounted her horse, and then went away to
her bridegroom. After she had ridden for a while she felt a burning
thirst and said to her waiting-maid: "Dismount, and take my cup which
thou hast brought with thee for me, and get me some water from the
stream, for I should like to drink." "If you are thirsty," said the
waiting-maid, "get off your horse yourself, and lie down and drink out
of the water; I don't choose to be your servant." So in her great
thirst the princess alighted, bent down over the water in the stream
and drank, and was not allowed to drink out of the golden cup. Then
she said, "Ah, Heaven!" and the three drops of blood answered:
"If thy mother knew this, her heart would break."
But the King's daughter was humble, said nothing, and mounted her horse
again. She rode some miles further, but the day was warm, the sun
scorched her, and she was thirsty once more, and when they came to a
stream of water, she again cried to her waiting-maid: "Dismount, and
give me some water in my golden cup," for she had long ago forgotten
the girl's ill words. But the waiting-maid said still more haughtily:
"If you wish to drink, drink as you can, I don't choose to be your
maid." Then in her great thirst the King's daughter alighted, bent
over the flowing stream, wept and said: "Ah, heaven!" and the drops of
blood again replied: "If thy mother knew this, her heart would break."
And as she was thus drinking and leaning right over the stream, the
handkerchief with the three drops of blood fell out of her bosom, and
floated away with the water without her observing it, so great was her
The waiting-maid, however, had seen it, and she rejoiced to think that
she had now power over the bride, for since the princess had lost the
drops of blood, she had become weak and powerless. So now when she
wanted to mount her horse again, the one that was called Falada, the
waiting-maid said: "Falada is more suitable for me, and my nag will do
for thee," and the princess had to be content with that. Then the
waiting-maid, with many hard words, bade the princess exchange her
royal apparel for her own shabby clothes; and at length she was
compelled to swear by the clear sky above her, that she would not say
one word of this to any one at the royal court, and if she had not
taken this oath she would have been killed on the spot. But Falada saw
all this, and observed it well.
The waiting-maid now mounted Falada, and the true bride the bad horse,
and thus they traveled onward, until at length they entered the royal
palace. There were great rejoicings over her arrival, and the prince
sprang forward to meet her, lifted the waiting-maid from her horse, and
thought she was his consort. She was conducted upstairs, but the real
princess was left standing below. Then the old King looked out of the
window and saw her standing in the courtyard, and how dainty and
delicate and beautiful she was, and instantly went to the royal
apartment, and asked the bride about the girl she had with her who was
standing down below in the courtyard, and who she was. "I picked her
up on my way for a companion; give the girl something to work at, that
she may not stand idle." But the old King had no work for her, and
knew of none, so he said: "I have a little boy who tends the geese, she
may help him." The boy was called Conrad, and the true bride had to
help him to tend the geese.
Soon afterward the false bride said to the young King: "Dearest
husband, I beg you to do me a favor." He answered: "I will do so most
willingly." "Then send for the knacker, and have the head of the horse
on which I rode here cut off, for it vexed me on the way." In reality
she was afraid that the horse might tell how she had behaved to the
King's daughter. Then she succeeded in making the King promise that it
should be done, and the faithful Falada was to die; this came to the
ears of the real princess, and she secretly promised to pay the knacker
a piece of gold if he would perform a small service for her. There was
a great dark-looking gateway in the town, through which morning and
evening she had to pass with the geese: would he be so good as to nail
up Falada's head on it, so that she might see him again, more than
once. The knacker's man promised to do that, and cut off the head, and
nailed it fast beneath the dark gateway.
Early in the morning, when she and Conrad drove out their flock beneath
this gateway, she said in passing:
"Alas, Falada, hanging there
Then the head answered:
"Alas, young Queen, how ill you fare!
If this your tender mother knew,
Her heart would surely break in two."
Then they went still further out of the town, and drove their geese
into the country. And when they had come to the meadow, she sat down
and unbound her hair which was like pure gold, and Conrad saw it and
delighted in its brightness, and wanted to pluck out a few hairs. Then
"Blow, blow, thou gentle wind, I say,
Blow Conrad's little hat away,
And make him chase it here and there,
Until I have braided all my hair,
And bound it up again.
And there came such a violent wind that it blew Conrad's hat far away
across country, and he was forced to run after it. When he came back
she had finished combing her hair and was putting it up again, and he
could not get any of it. Then Conrad was angry, and would not speak to
her, and thus they watered the geese until the evening, and then they
Next day when they were driving the geese out through the dark gateway,
the maiden said:
"Alas, Falada, hanging there
"Alas, young Queen, how ill you fare!
If this your tender mother knew,
Her heart would surely break in two."
And she sat down again in the field and began to comb out her hair, and
Conrad ran and tried to clutch it, so she said in haste:
"Blow, blow, thou gentle wind, I say,
Blow Conrad's little hat away,
And make him chase it here and there,
Until I have braided all my hair,
And bound it up again.
Then the wind blew, and blew his little hat off his head and far away,
and Conrad was forced to run after it, and when he came back, her hair
had been put up a long time, and he could get none of it, and so they
looked after their geese till evening came.
But in the evening after they had got home, Conrad went to the old
King, and said: "I won't tend the geese with that girl any longer!"
"Why not?" inquired the aged King. "Oh, because she vexes me the whole
day long." Then the aged King commanded him to relate what it was that
she did to him. And Conrad said: "In the morning when we pass beneath
the dark gateway with the flock, there is a sorry horse's head on the
wall and she says to it:
"Alas, Falada, hanging there!"
And the head replies:
"Alas, young Queen, how ill you fare!
If this your tender mother knew,
Her heart would surely break in two."
And Conrad went on to relate what happened on the goose pasture, and
how when there he had to chase his hat.
The aged King commanded him to drive his flock out again next day, and
as soon as morning came, he placed himself behind the dark gateway, and
heard how the maiden spoke to the head of Falada, and then he too went
into the country, and hid himself in the thicket in the meadow. There
he soon saw with his own eyes the goose-girl and the goose-boy bringing
their flock, and how after a while she sat down and unplaited her hair,
which shone with radiance. And soon she said:
"Blow, blow, thou gentle wind, I say,
Blow Conrad's little hat away,
And make him chase it here and there,
Until I have braided all my hair,
And bound it up again."
Then came a blast of wind and carried off Conrad's hat, so that he had
to run far away, while the maiden quietly went on combing and plaiting
her hair, all of which the King observed. Then, quite unseen, he went
away, and when the goose-girl came home in the evening, he called her
aside, and asked why she did all these things. "I may not tell you
that, and I dare not lament my sorrows to any human being, for I have
sworn not to do so by the heaven which is above me; if I had not done
that, I should have lost my life." He urged her and left her no peace,
but he could draw nothing from her. Then said he: "If thou wilt not
tell me anything, tell thy sorrows to the iron stove there," and he
went away. Then she crept into the iron stove, and began to weep and
lament, and emptied her whole heart, and said: "Here am I deserted by
the whole world, and yet I am a King's daughter, and a false waiting-
maid has by force brought me to such a pass that I have been compelled
to put off my royal apparel, and she has taken my place with my
bridegroom, and I have to perform menial service as a goose-girl. If
my mother did but know that, her heart would break."
The aged King, however, was standing outside by the pipe of the stove,
and was listening to what she said and heard it. Then he came back
again, and bade her come out of the stove. And royal garments were
placed on her, and it was marvellous how beautiful she was! The aged
King summoned his son, and revealed to him that he had got the false
bride who was only a waiting-maid, but that the true one was standing
there, as the sometime goose-girl. The young King rejoiced with all
his heart when he saw her beauty and youth, and a great feast was made
ready to which all the people and all good friends were invited. At
the head of the table sat the bridegroom with the King's daughter at
one side of him and the waiting-maid on the other, but the waiting-maid
was blinded, and did not recognize the princess in her dazzling array.
When they had eaten and drunk, and were merry, the aged King asked the
waiting-maid as a riddle, what a person deserved who had behaved in
such and such a way to her master, and at the same time related the
whole story, and asked what sentence such an one merited? Then the
false bride said: "She deserves no better fate than to be stripped
entirely naked, and put in a barrel which is studded inside with
pointed nails, and two white horses should be harnessed to it, which
will drag her along through one street after another, till she is
dead." "It is thou," said the aged King, "and thou must pronounce
thine own sentence, and thus shall it be done unto thee." And when the
sentence had been carried out, the young King married his true bride,
and both of them reigned over their kingdom in peace and happiness.
HE WHO KNEW NOT FEAR
A CERTAIN father had two sons, the elder of whom was sharp and
sensible, and could do everything, but the younger was stupid and could
neither learn nor understand anything, and when people saw him they
said: "There's a fellow who will give his father some trouble!" When
anything had to be done, it was always the elder who was forced to do
it; but if his father bade him fetch anything when it was late, or in
the night-time, and the way led through the churchyard, or any other
dismal place, he answered: "Oh, no, father, I'll not go there, it makes
me shudder!" for he was afraid. Or when stories were told by the fire
at night which made the flesh creep, the listeners often said: "Oh, it
makes us shudder!" the younger sat in a corner and listened with the
rest of them, and could not imagine what they could mean. "They are
always saying: 'It makes me shudder, it makes me shudder!' It does not
make me shudder," thought he. "That, too, must be an art of which I
Now it came to pass that his father said to him one day: "Hearken to
me, thou fellow in the corner there, thou art growing tall and strong,
and thou, too, must learn something by which thou canst earn thy
living. Look how thy brother works, but thou dost not even earn thy
salt." "Well, father," he replied, "I am quite willing to learn
something-indeed, if it could but be managed, I should like to learn
how to shudder. I don't understand that at all yet." The elder
brother smiled when he heard that, and thought to himself:
"Good God, what a blockhead that brother of mine is! He will never be
good for anything as long as he lives! He who wants to be a sickle
must bend himself betimes."
The father sighed, and answered him: "Thou shalt soon learn what it is
to suffer, but thou wilt not earn thy living by that."
Soon after this the sexton came to the house on a visit, and the father