Infomotions, Inc.Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know / Tracy, Louis, 1863-1928



Author: Tracy, Louis, 1863-1928
Title: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): aladdin; princess; ali baba; baba; ali; jack; palace; prince; giant; aladdin's mother; baba mustapha
Contributor(s): Mabie, Hamilton Wright, 1845-1916 [Editor]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 107,796 words (short) Grade range: 10-13 (high school) Readability score: 65 (easy)
Identifier: etext14916
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Title: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

Author: Various

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FAIRY TALES EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW

Edited by

HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE

The What-Every-Child-Should-Know-Library

Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc., for The Parents' Institute, Inc.
Publishers of "The Parents' Magazine"

1905







[Illustration: "A thousand fantasies begin to throng"]




INTRODUCTION TO

"FAIRIES EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW"


The fairy tale is a poetic recording of the facts of life, an
interpretation by the imagination of its hard conditions, an effort to
reconcile the spirit which loves freedom and goodness and beauty with
its harsh, bare and disappointing conditions. It is, in its earliest
form, a spontaneous and instinctive endeavor to shape the facts of the
world to meet the needs of the imagination, the cravings of the heart.
It involves a free, poetic dealing with realities in accordance with the
law of mental growth; it is the naive activity of the young imagination
of the race, untrammelled by the necessity of rigid adherence to the
fact.

The myths record the earliest attempt at an explanation of the world and
its life; the fairy tale records the free and joyful play of the
imagination, opening doors through hard conditions to the spirit, which
craves power, freedom, happiness; righting wrongs and redressing
injuries; defeating base designs; rewarding patience and virtue;
crowning true love with happiness; placing the powers of darkness under
control of man and making their ministers his servants. In the fairy
story, men are not set entirely free from their limitations, but, by the
aid of fairies, genii, giants and demons, they are put in command of
unusual powers and make themselves masters of the forces of nature.

The oldest fairy stories constitute a fascinating introduction to the
book of modern science, curiously predicting its discoveries, its
uncovering of the resources of the earth and air, its growing control of
the tremendous forces which work in earth and air. And it is significant
that the recent progress of science is steadily toward what our
ancestors would have considered fairy land; for in all the imaginings of
the childhood of the race there was nothing more marvellous or more
audaciously improbable than the transmission of the accents and
modulations of familiar voices through long distances, and the power of
communication across leagues of sea without mechanical connections of
any kind.

The faculty which created the fairy tale is the same faculty which,
supplemented by a broader observation and based on more accurate
knowledge, has broadened the range and activities of modern man, made
the world accessible to him, enabled him to live in one place but to
speak and act in places thousands of miles distant, given him command of
colossal forces, and is fast making him rich on a scale which would have
seemed incredible to men of a half-century ago. There is nothing in any
fairy tale more marvellous and inherently improbable than many of the
achievements of scientific observation and invention, and we are only at
the beginning of the wonders that lie within the reach of the human
spirit!

No one can understand the modern world without the aid of the
imagination, and as the frontiers of knowledge are pushed still further
away from the obvious and familiar, there will be an increasing tax on
the imagination. The world of dead matter which our fathers thought they
understood has become a world of subtle forces moving with inconceivable
velocity; nothing is inert, all things are transformed into other and
more elusive shapes precisely as the makers of the fairy tales foresaw
and predicted; the world lives in every atom just as their world lived;
forces lie just outside the range of physical sight, but entirely within
the range of spiritual vision, precisely as the tellers of these old
stories divined; mystery and wonder enfold all things, and not only
evoke the full play of the mind, but flood it with intimations and
suggestions of the presence of more elusive and subtle forces, of finer
and more obedient powers, as the world of fairies, magi and demons
enfolded the ancient earth of daily toil and danger.

In a word, the fairy stories have come true; they are historical in the
sense that they faithfully report a stage of spiritual growth and
predict a higher order of realities through a deeper knowledge of
actualities. They were poetic renderings of facts which science is fast
verifying, chiefly by the use of the same faculty which enriched early
literature with the myth and the fairy tale. The scientist has turned
poet in these later days, and the imagination which once expressed
itself in a free handling of facts so as to make them answer the needs
and demands of the human spirit, now expresses itself in that breadth of
vision which reconstructs an extinct animal from a bone and analyzes the
light of a sun flaming on the outermost boundaries of space.

This collection of tales, gathered from the rich literature of the
childhood of the world, or from the books of the few modern men who have
found the key of that wonderful world, is put forth not only without
apology, but with the hope that it may widen the demand for these
charming reports of a world in which the truths of our working world are
loyally upheld, while its hard facts are quietly but authoritatively
dismissed from attention. The widest interpretation has been given to
the fairy tale, so as to include many of those classic romances of
childhood in which no fairy appears, but which are invested with the air
and are permeated with the glorious freedom of fairy land.

No sane man or woman undervalues the immense gains of the modern world
in the knowledge of facts and the application of ideas to things in
order to secure comfort, health, access to the treasure in the earth and
on its surface, the means of education and greater freedom from the
tyranny of toil by the accumulation of the fruits of toil; but no sane
man or woman believes that a mechanical age is other than a transitional
age, that the possession of things is the final achievement of society,
and that in multiplication of conveniences civilization will reach its
point of culmination.

We are so engrossed in getting rich that we forget that by and by, when
we have become rich, we shall have to learn how to live; for work can
never be an end in itself; it is a "means of grace" when it is not
drudgery; and it must, in the long run, be a preparation for play. For
play is not organized idleness, frivolity set in a fanciful order; it is
the normal, spontaneous exercise of physical activity, the wholesome
gayety of the mind, the natural expression of the spirit, without
self-consciousness, constraint, or the tyranny of hours and tasks. It is
the highest form of energy, because it is free and creative; a joy in
itself, and therefore a joy in the world. This is the explanation of the
sense of freedom and elation which come from a great work of art; it is
the instinctive perception of the fact that while immense toil lies
behind the artist's skill, the soul of the creation came from beyond the
world of work and the making of it was a bit of play. The man of
creative spirit is often a tireless worker, but in his happiest hours he
is at play; for all work, when it rises into freedom and power, is play.
"We work," wrote a Greek thinker of the most creative people who have
yet appeared, "in order that we may have leisure." The note of that life
was freedom; its activity was not "evoked by external needs, but was
free, spontaneous and delightful; an ordered energy which stimulates all
the vital and mental powers."

Robert Louis Stevenson, who knew well how to touch work with the spirit
and charm of play, reports of certain evenings spent at a clubhouse near
Brussels, that the men who gathered there "were employed over the
frivolous mercantile concerns of Belgium during the day; but in the
evening they found some hours for the serious concerns of life." They
gave their days to commerce, but their evenings were devoted to more
important interests!

These words are written for those older people who have made the mistake
of straying away from childhood; children do not read introductions,
because they know that the valuable part of the book is to be found in
the later pages. They read the stories; their elders read the
introduction as well. They both need the stuff of imagination, of which
myths, legends, and fairy tales are made. So much may be said of these
old stories that it is a serious question where to begin, and a still
more difficult question where to end. For these tales are the first
outpourings of that spring of imagination whence flow the most
illuminating, inspiring, refreshing and captivating thoughts and ideas
about life. No philosophy is deeper than that which underlies these
stories; no psychology is more important than that which finds its
choicest illustration in them; no chapter in the history of thought is
more suggestive and engrossing than that which records their growth and
divines their meaning. Fairy tales and myths are so much akin that they
are easily transformed and exchange costumes without changing character;
while the legend, which belongs to a later period, often reflects the
large meaning of the myth and the free fancy of the fairy tale.

As a class, children not only possess the faculty of imagination, but
are very largely occupied with it during the most sensitive and
formative years, and those who lack it are brought under its spell by
their fellows. They do not accurately distinguish between the actual and
the imaginary, and they live at ease in a world out of which paths run
in every direction into wonderland. They begin their education when they
begin to play; for play not only affords an outlet for their energy, and
so supplies one great means of growth and training, but places them in
social relations with their mates and in conscious contact with the
world about them. The old games that have been played by generations of
children not only precede the training of the school and supplement it,
but accomplish some results in the nature of the child which are beyond
the reach of the school. When a crowd of boys are rushing across country
in "hounds and deer," they are giving lungs, heart and muscles the best
possible exercise; they are sharing certain rules of honor with one
another, expressed in that significant phrase, "fair play"; and they are
giving rein to their imaginations in the very name of their occupation.
Body, spirit and imagination have their part in every good game; for the
interest of a game lies in its appeal to the imagination, as in "hounds
and deer," or in its stimulus to activity, as in "tag" and
"hide-and-seek."

There are few chapters in the biography of the childhood of men of
genius more significant than those which describe imaginary worlds which
were, for a time, as real as the actual world in which the boy lived.
Goethe entertained and mystified his playmates with accounts of a
certain garden in which he wandered at will, but which they could not
find; and De Quincey created a kingdom, with all its complex relations
and varied activities, which he ruled with beneficence and affection
until, in an unlucky hour, he revealed his secret to his brother, who
straightway usurped his authority, and governed his subjects with such
tyranny and cruelty that De Quincey was compelled to save his people by
destroying them.

These elaborate and highly organized efforts of the young imagination,
of which boys and girls of unusual inventiveness are capable, are
imitated on a smaller scale by all normal children. They endow inanimate
things with life, and play and suffer with them as with their real
playmates. The little girl not only talks with her dolls, but weeps with
and for them when disaster overtakes them. The boy faces foes of his own
making in the woods, or at lonely places in the road, who are quite as
real to him as the people with whom he lives. By common agreement a
locality often becomes a historic spot to a whole group of boys; enemies
are met and overcome there; grave perils are bravely faced; and the
magic sometimes lingers long after the dream has been dissolved in the
dawning light of definite knowledge, Childhood is one long day of
discovery; first, to the unfolding spirit, there is revealed a
wonderland partly actual and partly created by the action of the mind;
then follows the slow awakening, when the growing boy or girl learns to
distinguish between tact and fancy, and to separate the real from the
imaginary.

This process of learning to "see things as they are" is often regarded
as the substance of education, and to be able to distinguish sharply and
accurately between reality and vision, actual and imaginary image is
accepted as the test of thorough training of the intelligence. What
really takes place is the readjustment of the work of the faculties so
as to secure harmonious action; and in the happy and sound development
of the nature the imagination does not give place to observation, but
deals with principles, forces and laws instead of with things. The loss
of vision is never compensated for by the gain of sight; to see a thing
one must use his mind quite as much as his eye. It too often happens, as
the result of our educational methods, that in training the observer we
blight the poet; and the poet is, after all, the most important person
in society. He keeps the soul of his fellows alive. Without him the
modern world would become one vast, dreary, soul-destroying Coketown,
and man would sink to the level of Gradgrind. The practical man develops
the resources of the country, the man of vision discerns, formulates and
directs its spiritual policy and growth; the mechanic builds the house,
but the architect creates it; the artisan makes the tools, but the
artist uses them; the observer sees and records the fact, but the
scientist discovers the law; the man of affairs manages the practical
concerns of the world from day to day, but the poet makes it spiritual,
significant, interesting, worth living in.

The modern child passes through the same stages as did the children of
four thousand years ago. He, too, is a poet. He believes that the world
about him throbs with life and is peopled with all manner of strange,
beautiful, powerful folk, who live just outside the range of his sight;
he, too, personifies light and heat and storm and wind and cold as his
remote ancestors did. He, too, lives in and through his imagination; and
if, in later life, he grows in power and becomes a creative man, his
achievements are the fruits of the free and vigorous life of his
imagination. The higher kinds of power, the higher opportunities of
mind, the richer resources, the springs of the deeper happiness, are
open to him in the exact degree in which he is able to use his
imagination with individual freedom and intelligence. Formal education
makes small provision for this great need of his nature; it trains his
eye, his hand, his faculty of observation, his ability to reason, his
capacity for resolute action; but it takes little account of that higher
faculty which, cooperating with the other faculties, makes him an
architect instead of a builder, an artist instead of an artisan, a poet
instead of a drudge.

The fairy tale belongs to the child and ought always to be within his
reach, not only because it is his special literary form and his nature
craves it, but because it is one of the most vital of the textbooks
offered to him in the school of life. In ultimate importance it outranks
the arithmetic, the grammar, the geography, the manuals of science; for
without the aid of the imagination none of these books is really
comprehensible.

HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE,

March, 1905.




FAIRY TALES


CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

ONE EYE, TWO EYES, THREE EYES
(Grimm's Fairy Tales)

THE MAGIC MIRROR
(Grimm's Fairy Tales)

THE ENCHANTED STAG
(Grimm's Fairy Tales)

HANSEL AND GRETHEL
(Grimm's Fairy Tales)

THE STORY OF ALADDIN; OR, THE WONDERFUL LAMP
("Arabian Nights' Entertainments")

THE HISTORY OF ALI BABA, AND OF THE FORTY
   ROBBERS KILLED BY ONE SLAVE
("Arabian Nights' Entertainments")

THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR
("Arabian Nights' Entertainments")

THE WHITE CAT
(From the tale by the Comtesse d'Aulnoy)

THE GOLDEN GOOSE
(Grimm's Fairy Tales)

THE TWELVE BROTHERS
(Grimm's Fairy Tales)

THE FAIR ONE WITH THE GOLDEN LOCKS
(From the tale by the Comtesse d'Aulnoy)

TOM THUMB
(First written in prose in 1621 by Richard Johnson)

BLUE BEARD
(From the French tale by Charles Perrault)

CINDERELLA; OR, THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER
(From the French tale by Charles Perrault)

PUSS IN BOOTS
(From the French tale by Charles Perrault)

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOOD
(From the French tale by Charles Perrault)

JACK AND THE BEAN-STALK
(Said to be an allegory of the Teutonic
  Al-fader, The tale written in French
  by Charles Perrault)

JACK THE GIANT KILLER
(From the old British legend told by Geoffrey
  of Monmouth, of Corineus the Trojan)

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
(From the French tale by Charles Perrault)

THE THREE BEARS
(Robert Southey)

THE PRINCESS ON THE PEA
(From the tale by Hans Christian Andersen)

THE UGLY DUCKLING
(From the tale by Hans Christian Andersen)

THE LIGHT PRINCESS
(George MacDonald)

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
(From the French tale by Madame Gabrielle
  de Villeneuve)




FAIRY TALES EVERY CHILD

SHOULD KNOW



CHAPTER I

ONE EYE, TWO EYES, THREE EYES


There was once a woman who had three daughters, of whom the eldest was
named "One Eye," because she had only one eye in the middle of her
forehead. The second had two eyes, like other people, and she was called
"Two Eyes." The youngest had three eyes, two like her second sister, and
one in the middle of her forehead, like the eldest, and she bore the
name of "Three Eyes."

Now because little Two Eyes looked just like other people, her mother
and sisters could not endure her. They said to her, "You are not better
than common folks, with your two eyes; you don't belong to us."

So they pushed her about, and threw all their old clothes to her for her
to wear, and gave her only the pieces that were left to eat, and did
everything that they could to make her miserable. It so happened that
little Two Eyes was sent into the fields to take care of the goats, and
she was often very hungry, although her sisters had as much as they
liked to eat. So one day she seated herself on a mound in the field, and
began to weep and cry so bitterly that two little rivulets flowed from
her eyes. Once, in the midst of her sorrow she looked up, and saw a
woman standing near her who said, "What are you weeping for, little Two
Eyes?"

"I cannot help weeping," she replied; "for because I have two eyes, like
other people, my mother and sisters cannot bear me; they push me about
from one corner to another and make we wear their old clothes, and give
me nothing to eat but what is left, so that I am always hungry. To-day
they gave me so little that I am nearly starved."

"Dry up your tears, little Two Eyes," said the wise woman; "I will tell
you something to do which will prevent you from ever being hungry again.
You have only to say to your own goat:

  "'Little goat, if you're able,
  Pray deck out my table,'

"and immediately there will be a pretty little table before you full of
all sorts of good things for you to eat, as much as you like. And when
you have had enough, and you do not want the table any more, you need
only say:

  "'Little goat, when you're able,
  Remove my nice table,'

"and it will vanish from your eyes."

Then the wise woman went away. "Now," thought little Two Eyes, "I will
try if what she says is true, for I am very hungry," so she said:

  "Little goat, if you're able,
  Pray deck out my table."

The words were scarcely spoken, when a beautiful little table stood
really before her; it had a white cloth and plates, and knives and
forks, and silver spoons, and such a delicious dinner, smoking hot as if
it had just come from the kitchen. Then little Two Eyes sat down and
said the shortest grace she knew--"Pray God be our guest for all time.
Amen"--before she allowed herself to taste anything. But oh, how she did
enjoy her dinner! and when she had finished, she said, as the wise woman
had taught her:

  "Little goat, when you're able,
  Remove my nice table."

In a moment, the table and everything upon it had disappeared. "That is
a pleasant way to keep house," said little Two Eyes, and felt quite
contented and happy. In the evening, when she went home with the goat,
she found an earthenware dish with some scraps which her sisters had
left for her, but she did not touch them. The next morning she went away
with the goat, leaving them behind where they had been placed for her.
The first and second times that she did so, the sisters did not notice
it; but when they found it happened every day, they said one to the
other, "There is something strange about little Two Eyes, she leaves her
supper every day, and all that has been put for her has been wasted; she
must get food somewhere else."

So they determined to find out the truth, and they arranged that when
Two Eyes took her goat to the field, One Eye should go with her to take
particular notice of what she did, and discover if anything was brought
for her to eat and drink.

So when Two Eyes started with her goat, One Eye said to her, "I am going
with you to-day to see if the goat gets her food properly while you are
watching the rest."

But Two Eyes knew what she had in her mind. So she drove the goat into
the long grass, and said, "Come, One Eye, let us sit down here and rest,
and I will sing to you."

One Eye seated herself, and, not being accustomed to walk so far, or to
be out in the heat of the sun, she began to feel tired, and as little
Two Eyes kept on singing, she closed her one eye and fell fast asleep.

When Two Eyes saw this, she knew that One Eye could not betray her, so
she said:

  "Little goat, if you are able,
  Come and deck my pretty table."

She seated herself when it appeared, and ate and drank very quickly, and
when she had finished she said:

  "Little goat, when you are able,
  Come and clear away my table."

It vanished in the twinkling of an eye; and then Two Eyes woke up One
Eye, and said, "Little One Eye, you are a clever one to watch goats;
for, while you are asleep, they might be running all over the world.
Come, let us go home!"

So they went to the house, and little Two Eyes again left the scraps on
the dish untouched, and One Eye could not tell her mother whether little
Two Eyes had eaten anything in the field; for she said to excuse
herself, "I was asleep."

The next day the mother said to Three Eyes, "You must go to the field
this time, and find out whether there is anyone who brings food to
little Two Eyes; for she must eat and drink secretly."

So when little Two Eyes started with her goat, Three Eyes followed, and
said, "I am going with you to-day, to see if the goats are properly fed
and watched."

But Two Eyes knew her thoughts; so she led the goat through the long
grass to tire Three Eyes, and at last she said, "Let us sit down here
and rest, and I will sing to you, Three Eyes."

She was glad to sit down, for the walk and the heat of the sun had
really tired her; and, as her sister continued her song, she was obliged
to close two of her eyes, and they slept, but not the third. In fact,
Three Eyes was wide awake with one eye, and heard and saw all that Two
Eyes did; for poor little Two Eyes, thinking she was asleep, said her
speech to the goat, and the table came with all the good things on it,
and was carried away when Two Eyes had eaten enough; and the cunning
Three Eyes saw it all with her one eye. But she pretended to be asleep
when her sister came to wake her and told her she was going home.

That evening, when little Two Eyes again left the supper they placed
aside for her, Three Eyes said to her mother, "I know where the proud
thing gets her good eating and drinking;" and then she described all she
had seen in the field. "I saw it all with one eye," she said; "for she
had made my other two eyes close with her fine singing, but luckily the
one in my forehead remained open."

Then the envious mother cried out to poor little Two Eyes, "You wish to
have better food than we, do you? You shall lose your wish!" She took up
a butcher's knife, went out, and stuck the good little goat in the
heart, and it fell dead.

When little Two Eyes saw this, she went out into the field, seated
herself on a mound, and wept most bitter tears.

Presently the wise woman stood again before her, and said, "Little Two
Eyes, why do you weep?"

"Ah!" she replied, "I must weep. The goat, who every day spread my table
so beautifully, has been killed by my mother, and I shall have again to
suffer from hunger and sorrow."

"Little Two Eyes," said the wise woman, "I will give you some good
advice. Go home, and ask your sister to give you the inside of the
slaughtered goat, and then go and bury it in the ground in front of the
house-door."

On saying this the wise woman vanished.

Little Two Eyes went home quickly, and said to her sister, "Dear sister,
give me some part of my poor goat. I don't want anything valuable; only
give me the inside."

Her sister laughed, and said, "Of course you can have that, if you don't
want anything else."

So little Two Eyes took the inside; and in the evening, when all was
quiet, buried it in the ground outside the house-door, as the wise woman
had told her to do.

The next morning, when they all rose and looked out of the window, there
stood a most wonderful tree, with leaves of silver and apples of gold
hanging between them. Nothing in the wide world could be more beautiful
or more costly. They none of them knew how the tree could come there in
one night, excepting little Two Eyes. She supposed it had grown up from
the inside of the goat; for it stood over where she had buried it in the
earth.

Then said the mother to little One Eye, "Climb up, my child, and break
off some of the fruit from the tree."

One Eye climbed up, but when she tried to catch a branch and pluck one
of the apples, it escaped from her hand, and so it happened every time
she made the attempt, and, do what she would, she could not reach one.

"Three Eyes," said the mother, "climb up, and try what you can do;
perhaps you will be able to see better with your three eyes than One Eye
can."

One Eye slid down from the tree, and Three Eyes climbed up. But Three
Eyes was not more skilful; with all her efforts she could not draw the
branches, nor the fruit, near enough to pluck even a leaf, for they
sprang back as she put out her hand.

At last the mother was impatient, and climbed up herself, but with no
more success, for, as she appeared to grasp a branch, or fruit, her hand
closed upon thin air.

"May I try?" said little Two Eyes; "perhaps I may succeed."

"You, indeed!" cried her sisters; "you, with your two eyes, what can you
do?"

But Two Eyes climbed up, and the golden apples did not fly back from her
when she touched them, but almost laid themselves on her hand, and she
plucked them one after another, till she carried down her own little
apron full.

The mother took them from her, and gave them to her sisters, as she said
little Two Eyes did not handle them properly; but this was only from
jealousy, because little Two Eyes was the only one who could reach the
fruit, and she went into the house feeling more spiteful to her than
ever.

It happened that while all three sisters were standing under the tree
together a young knight rode by. "Run away, quick, and hide yourself,
little Two Eyes; hide yourself somewhere, for we shall be quite ashamed
for you to be seen." Then they pushed the poor girl, in great haste,
under an empty cask, which stood near the tree, and several of the
golden apples that she had plucked along with her.

As the knight came nearer they saw he was a handsome man; and presently
he halted, and looked with wonder and pleasure at the beautiful tree
with its silver leaves and golden fruit.

At last he spoke to the sisters, and asked: "To whom does this beautiful
tree belong? If a man possessed only one branch he might obtain all he
wished for in the world."

"This tree belongs to us," said the two sisters, "and we will break off
a branch for you if you like." They gave themselves a great deal of
trouble in trying to do as they offered; but all to no purpose, for the
branches and the fruit evaded their efforts, and sprung back at every
touch.

"This is wonderful," exclaimed the knight, "that the tree should belong
to you, and yet you are not able to gather even a branch."

They persisted, however, in declaring that the tree was their own
property. At this moment little Two Eyes, who was angry because her
sisters had not told the truth, caused two of the golden apples to slip
out from under the cask, and they rolled on till they reached the feet
of the knight's horse. When he saw them, he asked in astonishment where
they came from.

The two ugly maidens replied that they had another sister, but they
dared not let him see her, for she had only two eyes, like common
people, and was named little Two Eyes.

But the knight felt very anxious to see her, and called out, "Little Two
Eyes, come here." Then came Two Eyes, quite comforted, from the empty
cask, and the knight was astonished to find her so beautiful.

Then he said, "Little Two Eyes, can you break off a branch of the tree
for me?"

"Oh yes," she replied, "I can, very easily, for the tree belongs to me."
And she climbed up, and, without any trouble, broke off a branch with
its silver leaves and golden fruit and gave it to the knight.

He looked down at her as she stood by his horse, and said: "Little Two
Eyes, what shall I give you for this?"

"Ah!" she answered, "I suffer from hunger and thirst, and sorrow, and
trouble, from early morning till late at night; if you would only take
me with you, and release me, I should be so happy."

Then the knight lifted the little maiden on his horse, and rode home
with her to his father's castle. There she was given beautiful clothes
to wear, and as much to eat and drink as she wished, and as she grew up
the young knight loved her so dearly that they were married with great
rejoicings.

Now, when the two sisters saw little Two Eyes carried away by the
handsome young knight, they were overjoyed at their good fortune. "The
wonderful tree belongs to us now," they said; "even if we cannot break
off a branch, yet everybody who passes will stop to admire it, and make
acquaintance with us, and, who knows? we may get husbands after all."

But when they rose the next morning, lo! the tree had vanished, and with
it all their hopes. And on this very morning, when little Two Eyes
looked out of her chamber window of the castle, she saw, to her great
joy, that the tree had followed her.

Little Two Eyes lived for a long time in great happiness; but she heard
nothing of her sisters, till one day two poor women came to the castle,
to beg for alms. Little Two Eyes saw them, and, looking earnestly in
their faces, she recognised her two sisters, who had become so poor that
they were obliged to beg their bread from door to door.

But the good sister received them most kindly, and promised to take care
of them and give them all they wanted. And then they did indeed repent
and feel sorry for having treated her so badly in their youthful days.




CHAPTER II

THE MAGIC MIRROR


One day in the middle of winter, when the snowflakes fell from the sky
like feathers, a queen sat at a window netting. Her netting-needle was
of black ebony, and as she worked, and the snow glittered, she pricked
her finger, and three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red spots
looked so beautiful in the white snow that the queen thought to herself:
"Oh, if I only had a little child, I should like it to be as fair as
snow, as rosy as the red blood, and with hair and eyes as black as
ebony."

Very soon after this the queen had a little daughter who was very fair,
had rosy cheeks, and hair as black as ebony; and they gave her the name
of Snow-white. But at the birth of the little child the queen died.

When Snow-white was a year old, the king took another wife. She was very
handsome, but so proud and vain that she could not endure that anyone
should surpass her in beauty. She possessed a wonderful mirror, and when
she stood before it to look at herself she would say:

    "Mirror, mirror on the wall,
     Am I most beautiful of all?"

Then the mirror would reply:

  "Young queen, thou are so wondrous fair,
   None can with thee at all compare."

Then she would go away quite contented, for she knew the magic mirror
could speak only the truth.

Years went by, and as Snow-white grew up, she became day after day more
beautiful, till she reached the age of seven years, and then people
began to talk about her, and say that she would be more lovely even than
the queen herself. So the proud woman went to her magic looking-glass,
and asked:

    "Mirror, mirror on the wall,
     Am I most beautiful of all?"

But the mirror answered:

  "Queen, thou are lovely still to see,
   But Snow-white will be
   A thousand times more beautiful than thee."

Then the queen was terrified, and turned green and yellow with jealousy.
If she had caught sight of Snow-white at that moment, she would have
been ready to tear her heart out of her body, she hated the maiden so
fiercely.

And this jealousy and envy grew every day stronger and stronger in her
heart, like a disease, till she had no rest day or night.

At last she sent for a hunter, who lived near a forest, and said to him,
"Hunter, I want to get rid of that child. Take her out into the wood,
and if you bring me some proofs that she is dead, I will reward you
handsomely. Never let her appear before my eyes again."

So the hunter enticed the child into the wood; but when he took out his
hunting-knife to thrust into Snow-white's innocent heart, she fell on
her knees and wept, and said, "Ah, dear hunter, leave me my life; I will
run away into the wild wood, and never, never come home any more."

She looked so innocent and beautiful as she knelt, that the hunter's
heart was moved with compassion: "Run away, then, thou poor child," he
cried; "I cannot harm thee."

Snow-white thanked him so sweetly, and was out of sight in a few
moments.

"She will be devoured by wild beasts," he said to himself. But the
thought that he had not killed her was as if a stone-weight had been
lifted from his heart.

To satisfy the queen, he took part of the inside of a young fawn, which
the wicked woman thought was poor little Snow-white, and was overjoyed
to think she was dead.

But the poor little motherless child, when she found herself alone in
the wood, and saw nothing but trees and leaves, was dreadfully
frightened, and knew not what to do. At last she began to run over the
sharp stones and through the thorns, and though the wild beasts sprang
out before her, they did her no harm. She ran on as long as she could
till her little feet became quite sore; and towards evening she saw, to
her great joy, a pretty little house. So she went up to it, and found
the door open and no one at home.

It was a tiny little house, but everything in it was so clean and neat
and elegant that it is beyond description. In the middle of the room
stood a small table, covered with a snow-white table-cloth, ready for
supper. On it were arranged seven little plates, seven little spoons,
seven little knives and forks, and seven mugs. By the wall stood seven
little beds, near each other, covered with white quilts.

Poor Snow-white, who was hungry and thirsty, ate a few vegetables and a
little bread from each plate, and drank a little drop of wine from each
cup, for she did not like to take all she wanted from one alone. After
this, feeling very tired, she thought she would lie down and rest on one
of the beds, but she found it difficult to choose one to suit her. One
was too long, another too short; so she tried them all till she came to
the seventh, and that was so comfortable that she laid herself down, and
was soon fast asleep.

When it was quite dark the masters of the house came home. They were
seven little dwarfs, who dug and searched in the mountains for minerals.
First they lighted seven little lamps, and as soon as the room was full
of light they saw that some one had been there, for everything did not
stand in the order in which they had left it.

Then said the first, "Who has been sitting in my little chair?"

The second exclaimed, "Who has been eating from my little plate?"

The third cried, "Some one has taken part of my bread."

"Who has been eating my vegetables?" said the fourth.

Then said the fifth, "Some one has used my fork."

The sixth cried, "And who has been cutting with my knife?"

"And some one has been drinking out of my cup," said the seventh.

Then the eldest looked at his bed, and, seeing that it looked tumbled,
cried out that some one had been upon it. The others came running
forward, and found all their beds in the same condition. But when the
seventh approached his bed, and saw Snow-white lying there fast asleep,
he called the others, who came quickly, and holding their lights over
their heads, cried out in wonder as they beheld the sleeping child. "Oh,
what a beautiful little child!" they said to each other, and were so
delighted that they would not awaken her, but left her to sleep as long
as she liked in the little bed, while its owner slept with one of his
companions, and so the night passed away.

In the morning, when Snow-white awoke, and saw all the dwarfs, she was
terribly frightened. But they spoke kindly to her, till she lost all
fear, and they asked her name.

"I am called Snow-white," she replied.

"But how came you to our house?" asked one.

Then she related to them all that had happened; how her stepmother had
sent her into the wood with the hunter, who had spared her life, and
that, after wandering about for a whole day, she had found their house.

The dwarfs talked a little while together, and then one said, "Do you
think you could be our little housekeeper, to make the beds, cook the
dinner, and wash and sew and knit for us, and keep everything neat and
clean and orderly? If you can, then you shall stay here with us, and
nobody shall hurt you."

"Oh yes, I will try," said Snow-white. So they let her stay, and she was
a clever little thing. She managed very well, and kept the house quite
clean and in order. And while they were gone to the mountains to find
gold, she got their supper ready, and they were very happy together.

But every morning when they left her, the kind little dwarfs warned
Snow-white to be careful. While the maiden was alone they knew she was
in danger, and told her not to show herself, for her stepmother would
soon find out where she was, and said, "Whatever you do, let nobody into
the house while we are gone."

After the wicked queen had proved, as she thought, that Snow-white was
dead, she felt quite satisfied there was no one in the world now likely
to become so beautiful as herself, so she stepped up to her mirror and
asked:

    "Mirror, mirror on the wall,
     Who is most beautiful of all?"

To her vexation the mirror replied:

  "Fair queen, at home there is none like thee,
   But over the mountains is Snow-white free,
   With seven little dwarfs, who are strange to see;
   A thousand times fairer than thou is she."

The queen was furious when she heard this, for she knew the mirror was
truthful, and that the hunter must have deceived her, and that
Snow-white still lived. So she sat and pondered over these facts,
thinking what would be best to do, for as long as she was not the most
beautiful woman in the land, her jealousy gave her no peace. After a
time, she decided what to do. First, she painted her face, and whitened
her hair; then she dressed herself in old woman's clothes, and was so
disguised that no one could have recognised her.

Watching an opportunity, she left the castle, and took her way to the
wood near the mountains, where the seven little dwarfs lived. When she
reached the door, she knocked, and cried, "Beautiful goods to sell;
beautiful goods to sell."

Snow-white, when she heard it, peeped through the window, and said,
"Good-day, old lady. What have you in your basket for me to buy?"

"Everything that is pretty," she replied; "laces, and pearls, and
earrings, and bracelets of every colour;" and she held up her basket,
which was lined with glittering silk.

"I can let in this respectable old woman," thought Snow-white; "she will
not harm me." So she unbolted the door, and told her to come in. Oh, how
delighted Snow-white was with the pretty things; she bought several
trinkets, and a beautiful silk lace for her stays, but she did not see
the evil eye of the old woman who was watching her. Presently she said,
"Child, come here; I will show you how to lace your stays properly."
Snow-white had no suspicion, so she placed herself before the old woman
that she might lace her stays. But no sooner was the lace in the holes
than she began to lace so fast and pull so tight that Snow-white could
not breathe, and presently fell down at her feet as if dead.

"Now you are beautiful indeed," said the woman, and, fancying she heard
footsteps, she rushed away as quickly as she could.

Not long after, the seven dwarfs came home, and they were terribly
frightened to see dear little Snow-white lying on the ground without
motion, as if she were dead. They lifted her up, and saw in a moment
that her stays had been laced too tight Quickly they cut the stay-lace
in two, till Snow-white began to breathe a little, and after a time was
restored to life. But when the dwarfs heard what had happened, they
said: "That old market-woman was no other than your wicked stepmother.
Snow-white, you must never again let anyone in while we are not with
you."

The wicked queen when she returned home, after, as she thought, killing
Snow-white, went to her looking-glass and asked:

    "Mirror, mirror on the wall,
     Am I most beautiful of all?"

Then answered the mirror:

  "Queen, thou art not the fairest now;
   Snow-white over the mountain's brow
   A thousand times fairer is than thou."

When she heard this she was so terrified that the blood rushed to her
heart, for she knew that after all she had done Snow-white was still
alive. "I must think of something else," she said to herself, "to get
rid of that odious child."

Now this wicked queen had some knowledge of witchcraft, and she knew how
to poison a comb, so that whoever used it would fall dead. This the
wicked stepmother soon got ready, and dressing herself again like an old
woman, but quite different from the last, she started off to travel over
the mountains to the dwarfs' cottage.

When Snow-white heard the old cry, "Goods to sell, fine goods to sell,"
she looked out of the window and said:

"Go away, go away; I must not let you in."

"Look at this, then," said the woman; "you shall have it for your own if
you like," and she held up before the child's eyes the bright
tortoise-shell comb which she had poisoned.

Poor Snow-white could not refuse such a present, so she opened the door
and let the woman in, quite forgetting the advice of the dwarfs. After
she had bought a few things, the old woman said, "Let me try this comb
in your hair; it is so fine it will make it beautifully smooth and
glossy."

So Snow-white, thinking no wrong, stood before the woman to have her
hair dressed; but no sooner had the comb touched the roots of her hair
than the poison took effect, and the maiden fell to the ground lifeless.

"You paragon of beauty," said the wicked woman, "all has just happened
as I expected," and then she went away quickly.

Fortunately evening soon arrived, and the seven dwarfs returned home.
When they saw Snow-white lying dead on the ground, they knew at once
that the stepmother had been there again; but on seeing the poisoned
comb in her hair they pulled it out quickly, and Snow-white very soon
came to herself, and related all that had passed.

Again they warned her not to let anyone enter the house during their
absence, and on no account to open the door; but Snow-white was not
clever enough to resist her clever wicked stepmother, and she forgot to
obey.

The wicked queen felt sure now that she had really killed Snow-white; so
as soon as she returned home she went to her looking-glass, and
inquired:

    "Mirror, mirror on the wall,
     Who is most beautiful of all?"

But the mirror replied:

  "Queen, thou art the fairest here,
   But not when Snow-white is near;
   Over the mountains still is she,
   Fairer a thousand times than thee."

As the looking-glass thus replied, the queen trembled and quaked with
rage. "Snow-white shall die," cried she, "if it costs me my own life!"

Then she went into a lonely forbidden chamber where no one was allowed
to come, and poisoned a beautiful apple. Outwardly it looked ripe and
tempting, of a pale green with rosy cheeks, so that it made everyone's
mouth water to look at it, but whoever ate even a small piece must die.

As soon as this apple was ready, the wicked queen painted her face,
disguised her hair, dressed herself as a farmer's wife, and went again
over the mountains to the dwarfs' cottage.

When she knocked at the door, Snow-white stretched her head out of the
window, and said, "I dare not let you in; the seven dwarfs have
forbidden me."

"But I am all right," said the farmer's wife. "Stay, I will show you my
apples. Are they not beautiful? let me make you a present of one."

"No, thank you," cried Snow-white; "I dare not take it."

"What!" cried the woman, "are you afraid it is poisoned? Look here now,
I will cut the apple in halves; you shall have the rosy-cheek side, and
I will eat the other."

The apple was so cleverly made that the red side alone was poisonous.
Snow-white longed so much for the beautiful fruit as she saw the
farmer's wife eat one half that she could not any longer resist, but
stretched out her hand from the window and took the poisoned half. But
no sooner had she taken one mouthful than she fell on the ground dead.

Then the wicked queen glanced in at the window with a horrible look in
her eye, and laughed aloud as she exclaimed:

"White as snow, red as blood, and black as ebony; this time the dwarfs
will not be able to awake thee."

And as soon as she arrived at home, and asked her mirror who was the
most beautiful in the land, it replied:

  "Fair queen, there is none in all the land
   So beautiful as thou."

Then had her envious heart rest, at least such rest as a heart full of
envy and malice ever can have.

The little dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found poor
Snow-white on the ground; but though they lifted her up, there were no
signs of breath from her mouth, and they found she was really dead. Yet
they tried in every way to restore her; they tried to extract the poison
from her lips, they combed her hair, and washed it with wine and water,
but all to no purpose: the dear child gave no signs of life, and at last
they knew she was dead. Then they laid her on a bier, and the seven
dwarfs seated themselves round her, and wept and mourned for three days.
They would have buried her then, but there was no change in her
appearance; her face was as fresh, and her cheeks and lips had their
usual colour. Then said one, "We cannot lay this beautiful child in the
dark, cold earth."

So they agreed to have a coffin made entirely of glass, transparent all
over, that they might watch for any signs of decay, and they wrote in
letters of gold her name on the lid, and that she was the daughter of a
king. The coffin was placed on the side of the mountain, and each of
them watched it by turns, so that it was never left alone. And the birds
of the air came near and mourned for Snow-white; first the owl, then the
raven, and at last the dove. Snow-white lay for a long, long time in the
glass coffin, but showed not the least signs of decay. It seemed as if
she slept; for her skin was snow white, her cheeks rosy red, and her
hair black as ebony.

It happened one day that the son of a king, while riding in the forest,
came by chance upon the dwarfs' house and asked for a night's lodging.
As he left the next morning he saw the coffin on the mountain-side, with
beautiful Snow-white lying in it, and read what was written upon the lid
in letters of gold.

Then he said to the dwarfs, "Let me have this coffin, and I will give
you for it whatever you ask."

But the elder dwarf answered, "We would not give it thee for all the
gold in the world."

But the prince answered, "Let me have it as a gift, then. I know not
why, but my heart is drawn towards this beautiful child, and I feel I
cannot live without her. If you will let me have her, she shall be
treated with the greatest honour and respect as one dearly beloved."

As he thus spoke the good little dwarfs were full of sympathy for him,
and gave him the coffin. Then the prince called his servants, and the
coffin was placed on their shoulders, and they carried it away, followed
by the king's son, who watched it carefully. Now it happened that one of
them made a false step and stumbled. This shook the coffin, and caused
the poisoned piece of apple which Snow-white had bitten to roll out of
her mouth. A little while after she suddenly opened her eyes, lifted up
the coffin-lid, raised herself and was again alive.

"Oh! where am I?" she cried.

Full of joy, the king's son approached her, and said, "Dear Snow-white,
you are safe; you are with me."

Then he related to her all that had happened, and what the little dwarfs
had told him about her, and said at last, "I love you better than all in
the world besides, dear little Snow-white, and you must come with me to
my father's castle and be my wife."

Then was Snow-white taken out of the coffin and placed in a carriage to
travel with the prince, and the king was so pleased with his son's
choice that the marriage was soon after celebrated with great pomp and
magnificence.

Now it happened that the stepmother of Snow-white was invited, among
other guests, to the wedding-feast. Before she left her house she stood
in all her rich dress before the magic mirror to admire her own
appearance, but she could not help saying;

    "Mirror, mirror on the wall,
     Am I most beautiful of all?"

Then to her surprise the mirror replied:

  "Fair queen, thou art the fairest here,
     But at the palace, now,
   The bride will prove a thousand times
     More beautiful than thou."

Then the wicked woman uttered a curse, and was so dreadfully alarmed
that she knew not what to do. At first she declared she would not go to
this wedding at all, but she felt it impossible to rest until she had
seen the bride, so she determined to go. But what was her astonishment
and vexation when she recognised in the young bride Snow-white herself,
now grown a charming young woman, and richly dressed in royal robes! Her
rage and terror were so great that she stood still and could not move
for some minutes. At last she went into the ballroom, but the slippers
she wore were to her as iron bands full of coals of fire, in which she
was obliged to dance. And so in the red, glowing shoes she continued to
dance till she fell dead on the floor, a sad example of envy and
jealousy.




CHAPTER III

THE ENCHANTED STAG


There were once a brother and sister who loved each other dearly; their
mother was dead, and their father had married again a woman who was most
unkind and cruel to them. One day the boy took his sister's hand, and
said to her, "Dear little sister, since our mother died we have not had
one happy hour. Our stepmother gives us dry hard crusts for dinner and
supper; she often knocks us about, and threatens to kick us out of the
house. Even the little dogs under the table fare better than we do, for
she often throws them nice pieces to eat. Heaven pity us! Oh, if our
dear mother knew! Come, let us go out into the wide world!"

So they went out, and wandered over fields and meadows the whole day
till evening. At last they found themselves in a large forest; it began
to rain, and the little sister said, "See, brother, heaven and our
hearts weep together." At last, tired out with hunger and sorrow, and
the long journey, they crept into a hollow tree, laid themselves down,
and slept till morning.

When they awoke the sun was high in the heavens, and shone brightly into
the hollow tree, so they left their place of shelter and wandered away
in search of water.

"Oh, I am so thirsty!" said the boy. "If we could only find a brook or a
stream." He stopped to listen, and said, "Stay, I think I hear a running
stream." So he took his sister by the hand, and they ran together to
find it.

Now, the stepmother of these poor children was a wicked witch. She had
seen the children go away, and, following them cautiously like a snake,
had bewitched all the springs and streams in the forest. The pleasant
trickling of a brook over the pebbles was heard by the children as they
reached it, and the boy was just stooping to drink, when the sister
heard in the babbling of the brook:

    "Whoever drinks of me, a tiger soon will be."

Then she cried quickly, "Stay, brother, stay! do not drink, or you will
become a wild beast, and tear me to pieces."

Thirsty as he was, the brother conquered his desire to drink at her
words, and said, "Dear sister, I will wait till we come to a spring." So
they wandered farther, but as they approached, she heard in the bubbling
spring the words--

    "Who drinks of me, a wolf will be."

"Brother, I pray you, do not drink of this brook; you will be changed
into a wolf, and devour me."

Again the brother denied himself and promised to wait; but he said, "At
the next stream I must drink, say what you will, my thirst is so great."

Not far off ran a pretty streamlet, looking clear and bright; but here
also in its murmuring waters, the sister heard the words--

    "Who dares to drink of me,
     Turned to a stag will be."

"Dear brother, do not drink," she began; but she was too late, for her
brother had already knelt by the stream to drink, and as the first drop
of water touched his lips he became a fawn. How the little sister wept
over the enchanted brother, and the fawn wept also.

He did not run away, but stayed close to her; and at last she said,
"Stand still, dear fawn; don't fear, I must take care of you, but I will
never leave you." So she untied her little golden garter and fastened it
round the neck of the fawn; then she gathered some soft green rushes,
and braided them into a soft string, which she fastened to the fawn's
golden collar, and then led him away into the depths of the forest.

After wandering about for some time, they at last found a little
deserted hut, and the sister was overjoyed, for she thought it would
form a nice shelter for them both. So she led the fawn in, and then went
out alone, to gather moss and dried leaves, to make him a soft bed.

Every morning she went out to gather dried roots, nuts, and berries, for
her own food, and sweet fresh grass for the fawn, which he ate out of
her hand, and the poor little animal went out with her, and played about
as happy as the day was long.

When evening came, and the poor sister felt tired, she would kneel down
and say her prayers, and then lay her delicate head on the fawn's back,
which was a soft warm pillow, on which she could sleep peacefully. Had
this dear brother only kept his own proper form, how happy they would
have been together! After they had been alone in the forest for some
time, and the little sister had grown a lovely maiden, and the fawn a
large stag, a numerous hunting party came to the forest, and amongst
them the king of the country.

The sounding horn, the barking of the dogs, the holloa of the huntsmen,
resounded through the forest, and were heard by the stag, who became
eager to join his companions.

"Oh dear," he said, "do let me go and see the hunt; I cannot restrain
myself." And he begged so hard that at last she reluctantly consented.

"But remember," she said, "I must lock the cottage door against those
huntsmen, so when you come back in the evening, and knock, I shall not
admit you, unless you say, 'Dear little sister let me in.'"

He bounded off as she spoke, scarcely stopping to listen, for it was so
delightful for him to breathe the fresh air and be free again.

He had not run far when the king's chief hunter caught sight of the
beautiful animal, and started off in chase of him; but it was no easy
matter to overtake such rapid footsteps. Once, when he thought he had
him safe, the fawn sprang over the bushes and disappeared.

As it was now nearly dark, he ran up to the little cottage, knocked at
the door, and cried, "Dear little sister, let me in." The door was
instantly opened, and oh, how glad his sister was to see him safely
resting on his soft pleasant bed!

A few days after this, the huntsmen were again in the forest; and when
the fawn heard the holloa, he could not rest in peace, but begged his
sister again to let him go.

She opened the door, and said, "I will let you go this time; but pray do
not forget to say what I told you, when you return this evening."

The chief hunter very soon espied the beautiful fawn with the golden
collar, pointed it out to the king, and they determined to hunt it.

They chased him with all their skill till the evening; but he was too
light and nimble for them to catch, till a shot wounded him slightly in
the foot, so that he was obliged to hide himself in the bushes, and,
after the huntsmen were gone, limp slowly home.

One of them, however, determined to follow him at a distance, and
discover where he went. What was his surprise at seeing him go up to a
door and knock, and to hear him say, "Dear little sister, let me in."
The door was only opened a little way, and quickly shut; but the
huntsman had seen enough to make him full of wonder, when he returned
and described to the king what he had seen.

"We will have one more chase to-morrow," said the king, "and discover
this mystery."

In the meantime the loving sister was terribly alarmed at finding the
stag's foot wounded and bleeding. She quickly washed off the blood, and,
after bathing the wound, placed healing herbs on it, and said, "Lie down
on your bed, dear fawn, and the wound will soon heal, if you rest your
foot."

In the morning the wound was so much better that the fawn felt the foot
almost as strong as ever, and so, when he again heard the holloa of the
hunters, he could not rest. "Oh, dear sister, I must go once more; it
will be easy for me to avoid the hunters now, and my foot feels quite
well; they will not hunt me unless they see me running, and I don't mean
to do that."

But his sister wept, and begged him not to go: "If they kill you, dear
fawn, I shall be here alone in the forest, forsaken by the whole world."

"And I shall die of grief," he said, "if I remain here listening to the
hunter's horn."

So at length his sister, with a heavy heart, set him free, and he
bounded away joyfully into the forest.

As soon as the king caught sight of him, he said to the huntsmen,
"Follow that stag about, but don't hurt him." So they hunted him all
day, but at the approach of sunset the king said to the hunter who had
followed the fawn the day before, "Come and show me the little cottage."

So they went together, and when the king saw it he sent his companion
home, and went on alone so quickly that he arrived there before the
fawn; and, going up to the little door, knocked and said softly, "Dear
little sister, let me in."

As the door opened, the king stepped in, and in great astonishment saw a
maiden more beautiful than he had ever seen in his life standing before
him. But how frightened she felt to see instead of her dear little fawn
a noble gentleman walk in with a gold crown on his head.

However, he appeared very friendly, and after a little talk he held out
his hand to her, and said, "Wilt thou go with me to my castle and be my
dear wife?"

"Ah yes," replied the maiden, "I would willingly; but I cannot leave my
dear fawn: he must go with me wherever I am."

"He shall remain with you as long as you live," replied the king, "and I
will never ask you to forsake him."

While they were talking, the fawn came bounding in, looking quite well
and happy. Then his sister fastened the string of rushes to his collar,
took it in her hand, and led him away from the cottage in the wood to
where the king's beautiful horse waited for him.

The king placed the maiden before him on his horse and rode away to his
castle, the fawn following by their side. Soon after, their marriage was
celebrated with great splendour, and the fawn was taken the greatest
care of, and played where he pleased, or roamed about the castle grounds
in happiness and safety.

In the meantime the wicked stepmother, who had caused these two young
people such misery, supposed that the sister had been devoured by wild
beasts, and that the fawn had been hunted to death. Therefore when she
heard of their happiness, such envy and malice arose in her heart that
she could find no rest till she had tried to destroy it.

She and her ugly daughter came to the castle when the queen had a little
baby, and one of them pretended to be a nurse, and at last got the
mother and child into their power.

They shut the queen up in the bath, and tried to suffocate her, and the
old woman put her own ugly daughter in the queen's bed that the king
might not know she was away.

She would not, however, let him speak to her, but pretended that she
must be kept quite quiet.

The queen escaped from the bath-room, where the wicked old woman had
locked her up, but she did not go far, as she wanted to watch over her
child and the little fawn.

For two nights the baby's nurse saw a figure of the queen come into the
room and take up her baby and nurse it. Then she told the king, and he
determined to watch himself. The old stepmother, who acted as nurse to
her ugly daughter, whom she tried to make the king believe was his wife,
had said that the queen was too weak to see him, and never left her
room. "There cannot be two queens," said the king to himself, "so
to-night I will watch in the nursery." As soon as the figure came in and
took up her baby, he saw it was his real wife, and caught her in his
arms, saying, "You are my own beloved wife, as beautiful as ever."

The wicked witch had thrown her into a trance, hoping she would die, and
that the king would then marry her daughter; but on the king speaking to
her, the spell was broken. The queen told the king how cruelly she had
been treated by her stepmother, and on hearing this he became very
angry, and had the witch and her daughter brought to justice. They were
both sentenced to die--the daughter to be devoured by wild beasts, and
the mother to be burnt alive.

No sooner, however, was she reduced to ashes than the charm which held
the queen's brother in the form of a stag was broken; he recovered his
own natural shape, and appeared before them a tall, handsome young man.

After this, the brother and sister lived happily and peacefully for the
rest of their lives.




CHAPTER IV

HANSEL AND GRETHEL


Near the borders of a large forest dwelt in olden times a poor
wood-cutter, who had two children--a boy named Hansel, and his sister,
Grethel. They had very little to live upon, and once when there was a
dreadful season of scarcity in the land, the poor wood-cutter could not
earn sufficient to supply their daily food.

One evening, after the children were gone to bed, the parents sat
talking together over their sorrow, and the poor husband sighed, and
said to his wife, who was not the mother of his children, but their
stepmother, "What will become of us, for I cannot earn enough to support
myself and you, much less the children? what shall we do with them, for
they must not starve?"

"I know what to do, husband," she replied; "early to-morrow morning we
will take the children for a walk across the forest and leave them in
the thickest part; they will never find the way home again, you may
depend, and then we shall only have to work for ourselves."

"No, wife," said the man, "that I will never do. How could I have the
heart to leave my children all alone in the wood, where the wild beasts
would come quickly and devour them?"

"Oh, you fool," replied the stepmother, "if you refuse to do this, you
know we must all four perish with hunger; you may as well go and cut the
wood for our coffins." And after this she let him have no peace till he
became quite worn out, and could not sleep for hours, but lay thinking
in sorrow about his children.

The two children, who also were too hungry to sleep, heard all that
their stepmother had said to their father. Poor little Grethel wept
bitter tears as she listened, and said to her brother, "What is going to
happen to us, Hansel?"

"Hush, Grethel," he whispered, "don't be so unhappy; I know what to do."

Then they lay quite still till their parents were asleep.

As soon as it was quiet, Hansel got up, put on his little coat,
unfastened the door, and slipped out The moon shone brightly, and the
white pebble stones which lay before the cottage door glistened like new
silver money. Hansel stooped and picked up as many of the pebbles as he
could stuff in his little coat pockets. He then went back to Grethel and
said, "Be comforted, dear little sister, and sleep in peace; heaven will
take care of us." Then he laid himself down again in bed, and slept till
the day broke.

As soon as the sun was risen, the stepmother came and woke the two
children, and said, "Get up, you lazy bones, and come into the wood with
me to gather wood for the fire." Then she gave each of them a piece of
bread, and said, "You must keep that to eat for your dinner, and don't
quarrel over it, for you will get nothing more."

Grethel took the bread under her charge, for Hansel's pockets were full
of pebbles. Then the stepmother led them a long way into the forest.
They had gone but a very short distance when Hansel looked back at the
house, and this he did again and again.

At last his stepmother said, "Why do you keep staying behind and looking
back so?"

"Oh, mother," said the boy, "I can see my little white cat sitting on
the roof of the house, and I am sure she is crying for me."

"Nonsense," she replied; "that is not your cat; it is the morning sun
shining on the chimney-pot."

Hansel had seen no cat, but he stayed behind every time to drop a white
pebble from his pocket on the ground as they walked.

As soon as they reached a thick part of the wood, their stepmother said:

"Come, children, gather some wood, and I will make a fire, for it is
very cold here."

Then Hansel and Grethel raised quite a high heap of brushwood and
faggots, which soon blazed up into a bright fire, and the woman said to
them:

"Sit down here, children, and rest, while I go and find your father, who
is cutting wood in the forest; when we have finished our work, we will
come again and fetch you."

Hansel and Grethel seated themselves by the fire, and when noon arrived
they each ate the piece of bread which their stepmother had given them
for their dinner; and as long as they heard the strokes of the axe they
felt safe, for they believed that their father was working near them.
But it was not an axe they heard--only a branch which still hung on a
withered tree, and was moved up and down by the wind. At last, when they
had been sitting there a long time, the children's eyes became heavy
with fatigue, and they fell fast asleep. When they awoke it was dark
night, and poor Grethel began to cry, and said, "Oh, how shall we get
out of the wood?"

But Hansel comforted her. "Don't fear," he said; "let us wait a little
while till the moon rises, and then we shall easily find our way home."

Very soon the full moon rose, and then Hansel took his little sister by
the hand, and the white pebble stones, which glittered like newly-coined
money in the moonlight, and which Hansel had dropped as he walked,
pointed out the way. They walked all the night through, and did not
reach their father's house till break of day.

They knocked at the door, and when their stepmother opened it, she
exclaimed: "You naughty children, why have you been staying so long in
the forest? we thought you were never coming back," But their father was
overjoyed to see them, for it grieved him to the heart to think that
they had been left alone in the wood.

Not long after this there came another time of scarcity and want in
every house, and the children heard their stepmother talking after they
were in bed. "The times are as bad as ever," she said; "we have just
half a loaf left, and when that is gone all love will be at an end. The
children must go away; we will take them deeper into the forest this
time, and they will not be able to find their way home as they did
before; it is the only plan to save ourselves from starvation." But the
husband felt heavy at heart, for he thought it was better to share the
last morsel with his children.

His wife would listen to nothing he said, but continued to reproach him,
and as he had given way to her the first time, he could not refuse to do
so now. The children were awake, and heard all the conversation; so, as
soon as their parents slept, Hansel got up, intending to go out and
gather some more of the bright pebbles to let fall as he walked, that
they might point out the way home; but his stepmother had locked the
door, and he could not open it. When he went back to his bed he told his
little sister not to fret, but to go to sleep in peace, for he was sure
they would be taken care of.

Early the next morning the stepmother came and pulled the children out
of bed, and, when they were dressed, gave them each a piece of bread for
their dinners, smaller than they had had before, and then they started
on their way to the wood.

As they walked, Hansel, who had the bread in his pocket, broke off
little crumbs, and stopped every now and then to drop one, turning round
as if he was looking back at his home.

"Hansel," said the woman, "what are you stopping for in that way? Come
along directly."

"I saw my pigeon sitting on the roof, and he wants to say good-bye to
me," replied the boy.

"Nonsense," she said; "that is not your pigeon; it is only the morning
sun shining on the chimney-top."

But Hansel did not look back any more; he only dropped pieces of bread
behind him, as they walked through the wood. This time they went on till
they reached the thickest and densest part of the forest, where they had
never been before in all their lives. Again they gathered faggots and
brushwood, of which the stepmother made up a large fire. Then she said,
"Remain here, children, and rest, while I go to help your father, who is
cutting wood in the forest; when you feel tired, you can lie down and
sleep for a little while, and we will come and fetch you in the evening,
when your father has finished his work."

So the children remained alone till mid-day, and then Grethel shared her
piece of bread with Hansel, for he had scattered his own all along the
road as they walked. After this they slept for awhile, and the evening
drew on; but no one came to fetch the poor children. When they awoke it
was quite dark, and poor little Grethel was afraid; but Hansel comforted
her, as he had done before, by telling her they need only wait till the
moon rose. "You know, little sister," he said, "that I have thrown
breadcrumbs all along the road we came, and they will easily point out
the way home."

But when they went out of the thicket into the moonlight they found no
breadcrumbs, for the numerous birds which inhabited the trees of the
forest had picked them all up.

Hansel tried to hide his fear when he made this sad discovery, and said
to his sister, "Cheer up, Grethel; I dare say we shall find our way home
without the crumbs. Let us try." But this they found impossible. They
wandered about the whole night, and the next day from morning till
evening; but they could not get out of the wood, and were so hungry that
had it not been for a few berries which they picked they must have
starved.

At last they were so tired that their poor little legs could carry them
no farther; so they laid themselves down under a tree and went to sleep.
When they awoke it was the third morning since they had left their
father's house, and they determined to try once more to find their way
home; but it was no use, they only went still deeper into the wood, and
knew that if no help came they must starve.

About noon, they saw a beautiful snow-white bird sitting on the branch
of a tree, and singing so beautifully that they stood still to listen.
When he had finished his song, he spread out his wings and flew on
before them. The children followed him, till at last they saw at a
distance a small house; and the bird flew and perched on the roof.

But how surprised were the boy and girl, when they came nearer, to find
that the house was built of gingerbread, and ornamented with sweet cakes
and tarts, while the window was formed of barley-sugar. "Oh!" exclaimed
Hansel, "let us stop here and have a splendid feast. I will have a piece
from the roof first, Grethel; and you can eat some of the barley-sugar
window, it tastes so nice." Hansel reached up on tiptoe, and breaking
off a piece of the gingerbread, he began to eat with all his might, for
he was very hungry. Grethel seated herself on the doorstep, and began
munching away at the cakes of which it was made. Presently a voice came
out of the cottage:

  "Munching, crunching, munching,
   Who's eating up my house?"

Then answered the children:

    "The wind, the wind,
     Only the wind,"

and went on eating as if they never meant to leave off, without a
suspicion of wrong. Hansel, who found the cake on the roof taste very
good, broke off another large piece, and Grethel had just taken out a
whole pane of barley-sugar from the window, and seated herself to eat
it, when the door opened, and a strange-looking old woman came out
leaning on a stick.

Hansel and Grethel were so frightened that they let fall what they held
in their hands. The old woman shook her head at them, and said, "Ah, you
dear children, who has brought you here? Come in, and stay with me for a
little while, and there shall no harm happen to you." She seized them
both by the hands as she spoke, and led them into the house. She gave
them for supper plenty to eat and drink--milk and pancakes and sugar,
apples and nuts; and when evening came, Hansel and Grethel were shown
two beautiful little beds with white curtains, and they lay down in them
and thought they were in heaven.

But although the old woman pretended to be friendly, she was a wicked
witch, who had her house built of gingerbread on purpose to entrap
children. When once they were in her power, she would feed them well
till they got fat, and then kill them and cook them for her dinner; and
this she called her feast-day. Fortunately the witch had weak eyes, and
could not see very well; but she had a very keen scent, as wild animals
have, and could easily discover when human beings were near. As Hansel
and Grethel had approached her cottage, she laughed to herself
maliciously, and said, with a sneer: "I have them now; they shall not
escape from me again!"

Early in the morning, before the children were awake, she was up,
standing by their beds; and when she saw how beautiful they looked in
their sleep, with their round rosy cheeks, she muttered to herself,
"What nice tit-bits they will be!" Then she laid hold of Hansel with her
rough hand, dragged him out of bed, and led him to a little cage which
had a lattice-door, and shut him in; he might scream as much as he
would, but it was all useless.

After this she went back to Grethel, and, shaking her roughly till she
woke, cried: "Get up, you lazy hussy, and draw some water, that I may
boil something good for your brother, who is shut up in a cage outside
till he gets fat; and then I shall cook him and eat him!" When Grethel
heard this she began to cry bitterly; but it was all useless, she was
obliged to do as the wicked witch told her.

For poor Hansel's breakfast the best of everything was cooked; but
Grethel had nothing for herself but a crab's claw. Every morning the old
woman would go out to the little cage, and say: "Hansel, stick out your
finger, that I may feel if you are fat enough for eating." But Hansel,
who knew how dim her old eyes were, always stuck a bone through the bars
of his cage, which she thought was his finger, for she could not see;
and when she felt how thin it was, she wondered very much why he did not
get fat.

However, as the weeks went on, and Hansel seemed not to get any fatter,
she became impatient, and said she could not wait any longer. "Go,
Grethel," she cried to the maiden, "be quick and draw water; Hansel may
be fat or lean, I don't care, to-morrow morning I mean to kill him, and
cook him!"

Oh! how the poor little sister grieved when she was forced to draw the
water; and, as the tears rolled down her cheeks, she exclaimed: "It
would have been better to be eaten by wild beasts, or to have been
starved to death in the woods; then we should have died together!"

"Stop your crying!" cried the old woman; "it is not of the least use, no
one will come to help you."

Early in the morning Grethel was obliged to go out and fill the great
pot with water, and hang it over the fire to boil. As soon as this was
done, the old woman said, "We will bake some bread first; I have made
the oven hot, and the dough is already kneaded." Then she dragged poor
little Grethel up to the oven door, under which the flames were burning
fiercely, and said: "Creep in there, and see if it is hot enough yet to
bake the bread." But if Grethel had obeyed her, she would have shut the
poor child in and baked her for dinner, instead of boiling Hansel.

Grethel, however, guessed what she wanted to do, and said, "I don't know
how to get in through that narrow door."

"Stupid goose," said the old woman, "why, the oven door is quite large
enough for me; just look, I could get in myself." As she spoke she
stepped forward and pretended to put her head in the oven.

A sudden thought gave Grethel unusual strength; she started forward,
gave the old woman a push which sent her right into the oven, then she
shut the iron door and fastened the bolt.

Oh! how the old witch did howl, it was quite horrible to hear her. But
Grethel ran away, and therefore she was left to burn, just as she had
left many poor little children to burn. And how quickly Grethel ran to
Hansel, opened the door of his cage, and cried, "Hansel, Hansel, we are
free; the old witch is dead." He flew like a bird out of his cage at
these words as soon as the door was opened, and the children were so
overjoyed that they ran into each other's arms, and kissed each other
with the greatest love.

And now that there was nothing to be afraid of, they went back into the
house, and while looking round the old witch's room, they saw an old oak
chest, which they opened, and found it full of pearls and precious
stones. "These are better than pebbles," said Hansel; and he filled his
pockets as full as they would hold.

"I will carry some home too," said Grethel, and she held out her apron,
which held quite as much as Hansel's pockets.

"We will go now," he said, "and get away as soon as we can from this
enchanted forest."

They had been walking for nearly two hours when they came to a large
sheet of water.

"What shall we do now?" said the boy. "We cannot get across, and there
is no bridge of any sort."

"Oh! here comes a boat," cried Grethel, but she was mistaken; it was
only a white duck which came swimming towards the children. "Perhaps she
will help us across if we ask her," said the child; and she sung,
"Little duck, do help poor Hansel and Grethel; there is not a bridge,
nor a boat--will you let us sail across on your white back?"

The good-natured duck came near the bank as Grethel spoke, so close
indeed that Hansel could seat himself and wanted to take his little
sister on his lap, but she said, "No, we shall be too heavy for the kind
duck; let her take us over one at a time."

The good creature did as the children wished; she carried Grethel over
first, and then came back for Hansel. And then how happy the children
were to find themselves in a part of the wood which they remembered
quite well, and as they walked on, the more familiar it became, till at
last they caught sight of their father's house. Then they began to run,
and, bursting into the room, threw themselves into their father's arms.

Poor man, he had not had a moment's peace since the children had been
left alone in the forest; he was full of joy at finding them safe and
well again, and now they had nothing to fear, for their wicked
stepmother was dead.

But how surprised the poor wood-cutter was when Grethel opened and shook
her little apron to see the glittering pearls and precious stones
scattered about the room, while Hansel drew handful after handful from
his pockets. From this moment all his care and sorrow was at an end, and
the father lived in happiness with his children till his death.




CHAPTER V

THE STORY OF ALADDIN; OR, THE WONDERFUL LAMP


In one of the large and rich cities of China, there once lived a tailor
named Mustapha. He was very poor. He could hardly, by his daily labour,
maintain himself and his family, which consisted only of his wife and a
son.

His son, who was called Aladdin, was a very careless and idle fellow. He
was disobedient to his father and mother, and would go out early in the
morning and stay out all day, playing in the streets and public places
with idle children of his own age.

When he was old enough to learn a trade, his father took him into his
own shop, and taught him how to use his needle; but all his father's
endeavours to keep him to his work were vain, for no sooner was his back
turned, than he was gone for that day, Mustapha chastised him, but
Aladdin was incorrigible, and his father, to his great grief, was forced
to abandon him to his idleness; and was so much troubled about him, that
he fell sick and died in a few months.

Aladdin, who was now no longer restrained by the fear of a father, gave
himself entirely over to his idle habits, and was never out of the
streets from his companions. This course he followed till he was fifteen
years old, without giving his mind to any useful pursuit, or the least
reflection on what would become of him. As he was one day playing,
according to custom, in the street, with his evil associates, a stranger
passing by stood to observe him.

This stranger was a sorcerer, known as the African magician, as he had
been but two days arrived from Africa, his native country.

The African magician, observing in Aladdin's countenance something which
assured him that he was a fit boy for his purpose, inquired his name and
history of some of his companions, and when he had learnt all he desired
to know, went up to him, and taking him aside from his comrades, said,
"Child, was not your father called Mustapha the tailor?" "Yes, sir,"
answered the boy, "but he has been dead a long time."

At these words the African magician threw his arms about Aladdin's neck,
and kissed him several times, with tears in his eyes, and said, "I am
your uncle. Your worthy father was my own brother. I knew you at first
sight, you are so like him." Then he gave Aladdin a handful of small
money, saying, "Go, my son, to your mother, give my love to her, and
tell her that I will visit her to-morrow, that I may see where my good
brother lived so long, and ended his days."

Aladdin ran to his mother, overjoyed at the money his uncle had given
him. "Mother," said he, "have I an uncle?" "No, child," replied his
mother, "you have no uncle by your father's side or mine." "I am just
now come," said Aladdin, "from a man who says he is my uncle and my
father's brother. He cried and kissed me when I told him my father was
dead, and gave me money, sending his love to you, and promising to come
and pay you a visit, that he may see the house my father lived and died
in." "Indeed, child," replied the mother, "your father had no brother,
nor have you an uncle."

The next day the magician found Aladdin playing in another part of the
town, and embracing him as before, put two pieces of gold into his hand,
and said to him, "Carry this, child, to your mother; tell her that I
will come and see her to-night, and bid her get us something for supper;
but first show ms the house where you live."

Aladdin showed the African magician the house, and carried the two
pieces of gold to his mother, who went out and bought provisions; and
considering she wanted various utensils, borrowed them of her
neighbours. She spent the whole day in preparing the supper; and at
night, when it was ready, said to her son, "Perhaps the stranger knows
not how to find our house; go and bring him, if you meet with him."

Aladdin was just ready to go, when the magician knocked at the door, and
came in loaded with wine and all sorts of fruits, which he brought for a
dessert. After he had given what he brought into Aladdin's hands, he
saluted his mother, and desired her to show him the place where his
brother Mustapha used to sit on the sofa; and when she had so done, he
fell down and kissed it several times, crying out, with tears in his
eyes, "My poor brother! how unhappy am I, not to have come soon enough
to give you one last embrace." Aladdin's mother desired him to sit down
in the same place, but he declined. "No," said he, "I shall not do that;
but give me leave to sit opposite to it, that although I see not the
master of a family so dear to me, I may at least behold the place where
he used to sit."

When the magician had made choice of a place, and sat down, he began to
enter into discourse with Aladdin's mother. "My good sister," said he,
"do not be surprised at your never having seen me all the time you have
been married to my brother Mustapha of happy memory. I have been forty
years absent from this country, which is my native place, as well as my
late brother's; and during that time have travelled into the Indies,
Persia, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt, and afterward crossed over into
Africa, where I took up my abode. At last, as it is natural for a man, I
was desirous to see my native country again, and to embrace my dear
brother; and finding I had strength enough to undertake so long a
journey, I made the necessary preparations, and set out. Nothing ever
afflicted me so much as hearing of my brother's death. But God be
praised for all things! It is a comfort for me to find, as it were, my
brother in a son, who has his most remarkable features."

The African magician perceiving that the widow wept at the remembrance
of her husband, changed the conversation, and turning toward her son,
asked him, "What business do you follow? Are you of any trade?"

At this question the youth hung down his head, and was not a little
abashed when his mother answered "Aladdin is an idle fellow. His father,
when alive, strove all he could to teach him his trade, but could not
succeed; and since his death, notwithstanding all I can say to him, he
does nothing but idle away his time in the streets, as you saw him,
without considering he is no longer a child; and if you do not make him
ashamed of it, I despair of his ever coming to any good. For my part, I
am resolved, one of these days, to turn him out of doors, and let him
provide for himself."

After these words, Aladdin's mother burst into tears; and the magician
said, "This is not well, nephew; you must think of helping yourself, and
getting your livelihood. There are many sorts of trades; perhaps you do
not like your father's, and would prefer another; I will endeavour to
help you. If you have no mind to learn any handicraft, I will take a
shop for you, furnish it with all sorts of fine stuffs and linens; and
then with the money you make of them you can lay in fresh goods, and
live in an honourable way. Tell me freely what you think of my proposal;
you shall always find me ready to keep my word."

This plan just suited Aladdin, who hated work. He told the magician he
had a greater inclination to that business than to any other, and that
he should be much obliged to him for his kindness. "Well then," said the
African magician, "I will carry you with me to-morrow, clothe you as
handsomely as the best merchants in the city, and afterward we will open
a shop as I mentioned."

The widow, after his promises of kindness to her son, no longer doubted
that the magician was her husband's brother. She thanked him for his
good intentions; and after having exhorted Aladdin to render himself
worthy of his uncle's favour, served up supper, at which they talked of
several indifferent matters; and then the magician took his leave and
retired.

He came again the next day, as he had promised, and took Aladdin with
him to a merchant, who sold all sorts of clothes for different ages and
ranks, ready made, and a variety of fine stuffs, and bade Aladdin choose
those he preferred, which he paid for.

When Aladdin found himself so handsomely equipped, he returned his uncle
thanks, who thus addressed him: "As you are soon to be a merchant, it is
proper you should frequent these shops, and be acquainted with them." He
then showed him the largest and finest mosques, carried him to the khans
or inns where the merchants and travellers lodged, and afterward to the
sultan's palace, where he had free access; and at last brought him to
his own khan, where, meeting with some merchants he had become
acquainted with since his arrival, he gave them a treat, to bring them
and his pretended nephew acquainted.

This entertainment lasted till night, when Aladdin would have taken
leave of his uncle to go home; the magician would not let him go by
himself, but conducted him to his mother, who, as soon as she saw him so
well dressed, was transported with joy, and bestowed a thousand
blessings upon the magician.

Early the next morning the magician called again for Aladdin, and said
he would take him to spend that day in the country, and on the next he
would purchase the shop. He then led him out at one of the gates of the
city, to some magnificent palaces, to each of which belonged beautiful
gardens, into which anybody might enter. At every building he came to,
he asked Aladdin if he did not think it fine; and the youth was ready to
answer when any one presented itself, crying out, "Here is a finer
house, uncle, than any we have yet seen," By this artifice, the cunning
magician led Aladdin some way into the country; and as he meant to carry
him farther, to execute his design, he took an opportunity to sit down
in one of the gardens, on the brink of a fountain of clear water, which
discharged itself by a lion's mouth of bronze into a basin, pretending
to be tired: "Come, nephew," said he, "you must be weary as well as I;
let us rest ourselves, and we shall be better able to pursue our walk."




The magician next pulled from his girdle a handkerchief with cakes and
fruit, and during this short repast he exhorted his nephew to leave off
bad company, and to seek that of wise and prudent men, to improve by
their conversation; "for," said he, "you will soon be at man's estate,
and you cannot too early begin to imitate their example." When they had
eaten as much as they liked, they got up, and pursued their walk through
gardens separated from one another only by small ditches, which marked
out the limits without interrupting the communication; so great was the
confidence the inhabitants reposed in each other. By this means the
African magician drew Aladdin insensibly beyond the gardens, and crossed
the country, till they nearly reached the mountains.

At last they arrived between two mountains of moderate height and equal
size, divided by a narrow valley, which was the place where the magician
intended to execute the design that had brought him from Africa to
China. "We will go no farther now," said he to Aladdin; "I will show you
here some extraordinary things, which, when you have seen, you will
thank me for: but while I strike a light, gather up all the loose dry
sticks you can see, to kindle a fire with."

Aladdin found so many dried sticks, that he soon collected a great heap.
The magician presently set them on fire; and when they were in a blaze,
threw in some incense, pronouncing several magical words, which Aladdin
did not understand.

He had scarcely done so when the earth opened just before the magician,
and discovered a stone with a brass ring fixed in it. Aladdin was so
frightened that he would have run away, but the magician caught hold of
him, and gave him such a box on the ear that he knocked him down.
Aladdin got up trembling, and with tears in his eyes said to the
magician, "What have I done, uncle, to be treated in this severe
manner?" "I am your uncle," answered the magician; "I supply the place
of your father, and you ought to make no reply. But child," added he,
softening, "do not be afraid; for I shall not ask anything of you, but
that you obey me punctually, if you would reap the advantages which I
intend you. Know, then, that under this stone there is hidden a
treasure, destined to be yours, and which will make you richer than the
greatest monarch in the world. No person but yourself is permitted to
lift this stone, or enter the cave; so you must punctually execute what
I may command, for it is a matter of great consequence both to you and
me."

Aladdin, amazed at all he saw and heard, forgot what was past, and
rising said, "Well, uncle, what is to be done? Command me, I am ready to
obey." "I am overjoyed, child," said the African magician, embracing
him, "Take hold of the ring, and lift up that stone." "Indeed, uncle,"
replied Aladdin, "I am not strong enough; you must help me." "You have
no occasion for my assistance," answered the magician; "if I help you,
we shall be able to do nothing. Take hold of the ring, and lift it up;
you will find it will come easily." Aladdin did as the magician bade
him, raised the stone with ease, and laid it on one side.

When the stone was pulled up, there appeared a staircase about three or
four feet deep, leading to a door. "Descend, my son," said the African
magician, "those steps, and open that door. It will lead you into a
palace, divided into three great halls. In each of these you will see
four large brass cisterns placed on each side, full of gold and silver;
but take care you do not meddle with them. Before you enter the first
hall, be sure to tuck up your robe, wrap it about you, and then pass
through the second into the third without stopping. Above all things,
have a care that you do not touch the walls so much as with your
clothes; for if you do, you will die instantly. At the end of the third
hall, you will find a door which opens into a garden, planted with fine
trees loaded with fruit. Walk directly across the garden to a terrace,
where you will see a niche before you, and in that niche a lighted lamp.
Take the lamp down and put it out. When you have thrown away the wick
and poured out the liquor, put it in your waistband and bring it to me.
Do not be afraid that the liquor will spoil your clothes, for it is not
oil, and the lamp will be dry as soon as it is thrown out."

After these words the magician drew a ring off his finger, and put it on
one of Aladdin's, saying, "It is a talisman against all evil, so long as
you obey me. Go, therefore, boldly, and we shall both be rich all our
lives."

Aladdin descended the steps, and, opening the door, found the three
halls just as the African magician had described. He went through them
with all the precaution the fear of death could inspire, crossed the
garden without stopping, took down the lamp from the niche, threw out
the wick and the liquor, and, as the magician had desired, put it in his
waistband. But as he came down from the terrace, seeing it was perfectly
dry, he stopped in the garden to observe the trees, which were loaded
with extraordinary fruit of different colours on each tree. Some bore
fruit entirely white, and some clear and transparent as crystal; some
pale red, and others deeper; some green, blue, and purple, and others
yellow; in short, there was fruit of all colours. The white were pearls;
the clear and transparent, diamonds; the deep red, rubies; the paler,
balas rubies; the green, emeralds; the blue, turquoises; the purple,
amethysts; and the yellow, sapphires. Aladdin, ignorant of their value,
would have preferred figs, or grapes, or pomegranates; but as he had his
uncle's permission, he resolved to gather some of every sort. Having
filled the two new purses his uncle had bought for him with his clothes,
he wrapped some up in the skirts of his vest, and crammed his bosom as
full as it could hold.

Aladdin, having thus loaded himself with riches of which he knew not the
value, returned through the three halls with the utmost precaution, and
soon arrived at the mouth of the cave, where the African magician
awaited him with the utmost impatience. As soon as Aladdin saw him, he
cried out, "Pray, uncle, lend me your hand, to help me out." "Give me
the lamp first," replied the magician; "it will be troublesome to you,"
"Indeed, uncle," answered Aladdin, "I cannot now, but I will as soon as
I am up." The African magician was determined that he would have the
lamp before he would help him up; and Aladdin, who had encumbered
himself so much with his fruit that he could not well get at it, refused
to give it to him till he was out of the cave. The African magician,
provoked at this obstinate refusal, flew into a passion, threw a little
of his incense into the fire, and pronounced two magical words, when the
stone which had closed the mouth of the staircase moved into its place,
with the earth over it in the same manner as it lay at the arrival of
the magician and Aladdin.

This action of the magician plainly revealed to Aladdin that he was no
uncle of his, but one who designed him evil. The truth was that he had
learnt from his magic books the secret and the value of this wonderful
lamp, the owner of which would be made richer than any earthly ruler,
and hence his journey to China. His art had also told him that he was
not permitted to take it himself, but must receive it as a voluntary
gift from the hands of another person. Hence he employed young Aladdin,
and hoped by a mixture of kindness and authority to make him obedient to
his word and will. When he found that his attempt had failed, he set out
to return to Africa, but avoided the town, lest any person who had seen
him leave in company with Aladdin should make inquiries after the youth.
Aladdin being suddenly enveloped in darkness, cried, and called out to
his uncle to tell him he was ready to give him the lamp; but in vain,
since his cries could not be heard. He descended to the bottom of the
steps, with a design to get into the palace, but the door, which was
opened before by enchantment, was now shut by the same means. He then
redoubled his cries and tears, sat down on the steps without any hopes
of ever seeing light again, and in an expectation of passing from the
present darkness to a speedy death. In this great emergency he said,
"There is no strength or power but in the great and high God"; and in
joining his hands to pray he rubbed the ring which the magician had put
on his finger. Immediately a genie of frightful aspect appeared, and
said, "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee. I serve him who
possesses the ring on thy finger; I, and the other slaves of that ring."




At another time Aladdin would have been frightened at the sight of so
extraordinary a figure, but the danger he was in made him answer without
hesitation, "Whoever thou art, deliver me from this place." He had no
sooner spoken these words, than he found himself on the very spot where
the magician had last left him, and no sign of cave or opening, nor
disturbance of the earth. Returning God thanks to find himself once more
in the world, he made the best of his way home. When he got within his
mother's door, the joy to see her and his weakness for want of
sustenance made him so faint that he remained for a long time as dead.
As soon as he recovered, he related to his mother all that had happened
to him, and they were both very vehement in their complaints of the
cruel magician. Aladdin slept very soundly till late the next morning,
when the first thing he said to his mother was, that he wanted something
to eat, and wished she would give him his breakfast. "Alas! child," said
she, "I have not a bit of bread to give you; you ate up all the
provisions I had in the house yesterday; but I have a little cotton
which I have spun; I will go and sell it, and buy bread and something
for our dinner." "Mother," replied Aladdin, "keep your cotton for
another time, and give me the lamp I brought home with me yesterday; I
will go and sell it, and the money I shall get for it will serve both
for breakfast and dinner, and perhaps supper too."

Aladdin's mother took the lamp and said to her son, "Here it is, but it
is very dirty; if it were a little cleaner I believe it would bring
something more." She took some fine sand and water to clean it; but had
no sooner begun to rub it, than in an instant a hideous genie of
gigantic size appeared before her, and said to her in a voice of
thunder, "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave,
and the slave of all those who have that lamp in their hands; I and the
other slaves of the lamp."

Aladdin's mother, terrified at the sight of the genie, fainted; when
Aladdin, who had seen such a phantom in the cavern, snatched the lamp
out of his mother's hand, and said to the genie boldly, "I am hungry,
bring me something to eat." The genie disappeared immediately, and in an
instant returned with a large silver tray, holding twelve covered dishes
of the same metal, which contained the most delicious viands; six large
white bread cakes on two plates, two flagons of wine, and two silver
cups. All these he placed upon a carpet and disappeared; this was done
before Aladdin's mother recovered from her swoon.

Aladdin had fetched some water, and sprinkled it in her face to recover
her. Whether that or the smell of the meat effected her cure, it was not
long before she came to herself. "Mother," said Aladdin, "be not afraid:
get up and eat; here is what will put you in heart, and at the same time
satisfy my extreme hunger."

His mother was much surprised to see the great tray, twelve dishes, six
loaves, the two flagons and cups, and to smell the savoury odour which
exhaled from the dishes. "Child," said she, "to whom are we obliged for
this great plenty and liberality? Has the sultan been made acquainted
with our poverty, and had compassion on us?" "It is no matter, mother,"
said Aladdin, "let us sit down and eat; for you have almost as much need
of a good breakfast as myself; when we have done, I will tell you."
Accordingly, both mother and son sat down and ate with the better relish
as the table was so well furnished. But all the time Aladdin's mother
could not forbear looking at and admiring the tray and dishes, though
she could not judge whether they were silver or any other metal, and the
novelty more than the value attracted her attention.

The mother and son sat at breakfast till it was dinner-time, and then
they thought it would be best to put the two meals together; yet, after
this they found they should have enough left for supper, and two meals
for the next day.

When Aladdin's mother had taken away and set by what was left, she went
and sat down by her son on the sofa, saying, "I expect now that you
should satisfy my impatience, and tell me exactly what passed between
the genie and you while I was in a swoon"; which he readily complied
with.

She was in as great amazement at what her son told her, as at the
appearance of the genie; and said to him, "But, son, what have we to do
with genies? I never heard that any of my acquaintance had ever seen
one. How came that vile genie to address himself to me, and not to you,
to whom he had appeared before in the cave?" "Mother," answered Aladdin,
"the genie you saw is not the one who appeared to me. If you remember,
he that I first saw called himself the slave of the ring on my finger;
and this you saw, called himself the slave of the lamp you had in your
hand; but I believe you did not hear him, for I think you fainted as
soon as he began to speak."

"What!" cried the mother, "was your lamp then the occasion of that
cursed genie's addressing himself rather to me than to you? Ah! my son,
take it out of my sight, and put it where you please. I had rather you
would sell it than run the hazard of being frightened to death again by
touching it; and if you would take my advice, you would part also with
the ring, and not have anything to do with genies, who, as our prophet
has told us, are only devils."

"With your leave, mother," replied Aladdin, "I shall now take care how I
sell a lamp which may be so serviceable both to you and me. That false
and wicked magician would not have undertaken so long a journey to
secure this wonderful lamp if he had not known its value to exceed that
of gold and silver. And since we have honestly come by it, let us make a
profitable use of it, without making any great show, and exciting the
envy and jealousy of our neighbours. However, since the genies frighten
you so much, I will take it out of your sight, and put it where I may
find it when I want it. The ring I cannot resolve to part with; for
without that you had never seen me again; and though I am alive now,
perhaps, if it were gone, I might not be so some moments hence;
therefore, I hope you will give me leave to keep it, and to wear it
always on my finger." Aladdin's mother replied that he might do what he
pleased; for her part, she would have nothing to do with genies, and
never say anything more about them.

By the next night they had eaten all the provisions the genie had
brought; and the next day Aladdin, who could not bear the thoughts of
hunger, putting one of the silver dishes tinder his vest, went out early
to sell it, and addressing himself to a Jew whom he met in the streets,
took him aside, and pulling out the plate, asked him if he would buy it.
The cunning Jew took the dish, examined it, and as soon as he found that
it was good silver, asked Aladdin at how much he valued it. Aladdin, who
had never been used to such traffic, told him he would trust to his
judgment and honour. The Jew was somewhat confounded at this plain
dealing; and doubting whether Aladdin understood the material or the
full value of what he offered to sell, took a piece of gold out of his
purse and gave it him, though it was but the sixtieth part of the worth
of the plate. Aladdin, taking the money very eagerly, retired with so
much haste, that the Jew, not content with the exorbitancy of his
profit, was vexed he had not penetrated into his ignorance, and was
going to run after him, to endeavour to get some change out of the piece
of gold; but he ran so fast, and had got so far, that it would have been
impossible for him to overtake him.

Before Aladdin went home, he called at a baker's, bought some cakes of
bread, changed his money, and on his return gave the rest to his mother,
who went and purchased provisions enough to last them some time. After
this manner they lived, till Aladdin had sold the twelve dishes singly,
as necessity pressed, to the Jew, for the same money; who, after the
first time, durst not offer him less, for fear of losing so good a
bargain. When he had sold the last dish, he had recourse to the tray,
which weighed ten times as much as the dishes, and would have carried it
to his old purchaser, but that it was too large and cumbersome;
therefore he was obliged to bring him home with him to his mother's,
where, after the Jew had examined the weight of the tray, he laid down
ten pieces of gold, with which Aladdin was very well satisfied.

When all the money was spent, Aladdin had recourse again to the lamp. He
took it in his hands, looked for the part where his mother had rubbed it
with the sand, rubbed it also, when the genie immediately appeared, and
said, "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and
the slave of all those who have that lamp in their hands; I, and the
other slaves of the lamp." "I am hungry," said Aladdin, "bring me
something to eat." The genie disappeared, and presently returned with a
tray, the same number of covered dishes as before, set them down, and
vanished.

As soon as Aladdin found that their provisions were again expended, he
took one of the dishes, and went to look for his Jew chapman; but
passing by a goldsmith's shop, the goldsmith perceiving him, called to
him, and said, "My lad, I imagine that you have something to sell to the
Jew, whom I often see you visit; but perhaps you do not know that he is
the greatest rogue even among the Jews. I will give you the full worth
of what you have to sell, or I will direct you to other merchants who
will not cheat you."

This offer induced Aladdin to pull his plate from tinder his vest and
show it to the goldsmith; who at first sight saw that it was made of the
finest silver, and asked him if he had sold such as that to the Jew;
when Aladdin told him that he had sold him twelve such, for a piece of
gold each. "What a villain!" cried the goldsmith. "But," added he, "my
son, what is past cannot be recalled. By showing you the value of this
plate, which is of the finest silver we use in our shops, I will let you
see how much the Jew has cheated you."

The goldsmith took a pair of scales, weighed the dish, and assured him
that his plate would fetch by weight sixty pieces of gold, which he
offered to pay down immediately.

Aladdin thanked him for his fair dealing, and never after went to any
other person.

Though Aladdin and his mother had an inexhaustible treasure in their
lamp, and might have had whatever they wished for, yet they lived with
the same frugality as before, and it may easily be supposed that the
money for which Aladdin had sold the dishes and tray was sufficient to
maintain them some time.

During this interval, Aladdin frequented the shops of the principal
merchants, where they sold cloth of gold and silver, linens, silk
stuffs, and jewellery, and, oftentimes joining in their conversation,
acquired a knowledge of the world, and a desire to improve himself. By
his acquaintance among the jewellers, he came to know that the fruits
which he had gathered when he took the lamp were, instead of coloured
glass, stones of inestimable value; but he had the prudence not to
mention this to any one, not even to his mother.

One day as Aladdin was walking about the town, he heard an order
proclaimed, commanding the people to shut up their shops and houses, and
keep within doors while the Princess Buddir al Buddoor, the sultan's
daughter, went to the bath and returned.

This proclamation inspired Aladdin with eager desire to see the
princess's face, which he determined to gratify, by placing himself
behind the door of the bath, so that he could not fail to see her face.

Aladdin had not long concealed himself before the princess came. She was
attended by a great crowd of ladies, slaves, and mutes, who walked on
each side and behind her. When she came within three or four paces of
the door of the bath, she took off her veil, and gave Aladdin an
opportunity of a full view of her face.

The princess was a noted beauty: her eyes were large, lively, and
sparkling; her smile bewitching; her nose faultless; her mouth small;
her lips vermilion. It is not therefore surprising that Aladdin, who had
never before seen such a blaze of charms, was dazzled and enchanted.

After the princess had passed by, and entered the bath, Aladdin quitted
his hiding-place, and went home. His mother perceived him to be more
thoughtful and melancholy than usual; and asked what had happened to
make him so, or if he was ill. He then told his mother all his
adventure, and concluded by declaring, "I love the princess more than I
can express, and am resolved that I will ask her in marriage of the
sultan."

Aladdin's mother listened with surprise to what her son told her; but
when he talked of asking the princess in marriage, she laughed aloud.
"Alas! child," said she, "what are you thinking of? You must be mad to
talk thus."

"I assure you, mother," replied Aladdin, "that I am not mad, but in my
right senses. I foresaw that you would reproach me with folly and
extravagance; but I must tell you once more, that I am resolved to
demand the princess of the sultan in marriage; nor do I despair of
success. I have the slaves of the lamp and of the ring to help me, and
you know how powerful their aid is. And I have another secret to tell
you: those pieces of glass, which I got from the trees in the garden of
the subterranean palace, are jewels of inestimable value, and fit fit
for the greatest monarchs. All the precious stones the jewellers have in
Bagdad are not to be compared to mine for size or beauty; and I am sure
that the offer of them will secure the favour of the sultan. You have a
large porcelain dish fit to hold them; fetch it, and let us see how they
will look, when we have arranged them according to their different
colours."

Aladdin's mother brought the china dish, when he took the jewels out of
the two purses in which he had kept them, and placed them in order,
according to his fancy. But the brightness and lustre they emitted in
the daytime, and the variety of the colours, so dazzled the eyes both of
mother and son, that they were astonished beyond measure. Aladdin's
mother, emboldened by the sight of these rich jewels, and fearful lest
her son should be guilty of greater extravagance, complied with his
request, and promised to go early in the next morning to the palace of
the sultan. Aladdin rose before daybreak, awakened his mother, pressing
her to go to the sultan's palace, and to get admittance, if possible,
before the grand vizier, the other viziers, and the great officers of
state went in to take their seats in the divan, where the sultan always
attended in person.

Aladdin's mother took the china dish, in which they had put the jewels
the day before, wrapped it in two fine napkins, and set forward for the
sultan's palace. When she came to the gates, the grand vizier, the other
viziers, and most distinguished lords of the court were just gone in;
but notwithstanding the crowd of people was great, she got into the
divan, a spacious hall, the entrance into which was very magnificent.
She placed herself just before the sultan, grand vizier, and the great
lords, who sat in council, on his right and left hand. Several causes
were called, according to their order, pleaded and adjudged, until the
time the divan generally broke up, when the sultan, rising, returned to
his apartment, attended by the grand vizier; the other viziers and
ministers of state then retired, as also did all those whose business
had called them thither.

Aladdin's mother, seeing the sultan retire, and all the people depart,
judged rightly that he would not sit again that day, and resolved to go
home; and on her arrival said, with much simplicity, "Son, I have seen
the sultan, and am very well persuaded he has seen me, too, for I placed
myself just before him; but he was so much taken up with those who
attended on all sides of him that I pitied him, and wondered at his
patience. At last I believe he was heartily tired, for he rose up
suddenly, and would not hear a great many who were ready prepared to
speak to him, but went away, at which I was well pleased, for indeed I
began to lose all patience, and was extremely fatigued with staying so
long. But there is no harm done; I will go again to-morrow; perhaps the
sultan may not be so busy."

The next morning she repaired to the sultan's palace with the present,
as early as the day before; but when she came there, she found the gates
of the divan shut. She went six times afterward on the days appointed,
placed herself always directly before the sultan, but with as little
success as the first morning.

On the sixth day, however, after the divan was broken up, when the
sultan returned to his own apartment, he said to his grand vizier; "I
have for some time observed a certain woman, who attends constantly
every day that I give audience, with something wrapped up in a napkin;
she always stands up from the beginning to the breaking up of the
audience, and affects to place herself just before me. If this woman
comes to our next audience, do not fail to call her, that I may hear
what she has to say." The grand vizier made answer by lowering his hand,
and then lifting it up above his head, signifying his willingness to
lose it if he failed.

On the next audience day, when Aladdin's mother went to the divan, and
placed herself in front of the sultan as usual, the grand vizier
immediately called the chief of the mace-bearers, and pointing to her
bade him bring her before the sultan. The old woman at once followed the
mace-bearer, and when she reached the sultan bowed her head down to the
carpet which covered the platform of the throne, and remained in that
posture until he bade her rise, which she had no sooner done, than he
said to her, "Good woman, I have observed you to stand many days from
the beginning to the rising of the divan; what business brings you
here?"

After these words, Aladdin's mother prostrated herself a second time;
and when she arose, said, "Monarch of monarchs, I beg of you to pardon
the boldness of my petition, and to assure me of your pardon and
forgiveness." "Well," replied the sultan, "I will forgive you, be it
what it may, and no hurt shall come to you; speak boldly."

When Aladdin's mother had taken all these precautions, for fear of the
sultan's anger, she told him faithfully the errand on which her son had
sent her, and the event which led to his making so bold a request in
spite of all her remonstrances.

The sultan hearkened to this discourse without showing the least anger;
but before he gave her any answer, asked her what she had brought tied
up in the napkin. She took the china dish which she had set down at the
foot of the throne, untied it, and presented it to the sultan.

The sultan's amazement and surprise were inexpressible, when he saw so
many large, beautiful and valuable jewels collected in the dish. He
remained for some time lost in admiration. At last, when he had
recovered himself, he received the present from Aladdin's mother's hand;
saying, "How rich, how beautiful!" After he had admired and handled all
the jewels one after another, he turned to his grand vizier, and showing
him the dish, said, "Behold, admire, wonder! and confess that your eyes
never beheld jewels so rich and beautiful before." The vizier was
charmed. "Well," continued the sultan, "what sayest thou to such a
present? Is it not worthy of the princess my daughter? And ought I not
to bestow her on one who values her at so great a price?" "I cannot but
own," replied the grand vizier, "that the present is worthy of the
princess; but I beg of your majesty to grant me three months before you
come to a final resolution. I hope, before that time, my son, whom you
have regarded with your favour, will be able to make a nobler present
than this Aladdin, who is an entire stranger to your majesty."

The sultan granted his request, and he said to the old woman, "Good
woman, go home, and tell your son that I agree to the proposal you have
made me; but I cannot marry the princess my daughter for three months;
at the expiration of that time come again."

Aladdin's mother returned home much more gratified than she had
expected, and told her son with much joy the condescending answer she
had received from the sultan's own mouth; and that she was to come to
the divan again that day three months.

Aladdin thought himself the most happy of all men at hearing this news,
and thanked his mother for the pains she had taken in the affair, the
good success of which was of so great importance to his peace, that he
counted every day, week, and even hour as it passed. When two of the
three months were passed, his mother one evening, having no oil in the
house, went out to buy some, and found a general rejoicing--the houses
dressed with foliage, silks, and carpeting, and every one striving to
show their joy according to their ability. The streets were crowded with
officers in habits of ceremony, mounted on horses richly caparisoned,
each attended by a great many footmen. Aladdin's mother asked the oil
merchant what was the meaning of all this preparation of public
festivity. "Whence came you, good woman," said he, "that you don't know
that the grand vizier's son is to marry the Princess Buddir al Buddoor,
the sultan's daughter, to-night? She will presently return from the
bath; and these officers whom you see are to assist at the cavalcade to
the palace, where the ceremony is to be solemnised."

Aladdin's mother, on hearing these news, ran home very quickly. "Child,"
cried she, "you are undone! the sultan's fine promises will come to
nought. This night the grand vizier's son is to marry the Princess
Buddir al Buddoor."

At this account, Aladdin was thunderstruck, and he bethought himself of
the lamp, and of the genie who had promised to obey him; and without
indulging in idle words against the sultan, the vizier, or his son, he
determined, if possible, to prevent the marriage.

When Aladdin had got into his chamber, he took the lamp, rubbed it in
the same place as before, when immediately the genie appeared, and said
to him, "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave;
I, and the other slaves of the lamp." "Hear me," said Aladdin; "thou
hast hitherto obeyed me, but now I am about to impose on thee a harder
task. The sultan's daughter, who was promised me as my bride, is this
night married to the son of the grand vizier. Bring them both hither to
me immediately they retire to their bedchamber."

"Master," replied the genie, "I obey you."

Aladdin supped with his mother as was their wont, and then went to his
own apartment, and sat up to await the return of the genie, according to
his commands.

In the mean time the festivities in honour of the princess's marriage
were conducted in the sultan's palace with great magnificence. The
ceremonies were at last brought to a conclusion, and the princess and
the son of the vizier retired to the bedchamber prepared for them. No
sooner had they entered it, and dismissed their attendants, than the
genie, the faithful slave of the lamp, to the great amazement and alarm
of the bride and bridegroom, took up the bed, and by an agency invisible
to them, transported it in an instant into Aladdin's chamber, where he
set it down. "Remove the bridegroom," said Aladdin to the genie, "and
keep him a prisoner till to-morrow dawn, and then return with him here."
On Aladdin being left alone with the princess, he endeavoured to assuage
her fears, and explained to her the treachery practiced upon him by the
sultan her father. He then laid himself down beside her, putting a drawn
scimitar between them, to show that he was determined to secure her
safety, and to treat her with the utmost possible respect. At break of
day, the genie appeared at the appointed hour, bringing back the
bridegroom, whom by breathing upon he had left motionless and entranced
at the door of Aladdin's chamber during the night, and at Aladdin's
command transported the couch with the bride and bridegroom on it, by
the same invisible agency, into the palace of the sultan.

At the instant that the genie had set down the couch with the bride and
bridegroom in their own chamber, the sultan came to the door to offer
his good wishes to his daughter. The grand vizier's son, who was almost
perished with cold, by standing in his thin under-garment all night, no
sooner heard the knocking at the door than he got out of bed, and ran
into the robing-chamber, where he had undressed himself the night
before.

The sultan having opened the door, went to the bedside, kissed the
princess on the forehead, but was extremely surprised to see her look so
melancholy. She only cast at him a sorrowful look, expressive of great
affliction. He suspected there was something extraordinary in this
silence, and thereupon went immediately to the sultaness's apartment,
told her in what a state he found the princess, and how she had received
him. "Sire," said the sultaness, "I will go and see her; she will not
receive me in the same manner."

The princess received her mother with sighs and tears, and signs of deep
dejection. At last, upon her pressing on her the duty of telling her all
her thoughts, she gave to the sultaness a precise description of all
that happened to her during the night; on which the sultaness enjoined
on her the necessity of silence and discretion, as no one would give
credence to so strange a tale. The grand vizier's son, elated with the
honour of being the sultan's son-in-law, kept silence on his part, and
the events of the night were not allowed to cast the least gloom on the
festivities on the following day, in continued celebration of the royal
marriage.

When night came, the bride and bridegroom were again attended to their
chamber with the same ceremonies as on the preceding evening. Aladdin,
knowing that this would be so, had already given his commands to the
genie of the lamp; and no sooner were they alone than their bed was
removed in the same mysterious manner as on the preceding evening; and
having passed the night in the same unpleasant way, they were in the
morning conveyed to the palace of the sultan. Scarcely had they been
replaced in their apartment, when the sultan came to make his
compliments to his daughter, when the princess could no longer conceal
from him the unhappy treatment she had been subject to, and told him all
that had happened as she had already related it to her mother. The
sultan, on hearing these strange tidings, consulted with the grand
vizier; and finding from him that his son had been subjected to even
worse treatment by an invisible agency, he determined to declare the
marriage to be cancelled, and all the festivities, which were yet to
last for several days, to be countermanded and terminated.

This sudden change in the mind of the sultan gave rise to various
speculations and reports. Nobody but Aladdin knew the secret, and he
kept it with the most scrupulous silence; and neither the sultan nor the
grand vizier, who had forgotten Aladdin and his request, had the least
thought that he had any hand in the strange adventures that befell the
bride and bridegroom.

On the very day that the three months contained in the sultan's promise
expired, the mother of Aladdin again went to the palace, and stood in
the same place in the divan. The sultan knew her again, and directed his
vizier to have her brought before him.

After having prostrated herself, she made answer, in reply to the
sultan: "Sire, I come at the end of three months to ask of you the
fulfillment of the promise you made to my son." The sultan little
thought the request of Aladdin's mother was made to him in earnest, or
that he would hear any more of the matter. He therefore took counsel
with his vizier, who suggested that the sultan should attach such
conditions to the marriage that no one of the humble condition of
Aladdin could possibly fulfill. In accordance with this suggestion of
the vizier, the sultan replied to the mother of Aladdin: "Good woman, it
is true sultans ought to abide by their word, and I am ready to keep
mine, by making your son happy in marriage with the princess my
daughter. But as I cannot marry her without some further proof of your
son being able to support her in royal state, you may tell him I will
fulfill my promise as soon as he shall send me forty trays of massy
gold, full of the same sort of jewels you have already made me a present
of, and carried by the like number of black slaves, who shall be led by
as many young and handsome white slaves, all dressed magnificently. On
these conditions I am ready to bestow the princess my daughter upon him;
therefore, good woman, go and tell him so, and I will wait till you
bring me his answer."

Aladdin's mother prostrated herself a second time before the sultan's
throne, and retired. On her way home, she laughed within herself at her
son's foolish imagination. "Where," said she, "can he get so many large
gold trays, and such precious stones to fill them? It is altogether out
of his power, and I believe he will not be much pleased with my embassy
this time." When she came home, full of these thoughts, she told Aladdin
all the circumstances of her interview with the sultan, and the
conditions on which he consented to the marriage. "The sultan expects
your answer immediately," said she; and then added, laughing, "I believe
he may wait long enough!"

"Not so long, mother, as you imagine," replied Aladdin, "This demand is
a mere trifle, and will prove no bar to my marriage with the princess. I
will prepare at once to satisfy his request."

Aladdin retired to his own apartment and summoned the genie of the lamp,
and required him to prepare and present the gift immediately, before the
sultan closed his morning audience, according to the terms in which it
had been prescribed. The genie professed his obedience to the owner of
the lamp, and disappeared. Within a very short time, a train of forty
black slaves, led by the same number of white slaves, appeared opposite
the house in which Aladdin lived. Each black slave carried on his head a
basin of massy gold, full of pearls, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
Aladdin then addressed his mother: "Madam, pray lose no time; before the
sultan and the divan rise, I would have you return to the palace with
this present as the dowry demanded for the princess, that he may judge
by my diligence and exactness of the ardent and sincere desire I have to
procure myself the honour of this alliance."

As soon as this magnificent procession, with Aladdin's mother at its
head, had begun to march from Aladdin's house, the whole city was filled
with the crowds of people desirous to see so grand a sight. The graceful
bearing, elegant form, and wonderful likeness of each slave; their grave
walk at an equal distance from each other, the lustre of their jewelled
girdles, and the brilliancy of the aigrettes of precious stones in their
turbans, excited the greatest admiration in the spectators. As they had
to pass through several streets to the palace, the whole length of the
way was lined with files of spectators. Nothing, indeed, was ever seen
so beautiful and brilliant in the sultan's palace, and the richest robes
of the emirs of his court were not to be compared to the costly dresses
of these slaves, whom they supposed to be kings.

As the sultan, who had been informed of their approach, had given orders
for them to be admitted, they met with no obstacle, but went into the
divan in regular order, one part turning to the right and the other to
the left. After they were all entered, and had formed a semicircle
before the sultan's throne, the black slaves laid the golden trays on
the carpet, prostrated themselves, touching the carpet with their
foreheads, and at the same time the white slaves did the same. When they
rose, the black slaves uncovered the trays, and then all stood with
their arms crossed over their breasts.

In the mean time, Aladdin's mother advanced to the foot of the throne,
and having prostrated herself, said to the sultan, "Sire, my son knows
this present is much below the notice of Princess Buddir al Buddoor; but
hopes, nevertheless, that your majesty will accept of it, and make it
agreeable to the princess, and with the greater confidence since he has
endeavoured to conform to the conditions you were pleased to impose."

The sultan, overpowered at the sight of such more than royal
magnificence, replied without hesitation to the words of Aladdin's
mother: "Go and tell your son that I wait with open arms to embrace him;
and the more haste he makes to come and receive the princess my daughter
from my hands, the greater pleasure he will do me." As soon as Aladdin's
mother had retired, the sultan put an end to the audience; and rising
from his throne ordered that the princess's attendants should come and
carry the trays into their mistress's apartment, whither he went himself
to examine them with her at his leisure. The fourscore slaves were
conducted into the palace; and the sultan, telling the princess of their
magnificent apparel, ordered them to be brought before her apartment,
that she might see through the lattices he had not exaggerated in his
account of them.

In the meantime Aladdin's mother reached home, and showed in her air and
countenance the good news she brought to her son. "My son," said she,
"you may rejoice you are arrived at the height of your desires. The
sultan has declared that you shall marry the Princess Buddir al Buddoor.
He waits for you with impatience."

Aladdin, enraptured with this news, made his mother very little reply,
but retired to his chamber. There he rubbed his lamp, and the obedient
genie appeared. "Genie," said Aladdin, "convey me at once to a bath, and
supply me with the richest and most magnificent robe ever worn by a
monarch." No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the genie
rendered him, as well as himself, invisible, and transported him into a
bath of the finest marble of all sorts of colours; where he was
undressed, without seeing by whom, in a magnificent and spacious hall.
He was then well rubbed and washed with various scented waters. After he
had passed through several degrees of heat, he came out quite a
different man from what he was before. His skin was clear as that of a
child, his body lightsome and free; and when he returned into the hall,
he found, instead of his own poor raiment, a robe, the magnificence of
which astonished him. The genie helped him to dress, and when he had
done, transported him back to his own chamber, where he asked him if he
had any other commands. "Yes," answered Aladdin, "bring me a charger
that surpasses in beauty and goodness the best in the sultan's stables;
with a saddle, bridle, and other caparisons to correspond with his
value. Furnish also twenty slaves, as richly clothed as those who
carried the present to the sultan, to walk by my side and follow me, and
twenty more to go before me in two ranks. Besides these, bring my mother
six women slaves to attend her, as richly dressed at least as any of the
Princess Buddir al Buddoor's, each carrying a complete dress fit for any
sultaness. I want also ten thousand pieces of gold in ten purses; go,
and make haste."

As soon as Aladdin had given these orders, the genie disappeared, but
presently returned with the horse, the forty slaves, ten of whom carried
each a purse containing ten thousand pieces of gold, and six women
slaves, each carrying on her head a different dress for Aladdin's
mother, wrapt up in a piece of silver tissue, and presented them all to
Aladdin.

He presented the six women slaves to his mother, telling her they were
her slaves, and that the dresses they had brought were for her use. Of
the ten purses Aladdin took four, which he gave to his mother, telling
her, those were to supply her with necessaries; the other six he left in
the hands of the slaves who brought them, with an order to throw them by
handfuls among the people as they went to the sultan's palace. The six
slaves who carried the purses he ordered likewise to march before him,
three on the right hand and three on the left.

When Aladdin had thus prepared himself for his first interview with the
sultan, he dismissed the genie, and immediately mounting his charger,
began his march, and though he never was on horseback before, appeared
with a grace the most experienced horseman might envy. The innumerable
concourse of people through whom he passed made the air echo with their
acclamations, especially every time the six slaves who carried the
purses threw handfuls of gold among the populace.

On Aladdin's arrival at the palace, the sultan was surprised to find him
more richly and magnificently robed than he had ever been himself, and
was impressed with his good looks and dignity of manner, which were so
different from what he expected in the son of one so humble as Aladdin's
mother. He embraced him with all the demonstrations of joy, and when he
would have fallen at his feet, held him by the hand, and made him sit
near his throne. He shortly after led him amidst the sounds of trumpets,
hautboys, and all kinds of music, to a magnificent entertainment, at
which the sultan and Aladdin ate by themselves, and the great lords of
the court, according to their rank and dignity, sat at different tables.
After the feast, the sultan sent for the chief cadi, and commanded him
to draw up a contract of marriage between the Princess Buddir al Buddoor
and Aladdin. When the contract had been drawn, the sultan asked Aladdin
if he would stay in the palace and complete the ceremonies of the
marriage that day. "Sire," said Aladdin, "though great is my impatience
to enter on the honour granted me by your majesty, yet I beg you to
permit me first to build a palace worthy to receive the princess your
daughter. I pray you to grant me sufficient ground near your palace, and
I will have it completed with the utmost expedition." The sultan granted
Aladdin his request, and again embraced him. After which he took his
leave with as much politeness as if he had been bred up and had always
lived at court.

Aladdin returned home in the order he had come, amidst the acclamations
of the people, who wished him all happiness and prosperity. As soon as
he dismounted, he retired to his own chamber, took the lamp, and
summoned the genie as usual, who professed his allegiance. "Genie," said
Aladdin, "build me a palace fit to receive the Princess Buddir al
Buddoor. Let its materials be made of nothing less than porphyry,
jasper, agate, lapis lazuli, and the finest marble. Let its walls be
massive gold and silver bricks laid alternately. Let each front contain
six windows, and let the lattices of these (except one, which must be
left unfinished) be enriched with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, so
that they shall exceed everything of the kind ever seen in the world.
Let there be an inner and outer court in front of the palace, and a
spacious garden; but above all things, provide a safe treasure-house,
and fill it with gold and silver. Let there be also kitchens and
storehouses, stables full of the finest horses, with their equerries and
grooms, and hunting equipage, officers, attendants, and slaves, both men
and women, to form a retinue for the princess and myself. Go and execute
my wishes."

When Aladdin gave these commands to the genie, the sun was set. The next
morning at daybreak the genie presented himself, and, having obtained
Aladdin's consent, transported him in a moment to the palace he had
made. The genie led him through all the apartments, where he found
officers and slaves, habited according to their rank and the services to
which they were appointed. The genie then showed him the treasury, which
was opened by a treasurer, where Aladdin saw large vases of different
sizes, piled up to the top with money, ranged all round the chamber. The
genie thence led him to the stables, where were some of the finest
horses in the world, and the grooms busy in dressing them; from thence
they went to the storehouses, which were filled with all things
necessary, both for food and ornament.

When Aladdin had examined every portion of the palace, and particularly
the hall with the four-and-twenty windows, and found it far to exceed
his fondest expectations, he said, "Genie, there is one thing wanting, a
fine carpet for the princess to walk upon from the sultan's palace to
mine. Lay one down immediately." The genie disappeared, and Aladdin saw
what he desired executed in an instant. The genie then returned, and
carried him to his own home.

When the sultan's porters came to open the gates, they were amazed to
find what had been an unoccupied garden filled up with a magnificent
palace, and a splendid carpet extending to it all the way from the
sultan's palace. They told the strange tidings to the grand vizier, who
informed the sultan, who exclaimed, "It must be Aladdin's palace, which
I gave him leave to build for my daughter. He has wished to surprise us,
and let us see what wonders can be done in only one night."

Aladdin, on his being conveyed by the genie to his own home, requested
his mother to go to the Princess Buddir al Buddoor, and tell her that
the palace would be ready for her reception in the evening. She went,
attended by her women slaves, in the same order as on the preceding day.
Shortly after her arrival at the princess's apartment, the sultan
himself came in, and was surprised to find her, whom he knew as his
suppliant at his divan in such humble guise, to be now more richly and
sumptuously attired than his own daughter. This gave him a higher
opinion of Aladdin, who took such care of his mother, and made her share
his wealth and honours. Shortly after her departure, Aladdin, mounting
his horse, and attended by his retinue of magnificent attendants, left
his paternal home forever, and went to the palace in the same pomp as on
the day before. Nor did he forget to take with him the Wonderful Lamp,
to which he owed all his good fortune, nor to wear the Ring which was
given him as a talisman. The sultan entertained Aladdin with the utmost
magnificence, and at night, on the conclusion of the marriage
ceremonies, the princess took leave of the sultan her father. Bands of
music led the procession, followed by a hundred state ushers, and the
like number of black mutes, in two files, with their officers at their
head. Four hundred of the sultan's young pages carried flambeaux on each
side, which, together with the illuminations of the sultan's and
Aladdin's palaces, made it as light as day. In this order the princess,
conveyed in her litter, and accompanied also by Aladdin's mother,
carried in a superb litter and attended by her women slaves, proceeded
on the carpet which was spread from the sultan's palace to that of
Aladdin. On her arrival Aladdin was ready to receive her at the
entrance, and led her into a large hall, illuminated with an infinite
number of wax candles, where a noble feast was served up. The dishes
were of massy gold, and contained the most delicate viands. The vases,
basins, and goblets were gold also, and of exquisite workmanship, and
all the other ornaments and embellishments of the hall were answerable
to this display. The princess, dazzled to see so much riches collected
in one place, said to Aladdin, "I thought, prince, that nothing in the
world was so beautiful as the sultan my father's palace, but the sight
of this hall alone is sufficient to show I was deceived."

When the supper was ended, there entered a company of female dancers,
who performed, according to the custom of the country, singing at the
same time verses in praise of the bride and bridegroom. About midnight
Aladdin's mother conducted the bride to the nuptial apartment, and he
soon after retired.

The next morning the attendants of Aladdin presented themselves to dress
him, and brought him another habit, as rich and magnificent as that worn
the day before. He then ordered one of the horses to be got ready,
mounted him, and went in the midst of a large troop of slaves to the
sultan's palace to entreat him to take a repast in the princess's
palace, attended by his grand vizier and all the lords of his court. The
sultan consented with pleasure, rose up immediately, and, preceded by
the principal officers of his palace, and followed by all the great
lords of his court, accompanied Aladdin.

The nearer the sultan approached Aladdin's palace, the more he was
struck with its beauty; but when he entered it, came into the hall, and
saw the windows, enriched with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, all large
perfect stones, he was completely surprised, and said to his son-in-law,
"This palace is one of the wonders of the world; for where in all the
world besides shall we find walls built of massy gold and silver, and
diamonds, rubies, and emeralds composing the windows? But what most
surprises me is, that a hall of this magnificence should be left with
one of its windows incomplete and unfinished." "Sire," answered Aladdin,
"the omission was by design, since I wished that you should have the
glory of finishing this hall." "I take your intention kindly," said the
sultan, "and will give orders about it immediately."

After the sultan had finished this magnificent entertainment, provided
for him and for his court by Aladdin, he was informed that the jewellers
and goldsmiths attended; upon which he returned to the hall, and showed
them the window which was unfinished. "I sent for you," said he, "to fit
up this window in as great perfection as the rest. Examine them well,
and make all the dispatch you can."

The jewellers and goldsmiths examined the three-and-twenty windows with
great attention, and after they had consulted together, to know what
each could furnish, they returned, and presented themselves before the
sultan, whose principal jeweller undertaking to speak for the rest,
said, "Sire, we are all willing to exert our utmost care and industry to
obey you; but among us all we cannot furnish jewels enough for so great
a work." "I have more than are necessary," said the sultan; "come to my
palace, and you shall choose what may answer your purpose."

When the sultan returned to his palace, he ordered his jewels to be
brought out, and the jewellers took a great quantity, particularly those
Aladdin had made him a present of, which they soon used, without making
any great advance in their work. They came again several times for more,
and in a month's time had not finished half their work. In short, they
used all the jewels the sultan had, and borrowed of the vizier, but yet
the work was not half done.

Aladdin, who knew that all the sultan's endeavours to make this window
like the rest were in vain, sent for the jewellers and goldsmiths, and
not only commanded them to desist from their work, but ordered them to
undo what they had begun, and to carry all their jewels back to the
sultan and to the vizier. They undid in a few hours what they had been
six weeks about, and retired, leaving Aladdin alone in the hall. He took
the lamp, which he carried about him, rubbed it, and presently the genie
appeared. "Genie," said Aladdin, "I ordered thee to leave one of the
four-and-twenty windows of this hall imperfect, and thou hast executed
my commands punctually; now I would have thee make it like the rest."
The genie immediately disappeared. Aladdin went out of the hall, and
returning soon after, found the window, as he wished it to be, like the
others.

In the mean time, the jewellers and goldsmiths repaired to the palace,
and were introduced into the sultan's presence; where the chief jeweller
presented the precious stones which he had brought back. The sultan
asked them if Aladdin had given them any reason for so doing, and they
answering that he had given them none, he ordered a horse to be brought,
which he mounted, and rode to his son-in-law's palace, with some few
attendants on foot, to inquire why he had ordered the completion of the
window to be stopped. Aladdin met him at the gate, and without giving
any reply to his inquiries conducted him to the grand saloon, where the
sultan, to his great surprise, found the window, which was left
imperfect, to correspond exactly with the others. He fancied at first
that he was mistaken, and examined the two windows on each side, and
afterward all the four-and-twenty; but when he was convinced that the
window which several workmen had been so long about was finished in so
short a time, he embraced Aladdin and kissed him between his eyes. "My
son," said he, "what a man you are to do such surprising things always
in the twinkling of an eye! there is not your fellow in the world; the
more I know, the more I admire you."

The sultan returned to the palace, and after this went frequently to the
window to contemplate and admire the wonderful palace of his son-in-law.

Aladdin did not confine himself in his palace, but went with much state,
sometimes to one mosque, and sometimes to another, to prayers, or to
visit the grand vizier or the principal lords of the court. Every time
he went out, he caused two slaves, who walked by the side of his horse,
to throw handfuls of money among the people as he passed through the
streets and squares. This generosity gained him the love and blessings
of the people, and it was common for them to swear by his head. Thus
Aladdin, while he paid all respect to the sultan, won by his affable
behaviour and liberality the affections of the people.

Aladdin had conducted himself in this manner several years, when the
African magician, who had for some years dismissed him from his
recollection, determined to inform himself with certainty whether he
perished, as he supposed, in the subterranean cave or not. After he had
resorted to a long course of magic ceremonies, and had formed a
horoscope by which to ascertain Aladdin's fate, what was his surprise to
find the appearances to declare that Aladdin, instead of dying in the
cave, had made his escape, and was living in royal splendour, by the aid
of the genie of the wonderful lamp!

On the very next day, the magician set out and travelled with the utmost
haste to the capital of China, where, on his arrival, he took up his
lodgings in a khan.

He then quickly learnt about the wealth, charities, happiness, and
splendid palace of Prince Aladdin. Directly he saw the wonderful fabric,
he knew that none but the genies, the slaves of the lamp, could have
performed such wonders, and, piqued to the quick at Aladdin's high
estate, he returned to the khan.

On his return he had recourse to an operation of geomancy to find out
where the lamp was--whether Aladdin carried it about with him, or where
he left it. The result of his consultation informed him, to his great
joy, that the lamp was in the palace. "Well," said he, rubbing his hands
in glee, "I shall have the lamp, and I shall make Aladdin return to his
original mean condition."

The next day the magician learnt, from the chief superintendent of the
khan where he lodged, that Aladdin had gone on a hunting expedition,
which was to last for eight days, of which only three had expired. The
magician wanted to know no more, He resolved at once on his plans. He
went to a coppersmith, and asked for a dozen copper lamps: the master of
the shop told him he had not so many by him, but if he would have
patience till the next day, he would have them ready. The magician
appointed his time, and desired him to take care that they should be
handsome and well polished.

The next day the magician called for the twelve lamps, paid the man his
full price, put them into a basket hanging on his arm, and went directly
to Aladdin's palace. As he approached, he began crying, "Who will
exchange old lamps for new ones?" As he went along, a crowd of children
collected, who hooted, and thought him, as did all who chanced to be
passing by, a madman or a fool, to offer to change new lamps for old
ones.

The African magician regarded not their scoffs, hootings, or all they
could say to him, but still continued crying, "Who will change old lamps
for new ones?" He repeated this so often, walking backward and forward
in front of the palace, that the princess, who was then in the hall with
the four-and-twenty windows, hearing a man cry something, and seeing a
great mob crowding about him, sent one of her women slaves to know what
he cried.

The slave returned, laughing so heartily that the princess rebuked her.
"Madam," answered the slave, laughing still, "who can forbear laughing,
to see an old man with a basket on his arm, full of fine new lamps,
asking to change them for old ones? the children and mob crowding about
him, so that he can hardly stir, make all the noise they can in derision
of him."

Another female slave hearing this, said, "Now you speak of lamps, I know
not whether the princess may have observed it, but there is an old one
upon a shelf of the Prince Aladdin's robing room, and whoever owns it
will not be sorry to find a new one in its stead. If the princess
chooses, she may have the pleasure of trying if this old man is so silly
as to give a new lamp for an old one, without taking anything for the
exchange."

The princess, who knew not the value of this lamp, and the interest that
Aladdin had to keep it safe, entered into the pleasantry, and commanded
a slave to take it and make the exchange. The slave obeyed, went out of
the hall, and no sooner got to the palace gates than he saw the African
magician, called to him, and showing him the old lamp, said, "Give me a
new lamp for this."

The magician never doubted but this was the lamp he wanted. There could
be no other such in this palace, where every utensil was gold or silver.
He snatched it eagerly out of the slave's hand, and thrusting it as far
as he could into his breast, offered him his basket, and bade him choose
which he liked best. The slave picked out one and carried it to the
princess; but the change was no sooner made than the place rung with the
shouts of the children, deriding the magician's folly.

The African magician stayed no longer near the palace, nor cried any
more, "New lamps for old ones," but made the best of his way to his
khan. His end was answered, and by his silence he got rid of the
children and the mob.

As soon as he was out of sight of the two palaces, he hastened down the
least-frequented streets; and having no more occasion for his lamps or
basket, set all down in a spot where nobody saw him; then going down
another street or two, he walked till he came to one of the city gates,
and pursuing his way through the suburbs, which were very extensive, at
length reached a lonely spot, where he stopped till the darkness of the
night, as the most suitable time for the design he had in contemplation.
When it became quite dark, he pulled the lamp out of his breast and
rubbed it. At that summons the genie appeared, and said, "What wouldst
thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all
those who have that lamp in their hands, both I and the other slaves of
the lamp." "I command thee," replied the magician, "to transport me
immediately, and the palace which thou and the other slaves of the lamp
have built in this city, with all the people in it, to Africa." The
genie made no reply, but with the assistance of the other genies, the
slaves of the lamp, immediately transported him and the palace, entire,
to the spot whither he had been desired to convey it.

Early the next morning, when the sultan, according to custom, went to
contemplate and admire Aladdin's place, his amazement was unbounded to
find that it could nowhere be seen. He could not comprehend how so large
a palace which he had seen plainly every day for some years, should
vanish so soon, and not leave the least remains behind. In his
perplexity he ordered the grand vizier to be sent for with expedition.

The grand vizier, who, in secret, bore no good will to Aladdin,
intimated his suspicion that the palace was built by magic, and that
Aladdin had made his hunting excursion an excuse for the removal of his
palace with the same suddenness with which it had been erected. He
induced the sultan to send a detachment of his guard, and to have
Aladdin seized as a prisoner of state. On his son-in-law being brought
before him, he would not hear a word from him, but ordered him to be put
to death. The decree caused so much discontent among the people, whose
affection Aladdin had secured by his largesses and charities, that the
sultan, fearful of an insurrection, was obliged to grant him his life.
When Aladdin found himself at liberty, he again addressed the sultan:
"Sire, I pray you to let me know the crime by which I have thus lost the
favour of thy countenance." "Your crime!" answered the sultan, "wretched
man! do you not know it? Follow me, and I will show you." The sultan
then took Aladdin into the apartment from whence he was wont to look at
and admire his palace, and said, "You ought to know where your palace
stood; look, mind, and tell me what has become of it." Aladdin did so,
and being utterly amazed at the loss of his palace, was speechless. At
last recovering himself, he said, "It is true, I do not see the palace.
It is vanished; but I had no concern in its removal. I beg you to give
me forty days, and if in that time I cannot restore it, I will offer my
head to be disposed of at your pleasure." "I give you the time you ask,
but at the end of the forty days, forget not to present yourself before
me."

Aladdin went out of the sultan's palace in a condition of exceeding
humiliation. The lords who had courted him in the days of his splendour,
now declined to have any communication with him. For three days he
wandered about the city, exciting the wonder and compassion of the
multitude by asking everybody he met if they had seen his palace, or
could tell him anything of it. On the third day he wandered into the
country, and as he was approaching a river, he fell down the bank with
so much violence that he rubbed the ring which the magician had given
him so hard by holding on the rock to save himself, that immediately the
same genie appeared whom he had seen in the cave where the magician had
left him. "What wouldst thou have?" said the genie, "I am ready to obey
thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those that have that ring on
their finger; both I and the other slaves of the ring."

Aladdin, agreeably surprised at an offer of help so little expected,
replied, "Genie, show me where the palace I caused to be built now
stands, or transport it back where it first stood." "Your command,"
answered the genie, "is not wholly in my power; I am only the slave of
the ring, and not of the lamp." "I command thee, then," replied Aladdin,
"by the power of the ring, to transport me to the spot where my palace
stands, in what part of the world soever it may be." These words were no
sooner out of his mouth, than the genie transported him into Africa, to
the midst of a large plain, where his palace stood, at no great distance
from a city, and placing him exactly under the window of the princess's
apartment, left him.

Now it so happened that shortly after Aladdin had been transported by
the slave of the ring to the neighbourhood of his palace, that one of
the attendants of the Princess Buddir al Buddoor, looking through the
window, perceived him and instantly told her mistress. The princess, who
could not believe the joyful tidings, hastened herself to the window,
and seeing Aladdin, immediately opened it. The noise of opening the
window made Aladdin turn his head that way, and perceiving the princess,
he saluted her with an air that expressed his joy. "To lose no time,"
said she to him, "I have sent to have the private door opened for you;
enter and come up."

The private door, which was just under the princess's apartment, was
soon opened, and Aladdin conducted up into the chamber. It is impossible
to express the joy of both at seeing each other, after so cruel a
separation. After embracing and shedding tears of joy, they sat down,
and Aladdin said, "I beg of you, princess, to tell me what is become of
an old lamp which stood upon a shelf in my robing-chamber."

"Alas!" answered the princess, "I was afraid our misfortune might be
owing to that lamp; and what grieves me most is, that I have been the
cause of it. I was foolish enough to change the old lamp for a new one,
and the next morning I found myself in this unknown country, which I am
told is Africa."

"Princess," said Aladdin, interrupting her, "you have explained all by
telling me we are in Africa I desire you only to tell me if you know
where the old lamp now is." "The African magician carries it carefully
wrapt up in his bosom," said the princess; "and this I can assure you,
because he pulled it out before me, and showed it to me in triumph."

"Princess," said Aladdin, "I think I have found the means to deliver you
and to regain possession of the lamp, on which all my prosperity
depends; to execute this design it is necessary for me to go to the
town. I shall return by noon, and will then tell you what must be done
by you to insure success. In the mean time, I shall disguise myself, and
beg that the private door may be opened at the first knock."

When Aladdin was out of the palace, he looked round him on all sides,
and perceiving a peasant going into the country, hastened after him; and
when he had overtaken him, made a proposal to him to change clothes,
which the man agreed to. When they had made the exchange, the countryman
went about his business, and Aladdin entered the neighbouring city.
After traversing several streets, he came to that part of the town where
the merchants and artisans had their particular streets according to
their trades. He went into that of the druggists; and entering one of
the largest and best furnished shops, asked the druggist if he had a
certain powder, which he named.

The druggist, judging Aladdin by his habit to be very poor, told him he
had it, but that it was very dear; upon which Aladdin, penetrating his
thoughts, pulled out his purse, and showing him some gold, asked for
half a dram of the powder; which the druggist weighed and gave him,
telling him the price was a piece of gold. Aladdin put the money into
his hand, and hastened to the palace, which he entered at once by the
private door. When he came into the princess's apartments, he said to
her, "Princess, you must take your part in the scheme which I propose
for our deliverance. You must overcome your aversion to the magician,
and assume a most friendly manner toward him, and ask him to oblige you
by partaking of an entertainment in your apartments. Before he leaves,
ask him to exchange cups with you, which he, gratified at the honour you
do him, will gladly do, when you must give him the cup containing this
powder. On drinking it he will instantly fall asleep, and we will obtain
the lamp, whose slaves will do all our bidding, and restore us and the
palace to the capital of China."

The princess obeyed to the utmost her husband's instructions. She
assumed a look of pleasure on the next visit of the magician, and asked
him to an entertainment, which he most willingly accepted. At the close
of the evening, during which the princess had tried all she could to
please him, she asked him to exchange cups with her, and giving the
signal, had the drugged cup brought to her, which she gave to the
magician. He drank it out of compliment to the princess to the very last
drop, when he fell backward lifeless on the sofa.

The princess, in anticipation of the success of her scheme, had so
placed her women from the great hall to the foot of the staircase, that
the word was no sooner given that the African magician was fallen
backward, than the door was opened, and Aladdin admitted to the hall.
The princess rose from her seat, and ran, overjoyed, to embrace him; but
he stopped her, and said, "Princess, retire to your apartment; and let
me be left alone, while I endeavour to transport you back to China as
speedily as you were brought from thence."

When the princess, her women, and slaves were gone out of the hall,
Aladdin shut the door, and going directly to the dead body of the
magician, opened his vest, took out the lamp which was carefully wrapped
up, and rubbing it, the genie immediately appeared. "Genie," said
Aladdin, "I command thee to transport this palace instantly to the place
from whence it was brought hither." The genie bowed his head in token of
obedience, and disappeared. Immediately the palace was transported into
China, and its removal was only felt by two little shocks, the one when
it was lifted up, the other when it was set down, and both in a very
short interval of time.

On the morning after the restoration of Aladdin's palace, the sultan was
looking out of his window, and mourning over the fate of his daughter,
when he thought that he saw the vacancy created by the disappearance of
the palace to be again filled up.

On looking more attentively, he was convinced beyond the power of doubt
that it was his son-in-law's palace. Joy and gladness succeeded to
sorrow and grief. He at once ordered a horse to be saddled, which he
mounted that instant, thinking he could not make haste enough to the
place.

Aladdin rose that morning by daybreak, put on one of the most
magnificent habits his wardrobe afforded, and went up into the hall of
twenty-four windows, from whence he perceived the sultan approaching,
and received him at the foot of the great staircase, helping him to
dismount.

He led the sultan into the princess's apartment. The happy father
embraced her with tears of joy; and the princess, on her side, afforded
similar testimonies of her extreme pleasure. After a short interval,
devoted to mutual explanations of all that had happened, the sultan
restored Aladdin to his favour, and expressed his regret for the
apparent harshness with which he had treated him. "My son," said he, "be
not displeased at my proceedings against you; they arose from my
paternal love, and therefore you ought to forgive the excesses to which
it hurried me." "Sire," replied Aladdin, "I have not the least reason to
complain of your conduct, since you did nothing but what your duty
required. This infamous magician, the basest of men, was the sole cause
of my misfortune."

The African magician, who was thus twice foiled in his endeavour to ruin
Aladdin, had a younger brother, who was as skilful a magician as
himself, and exceeded him in wickedness and hatred of mankind. By mutual
agreement they communicated with each other once a year, however widely
separate might be their place of residence from each other. The younger
brother not having received as usual his annual communication, prepared
to take a horoscope and ascertain his brother's proceedings. He, as well
as his brother, always carried a geomantic square instrument about him;
he prepared the sand, cast the points, and drew the figures. On
examining the planetary crystal, he found that his brother was no longer
living, but had been poisoned; and by another observation, that he was
in the capital of the kingdom of China; also, that the person who had
poisoned him was of mean birth, though married to a princess, a sultan's
daughter.

When the magician had informed himself of his brother's fate, he
resolved immediately to revenge his death, and at once departed for
China; where, after crossing plains, rivers, mountains, deserts, and a
long tract of country without delay, he arrived after incredible
fatigues. When he came to the capital of China, he took a lodging at a
khan. His magic art soon revealed to him that Aladdin was the person who
had been the cause of the death of his brother. He had heard, too, all
the persons of repute in the city talking of a woman called Fatima, who
was retired from the world, and of the miracles she wrought. As he
fancied that this woman might be serviceable to him in the project he
had conceived, he made more minute inquiries, and requested to be
informed more particularly who that holy woman was, and what sort of
miracles she performed.

"What!" said the person whom he addressed, "have you never seen or heard
of her? She is the admiration of the whole town, for her fasting, her
austerities, and her exemplary life. Except Mondays and Fridays, she
never stirs out of her little cell; and on those days on which she comes
into the town she does an infinite deal of good; for there is not a
person who is diseased but she puts her hand on them and cures them."

Having ascertained the place where the hermitage of this holy woman was,
the magician went at night, and, plunging a poniard into her heart,
killed this good woman. In the morning he dyed his face of the same hue
as hers, and arraying himself in her garb, taking her veil, the large
necklace she wore round her waist, and her stick, went straight to the
palace of Aladdin.

As soon as the people saw the holy woman, as they imagined him to be,
they presently gathered about him in a great crowd. Some begged his
blessing, others kissed his hand, and others, more reserved, only the
hem of his garment; while others, suffering from disease, stooped for
him to lay his hands upon them; which he did, muttering some words in
form of prayer, and, in short, counterfeiting so well, that everybody
took him for the holy woman. He came at last to the square before
Aladdin's palace. The crowd and the noise were so great that the
princess, who was in the hall of four-and-twenty windows, heard it, and
asked what was the matter. One of her women told her it was a great
crowd of people collected about the holy woman to be cured of diseases
by the imposition of her hands.

The princess, who had long heard of this holy woman, but had never seen
her, was very desirous to have some conversation with her; which the
chief officer perceiving, told her it was an easy matter to bring her to
her, if she desired and commanded it; and the princess expressing her
wishes, he immediately sent four slaves for the pretended holy woman.

As soon as the crowd saw the attendants from the palace, they made way;
and the magician, perceiving also that they were coming for him,
advanced to meet them, overjoyed to find his plot succeed so well. "Holy
woman," said one of the slaves, "the princess wants to see you, and has
sent us for you." "The princess does me too great an honour," replied
the false Fatima; "I am ready to obey her command," and at the same time
followed the slaves to the palace.

When the pretended Fatima had made her obeisance, the princess said, "My
good mother, I have one thing to request, which you must not refuse me;
it is, to stay with me, that you may edify me with your way of living,
and that I may learn from your good example." "Princess," said the
counterfeit Fatima, "I beg of you not to ask what I cannot consent to
without neglecting my prayers and devotion." "That shall be no hindrance
to you," answered the princess; "I have a great many apartments
unoccupied; you shall choose which you like best, and have as much
liberty to perform your devotions as if you were in your own cell."

The magician, who really desired nothing more than to introduce himself
into the palace, where it would be a much easier matter for him to
execute his designs, did not long excuse himself from accepting the
obliging offer which the princess made him. "Princess," said he,
"whatever resolution a poor wretched woman as I am may have made to
renounce the pomp and grandeur of this world, I dare not presume to
oppose the will and commands of so pious and charitable a princess."

Upon this the princess, rising up, said, "Come with me, I will show you
what vacant apartments I have, that you may make choice of that you like
best." The magician followed the princess, and of all the apartments she
showed him, made choice of that which was the worst, saying that it was
too good for him, and that he only accepted it to please her.

Afterward the princess would have brought him back into the great hall
to make him dine with her; but he, considering that he should then be
obliged to show his face, which he had always taken care to conceal with
Fatima's veil, and fearing that the princess should find out that he was
not Fatima, begged of her earnestly to excuse him, telling her that he
never ate anything but bread and dried fruits, and desiring to eat that
slight repast in his own apartment. The princess granted his request,
saying, "You may be as free here, good mother, as if you were in your
own cell: I will order you a dinner, but remember I expect you as soon
as you have finished your repast."

After the princess had dined, and the false Fatima had been sent for by
one of the attendants, he again waited upon her. "My good mother," said
the princess, "I am overjoyed to see so holy a woman as yourself, who
will confer a blessing upon this palace. But now I am speaking of the
palace, pray how do you like it? And before I show it all to you, tell
me first what you think of this hall."

Upon this question, the counterfeit Fatima surveyed the hall from one
end to the other. When he had examined it well, he said to the princess,
"As far as such a solitary being as I am, who am unacquainted with what
the world calls beautiful, can judge, this hall is truly admirable;
there wants but one thing." "What is that, good mother?" demanded the
princess; "tell me, I conjure you. For my part, I always believed, and
have heard say, it wanted nothing; but if it does, it shall be
supplied."

"Princess," said the false Fatima, with great dissimulation, "forgive me
the liberty I have taken; but my opinion is, if it can be of any
importance, that if a roc's egg were hung up in the middle of the dome,
this hall would have no parallel in the four quarters of the world, and
your palace would be the wonder of the universe."

"My good mother," said the princess, "what is a roc, and where may one
get an egg?" "Princess," replied the pretended Fatima, "it is a bird of
prodigious size, which inhabits the summit of Mount Caucasus; the
architect who built your palace can get you one."

After the princess had thanked the false Fatima for what she believed
her good advice, she conversed with her upon other matters; but could
not forget the roc's egg, which she resolved to request of Aladdin when
next he should visit his apartments. He did so in the course of that
evening, and shortly after he entered, the princess thus addressed him:
"I always believed that our palace was the most superb, magnificent, and
complete in the world: but I will tell you now what it wants, and that
is a roc's egg hung up in the midst of the dome." "Princess," replied
Aladdin, "it is enough that you think it wants such an ornament; you
shall see by the diligence which I use in obtaining it, that there is
nothing which I would not do for your sake."

Aladdin left the Princess Buddir al Buddoor that moment, and went up
into the hall of four-and-twenty windows, where, pulling out of his
bosom the lamp, which after the danger he had been exposed to be always
carried about him, he rubbed it; upon which the genie immediately
appeared. "Genie," said Aladdin, "I command thee, in the name of this
lamp, bring a roc's egg to be hung up in the middle of the dome of the
hall of the palace." Aladdin had no sooner pronounced these words, than
the hall shook as if ready to fall; and the genie said in a loud and
terrible voice, "Is it not enough that I and the other slaves of the
lamp have done everything for you, but you, by an unheard-of
ingratitude, must command me to bring my master, and hang him up in the
midst of this dome? This attempt deserves that you, the princess, and
the palace, should be immediately reduced to ashes; but you are spared
because this request does not come from yourself. Its true author is the
brother of the African magician, your enemy whom you have destroyed. He
is now in your palace, disguised in the habit of the holy woman Fatima,
whom he has murdered; at his suggestion your wife makes this pernicious
demand. His design is to kill you, therefore take care of yourself."
After these words the genie disappeared.

Aladdin resolved at once what to do. He returned to the princess's
apartment, and without mentioning a word of what had happened, sat down,
and complained of a great pain which had suddenly seized his head. On
hearing this, the princess told him how she had invited the holy Fatima
to stay with her, and that she was now in the palace; and at the request
of the prince, ordered her to be summoned to her at once.

When the pretended Fatima came, Aladdin said, "Come hither, good mother;
I am glad to see you here at so fortunate a time. I am tormented with a
violent pain in my head, and request your assistance, and hope you will
not refuse me that cure which you impart to afflicted persons." So
saying, he arose, but held down his head. The counterfeit Fatima
advanced toward him, with his hand all the time on a dagger concealed in
his girdle under his gown; which Aladdin, observing, he snatched the
weapon from his hand, pierced him to the heart with his own dagger, and
then pushed him down on the floor.

"My dear prince, what have you done?" cried the princess, in surprise.
"You have killed the holy woman!" "No, my princess," answered Aladdin
with emotion, "I have not killed Fatima, but a villain, who would have
assassinated me, if I had not prevented him. This wicked man," added he,
uncovering his face, "is the brother of the magician who attempted our
ruin. He has strangled the true Fatima, and disguised himself in her
clothes with intent to murder me." Aladdin then informed her how the
genie had told him these facts, and how narrowly she and the palace had
escaped destruction through his treacherous suggestion which had led to
her request.

Thus was Aladdin delivered from the persecution of the two brothers, who
were magicians. Within a few years afterward, the sultan died in a good
old age, and as he left no male children, the Princess Buddir al Buddoor
succeeded him, and she and Aladdin reigned together many years, and left
a numerous and illustrious posterity.




CHAPTER VI

THE HISTORY OF ALI BABA, AND OF THE FORTY ROBBERS KILLED BY ONE SLAVE


There once lived in a town of Persia two brothers, one named Cassim and
the other Ali Baba. Their father divided a small inheritance equally
between them. Cassim married a very rich wife, and became a wealthy
merchant. Ali Baba married a woman as poor as himself, and lived by
cutting wood, and bringing it upon three asses into the town, to sell.

One day, when Ali Baba was in the forest, and had just cut wood enough
to load his asses, he saw at a distance a great cloud of dust, which
seemed to approach him. He observed it with attention, and distinguished
soon after a body of horsemen, who he suspected might be robbers. He
determined to leave his asses to save himself. He climbed up a large
tree, planted on a high rock, whose branches were thick enough to
conceal him, and yet enabled him to see all that passed without being
discovered.

The troop, who were to the number of forty, all well mounted and armed,
came to the foot of the rock on which the tree stood, and there
dismounted Every man unbridled his horse, tied him to some shrub, and
hung about his neck a bag of corn which they brought behind them. Then
each of them took off his saddle-bag, which seemed to Ali Baba to be
full of gold and silver from its weight. One, whom he took to be their
captain, came under the tree in which Ali Baba was concealed; and making
his way through some shrubs, pronounced these words: "Open, Sesame!"
[Footnote: "Sesame" is a small grain.] As soon as the captain of the
robbers had thus spoken, a door opened in the rock; and after he had
made all his troop enter before him, he followed them, when the door
shut again of itself.

The robbers stayed some time within the rock, during which Ali Baba,
fearful of being caught, remained in the tree.

At last the door opened again, and as the captain went in last, so he
came out first, and stood to see them all pass by him; when Ali Baba
heard him make the door close by pronouncing these words, "Shut,
Sesame!" Every man at once went and bridled his horse, fastened his
wallet, and mounted again. When the captain saw them all ready, he put
himself at their head, and they returned the way they had come.

Ali Baba followed them with his eyes as far as he could see them; and
afterward stayed a considerable time before he descended. Remembering
the words the captain of the robbers used to cause the door to open and
shut, he had the curiosity to try if his pronouncing them would have the
same effect. Accordingly, he went among the shrubs, and perceiving the
door concealed behind them, stood before it, and said, "Open, Sesame!"
The door instantly flew wide open.

Ali Baba, who expected a dark, dismal cavern, was surprised to see a
well-lighted and spacious chamber, which received the light from an
opening at the top of the rock, and in which were all sorts of
provisions, rich bales of silk, stuff, brocade, and valuable carpeting,
piled upon one another; gold and silver ingots in great heaps, and money
in bags. The sight of all these riches made him suppose that this cave
must have been occupied for ages by robbers, who had succeeded one
another.

Ali Baba went boldly into the cave, and collected as much of the gold
coin, which was in bags, as he thought his three asses could carry. When
he had loaded them with the bags, he laid wood over them in such a
manner that they could not be seen. When he had passed in and out as
often as he wished, he stood before the door, and pronouncing the words,
"Shut, Sesame!" the door closed of itself. He then made the best of his
way to town.

When Ali Baba got home, he drove his asses into a little yard, shut the
gates very carefully, threw off the wood that covered the panniers,
carried the bags into his house, and ranged them in order before his
wife. He then emptied the bags, which raised such a great heap of gold
as dazzled his wife's eyes, and then he told her the whole adventure
from beginning to end, and, above all, recommended her to keep it
secret.

The wife rejoiced greatly in their good fortune, and would count all the
gold piece by piece. "Wife," replied Ali Baba, "you do not know what you
undertake, when you pretend to count the money; you will never have
done. I will dig a hole, and bury it. There is no time to be lost." "You
are in the right, husband," replied she, "but let us know, as nigh as
possible, how much we have. I will borrow a small measure, and measure
it, while you dig the hole."

Away the wife ran to her brother-in-law Cassim, who lived just by, and
addressing herself to his wife, desired her to lend her a measure for a
little while. Her sister-in-law asked her whether she would have a great
or a small one. The other asked for a small one. She bade her stay a
little, and she would readily fetch one,

The sister-in-law did so, but as she knew Ali Baba's poverty, she was
curious to know what sort of grain his wife wanted to measure, and
artfully putting some suet at the bottom of the measure, brought it to
her, with an excuse that she was sorry that she had made her stay so
long, but that she could not find it sooner.

Ali Baba's wife went home, set the measure upon the heap of gold, filled
it, and emptied it often upon the sofa, till she had done, when she was
very well satisfied to find the number of measures amounted to so many
as they did, and went to tell her husband, who had almost finished
digging the hole. While Ali Baba was burying the gold, his wife, to show
her exactness and diligence to her sister-in-law, carried the measure
back again, but without taking notice that a piece of gold had stuck to
the bottom. "Sister," said she, giving it to her again, "you see that I
have not kept your measure long. I am obliged to you for it, and return
it with thanks."

As soon as Ali Baba's wife was gone, Cassim's looked at the bottom of
the measure, and was in inexpressible surprise to find a piece of gold
sticking to it. Envy immediately possessed her breast. "What!" said she,
"has Ali Baba gold so plentiful as to measure it? Whence has he all this
wealth?"

Cassim, her husband, was at his counting-house. When he came home, his
wife said to him, "Cassim, I know you think yourself rich, but Ali Baba
is infinitely richer than you. He does not count his money, but measures
it." Cassim desired her to explain the riddle, which she did, by telling
him the stratagem she had used to make the discovery, and showed him the
piece of money, which was so old that they could not tell in what
prince's reign it was coined.

Cassim, after he had married the rich widow, had never treated Ali Baba
as a brother, but neglected him; and now, instead of being pleased, he
conceived a base envy at his brother's prosperity. He could not sleep
all that night, and went to him in the morning before sunrise. "Ali
Baba," said he, "I am surprised at you; you pretend to be miserably
poor, and yet you measure gold. My wife found this at the bottom of the
measure you borrowed yesterday."

By this discourse, Ali Baba perceived that Cassim and his wife, through
his own wife's folly, knew what they had so much reason to conceal; but
what was done, could not be undone. Therefore, without showing the least
surprise or trouble, he confessed all, and offered his brother part of
his treasure to keep the secret.

"I expect as much," replied Cassim haughtily; "but I must know exactly
where this treasure is, and how I may visit it myself when I choose;
otherwise, I will go and inform against you, and then you will not only
get no more, but will lose all you have, and I shall have a share for my
information."

Ali Baba told him all he desired, even to the very words he was to use
to gain admission into the cave.

Cassim rose the next morning long before the sun, and set out for the
forest with ten mules bearing great chests, which he designed to fill,
and followed the road which Ali Baba had pointed out to him. He was not
long before he reached the rock, and found out the place, by the tree
and other marks which his brother had given him. When he reached the
entrance of the cavern, he pronounced the words, "Open, Sesame!" The
door immediately opened, and, when he was in, closed upon him. In
examining the cave, he was in great admiration to find much more riches
than he had expected from Ali Baba's relation. He quickly laid as many
bags of gold as he could carry at the door of the cavern; but his
thoughts were so full of the great riches he should possess, that he
could not think of the necessary word to make it open, but instead of
"Sesame," said, "Open, Barley!" and was much amazed to find that the
door remained fast shut. He named several sorts of grain, but still the
door would not open.

Cassim had never expected such an incident, and was so alarmed at the
danger he was in, that the more he endeavoured to remember the word
"Sesame," the more his memory was confounded, and he had as much
forgotten it as if he had never heard it mentioned. He threw down the
bags he had loaded himself with, and walked distractedly up and down the
cave, without having the least regard to the riches that were around
him.

About noon the robbers visited their cave. At some distance they saw
Cassim's mules straggling about the rock, with great chests on their
backs. Alarmed at this, they galloped full speed to the cave. They drove
away the mules, which strayed through the forest so far, that they were
soon out of sight, and went directly, with their naked sabres in their
hands, to the door, which, on their captain pronouncing the proper
words, immediately opened.

Cassim, who heard the noise of the horses' feet, at once guessed the
arrival of the robbers, and resolved to make one effort for his life. He
rushed to the door, and no sooner saw the door open, than he ran out and
threw the leader down, but could not escape the other robbers, who with
their scimitars soon deprived him of life.

The first care of the robbers after this was to examine the cave. They
found all the bags which Cassim had brought to the door, to be ready to
load his mules, and carried them again to their places, but they did not
miss what Ali Baba had taken away before. Then holding a council, and
deliberating upon this occurrence, they guessed that Cassim, when he was
in, could no get out again, but could not imagine how he had learned the
secret words by which alone he could enter. They could not deny the fact
of his being there; and to terrify any person or accomplice who should
attempt the same thing, they agreed to cut Cassim's body into four
quarters--to hang two on one side, and two on the other, within the door
of the cave. They had no sooner taken this resolution than they put it
in execution; and when they had nothing more to detain them, left the
place of their hoards well closed. They mounted their horses, went to
beat the roads again, and to attack the caravans they might meet.

In the mean time, Cassim's wife was very uneasy when night came, and her
husband was not returned. She ran to Ali Baba in great alarm, and said,
"I believe, brother-in-law, that you know Cassim is gone to the forest,
and upon what account; it is now night, and he has not returned; I am
afraid some misfortune has happened to him." Ali Baba told her that she
need not frighten herself, for that certainly Cassim would not think it
proper to come into the town till the night should be pretty far
advanced.

Cassim's wife, considering how much it concerned her husband to keep the
business secret, was the more easily persuaded to believe her
brother-in-law. She went home again, and waited patiently till midnight.
Then her fear redoubled, and her grief was the more sensible because she
was forced to keep it to herself. She repented of her foolish curiosity,
and cursed her desire of prying into the affairs of her brother and
sister-in-law. She spent all the night in weeping; and as soon as it was
day went to them, telling them, by her tears, the cause of her coming.

Ali Baba did not wait for his sister-in-law to desire him to go to see
what was become of Cassim, but departed immediately with his three
asses, begging of her first to moderate her affliction. He went to the
forest, and when he came near the rock, having seen neither his brother
nor the mules in his way, was seriously alarmed at finding some blood
spilt near the door, which he took for an ill omen; but when he had
pronounced the word, and the door had opened, he was struck with horror
at the dismal sight of his brother's body. He was not long in
determining how he should pay the last dues to his brother; but without
adverting to the little fraternal affection he had shown for him, went
into the cave, to find something to enshroud his remains; and having
loaded one of his asses with them, covered them over with wood. The
other two asses he loaded with bags of gold, covering them with wood
also as before; and then bidding the door shut, came away; but was so
cautious as to stop some time at the end of the forest, that he might
not go into the town before night. When he came home, he drove the two
asses loaded with gold into his little yard, and left the care of
unloading them to his wife, while he led the other to his
sister-in-law's house.

Ali Baba knocked at the door, which was opened by Morgiana, a clever,
intelligent slave, who was fruitful in inventions to meet the most
difficult circumstances. When he came into the court, he unloaded the
ass, and taking Morgiana aside, said to her, "You must observe an
inviolable secrecy. Your master's body is contained in these two
panniers. We must bury him as if he had died a natural death. Go now and
tell your mistress. I leave the matter to your wit and skilful devices."




Ali Baba helped to place the body in Cassim's house, again recommended
to Morgiana to act her part well, and then returned with his ass.

Morgiana went out early the next morning to a druggist, and asked for a
sort of lozenge which was considered efficacious in the most dangerous
disorders. The apothecary inquired who was ill? She replied, with a
sigh, "Her good master Cassim himself: and that he could neither eat nor
speak." In the evening Morgiana went to the same druggist's again, and
with tears in her eyes, asked for an essence which they used to give to
sick people only when at the last extremity. "Alas!" said she, taking it
from the apothecary, "I am afraid that this remedy will have no better
effect than the lozenges; and that I shall lose my good master."

On the other hand, as Ali Baba and his wife were often seen to go
between Cassim's and their own house all that day, and to seem
melancholy, nobody was surprised in the evening to hear the lamentable
shrieks and cries of Cassim's wife and Morgiana, who gave out everywhere
that her master was dead. The next morning at daybreak Morgiana went to
an old cobbler whom she knew to be always early at his stall, and
bidding him good-morrow, put a piece of gold into his hand, saying,
"Baba Mustapha, you must bring with you your sewing tackle, and come
with me; but I must tell you, I shall blindfold you when you come to
such a place."

Baba Mustapha seemed to hesitate a little at these words. "Oh! oh!"
replied he, "you would have me do something against my conscience, or
against my honour?" "God forbid," said Morgiana, putting another piece
of gold into his hand, "that I should ask anything that is contrary to
your honour! only come along with me and fear nothing."

Baba Mustapha went with Morgiana, who, after she had bound his eyes with
a handkerchief at the place she had mentioned, conveyed him to her
deceased master's house, and never unloosed his eyes till he had entered
the room where she had put the corpse together. "Baba Mustapha," said
she, "you must make haste and sew the parts of this body together; and
when you have done, I will give you another piece of gold."

After Baba Mustapha had finished his task, she blindfolded him again,
gave him the third piece of gold as she had promised, and recommending
secrecy to him carried him back to the place where she first bound his
eyes, pulled off the bandage, and let him go home, but watched him that
he returned toward his stall, till he was quite out of sight, for fear
he should have the curiosity to return and dodge her; she then went
home. Morgiana, on her return, warmed some water to wash the body, and
at the same time Ali Baba perfumed it with incense, and wrapped it in
the burying clothes with the accustomed ceremonies. Not long after the
proper officer brought the bier, and when the attendants of the mosque,
whose business it was to wash the dead, offered to perform their duty,
she told them that it was done already. Shortly after this the imaun and
the other ministers of the mosque arrived. Four neighbours carried the
corpse to the burying-ground, following the imaun, who recited some
prayers. Ali Baba came after with some neighbours, who often relieved
the others in carrying the bier to the burying-ground. Morgiana, a slave
to the deceased, followed in the procession, weeping, beating her
breast, and tearing her hair. Cassim's wife stayed at home mourning,
uttering lamentable cries with the women of the neighbourhood, who came,
according to custom, during the funeral, and joining their lamentations
with hers filled the quarter far and near with sounds of sorrow.

In this manner Cassim's melancholy death was concealed and hushed up
between Ali Baba, his widow, and Morgiana, his slave, with so much
contrivance that nobody in the city had the least knowledge or suspicion
of the cause of it. Three or four days after the funeral, Ali Baba
removed his few goods openly to his sister-in-law's house, in which it
was agreed that he should in future live; but the money he had taken
from the robbers he conveyed thither by night. As for Cassim's
warehouse, he entrusted it entirely to the management of his eldest son.

While these things were being done, the forty robbers again visited
their retreat in the forest. Great, then, was their surprise to find
Cassim's body taken away, with some of their bags of gold. "We are
certainly discovered," said the captain. "The removal of the body, and
the loss of some of our money, plainly shows that the man whom we killed
had an accomplice: and for our own lives' sake we must try and find him.
What say you, my lads?"

All the robbers unanimously approved of the captain's proposal.

"Well," said the captain, "one of you, the boldest and most skilful
among you, must go into the town, disguised as a traveller and a
stranger, to try if he can hear any talk of the man whom we have killed,
and endeavour to find out who he was, and where he lived. This is a
matter of the first importance, and for fear of any treachery, I propose
that whoever undertakes this business without success, even though the
failure arises only from an error of judgment, shall suffer death."

Without waiting for the sentiments of his companions, one of the robbers
started up, and said, "I submit to this condition, and think it an
honour to expose my life to serve the troop."

After this robber had received great commendations from the captain and
his comrades, he disguised himself so that nobody would take him for
what he was; and taking his leave of the troop that night, went into the
town just at daybreak; and walked up and down, till accidentally he came
to Baba Mustapha's stall, which was always open before any of the shops.

Baba Mustapha was seated with an awl in his hand, just going to work.
The robber saluted him, bidding him good-morrow; and perceiving that he
was old, said, "Honest man, you begin to work very early: is it possible
that one of your age can see so well? I question, even if it were
somewhat lighter, whether you could see to stitch."

"You do not know me," replied Baba Mustapha; "for old as I am, I have
extraordinary good eyes; and you will not doubt it when I tell you that
I sewed the body of a dead man together in a place where I had not so
much light as I have now."

"A dead body!" exclaimed the robber, with affected amazement. "Yes,
yes," answered Baba Mustapha, "I see you want to have me speak out, but
you shall know no more."

The robber felt sure that he had discovered what he sought. He pulled
out a piece of gold, and putting it into Baba Mustapha's hand, said to
him, "I do not want to learn your secret, though I can assure you you
might safely trust me with it. The only thing I desire of you is to show
me the house where you stitched up the dead body."

"If I were disposed to do you that favour," replied Baba Mustapha, "I
assure you I cannot. I was taken to a certain place, whence I was led
blindfold to the house, and afterward brought back again in the same
manner; you see, therefore, the impossibility of my doing what you
desire."

"Well," replied the robber, "you may, however, remember a little of the
way that you were led blindfold. Come, let me blind your eyes at the
same place. We will walk together; perhaps you may recognise some part;
and as everybody ought to be paid for their trouble, there is another
piece of gold for you; gratify me in what I ask you." So saying, he put
another piece of gold into his hand.

The two pieces of gold were great temptations to Baba Mustapha. He
looked at them a long time in his hand, without saying a word, but at
last he pulled out his purse and put them in. "I cannot promise," said
he to the robber, "that I can remember the way exactly; but since you
desire, I will try what I can do." At these words Baba Mustapha rose up,
to the great joy of the robber, and led him to the place where Morgiana
had bound his eyes. "It was here," said Baba Mustapha, "I was
blindfolded; and I turned this way." The robber tied his handkerchief
over his eyes, and walked by him till he stopped directly at Cassim's
house, where Ali Baba then lived. The thief, before he pulled off the
band, marked the door with a piece of chalk, which he had ready in his
hand, and then asked him if he knew whose house that was; to which Baba
Mustapha replied that as he did not live in that neighbourhood, he could
not tell.

The robber, finding he could discover no more from Baba Mustapha,
thanked him for the trouble he had taken, and left him to go back to his
stall, while he returned to the forest, persuaded that he should be very
well received.

A little after the robber and Baba Mustapha had parted, Morgiana went
out of Ali Baba's house upon some errand, and upon her return, seeing
the mark the robber had made, stopped to observe it. "What can be the
meaning of this mark?" said she to herself; "somebody intends my master
no good: however, with whatever intention it was done, it is advisable
to guard against the worst." Accordingly, she fetched a piece of chalk,
and marked two or three doors on each side, in the same manner, without
saying a word to her master or mistress.

In the mean time, the robber rejoined his troop in the forest, and
recounted to them his success; expatiating upon his good fortune, in
meeting so soon with the only person who could inform him of what he
wanted to know. All the robbers listened to him with the utmost
satisfaction; when the captain, after commending his diligence,
addressing himself to them all, said, "Comrades, we have no time to
lose: let us set off well armed, without its appearing who we are; but
that we may not excite any suspicion, let only one or two go into the
town together, and join at our rendezvous, which shall be the great
square. In the mean time, our comrade who brought us the good news and I
will go and find out the house, that we may consult what had best be
done."

This speech and plan was approved of by all, and they were soon ready.
They filed off in parties of two each, after some interval of time, and
got into the town without being in the least suspected. The captain, and
he who had visited the town in the morning as spy, came in the last. He
led the captain into the street where he had marked Ali Baba's
residence; and when they came to the first of the houses which Morgiana
had marked, he pointed it out. But the captain observed that the next
door was chalked in the same manner and in the same place; and showing
it to his guide, asked him which house it was, that, or the first. The
guide was so confounded, that he knew not what answer to make; but still
more puzzled, when he and the captain saw five or six houses similarly
marked. He assured the captain, with an oath, that he had marked but
one, and could not tell who had chalked the rest, so that he could not
distinguish the house which the cobbler had stopped at.

The captain, finding that their design had proved abortive, went
directly to the place of meeting, and told his troop that they had lost
their labour, and must return to their cave. He himself set them the
example, and they all returned as they had come.

When the troop was all got together, the captain told them the reason of
their returning; and presently the conductor was declared by all worthy
of death. He condemned himself, acknowledging that he ought to have
taken better precaution, and prepared to receive the stroke from him who
was appointed to cut off his head.

But as the safety of the troop required the discovery of the second
intruder into the cave, another of the gang, who promised himself that
he should succeed better, presented himself, and his offer being
accepted, he went and corrupted Baba Mustapha, as the other had done;
and being shown the house, marked it in a place more remote from sight,
with red chalk.

Not long after, Morgiana, whose eyes nothing could escape, went out, and
seeing the red chalk, and arguing with herself as she had done before,
marked the other neighbours' houses in the same place and manner.

The robber, at his return to his company, valued himself much on the
precaution he had taken, which he looked upon as an infallible way of
distinguishing Ali Baba's house from the others; and the captain and all
of them thought it must succeed. They conveyed themselves into the town
with the same precaution as before; but when the robber and his captain
came to the street, they found the same difficulty; at which the captain
was enraged, and the robber in as great confusion as his predecessor.

Thus the captain and his troop were forced to retire a second time, and
much more dissatisfied; while the robber who had been the author of the
mistake underwent the same punishment, to which he willingly submitted.

The captain, having lost two brave fellows of his troop, was afraid of
diminishing it too much by pursuing this plan to get information of the
residence of their plunderer. He found by their example that their heads
were not so good as their hands on such occasions; and therefore
resolved to take upon himself the important commission.

Accordingly, he went and addressed himself to Baba Mustapha, who did him
the same service he had done to the other robbers. He did not set any
particular mark on the house, but examined and observed it so carefully,
by passing often by it, that it was impossible for him to mistake it.

The captain, well satisfied with his attempt, and informed of what he
wanted to know, returned to the forest; and when he came into the cave,
where the troop waited for him, said, "Now, comrades, nothing can
prevent our full revenge, as I am certain of the house; and in my way
hither I have thought how to put it into execution, but if any one can
form a better expedient, let him communicate it." He then told them his
contrivance; and as they approved of it, ordered them to go into the
villages about, and buy nineteen mules, with thirty-eight large leather
jars, one full of oil, and the others empty.

In two or three days' time the robbers had purchased the mules and jars,
and as the mouths of the jars were rather too narrow for his purpose,
the captain caused them to be widened, and after having put one of his
men into each, with the weapons which he thought fit, leaving open the
seam which had been undone to leave them room to breathe, he rubbed the
jars on the outside with oil from the full vessel.

Things being thus prepared, when the nineteen mules were loaded with
thirty-seven robbers in jars, and the jar of oil, the captain, as their
driver, set out with them, and reached the town by the dusk of the
evening, as he had intended. He led them through the streets, till he
came to Ali Baba's, at whose door he designed to have knocked; but was
prevented by his sitting there after supper to take a little fresh air.
He stopped his mules, addressed himself to him, and said, "I have
brought some oil a great way, to sell at tomorrow's market; and it is
now so late that I do not know where to lodge. If I should not be
troublesome to you, do me the favour to let me pass the night with you,
and I shall be very much obliged by your hospitality."

Though Ali Baba had seen the captain of the robbers in the forest, and
had heard him speak, it was impossible to know him in the disguise of an
oil merchant. He told him he should be welcome, and immediately opened
his gates for the mules to go into the yard. At the same time he called
to a slave, and ordered him, when the mules were unloaded, to put them
into the stable, and to feed them; and then went to Morgiana, to bid her
get a good supper for his guest. After they had finished supper, Ali
Baba, charging Morgiana afresh to take care of his guest, said to her,
"To-morrow morning I design to go to the bath before day; take care my
bathing linen be ready, give them to Abdalla (which was the slave's
name), and make me some good broth against my return." After this he
went to bed.

In the mean time the captain of the robbers went into the yard, and took
off the lid of each jar, and gave his people orders what to do.
Beginning at the first jar, and so on to the last, he said to each man:
"As soon as I throw some stones out of the chamber window where I lie,
do not fail to come out, and I will immediately join you." After this he
returned into the house, when Morgiana, taking up a light, conducted him
to his chamber, where she left him; and he, to avoid any suspicion, put
the light out soon after, and laid himself down in his clothes, that he
might be the more ready to rise.

Morgiana, remembering Ali Baba's orders, got his bathing linen ready,
and ordered Abdalla to set on the pot for the broth; but while she was
preparing it the lamp went out, and there was no more oil in the house,
nor any candles. What to do she did not know, for the broth must be
made. Abdalla, seeing her very uneasy, said, "Do not fret and tease
yourself, but go into the yard, and take some oil out of one of the
jars."

Morgiana thanked Abdalla for his advice, took the oil-pot, and went into
the yard; when, as she came nigh the first jar, the robber within said
softly, "Is it time?"

Though naturally much surprised at finding a man in the jar instead of
the oil she wanted, she immediately felt the importance of keeping
silence, as Ali Baba, his family, and herself were in great danger; and
collecting herself, without showing the least emotion, she answered,
"Not yet, but presently." She went quietly in this manner to all the
jars, giving the same answer, till she came to the jar of oil.

By this means Morgiana found that her master Ali Baba had admitted
thirty-eight robbers into his house, and that this pretended oil
merchant was their captain. She made what haste she could to fill her
oil-pot, and returned into her kitchen, where, as soon as she had
lighted her lamp, she took a great kettle, went again to the oil-jar,
filled the kettle, set it on a large wood fire, and as soon as it boiled
went and poured enough into every jar to stifle and destroy the robber
within.

When this action, worthy of the courage of Morgiana, was executed
without any noise, as she had projected, she returned into the kitchen
with the empty kettle; and having put out the great fire she had made to
boil the oil, and leaving just enough to make the broth, put out the
lamp also, and remained silent, resolving not to go to rest till she had
observed what might follow through a window of the kitchen, which opened
into the yard.

She had not waited long before the captain of the robbers got up, opened
the window, and finding no light, and hearing no noise, or any one
stirring in the house, gave the appointed signal, by throwing little
stones, several of which hit the jars, as he doubted not by the sound
they gave. He then listened, but not hearing or perceiving anything
whereby he could judge that his companions stirred, he began to grow
very uneasy, threw stones again a second and also a third time, and
could not comprehend the reason that none of them should answer his
signal. Much alarmed, he went softly down into the yard, and going to
the first jar, while asking the robber, whom he thought alive, if he was
in readiness, smelt the hot boiled oil, which sent forth a steam out of
the jar. Hence he suspected that his plot to murder Ali Baba, and
plunder his house, was discovered. Examining all the jars, one after
another, he found that all his gang were dead; and, enraged to despair
at having failed in his design, he forced the lock of a door that led
from the yard to the garden, and climbing over the walls made his
escape.

When Morgiana saw him depart, she went to bed, satisfied and pleased to
have succeeded so well in saving her master and family.

Ali Baba rose before day, and, followed by his slave, went to the baths,
entirely ignorant of the important event which had happened at home.

When he returned from the baths, he was very much surprised to see the
oil-jars, and that the merchant was not gone with the mules. He asked
Morgiana, who opened the door, the reason of it. "My good master,"
answered she, "God preserve you and all your family. You will be better
informed of what you wish to know when you have seen what I have to show
you, if you will follow me."

As soon as Morgiana had shut the door, Ali Baba followed her, when she
requested him to look into the first jar, and see if there was any oil.
Ali Baba did so, and seeing a man, started back in alarm, and cried out.
"Do not be afraid," said Morgiana "the man you see there can neither do
you nor anybody else any harm. He is dead." "Ah, Morgiana," said Ali
Baba, "what is it you show me? Explain yourself." "I will," replied
Morgiana. "Moderate your astonishment, and do not excite the curiosity
of your neighbours; for it is of great importance to keep this affair
secret. Look into all the other jars."

Ali Baba examined all the other jars, one after another; and when he
came to that which had the oil in it, found it prodigiously sunk, and
stood for some time motionless, sometimes looking at the jars, and
sometimes at Morgiana, without saying a word, so great was his surprise.
At last, when he had recovered himself, he said, "And what is become of
the merchant?"

"Merchant!" answered she; "he is as much one as I am. I will tell you
who he is, and what is become of him; but you had better hear the story
in your own chamber; for it is time for your health that you had your
broth after your bathing."

Morgiana then told him all she had done, from the first observing the
mark upon the house, to the destruction of the robbers, and the flight
of their captain.

On hearing of these brave deeds from the lips of Morgiana, Ali Baba said
to her--"God, by your means, has delivered me from the snares these
robbers laid for my destruction. I owe, therefore, my life to you; and,
for the first token of my acknowledgment, give you your liberty from
this moment, till I can complete your recompense as I intend."

Ali Baba's garden was very long, and shaded at the further end by a
great number of large trees. Near these he and the slave Abdalla dug a
trench, long and wide enough to hold the bodies of the robbers; and as
the earth was light, they were not long in doing it. When this was done,
Ali Baba hid the jars and weapons; and as he had no occasion for the
mules, he sent them at different times to be sold in the market by his
slave.

While Ali Baba took these measures, the captain of the forty robbers
returned to the forest with inconceivable mortification. He did not stay
long; the loneliness of the gloomy cavern became frightful to him. He
determined, however, to avenge the fate of his companions, and to
accomplish the death of Ali Baba. For this purpose he returned to the
town, and took a lodging in a khan, and disguised himself as a merchant
in silks. Under this assumed character, he gradually conveyed a great
many sorts of rich stuffs and fine linen to his lodging from the cavern,
but with all the necessary precautions to conceal the place whence he
brought them. In order to dispose of the merchandise, when he had thus
amassed them together, he took a warehouse, which happened to be
opposite to Cassim's, which Ali Baba's son had occupied since the death
of his uncle.

He took the name of Cogia Houssain, and, as a new-comer, was, according
to custom, extremely civil and complaisant to all the merchants his
neighbours. Ali Baba's son was, from his vicinity, one of the first to
converse with Cogia Houssain, who strove to cultivate his friendship
more particularly. Two or three days after he was settled, Ali Baba came
to see his son, and the captain of the robbers recognised him at once,
and soon learned from his son who he was. After this he increased his
assiduities, caressed him in the most engaging manner, made him some
small presents, and often asked him to dine and sup with him, when he
treated him very handsomely.

Ali Baba's son did not choose to lie under such obligation to Cogia
Houssain; but was so much straitened for want of room in his house, that
he could not entertain him. He therefore acquainted his father, Ali
Baba, with his wish to invite him in return.

Ali Baba with great pleasure took the treat upon himself. "Son," said
he, "to-morrow being Friday, which is a day that the shops of such great
merchants as Cogia Houssain and yourself are shut, get him to accompany
you, and as you pass by my door, call in. I will go and order Morgiana
to provide a supper."

The next day Ali Baba's son and Cogia Houssain met by appointment, took
their walk, and as they returned, Ali Baba's son led Cogia Houssain
through the street where his father lived, and when they came to the
house, stopped and knocked at the door. "This, sir," said he, "is my
father's house, who, from the account I have given him of your
friendship, charged me to procure him the honour of your acquaintance;
and I desire you to add this pleasure to those for which I am already
indebted to you."

Though it was the sole aim of Cogia Houssain to introduce himself into
Ali Baba's house, that he might kill him, without hazarding his own life
or making any noise, yet he excused himself, and offered to take his
leave; but a slave having opened the door, Ali Baba's son took him
obligingly by the hand, and, in a manner, forced him in.

Ali Baba received Cogia Houssain with a smiling countenance, and in the
most obliging manner he could wish. He thanked him for all the favours
he had done his son; adding withal, the obligation was the greater, as
he was a young man, not much acquainted with the world, and that he
might contribute to his information.

Cogia Houssain returned the compliment by assuring Ali Baba that though
his son might not have acquired the experience of older men, he had good
sense equal to the experience of many others. After a little more
conversation on different subjects, he offered again to take his leave,
when Ali Baba, stopping him, said, "Where are you going, sir, in so much
haste? I beg you would do me the honour to sup with me, though my
entertainment may not be worthy your acceptance; such as it is, I
heartily offer it." "Sir," replied Cogia Houssain, "I am thoroughly
persuaded of your good-will; but the truth is, I can eat no victuals
that have any salt in them; therefore judge how I should feel at your
table." "If that is the only reason," said Ali Baba, "it ought not to
deprive me of the honour of your company; for, in the first place, there
is no salt ever put into my bread, and as to the meat we shall have
to-night, I promise you there shall be none in that. Therefore you must
do me the favour to stay. I will return immediately."

Ali Baba went into the kitchen, and ordered Morgiana to put no salt to
the meat that was to be dressed that night; and to make quickly two or
three ragouts besides what he had ordered, but be sure to put no salt in
them.

Morgiana, who was always ready to obey her master, could not help being
surprised at his strange order. "Who is this strange man," said she,
"who eats no salt with his meat? Your supper will be spoiled, if I keep
it back so long." "Do not be angry, Morgiana," replied Ali Baba; "he is
an honest man, therefore do as I bid you."

Morgiana obeyed, though with no little reluctance, and had a curiosity
to see this man who ate no salt. To this end, when she had finished what
she had to do in the kitchen, she helped Abdalla to carry up the dishes;
and looking at Cogia Houssain, knew him at first sight, notwithstanding
his disguise, to be the captain of the robbers, and examining him very
carefully, perceived that he had a dagger under his garment. "I am not
in the least amazed," said she to herself, "that this wicked man, who is
my master's greatest enemy, would eat no salt with him, since he intends
to assassinate him; but I will prevent him."

Morgiana, while they were at supper, determined in her own mind to
execute one of the boldest acts ever meditated. When Abdalla came for
the dessert of fruit, and had put it with the wine and glasses before
Ali Baba, Morgiana retired, dressed herself neatly, with a suitable
head-dress like a dancer, girded her waist with a silver-gilt girdle, to
which there hung a poniard with a hilt and guard of the same metal, and
put a handsome mask on her face. When she had thus disguised herself,
she said to Abdalla, "Take your tabour, and let us go and divert our
master and his son's friend, as we do sometimes when he is alone."

Abdalla took his tabour and played all the way into the hall before
Morgiana, who, when she came to the door, made a low obeisance by way of
asking leave to exhibit her skill, while Abdalla left off playing. "Come
in, Morgiana," said Ali Baba, "and let Cogia Houssain see what you can
do, that he may tell us what he thinks of your performance."

Cogia Houssain, who did not expect this diversion after supper, began to
fear he should not be able to take advantage of the opportunity he
thought he had found; but hoped, if he now missed his aim, to secure it
another time, by keeping up a friendly correspondence with the father
and son; therefore, though he could have wished Ali Baba would have
declined the dance, he pretended to be obliged to him for it, and had
the complaisance to express his satisfaction at what he said, which
pleased his host.

As soon as Abdalla saw that Ali Baba and Cogia Houssain had done
talking, he began to play on the tabour, and accompanied it with an air,
to which Morgiana, who was an excellent performer, danced in such a
manner as would have created admiration in any company.

After she had danced several dances with much grace, she drew the
poniard, and holding it in her hand, began a dance, in which she outdid
herself by the many different figures, light movements, and the
surprising leaps and wonderful exertions with which she accompanied it.
Sometimes she presented the poniard to one breast, sometimes to another,
and oftentimes seemed to strike her own. At last, she snatched the
tabour from Abdalla with her left hand, and holding the dagger in her
right presented the other side of the tabour, after the manner of those
who get a livelihood by dancing, and solicit the liberality of the
spectators.

Ali Baba put a piece of gold into the tabour, as did also his son; and
Cogia Houssain seeing that she was coming to him, had pulled his purse
out of his bosom to make her a present; but while he was putting his
hand into it, Morgiana, with a courage and resolution worthy of herself,
plunged the poniard into his heart.

Ali Baba and his son, shocked at this action, cried out aloud. "Unhappy
woman!" exclaimed Ali Baba, "what have you done to ruin me and my
family?" "It was to preserve, not to ruin you," answered Morgiana; "for
see here," continued she, opening the pretended Cogia Houssain's
garment, and showing the dagger, "what an enemy you had entertained?
Look well at him, and you will find him to be both the fictitious oil
merchant, and the captain of the gang of forty robbers. Remember, too,
that he would eat no salt with you; and what would you have more to
persuade you of his wicked design? Before I saw him, I suspected him as
soon as you told me you had such a guest. I knew him, and you now find
that my suspicion was not groundless."

Ali Baba, who immediately felt the new obligation he had to Morgiana for
saving his life a second time, embraced her: "Morgiana," said he, "I
gave you your liberty, and then promised you that my gratitude should
not stop there, but that I would soon give you higher proofs of its
sincerity, which I now do by making you my daughter-in-law." Then
addressing himself to his son, he said, "I believe you, son, to be so
dutiful a child, that you will not refuse Morgiana for your wife. You
see that Cogia Houssain sought your friendship with a treacherous design
to take away my life; and if he had succeeded, there is no doubt but he
would have sacrificed you also to his revenge. Consider, that by
marrying Morgiana you marry the preserver of my family and your own,"

The son, far from showing any dislike, readily consented to the
marriage; not only because he would not disobey his father, but also
because it was agreeable to his inclination. After this they thought of
burying the captain of the robbers with his comrades, and did it so
privately that nobody discovered their bones till many years after, when
no one had any concern in the publication of this remarkable history. A
few days afterward, Ali Baba celebrated the nuptials of his son and
Morgiana with great solemnity, a sumptuous feast, and the usual dancing
and spectacles; and had the satisfaction to see that his friends and
neighbours, whom he invited, had no knowledge of the true motives of the
marriage; but that those who were not unacquainted with Morgiana's good
qualities commended his generosity and goodness of heart Ali Baba did
not visit the robbers' cave for a whole year, as he supposed the other
two, whom he could get no account of, might be alive.

At the year's end, when he found they had not made any attempt to
disturb him, he had the curiosity to make another journey. He mounted
his horse, and when he came to the cave he alighted, tied his horse to a
tree, then approaching the entrance, and pronouncing the words, "Open,
Sesame!" the door opened. He entered the cavern, and by the condition he
found things in, judged that nobody had been there since the captain had
fetched the goods for his shop. From this time he believed he was the
only person in the world who had the secret of opening the cave, and
that all the treasure was at his sole disposal. He put as much gold into
his saddle-bag as his horse would carry, and returned to town. Some
years later he carried his son to the cave and taught him the secret,
which he handed down to his posterity, who, using their good fortune
with moderation, lived in great honour and splendour.




CHAPTER VII

THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR


I designed, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days at
Bagdad, but it was not long ere I grew weary of an indolent life, and I
put to sea a second time, with merchants of known probity. We embarked
on board a good ship, and, after recommending ourselves to God, set
sail. We traded from island to island, and exchanged commodities with
great profit. One day we landed on an island covered with several sorts
of fruit trees, but we could see neither man nor animal. We walked in
the meadows, along the streams that watered them. While some diverted
themselves with gathering flowers, and others fruits, I took my wine and
provisions, and sat down near a stream betwixt two high trees, which
formed a thick shade. I made a good meal, and afterward fell asleep. I
cannot tell how long I slept, but when I awoke the ship was gone.

In this sad condition, I was ready to die with grief. I cried out in
agony, beat my head and breast, and threw myself upon the ground, where
I lay some time in despair. I upbraided myself a hundred times for not
being content with the produce of my first voyage, that might have
sufficed me all my life. But all this was in vain, and my repentance
came too late. At last I resigned myself to the will of God. Not knowing
what to do, I climbed up to the top of a lofty tree, from whence I
looked about on all sides, to see if I could discover anything that
could give me hopes. When I gazed toward the sea I could see nothing but
sky and water; but looking over the land, I beheld something white; and
coming down, I took what provision I had left and went toward it, the
distance being so great, that I could not distinguish what it was.

As I approached, I thought it to be a white dome, of a prodigious height
and extent; and when I came up to it, I touched it, and found it to be
very smooth. I went round to see if it was open on any side, but saw it
was not, and that there was no climbing up to the top, as it was so
smooth. It was at least fifty paces round.

By this time the sun was about to set, and all of a sudden the sky
became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick cloud. I was much
astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more when I found it
occasioned by a bird of a monstrous size, that came flying toward me. I
remembered that I had often heard mariners speak of a miraculous bird
called the Roc, and conceived that the great dome which I so much
admired must be its egg. In short, the bird alighted, and sat over the
egg. As I perceived her coming, I crept close to the egg, so that I had
before me one of the legs of the bird, which was as big as the trunk of
a tree. I tied myself strongly to it with my turban, in hopes that the
roc next morning would carry me with her out of this desert island.
After having passed the night in this condition, the bird flew away as
soon as it was daylight, and carried me so high, that I could not
discern the earth; she afterward descended with so much rapidity that I
lost my senses. But when I found myself on the ground, I speedily untied
the knot, and had scarcely done so, when the roc, having taken up a
serpent of a monstrous length in her bill, flew away.

The spot where it left me was encompassed on all sides by mountains,
that seemed to reach above the clouds, and so steep that there was no
possibility of getting out of the valley. This was a new perplexity; so
that when I compared this place with the desert island from which the
roc had brought me, I found that I had gained nothing by the change.

As I walked through this valley, I perceived it was strewed with
diamonds, some of which were of surprising bigness. I took pleasure in
looking upon them; but shortly saw at a distance such objects as greatly
diminished my satisfaction, and which I could not view without terror,
namely, a great number of serpents, so monstrous that the least of them
was capable of swallowing an elephant. They retired in the day-time to
their dens, where they hid themselves from the roc, their enemy, and
came out only in the night.

I spent the day in walking about in the valley, resting myself at times
in such places as I thought most convenient. When night came on I went
into I cave, where I thought I might repose in safety. I secured the
entrance, which was low and narrow, with a great stone, to preserve me
from the serpents; but not so far as to exclude the light. I supped on
part of my provisions, but the serpents, which began hissing round me,
put me into such extreme fear that I did not sleep. When day appeared
the serpents retired, and I came out of the cave trembling. I can justly
say that I walked upon diamonds without feeling any inclination to touch
them. At last I sat down, and notwithstanding my apprehensions, not
having closed my eyes during the night, fell asleep, after having eaten
a little more of my provisions. But I had scarcely shut my eyes when
something that fell by me with a great noise awaked me. This was a large
piece of raw meat; and at the same time I saw several others fall down
from the rocks in different places.

I had always regarded as fabulous what I had heard sailors and others
relate of the valley of diamonds, and of the stratagems employed by
merchants to obtain jewels from thence; but now I found that they had
stated nothing but the truth. For the fact is, that the merchants come
to the neighbourhood of this valley, when the eagles have young ones,
and throwing great joints of meat into the valley, the diamonds, upon
whose points they fall, stick to them; the eagles, which are stronger in
this country than anywhere else, pounce with great force upon those
pieces of meat, and carry them to their nests on the precipices of the
rocks to feed their young: the merchants at this time run to their
nests, disturb and drive off the eagles by their shouts, and take away
the diamonds that stick to the meat.

I perceived in this device the means of my deliverance.

Having collected together the largest diamonds I could find, I put them
into the leather bag in which I used to carry my provisions, I took the
largest of the pieces of meat, tied it close round me with the cloth of
my turban, and then laid myself upon the ground, with my face downward,
the bag of diamonds being made fast to my girdle.

I had scarcely placed myself in this posture when one of the eagles,
having taken me up with the piece of meat to which I was fastened,
carried me to his nest on the top of the mountain. The merchants
immediately began their shouting to frighten the eagles; and when they
had obliged them to quit their prey, one of them came to the nest where
I was. He was much alarmed when he saw me; but recovering himself,
instead of inquiring how I came thither, began to quarrel with me, and
asked why I stole his goods? "You will treat me," replied I, "with more
civility, when you know me better. Do not be uneasy; I have diamonds
enough for you and myself, more than all the other merchants together.
Whatever they have they owe to chance; but I selected for myself, in the
bottom of the valley, those which you see in this bag," I had scarcely
done speaking, when the other merchants came crowding about us, much
astonished to see me; but they were much more surprised when I told them
my story.

They conducted me to their encampment; and there having opened my bag,
they were surprised at the largeness of my diamonds, and confessed that
they had never seen any of such size and perfection. I prayed the
merchant who owned the nest to which I had been carried (for every
merchant had his own) to take as many for his share as he pleased. He
contented himself with one, and that, too, the least of them; and when I
pressed him to take more, without fear of doing me any injury, "No,"
said he, "I am very well satisfied with this, which is valuable enough
to save me the trouble of making any more voyages, and will raise as
great a fortune as I desire."

I spent the night with the merchants, to whom I related my story a
second time, for the satisfaction of those who had not heard it, I could
not moderate my joy when I found myself delivered from the danger I have
mentioned. I thought myself in a dream, and could scarcely believe
myself out of danger.

The merchants had thrown their pieces of meat into the valley for
several days; and each of them being satisfied with the diamonds that
had fallen to his lot, we left the place the next morning, and travelled
near high mountains, where there were serpents of a prodigious length,
which we had the good fortune to escape. We took shipping at the first
port we reached, and touched at the isle of Roha, where the trees grow
that yield camphire. This tree is so large, and its branches so thick,
that one hundred men may easily sit under its shade. The juice, of which
the camphire is made, exudes from a hole bored in the upper part of the
tree, and is received in a vessel, where it thickens to a consistency,
and becomes what we call camphire. After the juice is thus drawn out,
the tree withers and dies.

In this island is also found the rhinoceros, an animal less than the
elephant, but larger than the buffalo. It has a horn upon its nose,
about a cubit in length; this horn is solid, and cleft through the
middle. The rhinoceros fights with the elephant, runs his horn into his
belly, and carries him off upon his head; but the blood and the fat of
the elephant running into his eyes and making him blind, he falls to the
ground; and then, strange to relate, the roc comes and carries them both
away in her claws, for food for her young ones.

I pass over many other things peculiar to this island, lest I should
weary you. Here I exchanged some of my diamonds for merchandise. From
hence we went to other islands, and at last, having touched at several
trading towns of the continent, we landed at Bussorah, from whence I
proceeded to Bagdad. There I immediately gave large presents to the
poor, and lived honourably upon the vast riches I had brought, and
gained with so much fatigue.

Thus Sindbad ended the relation of the second voyage, gave Hindbad
another hundred sequins, and invited him to come the next day to hear
the account of the third.




CHAPTER VIII

THE WHITE CAT


There was once a king who had three sons, all remarkably handsome in
their persons, and in their tempers brave and noble. Some wicked
courtiers made the king believe that the princes were impatient to wear
the crown, and that they were contriving a plot to deprive him of his
sceptre and his kingdom. The king felt he was growing old; but as he
found himself as capable of governing as he had ever been, he had no
inclination to resign his power; and therefore, that he might pass the
rest of his days peaceably, he determined to employ the princes in such
a manner, as at once to give each of them the hope of succeeding to the
crown, and fill up the time they might otherwise spend in so undutiful a
manner. He sent for them to his cabinet, and after conversing with them
kindly, he added: "You must be sensible, my dear children, that my great
age prevents me from attending so closely as I have hitherto done to
state affairs. I fear this may be injurious to my subjects; I therefore
desire to place my crown on the head of one of you, but it is no more
than just, that in return for such a present, you should procure me some
amusement in my retirement, before I leave the Capital for ever. I
cannot help thinking, that a little dog, that is handsome, faithful, and
engaging, would be the very thing to make me happy; so that without
bestowing a preference on either of you, I declare that he who brings me
the most perfect little dog shall be my successor." The princes were
much surprised at the fancy of their father to have a little dog, yet
they accepted the proposition with pleasure: and accordingly, after
taking leave of the king, who presented them with abundance of money and
jewels, and appointed that day twelvemonth for their return, they set
off on their travels.

Before taking leave of each other, however, they took some refreshment
together, in an old palace about three miles out of town where they
agreed to meet in the same place on that day twelvemonth, and go all
together with their presents to court. They also agreed to change their
names, that they might be unknown to every one in their travels.

Each took a different road; but it is intended to relate the adventures
of only the youngest, who was the handsomest, most amiable, and
accomplished prince that had ever been seen. No day passed, as he
travelled from town to town, that he did not buy all the handsome dogs
that fell in his way; and as soon as he saw one that was handsomer than
those he had before, he made a present of the last; for twenty servants
would have been scarcely sufficient to take care of all the dogs he was
continually buying.

At length, wandering he knew not whither, he found himself in a forest;
night suddenly came on, and with it a violent storm of thunder,
lightning, and rain. To add to his perplexity, he lost his path, and
could find no way out of the forest. After he had groped about for a
long time, he perceived a light, which made him suppose that he was not
far from some house: he accordingly pursued his way towards it, and in a
short time found himself at the gates of the most magnificent palace he
ever beheld. The door that opened into it was made of gold, covered with
sapphire stones, which cast so resplendent a brightness over everything
around, that scarcely could the strongest eyesight bear to look at it.
This was the light the prince had seen from the forest. The walls of the
building were of transparent porcelain, variously coloured, and
represented the history of all the fairies that had existed from the
beginning of the world. The prince coming back to the golden door,
observed a deer's foot fastened to a chain of diamonds; he could not
help wondering at the magnificence he beheld, and the security in which
the inhabitants seemed to live; "for," said he to himself, "nothing can
be easier than for thieves to steal this chain, and as many of the
sapphire stones as would make their fortunes." He pulled the chain, and
heard a bell the sound of which was exquisite. In a few moments the door
was opened; but he perceived nothing but twelve hands in the air, each
holding a torch. The prince was so astonished that he durst not move a
step; when he felt himself gently pushed on by some other hands from
behind him. He walked on, in great perplexity, till he entered a
vestibule inlaid with porphyry and lapis-stone. There the most melodious
voice he had ever heard chanted the following words:

    "Welcome, prince, no danger fear,
     Mirth and love attend you here;
     You shall break the magic spell,
     That on a beauteous lady fell.

    "Welcome, prince, no danger fear,
     Mirth and love attend you here,"

The prince now advanced with confidence, wondering what these words
could mean; the hands moved him forward towards a large door of coral,
which opened of itself to give him admittance into a splendid apartment
built of mother-of-pearl, through which he passed into others so richly
adorned with paintings and jewels, and so resplendently lighted with
thousands of lamps, girandoles and lustres, that the prince imagined he
must be in an enchanted palace. When he had passed through sixty
apartments, all equally splendid, he was stopped by the hands, and a
large easy-chair advanced of itself towards the chimney; and the hands,
which he observed were extremely white and delicate, took off his wet
clothes, and supplied their place with the finest linen imaginable, and
then added a commodious wrapping-gown, embroidered with the brightest
gold, and all over enriched with pearls. The hands next brought him an
elegant dressing-table, and combed his hair so very gently that he
scarcely felt their touch. They held before him a beautiful basin,
filled with perfumes, for him to wash his face and hands, and afterwards
took off the wrapping-gown and dressed him in a suit of clothes of still
greater splendour. When his dress was complete, they conducted him to an
apartment he had not yet seen, and which also was magnificently
furnished. There was in it a table spread for a repast, and everything
upon it was of the purest gold adorned with jewels. The prince observed
there were two covers set, and was wondering who was to be his
companion, when his attention was suddenly caught by a small figure not
a foot high, which just then entered the room, and advanced towards him.
It had on a long black veil, and was supported by two cats dressed in
mourning, and with swords by their sides: they were followed by a
numerous retinue of cats, some carrying cages full of rats and others
mousetraps full of mice.

The prince was at a loss what to think. The little figure now
approached, and throwing aside her veil, he beheld a most beautiful
white cat. She seemed young and melancholy, and addressing herself to
the prince, she said, "Young prince, you are welcome; your presence
affords me the greatest pleasure." "Madam," replied the prince, "I would
fain thank you for your generosity, nor can I help observing that you
must be an extraordinary creature to possess with your present form the
gift of speech and the magnificent palace I have seen." "All this is
very true," answered the beautiful cat, "but, prince, I am not fond of
talking, and least of all do I like compliments; let us therefore sit
down to supper." The trunkless hands then placed the dishes on the
table, and the prince and white cat seated themselves. The first dish
was a pie made of young pigeons, and the next was a fricassee of the
fattest mice. The view of the one made the prince almost afraid to taste
the other till the white cat, who guessed his thoughts, assured him that
there were certain dishes at table in which there was not a morsel of
either rat or mouse, which had been dressed on purpose for him.
Accordingly he ate heartily of such as she recommended. When supper was
over, the prince perceived that the white cat had a portrait set in gold
hanging to one of her feet. He begged her permission to look at it;
when, to his astonishment, he saw the portrait of a handsome young man,
that exactly resembled himself! He thought there was something very
extraordinary in all this: yet, as the white cat sighed and looked very
sorrowful, he did not venture to ask any questions. He conversed with
her on different subjects, and found her extremely well versed in every
thing that was passing in the world. When night was far advanced, the
white cat wished him a good night, and he was conducted by the hands to
his bedchamber, which was different still from any thing he had seen in
the palace, being hung with the wings of butterflies, mixed with the
most curious feathers. His bed was of gauze, festooned with bunches of
the gayest ribands, and the looking-glasses reached from the floor to
the ceiling. The prince was undressed and put into bed by the hands,
without speaking a word. He however slept little, and in the morning was
awaked by a confused noise. The hands took him out of bed, and put on
him a handsome hunting-jacket. He looked into the court-yard, and
perceived more than five hundred cats, busily employed in preparing for
the field, for this was a day of festival. Presently the white cat came
to his apartment; and having politely inquired after his health, she
invited him to partake of their amusement. The prince willingly
accepted, mounted a wooden horse, richly caparisoned, which had been
prepared for him, and which he was assured would gallop to admiration.
The beautiful white cat mounted a monkey, dressed in a dragoon's bonnet,
which made her look so fierce that all the rats and mice ran away in the
utmost terror.

Every thing being ready, the horns sounded, and away they went; no
hunting was ever more agreeable; the cats ran faster than the hares and
rabbits; and when they caught any they were hunted in the presence of
the white cat, and a thousand cunning tricks were played. Nor were the
birds in safety; for the monkey made nothing of climbing up the trees,
with the white cat on his back, to the nest of the young eagles. When
the hunting was over, the whole retinue returned to the palace; and the
white cat immediately exchanged her dragoon's cap for the veil, and sat
down to supper with the prince, who, being very hungry, ate heartily,
and afterwards partook with her of the most delicious liqueurs, which
being often repeated made him forget that he was to procure a little dog
for the old king. He thought no longer of any thing but of pleasing the
sweet little creature who received him so courteously; accordingly every
day was spent in new amusements. The prince had almost forgotten his
country and relations, and sometimes even regretted that he was not a
cat, so great was his affection for his mewing companions. "Alas!" said
he to the white cat, "how will it afflict me to leave you whom I love so
much! Either make yourself a lady, or make me a cat." She smiled at the
prince's wish, but made him scarcely any reply. At length the
twelvemonth was nearly expired; the white cat, who knew the very day
when the prince was to reach his father's palace, reminded him that he
had but three days longer to look for a perfect little dog. The prince,
astonished at his own forgetfulness, began to afflict himself; when the
cat told him not to be so sorrowful, since she would not only provide
him with a little dog, but also with a wooden horse which should convey
him safely in less than twelve hours. "Look here," said she, showing him
an acorn, "this contains what you desire." The prince put the acorn to
his ear, and heard the barking of a little dog. Transported with joy, he
thanked the cat a thousand times, and the next day, bidding her tenderly
adieu, he set out on his return.

The prince arrived first at the place of rendezvous, and was soon joined
by his brothers; they mutually embraced, and began to give an account of
their success; when the youngest showed them only a little mongrel cur,
telling them he thought it could not fail to please the king from its
extraordinary beauty, the brothers trod on each other's toes under the
table; as much as to say, we have not much to fear from this sorry
looking animal. The next day they went together to the palace. The dogs
of the two elder princes were lying on cushions, and so curiously
wrapped around with embroidered quilts, that one would scarcely venture
to touch them. The youngest produced his cur, dirty all over, and all
wondered how the prince could hope to receive a crown for such a
present. The king examined the two little dogs of the elder princes, and
declared he thought them so equally beautiful that he knew not to which,
with justice, he could give the preference. They accordingly began to
dispute; when the youngest prince, taking his acorn from his pocket,
soon ended their contention; for a little dog appeared which could with
ease go through the smallest ring, and was besides a miracle of beauty.
The king could not possibly hesitate in declaring his satisfaction; yet,
as he was not more inclined than the year before to part with his crown,
he could think of nothing more to his purpose than telling his sons that
he was extremely obliged to them for the pains they had taken; and that
since they had succeeded so well, he could not but wish they would make
a second attempt; he therefore begged they would take another year for
procuring him a piece of cambric, so fine as to be drawn through the eye
of a small needle.

The three princes thought this very hard; yet they set out in obedience
to the king's command. The two eldest took different roads, and the
youngest remounted his wooden horse, and in a short time arrived at the
palace of his beloved white cat, who received him with the greatest joy,
while the trunkless hands helped him to dismount, and provided him with
immediate refreshments; after which the prince gave the white cat an
account of the admiration which had been bestowed on the beautiful
little dog, and informed her of his father's farther injunction. "Make
yourself perfectly easy, dear prince," said she, "I have in my palace
some cats that are perfectly clever in making such cambric as the king
requires; so you have nothing to do but to give me the pleasure of your
company while it is making; and I will procure you all the amusement
possible." She accordingly ordered the most curious fireworks to be
played off in sight of the window of the apartment in which they were
sitting; and nothing but festivity and rejoicing was heard throughout
the palace for the prince's return. As the white cat continually gave
proofs of an excellent understanding, the prince was by no means tired
of her company; she talked with him of state affairs, of theatres, of
fashions; in short, she was at a loss on no subject whatever; so that
when the prince was alone, he had plenty of amusement in thinking how it
could possibly be that a small white cat could be endowed with all the
powers of human creatures.

The twelvemonth in this manner again passed insensibly away; but the cat
took care to remind the prince of his duty in proper time. "For once, my
prince," said she, "I will have the pleasure of equipping you as suits
your high rank;" when looking into the court-yard, he saw a superb car,
ornamented all over with gold, silver, pearls and diamonds, drawn by
twelve horses as white as snow, and harnessed in the most sumptuous
trappings; and behind the car a thousand guards richly apparelled were
in waiting to attend on the prince's person. She then presented him with
a nut: "You will find in it," said she, "the piece of cambric I promised
you. Do not break the shell till you are in the presence of the king
your father." Then, to prevent the acknowledgments which the prince was
about to offer, she hastily bade him adieu. Nothing could exceed the
speed with which the snow-white horses conveyed this fortunate prince to
his father's palace, where his brothers had just arrived before him.
They embraced each other, and demanded an immediate audience of the
king, who received them with the greatest kindness. The princes hastened
to place at the feet of his majesty the curious present he had required
them to procure. The eldest produced a piece of cambric that was so
extremely fine, that his friends had no doubt of its passing the eye of
the needle, which was now delivered to the king, having been kept locked
up in the custody of his majesty's treasurer all the time, Every one
supposed he would certainly obtain the crown. But when the king tried to
draw it through the eye of the needle, it would not pass, though it
failed but very little. Then came the second prince, who made as sure of
obtaining the crown as his brother had done; but, alas! with no better
success: for though his piece of cambric was exquisitely fine, yet it
could not be drawn through the eye of the needle. It was now the
youngest prince's turn, who accordingly advanced, and opening an elegant
little box inlaid with jewels, he took out a walnut, and cracked the
shell, imagining he should immediately perceive his piece of cambric;
but what was his astonishment to see nothing but a filbert! He did not
however lose his hopes; he cracked the filbert, and it presented him
with a cherry-stone. The lords of the court, who had assembled to
witness this extraordinary trial, could not, any more than the princes
his brothers, refrain from laughing, to think he should be so silly as
to claim with them the crown on no better pretensions. The prince
however cracked the cherry-stone, which was filled with a kernel: he
divided it, and found in the middle a grain of wheat, and in that grain
a millet seed. He was now absolutely confounded, and could not help
muttering between his teeth: "O white cat, white cat, thou hast deceived
me!" At this instant he felt his hand scratched by the claw of a cat:
upon which he again took courage, and opening the grain of millet seed,
to the astonishment of all present, he drew forth a piece of cambric
four hundred yards long, and fine enough to be drawn with perfect ease
through the eye of the needle. When the king found he had no pretext
left for refusing the crown to his youngest son, he sighed deeply, and
it was easy to be seen that he was sorry for the prince's success. "My
sons," said he, "it is so gratifying to the heart of a father to receive
proofs of his children's love and obedience, that I cannot refuse myself
the satisfaction of requiring of you one thing more. You must undertake
another expedition; and whichever, by the end of a year, brings me the
most beautiful lady, shall marry her, and obtain my crown."

So they again took leave of the king and of each other, and set out
without delay, and in less than twelve hours our young prince arrived in
his splendid car at the palace of his dear white cat. Every thing went
on as before, till the end of another year. At length only one day
remained of the year, when the white cat thus addressed him: "To-morrow,
my prince, you must present yourself at the palace of your father, and
give him a proof of your obedience. It depends only on yourself to
conduct thither the most beautiful princess ever yet beheld, for the
time is come when the enchantment by which I am bound may be ended. You
must cut off my head and tail," continued she, "and throw them into the
fire." "I!" said the prince hastily, "I cut off your head and tail! You
surely mean to try my affection, which, believe me, beautiful cat, is
truly yours." "You mistake me, generous prince," said she, "I do not
doubt your regard; but if you wish to see me in any other form than that
of a cat, you must consent to do as I desire. Then you will have done me
a service I shall never be able sufficiently to repay." The prince's
eyes filled with tears as she spoke, yet he considered himself obliged
to undertake the dreadful task, and the cat continuing to press him with
greater eagerness, with a trembling hand he drew his sword, cut off her
head and tail, and threw them into the fire. No sooner was this done,
than the most beautiful lady his eyes had ever seen stood before him:
and before he had sufficiently recovered from his surprise to speak to
her, a long train of attendants, who, at the same moment as their
mistress, were changed to their natural shapes, came to offer their
congratulations to the queen, and inquire her commands. She received
them with the greatest kindness; and ordering them to withdraw, she thus
addressed the astonished prince. "Do not imagine, dear prince, that I
have always been a cat, or that I am of obscure birth. My father was the
monarch of six kingdoms; he tenderly loved my mother, leaving her always
at liberty to follow her own inclinations. Her prevailing passion was to
travel; and a short time before my birth, having heard of some fairies
who were in possession of the largest gardens filled with the most
delicious fruits, she had so strong a desire to eat some of them, that
she set out for the country in which they lived. She arrived at their
abode which she found to be a magnificent palace, on all sides
glittering with gold and precious stones. She knocked a long time at the
gates; but no one came, nor could she perceive the least sign that it
had any inhabitant. The difficulty, however, did but increase the
violence of my mother's longing; for she saw the tops of the trees above
the garden walls loaded with the most luscious fruits. The queen, in
despair, ordered her attendants to place tents close to the door of the
palace; but having waited six weeks, without seeing any one pass the
gates, she fell sick of vexation, and her life was despaired of.

"One night, as she lay half asleep, she turned herself about, and
opening her eyes, perceived a little old woman, very ugly and deformed,
seated in the easy chair by her bedside. 'I, and my sister fairies,'
said she, 'take it very ill that your majesty should so obstinately
persist in getting some of our fruit; but since so precious a life is at
stake, we consent to give you as much as you can carry away, provided
you will give us in return what we shall ask.' 'Ah! kind fairy,' cried
the queen, 'I will give you anything I possess, even my very kingdoms,
on condition that I eat of your fruit.' The old fairy then informed the
queen that what they required was, that she would give them the child
she was going to have, as soon as she should be born; adding, that every
possible care should be taken of her, and that she should become the
most accomplished princess. The queen replied, that however cruel the
condition, she must accept it, since nothing but the fruit could save
her life. In short, dear prince," continued the lady, "my mother
instantly got out of bed, was dressed by her attendants, entered the
palace, and satisfied her longing. When the queen had eaten her fill,
she ordered four thousand mules to be procured, and loaded with the
fruit, which had the virtue of continuing all the year round in a state
of perfection. Thus provided, she returned to the king, my father, who
with the whole court, received her with rejoicings, as it was before
imagined she would die of disappointment. All this time the queen said
nothing to my father of the promise she had made, to give her daughter
to the fairies; so that, when the time was come that she expected my
birth, she grew very melancholy; till at length, being pressed by the
king, she declared to him the truth. Nothing could exceed his
affliction, when he heard that his only child, when born, was to be
given to the fairies. He bore it, however, as well as he could, for fear
of adding to my mother's grief; and also believing he should find some
means of keeping me in a place of safety, which the fairies would not be
able to approach. As soon therefore as I was born, he had me conveyed to
a tower in the palace, to which there were twenty flights of stairs, and
a door to each, of which my father kept the key, so that none came near
me without his consent. When the fairies heard of what had been done,
they sent first to demand me; and on my father's refusal, they let loose
a monstrous dragon, who devoured men, women and children, and the breath
of whose nostrils destroyed every thing it came near, so that the trees
and plants began to die in great abundance. The grief of the king, at
seeing this, could scarcely be equalled; and finding that his whole
kingdom would in a short time be reduced to famine, he consented to give
me into their hands. I was accordingly laid in a cradle of
mother-of-pearl, ornamented with gold and jewels, and carried to their
palace, when the dragon immediately disappeared. The fairies placed me
in a tower of their palace, elegantly furnished, but to which there was
no door, so that whoever approached was obliged to come by the windows,
which were a great height from the ground: from these I had the liberty
of getting out into a delightful garden, in which were baths, and every
sort of cooling fruit. In this place was I educated by the fairies, who
behaved to me with the greatest kindness; my clothes were splendid, and
I was instructed in every kind of accomplishment. In short, prince, if I
had never seen any one but themselves, I should have remained very
happy. One of the windows of my tower overlooked a long avenue shaded
with trees, so that I had never seen in it a human creature. One day,
however, as I was talking at this window with my parrot, I perceived a
young gentleman who was listening to our conversation. As I had never
seen a man, but in pictures, I was not sorry for the opportunity of
gratifying my curiosity. I thought him a very pleasing object, and he at
length bowed in the most respectful manner, without daring to speak, for
he knew that I was in the palace of the fairies. When it began to grow
dark he went away, and I vainly endeavoured to see which road he took.
The next morning, as soon as it was light, I again placed myself at the
window, and had the pleasure of seeing that the gentleman had returned
to the same place. He now spoke to me through a speaking-trumpet, and
informed me he thought me a most charming lady, and that he should be
very unhappy if he did not pass his life in my company.

"I resolved to find some means of escaping from my tower with the
engaging prince I had seen. I was not long in devising a means for the
execution of my project. I begged the fairies to bring me a
netting-needle, a mesh and some cord, saying I wished to make some nets
to amuse myself with catching birds at my window. This they readily
complied with, and in a short time I completed a ladder long enough to
reach the ground. I now sent my parrot to the prince, to beg he would
come to his usual place, as I wished to speak with him. He did not fail,
and finding the ladder, mounted it, and quickly entered my tower. This
at first alarmed me; but the charms of his conversation had restored me
to tranquillity, when all at once the window opened, and the fairy
Violent, mounted on the dragon's back, rushed into the tower. My beloved
prince thought of nothing but how to defend me from their fury; for I
had had time to relate to him my story, previous to this cruel
interruption; but their numbers overpowered him, and the fairy Violent
had the barbarity to command the dragon to devour my prince before my
eyes. In my despair, I would have thrown myself also into the mouth of
the horrible monster, but this they took care to prevent, saying my life
should be preserved for greater punishment. The fairy then touched me
with her wand, and I instantly became a white cat. She next conducted me
to this palace, which belonged to my father, and gave me a train of cats
for my attendants, together with the twelve hands which waited on your
highness. She then informed me of my birth, and the death of my parents,
and pronounced upon me what she imagined the greatest of maledictions:
That I should not be restored to my natural figure till a young prince,
the perfect resemblance of him I had lost, should cut off my head and
tail. You are that perfect resemblance; and, accordingly, you have ended
the enchantment. I need not add, that I already love you more than my
life. Let us therefore hasten to the palace of the king your father, and
obtain his approbation to our marriage."

The prince and princess accordingly set out side by side, in a car of
still greater splendour than before, and reached the palace just as the
two brothers had arrived with two beautiful princesses. The king,
hearing that each of his sons had succeeded in finding what he had
required, again began to think of some new expedient to delay the time
of his resigning his crown; but when the whole court were with the king
assembled to pass judgment, the princess who accompanied the youngest,
perceiving his thoughts by his countenance, stepped majestically
forward, and thus addressed him: "What pity that your majesty, who is so
capable of governing, should think of resigning the crown! I am
fortunate enough to have six kingdoms in my possession; permit me to
bestow one on each of the eldest princes, and to enjoy the remaining
four in the society of the youngest. And may it please your majesty to
keep your own kingdom, and make no decision concerning the beauty of
three princesses, who, without such a proof of your majesty's
preference, will no doubt live happily together!" The air resounded with
the applauses of the assembly. The young prince and princess embraced
the king, and next their brothers and sisters; the three weddings
immediately took place; and the kingdoms were divided as the princess
had proposed.




CHAPTER IX

THE GOLDEN GOOSE


There was a man who had three sons, the youngest of whom was considered
very silly, and everybody used to mock him and make fun of him. The
eldest son wanted to go and cut wood in the forest, and before he left
home his mother prepared beautiful pancakes and a bottle of wine for him
to take with him, so that he might not suffer from hunger or thirst.

As he entered the forest he met a gray old man, who bade him
"Good-morning," and said: "Give me a little piece of cake out of your
basket and a drop of wine out of your bottle, for I am very hungry and
thirsty."

But the clever son replied: "What, give you my cake and my wine! Why, if
I did, I should have none for myself. Not I, indeed, so take yourself
off!" and he left the man standing and went on.

The young man began cutting down a tree, but it was not long before he
made a false stroke: the axe slipped and cut his arm so badly that he
was obliged to go home and have it bound up. Now, this false stroke was
caused by the little gray old man.

Next day the second son went into the forest to cut wood, and his mother
gave him a cake and a bottle of wine. As he entered the wood the same
little old man met him, and begged for a piece of cake and a drop of
wine. But the second son answered rudely: "What I might give to you I
shall want myself, so be off."

Then he left the little old man standing in the road, and walked on. His
punishment soon came; he had scarcely given two strokes on a tree with
his axe, when he hit his leg such a terrible blow that he was obliged to
limp home in great pain.

Then the stupid son said to his father, "Let me go for once and cut wood
in the forest."

But his father said: "No, your brothers have been hurt already, and it
would be worse for you, who don't understand wood-cutting."

The boy, however, begged so hard to be allowed to go that his father
said: "There, get along with you; you will buy your experience very
dearly, I expect."

His mother, however, gave him a cake which had been made with water and
baked in the ashes, and a bottle of sour beer.

When he reached the wood the very same little old man met him, and after
greeting him kindly, said: "Give me a little of your cake and a drop
from your bottle, for I am very hungry and thirsty."

"Oh," replied the simple youth, "I have only a cake, which has been
baked in the ashes, and some sour beer; but you are welcome to a share
of it. Let us sit down, and eat and drink together."

So they seated themselves, and, lo and behold, when the youth opened his
basket, the cake had been turned into a beautiful cake, and the sour
beer into wine. After they had eaten and drank enough, the little old
man said: "Because you have been kind-hearted, and shared your dinner
with me, I will make you in future lucky in all you undertake. There
stands an old tree; cut it down, and you will find something good at the
root."

Then the old man said "Farewell," and left him.

The youth set to work, and very soon succeeded in felling the tree, when
he found sitting at the roots a goose, whose feathers were of pure gold.
He took it up, and, instead of going home, carried it with him to an inn
at a little distance, where he intended to pass the night.

The landlord had three daughters, who looked at the goose with envious
eyes. They had never seen such a wonderful bird, and longed to have at
least one of its feathers. "Ah," thought the eldest, "I shall soon have
an opportunity to pluck one of them;" and so it happened, for not long
after the young man left the room. She instantly went up to the bird and
took hold of its wing, but as she did so, the finger and thumb remained
and stuck fast. In a short time after the second sister came in with the
full expectation of gaining a golden feather, but as she touched her
sister to move her from the bird, her hand stuck fast to her sister's
dress, and neither of them could free herself. At last, in came the
third sister with the same intention. "Keep away, keep away!" screamed
the other two; "in heaven's name keep away!"

But she could not imagine why she should keep away. If they were near
the golden bird, why should not she be there? So she made a spring
forward and touched her second sister, and immediately she also was made
a prisoner, and in this position they were obliged to remain by the
goose all night.

In the morning the young man came in, took the goose on his arm, and
went away without troubling himself about the three girls, who were
following close behind him. And as he walked quickly, they were obliged
to run one behind the other, left or right of him, just as he was
inclined to go.

In the middle of a field they were met by the parson of the parish, who
looked with wonder at the procession as it came near him. "Shame on
you!" he cried out. "What are you about, you bold-faced hussies, running
after a young man in that way through the fields? Go home, all of you."

He placed his hand on the youngest to pull her back, but the moment he
touched her he also became fixed, and was obliged to follow and run like
the rest. In a few minutes the clerk met them, and when he saw the
parson runing after the girls, he wondered greatly, and cried out,
"Halloa, master parson, where are you running in such haste? Have you
forgotten that there is a christening to-day?" And as the procession did
not stop, he ran after it, and seized the parson's gown.

In a moment he found that his hand was fixed, and he also had to run
like the rest. And now there were five trotting along, one behind the
other. Presently two peasants came by with their sickles from the field.
The parson called out to them, and begged them to come and release him
and the clerk. Hardly had they touched the clerk when they also stuck
fast as the others, and the simpleton with his golden goose travelled
with the seven.

After awhile they came to a city in which reigned a king who had a
daughter of such a melancholy disposition that no one could make her
laugh; therefore he issued a decree that whoever would make the princess
laugh should have her in marriage.

Now, when the simple youth heard this, he ran before her, and the whole
seven trotted after him. The sight was so ridiculous that the moment the
princess saw it she burst into a violent fit of laughter and they
thought she would never leave off.

After this, the youth went to the king, and demanded his daughter in
marriage, according to the king's decree; but his majesty did not quite
like to have the young man for a son-in-law, so he said that, before he
could consent to the marriage, the youth must bring him a man who could
drink all the wine in the king's cellar.

The simpleton went into the forest, for he thought, "If anyone can help
me, it is the little gray man." When he arrived at the spot where he had
cut down the tree, there stood a man with a very miserable face.

The youth asked him why he looked so sorrowful.

"Oh," he exclaimed, "I suffer such dreadful thirst that nothing seems
able to quench it; and cold water I cannot endure. I have emptied a cask
of wine already, but it was just like a drop of water on a hot stone."

"I can help you," cried the young man; "come with me, and you shall have
your fill, I promise you."

Upon this he led the man into the king's cellar, where he opened the
casks one after another, and drank and drank till his back ached; and
before the day closed he had quite emptied the king's cellar.

Again the young man asked for his bride, but the king was annoyed at the
thought of giving his daughter to such a common fellow, and to get rid
of him he made another condition. He said that no man should have his
daughter who could not find someone able to eat up a whole mountain of
bread.

Away went the simpleton to the forest as before, and there in the same
place sat a man binding himself round tightly with a belt, and making
the most horrible faces. As the youth approached, he cried, "I have
eaten a whole ovenful of rolls, but it has not satisfied me a bit; I am
as hungry as ever, and my stomach feels so empty that I am obliged to
bind it round tightly, or I should die of hunger."

The simpleton could hardly contain himself for joy when he heard this.
"Get up," he exclaimed, "and come with me, and I will give you plenty to
eat, I'll warrant."

So he led him to the king's court, where his majesty had ordered all the
flour in the kingdom to be made into bread, and piled up in a huge
mountain. The hungry man placed himself before the bread, and began to
eat, and before evening the whole pile had disappeared.

Then the simpleton went a third time to the king, and asked for his
bride, but the king made several excuses, and at last said that if he
could bring him a ship that would travel as well by land as by water,
then he should, without any further conditions, marry his daughter.

The youth went at once straight to the forest, and saw the same old gray
man to whom he had given his cake. "Ah," he said, as the youth
approached, "it was I who sent the men to eat and drink, and I will also
give you a ship that can travel by land or by sea, because when you
thought I was poor you were kind-hearted, and gave me food and drink."

The youth took the ship, and when the king saw it he was quite
surprised; but he could not any longer refuse to give him his daughter
in marriage. The wedding was celebrated with great pomp, and after the
king's death the simple wood-cutter inherited the whole kingdom, and
lived happily with his wife.




CHAPTER X

THE TWELVE BROTHERS


There were once a king and queen who had twelve children--all boys. Now,
one day the king told his wife that if a daughter should be born, all
the sons must die--that their sister alone might inherit his kingdom and
riches.

So the king had twelve coffins made, which were filled with shavings,
and in each was the little pillow for the dead. He had them locked up in
a private room, the key of which he gave to the queen, praying her not
to speak of it to anyone. But the poor mother was so unhappy that she
wept for a whole day, and looked so sad that her youngest son noticed
it.

He had the Bible name of Benjamin, and was always with his mother.

"Dear mother," he said, "why are you so sorrowful?"

"My child, I may not tell you," she replied; but the boy allowed her no
rest till she unlocked the door of the private room, and showed him the
twelve coffins filled with shavings.

"Dearest Benjamin," she said, "these coffins are for you and your
brothers; for if you should ever have a little sister, you will all die,
and be buried in them."

She wept bitterly as she told him, but her son comforted her, and said,
"Do not weep, dear mother. We will take care of ourselves, and go far
away."

Then she took courage, and said, "Yes, go away with your eleven
brothers, and remain in the forest; and let one climb a tree, from
whence he will be able to see the tower of the castle; If I should have
a son, a white flag shall be hoisted, and then you may return home; but
if you see a red flag, you will know it is a girl, and then hasten away
as fast as you can, and may Heaven protect you! Every night I will pray
for you, that you may not suffer from the cold in winter or the heat in
summer."

Then she blessed all her sons, and they went away into the forest, while
each in turn mounted a high tree daily, to watch for the flag on the
tower.

Eleven days passed, and it was Benjamin's turn to watch. He saw the flag
hoisted, and it was red--the signal that they must die. The brothers
were angry, and said, "Shall we suffer death on account of a maiden?
When we find one we will kill her, to avenge ourselves."

They went still farther into the forest, and came upon a most pleasant
little cottage, which was uninhabited. "We will make this our home,"
they said; "and Benjamin, as you are the youngest and weakest, you shall
stay at home and keep house, while we go out and procure food."

So they wandered about the forest, shooting hares, wild rabbits, pigeons
and other birds, which they brought to Benjamin to prepare for food. In
this cottage they lived for ten years happily together, so that the time
passed quickly.

Their little sister was growing a great girl. She had a sweet
disposition, and was very beautiful to look upon. She wore rich clothes,
and a golden star on her forehead.

One day, when she was about ten years old, she discovered in her
mother's wardrobe twelve shirts. "Mother," she exclaimed, "whose shirts
are these? They are much too small for my father."

The queen sighed as she replied, "Dear child, these shirts belong to
your twelve brothers."

"Twelve brothers!" cried the little maiden. "Where are they? I have not
even heard of them."

"Heaven knows where they are," was the reply; "but they are wandering
about the world somewhere." Then the queen took her little daughter to
the private room in the castle, and showed her the twelve coffins which
had been prepared for her brothers, and related to her, with many tears,
why they had left home.

"Dear mother," said the child, "do not weep. I will go and seek my
brothers." So she took the twelve shirts with her, and wandered away
into the forest.

She walked for a whole day, and in the evening came to a cottage,
stepped in, and found a young boy, who stared with astonishment at
seeing a beautiful little girl dressed in rich clothing and wearing a
golden star on her forehead.

At last he said, "Who are you, and what do you want?"

"I am a king's daughter," she said, "and I seek my twelve brothers, and
I intend to search for them till I find them;" and she showed him their
shirts.

Then Benjamin knew that she was his sister, and said, "I am your
youngest brother, Benjamin." Then she wept for joy. They kissed each
other with deep affection, and were for a time very happy.

At last Benjamin said, "Dear sister, we have made a vow that the first
young maiden we meet should die, because through a maiden we have lost
our kingly rights."

"I would willingly die," she said, "if by so doing I could restore my
brothers to their rightful possessions."

"No, you shall not die," he replied. "Hide yourself behind this tub
until our eleven brothers come home; then I will make an agreement with
them."

At night the brothers returned from hunting, and the supper was ready.
While they sat at table, one of them said, "Well, Benjamin, have you any
news?"

"Perhaps I have," he said, "although it seems strange that I, who stay
at home, should know more than you, who have been out."

"Well, tell us your news," said one. So he said:

"I will tell you if you will make one promise."

"Yes, yes!" they all cried. "What is it?"

"Well, then, promise me that the first maiden you meet with in the
forest shall _not_ die."

"Yes, yes!" said they all; "she shall have mercy, but tell us."

"Then," said the youngest brother, "our sister is here;" and, rising, he
lifted the tub, and the king's daughter came forth in her royal robes
and with a golden star on her forehead, and looking so fair and delicate
and beautiful that the brothers were full of joy, and kissed and
embraced her with the fondest affection.

She stayed with Benjamin, and helped him in keeping the house clean and
cooking the game which the others brought home. Everything was so nicely
managed now and with so much order, the curtains and the quilts were
beautifully white, and the dinners cooked so well that the brothers were
always contented, and lived in great unity with their little sister.

There was a pretty garden around the house in which they lived, and one
day, when they were all at home dining together, and enjoying
themselves, the maiden went out into the garden to gather them some
flowers.

She had tended twelve lilies with great care, and they were now in such
splendid bloom that she determined to pluck them for her brothers, to
please them.

But the moment she gathered the lilies, her twelve brothers were changed
into twelve ravens, and flew away over the trees of the forest, while
the charming house and garden vanished from her sight. Now was the poor
little maiden left all alone in the wild wood, and knew not what to do;
but on turning round she saw a curious old woman standing near, who said
to her, "My child, what hast thou done? Why didst thou not leave those
white flowers to grow on their stems? They were thy twelve brothers, and
now they will always remain ravens."

"Is there no way to set them free?" asked the maiden, weeping.

"No way in the world," she replied, "but one, and that is far too
difficult for thee to perform; yet it would break the spell and set them
free. Hast thou firmness enough to remain dumb seven years, and not
speak to anyone, or even laugh? for if ever you utter a single word, or
fail only once in the seven years, all you have done before will be
vain, and at this one word your brothers will die."

"Yes," said the maiden, "I can do this to set my brothers free."

Then the maiden climbed into a tree, and, seating herself in the
branches, began to knit.

She remained here, living on the fruit that grew on the tree, and
without laughing or uttering a word.

As she sat in her tree, the king, who was hunting, had a favourite
hound, who very soon discovered her, ran to the tree on which the maiden
sat, sprang up to it, and barked at her violently.

The king came nearer, and saw the beautiful king's daughter with the
golden star on her forehead. He was so struck with her beauty that he
begged her to come down, and asked her to be his bride. She did not
speak a word, but merely nodded her head. Then the king himself climbed
up into the tree, and bringing her down, seated her on his own horse and
galloped away with her to his home.

The marriage was soon after celebrated with great pomp, but the bride
neither spoke nor laughed.

When they had lived happily together for some years, the king's mother,
a wicked woman, began to raise evil reports about the queen, and said to
the king, "It is some beggar girl you have picked up. Who can tell what
wicked tricks she practises. She can't help being dumb, but why does she
never laugh? unless she has a guilty conscience." The king at first
would listen to none of these suspicions, but she urged him so long, and
accused the queen of such wicked conduct, that at last he condemned her
to be burnt to death.

Now in the court-yard a great fire was kindled, and the king stood
weeping at a window overlooking the court of the palace, for he still
loved her dearly. He saw her brought forth and tied to the stake; the
fire kindled, and the flames with their forked tongues were creeping
towards her, when at the last moment the seven years were past, and
suddenly a rustling noise of wings was heard in the air; twelve black
ravens alighted on the earth and instantly assumed their own forms--they
were the brothers of the queen.

They tore down the pile and extinguished the fire, set their sister
free, and embraced her tenderly. The queen, who was now able to speak,
told the king why she had been dumb and had never laughed.

The delight of the king was only equalled by his anger against the
wicked witch, who was brought to justice and ordered to be thrown into a
vat of oil full of poisonous snakes, where she died a dreadful death.




CHAPTER XI

THE FAIR ONE WITH THE GOLDEN LOCKS


There was once a most beautiful and amiable princess who was called "The
Fair One with Locks of Gold," for her hair shone brighter than gold, and
flowed in curls down to her feet, her head was always encircled by a
wreath of beautiful flowers, and pearls and diamonds.

A handsome, rich, young prince, whose territories joined to hers, was
deeply in love with the reports he heard of her, and sent to demand her
in marriage. The ambassador sent with proposals was most sumptuously
attired, and surrounded by lackeys on beautiful horses, as well as
charged with every kind of compliment, from the anxious prince, who
hoped he would bring the princess back with him; but whether it was that
she was not that day in a good humour, or that she did not like the
speeches made by the ambassador, I don't know, but she returned thanks
to his master for the honour he intended her, and said she had no
inclination to marry. When the ambassador arrived at the king's chief
city, where he was expected with great impatience, the people were
extremely afflicted to see him return without the Fair One with the
Locks of Gold; and the king wept like a child. There was a youth at
court whose beauty outshone the sun, the gracefulness of whose person
was not to be equalled, and for his gracefulness and wit, he was called
Avenant: the king loved him, and indeed every body except the envious.
Avenant being one day in company with some persons, inconsiderately
said, "If the king had sent me to the Fair One with Locks of Gold, I
dare say I could have prevailed on her to return with me." These enviers
of Avenant's prosperity immediately ran open mouthed to the king,
saying, "Sir sir, what does your majesty think Avenant says? He boasts
that if you had sent him to the Fair One with the Golden Hair, he could
have brought her with him; which shows he is so vain as to think himself
handsomer than your majesty and that her love for him would have made
her follow him wherever he went." This put the king into a violent rage.
"What!" said he, "does this youngster make a jest at my misfortune, and
pretend to set himself above me? Go and put him immediately in my great
tower, and there let him starve to death." The king's guards went and
seized Avenant who thought no more of what he had said, dragged him to
prison, and used him in the most cruel manner.

One day when he was almost quite spent, he said to himself, fetching a
deep sigh, "Wherein can I have offended the king? He has not a more
faithful subject than myself; nor have I ever done any thing to
displease him." The king happened at that time to pass by the tower; and
stopped to hear him, notwithstanding the persuasions of those that were
with him; "Hold your peace," replied the king, "and let me hear him
out." Which having done, and being greatly moved by his sufferings, he
opened the door of the tower, and called him by his name. Upon which
Avenant came forth in a sad condition, and, throwing himself at the
king's feet, "What have I done, sir," said he, "that your majesty should
use me thus severely?" "Thou hast ridiculed me and my ambassador,"
replied the king; "and hast said, that if I had sent thee to the Fair
One with Locks of Gold, thou couldst have brought her with thee." "It is
true, sir," replied Avenant, "for I would have so thoroughly convinced
her of your transcending qualities, that it should not have been in her
power to have denied me; and this, surely, I said in the name of your
majesty." The king found in reality he had done no injury; so, he took
him away with him, repenting heartily of the wrong he had done him.
After having given him an excellent supper, the king sent for him into
his cabinet. "Avenant," said he, "I still love the Fair One with Locks
of Gold; I have a mind to send thee to her, to try whether thou canst
succeed," Avenant replied, he was ready to obey his majesty in all
things, and would depart the very next morning. "Hold," said the king,
"I will provide thee first with a most sumptuous equipage." "There is no
necessity for that," answered Avenant; "I need only a good horse and
your letters of credence." Upon this the king embraced him; being
overjoyed to see him so soon ready.

It was upon a Monday morning that he took leave of the king and his
friends. Being on his journey by break of day, and entering into a
spacious meadow, a fine thought came into his head; he alighted
immediately, and seated himself by the bank of a little stream that
watered one side of the meadow, and wrote the sentiment down in his
pocket book. After he had done writing, he looked about him every way,
being charmed with the beauties of the place, and suddenly perceived a
large gilded carp, which stirred a little, and that was all it could do,
for having attempted to catch some little flies, it had leaped so far
out of the water, as to throw itself upon the grass, where it was almost
dead, not being able to recover its natural element. Avenant took pity
on the poor creature, and though it was a fish-day, and he might have
carried it away for his dinner, he took it up, and gently put it again
into the river, where the carp, feeling the refreshing coolness of the
water, began to rejoice, and sunk to the bottom; but soon rising up
again, brisk and gay, to the side of the river; "Avenant," said the
carp, "I thank you for the kindness you have done me; had it not been
for you, I had died; but you have saved my life, and I will reward you."
After this short compliment, the carp darted itself to the bottom of the
water, leaving Avenant not a little surprised at its wit and great
civility.

Another day, as he was pursuing his journey, he saw a crow in great
distress: being pursued by a huge eagle, he took his bow, which he
always carried abroad with him, and aiming at the eagle, let fly an
arrow, which pierced him through the body, so that he fell down dead;
which the crow seeing, came in an ecstasy of joy, and perched upon a
tree. "Avenant," said the crow, "you have been extremely generous to
succour me, who am but a poor wretched crow; but I am not ungrateful and
will do you as good a turn." Avenant admired the wit of the crow, and
continuing his journey, he entered into a wood so early one morning,
that he could scarcely see his way, where he heard an owl crying out
like an owl in despair. So looking about every where, he at length came
to a place where certain fowlers had spread their nets in the night-time
to catch little birds. "What pity 'tis," said he, "men are only made to
torment one another, or else to persecute poor animals who never do them
any harm!" So saying, he drew his knife, cut the cords, and set the owl
at liberty; who, before he took wing, said, "Avenant, the fowlers are
coming, I should have been taken, and must have died, without your
assistance: I have a grateful heart, and will remember it."

These were the three most remarkable adventures that befell Avenant in
his journey; and when he arrived at the end of it, he washed himself,
combed and powdered his hair, and put on a suit of cloth of gold: which
having done, he put a rich embroidered scarf about his neck, with a
small basket, wherein was a little dog which he was very fond of. And
Avenant was so amiable, and did every thing with so good a grace, that
when he presented himself at the gate of the palace, all the guards paid
him great respect, and every one strove who should first give notice to
the Fair One with Locks of Gold, that Avenant, the neighbouring king's
ambassador, demanded audience. The princess on hearing the name of
Avenant, said, "It has a pleasing sound, and I dare say he is agreeable
and pleases every body; and she said to her maids of honour, go fetch me
my rich embroidered gown of blue satin, dress my hair, and bring my
wreaths of fresh flowers: let me have my high shoes, and my fan, and let
my audience chamber and throne be clean, and richly adorned; for I would
have him every where with truth say, that I am really the Fair One with
Locks of Gold." Thus all her women were employed to dress her as a queen
should be. At length, she went to her great gallery of looking-glasses,
to see if any thing was wanting; after which she ascended her throne of
gold, ivory, and ebony, the fragrant smell of which was superior to the
choicest balm. She also commanded her maids of honour to take their
instruments, and play to their own singing so sweetly that none should
be disgusted.

Avenant was conducted into the chamber of audience, were he stood so
transported with admiration, that, as he afterwards said, he had
scarcely power to open his lips. At length, however, he took courage,
and made his speech wonderfully well; wherein he prayed the princess not
to let him be so unfortunate as to return without her. "Gentle Avenant,"
said she, "all the reasons you have laid before me, are very good, and I
assure you, I would rather favour you than any other; but you must know,
about a month since, I went to take the air by the side of a river, with
my maids of honour; as I was pulling off my glove, I pulled a ring from
my finger, which by accident fell into the river. This ring I valued
more than my whole kingdom; whence you may judge how much I am afflicted
by the loss of it. And I have made a vow never to hearken to any
proposals of marriage, unless the ambassador who makes them shall also
bring my ring. This is the present which you have to make me; otherwise
you may talk your heart out, for months and even years shall never
change my resolution." When he returned to his lodgings, he went to bed
supperless; and his little dog, who was called Cabriole, made a fasting
night of it too, and went and lay down by his master; who did nothing
all night but sigh and lament, saying, "How can I find a ring that fell
into a great river a month ago? It would be folly to attempt it. The
princess enjoined me this task, merely because she knew it was
impossible," he continued, greatly afflicted; which Cabriole observing,
said, "My dear master, pray do not despair of your good fortune; for you
are too good to be unhappy. Therefore, when it is day, let us go to the
river side." Avenant made no answer, but gave his dog two little cuffs
with his hand, and being overwhelmed with grief, fell asleep.

But when Cabriole perceived it was broad day, he fell a barking so loud
that he waked his master. "Rise, sir," said he, "put on your clothes,
and let us go and try our fortune." Avenant took his little dog's
advice; got up, and dressed himself, went down into the garden, and out
of the garden he walked insensibly to the river side, with his hat over
his eyes, and his arms across, thinking of nothing but taking his leave;
when all on a sudden he heard a voice call, "Avenant, Avenant!" upon
which he looked around him, but seeing nothing, he concluded it was an
illusion, and was proceeding in his walk; but he presently heard himself
called again. "Who calls me?" said he; Cabriole, who was very little and
looked closely into the water, cried out, "Never believe me, if it is
not a gilded carp." Immediately the carp appeared, and with an audible
voice said, "Avenant, you saved my life in the poplar meadow, where I
must have died without your assistance; and now I am come to requite
your kindness. Here, my dear Avenant, here is the ring which the Fair
One with Locks of Gold dropped into the river." Upon which he stooped
and took it out of the carp's mouth; to whom he returned a thousand
thanks. And now, instead of returning home, he went directly to the
palace with little Cabriole, who skipped about, and wagged his tail for
joy, that he had persuaded his master to walk by the side of the river.
The princess being told that Avenant desired an audience: "Alas," said
she, "the poor youth has come to take his leave of me! He has considered
what I enjoined him as impossible, and is returning to his master." But
Avenant being admitted, presented her the ring, saying, "Madam, behold I
have executed your command; and now, I hope, you will receive my master
for your royal consort." When she saw her ring, and that it was noways
injured, she was so amazed that she could hardly believe her eyes.
"Surely, courteous Avenant," said she, "you must be favoured by some
fairy; for naturally this is impossible." "Madam," said he, "I am
acquainted with no fairy; but I was willing to obey your command."
"Well, then, seeing you have so good a will," continued she, "you must
do me another piece of service, without which I will never marry. There
is a certain prince who lives not far from hence, whose name is
Galifron, and whom nothing would serve but that he must needs marry me.
He declared his mind to me, with most terrible menaces, that if I denied
him, he would enter my kingdom with fire and sword; but you shall judge
whether I would accept his proposal: he is a giant, as high as a
steeple; he devours men as an ape eats chestnuts; when he goes into the
country, he carries cannons in his pocket, to use instead of pistols;
and when he speaks aloud he deafens the ears of those that stand near
him. I answered him, that I did not choose to marry, and desired him to
excuse me. Nevertheless, he has not ceased to persecute me, and has put
an infinite number of my subjects to the sword: therefore, before all
other things you must fight him, and bring me his head."

Avenant was somewhat startled by this proposal; but, having considered
it awhile, "Well, madam," said he, "I will fight this Galifron; I
believe I shall be vanquished; but I will die like a man of courage."
The princess was astonished at his intrepidity, and said a thousand
things to dissuade him from it, but all in vain. At length he arrived at
Galifron's castle, the roads all the way being strewed with the bones
and carcasses of men which the giant had devoured, or cut in pieces. It
was not long before Avenant saw the monster approach, and he immediately
challenged him; but there was no occasion for this, for he lifted his
iron mace, and had certainly beat out the gentle Avenant's brains at the
first blow, had not a crow at that instant perched upon the giant's
head, and with his bill pecked out both his eyes. The blood trickled
down his face, whereat he grew desperate, and laid about him on every
side; but Avenant took care to avoid his blows, and gave him many great
wounds with his sword, which he pushed up to the very hilt; so that the
giant fainted, and fell down with loss of blood. Avenant immediately cut
off his head; and while he was in an ecstasy of joy, for his good
success, the crow perched upon a tree, and said, "Avenant, I did not
forget the kindnesses I received at your hands, when you killed the
eagle that pursued me; I promised to make you amends, and now I have
been as good as my word." "I acknowledge your kindness, Mr. Crow,"
replied Avenant; "I am still your debtor, and your servant." So saying,
he mounted his courser, and rode away with the giant's horrid head. When
he arrived at the city, every body crowded after him, crying out, "Long
live the valiant Avenant, who has slain the cruel monster!" so that the
princess, who heard the noise, and trembling for fear she should have
heard of Avenant's death, durst not inquire what was the matter. But
presently after, she saw Avenant enter with the giant's head; at the
sight of which she trembled, though there was nothing to fear. "Madam,"
said he, "behold your enemy is dead; and now, I hope, you will no longer
refuse the king my master." "Alas!" replied the Fair One with Locks of
Gold, "I must still refuse him, unless you can find means to bring me
some of the water of the gloomy cave. Not far from hence," continued
she, "there is a very deep cave, about six leagues in compass; the
entrance into which is guarded by two dragons. The dragons dart fire
from their mouths and eyes; and when you have got into this cave, you
will meet with a very deep hole, into which you must go down, and you
will find it full of toads, adders and serpents. At the bottom of this
hole there is a kind of cellar, through which runs the fountain of
beauty and health. This is the water I must have; its virtues are
wonderful; for the fair, by washing in it, preserve their beauty; and
the deformed it renders beautiful; if they are young, it preserves them
always youthful; and if old it makes them young again. Now judge you,
Avenant, whether I will ever leave my kingdom without carrying some of
this water along with me." "Madam," said he, "you are so beautiful, that
this water will be of no use to you; but I am an unfortunate ambassador,
whose death you seek. However, I will go in search of what you desire,
though I am certain never to return."

At length he arrived at the top of a mountain, where he sat down to rest
himself; giving his horse liberty to feed, and Cabriole to run after the
flies. He knew that the gloomy cave was not far off, and looked about to
see whether he could discover it; and at length he perceived a horrid
rock as black as ink, whence issued a thick smoke; and immediately after
he spied one of the dragons casting forth fire from his jaws and eyes;
his skin all over yellow and green, with prodigious claws and a long
tail rolled up in an hundred folds. Avenant, with a resolution to die in
the attempt, drew his sword, and with the phial which the Fair One with
Locks of Gold had given him to fill with the water of beauty, went
towards the cave, saying to his little dog, "Cabriole, here is an end of
me; I never shall be able to get this water, it is so well guarded by
the dragons; therefore when I am dead, fill this phial with my blood,
and carry it to my princess, that she may see what her severity has cost
me: then go to the king my master and give him an account of my
misfortunes." While he was saying this, he heard a voice call "Avenant,
Avenant!" "Who calls me?" said he; and presently he espied an owl in the
hole of an old hollow tree, who, calling him again, said, "You rescued
me from the fowler's net, where I had been assuredly taken, had you not
delivered me. I promised to make you amends, and now the time is come;
give me your phial; I am acquainted with all the secret inlets into the
gloomy cave, and will go and fetch you the water of beauty." Avenant
most gladly gave the phial, and the owl, entering without any impediment
into the cave, filled it, and in less than a quarter of an hour returned
with it well stopped. Avenant was overjoyed at his good fortune, gave
the owl a thousand thanks, and returned with a merry heart to the city.
Being arrived at the palace, he presented the phial to the Fair One with
Locks of Gold, who had then nothing further to say. She returned Avenant
thanks, and gave orders for every thing that was requisite for her
departure: after which she set forward with him. The Fair One with Locks
of Gold thought Avenant very amiable, and said to him sometimes upon the
road, "If you had been willing, I could have made you a king; and then
we need not have left my kingdom." But Avenant replied, "I would not
have been guilty of such a piece of treachery to my master for all the
kingdoms of the earth; though I must acknowledge your beauties are more
resplendent than the sun."

At length they arrived at the king's chief city, who understanding that
the Fair One with Locks of Gold was arrived, he went forth to meet her,
and made her the richest presents in the world. The nuptials were
solemnized with such demonstrations of joy, that nothing else was
discoursed of. But the Fair One with Locks of Gold, who loved Avenant in
her heart, was never pleased but when she was in his company, and would
be always speaking in his praise: "I had never come hither," said she to
the king, "had it not been for Avenant, who, to serve me, has conquered
impossibilities; you are infinitely obliged to him; he procured me the
water of beauty and health; by which I shall never grow old, and shall
always preserve my health and beauty." The enviers of Avenant's
happiness, who heard the queen's words, said to the king, "Were your
majesty inclined to be jealous, you have reason enough to be so, for the
queen is desperately in love with Avenant." "Indeed," said the king, "I
am sensible of the truth of what you tell me; let him be put in the
great tower, with fetters upon his feet and hands." Avenant was
immediately seized. However, his little dog Cabriole never forsook him,
but cheered him the best he could, and brought him all the news of the
court. When the Fair One with Locks of Gold was informed of his
misfortunes, she threw herself at the king's feet, and all in tears
besought him to release Avenant out of prison. But the more she besought
him the more he was incensed, believing it was her affection that made
her so zealous a suppliant in his behalf. Finding she could not prevail,
she said no more to him, but grew very pensive and melancholy.

The king took it into his head that she did not think him handsome
enough; so he resolved to wash his face with the water of beauty, in
hopes that the queen would then conceive a greater affection for him
than she had. This water stood in a phial upon a table in the queen's
chamber, where she had put it, that it might not be out of her sight.
But one of the chambermaids going to kill a spider with her besom, by
accident threw down the phial, and broke it, so that the water was lost.
She dried it up with all the speed she could, and not knowing what to
do, she bethought herself that she had seen a phial of clear water in
the king's cabinet very like that she had broken. Without any more ado,
therefore, she went and fetched that phial, and set it upon the table in
place of the other. This water which was in the king's cabinet, was a
certain water which he made use of to poison the great lords and princes
of his court when they were convicted of any great crime; to which
purpose, instead of cutting off their heads, or hanging them, he caused
their faces to be rubbed with this water, which cast them into so
profound a sleep that they never waked again. Now the king one evening
took this phial, and rubbed his face well with the water, after which he
fell asleep and died. Cabriole was one of the first that came to a
knowledge of this accident, and immediately ran to inform Avenant of it
who bid him go to the Fair One with Locks of Gold, and remind her of the
poor prisoner. Cabriole slipped unperceived through the crowd, for there
was a great noise and hurry at court upon the king's death; and getting
to the queen, "Madam," said he, "remember poor Avenant." She presently
called to mind the afflictions he had suffered for her sake, and his
fidelity. Without speaking a word, she went directly to the great tower,
and took off the fetters from Avenant's feet and hands herself; after
which, putting the crown upon his head, and the royal mantle about his
shoulders, "Amiable Avenant," said she, "I will make you a sovereign
prince, and take you for my consort." Avenant threw himself at her feet,
and in terms the most passionate and respectful returned her thanks.
Every body was overjoyed to have him for their king: the nuptials were
the most splendid in the world; and the Fair One. with Locks of Gold
lived a long time with her beloved Avenant, both happy and contented in
the enjoyment of each other.




CHAPTER XII

TOM THUMB


In the days of King Arthur, Merlin, the most learned enchanter of his
time, was on a journey; and, being very weary, stopped one day at the
cottage of an honest ploughman to ask for refreshment. The ploughman's
wife, with great civility, immediately brought him some milk in a wooden
bowl, and some brown bread on a wooden platter. Merlin could not help
observing, that, although every thing within the cottage was
particularly neat and clean, and in good order, the ploughman and his
wife had the most sorrowful air imaginable. So he questioned them on the
cause of their melancholy, and learned that they were very miserable
because they had no children. The poor woman declared, with tears in her
eyes, that she should be the happiest creature in the world if she had a
son, although he were no bigger than his father's thumb. Merlin was much
amused with the thoughts of a boy no bigger than a man's thumb, and, as
soon as he returned home, he sent for the queen of the fairies (with
whom he was very intimate), and related to her the desire of the
ploughman and his wife to have a son the size of his father's thumb. The
queen of the fairies liked the plan exceedingly, and declared their wish
should speedily be granted. Accordingly the ploughman's wife had a son,
who in a few minutes grew as tall as his father's thumb. The queen of
the fairies came in at the window as the mother was sitting up in bed
admiring the child. The queen kissed the infant, and giving it the name
of Tom Thumb, immediately summoned several fairies from Fairy Land to
clothe her little new favourite:

  "An oak leaf hat he had for his crown,
   His shirt it was by spiders spun;
   With doublet wove of thistle's down,
   His trousers up with points were done.
   His stockings, of apple rind, they tie
   With eye-lash plucked from his mother's eye,
   His shoes were made of a mouse's skin,
   Nicely tanned, with the hair within."

Tom never was any bigger than his father's thumb, which was not a large
thumb either; but, as he grew older, he became very cunning and sly, for
which his mother did not sufficiently correct him, so that when he was
able to play with the boys for cherry stones, and had lost all his own,
he used to creep into the boys' bags, fill his pockets, and come out
again to play. But one day as he was getting out of a bag of cherry
stones, the boy to whom it belonged chanced to see him. "Ah ha, my
little Tom Thumb!" said the boy, "have I caught you at your bad tricks
at last? Now I will reward you for thieving." Then drawing the string
tight round his neck, and shaking the bag heartily, the cherry stones
bruised Tom's legs, thighs, and body sadly; which made him beg to be let
out, and promise never to be guilty of such things any more. Shortly
afterwards, Tom's mother was making a batter pudding, and, that he might
see how she mixed it, he climbed on the edge of the bowl; but his foot
happening to slip, he fell over head and ears into the batter, and his
mother not observing him, stirred him into the pudding, and popped him
into the pot to boil. The hot water made Tom kick and struggle; and his
mother, seeing the pudding jump up and down in such a furious manner,
thought it was bewitched; and a tinker coming by just at the time, she
quickly gave him the pudding, who put it into his budget and walked on.

As soon as Tom could get the batter out of his mouth, he began to cry
aloud; which so frightened the poor tinker, that he flung the pudding
over the hedge, and ran away from it as fast as he could run. The
pudding being broken to pieces by the fall, Tom was released, and walked
home to his mother, who gave him a kiss and put him to bed. Tom Thumb's
mother once took him with her when she went to milk the cow; and it
being a very windy day, she tied him with a needleful of thread to a
thistle, that he might not be blown away. The cow liking his oak leaf
hat took him and the thistle up at one mouthful. While the cow chewed
the thistle, Tom, terrified at her great teeth, which seemed ready to
crush him to pieces, roared, "Mother, Mother!" as loud as he could bawl.
"Where are you, Tommy, my dear Tommy?" said the mother. "Here, mother,
here in the red cow's mouth." The mother began to cry and wring her
hands; but the cow surprised at such odd noises in her throat, opened
her mouth and let him drop out. His mother clapped him into her apron,
and ran home with him. Tom's father made him a whip of a barley straw to
drive the cattle with, and being one day in the field, he slipped into a
deep furrow. A raven flying over, picked him up with a grain of corn,
and flew with him to the top of a giant's castle, by the seaside, where
he left him; and old Grumbo the giant, coming soon after to walk upon
his terrace, swallowed Tom like a pill, clothes and all. Tom presently
made the giant very uncomfortable, and he threw him up into the sea. A
great fish then swallowed him. The fish was soon after caught, and sent
as a present to King Arthur. When it was cut open, every body was
delighted with little Tom Thumb. The king made him his dwarf; he was the
favourite of the whole court; and, by his merry pranks, often amused the
queen and the knights of the Round Table. The king, when he rode on
horseback, frequently took Tom in his hand; and, if a shower of rain
came on, he used to creep into the king's waist-coat pocket, and sleep
till the rain was over. The king also, sometimes questioned Tom
concerning his parents; and when Tom informed his majesty they were very
poor people, the king led him into his treasury, and told him he should
pay his friends a visit, and take with him as much money as he could
carry. Tom procured a little purse, and putting a threepenny piece into
it, with much labour and difficulty got it upon his back; and, after
travelling two days and nights, arrived at his father's house.

His mother met him at the door, almost tired to death, having in
forty-eight hours travelled almost half a mile with a huge silver
threepence upon his back. His parents were glad to see him, especially
when he had brought such an amazing sum of money with him. They placed
him in a walnut shell by the fire side, and feasted him for three days
upon a hazel nut, which made him sick, for a whole nut usually served
him a month. Tom got well, but could not travel because it had rained;
therefore his mother took him in her hand, and with one puff blew him
into King Arthur's court; where Tom entertained the king, queen, and
nobility at tilts and tournaments, at which he exerted himself so much
that he brought on a fit of sickness, and his life was despaired of. At
this juncture the queen of the fairies came in a chariot drawn by flying
mice, placed Tom by her side, and drove through the air, without
stopping till they arrived at her palace; when, after restoring him to
health, and permitting him to enjoy all the gay diversions of Fairy
Land, the queen commanded a fair wind, and, placing Tom before it, blew
him straight to the court of King Arthur. But just as Tom should have
alighted in the court-yard of the palace, the cook happened to pass along
with the king's great bowl of firmity (King Arthur loved firmity), and
poor Tom Thumb fell plump into the middle of it and splashed the hot
firmity into the cook's eyes. Down went the bowl. "Oh dear; oh dear!"
cried Tom; "Murder! murder!" bellowed the cook! and away ran the king's
nice firmity into the kennel. The cook was a red-faced, cross fellow,
and swore to the king, that Tom had done it out of mere mischief; so he
was taken up, tried, and sentenced to be beheaded. Tom hearing this
dreadful sentence, and seeing a miller stand by with his mouth wide
open, he took a good spring, and jumped down the miller's throat,
unperceived by all, even by the miller himself.

Tom being lost, the court broke up, and away went the miller to his
mill. But Tom did not leave him long at rest, he began to roll and
tumble about, so that the miller thought himself bewitched, and sent for
a doctor. When the doctor came, Tom began to dance and sing; the doctor
was as much frightened as the miller, and sent in great haste for five
more doctors, and twenty learned men. While all these were debating upon
the affair, the miller (for they were very tedious) happened to yawn,
and Tom, taking the opportunity, made another jump, and alighted on his
feet in the middle of the table. The miller, provoked to be thus
tormented by such a little creature, fell into a great passion, caught
hold of Tom, and threw him out of the window, into the river. A large
salmon swimming by, snapped him up in a minute. The salmon was soon
caught and sold in the market to the steward of a lord. The lord,
thinking it an uncommon fine fish, made a present of it to the king, who
ordered it to be dressed immediately. When the cook cut open the salmon,
he found poor Tom, and ran with him directly to the king; but the king
being busy with state affairs, desired that he might be brought another
day. The cook resolving to keep him safely this time, as he had so
lately given him the slip, clapped him into a mouse-trap, and left him
to amuse himself by peeping through the wires for a whole week; when the
king sent for him, he forgave him for throwing down the firmity, ordered
him new clothes and knighted him.

  "His shirt was made of butterflies' wings;
   His boots were made of chicken skins;
   His coat and breeches were made with pride;
   A tailor's needle hung by his side;
   A mouse for a horse he used to ride."

Thus dressed and mounted, he rode a hunting with the king and nobility,
who all laughed heartily at Tom and his fine prancing steed. As they
rode by a farm house one day, a cat jumped from behind the door, seized
the mouse and little Tom, and began to devour the mouse. However, Tom
boldly drew his sword and attacked the cat, who then let him fall. The
king and his nobles seeing Tom falling, went to his assistance, and one
of the lords caught him in his hat; but poor Tom was sadly scratched,
and his clothes were torn by the claws of the cat. In this condition he
was carried home, when a bed of down was made for him in a little ivory
cabinet. The queen of the fairies came, and took him again to Fairy
Land, where she kept him for some years; and then, dressing him in
bright green, sent him flying once more through the air to the earth, in
the days of King Thunstone. The people flocked far and near to look at
him; and the king, before whom he was carried, asked him who he was,
whence he came, and where he lived? Tom answered:

  "My name is Tom Thumb,
   From the Fairies I come;
   When King Arthur shone,
   This court was my home.
   In me he delighted,
   By him I was knighted,
   Did you never hear of
   Sir Thomas Thumb?"

The king was so charmed with this address, that he ordered a little
chair to be made, in order that Tom might sit on his table, and also a
palace of gold a span high, with a door an inch wide, for little Tom to
live in. He also gave him a coach drawn by six small mice. This made the
queen angry, because she had not a new coach too. Therefore, resolving
to ruin Tom, she complained to the king that he had behaved very
insolently to her. The king sent for him in a rage. Tom, to escape his
fury, crept into an empty snail-shell, and there lay till he was almost
starved; when peeping out of the shell, he saw a fine butterfly settled
on the ground. He now ventured out, and getting astride, the butterfly
took wing, and mounted into the air with little Tom on his back. Away he
flew from field to field, from tree to tree, till at last he flew to the
king's court. The king, queen, and nobles, all strove to catch the
butterfly, but could not. At length poor Tom, having neither bridle nor
saddle, slipped from his seat, and fell into a white pot, where he was
found almost drowned. The queen vowed he should be guillotined: but
while the guillotine was getting ready, he was secured once more in a
mouse-trap; when the cat seeing something stir, and supposing it to be
the mouse, patted the trap about till she broke it, and set Tom at
liberty. Soon afterwards a spider, taking him for a fly, made at him.
Tom drew his sword and fought valiantly, but the spider's poisonous
breath overcame him:

  "He fell dead on the ground where late he had stood,
   And the spider sucked up the last drop of his blood."

King Thunstone and his whole court went into mourning for little Tom
Thumb. They buried him under a rosebush, and raised a nice white marble
monument over his grave, with the following epitaph:

  "Here lies Tom Thumb, King Arthur's knight,
   Who died by spider's cruel bite.
   He was well known in Arthur's court,
   Where he afforded gallant sport;
   He rode at tilt and tournament,
   And on a mouse a hunting went;
   Alive he filled the court with mirth,
   His death to sorrow soon gave birth.
   Wipe, wipe your eyes, and shake your head
   And cry, 'Alas! Tom Thumb is dead.'"




CHAPTER XIII

BLUE BEARD


There was, some time ago, a gentleman who was very rich. He had fine
town and country houses, his dishes and plates were all of gold or
silver, his rooms were hung with damask, his chairs and sofas were
covered with the richest silks, and his carriages were all gilt with
gold in a grand style. But it happened that this gentleman had a blue
beard, which made him so very frightful and ugly, that none of the
ladies, in the parts where he lived, would venture to go into his
company. Now there was a certain lady of rank, who lived very near him,
and had two daughters, both of them of very great beauty. Blue Beard
asked her to bestow one of them upon him for a wife, and left it to
herself to choose which of the two it should be. But both the young
ladies again and again said they would never marry Blue Beard; yet, to
be as civil as they could, each of them said, the only reason why she
would not have him was, because she was loath to hinder her sister from
the match, which would be such a good one for her. Still the truth of
the matter was, they could neither of them bear the thoughts of having a
husband with a blue beard; and besides, they had heard of his having
been married to several wives before, and nobody could tell what had
ever become of any of them. As Blue Beard wished very much to gain their
favour, he asked the lady and her daughters, and some ladies who were on
a visit at their house, to go with him to one of his country seats,
where they spent a whole week, during which they passed all their time
in nothing but parties for hunting and fishing, music, dancing, and
feasts. No one even thought of going to bed, and the nights were passed
in merry-makings of all kinds. In short, the time rolled on in so much
pleasure, that the youngest of the two sisters began to think that the
beard which she had been so much afraid of, was not so very blue, and
that the gentleman who owned it was vastly civil and pleasing. Soon
after their return home, she told her mother that she had no longer any
dislike to accept of Blue Beard for her husband; and in a very short
time they were married.

About a month after the marriage had taken place, Blue Beard told his
wife that he should be forced to leave her for a few weeks, as he had
some affairs to attend to in the country. He desired her to be sure to
indulge herself in every kind of pleasure, to invite as many of her
friends as she liked, and to treat them with all sorts of dainties, that
her time might pass pleasantly till he came back again. "Here," said he,
"are the keys of the two large wardrobes. This is the key of the great
box that contains the best plate, which we use for company, this belongs
to my strong box, where I keep my money, and this belongs to the casket,
in which are all my jewels. Here also is a master-key to all the rooms
in the house; but this small key belongs to the closet at the end of the
long gallery on the ground floor. I give you leave," said he, "to open,
or to do what you like with all the rest except this closet. This, my
dear, you must not enter, nor even put the key into the lock, for all
the world. If you do not obey me in this one thing, you must expect the
most dreadful punishments." She promised to obey his orders in the most
faithful manner; and Blue Beard, after kissing her tenderly, stepped
into his coach, and drove away.

When Blue Beard was gone, the friends of his wife did not wait to be
asked, so eager were they to see all the riches and fine things she had
gained by marriage; for they had none of them gone to the wedding, on
account of their dislike to the blue beard of the bridegroom. As soon as
ever they came to the house, they ran about from room to room, from
closet to closet, and then from wardrobe to wardrobe, looking into each
with wonder and delight, and said, that every fresh one they came to,
was richer and finer than what they had seen the moment before. At last
they came to the drawing-rooms, where their surprise was made still
greater by the costly grandeur of the hangings, the sofas, the chairs,
carpets, tables, sideboards, and looking-glasses; the frames of these
last were silver-gilt, most richly adorned, and in the glasses they saw
themselves from head to foot. In short, nothing could exceed the
richness of what they saw; and they all did not fail to admire and envy
the good fortune of their friend. But all this time the bride herself
was far from thinking about the fine speeches they made to her, for she
was eager to see what was in the closet her husband had told her not to
open. So great, indeed, was her desire to do this, that, without once
thinking how rude it would be to leave her guests, she slipped away down
a private staircase that led to this forbidden closet, and in such a
hurry, that she was two or three times in danger of falling down stairs
and breaking her neck.

When she reached the door of the closet, she stopped for a few moments
to think of the order her husband had given her, and how he had told her
that he would not fail to keep his word and punish her very severely, if
she did not obey him. But she was so very curious to know what was
inside, that she made up her mind to venture in spite of every thing.
She then, with a trembling hand, put the key into the lock, and the door
straight flew open. As the window shutters were closed, she at first
could see nothing; but in a short time she saw that the floor was
covered with clotted blood, on which the bodies of several dead women
were lying.

These were all the wives whom Blue Beard had married, and killed one
after another. At this sight she was ready to sink with fear, and the
key of the closet door, which she held in her hand, fell on the floor.
When she had a little got the better of her fright, she took it up,
locked the door, and made haste back to her own room, that she might
have a little time to get into a humour to amuse her company; but this
she could not do, so great was her fright at what she had seen. As she
found that the key of the closet had got stained with blood in falling
on the floor, she wiped it two or three times over to clean it; yet
still the blood kept on it the same as before. She next washed it, but
the blood did not move at all. She then scoured it with brickdust, and
after with sand, but in spite of all she could do, the blood was still
there; for the key was a fairy who was Blue Beard's friend; so that as
fast as she got off the blood on one side, it came again on the other.
Early in the same evening Blue Beard came home, saying, that before he
had gone far on his journey he was met by a horseman, who was coming to
tell him that his affair in the country was settled without his being
present; upon which his wife said every thing she could think of, to
make him believe she was in a transport of joy at his sudden return.

The next morning he asked her for the keys: she gave them to him; but as
she could not help showing her fright, Blue Beard easily guessed what
had been the matter. "How is it," said he, "that the key of the closet
upon the ground floor is not here?" "Is it not?" said the wife, "then I
must have left it on my dressing-table." "Be sure you give it me by and
by," replied Blue Beard. After going a good many times backwards and
forwards, as if she was looking for the key, she was at last forced to
give it to Blue Beard. He looked hard at it, and then said: "How came
this blood upon the key?" "I am sure I do not know," replied the poor
lady, at the same time turning as white as a sheet. "You do not know?"
said Blue Beard sternly, "but I know well enough. You have been in the
closet on the ground floor! Very well, madam: since you are so mighty
fond of this closet, you shall be sure to take your place among the
ladies you saw there." His wife, who was almost dead with fear, now fell
upon her knees, asked his pardon a thousand times for her fault, and
begged him to forgive her, looking all the time so very mournful and
lovely, that she would have melted any heart that was not harder than a
rock. But Blue Beard only said, "No, no, madam; you shall die this very
minute!" "Alas!" said the poor trembling creature, "if I must die, give
me, as least, a little time to say my prayers." "I give you," replied
the cruel Blue Beard, "half a quarter of an hour: not a moment longer."
When Blue Beard had left her to herself, she called her sister; and
after telling her, as well as she could for sobbing, that she had but
half a quarter of an hour to live; "Prithee," said she, "sister Anne,"
(this was her sister's name), "run up to the top of the tower, and see
if my brothers are not in sight, for they said they would visit me
to-day, and if you see them, make a sign for them to gallop on as fast
as ever they can." Her sister straight did as she was desired; and the
poor trembling lady every minute cried out to her: "Anne! sister Anne!
do you see any one coming?" Her sister said, "I see nothing but the sun,
which makes a dust, and the grass, which looks green."

In the meanwhile, Blue Beard, with a great cimeter in his hand, bawled
as loud as he could to his wife, "Come down at once, or I will fetch
you." "One moment longer, I beseech you," replied she, and again called
softly to her sister, "Sister Anne, do you see any one coming?" To which
she answered, "I see nothing but the sun, which makes a dust, and the
grass, which looks green." Blue Beard now again bawled out, "Come down,
I say, this very moment, or I shall come to fetch you." "I am coming;
indeed I will come in one minute," sobbed his wretched wife. Then she
once more cried out, "Anne! sister Anne! do you see any one coming?" "I
see," said her sister, "a cloud of dust a little to the left." "Do you
think it is my brothers?" said the wife. "Alas! no, dear sister,"
replied she, "it is only a flock of sheep." "Will you come down, madam?"
said Blue Beard, in the greatest rage. "Only one single moment more,"
said she. And then she called out for the last time, "Sister Anne!
sister Anne! do you see no one coming?" "I see," replied her sister,
"two men on horseback coming; but they are still a great way off."
"Thank God," cried she, "they are my brothers; beckon them to make
haste." Blue Beard now cried out so loud for her to come down, that his
voice shook the whole house. The poor lady, with her hair loose, and all
in tears, now came down, and fell on her knees, begging him to spare her
life; but he stopped her, saying, "All this is of no use, for you shall
die," and then, seizing her by the hair, raised his cimeter to strike
off her head. The poor woman now begged a single moment to say one
prayer. "No, no," said Blue Beard, "I will give you no more time. You
have had too much already." And again he raised his arm. Just at this
instant a loud knocking was heard at the gates, which made Blue Beard
wait for a moment to see who it was. The gates now flew open, and two
officers, dressed in their uniform, came in, and, with their swords in
their hands, ran straight to Blue Beard, who, seeing they were his
wife's brothers, tried to escape from their presence; but they pursued
and seized him before he had gone twenty steps, and plunging their
swords into his body he fell down dead at their feet.

The poor wife, who was almost as dead as her husband, was not able at
first to rise and embrace her brothers; but she soon came to herself;
and, as Blue Beard had no heirs, she found herself the owner of his
great riches. She gave a part of his vast fortune as a marriage dowry to
her sister Anne, who soon after became the wife of a young gentleman who
had long loved her. Some of the money she laid out in buying captains'
commissions for her two brothers, and the rest she gave to a worthy
gentleman whom she married shortly after, and whose kind treatment soon
made her forget Blue Beard's cruelty.




CHAPTER XIV

CINDERELLA; OR, THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER


There was once a very rich gentleman who lost his wife, and having loved
her exceedingly, he was very sorry when she died. Finding himself quite
unhappy for her loss, he resolved to marry a second time, thinking by
this means he should be as happy as before. Unfortunately, however, the
lady he chanced to fix upon was the proudest and most haughty woman ever
known; she was always out of humour with every one; nobody could please
her, and she returned the civilities of those about her with the most
affronting disdain. She had two daughters by a former husband. These she
brought up to be proud and idle. Indeed, in temper and behaviour they
perfectly resembled their mother; they did not love their books, and
would not learn to work; in short they were disliked by every body. The
gentleman on his side too had a daughter, who in sweetness of temper and
carriage was the exact likeness of her own mother, whose death he had so
much lamented, and whose tender care of the little girl he was in hopes
to see replaced by that of his new bride. But scarcely was the marriage
ceremony over, before his wife began to show her real temper. She could
not bear the pretty little girl, because her sweet obliging manners made
those of her own daughters appear a thousand times the more odious and
disagreeable. She therefore ordered her to live in the kitchen; and, if
ever she brought any thing into the parlour, always scolded her till she
was out of sight. She made her work with the servants in washing the
dishes, and rubbing the tables and chairs; it was her place to clean
madam's chamber, and that of the misses her daughters, which was all
inlaid, had beds of the newest fashion, and looking-glasses so long and
broad, that they saw themselves from head to foot in them; while the
little creature herself was forced to sleep up in a sorry garret, upon a
wretched straw bed, without curtains, or any thing to make her
comfortable. The poor child bore this with the greatest patience, not
daring to complain to her father, who, she feared, would only reprove
her, for she saw that his wife governed him entirely. When she had done
all her work she used to sit in the chimney-corner among the cinders; so
that in the house she went by the name of Cinderbreech. The youngest of
the two sisters, however, being rather more civil than the eldest,
called her Cinderella. And Cinderella, dirty and ragged as she was, as
often happens in such cases, was a thousand times prettier than her
sisters, drest out in all their splendour. It happened that the king's
son gave a ball, to which he invited all the persons of fashion in the
country. Our two misses were of the number, for the king's son did not
know how disagreeable they were, but supposed, as they were so much
indulged, that they were extremely amiable. He did not invite
Cinderella, for he had never seen or heard of her.

The two sisters began immediately to be very busy in preparing for the
happy day. Nothing could exceed their joy. Every moment of their time
was spent in fancying such gowns, shoes, and head-dresses as would set
them off to the greatest advantage. All this was new vexation to poor
Cinderella, for it was she who ironed and plaited her sisters' linen.
They talked of nothing but how they should be dressed: "I," said the
eldest, "will wear my scarlet velvet with French trimming." "And I,"
said the youngest, "shall wear the same petticoat I had made for the
last ball. But then, to make amends for that, I shall put on my gold
muslin train, and wear my diamonds in my hair; with these I must
certainly look well." They sent several miles for the best hair dresser
that was to be had, and all their ornaments were bought at the most
fashionable shops. On the morning of the ball, they called up Cinderella
to consult with her about their dress, for they knew she had a great
deal of taste. Cinderella gave them the best advice she could, and even
offered to assist in adjusting their head-dresses; which was exactly
what they wanted, and they accordingly accepted her proposal. While
Cinderella was busily engaged in dressing her sisters, they said to her,
"Should you not like, Cinderella, to go to the ball?" "Ah!" replied
Cinderella, "you are only laughing at me, it is not for such as I am to
think of going to balls." "You are in the right," said they, "folks
might laugh indeed, to see a Cinderbreech dancing in a ball room." Any
other than Cinderella would have tried to make the haughty creatures
look as ugly as she could; but the sweet tempered girl on the contrary,
did every thing she could think of to make them look well. The sisters
had scarcely eaten any thing for two days, so great was their joy as the
happy day drew near. More than a dozen laces were broken in endeavouring
to give them a fine slender shape, and they were always before the
looking glass. At length the much wished for moment arrived; the proud
misses stepped into a beautiful carriage, and, followed by servants in
rich liveries, drove towards the palace. Cinderella followed them with
her eyes as far as she could; and when they were out of sight, she sat
down in a corner and began to cry. Her godmother, who saw her in tears,
asked her what ailed her. "I wish----I w-i-s-h--" sobbed poor
Cinderella, without being able to say another word. The godmother, who
was a fairy, said to her, "You wish to go to the ball, Cinderella, is
not this the truth?" "Alas! yes," replied the poor child, sobbing still
more than before. "Well, well, be a good girl," said the godmother, "and
you shall go." She then led Cinderella to her bedchamber, and said to
her: "Run into the garden and bring me a pumpkin." Cinderella flew like
lightning, and brought the finest she could lay hold of. Her godmother
scooped out the inside, leaving nothing but the rind; she then struck it
with her wand, and the pumpkin instantly became a fine coach gilded all
over with gold. She then looked into her mouse-trap, where she found six
mice all alive and brisk. She told Cinderella to lift up the door of the
trap very gently; and as the mice passed out, she touched them one by
one with her wand, and each immediately became a beautiful horse of a
fine dapple gray mouse colour. "Here, my child," said the godmother, "is
a coach and horses too, as handsome as your sisters', but what shall we
do for a postillion?" "I will run," replied Cinderella, "and see if
there be not a rat in the trap. If I find one, he will do very well for
a postillion." "Well thought of, my child," said her godmother; "make
what haste you can."

Cinderella brought the rat trap, which, to her great joy, contained
three of the largest rats ever seen. The fairy chose the one which had
the longest beard; and touching him with her wand, he was instantly
turned into a handsome postillion, with the finest pair of whiskers
imaginable. She next said to Cinderella: "Go again into the garden, and
you will find six lizards behind the watering-pot; bring them hither."
This was no sooner done, than with a stroke from the fairy's wand they
were changed into six footmen, who all jumped up behind the coach in
their laced liveries, and stood side by side as cleverly as if they had
been used to nothing else the whole of their lives. The fairy then said
to Cinderella: "Well, my dear, is not this such an equipage as you could
wish for to take you to the ball? Are you not delighted with it?"
"Y-e-s," replied Cinderella with hesitation, "but must I go thither in
these filthy rags?" Her godmother touched her with the wand, and her
rags instantly became the most magnificent apparel, ornamented with the
most costly jewels in the whole world. To these she added a beautiful
pair of glass slippers, and bade her set out for the palace. The fairy,
however, before she took leave of Cinderella, strictly charged her on no
account whatever to stay at the ball after the clock had struck twelve,
telling her that, should she stay but a single moment after that time,
her coach would again become a pumpkin, her horses mice, her footmen
lizards, and her fine clothes be changed to filthy rags. Cinderella did
not fail to promise all her godmother desired of her; and almost wild
with joy drove away to the palace. As soon as she arrived, the king's
son, who had been informed that a great princess, whom nobody knew, was
come to the ball, presented himself at the door of her carriage, helped
her out, and conducted her to the ball room. Cinderella no sooner
appeared than every one was silent; both the dancing and the music
stopped, and every body was employed in gazing at the uncommon beauty of
this unknown stranger. Nothing was heard but whispers of "How handsome
she is!" The king himself, old as he was, could not keep his eyes from
her, and continually repeated to the queen, that it was a long time
since he had seen so lovely a creature. The ladies endeavoured to find
out how her clothes were made, that they might get some of the same
pattern for themselves by the next day, should they be lucky enough to
meet with such handsome materials, and such good work-people to make
them.

The king's son conducted her to the most honourable seat, and soon after
took her out to dance with him. She both moved and danced so gracefully,
that every one admired her still more than before, and she was thought
the most beautiful and accomplished lady they ever beheld. After some
time a delicious collation was served up; but the young prince was so
busily employed in looking at her, that he did not eat a morsel.
Cinderella seated herself near her sisters, paid them a thousand
attentions, and offered them a part of the oranges and sweetmeats with
which the prince had presented her, while they on their part were quite
astonished at these civilities from a lady whom they did not know. As
they were conversing together, Cinderella heard the clock strike eleven
and three quarters. She rose from her seat, curtesied to the company,
and hastened away as fast as she could. As soon as she got home she flew
to her godmother, and, after thanking her a thousand times, told her she
would give the world to be able to go again to the ball the next day,
for the king's son had entreated her to be there. While she was telling
her godmother every thing that had happened to her at the ball, the two
sisters knocked a loud rat-tat-tat at the door; which Cinderella opened.
"How late you have stayed!" said she, yawning, rubbing her eyes, and
stretching herself, as if just awakened out of her sleep, though she had
in truth felt no desire for sleep since they left her. "If you had been
at the ball," said one of her sisters, "let me tell you, you would not
have been sleepy. There came thither the handsomest, yes, the very
handsomest princess ever beheld! She paid us a thousand attentions, and
made us take a part of the oranges and sweetmeats the prince had given
her." Cinderella could scarcely contain herself for joy: she asked her
sisters the name of this princess, to which they replied, that nobody
had been able to discover who she was; that the king's son was extremely
grieved on that account, and had offered a large reward to any person
who could find out where she came from. Cinderella smiled, and said:
"How very beautiful she must be! How fortunate you are! Ah, could I but
see her for a single moment! Dear Miss Charlotte, lend me only the
yellow gown you wear every day, and let me go to see her." "Oh! yes, I
warrant you; lend my clothes to a Cinderbreech! Do you really suppose me
such a fool? No, no; pray, Miss Forward, mind your proper business, and
leave dress and balls to your betters." Cinderella expected some such
answer, and was by no means sorry, for she would have been sadly at a
loss what to do if her sister had lent her the clothes that she asked of
her.

The next day the two sisters again appeared at the ball, and so did
Cinderella, but dressed much more magnificently than the night before.
The king's son was continually by her side, and said the most obliging
things imaginable to her. The charming young creature was far from being
tired of all the agreeable things she met with. On the contrary, she was
so delighted with them that she entirely forgot the charge her godmother
had given her. Cinderella at last heard the striking of a clock, and
counted one, two, three, on till she came to twelve, though she thought
that it could be but eleven at most. She got up and flew as nimbly as a
deer out of the ball-room. The prince tried to overtake her; but poor
Cinderella's fright made her run the faster. However, in her great
hurry, she dropped one of her glass slippers from her foot, which the
prince stooped down and picked up, and took the greatest care of it
possible. Cinderella got home tired and out of breath, in her old
clothes, without either coach or footmen, and having nothing left of her
magnificence but the fellow of the glass slipper which she had dropped.
In the mean while, the prince had inquired of all his guards at the
palace gates, if they had not seen a magnificent princess pass out, and
which way she went? The guards replied, that no princess had passed the
gates; and that they had not seen a creature but a little ragged girl,
who looked more like a beggar than a princess. When the two sisters
returned from the ball, Cinderella asked them if they had been as much
amused as the night before, and if the beautiful princess had been
there? They told her that she had; but that as soon as the clock struck
twelve, she hurried away from the ball room, and in the great haste she
had made, had dropped one of her glass slippers, which was the prettiest
shape that could be; that the king's son had picked it up, and had done
nothing but look at it all the rest of the evening; and that every body
believed he was violently in love with the handsome lady to whom it
belonged.

This was very true; for a few days after, the prince had it proclaimed,
by sound of trumpet, that he would marry the lady whose foot should
exactly fit the slipper he had found. Accordingly the prince's
messengers took the slipper, and carried it first to all the princesses,
then to the duchesses, in short, to all the ladies of the court. But
without success. They then brought it to the two sisters, who each tried
all she could to squeeze her foot into the slipper, but saw at last that
this was quite impossible. Cinderella who was looking at them all the
while, and knew her slipper, could not help smiling, and ventured to
say, "Pray, sir, let me try to get on the slipper." The gentleman made
her sit down; and putting the slipper to her foot, it instantly slipped
in, and he saw that it fitted her like wax. The two sisters were amazed
to see that the slipper fitted Cinderella; but how much greater was
their astonishment when she drew out of her pocket the other slipper and
put it on! Just at this moment the fairy entered the room, and touching
Cinderella's clothes with her wand, made her all at once appear more
magnificently dressed than they had ever seen her before.

The two sisters immediately perceived that she was the beautiful
princess they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet,
and asked her forgiveness for the ill treatment she had received from
them. Cinderella helped them to rise, and, tenderly embracing them, said
that she forgave them with all her heart, and begged them to bestow on
her their affection. Cinderella was then conducted, dressed as she was,
to the young prince, who finding her more beautiful than ever, instantly
desired her to accept of his hand. The marriage ceremony took place in a
few days; and Cinderella, who was as amiable as she was handsome, gave
her sisters magnificent apartments in the palace, and a short time after
married them to two great lords of the court.




CHAPTER XV

PUSS IN BOOTS


There was a miller who had three sons, and when he died he divided what
he possessed among them in the following manner: He gave his mill to the
eldest, his ass to the second, and his cat to the youngest. Each of the
brothers accordingly took what belonged to him, without the help of an
attorney, who would soon have brought their little fortune to nothing,
in law expenses. The poor young fellow who had nothing but the cat,
complained that he was hardly used: "My brothers," said he, "by joining
their stocks together, may do well in the world, but for me, when I have
eaten my cat, and made a fur cap of his skin, I may soon die of hunger!"
The cat, who all this time sat listening just inside the door of a
cupboard, now ventured to come out and addressed him as follows: "Do not
thus afflict yourself, my good master. You have only to give me a bag,
and get a pair of boots made for me, so that I may scamper through the
dirt and the brambles, and you shall see that you are not so ill
provided for as you imagine." Though the cat's master did not much
depend upon these promises, yet, as he had often observed the cunning
tricks puss used to catch the rats and mice, such as hanging upon his
hind legs, and hiding in the meal to make believe that he was dead, he
did not entirely despair of his being of some use to him in his unhappy
condition.

When the cat had obtained what he asked for, he gayly began to equip
himself: he drew on his boots; and putting the bag about his neck, he
took hold of the strings with his fore paws, and bidding his master take
courage, immediately sallied forth. The first attempt Puss made was to
go into a warren in which there were a great number of rabbits. He put
some bran and some parsley into his bag; and then stretching himself out
at full length as if he was dead, he waited for some young rabbits, who
as yet knew nothing of the cunning tricks of the world, to come and get
into the bag, the better to feast upon the dainties he had put into it.
Scarcely had he lain down before he succeeded as well as could be
wished. A giddy young rabbit crept into the bag, and the cat immediately
drew the strings, and killed him without mercy. Puss, proud of his prey,
hastened directly to the palace, where he asked to speak to the king. On
being shown into the apartment of his majesty, he made a low bow, and
said, "I have brought you, sire, this rabbit from the warren of my lord
the marquis of Carabas, who commanded me to present it to your majesty
with the assurance of his respect." (This was the title the cat thought
proper to bestow upon his master.) "Tell my lord marquis of Carabas,"
replied the king, "that I accept of his present with pleasure, and that
I am greatly obliged to him." Soon after, the cat laid himself down in
the same manner in a field of corn, and had as much good fortune as
before; for two fine partridges got into his bag, which he immediately
killed and carried to the palace: the king received them as he had done
the rabbit, and ordered his servants to give the messenger something to
drink. In this manner he continued to carry presents of game to the king
from my lord marquis of Carabas, once at least in every week.

One day, the cat having heard that the king intended to take a ride that
morning by the river's side with his daughter, who was the most
beautiful princess in the world, he said to his master: "If you will but
follow my advice, your fortune is made. Take off your clothes, and bathe
yourself in the river, just in the place I shall show you, and leave the
rest to me," The marquis of Carabas did exactly as he was desired,
without being able to guess at what the cat intended. While he was
bathing the king passed by, and puss directly called out as loud as he
could bawl: "Help! help! My lord marquis of Carabas is in danger of
being drowned!" The king hearing the cries, put his head out at the
window of his carriage to see what was the matter: when, perceiving the
very cat who had brought him so many presents, he ordered his attendants
to go directly to the assistance of my lord marquis of Carabas. While
they were employed in taking the marquis out of the river, the cat ran
to the king's carriage, and told his majesty, that while his master was
bathing, some thieves had run off with his clothes as they lay by the
river's side; the cunning cat all the time having hid them under a large
stone. The king hearing this, commanded the officers of his wardrobe to
fetch one of the handsomest suits it contained, and present it to my
lord marquis of Carabas, at the same time loading him with a thousand
attentions. As the fine clothes they brought him made him look like a
gentleman, and set off his person, which was very comely, to the
greatest advantage, the king's daughter was mightily taken with his
appearance, and the marquis of Carabas had no sooner cast upon her two
or three respectful glances, then she became violently in love with him.

The king insisted on his getting into the carriage and taking a ride
with them. The cat, enchanted to see how well his scheme was likely to
succeed, ran before to a meadow that was reaping, and said to the
reapers: "Good people, if you do not tell the king, who will soon pass
this way, that the meadow you are reaping belongs to my lord marquis of
Carabas, you shall be chopped as small as mince meat." The king did not
fail to ask the reapers to whom the meadow belonged? "To my lord marquis
of Carabas," said they all at once; for the threats of the cat had
terribly frighted them. "You have here a very fine piece of land, my
lord marquis," said the king. "Truly, sire," replied he, "it does not
fail to bring me every year a plentiful harvest." The cat who still went
on before, now came to a field where some other labourers were making
sheaves of the corn they had reaped, to whom he said as before: "Good
people, if you do not tell the king who will presently pass this way,
that the corn you have reaped in this field belongs to my lord marquis
of Carabas, you shall be chopped as small as mince meat." The king
accordingly passed a moment after, and inquired to whom the corn he saw
belonged? "To my lord marquis of Carabas," answered they very glibly;
upon which the king again complimented the marquis upon his noble
possessions. The cat still continued to go before, and gave the same
charge to all the people he met with; so that the king was greatly
astonished at the splendid fortune of my lord marquis of Carabas. Puss
at length arrived at a stately castle, which belonged to an Ogre, the
richest ever known; for all the lands the king had passed through and
admired were his. The cat took care to learn every particular about the
Ogre, and what he could do, and then asked to speak with him, saying, as
he entered the room in which he was, that he could not pass so near his
castle without doing himself the honour to inquire after his health. The
Ogre received him as civilly as an Ogre could do, and desired him to be
seated, "I have been informed," said the cat, "that you have the gift of
changing yourself to all sorts of animals; into a lion or an elephant
for example." "It is very true," replied the Ogre somewhat sternly; "and
to convince you I will directly take the form of a lion." The cat was so
much terrified at finding himself so near to a lion, that he sprang from
him, and climbed to the roof of the house; but not without much
difficulty, as his boots were not very fit to walk upon the tiles.

Some minutes after, the cat perceiving that the Ogre had quitted the
form of a lion, ventured to come down from the tiles, and owned that he
had been a good deal frightened, "I have been further informed,"
continued the cat, "but I know not how to believe it, that you have the
power of taking the form of the smallest animals also; for example of
changing yourself to a rat or a mouse: I confess I should think this
impossible." "Impossible! you shall see;" and at the same instant he
changed himself into a mouse, and began to frisk about the room. The cat
no sooner cast his eyes upon the Ogre in this form, than he sprang upon
him and devoured him in an instant. In the meantime the king, admiring
as he came near it, the magnificent castle of the Ogre, ordered his
attendants to drive up to the gates, as he wished to take a nearer view
of it. The cat, hearing the noise of the carriage on the drawbridge,
immediately came out, saying: "Your majesty is welcome to the castle of
my lord marquis of Carabas." "And is this splendid castle yours also, my
lord marquis of Carabas? I never saw anything more stately than the
building, or more beautiful than the park and pleasure grounds around
it; no doubt the castle is no less magnificent within than without:
pray, my lord marquis, indulge me with a sight of it."

The marquis gave his hand to the young princess as she alighted, and
followed the king who went before; they entered a spacious hall, where
they found a splendid collation which the Ogre had prepared for some
friends he had that day expected to visit him; but who, hearing that the
king with the princess and a great gentleman of the court were within,
had not dared to enter. The king was so much charmed with the amiable
qualities and noble fortune of the marquis of Carabas, and the young
princess too had fallen so violently in love with him, that when the
king had partaken of the collation, and drunk a few glasses of wine, he
said to the marquis: "It will be you own fault, my lord marquis of
Carabas, if you do not soon become my son-in-law." The marquis received
the intelligence with a thousand respectful acknowledgments, accepted
the honour conferred upon him, and married the princess that very day.
The cat became a great lord, and never after ran after rats and mice but
for his amusement.




CHAPTER XVI

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOOD


Once upon a time there was a king and a queen who grieved sorely that
they had no children. When at last the queen gave birth to a daughter
the king was so overjoyed that he gave a great christening feast, the
like of which had never before been known. He asked all the fairies in
the land--there were seven all told--to stand godmothers to the little
princess, hoping that each might give her a gift, and so she should have
all imaginable perfections.

After the christening, all the company returned to the palace, where a
great feast had been spread for the fairy godmothers. Before each was
set a magnificent plate, with a gold knife and a gold fork studded with
diamonds and rubies. Just as they were seating themselves, however,
there entered an old fairy who had not been invited because more than
fifty years ago she had shut herself up in a tower and it was supposed
that she was either dead or enchanted.

The king ordered a cover to be laid for her, but it could not be a
massive gold one like the others, for only seven had been ordered made.
The old fairy thought herself ill-used and muttered between her teeth.
One of the young fairies, overhearing her, and fancying she might work
some mischief to the little baby, went and hid herself behind the
hangings in the hall, so as to be able to have the last word and undo
any harm the old fairy might wish to work. The fairies now began to
endow the princess. The youngest, for her gift, decreed that she should
be the most beautiful person in the world; the next that she should have
the mind of an angel; the third that she should be perfectly graceful;
the fourth that she should dance admirably well; the fifth, that she
should sing like a nightingale; the sixth, that she should play
charmingly upon every musical instrument. The turn of the old fairy had
now come, and she declared, while her head shook with malice, that the
princess should pierce her hand with a spindle and die of the wound.
This dreadful fate threw all the company into tears of dismay, when the
young fairy who had hidden herself came forward and said:

"Be of good cheer, king and queen; your daughter shall not so die. It is
true I cannot entirely undo what my elder has done. The princess will
pierce her hand with a spindle, but, instead of dying, she will only
fall into a deep sleep. The sleep will last a hundred years, and at the
end of that time a king's son will come to wake her."

The king, in hopes of preventing what the old fairy had foretold,
immediately issued an edict by which he forbade all persons in his
dominion from spinning or even having spindles in their houses under
pain of instant death.

Now fifteen years after the princess was born she was with the king and
queen at one of their castles, and as she was running about by herself
she came to a little chamber at the top of a tower, and there sat an
honest old woman spinning, for she had never heard of the king's edict.

"What are you doing?" asked the princess.

"I am spinning, my fair child," said the old woman, who did not know
her.

"How pretty it is!" exclaimed the princess. "How do you do it? Give it
to me that I may see if I can do it." She had no sooner taken up the
spindle, than, being hasty and careless, she pierced her hand with the
point of it, and fainted away. The old woman, in great alarm, called for
help. People came running in from all sides; they threw water in the
princess's face and did all they could to restore her, but nothing would
bring her to. The king, who had heard the noise and confusion, came up
also, and remembering what the fairy had said, he had the princess
carried to the finest apartment and laid upon a richly embroidered bed.
She lay there in all her loveliness, for the swoon had not made her
pale; her lips were cherry-ripe and her cheeks ruddy and fair; her eyes
were closed, but they could hear her breathing quietly; she could not be
dead. The king looked sorrowfully upon her. He knew that she would not
awake for a hundred years.

The good fairy who had saved her life and turned her death into sleep
was in the kingdom of Mataquin, twelve thousand leagues away, when this
happened, but she learned of it from a dwarf who had a pair of
seven-league boots, and instantly set out for the castle, where she
arrived in an hour, drawn by dragons in a fiery chariot. The king came
forward to receive her and showed his grief. The good fairy was very
wise and saw that the princess when she woke would find herself all
alone in that great castle and everything about her would be strange. So
this is what she did. She touched with her wand everybody that was in
the castle, except the king and queen. She touched the governesses,
maids of honour, women of the bedchamber, gentlemen, officers,
stewards, cooks, scullions, boys, guards, porters, pages, footmen; she
touched the horses in the stable with their grooms, the great mastiffs
in the court-yard, and even little Pouste, the tiny lap-dog of the
princess that was on the bed beside her. As soon as she had touched them
they all fell asleep, not to wake again until the time arrived for their
mistress to do so, when they would be ready to wait upon her. Even the
spits before the fire, laden with partridges and pheasants, went to
sleep, and the fire itself went to sleep also.

It was the work of a moment. The king and queen kissed their daughter
farewell and left the castle, issuing a proclamation that no person
whatsoever was to approach it. That was needless, for in a quarter of an
hour there had grown up about it a wood so thick and filled with thorns
that nothing could get at the castle, and the castle top itself could
only be seen from a great distance.

A hundred years went by, and the kingdom was in the hands of another
royal family. The son of the king was hunting one day when he discovered
the towers of the castle above the tops of the trees, and asked what
castle that was. All manner of answers were given to him. One said it
was an enchanted castle, another that witches lived there, but most
believed that it was occupied by a great ogre which carried thither all
the children he could catch and ate them up one at a time, for nobody
could get at him through the wood. The prince did not know what to
believe, when finally an old peasant said:

"Prince, it is more than fifty years since I heard my father say that
there was in that castle the most beautiful princess that ever was seen;
that she was to sleep for a hundred years, and to be awakened at last by
the king's son, who was to marry her."

The young prince at these words felt himself on fire. He had not a
moment's doubt that he was destined to this great adventure, and full of
ardour he determined at once to set out for the castle. Scarcely had he
come to the wood when all the trees and thorns which had made such an
impenetrable thicket opened on one side and the other to offer him a
path. He walked toward the castle, which appeared now at the end of a
long avenue, but when he turned to, look for his followers not one was
to be seen; the woods had closed instantly upon him as he had passed
through. He was entirely alone, and utter silence was about him. He
entered a large forecourt and stood still with amazement and awe. On
every side were stretched the bodies of men and animals apparently
lifeless. But the faces of the men were rosy, and the goblets by them
had a few drops of wine left. The men had plainly fallen asleep. His
steps resounded as he passed over the marble pavement and up the marble
staircase. He entered the guard-room; there the guards stood drawn up in
line with carbines at their shoulders, but they were sound asleep. He
passed through one apartment after another, where were ladies and
gentlemen asleep in their chairs or standing. He entered a chamber
covered with gold, and saw on a bed, the curtains of which were drawn,
the most lovely sight he had ever looked upon--a princess, who appeared
to be about fifteen or sixteen, and so fair that she seemed to belong to
another world. He drew near, trembling and wondering, and knelt beside
her. Her hand lay upon her breast, and he touched his lips to it. At
that moment, the enchantment being ended, the princess awoke, and,
looking drowsily and tenderly at the young man, said:

"Have you come, my prince? I have waited long for you." The prince was
overjoyed at the words, and at the tender voice and look, and scarcely
knew how to speak. But he managed to assure her of his love, and they
soon forgot all else as they talked and talked. They talked for four
hours, and had not then said half that was in their heads to say.

Meanwhile all the rest of the people in the castle had been wakened at
the same moment as the princess, and they were now extremely hungry. The
lady-in-waiting became very impatient, and at length announced to the
princess that they all waited for her. Then the prince took the princess
by the hand; she was dressed in great splendour, but he did not hint
that she looked as he had seen pictures of his great-grandmother look;
he thought her all the more charming for that. They passed into a hall
of mirrors, where they supped, attended by the officers of the princess.
The violins and haut-boys played old but excellent pieces of music, and
after supper, to lose no time, the grand almoner married the royal
lovers in the chapel of the castle.

When they left the castle the next day to return to the prince's home,
they were followed by all the retinue of the princess. They marched down
the long avenue, and the wood opened again to let them pass. Outside
they met the prince's followers, who were overjoyed to see their master.
He turned to show them the castle, but behold! there was no castle to be
seen, and no wood; castle and wood had vanished, but the prince and
princess went gayly away, and when the old king and queen died they
reigned in their stead.




CHAPTER XVII

JACK AND THE BEAN-STALK


In the days of King Alfred, there lived a poor woman whose cottage was
situated in a remote country village, a great many miles from London.
She had been a widow some years, and had an only child named Jack, whom
she indulged to a fault. The consequence of her blind partiality was,
that Jack did not pay the least attention to any thing she said, but was
indolent, careless, and extravagant. His follies were not owing to a bad
disposition, but that his mother had never checked him. By degrees she
disposed of all she possessed--scarcely any thing remained but a cow.
The poor woman one day met Jack with tears in her eyes; her distress was
great, and for the first time in her life she could not help reproaching
him, saying, "Oh! you wicked child, by your ungrateful course of life
you have at last brought me to beggary and ruin. Cruel, cruel boy! I
have not money enough to purchase even a bit of bread for another
day--nothing now remains to sell but my poor cow! I am sorry to part
with her; it grieves me sadly, but we must not starve." For a few
minutes, Jack felt a degree of remorse, but it was soon over, and he
began teasing his mother to let him sell the cow at the next village, so
much, that she at last consented. As he was going along, he met a
butcher, who inquired why he was driving the cow from home? Jack
replied, he was going to sell it. The butcher held some curious beans in
his hat; they were of various colours, and attracted Jack's attention.
This did not pass unnoticed by the butcher, who, knowing Jack's easy
temper, thought now was the time to take an advantage of it; and
determined not to let slip so good an opportunity, asked what was the
price of the cow, offering at the same time all the beans in his hat for
her. The silly boy could not conceal the pleasure he felt at what he
supposed so great an offer, the bargain was struck instantly, and the
cow exchanged for a few paltry beans. Jack made the best of his way
home, calling aloud to his mother before he reached home, thinking to
surprise her.

When she saw the beans, and heard Jack's account, her patience quite
forsook her. She kicked the beans away in a passion--they flew in all
directions--some were scattered in the garden. Not having any thing to
eat, they both went supperless to bed. Jack woke early in the morning,
and seeing something uncommon from the window of his bedchamber, ran
down stairs into the garden, where he soon discovered that some of the
beans had taken root, and sprung up surprisingly: the stalks were of an
immense thickness, and had so entwined, that they formed a ladder nearly
like a chain in appearance. Looking upward, he could not discern the
top, it appeared to be lost in the clouds: he tried it, found it firm,
and not to be shaken. He quickly formed the resolution of endeavouring
to climb up to the top, in order to seek his fortune, and ran to
communicate his intention to his mother, not doubting but she would be
equally pleased with himself. She declared he should not go; said it
would break her heart if he did--entreated, and threatened--but all in
vain. Jack set out, and after climbing for some hours, reached the top
of the bean-stalk, fatigued and quite exhausted. Looking around, he
found himself in a strange country; it appeared to be a desert, quite
barren, not a tree, shrub, house, or living creature to be seen; here
and there were scattered fragments of stone; and at unequal distances,
small heaps of earth were loosely thrown together.

Jack seated himself pensively upon a block of stone, and thought of his
mother--he reflected with sorrow upon his disobedience in climbing the
bean-stalk against her will; and concluded that he must die with hunger.
However he walked on, hoping to see a house where he might beg something
to eat and drink; presently a handsome young woman appeared at a
distance: as she approached, Jack could not help admiring how beautiful
and lively she looked; she was dressed in the most elegant manner, and
had a small white wand in her hand, on the top of which was a peacock of
pure gold. While Jack was looking with great surprise at this charming
female, she came up to him, and with a smile of the most bewitching
sweetness, inquired how he came there. Jack related the circumstance of
the bean-stalk. She asked him if he recollected his father; he replied
he did not; and added, there must be some mystery relating to him,
because if he asked his mother who his father was, she always burst into
tears, and appeared violently agitated, nor did she recover herself for
some days after; one thing, however, he could not avoid observing upon
these occasions, which was that she always carefully avoided answering
him, and even seemed afraid of speaking, as if there was some secret
connected with his father's history which she must not disclose. The
young woman replied, "I will reveal the whole story; your mother must
not. But, before I begin, I require a solemn promise on your part to do
what I command; I am a fairy, and if you do not perform exactly what I
desire, you will be destroyed," Jack was frightened at her menaces, but
promised to fulfil her injunctions exactly, and the fairy thus addressed
him:

"Your father was a rich man, his disposition remarkably benevolent: he
was very good to the poor, and constantly relieving them. He made it a
rule never to let a day pass without doing good to some person. On one
particular day in the week, he kept open house, and invited only those
who were reduced and had lived well. He always presided himself, and did
all in his power to render his guests comfortable; the rich and the
great were not invited. The servants were all happy, and greatly
attached to their master and mistress. Your father, though only a
private gentleman, was as rich as a prince, and he deserved all he
possessed, for he only lived to do good. Such a man was soon known and
talked of. A giant lived a great many miles off: this man was altogether
as wicked as your father was good; he was in his heart envious,
covetous, and cruel; but he had the art of concealing those vices. He
was poor, and wished to enrich himself at any rate. Hearing your father
spoken of, he formed the design of becoming acquainted with him, hoping
to ingratiate himself into your father's favour. He removed quickly into
your neighbourhood, caused to be reported that he was a gentleman who
had just lost all he possessed by an earth-quake, and found it difficult
to escape with his life; his wife was with him. Your father gave credit
to his story, and pitied him, gave him handsome apartments in his own
house, and caused him and his wife to be treated like visitors of
consequence, little imagining that the giant was meditating a horrid
return for all his favours.

"Things went on in this way for some time, the giant becoming daily more
impatient to put his plan into execution; at last a favourable
opportunity presented itself. Your father's house was at some distance
from the seashore, but with a glass the coast could be seen distinctly.
The giant was one day using the telescope; the wind was very high; he
saw a fleet of ships in distress off the rocks; he hastened to your
father, mentioned the circumstance, and eagerly requested he would send
all the servants he could spare to relieve the sufferers. Every one was
instantly despatched, except the porter and your nurse; the giant then
joined your father in the study, and appeared to be delighted--he really
was so. Your father recommended a favourite book, and was handing it
down: the giant took the opportunity, and stabbed him; he instantly fell
down dead. The giant left the body, found the porter and nurse, and
presently despatched them; being determined to have no living witnesses
of his crimes. You were then only three months old; your mother had you
in her arms in a remote part of the house, and was ignorant of what was
going on; she went into the study, but how was she shocked, on
discovering your father a corpse, and weltering in his blood! she was
stupefied with horror and grief, and was motionless. The giant, who was
seeking her, found her in that state, and hastened to serve her and you
as he had done her husband, but she fell at his feet, and in a pathetic
manner besought him to spare your life and hers.

"Remorse, for a moment, seemed to touch the barbarian's heart: he
granted your lives; but first he made her take a most solemn oath, never
to inform you who your father was, or to answer any questions concerning
him: assuring her that if she did, he would certainly discover her, and
put both of you to death in the most cruel manner. Your mother took you
in her arms, and fled as quickly as possible; she was scarcely gone when
the giant repented that he had suffered her to escape. He would have
pursued her instantly; but he had to provide for his own safety; as it
was necessary he should be gone before the servants returned. Having
gained your father's confidence, he knew where to find all his treasure:
he soon loaded himself and his wife, set the house on fire in several
places, and when the servants returned, the house was burned quite down
to the ground. Your poor mother, forlorn, abandoned, and forsaken,
wandered with you a great many miles from this scene of desolation. Fear
added to her haste. She settled in the cottage where you were brought
up, and it was entirety owing to her fear of the giant that she never
mentioned your father to you. I became your father's guardian at his
birth; but fairies have laws to which they are subject as well as
mortals. A short time before the giant went to your father's, I
transgressed; my punishment was a suspension of power for a limited
time--an unfortunate circumstance, as it totally prevented my succouring
your father.

"The day on which you met the butcher, as you went to sell your mother's
cow, my power was restored. It was I who secretly prompted you to take
the beans in exchange for the cow. By my power, the bean-stalk grew to
so great a height, and formed a ladder. I need not add that I inspired
you with a strong desire to ascend the ladder. The giant lives in this
country: you are the person appointed to punish him for all his
wickedness. You will have dangers and difficulties to encounter, but you
must persevere in avenging the death of your father, or you will not
prosper in any of your undertakings, but will always be miserable. As to
the giant's possessions, you may seize on all you can; for every thing
he has is yours, though now you are unjustly deprived of it. One thing I
desire--do not let your mother know you are acquainted with your
father's history, till you see me again. Go along the direct road, you
will soon see the house where your cruel enemy lives. While you do as I
order you, I will protect and guard you; but, remember, if you dare
disobey my commands, a most dreadful punishment awaits you."

When the fairy had concluded, she disappeared, leaving Jack to pursue
his journey. He walked on till after sunset, when, to his great joy, he
espied a large mansion. This agreeable sight revived his drooping
spirits; he redoubled his speed, and soon reached it. A plain-looking
woman was at the door--he accosted her, begging she would give him a
morsel of bread and a night's lodging. She expressed the greatest
surprise at seeing him; and said it was quite uncommon to see a human
being near their house, for it was well known that her husband was a
large and very powerful giant, and that he would never eat any thing but
human flesh, if he could possibly get it; that he did not think any
thing of walking fifty miles to procure it, usually being out the whole
day for that purpose.

This account greatly terrified Jack, but still he hoped to elude the
giant, and therefore he again entreated the woman to take him in for one
night only, and hide him where she thought proper. The good woman at
last suffered herself to be persuaded, for she was of a compassionate
and generous disposition, and took him into the house. First, they
entered a fine large hall, magnificently furnished; they then passed
through several spacious rooms, all in the same style of grandeur; but
they appeared to be quite forsaken and desolate. A long gallery was
next; it was very dark--just light enough to show that, instead of a
wall on one side, there was a grating of iron, which parted off a dismal
dungeon, from whence issued the groans of those poor victims whom the
cruel giant reserved in confinement for his own voracious appetite. Poor
Jack was half dead with fear, and would have given the world to have
been with his mother again, for he now began to fear that he should
never see her more, and gave himself up for lost; he even mistrusted the
good woman, and thought she had let him into the house for no other
purpose than to lock him up among the unfortunate people in the dungeon.
At the farther end of the gallery there was a spacious kitchen, and a
very excellent fire was burning in the grate. The good woman bid Jack
sit down, and gave him plenty to eat and drink. Jack, not seeing any
thing here to make him uncomfortable, soon forgot his fear, and was just
beginning to enjoy himself, when he was aroused by a loud knocking at
the street-door, which made the whole house shake: the giant's wife ran
to secure him in the oven, and then went to let her husband in. Jack
heard him accost her in a voice like thunder, saying: "Wife, I smell
fresh meat." "Oh! my dear," replied she, "it is nothing but the people
in the dungeon." The giant appeared to believe her, and walked into the
very kitchen where poor Jack was concealed, who shook, trembled, and was
more terrified than he had yet been. At last, the monster seated himself
quietly by the fire-side, whilst his wife prepared supper. By degrees
Jack recovered himself sufficiently to look at the giant through a small
crevice. He was quite astonished to see what an amazing quantity he
devoured, and thought he never would have done eating and drinking. When
supper was ended, the giant desired his wife to bring him his hen. A
very beautiful hen was then brought, and placed on the table before him.
Jack's curiosity was very great to see what would happen: he observed
that every time the giant said "Lay!" the hen laid an egg of solid gold.
The giant amused himself a long time with his hen; meanwhile his wife
went to bed. At length the giant fell asleep by the fire-side, and
snored like the roaring of a cannon.

At daybreak, Jack, finding the giant still asleep, and not likely to
awaken soon, crept softly out of his hiding-place, seized the hen, and
ran off with her. He met with some difficulty in finding his way out of
the house, but at last he reached the road with safety. He easily found
the way to the bean-stalk, and descended it better and quicker than he
expected. His mother was overjoyed to see him; he found her crying
bitterly, and lamenting his hard fate, for she concluded he had come to
some shocking end through his rashness. Jack was impatient to show his
hen, and inform his mother how valuable it was. "And now, mother," said
Jack, "I have brought home that which will quickly make us rich; and I
hope to make you some amends for the affliction I have caused you
through my idleness, extravagance, and folly." The hen produced as many
golden eggs as they desired: they sold them, and in a little time became
possessed of as much riches as they wanted. For some months Jack and his
mother lived very happily together; but he being very desirous of
travelling, recollecting the fairy's commands, and fearing that if he
delayed, she would put her threats into execution, longed to climb the
bean-stalk, and pay the giant another visit, in order to carry away some
more of his treasures; for, during the time that Jack was in the giant's
mansion, whilst he lay concealed in the oven, he learned from the
conversation that took place between the giant and his wife, that he
possessed some wonderful curiosities. Jack thought of his journey again
and again, but still he could not summon resolution enough to break it
to his mother, being well assured that she would endeavour to prevent
his going. However, one day he told her boldly that he must take a
journey up the bean-stalk; she begged and prayed him not to think of it,
and tried all in her power to dissuade him: she told him that the
giant's wife would certainly know him again, and that the giant would
desire nothing better than to get him into his power, that he might put
him to a cruel death, in order to be revenged for the loss of his hen.
Jack, finding that all his arguments were useless, pretended to give up
the point, though resolved to go at all events. He had a dress prepared
which would disguise him, and something to colour his skin. He thought
it impossible for any one to recollect him in this dress.

In a few mornings after this, he arose very early, changed his
complexion, and, unperceived by any one, climbed the bean-stalk a second
time. He was greatly fatigued when he reached the top, and very hungry.
Having rested some time on one of the stones, he pursued his journey to
the giant's mansion. He reached it late in the evening: the woman was at
the door as before. Jack addressed her, at the same time telling her a
pitiful tale, and requesting that she would give him some victuals and
drink, and also a night's lodging.

She told him (what he knew before very well) about her husband being a
powerful and cruel giant; and also that she one night admitted a poor,
hungry, friendless boy, who was half dead with travelling; that the
little ungrateful fellow had stolen one of the giant's treasures; and,
ever since that, her husband had been worse than before, used her very
cruelly, and continually upbraided her with being the cause of his
misfortune. Jack was at no loss to discover that he was attending to the
account of a story in which he was the principal actor. He did his best
to persuade the good woman to admit him, but found it a very hard task.
At last she consented; and as she led the way, Jack observed that every
thing was just as he had found it before. She took him into the kitchen,
and after he had done eating and drinking, she hid him in an old
lumber-closet. The giant returned at the usual time, and walked in so
heavily, that the house was shaken to its foundation. He seated himself
by the fire, and soon after exclaimed: "Wife! I smell fresh meat!" The
wife replied, it was the crows, who had brought a piece of raw meat, and
left it on the top of the house. Whilst supper was preparing, the giant
was very ill-tempered and impatient, frequently lifting up his hand to
strike his wife, for not being quick enough; she, however, was always so
fortunate as to elude the blow. He was also continually up-braiding her
with the loss of his wonderful hen. The giant at last having ended his
voracious supper, and eaten till he was quite satisfied, said to his
wife: "I must have something to amuse me; either my bags of money or my
harp." After a great deal of ill-humour, and having teased his wife some
he commanded her to bring down his bags of gold and silver. Jack, as
before, peeped out of his hiding-place, and presently his wife brought
two bags into the room: they were of a very large size; one was filled
with new guineas, and the other with new shillings. They were both
placed before the giant, who began reprimanding his poor wife most
severely for staying so long; she replied, trembling with fear, that
they were so heavy, that she could scarcely lift them; and concluded, at
last, that she would never again bring them down stairs; adding, that
she had nearly fainted, owing to their weight This so exasperated the
giant, that he raised his hand to strike her; she, however, escaped, and
went to bed, leaving him to count over his treasure, by way of
amusement. The giant took his bags, and after turning them over and
over, to see that they were in the same state as he left them, began to
count their contents. First, the bag which contained the silver was
emptied, and the contents placed upon the table. Jack viewed the
glittering heaps with delight, and most heartily wished them in his own
possession. The giant (little thinking he was so narrowly watched)
reckoned the silver over several times; and then, having satisfied
himself that all was safe, put it into the bag again, which he made very
secure. The other bag was opened next, and the guineas placed upon the
table. If Jack was pleased at the sight of the silver, how much more
delighted he felt when he saw such a heap of glittering gold! He even
had the boldness to think of gaming both bags; but suddenly recollecting
himself, he began to fear that the giant would sham sleep, the better to
entrap any one who might be concealed. When the giant had counted over
the gold till he was tired, he put it up, if possible, more secure than
he had put up the silver before; he then fell back on his chair by the
fire-side, and fell asleep. He snored so loud, that Jack compared his
noise to the roaring of the sea in a high wind, when the tide is coming
in. At last, Jack concluded him to be asleep, and therefore secure,
stole out of his hiding-place, and approached the giant, in order to
carry off the two bags of money; but just as he laid his hand upon one
of the bags, a little dog, whom he had not perceived before, started
from under the giant's chair, and barked at Jack most furiously, who now
gave himself up for lost. Fear riveted him to the spot. Instead of
endeavouring to escape, he stood still, though expecting his enemy to
awake every instant. Contrary, however, to his expectation, the giant
continued in a sound sleep, and the dog grew weary of barking. Jack now
began to recollect himself, and on looking round, saw a large piece of
meat; this he threw to the dog, who instantly seized it, and took it
into the lumber-closet, which Jack had just left. Finding himself
delivered from a noisy and troublesome enemy, and seeing the giant did
not awake, Jack boldly seized the bags, and throwing them over his
shoulders, ran out of the kitchen. He reached the street door in safety,
and found it quite daylight. In his way to the top of the bean-stalk, he
found himself greatly incommoded with the weight of the money-bags; and
really they were so heavy that he could scarcely carry them. Jack was
overjoyed when he found himself near the bean-stalk; he soon reached the
bottom, and immediately ran to seek his mother; to his great surprise,
the cottage was deserted; he ran from one room to another, without being
able to find any one; he then hastened into the village, hoping to see
some of the neighbours, who could inform him where he could find his
mother. An old woman at last directed him to a neighbouring house, where
she was ill of a fever. He was greatly shocked on finding her apparently
dying, and could scarcely bear his own reflections, on knowing himself
to be the cause. On being informed of our hero's safe return, his
mother, by degrees, revived, and gradually recovered. Jack presented her
with his two valuable bags. They lived happily and comfortably; the
cottage was rebuilt, and well furnished.

For three years Jack heard no more of the bean-stalk, but he could not
forget it; though he feared making his mother unhappy. She would not
mention the hated bean-stalk, lest it should remind him of taking
another journey. Notwithstanding the comforts Jack enjoyed at home, his
mind dwelt continually upon the bean-stalk; for the fairy's menaces, in
case of his disobedience, were ever present to his mind, and prevented
him from being happy; he could think of nothing else. It was in vain
endeavouring to amuse himself; he became thoughtful, and would arise at
the first dawn of day, and view the bean-stalk for hours together. His
mother saw that something preyed heavily upon his mind, and endeavoured
to discover the cause; but Jack knew too well what the consequence would
be, should she succeed. He did his utmost, therefore, to conquer the
great desire he had for another journey up the bean-stalk. Finding,
however, that his inclination grew too powerful for him, he began to
make secret preparations for his journey, and on the longest day, arose
as soon as it was light, ascended the bean-stalk, and reached the top
with some little trouble. He found the road, journey, etc., much as it
was on the two former times; he arrived at the giant's mansion in the
evening, and found his wife standing, as usual, at the door. Jack had
disguised himself so completely, that she did not appear to have the
least recollection of him; however, when he pleaded hunger and poverty,
in order to gain admittance, he found it very difficult to persuade her.
At last he prevailed, and was concealed in the copper. When the giant
returned, he said, "I smell fresh meat!" But Jack felt quite composed,
as he had said so before, and had been soon satisfied. However, the
giant started up suddenly, and, notwithstanding all his wife could say,
he searched all round the room. Whilst this was going forward, Jack was
exceedingly terrified, and ready to die with fear, wishing himself at
home a thousand times; but when the giant approached the copper, and put
his hand upon the lid, Jack thought his death was certain. The giant
ended his search there, without moving the lid, and seated himself
quietly by the fire-side. This fright nearly overcame poor Jack; he was
afraid of moving or even breathing, lest he should be discovered. The
giant at last ate a hearty supper. When he had finished, he commanded
his wife to fetch down his harp. Jack peeped under the copper-lid, and
soon saw the most beautiful harp that could be imagined: it was placed
by the giant on the table, who said, "Play!" and it instantly played of
its own accord, without being touched. The music was uncommonly fine.
Jack was delighted, and felt more anxious to get the harp into his
possession, than either of the former treasures. The giant's soul was
not attuned to harmony, and the music soon lulled him into a sound
sleep. Now, therefore, was the time to carry off the harp, as the giant
appeared to be in a more profound sleep than usual Jack soon determined,
got out of the copper, and seized the harp, The harp was enchanted by a
fairy: it called out loudly: "Master! master!" The giant awoke, stood
up, and tried to pursue Jack; but he had drank so much, that he could
hardly stand. Poor Jack ran as fast as he could. In a little time the
giant recovered sufficiently to walk slowly, or rather, to reel after
him. Had he been sober, he must have overtaken Jack instantly; but, as
he then was, Jack contrived to be first at the top of the bean-stalk.
The giant called after him in a voice like thunder, and sometimes was
very near him. The moment Jack got down the bean-stalk he called out for
a hatchet; one was brought him directly; just at that instant, the giant
was beginning to descend; but Jack, with his hatchet, cut the bean-stalk
close off at the root, which made the giant fall headlong into the
garden: the fall killed him, thereby releasing the world from a
barbarous enemy. Jack's mother was delighted when she saw the bean-stalk
destroyed. At this instant the fairy appeared: she first addressed
Jack's mother and explained every circumstance relating to the journeys
up the bean-stalk. The fairy charged Jack to be dutiful to his mother,
and to follow his father's good example, which was the only way to be
happy. She then disappeared. Jack heartily begged his mother's pardon
for all the sorrow and affliction he had caused her, promising most
faithfully to be very dutiful and obedient to her for the future.




CHAPTER XVIII

JACK THE GIANT KILLER


In the reign of the famous King Arthur, there lived near the Land's End
of England, in the county of Cornwall, a worthy farmer, who had an only
son named Jack. Jack was a boy of a bold temper; he took pleasure in
hearing or reading stories of wizards, conjurers, giants, and fairies,
and used to listen eagerly while his father talked of the great deeds of
the brave knights of King Arthur's Round Table. When Jack was sent to
take care of the sheep and oxen in the fields, he used to amuse himself
with planning battles, sieges, and the means to conquer or surprise a
foe. He was above the common sports of children; but hardly any one
could equal him at wrestling; or, if he met with a match for himself in
strength, his skill and address always made him the victor. In those
days there lived on St. Michael's Mount of Cornwall, which rises out of
the sea at some distance from the main land, a huge giant. He was
eighteen feet high, and three yards round; and his fierce and savage
looks were the terror of all his neighbours. He dwelt in a gloomy cavern
on the very top of the mountain, and used to wade over to the main land
in search of his prey. When he came near, the people left their houses;
and after he had glutted his appetite upon their cattle, he would throw
half-a-dozen oxen upon his back, and tie three times as many sheep and
hogs round his waist, and so march back to his own abode. The giant had
done this for many years, and the coast of Cornwall was greatly hurt by
his thefts, when Jack boldly resolved to destroy him. He therefore took
a horn, a shovel, pickaxe, and a dark lantern, and early in a long
winter's evening he swam to the mount. There he fell to work at once,
and before morning he had dug a pit twenty-two feet deep, and almost as
many broad. He covered it over with sticks and straw, and strewed some
of the earth over them, to make it look just like solid ground. He then
put his horn to his mouth, and blew such a loud and long tantivy, that
the giant awoke and came towards Jack, roaring like thunder: "You saucy
villain, you shall pay dearly for breaking my rest; I will broil you for
my breakfast." He had scarcely spoken these words, when he came
advancing one step farther; but then he tumbled headlong into the pit,
and his fall shook the very mountain. "O ho, Mr. Giant!" said Jack,
looking into the pit, "have you found your way so soon to the bottom?
How is your appetite now? Will nothing serve you for breakfast this cold
morning but broiling poor Jack?" The giant now tried to rise, but Jack
struck him a blow on the crown of the head with his pickaxe, which
killed him at once. Jack then made haste back to rejoice his friends
with the news of the giant's death. When the justices of Cornwall heard
of this valiant action, they sent for Jack, and declared that he should
always be called Jack the Giant Killer; and they also gave him a sword
and belt, upon which was written in letters of gold:

  "This is the valiant Cornishman
   Who slew the Giant Cormoran."

The news of Jack's exploits soon spread over the western parts of
England; and another giant, called Old Blunderbore, vowed to have
revenge on Jack, if it should ever be his fortune to get him into his
power. This giant kept an enchanted castle in the midst of a lonely
wood. About four months after the death of Cormoran, as Jack was taking
a journey into Wales, he passed through this wood; and as he was very
weary, he sat down to rest by the side of a pleasant fountain, and there
he fell into a deep sleep. The giant came to the fountain for water just
at this time, and found Jack there; and as the lines on Jack's belt
showed who he was, the giant lifted him up and laid him gently upon his
shoulder to carry him to his castle: but as he passed through the
thicket, the rustling of the leaves waked Jack; and he was sadly afraid
when he found himself in the clutches of Blunderbore. Yet this was
nothing to his fright soon after; for when they reached the castle, he
beheld the floor covered all over with the skulls and bones of men and
women. The giant took him into a large room where lay the hearts and
limbs of persons who had been lately killed; and he told Jack, with a
horrid grin, that men's hearts, eaten with pepper and vinegar, were his
nicest food; and also, that he thought he should make a dainty meal on
his heart. When he had said this, he locked Jack up in that room, while
he went to fetch another giant who lived in the same wood, to enjoy a
dinner off Jack's flesh with him. While he was away, Jack heard dreadful
shrieks, groans, and cries, from many parts of the castle; and soon
after he heard a mournful voice repeat these lines:

  "Haste, valiant stranger, haste away,
   Lest you become the giant's prey.
   On his return he'll bring another,
   Still more savage than his brother:
   A horrid, cruel monster, who,
   Before he kills, will torture you.
   Oh valiant stranger, haste away,
   Or you'll become these giants' prey."

This warning was so shocking to poor Jack, that he was ready to go mad.
He ran to the window, and saw the two giants coming along arm in arm.
This window was right over the gates of the castle. "Now," thought Jack,
"either my death or freedom is at hand." There were two strong cords in
the room: Jack made a large noose with a slip-knot at the ends of both
these, and as the giants were coming through the gates, he threw the
ropes over their heads. He then made the other ends fast to a beam in
the ceiling, and pulled with all his might till he had almost strangled
them. When he saw that they were both quite black in the face, and had
not the least strength left, he drew his sword, and slid down the ropes;
he then killed the giants, and thus saved himself from the cruel death
they meant to put him to. Jack next took a great bunch of keys from the
pocket of Blunderbore, and went into the castle again. He made a strict
search through all the rooms; and in them found three ladies tied up by
the hair of their heads, and almost starved to death. They told him that
their husbands had been killed by the giants, who had then condemned
them to be starved to death, because they would not eat the flesh of
their own dead husbands. "Ladies," said Jack, "I have put an end to the
monster and his wicked brother; and I give you this castle and all the
riches it contains, to make you some amends for the dreadful pains you
have felt." He then very politely gave them the keys of the castle, and
went further on his journey to Wales. As Jack had not taken any of the
giant's riches for himself, and so had very little money of his own, he
thought it best to travel as fast as he could. At length he lost his
way, and when night came on he was in a lonely valley between two lofty
mountains, where he walked about for some hours without seeing any
dwelling place, so he thought himself very lucky at last, in finding a
large and handsome house.

He went up to it boldly, and knocked loudly at the gate, when, to his
great terror and surprise, there came forth a monstrous giant with two
heads. He spoke to Jack very civilly, for he was a Welsh giant, and all
the mischief he did was by private and secret malice, under the show of
friendship and kindness. Jack told him that he was a traveller who had
lost his way, on which the huge monster made him welcome, and led him
into a room, where there was a good bed to pass the night in. Jack took
off his clothes quickly; but though he was so weary he could not go to
sleep. Soon after this he heard the giant walking backward and forward
in the next room, and saying to himself:

  "Though here you lodge with me this night,
   You shall not see the morning light;
   My club shall dash your brains out quite."

"Say you so?" thought Jack; "are these your tricks upon travellers? But
I hope to prove as cunning as you." Then getting out of bed, he groped
about the room, and at last found a large thick billet of wood; he laid
it in his own place in the bed, and then hid himself in a dark corner of
the room. In the middle of the night the giant came with his great club,
and struck many heavy blows on the bed, in the very place where Jack had
laid the billet, and then he went back to his own room, thinking he had
broken all his bones. Early in the morning, Jack put a bold face upon
the matter, and walked into the giant's room to thank him for his
lodgings. The giant started when he saw him, and he began to stammer
out, "Oh, dear me! Is it you? Pray, how did you sleep last night? Did
you hear or see any thing in the dead of the night?" "Nothing worth
speaking of," said Jack carelessly; "a rat, I believe, gave me three or
four slaps with his tail, and disturbed me a little; but I soon went to
sleep again." The giant wondered more and more at this; yet he did not
answer a word, but went to bring two great bowls of hasty-pudding for
their breakfast. Jack wished to make the giant believe that he could eat
as much as himself. So he contrived to button a leathern bag inside his
coat, and slipped the hasty-pudding into this bag, while he seemed to
put it into his mouth. When breakfast was over, he said to the giant:
"Now I will show you a fine trick; I can cure all wounds with a touch; I
could cut off my head one minute, and the next, put it sound again on my
shoulders: you shall see an example." He then took hold of the knife,
ripped up the leathern bag, and all the hasty-pudding tumbled out upon
the floor. "Ods splutter hur nails," cried the Welsh giant, who was
ashamed to be outdone by such a little fellow as Jack, "hur can do that
hurself." So he snatched up the knife, plunged it into his stomach, and
in a moment dropped down dead.

As soon as Jack had thus tricked the Welsh monster, he went farther on
his journey; and a few days after he met with King Arthur's only son,
who had got his father's leave to travel into Wales, to deliver a
beautiful lady from the power of a wicked magician, who held her in his
enchantments. When Jack found that the young prince had no servants with
him, he begged leave to attend him; and the prince at once agreed to
this, and gave Jack many thanks for his kindness. The prince was a
handsome, polite, and brave knight, and so good-natured that he gave
money to every body he met. At length he gave his last penny to an old
woman, and then turned to Jack, and said: "How shall we be able to get
food for ourselves the rest of our journey?" "Leave that to me sir,"
said Jack; "I will provide for my prince." Night now came on, and the
prince began to grow uneasy at thinking where they should lodge. "Sir,"
said Jack, "be of good heart; two miles farther there lives a large
giant, whom I know well. He has three heads, and will fight five hundred
men, and make them fly before him." "Alas!" replied the king's son, "we
had better never have been born than meet with such a monster." "My
lord, leave me to manage him, and wait here in quiet till I return." The
prince now staid behind, while Jack rode on full speed. And when he came
to the gates of the castle, he gave a loud knock. The giant, with a
voice like thunder, roared out: "Who is there?" And Jack made answer,
and said: "No one but your poor cousin Jack." "Well," said the giant,
"what news, cousin Jack?" "Dear uncle," said Jack, "I have some heavy
news." "Pooh!" said the giant, "what heavy news can come to me? I am a
giant with three heads; and can fight five hundred men, and make them
fly before me." "Alas!" said Jack, "Here is the king's son, coming with
two thousand men, to kill you, and to destroy the castle and all that
you have." "Oh, cousin Jack," said the giant, "This is heavy news
indeed! But I have a large cellar under ground, where I will hide
myself, and you shall lock, and bar me in, and keep the keys till the
king's son is gone."

Now when Jack had made the giant fast in the vault, he went back and
fetched the prince to the castle; they both made themselves merry with
the wine and other dainties that were in the house. So that night they
rested very pleasantly, while the poor giant lay trembling and shaking
with fear in the cellar under ground. Early in the morning, Jack gave
the king's son gold and silver out of the giant's treasure, and set him
three miles forward on his journey. He then went to let his uncle out of
the hole, who asked Jack what he should give him as a reward for saving
his castle. "Why, good uncle," said Jack, "I desire nothing but the old
coat and cap, with the old rusty sword and slippers, which are hanging
at your bed's head," Then said the giant: "You shall have them; and pray
keep them for my sake, for they are things of great use: the coat will
keep you invisible, the cap will give you knowledge, the sword cut
through anything, and the shoes are of vast swiftness; these may be
useful to you in all times of danger, so take them with all my heart."
Jack gave many thanks to the giant, and then set off to the prince. When
he had come up with the king's son, they soon arrived at the dwelling of
the beautiful lady, who was under the power of a wicked magician. She
received the prince very politely, and made a noble feast for him; and
when it was ended, she rose, and wiping her mouth with a fine
handkerchief, said: "My lord, you must submit to the custom of my
palace; to-morrow morning I command you to tell me on whom I bestow this
handkerchief or lose your head." She then went out of the room. The
young prince went to bed very mournful: but Jack put on his cap of
knowledge, which told him that the lady was forced, by the power of
enchantment, to meet the wicked magician every night in the middle of
the forest. Jack now put on his coat of darkness, and his shoes of
swiftness, and was there before her. When the lady came, she gave the
handkerchief to the magician. Jack with his sword of sharpness, at one
blow, cut off his head; the enchantment was then ended in a moment, and
the lady was restored to her former virtue and goodness.

She was married to the prince on the next day, and soon after went back
with her royal husband, and a great company, to the court of King
Arthur, where they were received with loud and joyful welcomes; and the
valiant hero Jack, for the many great exploits he had done for the good
of his country, was made one of the Knights of the Round Table. As Jack
had been so lucky in all his adventures, he resolved not to be idle for
the future, but still to do what services he could for the honour of the
king and the nation. He therefore humbly begged his majesty to furnish
him with a horse and money, that he might travel in search of new and
strange exploits. "For," said he to the king, "there are many giants yet
living in the remote parts of Wales, to the great terror and distress of
your majesty's subjects; therefore if it please you, sire, to favour me
in my design, I will soon rid your kingdom of these giants and monsters
in human shape." Now when the king heard this offer, and began to think
of the cruel deeds of these blood-thirsty giants and savage monsters, he
gave Jack every thing proper for such a journey. After this Jack took
leave of the king, the prince, and all the knights, and set off; taking
with him his cap of knowledge, his sword of sharpness, his shoes of
swiftness, and his invisible coat, the better to perform the great
exploits that might fall in his way. He went along over high hills and
lofty mountains, and on the third day he came to a large wide forest,
through which his road led. He had hardly entered the forest, when on a
sudden he heard very dreadful shrieks and cries. He forced his way
through the trees, and saw a monstrous giant dragging along by the hair
of their heads a handsome knight and his beautiful lady. Their tears and
cries melted the heart of honest Jack to pity and compassion; he
alighted from his horse, and tying him to an oak tree he put on his
invisible coat, under which he carried his sword of sharpness.

When he came up to the giant, he made several strokes at him, but could
not reach his body, on account of the enormous height of the terrible
creature, but he wounded his thighs in several places; and at length,
putting both hands to his sword, and aiming with all his might, he cut
off both the giant's legs just below the garter; and the trunk of his
body tumbling to the ground, made not only the trees shake, but the
earth itself tremble with the force of his fall. Then Jack, setting his
foot upon his neck, exclaimed, "Thou barbarous and savage wretch, behold
I come to execute upon thee the just reward for all thy crimes;" and
instantly plunged his sword into the giant's body. The huge monster gave
a hideous groan, and yielded up his life into the hands of the
victorious Jack the Giant Killer, whilst the noble knight and the
virtuous lady were both joyful spectators of his sudden death and their
deliverance. The courteous knight and his fair lady, not only returned
Jack hearty thanks for their deliverance, but also invited him to their
house, to refresh himself after his dreadful encounter, as likewise to
receive a reward for his good services. "No," said Jack, "I cannot be at
ease till I find out the den that was the monster's habitation." The
knight on hearing this grew very sorrowful, and replied, "Noble
stranger, it is too much to run a second hazard; this monster lived in a
den under yonder mountain, with a brother of his, more fierce and cruel
than himself; therefore, if you should go thither, and perish in the
attempt, it would be a heart-breaking thing to me and my lady; so let me
persuade you to go with us, and desist from any farther pursuit." "Nay,"
answered Jack, "if there be another, even if there were twenty, I would
shed the last drop of blood in my body before one of them should escape
my fury. When I have finished this task, I will come and pay my respects
to you." So when they had told him where to find them again, he got on
his horse and went after the dead giant's brother.

Jack had not rode a mile and a half, before he came in sight of the
mouth of the cavern; and nigh the entrance of it, he saw the other giant
sitting on a huge block of fine timber, with a knotted iron club lying
by his side, waiting for his brother. His eyes looked like flames of
fire, his face was grim and ugly, and his cheeks seemed like two
flitches of bacon; the bristles of his beard seemed to be thick rods of
iron wire; and his long locks of hair hung down upon his broad shoulders
like curling snakes. Jack got down from his horse, and turned him into a
thicket; then he put on his coat of darkness, and drew a little nearer
to behold this figure, and said softly: "Oh, monster! are you there? It
will not be long before I shall take you fast by the beard." The giant
all this while, could not see him, by reason of his invisible coat: so
Jack came quite close to him, and struck a blow at his head with his
sword of sharpness, but he missed his aim, and only cut off his nose,
which made him roar like loud claps of thunder. And though he rolled his
glaring eyes round on every side, he could not see who had given him the
blow; yet he took up his iron club, and began to lay about him like one
that was mad with pain and fury.

"Nay," said Jack, "if this be the case I will kill you at once." So
saying, he slipped nimbly behind him, and jumping upon the block of
timber, as the giant rose from it, he stabbed him in the back; when,
after a few howls, he dropped down dead. Jack cut off his head, and sent
it with the head of his brother, whom he had killed before in the
forest, to King Arthur, by a wagon which he hired for that purpose, with
an account of all his exploits. When Jack had thus killed these two
monsters, he went into their cave in search of their treasure: he passed
through many turnings and windings, which led him to a room paved with
freestone; at the end of it was a boiling caldron, and on the right hand
stood a large table where the giants used to dine. He then came to a
window that was secured with iron bars, through which he saw a number of
wretched captives, who cried out when they saw Jack, "Alas! alas! young
man, you are come to be one among us in this horrid den." "I hope," said
Jack, "you will not stay here long; but pray tell me what is the meaning
of your being here at all?" "Alas!" said one poor old man, "I will tell
you, sir. We are persons that have been taken by the giants who hold
this cave, and are kept till they choose to have a feast, then one of us
is to be killed, and cooked to please their taste. It is not long since
they took three for the same purpose." "Well," said Jack, "I have given
them such a dinner that it will be long enough before they have any
more." The captives were amazed at his words. "You may believe me," said
Jack; "for I have killed them both with the edge of the sword, and have
sent their large heads to the court of King Arthur, as marks of my great
success."

To show them that what he said was true, he unlocked the gate, and set
them all free. Then he led them to the great room, placed them round the
table, and set before them two quarters of beef, with bread and wine;
upon which they feasted to their fill. When supper was over, they
searched the giants' coffers, and Jack shared the store in them among
the captives, who thanked him for their escape. The next morning they
set off to their homes, and Jack to the knight's house, whom he had left
with his lady not long before. It was just at the time of sunrise that
Jack mounted his horse to proceed on his journey.

He arrived at the knight's house, where he was received with the
greatest joy by the thankful knight and his lady, who, in honour of
Jack's exploits, gave a grand feast, to which all the nobles and gentry
were invited. When the company were assembled, the knight declared to
them the great actions of Jack, and gave him, as a mark of respect, a
fine ring, on which was engraved the picture of the giant dragging the
knight and the lady by the hair, with this motto round it:

  "Behold, in dire distress were we,
    Under a giant's fierce command;
   But gained our lives and liberty,
    From valiant Jack's victorious hand."

Among the guests then present were five aged gentlemen, who were fathers
to some of those captives who had been freed by Jack from the dungeon of
the giants. As soon as they heard that he was the person who had done
such wonders, they pressed round him with tears of joy, to return him
thanks for the happiness he had caused to them. After this the bowl went
round, and every one drank to the health and long life of the gallant
hero. Mirth increased, and the hall was filled with peals of laughter
and joyful cries. But, on a sudden, a herald, pale and breathless with
haste and terror, rushed into the midst of the company, and told them
that Thundel, a savage giant with two heads, had heard of the death of
his two kinsmen, and was come to take his revenge on Jack; and that he
was now within a mile of the house; the people flying before him like
chaff before the wind. At this news the very boldest of the guests
trembled; but Jack drew his sword, and said: "Let him come, I have a rod
for him also. Pray, ladies and gentlemen, do me the favour to walk into
the garden, and you shall soon behold the giant's defeat and death." To
this they all agreed, and heartily wished him success in his dangerous
attempt. The knight's house stood in the middle of a moat, thirty feet
deep and twenty wide, over which lay a drawbridge. Jack set men to work
to cut the bridge on both sides, almost to the middle; and then dressed
himself in his coat of darkness, and went against the giant with his
sword of sharpness. As he came close to him, though the giant could not
see him, for his invisible coat, yet he found some danger was near,
which made him cry out:

  "Fa, fe, fi, fo, fum,
   I smell the blood of an Englishman;
   Let him be alive, or let him be dead,
   I'll grind his bones to make me bread."

"Say you so my friend?" said Jack, "you are a monstrous miller indeed."
"Art thou," cried the giant, "the villain that killed my kinsmen? Then I
will tear thee with my teeth, and grind thy bones to powder." "You must
catch me first," said Jack; and throwing off his coat of darkness, and
putting on his shoes of swiftness, he began to run; the giant following
him like a walking castle, making the earth shake at every step.

Jack led him round and round the walls of the house, that the company
might see the monster; and to finish the work Jack ran over the
drawbridge, the giant going after him with his club. But when the giant
came to the middle, where the bridge had been cut on both sides, the
great weight of his body made it break, and he tumbled into the water,
and rolled about like a large whale. Jack now stood by the side of the
moat, and laughed and jeered at him, saying: "I think you told me, you
would grind my bones to powder. When will you begin?" The giant foamed
at both his horrid mouths with fury, and plunged from side to side of
the moat; but he could not get out to have revenge on his little foe. At
last Jack ordered a cart rope to be brought to him. He then drew it over
his two heads, and by the help of a team of horses, dragged him to the
edge of the moat, where he cut off the monster's heads; and before he
either eat or drank, he sent them both to the court of King Arthur. He
then went back to the table with the company, and the rest of the day
was spent in mirth and good cheer. After staying with the knight for
some time, Jack grew weary of such an idle life, and set out again in
search of new adventures. He went over the hills and dales without
meeting any, till he came to the foot of a very high mountain. Here he
knocked at the door of a small and lonely house; and an old man, with a
head as white as snow, let him in. "Good father" said Jack, "can you
lodge a traveller who has lost his way?" "Yes," said the hermit, "I can,
if you will accept such fare as my poor house affords." Jack entered,
and the old man set before him some bread and fruit for his supper. When
Jack had eaten as much as he chose, the hermit said, "My son, I know you
are the famous conqueror of giants; now, on the top of this mountain is
an enchanted castle, kept by a giant named Galligantus, who, by the help
of a vile magician, gets many knights into his castle, where he changes
them into the shape of beasts. Above all I lament the hard fate of a
duke's daughter, whom they seized as she was walking in her father's
garden, and brought hither through the air in a chariot drawn by two
fiery dragons, and turned her into the shape of a deer. Many knights
have tried to destroy the enchantment, and deliver her; yet none have
been able to do it, by reason of two fiery griffins who guard the gate
of the castle, and destroy all who come nigh. But as you, my son, have
an invisible coat, you may pass by them without being seen; and on the
gates of the castle, you will find engraved, by what means the
enchantment may be broken."

Jack promised, that in the morning, at the risk of his life he would
break the enchantment: and after a sound sleep he arose early, put on
his invisible coat, and got ready for the attempt. When he had climbed
to the top of the mountain, he saw the two fiery griffins; but he passed
between them without the least fear of danger; for they could not see
him because of his invisible coat. On the castle gate he found a golden
trumpet, under which were written these lines:

  "Whoever can this trumpet blow,
   Shall cause the giant's overthrow."

As soon as Jack had read this, he seized the trumpet, and blew a shrill
blast which made the gates fly open and the very castle itself tremble.
The giant and the conjurer now knew that their wicked course was at an
end, and they stood biting their thumbs and shaking with fear. Jack,
with his sword of sharpness, soon killed the giant. The magician was
then carried away by a whirlwind and every knight and beautiful lady,
who had been changed into birds and beasts, returned to their proper
shapes. The castle vanished away like smoke and the head of the giant
Galligantus was sent to King Arthur. The knights and ladies rested that
night at the old man's hermitage, and next day they set out for the
court. Jack then went up to the king, and gave his majesty an account of
all his fierce battles. Jack's fame had spread through the whole
country; and at the king's desire, the duke gave him his daughter in
marriage, to the joy of all the kingdom. After this the king gave him a
large estate; on which he and his lady lived the rest of their days, in
joy and content.




CHAPTER XIX

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD


Once upon a time there lived in a village a country girl, who was the
sweetest little creature that ever was seen; her mother naturally loved
her with excessive fondness, and her grandmother doted on her still
more. The good woman had made for her a pretty little red-coloured hood,
which so much became the little girl, that every one called her Little
Red Riding Hood.

One day her mother having made some cheesecakes, said to her, "Go, my
child, and see how your grandmother does, for I hear she is ill; carry
her some of these cakes, and a little pot of butter." Little Red Riding
Hood straight set out with a basket filled with the cakes and the pot of
butter, for her grandmother's house, which was in a village a little way
off the town that her mother lived in. As she was crossing a wood, which
lay in her road, she met a large wolf, which had a great mind to eat her
up, but dared not, for fear of some wood-cutters, who were at work near
them in the forest. Yet he spoke to her, and asked her whither she was
going. The little girl, who did not know the danger of talking to a
wolf, replied: "I am going to see my grandmamma, and carry these cakes
and a pot of butter." "Does she live far off?" said the wolf. "Oh yes!"
answered Little Red Riding Hood; "beyond the mill you see yonder, at the
first house in the village." "Well," said the wolf, "I will take this
way, and you take that, and see which will be there the soonest."

The wolf set out full speed, running as fast as he could, and taking the
nearest way, while the little girl took the longest; and as she went
along began to gather nuts, run after butterflies, and make nose-gays of
such flowers as she found within her reach. The wolf got to the dwelling
of the grandmother first, and knocked at the door. "Who is there?" said
some voice in the house. "It is your grandchild, Little Red Riding
Hood," said the wolf, speaking like the little girl as well as he could.
"I have brought you some cheesecakes, and a little pot of butter, that
mamma has sent you." The good old woman, who was ill in bed, called out,
"Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up." The wolf pulled the bobbin,
and the door went open. The wolf then jumped upon the poor old
grandmother, and ate her up in a moment, for it was three days since he
had tasted any food. The wolf then shut the door, and laid himself down
in the bed, and waited for Little Red Riding Hood, who very soon after
reached the house. Tap! tap! "Who is there?" cried he. She was at first
a little afraid at hearing the gruff voice of the wolf, but she thought
that perhaps her grandmother had got a cold, so she answered: "It is
your grandchild, Little Red Riding Hood. Mamma has sent you some
cheesecakes, and a little pot of butter." The wolf cried out in a softer
voice, "Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up." Little Red Riding
Hood pulled the bobbin, and the door went open. When she came into the
room, the wolf hid himself under the bedclothes, and said to her, trying
all he could to speak in a feeble voice: "Put the basket on the stool,
my dear, and take off your clothes, and come into bed." Little Red
Riding Hood, who always used to do as she was told, straight undressed
herself, and stepped into bed; but she thought it strange to see how her
grandmother looked in her nightclothes, so she said to her: "Dear me,
grandmamma, what great arms you have got!" "They are so much the better
to hug you, my child," replied the wolf. "But grandmamma," said the
little girl, "what great ears you have got!" "They are so much the
better to hear you, my child," replied the wolf. "But then, grandmamma,
what great eyes you have got!" said the little girl. "They are so much
the better to see you, my child," replied the wolf. "And grandmamma,
what great teeth you have got!" said the little girl, who now began to
be rather afraid. "They are to eat you up," said the wolf; and saying
these words, the wicked creature fell upon Little Red Riding Hood, and
ate her up in a moment.




CHAPTER XX

THE THREE BEARS


In a far-off country there was once a little girl who was called
Silver-hair, because her curly hair shone brightly. She was a sad romp,
and so restless that she could not be kept quiet at home, but must needs
run out and away, without leave.

One day she started off into a wood to gather wild flowers, and into the
fields to chase butterflies. She ran here and she ran there, and went so
far, at last, that she found herself in a lonely place, where she saw a
snug little house, in which three bears lived; but they were not then at
home.

The door was ajar, and Silver-hair pushed it open and found the place to
be quite empty, so she made up her mind to go in boldly, and look all
about the place, little thinking what sort of people lived there.

Now the three bears had gone out to walk a little before this. They were
the Big Bear, and the Middle-sized Bear, and the Little Bear; but they
had left their porridge on the table to cool. So when Silver-hair came
into the kitchen, she saw the three bowls of porridge. She tasted the
largest bowl, which belonged to the Big Bear, and found it too cold;
then she tasted the middle-sized bowl, which belonged to the
Middle-sized Bear, and found it too hot; then she tasted the smallest
bowl, which belonged to the Little Bear, and it was just right, and she
ate it all.

She went into the parlour, and there were three chairs. She tried the
biggest chair, which belonged to the Big Bear, and found it too high;
then she tried the middle-sized chair, which belonged to the
Middle-sized Bear, and she found it too broad; then she tried the little
chair, which belonged to the Little Bear, and found it just right, but
she sat in it so hard that she broke it.

Now Silver-hair was by this time very tired, and she went upstairs to
the chamber, and there she found three beds. She tried the largest bed,
which belonged to the Big Bear, and found it too soft; then she tried
the middle-sized bed, which belonged to the Middle-sized Bear, and she
found it too hard; then she tried the smallest bed, which belonged to
the Little Bear, and found it just right, so she lay down upon it, and
fell fast asleep.

While Silver-hair was lying fast asleep, the three bears came home from
their walk. They came into the kitchen, to get their porridge, but when
the Big Bear went to his, he growled out:

"SOMEBODY HAS BEEN TASTING MY PORRIDGE!"

and the Middle-sized Bear looked into his bowl, and said:

"Somebody Has Been Tasting My Porridge!"

and the Little Bear piped:

"_Somebody has tasted my porridge and eaten it all up!_"

Then they went into the parlour, and the Big Bear growled:

"SOMEBODY HAS BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR!"

and the Middle-sized Bear said:

"Somebody Has Been Sitting In My Chair!"

and the Little Bear piped:

"_Somebody has been sitting in my chair, and has broken it all to
pieces!_"

So they went upstairs into the chamber, and the Big Bear growled:

"SOMEBODY HAS BEEN TUMBLING MY BED!"

and the Middle-sized Bear said:

"Somebody Has Been Tumbling My Bed!"

and the little Bear piped:

"_Somebody has been tumbling my bed, and here she is!_"

At that, Silver-hair woke in a fright, and jumped out of the window and
ran away as fast as her legs could carry her, and never went near the
Three Bears' snug little house again.




CHAPTER XXI

THE PRINCESS ON THE PEA


There was once a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she was to
be a _real_ princess. So he travelled about, all through the world, to
find a real one, but everywhere there was something in the way. There
were princesses enough, but whether they were _real_ princesses he could
not quite make out: there was always something that did not seem quite
right. So he came home again, and was quite sad: for he wished so much
to have a real princess. One evening a terrible storm came on. It
lightened and thundered, the rain streamed down; it was quite fearful!
Then there was a knocking at the town gate, and the old king went out to
open it.

It was a princess who stood outside the gate. But, mercy! how she
looked, from the rain and the rough weather! The water ran down from her
hair and her clothes; it ran in at the points of her shoes, and out at
the heels; and yet she declared that she was a real princess.

"Yes, we will soon find that out," thought the old queen. But she said
nothing, only went into the bedchamber, took all the bedding off, and
put a pea on the flooring of the bedstead; then she took twenty
mattresses and laid them upon the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds
upon the mattresses. On this the princess had to lie all night. In the
morning she was asked how she had slept.

"Oh, miserably!" said the princess. "I scarcely closed my eyes all night
long. Goodness knows what was in my bed. I lay upon something hard, so
that I am black and blue all over. It is quite dreadful!"

Now they saw that she was a real princess, for through the twenty
mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds she had felt the pea. No one
but a real princess could be so delicate.

So the prince took her for his wife, for now he knew that he had a true
princess; and the pea was put in the museum, and it is there now, unless
somebody has carried it off.

Look you, this is a true story.




CHAPTER XXII

THE UGLY DUCKLING


It was so glorious out in the country; it was summer; the cornfields
were yellow, the oats were green, the hay had been put up in stacks in
the green meadows, and the stork went about on his long red legs, and
chattered Egyptian, for this was the language he had learned from his
good mother. All around the fields and meadows were great forests, and
in the midst of these forests lay deep lakes. Yes, it was right glorious
out in the country. In the midst of the sunshine there lay an old farm,
with deep canals about it, and from the wall down to the water grew
great burdocks, so high that little children could stand upright under
the loftiest of them. It was just as wild there as in the deepest wood,
and here sat a Duck upon her nest; she had to hatch her ducklings; but
she was almost tired out before the little ones came and then she so
seldom had visitors. The other ducks liked better to swim about in the
canals than to run up to sit down under a burdock, and cackle with her.

At last one egg-shell after another burst open. "Piep! piep!" it cried,
and in all the eggs there were little creatures that stuck out their
heads.

"Quack! quack!" they said; and they all came quacking out as fast as
they could, looking all round them under the green leaves; and the
mother let them look as much as they chose, for green is good for the
eye.

"How wide the world is!" said all the young ones, for they certainly had
much more room now than when they were in the eggs.

"D'ye think this is all the world?" said the mother. "That stretches far
across the other side of the garden, quite into the parson's field; but
I have never been there yet. I hope you are all together," and she stood
up. "No, I have not all. The largest egg still lies there. How long is
that to last? I am really tired of it." And she sat down again.

"Well, how goes it?" asked an old Duck who had come to pay her a visit.

"It lasts a long time with that one egg," said the Duck who sat there.
"It will not burst. Now, only look at the others; are they not the
prettiest little ducks one could possibly see? They are all like their
father. The rogue, he never comes to see me."

"Let me see the egg which will not burst," said the old visitor. "You
may be sure it is a turkey's egg. I was once cheated in that way, and
had much anxiety and trouble with the young ones, for they are afraid of
the water. Must I say it to you, I could not get them to venture in. I
quacked and I clacked, but it was no use. Let me see the egg. Yes,
that's a turkey's egg. Let it lie there, and teach the other children to
swim."

"I think I will sit on it a little longer," said the Duck. "I've sat so
long now that I can sit a few days more."

"Just as you please," said the old Duck; and she went away.

At last the great egg burst. "Piep! piep!" said the little one, and
crept forth. It was very large and very ugly. The Duck looked at it.

"It's a very large duckling," said she; "none of the others look like
that. Can it really be a turkey chick? Well, we shall soon find out. It
must go into the water, even if I have to thrust it in myself."

The next day it was bright, beautiful weather; the sun shone on all the
green trees. The Mother-Duck went down to the canal with all her family.
Splash! she jumped into the water. "Quack! quack!" she said, and one
duckling after another plunged in. The water closed over their heads,
but they came up in an instant, and swam capitally; their legs went of
themselves, and they were all in the water. The ugly gray Duckling swam
with them.

"No, it's not a turkey," said she; "look how well it can use its legs,
and how straight it holds itself. It is my own child! On the whole it's
quite pretty, if one looks at it rightly. Quack! quack! come with me,
and I'll lead you out into the great world, and present you in the
duck-yard; but keep close to me, so that no one may tread on you, and
take care of the cats!"

And so they came into the duck-yard. There was a terrible riot going on
in there, for two families were quarrelling about an eel's head, and the
cat got it after all.

"See, that's how it goes in the world!" said the Mother-Duck; and she
whetted her beak, for she too wanted the eel's head. "Only use your
legs," she said. "See that you can bustle about, and bow your heads
before the old Duck yonder. She's the grandest of all here; she's of
Spanish blood--that's why she's so fat; and d'ye see? she has a red rag
round her leg; that's something particularly fine, and the greatest
distinction a duck can enjoy; it signifies that one does not want to
lose her, and that she's to be known by the animals and by men too.
Shake yourselves--don't turn in your toes; a well brought-up duck turns
its toes quite out, just like father and mother--so! Now bend your necks
and say 'Quack!'"

And they did so: but the other ducks round about looked at them, and
said quite boldly:

"Look there! now we're to have these hanging on, as if there were not
enough of us already! And--fie!--how that duckling yonder looks; we
won't stand that!" And one duck flew up at it, and bit it in the neck.

"Let it alone," said the mother; "it does no harm to any one."

"Yes, but it's too large and peculiar," said the Duck who had bitten it;
"and therefore it must be put down."

"Those are pretty children that the mother has there," said the old Duck
with the rag round her leg. "They're all pretty but that one; that was
rather unlucky. I wish she could bear it over again."

"That cannot be done, my lady," replied the Mother-Duck. "It is not
pretty, but it has a really good disposition, and swims as well as any
other; yes, I may even say it, swims better. I think it will grow up
pretty, and become smaller in time; it has lain too long in the egg, and
therefore is not properly shaped." And then she pinched it in the neck,
and smoothed its feathers. "Moreover, it is a drake," she said, "and
therefore it is not of so much consequence. I think he will be very
strong. He makes his way already."

"The other ducklings are graceful enough," said the old Duck. "Make
yourself at home; and if you find an eel's head, you may bring it me."

And now they were at home. But the poor Duckling which had crept last
out of the egg, and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed and jeered, as
much by the ducks as by the chickens.

"It is too big!" they all said. And the turkey-cock, who had been born
with spurs, and therefore thought himself an emperor, blew himself up
like a ship in full sail, and bore straight down upon it; then he
gobbled and grew quite red in the face. The poor Duckling did not know
where it should stand or walk; it was quite melancholy because it looked
ugly, and was the butt of the whole duck-yard.

So it went on the first day; and afterwards it became worse and worse.
The poor Duckling was hunted about by every one; even its brothers and
sisters were quite angry with it, and said, "If the cat would only catch
you, you ugly creature!" And the mother said, "If you were only far
away!" And the ducks bit it, and the chickens beat it, and the girl who
had to feed the poultry kicked at it with her foot.

Then it ran and flew over the fence, and the little birds in the bushes
flew up in fear.

"That is because I am so ugly!" thought the Duckling; and it shut its
eyes, but flew on farther, and so it came out into the great moor, where
the wild ducks lived. Here it lay the whole night long; and it was weary
and downcast.

Towards morning the wild ducks flew up, and looked at their new
companion.

"What sort of a one are you?" they asked; and the Duckling turned in
every direction, and bowed as well as it could. "You are remarkably
ugly!" said the Wild Ducks. "But that is nothing to us, so long as you
do not marry into our family."

Poor thing! it certainly did not think of marrying, and only hoped to
obtain leave to lie among the reeds and drink some of the swamp water.

Thus it lay two whole days; then came thither two wild geese, or,
properly speaking, two wild ganders. It was not long since each had
crept out of an egg, and that's why they were so saucy.

"Listen, comrade," said one of them. "You're so ugly that I like you.
Will you go with us, and become a bird of passage? Near here, in another
moor, there are a few sweet lovely wild geese, all unmarried, and all
able to say 'Rap!' You've a chance of making your fortune, ugly as you
are."

"Piff! paff!" resounded through the air; and the two ganders fell down
dead in the swamp, and the water became blood red. "Piff! paff!" it
sounded again, and the whole flock of wild geese rose up from the reeds.
And then there was another report. A great hunt was going on. The
sportsmen were lying in wait all round the moor, and some were even
sitting up in the branches of the trees, which spread far over the
reeds. The blue smoke rose up like clouds among the dark trees, and was
wafted far away across the water; and the hunting dogs came--splash,
splash!--into the swamp, and the rushes and the reeds bent down on every
side. That was a fright for the poor Duckling! It turned its head, and
put it under its wing; but at that moment a frightful great dog stood
close by the Duckling. His tongue hung far out of his mouth, and his
eyes gleamed horrible and ugly; he thrust out his nose close against the
Duckling, showed his sharp teeth, and--splash, splash!--on he went,
without seizing it.

"Oh, Heaven be thanked!" sighed the Duckling. "I am so ugly that even
the dog does not like to bite me!"

And so it lay quite quiet, while the shots rattled through the reeds and
gun after gun was fired. At last, late in the day, all was still; but
the poor Duckling did not dare to rise up; it waited several hours
before it looked round, and then hastened away out of the moor as fast
as it could. It ran on over field and meadow; there was such a storm
raging that it was difficult to get from one place to another.

Towards evening the Duck came to a little miserable peasant's hut. This
hut was so dilapidated that it did not itself know on which side it
should fall; and that's why it remained standing. The storm whistled
round the Duckling in such a way that the poor creature was obliged to
sit down, to stand against it; and the wind blew worse and worse. Then
the Duckling noticed that one of the hinges of the door had given way,
and the door hung so slanting that the Duckling could slip through the
crack into the room; and that is what it did.

Here lived a woman, with her Cat and her Hen. And the Cat, whom she
called Sonnie, could arch his back and purr, he could even give out
sparks; but to make him do it one had to stroke his fur the wrong way.
The Hen had quite little, short legs, and therefore she was called
Chickabiddy Short-shanks. She laid good eggs, and the woman loved her
like her own child.

In the morning the strange Duckling was at once noticed, and the Cat
began to purr and the Hen to cluck.

"What's this?" said the woman, and looked all round; but she could not
see well, and therefore she thought the Duckling was a fat duck that had
strayed. "This is a rare prize!" she said. "Now I shall have duck's
eggs. I hope it is not a drake. We must try that."

And so the Duckling was admitted on trial for three weeks; but no eggs
came. And the Cat was master of the House, and the Hen was the lady, and
always said, "We and the world!" for she thought they were half the
world, and by far the better half.

The Duckling thought one might have a different opinion, but the Hen
would not allow it.

"Can you lay eggs?" she asked.

"No."

"Then will you hold your tongue!"

And the Cat said, "Can you curve your back, and purr, and give out
sparks?"

"No."

"Then you will please have no opinion of your own when sensible folks
are speaking."

And the Duckling sat in a corner and was melancholy; then the fresh air
and the sunshine streamed in; and it was seized with such a strange
longing to swim on the water, that it could not help telling the Hen of
it.

"What are you thinking of?" cried the Hen. "You have nothing to do,
that's why you have these fancies. Lay eggs, or purr, and they will pass
over."

"But it is so charming to swim on the water!" said the Duckling, "so
refreshing to let it close above one's head, and to dive down to the
bottom."

"Yes, that must be a mighty pleasure, truly," quoth the Hen, "I fancy
you must have gone crazy. Ask the Cat about it--he's the cleverest
animal I know--ask him if he likes to swim on the water, or to dive
down--I won't speak about myself. Ask our mistress, the old woman; no
one in the world is cleverer than she. Do you think she has any desire
to swim, and to let the water close above her head?"

"You don't understand me," said the Duckling.

"We don't understand you? Then pray who is to understand you? You surely
don't pretend to be cleverer than the Cat and the woman--I won't say
anything of myself. Don't be conceited, child, and thank your Maker for
all the kindness you have received. Did you not get into a warm room,
and have you not fallen into company from which you may learn something?
But you are a chatterer, and it is not pleasant to associate with you.
You may believe me, I speak for your good. I tell you disagreeable
things, and by that one may always know one's true friends! Only take
care that you learn to lay eggs, or to purr, and give out sparks!"

"I think I will go out into the wide world," said the Duckling.

"Yes, do go," replied the Hen.

And so the Duckling went away. It swam on the water, and dived, but it
was slighted by every creature because of its ugliness.

Now came the autumn. The leaves in the forest turned yellow and brown;
the wind caught them so that they danced about, and up in the air it was
very cold. The clouds hung low, heavy with hail and snow-flakes, and on
the fence stood the raven, crying, "Croak! croak!" for mere cold; yes,
it was enough to make one feel cold to think of this. The poor little
Duckling certainly had not a good time. One evening--the sun was just
setting in his beauty--there came a whole flock of great, handsome birds
out of the bushes. They were dazzlingly white, with long, flexible
necks--they were swans. They uttered a very peculiar cry, spread forth
their glorious great wings, and flew away from that cold region to
warmer lands, to fair open lakes. They mounted so high, so high! and the
ugly Duckling felt quite strangely as it watched them. It turned round
and round in the water like a wheel, stretched out its neck towards
them, and uttered such a strange loud cry as frightened itself. Oh! it
could not forget those beautiful, happy birds; and so soon as it could
see them no longer, it dived down to the very bottom, and when it came
up again it was quite beside itself. It knew not the name of those
birds, and knew not whither they were flying; but it loved them more
than it had ever loved any one. It was not at all envious of them. How
could it think of wishing to possess such loveliness as they had? It
would have been glad if only the ducks would have endured its
company--the poor, ugly creature!

And the winter grew cold, very cold! The Duckling was forced to swim
about in the water, to prevent the surface from freezing entirely; but
every night the hole in which it swam about became smaller and smaller.
It froze so hard that the icy covering crackled again; and the Duckling
was obliged to use its legs continually to prevent the hole from
freezing up. At last it became exhausted, and lay quite still, and thus
froze fast into the ice.

Early in the morning a peasant came by, and when he saw what had
happened, he took his wooden shoe, broke the ice-crust to pieces, and
carried the Duckling home to his wife. Then it came to itself again. The
children wanted to play with it; but the Duckling thought they wanted to
hurt it, and in its terror fluttered up into the milk-pan, so that the
milk spurted down into the room. The woman clasped her hands, at which
the Duckling flew down into the butter-tub, and then into the
meal-barrel and out again. How it looked then! The woman screamed, and
struck at it with the fire-tongs; the children tumbled over one another
in their efforts to catch the Duckling; and they laughed and they
screamed!--well it was that the door stood open, and the poor creature
was able to slip out between the shrubs into the newly-fallen
snow--there it lay quite exhausted.

But it would be too melancholy if I were to tell all the misery and care
which the Duckling had to endure in the hard winter. It lay out on the
moor among the reeds, when the sun began to shine again and the larks to
sing. It was a beautiful spring.

Then all at once the Duckling could flap its wings. They beat the air
more strongly than before, and bore it strongly away; and before it well
knew how all this happened, it found itself in a great garden, where the
elder-trees smelt sweet, and bent their long green branches down to the
canal that wound through the region. Oh, here it was so beautiful, such
a gladness of spring! and from the thicket came three glorious white
swans; they rustled their wings, and swam lightly on the water. The
Duckling knew the splendid creatures, and felt oppressed by a peculiar
sadness.

"I will fly away to them, to the royal birds, and they will beat me,
because I, that am so ugly, dare to come near them. But it is all the
same. Better to be killed by _them_ than to be pursued by ducks, and
beaten by fowls, and pushed about by the girl who takes care of the
poultry yard, and to suffer hunger in winter!" And it flew out into the
water, and swam towards the beautiful swans; these looked at it, and
came sailing down upon it with outspread wings. "Kill me!" said the poor
creature, and bent its head down upon the water, expecting nothing but
death. But what was this that it saw in the clear water? It beheld its
own image; and, lo! it was no longer a clumsy dark-gray bird, ugly and
hateful to look at, but a--swan!

It matters nothing if one is born in a duck-yard if one has only lain in
a swan's egg.

It felt quite glad at all the need and misfortune it had suffered, now
it realised its happiness in all the splendour that surrounded it. And
the great swans swam round it, and stroked it with their beaks.

Into the garden came little children, who threw bread and corn into the
water; and the youngest cried, "There is a new one!" and the other
children shouted joyously, "Yes, a new one has arrived!" And they
clapped their hands and danced about, and ran to their father and
mother; and bread and cake were thrown into the water; and they all
said, "The new one is the most beautiful of all! so young and handsome!"
and the old swans bowed their heads before him. Then he felt quite
ashamed, and hid his head under his wings, for he did not know what to
do; he was so happy, and yet not at all proud. He thought how he had
been persecuted and despised; and now he heard them saying that he was
the most beautiful of all birds. Even the elder-tree bent its branches
straight down into the water before him, and the sun shone warm and
mild. Then his wings rustled, he lifted his slender neck, and cried
rejoicingly from the depths of his heart:

"I never dreamed of so much happiness when I was the Ugly Duckling!"




CHAPTER XXIII

THE LIGHT PRINCESS


I

_What! No Children?_


Once upon a time, so long ago that I have quite forgotten the date,
there lived a king and queen who had no children.

And the king said to himself, "All the queens of my acquaintance have
children, some three, some seven, and some as many as twelve; and my
queen has not one. I feel ill-used." So he made up his mind to be cross
with his wife about it. But she bore it all like a good patient queen as
she was. Then the king grew very cross indeed. But the queen pretended
to take it all as a joke, and a very good one too.

"Why don't you have any daughters, at least?" said he. "I don't say
_sons_; that might be too much to expect."

"I am sure, dear king, I am very sorry," said the queen.

"So you ought to be," retorted the king; "you are not going to make a
virtue of _that_, surely."

But he was not an ill-tempered king, and in any matter of less moment
would have let the queen have her own way with all his heart. This,
however, was an affair of State.

The queen smiled.

"You must have patience with a lady, you know, dear king," said she.

She was, indeed, a very nice queen, and heartily sorry that she could
not oblige the king immediately.

The king tried to have patience, but he succeeded very badly. It was
more than he deserved, therefore, when, at last, the queen gave him a
daughter--as lovely a little princess as ever cried.


II

_Won't I, Just?_

The day drew near when the infant must be christened. The king wrote all
the invitations with his own hand. Of course somebody was forgotten.

Now it does not generally matter if somebody _is_ forgotten, only you
must mind who. Unfortunately, the king forgot without intending to
forget; and so the chance fell upon the Princess Makemnoit, which was
awkward. For the princess was the king's own sister; and he ought not to
have forgotten her. But she had made herself so disagreeable to the old
king, their father, that he had forgotten her in making his will; and so
it was no wonder that her brother forgot her in writing his invitations.
But poor relations don't do anything to keep you in mind of them. Why
don't they? The king could not see into the garret she lived in, could
he?

She was a sour, spiteful creature. The wrinkles of contempt crossed the
wrinkles of peevishness, and made her face as full of wrinkles as a pat
of butter. If ever a king could be justified in forgetting anybody, this
king was justified in forgetting his sister, even at a christening. She
looked very odd, too. Her forehead was as large as all the rest of her
face, and projected over it like a precipice. When she was angry, her
little eyes flashed blue. When she hated anybody, they shone yellow and
green. What they looked like when she loved anybody, I do not know; for
I never heard of her loving anybody but herself, and I do not think she
could have managed that if she had not somehow got used to herself. But
what made it highly imprudent in the king to forget her was--that she
was awfully clever. In fact, she was a witch; and when she bewitched
anybody, he very soon had enough of it; for she beat all the wicked
fairies in wickedness, and all the clever ones in cleverness. She
despised all the modes we read of in history, in which offended fairies
and witches have taken their revenges; and therefore, after waiting and
waiting in vain for an invitation, she made up her mind at last to go
without one, and make the whole family miserable, like a princess as she
was.

So she put on her best gown, went to the palace, was kindly received by
the happy monarch, who forgot that he had forgotten her, and took her
place in the procession to the royal chapel. When they were all gathered
about the font, she contrived to get next to it, and throw something
into the water; after which she maintained a very respectful demeanour
till the water was applied to the child's face. But at that moment she
turned round in her place three times, and muttered the following words,
loud enough for those beside her to hear:

  "Light of spirit, by my charms,
    Light of body, every part,
   Never weary human arms--
    Only crush thy parents' heart!"

They all thought she had lost her wits, and was repeating some foolish
nursery rhyme; but a shudder went through the whole of them
notwithstanding. The baby, on the contrary, began to laugh and crow;
while the nurse gave a start and a smothered cry, for, she thought she
was struck with paralysis: she could not feel the baby in her arms. But
she clasped it tight and said nothing.

The mischief was done.


III

_She Can't Be Ours!_

Her atrocious aunt had deprived the child of all her gravity. If you ask
me how this was effected, I answer, "In the easiest way in the world.
She had only to destroy gravitation." For the princess was a
philosopher, and knew all the ins and outs of the laws of gravitation as
well as the ins and outs of her boot-lace. And being a witch as well,
she could abrogate those laws in a moment; or at least so clog their
wheels and rust their bearings that they would not work at all. But we
have more to do with what followed than with how it was done.

The first awkwardness that resulted from this unhappy privation was,
that the moment the nurse began to float the baby up and down, she flew
from her arms towards the ceiling. Happily, the resistance of the air
brought her ascending career to a close within a foot of it. There she
remained, horizontal as when she left her nurse's arms, kicking and
laughing amazingly. The nurse in terror flew to the bell, and begged the
footman, who answered it, to bring up the house-steps directly.
Trembling in every limb, she climbed upon the steps, and had to stand
upon the very top, and reach up, before she could catch the floating
tail of the baby's long clothes.

When the strange fact came to be known, there was a terrible commotion
in the palace. The occasion of its discovery by the king was naturally a
repetition of the nurse's experience. Astonished that he felt no weight
when the child was laid in his arms, he began to wave her up and--not
down; for she slowly ascended to the ceiling as before, and there
remained floating in perfect comfort and satisfaction, as was testified
by her peals of tiny laughter. The king stood staring up in speechless
amazement, and trembled so that his beard shook like grass in the wind.
At last, turning to the queen, who was just as horror-struck as himself,
he said, gasping, staring, and stammering:

"She _can't_ be ours, queen!"

Now the queen was much cleverer than the king, and had begun already to
suspect that "this effect defective came by cause."

"I am sure she is ours," answered she. "But we ought to have taken
better care of her at the christening. People who were never invited
ought not to have been present."

"Oh, ho!" said the king, tapping his forehead with his forefinger, "I
have it all. I've found her out. Don't you see it, queen? Princess
Makemnoit has bewitched her."

"That's just what I say," answered the queen.

"I beg your pardon, my love; I did not hear you. John! bring the steps I
get on my throne with."

For he was a little king with a great throne, like many other kings.

The throne-steps were brought, and set upon the dining-table, and John
got upon the top of them. But, he could not reach the little princess,
who lay like a baby-laughter-cloud in the air, exploding continuously.

"Take the tongs, John," said his Majesty; and getting up on the table,
he handed them to him.

John could reach the baby now, and the little princess was handed down
by the tongs.


IV

_Where Is She?_

One fine summer day, a month after these her first adventures, during
which time she had been very carefully watched, the princess was lying
on the bed in the queen's own chamber, fast asleep. One of the windows
was open, for it was noon, and the day was so sultry that the little
girl was wrapped in nothing less ethereal than slumber itself. The queen
came into the room, and not observing that the baby was on the bed,
opened another window. A frolicsome fairy wind, which had been watching
for a chance of mischief, rushed in at the one window, and taking its
way over the bed where the child was lying, caught her up, and rolling
and floating her along like a piece of flue, or a dandelion seed,
carried her with it through the opposite window, and away. The queen
went down-stairs, quite ignorant of the loss she had herself occasioned.




When the nurse returned, she supposed that her Majesty had carried her
off, and, dreading a scolding, delayed making inquiry about her. But
hearing nothing, she grew uneasy, and went at length to the queen's
boudoir, where she found her Majesty.

"Please, your Majesty, shall I take the baby?" said she.

"Where is she?" asked the queen.

"Please forgive me. I know it was wrong."

"What do you mean?" said the queen, looking grave.

"Oh! don't frighten me, your Majesty!" exclaimed the nurse, clasping her
hands.

The queen saw that something was amiss, and fell down in a faint. The
nurse rushed about the palace, screaming, "My baby! my baby!"

Every one ran to the queen's room. But the queen could give no orders.
They soon found out, however, that the princess was missing, and in a
moment the palace was like a beehive in a garden; and in one minute more
the queen was brought to herself by a great shout and a clapping of
hands. They had found the princess fast asleep under a rose-bush, to
which the elfish little wind-puff had carried her, finishing its
mischief by shaking a shower of red rose-leaves all over the little
white sleeper. Startled by the noise the servants made, she woke, and,
furious with glee, scattered the rose-leaves in all directions, like a
shower of spray in the sunset.

She was watched more carefully after this, no doubt; yet it would be
endless to relate all the odd incidents resulting from this peculiarity
of the young princess. But there never was a baby in a house, not to say
a palace, that kept the household in such constant good humour, at least
below-stairs. If it was not easy for her nurses to hold her, at least
she made neither their arms nor their hearts ache. And she was so nice
to play at ball with! There was positively no danger of letting her
fall. They might throw her down, or knock her down, or push her down,
but they couldn't _let_ her down. It is true, they might let her fly
into the fire or the coal-hole, or through the window; but none of these
accidents had happened as yet. If you heard peals of laughter resounding
from some unknown region, you might be sure enough of the cause. Going
down into the kitchen, or _the room_, you would find Jane and Thomas,
and Robert and Susan, all and sum, playing at ball with the little
princess. She was the ball herself, and did not enjoy it the less for
that. Away she went, flying from one to another, screeching with
laughter. And the servants loved the ball itself better even than the
game. But they had to take some care how they threw her, for if she
received an upward direction, she would never come down again without
being fetched.


V

_What Is to Be Done?_

But above-stairs it was different. One day, for instance, after
breakfast, the king went into his counting-house, and counted out his
money.

The operation gave him no pleasure.

"To think," said he to himself, "that every one of these gold sovereigns
weighs a quarter of an ounce, and my real, live, flesh-and-blood
princess weighs nothing at all!"

And he hated his gold sovereigns, as they lay with a broad smile of
self-satisfaction all over their yellow faces.

The queen was in the parlour, eating bread and honey. But at the second
mouthful she burst out crying, and could not swallow it. The king heard
her sobbing. Glad of anybody, but especially of his queen, to quarrel
with, he clashed his gold sovereigns into his money-box, clapped his
crown on his head, and rushed into the parlour.

"What is all this about?" exclaimed he. "What are you crying for,
queen?"

"I can't eat it," said the queen, looking ruefully at the honey-pot.

"No wonder!" retorted the king. "You've just eaten your breakfast--two
turkey eggs, and three anchovies."

"Oh, that's not it!" sobbed her Majesty. "It's my child, my child!"

"Well, what's the matter with your child? She's neither up the chimney
nor down the draw-well. Just hear her laughing."

Yet the king could not help a sigh, which he tried to turn into a cough,
saying:

"It is a good thing to be light-hearted, I am sure, whether she be ours
or not."

"It is a bad thing to be light-headed," answered the queen, looking with
prophetic soul far into the future.

"'T is a good thing to be light-handed," said the king.

"'T is a bad thing to be light-fingered," answered the queen.

"'T is a good thing to be light-footed," said the king.

"'T is a bad thing--" began the queen; but the king interrupted her.

"In fact," said he, with the tone of one who concludes an argument in
which he has had only imaginary opponents, and in which, therefore, he
has come off triumphant--"in fact, it is a good thing altogether to be
light-bodied."

"But it is a bad thing altogether to be light-minded," retorted the
queen, who was beginning to lose her temper.

This last answer quite discomfited his Majesty, who turned on his heel,
and betook himself to his counting-house again. But he was not half-way
towards it, when the voice of his queen overtook him.

"And it's a bad thing to be light-haired," screamed she, determined to
have more last words, now that her spirit was roused.

The queen's hair was black as night; and the king's had been, and his
daughter's was, golden as morning. But it was not this reflection on his
hair that arrested him; it was the double use of the word _light_. For
the king hated all witticisms, and punning especially. And besides, he
could not tell whether the queen meant light-_haired_ or light-_heired_;
for why might she not aspirate her vowels when she was exasperated
herself?

He turned upon his other heel, and rejoined her. She looked angry still,
because she knew that she was guilty, or, what was much the same, knew
that he thought so.

"My dear queen," said he, "duplicity of any sort is exceedingly
objectionable between married people of any rank, not to say kings and
queens; and the most objectionable form duplicity can assume is that of
punning."

"There!" said the queen, "I never made a jest, but I broke it in the
making. I am the most unfortunate woman in the world!"

She looked so rueful that the king took her in his arms; and they sat
down to consult.

"Can you bear this?" said the king.

"No, I can't," said the queen.

"Well, what's to be done?" said the king.

"I'm sure I don't know," said the queen. "But might you not try an
apology?"

"To my old sister, I suppose you mean?" said the king.

"Yes," said the queen.

"Well, I don't mind," said the king.

So he went the next morning to the house of the princess, and, making a
very humble apology, begged her to undo the spell. But the princess
declared, with a grave face, that she knew nothing at all about it. Her
eyes, however, shone pink, which was a sign that she was happy. She
advised the king and queen to have patience, and to mend their ways. The
king returned disconsolate. The queen tried to comfort him.

"We will wait till she is older. She may then be able to suggest
something herself. She will know at least how she feels, and explain
things to us."

"But what if she should marry?" exclaimed the king, in sudden
consternation at the idea.

"Well, what of that?" rejoined the queen.

"Just think! If she were to have children! In the course of a hundred
years the air might be as full of floating children as of gossamers in
autumn."

"That is no business of ours," replied the queen. "Besides, by that time
they will have learned to take care of themselves."

A sigh was the king's only answer.

He would have consulted the court physicians; but he was afraid they
would try experiments upon her.


VI

_She Laughs Too Much_

Meantime, notwithstanding awkward occurrences, and griefs that she
brought upon her parents, the little princess laughed and grew--not fat,
but plump and tall. She reached the age of seventeen, without having
fallen into any worse scrape than a chimney; by rescuing her from which,
a little bird-nesting urchin got fame and a black face. Nor, thoughtless
as she was, had she committed anything worse than laughter at everybody
and everything that came in her way. When she was told, for the sake of
experiment, that General Clanrunfort was cut to pieces with all his
troops, she laughed; when she heard that the enemy was on his way to
besiege her father's capital, she laughed hugely; but when she was told
that the city would certainly be abandoned to the mercy of the enemy's
soldiery--why, then she laughed immoderately. She never could be brought
to see the serious side of anything. When her mother cried, she said:

"What queer faces mamma makes! And she squeezes water out of her cheeks!
Funny mamma!"

And when her papa stormed at her, she laughed, and danced round and
round him, clapping her hands, and crying:

"Do it again, papa. Do it again! It's such fun! Dear, funny papa!"

And if he tried to catch her, she glided from him in an instant, not in
the least afraid of him, but thinking it part of the game not to be
caught. With one push of her foot, she would be floating in the air
above his head; or she would go dancing backwards and forwards and
sideways, like a great butterfly. It happened several times, when her
father and mother were holding a consultation about her in private, that
they were interrupted by vainly repressed outbursts of laughter over
their heads; and looking up with indignation, saw her floating at full
length in the air above them, whence she regarded them with the most
comical appreciation of the position.

One day an awkward accident happened. The princess had come out upon the
lawn with one of her attendants, who held her by the hand. Spying her
father at the other side of the lawn, she snatched her hand from the
maid's, and sped across to him. Now when she wanted to run alone, her
custom was to catch up a stone in each hand, so that she might come down
again after a bound. Whatever she wore as part of her attire had no
effect in this way. Even gold, when it thus became as it were a part of
herself, lost all its weight for the time. But whatever she only held in
her hands retained its downward tendency. On this occasion she could see
nothing to catch up but a huge toad, that was walking across the lawn as
if he had a hundred years to do it in. Not knowing what disgust meant,
for this was one of her peculiarities, she snatched up the toad and
bounded away. She had almost reached her father, and he was holding out
his arms to receive her, and take from her lips the kiss which hovered
on them like a butterfly on a rosebud, when a puff of wind blew her
aside into the arms of a young page, who had just been receiving a
message from his Majesty. Now it was no great peculiarity in the
princess that, once she was set agoing, it always cost her time and
trouble to check herself. On this occasion there was no time. She _must_
kiss--and she kissed the page. She did not mind it much; for she had no
shyness in her composition; and she knew, besides, that she could not
help it. So she only laughed, like a musical box. The poor page fared
the worst. For the princess, trying to correct the unfortunate tendency
of the kiss, put out her hands to keep off the page; so that, along with
the kiss, he received, on the other cheek, a slap with the huge black
toad, which she poked right into his eye. He tried to laugh, too, but
the attempt resulted in such an odd contortion of countenance, as showed
that there was no danger of his pluming himself on the kiss. As for the
king, his dignity was greatly hurt, and he did not speak to the page for
a whole month.

I may here remark that it was very amusing to see her run, if her mode
of progression could properly be called running. For first she would
make a bound; then, having alighted, she would run a few steps, and make
another bound. Sometimes she would fancy she had reached the ground
before she actually had, and her feet would go backwards and forwards,
running upon nothing at all, like those of a chicken on its back. Then
she would laugh like the very spirit of fun; only in her laugh there was
something missing. What it was, I find myself unable to describe. I
think it was a certain tone, depending upon the possibility of
sorrow--_morbidezza_, perhaps. She never smiled.


VII

_Try Metaphysics_

After a long avoidance of the painful subject, the king and queen
resolved to hold a council of three upon it; and so they sent for the
princess. In she came, sliding and flitting and gliding from one piece
of furniture to another, and put herself at last in an arm-chair, in a
sitting posture. Whether she could be said _to sit_, seeing she received
no support from the seat of the chair, I do not pretend to determine.

"My dear child," said the king, "you must be aware by this time that you
are not exactly like other people."

"Oh, you dear funny papa! I have got a nose, and two eyes, and all the
rest. So have you. So has mamma."

"Now be serious, my dear, for once," said the queen.

"No, thank you, mamma; I had rather not."

"Would you not like to be able to walk like other people?" said the
king.

"No indeed, I should think not. You only crawl. You are such slow
coaches!"

"How do you feel, my child?" he resumed, after a pause of discomfiture.

"Quite well, thank you."

"I mean, what do you feel like?"

"Like nothing at all, that I know of."

"You must feel like something."

"I feel like a princess with such a funny papa, and such a dear pet of a
queen-mamma!"

"Now really!" began the queen; but the princess interrupted her.

"Oh, yes," she added, "I remember. I have a curious feeling sometimes,
as if I were the only person that had any sense in the whole world."

She had been trying to behave herself with dignity; but now she burst
into a violent fit of laughter, threw herself backwards over the chair,
and went rolling about the floor in an ecstasy of enjoyment. The king
picked her up easier than one does a down quilt, and replaced her in her
former relation to the chair. The exact preposition expressing this
relation I do not happen to know.

"Is there nothing you wish for?" resumed the king, who had learned by
this time that it was useless to be angry with her.

"Oh, you dear papa!--yes," answered she.

"What is it, my darling?"

"I have been longing for it--oh, such a time!--ever since last night."

"Tell me what it is."

"Will you promise to let me have it?"

The king was on the point of saying yes, but the wiser queen checked him
with a single motion of her head.

"Tell me what it is first," said he.

"No, no. Promise first."

"I dare not. What is it?"

"Mind, I hold you to your promise. It is--to be tied to the end of a
string--a very long string indeed, and be flown like a kite. Oh, such
fun! I would rain rose-water, and hail sugar-plums, and snow
whipped-cream, and--and--and--"

A fit of laughing checked her; and she would have been off again over
the floor, had not the king started up and caught her just in time.
Seeing that nothing but talk could be got out of her, he rang the bell,
and sent her away with two of her ladies-in-waiting.

"Now, queen," he said, turning to her Majesty, "what _is_ to be done?"

"There is but one thing left," answered she. "Let us consult the college
of Metaphysicians."

"Bravo!" cried the king; "we will."

Now at the head of this college were two very wise Chinese
philosophers--by name Hum-Drum, and Kopy-Keck. For them the king sent;
and straightway they came. In a long speech he communicated to them what
they knew very well already--as who did not?--namely, the peculiar
condition of his daughter in relation to the globe on which she dwelt;
and requested them to consult together as to what might be the cause and
probable cure of her _infirmity_. The king laid stress upon the word,
but failed to discover his own pun. The queen laughed; but Hum-Drum and
Kopy-Keck heard with humility and retired in silence.

Their consultation consisted chiefly in propounding and supporting, for
the thousandth time, each his favourite theories. For the condition of
the princess afforded delightful scope for the discussion of every
question arising from the division of thought--in fact, of all the
Metaphysics of the Chinese Empire. But it is only justice to say that
they did not altogether neglect the discussion of the practical
question, _what was to be done_.

Hum-Drum was a Materialist, and Kopy-Keck was a Spiritualist. The former
was slow and sententious; the latter was quick and flighty; the latter
had generally the first word; the former the last.

"I reassert my former assertion," began Kopy-Keck, with a plunge. "There
is not a fault in the princess, body or soul; only they are wrong put
together. Listen to me now, Hum-Drum, and I will tell you in brief what
I think. Don't speak. Don't answer me. I _won't_ hear you till I have
done. At that decisive moment, when souls seek their appointed
habitations, two eager souls met, struck, rebounded, lost their way, and
arrived each at the wrong place. The soul of the princess was one of
those, and she went far astray. She does not belong by rights to this
world at all, but to some other planet, probably Mercury. Her proclivity
to her true sphere destroys all the natural influence which this orb
would otherwise possess over her corporeal frame. She cares for nothing
here. There is no relation between her and this world.

"She must therefore be taught, by the sternest compulsion, to take an
interest in the earth as the earth. She must study every department of
its history--its animal history, its vegetable history, its mineral
history, its social history, its moral history, its political history,
its scientific history, its literary history, its musical history, its
artistical history, above all, its metaphysical history. She must begin
with the Chinese dynasty and end with Japan. But first of all she must
study geology, and especially the history of the extinct races of
animals--their natures, their habits, their loves, their hates, their
revenges. She must--"

"Hold, h-o-o-old!" roared Hum-Drum. "It is certainly my turn now. My
rooted and insubvertible conviction is, that the causes of the anomalies
evident in the princess's condition are strictly and solely physical.
But that is only tantamount to acknowledging that they exist. Hear my
opinion. From some cause or other, of no importance to our inquiry, the
motion of her heart has been reversed. That remarkable combination of
the suction and the force-pump works the wrong way--I mean in the case
of the unfortunate princess, it draws in where it should force out, and
forces out where it should draw in. The offices of the auricles and the
ventricles are subverted. The blood is sent forth by the veins, and
returns by the arteries. Consequently it is running the wrong way
through all her corporeal organism--lungs and all. Is it then at all
mysterious, seeing that such is the case, that on the other particular
of gravitation as well, she should differ from normal humanity? My
proposal for the cure is this:

"Phlebotomise until she is reduced to the last point of safety. Let it
be effected, if necessary, in a warm bath. When she is reduced to a
state of perfect asphyxy, apply a ligature to the left ankle, drawing it
as tight as the bone will bear. Apply, at the same moment, another of
equal tension around the right wrist. By means of plates constructed for
the purpose, place the other foot and hand under the receivers of two
air-pumps. Exhaust the receivers. Exhibit a pint of French brandy, and
await the result."

"Which would presently arrive in the form of grim Death," said
Kopy-Keck.

"If it should, she would yet die in doing our duty," retorted Hum-Drum.

But their Majesties had too much tenderness for their volatile offspring
to subject her to either of the schemes of the equally unscrupulous
philosophers. Indeed, the most complete knowledge of the laws of nature
would have been unserviceable in her case; for it was impossible to
classify her. She was a fifth imponderable body, sharing all the other
properties of the ponderable.


VIII

_Try a Drop of Water_

Perhaps the best thing for the princess would have been to fall in love.
But how a princess who had no gravity could fall into anything is a
difficulty--perhaps _the_ difficulty. As for her own feelings on the
subject, she did not even know that there was such a beehive of honey
and stings to be fallen into. But now I come to mention another curious
fact about her.

The palace was built on the shores of the loveliest lake in the world;
and the princess loved this lake more than father or mother. The root of
this preference no doubt, although the princess did not recognise it as
such, was, that the moment she got into it, she recovered the natural
right of which she had been so wickedly deprived--namely, gravity.
Whether this was owing to the fact that water had been employed as the
means of conveying the injury, I do not know. But it is certain that she
could swim and dive like the duck that her old nurse said she was. The
manner in which this alleviation of her misfortune was discovered was as
follows:

One summer evening, during the carnival of the country, she had been
taken upon the lake by the king and queen, in the royal barge. They were
accompanied by many of the courtiers in a fleet of little boats. In the
middle of the lake she wanted to get into the lord chancellor's barge,
for his daughter, who was a great favourite with her, was in it with her
father. Now though the old king rarely condescended to make light of his
misfortune, yet, happening on this occasion to be in a particularly good
humour, as the barges approached each other, he caught up the princess
to throw her into the chancellor's barge. He lost his balance, however,
and, dropping into the bottom of the barge, lost his hold of his
daughter; not, however, before imparting to her the downward tendency of
his own person, though in a somewhat different direction, for, as the
king fell into the boat, she fell into the water. With a burst of
delighted laughter she disappeared into the lake. A cry of horror
ascended from the boats. They had never seen the princess go down
before. Half the men were under water in a moment; but they had all, one
after another, come up to the surface again for breath, when--tinkle,
tinkle, babble, and gush! came the princess's laugh over the water from
far away. There she was, swimming like a swan. Nor would she come out
for king or queen, chancellor or daughter. She was perfectly obstinate.




But at the same time she seemed more sedate than usual. Perhaps that was
because a great pleasure spoils laughing. At all events, after this, the
passion of her life was to get into the water, and she was always the
better behaved and the more beautiful the more she had of it. Summer and
winter it was quite the same; only she could not stay so long in the
water when they had to break the ice to let her in. Any day, from
morning to evening in summer, she might be descried--a streak of white
in the blue water--lying as still as the shadow of a cloud, or shooting
along like a dolphin; disappearing, and coming up again far off, just
where one did not expect her. She would have been in the lake of a night
too, if she could have had her way; for the balcony of her window
overhung a deep pool in it; and through a shallow reedy passage she
could have swum out into the wide wet water, and no one would have been
any the wiser. Indeed, when she happened to wake in the moonlight she
could hardly resist the temptation. But there was the sad difficulty of
getting into it. She had as great a dread of the air as some children
have of the water. For the slightest gust of wind would blow her away;
and a gust might arise in the stillest moment. And if she gave herself a
push towards the water and just failed of reaching it, her situation
would be dreadfully awkward, irrespective of the wind; for at best there
she would have to remain, suspended in her night-gown, till she was seen
and angled for by somebody from the window.

"Oh! if I had my gravity," thought she, contemplating the water, "I
would flash off this balcony like a long white sea-bird, headlong into
the darling wetness. Heigh-ho!"

This was the only consideration that made her wish to be like other
people.

Another reason for her being fond of the water was that in it alone she
enjoyed any freedom. For she could not walk without a _cortege_,
consisting in part of a troop of light-horse, for fear of the liberties
which the wind might take with her. And the king grew more apprehensive
with increasing years, till at last he would not allow her to walk
abroad at all without some twenty silken cords fastened to as many parts
of her dress, and held by twenty noblemen. Of course horseback was out
of the question. But she bade good-bye to all this ceremony when she got
into the water.

And so remarkable were its effects upon her, especially in restoring her
for the time to the ordinary human gravity, that Hum-Drum and Kopy-Keck
agreed in recommending the king to bury her alive for three years; in
the hope that, as the water did her so much good, the earth would do her
yet more. But the king had some vulgar prejudices against the
experiment, and would not give his consent. Foiled in this, they yet
agreed in another recommendation; which, seeing that one imported his
opinions from China and the other from Thibet, was very remarkable
indeed. They argued that, if water of external origin and application
could be so efficacious, water from a deeper source might work a perfect
cure; in short, that if the poor afflicted princess could by any means
be made to cry, she might recover her lost gravity.

But how was this to be brought about? Therein lay all the difficulty--to
meet which the philosophers were not wise enough. To make the princess
cry was as impossible as to make her weigh. They sent for a professional
beggar, commanded him to prepare his most touching oracle of woe, helped
him out of the court charade box to whatever he wanted for dressing up,
and promised great rewards in the event of his success. But it was all
in vain. She listened to the mendicant artist's story, and gazed at his
marvellous make up, till she could contain herself no longer, and went
into the most undignified contortions for relief, shrieking, positively
screeching with laughter.

When she had a little recovered herself, she ordered her attendants to
drive him away, and not give him a single copper; whereupon his look of
mortified discomfiture wrought her punishment and his revenge, for it
sent her into violent hysterics, from which she was with difficulty
recovered.

But so anxious was the king that the suggestion should have a fair
trial, that he put himself in a rage one day, and, rushing up to her
room, gave her an awful whipping. Yet not a tear would flow. She looked
grave, and her laughing sounded uncommonly like screaming--that was all.
The good old tyrant, though he put on his best gold spectacles to look,
could not discover the smallest cloud in the serene blue of her eyes.


IX

_Put Me in Again!_

It must have been about this time that the son of a king, who lived a
thousand miles from Lagobel, set out to look for the daughter of a
queen. He travelled far and wide, but as sure as he found a princess, he
found some fault with her. Of course he could not marry a mere woman,
however beautiful; and there was no princess to be found worthy of him.
Whether the prince was so near perfection that he had a right to demand
perfection itself, I cannot pretend to say. All I know is, that he was a
fine, handsome, brave, generous, well-bred, and well-behaved youth, as
all princes are.

In his wanderings he had come across some reports about our princess;
but as everybody said she was bewitched, he never dreamed that she could
bewitch him. For what indeed could a prince do with a princess that had
lost her gravity? Who could tell what she might not lose next? She might
lose her visibility, or her tangibility; or, in short, the power of
making impressions upon the radical sensorium; so that he should never
be able to tell whether she was dead or alive. Of course he made no
further inquiries about her.

One day he lost sight of his retinue in a great forest. These forests
are very useful in delivering princes from their courtiers, like a sieve
that keeps back the bran. Then the princes get away to follow their
fortunes. In this way they have the advantage of the princesses, who are
forced to marry before they have had a bit of fun. I wish our princesses
got lost in a forest sometimes.

One lovely evening, after wandering about for many days, he found that
he was approaching the outskirts of this forest; for the trees had got
so thin that he could see the sunset through them; and he soon came upon
a kind of heath. Next he came upon signs of human neighbourhood; but by
this time it was getting late, and there was nobody in the fields to
direct him.

After travelling for another hour, his horse, quite worn out with long
labour and lack of food, fell, and was unable to rise again. So he
continued his journey on foot. A length he entered another wood--not a
wild forest, but a civilised wood, through which a footpath led him to
the side of a lake. Along this path the prince pursued his way through
the gathering darkness. Suddenly he paused, and listened. Strange sounds
came across the water. It was, in fact, the princess laughing. Now there
was something odd in her laugh, as I have already hinted; for the
hatching of a real hearty laugh requires the incubation of gravity; and
perhaps this was how the prince mistook the laughter for screaming.
Looking over the lake, he saw something white in the water; and, in an
instant, he had torn off his tunic, kicked off his sandals, and plunged
in. He soon reached the white object, and found that it was a woman.
There was not light enough to show that she was a princess, but quite
enough to show that she was a lady, for it does not want much light to
see that.

Now I cannot tell how it came about--whether she pretended to be
drowning, or whether he frightened her, or caught her so as to embarrass
her--but certainly he brought her to shore in a fashion ignominious to a
swimmer, and more nearly drowned than she had ever expected to be; for
the water had got into her throat as often as she had tried to speak.

At the place to which he bore her, the bank was only a foot or two above
the water; so he gave her a strong lift out of the water, to lay her on
the bank. But, her gravitation ceasing the moment she left the water,
away she went up into the air, scolding and screaming.

"You naughty, _naughty_, Naughty, NAUGHTY man!" she cried.

No one had ever succeeded in putting her into a passion before. When the
prince saw her ascend, he thought he must have been bewitched, and have
mistaken a great swan for a lady. But the princess caught hold of the
topmost cone upon a lofty fir. This came off; but she caught at another;
and, in fact, stopped herself by gathering cones, dropping them as the
stalks gave way. The prince, meantime, stood in the water, staring, and
forgetting to get out. But the princess disappearing, he scrambled on
shore, and went in the direction of the tree. There he found her
climbing down one of the branches towards the stem. But in the darkness
of the wood, the prince continued in some bewilderment as to what the
phenomenon could be; until, reaching the ground, and seeing him standing
there, she caught hold of him, and said:

"I'll tell papa,"

"Oh no, you won't!" returned the prince.

"Yes, I will," she persisted. "What business had you to pull me down out
of the water, and throw me to the bottom of the air? I never did you any
harm."

"Pardon me. I did not mean to hurt you."

"I don't believe you have any brains; and that is a worse loss than your
wretched gravity. I pity you."

The prince now saw that he had come upon the bewitched princess, and had
already offended her. But before he could think what to say next, she
burst out angrily, giving a stamp with her foot that would have sent her
aloft again but for the hold she had of his arm:

"Put me up directly."

"Put you up where, you beauty?" asked the prince.

He had fallen in love with her almost, already; for her anger made her
more charming than any one else had ever beheld her; and, as far as he
could see, which certainly was not far, she had not a single fault about
her, except, of course, that she had not any gravity. No prince,
however, would judge of a princess by weight. The loveliness of her foot
he would hardly estimate by the depth of the impression it could make in
mud.

"Put you up where, you beauty?" asked the prince.

"In the water, you stupid!" answered the princess.

"Come, then," said the prince.

The condition of her dress, increasing her usual difficulty in walking,
compelled her to cling to him; and he could hardly persuade himself that
he was not in a delightful dream, notwithstanding the torrent of musical
abuse with which she overwhelmed him. The prince being therefore in no
hurry, they came upon the lake at quite another part, where the bank was
twenty-five feet high at least; and when they had reached the edge, he
turned towards the princess, and said:

"How am I to put you in?"

"That is your business," she answered, quite snappishly. "You took me
out--put me in again."

"Very well," said the prince; and, catching her up in his arms, he
sprang with her from the rock. The princess had just time to give one
delighted shriek of laughter before the water closed over them. When
they came to the surface, she found that, for a moment or two, she could
not even laugh, for she had gone down with such a rush, that it was with
difficulty she recovered her breath. The instant they reached the
surface--

"How do you like falling in?" said the prince.

After some effort the princess panted out:

"Is that what you call _falling in_?"

"Yes," answered the prince, "I should think it a very tolerable
specimen."

"It seemed to me like going up," rejoined she.

"My feeling was certainly one of elevation too," the prince conceded.

The princess did not appear to understand him, for she retorted his
question:

"How do _you_ like falling in?" said the princess.

"Beyond everything," answered he; "for I have fallen in with the only
perfect creature I ever saw."

"No more of that. I am tired of it," said the princess.

Perhaps she shared her father's aversion to punning.

"Don't you like falling in, then?" said the prince.

"It is the most delightful fun I ever had in my life," answered she. "I
never fell before. I wish I could learn. To think I am the only person
in my father's kingdom that can't fall!"

Here the poor princess looked almost sad.

"I shall be most happy to fall in with you any time you like," said the
prince, devotedly.

"Thank you. I don't know. Perhaps it would not be proper. But I don't
care. At all events, as we have fallen in, let us have a swim together."

"With all my heart," responded the prince.

And away they went, swimming, and diving, and floating, until at last
they heard cries along the shore, and saw lights glancing in all
directions. It was now quite late, and there was no moon.

"I must go home," said the princess. "I am very sorry, for this is
delightful."

"So am I," returned the prince. "But I am glad I haven't a home to go
to--at least, I don't exactly know where it is."

"I wish I hadn't one either," rejoined the princess; "it is so stupid! I
have a great mind," she continued, "to play them all a trick. Why
couldn't they leave me alone? They won't trust me in the lake for a
single night! You see where that green light is burning? That is the
window of my room. Now if you would just swim there with me very
quietly, and when we are all but under the balcony, give me such a
push--_up_ you call it--as you did a little while ago, I should be able
to catch hold of the balcony, and get in at the window; and then they
may look for me till to-morrow morning!"

"With more obedience than pleasure," said the prince, gallantly; and
away they swam, very gently.

"Will you be in the lake to-morrow night?" the prince ventured to ask.

"To be sure I will. I don't think so. Perhaps," was the princess's
somewhat strange answer.

But the prince was intelligent enough not to press her further; and
merely whispered, as he gave her the parting lift, "Don't tell." The
only answer the princess returned was a roguish look. She was already a
yard above his head. The look seemed to say, "Never fear. It is too good
fun to spoil that way."

So perfectly like other people had she been in the water, that even yet
the prince could scarcely believe his eyes when he saw her ascend
slowly, grasp the balcony, and disappear through the window. He turned,
almost expecting to see her still by his side. But he was alone in the
water. So he swam away quietly, and watched the lights roving about the
shore for hours after the princess was safe in her chamber. As soon as
they disappeared, he landed in search of his tunic and sword, and, after
some trouble, found them again. Then he made the best of his way round
the lake to the other side. There the wood was wilder, and the shore
steeper--rising more immediately towards the mountains which surrounded
the lake on all sides, and kept sending it messages of silvery streams
from morning to night, and all night long. He soon found a spot where he
could see the green light in the princess's room, and where, even in the
broad daylight, he would be in no danger of being discovered from the
opposite shore. It was a sort of cave in the rock, where he provided
himself a bed of withered leaves, and lay down too tired for hunger to
keep him awake. All night long he dreamed that he was swimming with the
princess.


X

_Look at the Moon_

Early the next morning the prince set out to look for something to eat,
which he soon found at a forester's hut, where for many following days
he was supplied with all that a brave prince could consider necessary.
And having plenty to keep him alive for the present, he would not think
of wants not yet in existence. Whenever Care intruded, this prince
always bowed him out in the most princely manner.

When he returned from his breakfast to his watch-cave, he saw the
princess already floating about in the lake, attended by the king and
queen--whom he knew by their crowns--and a great company in lovely
little boats, with canopies of all the colours of the rainbow, and flags
and streamers of a great many more. It was a very bright day, and the
prince, burned up with the heat, began to long for the cold water and
the cool princess. But he had to endure till twilight; for the boats had
provisions on board, and it was not till the sun went down that the gay
party began to vanish. Boat after boat drew away to the shore, following
that of the king and queen, till only one, apparently the princess's own
boat, remained. But she did not want to go home even yet, and the prince
thought he saw her order the boat to the shore without her. At all
events it rowed away; and now, of all the radiant company, only one
white speck remained. Then the prince began to sing.

And this is what he sung:

  "Lady fair,
   Swan-white,
   Lift thine eyes,
   Banish night
   By the might
   Of thine eyes.

  "Snowy arms,
   Oars of snow,
   Oar her hither,
   Plashing low.
   Soft and slow,
   Oar her hither.

  "Stream behind her
   O'er the lake,
   Radiant whiteness!
   In her wake
   Following, following, for her sake,
   Radiant whiteness!

  "Cling about her,
   Waters blue;
   Part not from her,
   But renew
   Cold and true
   Kisses round her.

  "Lap me round,
   Waters sad
   That have left her
   Make me glad,
   For ye had
   Kissed her ere ye left her."

Before he had finished his song, the princess was just under the place
where he sat, and looking up to find him. Her ears had led her truly.

"Would you like a fall, princess?" said the prince, looking down.

"Ah! there you are! Yes, if you please, prince," said the princess,
looking up.

"How do you know I am a prince, princess?" said the prince.

"Because you are a very nice young man, prince," said the princess.

"Come up then, princess."

"Fetch me, prince."

The prince took off his scarf, then his swordbelt then his tunic, and
tied them all together, and let them down. But the line was far too
short. He unwound his turban, and added it to the rest, when it was all
but long enough; and his purse completed it. The princess just managed
to lay hold of the knot of money, and was beside him in a moment. This
rock was much higher than the other, and the splash and the dive were
tremendous. The princess was in ecstasies of delight, and their swim was
delicious.

Night after night they met, and swam about in the dark clear lake, where
such was the prince's gladness, that (whether the princess's way of
looking at things infected him, or he was actually getting light-headed)
he often fancied that he was swimming in the sky instead of the lake.
But when he talked about being in heaven, the princess laughed at him
dreadfully.

When the moon came, she brought them fresh pleasure. Everything looked
strange and new in her light, with an old, withered, yet unfading
newness. When the moon was nearly full, one of their great delights was
to dive deep in the water, and then, turning round, look up through it
at the great blot of light close above them, shimmering and trembling
and wavering, spreading and contracting, seeming to melt away, and again
grow solid. Then they would shoot up through the blot, and lo! there was
the moon, far off, clear and steady and cold, and very lovely, at the
bottom of a deeper and bluer lake than theirs, as the princess said.

The prince soon found out that while in the water the princess was very
like other people. And besides this, she was not so forward in her
questions or pert in her replies at sea as on shore. Neither did she
laugh so much; and when she did laugh, it was more gently. She seemed
altogether more modest and maidenly in the water than out of it. But
when the prince, who had really fallen in love when he fell in the lake,
began to talk to her about love, she always turned her head towards him
and laughed. After a while she began to look puzzled, as if she were
trying to understand what he meant, but could not--revealing a notion
that he meant something. But as soon as ever she left the lake, she was
so altered, that the prince said to himself, "If I marry her, I see no
help for it: we must turn merman and mermaid, and go out to sea at
once,"


XI

_Hiss_!

The princess's pleasure in the lake had grown to a passion, and she
could scarcely bear to be out of it for an hour. Imagine then her
consternation, when, diving with the prince one night, a sudden
suspicion seized her that the lake was not so deep as it used to be. The
prince could not imagine what had happened. She shot to the surface,
and, without a word, swam at full speed towards the higher side of the
lake. He followed, begging to know if she was ill, or what was the
matter. She never turned her head, or took the smallest notice of his
question. Arrived at the shore, she coasted the rocks with minute
inspection. But she was not able to come to a conclusion, for the moon
was very small, and so she could not see well. She turned therefore and
swam home, without saying a word to explain her conduct to the prince,
of whose presence she seemed no longer conscious. He withdrew to his
cave, in great perplexity and distress.

Next day she made many observations, which, alas! strengthened her
fears. She saw that the banks were too dry; and that the grass on the
shore, and the trailing plants on the rocks, were withering away. She
caused marks to be made along the borders, and examined them, day after
day, in all directions of the wind; till at last the horrible idea
became a certain fact--that the surface of the lake was slowly sinking.

The poor princess nearly went out of the little mind she had. It was
awful to her to see the lake, which she loved more than any living
thing, lie dying before her eyes. It sank away, slowly vanishing. The
tops of rocks that had never been seen till now, began to appear far
down in the clear water. Before long they were dry in the sun. It was
fearful to think of the mud that would soon lie there baking and
festering, full of lovely creatures dying, and ugly creatures coming to
life, like the unmaking of a world. And how hot the sun would be without
any lake! She could not bear to swim in it any more, and began to pine
away. Her life seemed bound up with it; and ever as the lake sank, she
pined. People said she would not live an hour after the lake was gone.

But she never cried.

Proclamation was made to all the kingdom, that whosoever should discover
the cause of the lake's decrease, would be rewarded after a princely
fashion. Hum-Drum and Kopy-Keck applied themselves to their physics and
metaphysics; but in vain. Not even they could suggest a cause.

Now the fact was that the old princess was at the root of the mischief.
When she heard that her niece found more pleasure in the water than any
one else had out of it, she went into a rage, and cursed herself for her
want of foresight,

"But," said she, "I will soon set all right. The king and the people
shall die of thirst; their brains shall boil and frizzle in their skulls
before I will lose my revenge."

And she laughed a ferocious laugh, that made the hairs on the back of
her black cat stand erect with terror.

Then she went to an old chest in the room, and opening it, took out what
looked like a piece of dried seaweed. This she threw into a tub of
water. Then she threw some powder into the water, and stirred it with
her bare arm, muttering over it words of hideous sound, and yet more
hideous import. Then she set the tub aside, and took from the chest a
huge bunch of a hundred rusty keys, that clattered in her shaking hands.
Then she sat down and proceeded to oil them all. Before she had
finished, out from the tub, the water of which had kept on a slow motion
ever since she had ceased stirring it, came the head and half the body
of a huge gray snake. But the witch did not look round. It grew out of
the tub, waving itself backwards and forwards with a slow horizontal
motion, till it reached the princess, when it laid its head upon her
shoulder, and gave a low hiss in her ear. She started--but with joy; and
seeing the head resting on her shoulder, drew it towards her and kissed
it. Then she drew it all out of the tub, and wound it round her body. It
was one of those dreadful creatures which few have ever beheld--the
White Snakes of Darkness.

Then she took the keys and went down to her cellar; and as she unlocked
the door she said to herself:

"This _is_ worth living for!"

Locking the door behind her, she descended a few steps into the cellar,
and crossing it, unlocked another door into a dark, narrow passage. She
locked this also behind her, and descended a few more steps. If any one
had followed the witch-princess, he would have heard her unlock exactly
one hundred doors, and descend a few steps after unlocking each. When
she had unlocked the last, she entered a vast cave, the roof of which
was supported by huge natural pillars of rock. Now this roof was the
under side of the bottom of the lake.

She then untwined the snake from her body, and held it by the tail high
above her. The hideous creature stretched up its head towards the roof
of the cavern, which it was just able to reach. It then began to move
its head backwards and forwards, with a slow oscillating motion, as if
looking for something. At the same moment the witch began to walk round
and round the cavern, coming nearer to the centre every circuit; while
the head of the snake described the same path over the roof that she did
over the floor, for she kept holding it up. And still it kept slowly
osculating. Round and round the cavern they went, ever lessening the
circuit, till at last the snake made a sudden dart, and clung to the
roof with its mouth.

"That's right, my beauty!" cried the princess; "drain it dry."

She let it go, left it hanging, and sat down on a great stone, with her
black cat, which had followed her all round the cave, by her side. Then
she began to knit and mutter awful words. The snake hung like a huge
leech, sucking at the stone; the cat stood with his back arched, and his
tail like a piece of cable, looking up at the snake; and the old woman
sat and knitted and muttered. Seven days and seven nights they remained
thus; when suddenly the serpent dropped from the roof as if exhausted,
and shrivelled up till it was again like a piece of dried seaweed. The
witch started to her feet, picked it up, put it in her pocket, and
looked up at the roof. One drop of water was trembling on the spot where
the snake had been sucking. As soon as she saw that, she turned and
fled, followed by her cat. Shutting the door in a terrible hurry, she
locked it, and having muttered some frightful words, sped to the next,
which also she locked and muttered over; and so with all the hundred
doors, till she arrived in her own cellar. Then she sat down on the
floor ready to faint, but listening with malicious delight to the
rushing of the water, which she could hear distinctly through all the
hundred doors.

But this was not enough. Now that she had tasted revenge, she lost her
patience. Without further measures, the lake would be too long in
disappearing. So the next night, with the last shred of the dying old
moon rising, she took some of the water in which she had revived the
snake, put it in a bottle, and set out, accompanied by her cat. Before
morning she had made the entire circuit of the lake, muttering fearful
words as she crossed every stream, and casting into it some of the water
out of her bottle. When she had finished the circuit she muttered yet
again, and flung a handful of water towards the moon. Thereupon every
spring in the country ceased to throb and bubble, dying away like the
pulse of a dying man. The next day there was no sound of falling water
to be heard along the borders of the lake. The very courses were dry;
and the mountains showed no silvery streaks down their dark sides. And
not alone had the fountains of mother Earth ceased to flow; for all the
babies throughout the country were crying dreadfully--only without
tears.


XII

_Where Is the Prince_?

Never since the night when the princess left him so abruptly had the
prince had a single interview with her. He had seen her once or twice in
the lake; but as far as he could discover, she had not been in it any
more at night. He had sat and sung, and looked in vain for his Nereid,
while she, like a true Nereid, was wasting away with her lake, sinking
as it sank, withering as it dried. When at length he discovered the
change that was taking place in the level of the water, he was in great
alarm and perplexity. He could not tell whether the lake was dying
because the lady had forsaken it; or whether the lady would not come
because the lake had begun to sink. But he resolved to know so much at
least.

He disguised himself, and, going to the palace, requested to see the
lord chamberlain. His appearance at once gained his request; and the
lord chamberlain, being a man of some insight, perceived that there was
more in the prince's solicitation than met the ear. He felt likewise
that no one could tell whence a solution of the present difficulties
might arise. So he granted the prince's prayer to be made shoeblack to
the princess. It was rather cunning in the prince to request such an
easy post, for the princess could not possibly soil as many shoes as
other princesses.

He soon learned all that could be told about the princess. He went
nearly distracted; but after roaming about the lake for days, and diving
in every depth that remained, all that he could do was to put an extra
polish on the dainty pair of boots that was never called for.

For the princess kept her room, with the curtains drawn to shut out the
dying lake, but could not shut it out of her mind for a moment. It
haunted her imagination so that she felt as if the lake were her soul,
drying up within her, first to mud, then to madness and death. She thus
brooded over the change, with all its dreadful accompaniments, till she
was nearly distracted. As for the prince, she had forgotten him. However
much she had enjoyed his company in the water, she did not care for him
without it. But she seemed to have forgotten her father and mother too.

The lake went on sinking. Small slimy spots began to appear, which
glittered steadily amidst the changeful shine of the water. These grew
to broad patches of mud, which widened and spread, with rocks here and
there, and floundering fishes and crawling eels swarming. The people
went everywhere catching these, and looking for anything that might have
dropped from the royal boats.

At length the lake was all but gone, only a few of the deepest pools
remaining unexhausted.

It happened one day that a party of youngsters found themselves on the
brink of one of these pools in the very centre of the lake. It was a
rocky basin of considerable depth. Looking in, they saw at the bottom
something that shone yellow in the sun. A little boy jumped in and dived
for it. It was a plate of gold covered with writing. They carried it to
the king.

On one side of it stood these words:

  "Death alone from death can save.
   Love is death, and so is brave.
   Love can fill the deepest grave.
   Love loves on beneath the wave."

Now this was enigmatical enough to the king and courtiers. But the
reverse of the plate explained it a little. Its writing amounted to
this:

"If the lake should disappear, they must find the hole through which the
water ran. But it would be useless to try to stop it by any ordinary
means. There was but one effectual mode. The body of a living man could
alone staunch the flow. The man must give himself of his own will; and
the lake must take his life as it filled. Otherwise the offering would
be of no avail. If the nation could not provide one hero, it was time it
should perish,"


XIII

_Here I Am_!

This was a very disheartening revelation to the king--not that he was
unwilling to sacrifice a subject, but that he was hopeless of finding a
man willing to sacrifice himself. No time was to be lost however, for
the princess was lying motionless on her bed, and taking no nourishment
but lake-water, which was now none of the best. Therefore the king
caused the contents of the wonderful plate of gold to be published
throughout the country.

No one, however, came forward.

The prince, having gone several days' journey into the forest, to
consult a hermit whom he had met there on his way to Lagobel, knew
nothing of the oracle till his return.

When he had acquainted himself with all the particulars, he sat down and
thought:

"She will die if I don't do it, and life would be nothing to me without
her; so I shall lose nothing by doing it. And life will be as pleasant
to her as ever, for she will soon forget me. And there will be so much
more beauty and happiness in the world! To be sure, I shall not see it."
(Here the poor prince gave a sigh.) "How lovely the lake will be in the
moonlight, with that glorious creature sporting in it like a wild
goddess! It is rather hard to be drowned by inches, though. Let me
see--that will be seventy inches of me to drown." (Here he tried to
laugh, but could not.) "The longer the better, however," he resumed,
"for can I not bargain that the princess shall be beside me all the
time? So I shall see her once more, kiss her perhaps--who knows? and die
looking in her eyes. It will be no death. At least, I shall not feel it.
And to see the lake filling for the beauty again! All right! I am
ready."

He kissed the princess's boot, laid it down, and hurried to the king's
apartment. But feeling, as he went, that anything sentimental would be
disagreeable, he resolved to carry off the whole affair with
nonchalance. So he knocked at the door of the king's counting-house,
where it was all but a capital crime to disturb him.

When the king heard the knock, he started up, and opened the door in a
rage. Seeing only the shoeblack, he drew his sword. This, I am sorry to
say, was his usual mode of asserting his regality when he thought his
dignity was in danger. But the prince was not in the least alarmed.

"Please your majesty, I'm your butler," said he.

"My butler! you lying rascal! What do you mean?"

"I mean, I will cork your big bottle."

"Is the fellow mad?" bawled the king, raising the point of his sword.

"I will put the stopper--plug--what you call it, in your leaky lake,
grand monarch," said the prince.

The king was in such a rage that before he could speak he had time to
cool, and to reflect that it would be great waste to kill the only man
who was willing to be useful in the present emergency, seeing that in
the end the insolent fellow would be as dead as if he had died by his
majesty's own hand.

"Oh!" said he at last, putting up his sword with difficulty, it was so
long; "I am obliged to you, you young fool! Take a glass of wine?"

"No, thank you," replied the prince.

"Very well," said the king. "Would you like to run and see your parents
before you make your experiment?"

"No, thank you," said the prince.

"Then we will go and look for the hole at once," said his majesty, and
proceeded to call some attendants.

"Stop, please your majesty, I have a condition to make," interposed the
prince.

"What!" exclaimed the king, "a condition! and with me! How dare you?"

"As you please," returned the prince, coolly. "I wish your majesty a
good morning,"

"You wretch! I will have you put in a sack, and stuck in the hole."

"Very well, your majesty," replied the prince, becoming a little more
respectful, lest the wrath of the king should deprive him of the
pleasure of dying for the princess. "But what good will that do your
majesty? Please to remember that the oracle says the victim must offer
himself."

"Well, you _have_ offered yourself," retorted the king.

"Yes, upon one condition."

"Condition again!" roared the king, once more drawing his sword.
"Begone! Somebody else will be glad enough to take the honour off your
shoulders."

"Your majesty knows it will not be easy to get another to take my
place."

"Well, what is your condition?" growled the king, feeling that the
prince was right.

"Only this," replied the prince; "that, as I must on no account die
before I am fairly drowned, and the waiting will be rather wearisome,
the princess, your daughter, shall go with me, feed me with her own
hands, and look at me now and then to comfort me; for you must confess
it _is_ rather hard. As soon as the water is up to my eyes, she may go
and be happy, and forget her poor shoeblack."

Here the prince's voice faltered, and he very nearly grew sentimental,
in spite of his resolution.

"Why didn't you tell me before what your condition was? Such a fuss
about nothing!" exclaimed the king.

"Do you grant it?" persisted the prince.

"Of course I do," replied the king.

"Very well. I am ready."

"Go and have some dinner, then, while I set my people to find the
place."

The king ordered out his guards, and gave directions to the officers to
find the hole in the lake at once. So the bed of the lake was marked out
in divisions and thoroughly examined, and in an hour or so the hole was
discovered. It was in the middle of a stone, near the centre of the
lake, in the very pool where the golden plate had been found. It was a
three-cornered hole of no great size. There was water all round the
stone, but very little was flowing through the hole.


XIV

_This Is Very Kind of You_

The prince went to dress for the occasion, for he was resolved to die
like a prince.

When the princess heard that a man had offered to die for her, she was
so transported that she jumped off the bed, feeble as she was, and
danced about the room for joy. She did not care who the man was; that
was nothing to her. The hole wanted stopping; and if only a man would
do, why, take one. In an hour or two more everything was ready. Her maid
dressed her in haste, and they carried her to the side of the lake. When
she saw it she shrieked, and covered her face with her hands. They bore
her across to the stone, where they had already placed a little boat for
her. The water was not deep enough to float in, but they hoped it would
be, before long. They laid her on cushions, placed in the boat wines and
fruits and other nice things, and stretched a canopy over all.

In a few minutes the prince appeared. The princess recognised him at
once, but did not think it worth while to acknowledge him.

"Here I am," said the prince. "Put me in."

"They told me it was a shoeblack," said the princess.

"So I am," said the prince. "I blacked your little boots three times a
day, because they were all I could get of you. Put me in."

The courtiers did not resent his bluntness, except by saying to each
other that he was taking it out in impudence.

But how was he to be put in? The golden plate contained no instructions
on this point. The prince looked at the hole, and saw but one way. He
put both his legs into it, sitting on the stone, and, stooping forward,
covered the corner that remained open with his two hands. In this
uncomfortable position he resolved to abide his fate, and turning to the
people, said:

"Now you can go."

The king had already gone home to dinner.

"Now you can go," repeated the princess after him, like a parrot.

The people obeyed her and went.

Presently a little wave flowed over the stone, and wetted one of the
prince's knees. But he did not mind it much. He began to sing, and the
song he sang was this:

 "As a world that has no well,
  Darkly bright in forest dell;
  As a world without the gleam
  Of the downward-going stream;
  As a world without the glance
  Of the ocean's fair expanse;
  As a world where never rain
  Glittered on the sunny plain;--
  Such, my heart, thy world would be,
  If no love did flow in thee.

 "As a world without the sound
  Of the rivulets underground;
  Or the bubbling of the spring
  Out of darkness wandering;
  Or the mighty rush and flowing
  Of the river's downward going;
  Or the music-showers that drop
  On the outspread beech's top;
  Or the ocean's mighty voice,
  When his lifted waves rejoice;--Such,
  my soul, thy world would be,
  If no love did sing in thee.

 "Lady, keep thy world's delight,
  Keep the waters in thy sight
  Love hath made me strong to go,
  For thy sake, to realms below,
  Where the water's shine and hum
  Through the darkness never come.
  Let, I pray, one thought of me
  Spring, a little well, in thee;
  Lest thy loveless soul be found
  Like a dry and thirsty ground."

"Sing again, prince. It makes it less tedious," said the princess.

But the prince was too much overcome to sing any more, and a long pause
followed.

"This is very kind of you, prince," said the princess at last, quite
coolly, as she lay in the boat with her eyes shut.

"I am sorry I can't return the compliment," thought the prince, "but you
are worth dying for, after all."

Again a wavelet, and another, and another flowed over the stone, and
wetted both the prince's knees; but he did not speak or move.
Two--three--four hours passed in this way, the princess apparently
asleep, and the prince very patient. But he was much disappointed in his
position, for he had none of the consolation he had hoped for.

At last he could bear it no longer.

"Princess!" said he.

But at the moment up started the princess, crying:

"I'm afloat! I'm afloat!"

And the little boat bumped against the stone.

"Princess!" repeated the prince, encouraged by seeing her wide awake and
looking eagerly at the water.

"Well?" said she, without looking round.

"Your papa promised that you should look at me, and you haven't looked
at me once."

"Did he? Then I suppose I must. But I am so sleepy!"

"Sleep, then, darling, and don't mind me," said the poor prince.

"Really, you are very good," replied the princess. "I think I will go to
sleep again."

"Just give me a glass of wine and a biscuit first," said the prince,
very humbly.

"With all my heart," said the princess, and yawned as she said it.

She got the wine and the biscuit, however, and leaning over the side of
the boat towards him, was compelled to look at him.

"Why, prince," she said, "you don't look well! Are you sure you don't
mind it?"

"Not a bit," answered he, feeling very faint indeed. "Only I shall die
before it is of any use to you, unless I have something to eat,"

"There, then," said she, holding out the wine to him.

"Ah! you must feed me. I dare not move my hands. The water would run
away directly."

"Good gracious!" said the princess; and she began at once to feed him
with bits of biscuit and sips of wine.

As she fed him, he contrived to kiss the tips of her fingers now and
then. She did not seem to mind it, one way or the other. But the prince
felt better.

"Now, for your own sake, princess," said he, "I cannot let you go to
sleep. You must sit and look at me, else I shall not be able to keep
up."

"Well, I will do anything to oblige you," answered she, with
condescension; and, sitting down, she did look at him, and kept looking
at him with wonderful steadiness, considering all things.

The sun went down, and the moon rose, and, gush after gush, the waters
were rising up the prince's body. They were up to his waist now.

"Why can't we go and have a swim?" said the princess. "There seems to be
water enough just about here."

"I shall never swim more," said the prince.

"Oh, I forgot," said the princess, and was silent.

So the water grew and grew, and rose up and up on the prince. And the
princess sat and looked at him. She fed him now and then. The night wore
on. The waters rose and rose. The moon rose likewise higher and higher,
and shone full on the face of the dying prince. The water was up to his
neck.

"Will you kiss me, princess?" said he, feebly. The nonchalance was all
gone now.

"Yes, I will," answered the princess, and kissed him with a long, sweet,
cold kiss.

"Now," said he, with a sigh of content, "I die happy."

He did not speak again. The princess gave him some wine for the last
time: he was past eating. Then she sat down again, and looked at him.
The water rose and rose. It touched his chin. It touched his lower lip.
It touched between his lips. He shut them hard to keep it out. The
princess began to feel strange. It touched his upper lip. He breathed
through his nostrils. The princess looked wild. It covered his nostrils.
Her eyes looked scared, and shone strange in the moonlight. His head
fell back; the water closed over it, and the bubbles of his last breath
bubbled up through the water. The princess gave a shriek, and sprang
into the lake.

She laid hold first of one leg, and then of the other, and pulled and
tugged, but she could not move either. She stopped to take breath, and
that made her think that he could not get any breath. She was frantic.
She got hold of him, and held his head above the water, which was
possible now his hands were no longer on the hole. But it was of no use,
for he was past breathing.

Love and water brought back all her strength. She got under the water,
and pulled and pulled with her whole might, till at last she got one leg
out. The other easily followed. How she got him into the boat she never
could tell; but when she did, she fainted away. Coming to herself, she
seized the oars, kept herself steady as best she could, and rowed and
rowed, though she had never rowed before. Round rocks, and over
shallows, and through mud she rowed, till she got to the landing-stairs
of the palace. By this time her people were on the shore, for they had
heard her shriek. She made them carry the prince to her own room, and
lay him in her bed, and light a fire, and send for the doctors.

"But the lake, your highness!" said the chamberlain, who, roused by the
noise, came in, in his nightcap.

"Go and drown yourself in it!" she said.

This was the last rudeness of which the princess was ever guilty; and
one must allow that she had good cause to feel provoked with the lord
chamberlain.

Had it been the king himself, he would have fared no better. But both he
and the queen were fast asleep. And the chamberlain went back to his
bed. Somehow, the doctors never came. So the princess and her old nurse
were left with the prince. But the old nurse was a wise woman, and knew
what to do.

They tried everything for a long time without success. The princess was
nearly distracted between hope and fear, but she tried on and on, one
thing after another, and everything over and over again.

At last, when they had all but given it up, just as the sun rose, the
prince opened his eyes.


XV

_Look at the Rain_!

The princess burst into a passion of tears and _fell_ on the floor.
There she lay for an hour, and her tears never ceased. All the pent-up
crying of her life was spent now. And a rain came on, such as had never
been seen in that country. The sun shone all the time, and the great
drops, which fell straight to the earth, shone likewise. The palace was
in the heart of a rainbow. It was a rain of rubies, and sapphires, and
emeralds, and topazes. The torrents poured from the mountains like
molten gold; and if it had not been for its subterraneous outlet, the
lake would have overflowed and inundated the country. It was full from
shore to shore.

But the princess did not heed the lake. She lay on the floor and wept.
And this rain within doors was far more wonderful than the rain out of
doors. For when it abated a little, and she proceeded to rise, she
found, to her astonishment, that she could not. At length, after many
efforts, she succeeded in getting upon her feet. But she tumbled down
again directly. Hearing her fall, her old nurse uttered a yell of
delight, and ran to her, screaming:

"My darling child! she's found her gravity!"

"Oh, that's it! is it?" said the princess, rubbing her shoulder and her
knee alternately. "I consider it very unpleasant. I feel as if I should
be crushed to pieces."

"Hurrah!" cried the prince from the bed. "If you've come round,
princess, so have I. How's the lake?"

"Brimful," answered the nurse.

"Then we're all happy."

"That we are indeed!" answered the princess, sobbing.

And there was rejoicing all over the country that rainy day. Even the
babies forgot their past troubles, and danced and crowed amazingly. And
the king told stories, and the queen listened to them. And he divided
the money in his box, and she the honey in her pot, among all the
children. And there was such jubilation as was never heard of before.

Of course the prince and princess were betrothed at once. But the
princess had to learn to walk, before they could be married with any
propriety. And this was not so easy at her time of life, for she could
walk no more than a baby. She was always falling down and hurting
herself.

"Is this the gravity you used to make so much of?" said she one day to
the prince, as he raised her from the floor. "For my part, I was a great
deal more comfortable without it."

"No, no, that's not it. This is it," replied the prince, as he took her
up, and carried her about like a baby, kissing her all the time. "This
is gravity."

"That's better," said she. "I don't mind that so much."

And she smiled the sweetest, loveliest smile in the prince's face. And
she gave him one little kiss in return for all his; and he thought them
overpaid, for he was beside himself with delight. I fear she complained
of her gravity more than once after this, notwithstanding.

It was a long time before she got reconciled to walking. But the pain of
learning it was quite counterbalanced by two things, either of which
would have been sufficient consolation. The first was, that the prince
himself was her teacher; and the second, that she could tumble into the
lake as often as she pleased. Still, she preferred to have the prince
jump in with her; and the splash they made before was nothing to the
splash they made now.

The lake never sank again. In process of time it wore the roof of the
cavern quite through, and was twice as deep as before.

The only revenge the princess took upon her aunt was to tread pretty
hard on her gouty toe the next time she saw her. But she was sorry for
it the very next day, when she heard that the water had undermined her
house, and that it had fallen in the night, burying her in its ruins;
whence no one ever ventured to dig up her body. There she lies to this
day.

So the prince and princess lived and were happy; and had crowns of gold,
and clothes of cloth, and shoes of leather, and children of boys and
girls, not one of whom was ever known, on the most critical occasion, to
lose the smallest atom of his or her due proportion of gravity.




CHAPTER XXIV

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST


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, but provided them with all sorts of masters
for their improvement. The three daughters were all handsome, but
particularly the youngest: indeed she was so very beautiful that in her
childhood every one called her the Little Beauty, and being still the
same 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 was also better tempered. The
two eldest were vain of being rich, and spoke with pride to those they
thought below them. They gave themselves a thousand airs, and would not
visit other merchants' daughters; nor would they indeed be seen with any
but persons of quality. They went every day to balls, plays, 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 any one 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 she was much
obliged to her lovers, but 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
all the time, "My children, we must now go and dwell in the cottage, and
try to get a living by labour, for we have no other means of support."
The two eldest replied that, for their parts, 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 give themselves airs to their cows and sheep." But every body
pitied poor Beauty, because she was so sweet-tempered and kind to all
that knew her; 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 and would go and help him in
his labours in the country. 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 got up by four o'clock
every morning, lighted the fires, cleaned the house, and got 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 at all;
and indeed the work greatly amended her health. When she had done, she
used to amuse herself with reading, playing on 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 with our low way of life!" But their father thought in
quite another way: he admired the patience of this sweet young creature;
for her sisters not only left her to do the whole work of the house, but
made game of her every moment.

After they had lived in this manner about a year, the merchant received
a letter, which informed him that one of the richest ships, which he
thought was lost, had just come into 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 every thing her sisters
wished for. "Beauty," said the merchant, "how comes it about 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 any thing else, but she only said this,
that she might not affront her sisters, for else they would have said
she wanted her father to praise her for not asking him for any thing.
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 gone away. When he was within thirty miles of his home, and thinking
of the joy he should have in again meeting his children, his road lay
through a thick forest, and he quite lost himself. 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 thought to be sure 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 now cast his eyes towards a long row
of trees, and saw a light at the end of them, but it seemed a great way
off. He made the best of his way towards it, and found that it came from
a fine palace, lighted all over. He walked faster, and soon reached the
gates, which he opened, and was very much surprised that he did not see
a single person or creature in any of the yards. His horse had followed
him, and finding a stable with the door open, went into it at once; and
here the poor beast, being nearly starved, helped himself to a good meal
of oats and hay. His master then tied him up, and walked towards the
house, which he entered, but still without seeing a living creature. He
went on to a large hall, where he found a good fire, and a table covered
with some very nice dishes, and 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 to be sure it will not be long now before I see
them." He waited a good 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, which he made but two mouthfuls of, and
then to a few glasses of wine, yet all the time trembling with fear. He
sat till the clock struck twelve, but did not see a single creature. He
now took courage, and began to think of looking a little more 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 quite weak
and tired, he shut the door, took off his clothes, and got into it.

It was ten o'clock in the morning before he thought of getting up, when
he was amazed to see a handsome new suit of clothes laid ready for him,
instead of his own, which he had 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 snow, he saw
the most charming arbours covered with all kinds of flowers. He returned
to the hall, where he had supped, and found a breakfast table, with some
chocolate got ready for him. "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 arbours, 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 most shocking noise, and saw such a frightful beast
coming towards him, that he was ready to drop with fear. "Ungrateful
man!" said the beast, in a terrible voice, "I have saved your life by
letting you into my palace, and in return you steal my roses, which I
value more than any thing else that belongs to me. But you shall make
amends for your fault with your life. You shall die in a quarter of an
hour." The merchant fell on his knees to the beast, and clasping his
hands, said, "My lord, I humbly beg your pardon. I did not think it
would offend you to gather a rose for one of my daughters, who wished to
have one." "I am not a lord, but a beast," replied the monster; "I do
not like false compliments, but that people should say what they think:
so do not fancy that you can coax me by any such ways. You tell me that
you have daughters; now I will pardon you, if one of them will agree to
come and die instead of you. Go; and if your daughters should refuse,
promise me that you yourself will return in three months."

The tender-hearted merchant had no thought of letting any one of his
daughters die instead of him; 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 the beast his promise; and the beast told him 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 just what you like best, and I
will get it taken to your own house for you," When the beast had said
this, he went away; and the good merchant said to himself, "If I must
die, yet I shall now have the comfort of leaving my children some
riches," He returned to the room he had slept in, and found a great many
pieces of gold. He filled the chest with them to the very brim, locked
it, and mounting his horse, left the palace as sorry as he had been glad
when he first found 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 as he got off his horse; but the
merchant, instead of kissing them with joy, could not help crying 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 fine 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 of no use," replied
Beauty, "to weep for the death of my father, for he shall not die now.
As the beast will accept of one of his daughters, I will give myself up
to him; and think myself happy in being able at once to save his life,
and prove my love for the best of fathers." "No, sister," said the three
brothers, "you shall not die; we will go in search for this monster, and
either he or we will perish." "Do not hope to kill him," said the
merchant, "for his power is far too great for you to be able to do any
such thing. I am charmed with the kindness of Beauty, but I will not
suffer her life to be lost. I myself 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,
"shall you go to the palace without me; for 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 the grief your loss would
give me." The merchant tried in vain to reason with Beauty, for she
would go; 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 to their cottage, who had fallen in love with her two sisters. She
then begged her father to marry them without delay; for she was so
sweet-tempered, that she loved them for all they had used her so ill,
and forgave them with all her heart. When the three months were past,
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 shed a great many tears; but both the merchant and his
sons cried in earnest. There was only Beauty who did not, for she
thought that this would only make the matter worse. They reached the
palace in a very few hours, and the horse, without bidding, went into
the same stable as before. The merchant and Beauty walked towards the
large hall, where they found a table covered with every dainty, and two
plates laid ready. 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 herself to eat, and thought all
the time that to be sure the beast had a mind to fatten her before he
eat her up, as he had got 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 his frightful form, she could not help being
afraid; but she tried to hide her fear as much as she could. The beast
asked her if she had come quite of her own accord, and though she was
now still more afraid than before, she made shift to say, "Y-e-s." "You
are a good girl, and I think myself very much obliged to you." He then
turned towards her father, and said to him, "Good man, you may leave the
palace to-morrow morning, and take care never to come back to it again.
Good night, Beauty." "Good night, beast," said she; and then the monster
went out of the room.

"Ah! my dear child," said the merchant, kissing his daughter, "I am half
dead already, at the thoughts of leaving you with this dreadful beast;
you had better 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 laid down, they fell into a deep sleep, and did
not wake 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; and it
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 could not
take leave of his darling child without shedding many tears. When the
merchant got out of sight, Beauty sat down in the large hall, and began
to cry also; yet she had a great deal of courage, and so she soon
resolved not to make her sad case still worse by sorrow, which she knew
could not be of any use to her, but to wait as well as she could till
night, when she thought the beast would not fail to come and eat her up.
She walked about to take a view of all the palace, and the beauty 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 all at once
dazzled at the grandeur of the inside of the room. What made her wonder
more than all the rest was a large library filled with books, a
harpsichord, and many other pieces of music. "The beast takes care I
shall not be at a loss how to amuse myself," said she. She then thought
that it was not likely such things would have been got ready for her, if
she had but one day to live; and began to hope all would not turn out so
bad as she and her father had feared. She opened the library, and saw
these verses written in letters of gold on 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,
   Enjoyment still shall mark your sway."

"Alas!" said she, sighing, "there is nothing I so much desire as to see
my poor father and to know what he is doing at this moment," She said
this to herself; but just then by chance, she cast her eyes on a
looking-glass that stood near her, and in the glass she saw her home,
and her father riding up to the cottage in the deepest sorrow. Her
sisters came out to meet him, but for all 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 went away out of the glass: but Beauty began to
think that the beast was very kind to her, and that she had no need to
be afraid of him. 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
eating her dinner without her seeing a single creature. 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
to say so, and I will leave you that moment. But tell me, Beauty, do you
not think me very ugly?" "Why, yes," said she, "for I cannot tell a
story; but then I think you are very good." "You are right," replied the
beast; "and, besides being ugly, I am also very stupid: I know very well
enough that I am but a beast."

"I should think you cannot be very stupid," said Beauty, "if you
yourself know this." "Pray do not let me hinder you from eating," said
he; "and be sure you do not want for any thing; for all you see is
yours, and I shall be vastly grieved if you are not happy." "You are
very kind," said Beauty: "I must needs own that I think very well of
your good nature, and then I almost forget how ugly you are." "Yes, yes,
I hope I am good-tempered," said he, "but still I am a monster." "There
are many men who are worse monsters than you are," replied Beauty; "and
I am better pleased with you in that form, though it is so ugly, than
with those who carry wicked hearts under the form of a man." "If I had
any sense," said the beast, "I would thank you for what you have said;
but I am too stupid to say any thing that would give you pleasure."
Beauty ate her supper with a very good appetite, and almost lost all her
dread of the monster; but she was ready to sink with fright, when he
said to her, "Beauty, will you be my wife?" For a few minutes she was
not able to speak a word, for she was afraid of putting him in a
passion, by refusing. At length she said, "No, beast." The beast made no
reply, but sighed deeply, and went away. When Beauty found herself
alone, she began to feel pity for the poor beast. "Dear!" 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 mark of his goodness, so instead of dreading the time of his
coming, she was always looking at her watch, to see if it was almost
nine o'clock; for that was the time when he never failed to visit her.
There was but one thing that vexed her; which was that every night,
before the beast went away from her, he always made it a rule to ask her
if she would be his wife, and seemed very much grieved at her saying no.
At last, one night, she said to him, "You vex 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 make you easy." "I must needs do so then," said 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 me, Beauty, that you will never leave me." Beauty was quite
struck when he said this, for that very day she had seen in her glass
that her father had fallen sick of grief for her sake, and was very ill
for the want of seeing her again. "I would promise you, with all my
heart," said she, "never to leave you quite; but I long so much to see
my father, that if you do not give me leave to visit him I shall die
with grief." "I would rather die myself, Beauty," answered the beast,
"than make you fret; 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-bye, Beauty!" The beast then 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 rung 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 up stairs, and when he beheld his daughter
he was ready to die of joy. He ran to the bedside, 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 with 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 told the
servant to put the rest away with a great deal of care, 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 said,
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 very proud of this, that he
thought of nothing else from morning till night, and did not attend to
the beauty of his wife. The second had married a man of great learning;
but he made no use of it, only 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 look 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 good fortune. "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 that
the beast gave her leave for: and then he will be so angry, that perhaps
he will eat her up in a moment." "That is well thought of," answered the
other, "but to do this we must seem very kind to her." They then made up
their minds to be so, and 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 so much grief
at the thoughts 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 staying would give her poor beast; for she tenderly
loved him, and much wished for his company again. The tenth night of her
being at the cottage she dreamed she was in the garden of the palace,
and 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 keeping away
from him; Beauty awoke in a great fright, and 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 finely, that she might please him
the better, and thought she had never known a day pass away so slow. At
last the clock struck nine, but the beast did not come. Beauty then
thought to be sure she had been the cause of his death in earnest. She
ran from room to room all over the palace, calling out his name, but
still she saw nothing of him. After looking for him a long time, she
thought of her dream, and ran directly towards the grass plot; and there
she found the poor beast lying senseless and seeming dead. She threw
herself upon his body, thinking nothing at all of his ugliness; and
finding his heart still beat, she ran and fetched some water from a pond
in the garden, and threw it on his face. The beast then opened his eyes,
and said: "You have forgot your promise, Beauty. My grief for the loss
of you has made me resolve to starve myself to death; but I shall die
content, since I have had the pleasure of seeing you once more." "No,
dear beast," replied Beauty, "you shall not die; you shall live to be my
husband: from this moment I offer to marry you, and will be only yours.
Oh! I thought I felt only friendship for you; but the pain I now feel,
shows me that I could not live without seeing you."

The moment Beauty had spoken these words, the palace was suddenly
lighted up, and music, fireworks, and all kinds of rejoicings, appeared
round about them. Yet Beauty took no notice of all this, but watched
over her dear beast with the greatest tenderness. But now she was all at
once amazed to see at her feet, instead of her poor beast, the
handsomest prince that ever was seen, who thanked her most warmly for
having broken his enchantment. Though this young prince deserved all her
notice, she could not help asking him what was become of the beast. "You
see him at your feet, Beauty," answered the prince, "for I am he. A
wicked fairy had condemned me to keep the form of a beast till a
beautiful young lady should agree to marry me, and ordered me, on pain
of death, not to show that I had any sense. You, alone, dearest Beauty,
have kindly judged of me by the goodness of my heart; and in return I
offer you my hand and my crown, though I know the reward is much less
than what I owe you." Beauty, in the most pleasing surprise, helped the
prince to rise, and they walked along to the palace, when her wonder was
very great to find her father and sisters there, who had been brought by
the lady Beauty had seen in her dream. "Beauty," said the lady (for she
was a fairy), "receive the reward of the choice you have made. You have
chosen goodness of heart rather than sense and beauty; therefore you
deserve to find them all three joined in the same person. You are going
to be a great Queen: I hope a crown will not destroy your virtue."

"As for you, ladies," said the fairy to the other two sisters, "I have
long known the malice of your hearts, and the wrongs you have done. You
shall become two statues; but under that form you shall still keep your
reason, and shall be fixed at the gates of your sister's palace; and I
will not pass any worse sentence on you than to see her happy. You will
never appear in your own persons again till you are fully cured of your
faults; and to tell the truth, I am very much afraid you will remain
statues for ever."

At the same moment, the fairy, with a stroke of her wand, removed all
who were present to the young prince's country, where he was received
with the greatest joy by his subjects. He married Beauty, and passed a
long and happy life with her, because they still kept in the same course
of goodness from which they had never departed.



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