• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Graciosa and Percinet
 Blanche and Rosalind
 The white cat
 The blue bird
 Little Red Riding Hood
 The enchanted hind
 The yellow dwarf
 Fairer than a fairy
 The sleeping beauty
 Cinderella; or, the glass...
 Hop-o'-my-thumb
 The three soldiers and the...
 Snowdrop
 The giant with the golden...
 Puss in boots
 Fortunatus and the wishing cap
 Blue beard
 Diamonds and toads
 Jack and the bean-stalk
 Fortunio
 Beauty and the beast
 The story of prince Tito
 Prince Fatal and prince Fortun...
 The beneficent frog
 The story of prince Sincere
 Princess Rosetta
 The invisible prince
 The fair one with the golden...
 Babiola
 Jack the giant-killer
 The three bears
 The good little mouse
 Riquet with the tuft
 Tom Thumb
 Septimus
 Prince Desire and princess...
 Princess Minikin
 Prince Cherry
 The princess Maia
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: The old, old fairy tales
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077431/00001
 Material Information
Title: The old, old fairy tales
Uniform Title: Beauty and the beast
Goldilocks and the three bears
Cinderella
Jack and the beanstalk
Jack the Giant-Killer
Puss in Boots
Sleeping Beauty
Little Red Riding Hood
Tom Thumb
Whittington and his cat
Physical Description: xii, 564 p., 16 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Valentine, L ( Laura ), d. 1899 ( Editor )
Frederick Warne and Co ( Publisher )
Billing and Sons ( Printer )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Publisher: Frederick Warne and Co.
Place of Publication: London ;
New York
Manufacturer: Billing and Sons
Publication Date: 1890
 Subjects
Subject: Fairy tales   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Fairy tales -- 1890   ( rbgenr )
Children's stories -- 1890   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1890
Genre: Fairy tales   ( rbgenr )
Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
England -- Guildford
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: collected and edited by Mrs. Valentine ; with original coloured illustrations and numerous woodcuts.
General Note: Illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077431
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002235098
notis - ALH5540
oclc - 25187611

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Page i
    Frontispiece
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
    Graciosa and Percinet
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Blanche and Rosalind
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    The white cat
        Page 26
        Page 26a
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 58a
    The blue bird
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Little Red Riding Hood
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    The enchanted hind
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 102a
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    The yellow dwarf
        Page 132
        Page 132a
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Fairer than a fairy
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
    The sleeping beauty
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 174a
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    Cinderella; or, the glass slipper
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
    Hop-o'-my-thumb
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
    The three soldiers and the dwarf
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 208a
    Snowdrop
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
    The giant with the golden hairs
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
    Puss in boots
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    Fortunatus and the wishing cap
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
    Blue beard
        Page 252
        Page 252a
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
    Diamonds and toads
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
    Jack and the bean-stalk
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
    Fortunio
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
    Beauty and the beast
        Page 284
        Page 284a
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
    The story of prince Tito
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
    Prince Fatal and prince Fortune
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 318a
    The beneficent frog
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
    The story of prince Sincere
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
    Princess Rosetta
        Page 360
        Page 360a
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
    The invisible prince
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
    The fair one with the golden hair
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 398a
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
    Babiola
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
    Jack the giant-killer
        Page 430
        Page 430a
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
    The three bears
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
    The good little mouse
        Page 447
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Page 455
        Page 456
        Page 457
        Page 458
    Riquet with the tuft
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
        Page 464
        Page 465
        Page 466
        Page 466a
    Tom Thumb
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
        Page 471
        Page 472
    Septimus
        Page 473
        Page 474
        Page 475
        Page 476
        Page 477
        Page 478
        Page 479
        Page 480
        Page 481
        Page 482
        Page 483
        Page 484
        Page 485
        Page 486
        Page 487
        Page 488
        Page 489
        Page 490
        Page 491
        Page 492
        Page 493
        Page 494
        Page 495
        Page 496
        Page 497
        Page 498
        Page 499
        Page 500
        Page 500a
    Prince Desire and princess Mignonetta
        Page 501
        Page 502
        Page 503
        Page 504
        Page 505
        Page 506
        Page 507
    Princess Minikin
        Page 508
        Page 509
        Page 510
        Page 511
        Page 512
        Page 513
        Page 514
        Page 515
        Page 516
        Page 517
        Page 518
        Page 519
        Page 520
        Page 521
        Page 522
        Page 523
        Page 524
        Page 525
        Page 526
        Page 527
        Page 528
        Page 529
        Page 530
        Page 531
        Page 532
        Page 533
        Page 534
        Page 535
    Prince Cherry
        Page 536
        Page 536a
        Page 537
        Page 538
        Page 539
        Page 540
        Page 541
        Page 542
        Page 543
        Page 544
        Page 545
    The princess Maia
        Page 546
        Page 547
        Page 548
        Page 549
        Page 550
        Page 551
        Page 552
        Page 553
        Page 554
        Page 555
        Page 556
        Page 557
        Page 558
        Page 559
        Page 560
        Page 561
        Page 562
        Page 563
        Page 564
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text


















'Tll- OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.



































GRACIOSA AND PERCINET


^^Ad


JB~!i~ ~5
I







THE OLD



OLD FAIRY TALES




COLLECTED AND EDITED
IlY
MRS. VALENTINE,
Author of' Sea I-ighi and Iand Battles, The Knight's Ransom,'
etc.. C

With Oriainial Coloureb ~Ituetrtio1tw
AND -NUMEROUS WOODCUTS.


LONDON AND NEW YORK:
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
1890.



















PREFACE.



THE tales contained in this volume have been the delight of
many generations of children, and can, in fact, claim a very
distant origin, though they were retold in their present form as
late as the age of Louis XIV. They are generally supposed to
have come from the East, for they are to be found in varied
forms in all the countries of Europe that sent forth Crusaders.
The earlie-.t collection of these stories in prose was made by
Straparcla, a native of Caravaggio, in the Milanese, and pub-
lished by him at Venice in his Notti Piacevoli,' in 1550. They
were translated into French in 1560, and from them the well-
known 'Contes des Fees' were principally taken. 'Puss in Boots'
appeared first in the 'Notti,' and shortly after it was retold
(better perhaps) in the Pentamerone of Basile, in 1637. This
last work was considered the best collection of fairy tales ever
made, and from it many of the incidents in our fairy stories were








vi PREFACE.

evidently taken; for example, the incidents in the Blue Bird,'
by Madame D'Aulnoy, which are partly contained in the story of
'Zoza,' in the Pentameronc.'
As children always like stories to be retold in the same words
as far as possible, these tales have not been rewritten (except in
two cases); the original translations in their quaint simplicity
have been collected, and merely corrected so far as to meet the
modern ideas of the kind of tale to be given to children ; the
old ones being occasionally a little coarse.
























CONTENTS.


Graciosa and Percinet -
Blandce and Rosalind -
The White Cat
The Blue Bird
Little Red Riding Hood -
The Enchanted Hind -
The Yellow Dwarf -
Fairer than a Fairy
The Sleeping Beauty
Cinderella; or, the Glass Slipper -
Hop-o'-my-Thumb
The Three Soldiers and the Dwarf
Snowdrop -
The Giant with the Golden Hairs
Puss in Boots -
Fortunalus and the Wishing Cap -
Blue Beard -
Diamonds and Toads -
Jack and the Bean-Stalk -


PAGC
MADAME D'AULNOY 1
21
MADAME D'AULNOY 26
- MADAME D'AULNOY 59
- CHARLES PERRAULT 91
- MADAME D'AULNOY 101
- MADAME D'AULNOY 132
MDLLE. DE LA FORCE 151
- CHARLES PERRAULT 171
- CHARLES PERRAULT 178
- CHARLES PERRAULT 187
203
209
216
- CHARLES PERRAULT 224
-238
* CHARLES PERRAULT 252
- CHARLES PERRAULT 258
S- 261


-
-









viii CON:TE\"rTS.



Fortunio 273
Beauty and the Beast L PnRlicENs r E BeArMosNT 2'4
The Story of Prince Tito LA PtIxc.Ess : D BRAUeMOST 296
Prince Fatal and Prince Fortune 310
The Beneficent Frog MaDu D'AULNOY 319
The Story of Prince Sincere 339
Princess Rosetta MADMF. D'Aciso 360
The Inrisible Prince 374
The Fair One rith the Golden Hair 3IAA,.%E D'ArLtNo 3.14
IBabiola -- MArDAMt; D'ACLNts) 418
Jack the Giant-Killer 4A)
The Three Bears 440
The Good Little .Mou.re MA~lD D'Act.nny 47
Riquet with the Turt I, PI:NCFAR.E I: I1.E Ba~r. T 4Y,9
Tomn Thumb -
Septimus 31. DrE CAYLvr 473
Prince Desire and Princes1 fJignoietta L. PFRINrSSaF Dr. EA. B ro.xST Sl!
Princess Minikin .
Prince Ch'rry LA PRINCrAF Dr. r. BAt-IvOT .5i36
The Princess Maia MAIAEA D'AVL r Y 516


























LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.




COLOURED PLATES.


Grarcmwa and Prrcint -
The, Whit Cat -
The Blue Bird -
T, EyJhantetd blind -
The Yellow Dwarf
The Sklping Beauy -
Enowdrop -
Bluebeard -
Brainti and the Beast -
The Beneficent Frog
Princess Rosetta -
The Fair One with the Golden Hair
Jack the Giant-Killer
Tom Thumb -
Prince Desire -
Prince Cherry -


PAGE
- Frontispiece

26
59
-- 102
133
174
209
S 252
S- 284
319
360
398
430
467
501
536























LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.




WOOD ENGRA VINGS.

PAGE
The Firest -
(ood larty's Hoe 20
Iloaliti's Far 23
The Ctle f th White Cat 27
The Princess on th Batlens 47
TI,/ King and the Princess 5
TIh Fight between the King and the Dragon 57
Flora 61
The Young Prince Seeking Flora -
The Blu Bird 71
Little Ral Riding Hood's Home 91
Red Riding IHodl in the Forest 95
The Buelerfly Chase 96
Prince Valiant in the Forest 121
Valiant Asleep in the Forest 123
The Army Entering the Capital 130
The King and All-Fair 149
The Forest of Marels 163
The Princess takes the Spindle 172
The Fairy Touching Cinderella with her Wand 181
Cinderella at the Ball 183
Trying on the Slipper 186








xii LIST OF ILL USTRA TIONS.


The Hoys Hiding -1
Ilop-o'-my.Thumb arriving at the Camp 19
The Old Mill 21
Puss before the King 2 29
Puss anl the Reapers 233
Puss and the Ogre 235
Fortunatlu's Farewrll 245
Rose Sent to the Fountain 25
Rose Droppjingj Roses and Peari. 2
The Dragon Slain 279
Castle of the Beast 7 7
Beauty in the Garen 21
Prince Tito Fighting 2- -
Biby and Prince Tito's Marriag 305
Prince Fatal found in the Fr 311
Prince Fortune and Prince Fa',. 313
Prince Fatal as a Shepherd 314
Prince .Moufy's Fight with the Dragon 7
The Cacad -
The Two Robhers -
Fair One with the Golden ir 3
The Prince Searchingfor Bubiola 4
Going Out for a Walk 41
The Bears Find Golden Hair in Baby Bear's Bd 442
Nearly Caught 443
The Wedding 458
Riquet and his Queen 45
The King and his Minister 474
Little Septimus 478
Prince Desire Parting from the Queen 5 06
Prince Zirphil and his Father 08
Citronetta 525
Maia and Fanfarinet -553
On the Island 558















OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.



GRACIOSA AND PERCINET.

anrd queen who had only one daughter.
HI er beauty, her sweetness of temper,
and her wit, which were incomparable,
caused them to give her the name of
Graciosa. She was her mother's sole
delight; she ordered new garments
for every morning throughout the year
for her, either of cloth of gold, velvet,
or satin. Yet, though she was dressed
in the richest manner, Graciosa was not proud,
nor vainglorious. The morning was spent in
study; and the afternoon with the queen,
with whom she was employed at her needle.
At dinner and supper she was served in plate,
and the table was spread
with dishes of sweet-
meats and all manner of
confectionery; so that she
was said to be the most
s happy princess in the
world.
There was in the same
court a very rich old
lady, called the Duchess
Grognon, a most frightful
creature to look upon;
her hair was as red as
fire; she had a face
dreadfully broad, and
covered over with. large pimples; one of her eyes she had entirely
lost, and the other was bleared. Her mouth was as wide as if she
would have devoured the whole world; only such fears ceased when
1







2 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

people saw that she had no teeth; she was hunch-backed and high-
shouldered, and lame of both legs. She mortally hated Graciosa
because she was so lovely and beautiful, and retired from court
that she might not hear the just praises that were continually
bestowed on her. She lived in a castle of her own, not distant; and
when any person who came to visit her spoke in praise of the
princess, she would cry out in a violent passion, 'Tis false, 'tis
false; she's not at all handsome ; I have more charms in my finger
than she has in her whole body.'
In a short time the queen fell sick and died ; and the Princess
Graciosa was very near following her, through grief for the loss of so
good a mother. The king no less bemoaned his fatal separation
from so dear and loving a wife; he shut himself up in his palace for
a whole year. At length his physicians, fearing that he would
impair his health, besought him earnestly to take the air, and divert
himself. In compliance with this advice, lie one day went hunting;
but the weather being extremely hot, and perceiving a fair castle not
far off, upon the purlieus of the forest, he rode thither with all his
train, in order to repose himself.
Immediately the Duchess Grognon, having notice of the king's
arrival (for to her it was that the castle belonged), made haste to
receive him, and told him that the coolest part of the castle was a
large, handsome under-room, to which she desired his majesty
would give her leave to conduct him. Accordingly the king went
with her; and seeing in the room above two hundred pipes in
rows, one above another, he asked her whether it was only for her
own use that she made such large provision. Yes, sir,' said she;
' I provide for none but myself and family. I should be very glad if
your majesty would be pleased to taste my wines; here are Canary,
St. Laurent, champagne, hermitage, riversalt-, Rosa Solis, Persicot,
Fenouillet; which will your majesty make choice of?' 'Frankly,'
said the king, I prefer champagne to any other wine.' Grognon
immediately took a little hammer, and having given a rap or two
at the head of the pipe, it opened, and out came a million of pistols.
'Ha I what is the meaning of this?' said she with a smile; and
knocking at the head of another pipe, out flew as many guineas as
would have filled a bushel. Dear me, how is this I' said she, in
feigned astonishment. From thence passing to a third, she knocked
in the same manner, and there issued as many pearls and diamonds
as covered the floor. Well, sir,' said she-to the king, this is past
my understanding; somebody must certainly have robbed me of my
fine wines, and filled up the vessels with these trifles.' 'Trifles I'
cried the king in amazement: in the name of wonder, my lady
Grognon, do you call these trifles? Why, madam, these trifles are
enough to buy ten cities as big as London.' Well then, sir,' said
she, to be plain with you, all these pipes are full of gold and
precious stones, and I will make you master of them upon con-







GRACIOSA AND PERCINET. 3

edition you will marry me.' A match l' cried the king (who loved
money better than anything); this very day, if you please, before
we stir out of the castle.' But stay,' said she, there is one con-
dition more: I will be mistress of your daughter as her mother was;
she stall be wholly at my command; you shall leave me the sole
disposal of her.' Agreed,' cried the king; you shall be mistress
of my daughter too. Here's my hand upon it.' Grognon gave him
her hand; after which, having given him the key of the wealthy
cellar, they took leave of each other.
As soon as the king arrived at his palace, Graciosa, hearing that
her father was returned, ran to meet him, embraced him, and asked
him whether he had had good sport. To which her father replied,
' I have caught a pigeon alive.' Oh, sir,' said she, give it me and
I will make it my care.' That cannot be,' continued the king; for
that I may more intelligibly explain myself, I must tell thee that I
have met the Duchess Grognon, and taken her to wife.' Good
heavens cried Graciosa, in her first transports, do you call her a
pigeon, who is ten thousand times uglier than an owl ?' Hold your
tongue,' said the king (showing himself somewhat offended); 'tis
my pleasure that you love and respect her as much as if she was
your mother. Go, therefore, and dress yourself, for I intend this
day to return and meet her.'
The princess was very obedient; and went to her chamber to
dress: but her nurse perceived by her eyes that something troubled
her. What is the matter, my dear jewel ?' said she; why weeps
my child ?' Oh I my poor nurse,' replied Graciosa, how is it
possible I should do otherwise than weep? my father is going to
bring home a mother-in-law; and to complete my misery, the only
and most cruel enemy I have in the world-in a word, 'tis the
hideous Grognon. How is it possible to behold her within these
curtains, which the queen, my dear mother, so curiously embroidered
with her own hands? how is it possible to caress a hideous face that
has so impatiently sought my death ?' My dear child,' replied the
nurse, there is a necessity that your demeanour should be as con-
spicuously good as your birth is great: princesses like yourself
ought to give greater examples than others; and what more noble
example can you give than that of obedience to your father? Promise
me, then, that you will not let Grognon see you discontented.' The
princess had much ado to bear it; but the discreet nurse gave her
so many good reasons for patience, that she promised at last to put
as good a face upon the matter as she could, and to comply with
her stepdame's humour.
She dressed herself in a green garment, the ground of which was
cloth of gold; her fair dishevelled hair flowed in loose ringlets
about her shoulders, which was the mode of that time; and she put
upon her head a light garland of roses and jessamines, the leaves of
which were all of emeralds. In this dress she looked as lovely a.
1-2







OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


an angel; but an air of sadness, which she could not overcome, was
still visible in her countenance.
To return to Groguon. That hideous creature was also employed
in the decoration of her deformity. She had caused one shoe to be
made half a cubit higher than the other, to avoid limping as much
as possible. The valley on one side of her back was filled up with
a bolster well stuffed, to make it level with the mountain on the
other side; she had supplied the empty hole from whence she had
lost her eye, with a glass one, the best she could meet with ; she
had painted her cheeks white, and dyed her red hair black ; then
she put on a purple robe lined with blue, over which she wore a
yellow loose vest, tied with violet ribands. And she must needs
make her entry on horseback, because she had heard the queens of
Spain were wont so to do.
While the king was giving out his orders, Graciosa, who waited for
his going to meet Grognon, went down into the garden, and walking
forward into a gloomy grove, seated herself upon a bank of turf.
' Here,' said she, at length, I am at liberty; here I may weep as
long as I will without molestation ;' and with that she btgan sighing
and weeping to such a degree that her eyes looked like two fountains
of water. In this condition, having forgotten all thoughts of returning
again to the palace, she spied coming towards her a page, clad in
green satin, with white plumes in his cap, and the most beautiful
countenance in the world ; who, when he drew near her, bent one
knee upon the ground. Princess,' said he, the king stays for you.'
She was surprised by the attractive features which she observed in
the young page; and as she knew him not, thought he might be one
of Grognon's train. How long,' said she, have you been admitted
by the king into the number of his pages?' I belong not, madam,
to the king,' said he; 'I belong to you. and never will belong to any
other.' 'You belong to me !' replied the princess, full of astonish-
ment; how is that possible, since I know not who you are?' Oh
princess,' said he, I never durst as yet attempt to make myself
known. But the misfortunes with which you are threatened by the
king's marriage oblige me to speak to you sooner than otherwise I
would have done. I had resolved to leave to time, and my own
assiduous services, the care of manifesting my love and respect for
your highness, and- How I a page,' cried the princess; has a
page the presumption to tell me he loves me? This completes the
measure of my misfortunes.' Alarm not yourself, fair Graciosa,'
said the page, with a tender and respectful air; I am Percinet, a
prince too well known, both by birth, riches, and learning, for you to
find so great an inequality between us, though your merit and beauty
do indeed make a distinction. I am often in those places which you
frequent, though you see me not. The gift of fairyism, which I
received from my birth, has greatly assisted to procure me the plea-
sure of your company : I will attend you this day, wherever you go,







GRACIOSA AND PERCINET. 5

and perhaps it may so happen that I shall not prove a useless com-
panion.' All the while he was speaking, the princess looked upon him
with an astonishment from which she could scarcely recover herself.
At last said she,' Are you the Prince Percinet whom I have had so
great a desire to see, and of whom such wonders are reported ? How
glad I am that you will be in the number of my friends Now I no
longer fear the mischievous Grognon, since you are so kind as to take
me under your protection.' Some few words more they had together,
and then Graciosa returned to the palace, where she found a horse
ready harnessed and caparisoned, which Percinet had put into the
stable, and which the grooms believed to be appointed for her. She
mounted immediately ; for she was very nimble and active, and the
page took the horse by the bridle and led him, turning continually to-
wards his mistress, that he might have the pleasure of beholding her.
When the horse that was made choice of to carry Grognon appeared
near Graciosa's palfrey, you would, on the comparison, have thought
him some draught-horse taken from a cart; and the furniture of the
princess's horse did so glitter with precious stones, that there was no
comparison between them-of which the king, whose head was full
of a thousand other fancies, took no notice. But the eyes of all the
lords and ladies were fixed upon the princess, whose beauty they
admired, and her pretty pago in green, whom they thought the most
charming that belor ged to the court.
They met Grognon upon the road in an open carriage; she looked
frightfully defomned and misshapen, notwithstanding her arts to
conceal it. The king and the princess embraced her, and presented
her with her horse to mount and ride. But perceiving Graciosa's
palfrey, How 1' said she, shall that puss have a finer horse than I ?
I had rather never be queen, but return to my wealthy castle, than
be thus used.' The king commanded the princess immediately to
alight, and make it her request to Grognon that she would be pleased
to do her the honour to accept of her horse.
The princess obeyed without any reply ; but Grognon took no notice
of her, nor even thanked her for her civility; but causing herself to
be mounted upon the princess's fine horse, she looked then, if pos-
sible, more odious and frightful than before; and all the while eight
gentlemen held her for fear of falling. Nevertheless she was not
pleased, but muttered a thousand menaces and curses between her
teeth. They asked her what she would be pleased to have. Have I'
said she; why, as I am mistress here, I would have the green page
to hold my horse, as he did when Graciosa rode upon it.' Immedi-
ately the king ordered the green page to lead the queen's horse.
Upon which Percinet cast his eyes upon his mistress, and she hers
upon him, without speaking one word: however, he obeyed, and all
the court moved on, while the trumpets sounded aloud; whereat
Grognon was rejoiced, and thought to herself she would not change
her flat nose and screw mouth for all Graciosa's beauty.








OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


But when they least expected it, the mottled horse began to curvet
and bound, and at length began running as if it had been for a race.
Grognon held fast by the mane and the pommel of the saddle, and
uttered a most hideous roar. At length her courser threw her,
and down she came with one foot in the stirrup, the horse dragging
her over the stones, through bushes, and through thick and thin, till
she was all over so bemired that it would have been a kindness to
have pumped upon her. But as the whole court rode after her as
fast as possible, they soon overtook her, though not till her flesh was
torn from her legs, her head bruised in three or four places, and
one arm broken; in short, never was royal bride in such a miserable
condition.
The king seemed to be at his wits' end : they picked her up like a
glass broken in pieces ; for her bonnet lay in one place, her shoes in
another ; there lay a row of teeth, there lay an eye ; they, however,
carried her to the king's palace, put her to bed, and sent for the most
eminent surgeons. But, iotwitlhstanding her disorder, she continued
to scold and rave without ceasing.
This is one of Graciosa's tricks,' cried she ; without doubt she
picked out that unruly headstrong beast to do me a mischief, and to
have killed me if she could. If the king does not do me justice, I'll
return to my wealthy castle, and never see him more.' Grognon's
wrathful speech was presently reported to the king; whose prevailing
passion being avarice, the thoughts of losing so many pipes of gold
and diamonds made him tremble; so that he was ready to submit to
anything. He ran to his odious mistress, fell at her feet, and swore,
that if she would think of a punishment proportionable to Graciosa's
offence, he would give her up to chastisement : to which she answered
she was satisfied, and would send for the wretch immediately.
Accordingly, a messenger was sent to tell the princess that Gro-
gnon would speak with her. The poor princess immediately turned
pale, and shook in every joint, believing the message boded her
no good, and that it was not to caress and give her sweetmeats that
Grognon desired her company. She looked about her everywhere,
to see whether Percinet would appear, but there was no sign of him;
so she went with trembling feet and a sad heart to Grognon's apart-
ment. No sooner had she entered, than the doors were locked upon
her, and four women, resembling four furies, fell upon her, tore her
costly garments from her back, and nearly stript her. But when
they discovered her naked beauty, the cruel hags, being unable to
bear the lustre of her dazzling whiteness, shut their eyes, as if they
had been gazing a long time upon the snow. Fall on, fall on I' cried
the merciless Grognon, from her bed; let me have her flayed, leave
not a bit of that white skin, which she thinks so lovely, upon her
flesh.'
In any other distress Graciosa could have wished for Percinet;
but finding herself undressed, she was too modest to desire t'me







GRACIOSA AND PERCINET.


prince should be a witness of her condition, and therefore she
prepared herself to suffer like a helpless lamb. The four furies had
each of them a terrible rod in her hand, and huge brooms stood
by them to replace the first as they wore out. They laid on with-
out mercy; and at every stroke, Grognon cried out, Harder, harder
yet-you are too merciful 1'
Ncbody would have thought, but that after all this, the princess
must have been flayed alive from head to foot: but it fell out other-
wise; for the courtly Percinet had bewitched the women's eyes, so
that they thought they had rods in their hands when they were
only light plumes of various-coloured feathers; which Graciosa
immediately perceived, and ceased to be afraid. 'Oh, Percinet,'
said she to herself, thou art come generously to my relief what
should I have done without thee?' The furies having at last so
tired themselves that they could no longer stir their arms, they
huddled the princess's clothes about her, and put her out of the
room, with a great deal of injurious language.
The princess returned to her chamber, and feigning to be very ill,
went to bed, and ordered that nobody should stay in the room but
her nurse, to whom she recounted the whole story, and, tired with
telling it, fell asleep.
Grognon's joy to hear that Graciosa was in such a weak condition
made her mend sooner than could have been expected; after which
the nuptials were solemnized with a more than ordinary magnifi-
cence; and because the king knew that Grognon, above all things in
the world, loved to be praised as a beauty, he caused her picture to
be drawn, and proclaimed a tournament, wherein six of the bravest
and most accomplished knights of the court were to maintain against
all gainsayers that Grognon was the most beautiful princess in the
world. Many knights and strangers came to maintain the contrary;
and the ugly queen was present at all the combats, placed in a
balcony under a canopy of cloth of gold, where she had the pleasure
to see her knights, by their strength and activity, victors in defence
of her bad cause. Graciosa, who was placed behind her, drew the
eyes of all the people upon her, while the silly and vainglorious
Grognon thought herself the only object of their admiration.
At last, when none seemed to be left that durst defy the champions
of Grognon's beauty, of a sudden there arrived a young knight,
holding in his hand a box that was set with diamonds. Immediately
he caused proclamation to be made, that he would maintain Grognon
to be the foulest and most deformed of all the sex, and that she
whose picture he had in his box was the most beautiful virgin in the
world. Having said this, he encountered all the six knights, and
threw them to the ground. After which, six more presented them-
selves, one after another, till they numbered four-and-twenty. The
young knight defeated them all; and then opening his box, he
told the vanquished champions that, to convince them of their error.







OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


he would show them his beautiful picture. Everybody immediately
knew it to be the Princess Graciosa's, but who the young knight was
nobody could tell. After he had made a profound bow to his mistress,
he retired without telling his name; but Graciosa did noi doubt he
was her beloved Percinet.
The enraged Grognon, being almost choked with anger, and
unable to speak, made signs that it was Graciosa she would be at ;
and when she could explain herself, she raved like a lunatic.
'How !'said she, dispute with me the prize of beauty! What!
bring her champion to affront my knights! No, it is not to be borne.
I will be revenged, or die.' Madam,' replied the princess, I
protest to your majesty I have no hand in this unlucky accident
and, if you please, will sign it with my blood, that you are the mo.:.
charming beauty in the world, and that I am a monster of deformity.'
' Oh! you are merry, Mrs. Cock-a-Hoop,' replied Gronon ; but I
shall have my turn in a little time.' Presently it was told the king
in what a fury his wife wa,, and what a deadly fear the princess waz.
in, who besought him to have pity on her; for that if he left her tr
the queen's indignation, she would show her no mercy. But the
king was not moved ; and all his answer was, that as he. had Liven up
the princess into the power of her mother-in-law, she miigilt do wit'i
her what she pleased.
The wicked Grognon waited with impatience for night; and when
it was dark, ordered her coach to be got ready, forced Graciosa into
it, and directed her to be carried, under a strong guard, a hundreds
leagues off, into a wide forest, through which nobody durst travel,
because it was full of lions, bears, tigers, and wolves. When they
were come into the midst of this forest, they ordered her to aligh.;,
and there left her, regardless of her tears and supplications for pity.
SI beg not,' said she, my life at your hands ; but only that you will
vouchsafe me a speedy death ; kill me, and at once deliver me from
the many terrors, worse than death, that I am going to suffer.' But
she might as well have talked to so many statues, for they would
not even give her an answer ; and flying from her with unrelenting
speed, left the fair, unfortunate virgin all alone. Forsaken thus, and
in the dark, she wandered for some time, not knowing whither she
went, bruising herself sometimes against the trees, falling sometimes,
and sometimes entangled among the thorns and bushes; till at
length she sat down upon the ground, not having strength to stand
on her feet. Percinet,' she cried sometimes to herself, 'oh,
Percinet I where art thou? Is it possible thou shouldst forsake me?'
No sooner had she uttered these words than she saw one of the most
agreeable and surprising sights in the world. It was an illumination
so splendid that there was hardly a tree in the forest on which there
did not hang several branches stuck with tapers; and at the bottom
of a walk she perceived a palace, which seemed to be all of crystal,
and shone as bright as the sun. She secretly hoped Percinet had a



























































































THE FOREST.







GRACIOSA AND PERCINET. Ix

hand in this pleasing enchantment; which hope inspired her with no
small joy, though intermixed with fear. Her modesty and prudence,
however, prevented her from proceeding, for she knew it was
improper for young ladies even to converse with young men, much
more to visit them. She therefore arose, faint and weary as she was,
and, without so much as turning her eyes towards the fair castle,
walked another way, so disturbed by the distraction of her thoughts
that she knew not what she did.
At this instant a noise, which she heard behind her, increased
her fears, and made her apprehend some wild beast was coming to
devour her; but looking, trembling, behind her, she perceived
Percinet, who seemed more beautiful than Love himself is painted.
' What,' said he, my adorable princess, do you fly from me ? Are
you afraid of him who adores you ? Can it be that you should have
s:o little knowledge of my respect, as to believe me capable of failing
in the duty I owe you? Al, no; cease your fears, and go with me
to the palace of fairyland, where you will be received by the queen
my mother, and my sisters, who already have a most tender affection
for you, from the report I have made of your rare endowments.'
Graciosa, charmed with the submissive and obliging manner of her
young lover's address, could not refuse to seat herself with him in a
little carriage, curiously painted and gilded, which two harts drew
with such prodigious swiftness that in a very short time he showed her
a thousand different parts of the forest, which filled her with admir-
ation. Everything might be distinctly seen : in one place, shepherds
and shepherdesses, curiously dressed, were dancing to their flutes
and bagpipes. I thought,' said she to Percinet, this forest had
been uninhabited; but to me it seems to be well peopled, and that
the people live very happily.' Since your coming hither, my dear
princess,' replied Percinet, this gloomy solitude has been the seat of
delights and pleasing amusements : the loves and graces all wait on
you; and the flowers, daisies, and primroses spring up under your
feet.' Graciosa durst make no reply, being unwilling to engage in
such kind of compliments, and therefore desired the prince to carry
her to the queen his mother.
Immediately he commanded the harts to hasten to the palace of
fairyland, whither, when the princess came, her ears were entertained
with the sweetest music ; and the queen and her two daughters, who
were all exquisitely beautiful, came forth to meet her, embraced her,
and led her into a great room, the walls of which were of the finest
crystal. There, with great astonishment, she observed the story of
her life engraved to that very day, ending with the tour she had just
taken in the forest with the prince in his carriage. Your historians
are very quick,' said Graciosa to Percinet, for I perceive all the
variety of my actions, or even gestures, are immediately recorded
here.' The reason, my dear princess,' replied Percinet, is because
I would not lose the most minute idea of your perfections, but







12 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

imprint them deeply on my heart; yet, alas I am neither happy
nor contented anywhere.' She answered him not a word, but
thanked the queen for her kind reception. Soon after a noble
banquet was served up, and Graciosa ate with a good appetite, being
overjoyed that she had met with Percinet in the forest, where she had
been afraid she should have found nothing but bears and lions.
And now the queen ordered the two princesses to conduct Graciosa
to her apartment. Nothing was ever more magnificent than the
chamber and furniture, nor so rich as the bed where she was to lie.
She was attended by four-and-twenty virgins, dressed like nymphi,
the eldest of whom was not above eighteen, and everyone seemed to
be a miracle of beauty. When she was in bed, a most heavenly
symphony of music filled the room, to lull her to sleep; but her
spirits were so agitated and disordered by these surprising things,
that it was not in her power to close her eyes. AU that I have
seen,' said she, nust certainly be ctchant.ment. Good heavens '
that a prince so agree.ible and witty should be so formidable I
cannot make too much haste from theie enchanting places.' Ye:,
when she considered the agreeable difference between Living in so
magnificent a palace, and exposing herself to the cruelty of the
barbarous Groguon, she could not think of the separation without
regret.
In the morning, as soon as she was up, she was preCented with
garments of all sorts and colours, and the richest jewels, laces,
gloves, and silk stockings; all extremely fine, and admirable for the
curiosity of their workmanship. Graciosa's dress was never before
so splendid, nor did she ever more gracefully become it, nor appear
more charming. When she was dressed, Percinet entered her apart-
ment, habited in green and gold, for green was his colour, because
Graciosa loved it. Whatever is admirable in shape, beauty of
features, and majesty of mien, was all exquisitely perfect in Percinet.
Graciosa told him she had not slept a wink all night, having been
kept awake by the thoughts of her misfortunes, and that she could
not but be apprehensive of the consequences. What are your fears.
madam ?' replied Percinet; you are absolute sovereign here, and
are adored; will you then forsake me, and return to your most cruel
enemy?' Were I mistress of my own destiny,' answered the
princess, I would willingly accept the choice you propose; but I
am accountable for my actions to the king my father; and it is
better, therefore, for me to suffer than be wanting in my duty.'
Percinet omitted nothing that he could think of to persuade her to
marry him; but she would by no means give her consent; and it
was almost against her will that he detained her eight days, during
which time he entertained her with a thousand new pleasures and
diversions.
While she stayed, she several times expressed an earnest desire to
know what passed in Grognon's court; and by what plausible stories







GRACIOSA AND PERCINET.


she had contrived to conceal the cruelty of her intentions. Percinet
told her he would send his squire, who was both witty and discreet.
The princess replied that she was persuaded he needed nobody to
inform him, but might tell her himself. Come then,' said he,
' with me to the great tower, and you shall there distinctly see with
your own eyes what you desire to know.' With that he led her to a
tower that was prodigiously high, and all of crystal, like the rest of
the castle. He bid her set her foot in a particular place, and put
her little finger in his mouth, and then look towards the city.
She had no sooner done so than she perceived the wicked Grognon
sitting with the king, and heard her talking with him after this
manner: This poor wretch, the princess, with all her beauty, has
hanged herself in the cellar; I have been to see her, and I protest
the very sight of her frightened me : all that is now to be done is to
bury her, and then I make no question but your majesty will soon
forget so inconsiderable a loss.' But the king wept, and bewailed
the death of his daughter, while Grognon, deriding his sorrows,
retired to her chamber ; where, by her command, a large billet was
presently dressed up in funeral pomp, and laid in a coffin, and the
king immediately ordered a solemn interment. Infinite was the
train of mourners that attended the hearse, weeping and wailing,
and bitterly cursing the stepdame, whom they secretly accused as
the cause of the princess's death. Everybody went into deep
mourning; and the princess could hear them lamenting to them-
selves, What a pity it was so sweet and young a princess should
perish through the cruelty of the wicked Grognon!' 'It were a good
deed,' they cried, 'to cut her to pieces, and cast her to the fowls of
the air.' The king also would neither eat nor drink, but grieved
continually.
Graciosa seeing her father so extremely afflicted, Ah, Percinet,'
said she,' 'tis impossible for me longer to bear that my father should
think me dead; therefore, if you love me, carry me back again, that
I may show myself at court.' Notwithstanding all his arguments,
he could not prevail upon her to relinquish this request. Dear
princess,' said he, you will wish yourself again, more than once, in
the palace of fairyland.' But, whatever he could say, Graciosa
insisted upon going; so, taking leave of the prince's mother and
sisters, Percinet and she got into the carriage, and the harts ran with
the swiftness of arrows. When they were out of the precincts of the
palace, Graciosa heard a great noise; and, looking behind her,
beheld the whole edifice tumbled down, and shattered into a
thousand pieces. What miracle is this !' cried she; the palace
is quite demolished Yes, madam,' replied Percinet; 'I must have
my palace among the dead, nor will you ever enter it again till you
are buried.' Why are you angry?' replied Graciosa, endeavouring
to pacify him; all things considered, have not I more reason to
complain than you?'







14 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

When they arrived at the court, Percinct so ordered it that himself,
the princess, and the carriage became invisible; so that she went
unseen till she came into the king's chamber, and threw herself at
his feet. When the king saw her, he started up in fear, and was
running away, taking her for a ghost; but she held him by his
garment, and convinced him she was not dead ; but that Grognon
had caused her to be carried into a wild forest, where she had got
into a tree, and lived upon the fruit. She added that the queen had
caused a billet to be buried instead of her, and besought him to
send her to one of his remote castles, where she might not be exposed
to the rage of her mother-in-law.
The king, doubting whether she spoke truth, sent to have the
billet take: up, and being convinced of the imposture, was amazed
at Grognon's wickedness, not imagining such malice could have
been in a woman's breast. Any other king would have laid her in
the billet's place, but he was a poor weak man, who had not courage
to be angry in earnest; however, he caressed his daughter more than
ever, and made her sup with him. But when Grognon's creatures
acquainted her with the princess's return, and that she had supped
with the king, her rage became perfect frenzy. She flew to tle
king's chamber, and told him he must either deliver up his daughter
to her that moment, or she would instantly be gone and never see
him more; that he was a fool to believe she was Graciosa, though
indeed she somewhat resembled her, for that Graciosa had certainly
hanged herself; and that if he gave credit to the impostures of
others, he had not the confidence and value which he ought to have
for her. The king not daring to resist, delivered up the unfortunate
princess into her hands, believing, or feigning to believe, that she was
not his daughter.
Grognon, transported with joy, dragged the princess, by the help of
her women, into a dark dungeon, where she caused her to be stripped,
covered her with coarse dirty rags and put a nasty cap upon her head,
hardly allowing her straw to lie upon, or bread to eat.
In this distress she wept bitterly, and wished herself again in the
castle of fairyland; but she durst not call upon Percinet, conscious
that she had not been so kind to him as she ought to have been, in
having so ungratefully left the protection of his mother and sisters.
In the meantime the wicked Grognon had sent for a fairy more mali-
cious than herself, who being come, I have got,' said she, a saucy
minx that vexes me to death; I would willingly punish her, by set-
ting her some difficult task, which she not being able to accomplish, I
may have a pretence to break her bones, and she no excuse : assist
me, therefore, to find out some new punishment for her every day.'
The fairy answered that she would consider of it, and return the next
day. She was as good as her word, and brought with her a skein of
thread, as wide about as the waists of three people, so fine that it
would hardly bear breathing upon, and so tangled that neither







GRACIOSA AND PERCIA 'T. r5

beginning nor end were to be found. Grognon, overjoyed at the im-
possibility of this task, sent immediately for the lovely captive, and,
with a smile of derision, Here,' said she, prepare thy clumsy paws
to unravel this skein ; and be assured if thou breakest the least bit,
thou shalt dearly pay for it; for I will flay thee alive myself. Begin
when thou wilt, but I must have it unravelled before sunset.' And.
saying this, she shut her up in a chamber under three locks.
When the princess was alone, she attempted the task, turned the
skein a thousand ways, and broke it a thousand times; which so
distracted her that she gave over the attempt, and throwing it in
the middle of the room, Go, fatal skein,' said she; lie there, since
thou it is that art to be the occasion of my death. Oh, Percinet,
Percinet! if my severity has not given too great a repulse to your
friendship, though I cannot hope for your assistance, yet come, how-
ever, and receive my last farewell.' Saying this, she fell a-weeping so
bitterly that anyone less sensitive than such a friend would have
been moved to compassion. Percinet immediately opened the door
with the same ease as if he had had the keys in his pocket. Here I
am, dear princess,' said he, always ready for your service.' Having
said this, he struck three times with his wand upon the skein, and im-
mediately the threads untwisted, and joined one to the other; and
with two more strokes the whole was unravelled with surprising ease:
which done, he asked her whether she had any other service to
command him, and whether she intended never to bear his company
but in her distresses. Upbraid me not, sweet Percinet,' cried she ;
'I am already too unfortunate.' Oh, princess,' replied Percinet,' it
is your own fault that you are not absolutely delivered from this
insulting tyranny to which you are a victim. Go with me, make
your felicity mine, and mine yours; what are you afraid of ?' That
you love me not with a sincere and lasting affection,' replied the
princess; I am desirous that time should confirm the truth of the
sentiments you express for me.' Percinet, being offended, took his
leave and left her.
The sun was just setting when Grognon, who waited for the close
of the evening with the greatest impatience, came with her four
furies, who attended her wherever she went. She put her three keys
into the three locks, and as she opened the door, Well 1' said she,
'I suppose my beautiful idler has been afraid to make use of her ten
fingers. Aye, aye, she had rather sleep to preserve her complexion.'
However, when she had entered, Graciosa handed her the skein,
wherein there was not a thread amiss; so that all Grognon could say
was, that she had sullied it, and was an awkward creature; for
which she gave her two such unmerciful blows on her fair cheeks,
which were of the colour of the lily and the rose, that they became
black and blue. The unfortunate Graciosa, who was forced to suffer
patiently what she could not avoid, was after this locked close up
again in her dungeon.







OLD, OLD A'-IRY' TALES.


Grogunon, amazed that she had succeeded no better with her skein
of thread, sent for the fairy again, and reproached her in very pas-
sionate terms. Find me out something else,' said she, so difficult
as to amount to an impossibility.' The fairy went away, and the
next day returned with a great tub full of feathers of all sorts of
birds-as nightingales, canary-birds, robin-redbreasts, goldfinches,
linnets, parrots, owls, sparrows, pigeons, ostriches, bustards, pea,
cocks, larks, partridges, and an infinite number more, which I am
not able to name; and these feathers were so intermixed, that the
birds themselves would never have been able to have known their
own apparel. 'Here,' said the fairy to Grognon, 'is that which will
try the wit and patience of your captive ; command her to separate
these feathers, and lay the plumage of every one of these birds by
itself ; which is a task that would puzzle her, were she a fairy herself.'
Grognon was in an ecstasy of joy, only at the bare thoughts of the
princess's perplexity. She sent for her, and after having terrified her
with a thousand menaces, she shut her up with the feathers in a
chamber under three locks, as before ; giving her to understand that
she expected her work should be done before sunset.
Graciosa took some of the feathers, and looked upon them ; but
finding it impossible to know the difference of one bird's feathers
from those of another, she threw them back into the tub. Yet she
made several essays ; but the oftener she tried, the more impossible
she found her task. So that, at length, overwhelmed with grief and
despair, I must die,' cried she, with a lamentable voice; it is my
death that is sought for, and only that can put an end to my miseries.
Injured Percinet has left me too, no doubt; and to call on him
for succour would be in vain; for, had he any pity for me, he would
have been here ere now.'
Dear Graciosa, I am here,' cried Percinet, starting up from under
the feathers, where he lay hid ; I am ready to deliver you from all
your troubles; and now, after so many proofs of my fidelity, can you
any longer suspect the sincerity of my affection, or think I do not
love you better than my life ?' Saying this, he struck three times
with his wand upon the tub, and immediately the feathers flew out,
and sorted themselves in little heaps about the room. I am in-
finitely obliged to you, sir,' said Graciosa; but for you, I must have
been lost ; and be assured I will not be ungrateful.'
Grognon came exactly at her hour; but was amazed and con-
founded to see her designs again defeated ; she, however, bestowed
some blows upon Graciosa, pretending the feathers were not laid
even. She sent for the fairy directly, and fell into such a rage
with her, that the fairy knew not what to say, being herself quite
confounded. At length she promised to use her utmost art in making
a box which, if Graciosa's curiosity ever tempted her to open,
should puzzle her to shut again, beyond all the arts in fairyland to
help her. Accordingly, some days after, she brought this box which







GRAC/OSA AND PERCINET. 17

was somewhat large. 'Here,' said she to Grognon, 'send your
captive somewhere with this box; but forbid her to open it, and
then she certainly will: and you will have your desire.' Grognon,
observing the fairy's directions, said to her fair captive, 'Here,
carry this box to my rich castle, and set it upon a table in my
cabinet; but, upon pain of death, I command you not to look what
is in it.'
Graciosa, having put on her wooden clogs, her canvas gown, and
her woollen cap, set out on her journey. All that met her cried,
' Certainly there goes some goddess in disguise;' for the poverty of her
dress could not conceal her wonderful beauty. However, she began
to be tired with her journey ; and, coming into a little wood, sur-
rounded with delightful meadows, she sat down to rest herself;
having set the box upon her knees, her curiosity of a sudden
prompted her to open it. What can be the danger?' said she to
herself; I shall take nothing out of it, and would only see what is
in it;' so, reflecting no farther upon the consequences, she opened
the box, when immediately out came a great many little men and
women, violins, instruments, little pictures, little cooks, and little
dishes; in short, the giant of the whole company was not higher
than your little finger. They danced in the meadows ; divided them-
selves in companies, and began the pleasantest ball that was ever
seen; some skipped and capered about; others acted as cooks;
some ate and drank; and the little violins played to a miracle.
Graciosa, for some time, was delighted with the sight, thinking to
recall the merry wantons into the box; but not one of them would
return: the little gentlemen and ladies betook themselves to their
heels; the violins ran away; the cooks, with their pots upon their
heads, and their spits upon their shoulders, flew from her like so
many birds; and when she followed them into the wood, they got
into the meadows; when she ran after them into the meadows, they
tlew into the wood. Oh, indiscreet curiosity!' cried Graciosa,
weeping; 'now my enemies will prevail; the only misfortune I
could have prevented is befallen me through my own folly; no, I
cannot sufficiently blame myself. Oh, Percinet I Percinet I if it be
possible for thee still to love a princess so imprudent, assist me once
more in this most perilous accident that ever threatened my life.'
Percinet did not stay to be called thrice, but appeared immediately
in his green habit, saying, Were it not for the wicked Grognon,
he supposed Graciosa would never think of him.' 'Have a better
opinion of my sentiments,' replied the princess; I am neither in-
sensible of merit, nor ungrateful for kindnesses received. It is true,
I have put your constancy to trials; but it is to crown it when I am
convinced of it.' Percinet, being now better pleased than ever,
gave three strokes with his wand upon the box, and immediately
the little gentlemen and ladies, the violins, the cooks with their
roast meat-in short, the whole of this diminutive company-placed
2








l8 OLD, OLD FAIR' TALES.

themselves again in the box, as if they had never been out of it;
then Percinet, who had left his chariot in the wood, desired
the princess to use it the remaining part of her journey to the
castle; and, indeed, she had no small need of such a convenience,
considering the condition she was in. So, having rendered her in-
visible, he conducted her himself, and by that means had the pleasure
of her company.
Thus she arrived at the rich castle; but when she demanded
the key of the cabinet, in Grognon's name, the governor burst out
laughing. How !' said he, hast thou the confidence to think
shepherd-girls are ever admitted into queen's cabinets Go, go,
get thee gone! wooden clogs and hobnails never yet defiled these
glittering floors.' Graciosa desired him to write a line why he had
refused her entrance, which he readily did. So, leaving the castle,
she was received by the amiable Percinet, who waited for her, and
conducted her back to the king's palace. It would be difficult to
relate all the tender and respectful arguments lie used by the way,
to persuade her to put an end to her inisfortunes. To which she
replied, that if Grognon imposed upon her any more of these im-
possible commands, she would yield him her content.
When the enraged stepdame saw the princess had returned, she
flew upon the fairy, whom she had detained with her all the while.
fastened her claws in her wrinkled cheeks, and would have throttled
her too, had it been possible to strangle a fairy. Graciosa presented
the governor's letter and the box; but she threw both into the
fire, not vouchsafing to open them ; and had she thought of it, would
have thrown the princess after them; but she did not defer her
punishment long.
She caused a great hole to be made in the garden, as deep as a
well, and a great stone to be laid over the mouth of it. Then taking
occasion to walk in the garden, she said to Graciosa, and the rest
that attended her, Under that stone, as I am informed, there lies
concealed immense treasure, let us go and remove it.' Upon this
they all set their hands to it, and Graciosa among the rest, which
was what Grognon desired; for as the princess stood by the side
of the hole, Grognon pushed her in, and then rolled the stone over
it again.
This stroke appeared to be past remedy; for how could Percinet
find her, buried thus in the earth ? she herself despaired, and re-
pented she had so long delayed to marry him. How terrible is my
destiny I' cried she: this kind of death is more dreadful than any
other. Oh, Percinet I you are sufficiently revenged for my scrupulous
reluctancy. Yet,' continued she, if I could but hope you would
show some regret for the loss of me, I should be less sensible of my
misfortune.' She was lamenting in this manner to ease her sorrows,
when she perceived a little door open, which she had not seen before,
by reason of the obscurity : at the same time she also saw daylight,
































































































OoODT IMARTY' HONr.














"a







GRACIOSA AND PERCINET. 21

and a garden full of flowers, fruits, fountains, grottos, statues, groves,
and arbours; she went in, and walked forward into a spacious valley,
wondering what would be the event of this extraordinary beginning.
Soon after she discovered the castle of fairyland, which she easily
knew again; for a castle made all of crystal, with the history of one's
life engraved therein, is no very common sight. Percinet appeared,
too, together with the queen his mother, and his sisters. Fair
princess,' said the queen to Graciosa, 'it is time now you should
consent; make my son most happy, and free yourself from that
deplorable condition wherein you live under the tyranny of Grognon.'
The grateful princess fell upon her knees, and told the queen she
might dispose of her destiny, and that she would obey her in all
things; that she now discovered the truth of Percinet's prediction,
when he foretold her that his palace should be among the dead, and
she never enter it again till she had been buried; that she was
amazed at his knowledge, that his merit was no less her admiration,
and therefore she accepted him for her husband. Now the prince,
in his turn, threw himself at her feet; the whole palace resounded
with music and acclamations of joy, and the nuptials were solemnized
with the greatest magnificence. All the fairies for a thousand miles
round came thither in the most sumptuous equipages; some in
chariots drawn by swans, others by dragons; some rode upon the
clouds, and others in globes of fire. Among the latter appeared the
fairy who assisted Grognon to torment Graciosa. When she knew
who it was, she was in the greatest surprise; besought her to forget
what had passed, and said she would endeavour to make her amends
for the evils she had caused her to suffer; and it is certain that she
did not stay out the festival, but, remounting her chariot, drawn by
two terrible serpents, she flew to the king's palace; and finding
Grognon, wrung off her neck, notwithstanding all the guards and
women could do to prevent it.




BLANCHE AND ROSALIND.

IN a pleasant village some miles from the metropolis, there lived a
very good sort of woman, who was much beloved by all her neigh-
bours, because she was always ready to assist. everyone who was in
need. She had received in her youth a better education than the
inhabitants of the little village in which she dwelt, and for this
reason the poor people looked up to her with a degree of respect.
She was the widow of a very good man, who, when he died, left
her with two children. They were very pretty girls; the eldest, on
account of the fairness of her complexion, was named Blanche, and







22 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

the other Rosalind, because her cheeks were like roses, and her lips
like coral.
One day, while Goody Hearty sat spinning at the door, she saw a
poor old woman going by, leaning on a stick, who had much ado to
hobble along. You seem very much tired, dame,' said she to the
old woman; sit down here, and rest yourself a little ;' at the same
time she bid her daughters fetch a chair; they both went, but Rosa-
lind ran fastest, and brought one. Will you please to drink?' said
Goody Hearty. 'Thank you,' answered the old woman, I don't
care if I do, and methinks if you had anything nice that I liked, I
could eat a bit.' You are welcome to the best I have in my house,'
said Goody Hearty, 'but as I am poor, it is homely fare.
She then ordered her daughters to spread a clean cloth on the


















table, while she went to the cupboard, from whence she took some
brown bread and cheese, to which she added a mug of cider. As
soon as the old woman was seated at the table, Goody Hearty
desired her eldest daughter to go and gather some plums off her own
plum-tree, which she had planted herself, and took great delight in.
Blanche, instead of obeying her mother readily, grumbled and mut-
tered as she went. Surely,' said she to herself, I did not take all
this care and pains with my plum-tree for that old creature.' How-
ever, she durst not refuse gathering a few plums, but she gave them
with a very ill-will, and very ungraciously. As for you, Rosalind,'
said her mother, you have no fruit to offer this good dame, for your
grapes are not ripe.'
That's true,' replied Rosalind, but my hen has just laid, for I








BLANCHE AND ROSALIND. 23

hear her cackle, and if the lady likes a new-laid egg, 'tis very much
at her service;' and without staying for an answer, she ran to the
hen-roost, and brought the egg; but just as she was presenting it to
the old woman she turned into a fine beautiful lady I
Good woman,' said she to Goody Hearty, I have long seen your
industry, perseverance, and pious resignation, and I will reward your
daughters according to their merits; the eldest shall be a great queen,
the other shall have a country farm ;' with this she struck the house


ROSALInrD' FARM.
with her stick, which immediately disappeared, and in its room up
came a pretty little snug farm. This, Rosalind,' said she, is your
lot; I know I have given each of you what you like best.'
Having said this, the fairy went away, leaving both mother and
daughters greatly astonished. They went into the farmhouse, and
were quite charmed with the neatness of the furniture; the chairs
were only wood, but so bright you might see your face in them. The
beds were of linen-cloth, as white as snow. There were forty sheep







OLD, OLD FAIR Y TALES.


in the sheep-pen ; four oxen, and four cows, in their stalls; and in
the yard all sorts of poultry, hens, ducks, pigeons, etc. There was
also a pretty garden, well stocked with flowers, fruit, and vegetables.
Blanche saw the fairy's gift to her sister without being jealous, and
was wholly taken up with the thoughts of being a queen; when, all
of a sudden, she heard some hunters riding by, and going to the gate
to see them, she appeared so charming in the king's eyes, who was
there, that he resolved to marry her.
When Blanche was a queen, she said to her sister Rosalind, I do
not care you should be a farmer; come with me, sister, and I will
match you to some great lord.' I am very much obliged to you,
sister,' replied Rosalind; but I am used to a country life, and I pre-
fer to stay where I am.'
Queen Blanche arrived at her palace, and was so delighted with
her new dignity that she could not sleep for several nights. The
first three months her thoughts were wholly engrossed by dress, balls,
and plays, so that she thought of nothing else. She was soon accus-
tomed to all this, and nothing now diverted her; on the contrary,
she found it a great deal of trouble.
The ladies of the court were all very respectful in her presence;
but she knew very well that they did not love her, and when out of
her sight would often say to one another, See what airs this little
country girl gives herself. His majesty must have a very mean
fancy to make choice of such a consort.' These discourses soon
reached the king's ears, and made him reflect on what he had done;
he began to think he was wrong, and repented his marriage. The
courtiers saw this, and accordingly paid little or no respect to Blanche.
She was very unhappy, for she had not a single friend to whom
she could declare her griefs ; she saw it was the fashion at court to
betray the dearest friend for interest, to caress and smile upon those
they most hated, and to lie every instant; she was obliged to be
always serious, because they told her a queen ought to look grave
and majestic. She had several children, and all the time there was
a physician to inspect whatever she ate or drank; and to order
everything she liked off the table; not a grain of salt was allowed to
be put in her soup, nor was she permitted to take a walk, though
she wished ever so much to do so. Governesses were appointed to
her children, who brought them up contrary to her wishes; yet she
had not the liberty to find fault. Poor Queen Blanche was dying
with grief, and grew so thin that it was sad to see her. She had
not seen her sister for three years, because she imagined it would
disgrace a person of her rank and dignity to pay a visit to a farmer's
wife. Her extreme melancholy made her very ill, and her physi-
cians ordered change of air. She therefore resolved to spend a few
days in the country, to divert her uneasiness, and improve her
health.
Accordingly, she asked the king for leave to go, and he very readily







BLANCHE AND ROSALIND. 25

granted it, because he thought he should be rid of her for some
time. She set out, and soon arrived at the village. As she drew
near Rosalind's house, she beheld, at a little distance from the door,
a company of shepherds and shepherdesses, who were dancing and
making merry. Alas I' said the queen, sighing, there once was a
time when I used to divert myself like those poor people, and no
one found fault with me.' The moment Rosalind perceived her
sister, she ran to embrace her. The queen ordered her carriage to
stop, and alighting, rushed into her sister's arms; but Rosalind was
grown so plump, and had such an air of content, that the queen, as
she looked on her, could not forbear bursting into tears.
Rosalind was married to a farmer's son, who had no fortune of
his own; but then he ever remembered that he was indebted to his
wife for everything he had, and he strove to show his gratitude by
his obliging behaviour. Rosalind had not many servants, but those
she had loved her as though she had been their mother, because
she used them kindly; she was beloved by all her neighbours, and
they all endeavoured to show it. She neither had nor wanted
much money; corn, wine, and oil were the growth of her farm;
her cows supplied her with milk, butter, and cheese. The wool of
her sheep was spun to clothe herself, her husband, and her two
children. They enjoyed perfect health, and when the work of the
day was over, they spent the evening in all sorts of pastimes.
SAlas !' cried the queen, the fairy made me a sad present in
giving me a crown. Content is not found in magnificent palaces,
but in an innocent country life.'
Scarce had she done speaking, before the fairy appeared.
'In making you a queen,' said the fairy, I did not intend to
reward, but punish you for giving me your plums with an ill-will.
To be contented and happy, you must, like your sister, possess only
what is necessary, and wish for nothing else.'
Ah, madam I' cried Blanche, you are sufficiently revenged; pray
put an end to my distress.'
It is at an end,' said the fairy, the king, who loves you no
longer, has just married another wife, and to-morrow his officers
will come to forbid you returning any more to the palace.'
It happened just as the fairy had foretold, and Blanche passed
the remainder of her days with her sister Rosalind in all manner of
happiness and content, and never thought again of the court, unless
it were to thank the fairy for having brought her back to her native
village







OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


THE WHIIITE CAT.

HERE was once upon a time a king who
Shad three brave and haindso e sons ; he
was afraid that the desire to reign should
take possession of their minds before his
i death ; certain reports were even in circula-
tion that they were endeavouring to acquire
"13) supporters to a-ssit themi in seizing the
K government of the kingdom. The king felt
that Ihe was old, but his sense and his
Capacity for government not being at all
S,' diminishied, lie did not feel inclined to yield
them a place he filled so worthily; so lie
thoulgit that the best way for him to live in
quiet would be to amuse them with promises, the fulfilment of which
he would always find a means to elude.
He had them summoned to his closet; and after having spoken
to them with great kindness, he said: You will agrec with me, my
dear children, that my great age cannot permit me to attend to the
affairs of state with so much care as formerly : I am afraid that my
subjects will suffer in consequence, and wish to place my crown on
the head of one of you ; but it is very just that in return for such a
gift you should find some means of pleasing me. My intention is to
retire into the country, and it appears to me that a well-trained
little dog, pretty and faithful, would be pleasant company in my
walks ; therefore, without choosing either my eldest on account of
his seniority, or my youngest for love, I declare to you that he of
you three who shall bring me the prettiest little dog, shall be my
immediate successor.' The princes were all much surprised at
their father's desire for a little dog, but as the two youngest saw
that they thus stood as good a chance for the throne as their eldest
brother, they joyfully acceded to the proposal: the eldest was either
too timid or too respectful to represent his rights. They took leave
of the king, who gave them money and jewellery, and told them
that that day twelve months, without fail, they were to return,
bringing with them their little dogs.
Before their final departure they went to a castle which was
situated three miles from the town. They invited their most con-
fidential friends and gave a sumptuous entertainment, at which the
three brothers vowed eternal friendship, agreeing to have no jealousy
or animosity against each other in this affair, but that the successful
candidate should share his fortune with the two others; finally they
separated, agreeing to make that castle their rendezvous on their
return, and thence to proceed together to the king; they did not


















-Y--a


?t~, I


p'9


THE WHITE CAT


F'~~ii~


di s
~cJr


~p~g~~'F~







THE WHITE CAT. 27

wish to be followed by anyone, and changed their names that they
might not be known.
Each of them took a different road: the two eldest encountered
many adventures, but my intention is to relate only those that befell
the youngest. He was a young prince of graceful demeanour, and
of a cheerful and lively temper; he was of a noble figure, had a
well-shaped head, regular features, handsome teeth, and was very
skilful in all the exercises suitable to a prince. He sang agreeably,
and played on the lute and mandolin with much taste and delicacy.
He understood painting, and, in a word, was very accomplished; with
regard to his courage, he was brave to intrepidity.




















THE CATLE OF THE WHITE TAT
Not a day passed without his buying dogs, large and small, grey-
hounds, mastiffs, bloodhounds, staghounds, spaniels, water-spaniels
and lap-dogs; when he met with one which he preferred to those
he already had, he let the others go and kept that; for it was im-
possible for him to keep thirty or forty thousand dogs, and he did
not wish for gentlemen, valets or pages in his suite. He continued
to pursue his road, not having decided on taking any particular
direction, when he was surprised by night and a storm of thunder
and rain in a forest, with the roads of which he was unacquainted.
He struck into the first he came to, and after proceeding some
distance he perceived a light, which induced him to think that
there was a house not far distant, where he might obtain a shelter







.OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


till the next day. Proceeding in the direction of the light, he
presently arrived at the gate of the most superb castle that could be
imagined. This gate was of massive gold, studded all over with
carbuncles, the clear, bright rays of which illumined all around.
It was, indeed, their lustre which the prince had perceived from afar;
the walls were of transparent china of various colours, and on these
were represented the histories of all the fairies from the creation of
the world until that day; the famous adventures of Ass's Skin, of
Finetta, of tile Orange-tree, of Graciosa, of the Sleeping Beauty in
the Wood, of Green Serpentine, and many others were not omitted.
Ie was charmed to find that Prince Lutin had a place there, for
that prince was his uncle. The rain and bad weather prevented
his making a longer observation of the place while he was fast
getting wet through; besides, he could only examine those places
which the light shed by the carbuncles rendered visible to him.
He returned therefore to the golden gate : and observed a roe-
buck's foot fastened to the end of a diamond chain. IIo could not
f)rbear admiring its magnificer.ce, and the security in which the
inhabitants of the castle seemed to dwell: for what,' said he, is
there to prevent thieves from cutting off this chain and wresting off
those carbuncles ? they would enrich themselves for ever.'
He pulled the roebuck's foot and immediately heard a bell ring,
which from the sound it returned he judged to be either of gold or of
-ilver; in a moment the door opened, without his perceiving any-
thing but a dozen hands in the air, each holding a flambeau. lie
was so astonished that he hesitated to advance, when he felt other
hands pushing from behind, with a little violence. He then entered
rather uneasy, and, as he thought, in some danger, so he kept his
hand on the hilt of his sword; but entering a vestibule, the walls of
which were encrusted with porphyry and lapis-lazuli, he heard two
almost celestial voices singing this stanza:
'With unconcern behold each hand,
And dread no false alarm,
If you are sure you can withstand
The force of beauty's charm.'
He could not believe that he was invited so kindly to suffer any
injury; so that, feeling himself gently pushed towards a large coral
door which opened of itself as he approached, he entered a large hall
of mother of pearl, and subsequently several chambers, each
ornamented in a different taste, and so enriched with paintings and
jewellery, that he was like one enchanted. Vast quantities of lights,
disposed regularly from the ceiling of the hall downwards, con-
tributed to illumine some of the other apartments, which were
besides filled with lustres, branch-candlesticks and sideboards
covered with wax lights; in a word, the magnificence was such that
its detail would almost be incredible.







TIlE WHITE CA T. 29

After having entered sixty chambers, the hands which conducted
him stopped, and he observed a large elbow-chair making its way
towards him from the chimney. The fire kindled of itself at the
same time, and the hands, which seemed to him very pretty, small,
plump and well-proportioned, undressed him, for, as I have already
said, he was very wet, and it was to be feared he would take cold.
Without his seeing anyone, a shirt fine enough for a wedding-dan
was handed to him, with a dressing-gown of gold brocade, embroidered
with little emeralds which formed cyphers. The trunkless hands
placed a table within his reach, on which his toilette was arranged.
Nothing could be more magnificent : they combed out his hair witL
a lightness and dexterity which gave him great pleasure. Presently
they dressed him, but not in his own clothes; a much richer suit
was provided for him. Ile silently admired all that he observed,
and occasionally little fears, of which he could not entirely divest
himself, obtruded themselves on his mind.
When his hair was curled and powdered, his clothes finally
adjusted and ornamented, and his person sweetly perfumed, he
looked more handsome than Adonis, and the hands conducted him
to a superb saloon, rich in gilding and furniture. Around it were to
be seen paintings representing the histories of the most celebrated
cats: Rodillardus hanging by his feet at the Council of the Rats; the
Master Cat, or Puss in Boots; the Marquis of Carabas; the Writing
Cat; the Cat metamorphosed into a woman; witches in the shape of
cats, their ceremonies and nightly meetings-such were the subjects
of some of these pictures, than which nothing could be more odd and
curious.
Two tables were laid in this saloon; each of them was garnished
with gold plate; the buffet was surprising on account of the vast
number of vessels, all of rock-crystal or precious stones, arranged
therein. The prince did not know for whom these two cloths were
laid, and while he was considering he observed cats enter the saloon
and arrange themselves at a little orchestra, placed expressly for
them; one held the most extraordinary music-book that was ever
seen, another a little roll of paper wherewith to beat time, and the
others carried little guitars. Of a sudden they all began mewing in
different tones, and scraping on the strings of the guitars with their
claws; it was the strangest music that ever was heard. The prince
would have thought that he was in the infernal regions, if the palace
had not been too wonderfully fine to allow him to encourage a thought
so degrading; but he stopped his ears, and laughed with all his
heart at witnessing the various attitudes and grimaces of these novel
musicians.
He was pondering on the curious things that had already happened
to him in the castle, when he noticed a little figure, not two feet in
height, enter the saloon. This large doll was enveloped in a long
black crape veil Two cats were leading her, clothed in mourning;







30 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

they wore cloaks, and swords by their sides ; a numerous corUtge of
cats formed her train; some of them carried traps full of rats, and
others mice in cages.
This sight did not decrease the prince's astonishment; he knew
not what to think. The little figure in black walked up to him; and
raising her veil he saw the most beautiful white cat that was ever or
will ever be seen. She looked very young, and very sad withal; she
said to the prince: Son of a king, you are welcome; my feline
majesty sees you with pleasure.'
Madam Puss,' said the prince, you are very generous to receive
me with so much hospitality, but you do not seem to be an ordinary
cat; your gift of speech and your superb castle are very evident
proofs to the contrary.'
'Son of a king,' replied the White Cat. I request you to forbear
paying me compliments ; I am simple in my manners and discourse,
but I have a good heart. Come,' continued she, let supper be
served, and let the musicians cease to play, for the prince does not
understand their music.'
And do they sing anything, madam ?' asked he.
SUndoubtedly,' she resumed ; we have true poets of infinite
imagination, of which, if you remain a short time with us, you will
have opportunities of being convinced.'
It is only necessary to hear you affirm it to believe it,' said the
prince gallantly; 'for, madam, I look upon you as an exceedingly
rare cat.'
Supper was brought up, the trunkless hands being the only attend-
ants. Tureens of rich soup were first placed on the table, one being
made of young pigeons, and another of fat rats. The sight of the
second tureen prevented the prince from eating any of the first, he
fancying that the same cook had dressed both; but the little cat.
who divined from his looks what was passing in his mind, assured
him that her own kitchen was apart from that in which the pigeon
soup was prepared, and that he might partake of what was presented
to him with certainty of there being neither rats nor mice in it.
The prince gave her no occasion to repeat her assurance, for he
did not believe that the pretty little cat would deceive him. He
remarked that she held in her paw a tablet containing a miniature
portrait, which surprised him. He entreated her to let him see it,
thinking that it was the picture of Minagrobis, or some favoured
feline lover. He was very much astonished to see the countenance
of a young man, so handsome that it was almost doubtful whether
nature could form one to match it, had not the features borne so
strong a resemblance to his own, that a better likeness of himself
could not have been painted. She sighed, and becoming still more
sorrowful, kept a profound silence. The prince plainly saw that
there was something extraordinary in the affair; however, he dared
not inform himself on the subject for fear of displeasing or grieving the







THE WHITE CAT. 31

cat. He entertained her with all the news he possessed, and found
her well acquainted with the different interests of princes, and with
the various events that were passing in the world.
After supper the White Cat invited her guest into a large hall
which contained a stage, on which twelve cats and twelve apes were
dancing a ballet. The cats were dressed as Moors and the apes as
Chinese. It may easily be imagined how agile they were in their
movements, and how high they leaped; and how, from time to time,
they gave one another cuffs with their paws; with this entertain-
ment the evening closed. The White Cat bade her guest good-night;
the hands which had conducted him thither resumed their guidance
and led him to an apartment attached to that in which he had per-
formed his toilette. It was furnished with less magnificence than
good taste; the walls were hung with tapestry made of butterfly-
wings, the colours of which were disposed in the shape and resem-
blance of various beautiful flowers. There were also feathers of very
rare birds which most likely were never seen except in that place.
The bed furniture was of gauze, looped up with many bows of ribbon,
There were besides noble looking-glasses reaching from the ceiling to
the floor; the frames were of gold, chased to represent thousands
of little cupids.
The prince went to bed without saying a word; for there was no
means of holding a conversation with the hands in attendance upon
him; he did not sleep much, and was awakened by a confused noise.
The hands immediately took him out of bed, and dressed him in a
hunting suit. He looked into the courtyard of the castle, and
observed more than five hundred cats, some of them leading grey-
hounds in couples, and others winding horns; the day being a great
festival. The White Cat was going to the chase, and wished the
prince to go also. The officious hands presented to him a wooden
horse that was very swift and very steady; he made some objection
to mounting it, alleging that he had no desire to turn knight-errant
like Don Quixote; but his resistance was unavailing, they mounted
him on the wooden horse. His horse-cloth and saddle were em-
broidered with gold and diamonds. The White Cat mounted an ape,
the handsomest and most superb that was ever seen; she no longer
wore her long veil, but a hat and feather, which gave her so fierce
an air that all the mice that saw her were quite terrified. Never
was there a more pleasant chase; the cats ran faster than the
rabbits and hares, so that they took plenty of game, the White Cat
having them fed in her own presence, and encouraging them; for the
birds, they were in no greater safety; the cats climbed the trees, and
the ape carried the White Cat to the eagles' nests, to dispose as she
thought fit of their little highnesses the eagles.
When the chase was over she took a horn which was as long as a
man's finger, but which yielded so clear and loud a sound that it was
distinctly audible thirty miles off. After sounding two or three







32 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

flourishes, she was surrounded by all the cats in tile country; some
appeared in the air mounted on chariots, others came by water, in
boats; in a word, a similar sight was never before seen. They were
nearly all differently dressed ; she returned to the castle with this
pompous suite, and requested the prince to accompany her. lie was
very willing, though all this seemed to him to savour a little of witch-
craft and sorcery; but the fact of the White Cat's being able to speak
surprised him more than all the rest.
When she arrived at home, she resumed her large black veil; she
supped with the prince, who was hungry and ate with a good
appetite ; rich liquors were brought, of which he drank with pleasure,
and they had the effect of immediately obliterating from his mind all
thoughts of the little dog that he had to take to the king. lie only
thought of listening to the White Cat's mewing, andl keeping her good
and faithful company ; he spent the days in the most agreeable
manner, sometimes fishing or hunting, at others dancing and feasting.
with a thousand other diversions of the most pleasant kind; the
beautiful cat frequently composed songs and verses in so impassioned
a style that he thought she must have a tender heart, and that no
one could express herself as she did, who was insen'ible to love ; but
her secretary, an aged cat, wrote so bad a hand, that at the present
day, although her works are still preserved in the hands of our
publisher, it is impossible to decipher them.
The prince had forgotten his country. The hands so often men-
tioned continued to attend on him. Ie sometimes regretted that l.,
was not a cat, that he might pass the remainder of his life in such
good company.
Alas !' said he to the White Cat, how sorry I shall be to leave
you; I love you so dearly I Either become a woman or change ne
into a cat.'
She was mightily pleased with this request, but only gave him
obscure answers, of which he could not at all comprehend the
meaning.
A year quickly passes away when one has neither anxiety nor
trouble, and enjoys good health and spirits. The White ('at knew
the time when the prince should return, and, as he no longer remem-
bered it, recalled it to his recollection. Are you aware,' said she,
that you have only three days to find the little dog that the king
your father wishes for, and that your brothers have got some very
fine ones ?'
The prince thus reminded, and much astonished at his negligence,
exclaimed: By what secret charm can I have forgotten that thing
of all others which to me is the most important in the world ? There
goes my glory and my fortune ; where shall I find a little dog beauti-
ful enough to gain a kingdom, and a horse fleet enough to take me to
the king my father within the prescribed time?' He then began to
feel uneasy and to afflict himself very much.







THE WHITE CA T. 33

The White Cat said to him soothingly: Son of r. king, do not
grieve, I am your friend; you may remain here one day longer, and,
although your country is one thousand five hundred miles from
hence, the good wooden horse will carry you thither in less than
twelve hours.'-' Many thanks, beautiful Cat,' said the prince; but
I not only want to return to my father; I must take him a little
dog.'-' Here,' said the White Cat, take this acorn: in it you will
find one more beautiful than the dog-star itself.'-' Oh,' said the
prince, Madam Puss, your majesty is pleased to be facetious with
me.' 'Put the acorn to your ear,' continued she, and you will hear
it bark.' IIe did so; immediately the little dog barked Bow-wow-
wow,' at which the prince was in ecstasies, for a dog which was
capable of being contained in an acorn must of necessity be very
small. So great was his desire to see it that he had a mind to open
it; but the White Cat told him that the little dog might take cold on
the road, and he had better wait till he was in the king his father's
presence. lie thanked her a thousand times, and, after bidding her
a tender adieu, he added : I assure you that the days have passed
so pleasantly in your company, that I regret very sincerely to leave
you here; and though you are a queen, and all the cats who compose
your court have more wit and gallantry than can be found in ours, I
cannot forbear inviting you to accompany me.' The Cat only an-
swered this proposal with a profound sigh.
They parted. The prince arrived first at the castle which had
been agreed upon as the rendezvous of himself and brothers. They
made their appearance shortly after him, and were not a little sur-
prised to see in the courtyard a wooden horse that leaped better than
any in the academy.
The prince went out to meet them. They embraced severaltimes
and told each other their adventures; but our prince disguised his
from his brothers, and showed them a vile cur of a turnspit, telling
them he thought it was so pretty that he had decided on taking it as
his present to the king. However great the friendship between them,
the two eldest felt a secret joy at the wretched choice their brother
had made, and when they were seated at table they trod on each
other's feet, as much as to say that there was nothing to fear in that
quarter.
The next day they set out together in the same carriage. The two
elder sons carried their little dogs in baskets, so fine and delicate
that one hardly dared to touch them. The youngest led his miserable
turnspit in a string, and it was so dirty no one could touchit. When
they had entered the palace, everybody crowded round them to bid
them welcome; they passed on to the king's apartment. He knew
not in whose favour to decide, for the little dogs presented him by
his two elder sons were so nearly of equal beauty; and they were
already arguing their rights to accession, when the youngest settled
the dffeieuce by taking from his pocket the acorn that the White Cat
3







OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


had given to him. He immediately opened it, when everybody saw
a little dog lying on some cotton. He was so small that he would
pass through a ring without touching it. The prince put him on the
floor, where he immediately began dancing a saraband with castanets,
as lightly as the most practised dancer at Madrid. He was of many
different colours, his ears and long silky hair reaching to the ground.
The king was very much confused, for it was impossible to find any
fault with Toutou's beauty.
However, he had no wish to get rid of his crown, the smallest gem
of which was dearer to him than all the dogs in the universe. So he
told his sons that he was satisfied with the trouble they had taken
to gratify his wish, but that they had been so successful in the first
thing he had desired of them, that he wished to make further trial of
their abilities before keeping his word; he accordingly gave them
twelve months to search by land and sea for a piece of cloth of so
fine a texture that it would pass through the eye of a cambric needle.
All three of them were very much afflicted at being obliged to set out
on a new search. The two princes whose dogs were not so fine as
that of their youngest brother consented, however, with a good grace.
Each of them went his way, without their bidding the youngest or
one another nearly so friendly an adieu as they had done on the first
occasion, for the turnspit had a little alienated their affections.
Our prince remounted his wooden horse, and, without seeking
other assistance than what he hoped for from the White Cat's friend-
ship, he departed with all diligence, and returned to the castle where
she had before so kindly entertained him. He found all the doors
open; the windows, the roofs, the towers, and the walls were
illuminated with a hundred thousand lamps, which had a marvellous
effect. The hands which had before so well attended on him,
advanced to meet him, taking the bridle of the excellent wooden
horse and leading him to the stable, while the prince entered the
White Cat's chamber.
She was lying in a little basket, on a very neat white satin
mattress. She wore her cap en inglig/e, and seemed in low spirits;
but when she saw the prince she made a thousand skips and jumps
to express her joy. Whatever reason I may have had,' said she to
him, to wish for your return, I confess, son of a king, that I dared
not flatter myself with that hope; for I am generally so unfortunate
in the result of my wishes that I am surprised at your reappearance.
The grateful prince caressed her a thousand times; he informed her
of the success of his journey, which she perhaps knew better than he
did himself, and that the king required a piece of cloth, so fine that
it might be passed through the eye of a needle; he added that, for
his part, he thought the thing was impossible, but that he had
resolved to search for such a piece of cloth, relying on her friendship
and assistance. The White Cat, assuming a grave look, said: 'It is
an affair that requires consideration. By good fortune I have in my








THE WHITE CA T. 35

castle some cats who spin pretty well, and I will superintend this
work myself and see it advanced: thus you can remain in quietness,
without going farther in search of what can be procured here, if at
all, more easily than at any other place in the world.'
The hands appeared bearing flambeaux, and the prince, accom-
panied by the White Cat, following them, entered a magnificent
gallery that looked on to a large river, on which most surprising
artificial fireworks were exhibiting. Four cats, who had been con-
demned in all due form to be burned, were about to suffer the
execution of their sentence. They had been accused of eating the
roast meat prepared for the White Cat's supper; of having stolen
her cheese and milk; and of having conspired against her person
with Martafax and Heremita, two famous cats of that country, and
spoken of as such by that veracious author, La Fontaine; but
though there was sufficient evidence against them, it was thought
that there had been much caballing in the business, and that most of
the witnesses had been bribed. However that may have been, the
prince obtained their pardon. The fireworks did no one any harm,
and the sky-rockets were as beautiful as any ever seen.
A very nice repast was then served up, which was more agreeable
to the prince than the fireworks, for he was very hungry, his wooden
horse having brought him with so much expedition that it had given
him a good appetite. The succeeding days passed, as the former
ones had done, in a thousand agreeable entertainments, with which
the White Cat diverted her guest. The prince was perhaps the
first mortal who had been so well entertained by cats, without any
other company.
Indeed, the White Cat was very ready-witted, complaisant, and
well informed. She had more learning than is usually the lot of
cats. The prince, in astonishment, would sometimes say to her:
' No! all that I observe in you so remarkable cannot be natural. If
you love me, charming Puss, inform me by what prodigy you are
able to think so accurately and to speak so justly, that you might be
admitted into the most learned academies?' 'Forbear your ques-
tions, son of a king,' she would answer, I am not permitted to reply
to them; but you are at liberty to push your conjectures to what
extent you please, without my opposing them; let it suffce that for
you I have always a velvet paw, and that I interest myself tenderly
in all that concerns you.'
Insensibly as had the first, the second year rolled away; the
prince wished for nothing that the diligent hands did not bring to
him immediately; whether he desired books, jewellery, pictures,
or antique medals; in a word, if he only formed a wish for a certain
jewel in the Mogul's cabinet, or in that of the King of Persia, for
such a statue in Corinth or other part of Greece, he immediately
saw it before him without knowing who had brought it, or whence
it bad come. This was certainly a source of pleasure to him, for to
3-2








36 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

relax occasionally, it must be an agreeable thing to be in possession
of the finest treasures of the world.
The White Cat, who always watched the prince's interests, warned
him that the time for his departure had arrived, and that he might
make himself easy on the score of the piece of cloth of which he was
in want, as she had had a wonderfully fine one made; she added
that she intended this time to give him an equipage worthy of hi.s
birth, and requested him to look into the courtyard of the castle.
He there observed an open chariot of gold and enamel, embossed
in flame-colour with a thousand tasteful devices, as pleasing to the
mind as to the eye. Twelve snow-white horses, placed four deep,
drew it, their harness being of flame-coloured velvet embroidered
with diamonds and decked with plates of gold. The lining of the
chariot was of the same material as the harness; and a hundred
carriages, each drawn by eight horses, and filled with noble lords
richly dressed, followed it. It was attended besides by a thousand
body-guards, whose clothes were so covered with embroidery that
the cloth was entirely hidden ; what was very singular was that the
White Cat's picture was everywhere visible, both in the devices on
the chariot, on the guards' regimentalns, or attached by a ribbon to
the coats of those who composed the crtje, as the badge of a new
order with which they had been recently invested.
Go,' said she to the prince,' and appear at the king your father's
court in so sumptuous a style, that your magnificent appearance
may so impose upon him, that he may no longer refuse you the
crown that you deserve. Here is a walnut, be careful to crack it in
his presence, and you will find in it the piece of cloth that you
asked me for.'
'Lovely White Cat,' said the prince to her, I must acknowledge
to you that I am so penetrated with your kindness, that if you will
consent to it, I prefer to pass my life with you to all the greatness
that I may reasonably expect elsewhere.'
Son of a king,' replied she, I am persuaded of the goodness of
our heart; it is a rare commodity with princes, who would be
loved by everybody, but would love no one themselves; you, however,
show that the general rule has exceptions. I set great store by the
attachment you testify for a little White Cat, who after all is only
fit to catch mice.'
The prince then kissed her paw and departed.
The speed with which he travelled would be hardly credible, were
we not acquainted with the fact that the wooden horse had on the
former occasion carried him in less than two days a distance of
upwards of 1,500 miles on the same road; but the same power
which had animated the horse, urging forward his present conveyance
still more strongly, he achieved the same distance in twenty-four
hours I They stopped for nothing until they had reached the king's
palace, where the two elder brothers had already arrived. Not







THE WHITE CAT. 37

seeing their youngest brother there, they congratulated each other,
saying in a low voice: This is very fortunate, for he is either dead
or ill, and will not be our rival in the important business now about
to be transacted.' They then displayed their pieces of cloth, which
in truth were so fine that they would pass through the eye of a large
needle, but by no means through that of a small one; the king,
glad to find this pretext for evasion, showed them the needle he had
proposed, which was brought from the treasury, where it had been
carefully guarded by the magistrates.
This dispute caused a great deal of murmuring. The friends of the
princes, and particularly those of the eldest, for his piece of cloth
was the finest, said that the whole was a piece of arrant chicanery
and evasion, managed very artfully arid to good purpose. The king's
creatures maintained that he was not obliged to keep conditions he
had not made. At last, to put an end to the difference, a charming
concert of trumpets, hautboys and kettledrums was heard: it was
our prince arriving in pompous style. The king and his two sons
were equally astonished at so magnificent a spectacle.
After respectfully saluting his father, and embracing his two
brothers, he took the walnut out of a box covered with rubies. He
cracked it, expecting to find in it the piece of cloth so much boasted
of; but saw nothing but a hazel-nut. He cracked this, and was
astonished to find only a cherry-stone. All the bystanders looked
at each other, and the king slightly smiled in ridicule that his son
should have been so credulous as to believe he had a piece of cloth
in a walnut: though he had no occasion to doubt its possibility,
seeing that the prince had already brought him a little dog in an
acorn. The prince cracked the cherry-stone which contained only
the kernel, when a buzz arose in the chamber, and nothing was
audible but whisperings that the prince was duped. He made no
reply to the courtiers' bitter jests, and opened the kernel; be found
in it a grain of wheat, and in that a grain of millet. At the sight
of this last he actually began himself to doubt, and muttered be-
tween his teeth: White Cat, White Cat, you have deceived me.'
At this moment he felt a cat's paw on the back of his hand, which
scratched him to such purpose that it fetched blood. He knew not
whether this scratch was inflicted to encourage or to dismay him.
However, he opened the grain of millet, and not a little astonished
everybody present by drawing from it a piece of cloth four ells long,
of such marvellous workmanship, that all kinds of birds, beasts, and
fishes were represented on it as naturally as life; there were also
representations of the different kinds of trees, fruits and plants,
rocks, shells, and other wonders of the deep, with the sun, the
moon, the stars, and the planets of the heavens: there were besides
the portraits of all the kings and emperors who had ever reigned
until then in the world; those of their queens, their children and all
their subjects, the most vagabond of their dominions not being








38 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

omitted: they were all dressed according to their various conditions,
and each of them in the costume of his country. When the king
saw this piece of cloth he turned as pale as the prince had turned
red in looking for it so long. The needle was produced and it was
passed and repassed through it six times. The king and the two
elder princes kept a sullen silence, although the beauty and rarity
of this piece of cloth constrained them to say from time to time, that
it was not to be matched in the whole world.
The king fetched a deep sigh, and turning to his children: No-
thing,' said he to them, 'can give me so much consolation in my
old age as the gratification of knowing that I have such dutiful
sons; which, however, makes me desirous of putting you to a new
trial. Travel for another twelve months, and he who at the end of
that period shall bring with him the most beautiful damsel shall
marry her and be crowned king at the same time; it is quite certain
that my successor must marry. I promise, I swear, that I will then
no longer defer the reward.'
All the injustice of this sentence fell on our prince. The little
dog and the piece of cloth were worth ten kingdoms, rather than
one; but he was of so sweet a temper that he had no wish to oppose
his father's will; so he got into his chariot without delay; his
equipage followed him, and he returned to his dear White Cat. She
knew the day and hour when he was destined to arrive, and had had
flowers scattered on his road, and thousands of pastilles lighted in
all directions, particularly in and near the castle. She was reclining
on a Persian carpet, in a pavilion of cloth of gold, whence she could
witness his return. He was received by the hands which had
hitherto waited on him. All the cats climbed to the battlements
and greeted him with joyous mewing.
Well, son of a king,' said she to him, you have once more
returned without your crown.
Madam,' replied he, your kindness placed me in a condition to
gain it, but I am persuaded that the king would have had more pain
in divesting himself of it than I should have had pleasure in putting
it on.'
No matter,' said she, 'nothing must be neglected to deserve it,
and I will be of some service to you on this occasion: since you
must take a beautiful maiden with you to the king your father's
court, I will look for one who shall gain you the prize; meanwhile
let us make merry and rejoice, for I have ordered a naval battle
between the terrible rats of this country and my cats. The latter
may be a little embarrassed, for they dread the water; however, they
are much the better fighters, and the combatants ought to be as
nearly equal as possible.'
The prince admired Madame Puss's prudence. He praised her
for it, and they walked together to a terrace which looked on to the
sea.







THE WHITE CA T. 39

The cat's vessels consisted of large pieces of cork, on which they
floated very commodiously. The rats had constructed their vessels
of several half ostrich egg-shells. The fight was very obstinate and
cruel; the rats threw themselves into the water and swam much
better than the cats, by which means they were conquerors and
conquered twenty times; but Minagrobis, admiral of the feline fleet,
reduced the rattish tribe to the utmost despair. He ate, at a
mouthful, their admiral, an old experienced rat, who had thrice
sailed round the world in very good ships, in which he had been
neither captain nor sailor, but only an interloper.
The White Cat had no wish to exterminate these unfortunate rats.
She was politic enough to foresee that if there were no rats or mice
in the country, her subjects would live in a state of idleness that
might operate to her prejudice.
The prince passed this year as he had passed the others, in
hunting, fishing, and at play, for the White Cat was very fond of
chess. He could not forbear from time to time asking her again by
what miracle she was able to speak He asked her whether she
were a fairy, or whether she had been metamorphosed into a cat,
but as she never said more than she chose to say, she only answered
him by a few little insignificant words, whence he easily inferred that
she was not willing to communicate her secret to him.
Nothing passes so quickly as happy days, and if the White Cat
had not been so careful as to remember the time when he should
return to court, it is certain that the prince would have entirely
forgotten it. She warned him of it the day before, and told him
that it remained with him only to procure one of the most beautiful
princesses in the world; that he might do so (the time for destroy-
ing the fatal work of the fairies having at last arrived), he must
make up his mind to cut off her head and tail and throw them
promptly into the fire.
What,' cried he, lovely White Cat, II and shall 1 be barbarous
enough to kill you? Ah I you would doubtless try my heart, but
rest assured that it can never fail in the friendship and love it owes
you.' No, son of a king,' continued she, I do not suspect you of
ingratitude; I am acquainted with your merit, but neither you nor
I can prescribe in affairs of our destiny. Do as I bid you, and the
happiness of both of us will be the consequence, and you will know,
on the word of a Cat of truth and honour, that I am truly your
friend.'
Tears stood two or three times in the young prince's eyes at the
bare thought that it was necessary for him to cut off the head of his
pretty little cat who had been so good to him. He said all that he
could imagine of the most tender description to induce her to dispense
with the terrible service she required of him, but she obstinately
answered that she wished to die by his hand, and that it was the
only means of preventing his brothers from obtaining the crown-in







40 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES..

a word, she pressed him with so much warmth, that trembling, and
with an unsteady hand, he drew his sword and cut off the head and
tail of his good friend the Cat. Immediately, however, that he had
done so, he saw tile nmot charming metaunorphosis imaginable.
The White Cat's body increased in size and changed suddenly into
a young lady, so handsome and accomplished, as to mock all
description. Her eyes must have captivated all hearts, and her
sweetness retained them; her shape was majestic; her air noble
and modest; her wit ready and universal; her manner engaging-
in a word, she was beyond everything that is most lovely in con-
ception.
At the sight of her the prince was so surprised, so agreeably
surprised, that he thought himself enchanted. He could not speak,
his eyes were not large enough to look at her, and his tongue was
so tied that it could not give vent to him astonishment, but it was
much augmented when he saw an extraordinary number of gentle-
men and ladies enter, all of them having c.t-skins thrown over their
shoulders, and prostrate themselves at the qleen's feet. and express
their joy at seeing her restored to her natural state. She received
them with demonstrations of kindness which sufficiently manifested
the character of her heart. After listening for some time to their
congratulations, she requestcd to be left alone with the prince whom
she addressed as follows:
Do not think, sir, that I have always be-n a cat, or that I am
of obscure birth. My father was king of six kingdoms. He was
tenderly fond of my mother, and allowed her to follow the bent of
her own wishes. Her prevailing inclination was a wish to travel,
so that while I was yet unborn she set out to visit a certain mountain
of which she had heard surprising things. On her road, she was
informed that there was situated near to where she was passing, an
ancient fairy castle, the finest in the world, at least it was so be-
lieved from an old tradition which related thereto, for as no one ever
entered the castle it could not be judged of with certainty; it was,
however, well authenticated that the firies had in their garden
some most excellent fruit, the finest flavoured and most delicious
that was ever eaten.
'Thereupon the queen my mother conceived so violent a longing
to eat of this fruit that she immediately turned her steps towards the
fairy castle. She reached the door of a superb edifice, which war
resplendent with gold and azure, but although she knocked repeatedly
it remained unopened; no one appeared, and it would seem as though
all the inhabitants were dead; her desire increasing by reason of
this difficulty, she sent for ladders to scale the garden walls, and
would have succeeded in so doing but that the walls rose of them-
selves as she advanced and mocked her efforts; ladders were tied
together until they broke under thrir own weight, added to that of
those who were sent up them, killing some and maiming others.







THE WHITE CAT. 41

SThe queen was in despair. She saw large trees loaded with
delicious fruit, but beyond her reach ; she resolved to eat of it or die,
and accordingly had rich tents pitched before the castle and re-
mained there six weeks with all her court. She neither slept nor
ate, but continually sighed, speaking of nothing but the fruit of the
inaccessible garden; at last she fell dangerously ill, and no remedy
could be found for her, for the inexorable fairies had not even shown
themselves since she had been residing near their castle. All her
officers were plunged in the deepest affliction; nothing was heard
but tears and sighs ; the dying queen asking her attendants for fruit,
while she would eat of none because it came not from the fairies'
garden.
One night, after falling into a slight doze, she saw on awakening
a little, decrepid, ugly old woman, seated in a cushioned armchair
near her bed. She was surprised that her women had allowed a
stranger to come so near her, when the old woman said : We find
your majesty very importunate in your desire so stubbornly to eat of
our fruit; but since your precious life is in danger, my sisters and I
consent to let you have as much of it as you can carry away, and to
let you eat of it as long as you stay here, provided you make us a
gift."
Ah I my good mother," cried the queen, speak, I will give you
my kingdom, my heart, my soul to have some of your fruit, which I
shall not think too dear at any price."
We desire," said she, that your majesty give us the daughter
you will presently have; when she is born we will come to fetch her;
she shall be brought up amongst us, and there are no virtues or
charms that she shall not be possessed of, no accomplishments with
which we will not endow her; in a word, she shall be our child, and
we will make her happy; but your majesty must observe, that you
are not to see her again until she is married. If this proposal suit
you, I will immediately cure you, and take you to our orchards;
notwithstanding that it is night, you will see well enough to choose
what you want. If what I say does not please you, good-night to your
majesty, I must go to sleep." Hard as are your terms," answered
the queen, I accept of them, rather than die; for it is certain that
I have not otherwise a day to live. Cure me, wise fairy," continued
she, let me not be debarred for a moment from the enjoyment of
the privilege you have just granted to me."
'The fairy touched her with a little golden wand, saying : Be
your majesty free from all the illness that confines you to this bed."
The queen immediately felt as if a very heavy and coarse garment
with which she had been overwhelmed, were removed from her; she
was even better than she had been before the attack, particularly in
all respects in which the disease had been most severe. She sum-
moned all her ladies, and told them gaily that she was wonderfully
well, and intended to rise, for at last the long-bolted and barri-







OLD, OLD FAIR Y TALES.


caded doors of the fairy palace would be opened to admit her to eat
of the beautiful fruit and to carry away as much as she pleased.
All the ladies thought that the queen was delirious, and that at
that moment she was dreaming of the fruit for which she had had so
violent a longing; so instead of answering her, they began to cry,
and had all the physicians awakened to see how she was. This
delay put the queen into the utmost despair; she quickly asked for
her clothes, and they were refused her; she flew into a passion, and
was becoming very red in the face; all this was thought to be the
effect of her fever. At this juncture the physicians came, and after
feeling her pulse, looking at her tongue, and making sundry inquiries,
they could not deny that she was in perfect health. Her women,
seeing the error into which their zeal had led them, tried to repair it
by dressing her quickly. They all asked her pardon, and were for-
given, and she hastened to follow the old fairy, who had been waiting
for her all this time.
She entered the palace, where nothing was wanting to make it
the finest in the world. You will have no difficulty to believe that,
son of a king, when I tell you that it was this in which we now are;
two other fairies, not quite so old as the one who had conducted my
mother, received them at the door, and gave her a very favourable
reception. She begged them to conduct her immediately to the
garden, and to the trees which bore the best fruit.
It is on all equally good," said they to her, and were it not
that you desire to have the pleasure of gathering it yourself, we
should only have to call the fruit, in order to make it come here of
itself."
'" I entreat you, ladies," said the queen, to indulge me with this
extraordinary sight." The senior fairy put her fingers in her mouth,
and whistled three times, and then called out: Grapes, apricots,
peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, pears, melons, currants, apples,
oranges, citrons, gooseberries, strawberries and raspberries, come all
at my bidding."
'" But," said the queen, all the fruits you have named are not
ripe at the same season."
The case is different in our orchards," said they ; we have all
sorts of fruit, always ripe, always good, and which never spoil."
'In an instant they came rolling and tumbling in, without spoil-
ing or even acquiring a single bruise; and the queen, impatient to
satisfy her longing, fell upon them and took the first that came to
her hand; which she devoured rather than ate.
When she had in some degree satisfied her appetite, she begged
the fairies to let her go to the trees, and enjoy the pleasure of gather-
ing the fruit for herself.
"We willingly consent," said the fairies; but bear in mind that
the promise you have made to us cannot be recalled."
I am persuaded," replied she, that to live with you would be so







TIlE WIIITE CA T 43

pleasant, and this palace appears to me so fine, that if I did not
tenderly love my husband, I would offer to remain here myself also;
therefore you need not fear that I shall forfeit my word."
The fairies, very well satisfied, opened all their gardens and
enclosures to her; she remained in them three days and three nights,
without wishing to stir, so delightful did she find them. She
gathered fruit for her provision; and as it never spoiled, she carried
away four mule-loads of it with her. The fairies added to their fruit
gold baskets of exquisite workmanship, to keep it in, and other
rarities of enormous value; they promised so to educate me as to
make me a perfect princess, and to choose for me a proper husband:
adding, that they would inform her of the wedding, and trusted that
she would attend it.
The king was in ecstasies at his queen's return; all the courtiers
expressed their joy at the event, nothing was thought of but balls,
masquerades, ring-races and feasts at which the queen's fruit was
served up as a delicious regale. The king ate of it in preference to
anything that the attendants could offer him. But he knew not of
the bargain that had been made for it with the fairies, and often
asked the queen to what country she had been, to bring thence such
good things; she answered that they grew on a nearly inaccessible
mountain; at another time she said that they grew in valleys; then
that she had found them in the middle of a garden, or in a forest.
The king was surprised at so many contradictions. He questioned
those who had accompanied her, but she had so expressly forbidden
them to relate to anyone her adventure, that they dared not
mention it. At last the queen grew uneasy about her promise to
the fairies; and fell into a frightful melancholy, sighing every
moment and continually changing countenance. The king was
alarmed, and pressed the queen to impart to him the subject of her
sorrow; after much difficulty she informed him of all that had
passed between the fairies and herself, and that she had promised
them the daughter that was soon to be born to them. What,"
cried the king, having no children, and knowing how anxious I am
for some, were you capable of promising your daughter in exchange
for the gratification of eating a few apples ? You cannot possibly
have any love for me."
Thereupon he overwhelmed her with upbraidings, which made the
poor queen nearly ready to die with grief; but he did not stop at
that, for he confined her in a tower, and placed guards all round it,
to prevent her from holding intercourse with anyone but her atten-
dants, taking care to remove those who had been with her to the
fairies' castle.
This misunderstanding between the king and queen plunged the
court into the utmost consternation : they laid aside their rich clothes,
and dressed in garments suited to the general grief. The king, for
his part, appeared inexorable, and would not see his queen; directly







OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


I was born he had me brought to his palace to be nursed, while she
was detained a prisoner, and in a bad state of health. The fairies
were ignorant of nothing that was passing ; they were provoked at
it, and wanted to have me, looking on me as their property, and con-
sidering it as a robbery to withhold me from them. Before seeking
revenge commensurate to the injury thus done to them, they des-
patched a celebrated embassy to the king, desiring him to set the
queen at liberty and to restore her to his favour; they entreated
him also to send me with the ambassadors, to be nourished and
brought up among them. The ambassadors were so small and
deformed, for they were hideous dwarfs, that they could not prevail
with the king. lie refused them rudely, and if they had not
hastened their departure, he might have used them worse.
'When the fairies were made acquainted with my father's pro-
ceedings, they were as indignant as possible, and after visiting his
six kingdoms with all imaginable evils, to desolate them, they let
loose a terrible dragon which ate men and children, filling with
venom every place he passed through, and killing plants and tree
with the breath of his nostrils.
'The king, finding himself reduced to the last extremity, consulted
with all the wise men of his kingdom as to what lh should do to
relieve his subjects from the misfortunes with which they were so
oppressed. They advised him to have a search made all over the
world for the best physicians and most excellent remedies, and on
the other hand to promise their lives to all criminals condemned to
death, who were willing to fight the dragon. The king, satisfied
with this advice, put it into execution, but received no benefit from
so doing, for the mortality continued, and everyone who fought with
the dragon was devoured; he then applied to a fairy who had
protected him from his most tender years. She was very old, and
hardly ever rose from her seat; he went to he:, and overwhelmed
her with reproaches for allowing fate to persecute him without
giving him any assistance.
What would you have me do ?" said she to him ; "you have
provoked my sisters, they are as powerful as I am, and we rarely
act in opposition to each other. Try to appease them by giving them
your daughter; the little princess belongs to them. You have
confined your queen in a close prison; what has that amiable
woman done to deserve such ill-treatment? Determine on keep-
ing the word she pledged, and I assure you that all will end
happily."
'The king my father loved me tenderly; but seeing no other
means of saving his kingdoms, or of being delivered from the fatal
dragon, he told his old friend that he would confi.le in her; and that
he was willing to give me to the fairies immediately, as she assured
him that I should be taken care of, and treated as became a princess
of my rank; that he would also release the queen, and that she had







THE WHITE CAT. 45

only to tell him to whom he was to entrust me, that I might be
carried at once to the fairies' castle.
It is necessary," said she, to carry her in her cradle to the
Mountain of Flowers, and you must yourself remain thereabouts to
see what takes place." The king told hI-r that in a w9 ek from that
day he would go with the queen, and that she must acquaint the
fairies, her sisters, with his intention, that they might take their
measures accordingly.
On his return to the palace he had the queen brought from the
tower with as much pomp and tenderness as lie had placed her in it
with anger and passion. She was so fallen away and altered, that
lie could hardly have recognized her, if his heart had not told him
she was the same person of whom he had once been so fond. He
entreated her with tears in his eyes to forget the ill-treatment she
had suffered, assuring her that it should be the last she should receive
at his hands. She modestly replied that she had drawn it on herself
by her own imprudence in promising her daughter to the fairies, and
that if anything could plead in excuse for her, it was the condition
to which she was then reduced. At last he declared to her that he
was willing to place me in the fairies' hands. The queen in her
turn opposed this design; it seemed as though, through some fatality,
I were always destined to be a cause of discord between my father
and my mother. After much groaning and crying, without obtaining
what she desired (for the king saw but too surely the fatal conse-
quences that had already followed the breach of her promise, and
his subjects continued to die as though they had participated in their
sovereign's faults), she consented to his wishes, and preparations
were made for the ceremony.
I was put into a cradle of mother-of-pearl, adorned as much as
possible by art and good taste. Garlands and festoons of flowers
were hung all about it, the flowers being composed of precious stones,
the different colours of which reflected the sun's rays so brilliantly,
that it was impossible to look at them. The magnificence of my
attire surpassed, if possible, that of my cradle. All the bands and
rolls of my swaddling-clothes we e buckled with large pearls; four-
and-twenty princesses of the blood-royal carried me in a kind of light
litter; their clothes were all of precious materials; they were allowed
to use no colour but white, as emblematical of my innocence. All of
the court accompanied me, each according to his rank.
As the procession was ascending the mountain, a melodious
symphony was heard approaching; and presently the fairies ap-
peared, thirty-six in number, the three having invited their friends
to come with them ; each of them was seated in a pearl shell, larger
than that in which Venus had risen from the sea; marine horses,
which cannot usually travel well on land, drew them more pom-
pously than the first queens in the world ; yet they were old and
ugly to excess. They carried an olive branch in their hands, to







OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


signify to the king that his submission had gained their favour; and
when they had me, their caresses were so extraordinary, that it
seemed as if they only wished to live to make me happy.
The dragon which they had made their instrument of vengeance
against my father followed, confined in diamond chains. They took
me in their arms and caressed me a thousand times, endowed me
with numerous gifts, and immediately commenced dancing the fairies'
hornpipe. This is a very lively dance, and it is almost incredible
how the old women skipped and leaped about; then the voracious
dragon, who had eaten so many people, drew near crawling. The
fairies to whom my mother had promised me seated themselves on
his back, placing my cradle between them, and striking the dragon
with a wand, he immediately outspread his large scaly wings, which
were finer than crape, and intermixed with a variety of colours, and
they were immediately borne to the castle. My mother, seeing me
in the air, exposed on this furious dragon's back, could not forbear
uttering loud cries. The king comforted her by the assurance his
friend had given him, that no accident should befall me, and that I
should be taken as much care of as if I were in his own palace. She
was pacified, though she was much grieved to part with me for so
long a period, and especially as she herself had been the cause of it;
for if she had not longed to eat some fruit from the fairies' garden, I
should have remained in my father's kingdom, and should not have
undergone all the misfortunes the history of which I am about to
relate to you.
You must know, son of a king, that my guardians had built a
tower expressly for me, in which there were a thousand beautiful
apartments for all the seasons of the year, with magnificent furniture
and agreeable books; but there was no door to this tower, and
entrance was obtained through the windows only, which were at a
prodigious height. Attached to the tower were beautiful gardens,
ornamented with flowers, fountains, and groves of verdure, which
excluded the heat on the hottest dog-day. In that place did the
fairies bring me up, with care that outdid all their promises to the
queen. My clothes were made in the last fashion and of such
magnificent materials that anyone seeing me would have thought
that it was my wedding-day. They taught me all that befitted my
age and birth: I did not give them much trouble, for there was
nothing that I did not comprehend with great facility; my gentle
disposition was very agreeable to them, and if I had seen no one but
them, I should have been content to have remained there all my life-
time.
'They were continually visiting me, mounted on the furious dragon
of which I have already spoken; they never mentioned the king or
queen to me, and always addressed me as their daughter, and I
believed that I w'a really so. No creature lived in the tower with
















































































































































TI PRIaKCESS Ox THE ATTLIrMEITS


r


___ ,-


,~-~-
,~

------- ---; L-~
----'---- ~-----' -



--







THE WHITE CA T. 49

me, excepting a parrot and a little dog, which they gave me for
my amusement, and endowed with the faculties of reason and
speech.
One side of the tower was built on a hollow road, planted thickly
with elms and other trees, which shaded it so much that up to the
time of which I am about to speak I never saw anyone pass through
it while I was confined there. But as I was gazing from the battle-
ments one day, I heard a noise in that direction. I looked all round,
and observed a young gentleman, who was stopping to listen to our
conversation. I had never seen one before but in pictures. I was
not sorry that accident had placed this opportunity in my way; so
that, not suspecting the danger that attends the satisfaction of con-
templating a lovely object, I advanced to look at him, and the longer
I looked the more pleasure I felt. He made me a low bow, fixed his
eyes on me, and seemed to be troubled as to how he should com-
niunicate; with mc ; for as my tower was very high, he was fearful of
being overheard, and he knew very well that it was the fairies' castle
that I Nwas in.
Night came on suddenly, or, more properly speaking, came on
without our perceiving it; he sounded his horn two or three times,
and played a few airs on it to divert me; and he then departed,
without my being able to distinguish which way he went, it was so
dark. I remained very thoughtful; I ceased to feel the pleasure I
had hitherto taken in conversing with my parrot and my dog. They
said the prettiest things in the world to me, for fairy beasts are very
witty ; but my thoughts were otherwise engaged, and I knew not the
art of dissembling. My parrot observed it; he was cunning, and
said nothing of what was passing in his head.
I did not fail, the next morning, to rise at daybreak. I hastened
to my window, and was agreeably surprised to see the young gentle-
man at the foot of the tower. He wore a magnificent dress; I
flattered myself that I had had a little share in his choice of it, and was
not mistaken. He spoke to me through a kind of speaking-trumpet,
and, assisted by it, he told me that till then he had been insensible to
the charms of all the beauties he had seen; but that when he saw me,
he was so violently smitten with mine, that it would be impossible
for him to live without constantly seeing me. I was mightily pleased
with this compliment, and very uneasy at not daring to make him
any reply; for I must have called out with all my might, and have
run the risk of being better heard by the fairies than by him. I
threw him a few flowers that I had in my hand, and he received
them as so signal a favour that he kissed them over and over again:
he afterwards asked me if I approved of his coming every day at the
same hour under my window, and added that if I did I was to throw
him something. I had a turquoise ring, which I hastily pulled from
my finger, and threw it precipitately to him, making him a sign to
hasten his departure: for I heard in another direction the fairy
4







OLI), OLD FAIRY' TAI.ES.


Violent, who was coming on her dragon's back to bring nme my
breakfast.
The first words she said on entering my apartment were these:
" I smell here the voice of a man ; search, dragon." Alas what a
condition was I in! I was dreadfully terrified lest it should go out
of the other window, and follow the young gentleman, for whom I
was already much interested. Indeed," said I, my good mamma"
(for the old fairy wished me to call her so), you must be joking to
say that you smell a man's voice here: can a voice be smelt ? and if
it should be so, what mortal were daring enough to venture coming
up into this tower?" What you say is true, my daughter,"
answered she, and I am delighted to hear you argue so clearly. I
fancy it is the hatred I bear men that sometimes persuades me that
they are near when they are not." She gave me my breakfast and
my distaff. When you have finished your breakfast, do not fail to
spin, for you did nothing yesterday," said she to me, and my ,isteor
will be angry at it." In fact, I had been so taken up with the
stranger that I had been quite urnable to spin.
When she was gone, I threw the distaff on one side, in a rather
refractory manner, and ascended to the terrace to take a distant
view of the country. I had a most excellent perspective glass;
nothing escaped my rigid scrutiny on all sides, and I discovered
my lover on the summit of a mountain. lie was reclining under a
rich pavilion of cloth of gold, and was surrounded by a numerous
court. I had no doubt that he was the son of some king in the
neighbourhood of the fairies' palace. Being fearful that if he returned
to the tower he would be discovered by the terrible dragon, I sought
my parrot, and told him to fly to that mountain, and that he would
find there the person who had spoken to me; I instructed him to
beg the prince on my part to return no more to the tower, as I was
fearful that the vigilance of my guardians would discover him and
would prompt them to do him an evil turn.
My parrot acquitted himself of his commission like a parrot of
wit. All the court was surprised to see him perch on the king's
shoulder, and whisper in his ear. The prince felt both joy and
sorrow at hearing the subject of his errand. My care flattered his
passion, while the difficulties which opposed his speaking to me over-
whelmed him, without deterring him from his design of pleasing me.
He asked the parrot a hundred questions, and the parrot, in his
turn, asked him quite as many, for he was naturally curious. The
king charged him with another ring, in return for my turquoise; this
was a turquoise also, but much finer than mine, being shaped like
a heart and surrounded with diamonds. It is right," added he,
" that I should treat you as an ambassador: here is my portrait, of
which I make you a present; show it only to your charming
mistress." He tied the portrait under his wing, and carried the
ring in his bill







THE IVI/ITE CAT. t5

'I awaited the return of my little green courier with an im.
patience that I had never known till then. He told me that the
person to whom I had sent him was a great king, that he had
received him in the handsomest manner in the world, and that I
might rest assured that he would only live for me; that though it
was very dangerous for him to come to the foot of my tower, he was
resolved to risk everything rather than renounce seeing me. This
news so perplexed me that I began crying. My parrot and Toutou,
my dog, consoled me as well as they were able, for they loved me
tenderly, and then my parrot presented me the prince's ring and
showed me the portrait. I confess that I had never been so over-
joyed as I was at contemplating near me a person whom I had only
seen at a distance. He appeared to be still more lovely than he had
seemed at first; and so many thoughts crowded into my mind, some
agreeable and others sad, that they gave me an unusually anxious
look. The fairies who came to see me perceived it. They said one
to another that I must be troubled at something, and that they must
think of providing me with a husband of the fairy race. They
named several, and presently pitched upon the little king Migonnet,
whose kingdom was situated five hundred thousand leagues from
this palace, but that was not of much importance. My parrot, who
overheard this agreeable consultation, related the whole of it to me,
and said: Alas I my dear mistress, how much I pity you, if you
should become Queen Migonnetta! he is a frightful baboon, I am
sorry to tell you, and I am sure that the king who loves you would
scorn to have such a person for his footboy."
S" Have you seen him, my parrot?"
I think, if I am not mistaken," continued he, "that I have
been perched on the same branch with him."
'" How on a branch?" replied I.
Why, he has the feet," said he, of an eagle."
I was much grieved at receiving this account; I looked at the
charming portrait of the young king, and fancied that he had only
given it to the parrot that I might have opportunities of seeing it,
and when I made a comparison between him and Migonnet, I no
longer wished to live, and resolved rather to die than marry the
latter. I slept not during the night, but conversed with my parrot
and Toutou; I slept a little in the morning, and my dog, who had
a very good nose, smelt the king, who was at the foot of the tower.
He awakened the parrot. I will engage that the king is there below,"
said he. The parrot answered, Silence, prattler; being always
watchful and on the alert yourself, you are envious of the rest of
others." But I will engage," said the good Toutou, "that I am
right, for I am certain that he is there." The parrot answered,
" And I am certain that he is not there; did I not, in our mistress's
name, forbid him to come here?" Ah, truly you talk finely about
your forbidding him 1" cried my dog; a man in love only consults
4-2







OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


his heart;" and thereupon he began pulling the parrot's wings so
roughly that the bird got angry. They awakened ime with their
cries; they told me the subject of their dispute, on hearing which I
ran, or rather flew, to the window: I saw the king who stretched
his arms to me when he saw me, and told me through his trumpet
that he could not live without me, and conjured me to discover a
means of quitting the tower, or of admitting him to me, invoking
the gods and all the elements to witness that he would marry me
and thus make me one of the greatest queens in the world.
I bade my parrot go and tell him that what he wished appeared
to me almost impossible ; that, however, on the word he had pledged
and the oaths he had sworn to me, I would apply myself to what he
wished ; that I conjured him not to come every day, lest lie should
at last be discovered, in which case the fairies would show him no
quarter. He went away, overjoyed with the hope that I had given
him, while I was in the utmnst embarrai.m-,nt when I reflected on
what I had just promised. I ow was I, so young, so inexperienced,
and so timid, and with no one to ansi-t me but my parrot and Toutou,
to quit a tower in which there were no doors ? I came to the resolu-
tion of not attempting a thing in which I could never succeed, and
despatched my parrot to inform the king of my determination. He
was for killing himself on the spot; but :e finally charged my parrot
with the task of persuading me either to come and see him die or
bring him some comfort. Sire!" cried the winged ambassador,
" my mistress is sufficiently disposed to console you ; she only wants
the power."
When he gave me an account of all that had passed, I was more
afflicted than ever. The fairy Violenta came; she observed that my
eyes were swollen and inflamed; she said that I had been crying,
and that if I did not tell her the cause of my grief she would burn
me; for her threats were always terrible. I replied, trembling, that
I was tired of spinning, and desired to have some nets to entrap the
little birds which came to peck at the fruit in my garden.
What you desire, my daughter," said she, shall cost you no
more tears, for I will bring you as much twine as you are in want
of," and in fact she did so that same evening; but she advised me
to think less of working than of setting off my beauty, for King
Migonnet was expected to arrive in a few days. I shuddered at this
sorrowful news, and made no reply.
When she was gone I began two or three rows of my nets; but
I presently applied myself to making a rope ladder, in which I
succeeded very well, though I had never seen one. The fairy had
not supplied me with as much twine as was necessary, and said
continually, on my asking her for more: My daughter, your work
is like that of Penelope; it does not advance, yet you do not cease to
ask for fresh materials." Oh, good mamma," I would say, you
may say what you please; but can you not see that I do not know,























TI~ PRIN~~ H 'I~L







THE lIVIITE CAT. 55

how to manage it, and that I burn all that does not please me ? Are
you not afraid that I shall ruin you in twine ?" My air of simplicity
satisfied her, although she was in a very disagreeable and cruel
humour.
I desired my parrot to tell the king to come one evening under
my window, where he would find a ladder, and that he should know
the rest when he arrived. In fact, I had made it very secure, resolved
to make my escape with him ; but when he saw it, without waiting
for me to descend, he hastily mounted by it himself, and threw him-
self into my chamber, where I was getting everything in readiness
for my flight.
lis presence so overjoyed me that I forgot the danger we were
in. IIe renewed all his vows, and conjured me not to defer my
marriage with him. We made my parrot and Toutou the witnesses
of our contract; never did a wedding take place between persons of
so high a rank with less splendour and bustle, and never were hearts
more contented than were ours.
At daylight the king left me, but not before I had informed him
of the dreadful design the fairies had of marrying me to the little
Migonnet. I described his figure to him, which he held in as much
aversion as myself. When he was gone the hours seemed as long as
years ; I ran to the window, and followed him with my eyes, not-
withstanding the darkness ; but how great was my astonishment to
see in the air a fiery chariot, drawn by winged salamanders, accom-
panied by guards mounted on ostriches.
I had no leisure to consider whether it was the baboon Migonnet
that was thus traversing the air; but I concluded that it must be a
fairy or an enchanter.
Shortly afterwards the fairy Violenta entered my chamber. I
bring you good news," said she; your intended husband has arrived
some time; here are fine clothes and jewellery; prepare to receive
him."
But who told you," said I, "that I wanted to marry? I am
sure that nothing is farther from my thoughts; therefore send back
King Migonnet, for I will not add a single pin to my dress; whether
he think me handsome or ugly, I am not for him."
Heyday I heyday I" said the fairy again; you little rebel, you
empty pate, I do not understand your raillery, and I will- "
What will you do to me ?" said I, enraged at the names she had
called me; can anyone be worse treated than I am, shut up in a
tower with a parrot and a dog, and visited every day by that terrible
dragon ?"
Ha I little ingrate !" said the fairy; "is this all we deserve for
our cares and pains ? I have but too often told my sisters that we
should have bi:t a sorry recompense."
.' With that she went to find them, and related to them our dispute,
which not a little surprised the whole of them.








56 OLD, OLD FPA/RY TA.LES.

My parrot and Toutou made me many remonstrances, represent-
ing that, if I continued refractory, they foresaw that bitter mis-
fortunes would befall me. I felt so proud of possessing the heart of a
great king that I despised the fairies and the advice of my humble
companions. I would not dress at all, and affected to be slovenly in
my head-gear, that Migonnet might think me.disagreeable. Our
interview took place on a terrace; he came in his fiery chariot. Of
all dwarfs he was certainly the smallest that was ever seen. His
feet were like an eagle's, and close to his knees, for lie had no leg
bones, and walked with the assistance of two diamond crutches.
His royal mantle was only half an ell in length, and the third part of
it trailed upon the ground. His head was the size of a bushel, and
his nose was so large that a dozen birds roosted on it, whose warbling
pleased him ; he had so strong a beard that canaries built tl.eir nests
in it, and his ears reached a foot above i his head but this latter
circumstance was rendered less perceptible, by the high pointed
crown he wore to make himself look more grand. The flame of his
chariot roasted the fruit, withered the flowers, and dried up the
fountains in my garden. Ie came up to me with opjn arms to em-
brace me, but I remained standing quite upright, which obli-ed his
first esquire to hold him up; but as soon as he came I'nar me I fled
to my chamber, and secured the door and windows. Migonnet
retired to the fairies, very much enraged against me.
They asked him a thousand pardons for my rudeness, and to ap-
pease him, for he was powerful, they resolved to bring him to my
chamber in the night while I was asleep, and having bound my hands
and feet, to place me in his burning chariot with him, that he might
take me away. This course being decided on, they scolded ine for
the rudeness I had been guilty of, and desired me to think about
repairing it. My parrot and Toutou were surprised at such miillncess
on their part.
'" Depend upon it, dear mistress," said my dog, that it bodes
no good; these fairies are strange personages, and especially
Violenta"
I ridiculed his fears, and awaited my dear husband's arrival with
the last impatience-a feeling too much shared by him to permit delay
on his part. I threw him the rope-ladder, resolving to make my
escape with him ; he lightly ascended it, and said a thousand such
tender things, that I dare not recall them to my remembrance.
While we were talking together with the same tranquillity as if
we had been in his palace, we saw all of a sudden the windows of
my chamber broken in, and the fairies enter on their terrible dragon,
followed by King Migonnet, in his fiery chariot, and attended by his
guards on their ostriches. The king, quite undaunted, clapped his
hand to his sword, thinking only of securing and protecting me in
this cruel pass; and immediately-how shall I tell it you, sir ?-these
barbarous creatures set their dragon at him, and though he defended








1EI WH//ITE CA T


himself long and bravely with his sword, yet the dragon at last pre-
vailed, and devoured him before my face.
Desperate at his misfortunes and my own, I threw myself in the
horrible monster's jaws, hoping that he would devour me, as he had
just devoured all that was dear to me in the world. He wished it
likewise; but the fairies, more cruel than he was, would not allow
him. She must," said they, be reserved for more lasting torment;
a speedy death is too good for this worthless creature." They
touched me, and I found myself changed immediately into a white
cat ; they conducted me to this superb palace, which belonged to my
father; they metamorphosed all the lords and ladies of the kingdom
into cats; and for the remainder of the subjects, left the hands only


MFE lE T BETWEEN T13I6 KI6 AND TIlE DRkGO.N.


of them visible, thus reducing me to the deplorable condition in
which you found me, not without first informing me of my birth, of
the death of my father and mother, and that I should only be de-
livered from my feline figure by a prince exactly resembling the one
of whom they had deprived me. It is you, sir, who bear this resem-
blance,' continued she, both in figure, features and tone of voice.
I was immediately struck with the resemblance on seeing you, and
was informed of all that has since happened, and of all that is about
to occur; my troubles will soon be over.' And will mine, beautiful
queen,' said the prince, be of long duration ?' I already love you
more than my life, sir,' said the queen; we must depart for the








OLD, OLD IAIRY T.IALE:S.


king your father's palace, and learn his sentiments towards me, and
whether he will consent to what you desire.'
She went out, and the prince handed her into a chariot, seating
himself by her side: it was much more magnificent than either of
those he had previously used. All the rest of the equipage inatche'
so well with it that the horses' shoes were of emeralds, and the
nails of diamonds. In all probability the like was never seen before.
I shall say nothing of the agreeable conversation the queen and
prince held together. She was unique with respect to beauty, and
equally so for wit, nor was the young prince less perfect than she;
so that all their thoughts were bright and agreeable.
When they came near the castle where the prince's two elder
brothers were to meet, the queen entered a little crystal cage, se:
with gold and rubies. Curtains were drawn closely round it, that
she might not be seen, and it was carried by very hands.-ime and
superbly-dressed young men. The prince remained in the chariot,
and saw his brothers each walking with a changing princess. On
seeing him, they immediately advanced to receive him, and ank'd
him if he had brought a mistress with him : he told them that lie
had been so unfortunate throughout his journey as to meet only with
very ugly ones, but that he had brought a much greater rarity in the
shape of a little White Cat. They began to laugh at Iis simplicity.
' A cat,' said they to him; were you afraid that the mice would eat
up our palace?' The prince replied that in truth he was not very
wise to make such a present to his father ; and thereupon they all
took the road to the city.
The elder princes, with their princesses, went in carriages of gold
and azure, the horses' heads being decked with aigrettes and plumes
of feathers; nothing could exceed the brilliancy of this cavalcade.
The young prince preceded them, and he was followed by the crystal
cage, which everybody admired.
The courtiers hastened to tell the king that the three princes were
approaching.
SAre they bringing fair ladies with them ?' asked the king.
Fairer are not to be found,' was the answer, at hearing which he
seemed to be displeased. The two princes made haste to show their
beautiful princesses. The king received them very graciously, and
did not know in whose favour to decide : he looked at their brother,
and said: This time, then, you are come alone?'
Your majesty,' said the prince, will see in this cage a little
White Cat, who mews so sweetly, and plays so prettily, that you
cannot but be pleased with her.' The king smiled, and went to open
the cage himself; but directly he came near it, the queen, with
a spring, broke it in pieces, and appeared like the sun showing him-
self after being obscured by a cloud. Her fair hair was spread over
her shoulders, and hu!;g in large curls down to her feet; her head
was adorned with flowers; her gown of thin white gauze was lined





THE BLUE BIPD


1)

f
I\


-~LI-


.' V 0.9







THE BLUE BIRD.


with rose-coloured taffety ; she courtsied low to the king, who could
not, in the excess of his admiration, forbear crying This is the
matchless beauty who deserves my crown.'
Sire,' said she, I am not come to deprive you of a throne which
you fill so worthily : I was born heiress to six kingdoms; allow me
to offer you one of them, and also one to each of your two sons. The
only recompense I ask is your friendship and this young prince for
miy husband : three kingdoms will be quite enough for us.' The king
and all the courtiers gave vent to their joy and astonishment in loud
and repeated shouts. The marriages of all the three couples were
immediately solemnized, and the court spent several months in re-
joicings and pleasures. They then set out, each for his own dominions,
the White Cat having immortalized herself as much by her bounty
and generosity as by her rare merit and beauty.



TillE BLUE BIRD.

O.ci: upon a time there was a king very rich both in territories and
in money, whose queen was taken suddenly ill, and died ; at which
event his majesty was quite inconsolable. He shut himself up for a
whole week in his closet, and dashed his head against the walls in
the transports of his affliction. It was feared ever that his majesty
would kill himself; so his ministdts caused stuffed cushions to be
placed between the tapestry and the walls, that he might knock
himself about as much as he pleased without endangering his life.
His subjects resolved to visit their sovereign, and endeavour, by
appropriate discourses,, to alleviate his majesty's grief. Some of
them prepared grave and serious orations; others, speeches of an
agreeable and even jocQe character; but none of them succeeded in
making the least impression on the forlorn king; indeed, he hardly
appeared to hear what was said to him. Presently there came to
the king's presence a lady deeply muffled in black crapes, veils,
weepers, and long mourniLg habits, who sobbed and wept so bitterly
and so audibly that sh attracted the king's attention. She said
that she would not attempt, as others had, to diminish his grief; but
that, on the contrary, iS was come to augment it, as nothing could
be more appropriate than to lament the decease of a good wife. For
my part,' she added, I Iflee just lost the best of husbands, and I am
determined not to cease weeping while I have eyes in my head.' The
strangorihen redoubled her tears and lamentations, and the king,
following her example, began to weep afresh.
His in~jesty, having received the mourning lady more favourably
than he had his subjects, spoke to her of the good qualities of his
dear deceased wife, and she, in return, enlarged on those of her dear







OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


late husband : they conversed so long on the subjects of their grief,
that at last they could think of nothing more to say. When the
cunning widow saw that the topic was nearly exhausted, she slightly
raised her veil, and gave the afflicted king an opportunity of refresh-
ing his sight by a peep at two large blue eyes, shaded by long black
lashes, and a blooming complexion. The king gazed at her very
earnestly, gradually spoke less and less of his wife, and soon ceased
to mention her at all. The widow having again observed that she
would always mourn the loss of her husband, the king entreated her
not to perpetuate her grief. In the end, what was the astonishment
of the king's subjects to see their monarch marry her, and change
his mourning into wedding garments It is generally only necessary
to know the weak side of people, in order to become the master of
their secret thoughts, and to mould them to any object whatever.
The king's former wife had left him an only daughter, who passed
for the eighth wonder of the world: she was called Flora, and in
truth resembled the goddlcsi, her namesake, in the delicate tint of
her complexion and tho loveliness of her form. She was never seen
in magnificent clothes, but preferred a loose robe made of plain silk,
which, with a jewelled clasp and a garland of fresh flowers placed
among her beautiful tresses, had an admirable effect. She was only
fifteen years of age when the king her father re-married.
The new queen also had a daughter, who had been brought up by
her godmother, the fairy Soussio, but notwithstanding all the power
of her governess, which had been employed in her favour, she was
neither accomplished nor beautiful. Soussio had done her best for
her god-daughter, but had failed; however, she loved her not the
less on that account. The young lady was called Troutina, for her
face was covered with yellow freckles, like the spots on the back of a
trout. The queen doted on her, and was continually speaking of
her charming Troutina; and as Flora was so superior to her daughter
in every respect, she conceived a violent hatred towards her, and
sought by every means in her power to possess the king against his
own child. Not a day passed but the queen and Troutina played
Flora some trick, while that princess, who was both amiable and
witty, only endeavoured to place herself beyond the reach of her
enemies' malice.
The king one day remarked to the queen that Flora and Troutina
were old enough to be married, adding that it would be advisable to
try and marry one of them to the first prince who should come to the
court. I insist,' answered the queen, that my daughter be married
first; she is older than yours, and as she is a thousand times more
amiable, there can be no room for doubt on the subject.' The king,
who did not like discussions, said that he had no objection, and that
it should be as she pleased.
Shortly afterwards it became known that King Charming was on
his road to the court. Never was there a more gallant or a more




























































































FLORA.







THE BLUE BIRD. 63

handsome prince; he had not a single quality of mind or person
which did not answer to his name. When the queen heard of his
intended visit, she set all her milliners and mantua-makers to work
to prepare costly attire for Troutina, while she told the king that
Flora required nothing new for the occasion ; and having bribed the
attendants of her stepdaughter, the malicious woman had all her
clothes, head-dresses, and jewels stolen on the very day of Charming's
arrival; so that when she went to dress, there was not even a single
riband to be found. Flora knew to whom she might attribute this
good turn, and sent to the shops to purchase materials for a gown;
but her tradesmen sent word by her messengers that they had been
forbidden by the queen to sell her any article of dress whatever. The
princess was consequently obliged to appear in a common gown,
somewhat soiled by wear, of which she was so ashamed that she hid
herself in a corner of the saloon when the prince arrived.
The queen received Prince Charming with great pomp, and pre-
sented her daughter to him, glittering with jewels, but, notwithstand-
ing the magnificence of her attire, looking more ugly than she usually
did. The prince turned from her with disgust, though the queen
flattered herself that he was but too well pleased with her daughter,
and was only fearful of declaring himself too soon. Under this im-
pression, she would not allow Troutina to quit the apartment an
instant, when Charming presently asked whether there were not
another young lady, called Flora. Yes,' said Troutina, pointing to
her stepsister with her finger; there she is, ashamed to show her-
self in her dirt and rags.' This speech made Flora blush, when
King Charming thought she looked so very beautiful that he was
struck dumb by admiration. Recovering himself, however, as quickly
as he could, he bowed low to the princess, and said: Madam, your
incomparable beauty becomes you so well that no dress could add to
your charms.' Sir,' replied Flora, I must confess that I am but
little accustomed to appear in society as you see me; and I should
have been better pleased had you taken no notice of me.' It would
be impossible,' cried Charming, to have eyes for anyone else in the
presence of so wondrous a beauty as yourself.' Ah !' said the queen,
displeased, your majesty may cease your compliments; believe me,
sir, Flora is vain enough already, and will not thank you for your
courtesy.' The king immediately perceived the queen's motive for
this malicious speech; but as he had no desire to constrain his
inclinations, he made no secret of his admiration for Flora, and con-
versed with her for three whole hours.
The queen, half mad with vexation at the turn affairs had taken,
and Troutina, inconsolable at Charming's open preference for Flora,
complained bitterly to the king, and obliged him to consent that his
daughter, while Charming remained at court, should be confined in a
tower, where she might neither see nor be seen by her admirer.
Accordingly, when Flora had retired to her apartment, she was







OLD), (L)/./ I/' TA11I.ES


seized by four men wearing masks., who bore her to tie highest room
in the round tower, and then, having locked the door, left her in the
greatest distress; for she plainly saw that she was only placed in
confinement in order to prevent her meeting the prince, for whom
she already felt a great regard, and whom, if properly asked, she
would have had no great objection to marry.
In the meanwhile, Charming, ignorant of the violence that had
been used towards the princess, looked forward with the utmost
impatience to the time of his next interview. lie could not help
speaking of her to the lords-in-waiting that the king had appointed to
honour him ; but they, by the queen's orders, said all the iil-natured
things they could imagine against her-that she was a coquette,
fickle, very ill-tempered, and fond of annoying her friends and
servants; that she was slovenly to an extreme degree, and so
avaricious that she preferred wearing the meanest clothes to pur-
chasing dresses befitting her rank, although ample funds were
allowed by her father for the purpose. Charming was pained to
hear all this, and could hardly repress his rising anger. No,' he
said to himself, it is impossible that Nature can have endowed with
so unworthy a mind the most perfect of her works. I must confess
that she was not very neatly dressed when I saw her, but the shame
expressed by her lovely, ingenuous countenance sufficiently indicated
that this was not habitual to her. Is it possible that she can be ill-
tempered, with that enchantingly mild and modest demeanour ? I
cannot believe it : it is much more likely that the queen, who is only
Flora's stepmother, should have circulated this vile calumny against
her ; and, considering the ugliness of her own daughter, the Princess
Troutina, it is not at all surprising that she should endeavour to
depreciate this most perfect of created beings.'
While King Charming thus reasoned with himself, the courtiers
who stood around perceived by his looks that he was not pleased
by their slanders concerning Flora ; so one of them, more skilful
than the rest, changing his tone and language in order to discover
the prince's sentiments, began to speak in the princess's praise.
On hearing this, Charming recovered from his abstraction like one
awakening from a deep sleep, and, with joy plainly expressed on his
countenance, he immediately entered into conversation with the
courtier.
The queen, impatient to know the real state of the prince's
affections, summoned the lords in waiting to her presence, on their
leaving him after this conversation, and spent the rest of the night
in questioning them. All they told her only served to confirm her
in the opinion that Charming was in love with Flora. But how
shall I describe the wretchedness of that unfortunate princess?
Throwing herself on the floor, she leaned upon the miserable bed which
stood in a corner of the apartment into which the masked ruffians
had thrown her. I should have had less reason to complain,' said







THE BLUE BIRD.


she, 'had I been confined here before I had seen the amiable
Charming. My remembrance of that prince only serves to augment
my grief, while I cannot doubt but that it is to prevent my seeing
him again that I am thus cruelly treated by the queen. Alas I how
dearly am I destined to pay for the little beauty that Heaven has
been pleased to bestow on me !' Flora wept so bitterly that, could
her most cruel enemy have witnessed her affliction, the sight would
have melted his heart.
On the following morning, the queen, who studied every means of
making herself agreeable to Prince Charming, sent him a present,
consisting of most superb clothes, made in the costume of the country,
and the badge of the Knights of Cupid, an order which she had
prevailed upon the king to institute on the day that their nuptials
were celebrated. This badge was properly a heart of burnished
gold, surrounded by many darts and pierced with one, and on the
heart was engraved the motto: One only wounds me.' But the
queen had caused the heart she presented to Charming to be carved
from a single ruby as large as an ostrich's egg, while each of the
arrows, as long as one's finger, was composed of a single diamond,
and the chain to which the heart was attached was made of pearls,
the smallest of which weighed an ounce at least-in a word, the
decoration was worthy the genius of a Cellini or a Heriot.
The prince was so surprised at its magnificence that for several
minutes he could not speak. At the same time was presented to
him a book, the leaves of which were made of vellum, containing
the statutes of the order of Cupid written in a gallant and tender
style. Every page was surrounded by a border painted in admirable
taste, and the book was bound in gold, richly set with precious
stones. Charming was informed that the princess he had seen, and
who sent him that present, entreated him to become her knight.
The prince, on hearing this, flattered himself that the princess in
question was the one he loved. What 1' cried he, does the fair
Flora, then, honour me so highly?' Your majesty,' said one of his
attendants, is mistaken; we come from the amiable Troutina.'
' What I Troutina wish me to become her knight I' said the prince
with a cold and formal air. I feel sorry to be obliged to decline the
honour; but a sovereign is not at liberty to make every engagement
he may wish. I know the obligations of knighthood, and should
wish to fulfil them all; I would rather, therefore, decline the
proffered honour than prove myself unworthy of the kindness which
prompts its bestowal.' Thereupon Charming replaced the heart,
chain, and book, in their cases, and sent them back to the queen,
who, with her daughter, was ready to choke with rage on hearing
of the contemptuous way in which the prince, a stranger, had
rejected so signal a favour.
Whenever an occasion occurred for Prince Charming to pay his
respects to the king and queen, he went to the palace, hoping to
5







66 OLD, OLD FAIR TALES.

meet with Flora, but hoping in vain. When anyone entered the
apartment, he would turn hastily towards the door, nor could he
conceal his uneasiness at the non-appearance of her he loved. The
malicious queen was at no loss to divine the cause of Charming's




I~ l~tlllll~ll t' ',, I' !;I~t l l l


l l~' I tiI l II ..
THE YOUiNO PRICE SX KLG lrOI A.
agitation, which, however, she affected not to observe. She spoke
to him only of parties of pleasure, and he returned answers quite
foreign to the subject. At last he asked her plainly where was the
Princess Flora. May it please your highness,' answered the queen,







THE BLUE BIRD. 67

in a haughty tone, the king her father has forbidden her to quit
her chamber until my daughter shall be married.' And what may
be his majesty's motive,' inquired King Charming, for putting that
amiable creature in confinement?' I do not know,' said the queen ;
' and if I did, I should not be bound to communicate it to you.' The
prince was much enraged,and regarded with indignation the repulsive
Troutina, for whose gratification he was deprived of the pleasure of
seeing the amiable Flora; at last, unable longer to endure the queen's
presence, he hastily quitted the apartment.
Having returned to his room, he requested a young prince who
had accompanied him on his visit, and to whom he was much
attached, to use his utmost exertions in order to obtain from one of
the princess's women the means of speaking with her mistress for a
few moments. The prince readily obeyed, and, being young and
handsome, easily found ladies in the palace willing to listen to all he
had to say. From one of these he learned that the Princess Flora
would that very evening be at a little low window which looked
into the palace garden, whence she might speak with Charming, but
that it would be necessary to take great care that no one overheard
them. For,' she added, 'the king and queen are so severe that
they would have me put to death, should they discover that I
favoured Charming's passion.' The prince, in ecstasies at being so
far successful, promised the confidante that every precaution should
be used, and hastened to inform the king of his good fortune. But
the deceitful lady-in-waiting also went straightway to the queen,
told her of all that had passed, and advised her as to what steps
should be taken. The queen, after much consultation, determined
to send her own daughter to the little window, and Troutina, nothing
loth, entered into the scheme; for, although her head was badly
shaped, she did not want for brains.
The night proved to be so dark that it would have been impossible
for the king to discover the deception practised on him, even had he
not been so confident in the success of his scheme; accordingly, he
approached the window with transports of inexpressible joy, and
said to Troutina all that he would have said to Flora, to convince
her of his passion. Troutina, taking advantage of his mistake, told
him that she was the most unfortunate person in the world, at
having so cruel a mother-in-law, and that her sufferings would only
cease on her marriage. King Charming assured her that if she were
willing to accept him for her husband, he should be but too happy
to share with her his heart and crown; and with that he drew from
his finger a ring, which, placing on the hand of Troutina, he declared
Should be to her a pledge of his eternal fidelity, and that she
had only to name the hour when she would be willing to set out.
Troutina answered as appropriately as she could to his entreaties.
He perceived that she made no serious objection to the completion
of his wishes; but he observed also that she spoke but little. This
5-2








68 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

would have annoyed him, had he not thought that her silence arose
from a fear of awakening the queen; but he would only quit her on
her promising to meet him the next evening at the same hour and
place, a promise which she made with all her heart.
When the queen was informed of the success of this interview, she
flattered herself that all would go as she wished ; and in truth King
Charming, having appointed a day, came to take the princess away
in a flying chariot, drawn by an immense white animal, having some
resemblance to a snail. An enchanter, who was a friend of King
Charming, had made him a present of this equipage. The night was
dark and favoured Troutina's scheme; she left the palace mysteriously
by a little postern door, and the king, who was awaiting her, received
her in his arms, and vowed eternal fidelity. He immediately asked
her where she would wish to have their nuptials solemnized; to
which Troutina replied that her godmother, whose name was
Soussio, was a very celebrated fairy ; and that she should prefer to
be taken to her castle. Although King Charming was unacquainted
with the road to this castle, he had only to tell the white animal
that drew his chariot that he wished to go there, and the intelligent
creature, who was skilled in the geography of every part of the globe,
safely transported King Charming and Princess Troutina thither, in
an incredibly short space of time.
The castle was so brilliantly lighted when the king reached it, that
he would immediately have perceived his error, had not the princess
kept herself closely muffled in her veil. Troutina having asked to
see her godmother, was conducted to her presence, when she
informed the fairy how she had entrapped Charming, and entreated
her to pacify him. Ah daughter !' answered Soussio, it will be no
easy task; he is too fond of Flora, and I am certain that he will
give us a great deal of trouble.' Meanwhile, the king awaited them
in a saloon, the walls of which were diamonds, so bright and trans-
parent that he saw Soussio through them conversing with Troutina !
He thought he was in a dream. What,' said he, have I been
betrayed ? Has some evil spirit conjured up this enemy of our
repose ? Is she come to disturb my marriage? But where is my
dear Flora I perhaps her father has followed us and torn her from
me.' A thousand agitating thoughts distracted his mind. But his
misery was unspeakable when Troutina entered the saloon with her
godmother, and the latter said to him in an authoritative tone of
voice: King Charming, here is Princess Troutina, to whom you
have plighted your troth ; she is my god-daughter, and I command
you to marry her immediately.' I,' cried the king, I marry the
little monster I you must think me a simpleton even to make me stch
a proposition: I have made her no promise whatever, and if she says
otherwise, she- Enough I' interrupted Soussio; remember to
whom you are speaking.' I consent,' answered Charming, 'to
respect you as a fairy should be respected, provided you restore to







THE BLUE BIRD. 69

me my princess.' 'And am I not your princess, perjurer?' said
Troutina, showing him the ring he had given her. To whom did
you give this ring as a pledge of your faith? To whom did you
address your vows at the little window, if not to me ?' What, then,'
said Charming, have I been deceived and imposed on? No, no, I
will not be your dupe. Come,' said he, addressing the animal which
drew his chariot,' carry me hence immediately.'
Not so fast,' said Soussio; you cannot go hence without my
consent.' Thereupon she struck Charming with her wand, and his
feet grew as fast to the floor of the saloon as though they had been
nailed there. 'Though you were to flay me alive, I would still be
faithful to my Flora,' said the king; my mind is made up, and you
may, after this avowal, exert your power to the utmost.' Soussio
made use of entreaties, threats, promises, and prayers. Troutina
wept, screamed, groaned, fell into a passion and became quiet again.
The king, regarding them both very indignantly, made no reply to
their noisy speeches.
Twenty days and twenty nights passed without their ceasing to
talk, even to eat, to sleep, or to sit down. At last Soussio, wearied
out of all patience, said to the king: Very well, since your majesty
is so obstinate as to shut your ears against all reason, choose
between these two alternatives; either marry my god-daughter, or
resign yourself to a seven years' penance for not keeping your
plighted troth.' The king, who had hitherto kept a profound
silence, cried out all at once: Do with me what you will, provided
I am freed from this disagreeable wretch.' You are a disagreeable
wretch yourself,' said Troutina, in anger; in truth, you are a pretty
fellow for a king, to come to my country to abuse me and break your
word : had you a spark of honour in you, you could not act in this
manner.' Really you cut me to the heart,' said Charming in an
ironical tone. It is unquestionably madness in me to reject so
lovely a lady for my wife I' No, no, she will never be your wife,'
cried Soussio in a passion; you may fly through that open window if
you choose, but you shall be a Blue Bird for seven years.'
As the fairy pronounced these words, the king's figure entirely
changed: his arms became wings, covered with feathers; his legs,
decreasing in size, became black, and his toe-nails were replaced by
crooked talons; his body grew small, but was ornamented with long
delicate feathers of a sky-blue colour, while his eyes became round
and brilliant as stars; his nose changed into an ivory beak; from
his head sprang a tuft of white feathers in the shape of a crown, and
he began to sing, and even to speak to admiration. His first impulse
was to utter a plaintive note to bewail his metamorphosis; he then
spread his wings and flew away from the fatal palace of the fairy
Boussio.
In the melancholy that overwhelmed him, the unfortunate
Charming fluttered from branch to branch, but of those trees only








OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.


consecrated to love and sadness, as the myrtle and the cypress; he sang
the most mournful airs, in which he deplored his hard fate and that
of the fair Flora. Where have her enemies concealed her ?' cried he.
' What is become of that amiable victim ? Has the queen's barbarity
not yet taken her life? Where shall I seek her? Am I really
condemned to pass seven years without her ? Perhaps, during that
time, she may be married, and thus be lost to me fur ever.' The
sorrowful thoughts that these reflections engendered afflicted him to
such a degree that he no longer wished to livu.
Meanwhile, the fairy Soussio sent Troutina to the queen, who
was very anxious to learn how her daughter's wedding had passed.
But when Troutina returned alone, and informed her of what had
transpired, she went into a terrible passion, the ill-effects of which
alighted on the unfortunate Flora. That girl,' said the cruel queen,
'shall dearly repent having pleased King Charming.' She then
ascended to her stepdaughter's chamber, accompanied by Troutina,
who, dressed in her richest clothes, and wearing a crown of diamonds,
was attended by three young ladies, daughters of the richest and
most powerful peers of the realm. On her thumb she purypqsely
wore the ring she had received from King Charming, and which Flora
remembered to have seen on his majesty's finger the day she had
first conversed with him. When they reached the room in which
Flora was confined, that princess was strangely surprised to see
Troutina so magnificently dressed. My daughter brings you a
wedding-present,' said the queen; her marriage with King Charming
has just been solemnized; never did man more passionately love;
never was there a happier couple.' Then an attendant spread before
the princess rich pieces of gold and silver brocade, caskets of
jewellery, pieces of lace, and ribands of the most elegant patterns.
As Troutina displayed these different articles to Flora, she did not
fail to make the latter observe King Charming's ring, so that the
princess could no longer doubt her misfortune. Remove all these
fatal presents from my sight,' she cried, with a look of anguish ; I
will wear mourning until the day of my death, which I feel is not far
distant.' Then the unfortunate Flora fainted away, and the cruel
queen, in ecstasies at the apparent success of her diabolical stratagem,
would not allow anyone to assist her. Leaving Flora in that help-
less condition, the queen sought the king, and maliciously informed
him that his daughter was so transported with tenderness that
nothing could equal her extravagances, and that, in her opinion,
great care ought to be taken not to allow her to leave the tower.
The king told the queen to act as she thought proper, and that he
should be perfectly satisfied.
When the princess recovered from her swoon, and came to reflect
on the conduct that had been pursued towards her, the ill-treatment
she had received at the hands of her unworthy stepmother, and the
hope that she had for ever lost of the love of King Charming, her







THE BLUE BIRD. 71

grief became so great that she wept all night long; and in this state,
her eyes streaming with tears, she seated herself at the window,
where her sighs and lamentations redoubled. As day approached,
she shut the casement, and still continued to weep.
The next night, the unfortunate Flora reseated herself at the
































THE BLUE BIID.
window with grief unabated, uttering the most profound sighs and
sobs, and shedding a torrent of tears; when it was nearly day she
withdrew into her room as before. In the meantime, King Charming,
or rather the handsome Blue Bird, continued to flutter around the
palace, in which he imagined his dear princess to be confined; and
if her complaints were sorrowful, so were those of the Blue Bird. He







OLD, OLD FAIR' TALES.


flew as close to the windows as he could, to look into the apartments;
but the fear of being perceived and recognized by Troutina withheld
him. My life is at stake,' said he to himself ; if this wicked prin-
cess and her mother should discover me, they will seek to avenge
themselves ; alas I must either keep at a di-tance from the palace,
or expose my life to the utmost danger.' These reflections deter-
mined him to adopt the greatest precautions, and he generally sang
only in the night.
Immediately opposite the window of Flora's chamber, there was a
very tall cypress, and one evening the Blue Bird perched among its
branches. Scarcely had he settled, when he heard someone com-
plaining as if in sorrow. How much longer am I destined to suffer?'
said the voice. Alas why comes not death to terminate my grief ?
Those who fear Death see him but too soon ; I call upon him, and
he shuns me. Ah barbarous queen, of what have I been guilty,
that you keep me in such cruel confinement ? Is there no other way
for you to torment me? Alas I you have only to make me a witness
of the happiness your unworthy daughter enjoys with King ('harming,
to increase my misery a hundred-fold !' The Nue Bird, who over-
heard every word of his mistress's complaint, was not a little sur-
prised at its concluding words, and awaited the dawn of day with
the utmost impatience, that he might see the afflictel lady. But just
before sunrise she closed the window and retired into her chamber.
The curious bird failed not to return on the next evening ; and by
the light of the moon, which shone brightly, he observed a young
lady at the window of the tower, who commenced her lamentations.
'Oh, cruel Fortune!' she said, you who flattered me with the pro-
spect of reigning, and blessed me with my father's love, how have I
deserved to be thus plunged all at once into the bitterest grief! Is
it at years so tender as mine that your inconstancy boeins to show
itsc:f? Return, barbarian, return, if it be possible; the only favour
I ask of you is to put an end to my unhappy fate.' The Blue Bird
listened; and the more he heard, the more he became convinced that
it was his amiable princess who complained ; so ie said : Lovely
Flora, miracle of beauty, why do you wish so soon to die? Your
misfortunes are not irremediable.' Who speaks to me in the voice
of consolation?' cried Flora. An unfortunate king,' replied the
bird, who loves you to distraction, and who will never love any
other than you.' A king who loves me !' added she; is this
another snare laid for me by my enemy ? But what will she gain in
the end? If she seek to discover my sentiments, I am ready to
make open avowal of them.' No, my princess,' answered the Blue
Bird, your lover, who speaks to you, is incapable of betraying you.'
As he pronounced these words, he flew to the window. Flora was
frightened at first, to see so extraordinary a bird, which spoke as
readily and intelligently as a human being, though its voice was not
louder than the song of the nightingale; but the beauty of its







THE BLUE BIRD.


plumage, and its words, reassured her. And am I then permitted
to see you again, my princess ?' cried he. Can I taste so supreme
a happiness and not die? But, alas my joy is troubled by the
thoughts of your captivity, and the state to which the wicked Soussio
has condemned me for seven years!' And who, then, are you,
charming bird ?' said the princess, caressing it. You have called
me by name, and you feign not to know me,' returned the king.
* What, the greatest king in the world-Charming!' said the princess;
' can he be the little bird I hold in my hand ?' Alas fair Flora, it
is but too true,' replied the Blue Bird; and if anything can console
me under my misfortune, it is the reflection that I preferred this
transformation to the horror of renouncing the passion that I must
ever feel for you.' For me !' said Flora; ah! do not attempt to
deceive me! I know, I know but too well, that you are married to
Troutina: I have seen her wearing your ring; I have seen her re-
splendent with jewels she received from you; she came to my prison
to insult me, wearing a rich crown and a royal mantle that you had
presented to her, while I was loaded with grief.'
You have seen Troutina so dressed ?' interrupted the king; has
she or her wicked mother dared to tell you that her finery came from
me ? 0 Heaven is it possible that I can hear such frightful lies,
and be unable to avenge myself I Know, charming Flora, that, by
deceiving me with your name, they engaged me to elope with the
detestable Troutina; but I discovered my error, abandoned her, and,
rather than fail in the fidelity I had vowed to you, I chose to become
a Blue Bird for the space of seven years.'
Flora felt so lively a pleasure at these words of her amiable lover,
that she no longer remembered her misfortunes or her prison.
What tender things did she not say to console him for his sorrowful
adventure, and to assure him that she would have done no less for
him had she been in his place! Day appeared, and most of the
officers of the palace had already risen, while the Blue Bird and the
princess were still conversing ; so, after arranging to meet thus every
evening, they separated with the most tender protestations of eternal
fidelity.
Words are inadequate to express the extreme joy experienced by
the lovers at thus meeting again ; they severally returned thanks to
love and to fortune. However, Flora was uneasy on account of the
Blue Bird. Who will guard him from the fowlers,' said she, or
from the sharp talons of some eagle or ravenous vulture, who would
devour him with as much appetite as though he were anything but
a great king? 0 Heaven what would become of me were his light
tnd delicate feathers, borne hither by the winds, to enter my prison
window, and announce to me the disaster that I so much dread.'
This idea haunted the poor princess so incessantly that it prevented
her from closing her eyes. It is ever thus with those who love; fore-
bodings appear to be realities, and that which at another time would







74 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALI:S.

be thought impossible, then seems to be certainty itself; and so Flora
spent the day in tears, until the hour came for her lover to repair to
her window.
In the meanwhile, the charming bird, concealed in a hollow tree,
could think of nothing but his beautiful princess. How happy have
I been to find her again I' he said. How sensibly do I feel the kind-
ness she manifests towards me !' The tender lover then began
impatiently to count the years, months, weeks, days, hours, and even
minutes, which must elapse ere, his penance being terminated, he
could hope to marry her. Never was the nuptial day looked forward
to more anxiously than by our feathered inamorato. As he wished
to show every attention to Flora, he directed his flight to the capital
of his kingdom. Arrived there, he flew into his private closet in the
palace, through a broken pane of glass, and, selecting a pair of
diamond earrings, of such surpassing beauty that nothing in the
world could approach them in point of splendour, he seized them
with his beak, and having borne them to his tree, presented them
that evening to Flora, entreating her to wear them for his sake. I
would consent to do so,' she replied, if you saw me in the day; but
as I speak with you in the night only, I shall have no use for them.'
The bird told her that he would watch his opportunity, and contrive
to enter the tower at any timee she chose ; whe Flora put the ear-
rings in her ears, and the night passed as had the preccung.
The next day the Blue Bird returned to his kingdom, went to his
palace, re-entered his closet by the broken window, and brought awiay
the most splendid pair of bracelets that were ever seen ; each was
composed of a single emerald, hollowed in the middle to allow the
wearer to pass it over her hand. When the bird presented them to
his mistress: Do you imagine,' she said, that my affection for you
requires presents to keep it alive? Ah how little are you acquainted
with my heart 1' No, dear madam,' answered the mctamorphos-ed
king, I do not think that the trifles I offer you are necessary to pr,-
serve your tenderness for me, but mine would be wounded were I to
neglect any opportunity of manifesting it to you ; and when you sco
me no longer, these baubles may serve to recall me to your mind.'
Flora then said a thousand tender and elegant things to her lover, to
all of which he answered with equal gallantry and affection.
The following night the amorous bird carried his mistress a supei b
gold watch, of so moderate a size as to be contained in a single
pearl; the beauty of the material was only to be surpassed by that
of the workmanship. It is to no purpose that you present me with
this watch,' said the princess ; in your absence, the hours appear
without end; when you are with me, they fly away like a dream.'
' Alas I my princess,' exclaimed the Blue Bird, it is even so with
me; and, rest assured, you do not feel the lingering pain of absence
more keenly than myself.' After what you have undergone to pre-
serve your heart for me,' replied the lady, 'I may well believe you.'







THE BLUE BIRD.


When day approached, the bird, as usual, flew to his hollow tree,
where he lived on fruit. Sometimes he would sing the most charm-
ing airs, when his voice enchanted the passengers; they would stay
to listen to his music, and, seeing no one, concluded that the place
was haunted by a spirit. This opinion became so general that no
one dared to enter the wood ; a thousand fabulous accounts of what
had been heard got into circulation, and thus the general panic con-
duced to the safety of the Blue Bird.
Not a day passed without his making a present to Flora; at one
time, a pearl necklace, or jewelled rings of the most exquisite work-
manship; at others, circlets of diamonds, gold bodkins, nosegays of
jewellery made to resemble real flowers, agreeable books, rare coins,
medals, etc. In a short time she possessed an immense heap of rich
articles, of which she would only make use, however, in the night, in
order to please the king ; while in the day, for want of a cabinet, she
concealed them carefully in her mattress.
Two ears passed away in this manner, without Flora making a
single complaint as to her captivity. But of what could she com-
plain ? She had the satisfaction of conversing every night, all night
long, with him she loved; and never did two persons say so many
fond things to each other. Although she saw no one but her lover,
and although the bird spent the day in his hollow tree, they had
always a thousand new things to talk about; their affection, upon
which they drew, was inexhaustible, and their hearts and minds
furnished them abundantly with interesting subjects for conver-
sation.
Meanwhile, the malicious queen, who kept her stepdaughter so
cruelly in confinement, vainly exerted the most strenuous efforts to
procure a husband for Troutina. She despatched ambassadors to
propose her daughter in marriage to all the princes with whose
names she was acquainted. Wherever the ambassadors made their
appearance, they were abruptly dismissed. If you had come to
propose a marriage for the Princess Flora, you would be received
with joy; but as for Troutina, she may remain for ever a virgin,
without anyone troubling themselves on the matter.' Such was the
universal exclamation. When these answers were carried to the
queen and her daughter, they were ready to die with anger against
the innocent princess, the object of their persecution. What! does
this arrogant creature still thwart our schemes in spite of her cap-
tivity !' said they. How can we punish her sufficiently for the
injuries she has done us? She must have secret correspondence
with foreign princes, and is at least, therefore, a criminal against the
state; let us treat her as such, and seek out every possible means of
convicting her.'
The queen and her daughter consulted so long together that it
was past midnight when they ascended to her tower to interrogate
Flora.








OLD, OLD FAIRY/ TALES.


She was at that moment conferring at the window with the Blue
Bird, ornamented with some of her most valuable jewels, while her
beautiful hair was dressed with more care than is usual with persons
in distress ; her apartment and bed were strewed with flowers, and
certain Spanish pastilles that she had recently been burning diffused
a delicious perfume through the room. The queen stopped at the
door to listen, for she fancied she heard an air sung by two voices.
Flora had indeed an almost heavenly voice, and, accompanied by the
Blue Bird, was singing the following words, which the queen over-
heard:
'Though the tyrant may part us, in spirit well flee
O'er the wide world together, with heartA uncontrolled;
With the first rays of morning my thoughts are with thee,
And together we pray when the flock %ceks its fold :
Then how rain the endeavour
Two fond hearts to sever ;
Those who one truly love, love on truly for ever.'
Their little concert was en,ledl by deep sighs.
Ah, my Troutina, we are betrayed !' cried the queen, suddenly
throwing open the door and rushing into the apartment. Flora
hastily opened her little window to give the royal bird time to
escape, much more anxious for his safety than for her own. The
object of her solicitude, however, had not the heart to fly away;
his piercing eyes discovered the danger to which his princess was
exposed, so soon as he had recognized the queen and Troutina; and
what was his affliction to feel so conscious of his inability to defend
his mistress. They approached like two furies about to devour her.
'Your plots against the state are known!' cried the queen; 'and
do not flatter yourself that your rank will screen you from the
punishment your crimes deserve.' And with whom have I plotted,
madam ?' said Flora. Have you not been my gaoler for the last
two years? Have I seen anyone besides those whom you have sent
to me ?' While she spoke, the queen and her daughter regarded
her with the utmost astonishment; her unparalleled beauty and
magnificent attire completely dazzled them. And whence, madam,'
said the queen, come these jewels, more brilliant than the sun ?
Would you have us believe that there are diamond mines within
this tower?' 'I obtained them here, nevertheless,' said Flora.
The queen looked as piercingly at the princess as though she would
have discovered what was passing in her inmost soul; at length she
said: We are not your dupes, though you would fain impose upon
us; know that we are acquaint::d with every action of your life.
All these jewels have been given you as the price of your father's
kingdom.' I am certainly in a very convenient position for deliver-
ing it to a purchaser,' answered Flora with a disdainful smile-' an
unfortunate princess who has languished so long in confinement is
doubtless very likely to be concerned in a plot against the state.'







THE BLUE BIRD. 77

SAnd for whom, then,' said the queen, 'do you pretend to be thus
decked out, like a doll, as you are? for whom is your apartment
perfumed, and why do you wear that magnificent dress, which
surpasses the most sumptuous even that you ever wore at one of
my own drawing-rooms?' 'I have so much leisure,' said the
princess,' that it need not appear extraordinary if I devote some
portion of it to my attire. You have left me so much time to lament
my misfortunes that I do not deserve to be reproached on that
account at least.' 'Come,' said the queen, let us see if this mighty
innocent person be not league in some way with our enemies.'
She then made a strict search in every corner of the room, whin
coming to the mattress, which she emptied, she found such an im-
mense quantity of diamonds, emeralds, pearls, rubies, and topazes,
that she could scarcely believe her eyes. She had previously
determined to conceal in Flora's apartment papers, which, when
discovered, would criminate the princess, and had managed, un-
perceived by her, to place them in the chimney; but by good luck
the Blue Bird, who was perched above, and whose eyes were sharper
than a hawk's, observed all that passed, and cried out: Take care,
Flora; your enemy is seeking to do you a mischief.' On hearing
this voice, so little expected, the queen was terrified to such a degree
that she dared not do what she had intended. You see, madam,'
said the princess, that the spirits of the air are favourable to me.'
SI believe,' said the queen, beside herself with rage, that demons
are league to assist you ; but in spite of them your father will take
care to do himself justice.' Would to Heaven !' cried Flora, 'that
I had nothing to fear but my father's justice Your anger, madam,
is tenfold more terrible.'
The queen left her, vexed at all she had just seen and heard, and
immediately called a council to consult as to what steps should be
taken against the princess. She was advised that if some fairy had
taken the princess under Ler protection it would be only irritating
the fairy to inflict further punishment on her stepdaughter, and
that it would be wiser to attempt to discover her intrigue. The
queen adopted this opinion, and sent a young lady. desiring her to
sleep in Flora's apartment and pretend that she was not in the
queen's confidence, but that she was merely placed near the princess
in order to attend on her person. There was but little chance of
Flora's being taken by so palpable a snare; but although she regarded
her attendant as a spy, her grief was extreme. What, then! shall
I converse no more with the bird who has now become so dear to
me?' said she. 'He enabled me to support my misfortunes, while
I did my best to console him under his, and surely our tenderness
was mutually requisite. What will he do? What shall I do
myself ?' As these thoughts passed through Flora's mind, her tears
fel' in torrents.
6he dared no more go to the little window, though she heard him








78 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

fluttering around it. She was almost dying with the desire to open
the casement; but abstained, from the fear of exposing her dear
lover's life. She passed a whole month thus, without once appearing
to the Blue Bird, who was almost frantic at her absence. What
bitter complaints escaped him! How could he live without his
Flora He had never felt so acutely the miseries of his situation
as in this absence from his princess, and although he racked his
brain for weeks, he could think of no means of diminishing his
sorrow.
The princess's spy, who had watched day and night for a whole
month, felt herself so over-wearied that at last she fell into a pro-
found sleep. Flora observed it, and, taking advantage of the
opportunity, opened her little window and said:
'My beautiful bird, with feathers sky blue,
Fly in haste to your Flora, who's waiting for you.'
The above are the exact words she made use of, and we have been
careful to preserve them. The bird, who heard them distinctly, flew
hastily to the window. What pleasure they experienced at their
meeting! What a multitude of tender things had they to say to
each other Their protestations of eternal love and fidelity were
repeated a thousand times ; the princess shed torrents of joyful tears,
and her lover, though himself much affected, consoled her as well as
he could. At last the hour of separation having arrived, the spy
still sleeping, they bade each other adieu in the most affectionate
terms. The next evening, her attendant sleeping as before, the
princess hastened to the window, and said, as on the previous night:
'My beautiful bird, with feathers sky blue,
Fly in haste to your Flora, who's waiting for you.'
The bird immediately came at her call, and the night passed as
had the preceding. This put our lovers in excellent spirits; they
hoped that the queen's spy would take so much pleasure in slumber
that she would sleep soundly every night, and a third meeting passed
off very happily ; but on the fourth, the sleeper, having fancied that
she heard a noise the previous evening, lay awake, but with her eyes
closed, as though she slept. Looking through the corners of her
eyelids as well as she could, she presently saw, by the light of the
moon, the most beautiful bird she had ever beheld, conversing with
the princess, caressing her with his claw, and pecking her fondly
with his bill. Lying thus, the pretended sleeper overheard part of
their conversation, which caused her no small astonishment, for the
bird spoke like a tender lover, and the fair Flora replied to him in
similar terms of affection.
When it was nearly daybreak, they bade each other adieu; and,
as though they felt a presentiment of coming misfortune, parted with
extreme sorrow. The princess threw herself on her bed in a trans-







THE BLUE BIRD. 79

port of grief, and King Charming returned to his hollow tree. The
spy then posted to the queen, and communicated all that she had
seen and overheard. Thereupon her majesty sent for her daughter
Troutina and her advisers ; they had a long debate, and came at last
to the conclusion that the Blue Bird was King Charming. What
insolence, my Troutina !' cried the queen. What an affront! That
impudent princess, whom I thought to be overwhelmed with afflic-
tion, has been peaceably enjoying agreeable conversations with the
ungrateful prince Ah but I will take such signal vengeance on
them that it shall be spoken of far and near !' Troutina entreated
her mother not to lose a moment before setting about it, and, as
she thought herself more interested in the business than the queen,
almost fainted away with joy when a scheme suddenly occurred to
her imagination, whereby she hoped to plunge the lover and his
mistress into the lowest abyss of despair.
The queen desired the spy to return to the princess's tower, and
not to show the slightest suspicion or curiosity ; but, on the contrary,
to feign to be more soundly asleep than usual. Accordingly she
went to bed early, and snored away as loudly as she could, and the
poor deceived princess, opening the window, called aloud:
SMy beautiful bird, with feathers sky blue,
Fly in baste to your Flora, who's waiting for you.'
In vain, however, she continued to call her lover all night long;
he did not make his appearance; the wicked queen had caused
swords, razors, knives and poniards to be fastened to the cypress-tree,
so that when the Blue Bird attempted to fly through it, the murderous
weapons injured his wings so much, that at last, nearly covered with
wounds, he, with infinite difficulty, reached his hollow tree, leaving
a long trace of blood behind him.
Alas I why were you not there, beautiful princess, to tend the
royal bird I But her heart would have broken, had she seen her
lover in so deplorable a condition I The unfortunate Charming cared
not for life, persuaded that Flora had betrayed him. Ah! bar-
barian,' he said in a plaintive tone,' is it thus you return the purest
and most tender passion that ever lover bore for his mistress ? If
you wished for my death, why did you not inflict the blow yourself ?
it would have been welcome from your hand I I sought you with so
much love and confidence I I was undergoing penance for your sake,
and that without a murmur I What I have you, then, sacrificed me
to the most cruel of her sex ? She was our common enemy, and you
have made your peace with her at the expense of my life. You,
Flora, you alone, are the cause of my death I you have borrowed
Troutina's hand, and plunged a dagger into my bosom !' These dismal
reflections so overwhelmed the wretched Charming that he resolved
to die.
In the meanwhile, his friend the enchanter, who had seen the








So OLD, OLD FAIR Y TA.LES.

flying chariot return without the king, was so anxious lest some mis-
fortune had befallen him, that he travelled all over the world eight
times in search of him, and each time without success. IIe was on
his ninth journey, when, passing through the wood in which the un-
fortunate Blue Bird was lying thus wounded, according to his usual
custom, he blew a moderately long blast on a French horn, and thcn
called out tive times at the top of his voice: King Chanrming, King
Charming, where are you?' The king recognized the voice of his
best friend. Here,' he cried in a feeble voice; approach this tree,
and behold your unfortunate friend weltering in his blood.' The en-
chanter, in the utmost astonishment, looked all around, but could
not perceive him. 'I am a Blue Bird,' said the king, in a still
feebler and more exhausted voice. At these words, the enchanter
discovered him perched on a branch. Any other person than an
enchanter would have been more astonished than he was ; but :o
was skilled in every branch of necromantic art. By merely pro-
nouncing a few words, he stanched the king's blood, which was still
running; and with certain herbs which he culled in the wood, having
pronounced over them two magic words, he cured. the king so effec-
tually that not a mark of one of his numerous wounds was visible.
The enchanter then requested his friend to inform him by what
accident he had been tran-.formed into a bird, and who had i,,ilicted
such cruel wounds upon him. King Charmnning complied, and con-
cluded his account by saying that Flora had doubtless revealed the
secret of his visits, and that to make her peace with the queen she
had consented to have the cypress-tree hung with poniards a.d
razors, by means of which he had been nearly cut to pieces. The
king was very bitter in his invectives against the infidelity of his
mistress, and said that he should have been happy to have died ere
he had discovered the falsity of her heart. The enchanter inveighed
against Flora and against all her sex, and advised the king to forget
her. How unfortunate you would be,' he said to Charming, if
you were incapable of banishing this false one from your heart!
After her recent conduct, you have everything to dread from her.'
The Blue Bird could not bring himself to his friend's opinion, he was
still too deeply in love with Flora; so the enchanter, who knew his
sentiments despite the pains he took to conceal them, said to him
gaily :
My mistress false my love betrayed-
You bid me to forget the maid :
The very thought is e'en a crime,
That love, true love, can yield to time.
No, friends forget, if long apart;
But he who loves, with broken heart,
Still lingers o'er each fond regret,
And never, never can forget.'
The royal bird expressed his concurrence in these sentiments, and







THE BLUE BIRD. 81

begged his friend to carry him to his residence, and put him in a
cage, where he might be safe from the talons of cats and other
murderous weapons. But,' said the enchanter, will you remain
for five years in so inglorious a condition, one, too, so little in accor-
dance with your birth and dignity? Besides, I must tell you that
you have enemies, who assert that you are dead, and would usurp
your throne, which, indeed, I fear you will have lost before you
recover your proper form.' But what,' replied Charming, is to
prevent me from returning to my palace, and carrying on the govern-
ment of my kingdom as usual ?'
Oh !' cried his friend, that would be more difficult than you
imagine Those who obeyed a young man would not obey a bird;
those who feared you as a king, surrounded with pomp and luxury,
would strip you of your feathers as a little bird.' Alas for human
weakness !' cried tie king; a brilliant exterior bespeaks neither
virtue nor merit, yet has it more weight with the multitude than
either of them. Well !' continued he, 'let us be philosophers, and
despise what we cannot obtain ; our lot will be none the worse.'
' I do not intend to yield quite so soon,' said the magician; 'some
means may yet be found for your restoration.'
Meanwhile Flora, the sorrowful Flora, broken-hearted at no
longer seeing the king, spent whole days and nights at her window,
repeating continually :
My beautiful bird, with feathers sky-blue,
Fly in haste to your Flora, who's waiting for you!'
The presence of the spy did not restrain her; her affliction was
such that she was no longer careful of her secret. What has
become of you, King Charming?' she cried. 'Have then our
common enemies destroyed you? Have you fallen a sacrifice to
their vindictive fury? or, tired of my misfortunes, have you
abandoned me to my fate? Alas I alas! shall I never see you
more ?'
What tears, what bitter sighs followed these tender lamentations I
How long, how wearisome, became the hours of absence to so
amiable and so affectionate a lover The poor princess, dejected, ill,
thin, and altered, could hardly keep herself alive; she was persuaded
that some dreadful misfortune had befallen the king.
The triumph of the queen and Troutina was complete; their
vengeance gave pleasure to their wicked hearts. About this time,
however, Flora's father, who was very old, was taken ill and died,
when the fortunes of the wicked queen and her ugly daughter
suddenly changed. They were now regarded as favourites who had
abused their power; and the enraged people thronged to the palace,
called for the princess Flora, and proclaimed her as their sovereign.
The angry queen would have carried the affair with a high hand,
and making her appearance at a balcony, she threatened the







82 OLD, OLD FAIRY -TLES.

insurgents. The indignant multitude treated her with contempt,
and in a moment forced the gat's of the palace, burst into her
apartment, and seizing the wretched queen by the hair of her head,
dragged her into the courtyard, and stoned her to death. Troutina,
in the confusion, escaped and took refuge with her godmother, the
fairy Soussio; this was fortunate for her, as she was not a whit more
liked than her mother, and would certainly have shared her fate.
The grandees of the realm immediately assembled in council, and
proceeded to the tower in which the princess lay so dangerously ill.
Ignorant of her father's death, and of the punishment of her enemy,
she had heard the noise of the insurrection, but had imagined that
it proceeded from the queen's creatures, about to conduct her to
execution. This idea caused her no emotion ; life lad become odious
since the loss of the Blue Bird. When, therefore, the nobles opened
the door of her prison, threw themselves at her fret, and informed
her of the change that had taken place in her destiny, she manifested
no joy. However, they carried her to the palace, and crowned I.er
queen. The infinite care that her physicians took of her health, and
her hope of still finding the Blue Bird, for whom alone she wished
to live, contributed much to her recovery ; and soon enabled h,'r to
nominate a council to govern the kinglomin during her absence in
search of the king, on which she had determiined. This (done, she
provided herself with money and jewels, and set out one night,
without informing anyone of her intended expedition or its object.
The enchanter, who was so good a friend of King Charming, not
being powerful enough to undo the mischief that Soussio had done,
determined to obtain an interview with that fairy, and to make
proposals for the restoration of his friend to his proper shape : so,
seating himself in the flying chariot, he took the direction of Soussio's
palace, and found her conversing with Troutina. Now enclhan.ters
and fairies are about equal in power, and our fairy and enchanter
had been acquainted with each other for more than five hundred
years, during which they had fallen out and made it up agz.in a
thousand times. Soussio received her visitor with a smiling cour.ten-
ance, and said : What brings my good gossip here? Is there any-
thing in my power by which I may serve him ?' (this is their usual
salutation). Yes, gossip,' said the magician ; you have it in your
power to do me a great favour; I would speak to you of ol:e of my
best friends, of a king whom you have rendered miserable.' Alh
ah I I understand, gossip,' cried Soussio; 'I am sorry to say so, but
he must expect no mercy from me, unless he will marry my god-
daughter; behold her here, amiable and beautiful as you must
confess. Your friend had better consider of it.'
The enchanter was exceedingly perplexed at hearing this, for he
knew that Charming would never consent to marry Troutina ; on
the other hand, he was unwilling to leave Soussio without coming
to some arrangement, for the king had run a thousand risks since








THE BLUE BIRD. 83

he had been confined in his cage. At one time the hook by which
it was suspended had broken, the cage had fallen to the ground,
and his feathered majesty had suffered much from the shock ; besides
that, Grimalkin, who happened to be in the apartment when the
accident occurred, had given the Blue Bird such a scratch on the
eye with his paw, that he was near losing its sight for ever. On
another occasion his drink had been forgotten, and the Bird had
nearly died ; he only escaped by the timely administration of saffron.
A little mischievous monkey, also, having broken its chain, had
put its paws through the wires of the Blue Bird's cage, and spared
his majesty's feathers as little as he would have done those of a
blackbird or tomtit. But the worst of all was, that the king was
on the point of losing his throne, his heirs daily inventing fresh
schemes to prove that he was dead. All, however, that the en-
chanter could obtain of his gossip was, that Soussio would conduct
Troutina to King Charming's palace, there to remain for some
months, during which the fairy would restore his majesty to his
proper form, while he should consider her proposal of marrying her
god-daughter; but that he should then resume the figure of a bird
until the expiration of the seven years, if he would not comply with
her wishes.
The fairy then gave Troutina handsome dresses of gold and silver
brocade, and seating her on a pillion behind her on the back of a
dragon, they were thus conveyed to Charming's kingdom, where he
had just arrived with his faithful friend the enchanter. Three strokes
of the fairy's wand sufficed to restore his majesty to his original form
-handsome, amiable, witty, and majestic as ever; but he dearly
paid for the diminution of his penance, the bare thought of marrying
Troutina causing him to shudder. The enchanter made use of every
argument he could think of to induce him to forget his Flora, but
made little or no impression on his majesty's mind; and the king
thought much less of the government of his kingdom than on the
means of prolonging the term that Soussio had granted him to con-
sider her proposal of marriage with Troutina.
In the meantime, Queen Flora, disguised as a young peasant girl,
her hair flowing unconfined and concealing her face, wearing a straw
hat, and carrying a sack over her shoulders, had commenced her
journey, sometimes travelling on foot, sometimes on horseback, over
land and over sea. She was incessant in her search after her lover,
but was ever fearful that she was travelling from, instead of towards,
her amiable king. Having stopped one day on the bank of a small
stream, whose crystal waters leaped over the clean pebbles that
formed its bed, the princess resolved to bathe her feet. Seating her-
self on the turfy bank, she tied up her fair hair with a ribbon, and
put her feet into the water. While thus occupied, and looking like
Diana bathing after the toils of the chase, there chanced to pass by
a little old woman, nearly double with age, leaning on a thick stick.
6-2








84 OLD, OLD FAIRY TALES.

On seeing Flora, she stopped : What are you doing hero all alone,
my good girl?' said she. My good mother,' said the queen, I have
plenty of companions in my numerous misfortunes.' At these words
her eyes filled with tears. What so sorrowful and so young!' said
the good woman. Ah I my daughter, dry your tears and tell me
truly the cause of your grief, and I will endeavour to lighten its
burthen.' The queen, in compliance with the old woman's request,
related all her sorrows, not omitting the conduct of Soussio in the
affair, and concluded by informing her that she was then in search of
the Blue Bird.
The little old woman became suddenly erect, and her whole ap-
pearance changed; she was young, beautiful, and superbly dressed,
and regarding the queen with a benignant smile : Incomparable
Flora,' she said, in a gracious voice, the king whom you seek is no
longer a bird; my sister Soussio has restored him to his proper
shape, and he is now in his kingdom. Cease to afflict yourself; you
will presently come to his court, and will succeed in your design.
Here are four eggs: break one of them whenever you stand most
in need of assistance, and you will find within it whatever you
require.' Saying these words, the fairy (for she was a fairy) disap-
peared.
Flora, much consoled by what she had just heard, very carefully
placed the eggs in her sack, and then directed her steps towards
Charming's kingdom.
After travelling onwards for eight successive days and nights with-
out stopping, she came to a prodigiously high mountain, composed
entirely of ivory, and so steep that it was impossible to place a foot
thereon without falling. The queen made a thousand ineffectual
attempts to climb its side, but always slipped and fell. At last,
tired and worn out with so many useless efforts, and in despair at
this apparently insurmountable obstacle to her further progress, she
laid herself down at the foot of the mountain with the resolution to
remain there and die; when, remembering the eggs that the fairy
had given her, she took one of them from her sack. 'Let me see,'
she said, whether the fairy deceived me when she promised me that
I should receive assistance from this in my hour of need.' She then
broke the egg, and found therein a set of little golden cramp-irons,
which she immediately put on her feet and hands. With these she
ascended the side of the ivory mountain without the least difficulty,
as they prevented her from slipping. Having reached the summit, a
new difficulty presented itself in the descent on the other side, which
consisted of one single sheet of plate-glass. Around its base stood
upwards of sixty thousand women, who were regarding themselves
with great satisfaction in this enormous mirror, which was six miles
long and eighteen in height. The most remarkable quality in this
immense looking-glass was, that all who looked therein saw them-
selves precisely as they wished to appear; the dark became fair, the




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs