History of Bluebeard

Material Information

History of Bluebeard
Series Title:
Aunt Mavor's toy books
Added title page title:
Evans, Edmund, 1826-1905 ( Printer, Engraver )
Routledge, Warne, & Routledge ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
Routledge, Warne and Routledge
Edmund Evans
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
8 p. : ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Publishers' advertisements -- 1880 ( rbgenr )
Folk tales -- 1880 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1880
Publishers' advertisements ( rbgenr )
Folk tales ( rbgenr )
fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
Caption title: Bluebeard.
General Note:
Includes publisher's advertisement.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

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:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027670304 ( ALEPH )
26265464 ( OCLC )
AJF8215 ( NOTIS )

Full Text
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BLUE-BEARD.. _lI- -- ---c-- i------I.C-P----c---L--1------L -----Y--I1OLNCE up-on a time there was a ve-ry rich man, who li-ved in 4 mag-ni-fi-centcas-tle with wide do-mains. He had great quan-ti-ties of gold and sil-ver, andpre-ci-ous stones and mo-ney; but he was hid-e-ous-ly ug-ly, and what made himpe-cu-li-ar-ly dis-a-gree-a-ble, was that he had an e-nor-mous blue beard, whichlook-ed so strange and fright-ful, that the la-dies one and all de-cla-red theyne-ver could think of mar-ry-ing such a man. And yet for all this, Blue-Beardhad al-rea-dy been mar-ried six times, and al-ways to young and beau-ti-ful wo-men,so that he must have pos-sess-ed the se-cret of re-con-ci-ling the la-dies e-ven to ablue beard. As all his wives were dead, he wish-ed to mar-ry a-gain, and tur-nedhis thoughts to the fa-mi-ly of a la-dy in his neigh-bour-hood, who had two beau-ti-ful daugh-ters. But nei-ther of the young la-dies would con-sent to mar-ry a manwith a blue beard, more es-pe-ci-al-ly as his for-mer wives had all dis-ap-pear-edin a mys-te-ri-ous man-ner. Blue-Beard, how-e-ver, in-vi-ted the fa-mi-ly to hiscas-tle, with se-ve-ral o-ther friends and neigh-bours, and en-ter-tain-ed them allfor a week in so mag-ni-fi-cent a man-ner that e-ve-ry one was charm-ed withhim. He paid par-ti-cu-lar at-ten-tion to the young-er of the two daugh-ters;show-ed herall the cu-ri-o-si-ties of the cas-tle, and all the beau-ties of his groundsand was so kind and gra-ci-ous, that she soon be-gan to think his beard was notiso ve-ry blue, af-ter all, and that he was any-thing but a dis-a-gree-a-ble man.In fect, be-fore the week was en-ded she had con-sent-ed to be-come his wife.."*: 1 jiThe Baldwin LibraryUniversity^m q3 ofFlorida

The mar-ri-age took place short-ly af-ter-wards; and, for a time,they liv-ed ve-ry hap-pi-ly. They had just been mar-ri-ed onemonth when Blue-Beard said to his wife one morn-ing, that ur-gentbu-si-ness call-ed him a-way from home, and that he must beab-sent a-bout six weeks. He said he ho-ped she would makeher-self hap-py in the mean-time, and in-vite her friends to seeher; and he gave her the keys of all the cas-tle, of the rooms inwhich he kept his trea-sures, and of the chests which con-tain-edhis mo-ney and jew-els. "You may ex-a-mine e-ve-ry-thing," hesaid, "ex-cept one clo-set, which I call the blue cham-ber; it is atthe end of the gal-le-ry on the ground floor. I have par-ti-cu-larrea-sons for not wish-ing this room to be seen; and if you dis-o-beyme you will in-cur my high-est dis-plea-sure. This key o-pens thepas-sage lead-ing to the cham-ber, and this lit-tle key o-pens thecham-ber it-self. I leave them with you, to prove to you that Ihave e-ve-ry con-fi-dence in your dis-cre-tion."2

The name of the wife was Fa-ti-ma, and her sis-ter's name was Anne. Anmewas then stay-ing with Fa-ti-ma at the cas-tle, and they thought it would beplea-sant to have their two bro-thers there al-so, to keep them com-pa-ny whileBlue-Beard was a-way. So they sent for them, and they pro-mi-sed to come thenext day. In the mean-time, the sis-ters a-mu-sed them-selves in go-ing o-verthe cas-tle, and look-ing at e-ve-ry-thing they had not seen be-fore. 'But Fa-ti-mawas con-stant-ly think-ing of the blue cham-ber, and won-der-ing what it couldcon-tain, and why her bus-band did not wish her to see it; and at last her cu-ri-o-si-ty was so great that she could not re-sist it. Her sis-ter re-mind-ed her of herpro-mise, and of her bus-band's an-ger; but no-thing would do, see it she must.When they o-pen-ed the door lead-ing from the great gal-le-ry, they saw be-forethem nar-row, dark pas-sage with no light in it but what came from the o-pendoor, and this was just suf-fi-ci-ent to show them the clo-set at the end. Theydid not at all like this dis-mal look-ing place, still Fa-ti-ma would go on. Shereach-ed the clo-set, and with a trem-bling hand put the lit-tle key in-to the lock,turn-ed it, and push-ed o-pen the door. In her a-gi-ta-tion the key fell up-onthe floor..3

At first they could see no-thing, for the room was quite dark;so they o-pen-ed one of the shut-ters to let in the light, and whatwas their hor-ror when they saw the floor all co-ver-ed withclot-ted blood, and se-ve-ral dead bo-dies ly-ing a-gainst the walls tThese were Blue-Beard's for-mer wives, who had dis-ap-pear-ed,no one knew how, but who, it was now plain, had been bar-ba-rous-ly mur-der-ed by their cru-eI bus-band. With a shriek ofter-ror they ran out of the cham-ber, and reach-ed the gal-le-ry;but then they thought of the key and of the o-pen win-dowf anda still great-er ter-ror for-ced them back. They there-fore oncemore en-ter-ed that hor-rid cham-ber, pick-ed up the key, clo-sedthe shut-ter, lock-ed the door, and re-ti-red to their own room.4

Af-ter re-co-ver-ing a lit-tie from their fright, they look-ed at the key, andfound a spot of blood upon it. This they care-ful-ly wash-ed off, but there stillre-main-ed a stain. They then took sand and rub-bed the part, and, as theyfan-ci-ed, got it quite bright a-gain; but, to their as-to-nish-ment, the stain hadre-ap-pear-ed on the o-ther side of the key! They rub-bed a-gain, but all invain; as fast as they clear-ed it from one spot it re-ap-pear-ed on an-o-ther ; for,you must know, that the key was a fai-ry key. At last they were for-ced to giveup in des-pair. The next morn-ing, to their great sur-prise and a-larm, Blue-Beardsud-den-ly re-turn-ed, say-ing that he had re-ceiv-ed let-ters on the road, in-form-ing him that the bu-si-ness he went a-bout had been set-tied to his sa-tis-fac-tion.Short-ly af-ter-wards he ask-ed for his keys, and Fa-ti-ma went to fetch them.On her re-turn, he was walk-ing in the gar-den, and she pre-sent-ed them to him.with a trem-bling hand. "I do not see here the key of the blue cham-ber," hesaid, stern-ly. " I sup-pose I must have left it in my room," fal-ter-ed Fa-ti-ma."Bring it, then, im-me-di-ate-ly," said her bus-band, walk-ing in-to the cas-tle.5

She saw that it was in vain for her to at-tempt any fur-ther ex-cu-ses or de-lay, so she brought down the fa-tal key. "There is bloodup-on this key," said Blue-Beard, as soon as he look-ed at it. " Howdid it come there ?" Fa-ti-ma, trem-bling and con-fu-sed, said shedid not know. "You do know, ma-dam," said he, fierce-ly, "and Iknow too; you have o-pen-ed the blue chamber, a-gainst myor-ders. I hope you were pleas-ed with what you saw there; inan-o-ther mo-ment you will be there a-gain !" He seiz-ed her bythe hair, and drag-ged her a-long the ground; she shriek-ed, andim-plo-red his for-give-ness in the most pi-te-ous tones, but no-thing would move his stony heart. At last she en-treat-ed himto grant her a few mi-nutes to say her pray-ers, and speak to hersis-ter. "I give you one quar-ter of an hour," he said, "but nota mo-ment lon-ger."6

She flew to her room, told her sis-ter what had happened, beg-ged her to runto the top of the tow-er and see if her bro-thers were com-ing. "If you seethem,"she said, "wave your hand-ker-chief, and make signs to them to has-ten." Pre,sent-ly she call-ed out, "Sis-ter Anne! Sis-ter Anne! Do you see any-onecom-ing?" "I see no-thing," said Anne, "but the scorch-ing sun and thewa-ving grass." A few mi-nutes la-ter she a-gain call-ed out, " Anne! Sis-terAnne! Do you see any one com-ing?" "I only see," re-pli-ed Anne, " a great dustwhich ad-van-ces in this di-rec-tion." " Oh! is it my bro-thers?" "Alas! no," saidAnne, "I now see it is on-ly a flock of sheep !" Blue-Beard stood in the hallbe-low, with his drawn sci-mi-tar in his hand. " The time is up," he cri-ed atlast, " Come down !" " I am com-ing," said Fa-ti-ma. A-gain she call-ed toher sis-ter, "Sis-ter Anne! Sis-ter Anne! Do you see any one com-ing?" "Isee two horse-men com-ing, but they are a great way off." "God be prai-sed,"said Fa-ti-ma, "they are my bro-thers." Then Blue-Beard once more cri-edout, in a voice of thun-der that made the whole cas-tle ring, " Come down or Iwill fetch you." Fa-ti-ma de-scend-ed slow-ly, and threw her-self at her hus-band'sfeet. " Oh! mer-cy !" she cri-ed, " on-ly for a lit-tle while." "It is of no use,"he said, "you must die!"4T

1iA-gain he seiz-ed her by the hair, and rais-ed- his arm to strike;but just at that mo-ment the horn at the gate blew such a tre-men-dous blast that he al-most leap-ed from the ground with thestart, and fling-ing Fa-ti-ma a-side, he rush-ed out to see who thein-tru-der might be. The gate o-pen-ed, and two horse-men rodein-to the court, and at once leap-ed from their hor-ses. They werethe bro-thers. Blue-Beard pre-pa-red to de-fend him-self; butwhat could he do a-gainst two men fight-ing in such a cause? Hewas al-most im-me-di-ate-ly slain. As he left no heirs, Fa-ti-main-he-rit-ed all his wealth. She sha-red it li-be-ral-ly with herbro-thers, her sis-ter, and her mo-ther, and made pre-sents to allher o-ther friends. Af-ter a time she mar-ri-ed a-gain, and liv-edve-ry hap-pi-ly. But she ne-ver for-got the blue cham-ber or thefai-ry key; nor did she e-ver break a pro-mise or give way to anim-pro-per cu-ri-o-si-ty.8

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