The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
109
trunks with it.' So they did this; but the more they put in, the more room there seemed to be, and at last they put back all the jewels and dresses they had taken out, and Beauty even added as many more of the jewels as she could carry at once ; and then the trunks were not too fall, but they were so heavy that an elephant could not have carried them !
' The Beast was mocking us,' cried the merchant; ' he must have pretended to give us all these things, knowing that I could not carry them away.'
' Let us wait and see,' answered Beauty. ' I cannot believe that he meant to deceive us. All we can do is to fasten them up and leave them ready.'
So they did this and returned to the little room, where, to their astonishment, they found breakfast ready. The merchant ate his with a good appetite, as the Beast's generosity made him believe that he might perhaps venture to come back soon and see Beauty. But she felt sure that her father was leaving her for ever, so she was very sad when the bell rang sharply for the second time, and warned them that the time was come for them to part. They went ' down into the courtyard, where two horses were waiting, one loaded with the two trunks, the other for him to ride. They were pawing the ground in their impatience to start, and the merchant was forced to bid Beauty a hasty farewell; and as soon as he was mounted he went off at such a pace that she lost sight of him in an instant. Then Beauty began to cry, and wandered sadly back to her own room. But she soon found that she was very sleepy, and as she had nothing better to do she lay down and instantly fell asleep. And then she dreamed that she was walking by a brook bordered with trees, and lamenting her sad fate, when a young prince, handsomer than anyone she had ever seen, and with a voice that went straight to her heart, came and said to her, ' Ah, Beauty! you are not so unfortunate as you suppose. Here you will be re­warded for all you have suffered elsewhere. Your every wish shall be gratified. Only try to find me out, no matter how I may be disguised, as I love you dearly, and in making me happy you will find your own happiness. Be as true-hearted as you are beautiful, and we shall have nothing left to wish for.'
' What can I do, Prince, to make you happy ? ' said Beauty.
' Only be grateful,' he answered, 'and do not trust too much to your eyes. And, above all, do not desert me until you have saved me from my cruel misery.'
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