BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
' Say " yes " or " no " without fear,' he replied.
' Oh ! no, Beast,' said Beauty hastily.
' Since you will not, good-night, Beauty,' he said. And she answered :
' Good-night, Beast,' very glad to find that her refusal had not provoked him. And after he was gone she was very soon in bed and asleep, and dreaming of her unknown Prince. She thought lie came and said to her:
' Ah, Beauty! why are you so unkind to me ? I fear I am fated to be unhappy for many a long day still.'
And then her dreams changed, but the charming Prince figured in them all; and when morning came her first thought was to look at the portrait and see if it was really like him, and she found that it certainly was.
This morning she decided to amuse herself in the garden, for the sun shone, and all the fountains were playing; but she was astonished to find that every place was familiar to her, and presently she came to the brook where the myrtle trees were growing where she had first met the Prince in her dream, and that made her think more than ever that he must be kept a prisoner by the Beast. When she was tired she went back to the palace, and found a new room full of materials for every kind of work—ribbons to make into bows, and silks to work into flowers. Then there was an aviary full of rare birds, which were so tame that they flew to Beauty as soon as they saw her, and perched upon her shoulders and her head.
' Pretty little creatures,' she said, ' how I wish that your cage was nearer to my room, that I might often hear you sing !'
So saying she opened a door, and found to her delight that it led into her own room, though she had thought it was quite the other side of the palace.
There were more birds in a room farther on, parrots and cockatoos that could talk, and they greeted Beauty by name ; indeed, she found them so entertaining that she took one or two back to her room, and they talked to her while she was at supper; after which the Beast paid her his usual visit, and asked the same questions as before, and then with a gruff ' good-night' he took his departure, and Beauty went to bed to dream of her mysterious Prince. The days passed swiftly in different amusements, and after a while Beauty found out another strange thing in the palace, which often pleased her when she was tired of being alone. There