108 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
which became all the greater when she saw how frightened he was. But when the Beast really appeared, though she trembled at the sight of him, she made a great effort to hide her horror, and saluted him respectfully.
This evidently pleased the Beast. After looking at her he said, in a tone that might have struck terror into the boldest heart, though he did not seem to be angry :
' Good-evening, old man. Good-evening, Beauty.'
The merchant was too terrified to reply, but Beauty answered sweetly :
' Good-evening, Beast.'
' Have you come willingly ? ' asked the Beast. ' "Will you be content to stay here when your father goes away ? '
Beauty answered bravely that she was quite prepared to stay.
' I am pleased with you,' said the Beast. 'As you have come of your own accord, you may stay. As for you, old man,' he added, turning to the merchant, ' at sunrise to-rnorrow you will take your departure. When the bell rings get up quickly and eat your breakfast, and you will find the same horse waiting to take you home ; but remember that you must never expect to see my palace again.'
Then turning to Beauty, he said :
' Take your father into the next room, and help him to choose everything you think your brothers and sisters would like to have. You will find two travelling-trunks there; fill them as full as you can. It is only just that you should send them something very precious as a remembrance of yourself.'
Then he went away, after saying,' Good-bj'e. Beauty ; good-bye, old man ;' and though Beauty was beginning to think with great dismay of her father's departure, she was afraid to disobey the Beast's orders; and they wTent into the next room, which had shelves and cupboards all round it. They were greatly surprised at the riches it contained. There were splendid dresses fit for a queen, with all the ornaments that were to be worn with them; and when Beauty opened the cupboards she was quite dazzled by the gorgeous jewels that lay in heaps upon every shelf. After choosing a vast quantity, which she divided between her sisters —for she had made a heap of the wonderful dresses for each of them—she opened the last chest, which was full of goll.
11 think, father,' she said, ' that, as the gold will be more useful to you, we had better take out the other things again, and fill the