Stir until Done
Peas -n- Carrots
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Once upon a time there was a rich merchant, who had three daughters. They
lived in a very fine house in a beautiful city, and had many servants in
grand liveries to wait upon them. All their food was served on gold and
silver dishes, and their gowns were made of the richest stuff sewn with
The two eldest were called Marigold and Dressalinda. Never a day passed but
these two went out to some feast or junketing; but Beauty, the youngest,
loved to stay at home and keep her old father company.
Now, it happened that misfortune came upon the merchant. Ships of his which
were sailing the high seas laden with merchandise of great price, were
wrecked, and in one day he found that he was no longer the richest merchant
in the city, but a very poor man.
There was still left to him a little house in the country, and to this, when
everything else had been sold, he retired. His three daughters , of course,
went with him.
Marigold and Dressalinda were very cross to think that they had lost all
their money, and after being so rich and sought after, they must now live in
a miserable cottage.
But Beauty's only thought was to cheer her old father, and while her two
sisters sat on wooden chairs and cried and bewailed themselves, Beauty
lighted the fire and got the supper ready, for the merchant was now so poor
that he could not even keep a servant.
And so it went on. The two eldest sisters would do nothing but sulk in
corners, while Beauty swept the floors and washed the dishes, and did her
best to make the poor cottage pleasant.
They led their sister a dreadful life too, with their complaints, for not
only did they refuse to do anything themselves, but they said that
everything she did was done wrong. But Beauty bore all their unkindness
patiently, for her father's sake.
In this way a whole year went by, and then one day a letter came for the
He hastened to find his daughters, for he was anxious to tell them the good
news contained in the letter.
"My dear children," he said, "at last our luck has turned. This letter says
that one of the ships supposed to have been lost has come safely home to
port, and if that be so, we need no longer live in poverty. We shall not be
so rich as before, but we shall have enough to keep us in comfort. Get me my
traveling-cloak, Beauty. I will set out at once to claim my ship. And now
tell me, girls, what shall I bring you when I come back?"
"A hundred pounds," said Marigold, without hesitating an instant.
"I want a new silk dress," said Dressalinda, "an apple-green one, sewn with
seed-pearls, and green shoes with red heels, and a necklace of emeralds, and
a box of gloves."
"And what shall I bring for you, my Beauty?" asked the father, as his little
daughter helped him to put on his traveling-cloak.
"Oh, bring me a rose," said Beauty hastily.
Her father kissed her fondly, and set out.
"You silly girl," said Marigold, "you just want our father to think you are
more unselfish than we are - that's what you want! A rose, indeed!"
"Indeed, sister," said Beauty, "that was not the reason. I thought our
father would have enough to do in seeing to the safety of his ship, without
being troubled to do shopping for me."
But the sisters were very much offended, and went off to sit in their own
room to talk of the fine things they would have when their father came back.
In the meantime the merchant went his way to the city, full of hope and
great plans as to what he would do with his money.
But when he got there, he found that some one had played a trick on him, and
no ship of his had come into harbor, so he was just as badly off as before.
He spent the whole day looking about to make sure there was no truth in the
letter he had received, and it was beginning to get dusk when he started
out, with a sad heart, to make the journey home again. He was tired and
miserable, and he had tasted no food since he left home in the morning.
It was quite dark by the time he came to the great wood through which he had
to pass to get to his cottage, and when he saw a light shining through the
trees, he decided not to go to his home that night, but to make his way
towards the light in the wood and ask for food and shelter.
He expected to find a woodcutter's cottage, but what was his surprise, as he
drew near to the light, to find that it came from the windows of a large and
He knocked at the gates, but no one answered, and presently, driven by
hunger and cold, he made bold to enter, and mounted the marble steps into
the great hall.
All the way he never saw a soul. There was a big fire in the hall, and when
he had warmed himself, he set out to look for the master of the house. But
he did not look far, for behind the first door he opened was a cozy little
room with supper set for one, a supper the mere look of which made you
So the merchant sat down as bold as you please, and made a very hearty
supper, after which he again thought he would look for the master of the
He started off and opened another door, but there he saw a bed, merely to
look at which made you sleepy, so he said to himself:
"This is some fairies' work. I had better not look any farther for the
master of the house."
And with that he tumbled into bed, and, being very tired, he went to sleep
at once, and slept like a top till it was time to get up in the morning.
When he awoke he was quite surprised to find himself in such a soft and
comfortable bed, but presently he remembered all that had happened to him.
"I must be going," he said to himself, "but I wish I could thank my host for
my good rest and my good supper."
When he got out of bed he found he had something else to be grateful for,
for on the chair by the bedside lay a fine suit of new clothes, marked with
his name, and with ten gold pieces in every pocket. He felt quite a
different man when he had put on the suit of blue and silver, and jingled
the gold pieces of money in his pockets.
When he went downstairs, he found a good breakfast waiting for him in the
little room where he had supped the night before, and when he had made a
good meal, he thought he would go for a stroll in the garden.
Down the marble steps he went, and when he came to the garden, he saw that
it was full of roses, red and white and pink and yellow, and the merchant
looked at them, and remembered Beauty's wish.
"Oh, my poor daughters," he said, "what a disappointment it will be to them
to know that my ship has not come home after all, but Beauty at any rate can
have what she wanted.
"So he stretched out his hand and plucked the biggest red rose within his
As the stalk snapped in his fingers, he started back in terror, for he heard
an angry roar, and the next minute a dreadful Beast sprang upon him. It was
taller than any man, and uglier than any animal, but, what seemed most
dreadful of all to the merchant, it spoke to him with a man's voice, after
it had roared at him with the Beast's.
"Ungrateful wretch!" said the Beast. "Have I not fed you, lodged you, and
clothed you, and now you must repay my hospitality by stealing the only
thing I care for, my roses?"
"Mercy! mercy!" cried the merchant.
"No," said the Beast, "you must die!"
The poor merchant fell upon his knees and tried to think of something to say
to soften the heart of the cruel Beast; and at last he said, "Sir, I only
stole this rose because my youngest daughter asked me to bring her one. I
did not think, after all you have given me, that you would grudge me a
"Tell me about this daughter of yours," said the Beast suddenly. "Is she a
"The best and dearest in the world," said the old merchant. And then he
began to weep, to think that he must die and leave his Beauty alone in the
world, with no one to be kind to her.
"Oh!" he cried, "what will my poor children do without me?"
"You should have thought of that before you stole the rose," said the Beast.
"However, if one of your daughters loves you well enough to suffer instead
of you, she may. Go back and tell them what has happened to you, but you
must give me your promise that either you, or one of your daughters, shall
be at my palace door in three month's time from to-day."
The wretched man promised.
"Ant any rate," he thought, "I shall have three months more of life."
Then the Beast said, "I will not let you go empty-handed."
So the merchant followed him back into the palace. There, on the floor of
the hall, lay a great and beautiful chest of wrought silver.
"Fill this with any treasures that takes your fancy," said the Beast.
And the merchant filed it up with precious things from the Beast's
"I will send it home for you," said the Beast, shutting down the lid.
And so, with a heavy heart, the merchant went away; but as he went through
the palace gate, the Beast called to him that he had forgotten Beauty's
rose, and at the same time held out to him a large bunch of the very best.
The merchant put these into Beauty's hand when she ran to meet him at the
door of their cottage.
"Take them, my child," he said, "and cherish them, for they have cost your
poor father his life."
And with that he sat down and told them the whole story. The two elder
sisters wept and wailed, and of course blamed Beauty for all that had
"If it had not been for your wanting a rose, our father would have left the
palace in safety, with his new suit and his gold pieces; but your
foolishness has cost him his life."
"No," said Beauty, "it is my life that shall be sacrificed, for when the
three months are over, I shall go to the Beast and he may kill me if he
will, but he shall never hurt my dear father."
The father tried hard to persuade her not to go, but she had made up her
mind, and at the end of the three months she set out for the Beats' palace.
Her father went with her to show her the way. As before, he saw the lights
shining through the wood, knocked and rang in vain at the great gate, warmed
himself at the fire in the big hall and found the little room with the super
on the table that made you hungry to look at. Only this time the table was
laid for two.
"Come, father dear," Said Beauty, "take comfort. I do not think the Beast
means to kill me, or surely he would not have given me such a good supper."
But the next morning the Beast came into the room. Beauty screamed and clung
to her father.
"Don't be frightened," said the Beast gently, "but tell me, do you come here
of your own free will?"
"Yes," said Beauty, trembling.
"You are a good girl," said the Beast, and then, turning to the old man, he
told him that he might sleep there for that night, but in the morning he
must go and leave his daughter behind him.
They went to bed and slept soundly, and the next morning the father
departed, weeping bitterly.
Beauty, left alone, tried not to feel frightened. She ran here and there
through the palace, and found it more beautiful than anything she had ever
The most beautiful set of rooms in the palace had written over the doors,
"Beauty's Rooms," and in them she found books, and music, canary-birds and
Persian cats, and everything that could be thought of to make the time pass
"Oh, dear!" she said; "If only I could see my poor father I should be almost
As she spoke, she happened to look at a big mirror, and in it she saw the
form of her father reflected, just riding up to the door of his cottage.
That night, when Beauty sat down to supper, the Beast came in.
"May I have supper with you?" said he.
"That must be as you please," said Beauty.
So the Beast sat down to supper with her, and when it was finished, he said:
"I am very ugly, Beauty, and I am very stupid, but I love you; will you
"No, Beast," said Beauty gently.
The poor Beast sighed and went away.
And every night the same thing happened. He ate his supper with her, and
then asked her if she would marry him. And she always said, "No, Beast."
All this time she was waited on by invisible hands, as though she had been a
queen. Beautiful music came to her ears without her being able to see the
musicians, but the magic looking-glass was best of all, for in it she could
see whatever she wished. As the days went by, and her slightest wish was
granted, almost before she knew what she wanted, she began to feel that the
Beast must love her very dearly, and she was very sorry to see how sad he
looked every night when she said "no" to his offer of marriage.
One day, she saw in her mirror that her father was ill, so that night she
said to the Beast:
"Dear Beast, you are so good to me, will you let me go home to see my
father? He is ill, and he thinks that I am dead. Do let me go and cheer him
up, and I will promise faithfully to return to you."
"Very well," said the Beast kindly, "but don't stay away more than a week,
for if you do, I shall die of grief, because I love you so dearly."
"How shall I reach home?" said Beauty; "I do not know the way."
Then the Beast gave her a ring, and told her to put it on her finger when
she went to bed, turn the ruby towards the palm of her hand, and then she
would wake up in her father's cottage. When she wanted to come back, she was
to do the same thing.
So in the morning, when she awoke, she found herself at her father's house,
and the old man was beside himself with joy to see her safe and sound.
But her sisters did not welcome her very kindly, and when they heard how
kind the Beast was to her, they envied her her good luck in living in a
beautiful palace, whilst they had to be content with a cottage.
"I wish we had gone," said Marigold. "Beauty always gets the best of
"Tell us all about your grand palace," said Dressalinda, "and what you do,
and how you spend your time."
So Beauty, thinking it would amuse them to hear, told them, and their envy
increased day by day. At last Dressalinda said to Marigold,:
"She has promised to return in a week. If we could only make her forget the
day, the Beast might be angry and kill her, and then there would be a chance
So on the day before she ought to have gone back, they put some poppy juice
in a cup of wine which they gave her, and this made her so sleepy that she
slept for two whole days and nights. At the end of that time her sleep grew
troubled, and she dreamed that she saw the Beast laying dead among the roses
in the beautiful gardens of his palace; and from this dream she awoke crying
Although she did not know that a week and two days and gone by since she
left the Beast, yet after that dream she at once turned the ruby towards her
palm, and the next morning there she was, sure enough, in her bed in the
She did not know where his rooms in the palace were, but she felt she could
not wait till supper-time before seeing him, so she ran hither and thither,
calling his name. But the palace was empty, and no one answered her when she
Then she ran through the gardens, calling his name again and again, but
still there was silence.
"Oh! what shall I do if I cannot find him?" she said. "I shall never be
Then she remembered her dream, and ran to the rose garden, and there, sure
enough, beside the basin of the big fountain, lay the poor Beast without any
sign of life in him.
Beauty flung herself on her knees beside him.
"Oh, dear Beast," she cried, "and are you really dead? Alas! alas! then I,
too, will die, for I cannot live without you."
Immediately the Beast opened his eyes, sighed, and said:
"Beauty, will you marry me?"
And Beauty, beside herself with joy when she found that he was still alive,
"Yes, yes, dear Beast, for I love you dearly."
At these words the rough fur dropped to the ground, and in place of the
Beast stood a handsome Prince, dressed in a doublet of white and silver,
like one made ready for a wedding. He knelt at Beauty's feet and clasped her
"Dear Beauty," he said, "nothing but your love could have disenchanted me. A
wicked fairy turned me into a Beast, and condemned me to remain one until
some fair and good maiden should love me well enough to marry me, in spite
of my ugliness and stupidity. Now, dear one, the enchantment is broken; let
us go back to my palace. You will find that all my servants - who, too, have
been enchanted, and have waited on you all this long time with invisible
hands, - will now become visible."
So they returned to the palace, which by this time was crowded with
courtiers, eager to kiss the hands of the Prince and his bride. And the
Prince whispered to one of his attendants, who went out, and in a very
little time came back with Beauty's father and sisters.
The sisters were condemned to be changed into statues, and to stand at the
right and left of the palace gates until their hearts should be softened,
and they should be sorry for their unkindness to their sister. But Beauty,
happily married to her Prince, went secretly to the statues every day and
wept over them.
And by her tears their stony hearts were softened, and they were changed
into flesh and blood again, and were good and kind for the rest of their
And Beauty and the Beast, who was a Beast no more, but a handsome Prince,
lived happily ever after.
And indeed I believe they are living happily still, in the beautiful land
where dreams come true.
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