: The Princess Rosette
: Old French Fairy Tales
While Rosette was only occupied with smiling and pleasant thoughts, the
king, the queen and the princesses Orangine and Roussette were choking
with rage. They had all assembled in the queen's apartment.
"This is too horrible," said the princesses. "Why did you send for this
Rosette, who has such dazzling jewels and makes herself admired and
sought after by all these foolish kings and princes? Was it to humiliate
us, my father, that you called us to the court at this time?"
"I swear to you, my beautiful darlings," said the king, "that it was by
the order of the fairy Puissante I was compelled to write for her to
come. Besides, I did not know that she was so beautiful and that----"
"So beautiful!" interrupted the princesses. "Where do you find her so
beautiful? She is indeed ugly and coarse. It is her magnificent attire
alone which makes her admired. Why have you not given to us your most
superb jewels and your richest robes? We have the air of young slovens
by the side of this proud princess."
"And where could I possibly have found jewels as magnificent as hers? I
have none which would compare with them. It is her godmother, the fairy
Puissante, who has lent her these jewels."
"Why, then, did you summon a fairy to be the godmother of Rosette, when
you gave to us only queens for our godmothers?"
"It was not your father who called her," cried the queen. "The fairy
Puissante herself, without being called, appeared to us and signified
that she would be Rosette's godmother."
"It is not worth while to spend the time in disputing and quarrelling,"
said the king. "It is better to occupy ourselves in finding some means
of getting rid of Rosette and preventing Prince Charmant from seeing her
"Nothing more easy than that," said the queen. "I will have her
despoiled to-morrow of her rare jewels and her beautiful robes. I will
order my servants to seize her and carry her back to the farm which she
shall never leave again."
The queen had scarcely uttered these words, when the fairy Puissante
appeared with an angry and threatening air. "If you dare to touch
Rosette," said she, with a thundering voice, "if you do not keep her at
the palace, if she is not present at all the parties, you shall feel
the terrible effects of my anger. You unworthy king and you heartless
queen, you shall be changed into toads and you, odious daughters and
sisters, shall become vipers. Dare now to touch Rosette!"
Saying these words, she disappeared.
The king, the queen and princesses were horribly frightened and
separated without saying a single word but their hearts were filled with
rage. The princesses slept but little and were yet more furious in the
morning when they saw their eyes heavy and their features convulsed by
evil passions. In vain they used rouge and powder and beat their maids.
They had no longer a vestige of beauty. The king and queen were as
unhappy and as despairing as the princesses and indeed they saw no
remedy for their grief and disappointment.