Family Council

: 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.