The Recompense

: Old French Fairy Tales

Prince Marvellous looked at Violette and sighed heavily; Violette gazed

at the prince and smiled sweetly.

"How handsome you are, my dear cousin! I am so happy to have it in my

power to restore you your beauty. And now I will pour some of this

perfumed oil upon my hands; since I cannot please your eye, I will at

least embalm you," said she, laughing.

She uncorked the vial, and entreated Marve
lous to sprinkle some drops

on her forehead and cheeks. The heart of the prince was too full for

words. He took the vial and obeyed the order of his cousin. Their

surprise and joy were indescribable on seeing that as soon as the oil

touched Violette's forehead the hair disappeared and her skin resumed

its original purity and dazzling whiteness.

The prince and Violette, on seeing the virtue of this wonderful oil,

uttered loud cries of delight and ran towards the stable where they saw

Agnella and Passerose. They called their attention to the happy effect

of this perfumed oil given them by the fairy. Both joined in their

happiness. The prince could scarcely believe the evidence of his senses.

And now nothing could prevent his union with Violette, so good, so

devoted, so tender, so lovely, so well constituted to make him supremely


The queen thought of the morrow--of her return to her kingdom, which she

had abandoned twenty years ago. She wished that she herself, that

Violette, that her son the prince had clothing worthy of so great an

occasion but, alas! she had neither the time nor the means to procure

them: they would therefore be compelled to wear their coarse clothing,

and thus show themselves to their people. Violette and Marvellous

laughed at this distress of their mother.

"Do you not think, mamma," said Violette, "that our dear prince is

sufficiently adorned with his rare beauty and that a rich and royal robe

would not make him more beautiful or more amiable?"

"And do you not agree with me, my dear mother," said Marvellous, "in

thinking that our dear Violette is lovely enough in the simplest

clothing, that the lustre of her eyes surpasses the most brilliant

diamonds, that the clear whiteness of her teeth rivals successfully the

rarest pearls, that the richness of her blonde hair surpasses a crown of


"Yes, yes, my children," replied Agnella, "without doubt, you are both

of you handsome and attractive but a rich dress spoils nothing, not even

beauty. Jewels, embroidery and heavy brocades would detract nothing from

your charms. And I who am old----"

"But not ugly, madam," interrupted Passerose, hastily. "You are still

amiable and handsome, in spite of your little country cap, your skirts

of coarse striped cloth, your waist of red camlet and your stomacher of

simple cloth. Besides, when you return to your kingdom, you can buy

every kind of dress your heart desires."

The evening passed away gayly and there seemed no anxiety about the

future. The fairy had provided their supper; they passed the night on

the bundles of hay in the stable and as they were all fatigued by the

emotions of the day they slept profoundly. The sun had been shining a

long time and the fairy Drolette was with them, before they awoke.

A soft "Hem! hem!" of the fairy aroused them. The prince was the first

to open his eyes; he threw himself on his knees before the fairy and

thanked her with such warmth and gratitude that her heart was touched.

Violette was on her knees by his side and joining her thanks to those of

the prince.

"I do not doubt your gratitude, dear children," said the fairy; "but I

have much to do. I am expected in the kingdom of the king Benin where I

am to attend at the birth of the third son of the princess Blondine.

This prince is to be the husband of your first daughter, Prince

Marvellous, and I am resolved to endow him with all the qualities which

will obtain for him the warm love of your daughter. And now I must

conduct you to your kingdom; I will return in time to be present at your

wedding. Queen," she continued, turning to Aimee, who was now just

opening her eyes, "we are about to set out immediately for your son's

kingdom. Are you and your faithful Passerose ready for the journey?"

"Madam," replied the queen, with a slight embarrassment, "we are ready

to follow you but will you not blush for our dress, so little worthy of

our rank?"

"It is not I who will blush, queen," said the fairy, smiling, "but

rather yourself who have this sensation of shame. But I will remedy this

evil also."

Saying this, she described a circle with her wand above the head of the

queen, who in the same moment found herself clothed in a robe of gold

brocade. Upon her head was a hat with splendid plumes, fastened with a

band of superb diamonds and her boots were of velvet, spangled with


Aimee looked at her robe with an air of complaisance.

"And Violette and my son the prince, will you not extend your goodness

to them also?"

"Violette and the prince have asked for nothing. I will do as they wish.

Speak, Violette, do you desire to change your costume?"

"Madam," replied Violette, casting down her sweet eyes and blushing, "I

have been sufficiently happy in this robe of simple cloth. In this

costume my brother knew me and loved me. Permit me to continue to wear

it as far as regard for my station allows and allow me to preserve it

always in remembrance of the happy years of my childhood."

The prince thanked Violette for these sweet words, and pressed her hand


The fairy kindly nodded her approval and called for her chariot, which

was waiting a few steps from them. She entered and placed the queen next

herself, then the prince, Violette and Passerose.

In less than an hour the larks had flown over the three thousand leagues

which separated them from the kingdom of Prince Marvellous. All his

court and all his subjects, apprised beforehand by the fairy, expected

him. The streets and the palaces were filled by the eager, happy crowd.

When the chariot appeared in sight, the people uttered cries of joy

which were redoubled when it drew up before the great entrance of the

palace, when they saw descend Queen Aimee, a little older, no doubt, but

still pretty and gracious, and the Prince Marvellous, whose natural

beauty and grace were enhanced by the splendor of his clothing,

glittering with gold and precious stones, which were also a present from

the fairy.

But the acclamations arose to frenzy when the prince, taking Violette

by the hand, presented her to the people.

Her sweet, attractive countenance, her superb and elegant form, were

adorned with a dress with which the fairy had clothed her by one stroke

of her wand.

Her robe was of gold lace, while her waist, her arms and shoulders shone

with innumerable larks formed of diamonds larger than humming-birds. On

her graceful head she wore a crown of larks made of precious stones of

all colors. Her countenance, soft but gay, her grace, her beauty, won

the hearts of all.

For a long time nothing was heard but shouts of "Long live King

Marvellous! Long live Queen Violette!" The noise and tumult were so

great that many persons became deaf. The good fairy, who desired that

only joy and happiness should prevail throughout the kingdom on this

auspicious day, cured them instantly at the request of Violette.

There was a magnificent feast spread for the court and the people. A

million, three hundred and forty-six thousand, eight hundred and

twenty-two persons dined at the expense of the fairy and each guest was

permitted to carry away enough for eight days.

During the repast the fairy set off for the kingdom of King Benin,

promising to return in time for the wedding of Marvellous and Violette.

During the eight days of the fairy's absence Marvellous, who saw that

his mother was a little sad at not being queen, entreated her earnestly

to accept Violette's kingdom and she consented to reign there on

condition that King Marvellous and Queen Violette would come every year

and pass three months with her.

Queen Aimee, before parting with her children, wished to witness their

marriage. The fairy Drolette and many other fairies of her acquaintance

and many genii were invited to the marriage. They all received the most

magnificent presents, and were so satisfied with the welcome given them

by King Marvellous and Queen Violette that they graciously promised to

return whenever they were invited.

Two years afterwards they received an invitation to be present at the

birth of the first child of King Marvellous. There came to Queen

Violette a daughter, who, like her mother, was a marvel of goodness and


The king and queen could not fulfil the promise they had made to Queen

Aimee. One of the genii who had been invited to the wedding of

Marvellous and Violette, found in Queen Aimee so much of goodness,

sweetness, and beauty, that he loved her, and, visiting her several

times in her new kingdom and being affectionately and graciously

received by her, he carried her off one day in a whirlwind. Queen Aimee

wept for a while but as she loved the genius she was not inconsolable;

indeed, she promptly consented to wed him. The king of the genii granted

to her as a wedding present the power of participating in all the

privileges of her husband: never to die, never to grow old and the

ability to transport herself in the twinkling of an eye wherever she

wished to go. Aimee used this power very often to visit her son and his


King Marvellous and Queen Violette had eight sons and four daughters and

they were all charming. They were happy, without doubt, for they loved

each other tenderly and their grandmother, who, it was said spoiled them

a little induced their grandfather, the genius Bienveillant, to

contribute all in his power to their happiness. Consequently, they

received many rich gifts.

Passerose, who was warmly attached to Queen Aimee, had followed her into

her new kingdom but when the genius carried her off in a whirlwind,

Passerose, seeing herself forgotten and not being able to follow her

mistress was so sad in the loneliness caused by the departure of Aimee,

that she prayed the fairy Drolette to transport her to the kingdom of

King Marvellous and Queen Violette. She remained with them and took care

of their children to whom she often recounted the adventures of Ourson

and Violette. She still remains, it is said, though the genius and his

queen have made her many excuses for not having carried her off in the


"No, no," Passerose replied to all these explanations; "let us remain as

we are. You forgot me once--you might forget me another time. Here, my

dear Ourson and my sweet Violette never forget their old nurse. I love

them and I will remain with them. They loved me and they will take care

of me."

The farmer, the superintendent, and the master of the forge who had been

so cruel to Ourson were severely punished by the fairy Drolette.

The farmer was devoured by a bear, some hours after he had chased away


The superintendent was dismissed by his master for having let loose the

dogs, who escaped and never could be found. The same night he was bitten

by a venomous serpent and expired some moments afterwards.

The master of the forge having reprimanded his workmen too brutally,

they resolved upon vengeance: seized him and cast him into the blazing

furnace where he perished miserably.