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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

She heard the noise of the beast


what was her surprise, when she came to a door on which was written, _Beauty's room_! She opened it in haste, and her eyes were all at once dazzled at the grandeur of the inside of the room. What made her wonder more than all the rest was a large library filled with books, a harpsichord, and many other pieces of music. "The beast takes care I shall not be at a loss how to amuse myself," said she. She then thought that it was not likely such things would have been got ready for her, if she had but one day to live; and began to hope all would not turn out so bad as she and her father had feared. She opened the library, and saw these verses written in letters of gold on the back of one of the books:

"Beauteous lady, dry your tears, Here's no cause for sighs or fears; Command as freely as you may, Enjoyment still shall mark your sway."

"Alas!" said she, sighing, "there is nothing I so much desire as to see my poor father and to know what he is doing at this moment," She said this to herself; but just then by chance, she cast her eyes on a looking-glass that stood near her, and in the glass she saw her home, and her father riding up to the cottage in the deepest sorrow. Her sisters came out to meet him, but for all they tried to look sorry, it was easy to see that in their hearts they were very glad. In a short time all this picture went away out of the glass: but Beauty began to think that the beast was

very kind to her, and that she had no need to be afraid of him. About the middle of the day, she found a table laid ready for her; and a sweet concert of music played all the time she was eating her dinner without her seeing a single creature. But at supper, when she was going to seat herself at table, she heard the noise of the beast, and could not help trembling with fear. "Beauty," said he, "will you give me leave to see you sup?" "That is as you please," answered she, very much afraid. "Not in the least," said the beast; "you alone command in this place. If you should not like my company, you need only to say so, and I will leave you that moment. But tell me, Beauty, do you not think me very ugly?" "Why, yes," said she, "for I cannot tell a story; but then I think you are very good." "You are right," replied the beast; "and, besides being ugly, I am also very stupid: I know very well enough that I am but a beast."

"I should think you cannot be very stupid," said Beauty, "if you yourself know this." "Pray do not let me hinder you from eating," said he; "and be sure you do not want for any thing; for all you see is yours, and I shall be vastly grieved if you are not happy." "You are very kind," said Beauty: "I must needs own that I think very well of your good nature, and then I almost forget how ugly you are." "Yes, yes, I hope I am good-tempered," said he, "but still I am a monster." "There are many men who are worse monsters than you are," replied Beauty; "and I am better pleased with you in that form, though it is so ugly, than with those who carry wicked hearts under the form of a man." "If I had any sense," said the beast, "I would thank you for what you have said; but I am too stupid to say any thing that would give you pleasure." Beauty ate her supper with a very good appetite, and almost lost all her dread of the monster; but she was ready to sink with fright, when he said to her, "Beauty, will you be my wife?" For a few minutes she was not able to speak a word, for she was afraid of putting him in a passion, by refusing. At length she said, "No, beast." The beast made no reply, but sighed deeply, and went away. When Beauty found herself alone, she began to feel pity for the poor beast. "Dear!" said she, "what a sad thing it is that he should be so very frightful, since he is so good-tempered!"

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