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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 306 pages of information about Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know.
his intention to his mother, not doubting but she would be equally pleased with himself.  She declared he should not go; said it would break her heart if he did—­entreated, and threatened—­but all in vain.  Jack set out, and after climbing for some hours, reached the top of the bean-stalk, fatigued and quite exhausted.  Looking around, he found himself in a strange country; it appeared to be a desert, quite barren, not a tree, shrub, house, or living creature to be seen; here and there were scattered fragments of stone; and at unequal distances, small heaps of earth were loosely thrown together.

Jack seated himself pensively upon a block of stone, and thought of his mother—­he reflected with sorrow upon his disobedience in climbing the bean-stalk against her will; and concluded that he must die with hunger.  However he walked on, hoping to see a house where he might beg something to eat and drink; presently a handsome young woman appeared at a distance:  as she approached, Jack could not help admiring how beautiful and lively she looked; she was dressed in the most elegant manner, and had a small white wand in her hand, on the top of which was a peacock of pure gold.  While Jack was looking with great surprise at this charming female, she came up to him, and with a smile of the most bewitching sweetness, inquired how he came there.  Jack related the circumstance of the bean-stalk.  She asked him if he recollected his father; he replied he did not; and added, there must be some mystery relating to him, because if he asked his mother who his father was, she always burst into tears, and appeared violently agitated, nor did she recover herself for some days after; one thing, however, he could not avoid observing upon these occasions, which was that she always carefully avoided answering him, and even seemed afraid of speaking, as if there was some secret connected with his father’s history which she must not disclose.  The young woman replied, “I will reveal the whole story; your mother must not.  But, before I begin, I require a solemn promise on your part to do what I command; I am a fairy, and if you do not perform exactly what I desire, you will be destroyed,” Jack was frightened at her menaces, but promised to fulfil her injunctions exactly, and the fairy thus addressed him: 

“Your father was a rich man, his disposition remarkably benevolent:  he was very good to the poor, and constantly relieving them.  He made it a rule never to let a day pass without doing good to some person.  On one particular day in the week, he kept open house, and invited only those who were reduced and had lived well.  He always presided himself, and did all in his power to render his guests comfortable; the rich and the great were not invited.  The servants were all happy, and greatly attached to their master and mistress.  Your father, though only a private gentleman, was as rich as a prince, and he deserved all he possessed, for he only lived to do good.  Such a man was soon known and talked

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