At this moment there was such a loud knocking at the gate that Blue Beard stopped suddenly. The gate was opened, and presently entered two horsemen, who, with sword in hand, ran directly to Blue Beard. He knew them to be his wife’s brothers, one a dragoon, the other a musketeer. He ran away immediately, but the two brothers pursued him so closely that they overtook him before he could get to the steps of the porch. There they ran their swords through his body, and left him dead. The poor wife was almost as dead as her husband, and had not strength enough to arise and welcome her brothers.
Blue Beard had no heirs, and so his wife became mistress of all his estate. She made use of one portion of it to marry her sister Anne to a young gentleman who had loved her a long while; another portion to buy captains’ commissions for her brothers; and the rest to marry herself to a very worthy gentleman, who made her forget the sorry time she had passed with Blue Beard.
Once upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters. The elder was so much like her, both in looks and character, that whoever saw the daughter saw the mother. They were both so disagreeable and so proud that there was no living with them. The younger, who was the very picture of her father for sweetness of temper and virtue, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother doted on her elder daughter, and at the same time had a great aversion for the younger. She made her eat in the kitchen and work continually.
Among other things, this unfortunate child had to go twice a day to draw water more than a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a pitcherful of it. One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink.
“Oh, yes, with all my heart, Goody,” said this pretty little girl. Rinsing the pitcher at once, she took some of the clearest water from the fountain, and gave it to her, holding up the pitcher all the while, that she might drink the easier.
The good woman having drunk, said to her:—
“You are so pretty, so good and courteous, that I cannot help giving you a gift.” For this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor country-woman, to see how far the civility and good manners of this pretty girl would go. “I will give you for gift,” continued the Fairy, “that, at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower or a jewel.”
When this pretty girl returned, her mother scolded at her for staying so long at the fountain.
“I beg your pardon, mamma,” said the poor girl, “for not making more haste.”
And in speaking these words there came out of her mouth two roses, two pearls, and two large diamonds.
“What is it I see there?” said her mother, quite astonished. “I think pearls and diamonds come out of the girl’s mouth! How happens this, my child?”