Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beaument's illustrated Beauty and the Beast

Once upon a time...
A merchant lived happily with his sons and daughters. He was very wealthy, and they were very happy. The two elder daughters were spoiled and mean, but the youngest was good and kind. She was so beautiful that everyone called her Beauty.
One sad day, the merchant lost several ships carrying his cargo. In no time, the family had gone from riches to poverty. They were forced to move from their grand home in the city and to a small country cottage.

The elder girls greatly lamented the loss of their wealth. Rather than help with the work, they would sit around the cottage and mope, leaving Beauty, her father, and their brothers to do all the work.

Though the work was tiring for Beauty, she did the best she could to help her father and appear cheerful.

Then, one day, the family recieved news that one of the merchant's ships had been recovered. The family's fortune may be restored! Very excitedly, the father packed his bags to travel back to the city. Before he left, the oldest girls begged for expensive clothes and jewels such as the ones they had had to leave behind. The father asked Beauty if she would like anything.

"I don't need anything, Father. I only hope for your safe return."

Beauty's sisters scoffed at this. Her father was touched, but seemed a bit sad. Finally, Beauty admitted she would love to have a rose if her Father could find one. Gladly, he promised to bring her the best rose money could buy.

Their father set off with high hopes, but Beauty was anxious for him to return. He did not come back till much later than he had anticipated. Beauty was waiting for him when he did.

Though very glad to see her father again, Beauty noticed he seemed very sad and tired. He had not returned with money or gifts, but he did have Beauty's rose. "Little do you know how much that rose has cost me," he told Beauty.
The father told his story. In town, the money he had recieved from his ship was barely enough to pay off old debts, and he didn't have enough to buy presents for his family. On his way home, there was a terrible snowstorm, and he became lost in the woods. He despaired of ever finding his way out, when he saw a large castle, untouched by the storm.
Completely wearied from his journey, the merchant took refuge inside the castle. He saw the most luxurious riches, but no people. A dinner fit for a King was laid out, but no one caim to claim it. After waiting and still seeing no one, the merchant ate the dinner and found a bed laid out for him. He fell into a deep, restful sleep and woke refreshed, finding a new suit. Assuming the castle belonged to a kind fairy, he thanked her and set off on his way.

On leaving the castle, the merchant passed a magnificent rose garden. Remembering Beauty's request, he picked a rose for her.

Suddenly, he heard a great roar. "Why have you stolen my roses?"

Stunned, the merchant turned to behold a great beast, dressed and walking like a man. He was furious. "I feed and shelter you, and you repay me by stealing my roses? Ungrateful man! You must die!"

Trembling, the merchant pleaded for his life. He explained that he only wanted the rose for his daughter. The Beast considered, and offered the merchant this option: "Very well. I will allow you to return home to say goodbye to your daughters, but you must return in a month to pay for your crime--unless one of your daughters will willingly come in your place."

With that, the Beast left, and the brokenhearted merchant was left to find his way home and say goodbye to his family.
Beauty's sisters chided her. "You had to be special, didn't you?" Beauty's brothers insisted they would fight the Beast and kill him, but their father knew the Beast was too powerful to be defeated. Beauty surprised everyone by saying, "I requested the rose-I will return in Father's place."

Since no one could persuade her otherwise, Beauty and her father returned to the palace one month later.
Beauty was truly frightened, but put on a brave face. She and her father arrived and found the palace just as her father had described it, with dinner laid out for them. While they were eating, they heard the Beast approaching.

"Good evening, Beauty. Have you come here willingly?"
"Good. I am obliged to you."

And the Beast left. Tearfully, Beauty and her father said their goodbyes, and in the morning, the father was gone and Beauty found herself alone.

Expecting to be eaten by the Beast that evening, Beauty decided to explore the castle while she still could. To her surprise, she found a room labeled "Beauty's room," fit for a Princess.
Beauty spent the day enjoying the castle and her room. When evening came, she went down to dinner, and was once again joined by the Beast.
"May I join you, Beauty?"
"You are master here."
"No, Beauty, it is you who are mistress. Am I ugly?"
"I cannot lie, Beast, you are very ugly, but I believe you are also kind."
"But I'm also stupid," sighed the Beast.
"Stupid people never realize they're stupid," Beauty replied with a smile. "But I think a kind heart is best of all."
Beauty continued to eat. At the end of the meal, the Beast asked, "Beauty, will you marry me?"

Beauty was shocked. "No, Beast," she said, and fled back to her room.

The days passed quickly for Beauty. The castle was so large and had much to explore. Each night she dined with the Beast. She grew to look forward to his company, even though each evening he would ask her to marry him. As time went by, Beauty became fond of the Beast, but could never imagine herself married to him.
Although she no longer feared the Beast, Beauty greatly missed her family. One day, Beauty saw in her magic mirror that her father was ill. The Beast could tell something was bothering her. When she told him she would like to be home to nurse her father, the Beast reluctantly allowed her to go. "But you must return within the week, or I will have died of grief."

Beauty was overjoyed at the thought of seeing her father again and eagerly promised to return. Beauty woke up in her Father's house, and nursed him back to health.
However, when her father discovered Beauty intended to return to the Beast, he was very upset. Beauty's sisters, who had been glad to be rid of her, could not believe she had been living like a queen the whole time they had been living as paupers and wanted to have revenge. They plotted to be extra nice to Beauty and convince her to stay, hoping to anger the Beast so he would finally eat her.
Amazed at her sisters' kindness, and moved by her father's worry, Beauty decided to stay another week with her family. One night, Beauty dreamt she saw the Beast, lying unmoving in the garden. She woke up and thought, "What have I done? Have I killed the Beast who treated me so kindly?"
Beauty placed her magic ring on her bedside table that the Beast had given her for when she chose to come back to the castle. Beauty anxiously waited to see the Beast, but he did not come to dinner at the usual time. Beauty ran out to the garden to see if her dream was true, and there he was lying, as if he was lifeless. Beauty ran to him, weeping, crying, "Don't die, Beast! I thought I was merely your friend, but now I realize how much I love you, and I wish to marry you!"
Suddenly, the air was filled with music and fireworks, and instead of her dear Beast, a handsome Prince stood! "Where is Beast?" cried Beauty.
"I was the Beast!" exclaimed the Prince. "I was cursed to remain in the form of a monster until a beautiful girl would love me for who I am and not for beauty or wit. You have broken the spell and will share my crown."
Beauty and her Prince were married, with much rejoicing from the Prince's subjects and Beauty's family...except for her sisters, who were transformed into statues until they learned to care for others other than themselves. As for the rest of them, they all lived happily ever after.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful.
    By the way,
    when i was little girl i had this castle but i lost it.
    Do you know where i can find another one?
    Or maybe you sell yours?

    Thank you.
    Best Regards,
    Athena Katsoulieri.