Short summary - Mother Goose Tales - Charles Perrault

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Mother Goose Tales
Charles Perrault

Donkey Skin A
poetic tale begins with a description of the happy life of a brilliant king, his beautiful and faithful wife and their adorable baby daughter. They lived in a magnificent palace in a rich and flourishing country. In the royal stable, next to the frisky horses, "a well-fed donkey hung out his ears peacefully." "The Lord has adjusted his womb in such a way that if he spoiled at times, so in gold and silver."
But "in the prime of her luxuriant years, the wife of the ruler was suddenly struck down by an illness." Dying, she asks her husband "to go down the aisle a second time only with that chosen one who will finally be more beautiful and worthy of me." Her husband “swore to her through the river of insane tears in everything that she was waiting for ... Among widowers he was one of the noisiest! So wept, so wept ... "However," not a year has passed since the conversation about matchmaking is shameless. " But the deceased is surpassed in beauty only by her own daughter, and the father, inflamed with a criminal passion, decides to marry the princess. She, in despair, goes to her godmother - a good fairy who lives "in the wilderness of the woods, in the darkness of the cave, between shells, corals, mother-of-pearl." To upset a terrible wedding, the godmother advises the girl to demand from her father a wedding dress of the shade of clear days. "The task is tricky - not feasible in any way." But the king of "tailors called the masters and ordered from the high throne chairs that the present would be ready by tomorrow, otherwise how could he not hang them up for an hour!" And in the morning they carry a "wonderful gift". Then the fairy advises the goddaughter to demand silk "moonlight, unusual - he will not be able to get it." The king calls the embroiderers - and in four days the dress is ready. With delight, the princess almost obeys her father, but, “urged by the godmother,” asks for an outfit of “wonderful sunny flowers”. The king threatens the jeweler with terrible tortures - and in less than a week he creates "porphyry from porphyry." - What a marvel - new things! - the fairy whispers contemptuously and orders to demand the skin of the precious donkey from the sovereign. But the king's passion is stronger than avarice - and the princess is immediately brought the skin.
Here "the harsh godmother found disgust in the path of goodness," and on the advice of the fairy, the princess promises to marry the king, and she herself, throwing a nasty skin over her shoulders and smearing her face with soot, runs out of the palace. The girl puts wonderful dresses in the box. The fairy gives her goddaughter a magic twig: "As long as it is in your hand, the box will crawl behind you in the distance, like a mole hiding under the ground."
Royal messengers search in vain for the fugitive throughout the country. The courtiers are in despair: "no wedding, therefore, no feasts, no cakes, hence no pastries ... The chaplain was more upset: he did not have time to have a snack in the morning and said goodbye to the wedding treat."
And the princess, dressed as a beggar, wanders along the road, looking for “even a place for a poultry woman, even a swineherd one. But the beggars themselves spit after slob. " Finally, he takes the unfortunate farmer as a servant - “to clean up the pig stalls and wash the greasy rags. Now in the closet behind the kitchen is the princess's yard. " Rural impudents and “peasant disgustingly disturb her”, and even make fun of the poor thing. Her only joy is that, having locked herself in her closet on Sunday, wash, dress up in one or another marvelous dress and turn around in front of the mirror. "Ah, the moonlight makes her a little pale, and the sun makes her a little fat ... Everyone is better off with a blue dress!"
And in these parts "the king was holding a brilliant poultry yard, luxurious and omnipotent." This park was often visited by the prince with a crowd of courtiers. "The princess has already fallen in love with him from afar." Ah, if only he loved girls in donkey skin! - the beauty sighed. And the prince - "a heroic look, a fighting grip" - somehow at dawn came across a poor hut and saw through the crack a beautiful princess in a marvelous outfit. Struck by her noble appearance, the young man did not dare to enter the shack, but, returning to the palace, “did not eat, did not drink, did not dance; he lost interest in hunting, opera, amusements and girlfriends ”- and thought only of the mysterious beauty. He was told that a filthy beggar Donkeyskin lived in a squalid hut. The prince doesn't believe. “He cries bitterly, he cries,” and demands that Donkey Skin bake him a cake. The loving queen mother will not reread her son, and the princess, “hearing these news,” hurries to knead the dough. “They say: working extraordinarily, she ... quite, quite by accident! - dropped the ring into the dough. " But "my opinion - here was her calculation." After all, she saw how the prince looked at her through the crack!
Having received the cake, the patient "devoured it with such a greedy passion that, really, it seems like a fair amount of luck that he did not swallow the rings." Since the young man in those days "lost weight terribly ... the doctors decided unanimously: the prince is dying of love." Everyone begs him to marry - but he agrees to marry only one who can put a tiny ring with an emerald on her finger. All maidens and widows begin to thin their fingers.
However, the ring did not fit the noble noblewomen, no lovely grisettes, or the cooks and farm laborers. But then "from under the donkey's skin a fist appeared, like a lily." The laughter ceases. Everyone is shocked. The princess goes to change - and an hour later appears in the palace, shining with dazzling beauty and luxurious outfit. The king and queen are happy, the prince is happy. Masters from all over the world are called to the wedding. The sane father of the princess, seeing his daughter, cries with joy. The prince is delighted: "What a fortunate occasion that his father-in-law is so powerful." "A sudden thunder ... The queen of fairies, a witness to the misfortunes of the past, descends her goddaughter to glorify virtue forever ..."
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Morality: "it is better to endure terrible suffering than to change the duty of honor." After all, "youth is able to quench with a crust of bread and water, while she has an outfit in a gold box."
Blue beardupon a
Oncetime there was a very rich man who had a blue beard. She so disfigured him that, seeing this man, all the women scattered in fear. His neighbor, a noble lady, had two daughters of wondrous beauty. He asked to marry any of these girls. But none of them wanted a spouse with a blue beard. They also did not like the fact that this man had already been married several times and no one knew what fate befell his wives.
Bluebeard invited the girls, their mother, friends and girlfriends to one of his luxurious country houses, where they had fun for a whole week. And so the youngest daughter began to think that the beard of the owner of the house was not so blue, and that he himself was a very respectable man. The wedding was soon decided.
A month later, Bluebeard told his wife that he was leaving on business for six weeks. He asked her not to be bored, to have fun, to call her friends, gave her the keys to all chambers, pantries, caskets and chests - and forbade her to enter only one small room.
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wife promised to obey him, and he left. Immediately, without waiting for the messengers, the girlfriends came running. They were eager to see all the riches of Bluebeard, but with him they were afraid to come. Now, admiring the house full of priceless treasures, the guests enviously extolled the newlywed's happiness, but she could only think of a small room ...
Finally, the woman abandoned the guests and rushed headlong down the secret staircase, almost twisting her neck. Curiosity defeated fear - and the beauty opened the door with trepidation ... In the dark room, the floor was covered with caked blood, and the bodies of Bluebeard's former wives, whom he had killed, hung on the walls. In horror, the newlywed dropped the key. Picking it up, she locked the door and, trembling, rushed to her room. There, the woman noticed that the key was stained with blood. The unfortunate woman took a long time to clean the stain, but the key was magic, and the blood, wiped off from one side, came out from the other ...
That same evening, Bluebeard returned. His wife greeted him with ostentatious delight. The next day he demanded the keys from the poor thing. Her hands were trembling so much that he immediately guessed everything and asked: "Where is the key to the small room?" After various excuses, I had to bring a dirty key. “Why is he covered in blood? Asked Bluebeard. - Did you enter a small room? Well, madam, there you will stay now. "
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A woman, sobbing, threw herself at her husband's feet. Beautiful and sad, she would have pityed even a stone, but Bluebeard's heart was harder than a stone. “Let me at least pray before I die,” the poor girl asked. "I'll give you seven minutes!" - answered the villain. Left alone, the woman called her sister and said to her: “Sister Anna, look if my brothers are coming? They promised to visit me today. " The girl climbed the tower and from time to time said to the unfortunate woman: "There is nothing to see, only the sun is beating down and the grass is shining in the sun." And Bluebeard, clutching a large knife in his hand, shouted: "Come here!" - "Just a minute!" - answered the poor thing, and kept asking her sister Anna, were there any brothers in sight? The girl noticed clouds of dust in the distance - but it was a herd of sheep. Finally she made out two horsemen on the horizon ...
Then Bluebeard roared at the whole house. The trembling wife came out to him, and he, grabbing her by the hair, was about to cut off her head, but at that moment a dragoon and a musketeer burst into the house. Drawing their swords, they rushed at the villain. He tried to escape, but the brothers of the beauty pierced him with steel blades.
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wife inherited all the wealth of Bluebeard. She gave a dowry to her sister Anna when she married a young nobleman who had loved her for a long time; the young widow helped each of the brothers achieve the rank of captain, and then she herself married a good man who helped her forget about the horrors of her first marriage.
Moral: “Yes, curiosity is a scourge. It confuses everyone, it was born on the mountain to mortals. "
Rike with a tuft
One queen had such an ugly son that the courtiers doubted for a long time whether he was a man. But the fairy godmother assured that he would be very smart and be able to endow with his mind the person he loved. Indeed, having barely learned to babble, the child began to say lovely things. He had a small crest on his head, so the prince was nicknamed: Rike with a crest.
Seven years later, the queen of a neighboring country gave birth to two daughters; seeing the first - beautiful as day - the mother was so happy that she almost felt ill, while the second girl turned out to be extremely ugly. But the same fairy predicted that the ugly woman would be very smart, and the beautiful woman would be stupid and awkward, but she would be able to endow the beauty of whoever she liked.
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girls grew up - and the beauty always had much less success than her clever sister. And then one day in the forest, where the silly girl went to mourn her bitter lot, the unfortunate woman met the freak Rike. Having fallen in love with her from portraits, he came to a neighboring kingdom ... The girl told Rika about her misfortune, and he said that if the princess decided to marry him in a year, she would immediately grow wiser. The beauty foolishly agreed - and immediately spoke so witty and graceful that Rike wondered if he had given her more intelligence than he had left to himself? .. The
girl returned to the palace, amazed everyone with her intelligence and soon became the main adviser of her father; all fans turned away from her ugly sister, and the fame of the beautiful and wise princess thundered all over the world. Many princes wooed the beauty, but she made fun of them all, until finally one rich, handsome and intelligent prince appeared ...
Walking through the forest and thinking about choosing a groom, the girl suddenly heard a dull noise under her feet. At the same moment, the earth opened up, and the princess saw people preparing a sumptuous feast. “This is for Rike, tomorrow is his wedding,” they explained to the beauty. And then the shocked princess remembered that exactly one year had passed since the day of her meeting with the freak.
And soon Rike himself appeared in a magnificent wedding dress. However, the wiser princess flatly refused to marry such an ugly man. And then Rike revealed to her that she can endow her chosen one with beauty. The princess sincerely wished that Rike would become the most beautiful and amiable prince in the world - and a miracle happened!
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True, some argue that it's not about magic, but about love. The princess, admiring the intelligence and loyalty of her admirer, stopped noticing his disgrace. The hump began to attach particular importance to the prince's posture, the terrible limp turned into a manner of leaning slightly to one side, the slanting eyes acquired a captivating languor, and the big red nose seemed mysterious and even heroic.
The king gladly agreed to marry his daughter to such a wise prince, and the next day they played a wedding, for which the clever Rike had everything ready.