Beauty and the Beast
The next room was a library, and she saw everything she had ever wanted to read, as well as everything she had read, and it seemed to her that a whole lifetime would not be enough to even read the names of the books, there were so many. By this time it was growing dusk, and wax candles in diamond and ruby candlesticks were beginning to light themselves in every room.
Beauty found her supper served just at the time she preferred to have it, but she did not see anyone or hear a sound, and, though her father had warned her that she would be alone, she began to find it rather dull.
But presently she heard the Beast coming, and wondered tremblingly if he meant to eat her up now.
However, as he did not seem at all ferocious, and only said gruffly:
"Good-evening, Beauty," she answered cheerfully and managed to conceal her terror. Then the Beast asked her how she had been amusing herself, and she told him all the rooms she had seen.
Then he asked if she thought she could be happy in his palace; and Beauty answered that everything was so beautiful that she would be very hard to please if she could not be happy. And after about an hour's talk Beauty began to think that the Beast was not nearly so terrible as she had supposed at first. Then he got up to leave her, and said in his gruff voice:
"Do you love me, Beauty? Will you marry me?"
"Oh! what shall I say?" cried Beauty, for she was afraid to make the Beast angry by refusing.
"Say `yes' or `no' without fear," he replied.
"Oh! no, Beast," said Beauty hastily.
"Since you will not, good-night, Beauty," he said.
And she answered, "Good-night, Beast," very glad to find that her refusal had not provoked him. And after he was gone she was very soon in bed and asleep, and dreaming of her unknown Prince. She thought he came and said to her:
"Ah, Beauty! why are you so unkind to me? I fear I am fated to be unhappy for many a long day still."
And then her dreams changed, but the charming Prince figured in them all; and when morning came her first thought was to look at the portrait, and see if it was really like him, and she found that it certainly was.