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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Charles Perrault > Fairy tale "Riquet With The Tuft"

Riquet With The Tuft

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"If a man of no wit and sense," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "would be well received, as you say, in reproaching you for breach of your word, why will you not let me, madam, have the same usage in a matter wherein all the happiness of my life is concerned? Is it reasonable that persons of wit and sense should be in a worse condition than those who have none? Can you pretend this, you who have so great a share, and desired so earnestly to have it? But let us come to the fact, if you please. Putting aside my ugliness and deformity, is there anything in me which displeased you? Are you dissatisfied with my birth, my wit, my humor, or my manners?"

"Not at all," answered the Princess; "I love you and respect you in all that you mention."

"If it be so," said Riquet with the Tuft, "I am happy, since it is in your power to make me the most amiable of men."

"How can that be?" said the Princess.

"It is done," said Riquet with the Tuft, "if you love me enough to wish it was so; and that you may no ways doubt, madam, of what I say, know that the same fairy who on my birthday gave me for gift the power of making the person who should please me witty and judicious, has in like manner given you for gift the power of making him whom you love and to whom you would grant the favor, to be extremely handsome."

"If it be so," said the Princess, "I wish with all my heart that you may be the most lovable prince in the world, and I bestow my gift on you as much as I am able."

The Princess had no sooner pronounced these words than Riquet with the Tuft appeared to her the finest prince upon earth, the handsomest and most amiable man she ever saw. Some affirm that it was not the fairy's charms, but love alone, which worked the change.

They say that the Princess, having made due reflection on the perseverance of her lover, his discretion, and all the good qualities of his mind, his wit and judgment, saw no longer the deformity of his body, nor the ugliness of his face; that his hump seemed to her no more than the grand air of one having a broad back, and that whereas till then she saw him limp horribly, she now found it nothing more than a certain sidling air, which charmed her.

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