by Lisa Ruping Cheng
Let’s continue with the story.
“As soon as he began to get near to the wood, all the great trees, the bushes, and brambles gave way of themselves to let him pass through. He walked up to the castle which he saw at the end of a large avenue; and you can imagine he was a good deal surprised when he saw none of his people following him because the trees closed again as soon as he had passed through them. However, he did not cease from continuing his way; a young prince in search of glory is ever valiant.
He came into a spacious outer court, and what he saw was enough to freeze him with horror. A frightul silence reigned over all; the image of death was everywhere, and there was nothing to be seen but what seemed to be the outstretched bodies of dead men and animals. He, however, very well knew, by the ruby faces and pimpled noses of the porters, that they were only asleep; and their goblets, wherein still remained some drops of wine, showed plainly that they had fallen asleep while drinking their wine.
He then crossed a court paved with marble, went up the stairs, and came into the guard chamber, where guards were standing in their ranks, with their muskets upon their shoulders, and snoring with all their might. He went through several rooms full of gentlemen and ladies, some standing and others sitting, but all were asleep. He came into a gilded chamber, where he saw upon a bed, the curtains of which were all open, the most beautiful sight ever beheld – a princess who appeared to be about fifteen or sixteen years of age, and whose bright and resplendent beauty had something divine in it. He approached with trembling and admiration, and fell down upon his knees before her.
Then, as the end of the enchantment was come, the Princess awoke, and looking on him with eyes more tender than could have been expected at first sight, said:
“Is it you, my Prince? You have waited a long while.”
The Prince, charmed with the words, and much more with the manner in which they were spoken knew not how to show his joy and gratitude; he assured her that he loved her better than he did himself. He was more at a loss than she, and we need not wonder at it; she had had time to think of what to say to him; for it is evident (though history says nothing of it) that the good fairy, during so long a sleep, had given her very pleasant dreams. In short, they talked together for four hours, and then they said not half they had to say.
In the meanwhile all the palace had woken up with the Princess; everyone thought upon his own business, and as they were not in love, they were ready to die of hunger. The lady of honor, being as sharp set as the other folks, grew very impatient, and told the Princess aloud that the meal was served. The Prince helped the Princess to rise. She was entirely and very magnificently dressed; but His Royal Highness took care not to tell her that she was dressed like his great-grandmother. And had a high collar. She looked not a bit the less charming and beautiful for all that.
They went into the great mirrored hall, where they supped and were served by the officers of the Princess’ houshold. The violins played old tunes, but they were excellent, though they had not been played for a hundred years; and after supper, withouth losing any time, the lord married them in the chapel of the castle. They had very little sleep – the Princess scarcely needed any; and the Prince left her next morning to return into th ecity wherer his father was greatly troubled about him.
The Prince told him that he was in love with a pricess who had slept a hundred years after being cursed by a dark fairy. The King gave his son a magnificant wedding. The prince and the princess lived very happily after.
Note: According to Perrault’s book, the second part of the story contains a wicked queen, who was the Prince’s mother. Wowospot Kids has modified and simplied the story by removing the part that may be too scary for younger listeners/readers.