The Blue Fairy Book
The Sleeping Beauty In The Wood
THERE were formerly a king and a queen, who were so sorry that they had no
children; so sorry that it cannot be expressed. They went to all the waters in the
world; vows, pilgrimages, all ways were tried, and all to no purpose.
At last, however, the Queen had a daughter. There was a very fine christening;
and the Princess had for her god- mothers all the fairies they could find in the
whole kingdom (they found seven), that every one of them might give her a gift,
as was the custom of fairies in those days. By this means the Princess had all
the perfections imaginable.
After the ceremonies of the christening were over, all the company returned to
the King's palace, where was prepared a great feast for the fairies. There was
placed before every one of them a magnificent cover with a case of massive
gold, wherein were a spoon, knife, and fork, all of pure gold set with diamonds
and rubies. But as they were all sitting down at table they saw come into the hall
a very old fairy, whom they had not invited, because it was above fifty years
since she had been out of a certain tower, and she was believed to be either
dead or enchanted.
The King ordered her a cover, but could not furnish her with a case of gold as the
others, because they had only seven made for the seven fairies. The old Fairy
fancied she was slighted, and muttered some threats between her teeth. One of
the young fairies who sat by her overheard how she grumbled; and, judging that
she might give the little Princess some unlucky gift, went, as soon as they rose
from table, and hid herself behind the hangings, that she might speak last, and
repair, as much as she could, the evil which the old Fairy might intend.