Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Inspiring Novel > Tales of Passed Times > BLUE BEARD
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 Once upon a time there was a man who had fine houses in town and country, gold and silver plate, furniture, and coaches all over; but, unfortunately, this man had a blue beard, which made him look so ugly and terrible, that there was not a woman or girl who did not run away from him.  
One of his neighbours, a lady of rank, had two daughters, who were beautiful. He proposed to marry one of them, leaving the mother to choose which of the two she would give him. Neither of the daughters, however, would have him, and they sent him from one to the other, each being unable to make up her mind to marry a man with a blue beard. A further reason which they had for disliking him was, that he had already been married several times, and nobody knew what had become of his wives. Blue Beard, in order to improve the acquaintance, took the girls with their mother, three or four of their most intimate friends, and some other young people who resided in the neighbourhood, to one of his country seats, where they spent an entire week. Nothing was thought of but excursions, hunting and fishing-parties, balls, entertainments, suppers; nobody went to bed; the whole night was passed in games and playing merry tricks on one another. In short, all went off so well, that the youngest daughter began to think that the beard of the master of the house was not so blue as it used to be, and that he was a very man. Immediately upon their return to town the marriage took place.
At the end of a month, Blue Beard told his wife that he was obliged to take a journey, which would keep him away from home for six weeks at least, as he had business of great importance to attend to. He begged her to amuse herself as well as she could during his absence, to invite her best friends, and, if she liked, take them into the country, and wherever she was, to have the best of everything for the table.
"Here," said he to her, "are the keys of my two large store-rooms; these are those of the chests in which the gold and silver plate, not in general use, is kept; these are the keys of the strong boxes in which I keep my money; these open the caskets that contain my jewels, and this is the master-key of all the rooms. As for this little key, it is that of the closet at the end of the long gallery on the ground floor. Open everything, and go everywhere except into that little closet, which I forbid you to enter, and I forbid you so , that if you should venture to open the door, there is nothing that you may not have to from my anger!" She promised to obey his orders to the letter, and, after having embraced her, he got into his coach and set out on his journey.
The friends and neighbours of the young bride did not wait for her invitation, so eager were they to see all the rich treasures in the house, and not having ventured to visit her while her husband was at home, so frightened were they at his blue beard. They were soon to be seen running through all the rooms, and into the closets and wardrobes, each one more beautiful and splendid than the last. Then they went upstairs to the store-rooms; there they could not express their at the number and beauty of the hangings, the beds, the sofas, the cabinets, the elegant little stands, the tables, the mirrors in which they could see themselves from head to foot, framed some with glass, some with silver, some with gilt metal, all of a beyond what had ever before been seen. They never ceased enlarging upon, and envying, the good fortune of their friend, who, meanwhile, took no pleasure in the sight of all these treasures, so great was her to go and open the door of the closet on the ground floor. Her curiosity at last reached such a pitch that, without stopping to consider how rude it was to leave her guests, she ran down a little back staircase leading to the closet, and in such haste that she nearly broke her neck two or three times before she reached the bottom. At the door of the closet she paused for a moment, calling to mind her husband's , and reflecting that some trouble might fall upon her for her disobedience; but the temptation was so strong that she could not resist it. So she took the little key, and with a trembling hand opened the door of the closet.
At first she could distinguish nothing, for the windows were closed; in a few minutes, however, she began to see that the floor was covered with blood, in which was reflected the bodies of several dead women hanging on the walls. These were all the wives of Blue Beard, who had killed them one after another. She was ready to die with fright, and the key, which she had taken out of the lock, fell from her hand.
After recovering her senses a little, she picked up the key, locked the door again, and went up to her room to try and compose herself; but she found it impossible to quiet her .
She now perceived that the key of the closet was stained with blood; she wiped it two or three times, but the blood would not come off. In vain she washed it, and even scrubbed it with sand and free-stone, the stain was still there, for the key was an one, and there were no means of cleaning it completely; when the blood was washed off one side, it came back on the other.
Blue Beard returned that very evening, and said that he had received letters on the road, telling him that the business on which he was going had been settled to his advantage.
His wife did all she could to make him believe that she was delighted at his speedy return.
The next morning he asked her for his keys again; she gave them to him; but her hand trembled so, that he had not much difficulty in guessing what had happened.
"How comes it," said he, "that the key of the closet is not with the others?"
[35]"I must have left it," she replied, "upstairs on my table."
"Fail not," said Blue Beard, "to give it me presently."
After several excuses, she was obliged to go and fetch the key. Blue Beard having examined it, said to his wife, "Why is there blood on this key?" "I don't know," answered the poor wife, paler than death.
"You don't know!" rejoined Blue Beard; "I know well enough. You must needs go into the closet. Well, madam, you shall go in again, and take your place among the ladies you saw there."
She flung herself at her husband's feet, weeping and begging his pardon, with all the signs of a true at having disobeyed him. Her beauty and sorrow might have melted a rock, but Blue Beard had a heart harder than rock.
"You must die, madam," said he, "and at once."
"If I must die," she replied, looking at him with streaming eyes, "give me a little time to say my prayers."
"I give you half a quarter of an hour," answered Blue Beard, "not a minute more."
As soon as she found herself alone, she called her sister, and said to her, "Sister Anne"—for so she was named—"go up, I pray you, to the top of the tower, and see if my brothers are not in sight. They promised they would come to visit me to-day, and if you see them, sign to them to make haste."
Sister Anne mounted to the top of the tower, and the poor unhappy wife called to her from time to time, "Anne! Sister Anne! do you not see anything coming?" and Sister Anne answered her, "I see nothing but the dust turning gold in the sun, and the grass growing green."
Meanwhile, Blue Beard, with a large cutlass in his hand, called out with all his might to his wife, "Come down quickly, or I shall come up there." "One minute more, if you please," replied his wife; and then said quickly in a low voice, "Anne! Sister Anne! do you not see anything coming?" And Sister Anne answered, "I see nothing but the dust turning gold in the sun, and the grass growing green."
"Come down quickly," roared Blue Beard, "or I shall come up there."
"I am coming," answered his wife; and then called "Anne! Sister Anne! do you not see anything coming?"
"I see a great cloud of dust moving this way," said Sister Anne.
"Is it my brothers?"
"! no, sister, only a flock of sheep."
"Will you not come down?" shouted Blue Beard.
"One minute more," replied his wife; and then she cried, "Anne! Sister Anne! do you not see anything coming?"
"I see two horsemen coming this way," she replied, "but they are still a great distance off. Heaven be praised!" she exclaimed a moment afterwards. "They are my brothers! I am making all the signs I can to hasten them."
Blue Beard began to roar so loudly that the whole house shook again. The poor wife went down and threw herself at his feet with weeping eyes and dishevelled hair. "It is of no use," said Blue Beard; "you must die!" Then, taking her by the hair with one hand, and raising the cutlass with the other, he was about to cut off her head.
The poor wife, turning towards him her dying eyes, begged him to give her one short moment to collect herself. "No, no," said he; "commend yourself to heaven," and, lifting his arm.... At this moment there was such a loud knocking at the gate that Blue Beard stopped short. It was opened, and two horsemen were immediately seen to enter, who, drawing their swords, ran straight at Blue Beard. He recognised them as the brothers of his wife, one a dragoon, the other a musketeer, and he therefore fled at once, hoping to escape; but they pursued him so closely that they overtook him before he could reach the steps to his door, and, running their swords through his body, left him dead on the spot. The poor wife was almost as dead as her husband, and had not strength to rise and embrace her brothers.
It was found that Blue Beard had left no heirs, and so his widow came into possession of all his property. She employed part of it in marrying her Sister Anne to a man who had long loved her; another part in buying captains' commissions for her two brothers; and with the remainder she married herself to a very worthy man, who made her forget the dreadful time she had passed with Blue Beard.
Provided one has common sense,
And of the world but knows the ways,
This story bears the evidence
Of being one of bygone days.
No husband now is so terrific,
Impossibilities expecting:
Though jealous, he is still pacific,
to his wife affecting.
And of his beard, whate'er the ,
His need fear no such disaster;
Indeed, 'twould often puzzle you
To say which of the twain is master.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved