Philip, Neil, The Cinderella Story. Seifert, Lewis C. Paris: Gallimard, New York: Routledge, Ashliman , accessed 26 October He is one of twin boys; the other survives only a few months. The elder brother Pierre acts as godfather. The Chief Minister is Mazarin. It ends in victory for the Court. Louis takes power personally, replacing Fouquet, the Minister of Finance, later convicted on corruption charges, with Colbert. He is appointed First Commissioner of Royal Buildings; in he becomes secretary of a committee, also including his architect brother Claude, advising on the design of the Louvre.
Louvois becomes minister of war. He is elected Chancellor of the Academy and re-elected next year, a special distinction , and begins a programme of reforms of Academy procedures, some designed to hasten work on its longdelayed Dictionary. He is appointed General Controller of Buildings, a position created for him by Colbert. France in alliance with England declares war on Holland.
This normally occurred within a day or two of birth. October: Marie Guichon dies. Treaty of Nijmegen ends war against Holland. He ceases almost completely to work for Colbert, and becomes Director of the French Academy. Perrault signs last documents as controller of buildings.
Colbert dies, and Louvois takes over his ministerial duties; Perrault is excluded from his position. Death of Maria Theresa. Probable date of morganatic marriage of Louis to Mme de Maintenon. He publishes his poem Saint Paulin, dedicated to the leading churchman of the time, Bossuet, and much derided later by Boileau. War of League of Augsburg begins, France against Spain and northern powers; in England and Holland join the League to form the Grand Alliance, intended to prevent further French expansion.
Controversy with Boileau over the Ancients and the Moderns continues with hostile publications on both sides. Treaty of Ryswick ends War of League of Augsburg with losses of territory gained by France since It is true that certain people who affect an air of gravity, and have enough understanding to see that these tales are intended for entertainment and contain nothing of high importance, have looked upon them with contempt; but it has been satisfactory to see that people of taste have not been of the same opinion.
That should have been enough for me not to fear any reproach that I have been spending my time on frivolous pursuits. Thus in Apuleius it is recounted by an old woman T 4 preface to a girl who has been abducted by robbers, just as the tale of Donkey-Skin is told to children, day in day out, by their governesses and grandmothers.
I would even claim that my fables are worthier of being retold than the majority of ancient tales, especially those about the Widow of Ephesus and Psyche, when they are regarded from the point of view of morality, which is the main consideration in any kind of fable, and must be the reason why they were invented. The only moral lesson to be drawn from The Widow of Ephesus is that often those women who seem the most virtuous are the least so, and consequently that there are almost no truly virtuous women.
Anyone can see that this morality is very bad, and tends only to corrupt women by giving them a bad example, making them believe that if they fail in their duty they are merely doing the same as the majority. It is different with the moral of Griselda, which encourages them to put up with the behaviour of their husbands, and seeks to show that there is no husband so brutal and capricious that, through her patience, an upright woman cannot change his character.
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As regards the fable of Psyche, which in itself is delightful, and very ingenious, I will compare the moral concealed in it to preface 5 that of Donkey-Skin when I have discovered what it is; but hitherto I have been unable to guess. For me, such obscurity is impenetrable. The only comment I can make is that this fable, like the majority of the myths which have come down to us from antiquity, was invented for the sake of entertainment, with no regard to morality, which their authors seriously neglected.
They did not narrate them with the elegance and the embellishments with which the Greeks and Romans enhanced their fables, but were very careful to see that their tales contained instructive and commendable moral lessons. In every case virtue is rewarded and vice punished. Every story tends to show how advantageous it is to be honest, patient, careful, industrious, and obedient, and if not, the harm that will ensue.
Elsewhere there are children who, having duly obeyed their father or mother, become great lords, or who having been bad and disobedient fall into the most dreadful misfortune. And is it not a matter for praise if, when children are not yet of an age to see the value of sound moral 6 preface truths presented to them without adornment, their mothers and fathers should make them appreciate these truths, and if I may so express it, swallow them, by wrapping them up in stories which are entertaining and appropriate to their tender years?
It is incredible how eagerly these innocent souls, in whom natural rectitude has not yet been corrupted, absorb these disguised lessons; you see them despondent and miserable when the hero or heroine of the tale suffers misfortune, and cry out for joy when the time comes for them to be happy; and similarly, having found it hard to bear when a wicked man or woman prospers, they are delighted to see them punished at last as they deserve. We see some shafts of satire here as well, But free from any bitterness or spite; Thus all may read the story with delight.
But bad examples everywhere abound; They are pernicious; better not neglect Whatever method can be found To counter them and weaken their effect. With this in mind I honour as I should A woman truly patient, truly good: Her like, although surprising anywhere, Would surely be a marvel here.
For in this happy climate, women seem To rule us: everything is done To suit their wishes, and each one Acts like a queen and reigns supreme. But on this noble nature shadows lay: To dark and angry moods his soul fell prey, And in his heart he steadfastly believed That every woman constantly deceived. Each day, the morning was the time he spent On government, deciding what was best To keep his people settled and content. Meanwhile his subjects have in mind 11 12 the history of griselda Some other interests: their own. For when another ruler mounts the throne They want to see him temperate and kind, Just like their Prince; and often urge their lord To get a son, ensuring his succession.
One day, to plead their case, with one accord They visited the palace in procession. An orator, considered then the best, Whose gravity of manner much impressed, Said all he could in such a situation. He emphasized with fervour their desire To see the Prince well married, and the sire Of generation after generation Forever bringing riches to the nation. It is my wish to do my best To undertake at once what you suggest. Young women, as you will observe, While in the family home preserve the history of griselda Such virtues as sincerity, Decorum, helpfulness and modesty; But once they take the marriage vow, Their future is secure, and now, With no more need to masquerade, Each one gives up the painful role she played, And since she has a household of her own, Is free at last to be herself alone.
Another takes to cards and dice, And loses thousands in a trice; Her rarest and most precious things, Her brooches, necklaces, and rings, All she possesses disappears, Even the garments that she wears. What I myself am certain of is this: For there to be a chance of married bliss, 13 14 the history of griselda Authority must not be shared by both. If therefore what you want to see Is that I take the marriage oath, Find me a woman who has never shown The slightest disobedience: she must be Of proven patience, modest, lacking pride, And free from any wishes of her own. The Prince, when told that all was now prepared, A scent discovered, instantly declared The hunt could now begin; for men and hounds The quarry is fair game.
She was a shepherd maid; she sat beside A little stream, her grazing sheep nearby, And spun her wool: with agile hands she plied The spindle that she watched with practised eye. She heard; and looking round Caught sight of him; with great dismay She saw herself observed. He thought she had, behind The guileless veil of her attractive shame, That sweet simplicity of mind, That innocence, which womankind, So he believed, could now no longer claim; But which in her he saw unspoiled and pure.go to link
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I know these woods of old, But till this moment had not guessed What precious treasure they might hold. Seeing the pleasure on her face, No agate vase, he thought, or crystal glass, Though brilliantly adorned with gold, Or deeply carved, or intricately scrolled, Would ever have the beauty to surpass, For him, with all its frivolous display, The cup she gave him made of humble clay. At last They reach a grove where tangled branches cast Their cooling shadows.
Here he can descry His palace with its golden rooftops, high And far away across the plain. The Prince and shepherdess must part: With heavy step he went, feeling the pain Of love lodged deep within his heart. She and her father dwell alone, he learns. Griselda is her name. They live Their quiet life on what their sheep can give. To merchants in the town she seldom goes; The two alone make all the clothes they wear. The lady whom I shall espouse Will not be from some foreign land, But from among you, near at hand; In character, of proven worth; Fair to behold; of honourable birth.
My forebears more than once have done the same. But as for who she is, you must await The day itself: until we celebrate My wedding, I shall not disclose her name. In many ways their manners changed; Their wardrobes too were rearranged. Meanwhile the wedding day approaches; In every street and every square Artists and artisans prepare Superb new carriages and coaches, So splendidly designed and made That of the beauties there displayed The least amazing to behold Are rich adornments all of gold. The ballet-dancers can be seen nearby, At practice on their latest clever piece Of pleasing nonsense, never seen before.
Just on the point of leaving, she had dressed, To honour the occasion, in her Sunday best. I love you; it is you I choose Above a thousand others, young and fair, To marry and to share with you my life, Unless you tell me now that you refuse. All that is needed now is that you deign, Sweet shepherdess, to tell me you agree; But you must also swear, for peace to reign Eternally between yourself and me, Henceforward to obey my will alone. Superbly and delightfully arrayed Outside the little house the shepherdess At length appears; her beauty and her dress Bring long applause and praise; and yet The Prince observes her splendour with regret, Half-wishing that he could restore The simple innocence she had before.
Victorian Fairy Tales
Meanwhile a coach and horses wait— The coach of gold, with ivory inlaid. Majestically, the shepherd maid Steps in beside the Prince to ride in state. The courtiers all follow; they observe, As they proceed, the rank that they deserve Through lineage, or by their post at court. The joyful cries continue long and loud; The horses grow alarmed, and struggle past, With rearing heads and stamping feet, Advancing less, it seems, than they retreat. The couple reach the church at last, And at the altar solemnize, With vows that make eternal ties, The union of two destinies combined. Towards the palace then they make their way, Where pleasures wait of every kind, With jousting, tilting, dancing, games to play, And merriment shared round on every side.
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At dusk, the god of weddings is their guide: They are by fair-haired Hymenaeus led To the chaste delights of the marriage bed. Next day came local worthies, small and great: The nobles, church, and third estate Sent delegations to express Greetings to the Prince, and to the Princess. Surrounded by the ladies of her court, Without embarrassment of any sort, Griselda listened as a princess should, And answered as a princess would. The Prince who found her sweet and full of charm Would often visit, leave, but soon return; Her mother would not have her out of sight, But gazed on her with ever more delight.
Related The Complete Fairy Tales (Oxford Worlds Classics)
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