Here is the story of the three hairs of the Devil's golden beard - Malo, the king's gardener, has a sixth son - The king proposes to be the godfather of the child, named Chales - The king abandons the cradle of Charles at sea, so that he does not risk marrying his daughter one day - The child is taken in by a merchant - The king finds the child, understands who he is and wants him to be put to death - Charles arrives at the king's castle, where instead of murdering him, he is cordially received
The three hairs of the Devil's golden beard
- The king's daughter wants to marry him - Unable to oppose it, the king makes it a condition that Charles will bring him three hairs from the Devil's golden beard - The Devil's mother takes him to her son's castle - While the Devil is sleeping, she tears three hairs from his beard and gives them to Charles - He returns to the king's palace, who on seeing the three golden hairs dies of rage - Charles marries the princess -
His name was Malo and was a gardener at the court of a king. But, as he was already old, he hardly worked any more and had the supervision of the other gardeners of the yard.
The king, who liked to talk to him when he came for a walk in the garden, said to him one day:
- So your wife is still pregnant, Malo?
- Yes, sire, and I will soon be a father for the sixth time, because, as you know, I already have five children. But, what bothers me the most is knowing where to find a sponsor for the sixth.
- Well, don't worry anymore; come find me, when your child is born, and I will find a godfather for him.
Eight days later, Malo went to find the king, and said to him:
'A sixth boy has just been born to me, sire.
'Well,' replied the king, 'I will be his godfather.
The baptism was solemnly celebrated, and the child was named Charles. Then there was a big dinner at the king's palace. Towards the end of the meal, the old gardener, who had drunk a little more than usual, was cheerful and said, raising his full glass:
- To your health, sire, and God grant the grace to my newborn son to be united one day to the princess your daughter.
It was only a few days since a daughter was also born to the king.
The monarch was unhappy with his gardener's wish, and he sent him away.
Malo entered the home of a great lord.
However, the king was not long in regretting his old gardener, and he asked him to return to the court, as before.
Malo, who also regretted the beautiful gardens where he had spent all his life, and the good conversations with his king, gladly returned. The king wanted to take charge of Charles's education, and Malo readily consented.
The old monarch had not forgotten the reckless words of the gardener at the baptismal dinner, and he wanted to take precautions, early in the day, to prevent the fulfillment of the wish he had expressed.
Charles was soon exposed on the great sea, in a glass cradle, and abandoned to the grace of God.
The king was waiting for his Bordeaux wine merchant, who was to come and bring him wine. The Bordeaux merchant met the cradle where Charles had been exposed at sea. He picked up the child, admired her beauty, and resolved to take her to his wife and adopt her. In his joy and his eagerness to show it to his wife, he had his vessel boarded and returned immediately to Bordeaux.
His wife was happy with the gift her husband gave her, for they had no children, although they had been married for a long time. Charles was therefore brought up and educated as if he had been the merchant's own son. They baptized him again, fearing that he had not already been baptized, and luck would have it that he was given the name Charles again. They gave him teachers of all kinds, and he called the merchant and his wife his father and mother, for they left him in complete ignorance of his early years.
However, the king, several years later, made a trip to Bordeaux. When he saw Charles, he admired his good looks and asked the merchant if he was his child. The merchant told him how, having found him in the open sea, in a glass cradle, he had taken him in and adopted him as his own child. Then the king clearly saw that it was the child of his gardener, the very one he had wanted to get rid of, and asked the merchant to give it to him, so that he could later make him his secretary.
The merchant ceded the child to his king, but reluctantly.
The king, who was not to return immediately to Paris, sent Charles ahead and gave him a letter for the queen, in which he ordered the latter to have the bearer put to death, as soon as he arrived. He added that he would return too, without delay, but that his order had to be carried out before his arrival.
Charles leaves with the letter, not suspecting that it contained his death warrant. He lives in a village, by the side of the road, and eats there with three strangers, maltsters.
After supper, we play cards. Charles loses all his money and even his watch. We go to bed. The three maltsters were in the same room, and Charles was in a closet next door. There was only a partition of planks to separate them, and he could hear their conversation: - Poor boy! said one of them, he has lost all his money; how will he be able to pay his share and return home? I pity him; what if we give him his money back? - Yes, replied the other two; let's give him his money back.
And one of the three went to his room to give him his money. He was sleeping soundly, because he was very tired from his walk. On his bedside table, the maltster saw a sealed letter; it was the one the king had given him to be handed over to the queen. Driven by curiosity, he broke the seal, read the letter and was astonished at what it contained.
- The poor boy! he thought, he himself carries the order to have him put to death, and he does not know it!
He showed the letter to his two comrades, and they substituted another letter, which recommended that the queen welcome and treat the bearer well.
The next morning, when Charles got up, the maltsters were already gone. He found his money and his watch in his pockets, and his letter was also on his nightstand, where he had put it. He paid his guest and set off again, without any suggestion that a letter had been substituted. He walks, he walks, and ends up arriving in Paris.
He goes straight to the royal palace and delivers his letter to the queen. The latter welcomes him in the best possible way, feeds him at her table and takes him with her and the princess, her daughter, on her visits and walks.
The king returned at the end of a month, and his astonishment was great and great also his anger at finding Charles again in the company of his wife and daughter.
- How? 'Or' What ! he said to the queen, then you have not done what I recommended to you in my letter?
- Really, yes, she replied; here is your letter; read it again.
The king read the letter presented to him by the queen, and saw clearly that he had been betrayed, but he did not know by whom.
Charles was then sent to the army, as a simple soldier. He was an exemplary soldier. He quickly became an officer, and, as he behaved valiantly, in all encounters, and contributed more than any other to the victory, he quickly reached the highest ranks, and nothing was spoken of but him, the army and the army. the city.
The princess fell in love with him, and asked her father to let her marry him. - Never ! replied the king. A great war broke out, and the King of France was about to lose a decisive battle, when Charles arrived with his soldiers. Immediately things changed, and the French won a great victory, instead of the disastrous defeat with which they were threatened.
The princess again asked her father to allow her to marry the young hero.
"I don't mind," he replied, this time, "but on condition that he brings me three hairs from the Devil's golden beard."
- And where will I go to find the Devil? asked Charles.
- Hell, of course! Replied the princess.
- It's easy to say ; but, where to go in Hell?
He set off all the same, by the grace of God.
After walking for a long time and crossing many countries, he arrived at the foot of a high mountain, where he saw an old woman who had just drawn water from the fountain, in a broken barrel she carried on her head.
- Where are you going like that, man? Asked the old woman; here there are no living people coming. I am the mother of the Devil.
- Well, then it is your son that I am looking for; lead me to him, please.
"But, my poor child, he will kill you or swallow you alive when he sees you."
- May be. Get me to talk to him, and we'll see later.
- You are not afraid, it seems; but, tell me what you got to do with my son.
- The King of France has promised to give me his daughter's hand, if I bring her three hairs from the Devil's golden beard, and I think, grandmother, that you will not want me to miss one. such a beautiful marriage for three hairs of beard.
- Well, follow me, and we will see; your look pleases me.
And Charles followed the old woman, who led him to an old, dilapidated, dark castle.
As soon as she arrived, she began to make pancakes for her son, on a pan larger than a millstone. Soon a terrible uproar was heard.
- Here is my son coming, said the old woman, quickly hide yourself under my bed.
Charles hid himself under the bed, and the old woman's son immediately entered, shouting:
- I am very hungry, mother, very hungry!
- Well, eat, my son; these are good pancakes.
And he began to eat pancakes, which disappeared as in an abyss.
When he had thus swallowed up a few dozen, he paused for a moment, and said:
- I can smell a Christian smell here, and I must eat it.
"You are unreasonable, my son," said the old woman; eat pancakes and don't think of Christians; you know very well that it never comes here.
And he gulped down a few dozen more pancakes, then he sniffed the air and repeated:
- I smell Christian here, and I must eat it.
- Leave me alone with the Christians, said the old woman, and eat pancakes or go to bed, if your belly is full.
- Yes, good little mother, he said, softened, I am tired and I am going to bed.
He got into bed, and a moment later he was snoring. The old woman approached him and tore a hair from his golden beard. He scratched his chin, but didn't wake up. A moment later, the old woman tore off a second hair, then a third. He finally awoke and jumped out of bed saying:
- I can't sleep in this bed, mother, there are too many fleas; I'm going to sleep in the stable.
- Go to the stable, if you want, my son; tomorrow I'll put fresh sheets for you.
And he went out to go to the stable.
- Get here, quickly, now! said the old woman to Charles.
And, showing her the three hairs that she had just plucked from her son's chin:
- Here are three hairs of the Devil's golden beard. Take them quickly, and marry the daughter of the King of France.
Charles took the three hairs, thanked and left promptly.
When he arrived at the palace of the King of France, the queen and her daughter were walking in the garden. He went to find them there, and as soon as she saw him the princess asked him:
- And the three golden hairs of the Devil's beard?
"Here they are," he replied, pointing to them. The princess ran to tell her father.
When the old king saw the three hairs, he was seized with such a fit of fury that he himself stabbed his dagger in the heart and died immediately.
- Go to the Devil! said Charles, seeing this.
Nothing stood in the way of Charles' marriage to the princess anymore.
He wrote to the Bordeaux merchant to go promptly to Paris. He came, revealed everything, and it was then known that Charles was the son of the old palace gardener and the king's godson. We also noted the fulfillment of the wish of the old gardener, when he had said, bearing the health of the king, at the baptismal dinner: To your health, sire, and God grant that your daughter and dead son may be united one day. .
The marriage was celebrated, and there was a beautiful wedding, with feasts, dances and games of all kinds, during a fortnight.
I was a cook there; I had a piece with a drop, a blow of a spoon in the mouth, and, since, I have not returned. But, with five crowns and a blue horse, I would have gone there again; with five crowns and a brown horse, I would have gone there tomorrow in eight.