The ugly duckling: a play in one act. 2 editions
This short play by the author of Winnie the Pooh, is a droll little fairy tale about a princess who isn't beautiful. At her christening she was blessed by her Great-Aunt Malkin with this enigmatic rhyme:
*"I give you with this kiss
A wedding day surprise.
Where ignorance is bliss
'Tis folly to be wise."*
She has now grown up into a happy and healthy young woman, but she is undeniably plain. All the courtiers must tread warily around the subject of this most unheard of misfortune, and her royal father and mother scheme and plot how to marry her off. Although only seven actors are required, it is bursting with witty dialogue and brings to life the whole castle. Irresistible fun!
KING: Not, truthfully speaking, beautiful--
CHANCELLOR: Yet she has great beauty of character.
KING: My dear Chancellor, we are not considering Her Royal Highness' character, but her chances of getting married. You will observe that there is a distinction.
CHANCELLOR: Yes, Your Majesty.
KING: Look at it from the suitor's point of view. If a girl is beautiful, it is easy to assume that she has, tucked away inside her, an equally beautiful character. But it is impossible to assume that an unattractive girl, however elevated in character, has tucked away insider her, an equally beautiful face. That is, so to speak, not where you want it--tucked away.
CHANCELLOR: Quite so, Your Majesty.
2 editions First published in 1941
1941, S. French limitedThe ugly duckling
1941, FrenchThe ugly duckling