"The Selfish Giant." Manuscript in the hand of Constance Wilde, signed by Oscar Wilde, ca. 1888. 8 p., including cover sheet
Gift of Lucia Moreira Salles, 2008
The Selfish Giant
Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant's garden.
It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. "How happy we are here!" cried the children to each other.1
One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all he had to say,2 and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.
"What are you doing there3?" he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.
"My own garden is my own garden," said the Giant; "any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself." So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board.
|NO ONE ALLOWED
IN MY GARDEN
1 For publication, "cried the children to each other" was changed to "they cried to each other."
2 For publication, "all he had to say" was changed to "all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited."
3 For publication, the word "there" was changed to "here."
4 For publication, only the center notice was printed.