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CINDERELLA OR THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER.

from Cinderella The Little Glass Slipper





Once there was a gentleman who married for his second wife the

proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had by a

former husband two daughters of her own humor, who were, indeed,

exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife,

a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of

temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature

in the world.



No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the

mother-in-law began to show herself in her true colors. She could

not bear the good qualities of this pretty girl, and the less

because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. She

employed her in meanest work of the house: she scoured the

dishes, tables, etc., and scrubbed madam's chamber and those of

misses, her daughters; she lay up in a sorry garret, upon a

wretched straw bed, while her sisters lay in fine rooms, with

floors all inlaid, upon beds of the very newest fashion, and

where they had looking-glasses so large that they might see

themselves at their full length from head to foot.



The poor girl bore all patiently and dared not tell her father,

who would have rattled her off; for his wife governed him

entirely. When she had done her work she used to go into the

chimney-corner and sit down among cinders and ashes, which made

her commonly be called a cinder maid; but the youngest, who was

not so rude and uncivil as the eldest, called her Cinderella.

However, Cinderella, notwithstanding her mean apparel, was a

hundred times handsomer than her sisters, though they were always

dressed very richly.



It happened that the King's son gave a ball and invited all

persons, of fashion to it. Our young misses were also invited,

for they cut a very grand figure among the quality. They were

mightily delighted at this invitation, and wonderfully busy in

choosing out such gowns, petticoats, and head-clothes as might

become them. This was a new trouble to Cinderella, for it was she

who ironed her sisters' linen and plaited their ruffles. They

talked all day long of nothing but how they should be dressed.



"For my part," said the eldest, "I will wear my red velvet suit

with French trimming."



"And I," said the youngest, "shall have my usual petticoat; but

then, to make amends for that, I will put on my gold-flowered

manteau and my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the

most ordinary one in the world."



They sent for the best tire-woman they could get to make up their

headdresses and adjust their double pinners, and they had their

red brushes and patches from Mademoiselle de la Poche.



Cinderella was likewise called up to them to be consulted in all

these matters, for she had excellent notions and advised them

always for the best, nay, and offered her services to dress their

heads, which they were very willing she should do. As she was

doing this they said to her:



"Cinderella, would you not be glad to go to the ball?"



"Alas!" said she, "you only jeer me. It is not for such as I am

to go thither."



"Thou art in the right of it," replied they. "It would make the

people laugh to see a cinder wench at a ball."



Any one but Cinderella would have dressed their heads awry, but

she was very good and dressed them perfectly well. They were

almost two days without eating, so much they were transported

with joy. They broke above a dozen of laces in trying to be laced

up close, that they might have a fine, slender shape, and they

were continually at their looking-glass. At last the happy day

came. They went to Court, and Cinderella followed them with her

eyes as long as she could, and when she had lost sight of them

she fell a-crying.



Her Godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was the

matter.



"I wish I could--I wish I could--"



She was not able to speak the rest being interrupted by her tears

and sobbing.





This Godmother of hers, who was a fairy, said to her: "Thou

wishest thou could'st go to the ball. Is it not so?"



"Y--es," cried Cinderella, with a great sigh.



"Well," said her Godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will

contrive that thou shalt go." Then she took her into her chamber

and said to her: "Run into the garden and bring me a pumpkin."



Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get

and brought it to her Godmother, not being able to imagine how

this pumpkin could make her go to the ball. Her Godmother scooped

out all the inside of it, having left nothing but the rind; which

done, she struck it with her wand, and the pumpkin was instantly

turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.



She then went to look into her mousetrap, where she found six

mice all alive, and ordered Cinderella to lift up a little the

trapdoor, when, giving each mouse as it went out a little tap

with her wand, the mouse was that moment turned into a fine

horse, which altogether made a very fine set of six horses of a

beautiful mouse-colored dapple-gray. Being at a loss for a

coachman, Cinderella said:



"I will go and see if there is never a rat in the rattrap--we may

make a coachman of him."



"Thou art in the right," replied her Godmother. "Go and look."



Cinderella brought the trap to her, and in it there were three

huge rats. The fairy made choice of one of the three which had

the largest beard, and having touched him with her wand he was

turned into a fat, jolly coachman, who had the smartest whiskers

eyes ever beheld. After that she said to her:



"Go again into the garden, and you will find six lizards behind

the watering-pot. Bring them to me."



She had no sooner done so but her Godmother turned them into six

footmen,who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their

liveries all bedaubed with gold and silver, and clung as close

behind each other as if they had done nothing else their whole

lives. The fairy then said to Cinderella:



"Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball with. Are

you not pleased with it?"



"Oh! yes," cried she; "but must I go thither as I am, in these

dirty rags?"



Her Godmother only just touched her with her wand, and at the

same instant her clothes were turned into cloth-of-gold and

silver, all beset with jewels. Ah! who can describe a robe made

by the fairies? It was white as snow, and as dazzling; round the

hem hung a fringe of diamonds, sparkling like dewdrops in the

sunshine. The lace about the throat and arms could only have been

spun by fairy spiders. Surely it was a dream! Cinderella put her

daintily gloved hand to her throat, and softly touched the pearls

that encircled her neck.



"Come, child," said the Godmother, "or you will be late."



As Cinderella moved, the firelight shone upon her dainty shoes.



"They are of diamonds," she said.



"No," answered her Godmother, smiling; "they are better than

that--they are of glass, made by the fairies. And now, child, go,

and enjoy yourself to your heart's content."



But her Godmother, above all things, commanded her not to stay

till after midnight, telling her at the same time that if she

stayed one moment longer the coach would be a pumpkin again, her

horses mice, her coachman a rat, her footmen lizards, and her

clothes become just as they were before.



She promised her Godmother she would not fail of leaving the ball

before midnight, and then away she drives, scarce able to contain

herself for joy. The King's son, who was told that a great

Princess, whom nobody knew, was come, ran out to receive her. He

gave her his hand as she alighted out of the coach; and led her

into the hall among all the company. There was immediately

a profound silence, they left off dancing, and the violins ceased

to play, so attentive was every one to contemplate the singular

beauties of the unknown newcomer. Nothing was then heard but a

confused noise of "Ha! how handsome she is! Ha! how handsome she

is!"



The King himself, old as he was, could not help watching her and

telling the Queen softly that it was a long time since he had

seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.



All the ladies were busied in considering her clothes and

headdress, that they might have some made next day after the same

pattern, provided they could meet with such fine materials and as

able hands to make them.



The King's son conducted her to the most honorable seat and

afterward took her out to dance with him. She danced so very

gracefully that they all more and more admired her. A fine

collation was served up, whereof the young Prince ate not a

morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing on her.



She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand

civilities, giving them part of the oranges and citrons which the

Prince had presented her with, which very much surprised them,

for they did not know her. While Cinderella was thus amusing her

sisters, she heard the clock strike eleven and three-quarters,

whereupon she immediately made a courtesy to the company and

hastened away as fast as she could.



Being got home, she ran to seek out her Godmother, and after

having thanked her she said she could not but heartily wish she

might go next day to the ball, because the King's son had desired

her.



As she was eagerly telling her Godmother what had passed at the

ball her two sisters knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran

and opened.



"How long you have stayed!" cried she, gaping, rubbing her eyes,

and stretching herself as if she had been just waked out of her

sleep. She had not, however, had any manner of inclination to

sleep since they went from home.



"If thou hadst been at the ball," said one of her sisters, "thou

would'st not have been tired with it. There came thither the

finest Princess, the most beautiful ever was seen with mortal

eyes. She showed us a thousand civilities and gave us oranges and

citrons."



Cinderella seemed very indifferent in the matter. Indeed, she

asked them the name of that Princess, but they told her they did

not know it, and that the King's son was very uneasy on her

account, and would give all the world to know who she was. At

this Cinderella, smiling, replied:



"She must, then, be very beautiful indeed. How happy you have

been! Could not I see her? Ah! dear Miss Charlotte, do lend me

your yellow suit of clothes which you wear every day."



"Ay, to be sure," cried Miss Charlotte; "lend my clothes to such

it dirty cinder maid as thou art! I should be a fool."



Cinderella expected well such answer and was very glad of the

refusal, for she would have been sadly put to it if her sister

had lent her what she asked for jestingly.



The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was

Cinderella, but dressed more magnificently than before. The

King's son was always by her, and never ceased his compliments

and kind speeches to her, to whom all this was so far from being

tiresome that she quite forgot what her Godmother had recommended

to her, so that she at last counted the clock striking twelve

when she took it to be no more than eleven. She then rose up and

fled as nimble as a deer. The Prince followed, but could not

overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which

the Prince took up most carefully. She got home, but quite out of

breath, and in her old clothes, having nothing left her of all

her finery but one of the little slippers, fellow to that she

dropped. The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not

seen a Prinecess go out.



They said they had seen nobody go out but a young girl, very

meanly dressed, and who had more of the air of a poor country

girl than a gentlewoman.



When the two sisters returned from the ball Cinderella asked them

if they had been well diverted and if the beautiful Princess had

been there.



They told her yes, but that she hurried away immediately when the

clock struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one

of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which

the King's son had taken up; that he had done nothing but look at

her all the time at the ball, and that most certainly he was very

much in love with the beautiful person who owned the glass

slipper.



What they said was very true, for a few days after the King's son

caused it to be proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, that he would

marry her whose foot this slipper would just fit. They whom he

employed began to try it upon the Princesses, then the Duchesses

and all the Court, but in vain. It was brought to the two

sisters, who did all they possibly could to thrust their feet

into the slipper, but they could not effect it.



On the following morning there was a great noise of trumpets and

drums, and a procession passed through the town, at the head of

which rode the King's son. Behind him came a herald, bearing a

velvet cushion, upon which rested a little glass slipper. The

herald blew a blast upon the trumpet, and then read a

proclamation saying that the King's son would wed any lady in the

land who could fit the slipper upon her foot, if she could

produce another to match it.



Of course, the sisters tried to squeeze their feet into the

slipper, but it was of no use--they were much too large. Then

Cinderella shyly begged that she might try. How the sisters

laughed with scorn when the Prince knelt to fit the slipper on

the cinder maid's foot; but what was their surprise when it

slipped on with the greatest ease, and the next moment Cinderella

produced the other from her pocket! Once more she stood in the

slippers, and once more the sisters saw before them the lovely

Princess who was to be the Prince's bride. For at the touch of

the magic shoes the little gray frock disappeared forever, and in

place of it she wore the beautiful robe the fairy Godmother had

given to her.



The sisters hung their heads with sorrow and vexation; but kind

little Cinderella put her arms round their necks, kissed them,

and forgave them for all their unkindness, so that they could not

help but love her.



The Prince could not bear to part from his little love again, so

he carried her back to the palace in his grand coach, and they

were married that very day. Cinderella's stepsisters were present

at the feast, but in the place of honor sat the fairy Godmother.



So the poor little cinder maid married the Prince, and in time

they came to be King and Queen, and lived happily ever after.





Next: FANNY'S TELEPHONE ORDER.




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