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Then he walked to the gate of the palace, and arrived there just as the royal carriage drove up.

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Give my daughter your arm. We will pick a crumb with you, Carabas.

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I 'm vastly hungry with my drive. Her father nudged her, and whispered : ' I also was a great gawky when I proposed to your mother. The cat ran down into the kitchen and ordered up a cold collation, and into the cellars, where he chose out the best wines ; and the king said he had never enjoyed his victuals so heartily as that day. Say : I adore you will you be mine?

I did that when I solicited the hand of her mother. The princess at once accepted him, and they were married and lived happily. The cat became a great lord, and had no occa- sion to run after and eat mice. He, for his part, had a daughter by his first wife.

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The second wife was extremely proud and haughty in her demeanour, and her two daughters had inherited their mother's qualities. The gentleman's daughter by his first wife was most amiable and gentle, in which points she resembled her own mother. No sooner had the marriage taken place than the ill-humour of the stepmother became manifest. She became jealous of the good qualities in the child, which made her own daughters appear by contrast the more disagreeable. She put upon her all the meanest tasks, and held her to them with inexorable severity. The young girl had to clean pots and pans, to scrub the floors and sweep the steps.

She was obliged to do all the servile work of the house, and be as a slave to her half- sisters. For a bed she was given an old straw paillasse in an attic, where it was cold, and where ran the rats, whereas her sisters occupied the best 23 CINDER, rooms in the house and feather-beds. They had ELLA also in their rooms cheval glasses in which they could admire themselves from top to toe. The poor girl endured all without complaining. She did not dare to speak to her father about it, because he was completely under the thumb of his new wife.

Moreover, he was much engaged in business which carried him away from home for weeks together, and she considered that if she were to speak to him about her treatment, her step- mother and sisters would serve her still worse as soon as his back was turned. When she had done her daily tasks, she was wont to creep into a corner of the fireplace, and sat among the cinders, for which reason her eldest sister called her Cinder- slut, but the second who was not quite so ill- tempered as the other, called her Cinderella. Although, poor girl, she was given the shabbiest clothes, and the dirtiest occupation, she was a hundred times more beautiful than her sisters in their finest dresses.

It happened that the king gave a ball, to which were invited all persons of quality. Amongst others the two young ladies of the house received invitation. No one thought of Cinderella, for no one knew of her existence ; or if at any time they had known, they had forgotten her since she had been banished to the kitchen.

The two daughters of the lady were greatly excited about the ball ; they discussed how they should be dressed and how they would have their hair done up, and what jewels they would wear. For two days before the ball, the two damsels ate nothing; they were desirous to have the small- est waists of any ladies who appeared, and in lacing them, Cinderella broke a score of laces 25 CINDER- before she had got them done up tightly enough ELLA to satisfy their vanity.

When it came to patching, the sisters were extremely particular. I think it will heighten my complexion. It will make me so interesting.

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She sat herself on a heap of ashes in the corner of the fireplace and began to cry. Then all at once the hearth opened, and up through it came a little woman with a red cloak and a black pointed hat This was her godmother, who was a fairy. The fairy godmother asked Cinderella why she was crying. Cinderella could only stammer 'I wish Oh, I wish I wish I wish. Go into the garden and bring me a pumpkin. She took it to her godmother, but had no idea what would be done with it.

The fairy scooped out the inside, leaving only the skin. Then she tapped it with her staff, and in a moment it was changed into the most beautiful coach, gold and green. In the mouse-trap were six little mice. The fairy opened the door and as the mice ran out, she give each a tap with her rod, and it was transformed into a beautiful horse with 26 flowing mane and tail. The girl did as desired. In it were three rats.

The fairy took the fattest, and with a touch of her wand changed him into a pompous and dignified coach- man. Then she said, ' Go into the garden, and you will there find six lizards behind the watering pot, bring them to me. The fairy then said to Cinderella : ' There now, you are set up with a conveyance in which to go to the ball.

They were at once changed into the most splendid silk, studded with diamonds. The good fairy said to her: 'I am well pleased that you should enjoy yourself. But re- member to leave before midnight. If you remain a moment after the last stroke of the clock, then your carriage will turn into a pumpkin, your horses into mice, your driver into a rat, your flunkeys into 27 CINDER- lizards, and all your beautiful garments will revert ELLA to the condition of dirty, patched rags.

Then she started, with a heart bounding with joy. When she arrived at the palace, it was announced to the prince, the king's son, that a lady in the most splendid equipage ever seen was at the gates, and that she would not give her name. The prince at once ran out to salute her and invite her to the ball. He gave her his hand to help her to descend, and led her into the great hall where the company was assembled.

Then a great silence fell on all.

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The dancers ceased dancing, the musicians ceased playing, and the gossips ceased gossiping, all were eager to see the strange princess. On all sides were heard whispers of, 'What a radiant beauty! What a style in the doing of her hair who could have been her hairdresser?

What wonderful slippers, who could have been her shoemaker? The queen, who was old and fat, accepted the compliment gracefully, and smiled.


All the ladies observed Cinderella attentively, and endeavoured to engrave in their memories every detail of her dress, so as to get their next ball-dresses made like it. The son of the king seated Cinderella in the most honourable place, danced with her, and himself brought her refreshments. As for himself, he could eat nothing, so taken up was he with attention to her, and in admiration of her beauty. Cinderella seated herself by her sisters, and was very civil to them. They were lost in as- ELLA tonishment, and never for an instant recognised her.

Presently Cinderella heard the clock strike a quarter to twelve. Then she rose, made a grace- ful courtesy to the king and queen and to the com- pany, and hastened away. On her return home she found her godmother in the chimney corner.


She thanked the fairy for the favour granted her, and begged that she might be allowed to go to the ball at the palace on the following night, as the prince had expressly invited her. Whilst she was thus talking, she heard the coach drive up that conveyed home her sisters and their mother. She hastened to the door, opened for them, yawned and rubbed her eyes, and said : ' How late you are! It must be past one o'clock. There has been not only a most splendid entertainment, but there arrived at it a most illustrious princess, so beautiful, that she nearly came up to me.

Indeed for ease and graceful courtesy, I should say she came almost up to me.