These stories were, no doubt, once believed; and it has been thought that creatures called fairies, conjurors, and magicians, had the power of transforming rats, mice, horses, cows, and other creatures, into objects possessed of natures quite different.
Her father, deeply affected by a recollection of the loss he had sustained in the death of his dear wife, now devoted his affection to his daughter, who by her pretty little actions endeared herself to all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
But the little girl not being quite two years old, and being unable to converse with her father on those subjects, he at length resolved to endeavour to find another lady, who might sympathise with him in his afflictions, and with whom he might spend the remainder of his days in peace.
In addition to this consideration, he was convinced that he could not give that necessary attention to the education of his daughter which his late partner would have given.
[PAGE] These considerations made him anxiously desire again to marry; and he accordingly took every opportunity of introducing himself to the notice and acquaintance of such ladies as were distinguished for their politeness, civility, good manners, and all those other amiable qualities which so highly adorn the female sex.
Being one evening on a visit at a friend's house, where there were a large party of ladies, he met with a lady whose charming manners and agreeable conversation arrested his attention. This lady had formerly been married, but her husband had died, and left her with two daughters.
The gentleman thought this lady, on account of her apparently amiable disposition, a person properly qualified to superintend the education of his daughter, and with whom he could spend the remainder of his days in ease and comfort.
He soon after availed of himself of an opportunity of telling her how much he loved her; and in consequence of [PAGE] his immense riches, and agreeable manners, his proposal was readily accepted, and they were soon after united.
It is very possible for some persons to appear pleasant and good-natured in company, while in their own houses they manifest dispositions the most turbulent and peevish.
This lady was of the character last mentioned; and the remainder of this story will shew that the gentleman was greatly deceived in her, and that we must not always estimate the disposition of persons by their appearance in company.
[PAGE] Cinderella was likewise called up by them to be consulted in all those matters, for she had excellent notions, and advised them always for the best: nay, she offered her service to dress their heads, which they willingly accepted. As she was doing this, they said to her, Cinderella, would you not be glad to go to the ball? Ah! said she, you only jeer me; it is not for such as I am to go thither. Thou art [PAGE] in the right of it, replied they; it would make the people laugh to see a Cinderbreech at a ball. Any one but Cinderella would have dressed their heads awry: but she was good, and dressed them perfectly well. They broke above a dozen laces in trying to be laced up close, that they might have a fine slender shape, and they were continually at their looking glasses. At last the happy day came, and they went to the court, and Cinderella looked after them as long as she could, and when she lost sight of the them, she feel a crying.
Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, having left nothing but the rind; which done, she struck it [PAGE] with her wand, and the pompion was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.
She then went to look into her mouse-trap, where she found six mice all alive, and ordered Cinderella to lift up the trap-door, when giving each mouse as it went out a little tap with her wand, the mouse that moment turned into a fair horse, which, altogether, made a very fine set of six horses, of a beautiful mouse-colored dapple grey. Being at a loss for a coachman, "I will go and see (says Cinderella) if there be never a rat in the trap, 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 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 and eyes ever beheld.
After that, she said unto her, "Go [PAGE] 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 immediately skipped up 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 all their whole lives. The Fairy then said to Cinderella, "Well, you see an equipage fit to go to a ball with; are you pleased with it?" "Oh yes, (cried she) but must I go thither as I am, in these nasty dirty rags?" Her godmother only touched her with her wand, and at the same instant, clothes were turned into cloth of gold and silver, all beset with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the world.
Being thus decked out, she got into her coach; but her godmother, above all things, commanded her not to stay till after midnight, telling her at the same time if she staid at the ball one [PAGE] moment longer, her coach would be a pompion 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, scarcely able to contain herself for joy.
The king's son conducted her to the most honourable seat, and afterwards took her to dance with him; she danced so gracefully, that they all more and more admired her. A fine collation was served up, whereof the young prince eat not a morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing on her. She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand civilites, 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, [PAGE] whereupon she immediately made a courtsey 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 whatever had passed at the ball, her two sisters knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran and opened. [PAGE] "How long you have stayed!" cried she, gaping, rubbing her eyes, and stretching herself, as if she had just awaked out of sleep. She had not, however, any inclination to sleep since they went from home. "If thou hadst been at the ball, (says one of her sisters) thou wouldst not have been tired with it; there came thither the finest princess, the most beautiful ever seen with mortal eyes; she showed us a thousand civilities, and gave [PAGE] us oranges and citrons." Cinderella seemed very indifferent in the matter: indeed, she asked the name of that princess; but they told her, "they did not know it, and that the king's son was uneasy on her account, and would give all the world to know where she was."
At this Cinderella, smiling, replied, "She must be very beautiful indeed: O! how happy you have been! could I not 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 a dirty Cinderbreech as thou art: who's the fool then?" Cinderella, indeed, expected some 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 in jest.
When the two sisters returned from the ball, Cinderella asked them, "If they had been well diverted, and if the fine lady had been there?" They told her, "Yes, but that she hurried away with so much haste, that she dropped one of her glass slippers, which the king's son had taken up; and that he was in love with the beautiful person who owned the slipper."
And now her two sister found her to be that fine beautiful lady whom they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet, to beg pardon for the ill treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and embracing them, said, that she forgave them with all her [PAGE] heart, and desired them always to love her.