History of Cinderella, or The Glass Slipper

Prologue (Another version?)

The story of Cinderella has generally been allowed to be pleasing and interesting to the youthful mind. We are not, however, about to assert the truth of what is here related.

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.

Episode 1 (Another version?)

There were once a very rich gentleman and lady, who were married, and were exceedingly fond of each other. It pleased Heaven to bless [PAGE] them with a most lovely daughter; but before the little girl grew up, the lady died, leaving her infant without a mother.

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.

(Another version?)

No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over, than the mother-in-law began to shew herself in her colours. 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 the meanest work in the house; she scoured the dishes, tables, &c., and rubbed madam's chamber, and those of the mis- [PAGE] ses her daughters; she lay 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 [PAGE] her work, she went into the chimney corner, and sat down among the cinders and ashes, which made her commonly called Cinderbreech; but the youngest, who was not so rude and uncivil as the eldest, called her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, notwithstanding her mean apparel, was an hundred times handsomer than her sisters, though they were always very richly dressed.

Episode 3 (Another version?)

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 grand figure among the quality. They were mightily delighted at this invitation, and wonderfully busy in chusing out such gowns, petticoats, and headclothes, 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 would be dressed. "For my part (said the eldest) I will wear my red velvet suit with French trim- [PAGE] mings." "And I (said the youngest) shall only have my usual petticoat; but then to make amends for that, I will put on my gold-flowered mantua, 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 head-dresses, and adjust their double pinners, and they had their red brushes and patches from Mademoiselle de la Pache.

[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.

Episode 4 (Another version?)

Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was the matter? I wish I cou-ld--I wish I cou-ld--she was not able to speak the rest, being interrupted by her tears and sobbing. Her godmother, who was a Fairy, said to her, "Thou wishest thou could go to the ball: is that not so?" "Ye-s." cried Cinderella, with a great sigh. "Well, (said her godmother) be but a good girl, and I will contrive that you shall go. Then she [PAGE] took her into her chamber, and said to her, Run into the garden and bring me a pompion. Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pompion 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 [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.

Episode 5 (Another version?)

The king's son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody knew, was come, ran out to [PAGE] receive her. Her 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 music ceased to play, so attentive was every one to contemplate the beauties of this unknown new comer. Nothing was then heard but a confusesd noise of--Ha! how handsome she is! ha! how handsome she is! the king himself could not [PAGE] help ogling 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 head-dress, that they might have some made the next day, after the same pattern, providing they could mee with so fine materials, and as able hands to make them.

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.

Episode 6 (Another version?)

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 [PAGE] by her, and never ceased his compliments and amorous speeches to her; to whom all this was so far from being tiresome, that she quite forgot what her grandmother had recommended to her; so 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 her one of her glass slippers, which the [PAGE] prince took up most carefully. She got home, but quite out of breath, without coach or footmen, and in her nasty old clothes, having nothing of all her finery, but one of the little slippers, fellow to that she had dropped. The guards at the palace gate were asked, "If they had seen a princess go out?" who said, "They had seen nobody go out, but a young girl very meanly dressed; who had more of the air of a poor country wench, than a gentlewoman."

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."

Episode 7 (Another version?)

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 [PAGE] foot this slipper would just fit. They whom he employed began to try it upon the pricesses, 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 foot into the slipper, but they could not effect it. Cinderella said to them, laughing, "Let me see if it will not fit me?" Her sisters burst out a laughing, and began to buffet her. The gentleman who was sent to try the slipper, looked earnestly at Cinderella, and finding her very handsome, said, "It was but just that she should try, and that he had orders to let every one make trial."

Episode 8 (Another version?)

He obliged Cinderella to sit down, and puting the slipper to her foot, he found it went on very easily, and fitted her as if it had been made of wax. The astonishment her two sister were in was excessively great, but still abundantly greater, when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper, and put it on her foot. Thereupon in came her godmother, who having [PAGE] touched with her wand Cinderella's clothes, made them richer and more magnificent than any of those she had before.

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.

Episode 9 (Another version?)

She was conducted to the young prince, who, a few days after, married her. Cinderella, who was no less good than beautiful, gave her sisters lodging in the palace, and matched them with two great lords of the court.