"If thou hadst been at the ball," said one of her sisters, "thou wouldst 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 a dirty Cinderwench as thou art! I should be a fool."
Cinderella, indeed, 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 nasty 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 princess go out.
Who said: They had seen nobody go out but a young girl, very meanly dressed, and who had more 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 immediately when it 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 the 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 foot into the slipper, but they could not effect it. Cinderella, who saw all this, and knew her slipper, said to them, laughing:
"Let me see if it will not fit me."
Her sisters burst out a-laughing, and began to banter 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 everyone make trial.
He obliged Cinderella to sit down, and, putting 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 sisters 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 touched with her wand Cinderella's clothes, made them richer and more magnificent than any of those she had before.
And now her two sisters 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 all the ill- treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and, as she embraced them, cried:
That she forgave them with all her heart, and desired them always to love her.
She was conducted to the young prince, dressed as she was; he thought her more charming than ever, and, a few days after, married her. Cinderella, who was no less good than beautiful, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace.Cinderella
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