The Blue Fairy Book HTML version

Cinderella, Or 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 the 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 Cinderwench; 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