|A Child's Book of Stories|
|by Penrhyn W. Coussens|
|A choice collection of favorite fairy tales, to delight children of all ages. The 86 stories selected for this collection include folk tales from England, Norway, and India, as well as the best fairy tales from Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault. The volume also contains a handful of fables from Aesop and several tales from the Arabian Nights. Ages 5-9 |
CINDERELLA; OR, THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER
NCE 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 a
cinder wench; 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
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 choosing out such
gowns, petticoats, and head-clothes 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 should be dressed.
"For my part," said the eldest, "I will wear my red
velvet suit with French trimming."
"And I," said the youngest, "shall have my usual
petticoat; but then, to make amends for that, I will
put on my gold-flowered manteau 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-dressed and adjust their double
pinners, and they had their red brushes and patches
from Mademoiselle de la Poche.
Cinderella was likewise called up to them to be
consulted in all these matters, for she had excellent
notions and advised them always for the best, and
offered her services to dress their heads, which they
were very willing she should do. As she was doing this
they said to her:
"Cinderella, would you not be glad to go to the ball?"
"Alas!" said she, "you only jeer me. It is not for
such as I am to go thither."
"Thou art in the right of it," replied they. "It would
make the people laugh to see a cinder wench at a ball."
 Any one but Cinderella would have dressed their heads
awry, but she was very good and dressed them perfectly
well. They were almost two days without eating, so
much they were transported with joy. They broke above
a dozen of laces in trying to be laced up close, that
they might have a fine slender shape, and they were
continually at their looking-glass. At last the happy
day came. They went to court, and Cinderella followed
them with her eyes as long as she could, and when she
had lost sight of them she fell a-crying.
Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what
was the matter.
"I wish I could—I wish I could—"
She was not able to speak the rest, being interrupted
by her tears and sobbing.
This godmother of hers, who was a fairy, said to her:
"Thou wishest thou couldst go to the ball. Is it not
"Y-es," cried Cinderella, with a great sigh.
"Well," said her godmother, "be but a good girl, and I
will contrive that though shalt go." Then she took her
into her chamber and said to her: "Run into the garden
and bring me a pumpkin."
Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she
could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being
able to imagine how this pumpkin 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 with her wand, and the pumpkin 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
life up a little the trap-door, when, giving each mouse
as it went out a little tap with her wand, the mouse
was that moment turned into a fine horse, which
altogether made a very fine set of six horses of a
 beautiful mouse-colored dapple-gray. Being at a loss
for a coachman, Cinderella said:
"I will go and see if there is never a rat in the
rat-trap—we may make a coachman of him."
"Thou art in the right," replied her godmother. "Go
Cinderella brought the trap to her, and in it there
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 eyes ever
beheld. After that she said to her:
"Go 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 skipped up immediately 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 their whole lives. The fairy
then said to Cinderella:
"Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball
with. Are you not pleased with it?"
"Oh! yes," cried she; "but must I go thither as I am,
in these nasty rags?"
Her godmother only just touched her with her wand, and
at the same instant her 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 whole world. Being thus decked out,
she got up into her coach; but her godmother, above all
things, commanded her not to stay till after midnight,
telling her at the same time that if she stayed one
moment longer the coach would be a pumpkin 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
 the ball before midnight, and then away she drives,
scarce able to contain herself for joy. The king's
son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody
knew, was come, ran out to receive her. He 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 violins ceased to play, so attentive was every
one to contemplate the singular beauties of the unknown
new-comer. Nothing was then heard but a confused noise
of "Ha! how handsome she is! Ha! how handsome she is!"
The king himself, old as he was, could not help
watching her and telling the queen softly that it was a
long time since he had seen so beautiful and lovely a
All the ladies were busied in considering her clothes
and head-dress, that they might have some made next day
after the same pattern, provided they could meet with
such fine materials and as able hands to make them.
The king's son conducted her to the most honorable seat
and afterward took her out to dance with him. She
danced so very gracefully that they all more and more
admired her. A fine collation was served up, whereof
the young prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he
busied in gazing on her.
She went and said down by her sisters, showing them a
thousand civilities, 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,
whereupon she immediately made a courtesy to the
company and hastened away as fast as she could.
On arriving 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 to.
 As she was eagerly telling her godmother what had
passed at the ball her two sisters knocked at the door,
which Cinderella ran and opened.
"How long you have stayed!" cried she, gaping, rubbing
her eyes, and stretching herself as if she had been
just waked out of her sleep. She had no, however, had
any manner of inclination to sleep since they went from
"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
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,
"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 cinder wench as thou art! I
should be a fool."
Cinderella 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
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
strik-  ing 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 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.
They said they had seen nobody go out but a young girl,
very meanly dressed, and 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
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 kings'
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 this
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
every one 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 has 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
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, and that very same day matched them with
two great lords of the court.
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics