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Cinderella

Episode 1 (Another version?)

ONCE upon a time there lived a rich man, who had a wife, and one daughter, a very sweet and pretty girl. The wife fell sick and died, and, after a while, the father married again. But he did not choose wisely this time, for the lady he married was proud and cross, and she had two grown-up daughters, just like herself in all things.

Episode 2 (Another version?)

The marriage was no sooner over than the new wife began to be very harsh toward her step-child, whom she disliked because she was so much prettier than her own daughters, and because her good conduct and gentle manners made then appear more hateful. She made her do all the hard work of the house; scrub the floor, polish the grates, wait at the table, and wash up the plates and dishes.

The poor child bore all this without complaint. When her work was done, she would sit for warmth in a corner of the chimney, among the cinders; and for this reason, and to show their contempt for her, the unkind sisters called her Cinderella.

Episode 3 (Another version?)

One day the two sisters received an invitation to a ball that was to be given at the palace of the King, in honor of his son the Prince, who had just come of age. An invitation to this ball being a great honor, the sisters were in high glee, and at once began making ready to appear there in grand style.

This meant a great deal more work for Cinderella. She had to do all the sewing and ironing, to starch and plait the ruffles, to run out three or four times a day to buy things, and, when the day of the ball came, to help her proud sisters dress, even to the arranging of their hair; for they knew she had good taste in all these matters, although they would not admit it openly.

At last the time came to start, and the sisters rode off to the ball, being mean enough at the last moment to jeer at Cinderella because she was not going. The poor girl retired to her dismal kitchen, and could not help weeping as she sat there, thinking over her sisters' cruelty.

Episode 4 (Another version?)

Suddenly her godmother, who was a Fairy, appeared by her side, and asked what was the matter.

"I--I--should so much have--have liked--" sobbed the broken-hearted girl, but she could say no more.

"Do you mean, you would like to go with your sisters?"

"Oh! yes, I should," cried Cinderella.

"Well, well!" said her godmother, "be a good girl, and you shall go."

Cinderella soon dried her tears; and when her godmother said, "Fetch me a pumpkin," she ran and got the largest she could find. The Fairy scooped it hollow, touched it with her wand, and immediately changed it into a splendid carriage.

[PAGE] [PAGE] [PAGE] Then seeing a mouse-trap in which were six live mice, she told Cinderella to open it; and as each mouse ran out, she touched it with her wand; and so got as handsome a team of horses as were ever harnessed together.

Then she made a coachman out of a rat, and six tall footmen out of six lizards from the garden. Another touch of the wand changed Cinderella's dingy clothing into a beautiful ball-dress, that sparkled with diamonds. Last of all, the fairy gave her a pair of slippers made of glass, the smallest and prettiest ever seen.

Cinderella was now quite ready. Just as she was stepping into the carriage, the good fairy said, "Mind, whatever you do, don't be later than twelve;" and warned her, that if she did not leave in time, her carriage would turn back to a pumpkin, her horses to mice, her coachmen to a rat, her footmen to lizards, and her dress to rags.

Episode 5 (Another version?)

There was a great stir at the palace when the splendid carriage drove up, and Cinderella alighted. The Lord High Chamberlain himself escorted her to the ball-room, and introduced her to the Prince, who at once claimed her hand for the next dance. Cinderella was in a whirl of delight, and the hours flew all too fast. At supper she was seated next her sisters, and even talked with them, they little thinking who she was.

When the hands of the clock pointed to a quarter of twelve, Cinderella, mindful of her godmother's warning, arose, and making a low bow to the King and Queen, bade them good night. The Queen said there was to be another ball the next night and she must come to that. Then the Prince led her to her carriage, and she went home.

Episode 6 (Another version?)

The next night the two sisters went to the second ball, and Cinderella's godmother sent her also, dressed even more handsomely than the first night.

The Prince waited for her at the door, at least three-quarters of an hour, and when she arrived, led her into the ball-room. He danced with her every time, and kept by her side the whole evening.

Cinderella was so happy, she entirely forgot her godmother's warning, and the time passed so quickly she did not think it was more than eleven when the first stroke of midnight sounded.

She jumped up from her seat by the side of the Prince, rushed across the room, and flew down stairs.

The Prince ran after her; but was too late. The only trace of her was a glass slipper which had fallen off in her flight. The Prince picked it up, and would not part with it.

Poor Cinderella got home frightened and out of breath. She had none of her finery now, except the other glass slipper.

The Prince made the strictest inquiries, but could get no information from the servants of the palace, or the soldiers on guard. The only person that had passed them, was a poorly clad girl, who certainly could not have been at the ball.

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Episode 7 (Another version?)

The next day heralds were sent through all the kingdom, saying that the Prince would marry the lady who could wear the slipper that he had picked up.

The heralds had orders to stop at every house, and every lady tried to put on the slipper, but all in vain. At last the heralds came to the home of Cinderella's sisters, who tried to put on the lovely glass slipper. But it was too short for one and too narrow for the other, and when their frantic efforts had all proved utterly useless, they had to give it up.

Cinderella, who had been watching them eagerly, stepped forward and asked if she might try on the slipper. The sisters exclaimed, "What impudence!" but the heralds said that their orders were to pass no lady by, and Cinderella seated herself to try on the slipper.

Episode 8 (Another version?)

There was no trouble in getting it on; it fitted her to a T. The sisters were speechless with amazement; but imagine, if you can, their look of surprise when Cinderella drew from her pocket the other slipper, which she had carried about with her ever since the night of the ball.

Now the sisters could see in Cinderella's face some resemblance to that of the lady's who had taken so much notice of them at the ball, and whose attentions they were so proud to receive. How had it been brought about?

As if in answer to their thought the fairy godmother now entered the room, and touching Cinderella's clothes with her wand, made them more costly and dazzling than ever. The heralds set of at once to bear the joyful news to their master that the owner of the slipper was found.

You may well believe that the sisters were sorry enough that they had treated Cinderella so harshly, and they supposed that now the tables were turned she would despise them, and be glad of a chance to pay them back for their ill-usage. So, mortified and ashamed, they went down on their knees and asked her forgiveness, and Cinderella bidding them rise, begged them to think no more of the past, or to fear her hatred. She assured them that she should never forget that they were her sisters, and would do all she could to add to their future happiness.

Episode 9 (Another version?)

A royal escort was sent to conduct Cinderella to the palace, and great was the joy of the Prince, at beholding her again. She consented to become his wife, and, when a proper length of time had elapsed, the wedding took place; the ceremonies and festivities on the occasion being the most splendid that had ever been seen in the kingdom.

The sisters were put in the place of honor at the banquet, and owing to Cinderella's kindness, were able to make a fine appearance. Cinderella made hosts of friends, and she and the Prince lived happily together for many years, and among all the treasure of the royal palace there was nothing quite so precious as

CINDERELLA'S GLASS SLIPPER.

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