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Title: The Admired Fairy Tale of Cinderella

Date of first publication:

Author: Anonymous

Date first posted: Nov. 6, 2013

Date last updated: Nov. 6, 2013

Faded Page eBook #20131106

This ebook was produced by: David Edwards, Dianne Nolan & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net










Embellished with Nine Engravings.






An acorn will by degrees be transformed into an oak-tree: a caterpillar will become a butterfly: and an egg will be changed into a chicken: but mice do not often become horses, nor the rags of poverty assume the appearance of splendid dresses.

Yet these silly things have been believed; and it has been imagined that creatures called fairies, could change objects from one shape to another just as they pleased: it was imagined that by a few touches of their wands, persons and other things might be made to disappear, just as a few drops of hot water will dismiss a lump of sugar.

Among the tales in which the wonderful tricks of fairies are described, there are few which so much amuse young people as that of Cinderella.

This story has indeed in it many circumstances that render it not only amusing but instructive: and it may reasonably be hoped, that although the little men and women who may read it will laugh at the strange feats of the fairy, yet they will recollect and profit by the more sensible parts of this short narrative.

A gentleman and lady who were married, and who were exceedingly fond of each other, had a daughter; but before the little girl grew up the lady died, and of course left her motherless.

Her father, however, who had been so much attached to his wife, now devoted his affection to his daughter; but as she was very young, and unable by conversation to withdraw his recollection and his sorrow from the lady he had lost, he thought it prudent to endeavour to find another who might in some measure revive the happy days he had passed with his deceased wife.

Besides this consideration, he knew that his little girl would require the superintendence of some one in the stead of her mother; and that thought gave him an additional motive to the intention he had formed.

He soon afterward met a lady in company who was of about the same age with himself; her husband was dead, and had left her with two daughters.

It occurred to the gentleman that this lady would feel for the condition of his little girl, by a comparison with the state of her own: and he therefore resolved to communicate his sentiments to her.

As he was a gentleman of great respectability and of very extensive wealth, his proposal was soon accepted; and he and this lady were quickly married.

It often happens that persons who affect a great deal of politeness in company, and who wish to be thought very kind and amiable, are in private life violent in their dispositions, and turbulent in their manner.

This lady was somewhat of this description: in the parties where this gentleman saw her, she was apparently so mild and patient, that any thing inconsistent with benignity itself, seemed unnatural to her disposition. But we must not always trust to appearances.

This woman was in domestic habits proud and tyrannical: she was ever in a state of ill-humour, and acted as if she thought that dignity consisted in the tones and manners of insolence towards her servants; and unfeeling haughtiness towards those who fell within her power.

Her daughters, young as they were, had become infected with her disgusting pride; and began to show their consequence by rudeness and ill-temper. They were silly enough to think, poor foolish girls, that it was right to assume upstart pride towards their inferiors.

The truly amiable disposition and obliging manners of the gentleman's daughter, of course, did not please them. And their mother, who perceived how despicable her daughters appeared when in comparison with this good little girl, instead of admonishing them to imitate her, secretly disliked the excellent child.

The gentleman, who truly loved his daughter, soon observed the indiscreet choice he had made. Instead of having found the comfort for which he had hoped, both himself and his daughter were rendered miserable. He felt indeed more for her than for himself, but finding how unable he was to resist the incessant violence of his wife's temper, grief preyed upon his spirits, and within a short time he died.

This melancholy event had not long happened, when the oppression of this lady and her girls towards the little orphan, increased day by day.

She was soon ordered to live in the kitchen, and if ever she had occasion, in the character of servant, to bring any thing into the room where the lady and her daughters sat, she was sure to be scolded until she was out of sight.

Her employment was with the servants; she was obliged to perform even the most menial offices, to wash dishes, rub the tables and chairs.

She had also to clean the chambers of her step-mother and daughters; these were fitted up at great expense, and with the most modern furniture; the looking-glasses were so large that they could see themselves from head to foot.

But this poor girl was obliged to sleep in a garret, and upon a straw bed, without curtains or decorations, or even moderate comforts.

She endured all this with the greatest patience, not a complaint or murmur escaped her lips; and indeed expressions of dissatisfaction would have been of no avail.

When her work was finished in the evening, she used to sit in the chimney corner of the kitchen among the cinders; the two young damsels, therefore, thought it afforded them a pretext for calling her Cinder-wench: the younger of the two, however, with wonderful civility, improved this appellation into the name of Cinderella.

Dirty and ragged however as the unprotected orphan became, she was nevertheless much more handsome than either of her imperious relatives.

It happened that the king's son gave a magnificent ball, to which all the persons of fashion in the kingdom were invited; among whom the two young ladies of this family were included.

They were not indeed invited on account of their beauty, nor their wit, or accomplishments, or dispositions; but because they were known to visit many respected persons; who were principally influenced by the circumstance that they were fatherless.

Cinderella was not invited, for she had neither been seen nor heard of among people of fashion.

The two sisters immediately began to be very busy in preparing themselves for the happy evening. Nothing indeed could exceed their joy; every moment of their time was occupied in fancying what sort of gowns, shoes, and headdresses, would set them off to the greatest advantage.

Poor creatures! a few tawdry decorations were more esteemed by them, than the true gratification which goodness of heart, and superiority of mind always confer. Can silk, or muslin, or gold, or diamonds, obtain the true respect, or impart the real satisfaction, which attend worth and merit?

They did not however make these preparations without indulging themselves in endeavouring to mortify poor Cinderella. She had to wash and plait their fineries, which she did with as much care as if the things were to have been worn by herself. The two girls, who really had not many subjects of conversation, amused themselves with constantly talking about their intended dresses. "I," said the elder, "will wear scarlet velvet;" "and I," said the younger, "will have a train of muslin ornamented with gold."

Who can refrain from remarking how weak this sort of discourse betrayed their minds to be? Of all the indications by which a female can expose the shallowness of her brains, or the vulgarity of her manners, scarcely any is so certain as that of conversing about dress: it is the sure mark of egregious vanity, and vanity is the great characteristic of folly.

A hair-dresser was obtained from a distance of several miles, and all the ornaments with which these young ladies were attired, were procured from the most fashionable and expensive shops.

But even in their own favourite pursuit, Cinderella was their superior: for though she did not chatter about the form of a headdress, or the colour of a gown, yet her taste was infinitely surpassing all their efforts. They knew this, and therefore on the morning preceding this splendid fête, they sent for her, and condescended to ask her opinion.

She, who knew not what revenge meant, gave them the best advice she could, and even offered to assist in adjusting their headdresses, a proposal which they gladly accepted. While she was busily engaged in dressing them, they could not restrain their accustomed derision. One of them said to her, "Should not you like to go to the ball, Cinderella?" "Ah!" replied the poor girl, "you are only laughing at me: it is not for such girls as I am, to think of going to balls!" "You are in the right," said they, "folks might laugh to see a cinder-wench in a ball-room."

Almost any other than this amiable girl would have felt resentment for this unkind and unmerited treatment; and would have endeavoured, not to improve their appearance by every means in their power, but to have made them look as unprepossessing as possible: but the good-tempered creature did everything in her power that could give advantage to their persons.

The two sisters had scarcely allowed themselves time to eat during the preceding two days; and indeed some of the efforts to improve their forms were truly ridiculous. More than a dozen laces were broken in attempting to give them fine slender shapes; and their attentions to the looking-glass were so unremitting, that it might have been doubted whether they had not become enamoured of their own representation.

At length the moment arrived for which they had been so anxious; the proud misses stepped into a beautiful carriage, followed by servants in handsome liveries; and drove towards the royal palace.

Cinderella's eyes followed them as far as she could see the carriage; and this evening, for the first time, she bewailed her cruel degradation.

It has not been mentioned yet, that Cinderella's godmother was a fairy; and the first time the poor girl ever saw her, that she knew of, was on this evening.

Cinderella, perceiving a little old woman in the kitchen, soon after her sisters were gone, and while she was crying in the chimney corner, yet spoke with great good-nature to this venerable stranger.

"I," said the fairy, "am your godmother, my dear, and I have come to you because I know you wish to go to the ball. Dry up your tears, for I mean that you shall go."

Cinderella now recollected that she had heard both her father and mother speak of her godmother, and from what they had said, she knew that this was a fairy; her spirits therefore began to revive.

She then took Cinderella into another room: "Now," said she, "my dear, go into the garden and bring me a pumpkin." Cinderella almost flew and brought back the finest one she could meet with. Her godmother scooped out the inside, leaving nothing but the rind; she then struck it with her wand, and it instantly became an elegant gilt coach.

She then sent the good girl to bring all the mouse-traps that were in the pantry; she did so, and there being six very lively little fellows in them, her godmother desired her to lift up the door very gently, so that they might go out one at a time.

The fairy then touched them as they came out, and they were instantly changed into beautiful horses, one by one, as they were touched.

"Now," said the fairy, "here are, my dear, a coach and horses as handsome as your sisters' equipage, to say the least of them; but we must have a postillion. Run and see if there be not a rat in the trap; make haste, my dear."

Cinderella made no delay, but immediately returned with the rat-trap, which contained two fine handsome rats. The fairy touched each of them, and one instantly became a postillion, and the other made a fine comely coachman.

"You must now, my girl, go into the garden, look behind the watering pot, and you will find six lizards, bring them to me."

Cinderella went, found them, and returned with them.

This was no sooner done, than a touch of the fairy's wand converted them into six footmen; who immediately jumped up behind the carriage in their laced liveries, as cleverly as if they had been accustomed to nothing else all their lives.

The fairy then said to Cinderella, "Well, my dear, is not this such an equipage as you could have wished for, to take you to the ball? Are you not pleased with it?"

"Yes," replied Cinderella, with some little hesitation, "but must I go in these rags, godmother?"

The fairy touched her also with her wand, and the rags immediately became magnificent apparel, ornamented with the most costly jewels that ever were seen. To these she added a beautiful pair of glass slippers, and bade her set out for the palace.

The fairy, however, before she took leave of Cinderella, strictly charged her on no account whatever to stay at the ball after the clock had struck twelve; telling her, that if she should remain but a single moment beyond that time, her coach, horses, coachman, postillion, footmen, and her own dress, would all return to their original shapes of pumpkin, mice, rats, lizards, and filthy rags.

Cinderella promised to be faithfully obedient to everything her godmother desired, and almost wild with joy, she drove away to the palace.

As soon as she arrived, the king's son, who had been informed that a lady, evidently a princess, had arrived, but whom no one knew, came himself to the door of the carriage, handed her out, and conducted her to the ball-room.

Cinderella no sooner appeared than every one was silent. Both the dancing and the music were suspended, and everybody was employed in gazing at the extreme beauty and uncommon splendour of the unknown stranger.

Nothing was heard but whispers of "how handsome she is!" "how elegantly she is dressed!"

The king himself, old as he was, could not behold her with indifference, but continually repeated to the queen, that it was a very long time since he had seen so lovely a creature.

The ladies endeavoured to find out how her clothes were made, that they might get some of the same pattern for themselves the next day, should they be so fortunate as to meet with such splendid materials and such good dress makers to complete them.

Her beauty and magnificence were indeed so truly eminent, that for once envy itself seemed to have stopped; for there was not a lady present who entertained the most distant hope of being able to rival any one of the many exalted qualities by which Cinderella surpassed all who were present.

The king's son conducted her to the most distinguished seat, and soon afterward begged her consent to dance with him.

If her person and dress had attracted attention and admiration, they were nothing when compared with the sentiments which were excited as soon as she began to dance.

She moved so gracefully, and danced with such precise but easy exactness, that every one admired her more than they had done; admiration was extended to wonder, and the whispers of praise into acclamations of applause.

The general consent of the company seemed to pronounce her the most beautiful and accomplished female that had been seen.

After some time, an elegant and delicious collation was served up, including the most exquisite fruits and confectionery; but the young prince was so deeply engaged in attending to her, that he did not taste any thing himself.

Cinderella seated herself near her sisters, paid them a number of attentions, and offered them part of the delicacies with which she had been presented by the prince; but they had no suspicion who she was, and were quite astonished at such civilities from a lady whom they did not know.

Whilst they were conversing, Cinderella heard the clock strike eleven and three quarters; she arose from her seat, and hastily taking leave of the company, returned to her carriage.

As soon as she reached home, she found her godmother, whom she thanked most earnestly for her goodness. She ventured however to hint a modest desire to be present at the ball which was to be given at the palace on the ensuing night; for the prince had particularly entreated her to be there.

Her godmother told her, that for this evening's entertainment, she had only to reflect upon her own past patience and good conduct to ascertain the reason; she promised her that her wish to be present at the next ball should also be gratified, and assured her that, as real worth never goes unrewarded altogether, so Cinderella should find that her amiable mind and manners would in the end obtain all the blessings her godmother's power could confer, and all the happiness she herself could wish.

While they were thus talking, a loud knocking at the door announced the return of the two sisters.

When Cinderella opened the door, she said to them with an affected weariness, "how late you have stayed!" She appeared also to yawn and rub her eyes, as if but just awakened from the sleep into which she had fallen whilst waiting for them.

"If you had been at the ball," said one of them, "let me tell you, sleepiness would not have fallen upon you: for there came thither the most beautiful, yes, the very handsomest princess ever beheld! She paid us a thousand attentions, and made us take part of the fruit and other delicacies which the prince had given her."

Cinderella had some difficulty in restraining the laugh which was ready to burst forth: she asked her sisters the name of this princess, to which they replied, that nobody had been able to discover who she was; that the king's son was extremely grieved on that account, and had offered a large sum of money to any person who could find out where she came from.

Cinderella smiled and said, "How very beautiful she must have been! how fortunate you were! Oh! if I could but see her for a single moment! dear miss Charlotte, will you lend me your old yellow gown, that I may go and see her?"

"Would not you think I was mad if I were to lend my clothes to a cinder-wench? Do you really suppose that I am such a fool? No, no; pray mind your own business, and leave dresses and balls to your betters."

Cinderella naturally expected an answer like this: nor was she sorry that their own ill-nature was thus subservient to her purpose; for she would have been very much puzzled if either of these haughty young ladies had lent her any clothes to go in.

The next day the two sisters went again to the ball, and so did Cinderella: but she was dressed on the second evening far more magnificently than she had been on the first. The king's son was continually by her side, and was unremitting in his attentions to her.

The charming girl was, of course, far from displeased with the respect and kindness she experienced; on the contrary, she was so delighted, that she entirely forgot the injunction of her godmother

Cinderella at last heard the clock strike twelve, though she had not suspected it could be eleven. She instantly arose, and almost flew out of the room.

The prince endeavoured to overtake her, but poor Cinderella's fright made her run the faster.

However, in her great hurry, she dropped one of the glass slippers, which the prince picked up and took the greatest care of.

Cinderella reached home tired and breathless, but in her dirty old clothes, without either coach or attendants; and having nothing of her magnificence left, but the remaining glass slipper.

In the meantime the prince had inquired of the guards at the palace gates if they had not seen a magnificent princess pass out? and which way she went? but the men said that no princess had passed the gates, and that they had not seen a creature but a little ragged girl, who looked more like a beggar than a princess.

When the two sisters returned home from the ball, Cinderella asked them if they had been as much entertained as on the preceding night, and if the beautiful princess had been there.

They told her that she had; but that as soon as the clock struck twelve she hurried away from the ball-room, and in the great haste she made, had dropped one of the glass slippers; which was of the most beautiful shape.

The king's son, they said, picked it up, and during the remainder of the ball he scarcely did any thing but look at the beautiful memento.

A few days afterward, the prince caused it to be proclaimed that he would marry the lady whose foot should fit the slipper he had found.

The royal messengers took the slipper and carried it to all the princesses and ladies of the court. They then brought it to the two sisters, each of whom tried all she could to squeeze her foot into the slipper, but without avail.

Cinderella, who was looking at them all the while, and who knew her slipper, could not help smiling, and at last modestly said, "Pray, Sir, may I be allowed to try to get the slipper on?"

The two sisters burst into a loud laugh: "Very likely," said they, "that your clumsy foot will do!"

The gentleman, observing that Cinderella was very handsome, said that he was ordered by the prince to try it on every one that pleased; and that therefore Cinderella must be allowed.

She put the slipper to her foot, and it fitted her exactly! The two sisters were astonished; but they were still more surprised when she drew the other slipper from her pocket, and put it on. At this moment, the fairy entered, and, unperceived, touched Cinderella's clothes; whose appearance was now more magnificent than ever.

The sisters now recognised the beautiful princess.

With that meanness of spirit which ever belongs to petty tyranny, they were now as obsequious as they had formerly been oppressive; but it always happens that those who are overbearing to servants and dependants, are the most abject to their superiors.

Cinderella did not resent their ill treatment, as she now had the power; but with unfeigned kindness embraced them.

She was then conducted to the young prince, who finding her more beautiful in person, and more splendid in appearance than he had ever seen her, instantly entreated the honour and blessing of her hand in marriage.

The ceremony took place within a few days. The amiable temper of this excellent creature still continued; and she soon promoted the interest of her cruel sisters, by having them married to two great lords of the court. Thus indeed nobly returning good for evil; and thus, too, gratifying the most honourable pride of the human heart, that of feeling that she had been beneficent when she might have been revengeful.


Fortunatus was the son of a merchant, and, when a young man, perceiving his father's circumstances to be indifferent, he therefore determined to leave his home, and seek his fortune.

Before he had travelled far, he lost his way in a wood, and night coming on, he could not tell what to do. At midnight he heard the growling of wild beasts, so he climbed up a tree for safety; and he had hardly seated himself in it, before a bear began to climb up the tree to get at him.

Fortunatus drew his sword, and sat quiet till the bear was come within arm's length, and then he ran him through the body with it several times, and down he fell, senseless, on the ground.

Fortunatus now looked round on all sides, and as he saw no more wild beasts near, he thought this would be a good time to get clear of the forest. Being almost starved for want of food, he stooped down, and was going to suck the blood of the bear; but looking round once more, he on a sudden beheld a beautiful lady standing by his side, with a bandage over her eyes, leaning upon a wheel, and looking at him, said, "Know, young man, that my name is Fortune; I have the power to bestow wisdom, strength, riches, health, beauty, and long life; one of those I am willing to bestow on you; choose for yourself which it shall be."

Fortunatus was not a moment before he answered, "Good lady, I wish to have riches in such plenty, that I may never again know what it is to be hungry, as I now find myself."

The lady then gave him a purse, and told him, that in all the countries where he might happen to be, he need only put his hand into the purse as often as he pleased, and he would be sure to find in it, ten pieces of gold; that the purse should never fail of yielding the same sum as long as it was kept, by him and his children; but that when he and his children should die, the purse would lose this power. So saying, she vanished.

He walked by the light of the moon as fast as his weakness and fatigue would let him, till he came near an inn. But before he went into it, he thought it would be best to see whether the lady Fortune had been so good as her word; so he put his hand into his purse, and, to his great joy, counted ten pieces of gold.

Having nothing to fear, Fortunatus walked boldly into the inn, and called for the best supper they could get ready in a minute: "For here," said he, "I must wait till to-morrow before I am very nice. I am so hungry now, that almost any thing will do."

Fortunatus very soon ate his belly full, and then called for every sort of wine in the house; and after supper, he began to think what sort of life he should now lead. "For," said he to himself, "I shall now have money enough for every thing I can desire."

He slept that night in the very best bed in the house, and the next day he ordered the finest victuals of all kinds. When he rang his bell, all the waiters tried who should run fastest to ask him what he pleased to want; and the landlord himself, hearing what a notable guest was come to the house, took care to be standing at the door to bow to him when he should be passing out.

Fortunatus asked the landlord, whether any fine horses could be got near at hand; also, if he knew of some smart-looking clever men-servants, who wanted places. By chance the landlord was able to provide him with both, to his great liking.

As he had now got every thing that he wanted, he set out on the finest horse that was ever seen, with two servants, and thus he went to the courts of all the princes in Europe. He came at last to the court of the Grand Turk at Constantinople, who paid him the greatest respect, and showed him his palace, which abounded with diamonds, and rich things of all sorts. Last of all he took him into a room, and said, he could show him the greatest curiosity in the world.

He then led him into a room almost filled with jewels, opened a large closet, and took out a hat, which he told Fortunatus was of greater value than all the rest.

Fortunatus thought the sultan was joking, and told him he had seen many a better hat than that.

"Ah!" said the sultan, "that is because you do not know its value. Whoever puts this hat on his head, and wishes to be in any part of the world, will find himself there in a moment."

"One would hardly believe it," said Fortunatus. "Pray, sir, is it heavy?"

"Not at all," replied the sultan; "you may feel it."

Fortunatus took the hat, put it on his head, and could not help wishing himself on board the ship that was going back to Cyprus. In less than a moment he was carried through the winds on board her just as she was ready to sail; and there being a brisk gale, they were out of sight in half an hour; while the sultan, all the time, began to repent of his folly, for letting Fortunatus try the cap on his head.

He determined to travel into foreign countries; accordingly, he set out, and visited most of the European courts. Hearing that the king of England had a beautiful daughter, he determined to see her, so putting on his hat, he wished himself at London, and presently found himself there. He went to the court, and his clothes, which were all embroidered with gold and diamonds, were the admiration of all the ladies; and what added to their astonishment, was, that he appeared every day in a different dress, but all equally fine.

He soon found an opportunity to declare his love to the king's daughter. She promised him she would return his love, if he would tell her how he came by his great riches. He could not deny her, and therefore told her the secret of his purse. She then promised to see him the following evening in her own chamber: and in the mean time she had a purse made perfectly like his, and contrived a sleepy draught, that she mixed with the wine he drank with her, which caused him to fall fast asleep.

During his sleep she changed purses with him; and Fortunatus waking, quite ignorant of what had happened, was taking his leave, and going to make the servants a present, when he put his hand into his purse, but was terribly disappointed, for he found nothing in it. Suspecting what had been done, he caught the princess in his arms, and wished himself at home with her in the Island of Cyprus; where, when they arrived he reproached her for such deceitful usage, and then he put her into a nunnery to spend the remainder of her days.

After this, he began to think what vexations and trouble he had undergone, by means of his hat and purse, and that enjoying our wishes was too often the cause of much misery: he resolutely took both hat and purse and flung them into the fire, which consumed them. And after this he lived a quiet and contented life.

[The end of The Admired Fairy Tale of Cinderella by Anonymous]