The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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They sent for the best tire-woman they could get to make up their head-dresses 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, nay, 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 Cinderwench at a ball.'
Anyone 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 so ? '
' Y—es;' cried Cinderella, with a great sigh.
' Well,' said her godmother, ' be but a good girl, and I will con­trive that thou shalt go.' Then she took her into her chamber, and said to her, ' Eun 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 lift up a little the trap­door, when, giving each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her
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