THE MAGIC MIRROR.
without motion, as if she were dead. They lifted her up, and saw in a moment that her stays had been laced too tight. Quickly they cut the stay-lace in two, till Snow-white began to breathe a little, and after a time was restored to life. But when the dwarfs heard what had happened, they saidó" That old market-woman was no other than your wicked stepmother. Snow-white, you must never again let any one in while we are not with you." The wicked queen when she returned home, after, as she thought, killing Snow-white, went to her looking-glass and askedó
M Mirror, mirror on the wall, Am I most beautiful of all ?"
Then answered the mirroró
" Queen, thou art not the fairest now; Snow-white over the mountain's brow A thousand times fairer is than thou."
When she heard this she was so terrified that the blood rushed to her heart, for she knew that after all she had done, Snow-white was still alive. " I must think of something else," she said to herself, " to get rid of that odious child."
Now this wicked queen had some knowledge of witchcraft, and she knew how to poison a comb, so that whoever used it would fall dead. This the wicked stepmother soon got ready, and dressing herself again like an old woman, but quite different to the last, she started off to travel over the mountains to the dwarfs' cottage.
When Snow-white heard the old cry, " Goods to sell, fine goods to sell," she looked out of window and said:
" Go away, go away, I must not let you in."
1 Look at this, then," said the woman, " you shall have it for your own if you like," and she held up the bright tortoiseshell comb which she had poisoned before the child's eyes.
Poor Snow-white could not refuse such a present, so she opened the door and let the woman in, quite forgetting the advice of the dwarfs. After she had bought a few things the old woman saidó " Let me try this comb in your hair, it is so fine it will make it beautifully smooth and glossy."
So Snow-white, thinking no wrong, stood beibre the woman to aave her hair dressed, but no sooner had the comb touched he roots of her hair than the poison took effect, and the maiden ell to the ground lifeless.