THE MAGIC MIRROR.
" You paragon of beauty," said the wicked woman, " all has just happened as I expected," and then she went away quickly.
Fortunately evening soon arrived, and the seven dwarfs returned home. When they saw Snow-white lying dead on the ground, they knew at once that the stepmother had been there again; but on seeing the poisoned comb in her hair they pulled it out quickly, and Snow-white very soon came to herself, and related all that had passed.
Again they warned her not to let any one enter the house during their absence, and on no account to open the door, but Snow-white was not clever- enough to resist her clever wicked stepmother, and she forgot to obey.
The wicked queen felt sure now that she had really killed Snow-white, so as soon as she returned home she went to her looking-glass, and enquired—
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is most beautiful of all?"
But the mirror replied—
" Queen, thou art the fairest here, But not when Snow-white is near; Over the mountains still is she, Fairer a thousand times than thee."
As the looking-glass thus replied, the queen trembled and quaked with rage. in Snow-white shall die," cried she, " if it costs me my own life."
Then she went into a lonely forbidden chamber where no one was allowed to come, and poisoned a beautiful apple. Outwardly, it looked ripe and tempting, of a pale green with rosy cheeks, so that it made every one's mouth water to look at it, but whoever ate even a small piece must die.
As soon as this apple was ready, the wicked queen painted her face, disguised her hair, dressed herself as a farmer's wife, and went again over the mountains to the dwarfs' cottage.
When she knocked at the door, Snow-white stretched her head out of the window and said : " I dare not let any one in; the seven dwarfs have forbidden me."
" But I am all right," said the farmer's wife. " Stay, I will show you my apples. Are they not beautiful ? let me make you a pre-esnt of one."
" No, thank you," cried Snow-white* " I dare not take it*