218 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
And it answered as before,
" Queen, thou art of beauty rare, But Snow-white living in the glen With the seven little men Is a thousand times more fair."
When she heard that she was so struck with surprise that all the blood left her heart, for she knew that Snow-white must still be living.
" But now," said she, " I will think of something that will be her ruin." And by witchcraft she made a poisoned comb. Then she dressed herself up to look like another different sort of old woman. So she went across the seven mountains and came to the house of the seven dwarfs, and knocked at the door and cried,
" Good wares to sell! good wares to sell!"
Snow-white looked out and said,
"Go away, I must not let anybody in."
" But you are not forbidden to look," said the old woman, taking out the poisoned comb and holding it up. It pleased the poor child so much that she was tempted to open the door; and when the bargain was made the old woman said,
" Now, for once your hair shall be properly combed."
Poor Snow-white, thinking no harm, let the old woman do as she would, but no sooner was the comb put in her hair than the poison began to work, and the poor girl fell down senseless.
" Now, you paragon of beauty," said the wicked woman, " this is the end of you," and went off. By good luck it was now near evening, and the seven little dwarfs came home. When they saw Snow-white lying on the ground as dead, they thought directly that it was the step-mother's doing, and looked about, found the poisoned comb, and no sooner had they drawn it out of her hair than Snow-white came to herself, and related all that had passed. Then they warned her once more to be on her guard, and never again to let any one in at the door.
And the queen went home and stood before the looking-glass and said,
11 Looking-glass against the wall, Who is fairest of us all?"