There was once a very rich gentleman who lost his wife, and having loved her exceedingly, he was very sorry when she died. Finding himself quite unhappy for her loss, he resolved to marry a second time, thinking by this means he should be as happy as before. Unfortunately, however, the lady he chanced to fix upon was the proudest and most haughty woman ever known; she was always out of humour with every one; nobody could please her, and she returned the civilities of those about her with the most affronting disdain. She had two daughters by a former husband. These she brought up to be proud and idle. Indeed, in temper and behaviour they perfectly resembled their mother; they did not love their books, and would not learn to work; in short they were disliked by every body. The gentleman on his side too had a daughter, who in sweetness of temper and carriage was the exact likeness of her own mother, whose death he had so much lamented, and whose tender care of the little girl he was in hopes to see replaced by that of his new bride. But scarcely was the marriage ceremony over, before his wife began to show her real temper. She could not bear the pretty little girl, because her sweet obliging manners made those of her own daughters appear a thousand times the more odious and disagreeable. She therefore ordered her to live in the kitchen; and, if ever she brought any thing into the parlour, always scolded her till she was out of sight. She made her work with the servants in washing the dishes, and rubbing the tables and chairs; it was her place to clean madam’s chamber, and that of the misses her daughters, which was all inlaid, had beds of the newest fashion, and looking-glasses so long and broad, that they saw themselves from head to foot in them; while the little creature herself was forced to sleep up in a sorry garret, upon a wretched straw bed, without curtains, or any thing to make her comfortable. The poor child bore this with the greatest patience, not daring to complain to her father, who, she feared, would only reprove her, for she saw that his wife governed him entirely. When she had done all her work she used to sit in the chimney-corner among the cinders; so that in the house she went by the name of Cinderbreech. The youngest of the two sisters, however, being rather more civil than the eldest, called her Cinderella. And Cinderella, dirty and ragged as she was, as often happens in such cases, was a thousand times prettier than her sisters, drest out in all their splendour. It happened that the king’s son gave a ball, to which he invited all the persons of fashion in the country. Our two misses were of the number, for the king’s son did not know how disagreeable they were, but supposed, as they were so much indulged, that they were extremely amiable. He did not invite Cinderella, for he had never seen or heard of her.