The next day the two sisters again appeared at the ball, and so did Cinderella, but dressed much more magnificently than the night before. The king’s son was continually by her side, and said the most obliging things imaginable to her. The charming young creature was far from being tired of all the agreeable things she met with. On the contrary, she was so delighted with them that she entirely forgot the charge her godmother had given her. Cinderella at last heard the striking of a clock, and counted one, two, three, on till she came to twelve, though she thought that it could be but eleven at most. She got up and flew as nimbly as a deer out of the ball-room. The prince tried to overtake her; but poor Cinderella’s fright made her run the faster. However, in her great hurry, she dropped one of her glass slippers from her foot, which the prince stooped down and picked up, and took the greatest care of it possible. Cinderella got home tired and out of breath, in her old clothes, without either coach or footmen, and having nothing left of her magnificence but the fellow of the glass slipper which she had dropped. In the mean while, the prince had inquired of all his guards at the palace gates, if they had not seen a magnificent princess pass out, and which way she went? The guards replied, that no princess had passed the gates; and that they had not seen a creature but a little ragged girl, who looked more like a beggar than a princess. When the two sisters returned from the ball, Cinderella asked them if they had been as much amused as the night before, and if the beautiful princess had been there? They told her that she had; but that as soon as the clock struck twelve, she hurried away from the ball room, and in the great haste she had made, had dropped one of her glass slippers, which was the prettiest shape that could be; that the king’s son had picked it up, and had done nothing but look at it all the rest of the evening; and that every body believed he was violently in love with the handsome lady to whom it belonged.
This was very true; for a few days after, the prince had it proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, that he would marry the lady whose foot should exactly fit the slipper he had found. Accordingly the prince’s messengers took the slipper, and carried it first to all the princesses, then to the duchesses, in short, to all the ladies of the court. But without success. They then brought it to the two sisters, who each tried all she could to squeeze her foot into the slipper, but saw at last that this was quite impossible. Cinderella who was looking at them all the while, and knew her slipper, could not help smiling, and ventured to say, “Pray, sir, let me try to get on the slipper.” The gentleman made her sit down; and putting the slipper to her foot, it instantly slipped in, and he saw that it fitted her like wax. The two sisters were amazed to see that the slipper fitted Cinderella; but how much greater was their astonishment when she drew out of her pocket the other slipper and put it on! Just at this moment the fairy entered the room, and touching Cinderella’s clothes with her wand, made her all at once appear more magnificently dressed than they had ever seen her before.