Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cinderella #60 Cinderilla (1729)

Kronheim & Co. 1876


Once upon a time, in France, “there was a gentleman, who married, for his second wife the proudest and most haughty woman that ever was known.  She had been a widow, and had by her former husband two daughters of her own humor, who were exactly like her in all things.  He had also by a former wife a young daughter, but of an unparallelled goodness and goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the word. Soon, this young girl was put to work with the roughest chores, and treated like a servant girl.  “She cleaned the dishes and the stands, and rubbed Madam’s chamber and those of the young Madams her daughters; she lay on the top of the house in a garret, upon a wretched straw bed, while her sisters lay in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, upon beds of the newest fashion, and where they had looking-glasses so large, that they might see themselves at their full length from head to foot.  The poor girl bore all patiently, and dared not tell her father, who would have rattled her off.”  She had no place to sit but among the cinders, “which made her be commonly called in the house Cinderbreech; but the youngest who was not so rude and uncivil as the eldest, called her Cinderilla....Notwithstanding her poor clothes, she was a hundred times handsomer than her sisters, though they wore the most magnificent apparel. “  It happened that the King was to give a ball, “and invited all persons of quality to it; our young ladies were also invited, for they made a very great figure.“ Now Cinderilla was worked even harder. Besides the daily chores she had many extra petticoats and linens to wash, starch, and iron.  Her stepsisters made extravagant preparations, and “they were almost two days without eating so much were they transported with joy.  ‘ I’ll wear my red velvet suit, with French trimming,’ said the eldest.  ‘And I,’ said the youngest, ‘ will have my common petticoat, but then to make amends for that I’ll put on my gold flowered manteau, and my diamond stomacher, which is the most indifferent in the world.  They sent for the best tire woman they could get, to dress their heads, and adjust their double pinners, and they had their red brushes and patches from Mrs. De la poche.”  At last,  the great event arrived.  All day the stepsisters had ordered poor Cinderilla to do so many tasks her head spun.  Finally, they had gone and the girl sat down among the cinders, and “fell a crying.”   That’s when she heard the voice of her godmother, asking what was the matter.  “ I wish I could, — I wish I could,—; she could not speak the rest, her tears interrupting her.  Her godmother, who was a Fairy, said to her, ‘Thou wishest thou could’st go to the ball, is it not so?’ ‘Y—es’, said Cinderilla with a great Sob.”  So the fairy sent her into the garden with orders to bring back a pompion. “ Cinderilla went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pompion could make her go to the ball; her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, having left nothing but the rind; she struck it with her wand and the pompion immediately was turned into a fine coach, gilt all over with gold.”  Next to be transformed were a trapful of mice, “which altogether made a very fine set of six horses, of a beautiful mouse colored dapple grey. ‘  A rat was found and a tap from the wand turned him into “ a fat jolly coach-man, that had the finest whiskers as ever were seen.”  Six lizards loitering near the water jugs became “six footmen, who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their liveries all bedaubed with gold and silver, and clung so close behind one another, as if they had been doing nothing else all their lives.”  And the fairy said, “ Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the Ball with; are you not pleased with it?’ ‘ O yes, ‘ said she,’but must I go thither as I am, with these ugly and nasty clothes? “  So her godmother touched her wand to the girl’s old gown and instantly,” her clothes were turned into cloth of gold and silver all beset with jewels: after this she gave her a pair of Glass Slippers, the finest in the world.”  Then she warned her to leave before the stroke of twelve lest, “her coach would be a pompion again, her horses mice, her footmen lizards, and her clothes resume their old form.“  When she arrived at the palace a hush fell, so lovely was she to look at. The prince took her for a princess from another land, and “the King himself, as old as he was, could not help looking at her, and telling the Queen in a low voice, that it was a long time since he had seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.”  The prince danced with her and then “shewed her to the most honourable place.”  She graciously “ went and set herself down by her sisters, and shewed them a thousand civilities; she gave them some of the oranges and lemons that the prince had presented her with.”  Suddenly, Cinderilla hear the clock “go eleven and three quarters; upon which she immediately made a courtesy to the company and went away as fast as she could.”  At home amongst the cinders, she thanked her godmother profusely, and begged to go to the following night’s celebration.  The fairy assured her she would go.  When her sister, Madam Charlotte taunted her about the gaiety she had missed, and Cinderilla, to keep from arousing suspicion, made a show of asking to borrow a dress, she was not dashed when told she could that no one would lend a gown to Cinderbreech.  “The next day, the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderilla, but dressed more richly than she was at first.  The King’s son was always with her, saying an abundance of tender things to her; the young lady was in no ways tired and forgot what her godmother had recommended to her”.  When the clock struck twelve, she was caught off guard and “she then rose up and fled as nimble as a deer; the Prince followed her, but could not catch hold of her; she dropt one of her Glass Slippers, which the Prince took up very carefully.”  But Cinderilla slipped clean away.  At home again her stepsisters gossiped about the event, saying that the Prince “was very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the little Slipper.  What they said was very true; for a few days after, the King’s son caused it to be proclaimed by sound of trumpet that he would marry her whose foot this Slipper would just fit.  They began to try it on upon the princesses, then the duchesses, and all the court, but in vain; it was brought to the two sisters, who did all they could to thrust their foot into the Slipper, but they could not effect it.”  Cinderilla observed this, and asked for the same chance.  The gentleman in charge of  the slipper made the girl sit down, “and putting the Slipper to her foot, he found it went in very easily, and fitted her, as if it had been made of wax. “  She pulled the other out of her pocket and put this on, and the fairy appeared and made her clothes “ more rich and magnificent than ever they were before.  And now, her two sisters found her to be that fine, beautiful lady they had seen at the ball.  They threw themselves at her feet, to beg pardon for all the ill treatment they had made her undergo” And “Cinderilla, who was as good as she was handsome, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace, and married them the same day to two great lords of the court."
Notes: From Opie, I. & Opie, P. (1974). The Classic Fairy Tales, p. 161. Cinderilla or The Little Glass Slipper. New York & Toronto: Oxford University Press. This version is identified as having been translated from a "unique copy of Perrault's Histories, or Tales of past Times, 1729, in the British Museum." (p.6) It is included with twenty four "of the best known fairy tales as they were first printed in English". 
Montessori Connection 6-12: Language/History of English/Old English
1. Ask an adult to read the story aloud. There are a lot of unusual words in it, and even many adults may not be familiar with them all. 
2. Make a list of some of the words you have never seen before. (breeches, looking-glass, diamond stomacher, pompion, tirewoman, etc.)
3. Try to figure out the modern forms of these verbs: he shewed her = he showed her; gilt all over with gold = guilded;  they left off dancing = they stopped dancing; she was conducted = she was brought).

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