Cinderella FULL Audiobook – Brothers Grimm Fairytale


There was once a gentleman, a widower, who took for his second wife a lady who was a widow with two daughters. He, for his part, had a daughter by his first
wife. The second wife was extremely proud and haughty
in her demeanour, and her two daughters had inherited their mother’s qualities. The gentleman’s daughter by his first wife
was most amiable and gentle, in which points she
resembled her own mother. No sooner had the marriage taken place than
the ill-humour of the stepmother became manifest. She became jealous of the good qualities in the child, which made her own daughters appear
by contrast the more disagreeable. She put upon her all the meanest tasks, and held her to them with inexorable severity. The young girl had to clean pots and pans, to scrub the floors and sweep the steps. She was obliged to do all the servile
work of the house, and be as a slave to her half-sisters. For a bed she was given an old straw
paillasse in an attic, where it was cold, and where ran the rats, whereas her sisters occupied the best
rooms in the house and feather-beds. They had also in their rooms chaval glasses in which they could admire themselves from top to toe. The poor girl endured all without complaining. She did not dare to speak to her father about it, because he was completely under the thumb of his new wife. Moreover, he was much engaged in
business which carried him away from home for weeks together, and she considered that if she
were to speak to him about her treatment, her step-mother and sisters would serve her still worse as soon as his back was turned. When she had done
her daily tasks, she was wont to creep into a
corner of the fireplace, and sat among the cinders, for which reason her eldest sister called her Cinder-slut, but the second who was not quite so ill-
tempered as the other, called her Cinderella. Although, poor girl, she was given the shabbiest clothes, and the dirtiest occupation, she was a hundred times more beautiful than her sisters in their finest dresses. It happened that the king gave a ball, to
which were invited all persons of quality. Amongst others the two young ladies of the house received invitation. No one thought of Cinderella, for no
one knew of her existence; or if at any time they
had known, they had forgotten her since she had
been banished to the kitchen. The two daughters of the lady were greatly
excited about the ball; they discussed how they should be dressed and how they would have their hair done up, and what jewels they would wear. ‘For my part,’ said the eldest, ‘I will wear
red velvet and lace, and a turban of red and yellow,
with an ostrich feather.’ ‘And I,’ said the younger, ‘I shall wear sere
green velvet and satin embroidered with gold, and I will frizzle up my hair and tie it with amber silk ribbons.’ When the time approached they made Cinderella
lace them, and patch them, and paint them, and frizzle them, and shoe them. ‘How would you like to be at the ball?’ asked
one of the sisters of Cinderella. ‘As for me!’ answered she, ‘I do not think a
king’s palace is the place for me, nor would my sooty and soiled gown appear to advantage in a ball-room.’ ‘That is true indeed,’ laughed one of the
sisters. ‘That would be a rare joke to see you at
the ball.’ ‘And what a fool you would look if
the prince asked you to dance a minuet,’ said the other. For two days before the ball, the two damsels
ate nothing; they were desirous to have the smallest
waists of any ladies who appeared, and in lacing them, Cinderella broke a score of laces before she had got them done up tightly enough to satisfy their vanity. When it came to patching,
the sisters were extremely particular. ‘I,’ said one,
‘will have a square patch on the top of my nose I think it will heighten my complexion.’ ‘And I’ said the other, ‘will have a round
one in the middle of my forehead. It will make me so
interesting.’ When the young ladies departed with their
mother, then Cinderella was left quite alone in the house. She sat herself on a heap of ashes in the corner of the fireplace and began to cry. Then all at once the hearth opened, and up
through it came a little woman with a red cloak and a black pointed hat. This was her godmother, who was a fairy. The fairy godmother asked Cinderella why she
was crying. Cinderella could only stammer ‘I wish, Oh,
I wish … I wish … I wish . . .’ ‘I see clearly,’ said the godmother, ‘ that
you also would like to go to the ball; is that so ?’ ‘Indeed indeed I should,’ sobbed the poor
girl. Very well, then, so you shall. Go into the garden
and bring me a pumpkin.’ Cinderella at once want to pick the finest
she could find ; it was yellow streaked with green. She took it to her godmother, but had no idea
what would be done with it. The fairy scooped out the inside, leaving
only the skin Then she tapped it with her staff, and in a moment it was changed into the most beautiful coach, gold and green. ‘Now,’ said she, ‘bring me the mouse-trap’
Cinderella obeyed. In the mouse-trap were six
little mice. The fairy opened the door and as the
mice ran out, she give each a tap with her rod, and it was transformed into a beautiful horse with flowing mane and tail. She then attached the
six horses to the coach, the horses were all of a beautiful brownish grey. ‘What are we to do for a coachman?’ asked
Cinderella. ‘Fetch me the rat-trap,’ said the godmother. The girl did as desired. In it were three rats. The
fairy took the fattest, and with a touch of her wand changed him into a pompous and dignified coach-man Then she said, ‘Go into the garden, and you
will there find six lizards behind the watering
pot, bring them to me.’ No sooner had Cinderella done what was commanded,
than the fairy changed them dextrously into six sleek lackeys, which mounted behind the coach and hung on to it with all the grace
and facility as if they had been bred to it. The fairy then said to Cinderella : ‘There
now, you are set up with a conveyance in which to go
to the ball. ‘That is very true,’ answered the girl, ‘but,
alas ! my clothes are so mean and soiled, that I
shall be ashamed to get out of my beautiful coach.’ ‘That is easily remedied,’ said the fairy,
and she touched the garments worn by her godchild. They were at once changed into the most splendid
silk, studded with diamonds. ‘And now to make you complete,’ said the fairy,
‘I give you two glass slippers, the only ones there
are in the world.’ When Cinderella was thus dressed, she mounted
her carriage, and thanked her godmother gratefully. The good fairy said to her: ‘I am well
pleased that you should enjoy yourself. But remember to leave before midnight. If you remain
a moment after the last stroke of the clock, then
your carriage will turn into a pumpkin, your horses
into mice, your driver into a rat, your flunkeys into
lizards, and all your beautiful garments will revert
to the condition of dirty, patched rags.’ Cinderella promised her godmother to remember
what she had said, and to return most certainly before midnight. Then she started, with a heart bounding with joy. When she arrived at the palace, it was announced
to the prince, the king’s son, that a lady in the
most splendid equipage ever seen was at the gates,
and that she would not give her name. The prince at once ran out to salute her and
invite her to the ball. He gave her his hand to
help her to descend, and led her into the great hall where the company was assembled. Then a great silence fell on all. The dancers
ceased dancing, the musicians ceased playing, and
the gossips ceased gossiping, all were eager to see
the strange princess. On all sides were heard whispers of, ‘What
a radiant beauty! what superb jewels! what an
exquisite dress who could have been her milliner ? What a style in the doing of her hair who could
have been her hairdresser? What wonderful
slippers, who could have been her shoemaker?’ The king, although old, could hardly take
his eyes off her, and he whispered to the queen,
that except herself, he had never seen a greater
beauty. The queen, who was old and fat, accepted the
compliment gracefully, and smiled. All the ladies
observed Cinderella attentively, and endeavoured to engrave in their memories every detail
of her dress, so as to get their next ball-dresses
made like it. The son of the king seated Cinderella in
the most honourable place, danced with her, and
himself brought her refreshments. As for himself,
he could eat nothing, so taken up was he with attention to her, and in admiration of her
beauty. Cinderella seated herself by her sisters,
and was very civil to them. She gave them some of the
oranges the prince had peeled for her, and talked
to them most sweetly. They were lost in astonishment, and never
for an instant recognised her. Presently Cinderella heard the clock strike a quarter to twelve. Then she rose, made a graceful courtesy to
the king and queen and to the company, and hastened away. On her return home she found her godmother
in the chimney corner. She thanked the fairy for the favour granted
her, and begged that she might be allowed to go
to the ball at the palace on the following night, as
the prince had expressly invited her. Whilst she was thus talking, she heard the
coach drive up that conveyed home her sisters and
their mother. She hastened to the door, opened
for them, yawned and rubbed her eyes, and said : ‘How late you are ! It must be past one o’clock.’ ‘Ah, ha !’ exclaimed her eldest sister,
‘you have missed something.’ There has been not only a
most splendid entertainment, but there arrived at it a most illustrious princess, so beautiful, that she nearly came up to me.’ ‘And to me,’ said the second. ‘And she was most superbly dressed her taste
was almost equal to mine.’ ‘And to mine,’ said the second. ‘She was very civil to us, and gave us some
of her oranges. Indeed for ease and graceful
courtesy, I should say she came almost up to me.’ ‘ And to me,’ said the second. Cinderella listened to all that was said with
great interest ; she asked the name of the princess. But that said her sisters ‘is not known; the
king’s son did his utmost to find it out and failed. He says he would give a great deal to know
it.’ ‘O dear, dear!’ said Cinderella, ‘I should
like to see her; do, dear sisters, let me go with
you tomorrow night, spare me some of your clothes. I should like to see this princess.’ ‘Hoity-toity! this is a fine idea!’ exclaimed
the sisters. ‘We should die of shame to be seen at a
great ball with such as you and have it known too that we were related.’ Cinderella expected this refusal. She was not
sorry; she would have been sorely embarrassed if
the sisters had consented to lend her their clothes,
and take her with them. Next evening the sisters departed for the
ball, and all happened as on the previous night. This
time Cinderella was even more splendidly dressed than on the first night. The king’s son was all the evening at her
side, and said to her the prettiest things imaginable. Cinderella was so happy that the time passed
unobserved; and she forgot what her godmother had said to her; so that she heard the first
stroke of twelve when she supposed it was only eleven
o’clock. Then she sprang from her seat and fled
as swiftly as a fawn. The prince followed her, but could not overtake
her; however, in her flight she let fall one of her
glass slippers, and as the prince stooped to pick
it up she vanished. Cinderella arrived at home,
panting, in her soiled and patched dress, on foot,
without coach and attendance, nothing of all her
magnificence remained except the odd glass slipper. The prince inquired of the guards at the palace
gate if they had seen a beautiful princess pass,
and which way her coach had gone; but they declared that no one except a scullery-maid
had passed that way; and upon looking for her
coach, it was nowhere to be seen. When the two sisters returned from the ball,
Cinderella asked them if they had enjoyed themselves, and if the beautiful lady had
been there; they replied that she had, but that she had
fled at the stroke of twelve and had left behind a
glass slipper the most lovely that could be conceived;
that the king’s son had picked it up, and that he
had been quite disconsolate after she had disappeared, and had refused to dance or to
eat or drink anything, but had sat in a corner sighing
and looking at the glass slipper. On the following morning the town was aroused
by the blowing of trumpets, and, upon the people
coming out to know the occasion, they found the
royal heralds with a chamberlain and guards, and
an attendant carrying a crimson velvet cushion, upon which was placed the glass slipper. The
chamberlain announced that all single ladies were
to try on the glass slipper, and that the prince had
declared he would marry the one whom it would fit. The slipper was tried first on the princesses,
then on all the noble ladies, then on all the court
ladies, but in vain; their feet were too large. Then
it was tried on in the town by the daughters of
the citizens, and the chamberlain brought it to the
house of the sisters. The eldest saw at a glance
that her foot would not go in, so she made an
excuse, ran into the kitchen and cut off her toes. But even so her foot would not fit,
and she was obliged to abandon the attempt. Then it was offered to the second sister. She saw
at a glance that it was too small for her foot, so
she ran into the kitchen and cut off her heel. But even so she could not get her foot into
the glass slipper. The chamberlain was about to leave when he
caught sight of Cinderella in the chimney corner,
and he requested her to try on the glass slipper. The sisters set up a loud laugh, and said
the idea was ridiculous! However, the chamberlain insisted on it, and
no sooner was the glass slipper put to her foot, than it slipped on
as if made for it The amazement of the sisters was great, but it was greater still when Cinderella produced
the other slipper, the fellow, from her pocket, and put it on her foot. Then the hearth opened, and through it rose
the fairy godmother. She touched Cinderella, and her
clothes became more beautiful and costly than those she had worn at the balls. Then her sisters recognised her as the princess
they had seen and admired. They threw themselves at her feet and implored
pardon for all the injuries they had done her. Cinderella raised
them and kissed them, and said that they could make up for the past by loving her for the
future. The fairy godmother then said that Cinderella
must go to the court in a splendid equipage, whereupon, as by magic, the gilded coach drawn
by six greys, with the pompous coachman on the
box, and the six lackeys behind, drew up at the
door. In this she drove to the palace, where she
was well received by the prince, who thought her
more beautiful by daylight than by that of candles. A few days after, there was a grand marriage. After that Cinderella got her sisters to lodge
in apartments in the palace, and after a little
urgency, two noblemen were persuaded to marry the sisters,
who sincerely promised and vowed on their side to
be better-tempered in their married state than
they had been as spinsters. And the noblemen
promised and vowed, on their part, if they did not,
they would give them shabby clothes, and smut their faces till they became amiable again.

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