She next gave her the prettiest pair of glass slippers ever seen. She now got into the carriage, after having been warned by her godmother upon no account to prolong her stay beyond midnight, as, should she remain a moment longer at the ball, her coach would again become a pumpkin, her horses mice, her footmen lizards, while her clothes would return to their former shabby condition. Cinderella promised she would not fail to leave the ball before midnight, and set off in an ecstasy of delight. The king’s son, on being informed that some great princess, unknown at court, had just arrived, went to hand her out of her carriage, and brought her into the hall where the company was assembled.
The moment she appeared, all conversation was hushed, the violins ceased playing, and the dancing stopped short, so great was the sensation produced by the stranger’s beauty. A confused murmur of admiration fluttered through the crowd, and each was fain to exclaim “How surpassingly lovely she is!” Even the king, old as he was, could not forbear admiring her like the rest, and whispered to the queen, that she was certainly the fairest and comeliest woman he had seen for many a long day. The ladies were all busy examining her head-dress and her clothes, in order to get similar ones the very next day, if, indeed, they could meet with stuffs of such rich patterns, and find workwomen clever enough to make them up.
After leading her to the place to which her rank seemed to entitle her, the king’s son requested her hand for the next dance, when she displayed so much grace as to increase the admiration her beauty had raised in the first instance.