“Is she, then, so very beautiful?” said Cinderella, smiling. “Lord! how I should like to see her! Oh, do, my Lady Javotte, lend me the yellow dress you wear every day, that I may go to the ball and have a peep at this wonderful princess.” “A likely story, indeed!” cried Javotte, tossing her head disdainfully, “that I should lend my clothes to a dirty Cinderella like you!” Cinderella expected to be refused, and was not sorry for it, as she would have been puzzled what to do, had her sister really lent her the dress she begged to have.
On the following evening, the sisters again went to the court ball, and so did Cinderella, dressed even more magnificently than before. The king’s son never left her side, and kept paying her the most flattering attentions. The young lady was nothing loth to listen to him; so it came to pass that she forgot her godmother’s injunctions, and, indeed, lost her reckoning so completely, that, before she deemed it could be eleven o’clock, she was startled at hearing the first stroke of midnight.
She rose hastily, and flew away like a startled fawn. The prince attempted to follow her, but she was too swift for him; only, as she flew she dropped one of her glass slippers, which he picked up very eagerly.
Cinderella reached home quite out of breath, without either coach or footmen, and with only her shabby clothes on her back; nothing, in short, remained of her recent magnificence, save a little glass slipper, the fellow to the one she had lost. The sentinels at the palace gate were closely questioned as to whether they had not seen a princess coming out; but they answered they had seen no one except a shabbily dressed girl, who appeared to be a peasant rather than a young lady.