This woman knew that Ella’s father could provide a good life for her and her daughters, so she was careful to conceal her bad qualities and give the appearance of being kind and amiable. Sadly, just a few weeks after the wedding Ella’s dear father fell ill and passed away. Then the step-mother’s true character showed itself. She could not endure her good-natured step-daughter, with all her charming qualities; for they only made her own daughters appear more vile. She made Ella do all the household chores, while the step-sisters idled lazily. When the poor girl finished her daily work, she was made to sit in the chimney-corner among the cinders, and her step-sisters gave her the cruel nickname of “Cinder-Ella.”
The poor girl slept in the attic, upon a hard straw mattress, whilst the bed-chambers of the sisters were furnished with every luxury and elegance, and provided with mirrors, in which they could survey themselves from head to foot. They adorned themselves in the finest dresses while Cinderella was given only worn out old clothes to wear. However, Cinderella’s beauty came from her good nature deep inside her, and could not be hidden by ashes and shabby clothes. She returned their cruelty with kindness, which made them resent her all the more.