It happened that the King and Queen of the kingdom greatly desired grandchildren, but their only child, the prince, had not yet married. The King and Queen decided to hold a regal ball and invite all the eligible young ladies from the great families throughout the kingdom. Surely from all those prospects the prince could find a suitable wife. Invitations to the ball were extended throughout the land, the two sisters among the rest. This delighted them extremely, and their thoughts were entirely occupied in selecting their most becoming dresses for the important occasion. Poor Cinderella had now more work to do than ever, as it was her business to iron their linen, and starch their ruffles. The sisters talked of nothing but preparations for the ball. The eldest said, “I shall wear my crimson-velvet dress, and point-lace;” and the younger, “I shall put on my usual dress-petticoat, a mantle embroidered with gold flowers, and a tiara of diamonds.“ They also called Cinderella to their aid; for she had very good taste, and she offered, in the most amiable manner, to arrange their hair; of which offer they were only too happy to avail themselves. Whilst so occupied, the eldest said, “Cinderella, should you like to go to the ball?”
“Alas!” said she, “you are ridiculing me. I am not likely to go to the ball.”
“You are right,” replied the sister; “people would be amused to see a Cinderella there.”
If Cinderella had been at all unamiable she might have dressed their heads all awry, for such unkindness; but she returned good for evil, and did it in the best possible style.
The sisters were in such spirits they could scarcely eat for two days. All their time was spent before the looking-glass, and more than a dozen laces were broken in attempts to tighten their waists into elegant shapes.
At length the long-wished-for evening arrived, and these proud misses stepped into their carriage, and drove away to the palace.