Émile Bertrand's poster for Jules Massenet's Cendrillon, advertising the première performance at the Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique, Paris.
Émile Bertrand’s poster for Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon, advertising the première performance at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique, Paris.

They tell the fabulous story that, when she was bathing, an eagle snatched one of her sandals from her maid and carried it to Memphis; and while the king was administering justice in the open air, the eagle, when it arrived above his head, flung the sandal into his lap; and the king, stirred both by the beautiful shape of the sandal and by the strangeness of the occurrence, sent men in all directions into the country in quest of the woman who wore the sandal; and when she was found in the city of Naucratis, she was brought up to Memphis, became the wife of the king…

Strabo, Geographica, Book 17, 33.

CINDERELLA.– The mention of ladies attending assemblies in slippers, and of pumpkins and lizards being found in the garden, makes it probable this story came from the East. Chindee is Hindoo word for ragged clothing, and Ella a not uncommon woman’s name in India. The story of Catskin, in Mr. Halliwell’s Nursery Rhymes of England, very like that of Cinderella, is to be of Eastern origin. The main incident in the story of Cinderella has a parallel in history. Strabo relates that an eagle let fall the slipper of Rhodopis into the bosom of a king of Egypt, who was so struck with the smallness of it, that made proclamation he would marry the female to whom it belonged. In the Fairy Tales of the Countess of D’Anois, Cinderella appears under the name of Finetta — a name not unlike the Tamil word Punetta, meaning Little Kitten, and used by Hindoo women when addressing their children. Pussy (pusei) is also a Tamil name for a cat. The Tamil belongs to the Turanian family of languages, of which the Lap, Fin, and Turkish are members. What is the generally accepted derivation of our word pussy? H.C.

Notes and Queries, 3rd S. IX. Jan. 6, ’66.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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