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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/127

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Great is doubtless the power of friendship, which makes us bear toils and perils willingly to serve a friend. We value our wealth as a trifle, honour as nothing at all, life as a straw, when we can give them for a friend's sake; fables teach us this, history is full of instances of it, and I will give you an example which my grandmother Semmonella—may she be in glory!—used to relate to me. So open your ears and shut your mouths, and hear what I shall tell you.

There was once a certain king of Long-Trellis named Giannone, who, desiring greatly to have children, had prayers continually made to the gods that they would grant his wish: and in order to incline them the more to give him this gratification, he was so charitable to beggars and pilgrims that he shared with them all he possessed. But seeing at last that matters were protracted, and there was no end to putting his hand into