Open main menu

Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/153

This page has been validated.

fish, until at length he caught her by the gills of affection and made her his own. And in order that they might enjoy one another's company without exciting the suspicion of the mother, who was a wicked woman, the prince made a crystal passage, which led from the royal palace directly into Nella's apartment, although it was eight miles distant; and giving her a certain powder, he said, "Every time you wish to feed me, like a sparrow, with a sight of your charming beauty, throw a little of this powder into the fire, and instantly I will come through the passage as quick as a bird, running along a crystal road to gaze upon this face of silver."

Having arranged it thus, not a night passed that the prince did not go in and out, backwards and forwards, along the crystal passage; until at last the sisters, who were spying the actions of Nella, found out the secret, and laid a plan to put a stop to the sport. And in order to cut the thread at once, they went and broke the passage here and there; so that when the unhappy girl threw the powder into the fire, to give the signal to her lover, the prince, who used always to come running in furious haste, hurt himself in such a manner against the broken crystal that it was truly a pitiable sight to see. And being unable to pass further on, he turned back, all cut and slashed like a Dutchman's breeches. Then he laid himself in his bed, and