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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/159

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THE THREE SISTERS.

all your misfortune."—"My misfortune has been brought on me by her sisters," answered the prince, "and they shall repent it."—"Then do you really love her?" said Nella: and the prince replied, "More than my own life." "Embrace me then," said Nella, "for I am the fire of your heart." But the prince, seeing the dark hue of her face, answered, "I should sooner take you for the coal than the fire; so keep off—don't blacken me." Whereupon Nella, perceiving that he did not know her, called for a basin of clean water and washed her face; and as soon as the cloud of soot was removed, the sun shone forth; and the prince recognizing her, pressed her to his heart like a polype, and took her for his wife. Then he had her sisters thrown into an oven, that like leeches they might discharge in the ashes their blood, that was corrupted by envy, thus proving the truth of the old saying,

"No evil ever went without punishment."




This story went to the hearts of all who heard it, and they praised the prince a thousand times for his conduct to Nella's sisters, and his taking the measure of their jacket; while they lauded to the stars the deep