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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/166

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the prince's father, he could not refuse him this trifling pleasure; so he offered him all the rooms in his house, if one was not enough, and his very life itself. The prince thanked him, and chose a room which by good luck was near to Violet's; and as soon as Night came out to play at 'Stretch-my-curtain'[1] with the Stars, the prince, finding that Violet had left her door open, as it was summer-time and the place was safe, stole softly into the room, and taking Violet's arm he gave her two pinches. Thereupon she awoke, and exclaimed, "O father, father, what a quantity of fleas!" Then she went to another bed, and the prince did the same again, and Violet cried out in the same way; then she changed first the mattress, and afterwards the sheet, and so the sport went on the whole night long, until the Dawn, having brought news that the Sun was alive, the mourning that was hung around the sky was all removed.

As soon as it was day, the prince passing by that house, and seeing the maiden at the door, said as he was wont to do, "Good day, good day, Violet!" and when Violet replied, "Good day, king’s son! I know more than you," the prince answered, "O father, father, what a quantity of fleas!"

The instant Violet felt this shot, she guessed at once

  1. A Neapolitan game,—see page 116.