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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/174

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THE PENTAMERONE.

prithee take care that those rags don't slip through our fingers." Then the cat answered, "Be quiet, be quiet; don't be talking of these beggarly things." The king wishing to know what it was, the cat made answer that he had taken a fancy for a small lemon, whereupon the king instantly sent out to the garden for a basketful. But Gagliuso returned to the same tune about the old clothes and shirts, and the cat again told him to hold his tongue. Then the king once more asked what was the matter, and the cat had another excuse ready to make amends for Gagliuso's rudeness.

At last, when they had eaten and had chatted for some time of one thing and another, Gagliuso took his leave; and the cat staid with the king, describing the worth, and the genius, and the judgement of Gagliuso, and above all the great wealth he had in the plains of Rome and Lombardy, which well entitled him to marry into the family of a crowned king. Then the king asked what might be his fortune; and the cat replied, that no one could ever count the moveables, the immoveables, and the household furniture of this immensely rich man, who did not even know what he possessed; and if the king wished to be informed of it, he had only to send people with her out of the kingdom, and she would prove to him that there was no wealth in the world equal to his.