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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/184

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to keep my word, and to be content with what Heaven wills and I am obliged to do."

"Do as you please, papa," said Grannonia; "I shall not oppose a single jot of your will." The king hearing this bade Cola Matteo tell the serpent to come.

The serpent, on receiving the invitation, set out for the palace mounted on a car all of gold, and drawn by four golden elephants. But wherever he came the people fled away in terror, at seeing such a large and frightful serpent making his progress through the city: and when he arrived at the palace, the courtiers all trembled like rushes, and ran away, and even the very scullions did not dare to stay in the place. The king and queen also, shivering with fear, crept into a chamber, and Grannonia alone stood her ground; for though her father and her mother kept crying out, "Fly, fly, Grannonia! save yourself, Rienzo[1]!” she would not stir from the spot, saying, "Why should I fly from the husband whom you have given me?" And when the serpent came into the room, he took Grannonia by the waist in his tail, and gave her such a shower of kisses, that the king writhed like a worm; and I warrant, if he had been bled, not a single drop of blood would have come. Then the serpent carried her into another room,

  1. This apparently alludes to the fate of Cola Rienzo (Nicola di Lorenzo), the Roman patriot, which may have become proverbial.—K.