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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/191

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THE SERPENT.

king turning round to his son said, "My son, a moment ago you were all but dead, and now I see you alive, and can hardly believe it. Therefore, as I have promised this maiden, that if she cured you she should have you for a husband, now that Heaven has shown you favour, enable me to perform my promise, by all the love you bear me, since gratitude obliges me to pay this debt."

When the prince heard these words he replied, "Sir, I would that I had such freedom of my will as to prove to you the love I bear you; but as I have already pledged my faith to another woman, you would not consent that I should break my word, nor would this maiden wish me to do such a wrong to her whom I love; nor can I indeed alter my mind."

Grannonia, hearing this, felt a secret pleasure not to be described at finding herself still alive in the memory of the prince; her whole face became crimson, and she said, "If I should induce this maiden whom you love to resign her claims to me, would you then consent to my wish?"—"Never," replied the prince, never will I banish from this breast the fair image of her I love; and whether she makes for me a conserve of her love, or gives me a dose of cassia, I shall ever remain of the same mind and will; and I would sooner see myself in danger of losing my place at