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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/194

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Truly the wise man said well, that a command of gall cannot be obeyed like one of sugar. A man must require just and reasonable things, if he would see the scales of obedience properly trimmed. From orders which are improper springs resistance which is not easily overcome; as happened to the King of Rough-Rock, who, by asking what he ought not of his daughter, caused her to run away from him, at the risk of losing both honour and life.



There lived, it is said, once upon a time a King of Rough-Rock, who had a wife the very mother of beauty; but in the full career of her years, she fell from the horse of health and broke her life. Before the candle of life went out at the auction of her years[1], she called her husband and said to him, "I know you have always

  1. It is customary in Naples (as also in France and Spain) to light a candle at auctions; and when it is burnt out, no further bidding can be made. Goods used to be sold thus in this country, by what was called 'inch of candle.'