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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/202

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rate fit that the doctors prognosticated badly of his case. Then his mother, who had no other joy in the world, sat down by his bedside, and said to him, "My son, whence comes all this grief? what melancholy humour has seized you? you are young, you are loved, you are great, you are rich,—what then is it you want, my son? speak—a bashful beggar carries an empty bag. If you want a wife, only choose, and I will bring the match about; do you take, and I'll pay. Do you not see that your illness is an illness to me? your pulse beats with fever in your veins, and my heart beats with illness in my brain, for I have no other support of my old-age than you. So be cheerful now, and cheer up my heart, and do not see the whole kingdom thrown into mourning, this house into lamentation, and your mother forlorn and heart-broken."

When the prince heard these words, he said, "Nothing can console me but the sight of the bear; therefore, if you wish to see me well again, let her be brought into this chamber: I will have no one else to attend me, and make my bed, and cook for me, but she herself; and you may be sure that this pleasure will make me well in a trice."

Thereupon his mother, although she thought it ridiculous enough for the bear to act as cook and chambermaid, and feared that her son was not in his right