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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/208

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let him stretch out his arm, and go about boasting how he has broken this pot! the villainous rascal, who has sown my beans out of season! And yet, if he had no compassion for my misery, he should have had some regard for his own interest, and not have cast to the ground the escutcheon of his own house, nor trodden underfoot things that other folks carry on their heads[1]. But let him go! and I pray Heaven on my bare knees, and from the bottom of my soul, that he may fall in love with the daughter of some ogress, who may plague and torment him in every way[2]. May his mother-in-law give him such a curse, that he may see himself live on and bewail himself as dead; and being spell-bound by the beauty of the daughter and the arts of the mother, may he never be able to escape, but be obliged to remain,—ay indeed till he burst with the tormentings of that odious harpy! and may she order him about with a cudgel in her hand, and give him bread with a little fork[3], that he may have good cause to sigh and lament over my beans which he has spilt on the ground."

The old woman's curses took wing and flew up to heaven in a trice; so that, notwithstanding what the proverb says, "For a woman's curse you are never the worse," and "The coat of a horse that has been cursed

  1. ↑ i.e. 'esteemed so highly.'
  2. ↑ Che lo faccia bollere e mmale cocere.
  3. ↑ i.e. 'give him plenty of work and little to eat.'