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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/209

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always shines," she rated the prince so soundly that he well-nigh jumped out of his skin.

Scarcely had two hours passed, when the prince, losing himself in a wood and parted from his attendants, met a beautiful maiden, who was going along picking up snails, and saying with a laugh,

"Snail, snail, put out your horn,
Your mother is laughing you to scorn,
For she has a little son just born[1]."

When the prince saw appear before him this cabinet of the most precious things of Nature, this bank of the richest deposits of heaven, this arsenal of the most powerful shafts of Love, he knew not what had befallen him; and as the beams from the eyes of that plump crystal face fell upon the tinder of his heart, he was all in a flame, so that he became a limekiln, wherein the stones of designs were burnt to build the house of hopes.

Now Filadoro (for so the maiden was named) was no wiser than other people[2]; and the prince, being a smart young fellow with handsome moustachios, pierced her heart through and through; so that they stood looking at one another for compassion with their eyes, and, even if their tongues had had the pip, their looks were trum-

  1. The reader will recall the English saying; in Germany the children have a similar one.
  2. Non monnava nnespole—'did not peel medlars.'