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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/210

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THE PENTAMERONE.

pets of the Vicaria[1], that proclaimed aloud the secret of the soul. After they had both remained thus for a long time, with the mumps in their throat, unable to utter a single word, the prince at last, turning the stopcock of his voice, addressed Filadoro thus:—"From what meadow has this flower of beauty sprung? from what heaven has this store of grace been showered down? from what mine has this treasure of beauteous things come to light? O happy woods, O fortunate groves, which this nobility inhabits, which this illumination of the festivals of love irradiates! O ye groves and woods, in which are cut, not broomsticks or beams for the gallows or lids for pitchers, but gates of the temple of beauty, rafters of the dwelling of the Graces, and rods for the shafts of Love!"

"Kiss this hand, my lord," answered Filadoro; "not so much modesty; for all the praise that you have bestowed on me belongs to your virtues, not to my merits; for I am a woman, who am my own standard, and I do not wish to be measured by another; such as I am, handsome or ugly, black or white, fat or thin, notable or stupid, a witch or a fairy, as pretty as a little doll or as frightful as a dragon, I am wholly at your command; for your manly form has captivated my heart, your

  1. The Vicaria is the highest tribunal in Naples, in which the Vicario presides as viceregal judge.