Open main menu

Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/212

This page has been validated.

of the legs, icy dread at the heart, and shuddering of the spirit; for she carried terror in her face, affright in her looks, horror in her steps, and dread in her words; her mouth had tusks like a boar's, was wide as an abyss, opening like that of a person who has the apoplexy, and slabbering like a mule's. In short, from head to foot she looked a quintessence of ugliness, an hospital of distempers; insomuch that the prince must for certain have carried some story of Mark or Fiorella[1] sown into his doublet, that he did not faint away at the sight. Then the ogress seized Nardo Aniello by the nape of his neck, saying, "Hollo! what now, you thief, you rogue!"

"Yourself the rogue!" replied the prince: "back with you, old hag!" And he was just going to draw his sword, which was an old Damascus blade, when all at once he stood fixed, like a sheep that has seen the wolf and can neither stir nor utter a sound; so that the ogress led him like an ass by a halter to her house. And when they came there she said to him, "Mind now, and work like a dog, unless you wish to die like a hog; and for your first task, take care in the course of today to have this acre of land dug and sown as level as this room: and recollect, that if I return in the evening and do not find the work finished, I shall eat you up." Then bid-

  1. A charm.