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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/222

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THE PENTAMERONE.

Thereupon the prince with great joy offered her a vessel and attendants; and ordering Filadoro to be dressed like a princess, when the tables were removed, the musicians came, and they began the ball, which lasted until evening. But as soon as the Earth was covered with mourning for the obsequies of the Sun, the lights were brought; and suddenly a great noise of bells was heard on the stairs; whereat the prince said to his mother, "This must surely be some pretty masquerade, to do honour to the feast; upon my word the Neapolitan cavaliers are vastly polite, and when called upon they spare neither pains nor money[1]."

But whilst they were discoursing thus, there appeared in the middle of the hall an ugly figure, who was not more than three feet high, but as big as a tub; and stepping up to the prince she said, "Know, Nardo Aniello, that your caprices and ill-deeds brought on you all the troubles you have gone through: I am the spirit of that old woman whose pot you broke, so that she died of hunger. I laid a curse upon you, wishing that you might be seized by the claws of an ogress, and my wish was fulfilled: by the power of this beautiful fairy however you escaped from those troubles, but afterwards you received another curse from the ogress, that at the first kiss given you, you should forget Filadoro; your mother

  1. Literally—'Spare neither cooked nor raw.'