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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/231

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he! he could not be better if I had kneaded him with my own hands."

When Fioravante was getting up to go away, the king said to him, "Wait a little, brother,—why in such a hurry? one would think you had a pledge in the hands of a Jew, or quicksilver in your body, or a branch of furze tied behind you. Fair and softly! I will give you my daughter, and baggage and servants to accompany you, for I wish her to be your wife."

"I thank you," said Fioravante, "but there is no necessity: a single horse is enough, if the beast will carry double; for at home I have servants and goods as numerous as the sands on the seashore." So after arguing awhile, Fioravante at last prevailed, and placing Cannetella behind him on a horse he set out.

In the evening, when the red horses are taken away from the corn-mill of the sky, and the white oxen are yoked in their place, they came to a stable where some horses were feeding; and leading Cannetella into it, Fioravante said to her, "Listen! I have to make a journey to my own house, and it will take me seven years to get there. Mind therefore and wait for me in this stable, and do not stir out, nor let yourself be seen by any living person, or else I will make you remember it as long as you live." Cannetella replied, "You are my lord and master, and I will perform your command to a tittle;