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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/236

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THE PENTAMERONE.

that I was every hour on the point of giving up the ghost[1]. But I will not tell you all I have suffered, for greatly as it exceeds human endurance, so much does it pass human belief. Enough, my father, that I am here! and never again will I stir from your feet; rather will I be a servant in your house, than a queen in the house of another; rather will I wear sackcloth where you are, than a golden mantle away from you; rather will I turn a spit in your kitchen, than hold a sceptre under the canopy of another."

Meanwhile Fioravante returning home, was told by the horses that the locksmith had carried off Cannetella in the cask; on hearing which, burning with shame and all on fire with rage, of he ran towards High-Hill; and meeting an old woman who lived opposite to the king's palace, he said to her, "What will you take, good mother, to let me see the king's daughter?" Then she asked a hundred ducats; and Fioravante putting his hand in his purse instantly counted them out, one a-top of another; whereupon the old woman led him up on to the roof, from whence he saw Cannetella out on a balcony drying her hair. But—just as if her heart had whispered to her—the maiden turned that way, and perceiving the snare, rushed down the stairs and ran to her father, crying

  1. Co lo spireto a li diente,—'with the breath between my teeth.'