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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/254

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THE PENTAMERONE.

said, "What is your name, comrade? what country are you from? and what's your trade?" "My name," replied the lad, "is Hare's-ear; I am from Vale-Curious; and when I put my ear to the ground I hear all that is passing in the world without stirring from the spot. I perceive the monopolies and agreements of tradespeople to raise the prices of things, the ill-offices of courtiers, the appointments of lovers, the plots of robbers, the reports of spies, the complaints of servants, the gossiping of old women, and the oaths of sailors; so that neither Lucian's cock[1] nor Franco's lantern discovered so much as my ears can."

"If that be true," said Moscione, "tell me what they are now saying at my home."

So the lad put his ear to the ground, and replied, "An old man is talking to his wife, and saying, 'Praised be Sol in Leo! I have got rid from my sight of that fellow Moscione, that face of old-fashioned crockery, that nail in my heart. By travelling through the world he will at least become a man, and no longer be such a stupid ass, such a simpleton, such a lose-the-day fellow, such a—"

"Stop, stop!" cried Moscione; "you tell the truth, and I believe you. So come along with me, for you have found the road to good-luck."

  1. See Lucian's "Somnium, vel Gallus."