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sion?" And the lad replied, "My name is Blowblast; I am from Windy-land; and I can make all the winds with my mouth. If you wish for a zephyr, I will breathe one that will send you into transports; if you wish for a squall, I will throw down houses."

"Seeing is believing," said Moscione. Whereupon Blowblast breathed at first quite gently, so that it seemed to be the wind that blows at Posilippo towards evening; then turning suddenly to some trees, he sent forth such a furious blast that it uprooted a row of oaks.

When Moscione saw this he took him for a companion; and travelling on as far again, he met another lad, to whom he said, "What is your name, if I may make so bold? whence are you, if one may ask? and what is your trade, if it is a fair question?" And the lad answered, "My name is Strongback; I am from Valentino, and I have such strength that I can take a mountain on my back, and it seems to me only a feather."

"If that be the case," said Moscione, "you deserve to be the king of the custom-house, and you should be chosen for standard-bearer on the first of May[1]. But I should like to see a proof of what you say."

Then Strongback began to load himself with masses

  1. The porters in the custom-house at Naples are remarkable for their strength. A fête is held in that city on the first of May, in which a standard with a pole of an enormous height is carried by the strongest man.