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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/29

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INTRODUCTION.

Zoza pondered over the words of the old woman, and after ruminating and turning over a hundred thoughts in her mind, until her head was like a mill full of doubts, she was at last struck by a dart of the passion which blinds the judgement and puts a spell upon the reason of man; and taking with her a handful of dollars from her father’s coffers, she left the palace, and walked on and on, until she arrived at the castle of a fairy, to whom she unburdened her heart. The fairy, out of pity for such a fair young girl, who had two spurs to make her fall—little help, and plenty of love for an unknown object—gave her a letter of recommendation to a sister of hers, who was also a fairy. And this second fairy received her likewise with great kindness; and on the following morning, when Night commands the birds to proclaim, that whoever has seen a flock of black shadows gone astray shall be well rewarded, she gave her a beautiful walnut, saying, "Take this, my dear daughter, and keep it carefully; but never open it except in time of the greatest need." And so saying, she in like manner gave her a letter, commending her to another sister.

After journeying a long way, Zoza arrived at the fairy's castle, and was received with the same affection as before. And the next morning this fairy likewise gave her a letter to another sister, together with a