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THE PENTAMERONE.

of various women, he stepped forward unasked and said, that all the handsome women might hide their heads[1] when his sister made her appearance, who, beside the beauty of her form, which made counterpoint on the canto fermo of a noble soul, possessed also a wonderful virtue in her hair, mouth and feet, which was given to her by a fairy. When the king heard these praises, he told Ciommo to bring his sister to the court, adding that, if he found her such as he had represented, he would take her to wife.

Now Ciommo thought this a chance not to be lost; so he forthwith sent a messenger post-haste to his mother, telling her what had happened, and begging her to come instantly with her daughter, in order not to let slip the good luck. But Luceta, who was very unwell, commending the lamb to the wolf, begged her sister to have the kindness to accompany Marziella to the court of Chiunzo for such and such a thing. Whereupon Troccola, who saw that matters were playing into her hand, promised her sister to take Marziella safe and sound to her brother, and then embarked with her niece and Puccia in a boat. But when they were some way out at sea, whilst the sailors were asleep, she threw Marzi-

  1. Literally—'might go and throw bones on the bridge.' This alludes to the Ponte della Maddelena, near Naples, behind which dead dogs and rubbish are thrown. The bridge is very large,—the stream under it (the Sebeto) very small: a Spaniard crossing it exclaimed, "O meno ponte, o più fiume!"