Open main menu

Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/32

This page has been validated.
8
THE PENTAMERONE.

had taken to wife, she instantly conceived how all this mischief had come to pass; and said to herself, sighing, "Alas, two dark things have brought me to the ground—sleep and a black slave." Then, in order to try all means possible to avert death, against whom every animal defends itself all in its power, she took a handsome house facing the palace of the Prince; from whence, although she could not see the idol of her heart, she viewed at least the walls of the temple, wherein the treasure she sighed for was enclosed.

But Taddeo, who was constantly flying like a bat around that black night of a Slave, chanced to perceive Zoza, and he became an eagle, to gaze fixedly at her person, the casket of the graces of Nature, and the ne-plus-ultra of the bounds of Beauty. When the Slave perceived this, she was beside herself with rage; and being now in the family way, she threatened her husband, that if he did not instantly leave the window, the child should not be born alive.

Taddeo, who was anxiously expecting the birth of the child, trembled like a reed at offending his wife, and tore himself away, like a soul from the body, from the sight of Zoza; who, seeing this little balm for the sickness of her hopes taken from her, knew not what to do in her extreme need. But recollecting the gifts which the fairies had given her, she opened the walnut, and out of it hopped a