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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/359

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herself a garland as if she were going to recite a farce, another a nosegay, a third stuck a full-blown rose in her bosom, a fourth put a variegated carnation in her mouth. But as it wanted nearly four hours to midday, the Prince commanded, in order to pass the time pleasantly till dinner, that some game should be played for the amusement of his wife: and giving the hint to Cola Jacovo the carver, a man of great ingenuity, Cola, as if he had a pocketful of inventions, quickly found one, saying, "Those pleasures, my lord, have ever been insipid which are not connected with some object of usefulness; entertainments and evening parties were not invented for useless pleasure, but rather for pleasurable profit; for this kind of amusement not only affords pastime, but the wits are sharpened and rendered quick in determining and answering the questions put; and this is just the case with that game of games which is played in the following manner. I will propose some game to one of these ladies, who, without taking thought, has to tell me instantly that it does not please her, and the reason why; and she who hesitates to reply, or replies in an inappropriate manner, has to pay a forfeit, which the Princess shall appoint. So, to start the game, I should like to play with Signora Zeza a hand at trumps for half a crown." And Zeza instantly replied, "I'll not play at that, for I am no robber."