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THE PENTAMERONE.

with its wood the severity of winter, and with its leaves the heat of summer.”

“You speak like Samson!” said the youth; “but you cannot deny that this month of March, in which we now are, is very impertinent to send all this frost and rain, snow and hail, wind and storm, these fogs and tempests and other troubles, that make one's life a burden.”

“You tell only the ill of this poor month,” replied Lise, “but do not speak of the benefits it yields us; for, by bringing forward the Spring, it commences the production of things, and is alone the cause that the Sun proves the happiness of the present time, by leading him into the house of the Ram.”

The youth was greatly pleased at what Lise said, for he was in truth no other than the month of March itself, who had arrived at that inn with his eleven brothers; and to reward Lise's goodness, who had not even found anything ill to say of a month so sad that the shepherds do not like to mention it, he gave him a beautiful little casket, saying, “Take this, and if you want anything, only ask for it, and opening this box you will see it before you.” Lise thanked the youth, with many expressions of respect, and laying the little box under his head by way of a pillow, he went to sleep.

As soon however as the Sun, with the pencil of his