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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/37

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INTRODUCTION.

all repair with open mouth to the barbers' shops and the groups of chatterers, to listen to stories, fictions and gazettes in the air. I cannot therefore but pardon my wife, who has gotten this strange fancy into her head of hearing stories told; and so, if you will please to satisfy the whim of my princess, and comply with my wishes, you will, during these four or five days until the birth takes place, each of you relate daily one of those tales which old women are wont to tell for the amusement of the little ones. And you will come regularly to this spot, where, after a good repast, you shall begin to tell stories, so as to pass life pleasantly, and sorrow to him that dies!"

At these words, all present bowed assent to the commands of Taddeo. And the tables being meanwhile set out, and the feast spread, they sat down to eat; and when they had done eating, the Prince made a sign to bushy-haired Zeza to set fire to the train; upon which, making a low bow to the Prince and his wife, she began.