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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/371

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him to bring her on his return. And she said, "Papa, if you love me, bring me half a hundredweight of Palermo sugar, and as much again of sweet almonds, with four to six bottles of scented water, and a little musk and amber, also forty pearls, two sapphires, a few garnets and rubies, with some gold thread, and above all a trough and a little silver trowel." Her father wondered at this extravagant demand; nevertheless he would not refuse his daughter; so he went to the fair, and on his return brought her all that she had requested.

As soon as Betta received these things, she shut herself up in a chamber, and began to make a great quantity of paste of almonds and sugar, mixed with rose-water and perfumes, and set to work to form a most beautiful youth, making his hairs of gold thread, his eyes of sapphires, his teeth of pearls, his lips of rubies; and she gave him such grace, that speech alone was wanting to him. When she had done all this, having heard say that at the prayers of a certain king of Cyprus[1] a statue had once come to life, she prayed to the goddess of Love so long that at last the statue began to open its eyes; and increasing her prayers, it began to breathe; and after breathing, words came out; and at last disengaging all its limbs, it began to walk.

With a joy far greater than if she had gained a king-

  1. Pygmalion.