Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/397

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to be brought into his house, hoping thus to avoid the danger.

When Talia was grown up, and was standing one day at the window, she saw an old woman pass by who was spinning; and never having seen a distaff or a spindle, and being vastly pleased with the twisting and twirling of the thread, her curiosity was so great that she made the old woman come upstairs. Then taking the distaff in her hand Talia began to draw out the thread, when by mischance a piece of stalk in the flax getting under her fingernail, she fell dead upon the ground; at which sight the old woman hobbled downstairs as quickly as she could.

When the unhappy father heard of the disaster that had befallen Talia, after paying for this cask of Asprino[1] with a barrel of tears, he placed her in that palace in the country, upon a velvet seat under a canopy of brocade; and fastening the doors, he quitted for ever that place which had been the cause of such misfortune to him, in order to drive all remembrance of it from his mind.

Now a certain king happened to go one day to the chace, and a falcon escaping from him flew in at a window of that palace. When the king found that the bird did not return at his call, he ordered his attendants to knock at the door, thinking that the palace was inhabited; and after knocking for some time, the

  1. A sour Neapolitan wine.