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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/399

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SUN, MOON AND TALIA.

her; and when he found her awakened, and with two beautiful little creatures by her side, he was struck dumb with rapture. Then the king told Talia who he was, and they formed a great league and friendship, and he remained there for several days, promising as he took leave to return and fetch her.

When the king went back to his own kingdom, he was for ever repeating the names of Talia and her little ones, insomuch that, when he was eating he had Talia in his mouth, and Sun and Moon (for so he named the children); nay, even when he went to rest he did not leave off calling on them, first one and then the other.

Now the king's wife had grown suspicious at her husband’s long absence at the chace, and when she heard him calling thus on Talia, Sun and Moon, she waxed wrath, and said to the king’s secretary, "Hark-ye, friend, you stand between Scylla and Charybdis, between the hinge and the door, between the axe and the block; tell me who it is that my husband is enamoured of, and I will make you rich; but if you conceal the truth from me, I'll make you rue it."

The man, moved on the one side by fear, and on the other pricked by interest, which is a bandage to the eyes of honour, the blind of justice, and an old horseshoe to trip up good-faith, told the queen the whole truth, calling bread bread and wine wine. Whereupon