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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/40

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THE PENTAMERONE.

indeed she was), he conceived at once a great affection for her. The next morning, before the Sun, like a chief physician, went out to visit the flowers that are sick and languid, the unknown fair one arose and disappeared, leaving the prince filled with curiosity and wonder.

But when this had gone on for seven days, he was burning and melting with desire to know what good fortune this was that the stars had showered down on him, and what ship freighted with the graces of Love it was that had come to its moorings in his chamber. So one night, when the fair maiden was fast asleep, he tied one of her tresses to his arm, that she might not escape; then he called a chamberlain, and bidding him light the candles, he saw the flower of beauty, the miracle of women, the looking-glass and painted egg[1] of Venus, the fair bait of Love, he saw a little doll, a beautiful dove, a Fata Morgana, a banner,—he saw a golden trinket, a hunter, a falcon's eye, a moon in her fifteenth day, a pigeon's bill, a morsel for a king, a jewel,—he saw, in short, a sight to amaze one.

In astonishment he cried, "Away with you, O Cyprian goddess! go, Helen, and put a rope about your neck! back with you to Criosa, O Fiorella! for all your beauties are not worth an old shoe in comparison with this beauty with two suns, this paragon of loveliness, this

  1. Cuccopinto—applied to anything beautiful—from the painted eggs at Easter.