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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/404

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NENNILLO AND NENNELLA[1].

 

Woe to him who thinks to find a governess for his children by giving them a stepmother! he only brings into his house the cause of their ruin. There never yet was a stepmother who looked kindly on the children of another; or if by chance such a one were ever found, she would be regarded as a miracle[2], and be called a white crow. But beside all those of whom you may have heard, I will now tell you of another, to be added to the list of heartless stepmothers, whom you will consider well deserving the punishment she purchased for herself with ready money.

 

 

There was once a good man named Jannuccio, who had two children, Nennillo and Nennella, whom he loved as much as his own life. But Death having with the smooth-file of Time severed the prison-bars of his wife's soul, he took to himself a cruel woman, who had no sooner set foot in his house than she began to ride the

  1. These names (Spanish Nino) signify ‘little boy’ and ‘little girl.’
  2. Se pò mettere lo spruoccolo a lo pertuso.