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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/420

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fay, or it shall take my life away." So saying he cut the third citron, and forth came the third fairy, who said like the others, "Give me to drink!" Then the prince instantly handed her the water, and behold there stood before him a delicate maiden, white as a junket with red streaks, who looked like an Abruzzi ham or a Nola sausage,—a thing never before seen in the world, with a beauty without compare, a fairness beyond the beyonds, a grace more than the most. On that hair Jove had showered down gold[1], of which Love made his shafts to pierce all hearts; that face the god of Love had tinged with red, that some innocent soul should be hung on the gallows of desire; at those eyes the sun had lighted two fireworks, to set fire to the rockets of sighs in the breast of the beholder; to the roses on those lips Venus had given their colour, to wound a thousand enamoured hearts with their thorns; on that breast Juno had shed her milk, to nurture human desires. In a word she was so beautiful from head to foot, that a more exquisite creature was never seen. The prince knew not what had happened to him, and stood lost in amazement, gazing on such a beautiful offspring of a citron; and he said to himself, "Are you asleep or awake, Ciommetiello? are your eyes bewitched, or are you blind? What fair white creature is this come forth from a yel-

  1. Alluding to Danse.