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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/424

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THE PENTAMERONE.

instantly she became a dove and flew away; whereupon the slave stripped herself, and making a bundle of all the rags that she had worn, she threw them a mile away: and there she sat, up in the tree, looking like a statue of jet in a house of emerald.

In a short time the prince returned with a great cavalcade, and finding a cask of caviar where he had left a pan of milk, he stood for awhile beside himself with amazement. At length he said, "Who has made this great blot of ink on the fine paper upon which I thought to write the brightest days of my life? Who has hung with mourning this newly whitewashed house, where I thought to spend a happy life? How comes it that I find this touchstone, where I left a mine of silver, that was to make me rich and happy?" But the crafty slave, observing the prince's amazement, said, "Do not wonder, my prince; for me turned by a wicked spell from a white lily to a black coal."

The poor prince, seeing that there was no help for the mischief, drooped his head and swallowed this pill; and bidding the slave come down from the tree, he ordered her to be clothed from head to foot in new dresses. Then sad and sorrowful, cast-down and woebegone, he took his way back with the slave to his own country, where the king and queen, who had gone out six mile to meet them, received them with the same pleasure as