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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/430

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CONCLUSION[1].


"Truth, my lord Prince, has always been the mother of hatred, and I would not wish therefore, by obeying your commands, to offend any one of those around me; for not being accustomed to weave fictions or to invent stories, I am constrained, both by nature and habit, to speak the truth; and although the proverb says, Tell truth and fear nothing, yet knowing well that truth is not welcome in the presence of princes, I tremble lest I say anything that may perchance offend you."

"Say all you wish," replied Taddeo; "for nothing but what is sweet can come from those pretty lips." These words were stabs to the heart of the Slave, as would have been seen plainly if black faces were, like white ones, the book of the soul. And she would have given a finger of her hand to have been rid of these stories, for all before her eyes had grown blacker even than her face. She feared that the last story was only the announcement of mischief that was to follow, and

  1. See the Introduction, pages 1-13.