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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/51

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PERUONTO.

 

A good deed is never lost: he who sows courtesy reaps benefit, and he who plants kindness gathers love. Pleasure bestowed upon a grateful mind was never sterile, but generates gratitude, and begets reward. In stances of this occur continually in the actions of men, and you will see an example of it in the story which I will tell you.

 

 

A good woman at Casoria[1], named Ceccarella, had a son called Peruonto, who was the most hideous figure, the greatest fool and the most doltish idiot that Nature had ever created. So that the heart of his unhappy mother was blacker than a dish-clout, and a thousand times a day did she bestow a hearty curse on all who had a hand in bringing into the world such a blockhead, who was not worth a dog's mess. For the poor woman might scream at him till she burst her throat, and yet the moon-calf would not stir to do the slightest hand's turn for her[2].

  1. A village near Naples. Ceccarella is Fanny.
  2. No marditto servitio—literally, 'a cursed service.'