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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/52

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At last, after a thousand dinnings at his brain, and a thousand splittings of his head, and a thousand "I tell you" and "I told you," bawling today and yelling tomorrow, she got him to go to the wood for a faggot, saying, "Come now, it is time for us to get a morsel to eat; so run off for some sticks, and don't forget yourself on the way, but come back as quick as you can, and we will boil ourselves some cabbage, to keep the life in us."

Away went Peruonto, the blockhead, and he went just like one that was going to the gallows[1]: away he went, and he moved as if treading on eggs, with the gait of a jackdaw, and counting his steps, going fair and softly, at a snail's gallop, and making all sorts of zig-zags and circumbendibuses on his way to the wood, to come there after the fashion of the raven[2]. And when he reached the middle of a plain, through which a river ran, growling and murmuring at the want of manners in the stones that were stopping his way, he met three youths, who had made themselves a bed of the grass, and a pillow of a flint stone, and were lying dead asleep under the blaze of the Sun, who was shooting his rays down point blank. When Peruonto saw these poor creatures, who were made a fountain of water in

  1. Comme và chillo che stà mmiezzo a li confrate: that is, 'among the friars who attend criminals to the gallows.'
  2. Pe ffare la venuta de la cuorvo. A common expression in Naples, when a person has gone away not to return, is, 'Ha fatto l'andata del cuorvo.'