Open main menu

Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/53

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the midst of a furnace of fire, he felt pity for them, and cutting some branches of an oak he made a handsome arbour over them. Meanwhile the youths, who were the sons of a fairy, awoke, and seeing the kindness and courtesy of Peruonto, they gave him a charm, that everything he asked for should be done.

Peruonto, having performed this good action, went his ways towards the wood, where he made up such an enormous faggot that it would require an engine to drag it; and seeing that it was all nonsense for him to think of carrying it on his back, he got astride on it, and cried, "Oh what a lucky fellow I should be if this faggot would carry me riding a-horseback!" And the word was hardly out of his mouth, when the faggot began to trot and to gallop like a Bisignanian horse[1]; and when it came in front of the king's palace, it pranced and capered and curveted in a way that would amaze you. The ladies, who were standing at one of the windows, on seeing such a wonderful sight, ran to call Vastolla, the daughter of the king, who, going to the window and observing the caracoles of a faggot and the bounds of a bundle of wood, burst out a-laughing,—a thing which, owing to a natural melancholy, she never remembered to have done before. Peruonto raised his head, and

  1. The prince of Bisignano (in Apulia) had a famous breed of horses. The Apulian horses were celebrated in the Middle Ages.