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seeing that it was at him they were laughing, exclaimed, "O Vastolla, I wish you were with child!" and so saying, he struck his heels into the flanks of his faggot, and in a dashing faggoty gallop he was at home before many minutes, with such a train of little boys at his heels, bawling and shouting after him, that if his mother had not been quick to shut the door, they would have killed him with rotten fruit and vegetables.

'Meanwhile Vastolla began to feel certain qualms, and a palpitation of the heart, and other symptoms, which convinced her that she was in the family way. She did all in her power to keep her condition concealed, but at length the matter could no longer be a secret. The king, when he discovered it, was like a bedlamite[1]; and he summoned his council, and said, "Ye know by this time that the moon of my honour has got horns: ye know by this time that my daughter has provided me with matter for having chronicles, or rather cornicles, of my shame written; so now speak, and advise me. My own opinion would be, to make her bring forth her soul before she brought forth an ill breed. I should be for making her feel the pangs of death before she felt the pains of labour; it would be my wish to put her out of the world before she brought any offspring into it."

The councillors, who had in their time consumed more

  1. Facenno cosa dell' autro munno,—'doing things of the other world.'