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PERUONTO.

had them all placed in a row, and made the children pass before them; but the children took no more notice of them than Alexander's bull-dog did of the rabbits; so that the king was outrageous, and bit his lips; and though he did not want for shoes, yet this pump of grief was so tight for him that he stamped his feet on the ground. But the councillors said to him, "Softly, softly, your Majesty! quiet your wrath. Let us make another banquet tomorrow, not for people of condition, but for the lower sort; maybe, as a woman always attaches herself to the worst, we shall find among the cutlers, and bead-makers, and comb-sellers, the root of your anger, which we have not discovered among the cavaliers."

This reasoning jumped with the humour of the king, and he ordered a second banquet to be prepared; to which, on proclamation being made, came all the riff-raff and tag-rag-and-bobtail of the city, such as rogues, scavengers, tinkers, pedlars, penny-boys, sweeps, beggars, and such-like rabble, who were all in high glee; and taking their seats, like noblemen, at a great long table, they began to feast and gobble away.

Now when Ceccarella heard this proclamation, she began to urge Peruonto to go there too, until at last she got him to set out for the feast. And scarcely had he arrived there, when the pretty little children came running round him, and began to caress him, and to