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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/59

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before they coopered it up, some of Vastolla's ladies, crying and sobbing as if their hearts would break, put into it a little basket of raisins and dried figs, that she might have wherewithal to live on for some little time. And when the cask was closed up, it was carried and flung into the open sea, along which it went floating as the wind drove it.

Meanwhile Vastolla, weeping and making two rivers of her eyes, said to Peruonto, "What a sad misfortune is this of ours, to have the cradle of Bacchus for our coffin! Oh, if I but knew who has played me this trick, to have me caged in this dungeon! Alas, alas! to find myself in this plight without knowing how. Tell me, tell me, O cruel man, what incantation was it you made, and what wand did you employ, to bring me within the circle of this cask?" Peruonto, who had been for some time lending her a chapman's car, at last said, "If you want me to tell you, you must give me some figs and raisins." So Vastolla, to draw the secret out of him, gave him a handful of both; and as soon as he had his gullet full, he told her accurately all that had befallen him with the three youths, and then with the faggot, and then with herself at the window; which when the poor lady heard, she took heart, and said to Peruonto, "Brother of mine, shall we then let our lives run out in a cask? Why don't you