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37
PERUONTO.

beautiful palace, for we shall then be more secure: you know the saying, Praise the sea, but keep to the land." And Peruonto replied,

"If you would have me say the spell,
With figs and raisins stuff me well."

So Vastolla instantly repeated the operation; and Peruonto, swallowing them down, asked what was her pleasure; and immediately the ship came to land, and was changed into a beautiful palace, fitted up in a most complete manner, and so full of furniture, and curtains, and hangings, that there was nothing left to desire. So that Vastolla, who a little before would have given her life for a farthing[1], would not now change places with the greatest lady in the world, seeing herself served and treated like a queen. Then, to put the seal to all her good fortune, she besought Peruonto to obtain grace to become handsome and polished in his manners, that they might live happy together; for though the proverb says, 'Better to have a pig for a husband than an emperor for a lover,' still, if his appearance were changed, she should consider it the most fortunate thing in the world. And Peruonto replied as before,

"If you would have me say the spell,
With figs and raisins stuff me well."

  1. Pe tre cavalle—literally, 'for three horses.' The Horse is the arms of Naples, and is impressed on a small piece of money, worth about one-thirtieth of an English penny. The lowest coin now used at Naples is a piece of Sei cavalli.