• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Introduction
 Peruonto
 Vardiello
 The flea
 The enchanted doe
 Parsley
 The three sisters
 Violet
 Gagliuso
 The serpent
 The she-bear
 The dove
 The booby
 The stone in the cock's head
 The two cakes
 The seven doves
 The golden root
 Nennillo and Nennella
 The three citrons
 Conclusion
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Children's library
Title: The Pentamerone, or, The story of stories
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082142/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Pentamerone, or, The story of stories
Series Title: Children's library
Alternate Title: Story of stories
Physical Description: 218 p., 10 leaves of plates : ill. ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Basile, Giambattista, ca. 1575-1632
Taylor, John Edward, fl. 1840-1855 ( Translator )
Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878 ( Illustrator )
Zimmern, Helen, 1846-1934 ( Editor )
Cassell Publishing Co ( Publisher )
R. & R. Clark (Firm) ( Printer )
Publisher: Cassell Publishing Company
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: R. & R. Clark
Publication Date: 1893
Edition: New ed., rev. and ed. / -- by Helen Zimmern
 Subjects
Subject: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1893   ( lcsh )
Folk tales -- 1893   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1893
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Folk tales   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Scotland -- Edinburgh
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Giambattista Basile ; translated from the Neapolitan by John Edward Taylor ; with illustrations by George Cruikshank.
General Note: Title and illustrated series title pages printed in red and black.
Funding: Children's library (Cassell Publishing Co.)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082142
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222003
notis - ALG2236
oclc - 213481630

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Frontispiece
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Table of Contents
        Page xi
        Page xii
    List of Illustrations
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Peruonto
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16a
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Vardiello
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 28a
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    The flea
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 42a
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    The enchanted doe
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Parsley
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 58a
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    The three sisters
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 66a
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Violet
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    Gagliuso
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    The serpent
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
    The she-bear
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        PagPage 108a
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    The dove
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
    The booby
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 136a
        Page 137
    The stone in the cock's head
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    The two cakes
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 152a
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 154a
        Page 155
        Page 156
    The seven doves
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 170a
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    The golden root
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 186a
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
    Nennillo and Nennella
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 196a
        Page 197
        Page 198
    The three citrons
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
    Conclusion
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text











































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LIBRARY










THE PENTAMERONE








THE


PENTAMERONE

OR

THE STORY OF STORIES



BY

GIAMBATTISTA BASILE

TRANSLATED FROM THE NEAPOLITAN BY
JOHN EDWARD TAYLOR



NEW EDITION REVISED AND EDITED
BY HELEN ZIMMERN

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK




NEW YORK
CASSELL PUBLISHING COMPANY
104 & io6 FOURTH AVENUE
1893




















PREFACE

N the seventeenth century there.
lived and wrote at Naples
a man named Gian Battista
Basile, concerning whom little
that is certain is known except that he
travelled much throughout the length and
breadth of Italy, and that his sister was a
celebrated singer in her day, to whom
Milton was introduced when at Rome, and
whose daughter's charms the great poet
has celebrated in three of his Latin epigrams,
and in an Italian canzone. Basile was
himself a poet. From his pen there exists
a great epic poem, whose hero is Charles V.,
and a collection of sonnets and songs.







vi THE PENTAMERONE

The dust lies thick on these volumes,
written in the extravagant and affected style
of his century; none reads them, and none
would remember them had not Basile also
a more solid claim to fame, in the fact that
he was also the author, or more probably
the compiler-author, of the Pentamerone,
though doubtless in his day it was little
thought either by himself or his readers
that this, the work of his declining years,
would constitute his only claim to remem-
brance. The Pentanerone is a collection
of fifty fairy tales written in the Neapolitan
dialect, which have become since their
appearance the veritable storehouse, the
inexhaustible mine from which all other
authors of fairy tales have drawn their
stories, notably the Frenchman, Charles
Perrault, as well as Madame d'Aulnoy.
The work was planned after the method of
Boccaccio's Decamerone, and hence its title,
since it consists not of a hundred but of
fifty stories. They are supposed to be told
by ten persons in the course of five days,
each day ending with a play or a song. As







PREFACE Vii
in the Decamerone, these are written in
verse while the rest of the tales are told in
prose.
There is perhaps no more difficult dialect
in all Italy than the Neapolitan, which
contains a large admixture of Spanish,
Greek, and Arabic words, so that even
Italians born can neither read it nor under-
stand it when spoken. Translators of
Basile's work into the current speech of
Italy therefore soon appeared, but the gross
licentious language, the impropriety inter-
mingled with but too many of the tales,
rendered them unfit for youthful readers,
notwithstanding that Basile had placed as a
second title on his frontispiece the words,
Amusemnentfor the Little Ones. A German
eighteenth-century savant of the name of
Fernow first drew general European atten-
tion to the work, which was afterwards trans-
lated by another German, Felix Liebrecht,
to which book the learned student of Folk-
lore, Dr. Jacob Grimm, affixed a weighty
preface.
At the very same moment that Liebrecht







viii THE PENTAMERONE

was thus engaged in making these tales
accessible to readers outside Italy, an
Englishman was occupied in the same
task. He was no less a person than J. E.
Taylor, a member of that great literary
family to whom English readers are in-
debted for their first introduction to the
treasure-house of German literature in the
days when the knowledge of the German
tongue was rare indeed among Englishmen,
and they were wholly dependent on trans-
lations for an acquaintance with foreign
authors. Mr. Taylor, deterred by the
grossness of the language and contents,
which made some of the stories quite in-
admissible for English readers, translated
thirty of the fifty, and even so he saw
himself obliged to omit many objectionable
portions, since the book was intended for
the general reader, and not like Liebrecht's
for students only. But even so Mr. Taylor's
volume as it stands is unadapted for young
readers of the present day, and I have
therefore been obliged to revise many pages,
omitting offensive words and expressions







PREFACE IX

and adapting the stories to juvenile ears.
Wherever such an adaptation has been
made I have followed the version prepared
for Italian children by G. L. Ferri, which is
considered as a classic in its own country,
and is the version always put into children's
hands. In all other respects I have left
Mr. Taylor's language untouched. The
original designs made for the volume by
George Cruikshank have been here re-
produced. They felicitously render the
grotesque, wildly fanciful character of the
tales. Much ingenious research has been
brought to bear on the point as to whether
Basile was the author or merely the collector
of these stories, and learned criticism has
waxed hot and furious. This is not of
a character likely to appeal to juvenile
readers who ask to be amused and nothing
more. Suffice it for them to say that
Basile probably found the germs of many
of these tales extant in the folk-lore, the
oral traditions of his native province, and
that many of them he may have heard
during his visit to Crete, from which island







x THE PENTAMERONE

Boccaccio is said to have derived the
material for many of his stories. That they
present analogies with other popular tales
of fiction is evident, but even so they have
a flavour all their own. Owing to the
eminently Meridional and Neapolitan char-
acter Basile has impressed upon them, by his
language and his imagery, they partake of
Neapolitan raciness, sportive drollery, and
Southern wealth of invention, modes of
thought, and turns of speech.

HELEN ZIMMERN.


























CONTENTS

PAGE
INTRODUCTION I

PERUONTO. 14

VARDIELLO 25

THE FLEA. 35

THE ENCHANTED DOE 46

PARSLEY 56

THE THREE SISTERS 63

VIOLET 72

GAGLIUSO 80

THE SERPENT 88

THE SHE-BEAR 102

THE DOVE 112

THE BOOBY 128









xii THE PENTAMERONE
PAGE
THE STONE IN THE COCK'S HEAD 138

THE TWO CAKES. 147

THE SEVEN DOVES 157

THE GOLDEN ROOT 176

NENNILLO AND NENNELLA 190

THE THREE CITRONS 199

CONCLUSION 216






















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


MINECCO ANIELLO BEFORE KING NIBBLER
Frontispiece
PERUONTO Facing age 16

VARDIELLO ,, 28

PORZIELLA AND THE OGRE 42

PARSLEY ,, 58

THE THREE SISTERS ,, 66

THE SHE-BEAR 108


THE BOOBY

THE GEESE SINGING TO THE
KING OF CHIUNZO

MARZIELLA FEEDING THE GEESE

THE SEVEN DOVES

THE GOLDEN ROOT

NENNILLO AND NENNELLA


36


52

,, 54
7, 0

86

,, 196




















INTRODUCTION

T is an old saying, that he who
seeks what he should not, finds
what he would not; and every
one has heard of the ape, who,
in trying to pull on the boots, was caught
by the foot. And it happened in like
manner to a wretched slave, who, though
she never had shoes to her feet, wanted to
wear a crown on her head. But as the
straight road is the best, and, sooner or
later a day comes which settles all accounts,
at last, having by evil means usurped what
belonged to another, she fell to the ground;
and the higher she had mounted, the greater
was her fall, as you will presently see.
Once upon a time, the king of Woody
Valley had a daughter named Zoza, who,
like another Zoroaster or Heraclitus, was
never seen to laugh. The unhappy father,
who had no other comfort in life but this
13







2 THE PENTAMERONE

only daughter, left nothing untried to drive
away her melancholy. Accordingly he
sent for folks who walk on stilts, for fellows
who jump through hoops, for boxers, for
jugglers who perform sleight-of-hand tricks,
for men as strong as Hercules, for dancing
dogs, for leaping clowns, for the jackass
that drinks out of a tumbler,-and in short
he tried first one thing and then another
to make her laugh. But all was time lost,
for nothing brought a smile upon her lips.
So at length the poor father, to make a
last trial, and not knowing what else to do,
ordered a large fountain of oil to be made
in front of the palace gates; thinking to
himself, that when the oil ran down the
street, along which the people passed to
and fro like a troop of ants, they would be
obliged, in order not to soil their clothes,
to skip like grasshoppers, leap like goats,
and run like hares; while one would go
picking and choosing his way, and another
go creeping along close to the wall. In
short, he hoped that something might come
to pass that would make his daughter
laugh.
So the fountain was made; and as Zoza
was one day standing at the window, grave
and demure, and looking as sour as vinegar,
there came by chance an old woman, who,
soaking up the oil with a sponge, began to
fill a little pitcher which she had brought








INTRODUCTION


with her. And as she was labouring hard
at this ingenious device, a pert young page
of the court, passing by, threw a stone so
exactly to a hair, that it hit the pitcher and
broke it in pieces. Whereupon the old
woman turned to the page full of wrath,
and exclaimed, Ah I you impertinent young
dog, you mule, you spindle-legs, ill luck to
you! may you be hung -with a rope's-end,
and your blood be not spilt-may a thou-
sand ills befall you, and something more to
boot, you thief, you knave !'
The lad, who had little beard and less
discretion, hearing this string of abuse,
repaid the old woman in the same coin,
saying, 'Have you done, you devil's grand-
mother, you old hag !'
When the old woman heard these com-
pliments, she flew into such a rage that she
acted like a madwoman, cutting capers in
the air and grinning like an ape. At this
strange spectacle, Zoza burst into such a
fit of laughter that she well-nigh fainted
away. But when the old woman saw her-
self played this trick, she flew into a passion,
and turning a fierce look on Zoza, she ex-
claimed, May you never have the least
little bit of a husband, unless you take the
Prince of Roundfield.'
Upon hearing this, Zoza ordered the old
woman to be called, and desired to know
whether in her words she had laid on her a








4 THE PENTAMERONE
curse, or had only meant to insult her. And
the old woman answered, Know then, that
the prince whom I spoke of is a most hand-
some creature, and is named Taddeo, who,
by the wicked spell of a fairy, having given
the last touch to the picture of life, has
been placed in a tomb outside the walls of
the city; and there is an inscription upon
a stone, saying, that whatever woman shall
in three days fill with her tears a pitcher
which hangs there upon a hook, will bring
the prince to life again, and shall take him
for a husband. But as it is impossible for
two human eyes to weep so much as to fill
a pitcher that would hold half a barrel, un-
less it were those of Egeria, who, as I've
heard say, was turned into a fountain of
tears at Rome, I have wished you this
wish, in return for your scoffing and jeering
at me; and I pray Heaven that it may
come to pass, to avenge the wrong you
have done me.' So saying she scudded
down the stairs, for fear of a beating.
Zoza pondered over the words of the
old woman, and after ruminating and turn-
ing over a hundred thoughts in her mind,
until her head was like a mill full of doubts,
she was at last struck by a dart of the
passion which blinds the judgment and puts
a spell upon the reason of man; and taking
with her a handful of dollars from her
father's coffers, she left the palace, and







INTRODUCTION 5

walked on and on, until she arrived at the
castle of a fairy, to whom she unburdened
her heart. The fairy, out of pity for such
a fair young girl, who had two spurs to
make her fall-little help, and plenty of
love for an unknown object-gave her a
letter of recommendation to a sister of hers,
who was also a fairy. And this second
fairy received her likewise with great kind-
ness; and on the following morning, when
Night commands the birds to proclaim,
that whoever has seen a flock of black
shadows gone astray shall be well rewarded,
she gave her a beautiful walnut, saying,
' Take this, my dear daughter, and keep it
carefully; but never open it except in time
of the greatest need.' And so saying, she
in like manner gave her a letter commend-
ing her to another sister.
After journeying a long way, Zoza arrived
at the fairy's castle, and was received with
the same affection as before. And the
next morning this fairy likewise gave her
a letter to another sister, together with a
chestnut; but at the same time cautioning
her as before.
After travelling on for some time, Zoza
came to the castle of the fairy, who showered
on her a thousand caresses. The next
morning, at her departure, the fairy gave
her a filbert, cautioning her in like manner
never to open it, unless the greatest







6 THE PENTAMERONE

necessity obliged her. Then Zoza set out
upon her journey, and travelled so far, and
passed so many forests and rivers, that at
the end of seven years, just at the time of
day when the Sun, awakened by the crow-
ing of the cocks, has saddled his steeds to
run his accustomed stages, she arrived
almost lame at Roundfield.
There, at the entrance to the city, she
saw a marble tomb, at the foot of a foun-
tain, which was weeping tears of crystal at
seeing itself shut up in a porphyry prison.
And lifting up the pitcher, which hung over
it, she placed it in her lap, and began to
weep into it, and imitating the fountain to
make two little fountains of her eyes. And
thus she continued without ever raising her
head from the mouth of the pitcher; until,
at the end of two days, it was full within
two inches of the top. But being wearied
with so much weeping, she was unawares
overtaken by sleep, and was obliged to
rest for an hour or two under the canopy of
her eyelids.
Meanwhile a certain Slave, with the legs
of a grasshopper, came, as she was wont,
to that fountain to fill her water-cask. Now
she knew the meaning of the inscription,
which was talked of everywhere; and when
she saw Zoza weeping so incessantly, and
making two little streams from her eyes,
she was always watching and spying until







INTRODUCTION 7

the pitcher should be full enough for her to
add the last drops to fill it, and thus to
leave Zoza cheated of her hopes. Now
therefore, seeing Zoza asleep, she seized the
opportunity, and dexterously removing the
pitcher from under Zoza, and placing her
own eyes over it, she filled it in four seconds.
But hardly was it full, when the Prince
arose from the white marble shrine, as if
awakened from a deep sleep, and embraced
that mass of black flesh; and carrying her
straightway to his palace, feasts and mar-
vellous illuminations were made, and he
took her for his wife.
When Zoza awoke, and saw the pitcher
gone, and her hopes with it, and the shrine
open, her heart grew so heavy that she was
on the point of unpacking the bales of her
soul at the custom-house of Death. But at
last, seeing that there was no help for her
misfortune, and that she could blame only
her own eyes, which had watched so ill, she
went her way, step by step, into the city.
And when she heard of the feasts which the
Prince had made, and the dainty creature
he had taken to wife, she instantly conceived
how all this mischief had come to pass ; and
said to herself, sighing, 'Alas, two dark
things have brought me to the ground-
sleep and a black slave.' Then, in order to
try all means possible to avert death, against
whom every living being defends itself with







8 THE PENTAMERONE

all in its power, she took a handsome house
facing the palace of the Prince ; from whence,
although she could not see the idol of her
heart, she viewed at least the walls of the
temple wherein the treasure she sighed for
was enclosed.
But Taddeo, who was constantly flying
like a bat around that black night of a Slave,
chanced to perceive Zoza, and he became
an eagle, to gaze fixedly at her person, the
casket of the graces of Nature, and the ne
plus ultra of the bounds of Beauty. When
the Slave perceived this, she was beside
herself with rage; and threatened her
husband, that if he did not instantly leave
the window, her child should not be born
alive.
Taddeo, who was anxiously expecting the
birth of the child, trembled like a reed at
offending his wife, and tore himself away,
like a soul from the body, from the sight of
Zoza; who, seeing this little balm for the
sickness of her hopes taken from her, knew
not what to do in her extreme need. But
recollecting the gifts which the fairies had
given her, she opened the walnut, and out
of it hopped a little dwarf, like a doll, the
most graceful toy that ever was seen in the
world. Then, seating himself upon the
window, the dwarf began to sing with such
a trill, and gurgling, that he surpassed all
the most famous singers.







INTRODUCTION 9
The Slave, when she saw and heard this,
was so enraptured, that, calling Taddeo, she
said,' Bring me the little fellow who is singing
yonder, or the child shall not be born alive.'
So the Prince, who allowed the ugly woman
to rule him, sent instantly to Zoza, to ask
if she would sell the little dwarf. Zoza
answered that she was not a merchant, but
that he was welcome to it as a gift. So
Taddeo accepted the offer; for he was
anxious to keep his wife in good humour.
Four days after this Zoza opened the chest-
nut, when out came a hen with twelve little
chickens, all of pure gold. And being placed
on the same window, the Slave saw them,
and took a vast fancy to them ; then calling
Taddeo, she showed him the beautiful sight,
and said, Get me the hen and chickens,
or depend upon it the child shall not be
born alive.' So Taddeo, who let himself
be caught in the net, and become the sport
of the ugly creature, sent again to Zoza,
offering her any price she might ask for the
beautiful hen. But Zoza gave the same
answer as before, that he might have it as
a gift, but that as for selling, it was only a
loss of time. Taddeo therefore, who could
do no otherwise, made necessity kick at
discretion ; and taking the beautiful present,
he was obliged to confess himself outdone
by the liberality of woman.
But after four days more Zoza opened







o1 THE PENTAMERONE

the hazel-nut, and forth came a doll, which
spun gold,-a sight indeed to amaze one.
And as soon as it was placed at the
same window, the Slave saw it, and calling
to Taddeo, said, 'Bring me the doll, or I
promise you the child shall not be born
alive.' Taddeo, who let his proud hussy
of a wife toss him about like a shuttle, and
lead him by the nose, had nevertheless not
the heart to send to Zoza for the doll, but
resolved to go himself, recollecting the
saying, 'No messenger is better than your-
self' ; and, If a man wants a thing, let him
go for it,-if he does not want it, let him
send'; and, Let him who would eat a fish
take it by the tail.' So he went and be-
sought Zoza to pardon his impertinence, on
account of the caprices of his wife; and
Zoza, who was in ecstasies at beholding the
cause of her sorrow, put a constraint upon
herself, so as to let him entreat her the
longer, and to keep in her sight the object
of her love, who was stolen from her by an
ugly slave. At length she gave him the
doll, as she had done the other things; but
before placing it in his hands she prayed
the little doll to put a desire into the heart
of the Slave to hear stories told her. And
when Taddeo saw the doll in his hand,
without his paying a single carlino, he was
so filled with amazement at such courtesy,
that he offered his kingdom and his life in







INTRODUCTION 1i

exchange for the gift. Then, returning to
the palace, he gave the doll to his wife, who
had no sooner placed it in her bosom, to
play with it, than it seemed to be Love in
the form of Ascanius in Dido's bosom, who
shot a dart into her breast; for instantly
such a longing seized her to hear stories
told, that, being unable to resist, she called
her husband, and said, 'Bid some story-
tellers come and tell me stories, or I pro-
mise you the child shall not be born alive.'
Taddeo ordered a proclamation instantly
to be made, that all the women of the land
should come on an appointed day. And on
that day, at the hour when the star of Venus
appears, who awakes the Dawn, to strew the
road along which the Sun has to pass, the
ladies were all assembled at the appointed
place. But Taddeo, not wishing to detain
such a rabble for the mere amusement of his
wife, and being moreover suffocated by the
crowd, chose ten only of the best of the city,
who appeared to him most capable and
eloquent. These were, Bushy-haired Zeza,
bandy-legged Cecca, wen-necked Meneca,
long-nosed Tolla, humpbacked Popa, bearded
Antonella, dumpy Ciulla, blear-eyed Paola,
bald-pated Ciommetella, and square-shoul-
dered Jacova. These he wrote down on a
sheet of paper, and then, dismissing the
others, he arose with the Slave from under
the canopy, and they went gently gently to







12 THE PENTAMAERONE

the garden of the palace, where the leafy
branches were so closely interlaced, that the
Sun could not separate them with all the
industry of his rays. And seating them-
selves under a pavilion, formed by a trellis
of vines, in the middle of which ran a great
fountain, Taddeo thus began:
'There is nothing in the world more
glorious, my gentle dames, than to listen to
the deeds of others; nor was it without
reason that the great philosopher placed
the highest happiness of man in listening
to pretty stories; since, in hearing pleas-
ing things told, griefs vanish, troublesome
thoughts are put to flight, and life is length-
ened. And for this reason you see the
artisans leave the workshops, the merchants
their counting-houses, the lawyers their
causes, the shopkeepers their business, and
all repair with open mouth to the barbers'
shops and the groups of chatterers, to listen
to stories, fictions, and gazettes in the air.
I cannot therefore but pardon my wife, who
has gotten this strange fancy into her head
of hearing stories told; and so, if you will
please to satisfy the whim of my princess,
and comply with my wishes, you will, during
these four or five days until the birth takes
place, each of you relate daily one of those
tales which old women are wont to tell for the
amusement of the little ones. And you will
come regularly to this spot, where, after a








INTRODUCTION 13

good repast, you shall begin to tell stories,
so as to pass life pleasantly, and sorrow to
him that dies !'
At these words, all present bowed assent
to the commands of Taddeo. And the tables
being meanwhile set out, and the feast spread,
they sat down to eat; and when they had
done eating, the Prince made a sign that the
story-telling should begin.




















PERUONTO

GOOD deed is never lost: he
who sows courtesy reaps benefit,
and he who plants kindness
gathers love. Pleasure be-
stowed upon a grateful mind was never
sterile, but generates gratitude, and begets
reward. Instances of this occur continually
in the actions of men, and you will see an ex-
ample of it in the story which I will tell you.

A good woman at Casoria, named
Ceccarella, had a son called Peruonto, who
was the most hideous figure, the greatest
fool and the most doltish idiot that Nature
had ever created. So that the heart of his
unhappy mother was blacker than a dish-
clout, and a thousand times a day did she
bestow a hearty curse on all who had a
hand in bringing into the world such a
blockhead, who was not worth a dog's mess.








PERUONTO 15
For the poor woman might scream at him
till she burst her throat, and yet the moon-
calf would not stir to do the slightest hand's
turn for her.
At last, after a thousafid innings at his
brain, and a thousand splitting of his head,
and a thousand 'I tell you' and 'I told
you,' bawling to-day and yelling to-morrow,
she got him to go to the wood for a faggot,
saying, Come now, it is time for us to get
a morsel to eat; so run off for some sticks,
and don't forget yourself on the way, but
come back as quick as you can, and we will
boil ourselves some cabbage, to keep the
life in us.'
Away went Peruonto, the blockhead, and
he went just like one that was going to the
gallows: away he went, and he moved as if
treading on eggs, with the gait of a jackdaw,
and counting his steps, going fair and softly,
at a snail's,gallop, and making all sorts of
zigzags and circumbendibuses on his way
to the wood. And when he reached the
middle of a plain, through which a river
ran, growling and murmuring at the want of
manners in the stones that were stopping
his way, he met three youths, who had
made themselves a bed of the grass, and
a pillow of a flint stone, and were lying dead
asleep under the blaze of the Sun, who was
shooting his rays down point blank. When
Peruonto saw these poor creatures, who







16 THE PENTAMERONE


were made a fountain of water in 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 have required 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 good horse; and when it came in
fiont 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 re-
membered to have done before. Peruonto
raised his head, and seeing that it was at




















J7,


1- -~r


P T;)1Lr O t\r
-~-- .._.-







PERUONTO


him they were laughing, exclaimed, '0
Vastolla, may you never know peace till
you have married me whom now you de-
ride,' 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.
Vastolla from that day began to be tor-
mented with the thought of marrying Peru-
onto, and when the King proposed that she
should wed the son of the Emperor of
Trebisonde, she replied that she would marry
no one else but that countryman whom she
had seen passing one day before her palace
astride on a faggot of wood. The father of
Vastolla, angered by this refusal, called to-
gether his councillors, and said he was
determined to punish the Princess ; but the
councillors decreed that, before he took such
severe measures, it would be well to know
who was the countryman of whom the
Princess was enamoured. The King was
satisfied with this counsel, and wrote out a
decree ordering a great banquet to be pre-
pared, and inviting every nobleman and
every man of rank to come into the city,
proposing that when they had done feasting,
he should place them all in a row and let
C







18 THE PENTAMERONE

them pass before Vastolla, hoping that she
would select from among them the man
who had taken possession of her heart.
They came, but of not one of them would
Vastolla take any notice, so the King was
angered, and stamped with his feet upon the
ground and swore he would punish his
daughter.
But the councillors said to him, 'Softly,
softly, your Majesty! quiet your wrath. Let
us make another banquet to-morrow, 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 pro-
clamation, 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 and begun to eat with the







PERUONTO 19

others, than the King's daughter, not think-
ing of what she did, exclaimed, 'That is
he!'
When the king heard this he tore his
beard, seeing that the prize in this lottery
Shad fallen to an ugly boor. Heaving a deep
sigh, he said, 'What can that jade of a
daughter of mine have seen to make her
take a fancy to this sea-ogre ? Ah, vile,
false creature, what metamorphosis is this ?
But why do we delay? let her suffer the
punishment she deserves : let her undergo
the penalty that shall be decreed by you;
and take her from my presence, for I cannot
endure the sight of her.'
Then the councillors consulted together,
and they resolved that she and the male-
factor should be shut up in a cask, and
thrown into the sea; so that, without the
King's dipping his hands in his own blood,
they might put a full stop to the sentence of
their lives. No sooner was the judgment
pronounced, than the cask was brought, and
the couple were put into it; but before they
coopered it up, some of Vastolla's ladies,
crying and sobbing as if their hearts would
break, put into it also 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.








20 THE PENTAMERONE

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, 0 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 an indifferent ear, 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 cause this tub to be changed into a fine
ship, and run into some good harbour to
escape this danger?' And Peruonto
replied :
If you would have me say the spell,
With figs and raisins stuff me well.

So Vastolla, to make him open his throat,








PERUONTO 21

instantly filled his throat with the figs and
raisins. And lo as soon as Peruonto had
said what she desired, the cask was turned
into a ship, with all the rigging necessary
for sailing, and with all the sailors required
for working the vessel. There you might
see one pulling at a sheet, another mending
the rigging, one taking the helm, another
setting the sails, another mounting to the
round-top, one crying 'Larboard!' and
another 'Starboard!' one sounding a
trumpet, another firing the guns, one doing
one thing and one another; so that Vastolla
was swimming in a sea of delight.
It being now the hour when the Moon
begins to play at see-saw with the Sun,
Vastolla said to Peruonto: 'My fine lad,
now make this ship be changed into a
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 opera-
tion ; and Peruonto, swallowing them down,
asked what was her pleasure ; and immedi-
ately 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








22 THE PENTAMEROANE


there was nothing left to desire. So that
Vastolla, who a little before would have
given her life for a farthing, 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. And Peruonto replied
as before :
If you would have me say the spell,
With figs and raisins stuff me well.

Then Vastolla quickly removed the
stoppage of his speech; and scarcely had
he spoken the word, when he was changed
from an owl into a nightingale, from an ogre
into a Narcissus, from a scarecrow into a
dapper little doll. Vastolla, seeing such a
transformation, clasped him in her arms,
and was almost beside herself with joy.
Meantime the King, who from the day
that he had pronounced this cruel sentence
knew no peace, was one day for amusement
brought out to hunt by his courtiers. Night
overtook them, and seeing a light in the
window of that palace, he sent a servant to
inquire if they would entertain him ; and he
was answered, that he might not merely
break a glass but even smash a jug there.
So the King went to the palace; and up








PERUONTO


the staircase, and through the chambers,
without seeing a living being. Surprised
and astonished, he stood like one that was
enchanted; then sat down to rest himself
at a table. To his amazement he saw in-
visibly spread on it a Flanders tablecloth,
with dishes full of roast meats, and viands
of various kinds ; so that he feasted in truth
like a king: and all the while he sat at
table, a concert of lutes and tambourines
never ceased,-such delicious music that it
went to the very tips of his fingers and toes.
When he had done eating, a bed suddenly
appeared, all made of gold; and having his
boots taken off, he went to rest, and all his
courtiers did the same, after having feasted
heartily at a hundred tables, which were laid
out in the other rooms.
When morning came, and the King was
about to depart, he wished to know who
were his hosts. Then Vastolla made her
appearance with her husband, and casting
herself at his feet, she asked his pardon, and
related to him her whole story. The King,
seeing that he had found a son-in-law who
was a fay, embraced first one and then the
other, and carried them with him to the city.
Then he made a great feast, that lasted for
many days, on account of this good luck,
solemnly confessing to his whole court that
Man proposes,
But God disposes.







24 THE PENTAMERONE
When Meneca had ended her story, which
was considered beautiful from the number of
curious adventures, which kept the attention
of the hearers awake to the very end, Tolla,
at the command of the Prince, began the
following story.




















VARDIELLO

F Nature had given to animals the
necessity of clothing themselves,
and of buying their food, the
race of quadrupeds would in-
evitably be destroyed. Therefore it is that
they find their food without trouble,-with-
out gardener to gather it, purchaser to buy
it, cook to prepare it, or carver to cut it up;
whilst their skin defends them from the
rain and snow, without the merchant giving
them cloth, the tailor making the dress, or
the errand-boy begging for a drink-penny.
To man, however, who has intelligence,
Nature did not care to grant these in-
dulgences, since he is able to procure for
himself what he wants. This is the reason
that we commonly see clever men poor,
and blockheads rich; as you may gather
from the story which I am going to tell
you.







26 THE PENTAMERONE

Grannonia of Aprano was a woman of
great sense and judgment, but she had a son
named Vardiello, who was the greatest booby
and simpleton in the whole country round
about. Nevertheless, as a mother's eyes
are bewitched and see what does not exist,
she doted upon him so much, that she was
for ever caressing and fondling him as if he
were the handsomest creature in the world.
Now Grannonia kept a brood-hen, that
was sitting upon a nest of eggs, in which
she placed all her hope, expecting to have
a fine brood of chickens, and to make a
good profit off them. And having one day
to go out on some business, she called her
son, and said to him, 'My pretty son of
your own mother, listen to what I say ;
keep your eye upon the hen, and if she
should get up to scratch and pick, look
sharp and drive her back to the nest; for
otherwise the eggs will grow cold, and then
we shall have neither eggs nor chickens.'
'Leave it to me,' replied Vardiello, 'you
are not speaking to deaf ears.'
SOne thing more,' said his mother;
'look ye, my blessed son, in yon cupboard
is a pot full of certain poisonous things;
take care that ugly Sin does not tempt you
to touch them, for they would make you
stretch your legs in a trice.'
'Heaven forbid! replied Vardiello;
' poison indeed will not tempt me; but you







VARDIELLO 27

have done wisely to give me the warning;
for if I had got at it, I should certainly
have eaten it all up.'
Thereupon the mother went out, but
Vardiello stayed behind; and, in order to
lose no time, he went into the garden to
dig holes, which he covered with boughs
and earth, to catch the little thieves who
come to steal the fruit. And as he was in
the midst of his work, he saw the hen come
running out of the room; whereupon he
began to cry, Hish, hish this way, that
way!' But the hen did not stir a foot;
and Vardiello, seeing that she had some-
thing of the donkey in her, after crying
' Hish, hish,' began to stamp with his feet;
and after stamping with his feet, to throw
his cap at her, and after the cap a cudgel,
which hit her just upon the pate, and made
her quickly stretch her legs.
When Vardiello saw this sad accident,
he bethought himself how to remedy the
evil; and making a virtue of necessity, in
order to prevent the eggs growing cold, he
set himself down upon the nest; but in
doing so, he gave the eggs an unlucky
blow, and quickly made an omelet of them.
In despair at what he had done, he was on
the point of knocking his head against the
wall: at last, however, as all grief turns
to hunger, feeling his stomach begin to
grumble, he resolved to eat up the hen.







28 THE PENTAMERONE

So he plucked her, and sticking her upon
a spit, he made a great fire, and set to
work to roast her. And when she was
cooked, Vardiello, to do everything in due
order, spread a clean cloth upon an old
chest; and then, taking a flagon, he went
down into the cellar to draw some wine.
But just as he was in the midst of drawing
the wine, he heard a noise, a disturbance, an
uproar in the house, which seemed like the
clattering of horses' hoofs. Whereat starting
up in alarm, and turning his eyes, he saw
a big tom-cat, which had run off with the
hen, spit and all; and another cat chasing
after him, mewing, and crying out for a part.
Vardiello, in order to set this mishap to
rights, darted upon the cat like an unchained
lion, and in his haste he left the tap of the
barrel running. And after chasing the cat
through every hole and corner of the house,
he recovered the hen, but the cask had
meanwhile all run out; and when Vardiello
returned, and saw the wine running about,
he let the cask of his soul empty itself
through the tap-holes of his eyes. But at
last judgment came to his aid, and he hit
upon a plan to remedy the mischief, and
prevent his mother's finding out what had
happened : so taking a sack of flour, filled
full to the mouth, he sprinkled it over the
wine on the floor.
But when he meanwhile reckoned up on
















~-r L







VARDIELLO


his fingers all the disasters he had met
with, and thought to himself that, from the
number of fooleries he had committed, he
must have lost the game in the good graces
of Grannonia, he resolved in his heart not
to let his mother see him again alive. So
thrusting his hand into the jar of pickled
walnuts, which his mother had said con-
tained poison, he never stopped eating
until he came to the bottom; and when he
had right well filled his stomach, he went
and hid himself in the oven.
In the meanwhile his mother returned,
and stood knocking for a long time at the
door ; but at last, seeing that no one came,
she gave it a kick ; and going in, she called
her son at the top of her voice. But as
nobody answered, she imagined that some
mischief must have happened, and with
increased lamentation she went on crying
louder and louder, 'Vardiello Vardiello!
are you deaf, that you don't hear ? have
you the cramp, that you don't run ? have
you the pip, that you don't answer ? Where
are you, you gallows-faced rogue ? where
are you hidden, you naughty fellow ?'
Vardiello, on hearing all this hubbub and
abuse, cried out at last with a piteous voice,
' Here I am here I am in the oven; but
you will never see me again, mother !'
Why so ?' said the poor mother.
Because I am poisoned,' replied the son.







30 THE PENTAIMERONE
'Alas alas !' cried Grannonia, 'how
came you to do that ? what cause have you
had to commit this homicide ? and who has
given you the poison ?' Then Vardiello
told her, one after another, all the pretty
things he had done; on which account he
wished to die, and not to remain any longer
a laughing-stock in the world.
The poor woman, on hearing all this, was
miserable and wretched, and she had enough
to do and to say to drive this melancholy
whimsey out of Vardiello's head. And being
infatuated and dotingly fond of him, she gave
him some nice sweetmeats, and so put the
affair of the pickled walnuts out of his head,
and convinced him that they were not poison,
but good and comforting to the stomach.
And having thus pacified him with cheering
words, and showered on him a thousand ca-
resses, she drew him out of the oven. Then
giving him a fine piece of cloth, she bade
him go and sell it, but cautioned him not
to do business with folks of too many words.
Tut, tut said Vardiello ; let me alone,
-I know what I'm about, never fear.' So
saying he took the cloth, and went his way
through the city of Naples, crying, 'Cloth !
cloth !' But whenever any one asked him,
'What cloth have you there?' he replied,
'You are no customer for me -you are
a man of too many words.' And when
another said to him, 'How do you sell your







VARDIELLO 31
cloth?' he called him a chatterbox, who
deafened him with his noise. At length he
chanced to espy, in the courtyard of a house
which was deserted, a plaster statue; and
being tired out, and wearied with going about
and about, he sat himself down upon a bench.
But not seeing any one astir in the house,
which looked like a sacked village, he was
lost in amazement, and said to the statue,
Tell me, comrade, does no one live in this
house ?' Vardiello waited a while ; but as
the statue gave no answer, he thought this
surely was a man of few words. So he said,
Friend, will you buy my cloth ? I'll sell it
you cheap.' And seeing that the statue still
remained dumb, he exclaimed, Faith then
I've found my man at last there, take the
cloth, examine it, and give me what you will;
to-morrow I'll return for the money.
So saying, Vardiello left the cloth on the
spot where he had been sitting, and the first
mother's son who passed that way found the
prize and carried it off.
When Vardiello returned home without
the cloth, and told his mother all that had
happened, she well-nigh swooned away, and
said to him, When will you put that head-
piece of yours in order? See now what
tricks you have played me-only think but
I am myself to blame for being too tender-
hearted, instead of having given you a good
beating at first; and now I perceive that a







32 THE PENTAMERONE
pitiful doctor only makes the wound in-
curable. But you'll go on with your pranks,
until at last we come to a serious falling out,
and then there will be a long reckoning, my
lad!'
Softly, mother,' replied Vardiello;
'matters are not so bad as they seem: do
you want more than crown-pieces bran new
from the mint ? do you think me a fool, and
that I don't know what I am about ? To-
morrow is not yet here-wait a while, and
you shall see whether I know how to fit a
handle to a shovel.'
The next morning, as soon as the shades
of Night, pursued by the constables of the
Sun, had fled the country, Vardiello repaired
to the courtyard where the statue stood, and
said, Good-day, friend! can you give me
those few pence you owe me ? come, quick,
pay me for the cloth !' But when he saw
that the statue remained speechless, he took
up a stone, and hurled it at its breast with
such force that it burst a vein, which proved
indeed the cure to his own malady; for
some pieces of the statue falling off, he
discovered a pot full of golden crown-pieces.
Then taking it in both his hands, off he ran
home, head over heels, as fast as he could
scamper, crying out, Mother, mother see
here, what a lot of red lupins I've got! how
many, how many !'
His mother, seeing the crown-pieces, and








VARDIELLO 33

knowing very well that Vardiello would
soon make the matter public, told him to
stand at the door, until the man with milk
and new-made cheese came past, as she
wanted to buy a pennyworth of milk. So
Vardiello, who was a great glutton, went
quickly and seated himself at the door;
and his mother showered down from the
window above raisins and dried figs for
more than half an hour. Whereupon
Vardiello, picking them up as fast as he
could, cried aloud, Mother, mother bring
out some baskets, give me some bowls!
here, quick with the tubs and buckets for
if it goes on to rain thus we shall be rich
in a trice.' And when he had eaten his fill
Vardiello went up to sleep.
It happened one day that two country-
men fell out, and went to law about a
gold crown-piece which they had found on
the ground; and Vardiello passing by said,
'What jackasses you are to quarrel about
a red lupin like this for my part I don't
value it at a pin's head, for I've found a
whole potful of them.'
When the judge heard this he opened
wide his eyes and ears, and examined
Vardiello closely, asking him how, when,
and where he had found the crowns. And
Vardiello replied, I found them in a
palace, inside a dumb man, when it rained
raisins and dried figs.' At this the judge
D








34 THE PENTAMERONE
stared with amazement; but instantly under-
stood that he had to deal with a booby, so
he sent him off without further ado and
without suspecting by what cunning the
mother had caused him to make this absurd
reply.
And so the treasure remained in the
hands of Grannonia of Aprano.

The Prince and the Slave laughed till
they were ready to burst at Vardiello's
stupidity, and praised the cleverness of his
mother, who had the wit to foresee and
provide against his folly. But when all the
others had turned the key on their chatter-
ing, Popa, being requested to tell a story,
began as follows.









'i" -' ..-" t I









THE FLEA

ESOLUTIONS taken without
thought bring disasters without
remedy. He who behaves like
a fool repents like a wise man;
as happened to the King of High-Hill, who,
through unexampled folly, committed an act
of madness, putting in jeopardy both his
daughter and his honour.

Once upon a time the King of High-
Hill, being bitten by a flea, caught him by
a wonderful feat of dexterity ; and seeing
how handsome and stately he was, he could
not in conscience pass sentence on him
upon the bed of his nail. So he put him
into a bottle, and feeding him every day
with the blood of his own arm, the little
beast grew at such a rate, that at the end of
seven months it was necessary to shift his
quarters, for he was grown bigger than a








36 THE PENTAMERONE
sheep. When the king saw this, he had
him flayed, and the skin dressed. Then he
issued a proclamation, that whoever could
tell to what animal this skin had belonged
should have his daughter to wife.
As soon as this decree was made known,
the people all flocked in crowds, and they
came from the ends of the world to be
present at the scrutiny, and to try their
luck. One said that it belonged to an ape,
another to a lynx, a third to a crocodile,
and in short some gave it to one animal,
and some to another; but they were all a
hundred miles from the truth, and not one
hit the nail on the head. At last there
came to this anatomical trial an ogre, who
was the most frightfully ugly being in the
world, the very sight of whom would make
the boldest man tremble and quake with
fear. But no sooner had he come, and
turned the skin round and smelt it, than he
instantly guessed the truth, saying, 'This
skin belongs to the arch-rascal of the
fleas !'
Now the king saw that the ogre had hit
the apple; but, not to break his word, he
ordered his daughter Porziella to be called.
Porziella had a face like milk and blood,
and was such a miracle of beauty that you
could devour her with your eyes, she was
so lovely. And the king said to her, 'My
daughter, thou knowest the proclamation I








THE FLEA


have issued, and thou knowest who I am;
in short, I cannot go back from my promise.
My word is given; I must keep it, though
my heart should break. Who could ever
have imagined that this prize would have
fallen to an ogre? But since not a leaf
shakes without the will of Heaven, we must
believe that this marriage has been made
first there above, and then here below.
Have patience then, and if thou art a good
and dutiful girl do not oppose thy father, for
my heart tells me that thou wilt be happy,
since treasures are often found inside a
rough earthen jar.'
When Porziella heard this sad resolution,
her eyes grew dim, her face turned yellow,
her lips fell, her legs trembled, and she was
on the point of letting fly the falcon of her
soul after the quail of grief. At last, burst-
ing into tears, she said to her father, What
crime have I committed that I should be
punished thus ? How have I acted ill to-
ward you, that I should be given up to
this monster ? 0 wretched Porziella, behold
you are running like a weasel into the toad's
throat of your own accord like an unfortu-
nate sheep you are the prey of a ravenous
wolf! Is this, 0 father, the affection you
bear your own blood ? is this the love you
show to her whom you used to call the joy
of your soul ? do you thus tear from your
heart her who is a part of your blood?







38 THE PENTAMERONE
do you drive from your sight her who is
the apple of your eye ? 0 father, 0 cruel
father! you surely are not born of human
flesh; the sea-orks gave you blood, the
wild-cats suckled you. But why do I talk
of beasts of the land and sea? for every
animal loves its young; you alone loathe
and hate your own offspring, you alone
hold your daughter in abhorrence. Oh,
better had it been if my mother had
strangled me at my birth, if my cradle had
been my deathbed, my swaddling-clothes a
halter, and the whistle they tied round my
neck a millstone ; since I have lived to see
this evil day, to see myself caressed by the
hand of a harpy, embraced by two bear's
paws, and kissed by two boar's tusks.'
Porziella was going on to say more, when
the king in a furious rage exclaimed, 'Stay
your anger, fair and softly, for appearances
deceive stop, stop ; hold your tongue, you
ill-mannered chatterbox what I do is well
done. Is it for a girl to teach her father
forsooth ? have done, I say, for if I lay
these hands upon you, I'll not leave a whole
bone in your skin, and will make you bite
the dust. Prithee how long has a child, with
the milk still upon her lips, dared to oppose
my will ? Quick then, I say! take his
hand, and set off with him home this very
instant ; for I will not have that saucy,
impudent face a minute longer in my sight.'








THE FLEA


Poor Porziella, seeing herself thus caught
in the net, with the face of a person con-
demned to death, with the eye of one
possessed, with the mouth of one who has
taken an emetic, with the heart of a person
whose head is lying between the axe and
the block, took the hand of the ogre, who
dragged her off, without any one accom-
panying them, to a wood, where the trees
made a palace for the meadow, to prevent
its being discovered by the sun, and the
brooks murmured at having knocked against
the stones in the dark, whilst the wild beasts
wandered where they liked without paying
toll, and went safely through the thicket,
whither no man ever came unless he had lost
his way. Upon this spot, which was as
black as an unswept chimney, and hideous
as the face of hell, stood the ogre's house,
ornamented and hung all round with the
bones of men whom he had devoured.
Think' but for a moment, good Christians,
on the trembling, the quivering, the horror
and affright which the poor girl endured!
depend upon it there did not remain a drop
of blood in her body.
But all this was nothing at all in com-
parison with what was to come. The ogre
went out to hunt, and returned home laden
with the quarters of men whom he had
killed, saying, 'Now, wife, you cannot com-
plain that I don't take good care of you;







40 THE PENTAIMERONE
here's a fine store of eatables for you; take
and make merry, and love me well, for the
sky will fall before I let you want for food.'
Poor Porziella was sick at this horrible
sight, and turned her face away. But when
the ogre saw this, he cried, Ha! this is
throwing sweatmeats before swine : no
matter, however; only have patience till
to-morrow morning; for I have been in-
vited to a wild-boar hunt, and will bring
you home a couple of boars, and we'll make
a grand feast with our kinsfolk, and celebrate
our wedding.' So saying, away he went
into the forest.
Now as Porziella stood weeping at the
window, it chanced that an old woman
passed by, who, being famished by hunger,
begged some refreshment of her. 'Ah, my
good woman said Porziella, 'Heaven
knows I am in the power of a devil, who
brings me home nothing but quarters and
pieces of men he has killed; indeed I know
not how it is that I have the stomach even
to look upon such odious things. I pass
the most miserable life that ever a Christian
soul led; and yet I am the daughter of a
king, and have been reared on dainties,
and passed my life in plenty.' And so
saying, she began to cry.
The old woman's heart was softened at
this sight, and she said to Porziella, Be of
good heart, my pretty girl; do not spoil







THE FLEA


your beauty with crying, for you have fallen
in with luck; I can help you. Listen now.
I have seven sons, who, you see, are seven
oaks, seven giants,-Mase, Nardo, Cola,
Micco, Petrullo, Ascaddeo, and Ceccone,-
who have more virtues than rosemary,
especially Mase ; for every time he lays his
ear to the ground, he hears all that is
passing within thirty miles around: Nardo,
every time he spits, makes a great sea of
soap-suds : every time that Cola throws a
bit of iron on the ground, he makes a field
of sharp razors : Micco, every time he flings
down a little stick, makes a tangled wood
spring up : Petrullo, whenever he throws
on the ground a drop of water, makes a
terrific river : Ascaddeo, every time he flings
a stone, causes a strong tower to spring up :
and Ceccone shoots so straight with a cross-
bow, that he can hit a hen's eye a mile off.
Now, with the help of my sons, who are all
courteous and friendly, and who will all
take compassion on your condition, I will
contrive to free you from the claws of the
ogre ; for such a delicate morsel is not food
for the huge throat of this monster.'
'No time is better than now,' replied
Porziella; 'for that evil shadow of a hus-
band of mine is gone out, and will not
return this evening, and we shall have time
to slip off and run away.'
It cannot be this evening,' replied the








42 THE PENTAMERONE
old woman, 'for I live a long way off; but
I promise you that to-morrow morning I
and my sons will all come together and
help you out of your trouble.'
So saying the old woman departed, and
Porziella went to rest with a light heart,
and slept soundly all night. But as soon
as the birds began to cry, Long live the
Sun!' lo and behold there was the old
woman with her seven sons; and placing
Porziella in the midst of them, they pro-
ceeded towards the city. But they had not
gone above half a mile when Mase put his
ear to the ground, and cried, Hallo, have
a care here's the fox The ogre is come
home, and not finding his wife, he is hasten-
ing after us with his cap under his arm.'
No sooner did Nardo hear this, than he
spat upon the ground, and made a sea of
soap; and when the ogre came, and saw
all the suds, he ran home, and fetching a
sack of bran, he strewed it about, and
worked away, treading it down with his
feet, until at last he got over this obstacle,
though with great difficulty.
But Mase put his ear once more to the
ground, and exclaimed, 'Look sharp, com-
rade here he comes !' Thereupon Cola
flung the piece of iron on the ground, and
instantly a field of razors sprung up. When
the ogre saw the path stopped, he ran
home again, and clad himself in iron from
















fir 4. L '
iJ N, ..


ii


I. -" N:,

% .Y.r /41~ 'i

- I' N r~''jr- i.*








THE FLEA 43

head to foot, and then returned, and got
over this peril.
Then Mase, again putting his ear to the
ground, cried, 'Up, up, to arms! to arms !
for see here is the ogre coming at such a
rate that he is actually flying.' But Micco
was ready with his little stick, and in an
instant he caused a terrible wood to rise
up, so thick that it was quite impenetrable.
When the ogre came to this difficult pass,
he laid hold of a Carrara knife that he wore
at his side, and began to fell the poplars
and oaks right and left, to tumble down the
pine-trees and cornel-trees; insomuch that
with four or five strokes he laid the whole
forest on the ground, and got clear out of
the maze.
Presently Mase, who kept his ears on
the alert like a hare, again raised his voice
and cried, Now we must be off, for the
ogre has put on wings, and see here he is
at our heels !' As soon as Petrullo heard
this, he took a sip of water from a little
fountain that was spurting out of a stone
basin, squirted it on the ground, and in the
twinkling of an eye a large river rose up on
the spot. When the ogre saw this new
obstacle, and that he could not make holes
as fast as they found bungs to stop them,
he stripped himself stark naked, and swam
across to the other side of the river with
his clothes upon his head.







44 THE PENTAMERONE
Mase, who put his ear to every chink, heard
the ogre coming, and exclaimed, 'Alas!
matters go ill with us now; I already hear
the clatter of the ogre's heels : Heaven help
us So let us be upon our guard, and pre-
pare to meet this storm, or else we are done
for.'
'Never fear,' said Ascaddeo, I will soon
settle this ugly ragamuffin.' So saying
he flung a pebble on the ground, and in-
stantly up rose a tower, in which they all
took refuge without delay and barred the
door. But when the ogre came up, and
saw that they had betaken themselves to a
place of safety, he ran home, got a vine-
dresser's ladder, and hied with it on his
shoulder back to the tower.
Now Mase, who kept his ears hanging
down, heard at a distance the approach of
the ogre, and cried, We are now at the
butt-end of the candle of hope Ceccone is
our last resource, for the ogre is coming
back in a terrible fury. Alas, how my
heart beats, for I foresee an evil day !'
You coward !' answered Ceccone; 'trust
to me, and I will hit him with a ball.'
As Ceccone was speaking, the ogre came,
planted his ladder, and began to climb up ;
but Ceccone, taking aim at him, shot out
one of his eyes, and laid him at full length
on the ground, like a pear dropped from the
tree : then he went out of the tower, and cut








THE FLEA


off the ogre's head with the big knife he
carried about him, just as if it had been
new-made cheese. Thereupon they took
the head with great joy to the king, who re-
joiced at recovering his daughter, for he had
repented a hundred times having given her
to an ogre. And not many days after, the
king procured a handsome husband for
Porziella, and he heaped riches on the seven
sons and their mother, who had delivered
his daughter from such a wretched life.
Nor did he omit to call himself a thousand
times to blame for his conduct to Porziella,
and having out of mere caprice exposed
her to such peril, without thinking what an
error he commits who goes looking for wolf's
eggs.

The auditors looked like statues, as they
sat listening to the story of the Flea, and
they declared one and all that King Stupid
was an ass, to put in peril the welfare of his
own flesh and blood, and the inheritance of
his kingdom, for just nothing at all. When
they had all shut their mouths again, Anto-
nella opened hers and began the following
story.




















THE ENCHANTED DOE

REAT is doubtless the power of
friendship, which makes us bear
toils and perils willingly to serve
a friend. We value our wealth
as a trifle, honour as nothing at all, life as a
straw, when we can give them for a friend's
sake ; fables teach us this, history is full of
instances of it, and I will give you an
example which my grandmother Semmonella
-may she be in glory !-used to relate to
me. So open your ears and shut your
mouths, and hear what I shall tell you.

There was once a certain king named
Giannone, who, desiring greatly to have
children, had prayers continually made to
the gods that they would grant his wish:
and in order to incline them the more to
give him this gratification, he was so charit-
able to beggars and pilgrims that he shared








THE ENCHANTED DOE 47
with them all he possessed. But seeing at
last that matters were protracted, and there
was no end to putting his hand into his
pocket, he bolted his door fast, and shot with
a cross-bow at whoever came near.
Now it happened that at this time a long-
bearded Capuchin was passing that way,
and not knowing that the king had turned
over a new leaf, or perhaps knowing it and
wishing to make him change his mind again,
he went to Giannone and begged for enter-
tainment in his house. But, with a fierce
look and a terrible growl, the king said to
him, If you have no other candle than this,
you may go to bed in the dark. The
time is gone by; I am no longer a fool.'
And when the old man asked what was the
cause of this change, the king replied, From
my desire to have children, I have spent and
have lent to all who came and all who went,
and have squandered away all my wealth.
At last, seeing that the beard was gone, I
stopped and laid aside the razor.'
'If that be all,' replied the old man, you
may set your mind at rest, for I promise that
your wish shall be forthwith fulfilled, on pain
of losing my ears.'
'Be it so,' said the king, 'and I pledge
my word that I will give you one half of my
kingdom.' And the man answered, Listen
now to me,-if you wish to hit the mark,
you have only to get the heart of a sea-








48 THE PENTAMERONE

dragon, and have it dressed by a young
maiden. And as soon as the heart is
dressed, give it to the queen to eat, and
you'll see that what I say will speedily come
to pass.'
'If that be the case,' replied the king,
'I must this very moment get the dragon's
heart.'
So he sent a hundred fishermen out, and
they got ready all kinds of fishing-tackle,
drag-nets, casting-nets, seine-nets, bow-nets,
and fishing lines; and they tacked and
turned, and cruised in all directions, until at
last they caught a dragon; then they took
out its heart and brought it to the king, who
gave it to a handsome young lady to dress.
When the heart was dressed, and the queen
had tasted it, in a few days she and the young
lady both had a son, so like the one to the
other that nobody could tell which was which.
And the boys grew up together in such love
for one another that they could not be parted
for a moment; and their attachment was so
great that the queen began to be jealous at
seeing her son testify more affection for the
son of one of her servants than he did for
herself, and she knew not in what way to
remove this thorn from her eyes.
Now one day the prince wished to go
a-hunting with his companion; so he had a
fire lighted in the fireplace in his chamber,
and began to melt lead to make balls; and








THE ENCHANTED DOE 49

being in want of I know not what, he went
himself to look for it. Meanwhile the queen
came in to see what her son was about, and
finding nobody there but Canneloro, the son
of the maiden, she thought to put him out
of the world. So stooping down she flung
the hot bullet-mould at his face, which hit
him over the brow and gave him an ugly
wound. She was just going to repeat the
blow, when her son Fonzo came in; so pre-
tending that she was only come to see how
he was, after giving him a few trifling caresses
she went away.
Canneloro, pulling his hat down on his
forehead, said nothing of his wound to
Fonzo, but stood quite quiet, though he was
burning with the pain. And as soon as
they had done making balls, he requested
leave of the prince to go out. Fonzo, all in
amazement at this new resolution, asked
him the reason; but he replied, Inquire
no more, my dear Fonzo ; let it suffice that
I am obliged to go away, and Heaven knows
that in parting with you, who are my heart,
the soul is ready to leave my bosom, but
since it cannot be otherwise, farewell, and
keep me in remembrance !i
Then, after embracing one another and
shedding many tears, Canneloro went to
his own room, where taking a suit of
armour and a magic sword, he armed him-
self from top to toe; and having taken a








50 THE .PENTAMERONE
horse out of the stable, he was just putting
his foot into the stirrup when Fonzo came
weeping and said, that since he was
resolved to abandon him, he should at least
leave him some token of his love, to dimin-
ish his anguish for his absence. There-
upon Canneloro laid hold on his dagger
and stuck it into the ground, and instantly
a fine fountain rose up. Then said he to
the prince, 'This is the best memorial I
can leave you; for by the flowing of this
fountain you will know the course of my
life; if you see it run clear, know that my
life will likewise be clear and tranquil; if
you see it turbid, think that I am passing
through troubles; and if you find it dry
(which Heaven forbid!) depend on it that
the oil of my lamp is all consumed, and I
have paid the toll that belongs to Nature.'
So saying he took his sword, and sticking
it into the ground, he made a plant of
myrtle spring up, saying to the prince,
'As long as you see this myrtle green,
know that I am green as a leek; if you see
it wither, think that my fortunes are not the
best in the world ; but if it becomes quite
dried up, you may say a requiem for your
Canneloro.'
So saying, after embracing one another
again, Canneloro set out on his travels;
and journeying on and on, after various
adventures which would be too long to








THE ENCHANTED DOE 51

recount,-such as quarrels with vetturini,
disputes with landlords, murderous attacks
by toll-gatherers, perils of bad roads,
encounters with robbers,-he at length
arrived at Long-Trellis, just at the time when
they were holding a most splendid tourna-
ment, the hand of the king's daughter being
promised to the victor. Here Canneloro
presented himself, and bore him so bravely
that he overthrew all the knights who were
come from divers parts to gain a name for
themselves. Whereupon Fenicia, the king's
daughter, was given to him to wife, and a
great feast was made.
When Canneloro had been there some
months in peace and quiet, an unhappy
fancy came into his head for going to the
chase. Then he told it to the king, who
said to him, 'Take care of your legs, my
son-in-law; do not be blinded by the evil
one ; be wise and open your eyes, sir for in
these woods there is the devil's own ogre,
who changes his form every day, one time
appearing like a wolf, at another like a lion,
now like a stag, now like an ass, now like
one thing and now like another; and by a
thousand stratagems he decoys those who
are so unfortunate as to meet him, into a
cave, where he devours them. So, my son,
do not put your safety in peril, or you will
leave your rags there.'
Canneloro, who did not know what fear








52 THE PENTAMERONE
was, paid no heed to the advice of his
father-in-law; and as soon as the Sun with
the broom of his rays had cleared away the
soot of the Night, he set out for the chase;
and on his way he came to a wood, where,
beneath the awning of the leaves, the
Shades had assembled to maintain their
sway, and to make a conspiracy against the
Sun. The ogre, seeing him coming, turned
himself into a handsome doe, which as soon
as Canneloro perceived he began to give
chase to her; then the doe doubled and
turned, and led him about hither and thither
at such a rate, that at last she brought him
into the very heart of the wood, where she
made such a tremendous snowstorm arise
that it looked as if the sky was going
to fall. Canneloro, finding himself in front
of the ogre's cave, went into it to seek
shelter; and being benumbed with the cold,
he took some sticks which he found within
it, and pulling his steel out of his pocket he
kindled a large fire. As he was standing-
by it to dry his clothes, the doe came to the
mouth of the cave and said, 'Sir Knight,
pray give me leave to warm myself a little
while, for I am shivering with the cold.'
Canneloro, who was of a kind disposition,
said to her, Draw near, and welcome.'
'I would gladly,' replied the doe, 'but
that I am afraid you would kill me.'
' Fear nothing,' answered Canneloro ; 'come,







THE ENCHANTED DOE


trust to my word.' 'If you wish me to
enter,' rejoined the doe, tie up those dogs,
that they may not hurt me, and tie up your
horse that he may not kick me.'
So Canneloro tied up his dogs and
fettered his horse, and the doe said, I am
now half assured, but unless you bind fast
your sword, by the soul of my grandsire I
will not go in!' Then Canneloro, who
wished to become friends with the doe,
bound his sword, as a countryman does his
when he carries it in the city, for fear of the
constables. As soon as the ogre saw
Canneloro defenceless, he took his own form,
and laying hold on him, flung him into a pit
that was at .the bottom of the cave, and
covered it up with a stone, to keep him to eat.
But Fonzo, who morning and evening
visited the myrtle and the fountain, to learn
news of the fate of Canneloro, finding the
one withered and the other troubled, in-
stantly thought that his friend was passing
through some misfortunes; and being de-
sirous of giving him succour, he mounted
his horse without asking leave of his father
or mother, and arming himself well, and tak-
ing two enchanted dogs, he went rambling
through the world; and he roamed and
rambled here and there and everywhere,
until at last he came to Long-Trellis, which
he found all in mourning for the supposed
death of Canneloro. And scarcely was he







54 THE PENTAMERONE
come to the court, when every one, thinking
it was Canneloro from the likeness he bore
him, hastened to tell Fenicia the good news,
who ran tumbling down the stairs, and em-
bracing Fonzo exclaimed, My husband!
my heart! where have you been all this
time ?'
Fonzo immediately perceived that Canne-
loro had come to this country, and had left
it again; so he resolved to examine the
matter adroitly, to learn from the princess's
discourse where he might be found; and
hearing her say that he had put himself in
such great danger by that accursed hunting,
especially if that cruel ogre should meet
him, he at once concluded that his friend
must be there.
The next morning, as soon as the Sun
had gone forth to give the gilded pills to the
Sky, he jumped out of bed, and neither the
prayers of Fenicia nor the commands of the
king could keep him back, but he would go
to the chase. So mounting his horse, he
went with the enchanted dogs to the wood,
where the same thing befell him that had
befallen Canneloro; and entering the cave,
he saw Canneloro's arms and dogs and
horse fast bound, by which he became cer-
tain that his friend had there fallen into a
snare. Then the doe told him in like man-
ner to tie his arms, dogs, and horse ; but he
instantly set them upon her, and they tore







THE ENCHANTED DOE 55

her to pieces. And as he was looking
about for some other traces of his friend, he
heard his voice down in the pit; so lifting
up the stone he drew out Canneloro, with
all the others whom the ogre had buried
alive to fatten. Then embracing each other
with great joy, the two friends went home,
where Fenicia, seeing them so much alike,
did not know which to choose for her hus-
band; but when Canneloro took off his cap,
she saw the wound, and recognized and em-
braced him. And after staying there a
month, taking his amusement, Fonzo wished
to return to his own country, and to go back
to his nest; and Canneloro wrote by him to
his mother, bidding her come and partake
of his greatness, which she did, and from
that time forward he never would hear
either of dogs or of hunting, recollecting the
saying,
Unhappy is he who corrects himself at his own cost.



















PARSLEY

0 great is my desire to keep the
Princess amused, that the whole
of the past night, when all were
sound asleep and nobody stirred
hand or foot, I have done nothing but turn
over the old papers of my brain, and ran-
sack all the closets of my memory, choosing
from among the stories which that good
soul my uncle's grandmother (whom Heaven
take to glory !) used to tell, such as seemed
most fitting to relate to you; and unless I
have put on my spectacles upside down, I
fancy they will give you pleasure; or, should
they not serve, as armed squadrons, to drive
away tedium from your mind, they will at
least be as trumpets to incite my companions
here to go forth to the field, with greater
power than my poor strength possesses, to
supply by the abundance of their wit the
deficiencies of my discourse.








PARSLEY 57

There was once upon a time a woman
named Pascadozzia. As she was standing
one day at a window, which looked into the
garden of an ogress, she saw a beautiful bed
of parsley, for which she took such a long-
ing that she was on the point of fainting
away; and being unable to resist her desire,
she watched until the ogress went out, and
then plucked a handful of it. But when the
ogress came home, and was going to cook
her pottage, she found that some one had
been at the parsley, and said, 'Ill luck to
me but I'll catch this long-fingered rogue,
and make him repent it, and teach him to
his cost that every one should eat off his
own platter, and not meddle with other
folks' cups.'
The poor woman went again and again
down into the garden, until one morning the
ogress met her, and in a furious rage ex-
claimed, Have I caught you at last, you
thief, you rogue ? Prithee do you pay the
rent of the garden, that you come in this
impudent way and steal my plants ? By my
faith, but I'll make you do penance !'
Poor Pascadozzia, in a terrible fright, be-
gan to make excuses, saying that neither
from gluttony nor the craving of hunger had
she been tempted by the devil to commit
this fault, but fear she had lest the child
should be born with a crop of parsley on its
face; and she added that the ogress ought







58 THE PENTAMERONE
rather to thank her, for not having given
her sore eyes.
'Words are but wind,' answered the
ogress; 'I am not to be caught with such
prattle; you have closed the balance-sheet
of life, unless you promise to give me the
child you bring forth, girl or boy, whichever
it may be.'
Poor Pascadozzia, in order to escape the
peril in which she found herself, swore with
one hand upon another to keep the promise :
so the ogress 'let her go free. But when
her time was come, Pascadozzia gave birth
to a little girl, so beautiful that she was a
joy to look upon, who, from having a fine
sprig of parsley on her bosom, was named
Parsley. And the little girl grew from day
to day, until when she was seven years old
her mother sent her to school; and every
time she went along the street and met the
ogress, the old woman said to her, 'Tell
your mother to remember her promise.'
And she went on repeating this message
so often, that the poor mother, having no
longer patience to listen to the same tale,
said one day to Parsley, 'If you meet the
old woman as usual, and she reminds you
of the hateful promise, answer her, "Take
it !''
When Parsley, who dreamt of no ill, met
the ogress again, and heard her repeat the
same words, she answered innocently as









p.-l .' Ib,


-t -
~~s:







PARSLEY 59

her mother had told her; whereupon the
ogress, seizing her by her hair, carried her
off to a wood, which the Sun never entered.
Then she put the poor girl into a tower,
which she caused to arise by her art, and
which had neither gate nor ladder, but only
a little window, through which she ascended
and descended by means of Parsley's hair,
which was very long, as the sailor is used
to run up and down the mast of a ship.
Now it happened one day, when the
ogress had left the tower, that Parsley put
her head out of the little window, and let
loose her tresses in the sun; and the son
of a prince passing by saw these two golden
banners, which invited all souls to enlist
under the standard of Love ; and beholding
with amazement in the midst of those
gleaming waves a siren's face, that en-
chanted all hearts, he fell desperately in
love with such wonderful beauty ; and send-
ing her a memorial of sighs, she decreed to
receive him into favour. Matters went on
so well with the prince, that there was
soon a nodding of heads and kissing of
hands, thanks and offerings, hopes and
promises, soft words and compliments.
And when this had continued for several
days, Parsley and the prince became so
intimate that they made an appointment to
meet, and agreed that it should be at night,
and that Parsley should give the ogress







60 THE PENTAMERONE


some poppy-juice, and draw up the prince
with her tresses. So when the appointed
hour came, the prince went to the tower,
where Parsley, letting fall her hair at a
given signal, he seized it with both his
hands, and cried, Draw up!' And when
he was drawn up, he crept through the
little window into the chamber.
The next morning early, the prince de-
scended by the same golden ladder, to go
his way home. And having repeated these
visits many times, a gossip of the ogress,
who was for ever prying into things that
did not concern her, and poking her nose
into every corner, got to find out the secret,
and told the ogress to be upon the look-out,
for that Parsley was courted by a youth.
The ogress thanked the gossip for the
information, and said she would take good
care to stop up the road ; and as to Parsley,
it was impossible for her to escape, as she
had laid a spell upon her, so that, unless she
had in her hand the three gallnuts which
were in a rafter in the kitchen, it would
be labour lost to attempt to get away.
Whilst they were talking thus together,
Parsley, who stood with her ears wide open,
and had some suspicion of the gossip, over-
heard all that passed. And when Night
had spread out her black garments, and the
prince had come as usual, she made him
climb on to the rafters and find the gall-








PARSLEY


nuts, knowing well what effect they would
have, as she had been enchanted by the
ogress. Then, having made a rope-ladder,
they both descended to the ground, took
to their heels, and scampered off towards
the city. But the gossip happening to see
them come out, set up a loud halloo, and
began to shout and make such a noise that
the ogress awoke; and seeing that Parsley
had fled, she descended by the same ladder,
which was fastened to the window, and set
off running after the lovers, who, when they
saw her coming at their heels faster than
a horse let loose, gave themselves up for
lost. But Parsley, recollecting the gallnuts,
quickly threw one on the ground, and lo !
instantly a Corsican bulldog started up,-a
terrible beast !-which with open jaws and
barking loud flew at the ogress as if to
swallow her at a mouthful. But the old
woman, who was more cunning and spiteful
than the devil, put her hand into her pocket,
and pulling out a piece of bread, gave it to
the dog, which made him hang his tail and
allay his fury. Then she turned to run
after the fugitives again ; but Parsley, seeing
her approach, threw the second gallnut on
the ground, and lo a fierce lion arose,
who, lashing the earth with his tail, and
shaking his mane, and opening wide his
jaws a yard apart, was just preparing to
make a slaughter of the ogress ; when,








62 THE PENTAMERONE

turning quickly back, she stripped the skin
off an ass that was grazing in the middle
of a meadow, and ran at the lion, who,
fancying it a real jackass, was so frightened
that he bounded away as fast as he could.
The ogress, having leaped over this
second ditch, turned again to pursue the
poor lovers, who, hearing the clatter of her
heels and seeing the cloud of dust that
rose up to the sky, conjectured that she
was coming again. But the old woman,
who was every moment in dread lest the
lion should pursue her, had not taken off
the ass's skin; and when Parsley now threw
down the third gallnut, there sprang up a
wolf, who, without giving the ogress time
to play any new trick, gobbled her up just
as she was, in the shape of a jackass. So
the lovers, being now freed from danger,
went their way leisurely and quietly to the
kingdom of the prince, where, with his
father's free consent, he took Parsley to
wife; and thus, after all these storms of
fate, they experienced the truth, that
One hour in port, the sailor freed from fears
Forgets the tempests of a hundred years.
Zeza's story was listened to with such
delight to the end, that, had it even con-
tinued for an hour longer, the time would
have appeared only a moment. But it now
being Cecca's turn, she began as follows.




















THE THREE SISTERS

T is a great truth, if we make the
saying good, that from the same
wood are formed the statues of
idols and the rafters of the
gallows, kings' thrones and cobblers' stalls;
and another strange thing is, that from the
same rags are made the paper on which the
wisdom of sages is recorded, and the crown
which is placed on the head of a fool,-
a thing that would puzzle the cleverest
astrologer in the world. The same too
may be said of a mother, who brings forth
one good daughter and another bad, one
an idle hussy, another a good housewife;
one fair, another ugly ; one spiteful, another
kind ; one unfortunate, another born to
good luck,-who, all being of one family,
ought to be of one nature. But leaving this
subject to those who know more about it,
I will merely give you an example of what








64 THE PENTAMERONE

I have said, in the story of three daughters
of one and the same mother, wherein you
will see the difference of manners, which
brought the wicked daughters into a ditch,
and the good daughter to the top of the
wheel of fortune.

There was one time a woman who had
three daughters, two of whom were so
unlucky that nothing ever succeeded with
them ; all their projects went wrong, all
their hopes were turned to chaff. But the
youngest, who was named Nella, was born
to good luck, and I verily believe that at
her birth all things conspired to bestow on
her the best and choicest gifts in their
power; the Sky gave her the perfection of
its light, Venus a matchless beauty of form,
Love the first dart of his power, Nature the
flower of manners. She never set about
any work, that it did not go off to a nicety;
she never took anything in hand, that it
did not succeed to a hair; she never stood
up to dance, that she did not sit down with
applause. On which account she was
envied by her jealous sisters, and yet not
so much as she was loved and wished well
to by all others ; and greatly as her sisters
desired to put her underground, still much
more did other folks carry her on the palms
of their hands.
Now there was in that country an en-








THE THREE SISTERS 65

chanted prince, who sailed along the sea
of her beauty, and flung out the hook of
amorous servitude to this beautiful goldfish,
until at length he caught her by the gills
of affection and made her his own. And
in order that they might enjoy one another's
company without exciting the suspicion of
the mother, who was a wicked woman, the
prince made a crystal passage, which led
from the royal palace directly into Nella's
apartment, although it was eight miles
distant; and giving her a certain powder,
he said, 'Every time you wish to feed me,
like a sparrow, with a sight of your charm-
ing beauty, throw a little of this powder
into the fire, and instantly I will come
through the passage as quick as a bird,
running along a crystal road to gaze upon
this face of silver.'
Having arranged it thus, not a night
passed that the prince did not go in and out,
backwards and forwards, along the crystal
passage ; until at last the sisters, who were
spying the actions of Nella, found out the
secret, and laid a plan to put a stop to the
sport. And in order to cut the thread at
once, they went and broke the passage here
and there; so that when the unhappy girl
threw the powder into the fire, to give the
signal to her lover, the prince, who used al-
ways to come running in furious haste, hurt
himself in such a manner against the broken
F







66 THE PENTAMERONE

crystal that he was truly a pitiable sight to
see. And being unable to pass farther on,
he turned back, all cut and slashed. Then
he laid himself in his bed, and sent for all
the doctors in the town; but as the crystal
was enchanted, the wounds were mortal,
and no human remedy availed. When the
king saw this, despairing of his son's condi-
tion, he sent out a proclamation, that whoever
would cure the wounds of the prince,-if a
woman, she should have him for her husband,
-if a man, he should have half his kingdom.
Now when Nella, who was pining away
for the loss of the prince, heard this, she
dyed her face, and disguised herself, and
unknown to her sisters she left home, to go
and see him before his death. But as by
this time the Sun's gilded balls, with which
he plays in the fields of Heaven, were run-
ning towards the west, night overtook her in
a wood, close to the house of an ogre, where,
in order to get out of the way of danger,
she climbed up into a tree. Meanwhile the
ogre and his wife were sitting at table, with
the windows open, in order to enjoy the
fresh air while they ate; and as soon as
they had emptied their cups, and put out
the lamps, they began to chat of one thing
and another; so that Nella, who was as
near to them as the mouth to the nose,
heard every word they spoke.
Among other things, the ogress said to














rH
It'.. .- v;


2. -.C; ..-



r i -








THE THREE SISTERS 67

her husband, My pretty Hairy-hide, tell me,
what news? what do they say abroad in
the world?' And he answered, 'Trust me
there's not a hand's-breadth clean; every-
thing is going topsy turvy and awry.'
But what is it ?' replied his wife. 'Why,
I could tell pretty stories of all the confu-
sion that is going on,' said the ogre; 'for
one hears things that are enough to drive
one mad, such as buffoons rewarded with
gifts, rogues esteemed, cowards honoured,
robbers and assassins protected, and honest
men little thought of and less prized. But
as these things are enough to make one
burst with vexation, I will merely tell you
what has befallen the king's son. He had
made a crystal path, along which he used to
go to visit a pretty lass ; but by some means
or other, I know not how, all the road has
been broken; and as he was going along
the passage as usual he wounded him-
self in such a manner, that before he can
stop the leak the whole conduit of his life
will run out. The king has indeed issued
a proclamation, with great promises to who-
ever cures his son ; but it is all labour lost,
and the best thing he can do is quickly to get
ready mourning and prepare the funeral.'
When Nella heard the cause of the
prince's illness, she sobbed and wept bitterly,
and said to herself, Who is the wicked soul
that has broken the passage along which







68 THE PENTAMERONE

my painted bird used to pass ?' But as the
ogress now went on speaking, Nella was as
silent as a mouse and listened.
And is it possible,' said the ogress, that
the world is lost to this poor prince, and
that no remedy can be found for his
malady? Bid physic then creep into the
oven-bid the doctors put a halter round
their necks and return the money to their
pupils, since they cannot find any effectual
recipe to restore health to the prince.'
Hark ye, Granny,' replied the ogre, the
doctors are not called upon to find remedies
that may pass the bounds of nature. This
is no common colic that an oil-bath might
remove; it is not a boil to be cured with
fig-poultices, nor a fever that will yield to
medicine and diet; much less are these or-
dinary wounds which require pledgets of
lint and oil of hypericon; for the charm
that was on the broken glass produces the
same effect as onion-juice does on the iron
heads of arrows, which makes the wound
incurable. There is one thing only that
could save his life ; but don't ask me to tell
it you, for it is a thing of importance.' 'Do
tell me, dear old Long-tusk!' cried the
ogress; 'tell me, if you would not see me
die.' Well then,' said the ogre, I will tell
you, provided you promise me not to confide
it to any living soul; for it would be the
ruin of our house and the destruction of our







THE THREE SISTERS


lives.' 'Fear nothing, my dear sweet little
husband,' replied the ogress ; 'for you shall
sooner see pigs with horns, apes with tails,
moles with eyes, than a single word shall
pass my lips.' And so saying she put one
hand upon the other and swore to it. You
must know then,' said the ogre, 'that there
is nothing under the sky nor above the
ground that can save the prince from the
snares of death but our fat : if his wounds
are anointed with this, his soul will be
arrested which is just on the point of leaving
the dwelling of his body.'
Nella, who overheard all that passed, gave
time to Time, to let them finish their chat ;
and then getting down from the tree, and
taking heart, she knocked at the ogre's door,
crying, 'Ah! my good ogrish masters, I
pray you for charity, alms, some sign of com-
passion have alittlepityon poor, miserable,
wretched creature, who is banished by fate
far from her own country and deprived of all
human aid, who has been overtaken by
night in this wood and is dying of cold and
hunger.' And crying thus, she went on
knocking and knocking at the door.
Upon hearing this deafening noise, the
ogress was going to throw her half a loaf
and send her away ; but the ogre, who was
more greedy of Christian flesh than the
squirrel is of nuts, the bear of honey, the cat
of fish, the sheep of salt, or the ass of bran,








70 THE PENTAMERONE
said to his wife, Let the poor creature come
in ; for if she sleeps in the fields, who knows
but she may be eaten up by some wolf.' In
short he talked and talked so much that his
wife at length opened the door for Nella;
whilst, with all his pretended charity, he was
all the time reckoning on making four mouth-
fuls of her. But the glutton counts one way
and the host another; for the ogre and his
wife having drunk till they were fairly tipsy
and lain down to sleep, Nella took a knife
from a cupboard and made a hash of them
in a trice; then she put all the fat into a
phial, and went straight to the court, where
presenting herself before the king she offered
to cure the prince. At this the king was
overjoyed, and led her to the chamber of
his son; and no sooner had she anointed
him well with the fat than the wounds closed
in a moment, just as if she had thrown water
on a fire; and he became as sound as a fish.
When the king saw this, he said to his
son, This good woman deserves the reward
promised by the proclamation,-that you
should take her to wife.' But the prince
replied, It is hopeless, for I have no store-
room full of hearts in my body to share
among so many; my heart is already
disposed of, and another woman is the
mistress of it.' Nella, hearing this, replied,
'You should no longer think of her who
has been the cause of all your misfortune.'








THE THREE SISTERS


'My misfortune has been brought on me by
her sisters,' answered the prince, 'and they
shall repent it.' 'Then do you really love
her?' said Nella: and the prince replied,
' More than my own life.' 'Embrace me
then,' said Nella, for I am the fire of your
heart.' But the prince, seeing the dark hue
of her face, answered, I should sooner take
you for the coal than the fire; so keep off-
don't blacken me.' Whereupon Nella, per-
ceiving that he did not know her, called for
a basin of clean water and washed her face ;
and as soon as the cloud of soot was removed,
the sun shone forth; and the prince re-
cognising her, pressed her to his heart, and
took her for his wife. Then he had her
sisters thrown into an oven, that like leeches
they might discharge in the ashes their
blood, that was corrupted by envy, thus
proving the truth of the old saying,
No evil ever went without punishment.
This story went to the hearts of all who
heard it, and they praised the prince a
thousand times for his conduct to Nella's
sisters, while they lauded to the stars the
deep love of the maiden, who had with such
pains cured the prince's wounds. But
Taddeo, making a sign for all to be silent,
now commanded Meneca to do her part, and
she consequently paid the debt in the
following manner.








II -I
III I .- -


VIOLET

NVY is a wind which blows with
such violence that it throws down
the props of the reputation of
good men, and levels with the
ground the crops of good fortune. But very
often, as a punishment from Heaven, when
this envious blast seems as if it would cast
a person flat on the ground, it aids him
instead to attain the happiness he is expect-
ing sooner even than he hoped; as you will
hear in the story which I shall now tell you.

There was once upon a time a good kind
of man named Cola Aniello, who had three
daughters, Rose, Pink, and Violet; the last
of whom was so beautiful that her very
look was a syrup of love, which relieved
the hearts of beholders of all uneasiness.
Ciullone, the king's son, was burning with
love of her, and every time he passed by








VIOLET


the little cottage where these three sisters
sat at work, he took off his cap and said,
SGood day, good day, Violet!' and she
replied, Good day, king's son I know more
than you.' At these words her sisters
grumbled and murmured, saying, 'You are
an ill-bred creature, and will make the prince
in a fine rage!' But as Violet paid no heed
to what they said, they made a spiteful
complaint of her to their father, telling him
that she was too bold and forward, and that
she answered the prince without any respect,
as if she were just as good as he, and that
some day or other she would get into trouble,
and suffer the just punishment of her
offence. So Cola Aniello, who was a prudent
man, in order to prevent any mischief,
sent Violet to stay with an aunt named
Cuccepannella, to be set to work.
Now the prince, when he passed by the
house as usual, no longer seeing the object
of his love, was for some days like a night-
ingale that does not find her young ones in
the nest, and goes from leaf to leaf wailing
and lamenting her loss ; but he put his ear
so often to the chink, that at last he dis-
covered where Violet lived. Then he went
to the aunt, and said to her, Madam, you
know who I am, and what power I have;
so, between ourselves, do me a favour, and
then ask me for whatever you wish.' 'If
I can do anything to serve you,' replied the








74 THE PENTAMERONE
old woman, 'I am entirely at your command.'
' I ask nothing of you,' said the prince, 'but
to let me give Violet a kiss.' If that's all,'
answered the old woman, 'go and hide
yourself in the room downstairs in the
garden, and I will find some pretence or
another for sending Violet to you.'
As soon as the prince heard this, he stole
into the room without loss of time, and the
old woman, pretending that she wanted to
cut a piece of cloth, said to her niece,
'Violet, if you love me, go down and fetch
me the yard-measure.' So Violet went, as
her aunt bade her; but when she came to
the room, she perceived the ambush, and
taking the yard-measure she slipped out of
the room as nimbly as a cat, leaving the
prince bursting with vexation.
When the old woman saw Violet come
running so fast, she suspected that the trick
had not succeeded; so presently after she
said to the girl, Go downstairs, niece, and
fetch me the ball of Brescian thread that is
on the top shelf in the cupboard.' So
Violet ran, and taking the thread slipped
like an eel out of the hands of the prince.
But after a little while the old woman said
again, 'Violet, my dear, if you do not go
downstairs and fetch me the scissors, I am
totally undone.' Then Violet went down
again, but she sprang as vigorously as a
dog out of the trap ; and when she came








VIOLET 75

upstairs, she took the scissors and cut off
one of her aunt's ears, saying, 'Take that,
madam, as a reward for your pains-every
deed deserves its meed; and if I don't cut
off your nose, it is only that you may smell
the bad odour of your reputation.' So say-
ing she went away home with a hop, skip,
and jump, leaving her aunt eased-of her ear,
and the prince full of Let-me-alone.
Not long afterwards the prince again
passed by the house of Violet's father, and
seeing her at the window where she was
used to stand, he began to his old tune,
Good day, good day, Violet !' whereupon
she answered as quickly as a good parish-
clerk, Good day, king's son I know more
than you.' But Violet's sisters could no
longer bear this behaviour, and they plotted
together how to get rid of her. Now one of
the windows looked into the garden of an
ogre ; so they proposed to drive the poor girl
away through this; and letting fall from it
a skein of thread, with which they were
working a door-curtain for the queen, they
cried, Alas, alas we are ruined and un-
done, and shall not be able to finish the
work in time, if Violet, who is the smallest
and lightest of us, does not let herself down
by a cord and pick up the thread that has
fallen.'
Violet could not bear to see her sisters
grieving thus, and instantly offered to go








76 THE PENTAMERONE
down ; so tying a cord to her, they lowered
her into the garden ; but no sooner did she
reach the ground, than they let go the rope.
It happened that just at that time the ogre
came out to take a look at his garden, and
having caught cold from the dampness of
the ground, he gave such a tremendous
sneeze, with such a noise and explosion,
that Violet screamed out with terror, 'Oh,
mother, help me!' Thereupon the ogre
turned round, and seeing the beautiful
maiden behind him, he received her with
the greatest kindness and affection; and
treating her as his own daughter, he gave
her in charge of three fairies, bidding them
take care of her, and rear her up on
cherries.
The prince, no longer seeing Violet, and
hearing no news of her, good or bad, fell
into such grief, that his eyes became swollen,
his face grew pale as ashes, his lips livid,
and he neither ate a morsel to get flesh on
his body, nor slept a wink to get any rest
to his mind. But trying all possible means,
and offering large rewards, he went about
spying and inquiring everywhere, until at
last he discovered where Violet was. Then
he sent for the ogre, and told him that,
finding himself ill (as he might see was the
case), he begged of him permission to spend
a single day and night in his garden,
adding that a small chamber would suffice








VIOLET 77
for him to repose in. Now, as the ogre
was a subject of the prince's father, he could
not refuse him this trifling pleasure ; so he
offered him all the rooms in his house,
if one was not enough, and his very life
itself. The prince thanked him, and chose
a room which by good luck was near to
Violet's; and as soon as night came, the
prince, finding that Violet had left her door
open, as it was summer-time and the place
was safe, stole softly into the room, and
taking Violet's arm gave her two pinches.
Thereupon she awoke, and exclaimed, '0
father, father, what a quantity of fleas !'
Then she went to another bed, and the
prince did the same again, and Violet cried
out in the same way; then she changed
first the mattress, and afterwards the sheet,
and so the sport went on the whole night
long, until the dawn.
As soon as it was day, the prince passing
by that house, and seeing the maiden at
the door, said, as he was wont to do,
'Good day, good day, Violet !' and when
Violet replied, Good day, king's son I
know more than you,' the prince answered,
' 0 father, father, what a quantity of fleas !'
The instant Violet felt this shot, she
guessed at once that the prince had been
the cause of her annoyance in the past
night; so off she ran and told it to the
fairies. 'If it be he,' said the fairies,








78 THE PENTAMERONE
'we will soon give him tit for tat and as
good in return; and if this dog has bitten
you, we will contrive to get a hair from
him: he has given you one, and we will
give him back one and a half. Only get
the ogre to make you a pair of slippers
covered with little bells, and leave the rest
to us : we will take care to pay him in good
coin.'
Violet, who was eager to be revenged,
instantly got the ogre to make the slippers
for her; and waiting until night had fallen,
they went all four together to the house of
the prince, where the fairies and Violet hid
themselves in the chamber. And as soon
as ever the prince had closed his eyes, the
fairies made a great noise and racket, and
Violet began to stamp with her feet at such
a rate that, what with the clatter of her
heels and the jingling of the bells, the prince
awoke in great terror and cried out, '0
mother, mother, help me!' And after
repeating this two or three times, they
slipped away home.
The next morning the prince, having
taken some citron-juice and other cordials
to relieve his fear, went to take a walk in
the garden; for he could not live a moment
without the sight of Violet. And seeing her
standing at the door, he said, 'Good day,
good day, Violet!'. and Violet answered,
'Good day, king's son I know more than




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