Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/154

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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 condition, 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 running 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 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; everything