Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/177

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151
GAGLIUSO.

least expected it, began to say, "Is this the return you make for my taking you from beggary? is this the thanks I get for freeing you from rags that you might have hung distaffs with? is this my reward for having put good clothes on your back, and fed you well when you were a poor starved, miserable, tatter-brogued ragamuffin? But such is the fate of him who washes an ass's head. Go, a curse upon all I have done for you! you are not worth spitting upon in the face. A fine gold coffin you had prepared for me! a fine funeral you were going to give me! Go now, serve, labour, toil, sweat, to get this fine reward! Unhappy is he who does a good deed in hopes of a return! Well was it said by the philosopher, 'He who lies down an ass, an ass he finds himself.' But let him who does most expect least: smooth words and ill deeds deceive alike both wise and fools."

So saying she threw her cloak about her, and went her way; and all that Gagliuso with the utmost humility could do to soothe her was of no avail: she would not return, but kept running on without ever turning her head about, and saying.

"Heaven protect us from a rich man grown poor.
And from a beggar who of wealth has got store."