Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/31

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7
INTRODUCTION.

hopper, 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 the pitcher should be full enough for her to add the last drops to fill it, and thus to leave Zoza with a handful of flies[1]. Now therefore, seeing Zoza asleep, she seized the opportunity, and dextrously 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 straightways to his palace, feasts and marvellous 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 so ill watched the calf of her hopes[2], 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

  1. i.e. cheated of her hopes.
  2. Alluding probably to the story of Argos.