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The Raven

But just at that instant the Queen returned home, and the King, bidding his brother hide himself, said to his wife, "What would you give, my heart, to have my brother restored to life?" "I would give this whole kingdom," replied Liviella. And the King answered, "Would you give the blood of your children?" "Nay, not that, indeed," replied the Queen; "for I could not be so cruel as to tear out with my own hands the apple of my eyes." "Alas!" said the King, "in order to see a brother alive, I have killed my own children! for this was the price of Jennariello's life!"

So saying, he showed the Queen the little boys in the coffin; and when she saw this sad spectacle, she cried aloud like one mad, saying, "O my children! you props of my life, joys of my heart, fountains of my blood! Who has painted red the windows of the sun? Who has without a doctor's licence bled the chief vein of my life? Alas, my children, my children! my hope now taken from me, my light now darkened, my joy now poisoned, my support now lost! You are stabbed by the sword, I am pierced by grief; you are drowned in blood, I in tears. Alas that, to give life to an uncle, you have slain your mother! For I am no longer able to weave the thread of my days without you, the fair counterpoises of the loom of my unhappy life. The organ of my voice must be silent, now that its bellows are taken away. O children, children! why do ye not give answer to your mother, who once gave you the blood in your veins, and now weeps it for you from her eyes? But since fate shows me the fountain of my happiness dried up, I will no longer live the sport of fortune in the world, but will go at once to find you again!"

So saying, she ran to a window to throw herself out; but just at that instant her father entered by the same window in a cloud, and called to her, "Stop, Liviella! I have now accomplished what I intended, and killed three birds with one stone. I have revenged myself on Jennariello, who came to my house to rob me of my daughter, by making him stand all these months like a marble statue in a block of stone.

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