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Main > Italy folktales > Fairy tale "The Raven"

The Raven

" So saying, he knocked at the door of a house close by, and Liviella opening it threw him a piece of bread.

As soon as Jennariello saw her, she seemed to him built after the model which Milluccio had given him; then he gave a good alms to the beggar and sent him away, and going to the inn he dressed himself like a pedlar, carrying in two caskets all the wealth of the world. And thus he walked up and down before Liviella's house crying his wares, until at length she called him, and took a view of the beautiful net-caps, hoods, ribands, gauze, edgings, lace, handkerchiefs, collars, needles, cups of rouge, and head-gear fit for a queen, which he carried. And when she had examined all the things again and again, she told him to show her something else; and Jennariello answered, "My lady, in these caskets I have only cheap and paltry wares; but if you will deign to come to my ship, I will show you things of the other world, for I have there a host of beautiful goods worthy of any great lord."

Liviella, who was full of curiosity, not to belie the nature of her sex, replied, "If my father indeed were not out he would have given me some money."

"Nay, you can come all the better if he is out," replied Jennariello, "for perhaps he might not allow you the pleasure; and I'll promise to show you such splendid things as will make you rave—such necklaces and earrings, such bracelets and sashes, such workmanship in paper—in short I will perfectly astound you."

When Liviella heard all this display of finery she called a gossip of hers to accompany her, and went to the ship. But no sooner had she embarked than Jennariello, whilst keeping her enchanted with the sight of all the beautiful things he had brought, craftily ordered the anchor to be weighed and the sails to be set, so that before Liviella raised her eyes from the wares and saw that she had left the land, they had already gone many miles. When at length she perceived the trick, she began to act Olympia the reverse way; for whereas Olympia bewailed being left upon a rock, Liviella lamented leaving the rocks.

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