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  • Il Novellino

    XCVII
    Here it is told how a merchant carried wine overseas in casks with two partitions and what happened

    A merchant carried wine overseas in casks with two partitions1. At the top and the bottom (of the casks) there was wine, and in the middle water, so that half of the cask was wine, and half water. There were spigots at the top and the bottom, but none in the middle. He sold the water for wine, and doubled his gains, and as soon as he was paid, he got aboard a ship with his money. And by the will of God there was a big monkey aboard the ship, who took the money from the merchant's pocket, and climbed up to the top of the mast with it.

    The man, fearing that the monkey might throw the purse into the sea, went after it, trying to coax it. The beast sat down and opened the purse with his mouth, and took out the gold pieces one by one. He threw first one in to the sea and let another fall on to the deck. And he so acted that one half of the money remained on the ship, which was the just gain of the merchant.

    1 The cask was divided into three compartments.

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    Storer, Edward, trans. Il Novellino: The Hundred Old Tales. London: G. Routledge & Sons Ltd.; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., [1925]. 205-206

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