DON GIOVANNI DE LA FORTUNA 357
uncomfortable he should be all those three years, but only that he should be able, by means of the purse, to have all sorts of things he had been obliged to do without; so he joyfully put the purse in his pocket and went on his way. He soon began to ask for money for the mere pleasure of it, and there was always as much as he needed. For a little while he even forgot to notice how dirty he was getting, but this did not last long, for his hair became matted with dirt and hung over his eyes, and his pilgrim's dress was a mass of horrible rags and tatters.
He was in this state when, one morning, he happened to be passing a fine palace; and, as the sun was shining bright and warm, he sat down on the steps and tried to shake off some of the dust which he had picked up on the road. But in a few minutes a maid saw him, and said to her master, ' I pray yon, sir, to drive away that beggar who is sitting on the steps, or he will fill the whole house with his dirt.'
So the master went out and called from some distance off, for he was really afraid to go near the man, ' You filthy beggar, leave my house at once!'
' You need not be so rude,' said Don Giovanni; ' 1 am not a beggar, and if I chose I could force you and your wife to leave your house.'
' What is that you can do? ' laughed the gentleman.
' Will you sell me your house?' asked Don Giovanni. ' I will buy it from you on the spot.'
'Oh, the dirty creature is quite mad!' thought the gentleman. ' I shall just accept his offer for a joke.' And aloud he said: ' All right; follow me, and we will go 1<> :i lawyer and get him to make :i contract.' And Don Giovanni followed him, and an agreement was drawn up by which the house was to be sold al once, and a large sum of money paid down in right days. Then the Don went to an inn, where he hired two rooms, and. standing in one of them, said to his purse, ' Dear purse, fill this