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gigantic leaves, and, in some instances, flowers gorgeously magnificent. There was one shrub in particular, set in a marble vase in the midst of the pool, that bore a profusion of purple blossoms, each of which had the lustre and richness of a gem; and the whole together made a show so resplendent that it seemed cnough to illuminate the garden, even had there been no suhshine. Every portion of the soil was peopled with plants and herbs, which, if less beautiful, still bore tokens of assiduous caro; as if all had their individual virtues, known to the scicntific mind that fostered them. Some were placed in urns, rich with old carving, and others in common garden-pots ; some crept serpentlike along the ground, or climbed on high, using whatcver means of ascent was offered them. One plant had wreathed itself round a statue of Vertumnus, which was thus quite veiled and shrouded in a drapery of hanging foliage, so happily arranged that it might have served a sculptor for a study.
While Giovanni stood at the window, he heard a rustling behind a screen of leaves, and becamo aware that a person was at work in the garden. His figure soon emerged into view, and showed itself to be that of no common laborer, but a tall, emaciated, sallow, and sickly-looking man, dressed in a scholar's garb of black. He was beyond the middle term of life, with grey hair, a thin grey beard, and a face singularly marked with intellect and cul. tivation, but which could never, even in his more youthful days, have expressed much warmth of heart.
Nothing could exceed the intentness with which this scientific gardener examined every shrub which grew in his path; it seemed as if he was looking into their inmost nature, making observations in regard to their creative essence, and discovering why one leaf grew in this shape, and another in that, and wherefore such and such nowers differed among themselves in huc and perfume. Nevertheless, in spite of the deep intelligence on his part, there was no approach to intimacy between himself and these vegetable
existences. On the contrary, he avoided their actual touch, or the direct inhaling of their odors, with a caution that impressed Giovanni most disagreeably; for the man's demeanor was that of one walking among malignant influences, such as savage beasts, or deadly snakes, or evil spirits, which, should he allow them one moment of license, would wreak upon him some terrible fatality. It was strangely frightful to the young man's imagination, to sce this air of insecurity in a person cultivating a garden, that most simple and innocent of human toils, and which had been alike the joy and labor of the unfallen parents of the race. Was this garden, then, the Eden of the present world ?—and this man, with such a perception of harm in what his own hands caused to grow, was he the Adam ?
The distrustful gardener, while plucking away the dead leaves or pruning the too luxuriant growth of the shrubs, defended his hands with a pair of thick gloves. Nor were these his only
When, in his walk through the garden, he came to the magnificent plant that hung its purple gems beside the marble fountain, he placed a kind of mask over his mouth and nostrils, as if all this beauty did but conceal a deadlier malice. But finding his task still too dangerous, he drew back, removed the mask, and called loudly, but in the infirm voice of a person affected with inward disease :
u Beatrice !-Beatrice !"
“ Here am I, my father! What would you ?” cried a rich and youthful voice from the window of the opposite house; a voice as rich as a tropical sunset, and which made Giovanni, though he knew not why, think of deep hues of purple or crimson, and of perfumes heavily delectable—“Are you in the
u Yes, Beatrico," answered the gardenor, “and I need your help.”
Soon there emerged from under a sculptured portal the figure of a young girl, arrayed with as much richness of tasto as the most splendid of the flowers, beautiful as the day, and with a bloom so deep and vivid that one shade more would have been too much. She looked redundant with life, health, and energy; all of which attributes were bound down and compressed, as it were, and girdled tensely, in their luxuriance, by her virgin zobeYet Giovanni's fancy must have grown morbid, while he looked down into the garden ; for the impression which tho fair stranger made upon him was as if here were another flower, the human sister of those vegetable ones, as beautiful as they-more beauti. ful than the richest of them—but still to be touched only with a glove, nor to be approached without a mask. As Beatrice canno down the garden-path, it was observable that she handled and inhaled the odor of several of the plants, which her futhier had most scdulously avoided.
“Ilere, Beatrice," said the latter," see how many neadful offices require to be done to our chief treasure. Yet, shattered as I am, my life might pay the penalty of approaching it so closely as circumstances demand. Henceforth, I fear, this plant must be consigned to your sole charge."
“ And gladly will I undertake it," cried again the rich tones of the young lady, as she bent towards the magnificent plant, and opened her arms as if to embraco it. “Yes, my sister, my splendor, it shall be Beatrice's task to nurse and scrve thee; and thou shalt reward her with thy kisses and perfume breath, which to her is as the breath of life !"
Then, with all the tenderness in her manner that was so strik. ingly expressed in her words, she busied herself with such atten. tions as the plant seemed to require ; and Giovanni, at his lofty window, rubbed his cycs, and almost doubled whether it were a girl tending her favorite flower, or ono sister performing the duties of affection to another. The scene soon terminated. Whether Doctor Rappaccini had finished his labors in the garden,
a that his watchful eye had caught the stranger's face, he now luck his daugliter's arm and retired. Night was already closing in; oppressive exhalations seemed to proceed from the plants, and stcal upward past the open window; and Giovanni, closing the lattice, went to his couch, and dreamed of a rich flower and beautiful girl. Flower and maiden were different and yet the mame, and fraught with some strange peril in either shape.
But there is an influence in the light of morning that tends to rectify whatever errors of fancy, or even of judgment, we may have incurred during the sun's decline, or among the shadows of the night, or in the less wholesome glow of moonshine. ai's first movement on starting froin sleep, was to throw open the window, and gaze down into the garden which his dreams had teade so fertile of mystcrics. Ile was surprised, and a little ashamed, to find how real and matter-of-fact an affair it proved to be, in the first rays of the sun, which gilded the dew.drops that hung upon leaf and blossom, and, whilo giving a brighter beauty to eacha rare fower, brought everything within the limits of ordinary aperience. The young man rejoiced, that, in the heart of tho kerten city, he had the privilege of overlooking this spot of lovely and luxuriant vegetation. It would serve, he said to himself, as • symbolic language, to keep him in communion with nature. Neither the sickly and thought-worn Doctor Giacoino Rappaccini, it is true, nor his brilliant daughter, were now visible; so that Giovanni could not determine how much of the singularity which be attributed to both, was due to their own qualities, and how much to his wonder-working fancy. But he was inclined to tako most rational view of the whole matter.
In the course of the day, he paid his respects to Signor Pietro Baglioni, professor of medicine in the University, a physician of enoinent repute, to whom Giovanni had brought a letter of introdactice. The professor was an elderly personage, apparently of genial nature, and habits that might almost be called jovial; he kept the young man to dinner, and made himself very agreeablo by the freedom and liveliness of his conversation, especially when warmed by a fask or two of Tuscan winc. Giovanni, conceiving that men of science, inhabitants of the same city, must needs bo on familiar terms with one another, took an opportunity to men. tion the name of Dr. Rappaccini. But the professor did not respond with so much cordiality as he had anticipated.
“ III would it become a teacher of the divine art of medicine," said Professor Pietro Baglioni, in answer to a question of Giovanni, “ to withhold due and well-considered praise of a physician so eminently skilled as Rappaccini. But, on the other hand, I should answer it but scantily to my conscience, were I to permit a worthy youth like yourself, Signor Giovanni, the son of an ancient friend, to imbibe erroneous ideas respecting a man who might hereafter chance to hold your life and death in his hands. The truth is, our worshipful Doctor Rappaccini has as much science as any member of the faculty-with perhaps one single exception-in Padua, or all Italy. But there are certain grave objections to his professional character."
“ And what are they?" asked the young man.
“ Has my friend Giovanni any disease of body or heart, that he is so inquisitive about physicians ?" said the Professor, with a smile. “But as for Rappaccini, it is said of him—and I, who know the man well, can answer for its truth-that he cares infinitely more for science than for mankind. Ilis patients are interesting to him only as subjects for some new experiment. He would sacrifice human life, his own among the rest, or whai. ever else was dearest to him, for the sake of adding so much as a grain of mustard-seed to the great heap of his accumulated knowledge.”
“ Methinks he is an awful man, indeed,” remarked Guasconti, mentally recalling the cold and purely intellectual aspect of Rap.