Rienzi: The Last of the Roman Tribunes

By Edward Bulwer Lytton; L. W. Zeigler | Go to book overview

but it is a dainty catalogue, Signor, and it will be a pride to the poor Becchino to discover or even to bury so many charms! I will do my best; meanwhile, I can recommend you, if in a hurry, to make the best of your time, to many a pretty face and comely shape -- -- "

"Out, fiend!" muttered Adrian: "fool to waste time with such as thou!"

The laugh of the grave-digger followed his steps.

All that day did Adrian wander through the city, but search and questioning were alike unavailing; all whom he encountered and interrogated seemed to regard him as a madman, and these were indeed of no kind likely to advance his object. Wild troops of disordered, drunken revellers, processions of monks, or here and there, scattered individuals gliding rapidly along, and shunning all approach or speech, made the only haunters of the dismal streets, till the sun sunk, lurid and yellow, behind the hills, and Darkness closed around the noiseless pathway of the Pestilence.


CHAPTER III
THE FLOWERS AMIDST THE TOMBS

Adrian found that the Becchino had taken care that famine should not forestall the plague; the banquet of the dead was removed, and fresh viands and wines of all kinds, -- for there was plenty then in Florence! -- spread the table. He partook of the refreshment, though but sparingly, and shrinking from repose in beds beneath whose gorgeous hangings Death had been so lately busy, carefully closed door and window,

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