The marble faun, or, The romance of Monte Beni

Houghton, Mifflin, 1883

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Página 69 - Connected with this old tower and its lofty shrine, there is a legend which we cannot here pause to tell; but for centuries a lamp has been burning before the Virgin's image, at noon, at midnight, and at all hours of the twenty-four, and must be kept burning forever, as long as the tower shall stand; or else the tower itself, the palace, and whatever estate belongs to it, shall pass from its hereditary possessor, in accordance with an ancient vow, and become the property of the Church.
Página 217 - Guido better. A full third of the Archangel's feathers should have been torn from his wings ; the rest all ruffled, till they looked like Satan's own ! His sword should be streaming with blood, and perhaps broken half-way to the hilt ; his armor crushed, his robes rent, his breast gory ; a bleeding gash on his brow, cutting right across the stern scowl of battle ! He should press his foot hard down upon the old serpent, as if his very soul depended upon it, feeling him squirm mightily, and doubting...
Página 12 - I can only say that to me it is quite satisfactory. I like those shadowy, weird, fantastic, Hawthornesque shapes flitting through the golden gloom which is the atmosphere of the book. I like the misty way in which the story is indicated rather than revealed.
Página 20 - Viewed through this medium, our narrative — into which are woven some airy and unsubstantial threads, intermixed with others, twisted out of the commonest stuff of human existence — may seem not widely different from \ the texture of all our lives. \ Side by side with the massiveness of the Roman Past, all matters that we handle or dream of nowadays look evanescent and visionary alike.
Página 205 - They threw one other glance at the heap of death below, to assure themselves that it was there; so like a dream was the whole thing. Then they turned from that fatal precipice, and came out of the court-yard, arm in arm', heart in heart. Instinctively, they were heedful not to sever themselves so much as a pace or two from one another, for fear of the terror and deadly chill that would thenceforth wait for them in solitude. Their deed — the crime which Donatello wrought, and Miriam accepted on...
Página 15 - No author, without a trial, can conceive of the difficulty of writing a romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor anything but a commonplace prosperity, in broad and simple daylight, as is happily the case with my dear native land.
Página 9 - But I find this Italian atmosphere not favorable to the close toil of composition, although it is a very good air to dream in. I must breathe the fogs of old England or the east-winds of Massachusetts, in order to put me into working trim.
Página 115 - That iron chain, of which some of the massive links were round her feminine waist, and the others in his ruthless hand, — or which, perhaps, bound the pair together by a bond equally torturing to each, — must have been forged in some such unhallowed furnace as is only kindled by evil passions and fed by evil deeds. Yet, let us trust, there may have been no crime in Miriam, but only one of those fatalities which are among the most insoluble riddles propounded to mortal comprehension ; the fatal...
Página 247 - Ah ! now I understand how the sins of generations past have created an atmosphere of sin for those that follow. While there is a single guilty person in the universe, each innocent one must feel his innocence tortured by that guilt. Your deed, Miriam, has darkened the whole sky...
Página 93 - ... of any human being. For if you come hither in summer, and stray through these glades in the golden sunset, fever walks arm in arm with you, and death awaits you at the end of the dim vista. Thus the scene is like Eden in its loveliness ; like Eden, too, in the fatal spell that removes it beyond the scope of man's actual possessions.

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