Italian Journeys

Italian Journeys

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Italian Journeys by William Dean Howells

Published:

1895

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Italian Journeys

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Book Excerpt

d her, and, justifying the treatment she had received at Venice, declared himself her natural son. The lady instantly recognized him, and in the sudden revulsion of maternal feeling, begged him to take an antidote. This he not only refused to do, but continued his dying reproaches, till his mother, losing her self-command, drew her poniard and plunged it into his heart.

The blood of her son fell upon the table-cloth, and this being hung out of the window to dry, the wall received a stain, which neither the sun nor rain of centuries sufficed to efface, and which was only removed with the masonry, when it became necessary to restore the wall under that window, a few months before the time of my visit to Ferrara. Accordingly, the blood-stain has now disappeared; but the conscientious artist who painted the new wall has faithfully restored the tragic spot, by bestowing upon the stucco a bloody dash of Venetian red.

III.

It would be pleasant and merciful, I think, if old towns, after having se

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