D E : N U I T
"The door opened upon a narrow passage, dimly lighted by a lamp..." At the end of this passage is another door which opens onto a vision of luxury that has to be quoted at length to be appreciated, as Adeline is conducted into "a magnificent saloon, splendidly illuminated, and fitted up in the most airy and elegant taste.

"The walls were painted in fresco, representing scenes from Ovid, and hung above with silk drawn up in festoons and richly fringed. The sofas were of a silk to suit the hangings. From the centre of the ceiling, which exhibited a scene from the Armida of Tasso, descended a silver lamp of Etruscan form: it diffused a blaze of light, that, reflected from large pier glasses, completely illuminated the room." (Chloe Chard helps out here with the note that pier glasses are big-ass mirrors.) "Busts of Horace, Ovid, Anacreon, Tibullus, and Petronius Arbiter adorned the recesses, and stands of flowers, placed in Etruscan vases, breathed the most delicious perfume. In the middle of the apartment stood a small table, spread with a collation of fruits, ices, and liquors. No person appeared. The whole seemed the works of enchantment, and rather resembled the palace of a fairy than any thing of human conformation." To complete the spell, unseen musicians (concealed perhaps in a pit in the floor) strike "notes of soft music, breathing such dulcet and entrancing sounds, as suspended grief, and waked the soul to tenderness and pensive pleasure."

"Adeline was astonished, and inquired where she was, but the man refused to answer her questions, and, having desired her to take some refreshment, left her. She walked to the windows, from which a gleam of moon-light discovered to her an extensive garden, where groves and lawns, and water glittering in the moonbeam, composed a scenery of varied and romantic beauty. 'What can this mean!' said she: 'Is this a charm to lure me to destruction?' "

"The music ceased, but the sound still vibrated on her imagination, and she was sunk in the pleasing languor they had inspired, when the door opened" and who do you think.


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