The Colloquies of Edward Osborne, Citizen and Clothworker of London

The Colloquies of Edward Osborne, Citizen and Clothworker of London

Anne Manning

Food and Drink / Cookbooks / Cooking

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The Duchess of Trajetto

The Duchess of Trajetto

Anne Manning

Food and Drink / Cookbooks / Cooking

It was night—the Duchess was in bed. Her hand shaded her wakeful eyes from the light of a silver lamp fed with perfumed oil, which shone only on what was calculated to please the taste, minister to the luxury, and display the wealth of the owner. Rare paintings of Scriptural and mythological subjects decorated the walls, the ceiling was richly moulded and gilt, the floor of polished marble was only partially covered with fine matting, a few choice statuettes and vases occupied brackets and niches; the massive toilette service and [Pg 2]mirror-frame of precious metal were shaded by some texture of light silvery tissue; while half-open cabinets and caskets revealed priceless jewels and fragrant perfumes. On a velvet cushion lay an illuminated missal and a rosary.Here was every outward appliance, one might think, to make a favourite of fortune happy; but the good and honest face of the Duchess, which spoke her every thought, did not look so. The night was sultry; she had tried to sleep, but could not; and now she was feverishly endeavouring to think of something pleasant, without success.The deep stone windows of her apartment, which were open, commanded a small garden sleeping in the moonlight, where terraces were cut on a declivity; and where Cupid and Psyche, Diana with her hounds, and Apollo with his bow, gleamed white among orange, lemon, and myrtle. This little pleasaunce was [Pg 3]shut in within the walls of a strong baronial castle; and beyond them lay the little town of Fondi, consisting of a single street built on the Appian Way. Beyond it, a lake, a forest, a marsh, stretching down to the blue brimming Mediterranean. The little town seemed steeped in sleep: the silence was intense........
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