…the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys.

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Federico Castillon
Masque of the Red Death, 1968
But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince’s own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts. They resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within. The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve, or to think. The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the “Red Death.”

Upcoming Big Read Events:

March 17th – Poe’s Women

Vigo County Public Library, 12:10-12:50 p.m.
Join local history columnist Dorothy Jerse and ISU Professor Mandy Reid for a local and literary look at women during the Victorian era.

March 20th – Welcome to My Nightmare

Sinfonietta Concert, Scottish Rite, 3:00 p.m.
Free Books! Tickets available at the door. $10 adult/$5 student

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