The Deserted House with English-Italian Dictionary by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (online free books)

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The Deserted House Text

deserted - abbandonare

You know already that I spent the greater part of last summer in X--, began Theodore. The many old friends and acquaintances I found there, the free, jovial life, the manifold artistic and intellectual interests-all these combined to keep me in that city.

Last - ultimo

acquaintances - conoscenza

jovial - gioviale

manifold - collettore

artistic - artistico

intellectual - intellettuale

combined - combinare, mischiare, abbinare, unire, kombinat, combinat

I was happy as never before, and found rich nourishment for my old fondness for wandering alone through the streets, stopping to enjoy every picture in the shop windows, every placard on the walls, or watching the passers-by and choosing some one or the other of them to cast his horoscope secretly to myself.

nourishment - nutrimento

fondness - affezione

wandering - vagabondaggio, (wander), errare, vagare, girovagare, passeggiare

alone - da solo, soltanto

shop windows - vetrine

placard - manifesto, cartellone

passers - passante

cast - gettare, posare, lanciare, addizionare, sommare, calcolare

horoscope - oroscopo

secretly - di nascosto

myself - mi

There is one broad avenue leading to the -- Gate and lined with handsome buildings of all descriptions, which is the meeting place of the rich and fashionable world. The shops which occupy the ground floor of the tall palaces are devoted to the trade in articles of luxury, and the apartments above are the dwellings of people of wealth and position.

broad - largo

avenue - viale, corso

leading - che conduce

Gate - cancello, portone

handsome - bello

buildings - edificio

meeting place - luogo di incontro

fashionable - alla moda

occupy - occupare

ground floor - piano terra

palaces - palazzo

devoted - devoti

trade - commercio

luxury - lusso

dwellings - abitazione

wealth - ricchezza, patrimonio, abbondanza

position - posizione, posto, lavoro, piazzare, posizionare

The aristocratic hotels are to be found in this avenue, the palaces of the foreign ambassadors are there, and you can easily imagine that such a street would be the centre of the city's life and gaiety.

aristocratic - aristocratico

foreign - estraneo, estranea, straniero, straniera

ambassadors - ambasciatore, ambasciatrice

easily - tranquillamente, facilmente, agevolmente

such - tale

gaiety - gaiezza

I had wandered through the avenue several times, when one day my attention was caught by a house which contrasted strangely with the others surrounding it. Picture to yourselves a low building but four windows broad, crowded in between two tall, handsome structures.

wandered - errare, vagare, girovagare, passeggiare

several - diversi, vari

attention - attenzione, allerta, sull'attenti

caught - presa, conquista, fermaglio, fermaglio di sicurezza, trappola

contrasted - contrasto, diversita

strangely - stranamente

surrounding - periferia, circostante, (surround), circondare, accerchiare

low - basso

crowded - folla

structures - struttura

Its one upper story was a little higher than the tops of the ground-floor windows of its neighbours, its roof was dilapidated, its windows patched with paper, its discoloured walls spoke of years of neglect. You can imagine how strange such a house must have looked in this street of wealth and fashion.

tops - cima, sommita, coperchio, cappuccio, parte superiore, top

ground - terra

roof - tetto

dilapidated - dilapidare, sperperare, buttare via, gettare alle ortiche

patched - toppa

discoloured - scolorare, scolorire

neglect - mancare, negligere, omettere, ignorare, tralasciare, negligenza

strange - strano, anormale

looked in - guardato dentro

fashion - moda, voga, stile, maniera, modo, tendenza, fabbricare

Looking at it more attentively I perceived that the windows of the upper story were tightly closed and curtained, and that a wall had been built to hide the windows of the ground floor. The entrance gate, a little to one side, served also as a door-way for the building, but I could find no sign of latch, lock, or even a bell on this gate.

attentively - attentamente

perceived - percepire

tightly - strettamente

curtained - tenda, tappezzeria, drappo, drappeggio

hide - nascondere, nascondersi

entrance - entrata

side - lato

served - servizio, servire, essere in forza, operare, lavorare per

sign - segno

latch - chiavistello

lock - serratura

bell - campana

I was convinced that the house must be unoccupied, for at whatever hour of the day I happened to be passing I had never seen the faintest signs of life about it.

Convinced - convincere

unoccupied - vuoto, libero

whatever - qualunque, qualsiasi, qualsivoglia, come vuoi

passing - talian: t-needed

faintest - debole

signs - segno

You all, the good comrades of my youth, know that I have been prone to consider myself a sort of clairvoyant, claiming to have glimpses of a strange world of wonders, a world which you, with your hard common sense, would attempt to deny or laugh away. I confess that I have often lost myself in mysteries which after all turned out to be no mysteries at all.

comrades - compagno, compagna, checkcamerata

youth - gioventu, giovinezza, giovane, giovanotto, ragazzo

prone - prono, prostrato, inchinato, reclino, pendente

Consider - considerare, pensare, osservare, prendere, prestare attenzione

sort - sorta, tipo

clairvoyant - chiaroveggenza, chiaroveggente, prognostico, pronostico

claiming - reclamo, rivendicazione, diritto, dichiarazione, affermazione

glimpses - occhiata, scorcio, intravedere

wonders - meraviglia, domandarsi, chiedersi

sense - senso, coscienza, sensazione, significato, tocco

attempt - tentare, cercare, provare, attentare, tentativo

deny - negare

confess - confessare

mysteries - mistero, arcano, enigma

And it looked at first as if this was to happen to me in the matter of the deserted house, that strange house which drew my steps and my thoughts to itself with a power that surprised me. But the point of my story will prove to you that I am right in asserting that I know more than you do. Listen now to what I am about to tell you.

matter - materia, problema, argomento, questione, faccenda, causa

steps - passo

thoughts - idea, pensata, pensiero

itself - sé, se stesso, sé stesso

power - potere, influenza, potenza, forza, elettricita, corrente

surprised - sorpresa, stupire, sorprendere, meravigliare

Prove - provare, dimostrare

asserting - asserire, esercitare, difendere, rivendicare, sostenere

One day, at the hour in which the fashionable world is accustomed to promenade up and down the avenue, I stood as usual before the deserted house, lost in thought. Suddenly I felt, without looking up, that some one had stopped beside me, fixing his eyes on me.

accustomed - assuefarsi, abituarsi, adattarsi, familiarizzare

promenade - passeggiata, lungomare

usual - solito, usuale, consueto, abituale

suddenly - all'improvviso, improvvisamente

beside - accanto, vicino

fixing - fissaggio, (fix), aggiustare, riparare, mettere una pezza

It was Count P--, who told me that the old house contained nothing more mysterious than a cake bakery belonging to the pastry cook whose handsome shop adjoined the old structure. The windows of the ground floor were walled up to give protection to the ovens, and the heavy curtains of the upper story were to keep the sunlight from the wares laid out there.

count - conte

contained - contenere

more mysterious - piu misterioso

bakery - panetteria, forno, panificio

belonging - appartenenza

pastry - pasticceria, paste, impasto

whose - talian: di chi, cui

adjoined - essere vicino a, essere vicina a

structure - struttura

protection - protezione

ovens - forno

heavy - pesante

curtains - tenda, tappezzeria, drappo, drappeggio

sunlight - luce solare

wares - merce

laid - posare

When the Count informed me of this I felt as if a bucket of cold water had been suddenly thrown over me. But I could not believe in this story of the cake and candy factory. Through some strange freak of the imagination I felt as a child feels when some fairy tale has been told it to conceal the truth it suspects.

informed - informare

bucket - secchio

thrown over - gettato su

candy - caramella

factory - fabbrica, impianto, manifattura, stabilimento

freak - fenomeno, capriccio

imagination - immaginazione

fairy tale - favola/fiaba

conceal - nascondere, celare

truth - verita, veritate

suspects - sospettare

I scolded myself for a silly fool; the house remained unaltered in its appearance, and the visions faded in my brain, until one day a chance incident woke them to life again.

scolded - bisbetica, brontolona, megera, linguaccia

silly - sciocco

fool - stolto, buffone, giullare, pagliaccio, buffone di corte, matto

remained - stare, restare, rimanere

unaltered - inalterato

appearance - apparizione, comparsa, visione, apparenza, aspetto

visions - vista, acutezza visiva, visione, allucinazione, miraggio

faded in - sfumare, rafforzare, migliorare

brain - cervello, or when used as food

chance - caso

incident - imprevisto, inconveniente, incidente

I was wandering through the avenue as usual, and as I passed the deserted house I could not resist a hasty glance at its close-curtained upper windows. But as I looked at it, the curtain on the last window near the pastry shop began to move. A hand, an arm, came out from between its folds.

passed - passare

resist - resistere

hasty - affrettato, frettoloso, precipitoso

glance - dare un'occhiata, sbirciare, occhieggiare, radere, rasentare

curtain - tenda, tappezzeria, drappo, drappeggio

pastry shop - pasticceria

folds - piegare

I took my opera glass from my pocket and saw a beautifully formed woman's hand, on the little finger of which a large diamond sparkled in unusual brilliancy; a rich bracelet glittered on the white, rounded arm. The hand set a tall, oddly formed crystal bottle on the window ledge and disappeared again behind the curtain.

Pocket - tasca, buca, sacca, intascare, imbucare, tascabile

beautifully - in modo splendido

finger - dito

diamond - diamante

sparkled - scintillio, luccichio

unusual - insolito, particolare, inusuale

brilliancy - brillantezza

bracelet - braccialetto

glittered - glitter, brillantini

rounded - rotondo, tondo

hand set - cornetta del telefono

oddly - stranamente

crystal - cristallo

ledge - ripiano, davanzale

disappeared - sparire, scomparire

I stopped as if frozen to stone; a weirdly pleasurable sensation, mingled with awe, streamed through my being with the warmth of an electric current. I stared up at the mysterious window and a sigh of longing arose from the very depths of my heart. When I came to myself again, I was angered to find that I was surrounded by a crowd which stood gazing up at the window with curious faces.

frozen - gelare

stone - pietra, roccia, sasso, tsassolino, gemma

weirdly - stranamente

pleasurable - piacevole

sensation - sensazione, senso, impressione

mingled - mescolare, rimestare, rigirare, amalgamare, mescolarsi

awe - timore

streamed - corrente, ruscello, rivo, flusso, semestre

warmth - calore

electric current - corrente elettrica

mysterious - misterioso, ignoto

sigh - sospirare

arose from - e nata da

depths - profondita

heart - cuore

angered - ira, rabbia, collera

surrounded - circondare, accerchiare, assediare

crowd - folla

gazing - fissare, guardare, puntare gli occhi, volgere lo sguardo

Curious - curioso

I stole away inconspicuously, and the demon of all things prosaic whispered to me that what I had just seen was the rich pastry cook's wife, in her Sunday adornment, placing an empty bottle, used for rose-water or the like, on the window sill. Nothing very weird about this.

stole away - rubare

inconspicuously - in modo discreto

demon - demone, demonio, talian: Il Demonio g

prosaic - prosastico, prosaico, terra terra

whispered - sussurro, sussurrare

adornment - ornamento

empty - vuoto, vuotare, svuotare

rose - Rosa

sill - davanzale, soglia

weird - anormale, surreale, paranormale, innaturale

Suddenly a most sensible thought came to me. I turned and entered the shining, mirror-walled shop of the pastry cook. Blowing the steaming foam from my cup of chocolate, I remarked: "You have a very useful addition to your establishment next door." The man leaned over his counter and looked at me with a questioning smile, as if he did not understand me.

sensible - percepibile, apprezzabile, sensibile, razionale, giudizioso

entered - entrare, immettere, digitare

shining - brillare, far luce con

mirror - specchio, copia speculare

blowing - colpo

steaming - cottura a vapore, (steam), vapore

foam - schiuma, gomma piuma

remarked - osservazione, commento

Addition - addizione, aggiunta

establishment - istituzione, fondazione, creazione, insediamento, instaurazione

leaned - pendere

counter - contatore

smile - sorriso, sorridere

I repeated that in my opinion he had been very clever to set his bakery in the neighbouring house, although the deserted appearance of the building was a strange sight in its contrasting surroundings. "Why, sir," began the pastry cook, "who told you that the house next door belongs to us?

clever - furbo, astuto, sveglio, scaltro

set - Seth

although - sebbene, benché (both always followed by the subjunctive)

sight - vista, spettacolo, mirino, vedere, avvistare, mirare

contrasting - contrasto, diversita

surroundings - periferia, circostante

belongs - appartenere a

Unfortunately every attempt on our part to acquire it has been in vain, and I fancy it is all the better so, for there is something queer about the place."

unfortunately - sfortunatamente, purtroppo, malauguratamente

acquire - acquisire

in vain - invano

fancy - capriccio

queer - strano, bizzarro

You can imagine, dear friends, how interested I became upon hearing these words, and that I begged the man to tell me more about the house.

upon - su, a

begged - elemosinare, chiedere l'elemosina

"I do not know anything very definite, sir," he said. "All that we know for a certainty is that the house belongs to the Countess S--, who lives on her estates and has not been to the city for years.

definite - definito

certainty - certezza

Countess - contessa

estates - asse ereditario, beni, proprieta, tenuta, possedimento

This house, so they tell me, stood in its present shape before any of the handsome buildings were raised which are now the pride of our avenue, and in all these years there has been nothing done to it except to keep it from actual decay. Two living creatures alone dwell there, an aged misanthrope of a steward and his melancholy dog, which occasionally howls at the moon from the back courtyard.

shape - condizione, stato, forma, sagoma

raised - alzare, innalzare

pride - superbia, orgoglio, essere orgoglioso

Except - salvo, tranne, eccetto, fatto salvo

actual - reale, effettivo, concreto, esistente, attuale, corrente

decay - imputridire

creatures - creatura

dwell - abitare, checkdimorare

misanthrope - misantropo, misantropa

steward - amministratore, supervisore

melancholy - malinconia

Occasionally - occasionalmente, saltuariamente, talvolta

howls - ululato, uggiolio, latrato, guaito, ululare, gannire

moon - Luna

courtyard - cortile, corte

According to the general story the deserted house is haunted. In very truth my brother, who is the owner of this shop, and myself have often, when our business kept us awake during the silence of the night, heard strange sounds from the other side of the walls. There was a rumbling and a scraping that frightened us both.

according - accordo

general - generale

is haunted - e infestato

awake - svegliarsi

silence - silenzio, silenziare, azzittire, mettere a tacere

rumbling - brontolio, (rumble), sferragliamento, rombo, rimbombo, rissa

scraping - raschiare

frightened - spaurire, spaventare

And not very long ago we heard one night a strange singing which I could not describe to you. It was evidently the voice of an old woman, but the tones were so sharp and clear, and ran up to the top of the scale in cadences and long trills, the like of which I have never heard before, although I have heard many singers in many lands.

evidently - evidentemente

voice - voce

tones - tono

sharp - affilato, aguzzo, intelligente, acuto, appuntito, diesis, acre

clear - trasparente, limpido, pulito, chiaro, nitido

ran up - correre, aumentare un debito

top - cima, sommita, coperchio, cappuccio, parte superiore, top

scale - scala, gradazione

cadences - cadenza, ritmo, passo, andamento

trills - trillo

It seemed to be a French song, but I am not quite sure of that, for I could not listen long to the mad, ghostly singing, it made the hair stand erect on my head. And at times, after the street noises are quiet, we can hear deep sighs, and sometimes a mad laugh, which seem to come out of the earth.

seemed - sembrare, parere, apparire

French - francese

mad - pazzo, folle, matto, insano

ghostly - spettrale, fantasmatico, spiritico

erect - eretto

noises - rumore, strepito

deep - profondo, spesso, esteso, profondo (1, 2)

sighs - sospirare

earth - terra, massa, tana, mettere a terra, tcollegare a terra

But if you lay your ear to the wall in our back room, you can hear that the noises come from the house next door." He led me into the back room and pointed through the window. "And do you see that iron chimney coming out of the wall there?

lay - posare

wall in - murare

led - LED

iron - ferreo, ferroso, ferrico, inflessibile, stirare

chimney - camino, ciminiera, fumaiolo, bulbo

It smokes so heavily sometimes, even in summer when there are no fires used, that my brother has often quarrelled with the old steward about it, fearing danger. But the old man excuses himself by saying that he was cooking his food. Heaven knows what the queer creature may eat, for often, when the pipe is smoking heavily, a strange and queer smell can be smelled all over the house."

smokes - fumo

heavily - pesantemente, fortemente, intensamente

quarrelled - lite, litigio

fearing - temere

danger - pericolo

excuses - scusare, perdonare, scusarsi, giustificarsi, scusa, pretesto

Heaven - cielo, paradiso

creature - creatura

pipe - cornamusa, canna d'organo, condotto, tubo, pipe, barra verticale

smoking - fumare

smelled - odore, olfatto, odorato, sentire l'odore, fiutare, odorare

The glass doors of the shop creaked in opening. The pastry cook hurried into the front room, and when he had nodded to the figure now entering he threw a meaning glance at me. I understood him perfectly. Who else could this strange guest be, but the steward who had charge of the mysterious house!

creaked - cric, scricchiolio, scricchiolare

hurried - fretta, premura, furia, affrettarsi, precipitarsi

nodded to - annuire

figure - figura, fisico, personaggio, cifra, forma, calcolare, risolvere

entering - entrare, (enter), immettere, digitare

threw - gettare, lanciare

perfectly - perfettamente, propriamente, totalmente

guest - ospite, invitato, convitato, cliente

charge - costo, prezzo, carico, accusa, imputazione, carica, incarico

Imagine a thin little man with a face the colour of a mummy, with a sharp nose, tight-set lips, green cat's eyes, and a crazy smile; his hair dressed in the old-fashioned style with a high toupet and a bag at the back, and heavily powdered. He wore a faded old brown coat which was carefully brushed, grey stockings, and broad, flat-toed shoes with buckles.

little man - piccolo uomo

mummy - mamma

tight - aderente, teso, stretto, tirato, nitido

lips - labbro, beccuccio

crazy - pazzo, matto, folle, impazzito, fuori di testa, fantastico

old-fashioned - (old-fashioned) vecchio stile

powdered - polvere

faded - affievolirsi

carefully - minuziosamente, accuratamente, meticolosamente, puntigliosamente

brushed - spazzola, pennello, incontro, scontro, spazzolare, spazzolarsi

stockings - calzettone

toed - dito del piede, dito, dito della zampa, punta

buckles - fibbia, fermaglio

And imagine further, that in spite of his meagreness this little person is robustly built, with huge fists and long, strong fingers, and that he walks to the shop counter with a strong, firm step, smiling his imbecile smile, and whining out: "A couple of candied oranges-a couple of macaroons-a couple of sugared chestnuts--"

further - ulteriore, ulteriormente

spite - dispetto, rancore

meagreness - la pochezza

robustly - in modo robusto

huge - enorme, gigante

fists - pugno

fingers - dito

firm - fermo, sicuro

step - passo

smiling - sorridere, (smile), sorriso

imbecile - imbecille

whining - piagnucolare

couple - coppia, paio, agganciare, accoppiare

candied - caramella

macaroons - amaretto

chestnuts - castagna, castano, castagneto

The pastry cook smiled at me and then spoke to the old man. "You do not seem to be quite well. Yes, yes, old age, old age! It takes the strength from our limbs." The old man's expression did not change, but his voice went up: "Old age?-Old age?-Lose strength?-Grow weak?-Oho!

smiled - sorriso, sorridere

Seem - sembrare, parere, apparire

strength - forza, vigore, energia, intensita, efficacia

limbs - membro, arto

expression - espressione

weak - debole

" And with this he clapped his hands together until the joints cracked, and sprang high up into the air until the entire shop trembled and the glass vessels on the walls and counters rattled and shook. But in the same moment a hideous screaming was heard; the old man had stepped on his black dog, which, creeping in behind him, had laid itself at his feet on the floor. "Devilish beast-dog of hell!

clapped - battere le mani, applaudire

joints - comune, congiunta, giunto, articolazione, diaclasi, canna

cracked - rompersi, incrinarsi

entire - intero, intera

trembled - tremare, tremolare, tremore

vessels - vascello, imbarcazione, bastimento, nave

counters - contatore

rattled - far tintinnare/sbatacchiare

shook - scossa, (shake), scuotere, agitare, scuotere la testa

hideous - orribile, orrendo, talian: t-needed

screaming - urlo, grido, gridare, sbraitare, urlare

stepped - steppa

creeping in - insinuarsi, intrufolarsi

devilish - diabolico

beast - bestia, belva

hell - inferno

" groaned the old man in his former miserable tone, opening his bag and giving the dog a large macaroon. The dog, which had burst out into a cry of distress that was truly human, was quiet at once, sat down on its haunches, and gnawed at the macaroon like a squirrel. When it had finished its tidbit, the old man had also finished the packing up and putting away of his purchases.

groaned - gemito, gemere

former - precedente, passato

miserable - infelice

tone - tono

macaroon - amaretto

burst - scoppiare, esplodere, strappare, separare, scoppio, esplosione

cry - piangere, gridare, urlare, pianto, urlo, verso

distress - angoscia, pena, miseria, sconforto, pericolo

truly - accuratamente, veramente, molto

human - umano

haunches - coscia

gnawed - rodere, rosicchiare, mordicchiare, rosicare

squirrel - scoiattolo

tidbit - bocconcino, leccornia

packing up - fare i bagagli

putting away - mettere via

purchases - compra, acquisto, compravendita, acquisizione, comprare

"Good night, honoured neighbour," he spoke, taking the hand of the pastry cook and pressing it until the latter cried aloud in pain. "The weak old man wishes you a good night, most honourable Sir Neighbour," he repeated, and then walked from the shop, followed closely by his black dog. The old man did not seem to have noticed me at all. I was quite dumfoundered in my astonishment.

honoured - onore

pressing - urgente, imminente, pressante, insistente, persistente

latter - secondo, quest'ultimo

cried - piangere, gridare, urlare, pianto, urlo, verso

aloud - a voce alta, ad alta voce

pain - dolore

wishes - desiderio, voglia, volere, desiderare, augurare

most honourable - il piu onorevole

closely - strettamente, da vicino, a stretto contatto

noticed - percezione, notifica, avviso, comunicazione, preavviso, notare

astonishment - stupore, meraviglia, sorpresa, sbigottimento

"There, you see," began the pastry cook. "This is the way he acts when he comes in here, two or three times a month, it is. But I can get nothing out of him except the fact that he was a former valet of Count S--, that he is now in charge of this house here, and that every day-for many years now-he expects the arrival of his master's family.

acts - atto, legge, numero, scena, messinscena, agire, recitare, fare

valet - parcheggiatore

expects - aspettarsi, pensare

arrival - arrivo

Master - padrone

" The hour was now come when fashion demanded that the elegant world of the city should assemble in this attractive shop. The doors opened incessantly, the place was thronged, and I could ask no further questions.

demanded - domanda, richiesta, rivendicazione, bisogno, necessita

elegant - ordine del giorno

assemble - assemblare, montare, mettere insieme, riunire, riunirsi, adunare

attractive - attrattivo, attraente, procace, stuzzicante, allettante

incessantly - incessantemente

thronged - calca, ressa, folla, turba

This much I knew, that Count P--'s information about the ownership and the use of the house were not correct; also, that the old steward, in spite of his denial, was not living alone there, and that some mystery was hidden behind its discoloured walls. How could I combine the story of the strange and gruesome singing with the appearance of the beautiful arm at the window?

ownership - proprieta, padronanza

denial - negazione, rifiuto

mystery - mistero, arcano, enigma

hidden - nascondere, nascondersi

combine - combinare, mischiare, abbinare, unire, kombinat, combinat

gruesome - orribile, raccapricciante

That arm could not be part of the wrinkled body of an old woman; the singing, according to the pastry cook's story, could not come from the throat of a blooming and youthful maiden. I decided in favour of the arm, as it was easy to explain to myself that some trick of acoustics had made the voice sound sharp and old, or that it had appeared so only in the pastry cook's fear-distorted imagination.

wrinkled - ruga

throat - gola

blooming - fiore

youthful - giovanile

maiden - pulzella, ragazza, nubile, signorina, checkvergine

in favour - a favore

trick - trucco, imbrogliare

acoustics - acustico, acustica

appeared - apparire

fear - paura

distorted - deformare, distorcere

Then I thought of the smoke, the strange odours, the oddly formed crystal bottle that I had seen, and soon the vision of a beautiful creature held enthralled by fatal magic stood as if alive before my mental vision. The old man became a wizard who, perhaps quite independently of the family he served, had set up his devil's kitchen in the deserted house.

smoke - fumo

odours - odore

vision - vista, acutezza visiva, visione, allucinazione, miraggio

held - tenere

enthralled - asservire, schiavizzare

fatal - fatale

magic - magia, magico

alive - vivo, attivo, animato

mental - mentale

wizard - mago, procedura guidata, assistente

Perhaps - forse

independently - in modo indipendente

devil - diavolo

My imagination had begun to work, and in my dreams that night I saw clearly the hand with the sparkling diamond on its finger, the arm with the shining bracelet. From out thin, grey mists there appeared a sweet face with sadly imploring blue eyes, then the entire exquisite figure of a beautiful girl.

dreams - sogno, sognare

Clearly - chiaramente, certamente, evidentemente

sparkling - scintillante, brillante, frizzante, gassato

shining - stinco

mists - nebbia, foschia

sweet - dolcemente, dolcetto, caramella

sadly - tristemente

imploring - implorare

exquisite - squisito, delizioso

beautiful girl - bella ragazza

And I saw that what I had thought was mist was the fine steam flowing out in circles from a crystal bottle held in the hands of the vision.

mist - nebbia, foschia

steam - vapore

flowing out - fluire fuori

circles - cerchio, disco, sfera, curva, circolo, gruppo, cenacolo

"Oh, fairest creature of my dreams," I cried in rapture, "reveal to me where thou art, what it is that enthralls thee. Ah, I know it!

fairest - biondo, chiaro

rapture - rapimento, estasi

reveal - rivelare, gettare la maschera, uscire allo scoperto

thou - tu

enthralls - asservire, schiavizzare

thee - te, ti, tu

It is black magic that holds thee captive-thou art the unhappy slave of that malicious devil who wanders about brown-clad and be-wigged in pastry shops, scattering their wares with his unholy springing and feeding his demon dog on macaroons, after they have howled out a Satanic measure in five-eighth time. Oh, I know it all, thou fair and charming vision.

holds - tenere

captive - prigioniero, catturato, intrappolato

unhappy - triste, rattristato, mogio, abbacchiato

slave - schiavo, schiava, sgobbare

malicious - doloso, cattivo, malizioso, malevole

wanders - errare, vagare, girovagare, passeggiare

clad - vestito, (clothe), vestire

wigged - parrucca

scattering - dispersione, (scatter), disperdere, disperdersi, sparpagliare

wares - guerra, fare la guerra

unholy - irrispettoso

feeding - alimentazione

howled - ululato, uggiolio, latrato, guaito, ululare, gannire

satanic - satanico

measure - misurazione, misura, righello, regolo, funzione di misura

Eighth - ottavo, ('in names of monarchs and popes') ottavo g, ottava g ('after the name') ('abbreviation' VIII)

fair - biondo, chiaro

charming - affascinante

The diamond is the reflection of the fire of thy heart. But that bracelet about thine arm is a link of the chain which the brown-clad one says is a magnetic chain. Do not believe it, O glorious one! See how it shines in the blue fire from the retort. One moment more and thou art free.

reflection - riflessione, riflesso, riverbero

thy - tuo, tua, tuoi, tue

thine - tuo, tua, tuoi, tue, il tuo -s

link - anello, maglia

chain - catena, incatenare, concatenare

magnetic - magnetico, magnetica

glorious - glorioso

shines - brillare, far luce con

retort - replicare, ribattere

One moment - Un momento

And now, O maiden, open thy rosebud mouth and tell me--" In this moment a gnarled fist leaped over my shoulder and clutched at the crystal bottle, which sprang into a thousand pieces in the air. With a faint, sad moan, the charming vision faded into the blackness of the night.

rosebud - bocciolo di rosa

fist - pugno

leaped - saltare

clutched - afferrare

faint - debole

moan - gemito, lamentarsi, gemere

faded - moda, andazzo, tendenza

blackness - nerezza

When morning came to put an end to my dreaming I hurried through the avenue, seeking the deserted house as usual and I saw something glistening in the last window of the upper story. Coming nearer I noticed that the outer blind had been quite drawn up and the inner curtain slightly opened. The sparkle of a diamond met my eye. O kind Heaven!

dreaming - sognare, (dream), sogno

seeking - cercare, ricercare

glistening - luccicante

blind - cieco, orbo, tenda, accecare, ciecamente

slightly - leggermente

sparkle - scintillio, luccichio

The face of my dream looked at me, gently imploring, from above the rounded arm on which her head was resting. But how was it possible to stand still in the moving crowd without attracting attention? Suddenly I caught sight of the benches placed in the gravel walk in the centre of the avenue, and I saw that one of them was directly opposite the house.

dream - sogno, sognare

gently - soavemente, dolcemente, blandamente, delicatamente

resting - riposare

stand still - rimanere fermo

attracting - attirare, attrarre, sedurre, affascinare

benches - panchina

gravel walk - passeggiata su ghiaia

directly - direttamente

I sprang over to it, and leaning over its back, I could stare up at the mysterious window undisturbed. Yes, it was she, the charming maiden of my dream! But her eye did not seem to seek me as I had at first thought; her glance was cold and unfocused, and had it not been for an occasional motion of the hand and arm, I might have thought that I was looking at a cleverly painted picture.

leaning - appoggiarsi

stare - fissare

undisturbed - indisturbato

seek - cercare, ricercare

unfocused - non focalizzato

occasional - occasionale

motion - movimento, mozione, mozioni

cleverly - in modo intelligente

I was so lost in my adoration of the mysterious being in the window, so aroused and excited throughout all my nerve centres, that I did not hear the shrill voice of an Italian street hawker, who had been offering me his wares for some time. Finally he touched me on the arm; I turned hastily and commanded him to let me alone.

adoration - adorazione

aroused - eccitare, provocare, stimolare, suscitare

throughout - in ogni parte, dappertutto

nerve - nervo, nervatura, coraggio, faccia tosta, sfacciataggine

shrill - stridulo, stridore, stridio, stridente

Italian - italiano, italiana

street hawker - venditore ambulante

offering - offerta

finally - finalmente, alla fine, per concludere, infine, definitivamente

touched - commosso

hastily - frettolosamente, precipitatamente

commanded - comando, ordine, padronanza, maestria, perizia, ordinare

But he did not cease his entreaties, asserting that he had earned nothing today, and begging me to buy some small trifle from him. Full of impatience to get rid of him I put my hand in my pocket. With the words: "I have more beautiful things here," he opened the under drawer of his box and held out to me a little, round pocket mirror.

cease - cessare, arrestare, smettere, interrompere

entreaties - supplichevole

earned - guadagnare

begging - mendicare

trifle - zuppa inglese, un tantino, un po', bagattella, briciola

Impatience - Impazienza

rid - sbarazzare

more beautiful - piu bello

drawer - cassetto

round - rotondo, tondo

In it, as he held it up before my face, I could see the deserted house behind me, the window, and the sweet face of my vision there.

I bought the little mirror at once, for I saw that it would make it possible for me to sit comfortable and inconspicuously, and yet watch the window. The longer I looked at the reflection in the glass, the more I fell captive to a weird and quite indescribable sensation, which I might almost call a waking dream.

comfortable - comodo, confortevole

indescribable - indescrivibile

almost - quasi

It was as if a lethargy had lamed my eyes, holding them fastened on the glass beyond my power to loosen them. And now at last the beautiful eyes of the fair vision looked at me, her glance sought mine and shone deep down into my heart.

lethargy - letargia

lamed - cojo

holding - possesso

fastened - chiudere, fissare, attaccare

beyond - oltre, (al) di la di, dall'altra parte di, piu di, dopo

loosen - allentare

sought - cercare, ricercare

mine - mio, mia, mie, miei

shone - brillare, far luce con

"You have a pretty little mirror there," said a voice beside me. I awoke from my dream, and was not a little confused when I saw smiling faces looking at me from either side. Several persons had sat down upon the bench, and it was quite certain that my staring into the window, and my probably strange expression, had afforded them great cause for amusement.

awoke - svegliarsi

confused - confondere

either - ciascuno, entrambi, ogni, neanche, nemmeno

Bench - panchina

Certain - certo, sicuro, tale, determinato

afforded - permettersi

cause - causa, provocare, causare, produrre, ottenere

amusement - divertimento, intrattenimento, festeggiamento

"You have a pretty little mirror there," repeated the man, as I did not answer him. His glance said more, and asked without words the reason of my staring so oddly into the little glass. He was an elderly man, neatly dressed, and his voice and eyes were so full of good nature that I could not refuse him my confidence.

elderly - anziano, anziana, anziani, anziane

neatly - ordinatamente

of good nature - di buona natura

refuse - rifiutare

confidence - fiducia, autostima, certezza, sicurezza di sé, confidenza

I told him that I had been looking in the mirror at the picture of a beautiful maiden who was sitting at a window of the deserted house. I went even farther; I asked the old man if he had not seen the fair face himself. "Over there? In the old house-in the last window?" He repeated my questions in a tone of surprise.

looking in - guardare dentro

surprise - sorpresa, stupire, sorprendere, meravigliare

"Yes, yes," I exclaimed.

exclaimed - esclamare

The old man smiled and answered: "Well, well, that was a strange delusion. My old eyes-thank Heaven for my old eyes! Yes, yes, sir. I saw a pretty face in the window there, with my own eyes; but it seemed to me to be an excellently well-painted oil portrait."

delusion - illusione

excellently - educatamente

oil - olio

portrait - ritratto

I turned quickly and looked toward the window; there was no one there, and the blind had been pulled down. "Yes," continued the old man, "yes, sir. Now it is too late to make sure of the matter, for just now the servant, who, as I know, lives there alone in the house of the Countess S--, took the picture away from the window after he had dusted it, and let down the blinds."

toward - verso, incontro, per, presso

pulled down - demolire, distruggere, abbassare, tirare giu, drappeggiare

continued - continuare

servant - servo, servitore, domestico, famiglio

dusted - polvere, spolverare

let down - sgonfiare

blinds - cieco, orbo, tenda, accecare, ciecamente

"Was it, then, surely a picture?" I asked again, in bewilderment.

surely - sicuramente, checkcertamente

bewilderment - confusione, perplessita, disorientamento

"You can trust my eyes," replied the old man. "The optical delusion was strengthened by your seeing only the reflection in the mirror. And when I was in your years it was easy enough for my fancy to call up the picture of a beautiful maiden."

trust - fiducia, confidenza, speranza, credito, affidabilita, trust

replied - rispondere, replicare, ripetere, risposta, replica

optical - ottico

strengthened - rinforzare, rafforzare, corroborare, animare, intensificare

call up - chiamare

"But the hand and arm moved," I exclaimed. "Oh, yes, they moved, indeed they moved," said the old man smiling, as he patted me on the shoulder. Then he arose to go, and bowing politely, closed his remarks with the words, "Beware of mirrors which can lie so vividly. Your obedient servant, sir."

indeed - infatti, davvero, realmente, effettivamente, gia

patted - colpetto, buffetto

arose - sorgere, apparire, nascere

bowing - inchinarsi

politely - educatamente

remarks - osservazione, commento

Beware - temere, guardarsi, fare attenzione

mirrors - specchio, copia speculare

lie - bugia

vividly - chiaramente, limpidamente

obedient - ubbidiente

You can imagine how I felt when I saw that he looked upon me as a foolish fantast. I hurried home full of anger and disgust, and promised myself that I would not think of the mysterious house.

foolish - babbeo, sciocco

fantast - fantástico

anger - ira, rabbia, collera

disgust - disgustare, ripugnare, nauseare, stomacare

promised - promessa, giuramento, voto, promettere, giurare

But I placed the mirror on my dressing-table that I might bind my cravat before it, and thus it happened one day, when I was about to utilize it for this important business, that its glass seemed dull, and that I took it up and breathed on it to rub it bright again. My heart seemed to stand still, every fibre in me trembled in delightful awe.

bind - legare, connettere, rilegare

cravat - foulard

thus - cosi

utilize - utilizzare

dull - spuntato, smussato, noioso, soporifero, tedioso

breathed on - respirare

Rub - strofinamento, strofinare, fregare

bright - luminoso, brillante

fibre - fibra

delightful - delizioso

Yes, that is all the name I can find for the feeling that came over me, when, as my breath clouded the little mirror, I saw the beautiful face of my dreams arise and smile at me through blue mists. You laugh at me? You look upon me as an incorrigible dreamer? Think what you will about it-the fair face looked at me from out of the mirror!

breath - respiro, lena, alito, fiato

clouded - annuvolarsi, oscurare, annebbiare

arise - sorgere, apparire, nascere

smile at - sorridere a qualcuno

incorrigible - incorreggibile

dreamer - sognatore, sognatrice

But as soon as the clouding vanished, the face vanished in the brightened glass.

clouding - annebbiamento, (cloud), annuvolarsi, oscurare, annebbiare

vanished - sparire, svanire

brightened - illuminare

I will not weary you with a detailed recital of my sensations the next few days. I will only say that I repeated again the experiments with the mirror, sometimes with success, sometimes without. When I had not been able to call up the vision, I would run to the deserted house and stare up at the windows; but I saw no human being anywhere about the building.

weary - annoiato, tediato, spossato, stanco, annoiare, annoiarsi

recital - recitale, considerando

sensations - sensazione, senso, impressione

experiments - esperimento

anywhere - ovunque, dappertutto, dovunque

I lived only in thoughts of my vision; everything else seemed indifferent to me. I neglected my friends and my studies. The tortures in my soul passed over into, or rather mingled with, physical sensations which frightened me, and which at last made me fear for my reason. One day, after an unusually severe attack, I put my little mirror in my pocket and hurried to the home of Dr.

indifferent - indifferente

neglected - mancare, negligere, omettere, ignorare, tralasciare, negligenza

tortures - torturare

soul - anima, spirito

passed over - passare davanti, lasciare qualcosa, ignorare

Rather - rato

physical - fisico

unusually - insolitamente

severe - rigido, duro, grave, severo

attack - attacco, assalire, attaccare

K--, who was noted for his treatment of those diseases of the mind out of which physical diseases so often grow. I told him my story; I did not conceal the slightest incident from him, and I implored him to save me from the terrible fate which seemed to threaten me. He listened to me quietly, but I read astonishment in his glance.

treatment - trattamento, cura

those - quelle, quei, quegli

diseases - malattia, malanno, disturbo, morbo

mind - mente

slightest - insignificante, leggero, debole, lieve, disprezzare, sminuire

implored - implorare

save - salvare, soccorrere, redimere, immagazzinare, risparmiare

fate - fato, sorte, destino

threaten - minacciare, impaurire, intimidire, avvisare, promettere

quietly - in silenzio

Then he said: "The danger is not as near as you believe, and I think that I may say that it can be easily prevented. You are undergoing an unusual psychical disturbance, beyond a doubt. But the fact that you understand that some evil principle seems to be trying to influence you, gives you a weapon by which you can combat it.

prevented - impedire, prevenire

undergoing - soffrire, sottoporsi

psychical - psichico

disturbance - disturbo

doubt - dubitare, dubbio, perplessita

evil - cattivo, maligno

principle - principio, regola, valore

Seems - sembrare, parere, apparire

influence - influenza, ascendente, influenzare, influire

weapon - arma

combat - battaglia, combattere

Leave your little mirror here with me, and force yourself to take up with some work which will afford scope for all your mental energy. Do not go to the avenue; work all day, from early to late, then take a long walk, and spend your evenings in the company of your friends. Eat heartily, and drink heavy, nourishing wines.

force - forza

afford - permettersi

scope - opportunita

energy - energia, forza

heartily - caldamente, sentitamente, giovialmente

nourishing - nutrire, mantenere, accrescere, incoraggiare, confortare

You see I am endeavouring to combat your fixed idea of the face in the window of the deserted house and in the mirror, by diverting your mind to other things, and by strengthening your body. You yourself must help me in this."

endeavouring - tentare

fixed - aggiustare, riparare, mettere una pezza, sistemare, preparare

diverting - deviare, distrarre, divertirsi, distrarsi

strengthening - rinforzare, rafforzare, corroborare, animare, intensificare

I was very reluctant to part with my mirror. The physician, who had already taken it, seemed to notice my hesitation. He breathed upon the glass and holding it up to me, he asked: "Do you see anything?"

reluctant - riluttante

physician - medico, dottore, dottoressa, dottore in medicina

notice - percezione, notifica, avviso, comunicazione, preavviso, notare

hesitation - esitazione

breathed - respirare

"Nothing at all," I answered, for so it was.

"Now breathe on the glass yourself," said the physician, laying the mirror in my hands.

breathe on - respirare

laying - posa

I did as he requested. There was the vision even more clearly than ever before.

requested - chiedere, richiesta, talian: t-needed

"There she is!" I cried aloud.

The physician looked into the glass, and then said: "I cannot see anything. But I will confess to you that when I looked into this glass, a queer shiver overcame me, passing away almost at once. Now do it once more."

shiver - rabbrividire, tremare

overcame - superare, sconfiggere

passing away - passare, morire

I breathed upon the glass again and the physician laid his hand upon the back of my neck. The face appeared again, and the physician, looking into the mirror over my shoulder, turned pale. Then he took the little glass from my hands, looked at it attentively, and locked it into his desk, returning to me after a few moments'silent thought.

breathed - respiro, lena, alito, fiato

neck - collo

pale - pallido

locked - serratura

silent - silenzioso, muto, silente, tranquillo, silenzio

"Follow my instructions strictly," he said. "I must confess to you that I do not yet understand those moments of your vision. But I hope to be able to tell you more about it very soon."

instructions - istruzione, addestramento, insegnamento, tirocinio, bugiardino

strictly - strettamente, severamente, rigidamente, prettamente

Difficult as it was to me, I forced myself to live absolutely according to the doctor's orders. I soon felt the benefit of the steady work and the nourishing diet, and yet I was not free from those terrible attacks, which would come either at noon, or, more intensely still, at midnight.

forced - forza

absolutely - assolutamente

benefit - beneficio, aiuto, profitto, pagamento, sussidio, beneficiare

steady - fermo, saldo, fidato, sicuro, costante

attacks - attacco, assalire, attaccare

at noon - a mezzogiorno

intensely - intensamente

Even in the midst of a merry company, in the enjoyment of wine and song, glowing daggers seemed to pierce my heart, and all the strength of my intellect was powerless to resist their might over me. I was obliged to retire, and could not return to my friends until I had recovered from my condition of lethargy.

midst - in mezzo a*

merry - felice, allegro

enjoyment - divertimento

glowing - brillare, alone, luminescenza, luccichio, calore

daggers - pugnale

pierce - trapassare, trafiggere

intellect - intelletto

powerless - impotente

resist - resistere

obliged - obbligare, forzare, costringere, fare un favore, indebitarsi

retire - (andare in pensione)

recovered - rimettersi, riprendersi

condition - condizione, influenzare, condizionare

It was in one of these attacks, an unusually strong one, that such an irresistible, mad longing for the picture of my dreams came over me, that I hurried out into the street and ran toward the mysterious house. While still at a distance from it, I seemed to see lights shining out through the fast-closed blinds, but when I came nearer I saw that all was dark.

irresistible - irresistibile

longing for - desiderare qualcosa, volere qualcosa

distance - distanza

Crazy with my desire I rushed to the door; it fell back before the pressure of my hand. I stood in the dimly lighted vestibule, enveloped in a heavy, close atmosphere. My heart beat in strange fear and impatience. Then suddenly a long, sharp tone, as from a woman's throat, shrilled through the house.

desire - desiderare, volere, desiderio, voglia

rushed - precipitarsi, portare d'urgenza

pressure - pressione, spinta, impellenza, urgenza, tensione

dimly - in modo debole

vestibule - vestibolo

enveloped - circondare, avviluppare

atmosphere - atmosfera

beat - battere

as from - come da

shrilled - stridulo, stridore, stridio, stridente

I know not how it happened that I found myself suddenly in a great hall brilliantly lighted and furnished in old-fashioned magnificence of golden chairs and strange Japanese ornaments. Strongly perfumed incense arose in blue clouds about me. "Welcome-welcome, sweet bridegroom! the hour has come, our bridal hour!

hall - corridoio, sala

brilliantly - brillantemente

furnished - fornire

fashioned - moda, voga, stile, maniera, modo, tendenza, fabbricare

magnificence - magnificenza

Golden - Dorato

Japanese - giapponese, nipponico

ornaments - ornamento, ornamenti

strongly - fortemente, fermamente, ampiamente

perfumed - profumo, profumare

incense - incenso, olibano

clouds - annuvolarsi, oscurare, annebbiare

bridegroom - sposo

bridal - nuziale

" I heard these words in a woman's voice, and as little as I can tell, how I came into the room, just so little do I know how it happened that suddenly a tall, youthful figure, richly dressed, seemed to arise from the blue mists. With the repeated shrill cry: "Welcome, sweet bridegroom!" she came toward me with outstretched arms-and a yellow face, distorted with age and madness, stared into mine!

richly - riccamente

arise from - nascere da

outstretched - allungare

madness - pazzia, follia, checkpazzia, insanita

I fell back in terror, but the fiery, piercing glance of her eyes, like the eyes of a snake, seemed to hold me spellbound. I did not seem able to turn my eyes from this terrible old woman, I could not move another step. She came still nearer, and it seemed to me suddenly as if her hideous face were only a thin mask, beneath which I saw the features of the beautiful maiden of my vision.

terror - terrore

fiery - ardente, incandescente, bruciante, infiammabile, infocato

piercing - foro, piercing, pungente, penetrante

hold - tenere

spellbound - incantesimo

mask - maschera

beneath - sotto

features - caratteristica, prestazione, peculiarita, proprieta

Already I felt the touch of her hands, when suddenly she fell at my feet with a loud scream, and a voice behind me cried:

touch - toccare, commuovere, tocco, tatto

loud - forte, alto

scream - urlo, grido, gridare, sbraitare, urlare

"Oho, is the devil playing his tricks with your grace again? To bed, to bed, your grace. Else there will be blows, mighty blows!"

tricks - trucco, imbrogliare

grace - benedicite, ringraziamento, grazia, eleganza, garbo

blows - colpi

mighty - potente, possente

I turned quickly and saw the old steward in his night clothes, swinging a whip above his head. He was about to strike the screaming figure at my feet when I caught at his arm. But he shook me from him, exclaiming: "The devil, sir! That old Satan would have murdered you if I had not come to your aid. Get away from here at once!"

swinging - oscillare, (swing), ondeggiare, altalenare

whip - frusta, nerbo, sferza, sferzare, flagellare

strike - cancellare, colpire, coniare, scioperare, sembrare, arrendersi, sciopero

exclaiming - esclamare

Satan - Satana

murdered - assassinio, omicidio, uccisione, assassinare, massacrare

aid - aiuto

I rushed from the hall, and sought in vain in the darkness for the door of the house. Behind me I heard the hissing blows of the whip and the old woman's screams.

vain - vanitoso, vanesio, vano

darkness - buio, oscurita, tenebre, scuro

screams - urlo, grido, gridare, sbraitare, urlare

I drew breath to call aloud for help, when suddenly the ground gave way under my feet; I fell down a short flight of stairs, bringing up with such force against a door at the bottom that it sprang open, and I measured my length on the floor of a small room. From the hastily vacated bed, and from the familiar brown coat hanging over a chair, I saw that I was in the bed-chamber of the old steward.

gave way - cedere

stairs - scalino, scala

bringing up - sollevare

against - contrario, contro, in cambio di

bottom - fondo, parte inferiore, sedere, passivo

measured - misurazione, misura, righello, regolo, funzione di misura

Length - lunghezza

small room - una stanza piccola

vacated - liberare

familiar - familiare, spirito famigliare, famiglio

hanging over - sbornia, appendere

chamber - camera, camera da letto

There was a trampling on the stair, and the old man himself entered hastily, throwing himself at my feet. "By all the saints, sir," he entreated with folded hands, "whoever you may be, and however her grace, that old Satan of a witch has managed to entice you to this house, do not speak to any one of what has happened here. It will cost me my position.

trampling - calpestare, (trample), offendere, urtare

stair - scalino, scala

throwing - lanciare

Saints - San, Santo, Santa

entreated - supplicare

folded - piegare

Whoever - chiunque

witch - strega

managed - dirigere, managgiare, riuscire, arrangiarsi, maneggiare

entice - attrarre, tentare, allettare, adescare

Her crazy excellency has been punished, and is bound fast in her bed. Sleep well, good sir, sleep softly and sweetly. It is a warm and beautiful July night. There is no moon, but the stars shine brightly. A quiet good night to you." While talking, the old man had taken up a lamp, had led me out of the basement, pushed me out of the house door, and locked it behind me.

excellency - Eccellenza

punished - punire, castigare

bound - vincolato, (bind), legare, connettere, rilegare

softly - delicatamente, sottovoce

sweetly - dolcemente, carezzevolmente, soavemente

shine - brillare, far luce con

brightly - vivacemente, brillantemente

taken up - occupato

basement - scantinato, seminterrato, basamento

pushed - spingere

I hurried home quite bewildered, and you can imagine that I was too much confused by the gruesome secret to be able to form any explanation of it in my own mind for the first few days. Only this much was certain, that I was now free from the evil spell that had held me captive so long.

bewildered - confondere, disorientare, sconcertare

secret - segreto

explanation - spiegazione, esplicazione, chiarificazione, esegesi

All my longing for the magic vision in the mirror had disappeared, and the memory of the scene in the deserted house was like the recollection of an unexpected visit to a madhouse. It was evident beyond a doubt that the steward was the tyrannical guardian of a crazy woman of noble birth, whose condition was to be hidden from the world. But the mirror? and all the other magic?

memory - memoria, ricordo

scene - scena

recollection - ricordo

unexpected - inaspettato, insperato, inatteso, improvviso

madhouse - manicomio, gabbia di matti

evident - evidente

tyrannical - tirannico

guardian - guardiano, custode, tutore, tutrice

noble - nobile, aristocratico, splendido

birth - nascita

Listen, and I will tell you more about it.

Some few days later I came upon Count P-- at an evening entertainment. He drew me to one side and said, with a smile, "Do you know that the secrets of our deserted house are beginning to be revealed?" I listened with interest; but before the Count could say more the doors of the dining-room were thrown open, and the company proceeded to the table.

entertainment - divertimento, intrattenimento

secrets - segreto

revealed - rivelare, gettare la maschera, uscire allo scoperto

dining - chiasso, frastuono

thrown - gettare, lanciare

proceeded - procedere

Quite lost in thought at the words I had just heard, I had given a young lady my arm, and had taken my place mechanically in the ceremonious procession. I led my companion to the seats arranged for us, and then turned to look at her for the first time. The vision of my mirror stood before me, feature for feature, there was no deception possible!

lady - signora, dama, lady

mechanically - meccanicamente, macchinalmente

ceremonious - cerimonioso

procession - corteo

companion - amico, compagno

seats - posto, seduta, sedile, scranno

arranged - disporre, ordinare, preparare, arrangiare

feature - caratteristica

deception - mistificazione, inganno, sotterfugio, raggiro

I trembled to my innermost heart, as you can imagine; but I discovered that there was not the slightest echo even, in my heart, of the mad desire which had ruled me so entirely when my breath drew out the magic picture from the glass. My astonishment, or rather my terror, must have been apparent in my eyes.

innermost - piu interno

discovered - scoprire, trovare

Echo - eco

entirely - completamente

Rather - preferibilmente, piuttosto, abbastanza, meglio

apparent - apparente, visibile, evidente, chiaro

The girl looked at me in such surprise that I endeavoured to control myself sufficiently to remark that I must have met her somewhere before. Her short answer, to the effect that this could hardly be possible, as she had come to the city only yesterday for the first time in her life, bewildered me still more and threw me into an awkward silence.

endeavoured - tentare

control - controllare, influenzare, dirigere, controllo, comando

sufficiently - sufficientemente

remark - osservazione, commento

somewhere - da qualche parte, in qualche luogo, in qualche parte

effect - effetto, effettuare

hardly - aspramente, appena, quasi, checkmica

only yesterday - solo ieri

awkward - maldestro, impacciato, goffo, imbarazzato, poco opportuno

The sweet glance from her gentle eyes brought back my courage, and I began a tentative exploring of this new companion's mind. I found that I had before me a sweet and delicate being, suffering from some psychic trouble.

gentle - gentile

brought back - riportare

courage - coraggio

tentative - provvisorio

exploring - esplorare, investigare, indagare, analizzare

delicate - delicato (1, 2)

suffering - sofferenza, (suffer), soffrire, penare, patire, aggravarsi

psychic - sensitivo, medium

trouble - guaio, problema, impiccio, tumulto

At a particularly merry turn of the conversation, when I would throw in a daring word like a dash of pepper, she would smile, but her smile was pained, as if a wound had been touched. "You are not very merry tonight, Countess. Was it the visit this morning?

particularly - in particolare, estremamente

throw in - gettare dentro

daring - audace

Dash - lineetta, linea, scatto, spruzzo, pizzico, goccio, saltare

pained - dolore

wound - ferita

touched - toccare, commuovere, tocco, tatto

" An officer sitting near us had spoken these words to my companion, but before he could finish his remarks his neighbour had grasped him by the arm and whispered something in his ear, while a lady at the other side of the table, with glowing cheeks and angry eyes, began to talk loudly of the opera she had heard last evening. Tears came to the eyes of the girl sitting beside me. "Am I not foolish?

officer - funzionario, ufficiale, agente, checkufficiale

grasped - afferrare, avvinghiare, avvinghiarsi, agguantare

cheeks - guancia, gota, chiappa, faccia tosta, sfrontatezza, impudenza

loudly - a voce alta, forte

Tears - lacrima

" She turned to me. A few moments before she had complained of headache. "Merely the usual evidences of a nervous headache," I answered in an easy tone, "and there is nothing better for it than the merry spirit which bubbles in the foam of this poet's nectar." With these words I filled her champagne glass, and she sipped at it as she threw me a look of gratitude.

complained - lamentarsi, lagnarsi, reclamare, checklamentarsi, checklagnarsi

headache - mal di testa

merely - soltanto, solamente, meramente, semplicemente

evidences - prova, evidenza

nervous - nervoso

spirit - spirito

bubbles - bolla

poet - poeta, poetessa

nectar - nettare

champagne - Champagne

sipped - sorso, sorbire

gratitude - gratitudine, riconoscenza

Her mood brightened, and all would have been well had I not touched a glass before me with unexpected strength, arousing from it a shrill, high tone. My companion grew deadly pale, and I myself felt a sudden shiver, for the sound had exactly the tone of the mad woman's voice in the deserted house.

mood - umore

arousing - eccitare, provocare, stimolare, suscitare

deadly - mortale

sudden - improvviso, improvvisa

exactly - esattamente, appunto

While we were drinking coffee I made an opportunity to get to the side of Count P--. He understood the reason for my movement. "Do you know that your neighbour is Countess Edwina S--? And do you know also that it is her mother's sister who lives in the deserted house, incurably mad for many years? This morning both mother and daughter went to see the unfortunate woman.

opportunity - occasione, opportunita, possibilita, chance

movement - movimento

incurably - incurabilmente

unfortunate - sfortunato, iellato, sfigato, scalognato

The old steward, the only person who is able to control the Countess in her outbreaks, is seriously ill, and they say that the sister has finally revealed the secret to Dr. K--."

outbreaks - scoppio, insorgenza, diffusione, esplosione, eruzione

seriously ill - gravemente malato

Dr. K-- was the physician to whom I had turned in my own anxiety, and you can well imagine that I hurried to him as soon as I was free, and told him all that had happened to me in the last days. I asked him to tell me as much as he could about the mad woman, for my own peace of mind; and this is what I learned from him under promise of secrecy.

whom - chi, cui

turned in - consegnato

anxiety - ansia, ansieta, bramosia

peace - pace, armonia

promise - promessa, giuramento, voto, promettere, giurare

secrecy - segretezza, riserbo

"Angelica, Countess Z--," thus the doctor began, "had already passed her thirtieth year, but was still in full possession of great beauty, when Count S--, although much younger than she, became so fascinated by her charm that he wooed her with ardent devotion and followed her to her father's home to try his luck there.

Angelica - angelica

thirtieth - trentesimo, trentesima

full possession - pieno possesso

beauty - bellezza

fascinated - affascinare

charm - fascino

wooed - corteggiare

ardent - fervente

devotion - devozione

luck - fortuna

But scarcely had the Count entered the house, scarcely had he caught sight of Angelica's younger sister, Gabrielle, when he awoke as from a dream. The elder sister appeared faded and colourless beside Gabrielle, whose beauty and charm so enthralled the Count that he begged her hand of her father. Count Z-- gave his consent easily, as there was no doubt of Gabrielle's feelings toward her suitor.

scarcely - a malapena

colourless - incolore

enthralled - affascinare

consent - consentire, consenso

feelings - sentimenti

suitor - postulante, richiedente, corteggiatore, pretendente

Angelica did not show the slightest anger at her lover's faithlessness. "He believes that he has forsaken me, the foolish boy! He does not perceive that he was but my toy, a toy of which I had tired." Thus she spoke in proud scorn, and not a look or an action on her part belied her words.

lover - amante

faithlessness - infedelta

forsaken - abbandonare, rinunciare

perceive - percepire

toy - giocattolo, balocco, giocare, trastullarsi, baloccarsi

proud - orgoglioso, fiero

scorn - disprezzare, disdegnare, disprezzo

belied - smentire

But after the ceremonious betrothal of Gabrielle to Count S--, Angelica was seldom seen by the members of her family. She did not appear at the dinner table, and it was said that she spent most of her time walking alone in the neighbouring wood.

betrothal - fidanzamento

seldom - raramente, di rado

appear - apparire

wood - legno

"A strange occurrence disturbed the monotonous quiet of life in the castle. The hunters of Count Z--, assisted by peasants from the village, had captured a band of gipsies who were accused of several robberies and murders which had happened recently in the neighbourhood.

Occurrence - occorrenza

disturbed - disturbare

monotonous - monocorde, monotono

castle - castello

hunters - cacciatore, cane da caccia, cavallo da caccia, cercatore

assisted - assistere, aiutare, assistenza, aiuto, assist

peasants - contadino, contadina, cafone, cafona, paesano

captured - catturare, riprendere, mangiare

gipsies - Zingaro

accused - accusare

robberies - furto, ruberia, rapina

murders - assassinio, omicidio, uccisione, assassinare, massacrare

recently - di recente, recentemente, ultimamente

in the neighbourhood - nelle vicinanze

The men were brought to the castle courtyard, fettered together on a long chain, while the women and children were packed on a cart. Noticeable among the last was a tall, haggard old woman of terrifying aspect, wrapped from head to foot in a red shawl. She stood upright in the cart, and in an imperious tone demanded that she should be allowed to descend.

fettered - ferri, ceppi, ostacoli, incatenare, ostacolare

packed - fagotto, sacca

cart - carretto

noticeable - percepibile

among - tra, fra, in mezzo a

haggard - stanco, smunto

terrifying - terrificare

aspect - aspetto

wrapped - avvolgere

shawl - scialle

upright - eretto, in verticale, dritto, in piedi, integro

imperious - imperioso

allowed - lasciare, permettere, concedere, consentire

descend - scendere

The guards were so awed by her manner and appearance that they obeyed her at once.

guards - guardia, piantone, custode, elsa

awed - timore

manner - maniera, modo

obeyed - obbedire, ubbidire, assolvere, conformarsi

"Count Z-- came down to the courtyard and commanded that the gang should be placed in the prisons under the castle. Suddenly Countess Angelica rushed out of the door, her hair all loose, fear and anxiety in her pale face. Throwing herself on her knees, she cried in a piercing voice, 'Let these people go! Let these people go! They are innocent! Father, let these people go!

gang - squadra

prisons - prigione, carcere, fresco

loose - largo

innocent - innocente

If you shed one drop of their blood I will pierce my heart with this knife!'The Countess swung a shining knife in the air and then sank swooning to the ground. 'Yes, my beautiful darling-my golden child-I knew you would not let them hurt us,'shrilled the old woman in red. She cowered beside the Countess and pressed disgusting kisses to her face and breast, murmuring crazy words.

shed - capannone, rimessa

drop - goccia

blood - sangue

knife - coltello, lama, accoltellare

swung - oscillare, ondeggiare, altalenare, dondolare, altalena

sank - affondare

swooning - svenimento

darling - tesoro, amore

hurt - dolere, fare male, ferire, ferito

cowered - rannicchiarsi

pressed - premere, pigiare

disgusting - disgustare, ripugnare, nauseare, stomacare

kisses - baciare

breast - mammella, poppa, petto, seno

murmuring - brontolamento, lamentela

She took from out the recesses of her shawl a little vial in which a tiny goldfish seemed to swim in some silver-clear liquid. She held the vial to the Countess's heart. The latter regained consciousness immediately. When her eyes fell on the gipsy woman, she sprang up, clasped the old creature ardently in her arms, and hurried with her into the castle.

recesses - incavo, pausa, ferie, ricreazione

vial - fiala

tiny - minuscolo, piccolo, piccino, minuto

goldfish - pesce rosso

silver - argento

liquid - liquido, liquida

regained - riprendere, riappropriarsi, recuperare, riguadagnare

consciousness - conoscenza, coscienza

immediately - immediatamente, subito, su due piedi

gipsy woman - zingara

sprang up - sorgere,crescere, rimbalzare

clasped - fibbia, gancio, fermaglio, stringere, serrare

ardently - ardentemente

"Count Z--, Gabrielle, and her lover, who had come out during this scene, watched it in astonished awe. The gipsies appeared quite indifferent. They were loosed from their chains and taken separately to the prisons. Next morning Count Z-- called the villagers together.

astonished - sorprendere, stupire

loosed - largo

chains - catena, incatenare, concatenare

separately - distintamente, separatemente, separatamente, singolarmente

villagers - paesano, paesana

The gipsies were led before them and the Count announced that he had found them to be innocent of the crimes of which they were accused, and that he would grant them free passage through his domains. To the astonishment of all present, their fetters were struck off and they were set at liberty. The red-shawled woman was not among them.

announced - annunciare, segnalare, pronunciare

crimes - crimine, delitto, reato, criminalita

Grant - permettere, concedere, conferire, ammettere, garantire

passage - passaggio

domains - dominio, campo, settore

fetters - ferri, ceppi, ostacoli, incatenare, ostacolare

struck - cancellare, colpire, coniare, scioperare, sembrare, arrendersi, sciopero

liberty - liberta

shawled - scialle

It was whispered that the gipsy captain, recognizable from the golden chain about his neck and the red feather in his high Spanish hat, had paid a secret visit to the Count's room the night before. But it was discovered, a short time after the release of the gipsies, that they were indeed guiltless of the robberies and murders that had disturbed the district.

gipsy - zingaro

captain - capitano, capitano di vascello

recognizable - riconoscibile

feather - piuma, penna, barbetta

Spanish - spagnolo, castigliano

release - liberare, rilasciare

guiltless - senza colpa

district - distretto

"The date set for Gabrielle's wedding approached. One day, to her great astonishment, she saw several large wagons in the courtyard being packed high with furniture, clothing, linen, with everything necessary for a complete household outfit.

wedding - matrimonio

approached - avvicinarsi

wagons - carro

furniture - mobilio

clothing - abbigliamento, vestiti, (cloth), stoffa, tessuto, tela, panno

linen - lino

necessary - necessario

household - famiglia, nucleo familiare, domestico, casalinghi

outfit - completo, tenuta

The wagons were driven away, and the following day Count Z-- explained that, for many reasons, he had thought it best to grant Angelica's odd request that she be allowed to set up her own establishment in his house in X--. He had given the house to her, and had promised her that no member of the family, not even he himself, should enter it without her express permission.

driven away - allontanato

odd - spaiato, strano, strambo, dispari, caffo, occasionale

request - chiedere, richiesta, talian: t-needed

enter - entrare, immettere, digitare

express - esprimere

permission - permesso

He added also, that, at her urgent request, he had permitted his own valet to accompany her, to take charge of her household.

urgent - urgente

permitted - permettere

accompany - accompagnare

"When the wedding festivities were over, Count S-- and his bride departed for their home, where they spent a year in cloudless happiness. Then the Count's health failed mysteriously. It was as if some secret sorrow gnawed at his vitals, robbing him of joy and strength. All efforts of his young wife to discover the source of his trouble were fruitless.

festivities - talian: t-needed

bride - sposa

departed - partire, andar via, allontanarsi, dipartire, deviare

cloudless - senza nuvole

Happiness - felicita, gioia, allegria

failed - fallire, non riuscire

mysteriously - misteriosamente

sorrow - tristezza, dolore, pena, afflizione

vitals - vitale, fondamentale

robbing - derubare, svaligiare

joy - Gioia

efforts - sforzo

discover - scoprire, trovare

source - fonte, sorgente, informatore, source

fruitless - sterile, infruttuoso, infruttuosa, casso, cassa

At last, when the constantly recurring fainting spells threatened to endanger his very life, he yielded to the entreaties of his physicians and left his home, ostensibly for Pisa. His young wife was prevented from accompanying him by the delicate condition of her own health.

constantly - ininterrottamente, costantemente, continuamente, senza sosta

recurring - ripresentarsi, ripetersi

Fainting - svenimento

threatened - minacciare, impaurire, intimidire, avvisare, promettere

endanger - rischiare, compromettere, mettere in pericolo

yielded - cedere

physicians - medico, dottore, dottoressa, dottore in medicina

ostensibly - apparentemente

Pisa - Pisa

accompanying - accompagnare

"And now," said the doctor, "the information given me by Countess S-- became, from this point on, so rhapsodical that a keen observer only could guess at the true coherence of the story. Her baby, a daughter, born during her husband's absence, was spirited away from the house, and all search for it was fruitless.

rhapsodical - rapsodico

keen - appassionato, desideroso

observer - osservatore

coherence - coerenza

absence - assenza, mancanza, difetto, invito aperto, ferro libero

spirited away - fatto sparire

search - ricerca, cercare, buscare

Her grief at this loss deepened to despair, when she received a message from her father stating that her husband, whom all believed to be in Pisa, had been found dying of heart trouble in Angelica's home in X--, and that Angelica herself had become a dangerous maniac. The old Count added that all this horror had so shaken his own nerves that he feared he would not long survive it.

grief - dolore, pena, sofferenza

Loss - perdita

deepened - approfondire, intensificare

despair - disperazione

received - ricevere

stating - stato, dichiarare, statuire, esporre, indicare

dying - morire

heart trouble - problemi di cuore

maniac - maniaco

horror - orrore

shaken - scuotere, agitare, scuotere la testa, scioccare, atterrire

nerves - nervo, nervatura, coraggio, faccia tosta, sfacciataggine

feared - temere

survive - sopravvivere, durare, perdurare

"As soon as Gabrielle was able to leave her bed, she hurried to her father's castle. One night, prevented from sleeping by visions of the loved ones she had lost, she seemed to hear a faint crying, like that of an infant, before the door of her chamber. Lighting her candle she opened the door. Great Heaven!

crying - piangere, (cry), gridare, urlare, pianto, urlo, verso

infant - bambino, bambina, infante, minorenne, minore

candle - candela

there cowered the old gipsy woman, wrapped in her red shawl, staring up at her with eyes that seemed already glazing in death. In her arms she held a little child, whose crying had aroused the Countess. Gabrielle's heart beat high with joy-it was her child-her lost daughter! She snatched the infant from the gipsy's arms, just as the woman fell at her feet lifeless.

glazing - smaltatura, (glaze), gelicidio, velatura

Death - morte, dipartita, decesso, morire, la morte

beat - colpire, percuotere

snatched - agguantare, scippare, strappare

lifeless - senza vita

The Countess's screams awoke the house, but the gipsy was quite dead and no effort to revive her met with success.

dead - morto

effort - sforzo

revive - rinascere, resuscitare, rivivere, rinnovare

"The old Count hurried to X-- to endeavour to discover something that would throw light upon the mysterious disappearance and reappearance of the child. Angelica's madness had frightened away all her female servants; the valet alone remained with her. She appeared at first to have become quite calm and sensible.

endeavour - tentare

throw - gettare, lanciare

disappearance - sparizione, scomparsa

reappearance - riapparizione

female - femminile, femmina

servants - servo, servitore, domestico, famiglio

Calm - calmo

But when the Count told her the story of Gabrielle's child she clapped her hands and laughed aloud, crying: 'Did the little darling arrive? You buried her, you say? How the feathers of the gold pheasant shine in the sun! Have you seen the green lion with the fiery blue eyes?

buried - seppellire

feathers - piuma, penna, barbetta

gold - oro, d'oro

pheasant - fagiano

'Horrified the Count perceived that Angelica's mind was gone beyond a doubt, and he resolved to take her back with him to his estates, in spite of the warnings of his old valet. At the mere suggestion of removing her from the house Angelica's ravings increased to such an extent as to endanger her own life and that of the others.

horrified - inorridire

resolved - decidere

warnings - avvertimento, monito

mere - semplice, solo

suggestion - suggestione, suggerimento, proposta

removing - rimuovere, asportare, levare, togliere

ravings - farneticare

increased - aumentare, ingrossare, crescere, incrementare, aggravio

extent - estensione, misura

"When a lucid interval came again Angelica entreated her father, with many tears, to let her live and die in the house she had chosen. Touched by her terrible trouble he granted her request, although he believed the confession which slipped from her lips during this scene to be a fantasy of her madness.

lucid - lucido

interval - intervallo

granted - permettere, concedere, conferire, ammettere, garantire

confession - confessione

slipped - scivolare

fantasy - fantasia, fantasy

She told him that Count S-- had returned to her arms, and that the child which the gipsy had taken to her father's house was the fruit of their love. The rumour went abroad in the city that Count Z-- had taken the unfortunate woman to his home; but the truth was that she remained hidden in the deserted house under the care of the valet.

rumour - voce, chiacchiera, pettegolezzo

abroad - all'estero

care - cura, attenzione

Count Z-- died a short time ago, and Countess Gabrielle came here with her daughter Edwina to arrange some family affairs. It was not possible for her to avoid seeing her unfortunate sister. Strange things must have happened during this visit, but the Countess has not confided anything to me, saying merely that she had found it necessary to take the mad woman away from the old valet.

arrange - organizzare

affairs - affare

avoid - schivare, evitare

confided - confidarsi

It had been discovered that he had controlled her outbreaks by means of force and physical cruelty; and that also, allured by Angelica's assertions that she could make gold, he had allowed himself to assist her in her weird operations.

controlled - controllare, influenzare, dirigere, controllo, comando

cruelty - crudelta

allured - fascino

assertions - asserzione, affermazione, asserimento, dichiarazione

assist - assistere, aiutare, assistenza, aiuto, assist

operations - operazione, esercizio, gestione

"It would be quite unnecessary," thus the physician ended his story, "to say anything more to you about the deeper inward relationship of all these strange things. It is clear to my mind that it was you who brought about the catastrophe, a catastrophe which will mean recovery or speedy death for the sick woman.

unnecessary - superfluo, eccessivo, inutile

deeper - profondo, spesso, esteso, profondo (1, 2)

inward - intimo

relationship - rapporto, relazione, parentela, storia, legame

brought about - causare

catastrophe - catastrofe

recovery - recupero, ricupero

speedy - veloce

And now I will confess to you that I was not a little alarmed, horrified even, to discover that-when I had set myself in magnetic communication with you by placing my hand on your neck-I could see the picture in the mirror with my own eyes. We both know now that the reflection in the glass was the face of Countess Edwina."

alarmed - allarme

communication - comunicazione, avviso, trasmissione, collegamento, comunione

I repeat Dr. K--'s words in saying that, to my mind also, there is no further comment that can be made on all these facts. I consider it equally unnecessary to discuss at any further length with you now the mysterious relationship between Angelica, Edwina, the old valet, and myself-a relationship which seemed the work of a malicious demon who was playing his tricks with us.

comment - commento

equally - altrettanto, parimenti

I will add only that I left the city soon after all these events, driven from the place by an oppression I could not shake off. The uncanny sensation left me suddenly a month or so later, giving way to a feeling of intense relief that flowed through all my veins with the warmth of an electric current. I am convinced that this change within me came about in the moment when the mad woman died.

oppression - oppressione

shake off - scrollarsi di dosso

uncanny - bizzarro, strano, sconcertante, curioso

giving way - cedere il passo

intense - intenso

relief - sollievo

flowed - fluire

veins - vena, venatura

Electric - elettrico, elettronico

current - corrente, attuale, odierno

within - dentro, all'interno

came about - succedere


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