It was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne.Here is Kay Gallant with the second and final part of"Rappaccini's Daughter."Many years ago,a young man named Giovanni Guasconti left his home in Naples to study in northern Italy.He took a room in an old house next to a magnificent garden filled with strange flowers and other plants.The garden belonged to a doctor,Giacomo Rappaccini.He lived with his daughter,Beatrice,in a small brown house in the garden.From a window of his room,Giovanni had seen that Rappaccini's daughter was very beautiful.But everyone in Padua was afraid of her father.Pietro Baglioni,a professor at the university,warned Giovanni about the mysterious Doctor Rappaccini."He is a great scientist,"Professor Baglioni told the young man."But he is also dangerous.Rappaccini cares more about science than he does about people.He has created many terrible poisons from the plants in his garden."
One day,Giovanni found a secret entrance to Rappaccini's garden.He went in.The plants all seemed wild and unnatural.Giovanni realized that Rappaccini must have created these strange and terrible flowers through his experiments.Suddenly,Rappaccini's daughter came into the garden.She moved quickly among the flowers until she reached him.Giovanni apologized for coming into the garden without an invitation.But Beatrice smiled at him and made him feel welcome."I see you love flowers,"she said."And so you have come to take a closer look at my father's rare collection."While she spoke,Giovanni noticed a perfume in the air around her.He wasn't sure if this wonderful smell came from the flowers or from her breath.She asked him about his home and his family.She told him she had spent her life in this garden.Giovanni felt as if he were talking to a very small child.Her spirit sparkled like clear water.They walked slowly though the garden as they talked.At last they reached a beautiful plant that was covered with large purple flowers.He realized that the perfume from those flowers was like the perfume of Beatrice's breath,but much stronger.
The young man reached out to break off one of the purple flowers.But Beatrice gave a scream that went through his heart like a knife.She caught his hand and pulled it away from the plant with all her strength."Don't ever touch those flowers!"she cried."They will take your life!"Hiding her face,she ran into the house.Then,Giovanni saw Doctor Rappaccini standing in the garden.That night,Giovanni could not stop thinking about how sweet and beautiful Beatrice was.Finally,he fell asleep.But when the morning came,he woke up in great pain.He felt as if one of his hands was on fire.It was the hand that Beatrice had grabbed in hers when he reached for one of the purple flowers.Giovanni looked down at his hand.There was a purple mark on it that looked like four small fingers and a little thumb.But because his heart was full of Beatrice,Giovanni forgot about the pain in his hand.He began to meet her in the garden every day.At last,she told him that she loved him.But she would never let him kiss her or even hold her hand.
One morning,several weeks later,Professor Baglioni visited Giovanni."I was worried about you,"the older man said."You have not come to your classes at the university for more than a month.Is something wrong?"Giovanni was not pleased to see his old friend."No,nothing is wrong.I am fine,thank you."He wanted Professor Baglioni to leave.But the old man took off his hat and sat down."My dear Giovanni,"he said."You must stay away from Rappaccini and his daughter.Her father has given her poison from the time she was a baby.The poison is in her blood and on her breath.If Rappaccini did this to his own daughter,what is he planning to do to you?"Giovanni covered his face with his hands."Oh my God!"he cried."Don't worry,the old man continued."It is not too late to save you.And we may succeed in helping Beatrice,too.Do you see this little silver bottle?It holds a medicine that will destroy even the most powerful poison.Give it to your Beatrice to drink."Professor Baglioni put the little bottle on the table and left Giovanni's room.The young man wanted to believe that Beatrice was a sweet and innocent girl.And yet,Professor Baglioni's words had put doubts in his heart.