sin, concupiscence, &c.
from Journal of the Plague Year
by Francesco Levato

They would scarce strip naked,

this phenomenon of scattering, neither creation nor destruction of radiant energy,

a change in distribution, an absolute vacuum, even in substances which are perfectly pure,

such covering represented, in those who were compelled;

there was madness beyond this, an idea of distracted humour,

the pain of hunger, remote in the desert,

that nameless city, crumbling and inarticulate,

nothing more than the attainment of unity and compactness in our system.


To all of this I agreed,               take off a limb to save the whole,

that every body, whether solid or fluid, is augmented in its dimensions

by any increase of heat,

this circuitous route,

these roads they preferred, elapsed and twisted—

It was an awful moment;           an ancient house, monstrous fragments,

a shaft of unknown iridescence from the depths in front—

they would twist and coil with great precision

until their waists and stomachs were enveloped in folds;

the wave length of rays, the numbers that died weekly,

excitable into a variety of motions,

a curious instance, a steel rat-trap,

the underlying causes of which we can know little or nothing.


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