The red death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal -- the madness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.
And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour. The prince Prospero Summoned thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court,When his dominions were half depopulated.
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. The abbey was amply provisioned.
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."
It was toward the close of the fifth or sixth month of his seclusion, and while the pestilence raged most furiously abroad, that the Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends at a masked ball of the most unusual magnificence.
But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held. The apartments were so irregularly disposed that the vision embraced but little more than one at a time.