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Long ago, a young medical student named Giovanni moved to a small town called Padua to study at the university there. He stayed in an old hotel, and his room overlooked a beautiful garden.
One day, he looked out his window and saw an old man in the garden, studying the plants. With him was a beautiful girl. The old man called her Beatrice. Giovanni later asked his professor, Baglioni, about the girl. Baglioni told him that no one had ever seen her before, and that she was very dangerous. The old man was named Rappaccini, and he was a scientist known for his unnatural experiments.
In spite of Baglioni's warnings, Giovanni snuck into the garden to see Beatrice. She kept telling him to stay away, but he didn't listen. Day after day, he came back to see her. Soon, they started to fall in love. But something was not right. Beatrice wouldn't let Giovanni touch her. She told him that no one was allowed to touch her, ever, and she wouldn't explain why.
Giovanni became obsessed with finding out more about her, and didn't come to school for several days. Baglioni came to check on him. He had suspected that Giovanni had been seeing Beatrice against his wishes, so he decided to explain her condition. As a result of Rappaccini's experiments on her, Beatrice had become inherently poisonous, so that if anyone so much as touched her, they would die. Baglioni then gave Giovanni a vial, which contained the antidote that would cure Beatrice of her condition.
On his way through town, a friend gave Giovanni a bouquet of flowers. The flowers immediately died at his touch, and he realized that his time spent around Beatrice had made him poisonous like her. Now, he realized, he would be doomed to live in solitude. His career in medicine was over.
Angry and devastated because of his fate, Giovanni went to the garden to confront Beatrice. She expressed a great deal of remorse and some confusion, saying she never would have intentionally poisoned him. The two made up, and Giovanni decided to share the antidote Baglioni had given him with her. However, when she drank the antidote, it immediately killed her. Being that she was inherently poisonous, the antidote destroyed her. Since she had finished the vial, and there was none left for Giovanni, he was left to become Rappaccini's new experiment, and live in solitude forever.
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