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Well of Love (from an ancient mediaeval legend)

Many years ago, when Maximillian ruled over the city of Verona, one of his guards was a certain Corrado, from San Bonifacio, a young, well-built, handsome man, of pleasing and lordly appearance and extremely brave. One day, he chanced to meet a very beautiful girl, Isabella, of the noble Donati family, who immediately caught his eye and entered his heart. Corrado had never before seen such a beautiful and graceful woman. Yet Isabella ignored him and paid no attention to the letters and gifts the young man sent to her. She bade him go about his own business and leave her in peace. Corrado tried many other means to win her in vain, yet love was beginning to stir in her cold heart. He met her again one day, in the town, together with other beautiful young ladies, in a small courtyard near the church known as San Marco ad Carceres. He began talking to her, leaning against a graceful and much decorated well in the courtyard, attempting every stratagem to bring her to speak of love. Corrado lamented that the girl was made of ice and certainly at least as cold as the water in the well. "Then", said the young woman feigning cruelty, "why don't you jump in the well and you will see it is colder than ice." It was the middle of February and the Winter was at its height, the evening wind blew strongly and the cold was intense. As soon as the lovelorn young man heard the cruel words of Isabella bidding him to jump into the water, believing her hard-heartedness, he impulsively raised his right hand and said "Here I am, here I am ready to obey you, to please you by jumping into the well". And the passionate lover leaped into the well and disappeared, to the horror of everyone present. The young woman, who bad hidden her love for Corrado so convincingly, was terrified by what she had caused - and before the other damsels could stop her, she jumped into the well herself. The sad story was soon known all over the city, instilling sadness, tears and horror among all the most noble souls. And afterwards, no-one ever approached the well without recalling "the deep love which brought two unhappy lovers to such an untimely end. And it has been called ever since the "Well of Love".