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The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

Part 12 out of 16

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pinions in the wave, as they fled away in search of shelter. The
boatmen pulled hard at their oars; but the thunder, that now muttered
at a distance, and the heavy drops, that began to dimple the water,
made the Count determine to put back to the monastery for shelter,
and the course of the boat was immediately changed. As the clouds
approached the west, their lurid darkness changed to a deep ruddy
glow, which, by reflection, seemed to fire the tops of the woods and
the shattered towers of the monastery.

The appearance of the heavens alarmed the Countess and Mademoiselle
Bearn, whose expressions of apprehension distressed the Count, and
perplexed his men; while Blanche continued silent, now agitated with
fear, and now with admiration, as she viewed the grandeur of the
clouds, and their effect on the scenery, and listened to the long,
long peals of thunder, that rolled through the air.

The boat having reached the lawn before the monastery, the Count sent
a servant to announce his arrival, and to entreat shelter of the
Superior, who, soon after, appeared at the great gate, attended by
several monks, while the servant returned with a message, expressive
at once of hospitality and pride, but of pride disguised in
submission. The party immediately disembarked, and, having hastily
crossed the lawn--for the shower was now heavy--were received at the
gate by the Superior, who, as they entered, stretched forth his hands
and gave his blessing; and they passed into the great hall, where the
lady abbess waited, attended by several nuns, clothed, like herself,
in black, and veiled in white. The veil of the abbess was, however,
thrown half back, and discovered a countenance, whose chaste dignity
was sweetened by the smile of welcome, with which she addressed the
Countess, whom she led, with Blanche and Mademoiselle Bearn, into the
convent parlour, while the Count and Henri were conducted by the
Superior to the refectory.

The Countess, fatigued and discontented, received the politeness of
the abbess with careless haughtiness, and had followed her, with
indolent steps, to the parlour, over which the painted casements and
wainscot of larch-wood threw, at all times, a melancholy shade, and
where the gloom of evening now loured almost to darkness.

While the lady abbess ordered refreshment, and conversed with the
Countess, Blanche withdrew to a window, the lower panes of which,
being without painting, allowed her to observe the progress of the
storm over the Mediterranean, whose dark waves, that had so lately
slept, now came boldly swelling, in long succession, to the shore,
where they burst in white foam, and threw up a high spray over the
rocks. A red sulphureous tint overspread the long line of clouds,
that hung above the western horizon, beneath whose dark skirts the
sun looking out, illumined the distant shores of Languedoc, as well
as the tufted summits of the nearer woods, and shed a partial gleam
on the western waves. The rest of the scene was in deep gloom,
except where a sun-beam, darting between the clouds, glanced on the
white wings of the sea-fowl, that circled high among them, or touched
the swelling sail of a vessel, which was seen labouring in the storm.
Blanche, for some time, anxiously watched the progress of the bark,
as it threw the waves in foam around it, and, as the lightnings
flashed, looked to the opening heavens, with many a sigh for the fate
of the poor mariners.

The sun, at length, set, and the heavy clouds, which had long
impended, dropped over the splendour of his course; the vessel,
however, was yet dimly seen, and Blanche continued to observe it,
till the quick succession of flashes, lighting up the gloom of the
whole horizon, warned her to retire from the window, and she joined
the Abbess, who, having exhausted all her topics of conversation with
the Countess, had now leisure to notice her.

But their discourse was interrupted by tremendous peals of thunder;
and the bell of the monastery soon after ringing out, summoned the
inhabitants to prayer. As Blanche passed the window, she gave
another look to the ocean, where, by the momentary flash, that
illumined the vast body of the waters, she distinguished the vessel
she had observed before, amidst a sea of foam, breaking the billows,
the mast now bowing to the waves, and then rising high in air.

She sighed fervently as she gazed, and then followed the Lady Abbess
and the Countess to the chapel. Meanwhile, some of the Count's
servants, having gone by land to the chateau for carriages, returned
soon after vespers had concluded, when, the storm being somewhat
abated, the Count and his family returned home. Blanche was
surprised to discover how much the windings of the shore had deceived
her, concerning the distance of the chateau from the monastery, whose
vesper bell she had heard, on the preceding evening, from the windows
of the west saloon, and whose towers she would also have seen from
thence, had not twilight veiled them.

On their arrival at the chateau, the Countess, affecting more
fatigue, than she really felt, withdrew to her apartment, and the
Count, with his daughter and Henri, went to the supper-room, where
they had not been long, when they heard, in a pause of the gust, a
firing of guns, which the Count understanding to be signals of
distress from some vessel in the storm, went to a window, that opened
towards the Mediterranean, to observe further; but the sea was now
involved in utter darkness, and the loud howlings of the tempest had
again overcome every other sound. Blanche, remembering the bark,
which she had before seen, now joined her father, with trembling
anxiety. In a few moments, the report of guns was again borne along
the wind, and as suddenly wafted away; a tremendous burst of thunder
followed, and, in the flash, that had preceded it, and which seemed
to quiver over the whole surface of the waters, a vessel was
discovered, tossing amidst the white foam of the waves at some
distance from the shore. Impenetrable darkness again involved the
scene, but soon a second flash shewed the bark, with one sail
unfurled, driving towards the coast. Blanche hung upon her father's
arm, with looks full of the agony of united terror and pity, which
were unnecessary to awaken the heart of the Count, who gazed upon the
sea with a piteous expression, and, perceiving, that no boat could
live in the storm, forbore to send one; but he gave orders to his
people to carry torches out upon the cliffs, hoping they might prove
a kind of beacon to the vessel, or, at least, warn the crew of the
rocks they were approaching. While Henri went out to direct on what
part of the cliffs the lights should appear, Blanche remained with
her father, at the window, catching, every now and then, as the
lightnings flashed, a glimpse of the vessel; and she soon saw, with
reviving hope, the torches flaming on the blackness of night, and, as
they waved over the cliffs, casting a red gleam on the gasping
billows. When the firing of guns was repeated, the torches were
tossed high in the air, as if answering the signal, and the firing
was then redoubled; but, though the wind bore the sound away, she
fancied, as the lightnings glanced, that the vessel was much nearer
the shore.

The Count's servants were now seen, running to and fro, on the rocks;
some venturing almost to the point of the crags, and bending over,
held out their torches fastened to long poles; while others, whose
steps could be traced only by the course of the lights, descended the
steep and dangerous path, that wound to the margin of the sea, and,
with loud halloos, hailed the mariners, whose shrill whistle, and
then feeble voices, were heard, at intervals, mingling with the
storm. Sudden shouts from the people on the rocks increased the
anxiety of Blanche to an almost intolerable degree: but her
suspense, concerning the fate of the mariners, was soon over, when
Henri, running breathless into the room, told that the vessel was
anchored in the bay below, but in so shattered a condition, that it
was feared she would part before the crew could disembark. The Count
immediately gave orders for his own boats to assist in bringing them
to shore, and that such of these unfortunate strangers as could not
be accommodated in the adjacent hamlet should be entertained at the
chateau. Among the latter, were Emily St. Aubert, Monsieur Du Pont,
Ludovico and Annette, who, having embarked at Leghorn and reached
Marseilles, were from thence crossing the Gulf of Lyons, when this
storm overtook them. They were received by the Count with his usual
benignity, who, though Emily wished to have proceeded immediately to
the monastery of St. Claire, would not allow her to leave the
chateau, that night; and, indeed, the terror and fatigue she had
suffered would scarcely have permitted her to go farther.

In Monsieur Du Pont the Count discovered an old acquaintance, and
much joy and congratulation passed between them, after which Emily
was introduced by name to the Count's family, whose hospitable
benevolence dissipated the little embarrassment, which her situation
had occasioned her, and the party were soon seated at the supper-
table. The unaffected kindness of Blanche and the lively joy she
expressed on the escape of the strangers, for whom her pity had been
so much interested, gradually revived Emily's languid spirits; and Du
Pont, relieved from his terrors for her and for himself, felt the
full contrast, between his late situation on a dark and tremendous
ocean, and his present one, in a cheerful mansion, where he was
surrounded with plenty, elegance and smiles of welcome.

Annette, meanwhile, in the servants' hall, was telling of all the
dangers she had encountered, and congratulating herself so heartily
upon her own and Ludovico's escape, and on her present comforts, that
she often made all that part of the chateau ring with merriment and
laughter. Ludovico's spirits were as gay as her own, but he had
discretion enough to restrain them, and tried to check hers, though
in vain, till her laughter, at length, ascended to MY LADY'S chamber,
who sent to enquire what occasioned so much uproar in the chateau,
and to command silence.

Emily withdrew early to seek the repose she so much required, but her
pillow was long a sleepless one. On this her return to her native
country, many interesting remembrances were awakened; all the events
and sufferings she had experienced, since she quitted it, came in
long succession to her fancy, and were chased only by the image of
Valancourt, with whom to believe herself once more in the same land,
after they had been so long, and so distantly separated, gave her
emotions of indescribable joy, but which afterwards yielded to
anxiety and apprehension, when she considered the long period, that
had elapsed, since any letter had passed between them, and how much
might have happened in this interval to affect her future peace. But
the thought, that Valancourt might be now no more, or, if living,
might have forgotten her, was so very terrible to her heart, that she
would scarcely suffer herself to pause upon the possibility. She
determined to inform him, on the following day, of her arrival in
France, which it was scarcely possible he could know but by a letter
from herself, and, after soothing her spirits with the hope of soon
hearing, that he was well, and unchanged in his affections, she, at
length, sunk to repose.


Oft woo'd the gleam of Cynthia, silver-bright,
In cloisters dim, far from the haunts of folly,
With freedom by my side, and soft-ey'd melancholy.

The Lady Blanche was so much interested for Emily, that, upon hearing
she was going to reside in the neighbouring convent, she requested
the Count would invite her to lengthen her stay at the chateau. 'And
you know, my dear sir,' added Blanche, 'how delighted I shall be with
such a companion; for, at present, I have no friend to walk, or to
read with, since Mademoiselle Bearn is my mamma's friend only.'

The Count smiled at the youthful simplicity, with which his daughter
yielded to first impressions; and, though he chose to warn her of
their danger, he silently applauded the benevolence, that could thus
readily expand in confidence to a stranger. He had observed Emily,
with attention, on the preceding evening, and was as much pleased
with her, as it was possible he could be with any person, on so short
an acquaintance. The mention, made of her by Mons. Du Pont, had also
given him a favourable impression of Emily; but, extremely cautious
as to those, whom he introduced to the intimacy of his daughter, he
determined, on hearing that the former was no stranger at the convent
of St. Claire, to visit the abbess, and, if her account corresponded
with his wish, to invite Emily to pass some time at the chateau. On
this subject, he was influenced by a consideration of the Lady
Blanche's welfare, still more than by either a wish to oblige her, or
to befriend the orphan Emily, for whom, however, he felt considerably

On the following morning, Emily was too much fatigued to appear; but
Mons. Du Pont was at the breakfast-table, when the Count entered the
room, who pressed him, as his former acquaintance, and the son of a
very old friend, to prolong his stay at the chateau; an invitation,
which Du Pont willingly accepted, since it would allow him to be near
Emily; and, though he was not conscious of encouraging a hope, that
she would ever return his affection, he had not fortitude enough to
attempt, at present, to overcome it.

Emily, when she was somewhat recovered, wandered with her new friend
over the grounds belonging to the chateau, as much delighted with the
surrounding views, as Blanche, in the benevolence of her heart, had
wished; from thence she perceived, beyond the woods, the towers of
the monastery, and remarked, that it was to this convent she designed
to go.

'Ah!' said Blanche with surprise, 'I am but just released from a
convent, and would you go into one? If you could know what pleasure
I feel in wandering here, at liberty,--and in seeing the sky and the
fields, and the woods all round me, I think you would not.' Emily,
smiling at the warmth, with which the Lady Blanche spoke, observed,
that she did not mean to confine herself to a convent for life.

'No, you may not intend it now,' said Blanche; 'but you do not know
to what the nuns may persuade you to consent: I know how kind they
will appear, and how happy, for I have seen too much of their art.'

When they returned to the chateau, Lady Blanche conducted Emily to
her favourite turret, and from thence they rambled through the
ancient chambers, which Blanche had visited before. Emily was amused
by observing the structure of these apartments, and the fashion of
their old but still magnificent furniture, and by comparing them with
those of the castle of Udolpho, which were yet more antique and
grotesque. She was also interested by Dorothee the house-keeper, who
attended them, whose appearance was almost as antique as the objects
around her, and who seemed no less interested by Emily, on whom she
frequently gazed with so much deep attention, as scarcely to hear
what was said to her.

While Emily looked from one of the casements, she perceived, with
surprise, some objects, that were familiar to her memory;--the fields
and woods, with the gleaming brook, which she had passed with La
Voisin, one evening, soon after the death of Monsieur St. Aubert, in
her way from the monastery to her cottage; and she now knew this to
be the chateau, which he had then avoided, and concerning which he
had dropped some remarkable hints.

Shocked by this discovery, yet scarcely knowing why, she mused for
some time in silence, and remembered the emotion, which her father
had betrayed on finding himself so near this mansion, and some other
circumstances of his conduct, that now greatly interested her. The
music, too, which she had formerly heard, and, respecting which La
Voisin had given such an odd account, occurred to her, and, desirous
of knowing more concerning it, she asked Dorothee whether it returned
at midnight, as usual, and whether the musician had yet been

'Yes, ma'amselle,' replied Dorothee, 'that music is still heard, but
the musician has never been found out, nor ever will, I believe;
though there are some people, who can guess.'

'Indeed!' said Emily, 'then why do they not pursue the enquiry?'

'Ah, young lady! enquiry enough has been made--but who can pursue a

Emily smiled, and, remembering how lately she had suffered herself to
be led away by superstition, determined now to resist its contagion;
yet, in spight of her efforts, she felt awe mingle with her
curiosity, on this subject; and Blanche, who had hitherto listened in
silence, now enquired what this music was, and how long it had been

'Ever since the death of my lady, madam,' replied Dorothee.

'Why, the place is not haunted, surely?' said Blanche, between
jesting and seriousness.

'I have heard that music almost ever since my dear lady died,'
continued Dorothee, 'and never before then. But that is nothing to
some things I could tell of.'

'Do, pray, tell them, then,' said Lady Blanche, now more in earnest
than in jest. 'I am much interested, for I have heard sister
Henriette, and sister Sophie, in the convent, tell of such strange
appearances, which they themselves had witnessed!'

'You never heard, my lady, I suppose, what made us leave the chateau,
and go and live in a cottage,' said Dorothee. 'Never!' replied
Blanche with impatience.

'Nor the reason, that my lord, the Marquis'--Dorothee checked
herself, hesitated, and then endeavoured to change the topic; but the
curiosity of Blanche was too much awakened to suffer the subject thus
easily to escape her, and she pressed the old house-keeper to proceed
with her account, upon whom, however, no entreaties could prevail;
and it was evident, that she was alarmed for the imprudence, into
which she had already betrayed herself.

'I perceive,' said Emily, smiling, 'that all old mansions are
haunted; I am lately come from a place of wonders; but unluckily,
since I left it, I have heard almost all of them explained.'

Blanche was silent; Dorothee looked grave, and sighed; and Emily felt
herself still inclined to believe more of the wonderful, than she
chose to acknowledge. Just then, she remembered the spectacle she
had witnessed in a chamber of Udolpho, and, by an odd kind of
coincidence, the alarming words, that had accidentally met her eye in
the MS. papers, which she had destroyed, in obedience to the command
of her father; and she shuddered at the meaning they seemed to
impart, almost as much as at the horrible appearance, disclosed by
the black veil.

The Lady Blanche, meanwhile, unable to prevail with Dorothee to
explain the subject of her late hints, had desired, on reaching the
door, that terminated the gallery, and which she found fastened on
the preceding day, to see the suite of rooms beyond. 'Dear young
lady,' said the housekeeper, 'I have told you my reason for not
opening them; I have never seen them, since my dear lady died; and it
would go hard with me to see them now. Pray, madam, do not ask me

'Certainly I will not,' replied Blanche, 'if that is really your

'Alas! it is,' said the old woman: 'we all loved her well, and I
shall always grieve for her. Time runs round! it is now many years,
since she died; but I remember every thing, that happened then, as if
it was but yesterday. Many things, that have passed of late years,
are gone quite from my memory, while those so long ago, I can see as
if in a glass.' She paused, but afterwards, as they walked up the
gallery, added to Emily, 'this young lady sometimes brings the late
Marchioness to my mind; I can remember, when she looked just as
blooming, and very like her, when she smiles. Poor lady! how gay she
was, when she first came to the chateau!'

'And was she not gay, afterwards?' said Blanche.

Dorothee shook her head; and Emily observed her, with eyes strongly
expressive of the interest she now felt. 'Let us sit down in this
window,' said the Lady Blanche, on reaching the opposite end of the
gallery: 'and pray, Dorothee, if it is not painful to you, tell us
something more about the Marchioness. I should like to look into the
glass you spoke of just now, and see a few of the circumstances,
which you say often pass over it.'

'No, my lady,' replied Dorothee; 'if you knew as much as I do, you
would not, for you would find there a dismal train of them; I often
wish I could shut them out, but they will rise to my mind. I see my
dear lady on her death-bed,--her very look,--and remember all she
said--it was a terrible scene!'

'Why was it so terrible?' said Emily with emotion.

'Ah, dear young lady! is not death always terrible?' replied

To some further enquiries of Blanche Dorothee was silent; and Emily,
observing the tears in her eyes, forbore to urge the subject, and
endeavoured to withdraw the attention of her young friend to some
object in the gardens, where the Count, with the Countess and
Monsieur Du Pont, appearing, they went down to join them.

When he perceived Emily, he advanced to meet her, and presented her
to the Countess, in a manner so benign, that it recalled most
powerfully to her mind the idea of her late father, and she felt more
gratitude to him, than embarrassment towards the Countess, who,
however, received her with one of those fascinating smiles, which her
caprice sometimes allowed her to assume, and which was now the result
of a conversation the Count had held with her, concerning Emily.
Whatever this might be, or whatever had passed in his conversation
with the lady abbess, whom he had just visited, esteem and kindness
were strongly apparent in his manner, when he addressed Emily, who
experienced that sweet emotion, which arises from the consciousness
of possessing the approbation of the good; for to the Count's worth
she had been inclined to yield her confidence almost from the first
moment, in which she had seen him.

Before she could finish her acknowledgments for the hospitality she
had received, and mention of her design of going immediately to the
convent, she was interrupted by an invitation to lengthen her stay at
the chateau, which was pressed by the Count and the Countess, with an
appearance of such friendly sincerity, that, though she much wished
to see her old friends at the monastery, and to sigh, once more, over
her father's grave, she consented to remain a few days at the

To the abbess, however, she immediately wrote, mentioning her arrival
in Languedoc and her wish to be received into the convent, as a
boarder; she also sent letters to Monsieur Quesnel and to Valancourt,
whom she merely informed of her arrival in France; and, as she knew
not where the latter might be stationed, she directed her letter to
his brother's seat in Gascony.

In the evening, Lady Blanche and Mons. Du Pont walked with Emily to
the cottage of La Voisin, which she had now a melancholy pleasure in
approaching, for time had softened her grief for the loss of St.
Aubert, though it could not annihilate it, and she felt a soothing
sadness in indulging the recollections, which this scene recalled.
La Voisin was still living, and seemed to enjoy, as much as formerly,
the tranquil evening of a blameless life. He was sitting at the door
of his cottage, watching some of his grandchildren, playing on the
grass before him, and, now and then, with a laugh, or a commendation,
encouraging their sports. He immediately recollected Emily, whom he
was much pleased to see, and she was as rejoiced to hear, that he had
not lost one of his family, since her departure.

'Yes, ma'amselle,' said the old man, 'we all live merrily together
still, thank God! and I believe there is not a happier family to be
found in Languedoc, than ours.'

Emily did not trust herself in the chamber, where St. Aubert died;
and, after half an hour's conversation with La Voisin and his family,
she left the cottage.

During these the first days of her stay at Chateau-le-Blanc, she was
often affected, by observing the deep, but silent melancholy, which,
at times, stole over Du Pont; and Emily, pitying the self-delusion,
which disarmed him of the will to depart, determined to withdraw
herself as soon as the respect she owed the Count and Countess De
Villefort would permit. The dejection of his friend soon alarmed the
anxiety of the Count, to whom Du Pont, at length, confided the secret
of his hopeless affection, which, however, the former could only
commiserate, though he secretly determined to befriend his suit, if
an opportunity of doing so should ever occur. Considering the
dangerous situation of Du Pont, he but feebly opposed his intention
of leaving Chateau-le-Blanc, on the following day, but drew from him
a promise of a longer visit, when he could return with safety to his
peace. Emily herself, though she could not encourage his affection,
esteemed him both for the many virtues he possessed, and for the
services she had received from him; and it was not without tender
emotions of gratitude and pity, that she now saw him depart for his
family seat in Gascony; while he took leave of her with a countenance
so expressive of love and grief, as to interest the Count more warmly
in his cause than before.

In a few days, Emily also left the chateau, but not before the Count
and Countess had received her promise to repeat her visit very soon;
and she was welcomed by the abbess, with the same maternal kindness
she had formerly experienced, and by the nuns, with much expression
of regard. The well-known scenes of the convent occasioned her many
melancholy recollections, but with these were mingled others, that
inspired gratitude for having escaped the various dangers, that had
pursued her, since she quitted it, and for the good, which she yet
possessed; and, though she once more wept over her father's grave,
with tears of tender affection, her grief was softened from its
former acuteness.

Some time after her return to the monastery, she received a letter
from her uncle, Mons. Quesnel, in answer to information that she had
arrived in France, and to her enquiries, concerning such of her
affairs as he had undertaken to conduct during her absence,
especially as to the period for which La Vallee had been let, whither
it was her wish to return, if it should appear, that her income would
permit her to do so. The reply of Mons. Quesnel was cold and formal,
as she expected, expressing neither concern for the evils she
suffered, nor pleasure, that she was now removed from them; nor did
he allow the opportunity to pass, of reproving her for her rejection
of Count Morano, whom he affected still to believe a man of honour
and fortune; nor of vehemently declaiming against Montoni, to whom he
had always, till now, felt himself to be inferior. On Emily's
pecuniary concerns, he was not very explicit; he informed her,
however, that the term, for which La Vallee had been engaged, was
nearly expired; but, without inviting her to his own house, added,
that her circumstances would by no means allow her to reside there,
and earnestly advised her to remain, for the present, in the convent
of St. Claire.

To her enquiries respecting poor old Theresa, her late father's
servant, he gave no answer. In the postscript to his letter,
Monsieur Quesnel mentioned M. Motteville, in whose hands the late St.
Aubert had placed the chief of his personal property, as being likely
to arrange his affairs nearly to the satisfaction of his creditors,
and that Emily would recover much more of her fortune, than she had
formerly reason to expect. The letter also inclosed to Emily an
order upon a merchant at Narbonne, for a small sum of money.

The tranquillity of the monastery, and the liberty she was suffered
to enjoy, in wandering among the woods and shores of this delightful
province, gradually restored her spirits to their natural tone,
except that anxiety would sometimes intrude, concerning Valancourt,
as the time approached, when it was possible that she might receive
an answer to her letter.


As when a wave, that from a cloud impends,
And, swell'd with tempests, on the ship descends,
White are the decks with foam; the winds aloud,
Howl o'er the masts, and sing through ev'ry shroud:
Pale, trembling, tir'd, the sailors freeze with fears,
And instant death on ev'ry wave appears.

The Lady Blanche, meanwhile, who was left much alone, became
impatient for the company of her new friend, whom she wished to
observe sharing in the delight she received from the beautiful
scenery around. She had now no person, to whom she could express her
admiration and communicate her pleasures, no eye, that sparkled to
her smile, or countenance, that reflected her happiness; and she
became spiritless and pensive. The Count, observing her
dissatisfaction, readily yielded to her entreaties, and reminded
Emily of her promised visit; but the silence of Valancourt, which was
now prolonged far beyond the period, when a letter might have arrived
from Estuviere, oppressed Emily with severe anxiety, and, rendering
her averse to society, she would willingly have deferred her
acceptance of this invitation, till her spirits should be relieved.
The Count and his family, however, pressed to see her; and, as the
circumstances, that prompted her wish for solitude, could not be
explained, there was an appearance of caprice in her refusal, which
she could not persevere in, without offending the friends, whose
esteem she valued. At length, therefore, she returned upon a second
visit to Chateau-le-Blanc. Here the friendly manner of Count De
Villefort encouraged Emily to mention to him her situation,
respecting the estates of her late aunt, and to consult him on the
means of recovering them. He had little doubt, that the law would
decide in her favour, and, advising her to apply to it, offered first
to write to an advocate at Avignon, on whose opinion he thought he
could rely. His kindness was gratefully accepted by Emily, who,
soothed by the courtesy she daily experienced, would have been once
more happy, could she have been assured of Valancourt's welfare and
unaltered affection. She had now been above a week at the chateau,
without receiving intelligence of him, and, though she knew, that, if
he was absent from his brother's residence, it was scarcely probable
her letter had yet reached him, she could not forbear to admit doubts
and fears, that destroyed her peace. Again she would consider of
all, that might have happened in the long period, since her first
seclusion at Udolpho, and her mind was sometimes so overwhelmed with
an apprehension, that Valancourt was no more, or that he lived no
longer for her, that the company even of Blanche became intolerably
oppressive, and she would sit alone in her apartment for hours
together, when the engagements of the family allowed her to do so,
without incivility.

In one of these solitary hours, she unlocked a little box, which
contained some letters of Valancourt, with some drawings she had
sketched, during her stay in Tuscany, the latter of which were no
longer interesting to her; but, in the letters, she now, with
melancholy indulgence, meant to retrace the tenderness, that had so
often soothed her, and rendered her, for a moment, insensible of the
distance, which separated her from the writer. But their effect was
now changed; the affection they expressed appealed so forcibly to her
heart, when she considered that it had, perhaps, yielded to the
powers of time and absence, and even the view of the hand-writing
recalled so many painful recollections, that she found herself unable
to go through the first she had opened, and sat musing, with her
cheek resting on her arm, and tears stealing from her eyes, when old
Dorothee entered the room to inform her, that dinner would be ready,
an hour before the usual time. Emily started on perceiving her, and
hastily put up the papers, but not before Dorothee had observed both
her agitation and her tears.

'Ah, ma'amselle!' said she, 'you, who are so young,--have you reason
for sorrow?'

Emily tried to smile, but was unable to speak.

'Alas! dear young lady, when you come to my age, you will not weep at
trifles; and surely you have nothing serious, to grieve you.'

'No, Dorothee, nothing of any consequence,' replied Emily. Dorothee,
now stooping to pick up something, that had dropped from among the
papers, suddenly exclaimed, 'Holy Mary! what is it I see?' and then,
trembling, sat down in a chair, that stood by the table.

'What is it you do see?' said Emily, alarmed by her manner, and
looking round the room.

'It is herself,' said Dorothee, 'her very self! just as she looked a
little before she died!'

Emily, still more alarmed, began now to fear, that Dorothee was
seized with sudden phrensy, but entreated her to explain herself.

'That picture!' said she, 'where did you find it, lady? it is my
blessed mistress herself!'

She laid on the table the miniature, which Emily had long ago found
among the papers her father had enjoined her to destroy, and over
which she had once seen him shed such tender and affecting tears;
and, recollecting all the various circumstances of his conduct, that
had long perplexed her, her emotions increased to an excess, which
deprived her of all power to ask the questions she trembled to have
answered, and she could only enquire, whether Dorothee was certain
the picture resembled the late marchioness.

'O, ma'amselle!' said she, 'how came it to strike me so, the instant
I saw it, if it was not my lady's likeness? Ah!' added she, taking
up the miniature, 'these are her own blue eyes--looking so sweet and
so mild; and there is her very look, such as I have often seen it,
when she had sat thinking for a long while, and then, the tears would
often steal down her cheeks--but she never would complain! It was
that look so meek, as it were, and resigned, that used to break my
heart and make me love her so!'

'Dorothee!' said Emily solemnly, 'I am interested in the cause of
that grief, more so, perhaps, than you may imagine; and I entreat,
that you will no longer refuse to indulge my curiosity;--it is not a
common one.'

As Emily said this, she remembered the papers, with which the picture
had been found, and had scarcely a doubt, that they had concerned the
Marchioness de Villeroi; but with this supposition came a scruple,
whether she ought to enquire further on a subject, which might prove
to be the same, that her father had so carefully endeavoured to
conceal. Her curiosity, concerning the Marchioness, powerful as it
was, it is probable she would now have resisted, as she had formerly
done, on unwarily observing the few terrible words in the papers,
which had never since been erased from her memory, had she been
certain that the history of that lady was the subject of those
papers, or, that such simple particulars only as it was probable
Dorothee could relate were included in her father's command. What
was known to her could be no secret to many other persons; and, since
it appeared very unlikely, that St. Aubert should attempt to conceal
what Emily might learn by ordinary means, she at length concluded,
that, if the papers had related to the story of the Marchioness, it
was not those circumstances of it, which Dorothee could disclose,
that he had thought sufficiently important to wish to have concealed.
She, therefore, no longer hesitated to make the enquiries, that might
lead to the gratification of her curiosity.

'Ah, ma'amselle!' said Dorothee, 'it is a sad story, and cannot be
told now: but what am I saying? I never will tell it. Many years
have passed, since it happened; and I never loved to talk of the
Marchioness to any body, but my husband. He lived in the family, at
that time, as well as myself, and he knew many particulars from me,
which nobody else did; for I was about the person of my lady in her
last illness, and saw and heard as much, or more than my lord
himself. Sweet saint! how patient she was! When she died, I thought
I could have died with her!'

'Dorothee,' said Emily, interrupting her, 'what you shall tell, you
may depend upon it, shall never be disclosed by me. I have, I repeat
it, particular reasons for wishing to be informed on this subject,
and am willing to bind myself, in the most solemn manner, never to
mention what you shall wish me to conceal.'

Dorothee seemed surprised at the earnestness of Emily's manner, and,
after regarding her for some moments, in silence, said, 'Young lady!
that look of yours pleads for you--it is so like my dear mistress's,
that I can almost fancy I see her before me; if you were her
daughter, you could not remind me of her more. But dinner will be
ready--had you not better go down?'

'You will first promise to grant my request,' said Emily.

'And ought not you first to tell me, ma'amselle, how this picture
fell into your hands, and the reasons you say you have for curiosity
about my lady?'

'Why, no, Dorothee,' replied Emily, recollecting herself, 'I have
also particular reasons for observing silence, on these subjects, at
least, till I know further; and, remember, I do not promise ever to
speak upon them; therefore, do not let me induce you to satisfy my
curiosity, from an expectation, that I shall gratify yours. What I
may judge proper to conceal, does not concern myself alone, or I
should have less scruple in revealing it: let a confidence in my
honour alone persuade you to disclose what I request.'

'Well, lady!' replied Dorothee, after a long pause, during which her
eyes were fixed upon Emily, 'you seem so much interested,--and this
picture and that face of yours make me think you have some reason to
be so,--that I will trust you--and tell some things, that I never
told before to any body, but my husband, though there are people, who
have suspected as much. I will tell you the particulars of my lady's
death, too, and some of my own suspicions; but you must first promise
me by all the saints'--

Emily, interrupting her, solemnly promised never to reveal what
should be confided to her, without Dorothee's consent.

'But there is the horn, ma'amselle, sounding for dinner,' said
Dorothee; 'I must be gone.'

'When shall I see you again?' enquired Emily.

Dorothee mused, and then replied, 'Why, madam, it may make people
curious, if it is known I am so much in your apartment, and that I
should be sorry for; so I will come when I am least likely to be
observed. I have little leisure in the day, and I shall have a good
deal to say; so, if you please, ma'am, I will come, when the family
are all in bed.'

'That will suit me very well,' replied Emily: 'Remember, then, to-

'Aye, that is well remembered,' said Dorothee, 'I fear I cannot come
to-night, madam, for there will be the dance of the vintage, and it
will be late, before the servants go to rest; for, when they once set
in to dance, they will keep it up, in the cool of the air, till
morning; at least, it used to be so in my time.'

'Ah! is it the dance of the vintage?' said Emily, with a deep sigh,
remembering, that it was on the evening of this festival, in the
preceding year, that St. Aubert and herself had arrived in the
neighbourhood of Chateau-le-Blanc. She paused a moment, overcome by
the sudden recollection, and then, recovering herself, added--'But
this dance is in the open woods; you, therefore, will not be wanted,
and can easily come to me.'

Dorothee replied, that she had been accustomed to be present at the
dance of the vintage, and she did not wish to be absent now; 'but if
I can get away, madam, I will,' said she.

Emily then hastened to the dining-room, where the Count conducted
himself with the courtesy, which is inseparable from true dignity,
and of which the Countess frequently practised little, though her
manner to Emily was an exception to her usual habit. But, if she
retained few of the ornamental virtues, she cherished other
qualities, which she seemed to consider invaluable. She had
dismissed the grace of modesty, but then she knew perfectly well how
to manage the stare of assurance; her manners had little of the
tempered sweetness, which is necessary to render the female character
interesting, but she could occasionally throw into them an
affectation of spirits, which seemed to triumph over every person,
who approached her. In the country, however, she generally affected
an elegant languor, that persuaded her almost to faint, when her
favourite read to her a story of fictitious sorrow; but her
countenance suffered no change, when living objects of distress
solicited her charity, and her heart beat with no transport to the
thought of giving them instant relief;--she was a stranger to the
highest luxury, of which, perhaps, the human mind can be sensible,
for her benevolence had never yet called smiles upon the face of

In the evening, the Count, with all his family, except the Countess
and Mademoiselle Bearn, went to the woods to witness the festivity of
the peasants. The scene was in a glade, where the trees, opening,
formed a circle round the turf they highly overshadowed; between
their branches, vines, loaded with ripe clusters, were hung in gay
festoons; and, beneath, were tables, with fruit, wine, cheese and
other rural fare,--and seats for the Count and his family. At a
little distance, were benches for the elder peasants, few of whom,
however, could forbear to join the jocund dance, which began soon
after sun-set, when several of sixty tripped it with almost as much
glee and airy lightness, as those of sixteen.

The musicians, who sat carelessly on the grass, at the foot of a
tree, seemed inspired by the sound of their own instruments, which
were chiefly flutes and a kind of long guitar. Behind, stood a boy,
flourishing a tamborine, and dancing a solo, except that, as he
sometimes gaily tossed the instrument, he tripped among the other
dancers, when his antic gestures called forth a broader laugh, and
heightened the rustic spirit of the scene.

The Count was highly delighted with the happiness he witnessed, to
which his bounty had largely contributed, and the Lady Blanche joined
the dance with a young gentleman of her father's party. Du Pont
requested Emily's hand, but her spirits were too much depressed, to
permit her to engage in the present festivity, which called to her
remembrance that of the preceding year, when St. Aubert was living,
and of the melancholy scenes, which had immediately followed it.

Overcome by these recollections, she, at length, left the spot, and
walked slowly into the woods, where the softened music, floating at a
distance, soothed her melancholy mind. The moon threw a mellow light
among the foliage; the air was balmy and cool, and Emily, lost in
thought, strolled on, without observing whither, till she perceived
the sounds sinking afar off, and an awful stillness round her, except
that, sometimes, the nightingale beguiled the silence with

Liquid notes, that close the eye of day.

At length, she found herself near the avenue, which, on the night of
her father's arrival, Michael had attempted to pass in search of a
house, which was still nearly as wild and desolate as it had then
appeared; for the Count had been so much engaged in directing other
improvements, that he had neglected to give orders, concerning this
extensive approach, and the road was yet broken, and the trees
overloaded with their own luxuriance.

As she stood surveying it, and remembering the emotions, which she
had formerly suffered there, she suddenly recollected the figure,
that had been seen stealing among the trees, and which had returned
no answer to Michael's repeated calls; and she experienced somewhat
of the fear, that had then assailed her, for it did not appear
improbable, that these deep woods were occasionally the haunt of
banditti. She, therefore, turned back, and was hastily pursuing her
way to the dancers, when she heard steps approaching from the avenue;
and, being still beyond the call of the peasants on the green, for
she could neither hear their voices, or their music, she quickened
her pace; but the persons following gained fast upon her, and, at
length, distinguishing the voice of Henri, she walked leisurely, till
he came up. He expressed some surprise at meeting her so far from
the company; and, on her saying, that the pleasant moon-light had
beguiled her to walk farther than she intended, an exclamation burst
from the lips of his companion, and she thought she heard Valancourt
speak! It was, indeed, he! and the meeting was such as may be
imagined, between persons so affectionate, and so long separated as
they had been.

In the joy of these moments, Emily forgot all her past sufferings,
and Valancourt seemed to have forgotten, that any person but Emily
existed; while Henri was a silent and astonished spectator of the

Valancourt asked a thousand questions, concerning herself and
Montoni, which there was now no time to answer; but she learned, that
her letter had been forwarded to him, at Paris, which he had
previously quitted, and was returning to Gascony, whither the letter
also returned, which, at length, informed him of Emily's arrival, and
on the receipt of which he had immediately set out for Languedoc. On
reaching the monastery, whence she had dated her letter, he found, to
his extreme disappointment, that the gates were already closed for
the night; and believing, that he should not see Emily, till the
morrow, he was returning to his little inn, with the intention of
writing to her, when he was overtaken by Henri, with whom he had been
intimate at Paris, and was led to her, whom he was secretly lamenting
that he should not see, till the following day.

Emily, with Valancourt and Henri, now returned to the green, where
the latter presented Valancourt to the Count, who, she fancied,
received him with less than his usual benignity, though it appeared,
that they were not strangers to each other. He was invited, however,
to partake of the diversions of the evening; and, when he had paid
his respects to the Count, and while the dancers continued their
festivity, he seated himself by Emily, and conversed, without
restraint. The lights, which were hung among the trees, under which
they sat, allowed her a more perfect view of the countenance she had
so frequently in absence endeavoured to recollect, and she perceived,
with some regret, that it was not the same as when last she saw it.
There was all its wonted intelligence and fire; but it had lost much
of the simplicity, and somewhat of the open benevolence, that used to
characterise it. Still, however, it was an interesting countenance;
but Emily thought she perceived, at intervals, anxiety contract, and
melancholy fix the features of Valancourt; sometimes, too, he fell
into a momentary musing, and then appeared anxious to dissipate
thought; while, at others, as he fixed his eyes on Emily, a kind of
sudden distraction seemed to cross his mind. In her he perceived the
same goodness and beautiful simplicity, that had charmed him, on
their first acquaintance. The bloom of her countenance was somewhat
faded, but all its sweetness remained, and it was rendered more
interesting, than ever, by the faint expression of melancholy, that
sometimes mingled with her smile.

At his request, she related the most important circumstances, that
had occurred to her, since she left France, and emotions of pity and
indignation alternately prevailed in his mind, when he heard how much
she had suffered from the villany of Montoni. More than once, when
she was speaking of his conduct, of which the guilt was rather
softened, than exaggerated, by her representation, he started from
his seat, and walked away, apparently overcome as much by self
accusation as by resentment. Her sufferings alone were mentioned in
the few words, which he could address to her, and he listened not to
the account, which she was careful to give as distinctly as possible,
of the present loss of Madame Montoni's estates, and of the little
reason there was to expect their restoration. At length, Valancourt
remained lost in thought, and then some secret cause seemed to
overcome him with anguish. Again he abruptly left her. When he
returned, she perceived, that he had been weeping, and tenderly
begged, that he would compose himself. 'My sufferings are all passed
now,' said she, 'for I have escaped from the tyranny of Montoni, and
I see you well--let me also see you happy.'

Valancourt was more agitated, than before. 'I am unworthy of you,
Emily,' said he, 'I am unworthy of you;'--words, by his manner of
uttering which Emily was then more shocked than by their import. She
fixed on him a mournful and enquiring eye. 'Do not look thus on me,'
said he, turning away and pressing her hand; 'I cannot bear those

'I would ask,' said Emily, in a gentle, but agitated voice, 'the
meaning of your words; but I perceive, that the question would
distress you now. Let us talk on other subjects. To-morrow,
perhaps, you may be more composed. Observe those moon light woods,
and the towers, which appear obscurely in the perspective. You used
to be a great admirer of landscape, and I have heard you say, that
the faculty of deriving consolation, under misfortune, from the
sublime prospects, which neither oppression, or poverty with-hold
from us, was the peculiar blessing of the innocent.' Valancourt was
deeply affected. 'Yes,' replied he, 'I had once a taste for innocent
and elegant delights--I had once an uncorrupted heart.' Then,
checking himself, he added, 'Do you remember our journey together in
the Pyrenees?'

'Can I forget it?' said Emily.--'Would that I could!' he replied;--
'that was the happiest period of my life. I then loved, with
enthusiasm, whatever was truly great, or good.' It was some time
before Emily could repress her tears, and try to command her
emotions. 'If you wish to forget that journey,' said she, 'it must
certainly be my wish to forget it also.' She paused, and then added,
'You make me very uneasy; but this is not the time for further
enquiry;--yet, how can I bear to believe, even for a moment, that you
are less worthy of my esteem than formerly? I have still sufficient
confidence in your candour, to believe, that, when I shall ask for an
explanation, you will give it me.'--'Yes,' said Valancourt, 'yes,
Emily: I have not yet lost my candour: if I had, I could better
have disguised my emotions, on learning what were your sufferings--
your virtues, while I--I--but I will say no more. I did not mean to
have said even so much--I have been surprised into the self-
accusation. Tell me, Emily, that you will not forget that journey--
will not wish to forget it, and I will be calm. I would not lose the
remembrance of it for the whole earth.'

'How contradictory is this!' said Emily;--'but we may be overheard.
My recollection of it shall depend upon yours; I will endeavour to
forget, or to recollect it, as you may do. Let us join the Count.'--
'Tell me first,' said Valancourt, 'that you forgive the uneasiness I
have occasioned you, this evening, and that you will still love me.'-
-'I sincerely forgive you,' replied Emily. 'You best know whether I
shall continue to love you, for you know whether you deserve my
esteem. At present, I will believe that you do. It is unnecessary
to say,' added she, observing his dejection, 'how much pain it would
give me to believe otherwise.--The young lady, who approaches, is the
Count's daughter.'

Valancourt and Emily now joined the Lady Blanche; and the party, soon
after, sat down with the Count, his son, and the Chevalier Du Pont,
at a banquet, spread under a gay awning, beneath the trees. At the
table also were seated several of the most venerable of the Count's
tenants, and it was a festive repast to all but Valancourt and Emily.
When the Count retired to the chateau, he did not invite Valancourt
to accompany him, who, therefore, took leave of Emily, and retired to
his solitary inn for the night: meanwhile, she soon withdrew to her
own apartment, where she mused, with deep anxiety and concern, on his
behaviour, and on the Count's reception of him. Her attention was
thus so wholly engaged, that she forgot Dorothee and her appointment,
till morning was far advanced, when, knowing that the good old woman
would not come, she retired, for a few hours, to repose.

On the following day, when the Count had accidentally joined Emily in
one of the walks, they talked of the festival of the preceding
evening, and this led him to a mention of Valancourt. 'That is a
young man of talents,' said he; 'you were formerly acquainted with
him, I perceive.' Emily said, that she was. 'He was introduced to
me, at Paris,' said the Count, 'and I was much pleased with him, on
our first acquaintance.' He paused, and Emily trembled, between the
desire of hearing more and the fear of shewing the Count, that she
felt an interest on the subject. 'May I ask,' said he, at length,
'how long you have known Monsieur Valancourt?'--'Will you allow me to
ask your reason for the question, sir?' said she; 'and I will answer
it immediately.'--'Certainly,' said the Count, 'that is but just. I
will tell you my reason. I cannot but perceive, that Monsieur
Valancourt admires you; in that, however, there is nothing
extraordinary; every person, who sees you, must do the same. I am
above using common-place compliments; I speak with sincerity. What I
fear, is, that he is a favoured admirer.'--'Why do you fear it, sir?'
said Emily, endeavouring to conceal her emotion.--'Because,' replied
the Count, 'I think him not worthy of your favour.' Emily, greatly
agitated, entreated further explanation. 'I will give it,' said he,
'if you will believe, that nothing but a strong interest in your
welfare could induce me to hazard that assertion.'--'I must believe
so, sir,' replied Emily.

'But let us rest under these trees,' said the Count, observing the
paleness of her countenance; 'here is a seat--you are fatigued.'
They sat down, and the Count proceeded. 'Many young ladies,
circumstanced as you are, would think my conduct, on this occasion,
and on so short an acquaintance, impertinent, instead of friendly;
from what I have observed of your temper and understanding, I do not
fear such a return from you. Our acquaintance has been short, but
long enough to make me esteem you, and feel a lively interest in your
happiness. You deserve to be very happy, and I trust that you will
be so.' Emily sighed softly, and bowed her thanks. The Count paused
again. 'I am unpleasantly circumstanced,' said he; 'but an
opportunity of rendering you important service shall overcome
inferior considerations. Will you inform me of the manner of your
first acquaintance with the Chevalier Valancourt, if the subject is
not too painful?'

Emily briefly related the accident of their meeting in the presence
of her father, and then so earnestly entreated the Count not to
hesitate in declaring what he knew, that he perceived the violent
emotion, against which she was contending, and, regarding her with a
look of tender compassion, considered how he might communicate his
information with least pain to his anxious auditor.

'The Chevalier and my son,' said he, 'were introduced to each other,
at the table of a brother officer, at whose house I also met him, and
invited him to my own, whenever he should be disengaged. I did not
then know, that he had formed an acquaintance with a set of men, a
disgrace to their species, who live by plunder and pass their lives
in continual debauchery. I knew several of the Chevalier's family,
resident at Paris, and considered them as sufficient pledges for his
introduction to my own. But you are ill; I will leave the subject.'-
-'No, sir,' said Emily, 'I beg you will proceed: I am only
distressed.'--'ONLY!' said the Count, with emphasis; 'however, I will
proceed. I soon learned, that these, his associates, had drawn him
into a course of dissipation, from which he appeared to have neither
the power, nor the inclination, to extricate himself. He lost large
sums at the gaming-table; he became infatuated with play; and was
ruined. I spoke tenderly of this to his friends, who assured me,
that they had remonstrated with him, till they were weary. I
afterwards learned, that, in consideration of his talents for play,
which were generally successful, when unopposed by the tricks of
villany,--that in consideration of these, the party had initiated him
into the secrets of their trade, and allotted him a share of their
profits.' 'Impossible!' said Emily suddenly; 'but--pardon me, sir, I
scarcely know what I say; allow for the distress of my mind. I must,
indeed, I must believe, that you have not been truly informed. The
Chevalier had, doubtless, enemies, who misrepresented him.'--'I
should be most happy to believe so,' replied the Count, 'but I
cannot. Nothing short of conviction, and a regard for your
happiness, could have urged me to repeat these unpleasant reports.'

Emily was silent. She recollected Valancourt's sayings, on the
preceding evening, which discovered the pangs of self-reproach, and
seemed to confirm all that the Count had related. Yet she had not
fortitude enough to dare conviction. Her heart was overwhelmed with
anguish at the mere suspicion of his guilt, and she could not endure
a belief of it. After a silence, the Count said, 'I perceive, and
can allow for, your want of conviction. It is necessary I should
give some proof of what I have asserted; but this I cannot do,
without subjecting one, who is very dear to me, to danger.'--'What is
the danger you apprehend, sir?' said Emily; 'if I can prevent it, you
may safely confide in my honour.'--'On your honour I am certain I can
rely,' said the Count; 'but can I trust your fortitude? Do you think
you can resist the solicitation of a favoured admirer, when he
pleads, in affliction, for the name of one, who has robbed him of a
blessing?'--'I shall not be exposed to such a temptation, sir,' said
Emily, with modest pride, 'for I cannot favour one, whom I must no
longer esteem. I, however, readily give my word.' Tears, in the
mean time, contradicted her first assertion; and she felt, that time
and effort only could eradicate an affection, which had been formed
on virtuous esteem, and cherished by habit and difficulty.

'I will trust you then,' said the Count, 'for conviction is necessary
to your peace, and cannot, I perceive, be obtained, without this
confidence. My son has too often been an eye-witness of the
Chevalier's ill conduct; he was very near being drawn in by it; he
was, indeed, drawn in to the commission of many follies, but I
rescued him from guilt and destruction. Judge then, Mademoiselle St.
Aubert, whether a father, who had nearly lost his only son by the
example of the Chevalier, has not, from conviction, reason to warn
those, whom he esteems, against trusting their happiness in such
hands. I have myself seen the Chevalier engaged in deep play with
men, whom I almost shuddered to look upon. If you still doubt, I
will refer you to my son.'

'I must not doubt what you have yourself witnessed,' replied Emily,
sinking with grief, 'or what you assert. But the Chevalier has,
perhaps, been drawn only into a transient folly, which he may never
repeat. If you had known the justness of his former principles, you
would allow for my present incredulity.'

'Alas!' observed the Count, 'it is difficult to believe that, which
will make us wretched. But I will not sooth you by flattering and
false hopes. We all know how fascinating the vice of gaming is, and
how difficult it is, also, to conquer habits; the Chevalier might,
perhaps, reform for a while, but he would soon relapse into
dissipation--for I fear, not only the bonds of habit would be
powerful, but that his morals are corrupted. And--why should I
conceal from you, that play is not his only vice? he appears to have
a taste for every vicious pleasure.'

The Count hesitated and paused; while Emily endeavoured to support
herself, as, with increasing perturbation, she expected what he might
further say. A long pause of silence ensued, during which he was
visibly agitated; at length, he said, 'It would be a cruel delicacy,
that could prevail with me to be silent--and I will inform you, that
the Chevalier's extravagance has brought him twice into the prisons
of Paris, from whence he was last extricated, as I was told upon
authority, which I cannot doubt, by a well-known Parisian Countess,
with whom he continued to reside, when I left Paris.'

He paused again; and, looking at Emily, perceived her countenance
change, and that she was falling from the seat; he caught her, but
she had fainted, and he called loudly for assistance. They were,
however, beyond the hearing of his servants at the chateau, and he
feared to leave her while he went thither for assistance, yet knew
not how otherwise to obtain it; till a fountain at no great distance
caught his eye, and he endeavoured to support Emily against the tree,
under which she had been sitting, while he went thither for water.
But again he was perplexed, for he had nothing near him, in which
water could be brought; but while, with increased anxiety, he watched
her, he thought he perceived in her countenance symptoms of returning

It was long, however, before she revived, and then she found herself
supported--not by the Count, but by Valancourt, who was observing her
with looks of earnest apprehension, and who now spoke to her in a
tone, tremulous with his anxiety. At the sound of his well-known
voice, she raised her eyes, but presently closed them, and a
faintness again came over her.

The Count, with a look somewhat stern, waved him to withdraw; but he
only sighed heavily, and called on the name of Emily, as he again
held the water, that had been brought, to her lips. On the Count's
repeating his action, and accompanying it with words, Valancourt
answered him with a look of deep resentment, and refused to leave the
place, till she should revive, or to resign her for a moment to the
care of any person. In the next instant, his conscience seemed to
inform him of what had been the subject of the Count's conversation
with Emily, and indignation flashed in his eyes; but it was quickly
repressed, and succeeded by an expression of serious anguish, that
induced the Count to regard him with more pity than resentment, and
the view of which so much affected Emily, when she again revived,
that she yielded to the weakness of tears. But she soon restrained
them, and, exerting her resolution to appear recovered, she rose,
thanked the Count and Henri, with whom Valancourt had entered the
garden, for their care, and moved towards the chateau, without
noticing Valancourt, who, heart-struck by her manner, exclaimed in a
low voice--'Good God! how have I deserved this?--what has been said,
to occasion this change?'

Emily, without replying, but with increased emotion, quickened her
steps. 'What has thus disordered you, Emily?' said he, as he still
walked by her side: 'give me a few moments' conversation, I entreat
you;--I am very miserable!'

Though this was spoken in a low voice, it was overheard by the Count,
who immediately replied, that Mademoiselle St. Aubert was then too
much indisposed, to attend to any conversation, but that he would
venture to promise she would see Monsieur Valancourt on the morrow,
if she was better.

Valancourt's cheek was crimsoned: he looked haughtily at the Count,
and then at Emily, with successive expressions of surprise, grief and
supplication, which she could neither misunderstand, or resist, and
she said languidly--'I shall be better tomorrow, and if you wish to
accept the Count's permission, I will see you then.'

'See me!' exclaimed Valancourt, as he threw a glance of mingled pride
and resentment upon the Count; and then, seeming to recollect
himself, he added--'But I will come, madam; I will accept the Count's

When they reached the door of the chateau, he lingered a moment, for
his resentment was now fled; and then, with a look so expressive of
tenderness and grief, that Emily's heart was not proof against it, he
bade her good morning, and, bowing slightly to the Count,

Emily withdrew to her own apartment, under such oppression of heart
as she had seldom known, when she endeavoured to recollect all that
the Count had told, to examine the probability of the circumstances
he himself believed, and to consider of her future conduct towards
Valancourt. But, when she attempted to think, her mind refused
controul, and she could only feel that she was miserable. One
moment, she sunk under the conviction, that Valancourt was no longer
the same, whom she had so tenderly loved, the idea of whom had
hitherto supported her under affliction, and cheered her with the
hope of happier days,--but a fallen, a worthless character, whom she
must teach herself to despise--if she could not forget. Then, unable
to endure this terrible supposition, she rejected it, and disdained
to believe him capable of conduct, such as the Count had described,
to whom she believed he had been misrepresented by some artful enemy;
and there were moments, when she even ventured to doubt the integrity
of the Count himself, and to suspect, that he was influenced by some
selfish motive, to break her connection with Valancourt. But this
was the error of an instant, only; the Count's character, which she
had heard spoken of by Du Pont and many other persons, and had
herself observed, enabled her to judge, and forbade the supposition;
had her confidence, indeed, been less, there appeared to be no
temptation to betray him into conduct so treacherous, and so cruel.
Nor did reflection suffer her to preserve the hope, that Valancourt
had been mis-represented to the Count, who had said, that he spoke
chiefly from his own observation, and from his son's experience. She
must part from Valancourt, therefore, for ever--for what of either
happiness or tranquillity could she expect with a man, whose tastes
were degenerated into low inclinations, and to whom vice was become
habitual? whom she must no longer esteem, though the remembrance of
what he once was, and the long habit of loving him, would render it
very difficult for her to despise him. 'O Valancourt!' she would
exclaim, 'having been separated so long--do we meet, only to be
miserable--only to part for ever?'

Amidst all the tumult of her mind, she remembered pertinaciously the
seeming candour and simplicity of his conduct, on the preceding
night; and, had she dared to trust her own heart, it would have led
her to hope much from this. Still she could not resolve to dismiss
him for ever, without obtaining further proof of his ill conduct; yet
she saw no probability of procuring it, if, indeed, proof more
positive was possible. Something, however, it was necessary to
decide upon, and she almost determined to be guided in her opinion
solely by the manner, with which Valancourt should receive her hints
concerning his late conduct.

Thus passed the hours till dinner-time, when Emily, struggling
against the pressure of her grief, dried her tears, and joined the
family at table, where the Count preserved towards her the most
delicate attention; but the Countess and Mademoiselle Bearn, having
looked, for a moment, with surprise, on her dejected countenance,
began, as usual, to talk of trifles, while the eyes of Lady Blanche
asked much of her friend, who could only reply by a mournful smile.

Emily withdrew as soon after dinner as possible, and was followed by
the Lady Blanche, whose anxious enquiries, however, she found herself
quite unequal to answer, and whom she entreated to spare her on the
subject of her distress. To converse on any topic, was now, indeed,
so extremely painful to her, that she soon gave up the attempt, and
Blanche left her, with pity of the sorrow, which she perceived she
had no power to assuage.

Emily secretly determined to go to her convent in a day or two; for
company, especially that of the Countess and Mademoiselle Bearn, was
intolerable to her, in the present state of her spirits; and, in the
retirement of the convent, as well as the kindness of the abbess, she
hoped to recover the command of her mind, and to teach it resignation
to the event, which, she too plainly perceived, was approaching.

To have lost Valancourt by death, or to have seen him married to a
rival, would, she thought, have given her less anguish, than a
conviction of his unworthiness, which must terminate in misery to
himself, and which robbed her even of the solitary image her heart so
long had cherished. These painful reflections were interrupted, for
a moment, by a note from Valancourt, written in evident distraction
of mind, entreating, that she would permit him to see her on the
approaching evening, instead of the following morning; a request,
which occasioned her so much agitation, that she was unable to answer
it. She wished to see him, and to terminate her present state of
suspense, yet shrunk from the interview, and, incapable of deciding
for herself, she, at length, sent to beg a few moments' conversation
with the Count in his library, where she delivered to him the note,
and requested his advice. After reading it, he said, that, if she
believed herself well enough to support the interview, his opinion
was, that, for the relief of both parties, it ought to take place,
that evening.

'His affection for you is, undoubtedly, a very sincere one,' added
the Count; 'and he appears so much distressed, and you, my amiable
friend, are so ill at ease--that the sooner the affair is decided,
the better.'

Emily replied, therefore, to Valancourt, that she would see him, and
then exerted herself in endeavours to attain fortitude and composure,
to bear her through the approaching scene--a scene so afflictingly
the reverse of any, to which she had looked forward!



Is all the council that we two have shared,
the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us--Oh! and is all forgot?

And will you rend our ancient love asunder?

In the evening, when Emily was at length informed, that Count De
Villefort requested to see her, she guessed that Valancourt was
below, and, endeavouring to assume composure and to recollect all her
spirits, she rose and left the apartment; but on reaching the door of
the library, where she imagined him to be, her emotion returned with
such energy, that, fearing to trust herself in the room, she returned
into the hall, where she continued for a considerable time, unable to
command her agitated spirits.

When she could recall them, she found in the library Valancourt,
seated with the Count, who both rose on her entrance; but she did not
dare to look at Valancourt, and the Count, having led her to a chair,
immediately withdrew.

Emily remained with her eyes fixed on the floor, under such
oppression of heart, that she could not speak, and with difficulty
breathed; while Valancourt threw himself into a chair beside her,
and, sighing heavily, continued silent, when, had she raised her
eyes, she would have perceived the violent emotions, with which he
was agitated.

At length, in a tremulous voice, he said, 'I have solicited to see
you this evening, that I might, at least, be spared the further
torture of suspense, which your altered manner had occasioned me, and
which the hints I have just received from the Count have in part
explained. I perceive I have enemies, Emily, who envied me my late
happiness, and who have been busy in searching out the means to
destroy it: I perceive, too, that time and absence have weakened the
affection you once felt for me, and that you can now easily be taught
to forget me.'

His last words faltered, and Emily, less able to speak than before,
continued silent.

'O what a meeting is this!' exclaimed Valancourt, starting from his
seat, and pacing the room with hurried steps, 'what a meeting is
this, after our long--long separation!' Again he sat down, and,
after the struggle of a moment, he added in a firm but despairing
tone, 'This is too much--I cannot bear it! Emily, will you not speak
to me?'

He covered his face with his hand, as if to conceal his emotion, and
took Emily's, which she did not withdraw. Her tears could no longer
be restrained; and, when he raised his eyes and perceived that she
was weeping, all his tenderness returned, and a gleam of hope
appeared to cross his mind, for he exclaimed, 'O! you do pity me,
then, you do love me! Yes, you are still my own Emily--let me
believe those tears, that tell me so!'

Emily now made an effort to recover her firmness, and, hastily drying
them, 'Yes,' said she, 'I do pity you--I weep for you--but, ought I
to think of you with affection? You may remember, that yester-
evening I said, I had still sufficient confidence in your candour to
believe, that, when I should request an explanation of your words,
you would give it. This explanation is now unnecessary, I understand
them too well; but prove, at least, that your candour is deserving of
the confidence I give it, when I ask you, whether you are conscious
of being the same estimable Valancourt--whom I once loved.'

'Once loved!' cried he,--'the same--the same!' He paused in extreme
emotion, and then added, in a voice at once solemn, and dejected,--
'No--I am not the same!--I am lost--I am no longer worthy of you!'

He again concealed his face. Emily was too much affected by this
honest confession to reply immediately, and, while she struggled to
overcome the pleadings of her heart, and to act with the decisive
firmness, which was necessary for her future peace, she perceived all
the danger of trusting long to her resolution, in the presence of
Valancourt, and was anxious to conclude an interview, that tortured
them both; yet, when she considered, that this was probably their
last meeting, her fortitude sunk at once, and she experienced only
emotions of tenderness and of despondency.

Valancourt, meanwhile, lost in emotions of remorse and grief, which
he had neither the power, or the will to express, sat insensible
almost of the presence of Emily, his features still concealed, and
his breast agitated by convulsive sighs.

'Spare me the necessity,' said Emily, recollecting her fortitude,
'spare me the necessity of mentioning those circumstances of your
conduct, which oblige me to break our connection forever.--We must
part, I now see you for the last time.'

'Impossible!' cried Valancourt, roused from his deep silence, 'You
cannot mean what you say!--you cannot mean to throw me from you

'We must part,' repeated Emily, with emphasis,--'and that forever!
Your own conduct has made this necessary.'

'This is the Count's determination,' said he haughtily, 'not yours,
and I shall enquire by what authority he interferes between us.' He
now rose, and walked about the room in great emotion.

'Let me save you from this error,' said Emily, not less agitated--'it
is my determination, and, if you reflect a moment on your late
conduct, you will perceive, that my future peace requires it.'

'Your future peace requires, that we should part--part forever!' said
Valancourt, 'How little did I ever expect to hear you say so!'

'And how little did I expect, that it would be necessary for me to
say so!' rejoined Emily, while her voice softened into tenderness,
and her tears flowed again.--'That you--you, Valancourt, would ever
fall from my esteem!'

He was silent a moment, as if overwhelmed by the consciousness of no
longer deserving this esteem, as well as the certainty of having lost
it, and then, with impassioned grief, lamented the criminality of his
late conduct and the misery to which it had reduced him, till,
overcome by a recollection of the past and a conviction of the
future, he burst into tears, and uttered only deep and broken sighs.

The remorse he had expressed, and the distress he suffered could not
be witnessed by Emily with indifference, and, had she not called to
her recollection all the circumstances, of which Count De Villefort
had informed her, and all he had said of the danger of confiding in
repentance, formed under the influence of passion, she might perhaps
have trusted to the assurances of her heart, and have forgotten his
misconduct in the tenderness, which that repentance excited.

Valancourt, returning to the chair beside her, at length, said, in a
calm voice, ''Tis true, I am fallen--fallen from my own esteem! but
could you, Emily, so soon, so suddenly resign, if you had not before
ceased to love me, or, if your conduct was not governed by the
designs, I will say, the selfish designs of another person! Would
you not otherwise be willing to hope for my reformation--and could
you bear, by estranging me from you, to abandon me to misery--to
myself!'--Emily wept aloud.--'No, Emily--no--you would not do this,
if you still loved me. You would find your own happiness in saving

'There are too many probabilities against that hope,' said Emily, 'to
justify me in trusting the comfort of my whole life to it. May I not
also ask, whether you could wish me to do this, if you really loved

'Really loved you!' exclaimed Valancourt--'is it possible you can
doubt my love! Yet it is reasonable, that you should do so, since
you see, that I am less ready to suffer the horror of parting with
you, than that of involving you in my ruin. Yes, Emily--I am ruined-
-irreparably ruined--I am involved in debts, which I can never
discharge!' Valancourt's look, which was wild, as he spoke this,
soon settled into an expression of gloomy despair; and Emily, while
she was compelled to admire his sincerity, saw, with unutterable
anguish, new reasons for fear in the suddenness of his feelings and
the extent of the misery, in which they might involve him. After
some minutes, she seemed to contend against her grief and to struggle
for fortitude to conclude the interview. 'I will not prolong these
moments,' said she, 'by a conversation, which can answer no good
purpose. Valancourt, farewell!'

'You are not going?' said he, wildly interrupting her--'You will not
leave me thus--you will not abandon me even before my mind has
suggested any possibility of compromise between the last indulgence
of my despair and the endurance of my loss!' Emily was terrified by
the sternness of his look, and said, in a soothing voice, 'You have
yourself acknowledged, that it is necessary we should part;--if you
wish, that I should believe you love me, you will repeat the
acknowledgment.'--'Never--never,' cried he--'I was distracted when I
made it. O! Emily--this is too much;--though you are not deceived as
to my faults, you must be deluded into this exasperation against
them. The Count is the barrier between us; but he shall not long
remain so.'

'You are, indeed, distracted,' said Emily, 'the Count is not your
enemy; on the contrary, he is my friend, and that might, in some
degree, induce you to consider him as yours.'--'Your friend!' said
Valancourt, hastily, 'how long has he been your friend, that he can
so easily make you forget your lover? Was it he, who recommended to
your favour the Monsieur Du Pont, who, you say, accompanied you from
Italy, and who, I say, has stolen your affections? But I have no
right to question you;--you are your own mistress. Du Pont, perhaps,
may not long triumph over my fallen fortunes!' Emily, more
frightened than before by the frantic looks of Valancourt, said, in a
tone scarcely audible, 'For heaven's sake be reasonable--be composed.
Monsieur Du Pont is not your rival, nor is the Count his advocate.
You have no rival; nor, except yourself, an enemy. My heart is wrung
with anguish, which must increase while your frantic behaviour shews
me, more than ever, that you are no longer the Valancourt I have been
accustomed to love.'

He made no reply, but sat with his arms rested on the table and his
face concealed by his hands; while Emily stood, silent and trembling,
wretched for herself and dreading to leave him in this state of mind.

'O excess of misery!' he suddenly exclaimed, 'that I can never lament
my sufferings, without accusing myself, nor remember you, without
recollecting the folly and the vice, by which I have lost you! Why
was I forced to Paris, and why did I yield to allurements, which were
to make me despicable for ever! O! why cannot I look back, without
interruption, to those days of innocence and peace, the days of our
early love!'--The recollection seemed to melt his heart, and the
frenzy of despair yielded to tears. After a long pause, turning
towards her and taking her hand, he said, in a softened voice,
'Emily, can you bear that we should part--can you resolve to give up
an heart, that loves you like mine--an heart, which, though it has
erred--widely erred, is not irretrievable from error, as, you well
know, it never can be retrievable from love?' Emily made no reply,
but with her tears. 'Can you,' continued he, 'can you forget all our
former days of happiness and confidence--when I had not a thought,
that I might wish to conceal from you--when I had no taste--no
pleasures, in which you did not participate?'

'O do not lead me to the remembrance of those days,' said Emily,
'unless you can teach me to forget the present; I do not mean to
reproach you; if I did, I should be spared these tears; but why will
you render your present sufferings more conspicuous, by contrasting
them with your former virtues?'

'Those virtues,' said Valancourt, 'might, perhaps, again be mine, if
your affection, which nurtured them, was unchanged;--but I fear,
indeed, I see, that you can no longer love me; else the happy hours,
which we have passed together, would plead for me, and you could not
look back upon them unmoved. Yet, why should I torture myself with
the remembrance--why do I linger here? Am I not ruined--would it not
be madness to involve you in my misfortunes, even if your heart was
still my own? I will not distress you further. Yet, before I go,'
added he, in a solemn voice, 'let me repeat, that, whatever may be my
destiny--whatever I may be doomed to suffer, I must always love you--
most fondly love you! I am going, Emily, I am going to leave you--to
leave you, forever!' As he spoke the last words, his voice trembled,
and he threw himself again into the chair, from which he had risen.
Emily was utterly unable to leave the room, or to say farewell. All
impression of his criminal conduct and almost of his follies was
obliterated from her mind, and she was sensible only of pity and

'My fortitude is gone,' said Valancourt at length; 'I can no longer
even struggle to recall it. I cannot now leave you--I cannot bid you
an eternal farewell; say, at least, that you will see me once again.'
Emily's heart was somewhat relieved by the request, and she
endeavoured to believe, that she ought not to refuse it. Yet she was
embarrassed by recollecting, that she was a visitor in the house of
the Count, who could not be pleased by the return of Valancourt.
Other considerations, however, soon overcame this, and she granted
his request, on the condition, that he would neither think of the
Count, as his enemy, nor Du Pont as his rival. He then left her,
with a heart, so much lightened by this short respite, that he almost
lost every former sense of misfortune.

Emily withdrew to her own room, that she might compose her spirits
and remove the traces of her tears, which would encourage the
censorious remarks of the Countess and her favourite, as well as
excite the curiosity of the rest of the family. She found it,
however, impossible to tranquillize her mind, from which she could
not expel the remembrance of the late scene with Valancourt, or the
consciousness, that she was to see him again, on the morrow. This
meeting now appeared more terrible to her than the last, for the
ingenuous confession he had made of his ill conduct and his
embarrassed circumstances, with the strength and tenderness of
affection, which this confession discovered, had deeply impressed
her, and, in spite of all she had heard and believed to his
disadvantage, her esteem began to return. It frequently appeared to
her impossible, that he could have been guilty of the depravities,
reported of him, which, if not inconsistent with his warmth and
impetuosity, were entirely so with his candour and sensibility.
Whatever was the criminality, which had given rise to the reports,
she could not now believe them to be wholly true, nor that his heart
was finally closed against the charms of virtue. The deep
consciousness, which he felt as well as expressed of his errors,
seemed to justify the opinion; and, as she understood not the
instability of youthful dispositions, when opposed by habit, and that
professions frequently deceive those, who make, as well as those, who
hear them, she might have yielded to the flattering persuasions of
her own heart and the pleadings of Valancourt, had she not been
guided by the superior prudence of the Count. He represented to her,
in a clear light, the danger of her present situation, that of
listening to promises of amendment, made under the influence of
strong passion, and the slight hope, which could attach to a
connection, whose chance of happiness rested upon the retrieval of
ruined circumstances and the reform of corrupted habits. On these
accounts, he lamented, that Emily had consented to a second
interview, for he saw how much it would shake her resolution and
increase the difficulty of her conquest.

Her mind was now so entirely occupied by nearer interests, that she
forgot the old housekeeper and the promised history, which so lately
had excited her curiosity, but which Dorothee was probably not very
anxious to disclose, for night came; the hours passed; and she did
not appear in Emily's chamber. With the latter it was a sleepless
and dismal night; the more she suffered her memory to dwell on the
late scenes with Valancourt, the more her resolution declined, and
she was obliged to recollect all the arguments, which the Count had
made use of to strengthen it, and all the precepts, which she had
received from her deceased father, on the subject of self-command, to
enable her to act, with prudence and dignity, on this the most severe
occasion of her life. There were moments, when all her fortitude
forsook her, and when, remembering the confidence of former times,
she thought it impossible, that she could renounce Valancourt. His
reformation then appeared certain; the arguments of Count De
Villefort were forgotten; she readily believed all she wished, and
was willing to encounter any evil, rather than that of an immediate

Thus passed the night in ineffectual struggles between affection and
reason, and she rose, in the morning, with a mind, weakened and
irresolute, and a frame, trembling with illness.


Come, weep with me;--past hope, past cure, past help!

Valancourt, meanwhile, suffered the tortures of remorse and despair.
The sight of Emily had renewed all the ardour, with which he first
loved her, and which had suffered a temporary abatement from absence
and the passing scenes of busy life. When, on the receipt of her
letter, he set out for Languedoc, he then knew, that his own folly
had involved him in ruin, and it was no part of his design to conceal
this from her. But he lamented only the delay which his ill-conduct
must give to their marriage, and did not foresee, that the
information could induce her to break their connection forever.
While the prospect of this separation overwhelmed his mind, before
stung with self-reproach, he awaited their second interview, in a
state little short of distraction, yet was still inclined to hope,
that his pleadings might prevail upon her not to exact it. In the
morning, he sent to know at what hour she would see him; and his note
arrived, when she was with the Count, who had sought an opportunity
of again conversing with her of Valancourt; for he perceived the
extreme distress of her mind, and feared, more than ever, that her
fortitude would desert her. Emily having dismissed the messenger,
the Count returned to the subject of their late conversation, urging
his fear of Valancourt's entreaties, and again pointing out to her
the lengthened misery, that must ensue, if she should refuse to
encounter some present uneasiness. His repeated arguments could,
indeed, alone have protected her from the affection she still felt
for Valancourt, and she resolved to be governed by them.

The hour of interview, at length, arrived. Emily went to it, at
least, with composure of manner, but Valancourt was so much agitated,
that he could not speak, for several minutes, and his first words
were alternately those of lamentation, entreaty, and self-reproach.
Afterward, he said, 'Emily, I have loved you--I do love you, better
than my life; but I am ruined by my own conduct. Yet I would seek to
entangle you in a connection, that must be miserable for you, rather
than subject myself to the punishment, which is my due, the loss of
you. I am a wretch, but I will be a villain no longer.--I will not
endeavour to shake your resolution by the pleadings of a selfish
passion. I resign you, Emily, and will endeavour to find consolation
in considering, that, though I am miserable, you, at least, may be
happy. The merit of the sacrifice is, indeed, not my own, for I
should never have attained strength of mind to surrender you, if your
prudence had not demanded it.'

He paused a moment, while Emily attempted to conceal the tears, which
came to her eyes. She would have said, 'You speak now, as you were
wont to do,' but she checked herself.--'Forgive me, Emily,' said he,
'all the sufferings I have occasioned you, and, sometimes, when you
think of the wretched Valancourt, remember, that his only consolation
would be to believe, that you are no longer unhappy by his folly.'
The tears now fell fast upon her cheek, and he was relapsing into the
phrensy of despair, when Emily endeavoured to recall her fortitude
and to terminate an interview, which only seemed to increase the
distress of both. Perceiving her tears and that she was rising to
go, Valancourt struggled, once more, to overcome his own feelings and
to sooth hers. 'The remembrance of this sorrow,' said he, 'shall in
future be my protection. O! never again will example, or temptation
have power to seduce me to evil, exalted as I shall be by the
recollection of your grief for me.'

Emily was somewhat comforted by this assurance. 'We are now parting
for ever,' said she; 'but, if my happiness is dear to you, you will
always remember, that nothing can contribute to it more, than to
believe, that you have recovered your own esteem.' Valancourt took
her hand;--his eyes were covered with tears, and the farewell he
would have spoken was lost in sighs. After a few moments, Emily
said, with difficulty and emotion, 'Farewell, Valancourt, may you be
happy!' She repeated her 'farewell,' and attempted to withdraw her
hand, but he still held it and bathed it with his tears. 'Why
prolong these moments?' said Emily, in a voice scarcely audible,
'they are too painful to us both.' 'This is too--too much,'
exclaimed Valancourt, resigning her hand and throwing himself into a
chair, where he covered his face with his hands and was overcome, for
some moments, by convulsive sighs. After a long pause, during which
Emily wept in silence, and Valancourt seemed struggling with his
grief, she again rose to take leave of him. Then, endeavouring to
recover his composure, 'I am again afflicting you,' said he, 'but let
the anguish I suffer plead for me.' He then added, in a solemn
voice, which frequently trembled with the agitation of his heart,
'Farewell, Emily, you will always be the only object of my
tenderness. Sometimes you will think of the unhappy Valancourt, and
it will be with pity, though it may not be with esteem. O! what is
the whole world to me, without you--without your esteem!' He checked
himself--'I am falling again into the error I have just lamented. I
must not intrude longer upon your patience, or I shall relapse into

He once more bade Emily adieu, pressed her hand to his lips, looked
at her, for the last time, and hurried out of the room.

Emily remained in the chair, where he had left her, oppressed with a
pain at her heart, which scarcely permitted her to breathe, and
listening to his departing steps, sinking fainter and fainter, as he
crossed the hall. She was, at length, roused by the voice of the
Countess in the garden, and, her attention being then awakened, the
first object, which struck her sight, was the vacant chair, where
Valancourt had sat. The tears, which had been, for some time,
repressed by the kind of astonishment, that followed his departure,
now came to her relief, and she was, at length, sufficiently composed
to return to her own room.


This is no mortal business, nor no sound
That the earth owes!

We now return to the mention of Montoni, whose rage and
disappointment were soon lost in nearer interests, than any, which
the unhappy Emily had awakened. His depredations having exceeded
their usual limits, and reached an extent, at which neither the
timidity of the then commercial senate of Venice, nor their hope of
his occasional assistance would permit them to connive, the same
effort, it was resolved, should complete the suppression of his power
and the correction of his outrages. While a corps of considerable
strength was upon the point of receiving orders to march for Udolpho,
a young officer, prompted partly by resentment, for some injury,
received from Montoni, and partly by the hope of distinction,
solicited an interview with the Minister, who directed the
enterprise. To him he represented, that the situation of Udolpho
rendered it too strong to be taken by open force, except after some
tedious operations; that Montoni had lately shewn how capable he was
of adding to its strength all the advantages, which could be derived
from the skill of a commander; that so considerable a body of troops,
as that allotted to the expedition, could not approach Udolpho
without his knowledge, and that it was not for the honour of the
republic to have a large part of its regular force employed, for such
a time as the siege of Udolpho would require, upon the attack of a
handful of banditti. The object of the expedition, he thought, might
be accomplished much more safely and speedily by mingling contrivance
with force. It was possible to meet Montoni and his party, without
their walls, and to attack them then; or, by approaching the
fortress, with the secrecy, consistent with the march of smaller
bodies of troops, to take advantage either of the treachery, or
negligence of some of his party, and to rush unexpectedly upon the
whole even in the castle of Udolpho.

This advice was seriously attended to, and the officer, who gave it,
received the command of the troops, demanded for his purpose. His
first efforts were accordingly those of contrivance alone. In the
neighbourhood of Udolpho, he waited, till he had secured the
assistance of several of the condottieri, of whom he found none, that
he addressed, unwilling to punish their imperious master and to
secure their own pardon from the senate. He learned also the number
of Montoni's troops, and that it had been much increased, since his
late successes. The conclusion of his plan was soon effected.
Having returned with his party, who received the watch-word and other
assistance from their friends within, Montoni and his officers were
surprised by one division, who had been directed to their apartment,
while the other maintained the slight combat, which preceded the
surrender of the whole garrison. Among the persons, seized with
Montoni, was Orsino, the assassin, who had joined him on his first
arrival at Udolpho, and whose concealment had been made known to the
senate by Count Morano, after the unsuccessful attempt of the latter
to carry off Emily. It was, indeed, partly for the purpose of
capturing this man, by whom one of the senate had been murdered, that
the expedition was undertaken, and its success was so acceptable to
them, that Morano was instantly released, notwithstanding the
political suspicions, which Montoni, by his secret accusation, had
excited against him. The celerity and ease, with which this whole
transaction was completed, prevented it from attracting curiosity, or
even from obtaining a place in any of the published records of that
time; so that Emily, who remained in Languedoc, was ignorant of the
defeat and signal humiliation of her late persecutor.

Her mind was now occupied with sufferings, which no effort of reason
had yet been able to controul. Count De Villefort, who sincerely
attempted whatever benevolence could suggest for softening them,
sometimes allowed her the solitude she wished for, sometimes led her
into friendly parties, and constantly protected her, as much as
possible, from the shrewd enquiries and critical conversation of the
Countess. He often invited her to make excursions, with him and his
daughter, during which he conversed entirely on questions, suitable
to her taste, without appearing to consult it, and thus endeavoured
gradually to withdraw her from the subject of her grief, and to awake
other interests in her mind. Emily, to whom he appeared as the
enlightened friend and protector of her youth, soon felt for him the
tender affection of a daughter, and her heart expanded to her young
friend Blanche, as to a sister, whose kindness and simplicity
compensated for the want of more brilliant qualities. It was long
before she could sufficiently abstract her mind from Valancourt to
listen to the story, promised by old Dorothee, concerning which her
curiosity had once been so deeply interested; but Dorothee, at
length, reminded her of it, and Emily desired, that she would come,
that night, to her chamber.

Still her thoughts were employed by considerations, which weakened
her curiosity, and Dorothee's tap at the door, soon after twelve,
surprised her almost as much as if it had not been appointed. 'I am
come, at last, lady,' said she; 'I wonder what it is makes my old
limbs shake so, to-night. I thought, once or twice, I should have
dropped, as I was a-coming.' Emily seated her in a chair, and
desired, that she would compose her spirits, before she entered upon
the subject, that had brought her thither. 'Alas,' said Dorothee,
'it is thinking of that, I believe, which has disturbed me so. In my
way hither too, I passed the chamber, where my dear lady died, and
every thing was so still and gloomy about me, that I almost fancied I
saw her, as she appeared upon her death-bed.'

Emily now drew her chair near to Dorothee, who went on. 'It is about
twenty years since my lady Marchioness came a bride to the chateau.
O! I well remember how she looked, when she came into the great hall,
where we servants were all assembled to welcome her, and how happy my
lord the Marquis seemed. Ah! who would have thought then!--But, as I
was saying, ma'amselle, I thought the Marchioness, with all her sweet
looks, did not look happy at heart, and so I told my husband, and he
said it was all fancy; so I said no more, but I made my remarks, for
all that. My lady Marchioness was then about your age, and, as I
have often thought, very like you. Well! my lord the Marquis kept
open house, for a long time, and gave such entertainments and there
were such gay doings as have never been in the chateau since. I was
younger, ma'amselle, then, than I am now, and was as gay at the best
of them. I remember I danced with Philip, the butler, in a pink
gown, with yellow ribbons, and a coif, not such as they wear now, but
plaited high, with ribbons all about it. It was very becoming
truly;--my lord, the Marquis, noticed me. Ah! he was a good-natured
gentleman then--who would have thought that he!'--

'But the Marchioness, Dorothee,' said Emily, 'you was telling me of

'O yes, my lady Marchioness, I thought she did not seem happy at
heart, and once, soon after the marriage, I caught her crying in her
chamber; but, when she saw me, she dried her eyes, and pretended to
smile. I did not dare then to ask what was the matter; but, the next
time I saw her crying, I did, and she seemed displeased;--so I said
no more. I found out, some time after, how it was. Her father, it
seems, had commanded her to marry my lord, the Marquis, for his
money, and there was another nobleman, or else a chevalier, that she
liked better and that was very fond of her, and she fretted for the
loss of him, I fancy, but she never told me so. My lady always tried
to conceal her tears from the Marquis, for I have often seen her,
after she has been so sorrowful, look so calm and sweet, when he came
into the room! But my lord, all of a sudden, grew gloomy and
fretful, and very unkind sometimes to my lady. This afflicted her
very much, as I saw, for she never complained, and she used to try so
sweetly to oblige him and to bring him into a good humour, that my
heart has often ached to see it. But he used to be stubborn, and
give her harsh answers, and then, when she found it all in vain, she
would go to her own room, and cry so! I used to hear her in the
anti-room, poor dear lady! but I seldom ventured to go to her. I
used, sometimes, to think my lord was jealous. To be sure my lady
was greatly admired, but she was too good to deserve suspicion.
Among the many chevaliers, that visited at the chateau, there was
one, that I always thought seemed just suited for my lady; he was so
courteous, yet so spirited, and there was such a grace, as it were,
in all he did, or said. I always observed, that, whenever he had
been there, the Marquis was more gloomy and my lady more thoughtful,
and it came into my head, that this was the chevalier she ought to
have married, but I never could learn for certain.'

'What was the chevalier's name, Dorothee?' said Emily.

'Why that I will not tell even to you, ma'amselle, for evil may come
of it. I once heard from a person, who is since dead, that the
Marchioness was not in law the wife of the Marquis, for that she had
before been privately married to the gentleman she was so much
attached to, and was afterwards afraid to own it to her father, who
was a very stern man; but this seems very unlikely, and I never gave
much faith to it. As I was saying, the Marquis was most out of
humour, as I thought, when the chevalier I spoke of had been at the
chateau, and, at last, his ill treatment of my lady made her quite
miserable. He would see hardly any visitors at the castle, and made
her live almost by herself. I was her constant attendant, and saw
all she suffered, but still she never complained.

'After matters had gone on thus, for near a year, my lady was taken
ill, and I thought her long fretting had made her so,--but, alas! I
fear it was worse than that.'

'Worse! Dorothee,' said Emily, 'can that be possible?'

'I fear it was so, madam, there were strange appearances. But I will
only tell what happened. My lord, the Marquis--'

'Hush, Dorothee, what sounds were those?' said Emily.

Dorothee changed countenance, and, while they both listened, they
heard, on the stillness of the night, music of uncommon sweetness.

'I have surely heard that voice before!' said Emily, at length.

'I have often heard it, and at this same hour,' said Dorothee,
solemnly, 'and, if spirits ever bring music--that is surely the music
of one!'

Emily, as the sounds drew nearer, knew them to be the same she had
formerly heard at the time of her father's death, and, whether it was
the remembrance they now revived of that melancholy event, or that
she was struck with superstitious awe, it is certain she was so much
affected, that she had nearly fainted.

'I think I once told you, madam,' said Dorothee, 'that I first heard
this music, soon after my lady's death! I well remember the night!'-

'Hark! it comes again!' said Emily, 'let us open the window, and

They did so; but, soon, the sounds floated gradually away into
distance, and all was again still; they seemed to have sunk among the
woods, whose tufted tops were visible upon the clear horizon, while
every other feature of the scene was involved in the night-shade,
which, however, allowed the eye an indistinct view of some objects in
the garden below.

As Emily leaned on the window, gazing with a kind of thrilling awe
upon the obscurity beneath, and then upon the cloudless arch above,
enlightened only by the stars, Dorothee, in a low voice, resumed her

'I was saying, ma'amselle, that I well remember when first I heard
that music. It was one night, soon after my lady's death, that I had
sat up later than usual, and I don't know how it was, but I had been
thinking a great deal about my poor mistress, and of the sad scene I
had lately witnessed. The chateau was quite still, and I was in the
chamber at a good distance from the rest of the servants, and this,
with the mournful things I had been thinking of, I suppose, made me
low spirited, for I felt very lonely and forlorn, as it were, and
listened often, wishing to hear a sound in the chateau, for you know,
ma'amselle, when one can hear people moving, one does not so much
mind, about one's fears. But all the servants were gone to bed, and
I sat, thinking and thinking, till I was almost afraid to look round
the room, and my poor lady's countenance often came to my mind, such
as I had seen her when she was dying, and, once or twice, I almost
thought I saw her before me,--when suddenly I heard such sweet music!
It seemed just at my window, and I shall never forget what I felt. I
had not power to move from my chair, but then, when I thought it was
my dear lady's voice, the tears came to my eyes. I had often heard
her sing, in her life-time, and to be sure she had a very fine voice;
it had made me cry to hear her, many a time, when she has sat in her
oriel, of an evening, playing upon her lute such sad songs, and
singing so. O! it went to one's heart! I have listened in the anti-
chamber, for the hour together, and she would sometimes sit playing,
with the window open, when it was summer time, till it was quite
dark, and when I have gone in, to shut it, she has hardly seemed to
know what hour it was. But, as I said, madam,' continued Dorothee,
'when first I heard the music, that came just now, I thought it was
my late lady's, and I have often thought so again, when I have heard
it, as I have done at intervals, ever since. Sometimes, many months
have gone by, but still it has returned.'

'It is extraordinary,' observed Emily, 'that no person has yet
discovered the musician.'

'Aye, ma'amselle, if it had been any thing earthly it would have been
discovered long ago, but who could have courage to follow a spirit,
and if they had, what good could it do?--for spirits, YOU KNOW,
ma'am, can take any shape, or no shape, and they will be here, one
minute, and, the next perhaps, in a quite different place!'

'Pray resume your story of the Marchioness,' said Emily, 'and
acquaint me with the manner of her death.'

'I will, ma'am,' said Dorothee, 'but shall we leave the window?'

'This cool air refreshes me,' replied Emily, 'and I love to hear it
creep along the woods, and to look upon this dusky landscape. You
was speaking of my lord, the Marquis, when the music interrupted us.'

'Yes, madam, my lord, the Marquis, became more and more gloomy; and
my lady grew worse and worse, till, one night, she was taken very
ill, indeed. I was called up, and, when I came to her bedside, I was
shocked to see her countenance--it was so changed! She looked
piteously up at me, and desired I would call the Marquis again, for
he was not yet come, and tell him she had something particular to say
to him. At last, he came, and he did, to be sure, seem very sorry to
see her, but he said very little. My lady told him she felt herself
to be dying, and wished to speak with him alone, and then I left the
room, but I shall never forget his look as I went.'

'When I returned, I ventured to remind my lord about sending for a
doctor, for I supposed he had forgot to do so, in his grief; but my
lady said it was then too late; but my lord, so far from thinking so,
seemed to think light of her disorder--till she was seized with such
terrible pains! O, I never shall forget her shriek! My lord then
sent off a man and horse for the doctor, and walked about the room
and all over the chateau in the greatest distress; and I staid by my
dear lady, and did what I could to ease her sufferings. She had
intervals of ease, and in one of these she sent for my lord again;
when he came, I was going, but she desired I would not leave her. O!
I shall never forget what a scene passed--I can hardly bear to think
of it now! My lord was almost distracted, for my lady behaved with
so much goodness, and took such pains to comfort him, that, if he
ever had suffered a suspicion to enter his head, he must now have
been convinced he was wrong. And to be sure he did seem to be
overwhelmed with the thought of his treatment of her, and this
affected her so much, that she fainted away.

'We then got my lord out of the room; he went into his library, and
threw himself on the floor, and there he staid, and would hear no
reason, that was talked to him. When my lady recovered, she enquired
for him, but, afterwards, said she could not bear to see his grief,
and desired we would let her die quietly. She died in my arms,
ma'amselle, and she went off as peacefully as a child, for all the
violence of her disorder was passed.'

Dorothee paused, and wept, and Emily wept with her; for she was much
affected by the goodness of the late Marchioness, and by the meek
patience, with which she had suffered.

'When the doctor came,' resumed Dorothee, 'alas! he came too late; he
appeared greatly shocked to see her, for soon after her death a
frightful blackness spread all over her face. When he had sent the
attendants out of the room, he asked me several odd questions about
the Marchioness, particularly concerning the manner, in which she had
been seized, and he often shook his head at my answers, and seemed to
mean more, than he chose to say. But I understood him too well.
However, I kept my remarks to myself, and only told them to my
husband, who bade me hold my tongue. Some of the other servants,
however, suspected what I did, and strange reports were whispered
about the neighbourhood, but nobody dared to make any stir about
them. When my lord heard that my lady was dead, he shut himself up,
and would see nobody but the doctor, who used to be with him alone,
sometimes for an hour together; and, after that, the doctor never
talked with me again about my lady. When she was buried in the
church of the convent, at a little distance yonder, if the moon was
up you might see the towers here, ma'amselle, all my lord's vassals
followed the funeral, and there was not a dry eye among them, for she
had done a deal of good among the poor. My lord, the Marquis, I
never saw any body so melancholy as he was afterwards, and sometimes
he would be in such fits of violence, that we almost thought he had
lost his senses. He did not stay long at the chateau, but joined his
regiment, and, soon after, all the servants, except my husband and I,
received notice to go, for my lord went to the wars. I never saw him
after, for he would not return to the chateau, though it is such a
fine place, and never finished those fine rooms he was building on
the west side of it, and it has, in a manner, been shut up ever
since, till my lord the Count came here.'

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