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The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

Part 16 out of 16

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together with some letters of the Marchioness, who had confided to
her brother the occasion of her unhappiness, which St. Aubert had so
solemnly enjoined his daughter to destroy: and anxiety for her peace
had probably made him forbid her to enquire into the melancholy
story, to which they alluded. Such, indeed, had been his affliction,
on the premature death of this his favourite sister, whose unhappy
marriage had from the first excited his tenderest pity, that he never
could hear her named, or mention her himself after her death, except
to Madame St. Aubert. From Emily, whose sensibility he feared to
awaken, he had so carefully concealed her history and name, that she
was ignorant, till now, that she ever had such a relative as the
Marchioness de Villeroi; and from this motive he had enjoined silence
to his only surviving sister, Madame Cheron, who had scrupulously
observed his request.

It was over some of the last pathetic letters of the Marchioness,
that St. Aubert was weeping, when he was observed by Emily, on the
eve of her departure from La Vallee, and it was her picture, which he
had so tenderly caressed. Her disastrous death may account for the
emotion he had betrayed, on hearing her named by La Voisin, and for
his request to be interred near the monument of the Villerois, where
her remains were deposited, but not those of her husband, who was
buried, where he died, in the north of France.

The confessor, who attended St. Aubert in his last moments,
recollected him to be the brother of the late Marchioness, when St.
Aubert, from tenderness to Emily, had conjured him to conceal the
circumstance, and to request that the abbess, to whose care he
particularly recommended her, would do the same; a request, which had
been exactly observed.

Laurentini, on her arrival in France, had carefully concealed her
name and family, and, the better to disguise her real history, had,
on entering the convent, caused the story to be circulated, which had
imposed on sister Frances, and it is probable, that the abbess, who
did not preside in the convent, at the time of her noviciation, was
also entirely ignorant of the truth. The deep remorse, that seized
on the mind of Laurentini, together with the sufferings of
disappointed passion, for she still loved the Marquis, again
unsettled her intellects, and, after the first paroxysms of despair
were passed, a heavy and silent melancholy had settled upon her
spirits, which suffered few interruptions from fits of phrensy, till
the time of her death. During many years, it had been her only
amusement to walk in the woods near the monastery, in the solitary
hours of night, and to play upon a favourite instrument, to which she
sometimes joined the delightful melody of her voice, in the most
solemn and melancholy airs of her native country, modulated by all
the energetic feeling, that dwelt in her heart. The physician, who
had attended her, recommended it to the superior to indulge her in
this whim, as the only means of soothing her distempered fancy; and
she was suffered to walk in the lonely hours of night, attended by
the servant, who had accompanied her from Italy; but, as the
indulgence transgressed against the rules of the convent, it was kept
as secret as possible; and thus the mysterious music of Laurentini
had combined with other circumstances, to produce a report, that not
only the chateau, but its neighbourhood, was haunted.

Soon after her entrance into this holy community, and before she had
shewn any symptoms of insanity there, she made a will, in which,
after bequeathing a considerable legacy to the convent, she divided
the remainder of her personal property, which her jewels made very
valuable, between the wife of Mons. Bonnac, who was an Italian lady
and her relation, and the nearest surviving relative of the late
Marchioness de Villeroi. As Emily St. Aubert was not only the
nearest, but the sole relative, this legacy descended to her, and
thus explained to her the whole mystery of her father's conduct.

The resemblance between Emily and her unfortunate aunt had frequently
been observed by Laurentini, and had occasioned the singular
behaviour, which had formerly alarmed her; but it was in the nun's
dying hour, when her conscience gave her perpetually the idea of the
Marchioness, that she became more sensible, than ever, of this
likeness, and, in her phrensy, deemed it no resemblance of the person
she had injured, but the original herself. The bold assertion, that
had followed, on the recovery of her senses, that Emily was the
daughter of the Marchioness de Villeroi, arose from a suspicion that
she was so; for, knowing that her rival, when she married the
Marquis, was attached to another lover, she had scarcely scrupled to
believe, that her honour had been sacrificed, like her own, to an
unresisted passion.

Of a crime, however, to which Emily had suspected, from her phrensied
confession of murder, that she had been instrumental in the castle of
Udolpho, Laurentini was innocent; and she had herself been deceived,
concerning the spectacle, that formerly occasioned her so much
terror, and had since compelled her, for a while, to attribute the
horrors of the nun to a consciousness of a murder, committed in that

It may be remembered, that, in a chamber of Udolpho, hung a black
veil, whose singular situation had excited Emily's curiosity, and
which afterwards disclosed an object, that had overwhelmed her with
horror; for, on lifting it, there appeared, instead of the picture
she had expected, within a recess of the wall, a human figure of
ghastly paleness, stretched at its length, and dressed in the
habiliments of the grave. What added to the horror of the spectacle,
was, that the face appeared partly decayed and disfigured by worms,
which were visible on the features and hands. On such an object, it
will be readily believed, that no person could endure to look twice.
Emily, it may be recollected, had, after the first glance, let the
veil drop, and her terror had prevented her from ever after provoking
a renewal of such suffering, as she had then experienced. Had she
dared to look again, her delusion and her fears would have vanished
together, and she would have perceived, that the figure before her
was not human, but formed of wax. The history of it is somewhat
extraordinary, though not without example in the records of that
fierce severity, which monkish superstition has sometimes inflicted
on mankind. A member of the house of Udolpho, having committed some
offence against the prerogative of the church, had been condemned to
the penance of contemplating, during certain hours of the day, a
waxen image, made to resemble a human body in the state, to which it
is reduced after death. This penance, serving as a memento of the
condition at which he must himself arrive, had been designed to
reprove the pride of the Marquis of Udolpho, which had formerly so
much exasperated that of the Romish church; and he had not only
superstitiously observed this penance himself, which, he had
believed, was to obtain a pardon for all his sins, but had made it a
condition in his will, that his descendants should preserve the
image, on pain of forfeiting to the church a certain part of his
domain, that they also might profit by the humiliating moral it
conveyed. The figure, therefore, had been suffered to retain its
station in the wall of the chamber, but his descendants excused
themselves from observing the penance, to which he had been enjoined.

This image was so horribly natural, that it is not surprising Emily
should have mistaken it for the object it resembled, nor, since she
had heard such an extraordinary account, concerning the disappearing
of the late lady of the castle, and had such experience of the
character of Montoni, that she should have believed this to be the
murdered body of the lady Laurentini, and that he had been the
contriver of her death.

The situation, in which she had discovered it, occasioned her, at
first, much surprise and perplexity; but the vigilance, with which
the doors of the chamber, where it was deposited, were afterwards
secured, had compelled her to believe, that Montoni, not daring to
confide the secret of her death to any person, had suffered her
remains to decay in this obscure chamber. The ceremony of the veil,
however, and the circumstance of the doors having been left open,
even for a moment, had occasioned her much wonder and some doubts;
but these were not sufficient to overcome her suspicion of Montoni;
and it was the dread of his terrible vengeance, that had sealed her
lips in silence, concerning what she had seen in the west chamber.

Emily, in discovering the Marchioness de Villeroi to have been the
sister of Mons. St. Aubert, was variously affected; but, amidst the
sorrow, which she suffered for her untimely death, she was released
from an anxious and painful conjecture, occasioned by the rash
assertion of Signora Laurentini, concerning her birth and the honour
of her parents. Her faith in St. Aubert's principles would scarcely
allow her to suspect that he had acted dishonourably; and she felt
such reluctance to believe herself the daughter of any other, than
her, whom she had always considered and loved as a mother, that she
would hardly admit such a circumstance to be possible; yet the
likeness, which it had frequently been affirmed she bore to the late
Marchioness, the former behaviour of Dorothee the old housekeeper,
the assertion of Laurentini, and the mysterious attachment, which St.
Aubert had discovered, awakened doubts, as to his connection with the
Marchioness, which her reason could neither vanquish, or confirm.
From these, however, she was now relieved, and all the circumstances
of her father's conduct were fully explained: but her heart was
oppressed by the melancholy catastrophe of her amiable relative, and
by the awful lesson, which the history of the nun exhibited, the
indulgence of whose passions had been the means of leading her
gradually to the commission of a crime, from the prophecy of which in
her early years she would have recoiled in horror, and exclaimed--
that it could not be!--a crime, which whole years of repentance and
of the severest penance had not been able to obliterate from her


Then, fresh tears
Stood on her cheek, as doth the honey-dew
Upon a gather'd lily almost wither'd

After the late discoveries, Emily was distinguished at the chateau by
the Count and his family, as a relative of the house of Villeroi, and
received, if possible, more friendly attention, than had yet been
shewn her.

Count De Villefort's surprise at the delay of an answer to his
letter, which had been directed to Valancourt, at Estuviere, was
mingled with satisfaction for the prudence, which had saved Emily
from a share of the anxiety he now suffered, though, when he saw her
still drooping under the effect of his former error, all his
resolution was necessary to restrain him from relating the truth,
that would afford her a momentary relief. The approaching nuptials
of the Lady Blanche now divided his attention with this subject of
his anxiety, for the inhabitants of the chateau were already busied
in preparations for that event, and the arrival of Mons. St. Foix was
daily expected. In the gaiety, which surrounded her, Emily vainly
tried to participate, her spirits being depressed by the late
discoveries, and by the anxiety concerning the fate of Valancourt,
that had been occasioned by the description of his manner, when he
had delivered the ring. She seemed to perceive in it the gloomy
wildness of despair; and, when she considered to what that despair
might have urged him, her heart sunk with terror and grief. The
state of suspense, as to his safety, to which she believed herself
condemned, till she should return to La Vallee, appeared
insupportable, and, in such moments, she could not even struggle to
assume the composure, that had left her mind, but would often
abruptly quit the company she was with, and endeavour to sooth her
spirits in the deep solitudes of the woods, that overbrowed the
shore. Here, the faint roar of foaming waves, that beat below, and
the sullen murmur of the wind among the branches around, were
circumstances in unison with the temper of her mind; and she would
sit on a cliff, or on the broken steps of her favourite watch-tower,
observing the changing colours of the evening clouds, and the gloom
of twilight draw over the sea, till the white tops of billows, riding
towards the shore, could scarcely be discerned amidst the darkened
waters. The lines, engraved by Valancourt on this tower, she
frequently repeated with melancholy enthusiasm, and then would
endeavour to check the recollections and the grief they occasioned,
and to turn her thoughts to indifferent subjects.

One evening, having wandered with her lute to this her favourite
spot, she entered the ruined tower, and ascended a winding staircase,
that led to a small chamber, which was less decayed than the rest of
the building, and whence she had often gazed, with admiration, on the
wide prospect of sea and land, that extended below. The sun was now
setting on that tract of the Pyrenees, which divided Languedoc from
Rousillon, and, placing herself opposite to a small grated window,
which, like the wood-tops beneath, and the waves lower still, gleamed
with the red glow of the west, she touched the chords of her lute in
solemn symphony, and then accompanied it with her voice, in one of
the simple and affecting airs, to which, in happier days, Valancourt
had often listened in rapture, and which she now adapted to the
following lines.


Spirit of love and sorrow--hail!
Thy solemn voice from far I hear,
Mingling with ev'ning's dying gale:
Hail, with this sadly-pleasing tear!

O! at this still, this lonely hour,
Thine own sweet hour of closing day,
Awake thy lute, whose charmful pow'r
Shall call up Fancy to obey:

To paint the wild romantic dream,
That meets the poet's musing eye,
As, on the bank of shadowy stream,
He breathes to her the fervid sigh.

O lonely spirit! let thy song
Lead me through all thy sacred haunt;
The minister's moon-light aisles along,
Where spectres raise the midnight chaunt.

I hear their dirges faintly swell!
Then, sink at once in silence drear,
While, from the pillar'd cloister's cell,
Dimly their gliding forms appear!

Lead where the pine-woods wave on high,
Whose pathless sod is darkly seen,
As the cold moon, with trembling eye,
Darts her long beams the leaves between.

Lead to the mountain's dusky head,
Where, far below, in shade profound,
Wide forests, plains and hamlets spread,
And sad the chimes of vesper sound,

Or guide me, where the dashing oar
Just breaks the stillness of the vale,
As slow it tracks the winding shore,
To meet the ocean's distant sail:

To pebbly banks, that Neptune laves,
With measur'd surges, loud and deep,
Where the dark cliff bends o'er the waves,
And wild the winds of autumn sweep.

There pause at midnight's spectred hour,
And list the long-resounding gale;
And catch the fleeting moon-light's pow'r,
O'er foaming seas and distant sail.

The soft tranquillity of the scene below, where the evening breeze
scarcely curled the water, or swelled the passing sail, that caught
the last gleam of the sun, and where, now and then, a dipping oar was
all that disturbed the trembling radiance, conspired with the tender
melody of her lute to lull her mind into a state of gentle sadness,
and she sung the mournful songs of past times, till the remembrances
they awakened were too powerful for her heart, her tears fell upon
the lute, over which she drooped, and her voice trembled, and was
unable to proceed.

Though the sun had now sunk behind the mountains, and even his
reflected light was fading from their highest points, Emily did not
leave the watch-tower, but continued to indulge her melancholy
reverie, till a footstep, at a little distance, startled her, and, on
looking through the grate, she observed a person walking below, whom,
however, soon perceiving to be Mons. Bonnac, she returned to the
quiet thoughtfulness his step had interrupted. After some time, she
again struck her lute, and sung her favourite air; but again a step
disturbed her, and, as she paused to listen, she heard it ascending
the stair-case of the tower. The gloom of the hour, perhaps, made
her sensible to some degree of fear, which she might not otherwise
have felt; for, only a few minutes before, she had seen Mons. Bonnac
pass. The steps were quick and bounding, and, in the next moment,
the door of the chamber opened, and a person entered, whose features
were veiled in the obscurity of twilight; but his voice could not be
concealed, for it was the voice of Valancourt! At the sound, never
heard by Emily, without emotion, she started, in terror, astonishment
and doubtful pleasure, and had scarcely beheld him at her feet, when
she sunk into a seat, overcome by the various emotions, that
contended at her heart, and almost insensible to that voice, whose
earnest and trembling calls seemed as if endeavouring to save her.
Valancourt, as he hung over Emily, deplored his own rash impatience,
in having thus surprised her: for when he had arrived at the
chateau, too anxious to await the return of the Count, who, he
understood, was in the grounds, he went himself to seek him, when, as
he passed the tower, he was struck by the sound of Emily's voice, and
immediately ascended.

It was a considerable time before she revived, but, when her
recollection returned, she repulsed his attentions, with an air of
reserve, and enquired, with as much displeasure as it was possible
she could feel in these first moments of his appearance, the occasion
of his visit.

'Ah Emily!' said Valancourt, 'that air, those words--alas! I have,
then, little to hope--when you ceased to esteem me, you ceased also
to love me!'

'Most true, sir,' replied Emily, endeavouring to command her
trembling voice; 'and if you had valued my esteem, you would not have
given me this new occasion for uneasiness.'

Valancourt's countenance changed suddenly from the anxieties of doubt
to an expression of surprise and dismay: he was silent a moment, and
then said, 'I had been taught to hope for a very different reception!
Is it, then, true, Emily, that I have lost your regard forever? am I
to believe, that, though your esteem for me may return--your
affection never can? Can the Count have meditated the cruelty, which
now tortures me with a second death?'

The voice, in which he spoke this, alarmed Emily as much as his words
surprised her, and, with trembling impatience, she begged that he
would explain them.

'Can any explanation be necessary?' said Valancourt, 'do you not know
how cruelly my conduct has been misrepresented? that the actions of
which you once believed me guilty (and, O Emily! how could you so
degrade me in your opinion, even for a moment!) those actions--I hold
in as much contempt and abhorrence as yourself? Are you, indeed,
ignorant, that Count de Villefort has detected the slanders, that
have robbed me of all I hold dear on earth, and has invited me hither
to justify to you my former conduct? It is surely impossible you can
be uninformed of these circumstances, and I am again torturing myself
with a false hope!'

The silence of Emily confirmed this supposition; for the deep
twilight would not allow Valancourt to distinguish the astonishment
and doubting joy, that fixed her features. For a moment, she
continued unable to speak; then a profound sigh seemed to give some
relief to her spirits, and she said,

'Valancourt! I was, till this moment, ignorant of all the
circumstances you have mentioned; the emotion I now suffer may assure
you of the truth of this, and, that, though I had ceased to esteem, I
had not taught myself entirely to forget you.'

'This moment,' said Valancourt, in a low voice, and leaning for
support against the window--'this moment brings with it a conviction
that overpowers me!--I am dear to you then--still dear to you, my

'Is it necessary that I should tell you so?' she replied, 'is it
necessary, that I should say--these are the first moments of joy I
have known, since your departure, and that they repay me for all
those of pain I have suffered in the interval?'

Valancourt sighed deeply, and was unable to reply; but, as he pressed
her hand to his lips, the tears, that fell over it, spoke a language,
which could not be mistaken, and to which words were inadequate.

Emily, somewhat tranquillized, proposed returning to the chateau, and
then, for the first time, recollected that the Count had invited
Valancourt thither to explain his conduct, and that no explanation
had yet been given. But, while she acknowledged this, her heart
would not allow her to dwell, for a moment, on the possibility of his
unworthiness; his look, his voice, his manner, all spoke the noble
sincerity, which had formerly distinguished him; and she again
permitted herself to indulge the emotions of a joy, more surprising
and powerful, than she had ever before experienced.

Neither Emily, or Valancourt, were conscious how they reached the
chateau, whither they might have been transferred by the spell of a
fairy, for any thing they could remember; and it was not, till they
had reached the great hall, that either of them recollected there
were other persons in the world besides themselves. The Count then
came forth with surprise, and with the joyfulness of pure
benevolence, to welcome Valancourt, and to entreat his forgiveness of
the injustice he had done him; soon after which, Mons. Bonnac joined
this happy group, in which he and Valancourt were mutually rejoiced
to meet.

When the first congratulations were over, and the general joy became
somewhat more tranquil, the Count withdrew with Valancourt to the
library, where a long conversation passed between them, in which the
latter so clearly justified himself of the criminal parts of the
conduct, imputed to him, and so candidly confessed and so feelingly
lamented the follies, which he had committed, that the Count was
confirmed in his belief of all he had hoped; and, while he perceived
so many noble virtues in Valancourt, and that experience had taught
him to detest the follies, which before he had only not admired, he
did not scruple to believe, that he would pass through life with the
dignity of a wise and good man, or to entrust to his care the future
happiness of Emily St. Aubert, for whom he felt the solicitude of a
parent. Of this he soon informed her, in a short conversation, when
Valancourt had left him. While Emily listened to a relation of the
services, that Valancourt had rendered Mons. Bonnac, her eyes
overflowed with tears of pleasure, and the further conversation of
Count De Villefort perfectly dissipated every doubt, as to the past
and future conduct of him, to whom she now restored, without fear,
the esteem and affection, with which she had formerly received him.

When they returned to the supper-room, the Countess and Lady Blanche
met Valancourt with sincere congratulations; and Blanche, indeed, was
so much rejoiced to see Emily returned to happiness, as to forget,
for a while, that Mons. St. Foix was not yet arrived at the chateau,
though he had been expected for some hours; but her generous sympathy
was, soon after, rewarded by his appearance. He was now perfectly
recovered from the wounds, received, during his perilous adventure
among the Pyrenees, the mention of which served to heighten to the
parties, who had been involved in it, the sense of their present
happiness. New congratulations passed between them, and round the
supper-table appeared a group of faces, smiling with felicity, but
with a felicity, which had in each a different character. The smile
of Blanche was frank and gay, that of Emily tender and pensive;
Valancourt's was rapturous, tender and gay alternately; Mons. St.
Foix's was joyous, and that of the Count, as he looked on the
surrounding party, expressed the tempered complacency of benevolence;
while the features of the Countess, Henri, and Mons. Bonnac,
discovered fainter traces of animation. Poor Mons. Du Pont did not,
by his presence, throw a shade of regret over the company; for, when
he had discovered, that Valancourt was not unworthy of the esteem of
Emily, he determined seriously to endeavour at the conquest of his
own hopeless affection, and had immediately withdrawn from Chateau-
le-Blanc--a conduct, which Emily now understood, and rewarded with
her admiration and pity.

The Count and his guests continued together till a late hour,
yielding to the delights of social gaiety, and to the sweets of
friendship. When Annette heard of the arrival of Valancourt,
Ludovico had some difficulty to prevent her going into the supper-
room, to express her joy, for she declared, that she had never been
so rejoiced at any ACCIDENT as this, since she had found Ludovico


Now my task is smoothly done,
I can fly, or I can run
Quickly to the green earth's end,
Where the bow'd welkin low doth bend,
And, from thence, can soar as soon
To the corners of the moon.

The marriages of the Lady Blanche and Emily St. Aubert were
celebrated, on the same day, and with the ancient baronial
magnificence, at Chateau-le-Blanc. The feasts were held in the great
hall of the castle, which, on this occasion, was hung with superb new
tapestry, representing the exploits of Charlemagne and his twelve
peers; here, were seen the Saracens, with their horrible visors,
advancing to battle; and there, were displayed the wild solemnities
of incantation, and the necromantic feats, exhibited by the magician
JARL before the Emperor. The sumptuous banners of the family of
Villeroi, which had long slept in dust, were once more unfurled, to
wave over the gothic points of painted casements; and music echoed,
in many a lingering close, through every winding gallery and
colonnade of that vast edifice.

As Annette looked down from the corridor upon the hall, whose arches
and windows were illuminated with brilliant festoons of lamps, and
gazed on the splendid dresses of the dancers, the costly liveries of
the attendants, the canopies of purple velvet and gold, and listened
to the gay strains that floated along the vaulted roof, she almost
fancied herself in an enchanted palace, and declared, that she had
not met with any place, which charmed her so much, since she read the
fairy tales; nay, that the fairies themselves, at their nightly
revels in this old hall, could display nothing finer; while old
Dorothee, as she surveyed the scene, sighed, and said, the castle
looked as it was wont to do in the time of her youth.

After gracing the festivities of Chateau-le-Blanc, for some days,
Valancourt and Emily took leave of their kind friends, and returned
to La Vallee, where the faithful Theresa received them with unfeigned
joy, and the pleasant shades welcomed them with a thousand tender and
affecting remembrances; and, while they wandered together over the
scenes, so long inhabited by the late Mons. and Madame St. Aubert,
and Emily pointed out, with pensive affection, their favourite
haunts, her present happiness was heightened, by considering, that it
would have been worthy of their approbation, could they have
witnessed it.

Valancourt led her to the plane-tree on the terrace, where he had
first ventured to declare his love, and where now the remembrance of
the anxiety he had then suffered, and the retrospect of all the
dangers and misfortunes they had each encountered, since last they
sat together beneath its broad branches, exalted the sense of their
present felicity, which, on this spot, sacred to the memory of St.
Aubert, they solemnly vowed to deserve, as far as possible, by
endeavouring to imitate his benevolence,--by remembering, that
superior attainments of every sort bring with them duties of superior
exertion,--and by affording to their fellow-beings, together with
that portion of ordinary comforts, which prosperity always owes to
misfortune, the example of lives passed in happy thankfulness to GOD,
and, therefore, in careful tenderness to his creatures.

Soon after their return to La Vallee, the brother of Valancourt came
to congratulate him on his marriage, and to pay his respects to
Emily, with whom he was so much pleased, as well as with the prospect
of rational happiness, which these nuptials offered to Valancourt,
that he immediately resigned to him a part of the rich domain, the
whole of which, as he had no family, would of course descend to his
brother, on his decease.

The estates, at Tholouse, were disposed of, and Emily purchased of
Mons. Quesnel the ancient domain of her late father, where, having
given Annette a marriage portion, she settled her as the housekeeper,
and Ludovico as the steward; but, since both Valancourt and herself
preferred the pleasant and long-loved shades of La Vallee to the
magnificence of Epourville, they continued to reside there, passing,
however, a few months in the year at the birth-place of St. Aubert,
in tender respect to his memory.

The legacy, which had been bequeathed to Emily by Signora Laurentini,
she begged Valancourt would allow her to resign to Mons. Bonnac; and
Valancourt, when she made the request, felt all the value of the
compliment it conveyed. The castle of Udolpho, also, descended to
the wife of Mons. Bonnac, who was the nearest surviving relation of
the house of that name, and thus affluence restored his long-
oppressed spirits to peace, and his family to comfort.

O! how joyful it is to tell of happiness, such as that of Valancourt
and Emily; to relate, that, after suffering under the oppression of
the vicious and the disdain of the weak, they were, at length,
restored to each other--to the beloved landscapes of their native
country,--to the securest felicity of this life, that of aspiring to
moral and labouring for intellectual improvement--to the pleasures of
enlightened society, and to the exercise of the benevolence, which
had always animated their hearts; while the bowers of La Vallee
became, once more, the retreat of goodness, wisdom and domestic

O! useful may it be to have shewn, that, though the vicious can
sometimes pour affliction upon the good, their power is transient and
their punishment certain; and that innocence, though oppressed by
injustice, shall, supported by patience, finally triumph over

And, if the weak hand, that has recorded this tale, has, by its
scenes, beguiled the mourner of one hour of sorrow, or, by its moral,
taught him to sustain it--the effort, however humble, has not been
vain, nor is the writer unrewarded.

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