Austen for Beginners

The Mysteries of Udolpho


  In Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland is reading a fashionable Gothic-style novel called The Mysteries of Udopho by Ann Radcliffe. There are those who say that Northanger Abbey itself is the result of Jane Austen poking fun at Gothic novels in general, and Udolpho in particular.

Judge for yourself; here it is - the complete text of The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6

The Mysteries of Udolpho

by Ann Radcliffe




A Romance
Interspersed With Some Pieces of Poetry

 Fate sits on these dark battlements, and frowns,
 And, as the portals open to receive me,
 Her voice, in sullen echoes through the courts,
 Tells of a nameless deed.




VOLUME 1



CHAPTER I


      home is the resort
 Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where,
 Supporting and supported, polish'd friends
 And dear relations mingle into bliss.*
      *Thomson


On the pleasant banks of the Garonne, in the province of Gascony,
stood, in the year 1584, the chateau of Monsieur St. Aubert.  From
its windows were seen the pastoral landscapes of Guienne and Gascony
stretching along the river, gay with luxuriant woods and vine, and
plantations of olives.  To the south, the view was bounded by the
majestic Pyrenees, whose summits, veiled in clouds, or exhibiting
awful forms, seen, and lost again, as the partial vapours rolled
along, were sometimes barren, and gleamed through the blue tinge of
air, and sometimes frowned with forests of gloomy pine, that swept
downward to their base.  These tremendous precipices were contrasted
by the soft green of the pastures and woods that hung upon their
skirts; among whose flocks, and herds, and simple cottages, the eye,
after having scaled the cliffs above, delighted to repose.  To the
north, and to the east, the plains of Guienne and Languedoc were lost
in the mist of distance; on the west, Gascony was bounded by the
waters of Biscay.

M.  St. Aubert loved to wander, with his wife and daughter, on the
margin of the Garonne, and to listen to the music that floated on its
waves.  He had known life in other forms than those of pastoral
simplicity, having mingled in the gay and in the busy scenes of the
world; but the flattering portrait of mankind, which his heart had
delineated in early youth, his experience had too sorrowfully
corrected.  Yet, amidst the changing visions of life, his principles
remained unshaken, his benevolence unchilled; and he retired from the
multitude 'more in PITY than in anger,' to scenes of simple nature,
to the pure delights of literature, and to the exercise of domestic
virtues.

He was a descendant from the younger branch of an illustrious family,
and it was designed, that the deficiency of his patrimonial wealth
should be supplied either by a splendid alliance in marriage, or by
success in the intrigues of public affairs.  But St. Aubert had too
nice a sense of honour to fulfil the latter hope, and too small a
portion of ambition to sacrifice what he called happiness, to the
attainment of wealth.  After the death of his father he married a
very amiable woman, his equal in birth, and not his superior in
fortune.  The late Monsieur St. Aubert's liberality, or extravagance,
had so much involved his affairs, that his son found it necessary to
dispose of a part of the family domain, and, some years after his
marriage, he sold it to Monsieur Quesnel, the brother of his wife,
and retired to a small estate in Gascony, where conjugal felicity,
and parental duties, divided his attention with the treasures of
knowledge and the illuminations of genius.

To this spot he had been attached from his infancy.  He had often
made excursions to it when a boy, and the impressions of delight
given to his mind by the homely kindness of the grey-headed peasant,
to whom it was intrusted, and whose fruit and cream never failed, had
not been obliterated by succeeding circumstances.  The green pastures
along which he had so often bounded in the exultation of health, and
youthful freedom--the woods, under whose refreshing shade he had
first indulged that pensive melancholy, which afterwards made a
strong feature of his character--the wild walks of the mountains, the
river, on whose waves he had floated, and the distant plains, which
seemed boundless as his early hopes--were never after remembered by
St. Aubert but with enthusiasm and regret.  At length he disengaged
himself from the world, and retired hither, to realize the wishes of
many years.

The building, as it then stood, was merely a summer cottage, rendered
interesting to a stranger by its neat simplicity, or the beauty of
the surrounding scene; and considerable additions were necessary to
make it a comfortable family residence.  St. Aubert felt a kind of
affection for every part of the fabric, which he remembered in his
youth, and would not suffer a stone of it to be removed, so that the
new building, adapted to the style of the old one, formed with it
only a simple and elegant residence.  The taste of Madame St. Aubert
was conspicuous in its internal finishing, where the same chaste
simplicity was observable in the furniture, and in the few ornaments
of the apartments, that characterized the manners of its inhabitants.

The library occupied the west side of the chateau, and was enriched
by a collection of the best books in the ancient and modern
languages.  This room opened upon a grove, which stood on the brow of
a gentle declivity, that fell towards the river, and the tall trees
gave it a melancholy and pleasing shade; while from the windows the
eye caught, beneath the spreading branches, the gay and luxuriant
landscape stretching to the west, and overlooked on the left by the
bold precipices of the Pyrenees.  Adjoining the library was a green-
house, stored with scarce and beautiful plants; for one of the
amusements of St. Aubert was the study of botany, and among the
neighbouring mountains, which afforded a luxurious feast to the mind
of the naturalist, he often passed the day in the pursuit of his
favourite science.  He was sometimes accompanied in these little
excursions by Madame St. Aubert, and frequently by his daughter;
when, with a small osier basket to receive plants, and another filled
with cold refreshments, such as the cabin of the shepherd did not
afford, they wandered away among the most romantic and magnificent
scenes, nor suffered the charms of Nature's lowly children to
abstract them from the observance of her stupendous works.  When
weary of sauntering among cliffs that seemed scarcely accessible but
to the steps of the enthusiast, and where no track appeared on the
vegetation, but what the foot of the izard had left; they would seek
one of those green recesses, which so beautifully adorn the bosom of
these mountains, where, under the shade of the lofty larch, or cedar,
they enjoyed their simple repast, made sweeter by the waters of the
cool stream, that crept along the turf, and by the breath of wild
flowers and aromatic plants, that fringed the rocks, and inlaid the
grass.

Adjoining the eastern side of the green-house, looking towards the
plains of Languedoc, was a room, which Emily called hers, and which
contained her books, her drawings, her musical instruments, with some
favourite birds and plants.  Here she usually exercised herself in
elegant arts, cultivated only because they were congenial to her
taste, and in which native genius, assisted by the instructions of
Monsieur and Madame St. Aubert, made her an early proficient.  The
windows of this room were particularly pleasant; they descended to
the floor, and, opening upon the little lawn that surrounded the
house, the eye was led between groves of almond, palm-trees,
flowering-ash, and myrtle, to the distant landscape, where the
Garonne wandered.

The peasants of this gay climate were often seen on an evening, when
the day's labour was done, dancing in groups on the margin of the
river.  Their sprightly melodies, debonnaire steps, the fanciful
figure of their dances, with the tasteful and capricious manner in
which the girls adjusted their simple dress, gave a character to the
scene entirely French.

The front of the chateau, which, having a southern aspect, opened
upon the grandeur of the mountains, was occupied on the ground floor
by a rustic hall, and two excellent sitting rooms.  The first floor,
for the cottage had no second story, was laid out in bed-chambers,
except one apartment that opened to a balcony, and which was
generally used for a breakfast-room.

In the surrounding ground, St. Aubert had made very tasteful
improvements; yet, such was his attachment to objects he had
remembered from his boyish days, that he had in some instances
sacrificed taste to sentiment.  There were two old larches that
shaded the building, and interrupted the prospect; St. Aubert had
sometimes declared that he believed he should have been weak enough
to have wept at their fall.  In addition to these larches he planted
a little grove of beech, pine, and mountain-ash.  On a lofty terrace,
formed by the swelling bank of the river, rose a plantation of
orange, lemon, and palm-trees, whose fruit, in the coolness of
evening, breathed delicious fragrance.  With these were mingled a few
trees of other species.  Here, under the ample shade of a plane-tree,
that spread its majestic canopy towards the river, St. Aubert loved
to sit in the fine evenings of summer, with his wife and children,
watching, beneath its foliage, the setting sun, the mild splendour of
its light fading from the distant landscape, till the shadows of
twilight melted its various features into one tint of sober grey. 
Here, too, he loved to read, and to converse with Madame St. Aubert;
or to play with his children, resigning himself to the influence of
those sweet affections, which are ever attendant on simplicity and
nature.  He has often said, while tears of pleasure trembled in his
eyes, that these were moments infinitely more delightful than any
passed amid the brilliant and tumultuous scenes that are courted by
the world.  His heart was occupied; it had, what can be so rarely
said, no wish for a happiness beyond what it experienced.  The
consciousness of acting right diffused a serenity over his manners,
which nothing else could impart to a man of moral perceptions like
his, and which refined his sense of every surrounding blessing.

The deepest shade of twilight did not send him from his favourite
plane-tree.  He loved the soothing hour, when the last tints of light
die away; when the stars, one by one, tremble through aether, and are
reflected on the dark mirror of the waters; that hour, which, of all
others, inspires the mind with pensive tenderness, and often elevates
it to sublime contemplation.  When the moon shed her soft rays among
the foliage, he still lingered, and his pastoral supper of cream and
fruits was often spread beneath it.  Then, on the stillness of night,
came the song of the nightingale, breathing sweetness, and awakening
melancholy.

The first interruptions to the happiness he had known since his
retirement, were occasioned by the death of his two sons.  He lost
them at that age when infantine simplicity is so fascinating; and
though, in consideration of Madame St. Aubert's distress, he
restrained the expression of his own, and endeavoured to bear it, as
he meant, with philosophy, he had, in truth, no philosophy that could
render him calm to such losses.  One daughter was now his only
surviving child; and, while he watched the unfolding of her infant
character, with anxious fondness, he endeavoured, with unremitting
effort, to counteract those traits in her disposition, which might
hereafter lead her from happiness.  She had discovered in her early
years uncommon delicacy of mind, warm affections, and ready
benevolence; but with these was observable a degree of susceptibility
too exquisite to admit of lasting peace.  As she advanced in youth,
this sensibility gave a pensive tone to her spirits, and a softness
to her manner, which added grace to beauty, and rendered her a very
interesting object to persons of a congenial disposition.  But St.
Aubert had too much good sense to prefer a charm to a virtue; and had
penetration enough to see, that this charm was too dangerous to its
possessor to be allowed the character of a blessing.  He endeavoured,
therefore, to strengthen her mind; to enure her to habits of self-
command; to teach her to reject the first impulse of her feelings,
and to look, with cool examination, upon the disappointments he
sometimes threw in her way.  While he instructed her to resist first
impressions, and to acquire that steady dignity of mind, that can
alone counterbalance the passions, and bear us, as far as is
compatible with our nature, above the reach of circumstances, he
taught himself a lesson of fortitude; for he was often obliged to
witness, with seeming indifference, the tears and struggles which his
caution occasioned her.

In person, Emily resembled her mother; having the same elegant
symmetry of form, the same delicacy of features, and the same blue
eyes, full of tender sweetness.  But, lovely as was her person, it
was the varied expression of her countenance, as conversation
awakened the nicer emotions of her mind, that threw such a
captivating grace around her:

 Those tend'rer tints, that shun the careless eye,
 And, in the world's contagious circle, die.

St. Aubert cultivated her understanding with the most scrupulous
care.  He gave her a general view of the sciences, and an exact
acquaintance with every part of elegant literature.  He taught her
Latin and English, chiefly that she might understand the sublimity of
their best poets.  She discovered in her early years a taste for
works of genius; and it was St. Aubert's principle, as well as his
inclination, to promote every innocent means of happiness.  'A well-
informed mind,' he would say, 'is the best security against the
contagion of folly and of vice.  The vacant mind is ever on the watch
for relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the
languor of idleness.  Store it with ideas, teach it the pleasure of
thinking; and the temptations of the world without, will be
counteracted by the gratifications derived from the world within. 
Thought, and cultivation, are necessary equally to the happiness of a
country and a city life; in the first they prevent the uneasy
sensations of indolence, and afford a sublime pleasure in the taste
they create for the beautiful, and the grand; in the latter, they
make dissipation less an object of necessity, and consequently of
interest.'

It was one of Emily's earliest pleasures to ramble among the scenes
of nature; nor was it in the soft and glowing landscape that she most
delighted; she loved more the wild wood-walks, that skirted the
mountain; and still more the mountain's stupendous recesses, where
the silence and grandeur of solitude impressed a sacred awe upon her
heart, and lifted her thoughts to the GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.  In
scenes like these she would often linger along, wrapt in a melancholy
charm, till the last gleam of day faded from the west; till the
lonely sound of a sheep-bell, or the distant bark of a watch-dog,
were all that broke on the stillness of the evening.  Then, the gloom
of the woods; the trembling of their leaves, at intervals, in the
breeze; the bat, flitting on the twilight; the cottage-lights, now
seen, and now lost--were circumstances that awakened her mind into
effort, and led to enthusiasm and poetry.

Her favourite walk was to a little fishing-house, belonging to St.
Aubert, in a woody glen, on the margin of a rivulet that descended
from the Pyrenees, and, after foaming among their rocks, wound its
silent way beneath the shades it reflected.  Above the woods, that
screened this glen, rose the lofty summits of the Pyrenees, which
often burst boldly on the eye through the glades below.  Sometimes
the shattered face of a rock only was seen, crowned with wild shrubs;
or a shepherd's cabin seated on a cliff, overshadowed by dark
cypress, or waving ash.  Emerging from the deep recesses of the
woods, the glade opened to the distant landscape, where the rich
pastures and vine-covered slopes of Gascony gradually declined to the
plains; and there, on the winding shores of the Garonne, groves, and
hamlets, and villas--their outlines softened by distance, melted from
the eye into one rich harmonious tint.

This, too, was the favourite retreat of St. Aubert, to which he
frequently withdrew from the fervour of noon, with his wife, his
daughter, and his books; or came at the sweet evening hour to welcome
the silent dusk, or to listen for the music of the nightingale. 
Sometimes, too, he brought music of his own, and awakened every fairy
echo with the tender accents of his oboe; and often have the tones of
Emily's voice drawn sweetness from the waves, over which they
trembled.

It was in one of these excursions to this spot, that she observed the
following lines written with a pencil on a part of the wainscot:

 SONNET

 Go, pencil! faithful to thy master's sighs!
 Go--tell the Goddess of the fairy scene,
 When next her light steps wind these wood-walks green,
 Whence all his tears, his tender sorrows, rise;
 Ah! paint her form, her soul-illumin'd eyes,
 The sweet expression of her pensive face,
 The light'ning smile, the animated grace--
 The portrait well the lover's voice supplies;
 Speaks all his heart must feel, his tongue would say:
 Yet ah! not all his heart must sadly feel!
 How oft the flow'ret's silken leaves conceal
 The drug that steals the vital spark away!
 And who that gazes on that angel-smile,
 Would fear its charm, or think it could beguile!

These lines were not inscribed to any person; Emily therefore could
not apply them to herself, though she was undoubtedly the nymph of
these shades.  Having glanced round the little circle of her
acquaintance without being detained by a suspicion as to whom they
could be addressed, she was compelled to rest in uncertainty; an
uncertainty which would have been more painful to an idle mind than
it was to hers.  She had no leisure to suffer this circumstance,
trifling at first, to swell into importance by frequent remembrance. 
The little vanity it had excited (for the incertitude which forbade
her to presume upon having inspired the sonnet, forbade her also to
disbelieve it) passed away, and the incident was dismissed from her
thoughts amid her books, her studies, and the exercise of social
charities.

Soon after this period, her anxiety was awakened by the indisposition
of her father, who was attacked with a fever; which, though not
thought to be of a dangerous kind, gave a severe shock to his
constitution.  Madame St. Aubert and Emily attended him with
unremitting care; but his recovery was very slow, and, as he advanced
towards health, Madame seemed to decline.

The first scene he visited, after he was well enough to take the air,
was his favourite fishing-house.  A basket of provisions was sent
thither, with books, and Emily's lute; for fishing-tackle he had no
use, for he never could find amusement in torturing or destroying.

After employing himself, for about an hour, in botanizing, dinner was
served.  It was a repast, to which gratitude, for being again
permitted to visit this spot, gave sweetness; and family happiness
once more smiled beneath these shades.  Monsieur St. Aubert conversed
with unusual cheerfulness; every object delighted his senses.  The
refreshing pleasure from the first view of nature, after the pain of
illness, and the confinement of a sick-chamber, is above the
conceptions, as well as the descriptions, of those in health.  The
green woods and pastures; the flowery turf; the blue concave of the
heavens; the balmy air; the murmur of the limpid stream; and even the
hum of every little insect of the shade, seem to revivify the soul,
and make mere existence bliss.

Madame St. Aubert, reanimated by the cheerfulness and recovery of her
husband, was no longer sensible of the indisposition which had lately
oppressed her; and, as she sauntered along the wood-walks of this
romantic glen, and conversed with him, and with her daughter, she
often looked at them alternately with a degree of tenderness, that
filled her eyes with tears.  St. Aubert observed this more than once,
and gently reproved her for the emotion; but she could only smile,
clasp his hand, and that of Emily, and weep the more.  He felt the
tender enthusiasm stealing upon himself in a degree that became
almost painful; his features assumed a serious air, and he could not
forbear secretly sighing--'Perhaps I shall some time look back to
these moments, as to the summit of my happiness, with hopeless
regret.  But let me not misuse them by useless anticipation; let me
hope I shall not live to mourn the loss of those who are dearer to me
than life.'

To relieve, or perhaps to indulge, the pensive temper of his mind, he
bade Emily fetch the lute she knew how to touch with such sweet
pathos.  As she drew near the fishing-house, she was surprised to
hear the tones of the instrument, which were awakened by the hand of
taste, and uttered a plaintive air, whose exquisite melody engaged
all her attention.  She listened in profound silence, afraid to move
from the spot, lest the sound of her steps should occasion her to
lose a note of the music, or should disturb the musician.  Every
thing without the building was still, and no person appeared.  She
continued to listen, till timidity succeeded to surprise and delight;
a timidity, increased by a remembrance of the pencilled lines she had
formerly seen, and she hesitated whether to proceed, or to return.

While she paused, the music ceased; and, after a momentary
hesitation, she re-collected courage to advance to the fishing-house,
which she entered with faltering steps, and found unoccupied!  Her
lute lay on the table; every thing seemed undisturbed, and she began
to believe it was another instrument she had heard, till she
remembered, that, when she followed M. and Madame St. Aubert from
this spot, her lute was left on a window seat.  She felt alarmed, yet
knew not wherefore; the melancholy gloom of evening, and the profound
stillness of the place, interrupted only by the light trembling of
leaves, heightened her fanciful apprehensions, and she was desirous
of quitting the building, but perceived herself grow faint, and sat
down.  As she tried to recover herself, the pencilled lines on the
wainscot met her eye; she started, as if she had seen a stranger;
but, endeavouring to conquer the tremor of her spirits, rose, and
went to the window.  To the lines before noticed she now perceived
that others were added, in which her name appeared.

Though no longer suffered to doubt that they were addressed to
herself, she was as ignorant, as before, by whom they could be
written.  While she mused, she thought she heard the sound of a step
without the building, and again alarmed, she caught up her lute, and
hurried away.  Monsieur and Madame St. Aubert she found in a little
path that wound along the sides of the glen.

Having reached a green summit, shadowed by palm-trees, and
overlooking the vallies and plains of Gascony, they seated themselves
on the turf; and while their eyes wandered over the glorious scene,
and they inhaled the sweet breath of flowers and herbs that enriched
the grass, Emily played and sung several of their favourite airs,
with the delicacy of expression in which she so much excelled.

Music and conversation detained them in this enchanting spot, till
the sun's last light slept upon the plains; till the white sails that
glided beneath the mountains, where the Garonne wandered, became dim,
and the gloom of evening stole over the landscape.  It was a
melancholy but not unpleasing gloom.  St. Aubert and his family rose,
and left the place with regret; alas! Madame St. Aubert knew not that
she left it for ever.

When they reached the fishing-house she missed her bracelet, and
recollected that she had taken it from her arm after dinner, and had
left it on the table when she went to walk.  After a long search, in
which Emily was very active, she was compelled to resign herself to
the loss of it.  What made this bracelet valuable to her was a
miniature of her daughter to which it was attached, esteemed a
striking resemblance, and which had been painted only a few months
before.  When Emily was convinced that the bracelet was really gone,
she blushed, and became thoughtful.  That some stranger had been in
the fishing-house, during her absence, her lute, and the additional
lines of a pencil, had already informed her:  from the purport of
these lines it was not unreasonable to believe, that the poet, the
musician, and the thief were the same person.  But though the music
she had heard, the written lines she had seen, and the disappearance
of the picture, formed a combination of circumstances very
remarkable, she was irresistibly restrained from mentioning them;
secretly determining, however, never again to visit the fishing-house
without Monsieur or Madame St. Aubert.

They returned pensively to the chateau, Emily musing on the incident
which had just occurred; St. Aubert reflecting, with placid
gratitude, on the blessings he possessed; and Madame St. Aubert
somewhat disturbed, and perplexed, by the loss of her daughter's
picture.  As they drew near the house, they observed an unusual
bustle about it; the sound of voices was distinctly heard, servants
and horses were seen passing between the trees, and, at length, the
wheels of a carriage rolled along.  Having come within view of the
front of the chateau, a landau, with smoking horses, appeared on the
little lawn before it.  St. Aubert perceived the liveries of his
brother-in-law, and in the parlour he found Monsieur and Madame
Quesnel already entered.  They had left Paris some days before, and
were on the way to their estate, only ten leagues distant from La
Vallee, and which Monsieur Quesnel had purchased several years before
of St. Aubert.  This gentleman was the only brother of Madame St.
Aubert; but the ties of relationship having never been strengthened
by congeniality of character, the intercourse between them had not
been frequent.  M. Quesnel had lived altogether in the world; his aim
had been consequence; splendour was the object of his taste; and his
address and knowledge of character had carried him forward to the
attainment of almost all that he had courted.  By a man of such a
disposition, it is not surprising that the virtues of St. Aubert
should be overlooked; or that his pure taste, simplicity, and
moderated wishes, were considered as marks of a weak intellect, and
of confined views.  The marriage of his sister with St. Aubert had
been mortifying to his ambition, for he had designed that the
matrimonial connection she formed should assist him to attain the
consequence which he so much desired; and some offers were made her
by persons whose rank and fortune flattered his warmest hope.  But
his sister, who was then addressed also by St. Aubert, perceived, or
thought she perceived, that happiness and splendour were not the
same, and she did not hesitate to forego the last for the attainment
of the former.  Whether Monsieur Quesnel thought them the same, or
not, he would readily have sacrificed his sister's peace to the
gratification of his own ambition; and, on her marriage with St.
Aubert, expressed in private his contempt of her spiritless conduct,
and of the connection which it permitted.  Madame St. Aubert, though
she concealed this insult from her husband, felt, perhaps, for the
first time, resentment lighted in her heart; and, though a regard for
her own dignity, united with considerations of prudence, restrained
her expression of this resentment, there was ever after a mild
reserve in her manner towards M. Quesnel, which he both understood
and felt.

In his own marriage he did not follow his sister's example.  His lady
was an Italian, and an heiress by birth; and, by nature and
education, was a vain and frivolous woman.

They now determined to pass the night with St. Aubert; and as the
chateau was not large enough to accommodate their servants, the
latter were dismissed to the neighbouring village.  When the first
compliments were over, and the arrangements for the night made M.
Quesnel began the display of his intelligence and his connections;
while St. Aubert, who had been long enough in retirement to find
these topics recommended by their novelty, listened, with a degree of
patience and attention, which his guest mistook for the humility of
wonder.  The latter, indeed, described the few festivities which the
turbulence of that period permitted to the court of Henry the Third,
with a minuteness, that somewhat recompensed for his ostentation;
but, when he came to speak of the character of the Duke de Joyeuse,
of a secret treaty, which he knew to be negotiating with the Porte,
and of the light in which Henry of Navarre was received, M. St.
Aubert recollected enough of his former experience to be assured,
that his guest could be only of an inferior class of politicians; and
that, from the importance of the subjects upon which he committed
himself, he could not be of the rank to which he pretended to belong. 
The opinions delivered by M. Quesnel, were such as St. Aubert
forebore to reply to, for he knew that his guest had neither humanity
to feel, nor discernment to perceive, what is just.

Madame Quesnel, meanwhile, was expressing to Madame St. Aubert her
astonishment, that she could bear to pass her life in this remote
corner of the world, as she called it, and describing, from a wish,
probably, of exciting envy, the splendour of the balls, banquets, and
processions which had just been given by the court, in honour of the
nuptials of the Duke de Joyeuse with Margaretta of Lorrain, the
sister of the Queen.  She described with equal minuteness the
magnificence she had seen, and that from which she had been excluded;
while Emily's vivid fancy, as she listened with the ardent curiosity
of youth, heightened the scenes she heard of; and Madame St. Aubert,
looking on her family, felt, as a tear stole to her eye, that though
splendour may grace happiness, virtue only can bestow it.

'It is now twelve years, St. Aubert,' said M. Quesnel, 'since I
purchased your family estate.'--'Somewhere thereabout,' replied St.
Aubert, suppressing a sigh.  'It is near five years since I have been
there,' resumed Quesnel; 'for Paris and its neighbourhood is the only
place in the world to live in, and I am so immersed in politics, and
have so many affairs of moment on my hands, that I find it difficult
to steal away even for a month or two.'  St. Aubert remaining silent,
M. Quesnel proceeded:  'I have sometimes wondered how you, who have
lived in the capital, and have been accustomed to company, can exist
elsewhere;--especially in so remote a country as this, where you can
neither hear nor see any thing, and can in short be scarcely
conscious of life.'

'I live for my family and myself,' said St. Aubert; 'I am now
contented to know only happiness;--formerly I knew life.'

'I mean to expend thirty or forty thousand livres on improvements,'
said M. Quesnel, without seeming to notice the words of St. Aubert;
'for I design, next summer, to bring here my friends, the Duke de
Durefort and the Marquis Ramont, to pass a month or two with me.'  To
St. Aubert's enquiry, as to these intended improvements, he replied,
that he should take down the whole east wing of the chateau, and
raise upon the site a set of stables.  'Then I shall build,' said he,
'a SALLE A MANGER, a SALON, a SALLE AU COMMUNE, and a number of rooms
for servants; for at present there is not accommodation for a third
part of my own people.'

'It accommodated our father's household,' said St. Aubert, grieved
that the old mansion was to be thus improved, 'and that was not a
small one.'

'Our notions are somewhat enlarged since those days,' said M.
Quesnel;--'what was then thought a decent style of living would not
now be endured.'  Even the calm St. Aubert blushed at these words,
but his anger soon yielded to contempt.  'The ground about the
chateau is encumbered with trees; I mean to cut some of them down.'

'Cut down the trees too!' said St. Aubert.

'Certainly.  Why should I not? they interrupt my prospects.  There is
a chesnut which spreads its branches before the whole south side of
the chateau, and which is so ancient that they tell me the hollow of
its trunk will hold a dozen men.  Your enthusiasm will scarcely
contend that there can be either use, or beauty, in such a sapless
old tree as this.'

'Good God!' exclaimed St. Aubert, 'you surely will not destroy that
noble chesnut, which has flourished for centuries, the glory of the
estate!  It was in its maturity when the present mansion was built. 
How often, in my youth, have I climbed among its broad branches, and
sat embowered amidst a world of leaves, while the heavy shower has
pattered above, and not a rain drop reached me!  How often I have sat
with a book in my hand, sometimes reading, and sometimes looking out
between the branches upon the wide landscape, and the setting sun,
till twilight came, and brought the birds home to their little nests
among the leaves!  How often--but pardon me,' added St. Aubert,
recollecting that he was speaking to a man who could neither
comprehend, nor allow his feelings, 'I am talking of times and
feelings as old-fashioned as the taste that would spare that
venerable tree.'

'It will certainly come down,' said M. Quesnel; 'I believe I shall
plant some Lombardy poplars among the clumps of chesnut, that I shall
leave of the avenue; Madame Quesnel is partial to the poplar, and
tells me how much it adorns a villa of her uncle, not far from
Venice.'

'On the banks of the Brenta, indeed,' continued St. Aubert, 'where
its spiry form is intermingled with the pine, and the cypress, and
where it plays over light and elegant porticos and colonnades, it,
unquestionably, adorns the scene; but among the giants of the forest,
and near a heavy gothic mansion--'

'Well, my good sir,' said M. Quesnel, 'I will not dispute with you. 
You must return to Paris before our ideas can at all agree.  But A-
PROPOS of Venice, I have some thoughts of going thither, next summer;
events may call me to take possession of that same villa, too, which
they tell me is the most charming that can be imagined.  In that case
I shall leave the improvements I mention to another year, and I may,
perhaps, be tempted to stay some time in Italy.'

Emily was somewhat surprised to hear him talk of being tempted to
remain abroad, after he had mentioned his presence to be so necessary
at Paris, that it was with difficulty he could steal away for a month
or two; but St. Aubert understood the self-importance of the man too
well to wonder at this trait; and the possibility, that these
projected improvements might be deferred, gave him a hope, that they
might never take place.

Before they separated for the night, M. Quesnel desired to speak with
St. Aubert alone, and they retired to another room, where they
remained a considerable time.  The subject of this conversation was
not known; but, whatever it might be, St. Aubert, when he returned to
the supper-room, seemed much disturbed, and a shade of sorrow
sometimes fell upon his features that alarmed Madame St. Aubert. 
When they were alone she was tempted to enquire the occasion of it,
but the delicacy of mind, which had ever appeared in his conduct,
restrained her:  she considered that, if St. Aubert wished her to be
acquainted with the subject of his concern, he would not wait on her
enquiries.

On the following day, before M. Quesnel departed, he had a second
conference with St. Aubert.

The guests, after dining at the chateau, set out in the cool of the
day for Epourville, whither they gave him and Madame St. Aubert a
pressing invitation, prompted rather by the vanity of displaying
their splendour, than by a wish to make their friends happy.

Emily returned, with delight, to the liberty which their presence had
restrained, to her books, her walks, and the rational conversation of
M. and Madame St. Aubert, who seemed to rejoice, no less, that they
were delivered from the shackles, which arrogance and frivolity had
imposed.

Madame St. Aubert excused herself from sharing their usual evening
walk, complaining that she was not quite well, and St. Aubert and
Emily went out together.

They chose a walk towards the mountains, intending to visit some old
pensioners of St. Aubert, which, from his very moderate income, he
contrived to support, though it is probable M. Quesnel, with his very
large one, could not have afforded this.

After distributing to his pensioners their weekly stipends, listening
patiently to the complaints of some, redressing the grievances of
others, and softening the discontents of all, by the look of
sympathy, and the smile of benevolence, St. Aubert returned home
through the woods,

     where
 At fall of eve the fairy-people throng,
 In various games and revelry to pass
 The summer night, as village stories tell.*
     *Thomson


'The evening gloom of woods was always delightful to me,' said St.
Aubert, whose mind now experienced the sweet calm, which results from
the consciousness of having done a beneficent action, and which
disposes it to receive pleasure from every surrounding object.  'I
remember that in my youth this gloom used to call forth to my fancy a
thousand fairy visions, and romantic images; and, I own, I am not yet
wholly insensible of that high enthusiasm, which wakes the poet's
dream:  I can linger, with solemn steps, under the deep shades, send
forward a transforming eye into the distant obscurity, and listen
with thrilling delight to the mystic murmuring of the woods.'

'O my dear father,' said Emily, while a sudden tear started to her
eye, 'how exactly you describe what I have felt so often, and which I
thought nobody had ever felt but myself!  But hark! here comes the
sweeping sound over the wood-tops;--now it dies away;--how solemn the
stillness that succeeds!  Now the breeze swells again.  It is like
the voice of some supernatural being--the voice of the spirit of the
woods, that watches over them by night.  Ah! what light is yonder? 
But it is gone.  And now it gleams again, near the root of that large
chestnut:  look, sir!'

'Are you such an admirer of nature,' said St. Aubert, 'and so little
acquainted with her appearances as not to know that for the glow-
worm?  But come,' added he gaily, 'step a little further, and we
shall see fairies, perhaps; they are often companions.  The glow-worm
lends his light, and they in return charm him with music, and the
dance.  Do you see nothing tripping yonder?'

Emily laughed.  'Well, my dear sir,' said she, 'since you allow of
this alliance, I may venture to own I have anticipated you; and
almost dare venture to repeat some verses I made one evening in these
very woods.'

'Nay,' replied St. Aubert, 'dismiss the ALMOST, and venture quite;
let us hear what vagaries fancy has been playing in your mind.  If
she has given you one of her spells, you need not envy those of the
fairies.'

'If it is strong enough to enchant your judgment, sir,' said Emily,
'while I disclose her images, I need NOT envy them.  The lines go in
a sort of tripping measure, which I thought might suit the subject
well enough, but I fear they are too irregular.'

  THE GLOW-WORM

 How pleasant is the green-wood's deep-matted shade
  On a mid-summer's eve, when the fresh rain is o'er;
 When the yellow beams slope, and sparkle thro' the glade,
  And swiftly in the thin air the light swallows soar!

 But sweeter, sweeter still, when the sun sinks to rest,
  And twilight comes on, with the fairies so gay
 Tripping through the forest-walk, where flow'rs, unprest,
  Bow not their tall heads beneath their frolic play.

 To music's softest sounds they dance away the hour,
  Till moon-light steals down among the trembling leaves,
 And checquers all the ground, and guides them to the bow'r,
  The long haunted bow'r, where the nightingale grieves.

 Then no more they dance, till her sad song is done,
  But, silent as the night, to her mourning attend;
 And often as her dying notes their pity have won,
  They vow all her sacred haunts from mortals to defend.

 When, down among the mountains, sinks the ev'ning star,
  And the changing moon forsakes this shadowy sphere,
 How cheerless would they be, tho' they fairies are,
  If I, with my pale light, came not near!

 Yet cheerless tho' they'd be, they're ungrateful to my love!
  For, often when the traveller's benighted on his way,
 And I glimmer in his path, and would guide him thro' the grove,
  They bind me in their magic spells to lead him far astray;

 And in the mire to leave him, till the stars are all burnt out,
  While, in strange-looking shapes, they frisk about the ground,
 And, afar in the woods, they raise a dismal shout,
  Till I shrink into my cell again for terror of the sound!

 But, see where all the tiny elves come dancing in a ring,
  With the merry, merry pipe, and the tabor, and the horn,
 And the timbrel so clear, and the lute with dulcet string;
  Then round about the oak they go till peeping of the morn.

 Down yonder glade two lovers steal, to shun the fairy-queen,
  Who frowns upon their plighted vows, and jealous is of me,
 That yester-eve I lighted them, along the dewy green,
  To seek the purple flow'r, whose juice from all her spells can
free.

 And now, to punish me, she keeps afar her jocund band,
  With the merry, merry pipe, and the tabor, and the lute;
 If I creep near yonder oak she will wave her fairy wand,
  And to me the dance will cease, and the music all be mute.

 O! had I but that purple flow'r whose leaves her charms can foil,
  And knew like fays to draw the juice, and throw it on the wind,
 I'd be her slave no longer, nor the traveller beguile,
  And help all faithful lovers, nor fear the fairy kind!

 But soon the VAPOUR OF THE WOODS will wander afar,
  And the fickle moon will fade, and the stars disappear,
 Then, cheerless will they be, tho' they fairies are,
  If I, with my pale light, come not near!

Whatever St. Aubert might think of the stanzas, he would not deny his
daughter the pleasure of believing that he approved them; and, having
given his commendation, he sunk into a reverie, and they walked on in
silence.

     A faint erroneous ray
 Glanc'd from th' imperfect surfaces of things,
 Flung half an image on the straining eye;
 While waving woods, and villages, and streams,
 And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retain
 The ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene,
 Uncertain if beheld.*
     *Thomson.


St. Aubert continued silent till he reached the chateau, where his
wife had retired to her chamber.  The languor and dejection, that had
lately oppressed her, and which the exertion called forth by the
arrival of her guests had suspended, now returned with increased
effect.  On the following day, symptoms of fever appeared, and St.
Aubert, having sent for medical advice, learned, that her disorder
was a fever of the same nature as that, from which he had lately
recovered.  She had, indeed, taken the infection, during her
attendance upon him, and, her constitution being too weak to throw
out the disease immediately, it had lurked in her veins, and
occasioned the heavy languor of which she had complained.  St.
Aubert, whose anxiety for his wife overcame every other
consideration, detained the physician in his house.  He remembered
the feelings and the reflections that had called a momentary gloom
upon his mind, on the day when he had last visited the fishing-house,
in company with Madame St. Aubert, and he now admitted a
presentiment, that this illness would be a fatal one.  But he
effectually concealed this from her, and from his daughter, whom he
endeavoured to re-animate with hopes that her constant assiduities
would not be unavailing.  The physician, when asked by St. Aubert for
his opinion of the disorder, replied, that the event of it depended
upon circumstances which he could not ascertain.  Madame St. Aubert
seemed to have formed a more decided one; but her eyes only gave
hints of this.  She frequently fixed them upon her anxious friends
with an expression of pity, and of tenderness, as if she anticipated
the sorrow that awaited them, and that seemed to say, it was for
their sakes only, for their sufferings, that she regretted life.  On
the seventh day, the disorder was at its crisis.  The physician
assumed a graver manner, which she observed, and took occasion, when
her family had once quitted the chamber, to tell him, that she
perceived her death was approaching.  'Do not attempt to deceive me,'
said she, 'I feel that I cannot long survive.  I am prepared for the
event, I have long, I hope, been preparing for it.  Since I have not
long to live, do not suffer a mistaken compassion to induce you to
flatter my family with false hopes.  If you do, their affliction will
only be the heavier when it arrives:  I will endeavour to teach them
resignation by my example.'

The physician was affected; he promised to obey her, and told St.
Aubert, somewhat abruptly, that there was nothing to expect.  The
latter was not philosopher enough to restrain his feelings when he
received this information; but a consideration of the increased
affliction which the observance of his grief would occasion his wife,
enabled him, after some time, to command himself in her presence. 
Emily was at first overwhelmed with the intelligence; then, deluded
by the strength of her wishes, a hope sprung up in her mind that her
mother would yet recover, and to this she pertinaciously adhered
almost to the last hour.

The progress of this disorder was marked, on the side of Madame St.
Aubert, by patient suffering, and subjected wishes.  The composure,
with which she awaited her death, could be derived only from the
retrospect of a life governed, as far as human frailty permits, by a
consciousness of being always in the presence of the Deity, and by
the hope of a higher world.  But her piety could not entirely subdue
the grief of parting from those whom she so dearly loved.  During
these her last hours, she conversed much with St. Aubert and Emily,
on the prospect of futurity, and on other religious topics.  The
resignation she expressed, with the firm hope of meeting in a future
world the friends she left in this, and the effort which sometimes
appeared to conceal her sorrow at this temporary separation,
frequently affected St. Aubert so much as to oblige him to leave the
room.  Having indulged his tears awhile, he would dry them and return
to the chamber with a countenance composed by an endeavour which did
but increase his grief.

Never had Emily felt the importance of the lessons, which had taught
her to restrain her sensibility, so much as in these moments, and
never had she practised them with a triumph so complete.  But when
the last was over, she sunk at once under the pressure of her sorrow,
and then perceived that it was hope, as well as fortitude, which had
hitherto supported her.  St. Aubert was for a time too devoid of
comfort himself to bestow any on his daughter.



CHAPTER II


 I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
 Would harrow up thy soul.
     SHAKESPEARE


Madame St. Aubert was interred in the neighbouring village church; 
her husband and daughter attended her to the grave, followed by a
long train of the peasantry, who were sincere mourners of this
excellent woman.

On his return from the funeral, St. Aubert shut himself in his
chamber.  When he came forth, it was with a serene countenance,
though pale in sorrow.  He gave orders that his family should attend
him.  Emily only was absent; who, overcome with the scene she had
just witnessed, had retired to her closet to weep alone.  St. Aubert
followed her thither:  he took her hand in silence, while she
continued to weep; and it was some moments before he could so far
command his voice as to speak.  It trembled while he said, 'My Emily,
I am going to prayers with my family; you will join us.  We must ask
support from above.  Where else ought we to seek it--where else can
we find it?'

Emily checked her tears, and followed her father to the parlour,
where, the servants being assembled, St. Aubert read, in a low and
solemn voice, the evening service, and added a prayer for the soul of
the departed.  During this, his voice often faltered, his tears fell
upon the book, and at length he paused.  But the sublime emotions of
pure devotion gradually elevated his views above this world, and
finally brought comfort to his heart.

When the service was ended, and the servants were withdrawn, he
tenderly kissed Emily, and said, 'I have endeavoured to teach you,
from your earliest youth, the duty of self-command; I have pointed
out to you the great importance of it through life, not only as it
preserves us in the various and dangerous temptations that call us
from rectitude and virtue, but as it limits the indulgences which are
termed virtuous, yet which, extended beyond a certain boundary, are
vicious, for their consequence is evil.  All excess is vicious; even
that sorrow, which is amiable in its origin, becomes a selfish and
unjust passion, if indulged at the expence of our duties--by our
duties I mean what we owe to ourselves, as well as to others.  The
indulgence of excessive grief enervates the mind, and almost
incapacitates it for again partaking of those various innocent
enjoyments which a benevolent God designed to be the sun-shine of our
lives.  My dear Emily, recollect and practise the precepts I have so
often given you, and which your own experience has so often shewn you
to be wise.

'Your sorrow is useless.  Do not receive this as merely a commonplace
remark, but let reason THEREFORE restrain sorrow.  I would not
annihilate your feelings, my child, I would only teach you to command
them; for whatever may be the evils resulting from a too susceptible
heart, nothing can be hoped from an insensible one; that, on the
other hand, is all vice--vice, of which the deformity is not
softened, or the effect consoled for, by any semblance or possibility
of good.  You know my sufferings, and are, therefore, convinced that
mine are not the light words which, on these occasions, are so often
repeated to destroy even the sources of honest emotion, or which
merely display the selfish ostentation of a false philosophy.  I will
shew my Emily, that I can practise what I advise.  I have said thus
much, because I cannot bear to see you wasting in useless sorrow, for
want of that resistance which is due from mind; and I have not said
it till now, because there is a period when all reasoning must yield
to nature; that is past:  and another, when excessive indulgence,
having sunk into habit, weighs down the elasticity of the spirits so
as to render conquest nearly impossible; this is to come.  You, my
Emily, will shew that you are willing to avoid it.'

Emily smiled through her tears upon her father:  'Dear sir,' said
she, and her voice trembled; she would have added, 'I will shew
myself worthy of being your daughter;' but a mingled emotion of
gratitude, affection, and grief overcame her.  St. Aubert suffered
her to weep without interruption, and then began to talk on common
topics.

The first person who came to condole with St. Aubert was a M.
Barreaux, an austere and seemingly unfeeling man.  A taste for botany
had introduced them to each other, for they had frequently met in
their wanderings among the mountains.  M. Barreaux had retired from
the world, and almost from society, to live in a pleasant chateau, on
the skirts of the woods, near La Vallee.  He also had been
disappointed in his opinion of mankind; but he did not, like St.
Aubert, pity and mourn for them; he felt more indignation at their
vices, than compassion for their weaknesses.

St. Aubert was somewhat surprised to see him; for, though he had
often pressed him to come to the chateau, he had never till now
accepted the invitation; and now he came without ceremony or reserve,
entering the parlour as an old friend.  The claims of misfortune
appeared to have softened down all the ruggedness and prejudices of
his heart.  St. Aubert unhappy, seemed to be the sole idea that
occupied his mind.  It was in manners, more than in words, that he
appeared to sympathize with his friends:  he spoke little on the
subject of their grief; but the minute attention he gave them, and
the modulated voice, and softened look that accompanied it, came from
his heart, and spoke to theirs.

At this melancholy period St. Aubert was likewise visited by Madame
Cheron, his only surviving sister, who had been some years a widow,
and now resided on her own estate near Tholouse.  The intercourse
between them had not been very frequent.  In her condolements, words
were not wanting; she understood not the magic of the look that
speaks at once to the soul, or the voice that sinks like balm to the
heart:  but she assured St. Aubert that she sincerely sympathized
with him, praised the virtues of his late wife, and then offered what
she considered to be consolation.  Emily wept unceasingly while she
spoke; St. Aubert was tranquil, listened to what she said in silence,
and then turned the discourse upon another subject.

At parting she pressed him and her niece to make her an early visit. 
'Change of place will amuse you,' said she, 'and it is wrong to give
way to grief.'  St. Aubert acknowledged the truth of these words of
course; but, at the same time, felt more reluctant than ever to quit
the spot which his past happiness had consecrated.  The presence of
his wife had sanctified every surrounding scene, and, each day, as it
gradually softened the acuteness of his suffering, assisted the
tender enchantment that bound him to home.

But there were calls which must be complied with, and of this kind
was the visit he paid to his brother-in-law M. Quesnel.  An affair of
an interesting nature made it necessary that he should delay this
visit no longer, and, wishing to rouse Emily from her dejection, he
took her with him to Epourville.

As the carriage entered upon the forest that adjoined his paternal
domain, his eyes once more caught, between the chesnut avenue, the
turreted corners of the chateau.  He sighed to think of what had
passed since he was last there, and that it was now the property of a
man who neither revered nor valued it.  At length he entered the
avenue, whose lofty trees had so often delighted him when a boy, and
whose melancholy shade was now so congenial with the tone of his
spirits.  Every feature of the edifice, distinguished by an air of
heavy grandeur, appeared successively between the branches of the
trees--the broad turret, the arched gate-way that led into the
courts, the drawbridge, and the dry fosse which surrounded the whole.

The sound of carriage wheels brought a troop of servants to the great
gate, where St. Aubert alighted, and from which he led Emily into the
gothic hall, now no longer hung with the arms and ancient banners of
the family.  These were displaced, and the oak wainscotting, and
beams that crossed the roof, were painted white.  The large table,
too, that used to stretch along the upper end of the hall, where the
master of the mansion loved to display his hospitality, and whence
the peal of laughter, and the song of conviviality, had so often
resounded, was now removed; even the benches that had surrounded the
hall were no longer there.  The heavy walls were hung with frivolous
ornaments, and every thing that appeared denoted the false taste and
corrupted sentiments of the present owner.

St. Aubert followed a gay Parisian servant to a parlour, where sat
Mons. and Madame Quesnel, who received him with a stately politeness,
and, after a few formal words of condolement, seemed to have
forgotten that they ever had a sister.

Emily felt tears swell into her eyes, and then resentment checked
them.  St. Aubert, calm and deliberate, preserved his dignity without
assuming importance, and Quesnel was depressed by his presence
without exactly knowing wherefore.

After some general conversation, St. Aubert requested to speak with
him alone; and Emily, being left with Madame Quesnel, soon learned
that a large party was invited to dine at the chateau, and was
compelled to hear that nothing which was past and irremediable ought
to prevent the festivity of the present hour.

St. Aubert, when he was told that company were expected, felt a mixed
emotion of disgust and indignation against the insensibility of
Quesnel, which prompted him to return home immediately.  But he was
informed, that Madame Cheron had been asked to meet him; and, when he
looked at Emily, and considered that a time might come when the
enmity of her uncle would be prejudicial to her, he determined not to
incur it himself, by conduct which would be resented as indecorous,
by the very persons who now showed so little sense of decorum.

Among the visitors assembled at dinner were two Italian gentlemen, of
whom one was named Montoni, a distant relation of Madame Quesnel, a
man about forty, of an uncommonly handsome person, with features
manly and expressive, but whose countenance exhibited, upon the
whole, more of the haughtiness of command, and the quickness of
discernment, than of any other character.

Signor Cavigni, his friend, appeared to be about thirty--inferior in
dignity, but equal to him in penetration of countenance, and superior
in insinuation of manner.

Emily was shocked by the salutation with which Madame Cheron met her
father--'Dear brother,' said she, 'I am concerned to see you look so
very ill; do, pray, have advice!'  St. Aubert answered, with a
melancholy smile, that he felt himself much as usual; but Emily's
fears made her now fancy that her father looked worse than he really
did.

Emily would have been amused by the new characters she saw, and the
varied conversation that passed during dinner, which was served in a
style of splendour she had seldom seen before, had her spirits been
less oppressed.  Of the guests, Signor Montoni was lately come from
Italy, and he spoke of the commotions which at that period agitated
the country; talked of party differences with warmth, and then
lamented the probable consequences of the tumults.  His friend spoke
with equal ardour, of the politics of his country; praised the
government and prosperity of Venice, and boasted of its decided
superiority over all the other Italian states.  He then turned to the
ladies, and talked with the same eloquence, of Parisian fashions, the
French opera, and French manners; and on the latter subject he did
not fail to mingle what is so particularly agreeable to French taste. 
The flattery was not detected by those to whom it was addressed,
though its effect, in producing submissive attention, did not escape
his observation.  When he could disengage himself from the
assiduities of the other ladies, he sometimes addressed Emily:  but
she knew nothing of Parisian fashions, or Parisian operas; and her
modesty, simplicity, and correct manners formed a decided contrast to
those of her female companions.

After dinner, St. Aubert stole from the room to view once more the
old chesnut which Quesnel talked of cutting down.  As he stood under
its shade, and looked up among its branches, still luxuriant, and saw
here and there the blue sky trembling between them; the pursuits and
events of his early days crowded fast to his mind, with the figures
and characters of friends--long since gone from the earth; and he now
felt himself to be almost an insulated being, with nobody but his
Emily for his heart to turn to.

He stood lost amid the scenes of years which fancy called up, till
the succession closed with the picture of his dying wife, and he
started away, to forget it, if possible, at the social board.

St. Aubert ordered his carriage at an early hour, and Emily observed,
that he was more than usually silent and dejected on the way home;
but she considered this to be the effect of his visit to a place
which spoke so eloquently of former times, nor suspected that he had
a cause of grief which he concealed from her.

On entering the chateau she felt more depressed than ever, for she
more than ever missed the presence of that dear parent, who, whenever
she had been from home, used to welcome her return with smiles and
fondness; now, all was silent and forsaken.

But what reason and effort may fail to do, time effects.  Week after
week passed away, and each, as it passed, stole something from the
harshness of her affliction, till it was mellowed to that tenderness
which the feeling heart cherishes as sacred.  St. Aubert, on the
contrary, visibly declined in health; though Emily, who had been so
constantly with him, was almost the last person who observed it.  His
constitution had never recovered from the late attack of the fever,
and the succeeding shock it received from Madame St. Aubert's death
had produced its present infirmity.  His physician now ordered him to
travel; for it was perceptible that sorrow had seized upon his
nerves, weakened as they had been by the preceding illness; and
variety of scene, it was probable, would, by amusing his mind,
restore them to their proper tone.

For some days Emily was occupied in preparations to attend him; and
he, by endeavours to diminish his expences at home during the
journey--a purpose which determined him at length to dismiss his
domestics.  Emily seldom opposed her father's wishes by questions or
remonstrances, or she would now have asked why he did not take a
servant, and have represented that his infirm health made one almost
necessary.  But when, on the eve of their departure, she found that
he had dismissed Jacques, Francis, and Mary, and detained only
Theresa the old housekeeper, she was extremely surprised, and
ventured to ask his reason for having done so.  'To save expences, my
dear,' he replied--'we are going on an expensive excursion.'

The physician had prescribed the air of Languedoc and Provence; and
St. Aubert determined, therefore, to travel leisurely along the
shores of the Mediterranean, towards Provence.

They retired early to their chamber on the night before their
departure; but Emily had a few books and other things to collect, and
the clock had struck twelve before she had finished, or had
remembered that some of her drawing instruments, which she meant to
take with her, were in the parlour below.  As she went to fetch
these, she passed her father's room, and, perceiving the door half
open, concluded that he was in his study--for, since the death of
Madame St. Aubert, it had been frequently his custom to rise from his
restless bed, and go thither to compose his mind.  When she was below
stairs she looked into this room, but without finding him; and as she
returned to her chamber, she tapped at his door, and receiving no
answer, stepped softly in, to be certain whether he was there.

The room was dark, but a light glimmered through some panes of glass
that were placed in the upper part of a closet-door.  Emily believed
her father to be in the closet, and, surprised that he was up at so
late an hour, apprehended he was unwell, and was going to enquire;
but, considering that her sudden appearance at this hour might alarm
him, she removed her light to the stair-case, and then stepped softly
to the closet.  On looking through the panes of glass, she saw him
seated at a small table, with papers before him, some of which he was
reading with deep attention and interest, during which he often wept
and sobbed aloud.  Emily, who had come to the door to learn whether
her father was ill, was now detained there by a mixture of curiosity
and tenderness.  She could not witness his sorrow, without being
anxious to know the subject of; and she therefore continued to
observe him in silence, concluding that those papers were letters of
her late mother.  Presently he knelt down, and with a look so solemn
as she had seldom seen him assume, and which was mingled with a
certain wild expression, that partook more of horror than of any
other character, he prayed silently for a considerable time.

When he rose, a ghastly paleness was on his countenance.  Emily was
hastily retiring; but she saw him turn again to the papers, and she
stopped.  He took from among them a small case, and from thence a
miniature picture.  The rays of light fell strongly upon it, and she
perceived it to be that of a lady, but not of her mother.

St. Aubert gazed earnestly and tenderly upon his portrait, put it to
his lips, and then to his heart, and sighed with a convulsive force. 
Emily could scarcely believe what she saw to be real.  She never knew
till now that he had a picture of any other lady than her mother,
much less that he had one which he evidently valued so highly; but
having looked repeatedly, to be certain that it was not the
resemblance of Madame St. Aubert, she became entirely convinced that
it was designed for that of some other person.

At length St. Aubert returned the picture to its case; and Emily,
recollecting that she was intruding upon his private sorrows, softly
withdrew from the chamber.



CHAPTER III


 O how canst thou renounce the boundless store
 Of charms which nature to her vot'ry yields!
 The warbling woodland, the resounding shore,
 The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields;
 All that the genial ray of morning gilds,
 And all that echoes to the song of even;
 All that the mountain's shelt'ring bosom shields,
 And all the dread magnificence of heaven;
 O how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven!
 . . . . .
 These charms shall work thy soul's eternal health,
 And love, and gentleness, and joy, impart.
     THE MINSTREL

St. Aubert, instead of taking the more direct road, that ran along
the feet of the Pyrenees to Languedoc, chose one that, winding over
the heights, afforded more extensive views and greater variety of
romantic scenery.  He turned a little out of his way to take leave of
M. Barreaux, whom he found botanizing in the wood near his chateau,
and who, when he was told the purpose of St. Aubert's visit,
expressed a degree of concern, such as his friend had thought it was
scarcely possible for him to feel on any similar occasion.  They
parted with mutual regret.

'If any thing could have tempted me from my retirement,' said M.
Barreaux, 'it would have been the pleasure of accompanying you on
this little tour.  I do not often offer compliments; you may,
therefore, believe me, when I say, that I shall look for your return
with impatience.'

The travellers proceeded on their journey.  As they ascended the
heights, St. Aubert often looked back upon the chateau, in the plain
below; tender images crowded to his mind; his melancholy imagination
suggested that he should return no more; and though he checked this
wandering thought, still he continued to look, till the haziness of
distance blended his home with the general landscape, and St. Aubert
seemed to

 Drag at each remove a lengthening chain.

He and Emily continued sunk in musing silence for some leagues, from
which melancholy reverie Emily first awoke, and her young fancy,
struck with the grandeur of the objects around, gradually yielded to
delightful impressions.  The road now descended into glens, confined
by stupendous walls of rock, grey and barren, except where shrubs
fringed their summits, or patches of meagre vegetation tinted their
recesses, in which the wild goat was frequently browsing.  And now,
the way led to the lofty cliffs, from whence the landscape was seen
extending in all its magnificence.

Emily could not restrain her transport as she looked over the pine
forests of the mountains upon the vast plains, that, enriched with
woods, towns, blushing vines, and plantations of almonds, palms, and
olives, stretched along, till their various colours melted in
distance into one harmonious hue, that seemed to unite earth with
heaven.  Through the whole of this glorious scene the majestic
Garonne wandered; descending from its source among the Pyrenees, and
winding its blue waves towards the Bay of Biscay.

The ruggedness of the unfrequented road often obliged the wanderers
to alight from their little carriage, but they thought themselves
amply repaid for this inconvenience by the grandeur of the scenes;
and, while the muleteer led his animals slowly over the broken
ground, the travellers had leisure to linger amid these solitudes,
and to indulge the sublime reflections, which soften, while they
elevate, the heart, and fill it with the certainty of a present God! 
Still the enjoyment of St. Aubert was touched with that pensive
melancholy, which gives to every object a mellower tint, and breathes
a sacred charm over all around.

They had provided against part of the evil to be encountered from a
want of convenient inns, by carrying a stock of provisions in the
carriage, so that they might take refreshment on any pleasant spot,
in the open air, and pass the nights wherever they should happen to
meet with a comfortable cottage.  For the mind, also, they had
provided, by a work on botany, written by M. Barreaux, and by several
of the Latin and Italian poets; while Emily's pencil enabled her to
preserve some of those combinations of forms, which charmed her at
every step.

The loneliness of the road, where, only now and then, a peasant was
seen driving his mule, or some mountaineer-children at play among the
rocks, heightened the effect of the scenery.  St. Aubert was so much
struck with it, that he determined, if he could hear of a road, to
penetrate further among the mountains, and, bending his way rather
more to the south, to emerge into Rousillon, and coast the
Mediterranean along part of that country to Languedoc.

Soon after mid-day, they reached the summit of one of those cliffs,
which, bright with the verdure of palm-trees, adorn, like gems, the
tremendous walls of the rocks, and which overlooked the greater part
of Gascony, and part of Languedoc.  Here was shade, and the fresh
water of a spring, that, gliding among the turf, under the trees,
thence precipitated itself from rock to rock, till its dashing
murmurs were lost in the abyss, though its white foam was long seen
amid the darkness of the pines below.

This was a spot well suited for rest, and the travellers alighted to
dine, while the mules were unharnessed to browse on the savoury herbs
that enriched this summit.

It was some time before St. Aubert or Emily could withdraw their
attention from the surrounding objects, so as to partake of their
little repast.  Seated in the shade of the palms, St. Aubert pointed
out to her observation the course of the rivers, the situation of
great towns, and the boundaries of provinces, which science, rather
than the eye, enabled him to describe.  Notwithstanding this
occupation, when he had talked awhile he suddenly became silent,
thoughtful, and tears often swelled to his eyes, which Emily
observed, and the sympathy of her own heart told her their cause. 
The scene before them bore some resemblance, though it was on a much
grander scale, to a favourite one of the late Madame St. Aubert,
within view of the fishing-house.  They both observed this, and
thought how delighted she would have been with the present landscape,
while they knew that her eyes must never, never more open upon this
world.  St. Aubert remembered the last time of his visiting that spot
in company with her, and also the mournfully presaging thoughts which
had then arisen in his mind, and were now, even thus soon, realized! 
The recollections subdued him, and he abruptly rose from his seat,
and walked away to where no eye could observe his grief.

When he returned, his countenance had recovered its usual serenity;
he took Emily's hand, pressed it affectionately, without speaking,
and soon after called to the muleteer, who sat at a little distance,
concerning a road among the mountains towards Rousillon.  Michael
said, there were several that way, but he did not know how far they
extended, or even whether they were passable; and St. Aubert, who did
not intend to travel after sun-set, asked what village they could
reach about that time.  The muleteer calculated that they could
easily reach Mateau, which was in their present road; but that, if
they took a road that sloped more to the south, towards Rousillon,
there was a hamlet, which he thought they could gain before the
evening shut in.

St. Aubert, after some hesitation, determined to take the latter
course, and Michael, having finished his meal, and harnessed his
mules, again set forward, but soon stopped; and St. Aubert saw him
doing homage to a cross, that stood on a rock impending over their
way.  Having concluded his devotions, he smacked his whip in the air,
and, in spite of the rough road, and the pain of his poor mules,
which he had been lately lamenting, rattled, in a full gallop, along
the edge of a precipice, which it made the eye dizzy to look down. 
Emily was terrified almost to fainting; and St. Aubert, apprehending
still greater danger from suddenly stopping the driver, was compelled
to sit quietly, and trust his fate to the strength and discretion of
the mules, who seemed to possess a greater portion of the latter
quality than their master; for they carried the travellers safely
into the valley, and there stopped upon the brink of the rivulet that
watered it.

Leaving the splendour of extensive prospects, they now entered this
narrow valley screened by

 Rocks on rocks piled, as if by magic spell,
 Here scorch'd by lightnings, there with ivy green.

The scene of barrenness was here and there interrupted by the
spreading branches of the larch and cedar, which threw their gloom
over the cliff, or athwart the torrent that rolled in the vale.  No
living creature appeared, except the izard, scrambling among the
rocks, and often hanging upon points so dangerous, that fancy shrunk
from the view of them.  This was such a scene as SALVATOR would have
chosen, had he then existed, for his canvas; St. Aubert, impressed by
the romantic character of the place, almost expected to see banditti
start from behind some projecting rock, and he kept his hand upon the
arms with which he always travelled.

As they advanced, the valley opened; its savage features gradually
softened, and, towards evening, they were among heathy mountains,
stretched in far perspective, along which the solitary sheep-bell was
heard, and the voice of the shepherd calling his wandering flocks to
the nightly fold.  His cabin, partly shadowed by the cork-tree and
the ilex, which St. Aubert observed to flourish in higher regions of
the air than any other trees, except the fir, was all the human
habitation that yet appeared.  Along the bottom of this valley the
most vivid verdure was spread; and, in the little hollow recesses of
the mountains, under the shade of the oak and chestnut, herds of
cattle were grazing.  Groups of them, too, were often seen reposing
on the banks of the rivulet, or laving their sides in the cool
stream, and sipping its wave.

The sun was now setting upon the valley; its last light gleamed upon
the water, and heightened the rich yellow and purple tints of the
heath and broom, that overspread the mountains.  St. Aubert enquired
of Michael the distance to the hamlet he had mentioned, but the man
could not with certainty tell; and Emily began to fear that he had
mistaken the road.  Here was no human being to assist, or direct
them; they had left the shepherd and his cabin far behind, and the
scene became so obscured in twilight, that the eye could not follow
the distant perspective of the valley in search of a cottage, or a
hamlet.  A glow of the horizon still marked the west, and this was of
some little use to the travellers.  Michael seemed endeavouring to
keep up his courage by singing; his music, however, was not of a kind
to disperse melancholy; he sung, in a sort of chant, one of the most
dismal ditties his present auditors had ever heard, and St. Aubert at
length discovered it to be a vesper-hymn to his favourite saint.

They travelled on, sunk in that thoughtful melancholy, with which
twilight and solitude impress the mind.  Michael had now ended his
ditty, and nothing was heard but the drowsy murmur of the breeze
among the woods, and its light flutter, as it blew freshly into the
carriage.  They were at length roused by the sound of fire-arms.  St.
Aubert called to the muleteer to stop, and they listened.  The noise
was not repeated; but presently they heard a rustling among the
brakes.  St. Aubert drew forth a pistol, and ordered Michael to
proceed as fast as possible; who had not long obeyed, before a horn
sounded, that made the mountains ring.  He looked again from the
window, and then saw a young man spring from the bushes into the
road, followed by a couple of dogs.  The stranger was in a hunter's
dress.  His gun was slung across his shoulders, the hunter's horn
hung from his belt, and in his hand was a small pike, which, as he
held it, added to the manly grace of his figure, and assisted the
agility of his steps.

After a moment's hesitation, St. Aubert again stopped the carriage,
and waited till he came up, that they might enquire concerning the
hamlet they were in search of.  The stranger informed him, that it
was only half a league distant, that he was going thither himself,
and would readily shew the way.  St. Aubert thanked him for the
offer, and, pleased with his chevalier-like air and open countenance,
asked him to take a seat in the carriage; which the stranger, with an
acknowledgment, declined, adding that he would keep pace with the
mules.  'But I fear you will be wretchedly accommodated,' said he: 
'the inhabitants of these mountains are a simple people, who are not
only without the luxuries of life, but almost destitute of what in
other places are held to be its necessaries.'

'I perceive you are not one of its inhabitants, sir,' said St.
Aubert.

'No, sir, I am only a wanderer here.'

The carriage drove on, and the increasing dusk made the travellers
very thankful that they had a guide; the frequent glens, too, that
now opened among the mountains, would likewise have added to their
perplexity.  Emily, as she looked up one of these, saw something at a
great distance like a bright cloud in the air.  'What light is
yonder, sir?' said she.

St. Aubert looked, and perceived that it was the snowy summit of a
mountain, so much higher than any around it, that it still reflected
the sun's rays, while those below lay in deep shade.

At length, the village lights were seen to twinkle through the dusk,
and, soon after, some cottages were discovered in the valley, or
rather were seen by reflection in the stream, on whose margin they
stood, and which still gleamed with the evening light.

The stranger now came up, and St. Aubert, on further enquiry, found
not only that there was no inn in the place, but not any sort of
house of public reception.  The stranger, however, offered to walk
on, and enquire for a cottage to accommodate them; for which further
civility St. Aubert returned his thanks, and said, that, as the
village was so near, he would alight, and walk with him.  Emily
followed slowly in the carriage.

On the way, St. Aubert asked his companion what success he had had in
the chase.  'Not much, sir,' he replied, 'nor do I aim at it.  I am
pleased with the country, and mean to saunter away a few weeks among
its scenes.  My dogs I take with me more for companionship than for
game.  This dress, too, gives me an ostensible business, and procures
me that respect from the people, which would, perhaps, be refused to
a lonely stranger, who had no visible motive for coming among them.'

'I admire your taste,' said St. Aubert, 'and, if I was a younger man,
should like to pass a few weeks in your way exceedingly.  I, too, am
a wanderer, but neither my plan nor pursuits are exactly like yours--
I go in search of health, as much as of amusement.'  St. Aubert
sighed, and paused; and then, seeming to recollect himself, he
resumed:  'If I can hear of a tolerable road, that shall afford
decent accommodation, it is my intention to pass into Rousillon, and
along the sea-shore to Languedoc.  You, sir, seem to be acquainted
with the country, and can, perhaps, give me information on the
subject.'

The stranger said, that what information he could give was entirely
at his service; and then mentioned a road rather more to the east,
which led to a town, whence it would be easy to proceed into
Rousillon.

They now arrived at the village, and commenced their search for a
cottage, that would afford a night's lodging.  In several, which they
entered, ignorance, poverty, and mirth seemed equally to prevail; and
the owners eyed St. Aubert with a mixture of curiosity and timidity. 
Nothing like a bed could be found, and he had ceased to enquire for
one, when Emily joined him, who observed the languor of her father's
countenance, and lamented, that he had taken a road so ill provided
with the comforts necessary for an invalid.  Other cottages, which
they examined, seemed somewhat less savage than the former,
consisting of two rooms, if such they could be called; the first of
these occupied by mules and pigs, the second by the family, which
generally consisted of six or eight children, with their parents, who
slept on beds of skins and dried beech leaves, spread upon a mud
floor.  Here, light was admitted, and smoke discharged, through an
aperture in the roof; and here the scent of spirits (for the
travelling smugglers, who haunted the Pyrenees, had made this rude
people familiar with the use of liquors) was generally perceptible
enough.  Emily turned from such scenes, and looked at her father with
anxious tenderness, which the young stranger seemed to observe; for,
drawing St. Aubert aside, he made him an offer of his own bed.  'It
is a decent one,' said he, 'when compared with what we have just
seen, yet such as in other circumstances I should be ashamed to offer
you.'  St. Aubert acknowledged how much he felt himself obliged by
this kindness, but refused to accept it, till the young stranger
would take no denial.  'Do not give me the pain of knowing, sir,'
said he, 'that an invalid, like you, lies on hard skins, while I
sleep in a bed.  Besides, sir, your refusal wounds my pride; I must
believe you think my offer unworthy your acceptance.  Let me shew you
the way.  I have no doubt my landlady can accommodate this young lady
also.'

St. Aubert at length consented, that, if this could be done, he would
accept his kindness, though he felt rather surprised, that the
stranger had proved himself so deficient in gallantry, as to
administer to the repose of an infirm man, rather than to that of a
very lovely young woman, for he had not once offered the room for
Emily.  But she thought not of herself, and the animated smile she
gave him, told how much she felt herself obliged for the preference
of her father.

On their way, the stranger, whose name was Valancourt, stepped on
first to speak to his hostess, and she came out to welcome St. Aubert
into a cottage, much superior to any he had seen.  This good woman
seemed very willing to accommodate the strangers, who were soon
compelled to accept the only two beds in the place.  Eggs and milk
were the only food the cottage afforded; but against scarcity of
provisions St. Aubert had provided, and he requested Valancourt to
stay, and partake with him of less homely fare; an invitation, which
was readily accepted, and they passed an hour in intelligent
conversation.  St. Aubert was much pleased with the manly frankness,
simplicity, and keen susceptibility to the grandeur of nature, which
his new acquaintance discovered; and, indeed, he had often been heard
to say, that, without a certain simplicity of heart, this taste could
not exist in any strong degree.

The conversation was interrupted by a violent uproar without, in
which the voice of the muleteer was heard above every other sound. 
Valancourt started from his seat, and went to enquire the occasion;
but the dispute continued so long afterwards, that St. Aubert went
himself, and found Michael quarrelling with the hostess, because she
had refused to let his mules lie in a little room where he and three
of her sons were to pass the night.  The place was wretched enough,
but there was no other for these people to sleep in; and, with
somewhat more of delicacy than was usual among the inhabitants of
this wild tract of country, she persisted in refusing to let the
animals have the same BED-CHAMBER with her children.  This was a
tender point with the muleteer; his honour was wounded when his mules
were treated with disrespect, and he would have received a blow,
perhaps, with more meekness.  He declared that his beasts were as
honest beasts, and as good beasts, as any in the whole province; and
that they had a right to be well treated wherever they went.  'They
are as harmless as lambs,' said he, 'if people don't affront them.  I
never knew them behave themselves amiss above once or twice in my
life, and then they had good reason for doing so.  Once, indeed, they
kicked at a boy's leg that lay asleep in the stable, and broke it;
but I told them they were out there, and by St. Anthony! I believe
they understood me, for they never did so again.'

He concluded this eloquent harangue with protesting, that they should
share with him, go where he would.

The dispute was at length settled by Valancourt, who drew the hostess
aside, and desired she would let the muleteer and his beasts have the
place in question to themselves, while her sons should have the bed
of skins designed for him, for that he would wrap himself in his
cloak, and sleep on the bench by the cottage door.  But this she
thought it her duty to oppose, and she felt it to be her inclination
to disappoint the muleteer.  Valancourt, however, was positive, and
the tedious affair was at length settled.

It was late when St. Aubert and Emily retired to their rooms, and
Valancourt to his station at the door, which, at this mild season, he
preferred to a close cabin and a bed of skins.  St. Aubert was
somewhat surprised to find in his room volumes of Homer, Horace, and
Petrarch; but the name of Valancourt, written in them, told him to
whom they belonged.



CHAPTER IV


   In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
  Fond of each gentle, and each dreadful scene,
  In darkness, and in storm he found delight;
  Nor less than when on ocean-wave serene
  The southern sun diffus'd his dazzling sheen.
  Even sad vicissitude amus'd his soul;
  And if a sigh would sometimes intervene,
  And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
 A sigh, a tear, so sweet, he wish'd not to controul.
     THE MINSTREL

St. Aubert awoke at an early hour, refreshed by sleep, and desirous
to set forward.  He invited the stranger to breakfast with him; and,
talking again of the road, Valancourt said, that, some months past,
he had travelled as far as Beaujeu, which was a town of some
consequence on the way to Rousillon.  He recommended it to St. Aubert
to take that route, and the latter determined to do so.

'The road from this hamlet,' said Valancourt, 'and that to Beaujeu,
part at the distance of about a league and a half from hence; if you
will give me leave, I will direct your muleteer so far.  I must
wander somewhere, and your company would make this a pleasanter
ramble than any other I could take.'

St. Aubert thankfully accepted his offer, and they set out together,
the young stranger on foot, for he refused the invitation of St.
Aubert to take a seat in his little carriage.

The road wound along the feet of the mountains through a pastoral
valley, bright with verdure, and varied with groves of dwarf oak,
beech and sycamore, under whose branches herds of cattle reposed. 
The mountain-ash too, and the weeping birch, often threw their
pendant foliage over the steeps above, where the scanty soil scarcely
concealed their roots, and where their light branches waved to every
breeze that fluttered from the mountains.

The travellers were frequently met at this early hour, for the sun
had not yet risen upon the valley, by shepherds driving immense
flocks from their folds to feed upon the hills.  St. Aubert had set
out thus early, not only that he might enjoy the first appearance of
sunrise, but that he might inhale the first pure breath of morning,
which above all things is refreshing to the spirits of the invalid. 
In these regions it was particularly so, where an abundance of wild
flowers and aromatic herbs breathed forth their essence on the air.

The dawn, which softened the scenery with its peculiar grey tint, now
dispersed, and Emily watched the progress of the day, first trembling
on the tops of the highest cliffs, then touching them with splendid
light, while their sides and the vale below were still wrapt in dewy
mist.  Meanwhile, the sullen grey of the eastern clouds began to
blush, then to redden, and then to glow with a thousand colours, till
the golden light darted over all the air, touched the lower points of
the mountain's brow, and glanced in long sloping beams upon the
valley and its stream.  All nature seemed to have awakened from death
into life; the spirit of St. Aubert was renovated.  His heart was
full; he wept, and his thoughts ascended to the Great Creator.

Emily wished to trip along the turf, so green and bright with dew,
and to taste the full delight of that liberty, which the izard seemed
to enjoy as he bounded along the brow of the cliffs; while Valancourt
often stopped to speak with the travellers, and with social feeling
to point out to them the peculiar objects of his admiration.  St.
Aubert was pleased with him:  'Here is the real ingenuousness and
ardour of youth,' said he to himself; 'this young man has never been
at Paris.'

He was sorry when they came to the spot where the roads parted, and
his heart took a more affectionate leave of him than is usual after
so short an acquaintance.  Valancourt talked long by the side of the
carriage; seemed more than once to be going, but still lingered, and
appeared to search anxiously for topics of conversation to account
for his delay.  At length he took leave.  As he went, St. Aubert
observed him look with an earnest and pensive eye at Emily, who bowed
to him with a countenance full of timid sweetness, while the carriage
drove on.  St. Aubert, for whatever reason, soon after looked from
the window, and saw Valancourt standing upon the bank of the road,
resting on his pike with folded arms, and following the carriage with
his eyes.  He waved his hand, and Valancourt, seeming to awake from
his reverie, returned the salute, and started away.

The aspect of the country now began to change, and the travellers
soon found themselves among mountains covered from their base nearly
to their summits with forests of gloomy pine, except where a rock of
granite shot up from the vale, and lost its snowy top in the clouds. 
The rivulet, which had hitherto accompanied them, now expanded into a
river; and, flowing deeply and silently along, reflected, as in a
mirror, the blackness of the impending shades.  Sometimes a cliff was
seen lifting its bold head above the woods and the vapours, that
floated mid-way down the mountains; and sometimes a face of
perpendicular marble rose from the water's edge, over which the larch
threw his gigantic arms, here scathed with lightning, and there
floating in luxuriant foliage.

They continued to travel over a rough and unfrequented road, seeing
now and then at a distance the solitary shepherd, with his dog,
stalking along the valley, and hearing only the dashing of torrents,
which the woods concealed from the eye, the long sullen murmur of the
breeze, as it swept over the pines, or the notes of the eagle and the
vulture, which were seen towering round the beetling cliff.

Often, as the carriage moved slowly over uneven ground, St. Aubert
alighted, and amused himself with examining the curious plants that
grew on the banks of the road, and with which these regions abound;
while Emily, wrapt in high enthusiasm, wandered away under the
shades, listening in deep silence to the lonely murmur of the woods.

Neither village nor hamlet was seen for many leagues; the goat-herd's
or the hunter's cabin, perched among the cliffs of the rocks, were
the only human habitations that appeared.

The travellers again took their dinner in the open air, on a pleasant
spot in the valley, under the spreading shade of cedars; and then set
forward towards Beaujeu.

The road now began to descend, and, leaving the pine forests behind,
wound among rocky precipices.  The evening twilight again fell over
the scene, and the travellers were ignorant how far they might yet be
from Beaujeu.  St. Aubert, however, conjectured that the distance
could not be very great, and comforted himself with the prospect of
travelling on a more frequented road after reaching that town, where
he designed to pass the night.  Mingled woods, and rocks, and heathy
mountains were now seen obscurely through the dusk; but soon even
these imperfect images faded in darkness.  Michael proceeded with
caution, for he could scarcely distinguish the road; his mules,
however, seemed to have more sagacity, and their steps were sure.

On turning the angle of a mountain, a light appeared at a distance,
that illumined the rocks, and the horizon to a great extent.  It was
evidently a large fire, but whether accidental, or otherwise, there
were no means of knowing.  St. Aubert thought it was probably kindled
by some of the numerous banditti, that infested the Pyrenees, and he
became watchful and anxious to know whether the road passed near this
fire.  He had arms with him, which, on an emergency, might afford
some protection, though certainly a very unequal one, against a band
of robbers, so desperate too as those usually were who haunted these
wild regions.  While many reflections rose upon his mind, he heard a
voice shouting from the road behind, and ordering the muleteer to
stop.  St. Aubert bade him proceed as fast as possible; but either
Michael, or his mules were obstinate, for they did not quit the old
pace.  Horses' feet were now heard; a man rode up to the carriage,
still ordering the driver to stop; and St. Aubert, who could no
longer doubt his purpose, was with difficulty able to prepare a
pistol for his defence, when his hand was upon the door of the
chaise.  The man staggered on his horse, the report of the pistol was
followed by a groan, and St. Aubert's horror may be imagined, when in
the next instant he thought he heard the faint voice of Valancourt. 
He now himself bade the muleteer stop; and, pronouncing the name of
Valancourt, was answered in a voice, that no longer suffered him to
doubt.  St. Aubert, who instantly alighted and went to his
assistance, found him still sitting on his horse, but bleeding
profusely, and appearing to be in great pain, though he endeavoured
to soften the terror of St. Aubert by assurances that he was not
materially hurt, the wound being only in his arm.  St. Aubert, with
the muleteer, assisted him to dismount, and he sat down on the bank
of the road, where St. Aubert tried to bind up his arm, but his hands
trembled so excessively that he could not accomplish it; and, Michael
being now gone in pursuit of the horse, which, on being disengaged
from his rider, had galloped off, he called Emily to his assistance. 
Receiving no answer, he went to the carriage, and found her sunk on
the seat in a fainting fit.  Between the distress of this
circumstance and that of leaving Valancourt bleeding, he scarcely
knew what he did; he endeavoured, however, to raise her, and called
to Michael to fetch water from the rivulet that flowed by the road,
but Michael was gone beyond the reach of his voice.  Valancourt, who
heard these calls, and also the repeated name of Emily, instantly
understood the subject of his distress; and, almost forgetting his
own condition, he hastened to her relief.  She was reviving when he
reached the carriage; and then, understanding that anxiety for him
had occasioned her indisposition, he assured her, in a voice that
trembled, but not from anguish, that his wound was of no consequence. 
While he said this St. Aubert turned round, and perceiving that he
was still bleeding, the subject of his alarm changed again, and he
hastily formed some handkerchiefs into a bandage.  This stopped the
effusion of the blood; but St. Aubert, dreading the consequence of
the wound, enquired repeatedly how far they were from Beaujeu; when,
learning that it was at two leagues' distance, his distress
increased, since he knew not how Valancourt, in his present state,
would bear the motion of the carriage, and perceived that he was
already faint from loss of blood.  When he mentioned the subject of
his anxiety, Valancourt entreated that he would not suffer himself to
be thus alarmed on his account, for that he had no doubt he should be
able to support himself very well; and then he talked of the accident
as a slight one.  The muleteer being now returned with Valancourt's
horse, assisted him into the chaise; and, as Emily was now revived,
they moved slowly on towards Beaujeu.

St. Aubert, when he had recovered from the terror occasioned him by
this accident, expressed surprise on seeing Valancourt, who explained
his unexpected appearance by saying, 'You, sir, renewed my taste for
society; when you had left the hamlet, it did indeed appear a
solitude.  I determined, therefore, since my object was merely
amusement, to change the scene; and I took this road, because I knew
it led through a more romantic tract of mountains than the spot I
have left.  Besides,' added he, hesitating for an instant, 'I will
own, and why should I not? that I had some hope of overtaking you.'

'And I have made you a very unexpected return for the compliment,'
said St. Aubert, who lamented again the rashness which had produced
the accident, and explained the cause of his late alarm.  But
Valancourt seemed anxious only to remove from the minds of his
companions every unpleasant feeling relative to himself; and, for
that purpose, still struggled against a sense of pain, and tried to
converse with gaiety.  Emily meanwhile was silent, except when
Valancourt particularly addressed her, and there was at those times a
tremulous tone in his voice that spoke much.

They were now so near the fire, which had long flamed at a distance
on the blackness of night, that it gleamed upon the road, and they
could distinguish figures moving about the blaze.  The way winding
still nearer, they perceived in the valley one of those numerous
bands of gipsies, which at that period particularly haunted the wilds
of the Pyrenees, and lived partly by plundering the traveller.  Emily
looked with some degree of terror on the savage countenances of these
people, shewn by the fire, which heightened the romantic effects of
the scenery, as it threw a red dusky gleam upon the rocks and on the
foliage of the trees, leaving heavy masses of shade and regions of
obscurity, which the eye feared to penetrate.

They were preparing their supper; a large pot stood by the fire, over
which several figures were busy.  The blaze discovered a rude kind of
tent, round which many children and dogs were playing, and the whole
formed a picture highly grotesque.  The travellers saw plainly their
danger.  Valancourt was silent, but laid his hand on one of St.
Aubert's pistols;  St. Aubert drew forth another, and Michael was
ordered to proceed as fast as possible.  They passed the place,
however, without being attacked; the rovers being probably unprepared
for the opportunity, and too busy about their supper to feel much
interest, at the moment, in any thing besides.

After a league and a half more, passed in darkness, the travellers
arrived at Beaujeu, and drove up to the only inn the place afforded;
which, though superior to any they had seen since they entered the
mountains, was bad enough.

The surgeon of the town was immediately sent for, if a surgeon he
could be called, who prescribed for horses as well as for men, and
shaved faces at least as dexterously as he set bones.  After
examining Valancourt's arm, and perceiving that the bullet had passed
through the flesh without touching the bone, he dressed it, and left
him with a solemn prescription of quiet, which his patient was not
inclined to obey.  The delight of ease had now succeeded to pain; for
ease may be allowed to assume a positive quality when contrasted with
anguish; and, his spirits thus re-animated, he wished to partake of
the conversation of St. Aubert and Emily, who, released from so many
apprehensions, were uncommonly cheerful.  Late as it was, however,
St. Aubert was obliged to go out with the landlord to buy meat for
supper; and Emily, who, during this interval, had been absent as long
as she could, upon excuses of looking to their accommodation, which
she found rather better than she expected, was compelled to return,
and converse with Valancourt alone.  They talked of the character of
the scenes they had passed, of the natural history of the country, of
poetry, and of St. Aubert; a subject on which Emily always spoke and
listened to with peculiar pleasure.

The travellers passed an agreeable evening; but St. Aubert was
fatigued with his journey; and, as Valancourt seemed again sensible
of pain, they separated soon after supper.

In the morning St. Aubert found that Valancourt had passed a restless
night; that he was feverish, and his wound very painful.  The
surgeon, when he dressed it, advised him to remain quietly at
Beaujeu; advice which was too reasonable to be rejected.  St. Aubert,
however, had no favourable opinion of this practitioner, and was
anxious to commit Valancourt into more skilful hands; but learning,
upon enquiry, that there was no town within several leagues which
seemed more likely to afford better advice, he altered the plan of
his journey, and determined to await the recovery of Valancourt, who,
with somewhat more ceremony than sincerity, made many objections to
this delay.

By order of his surgeon, Valancourt did not go out of the house that
day; but St. Aubert and Emily surveyed with delight the environs of
the town, situated at the feet of the Pyrenean Alps, that rose, some
in abrupt precipices, and others swelling with woods of cedar, fir,
and cypress, which stretched nearly to their highest summits.  The
cheerful green of the beech and mountain-ash was sometimes seen, like
a gleam of light, amidst the dark verdure of the forest; and
sometimes a torrent poured its sparkling flood, high among the woods.

Valancourt's indisposition detained the travellers at Beaujeu several
days, during which interval St. Aubert had observed his disposition
and his talents with the philosophic inquiry so natural to him.  He
saw a frank and generous nature, full of ardour, highly susceptible
of whatever is grand and beautiful, but impetuous, wild, and somewhat
romantic.  Valancourt had known little of the world.  His perceptions
were clear, and his feelings just; his indignation of an unworthy, or
his admiration of a generous action, were expressed in terms of equal
vehemence.  St. Aubert sometimes smiled at his warmth, but seldom
checked it, and often repeated to himself, 'This young man has never
been at Paris.'  A sigh sometimes followed this silent ejaculation. 
He determined not to leave Valancourt till he should be perfectly
recovered; and, as he was now well enough to travel, though not able
to manage his horse, St. Aubert invited him to accompany him for a
few days in the carriage.  This he the more readily did, since he had
discovered that Valancourt was of a family of the same name in
Gascony, with whose respectability he was well acquainted.  The
latter accepted the offer with great pleasure, and they again set
forward among these romantic wilds about Rousillon.

They travelled leisurely; stopping wherever a scene uncommonly grand
appeared; frequently alighting to walk to an eminence, whither the
mules could not go, from which the prospect opened in greater
magnificence; and often sauntering over hillocks covered with
lavender, wild thyme, juniper, and tamarisc; and under the shades of
woods, between those boles they caught the long mountain-vista,
sublime beyond any thing that Emily had ever imagined.

St. Aubert sometimes amused himself with botanizing, while Valancourt
and Emily strolled on; he pointing out to her notice the objects that
particularly charmed him, and reciting beautiful passages from such
of the Latin and Italian poets as he had heard her admire.  In the
pauses of conversation, when he thought himself not observed, he
frequently fixed his eyes pensively on her countenance, which
expressed with so much animation the taste and energy of her mind;
and when he spoke again, there was a peculiar tenderness in the tone
of his voice, that defeated any attempt to conceal his sentiments. 
By degrees these silent pauses became more frequent; till Emily,
only, betrayed an anxiety to interrupt them; and she; who had been
hitherto reserved, would now talk again, and again, of the woods and
the vallies and the mountains, to avoid the danger of sympathy and
silence.

From Beaujeu the road had constantly ascended, conducting the
travellers into the higher regions of the air, where immense glaciers
exhibited their frozen horrors, and eternal snow whitened the summits
of the mountains.  They often paused to contemplate these stupendous
scenes, and, seated on some wild cliff, where only the ilex or the
larch could flourish, looked over dark forests of fir, and precipices
where human foot had never wandered, into the glen--so deep, that the
thunder of the torrent, which was seen to foam along the bottom, was
scarcely heard to murmur.  Over these crags rose others of stupendous
height, and fantastic shape; some shooting into cones; others
impending far over their base, in huge masses of granite, along whose
broken ridges was often lodged a weight of snow, that, trembling even
to the vibration of a sound, threatened to bear destruction in its
course to the vale.  Around, on every side, far as the eye could
penetrate, were seen only forms of grandeur--the long perspective of
mountain-tops, tinged with ethereal blue, or white with snow; vallies
of ice, and forests of gloomy fir.  The serenity and clearness of the
air in these high regions were particularly delightful to the
travellers; it seemed to inspire them with a finer spirit, and
diffused an indescribable complacency over their minds.  They had no
words to express the sublime emotions they felt.  A solemn expression
characterized the feelings of St. Aubert; tears often came to his
eyes, and he frequently walked away from his companions.  Valancourt
now and then spoke, to point to Emily's notice some feature of the
scene.  The thinness of the atmosphere, through which every object
came so distinctly to the eye, surprised and deluded her; who could
scarcely believe that objects, which appeared so near, were, in
reality, so distant.  The deep silence of these solitudes was broken
only at intervals by the scream of the vultures, seen cowering round
some cliff below, or by the cry of the eagle sailing high in the air;
except when the travellers listened to the hollow thunder that
sometimes muttered at their feet.  While, above, the deep blue of the
heavens was unobscured by the lightest cloud, half way down the
mountains, long billows of vapour were frequently seen rolling, now
wholly excluding the country below, and now opening, and partially
revealing its features.  Emily delighted to observe the grandeur of
these clouds as they changed in shape and tints, and to watch their
various effect on the lower world, whose features, partly veiled,
were continually assuming new forms of sublimity.

After traversing these regions for many leagues, they began to
descend towards Rousillon, and features of beauty then mingled with
the scene.  Yet the travellers did not look back without some regret
to the sublime objects they had quitted; though the eye, fatigued
with the extension of its powers, was glad to repose on the verdure
of woods and pastures, that now hung on the margin of the river
below; to view again the humble cottage shaded by cedars, the playful
group of mountaineer-children, and the flowery nooks that appeared
among the hills.

As they descended, they saw at a distance, on the right, one of the
grand passes of the Pyrenees into Spain, gleaming with its
battlements and towers to the splendour of the setting rays, yellow
tops of woods colouring the steeps below, while far above aspired the
snowy points of the mountains, still reflecting a rosy hue.

St. Aubert began to look out for the little town he had been directed
to by the people of Beaujeu, and where he meant to pass the night;
but no habitation yet appeared.  Of its distance Valancourt could not
assist him to judge, for he had never been so far along this chain of
Alps before.  There was, however, a road to guide them; and there
could be little doubt that it was the right one; for, since they had
left Beaujeu, there had been no variety of tracks to perplex or
mislead.

The sun now gave his last light, and St. Aubert bade the muleteer
proceed with all possible dispatch.  He found, indeed, the lassitude
of illness return upon him, after a day of uncommon fatigue, both of
body and mind, and he longed for repose.  His anxiety was not soothed
by observing a numerous train, consisting of men, horses, and loaded
mules, winding down the steeps of an opposite mountain, appearing and
disappearing at intervals among the woods, so that its numbers could
not be judged of.  Something bright, like arms, glanced in the
setting ray, and the military dress was distinguishable upon the men
who were in the van, and on others scattered among the troop that
followed.  As these wound into the vale, the rear of the party
emerged from the woods, and exhibited a band of soldiers.  St.
Aubert's apprehensions now subsided; he had no doubt that the train
before him consisted of smugglers, who, in conveying prohibited goods
over the Pyrenees, had been encountered, and conquered by a party of
troops.

The travellers had lingered so long among the sublimer scenes of
these mountains, that they found themselves entirely mistaken in
their calculation that they could reach Montigny at sun-set; but, as
they wound along the valley, the saw, on a rude Alpine bridge, that
united two lofty crags of the glen, a group of mountaineer-children,
amusing themselves with dropping pebbles into a torrent below, and
watching the stones plunge into the water, that threw up its white
spray high in the air as it received them, and returned a sullen
sound, which the echoes of the mountains prolonged.  Under the bridge
was seen a perspective of the valley, with its cataract descending
among the rocks, and a cottage on a cliff, overshadowed with pines. 
It appeared, that they could not be far from some small town.  St.
Aubert bade the muleteer stop, and then called to the children to
enquire if he was near Montigny; but the distance, and the roaring of
the waters, would not suffer his voice to be heard; and the crags,
adjoining the bridge, were of such tremendous height and steepness,
that to have climbed either would have been scarcely practicable to a
person unacquainted with the ascent.  St. Aubert, therefore, did not
waste more moments in delay.  They continued to travel long after
twilight had obscured the road, which was so broken, that, now
thinking it safer to walk than to ride, they all alighted.  The moon
was rising, but her light was yet too feeble to assist them.  While
they stepped carefully on, they heard the vesper-bell of a convent. 
The twilight would not permit them to distinguish anything like a
building, but the sounds seemed to come from some woods, that
overhung an acclivity to the right.  Valancourt proposed to go in
search of this convent.  'If they will not accommodate us with a
night's lodging,' said he, 'they may certainly inform us how far we
are from Montigny, and direct us towards it.'  He was bounding
forward, without waiting St. Aubert's reply, when the latter stopped
him.  'I am very weary,' said St. Aubert, 'and wish for nothing so
much as for immediate rest.  We will all go to the convent; your good
looks would defeat our purpose; but when they see mine and Emily's
exhausted countenances, they will scarcely deny us repose.'

As he said this, he took Emily's arm within his, and, telling Michael
to wait awhile in the road with the carriage, they began to ascend
towards the woods, guided by the bell of the convent.  His steps were
feeble, and Valancourt offered him his arm, which he accepted.  The
moon now threw a faint light over their path, and, soon after,
enabled them to distinguish some towers rising above the tops of the
woods.  Still following the note of the bell, they entered the shade
of those woods, lighted only by the moonbeams, that glided down
between the leaves, and threw a tremulous uncertain gleam upon the
steep track they were winding.  The gloom and the silence that
prevailed, except when the bell returned upon the air, together with
the wildness of the surrounding scene, struck Emily with a degree of
fear, which, however, the voice and conversation of Valancourt
somewhat repressed.  When they had been some time ascending, St.
Aubert complained of weariness, and they stopped to rest upon a
little green summit, where the trees opened, and admitted the moon-
light.  He sat down upon the turf, between Emily and Valancourt.  The
bell had now ceased, and the deep repose of the scene was undisturbed
by any sound, for the low dull murmur of some distant torrents might
be said to sooth, rather than to interrupt, the silence.

Before them, extended the valley they had quitted; its rocks, and
woods to the left, just silvered by the rays, formed a contrast to
the deep shadow, that involved the opposite cliffs, whose fringed
summits only were tipped with light; while the distant perspective of
the valley was lost in the yellow mist of moon-light.  The travellers
sat for some time wrapt in the complacency which such scenes inspire.

'These scenes,' said Valancourt, at length, 'soften the heart, like
the notes of sweet music, and inspire that delicious melancholy which
no person, who had felt it once, would resign for the gayest
pleasures.  They waken our best and purest feelings, disposing us to
benevolence, pity, and friendship.  Those whom I love--I always seem
to love more in such an hour as this.'  His voice trembled, and he
paused.

St. Aubert was silent; Emily perceived a warm tear fall upon the hand
he held; she knew the object of his thoughts; hers too had, for some
time, been occupied by the remembrance of her mother.  He seemed by
an effort to rouse himself.  'Yes,' said he, with an half-suppressed
sigh, 'the memory of those we love--of times for ever past! in such
an hour as this steals upon the mind, like a strain of distant music
in the stillness of night;--all tender and harmonious as this
landscape, sleeping in the mellow moon-light.'  After the pause of a
moment, St. Aubert added, 'I have always fancied, that I thought with
more clearness, and precision, at such an hour than at any other, and
that heart must be insensible in a great degree, that does not soften
to its influence.  But many such there are.'

Valancourt sighed.

'Are there, indeed, many such?' said Emily.

'a few years hence, my Emily,' replied St. Aubert, 'and you may smile
at the recollection of that question--if you do not weep to it.  But
come, I am somewhat refreshed, let us proceed.'

Having emerged from the woods, they saw, upon a turfy hillock above,
the convent of which they were in search.  A high wall, that
surrounded it, led them to an ancient gate, at which they knocked;
and the poor monk, who opened it, conducted them into a small
adjoining room, where he desired they would wait while he informed
the superior of their request.  In this interval, several friars came
in separately to look at them; and at length the first monk returned,
and they followed him to a room, where the superior was sitting in an
arm-chair, with a large folio volume, printed in black letter, open
on a desk before him.  He received them with courtesy, though he did
not rise from his seat; and, having asked them a few questions,
granted their request.  After a short conversation, formal and solemn
on the part of the superior, they withdrew to the apartment where
they were to sup, and Valancourt, whom one of the inferior friars
civilly desired to accompany, went to seek Michael and his mules. 
They had not descended half way down the cliffs, before they heard
the voice of the muleteer echoing far and wide.  Sometimes he called
on St. Aubert, and sometimes on Valancourt; who having, at length,
convinced him that he had nothing to fear either for himself, or his
master; and having disposed of him, for the night, in a cottage on
the skirts of the woods, returned to sup with his friends, on such
sober fare as the monks thought it prudent to set before them.  While
St. Aubert was too much indisposed to share it, Emily, in her anxiety
for her father, forgot herself; and Valancourt, silent and
thoughtful, yet never inattentive to them, appeared particularly
solicitous to accommodate and relieve St. Aubert, who often observed,
while his daughter was pressing him to eat, or adjusting the pillow
she had placed in the back of his arm-chair, that Valancourt fixed on
her a look of pensive tenderness, which he was not displeased to
understand.

They separated at an early hour, and retired to their respective
apartments.  Emily was shown to hers by a nun of the convent, whom
she was glad to dismiss, for her heart was melancholy, and her
attention so much abstracted, that conversation with a stranger was
painful.  She thought her father daily declining, and attributed his
present fatigue more to the feeble state of his frame, than to the
difficulty of the journey.  A train of gloomy ideas haunted her mind,
till she fell asleep.

In about two hours after, she was awakened by the chiming of a bell,
and then heard quick steps pass along the gallery, into which her
chamber opened.  She was so little accustomed to the manners of a
convent, as to be alarmed by this circumstance; her fears, ever alive
for her father, suggested that he was very ill, and she rose in haste
to go to him.  Having paused, however, to let the persons in the
gallery pass before she opened her door, her thoughts, in the mean
time, recovered from the confusion of sleep, and she understood that
the bell was the call of the monks to prayers.  It had now ceased,
and, all being again still, she forbore to go to St. Aubert's room. 
Her mind was not disposed for immediate sleep, and the moon-light,
that shone into her chamber, invited her to open the casement, and
look out upon the country.

It was a still and beautiful night, the sky was unobscured by any
cloud, and scarce a leaf of the woods beneath trembled in the air. 
As she listened, the mid-night hymn of the monks rose softly from a
chapel, that stood on one of the lower cliffs, an holy strain, that
seemed to ascend through the silence of night to heaven, and her
thoughts ascended with it.  From the consideration of His works, her
mind arose to the adoration of the Deity, in His goodness and power;
wherever she turned her view, whether on the sleeping earth, or to
the vast regions of space, glowing with worlds beyond the reach of
human thought, the sublimity of God, and the majesty of His presence
appeared.  Her eyes were filled with tears of awful love and
admiration; and she felt that pure devotion, superior to all the
distinctions of human system, which lifts the soul above this world,
and seems to expand it into a nobler nature; such devotion as can,
perhaps, only be experienced, when the mind, rescued, for a moment,
from the humbleness of earthly considerations, aspires to contemplate
His power in the sublimity of His works, and His goodness in the
infinity of His blessings.

     Is it not now the hour,
 The holy hour, when to the cloudless height
 Of yon starred concave climbs the full-orbed moon,
 And to this nether world in solemn stillness,
 Gives sign, that, to the list'ning ear of Heaven
 Religion's voice should plead?  The very babe
 Knows this, and, chance awak'd, his little hands
 Lifts to the gods, and on his innocent couch
 Calls down a blessing.*
     *Caractacus


The midnight chant of the monks soon after dropped into silence; but
Emily remained at the casement, watching the setting moon, and the
valley sinking into deep shade, and willing to prolong her present
state of mind.  At length she retired to her mattress, and sunk into
tranquil slumber.



CHAPTER V


     While in the rosy vale
 Love breath'd his infant sighs, from anguish free.
     Thomson

St. Aubert, sufficiently restored by a night's repose to pursue his
journey, set out in the morning, with his family and Valancourt, for
Rousillon, which he hoped to reach before night-fall.  The scenes,
through which they now passed, were as wild and romantic, as any they
had yet observed, with this difference, that beauty, every now and
then, softened the landscape into smiles.  Little woody recesses
appeared among the mountains, covered with bright verdure and
flowers; or a pastoral valley opened its grassy bosom in the shade of
the cliffs, with flocks and herds loitering along the banks of a
rivulet, that refreshed it with perpetual green.  St. Aubert could
not repent the having taken this fatiguing road, though he was this
day, also, frequently obliged to alight, to walk along the rugged
precipice, and to climb the steep and flinty mountain.  The wonderful
sublimity and variety of the prospects repaid him for all this, and
the enthusiasm, with which they were viewed by his young companions,
heightened his own, and awakened a remembrance of all the delightful
emotions of his early days, when the sublime charms of nature were
first unveiled to him.  He found great pleasure in conversing with
Valancourt, and in listening to his ingenuous remarks.  The fire and
simplicity of his manners seemed to render him a characteristic
figure in the scenes around them; and St. Aubert discovered in his
sentiments the justness and the dignity of an elevated mind,
unbiassed by intercourse with the world.  He perceived, that his
opinions were formed, rather than imbibed; were more the result of
thought, than of learning.  Of the world he seemed to know nothing;
for he believed well of all mankind, and this opinion gave him the
reflected image of his own heart.

St. Aubert, as he sometimes lingered to examine the wild plants in
his path, often looked forward with pleasure to Emily and Valancourt,
as they strolled on together; he, with a countenance of animated
delight, pointing to her attention some grand feature of the scene;
and she, listening and observing with a look of tender seriousness,
that spoke the elevation of her mind.  They appeared like two lovers
who had never strayed beyond these their native mountains; whose
situation had secluded them from the frivolities of common life,
whose ideas were simple and grand, like the landscapes among which
they moved, and who knew no other happiness, than in the union of
pure and affectionate hearts.  St. Aubert smiled, and sighed at the
romantic picture of felicity his fancy drew; and sighed again to
think, that nature and simplicity were so little known to the world,
as that their pleasures were thought romantic.

'The world,' said he, pursuing this train of thought, 'ridicules a
passion which it seldom feels; its scenes, and its interests,
distract the mind, deprave the taste, corrupt the heart, and love
cannot exist in a heart that has lost the meek dignity of innocence. 
Virtue and taste are nearly the same, for virtue is little more than
active taste, and the most delicate affections of each combine in
real love.  How then are we to look for love in great cities, where
selfishness, dissipation, and insincerity supply the place of
tenderness, simplicity and truth?'

It was near noon, when the travellers, having arrived at a piece of
steep and dangerous road, alighted to walk.  The road wound up an
ascent, that was clothed with wood, and, instead of following the
carriage, they entered the refreshing shade.  A dewy coolness was
diffused upon the air, which, with the bright verdure of turf, that
grew under the trees, the mingled fragrance of flowers and of balm,
thyme, and lavender, that enriched it, and the grandeur of the pines,
beech, and chestnuts, that overshadowed them, rendered this a most
delicious retreat.  Sometimes, the thick foliage excluded all view of
the country; at others, it admitted some partial catches of the
distant scenery, which gave hints to the imagination to picture
landscapes more interesting, more impressive, than any that had been
presented to the eye.  The wanderers often lingered to indulge in
these reveries of fancy.

The pauses of silence, such as had formerly interrupted the
conversations of Valancourt and Emily, were more frequent today than
ever.  Valancourt often dropped suddenly from the most animating
vivacity into fits of deep musing, and there was, sometimes, an
unaffected melancholy in his smile, which Emily could not avoid
understanding, for her heart was interested in the sentiment it
spoke.

St. Aubert was refreshed by the shades, and they continued to saunter
under them, following, as nearly as they could guess, the direction
of the road, till they perceived that they had totally lost it.  They
had continued near the brow of the precipice, allured by the scenery
it exhibited, while the road wound far away over the cliff above. 
Valancourt called loudly to Michael, but heard no voice, except his
own, echoing among the rocks, and his various efforts to regain the
road were equally unsuccessful.  While they were thus circumstanced,
they perceived a shepherd's cabin, between the boles of the trees at
some distance, and Valancourt bounded on first to ask assistance. 
When he reached it, he saw only two little children, at play, on the
turf before the door.  He looked into the hut, but no person was
there, and the eldest of the boys told him that their father was with
his flocks, and their mother was gone down into the vale, but would
be back presently.  As he stood, considering what was further to be
done, on a sudden he heard Michael's voice roaring forth most
manfully among the cliffs above, till he made their echoes ring. 
Valancourt immediately answered the call, and endeavoured to make his
way through the thicket that clothed the steeps, following the
direction of the sound.  After much struggle over brambles and
precipices, he reached Michael, and at length prevailed with him to
be silent, and to listen to him.  The road was at a considerable
distance from the spot where St. Aubert and Emily were; the carriage
could not easily return to the entrance of the wood, and, since it
would be very fatiguing for St. Aubert to climb the long and steep
road to the place where it now stood, Valancourt was anxious to find
a more easy ascent, by the way he had himself passed.

Meanwhile St. Aubert and Emily approached the cottage, and rested
themselves on a rustic bench, fastened between two pines, which
overshadowed it, till Valancourt, whose steps they had observed,
should return.

The eldest of the children desisted from his play, and stood still to
observe the strangers, while the younger continued his little
gambols, and teased his brother to join in them.  St. Aubert looked
with pleasure upon this picture of infantine simplicity, till it
brought to his remembrance his own boys, whom he had lost about the
age of these, and their lamented mother; and he sunk into a
thoughtfulness, which Emily observing, she immediately began to sing
one of those simple and lively airs he was so fond of, and which she
knew how to give with the most captivating sweetness.  St. Aubert
smiled on her through his tears, took her hand and pressed it
affectionately, and then tried to dissipate the melancholy
reflections that lingered in his mind.

While she sung, Valancourt approached, who was unwilling to interrupt
her, and paused at a little distance to listen.  When she had
concluded, he joined the party, and told them, that he had found
Michael, as well as a way, by which he thought they could ascend the
cliff to the carriage.  He pointed to the woody steeps above, which
St. Aubert surveyed with an anxious eye.  He was already wearied by
his walk, and this ascent was formidable to him.  He thought,
however, it would be less toilsome than the long and broken road, and
he determined to attempt it; but Emily, ever watchful of his ease,
proposing that he should rest, and dine before they proceeded
further, Valancourt went to the carriage for the refreshments
deposited there.

On his return, he proposed removing a little higher up the mountain,
to where the woods opened upon a grand and extensive prospect; and
thither they were preparing to go, when they saw a young woman join
the children, and caress and weep over them.

The travellers, interested by her distress, stopped to observe her. 
She took the youngest of the children in her arms, and, perceiving
the strangers, hastily dried her tears, and proceeded to the cottage. 
St. Aubert, on enquiring the occasion of her sorrow, learned that her
husband, who was a shepherd, and lived here in the summer months to
watch over the flocks he led to feed upon these mountains, had lost,
on the preceding night, his little all.  A gang of gipsies, who had
for some time infested the neighbourhood, had driven away several of
his master's sheep.  'Jacques,' added the shepherd's wife, 'had saved
a little money, and had bought a few sheep with it, and now they must
go to his master for those that are stolen; and what is worse than
all, his master, when he comes to know how it is, will trust him no
longer with the care of his flocks, for he is a hard man! and then
what is to become of our children!'

The innocent countenance of the woman, and the simplicity of her
manner in relating her grievance, inclined St. Aubert to believe her
story; and Valancourt, convinced that it was true, asked eagerly what
was the value of the stolen sheep; on hearing which he turned away
with a look of disappointment.  St. Aubert put some money into her
hand, Emily too gave something from her little purse, and they walked
towards the cliff; but Valancourt lingered behind, and spoke to the
shepherd's wife, who was now weeping with gratitude and surprise.  He
enquired how much money was yet wanting to replace the stolen sheep,
and found, that it was a sum very little short of all he had about
him.  He was perplexed and distressed.  'This sum then,' said he to
himself, 'would make this poor family completely happy--it is in my
power to give it--to make them completely happy!  But what is to
become of me?--how shall I contrive to reach home with the little
money that will remain?'  For a moment he stood, unwilling to forego
the luxury of raising a family from ruin to happiness, yet
considering the difficulties of pursuing his journey with so small a
sum as would be left.

While he was in this state of perplexity, the shepherd himself
appeared:  his children ran to meet him; he took one of them in his
arms, and, with the other clinging to his coat, came forward with a
loitering step.  His forlorn and melancholy look determined
Valancourt at once; he threw down all the money he had, except a very
few louis, and bounded away after St. Aubert and Emily, who were
proceeding slowly up the steep.  Valancourt had seldom felt his heart
so light as at this moment; his gay spirits danced with pleasure;
every object around him appeared more interesting, or beautiful, than
before.  St. Aubert observed the uncommon vivacity of his
countenance:  'What has pleased you so much?' said he.  'O what a
lovely day,' replied Valancourt, 'how brightly the sun shines, how
pure is this air, what enchanting scenery!'  'It is indeed
enchanting,' said St. Aubert, whom early experience had taught to
understand the nature of Valancourt's present feelings.  'What pity
that the wealthy, who can command such sunshine, should ever pass
their days in gloom--in the cold shade of selfishness!  For you, my
young friend, may the sun always shine as brightly as at this moment;
may your own conduct always give you the sunshine of benevolence and
reason united!'

Valancourt, highly flattered by this compliment, could make no reply
but by a smile of gratitude.

They continued to wind under the woods, between the grassy knolls of
the mountain, and, as they reached the shady summit, which he had
pointed out, the whole party burst into an exclamation.  Behind the
spot where they stood, the rock rose perpendicularly in a massy wall
to a considerable height, and then branched out into overhanging
crags.  Their grey tints were well contrasted by the bright hues of
the plants and wild flowers, that grew in their fractured sides, and
were deepened by the gloom of the pines and cedars, that waved above. 
The steeps below, over which the eye passed abruptly to the valley,
were fringed with thickets of alpine shrubs; and, lower still,
appeared the tufted tops of the chesnut woods, that clothed their
base, among which peeped forth the shepherd's cottage, just left by
the travellers, with its blueish smoke curling high in the air.  On
every side appeared the majestic summits of the Pyrenees, some
exhibiting tremendous crags of marble, whose appearance was changing
every instant, as the varying lights fell upon their surface; others,
still higher, displaying only snowy points, while their lower steeps
were covered almost invariably with forests of pine, larch, and oak,
that stretched down to the vale.  This was one of the narrow vallies,
that open from the Pyrenees into the country of Rousillon, and whose
green pastures, and cultivated beauty, form a decided and wonderful
contrast to the romantic grandeur that environs it.  Through a vista
of the mountains appeared the lowlands of Rousillon, tinted with the
blue haze of distance, as they united with the waters of the
Mediterranean; where, on a promontory, which marked the boundary of
the shore, stood a lonely beacon, over which were seen circling
flights of sea-fowl.  Beyond, appeared, now and then, a stealing
sail, white with the sun-beam, and whose progress was perceivable by
its approach to the light-house.  Sometimes, too, was seen a sail so
distant, that it served only to mark the line of separation between
the sky and the waves.

On the other side of the valley, immediately opposite to the spot
where the travellers rested, a rocky pass opened toward Gascony. 
Here no sign of cultivation appeared.  The rocks of granite, that
screened the glen, rose abruptly from their base, and stretched their
barren points to the clouds, unvaried with woods, and uncheered even
by a hunter's cabin.  Sometimes, indeed, a gigantic larch threw its
long shade over the precipice, and here and there a cliff reared on
its brow a monumental cross, to tell the traveller the fate of him
who had ventured thither before.  This spot seemed the very haunt of
banditti; and Emily, as she looked down upon it, almost expected to
see them stealing out from some hollow cave to look for their prey. 
Soon after an object not less terrific struck her,--a gibbet standing
on a point of rock near the entrance of the pass, and immediately
over one of the crosses she had before observed.  These were
hieroglyphics that told a plain and dreadful story.  She forbore to
point it out to St. Aubert, but it threw a gloom over her spirits,
and made her anxious to hasten forward, that they might with
certainty reach Rousillon before night-fall.  It was necessary,
however, that St. Aubert should take some refreshment, and, seating
themselves on the short dry turf, they opened the basket of
provisions, while

     by breezy murmurs cool'd,
 Broad o'er THEIR heads the verdant cedars wave,
 And high palmetos lift their graceful shade.
 -----THEY draw
 Ethereal soul, there drink reviving gales
 Profusely breathing from the piney groves,
 And vales of fragrance; there at a distance hear
 The roaring floods, and cataracts.*
     *Thomson


St. Aubert was revived by rest, and by the serene air of this summit;
and Valancourt was so charmed with all around, and with the
conversation of his companions, that he seemed to have forgotten he
had any further to go.  Having concluded their simple repast, they
gave a long farewell look to the scene, and again began to ascend. 
St. Aubert rejoiced when he reached the carriage, which Emily entered
with him; but Valancourt, willing to take a more extensive view of
the enchanting country, into which they were about to descend, than
he could do from a carriage, loosened his dogs, and once more bounded
with them along the banks of the road.  He often quitted it for
points that promised a wider prospect, and the slow pace, at which
the mules travelled, allowed him to overtake them with ease. 
Whenever a scene of uncommon magnificence appeared, he hastened to
inform St. Aubert, who, though he was too much tired to walk himself,
sometimes made the chaise wait, while Emily went to the neighbouring
cliff.

It was evening when they descended the lower alps, that bind
Rousillon, and form a majestic barrier round that charming country,
leaving it open only on the east to the Mediterranean.  The gay tints
of cultivation once more beautified the landscape; for the lowlands
were coloured with the richest hues, which a luxuriant climate, and
an industrious people can awaken into life.  Groves of orange and
lemon perfumed the air, their ripe fruit glowing among the foliage;
while, sloping to the plains, extensive vineyards spread their
treasures.  Beyond these, woods and pastures, and mingled towns and
hamlets stretched towards the sea, on whose bright surface gleamed
many a distant sail; while, over the whole scene, was diffused the
purple glow of evening.  This landscape with the surrounding alps
did, indeed, present a perfect picture of the lovely and the sublime,
of 'beauty sleeping in the lap of horror.'

The travellers, having reached the plains, proceeded, between hedges
of flowering myrtle and pomegranate, to the town of Arles, where they
proposed to rest for the night.  They met with simple, but neat
accommodation, and would have passed a happy evening, after the toils
and the delights of this day, had not the approaching separation
thrown a gloom over their spirit.  It was St. Aubert's plan to
proceed, on the morrow, to the borders of the Mediterranean, and
travel along its shores into Languedoc; and Valancourt, since he was
now nearly recovered, and had no longer a pretence for continuing
with his new friends, resolved to leave them here.  St. Aubert, who
was much pleased with him, invited him to go further, but did not
repeat the invitation, and Valancourt had resolution enough to forego
the temptation of accepting it, that he might prove himself not
unworthy of the favour.  On the following morning, therefore, they
were to part, St. Aubert to pursue his way to Languedoc, and
Valancourt to explore new scenes among the mountains, on his return
home.  During this evening he was often silent and thoughtful; St.
Aubert's manner towards him was affectionate, though grave, and Emily
was serious, though she made frequent efforts to appear cheerful. 
After one of the most melancholy evenings they had yet passed
together, they separated for the night.



CHAPTER VI


 I care not, Fortune! what you me deny;
 You cannot rob me of free nature's grace;
 You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
 Through which Aurora shews her brightening face;
 You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
 The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
 Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
 And I their toys to the great children leave:
 Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave.
     THOMSON

In the morning, Valancourt breakfasted with St. Aubert and Emily,
neither of whom seemed much refreshed by sleep.  The languor of
illness still hung over St. Aubert, and to Emily's fears his disorder
appeared to be increasing fast upon him.  She watched his looks with
anxious affection, and their expression was always faithfully
reflected in her own.

At the commencement of their acquaintance, Valancourt had made known
his name and family.  St. Aubert was not a stranger to either, for
the family estates, which were now in the possession of an elder
brother of Valancourt, were little more than twenty miles distant
from La Vallee, and he had sometimes met the elder Valancourt on
visits in the neighbourhood.  This knowledge had made him more
willingly receive his present companion; for, though his countenance
and manners would have won him the acquaintance of St. Aubert, who
was very apt to trust to the intelligence of his own eyes, with
respect to countenances, he would not have accepted these, as
sufficient introductions to that of his daughter.

The breakfast was almost as silent as the supper of the preceding
night; but their musing was at length interrupted by the sound of the
carriage wheels, which were to bear away St. Aubert and Emily. 
Valancourt started from his chair, and went to the window; it was
indeed the carriage, and he returned to his seat without speaking. 
The moment was now come when they must part.  St. Aubert told
Valancourt, that he hoped he would never pass La Vallee without
favouring him with a visit; and Valancourt, eagerly thanking him,
assured him that he never would; as he said which he looked timidly
at Emily, who tried to smile away the seriousness of her spirits. 
They passed a few minutes in interesting conversation, and St. Aubert
then led the way to the carriage, Emily and Valancourt following in
silence.  The latter lingered at the door several minutes after they
were seated, and none of the party seemed to have courage enough to
say--Farewell.  At length, St. Aubert pronounced the melancholy word,
which Emily passed to Valancourt, who returned it, with a dejected
smile, and the carriage drove on.

The travellers remained, for some time, in a state of tranquil
pensiveness, which is not unpleasing.  St. Aubert interrupted it by
observing, 'This is a very promising young man; it is many years
since I have been so much pleased with any person, on so short an
acquaintance.  He brings back to my memory the days of my youth, when
every scene was new and delightful!'  St. Aubert sighed, and sunk
again into a reverie; and, as Emily looked back upon the road they
had passed, Valancourt was seen, at the door of the little inn,
following them with his eyes.  Her perceived her, and waved his hand;
and she returned the adieu, till the winding road shut her from his
sight.

'I remember when I was about his age,' resumed St. Aubert, 'and I
thought, and felt exactly as he does.  The world was opening upon me
then, now--it is closing.'

'My dear sir, do not think so gloomily,' said Emily in a trembling
voice, 'I hope you have many, many years to live--for your own sake--
for MY sake.'

'Ah, my Emily!' replied St. Aubert, 'for thy sake!  Well- I hope it
is so.'  He wiped away a tear, that was stealing down his cheek,
threw a smile upon his countenance, and said in a cheering voice,
'there is something in the ardour and ingenuousness of youth, which
is particularly pleasing to the contemplation of an old man, if his
feelings have not been entirely corroded by the world.  It is
cheering and reviving, like the view of spring to a sick person; his
mind catches somewhat of the spirit of the season, and his eyes are
lighted up with a transient sunshine.  Valancourt is this spring to
me.'

Emily, who pressed her father's hand affectionately, had never before
listened with so much pleasure to the praises he bestowed; no, not
even when he had bestowed them on herself.

They travelled on, among vineyards, woods, and pastures, delighted
with the romantic beauty of the landscape, which was bounded, on one
side, by the grandeur of the Pyrenees, and, on the other, by the
ocean; and, soon after noon, they reached the town of Colioure,
situated on the Mediterranean.  Here they dined, and rested till
towards the cool of day, when they pursued their way along the
shores--those enchanting shores!--which extend to Languedoc.  Emily
gazed with enthusiasm on the vastness of the sea, its surface
varying, as the lights and shadows fell, and on its woody banks,
mellowed with autumnal tints.

St. Aubert was impatient to reach Perpignan, where he expected
letters from M. Quesnel; and it was the expectation of these letters,
that had induced him to leave Colioure, for his feeble frame had
required immediate rest.  After travelling a few miles, he fell
asleep; and Emily, who had put two or three books into the carriage,
on leaving La Vallee, had now the leisure for looking into them.  She
sought for one, in which Valancourt had been reading the day before,
and hoped for the pleasure of re-tracing a page, over which the eyes
of a beloved friend had lately passed, of dwelling on the passages,
which he had admired, and of permitting them to speak to her in the
language of his own mind, and to bring himself to her presence.  On
searching for the book, she could find it no where, but in its stead
perceived a volume of Petrarch's poems, that had belonged to
Valancourt, whose name was written in it, and from which he had
frequently read passages to her, with all the pathetic expression,
that characterized the feelings of the author.  She hesitated in
believing, what would have been sufficiently apparent to almost any
other person, that he had purposely left this book, instead of the
one she had lost, and that love had prompted the exchange; but,
having opened it with impatient pleasure, and observed the lines of
his pencil drawn along the various passages he had read aloud, and
under others more descriptive of delicate tenderness than he had
dared to trust his voice with, the conviction came, at length, to her
mind.  For some moments she was conscious only of being beloved;
then, a recollection of all the variations of tone and countenance,
with which he had recited these sonnets, and of the soul, which spoke
in their expression, pressed to her memory, and she wept over the
memorial of his affection.

They arrived at Perpignan soon after sunset, where St. Aubert found,
as he had expected, letters from M. Quesnel, the contents of which so
evidently and grievously affected him, that Emily was alarmed, and
pressed him, as far as her delicacy would permit, to disclose the
occasion of his concern; but he answered her only by tears, and
immediately began to talk on other topics.  Emily, though she forbore
to press the one most interesting to her, was greatly affected by her
father's manner, and passed a night of sleepless solicitude.

In the morning they pursued their journey along the coast towards
Leucate, another town on the Mediterranean, situated on the borders
of Languedoc and Rousillon.  On the way, Emily renewed the subject of
the preceding night, and appeared so deeply affected by St. Aubert's
silence and dejection, that he relaxed from his reserve.  'I was
unwilling, my dear Emily,' said he, 'to throw a cloud over the
pleasure you receive from these scenes, and meant, therefore, to
conceal, for the present, some circumstances, with which, however,
you must at length have been made acquainted.  But your anxiety has
defeated my purpose; you suffer as much from this, perhaps, as you
will do from a knowledge of the facts I have to relate.  M. Quesnel's
visit proved an unhappy one to me; he came to tell me part of the
news he has now confirmed.  You may have heard me mention a M.
Motteville, of Paris, but you did not know that the chief of my
personal property was invested in his hands.  I had great confidence
in him, and I am yet willing to believe, that he is not wholly
unworthy of my esteem.  A variety of circumstances have concurred to
ruin him, and--I am ruined with him.'

St. Aubert paused to conceal his emotion.

'The letters I have just received from M. Quesnel,' resumed he,
struggling to speak with firmness, 'enclosed others from Motteville,
which confirmed all I dreaded.'

'Must we then quit La Vallee?' said Emily, after a long pause of
silence.  'That is yet uncertain,' replied St. Aubert, 'it will
depend upon the compromise Motteville is able to make with his
creditors.  My income, you know, was never large, and now it will be
reduced to little indeed!  It is for you, Emily, for you, my child,
that I am most afflicted.'  His last words faltered; Emily smiled
tenderly upon him through her tears, and then, endeavouring to
overcome her emotion, 'My dear father,' said she, 'do not grieve for
me, or for yourself; we may yet be happy;--if La Vallee remains for
us, we must be happy.  We will retain only one servant, and you shall
scarcely perceive the change in your income.  Be comforted, my dear
sir; we shall not feel the want of those luxuries, which others value
so highly, since we never had a taste for them; and poverty cannot
deprive us of many consolations.  It cannot rob us of the affection
we have for each other, or degrade us in our own opinion, or in that
of any person, whose opinion we ought to value.'

St. Aubert concealed his face with his handkerchief, and was unable
to speak; but Emily continued to urge to her father the truths, which
himself had impressed upon her mind.

'Besides, my dear sir, poverty cannot deprive us of intellectual
delights.  It cannot deprive you of the comfort of affording me
examples of fortitude and benevolence; nor me of the delight of
consoling a beloved parent.  It cannot deaden our taste for the
grand, and the beautiful, or deny us the means of indulging it; for
the scenes of nature--those sublime spectacles, so infinitely
superior to all artificial luxuries! are open for the enjoyment of
the poor, as well as of the rich.  Of what, then, have we to
complain, so long as we are not in want of necessaries?  Pleasures,
such as wealth cannot buy, will still be ours.  We retain, then, the
sublime luxuries of nature, and lose only the frivolous ones of art.'

St. Aubert could not reply:  he caught Emily to his bosom, their
tears flowed together, but--they were not tears of sorrow.  After
this language of the heart, all other would have been feeble, and
they remained silent for some time.  Then, St. Aubert conversed as
before; for, if his mind had not recovered its natural tranquillity,
it at least assumed the appearance of it.

They reached the romantic town of Leucate early in the day, but St.
Aubert was weary, and they determined to pass the night there.  In
the evening, he exerted himself so far as to walk with his daughter
to view the environs that overlook the lake of Leucate, the
Mediterranean, part of Rousillon, with the Pyrenees, and a wide
extent of the luxuriant province of Languedoc, now blushing with the
ripened vintage, which the peasants were beginning to gather.  St.
Aubert and Emily saw the busy groups, caught the joyous song, that
was wafted on the breeze, and anticipated, with apparent pleasure,
their next day's journey over this gay region.  He designed, however,
still to wind along the sea-shore.  To return home immediately was
partly his wish, but from this he was withheld by a desire to
lengthen the pleasure, which the journey gave his daughter, and to
try the effect of the sea air on his own disorder.

On the following day, therefore, they recommenced their journey
through Languedoc, winding the shores of the Mediterranean; the
Pyrenees still forming the magnificent back-ground of their
prospects, while on their right was the ocean, and, on their left,
wide extended plains melting into the blue horizon.  St. Aubert was
pleased, and conversed much with Emily, yet his cheerfulness was
sometimes artificial, and sometimes a shade of melancholy would steal
upon his countenance, and betray him.  This was soon chased away by
Emily's smile; who smiled, however, with an aching heart, for she saw
that his misfortunes preyed upon his mind, and upon his enfeebled
frame.

It was evening when they reached a small village of Upper Languedoc,
where they meant to pass the night, but the place could not afford
them beds; for here, too, it was the time of the vintage, and they
were obliged to proceed to the next post.  The languor of illness and
of fatigue, which returned upon St. Aubert, required immediate
repose, and the evening was now far advanced; but from necessity
there was no appeal, and he ordered Michael to proceed.

The rich plains of Languedoc, which exhibited all the glories of the
vintage, with the gaieties of a French festival, no longer awakened
St. Aubert to pleasure, whose condition formed a mournful contrast to
the hilarity and youthful beauty which surrounded him.  As his
languid eyes moved over the scene, he considered, that they would
soon, perhaps, be closed for ever on this world.  'Those distant and
sublime mountains,' said he secretly, as he gazed on a chain of the
Pyrenees that stretched towards the west, 'these luxuriant plains,
this blue vault, the cheerful light of day, will be shut from my
eyes!  The song of the peasant, the cheering voice of man--will no
longer sound for me!'

The intelligent eyes of Emily seemed to read what passed in the mind
of her father, and she fixed them on his face, with an expression of
such tender pity, as recalled his thoughts from every desultory
object of regret, and he remembered only, that he must leave his
daughter without protection.  This reflection changed regret to
agony; he sighed deeply, and remained silent, while she seemed to
understand that sigh, for she pressed his hand affectionately, and
then turned to the window to conceal her tears.  The sun now threw a
last yellow gleam on the waves of the Mediterranean, and the gloom of
twilight spread fast over the scene, till only a melancholy ray
appeared on the western horizon, marking the point where the sun had
set amid the vapours of an autumnal evening.  A cool breeze now came
from the shore, and Emily let down the glass; but the air, which was
refreshing to health, was as chilling to sickness, and St. Aubert
desired, that the window might be drawn up.  Increasing illness made
him now more anxious than ever to finish the day's journey, and he
stopped the muleteer to enquire how far they had yet to go to the
next post.  He replied, 'Nine miles.'  'I feel I am unable to proceed
much further,' said St. Aubert; 'enquire, as you go, if there is any
house on the road that would accommodate us for the night.'  He sunk
back in the carriage, and Michael, cracking his whip in the air, set
off, and continued on the full gallop, till St. Aubert, almost
fainting, called to him to stop.  Emily looked anxiously from the
window, and saw a peasant walking at some little distance on the
road, for whom they waited, till he came up, when he was asked, if
there was any house in the neighbourhood that accommodated
travellers.  He replied, that he knew of none.  'There is a chateau,
indeed, among those woods on the right,' added he, 'but I believe it
receives nobody, and I cannot show you the way, for I am almost a
stranger here.'  St. Aubert was going to ask him some further
question concerning the chateau, but the man abruptly passed on. 
After some consideration, he ordered Michael to proceed slowly to the
woods.  Every moment now deepened the twilight, and increased the
difficulty of finding the road.  Another peasant soon after passed. 
'Which is the way to the chateau in the woods?' cried Michael.

'The chateau in the woods!' exclaimed the peasant--'Do you mean that
with the turret, yonder?'

'I don't know as for the turret, as you call it,' said Michael, 'I
mean that white piece of a building, that we see at a distance there,
among the trees.'

'Yes, that is the turret; why, who are you, that you are going
thither?' said the man with surprise.

St. Aubert, on hearing this odd question, and observing the peculiar
tone in which it was delivered, looked out from the carriage.  'We
are travellers,' said he, 'who are in search of a house of
accommodation for the night; is there any hereabout?'

'None, Monsieur, unless you have a mind to try your luck yonder,'
replied the peasant, pointing to the woods, 'but I would not advise
you to go there.'

'To whom does the chateau belong?'

'I scarcely know myself, Monsieur.'

'It is uninhabited, then?'  'No, not uninhabited; the steward and
housekeeper are there, I believe.'

On hearing this, St. Aubert determined to proceed to the chateau, and
risque the refusal of being accommodated for the night; he therefore
desired the countryman would shew Michael the way, and bade him
expect reward for his trouble.  The man was for a moment silent, and
then said, that he was going on other business, but that the road
could not be missed, if they went up an avenue to the right, to which
he pointed.  St. Aubert was going to speak, but the peasant wished
him good night, and walked on.

The carriage now moved towards the avenue, which was guarded by a
gate, and Michael having dismounted to open it, they entered between
rows of ancient oak and chesnut, whose intermingled branches formed a
lofty arch above.  There was something so gloomy and desolate in the
appearance of this avenue, and its lonely silence, that Emily almost
shuddered as she passed along; and, recollecting the manner in which
the peasant had mentioned the chateau, she gave a mysterious meaning
to his words, such as she had not suspected when he uttered them. 
These apprehensions, however, she tried to check, considering that
they were probably the effect of a melancholy imagination, which her
father's situation, and a consideration of her own circumstances, had
made sensible to every impression.

They passed slowly on, for they were now almost in darkness, which,
together with the unevenness of the ground, and the frequent roots of
old trees, that shot up above the soil, made it necessary to proceed
with caution.  On a sudden Michael stopped the carriage; and, as St.
Aubert looked from the window to enquire the cause, he perceived a
figure at some distance moving up the avenue.  The dusk would not
permit him to distinguish what it was, but he bade Michael go on.

'This seems a wild place,' said Michael; 'there is no house
hereabout, don't your honour think we had better turn back?'

'Go a little farther, and if we see no house then, we will return to
the road,' replied St. Aubert.

Michael proceeded with reluctance, and the extreme slowness of his
pace made St. Aubert look again from the window to hasten him, when
again he saw the same figure.  He was somewhat startled:  probably
the gloominess of the spot made him more liable to alarm than usual;
however this might be, he now stopped Michael, and bade him call to
the person in the avenue.

'Please your honour, he may be a robber,' said Michael.  'It does not
please me,' replied St. Aubert, who could not forbear smiling at the
simplicity of his phrase, 'and we will, therefore, return to the
road, for I see no probability of meeting here with what we seek.'

Michael turned about immediately, and was retracing his way with
alacrity, when a voice was heard from among the trees on the left. 
It was not the voice of command, or distress, but a deep hollow tone,
which seemed to be scarcely human.  The man whipped his mules till
they went as fast as possible, regardless of the darkness, the broken
ground, and the necks of the whole party, nor once stopped till he
reached the gate, which opened from the avenue into the high-road,
where he went into a more moderate pace.

'I am very ill,' said St. Aubert, taking his daughter's hand.  'You
are worse, then, sir!' said Emily, extremely alarmed by his manner,
'you are worse, and here is no assistance.  Good God! what is to be
done!'  He leaned his head on her shoulder, while she endeavoured to
support him with her arm, and Michael was again ordered to stop. 
When the rattling of the wheels had ceased, music was heard on their
air; it was to Emily the voice of Hope.  'Oh! we are near some human
habitation!' said she, 'help may soon be had.'

She listened anxiously; the sounds were distant, and seemed to come
from a remote part of the woods that bordered the road; and, as she
looked towards the spot whence they issued, she perceived in the
faint moon-light something like a chateau.  It was difficult,
however, to reach this; St. Aubert was now too ill to bear the motion
of the carriage; Michael could not quit his mules; and Emily, who
still supported her father, feared to leave him, and also feared to
venture alone to such a distance, she knew not whither, or to whom. 
Something, however, it was necessary to determine upon immediately;
St. Aubert, therefore, told Michael to proceed slowly; but they had
not gone far, when he fainted, and the carriage was again stopped. 
He lay quite senseless.--'My dear, dear father!' cried Emily in great
agony, who began to fear that he was dying, 'speak, if it is only one
word to let me hear the sound of your voice!'  But no voice spoke in
reply.  In the agony of terror she bade Michael bring water from the
rivulet, that flowed along the road; and, having received some in the
man's hat, with trembling hands she sprinkled it over her father's
face, which, as the moon's rays now fell upon it, seemed to bear the
impression of death.  Every emotion of selfish fear now gave way to a
stronger influence, and, committing St. Aubert to the care of
Michael, who refused to go far from his mules, she stepped from the
carriage in search of the chateau she had seen at a distance.  It was
a still moon-light night, and the music, which yet sounded on the
air, directed her steps from the high road, up a shadowy lane, that
led to the woods.  Her mind was for some time so entirely occupied by
anxiety and terror for her father, that she felt none for herself,
till the deepening gloom of the overhanging foliage, which now wholly
excluded the moon-light, and the wildness of the place, recalled her
to a sense of her adventurous situation.  The music had ceased, and
she had no guide but chance.  For a moment she paused in terrified
perplexity, till a sense of her father's condition again overcoming
every consideration for herself, she proceeded.  The lane terminated
in the woods, but she looked round in vain for a house, or a human
being, and as vainly listened for a sound to guide her.  She hurried
on, however, not knowing whither, avoiding the recesses of the woods,
and endeavouring to keep along their margin, till a rude kind of
avenue, which opened upon a moon-light spot, arrested her attention. 
The wildness of this avenue brought to her recollection the one
leading to the turreted chateau, and she was inclined to believe,
that this was a part of the same domain, and probably led to the same
point.  While she hesitated, whether to follow it or not, a sound of
many voices in loud merriment burst upon her ear.  It seemed not the
laugh of cheerfulness, but of riot, and she stood appalled.  While
she paused, she heard a distant voice, calling from the way she had
come, and not doubting but it was that of Michael, her first impulse
was to hasten back; but a second thought changed her purpose; she
believed that nothing less than the last extremity could have
prevailed with Michael to quit his mules, and fearing that her father
was now dying, she rushed forward, with a feeble hope of obtaining
assistance from the people in the woods.  Her heart beat with fearful
expectation, as she drew near the spot whence the voices issued, and
she often startled when her steps disturbed the fallen leaves.  The
sounds led her towards the moon-light glade she had before noticed;
at a little distance from which she stopped, and saw, between the
boles of the trees, a small circular level of green turf, surrounded
by the woods, on which appeared a group of figures.  On drawing
nearer, she distinguished these, by their dress, to be peasants, and
perceived several cottages scattered round the edge of the woods,
which waved loftily over this spot.  While she gazed, and endeavoured
to overcome the apprehensions that withheld her steps, several
peasant girls came out of a cottage; music instantly struck up, and
the dance began.  It was the joyous music of the vintage! the same
she had before heard upon the air.  Her heart, occupied with terror
for her father, could not feel the contrast, which this gay scene
offered to her own distress; she stepped hastily forward towards a
group of elder peasants, who were seated at the door of a cottage,
and, having explained her situation, entreated their assistance. 
Several of them rose with alacrity, and, offering any service in
their power, followed Emily, who seemed to move on the wind, as fast
as they could towards the road.

When she reached the carriage she found St. Aubert restored to
animation.  On the recovery of his senses, having heard from Michael
whither his daughter was gone, anxiety for her overcame every regard
for himself, and he had sent him in search of her.  He was, however,
still languid, and, perceiving himself unable to travel much farther,
he renewed his enquiries for an inn, and concerning the chateau in
the woods.  'The chateau cannot accommodate you, sir,' said a
venerable peasant who had followed Emily from the woods, 'it is
scarcely inhabited; but, if you will do me the honour to visit my
cottage, you shall be welcome to the best bed it affords.'

St. Aubert was himself a Frenchman; he therefore was not surprised at
French courtesy; but, ill as he was, he felt the value of the offer
enhanced by the manner which accompanied it.  He had too much
delicacy to apologize, or to appear to hesitate about availing
himself of the peasant's hospitality, but immediately accepted it
with the same frankness with which it was offered.

The carriage again moved slowly on; Michael following the peasants up
the lane, which Emily had just quitted, till they came to the moon-
light glade.  St. Aubert's spirits were so far restored by the
courtesy of his host, and the near prospect of repose, that he looked
with a sweet complacency upon the moon-light scene, surrounded by the
shadowy woods, through which, here and there, an opening admitted the
streaming splendour, discovering a cottage, or a sparkling rivulet. 
He listened, with no painful emotion, to the merry notes of the
guitar and tamborine; and, though tears came to his eyes, when he saw
the debonnaire dance of the peasants, they were not merely tears of
mournful regret.  With Emily it was otherwise; immediate terror for
her father had now subsided into a gentle melancholy, which every
note of joy, by awakening comparison, served to heighten.

The dance ceased on the approach of the carriage, which was a
phenomenon in these sequestered woods, and the peasantry flocked
round it with eager curiosity.  On learning that it brought a sick
stranger, several girls ran across the turf, and returned with wine
and baskets of grapes, which they presented to the travellers, each
with kind contention pressing for a preference.  At length, the
carriage stopped at a neat cottage, and his venerable conductor,
having assisted St. Aubert to alight, led him and Emily to a small
inner room, illuminated only by moon-beams, which the open casement
admitted.  St. Aubert, rejoicing in rest, seated himself in an arm-
chair, and his senses were refreshed by the cool and balmy air, that
lightly waved the embowering honeysuckles, and wafted their sweet
breath into the apartment.  His host, who was called La Voisin,
quitted the room, but soon returned with fruits, cream, and all the
pastoral luxury his cottage afforded; having set down which, with a
smile of unfeigned welcome, he retired behind the chair of his guest. 
St. Aubert insisted on his taking a seat at the table, and, when the
fruit had allayed the fever of his palate, and he found himself
somewhat revived, he began to converse with his host, who
communicated several particulars concerning himself and his family,
which were interesting, because they were spoken from the heart, and
delineated a picture of the sweet courtesies of family kindness. 
Emily sat by her father, holding his hand, and, while she listened to
the old man, her heart swelled with the affectionate sympathy he
described, and her tears fell to the mournful consideration, that
death would probably soon deprive her of the dearest blessing she
then possessed.  The soft moon-light of an autumnal evening, and the
distant music, which now sounded a plaintive strain, aided the
melancholy of her mind.  The old man continued to talk of his family,
and St. Aubert remained silent.  'I have only one daughter living,'
said La Voisin, 'but she is happily married, and is every thing to
me.  When I lost my wife,' he added with a sigh, 'I came to live with
Agnes, and her family; she has several children, who are all dancing
on the green yonder, as merry as grasshoppers--and long may they be
so!  I hope to die among them, monsieur.  I am old now, and cannot
expect to live long, but there is some comfort in dying surrounded by
one's children.'

'My good friend,' said St. Aubert, while his voice trembled, 'I hope
you will long live surrounded by them.'

'Ah, sir! at my age I must not expect that!' replied the old man, and
he paused:  'I can scarcely wish it,' he resumed, 'for I trust that
whenever I die I shall go to heaven, where my poor wife is gone
before me.  I can sometimes almost fancy I see her of a still moon-
light night, walking among these shades she loved so well.  Do you
believe, monsieur, that we shall be permitted to revisit the earth,
after we have quitted the body?'

Emily could no longer stifle the anguish of her heart; her tears fell
fast upon her father's hand, which she yet held.  He made an effort
to speak, and at length said in a low voice, 'I hope we shall be
permitted to look down on those we have left on the earth, but I can
only hope it.  Futurity is much veiled from our eyes, and faith and
hope are our only guides concerning it.  We are not enjoined to
believe, that disembodied spirits watch over the friends they have
loved, but we may innocently hope it.  It is a hope which I will
never resign,' continued he, while he wiped the tears from his
daughter's eyes, 'it will sweeten the bitter moments of death!' 
Tears fell slowly on his cheeks; La Voisin wept too, and there was a
pause of silence.  Then, La Voisin, renewing the subject, said, 'But
you believe, sir, that we shall meet in another world the relations
we have loved in this; I must believe this.'  'Then do believe it,'
replied St. Aubert, 'severe, indeed, would be the pangs of
separation, if we believed it to be eternal.  Look up, my dear Emily,
we shall meet again!'  He lifted his eyes towards heaven, and a gleam
of moon-light, which fell upon his countenance, discovered peace and
resignation, stealing on the lines of sorrow.

La Voisin felt that he had pursued the subject too far, and he
dropped it, saying, 'We are in darkness, I forgot to bring a light.'

'No,' said St. Aubert, 'this is a light I love.  Sit down, my good
friend.  Emily, my love, I find myself better than I have been all
day; this air refreshes me.  I can enjoy this tranquil hour, and that
music, which floats so sweetly at a distance.  Let me see you smile. 
Who touches that guitar so tastefully? are there two instruments, or
is it an echo I hear?'

'It is an echo, monsieur, I fancy.  That guitar is often heard at
night, when all is still, but nobody knows who touches it, and it is
sometimes accompanied by a voice so sweet, and so sad, one would
almost think the woods were haunted.'  'They certainly are haunted,'
said St. Aubert with a smile, 'but I believe it is by mortals.'  'I
have sometimes heard it at midnight, when I could not sleep,'
rejoined La Voisin, not seeming to notice this remark, 'almost under
my window, and I never heard any music like it.  It has often made me
think of my poor wife till I cried.  I have sometimes got up to the
window to look if I could see anybody, but as soon as I opened the
casement all was hushed, and nobody to be seen; and I have listened,
and listened till I have been so timorous, that even the trembling of
the leaves in the breeze has made me start.  They say it often comes
to warn people of their death, but I have heard it these many years,
and outlived the warning.'

Emily, though she smiled at the mention of this ridiculous
superstition, could not, in the present tone of her spirits, wholly
resist its contagion.

'Well, but, my good friend,' said St. Aubert, 'has nobody had courage
to follow the sounds?  If they had, they would probably have
discovered who is the musician.'  'Yes, sir, they have followed them
some way into the woods, but the music has still retreated, and
seemed as distant as ever, and the people have at last been afraid of
being led into harm, and would go no further.  It is very seldom that
I have heard these sounds so early in the evening.  They usually come
about midnight, when that bright planet, which is rising above the
turret yonder, sets below the woods on the left.'

'What turret?' asked St. Aubert with quickness, 'I see none.'

'Your pardon, monsieur, you do see one indeed, for the moon shines
full upon it;--up the avenue yonder, a long way off; the chateau it
belongs to is hid among the trees.'

'Yes, my dear sir,' said Emily, pointing, 'don't you see something
glitter above the dark woods?  It is a fane, I fancy, which the rays
fall upon.'

'O yes, I see what you mean; and who does the chateau belong to?'

'The Marquis de Villeroi was its owner,' replied La Voisin,
emphatically.

'Ah!' said St. Aubert, with a deep sigh, 'are we then so near Le-
Blanc!'  He appeared much agitated.

'It used to be the Marquis's favourite residence,' resumed La Voisin,
'but he took a dislike to the place, and has not been there for many
years.  We have heard lately that he is dead, and that it is fallen
into other hands.'  St. Aubert, who had sat in deep musing, was
roused by the last words.  'Dead!' he exclaimed, 'Good God! when did
he die?'

'He is reported to have died about five weeks since,' replied La
Voisin.  'Did you know the Marquis, sir?'

'This is very extraordinary!' said St. Aubert without attending to
the question.  'Why is it so, my dear sir?' said Emily, in a voice of
timid curiosity.  He made no reply, but sunk again into a reverie;
and in a few moments, when he seemed to have recovered himself, asked
who had succeeded to the estates.  'I have forgot his title,
monsieur,' said La Voisin; 'but my lord resides at Paris chiefly; I
hear no talk of his coming hither.'

'The chateau is shut up then, still?'

'Why, little better, sir; the old housekeeper, and her husband the
steward, have the care of it, but they live generally in a cottage
hard by.'

'The chateau is spacious, I suppose,' said Emily, 'and must be
desolate for the residence of only two persons.'

'Desolate enough, mademoiselle,' replied La Voisin, 'I would not pass
one night in the chateau, for the value of the whole domain.'

'What is that?' said St. Aubert, roused again from thoughtfulness. 
As his host repeated his last sentence, a groan escaped from St.
Aubert, and then, as if anxious to prevent it from being noticed, he
hastily asked La Voisin how long he had lived in this neighbourhood. 
'Almost from my childhood, sir,' replied his host.

'You remember the late marchioness, then?' said St. Aubert in an
altered voice.

'Ah, monsieur!--that I do well.  There are many besides me who
remember her.'

'Yes--' said St. Aubert, 'and I am one of those.'

'Alas, sir! you remember, then, a most beautiful and excellent lady. 
She deserved a better fate.'

Tears stood in St. Aubert's eyes; 'Enough,' said he, in a voice
almost stifled by the violence of his emotions,--'it is enough, my
friend.'

Emily, though extremely surprised by her father's manner, forbore to
express her feelings by any question.  La Voisin began to apologize,
but St. Aubert interrupted him; 'Apology is quite unnecessary,' said
he, 'let us change the topic.  You was speaking of the music we just
now heard.'

'I was, monsieur--but hark!--it comes again; listen to that voice!' 
They were all silent;

 At last a soft and solemn-breathing sound
 Rose, like a stream of rich distilled perfumes,
 And stole upon the air, that even Silence
 Was took ere she was 'ware, and wished she might
 Deny her nature, and be never more
 Still, to be so displaced.*
     *Milton.


In a few moments the voice died into air, and the instrument, which
had been heard before, sounded in low symphony.  St. Aubert now
observed, that it produced a tone much more full and melodious than
that of a guitar, and still more melancholy and soft than the lute. 
They continued to listen, but the sounds returned no more.  'This is
strange!' said St. Aubert, at length interrupting the silence.  'Very
strange!' said Emily.  'It is so,' rejoined La Voisin, and they were
again silent.

After a long pause, 'It is now about eighteen years since I first
heard that music,' said La Voisin; 'I remember it was on a fine
summer's night, much like this, but later, that I was walking in the
woods, and alone.  I remember, too, that my spirits were very low,
for one of my boys was ill, and we feared we should lose him.  I had
been watching at his bed-side all the evening while his mother slept;
for she had sat up with him the night before.  I had been watching,
and went out for a little fresh air, the day had been very sultry. 
As I walked under the shades and mused, I heard music at a distance,
and thought it was Claude playing upon his flute, as he often did of
a fine evening, at the cottage door.  But, when I came to a place
where the trees opened, (I shall never forget it!) and stood looking
up at the north-lights, which shot up the heaven to a great height, I
heard all of a sudden such sounds!--they came so as I cannot
describe.  It was like the music of angels, and I looked up again
almost expecting to see them in the sky.  When I came home, I told
what I had heard, but they laughed at me, and said it must be some of
the shepherds playing on their pipes, and I could not persuade them
to the contrary.  A few nights after, however, my wife herself heard
the same sounds, and was as much surprised as I was, and Father Denis
frightened her sadly by saying, that it was music come to warn her of
her child's death, and that music often came to houses where there
was a dying person.'

Emily, on hearing this, shrunk with a superstitious dread entirely
new to her, and could scarcely conceal her agitation from St. Aubert.

'But the boy lived, monsieur, in spite of Father Denis.'

'Father Denis!' said St. Aubert, who had listened to 'narrative old
age' with patient attention, 'are we near a convent, then?'

'Yes, sir; the convent of St. Clair stands at no great distance, on
the sea shore yonder.'

'Ah!' said St. Aubert, as if struck with some sudden remembrance,
'the convent of St. Clair!'  Emily observed the clouds of grief,
mingled with a faint expression of horror, gathering on his brow; his
countenance became fixed, and, touched as it now was by the silver
whiteness of the moon-light, he resembled one of those marble statues
of a monument, which seem to bend, in hopeless sorrow, over the ashes
of the dead, shewn

     by the blunted light
 That the dim moon through painted casements lends.*
     * The Emigrants.


'But, my dear sir,' said Emily, anxious to dissipate his thoughts,
'you forget that repose is necessary to you.  If our kind host will
give me leave, I will prepare your bed, for I know how you like it to
be made.'  St. Aubert, recollecting himself, and smiling
affectionately, desired she would not add to her fatigue by that
attention; and La Voisin, whose consideration for his guest had been
suspended by the interests which his own narrative had recalled, now
started from his seat, and, apologizing for not having called Agnes
from the green, hurried out of the room.

In a few moments he returned with his daughter, a young woman of
pleasing countenance, and Emily learned from her, what she had not
before suspected, that, for their accommodation, it was necessary
part of La Voisin's family should leave their beds; she lamented this
circumstance, but Agnes, by her reply, fully proved that she
inherited, at least, a share of her father's courteous hospitality. 
It was settled, that some of her children and Michael should sleep in
the neighbouring cottage.

'If I am better, to-morrow, my dear,' said St. Aubert when Emily
returned to him, 'I mean to set out at an early hour, that we may
rest, during the heat of the day, and will travel towards home.  In
the present state of my health and spirits I cannot look on a longer
journey with pleasure, and I am also very anxious to reach La
Vallee.'  Emily, though she also desired to return, was grieved at
her father's sudden wish to do so, which she thought indicated a
greater degree of indisposition than he would acknowledge.  St.
Aubert now retired to rest, and Emily to her little chamber, but not
to immediate repose.  Her thoughts returned to the late conversation,
concerning the state of departed spirits; a subject, at this time,
particularly affecting to her, when she had every reason to believe
that her dear father would ere long be numbered with them.  She
leaned pensively on the little open casement, and in deep thought
fixed her eyes on the heaven, whose blue unclouded concave was
studded thick with stars, the worlds, perhaps, of spirits, unsphered
of mortal mould.  As her eyes wandered along the boundless aether,
her thoughts rose, as before, towards the sublimity of the Deity, and
to the contemplation of futurity.  No busy note of this world
interrupted the course of her mind; the merry dance had ceased, and
every cottager had retired to his home.  The still air seemed
scarcely to breathe upon the woods, and, now and then, the distant
sound of a solitary sheep-bell, or of a closing casement, was all
that broke on silence.  At length, even this hint of human being was
heard no more.  Elevated and enwrapt, while her eyes were often wet
with tears of sublime devotion and solemn awe, she continued at the
casement, till the gloom of mid-night hung over the earth, and the
planet, which La Voisin had pointed out, sunk below the woods.  She
then recollected what he had said concerning this planet, and the
mysterious music; and, as she lingered at the window, half hoping and
half fearing that it would return, her mind was led to the
remembrance of the extreme emotion her father had shewn on mention of
the Marquis La Villeroi's death, and of the fate of the Marchioness,
and she felt strongly interested concerning the remote cause of this
emotion.  Her surprise and curiosity were indeed the greater, because
she did not recollect ever to have heard him mention the name of
Villeroi.

No music, however, stole on the silence of the night, and Emily,
perceiving the lateness of the hour, returned to a scene of fatigue,
remembered that she was to rise early in the morning, and withdrew
from the window to repose.



CHAPTER VII


     Let those deplore their doom,
 Whose hope still grovels in this dark sojourn.
 But lofty souls can look beyond the tomb,
 Can smile at fate, and wonder how they mourn.
 Shall Spring to these sad scenes no more return?
 Is yonder wave the sun's eternal bed?--
 Soon shall the orient with new lustre burn,
 And Spring shall soon her vital influence shed,
 Again attune the grove, again adorn the mead!
     BEATTIE

Emily, called, as she had requested, at an early hour, awoke, little
refreshed by sleep, for uneasy dreams had pursued her, and marred the
kindest blessing of the unhappy.  But, when she opened her casement,
looked out upon the woods, bright with the morning sun, and inspired
the pure air, her mind was soothed.  The scene was filled with that
cheering freshness, which seems to breathe the very spirit of health,
and she heard only sweet and PICTURESQUE sounds, if such an
expression may be allowed--the matin-bell of a distant convent, the
faint murmur of the sea-waves, the song of birds, and the far-off low
of cattle, which she saw coming slowly on between the trunks of
trees.  Struck with the circumstances of imagery around her, she
indulged the pensive tranquillity which they inspired; and while she
leaned on her window, waiting till St. Aubert should descend to
breakfast, her ideas arranged themselves in the following lines:

THE FIRST HOUR OF MORNING

 How sweet to wind the forest's tangled shade,
  When early twilight, from the eastern bound,
 Dawns on the sleeping landscape in the glade,
  And fades as morning spreads her blush around!

 When ev'ry infant flower, that wept in night,
  Lifts its chill head soft glowing with a tear,
 Expands its tender blossom to the light,
  And gives its incense to the genial air.

 How fresh the breeze that wafts the rich perfume,
  And swells the melody of waking birds;
 The hum of bees, beneath the verdant gloom,
  And woodman's song, and low of distant herds!

 Then, doubtful gleams the mountain's hoary head,
  Seen through the parting foliage from afar;
 And, farther still, the ocean's misty bed,
  With flitting sails, that partial sun-beams share.

 But, vain the sylvan shade--the breath of May,
  The voice of music floating on the gale,
 And forms, that beam through morning's dewy veil,
 If health no longer bid the heart be gay!
 O balmy hour! 'tis thine her wealth to give,
 Here spread her blush, and bid the parent live!

Emily now heard persons moving below in the cottage, and presently
the voice of Michael, who was talking to his mules, as he led them
forth from a hut adjoining.  As she left her room, St. Aubert, who
was now risen, met her at the door, apparently as little restored by
sleep as herself.  She led him down stairs to the little parlour, in
which they had supped on the preceding night, where they found a neat
breakfast set out, while the host and his daughter waited to bid them
good-morrow.

'I envy you this cottage, my good friends,' said St. Aubert, as he
met them, 'it is so pleasant, so quiet, and so neat; and this air,
that one breathes--if any thing could restore lost health, it would
surely be this air.'

La Voisin bowed gratefully, and replied, with the gallantry of a
Frenchman, 'Our cottage may be envied, sir, since you and
Mademoiselle have honoured it with your presence.'  St. Aubert gave
him a friendly smile for his compliment, and sat down to a table,
spread with cream, fruit, new cheese, butter, and coffee.  Emily, who
had observed her father with attention and thought he looked very
ill, endeavoured to persuade him to defer travelling till the
afternoon; but he seemed very anxious to be at home, and his anxiety
he expressed repeatedly, and with an earnestness that was unusual
with him.  He now said, he found himself as well as he had been of
late, and that he could bear travelling better in the cool hour of
the morning, than at any other time.  But, while he was talking with
his venerable host, and thanking him for his kind attentions, Emily
observed his countenance change, and, before she could reach him, he
fell back in his chair.  In a few moments he recovered from the
sudden faintness that had come over him, but felt so ill, that he
perceived himself unable to set out, and, having remained a little
while, struggling against the pressure of indisposition, he begged he
might be helped up stairs to bed.  This request renewed all the
terror which Emily had suffered on the preceding evening; but, though
scarcely able to support herself, under the sudden shock it gave her,
she tried to conceal her apprehensions from St. Aubert, and gave her
trembling arm to assist him to the door of his chamber.

When he was once more in bed, he desired that Emily, who was then
weeping in her own room, might be called; and, as she came, he waved
his hand for every other person to quit the apartment.  When they
were alone, he held out his hand to her, and fixed his eyes upon her
countenance, with an expression so full of tenderness and grief, that
all her fortitude forsook her, and she burst into an agony of tears. 
St. Aubert seemed struggling to acquire firmness, but was still
unable to speak; he could only press her hand, and check the tears
that stood trembling in his eyes.  At length he commanded his voice,
'My dear child,' said he, trying to smile through his anguish, 'my
dear Emily!'--and paused again.  He raised his eyes to heaven, as if
in prayer, and then, in a firmer tone, and with a look, in which the
tenderness of the father was dignified by the pious solemnity of the
saint, he said, "My dear child, I would soften the painful truth I
have to tell you, but I find myself quite unequal to the art.  Alas! 
I would, at this moment, conceal it from you, but that it would be
most cruel to deceive you.  It cannot be long before we must part;
let us talk of it, that our thoughts and our prayers may prepare us
to bear it.'  His voice faltered, while Emily, still weeping, pressed
his hand close to her heart, which swelled with a convulsive sigh,
but she could not look up.

'Let me not waste these moments,' said St. Aubert, recovering
himself, 'I have much to say.  There is a circumstance of solemn
consequence, which I have to mention, and a solemn promise to obtain
from you; when this is done I shall be easier.  You have observed, my
dear, how anxious I am to reach home, but know not all my reasons for
this.  Listen to what I am going to say.--Yet stay--before I say more
give me this promise, a promise made to your dying father!'--St.
Aubert was interrupted; Emily, struck by his last words, as if for
the first time, with a conviction of his immediate danger, raised her
head; her tears stopped, and, gazing at him for a moment with an
expression of unutterable anguish, a slight convulsion seized her,
and she sunk senseless in her chair.  St. Aubert's cries brought La
Voisin and his daughter to the room, and they administered every
means in their power to restore her, but, for a considerable time,
without effect.  When she recovered, St. Aubert was so exhausted by
the scene he had witnessed, that it was many minutes before he had
strength to speak; he was, however, somewhat revived by a cordial,
which Emily gave him; and, being again alone with her, he exerted
himself to tranquilize her spirits, and to offer her all the comfort
of which her situation admitted.  She threw herself into his arms,
wept on his neck, and grief made her so insensible to all he said,
that he ceased to offer the alleviations, which he himself could not,
at this moment, feel, and mingled his silent tears with hers. 
Recalled, at length, to a sense of duty, she tried to spare her
father from a farther view of her suffering; and, quitting his
embrace, dried her tears, and said something, which she meant for
consolation.  'My dear Emily,' replied St. Aubert, 'my dear child, we
must look up with humble confidence to that Being, who has protected
and comforted us in every danger, and in every affliction we have
known; to whose eye every moment of our lives has been exposed; he
will not, he does not, forsake us now; I feel his consolations in my
heart.  I shall leave you, my child, still in his care; and, though I
depart from this world, I shall be still in his presence.  Nay, weep
not again, my Emily.  In death there is nothing new, or surprising,
since we all know, that we are born to die; and nothing terrible to
those, who can confide in an all-powerful God.  Had my life been
spared now, after a very few years, in the course of nature, I must
have resigned it; old age, with all its train of infirmity, its
privations and its sorrows, would have been mine; and then, at last,
death would have come, and called forth the tears you now shed. 
Rather, my child, rejoice, that I am saved from such suffering, and
that I am permitted to die with a mind unimpaired, and sensible of
the comforts of faith and resignation.'  St. Aubert paused, fatigued
with speaking.  Emily again endeavoured to assume an air of
composure; and, in replying to what he had said, tried to sooth him
with a belief, that he had not spoken in vain.

When he had reposed a while, he resumed the conversation.  'Let me
return,' said he, 'to a subject, which is very near my heart.  I said
I had a solemn promise to receive from you; let me receive it now,
before I explain the chief circumstance which it concerns; there are
others, of which your peace requires that you should rest in
ignorance.  Promise, then, that you will perform exactly what I shall
enjoin.'

Emily, awed by the earnest solemnity of his manner, dried her tears,
that had begun again to flow, in spite of her efforts to suppress
them; and, looking eloquently at St. Aubert, bound herself to do
whatever he should require by a vow, at which she shuddered, yet knew
not why.

He proceeded:  'I know you too well, my Emily, to believe, that you
would break any promise, much less one thus solemnly given; your
assurance gives me peace, and the observance of it is of the utmost
importance to your tranquillity.  Hear, then, what I am going to tell
you.  The closet, which adjoins my chamber at La Vallee, has a
sliding board in the floor.  You will know it by a remarkable knot in
the wood, and by its being the next board, except one, to the
wainscot, which fronts the door.  At the distance of about a yard
from that end, nearer the window, you will perceive a line across it,
as if the plank had been joined;--the way to open it is this:--Press
your foot upon the line; the end of the board will then sink, and you
may slide it with ease beneath the other.  Below, you will see a
hollow place.'  St. Aubert paused for breath, and Emily sat fixed in
deep attention.  'Do you understand these directions, my dear?' said
he.  Emily, though scarcely able to speak, assured him that she did.

'When you return home, then,' he added with a deep sigh--

At the mention of her return home, all the melancholy circumstances,
that must attend this return, rushed upon her fancy; she burst into
convulsive grief, and St. Aubert himself, affected beyond the
resistance of the fortitude which he had, at first, summoned, wept
with her.  After some moments, he composed himself.  'My dear child,'
said he, 'be comforted.  When I am gone, you will not be forsaken--I
leave you only in the more immediate care of that Providence, which
has never yet forsaken me.  Do not afflict me with this excess of
grief; rather teach me by your example to bear my own.'  He stopped
again, and Emily, the more she endeavoured to restrain her emotion,
found it the less possible to do so.

St. Aubert, who now spoke with pain, resumed the subject.  'That
closet, my dear,--when you return home, go to it; and, beneath the
board I have described, you will find a packet of written papers. 
Attend to me now, for the promise you have given particularly relates
to what I shall direct.  These papers you must burn--and, solemnly I
command you, WITHOUT EXAMINING THEM.'

Emily's surprise, for a moment, overcame her grief, and she ventured
to ask, why this must be?  St. Aubert replied, that, if it had been
right for him to explain his reasons, her late promise would have
been unnecessarily exacted.  'It is sufficient for you, my love, to
have a deep sense of the importance of observing me in this
instance.'  St. Aubert proceeded.  'Under that board you will also
find about two hundred louis d'ors, wrapped in a silk purse; indeed,
it was to secure whatever money might be in the chateau, that this
secret place was contrived, at a time when the province was over-run
by troops of men, who took advantage of the tumults, and became
plunderers.

'But I have yet another promise to receive from you, which is--that
you will never, whatever may be your future circumstances, SELL the
chateau.'  St. Aubert even enjoined her, whenever she might marry, to
make it an article in the contract, that the chateau should always be
hers.  He then gave her a more minute account of his present
circumstances than he had yet done, adding, 'The two hundred louis,
with what money you will now find in my purse, is all the ready money
I have to leave you.  I have told you how I am circumstanced with M.
Motteville, at Paris.  Ah, my child!  I leave you poor--but not
destitute,' he added, after a long pause.  Emily could make no reply
to any thing he now said, but knelt at the bed-side, with her face
upon the quilt, weeping over the hand she held there.

After this conversation, the mind of St. Aubert appeared to be much
more at ease; but, exhausted by the effort of speaking, he sunk into
a kind of doze, and Emily continued to watch and weep beside him,
till a gentle tap at the chamber-door roused her.  It was La Voisin,
come to say, that a confessor from the neighbouring convent was
below, ready to attend St. Aubert.  Emily would not suffer her father
to be disturbed, but desired, that the priest might not leave the
cottage.  When St. Aubert awoke from this doze, his senses were
confused, and it was some moments before he recovered them
sufficiently to know, that it was Emily who sat beside him.  He then
moved his lips, and stretched forth his hand to her; as she received
which, she sunk back in her chair, overcome by the impression of
death on his countenance.  In a few minutes he recovered his voice,
and Emily then asked, if he wished to see the confessor; he replied,
that he did; and, when the holy father appeared, she withdrew.  They
remained alone together above half an hour; when Emily was called in,
she found St. Aubert more agitated than when she had left him, and
she gazed, with a slight degree of resentment, at the friar, as the
cause of this; who, however, looked mildly and mournfully at her, and
turned away.  St. Aubert, in a tremulous voice, said, he wished her
to join in prayer with him, and asked if La Voisin would do so too. 
The old man and his daughter came; they both wept, and knelt with
Emily round the bed, while the holy father read in a solemn voice the
service for the dying.  St. Aubert lay with a serene countenance, and
seemed to join fervently in the devotion, while tears often stole
from beneath his closed eyelids, and Emily's sobs more than once
interrupted the service.

When it was concluded, and extreme unction had been administered, the
friar withdrew.  St. Aubert then made a sign for La Voisin to come
nearer.  He gave him his hand, and was, for a moment, silent.  At
length, he said, in a trembling voice, 'My good friend, our
acquaintance has been short, but long enough to give you an
opportunity of shewing me much kind attention.  I cannot doubt, that
you will extend this kindness to my daughter, when I am gone; she
will have need of it.  I entrust her to your care during the few days
she will remain here.  I need say no more--you know the feelings of a
father, for you have children; mine would be, indeed, severe if I had
less confidence in you.'  He paused.  La Voisin assured him, and his
tears bore testimony to his sincerity, that he would do all he could
to soften her affliction, and that, if St. Aubert wished it, he would
even attend her into Gascony; an offer so pleasing to St. Aubert,
that he had scarcely words to acknowledge his sense of the old man's
kindness, or to tell him, that he accepted it.  The scene, that
followed between St. Aubert and Emily, affected La Voisin so much,
that he quitted the chamber, and she was again left alone with her
father, whose spirits seemed fainting fast, but neither his senses,
or his voice, yet failed him; and, at intervals, he employed much of
these last awful moments in advising his daughter, as to her future
conduct.  Perhaps, he never had thought more justly, or expressed
himself more clearly, than he did now.

'Above all, my dear Emily,' said he, 'do not indulge in the pride of
fine feeling, the romantic error of amiable minds.  Those, who really
possess sensibility, ought early to be taught, that it is a dangerous
quality, which is continually extracting the excess of misery, or
delight, from every surrounding circumstance.  And, since, in our
passage through this world, painful circumstances occur more
frequently than pleasing ones, and since our sense of evil is, I
fear, more acute than our sense of good, we become the victims of our
feelings, unless we can in some degree command them.  I know you will
say, (for you are young, my Emily) I know you will say, that you are
contented sometimes to suffer, rather than to give up your refined
sense of happiness, at others; but, when your mind has been long
harassed by vicissitude, you will be content to rest, and you will
then recover from your delusion.  You will perceive, that the phantom
of happiness is exchanged for the substance; for happiness arises in
a state of peace, not of tumult.  It is of a temperate and uniform
nature, and can no more exist in a heart, that is continually alive
to minute circumstances, than in one that is dead to feeling.  You
see, my dear, that, though I would guard you against the dangers of
sensibility, I am not an advocate for apathy.  At your age I should
have said THAT is a vice more hateful than all the errors of
sensibility, and I say so still.  I call it a VICE, because it leads
to positive evil; in this, however, it does no more than an ill-
governed sensibility, which, by such a rule, might also be called a
vice; but the evil of the former is of more general consequence.  I
have exhausted myself,' said St. Aubert, feebly, 'and have wearied
you, my Emily; but, on a subject so important to your future comfort,
I am anxious to be perfectly understood.'

Emily assured him, that his advice was most precious to her, and that
she would never forget it, or cease from endeavouring to profit by
it.  St. Aubert smiled affectionately and sorrowfully upon her.  'I
repeat it,' said he, 'I would not teach you to become insensible, if
I could; I would only warn you of the evils of susceptibility, and
point out how you may avoid them.  Beware, my love, I conjure you, of
that self-delusion, which has been fatal to the peace of so many
persons; beware of priding yourself on the gracefulness of
sensibility; if you yield to this vanity, your happiness is lost for
ever.  Always remember how much more valuable is the strength of
fortitude, than the grace of sensibility.  Do not, however, confound
fortitude with apathy; apathy cannot know the virtue.  Remember, too,
that one act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all
the abstract sentiment in the world.  Sentiment is a disgrace,
instead of an ornament, unless it lead us to good actions.  The
miser, who thinks himself respectable, merely because he possesses
wealth, and thus mistakes the means of doing good, for the actual
accomplishment of it, is not more blameable than the man of
sentiment, without active virtue.  You may have observed persons, who
delight so much in this sort of sensibility to sentiment, which
excludes that to the calls of any practical virtue, that they turn
from the distressed, and, because their sufferings are painful to be
contemplated, do not endeavour to relieve them.  How despicable is
that humanity, which can be contented to pity, where it might
assuage!'

St. Aubert, some time after, spoke of Madame Cheron, his sister. 
'Let me inform you of a circumstance, that nearly affects your
welfare,' he added.  'We have, you know, had little intercourse for
some years, but, as she is now your only female relation, I have
thought it proper to consign you to her care, as you will see in my
will, till you are of age, and to recommend you to her protection
afterwards.  She is not exactly the person, to whom I would have
committed my Emily, but I had no alternative, and I believe her to be
upon the whole--a good kind of woman.  I need not recommend it to
your prudence, my love, to endeavour to conciliate her kindness; you
will do this for his sake, who has often wished to do so for yours.'

Emily assured him, that, whatever he requested she would religiously
perform to the utmost of her ability.  'Alas!' added she, in a voice
interrupted by sighs, 'that will soon be all which remains for me; it
will be almost my only consolation to fulfil your wishes.'

St. Aubert looked up silently in her face, as if would have spoken,
but his spirit sunk a while, and his eyes became heavy and dull.  She
felt that look at her heart.  'My dear father!' she exclaimed; and
then, checking herself, pressed his hand closer, and hid her face
with her handkerchief.  Her tears were concealed, but St. Aubert
heard her convulsive sobs.  His spirits returned.  'O my child!' said
he, faintly, 'let my consolations be yours.  I die in peace; for I
know, that I am about to return to the bosom of my Father, who will
still be your Father, when I am gone.  Always trust in him, my love,
and he will support you in these moments, as he supports me.'

Emily could only listen, and weep; but the extreme composure of his
manner, and the faith and hope he expressed, somewhat soothed her
anguish.  Yet, whenever she looked upon his emaciated countenance,
and saw the lines of death beginning to prevail over it--saw his sunk
eyes, still bent on her, and their heavy lids pressing to a close,
there was a pang in her heart, such as defied expression, though it
required filial virtue, like hers, to forbear the attempt.

He desired once more to bless her; 'Where are you, my dear?' said he,
as he stretched forth his hands.  Emily had turned to the window,
that he might not perceive her anguish; she now understood, that his
sight had failed him.  When he had given her his blessing, and it
seemed to be the last effort of expiring life, he sunk back on his
pillow.  She kissed his forehead; the damps of death had settled
there, and, forgetting her fortitude for a moment, her tears mingled
with them.  St. Aubert lifted up his eyes; the spirit of a father
returned to them, but it quickly vanished, and he spoke no more.

St. Aubert lingered till about three o'clock in the afternoon, and,
thus gradually sinking into death, he expired without a struggle, or
a sigh.

Emily was led from the chamber by La Voisin and his daughter, who did
what they could to comfort her.  The old man sat and wept with her. 
Agnes was more erroneously officious.



CHAPTER VIII


 O'er him, whose doom thy virtues grieve,
 Aerial forms shall sit at eve,
 and bend the pensive head.
     COLLINS

The monk, who had before appeared, returned in the evening to offer
consolation to Emily, and brought a kind message from the lady
abbess, inviting her to the convent.  Emily, though she did not
accept the offer, returned an answer expressive of her gratitude. 
The holy conversation of the friar, whose mild benevolence of manners
bore some resemblance to those of St. Aubert, soothed the violence of
her grief, and lifted her heart to the Being, who, extending through
all place and all eternity, looks on the events of this little world
as on the shadows of a moment, and beholds equally, and in the same
instant, the soul that has passed the gates of death, and that, which
still lingers in the body.  'In the sight of God,' said Emily, 'my
dear father now exists, as truly as he yesterday existed to me; it is
to me only that he is dead; to God and to himself he yet lives!'

The good monk left her more tranquil than she had been since St.
Aubert died; and, before she retired to her little cabin for the
night, she trusted herself so far as to visit the corpse.  Silent,
and without weeping, she stood by its side.  The features, placid and
serene, told the nature of the last sensations, that had lingered in
the now deserted frame.  For a moment she turned away, in horror of
the stillness in which death had fixed that countenance, never till
now seen otherwise than animated; then gazed on it with a mixture of
doubt and awful astonishment.  Her reason could scarcely overcome an
involuntary and unaccountable expectation of seeing that beloved
countenance still susceptible.  She continued to gaze wildly; took up
the cold hand; spoke; still gazed, and then burst into a transport of
grief.  La Voisin, hearing her sobs, came into the room to lead her
away, but she heard nothing, and only begged that he would leave her.

Again alone, she indulged her tears, and, when the gloom of evening
obscured the chamber, and almost veiled from her eyes the object of
her distress, she still hung over the body; till her spirits, at
length, were exhausted, and she became tranquil.  La Voisin again
knocked at the door, and entreated that she would come to the common
apartment.  Before she went, she kissed the lips of St. Aubert, as
she was wont to do when she bade him good night.  Again she kissed
them; her heart felt as if it would break, a few tears of agony
started to her eyes, she looked up to heaven, then at St. Aubert, and
left the room.

Retired to her lonely cabin, her melancholy thoughts still hovered
round the body of her deceased parent; and, when she sunk into a kind
of slumber, the images of her waking mind still haunted her fancy. 
She thought she saw her father approaching her with a benign
countenance; then, smiling mournfully and pointing upwards, his lips
moved, but, instead of words, she heard sweet music borne on the
distant air, and presently saw his features glow with the mild
rapture of a superior being.  The strain seemed to swell louder, and
she awoke.  The vision was gone, but music yet came to her ear in
strains such as angels might breathe.  She doubted, listened, raised
herself in the bed, and again listened.  It was music, and not an
illusion of her imagination.  After a solemn steady harmony, it
paused; then rose again, in mournful sweetness, and then died, in a
cadence, that seemed to bear away the listening soul to heaven.  She
instantly remembered the music of the preceding night, with the
strange circumstances, related by La Voisin, and the affecting
conversation it had led to, concerning the state of departed spirits. 
All that St. Aubert had said, on that subject, now pressed upon her
heart, and overwhelmed it.  What a change in a few hours!  He, who
then could only conjecture, was now made acquainted with truth; was
himself become one of the departed!  As she listened, she was chilled
with superstitious awe, her tears stopped; and she rose, and went to
the window.  All without was obscured in shade; but Emily, turning
her eyes from the massy darkness of the woods, whose waving outline
appeared on the horizon, saw, on the left, that effulgent planet,
which the old man had pointed out, setting over the woods.  She
remembered what he had said concerning it, and, the music now coming
at intervals on the air, she unclosed the casement to listen to the
strains, that soon gradually sunk to a greater distance, and tried to
discover whence they came.  The obscurity prevented her from
distinguishing any object on the green platform below; and the sounds
became fainter and fainter, till they softened into silence.  She
listened, but they returned no more.  Soon after, she observed the
planet trembling between the fringed tops of the woods, and, in the
next moment, sink behind them.  Chilled with a melancholy awe, she
retired once more to her bed, and, at length, forgot for a while her
sorrows in sleep.

On the following morning, she was visited by a sister of the convent,
who came, with kind offices and a second invitation from the lady
abbess; and Emily, though she could not forsake the cottage, while
the remains of her father were in it, consented, however painful such
a visit must be, in the present state of her spirits, to pay her
respects to the abbess, in the evening.

About an hour before sun-set, La Voisin shewed her the way through
the woods to the convent, which stood in a small bay of the
Mediterranean, crowned by a woody amphitheatre; and Emily, had she
been less unhappy, would have admired the extensive sea view, that
appeared from the green slope, in front of the edifice, and the rich
shores, hung with woods and pastures, that extended on either hand. 
But her thoughts were now occupied by one sad idea, and the features
of nature were to her colourless and without form.  The bell for
vespers struck, as she passed the ancient gate of the convent, and
seemed the funereal note for St. Aubert.  Little incidents affect a
mind, enervated by sorrow; Emily struggled against the sickening
faintness, that came over her, and was led into the presence of the
abbess, who received her with an air of maternal tenderness; an air
of such gentle solicitude and consideration, as touched her with an
instantaneous gratitude; her eyes were filled with tears, and the
words she would have spoken faltered on her lips.  The abbess led her
to a seat, and sat down beside her, still holding her hand and
regarding her in silence, as Emily dried her tears and attempted to
speak.  'Be composed, my daughter,' said the abbess in a soothing
voice, 'do not speak yet; I know all you would say.  Your spirits
must be soothed.  We are going to prayers;--will you attend our
evening service?  It is comfortable, my child, to look up in our
afflictions to a father, who sees and pities us, and who chastens in
his mercy.'

Emily's tears flowed again, but a thousand sweet emotions mingled
with them.  The abbess suffered her to weep without interruption, and
watched over her with a look of benignity, that might have
characterized the countenance of a guardian angel.  Emily, when she
became tranquil, was encouraged to speak without reserve, and to
mention the motive, that made her unwilling to quit the cottage,
which the abbess did not oppose even by a hint; but praised the
filial piety of her conduct, and added a hope, that she would pass a
few days at the convent, before she returned to La Vallee.  'You must
allow yourself a little time to recover from your first shock, my
daughter, before you encounter a second; I will not affect to conceal
from you how much I know your heart must suffer, on returning to the
scene of your former happiness.  Here, you will have all, that quiet
and sympathy and religion can give, to restore your spirits.  But
come,' added she, observing the tears swell in Emily's eyes, 'we will
go to the chapel.'

Emily followed to the parlour, where the nuns were assembled, to whom
the abbess committed her, saying, 'This is a daughter, for whom I
have much esteem; be sisters to her.'

They passed on in a train to the chapel, where the solemn devotion,
with which the service was performed, elevated her mind, and brought
to it the comforts of faith and resignation.

Twilight came on, before the abbess's kindness would suffer Emily to
depart, when she left the convent, with a heart much lighter than she
had entered it, and was reconducted by La Voisin through the woods,
the pensive gloom of which was in unison with the temper of her mind;
and she pursued the little wild path, in musing silence, till her
guide suddenly stopped, looked round, and then struck out of the path
into the high grass, saying he had mistaken the road.  He now walked
on quickly, and Emily, proceeding with difficulty over the obscured
and uneven ground, was left at some distance, till her voice arrested
him, who seemed unwilling to stop, and still hurried on.  'If you are
in doubt about the way,' said Emily, 'had we not better enquire it at
the chateau yonder, between the trees?'

'No,' replied La Voisin, 'there is no occasion.  When we reach that
brook, ma'amselle, (you see the light upon the water there, beyond
the woods) when we reach that brook, we shall be at home presently. 
I don't know how I happened to mistake the path; I seldom come this
way after sun-set.'

'It is solitary enough,' said Emily, 'but you have no banditti here.' 
'No, ma'amselle--no banditti.'

'what are you afraid of then, my good friend? you are not
superstitious?'  'No, not superstitious; but, to tell you the truth,
lady, nobody likes to go near that chateau, after dusk.'  'By whom is
it inhabited,' said Emily, 'that it is so formidable?'  'Why,
ma'amselle, it is scarcely inhabited, for our lord the Marquis, and
the lord of all these find woods, too, is dead.  He had not once been
in it, for these many years, and his people, who have the care of it,
live in a cottage close by.'  Emily now understood this to be the
chateau, which La Voisin had formerly pointed out, as having belonged
to the Marquis Villeroi, on the mention of which her father had
appeared so much affected.

'Ah! it is a desolate place now,' continued La Voisin, 'and such a
grand, fine place, as I remember it!'  Emily enquired what had
occasioned this lamentable change; but the old man was silent, and
Emily, whose interest was awakened by the fear he had expressed, and
above all by a recollection of her father's agitation, repeated the
question, and added, 'If you are neither afraid of the inhabitants,
my good friend, nor are superstitious, how happens it, that you dread
to pass near that chateau in the dark?'

'Perhaps, then, I am a little superstitious, ma'amselle; and, if you
knew what I do, you might be so too.  Strange things have happened
there.  Monsieur, your good father, appeared to have known the late
Marchioness.' 'Pray inform me what did happen?' said Emily, with much
emotion.

'Alas! ma'amselle,' answered La Voisin, 'enquire no further; it is
not for me to lay open the domestic secrets of my lord.'--Emily,
surprised by the old man's words, and his manner of delivering them,
forbore to repeat her question; a nearer interest, the remembrance of
St. Aubert, occupied her thoughts, and she was led to recollect the
music she heard on the preceding night, which she mentioned to La
Voisin.  'You was not alone, ma'amselle, in this,' he replied, 'I
heard it too; but I have so often heard it, at the same hour, that I
was scarcely surprised.'

'You doubtless believe this music to have some connection with the
chateau,' said Emily suddenly, 'and are, therefore, superstitious.' 
'It may be so, ma'amselle, but there are other circumstances,
belonging to that chateau, which I remember, and sadly too.'  A heavy
sigh followed:  but Emily's delicacy restrained the curiosity these
words revived, and she enquired no further.

On reaching the cottage, all the violence of her grief returned; it
seemed as if she had escaped its heavy pressure only while she was
removed from the object of it.  She passed immediately to the
chamber, where the remains of her father were laid, and yielded to
all the anguish of hopeless grief.  La Voisin, at length, persuaded
her to leave the room, and she returned to her own, where, exhausted
by the sufferings of the day, she soon fell into deep sleep, and
awoke considerably refreshed.

When the dreadful hour arrived, in which the remains of St. Aubert
were to be taken from her for ever, she went alone to the chamber to
look upon his countenance yet once again, and La Voisin, who had
waited patiently below stairs, till her despair should subside, with
the respect due to grief, forbore to interrupt the indulgence of it,
till surprise, at the length of her stay, and then apprehension
overcame his delicacy, and he went to lead her from the chamber. 
Having tapped gently at the door, without receiving an answer, he
listened attentively, but all was still; no sigh, no sob of anguish
was heard.  Yet more alarmed by this silence, he opened the door, and
found Emily lying senseless across the foot of the bed, near which
stood the coffin.  His calls procured assistance, and she was carried
to her room, where proper applications, at length, restored her.

During her state of insensibility, La Voisin had given directions for
the coffin to be closed, and he succeeded in persuading Emily to
forbear revisiting the chamber.  She, indeed, felt herself unequal to
this, and also perceived the necessity of sparing her spirits, and
recollecting fortitude sufficient to bear her through the approaching
scene.  St. Aubert had given a particular injunction, that his
remains should be interred in the church of the convent of St. Clair,
and, in mentioning the north chancel, near the ancient tomb of the
Villerois, had pointed out the exact spot, where he wished to be
laid.  The superior had granted this place for the interment, and
thither, therefore, the sad procession now moved, which was met, at
the gates, by the venerable priest, followed by a train of friars. 
Every person, who heard the solemn chant of the anthem, and the peal
of the organ, that struck up, when the body entered the church, and
saw also the feeble steps, and the assumed tranquillity of Emily,
gave her involuntary tears.  She shed none, but walked, her face
partly shaded by a thin black veil, between two persons, who
supported her, preceded by the abbess, and followed by nuns, whose
plaintive voices mellowed the swelling harmony of the dirge.  When
the procession came to the grave the music ceased.  Emily drew the
veil entirely over her face, and, in a momentary pause, between the
anthem and the rest of the service, her sobs were distinctly audible. 
The holy father began the service, and Emily again commanded her
feelings, till the coffin was let down, and she heard the earth
rattle on its lid.  Then, as she shuddered, a groan burst from her
heart, and she leaned for support on the person who stood next to
her.  In a few moments she recovered; and, when she heard those
affecting and sublime words:  'His body is buried in peace, and his
soul returns to Him that gave it,' her anguish softened into tears.

The abbess led her from the church into her own parlour, and there
administered all the consolations, that religion and gentle sympathy
can give.  Emily struggled against the pressure of grief; but the
abbess, observing her attentively, ordered a bed to be prepared, and
recommended her to retire to repose.  She also kindly claimed her
promise to remain a few days at the convent; and Emily, who had no
wish to return to the cottage, the scene of all her sufferings, had
leisure, now that no immediate care pressed upon her attention, to
feel the indisposition, which disabled her from immediately
travelling.

Meanwhile, the maternal kindness of the abbess, and the gentle
attentions of the nuns did all, that was possible, towards soothing
her spirits and restoring her health.  But the latter was too deeply
wounded, through the medium of her mind, to be quickly revived.  She
lingered for some weeks at the convent, under the influence of a slow
fever, wishing to return home, yet unable to go thither; often even
reluctant to leave the spot where her father's relics were deposited,
and sometimes soothing herself with the consideration, that, if she
died here, her remains would repose beside those of St. Aubert.  In
the meanwhile, she sent letters to Madame Cheron and to the old
housekeeper, informing them of the sad event, that had taken place,
and of her own situation.  From her aunt she received an answer,
abounding more in common-place condolement, than in traits of real
sorrow, which assured her, that a servant should be sent to conduct
her to La Vallee, for that her own time was so much occupied by
company, that she had no leisure to undertake so long a journey. 
However Emily might prefer La Vallee to Tholouse, she could not be
insensible to the indecorous and unkind conduct of her aunt, in
suffering her to return thither, where she had no longer a relation
to console and protect her; a conduct, which was the more culpable,
since St. Aubert had appointed Madame Cheron the guardian of his
orphan daughter.

Madame Cheron's servant made the attendance of the good La Voisin
unnecessary; and Emily, who felt sensibly her obligations to him, for
all his kind attention to her late father, as well as to herself, was
glad to spare him a long, and what, at his time of life, must have
been a troublesome journey.

During her stay at the convent, the peace and sanctity that reigned
within, the tranquil beauty of the scenery without, and the delicate
attentions of the abbess and the nuns, were circumstances so soothing
to her mind, that they almost tempted her to leave a world, where she
had lost her dearest friends, and devote herself to the cloister, in
a spot, rendered sacred to her by containing the tomb of St. Aubert. 
The pensive enthusiasm, too, so natural to her temper, had spread a
beautiful illusion over the sanctified retirement of a nun, that
almost hid from her view the selfishness of its security.  But the
touches, which a melancholy fancy, slightly tinctured with
superstition, gave to the monastic scene, began to fade, as her
spirits revived, and brought once more to her heart an image, which
had only transiently been banished thence.  By this she was silently
awakened to hope and comfort and sweet affections; visions of
happiness gleamed faintly at a distance, and, though she knew them to
be illusions, she could not resolve to shut them out for ever.  It
was the remembrance of Valancourt, of his taste, his genius, and of
the countenance which glowed with both, that, perhaps, alone
determined her to return to the world.  The grandeur and sublimity of
the scenes, amidst which they had first met, had fascinated her
fancy, and had imperceptibly contributed to render Valancourt more
interesting by seeming to communicate to him somewhat of their own
character.  The esteem, too, which St. Aubert had repeatedly
expressed for him, sanctioned this kindness; but, though his
countenance and manner had continually expressed his admiration of
her, he had not otherwise declared it; and even the hope of seeing
him again was so distant, that she was scarcely conscious of it,
still less that it influenced her conduct on this occasion.

It was several days after the arrival of Madame Cheron's servant
before Emily was sufficiently recovered to undertake the journey to
La Vallee.  On the evening preceding her departure, she went to the
cottage to take leave of La Voisin and his family, and to make them a
return for their kindness.  The old man she found sitting on a bench
at his door, between his daughter, and his son-in-law, who was just
returned from his daily labour, and who was playing upon a pipe,
that, in tone, resembled an oboe.  A flask of wine stood beside the
old man, and, before him, a small table with fruit and bread, round
which stood several of his grandsons, fine rosy children, who were
taking their supper, as their mother distributed it.  On the edge of
the little green, that spread before the cottage, were cattle and a
few sheep reposing under the trees.  The landscape was touched with
the mellow light of the evening sun, whose long slanting beams played
through a vista of the woods, and lighted up the distant turrets of
the chateau.  She paused a moment, before she emerged from the shade,
to gaze upon the happy group before her--on the complacency and ease
of healthy age, depictured on the countenance of La Voisin; the
maternal tenderness of Agnes, as she looked upon her children, and
the innocency of infantine pleasures, reflected in their smiles. 
Emily looked again at the venerable old man, and at the cottage; the
memory of her father rose with full force upon her mind, and she
hastily stepped forward, afraid to trust herself with a longer pause. 
She took an affectionate and affecting leave of La Voisin and his
family; he seemed to love her as his daughter, and shed tears; Emily
shed many.  She avoided going into the cottage, since she knew it
would revive emotions, such as she could not now endure.

One painful scene yet awaited her, for she determined to visit again
her father's grave; and that she might not be interrupted, or
observed in the indulgence of her melancholy tenderness, she deferred
her visit, till every inhabitant of the convent, except the nun who
promised to bring her the key of the church, should be retired to
rest.  Emily remained in her chamber, till she heard the convent bell
strike twelve, when the nun came, as she had appointed, with the key
of a private door, that opened into the church, and they descended
together the narrow winding stair-case, that led thither.  The nun
offered to accompany Emily to the grave, adding, 'It is melancholy to
go alone at this hour;' but the former, thanking her for the
consideration, could not consent to have any witness of her sorrow;
and the sister, having unlocked the door, gave her the lamp.  'You
will remember, sister,' said she, 'that in the east aisle, which you
must pass, is a newly opened grave; hold the light to the ground,
that you may not stumble over the loose earth.'  Emily, thanking her
again, took the lamp, and, stepping into the church, sister Mariette
departed.  But Emily paused a moment at the door; a sudden fear came
over her, and she returned to the foot of the stair-case, where, as
she heard the steps of the nun ascending, and, while she held up the
lamp, saw her black veil waving over the spiral balusters, she was
tempted to call her back.  While she hesitated, the veil disappeared,
and, in the next moment, ashamed of her fears, she returned to the
church.  The cold air of the aisles chilled her, and their deep
silence and extent, feebly shone upon by the moon-light, that
streamed through a distant gothic window, would at any other time
have awed her into superstition; now, grief occupied all her
attention.  She scarcely heard the whispering echoes of her own
steps, or thought of the open grave, till she found herself almost on
its brink.  A friar of the convent had been buried there on the
preceding evening, and, as she had sat alone in her chamber at
twilight, she heard, at distance, the monks chanting the requiem for
his soul.  This brought freshly to her memory the circumstances of
her father's death; and, as the voices, mingling with a low querulous
peal of the organ, swelled faintly, gloomy and affecting visions had
arisen upon her mind.  Now she remembered them, and, turning aside to
avoid the broken ground, these recollections made her pass on with
quicker steps to the grave of St. Aubert, when in the moon-light,
that fell athwart a remote part of the aisle, she thought she saw a
shadow gliding between the pillars.  She stopped to listen, and, not
hearing any footstep, believed that her fancy had deceived her, and,
no longer apprehensive of being observed, proceeded.  St. Aubert was
buried beneath a plain marble, bearing little more than his name and
the date of his birth and death, near the foot of the stately
monument of the Villerois.  Emily remained at his grave, till a
chime, that called the monks to early prayers, warned her to retire;
then, she wept over it a last farewel, and forced herself from the
spot.  After this hour of melancholy indulgence, she was refreshed by
a deeper sleep, than she had experienced for a long time, and, on
awakening, her mind was more tranquil and resigned, than it had been
since St. Aubert's death.

But, when the moment of her departure from the convent arrived, all
her grief returned; the memory of the dead, and the kindness of the
living attached her to the place; and for the sacred spot, where her
father's remains were interred, she seemed to feel all those tender
affections which we conceive for home.  The abbess repeated many kind
assurances of regard at their parting, and pressed her to return, if
ever she should find her condition elsewhere unpleasant; many of the
nuns also expressed unaffected regret at her departure, and Emily
left the convent with many tears, and followed by sincere wishes for
her happiness.

She had travelled several leagues, before the scenes of the country,
through which she passed, had power to rouse her for a moment from
the deep melancholy, into which she was sunk, and, when they did, it
was only to remind her, that, on her last view of them, St. Aubert
was at her side, and to call up to her remembrance the remarks he had
delivered on similar scenery.  Thus, without any particular
occurrence, passed the day in languor and dejection.  She slept that
night in a town on the skirts of Languedoc, and, on the following
morning, entered Gascony.

Towards the close of this day, Emily came within view of the plains
in the neighbourhood of La Vallee, and the well-known objects of
former times began to press upon her notice, and with them
recollections, that awakened all her tenderness and grief.  Often,
while she looked through her tears upon the wild grandeur of the
Pyrenees, now varied with the rich lights and shadows of evening, she
remembered, that, when last she saw them, her father partook with her
of the pleasure they inspired.  Suddenly some scene, which he had
particularly pointed out to her, would present itself, and the sick
languor of despair would steal upon her heart.  'There!' she would
exclaim, 'there are the very cliffs, there the wood of pines, which
he looked at with such delight, as we passed this road together for
the last time.  There, too, under the crag of that mountain, is the
cottage, peeping from among the cedars, which he bade me remember,
and copy with my pencil.  O my father, shall I never see you more!'

As she drew near the chateau, these melancholy memorials of past
times multiplied.  At length, the chateau itself appeared, amid the
glowing beauty of St. Aubert's favourite landscape.  This was an
object, which called for fortitude, not for tears; Emily dried hers,
and prepared to meet with calmness the trying moment of her return to
that home, where there was no longer a parent to welcome her.  'Yes,'
said she, 'let me not forget the lessons he has taught me!  How often
he has pointed out the necessity of resisting even virtuous sorrow;
how often we have admired together the greatness of a mind, that can
at once suffer and reason!  O my father! if you are permitted to look
down upon your child, it will please you to see, that she remembers,
and endeavours to practise, the precepts you have given her.'

A turn on the road now allowed a nearer view of the chateau, the
chimneys, tipped with light, rising from behind St. Aubert's
favourite oaks, whose foliage partly concealed the lower part of the
building.  Emily could not suppress a heavy sigh.  'This, too, was
his favourite hour,' said she, as she gazed upon the long evening
shadows, stretched athwart the landscape.  'How deep the repose, how
lovely the scene! lovely and tranquil as in former days!'

Again she resisted the pressure of sorrow, till her ear caught the
gay melody of the dance, which she had so often listened to, as she
walked with St. Aubert, on the margin of the Garonne, when all her
fortitude forsook her, and she continued to weep, till the carriage
stopped at the little gate, that opened upon what was now her own
territory.  She raised her eyes on the sudden stopping of the
carriage, and saw her father's old housekeeper coming to open the
gate.  Manchon also came running, and barking before her; and when
his young mistress alighted, fawned, and played round her, gasping
with joy.

'Dear ma'amselle!' said Theresa, and paused, and looked as if she
would have offered something of condolement to Emily, whose tears now
prevented reply.  The dog still fawned and ran round her, and then
flew towards the carriage, with a short quick bark.  'Ah,
ma'amselle!--my poor master!' said Theresa, whose feelings were more
awakened than her delicacy, 'Manchon's gone to look for him.'  Emily
sobbed aloud; and, on looking towards the carriage, which still stood
with the door open, saw the animal spring into it, and instantly leap
out, and then with his nose on the ground run round the horses.

'Don't cry so, ma'amselle,' said Theresa, 'it breaks my heart to see
you.'  The dog now came running to Emily, then returned to the
carriage, and then back again to her, whining and discontented. 
'Poor rogue!' said Theresa, 'thou hast lost thy master, thou mayst
well cry!  But come, my dear young lady, be comforted.  What shall I
get to refresh you?'  Emily gave her hand to the old servant, and
tried to restrain her grief, while she made some kind enquiries
concerning her health.  But she still lingered in the walk which led
to the chateau, for within was no person to meet her with the kiss of
affection; her own heart no longer palpitated with impatient joy to
meet again the well-known smile, and she dreaded to see objects,
which would recall the full remembrance of her former happiness.  She
moved slowly towards the door, paused, went on, and paused again. 
How silent, how forsaken, how forlorn did the chateau appear! 
Trembling to enter it, yet blaming herself for delaying what she
could not avoid, she, at length, passed into the hall; crossed it
with a hurried step, as if afraid to look round, and opened the door
of that room, which she was wont to call her own.  The gloom of
evening gave solemnity to its silent and deserted air.  The chairs,
the tables, every article of furniture, so familiar to her in happier
times, spoke eloquently to her heart.  She seated herself, without
immediately observing it, in a window, which opened upon the garden,
and where St. Aubert had often sat with her, watching the sun retire
from the rich and extensive prospect, that appeared beyond the
groves.

Having indulged her tears for some time, she became more composed;
and, when Theresa, after seeing the baggage deposited in her lady's
room, again appeared, she had so far recovered her spirits, as to be
able to converse with her.

'I have made up the green bed for you, ma'amselle,' said Theresa, as
she set the coffee upon the table.  'I thought you would like it
better than your own now; but I little thought this day month, that
you would come back alone.  A-well-a-day! the news almost broke my
heart, when it did come.  Who would have believed, that my poor
master, when he went from home, would never return again!'  Emily hid
her face with her handkerchief, and waved her hand.

'Do taste the coffee,' said Theresa.  'My dear young lady, be
comforted--we must all die.  My dear master is a saint above.'  Emily
took the handkerchief from her face, and raised her eyes full of
tears towards heaven; soon after she dried them, and, in a calm, but
tremulous voice, began to enquire concerning some of her late
father's pensioners.

'Alas-a-day!' said Theresa, as she poured out the coffee, and handed
it to her mistress, 'all that could come, have been here every day to
enquire after you and my master.'  She then proceeded to tell, that
some were dead whom they had left well; and others, who were ill, had
recovered.  'And see, ma'amselle,' added Theresa, 'there is old Mary
coming up the garden now; she has looked every day these three years
as if she would die, yet she is alive still.  She has seen the chaise
at the door, and knows you are come home.'

The sight of this poor old woman would have been too much for Emily,
and she begged Theresa would go and tell her, that she was too ill to
see any person that night.  'To-morrow I shall be better, perhaps;
but give her this token of my remembrance.'

Emily sat for some time, given up to sorrow.  Not an object, on which
her eye glanced, but awakened some remembrance, that led immediately
to the subject of her grief.  Her favourite plants, which St. Aubert
had taught her to nurse; the little drawings, that adorned the room,
which his taste had instructed her to execute; the books, that he had
selected for her use, and which they had read together; her musical
instruments, whose sounds he loved so well, and which he sometimes
awakened himself--every object gave new force to sorrow.  At length,
she roused herself from this melancholy indulgence, and, summoning
all her resolution, stepped forward to go into those forlorn rooms,
which, though she dreaded to enter, she knew would yet more
powerfully affect her, if she delayed to visit them.

Having passed through the green-house, her courage for a moment
forsook her, when she opened the door of the library; and, perhaps,
the shade, which evening and the foliage of the trees near the
windows threw across the room, heightened the solemnity of her
feelings on entering that apartment, where every thing spoke of her
father.  There was an arm chair, in which he used to sit; she shrunk
when she observed it, for she had so often seen him seated there, and
the idea of him rose so distinctly to her mind, that she almost
fancied she saw him before her.  But she checked the illusions of a
distempered imagination, though she could not subdue a certain degree
of awe, which now mingled with her emotions.  She walked slowly to
the chair, and seated herself in it; there was a reading-desk before
it, on which lay a book open, as it had been left by her father.  It
was some moments before she recovered courage enough to examine it;
and, when she looked at the open page, she immediately recollected,
that St. Aubert, on the evening before his departure from the
chateau, had read to her some passages from this his favourite
author.  The circumstance now affected her extremely; she looked at
the page, wept, and looked again.  To her the book appeared sacred
and invaluable, and she would not have moved it, or closed the page,
which he had left open, for the treasures of the Indies.  Still she
sat before the desk, and could not resolve to quit it, though the
increasing gloom, and the profound silence of the apartment, revived
a degree of painful awe.  Her thoughts dwelt on the probable state of
departed spirits, and she remembered the affecting conversation,
which had passed between St. Aubert and La Voisin, on the night
preceding his death.

As she mused she saw the door slowly open, and a rustling sound in a
remote part of the room startled her.  Through the dusk she thought
she perceived something move.  The subject she had been considering,
and the present tone of her spirits, which made her imagination
respond to every impression of her senses, gave her a sudden terror
of something supernatural.  She sat for a moment motionless, and
then, her dissipated reason returning, 'What should I fear?' said
she.  'If the spirits of those we love ever return to us, it is in
kindness.'

The silence, which again reigned, made her ashamed of her late fears,
and she believed, that her imagination had deluded her, or that she
had heard one of those unaccountable noises, which sometimes occur in
old houses.  The same sound, however, returned; and, distinguishing
something moving towards her, and in the next instant press beside
her into the chair, she shrieked; but her fleeting senses were
instantly recalled, on perceiving that it was Manchon who sat by her,
and who now licked her hands affectionately.

Perceiving her spirits unequal to the task she had assigned herself
of visiting the deserted rooms of the chateau this night, when she
left the library, she walked into the garden, and down to the
terrace, that overhung the river.  The sun was now set; but, under
the dark branches of the almond trees, was seen the saffron glow of
the west, spreading beyond the twilight of middle air.  The bat
flitted silently by; and, now and then, the mourning note of the
nightingale was heard.  The circumstances of the hour brought to her
recollection some lines, which she had once heard St. Aubert recite
on this very spot, and she had now a melancholy pleasure in repeating
them.

     SONNET

 Now the bat circles on the breeze of eve,
 That creeps, in shudd'ring fits, along the wave,
 And trembles 'mid the woods, and through the cave
 Whose lonely sighs the wanderer deceive;
 For oft, when melancholy charms his mind,
 He thinks the Spirit of the rock he hears,
 Nor listens, but with sweetly-thrilling fears,
 To the low, mystic murmurs of the wind!
 Now the bat circles, and the twilight-dew
 Falls silent round, and, o'er the mountain-cliff,
 The gleaming wave, and far-discover'd skiff,
 Spreads the gray veil of soft, harmonious hue.
 So falls o'er Grief the dew of pity's tear
 Dimming her lonely visions of despair.

Emily, wandering on, came to St. Aubert's favourite plane-tree, where
so often, at this hour, they had sat beneath the shade together, and
with her dear mother so often had conversed on the subject of a
future state.  How often, too, had her father expressed the comfort
he derived from believing, that they should meet in another world! 
Emily, overcome by these recollections, left the plane-tree, and, as
she leaned pensively on the wall of the terrace, she observed a group
of peasants dancing gaily on the banks of the Garonne, which spread
in broad expanse below, and reflected the evening light.  What a
contrast they formed to the desolate, unhappy Emily!  They were gay
and debonnaire, as they were wont to be when she, too, was gay--when
St. Aubert used to listen to their merry music, with a countenance
beaming pleasure and benevolence.  Emily, having looked for a moment
on this sprightly band, turned away, unable to bear the remembrances
it excited; but where, alas! could she turn, and not meet new objects
to give acuteness to grief?

As she walked slowly towards the house, she was met by Theresa. 
'Dear ma'amselle,' said she, 'I have been seeking you up and down
this half hour, and was afraid some accident had happened to you. 
How can you like to wander about so in this night air!  Do come into
the house.  Think what my poor master would have said, if he could
see you.  I am sure, when my dear lady died, no gentleman could take
it more to heart than he did, yet you know he seldom shed a tear.'

'Pray, Theresa, cease,' said Emily, wishing to interrupt this ill-
judged, but well-meaning harangue; Theresa's loquacity, however, was
not to be silenced so easily.  'And when you used to grieve so,' she
added, 'he often told you how wrong it was--for that my mistress was
happy.  And, if she was happy, I am sure he is so too; for the
prayers of the poor, they say, reach heaven.'  During this speech,
Emily had walked silently into the chateau, and Theresa lighted her
across the hall into the common sitting parlour, where she had laid
the cloth, with one solitary knife and fork, for supper.  Emily was
in the room before she perceived that it was not her own apartment,
but she checked the emotion which inclined her to leave it, and
seated herself quietly by the little supper table.  Her father's hat
hung upon the opposite wall; while she gazed at it, a faintness came
over her.  Theresa looked at her, and then at the object, on which
her eyes were settled, and went to remove it; but Emily waved her
hand--'No,' said she, 'let it remain.  I am going to my chamber.' 
'Nay, ma'amselle, supper is ready.'  'I cannot take it,' replied
Emily, 'I will go to my room, and try to sleep.  Tomorrow I shall be
better.'

'This is poor doings!' said Theresa.  'Dear lady! do take some food! 
I have dressed a pheasant, and a fine one it is.  Old Monsieur
Barreaux sent it this morning, for I saw him yesterday, and told him
you were coming.  And I know nobody that seemed more concerned, when
he heard the sad news, then he.'

'Did he?' said Emily, in a tender voice, while she felt her poor
heart warmed for a moment by a ray of sympathy.

At length, her spirits were entirely overcome, and she retired to her
room.



CHAPTER IX


  Can Music's voice, can Beauty's eye,
  Can Painting's glowing hand supply
  A charm so suited to my mind,
  As blows this hollow gust of wind?
  As drops this little weeping rill,
  Soft tinkling down the moss-grown hill;
 While, through the west, where sinks the crimson day,
 Meek Twilight slowly sails, and waves her banners gray?
     MASON

Emily, some time after her return to La Vallee, received letters from
her aunt, Madame Cheron, in which, after some common-place
condolement and advice, she invited her to Tholouse, and added, that,
as her late brother had entrusted Emily's EDUCATION to her, she
should consider herself bound to overlook her conduct.  Emily, at
this time, wished only to remain at La Vallee, in the scenes of her
early happiness, now rendered infinitely dear to her, as the late
residence of those, whom she had lost for ever, where she could weep
unobserved, retrace their steps, and remember each minute particular
of their manners.  But she was equally anxious to avoid the
displeasure of Madame Cheron.

Though her affection would not suffer her to question, even a moment,
the propriety of St. Aubert's conduct in appointing Madame Cheron for
her guardian, she was sensible, that this step had made her happiness
depend, in a great degree, on the humour of her aunt.  In her reply,
she begged permission to remain, at present, at La Vallee, mentioning
the extreme dejection of her spirits, and the necessity she felt for
quiet and retirement to restore them.  These she knew were not to be
found at Madame Cheron's, whose inclinations led her into a life of
dissipation, which her ample fortune encouraged; and, having given
her answer, she felt somewhat more at ease.

In the first days of her affliction, she was visited by Monsieur
Barreaux, a sincere mourner for St. Aubert.  'I may well lament my
friend,' said he, 'for I shall never meet with his resemblance.  If I
could have found such a man in what is called society, I should not
have left it.'

M. Barreaux's admiration of her father endeared him extremely to
Emily, whose heart found almost its first relief in conversing of her
parents, with a man, whom she so much revered, and who, though with
such an ungracious appearance, possessed to much goodness of heart
and delicacy of mind.

Several weeks passed away in quiet retirement, and Emily's affliction
began to soften into melancholy.  She could bear to read the books
she had before read with her father; to sit in his chair in the
library--to watch the flowers his hand had planted--to awaken the
tones of that instrument his fingers had pressed, and sometimes even
to play his favourite air.

When her mind had recovered from the first shock of affliction,
perceiving the danger of yielding to indolence, and that activity
alone could restore its tone, she scrupulously endeavoured to pass
all her hours in employment.  And it was now that she understood the
full value of the education she had received from St. Aubert, for in
cultivating her understanding he had secured her an asylum from
indolence, without recourse to dissipation, and rich and varied
amusement and information, independent of the society, from which her
situation secluded her.  Nor were the good effects of this education
confined to selfish advantages, since, St. Aubert having nourished
every amiable qualify of her heart, it now expanded in benevolence to
all around her, and taught her, when she could not remove the
misfortunes of others, at least to soften them by sympathy and
tenderness;--a benevolence that taught her to feel for all, that
could suffer.

Madame Cheron returned no answer to Emily's letter, who began to
hope, that she should be permitted to remain some time longer in her
retirement, and her mind had now so far recovered its strength, that
she ventured to view the scenes, which most powerfully recalled the
images of past times.  Among these was the fishing-house; and, to
indulge still more the affectionate melancholy of the visit, she took
thither her lute, that she might again hear there the tones, to which
St. Aubert and her mother had so often delighted to listen.  She went
alone, and at that still hour of the evening which is so soothing to
fancy and to grief.  The last time she had been here she was in
company with Monsieur and Madame St. Aubert, a few days preceding
that, on which the latter was seized with a fatal illness.  Now, when
Emily again entered the woods, that surrounded the building, they
awakened so forcibly the memory of former times, that her resolution
yielded for a moment to excess of grief.  She stopped, leaned for
support against a tree, and wept for some minutes, before she had
recovered herself sufficiently to proceed.  The little path, that led
to the building, was overgrown with grass and the flowers which St.
Aubert had scattered carelessly along the border were almost choked
with weeds--the tall thistle--the fox-glove, and the nettle.  She
often paused to look on the desolate spot, now so silent and
forsaken, and when, with a trembling hand, she opened the door of the
fishing-house, 'Ah!' said she, 'every thing--every thing remains as
when I left it last--left it with those who never must return!'  She
went to a window, that overhung the rivulet, and, leaning over it,
with her eyes fixed on the current, was soon lost in melancholy
reverie.  The lute she had brought lay forgotten beside her; the
mournful sighing of the breeze, as it waved the high pines above, and
its softer whispers among the osiers, that bowed upon the banks
below, was a kind of music more in unison with her feelings.  It did
not vibrate on the chords of unhappy memory, but was soothing to the
heart as the voice of Pity.  She continued to muse, unconscious of
the gloom of evening, and that the sun's last light trembled on the
heights above, and would probably have remained so much longer, if a
sudden footstep, without the building, had not alarmed her attention,
and first made her recollect that she was unprotected.  In the next
moment, a door opened, and a stranger appeared, who stopped on
perceiving Emily, and then began to apologize for his intrusion.  But
Emily, at the sound of his voice, lost her fear in a stronger
emotion:  its tones were familiar to her ear, and, though she could
not readily distinguish through the dusk the features of the person
who spoke, she felt a remembrance too strong to be distrusted.

He repeated his apology, and Emily then said something in reply, when
the stranger eagerly advancing, exclaimed, 'Good God! can it be--
surely I am not mistaken--ma'amselle St. Aubert?--is it not?'

'It is indeed,' said Emily, who was confirmed in her first
conjecture, for she now distinguished the countenance of Valancourt,
lighted up with still more than its usual animation.  A thousand
painful recollections crowded to her mind, and the effort, which she
made to support herself, only served to increase her agitation. 
Valancourt, meanwhile, having enquired anxiously after her health,
and expressed his hopes, that M. St. Aubert had found benefit from
travelling, learned from the flood of tears, which she could no
longer repress, the fatal truth.  He led her to a seat, and sat down
by her, while Emily continued to weep, and Valancourt to hold the
hand, which she was unconscious he had taken, till it was wet with
the tears, which grief for St. Aubert and sympathy for herself had
called forth.

'I feel,' said he at length, 'I feel how insufficient all attempt at
consolation must be on this subject.  I can only mourn with you, for
I cannot doubt the source of your tears.  Would to God I were
mistaken!'

Emily could still answer only by tears, till she rose, and begged
they might leave the melancholy spot, when Valancourt, though he saw
her feebleness, could not offer to detain her, but took her arm
within his, and led her from the fishing-house.  They walked silently
through the woods, Valancourt anxious to know, yet fearing to ask any
particulars concerning St. Aubert; and Emily too much distressed to
converse.  After some time, however, she acquired fortitude enough to
speak of her father, and to give a brief account of the manner of his
death; during which recital Valancourt's countenance betrayed strong
emotion, and, when he heard that St. Aubert had died on the road, and
that Emily had been left among strangers, he pressed her hand between
his, and involuntarily exclaimed, 'Why was I not there!' but in the
next moment recollected himself, for he immediately returned to the
mention of her father; till, perceiving that her spirits were
exhausted, he gradually changed the subject, and spoke of himself. 
Emily thus learned that, after they had parted, he had wandered, for
some time, along the shores of the Mediterranean, and had then
returned through Languedoc into Gascony, which was his native
province, and where he usually resided.

When he had concluded his little narrative, he sunk into a silence,
which Emily was not disposed to interrupt, and it continued, till
they reached the gate of the chateau, when he stopped, as if he had
known this to be the limit of his walk.  Here, saying, that it was
his intention to return to Estuviere on the following day, he asked
her if she would permit him to take leave of her in the morning; and
Emily, perceiving that she could not reject an ordinary civility,
without expressing by her refusal an expectation of something more,
was compelled to answer, that she should be at home.

She passed a melancholy evening, during which the retrospect of all
that had happened, since she had seen Valancourt, would rise to her
imagination; and the scene of her father's death appeared in tints as
fresh, as if it had passed on the preceding day.  She remembered
particularly the earnest and solemn manner, in which he had required
her to destroy the manuscript papers, and, awakening from the
lethargy, in which sorrow had held her, she was shocked to think she
had not yet obeyed him, and determined, that another day should not
reproach her with the neglect.



CHAPTER X


     Can such things be,
 And overcome us like a summer's cloud,
 Without our special wonder?
     MACBETH

On the next morning, Emily ordered a fire to be lighted in the stove
of the chamber, where St. Aubert used to sleep; and, as soon as she
had breakfasted, went thither to burn the papers.  Having fastened
the door to prevent interruption, she opened the closet where they
were concealed, as she entered which, she felt an emotion of unusual
awe, and stood for some moments surveying it, trembling, and almost
afraid to remove the board.  There was a great chair in one corner of
the closet, and, opposite to it, stood the table, at which she had
seen her father sit, on the evening that preceded his departure,
looking over, with so much emotion, what she believed to be these
very papers.

The solitary life, which Emily had led of late, and the melancholy
subjects, on which she had suffered her thoughts to dwell, had
rendered her at times sensible to the 'thick-coming fancies' of a
mind greatly enervated.  It was lamentable, that her excellent
understanding should have yielded, even for a moment, to the reveries
of superstition, or rather to those starts of imagination, which
deceive the senses into what can be called nothing less than
momentary madness.  Instances of this temporary failure of mind had
more than once occurred since her return home; particularly when,
wandering through this lonely mansion in the evening twilight, she
had been alarmed by appearances, which would have been unseen in her
more cheerful days.  To this infirm state of her nerves may be
attributed what she imagined, when, her eyes glancing a second time
on the arm-chair, which stood in an obscure part of the closet, the
countenance of her dead father appeared there.  Emily stood fixed for
a moment to the floor, after which she left the closet.  Her spirits,
however, soon returned; she reproached herself with the weakness of
thus suffering interruption in an act of serious importance, and
again opened the door.  By the directions which St. Aubert had given
her, she readily found the board he had described in an opposite
corner of the closet, near the window; she distinguished also the
line he had mentioned, and, pressing it as he had bade her, it slid
down, and disclosed the bundle of papers, together with some
scattered ones, and the purse of louis.  With a trembling hand she
removed them, replaced the board, paused a moment, and was rising
from the floor, when, on looking up, there appeared to her alarmed
fancy the same countenance in the chair.  The illusion, another
instance of the unhappy effect which solitude and grief had gradually
produced upon her mind, subdued her spirits; she rushed forward into
the chamber, and sunk almost senseless into a chair.  Returning
reason soon overcame the dreadful, but pitiable attack of
imagination, and she turned to the papers, though still with so
little recollection, that her eyes involuntarily settled on the
writing of some loose sheets, which lay open; and she was
unconscious, that she was transgressing her father's strict
injunction, till a sentence of dreadful import awakened her attention
and her memory together.  She hastily put the papers from her; but
the words, which had roused equally her curiosity and terror, she
could not dismiss from her thoughts.  So powerfully had they affected
her, that she even could not resolve to destroy the papers
immediately; and the more she dwelt on the circumstance, the more it
inflamed her imagination.  Urged by the most forcible, and apparently
the most necessary, curiosity to enquire farther, concerning the
terrible and mysterious subject, to which she had seen an allusion,
she began to lament her promise to destroy the papers.  For a moment,
she even doubted, whether it could justly be obeyed, in contradiction
to such reasons as there appeared to be for further information.  But
the delusion was momentary.

'I have given a solemn promise,' said she, 'to observe a solemn
injunction, and it is not my business to argue, but to obey.  Let me
hasten to remove the temptation, that would destroy my innocence, and
embitter my life with the consciousness of irremediable guilt, while
I have strength to reject it.'

Thus re-animated with a sense of her duty, she completed the triumph
of her integrity over temptation, more forcible than any she had ever
known, and consigned the papers to the flames.  Her eyes watched them
as they slowly consumed, she shuddered at the recollection of the
sentence she had just seen, and at the certainty, that the only
opportunity of explaining it was then passing away for ever.

It was long after this, that she recollected the purse; and as she
was depositing it, unopened, in a cabinet, perceiving that it
contained something of a size larger than coin, she examined it. 
'His hand deposited them here,' said she, as she kissed some pieces
of the coin, and wetted them with her tears, 'his hand--which is now
dust!'  At the bottom of the purse was a small packet, having taken
out which, and unfolded paper after paper, she found to be an ivory
case, containing the miniature of a--lady!  She started--'The same,'
said she, 'my father wept over!'  On examining the countenance she
could recollect no person that it resembled.  It was of uncommon
beauty, and was characterized by an expression of sweetness, shaded
with sorrow, and tempered by resignation.

St. Aubert had given no directions concerning this picture, nor had
even named it; she, therefore, thought herself justified in
preserving it.  More than once remembering his manner, when he had
spoken of the Marchioness of Villeroi, she felt inclined to believe
that this was her resemblance; yet there appeared no reason why he
should have preserved a picture of that lady, or, having preserved
it, why he should lament over it in a manner so striking and
affecting as she had witnessed on the night preceding his departure.

Emily still gazed on the countenance, examining its features, but she
knew not where to detect the charm that captivated her attention, and
inspired sentiments of such love and pity.  Dark brown hair played
carelessly along the open forehead; the nose was rather inclined to
aquiline; the lips spoke in a smile, but it was a melancholy one; the
eyes were blue, and were directed upwards with an expression of
peculiar meekness, while the soft cloud of the brow spoke of the fine
sensibility of the temper.

Emily was roused from the musing mood into which the picture had
thrown her, by the closing of the garden gate; and, on turning her
eyes to the window, she saw Valancourt coming towards the chateau. 
Her spirits agitated by the subjects that had lately occupied her
mind, she felt unprepared to see him, and remained a few moments in
the chamber to recover herself.

When she met him in the parlour, she was struck with the change that
appeared in his air and countenance since they had parted in
Rousillon, which twilight and the distress she suffered on the
preceding evening had prevented her from observing.  But dejection
and languor disappeared, for a moment, in the smile that now
enlightened his countenance, on perceiving her.  'You see,' said he,
'I have availed myself of the permission with which you honoured me--
of bidding YOU farewell, whom I had the happiness of meeting only
yesterday.'

Emily smiled faintly, and, anxious to say something, asked if he had
been long in Gascony.  'A few days only,' replied Valancourt, while a
blush passed over his cheek.  'I engaged in a long ramble after I had
the misfortune of parting with the friends who had made my wanderings
among the Pyrenees so delightful.'

A tear came to Emily's eye, as Valancourt said this, which he
observed; and, anxious to draw off her attention from the remembrance
that had occasioned it, as well as shocked at his own
thoughtlessness, he began to speak on other subjects, expressing his
admiration of the chateau, and its prospects.  Emily, who felt
somewhat embarrassed how to support a conversation, was glad of such
an opportunity to continue it on indifferent topics.  They walked
down to the terrace, where Valancourt was charmed with the river
scenery, and the views over the opposite shores of Guienne.

As he leaned on the wall of the terrace, watching the rapid current
of the Garonne, 'I was a few weeks ago,' said he, 'at the source of
this noble river; I had not then the happiness of knowing you, or I
should have regretted your absence--it was a scene so exactly suited
to your taste.  It rises in a part of the Pyrenees, still wilder and
more sublime, I think, than any we passed in the way to Rousillon.' 
He then described its fall among the precipices of the mountains,
where its waters, augmented by the streams that descend from the
snowy summits around, rush into the Vallee d'Aran, between whose
romantic heights it foams along, pursuing its way to the north west
till it emerges upon the plains of Languedoc.  Then, washing the
walls of Tholouse, and turning again to the north west, it assumes a
milder character, as it fertilizes the pastures of Gascony and
Guienne, in its progress to the Bay of Biscay.

Emily and Valancourt talked of the scenes they had passed among the
Pyrenean Alps; as he spoke of which there was often a tremulous
tenderness in his voice, and sometimes he expatiated on them with all
the fire of genius, sometimes would appear scarcely conscious of the
topic, though he continued to speak.  This subject recalled forcibly
to Emily the idea of her father, whose image appeared in every
landscape, which Valancourt particularized, whose remarks dwelt upon
her memory, and whose enthusiasm still glowed in her heart.  Her
silence, at length, reminded Valancourt how nearly his conversation
approached to the occasion of her grief, and he changed the subject,
though for one scarcely less affecting to Emily.  When he admired the
grandeur of the plane-tree, that spread its wide branches over the
terrace, and under whose shade they now sat, she remembered how often
she had sat thus with St. Aubert, and heard him express the same
admiration.

'This was a favourite tree with my dear father,' said she; 'he used
to love to sit under its foliage with his family about him, in the
fine evenings of summer.'

Valancourt understood her feelings, and was silent; had she raised
her eyes from the ground she would have seen tears in his.  He rose,
and leaned on the wall of the terrace, from which, in a few moments,
he returned to his seat, then rose again, and appeared to be greatly
agitated; while Emily found her spirits so much depressed, that
several of her attempts to renew the conversation were ineffectual. 
Valancourt again sat down, but was still silent, and trembled.  At
length he said, with a hesitating voice, 'This lovely scene!--I am
going to leave--to leave you--perhaps for ever!  These moments may
never return; I cannot resolve to neglect, though I scarcely dare to
avail myself of them.  Let me, however, without offending the
delicacy of your sorrow, venture to declare the admiration I must
always feel of your goodness--O! that at some future period I might
be permitted to call it love!'

Emily's emotion would not suffer her to reply; and Valancourt, who
now ventured to look up, observing her countenance change, expected
to see her faint, and made an involuntary effort to support her,
which recalled Emily to a sense of her situation, and to an exertion
of her spirits.  Valancourt did not appear to notice her
indisposition, but, when he spoke again, his voice told the tenderest
love.  'I will not presume,' he added, 'to intrude this subject
longer upon your attention at this time, but I may, perhaps, be
permitted to mention, that these parting moments would lose much of
their bitterness if I might be allowed to hope the declaration I have
made would not exclude me from your presence in future.'

Emily made another effort to overcome the confusion of her thoughts,
and to speak.  She feared to trust the preference her heart
acknowledged towards Valancourt, and to give him any encouragement
for hope, on so short an acquaintance.  For though in this narrow
period she had observed much that was admirable in his taste and
disposition, and though these observations had been sanctioned by the
opinion of her father, they were not sufficient testimonies of his
general worth to determine her upon a subject so infinitely important
to her future happiness as that, which now solicited her attention. 
Yet, though the thought of dismissing Valancourt was so very painful
to her, that she could scarcely endure to pause upon it, the
consciousness of this made her fear the partiality of her judgment,
and hesitate still more to encourage that suit, for which her own
heart too tenderly pleaded.  The family of Valancourt, if not his
circumstances, had been known to her father, and known to be
unexceptionable.  Of his circumstances, Valancourt himself hinted as
far as delicacy would permit, when he said he had at present little
else to offer but an heart, that adored her.  He had solicited only
for a distant hope, and she could not resolve to forbid, though she
scarcely dared to permit it; at length, she acquired courage to say,
that she must think herself honoured by the good opinion of any
person, whom her father had esteemed.

'And was I, then, thought worthy of his esteem?' said Valancourt, in
a voice trembling with anxiety; then checking himself, he added, 'But
pardon the question; I scarcely know what I say.  If I might dare to
hope, that you think me not unworthy such honour, and might be
permitted sometimes to enquire after your health, I should now leave
you with comparative tranquillity.'

Emily, after a moment's silence, said, 'I will be ingenuous with you,
for I know you will understand, and allow for my situation; you will
consider it as a proof of my--my esteem that I am so.  Though I live
here in what was my father's house, I live here alone.  I have, alas!
no longer a parent--a parent, whose presence might sanction your
visits.  It is unnecessary for me to point out the impropriety of my
receiving them.'

'Nor will I affect to be insensible of this,' replied Valancourt,
adding mournfully--'but what is to console me for my candour?  I
distress you, and would now leave the subject, if I might carry with
me a hope of being some time permitted to renew it, of being allowed
to make myself known to your family.'

Emily was again confused, and again hesitated what to reply; she felt
most acutely the difficulty--the forlornness of her situation, which
did not allow her a single relative, or friend, to whom she could
turn for even a look, that might support and guide her in the present
embarrassing circumstances.  Madame Cheron, who was her only
relative, and ought to have been this friend, was either occupied by
her own amusements, or so resentful of the reluctance her niece had
shewn to quit La Vallee, that she seemed totally to have abandoned
her.

'Ah! I see,' said Valancourt, after a long pause, during which Emily
had begun, and left unfinished two or three sentences, 'I see that I
have nothing to hope; my fears were too just, you think me unworthy
of your esteem.  That fatal journey! which I considered as the
happiest period of my life--those delightful days were to embitter
all my future ones.  How often I have looked back to them with hope
and fear--yet never till this moment could I prevail with myself to
regret their enchanting influence.'

His voice faltered, and he abruptly quitted his seat and walked on
the terrace.  There was an expression of despair on his countenance,
that affected Emily.  The pleadings of her heart overcame, in some
degree, her extreme timidity, and, when he resumed his seat, she
said, in an accent that betrayed her tenderness, 'You do both
yourself and me injustice when you say I think you unworthy of my
esteem; I will acknowledge that you have long possessed it, and--and-
-'

Valancourt waited impatiently for the conclusion of the sentence, but
the words died on her lips.  Her eyes, however, reflected all the
emotions of her heart.  Valancourt passed, in an instant, from the
impatience of despair, to that of joy and tenderness.  'O Emily!' he
exclaimed, 'my own Emily--teach me to sustain this moment!  Let me
seal it as the most sacred of my life!'

He pressed her hand to his lips, it was cold and trembling; and,
raising her eyes, he saw the paleness of her countenance.  Tears came
to her relief, and Valancourt watched in anxious silence over her. 
In a few moments, she recovered herself, and smiling faintly through
her tears, said, 'Can you excuse this weakness?  My spirits have not
yet, I believe, recovered from the shock they lately received.'

'I cannot excuse myself,' said Valancourt, 'but I will forbear to
renew the subject, which may have contributed to agitate them, now
that I can leave you with the sweet certainty of possessing your
esteem.'

Then, forgetting his resolution, he again spoke of himself.  'You
know not,' said he, 'the many anxious hours I have passed near you
lately, when you believed me, if indeed you honoured me with a
thought, far away.  I have wandered, near the chateau, in the still
hours of the night, when no eye could observe me.  It was delightful
to know I was so near you, and there was something particularly
soothing in the thought, that I watched round your habitation, while
you slept.  These grounds are not entirely new to me.  Once I
ventured within the fence, and spent one of the happiest, and yet
most melancholy hours of my life in walking under what I believed to
be your window.'

Emily enquired how long Valancourt had been in the neighbourhood. 
'Several days,' he replied.  'It was my design to avail myself of the
permission M. St. Aubert had given me.  I scarcely know how to
account for it; but, though I anxiously wished to do this, my
resolution always failed, when the moment approached, and I
constantly deferred my visit.  I lodged in a village at some
distance, and wandered with my dogs, among the scenes of this
charming country, wishing continually to meet you, yet not daring to
visit you.'

Having thus continued to converse, without perceiving the flight of
time, Valancourt, at length, seemed to recollect himself.  'I must
go,' said he mournfully, 'but it is with the hope of seeing you
again, of being permitted to pay my respects to your family; let me
hear this hope confirmed by your voice.'  'My family will be happy to
see any friend of my dear father,' said Emily.  Valancourt kissed her
hand, and still lingered, unable to depart, while Emily sat silently,
with her eyes bent on the ground; and Valancourt, as he gazed on her,
considered that it would soon be impossible for him to recall, even
to his memory, the exact resemblance of the beautiful countenance he
then beheld; at this moment an hasty footstep approached from behind
the plane-tree, and, turning her eyes, Emily saw Madame Cheron.  She
felt a blush steal upon her cheek, and her frame trembled with the
emotion of her mind; but she instantly rose to meet her visitor. 
'So, niece!' said Madame Cheron, casting a look of surprise and
enquiry on Valancourt, 'so niece, how do you do?  But I need not ask,
your looks tell me you have already recovered your loss.'

'My looks do me injustice then, Madame, my loss I know can never be
recovered.'

'Well--well!  I will not argue with you;  I see you have exactly your
father's disposition; and let me tell you it would have been much
happier for him, poor man! if it had been a different one.'

A look of dignified displeasure, with which Emily regarded Madame
Cheron, while she spoke, would have touched almost any other heart;
she made no other reply, but introduced Valancourt, who could
scarcely stifle the resentment he felt, and whose bow Madame Cheron
returned with a slight curtsy, and a look of supercilious
examination.  After a few moments he took leave of Emily, in a
manner, that hastily expressed his pain both at his own departure,
and at leaving her to the society of Madame Cheron.

'Who is that young man?' said her aunt, in an accent which equally
implied inquisitiveness and censure.  'Some idle admirer of yours I
suppose; but I believed niece you had a greater sense of propriety,
than to have received the visits of any young man in your present
unfriended situation.  Let me tell you the world will observe those
things, and it will talk, aye and very freely too.'

Emily, extremely shocked at this coarse speech, attempted to
interrupt it; but Madame Cheron would proceed, with all the self-
importance of a person, to whom power is new.

'It is very necessary you should be under the eye of some person more
able to guide you than yourself.  I, indeed, have not much leisure
for such a task; however, since your poor father made it his last
request, that I should overlook your conduct--I must even take you
under my care.  But this let me tell you niece, that, unless you will
determine to be very conformable to my direction, I shall not trouble
myself longer about you.'

Emily made no attempt to interrupt Madame Cheron a second time, grief
and the pride of conscious innocence kept her silent, till her aunt
said, 'I am now come to take you with me to Tholouse; I am sorry to
find, that your poor father died, after all, in such indifferent
circumstances; however, I shall take you home with me.  Ah! poor man,
he was always more generous than provident, or he would not have left
his daughter dependent on his relations.'

'Nor has he done so, I hope, madam,' said Emily calmly, 'nor did his
pecuniary misfortunes arise from that noble generosity, which always
distinguished him.  The affairs of M. de Motteville may, I trust, yet
be settled without deeply injuring his creditors, and in the meantime
I should be very happy to remain at La Vallee.'

'No doubt you would,' replied Madame Cheron, with a smile of irony,
'and I shall no doubt consent to this, since I see how necessary
tranquillity and retirement are to restore your spirits.  I did not
think you capable of so much duplicity, niece; when you pleaded this
excuse for remaining here, I foolishly believed it to be a just one,
nor expected to have found with you so agreeable a companion as this
M. La Val--, I forget his name.'

Emily could no longer endure these cruel indignities.  'It was a just
one, madam,' said she; 'and now, indeed, I feel more than ever the
value of the retirement I then solicited; and, if the purport of your
visit is only to add insult to the sorrows of your brother's child,
she could well have spared it.'

'I see that I have undertaken a very troublesome task,' said Madame
Cheron, colouring highly.  'I am sure, madam,' said Emily mildly, and
endeavouring to restrain her tears, 'I am sure my father did not mean
it should be such.  I have the happiness to reflect, that my conduct
under his eye was such as he often delighted to approve.  It would be
very painful to me to disobey the sister of such a parent, and, if
you believe the task will really be so troublesome, I must lament,
that it is yours.'

'Well! niece, fine speaking signifies little.  I am willing, in
consideration of my poor brother, to overlook the impropriety of your
late conduct, and to try what your future will be.'

Emily interrupted her, to beg she would explain what was the
impropriety she alluded to.

'What impropriety! why that of receiving the visits of a lover
unknown to your family,' replied Madame Cheron, not considering the
impropriety of which she had herself been guilty, in exposing her
niece to the possibility of conduct so erroneous.

A faint blush passed over Emily's countenance; pride and anxiety
struggled in her breast; and, till she recollected, that appearances
did, in some degree, justify her aunt's suspicions, she could not
resolve to humble herself so far as to enter into the defence of a
conduct, which had been so innocent and undesigning on her part.  She
mentioned the manner of Valancourt's introduction to her father; the
circumstances of his receiving the pistol-shot, and of their
afterwards travelling together; with the accidental way, in which she
had met him, on the preceding evening.  She owned he had declared a
partiality for her, and that he had asked permission to address her
family.

'And who is this young adventurer, pray?' said Madame Cheron, 'and
what are his pretensions?'  'These he must himself explain, madam,'
replied Emily.  'Of his family my father was not ignorant, and I
believe it is unexceptionable.'  She then proceeded to mention what
she knew concerning it.

'Oh, then, this it seems is a younger brother,' exclaimed her aunt,
'and of course a beggar.  A very fine tale indeed!  And so my brother
took a fancy to this young man after only a few days acquaintance!--
but that was so like him!  In his youth he was always taking these
likes and dislikes, when no other person saw any reason for them at
all; nay, indeed, I have often thought the people he disapproved were
much more agreeable than those he admired;--but there is no
accounting for tastes.  He was always so much influenced by people's
countenances; now I, for my part, have no notion of this, it is all
ridiculous enthusiasm.  What has a man's face to do with his
character?  Can a man of good character help having a disagreeable
face?'--which last sentence Madame Cheron delivered with the decisive
air of a person who congratulates herself on having made a grand
discovery, and believes the question to be unanswerably settled.

Emily, desirous of concluding the conversation, enquired if her aunt
would accept some refreshment, and Madame Cheron accompanied her to
the chateau, but without desisting from a topic, which she discussed
with so much complacency to herself, and severity to her niece.

'I am sorry to perceive, niece,' said she, in allusion to somewhat
that Emily had said, concerning physiognomy, 'that you have a great
many of your father's prejudices, and among them those sudden
predilections for people from their looks.  I can perceive, that you
imagine yourself to be violently in love with this young adventurer,
after an acquaintance of only a few days.  There was something, too,
so charmingly romantic in the manner of your meeting!'

Emily checked the tears, that trembled in her eyes, while she said,
'When my conduct shall deserve this severity, madam, you will do well
to exercise it; till then justice, if not tenderness, should surely
restrain it.  I have never willingly offended you; now I have lost my
parents, you are the only person to whom I can look for kindness. 
Let me not lament more than ever the loss of such parents.'  The last
words were almost stifled by her emotions, and she burst into tears. 
Remembering the delicacy and the tenderness of St. Aubert, the happy,
happy days she had passed in these scenes, and contrasting them with
the coarse and unfeeling behaviour of Madame Cheron, and from the
future hours of mortification she must submit to in her presence--a
degree of grief seized her, that almost reached despair.  Madame
Cheron, more offended by the reproof which Emily's words conveyed,
than touched by the sorrow they expressed, said nothing, that might
soften her grief; but, notwithstanding an apparent reluctance to
receive her niece, she desired her company.  The love of sway was her
ruling passion, and she knew it would be highly gratified by taking
into her house a young orphan, who had no appeal from her decisions,
and on whom she could exercise without controul the capricious humour
of the moment.

On entering the chateau, Madame Cheron expressed a desire, that she
would put up what she thought necessary to take to Tholouse, as she
meant to set off immediately.  Emily now tried to persuade her to
defer the journey, at least till the next day, and, at length, with
much difficulty, prevailed.

The day passed in the exercise of petty tyranny on the part of Madame
Cheron, and in mournful regret and melancholy anticipation on that of
Emily, who, when her aunt retired to her apartment for the night,
went to take leave of every other room in this her dear native home,
which she was now quitting for she knew not how long, and for a
world, to which she was wholly a stranger.  She could not conquer a
presentiment, which frequently occurred to her, this night--that she
should never more return to La Vallee.  Having passed a considerable
time in what had been her father's study, having selected some of his
favourite authors, to put up with her clothes, and shed many tears,
as she wiped the dust from their covers, she seated herself in his
chair before the reading desk, and sat lost in melancholy reflection,
till Theresa opened the door to examine, as was her custom before she
went to bed, if was all safe.  She started, on observing her young
lady, who bade her come in, and then gave her some directions for
keeping the chateau in readiness for her reception at all times.

'Alas-a-day! that you should leave it!' said Theresa, 'I think you
would be happier here than where you are going, if one may judge.' 
Emily made no reply to this remark; the sorrow Theresa proceeded to
express at her departure affected her, but she found some comfort in
the simple affection of this poor old servant, to whom she gave such
directions as might best conduce to her comfort during her own
absence.

Having dismissed Theresa to bed, Emily wandered through every lonely
apartment of the chateau, lingering long in what had been her
father's bed-room, indulging melancholy, yet not unpleasing,
emotions, and, having often returned within the door to take another
look at it, she withdrew to her own chamber.  From her window she
gazed upon the garden below, shewn faintly by the moon, rising over
the tops of the palm-trees, and, at length, the calm beauty of the
night increased a desire of indulging the mournful sweetness of
bidding farewel to the beloved shades of her childhood, till she was
tempted to descend.  Throwing over her the light veil, in which she
usually walked, she silently passed into the garden, and, hastening
towards the distant groves, was glad to breathe once more the air of
liberty, and to sigh unobserved.  The deep repose of the scene, the
rich scents, that floated on the breeze, the grandeur of the wide
horizon and of the clear blue arch, soothed and gradually elevated
her mind to that sublime complacency, which renders the vexations of
this world so insignificant and mean in our eyes, that we wonder they
have had power for a moment to disturb us.  Emily forgot Madame
Cheron and all the circumstances of her conduct, while her thoughts
ascended to the contemplation of those unnumbered worlds, that lie
scattered in the depths of aether, thousands of them hid from human
eyes, and almost beyond the flight of human fancy.  As her
imagination soared through the regions of space, and aspired to that
Great First Cause, which pervades and governs all being, the idea of
her father scarcely ever left her; but it was a pleasing idea, since
she resigned him to God in the full confidence of a pure and holy
faith.  She pursued her way through the groves to the terrace, often
pausing as memory awakened the pang of affection, and as reason
anticipated the exile, into which she was going.

And now the moon was high over the woods, touching their summits with
yellow light, and darting between the foliage long level beams; while
on the rapid Garonne below the trembling radiance was faintly
obscured by the lightest vapour.  Emily long watched the playing
lustre, listened to the soothing murmur of the current, and the yet
lighter sounds of the air, as it stirred, at intervals, the lofty
palm-trees.  'How delightful is the sweet breath of these groves,'
said she.  'This lovely scene!--how often shall I remember and regret
it, when I am far away.  Alas! what events may occur before I see it
again!  O, peaceful, happy shades!--scenes of my infant delights, of
parental tenderness now lost for ever!--why must I leave ye!--In your
retreats I should still find safety and repose.  Sweet hours of my
childhood--I am now to leave even your last memorials!  No objects,
that would revive your impressions, will remain for me!'

Then drying her tears and looking up, her thoughts rose again to the
sublime subject she had contemplated; the same divine complacency
stole over her heart, and, hushing its throbs, inspired hope and
confidence and resignation to the will of the Deity, whose works
filled her mind with adoration.

Emily gazed long on the plane-tree, and then seated herself, for the
last time, on the bench under its shade, where she had so often sat
with her parents, and where, only a few hours before, she had
conversed with Valancourt, at the remembrance of whom, thus revived,
a mingled sensation of esteem, tenderness and anxiety rose in her
breast.  With this remembrance occurred a recollection of his late
confession--that he had often wandered near her habitation in the
night, having even passed the boundary of the garden, and it
immediately occurred to her, that he might be at this moment in the
grounds.  The fear of meeting him, particularly after the declaration
he had made, and of incurring a censure, which her aunt might so
reasonably bestow, if it was known, that she was met by her lover, at
this hour, made her instantly leave her beloved plane-tree, and walk
towards the chateau.  She cast an anxious eye around, and often
stopped for a moment to examine the shadowy scene before she ventured
to proceed, but she passed on without perceiving any person, till,
having reached a clump of almond trees, not far from the house, she
rested to take a retrospect of the garden, and to sigh forth another
adieu.  As her eyes wandered over the landscape she thought she
perceived a person emerge from the groves, and pass slowly along a
moon-light alley that led between them; but the distance, and the
imperfect light would not suffer her to judge with any degree of
certainty whether this was fancy or reality.  She continued to gaze
for some time on the spot, till on the dead stillness of the air she
heard a sudden sound, and in the next instant fancied she
distinguished footsteps near her.  Wasting not another moment in
conjecture, she hurried to the chateau, and, having reached it,
retired to her chamber, where, as she closed her window she looked
upon the garden, and then again thought she distinguished a figure,
gliding between the almond trees she had just left.  She immediately
withdrew from the casement, and, though much agitated, sought in
sleep the refreshment of a short oblivion.



CHAPTER XI


     I leave that flowery path for eye
 Of childhood, where I sported many a day,
 Warbling and sauntering carelessly along;
 Where every face was innocent and gay,
 Each vale romantic, tuneful every tongue,
 Sweet, wild, and artless all.
     THE MINSTREL

At an early hour, the carriage, which was to take Emily and Madame
Cheron to Tholouse, appeared at the door of the chateau, and Madame
was already in the breakfast-room, when her niece entered it.  The
repast was silent and melancholy on the part of Emily; and Madame
Cheron, whose vanity was piqued on observing her dejection, reproved
her in a manner that did not contribute to remove it.  It was with
much reluctance, that Emily's request to take with her the dog, which
had been a favourite of her father, was granted.  Her aunt, impatient
to be gone, ordered the carriage to draw up; and, while she passed to
the hall door, Emily gave another look into the library, and another
farewell glance over the garden, and then followed.  Old Theresa
stood at the door to take leave of her young lady.  'God for ever
keep you, ma'amselle!' said she, while Emily gave her hand in
silence, and could answer only with a pressure of her hand, and a
forced smile.

At the gate, which led out of the grounds, several of her father's
pensioners were assembled to bid her farewell, to whom she would have
spoken, if her aunt would have suffered the driver to stop; and,
having distributed to them almost all the money she had about her,
she sunk back in the carriage, yielding to the melancholy of her
heart.  Soon after, she caught, between the steep banks of the road,
another view of the chateau, peeping from among the high trees, and
surrounded by green slopes and tufted groves, the Garonne winding its
way beneath their shades, sometimes lost among the vineyards, and
then rising in greater majesty in the distant pastures.  The towering
precipices of the Pyrenees, that rose to the south, gave Emily a
thousand interesting recollections of her late journey; and these
objects of her former enthusiastic admiration, now excited only
sorrow and regret.  Having gazed on the chateau and its lovely
scenery, till the banks again closed upon them, her mind became too
much occupied by mournful reflections, to permit her to attend to the
conversation, which Madame Cheron had begun on some trivial topic, so
that they soon travelled in profound silence.

Valancourt, mean while, was returned to Estuviere, his heart occupied
with the image of Emily; sometimes indulging in reveries of future
happiness, but more frequently shrinking with dread of the opposition
he might encounter from her family.  He was the younger son of an
ancient family of Gascony; and, having lost his parents at an early
period of his life, the care of his education and of his small
portion had devolved to his brother, the Count de Duvarney, his
senior by nearly twenty years.  Valancourt had been educated in all
the accomplishments of his age, and had an ardour of spirit, and a
certain grandeur of mind, that gave him particular excellence in the
exercises then thought heroic.  His little fortune had been
diminished by the necessary expences of his education; but M. La
Valancourt, the elder, seemed to think that his genius and
accomplishments would amply supply the deficiency of his inheritance. 
They offered flattering hopes of promotion in the military
profession, in those times almost the only one in which a gentleman
could engage without incurring a stain on his name; and La Valancourt
was of course enrolled in the army.  The general genius of his mind
was but little understood by his brother.  That ardour for whatever
is great and good in the moral world, as well as in the natural one,
displayed itself in his infant years; and the strong indignation,
which he felt and expressed at a criminal, or a mean action,
sometimes drew upon him the displeasure of his tutor; who reprobated
it under the general term of violence of temper; and who, when
haranguing on the virtues of mildness and moderation, seemed to
forget the gentleness and compassion, which always appeared in his
pupil towards objects of misfortune.

He had now obtained leave of absence from his regiment when he made
the excursion into the Pyrenees, which was the means of introducing
him to St. Aubert; and, as this permission was nearly expired, he was
the more anxious to declare himself to Emily's family, from whom he
reasonably apprehended opposition, since his fortune, though, with a
moderate addition from hers, it would be sufficient to support them,
would not satisfy the views, either of vanity, or ambition. 
Valancourt was not without the latter, but he saw golden visions of
promotion in the army; and believed, that with Emily he could, in the
mean time, be delighted to live within the limits of his humble
income.  His thoughts were now occupied in considering the means of
making himself known to her family, to whom, however, he had yet no
address, for he was entirely ignorant of Emily's precipitate
departure from La Vallee, of whom he hoped to obtain it.

Meanwhile, the travellers pursued their journey; Emily making
frequent efforts to appear cheerful, and too often relapsing into
silence and dejection.  Madame Cheron, attributing her melancholy
solely to the circumstance of her being removed to a distance from
her lover, and believing, that the sorrow, which her niece still
expressed for the loss of St. Aubert, proceeded partly from an
affectation of sensibility, endeavoured to make it appear ridiculous
to her, that such deep regret should continue to be felt so long
after the period usually allowed for grief.

At length, these unpleasant lectures were interrupted by the arrival
of the travellers at Tholouse; and Emily, who had not been there for
many years, and had only a very faint recollection of it, was
surprised at the ostentatious style exhibited in her aunt's house and
furniture; the more so, perhaps, because it was so totally different
from the modest elegance, to which she had been accustomed.  She
followed Madame Cheron through a large hall, where several servants
in rich liveries appeared, to a kind of saloon, fitted up with more
shew than taste; and her aunt, complaining of fatigue, ordered supper
immediately.  'I am glad to find myself in my own house again,' said
she, throwing herself on a large settee, 'and to have my own people
about me.  I detest travelling; though, indeed, I ought to like it,
for what I see abroad always makes me delighted to return to my own
chateau.  what makes you so silent, child?--What is it that disturbs
you now?'

Emily suppressed a starting tear, and tried to smile away the
expression of an oppressed heart; she was thinking of HER home, and
felt too sensibly the arrogance and ostentatious vanity of Madame
Cheron's conversation.  'Can this be my father's sister!' said she to
herself; and then the conviction that she was so, warming her heart
with something like kindness towards her, she felt anxious to soften
the harsh impression her mind had received of her aunt's character,
and to shew a willingness to oblige her.  The effort did not entirely
fail; she listened with apparent chearfulness, while Madame Cheron
expatiated on the splendour of her house, told of the numerous
parties she entertained, and what she should expect of Emily, whose
diffidence assumed the air of a reserve, which her aunt, believing it
to be that of pride and ignorance united, now took occasion to
reprehend.  She knew nothing of the conduct of a mind, that fears to
trust its own powers; which, possessing a nice judgment, and
inclining to believe, that every other person perceives still more
critically, fears to commit itself to censure, and seeks shelter in
the obscurity of silence.  Emily had frequently blushed at the
fearless manners, which she had seen admired, and the brilliant
nothings, which she had heard applauded; yet this applause, so far
from encouraging her to imitate the conduct that had won it, rather
made her shrink into the reserve, that would protect her from such
absurdity.

Madame Cheron looked on her niece's diffidence with a feeling very
near to contempt, and endeavoured to overcome it by reproof, rather
than to encourage it by gentleness.

The entrance of supper somewhat interrupted the complacent discourse
of Madame Cheron and the painful considerations, which it had forced
upon Emily.  When the repast, which was rendered ostentatious by the
attendance of a great number of servants, and by a profusion of
plate, was over, Madame Cheron retired to her chamber, and a female
servant came to shew Emily to hers.  Having passed up a large stair-
case, and through several galleries, they came to a flight of back
stairs, which led into a short passage in a remote part of the
chateau, and there the servant opened the door of a small chamber,
which she said was Ma'amselle Emily's, who, once more alone, indulged
the tears she had long tried to restrain.

Those, who know, from experience, how much the heart becomes attached
even to inanimate objects, to which it has been long accustomed, how
unwillingly it resigns them; how with the sensations of an old friend
it meets them, after temporary absence, will understand the
forlornness of Emily's feelings, of Emily shut out from the only home
she had known from her infancy, and thrown upon a scene, and among
persons, disagreeable for more qualities than their novelty.  Her
father's favourite dog, now in the chamber, thus seemed to acquire
the character and importance of a friend; and, as the animal fawned
over her when she wept, and licked her hands, 'Ah, poor Manchon!'
said she, 'I have nobody now to love me--but you!' and she wept the
more.  After some time, her thoughts returning to her father's
injunctions, she remembered how often he had blamed her for indulging
useless sorrow; how often he had pointed out to her the necessity of
fortitude and patience, assuring her, that the faculties of the mind
strengthen by exertion, till they finally unnerve affliction, and
triumph over it.  These recollections dried her tears, gradually
soothed her spirits, and inspired her with the sweet emulation of
practising precepts, which her father had so frequently inculcated.



CHAPTER XII


 Some pow'r impart the spear and shield,
 At which the wizard passions fly,
 By which the giant follies die.
     COLLINS

Madame Cheron's house stood at a little distance from the city of
Tholouse, and was surrounded by extensive gardens, in which Emily,
who had risen early, amused herself with wandering before breakfast. 
From a terrace, that extended along the highest part of them, was a
wide view over Languedoc.  On the distant horizon to the south, she
discovered the wild summits of the Pyrenees, and her fancy
immediately painted the green pastures of Gascony at their feet.  Her
heart pointed to her peaceful home--to the neighbourhood where
Valancourt was--where St. Aubert had been; and her imagination,
piercing the veil of distance, brought that home to her eyes in all
its interesting and romantic beauty.  She experienced an
inexpressible pleasure in believing, that she beheld the country
around it, though no feature could be distinguished, except the
retiring chain of the Pyrenees; and, inattentive to the scene
immediately before her, and to the flight of time, she continued to
lean on the window of a pavilion, that terminated the terrace, with
her eyes fixed on Gascony, and her mind occupied with the interesting
ideas which the view of it awakened, till a servant came to tell her
breakfast was ready.  Her thoughts thus recalled to the surrounding
objects, the straight walks, square parterres, and artificial
fountains of the garden, could not fail, as she passed through it, to
appear the worse, opposed to the negligent graces, and natural
beauties of the grounds of La Vallee, upon which her recollection had
been so intensely employed.

'Whither have you been rambling so early?' said Madame Cheron, as her
niece entered the breakfast-room.  'I don't approve of these solitary
walks;' and Emily was surprised, when, having informed her aunt, that
she had been no further than the gardens, she understood these to be
included in the reproof.  'I desire you will not walk there again at
so early an hour unattended,' said Madame Cheron; 'my gardens are
very extensive; and a young woman, who can make assignations by moon-
light, at La Vallee, is not to be trusted to her own inclinations
elsewhere.'

Emily, extremely surprised and shocked, had scarcely power to beg an
explanation of these words, and, when she did, her aunt absolutely
refused to give it, though, by her severe looks, and half sentences,
she appeared anxious to impress Emily with a belief, that she was
well informed of some degrading circumstances of her conduct. 
Conscious innocence could not prevent a blush from stealing over
Emily's cheek; she trembled, and looked confusedly under the bold eye
of Madame Cheron, who blushed also; but hers was the blush of
triumph, such as sometimes stains the countenance of a person,
congratulating himself on the penetration which had taught him to
suspect another, and who loses both pity for the supposed criminal,
and indignation of his guilt, in the gratification of his own vanity.

Emily, not doubting that her aunt's mistake arose from the having
observed her ramble in the garden on the night preceding her
departure from La Vallee, now mentioned the motive of it, at which
Madame Cheron smiled contemptuously, refusing either to accept this
explanation, or to give her reasons for refusing it; and, soon after,
she concluded the subject by saying, 'I never trust people's
assertions, I always judge of them by their actions; but I am willing
to try what will be your behaviour in future.'

Emily, less surprised by her aunt's moderation and mysterious
silence, than by the accusation she had received, deeply considered
the latter, and scarcely doubted, that it was Valancourt whom she had
seen at night in the gardens of La Vallee, and that he had been
observed there by Madame Cheron; who now passing from one painful
topic only to revive another almost equally so, spoke of the
situation of her niece's property, in the hands of M. Motteville. 
While she thus talked with ostentatious pity of Emily's misfortunes,
she failed not to inculcate the duties of humility and gratitude, or
to render Emily fully sensible of every cruel mortification, who soon
perceived, that she was to be considered as a dependant, not only by
her aunt, but by her aunt's servants.

She was now informed, that a large party were expected to dinner, on
which account Madame Cheron repeated the lesson of the preceding
night, concerning her conduct in company, and Emily wished, that she
might have courage enough to practise it.  Her aunt then proceeded to
examine the simplicity of her dress, adding, that she expected to see
her attired with gaiety and taste; after which she condescended to
shew Emily the splendour of her chateau, and to point out the
particular beauty, or elegance, which she thought distinguished each
of her numerous suites of apartments.  she then withdrew to her
toilet, the throne of her homage, and Emily to her chamber, to unpack
her books, and to try to charm her mind by reading, till the hour of
dressing.

When the company arrived, Emily entered the saloon with an air of
timidity, which all her efforts could not overcome, and which was
increased by the consciousness of Madame Cheron's severe observation. 
Her mourning dress, the mild dejection of her beautiful countenance,
and the retiring diffidence of her manner, rendered her a very
interesting object to many of the company; among whom she
distinguished Signor Montoni, and his friend Cavigni, the late
visitors at M. Quesnel's, who now seemed to converse with Madame
Cheron with the familiarity of old acquaintance, and she to attend to
them with particular pleasure.

This Signor Montoni had an air of conscious superiority, animated by
spirit, and strengthened by talents, to which every person seemed
involuntarily to yield.  The quickness of his perceptions was
strikingly expressed on his countenance, yet that countenance could
submit implicitly to occasion; and, more than once in this day, the
triumph of art over nature might have been discerned in it.  His
visage was long, and rather narrow, yet he was called handsome; and
it was, perhaps, the spirit and vigour of his soul, sparkling through
his features, that triumphed for him.  Emily felt admiration, but not
the admiration that leads to esteem; for it was mixed with a degree
of fear she knew not exactly wherefore.

Cavigni was gay and insinuating as formerly; and, though he paid
almost incessant attention to Madame Cheron, he found some
opportunities of conversing with Emily, to whom he directed, at
first, the sallies of his wit, but now and then assumed an air of
tenderness, which she observed, and shrunk from.  Though she replied
but little, the gentleness and sweetness of her manners encouraged
him to talk, and she felt relieved when a young lady of the party,
who spoke incessantly, obtruded herself on his notice.  This lady,
who possessed all the sprightliness of a Frenchwoman, with all her
coquetry, affected to understand every subject, or rather there was
no affectation in the case; for, never looking beyond the limits of
her own ignorance, she believed she had nothing to learn.  She
attracted notice from all; amused some, disgusted others for a
moment, and was then forgotten.

This day passed without any material occurrence; and Emily, though
amused by the characters she had seen, was glad when she could retire
to the recollections, which had acquired with her the character of
duties.

A fortnight passed in a round of dissipation and company, and Emily,
who attended Madame Cheron in all her visits, was sometimes
entertained, but oftener wearied.  She was struck by the apparent
talents and knowledge displayed in the various conversations she
listened to, and it was long before she discovered, that the talents
were for the most part those of imposture, and the knowledge nothing
more than was necessary to assist them.  But what deceived her most,
was the air of constant gaiety and good spirits, displayed by every
visitor, and which she supposed to arise from content as constant,
and from benevolence as ready.  At length, from the over-acting of
some, less accomplished than the others, she could perceive, that,
though contentment and benevolence are the only sure sources of
cheerfulness, the immoderate and feverish animation, usually
exhibited in large parties, results partly from an insensibility to
the cares, which benevolence must sometimes derive from the
sufferings of others, and partly from a desire to display the
appearance of that prosperity, which they know will command
submission and attention to themselves.

Emily's pleasantest hours were passed in the pavilion of the terrace,
to which she retired, when she could steal from observation, with a
book to overcome, or a lute to indulge, her melancholy.  There, as
she sat with her eyes fixed on the far-distant Pyrenees, and her
thoughts on Valancourt and the beloved scenes of Gascony, she would
play the sweet and melancholy songs of her native province--the
popular songs she had listened to from her childhood.

One evening, having excused herself from accompanying her aunt
abroad, she thus withdrew to the pavilion, with books and her lute. 
It was the mild and beautiful evening of a sultry day, and the
windows, which fronted the west, opened upon all the glory of a
setting sun.  Its rays illuminated, with strong splendour, the cliffs
of the Pyrenees, and touched their snowy tops with a roseate hue,
that remained, long after the sun had sunk below the horizon, and the
shades of twilight had stolen over the landscape.  Emily touched her
lute with that fine melancholy expression, which came from her heart. 
The pensive hour and the scene, the evening light on the Garonne,
that flowed at no great distance, and whose waves, as they passed
towards La Vallee, she often viewed with a sigh,--these united
circumstances disposed her mind to tenderness, and her thoughts were
with Valancourt, of whom she had heard nothing since her arrival at
Tholouse, and now that she was removed from him, and in uncertainty,
she perceived all the interest he held in her heart.  Before she saw
Valancourt she had never met a mind and taste so accordant with her
own, and, though Madame Cheron told her much of the arts of
dissimulation, and that the elegance and propriety of thought, which
she so much admired in her lover, were assumed for the purpose of
pleasing her, she could scarcely doubt their truth.  This
possibility, however, faint as it was, was sufficient to harass her
mind with anxiety, and she found, that few conditions are more
painful than that of uncertainty, as to the merit of a beloved
object; an uncertainty, which she would not have suffered, had her
confidence in her own opinions been greater.

She was awakened from her musing by the sound of horses' feet along a
road, that wound under the windows of the pavilion, and a gentleman
passed on horseback, whose resemblance to Valancourt, in air and
figure, for the twilight did not permit a view of his features,
immediately struck her.  She retired hastily from the lattice,
fearing to be seen, yet wishing to observe further, while the
stranger passed on without looking up, and, when she returned to the
lattice, she saw him faintly through the twilight, winding under the
high trees, that led to Tholouse.  This little incident so much
disturbed her spirits, that the temple and its scenery were no longer
interesting to her, and, after walking awhile on the terrace, she
returned to the chateau.

Madame Cheron, whether she had seen a rival admired, had lost at
play, or had witnessed an entertainment more splendid than her own,
was returned from her visit with a temper more than usually
discomposed; and Emily was glad, when the hour arrived, in which she
could retire to the solitude of her own apartment.

On the following morning, she was summoned to Madame Cheron, whose
countenance was inflamed with resentment, and, as Emily advanced, she
held out a letter to her.

'Do you know this hand?' said she, in a severe tone, and with a look
that was intended to search her heart, while Emily examined the
letter attentively, and assured her, that she did not.

'Do not provoke me,' said her aunt; 'you do know it, confess the
truth immediately.  I insist upon your confessing the truth
instantly.'

Emily was silent, and turned to leave the room, but Madame called her
back.  'O you are guilty, then,' said she, 'you do know the hand.' 
'If you was before in doubt of this, madam,' replied Emily calmly,
'why did you accuse me of having told a falsehood.'  Madame Cheron
did not blush; but her niece did, a moment after, when she heard the
name of Valancourt.  It was not, however, with the consciousness of
deserving reproof, for, if she ever had seen his hand-writing, the
present characters did not bring it to her recollection.

'It is useless to deny it,' said Madame Cheron, 'I see in your
countenance, that you are no stranger to this letter; and, I dare
say, you have received many such from this impertinent young man,
without my knowledge, in my own house.'

Emily, shocked at the indelicacy of this accusation, still more than
by the vulgarity of the former, instantly forgot the pride, that had
imposed silence, and endeavoured to vindicate herself from the
aspersion, but Madame Cheron was not to be convinced.

'I cannot suppose,' she resumed, 'that this young man would have
taken the liberty of writing to me, if you had not encouraged him to
do so, and I must now'--'You will allow me to remind you, madam,'
said Emily timidly, 'of some particulars of a conversation we had at
La Vallee.  I then told you truly, that I had only not forbade
Monsieur Valancourt from addressing my family.'

'I will not be interrupted,' said Madame Cheron, interrupting her
niece, 'I was going to say--I--I-have forgot what I was going to say. 
But how happened it that you did not forbid him?'  Emily was silent. 
'How happened it that you encouraged him to trouble me with this
letter?--A young man that nobody knows;--an utter stranger in the
place,--a young adventurer, no doubt, who is looking out for a good
fortune.  However, on that point he has mistaken his aim.'

'His family was known to my father,' said Emily modestly, and without
appearing to be sensible of the last sentence.

'O! that is no recommendation at all,' replied her aunt, with her
usual readiness upon this topic; 'he took such strange fancies to
people!  He was always judging persons by their countenances, and was
continually deceived.'  'Yet it was but now, madam, that you judged
me guilty by my countenance,' said Emily, with a design of reproving
Madame Cheron, to which she was induced by this disrespectful mention
of her father.

'I called you here,' resumed her aunt, colouring, 'to tell you, that
I will not be disturbed in my own house by any letters, or visits
from young men, who may take a fancy to flatter you.  This M. de
Valantine--I think you call him, has the impertinence to beg I will
permit him to pay his respects to me!  I shall send him a proper
answer.  And for you, Emily, I repeat it once for all--if you are not
contented to conform to my directions, and to my way of live, I shall
give up the task of overlooking your conduct--I shall no longer
trouble myself with your education, but shall send you to board in a
convent.'

'Dear madam,' said Emily, bursting into tears, and overcome by the
rude suspicions her aunt had expressed, 'how have I deserved these
reproofs?'  She could say no more; and so very fearful was she of
acting with any degree of impropriety in the affair itself, that, at
the present moment, Madame Cheron might perhaps have prevailed with
her to bind herself by a promise to renounce Valancourt for ever. 
Her mind, weakened by her terrors, would no longer suffer her to view
him as she had formerly done; she feared the error of her own
judgment, not that of Madame Cheron, and feared also, that, in her
former conversation with him, at La Vallee, she had not conducted
herself with sufficient reserve.  She knew, that she did not deserve
the coarse suspicions, which her aunt had thrown out, but a thousand
scruples rose to torment her, such as would never have disturbed the
peace of Madame Cheron.  Thus rendered anxious to avoid every
opportunity of erring, and willing to submit to any restrictions,
that her aunt should think proper, she expressed an obedience, to
which Madame Cheron did not give much confidence, and which she
seemed to consider as the consequence of either fear, or artifice.

'Well, then,' said she, 'promise me that you will neither see this
young man, nor write to him without my consent.'  'Dear madam,'
replied Emily, 'can you suppose I would do either, unknown to you!' 
'I don't know what to suppose; there is no knowing how young women
will act.  It is difficult to place any confidence in them, for they
have seldom sense enough to wish for the respect of the world.'

'Alas, madam!' said Emily, 'I am anxious for my own respect; my
father taught me the value of that; he said if I deserved my own
esteem, that the world would follow of course.'

'My brother was a good kind of a man,' replied Madame Cheron, 'but he
did not know the world.  I am sure I have always felt a proper
respect for myself, yet--'  she stopped, but she might have added,
that the world had not always shewn respect to her, and this without
impeaching its judgment.

'Well!' resumed Madame Cheron, 'you have not give me the promise,
though, that I demand.'  Emily readily gave it, and, being then
suffered to withdraw, she walked in the garden; tried to compose her
spirits, and, at length, arrived at her favourite pavilion at the end
of the terrace, where, seating herself at one of the embowered
windows, that opened upon a balcony, the stillness and seclusion of
the scene allowed her to recollect her thoughts, and to arrange them
so as to form a clearer judgment of her former conduct.  She
endeavoured to review with exactness all the particulars of her
conversation with Valancourt at La Vallee, had the satisfaction to
observe nothing, that could alarm her delicate pride, and thus to be
confirmed in the self-esteem, which was so necessary to her peace. 
Her mind then became tranquil, and she saw Valancourt amiable and
intelligent, as he had formerly appeared, and Madame Cheron neither
the one, or the other.  The remembrance of her lover, however,
brought with it many very painful emotions, for it by no means
reconciled her to the thought of resigning him; and, Madame Cheron
having already shewn how highly she disapproved of the attachment,
she foresaw much suffering from the opposition of interests; yet with
all this was mingled a degree of delight, which, in spite of reason,
partook of hope.  She determined, however, that no consideration
should induce her to permit a clandestine correspondence, and to
observe in her conversation with Valancourt, should they ever meet
again, the same nicety of reserve, which had hitherto marked her
conduct.  As she repeated the words--'should we ever meet again!' she
shrunk as if this was a circumstance, which had never before occurred
to her, and tears came to her eyes, which she hastily dried, for she
heard footsteps approaching, and then the door of the pavilion open,
and, on turning, she saw--Valancourt.  An emotion of mingled
pleasure, surprise and apprehension pressed so suddenly upon her
heart as almost to overcome her spirits; the colour left her cheeks,
then returned brighter than before, and she was for a moment unable
to speak, or to rise from her chair.  His countenance was the mirror,
in which she saw her own emotions reflected, and it roused her to
self-command.  The joy, which had animated his features, when he
entered the pavilion, was suddenly repressed, as, approaching, he
perceived her agitation, and, in a tremulous voice, enquired after
her health.  Recovered from her first surprise, she answered him with
a tempered smile; but a variety of opposite emotions still assailed
her heart, and struggled to subdue the mild dignity of her manner. 
It was difficult to tell which predominated--the joy of seeing
Valancourt, or the terror of her aunt's displeasure, when she should
hear of this meeting.  After some short and embarrassed conversation,
she led him into the gardens, and enquired if he had seen Madame
Cheron.  'No,' said he, 'I have not yet seen her, for they told me
she was engaged, and as soon as I learned that you were in the
gardens, I came hither.'  He paused a moment, in great agitation, and
then added, 'May I venture to tell you the purport of my visit,
without incurring your displeasure, and to hope, that you will not
accuse me of precipitation in now availing myself of the permission
you once gave me of addressing your family?'  Emily, who knew not
what to reply, was spared from further perplexity, and was sensible
only of fear, when on raising her eyes, she saw Madame Cheron turn
into the avenue.  As the consciousness of innocence returned, this
fear was so far dissipated as to permit her to appear tranquil, and,
instead of avoiding her aunt, she advanced with Valancourt to meet
her.  The look of haughty and impatient displeasure, with which
Madame Cheron regarded them, made Emily shrink, who understood from a
single glance, that this meeting was believed to have been more than
accidental:  having mentioned Valancourt's name, she became again too
much agitated to remain with them, and returned into the chateau;
where she awaited long, in a state of trembling anxiety, the
conclusion of the conference.  She knew not how to account for
Valancourt's visit to her aunt, before he had received the permission
he solicited, since she was ignorant of a circumstance, which would
have rendered the request useless, even if Madame Cheron had been
inclined to grant it.  Valancourt, in the agitation of his spirits,
had forgotten to date his letter, so that it was impossible for
Madame Cheron to return an answer; and, when he recollected this
circumstance, he was, perhaps, not so sorry for the omission as glad
of the excuse it allowed him for waiting on her before she could send
a refusal.

Madame Cheron had a long conversation with Valancourt, and, when she
returned to the chateau, her countenance expressed ill-humour, but
not the degree of severity, which Emily had apprehended.  'I have
dismissed this young man, at last,' said she, 'and I hope my house
will never again be disturbed with similar visits.  He assures me,
that your interview was not preconcerted.'

'Dear madam!' said Emily in extreme emotion, 'you surely did not ask
him the question!'  'Most certainly I did; you could not suppose I
should be so imprudent as to neglect it.'

'Good God!' exclaimed Emily, 'what an opinion must he form of me,
since you, Madam, could express a suspicion of such ill conduct!'

'It is of very little consequence what opinion he may form of you,'
replied her aunt, 'for I have put an end to the affair; but I believe
he will not form a worse opinion of me for my prudent conduct.  I let
him see, that I was not to be trifled with, and that I had more
delicacy, than to permit any clandestine correspondence to be carried
on in my house.'

Emily had frequently heard Madame Cheron use the word delicacy, but
she was now more than usually perplexed to understand how she meant
to apply it in this instance, in which her whole conduct appeared to
merit the very reverse of the term.

'It was very inconsiderate of my brother,' resumed Madame Cheron, 'to
leave the trouble of overlooking your conduct to me; I wish you was
well settled in life.  But if I find, that I am to be further
troubled with such visitors as this M. Valancourt, I shall place you
in a convent at once;--so remember the alternative.  This young man
has the impertinence to own to me,--he owns it! that his fortune is
very small, and that he is chiefly dependent on an elder brother and
on the profession he has chosen!  He should have concealed these
circumstances, at least, if he expected to succeed with me.  Had he
the presumption to suppose I would marry my niece to a person such as
he describes himself!'

Emily dried her tears when she heard of the candid confession of
Valancourt; and, though the circumstances it discovered were
afflicting to her hopes, his artless conduct gave her a degree of
pleasure, that overcame every other emotion.  But she was compelled,
even thus early in life, to observe, that good sense and noble
integrity are not always sufficient to cope with folly and narrow
cunning; and her heart was pure enough to allow her, even at this
trying moment, to look with more pride on the defeat of the former,
than with mortification on the conquests of the latter.

Madame Cheron pursued her triumph.  'He has also thought proper to
tell me, that he will receive his dismission from no person but
yourself; this favour, however, I have absolutely refused him.  He
shall learn, that it is quite sufficient, that I disapprove him.  And
I take this opportunity of repeating,--that if you concert any means
of interview unknown to me, you shall leave my house immediately.'

'How little do you know me, madam, that you should think such an
injunction necessary!' said Emily, trying to suppress her emotion,
'how little of the dear parents, who educated me!'

Madame Cheron now went to dress for an engagement, which she had made
for the evening; and Emily, who would gladly have been excused from
attending her aunt, did not ask to remain at home lest her request
should be attributed to an improper motive.  When she retired to her
own room, the little fortitude, which had supported her in the
presence of her relation, forsook her; she remembered only that
Valancourt, whose character appeared more amiable from every
circumstance, that unfolded it, was banished from her presence,
perhaps, for ever, and she passed the time in weeping, which,
according to her aunt's direction, she ought to have employed in
dressing.  This important duty was, however, quickly dispatched;
though, when she joined Madame Cheron at table, her eyes betrayed,
that she had been in tears, and drew upon her a severe reproof.

Her efforts to appear cheerful did not entirely fail when she joined
the company at the house of Madame Clairval, an elderly widow lady,
who had lately come to reside at Tholouse, on an estate of her late
husband.  She had lived many years at Paris in a splendid style; had
naturally a gay temper, and, since her residence at Tholouse, had
given some of the most magnificent entertainments, that had been seen
in that neighbourhood.

These excited not only the envy, but the trifling ambition of Madame
Cheron, who, since she could not rival the splendour of her
festivities, was desirous of being ranked in the number of her most
intimate friends.  For this purpose she paid her the most obsequious
attention, and made a point of being disengaged, whenever she
received an invitation from Madame Clairval, of whom she talked,
wherever she went, and derived much self-consequence from impressing
a belief on her general acquaintance, that they were on the most
familiar footing.

The entertainments of this evening consisted of a ball and supper; it
was a fancy ball, and the company danced in groups in the gardens,
which were very extensive.  The high and luxuriant trees, under which
the groups assembled, were illuminated with a profusion of lamps,
disposed with taste and fancy.  The gay and various dresses of the
company, some of whom were seated on the turf, conversing at their
ease, observing the cotillons, taking refreshments, and sometimes
touching sportively a guitar; the gallant manners of the gentlemen,
the exquisitely capricious air of the ladies; the light fantastic
steps of their dances; the musicians, with the lute, the hautboy, and
the tabor, seated at the foot of an elm, and the sylvan scenery of
woods around were circumstances, that unitedly formed a
characteristic and striking picture of French festivity.  Emily
surveyed the gaiety of the scene with a melancholy kind of pleasure,
and her emotion may be imagined when, as she stood with her aunt,
looking at one of the groups, she perceived Valancourt; saw him
dancing with a young and beautiful lady, saw him conversing with her
with a mixture of attention and familiarity, such as she had seldom
observed in his manner.  She turned hastily from the scene, and
attempted to draw away Madame Cheron, who was conversing with Signor
Cavigni, and neither perceived Valancourt, or was willing to be
interrupted.  A faintness suddenly came over Emily, and, unable to
support herself, she sat down on a turf bank beneath the trees, where
several other persons were seated.  One of these, observing the
extreme paleness of her countenance, enquired if she was ill, and
begged she would allow him to fetch her a glass of water, for which
politeness she thanked him, but did not accept it.  Her apprehension
lest Valancourt should observe her emotion made her anxious to
overcome it, and she succeeded so far as to re-compose her
countenance.  Madame Cheron was still conversing with Cavigni; and
the Count Bauvillers, who had addressed Emily, made some observations
upon the scene, to which she answered almost unconsciously, for her
mind was still occupied with the idea of Valancourt, to whom it was
with extreme uneasiness that she remained so near.  Some remarks,
however, which the Count made upon the dance obliged her to turn her
eyes towards it, and, at that moment, Valancourt's met hers.  Her
colour faded again, she felt, that she was relapsing into faintness,
and instantly averted her looks, but not before she had observed the
altered countenance of Valancourt, on perceiving her.  She would have
left the spot immediately, had she not been conscious, that this
conduct would have shewn him more obviously the interest he held in
her heart; and, having tried to attend to the Count's conversation,
and to join in it, she, at length, recovered her spirits.  But, when
he made some observation on Valancourt's partner, the fear of shewing
that she was interested in the remark, would have betrayed it to him,
had not the Count, while he spoke, looked towards the person of whom
he was speaking.  'The lady,' said he, 'dancing with that young
Chevalier, who appears to be accomplished in every thing, but in
dancing, is ranked among the beauties of Tholouse.  She is handsome,
and her fortune will be very large.  I hope she will make a better
choice in a partner for life than she has done in a partner for the
dance, for I observe he has just put the set into great confusion; he
does nothing but commit blunders.  I am surprised, that, with his air
and figure, he has not taken more care to accomplish himself in
dancing.'

Emily, whose heart trembled at every word, that was now uttered,
endeavoured to turn the conversation from Valancourt, by enquiring
the name of the lady, with whom he danced; but, before the Count
could reply, the dance concluded, and Emily, perceiving that
Valancourt was coming towards her, rose and joined Madame Cheron.

'Here is the Chevalier Valancourt, madam,' said she in a whisper,
'pray let us go.'  Her aunt immediately moved on, but not before
Valancourt had reached them, who bowed lowly to Madame Cheron, and
with an earnest and dejected look to Emily, with whom,
notwithstanding all her effort, an air of more than common reserve
prevailed.  The presence of Madame Cheron prevented Valancourt from
remaining, and he passed on with a countenance, whose melancholy
reproached her for having increased it.  Emily was called from the
musing fit, into which she had fallen, by the Count Bauvillers, who
was known to her aunt.

'I have your pardon to beg, ma'amselle,' said he, 'for a rudeness,
which you will readily believe was quite unintentional.  I did not
know, that the Chevalier was your acquaintance, when I so freely
criticised his dancing.'  Emily blushed and smiled, and Madame Cheron
spared her the difficulty of replying.  'If you mean the person, who
has just passed us,' said she, 'I can assure you he is no
acquaintance of either mine, or ma'amselle St. Aubert's:  I know
nothing of him.'

'O! that is the Chevalier Valancourt,' said Cavigni carelessly, and
looking back.  'You know him then?' said Madame Cheron.  'I am not
acquainted with him,' replied Cavigni.  'You don't know, then, the
reason I have to call him impertinent;--he has had the presumption to
admire my niece!'

'If every man deserves the title of impertinent, who admires
ma'amselle St. Aubert,' replied Cavigni, 'I fear there are a great
many impertinents, and I am willing to acknowledge myself one of the
number.'

'O Signor!' said Madame Cheron, with an affected smile, 'I perceive
you have learnt the art of complimenting, since you came into France. 
But it is cruel to compliment children, since they mistake flattery
for truth.'

Cavigni turned away his face for a moment, and then said with a
studied air, 'Whom then are we to compliment, madam? for it would be
absurd to compliment a woman of refined understanding; SHE is above
all praise.'  As he finished the sentence he gave Emily a sly look,
and the smile, that had lurked in his eye, stole forth.  She
perfectly understood it, and blushed for Madame Cheron, who replied,
'You are perfectly right, signor, no woman of understanding can
endure compliment.'

'I have heard Signor Montoni say,' rejoined Cavigni, 'that he never
knew but one woman who deserved it.'

'Well!' exclaimed Madame Cheron, with a short laugh, and a smile of
unutterable complacency, 'and who could she be?'

'O!' replied Cavigni, 'it is impossible to mistake her, for certainly
there is not more than one woman in the world, who has both the merit
to deserve compliment and the wit to refuse it.  Most women reverse
the case entirely.'  He looked again at Emily, who blushed deeper
than before for her aunt, and turned from him with displeasure.

'Well, signor!' said Madame Cheron, 'I protest you are a Frenchman; I
never heard a foreigner say any thing half so gallant as that!'

'True, madam,' said the Count, who had been some time silent, and
with a low bow, 'but the gallantry of the compliment had been utterly
lost, but for the ingenuity that discovered the application.'

Madame Cheron did not perceive the meaning of this too satirical
sentence, and she, therefore, escaped the pain, which Emily felt on
her account.  'O! here comes Signor Montoni himself,' said her aunt,
'I protest I will tell him all the fine things you have been saying
to me.'  The Signor, however, passed at this moment into another
walk.  'Pray, who is it, that has so much engaged your friend this
evening?' asked Madame Cheron, with an air of chagrin, 'I have not
seen him once.'

'He had a very particular engagement with the Marquis La Riviere,'
replied Cavigni, 'which has detained him, I perceive, till this
moment, or he would have done himself the honour of paying his
respects to you, madam, sooner, as he commissioned me to say.  But, I
know not how it is--your conversation is so fascinating--that it can
charm even memory, I think, or I should certainly have delivered my
friend's apology before.'

'The apology, sir, would have been more satisfactory from himself,'
said Madame Cheron, whose vanity was more mortified by Montoni's
neglect, than flattered by Cavigni's compliment.  Her manner, at this
moment, and Cavigni's late conversation, now awakened a suspicion in
Emily's mind, which, notwithstanding that some recollections served
to confirm it, appeared preposterous.  She thought she perceived,
that Montoni was paying serious addresses to her aunt, and that she
not only accepted them, but was jealously watchful of any appearance
of neglect on his part.--That Madame Cheron at her years should elect
a second husband was ridiculous, though her vanity made it not
impossible; but that Montoni, with his discernment, his figure, and
pretensions, should make a choice of Madame Cheron--appeared most
wonderful.  Her thoughts, however, did not dwell long on the subject;
nearer interests pressed upon them; Valancourt, rejected of her aunt,
and Valancourt dancing with a gay and beautiful partner, alternately
tormented her mind.  As she passed along the gardens she looked
timidly forward, half fearing and half hoping that he might appear in
the crowd; and the disappointment she felt on not seeing him, told
her, that she had hoped more than she had feared.

Montoni soon after joined the party.  He muttered over some short
speech about regret for having been so long detained elsewhere, when
he knew he should have the pleasure of seeing Madame Cheron here; and
she, receiving the apology with the air of a pettish girl, addressed
herself entirely to Cavigni, who looked archly at Montoni, as if he
would have said, 'I will not triumph over you too much; I will have
the goodness to bear my honours meekly; but look sharp, Signor, or I
shall certainly run away with your prize.'

The supper was served in different pavilions in the gardens, as well
as in one large saloon of the chateau, and with more of taste, than
either of splendour, or even of plenty.  Madame Cheron and her party
supped with Madame Clairval in the saloon, and Emily, with
difficulty, disguised her emotion, when she saw Valancourt placed at
the same table with herself.  There, Madame Cheron having surveyed
him with high displeasure, said to some person who sat next to her,
'Pray, who IS that young man?'  'It is the Chevalier Valancourt,' was
the answer.  'Yes, I am not ignorant of his name, but who is this
Chevalier Valancourt that thus intrudes himself at this table?'  The
attention of the person, who whom she spoke, was called off before
she received a second reply.  The table, at which they sat, was very
long, and, Valancourt being seated, with his partner, near the
bottom, and Emily near the top, the distance between them may account
for his not immediately perceiving her.  She avoided looking to that
end of the table, but whenever her eyes happened to glance towards
it, she observed him conversing with his beautiful companion, and the
observation did not contribute to restore her peace, any more than
the accounts she heard of the fortune and accomplishments of this
same lady.

Madame Cheron, to whom these remarks were sometimes addressed,
because they supported topics for trivial conversation, seemed
indefatigable in her attempts to depreciate Valancourt, towards whom
she felt all the petty resentment of a narrow pride.  'I admire the
lady,' said she, 'but I must condemn her choice of a partner.'  'Oh,
the Chevalier Valancourt is one of the most accomplished young men we
have,' replied the lady, to whom this remark was addressed:  'it is
whispered, that Mademoiselle D'Emery, and her large fortune, are to
be his.'

'Impossible!' exclaimed Madame Cheron, reddening with vexation, 'it
is impossible that she can be so destitute of taste; he has so little
the air of a person of condition, that, if I did not see him at the
table of Madame Clairval, I should never have suspected him to be
one.  I have besides particular reasons for believing the report to
be erroneous.'

'I cannot doubt the truth of it,' replied the lady gravely, disgusted
by the abrupt contradiction she had received, concerning her opinion
of Valancourt's merit.  'You will, perhaps, doubt it,' said Madame
Cheron, 'when I assure you, that it was only this morning that I
rejected his suit.'  This was said without any intention of imposing
the meaning it conveyed, but simply from a habit of considering
herself to be the most important person in every affair that
concerned her niece, and because literally she had rejected
Valancourt.  'Your reasons are indeed such as cannot be doubted,'
replied the lady, with an ironical smile.  'Any more than the
discernment of the Chevalier Valancourt,' added Cavigni, who stood by
the chair of Madame Cheron, and had heard her arrogate to herself, as
he thought, a distinction which had been paid to her niece.  'His
discernment MAY be justly questioned, Signor,' said Madame Cheron,
who was not flattered by what she understood to be an encomium on
Emily.

'Alas!' exclaimed Cavigni, surveying Madame Cheron with affected
ecstasy, 'how vain is that assertion, while that face--that shape--
that air--combine to refute it!  Unhappy Valancourt! his discernment
has been his destruction.'

Emily looked surprised and embarrassed; the lady, who had lately
spoke, astonished, and Madame Cheron, who, though she did not
perfectly understand this speech, was very ready to believe herself
complimented by it, said smilingly, 'O Signor! you are very gallant;
but those, who hear you vindicate the Chevalier's discernment, will
suppose that I am the object of it.'

'They cannot doubt it,' replied Cavigni, bowing low.

'And would not that be very mortifying, Signor?'

'Unquestionably it would,' said Cavigni.

'I cannot endure the thought,' said Madame Cheron.

'It is not to be endured,' replied Cavigni.

'What can be done to prevent so humiliating a mistake?' rejoined
Madame Cheron.

'Alas! I cannot assist you,' replied Cavigni, with a deliberating
air.  'Your only chance of refuting the calumny, and of making people
understand what you wish them to believe, is to persist in your first
assertion; for, when they are told of the Chevalier's want of
discernment, it is possible they may suppose he never presumed to
distress you with his admiration.--But then again--that diffidence,
which renders you so insensible to your own perfections--they will
consider this, and Valancourt's taste will not be doubted, though you
arraign it.  In short, they will, in spite of your endeavours,
continue to believe, what might very naturally have occurred to them
without any hint of mine--that the Chevalier has taste enough to
admire a beautiful woman.'

'All this is very distressing!' said Madame Cheron, with a profound
sigh.

'May I be allowed to ask what is so distressing?' said Madame
Clairval, who was struck with the rueful countenance and doleful
accent, with which this was delivered.

'It is a delicate subject,' replied Madame Cheron, 'a very mortifying
one to me.'  'I am concerned to hear it,' said Madame Clairval, 'I
hope nothing has occurred, this evening, particularly to distress
you?'  'Alas, yes! within this half hour; and I know not where the
report may end;--my pride was never so shocked before, but I assure
you the report is totally void of foundation.'  'Good God!' exclaimed
Madame Clairval,' what can be done?  Can you point out any way, by
which I can assist, or console you?'

'The only way, by which you can do either,' replied Madame Cheron,
'is to contradict the report wherever you go.'

'Well! but pray inform me what I am to contradict.'

'It is so very humiliating, that I know not how to mention it,'
continued Madame Cheron, 'but you shall judge.  Do you observe that
young man seated near the bottom of the table, who is conversing with
Mademoiselle D'Emery?'  'Yes, I perceive whom you mean.'  'You
observe how little he has the air of a person of condition; I was
saying just now, that I should not have thought him a gentleman, if I
had not seen him at this table.'  'Well! but the report,' said Madame
Clairval, 'let me understand the subject of your distress.'  'Ah! the
subject of my distress,' replied Madame Cheron; 'this person, whom
nobody knows--(I beg pardon, madam, I did not consider what I said)--
this impertinent young man, having had the presumption to address my
niece, has, I fear, given rise to a report, that he had declared
himself my admirer.  Now only consider how very mortifying such a
report must be!  You, I know, will feel for my situation.  A woman of
my condition!--think how degrading even the rumour of such an
alliance must be.'

'Degrading indeed, my poor friend!' said Madame Clairval.  'You may
rely upon it I will contradict the report wherever I go;' as she said
which, she turned her attention upon another part of the company; and
Cavigni, who had hitherto appeared a grave spectator of the scene,
now fearing he should be unable to smother the laugh, that convulsed
him, walked abruptly away.

'I perceive you do not know,' said the lady who sat near Madame
Cheron, 'that the gentleman you have been speaking of is Madame
Clairval's nephew!'  'Impossible!' exclaimed Madame Cheron, who now
began to perceive, that she had been totally mistaken in her judgment
of Valancourt, and to praise him aloud with as much servility, as she
had before censured him with frivolous malignity.

Emily, who, during the greater part of this conversation, had been so
absorbed in thought as to be spared the pain of hearing it, was now
extremely surprised by her aunt's praise of Valancourt, with whose
relationship to Madame Clairval she was unacquainted; but she was not
sorry when Madame Cheron, who, though she now tried to appear
unconcerned, was really much embarrassed, prepared to withdraw
immediately after supper.  Montoni then came to hand Madame Cheron to
her carriage, and Cavigni, with an arch solemnity of countenance,
followed with Emily, who, as she wished them good night, and drew up
the glass, saw Valancourt among the crowd at the gates.  Before the
carriage drove off, he disappeared.  Madame Cheron forbore to mention
him to Emily, and, as soon as they reached the chateau, they
separated for the night.

On the following morning, as Emily sat at breakfast with her aunt, a
letter was brought to her, of which she knew the handwriting upon the
cover; and, as she received it with a trembling hand, Madame Cheron
hastily enquired from whom it came.  Emily, with her leave, broke the
seal, and, observing the signature of Valancourt, gave it unread to
her aunt, who received it with impatience; and, as she looked it
over, Emily endeavoured to read on her countenance its contents. 
Having returned the letter to her niece, whose eyes asked if she
might examine it, 'Yes, read it, child,' said Madame Cheron, in a
manner less severe than she had expected, and Emily had, perhaps,
never before so willingly obeyed her aunt.  In this letter Valancourt
said little of the interview of the preceding day, but concluded with
declaring, that he would accept his dismission from Emily only, and
with entreating, that she would allow him to wait upon her, on the
approaching evening.  When she read this, she was astonished at the
moderation of Madame Cheron, and looked at her with timid
expectation, as she said sorrowfully--'What am I to say, madam?'

'Why--we must see the young man, I believe,' replied her aunt, 'and
hear what he has further to say for himself.  You may tell him he may
come.'  Emily dared scarcely credit what she heard.  'Yet, stay,'
added Madame Cheron, 'I will tell him so myself.'  She called for pen
and ink; Emily still not daring to trust the emotions she felt, and
almost sinking beneath them.  Her surprise would have been less had
she overheard, on the preceding evening, what Madame Cheron had not
forgotten--that Valancourt was the nephew of Madame Clairval.

What were the particulars of her aunt's note Emily did not learn, but
the result was a visit from Valancourt in the evening, whom Madame
Cheron received alone, and they had a long conversation before Emily
was called down.  When she entered the room, her aunt was conversing
with complacency, and she saw the eyes of Valancourt, as he
impatiently rose, animated with hope.

'We have been talking over this affair,' said Madame Cheron, 'the
chevalier has been telling me, that the late Monsieur Clairval was
the brother of the Countess de Duvarney, his mother.  I only wish he
had mentioned his relationship to Madame Clairval before; I certainly
should have considered that circumstance as a sufficient introduction
to my house.'  Valancourt bowed, and was going to address Emily, but
her aunt prevented him.  'I have, therefore, consented that you shall
receive his visits; and, though I will not bind myself by any
promise, or say, that I shall consider him as my nephew, yet I shall
permit the intercourse, and shall look forward to any further
connection as an event, which may possibly take place in a course of
years, provided the chevalier rises in his profession, or any
circumstance occurs, which may make it prudent for him to take a
wife.  But Mons. Valancourt will observe, and you too, Emily, that,
till that happens, I positively forbid any thoughts of marrying.'

Emily's countenance, during this coarse speech, varied every instant,
and, towards its conclusion, her distress had so much increased, that
she was on the point of leaving the room.  Valancourt, meanwhile,
scarcely less embarrassed, did not dare to look at her, for whom he
was thus distressed; but, when Madame Cheron was silent, he said,
'Flattering, madam, as your approbation is to me--highly as I am
honoured by it--I have yet so much to fear, that I scarcely dare to
hope.'  'Pray, sir, explain yourself,' said Madame Cheron; an
unexpected requisition, which embarrassed Valancourt again, and
almost overcame him with confusion, at circumstances, on which, had
he been only a spectator of the scene, he would have smiled.

'Till I receive Mademoiselle St. Aubert's permission to accept your
indulgence,' said he, falteringly--'till she allows me to hope--'

'O! is that all?' interrupted Madame Cheron.  'Well, I will take upon
me to answer for her.  But at the same time, sir, give me leave to
observe to you, that I am her guardian, and that I expect, in every
instance, that my will is hers.'

As she said this, she rose and quitted the room, leaving Emily and
Valancourt in a state of mutual embarrassment; and, when Valancourt's
hopes enabled him to overcome his fears, and to address her with the
zeal and sincerity so natural to him, it was a considerable time
before she was sufficiently recovered to hear with distinctness his
solicitations and inquiries.

The conduct of Madame Cheron in this affair had been entirely
governed by selfish vanity.  Valancourt, in his first interview, had
with great candour laid open to her the true state of his present
circumstances, and his future expectancies, and she, with more
prudence than humanity, had absolutely and abruptly rejected his
suit.  She wished her niece to marry ambitiously, not because she
desired to see her in possession of the happiness, which rank and
wealth are usually believed to bestow, but because she desired to
partake the importance, which such an alliance would give.  When,
therefore, she discovered that Valancourt was the nephew of a person
of so much consequence as Madame Clairval, she became anxious for the
connection, since the prospect it afforded of future fortune and
distinction for Emily, promised the exaltation she coveted for
herself.  Her calculations concerning fortune in this alliance were
guided rather by her wishes, than by any hint of Valancourt, or
strong appearance of probability; and, when she rested her
expectation on the wealth of Madame Clairval, she seemed totally to
have forgotten, that the latter had a daughter.  Valancourt, however,
had not forgotten this circumstance, and the consideration of it had
made him so modest in his expectations from Madame Clairval, that he
had not even named the relationship in his first conversation with
Madame Cheron.  But, whatever might be the future fortune of Emily,
the present distinction, which the connection would afford for
herself, was certain, since the splendour of Madame Clairval's
establishment was such as to excite the general envy and partial
imitation of the neighbourhood.  Thus had she consented to involve
her niece in an engagement, to which she saw only a distant and
uncertain conclusion, with as little consideration of her happiness,
as when she had so precipitately forbade it:  for though she herself
possessed the means of rendering this union not only certain, but
prudent, yet to do so was no part of her present intention.

From this period Valancourt made frequent visits to Madame Cheron,
and Emily passed in his society the happiest hours she had known
since the death of her father.  They were both too much engaged by
the present moments to give serious consideration to the future. 
They loved and were beloved, and saw not, that the very attachment,
which formed the delight of their present days, might possibly
occasion the sufferings of years.  Meanwhile, Madame Cheron's
intercourse with Madame Clairval became more frequent than before,
and her vanity was already gratified by the opportunity of
proclaiming, wherever she went, the attachment that subsisted between
their nephew and niece.

Montoni was now also become a daily guest at the chateau, and Emily
was compelled to observe, that he really was a suitor, and a favoured
suitor, to her aunt.

Thus passed the winter months, not only in peace, but in happiness,
to Valancourt and Emily; the station of his regiment being so near
Tholouse, as to allow this frequent intercourse.  The pavilion on the
terrace was the favourite scene of their interviews, and there Emily,
with Madame Cheron, would work, while Valancourt read aloud works of
genius and taste, listened to her enthusiasm, expressed his own, and
caught new opportunities of observing, that their minds were formed
to constitute the happiness of each other, the same taste, the same
noble and benevolent sentiments animating each.



CHAPTER XIII


  As when a shepherd of the Hebrid-Isles,
  Placed far amid the melancholy main,
  (Whether it be lone fancy him beguiles,
  Or that aerial beings sometimes deign
  To stand embodied to our senses plain)
  Sees on the naked hill, or valley low,
  The whilst in ocean Phoebus dips his wain,
  A vast assembly moving to and fro,
 Then all at once in air dissolves the wondrous show.
     CASTLE OF INDOLENCE

Madame Cheron's avarice at length yielded to her vanity.  Some very
splendid entertainments, which Madame Clairval had given, and the
general adulation, which was paid her, made the former more anxious
than before to secure an alliance, that would so much exalt her in
her own opinion and in that of the world.  She proposed terms for the
immediate marriage of her niece, and offered to give Emily a dower,
provided Madame Clairval observed equal terms, on the part of her
nephew.  Madame Clairval listened to the proposal, and, considering
that Emily was the apparent heiress of her aunt's wealth, accepted
it.  Meanwhile, Emily knew nothing of the transaction, till Madame
Cheron informed her, that she must make preparation for the nuptials,
which would be celebrated without further delay; then, astonished and
wholly unable to account for this sudden conclusion, which Valancourt
had not solicited (for he was ignorant of what had passed between the
elder ladies, and had not dared to hope such good fortune), she
decisively objected to it.  Madame Cheron, however, quite as jealous
of contradiction now, as she had been formerly, contended for a
speedy marriage with as much vehemence as she had formerly opposed
whatever had the most remote possibility of leading to it; and
Emily's scruples disappeared, when she again saw Valancourt, who was
now informed of the happiness, designed for him, and came to claim a
promise of it from herself.

While preparations were making for these nuptials, Montoni became the
acknowledged lover of Madame Cheron; and, though Madame Clairval was
much displeased, when she heard of the approaching connection, and
was willing to prevent that of Valancourt with Emily, her conscience
told her, that she had no right thus to trifle with their peace, and
Madame Clairval, though a woman of fashion, was far less advanced
than her friend in the art of deriving satisfaction from distinction
and admiration, rather than from conscience.

Emily observed with concern the ascendancy, which Montoni had
acquired over Madame Cheron, as well as the increasing frequency of
his visits; and her own opinion of this Italian was confirmed by that
of Valancourt, who had always expressed a dislike of him.  As she
was, one morning, sitting at work in the pavilion, enjoying the
pleasant freshness of spring, whose colours were now spread upon the
landscape, and listening to Valancourt, who was reading, but who
often laid aside the book to converse, she received a summons to
attend Madame Cheron immediately, and had scarcely entered the
dressing-room, when she observed with surprise the dejection of her
aunt's countenance, and the contrasted gaiety of her dress.  'So,
niece!'--said Madame, and she stopped under some degree of
embarrassment.--'I sent for you--I--I wished to see you; I have news
to tell you.  From this hour you must consider the Signor Montoni as
your uncle--we were married this morning.'

Astonished--not so much at the marriage, as at the secrecy with which
it had been concluded, and the agitation with which it was announced,
Emily, at length, attributed the privacy to the wish of Montoni,
rather than of her aunt.  His wife, however, intended, that the
contrary should be believed, and therefore added, 'you see I wished
to avoid a bustle; but now the ceremony is over I shall do so no
longer; and I wish to announce to my servants that they must receive
the Signor Montoni for their master.'  Emily made a feeble attempt to
congratulate her on these apparently imprudent nuptials.  'I shall
now celebrate my marriage with some splendour,' continued Madame
Montoni, 'and to save time I shall avail myself of the preparation
that has been made for yours, which will, of course, be delayed a
little while.  Such of your wedding clothes as are ready I shall
expect you will appear in, to do honour to this festival.  I also
wish you to inform Monsieur Valancourt, that I have changed my name,
and he will acquaint Madame Clairval.  In a few days I shall give a
grand entertainment, at which I shall request their presence.'

Emily was so lost in surprise and various thought, that she made
Madame Montoni scarcely any reply, but, at her desire, she returned
to inform Valancourt of what had passed.  Surprise was not his
predominant emotion on hearing of these hasty nuptials; and, when he
learned, that they were to be the means of delaying his own, and that
the very ornaments of the chateau, which had been prepared to grace
the nuptial day of his Emily, were to be degraded to the celebration
of Madame Montoni's, grief and indignation agitated him alternately. 
He could conceal neither from the observation of Emily, whose efforts
to abstract him from these serious emotions, and to laugh at the
apprehensive considerations, that assailed him, were ineffectual;
and, when, at length, he took leave, there was an earnest tenderness
in his manner, that extremely affected her; she even shed tears, when
he disappeared at the end of the terrace, yet knew not exactly why
she should do so.

Montoni now took possession of the chateau, and the command of its
inhabitants, with the ease of a man, who had long considered it to be
his own.  His friend Cavigni, who had been extremely serviceable, in
having paid Madame Cheron the attention and flattery, which she
required, but from which Montoni too often revolted, had apartments
assigned to him, and received from the domestics an equal degree of
obedience with the master of the mansion.

Within a few days, Madame Montoni, as she had promised, gave a
magnificent entertainment to a very numerous company, among whom was
Valancourt; but at which Madame Clairval excused herself from
attending.  There was a concert, ball and supper.  Valancourt was, of
course, Emily's partner, and though, when he gave a look to the
decorations of the apartments, he could not but remember, that they
were designed for other festivities, than those they now contributed
to celebrate, he endeavoured to check his concern by considering,
that a little while only would elapse before they would be given to
their original destination.  During this evening, Madame Montoni
danced, laughed and talked incessantly; while Montoni, silent,
reserved and somewhat haughty, seemed weary of the parade, and of the
frivolous company it had drawn together.

This was the first and the last entertainment, given in celebration
of their nuptials.  Montoni, though the severity of his temper and
the gloominess of his pride prevented him from enjoying such
festivities, was extremely willing to promote them.  It was seldom,
that he could meet in any company a man of more address, and still
seldomer one of more understanding, than himself; the balance of
advantage in such parties, or in the connections, which might arise
from them, must, therefore, be on his side; and, knowing, as he did,
the selfish purposes, for which they are generally frequented, he had
no objection to measure his talents of dissimulation with those of
any other competitor for distinction and plunder.  But his wife, who,
when her own interest was immediately concerned, had sometimes more
discernment than vanity, acquired a consciousness of her inferiority
to other women, in personal attractions, which, uniting with the
jealousy natural to the discovery, counteracted his readiness for
mingling with all the parties Tholouse could afford.  Till she had,
as she supposed, the affections of an husband to lose, she had no
motive for discovering the unwelcome truth, and it had never obtruded
itself upon her; but, now that it influenced her policy, she opposed
her husband's inclination for company, with the more eagerness,
because she believed him to be really as well received in the female
society of the place, as, during his addresses to her, he had
affected to be.

A few weeks only had elapsed, since the marriage, when Madame Montoni
informed Emily, that the Signor intended to return to Italy, as soon
as the necessary preparation could be made for so long a journey. 
'We shall go to Venice,' said she, 'where the Signor has a fine
mansion, and from thence to his estate in Tuscany.  Why do you look
so grave, child?--You, who are so fond of a romantic country and fine
views, will doubtless be delighted with this journey.'

'Am I then to be of the party, madam?' said Emily, with extreme
surprise and emotion.  'Most certainly,' replied her aunt, 'how could
you imagine we should leave you behind?  But I see you are thinking
of the Chevalier; he is not yet, I believe, informed of the journey,
but he very soon will be so.  Signor Montoni is gone to acquaint
Madame Clairval of our journey, and to say, that the proposed
connection between the families must from this time be thought of no
more.'

The unfeeling manner, in which Madame Montoni thus informed her
niece, that she must be separated, perhaps for ever, from the man,
with whom she was on the point of being united for life, added to the
dismay, which she must otherwise have suffered at such intelligence. 
When she could speak, she asked the cause of the sudden change in
Madame's sentiments towards Valancourt, but the only reply she could
obtain was, that the Signor had forbade the connection, considering
it to be greatly inferior to what Emily might reasonably expect.

'I now leave the affair entirely to the Signor,' added Madame
Montoni, 'but I must say, that M. Valancourt never was a favourite
with me, and I was overpersuaded, or I should not have given my
consent to the connection.  I was weak enough--I am so foolish
sometimes!--to suffer other people's uneasiness to affect me, and so
my better judgment yielded to your affliction.  But the Signor has
very properly pointed out the folly of this, and he shall not have to
reprove me a second time.  I am determined, that you shall submit to
those, who know how to guide you better than yourself--I am
determined, that you shall be conformable.'

Emily would have been astonished at the assertions of this eloquent
speech, had not her mind been so overwhelmed by the sudden shock it
had received, that she scarcely heard a word of what was latterly
addressed to her.  Whatever were the weaknesses of Madame Montoni,
she might have avoided to accuse herself with those of compassion and
tenderness to the feelings of others, and especially to those of
Emily.  It was the same ambition, that lately prevailed upon her to
solicit an alliance with Madame Clairval's family, which induced her
to withdraw from it, now that her marriage with Montoni had exalted
her self-consequence, and, with it, her views for her niece.

Emily was, at this time, too much affected to employ either
remonstrance, or entreaty on this topic; and when, at length, she
attempted the latter, her emotion overcame her speech, and she
retired to her apartment, to think, if in the present state of her
mind to think was possible, upon this sudden and overwhelming
subject.  It was very long, before her spirits were sufficiently
composed to permit the reflection, which, when it came, was dark and
even terrible.  She saw, that Montoni sought to aggrandise himself in
his disposal of her, and it occurred, that his friend Cavigni was the
person, for whom he was interested.  The prospect of going to Italy
was still rendered darker, when she considered the tumultuous
situation of that country, then torn by civil commotion, where every
petty state was at war with its neighbour, and even every castle
liable to the attack of an invader.  She considered the person, to
whose immediate guidance she would be committed, and the vast
distance, that was to separate her from Valancourt, and, at the
recollection of him, every other image vanished from her mind, and
every thought was again obscured by grief.

In this perturbed state she passed some hours, and, when she was
summoned to dinner, she entreated permission to remain in her own
apartment; but Madame Montoni was alone, and the request was refused. 
Emily and her aunt said little during the repast; the one occupied by
her griefs, the other engrossed by the disappointment, which the
unexpected absence of Montoni occasioned; for not only was her vanity
piqued by the neglect, but her jealousy alarmed by what she
considered as a mysterious engagement.  When the cloth was drawn and
they were alone, Emily renewed the mention of Valancourt; but her
aunt, neither softened to pity, or awakened to remorse, became
enraged, that her will should be opposed, and the authority of
Montoni questioned, though this was done by Emily with her usual
gentleness, who, after a long, and torturing conversation, retired in
tears.

As she crossed the hall, a person entered it by the great door, whom,
as her eyes hastily glanced that way, she imagined to be Montoni, and
she was passing on with quicker steps, when she heard the well-known
voice of Valancourt.

'Emily, O! my Emily!' cried he in a tone faltering with impatience,
while she turned, and, as he advanced, was alarmed at the expression
of his countenance and the eager desperation of his air.  'In tears,
Emily!  I would speak with you,' said he, 'I have much to say;
conduct me to where we may converse.  But you tremble--you are ill! 
Let me lead you to a seat.'

He observed the open door of an apartment, and hastily took her hand
to lead her thither; but she attempted to withdraw it, and said, with
a languid smile, 'I am better already; if you wish to see my aunt she
is in the dining-parlour.'  'I must speak with YOU, my Emily,'
replied Valancourt, 'Good God! is it already come to this?  Are you
indeed so willing to resign me?'  But this is an improper place--I am
overheard.  Let me entreat your attention, if only for a few
minutes.'--'When you have seen my aunt,' said Emily.  'I was wretched
enough when I came hither,' exclaimed Valancourt, 'do not increase my
misery by this coldness--this cruel refusal.'

The despondency, with which he spoke this, affected her almost to
tears, but she persisted in refusing to hear him, till he had
conversed with Madame Montoni.  'Where is her husband, where, then,
is Montoni?' said Valancourt, in an altered tone:  'it is he, to whom
I must speak.'

Emily, terrified for the consequence of the indignation, that flashed
in his eyes, tremblingly assured him, that Montoni was not at home,
and entreated he would endeavour to moderate his resentment.  At the
tremulous accents of her voice, his eyes softened instantly from
wildness into tenderness.  'You are ill, Emily,' said he, 'they will
destroy us both!  Forgive me, that I dared to doubt your affection.'

Emily no longer opposed him, as he led her into an adjoining parlour;
the manner, in which he had named Montoni, had so much alarmed her
for his own safety, that she was now only anxious to prevent the
consequences of his just resentment.  He listened to her entreaties,
with attention, but replied to them only with looks of despondency
and tenderness, concealing, as much as possible, the sentiments he
felt towards Montoni, that he might soothe the apprehensions, which
distressed her.  But she saw the veil he had spread over his
resentment, and, his assumed tranquillity only alarming her more, she
urged, at length, the impolicy of forcing an interview with Montoni,
and of taking any measure, which might render their separation
irremediable.  Valancourt yielded to these remonstrances, and her
affecting entreaties drew from him a promise, that, however Montoni
might persist in his design of disuniting them, he would not seek to
redress his wrongs by violence.  'For my sake,' said Emily, 'let the
consideration of what I should suffer deter you from such a mode of
revenge!'  'For your sake, Emily,' replied Valancourt, his eyes
filling with tears of tenderness and grief, while he gazed upon her. 
'Yes--yes--I shall subdue myself.  But, though I have given you my
solemn promise to do this, do not expect, that I can tamely submit to
the authority of Montoni; if I could, I should be unworthy of you. 
Yet, O Emily! how long may he condemn me to live without you,--how
long may it be before you return to France!'

Emily endeavoured to sooth him with assurances of her unalterable
affection, and by representing, that, in little more than a year, she
should be her own mistress, as far as related to her aunt, from whose
guardianship her age would then release her; assurances, which gave
little consolation to Valancourt, who considered, that she would then
be in Italy and in the power of those, whose dominion over her would
not cease with their rights; but he affected to be consoled by them. 
Emily, comforted by the promise she had obtained, and by his apparent
composure, was about to leave him, when her aunt entered the room. 
She threw a glance of sharp reproof upon her niece, who immediately
withdrew, and of haughty displeasure upon Valancourt.

'This is not the conduct I should have expected from you, sir;' said
she, 'I did not expect to see you in my house, after you had been
informed, that your visits were no longer agreeable, much less, that
you would seek a clandestine interview with my niece, and that she
would grant one.'

Valancourt, perceiving it necessary to vindicate Emily from such a
design, explained, that the purpose of his own visit had been to
request an interview with Montoni, and he then entered upon the
subject of it, with the tempered spirit which the sex, rather than
the respectability, of Madame Montoni, demanded.

His expostulations were answered with severe rebuke; she lamented
again, that her prudence had ever yielded to what she termed
compassion, and added, that she was so sensible of the folly of her
former consent, that, to prevent the possibility of a repetition, she
had committed the affair entirely to the conduct of Signor Montoni.

The feeling eloquence of Valancourt, however, at length, made her
sensible in some measure of her unworthy conduct, and she became
susceptible to shame, but not remorse:  she hated Valancourt, who
awakened her to this painful sensation, and, in proportion as she
grew dissatisfied with herself, her abhorrence of him increased. 
This was also the more inveterate, because his tempered words and
manner were such as, without accusing her, compelled her to accuse
herself, and neither left her a hope, that the odious portrait was
the caricature of his prejudice, or afforded her an excuse for
expressing the violent resentment, with which she contemplated it. 
At length, her anger rose to such an height, that Valancourt was
compelled to leave the house abruptly, lest he should forfeit his own
esteem by an intemperate reply.  He was then convinced, that from
Madame Montoni he had nothing to hope, for what of either pity, or
justice could be expected from a person, who could feel the pain of
guilt, without the humility of repentance?

To Montoni he looked with equal despondency, since it was nearly
evident, that this plan of separation originated with him, and it was
not probable, that he would relinquish his own views to entreaties,
or remonstrances, which he must have foreseen and have been prepared
to resist.  Yet, remembering his promise to Emily, and more
solicitous, concerning his love, than jealous of his consequence,
Valancourt was careful to do nothing that might unnecessarily
irritate Montoni,  he wrote to him, therefore, not to demand an
interview, but to solicit one, and, having done this, he endeavoured
to wait with calmness his reply.

Madame Clairval was passive in the affair.  When she gave her
approbation to Valancourt's marriage, it was in the belief, that
Emily would be the heiress of Madame Montoni's fortune; and, though,
upon the nuptials of the latter, when she perceived the fallacy of
this expectation, her conscience had withheld her from adopting any
measure to prevent the union, her benevolence was not sufficiently
active to impel her towards any step, that might now promote it.  She
was, on the contrary, secretly pleased, that Valancourt was released
from an engagement, which she considered to be as inferior, in point
of fortune, to his merit, as his alliance was thought by Montoni to
be humiliating to the beauty of Emily; and, though her pride was
wounded by this rejection of a member of her family, she disdained to
shew resentment otherwise, than by silence.

Montoni, in his reply to Valancourt, said, that as an interview could
neither remove the objections of the one, or overcome the wishes of
the other, it would serve only to produce useless altercation between
them.  He, therefore, thought proper to refuse it.

In consideration of the policy, suggested by Emily, and of his
promise to her, Valancourt restrained the impulse, that urged him to
the house of Montoni, to demand what had been denied to his
entreaties.  He only repeated his solicitations to see him; seconding
them with all the arguments his situation could suggest.  Thus
several days passed, in remonstrance, on one side, and inflexible
denial, on the other; for, whether it was fear, or shame, or the
hatred, which results from both, that made Montoni shun the man he
had injured, he was peremptory in his refusal, and was neither
softened to pity by the agony, which Valancourt's letters pourtrayed,
or awakened to a repentance of his own injustice by the strong
remonstrances he employed.  At length, Valancourt's letters were
returned unopened, and then, in the first moments of passionate
despair, he forgot every promise to Emily, except the solemn one,
which bound him to avoid violence, and hastened to Montoni's chateau,
determined to see him by whatever other means might be necessary. 
Montoni was denied, and Valancourt, when he afterwards enquired for
Madame, and Ma'amselle St. Aubert, was absolutely refused admittance
by the servants.  Not choosing to submit himself to a contest with
these, he, at length, departed, and, returning home in a state of
mind approaching to frenzy, wrote to Emily of what had passed,
expressed without restraint all the agony of his heart, and
entreated, that, since he must not otherwise hope to see her
immediately, she would allow him an interview unknown to Montoni. 
Soon after he had dispatched this, his passions becoming more
temperate, he was sensible of the error he had committed in having
given Emily a new subject of distress in the strong mention of his
own suffering, and would have given half the world, had it been his,
to recover the letter.  Emily, however, was spared the pain she must
have received from it by the suspicious policy of Madame Montoni, who
had ordered, that all letters, addressed to her niece, should be
delivered to herself, and who, after having perused this and indulged
the expressions of resentment, which Valancourt's mention of Montoni
provoked, had consigned it to the flames.

Montoni, meanwhile, every day more impatient to leave France, gave
repeated orders for dispatch to the servants employed in preparations
for the journey, and to the persons, with whom he was transacting
some particular business.  He preserved a steady silence to the
letters in which Valancourt, despairing of greater good, and having
subdued the passion, that had transgressed against his policy,
solicited only the indulgence of being allowed to bid Emily farewell. 
But, when the latter [Valancourt] learned, that she was really to set
out in a very few days, and that it was designed he should see her no
more, forgetting every consideration of prudence, he dared, in a
second letter to Emily, to propose a clandestine marriage.  This also
was transmitted to Madame Montoni, and the last day of Emily's stay
at Tholouse arrived, without affording Valancourt even a line to
sooth his sufferings, or a hope, that he should be allowed a parting
interview.

During this period of torturing suspense to Valancourt, Emily was
sunk into that kind of stupor, with which sudden and irremediable
misfortune sometimes overwhelms the mind.  Loving him with the
tenderest affection, and having long been accustomed to consider him
as the friend and companion of all her future days, she had no ideas
of happiness, that were not connected with him.  What, then, must
have been her suffering, when thus suddenly they were to be
separated, perhaps, for ever, certainly to be thrown into distant
parts of the world, where they could scarcely hear of each other's
existence; and all this in obedience to the will of a stranger, for
such as Montoni, and of a person, who had but lately been anxious to
hasten their nuptials!  It was in vain, that she endeavoured to
subdue her grief, and resign herself to an event, which she could not
avoid.  The silence of Valancourt afflicted more than it surprised
her, since she attributed it to its just occasion; but, when the day,
preceding that, on which she was to quit Tholouse, arrived, and she
had heard no mention of his being permitted to take leave of her,
grief overcame every consideration, that had made her reluctant to
speak of him, and she enquired of Madame Montoni, whether this
consolation had been refused.  Her aunt informed her that it had,
adding, that, after the provocation she had herself received from
Valancourt, in their last interview, and the persecution, which the
Signor had suffered from his letters, no entreaties should avail to
procure it.

'If the Chevalier expected this favour from us,' said she, 'he should
have conducted himself in a very different manner; he should have
waited patiently, till he knew whether we were disposed to grant it,
and not have come and reproved me, because I did not think proper to
bestow my niece upon him,--and then have persisted in troubling the
Signor, because he did not think proper to enter into any dispute
about so childish an affair.  His behaviour throughout has been
extremely presumptuous and impertinent, and I desire, that I may
never hear his name repeated, and that you will get the better of
those foolish sorrows and whims, and look like other people, and not
appear with that dismal countenance, as if you were ready to cry. 
For, though you say nothing, you cannot conceal your grief from my
penetration.  I can see you are ready to cry at this moment, though I
am reproving you for it; aye, even now, in spite of my commands.'

Emily, having turned away to hide her tears, quitted the room to
indulge them, and the day was passed in an intensity of anguish, such
as she had, perhaps, never known before.  When she withdrew to her
chamber for the night, she remained in the chair where she had placed
herself, on entering the room, absorbed in her grief, till long after
every member of the family, except herself, was retired to rest.  She
could not divest herself of a belief, that she had parted with
Valancourt to meet no more; a belief, which did not arise merely from
foreseen circumstances, for, though the length of the journey she was
about to commence, the uncertainty as to the period of her return,
together with the prohibitions she had received, seemed to justify
it, she yielded also to an impression, which she mistook for a pre-
sentiment, that she was going from Valancourt for ever.  How dreadful
to her imagination, too, was the distance that would separate them--
the Alps, those tremendous barriers! would rise, and whole countries
extend between the regions where each must exist!  To live in
adjoining provinces, to live even in the same country, though without
seeing him, was comparative happiness to the conviction of this
dreadful length of distance.

Her mind was, at length, so much agitated by the consideration of her
state, and the belief, that she had seen Valancourt for the last
time, that she suddenly became very faint, and, looking round the
chamber for something, that might revive her, she observed the
casements, and had just strength to throw one open, near which she
seated herself.  The air recalled her spirits, and the still moon-
light, that fell upon the elms of a long avenue, fronting the window,
somewhat soothed them, and determined her to try whether exercise and
the open air would not relieve the intense pain that bound her
temples.  In the chateau all was still; and, passing down the great
stair-case into the hall, from whence a passage led immediately to
the garden, she softly and unheard, as she thought, unlocked the
door, and entered the avenue.  Emily passed on with steps now
hurried, and now faltering, as, deceived by the shadows among the
trees, she fancied she saw some person move in the distant
perspective, and feared, that it was a spy of Madame Montoni.  Her
desire, however, to re-visit the pavilion, where she had passed so
many happy hours with Valancourt, and had admired with him the
extensive prospect over Languedoc and her native Gascony, overcame
her apprehension of being observed, and she moved on towards the
terrace, which, running along the upper garden, commanded the whole
of the lower one, and communicated with it by a flight of marble
steps, that terminated the avenue.

Having reached these steps, she paused a moment to look round, for
her distance from the chateau now increased the fear, which the
stillness and obscurity of the hour had awakened.  But, perceiving
nothing that could justify it, she ascended to the terrace, where the
moon-light shewed the long broad walk, with the pavilion at its
extremity, while the rays silvered the foliage of the high trees and
shrubs, that bordered it on the right, and the tufted summits of
those, that rose to a level with the balustrade on the left, from the
garden below.  Her distance from the chateau again alarming her, she
paused to listen; the night was so calm, that no sound could have
escaped her, but she heard only the plaintive sweetness of the
nightingale, with the light shiver of the leaves, and she pursued her
way towards the pavilion, having reached which, its obscurity did not
prevent the emotion, that a fuller view of its well-known scene would
have excited.  The lattices were thrown back, and shewed beyond their
embowered arch the moon-light landscape, shadowy and soft; its
groves, and plains extending gradually and indistinctly to the eye,
its distant mountains catching a stronger gleam, and the nearer river
reflecting the moon, and trembling to her rays.

Emily, as she approached the lattice, was sensible of the features of
this scene only as they served to bring Valancourt more immediately
to her fancy.  'Ah!' said she, with a heavy sigh, as she threw
herself into a chair by the window, 'how often have we sat together
in this spot--often have looked upon that landscape!  Never, never
more shall we view it together--never--never more, perhaps, shall we
look upon each other!'

Her tears were suddenly stopped by terror--a voice spoke near her in
the pavilion; she shrieked--it spoke again, and she distinguished the
well-known tones of Valancourt.  It was indeed Valancourt who
supported her in his arms!  For some moments their emotion would not
suffer either to speak.  'Emily,' said Valancourt at length, as he
pressed her hand in his.  'Emily!' and he was again silent, but the
accent, in which he had pronounced her name, expressed all his
tenderness and sorrow.

'O my Emily!' he resumed, after a long pause, 'I do then see you once
again, and hear again the sound of that voice!  I have haunted this
place--these gardens, for many--many nights, with a faint, very faint
hope of seeing you.  This was the only chance that remained to me,
and thank heaven! it has at length succeeded--I am not condemned to
absolute despair!'

Emily said something, she scarcely knew what, expressive of her
unalterable affection, and endeavoured to calm the agitation of his
mind; but Valancourt could for some time only utter incoherent
expressions of his emotions; and, when he was somewhat more composed,
he said, 'I came hither, soon after sun-set, and have been watching
in the gardens, and in this pavilion ever since; for, though I had
now given up all hope of seeing you, I could not resolve to tear
myself from a place so near to you, and should probably have lingered
about the chateau till morning dawned.  O how heavily the moments
have passed, yet with what various emotion have they been marked, as
I sometimes thought I heard footsteps, and fancied you were
approaching, and then again--perceived only a dead and dreary
silence!  But, when you opened the door of the pavilion, and the
darkness prevented my distinguishing with certainty, whether it was
my love--my heart beat so strongly with hopes and fears, that I could
not speak.  The instant I heard the plaintive accents of your voice,
my doubts vanished, but not my fears, till you spoke of me; then,
losing the apprehension of alarming you in the excess of my emotion,
I could no longer be silent.  O Emily! these are moments, in which
joy and grief struggle so powerfully for pre-eminence, that the heart
can scarcely support the contest!'

Emily's heart acknowledged the truth of this assertion, but the joy
she felt on thus meeting Valancourt, at the very moment when she was
lamenting, that they must probably meet no more, soon melted into
grief, as reflection stole over her thoughts, and imagination
prompted visions of the future.  She struggled to recover the calm
dignity of mind, which was necessary to support her through this last
interview, and which Valancourt found it utterly impossible to
attain, for the transports of his joy changed abruptly into those of
suffering, and he expressed in the most impassioned language his
horror of this separation, and his despair of their ever meeting
again.  Emily wept silently as she listened to him, and then, trying
to command her own distress, and to sooth his, she suggested every
circumstance that could lead to hope.  But the energy of his fears
led him instantly to detect the friendly fallacies, which she
endeavoured to impose on herself and him, and also to conjure up
illusions too powerful for his reason.

'You are going from me,' said he, 'to a distant country, O how
distant!--to new society, new friends, new admirers, with people too,
who will try to make you forget me, and to promote new connections! 
How can I know this, and not know, that you will never return for me-
-never can be mine.'  His voice was stifled by sighs.

'You believe, then,' said Emily, 'that the pangs I suffer proceed
from a trivial and temporary interest; you believe--'

'Suffer!' interrupted Valancourt, 'suffer for me!  O Emily--how
sweet--how bitter are those words; what comfort, what anguish do they
give!  I ought not to doubt the steadiness of your affection, yet
such is the inconsistency of real love, that it is always awake to
suspicion, however unreasonable; always requiring new assurances from
the object of its interest, and thus it is, that I always feel
revived, as by a new conviction, when your words tell me I am dear to
you; and, wanting these, I relapse into doubt, and too often into
despondency.'  Then seeming to recollect himself, he exclaimed, 'But
what a wretch am I, thus to torture you, and in these moments, too! 
I, who ought to support and comfort you!'

This reflection overcame Valancourt with tenderness, but, relapsing
into despondency, he again felt only for himself, and lamented again
this cruel separation, in a voice and words so impassioned, that
Emily could no longer struggle to repress her own grief, or to sooth
his.  Valancourt, between these emotions of love and pity, lost the
power, and almost the wish, of repressing his agitation; and, in the
intervals of convulsive sobs, he, at one moment, kissed away her
tears, then told her cruelly, that possibly she might never again
weep for him, and then tried to speak more calmly, but only
exclaimed, 'O Emily--my heart will break!--I cannot--cannot leave
you!  Now--I gaze upon that countenance, now I hold you in my arms! a
little while, and all this will appear a dream.  I shall look, and
cannot see you; shall try to recollect your features--and the
impression will be fled from my imagination;--to hear the tones of
your voice, and even memory will be silent!--I cannot, cannot leave
you!  why should we confide the happiness of our whole lives to the
will of people, who have no right to interrupt, and, except in giving
you to me, have no power to promote it?  O Emily! venture to trust
your own heart, venture to be mine for ever!'  His voice trembled,
and he was silent; Emily continued to weep, and was silent also, when
Valancourt proceeded to propose an immediate marriage, and that at an
early hour on the following morning, she should quit Madame Montoni's
house, and be conducted by him to the church of the Augustines, where
a friar should await to unite them.

The silence, with which she listened to a proposal, dictated by love
and despair, and enforced at a moment, when it seemed scarcely
possible for her to oppose it;--when her heart was softened by the
sorrows of a separation, that might be eternal, and her reason
obscured by the illusions of love and terror, encouraged him to hope,
that it would not be rejected.  'Speak, my Emily!' said Valancourt
eagerly, 'let me hear your voice, let me hear you confirm my fate.' 
she spoke not; her cheek was cold, and her senses seemed to fail her,
but she did not faint.  To Valancourt's terrified imagination she
appeared to be dying; he called upon her name, rose to go to the
chateau for assistance, and then, recollecting her situation, feared
to go, or to leave her for a moment.

After a few minutes, she drew a deep sigh, and began to revive.  The
conflict she had suffered, between love and the duty she at present
owed to her father's sister; her repugnance to a clandestine
marriage, her fear of emerging on the world with embarrassments, such
as might ultimately involve the object of her affection in misery and
repentance;--all this various interest was too powerful for a mind,
already enervated by sorrow, and her reason had suffered a transient
suspension.  But duty, and good sense, however hard the conflict, at
length, triumphed over affection and mournful presentiment; above
all, she dreaded to involve Valancourt in obscurity and vain regret,
which she saw, or thought she saw, must be the too certain
consequence of a marriage in their present circumstances; and she
acted, perhaps, with somewhat more than female fortitude, when she
resolved to endure a present, rather than provoke a distant
misfortune.

With a candour, that proved how truly she esteemed and loved him, and
which endeared her to him, if possible, more than ever, she told
Valancourt all her reasons for rejecting his proposals.  Those, which
influenced her concerning his future welfare, he instantly refuted,
or rather contradicted; but they awakened tender considerations for
her, which the frenzy of passion and despair had concealed before,
and love, which had but lately prompted him to propose a clandestine
and immediate marriage, now induced him to renounce it.  The triumph
was almost too much for his heart; for Emily's sake, he endeavoured
to stifle his grief, but the swelling anguish would not be
restrained.  'O Emily!' said he, 'I must leave you--I MUST leave you,
and I know it is for ever!'

Convulsive sobs again interrupted his words, and they wept together
in silence, till Emily, recollecting the danger of being discovered,
and the impropriety of prolonging an interview, which might subject
her to censure, summoned all her fortitude to utter a last farewell.

'Stay!' said Valancourt, 'I conjure you stay, for I have much to tell
you.  The agitation of my mind has hitherto suffered me to speak only
on the subject that occupied it;--I have forborne to mention a doubt
of much importance, partly, lest it should appear as if I told it
with an ungenerous view of alarming you into a compliance with my
late proposal.'

Emily, much agitated, did not leave Valancourt, but she led him from
the pavilion, and, as they walked upon the terrace, he proceeded as
follows:

'This Montoni:  I have heard some strange hints concerning him.  Are
you certain he is of Madame Quesnel's family, and that his fortune is
what it appears to be?'

'I have no reason to doubt either,' replied Emily, in a voice of
alarm.  'Of the first, indeed, I cannot doubt, but I have no certain
means of judging of the latter, and I entreat you will tell me all
you have heard.'

'That I certainly will, but it is very imperfect, and unsatisfactory
information.  I gathered it by accident from an Italian, who was
speaking to another person of this Montoni.  They were talking of his
marriage; the Italian said, that if he was the person he meant, he
was not likely to make Madame Cheron happy.  He proceeded to speak of
him in general terms of dislike, and then gave some particular hints,
concerning his character, that excited my curiosity, and I ventured
to ask him a few questions.  He was reserved in his replies, but,
after hesitating for some time, he owned, that he had understood
abroad, that Montoni was a man of desperate fortune and character. 
He said something of a castle of Montoni's, situated among the
Apennines, and of some strange circumstances, that might be
mentioned, as to his former mode of life.  I pressed him to inform me
further, but I believe the strong interest I felt was visible in my
manner, and alarmed him; for no entreaties could prevail with him to
give any explanation of the circumstances he had alluded to, or to
mention any thing further concerning Montoni.  I observed to him,
that, if Montoni was possessed of a castle in the Apennines, it
appeared from such a circumstance, that he was of some family, and
also seemed to contradict the report, that he was a man of entirely
broken fortunes.  He shook his head, and looked as if he could have
said a great deal, but made no reply.

'A hope of learning something more satisfactory, or more positive,
detained me in his company a considerable time, and I renewed the
subject repeatedly, but the Italian wrapped himself up in reserve,
said--that what he had mentioned he had caught only from a floating
report, and that reports frequently arose from personal malice, and
were very little to be depended upon.  I forbore to press the subject
farther, since it was obvious that he was alarmed for the consequence
of what he had already said, and I was compelled to remain in
uncertainty on a point where suspense is almost intolerable.  Think,
Emily, what I must suffer to see you depart for a foreign country,
committed to the power of a man of such doubtful character as is this
Montoni!  But I will not alarm you unnecessarily;--it is possible, as
the Italian said, at first, that this is not the Montoni he alluded
to.  Yet, Emily, consider well before you resolve to commit yourself
to him.  O! I must not trust myself to speak--or I shall renounce all
the motives, which so lately influenced me to resign the hope of your
becoming mine immediately.'

Valancourt walked upon the terrace with hurried steps, while Emily
remained leaning on the balustrade in deep thought.  The information
she had just received excited, perhaps, more alarm than it could
justify, and raised once more the conflict of contrasted interests. 
She had never liked Montoni.  The fire and keenness of his eye, its
proud exultation, its bold fierceness, its sullen watchfulness, as
occasion, and even slight occasion, had called forth the latent soul,
she had often observed with emotion; while from the usual expression
of his countenance she had always shrunk.  From such observations she
was the more inclined to believe, that it was this Montoni, of whom
the Italian had uttered his suspicious hints.  The thought of being
solely in his power, in a foreign land, was terrifying to her, but it
was not by terror alone that she was urged to an immediate marriage
with Valancourt.  The tenderest love had already pleaded his cause,
but had been unable to overcome her opinion, as to her duty, her
disinterested considerations for Valancourt, and the delicacy, which
made her revolt from a clandestine union.  It was not to be expected,
that a vague terror would be more powerful, than the united influence
of love and grief.  But it recalled all their energy, and rendered a
second conquest necessary.

With Valancourt, whose imagination was now awake to the suggestion of
every passion; whose apprehensions for Emily had acquired strength by
the mere mention of them, and became every instant more powerful, as
his mind brooded over them--with Valancourt no second conquest was
attainable.  He thought he saw in the clearest light, and love
assisted the fear, that this journey to Italy would involve Emily in
misery; he determined, therefore, to persevere in opposing it, and in
conjuring her to bestow upon him the title of her lawful protector.

'Emily!' said he, with solemn earnestness, 'this is no time for
scrupulous distinctions, for weighing the dubious and comparatively
trifling circumstances, that may affect our future comfort.  I now
see, much more clearly than before, the train of serious dangers you
are going to encounter with a man of Montoni's character.  Those dark
hints of the Italian spoke much, but not more than the idea I have of
Montoni's disposition, as exhibited even in his countenance.  I think
I see at this moment all that could have been hinted, written there. 
He is the Italian, whom I fear, and I conjure you for your own sake,
as well as for mine, to prevent the evils I shudder to foresee.  O
Emily! let my tenderness, my arms withhold you from them--give me the
right to defend you!'

Emily only sighed, while Valancourt proceeded to remonstrate and to
entreat with all the energy that love and apprehension could inspire. 
But, as his imagination magnified to her the possible evils she was
going to meet, the mists of her own fancy began to dissipate, and
allowed her to distinguish the exaggerated images, which imposed on
his reason.  She considered, that there was no proof of Montoni being
the person, whom the stranger had meant; that, even if he was so, the
Italian had noticed his character and broken fortunes merely from
report; and that, though the countenance of Montoni seemed to give
probability to a part of the rumour, it was not by such circumstances
that an implicit belief of it could be justified.  These
considerations would probably not have arisen so distinctly to her
mind, at this time, had not the terrors of Valancourt presented to
her such obvious exaggerations of her danger, as incited her to
distrust the fallacies of passion.  But, while she endeavoured in the
gentlest manner to convince him of his error, she plunged him into a
new one.  His voice and countenance changed to an expression of dark
despair.  'Emily!' said he, 'this, this moment is the bitterest that
is yet come to me.  You do not--cannot love me!--It would be
impossible for you to reason thus coolly, thus deliberately, if you
did.  I, _I_ am torn with anguish at the prospect of our separation,
and of the evils that may await you in consequence of it; I would
encounter any hazards to prevent it--to save you.  No! Emily, no!--
you cannot love me.'

'We have now little time to waste in exclamation, or assertion,' said
Emily, endeavouring to conceal her emotion:  'if you are yet to learn
how dear you are, and ever must be, to my heart, no assurances of
mine can give you conviction.'

The last words faltered on her lips, and her tears flowed fast. 
These words and tears brought, once more, and with instantaneous
force, conviction of her love to Valancourt.  He could only exclaim,
'Emily! Emily!' and weep over the hand he pressed to his lips; but
she, after some moments, again roused herself from the indulgence of
sorrow, and said, 'I must leave you; it is late, and my absence from
the chateau may be discovered.  Think of me--love me--when I am far
away; the belief of this will be my comfort!'

'Think of you!--love you!' exclaimed Valancourt.

'Try to moderate these transports,' said Emily, 'for my sake, try.'

'For your sake!'

'Yes, for my sake,' replied Emily, in a tremulous voice, 'I cannot
leave you thus!'

'Then do not leave me!' said Valancourt, with quickness.  'Why should
we part, or part for longer than till to-morrow?'

'I am, indeed I am, unequal to these moments,' replied Emily, 'you
tear my heart, but I never can consent to this hasty, imprudent
proposal!'

'If we could command our time, my Emily, it should not be thus hasty;
we must submit to circumstances.'

'We must indeed!  I have already told you all my heart--my spirits
are gone.  You allowed the force of my objections, till your
tenderness called up vague terrors, which have given us both
unnecessary anguish.  Spare me! do not oblige me to repeat the
reasons I have already urged.'

'Spare you!' cried Valancourt, 'I am a wretch--a very wretch, that
have felt only for myself!--I! who ought to have shewn the fortitude
of a man, who ought to have supported you, I! have increased your
sufferings by the conduct of a child!  Forgive me, Emily! think of
the distraction of my mind now that I am about to part with all that
is dear to me--and forgive me!  When you are gone, I shall recollect
with bitter remorse what I have made you suffer, and shall wish in
vain that I could see you, if only for a moment, that I might sooth
your grief.'

Tears again interrupted his voice, and Emily wept with him.  'I will
shew myself more worthy of your love,' said Valancourt, at length; 'I
will not prolong these moments.  My Emily--my own Emily! never forget
me!  God knows when we shall meet again!  I resign you to his care.--
O God!--O God!--protect and bless her!'

He pressed her hand to his heart.  Emily sunk almost lifeless on his
bosom, and neither wept, nor spoke.  Valancourt, now commanding his
own distress, tried to comfort and re-assure her, but she appeared
totally unaffected by what he said, and a sigh, which she uttered,
now and then, was all that proved she had not fainted.

He supported her slowly towards the chateau, weeping and speaking to
her; but she answered only in sighs, till, having reached the gate,
that terminated the avenue, she seemed to have recovered her
consciousness, and, looking round, perceived how near they were to
the chateau.  'We must part here,' said she, stopping, 'Why prolong
these moments?  Teach me the fortitude I have forgot.'

Valancourt struggled to assume a composed air.  'Farewell, my love!'
said he, in a voice of solemn tenderness--'trust me we shall meet
again--meet for each other--meet to part no more!'  His voice
faltered, but, recovering it, he proceeded in a firmer tone.  'You
know not what I shall suffer, till I hear from you; I shall omit no
opportunity of conveying to you my letters, yet I tremble to think
how few may occur.  And trust me, love, for your dear sake, I will
try to bear this absence with fortitude.  O how little I have shewn
to-night!'

'Farewell!' said Emily faintly.  'When you are gone, I shall think of
many things I would have said to you.'  'And I of many--many!' said
Valancourt; 'I never left you yet, that I did not immediately
remember some question, or some entreaty, or some circumstance,
concerning my love, that I earnestly wished to mention, and feel
wretched because I could not.  O Emily! this countenance, on which I
now gaze--will, in a moment, be gone from my eyes, and not all the
efforts of fancy will be able to recall it with exactness.  O! what
an infinite difference between this moment and the next!  NOW, I am
in your presence, can behold you! THEN, all will be a dreary blank--
and I shall be a wanderer, exiled from my only home!'

Valancourt again pressed her to his heart, and held her there in
silence, weeping.  Tears once again calmed her oppressed mind.  They
again bade each other farewell, lingered a moment, and then parted. 
Valancourt seemed to force himself from the spot; he passed hastily
up the avenue, and Emily, as she moved slowly towards the chateau,
heard his distant steps.  she listened to the sounds, as they sunk
fainter and fainter, till the melancholy stillness of night alone
remained; and then hurried to her chamber, to seek repose, which,
alas! was fled from her wretchedness.


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