Where'er I roam, whatever realms I see,
My heart untravell'd still shall turn to thee.
The carriages were at the gates at an early hour; the bustle of the
domestics, passing to and fro in the galleries, awakened Emily from
harassing slumbers: her unquiet mind had, during the night,
presented her with terrific images and obscure circumstances,
concerning her affection and her future life. She now
chase away the impressions they had left on her fancy; but from
imaginary evils she awoke to the consciousness of real ones.
Recollecting that she had parted with Valancourt, perhaps for ever,
her heart sickened as memory revived. But she tried to
dismal forebodings that crowded on her mind, and to restrain the
sorrow which she could not subdue; efforts which diffused over the
settled melancholy of her countenance an expression of tempered
resignation, as a thin veil, thrown over the features of beauty,
renders them more interesting by a partial concealment. But
Montoni observed nothing in this countenance except its usual
paleness, which attracted her censure. She told her niece,
had been indulging in fanciful sorrows, and begged she would have
more regard for decorum, than to let the world see that she could not
renounce an improper attachment; at which Emily's pale cheek became
flushed with crimson, but it was the blush of pride, and she made no
answer. Soon after, Montoni entered the breakfast room, spoke
little, and seemed impatient to be gone.
The windows of this room opened upon the garden. As Emily
them, she saw the spot where she had parted with Valancourt on the
preceding night: the remembrance pressed heavily on her
she turned hastily away from the object that had awakened it.
The baggage being at length adjusted, the travellers entered their
carriages, and Emily would have left the chateau without one sigh of
regret, had it not been situated in the neighbourhood of Valancourt's
From a little eminence she looked back upon Tholouse, and the far-
seen plains of Gascony,
broken summits of the
appeared on the distant
lighted up by a morning
sun. 'Dear pleasant mountains!' said she to herself, 'how
it be ere I see ye again, and how much may happen to make me
miserable in the interval! Oh, could I now be certain, that I
ever return to ye, and find that Valancourt still lived for me, I
should go in peace! He will still gaze on ye, gaze when I am
The trees, that impended over the high banks of the road and formed a
line of perspective with the distant country, now threatened to
exclude the view of them; but the blueish mountains still appeared
beyond the dark foliage, and Emily continued to lean from the coach
window, till at length the closing branches shut them from her sight.
Another object soon caught her attention. She had scarcely
a person who walked along the bank, with his hat, in which was the
military feather, drawn over his eyes, before, at the sound of
wheels, he suddenly turned, and she perceived that it was Valancourt
himself, who waved his hand, sprung into the road, and through the
window of the carriage put a letter into her hand. He
smile through the despair that overspread his countenance as she
passed on. The remembrance of that smile seemed impressed on
mind for ever. She leaned from the window, and saw him on a
the broken bank, leaning against the high trees that waved over him,
and pursuing the carriage with his eyes. He waved his hand,
continued to gaze till distance confused his figure, and at length
another turn of the road entirely separated him from her sight.
Having stopped to take up Signor Cavigni at a chateau on the road,
the travellers, of whom Emily was disrespectfully seated with Madame
Montoni's woman in a second carriage, pursued their way over the
plains of Languedoc.
The presence of this servant restrained Emily
from reading Valancourt's letter, for she did not choose to expose
the emotions it might occasion to the observation of any
such was her wish to read this his last communication, that her
trembling hand was every moment on the point of breaking the seal.
At length they reached the village, where they staid only to change
horses, without alighting, and it was not till they stopped to dine,
that Emily had an opportunity of reading the letter. Though
never doubted the sincerity of Valancourt's affection, the fresh
assurances she now received of it revived her spirits; she wept over
his letter in tenderness, laid it by to be referred to when they
should be particularly depressed, and then thought of him with much
less anguish than she had done since they parted. Among some
requests, which were interesting to her, because expressive of his
tenderness, and because a compliance with them seemed to annihilate
for a while the pain of absence, he entreated she would always think
of him at sunset. 'You will then meet me in thought,' said
shall constantly watch the sun-set, and I shall be happy in the
belief, that your eyes are fixed upon the same object with mine, and
that our minds are conversing. You know not, Emily, the
promise myself from these moments; but I trust you will experience
It is unnecessary to say with what emotion Emily, on this evening,
watched the declining sun, over a long extent of plains, on which she
saw it set without interruption, and sink towards the province which
Valancourt inhabited. After this hour her mind became far
tranquil and resigned, than it had been since the marriage of Montoni
and her aunt.
During several days the travellers journeyed over the plains of
and then entering
winding for some time
among the mountains of that romantic province, they quitted their
carriages and began to ascend the Alps.
And here such scenes of
sublimity opened upon them as no colours of language must dare to
paint! Emily's mind was even so much engaged with new and
images, that they sometimes banished the idea of Valancourt, though
they more frequently revived it. These brought to her
the prospects among the Pyrenees,
had admired together,
and had believed nothing could excel in grandeur. How often
wish to express to him the new emotions which this astonishing
scenery awakened, and that he could partake of them!
she endeavoured to anticipate his remarks, and almost imagined him
present. she seemed to have arisen into another world, and to
left every trifling thought, every trifling sentiment, in that below;
those only of grandeur and sublimity now dilated her mind, and
elevated the affections of her heart.
With what emotions of sublimity, softened by tenderness, did she meet
Valancourt in thought, at the customary hour of sun-set, when,
wandering among the Alps, she watched the glorious orb sink amid
their summits, his last tints die away on their snowy points, and a
solemn obscurity steal over the scene! And when the last
faded, she turned her eyes from the west with somewhat of the
melancholy regret that is experienced after the departure of a
beloved friend; while these lonely feelings were heightened by the
spreading gloom, and by the low sounds, heard only when darkness
confines attention, which make the general stillness more impressive-
-leaves shook by the air, the last sigh of the breeze that lingers
after sun-set, or the murmur of distant streams.
During the first days of this journey among the Alps,
exhibited a wonderful mixture of solitude and inhabitation, of
cultivation and barrenness. On the edge of tremendous
and within the hollow of the cliffs, below which the clouds often
floated, were seen villages, spires, and convent towers; while green
pastures and vineyards spread their hues at the feet of perpendicular
rocks of marble, or of granite, whose points, tufted with alpine
shrubs, or exhibiting only massy crags, rose above each other, till
they terminated in the snow-topt mountain, whence the torrent fell,
that thundered along the valley.
The snow was not yet melted on the summit of Mount Cenis, over which
the travellers passed; but Emily, as she looked upon its clear lake
and extended plain, surrounded by broken cliffs, saw, in imagination,
the verdant beauty it would exhibit when the snows should be gone,
and the shepherds, leading up the midsummer flocks from Piedmont, to
pasture on its flowery summit, should add Arcadian figures to
As she descended on the Italian side, the precipices became still
more tremendous, and the prospects still more wild and majestic, over
which the shifting lights threw all the pomp of colouring.
delighted to observe the snowy tops of the mountains under the
passing influence of the day, blushing with morning, glowing with the
brightness of noon, or just tinted with the purple evening.
haunt of man could now only be discovered by the simple hut of the
shepherd and the hunter, or by the rough pine bridge thrown across
the torrent, to assist the latter in his chase of the chamois over
crags where, but for this vestige of man, it would have been believed
only the chamois or the wolf dared to venture. As Emily gazed
one of these perilous bridges, with the cataract foaming beneath it,
some images came to her mind, which she afterwards combined in the
The weary traveller, who, all night long,
Has climb'd among the Alps' tremendous steeps,
Skirting the pathless precipice, where throng
Wild forms of danger; as he onward creeps
If, chance, his anxious eye at distance sees
The mountain-shepherd's solitary home,
Peeping from forth the moon-illumin'd trees,
What sudden transports to his bosom come!
But, if between some hideous chasm yawn,
Where the cleft pine a doubtful bridge displays,
In dreadful silence, on the brink, forlorn
He stands, and views in the faint rays
Far, far below, the torrent's rising surge,
And listens to the wild impetuous roar;
Still eyes the depth, still shudders on the verge,
Fears to return, nor dares to venture o'er.
Desperate, at length the tottering plank he tries,
His weak steps slide, he shrieks, he sinks--he dies!
Emily, often as she travelled among the clouds, watched in silent awe
their billowy surges rolling below; sometimes, wholly closing upon
the scene, they appeared like a world of chaos, and, at others,
spreading thinly, they opened and admitted partial catches of the
landscape--the torrent, whose astounding roar had never failed,
tumbling down the rocky chasm, huge cliffs white with snow, or the
dark summits of the pine forests, that stretched mid-way down the
mountains. But who may describe her rapture, when, having
through a sea of vapour, she caught a first view of Italy; when, from
the ridge of one of those tremendous precipices that hang upon Mount
Cenis and guard the entrance of that enchanting country, she looked
down through the lower clouds, and, as they floated away, saw the
grassy vales of Piedmont at her feet, and, beyond, the plains of
Lombardy extending to the farthest distance, at which appeared, on
the faint horizon, the doubtful towers of Turin?
The solitary grandeur of the objects that immediately surrounded her,
the mountain-region towering above, the deep precipices that fell
beneath, the waving blackness of the forests of pine and oak, which
skirted their feet, or hung within their recesses, the headlong
torrents that, dashing among their cliffs, sometimes appeared like a
cloud of mist, at others like a sheet of ice--these were features
which received a higher character of sublimity from the reposing
beauty of the Italian landscape below, stretching to the wide
horizon, where the same melting blue tint seemed to unite earth and
Madame Montoni only shuddered as she looked down precipices near
whose edge the chairmen trotted lightly and swiftly, almost, as the
chamois bounded, and from which Emily too recoiled; but with her
fears were mingled such various emotions of delight, such admiration,
astonishment, and awe, as she had never experienced before.
Meanwhile the carriers, having come to a landing-place, stopped to
rest, and the travellers being seated on the point of a cliff,
Montoni and Cavigni renewed a dispute concerning Hannibal's
over the Alps, Montoni contending that he entered Italy
by way of
and Cavigni, that he passed over Mount St. Bernard.
subject brought to Emily's imagination the disasters he had suffered
in this bold and perilous adventure. She saw his vast armies
among the defiles, and over the tremendous cliffs of the mountains,
which at night were lighted up by his fires, or by the torches which
he caused to be carried when he pursued his indefatigable
the eye of fancy, she perceived the gleam of arms through the
duskiness of night, the glitter of spears and helmets, and the
banners floating dimly on the twilight; while now and then the blast
of a distant trumpet echoed along the defile, and the signal was
answered by a momentary clash of arms. She looked with horror
the mountaineers, perched on the higher cliffs, assailing the troops
below with broken fragments of the mountain; on soldiers and
elephants tumbling headlong down the lower precipices; and, as she
listened to the rebounding rocks, that followed their fall, the
terrors of fancy yielded to those of reality, and she shuddered to
behold herself on the dizzy height, whence she had pictured the
descent of others.
Madame Montoni, meantime, as she looked upon Italy, was contemplating
in imagination the splendour of palaces and the grandeur of castles,
such as she believed she was going to be mistress of at Venice and in
the Apennine, and she became, in idea, little less than a
Being no longer under the alarms which had deterred her from giving
entertainments to the beauties of Tholouse, whom Montoni had
mentioned with more eclat to his own vanity than credit to their
discretion, or regard to truth, she determined to give concerts,
though she had neither ear nor taste for music; conversazioni, though
she had no talents for conversation; and to outvie, if possible, in
the gaieties of her parties and the magnificence of her liveries, all
the noblesse of Venice. This blissful reverie was somewhat
when she recollected the Signor, her husband, who, though he was not
averse to the profit which sometimes results from such parties, had
always shewn a contempt of the frivolous parade that sometimes
attends them; till she considered that his pride might be gratified
by displaying, among his own friends, in his native city, the wealth
which he had neglected in France; and she courted again the splendid
illusions that had charmed her before.
The travellers, as they descended, gradually, exchanged the region of
winter for the genial warmth and beauty of spring. The sky
assume that serene and beautiful tint peculiar to the climate of
Italy; patches of young verdure, fragrant shrubs and flowers looked
gaily among the rocks, often fringing their rugged brows, or hanging
in tufts from their broken sides; and the buds of the oak and
mountain ash were expanding into foliage. Descending lower,
orange and the myrtle, every now and then, appeared in some sunny
nook, with their yellow blossoms peeping from among the dark green of
their leaves, and mingling with the scarlet flowers of the
pomegranate and the paler ones of the arbutus, that ran mantling to
the crags above; while, lower still, spread the pastures of Piedmont,
where early flocks were cropping the luxuriant herbage of spring.
The river Doria, which, rising on the summit of Mount Cenis, had
dashed for many leagues over the precipices that bordered the road,
now began to assume a less impetuous, though scarcely less romantic
character, as it approached the green vallies of Piedmont, into which
the travellers descended with the evening sun; and Emily found
herself once more amid the tranquil beauty of pastoral scenery; among
flocks and herds, and slopes tufted with woods of lively verdure and
with beautiful shrubs, such as she had often seen waving luxuriantly
over the alps above. The verdure of the pasturage, now varied
the hues of early flowers, among which were yellow ranunculuses and
pansey violets of delicious fragrance, she had never seen excelled.--
Emily almost wished to become a peasant of Piedmont, to inhabit one
of the pleasant embowered cottages which she saw peeping beneath the
cliffs, and to pass her careless hours among these romantic
landscapes. To the hours, the months, she was to pass under
dominion of Montoni, she looked with apprehension; while those which
were departed she remembered with regret and sorrow.
In the present scenes her fancy often gave her the figure of
Valancourt, whom she saw on a point of the cliffs, gazing with awe
and admiration on the imagery around him; or wandering pensively
along the vale below, frequently pausing to look back upon the
scenery, and then, his countenance glowing with the poet's fire,
pursuing his way to some overhanging heights. When she again
considered the time and the distance that were to separate them, that
every step she now took lengthened this distance, her heart sunk, and
the surrounding landscape charmed her no more.
The travellers, passing Novalesa, reached, after the evening had
closed, the small and antient town of Susa,
which had formerly
guarded this pass of the Alps into Piedmont.
The heights which
command it had, since the invention of artillery, rendered its
fortifications useless; but these romantic heights, seen by moon-
light, with the town below, surrounded by its walls and watchtowers,
and partially illumined, exhibited an interesting picture to
Here they rested for the night at an inn, which had little
accommodation to boast of; but the travellers brought with them the
hunger that gives delicious flavour to the coarsest viands, and the
weariness that ensures repose; and here Emily first caught a strain
of Italian music, on Italian ground. As she sat after supper
little window, that opened upon the country, observing an effect of
the moon-light on the broken surface of the mountains, and
remembering that on such a night as this she once had sat with her
father and Valancourt, resting upon a cliff of the Pyrenees, she
heard from below the long-drawn notes of a violin, of such tone and
delicacy of expression, as harmonized exactly with the tender
emotions she was indulging, and both charmed and surprised
Cavigni, who approached the window, smiled at her surprise.
nothing extraordinary,' said he, 'you will hear the same, perhaps, at
every inn on our way. It is one of our landlord's family who
I doubt not,' Emily, as she listened, thought he could be
less than a professor of music whom she heard; and the sweet and
plaintive strains soon lulled her into a reverie, from which she was
very unwillingly roused by the raillery of Cavigni, and by the voice
of Montoni, who gave orders to a servant to have the carriages ready
at an early hour on the following morning; and added, that he meant
to dine at Turin.
Madame Montoni was exceedingly rejoiced to be once more on level
ground; and, after giving a long detail of the various terrors she
had suffered, which she forgot that she was describing to the
companions of her dangers, she added a hope, that she should soon be
beyond the view of these horrid mountains, 'which all the world,'
said she, 'should not tempt me to cross again.' Complaining
fatigue she soon retired to rest, and Emily withdrew to her own room,
when she understood from Annette, her aunt's woman, that Cavigni was
nearly right in his conjecture concerning the musician, who had
awakened the violin with so much taste, for that he was the son of a
peasant inhabiting the neighbouring valley. 'He is going to
Carnival at Venice,' added Annette, 'for they say he has a fine hand
at playing, and will get a world of money; and the Carnival is just
going to begin: but for my part, I should like to live among
pleasant woods and hills, better than in a town; and they say
Ma'moiselle, we shall see no woods, or hills, or fields, at Venice,
for that it is built in the very middle of the sea.'
Emily agreed with the talkative Annette, that this young man was
making a change for the worse, and could not forbear silently
lamenting, that he should be drawn from the innocence and beauty of
these scenes, to the corrupt ones of that voluptuous city.
When she was alone, unable to sleep, the landscapes of her native
home, with Valancourt, and the circumstances of her departure,
haunted her fancy; she drew pictures of social happiness amidst the
grand simplicity of nature, such as she feared she had bade farewel
to for ever; and then, the idea of this young Piedmontese, thus
ignorantly sporting with his happiness, returned to her thoughts,
and, glad to escape awhile from the pressure of nearer interests, she
indulged her fancy in composing the following lines.
Ah, merry swain, who laugh'd along the vales,
And with your gay pipe made the mountains ring,
Why leave your cot, your woods, and thymy gales,
And friends belov'd, for aught that wealth can bring?
He goes to wake o'er moon-light seas the string,
Venetian gold his untaught fancy hails!
Yet oft of home his simple carols sing,
And his steps pause, as the last Alp he scales.
Once more he turns to view his native scene--
Far, far below, as roll the clouds away,
He spies his cabin 'mid the pine-tops green,
The well-known woods, clear brook, and pastures gay;
And thinks of friends and parents left behind,
Of sylvan revels, dance, and festive song;
And hears the faint reed swelling in the wind;
And his sad sighs the distant notes prolong!
Thus went the swain, till mountain-shadows fell,
And dimm'd the landscape to his aching sight;
And must he leave the vales he loves so well!
Can foreign wealth, and shows, his heart delight?
No, happy vales! your wild rocks still shall hear
His pipe, light sounding on the morning breeze;
Still shall he lead the flocks to streamlet clear,
And watch at eve beneath the western trees.
Away, Venetian gold--your charm is o'er!
And now his swift step seeks the lowland bow'rs,
Where, through the leaves, his cottage light ONCE MORE
Guides him to happy friends, and jocund hours.
Ah, merry swain! that laugh along the vales,
And with your gay pipe make the mountains ring,
Your cot, your woods, your thymy-scented gales--
And friends belov'd--more joy than wealth can bring!
TITANIA. If you will patiently dance in our round,
And see our moon-light revels, go with us.
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Early on the following morning, the travellers set out for Turin.
The luxuriant plain, that extends from the feet of the Alps to that
magnificent city, was not then, as now, shaded by an avenue of trees
nine miles in length; but plantations of olives, mulberry and palms,
festooned with vines, mingled with the pastoral scenery, through with
the rapid Po, after its descent from the mountains, wandered to meet
the humble Doria at Turin. As they advanced towards this
Alps, seen at some distance, began to appear in all their awful
sublimity; chain rising over chain in long succession, their higher
points darkened by the hovering clouds, sometimes hid, and at others
seen shooting up far above them; while their lower steeps, broken
into fantastic forms, were touched with blue and purplish tints,
which, as they changed in light and shade, seemed to open new scenes
to the eye. To the east stretched the plains of Lombardy,
towers of Turin
rising at a distance;
beyond, the Apennines,
bounding the horizon.
The general magnificence of that city, with its vistas of churches
and palaces, branching from the grand square, each opening to a
landscape of the distant Alps or Apennines, was not only such as
Emily had never seen in France, but such as she had never imagined.
Montoni, who had been often at Turin,
little about views of
any kind, did not comply with his wife's request, that they might
survey some of the palaces; but staying only till the necessary
refreshments could be obtained, they set forward for Venice
possible rapidity. Montoni's manner, during this journey, was
and even haughty; and towards Madame Montoni he was more especially
reserved; but it was not the reserve of respect so much as of pride
and discontent. Of Emily he took little notice.
conversations were commonly on political or military topics, such as
the convulsed state of their country rendered at this time
particularly interesting, Emily observed, that, at the mention of any
daring exploit, Montoni's eyes lost their sullenness, and seemed
instantaneously to gleam with fire; yet they still retained somewhat
of a lurking cunning, and she sometimes thought that their fire
partook more of the glare of malice than the brightness of valour,
though the latter would well have harmonized with the high chivalric
air of his figure, in which Cavigni, with all his gay and gallant
manners, was his inferior.
On entering the Milanese, the gentlemen exchanged their French hats
for the Italian cap of scarlet cloth, embroidered; and Emily was
somewhat surprised to observe, that Montoni added to his the military
plume, while Cavigni retained only the feather: which was
worn with such caps: but she at length concluded, that
assumed this ensign of a soldier for convenience, as a means of
passing with more safety through a country over-run with parties of
Over the beautiful plains of this country the devastations of war
were frequently visible. Where the lands had not been
lie uncultivated, they were often tracked with the steps of the
spoiler; the vines were torn down from the branches that had
supported them, the olives trampled upon the ground, and even the
groves of mulberry trees had been hewn by the enemy to light fires
that destroyed the hamlets and villages of their owners.
turned her eyes with a sigh from these painful vestiges of
contention, to the Alps
overlooked them to the
north, whose awful solitudes seemed to offer to persecuted man a
The travellers frequently distinguished troops of soldiers moving at
a distance; and they experienced, at the little inns on the road, the
scarcity of provision and other inconveniences, which are a part of
the consequence of intestine war; but they had never reason to be
much alarmed for their immediate safety, and they passed on to Milan
with little interruption of any kind, where they staid not to survey
the grandeur of the city, or even to view its vast cathedral, which
was then building.
the country wore the aspect of a ruder devastation; and
though every thing seemed now quiet, the repose was like that of
death, spread over features, which retain the impression of the last
It was not till they had passed the eastern limits of the Milanese,
that the travellers saw any troops since they had left Milan, when,
as the evening was drawing to a close, they descried what appeared to
be an army winding onward along the distant plains, whose spears and
other arms caught the last rays of the sun. As the column
through a part of the road, contracted between two hillocks, some of
the commanders, on horseback, were distinguished on a small eminence,
pointing and making signals for the march; while several of the
officers were riding along the line directing its progress, according
to the signs communicated by those above; and others, separating from
the vanguard, which had emerged from the pass, were riding carelessly
along the plains at some distance to the right of the army.
As they drew nearer, Montoni, distinguishing the feathers that waved
in their caps, and the banners and liveries of the bands that
followed them, thought he knew this to be the small army commanded by
the famous captain Utaldo, with whom, as well as with some of the
other chiefs, he was personally acquainted. He, therefore,
orders that the carriages should draw up by the side of the road, to
await their arrival, and give them the pass. A faint strain
martial music now stole by, and, gradually strengthening as the
troops approached, Emily distinguished the drums and trumpets, with
the clash of cymbals and of arms, that were struck by a small party,
in time to the march.
Montoni being now certain that these were the bands of the victorious
Utaldo, leaned from the carriage window, and hailed their general by
waving his cap in the air; which compliment the chief returned by
raising his spear, and then letting it down again suddenly, while
some of his officers, who were riding at a distance from the troops,
came up to the carriage, and saluted Montoni as an old
The captain himself soon after arriving, his bands halted while he
conversed with Montoni, whom he appeared much rejoiced to see; and
from what he said, Emily understood that this was a victorious army,
returning into their own principality; while the numerous waggons,
that accompanied them, contained the rich spoils of the enemy, their
own wounded soldiers, and the prisoners they had taken in battle, who
were to be ransomed when the peace, then negociating between the
neighbouring states, should be ratified. The chiefs on the
day were to separate, and each, taking his share of the spoil, was to
return with his own band to his castle. This was therefore to
evening of uncommon and general festivity, in commemoration of the
victory they had accomplished together, and of the farewell which the
commanders were about to take of each other.
Emily, as these officers conversed with Montoni, observed with
admiration, tinctured with awe, their high martial air, mingled with
the haughtiness of the nobless of those days, and heightened by the
gallantry of their dress, by the plumes towering on their caps, the
armorial coat, Persian sash, and ancient Spanish cloak.
telling Montoni that his army were going to encamp for the night near
a village at only a few miles distance, invited him to turn back and
partake of their festivity, assuring the ladies also, that they
should be pleasantly accommodated; but Montoni excused himself,
adding, that it was his design to reach Verona that evening; and,
after some conversation concerning the state of the country towards
that city, they parted.
The travellers proceeded without any interruption; but it was some
hours after sun-set before they arrived at Verona,
environs were therefore not seen by Emily till the following morning;
when, leaving that pleasant town at an early hour, they set off for
they embarked on the
Brenta for Venice.
was entirely changed; no vestiges of war, such as had deformed the
plains of the Milanese, appeared; on the contrary, all was peace and
elegance. The verdant banks of the Brenta exhibited a
landscape of beauty, gaiety, and splendour. Emily gazed with
admiration on the villas of the Venetian noblesse, with their cool
porticos and colonnades, overhung with poplars and cypresses of
majestic height and lively verdure; on their rich orangeries, whose
blossoms perfumed the air, and on the luxuriant willows, that dipped
their light leaves in the wave, and sheltered from the sun the gay
parties whose music came at intervals on the breeze. The
did, indeed, appear to extend from Venice along the whole line of
these enchanting shores; the river was gay with boats passing to that
city, exhibiting the fantastic diversity of a masquerade in the
dresses of the people within them; and, towards evening, groups of
dancers frequently were seen beneath the trees.
Cavigni, meanwhile, informed her of the names of the noblemen to whom
the several villas they passed belonged, adding light sketches of
their characters, such as served to amuse rather than to inform,
exhibiting his own wit instead of the delineation of truth.
was sometimes diverted by his conversation; but his gaiety did not
entertain Madame Montoni, as it had formerly done; she was frequently
grave, and Montoni retained his usual reserve.
Nothing could exceed Emily's admiration on her first view of Venice,
with its islets, palaces, and towers rising out of the sea, whose
clear surface reflected the tremulous picture in all its
The sun, sinking in the west, tinted the waves and the lofty
mountains of Friuli, which skirt the northern shores of the Adriatic,
with a saffron glow, while on the marble porticos and colonnades of
St. Mark were thrown the rich lights and shades of evening.
glided on, the grander features of this city appeared more
distinctly: its terraces, crowned with airy yet majestic
touched, as they now were, with the splendour of the setting sun,
appeared as if they had been called up from the ocean by the wand of
an enchanter, rather than reared by mortal hands.
The sun, soon after, sinking to the lower world, the shadow of the
earth stole gradually over the waves, and then up the towering sides
of the mountains of Friuli, till it extinguished even the last upward
beams that had lingered on their summits, and the melancholy purple
of evening drew over them, like a thin veil. How deep, how
was the tranquillity that wrapped the scene! All nature
repose; the finest emotions of the soul were alone awake.
eyes filled with tears of admiration and sublime devotion, as she
raised them over the sleeping world to the vast heavens, and heard
the notes of solemn music, that stole over the waters from a
distance. She listened in still rapture, and no person of the
broke the charm by an enquiry. The sounds seemed to grow on
for so smoothly did the barge glide along, that its motion was not
perceivable, and the fairy city appeared approaching to welcome the
strangers. They now distinguished a female voice, accompanied
few instruments, singing a soft and mournful air; and its fine
expression, as sometimes it seemed pleading with the impassioned
tenderness of love, and then languishing into the cadence of hopeless
grief, declared, that it flowed from no feigned sensibility.
thought Emily, as she sighed and remembered Valancourt, those strains
come from the heart!
She looked round, with anxious enquiry; the deep twilight, that had
fallen over the scene, admitted only imperfect images to the eye,
but, at some distance on the sea, she thought she perceived a
gondola: a chorus of voices and instruments now swelled on
so sweet, so solemn! it seemed like the hymn of angels descending
through the silence of night! Now it died away, and fancy
beheld the holy choir reascending towards heaven; then again it
swelled with the breeze, trembled awhile, and again died into
silence. It brought to Emily's recollection some lines of her
father, and she repeated in a low voice,
Oft I hear,
Upon the silence of the midnight air,
Celestial voices swell in holy chorus
That bears the soul to heaven!
The deep stillness, that succeeded, was as expressive as the strain
that had just ceased. It was uninterrupted for several
a general sigh seemed to release the company from their
Emily, however, long indulged the pleasing sadness, that had stolen
upon her spirits; but the gay and busy scene that appeared, as the
barge approached St. Mark's Place, at length roused her
The rising moon, which threw a shadowy light upon the terraces, and
illumined the porticos and magnificent arcades that crowned them,
discovered the various company, whose light steps, soft guitars, and
softer voices, echoed through the colonnades.
The music they heard before now passed Montoni's barge, in one of the
gondolas, of which several were seen skimming along the moon-light
sea, full of gay parties, catching the cool breeze. Most of
had music, made sweeter by the waves over which it floated, and by
the measured sound of oars, as they dashed the sparkling
gazed, and listened, and thought herself in a fairy scene; even
Madame Montoni was pleased; Montoni congratulated himself on his
return to Venice,
which he called the first city in the world, and
Cavigni was more gay and animated than ever.
The barge passed on to the grand canal, where Montoni's mansion was
situated. And here, other forms of beauty and of grandeur,
her imagination had never painted, were unfolded to Emily in the
palaces of Sansovino and Palladio, as she glided along the
The air bore no sounds, but those of sweetness, echoing along each
margin of the canal, and from gondolas on its surface, while groups
of masks were seen dancing on the moon-light terraces, and seemed
almost to realize the romance of fairyland.
The barge stopped before the portico of a large house, from whence a
servant of Montoni crossed the terrace, and immediately the party
disembarked. From the portico they passed a noble hall to a
case of marble, which led to a saloon, fitted up in a style of
magnificence that surprised Emily. The walls and ceilings
adorned with historical and allegorical paintings, in fresco; silver
tripods, depending from chains of the same metal, illumined the
apartment, the floor of which was covered with Indian mats painted in
a variety of colours and devices; the couches and drapery of the
lattices were of pale green silk, embroidered and fringed with green
and gold. Balcony lattices opened upon the grand canal,
a confusion of voices and of musical instruments, and the breeze that
gave freshness to the apartment. Emily, considering the
temper of Montoni, looked upon the splendid furniture of this house
with surprise, and remembered the report of his being a man of broken
fortune, with astonishment. 'Ah!' said she to herself, 'if
Valancourt could but see this mansion, what peace would it give
He would then be convinced that the report was groundless.'
Madame Montoni seemed to assume the air of a princess; but Montoni
was restless and discontented, and did not even observe the civility
of bidding her welcome to her home.
Soon after his arrival, he ordered his gondola, and, with Cavigni,
went out to mingle in the scenes of the evening. Madame then
serious and thoughtful. Emily, who was charmed with every
saw, endeavoured to enliven her; but reflection had not, with Madame
Montoni, subdued caprice and ill-humour, and her answers discovered
so much of both, that Emily gave up the attempt of diverting her, and
withdrew to a lattice, to amuse herself with the scene without, so
new and so enchanting.
The first object that attracted her notice was a group of dancers on
the terrace below, led by a guitar and some other
girl, who struck the guitar, and another, who flourished a
tambourine, passed on in a dancing step, and with a light grace and
gaiety of heart, that would have subdued the goddess of spleen in her
worst humour. After these came a group of fantastic figures,
dressed as gondolieri, others as minstrels, while others seemed to
defy all description. They sung in parts, their voices
by a few soft instruments. At a little distance from the
they stopped, and Emily distinguished the verses of Ariosto.
sung of the wars of the Moors against Charlemagne, and then of the
woes of Orlando:
afterwards the measure changed, and the melancholy
sweetness of Petrarch succeeded. The magic of his grief was
by all that Italian music and Italian expression, heightened by the
enchantments of Venetian moonlight, could give.
Emily, as she listened, caught the pensive enthusiasm; her tears
flowed silently, while her fancy bore her far away to France
Valancourt. Each succeeding sonnet, more full of charming
than the last, seemed to bind the spell of melancholy: with
regret she saw the musicians move on, and her attention followed the
strain till the last faint warble died in air. She then
sunk in that pensive tranquillity which soft music leaves on the
mind--a state like that produced by the view of a beautiful landscape
by moon-light, or by the recollection of scenes marked with the
tenderness of friends lost for ever, and with sorrows, which time has
mellowed into mild regret. Such scenes are indeed, to the
'those faint traces which the memory bears of music that is past'.
Other sounds soon awakened her attention: it was the solemn
of horns, that swelled from a distance; and, observing the gondolas
arrange themselves along the margin of the terraces, she threw on her
veil, and, stepping into the balcony, discerned, in the distant
perspective of the canal, something like a procession, floating on
the light surface of the water: as it approached, the horns
other instruments mingled sweetly, and soon after the fabled deities
of the city seemed to have arisen from the ocean; for Neptune, with
Venice personified as his queen, came on the undulating waves,
surrounded by tritons and sea-nymphs. The fantastic splendour
this spectacle, together with the grandeur of the surrounding
palaces, appeared like the vision of a poet suddenly embodied, and
the fanciful images, which it awakened in Emily's mind, lingered
there long after the procession had passed away. She indulged
herself in imagining what might be the manners and delights of a sea-
nymph, till she almost wished to throw off the habit of mortality,
and plunge into the green wave to participate them.
'How delightful,' said she, 'to live amidst the coral bowers and
crystal caverns of the ocean, with my sister nymphs, and listen to
the sounding waters above, and to the soft shells of the tritons! and
then, after sun-set, to skim on the surface of the waves round wild
rocks and along sequestered shores, where, perhaps, some pensive
wanderer comes to weep! Then would I soothe his sorrows with
sweet music, and offer him from a shell some of the delicious fruit
that hangs round Neptune's
She was recalled from her reverie to a mere mortal supper, and could
not forbear smiling at the fancies she had been indulging, and at her
conviction of the serious displeasure, which Madame Montoni would
have expressed, could she have been made acquainted with them.
After supper, her aunt sat late, but Montoni did not return, and she
at length retired to rest. If Emily had admired the
the saloon, she was not less surprised, on observing the half-
furnished and forlorn appearance of the apartments she passed in the
way to her chamber, whither she went through long suites of noble
rooms, that seemed, from their desolate aspect, to have been
unoccupied for many years. On the walls of some were the
remains of tapestry; from others, painted in fresco, the damps had
almost withdrawn both colours and design. At length she
own chamber, spacious, desolate, and lofty, like the rest, with high
lattices that opened towards the Adriatic.
It brought gloomy images
to her mind, but the view of the Adriatic soon gave her others more
airy, among which was that of the sea-nymph, whose delights she had
before amused herself with picturing; and, anxious to escape from
serious reflections, she now endeavoured to throw her fanciful ideas
into a train, and concluded the hour with composing the following
Down, down a thousand fathom deep,
Among the sounding seas I go;
Play round the foot of ev'ry steep
Whose cliffs above the ocean grow.
There, within their secret cares,
I hear the mighty rivers roar;
And guide their streams through Neptune's waves
To bless the green earth's inmost shore:
And bid the freshen'd waters glide,
For fern-crown'd nymphs of lake, or brook,
Through winding woods and pastures wide,
And many a wild, romantic nook.
For this the nymphs, at fall of eave,
Oft dance upon the flow'ry banks,
And sing my name, and garlands weave
To bear beneath the wave their thanks.
In coral bow'rs I love to lie,
And hear the surges roll above,
And through the waters view on high
The proud ships sail, and gay clouds move.
And oft at midnight's stillest hour,
When summer seas the vessel lave,
I love to prove my charmful pow'r
While floating on the moon-light wave.
And when deep sleep the crew has bound,
And the sad lover musing leans
O'er the ship's side, I breathe around
Such strains as speak no mortal means!
O'er the dim waves his searching eye
Sees but the vessel's lengthen'd shade;
Above--the moon and azure sky;
Entranc'd he hears, and half afraid!
Sometimes, a single note I swell,
That, softly sweet, at distance dies;
Then wake the magic of my shell,
And choral voices round me rise!
The trembling youth, charm'd by my strain,
Calls up the crew, who, silent, bend
O'er the high deck, but list in vain;
My song is hush'd, my wonders end!
Within the mountain's woody bay,
Where the tall bark at anchor rides,
At twilight hour, with tritons gay,
I dance upon the lapsing tides:
And with my sister-nymphs I sport,
Till the broad sun looks o'er the floods;
Then, swift we seek our crystal court,
Deep in the wave, 'mid Neptune's woods.
In cool arcades and glassy halls
We pass the sultry hours of noon,
Beyond wherever sun-beam falls,
Weaving sea-flowers in gay festoon.
The while we chant our ditties sweet
To some soft shell that warbles near;
Join'd by the murmuring currents, fleet,
That glide along our halls so clear.
There, the pale pearl and sapphire blue,
And ruby red, and em'rald green,
Dart from the domes a changing hue,
And sparry columns deck the scene.
When the dark storm scowls o'er the deep,
And long, long peals of thunder sound,
On some high cliff my watch I keep
O'er all the restless seas around:
Till on the ridgy wave afar
Comes the lone vessel, labouring slow,
Spreading the white foam in the air,
With sail and top-mast bending low.
Then, plunge I 'mid the ocean's roar,
My way by quiv'ring lightnings shewn,
To guide the bark to peaceful shore,
And hush the sailor's fearful groan.
And if too late I reach its side
To save it from the 'whelming surge,
I call my dolphins o'er the tide,
To bear the crew where isles emerge.
Their mournful spirits soon I cheer,
While round the desert coast I go,
With warbled songs they faintly hear,
Oft as the stormy gust sinks low.
My music leads to lofty groves,
That wild upon the sea-bank wave;
Where sweet fruits bloom, and fresh spring roves,
And closing boughs the tempest brave.
Then, from the air spirits obey
My potent voice they love so well,
And, on the clouds, paint visions gay,
While strains more sweet at distance swell.
And thus the lonely hours I cheat,
Soothing the ship-wreck'd sailor's heart,
Till from the waves the storms retreat,
And o'er the east the day-beams dart.
for this oft binds me
To rocks below, with coral chain,
Till all the tempest's over-past,
And drowning seamen cry in vain.
Whoe'er ye are that love my lay,
Come, when red sun-set tints the wave,
To the still sands, where fairies play;
There, in cool seas, I love to lave.
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
he hears no music;
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit
that could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease,
While they behold a greater than themselves.
Montoni and his companion did not return home, till many hours after
the dawn had blushed upon the Adriatic.
The airy groups, which had
danced all night along the colonnade of St. Mark, dispersed before
the morning, like so many spirits. Montoni had been otherwise
engaged; his soul was little susceptible of light pleasures.
delighted in the energies of the passions; the difficulties and
tempests of life, which wreck the happiness of others, roused and
strengthened all the powers of his mind, and afforded him the highest
enjoyments, of which his nature was capable. Without some
strong interest, life was to him little more than a sleep; and, when
pursuits of real interest failed, he substituted artificial ones,
till habit changed their nature, and they ceased to be
this kind was the habit of gaming, which he had adopted, first, for
the purpose of relieving him from the languor of inaction, but had
since pursued with the ardour of passion. In this occupation
passed the night with Cavigni and a party of young men, who had more
money than rank, and more vice than either. Montoni despised
greater part of these for the inferiority of their talents, rather
than for their vicious inclinations, and associated with them only to
make them the instruments of his purposes. Among these,
were some of superior abilities, and a few whom Montoni admitted to
his intimacy, but even towards these he still preserved a decisive
and haughty air, which, while it imposed submission on weak and timid
minds, roused the fierce hatred of strong ones. He had, of
many and bitter enemies; but the rancour of their hatred proved the
degree of his power; and, as power was his chief aim, he gloried more
in such hatred, than it was possible he could in being
feeling so tempered as that of esteem, he despised, and would have
despised himself also had he thought himself capable of being
flattered by it.
Among the few whom he distinguished, were the Signors Bertolini,
Orsino, and Verezzi. The first was a man of gay temper,
passions, dissipated, and of unbounded extravagance, but generous,
brave, and unsuspicious. Orsino was reserved, and haughty;
power more than ostentation; of a cruel and suspicious temper; quick
to feel an injury, and relentless in avenging it; cunning and
unsearchable in contrivance, patient and indefatigable in the
execution of his schemes. He had a perfect command of feature
his passions, of which he had scarcely any, but pride, revenge and
avarice; and, in the gratification of these, few considerations had
power to restrain him, few obstacles to withstand the depth of his
stratagems. This man was the chief favourite of
was a man of some talent, of fiery imagination, and the slave of
alternate passions. He was gay, voluptuous, and daring; yet
neither perseverance or true courage, and was meanly selfish in all
his aims. Quick to form schemes, and sanguine in his hope of
success, he was the first to undertake, and to abandon, not only his
own plans, but those adopted from other persons. Proud and
impetuous, he revolted against all subordination; yet those who were
acquainted with his character, and watched the turn of his passions,
could lead him like a child.
Such were the friends whom Montoni introduced to his family and his
table, on the day after his arrival at Venice.
There were also of
the party a Venetian nobleman, Count Morano, and a Signora Livona,
whom Montoni had introduced to his wife, as a lady of distinguished
merit, and who, having called in the morning to welcome her to
Venice, had been requested to be of the dinner party.
Madame Montoni received with a very ill grace, the compliments of the
Signors. She disliked them, because they were the friends of
husband; hated them, because she believed they had contributed to
detain him abroad till so late an hour of the preceding morning; and
envied them, since, conscious of her own want of influence, she was
convinced, that he preferred their society to her own. The
Count Morano procured him that distinction which she refused to the
rest of the company. The haughty sullenness of her
manner, and the ostentatious extravagance of her dress, for she had
not yet adopted the Venetian habit, were strikingly contrasted by the
beauty, modesty, sweetness and simplicity of Emily, who observed,
with more attention than pleasure, the party around her. The
and fascinating manners of Signora Livona, however, won her
involuntary regard; while the sweetness of her accents and her air of
gentle kindness awakened with Emily those pleasing affections, which
so long had slumbered.
In the cool of the evening the party embarked in Montoni's gondola,
and rowed out upon the sea. The red glow of sun-set still
the waves, and lingered in the west, where the melancholy gleam
seemed slowly expiring, while the dark blue of the upper aether began
to twinkle with stars. Emily sat, given up to pensive and
emotions. The smoothness of the water, over which she glided,
reflected images--a new heaven and trembling stars below the waves,
with shadowy outlines of towers and porticos, conspired with the
stillness of the hour, interrupted only by the passing wave, or the
notes of distant music, to raise those emotions to
she listened to the measured sound of the oars, and to the remote
warblings that came in the breeze, her softened mind returned to the
memory of St. Aubert and to Valancourt, and tears stole to her
The rays of the moon, strengthening as the shadows deepened, soon
after threw a silvery gleam upon her countenance, which was partly
shaded by a thin black veil, and touched it with inimitable
Hers was the CONTOUR of a Madona, with the sensibility of a Magdalen;
and the pensive uplifted eye, with the tear that glittered on her
cheek, confirmed the expression of the character.
The last strain of distant music now died in air, for the gondola was
far upon the waves, and the party determined to have music of their
own. The Count Morano, who sat next to Emily, and who had
observing her for some time in silence, snatched up a lute, and
struck the chords with the finger of harmony herself, while his
voice, a fine tenor, accompanied them in a rondeau full of tender
sadness. To him, indeed, might have been applied that
exhortation of an English poet, had it then existed:
Strike up, my master,
But touch the strings with a religious softness!
Teach sounds to languish through the night's dull ear
Till Melancholy starts from off her couch,
And Carelessness grows concert to attention!
With such powers of expression the Count sung the following
Soft as yon silver ray, that sleeps
Upon the ocean's trembling tide;
Soft as the air, that lightly sweeps
Yon said, that swells in stately pride:
Soft as the surge's stealing note,
That dies along the distant shores,
Or warbled strain, that sinks remote--
So soft the sigh my bosom pours!
True as the wave to Cynthia's ray,
True as the vessel to the breeze,
True as the soul to music's sway,
Or music to Venetian seas:
Soft as yon silver beams, that sleep
Upon the ocean's trembling breast;
So soft, so true, fond Love shall weep,
So soft, so true, with THEE shall rest.
The cadence with which he returned from the last stanza to a
repetition of the first; the fine modulation in which his voice stole
upon the first line, and the pathetic energy with which it pronounced
the last, were such as only exquisite taste could give. When
concluded, he gave the lute with a sigh to Emily, who, to avoid any
appearance of affectation, immediately began to play. She
melancholy little air, one of the popular songs of her native
province, with a simplicity and pathos that made it
its well-known melody brought so forcibly to her fancy the scenes and
the persons, among which she had often heard it, that her spirits
were overcome, her voice trembled and ceased--and the strings of the
lute were struck with a disordered hand; till, ashamed of the emotion
she had betrayed, she suddenly passed on to a song so gay and airy,
that the steps of the dance seemed almost to echo to the
BRAVISSIMO! burst instantly from the lips of her delighted auditors,
and she was compelled to repeat the air. Among the
followed, those of the Count were not the least audible, and they had
not concluded, when Emily gave the instrument to Signora Livona,
whose voice accompanied it with true Italian taste.
Afterwards, the Count, Emily, Cavigni, and the Signora, sung
canzonettes, accompanied by a couple of lutes and a few other
instruments. Sometimes the instruments suddenly ceased, and
voices dropped from the full swell of harmony into a low chant; then,
after a deep pause, they rose by degrees, the instruments one by one
striking up, till the loud and full chorus soared again to heaven!
Meanwhile, Montoni, who was weary of this harmony, was considering
how he might disengage himself from his party, or withdraw with such
of it as would be willing to play, to a Casino. In a pause of
music, he proposed returning to shore, a proposal which Orsino
eagerly seconded, but which the Count and the other gentlemen as
Montoni still meditated how he might excuse himself from longer
attendance upon the Count, for to him only he thought excuse
necessary, and how he might get to land, till the gondolieri of an
empty boat, returning to Venice,
hailed his people. Without
troubling himself longer about an excuse, he seized this opportunity
of going thither, and, committing the ladies to the care of his
friends, departed with Orsino, while Emily, for the first time, saw
him go with regret; for she considered his presence a protection,
though she knew not what she should fear. He landed at St.
and, hurrying to a Casino, was soon lost amidst a crowd of gamesters.
Meanwhile, the Count having secretly dispatched a servant in
Montoni's boat, for his own gondola and musicians, Emily heard,
without knowing his project, the gay song of gondolieri approaching,
as they sat on the stern of the boat, and saw the tremulous gleam of
the moon-light wave, which their oars disturbed. Presently
the sound of instruments, and then a full symphony swelled on the
air, and, the boats meeting, the gondolieri hailed each
count then explaining himself, the party removed into his gondola,
which was embellished with all that taste could bestow.
While they partook of a collation of fruits and ice, the whole band,
following at a distance in the other boat, played the most sweet and
enchanting strains, and the Count, who had again seated himself by
Emily, paid her unremitted attention, and sometimes, in a low but
impassioned voice, uttered compliments which she could not
misunderstand. To avoid them she conversed with Signora
her manner to the Count assumed a mild reserve, which, though
dignified, was too gentle to repress his assiduities: he
hear, speak to no person, but Emily while Cavigni observed him now
and then, with a look of displeasure, and Emily, with one of
uneasiness. she now wished for nothing so much as to return
was near mid-night before the gondolas approached St.
Mark's Place, where the voice of gaiety and song was loud.
hum of mingling sounds was heard at a considerable distance on the
water, and, had not a bright moon-light discovered the city, with its
terraces and towers, a stranger would almost have credited the fabled
wonders of Neptune's
the tumult arose from
beneath the waves.
They landed at St. Mark's, where the gaiety of the colonnades and the
beauty of the night, made Madame Montoni willingly submit to the
Count's solicitations to join the promenade, and afterwards to take a
supper with the rest of the party, at his Casino. If any
have dissipated Emily's uneasiness, it would have been the grandeur,
gaiety, and novelty of the surrounding scene, adorned with Palladio's
palaces, and busy with parties of masqueraders.
At length they withdrew to the Casino, which was fitted up with
infinite taste, and where a splendid banquet was prepared; but here
Emily's reserve made the Count perceive, that it was necessary for
his interest to win the favour of Madame Montoni, which, from the
condescension she had already shewn to him, appeared to be an
achievement of no great difficulty. He transferred,
of his attention from Emily to her aunt, who felt too much flattered
by the distinction even to disguise her emotion; and before the party
broke up, he had entirely engaged the esteem of Madame
whenever he addressed her, her ungracious countenance relaxed into
smiles, and to whatever he proposed she assented. He invited
with the rest of the party, to take coffee, in his box at the opera,
on the following evening, and Emily heard the invitation accepted,
with strong anxiety, concerning the means of excusing herself from
attending Madame Montoni thither.
It was very late before their gondola was ordered, and Emily's
surprise was extreme, when, on quitting the Casino, she beheld the
broad sun rising out of the Adriatic,
St. Mark's Place was yet
crowded with company. Sleep had long weighed heavily on her
but now the fresh sea-breeze revived her, and she would have quitted
the scene with regret, had not the Count been present, performing the
duty, which he had imposed upon himself, of escorting them
There they heard that Montoni was not yet returned; and his wife,
retiring in displeasure to her apartment, at length released Emily
from the fatigue of further attendance.
Montoni came home late in the morning, in a very ill humour, having
lost considerably at play, and, before he withdrew to rest, had a
private conference with Cavigni, whose manner, on the following day,
seemed to tell, that the subject of it had not been pleasing to him.
In the evening, Madame Montoni, who, during the day, had observed a
sullen silence towards her husband, received visits from some
Venetian ladies, with whose sweet manners Emily was particularly
charmed. They had an air of ease and kindness towards the
as if they had been their familiar friends for years; and their
conversation was by turns tender, sentimental and gay.
though she had no taste for such conversation, and whose coarseness
and selfishness sometimes exhibited a ludicrous contrast to their
excessive refinement, could not remain wholly insensible to the
captivations of their manner.
In a pause of conversation, a lady who was called Signora Herminia
took up a lute, and began to play and sing, with as much easy gaiety,
as if she had been alone. Her voice was uncommonly rich in
various in expression; yet she appeared to be entirely unconscious of
its powers, and meant nothing less than to display them. She
from the gaiety of her heart, as she sat with her veil half thrown
back, holding gracefully the lute, under the spreading foliage and
flowers of some plants, that rose from baskets, and interlaced one of
the lattices of the saloon. Emily, retiring a little from the
company, sketched her figure, with the miniature scenery around her,
and drew a very interesting picture, which, though it would not,
perhaps, have borne criticism, had spirit and taste enough to awaken
both the fancy and the heart. When she had finished it, she
presented it to the beautiful original, who was delighted with the
offering, as well as the sentiment it conveyed, and assured Emily,
with a smile of captivating sweetness, that she should preserve it as
a pledge of her friendship.
In the evening Cavigni joined the ladies, but Montoni had other
engagements; and they embarked in the gondola for St. Mark's, where
the same gay company seemed to flutter as on the preceding
The cool breeze, the glassy sea, the gentle sound of its waves, and
the sweeter murmur of distant music; the lofty porticos and arcades,
and the happy groups that sauntered beneath them; these, with every
feature and circumstance of the scene, united to charm Emily, no
longer teased by the officious attentions of Count Morano.
she looked upon the moon-light sea, undulating along the walls of St.
Mark, and, lingering for a moment over those walls, caught the sweet
and melancholy song of some gondolier as he sat in his boat below,
waiting for his master, her softened mind returned to the memory of
her home, of her friends, and of all that was dear in her native
After walking some time, they sat down at the door of a Casino, and,
while Cavigni was accommodating them with coffee and ice, were joined
by Count Morano. He sought Emily with a look of impatient
who, remembering all the attention he had shewn her on the preceding
evening, was compelled, as before, to shrink from his assiduities
into a timid reserve, except when she conversed with Signora Herminia
and the other ladies of her party.
It was near midnight before they withdrew to the opera, where Emily
was not so charmed but that, when she remembered the scene she had
just quitted, she felt how infinitely inferior all the splendour of
art is to the sublimity of nature. Her heart was not now
tears of admiration did not start to her eyes, as when she viewed the
vast expanse of ocean, the grandeur of the heavens, and listened to
the rolling waters, and to the faint music that, at intervals,
mingled with their roar. Remembering these, the scene before
faded into insignificance.
Of the evening, which passed on without any particular incident, she
wished the conclusion, that she might escape from the attentions of
the Count; and, as opposite qualities frequently attract each other
in our thoughts, thus Emily, when she looked on Count Morano,
remembered Valancourt, and a sigh sometimes followed the
Several weeks passed in the course of customary visits, during which
nothing remarkable occurred. Emily was amused by the manners
scenes that surrounded her, so different from those of France,
where Count Morano, too frequently for her comfort, contrived to
introduce himself. His manner, figure and accomplishments,
were generally admired, Emily would, perhaps, have admired also, had
her heart been disengaged from Valancourt, and had the Count forborne
to persecute her with officious attentions, during which she observed
some traits in his character, that prejudiced her against whatever
might otherwise be good in it.
Soon after his arrival at Venice,
Montoni received a packet from M.
Quesnel, in which the latter mentioned the death of his wife's uncle,
at his villa on the Brenta; and that, in consequence of this event,
he should hasten to take possession of that estate and of other
effects bequeathed to him. This uncle was the brother of
Quesnel's late mother; Montoni was related to her by the father's
side, and though he could have had neither claim nor expectation
concerning these possessions, he could scarcely conceal the envy
which M. Quesnel's letter excited.
Emily had observed with concern, that, since they left France,
Montoni had not even affected kindness towards her aunt, and that,
after treating her, at first, with neglect, he now met her with
uniform ill-humour and reserve. She had never supposed, that
aunt's foibles could have escaped the discernment of Montoni, or that
her mind or figure were of a kind to deserve his attention.
surprise, therefore, at this match, had been extreme; but since he
had made the choice, she did not suspect that he would so openly have
discovered his contempt of it. But Montoni, who had been
the seeming wealth of Madame Cheron, was now severely disappointed by
her comparative poverty, and highly exasperated by the deceit she had
employed to conceal it, till concealment was no longer
had been deceived in an affair, wherein he meant to be the deceiver;
out-witted by the superior cunning of a woman, whose understanding he
despised, and to whom he had sacrificed his pride and his liberty,
without saving himself from the ruin, which had impended over his
head. Madame Montoni had contrived to have the greatest part
she really did possess, settled upon herself: what remained,
it was totally inadequate both to her husband's expectations, and to
his necessities, he had converted into money, and brought with him to
Venice, that he might a little longer delude society, and make a last
effort to regain the fortunes he had lost.
The hints which had been thrown out to Valancourt, concerning
Montoni's character and condition, were too true; but it was now left
to time and occasion, to unfold the circumstances, both of what had,
and of what had not been hinted, and to time and occasion we commit
Madame Montoni was not of a nature to bear injuries with meekness, or
to resent them with dignity: her exasperated pride displayed
in all the violence and acrimony of a little, or at least of an ill-
regulated mind. She would not acknowledge, even to herself,
had in any degree provoked contempt by her duplicity, but weakly
persisted in believing, that she alone was to be pitied, and Montoni
alone to be censured; for, as her mind had naturally little
perception of moral obligation, she seldom understood its force but
when it happened to be violated towards herself: her vanity
already been severely shocked by a discovery of Montoni's contempt;
it remained to be farther reproved by a discovery of his
circumstances. His mansion at Venice,
though its furniture
discovered a part of the truth to unprejudiced persons, told nothing
to those who were blinded by a resolution to believe whatever they
wished. Madame Montoni still thought herself little less than
princess, possessing a palace at Venice,
castle among the
To the castle
indeed, Montoni sometimes
talked of going for a few weeks to examine into its condition, and to
receive some rents; for it appeared that he had not been there for
two years, and that, during this period, it had been inhabited only
by an old servant, whom he called his steward.
Emily listened to the mention of this journey with pleasure, for she
not only expected from it new ideas, but a release from the
persevering assiduities of Count Morano. In the country, too,
would have leisure to think of Valancourt, and to indulge the
melancholy, which his image, and a recollection of the scenes of La
Vallee, always blessed with the memory of her parents,
ideal scenes were dearer, and more soothing to her heart, than all
the splendour of gay assemblies; they were a kind of talisman that
expelled the poison of temporary evils, and supported her hopes of
happy days: they appeared like a beautiful landscape, lighted
a gleam of sun-shine, and seen through a perspective of dark and
But Count Morano did not long confine himself to silent assiduities;
he declared his passion to Emily, and made proposals to Montoni, who
encouraged, though Emily rejected, him: with Montoni for his
and an abundance of vanity to delude him, he did not despair of
success. Emily was astonished and highly disgusted at his
perseverance, after she had explained her sentiments with a frankness
that would not allow him to misunderstand them.
He now passed the greater part of his time at Montoni's, dining there
almost daily, and attending Madame and Emily wherever they went; and
all this, notwithstanding the uniform reserve of Emily, whose aunt
seemed as anxious as Montoni to promote this marriage; and would
never dispense with her attendance at any assembly where the Count
proposed to be present.
Montoni now said nothing of his intended journey, of which Emily
waited impatiently to hear; and he was seldom at home but when the
Count, or Signor Orsino, was there, for between himself and Cavigni a
coolness seemed to subsist, though the latter remained in his
With Orsino, Montoni was frequently closeted for hours together, and,
whatever might be the business, upon which they consulted, it
appeared to be of consequence, since Montoni often sacrificed to it
his favourite passion for play, and remained at home the whole
There was somewhat of privacy, too, in the manner of Orsino's visits,
which had never before occurred, and which excited not only surprise,
but some degree of alarm in Emily's mind, who had unwillingly
discovered much of his character when he had most endeavoured to
disguise it. After these visits, Montoni was often more
than usual; sometimes the deep workings of his mind entirely
abstracted him from surrounding objects, and threw a gloom over his
visage that rendered it terrible; at others, his eyes seemed almost
to flash fire, and all the energies of his soul appeared to be roused
for some great enterprise. Emily observed these written
of his thoughts with deep interest, and not without some degree of
awe, when she considered that she was entirely in his power; but
forbore even to hint her fears, or her observations, to Madame
Montoni, who discerned nothing in her husband, at these times, but
his usual sternness.
A second letter from M. Quesnel announced the arrival of himself and
his lady at the Villa Miarenti; stated several circumstances of his
good fortune, respecting the affair that had brought him into Italy;
and concluded with an earnest request to see Montoni, his wife and
niece, at his new estate.
Emily received, about the same period, a much more interesting
letter, and which soothed for a while every anxiety of her
Valancourt, hoping she might be still at Venice,
had trusted a letter
to the ordinary post, that told her of his health, and of his
unceasing and anxious affection. He had lingered at Tholouse
some time after her departure, that he might indulge the melancholy
pleasure of wandering through the scenes where he had been accustomed
to behold her, and had thence gone to his brother's chateau, which
was in the neighbourhood of La Vallee. Having mentioned this,
added, 'If the duty of attending my regiment did not require my
departure, I know not when I should have resolution enough to quit
the neighbourhood of a place which is endeared by the remembrance of
you. The vicinity to La Vallee has alone detained me thus
Estuviere: I frequently ride thither early in the morning,
may wander, at leisure, through the day, among scenes, which were
once your home, where I have been accustomed to see you, and to hear
you converse. I have renewed my acquaintance with the good
Theresa, who rejoiced to see me, that she might talk of you:
not say how much this circumstance attached me to her, or how eagerly
I listened to her upon her favourite subject. You will guess
motive that first induced me to make myself known to Theresa:
was, indeed, no other than that of gaining admittance into the
chateau and gardens, which my Emily had so lately inhabited:
then, I wander, and meet your image under every shade: but
love to sit beneath the spreading branches of your favourite plane,
where once, Emily, we sat together; where I first ventured to tell
you, that I loved. O Emily! the remembrance of those moments
overcomes me--I sit lost in reverie--I endeavour to see you dimly
through my tears, in all the heaven of peace and innocence, such as
you then appeared to me; to hear again the accents of that voice,
which then thrilled my heart with tenderness and hope. I lean
wall of the terrace, where we together watched the rapid current of
the Garonne below,
while I described
scenery about its
source, but thought only of you. O Emily! are these moments
for ever--will they never more return?'
In another part of his letter he wrote thus. 'You see my
dated on many different days, and, if you look back to the first, you
will perceive, that I began to write soon after your departure from
To write was, indeed, the only employment that withdrew me
from my own melancholy, and rendered your absence supportable, or
rather, it seemed to destroy absence; for, when I was conversing with
you on paper, and telling you every sentiment and affection of my
heart, you almost appeared to be present. This employment has
from time to time my chief consolation, and I have deferred sending
off my packet, merely for the comfort of prolonging it, though it was
certain, that what I had written, was written to no purpose till you
received it. Whenever my mind has been more than usually
have come to pour forth its sorrows to you, and have always found
consolation; and, when any little occurrence has interested my heart,
and given a gleam of joy to my spirits, I have hastened to
communicate it to you, and have received reflected
Thus, my letter is a kind of picture of my life and of my thoughts
for the last month, and thus, though it has been deeply interesting
to me, while I wrote it, and I dare hope will, for the same reason,
be not indifferent to you, yet to other readers it would seem to
Thus it is always, when we attempt to
describe the finer movements of the heart, for they are too fine to
be discerned, they can only be experienced, and are therefore passed
over by the indifferent observer, while the interested one feels,
that all description is imperfect and unnecessary, except as it may
prove the sincerity of the writer, and sooth his own
will pardon all this egotism--for I am a lover.'
'I have just heard of a circumstance, which entirely destroys all my
fairy paradise of ideal delight, and which will reconcile me to the
necessity of returning to my regiment, for I must no longer wander
beneath the beloved shades, where I have been accustomed to meet you
in thought.--La Vallee is let! I have reason to believe this
without your knowledge, from what Theresa told me this morning, and,
therefore, I mention the circumstance. She shed tears, while
related, that she was going to leave the service of her dear
mistress, and the chateau where she had lived so many happy years;
and all this, added she, without even a letter from Mademoiselle to
soften the news; but it is all Mons.
Quesnel's doings, and I dare say
she does not even know what is going forward.'
'Theresa added, That she had received a letter from him, informing
her the chateau was let, and that, as her services would no longer be
required, she must quit the place, on that day week, when the new
tenant would arrive.'
'Theresa had been surprised by a visit from M. Quesnel, some time
before the receipt of this letter, who was accompanied by a stranger
that viewed the premises with much curiosity.'
Towards the conclusion of his letter, which is dated a week after
this sentence, Valancourt adds, 'I have received a summons from my
regiment, and I join it without regret, since I am shut out from the
scenes that are so interesting to my heart. I rode to La
morning, and heard that the new tenant was arrived, and that Theresa
was gone. I should not treat the subject thus familiarly if I
not believe you to be uninformed of this disposal of your house; for
your satisfaction I have endeavoured to learn something of the
character and fortune of your tenant, but without success. He
gentleman, they say, and this is all I can hear. The place,
wandered round the boundaries, appeared more melancholy to my
imagination, than I had ever seen it. I wished earnestly to
admittance, that I might have taken another leave of your favourite
plane-tree, and thought of you once more beneath its shade:
forbore to tempt the curiosity of strangers: the
the woods, however, was still open to me; thither I went, and passed
an hour, which I cannot even look back upon without emotion.
Emily! surely we are not separated for ever--surely we shall live for
This letter brought many tears to Emily's eyes; tears of tenderness
and satisfaction on learning that Valancourt was well, and that time
and absence had in no degree effaced her image from his
were passages in this letter which particularly affected her, such as
those describing his visits to La Vallee, and the sentiments of
delicate affection that its scenes had awakened. It was a
considerable time before her mind was sufficiently abstracted from
Valancourt to feel the force of his intelligence concerning La
Vallee. That Mons.
Quesnel should let it, without even consulting
her on the measure, both surprised and shocked her, particularly as
it proved the absolute authority he thought himself entitled to
exercise in her affairs. It is true, he had proposed, before
left France, that the chateau should be let, during her absence, and
to the oeconomical prudence of this she had nothing to object; but
the committing what had been her father's villa to the power and
caprice of strangers, and the depriving herself of a sure home,
should any unhappy circumstances make her look back to her home as an
asylum, were considerations that made her, even then, strongly oppose
the measure. Her father, too, in his last hour, had received
her a solemn promise never to dispose of La Vallee; and this she
considered as in some degree violated if she suffered the place to be
let. But it was now evident with how little respect M.
regarded these objections, and how insignificant he considered every
obstacle to pecuniary advantage. It appeared, also, that he
even condescended to inform Montoni of the step he had taken, since
no motive was evident for Montoni's concealing the circumstance from
her, if it had been made known to him: this both displeased
surprised her; but the chief subjects of her uneasiness were--the
temporary disposal of La Vallee, and the dismission of her father's
old and faithful servant.--'Poor Theresa,' said Emily, 'thou hadst
not saved much in thy servitude, for thou wast always tender towards
the poor, and believd'st thou shouldst die in the family, where thy
best years had been spent. Poor Theresa!--now thou art turned
thy old age to seek thy bread!'
Emily wept bitterly as these thoughts passed over her mind, and she
determined to consider what could be done for Theresa, and to talk
very explicitly to M. Quesnel on the subject; but she much feared
that his cold heart could feel only for itself. She
to enquire whether he had made any mention of her affairs, in his
letter to Montoni, who soon gave her the opportunity she sought, by
desiring that she would attend him in his study. She had
doubt, that the interview was intended for the purpose of
communicating to her a part of M. Quesnel's letter concerning the
transactions at La Vallee, and she obeyed him immediately.
'I have just been writing to Mons.
Quesnel,' said he when Emily
appeared, 'in reply to the letter I received from him a few days ago,
and I wished to talk to you upon a subject that occupied part of it.'
'I also wished to speak with you on this topic, sir,' said Emily.
'It is a subject of some interest to you, undoubtedly,' rejoined
Montoni, 'and I think you must see it in the light that I do; indeed
it will not bear any other. I trust you will agree with me,
objection founded on sentiment, as they call it, ought to yield to
circumstances of solid advantage.'
'Granting this, sir,' replied Emily, modestly, 'those of humanity
ought surely to be attended to. But I fear it is now too late
deliberate upon this plan, and I must regret, that it is no longer in
my power to reject it.'
'It is too late,' said Montoni; 'but since it is so, I am pleased to
observe, that you submit to reason and necessity without indulging
useless complaint. I applaud this conduct exceedingly, the
perhaps, since it discovers a strength of mind seldom observable in
your sex. When you are older you will look back with
the friends who assisted in rescuing you from the romantic illusions
of sentiment, and will perceive, that they are only the snares of
childhood, and should be vanquished the moment you escape from the
nursery. I have not closed my letter, and you may add a few
inform your uncle of your acquiescence. You will soon see
it is my intention to take you, with Madame Montoni, in a few days to
Miarenti, and you can then talk over the affair.'
Emily wrote on the opposite page of the paper as follows:
'It is now useless, sir, for me to remonstrate upon the circumstances
of which Signor Montoni informs me that he has written. I
wished, at least, that the affair had been concluded with less
precipitation, that I might have taught myself to subdue some
prejudices, as the Signor calls them, which still linger in my
As it is, I submit. In point of prudence nothing certainly
objected; but, though I submit, I have yet much to say on some other
points of the subject, when I shall have the honour of seeing
In the meantime I entreat you will take care of Theresa, for the sake
Your affectionate niece,
EMILY ST. AUBERT.'
Montoni smiled satirically at what Emily had written, but did not
object to it, and she withdrew to her own apartment, where she sat
down to begin a letter to Valancourt, in which she related the
particulars of her journey, and her arrival at Venice, described some
of the most striking scenes in the passage over the Alps; her
emotions on her first view of Italy; the manners and characters of
the people around her, and some few circumstances of Montoni's
conduct. But she avoided even naming Count Morano, much more
declaration he had made, since she well knew how tremblingly alive to
fear is real love, how jealously watchful of every circumstance that
may affect its interest; and she scrupulously avoided to give
Valancourt even the slightest reason for believing he had a rival.
On the following day Count Morano dined again at Montoni's.
in an uncommon flow of spirits, and Emily thought there was somewhat
of exultation in his manner of addressing her, which she had never
observed before. She endeavoured to repress this by more than
usual reserve, but the cold civility of her air now seemed rather to
encourage than to depress him. He appeared watchful of an
opportunity of speaking with her alone, and more than once solicited
this; but Emily always replied, that she could hear nothing from him
which he would be unwilling to repeat before the whole company.
In the evening, Madame Montoni and her party went out upon the sea,
and as the Count led Emily to his zendaletto, he carried her hand to
his lips, and thanked her for the condescension she had shown
Emily, in extreme surprise and displeasure, hastily withdrew her
hand, and concluded that he had spoken ironically; but, on reaching
the steps of the terrace, and observing by the livery, that it was
the Count's zendaletto which waited below, while the rest of the
party, having arranged themselves in the gondolas, were moving on,
she determined not to permit a separate conversation, and, wishing
him a good evening, returned to the portico. The Count
expostulate and entreat, and Montoni, who then came out, rendered
solicitation unnecessary, for, without condescending to speak, he
took her hand, and led her to the zendaletto. Emily was not
she entreated Montoni, in a low voice, to consider the impropriety of
these circumstances, and that he would spare her the mortification of
submitting to them; he, however, was inflexible.
'This caprice is intolerable,' said he, 'and shall not be
there is no impropriety in the case.'
At this moment, Emily's dislike of Count Morano rose to
That he should, with undaunted assurance, thus pursue her,
notwithstanding all she had expressed on the subject of his
addresses, and think, as it was evident he did, that her opinion of
him was of no consequence, so long as his pretensions were sanctioned
by Montoni, added indignation to the disgust which she had felt
towards him. She was somewhat relieved by observing that
to be of the party, who seated himself on one side of her, while
Morano placed himself on the other. There was a pause for
moments as the gondolieri prepared their oars, and Emily trembled
from apprehension of the discourse that might follow this
At length she collected courage to break it herself, in the hope of
preventing fine speeches from Morano, and reproof from
some trivial remark which she made, the latter returned a short and
disobliging reply; but Morano immediately followed with a general
observation, which he contrived to end with a particular compliment,
and, though Emily passed it without even the notice of a smile, he
was not discouraged.
'I have been impatient,' said he, addressing Emily, 'to express my
gratitude; to thank you for your goodness; but I must also thank
Signor Montoni, who has allowed me this opportunity of doing so.'
Emily regarded the Count with a look of mingled astonishment and
'Why,' continued he, 'should you wish to diminish the delight of this
moment by that air of cruel reserve?--Why seek to throw me again into
the perplexities of doubt, by teaching your eyes to contradict the
kindness of your late declaration? You cannot doubt the
the ardour of my passion; it is therefore unnecessary, charming
Emily! surely unnecessary, any longer to attempt a disguise of your
'If I ever had disguised them, sir,' said Emily, with recollected
spirit, 'it would certainly be unnecessary any longer to do
had hoped, sir, that you would have spared me any farther necessity
of alluding to them; but, since you do not grant this, hear me
declare, and for the last time, that your perseverance has deprived
you even of the esteem, which I was inclined to believe you merited.'
'Astonishing!' exclaimed Montoni: 'this is beyond even my
expectation, though I have hitherto done justice to the caprice of
the sex! But you will observe, Mademoiselle Emily, that I am
lover, though Count Morano is, and that I will not be made the
amusement of your capricious moments. Here is the offer of an
alliance, which would do honour to any family; yours, you will
recollect, is not noble; you long resisted my remonstrances, but my
honour is now engaged, and it shall not be trifled with.--You shall
adhere to the declaration, which you have made me an agent to convey
to the Count.'
'I must certainly mistake you, sir,' said Emily; 'my answers on the
subject have been uniform; it is unworthy of you to accuse me of
caprice. If you have condescended to be my agent, it is an
did not solicit. I myself have constantly assured Count
you also, sir, that I never can accept the honour he offers me, and I
now repeat the declaration.'
The Count looked with an air of surprise and enquiry at Montoni,
whose countenance also was marked with surprise, but it was surprise
mingled with indignation.
'Here is confidence, as well as caprice!' said the latter.
deny your own words, Madam?'
'Such a question is unworthy of an answer, sir;' said Emily blushing;
'you will recollect yourself, and be sorry that you have asked it.'
'Speak to the point,' rejoined Montoni, in a voice of increasing
vehemence. 'Will you deny your own words; will you deny, that
acknowledged, only a few hours ago, that it was too late to recede
from your engagements, and that you accepted the Count's hand?'
'I will deny all this, for no words of mine ever imported it.'
'Astonishing! Will you deny what you wrote to Mons.
uncle? if you do, your own hand will bear testimony against
What have you now to say?' continued Montoni, observing the silence
and confusion of Emily.
'I now perceive, sir, that you are under a very great error, and that
I have been equally mistaken.'
'No more duplicity, I entreat; be open and candid, if it be
'I have always been so, sir; and can claim no merit in such conduct,
for I have had nothing to conceal.'
'How is this, Signor?' cried Morano, with trembling emotion.
'Suspend your judgment, Count,' replied Montoni, 'the wiles of a
female heart are unsearchable. Now, Madame, your EXPLANATION.'
'Excuse me, sir, if I withhold my explanation till you appear willing
to give me your confidence; assertion as present can only subject me
'Your explanation, I entreat you!' said Morano.
'Well, well,' rejoined Montoni, 'I give you my confidence; let us
hear this explanation.'
'Let me lead to it then, by asking a question.'
'As many as you please,' said Montoni, contemptuously.
'What, then, was the subject of your letter to Mons. Quesnel?'
'The same that was the subject of your note to him,
did well to stipulate for my confidence before you demanded that
'I must beg you will be more explicit, sir; what was that subject?'
'What could it be, but the noble offer of Count Morano,' said
'Then, sir, we entirely misunderstood each other,' replied Emily.
'We entirely misunderstood each other too, I suppose,' rejoined
Montoni, 'in the conversation which preceded the writing of that
note? I must do you the justice to own, that you are very
at this same art of misunderstanding.'
Emily tried to restrain the tears that came to her eyes, and to
answer with becoming firmness. 'Allow me, sir, to explain
fully, or to be wholly silent.'
'The explanation may now be dispensed with; it is
Count Morano still thinks one necessary, I will give him an honest
one--You have changed your intention since our last conversation;
and, if he can have patience and humility enough to wait till to-
morrow, he will probably find it changed again: but as I have
neither the patience or the humility, which you expect from a lover,
I warn you of the effect of my displeasure!'
'Montoni, you are too precipitate,' said the Count, who had listened
to this conversation in extreme agitation and impatience;--'Signora,
I entreat your own explanation of this affair!'
'Signor Montoni has said justly,' replied Emily, 'that all
explanation may now be dispensed with; after what has passed I cannot
suffer myself to give one. It is sufficient for me, and for
sir, that I repeat my late declaration; let me hope this is the last
time it will be necessary for me to repeat it--I never can accept the
honour of your alliance.'
'Charming Emily!' exclaimed the Count in an impassioned tone, 'let
not resentment make you unjust; let me not suffer for the offence of
'Offence!' interrupted Montoni--'Count, this language is ridiculous,
this submission is childish!--speak as becomes a man, not as the
slave of a pretty tyrant.'
'You distract me, Signor; suffer me to plead my own cause; you have
already proved insufficient to it.'
'All conversation on this subject, sir,' said Emily, 'is worse than
useless, since it can bring only pain to each of us: if you
oblige me, pursue it no farther.'
'It is impossible, Madam, that I can thus easily resign the object of
a passion, which is the delight and torment of my life.--I must still
love--still pursue you with unremitting ardour;--when you shall be
convinced of the strength and constancy of my passion, your heart
must soften into pity and repentance.'
'Is this generous, sir? is this manly? can it either deserve
obtain the esteem you solicit, thus to continue a persecution from
which I have no present means of escaping?'
A gleam of moonlight that fell upon Morano's countenance, revealed
the strong emotions of his soul; and, glancing on Montoni discovered
the dark resentment, which contrasted his features.
'By heaven this is too much!' suddenly exclaimed the Count; 'Signor
Montoni, you treat me ill; it is from you that I shall look for
'From me, sir! you shall have it;' muttered Montoni, 'if your
discernment is indeed so far obscured by passion, as to make
explanation necessary. And for you, Madam, you should learn,
man of honour is not to be trifled with, though you may, perhaps,
with impunity, treat a BOY like a puppet.'
This sarcasm roused the pride of Morano, and the resentment which he
had felt at the indifference of Emily, being lost in indignation of
the insolence of Montoni, he determined to mortify him, by defending
'This also,' said he, replying to Montoni's last words, 'this also,
shall not pass unnoticed. I bid you learn, sir, that you have
stronger enemy than a woman to contend with: I will protect
St. Aubert from your threatened resentment. You have misled
would revenge your disappointed views upon the innocent.'
'Misled you!' retorted Montoni with quickness, 'is my conduct--my
word'--then pausing, while he seemed endeavouring to restrain the
resentment, that flashed in his eyes, in the next moment he added, in
a subdued voice, 'Count Morano, this is a language, a sort of conduct
to which I am not accustomed: it is the conduct of a
-as such, I pass it over in contempt.'
'In contempt, Signor?'
'The respect I owe myself,' rejoined Montoni, 'requires, that I
should converse more largely with you upon some points of the subject
in dispute. Return with me to Venice,
and I will condescend to
convince you of your error.'
'Condescend, sir! but I will not condescend to be so conversed with.'
Montoni smiled contemptuously; and Emily, now terrified for the
consequences of what she saw and heard, could no longer be
She explained the whole subject upon which she had mistaken Montoni
in the morning, declaring, that she understood him to have consulted
her solely concerning the disposal of La Vallee, and concluding with
entreating, that he would write immediately to M. Quesnel, and
rectify the mistake.
But Montoni either was, or affected to be, still incredulous; and
Count Morano was still entangled in perplexity. While she was
speaking, however, the attention of her auditors had been diverted
from the immediate occasion of their resentment, and their passion
consequently became less. Montoni desired the Count would
servants to row back to Venice,
that he might have some private
conversation with him; and Morano, somewhat soothed by his softened
voice and manner, and eager to examine into the full extent of his
Emily, comforted by this prospect of release, employed the present
moments in endeavouring, with conciliating care, to prevent any fatal
mischief between the persons who so lately had persecuted and
Her spirits revived, when she heard once more the voice of song and
laughter, resounding from the grand canal, and at length entered
again between its stately piazzas. The zendaletto stopped at
Montoni's mansion, and the Count hastily led her into the hall, where
Montoni took his arm, and said something in a low voice, on which
Morano kissed the hand he held, notwithstanding Emily's effort to
disengage it, and, wishing her a good evening, with an accent and
look she could not misunderstand, returned to his zendaletto with
Emily, in her own apartment, considered with intense anxiety all the
unjust and tyrannical conduct of Montoni, the dauntless perseverance
of Morano, and her own desolate situation, removed from her friends
and country. She looked in vain to Valancourt, confined by
profession to a distant kingdom, as her protector; but it gave her
comfort to know, that there was, at least, one person in the world,
who would sympathize in her afflictions, and whose wishes would fly
eagerly to release her. Yet she determined not to give him
unavailing pain by relating the reasons she had to regret the having
rejected his better judgment concerning Montoni; reasons, however,
which could not induce her to lament the delicacy and disinterested
affection that had made her reject his proposal for a clandestine
marriage. The approaching interview with her uncle she
some degree of hope, for she determined to represent to him the
distresses of her situation, and to entreat that he would allow her
to return to France with him and Madame Quesnel. Then,
remembering that her beloved La Vallee, her only home, was no longer
at her command, her tears flowed anew, and she feared that she had
little pity to expect from a man who, like M. Quesnel, could dispose
of it without deigning to consult with her, and could dismiss an aged
and faithful servant, destitute of either support or asylum.
though it was certain, that she had herself no longer a home in
France, and few, very few friends there, she determined to return, if
possible, that she might be released from the power of Montoni, whose
particularly oppressive conduct towards herself, and general
character as to others, were justly terrible to her
had no wish to reside with her uncle, M. Quesnel, since his behaviour
to her late father and to herself, had been uniformly such as to
convince her, that in flying to him she could only obtain an exchange
of oppressors; neither had she the slightest intention of consenting
to the proposal of Valancourt for an immediate marriage, though this
would give her a lawful and a generous protector, for the chief
reasons, which had formerly influenced her conduct, still existed
against it, while others, which seemed to justify the step, would not
be done away; and his interest, his fame were at all times too dear
to her, to suffer her to consent to a union, which, at this early
period of their lives, would probably defeat both. One sure,
proper asylum, however, would still be open to her in France.
knew that she could board in the convent, where she had formerly
experienced so much kindness, and which had an affecting and solemn
claim upon her heart, since it contained the remains of her late
father. Here she could remain in safety and tranquillity,
term, for which La Vallee might be let, should expire; or, till the
arrangement of M. Motteville's affairs enabled her so far to estimate
the remains of her fortune, as to judge whether it would be prudent
for her to reside there.
Concerning Montoni's conduct with respect to his letters to M.
Quesnel, she had many doubts; however he might be at first mistaken
on the subject, she much suspected that he wilfully persevered in his
error, as a means of intimidating her into a compliance with his
wishes of uniting her to Count Morano. Whether this was or
the fact, she was extremely anxious to explain the affair to M.
Quesnel, and looked forward with a mixture of impatience, hope and
fear, to her approaching visit.
On the following day, Madame Montoni, being alone with Emily,
introduced the mention of Count Morano, by expressing her surprise,
that she had not joined the party on the water the preceding evening,
and at her abrupt departure to Venice.
Emily then related what had
passed, expressed her concern for the mutual mistake that had
occurred between Montoni and herself, and solicited her aunt's kind
offices in urging him to give a decisive denial to the count's
further addresses; but she soon perceived, that Madame Montoni had
not been ignorant of the late conversation, when she introduced the
'You have no encouragement to expect from me,' said her aunt, 'in
these notions. I have already given my opinion on the
think Signor Montoni right in enforcing, by any means, your
If young persons will be blind to their interest, and obstinately
oppose it, why, the greatest blessings they can have are friends, who
will oppose their folly. Pray what pretensions of any kind do
think you have to such a match as is now offered you?'
'Not any whatever, Madam,' replied Emily, 'and, therefore, at least,
suffer me to be happy in my humility.'
'Nay, niece, it cannot be denied, that you have pride enough; my poor
brother, your father, had his share of pride too; though, let me add,
his fortune did not justify it.'
Emily, somewhat embarrassed by the indignation, which this malevolent
allusion to her father excited, and by the difficulty of rendering
her answer as temperate as it should be reprehensive, hesitated for
some moments, in a confusion, which highly gratified her
length she said, 'My father's pride, Madam, had a noble object--the
happiness which he knew could be derived only from goodness,
knowledge and charity. As it never consisted in his
point of fortune, to some persons, it was not humbled by his
inferiority, in that respect, to others. He never disdained
who were wretched by poverty and misfortune; he did sometimes despise
persons, who, with many opportunities of happiness, rendered
themselves miserable by vanity, ignorance and cruelty. I
it my highest glory to emulate such pride.'
'I do not pretend to understand any thing of these high-flown
sentiments, niece; you have all that glory to yourself: I
teach you a little plain sense, and not have you so wise as to
'That would indeed not be wisdom, but folly,' said Emily, 'for wisdom
can boast no higher attainment than happiness; but you will allow,
Madam, that our ideas of happiness may differ. I cannot
you wish me to be happy, but I must fear you are mistaken in the
means of making me so.'
'I cannot boast of a learned education, niece, such as your father
thought proper to give you, and, therefore, do not pretend to
understand all these fine speeches about happiness. I must be
contented to understand only common sense, and happy would it have
been for you and your father, if that had been included in his
Emily was too much shocked by these reflections on her father's
memory, to despise this speech as it deserved.
Madame Montoni was about to speak, but Emily quitted the room, and
retired to her own, where the little spirit she had lately exerted
yielded to grief and vexation, and left her only to her
every review of her situation she could derive, indeed, only new
sorrow. To the discovery, which had just been forced upon
Montoni's unworthiness, she had now to add, that of the cruel vanity,
for the gratification of which her aunt was about to sacrifice her;
of the effrontery and cunning, with which, at the time that she
meditated the sacrifice, she boasted of her tenderness, or insulted
her victim; and of the venomous envy, which, as it did not scruple to
attack her father's character, could scarcely be expected to withhold
from her own.
During the few days that intervened between this conversation and the
departure for Miarenti, Montoni did not once address himself to
Emily. His looks sufficiently declared his resentment; but
should forbear to renew a mention of the subject of it, exceedingly
surprised her, who was no less astonished, that, during three days,
Count Morano neither visited Montoni, or was named by him.
conjectures arose in her mind. Sometimes she feared that the
between them had been revived, and had ended fatally to the
Sometimes she was inclined to hope, that weariness, or disgust at her
firm rejection of his suit had induced him to relinquish it; and, at
others, she suspected that he had now recourse to stratagem, and
forbore his visits, and prevailed with Montoni to forbear the
repetition of his name, in the expectation that gratitude and
generosity would prevail with her to give him the consent, which he
could not hope from love.
Thus passed the time in vain conjecture, and alternate hopes and
fears, till the day arrived when Montoni was to set out for the villa
of Miarenti, which, like the preceding ones, neither brought the
Count, or the mention of him.
Montoni having determined not to leave Venice, till towards evening,
that he might avoid the heats, and catch the cool breezes of night,
embarked about an hour before sun-set, with his family, in a barge,
for the Brenta. Emily sat alone near the stern of the vessel,
as it floated slowly on, watched the gay and lofty city lessening
from her view, till its palaces seemed to sink in the distant waves,
while its loftier towers and domes, illumined by the declining sun,
appeared on the horizon, like those far-seen clouds which, in more
northern climes, often linger on the western verge, and catch the
last light of a summer's evening. Soon after, even these grew
and faded in distance from her sight; but she still sat gazing on the
vast scene of cloudless sky, and mighty waters, and listening in
pleasing awe to the deep-sounding waves, while, as her eyes glanced
over the Adriatic, towards the opposite shores, which were, however,
far beyond the reach of sight, she thought of Greece, and, a thousand
classical remembrances stealing to her mind, she experienced that
pensive luxury which is felt on viewing the scenes of ancient story,
and on comparing their present state of silence and solitude with
that of their former grandeur and animation. The scenes of
Illiad illapsed in glowing colours to her fancy--scenes, once the
haunt of heroes--now lonely, and in ruins; but which still shone, in
the poet's strain, in all their youthful splendour.
As her imagination painted with melancholy touches, the deserted
plains of Troy,
such as they appeared in this after-day, she
reanimated the landscape with the following little story.
O'er Ilion's plains, where once the warrior bled,
And once the poet rais'd his deathless strain,
O'er Ilion's plains a weary driver led
His stately camels: For the ruin'd fane
Wide round the lonely scene his glance he threw,
For now the red cloud faded in the west,
And twilight o'er the silent landscape drew
Her deep'ning veil; eastward his course he prest:
There, on the grey horizon's glimm'ring bound,
Rose the proud columns of deserted Troy,
And wandering shepherds now a shelter found
Within those walls, where princes wont to joy.
Beneath a lofty porch the driver pass'd,
Then, from his camels heav'd the heavy load;
Partook with them the simple, cool repast,
And in short vesper gave himself to God.
From distant lands with merchandise he came,
His all of wealth his patient servants bore;
Oft deep-drawn sighs his anxious wish proclaim
To reach, again, his happy cottage door;
For there, his wife, his little children, dwell;
Their smiles shall pay the toil of many an hour:
Ev'n now warm tears to expectation swell,
As fancy o'er his mind extends her pow'r.
A death-like stillness reign'd, where once the song,
The song of heroes, wak'd the midnight air,
Save, when a solemn murmur roll'd along,
That seem'd to say--'for future worlds prepare.'
For Time's imperious voice was frequent heard
Shaking the marble temple to its fall,
(By hands he long had conquer'd, vainly rear'd),
And distant ruins answer'd to his call.
While Hamet slept, his camels round him lay,
Beneath him, all his store of wealth was piled;
And here, his cruse and empty wallet lay,
And there, the flute that chear'd him in the wild.
The robber Tartar on his slumber stole,
For o'er the waste, at eve, he watch'd his train;
Ah! who his thirst of plunder shall control?
Who calls on him for mercy--calls in vain!
A poison'd poignard in his belt he wore,
A crescent sword depended at his side,
The deathful quiver at his back he bore,
And infants--at his very look had died!
The moon's cold beam athwart the temple fell,
And to his sleeping prey the Tartar led;
But soft!--a startled camel shook his bell,
Then stretch'd his limbs, and rear'd his drowsy head.
Hamet awoke! the poignard glitter'd high!
Swift from his couch he sprung, and 'scap'd the blow;
When from an unknown hand the arrows fly,
That lay the ruffian, in his vengeance, low.
He groan'd, he died! from forth a column'd gate
A fearful shepherd, pale and silent, crept,
Who, as he watch'd his folded flock star-late,
Had mark'd the robber steal where Hamet slept.
He fear'd his own, and sav'd a stranger's life!
Poor Hamet clasp'd him to his grateful heart;
Then, rous'd his camels for the dusty strife,
And, with the shepherd, hasten'd to depart.
And now, aurora breathes her fresh'ning gale,
And faintly trembles on the eastern cloud;
And now, the sun, from under twilight's veil,
Looks gaily forth, and melts her airy shroud.
Wide o'er the level plains, his slanting beams
Dart their long lines on Ilion's tower'd site;
The distant Hellespont
And old Scamander winds his waves in light.
All merry sound the camel bells, so gay,
And merry beats fond Hamet's heart, for he,
E'er the dim evening steals upon the day,
His children, wife and happy home shall see.
As Emily approached the shores of Italy
she began to
rich features and varied colouring of the landscape--the purple
hills, groves of orange pine and cypress, shading magnificent villas,
and towns rising among vineyards and plantations. The noble
pouring its broad waves into the sea, now appeared, and, when she
reached its mouth, the barge stopped, that the horses might be
fastened which were now to tow it up the stream. This done,
gave a last look to the Adriatic, and to the dim sail,
that from the sky-mix'd wave
Dawns on the sight,
and the barge slowly glided between the green and luxuriant slopes of
the river. The grandeur of the Palladian villas, that adorn
shores, was considerably heightened by the setting rays, which threw
strong contrasts of light and shade upon the porticos and long
arcades, and beamed a mellow lustre upon the orangeries and the tall
groves of pine and cypress, that overhung the buildings. The
of oranges, of flowering myrtles, and other odoriferous plants was
diffused upon the air, and often, from these embowered retreats, a
strain of music stole on the calm, and 'softened into silence.'
The sun now sunk below the horizon, twilight fell over the landscape,
and Emily, wrapt in musing silence, continued to watch its features
gradually vanishing into obscurity. she remembered her many
evenings, when with St. Aubert she had observed the shades of
twilight steal over a scene as beautiful as this, from the gardens of
La Vallee, and a tear fell to the memory of her father. Her
were softened into melancholy by the influence of the hour, by the
low murmur of the wave passing under the vessel, and the stillness of
the air, that trembled only at intervals with distant music:--why
else should she, at these moments, have looked on her attachment to
Valancourt with presages so very afflicting, since she had but lately
received letters from him, that had soothed for a while all her
anxieties? It now seemed to her oppressed mind, that she had
leave of him for ever, and that the countries, which separated them,
would never more be re-traced by her. She looked upon Count
with horror, as in some degree the cause of this; but apart from him,
a conviction, if such that may be called, which arises from no proof,
and which she knew not how to account for, seized her mind--that she
should never see Valancourt again. Though she knew, that
Morano's solicitations, nor Montoni's commands had lawful power to
enforce her obedience, she regarded both with a superstitious dread,
that they would finally prevail.
Lost in this melancholy reverie, and shedding frequent tears, Emily
was at length roused by Montoni, and she followed him to the cabin,
where refreshments were spread, and her aunt was seated
countenance of Madame Montoni was inflamed with resentment, that
appeared to be the consequence of some conversation she had held with
her husband, who regarded her with a kind of sullen disdain, and both
preserved, for some time, a haughty silence. Montoni then
Emily of Mons. Quesnel: 'You will not, I hope, persist in
disclaiming your knowledge of the subject of my letter to him?'
'I had hoped, sir, that it was no longer necessary for me to disclaim
it,' said Emily, 'I had hoped, from your silence, that you was
convinced of your error.'
'You have hoped impossibilities then,' replied Montoni; 'I might as
reasonably have expected to find sincerity and uniformity of conduct
in one of your sex, as you to convict me of error in this affair.'
Emily blushed, and was silent; she now perceived too clearly, that
she had hoped an impossibility, for, where no mistake had been
committed no conviction could follow; and it was evident, that
Montoni's conduct had not been the consequence of mistake, but of
Anxious to escape from conversation, which was both afflicting and
humiliating to her, she soon returned to the deck, and resumed her
station near the stern, without apprehension of cold, for no vapour
rose from the water, and the air was dry and tranquil; here, at
least, the benevolence of nature allowed her the quiet which Montoni
had denied her elsewhere. It was now past midnight.
a kind of twilight, that served to shew the dark outline of the
shores on either hand, and the grey surface of the river; till the
moon rose from behind a high palm grove, and shed her mellow lustre
over the scene. The vessel glided smoothly on: amid
of the hour Emily heard, now and then, the solitary voice of the
barge-men on the bank, as they spoke to their horses; while, from a
remote part of the vessel, with melancholy song,
The sailor sooth'd,
Beneath the trembling moon, the midnight wave.
Emily, meanwhile, anticipated her reception by Mons, and
Quesnel; considered what she should say on the subject of La Vallee;
and then, to with-hold her mind from more anxious topics, tried to
amuse herself by discriminating the faint-drawn features of the
landscape, reposing in the moon-light. While her fancy thus
wandered, she saw, at a distance, a building peeping between the
moon-light trees, and, as the barge approached, heard voices
speaking, and soon distinguished the lofty portico of a villa,
overshadowed by groves of pine and sycamore, which she recollected to
be the same, that had formerly been pointed out to her, as belonging
to Madame Quesnel's relative.
The barge stopped at a flight of marble steps, which led up the bank
to a lawn. Lights appeared between some pillars beyond the
Montoni sent forward his servant, and then disembarked with his
family. They found Mons.
and Madame Quesnel, with a few friends,
seated on sofas in the portico, enjoying the cool breeze of the
night, and eating fruits and ices, while some of their servants at a
little distance, on the river's bank, were performing a simple
serenade. Emily was now accustomed to the way of living in
country, and was not surprised to find Mons.
and Madame Quesnel in
their portico, two hours after midnight.
The usual salutations being over, the company seated themselves in
the portico, and refreshments were brought them from the adjoining
hall, where a banquet was spread, and servants attended. When
bustle of this meeting had subsided, and Emily had recovered from the
little flutter into which it had thrown her spirits, she was struck
with the singular beauty of the hall, so perfectly accommodated to
the luxuries of the season. It was of white marble, and the
rising into an open cupola, was supported by columns of the same
material. Two opposite sides of the apartment, terminating in
porticos, admitted to the hall a full view of the gardens, and of the
river scenery; in the centre a fountain continually refreshed the
air, and seemed to heighten the fragrance, that breathed from the
surrounding orangeries, while its dashing waters gave an agreeable
and soothing sound. Etruscan lamps, suspended from the
diffused a brilliant light over the interior part of the hall,
leaving the remoter porticos to the softer lustre of the moon.
talked apart to Montoni of his own affairs, in his
usual strain of self-importance; boasted of his new acquisitions, and
then affected to pity some disappointments, which Montoni had lately
sustained. Meanwhile, the latter, whose pride at least
to despise such vanity as this, and whose discernment at once
detected under this assumed pity, the frivolous malignity of
Quesnel's mind, listened to him in contemptuous silence, till he
named his niece, and then they left the portico, and walked away into
Emily, however, still attended to Madame Quesnel, who spoke of France
(for even the name of her native country was dear to her) and she
found some pleasure in looking at a person, who had lately been in
it. That country, too, was inhabited by Valancourt, and she
to the mention of it, with a faint hope, that he also would be
Madame Quesnel, who, when she was in France,
had talked with rapture
and endeavoured to excite the wonder and the envy of her
auditors by accounts of places, which they had not been happy enough
to see. In these descriptions she not only imposed upon them,
upon herself, for she never thought a present pleasure equal to one,
that was passed; and thus the delicious climate, the fragrant
orangeries and all the luxuries, which surrounded her, slept
unnoticed, while her fancy wandered over the distant scenes of a
Emily listened in vain for the name of Valancourt. Madame
spoke in her turn of the delights of Venice, and of the pleasure she
expected from visiting the fine castle of Montoni, on the Apennine;
which latter mention, at least, was merely a retaliating boast, for
Emily well knew, that her aunt had no taste for solitary grandeur,
and, particularly, for such as the castle of Udolpho
the party continued to converse, and, as far as civility would
permit, to torture each other by mutual boasts, while they reclined
on sofas in the portico, and were environed with delights both from
nature and art, by which any honest minds would have been tempered to
benevolence, and happy imaginations would have been soothed into
The dawn, soon after, trembled in the eastern horizon, and the light
tints of morning, gradually expanding, shewed the beautifully
declining forms of the Italian mountains and the gleaming landscapes,
stretched at their feet. Then the sun-beams, shooting up from
the hills, spread over the scene that fine saffron tinge, which seems
to impart repose to all it touches. The landscape no longer
all its glowing colours were revealed, except that its remoter
features were still softened and united in the mist of distance,
whose sweet effect was heightened to Emily by the dark verdure of the
pines and cypresses, that over-arched the foreground of the river.
The market people, passing with their boats to Venice, now
moving picture on the Brenta. Most of these had little
awnings, to shelter their owners from the sun-beams, which, together
with the piles of fruit and flowers, displayed beneath, and the
tasteful simplicity of the peasant girls, who watched the rural
treasures, rendered them gay and striking objects. The swift
movement of the boats down the current, the quick glance of oars in
the water, and now and then the passing chorus of peasants, who
reclined under the sail of their little bark, or the tones of some
rustic instrument, played by a girl, as she sat near her sylvan
cargo, heightened the animation and festivity of the scene.
When Montoni and M. Quesnel had joined the ladies, the party left the
portico for the gardens, where the charming scenery soon withdrew
Emily's thoughts from painful subjects. The majestic forms
verdure of cypresses she had never seen so perfect before:
cedar, lemon, and orange, the spiry clusters of the pine and poplar,
the luxuriant chesnut and oriental plane, threw all their pomp of
shade over these gardens; while bowers of flowering myrtle and other
spicy shrubs mingled their fragrance with that of flowers, whose
vivid and various colouring glowed with increased effect beneath the
contrasted umbrage of the groves. The air also was
refreshed by rivulets, which, with more taste than fashion, had been
suffered to wander among the green recesses.
Emily often lingered behind the party, to contemplate the distant
landscape, that closed a vista, or that gleamed beneath the dark
foliage of the foreground;--the spiral summits of the mountains,
touched with a purple tint, broken and steep above, but shelving
gradually to their base; the open valley, marked by no formal lines
of art; and the tall groves of cypress, pine and poplar, sometimes
embellished by a ruined villa, whose broken columns appeared between
the branches of a pine, that seemed to droop over their fall.
From other parts of the gardens, the character of the view was
entirely changed, and the fine solitary beauty of the landscape
shifted for the crowded features and varied colouring of
The sun was now gaining fast upon the sky, and the party quitted the
gardens, and retired to repose.
And poor Misfortune feels the lash of Vice.
Emily seized the first opportunity of conversing alone with Mons.
Quesnel, concerning La Vallee. His answers to her enquiries
concise, and delivered with the air of a man, who is conscious of
possessing absolute power and impatient of hearing it
declared, that the disposal of the place was a necessary measure; and
that she might consider herself indebted to his prudence for even the
small income that remained for her. 'But, however,' added he,
this Venetian Count (I have forgot his name) marries you, your
present disagreeable state of dependence will cease. As a
to you I rejoice in the circumstance, which is so fortunate for you,
and, I may add, so unexpected by your friends.' For some
Emily was chilled into silence by this speech; and, when she
attempted to undeceive him, concerning the purport of the note she
had inclosed in Montoni's letter, he appeared to have some
reason for disbelieving her assertion, and, for a considerable time,
persevered in accusing her of capricious conduct. Being, at
however, convinced that she really disliked Morano and had positively
rejected his suit, his resentment was extravagant, and he expressed
it in terms equally pointed and inhuman; for, secretly flattered by
the prospect of a connection with a nobleman, whose title he had
affected to forget, he was incapable of feeling pity for whatever
sufferings of his niece might stand in the way of his ambition.
Emily saw at once in his manner all the difficulties, that awaited
her, and, though no oppression could have power to make her renounce
Valancourt for Morano, her fortitude now trembled at an encounter
with the violent passions of her uncle.
She opposed his turbulence and indignation only by the mild dignity
of a superior mind; but the gentle firmness of her conduct served to
exasperate still more his resentment, since it compelled him to feel
his own inferiority, and, when he left her, he declared, that, if she
persisted in her folly, both himself and Montoni would abandon her to
the contempt of the world.
The calmness she had assumed in his presence failed Emily, when
alone, and she wept bitterly, and called frequently upon the name of
her departed father, whose advice to her from his death-bed she then
remembered. 'Alas!' said she, 'I do indeed perceive how much
valuable is the strength of fortitude than the grace of sensibility,
and I will also endeavour to fulfil the promise I then made; I will
not indulge in unavailing lamentation, but will try to endure, with
firmness, the oppression I cannot elude.'
Somewhat soothed by the consciousness of performing a part of St.
Aubert's last request, and of endeavouring to pursue the conduct
which he would have approved, she overcame her tears, and, when the
company met at dinner, had recovered her usual serenity of
In the cool of the evening, the ladies took the FRESCO along the bank
of the Brenta in Madame Quesnel's carriage. The state of
mind was in melancholy contrast with the gay groups assembled beneath
the shades that overhung this enchanting stream. Some were
under the trees, and others reclining on the grass, taking ices and
coffee and calmly enjoying the effect of a beautiful evening, on a
luxuriant landscape. Emily, when she looked at the snow-capt
Apennines, ascending in the distance, thought of Montoni's castle,
and suffered some terror, lest he should convey her thither, for the
purpose of enforcing her obedience; but the thought vanished, when
she considered, that she was as much in his power at Venice
could be elsewhere.
It was moonlight before the party returned to the villa, where supper
was spread in the airy hall, which had so much enchanted Emily's
fancy, on the preceding night. The ladies seated themselves
portico, till Mons.
Quesnel, Montoni, and other gentlemen should join
them at table, and Emily endeavoured to resign herself to the
tranquillity of the hour. Presently, a barge stopped at the
that led into the gardens, and, soon after, she distinguished the
voices of Montoni and Quesnel, and then that of Morano, who, in the
next moment, appeared. His compliments she received in
her cold air seemed at first to discompose him; but he soon recovered
his usual gaiety of manner, though the officious kindness of M. and
Madame Quesnel Emily perceived disgusted him. Such a degree
attention she had scarcely believed could be shewn by M. Quesnel, for
she had never before seen him otherwise than in the presence of his
inferiors or equals.
When she could retire to her own apartment, her mind almost
involuntarily dwelt on the most probable means of prevailing with the
Count to withdraw his suit, and to her liberal mind none appeared
more probable, than that of acknowledging to him a prior attachment
and throwing herself upon his generosity for a release. When,
however, on the following day, he renewed his addresses, she shrunk
from the adoption of the plan she had formed. There was
repugnant to her just pride, in laying open the secret of her heart
to such a man as Morano, and in suing to him for compassion, that she
impatiently rejected this design and wondered, that she could have
paused upon it for a moment. The rejection of his suit she
in the most decisive terms she could select, mingling with it a
severe censure of his conduct; but, though the Count appeared
mortified by this, he persevered in the most ardent professions of
admiration, till he was interrupted and Emily released by the
presence of Madame Quesnel.
During her stay at this pleasant villa, Emily was thus rendered
miserable by the assiduities of Morano, together with the cruelly
exerted authority of M. Quesnel and Montoni, who, with her aunt,
seemed now more resolutely determined upon this marriage than they
had even appeared to be at Venice. M. Quesnel, finding, that
argument and menace were ineffectual in enforcing an immediate
conclusion to it, at length relinquished his endeavours, and trusted
to the power of Montoni and to the course of events at Venice.
Emily, indeed, looked to Venice with hope, for there she would be
relieved in some measure from the persecution of Morano, who would no
longer be an inhabitant of the same house with herself, and from that
of Montoni, whose engagements would not permit him to be continually
at home. But amidst the pressure of her own misfortunes, she
forget those of poor Theresa, for whom she pleaded with courageous
tenderness to Quesnel, who promised, in slight and general terms,
that she should not be forgotten.
Montoni, in a long conversation with M. Quesnel, arranged the plan to
be pursued respecting Emily, and M. Quesnel proposed to be at Venice,
as soon as he should be informed, that the nuptials were concluded.
It was new to Emily to part with any person, with whom she was
connected, without feeling of regret; the moment, however, in which
she took leave of M. and Madame Quesnel, was, perhaps, the only
satisfactory one she had known in their presence.
Morano returned in Montoni's barge, and Emily, as she watched her
gradual approach to that magic city, saw at her side the only person,
who occasioned her to view it with less than perfect delight.
arrived there about midnight, when Emily was released from the
presence of the Count, who, with Montoni, went to a Casino, and she
was suffered to retire to her own apartment.
On the following day, Montoni, in a short conversation, which he held
with Emily, informed her, that he would no longer be TRIFLED with,
and that, since her marriage with the Count would be so highly
advantageous to her, that folly only could object to it, and folly of
such extent as was incapable of conviction, it should be celebrated
without further delay, and, if that was necessary, without her
Emily, who had hitherto tried remonstrance, had now recourse to
supplication, for distress prevented her from foreseeing, that, with
a man of Montoni's disposition, supplication would be equally
useless. She afterwards enquired by what right he exerted
unlimited authority over her? a question, which her better judgment
would have with-held her, in a calmer moment, from making, since it
could avail her nothing, and would afford Montoni another opportunity
of triumphing over her defenceless condition.
'By what right!' cried Montoni, with a malicious smile, 'by the right
of my will; if you can elude that, I will not inquire by what right
you do so. I now remind you, for the last time, that you are
stranger, in a foreign country, and that it is your interest to make
me your friend; you know the means; if you compel me to become your
enemy--I will venture to tell you, that the punishment shall exceed
your expectation. You may know _I_ am not to be trifled with.'
Emily continued, for some time after Montoni had left her, in a state
of despair, or rather stupefaction; a consciousness of misery was all
that remained in her mind. In this situation Madame Montoni
her, at the sound of whose voice Emily looked up, and her aunt,
somewhat softened by the expression of despair, that fixed her
countenance, spoke in a manner more kind than she had ever yet
Emily's heart was touched; she shed tears, and, after weeping for
some time, recovered sufficient composure to speak on the subject of
her distress, and to endeavour to interest Madame Montoni in her
behalf. But, though the compassion of her aunt had been
her ambition was not to be overcome, and her present object was to be
the aunt of a Countess. Emily's efforts, therefore, were as
unsuccessful as they had been with Montoni, and she withdrew to her
apartment to think and weep alone. How often did she remember
parting scene with Valancourt, and wish, that the Italian had
mentioned Montoni's character with less reserve! When her
however, had recovered from the first shock of this behaviour, she
considered, that it would be impossible for him to compel her
alliance with Morano, if she persisted in refusing to repeat any part
of the marriage ceremony; and she persevered in her resolution to
await Montoni's threatened vengeance rather than give herself for
life to a man, whom she must have despised for his present conduct,
had she never even loved Valancourt; yet she trembled at the revenge
she thus resolved to brave.
An affair, however, soon after occurred, which somewhat called off
Montoni's attention from Emily. The mysterious visits of
renewed with more frequency since the return of the former to Venice.
There were others, also, besides Orsino, admitted to these midnight
councils, and among them Cavigni and Verezzi. Montoni became
reserved and austere in his manner than ever; and Emily, if her own
interests had not made her regardless of his, might have perceived,
that something extraordinary was working in his mind.
One night, on which a council was not held, Orsino came in great
agitation of spirits, and dispatched his confidential servant to
Montoni, who was at a Casino, desiring that he would return home
immediately; but charging the servant not to mention his
Montoni obeyed the summons, and, on meeting Orsino, was informed of
the circumstances, that occasioned his visit and his visible alarm,
with a part of which he was already acquainted.
A Venetian nobleman, who had, on some late occasion, provoked the
hatred of Orsino, had been way-laid and poniarded by hired
and, as the murdered person was of the first connections, the Senate
had taken up the affair. One of the assassins was now
who had confessed, that Orsino was his employer in the atrocious
deed; and the latter, informed of his danger, had now come to Montoni
to consult on the measures necessary to favour his escape. He
that, at this time, the officers of the police were upon the watch
for him, all over the city; to leave it, at present, therefore, was
impracticable, and Montoni consented to secrete him for a few days
till the vigilance of justice should relax, and then to assist him in
quitting Venice. He knew the danger he himself incurred by
permitting Orsino to remain in his house, but such was the nature of
his obligations to this man, that he did not think it prudent to
refuse him an asylum.
Such was the person whom Montoni had admitted to his confidence, and
for whom he felt as much friendship as was compatible with his
While Orsino remained concealed in his house, Montoni was unwilling
to attract public observation by the nuptials of Count Morano; but
this obstacle was, in a few days, overcome by the departure of his
criminal visitor, and he then informed Emily, that her marriage was
to be celebrated on the following morning. To her repeated
assurances, that it should not take place, he replied only by a
malignant smile; and, telling her that the Count and a priest would
be at his house, early in the morning, he advised her no further to
dare his resentment, by opposition to his will and to her own
interest. 'I am now going out for the evening,' said he,
that I shall give your hand to Count Morano in the morning.'
having, ever since his late threats, expected, that her trials would
at length arrive to this crisis, was less shocked by the declaration,
that she otherwise would have been, and she endeavoured to support
herself by the belief, that the marriage could not be valid, so long
as she refused before the priest to repeat any part of the
Yet, as the moment of trial approached, her long-harassed spirits
shrunk almost equally from the encounter of his vengeance, and from
the hand of Count Morano. She was not even perfectly certain
consequence of her steady refusal at the altar, and she trembled,
more than ever, at the power of Montoni, which seemed unlimited as
his will, for she saw, that he would not scruple to transgress any
law, if, by so doing, he could accomplish his project.
While her mind was thus suffering and in a state little short of
distraction, she was informed that Morano asked permission to see
her, and the servant had scarcely departed with an excuse, before she
repented that she had sent one. In the next moment, reverting
former design, and determining to try, whether expostulation and
entreaty would not succeed, where a refusal and a just disdain had
failed, she recalled the servant, and, sending a different message,
prepared to go down to the Count.
The dignity and assumed composure with which she met him, and the
kind of pensive resignation, that softened her countenance, were
circumstances not likely to induce him to relinquish her, serving, as
they did, to heighten a passion, which had already intoxicated his
judgment. He listened to all she said with an appearance of
complacency and of a wish to oblige her; but his resolution remained
invariably the same, and he endeavoured to win her admiration by
every insinuating art he so well knew how to practise. Being,
length, assured, that she had nothing to hope from his justice, she
repeated, in a solemn and impressive manner, her absolute rejection
of his suit, and quitted him with an assurance, that her refusal
would be effectually maintained against every circumstance, that
could be imagined for subduing it. A just pride had
tears in his presence, but now they flowed from the fulness of her
heart. She often called upon the name of her late father, and
dwelt with unutterable anguish on the idea of Valancourt.
She did not go down to supper, but remained alone in her apartment,
sometimes yielding to the influence of grief and terror, and, at
others, endeavouring to fortify her mind against them, and to prepare
herself to meet, with composed courage, the scene of the following
morning, when all the stratagem of Morano and the violence of Montoni
would be united against her.
The evening was far advanced, when Madame Montoni came to her chamber
with some bridal ornaments, which the Count had sent to
had, this day, purposely avoided her niece; perhaps, because her
usual insensibility failed her, and she feared to trust herself with
a view of Emily's distress; or possibly, though her conscience was
seldom audible, it now reproached her with her conduct to her
brother's orphan child, whose happiness had been entrusted to her
care by a dying father.
Emily could not look at these presents, and made a last, though
almost hopeless, effort to interest the compassion of Madame Montoni,
who, if she did feel any degree of pity, or remorse, successfully
concealed it, and reproached her niece with folly in being miserable,
concerning a marriage, which ought only to make her happy. 'I
sure,' said she, 'if I was unmarried, and the Count had proposed to
me, I should have been flattered by the distinction: and if I
have been so, I am sure, niece, you, who have no fortune, ought to
feel yourself highly honoured, and shew a proper gratitude and
humility towards the Count, for his condescension. I am often
surprised, I must own, to observe how humbly he deports himself to
you, notwithstanding the haughty airs you give yourself; I wonder he
has patience to humour you so: if I was he, I know, I should
be ready to reprehend you, and make you know yourself a little
better. I would not have flattered you, I can tell you, for
this absurd flattery that makes you fancy yourself of so much
consequence, that you think nobody can deserve you, and I often tell
the Count so, for I have no patience to hear him pay you such
extravagant compliments, which you believe every word of!'
'Your patience, madam, cannot suffer more cruelly on such occasions,
than my own,' said Emily.
'O! that is all mere affectation,' rejoined her aunt. 'I know
his flattery delights you, and makes you so vain, that you think you
may have the whole world at your feet. But you are very much
mistaken; I can assure you, niece, you will not meet with many such
suitors as the Count: every other person would have turned
heel, and left you to repent at your leisure, long ago.'
'O that the Count had resembled every other person, then!' said
Emily, with a heavy sigh.
'It is happy for you, that he does not,' rejoined Madame Montoni;
'and what I am now saying is from pure kindness. I am
to convince you of your good fortune, and to persuade you to submit
to necessity with a good grace. It is nothing to me, you
whether you like this marriage or not, for it must be; what I say,
therefore, is from pure kindness. I wish to see you happy,
your own fault if you are not so. I would ask you, now,
and calmly, what kind of a match you can expect, since a Count cannot
content your ambition?'
'I have no ambition whatever, madam,' replied Emily, 'my only wish is
to remain in my present station.'
'O! that is speaking quite from the purpose,' said her aunt, 'I see
you are still thinking of Mons.
Valancourt. Pray get rid of all
those fantastic notions about love, and this ridiculous pride, and be
something like a reasonable creature. But, however, this is
to the purpose--for your marriage with the Count takes place
tomorrow, you know, whether you approve it or not. The Count
trifled with no longer.'
Emily made no attempt to reply to this curious speech; she felt it
would be mean, and she knew it would be useless. Madame
the Count's presents upon the table, on which Emily was leaning, and
then, desiring she would be ready early in the morning, bade her
good-night. 'Good-night, madam,' said Emily, with a deep
the door closed upon her aunt, and she was left once more to her own
sad reflections. For some time she sat so lost in thought, as
wholly unconscious where she was; at length, raising her head, and
looking round the room, its gloom and profound stillness awed
She fixed her eyes on the door, through which her aunt had
disappeared, and listened anxiously for some sound, that might
relieve the deep dejection of her spirits; but it was past midnight,
and all the family except the servant, who sat up for Montoni, had
retired to bed. Her mind, long harassed by distress, now
imaginary terrors; she trembled to look into the obscurity of her
spacious chamber, and feared she knew not what; a state of mind,
which continued so long, that she would have called up Annette, her
aunt's woman, had her fears permitted her to rise from her chair, and
to cross the apartment.
These melancholy illusions at length began to disperse, and she
retired to her bed, not to sleep, for that was scarcely possible, but
to try, at least, to quiet her disturbed fancy, and to collect
strength of spirits sufficient to bear her through the scene of the
Dark power! with shudd'ring, meek submitted thought
Be mine to read the visions old
Which thy awak'ning bards have told,
And, lest they meet my blasted view,
Hold each strange tale devoutly true.
COLLINS' ODE TO FEAR
Emily was recalled from a kind of slumber, into which she had, at
length, sunk, by a quick knocking at her chamber door. She
up in terror, for Montoni and Count Morano instantly came to her
mind; but, having listened in silence for some time, and recognizing
the voice of Annette, she rose and opened the door. 'What
hither so early?' said Emily, trembling excessively. She was
to support herself, and sat down on the bed.
'Dear ma'amselle!' said Annette, 'do not look so pale. I am
frightened to see you. Here is a fine bustle below stairs,
servants running to and fro, and none of them fast enough!
bustle, indeed, all of a sudden, and nobody knows for what!'
'Who is below besides them?' said Emily, 'Annette, do not trifle with
'Not for the world, ma'amselle, I would not trifle for the world; but
one cannot help making one's remarks, and there is the Signor in such
a bustle, as I never saw him before; and he has sent me to tell you,
ma'am, to get ready immediately.'
'Good God support me!' cried Emily, almost fainting, 'Count Morano is
'No, ma'amselle, he is not below that I know of,' replied Annette,
'only his excellenza sent me to desire you would get ready directly
to leave Venice, for that the gondolas would be at the steps of the
canal in a few minutes: but I must hurry back to my lady, who
just at her wits end, and knows not which way to turn for haste.'
'Explain, Annette, explain the meaning of all this before you go,'
said Emily, so overcome with surprise and timid hope, that she had
scarcely breath to speak.
'Nay, ma'amselle, that is more than I can do. I only know
Signor is just come home in a very ill humour, that he has had us all
called out of our beds, and tells us we are all to leave Venice
'Is Count Morano to go with the signor?' said Emily, 'and whither are
'I know neither, ma'am, for certain; but I heard Ludovico say
something about going, after we get to terra-firma, to the signor's
castle among some mountains, that he talked of.'
said Emily, eagerly,
I have little to
'That is the very place, ma'am. But cheer up, and do not take
much to heart, and think what a little time you have to get ready in,
and how impatient the Signor is. Holy St. Mark! I hear the
the canal; and now they come nearer, and now they are dashing at the
steps below; it is the gondola, sure enough.'
Annette hastened from the room; and Emily prepared for this
unexpected flight, as fast as her trembling hands would permit, not
perceiving, that any change in her situation could possibly be for
the worse. She had scarcely thrown her books and clothes into
travelling trunk, when, receiving a second summons, she went down to
her aunt's dressing-room, where she found Montoni impatiently
reproving his wife for delay. He went out, soon after, to
further orders to his people, and Emily then enquired the occasion of
this hasty journey; but her aunt appeared to be as ignorant as
herself, and to undertake the journey with more reluctance.
The family at length embarked, but neither Count Morano, nor Cavigni,
was of the party. Somewhat revived by observing this, Emily,
the gondolieri dashed their oars in the water, and put off from the
steps of the portico, felt like a criminal, who receives a short
reprieve. Her heart beat yet lighter, when they emerged from
canal into the ocean, and lighter still, when they skimmed past the
walls of St. Mark, without having stopped to take up Count Morano.
The dawn now began to tint the horizon, and to break upon the shores
of the Adriatic.
Emily did not
to ask any questions of
Montoni, who sat, for some time, in gloomy silence, and then rolled
himself up in his cloak, as if to sleep, while Madame Montoni did the
same; but Emily, who could not sleep, undrew one of the little
curtains of the gondola, and looked out upon the sea. The
dawn now enlightened the mountain-tops of Friuli,
but their lower
sides, and the distant waves, that rolled at their feet, were still
in deep shadow. Emily, sunk in tranquil melancholy, watched
strengthening light spreading upon the ocean, shewing successively
Venice and her
islets, and the
shores of Italy,
with their pointed latin sails, began to move.
The gondolieri were frequently hailed, at this early hour, by the
market-people, as they glided by towards Venice,
and the lagune soon
displayed a gay scene of innumerable little barks, passing from
terra-firma with provisions. Emily gave a last look to that
city, but her mind was then occupied by considering the probable
events, that awaited her, in the scenes, to which she was removing,
and with conjectures, concerning the motive of this sudden
It appeared, upon calmer consideration, that Montoni was removing her
to his secluded castle, because he could there, with more probability
of success, attempt to terrify her into obedience; or, that, should
its gloomy and sequestered scenes fail of this effect, her forced
marriage with the Count could there be solemnized with the secrecy,
which was necessary to the honour of Montoni. The little
which this reprieve had recalled, now began to fail, and, when Emily
reached the shore, her mind had sunk into all its former depression.
Montoni did not embark on the Brenta, but pursued his way in
carriages across the country, towards the Apennine; during which
journey, his manner to Emily was so particularly severe, that this
alone would have confirmed her late conjecture, had any such
confirmation been necessary. Her senses were now dead to the
beautiful country, through which she travelled. Sometimes she
compelled to smile at the naivete of Annette, in her remarks on what
she saw, and sometimes to sigh, as a scene of peculiar beauty
recalled Valancourt to her thoughts, who was indeed seldom absent
from them, and of whom she could never hope to hear in the solitude,
to which she was hastening.
At length, the travellers began to ascend among the Apennines.
immense pine-forests, which, at that period, overhung these
mountains, and between which the road wound, excluded all view but of
the cliffs aspiring above, except, that, now and then, an opening
through the dark woods allowed the eye a momentary glimpse of the
country below. The gloom of these shades, their solitary
except when the breeze swept over their summits, the tremendous
precipices of the mountains, that came partially to the eye, each
assisted to raise the solemnity of Emily's feelings into awe; she saw
only images of gloomy grandeur, or of dreadful sublimity, around her;
other images, equally gloomy and equally terrible, gleamed on her
imagination. She was going she scarcely knew whither, under
dominion of a person, from whose arbitrary disposition she had
already suffered so much, to marry, perhaps, a man who possessed
neither her affection, or esteem; or to endure, beyond the hope of
succour, whatever punishment revenge, and that Italian revenge, might
dictate.--The more she considered what might be the motive of the
journey, the more she became convinced, that it was for the purpose
of concluding her nuptials with Count Morano, with that secrecy,
which her resolute resistance had made necessary to the honour, if
not to the safety, of Montoni. From the deep solitudes, into
she was immerging, and from the gloomy castle, of which she had heard
some mysterious hints, her sick heart recoiled in despair, and she
experienced, that, though her mind was already occupied by peculiar
distress, it was still alive to the influence of new and local
circumstance; why else did she shudder at the idea of this desolate
As the travellers still ascended among the pine forests, steep rose
over steep, the mountains seemed to multiply, as they went, and what
was the summit of one eminence proved to be only the base of
At length, they reached a little plain, where the drivers stopped to
rest the mules, whence a scene of such extent and magnificence opened
below, as drew even from Madame Montoni a note of admiration.
lost, for a moment, her sorrows, in the immensity of nature.
the amphitheatre of mountains, that stretched below, whose tops
appeared as numerous almost, as the waves of the sea, and whose feet
were concealed by the forests--extended the campagna of Italy,
cities and rivers, and woods and all the glow of cultivation were
mingled in gay confusion. The Adriatic bounded the horizon,
which the Po and
the Brenta, after
through the whole extent
of the landscape, poured their fruitful waves. Emily gazed
the splendours of the world she was quitting, of which the whole
magnificence seemed thus given to her sight only to increase her
regret on leaving it; for her, Valancourt alone was in that world; to
him alone her heart turned, and for him alone fell her bitter tears.
From this sublime scene the travellers continued to ascend among the
pines, till they entered a narrow pass of the mountains, which shut
out every feature of the distant country, and, in its stead,
exhibited only tremendous crags, impending over the road, where no
vestige of humanity, or even of vegetation, appeared, except here and
there the trunk and scathed branches of an oak, that hung nearly
headlong from the rock, into which its strong roots had
This pass, which led into the heart of the Apennine, at length opened
to day, and a scene of mountains stretched in long perspective, as
wild as any the travellers had yet passed. Still vast
hung upon their base, and crowned the ridgy precipice, that rose
perpendicularly from the vale, while, above, the rolling mists caught
the sun-beams, and touched their cliffs with all the magical
colouring of light and shade. The scene seemed perpetually
and its features to assume new forms, as the winding road brought
them to the eye in different attitudes; while the shifting vapours,
now partially concealing their minuter beauties and now illuminating
them with splendid tints, assisted the illusions of the sight.
Though the deep vallies between these mountains were, for the most
part, clothed with pines, sometimes an abrupt opening presented a
perspective of only barren rocks, with a cataract flashing from their
summit among broken cliffs, till its waters, reaching the bottom,
foamed along with unceasing fury; and sometimes pastoral scenes
exhibited their 'green delights' in the narrow vales, smiling amid
surrounding horror. There herds and flocks of goats and
browsing under the shade of hanging woods, and the shepherd's little
cabin, reared on the margin of a clear stream, presented a sweet
picture of repose.
Wild and romantic as were these scenes, their character had far less
of the sublime, that had those of the Alps, which guard the entrance
of Italy. Emily was often elevated, but seldom felt those
of indescribable awe which she had so continually experienced, in her
passage over the Alps.
Towards the close of day, the road wound into a deep valley.
Mountains, whose shaggy steeps appeared to be inaccessible, almost
surrounded it. To the east, a vista opened, that exhibited
Apennines in their darkest horrors; and the long perspective of
retiring summits, rising over each other, their ridges clothed with
pines, exhibited a stronger image of grandeur, than any that Emily
had yet seen. The sun had just sunk below the top of the
she was descending, whose long shadow stretched athwart the valley,
but his sloping rays, shooting through an opening of the cliffs,
touched with a yellow gleam the summits of the forest, that hung upon
the opposite steeps, and streamed in full splendour upon the towers
and battlements of a castle, that spread its extensive ramparts along
the brow of a precipice above. The splendour of these
objects was heightened by the contrasted shade, which involved the
'There,' said Montoni, speaking for the first time in several hours,
Emily gazed with melancholy awe upon the castle, which she understood
to be Montoni's; for, though it was now lighted up by the setting
sun, the gothic greatness of its features, and its mouldering walls
of dark grey stone, rendered it a gloomy and sublime object.
gazed, the light died away on its walls, leaving a melancholy purple
tint, which spread deeper and deeper, as the thin vapour crept up the
mountain, while the battlements above were still tipped with
splendour. From those, too, the rays soon faded, and the
edifice was invested with the solemn duskiness of evening.
lonely, and sublime, it seemed to stand the sovereign of the scene,
and to frown defiance on all, who dared to invade its solitary
As the twilight deepened, its features became more awful in
obscurity, and Emily continued to gaze, till its clustering towers
were alone seen, rising over the tops of the woods, beneath whose
thick shade the carriages soon after began to ascend.
The extent and darkness of these tall woods awakened terrific images
in her mind, and she almost expected to see banditti start up from
under the trees. At length, the carriages emerged upon a
rock, and, soon after, reached the castle gates, where the deep tone
of the portal bell, which was struck upon to give notice of their
arrival, increased the fearful emotions, that had assailed
While they waited till the servant within should come to open the
gates, she anxiously surveyed the edifice: but the gloom,
overspread it, allowed her to distinguish little more than a part of
its outline, with the massy walls of the ramparts, and to know, that
it was vast, ancient and dreary. From the parts she saw, she
of the heavy strength and extent of the whole. The gateway
her, leading into the courts, was of gigantic size, and was defended
by two round towers, crowned by overhanging turrets, embattled,
where, instead of banners, now waved long grass and wild plants, that
had taken root among the mouldering stones, and which seemed to sigh,
as the breeze rolled past, over the desolation around them.
towers were united by a curtain, pierced and embattled also, below
which appeared the pointed arch of a huge portcullis, surmounting the
gates: from these, the walls of the ramparts extended to
towers, overlooking the precipice, whose shattered outline, appearing
on a gleam, that lingered in the west, told of the ravages of war.--
Beyond these all was lost in the obscurity of evening.
While Emily gazed with awe upon the scene, footsteps were heard
within the gates, and the undrawing of bolts; after which an ancient
servant of the castle appeared, forcing back the huge folds of the
portal, to admit his lord. As the carriage-wheels rolled
under the portcullis, Emily's heart sunk, and she seemed, as if she
was going into her prison; the gloomy court, into which she passed,
served to confirm the idea, and her imagination, ever awake to
circumstance, suggested even more terrors, than her reason could
Another gate delivered them into the second court, grass-grown, and
more wild than the first, where, as she surveyed through the twilight
its desolation--its lofty walls, overtopt with briony, moss and
nightshade, and the embattled towers that rose above,--long-suffering
and murder came to her thoughts. One of those instantaneous
unaccountable convictions, which sometimes conquer even strong minds,
impressed her with its horror. The sentiment was not
when she entered an extensive gothic hall, obscured by the gloom of
evening, which a light, glimmering at a distance through a long
perspective of arches, only rendered more striking. As a
brought the lamp nearer partial gleams fell upon the pillars and the
pointed arches, forming a strong contrast with their shadows, that
stretched along the pavement and the walls.
The sudden journey of Montoni had prevented his people from making
any other preparations for his reception, than could be had in the
short interval, since the arrival of the servant, who had been sent
forward from Venice; and this, in some measure, may account for the
air of extreme desolation, that everywhere appeared.
The servant, who came to light Montoni, bowed in silence, and the
muscles of his countenance relaxed with no symptom of joy.--Montoni
noticed the salutation by a slight motion of his hand, and passed on,
while his lady, following, and looking round with a degree of
surprise and discontent, which she seemed fearful of expressing, and
Emily, surveying the extent and grandeur of the hall in timid wonder,
approached a marble stair-case. The arches here opened to a
vault, from the centre of which hung a tripod lamp, which a servant
was hastily lighting; and the rich fret-work of the roof, a corridor,
leading into several upper apartments, and a painted window,
stretching nearly from the pavement to the ceiling of the hall,
became gradually visible.
Having crossed the foot of the stair-case, and passed through an
ante-room, they entered a spacious apartment, whose walls, wainscoted
with black larch-wood, the growth of the neighbouring mountains, were
scarcely distinguishable from darkness itself. 'Bring more
said Montoni, as he entered. The servant, setting down his
withdrawing to obey him, when Madame Montoni observing, that the
evening air of this mountainous region was cold, and that she should
like a fire, Montoni ordered that wood might be brought.
While he paced the room with thoughtful steps, and Madame Montoni sat
silently on a couch, at the upper end of it, waiting till the servant
returned, Emily was observing the singular solemnity and desolation
of the apartment, viewed, as it now was, by the glimmer of the single
lamp, placed near a large Venetian mirror, that duskily reflected the
scene, with the tall figure of Montoni passing slowly along, his arms
folded, and his countenance shaded by the plume, that waved in his
From the contemplation of this scene, Emily's mind proceeded to the
apprehension of what she might suffer in it, till the remembrance of
Valancourt, far, far distant! came to her heart, and softened it into
sorrow. A heavy sigh escaped her: but, trying to
she walked away to one of the high windows, that opened upon the
ramparts, below which, spread the woods she had passed in her
approach to the castle. But the night-shade sat deeply on the
mountains beyond, and their indented outline alone could be faintly
traced on the horizon, where a red streak yet glimmered in the
The valley between was sunk in darkness.
The scene within, upon which Emily turned on the opening of the door,
was scarcely less gloomy. The old servant, who had received
the gates, now entered, bending under a load of pine-branches, while
two of Montoni's Venetian servants followed with lights.
'Your excellenza is welcome to the castle,' said the old man, as he
raised himself from the hearth, where he had laid the wood:
been a lonely place a long while; but you will excuse it, Signor,
knowing we had but short notice. It is near two years, come
feast of St. Mark, since your excellenza was within these walls.'
'You have a good memory, old Carlo,' said Montoni: 'it is
about; and how hast thou contrived to live so long?'
'A-well-a-day, sir, with much ado; the cold winds, that blow through
the castle in winter, are almost too much for me; and I thought
sometimes of asking your excellenza to let me leave the mountains,
and go down into the lowlands. But I don't know how it is--I
to quit these old walls I have lived in so long.'
'Well, how have you gone on in the castle, since I left it?' said
'Why much as usual, Signor, only it wants a good deal of
There is the north tower--some of the battlements have tumbled down,
and had liked one day to have knocked my poor wife (God rest her
soul!) on the head. Your excellenza must know'--
'Well, but the repairs,' interrupted Montoni.
'Aye, the repairs,' said Carlo: 'a part of the roof of the
hall has fallen in, and all the winds from the mountains rushed
through it last winter, and whistled through the whole castle so,
that there was no keeping one's self warm, be where one
There, my wife and I used to sit shivering over a great fire in one
corner of the little hall, ready to die with cold, and'--
'But there are no more repairs wanted,' said Montoni, impatiently.
'O Lord! Your excellenza, yes--the wall of the rampart has tumbled
down in three places; then, the stairs, that lead to the west
gallery, have been a long time so bad, that it is dangerous to go up
them; and the passage leading to the great oak chamber, that
overhangs the north rampart--one night last winter I ventured to go
there by myself, and your excellenza'--
'Well, well, enough of this,' said Montoni, with quickness:
talk more with thee to-morrow.'
The fire was now lighted; Carlo swept the hearth, placed chairs,
wiped the dust from a large marble table that stood near it, and then
left the room.
Montoni and his family drew round the fire. Madame Montoni
several attempts at conversation, but his sullen answers repulsed
her, while Emily sat endeavouring to acquire courage enough to speak
to him. At length, in a tremulous voice, she said, 'May I
the motive of this sudden journey?'--After a long pause, she
recovered sufficient courage to repeat the question.
'It does not suit me to answer enquiries,' said Montoni, 'nor does it
become you to make them; time may unfold them all: but I
may be no further harassed, and I recommend it to you to retire to
your chamber, and to endeavour to adopt a more rational conduct, than
that of yielding to fancies, and to a sensibility, which, to call it
by the gentlest name, is only a weakness.'
Emily rose to withdraw. 'Good night, madam,' said she to her
with an assumed composure, that could not disguise her emotion.
'Good night, my dear,' said Madame Montoni, in a tone of kindness,
which her niece had never before heard from her; and the unexpected
endearment brought tears to Emily's eyes. She curtsied to
and was retiring; 'But you do not know the way to your chamber,' said
her aunt. Montoni called the servant, who waited in the
and bade him send Madame Montoni's woman, with whom, in a few
minutes, Emily withdrew.
'Do you know which is my room?' said she to Annette, as they crossed
'Yes, I believe I do, ma'amselle; but this is such a strange rambling
place! I have been lost in it already: they call it
chamber, over the south rampart, and I went up this great stair-case
to it. My lady's room is at the other end of the castle.'
Emily ascended the marble staircase, and came to the corridor, as
they passed through which, Annette resumed her chat--'What a wild
lonely place this is, ma'am! I shall be quite frightened to
it. How often, and often have I wished myself in France
little thought, when I came with my lady to see the world, that I
should ever be shut up in such a place as this, or I would never have
left my own country! This way, ma'amselle, down this
turning. I can
almost believe in giants again, and such like, for this is just like
one of their castles; and, some night or other, I suppose I shall see
fairies too, hopping about in that great old hall, that looks more
like a church, with its huge pillars, than any thing else.'
'Yes,' said Emily, smiling, and glad to escape from more serious
thought, 'if we come to the corridor, about midnight, and look down
into the hall, we shall certainly see it illuminated with a thousand
lamps, and the fairies tripping in gay circles to the sound of
delicious music; for it is in such places as this, you know, that
they come to hold their revels. But I am afraid, Annette, you
not be able to pay the necessary penance for such a sight:
once they hear your voice, the whole scene will vanish in an
'O! if you will bear me company, ma'amselle, I will come to the
corridor, this very night, and I promise you I will hold my tongue;
it shall not be my fault if the show vanishes.--But do you think they
'I cannot promise that with certainty, but I will venture to say, it
will not be your fault if the enchantment should vanish.'
'Well, ma'amselle, that is saying more than I expected of
am not so much afraid of fairies, as of ghosts, and they say there
are a plentiful many of them about the castle: now I should
frightened to death, if I should chance to see any of them.
hush! ma'amselle, walk softly! I have thought, several times,
something passed by me.'
'Ridiculous!' said Emily, 'you must not indulge such fancies.'
'O ma'am! they are not fancies, for aught I know; Benedetto says
these dismal galleries and halls are fit for nothing but ghosts to
live in; and I verily believe, if I LIVE long in them I shall turn to
'I hope,' said Emily, 'you will not suffer Signor Montoni to hear of
these weak fears; they would highly displease him.'
'What, you know then, ma'amselle, all about it!' rejoined
'No, no, I do know better than to do so; though, if the Signor can
sleep sound, nobody else in the castle has any right to lie awake, I
am sure.' Emily did not appear to notice this remark.
'Down this passage, ma'amselle; this leads to a back
if I see any thing, I shall be frightened out of my wits!'
'That will scarcely be possible,' said Emily smiling, as she followed
the winding of the passage, which opened into another gallery: and
then Annette, perceiving that she had missed her way, while she had
been so eloquently haranguing on ghosts and fairies, wandered about
through other passages and galleries, till, at length, frightened by
their intricacies and desolation, she called aloud for
but they were beyond the hearing of the servants, who were on the
other side of the castle, and Emily now opened the door of a chamber
on the left.
'O! do not go in there, ma'amselle,' said Annette, 'you will only
lose yourself further.'
'Bring the light forward,' said Emily, 'we may possibly find our way
through these rooms.'
Annette stood at the door, in an attitude of hesitation, with the
light held up to shew the chamber, but the feeble rays spread through
not half of it. 'Why do you hesitate?' said Emily, 'let me
whither this room leads.'
Annette advanced reluctantly. It opened into a suite of
ancient apartments, some of which were hung with tapestry, and others
wainscoted with cedar and black larch-wood. What furniture
was, seemed to be almost as old as the rooms, and retained an
appearance of grandeur, though covered with dust, and dropping to
pieces with the damps, and with age.
'How cold these rooms are, ma'amselle!' said Annette: 'nobody
lived in them for many, many years, they say. Do let us go.'
'They may open upon the great stair-case, perhaps,' said Emily,
passing on till she came to a chamber, hung with pictures, and took
the light to examine that of a soldier on horseback in a field of
battle.--He was darting his spear upon a man, who lay under the feet
of the horse, and who held up one hand in a supplicating
The soldier, whose beaver was up, regarded him with a look of
vengeance, and the countenance, with that expression, struck Emily as
resembling Montoni. She shuddered, and turned from
it. Passing the
light hastily over several other pictures, she came to one concealed
by a veil of black silk. The singularity of the circumstance
her, and she stopped before it, wishing to remove the veil, and
examine what could thus carefully be concealed, but somewhat wanting
courage. 'Holy Virgin! what can this mean?' exclaimed
'This is surely the picture they told me of at Venice.'
'What picture?' said Emily. 'Why a picture--a picture,'
Annette, hesitatingly--'but I never could make out exactly what it
was about, either.'
'Remove the veil, Annette.'
'What! I, ma'amselle!--I! not for the world!'
saw Annette's countenance grow pale. 'And pray, what have you
of this picture, to terrify you so, my good girl?' said she.
'Nothing, ma'amselle: I have heard nothing, only let us find
'Certainly: but I wish first to examine the picture; take the
Annette, while I lift the veil.' Annette took the light, and
immediately walked away with it, disregarding Emily's call to stay,
who, not choosing to be left alone in the dark chamber, at length
followed her. 'What is the reason of this, Annette?' said
when she overtook her, 'what have you heard concerning that picture,
which makes you so unwilling to stay when I bid you?'
'I don't know what is the reason, ma'amselle, replied Annette, 'nor
any thing about the picture, only I have heard there is something
very dreadful belonging to it--and that it has been covered up in
black EVER SINCE--and that nobody has looked at it for a great many
years--and it somehow has to do with the owner of this castle before
Signor Montoni came to the possession of it--and'---
'Well, Annette,' said Emily, smiling, 'I perceive it is as you say--
that you know nothing about the picture.'
'No, nothing, indeed, ma'amselle, for they made me promise never to
'Well,' rejoined Emily, who observed that she was struggling between
her inclination to reveal a secret, and her apprehension for the
consequence, 'I will enquire no further'---
'No, pray, ma'am, do not.'
'Lest you should tell all,' interrupted Emily.
Annette blushed, and Emily smiled, and they passed on to the
extremity of this suite of apartments, and found themselves, after
some further perplexity, once more at the top of the marble stair-
case, where Annette left Emily, while she went to call one of the
servants of the castle to shew them to the chamber, for which they
had been seeking.
While she was absent, Emily's thoughts returned to the picture; an
unwillingness to tamper with the integrity of a servant, had checked
her enquiries on this subject, as well as concerning some alarming
hints, which Annette had dropped respecting Montoni; though her
curiosity was entirely awakened, and she had perceived, that her
questions might easily be answered. She was now, however,
to go back to the apartment and examine the picture; but the
loneliness of the hour and of the place, with the melancholy silence
that reigned around her, conspired with a certain degree of awe,
excited by the mystery attending this picture, to prevent
determined, however, when day-light should have re-animated her
spirits, to go thither and remove the veil. As she leaned
corridor, over the stair-case, and her eyes wandered round, she again
observed, with wonder, the vast strength of the walls, now somewhat
decayed, and the pillars of solid marble, that rose from the hall,
and supported the roof.
A servant now appeared with Annette, and conducted Emily to her
chamber, which was in a remote part of the castle, and at the very
end of the corridor, from whence the suite of apartments opened,
through which they had been wandering. The lonely aspect of
made Emily unwilling that Annette should leave her immediately, and
the dampness of it chilled her with more than fear. She
Caterina, the servant of the castle, to bring some wood and light a
'Aye, lady, it's many a year since a fire was lighted here,' said
'You need not tell us that, good woman,' said Annette; 'every room in
the castle feels like a well. I wonder how you contrive to
here; for my part, I wish myself at Venice again.' Emily
hand for Caterina to fetch the wood.
'I wonder, ma'am, why they call this the double chamber?' said
Annette, while Emily surveyed it in silence and saw that it was lofty
and spacious, like the others she had seen, and, like many of them,
too, had its walls lined with dark larch-wood. The bed and
furniture was very ancient, and had an air of gloomy grandeur, like
all that she had seen in the castle. One of the high
which she opened, overlooked a rampart, but the view beyond was hid
In the presence of Annette, Emily tried to support her spirits, and
to restrain the tears, which, every now and then, came to her
She wished much to enquire when Count Morano was expected at the
castle, but an unwillingness to ask unnecessary questions, and to
mention family concerns to a servant, withheld her.
Annette's thoughts were engaged upon another subject: she
loved the marvellous, and had heard of a circumstance, connected with
the castle, that highly gratified this taste. Having been
not to mention it, her inclination to tell it was so strong, that she
was every instant on the point of speaking what she had
a strange circumstance, too, and to be obliged to conceal it, was a
severe punishment; but she knew, that Montoni might impose one much
severer, and she feared to incur it by offending him.
Caterina now brought the wood, and its bright blaze dispelled, for a
while, the gloom of the chamber. She told Annette, that her
enquired for her, and Emily was once again left to her own sad
reflections. Her heart was not yet hardened against the stern
manners of Montoni, and she was nearly as much shocked now, as she
had been when she first witnessed them. The tenderness and
affection, to which she had been accustomed, till she lost her
parents, had made her particularly sensible to any degree of
unkindness, and such a reverse as this no apprehension had prepared
her to support.
To call off her attention from subjects, that pressed heavily on her
spirits, she rose and again examined her room and its
she walked round it, she passed a door, that was not quite shut, and,
perceiving, that it was not the one, through which she entered, she
brought the light forward to discover whither it led. She
and, going forward, had nearly fallen down a steep, narrow stair-case
that wound from it, between two stone walls. She wished to
what it led, and was the more anxious, since it communicated so
immediately with her apartment; but, in the present state of her
spirits, she wanted courage to venture into the darkness
Closing the door, therefore, she endeavoured to fasten it, but, upon
further examination, perceived, that it had no bolts on the chamber
side, though it had two on the other. By placing a heavy
against it, she in some measure remedied the defect; yet she was
still alarmed at the thought of sleeping in this remote room alone,
with a door opening she knew not whither, and which could not be
perfectly fastened on the inside. Sometimes she wished to
Madame Montoni, that Annette might have leave to remain with her all
night, but was deterred by an apprehension of betraying what would be
thought childish fears, and by an unwillingness to increase the apt
terrors of Annette.
Her gloomy reflections were, soon after, interrupted by a footstep in
the corridor, and she was glad to see Annette enter with some supper,
sent by Madame Montoni. Having a table near the fire, she
good girl sit down and sup with her; and, when their little repast
was over, Annette, encouraged by her kindness and stirring the wood
into a blaze, drew her chair upon the hearth, nearer to Emily, and
said--'Did you ever hear, ma'amselle, of the strange accident, that
made the Signor lord of this castle?'
'What wonderful story have you now to tell?' said Emily, concealing
the curiosity, occasioned by the mysterious hints she had formerly
heard on that subject.
'I have heard all about it, ma'amselle,' said Annette, looking round
the chamber and drawing closer to Emily; 'Benedetto told it me as we
travelled together: says he, "Annette, you don't know about
castle here, that we are going to?" No, says I, Mr.
what do you know? But, ma'amselle, you can keep a secret, or
not tell it you for the world; for I promised never to tell, and they
say, that the Signor does not like to have it talked of.'
'If you promised to keep this secret,' said Emily, 'you do right not
to mention it.'
Annette paused a moment, and then said, 'O, but to you, ma'amselle,
to you I may tell it safely, I know.'
Emily smiled, 'I certainly shall keep it as faithful as yourself,
Annette replied very gravely, that would do, and proceeded--'This
castle, you must know, ma'amselle, is very old, and very strong, and
has stood out many sieges as they say. Now it was not Signor
Montoni's always, nor his father's; no; but, by some law or other, it
was to come to the Signor, if the lady died unmarried.'
'What lady?' said Emily.
'I am not come to that yet,' replied Annette, 'it is the lady I am
going to tell you about, ma'amselle: but, as I was saying,
lived in the castle, and had everything very grand about her, as you
may suppose, ma'amselle. The Signor used often to come to see
and was in love with her, and offered to marry her; for, though he
was somehow related, that did not signify. But she was in
somebody else, and would not have him, which made him very angry, as
they say, and you know, ma'amselle, what an ill-looking gentleman he
is, when he is angry. Perhaps she saw him in a passion, and
therefore would not have him. But, as I was saying, she was
melancholy and unhappy, and all that, for a long while, and--Holy
Virgin! what noise is that? did not you hear a sound, ma'amselle?'
'It was only the wind,' said Emily, 'but do come to the end of your
'As I was saying--O, where was I?--as I was saying--she was very
melancholy and unhappy a long while, and used to walk about upon the
terrace, there, under the windows, by herself, and cry so! it would
have done your heart good to hear her. That is--I don't mean
but it would have made you cry too, as they tell me.'
'Well, but, Annette, do tell me the substance of your tale.'
'All in good time, ma'am; all this I heard before at Venice, but what
is to come I never heard till to-day. This happened a great
years ago, when Signor Montoni was quite a young man. The
called her Signora Laurentini, was very handsome, but she used to be
in great passions, too, sometimes, as well as the Signor.
could not make her listen to him--what does he do, but leave the
castle, and never comes near it for a long time! but it was all one
to her; she was just as unhappy whether he was here or not, till one
evening, Holy St. Peter! ma'amselle,' cried Annette, 'look at that
lamp, see how blue it burns!' She looked fearfully round the
chamber. 'Ridiculous girl!' said Emily, 'why will you indulge
fancies? Pray let me hear the end of your story, I am weary.'
Annette still kept her eyes on the lamp, and proceeded in a lower
voice. 'It was one evening, they say, at the latter end of
it might be about the middle of September, I suppose, or the
beginning of October; nay, for that matter, it might be November, for
that, too, is the latter end of the year, but that I cannot say for
certain, because they did not tell me for certain themselves.
However, it was at the latter end of the year, this grand lady walked
out of the castle into the woods below, as she had often done before,
all alone, only her maid was with her. The wind blew cold,
strewed the leaves about, and whistled dismally among those great old
chesnut trees, that we passed, ma'amselle, as we came to the castle--
for Benedetto shewed me the trees as he was talking--the wind blew
cold, and her woman would have persuaded her to return: but
would not do, for she was fond of walking in the woods, at evening
time, and, if the leaves were falling about her, so much the better.
'Well, they saw her go down among the woods, but night came, and she
did not return: ten o'clock, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock
and no lady! Well, the servants thought to be sure, some
had befallen her, and they went out to seek her. They
night long, but could not find her, or any trace of her; and, from
that day to this, ma'amselle, she has never been heard of.'
'Is this true, Annette?' said Emily, in much surprise.
'True, ma'am!' said Annette, with a look of horror, 'yes, it is true,
indeed. But they do say,' she added, lowering her voice,
say, that the Signora has been seen, several times since, walking in
the woods and about the castle in the night: several of the
servants, who remained here some time after, declare they saw her;
and, since then, she has been seen by some of the vassals, who have
happened to be in the castle, at night. Carlo, the old
could tell such things, they say, if he would.'
'How contradictory is this, Annette!' said Emily, 'you say nothing
has been since known of her, and yet she has been seen!'
'But all this was told me for a great secret,' rejoined Annette,
without noticing the remark, 'and I am sure, ma'am, you would not
hurt either me or Benedetto, so much as to go and tell it
Emily remained silent, and Annette repeated her last sentence.
'You have nothing to fear from my indiscretion,' replied Emily, 'and
let me advise you, my good Annette, be discreet yourself, and never
mention what you have just told me to any other person.
Montoni, as you say, may be angry if he hears of it. But what
inquiries were made concerning the lady?'
'O! a great deal, indeed, ma'amselle, for the Signor laid claim to
the castle directly, as being the next heir, and they said, that is,
the judges, or the senators, or somebody of that sort, said, he could
not take possession of it till so many years were gone by, and then,
if, after all, the lady could not be found, why she would be as good
as dead, and the castle would be his own; and so it is his
the story went round, and many strange reports were spread, so very
strange, ma'amselle, that I shall not tell them.'
'That is stranger still, Annette,' said Emily, smiling, and rousing
herself from her reverie. 'But, when Signora Laurentini was
afterwards seen in the castle, did nobody speak to her?'
'Speak--speak to her!' cried Annette, with a look of terror; 'no, to
'And why not?' rejoined Emily, willing to hear further.
'Holy Mother! speak to a spirit!'
'But what reason had they to conclude it was a spirit, unless they
had approached, and spoken to it?' 'O ma'amselle, I cannot
How can you ask such shocking questions? But nobody ever saw
in, or go out of the castle; and it was in one place now, and then
the next minute in quite another part of the castle; and then it
never spoke, and, if it was alive, what should it do in the castle if
it never spoke? Several parts of the castle have never been
into since, they say, for that very reason.'
'What, because it never spoke?' said Emily, trying to laugh away the
fears that began to steal upon her.--'No, ma'amselle, no;' replied
Annette, rather angrily 'but because something has been seen
They say, too, there is an old chapel adjoining the west side of the
castle, where, any time at midnight, you may hear such groans!--it
makes one shudder to think of them!--and strange sights have been
'Pr'ythee, Annette, no more of these silly tales,' said Emily.
'Silly tales, ma'amselle! O, but I will tell you one story
this, if you please, that Caterina told me. It was one cold
night that Caterina (she often came to the castle then, she says, to
keep old Carlo and his wife company, and so he recommended her
afterwards to the Signor, and she has lived here ever since) Caterina
was sitting with them in the little hall, says Carlo, "I wish we had
some of those figs to roast, that lie in the store-closet, but it is
a long way off, and I am loath to fetch them; do, Caterina," says he,
"for you are young and nimble, do bring us some, the fire is in nice
trim for roasting them; they lie," says he, "in such a corner of the
store-room, at the end of the north-gallery; here, take the lamp,"
says he, "and mind, as you go up the great stair-case, that the wind,
through the roof, does not blow it out." So, with that,
took the lamp--Hush! ma'amselle, I surely heard a noise!'
Emily, whom Annette had now infected with her own terrors, listened
attentively; but every thing was still, and Annette proceeded:
'Caterina went to the north-gallery, that is the wide gallery we
passed, ma'am, before we came to the corridor, here. As she
with the lamp in her hand, thinking of nothing at all--There, again!'
cried Annette suddenly--'I heard it again!--it was not fancy,
'Hush!' said Emily, trembling. They listened, and, continuing
quite still, Emily heard a low knocking against the wall. It
repeatedly. Annette then screamed loudly, and the chamber
slowly opened.--It was Caterina, come to tell Annette, that her lady
wanted her. Emily, though she now perceived who it was, could
immediately overcome her terror; while Annette, half laughing, half
crying, scolded Caterina heartily for thus alarming them; and was
also terrified lest what she had told had been overheard.--Emily,
whose mind was deeply impressed by the chief circumstance of
Annette's relation, was unwilling to be left alone, in the present
state of her spirits; but, to avoid offending Madame Montoni, and
betraying her own weakness, she struggled to overcome the illusions
of fear, and dismissed Annette for the night.
When she was alone, her thoughts recurred to the strange history of
Signora Laurentini and then to her own strange situation, in the wild
and solitary mountains of a foreign country, in the castle, and the
power of a man, to whom, only a few preceding months, she was an
entire stranger; who had already exercised an usurped authority over
her, and whose character she now regarded, with a degree of terror,
apparently justified by the fears of others. She knew, that
invention equal to the conception and talents to the execution of any
project, and she greatly feared he had a heart too void of feeling to
oppose the perpetration of whatever his interest might
had long observed the unhappiness of Madame Montoni, and had often
been witness to the stern and contemptuous behaviour she received
from her husband. To these circumstances, which conspired to
her just cause for alarm, were now added those thousand nameless
terrors, which exist only in active imaginations, and which set
reason and examination equally at defiance.
Emily remembered all that Valancourt had told her, on the eve of her
departure from Languedoc, respecting Montoni, and all that he had
said to dissuade her from venturing on the journey. His fears
often since appeared to her prophetic--now they seemed
Her heart, as it gave her back the image of Valancourt, mourned in
vain regret, but reason soon came with a consolation which, though
feeble at first, acquired vigour from reflection. She
that, whatever might be her sufferings, she had withheld from
involving him in misfortune, and that, whatever her future sorrows
could be, she was, at least, free from self-reproach.
Her melancholy was assisted by the hollow sighings of the wind along
the corridor and round the castle. The cheerful blaze of the
had long been extinguished, and she sat with her eyes fixed on the
dying embers, till a loud gust, that swept through the corridor, and
shook the doors and casements, alarmed her, for its violence had
moved the chair she had placed as a fastening, and the door, leading
to the private stair-case stood half open. Her curiosity and
fears were again awakened. She took the lamp to the top of
steps, and stood hesitating whether to go down; but again the
profound stillness and the gloom of the place awed her, and,
determining to enquire further, when day-light might assist the
search, she closed the door, and placed against it a stronger guard.
She now retired to her bed, leaving the lamp burning on the table;
but its gloomy light, instead of dispelling her fear, assisted it;
for, by its uncertain rays, she almost fancied she saw shapes flit
past her curtains and glide into the remote obscurity of her
chamber.--The castle clock struck one before she closed her eyes to
I think it is the
weakness of mine eyes,
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me!
Daylight dispelled from Emily's mind the glooms of superstition, but
not those of apprehension. The Count Morano was the first
that occurred to her waking thoughts, and then came a train of
anticipated evils, which she could neither conquer, nor
rose, and, to relieve her mind from the busy ideas, that tormented
it, compelled herself to notice external objects. From her
she looked out upon the wild grandeur of the scene, closed nearly on
all sides by alpine steeps, whose tops, peeping over each other,
faded from the eye in misty hues, while the promontories below were
dark with woods, that swept down to their base, and stretched along
the narrow vallies. The rich pomp of these woods was
delightful to Emily; and she viewed with astonishment the
fortifications of the castle spreading along a vast extent of rock,
and now partly in decay, the grandeur of the ramparts below, and the
towers and battlements and various features of the fabric
From these her sight wandered over the cliffs and woods into the
valley, along which foamed a broad and rapid stream, seen falling
among the crags of an opposite mountain, now flashing in the sun-
beams, and now shadowed by over-arching pines, till it was entirely
concealed by their thick foliage. Again it burst from beneath
darkness in one broad sheet of foam, and fell thundering into the
vale. Nearer, towards the west, opened the mountain-vista,
Emily had viewed with such sublime emotion, on her approach to the
castle: a thin dusky vapour, that rose from the valley,
its features with a sweet obscurity. As this ascended and
sun-beams, it kindled into a crimson tint, and touched with exquisite
beauty the woods and cliffs, over which it passed to the summit of
the mountains; then, as the veil drew up, it was delightful to watch
the gleaming objects, that progressively disclosed themselves in the
valley--the green turf--dark woods--little rocky recesses--a few
peasants' huts--the foaming stream--a herd of cattle, and various
images of pastoral beauty. Then, the pine-forests brightened,
then the broad breast of the mountains, till, at length, the mist
settled round their summit, touching them with a ruddy glow.
features of the vista now appeared distinctly, and the broad deep
shadows, that fell from the lower cliffs, gave strong effect to the
streaming splendour above; while the mountains, gradually sinking in
the perspective, appeared to shelve into the Adriatic sea, for such
Emily imagined to be the gleam of blueish light, that terminated the
Thus she endeavoured to amuse her fancy, and was not
The breezy freshness of the morning, too, revived her. She
her thoughts in prayer, which she felt always most disposed to do,
when viewing the sublimity of nature, and her mind recovered its
When she turned from the casement, her eyes glanced upon the door she
had so carefully guarded, on the preceding night, and she now
determined to examine whither it led; but, on advancing to remove the
chairs, she perceived, that they were already moved a little
Her surprise cannot be easily imagined, when, in the next minute, she
perceived that the door was fastened.--She felt, as if she had seen
an apparition. The door of the corridor was locked as she had
it, but this door, which could be secured only on the outside, must
have been bolted, during the night. She became seriously
the thought of sleeping again in a chamber, thus liable to intrusion,
so remote, too, as it was from the family, and she determined to
mention the circumstance to Madame Montoni, and to request a change.
After some perplexity she found her way into the great hall, and to
the room, which she had left, on the preceding night, where breakfast
was spread, and her aunt was alone, for Montoni had been walking over
the environs of the castle, examining the condition of its
fortifications, and talking for some time with Carlo. Emily
that her aunt had been weeping, and her heart softened towards her,
with an affection, that shewed itself in her manner, rather than in
words, while she carefully avoided the appearance of having noticed,
that she was unhappy. She seized the opportunity of Montoni's
absence to mention the circumstance of the door, to request that she
might be allowed another apartment, and to enquire again, concerning
the occasion of their sudden journey. On the first subject
referred her to Montoni, positively refusing to interfere in the
affair; on the last, she professed utter ignorance.
Emily, then, with a wish of making her aunt more reconciled to her
situation, praised the grandeur of the castle and the surrounding
scenery, and endeavoured to soften every unpleasing circumstance
attending it. But, though misfortune had somewhat conquered
asperities of Madame Montoni's temper, and, by increasing her cares
for herself, had taught her to feel in some degree for others, the
capricious love of rule, which nature had planted and habit had
nourished in her heart, was not subdued. She could not now
herself the gratification of tyrannizing over the innocent and
helpless Emily, by attempting to ridicule the taste she could not
Her satirical discourse was, however, interrupted by the entrance of
Montoni, and her countenance immediately assumed a mingled expression
of fear and resentment, while he seated himself at the breakfast-
table, as if unconscious of there being any person but himself in the
Emily, as she observed him in silence, saw, that his countenance was
darker and sterner than usual. 'O could I know,' said she to
herself, 'what passes in that mind; could I know the thoughts, that
are known there, I should no longer be condemned to this torturing
suspense!' Their breakfast passed in silence, till Emily
request, that another apartment might be allotted to her, and related
the circumstance which made her wish it.
'I have no time to attend to these idle whims,' said Montoni, 'that
chamber was prepared for you, and you must rest contented with
It is not probable, that any person would take the trouble of going
to that remote stair-case, for the purpose of fastening a
it was not fastened, when you entered the chamber, the wind, perhaps,
shook the door and made the bolts slide. But I know not why I
undertake to account for so trifling an occurrence.'
This explanation was by no means satisfactory to Emily, who had
observed, that the bolts were rusted, and consequently could not be
thus easily moved; but she forbore to say so, and repeated her
'If you will not release yourself from the slavery of these fears,'
said Montoni, sternly, 'at least forbear to torment others by the
mention of them. Conquer such whims, and endeavour to
your mind. No existence is more contemptible than that, which
embittered by fear.' As he said this, his eye glanced upon
Montoni, who coloured highly, but was still silent. Emily,
and disappointed, thought her fears were, in this instance, too
reasonable to deserve ridicule; but, perceiving, that, however they
might oppress her, she must endure them, she tried to withdraw her
attention from the subject.
Carlo soon after entered with some fruit:
'Your excellenza is tired after your long ramble,' said he, as he set
the fruit upon the table; 'but you have more to see after
There is a place in the vaulted passage leading to--'
Montoni frowned upon him, and waved his hand for him to leave the
room. Carlo stopped, looked down, and then added, as he
the breakfast-table, and took up the basket of fruit, 'I made bold,
your excellenza, to bring some cherries, here, for my honoured lady
and my young mistress. Will your ladyship taste them, madam?'
Carlo, presenting the basket, 'they are very fine ones, though I
gathered them myself, and from an old tree, that catches all the
south sun; they are as big as plums, your ladyship.'
'Very well, old Carlo,' said Madame Montoni; 'I am obliged to you.'
'And the young Signora, too, she may like some of them,' rejoined
Carlo, turning with the basket to Emily, 'it will do me good to see
her eat some.'
'Thank you, Carlo,' said Emily, taking some cherries, and smiling
'Come, come,' said Montoni, impatiently, 'enough of this.
room, but be in waiting. I shall want you presently.'
Carlo obeyed, and Montoni, soon after, went out to examine further
into the state of the castle; while Emily remained with her aunt,
patiently enduring her ill humour, and endeavouring, with much
sweetness, to soothe her affliction, instead of resenting its effect.
When Madame Montoni retired to her dressing-room, Emily endeavoured
to amuse herself by a view of the castle. Through a folding
passed from the great hall to the ramparts, which extended along the
brow of the precipice, round three sides of the edifice; the fourth
was guarded by the high walls of the courts, and by the gateway,
through which she had passed, on the preceding evening. The
of the broad ramparts, and the changing scenery they overlooked,
excited her high admiration; for the extent of the terraces allowed
the features of the country to be seen in such various points of
view, that they appeared to form new landscapes. She often
examine the gothic magnificence of Udolpho, its proud irregularity,
its lofty towers and battlements, its high-arched casements, and its
slender watch-towers, perched upon the corners of turrets.
would lean on the wall of the terrace, and, shuddering, measure with
her eye the precipice below, till the dark summits of the woods
arrested it. Wherever she turned, appeared mountain-tops,
pine and narrow glens, opening among the Apennines and retiring from
the sight into inaccessible regions.
While she thus leaned, Montoni, followed by two men, appeared,
ascending a winding path, cut in the rock below. He stopped
cliff, and, pointing to the ramparts, turned to his followers, and
talked with much eagerness of gesticulation.--Emily perceived, that
one of these men was Carlo; the other was in the dress of a peasant,
and he alone seemed to be receiving the directions of Montoni.
She withdrew from the walls, and pursued her walk, till she heard at
a distance the sound of carriage wheels, and then the loud bell of
the portal, when it instantly occurred to her, that Count Morano was
arrived. As she hastily passed the folding doors from the
towards her own apartment, several persons entered the hall by an
opposite door. She saw them at the extremities of the
immediately retreated; but the agitation of her spirits, and the
extent and duskiness of the hall, had prevented her from
distinguishing the persons of the strangers. Her fears,
but one object, and they had called up that object to her fancy:--she
believed that she had seen Count Morano.
When she thought that they had passed the hall, she ventured again to
the door, and proceeded, unobserved, to her room, where she remained,
agitated with apprehensions, and listening to every distant
At length, hearing voices on the rampart, she hastened to her window,
and observed Montoni, with Signor Cavigni, walking below, conversing
earnestly, and often stopping and turning towards each other, at
which time their discourse seemed to be uncommonly interesting.
Of the several persons who had appeared in the hall, here was Cavigni
alone: but Emily's alarm was soon after heightened by the
some one in the corridor, who, she apprehended, brought a message
from the Count. In the next moment, Annette appeared.
'Ah! ma'amselle,' said she, 'here is the Signor Cavigni
am sure I rejoiced to see a christian person in this place; and then
he is so good natured too, he always takes so much notice of me!--And
here is also Signor Verezzi, and who do you think besides,
'I cannot guess, Annette; tell me quickly.'
'Nay, ma'am, do guess once.'
'Well, then,' said Emily, with assumed composure, 'it is--Count
Morano, I suppose.'
'Holy Virgin!' cried Annette, 'are you ill, ma'amselle? you are going
to faint! let me get some water.'
Emily sunk into a chair. 'Stay, Annette,' said she, feebly,
leave me--I shall soon be better; open the casement.--The Count, you
say--he is come, then?'
'Who, I!--the Count! No, ma'amselle, I did not say
come then?' said Emily eagerly. 'No, ma'amselle.'
'You are sure of it?'
'Lord bless me!' said Annette, 'you recover very suddenly, ma'am!
why, I thought you was dying, just now.'
'But the Count--you are sure, is not come?'
'O yes, quite sure of that, ma'amselle. Why, I was looking
through the grate in the north turret, when the carriages drove into
the court-yard, and I never expected to see such a goodly sight in
this dismal old castle! but here are masters and servants, too,
enough to make the place ring again. O! I was ready to leap
the rusty old bars for joy!--O! who would ever have thought of seeing
a christian face in this huge dreary house? I could have
very horses that brought them.'
'Well, Annette, well, I am better now.'
'Yes, ma'amselle, I see you are. O! all the servants will
lives here, now; we shall have singing and dancing in the little
hall, for the Signor cannot hear us there--and droll stories--
Ludovico's come, ma'am; yes, there is Ludovico come with
remember Ludovico, ma'am--a tall, handsome young man--Signor
Cavigni's lacquey--who always wears his cloak with such a grace,
thrown round his left arm, and his hat set on so smartly, all on one
'No,' said Emily, who was wearied by her loquacity.
'What, ma'amselle, don't you remember Ludovico--who rowed the
Cavaliero's gondola, at the last regatta, and won the prize?
used to sing such sweet verses about Orlandos and about the Black-a-
moors, too; and Charly--Charly--magne, yes, that was the name, all
under my lattice, in the west portico, on the moon-light nights at
Venice? O! I have listened to him!'---
'I fear, to thy peril, my good Annette,' said Emily; 'for it seems
his verses have stolen thy heart. But let me advise you; if
so, keep the secret; never let him know it.'
'Ah--ma'amselle!--how can one keep such a secret as that?'
'Well, Annette, I am now so much better, that you may leave me.'
'O, but, ma'amselle, I forgot to ask--how did you sleep in this
dreary old chamber last night?'--'As well as usual.'--'Did you hear
no noises?'--'None.'--'Nor see anything?'--'Nothing.'--'Well, that is
surprising!'--'Not in the least: and now tell me, why you ask
'O, ma'amselle! I would not tell you for the world, nor all I
heard about this chamber, either; it would frighten you so.'
'If that is all, you have frightened me already, and may therefore
tell me what you know, without hurting your conscience.'
'O Lord! they say the room is haunted, and has been so these many
'It is by a ghost, then, who can draw bolts,' said Emily,
endeavouring to laugh away her apprehensions; 'for I left the door
open, last night, and found it fastened this morning.'
Annette turned pale, and said not a word.
'Do you know whether any of the servants fastened this door in the
morning, before I rose?'
'No, ma'am, that I will be bound they did not; but I don't
shall I go and ask, ma'amselle?' said Annette, moving hastily towards
'Stay, Annette, I have another question to ask; tell me what you have
heard concerning this room, and whither that stair-case leads.'
'I will go and ask it all directly, ma'am; besides, I am sure my lady
wants me. I cannot stay now, indeed, ma'am.'
She hurried from the room, without waiting Emily's reply, whose
heart, lightened by the certainty, that Morano was not arrived,
allowed her to smile at the superstitious terror, which had seized on
Annette; for, though she sometimes felt its influence herself, she
could smile at it, when apparent in other persons.
Montoni having refused Emily another chamber, she determined to bear
with patience the evil she could not remove, and, in order to make
the room as comfortable as possible, unpacked her books, her sweet
delight in happier days, and her soothing resource in the hours of
moderate sorrow: but there were hours when even these failed
their effect; when the genius, the taste, the enthusiasm of the
sublimest writers were felt no longer.
Her little library being arranged on a high chest, part of the
furniture of the room, she took out her drawing utensils, and was
tranquil enough to be pleased with the thought of sketching the
sublime scenes, beheld from her windows; but she suddenly checked
this pleasure, remembering how often she had soothed herself by the
intention of obtaining amusement of this kind, and had been prevented
by some new circumstance of misfortune.
'How can I suffer myself to be deluded by hope,' said she, 'and,
because Count Morano is not yet arrived, feel a momentary
Alas! what is it to me, whether he is here to-day, or to-morrow, if
he comes at all?--and that he will come--it were weakness to doubt.'
To withdraw her thoughts, however, from the subject of her
misfortunes, she attempted to read, but her attention wandered from
the page, and, at length, she threw aside the book, and determined to
explore the adjoining chambers of the castle. Her imagination
pleased with the view of ancient grandeur, and an emotion of
melancholy awe awakened all its powers, as she walked through rooms,
obscure and desolate, where no footsteps had passed probably for many
years, and remembered the strange history of the former possessor of
the edifice. This brought to her recollection the veiled
which had attracted her curiosity, on the preceding night, and she
resolved to examine it. As she passed through the chambers,
to this, she found herself somewhat agitated; its connection with the
late lady of the castle, and the conversation of Annette, together
with the circumstance of the veil, throwing a mystery over the
subject, that excited a faint degree of terror. But a terror
nature, as it occupies and expands the mind, and elevates it to high
expectation, is purely sublime, and leads us, by a kind of
fascination, to seek even the object, from which we appear to shrink.
Emily passed on with faltering steps, and having paused a moment at
the door, before she attempted to open it, she then hastily entered
the chamber, and went towards the picture, which appeared to be
enclosed in a frame of uncommon size, that hung in a dark part of the
room. She paused again, and then, with a timid hand, lifted
veil; but instantly let it fall--perceiving that what it had
concealed was no picture, and, before she could leave the chamber,
she dropped senseless on the floor.
When she recovered her recollection, the remembrance of what she had
seen had nearly deprived her of it a second time. She had
strength to remove from the room, and regain her own; and, when
arrived there, wanted courage to remain alone. Horror
mind, and excluded, for a time, all sense of past, and dread of
future misfortune: she seated herself near the casement,
from thence she heard voices, though distant, on the terrace, and
might see people pass, and these, trifling as they were, were
reviving circumstances. When her spirits had recovered their
she considered, whether she should mention what she had seen to
Madame Montoni, and various and important motives urged her to do so,
among which the least was the hope of the relief, which an
overburdened mind finds in speaking of the subject of its
But she was aware of the terrible consequences, which such a
communication might lead to; and, dreading the indiscretion of her
aunt, at length, endeavoured to arm herself with resolution to
observe a profound silence, on the subject. Montoni and
after passed under the casement, speaking cheerfully, and their
voices revived her. Presently the Signors Bertolini and
joined the party on the terrace, and Emily, supposing that Madame
Montoni was then alone, went to seek her; for the solitude of her
chamber, and its proximity to that where she had received so severe a
shock, again affected her spirit.
She found her aunt in her dressing-room, preparing for
Emily's pale and affrighted countenance alarmed even Madame Montoni;
but she had sufficient strength of mind to be silent on the subject,
that still made her shudder, and which was ready to burst from her
lips. In her aunt's apartment she remained, till they both
to dinner. There she met the gentlemen lately arrived, who
kind of busy seriousness in their looks, which was somewhat unusual
with them, while their thoughts seemed too much occupied by some deep
interest, to suffer them to bestow much attention either on Emily, or
Madame Montoni. They spoke little, and Montoni
now looked on him, shuddered. The horror of the chamber
her mind. Several times the colour faded from her cheeks, and
feared, that illness would betray her emotions, and compel her to
leave the room; but the strength of her resolution remedied the
weakness of her frame; she obliged herself to converse, and even
tried to look cheerful.
Montoni evidently laboured under some vexation, such as would
probably have agitated a weaker mind, or a more susceptible heart,
but which appeared, from the sternness of his countenance, only to
bend up his faculties to energy and fortitude.
It was a comfortless and silent meal. The gloom of the castle
to have spread its contagion even over the gay countenance of
Cavigni, and with this gloom was mingled a fierceness, such as she
had seldom seen him indicate. Count Morano was not named, and
conversation there was, turned chiefly upon the wars, which at that
time agitated the Italian states, the strength of the Venetian
armies, and the characters of their generals.
After dinner, when the servants had withdrawn, Emily learned, that
the cavalier, who had drawn upon himself the vengeance of Orsino, had
since died of his wounds, and that strict search was still making for
his murderer. The intelligence seemed to disturb Montoni, who
and then enquired, where Orsino had concealed himself. His
who all, except Cavigni, were ignorant, that Montoni had himself
assisted him to escape from Venice, replied, that he had fled in the
night with such precipitation and secrecy, that his most intimate
companions knew not whither. Montoni blamed himself for
the question, for a second thought convinced him, that a man of
Orsino's suspicious temper was not likely to trust any of the persons
present with the knowledge of his asylum. He considered
however, as entitled to his utmost confidence, and did not doubt,
that he should soon hear of him.
Emily retired with Madame Montoni, soon after the cloth was
withdrawn, and left the cavaliers to their secret councils, but not
before the significant frowns of Montoni had warned his wife to
depart, who passed from the hall to the ramparts, and walked, for
some time, in silence, which Emily did not interrupt, for her mind
was also occupied by interests of its own. It required all
resolution, to forbear communicating to Madame Montoni the terrible
subject, which still thrilled her every nerve with horror; and
sometimes she was on the point of doing so, merely to obtain the
relief of a moment; but she knew how wholly she was in the power of
Montoni, and, considering, that the indiscretion of her aunt might
prove fatal to them both, she compelled herself to endure a present
and an inferior evil, rather than to tempt a future and a heavier
one. A strange kind of presentiment frequently, on this day,
occurred to her;--it seemed as if her fate rested here, and was by
some invisible means connected with this castle.
'Let me not accelerate it,' said she to herself: 'for
be reserved, let me, at least, avoid self-reproach.'
As she looked on the massy walls of the edifice, her melancholy
spirits represented it to be her prison; and she started as at a new
suggestion, when she considered how far distant she was from her
native country, from her little peaceful home, and from her only
friend--how remote was her hope of happiness, how feeble the
expectation of again seeing him! Yet the idea of Valancourt,
confidence in his faithful love, had hitherto been her only solace,
and she struggled hard to retain them. A few tears of agony
to her eyes, which she turned aside to conceal.
While she afterwards leaned on the wall of the rampart, some
peasants, at a little distance, were seen examining a breach, before
which lay a heap of stones, as if to repair it, and a rusty old
cannon, that appeared to have fallen from its station above.
Montoni stopped to speak to the men, and enquired what they were
going to do. 'To repair the fortifications, your ladyship,'
of them; a labour which she was somewhat surprised, that Montoni
should think necessary, particularly since he had never spoken of the
castle, as of a place, at which he meant to reside for any
considerable time; but she passed on towards a lofty arch, that led
from the south to the east rampart, and which adjoined the castle, on
one side, while, on the other, it supported a small watch-tower, that
entirely commanded the deep valley below. As she approached
arch, she saw, beyond it, winding along the woody descent of a
distant mountain, a long troop of horse and foot, whom she knew to be
soldiers, only by the glitter of their pikes and other arms, for the
distance did not allow her to discover the colour of their
As she gazed, the vanguard issued from the woods into the valley, but
the train still continued to pour over the remote summit of the
mountain, in endless succession; while, in the front, the military
uniform became distinguishable, and the commanders, riding first, and
seeming, by their gestures, to direct the march of those that
followed, at length, approached very near to the castle.
Such a spectacle, in these solitary regions, both surprised and
alarmed Madame Montoni, and she hastened towards some peasants, who
were employed in raising bastions before the south rampart, where the
rock was less abrupt than elsewhere. These men could give no
satisfactory answers to her enquiries, but, being roused by them,
gazed in stupid astonishment upon the long cavalcade. Madame
Montoni, then thinking it necessary to communicate further the object
of her alarm, sent Emily to say, that she wished to speak to Montoni;
an errand her niece did not approve, for she dreaded his frowns,
which she knew this message would provoke; but she obeyed in silence.
As she drew near the apartment, in which he sat with his guests, she
heard them in earnest and loud dispute, and she paused a moment,
trembling at the displeasure, which her sudden interruption would
occasion. In the next, their voices sunk all together; she
ventured to open the door, and, while Montoni turned hastily and
looked at her, without speaking, she delivered her message.
'Tell Madam Montoni I am engaged,' said he.
Emily then thought it proper to mention the subject of her
Montoni and his companions rose instantly and went to the windows,
but, these not affording them a view of the troops, they at length
proceeded to the ramparts, where Cavigni conjectured it to be a
legion of condottieri, on their march towards Modena.
One part of the cavalcade now extended along the valley, and another
wound among the mountains towards the north, while some troops still
lingered on the woody precipices, where the first had appeared, so
that the great length of the procession seemed to include an whole
army. While Montoni and his family watched its progress, they
the sound of trumpets and the clash of cymbals in the vale, and then
others, answering from the heights. Emily listened with
the shrill blast, that woke the echoes of the mountains, and Montoni
explained the signals, with which he appeared to be well acquainted,
and which meant nothing hostile. The uniforms of the troops,
kind of arms they bore, confirmed to him the conjecture of Cavigni,
and he had the satisfaction to see them pass by, without even
stopping to gaze upon his castle. He did not, however, leave
rampart, till the bases of the mountains had shut them from his view,
and the last murmur of the trumpet floated away on the wind.
and Verezzi were inspirited by this spectacle, which seemed to have
roused all the fire of their temper; Montoni turned into the castle
in thoughtful silence.
Emily's mind had not yet sufficiently recovered from its late shock,
to endure the loneliness of her chamber, and she remained upon the
ramparts; for Madame Montoni had not invited her to her dressing-
room, whither she had gone evidently in low spirits, and Emily, from
her late experience, had lost all wish to explore the gloomy and
mysterious recesses of the castle. The ramparts, therefore,
almost her only retreat, and here she lingered, till the gray haze of
evening was again spread over the scene.
The cavaliers supped by themselves, and Madame Montoni remained in
her apartment, whither Emily went, before she retired to her
She found her aunt weeping, and in much agitation. The
Emily was naturally so soothing, that it seldom failed to give
comfort to the drooping heart: but Madame Montoni's was torn,
the softest accents of Emily's voice were lost upon it. With
usual delicacy, she did not appear to observe her aunt's distress,
but it gave an involuntary gentleness to her manners, and an air of
solicitude to her countenance, which Madame Montoni was vexed to
perceive, who seemed to feel the pity of her niece to be an insult to
her pride, and dismissed her as soon as she properly could.
did not venture to mention again the reluctance she felt to her
gloomy chamber, but she requested that Annette might be permitted to
remain with her till she retired to rest; and the request was
somewhat reluctantly granted. Annette, however, was now with
servants, and Emily withdrew alone.
With light and hasty steps she passed through the long galleries,
while the feeble glimmer of the lamp she carried only shewed the
gloom around her, and the passing air threatened to extinguish
The lonely silence, that reigned in this part of the castle, awed
her; now and then, indeed, she heard a faint peal of laughter rise
from a remote part of the edifice, where the servants were assembled,
but it was soon lost, and a kind of breathless stillness
As she passed the suite of rooms which she had visited in the
morning, her eyes glanced fearfully on the door, and she almost
fancied she heard murmuring sounds within, but she paused not a
moment to enquire.
Having reached her own apartment, where no blazing wood on the hearth
dissipated the gloom, she sat down with a book, to enliven her
attention, till Annette should come, and a fire could be
She continued to read till her light was nearly expired, but Annette
did not appear, and the solitude and obscurity of her chamber again
affected her spirits, the more, because of its nearness to the scene
of horror, that she had witnessed in the morning. Gloomy and
fantastic images came to her mind. She looked fearfully
door of the stair-case, and then, examining whether it was still
fastened, found that it was so. Unable to conquer the
felt at the prospect of sleeping again in this remote and insecure
apartment, which some person seemed to have entered during the
preceding night, her impatience to see Annette, whom she had bidden
to enquire concerning this circumstance, became extremely
She wished also to question her, as to the object, which had excited
so much horror in her own mind, and which Annette on the preceding
evening had appeared to be in part acquainted with, though her words
were very remote from the truth, and it appeared plainly to Emily,
that the girl had been purposely misled by a false report:
she was surprised, that the door of the chamber, which contained it,
should be left unguarded. Such an instance of negligence
surpassed belief. But her light was now expiring; the faint
it threw upon the walls called up all the terrors of fancy, and she
rose to find her way to the habitable part of the castle, before it
was quite extinguished. As she opened the chamber door, she
remote voices, and, soon after, saw a light issue upon the further
end of the corridor, which Annette and another servant
'I am glad you are come,' said Emily: 'what has detained you
long? Pray light me a fire immediately.'
'My lady wanted me, ma'amselle,' replied Annette in some confusion;
'I will go and get the wood.'
'No,' said Caterina, 'that is my business,' and left the room
instantly, while Annette would have followed; but, being called back,
she began to talk very loud, and laugh, and seemed afraid to trust a
pause of silence.
Caterina soon returned with the wood, and then, when the cheerful
blaze once more animated the room, and this servant had withdrawn,
Emily asked Annette, whether she had made the enquiry she bade
'Yes, ma'amselle,' said Annette, 'but not a soul knows any thing
about the matter: and old Carlo--I watched him well, for they
knows strange things--old Carlo looked so as I don't know how to
tell, and he asked me again and again, if I was sure the door was
ever unfastened. Lord, says I--am I sure I am
alive? And as
ma'am, I am all astounded, as one may say, and would no more sleep in
this chamber, than I would on the great cannon at the end of the east
'And what objection have you to that cannon, more than to any of the
rest?' said Emily smiling: 'the best would be rather a hard
'Yes, ma'amselle, any of them would be hard enough for that matter;
but they do say, that something has been seen in the dead of night,
standing beside the great cannon, as if to guard it.'
'Well! my good Annette, the people who tell such stories, are happy
in having you for an auditor, for I perceive you believe them all.'
'Dear ma'amselle! I will shew you the very cannon; you can
from these windows!'
'Well,' said Emily, 'but that does not prove, that an apparition
'What! not if I shew you the very cannon! Dear ma'am, you
'Nothing probably upon this subject, but what I see,' said Emily.--
'Well, ma'am, but you shall see it, if you will only step this way to
the casement.'--Emily could not forbear laughing, and Annette looked
surprised. Perceiving her extreme aptitude to credit the
Emily forbore to mention the subject she had intended, lest it should
overcome her with idle terrors, and she began to speak on a lively
topic--the regattas of Venice.
'Aye, ma'amselle, those rowing matches,' said Annette, 'and the fine
moon-light nights, are all, that are worth seeing in Venice.
sure the moon is brighter than any I ever saw; and then to hear such
sweet music, too, as Ludovico has often and often sung under the
lattice by the west portico! Ma'amselle, it was Ludovico,
me about that picture, which you wanted so to look at last night,
'What picture?' said Emily, wishing Annette to explain herself.
'O! that terrible picture with the black veil over it.'
'You never saw it, then?' said Emily.
'Who, I!--No, ma'amselle, I never did. But this morning,'
Annette, lowering her voice, and looking round the room, 'this
morning, as it was broad daylight, do you know, ma'am, I took a
strange fancy to see it, as I had heard such odd hints about it, and
I got as far as the door, and should have opened it, if it had not
Emily, endeavouring to conceal the emotion this circumstance
occasioned, enquired at what hour she went to the chamber, and found,
that it was soon after herself had been there. She also asked
further questions, and the answers convinced her, that Annette, and
probably her informer, were ignorant of the terrible truth, though in
Annette's account something very like the truth, now and then,
mingled with the falsehood. Emily now began to fear, that her
to the chamber had been observed, since the door had been closed, so
immediately after her departure; and dreaded lest this should draw
upon her the vengeance of Montoni. Her anxiety, also, was
know whence, and for what purpose, the delusive report, which had
been imposed upon Annette, had originated, since Montoni could only
have wished for silence and secrecy; but she felt, that the subject
was too terrible for this lonely hour, and she compelled herself to
leave it, to converse with Annette, whose chat, simple as it was, she
preferred to the stillness of total solitude.
Thus they sat, till near midnight, but not without many hints from
Annette, that she wished to go. The embers were now nearly
out; and Emily heard, at a distance, the thundering sound of the hall
doors, as they were shut for the night. She, therefore,
rest, but was still unwilling that Annette should leave her.
instant, the great bell of the portal sounded. They listened
fearful expectation, when, after a long pause of silence, it sounded
again. Soon after, they heard the noise of carriage wheels in
court-yard. Emily sunk almost lifeless in her chair; 'It is
Count,' said she.
'What, at this time of night, ma'am!' said Annette: 'no, my
lady. But, for that matter, it is a strange time of night for
body to come!'
'Nay, pr'ythee, good Annette, stay not talking,' said Emily in a
voice of agony--'Go, pr'ythee, go, and see who it is.'
Annette left the room, and carried with her the light, leaving Emily
in darkness, which a few moments before would have terrified her in
this room, but was now scarcely observed by her. She listened
waited, in breathless expectation, and heard distant noises, but
Annette did not return. Her patience, at length, exhausted,
tried to find her way to the corridor, but it was long before she
could touch the door of the chamber, and, when she had opened it, the
total darkness without made her fear to proceed. Voices were
heard, and Emily even thought she distinguished those of Count
Morano, and Montoni. Soon after, she heard steps approaching,
then a ray of light streamed through the darkness, and Annette
appeared, whom Emily went to meet.
'Yes, ma'amselle,' said she, 'you was right, it is the Count sure
'It is he!' exclaimed Emily, lifting her eyes towards heaven and
supporting herself by Annette's arm.
'Good Lord! my dear lady, don't be in such a FLUSTER, and look so
pale, we shall soon hear more.'
'We shall, indeed!' said Emily, moving as fast as she was able
towards her apartment. 'I am not well; give me
a casement, and brought water. The faintness soon left Emily,
she desired Annette would not go till she heard from Montoni.
'Dear ma'amselle! he surely will not disturb you at this time of
night; why he must think you are asleep.'
'Stay with me till I am so, then,' said Emily, who felt temporary
relief from this suggestion, which appeared probable enough, though
her fears had prevented its occurring to her. Annette, with
reluctance, consented to stay, and Emily was now composed enough to
ask her some questions; among others, whether she had seen the Count.
'Yes, ma'am, I saw him alight, for I went from hence to the grate in
the north turret, that overlooks the inner court-yard, you
There I saw the Count's carriage, and the Count in it, waiting at the
great door,--for the porter was just gone to bed--with several men on
horseback all by the light of the torches they carried.'
compelled to smile. 'When the door was opened, the Count said
something, that I could not make out, and then got out, and another
gentleman with him. I thought, to be sure, the Signor was
bed, and I hastened away to my lady's dressing-room, to see what I
could hear. But in the way I met Ludovico, and he told me
Signor was up, counselling with his master and the other Signors, in
the room at the end of the north gallery; and Ludovico held up his
finger, and laid it on his lips, as much as to say--There is more
going on, than you think of, Annette, but you must hold your
And so I did hold my tongue, ma'amselle, and came away to tell you
Emily enquired who the cavalier was, that accompanied the Count, and
how Montoni received them; but Annette could not inform her.
'Ludovico,' she added, 'had just been to call Signor Montoni's valet,
that he might tell him they were arrived, when I met him.'
Emily sat musing, for some time, and then her anxiety was so much
increased, that she desired Annette would go to the servants' hall,
where it was possible she might hear something of the Count's
intention, respecting his stay at the castle.
'Yes, ma'am,' said Annette with readiness; 'but how am I to find the
way, if I leave the lamp with you?'
Emily said she would light her, and they immediately quitted the
chamber. When they had reached the top of the great
Emily recollected, that she might be seen by the Count, and, to avoid
the great hall, Annette conducted her through some private passages
to a back stair-case, which led directly to that of the servants.
As she returned towards her chamber, Emily began to fear, that she
might again lose herself in the intricacies of the castle, and again
be shocked by some mysterious spectacle; and, though she was already
perplexed by the numerous turnings, she feared to open one of the
many doors that offered. While she stepped thoughtfully
fancied, that she heard a low moaning at no great distance, and,
having paused a moment, she heard it again and distinctly.
doors appeared on the right hand of the passage. She
listened. When she came to the second, she heard a voice,
in complaint, within, to which she continued to listen, afraid to
open the door, and unwilling to leave it. Convulsive sobs
and then the piercing accents of an agonizing spirit burst
Emily stood appalled, and looked through the gloom, that surrounded
her, in fearful expectation. The lamentations
began to subdue terror; it was possible she might administer comfort
to the sufferer, at least, by expressing sympathy, and she laid her
hand on the door. While she hesitated she thought she knew
voice, disguised as it was by tones of grief. Having,
down the lamp in the passage, she gently opened the door, within
which all was dark, except that from an inner apartment a partial
light appeared; and she stepped softly on. Before she reached
the appearance of Madame Montoni, leaning on her dressing-table,
weeping, and with a handkerchief held to her eyes, struck her, and
Some person was seated in a chair by the fire, but who it was she
could not distinguish. He spoke, now and then, in a low
did not allow Emily to hear what was uttered, but she thought, that
Madame Montoni, at those times, wept the more, who was too much
occupied by her own distress, to observe Emily, while the latter,
though anxious to know what occasioned this, and who was the person
admitted at so late an hour to her aunt's dressing-room, forbore to
add to her sufferings by surprising her, or to take advantage of her
situation, by listening to a private discourse. She,
stepped softly back, and, after some further difficulty, found the
way to her own chamber, where nearer interests, at length, excluded
the surprise and concern she had felt, respecting Madame Montoni.
Annette, however, returned without satisfactory intelligence, for the
servants, among whom she had been, were either entirely ignorant, or
affected to be so, concerning the Count's intended stay at the
castle. They could talk only of the steep and broken road
just passed, and of the numerous dangers they had escaped and express
wonder how their lord could choose to encounter all these, in the
darkness of night; for they scarcely allowed, that the torches had
served for any other purpose but that of shewing the dreariness of
the mountains. Annette, finding she could gain no
them, making noisy petitions, for more wood on the fire and more
supper on the table.
'And now, ma'amselle,' added she, 'I am so sleepy!--I am sure, if you
was so sleepy, you would not desire me to sit up with you.'
Emily, indeed, began to think it was cruel to wish it; she had also
waited so long, without receiving a summons from Montoni, that it
appeared he did not mean to disturb her, at this late hour, and she
determined to dismiss Annette. But, when she again looked
gloomy chamber, and recollected certain circumstances, fear seized
her spirits, and she hesitated.
'And yet it were cruel of me to ask you to stay, till I am asleep,
Annette,' said she, 'for I fear it will be very long before I forget
myself in sleep.'
'I dare say it will be very long, ma'amselle,' said Annette.
'But, before you go,' rejoined Emily, 'let me ask you--Had Signor
Montoni left Count Morano, when you quitted the hall?'
'O no, ma'am, they were alone together.'
'Have you been in my aunt's dressing-room, since you left me?'
'No, ma'amselle, I called at the door as I passed, but it was
fastened; so I thought my lady was gone to bed.'
'Who, then, was with your lady just now?' said Emily, forgetting, in
surprise, her usual prudence.
'Nobody, I believe, ma'am,' replied Annette, 'nobody has been with
her, I believe, since I left you.'
Emily took no further notice of the subject, and, after some struggle
with imaginary fears, her good nature prevailed over them so far,
that she dismissed Annette for the night. She then sat,
her own circumstances and those of Madame Montoni, till her eye
rested on the miniature picture, which she had found, after her
father's death, among the papers he had enjoined her to
was open upon the table, before her, among some loose drawings,
having, with them, been taken out of a little box by Emily, some
hours before. The sight of it called up many interesting
reflections, but the melancholy sweetness of the countenance soothed
the emotions, which these had occasioned. It was the same
countenance as that of her late father, and, while she gazed on it
with fondness on this account, she even fancied a resemblance in the
features. But this tranquillity was suddenly interrupted,
recollected the words in the manuscript, that had been found with
this picture, and which had formerly occasioned her so much doubt and
horror. At length, she roused herself from the deep reverie,
which this remembrance had thrown her; but, when she rose to undress,
the silence and solitude, to which she was left, at this midnight
hour, for not even a distant sound was now heard, conspired with the
impression the subject she had been considering had given to her
mind, to appall her. Annette's hints, too, concerning this
simple as they were, had not failed to affect her, since they
followed a circumstance of peculiar horror, which she herself had
witnessed, and since the scene of this was a chamber nearly adjoining
The door of the stair-case was, perhaps, a subject of more reasonable
alarm, and she now began to apprehend, such was the aptitude of her
fears, that this stair-case had some private communication with the
apartment, which she shuddered even to remember. Determined
undress, she lay down to sleep in her clothes, with her late father's
dog, the faithful MANCHON, at the foot of the bed, whom she
considered as a kind of guard.
Thus circumstanced, she tried to banish reflection, but her busy
fancy would still hover over the subjects of her interest, and she
heard the clock of the castle strike two, before she closed her eyes.
From the disturbed slumber, into which she then sunk, she was soon
awakened by a noise, which seemed to arise within her chamber; but
the silence, that prevailed, as she fearfully listened, inclined her
to believe, that she had been alarmed by such sounds as sometimes
occur in dreams, and she laid her head again upon the pillow.
A return of the noise again disturbed her; it seemed to come from
that part of the room, which communicated with the private stair-
case, and she instantly remembered the odd circumstance of the door
having been fastened, during the preceding night, by some unknown
hand. Her late alarming suspicion, concerning its
also occurred to her. Her heart became faint with
raising herself from the bed, and gently drawing aside the curtain,
she looked towards the door of the stair-case, but the lamp, that
burnt on the hearth, spread so feeble a light through the apartment,
that the remote parts of it were lost in shadow. The noise,
which, she was convinced, came from the door, continued. It
like that made by the undrawing of rusty bolts, and often ceased, and
was then renewed more gently, as if the hand, that occasioned it, was
restrained by a fear of discovery.
While Emily kept her eyes fixed on the spot, she saw the door move,
and then slowly open, and perceived something enter the room, but the
extreme duskiness prevented her distinguishing what it was.
fainting with terror, she had yet sufficient command over herself, to
check the shriek, that was escaping from her lips, and, letting the
curtain drop from her hand, continued to observe in silence the
motions of the mysterious form she saw. It seemed to glide
remote obscurity of the apartment, then paused, and, as it approached
the hearth, she perceived, in the stronger light, what appeared to be
a human figure. Certain remembrances now struck upon her
almost subdued the feeble remains of her spirits; she continued,
however, to watch the figure, which remained for some time
motionless, but then, advancing slowly towards the bed, stood
silently at the feet, where the curtains, being a little open,
allowed her still to see it; terror, however, had now deprived her of
the power of discrimination, as well as of that of utterance.
Having continued there a moment, the form retreated towards the
hearth, when it took the lamp, held it up, surveyed the chamber, for
a few moments, and then again advanced towards the bed. The
that instant awakening the dog, that had slept at Emily's feet, he
barked loudly, and, jumping to the floor, flew at the stranger, who
struck the animal smartly with a sheathed sword, and, springing
towards the bed, Emily discovered--Count Morano!
She gazed at him for a moment in speechless affright, while he,
throwing himself on his knee at the bed-side, besought her to fear
nothing, and, having thrown down his sword, would have taken her
hand, when the faculties, that terror had suspended, suddenly
returned, and she sprung from the bed, in the dress, which surely a
kind of prophetic apprehension had prevented her, on this night, from
Morano rose, followed her to the door, through which he had entered,
and caught her hand, as she reached the top of the stair-case, but
not before she had discovered, by the gleam of a lamp, another man
half-way down the steps. She now screamed in despair, and,
herself given up by Montoni, saw, indeed, no possibility of escape.
The Count, who still held her hand, led her back into the chamber.
'Why all this terror?' said he, in a tremulous voice. 'Hear
Emily: I come not to alarm you; no, by Heaven! I
-too well for my own peace.'
him for a moment, in fearful doubt.
'Then leave me, sir,' said she, 'leave me instantly.'
'Hear me, Emily,' resumed Morano, 'hear me! I love, and am in
despair--yes--in despair. How can I gaze upon you, and know,
is, perhaps, for the last time, without suffering all the phrensy of
despair? But it shall not be so; you shall be mine, in spite
Montoni and all his villany.'
'In spite of Montoni!' cried Emily eagerly: 'what is it I
'You hear, that Montoni is a villain,' exclaimed Morano with
vehemence,--'a villain who would have sold you to my love!--Who---'
'And is he less, who would have bought me?' said Emily, fixing on the
Count an eye of calm contempt. 'Leave the room, sir,
continued in a voice, trembling between joy and fear, 'or I will
alarm the family, and you may receive that from Signor Montoni's
vengeance, which I have vainly supplicated from his pity.'
knew, that she was beyond the hearing of those, who might protect
'You can never hope any thing from his pity,' said Morano, 'he has
used me infamously, and my vengeance shall pursue him. And
Emily, for you, he has new plans more profitable than the last, no
doubt.' The gleam of hope, which the Count's former speech
revived, was now nearly extinguished by the latter; and, while
Emily's countenance betrayed the emotions of her mind, he endeavoured
to take advantage of the discovery.
'I lose time,' said he: 'I came not to exclaim against
came to solicit, to plead--to Emily; to tell her all I suffer, to
entreat her to save me from despair, and herself from
Emily! the schemes of Montoni are insearchable, but, I warn you, they
are terrible; he has no principle, when interest, or ambition
Can I love you, and abandon you to his power? Fly, then, fly
this gloomy prison, with a lover, who adores you! I have
servant of the castle to open the gates, and, before tomorrow's dawn,
you shall be far on the way to Venice.'
Emily, overcome by the sudden shock she had received, at the moment,
too, when she had begun to hope for better days, now thought she saw
destruction surround her on every side. Unable to reply, and
to think, she threw herself into a chair, pale and
Montoni had formerly sold her to Morano, was very probable; that he
had now withdrawn his consent to the marriage, was evident from the
Count's present conduct; and it was nearly certain, that a scheme of
stronger interest only could have induced the selfish Montoni to
forego a plan, which he had hitherto so strenuously pursued.
reflections made her tremble at the hints, which Morano had just
given, which she no longer hesitated to believe; and, while she
shrunk from the new scenes of misery and oppression, that might await
her in the castle of Udolpho, she was compelled to observe, that
almost her only means of escaping them was by submitting herself to
the protection of this man, with whom evils more certain and not less
terrible appeared,--evils, upon which she could not endure to pause
for an instant.
Her silence, though it was that of agony, encouraged the hopes of
Morano, who watched her countenance with impatience, took again the
resisting hand she had withdrawn, and, as he pressed it to his heart,
again conjured her to determine immediately. 'Every moment we
will make our departure more dangerous,' said he: 'these few
lost may enable Montoni to overtake us.'
'I beseech you, sir, be silent,' said Emily faintly: 'I am
very wretched, and wretched I must remain. Leave me--I
leave me to my fate.'
'Never!' cried the Count vehemently: 'let me perish
forgive my violence! the thought of losing you is madness.
cannot be ignorant of Montoni's character, you may be ignorant of his
schemes--nay, you must be so, or you would not hesitate between my
love and his power.'
'Nor do I hesitate,' said Emily.
'Let us go, then,' said Morano, eagerly kissing her hand, and rising,
'my carriage waits, below the castle walls.'
'You mistake me, sir,' said Emily. 'Allow me to thank you for
interest you express in my welfare, and to decide by my own
I shall remain under the protection of Signor Montoni.'
'Under his protection!' exclaimed Morano, proudly, 'his
Emily, why will you suffer yourself to be thus deluded? I
already told you what you have to expect from his PROTECTION.'
'And pardon me, sir, if, in this instance, I doubt mere assertion,
and, to be convinced, require something approaching to proof.'
'I have now neither the time, or the means of adducing proof,'
replied the Count.
'Nor have I, sir, the inclination to listen to it, if you had.'
'But you trifle with my patience and my distress,' continued
'Is a marriage with a man, who adores you, so very terrible in your
eyes, that you would prefer to it all the misery, to which Montoni
may condemn you in this remote prison? Some wretch must have
those affections, which ought to be mine, or you would not thus
obstinately persist in refusing an offer, that would place you beyond
the reach of oppression.' Morano walked about the room, with
steps, and a disturbed air.
'This discourse, Count Morano, sufficiently proves, that my
affections ought not to be yours,' said Emily, mildly, 'and this
conduct, that I should not be placed beyond the reach of oppression,
so long as I remained in your power. If you wish me to
otherwise, cease to oppress me any longer by your presence.
refuse this, you will compel me to expose you to the resentment of
'Yes, let him come,' cried Morano furiously, 'and brave MY
resentment! Let him dare to face once more the man he has so
courageously injured; danger shall teach him morality, and vengeance
justice--let him come, and receive my sword in his heart!'
The vehemence, with which this was uttered, gave Emily new cause of
alarm, who arose from her chair, but her trembling frame refused to
support her, and she resumed her seat;--the words died on her lips,
and, when she looked wistfully towards the door of the corridor,
which was locked, she considered it was impossible for her to leave
the apartment, before Morano would be apprised of, and able to
counteract, her intention.
Without observing her agitation, he continued to pace the room in the
utmost perturbation of spirits. His darkened countenance
all the rage of jealousy and revenge; and a person, who had seen his
features under the smile of ineffable tenderness, which he so lately
assumed, would now scarcely have believed them to be the same.
'Count Morano,' said Emily, at length recovering her voice, 'calm, I
entreat you, these transports, and listen to reason, if you will not
to pity. You have equally misplaced your love, and your
never could have returned the affection, with which you honour me,
and certainly have never encouraged it; neither has Signor Montoni
injured you, for you must have known, that he had no right to dispose
of my hand, had he even possessed the power to do so. Leave,
leave the castle, while you may with safety. Spare yourself
dreadful consequences of an unjust revenge, and the remorse of having
prolonged to me these moments of suffering.'
'Is it for mine, or for Montoni's safety, that you are thus alarmed?'
said Morano, coldly, and turning towards her with a look of acrimony.
'For both,' replied Emily, in a trembling voice.
'Unjust revenge!' cried the Count, resuming the abrupt tones of
passion. 'Who, that looks upon that face, can imagine a
adequate to the injury he would have done me? Yes, I will
castle; but it shall not be alone. I have trifled too
my prayers and my sufferings cannot prevail, force shall. I
people in waiting, who shall convey you to my carriage. Your
will bring no succour; it cannot be heard from this remote part of
the castle; submit, therefore, in silence, to go with me.'
This was an unnecessary injunction, at present; for Emily was too
certain, that her call would avail her nothing; and terror had so
entirely disordered her thoughts, that she knew not how to plead to
Morano, but sat, mute and trembling, in her chair, till he advanced
to lift her from it, when she suddenly raised herself, and, with a
repulsive gesture, and a countenance of forced serenity, said, 'Count
Morano! I am now in your power; but you will observe, that
not the conduct which can win the esteem you appear so solicitous to
obtain, and that you are preparing for yourself a load of remorse, in
the miseries of a friendless orphan, which can never leave
you believe your heart to be, indeed, so hardened, that you can look
without emotion on the suffering, to which you would condemn me?'---
Emily was interrupted by the growling of the dog, who now came again
from the bed, and Morano looked towards the door of the stair-case,
where no person appearing, he called aloud, 'Cesario!'
'Emily,' said the Count, 'why will you reduce me to adopt this
conduct? How much more willingly would I persuade, than
to become my wife! but, by Heaven! I will not leave you to be sold by
Montoni. Yet a thought glances across my mind, that brings
with it. I know not how to name it. It is
be.--Yet you tremble--you grow pale! It is! it is
love Montoni!' cried Morano, grasping Emily's wrist, and stamping his
foot on the floor.
An involuntary air of surprise appeared on her countenance.
have indeed believed so,' said she, 'believe so still.'
'That look, those words confirm it,' exclaimed Morano,
'No, no, no, Montoni had a richer prize in view, than gold.
shall not live to triumph over me!--This very instant---'
He was interrupted by the loud barking of the dog.
'Stay, Count Morano,' said Emily, terrified by his words, and by the
fury expressed in his eyes, 'I will save you from this error.--Of all
men, Signor Montoni is not your rival; though, if I find all other
means of saving myself vain, I will try whether my voice may not
arouse his servants to my succour.'
'Assertion,' replied Morano, 'at such a moment, is not to be depended
upon. How could I suffer myself to doubt, even for an
he could see you, and not love?--But my first care shall be to convey
you from the castle. Cesario! ho,--Cesario!'
A man now appeared at the door of the stair-case, and other steps
were heard ascending. Emily uttered a loud shriek, as Morano
her across the chamber, and, at the same moment, she heard a noise at
the door, that opened upon the corridor. The Count paused an
instant, as if his mind was suspended between love and the desire of
vengeance; and, in that instant, the door gave way, and Montoni,
followed by the old steward and several other persons, burst into the
'Draw!' cried Montoni to the Count, who did not pause for a second
bidding, but, giving Emily into the hands of the people, that
appeared from the stair-case, turned fiercely round. 'This in
heart, villain!' said he, as he made a thrust at Montoni with his
sword, who parried the blow, and aimed another, while some of the
persons, who had followed him into the room, endeavoured to part the
combatants, and others rescued Emily from the hands of Morano's
'Was it for this, Count Morano,' said Montoni, in a cool sarcastic
tone of voice, 'that I received you under my roof, and permitted you,
though my declared enemy, to remain under it for the night?
that you might repay my hospitality with the treachery of a fiend,
and rob me of my niece?'
'Who talks of treachery?' said Morano, in a tone of unrestrained
vehemence. 'Let him that does, shew an unblushing face of
Montoni, you are a villain! If there is treachery in this
look to yourself as the author of it. IF--do I say?
have wronged with unexampled baseness, whom you have injured almost
beyond redress! But why do I use words?--Come on, coward, and
receive justice at my hands!'
'Coward!' cried Montoni, bursting from the people who held him, and
rushing on the Count, when they both retreated into the corridor,
where the fight continued so desperately, that none of the spectators
dared approach them, Montoni swearing, that the first who interfered,
should fall by his sword.
Jealousy and revenge lent all their fury to Morano, while the
superior skill and the temperance of Montoni enabled him to wound his
adversary, whom his servants now attempted to seize, but he would not
be restrained, and, regardless of his wound, continued to
seemed to be insensible both of pain and loss of blood, and alive
only to the energy of his passions. Montoni, on the contrary,
persevered in the combat, with a fierce, yet wary, valour; he
received the point of Morano's sword on his arm, but, almost in the
same instant, severely wounded and disarmed him. The Count
back into the arms of his servant, while Montoni held his sword over
him, and bade him ask his life. Morano, sinking under the
his wound, had scarcely replied by a gesture, and by a few words,
feebly articulated, that he would not--when he fainted; and Montoni
was then going to have plunged the sword into his breast, as he lay
senseless, but his arm was arrested by Cavigni. To the
he yielded without much difficulty, but his complexion changed almost
to blackness, as he looked upon his fallen adversary, and ordered,
that he should be carried instantly from the castle.
In the mean time, Emily, who had been with-held from leaving the
chamber during the affray, now came forward into the corridor, and
pleaded a cause of common humanity, with the feelings of the warmest
benevolence, when she entreated Montoni to allow Morano the
assistance in the castle, which his situation required. But
who had seldom listened to pity, now seemed rapacious of vengeance,
and, with a monster's cruelty, again ordered his defeated enemy to be
taken from the castle, in his present state, though there were only
the woods, or a solitary neighbouring cottage, to shelter him from
The Count's servants having declared, that they would not move him
till he revived, Montoni's stood inactive, Cavigni remonstrating, and
Emily, superior to Montoni's menaces, giving water to Morano, and
directing the attendants to bind up his wound. At length,
had leisure to feel pain from his own hurt, and he withdrew to
The Count, meanwhile, having slowly recovered, the first object he
saw, on raising his eyes, was Emily, bending over him with a
countenance strongly expressive of solicitude. He surveyed
a look of anguish.
'I have deserved this,' said he, 'but not from Montoni. It is
you, Emily, that I have deserved punishment, yet I receive only
pity!' He paused, for he had spoken with
moment, he proceeded. 'I must resign you, but not to
Forgive me the sufferings I have already occasioned you! But
THAT villain--his infamy shall not go unpunished. Carry me
place,' said he to his servants. 'I am in no condition to
you must, therefore, take me to the nearest cottage, for I will not
pass the night under his roof, although I may expire on the way from
Cesario proposed to go out, and enquire for a cottage, that might
receive his master, before he attempted to remove him: but
was impatient to be gone; the anguish of his mind seemed to be even
greater than that of his wound, and he rejected, with disdain, the
offer of Cavigni to entreat Montoni, that he might be suffered to
pass the night in the castle. Cesario was now going to call
carriage to the great gate, but the Count forbade him. 'I
bear the motion of a carriage,' said he: 'call some others of
people, that they may assist in bearing me in their arms.'
At length, however, Morano submitted to reason, and consented, that
Cesario should first prepare some cottage to receive him.
that he had recovered his senses, was about to withdraw from the
corridor, when a message from Montoni commanded her to do so, and
also that the Count, if he was not already gone, should quit the
castle immediately. Indignation flashed from Morano's eyes,
flushed his cheeks.
'Tell Montoni,' said he, 'that I shall go when it suits my own
convenience; that I quit the castle, he dares to call his, as I would
the nest of a serpent, and that this is not the last he shall hear
from me. Tell him, I will not leave ANOTHER murder on his
conscience, if I can help it.'
'Count Morano! do you know what you say?' said Cavigni.
'Yes, Signor, I know well what I say, and he will understand well
what I mean. His conscience will assist his understanding, on
'Count Morano,' said Verezzi, who had hitherto silently observed him,
'dare again to insult my friend, and I will plunge this sword in your
'It would be an action worthy the friend of a villain!' said Morano,
as the strong impulse of his indignation enabled him to raise himself
from the arms of his servants; but the energy was momentary, and he
sunk back, exhausted by the effort. Montoni's people,
held Verezzi, who seemed inclined, even in this instant, to execute
his threat; and Cavigni, who was not so depraved as to abet the
cowardly malignity of Verezzi, endeavoured to withdraw him from the
corridor; and Emily, whom a compassionate interest had thus long
detained, was now quitting it in new terror, when the supplicating
voice of Morano arrested her, and, by a feeble gesture, he beckoned
her to draw nearer. She advanced with timid steps, but the
languor of his countenance again awakened her pity, and overcame her
'I am going from hence for ever,' said he: 'perhaps, I shall
see you again. I would carry with me your forgiveness, Emily;
more--I would also carry your good wishes.'
'You have my forgiveness, then,' said Emily, 'and my sincere wishes
for your recovery.'
'And only for my recovery?' said Morano, with a sigh. 'For
general welfare,' added Emily.
'Perhaps I ought to be contented with this,' he resumed; 'I certainly
have not deserved more; but I would ask you, Emily, sometimes to
think of me, and, forgetting my offence, to remember only the passion
which occasioned it. I would ask, alas!
ask you to love me! At this moment, when I am about to part
you, and that, perhaps, for ever, I am scarcely myself.
you never know the torture of a passion like mine! What do I
O, that, for me, you might be sensible of such a passion!'
Emily looked impatient to be gone. 'I entreat you, Count, to
your own safety,' said she, 'and linger here no longer. I
for the consequences of Signor Verezzi's passion, and of Montoni's
resentment, should he learn that you are still here.'
Morano's face was overspread with a momentary crimson, his eyes
sparkled, but he seemed endeavouring to conquer his emotion, and
replied in a calm voice, 'Since you are interested for my safety, I
will regard it, and be gone. But, before I go, let me again
say, that you wish me well,' said he, fixing on her an earnest and
Emily repeated her assurances. He took her hand, which she
attempted to withdraw, and put it to his lips. 'Farewell,
Morano!' said Emily; and she turned to go, when a second message
arrived from Montoni, and she again conjured Morano, as he valued his
life, to quit the castle immediately. He regarded her in
with a look of fixed despair. But she had no time to enforce
compassionate entreaties, and, not daring to disobey the second
command of Montoni, she left the corridor, to attend him.
He was in the cedar parlour, that adjoined the great hall, laid upon
a couch, and suffering a degree of anguish from his wound, which few
persons could have disguised, as he did. His countenance,
stern, but calm, expressed the dark passion of revenge, but no
symptom of pain; bodily pain, indeed, he had always despised, and had
yielded only to the strong and terrible energies of the soul.
attended by old Carlo and by Signor Bertolini, but Madame Montoni was
not with him.
Emily trembled, as she approached and received his severe rebuke, for
not having obeyed his first summons; and perceived, also, that he
attributed her stay in the corridor to a motive, that had not even
occurred to her artless mind.
'This is an instance of female caprice,' said he, 'which I ought to
have foreseen. Count Morano, whose suit you obstinately
long as it was countenanced by me, you favour, it seems, since you
find I have dismissed him.'
Emily looked astonished. 'I do not comprehend you, sir,' said
'You certainly do not mean to imply, that the design of the Count to
visit the double-chamber, was founded upon any approbation of mine.'
'To that I reply nothing,' said Montoni; 'but it must certainly be a
more than common interest, that made you plead so warmly in his
cause, and that could detain you thus long in his presence, contrary
to my express order--in the presence of a man, whom you have
hitherto, on all occasions, most scrupulously shunned!'
'I fear, sir, it was a more than common interest, that detained me,'
said Emily calmly; 'for of late I have been inclined to think, that
of compassion is an uncommon one. But how could I, could YOU,
witness Count Morano's deplorable condition, and not wish to relieve
'You add hypocrisy to caprice,' said Montoni, frowning, 'and an
attempt at satire, to both; but, before you undertake to regulate the
morals of other persons, you should learn and practise the virtues,
which are indispensable to a woman--sincerity, uniformity of conduct
Emily, who had always endeavoured to regulate her conduct by the
nicest laws, and whose mind was finely sensible, not only of what is
just in morals, but of whatever is beautiful in the female character,
was shocked by these words; yet, in the next moment, her heart
swelled with the consciousness of having deserved praise, instead of
censure, and she was proudly silent. Montoni, acquainted with
delicacy of her mind, knew how keenly she would feel his rebuke; but
he was a stranger to the luxury of conscious worth, and, therefore,
did not foresee the energy of that sentiment, which now repelled his
satire. Turning to a servant who had lately entered the room,
asked whether Morano had quitted the castle. The man
his servants were then removing him, on a couch, to a neighbouring
cottage. Montoni seemed somewhat appeased, on hearing this;
when Ludovico appeared, a few moments after, and said, that Morano
was gone, he told Emily she might retire to her apartment.
She withdrew willingly from his presence; but the thought of passing
the remainder of the night in a chamber, which the door from the
stair-case made liable to the intrusion of any person, now alarmed
her more than ever, and she determined to call at Madame Montoni's
room, and request, that Annette might be permitted to be with her.
On reaching the great gallery, she heard voices seemingly in dispute,
and, her spirits now apt to take alarm, she paused, but soon
distinguished some words of Cavigni and Verezzi, and went towards
them, in the hope of conciliating their difference. They were
Verezzi's face was still flushed with rage; and, as the first object
of it was now removed from him, he appeared willing to transfer his
resentment to Cavigni, who seemed to be expostulating, rather than
disputing, with him.
Verezzi was protesting, that he would instantly inform Montoni of the
insult, which Morano had thrown out against him, and above all, that,
wherein he had accused him of murder.
'There is no answering,' said Cavigni, 'for the words of a man in a
passion; little serious regard ought to be paid to them. If
persist in your resolution, the consequences may be fatal to
We have now more serious interests to pursue, than those of a petty
Emily joined her entreaties to Cavigni's arguments, and they, at
length, prevailed so far, as that Verezzi consented to retire,
without seeing Montoni.
On calling at her aunt's apartment, she found it fastened. In
minutes, however, it was opened by Madame Montoni herself.
It may be remembered, that it was by a door leading into the bedroom
from a back passage, that Emily had secretly entered a few hours
preceding. She now conjectured, by the calmness of Madame
air, that she was not apprised of the accident, which had befallen
her husband, and was beginning to inform her of it, in the tenderest
manner she could, when her aunt interrupted her, by saying, she was
acquainted with the whole affair.
Emily knew indeed, that she had little reason to love Montoni, but
could scarcely have believed her capable of such perfect apathy, as
she now discovered towards him; having obtained permission, however,
for Annette to sleep in her chamber, she went thither immediately.
A track of blood appeared along the corridor, leading to it; and on
the spot, where the Count and Montoni had fought, the whole floor was
stained. Emily shuddered, and leaned on Annette, as she
When she reached her apartment, she instantly determined, since the
door of the stair-case had been left open, and that Annette was now
with her, to explore whither it led,--a circumstance now materially
connected with her own safety. Annette accordingly, half
half afraid, proposed to descend the stairs; but, on approaching the
door, they perceived, that it was already fastened without, and their
care was then directed to the securing it on the inside also, by
placing against it as much of the heavy furniture of the room, as
they could lift. Emily then retired to bed, and Annette
a chair by the hearth, where some feeble embers remained.
Of aery tongues, that syllable men's names
On sands and shores and desert wildernesses.
It is now necessary to mention some circumstances, which could not be
related amidst the events of Emily's hasty departure from Venice,
together with those, which so rapidly succeeded to her arrival in the
On the morning of her journey, Count Morano had gone at the appointed
hour to the mansion
bride. When he reached
it, he was somewhat surprised by the silence and solitary air of the
portico, where Montoni's lacqueys usually loitered; but surprise was
soon changed to astonishment, and astonishment to the rage of
disappointment, when the door was opened by an old woman, who told
his servants, that her master and his family had left Venice, early
in the morning, for terra-firma. Scarcely believing what his
servants told, he left his gondola, and rushed into the hall to
enquire further. The old woman, who was the only person left
of the mansion, persisted in her story, which the silent and deserted
apartments soon convinced him was no fiction. He then seized
with a menacing air, as if he meant to wreak all his vengeance upon
her, at the same time asking her twenty questions in a breath, and
all these with a gesticulation so furious, that she was deprived of
the power of answering them; then suddenly letting her go, he stamped
about the hall, like a madman, cursing Montoni and his own folly.
When the good woman was at liberty, and had somewhat recovered from
her fright, she told him all she knew of the affair, which was,
indeed, very little, but enough to enable Morano to discover, that
Montoni was gone to his castle on the Apennine. Thither he
as soon as his servants could complete the necessary preparation for
the journey, accompanied by a friend, and attended by a number of his
people, determined to obtain Emily, or a full revenge on
When his mind had recovered from the first effervescence of rage, and
his thoughts became less obscured, his conscience hinted to him
certain circumstances, which, in some measure, explained the conduct
of Montoni: but how the latter could have been led to suspect
intention, which, he had believed, was known only to himself, he
could not even guess. On this occasion, however, he had been
betrayed by that sympathetic intelligence, which may be said to exist
between bad minds, and which teaches one man to judge what another
will do in the same circumstances. Thus it was with Montoni,
now received indisputable proof of a truth, which he had some time
suspected--that Morano's circumstances, instead of being affluent, as
he had been bidden to believe, were greatly involved. Montoni
been interested in his suit, by motives entirely selfish, those of
avarice and pride; the last of which would have been gratified by an
alliance with a Venetian nobleman, the former by Emily's estate in
Gascony, which he had stipulated, as the price of his favour, should
be delivered up to him from the day of her marriage. In the
meantime, he had been led to suspect the consequence of the Count's
boundless extravagance; but it was not till the evening, preceding
the intended nuptials, that he obtained certain information of his
distressed circumstances. He did not hesitate then to infer,
Morano designed to defraud him of Emily's estate; and in this
supposition he was confirmed, and with apparent reason, by the
subsequent conduct of the Count, who, after having appointed to meet
him on that night, for the purpose of signing the instrument, which
was to secure to him his reward, failed in his engagement.
circumstance, indeed, in a man of Morano's gay and thoughtless
character, and at a time when his mind was engaged by the bustle of
preparation for his nuptials, might have been attributed to a cause
less decisive, than design; but Montoni did not hesitate an instant
to interpret it his own way, and, after vainly waiting the Count's
arrival, for several hours, he gave orders for his people to be in
readiness to set off at a moment's notice. By hastening to
he intended to remove Emily from the reach of Morano, as well as to
break off the affair, without submitting himself to useless
altercation: and, if the Count meant what he called
would doubtless follow Emily, and sign the writings in
this was done, so little consideration had Montoni for her welfare,
that he would not have scrupled to sacrifice her to a man of ruined
fortune, since by that means he could enrich himself; and he forbore
to mention to her the motive of his sudden journey, lest the hope it
might revive should render her more intractable, when submission
would be required.
With these considerations, he had left Venice;
and, with others
totally different, Morano had, soon after, pursued his steps across
the rugged Apennines.
was announced at the castle,
Montoni did not believe, that he would have presumed to shew himself,
unless he had meant to fulfil his engagement, and he, therefore,
readily admitted him; but the enraged countenance and expressions of
Morano, as he entered the apartment, instantly undeceived him; and,
when Montoni had explained, in part, the motives of his abrupt
departure from Venice, the Count still persisted in demanding Emily,
and reproaching Montoni, without even naming the former stipulation.
Montoni, at length, weary of the dispute, deferred the settling of it
till the morrow, and Morano retired with some hope, suggested by
Montoni's apparent indecision. When, however, in the silence
own apartment, he began to consider the past conversation, the
character of Montoni, and some former instances of his duplicity, the
hope, which he had admitted, vanished, and he determined not to
neglect the present possibility of obtaining Emily by other
To his confidential valet he told his design of carrying away Emily,
and sent him back to Montoni's servants to find out one among them,
who might enable him to execute it. The choice of this person
entrusted to the fellow's own discernment, and not imprudently; for
he discovered a man, whom Montoni had, on some former occasion,
treated harshly, and who was now ready to betray him. This
conducted Cesario round the castle, through a private passage, to the
stair-case, that led to Emily's chamber; then shewed him a short way
out of the building, and afterwards procured him the keys, that would
secure his retreat. The man was well rewarded for his
the Count was rewarded for his treachery, had already appeared.
Meanwhile, old Carlo had overheard two of Morano's servants, who had
been ordered to be in waiting with the carriage, beyond the castle
walls, expressing their surprise at their master's sudden, and secret
departure, for the valet had entrusted them with no more of Morano's
designs, than it was necessary for them to execute. They,
indulged themselves in surmises, and in expressing them to each
other; and from these Carlo had drawn a just conclusion. But,
he ventured to disclose his apprehensions to Montoni, he endeavoured
to obtain further confirmation of them, and, for this purpose, placed
himself, with one of his fellow-servants, at the door of Emily's
apartment, that opened upon the corridor. He did not watch
vain, though the growling of the dog had once nearly betrayed
When he was convinced, that Morano was in the room, and had listened
long enough to his conversation, to understand his scheme, he
immediately alarmed Montoni, and thus rescued Emily from the designs
of the Count.
Montoni, on the following morning, appeared as usual, except that he
wore his wounded arm in a sling; he went out upon the ramparts;
overlooked the men employed in repairing them; gave orders for
additional workmen, and then came into the castle to give audience to
several persons, who were just arrived, and who were shewn into a
private apartment, where he communicated with them, for near an
Carlo was then summoned, and ordered to conduct the strangers to a
part of the castle, which, in former times, had been occupied by the
upper servants of the family, and to provide them with every
necessary refreshment.--When he had done this, he was bidden to
return to his master.
Meanwhile, the Count remained in a cottage in the skirts of the woods
below, suffering under bodily and mental pain, and meditating deep
revenge against Montoni. His servant, whom he had dispatched
surgeon to the nearest town, which was, however, at a considerable
distance, did not return till the following day, when, his wounds
being examined and dressed, the practitioner refused to deliver any
positive opinion, concerning the degree of danger attending them; but
giving his patient a composing draught and ordering him to be quiet,
remained at the cottage to watch the event.
Emily, for the remainder of the late eventful night, had been
suffered to sleep, undisturbed; and, when her mind recovered from the
confusion of slumber, and she remembered, that she was now released
from the addresses of Count Morano, her spirits were suddenly
relieved from a part of the terrible anxiety, that had long oppressed
them; that which remained, arose chiefly from a recollection of
Morano's assertions, concerning the schemes of Montoni. He
that plans of the latter, concerning Emily, were insearchable, yet
that he knew them to be terrible. At the time he uttered
almost believed it to be designed for the purpose of prevailing with
her to throw herself into his protection, and she still thought it
might be chiefly so accounted for; but his assertions had left an
impression on her mind, which a consideration of the character and
former conduct of Montoni did not contribute to efface. She,
however, checked her propensity to anticipate evil; and, determined
to enjoy this respite from actual misfortune, tried to dismiss
thought, took her instruments for drawing, and placed herself at a
window, to select into a landscape some features of the scenery
As she was thus employed, she saw, walking on the rampart below, the
men, who had so lately arrived at the castle. The sight of
surprised her, but still more, of strangers such as these.
a singularity in their dress, and a certain fierceness in their air,
that fixed all her attention. She withdrew from the casement,
they passed, but soon returned to observe them further. Their
figures seemed so well suited to the wildness of the surrounding
objects, that, as they stood surveying the castle, she sketched them
for banditti, amid the mountain-view of her picture, when she had
finished which, she was surprised to observe the spirit of her
But she had copied from nature.
Carlo, when he had placed refreshment before these men in the
apartment assigned to them, returned, as he was ordered, to Montoni,
who was anxious to discover by what servant the keys of the castle
had been delivered to Morano, on the preceding night. But
though he was too faithful to his master quietly to see him injured,
would not betray a fellow-servant even to justice; he, therefore,
pretended to be ignorant who it was, that had conspired with Count
Morano, and related, as before, that he had only overheard some of
the strangers describing the plot.
Montoni's suspicions naturally fell upon the porter, whom he ordered
now to attend. Carlo hesitated, and then with slow steps went
Barnardine, the porter, denied the accusation with a countenance so
steady and undaunted, that Montoni could scarcely believe him guilty,
though he knew not how to think him innocent. At length, the
dismissed from his presence, and, though the real offender, escaped
Montoni then went to his wife's apartment, whither Emily followed
soon after, but, finding them in high dispute, was instantly leaving
the room, when her aunt called her back, and desired her to stay.--
'You shall be a witness,' said she, 'of my opposition. Now,
repeat the command, I have so often refused to obey.'
Montoni turned, with a stern countenance, to Emily, and bade her quit
the apartment, while his wife persisted in desiring, that she would
stay. Emily was eager to escape from this scene of
anxious, also, to serve her aunt; but she despaired of conciliating
Montoni, in whose eyes the rising tempest of his soul flashed
'Leave the room,' said he, in a voice of thunder. Emily
walking down to the rampart, which the strangers had now left,
continued to meditate on the unhappy marriage of her father's sister,
and on her own desolate situation, occasioned by the ridiculous
imprudence of her, whom she had always wished to respect and
Madame Montoni's conduct had, indeed, rendered it impossible for
Emily to do either; but her gentle heart was touched by her distress,
and, in the pity thus awakened, she forgot the injurious treatment
she had received from her.
As she sauntered on the rampart, Annette appeared at the hall door,
looked cautiously round, and then advanced to meet her.
'Dear ma'amselle, I have been looking for you all over the castle,'
said she. 'If you will step this way, I will shew you a
'A picture!' exclaimed Emily, and shuddered.
'Yes, ma'am, a picture of the late lady of this place. Old
just now told me it was her, and I thought you would be curious to
see it. As to my lady, you know, ma'amselle, one cannot talk
such things to her.'--
'And so,' said Emily smilingly, 'as you must talk of them to
'Why, yes, ma'amselle; what can one do in such a place as this, if
one must not talk? If I was in a dungeon, if they would let
-it would be some comfort; nay, I would talk, if it was only to the
walls. But come, ma'amselle, we lose time--let me shew you to
'Is it veiled?' said Emily, pausing.
'Dear ma'amselle!' said Annette, fixing her eyes on Emily's face,
'what makes you look so pale?--are you ill?'
'No, Annette, I am well enough, but I have no desire to see this
picture; return into the hall.'
'What! ma'am, not to see the lady of this castle?' said the girl--
'the lady, who disappeared to strangely? Well! now, I would
to the furthest mountain we can see, yonder, to have got a sight of
such a picture; and, to speak my mind, that strange story is all,
that makes me care about this old castle, though it makes me thrill
all over, as it were, whenever I think of it.'
'Yes, Annette, you love the wonderful; but do you know, that, unless
you guard against this inclination, it will lead you into all the
misery of superstition?'
Annette might have smiled in her turn, at this sage observation of
Emily, who could tremble with ideal terrors, as much as herself, and
listen almost as eagerly to the recital of a mysterious
Annette urged her request.
'Are you sure it is a picture?' said Emily, 'Have you seen it?--Is it
'Holy Maria! ma'amselle, yes, no, yes. I am sure it is a
have seen it, and it is not veiled!'
The tone and look of surprise, with which this was uttered, recalled
Emily's prudence; who concealed her emotion under a smile, and bade
Annette lead her to the picture. It was in an obscure
adjoining that part of the castle, allotted to the servants.
other portraits hung on the walls, covered, like this, with dust and
'That is it, ma'amselle,' said Annette, in a low voice, and
Emily advanced, and surveyed the picture. It represented a
the flower of youth and beauty; her features were handsome and noble,
full of strong expression, but had little of the captivating
sweetness, that Emily had looked for, and still less of the pensive
mildness she loved. It was a countenance, which spoke the
of passion, rather than that of sentiment; a haughty impatience of
misfortune--not the placid melancholy of a spirit injured, yet
'How many years have passed, since this lady disappeared, Annette?'
'Twenty years, ma'amselle, or thereabout, as they tell me; I know it
is a long while ago.' Emily continued to gaze upon the
'I think,' resumed Annette, 'the Signor would do well to hang it in a
better place, than this old chamber. Now, in my mind, he
place the picture of a lady, who gave him all these riches, in the
handsomest room in the castle. But he may have good reasons
he does: and some people do say that he has lost his riches,
as his gratitude. But hush, ma'am, not a word!' added
laying her finger on her lips. Emily was too much absorbed in
thought, to hear what she said.
''Tis a handsome lady, I am sure,' continued Annette: 'the
need not be ashamed to put her in the great apartment, where the
veiled picture hangs.' Emily turned round. 'But for
she would be as little seen there, as here, for the door is always
locked, I find.'
'Let us leave this chamber,' said Emily: 'and let me caution
again, Annette; be guarded in your conversation, and never tell, that
you know any thing of that picture.'
'Holy Mother!' exclaimed Annette, 'it is no secret; why all the
servants have seen it already!'
Emily started. 'How is this?' said she--'Have seen
'Dear, ma'amselle, there is nothing surprising in that; we had all a
little more CURIOUSNESS than you had.'
'I thought you told me, the door was kept locked?' said Emily.
'If that was the case, ma'amselle,' replied Annette, looking about
her, 'how could we get here?'
'Oh, you mean THIS picture,' said Emily, with returning
'Well, Annette, here is nothing more to engage my attention; we will
Emily, as she passed to her own apartment, saw Montoni go down to the
hall, and she turned into her aunt's dressing-room, whom she found
weeping and alone, grief and resentment struggling on her
countenance. Pride had hitherto restrained
Emily's disposition from her own, and from a consciousness of what
her treatment of her deserved, she had believed, that her griefs
would be cause of triumph to her niece, rather than of sympathy; that
she would despise, not pity her. But she knew not the
benevolence of Emily's heart, that had always taught her to forget
her own injuries in the misfortunes of her enemy. The
others, whoever they might be, called forth her ready compassion,
which dissipated at once every obscuring cloud to goodness, that
passion or prejudice might have raised in her mind.
Madame Montoni's sufferings, at length, rose above her pride, and,
when Emily had before entered the room, she would have told them all,
had not her husband prevented her; now that she was no longer
restrained by his presence, she poured forth all her complaints to
'O Emily!' she exclaimed, 'I am the most wretched of women--I am
indeed cruelly treated! Who, with my prospects of happiness,
have foreseen such a wretched fate as this?--who could have thought,
when I married such a man as the Signor, I should ever have to bewail
my lot? But there is no judging what is for the best--there
knowing what is for our good! The most flattering prospects
change--the best judgments may be deceived--who could have foreseen,
when I married the Signor, that I should ever repent my GENEROSITY?'
Emily thought she might have foreseen it, but this was not a thought
of triumph. She placed herself in a chair near her aunt, took
hand, and, with one of those looks of soft compassion, which might
characterize the countenance of a guardian angel, spoke to her in the
tenderest accents. But these did not sooth Madame Montoni,
impatience to talk made unwilling to listen. She wanted to
not to be consoled; and it was by exclamations of complaint only,
that Emily learned the particular circumstances of her affliction.
'Ungrateful man!' said Madame Montoni, 'he has deceived me in every
respect; and now he has taken me from my country and friends, to shut
me up in this old castle; and, here he thinks he can compel me to do
whatever he designs! But he shall find himself mistaken, he
find that no threats can alter--But who would have believed! who
would have supposed, that a man of his family and apparent wealth had
absolutely no fortune?--no, scarcely a sequin of his own! I
for the best; I thought he was a man of consequence, of great
property, or I am sure I would never have married him,--ungrateful,
artful man!' She paused to take breath.
'Dear Madam, be composed,' said Emily: 'the Signor may not be
rich as you had reason to expect, but surely he cannot be very poor,
since this castle and the mansion at Venice
are his. May I ask what
are the circumstances, that particularly affect you?'
'What are the circumstances!' exclaimed Madame Montoni with
resentment: 'why is it not sufficient, that he had long ago
his own fortune by play, and that he has since lost what I brought
him--and that now he would compel me to sign away my settlement (it
was well I had the chief of my property settled on myself!) that he
may lose this also, or throw it away in wild schemes, which nobody
can understand but himself? And, and--is not all this
'It is, indeed,' said Emily, 'but you must recollect, dear madam,
that I knew nothing of all this.'
'Well, and is it not sufficient,' rejoined her aunt, 'that he is also
absolutely ruined, that he is sunk deeply in debt, and that neither
this castle, or the mansion at Venice,
is his own, if all his debts,
honourable and dishonourable, were paid!'
'I am shocked by what you tell me, madam,' said Emily.
'And is it not enough,' interrupted Madame Montoni, 'that he has
treated me with neglect, with cruelty, because I refused to
relinquish my settlements, and, instead of being frightened by his
menaces, resolutely defied him, and upbraided him with his shameful
conduct? But I bore all meekly,--you know, niece, I never
word of complaint, till now; no! That such a disposition as
should be so imposed upon! That I, whose only faults are too
kindness, too much generosity, should be chained for life to such a
vile, deceitful, cruel monster!'
Want of breath compelled Madame Montoni to stop. If any thing
have made Emily smile in these moments, it would have been this
speech of her aunt, delivered in a voice very little below a scream,
and with a vehemence of gesticulation and of countenance, that turned
the whole into burlesque. Emily saw, that her misfortunes did
admit of real consolation, and, contemning the commonplace terms of
superficial comfort, she was silent; while Madame Montoni, jealous of
her own consequence, mistook this for the silence of indifference, or
of contempt, and reproached her with want of duty and feeling.
'O! I suspected what all this boasted sensibility would prove to be!'
rejoined she; 'I thought it would not teach you to feel either duty,
or affection, for your relations, who have treated you like their own
'Pardon me, madam,' said Emily, mildly, 'it is not natural to me to
boast, and if it was, I am sure I would not boast of sensibility--a
quality, perhaps, more to be feared, than desired.'
'Well, well, niece, I will not dispute with you. But, as I
Montoni threatens me with violence, if I any longer refuse to sign
away my settlements, and this was the subject of our contest, when
you came into the room before. Now, I am determined no power
earth shall make me do this. Neither will I bear all this
He shall hear his true character from me; I will tell him all he
deserves, in spite of his threats and cruel treatment.'
Emily seized a pause of Madame Montoni's voice, to speak.
madam,' said she, 'but will not this serve to irritate the Signor
unnecessarily? will it not provoke the harsh treatment you dread?'
'I do not care,' replied Madame Montoni, 'it does not
will not submit to such usage. You would have me give up my
settlements, too, I suppose!'
'No, madam, I do not exactly mean that.'
'What is it you do mean then?'
'You spoke of reproaching the Signor,'--said Emily, with
'Why, does he not deserve reproaches?' said her aunt.
'Certainly he does; but will it be prudent in you, madam, to make
'Prudent!' exclaimed Madame Montoni. 'Is this a time to talk
prudence, when one is threatened with all sorts of violence?'
'It is to avoid that violence, that prudence is necessary.' said
'Of prudence!' continued Madame Montoni, without attending to her,
'of prudence towards a man, who does not scruple to break all the
common ties of humanity in his conduct to me! And is it for
consider prudence in my behaviour towards him! I am not so
'It is for your own sake, not for the Signor's, madam,' said Emily
modestly, 'that you should consult prudence. Your reproaches,
however just, cannot punish him, but they may provoke him to further
violence against you.'
'What! would you have me submit, then, to whatever he commands--would
you have me kneel down at his feet, and thank him for his
Would you have me give up my settlements?'
'How much you mistake me, madam!' said Emily, 'I am unequal to advise
you on a point so important as the last: but you will pardon
saying, that, if you consult your own peace, you will try to
conciliate Signor Montoni, rather than to irritate him by
'Conciliate indeed! I tell you, niece, it is utterly
disdain to attempt it.'
Emily was shocked to observe the perverted understanding and
obstinate temper of Madame Montoni; but, not less grieved for her
sufferings, she looked round for some alleviating circumstance to
offer her. 'Your situation is, perhaps, not so desperate,
madam,' said Emily, 'as you may imagine. The Signor may
his affairs to be worse than they are, for the purpose of pleading a
stronger necessity for his possession of your settlement.
so long as you keep this, you may look forward to it as a resource,
at least, that will afford you a competence, should the Signor's
future conduct compel you to sue for separation.'
Madame Montoni impatiently interrupted her. 'Unfeeling, cruel
said she, 'and so you would persuade me, that I have no reason to
complain; that the Signor is in very flourishing circumstances, that
my future prospects promise nothing but comfort, and that my griefs
are as fanciful and romantic as your own! Is it the way to
me, to endeavour to persuade me out of my senses and my feelings,
because you happen to have no feelings yourself? I thought I
opening my heart to a person, who could sympathize in my distress,
but I find, that your people of sensibility can feel for nobody but
themselves! You may retire to your chamber.'
Emily, without replying, immediately left the room, with a mingled
emotion of pity and contempt, and hastened to her own, where she
yielded to the mournful reflections, which a knowledge of her aunt's
situation had occasioned. The conversation of the Italian
Valancourt, in France,
again occurred to her. His hints, respecting
the broken fortunes of Montoni, were now completely justified; those,
also, concerning his character, appeared not less so, though the
particular circumstances, connected with his fame, to which the
stranger had alluded, yet remained to be explained.
that her own observations and the words of Count Morano had convinced
her, that Montoni's situation was not what it formerly appeared to
be, the intelligence she had just received from her aunt on this
point, struck her with all the force of astonishment, which was not
weakened, when she considered the present style of Montoni's living,
the number of servants he maintained, and the new expences he was
incurring, by repairing and fortifying his castle. Her
her aunt and for herself increased with reflection. Several
assertions of Morano, which, on the preceding night, she had believed
were prompted either by interest, or by resentment, now returned to
her mind with the strength of truth. She could not doubt,
Montoni had formerly agreed to give her to the Count, for a pecuniary
reward;--his character, and his distressed circumstances justified
the belief; these, also, seemed to confirm Morano's assertion, that
he now designed to dispose of her, more advantageously for himself,
to a richer suitor.
Amidst the reproaches, which Morano had thrown out against Montoni,
he had said--he would not quit the castle HE DARED TO CALL HIS, nor
willingly leave ANOTHER murder on his conscience--hints, which might
have no other origin than the passion of the moment: but
now inclined to account for them more seriously, and she shuddered to
think, that she was in the hands of a man, to whom it was even
possible they could apply. At length, considering, that
could neither release her from her melancholy situation, or enable
her to bear it with greater fortitude, she tried to divert her
anxiety, and took down from her little library a volume of her
favourite Ariosto; but his wild imagery and rich invention could not
long enchant her attention; his spells did not reach her heart, and
over her sleeping fancy they played, without awakening it.
She now put aside the book, and took her lute, for it was seldom that
her sufferings refused to yield to the magic of sweet sounds; when
they did so, she was oppressed by sorrow, that came from excess of
tenderness and regret; and there were times, when music had increased
such sorrow to a degree, that was scarcely endurable; when, if it had
not suddenly ceased, she might have lost her reason. Such was
time, when she mourned for her father, and heard the midnight
strains, that floated by her window near the convent in Languedoc,
the night that followed his death.
She continued to play, till Annette brought dinner into her chamber,
at which Emily was surprised, and enquired whose order she
'My lady's, ma'amselle,' replied Annette: 'the Signor ordered
dinner to be carried to her own apartment, and so she has sent you
yours. There have been sad doings between them, worse than
Emily, not appearing to notice what she said, sat down to the little
table, that was spread for her. But Annette was not to be
thus easily. While she waited, she told of the arrival of the
whom Emily had observed on the ramparts, and expressed much surprise
at their strange appearance, as well as at the manner, in which they
had been attended by Montoni's order. 'Do they dine with the
then?' said Emily.
'No, ma'amselle, they dined long ago, in an apartment at the north
end of the castle, but I know not when they are to go, for the Signor
told old Carlo to see them provided with every thing
have been walking all about the castle, and asking questions of the
workmen on the ramparts. I never saw such strange-looking men
life; I am frightened whenever I see them.'
Emily enquired, if she had heard of Count Morano, and whether he was
likely to recover: but Annette only knew, that he was lodged
cottage in the wood below, and that every body said he must
Emily's countenance discovered her emotion.
'Dear ma'amselle,' said Annette, 'to see how young ladies will
disguise themselves, when they are in love! I thought you
Count, or I am sure I would not have told you; and I am sure you have
cause enough to hate him.'
'I hope I hate nobody,' replied Emily, trying to smile; 'but
certainly I do not love Count Morano. I should be shocked to
any person dying by violent means.'
'Yes, ma'amselle, but it is his own fault.'
Emily looked displeased; and Annette, mistaking the cause of her
displeasure, immediately began to excuse the Count, in her
be sure, it was very ungenteel behaviour,' said she, 'to break into a
lady's room, and then, when he found his discoursing was not
agreeable to her, to refuse to go; and then, when the gentleman of
the castle comes to desire him to walk about his business--to turn
round, and draw his sword, and swear he'll run him through the body!-
-To be sure it was very ungenteel behaviour, but then he was
disguised in love, and so did not know what he was about.'
'Enough of this,' said Emily, who now smiled without an effort; and
Annette returned to a mention of the disagreement between Montoni,
and her lady. 'It is nothing new,' said she: 'we
enough of this at Venice,
though I never told you of it, ma'amselle.'
'Well, Annette, it was very prudent of you not to mention it
be as prudent now; the subject is an unpleasant one.'
'Ah dear, ma'amselle!--to see now how considerate you can be about
some folks, who care so little about you! I cannot bear to
so deceived, and I must tell you. But it is all for your own
and not to spite my lady, though, to speak truth, I have little
reason to love her; but--'
'You are not speaking thus of my aunt, I hope, Annette?' said Emily,
'Yes, ma'amselle, but I am, though; and if you knew as much as I do,
you would not look so angry. I have often, and often, heard
Signor and her talking over your marriage with the Count, and she
always advised him never to give up to your foolish whims, as she was
pleased to call them, but to be resolute, and compel you to be
obedient, whether you would, or no. And I am sure, my heart
ached a thousand times, and I have thought, when she was so unhappy
herself, she might have felt a little for other people, and--'
'I thank you for your pity, Annette,' said Emily, interrupting
'but my aunt was unhappy then, and that disturbed her temper perhaps,
or I think--I am sure--You may take away, Annette, I have done.'
'Dear ma'amselle, you have eat nothing at all! Do try, and
little bit more. Disturbed her temper truly! why, her temper
always disturbed, I think. And at Tholouse too I have heard
talking of you and Mons.
Valancourt to Madame Merveille and Madame
Vaison, often and often, in a very ill-natured way, as I thought,
telling them what a deal of trouble she had to keep you in order, and
what a fatigue and distress it was to her, and that she believed you
would run away with Mons. Valancourt, if she was not to watch you
closely; and that you connived at his coming about the house at
'Good God!' exclaimed Emily, blushing deeply, 'it is surely
impossible my aunt could thus have represented me!'
'Indeed, ma'am, I say nothing more than the truth, and not all of
that. But I thought, myself, she might have found something
to discourse about, than the faults of her own niece, even if you had
been in fault, ma'amselle; but I did not believe a word of what she
said. But my lady does not care what she says against any
'However that may be, Annette,' interrupted Emily, recovering her
composure, 'it does not become you to speak of the faults of my aunt
to me. I know you have meant well, but--say no more.--I have
Annette blushed, looked down, and then began slowly to clear the
'Is this, then, the reward of my ingenuousness?' said Emily, when she
was alone; 'the treatment I am to receive from a relation--an aunt--
who ought to have been the guardian, not the slanderer of my
reputation,--who, as a woman, ought to have respected the delicacy of
female honour, and, as a relation, should have protected
to utter falsehoods on so nice a subject--to repay the openness, and,
I may say with honest pride, the propriety of my conduct, with
slanders--required a depravity of heart, such as I could scarcely
have believed existed, such as I weep to find in a relation.
a contrast does her character present to that of my beloved father;
while envy and low cunning form the chief traits of hers, his was
distinguished by benevolence and philosophic wisdom! But now,
only remember, if possible, that she is unfortunate.'
Emily threw her veil over her, and went down to walk upon the
ramparts, the only walk, indeed, which was open to her, though she
often wished, that she might be permitted to ramble among the woods
below, and still more, that she might sometimes explore the sublime
scenes of the surrounding country. But, as Montoni would not
her to pass the gates of the castle, she tried to be contented with
the romantic views she beheld from the walls. The peasants,
been employed on the fortifications, had left their work, and the
ramparts were silent and solitary. Their lonely appearance,
with the gloom of a lowering sky, assisted the musings of her mind,
and threw over it a kind of melancholy tranquillity, such as she
often loved to indulge. She turned to observe a fine effect
sun, as his rays, suddenly streaming from behind a heavy cloud,
lighted up the west towers of the castle, while the rest of the
edifice was in deep shade, except, that, through a lofty gothic arch,
adjoining the tower, which led to another terrace, the beams darted
in full splendour, and shewed the three strangers she had observed in
the morning. Perceiving them, she started, and a momentary
over her, as she looked up the long rampart, and saw no other
persons. While she hesitated, they approached. The
of the terrace, whither they were advancing, she knew, was always
locked, and she could not depart by the opposite extremity, without
meeting them; but, before she passed them, she hastily drew a thin
veil over her face, which did, indeed, but ill conceal her
They looked earnestly at her, and spoke to each other in bad Italian,
of which she caught only a few words; but the fierceness of their
countenances, now that she was near enough to discriminate them,
struck her yet more than the wild singularity of their air and dress
had formerly done. It was the countenance and figure of him,
walked between the other two, that chiefly seized her attention,
which expressed a sullen haughtiness and a kind of dark watchful
villany, that gave a thrill of horror to her heart. All this
legibly written on his features, as to be seen by a single glance,
for she passed the group swiftly, and her timid eyes scarcely rested
on them a moment. Having reached the terrace, she stopped,
perceived the strangers standing in the shadow of one of the turrets,
gazing after her, and seemingly, by their action, in earnest
conversation. She immediately left the rampart, and retired
In the evening, Montoni sat late, carousing with his guests in the
cedar chamber. His recent triumph over Count Morano, or,
some other circumstance, contributed to elevate his spirits to an
unusual height. He filled the goblet often, and gave a loose
merriment and talk. The gaiety of Cavigni, on the contrary,
somewhat clouded by anxiety. He kept a watchful eye upon
whom, with the utmost difficulty, he had hitherto restrained from
exasperating Montoni further against Morano, by a mention of his late
One of the company exultingly recurred to the event of the preceding
evening. Verezzi's eyes sparkled. The mention of
of Emily, of whom they were all profuse in the praise, except
Montoni, who sat silent, and then interrupted the subject.
When the servants had withdrawn, Montoni and his friends entered into
close conversation, which was sometimes checked by the irascible
temper of Verezzi, but in which Montoni displayed his conscious
superiority, by that decisive look and manner, which always
accompanied the vigour of his thought, and to which most of his
companions submitted, as to a power, that they had no right to
question, though of each other's self-importance they were jealously
scrupulous. Amidst this conversation, one of them imprudently
introduced again the name of Morano; and Verezzi, now more heated by
wine, disregarded the expressive looks of Cavigni, and gave some dark
hints of what had passed on the preceding night. These,
Montoni did not appear to understand, for he continued silent in his
chair, without discovering any emotion, while, the choler of Verezzi
increasing with the apparent insensibility of Montoni, he at length
told the suggestion of Morano, that this castle did not lawfully
belong to him, and that he would not willingly leave another murder
on his conscience.
'Am I to be insulted at my own table, and by my own friends?' said
Montoni, with a countenance pale in anger. 'Why are the words
that madman repeated to me?' Verezzi, who had expected to
Montoni's indignation poured forth against Morano, and answered by
thanks to himself, looked with astonishment at Cavigni, who enjoyed
his confusion. 'Can you be weak enough to credit the
madman?' rejoined Montoni, 'or, what is the same thing, a man
possessed by the spirit of vengeance? But he has succeeded
you believe what he said.'
'Signor,' said Verezzi, 'we believe only what we know.'--'How!'
interrupted Montoni, sternly: 'produce your proof.'
'We believe only what we know,' repeated Verezzi, 'and we know
nothing of what Morano asserts.' Montoni seemed to recover
'I am hasty, my friends,' said he, 'with respect to my honour; no man
shall question it with impunity--you did not mean to question
These foolish words are not worth your remembrance, or my
Verezzi, here is to your first exploit.'
'Success to your first exploit,' re-echoed the whole company.
'Noble Signor,' replied Verezzi, glad to find he had escaped
Montoni's resentment, 'with my good will, you shall build your
ramparts of gold.'
'Pass the goblet,' cried Montoni. 'We will drink to Signora
Aubert,' said Cavigni. 'By your leave we will first drink to
lady of the castle.' said Bertolini.--Montoni was silent. 'To
lady of the castle,' said his guests. He bowed his head.
'It much surprises me, Signor,' said Bertolini, 'that you have so
long neglected this castle; it is a noble edifice.'
'It suits our purpose,' replied Montoni, 'and IS a noble
You know not, it seems, by what mischance it came to me.'
'It was a lucky mischance, be it what it may, Signor,' replied
Bertolini, smiling. 'I would, that one so lucky had befallen
Montoni looked gravely at him. 'If you will attend to what I
he resumed, 'you shall hear the story.'
The countenances of Bertolini and Verezzi expressed something more
than curiosity; Cavigni, who seemed to feel none, had probably heard
the relation before.
'It is now near twenty years,' said Montoni, 'since this castle came
into my possession. I inherit it by the female
predecessor, was only distantly related to me; I am the last of her
family. She was beautiful and rich; I wooed her; but her
fixed upon another, and she rejected me. It is probable,
that she was herself rejected of the person, whoever he might be, on
whom she bestowed her favour, for a deep and settled melancholy took
possession of her; and I have reason to believe she put a period to
her own life. I was not at the castle at the time; but, as
some singular and mysterious circumstances attending that event, I
shall repeat them.'
'Repeat them!' said a voice.
Montoni was silent; the guests looked at each other, to know who
spoke; but they perceived, that each was making the same
Montoni, at length, recovered himself. 'We are overheard,'
'we will finish this subject another time. Pass the goblet.'
The cavaliers looked round the wide chamber.
'Here is no person, but ourselves,' said Verezzi: 'pray,
'Did you hear any thing?' said Montoni.
'We did,' said Bertolini.
'It could be only fancy,' said Verezzi, looking round again.
no person besides ourselves; and the sound I thought I heard seemed
within the room. Pray, Signor, go on.'
Montoni paused a moment, and then proceeded in a lowered voice, while
the cavaliers drew nearer to attend.
'Ye are to know, Signors, that the Lady Laurentini had for some
months shewn symptoms of a dejected mind, nay, of a disturbed
imagination. Her mood was very unequal; sometimes she was
calm melancholy, and, at others, as I have been told, she betrayed
all the symptoms of frantic madness. It was one night in the
of October, after she had recovered from one of those fits of excess,
and had sunk again into her usual melancholy, that she retired alone
to her chamber, and forbade all interruption. It was the
the end of the corridor, Signors, where we had the affray, last
night. From that hour, she was seen no more.'
'How! seen no more!' said Bertolini, 'was not her body found in the
'Were her remains never found?' cried the rest of the company all
'Never!' replied Montoni.
'What reasons were there to suppose she destroyed herself, then?'
said Bertolini.--'Aye, what reasons?' said Verezzi.--'How happened
it, that her remains were never found? Although she killed
she could not bury herself.' Montoni looked indignantly at
who began to apologize. 'Your pardon, Signor,' said
consider, that the lady was your relative, when I spoke of her so
Montoni accepted the apology.
'But the Signor will oblige us with the reasons, which urged him to
believe, that the lady committed suicide.'
'Those I will explain hereafter,' said Montoni: 'at present
relate a most extraordinary circumstance. This conversation
further, Signors. Listen, then, to what I am going to say.'
'Listen!' said a voice.
They were all again silent, and the countenance of Montoni
'This is no illusion of the fancy,' said Cavigni, at length breaking
the profound silence.--'No,' said Bertolini; 'I heard it myself,
Yet here is no person in the room but ourselves!'
'This is very extraordinary,' said Montoni, suddenly rising.
is not to be borne; here is some deception, some trick. I
what it means.'
All the company rose from their chairs in confusion.
'It is very odd!' said Bertolini. 'Here is really no stranger
room. If it is a trick, Signor, you will do well to punish
author of it severely.'
'A trick! what else can it be?' said Cavigni, affecting a laugh.
The servants were now summoned, and the chamber was searched, but no
person was found. The surprise and consternation of the
increased. Montoni was discomposed. 'We will leave
he, 'and the subject of our conversation also; it is too
His guests were equally ready to quit the apartment; but the subject
had roused their curiosity, and they entreated Montoni to withdraw to
another chamber, and finish it; no entreaties could, however, prevail
with him. Notwithstanding his efforts to appear at ease, he
visibly and greatly disordered.
'Why, Signor, you are not superstitious,' cried Verezzi, jeeringly;
'you, who have so often laughed at the credulity of others!'
'I am not superstitious,' replied Montoni, regarding him with stern
displeasure, 'though I know how to despise the common-place
sentences, which are frequently uttered against superstition.
enquire further into this affair.' He then left the room; and
guests, separating for the night, retired to their respective
He wears the rose of youth upon his cheek.
We now return to Valancourt, who, it may be remembered, remained at
Tholouse, some time after the departure of Emily, restless and
miserable. Each morrow that approached, he designed should
from thence; yet to-morrow and to-morrow came, and still saw him
lingering in the scene of his former happiness. He could not
immediately tear himself from the spot, where he had been accustomed
to converse with Emily, or from the objects they had viewed together,
which appeared to him memorials of her affection, as well as a kind
of surety for its faithfulness; and, next to the pain of bidding her
adieu, was that of leaving the scenes which so powerfully awakened
her image. Sometimes he had bribed a servant, who had been
the care of Madame Montoni's chateau, to permit him to visit the
gardens, and there he would wander, for hours together, rapt in a
melancholy, not unpleasing. The terrace, and the pavilion at
of it, where he had taken leave of Emily, on the eve of her departure
from Tholouse, were his most favourite haunts. There, as he
or leaned from the window of the building, he would endeavour to
recollect all she had said, on that night; to catch the tones of her
voice, as they faintly vibrated on his memory, and to remember the
exact expression of her countenance, which sometimes came suddenly to
his fancy, like a vision; that beautiful countenance, which awakened,
as by instantaneous magic, all the tenderness of his heart, and
seemed to tell with irresistible eloquence--that he had lost her
forever! At these moments, his hurried steps would have
to a spectator the despair of his heart. The character of
such as he had received from hints, and such as his fears represented
it, would rise to his view, together with all the dangers it seemed
to threaten to Emily and to his love. He blamed himself, that
not urged these more forcibly to her, while it might have been in his
power to detain her, and that he had suffered an absurd and criminal
delicacy, as he termed it, to conquer so soon the reasonable
arguments he had opposed to this journey. Any evil, that
attended their marriage, seemed so inferior to those, which now
threatened their love, or even to the sufferings, that absence
occasioned, that he wondered how he could have ceased to urge his
suit, till he had convinced her of its propriety; and he would
certainly now have followed her to Italy, if he could have been
spared from his regiment for so long a journey. His regiment,
indeed, soon reminded him, that he had other duties to attend, than
those of love.
A short time after his arrival at his brother's house, he was
summoned to join his brother officers, and he accompanied a battalion
to Paris; where a scene of novelty and gaiety opened upon him, such
as, till then, he had only a faint idea of. But gaiety
and company fatigued, his sick mind; and he became an object of
unceasing raillery to his companions, from whom, whenever he could
steal an opportunity, he escaped, to think of Emily. The
around him, however, and the company with whom he was obliged to
mingle, engaged his attention, though they failed to amuse his fancy,
and thus gradually weakened the habit of yielding to lamentation,
till it appeared less a duty to his love to indulge it. Among
brother-officers were many, who added to the ordinary character of a
French soldier's gaiety some of those fascinating qualities, which
too frequently throw a veil over folly, and sometimes even soften the
features of vice into smiles. To these men the reserved and
thoughtful manners of Valancourt were a kind of tacit censure on
their own, for which they rallied him when present, and plotted
against him when absent; they gloried in the thought of reducing him
to their own level, and, considering it to be a spirited frolic,
determined to accomplish it.
Valancourt was a stranger to the gradual progress of scheme and
intrigue, against which he could not be on his guard. He had
been accustomed to receive ridicule, and he could ill endure its
sting; he resented it, and this only drew upon him a louder
To escape from such scenes, he fled into solitude, and there the
image of Emily met him, and revived the pangs of love and
He then sought to renew those tasteful studies, which had been the
delight of his early years; but his mind had lost the tranquillity,
which is necessary for their enjoyment. To forget himself and
grief and anxiety, which the idea of her recalled, he would quit his
solitude, and again mingle in the crowd--glad of a temporary relief,
and rejoicing to snatch amusement for the moment.
Thus passed weeks after weeks, time gradually softening his sorrow,
and habit strengthening his desire of amusement, till the scenes
around him seemed to awaken into a new character, and Valancourt, to
have fallen among them from the clouds.
His figure and address made him a welcome visitor, wherever he had
been introduced, and he soon frequented the most gay and fashionable
circles of Paris.
Among these, was the assembly of the Countess
Lacleur, a woman of eminent beauty and captivating manners.
passed the spring of youth, but her wit prolonged the triumph of its
reign, and they mutually assisted the fame of each other; for those,
who were charmed by her loveliness, spoke with enthusiasm of her
talents; and others, who admired her playful imagination, declared,
that her personal graces were unrivalled. But her imagination
merely playful, and her wit, if such it could be called, was
brilliant, rather than just; it dazzled, and its fallacy escaped the
detection of the moment; for the accents, in which she pronounced it,
and the smile, that accompanied them, were a spell upon the judgment
of the auditors. Her petits soupers were the most tasteful of
frequented by many of the second class of literati.
She was fond of music, was herself a scientific performer, and had
frequently concerts at her house. Valancourt, who
music, and who sometimes assisted at these concerts, admired her
execution, but remembered with a sigh the eloquent simplicity of
Emily's songs and the natural expression of her manner, which waited
not to be approved by the judgment, but found their way at once to
Madame La Comtesse had often deep play at her house, which she
affected to restrain, but secretly encouraged; and it was well known
among her friends, that the splendour of her establishment was
chiefly supplied from the profits of her tables. But her
soupers were the most charming imaginable! Here were all the
delicacies of the four quarters of the world, all the wit and the
lighter efforts of genius, all the graces of conversation--the smiles
of beauty, and the charm of music; and Valancourt passed his
pleasantest, as well as most dangerous hours in these parties.
His brother, who remained with his family in Gascony,
himself with giving him letters of introduction to such of his
relations, residing at Paris,
as the latter was not already known to.
All these were persons of some distinction; and, as neither the
person, mind, or manners of Valancourt the younger threatened to
disgrace their alliance, they received him with as much kindness as
their nature, hardened by uninterrupted prosperity, would admit of;
but their attentions did not extend to acts of real friendship; for
they were too much occupied by their own pursuits, to feel any
interest in his; and thus he was set down in the midst of Paris, in
the pride of youth, with an open, unsuspicious temper and ardent
affections, without one friend, to warn him of the dangers, to which
he was exposed. Emily, who, had she been present, would have
him from these evils by awakening his heart, and engaging him in
worthy pursuits, now only increased his danger;--it was to lose the
grief, which the remembrance of her occasioned, that he first sought
amusement; and for this end he pursued it, till habit made it an
object of abstract interest.
There was also a Marchioness Champfort, a young widow, at whose
assemblies he passed much of his time. She was handsome,
artful, gay and fond of intrigue. The society, which she drew
her, was less elegant and more vicious, than that of the Countess
Lacleur: but, as she had address enough to throw a veil,
a slight one, over the worst part of her character, she was still
visited by many persons of what is called distinction.
was introduced to her parties by two of his brother officers, whose
late ridicule he had now forgiven so far, that he could sometimes
join in the laugh, which a mention of his former manners would renew.
The gaiety of the most splendid court in Europe,
the magnificence of
the palaces, entertainments, and equipages, that surrounded him--all
conspired to dazzle his imagination, and re-animate his spirits, and
the example and maxims of his military associates to delude his
Emily's image, indeed, still lived there; but it was no longer the
friend, the monitor, that saved him from himself, and to which he
retired to weep the sweet, yet melancholy, tears of
he had recourse to it, it assumed a countenance of mild reproach,
that wrung his soul, and called forth tears of unmixed misery; his
only escape from which was to forget the object of it, and he
endeavoured, therefore, to think of Emily as seldom as he could.
Thus dangerously circumstanced was Valancourt, at the time, when
Emily was suffering at Venice,
from the persecuting addresses of
Count Morano, and the unjust authority of Montoni; at which period we
The image of a wicked, heinous fault
Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his
Does shew the mood of a much-troubled breast.
Leaving the gay scenes of Paris,
we return to those of the gloomy
Apennine, where Emily's thoughts were still faithful to
Looking to him as to her only hope, she recollected, with jealous
exactness, every assurance and every proof she had witnessed of his
affection; read again and again the letters she had received from
him; weighed, with intense anxiety, the force of every word, that
spoke of his attachment; and dried her tears, as she trusted in his
Montoni, meanwhile, had made strict enquiry concerning the strange
circumstance of his alarm, without obtaining information; and was, at
length, obliged to account for it by the reasonable supposition, that
it was a mischievous trick played off by one of his
disagreements with Madame Montoni, on the subject of her settlements,
were now more frequent than ever; he even confined her entirely to
her own apartment, and did not scruple to threaten her with much
greater severity, should she persevere in a refusal.
Reason, had she consulted it, would now have perplexed her in the
choice of a conduct to be adopted. It would have pointed out
danger of irritating by further opposition a man, such as Montoni had
proved himself to be, and to whose power she had so entirely
committed herself; and it would also have told her, of what extreme
importance to her future comfort it was, to reserve for herself those
possessions, which would enable her to live independently of Montoni,
should she ever escape from his immediate controul. But she
directed by a more decisive guide than reason--the spirit of revenge,
which urged her to oppose violence to violence, and obstinacy to
Wholly confined to the solitude of her apartment, she was now reduced
to solicit the society she had lately rejected; for Emily was the
only person, except Annette, with whom she was permitted to converse.
Generously anxious for her peace, Emily, therefore, tried to
persuade, when she could not convince, and sought by every gentle
means to induce her to forbear that asperity of reply, which so
greatly irritated Montoni. The pride of her aunt did
soften to the soothing voice of Emily, and there even were moments,
when she regarded her affectionate attentions with goodwill.
The scenes of terrible contention, to which Emily was frequently
compelled to be witness, exhausted her spirits more than any
circumstances, that had occurred since her departure from
The gentleness and goodness of her parents, together with the scenes
of her early happiness, often stole on her mind, like the visions of
a higher world; while the characters and circumstances, now passing
beneath her eye, excited both terror and surprise. She could
scarcely have imagined, that passions so fierce and so various, as
those which Montoni exhibited, could have been concentrated in one
individual; yet what more surprised her, was, that, on great
occasions, he could bend these passions, wild as they were, to the
cause of his interest, and generally could disguise in his
countenance their operation on his mind; but she had seen him too
often, when he had thought it unnecessary to conceal his nature, to
be deceived on such occasions.
Her present life appeared like the dream of a distempered
imagination, or like one of those frightful fictions, in which the
wild genius of the poets sometimes delighted. Reflection
only regret, and anticipation terror. How often did she wish
'steal the lark's wing, and mount the swiftest gale,' that Languedoc
and repose might once more be hers!
Of Count Morano's health she made frequent enquiry; but Annette heard
only vague reports of his danger, and that his surgeon had said he
would never leave the cottage alive; while Emily could not but be
shocked to think, that she, however innocently, might be the means of
his death; and Annette, who did not fail to observe her emotion,
interpreted it in her own way.
But a circumstance soon occurred, which entirely withdrew Annette's
attention from this subject, and awakened the surprise and curiosity
so natural to her. Coming one day to Emily's apartment, with
countenance full of importance, 'What can all this mean, ma'amselle?'
said she. 'Would I was once safe in Languedoc
again, they should
never catch me going on my travels any more! I must think it
thing, truly, to come abroad, and see foreign parts! I little
thought I was coming to be catched up in a old castle, among such
dreary mountains, with the chance of being murdered, or, what is as
good, having my throat cut!'
'What can all this mean, indeed, Annette?' said Emily, in
'Aye, ma'amselle, you may look surprised; but you won't believe it,
perhaps, till they have murdered you, too. You would not
about the ghost I told you of, though I shewed you the very place,
where it used to appear!--You will believe nothing, ma'amselle.'
'Not till you speak more reasonably, Annette; for Heaven's sake,
explain your meaning. You spoke of murder!'
'Aye, ma'amselle, they are coming to murder us all, perhaps; but what
signifies explaining?--you will not believe.'
Emily again desired her to relate what she had seen, or heard.
'O, I have seen enough, ma'am, and heard too much, as Ludovico can
prove. Poor soul! they will murder him, too! I
he sung those sweet verses under my lattice, at Venice!'--Emily
looked impatient and displeased. 'Well, ma'amselle, as I was
these preparations about the castle, and these strange-looking
people, that are calling here every day, and the Signor's cruel usage
of my lady, and his odd goings-on--all these, as I told Ludovico, can
bode no good. And he bid me hold my tongue. So,
says I, the
Signor's strangely altered, Ludovico, in this gloomy castle, to what
he was in France;
there, all so gay! Nobody so gallant to my lady,
then; and he could smile, too, upon a poor servant, sometimes, and
jeer her, too, good-naturedly enough. I remember once, when
to me, as I was going out of my lady's dressing-room--Annette, says
'Never mind what the Signor said,' interrupted Emily; 'but tell me,
at once, the circumstance, which has thus alarmed you.'
'Aye, ma'amselle,' rejoined Annette, 'that is just what Ludovico
said: says he, Never mind what the Signor says to
you. So I
him what I thought about the Signor. He is so strangely
said I: for now he is so haughty, and so commanding, and so
with my lady; and, if he meets one, he'll scarcely look at one,
unless it be to frown. So much the better, says Ludovico, so
the better. And to tell you the truth, ma'amselle, I thought
was a very ill-natured speech of Ludovico: but I went
says I, he is always knitting his brows; and if one speaks to him, he
does not hear; and then he sits up counselling so, of a night, with
the other Signors--there they are, till long past midnight,
discoursing together! Aye, but says Ludovico, you don't know
they are counselling about. No, said I, but I can guess--it
my young lady. Upon that, Ludovico burst out a-laughing,
so he put me in a huff, for I did not like that either I or you,
ma'amselle, should be laughed at; and I turned away quick, but he
stopped me. "Don't be affronted, Annette," said he, "but I
help laughing;" and with that he laughed again. "What!"
says he, "do
you think the Signors sit up, night after night, only to counsel
about thy young lady! No, no, there is something more in the
than that. And these repairs about the castle, and these
preparations about the ramparts--they are not making about young
ladies." Why, surely, said I, the Signor, my master, is not
make war? "Make war!" said Ludovico, "what, upon the
the woods? for here is no living soul to make war upon that I see."
'What are these preparations for, then? said I; why surely nobody is
coming to take away my master's castle! "Then there are so
looking fellows coming to the castle every day," says Ludovico,
without answering my question, "and the Signor sees them all, and
talks with them all, and they all stay in the neighbourhood!
St. Marco! some of them are the most cut-throat-looking dogs I ever
set my eyes upon."
'I asked Ludovico again, if he thought they were coming to take away
my master's castle; and he said, No, he did not think they were, but
he did not know for certain. "Then yesterday," said he, but
not tell this, ma'amselle, "yesterday, a party of these men came, and
left all their horses in the castle stables, where, it seems, they
are to stay, for the Signor ordered them all to be entertained with
the best provender in the manger; but the men are, most of them, in
the neighbouring cottages."
'So, ma'amselle, I came to tell you all this, for I never heard any
thing so strange in my life. But what can these ill-looking
come about, if it is not to murder us? And the Signor knows
why should he be so civil to them? And why should he fortify
castle, and counsel so much with the other Signors, and be so
'Is this all you have to tell, Annette?' said Emily. 'Have
nothing else, that alarms you?'
'Nothing else, ma'amselle!' said Annette; 'why, is not this
'Quite enough for my patience, Annette, but not quite enough to
convince me we are all to be murdered, though I acknowledge here is
sufficient food for curiosity.' She forbore to speak her
apprehensions, because she would not encourage Annette's wild
terrors; but the present circumstances of the castle both surprised,
and alarmed her. Annette, having told her tale, left the
the wing for new wonders.
In the evening, Emily had passed some melancholy hours with Madame
Montoni, and was retiring to rest, when she was alarmed by a strange
and loud knocking at her chamber door, and then a heavy weight fell
against it, that almost burst it open. She called to know who
there, and receiving no answer, repeated the call; but a chilling
silence followed. It occurred to her--for, at this moment,
not reason on the probability of circumstances--that some one of the
strangers, lately arrived at the castle, had discovered her
apartment, and was come with such intent, as their looks rendered too
possible--to rob, perhaps to murder, her. The moment she
this possibility, terror supplied the place of conviction, and a kind
of instinctive remembrance of her remote situation from the family
heightened it to a degree, that almost overcame her senses.
looked at the door, which led to the staircase, expecting to see it
open, and listening, in fearful silence, for a return of the noise,
till she began to think it had proceeded from this door, and a wish
of escaping through the opposite one rushed upon her mind.
to the gallery door, and then, fearing to open it, lest some person
might be silently lurking for her without, she stopped, but with her
eyes fixed in expectation upon the opposite door of the
As thus she stood, she heard a faint breathing near her, and became
convinced, that some person was on the other side of the door, which
was already locked. She sought for other fastening, but there
While she yet listened, the breathing was distinctly heard, and her
terror was not soothed, when, looking round her wide and lonely
chamber, she again considered her remote situation. As she
hesitating whether to call for assistance, the continuance of the
stillness surprised her; and her spirits would have revived, had she
not continued to hear the faint breathing, that convinced her, the
person, whoever it was, had not quitted the door.
At length, worn out with anxiety, she determined to call loudly for
assistance from her casement, and was advancing to it, when, whether
the terror of her mind gave her ideal sounds, or that real ones did
come, she thought footsteps were ascending the private stair-case;
and, expecting to see its door unclose, she forgot all other cause of
alarm, and retreated towards the corridor. Here she
make her escape, but, on opening the door, was very near falling over
a person, who lay on the floor without. She screamed, and
passed, but her trembling frame refused to support her; and the
moment, in which she leaned against the wall of the gallery, allowed
her leisure to observe the figure before her, and to recognise the
features of Annette. Fear instantly yielded to
in vain to the poor girl, who remained senseless on the floor, and
then, losing all consciousness of her own weakness, hurried to her
When Annette recovered, she was helped by Emily into the chamber, but
was still unable to speak, and looked round her, as if her eyes
followed some person in the room. Emily tried to sooth her
spirits, and forbore, at present, to ask her any questions; but the
faculty of speech was never long with-held from Annette, and she
explained, in broken sentences, and in her tedious way, the occasion
of her disorder. She affirmed, and with a solemnity of
that almost staggered the incredulity of Emily, that she had seen an
apparition, as she was passing to her bedroom, through the corridor.
'I had heard strange stories of that chamber before,' said
'but as it was so near yours, ma'amselle, I would not tell them to
you, because they would frighten you. The servants had told
often and often, that it was haunted, and that was the reason why it
was shut up: nay, for that matter, why the whole string of
rooms, here, are shut up. I quaked whenever I went by, and I
say, I did sometimes think I heard odd noises within it. But,
said, as I was passing along the corridor, and not thinking a word
about the matter, or even of the strange voice that the Signors heard
the other night, all of a sudden comes a great light, and, looking
behind me, there was a tall figure, (I saw it as plainly, ma'amselle,
as I see you at this moment), a tall figure gliding along (Oh! I
cannot describe how!) into the room, that is always shut up, and
nobody has the key of it but the Signor, and the door shut directly.'
'Then it doubtless was the Signor,' said Emily.
'O no, ma'amselle, it could not be him, for I left him busy a-
quarrelling in my lady's dressing-room!'
'You bring me strange tales, Annette,' said Emily: 'it was
morning, that you would have terrified me with the apprehension of
murder; and now you would persuade me, you have seen a ghost!
wonderful stories come too quickly.'
'Nay, ma'amselle, I will say no more, only, if I had not been
frightened, I should not have fainted dead away, so. I ran as
as I could, to get to your door; but, what was worst of all, I could
not call out; then I thought something must be strangely the matter
with me, and directly I dropt down.'
'Was it the chamber where the black veil hangs?' said Emily.
ma'amselle, it was one nearer to this. What shall I do, to
room? I would not go out into the corridor again, for the
world!' Emily, whose spirits had been severely shocked, and
therefore, did not like the thought of passing the night alone, told
her she might sleep where she was. 'O, no, ma'amselle,'
Annette, 'I would not sleep in the room, now, for a thousand
Wearied and disappointed, Emily first ridiculed, though she shared,
her fears, and then tried to sooth them; but neither attempt
succeeded, and the girl persisted in believing and affirming, that
what she had seen was nothing human. It was not till some
Emily had recovered her composure, that she recollected the steps she
had heard on the stair-case--a remembrance, however, which made her
insist that Annette should pass the night with her, and, with much
difficulty, she, at length, prevailed, assisted by that part of the
girl's fear, which concerned the corridor.
Early on the following morning, as Emily crossed the hall to the
ramparts, she heard a noisy bustle in the court-yard, and the clatter
of horses' hoofs. Such unusual sounds excited her curiosity;
instead of going to the ramparts, she went to an upper casement, from
whence she saw, in the court below, a large party of horsemen,
dressed in a singular, but uniform, habit, and completely, though
variously, armed. They wore a kind of short jacket, composed
black and scarlet, and several of them had a cloak, of plain black,
which, covering the person entirely, hung down to the
one of these cloaks glanced aside, she saw, beneath, daggers,
apparently of different sizes, tucked into the horseman's
further observed, that these were carried, in the same manner, by
many of the horsemen without cloaks, most of whom bore also pikes, or
javelins. On their heads, were the small Italian caps, some
were distinguished by black feathers. Whether these caps gave
fierce air to the countenance, or that the countenances they
surmounted had naturally such an appearance, Emily thought she had
never, till then, seen an assemblage of faces so savage and
While she gazed, she almost fancied herself surrounded by banditti;
and a vague thought glanced athwart her fancy--that Montoni was the
captain of the group before her, and that this castle was to be the
place of rendezvous. The strange and horrible supposition was
momentary, though her reason could supply none more probable, and
though she discovered, among the band, the strangers she had formerly
noticed with so much alarm, who were now distinguished by the black
While she continued gazing, Cavigni, Verezzi, and Bertolini came
forth from the hall, habited like the rest, except that they wore
hats, with a mixed plume of black and scarlet, and that their arms
differed from those of the rest of the party. As they mounted
horses, Emily was struck with the exulting joy, expressed on the
visage of Verezzi, while Cavigni was gay, yet with a shade of thought
on his countenance; and, as he managed his horse with dexterity, his
graceful and commanding figure, which exhibited the majesty of a
hero, had never appeared to more advantage. Emily, as she
him, thought he somewhat resembled Valancourt, in the spirit and
dignity of his person; but she looked in vain for the noble,
benevolent countenance--the soul's intelligence, which overspread the
features of the latter.
As she was hoping, she scarcely knew why, that Montoni would
accompany the party, he appeared at the hall door, but
Having carefully observed the horsemen, conversed awhile with the
cavaliers, and bidden them farewel, the band wheeled round the court,
and, led by Verezzi, issued forth under the portcullis; Montoni
following to the portal, and gazing after them for some time.
then retired from the casement, and, now certain of being unmolested,
went to walk on the ramparts, from whence she soon after saw the
party winding among the mountains to the west, appearing and
disappearing between the woods, till distance confused their figures,
consolidated their numbers, and only a dingy mass appeared moving
along the heights.
Emily observed, that no workmen were on the ramparts, and that the
repairs of the fortifications seemed to be completed. While
sauntered thoughtfully on, she heard distant footsteps, and, raising
her eyes, saw several men lurking under the castle walls, who were
evidently not workmen, but looked as if they would have accorded well
with the party, which was gone. Wondering where Annette had
herself so long, who might have explained some of the late
circumstances, and then considering that Madame Montoni was probably
risen, she went to her dressing-room, where she mentioned what had
occurred; but Madame Montoni either would not, or could not, give any
explanation of the event. The Signor's reserve to his wife,
subject, was probably nothing more than usual; yet, to Emily, it gave
an air of mystery to the whole affair, that seemed to hint, there was
danger, if not villany, in his schemes.
Annette presently came, and, as usual, was full of alarm; to her
lady's eager enquiries of what she had heard among the servants, she
'Ah, madam! nobody knows what it is all about, but old Carlo; he
knows well enough, I dare say, but he is as close as his
Some say the Signor is going out to frighten the enemy, as they call
it: but where is the enemy? Then others say, he is
away some body's castle: but I am sure he has room enough in
own, without taking other people's; and I am sure I should like it a
great deal better, if there were more people to fill it.'
'Ah! you will soon have your wish, I fear,' replied Madame Montoni.
'No, madam, but such ill-looking fellows are not worth
mean such gallant, smart, merry fellows as Ludovico, who is always
telling droll stories, to make one laugh. It was but
told me such a HUMOURSOME tale! I can't help laughing at it
'Well, we can dispense with the story,' said her lady. 'Ah!'
continued Annette, 'he sees a great way further than other
Now he sees into all the Signor's meaning, without knowing a word
about the matter!'
'How is that?' said Madame Montoni.
'Why he says--but he made me promise not to tell, and I would not
disoblige him for the world.'
'What is it he made you promise not to tell?' said her lady,
'I insist upon knowing immediately--what is it he made you promise?'
'O madam,' cried Annette, 'I would not tell for the
insist upon your telling this instant,' said Madame Montoni.
madam! I would not tell for a hundred sequins! You
me forswear myself madam!' exclaimed Annette.
'I will not wait another moment,' said Madame Montoni.
'The Signor shall be informed of this directly,' rejoined her
mistress: 'he will make you discover all.'
'It is Ludovico, who has discovered,' said Annette: 'but for
sake, madam, don't tell the Signor, and you shall know all
Madame Montoni said, that she would not.
'Well then, madam, Ludovico says, that the Signor, my master, is--is-
-that is, he only thinks so, and any body, you know, madam, is free
to think--that the Signor, my master, is--is--'
'Is what?' said her lady, impatiently.
'That the Signor, my master, is going to be--a great robber--that is-
-he is going to rob on his own account;--to be, (but I am sure I
don't understand what he means) to be a--captain of--robbers.'
'Art thou in thy senses, Annette?' said Madame Montoni; 'or is this a
trick to deceive me? Tell me, this instant, what Ludovico DID
thee;--no equivocation;--this instant.'
'Nay, madam,' cried Annette, 'if this is all I am to get for having
told the secret'--Her mistress thus continued to insist, and Annette
to protest, till Montoni, himself, appeared, who bade the latter
leave the room, and she withdrew, trembling for the fate of her
story. Emily also was retiring, but her aunt desired she
and Montoni had so often made her a witness of their contention, that
he no longer had scruples on that account.
'I insist upon knowing this instant, Signor, what all this
said his wife--'what are all these armed men, whom they tell me of,
gone out about?' Montoni answered her only with a look of
Emily whispered something to her. 'It does not signify,' said
aunt: 'I will know; and I will know, too, what the castle has
'Come, come,' said Montoni, 'other business brought me here.
be trifled with no longer. I have immediate occasion for what
demand--those estates must be given up, without further contention;
or I may find a way--'
'They never shall be given up,' interrupted Madame Montoni:
never shall enable you to carry on your wild schemes;--but what are
these? I will know. Do you expect the castle to be
you expect enemies? Am I to be shut up here, to be killed in
'Sign the writings,' said Montoni, 'and you shall know more.'
'What enemy can be coming?' continued his wife. 'Have you
into the service of the state? Am I to be blocked up here to
'That may possibly happen,' said Montoni, 'unless you yield to my
demand: for, come what may, you shall not quit the castle
then.' Madame Montoni burst into loud lamentation, which she
suddenly checked, considering, that her husband's assertions might be
only artifices, employed to extort her consent. She hinted
suspicion, and, in the next moment, told him also, that his designs
were not so honourable as to serve the state, and that she believed
he had only commenced a captain of banditti, to join the enemies of
plundering and laying waste the surrounding country.
Montoni looked at her for a moment with a steady and stern
countenance; while Emily trembled, and his wife, for once, thought
she had said too much. 'You shall be removed, this night,'
'to the east turret: there, perhaps, you may understand the
of offending a man, who has an unlimited power over you.'
Emily now fell at his feet, and, with tears of terror, supplicated
for her aunt, who sat, trembling with fear, and indignation; now
ready to pour forth execrations, and now to join the intercessions of
Emily. Montoni, however, soon interrupted these entreaties
horrible oath; and, as he burst from Emily, leaving his cloak, in her
hand, she fell to the floor, with a force, that occasioned her a
severe blow on the forehead. But he quitted the room, without
attempting to raise her, whose attention was called from herself, by
a deep groan from Madame Montoni, who continued otherwise unmoved in
her chair, and had not fainted. Emily, hastening to her
saw her eyes rolling, and her features convulsed.
Having spoken to her, without receiving an answer, she brought water,
and supported her head, while she held it to her lips; but the
increasing convulsions soon compelled Emily to call for
On her way through the hall, in search of Annette, she met Montoni,
whom she told what had happened, and conjured to return and comfort
her aunt; but he turned silently away, with a look of indifference,
and went out upon the ramparts. At length she found old Carlo
Annette, and they hastened to the dressing-room, where Madame Montoni
had fallen on the floor, and was lying in strong convulsions.
lifted her into the adjoining room, and laid her on the bed, the
force of her disorder still made all their strength necessary to hold
her, while Annette trembled and sobbed, and old Carlo looked silently
and piteously on, as his feeble hands grasped those of his mistress,
till, turning his eyes upon Emily, he exclaimed, 'Good God! Signora,
what is the matter?'
Emily looked calmly at him, and saw his enquiring eyes fixed on
and Annette, looking up, screamed loudly; for Emily's face was
stained with blood, which continued to fall slowly from her
but her attention had been so entirely occupied by the scene before
her, that she had felt no pain from the wound. She now held
handkerchief to her face, and, notwithstanding her faintness,
continued to watch Madame Montoni, the violence of whose convulsions
was abating, till at length they ceased, and left her in a kind of
'My aunt must remain quiet,' said Emily. 'Go, good Carlo; if
should want your assistance, I will send for you. In the mean
if you have an opportunity, speak kindly of your mistress to your
'Alas!' said Carlo, 'I have seen too much! I have little
with the Signor. But do, dear young lady, take some care of
yourself; that is an ugly wound, and you look sadly.'
'Thank you, my friend, for your consideration,' said Emily, smiling
kindly: 'the wound is trifling, it came by a fall.'
Carlo shook his head, and left the room; and Emily, with Annette,
continued to watch by her aunt. 'Did my lady tell the Signor
Ludovico said, ma'amselle?' asked Annette in a whisper; but Emily
quieted her fears on the subject.
'I thought what this quarrelling would come to,' continued
'I suppose the Signor has been beating my lady.'
'No, no, Annette, you are totally mistaken, nothing extra-ordinary
'Why, extraordinary things happen here so often, ma'amselle, that
there is nothing in them. Here is another legion of those ill-
looking fellows, come to the castle, this morning.'
'Hush! Annette, you will disturb my aunt; we will talk of
They continued watching silently, till Madame Montoni uttered a low
sigh, when Emily took her hand, and spoke soothingly to her; but the
former gazed with unconscious eyes, and it was long before she knew
her niece. Her first words then enquired for Montoni; to
replied by an entreaty, that she would compose her spirits, and
consent to be kept quiet, adding, that, if she wished any message to
be conveyed to him, she would herself deliver it. 'No,' said
aunt faintly, 'no--I have nothing new to tell him. Does he
in saying I shall be removed from my chamber?'
Emily replied, that he had not spoken, on the subject, since Madame
Montoni heard him; and then she tried to divert her attention to some
other topic; but her aunt seemed to be inattentive to what she said,
and lost in secret thoughts. Emily, having brought her some
refreshment, now left her to the care of Annette, and went in search
of Montoni, whom she found on a remote part of the rampart,
conversing among a group of the men described by Annette.
round him with fierce, yet subjugated, looks, while he, speaking
earnestly, and pointing to the walls, did not perceive Emily, who
remained at some distance, waiting till he should be at leisure, and
observing involuntarily the appearance of one man, more savage than
his fellows, who stood resting on his pike, and looking, over the
shoulders of a comrade, at Montoni, to whom he listened with uncommon
earnestness. This man was apparently of low condition; yet
appeared not to acknowledge the superiority of Montoni, as did those
of his companions; and sometimes they even assumed an air of
authority, which the decisive manner of the Signor could not
Some few words of Montoni then passed in the wind; and, as the men
were separating, she heard him say, 'This evening, then, begin the
watch at sun-set.'
'At sun-set, Signor,' replied one or two of them, and walked away;
while Emily approached Montoni, who appeared desirous of avoiding
her: but, though she observed this, she had courage to
endeavoured to intercede once more for her aunt, represented to him
her sufferings, and urged the danger of exposing her to a cold
apartment in her present state. 'She suffers by her own
Montoni, 'and is not to be pitied;--she knows how she may avoid these
sufferings in future--if she is removed to the turret, it will be her
own fault. Let her be obedient, and sign the writings you
and I will think no more of it.'
When Emily ventured still to plead, he sternly silenced and rebuked
her for interfering in his domestic affairs, but, at length,
dismissed her with this concession--That he would not remove Madame
Montoni, on the ensuing night, but allow her till the next to
consider, whether she would resign her settlements, or be imprisoned
in the east turret of the castle, 'where she shall find,' he added,
'a punishment she may not expect.'
Emily then hastened to inform her aunt of this short respite and of
the alternative, that awaited her, to which the latter made no reply,
but appeared thoughtful, while Emily, in consideration of her extreme
languor, wished to sooth her mind by leading it to less interesting
topics: and, though these efforts were unsuccessful, and
Montoni became peevish, her resolution, on the contended point,
seemed somewhat to relax, and Emily recommended, as her only means of
safety, that she should submit to Montoni's demand. 'You know
what you advise,' said her aunt. 'Do you understand, that
estates will descend to you at my death, if I persist in a refusal?'
'I was ignorant of that circumstance, madam,' replied Emily, 'but the
knowledge of it cannot with-hold me from advising you to adopt the
conduct, which not only your peace, but, I fear, your safety
requires, and I entreat, that you will not suffer a consideration
comparatively so trifling, to make you hesitate a moment in resigning
'Are you sincere, niece?' 'Is it possible you can doubt it,
Her aunt appeared to be affected. 'You are not unworthy of
estates, niece,' said she: 'I would wish to keep them for
-you shew a virtue I did not expect.'
'How have I deserved this reproof, madam?' said Emily sorrowfully.
'Reproof!' replied Madame Montoni: 'I meant to praise your
'Alas! here is no exertion of virtue,' rejoined Emily, 'for here is
no temptation to be overcome.'
'Yet Monsieur Valancourt'--said her aunt. 'O, madam!'
Emily, anticipating what she would have said, 'do not let me glance
on that subject: do not let my mind be stained with a wish so
shockingly self-interested.' She immediately changed the
continued with Madame Montoni, till she withdrew to her apartment for
At that hour, the castle was perfectly still, and every inhabitant of
it, except herself, seemed to have retired to rest. As she
along the wide and lonely galleries, dusky and silent, she felt
forlorn and apprehensive of--she scarcely knew what; but when,
entering the corridor, she recollected the incident of the preceding
night, a dread seized her, lest a subject of alarm, similar to that,
which had befallen Annette, should occur to her, and which, whether
real, or ideal, would, she felt, have an almost equal effect upon her
weakened spirits. The chamber, to which Annette had alluded,
not exactly know, but understood it to be one of those she must pass
in the way to her own; and, sending a fearful look forward into the
gloom, she stepped lightly and cautiously along, till, coming to a
door, from whence issued a low sound, she hesitated and paused; and,
during the delay of that moment, her fears so much increased, that
she had no power to move from the spot. Believing, that she
human voice within, she was somewhat revived; but, in the next
moment, the door was opened, and a person, whom she conceived to be
Montoni, appeared, who instantly started back, and closed it, though
not before she had seen, by the light that burned in the chamber,
another person, sitting in a melancholy attitude by the fire.
terror vanished, but her astonishment only began, which was now
roused by the mysterious secrecy of Montoni's manner, and by the
discovery of a person, whom he thus visited at midnight, in an
apartment, which had long been shut up, and of which such
extraordinary reports were circulated.
While she thus continued hesitating, strongly prompted to watch
Montoni's motions, yet fearing to irritate him by appearing to notice
them, the door was again opened cautiously, and as instantly closed
as before. She then stepped softly to her chamber, which was
next but one to this, but, having put down her lamp, returned to an
obscure corner of the corridor, to observe the proceedings of this
half-seen person, and to ascertain, whether it was indeed Montoni.
Having waited in silent expectation for a few minutes, with her eyes
fixed on the door, it was again opened, and the same person appeared,
whom she now knew to be Montoni. He looked cautiously round,
perceiving her, then, stepping forward, closed the door, and left the
corridor. Soon after, Emily heard the door fastened on the
and she withdrew to her chamber, wondering at what she had witnessed.
It was now twelve o'clock. As she closed her casement, she
footsteps on the terrace below, and saw imperfectly, through the
gloom, several persons advancing, who passed under the
then heard the clink of arms, and, in the next moment, the watch-
word; when, recollecting the command she had overheard from Montoni,
and the hour of the night, she understood, that these men were, for
the first time, relieving guard in the castle. Having
all was again still, she retired to sleep.
And shall no lay of death
With pleasing murmur sooth
Her parted soul?
Shall no tear wet her grave?
On the following morning, Emily went early to the apartment of Madame
Montoni, who had slept well, and was much recovered. Her
also returned with her health, and her resolution to oppose Montoni's
demands revived, though it yet struggled with her fears, which Emily,
who trembled for the consequence of further opposition, endeavoured
Her aunt, as has been already shewn, had a disposition, which
delighted in contradiction, and which taught her, when unpleasant
circumstances were offered to her understanding, not to enquire into
their truth, but to seek for arguments, by which she might make them
appear false. Long habit had so entirely confirmed this
propensity, that she was not conscious of possessing it.
remonstrances and representations, therefore, roused her pride,
instead of alarming, or convincing her judgment, and she still relied
upon the discovery of some means, by which she might yet avoid
submitting to the demand of her husband. Considering, that,
could once escape from his castle, she might defy his power, and,
obtaining a decisive separation, live in comfort on the estates, that
yet remained for her, she mentioned this to her niece, who accorded
with her in the wish, but differed from her, as to the probability of
its completion. She represented the impossibility of passing
gates, secured and guarded as they were, and the extreme danger of
committing her design to the discretion of a servant, who might
either purposely betray, or accidentally disclose it.--Montoni's
vengeance would also disdain restraint, if her intention was
detected: and, though Emily wished, as fervently as she could
regain her freedom, and return to France, she consulted only Madame
Montoni's safety, and persevered in advising her to relinquish her
settlement, without braving further outrage.
The struggle of contrary emotions, however, continued to rage in her
aunt's bosom, and she still brooded over the chance of effecting an
escape. While she thus sat, Montoni entered the room, and,
noticing his wife's indisposition, said, that he came to remind her
of the impolicy of trifling with him, and that he gave her only till
the evening to determine, whether she would consent to his demand, or
compel him, by a refusal, to remove her to the east turret.
added, that a party of cavaliers would dine with him, that day, and
that he expected that she would sit at the head of the table, where
Emily, also, must be present. Madame Montoni was now on the
uttering an absolute refusal, but, suddenly considering, that her
liberty, during this entertainment, though circumscribed, might
favour her further plans, she acquiesced, with seeming reluctance,
and Montoni, soon after, left the apartment. His command
Emily with surprise and apprehension, who shrank from the thought of
being exposed to the gaze of strangers, such as her fancy represented
these to be, and the words of Count Morano, now again recollected,
did not sooth her fears.
When she withdrew to prepare for dinner, she dressed herself with
even more simplicity than usual, that she might escape observation--a
policy, which did not avail her, for, as she re-passed to her aunt's
apartment, she was met by Montoni, who censured what he called her
prudish appearance, and insisted, that she should wear the most
splendid dress she had, even that, which had been prepared for her
intended nuptials with Count Morano, and which, it now appeared, her
aunt had carefully brought with her from Venice. This was
in the Venetian, but, in the Neapolitan fashion, so as to set off the
shape and figure, to the utmost advantage. In it, her
chestnut tresses were negligently bound up in pearls, and suffered to
fall back again on her neck. The simplicity of a better
Madame Montoni's, was conspicuous in this dress, splendid as it was,
and Emily's unaffected beauty never had appeared more
She had now only to hope, that Montoni's order was prompted, not by
any extraordinary design, but by an ostentation of displaying his
family, richly attired, to the eyes of strangers; yet nothing less
than his absolute command could have prevailed with her to wear a
dress, that had been designed for such an offensive purpose, much
less to have worn it on this occasion. As she descended to
the emotion of her mind threw a faint blush over her countenance, and
heightened its interesting expression; for timidity had made her
linger in her apartment, till the utmost moment, and, when she
entered the hall, in which a kind of state dinner was spread, Montoni
and his guests were already seated at the table. She was then
to place herself by her aunt; but Montoni waved his hand, and two of
the cavaliers rose, and seated her between them.
The eldest of these was a tall man, with strong Italian features, an
aquiline nose, and dark penetrating eyes, that flashed with fire,
when his mind was agitated, and, even in its state of rest, retained
somewhat of the wildness of the passions. His visage was long
narrow, and his complexion of a sickly yellow.
The other, who appeared to be about forty, had features of a
different cast, yet Italian, and his look was slow, subtle and
penetrating; his eyes, of a dark grey, were small, and hollow; his
complexion was a sun-burnt brown, and the contour of his face, though
inclined to oval, was irregular and ill-formed.
Eight other guests sat round the table, who were all dressed in an
uniform, and had all an expression, more or less, of wild fierceness,
of subtle design, or of licentious passions. As Emily timidly
surveyed them, she remembered the scene of the preceding morning, and
again almost fancied herself surrounded by banditti; then, looking
back to the tranquillity of her early life, she felt scarcely less
astonishment, than grief, at her present situation. The
which they sat, assisted the illusion; it was an antient hall, gloomy
from the style of its architecture, from its great extent, and
because almost the only light it received was from one large gothic
window, and from a pair of folding doors, which, being open, admitted
likewise a view of the west rampart, with the wild mountains of the
The middle compartment of this hall rose into a vaulted roof,
enriched with fretwork, and supported, on three sides, by pillars of
marble; beyond these, long colonades retired in gloomy grandeur, till
their extent was lost in twilight. The lightest footsteps of
servants, as they advanced through these, were returned in whispering
echoes, and their figures, seen at a distance imperfectly through the
dusk, frequently awakened Emily's imagination. She looked
alternately at Montoni, at his guests and on the surrounding scene;
and then, remembering her dear native province, her pleasant home and
the simplicity and goodness of the friends, whom she had lost, grief
and surprise again occupied her mind.
When her thoughts could return from these considerations, she fancied
she observed an air of authority towards his guests, such as she had
never before seen him assume, though he had always been distinguished
by an haughty carriage; there was something also in the manners of
the strangers, that seemed perfectly, though not servilely, to
acknowledge his superiority.
During dinner, the conversation was chiefly on war and
They talked with energy of the state of Venice,
its dangers, the
character of the reigning Doge and of the chief senators; and then
spoke of the state of Rome.
When the repast was over, they rose,
and, each filling his goblet with wine from the gilded ewer, that
stood beside him, drank 'Success to our exploits!' Montoni
lifting his goblet to his lips to drink this toast, when suddenly the
wine hissed, rose to the brim, and, as he held the glass from him, it
burst into a thousand pieces.
To him, who constantly used that sort of Venice glass, which had the
quality of breaking, upon receiving poisoned liquor, a suspicion,
that some of his guests had endeavoured to betray him, instantly
occurred, and he ordered all the gates to be closed, drew his sword,
and, looking round on them, who stood in silent amazement, exclaimed,
'Here is a traitor among us; let those, that are innocent, assist in
discovering the guilty.'
Indignation flashed from the eyes of the cavaliers, who all drew
their swords; and Madame Montoni, terrified at what might ensue, was
hastening from the hall, when her husband commanded her to stay; but
his further words could not now be distinguished, for the voice of
every person rose together. His order, that all the servants
appear, was at length obeyed, and they declared their ignorance of
any deceit--a protestation which could not be believed; for it was
evident, that, as Montoni's liquor, and his only, had been poisoned,
a deliberate design had been formed against his life, which could not
have been carried so far towards its accomplishment, without the
connivance of the servant, who had the care of the wine ewers.
This man, with another, whose face betrayed either the consciousness
of guilt, or the fear of punishment, Montoni ordered to be chained
instantly, and confined in a strong room, which had formerly been
used as a prison. Thither, likewise, he would have sent all
guests, had he not foreseen the consequence of so bold and
unjustifiable a proceeding. As to those, therefore, he
himself with swearing, that no man should pass the gates, till this
extraordinary affair had been investigated, and then sternly bade his
wife retire to her apartment, whither he suffered Emily to attend
In about half an hour, he followed to the dressing-room; and Emily
observed, with horror, his dark countenance and quivering lip, and
heard him denounce vengeance on her aunt.
'It will avail you nothing,' said he to his wife, 'to deny the fact;
I have proof of your guilt. Your only chance of mercy rests
full confession;--there is nothing to hope from sullenness, or
falsehood; your accomplice has confessed all.'
Emily's fainting spirits were roused by astonishment, as she heard
her aunt accused of a crime so atrocious, and she could not, for a
moment, admit the possibility of her guilt. Meanwhile Madame
Montoni's agitation did not permit her to reply; alternately her
complexion varied from livid paleness to a crimson flush; and she
trembled,--but, whether with fear, or with indignation, it were
difficult to decide.
'Spare your words,' said Montoni, seeing her about to speak, 'your
countenance makes full confession of your crime.--You shall be
instantly removed to the east turret.'
'This accusation,' said Madame Montoni, speaking with difficulty, 'is
used only as an excuse for your cruelty; I disdain to reply to
You do not believe me guilty.'
'Signor!' said Emily solemnly, 'this dreadful charge, I would answer
with my life, is false. Nay, Signor,' she added, observing
severity of his countenance, 'this is no moment for restraint, on my
part; I do not scruple to tell you, that you are deceived--most
wickedly deceived, by the suggestion of some person, who aims at the
ruin of my aunt:--it is impossible, that you could yourself have
imagined a crime so hideous.'
Montoni, his lips trembling more than before, replied only, 'If you
value your own safety,' addressing Emily, 'you will be
shall know how to interpret your remonstrances, should you persevere
Emily raised her eyes calmly to heaven. 'Here is, indeed,
nothing to hope!' said she.
'Peace!' cried Montoni, 'or you shall find there is something to
He turned to his wife, who had now recovered her spirits, and who
vehemently and wildly remonstrated upon this mysterious
but Montoni's rage heightened with her indignation, and Emily,
dreading the event of it, threw herself between them, and clasped his
knees in silence, looking up in his face with an expression, that
might have softened the heart of a fiend. Whether his was
by a conviction of Madame Montoni's guilt, or that a bare suspicion
of it made him eager to exercise vengeance, he was totally and alike
insensible to the distress of his wife, and to the pleading looks of
Emily, whom he made no attempt to raise, but was vehemently menacing
both, when he was called out of the room by some person at the
As he shut the door, Emily heard him turn the lock and take out the
key; so that Madame Montoni and herself were now prisoners; and she
saw that his designs became more and more terrible. Her
to explain his motives for this circumstance were almost as
ineffectual as those to sooth the distress of her aunt, whose
innocence she could not doubt; but she, at length, accounted for
Montoni's readiness to suspect his wife by his own consciousness of
cruelty towards her, and for the sudden violence of his present
conduct against both, before even his suspicions could be completely
formed, by his general eagerness to effect suddenly whatever he was
led to desire and his carelessness of justice, or humanity, in
Madame Montoni, after some time, again looked round, in search of a
possibility of escape from the castle, and conversed with Emily on
the subject, who was now willing to encounter any hazard, though she
forbore to encourage a hope in her aunt, which she herself did not
admit. How strongly the edifice was secured, and how
guarded, she knew too well; and trembled to commit their safety to
the caprice of the servant, whose assistance they must
Carlo was compassionate, but he seemed to be too much in his master's
interest to be trusted by them; Annette could of herself do little,
and Emily knew Ludovico only from her report. At present,
these considerations were useless, Madame Montoni and her niece being
shut up from all intercourse, even with the persons, whom there might
be these reasons to reject.
In the hall, confusion and tumult still reigned. Emily, as
listened anxiously to the murmur, that sounded along the gallery,
sometimes fancied she heard the clashing of swords, and, when she
considered the nature of the provocation, given by Montoni, and his
impetuosity, it appeared probable, that nothing less than arms would
terminate the contention. Madame Montoni, having exhausted
expressions of indignation, and Emily, hers of comfort, they remained
silent, in that kind of breathless stillness, which, in nature, often
succeeds to the uproar of conflicting elements; a stillness, like the
morning, that dawns upon the ruins of an earthquake.
An uncertain kind of terror pervaded Emily's mind; the circumstances
of the past hour still came dimly and confusedly to her memory; and
her thoughts were various and rapid, though without tumult.
From this state of waking visions she was recalled by a knocking at
the chamber-door, and, enquiring who was there, heard the whispering
voice of Annette.
'Dear madam, let me come in, I have a great deal to say,' said the
'The door is locked,' answered the lady.
'Yes, ma'am, but do pray open it.'
'The Signor has the key,' said Madame Montoni.
'O blessed Virgin! what will become of us?' exclaimed Annette.
'Assist us to escape,' said her mistress. 'Where is Ludovico?'
'Below in the hall, ma'am, amongst them all, fighting with the best
'Fighting! Who are fighting?' cried Madame Montoni.
'Why the Signor, ma'am, and all the Signors, and a great many more.'
'Is any person much hurt?' said Emily, in a tremulous voice.
Yes, ma'amselle,--there they lie bleeding, and the swords are
clashing, and--O holy saints! Do let me in, ma'am, they are
this way--I shall be murdered!'
'Fly!' cried Emily, 'fly! we cannot open the door.'
Annette repeated, that they were coming, and in the same moment fled.
'Be calm, madam,' said Emily, turning to her aunt, 'I entreat you to
be calm, I am not frightened--not frightened in the least, do not you
'You can scarcely support yourself,' replied her aunt; 'Merciful God!
what is it they mean to do with us?'
'They come, perhaps, to liberate us,' said Emily, 'Signor Montoni
perhaps is--is conquered.'
The belief of his death gave her spirits a sudden shock, and she grew
faint as she saw him in imagination, expiring at her feet.
'They are coming!' cried Madame Montoni--'I hear their steps--they
are at the door!'
Emily turned her languid eyes to the door, but terror deprived her of
utterance. The key sounded in the lock; the door opened, and
appeared, followed by three ruffian-like men. 'Execute your
said he, turning to them, and pointing to his wife, who shrieked, but
was immediately carried from the room; while Emily sunk, senseless,
on a couch, by which she had endeavoured to support herself.
she recovered, she was alone, and recollected only, that Madame
Montoni had been there, together with some unconnected particulars of
the preceding transaction, which were, however, sufficient to renew
all her terror. She looked wildly round the apartment, as if
search of some means of intelligence, concerning her aunt, while
neither her own danger, or an idea of escaping from the room,
When her recollection was more complete, she raised herself and went,
but with only a faint hope, to examine whether the door was
unfastened. It was so, and she then stepped timidly out into
gallery, but paused there, uncertain which way she should
Her first wish was to gather some information, as to her aunt, and
she, at length, turned her steps to go to the lesser hall, where
Annette and the other servants usually waited.
Every where, as she passed, she heard, from a distance, the uproar of
contention, and the figures and faces, which she met, hurrying along
the passages, struck her mind with dismay. Emily might now
appeared, like an angel of light, encompassed by fiends. At
she reached the lesser hall, which was silent and deserted, but,
panting for breath, she sat down to recover herself. The
stillness of this place was as awful as the tumult, from which she
had escaped: but she had now time to recall her scattered
to remember her personal danger, and to consider of some means of
safety. She perceived, that it was useless to seek Madame
through the wide extent and intricacies of the castle, now, too, when
every avenue seemed to be beset by ruffians; in this hall she could
not resolve to stay, for she knew not how soon it might become their
place of rendezvous; and, though she wished to go to her chamber, she
dreaded again to encounter them on the way.
Thus she sat, trembling and hesitating, when a distant murmur broke
on the silence, and grew louder and louder, till she distinguished
voices and steps approaching. She then rose to go, but the
came along the only passage, by which she could depart, and she was
compelled to await in the hall, the arrival of the persons, whose
steps she heard. As these advanced, she distinguished groans,
then saw a man borne slowly along by four others. Her spirits
faltered at the sight, and she leaned against the wall for
The bearers, meanwhile, entered the hall, and, being too busily
occupied to detain, or even notice Emily, she attempted to leave it,
but her strength failed, and she again sat down on the bench.
chillness came over her; her sight became confused; she knew not what
had passed, or where she was, yet the groans of the wounded person
still vibrated on her heart. In a few moments, the tide of
seemed again to flow; she began to breathe more freely, and her
senses revived. She had not fainted, nor had ever totally
consciousness, but had contrived to support herself on the bench;
still without courage to turn her eyes upon the unfortunate object,
which remained near her, and about whom the men were yet too much
engaged to attend to her.
When her strength returned, she rose, and was suffered to leave the
hall, though her anxiety, having produced some vain enquiries,
concerning Madame Montoni, had thus made a discovery of
Towards her chamber she now hastened, as fast as her steps would bear
her, for she still perceived, upon her passage, the sounds of
confusion at a distance, and she endeavoured, by taking her way
through some obscure rooms, to avoid encountering the persons, whose
looks had terrified her before, as well as those parts of the castle,
where the tumult might still rage.
At length, she reached her chamber, and, having secured the door of
the corridor, felt herself, for a moment, in safety. A
stillness reigned in this remote apartment, which not even the faint
murmur of the most distant sounds now reached. She sat down,
one of the casements, and, as she gazed on the mountain-view beyond,
the deep repose of its beauty struck her with all the force of
contrast, and she could scarcely believe herself so near a scene of
savage discord. The contending elements seemed to have
their natural spheres, and to have collected themselves into the
minds of men, for there alone the tempest now reigned.
Emily tried to tranquillize her spirits, but anxiety made her
constantly listen for some sound, and often look out upon the
ramparts, where all, however, was lonely and still. As a
her own immediate danger had decreased, her apprehension concerning
Madame Montoni heightened, who, she remembered, had been fiercely
threatened with confinement in the east turret, and it was possible,
that her husband had satisfied his present vengeance with this
punishment. She, therefore, determined, when night should
and the inhabitants of the castle should be asleep, to explore the
way to the turret, which, as the direction it stood in was mentioned,
appeared not very difficult to be done. She knew, indeed,
although her aunt might be there, she could afford her no effectual
assistance, but it might give her some comfort even to know, that she
was discovered, and to hear the sound of her niece's voice; for
herself, any certainty, concerning Madame Montoni's fate, appeared
more tolerable, than this exhausting suspense.
Meanwhile, Annette did not appear, and Emily was surprised, and
somewhat alarmed for her, whom, in the confusion of the late scene,
various accidents might have befallen, and it was improbable, that
she would have failed to come to her apartment, unless something
unfortunate had happened.
Thus the hours passed in solitude, in silence, and in anxious
conjecturing. Being not once disturbed by a message, or a
appeared, that Montoni had wholly forgotten her, and it gave her some
comfort to find, that she could be so unnoticed. She
withdraw her thoughts from the anxiety, that preyed upon them, but
they refused controul; she could neither read, or draw, and the tones
of her lute were so utterly discordant with the present state of her
feelings, that she could not endure them for a moment.
The sun, at length, set behind the western mountains; his fiery beams
faded from the clouds, and then a dun melancholy purple drew over
them, and gradually involved the features of the country
after, the sentinels passed on the rampart to commence the watch.
Twilight had now spread its gloom over every object; the dismal
obscurity of her chamber recalled fearful thoughts, but she
remembered, that to procure a light she must pass through a great
extent of the castle, and, above all, through the halls, where she
had already experienced so much horror. Darkness, indeed, in
present state of her spirits, made silence and solitude terrible to
her; it would also prevent the possibility of her finding her way to
the turret, and condemn her to remain in suspense, concerning the
fate of her aunt; yet she dared not to venture forth for a lamp.
Continuing at the casement, that she might catch the last lingering
gleam of evening, a thousand vague images of fear floated on her
fancy. 'What if some of these ruffians,' said she, 'should
the private stair-case, and in the darkness of night steal into my
chamber!' Then, recollecting the mysterious inhabitant of the
neighbouring apartment, her terror changed its object. 'He is
prisoner,' said she, 'though he remains in one chamber, for Montoni
did not fasten the door, when he left it; the unknown person himself
did this; it is certain, therefore, he can come out when he pleases.'
She paused, for, notwithstanding the terrors of darkness, she
considered it to be very improbable, whoever he was, that he could
have any interest in intruding upon her retirement; and again the
subject of her emotion changed, when, remembering her nearness to the
chamber, where the veil had formerly disclosed a dreadful spectacle,
she doubted whether some passage might not communicate between it and
the insecure door of the stair-case.
It was now entirely dark, and she left the casement. As she
her eyes fixed on the hearth, she thought she perceived there a spark
of light; it twinkled and disappeared, and then again was
At length, with much care, she fanned the embers of a wood fire, that
had been lighted in the morning, into flame, and, having communicated
it to a lamp, which always stood in her room, felt a satisfaction not
to be conceived, without a review of her situation. Her first
was to guard the door of the stair-case, for which purpose she placed
against it all the furniture she could move, and she was thus
employed, for some time, at the end of which she had another instance
how much more oppressive misfortune is to the idle, than to the busy;
for, having then leisure to think over all the circumstances of her
present afflictions, she imagined a thousand evils for futurity, and
these real and ideal subjects of distress alike wounded her mind.
Thus heavily moved the hours till midnight, when she counted the
sullen notes of the great clock, as they rolled along the rampart,
unmingled with any sound, except the distant foot-fall of a sentinel,
who came to relieve guard. She now thought she might venture
the turret, and, having gently opened the chamber door to examine the
corridor, and to listen if any person was stirring in the castle,
found all around in perfect stillness. Yet no sooner had she
the room, than she perceived a light flash on the walls of the
corridor, and, without waiting to see by whom it was carried, she
shrunk back, and closed her door. No one approaching, she
conjectured, that it was Montoni going to pay his mid-night visit to
her unknown neighbour, and she determined to wait, till he should
have retired to his own apartment.
When the chimes had tolled another half hour, she once more opened
the door, and, perceiving that no person was in the corridor, hastily
crossed into a passage, that led along the south side of the castle
towards the stair-case, whence she believed she could easily find her
way to the turret. Often pausing on her way, listening
apprehensively to the murmurs of the wind, and looking fearfully
onward into the gloom of the long passages, she, at length, reached
the stair-case; but there her perplexity began. Two passages
appeared, of which she knew not how to prefer one, and was compelled,
at last, to decide by chance, rather than by circumstances.
entered, opened first into a wide gallery, along which she passed
lightly and swiftly; for the lonely aspect of the place awed her, and
she started at the echo of her own steps.
On a sudden, she thought she heard a voice, and, not distinguishing
from whence it came, feared equally to proceed, or to return.
some moments, she stood in an attitude of listening expectation,
shrinking almost from herself and scarcely daring to look round
The voice came again, but, though it was now near her, terror did not
allow her to judge exactly whence it proceeded. She thought,
however, that it was the voice of complaint, and her belief was soon
confirmed by a low moaning sound, that seemed to proceed from one of
the chambers, opening into the gallery. It instantly occurred
her, that Madame Montoni might be there confined, and she advanced to
the door to speak, but was checked by considering, that she was,
perhaps, going to commit herself to a stranger, who might discover
her to Montoni; for, though this person, whoever it was, seemed to be
in affliction, it did not follow, that he was a prisoner.
While these thoughts passed over her mind, and left her still in
hesitation, the voice spoke again, and, calling 'Ludovico,' she then
perceived it to be that of Annette; on which, no longer hesitating,
she went in joy to answer her.
'Ludovico!' cried Annette, sobbing--'Ludovico!'
'It is not Ludovico, it is I--Mademoiselle Emily.'
Annette ceased sobbing, and was silent.
'If you can open the door, let me in,' said Emily, 'here is no person
to hurt you.'
'Ludovico!--O, Ludovico!' cried Annette.
Emily now lost her patience, and her fear of being overheard
increasing, she was even nearly about to leave the door, when she
considered, that Annette might, possibly, know something of the
situation of Madame Montoni, or direct her to the turret. At
she obtained a reply, though little satisfactory, to her questions,
for Annette knew nothing of Madame Montoni, and only conjured Emily
to tell her what was become of Ludovico. Of him she had no
information to give, and she again asked who had shut Annette up.
'Ludovico,' said the poor girl, 'Ludovico shut me up. When I
away from the dressing-room door to-day, I went I scarcely knew
where, for safety; and, in this gallery, here, I met Ludovico, who
hurried me into this chamber, and locked me up to keep me out of
harm, as he said. But he was in such a hurry himself, he
spoke ten words, but he told me he would come, and let me out, when
all was quiet, and he took away the key with him. Now all
hours are passed, and I have neither seen, or heard a word of him;
they have murdered him--I know they have!'
Emily suddenly remembered the wounded person, whom she had seen borne
into the servants' hall, and she scarcely doubted, that he was
Ludovico, but she concealed the circumstance from Annette, and
endeavoured to comfort her. Then, impatient to learn
her aunt, she again enquired the way to the turret.
'O! you are not going, ma'amselle,' said Annette, 'for Heaven's sake,
do not go, and leave me here by myself.'
'Nay, Annette, you do not think I can wait in the gallery all night,'
replied Emily. 'Direct me to the turret; in the morning I
endeavour to release you.'
'O holy Mary!' exclaimed Annette, 'am I to stay here by myself all
night! I shall be frightened out of my senses, and I shall
hunger; I have had nothing to eat since dinner!'
Emily could scarcely forbear smiling at the heterogeneous distresses
of Annette, though she sincerely pitied them, and said what she could
to sooth her. At length, she obtained something like a
the east turret, and quitted the door, from whence, after many
intricacies and perplexities, she reached the steep and winding
stairs of the turret, at the foot of which she stopped to rest, and
to re-animate her courage with a sense of her duty. As she
this dismal place, she perceived a door on the opposite side of the
stair-case, and, anxious to know whether it would lead her to Madame
Montoni, she tried to undraw the bolts, which fastened it. A
air came to her face, as she unclosed the door, which opened upon the
east rampart, and the sudden current had nearly extinguished her
light, which she now removed to a distance; and again, looking out
upon the obscure terrace, she perceived only the faint outline of the
walls and of some towers, while, above, heavy clouds, borne along the
wind, seemed to mingle with the stars, and wrap the night in thicker
darkness. As she gazed, now willing to defer the moment of
certainty, from which she expected only confirmation of evil, a
distant footstep reminded her, that she might be observed by the men
on watch, and, hastily closing the door, she took her lamp, and
passed up the stair-case. Trembling came upon her, as she
through the gloom. To her melancholy fancy this seemed to be
of death, and the chilling silence, that reigned, confirmed its
character. Her spirits faltered. 'Perhaps,' said
she, 'I am
hither only to learn a dreadful truth, or to witness some horrible
spectacle; I feel that my senses would not survive such an addition
The image of her aunt murdered--murdered, perhaps, by the hand of
Montoni, rose to her mind; she trembled, gasped for breath--repented
that she had dared to venture hither, and checked her steps.
after she had paused a few minutes, the consciousness of her duty
returned, and she went on. Still all was silent. At
of blood, upon a stair, caught her eye; and instantly she perceived,
that the wall and several other steps were stained. She
again struggled to support herself, and the lamp almost fell from her
trembling hand. Still no sound was heard, no living being
inhabit the turret; a thousand times she wished herself again in her
chamber; dreaded to enquire farther--dreaded to encounter some
horrible spectacle, and yet could not resolve, now that she was so
near the termination of her efforts, to desist from them.
again collected courage to proceed, after ascending about half way up
the turret, she came to another door, but here again she stopped in
hesitation; listened for sounds within, and then, summoning all her
resolution, unclosed it, and entered a chamber, which, as her lamp
shot its feeble rays through the darkness, seemed to exhibit only
dew-stained and deserted walls. As she stood examining it, in
fearful expectation of discovering the remains of her unfortunate
aunt, she perceived something lying in an obscure corner of the room,
and, struck with an horrible conviction, she became, for an instant,
motionless and nearly insensible. Then, with a kind of
resolution, she hurried towards the object that excited her terror,
when, perceiving the clothes of some person, on the floor, she caught
hold of them, and found in her grasp the old uniform of a soldier,
beneath which appeared a heap of pikes and other arms.
daring to trust her sight, she continued, for some moments, to gaze
on the object of her late alarm, and then left the chamber, so much
comforted and occupied by the conviction, that her aunt was not
there, that she was going to descend the turret, without enquiring
farther; when, on turning to do so, she observed upon some steps on
the second flight an appearance of blood, and remembering, that there
was yet another chamber to be explored, she again followed the
windings of the ascent. Still, as she ascended, the track of
glared upon the stairs.
It led her to the door of a landing-place, that terminated them, but
she was unable to follow it farther. Now that she was so near
sought-for certainty, she dreaded to know it, even more than before,
and had not fortitude sufficient to speak, or to attempt opening the
Having listened, in vain, for some sound, that might confirm, or
destroy her fears, she, at length, laid her hand on the lock, and,
finding it fastened, called on Madame Montoni; but only a chilling
'She is dead!' she cried,--'murdered!--her blood is on the stairs!'
Emily grew very faint; could support herself no longer, and had
scarcely presence of mind to set down the lamp, and place herself on
When her recollection returned, she spoke again at the door, and
again attempted to open it, and, having lingered for some time,
without receiving any answer, or hearing a sound, she descended the
turret, and, with all the swiftness her feebleness would permit,
sought her own apartment.
As she turned into the corridor, the door of a chamber opened, from
whence Montoni came forth; but Emily, more terrified than ever to
behold him, shrunk back into the passage soon enough to escape being
noticed, and heard him close the door, which she had perceived was
the same she formerly observed. Having here listened to his
departing steps, till their faint sound was lost in distance, she
ventured to her apartment, and, securing it once again, retired to
her bed, leaving the lamp burning on the hearth. But sleep
from her harassed mind, to which images of horror alone
She endeavoured to think it possible, that Madame Montoni had not
been taken to the turret; but, when she recollected the former
menaces of her husband and the terrible spirit of vengeance, which he
had displayed on a late occasion; when she remembered his general
character, the looks of the men, who had forced Madame Montoni from
her apartment, and the written traces on the stairs of the turret--
she could not doubt, that her aunt had been carried thither, and
could scarcely hope, that she had not been carried to be murdered.
The grey of morning had long dawned through her casements, before
Emily closed her eyes in sleep; when wearied nature, at length,
yielded her a respite from suffering.
Who rears the bloody hand?
Emily remained in her chamber, on the following morning, without
receiving any notice from Montoni, or seeing a human being, except
the armed men, who sometimes passed on the terrace below.
tasted no food since the dinner of the preceding day, extreme
faintness made her feel the necessity of quitting the asylum of her
apartment to obtain refreshment, and she was also very anxious to
procure liberty for Annette. Willing, however, to defer
forth, as long as possible, and considering, whether she should apply
to Montoni, or to the compassion of some other person, her excessive
anxiety concerning her aunt, at length, overcame her abhorrence of
his presence, and she determined to go to him, and to entreat, that
he would suffer her to see Madame Montoni.
Meanwhile, it was too certain, from the absence of Annette, that some
accident had befallen Ludovico, and that she was still in
confinement; Emily, therefore, resolved also to visit the chamber,
where she had spoken to her, on the preceding night, and, if the poor
girl was yet there, to inform Montoni of her situation.
It was near noon, before she ventured from her apartment, and went
first to the south gallery, whither she passed without meeting a
single person, or hearing a sound, except, now and then, the echo of
a distant footstep.
It was unnecessary to call Annette, whose lamentations were audible
upon the first approach to the gallery, and who, bewailing her own
and Ludovico's fate, told Emily, that she should certainly be starved
to death, if she was not let out immediately. Emily replied,
she was going to beg her release of Montoni; but the terrors of
hunger now yielded to those of the Signor, and, when Emily left her,
she was loudly entreating, that her place of refuge might be
concealed from him.
As Emily drew near the great hall, the sounds she heard and the
people she met in the passages renewed her alarm. The latter,
however, were peaceable, and did not interrupt her, though they
looked earnestly at her, as she passed, and sometimes spoke.
crossing the hall towards the cedar room, where Montoni usually sat,
she perceived, on the pavement, fragments of swords, some tattered
garments stained with blood, and almost expected to have seen among
them a dead body; but from such a spectacle she was, at present,
spared. As she approached the room, the sound of several
issued from within, and a dread of appearing before many strangers,
as well as of irritating Montoni by such an intrusion, made her pause
and falter from her purpose. She looked up through the long
of the hall, in search of a servant, who might bear a message, but no
one appeared, and the urgency of what she had to request made her
still linger near the door. The voices within were not in
contention, though she distinguished those of several of the guests
of the preceding day; but still her resolution failed, whenever she
would have tapped at the door, and she had determined to walk in the
hall, till some person should appear, who might call Montoni from the
room, when, as she turned from the door, it was suddenly opened by
himself. Emily trembled, and was confused, while he almost
with surprise, and all the terrors of his countenance unfolded
themselves. She forgot all she would have said, and neither
for her aunt, or entreated for Annette, but stood silent and
After closing the door he reproved her for a meanness, of which she
had not been guilty, and sternly questioned her what she had
overheard; an accusation, which revived her recollection so far, that
she assured him she had not come thither with an intention to listen
to his conversation, but to entreat his compassion for her aunt, and
for Annette. Montoni seemed to doubt this assertion, for he
her with a scrutinizing look; and the doubt evidently arose from no
trifling interest. Emily then further explained herself, and
concluded with entreating him to inform her, where her aunt was
placed, and to permit, that she might visit her; but he looked upon
her only with a malignant smile, which instantaneously confirmed her
worst fears for her aunt, and, at that moment, she had not courage to
renew her entreaties.
'For Annette,' said he,--'if you go to Carlo, he will release the
girl; the foolish fellow, who shut her up, died yesterday.'
shuddered.--'But my aunt, Signor'--said she, 'O tell me of my aunt!'
'She is taken care of,' replied Montoni hastily, 'I have no time to
answer idle questions.'
He would have passed on, but Emily, in a voice of agony, that could
not be wholly resisted, conjured him to tell her, where Madame
Montoni was; while he paused, and she anxiously watched his
countenance, a trumpet sounded, and, in the next moment, she heard
the heavy gates of the portal open, and then the clattering of
horses' hoofs in the court, with the confusion of many
stood for a moment hesitating whether she should follow Montoni, who,
at the sound of the trumpet, had passed through the hall, and,
turning her eyes whence it came, she saw through the door, that
opened beyond a long perspective of arches into the courts, a party
of horsemen, whom she judged, as well as the distance and her
embarrassment would allow, to be the same she had seen depart, a few
days before. But she staid not to scrutinize, for, when the
sounded again, the chevaliers rushed out of the cedar room, and men
came running into the hall from every quarter of the castle.
once more hurried for shelter to her own apartment. Thither
still pursued by images of horror. She re-considered
manner and words, when he had spoken of his wife, and they served
only to confirm her most terrible suspicions. Tears refused
longer to relieve her distress, and she had sat for a considerable
time absorbed in thought, when a knocking at the chamber door aroused
her, on opening which she found old Carlo.
'Dear young lady,' said he, 'I have been so flurried, I never once
thought of you till just now. I have brought you some fruit
wine, and I am sure you must stand in need of them by this time.'
'Thank you, Carlo,' said Emily, 'this is very good of you Did
Signor remind you of me?'
'No, Signora,' replied Carlo, 'his excellenza has business enough on
his hands.' Emily then renewed her enquiries, concerning
Montoni, but Carlo had been employed at the other end of the castle,
during the time, that she was removed, and he had heard nothing
since, concerning her.
While he spoke, Emily looked steadily at him, for she scarcely knew
whether he was really ignorant, or concealed his knowledge of the
truth from a fear of offending his master. To several
concerning the contentions of yesterday, he gave very limited
answers; but told, that the disputes were now amicably settled, and
that the Signor believed himself to have been mistaken in his
suspicions of his guests. 'The fighting was about that,
said Carlo; 'but I trust I shall never see such another day in this
castle, though strange things are about to be done.'
On her enquiring his meaning, 'Ah, Signora!' added he, 'it is not for
me to betray secrets, or tell all I think, but time will tell.'
She then desired him to release Annette, and, having described the
chamber in which the poor girl was confined, he promised to obey her
immediately, and was departing, when she remembered to ask who were
the persons just arrived. Her late conjecture was right; it
Verezzi, with his party.
Her spirits were somewhat soothed by this short conversation with
Carlo; for, in her present circumstances, it afforded some comfort to
hear the accents of compassion, and to meet the look of sympathy.
An hour passed before Annette appeared, who then came weeping and
sobbing. 'O Ludovico--Ludovico!' cried she.
'My poor Annette!' said Emily, and made her sit down.
'Who could have foreseen this, ma'amselle? O miserable,
day--that ever I should live to see it!' and she continued to moan
and lament, till Emily thought it necessary to check her excess of
grief. 'We are continually losing dear friends by death,'
with a sigh, that came from her heart. 'We must submit to the
of Heaven--our tears, alas! cannot recall the dead!'
Annette took the handkerchief from her face.
'You will meet Ludovico in a better world, I hope,' added Emily.
'Yes--yes,--ma'amselle,' sobbed Annette, 'but I hope I shall meet him
again in this--though he is so wounded!'
'Wounded!' exclaimed Emily, 'does he live?'
'Yes, ma'am, but--but he has a terrible wound, and could not come to
let me out. They thought him dead, at first, and he has not
rightly himself, till within this hour.'
'Well, Annette, I rejoice to hear he lives.'
'Lives! Holy Saints! why he will not die, surely!'
Emily said she hoped not, but this expression of hope Annette thought
implied fear, and her own increased in proportion, as Emily
endeavoured to encourage her. To enquiries, concerning Madame
Montoni, she could give no satisfactory answers.
'I quite forgot to ask among the servants, ma'amselle,' said she,
'for I could think of nobody but poor Ludovico.'
Annette's grief was now somewhat assuaged, and Emily sent her to make
enquiries, concerning her lady, of whom, however, she could obtain no
intelligence, some of the people she spoke with being really ignorant
of her fate, and others having probably received orders to conceal
This day passed with Emily in continued grief and anxiety for her
aunt; but she was unmolested by any notice from Montoni; and, now
that Annette was liberated, she obtained food, without exposing
herself to danger, or impertinence.
Two following days passed in the same manner, unmarked by any
occurrence, during which she obtained no information of Madame
Montoni. On the evening of the second, having dismissed
retired to bed, her mind became haunted by the most dismal images,
such as her long anxiety, concerning her aunt, suggested; and, unable
to forget herself, for a moment, or to vanquish the phantoms, that
tormented her, she rose from her bed, and went to one of the
casements of her chamber, to breathe a freer air.
All without was silent and dark, unless that could be called light,
which was only the faint glimmer of the stars, shewing imperfectly
the outline of the mountains, the western towers of the castle and
the ramparts below, where a solitary sentinel was pacing.
image of repose did this scene present! The fierce and
passions, too, which so often agitated the inhabitants of this
edifice, seemed now hushed in sleep;--those mysterious workings, that
rouse the elements of man's nature into tempest--were calm.
heart was not so; but her sufferings, though deep, partook of the
gentle character of her mind. Hers was a silent anguish,
yet enduring; not the wild energy of passion, inflaming imagination,
bearing down the barriers of reason and living in a world of its own.
The air refreshed her, and she continued at the casement, looking on
the shadowy scene, over which the planets burned with a clear light,
amid the deep blue aether, as they silently moved in their destined
course. She remembered how often she had gazed on them with
father, how often he had pointed out their way in the heavens, and
explained their laws; and these reflections led to others, which, in
an almost equal degree, awakened her grief and astonishment.
They brought a retrospect of all the strange and mournful events,
which had occurred since she lived in peace with her parents.
Emily, who had been so tenderly educated, so tenderly loved, who once
knew only goodness and happiness--to her, the late events and her
present situation--in a foreign land--in a remote castle--surrounded
by vice and violence--seemed more like the visions of a distempered
imagination, than the circumstances of truth. She wept to
what her parents would have suffered, could they have foreseen the
events of her future life.
While she raised her streaming eyes to heaven, she observed the same
planet, which she had seen in Languedoc, on the night, preceding her
father's death, rise above the eastern towers of the castle, while
she remembered the conversation, which has passed, concerning the
probable state of departed souls; remembered, also, the solemn music
she had heard, and to which the tenderness of her spirits had, in
spite of her reason, given a superstitious meaning. At these
recollections she wept again, and continued musing, when suddenly the
notes of sweet music passed on the air. A superstitious dread
over her; she stood listening, for some moments, in trembling
expectation, and then endeavoured to re-collect her thoughts, and to
reason herself into composure; but human reason cannot establish her
laws on subjects, lost in the obscurity of imagination, any more than
the eye can ascertain the form of objects, that only glimmer through
the dimness of night.
Her surprise, on hearing such soothing and delicious sounds, was, at
least, justifiable; for it was long--very long, since she had
listened to any thing like melody. The fierce trumpet and the
fife were the only instruments she had heard, since her arrival at
When her mind was somewhat more composed, she tried to ascertain from
what quarter the sounds proceeded, and thought they came from below;
but whether from a room of the castle, or from the terrace, she could
not with certainty judge. Fear and surprise now yielded to
enchantment of a strain, that floated on the silent night, with the
most soft and melancholy sweetness. Suddenly, it seemed
distance, trembled faintly, and then entirely ceased.
She continued to listen, sunk in that pleasing repose, which soft
music leaves on the mind--but it came no more. Upon this
circumstance her thoughts were long engaged, for strange it certainly
was to hear music at midnight, when every inhabitant of the castle
had long since retired to rest, and in a place, where nothing like
harmony had been heard before, probably, for many years. Long-
suffering had made her spirits peculiarly sensible to terror, and
liable to be affected by the illusions of superstition.--It now
seemed to her, as if her dead father had spoken to her in that
strain, to inspire her with comfort and confidence, on the subject,
which had then occupied her mind. Yet reason told her, that
a wild conjecture, and she was inclined to dismiss it; but, with the
inconsistency so natural, when imagination guides the thoughts, she
then wavered towards a belief as wild. She remembered the
event, connected with the castle, which had given it into the
possession of its present owner; and, when she considered the
mysterious manner, in which its late possessor had disappeared, and
that she had never since been heard of, her mind was impressed with
an high degree of solemn awe; so that, though there appeared no clue
to connect that event with the late music, she was inclined
fancifully to think they had some relation to each other. At
conjecture, a sudden chillness ran through her frame; she looked
fearfully upon the duskiness of her chamber, and the dead silence,
that prevailed there, heightened to her fancy its gloomy aspect.
At length, she left the casement, but her steps faltered, as she
approached the bed, and she stopped and looked round. The
lamp, that burned in her spacious chamber, was expiring; for a
moment, she shrunk from the darkness beyond; and then, ashamed of the
weakness, which, however, she could not wholly conquer, went forward
to the bed, where her mind did not soon know the soothings of
She still mused on the late occurrence, and looked with anxiety to
the next night, when, at the same hour, she determined to watch
whether the music returned. 'If those sounds were human,'
'I shall probably hear them again.'
Then, oh, you blessed ministers above,
Keep me in patience; and, in ripen'd time,
Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up
Annette came almost breathless to Emily's apartment in the
'O ma'amselle!' said she, in broken sentences, 'what news I have to
tell! I have found out who the prisoner is--but he was no
neither;--he that was shut up in the chamber I told you of. I
think him a ghost, forsooth!'
'Who was the prisoner?' enquired Emily, while her thoughts glanced
back to the circumstance of the preceding night.
'You mistake, ma'am,' said Annette; 'he was not a prisoner, after
'Who is the person, then?'
'Holy Saints!' rejoined Annette; 'How I was surprised! I met
just now, on the rampart below, there. I never was so
my life! Ah! ma'amselle! this is a strange place! I
have done wondering, if I was to live here an hundred years.
I was saying, I met him just now on the rampart, and I was thinking
of nobody less than of him.'
'This trifling is insupportable,' said Emily; 'prythee, Annette, do
not torture my patience any longer.'
'Nay, ma'amselle, guess--guess who it was; it was somebody you know
'I cannot guess,' said Emily impatiently.
'Nay, ma'amselle, I'll tell you something to guess by--A tall Signor,
with a longish face, who walks so stately, and used to wear such a
high feather in his hat; and used often to look down upon the ground,
when people spoke to him; and to look at people from under his
eyebrows, as it were, all so dark and frowning. You have seen
often and often, at Venice,
ma'am. Then he was so intimate with the
Signor, too. And, now I think of it, I wonder what he could
afraid of in this lonely old castle, that he should shut himself up
for. But he is come abroad now, for I met him on the rampart
this minute. I trembled when I saw him, for I always was
him, somehow; but I determined I would not let him see it; so I went
up to him, and made him a low curtesy, "You are welcome to the
castle, Signor Orsino," said I.'
'O, it was Signor Orsino, then!' said Emily.
'Yes, ma'amselle, Signor Orsino, himself, who caused that Venetian
gentleman to be killed, and has been popping about from place to
place, ever since, as I hear.'
'Good God!' exclaimed Emily, recovering from the shock of this
intelligence; 'and is HE come to Udolpho! He does well to
to conceal himself.'
'Yes, ma'amselle, but if that was all, this desolate place would
conceal him, without his shutting himself up in one room. Who
think of coming to look for him here? I am sure I should as
think of going to look for any body in the other world.'
'There is some truth in that,' said Emily, who would now have
concluded it was Orsino's music, which she had heard, on the
preceding night, had she not known, that he had neither taste, or
skill in the art. But, though she was unwilling to add to the
of Annette's surprises, by mentioning the subject of her own, she
enquired, whether any person in the castle played on a musical
'O yes, ma'amselle! there is Benedetto plays the great drum to
admiration; and then, there is Launcelot the trumpeter; nay, for that
matter, Ludovico himself can play on the trumpet;--but he is ill
I remember once'--
Emily interrupted her; 'Have you heard no other music since you came
to the castle--none last night?'
'Why, did YOU hear any last night, ma'amselle?'
Emily evaded this question, by repeating her own.
'Why, no, ma'am,' replied Annette; 'I never heard any music here, I
must say, but the drums and the trumpet; and, as for last night, I
did nothing but dream I saw my late lady's ghost.'
'Your LATE lady's,' said Emily in a tremulous voice; 'you have heard
more, then. Tell me--tell me all, Annette, I entreat; tell me
worst at once.'
'Nay, ma'amselle, you know the worst already.'
'I know nothing,' said Emily.
'Yes, you do, ma'amselle; you know, that nobody knows any thing about
her; and it is plain, therefore, she is gone, the way of the first
lady of the castle--nobody ever knew any thing about her.'
Emily leaned her head upon her hand, and was, for some time, silent;
then, telling Annette she wished to be alone, the latter left the
The remark of Annette had revived Emily's terrible suspicion,
concerning the fate of Madame Montoni; and she resolved to make
another effort to obtain certainty on this subject, by applying to
Montoni once more.
When Annette returned, a few hours after, she told Emily, that the
porter of the castle wished very much to speak with her, for that he
had something of importance to say; her spirits had, however, of late
been so subject to alarm, that any new circumstance excited it; and
this message from the porter, when her first surprise was over, made
her look round for some lurking danger, the more suspiciously,
perhaps, because she had frequently remarked the unpleasant air and
countenance of this man. She now hesitated, whether to speak
him, doubting even, that this request was only a pretext to draw her
into some danger; but a little reflection shewed her the
improbability of this, and she blushed at her weak fears.
'I will speak to him, Annette,' said she; 'desire him to come to the
Annette departed, and soon after returned.
'Barnardine, ma'amselle,' said she, 'dare not come to the corridor,
lest he should be discovered, it is so far from his post; and he dare
not even leave the gates for a moment now; but, if you will come to
him at the portal, through some roundabout passages he told me of,
without crossing the courts, he has that to tell, which will surprise
you. But you must not come through the courts, lest the
should see you.'
Emily, neither approving these 'roundabout passage,' nor the other
part of the request, now positively refused to go. 'Tell
she, 'if he has any thing of consequence to impart, I will hear him
in the corridor, whenever he has an opportunity of coming thither.'
Annette went to deliver this message, and was absent a considerable
time. When she returned, 'It won't do, ma'amselle,' said
'Barnardine has been considering all this time what can be done, for
it is as much as his place is worth to leave his post now.
you will come to the east rampart in the dusk of the evening, he can,
perhaps, steal away, and tell you all he has to say.'
Emily was surprised and alarmed, at the secrecy which this man seemed
to think so necessary, and hesitated whether to meet him, till,
considering, that he might mean to warn her of some serious danger,
she resolved to go.
'Soon after sun-set,' said she, 'I will be at the end of the east
rampart. But then the watch will be set,' she added,
herself, 'and how can Barnardine pass unobserved?'
'That is just what I said to him, ma'am, and he answered me, that he
had the key of the gate, at the end of the rampart, that leads
towards the courts, and could let himself through that way; and as
for the sentinels, there were none at this end of the terrace,
because the place is guarded enough by the high walls of the castle,
and the east turret; and he said those at the other end were too far
off to see him, if it was pretty duskyish.'
'Well,' said Emily, 'I must hear what he has to tell; and, therefore,
desire you will go with me to the terrace, this evening.'
'He desired it might be pretty duskyish, ma'amselle,' repeated
Annette, 'because of the watch.'
Emily paused, and then said she would be on the terrace, an hour
after sun-set;--'and tell Barnardine,' she added, 'to be punctual to
the time; for that I, also, may be observed by Signor
is the Signor? I would speak with him.'
'He is in the cedar chamber, ma'am, counselling with the other
Signors. He is going to give them a sort of treat to-day, to
for what passed at the last, I suppose; the people are all very busy
in the kitchen.'
Emily now enquired, if Montoni expected any new guests? and Annette
believed that he did not. 'Poor Ludovico!' added she, 'he
as merry as the best of them, if he was well; but he may recover
Count Morano was wounded as bad, as he, and he is got well again, and
is gone back to Venice.'
'Is he so?' said Emily, 'when did you hear this?'
'I heard it, last night, ma'amselle, but I forgot to tell it.'
Emily asked some further questions, and then, desiring Annette would
observe and inform her, when Montoni was alone, the girl went to
deliver her message to Barnardine.
Montoni was, however, so much engaged, during the whole day, that
Emily had no opportunity of seeking a release from her terrible
suspense, concerning her aunt. Annette was employed in
steps, and in attending upon Ludovico, whom she, assisted by
Caterina, nursed with the utmost care; and Emily was, of course, left
much alone. Her thoughts dwelt often on the message of the
and were employed in conjecturing the subject, that occasioned it,
which she sometimes imagined concerned the fate of Madame Montoni; at
others, that it related to some personal danger, which threatened
herself. The cautious secrecy which Barnardine observed in
conduct, inclined her to believe the latter.
As the hour of appointment drew near, her impatience
length, the sun set; she heard the passing steps of the sentinels
going to their posts; and waited only for Annette to accompany her to
the terrace, who, soon after, came, and they descended
When Emily expressed apprehensions of meeting Montoni, or some of his
guests, 'O, there is no fear of that, ma'amselle,' said Annette,
'they are all set in to feasting yet, and that Barnardine knows.'
They reached the first terrace, where the sentinels demanded who
passed; and Emily, having answered, walked on to the east rampart, at
the entrance of which they were again stopped; and, having again
replied, were permitted to proceed. But Emily did not like to
herself to the discretion of these men, at such an hour; and,
impatient to withdraw from the situation, she stepped hastily on in
search of Barnardine. He was not yet come. She
the wall of the rampart, and waited for him. The gloom of
sat deep on the surrounding objects, blending in soft confusion the
valley, the mountains, and the woods, whose tall heads, stirred by
the evening breeze, gave the only sounds, that stole on silence,
except a faint, faint chorus of distant voices, that arose from
within the castle.
'What voices are those?' said Emily, as she fearfully listened.
'It is only the Signor and his guests, carousing,' replied Annette.
'Good God!' thought Emily, 'can this man's heart be so gay, when he
has made another being so wretched; if, indeed, my aunt is yet
suffered to feel her wretchedness? O! whatever are my own
sufferings, may my heart never, never be hardened against those of
She looked up, with a sensation of horror, to the east turret, near
which she then stood; a light glimmered through the grates of the
lower chamber, but those of the upper one were dark.
perceived a person moving with a lamp across the lower room; but this
circumstance revived no hope, concerning Madame Montoni, whom she had
vainly sought in that apartment, which had appeared to contain only
soldiers' accoutrements. Emily, however, determined to
outer door of the turret, as soon as Barnardine should withdraw; and,
if it was unfastened, to make another effort to discover her aunt.
The moments passed, but still Barnardine did not appear; and Emily,
becoming uneasy, hesitated whether to wait any longer. She
have sent Annette to the portal to hasten him, but feared to be left
alone, for it was now almost dark, and a melancholy streak of red,
that still lingered in the west, was the only vestige of departed
day. The strong interest, however, which Barnardine's message
awakened, overcame other apprehensions, and still detained her.
While she was conjecturing with Annette what could thus occasion his
absence, they heard a key turn in the lock of the gate near them, and
presently saw a man advancing. It was Barnardine, of whom
hastily enquired what he had to communicate, and desired, that he
would tell her quickly, 'for I am chilled with this evening air,'
'You must dismiss your maid, lady,' said the man in a voice, the deep
tone of which shocked her, 'what I have to tell is to you only.'
Emily, after some hesitation, desired Annette to withdraw to a little
distance. 'Now, my friend, what would you say?'
He was silent a moment, as if considering, and then said,--
'That which would cost me my place, at least, if it came to the
Signor's ears. You must promise, lady, that nothing shall
you tell a syllable of the matter; I have been trusted in this
affair, and, if it was known, that I betrayed my trust, my life,
perhaps, might answer it. But I was concerned for you, lady,
resolved to tell you.' He paused.--
Emily thanked him, assured him that he might repose on her
discretion, and entreated him to dispatch.
'Annette told us in the hall how unhappy you was about Signora
Montoni, and how much you wished to know what was become of her.'
'Most true,' said Emily eagerly, 'and you can inform me. I
you tell me the worst, without hesitation.' She rested her
arm upon the wall.
'I can tell you,' said Barnardine, and paused.--
Emily had no power to enforce her entreaties.
'I CAN tell you,' resumed Barnardine,--'but'--
'But what?' exclaimed Emily, recovering her resolution.
'Here I am, ma'amselle,' said Annette, who, having heard the eager
tone, in which Emily pronounced these words, came running towards
'Retire!' said Barnardine, sternly; 'you are not wanted;' and, as
Emily said nothing, Annette obeyed.
'I CAN tell you,' repeated the porter,--'but I know not how--you was
'I am prepared for the worst, my friend,' said Emily, in a firm and
solemn voice. 'I can support any certainty better than this
'Well, Signora, if that is the case, you shall hear.--You know, I
suppose, that the Signor and his lady used sometimes to
is none of my concerns to enquire what it was about, but I believe
you know it was so.'
'Well,' said Emily, 'proceed.'
'The Signor, it seems, had lately been very wrath against
all, and heard all,--a great deal more than people thought for; but
it was none of my business, so I said nothing. A few days
Signor sent for me. "Barnardine," says he, "you are--an
I think I can trust you." I assured his excellenza that he
"Then," says he, as near as I can remember, "I have an affair in
hand, which I want you to assist me in."--Then he told me what I was
to do; but that I shall say nothing about--it concerned only the
'O Heavens!' exclaimed Emily--'what have you done?'
Barnardine hesitated, and was silent.
'What fiend could tempt him, or you, to such an act!' cried Emily,
chilled with horror, and scarcely able to support her fainting
'It was a fiend,' said Barnardine in a gloomy tone of voice.
were now both silent;--Emily had not courage to enquire further, and
Barnardine seemed to shrink from telling more. At length he
'It is of no use to think of the past; the Signor was cruel enough,
but he would be obeyed. What signified my refusing?
found others, who had no scruples.'
'You have murdered her, then!' said Emily, in a hollow and inward
voice--'I am talking with a murderer!' Barnardine stood
while Emily turned from him, and attempted to leave the place.
'Stay, lady!' said he, 'You deserve to think so still--since you can
believe me capable of such a deed.'
'If you are innocent, tell me quickly,' said Emily, in faint accents,
'for I feel I shall not be able to hear you long.'
'I will tell you no more,' said he, and walked away. Emily
strength enough to bid him stay, and then to call Annette, on whose
arm she leaned, and they walked slowly up the rampart, till they
heard steps behind them. It was Barnardine again.
'Send away the girl,' said he, 'and I will tell you more.'
'She must not go,' said Emily; 'what you have to say, she may hear.'
'May she so, lady?' said he. 'You shall know no more, then;'
was going, though slowly, when Emily's anxiety, overcoming the
resentment and fear, which the man's behaviour had roused, she
desired him to stay, and bade Annette retire.
'The Signora is alive,' said he, 'for me. She is my prisoner,
though; his excellenza has shut her up in the chamber over the great
gates of the court, and I have the charge of her. I was going
have told you, you might see her--but now--'
Emily, relieved from an unutterable load of anguish by this speech,
had now only to ask Barnardine's forgiveness, and to conjure, that he
would let her visit her aunt.
He complied with less reluctance, than she expected, and told her,
that, if she would repair, on the following night, when the Signor
was retired to rest, to the postern-gate of the castle, she should,
perhaps, see Madame Montoni.
Amid all the thankfulness, which Emily felt for this concession, she
thought she observed a malicious triumph in his manner, when he
pronounced the last words; but, in the next moment, she dismissed the
thought, and, having again thanked him, commended her aunt to his
pity, and assured him, that she would herself reward him, and would
be punctual to her appointment, she bade him good night, and retired,
unobserved, to her chamber. It was a considerable time,
tumult of joy, which Barnardine's unexpected intelligence had
occasioned, allowed Emily to think with clearness, or to be conscious
of the real dangers, that still surrounded Madame Montoni and
herself. When this agitation subsided, she perceived, that
was yet the prisoner of a man, to whose vengeance, or avarice, she
might fall a sacrifice; and, when she further considered the savage
aspect of the person, who was appointed to guard Madame Montoni, her
doom appeared to be already sealed, for the countenance of Barnardine
seemed to bear the stamp of a murderer; and, when she had looked upon
it, she felt inclined to believe, that there was no deed, however
black, which he might not be prevailed upon to execute. These
reflections brought to her remembrance the tone of voice, in which he
had promised to grant her request to see his prisoner; and she mused
upon it long in uneasiness and doubt. Sometimes, she even
whether to trust herself with him at the lonely hour he had
appointed; and once, and only once, it struck her, that Madame
Montoni might be already murdered, and that this ruffian was
appointed to decoy herself to some secret place, where her life also
was to be sacrificed to the avarice of Montoni, who then would claim
securely the contested estates in Languedoc. The
the enormity of such guilt did, at length, relieve her from the
belief of its probability, but not from all the doubts and fears,
which a recollection of Barnardine's manner had occasioned.
these subjects, her thoughts, at length, passed to others; and, as
the evening advanced, she remembered, with somewhat more than
surprise, the music she had heard, on the preceding night, and now
awaited its return, with more than curiosity.
She distinguished, till a late hour, the distant carousals of Montoni
and his companions--the loud contest, the dissolute laugh and the
choral song, that made the halls re-echo. At length, she
heavy gates of the castle shut for the night, and those sounds
instantly sunk into a silence, which was disturbed only by the
whispering steps of persons, passing through the galleries to their
remote rooms. Emily now judging it to be about the time, when
had heard the music, on the preceding night, dismissed Annette, and
gently opened the casement to watch for its return. The
had so particularly noticed, at the recurrence of the music, was not
yet risen; but, with superstitious weakness, she kept her eyes fixed
on that part of the hemisphere, where it would rise, almost
expecting, that, when it appeared, the sounds would return.
length, it came, serenely bright, over the eastern towers of the
castle. Her heart trembled, when she perceived it, and she
scarcely courage to remain at the casement, lest the returning music
should confirm her terror, and subdue the little strength she yet
retained. The clock soon after struck one, and, knowing this
about the time, when the sounds had occurred, she sat down in a
chair, near the casement, and endeavoured to compose her spirits; but
the anxiety of expectation yet disturbed them. Every thing,
remained still; she heard only the solitary step of a sentinel, and
the lulling murmur of the woods below, and she again leaned from the
casement, and again looked, as if for intelligence, to the planet,
which was now risen high above the towers.
Emily continued to listen, but no music came. 'Those were
mortal sounds!' said she, recollecting their entrancing
inhabitant of this castle could utter such; and, where is the
feeling, that could modulate such exquisite expression? We
that it has been affirmed celestial sounds have sometimes been heard
on earth. Father Pierre and Father Antoine declared, that
sometimes heard them in the stillness of night, when they alone were
waking to offer their orisons to heaven. Nay, my dear father
himself, once said, that, soon after my mother's death, as he lay
watchful in grief, sounds of uncommon sweetness called him from his
bed; and, on opening his window, he heard lofty music pass along the
midnight air. It soothed him, he said; he looked up with
to heaven, and resigned her to his God.'
Emily paused to weep at this recollection. 'Perhaps,' resumed
'perhaps, those strains I heard were sent to comfort,--to encourage
me! Never shall I forget those I heard, at this hour, in
Perhaps, my father watches over me, at this moment!' She wept
in tenderness. Thus passed the hour in watchfulness and
thought; but no sounds returned; and, after remaining at the
casement, till the light tint of dawn began to edge the mountain-tops
and steal upon the night-shade, she concluded, that they would not
return, and retired reluctantly to repose.
I will advise you where to plant yourselves;
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time,
The moment on 't; for 't must be done to-night.
Emily was somewhat surprised, on the following day, to find that
Annette had heard of Madame Montoni's confinement in the chamber over
the portal, as well as of her purposed visit there, on the
approaching night. That the circumstance, which Barnardine
solemnly enjoined her to conceal, he had himself told to so
indiscreet an hearer as Annette, appeared very improbable, though he
had now charged her with a message, concerning the intended
interview. He requested, that Emily would meet him,
the terrace, at a little after midnight, when he himself would lead
her to the place he had promised; a proposal, from which she
immediately shrunk, for a thousand vague fears darted athwart her
mind, such as had tormented her on the preceding night, and which she
neither knew how to trust, or to dismiss. It frequently
her, that Barnardine might have deceived her, concerning Madame
Montoni, whose murderer, perhaps, he really was; and that he had
deceived her by order of Montoni, the more easily to draw her into
some of the desperate designs of the latter. The terrible
that Madame Montoni no longer lived, thus came, accompanied by one
not less dreadful for herself. Unless the crime, by which the
had suffered, was instigated merely by resentment, unconnected with
profit, a motive, upon which Montoni did not appear very likely to
act, its object must be unattained, till the niece was also dead, to
whom Montoni knew that his wife's estates must descend. Emily
remembered the words, which had informed her, that the contested
estates in France would devolve to her, if Madame Montoni died,
without consigning them to her husband, and the former obstinate
perseverance of her aunt made it too probable, that she had, to the
last, withheld them. At this instant, recollecting
manner, on the preceding night, she now believed, what she had then
fancied, that it expressed malignant triumph. She shuddered
recollection, which confirmed her fears, and determined not to meet
him on the terrace. Soon after, she was inclined to consider
suspicions as the extravagant exaggerations of a timid and harassed
mind, and could not believe Montoni liable to such preposterous
depravity as that of destroying, from one motive, his wife and her
niece. She blamed herself for suffering her romantic
carry her so far beyond the bounds of probability, and determined to
endeavour to check its rapid flights, lest they should sometimes
extend into madness. Still, however, she shrunk from the
meeting Barnardine, on the terrace, at midnight; and still the wish
to be relieved from this terrible suspense, concerning her aunt, to
see her, and to sooth her sufferings, made her hesitate what to do.
'Yet how is it possible, Annette, I can pass to the terrace at that
hour?' said she, recollecting herself, 'the sentinels will stop me,
and Signor Montoni will hear of the affair.'
'O ma'amselle! that is well thought of,' replied Annette.
what Barnardine told me about. He gave me this key, and bade
it unlocks the door at the end of the vaulted gallery, that opens
near the end of the east rampart, so that you need not pass any of
the men on watch. He bade me say, too, that his reason for
requesting you to come to the terrace was, because he could take you
to the place you want to go to, without opening the great doors of
the hall, which grate so heavily.'
Emily's spirits were somewhat calmed by this explanation, which
seemed to be honestly given to Annette. 'But why did he
would come alone, Annette?' said she.
'Why that was what I asked him myself, ma'amselle. Says I,
young lady to come alone?--Surely I may come with her!--What harm can
I do? But he said "No--no--I tell you not," in his gruff
says I, I have been trusted in as great affairs as this, I warrant,
and it's a hard matter if _I_ can't keep a secret now. Still
would say nothing but--"No--no--no." Well, says I, if you
trust me, I will tell you a great secret, that was told me a month
ago, and I have never opened my lips about it yet--so you need not be
afraid of telling me. But all would not do. Then,
went so far as to offer him a beautiful new sequin, that Ludovico
gave me for a keep sake, and I would not have parted with it for all
St. Marco's Place; but even that would not do! Now what can
reason of this? But I know, you know, ma'am, who you are
'Pray did Barnardine tell you this?'
'He! No, ma'amselle, that he did not.'
Emily enquired who did, but Annette shewed, that she COULD keep a
During the remainder of the day, Emily's mind was agitated with
doubts and fears and contrary determinations, on the subject of
meeting this Barnardine on the rampart, and submitting herself to his
guidance, she scarcely knew whither. Pity for her aunt and
for herself alternately swayed her determination, and night came,
before she had decided upon her conduct. She heard the castle
strike eleven--twelve--and yet her mind wavered. The time,
was now come, when she could hesitate no longer: and then the
interest she felt for her aunt overcame other considerations, and,
bidding Annette follow her to the outer door of the vaulted gallery,
and there await her return, she descended from her chamber.
castle was perfectly still, and the great hall, where so lately she
had witnessed a scene of dreadful contention, now returned only the
whispering footsteps of the two solitary figures gliding fearfully
between the pillars, and gleamed only to the feeble lamp they
carried. Emily, deceived by the long shadows of the pillars
the catching lights between, often stopped, imagining she saw some
person, moving in the distant obscurity of the perspective; and, as
she passed these pillars, she feared to turn her eyes toward them,
almost expecting to see a figure start out from behind their broad
shaft. She reached, however, the vaulted gallery, without
interruption, but unclosed its outer door with a trembling hand, and,
charging Annette not to quit it and to keep it a little open, that
she might be heard if she called, she delivered to her the lamp,
which she did not dare to take herself because of the men on watch,
and, alone, stepped out upon the dark terrace. Every thing
still, that she feared, lest her own light steps should be heard by
the distant sentinels, and she walked cautiously towards the spot,
where she had before met Barnardine, listening for a sound, and
looking onward through the gloom in search of him. At length,
was startled by a deep voice, that spoke near her, and she paused,
uncertain whether it was his, till it spoke again, and she then
recognized the hollow tones of Barnardine, who had been punctual to
the moment, and was at the appointed place, resting on the rampart
wall. After chiding her for not coming sooner, and saying,
had been waiting nearly half an hour, he desired Emily, who made no
reply, to follow him to the door, through which he had entered the
While he unlocked it, she looked back to that she had left, and,
observing the rays of the lamp stream through a small opening, was
certain, that Annette was still there. But her remote
could little befriend Emily, after she had quitted the terrace; and,
when Barnardine unclosed the gate, the dismal aspect of the passage
beyond, shewn by a torch burning on the pavement, made her shrink
from following him alone, and she refused to go, unless Annette might
accompany her. This, however, Barnardine absolutely refused
permit, mingling at the same time with his refusal such artful
circumstances to heighten the pity and curiosity of Emily towards her
aunt, that she, at length, consented to follow him alone to the
He then took up the torch, and led her along the passage, at the
extremity of which he unlocked another door, whence they descended, a
few steps, into a chapel, which, as Barnardine held up the torch to
light her, Emily observed to be in ruins, and she immediately
recollected a former conversation of Annette, concerning it, with
very unpleasant emotions. She looked fearfully on the almost
roofless walls, green with damps, and on the gothic points of the
windows, where the ivy and the briony had long supplied the place of
glass, and ran mantling among the broken capitals of some columns,
that had once supported the roof. Barnardine stumbled over
broken pavement, and his voice, as he uttered a sudden oath, was
returned in hollow echoes, that made it more terrific.
sunk; but she still followed him, and he turned out of what had been
the principal aisle of the chapel. 'Down these steps, lady,'
Barnardine, as he descended a flight, which appeared to lead into the
vaults; but Emily paused on the top, and demanded, in a tremulous
tone, whither he was conducting her.
'To the portal,' said Barnardine.
'Cannot we go through the chapel to the portal?' said Emily.
'No, Signora, that leads to the inner court, which I don't choose to
unlock. This way, and we shall reach the outer court
Emily still hesitated; fearing not only to go on, but, since she had
gone thus far, to irritate Barnardine by refusing to go further.
'Come, lady,' said the man, who had nearly reached the bottom of the
flight, 'make a little haste; I cannot wait here all night.'
'Whither do these steps lead?' said Emily, yet pausing.
'To the portal,' repeated Barnardine, in an angry tone, 'I will wait
no longer.' As he said this, he moved on with the light, and
fearing to provoke him by further delay, reluctantly
the steps, they proceeded through a passage, adjoining the vaults,
the walls of which were dropping with unwholesome dews, and the
vapours, that crept along the ground, made the torch burn so dimly,
that Emily expected every moment to see it extinguished, and
Barnardine could scarcely find his way. As they advanced,
vapours thickened, and Barnardine, believing the torch was expiring,
stopped for a moment to trim it. As he then rested against a
iron gates, that opened from the passage, Emily saw, by uncertain
flashes of light, the vaults beyond, and, near her, heaps of earth,
that seemed to surround an open grave. Such an object, in
scene, would, at any time, have disturbed her; but now she was
shocked by an instantaneous presentiment, that this was the grave of
her unfortunate aunt, and that the treacherous Barnardine was leading
herself to destruction. The obscure and terrible place, to
had conducted her, seemed to justify the thought; it was a place
suited for murder, a receptacle for the dead, where a deed of horror
might be committed, and no vestige appear to proclaim it.
so overwhelmed with terror, that, for a moment, she was unable to
determine what conduct to pursue. She then considered, that
be vain to attempt an escape from Barnardine, by flight, since the
length and the intricacy of the way she had passed would soon enable
him to overtake her, who was unacquainted with the turnings, and
whose feebleness would not suffer her to run long with
She feared equally to irritate him by a disclosure of her suspicions,
which a refusal to accompany him further certainly would do; and,
since she was already as much in his power as it was possible she
could be, if she proceeded, she, at length, determined to suppress,
as far as she could, the appearance of apprehension, and to follow
silently whither he designed to lead her. Pale with horror
anxiety, she now waited till Barnardine had trimmed the torch, and,
as her sight glanced again upon the grave, she could not forbear
enquiring, for whom it was prepared. He took his eyes from
torch, and fixed them upon her face without speaking. She
repeated the question, but the man, shaking the torch, passed on; and
she followed, trembling, to a second flight of steps, having ascended
which, a door delivered them into the first court of the
they crossed it, the light shewed the high black walls around them,
fringed with long grass and dank weeds, that found a scanty soil
among the mouldering stones; the heavy buttresses, with, here and
there, between them, a narrow grate, that admitted a freer
circulation of air to the court, the massy iron gates, that led to
the castle, whose clustering turrets appeared above, and, opposite,
the huge towers and arch of the portal itself. In this scene
large, uncouth person of Barnardine, bearing the torch, formed a
characteristic figure. This Barnardine was wrapt in a long
cloak, which scarcely allowed the kind of half-boots, or sandals,
that were laced upon his legs, to appear, and shewed only the point
of a broad sword, which he usually wore, slung in a belt across his
shoulders. On his head was a heavy flat velvet cap, somewhat
resembling a turban, in which was a short feather; the visage beneath
it shewed strong features, and a countenance furrowed with the lines
of cunning and darkened by habitual discontent.
The view of the court, however, reanimated Emily, who, as she crossed
silently towards the portal, began to hope, that her own fears, and
not the treachery of Barnardine, had deceived her. She looked
anxiously up at the first casement, that appeared above the lofty
arch of the portcullis; but it was dark, and she enquired, whether it
belonged to the chamber, where Madame Montoni was confined.
spoke low, and Barnardine, perhaps, did not hear her question, for he
returned no answer; and they, soon after, entered the postern door of
the gate-way, which brought them to the foot of a narrow stair-case,
that wound up one of the towers.
'Up this stair-case the Signora lies,' said Barnardine.
'Lies!' repeated Emily faintly, as she began to ascend.
'She lies in the upper chamber,' said Barnardine.
As they passed up, the wind, which poured through the narrow cavities
in the wall, made the torch flare, and it threw a stronger gleam upon
the grim and sallow countenance of Barnardine, and discovered more
fully the desolation of the place--the rough stone walls, the spiral
stairs, black with age, and a suit of antient armour, with an iron
visor, that hung upon the walls, and appeared a trophy of some former
Having reached a landing-place, 'You may wait here, lady,' said he,
applying a key to the door of a chamber, 'while I go up, and tell the
Signora you are coming.'
'That ceremony is unnecessary,' replied Emily, 'my aunt will rejoice
to see me.'
'I am not so sure of that,' said Barnardine, pointing to the room he
had opened: 'Come in here, lady, while I step up.'
Emily, surprised and somewhat shocked, did not dare to oppose him
further, but, as he was turning away with the torch, desired he would
not leave her in darkness. He looked around, and, observing a
lamp, that stood on the stairs, lighted and gave it to Emily, who
stepped forward into a large old chamber, and he closed the
she listened anxiously to his departing steps, she thought he
descended, instead of ascending, the stairs; but the gusts of wind,
that whistled round the portal, would not allow her to hear
distinctly any other sound. Still, however, she listened,
perceiving no step in the room above, where he had affirmed Madame
Montoni to be, her anxiety increased, though she considered, that the
thickness of the floor in this strong building might prevent any
sound reaching her from the upper chamber. The next moment,
pause of the wind, she distinguished Barnardine's step descending to
the court, and then thought she heard his voice; but, the rising gust
again overcoming other sounds, Emily, to be certain on this point,
moved softly to the door, which, on attempting to open it, she
discovered was fastened. All the horrid apprehensions, that
lately assailed her, returned at this instant with redoubled force,
and no longer appeared like the exaggerations of a timid spirit, but
seemed to have been sent to warn her of her fate. She now did
doubt, that Madame Montoni had been murdered, perhaps in this very
chamber; or that she herself was brought hither for the same
The countenance, the manners and the recollected words of Barnardine,
when he had spoken of her aunt, confirmed her worst fears.
moments, she was incapable of considering of any means, by which she
might attempt an escape. Still she listened, but heard
neither on the stairs, or in the room above; she thought, however,
that she again distinguished Barnardine's voice below, and went to a
grated window, that opened upon the court, to enquire
she plainly heard his hoarse accents, mingling with the blast, that
swept by, but they were lost again so quickly, that their meaning
could not be interpreted; and then the light of a torch, which seemed
to issue from the portal below, flashed across the court, and the
long shadow of a man, who was under the arch-way, appeared upon the
pavement. Emily, from the hugeness of this sudden portrait,
concluded it to be that of Barnardine; but other deep tones, which
passed in the wind, soon convinced her he was not alone, and that his
companion was not a person very liable to pity.
When her spirits had overcome the first shock of her situation, she
held up the lamp to examine, if the chamber afforded a possibility of
an escape. It was a spacious room, whose walls, wainscoted
rough oak, shewed no casement but the grated one, which Emily had
left, and no other door than that, by which she had entered.
feeble rays of the lamp, however, did not allow her to see at once
its full extent; she perceived no furniture, except, indeed, an iron
chair, fastened in the centre of the chamber, immediately over which,
depending on a chain from the ceiling, hung an iron ring.
gazed upon these, for some time, with wonder and horror, she next
observed iron bars below, made for the purpose of confining the feet,
and on the arms of the chair were rings of the same metal. As
continued to survey them, she concluded, that they were instruments
of torture, and it struck her, that some poor wretch had once been
fastened in this chair, and had there been starved to death.
chilled by the thought; but, what was her agony, when, in the next
moment, it occurred to her, that her aunt might have been one of
these victims, and that she herself might be the next! An
seized her head, she was scarcely able to hold the lamp, and, looking
round for support, was seating herself, unconsciously, in the iron
chair itself; but suddenly perceiving where she was, she started from
it in horror, and sprung towards a remote end of the room.
again she looked round for a seat to sustain her, and perceived only
a dark curtain, which, descending from the ceiling to the floor, was
drawn along the whole side of the chamber. Ill as she was,
appearance of this curtain struck her, and she paused to gaze upon
it, in wonder and apprehension.
It seemed to conceal a recess of the chamber; she wished, yet
dreaded, to lift it, and to discover what it veiled: twice
withheld by a recollection of the terrible spectacle her daring hand
had formerly unveiled in an apartment of the castle, till, suddenly
conjecturing, that it concealed the body of her murdered aunt, she
seized it, in a fit of desperation, and drew it aside.
appeared a corpse, stretched on a kind of low couch, which was
crimsoned with human blood, as was the floor beneath. The
deformed by death, were ghastly and horrible, and more than one livid
wound appeared in the face. Emily, bending over the body,
a moment, with an eager, frenzied eye; but, in the next, the lamp
dropped from her hand, and she fell senseless at the foot of the
When her senses returned, she found herself surrounded by men, among
whom was Barnardine, who were lifting her from the floor, and then
bore her along the chamber. She was sensible of what passed,
extreme languor of her spirits did not permit her to speak, or move,
or even to feel any distinct fear. They carried her down the
case, by which she had ascended; when, having reached the arch-way,
they stopped, and one of the men, taking the torch from Barnardine,
opened a small door, that was cut in the great gate, and, as he
stepped out upon the road, the light he bore shewed several men on
horseback, in waiting. Whether it was the freshness of the
revived Emily, or that the objects she now saw roused the spirit of
alarm, she suddenly spoke, and made an ineffectual effort to
disengage herself from the grasp of the ruffians, who held her.
Barnardine, meanwhile, called loudly for the torch, while distant
voices answered, and several persons approached, and, in the same
instant, a light flashed upon the court of the castle. Again
vociferated for the torch, and the men hurried Emily through the
gate. At a short distance, under the shelter of the castle
she perceived the fellow, who had taken the light from the porter,
holding it to a man, busily employed in altering the saddle of a
horse, round which were several horsemen, looking on, whose harsh
features received the full glare of the torch; while the broken
ground beneath them, the opposite walls, with the tufted shrubs, that
overhung their summits, and an embattled watch-tower above, were
reddened with the gleam, which, fading gradually away, left the
remoter ramparts and the woods below to the obscurity of night.
'What do you waste time for, there?' said Barnardine with an oath, as
he approached the horsemen. 'Dispatch--dispatch!'
'The saddle will be ready in a minute,' replied the man who was
buckling it, at whom Barnardine now swore again, for his negligence,
and Emily, calling feebly for help, was hurried towards the horses,
while the ruffians disputed on which to place her, the one designed
for her not being ready. At this moment a cluster of lights
from the great gates, and she immediately heard the shrill voice of
Annette above those of several other persons, who advanced.
same moment, she distinguished Montoni and Cavigni, followed by a
number of ruffian-faced fellows, to whom she no longer looked with
terror, but with hope, for, at this instant, she did not tremble at
the thought of any dangers, that might await her within the castle,
whence so lately, and so anxiously she had wished to escape.
which threatened her from without, had engrossed all her
A short contest ensued between the parties, in which that of Montoni,
however, were presently victors, and the horsemen, perceiving that
numbers were against them, and being, perhaps, not very warmly
interested in the affair they had undertaken, galloped off, while
Barnardine had run far enough to be lost in the darkness, and Emily
was led back into the castle. As she re-passed the courts,
remembrance of what she had seen in the portal-chamber came, with all
its horror, to her mind; and when, soon after, she heard the gate
close, that shut her once more within the castle walls, she shuddered
for herself, and, almost forgetting the danger she had escaped, could
scarcely think, that any thing less precious than liberty and peace
was to be found beyond them.
Montoni ordered Emily to await him in the cedar parlour, whither he
soon followed, and then sternly questioned her on this mysterious
affair. Though she now viewed him with horror, as the
her aunt, and scarcely knew what she said in reply to his impatient
enquiries, her answers and her manner convinced him, that she had not
taken a voluntary part in the late scheme, and he dismissed her upon
the appearance of his servants, whom he had ordered to attend, that
he might enquire further into the affair, and discover those, who had
been accomplices in it.
Emily had been some time in her apartment, before the tumult of her
mind allowed her to remember several of the past
Then, again, the dead form, which the curtain in the portal-chamber
had disclosed, came to her fancy, and she uttered a groan, which
terrified Annette the more, as Emily forbore to satisfy her
curiosity, on the subject of it, for she feared to trust her with so
fatal a secret, lest her indiscretion should call down the immediate
vengeance of Montoni on herself.
Thus compelled to bear within her own mind the whole horror of the
secret, that oppressed it, her reason seemed to totter under the
intolerable weight. She often fixed a wild and vacant look on
Annette, and, when she spoke, either did not hear her, or answered
from the purpose. Long fits of abstraction succeeded; Annette
repeatedly, but her voice seemed not to make any impression on the
sense of the long agitated Emily, who sat fixed and silent, except
that, now and then, she heaved a heavy sigh, but without tears.
Terrified at her condition, Annette, at length, left the room, to
inform Montoni of it, who had just dismissed his servants, without
having made any discoveries on the subject of his enquiry.
description, which this girl now gave of Emily, induced him to follow
her immediately to the chamber.
At the sound of his voice, Emily turned her eyes, and a gleam of
recollection seemed to shoot athwart her mind, for she immediately
rose from her seat, and moved slowly to a remote part of the
He spoke to her in accents somewhat softened from their usual
harshness, but she regarded him with a kind of half curious, half
terrified look, and answered only 'yes,' to whatever he said.
mind still seemed to retain no other impression, than that of fear.
Of this disorder Annette could give no explanation, and Montoni,
having attempted, for some time, to persuade Emily to talk, retired,
after ordering Annette to remain with her, during the night, and to
inform him, in the morning, of her condition.
When he was gone, Emily again came forward, and asked who it was,
that had been there to disturb her. Annette said it was the
Signor Montoni. Emily repeated the name after her, several
if she did not recollect it, and then suddenly groaned, and relapsed
With some difficulty, Annette led her to the bed, which Emily
examined with an eager, frenzied eye, before she lay down, and then,
pointing, turned with shuddering emotion, to Annette, who, now more
terrified, went towards the door, that she might bring one of the
female servants to pass the night with them; but Emily, observing her
going, called her by name, and then in the naturally soft and
plaintive tone of her voice, begged, that she, too, would not forsake
her.- -'For since my father died,' added she, sighing, 'every body
'Your father, ma'amselle!' said Annette, 'he was dead before you knew
'He was, indeed!' rejoined Emily, and her tears began to
now wept silently and long, after which, becoming quite calm, she at
length sunk to sleep, Annette having had discretion enough not to
interrupt her tears. This girl, as affectionate as she was
lost in these moments all her former fears of remaining in the
chamber, and watched alone by Emily, during the whole night.
What worlds, or what vast regions, hold
Th' immortal mind, that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook!
Emily's mind was refreshed by sleep. On waking in the
looked with surprise on Annette, who sat sleeping in a chair beside
the bed, and then endeavoured to recollect herself; but the
circumstances of the preceding night were swept from her memory,
which seemed to retain no trace of what had passed, and she was still
gazing with surprise on Annette, when the latter awoke.
'O dear ma'amselle! do you know me?' cried she.
'Know you! Certainly,' replied Emily, 'you are Annette; but
you sitting by me thus?'
'O you have been very ill, ma'amselle,--very ill indeed! and I am
sure I thought--'
'This is very strange!' said Emily, still trying to recollect the
past.--'But I think I do remember, that my fancy has been haunted by
frightful dreams. Good God!' she added, suddenly
it was nothing more than a dream!'
She fixed a terrified look upon Annette, who, intending to quiet her,
said 'Yes, ma'amselle, it was more than a dream, but it is all over
'She IS murdered, then!' said Emily in an inward voice, and
shuddering instantaneously. Annette screamed; for, being
the circumstance to which Emily referred, she attributed her manner
to a disordered fancy; but, when she had explained to what her own
speech alluded, Emily, recollecting the attempt that had been made to
carry her off, asked if the contriver of it had been
Annette replied, that he had not, though he might easily be guessed
at; and then told Emily she might thank her for her deliverance, who,
endeavouring to command the emotion, which the remembrance of her
aunt had occasioned, appeared calmly to listen to Annette, though, in
truth, she heard scarcely a word that was said.
'And so, ma'amselle,' continued the latter, 'I was determined to be
even with Barnardine for refusing to tell me the secret, by finding
it out myself; so I watched you, on the terrace, and, as soon as he
had opened the door at the end, I stole out from the castle, to try
to follow you; for, says I, I am sure no good can be planned, or why
all this secrecy? So, sure enough, he had not bolted the door
him, and, when I opened it, I saw, by the glimmer of the torch, at
the other end of the passage, which way you were going. I
the light, at a distance, till you came to the vaults of the chapel,
and there I was afraid to go further, for I had heard strange things
about these vaults. But then, again, I was afraid to go back,
darkness, by myself; so by the time Barnardine had trimmed the light,
I had resolved to follow you, and I did so, till you came to the
great court, and there I was afraid he would see me; so I stopped at
the door again, and watched you across to the gates, and, when you
was gone up the stairs, I whipt after. There, as I stood
gate-way, I heard horses' feet without, and several men talking; and
I heard them swearing at Barnardine for not bringing you out, and
just then, he had like to have caught me, for he came down the stairs
again, and I had hardly time to get out of his way. But I had
enough of his secret now, and I determined to be even with him, and
to save you, too, ma'amselle, for I guessed it to be some new scheme
of Count Morano, though he was gone away. I ran into the
I had hard work to find my way through the passage under the chapel,
and what is very strange, I quite forgot to look for the ghosts they
had told me about, though I would not go into that place again by
myself for all the world! Luckily the Signor and Signor
up, so we had soon a train at our heels, sufficient to frighten that
Barnardine and his rogues, all together.'
Annette ceased to speak, but Emily still appeared to listen.
length she said, suddenly, 'I think I will go to him myself;--where
Annette asked who was meant.
'Signor Montoni,' replied Emily. 'I would speak with him;'
Annette, now remembering the order he had given, on the preceding
night, respecting her young lady, rose, and said she would seek him
This honest girl's suspicions of Count Morano were perfectly just;
Emily, too, when she thought on the scheme, had attributed it to him;
and Montoni, who had not a doubt on this subject, also, began to
believe, that it was by the direction of Morano, that poison had
formerly been mingled with his wine.
The professions of repentance, which Morano had made to Emily, under
the anguish of his wound, was sincere at the moment he offered them;
but he had mistaken the subject of his sorrow, for, while he thought
he was condemning the cruelty of his late design, he was lamenting
only the state of suffering, to which it had reduced him. As
sufferings abated, his former views revived, till, his health being
re-established, he again found himself ready for enterprise and
difficulty. The porter of the castle, who had served him, on
former occasion, willingly accepted a second bribe; and, having
concerted the means of drawing Emily to the gates, Morano publicly
left the hamlet, whither he had been carried after the affray, and
withdrew with his people to another at several miles
thence, on a night agreed upon by Barnardine, who had discovered from
the thoughtless prattle of Annette, the most probable means of
decoying Emily, the Count sent back his servants to the castle, while
he awaited her arrival at the hamlet, with an intention of carrying
her immediately to Venice. How this, his second scheme, was
frustrated, has already appeared; but the violent, and various
passions with which this Italian lover was now agitated, on his
return to that city, can only be imagined.
Annette having made her report to Montoni of Emily's health and of
her request to see him, he replied, that she might attend him in the
cedar room, in about an hour. It was on the subject, that
heavily on her mind, that Emily wished to speak to him, yet she did
not distinctly know what good purpose this could answer, and
sometimes she even recoiled in horror from the expectation of his
presence. She wished, also, to petition, though she scarcely
to believe the request would be granted, that he would permit her,
since her aunt was no more, to return to her native country.
As the moment of interview approached, her agitation increased so
much, that she almost resolved to excuse herself under what could
scarcely be called a pretence of illness; and, when she considered
what could be said, either concerning herself, or the fate of her
aunt, she was equally hopeless as to the event of her entreaty, and
terrified as to its effect upon the vengeful spirit of
to pretend ignorance of her death, appeared, in some degree, to be
sharing its criminality, and, indeed, this event was the only ground,
on which Emily could rest her petition for leaving Udolpho.
While her thoughts thus wavered, a message was brought, importing,
that Montoni could not see her, till the next day; and her spirits
were then relieved, for a moment, from an almost intolerable weight
of apprehension. Annette said, she fancied the Chevaliers
out to the wars again, for the court-yard was filled with horses, and
she heard, that the rest of the party, who went out before, were
expected at the castle. 'And I heard one of the soldiers,
added she, 'say to his comrade, that he would warrant they'd bring
home a rare deal of booty.--So, thinks I, if the Signor can, with a
safe conscience, send his people out a-robbing--why it is no business
of mine. I only wish I was once safe out of this castle; and,
had not been for poor Ludovico's sake, I would have let Count
Morano's people run away with us both, for it would have been serving
you a good turn, ma'amselle, as well as myself.'
Annette might have continued thus talking for hours for any
interruption she would have received from Emily, who was silent,
inattentive, absorbed in thought, and passed the whole of this day in
a kind of solemn tranquillity, such as is often the result of
faculties overstrained by suffering.
When night returned, Emily recollected the mysterious strains of
music, that she had lately heard, in which she still felt some degree
of interest, and of which she hoped to hear again the soothing
sweetness. The influence of superstition now gained on the
of her long-harassed mind; she looked, with enthusiastic expectation,
to the guardian spirit of her father, and, having dismissed Annette
for the night, determined to watch alone for their return. It
not yet, however, near the time when she had heard the music on a
former night, and anxious to call off her thoughts from distressing
subjects, she sat down with one of the few books, that she had
brought from France; but her mind, refusing controul, became restless
and agitated, and she went often to the casement to listen for a
sound. Once, she thought she heard a voice, but then, every
without the casement remaining still, she concluded, that her fancy
had deceived her.
Thus passed the time, till twelve o'clock, soon after which the
distant sounds, that murmured through the castle, ceased, and sleep
seemed to reign over all. Emily then seated herself at the
where she was soon recalled from the reverie, into which she sunk, by
very unusual sounds, not of music, but like the low mourning of some
person in distress. As she listened, her heart faltered in
and she became convinced, that the former sound was more than
imaginary. Still, at intervals, she heard a kind of feeble
lamentation, and sought to discover whence it came. There
several rooms underneath, adjoining the rampart, which had been long
shut up, and, as the sound probably rose from one of these, she
leaned from the casement to observe, whether any light was visible
there. The chambers, as far as she could perceive, were quite
but, at a little distance, on the rampart below, she thought she saw
The faint twilight, which the stars shed, did not enable her to
distinguish what it was; but she judged it to be a sentinel, on
watch, and she removed her light to a remote part of the chamber,
that she might escape notice, during her further observation.
The same object still appeared. Presently, it advanced along
rampart, towards her window, and she then distinguished something
like a human form, but the silence, with which it moved, convinced
her it was no sentinel. As it drew near, she hesitated
retire; a thrilling curiosity inclined her to stay, but a dread of
she scarcely knew what warned her to withdraw.
While she paused, the figure came opposite to her casement, and was
stationary. Every thing remained quiet; she had not heard
foot-fall; and the solemnity of this silence, with the mysterious
form she saw, subdued her spirits, so that she was moving from the
casement, when, on a sudden, she observed the figure start away, and
glide down the rampart, after which it was soon lost in the obscurity
of night. Emily continued to gaze, for some time, on the way
passed, and then retired within her chamber, musing on this strange
circumstance, and scarcely doubting, that she had witnessed a
When her spirits recovered composure, she looked round for some other
explanation. Remembering what she had heard of the daring
enterprises of Montoni, it occurred to her, that she had just seen
some unhappy person, who, having been plundered by his banditti, was
brought hither a captive; and that the music she had formerly heard,
came from him. Yet, if they had plundered him, it still
improbable, that they should have brought him to the castle, and it
was also more consistent with the manners of banditti to murder those
they rob, than to make them prisoners. But what, more than
circumstance, contradicted the supposition, that it was a prisoner,
was that it wandered on the terrace, without a guard: a
consideration, which made her dismiss immediately her first surmise.
Afterwards, she was inclined to believe, that Count Morano had
obtained admittance into the castle; but she soon recollected the
difficulties and dangers, that must have opposed such an enterprise,
and that, if he had so far succeeded, to come alone and in silence to
her casement at midnight was not the conduct he would have adopted,
particularly since the private stair-case, communicating with her
apartment, was known to him; neither would he have uttered the dismal
sounds she had heard.
Another suggestion represented, that this might be some person, who
had designs upon the castle; but the mournful sounds destroyed, also,
that probability. Thus, enquiry only perplexed her.
it could be that haunted this lonely hour, complaining in such
doleful accents and in such sweet music (for she was still inclined
to believe, that the former strains and the late appearance were
connected,) she had no means of ascertaining; and imagination again
assumed her empire, and roused the mysteries of superstition.
She determined, however, to watch on the following night, when her
doubts might, perhaps, be cleared up; and she almost resolved to
address the figure, if it should appear again.
Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp,
Oft seen in charnel-vaults and sepulchres,
Lingering, and sitting, by a new-made grave.
On the following day, Montoni sent a second excuse to Emily, who was
surprised at the circumstance. 'This is very strange!' said
herself. 'His conscience tells him the purport of my visit,
defers it, to avoid an explanation.' She now almost resolved
throw herself in his way, but terror checked the intention, and this
day passed, as the preceding one, with Emily, except that a degree of
awful expectation, concerning the approaching night, now somewhat
disturbed the dreadful calmness that had pervaded her mind.
Towards evening, the second part of the band, which had made the
first excursion among the mountains, returned to the castle, where,
as they entered the courts, Emily, in her remote chamber, heard their
loud shouts and strains of exultation, like the orgies of furies over
some horrid sacrifice. She even feared they were about to
some barbarous deed; a conjecture from which, however, Annette soon
relieved her, by telling, that the people were only exulting over the
plunder they had brought with them. This circumstance still
confirmed her in the belief, that Montoni had really commenced to be
a captain of banditti, and meant to retrieve his broken fortunes by
the plunder of travellers! Indeed, when she considered all
circumstances of his situation--in an armed, and almost inaccessible
castle, retired far among the recesses of wild and solitary
mountains, along whose distant skirts were scattered towns, and
cities, whither wealthy travellers were continually passing--this
appeared to be the situation of all others most suited for the
success of schemes of rapine, and she yielded to the strange thought,
that Montoni was become a captain of robbers. His character
unprincipled, dauntless, cruel and enterprising, seemed to fit him
for the situation. Delighting in the tumult and in the
life, he was equally a stranger to pity and to fear; his very courage
was a sort of animal ferocity; not the noble impulse of a principle,
such as inspirits the mind against the oppressor, in the cause of the
oppressed; but a constitutional hardiness of nerve, that cannot feel,
and that, therefore, cannot fear.
Emily's supposition, however natural, was in part erroneous, for she
was a stranger to the state of this country and to the circumstances,
under which its frequent wars were partly conducted. The
the many states of Italy being, at that time, insufficient to the
support of standing armies, even during the short periods, which the
turbulent habits both of the governments and the people permitted to
pass in peace, an order of men arose not known in our age, and but
faintly described in the history of their own. Of the
disbanded at the end of every war, few returned to the safe, but
unprofitable occupations, then usual in peace. Sometimes they
into other countries, and mingled with armies, which still kept the
field. Sometimes they formed themselves into bands of
occupied remote fortresses, where their desperate character, the
weakness of the governments which they offended, and the certainty,
that they could be recalled to the armies, when their presence should
be again wanted, prevented them from being much pursued by the civil
power; and, sometimes, they attached themselves to the fortunes of a
popular chief, by whom they were led into the service of any state,
which could settle with him the price of their valour. From
latter practice arose their name--CONDOTTIERI; a term formidable all
over Italy, for a period, which concluded in the earlier part of the
seventeenth century, but of which it is not so easy to ascertain the
Contests between the smaller states were then, for the most part,
affairs of enterprize alone, and the probabilities of success were
estimated, not from the skill, but from the personal courage of the
general, and the soldiers. The ability, which was necessary
conduct of tedious operations, was little valued. It was
know how a party might be led towards their enemies, with the
greatest secrecy, or conducted from them in the compactest
The officer was to precipitate himself into a situation, where, but
for his example, the soldiers might not have ventured; and, as the
opposed parties knew little of each other's strength, the event of
the day was frequently determined by the boldness of the first
movements. In such services the condottieri were eminent, and
these, where plunder always followed success, their characters
acquired a mixture of intrepidity and profligacy, which awed even
those whom they served.
When they were not thus engaged, their chief had usually his own
fortress, in which, or in its neighbourhood, they enjoyed an irksome
rest; and, though their wants were, at one time, partly supplied from
the property of the inhabitants, the lavish distribution of their
plunder at others, prevented them from being obnoxious; and the
peasants of such districts gradually shared the character of their
warlike visitors. The neighbouring governments sometimes
but seldom endeavoured, to suppress these military communities; both
because it was difficult to do so, and because a disguised protection
of them ensured, for the service of their wars, a body of men, who
could not otherwise be so cheaply maintained, or so perfectly
qualified. The commanders sometimes even relied so far upon
policy of the several powers, as to frequent their capitals; and
Montoni, having met them in the gaming parties of Venice and Padua,
conceived a desire to emulate their characters, before his ruined
fortunes tempted him to adopt their practices. It was for the
arrangement of his present plan of life, that the midnight councils
were held at his mansion in Venice, and at which Orsino and some
other members of the present community then assisted with
suggestions, which they had since executed with the wreck of their
On the return of night, Emily resumed her station at the
There was now a moon; and, as it rose over the tufted woods, its
yellow light served to shew the lonely terrace and the surrounding
objects, more distinctly, than the twilight of the stars had done,
and promised Emily to assist her observations, should the mysterious
form return. On this subject, she again wavered in
hesitated whether to speak to the figure, to which a strong and
almost irresistible interest urged her; but terror, at intervals,
made her reluctant to do so.
'If this is a person who has designs upon the castle,' said she, 'my
curiosity may prove fatal to me; yet the mysterious music, and the
lamentations I heard, must surely have proceeded from him: if
cannot be an enemy.'
She then thought of her unfortunate aunt, and, shuddering with grief
and horror, the suggestions of imagination seized her mind with all
the force of truth, and she believed, that the form she had seen was
supernatural. She trembled, breathed with difficulty, an icy
coldness touched her cheeks, and her fears for a while overcame her
judgment. Her resolution now forsook her, and she determined,
figure should appear, not to speak to it.
Thus the time passed, as she sat at her casement, awed by
expectation, and by the gloom and stillness of midnight; for she saw
obscurely in the moon-light only the mountains and woods, a cluster
of towers, that formed the west angle of the castle, and the terrace
below; and heard no sound, except, now and then, the lonely watch-
word, passed by the centinels on duty, and afterwards the steps of
the men who came to relieve guard, and whom she knew at a distance on
the rampart by their pikes, that glittered in the moonbeam, and then,
by the few short words, in which they hailed their fellows of the
night. Emily retired within her chamber, while they passed
casement. When she returned to it, all was again
very late, she was wearied with watching, and began to doubt the
reality of what she had seen on the preceding night; but she still
lingered at the window, for her mind was too perturbed to admit of
sleep. The moon shone with a clear lustre, that afforded her
complete view of the terrace; but she saw only a solitary centinel,
pacing at one end of it; and, at length, tired with expectation, she
withdrew to seek rest.
Such, however, was the impression, left on her mind by the music, and
the complaining she had formerly heard, as well as by the figure,
which she fancied she had seen, that she determined to repeat the
watch, on the following night.
Montoni, on the next day, took no notice of Emily's appointed visit,
but she, more anxious than before to see him, sent Annette to
enquire, at what hour he would admit her. He mentioned eleven
o'clock, and Emily was punctual to the moment; at which she called up
all her fortitude to support the shock of his presence and the
dreadful recollections it enforced. He was with several of
officers, in the cedar room; on observing whom she paused; and her
agitation increased, while he continued to converse with them,
apparently not observing her, till some of his officers, turning
round, saw Emily, and uttered an exclamation. She was hastily
retiring, when Montoni's voice arrested her, and, in a faultering
accent, she said,--'I would speak with you, Signor Montoni, if you
are at leisure.'
'These are my friends,' he replied, 'whatever you would say, they may
Emily, without replying, turned from the rude gaze of the chevaliers,
and Montoni then followed her to the hall, whence he led her to a
small room, of which he shut the door with violence. As she
on his dark countenance, she again thought she saw the murderer of
her aunt; and her mind was so convulsed with horror, that she had not
power to recal thought enough to explain the purport of her visit;
and to trust herself with the mention of Madame Montoni was more than
Montoni at length impatiently enquired what she had to say?
no time for trifling,' he added, 'my moments are important.'
Emily then told him, that she wished to return to France, and came to
beg, that he would permit her to do so.--But when he looked
surprised, and enquired for the motive of the request, she hesitated,
became paler than before, trembled, and had nearly sunk at his
He observed her emotion, with apparent indifference, and interrupted
the silence by telling her, he must be gone. Emily, however,
recalled her spirits sufficiently to enable her to repeat her
request. And, when Montoni absolutely refused it, her
mind was roused.
'I can no longer remain here with propriety, sir,' said she, 'and I
may be allowed to ask, by what right you detain me.'
'It is my will that you remain here,' said Montoni, laying his hand
on the door to go; 'let that suffice you.'
Emily, considering that she had no appeal from this will, forbore to
dispute his right, and made a feeble effort to persuade him to be
just. 'While my aunt lived, sir,' said she, in a tremulous
'my residence here was not improper; but now, that she is no more, I
may surely be permitted to depart. My stay cannot benefit
and will only distress me.'
'Who told you, that Madame Montoni was dead?' said Montoni, with an
inquisitive eye. Emily hesitated, for nobody had told her so,
she did not dare to avow the having seen that spectacle in the
portal-chamber, which had compelled her to the belief.
'Who told you so?' he repeated, more sternly.
'Alas! I know it too well,' replied Emily: 'spare
She sat down on a bench to support herself.
'If you wish to see her,' said Montoni, 'you may; she lies in the
He now left the room, without awaiting her reply, and returned to the
cedar chamber, where such of the chevaliers as had not before seen
Emily, began to rally him, on the discovery they had made; but
Montoni did not appear disposed to bear this mirth, and they changed
Having talked with the subtle Orsino, on the plan of an excursion,
which he meditated for a future day, his friend advised, that they
should lie in wait for the enemy, which Verezzi impetuously opposed,
reproached Orsino with want of spirit, and swore, that, if Montoni
would let him lead on fifty men, he would conquer all that should
Orsino smiled contemptuously; Montoni smiled too, but he also
listened. Verezzi then proceeded with vehement declamation
assertion, till he was stopped by an argument of Orsino, which he
knew not how to answer better than by invective. His fierce
detested the cunning caution of Orsino, whom he constantly opposed,
and whose inveterate, though silent, hatred he had long ago
And Montoni was a calm observer of both, whose different
qualifications he knew, and how to bend their opposite character to
the perfection of his own designs. But Verezzi, in the heat
opposition, now did not scruple to accuse Orsino of cowardice, at
which the countenance of the latter, while he made no reply, was
overspread with a livid paleness; and Montoni, who watched his
lurking eye, saw him put his hand hastily into his bosom. But
Verezzi, whose face, glowing with crimson, formed a striking contrast
to the complexion of Orsino, remarked not the action, and continued
boldly declaiming against cowards to Cavigni, who was slily laughing
at his vehemence, and at the silent mortification of Orsino, when the
latter, retiring a few steps behind, drew forth a stilletto to stab
his adversary in the back. Montoni arrested his half-extended
and, with a significant look, made him return the poinard into his
bosom, unseen by all except himself; for most of the party were
disputing at a distant window, on the situation of a dell where they
meant to form an ambuscade.
When Verezzi had turned round, the deadly hatred, expressed on the
features of his opponent, raising, for the first time, a suspicion of
his intention, he laid his hand on his sword, and then, seeming to
recollect himself, strode up to Montoni.
'Signor,' said he, with a significant look at Orsino, 'we are not a
band of assassins; if you have business for brave men employ me on
this expedition: you shall have the last drop of my blood; if
have only work for cowards--keep him,' pointing to Orsino, 'and let
me quit Udolpho.'
Orsino, still more incensed, again drew forth his stilletto, and
rushed towards Verezzi, who, at the same instant, advanced with his
sword, when Montoni and the rest of the party interfered and
'This is the conduct of a boy,' said Montoni to Verezzi, 'not of a
man: be more moderate in your speech.'
'Moderation is the virtue of cowards,' retorted Verezzi; 'they are
moderate in every thing--but in fear.'
'I accept your words,' said Montoni, turning upon him with a fierce
and haughty look, and drawing his sword out of the scabbard.
'With all my heart,' cried Verezzi, 'though I did not mean them for
He directed a pass at Montoni; and, while they fought, the villain
Orsino made another attempt to stab Verezzi, and was again prevented.
The combatants were, at length, separated; and, after a very long and
violent dispute, reconciled. Montoni then left the room with
whom he detained in private consultation for a considerable time.
Emily, meanwhile, stunned by the last words of Montoni, forgot, for
the moment, his declaration, that she should continue in the castle,
while she thought of her unfortunate aunt, who, he had said, was laid
in the east turret. In suffering the remains of his wife to
long unburied, there appeared a degree of brutality more shocking
than she had suspected even Montoni could practise.
After a long struggle, she determined to accept his permission to
visit the turret, and to take a last look of her ill-fated
with which design she returned to her chamber, and, while she waited
for Annette to accompany her, endeavoured to acquire fortitude
sufficient to support her through the approaching scene; for, though
she trembled to encounter it, she knew that to remember the
performance of this last act of duty would hereafter afford her
Annette came, and Emily mentioned her purpose, from which the former
endeavoured to dissuade her, though without effect, and Annette was,
with much difficulty, prevailed upon to accompany her to the turret;
but no consideration could make her promise to enter the chamber of
They now left the corridor, and, having reached the foot of the
stair-case, which Emily had formerly ascended, Annette declared she
would go no further, and Emily proceeded alone. When she saw
track of blood, which she had before observed, her spirits fainted,
and, being compelled to rest on the stairs, she almost determined to
proceed no further. The pause of a few moments restored her
resolution, and she went on.
As she drew near the landing-place, upon which the upper chamber
opened, she remembered, that the door was formerly fastened, and
apprehended, that it might still be so. In this expectation,
however, she was mistaken; for the door opened at once, into a dusky
and silent chamber, round which she fearfully looked, and then slowly
advanced, when a hollow voice spoke. Emily, who was unable to
or to move from the spot, uttered no sound of terror. The
spoke again; and, then, thinking that it resembled that of Madame
Montoni, Emily's spirits were instantly roused; she rushed towards a
bed, that stood in a remote part of the room, and drew aside the
curtains. Within, appeared a pale and emaciated
back, then again advanced, shuddered as she took up the skeleton
hand, that lay stretched upon the quilt; then let it drop, and then
viewed the face with a long, unsettled gaze. It was that of
Montoni, though so changed by illness, that the resemblance of what
it had been, could scarcely be traced in what it now
was still alive, and, raising her heavy eyes, she turned them on her
'Where have you been so long?' said she, in the same hollow tone, 'I
thought you had forsaken me.'
'Do you indeed live,' said Emily, at length, 'or is this but a
terrible apparition?' she received no answer, and again she
up the hand. 'This is substance,' she exclaimed, 'but it is
cold as marble!' She let it fall. 'O, if you really
said Emily, in a voice of desperation, 'that I may not lose my
senses--say you know me!'
'I do live,' replied Madame Montoni, 'but--I feel that I am about to
Emily clasped the hand she held, more eagerly, and groaned.
were both silent for some moments. Then Emily endeavoured to
her, and enquired what had reduced her to this present deplorable
Montoni, when he removed her to the turret under the improbable
suspicion of having attempted his life, had ordered the men employed
on the occasion, to observe a strict secrecy concerning her.
he was influenced by a double motive. He meant to debar her
comfort of Emily's visits, and to secure an opportunity of privately
dispatching her, should any new circumstances occur to confirm the
present suggestions of his suspecting mind. His consciousness
hatred he deserved it was natural enough should at first led him to
attribute to her the attempt that had been made upon his life; and,
though there was no other reason to believe that she was concerned in
that atrocious design, his suspicions remained; he continued to
confine her in the turret, under a strict guard; and, without pity or
remorse, had suffered her to lie, forlorn and neglected, under a
raging fever, till it had reduced her to the present state.
The track of blood, which Emily had seen on the stairs, had flowed
from the unbound wound of one of the men employed to carry Madame
Montoni, and which he had received in the late affray. At
these men, having contented themselves with securing the door of
their prisoner's room, had retired from guard; and then it was, that
Emily, at the time of her first enquiry, had found the turret so
silent and deserted.
When she had attempted to open the door of the chamber, her aunt was
sleeping, and this occasioned the silence, which had contributed to
delude her into a belief, that she was no more; yet had her terror
permitted her to persevere longer in the call, she would probably
have awakened Madame Montoni, and have been spared much
The spectacle in the portal-chamber, which afterwards confirmed
Emily's horrible suspicion, was the corpse of a man, who had fallen
in the affray, and the same which had been borne into the servants'
hall, where she took refuge from the tumult. This man had
under his wounds for some days; and, soon after his death, his body
had been removed on the couch, on which he died, for interment in the
vault beneath the chapel, through which Emily and Barnardine had
passed to the chamber.
Emily, after asking Madame Montoni a thousand questions concerning
herself, left her, and sought Montoni; for the more solemn interest
she felt for her aunt, made her now regardless of the resentment her
remonstrances might draw upon herself, and of the improbability of
his granting what she meant to entreat.
'Madame Montoni is now dying, sir,' said Emily, as soon as she saw
him--'Your resentment, surely will not pursue her to the last
Suffer her to be removed from that forlorn room to her own apartment,
and to have necessary comforts administered.'
'Of what service will that be, if she is dying?' said Montoni, with
'The service, at leave, of saving you, sir, from a few of those pangs
of conscience you must suffer, when you shall be in the same
situation,' said Emily, with imprudent indignation, of which Montoni
soon made her sensible, by commanding her to quit his
Then, forgetting her resentment, and impressed only by compassion for
the piteous state of her aunt, dying without succour, she submitted
to humble herself to Montoni, and to adopt every persuasive means,
that might induce him to relent towards his wife.
For a considerable time he was proof against all she said, and all
she looked; but at length the divinity of pity, beaming in Emily's
eyes, seemed to touch his heart. He turned away, ashamed of
better feelings, half sullen and half relenting; but finally
consented, that his wife should be removed to her own apartment, and
that Emily should attend her. Dreading equally, that this
might arrive too late, and that Montoni might retract his concession,
Emily scarcely staid to thank him for it, but, assisted by Annette,
she quickly prepared Madame Montoni's bed, and they carried her a
cordial, that might enable her feeble frame to sustain the fatigue of
Madame was scarcely arrived in her own apartment, when an order was
given by her husband, that she should remain in the turret; but
Emily, thankful that she had made such dispatch, hastened to inform
him of it, as well as that a second removal would instantly prove
fatal, and he suffered his wife to continue where she was.
During this day, Emily never left Madame Montoni, except to prepare
such little nourishing things as she judged necessary to sustain her,
and which Madame Montoni received with quiet acquiescence, though she
seemed sensible that they could not save her from approaching
dissolution, and scarcely appeared to wish for life. Emily
watched over her with the most tender solicitude, no longer seeing
her imperious aunt in the poor object before her, but the sister of
her late beloved father, in a situation that called for all her
compassion and kindness. When night came, she determined to
with her aunt, but this the latter positively forbade, commanding her
to retire to rest, and Annette alone to remain in her
was, indeed, necessary to Emily, whose spirits and frame were equally
wearied by the occurrences and exertions of the day; but she would
not leave Madame Montoni, till after the turn of midnight, a period
then thought so critical by the physicians.
Soon after twelve, having enjoined Annette to be wakeful, and to call
her, should any change appear for the worse, Emily sorrowfully bade
Madame Montoni good night, and withdrew to her chamber. Her
were more than usually depressed by the piteous condition of her
aunt, whose recovery she scarcely dared to expect. To her own
misfortunes she saw no period, inclosed as she was, in a remote
castle, beyond the reach of any friends, had she possessed such, and
beyond the pity even of strangers; while she knew herself to be in
the power of a man capable of any action, which his interest, or his
ambition, might suggest.
Occupied by melancholy reflections and by anticipations as sad, she
did not retire immediately to rest, but leaned thoughtfully on her
open casement. The scene before her of woods and mountains,
in the moon-light, formed a regretted contrast with the state of her
mind; but the lonely murmur of these woods, and the view of this
sleeping landscape, gradually soothed her emotions and softened her
She continued to weep, for some time, lost to every thing, but to a
gentle sense of her misfortunes. When she, at length, took
handkerchief from her eyes, she perceived, before her, on the terrace
below, the figure she had formerly observed, which stood fixed and
silent, immediately opposite to her casement. On perceiving
started back, and terror for some time overcame curiosity;--at
length, she returned to the casement, and still the figure was before
it, which she now compelled herself to observe, but was utterly
unable to speak, as she had formerly intended. The moon shone
clear light, and it was, perhaps, the agitation of her mind, that
prevented her distinguishing, with any degree of accuracy, the form
before her. It was still stationary, and she began to doubt,
it was really animated.
Her scattered thoughts were now so far returned as to remind her,
that her light exposed her to dangerous observation, and she was
stepping back to remove it, when she perceived the figure move, and
then wave what seemed to be its arm, as if to beckon her; and, while
she gazed, fixed in fear, it repeated the action. She now
to speak, but the words died on her lips, and she went from the
casement to remove her light; as she was doing which, she heard, from
without, a faint groan. Listening, but not daring to return,
presently heard it repeated.
'Good God!--what can this mean!' said she.
Again she listened, but the sound came no more; and, after a long
interval of silence, she recovered courage enough to go to the
casement, when she again saw the same appearance! It beckoned
and again uttered a low sound.
'That groan was surely human!' said she. 'I WILL
it,' cried Emily in a faint voice, 'that wanders at this late hour?'
The figure raised its head but suddenly started away, and glided down
the terrace. She watched it, for a long while, passing
the moon-light, but heard no footstep, till a sentinel from the other
extremity of the rampart walked slowly along. The man stopped
her window, and, looking up, called her by name. She was
precipitately, but, a second summons inducing her to reply, the
soldier then respectfully asked if she had seen any thing
her answering, that she had; he said no more, but walked away down
the terrace, Emily following him with her eyes, till he was lost in
the distance. But, as he was on guard, she knew he could not
beyond the rampart, and, therefore, resolved to await his return.
Soon after, his voice was heard, at a distance, calling loudly; and
then a voice still more distant answered, and, in the next moment,
the watch-word was given, and passed along the terrace. As
soldiers moved hastily under the casement, she called to enquire what
had happened, but they passed without regarding her.
Emily's thoughts returning to the figure she had seen, 'It cannot be
a person, who has designs upon the castle,' said she; 'such an one
would conduct himself very differently. He would not venture
sentinels were on watch, nor fix himself opposite to a window, where
he perceived he must be observed; much less would he beckon, or utter
a sound of complaint. Yet it cannot be a prisoner, for how
obtain the opportunity to wander thus?'
If she had been subject to vanity, she might have supposed this
figure to be some inhabitant of the castle, who wandered under her
casement in the hope of seeing her, and of being allowed to declare
his admiration; but this opinion never occurred to Emily, and, if it
had, she would have dismissed it as improbable, on considering, that,
when the opportunity of speaking had occurred, it had been suffered
to pass in silence; and that, even at the moment in which she had
spoken, the form had abruptly quitted the place.
While she mused, two sentinels walked up the rampart in earnest
conversation, of which she caught a few words, and learned from
these, that one of their comrades had fallen down senseless.
after, three other soldiers appeared slowly advancing from the bottom
of the terrace, but she heard only a low voice, that came at
intervals. As they drew near, she perceived this to be the
him, who walked in the middle, apparently supported by his comrades;
and she again called to them, enquiring what had happened. At
sound of her voice, they stopped, and looked up, while she repeated
her question, and was told, that Roberto, their fellow of the watch,
had been seized with a fit, and that his cry, as he fell, had caused
a false alarm.
'Is he subject to fits?' said Emily.
'Yes, Signora,' replied Roberto; 'but if I had not, what I saw was
enough to have frightened the Pope himself.'
'What was it?' enquired Emily, trembling.
'I cannot tell what it was, lady, or what I saw, or how it vanished,'
replied the soldier, who seemed to shudder at the recollection.
'Was it the person, whom you followed down the rampart, that has
occasioned you this alarm?' said Emily, endeavouring to conceal her
'Person!' exclaimed the man,--'it was the devil, and this is not the
first time I have seen him!'
'Nor will it be the last,' observed one of his comrades, laughing.
'No, no, I warrant not,' said another.
'Well,' rejoined Roberto, 'you may be as merry now, as you please;
you was none so jocose the other night, Sebastian, when you was on
watch with Launcelot.'
"Launcelot need not talk of that,' replied Sebastian, 'let him
remember how he stood trembling, and unable to give the WORD, till
the man was gone, If the man had not come so silently upon
would have seized him, and soon made him tell who he was.'
'What man?' enquired Emily.
'It was no man, lady,' said Launcelot, who stood by, 'but the devil
himself, as my comrade says. What man, who does not live in
castle, could get within the walls at midnight? Why, I might
well pretend to march to Venice, and get among all the Senators, when
they are counselling; and I warrant I should have more chance of
getting out again alive, than any fellow, that we should catch within
the gates after dark. So I think I have proved plainly
this can be nobody that lives out of the castle; and now I will
prove, that it can be nobody that lives in the castle--for, if he
did--why should he be afraid to be seen? So after this, I
nobody will pretend to tell me it was anybody. No, I say
holy Pope! it was the devil, and Sebastian, there, knows this is not
the first time we have seen him.'
'When did you see the figure, then, before?' said Emily half smiling,
who, though she thought the conversation somewhat too much, felt an
interest, which would not permit her to conclude it.
'About a week ago, lady,' said Sebastian, taking up the story.
'On the rampart, lady, higher up.'
'Did you pursue it, that it fled?'
'No, Signora. Launcelot and I were on watch together, and
thing was so still, you might have heard a mouse stir, when,
suddenly, Launcelot says--Sebastian! do you see nothing? I
head a little to the left, as it might be--thus. No, says
said Launcelot,--look yonder--just by the last cannon on the
I looked, and then thought I did see something move; but there being
no light, but what the stars gave, I could not be certain. We
quite silent, to watch it, and presently saw something pass along the
castle wall just opposite to us!'
'Why did you not seize it, then?' cried a soldier, who had scarcely
spoken till now.
'Aye, why did you not seize it?' said Roberto.
'You should have been there to have done that,' replied
'You would have been bold enough to have taken it by the throat,
though it had been the devil himself; we could not take such a
liberty, perhaps, because we are not so well acquainted with him, as
you are. But, as I was saying, it stole by us so quickly,
had not time to get rid of our surprise, before it was gone.
we knew it was in vain to follow. We kept constant watch all
night, but we saw it no more. Next morning, we told some of
comrades, who were on duty on other parts of the ramparts, what we
had seen; but they had seen nothing, and laughed at us, and it was
not till to-night, that the same figure walked again.'
'Where did you lose it, friend?' said Emily to Roberto.
'When I left you, lady,' replied the man, 'you might see me go down
the rampart, but it was not till I reached the east terrace, that I
saw any thing. Then, the moon shining bright, I saw something
shadow flitting before me, as it were, at some distance. I
when I turned the corner of the east tower, where I had seen this
figure not a moment before,--but it was gone! As I stood,
through the old arch, which leads to the east rampart, and where I am
sure it had passed, I heard, all of a sudden, such a sound!--it was
not like a groan, or a cry, or a shout, or any thing I ever heard in
my life. I heard it only once, and that was enough for me;
know nothing that happened after, till I found my comrades, here,
'Come,' said Sebastian, 'let us go to our posts--the moon is
Good night, lady!'
'Aye, let us go,' rejoined Roberto. 'Good night, lady.'
'Good night; the holy mother guard you!' said Emily, as she closed
her casement and retired to reflect upon the strange circumstance
that had just occurred, connecting which with what had happened on
former nights, she endeavoured to derive from the whole something
more positive, than conjecture. But her imagination was
while her judgment was not enlightened, and the terrors of
superstition again pervaded her mind.
There is one within,
Besides the things, that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights, seen by the watch.
In the morning, Emily found Madame Montoni nearly in the same
condition, as on the preceding night; she had slept little, and that
little had not refreshed her; she smiled on her niece, and seemed
cheered by her presence, but spoke only a few words, and never named
Montoni, who, however, soon after, entered the room. His
she understood that he was there, appeared much agitated, but was
entirely silent, till Emily rose from a chair at the bed-side, when
she begged, in a feeble voice, that she would not leave her.
The visit of Montoni was not to sooth his wife, whom he knew to be
dying, or to console, or to ask her forgiveness, but to make a last
effort to procure that signature, which would transfer her estates in
Languedoc, after her death, to him rather than to Emily. This
scene, that exhibited, on his part, his usual inhumanity, and, on
that of Madame Montoni, a persevering spirit, contending with a
feeble frame; while Emily repeatedly declared to him her willingness
to resign all claim to those estates, rather than that the last hours
of her aunt should be disturbed by contention. Montoni,
not leave the room, till his wife, exhausted by the obstinate
dispute, had fainted, and she lay so long insensible, that Emily
began to fear that the spark of life was extinguished. At
she revived, and, looking feebly up at her niece, whose tears were
falling over her, made an effort to speak, but her words were
unintelligible, and Emily again apprehended she was dying.
Afterwards, however, she recovered her speech, and, being somewhat
restored by a cordial, conversed for a considerable time, on the
subject of her estates in France, with clearness and
directed her niece where to find some papers relative to them, which
she had hitherto concealed from the search of Montoni, and earnestly
charged her never to suffer these papers to escape her.
Soon after this conversation, Madame Montoni sunk into a dose, and
continued slumbering, till evening, when she seemed better than she
had been since her removal from the turret. Emily never left
for a moment, till long after midnight, and even then would not have
quitted the room, had not her aunt entreated, that she would retire
to rest. She then obeyed, the more willingly, because her
appeared somewhat recruited by sleep; and, giving Annette the same
injunction, as on the preceding night, she withdrew to her own
apartment. But her spirits were wakeful and agitated, and,
it impossible to sleep, she determined to watch, once more, for the
mysterious appearance, that had so much interested and alarmed her.
It was now the second watch of the night, and about the time when the
figure had before appeared. Emily heard the passing steps of
sentinels, on the rampart, as they changed guard; and, when all was
again silent, she took her station at the casement, leaving her lamp
in a remote part of the chamber, that she might escape notice from
without. The moon gave a faint and uncertain light, for heavy
vapours surrounded it, and, often rolling over the disk, left the
scene below in total darkness. It was in one of these moments
obscurity, that she observed a small and lambent flame, moving at
some distance on the terrace. While she gazed, it
the moon again emerging from the lurid and heavy thunder clouds, she
turned her attention to the heavens, where the vivid lightnings
darted from cloud to cloud, and flashed silently on the woods
She loved to catch, in the momentary gleam, the gloomy
Sometimes, a cloud opened its light upon a distant mountain, and,
while the sudden splendour illumined all its recesses of rock and
wood, the rest of the scene remained in deep shadow; at others,
partial features of the castle were revealed by the glimpse--the
antient arch leading to the east rampart, the turret above, or the
fortifications beyond; and then, perhaps, the whole edifice with all
its towers, its dark massy walls and pointed casements would appear,
and vanish in an instant.
Emily, looking again upon the rampart, perceived the flame she had
seen before; it moved onward; and, soon after, she thought she heard
a footstep. The light appeared and disappeared frequently,
she watched, it glided under her casements, and, at the same instant,
she was certain, that a footstep passed, but the darkness did not
permit her to distinguish any object except the flame. It
away, and then, by a gleam of lightning, she perceived some person on
the terrace. All the anxieties of the preceding night
This person advanced, and the playing flame alternately appeared and
vanished. Emily wished to speak, to end her doubts, whether
figure were human or supernatural; but her courage failed as often as
she attempted utterance, till the light moved again under the
casement, and she faintly demanded, who passed.
'A friend,' replied a voice.
'What friend?' said Emily, somewhat encouraged 'who are you, and what
is that light you carry?'
'I am Anthonio, one of the Signor's soldiers,' replied the voice.
'And what is that tapering light you bear?' said Emily, 'see how it
darts upwards,--and now it vanishes!'
'This light, lady,' said the soldier, 'has appeared to-night as you
see it, on the point of my lance, ever since I have been on watch;
but what it means I cannot tell.'
'This is very strange!' said Emily.
'My fellow-guard,' continued the man, 'has the same flame on his
arms; he says he has sometimes seen it before. I never did; I
lately come to the castle, for I have not been long a soldier.'
'How does your comrade account for it?' said Emily.
'He says it is an omen, lady, and bodes no good.'
'And what harm can it bode?' rejoined Emily.
'He knows not so much as that, lady.'
Whether Emily was alarmed by this omen, or not, she certainly was
relieved from much terror by discovering this man to be only a
soldier on duty, and it immediately occurred to her, that it might be
he, who had occasioned so much alarm on the preceding night.
were, however, some circumstances, that still required
As far as she could judge by the faint moon-light, that had assisted
her observation, the figure she had seen did not resemble this man
either in shape or size; besides, she was certain it had carried no
arms. The silence of its steps, if steps it had, the moaning
too, which it had uttered, and its strange disappearance, were
circumstances of mysterious import, that did not apply, with
probability, to a soldier engaged in the duty of his guard.
She now enquired of the sentinel, whether he had seen any person
besides his fellow watch, walking on the terrace, about midnight; and
then briefly related what she had herself observed.
'I was not on guard that night, lady,' replied the man, 'but I heard
of what happened. There are amongst us, who believe strange
Strange stories, too, have long been told of this castle, but it is
no business of mine to repeat them; and, for my part, I have no
reason to complain; our Chief does nobly by us.'
'I commend your prudence,' said Emily. 'Good night, and
from me,' she added, throwing him a small piece of coin, and then
closing the casement to put an end to the discourse.
When he was gone, she opened it again, listened with a gloomy
pleasure to the distant thunder, that began to murmur among the
mountains, and watched the arrowy lightnings, which broke over the
remoter scene. The pealing thunder rolled onward, and then,
by the mountains, other thunder seemed to answer from the opposite
horizon; while the accumulating clouds, entirely concealing the moon,
assumed a red sulphureous tinge, that foretold a violent storm.
Emily remained at her casement, till the vivid lightning, that now,
every instant, revealed the wide horizon and the landscape below,
made it no longer safe to do so, and she went to her couch; but,
unable to compose her mind to sleep, still listened in silent awe to
the tremendous sounds, that seemed to shake the castle to its
She had continued thus for a considerable time, when, amidst the
uproar of the storm, she thought she heard a voice, and, raising
herself to listen, saw the chamber door open, and Annette enter with
a countenance of wild affright.
'She is dying, ma'amselle, my lady is dying!' said she.
Emily started up, and ran to Madame Montoni's room. When she
entered, her aunt appeared to have fainted, for she was quite still,
and insensible; and Emily with a strength of mind, that refused to
yield to grief, while any duty required her activity, applied every
means that seemed likely to restore her. But the last
over--she was gone for ever.
When Emily perceived, that all her efforts were ineffectual, she
interrogated the terrified Annette, and learned, that Madame Montoni
had fallen into a doze soon after Emily's departure, in which she had
continued, until a few minutes before her death.
'I wondered, ma'amselle,' said Annette, 'what was the reason my lady
did not seem frightened at the thunder, when I was so terrified, and
I went often to the bed to speak to her, but she appeared to be
asleep; till presently I heard a strange noise, and, on going to her,
saw she was dying.'
Emily, at this recital, shed tears. She had no doubt but that
violent change in the air, which the tempest produced, had effected
this fatal one, on the exhausted frame of Madame Montoni.
After some deliberation, she determined that Montoni should not be
informed of this event till the morning, for she considered, that he
might, perhaps, utter some inhuman expressions, such as in the
present temper of her spirits she could not bear. With
alone, therefore, whom she encouraged by her own example, she
performed some of the last solemn offices for the dead, and compelled
herself to watch during the night, by the body of her deceased
During this solemn period, rendered more awful by the tremendous
storm that shook the air, she frequently addressed herself to Heaven
for support and protection, and her pious prayers, we may believe,
were accepted of the God, that giveth comfort.
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