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Chapter 19

  • > Now my task is smoothly done, I can fly, or I can run Quickly to the gree_arth's end, Where the bow'd welkin low doth bend, And, from thence, can soa_s soon To the corners of the moon.
  • >
  • > MILTON
  • The marriages of the Lady Blanche and Emily St. Aubert were celebrated, on th_ame day, and with the ancient baronial magnificence, at Chateau-le-Blanc. Th_easts were held in the great hall of the castle, which, on this occasion, wa_ung with superb new tapestry, representing the exploits of Charlemagne an_is twelve peers; here, were seen the Saracens, with their horrible visors,
  • advancing to battle; and there, were displayed the wild solemnities o_ncantation, and the necromantic feats, exhibited by the magician JARL befor_he Emperor. The sumptuous banners of the family of Villeroi, which had lon_lept in dust, were once more unfurled, to wave over the gothic points o_ainted casements; and music echoed, in many a lingering close, through ever_inding gallery and colonnade of that vast edifice.
  • As Annette looked down from the corridor upon the hall, whose arches an_indows were illuminated with brilliant festoons of lamps, and gazed on th_plendid dresses of the dancers, the costly liveries of the attendants, th_anopies of purple velvet and gold, and listened to the gay strains tha_loated along the vaulted roof, she almost fancied herself in an enchante_alace, and declared, that she had not met with any place, which charmed he_o much, since she read the fairy tales; nay, that the fairies themselves, a_heir nightly revels in this old hall, could display nothing finer; while ol_orothee, as she surveyed the scene, sighed, and said, the castle looked as i_as wont to do in the time of her youth.
  • After gracing the festivities of Chateau-le-Blanc, for some days, Valancour_nd Emily took leave of their kind friends, and returned to La Vallee, wher_he faithful Theresa received them with unfeigned joy, and the pleasant shade_elcomed them with a thousand tender and affecting remembrances; and, whil_hey wandered together over the scenes, so long inhabited by the late Mons.
  • and Madame St. Aubert, and Emily pointed out, with pensive affection, thei_avourite haunts, her present happiness was heightened, by considering, tha_t would have been worthy of their approbation, could they have witnessed it.
  • Valancourt led her to the plane-tree on the terrace, where he had firs_entured to declare his love, and where now the remembrance of the anxiety h_ad then suffered, and the retrospect of all the dangers and misfortunes the_ad each encountered, since last they sat together beneath its broad branches,
  • exalted the sense of their present felicity, which, on this spot, sacred t_he memory of St. Aubert, they solemnly vowed to deserve, as far as possible,
  • by endeavouring to imitate his benevolence,—by remembering, that superio_ttainments of every sort bring with them duties of superior exertion,—and b_ffording to their fellow-beings, together with that portion of ordinar_omforts, which prosperity always owes to misfortune, the example of live_assed in happy thankfulness to GOD, and, therefore, in careful tenderness t_is creatures.
  • Soon after their return to La Vallee, the brother of Valancourt came t_ongratulate him on his marriage, and to pay his respects to Emily, with who_e was so much pleased, as well as with the prospect of rational happiness,
  • which these nuptials offered to Valancourt, that he immediately resigned t_im a part of the rich domain, the whole of which, as he had no family, woul_f course descend to his brother, on his decease.
  • The estates, at Tholouse, were disposed of, and Emily purchased of Mons.
  • Quesnel the ancient domain of her late father, where, having given Annette _arriage portion, she settled her as the housekeeper, and Ludovico as th_teward; but, since both Valancourt and herself preferred the pleasant an_ong-loved shades of La Vallee to the magnificence of Epourville, the_ontinued to reside there, passing, however, a few months in the year at th_irth-place of St. Aubert, in tender respect to his memory.
  • The legacy, which had been bequeathed to Emily by Signora Laurentini, sh_egged Valancourt would allow her to resign to Mons. Bonnac; and Valancourt,
  • when she made the request, felt all the value of the compliment it conveyed.
  • The castle of Udolpho, also, descended to the wife of Mons. Bonnac, who wa_he nearest surviving relation of the house of that name, and thus affluenc_estored his long- oppressed spirits to peace, and his family to comfort.
  • O! how joyful it is to tell of happiness, such as that of Valancourt an_mily; to relate, that, after suffering under the oppression of the viciou_nd the disdain of the weak, they were, at length, restored to each other—t_he beloved landscapes of their native country,—to the securest felicity o_his life, that of aspiring to moral and labouring for intellectua_mprovement—to the pleasures of enlightened society, and to the exercise o_he benevolence, which had always animated their hearts; while the bowers o_a Vallee became, once more, the retreat of goodness, wisdom and domesti_lessedness!
  • O! useful may it be to have shewn, that, though the vicious can sometimes pou_ffliction upon the good, their power is transient and their punishmen_ertain; and that innocence, though oppressed by injustice, shall, supporte_y patience, finally triumph over misfortune!
  • And, if the weak hand, that has recorded this tale, has, by its scenes,
  • beguiled the mourner of one hour of sorrow, or, by its moral, taught him t_ustain it—the effort, however humble, has not been vain, nor is the write_nrewarded.