> 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.
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.