> Was nought around but images of rest, Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawn_etween, And flowery beds that slumbrous influence kept, From poppie_reath'd, and banks of pleasant green, Where never yet was creeping creatur_een. Meantime unnumbered glittering streamlets play'd, And hurled every wher_heir water's sheen, That, as they bicker'd through the sunny glade, Thoug_estless still themselves, a lulling murmur made.
When Emily, in the morning, opened her casement, she was surprised to observ_he beauties, that surrounded it. The cottage was nearly embowered in th_oods, which were chiefly of chesnut intermixed with some cypress, larch an_ycamore. Beneath the dark and spreading branches, appeared, to the north, an_o the east, the woody Apennines, rising in majestic amphitheatre, not blac_ith pines, as she had been accustomed to see them, but their loftiest summit_rowned with antient forests of chesnut, oak, and oriental plane, now animate_ith the rich tints of autumn, and which swept downward to the valle_ninterruptedly, except where some bold rocky promontory looked out from amon_he foliage, and caught the passing gleam. Vineyards stretched along the fee_f the mountains, where the elegant villas of the Tuscan nobility frequentl_dorned the scene, and overlooked slopes clothed with groves of olive,
mulberry, orange and lemon. The plain, to which these declined, was coloure_ith the riches of cultivation, whose mingled hues were mellowed into harmon_y an Italian sun. Vines, their purple clusters blushing between the russe_oliage, hung in luxuriant festoons from the branches of standard fig an_herry trees, while pastures of verdure, such as Emily had seldom seen i_taly, enriched the banks of a stream that, after descending from th_ountains, wound along the landscape, which it reflected, to a bay of the sea.
There, far in the west, the waters, fading into the sky, assumed a tint of th_aintest purple, and the line of separation between them was, now and then,
discernible only by the progress of a sail, brightened with the sunbeam, alon_he horizon.
The cottage, which was shaded by the woods from the intenser rays of the sun,
and was open only to his evening light, was covered entirely with vines, fig-
trees and jessamine, whose flowers surpassed in size and fragrance any tha_mily had seen. These and ripening clusters of grapes hung round her littl_asement. The turf, that grew under the woods, was inlaid with a variety o_ild flowers and perfumed herbs, and, on the opposite margin of the stream,
whose current diffused freshness beneath the shades, rose a grove of lemon an_range trees. This, though nearly opposite to Emily's window, did no_nterrupt her prospect, but rather heightened, by its dark verdure, the effec_f the perspective; and to her this spot was a bower of sweets, whose charm_ommunicated imperceptibly to her mind somewhat of their own serenity.
She was soon summoned to breakfast, by the peasant's daughter, a girl abou_eventeen, of a pleasant countenance, which, Emily was glad to observe, seeme_nimated with the pure affections of nature, though the others, tha_urrounded her, expressed, more or less, the worst qualities—cruelty,
ferocity, cunning and duplicity; of the latter style of countenance,
especially, were those of the peasant and his wife. Maddelina spoke little,
but what she said was in a soft voice, and with an air of modesty an_omplacency, that interested Emily, who breakfasted at a separate table wit_orina, while Ugo and Bertrand were taking a repast of Tuscany bacon and win_ith their host, near the cottage door; when they had finished which, Ugo,
rising hastily, enquired for his mule, and Emily learned that he was to retur_o Udolpho, while Bertrand remained at the cottage; a circumstance, which,
though it did not surprise, distressed her.
When Ugo was departed, Emily proposed to walk in the neighbouring woods; but,
on being told, that she must not quit the cottage, without having Bertrand fo_er attendant, she withdrew to her own room. There, as her eyes settled on th_owering Apennines, she recollected the terrific scenery they had exhibite_nd the horrors she had suffered, on the preceding night, particularly at th_oment when Bertrand had betrayed himself to be an assassin; and thes_emembrances awakened a train of images, which, since they abstracted her fro_ consideration of her own situation, she pursued for some time, and the_rranged in the following lines; pleased to have discovered any innocen_eans, by which she could beguile an hour of misfortune.
Slow o'er the Apennine, with bleeding feet, A patient Pilgrim wound his lonel_ay, To deck the Lady of Loretto's seat With all the little wealth his zea_ould pay. From mountain-tops cold died the evening ray, And, stretch'd i_wilight, slept the vale below; And now the last, last purple streaks of da_long the melancholy West fade slow. High o'er his head, the restless pine_omplain, As on their summit rolls the breeze of night; Beneath, the hoars_tream chides the rocks in vain: The Pilgrim pauses on the dizzy height. The_o the vale his cautious step he prest, For there a hermit's cross was diml_een, Cresting the rock, and there his limbs might rest, Cheer'd in the goo_an's cave, by faggot's sheen, On leafy beds, nor guile his sleep molest.
Unhappy Luke! he trusts a treacherous clue! Behind the cliff the lurkin_obber stood; No friendly moon his giant shadow threw Athwart the road, t_ave the Pilgrim's blood; On as he went a vesper-hymn he sang, The hymn, tha_ightly sooth'd him to repose. Fierce on his harmless prey the ruffian sprang!
The Pilgrim bleeds to death, his eye-lids close. Yet his meek spirit knew n_engeful care, But, dying, for his murd'rer breath'd—a sainted pray'r!
Preferring the solitude of her room to the company of the persons belo_tairs, Emily dined above, and Maddelina was suffered to attend her, fro_hose simple conversation she learned, that the peasant and his wife were ol_nhabitants of this cottage, which had been purchased for them by Montoni, i_eward of some service, rendered him, many years before, by Marco, to who_arlo, the steward at the castle, was nearly related. 'So many years ago,
Signora,' added Maddelina, 'that I know nothing about it; but my father di_he Signor a great good, for my mother has often said to him, this cottage wa_he least he ought to have had.' To the mention of this circumstance Emil_istened with a painful interest, since it appeared to give a frightful colou_o the character of Marco, whose service, thus rewarded by Montoni, she coul_carcely doubt have been criminal; and, if so, had too much reason to believe,
that she had been committed into his hands for some desperate purpose. 'Di_ou ever hear how many years it is,' said Emily, who was considering o_ignora Laurentini's disappearance from Udolpho, 'since your father performe_he services you spoke of?' 'It was a little before he came to live at th_ottage, Signora,' replied Maddelina, 'and that is about eighteen years ago.'
This was near the period, when Signora Laurentini had been said to disappear,
and it occurred to Emily, that Marco had assisted in that mysterious affair,
and, perhaps, had been employed in a murder! This horrible suggestion fixe_er in such profound reverie, that Maddelina quitted the room, unperceived b_er, and she remained unconscious of all around her, for a considerable time.
Tears, at length, came to her relief, after indulging which, her spirit_ecoming calmer, she ceased to tremble at a view of evils, that might neve_rrive; and had sufficient resolution to endeavour to withdraw her thought_rom the contemplation of her own interests. Remembering the few books, whic_ven in the hurry of her departure from Udolpho she had put into her littl_ackage, she sat down with one of them at her pleasant casement, whence he_yes often wandered from the page to the landscape, whose beauty graduall_oothed her mind into gentle melancholy. Here, she remained alone, til_vening, and saw the sun descend the western sky, throw all his pomp of ligh_nd shadow upon the mountains, and gleam upon the distant ocean and th_tealing sails, as he sunk amidst the waves. Then, at the musing hour o_wilight, her softened thoughts returned to Valancourt; she again recollecte_very circumstance, connected with the midnight music, and all that migh_ssist her conjecture, concerning his imprisonment at the castle, and,
becoming confirmed in the supposition, that it was his voice she had hear_here, she looked back to that gloomy abode with emotions of grief an_omentary regret. Refreshed by the cool and fragrant air, and her spirit_oothed to a state of gentle melancholy by the stilly murmur of the broo_elow and of the woods around, she lingered at her casement long after the su_ad set, watching the valley sinking into obscurity, till only the gran_utline of the surrounding mountains, shadowed upon the horizon, remaine_isible. But a clear moon-light, that succeeded, gave to the landscape, wha_ime gives to the scenes of past life, when it softens all their harshe_eatures, and throws over the whole the mellowing shade of distan_ontemplation. The scenes of La Vallee, in the early morn of her life, whe_he was protected and beloved by parents equally loved, appeared in Emily'_emory tenderly beautiful, like the prospect before her, and awakened mournfu_omparisons. Unwilling to encounter the coarse behaviour of the peasant'_ife, she remained supperless in her room, while she wept again over he_orlorn and perilous situation, a review of which entirely overcame the smal_emains of her fortitude, and, reducing her to temporary despondence, sh_ished to be released from the heavy load of life, that had so long oppresse_er, and prayed to Heaven to take her, in its mercy, to her parents. Wearie_ith weeping, she, at length, lay down on her mattress, and sunk to sleep, bu_as soon awakened by a knocking at her chamber door, and, starting up i_error, she heard a voice calling her. The image of Bertrand, with a stillett_n his hand, appeared to her alarmed fancy, and she neither opened the door,
or answered, but listened in profound silence, till, the voice repeating he_ame in the same low tone, she demanded who called. 'It is I, Signora,'
replied the voice, which she now distinguished to be Maddelina's, 'pray ope_he door. Don't be frightened, it is I.' 'And what brings you here so late,
Maddelina?' said Emily, as she let her in. 'Hush! signora, for heaven's sak_ush!—if we are overheard I shall never be forgiven. My father and mother an_ertrand are all gone to bed,' continued Maddelina, as she gently shut th_oor, and crept forward, 'and I have brought you some supper, for you ha_one, you know, Signora, below stairs. Here are some grapes and figs and hal_ cup of wine.' Emily thanked her, but expressed apprehension lest thi_indness should draw upon her the resentment of Dorina, when she perceived th_ruit was gone. 'Take it back, therefore, Maddelina,' added Emily, 'I shal_uffer much less from the want of it, than I should do, if this act of good-
nature was to subject you to your mother's displeasure.' 'O Signora! there i_o danger of that,' replied Maddelina, 'my mother cannot miss the fruit, for _aved it from my own supper. You will make me very unhappy, if you refuse t_ake it, Signora.' Emily was so much affected by this instance of the goo_irl's generosity, that she remained for some time unable to reply, an_addelina watched her in silence, till, mistaking the cause of her emotion,
she said, 'Do not weep so, Signora! My mother, to be sure, is a little cross,
sometimes, but then it is soon over,—so don't take it so much to heart. Sh_ften scolds me, too, but then I have learned to bear it, and, when she ha_one, if I can but steal out into the woods, and play upon my sticcado, _orget it all directly.' Emily, smiling through her tears, told Maddelina,
that she was a good girl, and then accepted her offering. She wished anxiousl_o know, whether Bertrand and Dorina had spoken of Montoni, or of his designs,
concerning herself, in the presence of Maddelina, but disdained to tempt th_nnocent girl to a conduct so mean, as that of betraying the privat_onversations of her parents. When she was departing, Emily requested, tha_he would come to her room as often as she dared, without offending he_other, and Maddelina, after promising that she would do so, stole softly bac_gain to her own chamber. Thus several days passed, during which Emil_emained in her own room, Maddelina attending her only at her repast, whos_entle countenance and manners soothed her more than any circumstance she ha_nown for many months. Of her pleasant embowered chamber she now became fond,
and began to experience in it those feelings of security, which we naturall_ttach to home. In this interval also, her mind, having been undisturbed b_ny new circumstance of disgust, or alarm, recovered its tone sufficiently t_ermit her the enjoyment of her books, among which she found some unfinishe_ketches of landscapes, several blank sheets of paper, with her drawin_nstruments, and she was thus enabled to amuse herself with selecting some o_he lovely features of the prospect, that her window commanded, and combinin_hem in scenes, to which her tasteful fancy gave a last grace. In these littl_ketches she generally placed interesting groups, characteristic of th_cenery they animated, and often contrived to tell, with perspicuity, som_imple and affecting story, when, as a tear fell over the pictured griefs,
which her imagination drew, she would forget, for a moment, her rea_ufferings. Thus innocently she beguiled the heavy hours of misfortune, and,
with meek patience, awaited the events of futurity. A beautiful evening, tha_ad succeeded to a sultry day, at length induced Emily to walk, though sh_new that Bertrand must attend her, and, with Maddelina for her companion, sh_eft the cottage, followed by Bertrand, who allowed her to choose her own way.
The hour was cool and silent, and she could not look upon the country aroun_er, without delight. How lovely, too, appeared the brilliant blue, tha_oloured all the upper region of the air, and, thence fading downward, wa_ost in the saffron glow of the horizon! Nor less so were the varied shade_nd warm colouring of the Apennines, as the evening sun threw his slantin_ays athwart their broken surface. Emily followed the course of the stream,
under the shades, that overhung its grassy margin. On the opposite banks, th_astures were animated with herds of cattle of a beautiful cream-colour; and,
beyond, were groves of lemon and orange, with fruit glowing on the branches,
frequent almost as the leaves, which partly concealed it. She pursued her wa_owards the sea, which reflected the warm glow of sun-set, while the cliffs,
that rose over its edge, were tinted with the last rays. The valley wa_erminated on the right by a lofty promontory, whose summit, impending ove_he waves, was crowned with a ruined tower, now serving for the purpose of _eacon, whose shattered battlements and the extended wings of some sea-fowl,
that circled near it, were still illumined by the upward beams of the sun,
though his disk was now sunk beneath the horizon; while the lower part of th_uin, the cliff on which it stood and the waves at its foot, were shaded wit_he first tints of twilight. Having reached this headland, Emily gazed wit_olemn pleasure on the cliffs, that extended on either hand along th_equestered shores, some crowned with groves of pine, and others exhibitin_nly barren precipices of grayish marble, except where the crags were tufte_ith myrtle and other aromatic shrubs. The sea slept in a perfect calm; it_aves, dying in murmurs on the shores, flowed with the gentlest undulation,
while its clear surface reflected in softened beauty the vermeil tints of th_est. Emily, as she looked upon the ocean, thought of France and of pas_imes, and she wished, Oh! how ardently, and vainly—wished! that its wave_ould bear her to her distant, native home! 'Ah! that vessel,' said she, 'tha_essel, which glides along so stately, with its tall sails reflected in th_ater is, perhaps, bound for France! Happy—happy bark!' She continued to gaz_pon it, with warm emotion, till the gray of twilight obscured the distance,
and veiled it from her view. The melancholy sound of the waves at her fee_ssisted the tenderness, that occasioned her tears, and this was the onl_ound, that broke upon the hour, till, having followed the windings of th_each, for some time, a chorus of voices passed her on the air. She paused _oment, wishing to hear more, yet fearing to be seen, and, for the first time,
looked back to Bertrand, as her protector, who was following, at a shor_istance, in company with some other person. Reassured by this circumstance,
she advanced towards the sounds, which seemed to arise from behind a hig_romontory, that projected athwart the beach. There was now a sudden pause i_he music, and then one female voice was heard to sing in a kind of chant.
Emily quickened her steps, and, winding round the rock, saw, within th_weeping bay, beyond, which was hung with woods from the borders of the beac_o the very summit of the cliffs, two groups of peasants, one seated beneat_he shades, and the other standing on the edge of the sea, round the girl, wh_as singing, and who held in her hand a chaplet of flowers, which she seeme_bout to drop into the waves. Emily, listening with surprise and attention,
distinguished the following invocation delivered in the pure and elegan_ongue of Tuscany, and accompanied by a few pastoral instruments.
**TO A SEA-NYMPH**
O nymph! who loves to float on the green wave, When Neptune sleeps beneath th_oon-light hour, Lull'd by the music's melancholy pow'r, O nymph, arise fro_ut thy pearly cave! For Hesper beams amid the twilight shade, And soon shal_ynthia tremble o'er the tide, Gleam on these cliffs, that bound the ocean'_ride, And lonely silence all the air pervade. Then, let thy tender voice a_istance swell, And steal along this solitary shore, Sink on the breeze, til_ying—heard no more— Thou wak'st the sudden magic of thy shell. While the lon_oast in echo sweet replies, Thy soothing strains the pensive heart beguile,
And bid the visions of the future smile, O nymph! from out thy pearl_ave—arise! (Chorus)—ARISE! (Semi-chorus)—ARISE! The last words being repeate_y the surrounding group, the garland of flowers was thrown into the waves,
and the chorus, sinking gradually into a chant, died away in silence. 'Wha_an this mean, Maddelina?' said Emily, awakening from the pleasing trance,
into which the music had lulled her. 'This is the eve of a festival, Signora,'
replied Maddelina; 'and the peasants then amuse themselves with all kinds o_ports.' 'But they talked of a sea-nymph,' said Emily: 'how came these goo_eople to think of a sea-nymph?' 'O, Signora,' rejoined Maddelina, mistakin_he reason of Emily's surprise, 'nobody BELIEVES in such things, but our ol_ongs tell of them, and, when we are at our sports, we sometimes sing to them,
and throw garlands into the sea.' Emily had been early taught to venerat_lorence as the seat of literature and of the fine arts; but, that its tast_or classic story should descend to the peasants of the country, occasione_er both surprise and admiration. The Arcadian air of the girls next attracte_er attention. Their dress was a very short full petticoat of light green,
with a boddice of white silk; the sleeves loose, and tied up at the shoulder_ith ribbons and bunches of flowers. Their hair, falling in ringlets on thei_ecks, was also ornamented with flowers, and with a small straw hat, which,
set rather backward and on one side of the head, gave an expression of gaiet_nd smartness to the whole figure. When the song had concluded, several o_hese girls approached Emily, and, inviting her to sit down among them,
offered her, and Maddelina, whom they knew, grapes and figs. Emily accepte_heir courtesy, much pleased with the gentleness and grace of their manners,
which appeared to be perfectly natural to them; and when Bertrand, soon after,
approached, and was hastily drawing her away, a peasant, holding up a flask,
invited him to drink; a temptation, which Bertrand was seldom very valiant i_esisting. 'Let the young lady join in the dance, my friend,' said th_easant, 'while we empty this flask. They are going to begin directly. Strik_p! my lads, strike up your tambourines and merry flutes!' They sounded gaily;
and the younger peasants formed themselves into a circle, which Emily woul_eadiy have joined, had her spirits been in unison with their mirth.
Maddelina, however, tripped it lightly, and Emily, as she looked on the happ_roup, lost the sense of her misfortunes in that of a benevolent pleasure. Bu_he pensive melancholy of her mind returned, as she sat rather apart from th_ompany, listening to the mellow music, which the breeze softened as it bor_t away, and watching the moon, stealing its tremulous light over the wave_nd on the woody summits of the cliffs, that wound along these Tuscan shores.
Meanwhile, Bertrand was so well pleased with his first flask, that he ver_illingly commenced the attack on a second, and it was late before Emily, no_ithout some apprehension, returned to the cottage. After this evening, sh_requently walked with Maddelina, but was never unattended by Bertrand; an_er mind became by degrees as tranquil as the circumstances of her situatio_ould permit. The quiet, in which she was suffered to live, encouraged her t_ope, that she was not sent hither with an evil design; and, had it no_ppeared probable, that Valancourt was at this time an inhabitant of Udolpho,
she would have wished to remain at the cottage, till an opportunity shoul_ffer of returning to her native country. But, concerning Montoni's motive fo_ending her into Tuscany, she was more than ever perplexed, nor could sh_elieve that any consideration for her safety had influenced him on thi_ccasion. She had been some time at the cottage, before she recollected, that,
in the hurry of leaving Udolpho, she had forgotten the papers committed to he_y her late aunt, relative to the Languedoc estates; but, though thi_emembrance occasioned her much uneasiness, she had some hope, that, in th_bscure place, where they were deposited, they would escape the detection o_ontoni.