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The Monk

Chapter II.3
While in each other's arms entranced They lay,
They blessed the night, and curst the coming day.
Lee.
The burst of transport was past: Ambrosio's lust was satisfied; Pleasure fled, and Shame
usurped her seat in his bosom. Confused and terrified at his weakness, He drew himself
from Matilda's arms. His perjury presented itself before him: He reflected on the scene
which had just been acted, and trembled at the consequences of a discovery. He looked
forward with horror; His heart was despondent, and became the abode of satiety and
disgust. He avoided the eyes of his Partner in frailty; A melancholy silence prevailed,
during which Both seemed busied with disagreable reflections.
Matilda was the first to break it. She took his hand gently, and pressed it to her burning
lips.
'Ambrosio!' She murmured in a soft and trembling voice.
The Abbot started at the sound. He turned his eyes upon Matilda's: They were filled with
tears; Her cheeks were covered with blushes, and her supplicating looks seemed to solicit
his compassion.
'Dangerous Woman!' said He; 'Into what an abyss of misery have you plunged me!
Should your sex be discovered, my honour, nay my life, must pay for the pleasure of a
few moments. Fool that I was, to trust myself to your seductions! What can now be done?
How can my offence be expiated? What atonement can purchase the pardon of my crime?
Wretched Matilda, you have destroyed my quiet for ever!'
'To me these reproaches, Ambrosio? To me, who have sacrificed for you the world's
pleasures, the luxury of wealth, the delicacy of sex, my Friends, my fortune, and my
fame? What have you lost, which I preserved? Have _I_ not shared in YOUR guilt? Have
YOU not shared in MY pleasure? Guilt, did I say? In what consists ours, unless in the
opinion of an ill-judging World? Let that World be ignorant of them, and our joys
become divine and blameless! Unnatural were your vows of Celibacy; Man was not
created for such a state; And were Love a crime, God never would have made it so sweet,
so irresistible! Then banish those clouds from your brow, my Ambrosio! Indulge in those
pleasures freely, without which life is a worthless gift: Cease to reproach me with having
taught you what is bliss, and feel equal transports with the Woman who adores you!'
As She spoke, her eyes were filled with a delicious languor. Her bosom panted: She
twined her arms voluptuously round him, drew him towards her, and glewed her lips to
his. Ambrosio again raged with desire: The die was thrown: His vows were already
 
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