The Mysteries of Udolpho
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 image, that occurred to her waking
thoughts, and then came a train of anticipated evils, which she could neither conquer, nor
avoid. She rose, and, to relieve her mind from the busy ideas, that tormented it,
compelled herself to notice external objects. From her casement 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 particularly 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 above. 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 this darkness in one broad sheet of foam, and fell thundering
into the vale. Nearer, towards the west, opened the mountain-vista, which Emily had
viewed with such sublime emotion, on her approach to the castle: a thin dusky vapour,
that rose from the valley, overspread its features with a sweet obscurity. As this ascended
and caught the 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, and then the broad breast of the mountains, till,
at length, the mist settled round their summit, touching them with a ruddy glow. The
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 view.
Thus she endeavoured to amuse her fancy, and was not unsuccessful. The breezy
freshness of the morning, too, revived her. She raised her thoughts in prayer, which she
felt always most disposed to do, when viewing the sublimity of nature, and her mind
recovered its strength.