The Mysteries of Udolpho
In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle, and each dreadful scene,
In darkness, and in storm he found delight;
Nor less than when on ocean-wave serene
The southern sun diffus'd his dazzling sheen.
Even sad vicissitude amus'd his soul;
And if a sigh would sometimes intervene,
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
A sigh, a tear, so sweet, he wish'd not to controul.
St. Aubert awoke at an early hour, refreshed by sleep, and desirous to set forward. He
invited the stranger to breakfast with him; and, talking again of the road, Valancourt said,
that, some months past, he had travelled as far as Beaujeu, which was a town of some
consequence on the way to Rousillon. He recommended it to St. Aubert to take that route,
and the latter determined to do so.
'The road from this hamlet,' said Valancourt, 'and that to Beaujeu, part at the distance of
about a league and a half from hence; if you will give me leave, I will direct your
muleteer so far. I must wander somewhere, and your company would make this a
pleasanter ramble than any other I could take.'
St. Aubert thankfully accepted his offer, and they set out together, the young stranger on
foot, for he refused the invitation of St. Aubert to take a seat in his little carriage.
The road wound along the feet of the mountains through a pastoral valley, bright with
verdure, and varied with groves of dwarf oak, beech and sycamore, under whose
branches herds of cattle reposed. The mountain-ash too, and the weeping birch, often
threw their pendant foliage over the steeps above, where the scanty soil scarcely
concealed their roots, and where their light branches waved to every breeze that fluttered
from the mountains.
The travellers were frequently met at this early hour, for the sun had not yet risen upon
the valley, by shepherds driving immense flocks from their folds to feed upon the hills.
St. Aubert had set out thus early, not only that he might enjoy the first appearance of
sunrise, but that he might inhale the first pure breath of morning, which above all things
is refreshing to the spirits of the invalid. In these regions it was particularly so, where an
abundance of wild flowers and aromatic herbs breathed forth their essence on the air.
The dawn, which softened the scenery with its peculiar grey tint, now dispersed, and
Emily watched the progress of the day, first trembling on the tops of the highest cliffs,