Not a member?     Existing members login below:
Holidays Offer
 

The Mysteries of Udolpho

Chapter III.7
Was nought around but images of rest,
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between,
And flowery beds that slumbrous influence kept,
From poppies breath'd, and banks of pleasant green,
Where never yet was creeping creature seen.
Meantime unnumbered glittering streamlets play'd,
And hurled every where their water's sheen,
That, as they bicker'd through the sunny glade,
Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur made.
THOMSON
When Emily, in the morning, opened her casement, she was surprised to observe the
beauties, that surrounded it. The cottage was nearly embowered in the woods, which were
chiefly of chesnut intermixed with some cypress, larch and sycamore. Beneath the dark
and spreading branches, appeared, to the north, and to the east, the woody Apennines,
rising in majestic amphitheatre, not black with pines, as she had been accustomed to see
them, but their loftiest summits crowned with antient forests of chesnut, oak, and oriental
plane, now animated with the rich tints of autumn, and which swept downward to the
valley uninterruptedly, except where some bold rocky promontory looked out from
among the foliage, and caught the passing gleam. Vineyards stretched along the feet of
the mountains, where the elegant villas of the Tuscan nobility frequently adorned the
scene, and overlooked slopes clothed with groves of olive, mulberry, orange and lemon.
The plain, to which these declined, was coloured with the riches of cultivation, whose
mingled hues were mellowed into harmony by an Italian sun. Vines, their purple clusters
blushing between the russet foliage, hung in luxuriant festoons from the branches of
standard fig and cherry trees, while pastures of verdure, such as Emily had seldom seen
in Italy, enriched the banks of a stream that, after descending from the mountains, 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 the faintest purple, and the line of separation
between them was, now and then, discernible only by the progress of a sail, brightened
with the sunbeam, along the 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 that Emily had seen. These and
ripening clusters of grapes hung round her little casement. The turf, that grew under the
woods, was inlaid with a variety of wild flowers and perfumed herbs, and, on the
opposite margin of the stream, whose current diffused freshness beneath the shades, rose
a grove of lemon and orange trees. This, though nearly opposite to Emily's window, did
not interrupt her prospect, but rather heightened, by its dark verdure, the effect of the
 
Remove