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The Mysteries of Udolpho

Chapter III.10
Oh! the joy
Of young ideas, painted on the mind
In the warm glowing colours fancy spreads
On objects not yet known, when all is new,
And all is lovely!
SACRED DRAMAS
We now return to Languedoc and to the mention of Count De Villefort, the nobleman,
who succeeded to an estate of the Marquis De Villeroi situated near the monastery of St.
Claire. It may be recollected, that this chateau was uninhabited, when St. Aubert and his
daughter were in the neighbourhood, and that the former was much affected on
discovering himself to be so near Chateau-le-Blanc, a place, concerning which the good
old La Voisin afterwards dropped some hints, that had alarmed Emily's curiosity.
It was in the year 1584, the beginning of that, in which St. Aubert died, that Francis
Beauveau, Count De Villefort, came into possession of the mansion and extensive
domain called Chateau-le-Blanc, situated in the province of Languedoc, on the shore of
the Mediterranean. This estate, which, during some centuries, had belonged to his family,
now descended to him, on the decease of his relative, the Marquis De Villeroi, who had
been latterly a man of reserved manners and austere character; circumstances, which,
together with the duties of his profession, that often called him into the field, had
prevented any degree of intimacy with his cousin, the Count De Villefort. For many
years, they had known little of each other, and the Count received the first intelligence of
his death, which happened in a distant part of France, together with the instruments, that
gave him possession of the domain Chateau-le-Blanc; but it was not till the following
year, that he determined to visit that estate, when he designed to pass the autumn there.
The scenes of Chateau-le- Blanc often came to his remembrance, heightened by the
touches, which a warm imagination gives to the recollection of early pleasures; for, many
years before, in the life-time of the Marchioness, and at that age when the mind is
particularly sensible to impressions of gaiety and delight, he had once visited this spot,
and, though he had passed a long intervening period amidst the vexations and tumults of
public affairs, which too frequently corrode the heart, and vitiate the taste, the shades of
Languedoc and the grandeur of its distant scenery had never been remembered by him
with indifference.
During many years, the chateau had been abandoned by the late Marquis, and, being
inhabited only by an old steward and his wife, had been suffered to fall much into decay.
To superintend the repairs, that would be requisite to make it a comfortable residence,
had been a principal motive with the Count for passing the autumnal months in
Languedoc; and neither the remonstrances, or the tears of the Countess, for, on urgent
occasions, she could weep, were powerful enough to overcome his determination. She
 
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