The Mysteries of Udolpho
Can Music's voice, can Beauty's eye,
Can Painting's glowing hand supply
A charm so suited to my mind,
As blows this hollow gust of wind?
As drops this little weeping rill,
Soft tinkling down the moss-grown hill;
While, through the west, where sinks the crimson day,
Meek Twilight slowly sails, and waves her banners gray?
Emily, some time after her return to La Vallee, received letters from her aunt, Madame
Cheron, in which, after some common-place condolement and advice, she invited her to
Tholouse, and added, that, as her late brother had entrusted Emily's EDUCATION to her,
she should consider herself bound to overlook her conduct. Emily, at this time, wished
only to remain at La Vallee, in the scenes of her early happiness, now rendered infinitely
dear to her, as the late residence of those, whom she had lost for ever, where she could
weep unobserved, retrace their steps, and remember each minute particular of their
manners. But she was equally anxious to avoid the displeasure of Madame Cheron.
Though her affection would not suffer her to question, even a moment, the propriety of
St. Aubert's conduct in appointing Madame Cheron for her guardian, she was sensible,
that this step had made her happiness depend, in a great degree, on the humour of her
aunt. In her reply, she begged permission to remain, at present, at La Vallee, mentioning
the extreme dejection of her spirits, and the necessity she felt for quiet and retirement to
restore them. These she knew were not to be found at Madame Cheron's, whose
inclinations led her into a life of dissipation, which her ample fortune encouraged; and,
having given her answer, she felt somewhat more at ease.
In the first days of her affliction, she was visited by Monsieur Barreaux, a sincere
mourner for St. Aubert. 'I may well lament my friend,' said he, 'for I shall never meet
with his resemblance. If I could have found such a man in what is called society, I should
not have left it.'
M. Barreaux's admiration of her father endeared him extremely to Emily, whose heart
found almost its first relief in conversing of her parents, with a man, whom she so much
revered, and who, though with such an ungracious appearance, possessed to much
goodness of heart and delicacy of mind.
Several weeks passed away in quiet retirement, and Emily's affliction began to soften into
melancholy. She could bear to read the books she had before read with her father; to sit in