The Mysteries of Udolpho HTML version

Chapter I.12
Some pow'r impart the spear and shield,
At which the wizard passions fly,
By which the giant follies die.
Madame Cheron's house stood at a little distance from the city of Tholouse, and was
surrounded by extensive gardens, in which Emily, who had risen early, amused herself
with wandering before breakfast. From a terrace, that extended along the highest part of
them, was a wide view over Languedoc. On the distant horizon to the south, she
discovered the wild summits of the Pyrenees, and her fancy immediately painted the
green pastures of Gascony at their feet. Her heart pointed to her peaceful home--to the
neighbourhood where Valancourt was--where St. Aubert had been; and her imagination,
piercing the veil of distance, brought that home to her eyes in all its interesting and
romantic beauty. She experienced an inexpressible pleasure in believing, that she beheld
the country around it, though no feature could be distinguished, except the retiring chain
of the Pyrenees; and, inattentive to the scene immediately before her, and to the flight of
time, she continued to lean on the window of a pavilion, that terminated the terrace, with
her eyes fixed on Gascony, and her mind occupied with the interesting ideas which the
view of it awakened, till a servant came to tell her breakfast was ready. Her thoughts thus
recalled to the surrounding objects, the straight walks, square parterres, and artificial
fountains of the garden, could not fail, as she passed through it, to appear the worse,
opposed to the negligent graces, and natural beauties of the grounds of La Vallee, upon
which her recollection had been so intensely employed.
'Whither have you been rambling so early?' said Madame Cheron, as her niece entered
the breakfast-room. 'I don't approve of these solitary walks;' and Emily was surprised,
when, having informed her aunt, that she had been no further than the gardens, she
understood these to be included in the reproof. 'I desire you will not walk there again at
so early an hour unattended,' said Madame Cheron; 'my gardens are very extensive; and a
young woman, who can make assignations by moon- light, at La Vallee, is not to be
trusted to her own inclinations elsewhere.'
Emily, extremely surprised and shocked, had scarcely power to beg an explanation of
these words, and, when she did, her aunt absolutely refused to give it, though, by her
severe looks, and half sentences, she appeared anxious to impress Emily with a belief,
that she was well informed of some degrading circumstances of her conduct. Conscious
innocence could not prevent a blush from stealing over Emily's cheek; she trembled, and
looked confusedly under the bold eye of Madame Cheron, who blushed also; but hers
was the blush of triumph, such as sometimes stains the countenance of a person,
congratulating himself on the penetration which had taught him to suspect another, and