The Mysteries of Udolpho HTML version

Chapter II.7
Of aery tongues, that syllable men's names
On sands and shores and desert wildernesses.
It is now necessary to mention some circumstances, which could not be related amidst the
events of Emily's hasty departure from Venice, or together with those, which so rapidly
succeeded to her arrival in the castle.
On the morning of her journey, Count Morano had gone at the appointed hour to the
mansion of Montoni, to demand his bride. When he reached it, he was somewhat
surprised by the silence and solitary air of the portico, where Montoni's lacqueys usually
loitered; but surprise was soon changed to astonishment, and astonishment to the rage of
disappointment, when the door was opened by an old woman, who told his servants, that
her master and his family had left Venice, early in the morning, for terra-firma. Scarcely
believing what his servants told, he left his gondola, and rushed into the hall to enquire
further. The old woman, who was the only person left in care of the mansion, persisted in
her story, which the silent and deserted apartments soon convinced him was no fiction.
He then seized her with a menacing air, as if he meant to wreak all his vengeance upon
her, at the same time asking her twenty questions in a breath, and all these with a
gesticulation so furious, that she was deprived of the power of answering them; then
suddenly letting her go, he stamped about the hall, like a madman, cursing Montoni and
his own folly.
When the good woman was at liberty, and had somewhat recovered from her fright, she
told him all she knew of the affair, which was, indeed, very little, but enough to enable
Morano to discover, that Montoni was gone to his castle on the Apennine. Thither he
followed, as soon as his servants could complete the necessary preparation for the
journey, accompanied by a friend, and attended by a number of his people, determined to
obtain Emily, or a full revenge on Montoni. When his mind had recovered from the first
effervescence of rage, and his thoughts became less obscured, his conscience hinted to
him certain circumstances, which, in some measure, explained the conduct of Montoni:
but how the latter could have been led to suspect an intention, which, he had believed,
was known only to himself, he could not even guess. On this occasion, however, he had
been partly betrayed by that sympathetic intelligence, which may be said to exist between
bad minds, and which teaches one man to judge what another will do in the same
circumstances. Thus it was with Montoni, who had now received indisputable proof of a
truth, which he had some time suspected--that Morano's circumstances, instead of being
affluent, as he had been bidden to believe, were greatly involved. Montoni had been
interested in his suit, by motives entirely selfish, those of avarice and pride; the last of
which would have been gratified by an alliance with a Venetian nobleman, the former by
Emily's estate in Gascony, which he had stipulated, as the price of his favour, should be