The Mysteries of Udolpho HTML version

Chapter II.10
And shall no lay of death
With pleasing murmur sooth
Her parted soul?
Shall no tear wet her grave?
On the following morning, Emily went early to the apartment of Madame Montoni, who
had slept well, and was much recovered. Her spirits had also returned with her health, and
her resolution to oppose Montoni's demands revived, though it yet struggled with her
fears, which Emily, who trembled for the consequence of further opposition, endeavoured
to confirm.
Her aunt, as has been already shewn, had a disposition, which delighted in contradiction,
and which taught her, when unpleasant circumstances were offered to her understanding,
not to enquire into their truth, but to seek for arguments, by which she might make them
appear false. Long habit had so entirely confirmed this natural propensity, that she was
not conscious of possessing it. Emily's remonstrances and representations, therefore,
roused her pride, instead of alarming, or convincing her judgment, and she still relied
upon the discovery of some means, by which she might yet avoid submitting to the
demand of her husband. Considering, that, if she could once escape from his castle, she
might defy his power, and, obtaining a decisive separation, live in comfort on the estates,
that yet remained for her, she mentioned this to her niece, who accorded with her in the
wish, but differed from her, as to the probability of its completion. She represented the
impossibility of passing the gates, secured and guarded as they were, and the extreme
danger of committing her design to the discretion of a servant, who might either
purposely betray, or accidentally disclose it.--Montoni's vengeance would also disdain
restraint, if her intention was detected: and, though Emily wished, as fervently as she
could do, to regain her freedom, and return to France, she consulted only Madame
Montoni's safety, and persevered in advising her to relinquish her settlement, without
braving further outrage.
The struggle of contrary emotions, however, continued to rage in her aunt's bosom, and
she still brooded over the chance of effecting an escape. While she thus sat, Montoni
entered the room, and, without noticing his wife's indisposition, said, that he came to
remind her of the impolicy of trifling with him, and that he gave her only till the evening
to determine, whether she would consent to his demand, or compel him, by a refusal, to
remove her to the east turret. He added, that a party of cavaliers would dine with him, that
day, and that he expected that she would sit at the head of the table, where Emily, also,
must be present. Madame Montoni was now on the point of uttering an absolute refusal,
but, suddenly considering, that her liberty, during this entertainment, though
circumscribed, might favour her further plans, she acquiesced, with seeming reluctance,