The Mysteries of Udolpho HTML version

Chapter III.11
What transport to retrace our early plays,
Our easy bliss, when each thing joy supplied
The woods, the mountains and the warbling maze
Of the wild brooks!
Blanche's slumbers continued, till long after the hour, which she had so impatiently
anticipated, for her woman, fatigued with travelling, did not call her, till breakfast was
nearly ready. Her disappointment, however, was instantly forgotten, when, on opening
the casement, she saw, on one hand, the wide sea sparkling in the morning rays, with its
stealing sails and glancing oars; and, on the other, the fresh woods, the plains far-
stretching and the blue mountains, all glowing with the splendour of day.
As she inspired the pure breeze, health spread a deeper blush upon her countenance, and
pleasure danced in her eyes.
'Who could first invent convents!' said she, 'and who could first persuade people to go
into them? and to make religion a pretence, too, where all that should inspire it, is so
carefully shut out! God is best pleased with the homage of a grateful heart, and, when we
view his glories, we feel most grateful. I never felt so much devotion, during the many
dull years I was in the convent, as I have done in the few hours, that I have been here,
where I need only look on all around me--to adore God in my inmost heart!'
Saying this, she left the window, bounded along the gallery, and, in the next moment, was
in the breakfast room, where the Count was already seated. The cheerfulness of a bright
sunshine had dispersed the melancholy glooms of his reflections, a pleasant smile was on
his countenance, and he spoke in an enlivening voice to Blanche, whose heart echoed
back the tones. Henri and, soon after, the Countess with Mademoiselle Bearn appeared,
and the whole party seemed to acknowledge the influence of the scene; even the Countess
was so much re-animated as to receive the civilities of her husband with complacency,
and but once forgot her good-humour, which was when she asked whether they had any
neighbours, who were likely to make THIS BARBAROUS SPOT more tolerable, and
whether the Count believed it possible for her to exist here, without some amusement?
Soon after breakfast the party dispersed; the Count, ordering his steward to attend him in
the library, went to survey the condition of his premises, and to visit some of his tenants;
Henri hastened with alacrity to the shore to examine a boat, that was to bear them on a
little voyage in the evening and to superintend the adjustment of a silk awning; while the
Countess, attended by Mademoiselle Bearn, retired to an apartment on the modern side of
the chateau, which was fitted up with airy elegance; and, as the windows opened upon
balconies, that fronted the sea, she was there saved from a view of the HORRID