The Mysteries of Udolpho HTML version

Chapter I.5
While in the rosy vale
Love breath'd his infant sighs, from anguish free.
St. Aubert, sufficiently restored by a night's repose to pursue his journey, set out in the
morning, with his family and Valancourt, for Rousillon, which he hoped to reach before
night-fall. The scenes, through which they now passed, were as wild and romantic, as any
they had yet observed, with this difference, that beauty, every now and then, softened the
landscape into smiles. Little woody recesses appeared among the mountains, covered
with bright verdure and flowers; or a pastoral valley opened its grassy bosom in the shade
of the cliffs, with flocks and herds loitering along the banks of a rivulet, that refreshed it
with perpetual green. St. Aubert could not repent the having taken this fatiguing road,
though he was this day, also, frequently obliged to alight, to walk along the rugged
precipice, and to climb the steep and flinty mountain. The wonderful sublimity and
variety of the prospects repaid him for all this, and the enthusiasm, with which they were
viewed by his young companions, heightened his own, and awakened a remembrance of
all the delightful emotions of his early days, when the sublime charms of nature were first
unveiled to him. He found great pleasure in conversing with Valancourt, and in listening
to his ingenuous remarks. The fire and simplicity of his manners seemed to render him a
characteristic figure in the scenes around them; and St. Aubert discovered in his
sentiments the justness and the dignity of an elevated mind, unbiassed by intercourse with
the world. He perceived, that his opinions were formed, rather than imbibed; were more
the result of thought, than of learning. Of the world he seemed to know nothing; for he
believed well of all mankind, and this opinion gave him the reflected image of his own
St. Aubert, as he sometimes lingered to examine the wild plants in his path, often looked
forward with pleasure to Emily and Valancourt, as they strolled on together; he, with a
countenance of animated delight, pointing to her attention some grand feature of the
scene; and she, listening and observing with a look of tender seriousness, that spoke the
elevation of her mind. They appeared like two lovers who had never strayed beyond these
their native mountains; whose situation had secluded them from the frivolities of
common life, whose ideas were simple and grand, like the landscapes among which they
moved, and who knew no other happiness, than in the union of pure and affectionate
hearts. St. Aubert smiled, and sighed at the romantic picture of felicity his fancy drew;
and sighed again to think, that nature and simplicity were so little known to the world, as
that their pleasures were thought romantic.
'The world,' said he, pursuing this train of thought, 'ridicules a passion which it seldom
feels; its scenes, and its interests, distract the mind, deprave the taste, corrupt the heart,
and love cannot exist in a heart that has lost the meek dignity of innocence. Virtue and