The Mysteries of Udolpho HTML version

Chapter IV.3
This is no mortal business, nor no sound
That the earth owes!
We now return to the mention of Montoni, whose rage and disappointment were soon lost
in nearer interests, than any, which the unhappy Emily had awakened. His depredations
having exceeded their usual limits, and reached an extent, at which neither the timidity of
the then commercial senate of Venice, nor their hope of his occasional assistance would
permit them to connive, the same effort, it was resolved, should complete the suppression
of his power and the correction of his outrages. While a corps of considerable strength
was upon the point of receiving orders to march for Udolpho, a young officer, prompted
partly by resentment, for some injury, received from Montoni, and partly by the hope of
distinction, solicited an interview with the Minister, who directed the enterprise. To him
he represented, that the situation of Udolpho rendered it too strong to be taken by open
force, except after some tedious operations; that Montoni had lately shewn how capable
he was of adding to its strength all the advantages, which could be derived from the skill
of a commander; that so considerable a body of troops, as that allotted to the expedition,
could not approach Udolpho without his knowledge, and that it was not for the honour of
the republic to have a large part of its regular force employed, for such a time as the siege
of Udolpho would require, upon the attack of a handful of banditti. The object of the
expedition, he thought, might be accomplished much more safely and speedily by
mingling contrivance with force. It was possible to meet Montoni and his party, without
their walls, and to attack them then; or, by approaching the fortress, with the secrecy,
consistent with the march of smaller bodies of troops, to take advantage either of the
treachery, or negligence of some of his party, and to rush unexpectedly upon the whole
even in the castle of Udolpho.
This advice was seriously attended to, and the officer, who gave it, received the
command of the troops, demanded for his purpose. His first efforts were accordingly
those of contrivance alone. In the neighbourhood of Udolpho, he waited, till he had
secured the assistance of several of the condottieri, of whom he found none, that he
addressed, unwilling to punish their imperious master and to secure their own pardon
from the senate. He learned also the number of Montoni's troops, and that it had been
much increased, since his late successes. The conclusion of his plan was soon effected.
Having returned with his party, who received the watch-word and other assistance from
their friends within, Montoni and his officers were surprised by one division, who had
been directed to their apartment, while the other maintained the slight combat, which
preceded the surrender of the whole garrison. Among the persons, seized with Montoni,
was Orsino, the assassin, who had joined him on his first arrival at Udolpho, and whose
concealment had been made known to the senate by Count Morano, after the
unsuccessful attempt of the latter to carry off Emily. It was, indeed, partly for the purpose