The Mysteries of Udolpho HTML version

Chapter I.8
O'er him, whose doom thy virtues grieve,
Aerial forms shall sit at eve,
and bend the pensive head.
The monk, who had before appeared, returned in the evening to offer consolation to
Emily, and brought a kind message from the lady abbess, inviting her to the convent.
Emily, though she did not accept the offer, returned an answer expressive of her
gratitude. The holy conversation of the friar, whose mild benevolence of manners bore
some resemblance to those of St. Aubert, soothed the violence of her grief, and lifted her
heart to the Being, who, extending through all place and all eternity, looks on the events
of this little world as on the shadows of a moment, and beholds equally, and in the same
instant, the soul that has passed the gates of death, and that, which still lingers in the
body. 'In the sight of God,' said Emily, 'my dear father now exists, as truly as he
yesterday existed to me; it is to me only that he is dead; to God and to himself he yet
The good monk left her more tranquil than she had been since St. Aubert died; and,
before she retired to her little cabin for the night, she trusted herself so far as to visit the
corpse. Silent, and without weeping, she stood by its side. The features, placid and
serene, told the nature of the last sensations, that had lingered in the now deserted frame.
For a moment she turned away, in horror of the stillness in which death had fixed that
countenance, never till now seen otherwise than animated; then gazed on it with a
mixture of doubt and awful astonishment. Her reason could scarcely overcome an
involuntary and unaccountable expectation of seeing that beloved countenance still
susceptible. She continued to gaze wildly; took up the cold hand; spoke; still gazed, and
then burst into a transport of grief. La Voisin, hearing her sobs, came into the room to
lead her away, but she heard nothing, and only begged that he would leave her.
Again alone, she indulged her tears, and, when the gloom of evening obscured the
chamber, and almost veiled from her eyes the object of her distress, she still hung over
the body; till her spirits, at length, were exhausted, and she became tranquil. La Voisin
again knocked at the door, and entreated that she would come to the common apartment.
Before she went, she kissed the lips of St. Aubert, as she was wont to do when she bade
him good night. Again she kissed them; her heart felt as if it would break, a few tears of
agony started to her eyes, she looked up to heaven, then at St. Aubert, and left the room.
Retired to her lonely cabin, her melancholy thoughts still hovered round the body of her
deceased parent; and, when she sunk into a kind of slumber, the images of her waking
mind still haunted her fancy. She thought she saw her father approaching her with a
benign countenance; then, smiling mournfully and pointing upwards, his lips moved, but,