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Full text of "The romance of the forest [by A. Radcliffe]."

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L 



^^t^A,?'njirt^.,la 



iz-|4 




< 



/r^ i,4 



\^ 



ROMANCE 

OF 



THE FOREST. 



VOL. I. 



/ 



Printed by A. Straban, 
Printen-Streeti LondoiL 



THE 

ROMANCE 

OF 

THE FOREST: 

INTEB8PEB8EO WITH 

SOME PIECES OF POETRY. 



•* Ere the bat hath' flown 

'* His cloister'd flight ; ere to black Hecate's summons, 

" The shard-bom beetle, with his drowsy hums, 

" Hath nmg night's yawning peal, there shall be done 

«* A deed of dreadful note.** MACBETH* 



By ANN RADCLIFFE, 

AUTHOR OP THE , 
MYSTERIES OF DDOLPHO, THE CASTLES OF ATHLIN & DUNBAYNEy 

A SICILIAN ROMANCE^ &C. 



EIGHTH EDITION. 

IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. I. 

LONDON: 

PBINTED FOB LONGMi^N, HUB8T, BEES, OBME^ AND BBOWN, 

PATEBNOSTEU-BOW. 

1816. 



TO 



HER GRACE 



TBB 



DUCHESS OF LEEDS. 



MADAM, 



I AM too grateful for the honour 
of being permitted to say that this 
work has Your Grace's approbation^ 



VI 

to misuse the opportunity now offer^ 
edmeof' addressing you, by praise, 
which it would be presumption in 
me to offer, and which it is the 
privilege of Your Grace's merits to 
disdain. 



Rather let me rejoice that the at- 
tention given in the following pages 
to the cause of morality , has induced 
you to overlook the weakness of my 
endeavours to support it ; and that 
the name of a Lady whose virtues 
honour her rank, as much as her ac* 
complishments adorn it, sanctions this 
work to those who might otherwise 



Vll 



doubt the tendency/ of a modern 
Romance. 



I have the honour to be, 
with the most respectful deference^ 
Your Grocers much obliged 
and obedient 

humble servant, 
ANN RADCLIFFE. 






THE 



ROMANCE 



OF 



THE FOREST. 



3B 



i« " >i j 



•nH&* 



CHAPTER L 



€ 
C 
€ 

4w< 



*< I am a man^ • 
-** So weary with disasters, tugg'd with fortune^* 
** That I would set my life on my cbance, 
** To mend it, or be rid cm't.** 

MA43BBTa» 

When once sordid mterest seizes 
on the heart, it freezes up the source 
of every warm ^nd liberal feeling; 
it is an enenoy^alike to virtue and to 
taste — this it perverts, and tiiat it 
annihilates* The time may come, my 
friend, when death shall dissolve the 

VOL. I. B 



I 



s 



^ sinews of Avarice, ^nd Justice be 
** permitted to resume her rights/* 

Such were the words of the Advocate 
Kemours to Pierre de la Motte, as the 
lattec^stept at middight into the carriage 
which, was to bear him far from Paris, 
£rom his creditors and the persecution of 
the laws^ De la Motte thanked him for 
this- last instsmce of his kijadness^ the 
assistance he had given him in escape, 
and, and when, the ciarriage drove away, 
uttered a sad adieu ! The gloom of the 
hour, and the peculiar emergency of 
his cii^umstaniies, sunk bim in silent 
reverie. 

Whoever, has read Guyot de Pitaval, 
the n)ost faithful of those writers who 
record the proceedings in the Parliament 
•tary Courts of Paris, during the seven- 
teenth century, must sujely remember 
the striking story of Pierre de la Motte, 
and the Marquis Phillipe de Montalt: 
let all such, therefore, be informed, that 
the person here introduced to their notice 
tfSLS that individual Pierre de la Motte. 

As Madame de la Motte leaned from , 
the coach window, and gave a Jast h>ok 



i 



to the walls of Paris — Paris, the sceme ot 
her former happiness, and the residence 
of many dear friends-*- the fortitude^ 
which had till now supported her, yielded 
to the force of grief. ** Fareweijf^ll !** 
sighed she, ^^ this last look*-* and we are 
•• separated for ever !*' Tears followed 
ber words, and sinking back, sftie re- 
signed herself to the stillness of sorrow. 
The recollection of former times pressed 
heavily upon her heart: a few months be« 
fore, and she was surrounded by friends^ 
fortune, and consequence ; now, she was 
deprived of all, a miserable exile from 
her native place, without home, without 
comfort — almost without hope. It was 
not the least of her afflictions that she had 
been obliged to quit' Paris without bid- 
dfng adieu to her only son, who was now 
on duty with his regiment in Gerniany : 
and such had been the precipitancy of 
this removal, that had she even known 
where he was stationed, she had no time 
to inform him of it, or of the alteration in^ 
his father's circumstances. 

Pierre de la Mott^ ^ftS ft get\t\emaB,de* 
scended from an ^w .^tVv<>^^^^^^^^^^* 




4 



He was a man whose passions oflen 
overcame his reason, and, for a time, 
silenced bis conscience ; but, though the 
image of virtue, which Nature had ini» 
|)fesse4 upon his heait was sometimes 
<)bscured by the passing influence of vice, 
it was never wholly obliterated. With 
strength of mind sufficient to Jbave with* 
stood temptation, be would have been a 
good man; as it was, he was always a 
weak, and sometimes a vicious. member 
of society: y€t his mind was active, and 
bis imagination vivid, which, coopera- 
ting with the force of passion, often 
dazzled his judgment and subdqed prin« 
ciple. Thus he was a man, infirm in 
purpose, and visionary in virtue: in a 
word, his conduct was suggested by fed* 
ing, rather than principle ; and his vir<* 
tue, Such as it was, could not stand the 
pressure of occasion. ^ 

Early in life he had married Constance 
Valentia, a beautiful and elegant woman, 
attached to her family and beloved by 
them. Her birth was equal, her fortune 
superior to his ; and their nuptials bad 
been celebrated under the auspices of an 
approving and flattering world. Her 






he^rt was devoted to La Motte, and, for 
«otne time, she found in him an affec* 
tianate husband; but, allured by the 
gaieties of Paris, he was soon devoted to 
its luxuries, and in a few years bis for* 
tune and affection were equally lost in 
dissipation. A false pride had still ope- 
rated against his interest, and withheld 
him from hoaourable retreat while it was 
yet in his power : the habits ^ which 
be had acquired, enchained him to the 
Bcene of his former pleasure ; and thus 
he had continued an expensive stile of 
Me till the means of prolonging it were 
exhausted. He at length awoke fron| 
this lethargyof security ; but it was only 
to plunge into new error, and to attempt 
sch^nes for the reparaticHi of his fortune^ 
wUch served to sink him deeper in de* 
stru^tiom The consequence of a trana^ 
action, in which he thus engaged, now 
drove him, with the small wreck of his 
property, into dangerous and ignomi* 
nious exile. 

It was his design to pass into one of 
the Southern Provinces, and the):e sedk^ 
near the borders of the kingdom^ aa 

» 5 



tsyltmi io some obscure viiiage. His 
family coitmted of his wife, aod two 
fiuthiiil dooa^estics^. a man and woman^ 
who followed the fortimes of their 
master* 

The nigfai was dark apd temprntiioiifl, 
and^ at about the distance of three 
leagues from Paris, Peter, who now acted 
ae |>08tillion, having drove for some time 
over a wild heath . where many ways 
crossed^ stopped, and acquainted De la 
Motte with his perplexity. The suddea 
•topping of the carriage roused the latter 
Irom his reverie, and filled the whole 
party with the tenroT of pursuit ; he waa 
wnahle to supply the necessary direction^ 
Mid the extreme darkness made it dan* 
Ipenous to proceed without one* During 
tins period of distress^ a light was per^ 
^vi»d at some distance^ and after much 
dimbt and hesitation, L» Motte, in thf 
bope of obtaining assistance, alighted and 
advanced towarda it; he proceeded slow* 
ly,fromthe fearof unknown pits. Thelight 
issued from the window of a smaU and 
antimt house, which stood alcwe on the 
lieatb) at the distance pf half a mile. 



Having reached the door^ he stopped 
for some mamentSy listening in apprehen«^ 
sive anxiety<-^no eound was beard but 
ffaat of the wind, which swept in hollovr 
gusts over the waste. At length h« vcn«« 
tnted to knock, and, having waited 
some time, during which he indistinctlj 
heard several voices in conversation^ 
some one within inquired what he 
wanted ? La Motte answered, that b# 
was a traveller who had lost bis way, and 
desired to be directed to the nearest tow»t 
^ Hiat,*^ said the person, •^ is seven 
^ miles off, and the road bad enough; 
., •• even if you could see it j if you only 
^^ want a bed, you may have it here^ 
« and had better stay.*' ^ 

The <^ pitiless pelting'* of the stormy 
which at this time beat with ittcrea^g 
fliry upon La Motte, tncHned him to* 
give up the attempt of procee<^*ng fair*^ 
tber till day*Iight j but, desirous of see^ 
ing the person with whom he conversed^ 
before he ventured to expose his family 
by catling np the carriage, he a^ked t<^ 
be admitted. The door was now opened 
by a tali figure with a light, who invited 

B 4 



8 



£a Motie to. enter. . H0 foUowed the 
man through a passage into a roq^p ^U 
most unfurnished^ in Qne corner of which 
a bed was spread upon, the fioor. The 
forlorn and desolate aspect of this apart* 
noent made La Motjte shrink invplun- 
taril3'9 and he. was turning to go out 
'when the man suddenly pushed him 
back, and he heard the door locked 
upon him.: his heart failed, yet he made 
a desperate, though vain effort, to force 
tlie door, and called loudly for release. 
I^o^answer w^s returned ; but be distin* 
guished the voices of nien in the room 
above, and, not doubting but their inten*- 
t^on was to rpb. and murder him, his agita-^ 
tion at first nearly overcame his reason* 
T^y the light of some almost*expiring em- 
bers, he perceived a window; but tbe 
bope which this discovery revived, was 
quickly lost, when he found the aperture 
guarded by strong iron bars. Such pre- 
paration for security surprized him, and 
confirmed his worst . apprehensions. — - 
Alonet unarmed — beyond the chance of 
assistance, he saw himself in the power 
of people^ whose trade was apparently 



9^ 

rapine I — murder their means ! — After 
revolving every possibility of escape, he- 
endeavoured to awaft the event with for- 
titude ; but La Motte could boast of no 
such virtue. 

The voices had ceased,, and all re- 
mained stilt for a quarter of an hour, 
ivhen, between the pauses of the wind^ 
he thought he distinguished the sobs and 
moaning of a female ; he listened attend 
lively, and became confirmed in his con* 
3ecture} it was too evidently the accent 
of distress. At .this conviction, the re^ 
mains of his courage forsook him, and a 
terrible surmise darted, with the rapidity 
of lightning, across his brain. It was pro*, 
bable that his carriage had been disco* 
ivered by the people of the house, who, 
with a design of plunder, had secured 
this servant, and brought hither Madame 
de la Motte. He was the more inclined 
. to believe this, by the stillness which had^ 
for some time, reigned in the house, pre- 
vious to the sounds he now beards Or, 
dt was possible that the inhabitants were 
not robbers, but persons to whom he had 
been betrayed by his friend or ser\[ant^ 

»5 



10 



aod who wen appointed to deliver him 
into, the hands of justice. Yet he hardly 
dared to doubt the integrity of his friend, 
who had beeo intrusted with the secret 
of his flight, and the plan of his route^ 
and had procured him the carriage in 
which he had escaped. ^^ Such depra* 
^* vity," exclaimed La Motte, ** cannot 
^' surely exist in human nature, much 
^^ less in the heart of Nemours !'' 

This ejaculation was interrupted by a 
noise in the passage leading to the room : 
it approached ~- the door was unlocked -«-» 
and tlie man who had admitted La Motte 
into the bouse entered, leading, or ra- 
ther forcibly dragging along, a beautiful 
girl, who appeared to be about eighteeii« 
Her features were bathed in tears, and 
she s^med to suffer the utmost distress. 
The man fastened the lock, and put the 
key in his pocket. He then advanced 
to La Motte, who had before observed 
other persons in the passage, and point- 
ing a pistol to his breast, << You are 
" wholly in our power,'* said he, ** no 
<* assistance can reach yon : if you wish 
^* tM save your life, swear that you wiU 



If 



•* convey thfe giii where I may nevet 
** see her more ; or rather, consent to 
•« take 1ier with yoa, for your oath I 
«* would not believe, and I can take 
^ care you fihall not find me agHin.-^ 
^ Answer quickly, you have no time to 
« lose/* 

He now seized the trembling hand ci 
the gtri, who shrank aghast with terror^ 
and hurried' her towards La Mdtte» 
whom surprize still kept silent. Sh6 
sunk at his feet, and with supplicating 
eyes, that streamed with tears, implc^ed 
him to have pity on her» Notwithsfand- 
ing his present agitation, be found it im- 
possible to contemplate the beauty and 
distress of the object before him with in- 
difference. Her youth, her apparetit 
innocence -~ the artless energy -of her 
manner, forcibly assailed his heart, and 
he was going to speak, when the ruffian^ 
who mistook the silence of astonishment 
fer that of hesitation, prevented him. 
« I have a horse ready to take you from 
^* hence,** said he, •* and I will direct 
••you over the heath. If you return 
« within an hour you die : after tlieif> 



IS 



^^ ytm are at Iflierty to eotne here when 
." 3W1 i^etse.V 

; I^a Motte, without answering, raised 
the loveiy girl from the floor, and was so 
much relieved from his own apprehen* 
Jioes, that he had leisure to attempt dis^ 
sipating her's. ^< Let us be goue/' said 
tb^ ruffian J *^ and have no more of this 
,^' Qonsense ; you may think yourself 
,*' wqU ofi' it's no worse. 1*11 go and get 
*« the horse ready." 

* The last words roused La Motte, 
.and perplexed him with new fears ; he 
.dreaded to mention bis carriage, lest it 
might tempt the banditti ta plunder; 
.and to. depart on horseback with thus 
.man might produce a consequence yet 
^tnore to be dreaded. Madame La 
iMotte, wearied with ap{>rehension,. 
^wwld prpbably. send for her husband 
,to tbe hou^, When all tlie former dan- 
ger would be incurred, with the addi- 
tional evil of boiag separated from hie 
family, and the cbaeee of b^ing de- 
tected by the emissaries of justice ia 
.endeavouring to recover them. As these 
re^ectjon^ passed, over his mind in tife- 



IS 



muitumiB rapidity, a noise was agaiia 
heard in the passage, and uproar and 
scuffle ensued, and in the same moment 
he could distinguish the voice of his 
^rvant, m^ho had been sent by Madama 
JjEL Matte in search of him. Being now 
determined to disdose what could not 
iong be concealed, he exclaimed aloud^ 
that a horse was unnee^sary ; that he 
teid a. carriage at some distance, whick 
would convey them from the heath, the 
man, who was seized, being his servant. 
The rcrffian, speaking through the 
door, bid'him be patient awhile, and he 
should hear more from him./ La Motte 
BOW turned his eyes upon his unfortu* 
nate companion, . who, pale and ex- 
hausted, leaned for support against the 
wall. Her features which were deljU 
cateiyibeautiful, had gained from distress 
an egression of captivating sweetness : 
she had 

*' An eycj 
** As when tiie Une sky laresibles tiao* a obod 
** Of pacest white.** 

A habit of grey camlet, with short 
slashed sleeves^ shewed, but did not 



14 



ftdora her figure : it was thrown tip^st 
at the bosom, upon which part of her 
hair had fallen in disorder, while the 
light veil hastily thrown on, had, in her 
confusion, be^n suffered to fall back. 
Every moment of further observatiod 
heightened the surprize of La Motte^ 
and interested him more warmly in her 
favour. Such elegance and apparent 
refinement, contrasted with the desdaw 
tion of the house, and the savage man^ 
ners of its inhabitants, seemed to him 
like a romance of imagination, rather 
than an occurrence of real life. He en«» 
deavoured to comfort her, and his sense 
of compassion was too sincere to be mi»» 
understood. Her terror gradually sub^ 
sided into gratitude and grief. ^* Afa, 
Sir i'' said she, <* Heaven has sent yoa 
** to my relief, and will surely reward 
^< you for your protection t I have no 
<< friend in the world if I do not find 
" one in you.** 

La Motte assured her 6f bis ktndtaess, 
when he was interrupted by the entrance 
of the ruffian. He desired to be •con- 
ducted to bis family. ^^ AU in good 



u 



« time,*' replied the latter ; ** I lm4 
^ taken ^are of one of them, and will 
** of you, please St Peter ; so be com^ 
•* forted." These icom^toife words re- 
newed the terror of La Motte, who now 
earnestly begged to know if his family 
were safe. ^' O ! as for that matter they 
** are safe enough, and you will be with 
^* them presently; but don't stand par^ 
*< ^ng here all night. Do you chuse 
^^ to go or stay ? you know the condi*- 
f« tiens.*' They now bound the eyes 
of La Motte and of tlie young kdy, 
whom terror had hitherto kept silent, 
and then placing them on two horses, 
a man mounted behind each, and they 
immediately galloped off. They- had 
proceeded in this way near half an 
hour, when La Motte entreated to know 
whither he was going ; " You will know 
" that bye and bye," said the ruffian, 
** so be at peace." Finding interroga- 
tories useless. La Motte resumed silence 
till the horses stopped. His conductor 
then hallooed, and being answered by 
voices 4it some distance, in a lew mo- 
jnentfi the sonnd of carriage wheels was 



^ 



4C 



15 

heard, and, presently after, the wordsrof 
a man directing Peter which way to 
drive. As the carriage approached. La 
Motte called, and, to bi& inexpressible 
joy was answered by his wife. 
^ ** Yon are now be}'ond the borders of 
" the heath, arid may go which way you 
" will," said the ruffian ; ** if you return 
within an hour, y6u will be welcomed 
by a brace of bullets.** This was a 
very unnecessary caution to La Motte, 
whom they now released. The young 
s^tranger sighed deeply as she entered 
the carriage ; and the ruffians having be*- 
.stowed upon Peter some directions dnd 
more threats, waited to see hirm drive 
off. They did not wait long. 
{ La Motte immediately gave a short 
relation of what had passed at thebouse^ 
including an account of the manner in 
which the young stranger had been in- 
troduced to him. During this narrative, 
her deep convulsive sighs frequently 
drew the attention of Madame La Motte, 
whose compassion became gradually in<» 
terested in her behalf, and who^ now 
endeavoured to tranquiUize her splrita. 



17 

The unhappy girl answered her kindness 
in artless and simple expressions,^ and 
then relapsed into tears and silence, 
Madame forbore for the present to ask 
any questions that might lead to a dis- 
covery of her connections, or seem to 
require an explanation of the late adven«i 
ture, which now furnishing her with a 
new subject of reflection, the sense of 
her own misfortunes pressed less heavily 
upon her mindc The distress even of 
La Motte was for a while suspended ; 
be ruminated on the late scene, and it 
appeared like a vision,, or one of those 
extravagant fictions that sometimes are 
exhibited in romance : he could reduce 
it to no principle of probability, or 
fender it comprehensible by any endea« 
vour to analize it. The present charge^ 
and the chance of future trouble brought 
. upon him by this adventure, occasioned 
some dissatisfaction ; but the beauty and 
seeming innocence of Adeline, united 
with the pleadings of humanity in her 
favour, and he determined to protect 
her. 



18 

Tile tumult of emotions whidi had 
passed in the bosom of Adeline, begaa 
now to subside; terror was softened 
into anxiety^ and despair into grief. The 
sympathy so evident in the manners of 
her companions, particularly in those of 
Madame La Motte, soothed her hearty 
and encouraged her to hope for better 
days. 

Dismally and silently the night papsecl 
on ; for the minds of the travellers were 
too much occupied by their several suf« 
ferings to admit of conversation. The 
dawn, so anxiously watched for, at length 
appeared^ and introduced the strangers 
nore fully to each other. Adeline de^ 
rived comfort from the looks of Madame 
La Motte, who gazed frequently and 
attentively at her, and thought she had 
seldom seen a countenance so interesting^ 
or a form so striking. The languor of 
sorrow threw a melancholy grace upon^ 
her features, that appealed immediately 
to the heart; and there was a penetrating 
sweetness in her blue eyes, which indi* 
cated an intelligent and amiable mindi 

La Motte now looked anxiously froin 



19 

Uie coach wiodow, that he might jinlgo 
ef his situation^ and observe whether he 
was followed. The obscurity of the 
dawn confined his views, but no person 
appeared. The sun at lei^h tinted the 
eastern clouds, and the tops of the highest 
hills, and soon after burst in* full splen* 
dour on the scene. The terrors of La 
Motte began to subside, and the griefs 
of Adeline to soften. They entered upon 
a lane confined by high banks, and over* 
arched by trees, on whose branches ap« 
peared the first green buds of spring 
glittering with dews. The fresh breeze 
of the morning animated the spirits of 
Adeline, whose mind was delicately sen^ 
8tble to the beauties of nature. As she 
viewed the flowery luxuriance of the 
turf, and the tender green of tlie trees^ 
or caught, between the opening bankst 
a glimpse of the varied landscape, rich 
with wood, and fading into blue and 
distant mountains, her heart expanded 
in momentary joy. With Adeline the 
pfaarms of external nature were height* 
ened by those of novelty ; she had sel- 
dom seen the grandeur of ati exten&ive 



20 



prospedt, or the iEnagnificence of a vfide 
horizon-^and not often the picturesq^e 
beauties of more confined scenery. Her 
mind had not lost, by long oppression, 
that elastic energy, which resists cala«* 
mity ; else, however susceptible might 
bave been her original taste, the beau* 
ties of natufe would no longer have 
charmed her thus easily, even to tempo- 
rary repose^ 

- The road at length wound down the 
side of a kill, and La Motte, again look« 
|ng anxiously frpm the window, saw be« 
fc»'e him an open ohampaigxi country^ 
through which the road, wholly unshel«r 
tered from observation, extended almost 
in a direct line. The danger of these 
circumstences alanned him, for his flight 
Viight, without difBoulty, be traced £cMr 
pany leagiies, from the hills he was now 
descending. Of the first peasant that 
passed, he inquired for a road.amon^ 
the hills, but heard of none. La Motte 
oow sunk into his former terrors. Ma-* 
dame, notviithstanding her own appre^ 
bensionsi endeavoured to re-assure him ; 
biA, finding her efiorts ineiectual, she 



SI 



sko retired to the contetnplatioh of her 
misfortunes. Often, as they went on^ 
did La Motte look back upon the coun-» 
try they had passed^ and often did ima-> 
gination suggest to him the sounds of 
distant pursuit. ; 

, The travellers stopped to break&st in 
a village, where the road was at length 
dbscored by woods, and La Mbtte's spi^ 
rits again revived. Adeline appeared 
more tranquil than she had yet been, and 
La Motte now asked for an explanation 
of the -scene he had witnessed on the 
preceding night. The inquiry renewed all 
her distress, and with tears'she entreated 
for the present to be spared on the subject. 
La Motte pressed it no farther, but he ob» 
served that for the greater part of the day 
file seemed to remember it in roelanchply 
anddejection. They now travelled among 
the hills, and were therefore in less dan- 
ger of observation ; but La Motte 
avoided the great towns, and stopped 
in obscure ones no longer than to r^freshi 
the horses. About two hours after 
noon, the road wo^nd i^to a deep val- 
ley, watered by j. rivulet, ^aiid . ov«it^ 



9i 



hung wkk wood. La Motte called to 
Ffeter, and ordered him to drive to a 
thickly embowered spot^ that appeared 
on the left* Here he alighted with his 
family, and Peter having spread the pro« 
visions on the turf, they seated them* 
ielves and partook of a repast, which , 
in other circumstances, would have beea 
thought delicious* Adeline endeavour* 
ed to smile, but the languor of grief was 
now heightened by indisposition. Tiie 
violent agitation of mind, and fiitigue of 
body, which she had suffered for the last 
twenty-four hours, had overpowered her 
strength, and when La Motte'^led her 
back to the carriage, her whole frame 
trembled with illness ; but she uttere3 
no complaint, and having long observed 
the dejection of her companions, she 
made a feeble effort to enliven them. 

They continued Co travel throughout 
the day without any accident or inter* 
ruption, and about three hours after sun* 
set arrived at Monville, a small town, 
where La Motte determined to pass the 
night. Repose was indeed necessary to 
tke whi^ie party, whose pale and hag* 

6 



fi$ 



gard looks, as they aliped from tht 
carriage, were but too obvious to pesa 
unobserved by the people of the ioik 
As soon as beds could be prepared, Ade- 
line withdrew to her chamber, accoau 
panied by Madame La Motte, whose 
concern for the fair stranger made her 
exert every efr<H*t to soothe and console 
her. Adeliee wept in sflence, and taking 
the hand of Madame, pressed it to her 
bosom. These were not merely tears of 
giief— they were mingled with those 
which flow from the grateful heart, when 
unexpectedly it meets with sympathy^ 
Madame La Motte understood them^ 
After some momentary silence, she re* 
Dewed her assurances of kindness, and 
entreated Adeline to confide in her 
friendship ; but she carefully avoided 
any mention of the subjeiH; which had 
before so much affected her. Adeline a4 
length found words to express her sense 
of this goodness, which she did in a man* 
ner so natural and siacere, that Madame^ 
finding herself much affected, took leave 
of her for the night* 

In the morning La Motte rofte ai an 



24 

early hour; impatient to be gone. Every 
thing was prepared for his departure^ 
and the breakfast had been waiting some 
time, but Adeline did not appear. Ma- 
dame La Motte went to her chamber^ 
and found her sunk in a disturbed slum* 
ben Her breathing was short and irre* 
gular^she frequently started, or sighed, 
and sometimes she muttered an incphe«' 
i:ei!it sentence. While Madame gazed 
with concern upon her languid counter 
nance, she awoke, and, looking up, gave 
her hand to Madame La Motte, who 
found it burning with fever. She had 
passed a restless night, and, as she now 
attempted to rise, her head, which beat 
with intense pain, grew giddy, her 
strength failed, and she sunk back* 
, Madame was much alarmed, being at 
once convinced that it was impossible 
ahe could travel, and that a delay might 
prove fatal to her husband. Shq went to 
inform him of the truth, and his distress 
may be more easily imagined than de- 
scribed. He saw all the inc(Hivenience 
and danger of dielay^ yet he could not so 
iar divest himself of humanity, as to 



25 



abandon Adeline to the care, or rather 
to the neglect of strangers. He sent im« 
mediately for a physician, . who pro- 
nounced her to be in a high fever, and 
said, a removal in her present state must 
be fatal. La Motte now determined to 
wait the event, and endeavoured to calm 
the transports of terror, which, at times, 
assailed him. In the mean while, he 
took such precautions as his situation 
admitted of, passing the greater part of 
the day out of the village, in a spot from 
whence he had a view of the road for 
some distance ; yet to be exposed to de* 
struction by the illness of a girl, whom he 
did not know> and who had actually 
been forced upon him, was a misfortune, 
to which La Motte had not philosophy 
enough to submit with composure. 

Adeline's fever continued to increase 
during the whole day, and at night, when 
the physician took his leave, he told La 
Motte the event would very soon be de- 
cided. La Motte received this hint of 
her , danger with real concern. The 
beauty and innocence of Adeline had 
overcome the disa(i%,j.|^^ag6^^® circutn- 

VOL. I. O . 



i 



26 



stances under which she had been intro- 
duced to him, and he now gave less con* 
sideration to the inconvenience she 
might hereafter occasion him, than to 
the hope of her recovery. 

Madame La Motte watched -over her 
with tenderanxiety, and observed, with 
admiration, her patient sweetness and 
mild resignation. Adeline amply repaid 
her, though she thought she could not. 
** Young as I am,*^ she would say, " and 
** deserted by those upon whom I have a 
" claim for protection, I can remeniber 
** no connection to make me regret life 
** so much as that I hoped to form with 
** you. If I live, my conduct will best 
"express my sense of your goodness ; 
« -.^ words are but feeble testimonies." 

The sweetness of her manners so much 
attracted Madame- La Motte, that she 
watched the crisis of her disorder, with 
a solicitude which precluded every other 
interest. Adeline passed 9, very dis- 
turbed night, and when the physician 
appeared in the morning, he gave orders 
that she should be indulged with what- 
ever she liked, and answered the inqui- 



«7 . 

ries of La Motte with a frankness that 
left bhn nothing to hope- 
In the mean time, his patient, after 
drinking profusely of some mild liquids, 
fell asleep, in which she continued for se-^ 
veral hours ; and so profound was her re^ 
pose, that her breath alone gave sign of 
existence. She awoke free from fever, 
and with no other disorder than weak* 
ness, which in a few days she overcame 
so well, as to be able to set out with la 

Motte for B , a village out of the 

great road, which he thought it prudent 
to quit. There they passed the following 
night, and early the next morning com- 
menced their journey upon a wild and 
woody tract of country. They stopped 
about noon at a solitary village, where 
they took refreshments, and obtained 
directions for passing the vast forest of 
Fontanville, upon the borders of which 
they now were. La Motte wished at first 
to take a guide, but he apprehended 
more evil from the disclosure he might 
make of his route, than he hoped for be- 
nefit from assistance in the wilds of this 
uncultivated tract. 

C 2 



28 

La Motte now designed to pass on to 
Lyons, where he could either seek con- 
cealment in its neighbourhood^ or em- 
bark on the Rhone for Geneva, should 
^the emergency of his circumstances here- 
after require him to leave France. It 
was about twelve o'clock at noon, and 
he was desirous to hasten forward, that 
he might pass the forest of Fontanville^ 
and reach the town on its opposite bor- 
ders, before night-falL Having deposited 
a fresh stock of provisions in the carriage, 
and received such directions as were ne- 
cessary concerning the roads, they again 
set forward, and in a short time entered 
upon the forest. It wai now the latter 
end of April, and the weather was re- 
markably temperate and fine. The balmy 
freshness of the air, which breathed the 
first pure essence of vegetation, and 
the gentle warmth of the sun, whose 
beams vivified every hue of nature, and 
opened every floweret of spring, revived 
Adeline, and inspired her with life and 
health. As she inhaled the breeze, her 
strength seemed to return, and, as her 
eyes wandered through the romantic 



29 

glades that opened into the forest, her 
heart was gladdened with complacent 
delight: but when from these objects 
she turned her regard upon Monsieur and 
Madame La Motte, to whose tender at-' 
tentions she owed her life, and in whose 
looks she now read esteem and kindness, 
her bosom glowed with sweet affections, 
and she experienced a force of gratitude 
which might be called sublime. 

For the remainder of the day they con- 
tinned to travel, without seeing a hut, 
or meeting a human being. It was now 
near sun-set, and the prospect being 
closed on all sides by the forest. La 
Motte began to have apprehensions that 
his servant had mistaken the way. The 
road, if a road it could be called, which 
afforded only a slight track upon the 
grass was sometimes over-run by luxu- 
riant vegetation, and sometimes obsrcured 
by the deep shades, and Peter at length 
stopped, uncertain of the way. La Motte, 
who dreaded being benighted in a scene 
so wild and solitary as this forest, and 
whose apprehensions of banditti were 
very sanguine, ordet^^ ^^^ ^^ proceed 

C 3 



so 



at any rate, and, if he found no track, 
to endeavour to gain a more open part 
of the forest. With these orders Peter 
again set forwards; but having proceeded 
some way, and his views being still con- 
fined by woody glades and forest walks, 
he began to despair of extricating him- 
self, and stopped for farther orders; The 
srun was now set; but, as La Motte 
looked anxiously from the window, he 
ot)sei*Ved upon the vivid glow of the 
western horizon, some dark towers rising 
from among the trees at a little distance, 
and ordered Peter to drive towards them* 
^^ If they belong to a monastery,** said 
he, ** we may probably gain admittance 
«* for the night.? 

The carriage drove alo^g under the 
shade of" melancholy boughs^? through 
which the evening twilight, which 'yet 
coloured the air, diffused a solemnity that^ 
vibrated in thrilling sensations upon the 
hearts of the travellers. Expectation 
kept them silent. The present scene 
recalled to Adeline a remembrance of 
the late terrific circumstances, and her 
mind responded but too easily to the 



81' 



apprehension of new misfortunes. La 
Motte alighted at the foot of a green 
knoll, where the trees again opening to 
liglit, permitted a nearer, though im- 
perfect view of the edifice. 



^' 



c 4 



32 



CHAPTER II. 

'* What awful silence! How these antique towers, 

*^ And vacant courts, chill the suspended soul, 

*^ Till expectation wears the &ce of fear ! 

** And fear, half ready to become devotion, 

** Mutters a kind of mental orison, 

^ It knows not wherefore. What a kind of being 

" Is circunastance !" 

HoRACx Walfole. 

He approached^ and perceived the 
Gothic iremains of an abbey: it stood 
on a kind of rude lawn, overshadowed by 
high and spreading treed, which seemed 
coeval with the building, and diffused 
a romantic gloom around. The greater 
pa^t of the pile appeared to be sinking 
into ruins, and that which had withstood 
the ravages of time, shewed the remain- 
ing features of the fabric more awful in 
decay. The lofty battlements, thickly 
enwreathed with iyy, were half demo- 
lished and become the residence of birds 
of prey. Huge fragments of the eastern 
tower, which was almost demolished, lay 



S3 



scattered amid the high grass, that waved 
slowly to the breeze. " The Thistle 
*^ shook its lonely head ; the moss 
** whistled to the wind." A Gothic 
gate, richly ornamented with fret-work^ 
which opened into the main body of 
the edifice, but which was now obstruct- 
ed with brushwood, remained entire. 
Above the vast and magnificent portal 
of this gate arose a window of the same 
order, whose pointed arches still ex* 
hibited fragments of stained glass, once 
the pride of monkish devotion. La 
Motte; thinking it possible it might yet 
shelter some human being, advanced to 
the gate and lifted a massy knocker. 
The hollow sounds rung through the 
emptiness of the places After waiting 
a few minutes, he forced back the gate, 
which was heavy with iron work, and 
creaked harshly on its hinges. 

He entered what appeared to have 
been the chapel of the abbey where the 
hy^mH of devotion had once been raised, 
and the tear of penitence had once been 
shed ; sounds, which could now only be 
recalled by imagination— tears of peni- 

c 5 



I 



M 



ieoce, which had beeo long since fixed 
in fate. La Motte paused a moment, 
for he felt a sensation of sublimity rising 
into terror — a suspension of mingled 
astonishment and awe ! he surveyed the 
vastness of the place, and as he contem- 
plated its ruins, fancy bore him back to 
past ages. *< And these walls/' said he, 
*^ where once superstition lurked, and 
<< austerity anticipated an earthly pur^- 
^' gatory, now tremble over the mortal 
'^ remains of the beings who reared 
« them." 

The deepening gloom reminded La 
Motte that he had no time to lose ; but 
curiosity prompted him to explore &r. 
ther, and he obeyed the impulse. As 
he walked over the broken pav^nent, 
the sound of his steps ran in echoes 
through the place, and seemed like the 
mysterious accents of the dead, reprov* 
ing the sacrilegious mortal who thus 
dared \p disturb their precincts. 

From this chapel he passed into the 
nave of the great church, of which one 
window, more perfect than the rest, 
opened upon a long vista of the forest. 



\ 
X 



33 



tlirough whicli was seen' the rich eolourw 
ing of evening, melting by imperceptible 
gradations into the solemn grey of upper 
air. Dark hills, whose outline appeared 
distinct upon the vivid glow of the fao« 
rizon, closed the perspective. . Several 
of the pillars which had once supported 
the roof, remained the proud effigies of 
sinking greatness, and seemed to nod at 
every murmur of the blast over the frag* 
ments of those that had faUen a little 
before them. La Motte sighed. The 
comparison between himself and the gra- 
dation of decay, which these columns 
exhibited, was but too obvious and a& 
fecting. " A few years,*' said be, *' and 
^^ I shall become like the mortals on 
** whose reliques I now gaze, and like 
^^ them, too, I maybe the subject of me-^ 
^^ ditation to a succeeding generation, 
<^ which shall totter but a little while 
** over the object they contemplate, ere 
^^ they also sink into the dust.'* 

Retiring from this scene, he walked 
through the cloisters, till a door, which 
communicated with a lofly part of the 
building, attracted J)is curiosity. He 







3o' 



Opened tbis and perceived, across the 
foot of a stairpcase, another door ; — but 
now, partly checked by fear, and partlyt 
by the recollection of the surprise his 
&niily might feel in his absence, he 
feturnied with hasty steps to his carriage^ 
having wasted some of the precious 
moments of twilight and gained no in* 
formation. 

Some slight answer to Madame La 
Motte's inquiries, and a general direc-^ 
tion to Peter to drive. carefiiUy on, and 
look for a road, was all that his anxiety 
would permit him to utten The night 
shade fell thick around, which, deepened 
by the gloom of the forest, soon rendered 
it dangerous to proceed. Peter stopped ; 
but La Motte, persisting in his first de* 
termination, ordered him to go on. 
Peter ventured to remonstrate, Madame 
La Motte entreated ; but La Motte re- 
proved*— •commandedj and at length, re* 
pented ; for the hind wheel rising upon 
the stump of an old tree, which the 
darkness had prevented Peter from ob- 
serving, the carriage was in an instant 
overturned. 



f 
t 



87 

- : The party, as may be supposed, were 
much, terrified, but no one was materially 
hurt ; and having disengaged themselves 
fcom their perilous situation, La Motte 
and Peter endeavoured to raise the car* 
riage. The extent of this misfortune 
was now discovered, for they perceived 
that the wheel was broke. Their distress 
>fras reasonably great, for not only was 
the. coach disabled from proceeding, but 
it cpuld not even afford a shelter from 
the cold dews of the night, it being im« 
possible to preserve it in an upright 
situation. After a few moments silence. 
La Motte proposed that they should re-^ 
turn to the ruins they had just quitted, 
•which lay at a very short distance, and 
pass the night in the most habitabl^part 
of them y that, when morning dawned, 
Peter should take one of the coach 
horses, and endeavour to find a road and 
a town, from whence assistance could 
be procured for repairing the carriage. 
This proposal was opposed by Madame' 
La Motte, who shuddered at the idea of 
passing so many hours in darkness in a 
place so forlorn g,^ j^c monastery, Ter- 



X 



98 

rors, whieh she neither endeavoured to 
eltatnine, or combat, overcame her, and 
she told La Motte she had rather remain 
exposed to the unwholesome dews of 
night, than encounter the desolation of 
the ruins. La Motte had at first felt an 
equal reluctance to return to this spot : 
but having subdued his own feelings, he 
resolved not to yield to those of his wife. 
The horses being now disengaged from 
the carriage, the party moved towards 
the edifice. As they proceeded, Peter, 
who followed them, struck a light, and 
they entered the ruins by the fiame of 
sticks, which he had collected. The 
partial gleams thrown acrpss the fabric 
seemed to make its desolation more so- 
lemtfy while the obscurity of the greater 
part of the pile heightened its sublimity, 
and led fancy on to scenes of horron 
Adeline, who had hitherto remained 
silent, flow uttered an exclamation of 
mingled admiration and fear. A kind 
of pleasing dread thrilled her bosom, and 
filled all her soul. Tears started to her 
eyes: — she wished, yet feared, to go 
on ; — she hung upon the arm of La 



89 

Motte, and looked at him with a sort of 
hesitating interrogation. 

He opened the door of tKe great hall, 
and they entered : its e?^tent was lost in 
gloom. *' Let us stay here,** said Ma* 
dame de la Motte, ^^ I will go no far- 
" ther.** La Motte pointed to the 
broken roof, and was proceeding, when 
he was interrupted by an uncommon 
noise, which passed along the hall. Th^y 
were all silent — it was the silence of 
terror. Madame La Motte spoke first* 
<* Let us quit.this spot,** said she,/* any 
«* evil is preferable to the feeling which 
" now oppresses me. Let us retire in- 
" stantly.** , The stillness had for some 
time remained undisturbed, and La 
Motte, asliamed of the fear he had into* 
luntarily betrayed, now thought it neces« 
sary to affect a boldness, which he did 
not feel. He, therefore, opposed ridi- 
cule to the terror of Madame, and in# 
sisted upon proceeding. Thus compelled 
to acquiesce, she traversed the hall with 
trembling steps. They came to a narrow 
passage, and Peter's sticks being nearly 



\ 



40 



exhausted, they awaited here, while he 
went in search of more. 

The almost expiring light flashed 
faintly upon the walls of the passage, 
shewing the recess more horrible. Across 
the hall, the greater part of which 
was concealed in shadow, the feeble ray 
spread a tremulous gleam, exhibiting the 
chasm in the roof, while many nameless 
objects were seen imperfectly through the 
dusk. Adeline with a smile, inquired of 
La Motte, if he 4)elieved in spirits. The 
question was ill-timed, for the present 
scene impressed its terrors upon La 
Motte, and, in spite of endeavour, he 
felt a superstitious dread stealing upon 
him. He was now, perhiaps, standing 
over the ashes of the dead. If spirits 
were ever permitted to revisit the earth, 
this seemed the hour and the place most 
suitable for their appearance. La Motte 
remained silent. Adeline said, ^' Were I 
** inclined to superstition*' — She was in- 
terrupted by a return of the noise which 
had been lately heard : it sounded down 
the passage, at whose entrance they stood, 
and sunk gradually away. Every heart 



41 

palpitated, and they remained listening 
in silence.' A new subject of apprehen* 
sion seized La Motte : — the noise might 
proceed from banditti, and he hesitated 
whether it would be safe to proceed. 
Peter now came with the light : Madame 
refused to enter the passage — La Motte 
was not much inclined to it ; but Peter^ 
in whom curiosity was more prevalent 
than fear, readily offered his services. 
La Motte, after some hesitation, suffered 
him to go, while he awaited at the en- 
trance the result of the inquiry. The 
extent of the passage soon concealed 
Peter from view, and the echoes of his 
footsteps were lost in a sound, wlfich 
rushed along the avenue, and became ^, -> 
fainter and fainter.till it sunk into.silence. v i- , 
La Motte now called aloud to ?eter, ^^' 

but no answer was returned; at length, 
they heard the sound of a distant foot 
step, and Peter soon after appeared 
breathless, and pale with fear. 

When he came within hearing of La 
Motte, he called, out, " An* please your, 
" honour, Pve done for them, I believe; 
" but I've had a hard bout. I thought 



43 



" I was fighting with the devil/' — — 
^< What are you speaking of ?'* said La 
Motte. 

" They were nothing but owls and 
^* rooks after all,'* continued Peter; " but 
^' the light brought them all about my 
^ ears, and they made such a confounded 
^' clapping with their wings, that I 
^^ thought at first I had been beset with 
" a legion of devils. But I have drove 
*^ them all out. Master, and you have 
<* nothing to fear now." 

The latter part of the sentence, intima* 
ting a suspicion of his courage, La Motte 
could have dispensed with, and, to re. 
trieve in some degree his reputation, he 
made a point of proceeding through the 
passage. They now moved on with ala- 
crity, for, as Peter said, " they had 
f« nothing to fear.'* 

The passage led into a large area, oa 
one side of which, over a range of clois« 
ters, appeared the west tower, and a lofty 
part of the edifice ; the other side was 
Open to the woods. La Motte led the 
way to a door of the tower, which he 
now perceived was the same he had for* 



43 



merly entered ; but he found some diffi- 
culty in advancing, for the area was over- 
grown with brambles and nettles, and the 
light, which Peter carried, afforded only 
an uncertain gleam. When he unclosed 
the door, the dismal aspect of the place 
revived the apprehensions of Madame 
La Motte, and extorted from Adeline 
an inquiry whither they were going. 
Peter held up the light to shew the narrow 
Staircase that wound round the tower; 
but La Motte, observing the second 
door, drew back the rusty bolts, and en- 
tered a spacious apartment, which, from 
its style and condition, was evidently of 
a much later date than the other part pf 
the structure : though desolate and for* 
lorn, it was very little impaired by time j 
the walls were damp, but not decayed ; 
and the glass was yet firm in the win* 
dows. 

They passed on to a suite of apart** 
ments resembling the first they had seen, 
and expressed their surprise at the, in- 
congruous appearance of this part of the 
edifice with the mouldering walls they 
had left behind. \>^ These apartments 



44 



conducted tbem to a winding passage^ 
that received light and air through nar- 
row cavities, placed high in the wall; 
and was at length closed by a door bar- 
red with iron, which being with some 
difficulty opened, they entered a vaulted 
room. La Motte surveyed it.with a scru- 
tinizing eye, and endeavoured to conjec- 
ture for what purpose it had been guard- 
ed by a door of such strength j but he 
saw little within to assist his curiosity. 
The room appeared to have been built 
in modern times upon a Gothic plan. 
Adeline approached a large window that 
formed a kind of recess raised by one 
step over the level of the floor } she ob- 
served to La Motte that the whole floor 
was inlaid with Mosaic work ; which 
drew from him a remark, that the style of 
this apartment was not strictly Gothic. 
He passed on to a door, which appeared 
on the opposite side of the apartment, 
and, unlocking it, found himself in the 
great hall, by which he had ^entered the 
fabric. 

He now perceived, what the gloom 
had before concealed, a spiral staircase 



45 



which led to a gallery above; and which/ 
from its present conqition, seemed to 
have been, built with the more moderA 
part of the fabric, though this also aftect- 
ed the Gothic mode of architecture : La 
Motte had little doubt that these stairs 
led to apartments, corresponding with 
those he had passed below, and hesitated 
whether to explore them; but the en^^ 
treaties of Madame, who was much fa* 
tigued, prevailed with him to defer all far- 
ther examination. After some delibera- 
tion, in which of the rooms they should 
pass the night, they determined to return 
to that which opened from the tower. 

A fire was kindled on a hearth, which 
it is probable had pot for many years be- 
fore afforded the warmth of hospitality ; 
and Peter having spread the provision 
he had brought from the coach. La 
Motte and his family, encircling the 
fire, partook of a repast, which hunger 
and fatigue made delicious. Appre- 
hension gradually gave way to confi. 
dence, for they now found themselves 
in something like a human habitation, 
and they had leisure to laugh at their 



46 

late terrors ; but, as the blast shoak the 
doors, Adeline often started, and threw 
a fearful glance around. They conti- 
nued to laugh and talk cheerfully for a 
time ; yet their merriment was transient, 
if not affected ; for a senile of their pecu- 
liar and distressed circumstances pressed 
upon their recollection, and sunk each in- 
dividual into languor and pensive silence. 
Adeline felt the forlornness of her condi- 
tion with energy j she reflected upon the 
past with astonishment, and anticipated 
the future with fear. She found her- 
self wholly dependent upon strangers, 
with no other claim than what distress 
demands from the common^ sympathy 
of kindred beings; sighs swelled her 
heart, and the frequent tear started to her 
eye ; but she checked it, ere it betrayed 
on her cheek the sorrow, which she 
thought it would be ungrateful to re- 
vfeal. 

La Motte, at length, broke thjs me- 
ditative silence, by directing the fire to 
be renewed for the night, and the door 
to be secured : this seemed a necessary 
precaution, even in this solitude, and 



47 

was affected by means of large stones 

piled again«t it; for other fastening there 

was none. It had frequently occurred to 

La Motte, that thi^^pparently forsaken 

edifice might be a place of refuge to 

banditti. Here was solitude to conceal 

them ; and a wild and extensive forest 

to assist their .schemes of rapine, and to 

perplex, with its labyrinths, those who 

might be bold enough to attempt pur^ 

suit. These apprehensions, however, he 

hid within his own bosom, saving his 

companions from a share of the uneasi^ 

ness they occasioned. Peter was ordered 

to watch at the door, and, having given 

the fire a rousing stir, our desolate party 

drew round it, and sought in sleep a 

short oblivion of care. 

The night passed on without disturb- 
ance. Adeline slept, but uneasy dreams 
fleeted before her fancy, and she awoke 
at an early hc/ur: the recollection of her 
sorrows arose upon her mind, and yield- 
ing to their pressure, her tears flowed 
' silently and fast. That she might in-» 
dulge them without restraint, she went to 
a window that looked upoa an open part 



46 



of the forest ; all was gloom and silence } 
she stood for some time viewing the sha- 
dowy scene. 

The first tender tints of morning now 
appeared on the verge of the horizon, 
stealing upon the darkness ; -^ so pure, so 
fine, so sethereal ! it seemed as if Heaven 
was opening to the view. The dark 
mists were seen to roll off to the west, as 
the tints of light grew stronger,^^^ deepen- 
ing the obscurity of that part of the he- 
misphere, and involving the features of 
the country below; meanwhile, in the 
east, the hues became more vivid, dart- 
ing a trembling lustre far around, till a 
ruddy glow, which fired all that part of 
the Heavens, announced the rising sun. 
At first, a small line of inconceivable 
splendour emerged on the horizon, which 
qqkkly expanding, the sun appeared in 
all his glory, unveiling the whole face of 
nature, vivifying every colour of the 
landscape, and sprinkling the dewy earth 
with glittering light. The low and gen- 
tle responses of birds, awakened by the 
morning ray, now broke the silence of 
the hour j their soft; warbling rising by 



t 



I 




49 







degrees till mey swelled the choras of 
universal glm^is. Adeline's heart sweU 
led, too, witkj|ratitude and adoration*. 

The scen^before her soothed her I 

• • • • I 

mind, and exaited her thoughts to the. > 

great Author of Nature ; she uttered an \ 

iavoluntary prayer : *« Father of good«, [ 

^ who made this glorious scene 1 I re-^ 
^ sign myself to thy hands ; thou wilt 
^^ support me under my present sorrows^ 
** And protect me from future evil." 

Thus xonifiding in the benevoleujce^ oi^ 
God, she wi^ed the tears from her eyes,, 
while the sweet union of conscience and 
reflection rewarded her trust ; and hec 
mind^ losing the feelings which had lately 
t>ppressed it, became tranquil and cqtm-^ 
posed. 

La Motte awoke soon after, and 
Peter prepared to ^et out on his ex« 
pedition« As he mounted his ' horse^ 
*^ An' please you, Master," said he, " I 
^« think we had as good look no farther 
^< for an habitation till better times tura 
^* up ; for nobody will think of looking 
^^ for us here ; and when one sees the pls^ce 
^* by day-light, its none so bftd^but what a 

VOL. !• t\ 



^ I 



^ little patching up would make it coni- 
^ fortable enough/' La Motte made^' 
no reply, but he thought of Peter's 
words. During the intervals of the 
flight, when anxiety had kept him wak* 
ing, the same i^ea had occurred to him ; 
eoncealmeht w|& his only security, and 
this place afForoia it. The desolation ot 
the spot was repulsive to his wishes j' 
but he had only a choice of evils — a fo- 
rest with lihetw was not a bad home for 
one who had^o much reason to expect 
a prison. As he walked through thi^ 
sipartments, and examined their condi- 
tion more attentively, he perceived they 
^ight easily be made habitable; and now 
fiufveying them under the cheerfulness of 
morning, his design strengthened, and 
he mused upon the means of accomplish- 
ing it, which nothing seemed so much 
to obstruct as the apparent difficulty of 
procuring food. 

He communicated his thoughts to 
Madame La Motte, who felt repugnance 
to the scheme. La Motte, howeverl 
'seldom consulted his wife till he hajd 
'determined how to act ; and he had 



01 



already resolved to be guided in thl| 
affair by the report of Peter. If* h^ 
^ould discover a town in the neighbouz:^ 
hood of the forest, where provisions and 
Other neciesaaries could be procured, h« 
would seek no farther for a place of rest. 
, In the mean time, he spent the anxiouy 
interval of Peter's absence in examining 
the ruin, and walking over the environs; 
ihey were sweetly romantic, and the 
luxuriant woods with which they abounds 
^, 9eemed to sequester this spot from 
the rest cf the world. Frequently a 
natural vista would yidd a view of the 
country, terminated by hills which retir* 
ing in distance, faded into the blue 
horizon. A stream various and musical 
in its course, wound at the foot of the 
Jawia, (Hi which stood the abbey; here 
it silently glided beneath the shades^ 
feeding the jBowers that bloomed on 
its banks and diffusing dewy freshnefis 
around; th^e it spread in broad e^c*- 
{^nse to day, reflecting the sylvan ^ene^ 
and the wild deer that tasted its waves^ 
La Motte observed every where a |iro- 

/usion q( g9m^i the . JfU^se^^^ ^^«*6e\y 



[ 52 

flew from liis approach, and the deer 
gazed mildly at him as he passed. They' 
were strangers to man t 

On his return to the abbey, La Motte 
ascended the stairs that led to the towen 
About half way up, a door appeared irt 
the wall; it yielded, without resistance, 
to his hand ; but a sudden noise within^ 
accompanied by a cloud of dust, made 
i)im step back and close the door. After 
waiting a £ew minutes, he again opened 
at, and perceived a large room of the 
>knore modem building. The remains 
of' tapestry hung in tatters upon the 
walls, which were become th« residence 
1 of birds of prey, whose sudden flight on 

the opening ^f the door had brought 
^own a quantity of dust, and occasioned 
the noise. The windows were shattered, 
^nd almost without glTtssf; but he was 
(surprised to observe some remaius of 
furniture; chairs, whose fashion and 
condition bore the date of their anti« 
equity ; a broken table, and an iron grate 
almost consumed by rust. 

On the oppoMte side of the room was 
H^ door, which led to another apartment9 






59 

proportioBed like the first, but hufig; 

with arras somewhat less, tattered. In 

one corfier stood a small bedstead, and 

a few shattered chairs were placed round 

the walls^. La Motte gazed with a mix-« 

ture of wander and curiosity : •* 'Tis: 

** strange/' said he, " that these rooms, 

1^ and these alone, should bear the marks 

" ef inhabitation : perhaps some wretch^ 

,^ ed wanderer, like^ myself, may have 

here sought refuge from a persecuting 

•* i^orld ; and here, perhaps, laid dowix 

*^ the load of existence : perhaps, too, 

I have followed his footsteps, but to 

mingle my dust with his — !" He 

turned suddenly, and was about to quit 

the room, when he perceived a door ^' 

near the bed; it opened into a closet, 

which was lighted by one small window, 

and was in the same condition as the 

apartments he had passed, except that 

it was destitute even of the remains of 

furniture. As he walked over the floor, 

be thought he felt one part of it shake 

beneath his steps^ and examining, found' 

^.trap door. Curiosity prompted him 

to explore farther, and with some diffi-*; 

P 3 






i 



&4^ 

cutty he evened it : it disclosed a stai'r« 
case whicli terminated in darkn&st^ La 
Matte descended a &w steps but wa» 
/ unwilling to trust the abyss; and, after 
wondering for what purpose it Was so 
:$eoret?y constructed, he closed the trap, 
and quitted thii; suite of apartments. 
' The stairs in the tower above wer^ tki 
much decayed, that he did not atten^ 
to ascend them : he returned to the hal V 
^nd by the spiral staircase, which he bad* 
observed the . evening before, : reached 
the gallery, and found another suite of 
arpartment^ entirely ' unfurnished, very 
much like those below. 

He renewed with Madame La Motte 
his former conversation respecting the 
abbey, and she exerted all her endea- 
vours to dissuade him from his purpose, 
acknowledging the solitary sefcurity of' 
the spot, but pleading that other places^ 
inight be found equally well adapted for 
concealment, and more for comfort. — 

This La Motte doubted : besides, the 
fbrest abounded with game which would 
ait once afford him amusement and food^ 
a circumstance, considering his pmalL 






56 



^stock of money, by no tqeans to be over^ 
.looked: and he had suffered his mind tp 
4weU so much upon the scheme, that it 
was become a favourite one. Adeline 
listened in silent anxiety to the dis« 
4x>urse9 and waited with impatience the 
issue of Peter's report. 
^ The morning passed, but Peter did 
not return. Our solitary party took their 
dinner of the provision they had fortu- 
nately brought with them, and. after- 
wards walked forth into the woods. *<— 
vAdeline, who never sulSered any good 
.to pass unnoticed^ because it came air 
tended with evil, forgot for awhile the 
idesolation of the abbey in the beauty of 
<the adjacent scenery. The pleasantness 
^f the shades soothed her heart, and the 
varied features of the landscape amused 
her fancy; she almost thought slie could 
be contented to live here. Already she 
began to feel an interest in the concerns 
of her companions, and for Madame La 
.Motte she felt^ more ; it was the warnfi 
amotion of gratitude and affection. 
The afternoon wpre away, and they 

returned to the abbey. Peter was sti^l 

» - . • , •• 

D 4 



56 



absent, and his absence now begsin to 
excite surprise and apprehension. The 
approach of darkness also threw a gloom 
upon the hopes of the wanderers: another 
night must be passed under the same for- 
lorn circumstances as the preceding one : 
and, what was ^till worse, with a very 
jscanty stock of provisions. The forti« 
tude of Madame La Motte now entirely 
forsook her, and she ^ept bitterly. 
Adeline's heart was as mournful as 
Madame's ; but she rallied her dropping 
spirits, and gave the first instance of 
her kindness by endeavouring to revive 
those of her friend. 

La Motte was restless and uneasy, and 
leaving the abbey, he walked alone the^ 
"way which Peter had taken. He had 
not gone far,, when he perceived him 
between the trees leading his horse. 
<« What news, Peter ?*^ hallooed La Motte. 
Teter came on, panting for breath, and 
said not a word, till La Motte repeated 
the question in a tone of somewhat more 
authority. " Ah, bless you, Master !*• 
said he, when he had taken breath to 
answer, " I am glad to see you; I 



y thought I should never have got back 
^* again ; Tve met with a world of 
** misfortunes/' 

^* Well, you may relate them here^* 
** after ; let me hear whether you have 
** discovered—" 

" Discovered !*' interrupted Peter^ 

*^ yes, I am discovered with a ven» 

** geance! If Yqur Honour will look 

** at my arras, you'll see how I am 

. ** discovered.*' 

" Discoloured ! I suppose you mean,'^ 
said La Motte ; *' but how came you in 
•* this condition ?/' 

" Why, I'll tell you how it was. Sir ; 

*' Your Honour knows I learned a smack 

*' of boxing of that Englishman that 

** used to come with his master to our 

" house." 

" Well, well— tell me where you have 
^* been." 

r "I scarcely know myself. Master ; 

** I've been where I got a sound drub- 

** bing, but then it was in your business, 

.** and so I don't mind. — Biit if ever I 

.*' meet with that rascal again !* 



9f 



' \ 



s^ 



** Yoii seem to like your first druD- 
** bing so well, that you want another^ 
<^ and unless you speak more to the pur* 
•* pose, you shall soon have one/* 

Peter was now frightened into method^ 
jind endeavoured to proceed : •* When 
^« I left the old abbey,'* said he, " I fol. 
-** lowed the way you directed, and turn- 
•* ing to the r%ht of that grove of trees^ 
^ yonder, I looked this way and that, 
*^ to see if I could see a house, or a cot- 
^^ tage, or even a man; but not a soul 
" of them was to be seen, and so I 
** jogged. on, near the value of a league; 
*< I warrant, and then I came to a track; 
** oh J oh ! says I, we have you now i^ 
<* this will do — paths canH be made 
" without feet. However, I was out in 
'^ my reckoning, for the devil a bit of a 
*^ soul could I see, and, ai^r following 
^^ the track this way and that way, for 
<< the third of a league, I |kt it, and 
^^ had to find out another/' Mr 

*• Is it impossible for yovno spfcak ta 
** the point ?" said La Motte : " omit 
^* these foolish particulars, and teU wfae* 
^^ tber you have siicceeded,** 



\ 



i9 

* /^ Well, tiieUt Mwter, to be ahdrtj 
•^ for that's the neare9t way after all, I 
*< wandered a long while at random, I 
^* did not know where, all through ^ 
f^ foreist like this, and I took special 
<« care to note how the trees stood, that 
<« I might find my way back. At last I 
^ , came to another path, and was sure *I 
^< should find something now, though 
** I had found nothing before, for i 

V could not be mistaken twice ; so^ 
?* peeping between the trees, I spied b 
f ^ cottage, and I gave my horse a lash, 
f ^ that spnnded through the forest, and 
^< I was at the door in a tninute^ They 
«• told me there was a. town about 
f^ half a league off, and bade nie follow 
[^ the track and it would bring me 
^ tliere; so it did; and my horse, I 
** believe, smelt the corn in the manger,' 
^> by the rate he went at. I inquired 

V for a wheel-wright, and was told therie 
^ was but one in the place, and he 

V could not be. found. I waited and 
** waited, for I knew it was in vain to 
^ think of returning without 4Qing tny 
[I business* Tljre man at last caiu^home 

j}j6 



CO 



^' from the country, and I told bim how 
<^ long I had Mraited; for, says I, I 
*' knew it was in vain ta return without 
** my business.'* 

^^ Do be less tedious," ssrd La Motte^ 
** if it is in thy nature." 

« It is in my nature," answered Peter, 
<< and if it was more in my nature. Your 
^< Honour should have it all. Would 
^ you think it, Sir, the felbw bad the 
*« impudence to ask a louis-d«'or for 
<* mending the coach wheel? I believe 
<^ in my conscieuce he saw I was in a 
"*< hurry, and could not do without him. 
** A louis-d'orl says I, my Master shall 
** give no such price ; he sha'n't be im- 
*^ posed upon by no such rascal aa you; 
**< Whereupon the fellow looked glum, 
^ and gave me a douse o'the chops : with 
<^ this, I up with my fist and gave hiox 
^< another, and should have beat him pre- 
"^^ sently, if another man had not come in^, 
*^ and then I was obliged to give up." 

" And so yoii are returned as wise as 
** you went ?" 

** Why, Master, I hope I have too 

^* much spirit to submit to a rascal^ or 

■ I ■ . " "■ 

.Ma 



6^1 



'< let you submit to one either : besideff^ 
** I have bought some nails, to try if I 
" can't mend the wheel myself — I had 
" always a hand at carpentry.'* 

" Well, I commend your zeal in my 
^^ cause, but on this occasion it was ra* 
" ther ill-timed. And what have you 
*« got in that, basket ?*' 

« Why, Master, I bethought me that 
^^ we could not get away from this place 
^' till the carriage was ready to draw us, 
^' and in the mean time, says I, nobody 
" can live without victuals, so I'll e'ea 
^^ lay out the little money I have, and 
♦^ take a basket with ine." 

" That's the only wise thing you have 
*^ done yet ; and this, indeed, redeems 
" your blunders." 

" Why now, Master, it does my heart 
^^ good to hear you speak; I knew I was 
'* doing for the best all the while : but 
" I've had a hard job to find my way 
^^ back J and here's another piece of ill 
<< luck, for the horse has got a thorn in 
« his foot." 

La Motte made inquiries concerning 
the town, and found it was capable of 



m 

supplying bim with pMvisidu, and what 
little 'furniture was necessary to render 
the abbey habitable. This inteUigcBce 
almost settled his plans, and he ordered 
Teter to return on the following mom- 
iog and make inquiries concerning the 
abbey. If tbe answers. were favourabte 
to his wishes, he commissioned him to 
buy a Cai-t, and load it with some furni- 
ture, and some materials necessary foi 
repairing the modem apwrtments. Peter 
stared: ««What, does Your Honour mean 
** to live here ?'* 
- •* Why^ suppose I do." 

«« Why then Your Honour has madie 
«« a wise determination, according to 
»« my hint j for Your Honour knows 1 

«« said — " 

«• Well, Peter, it is not necessary to 
»« repeat what you said ; perhaps I bad 
«« determined on the subject beibrc.*' 

** Egad, Master, you're in the right, 
«« and I'm glad of it, for I believe we 
«* shall not quickly be disturbed herci 
** except by the rooks and owls. Yesi 

i« yes ^I warrant I'll make it a place fit 

*^ for a.king J Mid as for the town, onia 



m 



«* ifiay get any thing, Pm sure of that 9 
^^ though they think no more ab6ut thia 
^^ place than they do about India, or 
•« England, or any of those places/' 

, They now reached the abbey, where 
Peter was received with great joy ; but 
the hopes of his Mistress and Adeline 
were repressed, when they learned that 
be returned without having executed his 
commiBsion, and heard his account of 
the town. La Motte's orders to Petev 
v^ere heard with almost e^ual concern 
by Madame and Adeline; but the latter 
concealed her uneasiness, and used all 
her eftotis to overcome that of her friend. 
The sweetness of her behaviour, and the 
air of satisfaction she assumed, sensibly 
affected Madame, and discovered to her 
a source of comfort, which she had 
hitherto overlooked. The affectionate 
attentions of her young friend promised 
to console her for the want of other 
society, and her conversation to enliven 
the hours, which might otherwise be 
passed in painful regret. 

The observations and general beha*' 
yiour of Adeline already bespoke a g/ooA 



64 



tt!lderstatrding and an amiable hearf; but 
she had yet more-^she had genius. She 
was now in her nineteenth year; her 
figure of the middling size^ and turne<t 
to the most exquisite proportion ; her 
hair was dark auburn, her eyes blue, and 
whether they sparkled with intelligencef 
or melted with tenderness, they \i^ere 
equally attractive : her form had the airy 
lightness of a nymph, and when' she smiU 
ed, her countenance might have beedf 
)}rawn for the younger sister of Hebe : 
the captivations of her beauty were 
heightened by the grace and simplicity 
of her manners, and confirmed by the 
intrinsic value of a heart 

^< That might be shrin'd in crystal, 
^' AikL have all its movements scann'd/^ 

Annette now kindled the fire for the 
night : Peter's basket was opened, and 
supper prepared. Madame La Motte 
was still pensive and silent. '< There is 
f* scarcely any condition so bad," said 
Adeline, ** but we may, one time or 
^^ other, wish we had not quitted it« 
«* Honest Peter,, when he was bewilder- 
M ed in the forest, or bad two enemies 






65 



*^ to encounter instead of one, confesses 
" he wished himself at the abbey. And 
^' I am certain, there is no situation so 
** destitute, but comfort may be extract- 
** ed from it. The blaze of this fire 
" shines yet more cheerfully from the 
*^ contrasted dreariness of the place ; 
^^ and this plentiful repast is made yet 
^ more delicious, from, the temporary 
^* want we have suffered. Let us enjoy 
the good and forget the evil.'* 
You speak, my dear," replied Ma- 
dame LaMotte, ^' like one whose spirits 
** have not been often depressed by mis- 
** fortune (Adeline sighed), and whose 

** hopes are, therefore, vigorous.*' 

" Long suffering,*' said La Motte, " has 
" subdued in our minds that elastic ener« 
** gy> which repels the pressure of evil, 
" and dances to the bound of joy. But 
** I speak in rhapsody, though only from 
*' the remembrance of such a time. I 
" once, like you, Adeline, could extract 
** comfort from most situations/' 

** And may now, my dear Sir," said 
Adeline : " still believe it possible, and 
you will find it is so." 



c« 



66 



^ << The illusion is gone—I can no h>B* 
•« ger deceive myself." 
^ " Pardon iDe> Sir, if I say, it is now 
<^ only you deceive yourself, by suffering 
'< the cloud of sorrow to tinge every ob» 
Jf* ject you look upon/ • 
^ /^ It Q)ay be so/' said JLa Motte» ^^ but 
;«* let us lefive the sqbjeqt/* 
^^ After supper, the dqprs were secured, 
lis before, for the night, and the wan*- 
derers resigned themselves to repose« 
«: Qn the following lipiorning, Peter again 
If^t out for the little town of Aubotoe^ 
^jBtd the. hours of his absence were i^aia 
§pexit by Madame La Motte and Addine 
in much anxiety and some hope ; for the 
intelligence he might brihg concerning 
ihe abbey might yet release them from 
the plans of La Motte. Towards the 
close of day he was descried coming 
filowly on ; and the cart which accom^ 
panied him, too certainly confirmed their 
iears. He brought materials for repair* 
ing the place, and some furniture, 
i Of the abbey he gave an account, of 
iwhich the following is the substance: — 
It belonged, together with a large part 



I 67 

ff the adjacent forest, to a noblemaofy 
who now resided with his family on a re« 
mote estate. He inherited it in right of 
Im wife, from his father-in4aw, who 
bad caused the more modern apartments 
to be erected, and had resided in them 
some part of eytry year, far the purpose 
^f footing and hunting. It was re^ 
ported, that some person was, soon aftec 
, it came to the present possessor, brought 
secretly to the abbey, and ^confined in 
these apartments ; who or what he was 
had iiever been coi^ectured, and what 
became of him nobody knet^. The re/^ 
port died gradually away, and > many 
persons entirely disbelieved the whole oi 
it. But however this affair might be^ 
certain it was, the present owner had 
visited the abbey only two summers^, 
since his succeeding to it ; and the fitm 
niture, after some time, was removed. 
' This circumstance had at first excited 
surprize, and various reports arose in 
consequence; but it was difficult to 
know what ought to be believed. Among 
the rest, it was said, that strange appear^ 
arices had been observed at the ^beyj 



6s 



and uncommon noises heard;. and«thoag1f 
this report had been ridiculed by sensible 
persons, as the idle superstition of igno^ 
rance^ it had fastened so strongly upon 
the minds of the common people^ that 
for the last seventeen years none of thff 
peasantry had ventured to approach the 
spot^ The abbey was now^ therefo$^^ 
abandoned to decay* ^ - 

La Motte ruminated upon this ac-< 
count. At first, it called up unpleasant 
ideas, but they were soon dismissed, and 
considerations more interesting to his 
welfare took place : he congratulated 
idmself that he had now ibund a spot, 
where he was not likely to be either dis- 
covered or disturbed ; yet it could not 
escape him that there was a strange coin* 
cidence between one part of Peter's nar^ 
rativ^ and the condition of the chaxobers 
that opened from the tower above stairs. 
The remains of furniture, of which the 
other apartments were void — ^the solitary 
bed — the number and connection of the 
1:00ms, Wjere circumstances that united 
to confirm his opinion. This, however, 
^e concealed in his own breast, for.be 



69 

already perceived that Peter's account 
had not assistted in reconciling jhis fa» 
mily to the necessity ef dwelling at the 
abbey. 

But they had only to submit in silence; 
and ^whatever disagreeabie apprehension 
might intrude upon them, they now ap-i 
peared willing to suppress the expressioiii 
of it. Peter, indeed, was exempt ftom 
any evil of this kind ; he knew no fear; 
and his mind was now wholly occupied 
nvith his approaching business. Madame 
Xa Motte, with a placid kind of despair^ 
^endeavoured to reconcile herself to tlmt^ 
^bich no effort of understanding could 
teach her to avoid, and which, an indirU 
^nce in lamentation could only make 
more intolerable. Indeed, though a 
Bense of the immediate inconveniences 
to be endured at the abbey, bad made 
her oppose the scheme of living there, 
^he did not realfy know how their situa- 
tion could be improved by removal : 
yet her thoughts often wandered towardf 
Paris, and reflected the retro^ct of 
past times, with the images cS weeping 
friends left, perhaps, for ever. The «?• 



^« 



eddeartoents of her onFy sob^ 
mhomj from the danger df his situation 
and the obscurity of her's^ abe might r eau- 
sonably fear never to see again, aroite 
aipon her raemory; and overcame her 
fortitude.*-^" Why> why was I reserved 
^< for this hour ^' would she say» ^^ and 
If what will be my yesu-s to come V* 
: Adjsline had no retrospect of past de- 
light to give emphasis to pr^ei^t cala^- 
uvity^-^Do weeping frieirds-««*no dear r^* 
gretted objects to point the edge of 
sorrow, and tfasow a Bickly hue opori her 
Aiture prospects ; she knew not y&t dare 
^ngs of disttflpoiirted hope^ or the aiciiter 
«tjDg of self-accusatioQ ; she had no m^ 
Mry, but what pstience could assuage, 
4^r fortitude overcome. 
I At the dawn of the following day 
S^eter arose to his labour : be proceeded 
iti^ith alacrity, and, in a few days, two of 
the lower apartments were so nkuch alv 
tered for the better, that La Motte began 
to exult, and bis ^mily to perdeive tibat 
their situatimi would not be so miserable 
^s they had imagined. The furniture 
^^t^t had* already brought was disposed 



« 

In these tqoids, <mt of which wis the 
vaulted apartment* Madame La Moti6 
fomfished this as a sitting room, pre-' 
femog it ibr its large Gothic window,' 
that de^^ended almost to the floor, ad* 
fnttting a prospect of the lawn, and the 
picturesque scenery of the surrounding 
woods. ] 

Peter havifig returned to Auboine for 
a &rth6r supply, all the lower apartmentit 
i^ete m a few weeks hot only habitable^ 
bat dbdilbrtaMe. These j however,: being 
imi^^Bkie^t fat the aceommodation of the 
family^ ft toOm above stairs was prepared 
for Adetide: it was the chamber that 
i>pened immediately from the tower, and 
she preferred it to those beyond, because 
it was lesd distant from the family, and 
the windows, fronting an avenue of the 
forest^ afibrded a more extensive prosii. 
peictrf The tapestry, that was decayeid> 
il^d hung loosely from the walls, was now 
nailed up, and made to look less deso^ 
late ; and, though the room had still a 
solemn aspect, from its spaciousness, and 
the narrowness of the windows, it was 
not uncomfortable. 



^ The fir&t night that Adeline retired 
Either, she slept little : the solitary air 
of the place affected her spirits; the more 
8O9 perhaps, because she had, with f riend<^ 
ly consideration, endeavoured to support 
them in the presence of Madame La 
Motte. She rememb^ed the narrative 
of Peter, several circumstances of which 
bad impressed her imagination in spite 
of her reason, and she found it difficult 
ivholly to subdue apprehension. At one 
time, terror so strongly seized her mind, 
that she had even opened the doot with 
an inten/tion of caUiog Madame La 
Motte i but, listening for a: moment on 
the stairs of the tower, every thing 
seemed still ; at length, she beard the 
. voice of La Motte speaking oheerfutiy, 
and the absurdity of her fears struck her 
forcibly; she blushed that she had for a 
moment submitted to them, and re- 
turned to her chamber, wondering at 
iieraelf« 



7* 



CHAPTER III. 

" Are not these woods 
*' More free from peril than the envious court?* 
" Here feel we but the penalty of Adam, 
<* The season's difference, as the icy fang 
** And churlish chiding of the winter's wind.** 

Shakesfeark* 

La Motte arranged bis little plan of 
living. His moniings were usually spent 
in shooting, or fishing, and the dinner, 
thus provided by his industry, he re*. 
lished with a keener appetite than bad 
ever attended him at the luxurious tables . 
of Paris* The afternoons he passed with 
his family: sometimes he would select 
a book from the few ho" had brought 
with him, and endeavour to fix bis at- 
tention to the words his lips repeated: — « 
but his mind suffered little abstraction 
from its own cares, and th^ sentiment 
he pronounced left no trace behind it^ 
Sometimes he conversed) but oftexx« sat 

VOL. h j^ 



74 

iQ gloomy silence, musing upon the past, 
or anticipating the future. 

At these moments, Adeline, with a 
flweetness almost irresistible, endeavour- 
ed to enliven his spirits, and to withdraw 
him from himself. Seldom she succeeded, 
but when she did, the grateful looks 
of Madame La Motte, and the benevo- 
lent feelings of her own bosom, realized 
the cheerfulness she bad at first only 
assumed. Adeline's mind had the happy 
art, or perhaps it were more just to 
fiay, the happy nature, of accommodat- 
ing itself to her situation. Her present 
condition, though forlorn, was not de- 
void of comfort, and this comfort was 
confirmed by her virtues. So much she 
\fon upon the affections of her pro- 
tectors, that Madame La Motte loved 
her as her child, and La Motte himself, 
though a man little susceptible of ten- 
d*emess, could not be insensible to her so. 
lifcitudes.. Whenever he relaxed from the 
fiiillenness of misery, it was at the infiuence 
of Adeline, 

' Peter regularly brought a weekly slip- 
p^y of provisions from Aiiboilie, and. 



75 

on those occasions, always quitted the 
town by a route contrary to that lead- 
ing to the abbey. Several weeks having 
passed without molestation. La Motte 
dismissed all apprehension of pursuit, 
and at length became tolerably recon- 
ciled to the coniplexion of his circum- 
stances. As habit and effort strengthened 
the fortitude of Madame La Motte, the 
features of misfortune appeared to soften. 
l!he forest, which at first seemed to her 
a frightful solitude, had lost its terrific 
aspect ; and that edifice, whose half de- 
molished walls, aRd gloomy desolation, 
had struck her mind with the force of 
melancholy and dismay, was now beheld' 
as a domestic asylum, and a safe refuge 
firom the storms of power. 

She was a sensible and highly accom- 
p]ished woman, and it became her. chief 
delight to form the rising graces of Ade- 
line, who had, as has been already 
shown, a sweetness of disposition, which 
made her quick to repay instruction with 
improvement, and indulgence with love. 
Never was Adeline so pleased as when 
she anticipated her wishes, and never so 

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76 



diligent as when she was employed in 
her business. The little affairs of the 
household she overlooked and managed 
with such admirable exactness, that Ma- 
dame La Motte had neither anxiety, nor 
care, concerning them. And Adeline 
formed for herself in this barren situation, 
many amusements, that occasionally ba- 
nished the remembrance of her misfor- 
tunes. La Motte's books were her chief 
consolation. With one of these she 
would frequently ramble into the forest, 
to where the river, winding through a 
glade, diffused coolness, and with its mur- 
muring accents invited repose r thereshe 
would fieat herself, and resigned to the 
illusions of the page, pass many^ hours in 
oblivion of sorrow. 

Here tqo, when her mind was tran- 
quillized by the surrounding scenery, she 
wooed the gentle muse,' and indulged 
in ideptl happiness. The delight of these 
moments she commemorated inihefoJ* 
lowing address 



77 



; TO THE. VISIONS OF FANCIT* 

iDear, wild illu^ns of creative mind ! 

Whose varying hues arise to Fancy's art, 
And by her magic force are swift combin'd 

In forms that please, and scenes that touch the 
heaii i 
Oh ! whether at her voice ye soft assume 

The pensive grace of Sorrow drooping low ; 
*Or rise sublime on Terror's lofty plume. 

And shake the soul with wildly thrilling woe % 
Or sweetly bright^ your gayer tints ye spread,—* 

Bid scenes of pleasure steal upon my view. 
Love wave his purple pinions o'er my head, 

And wake the tender thought to passion true^- 
O! still'— ye shadowy forms! attend my lonefy 
hours, 
Still chase my real cares with your illusive powers. 

Madame La Motte had frequently ex* 
pressed curiosity concerning the eventt 
of Adeline's life, and by what circuai« 
stances she had been thrown into a situa- 
tion so perilous and mysterious as that in 
which La Motte had found her. Adeline 
liad given a brief account of the manner 
in which she had been brought thither, 
but had always with tears intreated to be 
spared for that time from a particular 
relation of her history. Her spirits w^rp 

;B 3 



78 



not then equal to retrospection j but now 
that they were soothed by quiet, and 
strengthened by confidence, she one day 
gave Madame La Motte the following 
jnarration. 



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I am the only child,*' said Adeline, 
of Liouis de St. Pierre, a chevalier of 
reputable family, but of small fortune, 
who for many years resided at Paris. 
Of my mother I have a faint remem- 
brance ; I lost her when I was only 
seven years old, aiid this was my first 
misfortune. At her death my father 
gave up house-keeping, boarded wne 
in a convent, and quitted Paris. Thus 
was I, at this early period of my life, 
abandoned to strangers. My father 
came sometimes to Paris ; he then 
visited me, and I well remember the 
grief I used to feel when he bade me 
farewell. On these occasions, which 
wrung my heart with grief, he appeared 
unmoved ; so that I often thought he 
had little tenderness for me. But he 






7? 

•^ T<ra5 my father, and the only persoa to 
^« whom I could look up for protection 
•* and love. 

** In this convent I continued till I 

•* was twelve years old. A thousand 

** times I had entreated my father tp 

<^ take me home ; but at first XQotives of 

•* prudence, and afterwards of avarice^ 

prevented him. I. was now removed 

from this convent, and placed in aa- 

•* other, where I learned my father in- 

** tended I should take the veil. I will 

** not attempt to express my surprize 

♦« and grief on thia occasion. Too long 

^* I had been immured in the walls of a 

c< cloister, and too. much had I seen of 

c* the sullen misery of its votaries, not 

<^ to feel horror and disgust at the pros.* 

pect of being added to their qumben 

The Lady Abbess was a woman pf 

" rigid decorum and severe devotion; 

exact in the observance of every detail 

of form, and never forgave an offence 

against ceremony. It was her method, 

" when she wanted to make converts to 

" her order, to denounce and terrify 

*^ rather than to persuade and allurfit 

£ 4 



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<• . Her's were the arts of cunning prac- 
tised updn fear, not those of sophisti- 
cation upon reason^ She employed 
numberless stratagems to gain me to 
her purpose, and they all wore the com- 
plexion of her character. But in the 
" life to which she would ,have devoted 
** me, I saw too many forit^s of real ter- 
** ror, to be overcome by the influence 
*V of her ideal host, and was resolute in 
** rejecting the veil. Here I passed se- 
veral years of miserable resistance 
against cruelty and superstition. My 
** father I seldom saw ; when I did, I 
** entreated him to alter my destination, 
"but he objected that his fortune was 
" insufficient to support me in the world, 
<^ and at length denounced vengeance 
" on my head if I persisted in disobe- 
" dience. 
*' You, my dear Madam, can form 
little idea of the wretchedness of my 
situation, condemned to perpetual im- 
prisonment, and imprisonment of the 
** most dreadful kind, or to the venge- 
** ance of a father, from whom I had no 
♦♦ appeal. My resolution relaxed — ^for 






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«1 

^ some time I paused upon the dhdlce 
•* of evils — but at length the horrors of 
*^ a monastic life rose so fully to my 
** view, that fortitude gave way before 
^^ them. Excluded from the cheerful in- 
" ter(}ourse of society -^ from the plea- \ 

*^ sant view of nature — almost from the 
♦• light of day — condemned to silence, 
rigid formality, abstinence, and pe^ 
nance — condemned to forego the de- 
lights of a world, which imagination 
painted in the gayest and most alluring 
colours, and whose hues were, perhaps; 
not the less captivating because they 
were only ideal ; — « such was the state. 
to which I was destined. Again my 
** resolution was invigorated : my father's 
** cruelty subdued tenderness, and 
^ roused indignatipn. —-Since he can 
^ forget, said I, the affection of a pa- 
^' rent, and condemn his^ child without 
*^ remorse to wretchedness and despair 
w .^the bond of filial and parental duty 
** no longer subsists between us — he 
•* has himself dissolved it, and I will yet 
" struggle for liberty and life* 

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6£ 

^< 'Finding me unmoved by menace, 
f* the Lady Abbess had now recourse to 
^^ more subtle measures : she conde- 
^' scended to smile, and even to flat^ 
" ter ; but her's was the distorted smile 
^^ of cunning, not the gracious emblem 
^* of kindness ; it provoked disgust, in- 
" stead of inspiring affection. She paint- 
** ed the character of a vestal in the 
•* most beautiful tints of art — its holy 
*' innocence — its mild dignity — its siib- 
*< lime devotion* I sighed as she spoke. 
*^ This she regarded as a favourable 
** symptom, and proceeded on her pic- 
*^ ture with more animation. She de- 
" scribed the serenity of a monastic life, 
** its security from the seductive charms, 
^' restless passions, and sorrowful vicissi- 
tudes of the world— -the rapturous 
delights of religion, and the sweet re- 
ciprocal affection of the sisterhood. 
So highly she finished the piece, that 
<« the lurking lines of cunning would, 
to an inexperienced eye, have escaped 
** detection. Mine was too sorrowfully 
^* informed. Too oflen had I witnessed 
<< the secret tear and bursting sigh of 






83 



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vain regret, the snllen pinings of dis- 
content, and the mute anguish of de- 
spair. My silence and my manner 
assured her of my incredulity, and it 
^^ was with difficulty that she preserved 
^* a decent composure. 

^^ My father, as may be imagined, 
*^ was highly incensed at my persever- 
^^ ance, which he called obstinacy ; but, 
•* what will not be so easily believed, he 
^* soon after relented, and appointed a 
day to take me from the convent. 
01 judge of my feelings when I re- 
ceived this intelligence ! The joy it 
*^ occasioned awalcened all my grati- 
*^ tude ; I forgot the former cruelty of 
^^ my father, and that the present indul- 
^^ gence was less the effect of his kind- 
** ness than of my resolution. I wept 
^< that I could not indulge his every 
" wish. 

" What days of blissful expectation 
<< were those that preceded my depar- 
" ture! The world from which I had 
" been hitherto secluded — the world, in 
<« which my fancy had been so often 
*« delighted to roam— whose paths were 

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Si 



•* fctrewn with fadeless roses — whose 
«« every scene smiled in beauty and iir- 
** vited to deKgbt — where all the people 
•* were good, and all the good happy — * 
«• Ah ! then that world was bursting 
*' upon my view. Let me catch the rap- 
•* turous remembrance before it vanish I 
** It is like the passing lights of autumnr, 
<^ that gleam for a moment on a hilf, 
'< and then leave it to darkness. I 
^^ counted the days and hours that witb- 
" held me from this fairy land. It waft 
" in the convent only that people were 
•* deceitful and cruel : it was there only 
'* that misery dwelt I was quitting it 
•* all ! How I pitied the poor nuns that 
*• were to be left behind^ I would have 
•• given half that world I prized so 
** much, had it been mi&e, to have 
•« taken them out with me^- - 

" The long-wished for day at last af- 
** rived. * My father came, and for a 
" moment my joy was lost i» the sorrov^ 
** of bidding farewell to my poor com^* 
•* panions, for whom I had never felt 
'^ such warmth of kindness as at this 
^' instant I was soon beyond the gates 



85 



" of the convent.. I looked around me, 
^^ and viewed the vast vault of heaven 
'^ no longer bounded by monastic walls, 
'' and the green earth extended in hill 
^^ and dale to the round verge of the 
^* horizon ! My heart danced with de« 
** light, tears swelled in my eyes, and 
'* for some moments I was unable to 
** speak. My thoughts rose to Heaveti 
*^ in sentiments of gratitude to the Giver 
" of all good ! 

*< At length, I turned to my father ; 
^' Dear SiVj said I, how I thank you for 
^^ my deliverance, and how I wish I 
** could do every thing to oblige you. 

*< Keturn, then, to your convent, said 
** he, in a harsh accent. I shuddered : 
*^ his look and manner jarred the tone 
•* of my feelings; they struck discord 
^ upon my heart, which had before 
" responded only to harmony. . The 
^^ ardour of joy was in a moment re- 
^^ pressed, and every object around 
^^ me was saddened with the gloom of 
*^ disappointment. It was not that I 
^ suspected my father would take me 
" back to the convent^ but that his 



86 



^^ feelings seemed so very dissonant to 
f^ the joy and gratitude, which I bad 
f' but a moment before felt md ex« 
f^ pressed to him.*-«-Paiidop, Madam, a 
^^ relation of these trivial circumstances ; 
^* the strong vicissitudes of feeling which 
*« they impressed upon my heart, make 
*^ me think them important, when they 
" are, perhaps, only disgusting." 

•* No, my dear,** said Madame La 
Motte, " they are interesting to roe j 
f ^ they illustrate little traits of chai^acter 
^* which I love to observe. You are 
f* worthy of all my regards, and from 
" this moment I give my tenderest pity 
^^ to your misfortunes, and my affection 
?* to your goodness/' 

These words melted the heart of Ade- 
line; she kissed the hand which Madame 
held out, and remained a few minutes 
silent. At length she said, ^ May I 
*^^ deserve this goodness! and may I 
*' ever be thankful to God, who, in 
^^ giving me such a friend, has raised 
<^ me to comfort and hope ! 

^' My father's house was situated 
^^ a few leagues on the other side of 
*^ Paris, and in our way to it we passed 



87 






" through that city. What a novel ! 

** scene! Where were now the solemn 
** faces, the demnre manners I had been 
*^ accustomed to see in the convent? | 

" Every countenance was here animated, | 

*^ either by business or pleasure ; every 
step was airy, and every smile was 
gay. All the people appeared like 
friends; they looked and smiled at 
^^ me} I smiled again, and wished to 
^^ have told them how pleased I was. 
<< How delightful, said I, to live sur- 
*^ rounded by friends ! 

" What crowded streets ! What mag- 
^< nificent hotels! What splendid equi- 
*' pages! I scarcely observed that the 
" streets were narrow, or the way dan- 
*• gerous. What bustle, what tumult, 
" what delight ! I could never be suffi- 
*• ciently thankful that I was removed 
^^ from the convent. Again I was going 
^^ to express my gratitude to my father, 
** but his looks forbad me, and I was 
<< silent. I am too diffuse; even the 
•* faint forms which memory reflects 
*< of passed delight are grateful to tlie 
*< heart. The shadow of pleasure is 
^[ still gazed upg^ ^ith a melancholy 



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86 

** enjoyment, though the substance h 

fled beyond our reach. 

Having quitted Paris, which Heft 
** with many sighs, and gazed upon till 

the towers of every church dissolved 
** iri distance from my vieFW ; we entered 

upon a gloomy and unfrequented road. 

It was evening when we reached a 

** wild heath ; I looked round in search 

** of a human dwelHng, but could find 

** none ; and not a human being was to 

" 1)e seen. I experienced something rf 

*' what I used to feel in the convent; 

^^ my heart had net been so sad sinee I 

" left it. Of my father, who still sat 

« in silence, I inquired if we were near 

*< home ; be answered in; the affirnm- 

" tive. Night came on, however, be- 

«<- fbre we reached thie' place of oar 

<^ destination ; it was a lose bouse on 

^ the waste j but I need not descrilie 

« it to. you. Madam. When the car. 

" riage stopped^ two men appeared at 

^ the door, and assisted us to alight ; . 

"so gloomy wer« their countenances, 

'^ and so few their words, I almost fan* 

^ cied myself again in the C0nv.enl«. 



89 

*^ Certain it is, I h&d not seen such 
*• melancholy faces since I quitted it. 
•* Is this a part of the world I have so 
*« fondly contemplated ? said I. 

' ** The interior appearance of the 
^ house was desolate and mean } I wai 
^< surprized thai my father had choseil 
^ such a place for bis habitation, and 
^ ako that no woman was to b6 
^* seen j but I knew that inquiry would 
** only produce reproof, and was there- 

** fore silent. At supper, the two men 
*^ I had before seen sat down with us^ 
*< they said little, but seemed to observe 
-^ me much. I was confused and dis« 
^* pleased^ which my father noticing, 
^ frowned at them with a look, which 
^ convinced me he meant more than I 
^ comprehended. When the cloth was 
•* drawn, my father took my hand, and 
** conducted me to tlie door of my 
^* chamber} having set down the can- 
** die, and wished me good night, hd 
** left me to my own solitary thoughts. * 
" How different were they from those I 
« had indulged a few hours before! then 
*• expectation, hope, delight, danced 



f^ before me; now melancholy and 
^ disappointment chilled the ardour of 
f^ my mind, and discoloured my future 
♦* prospect. The appearance of every 
A^ thing around conduced to depress me, 
^^ On the floor lay a small bed withpul; 
^^ curtains or hangings ; two old chairs 
^^ and a table were a,li the remaining 
^< furniture in the room. I went to the 
f ^ window with an intention of looking^ 
!' out upon the surrounding scene, and 
f^ found it was grated. I was shocked 
f^ at thig circumstanee, and, comparing 
^< it with the lonely situation, and the 
f^ strange appearance of the house, toge* 
f' ther with the countenances and beha-- 
^< viour of the men who h^d supped 
*^ with us, I was lost in a labyrinth of 
" conjecture. 

^< At length I lay down to sleep ; but 
** the anxiety of my mind prevented re* 
f' pose ; gloomy, unpleasipg images flit- 
^* ted before my fancy, and I fell into a 
^< sort of waking dream : I thought that 
•* I was in a lonely forest with my father; 
^' his looks were severe, and his gestures 
^ menacing : he upbraided me for leav-^ 



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ing the convent, and while he spoke, 

drew from his pocket a mirror, which 
•* he held before my face j I looked in 

it and saw, (my blood now thrills as Z 

repeat it,) I saw myself wounded, and 
" bleeding profusely. Then I thouglijt 
*^ myself in the house again ; and sud- 
** denly heard the§e words, in accents 
^^ so distinct, that for some time after I 
" awoke I could scarcely believe them 
** ideal, — * Depart this house, destruc- 
** tion hovers here/ 

*' I was awakened by a footstep on 
^^ the stairs ; it was my father retiring 
<^ to his chamber ; the lateness of the 
^' hour surprized me, for it was past 
" midnight. 

" On the following morning, the party 
^^ of the preceding evening assembled 
*< at breakfast^ and were as gloomy and 
<< silent as before. The table was spread 
** by a boy of my father's ; but the cook 
*< and the house-maid, whatever they 
«* might be, were invisible. 

" The next morning, I was surprized, 
<* on attempting to leave my chamber, 
^' to find the door locked y I waited a 



9e 

** considerable time before I ventured*' 
•* to call ; when 'I did no answer was re- 
•• turned : I then went to the window, 
** and called more loudly ; but my own 
•* voice was still the only sound I heard. 
•« Near an hour I passed in a state of 
•« surprize and terror not to be described: 
^< at length, I heard a person coming 
*^ up stairs, and I renewed the call ; I 
^* was answered, that my father had 
** that morning set off for Paris, whence 
" he would return in a few days ; iij 
** the mean while he had ordered me to 
" be confined in my chamber. On my 
^* expressing surprize and apprehension 
^ at this circumstance, I was assured I 
*^ had nothing to fear, and that I should 
** live as well as if I were at liberty. 

** The latter part of this speech seem- 
** ed to contain an odd kind of comfort; 
** I made little reply, but submitted to 
** necessity. Once more I was aban- 
^^ doneji to sorrowful reflection ; what a 
" day was the one I now passed — alone 
** and agitated with grief and apprehen- 
** sion! I endeavoured to conjecture the 
" cause of this harsh treatment ; and at 



93 



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length concluded it was designed by 
my father, as a punishment for my for- 
^< mer disobedien'ce. But why abandon 
<^ me to the power of strangers, to men,. 
*^ whose countenances bore the stamp of. 
" viUany so strongly as to impress even. 
'* oiy inexperienced mind with terror!, 
<' surmise involved me only deeper in. 
^* perplexity, yet I found it impossible to 
^' forbear pursuing the subject ; and the 
^' day was divided between lamentation^ 
*« and conjecture. Night at length came, . 
^^ and such a night ! Darkness brought 
" new terrors : I looked round the cham- 
" ber for some means of fastening my, 
" door on the inside, but could perceive 
" none; at last, I contrived to place the 
** back of a chair in an oblique direc->, 
" tion, so as to render it secure* 

I had scarcely done this, and laid 
down upon my bed in my clothes, 
not to sleep, but to watch, when I 
** heard a rap at the door of the house, 
which was opened and shut so quickly, 
that the person who had knocked 
seemed only to deliver a letter or 
<< m'essage*^ . Soon after^ I heard voices 



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9^ 

*^ at intervals in a room below stairs, 
** sometinnres speaking very low, and 
^^ sometimes rising all together, as if ia 
^* dispute. Something more excusable 
*• than curiosity made me endeavour to 
^^ distinguish what was said, but in vain; 
^^ now and then a word or two reached 
^* me^ and once I heard my name re« 
•* peated, but no more. 

^^ Thus passed the hours till midnight^ 
<^ when all became still. I had lain for 
^' some time in a state between fear and 
** hope, when I heard the lock of my 
*^ door gently moved backward and for- 
^* ward; I started up and listened; for 
^^ a moment it was still, then the noise 
" returned, and I heard a whispering 
*^ without ; my spirits diied away, but I 
<' was yet sensible. Presently an effort 
>* was made at the door, as if to force it; 
*^ I shrieked aloud, and immediately 
*^ heard the voices of the men I had seen 
*' at my father's table : they called 
** loudly for the door to be opened, and 
*^ on my returning no answer, uttered 
«^ dreadfiil execrations. I had just 
** strength sufficient to move to the win- 

5 



9^ 

^ dow, in the desperate hope of escap* 
*• ing thence; but my feeble efforiff 
** could not even shake the bars, O ! 
** how can I recollect these moments of 
** horror, and be sufficiently thankful 
** that I am now in safety and comfort. 

" They remained some time at the 
** dooi*, then they quitted it, and went 
« down stairs. How my heart revived 
** at every step of their departure! I fell 
*' upon my knees, thanked God that he 
** had preserved me this time, and im- 
^* plored his farther protection. I was* 
** rising from this short prayer, when sud- 
" derily I heard a noise in a different part 
" of the room, and on looking round, I 
** perceived the door of a small closet f 
*' open, and two men enter the chamber. 

" Thev seized me, and I sunk setise- 
** less in their arms; how long I remain-i 
** ed in this condition I know not; but, 
** on reviving, I perceived myself again 
** alone, and heard several voices from 
" below stairs. I had presence of mind 
*< to run to the door of the closet,' my 
«* only chance of escape ; but it was 
** locked! I then recollected it was pos- 



96 



^^ sible, that the ruffians might have for- 
«c got to turn the key of the chamber* 
^ cloor, which was held by the chair ; 
*^ but here, also, I was disappointed. I 
** clasped my hands in an agony of 
^*. despair, and stood for some time im- 
** moveable. 

^< A violent noise from below roused 
** me, and soon afler I heard people 
^^ ascending the stairs : I now gave my- 
^^ self up for lost. The steps approach* 
^< ed, the door of the closet was again 
*' unlocked. I stood calmly, and again 
^* saw the men enter the chamber; I nei* 
^* ther spoke, or resisted : the faculties 
** of my soul were wrought up beyond 
^< the power of feeling} as a violent blow 
*< on the body stuns for a while the sense 
** of pain. They led me down stairs ; 
^' the door of a room below was thrown 
^^ open, and I beheld a stranger ; it was 
" then that my senses returned; I shriek- 
<< ed, and resisted, but was forced along. 
It is unnecessary to say that this stran* 
ger was Monsieur La Motte, or to 
** add, that I shall for ever bless him as 
** my deliverer.*' 

14 









«7 

Adeline ceased to speak ; Madame La 
JMotte remained silent. There were 
some circumstances in Adeline's narra- 
tive which raised all her curiosity. She 
asked if Adeline believed her father to be 
a party in this mysterious affair. Ade- 
line, though it was impossible to doubt 
that he had been principally and mate- 
rially concerned in some part of it, 
thought, or said she thought, he was in- 
nocent of any intention against her life* 
«* Yet, what motive," said Madame La 
Motte, ** could there be for a degree 
pf cruelty so apparently unprofitable ?'* 
Here the inquiry ended; and Adeline 
confessed she had pursued it, till her 
mind shrunk from all farther research* 

The sympathy which such uncomtpon 
misfortunes excited, Madame La Motte 
now expressed without reserve; and this 
expression of it, strengthened the bond 
of mutual friendship. Adeline felt her 
spirits relieved by the disclosure she bad 
made to Madame La Motte; and the 
latter acknowledged the value, of the 
confidence, by an increase of affection* 
ate attentionSi 

▼Ol-t u f 



9S 



CHAPTER IV. 

w „ My May of life 

<< Is fall'n into the seari the yellow leaf," 

Macjieth* 

*^ Full oft, unknowing and unknown^ 
'< He wore his endless noons alone» 

*^ Amid th' autumnal wood : 
<* Oft was he wont, in hasty fit, 
'^ Abrupt the social board to quit.'* 

WilAHTOir* 

La Motte had now passed above d 
month in this seclusion ; and his wife 
had the pleasure to see him recover tran- 
quillity, and even cheerfulness. In this 
pleasure Adeline warmly participated ; 
and she might justly have congratulated 
herself, as one cause of his restoration ; 
her cheerfulness and delicate attention 
had effected what Madame La Motte's 
greater anxiety had failed to accomplish* 
La Motte did not seem regardless of 



99 

her amiable disposition, and sometimes 
than}ced her in a manner more earnest 
than was usual with him. She, in her 
turn, considered him as her only pro- 
tector, and now felt towards him the af» 
fection of a daughter. 
. The time she had spent in this peace* 
fal retirement had softened the remem* 
brance of past events, and restored her 
mind to its natural tone ; and when nlb« 
^lory brought back to her view her for-» 
mer short and romantic expectations of 
happiness, though she gave a sigh to the' 
rapturous illusion, she less lamented the 
disappointment, than rejoiced in her pi'e* 
sent security and comfort. 

But the satisfaction which La Motte's 
cheerfulness diffused around him was of 
;»hort continuance ; he became suddenly 
gloomy and reserved; the society of his 
family was no longer grateful to him; 
and he would spend whole hours in the 
most secluded parts of the* forest, de- 
voted to melancholy and secret grief. 
He did not, as formerly, indulge the hu« 
mour of his sadness^ without restrdnt, in 
the presence of others; he now evidently 

F 2 



100 

endeavoured to conceal it, and affected 
a cheerfulness that Mras too artificial ta 
escape detection. 

His servant Peter, either impelled by 
curiosity or kindness, sometimes follow- 
ed him, unseen, into the forest. He ob- 
served him frequently retire to one par- 
ticular spot, in a remote part, which 
having gained, he always disappeared, 
before Peter, who was obliged to follow 
at a distance, could exactly notice where. 
All his endeavours, now prompted by 
wonder, and invigorated by disappoint- 
ment, were unsuccessful, and he was 
still compelled to endure the tortures of 
unsatisfied curiosity. 

This change in the manners and habits 
of her husband was too conspicuous to 
pass unobserved by Madame La Motte, 
^bo endeavoured, by all the stratagems 
which affection could suggest, or female 
invention supply, to win him to her con* 
fidence. He seemed insensible to the 
influence of the first, and withstood the 
wiles of the latter. Finding all her ef- 
forts insufficient to dissipate the glooms 
which overhung his mind, or to pene« 



101 



trate their secret cause, she desisted from 
iarther attempt, and endeavoured to sub- 
mit to this mysterious distress. 

Week after week elapsed, and the same 
unknown cause sealed the lips, and cor- 
roded the heart of La Motte. The place 
of his visitation in the forest had not 
been traced. Peter had frequently ex- 
amined round the spot where his master 
^disappeared, but had never discovered 
any recei^s, which could be supposed to 
conceal him. The astonishment of the 
servant was at length raised to an insup- 
portable degree, and he communicated 
to his mistress the subject of it. 

The emotion which this information 
excited, she disguised from Peter, and 
reproved him for the means he had taken 
to gratify his curiosity. But she revolved 
this circumstance in her thoughts, and 
comparing it with the late alteration in 
his temper, her uneasiness was renewed, 
and her perplexity considerably increas* 
ed. After much consideration, being 
unable to assign any other motive for his 
conduct, she began to attribute it to the 
influence of illicit passion ; and her heart, 

F 3 



102 

» • 

which now out-ran her judgment^ conw 
£^rnied the supposition, and roused aH 
the torturing pangs of jealousy. 

Comparatively speaking, she had never 
known affliction till now : she had aban* 
doned her dearest friends and conneo» 
tions — had relinquished the gaieties, the 
luxuries, and almost the necessaries of 
life ; — ^fled with her family into exile, aa 
exile the most dreary and comfortless ; 
cxperieucing the evils of reality, and 
those of apprehension, united : all these 
she had patiently endured, supported by 
the affection of him, for whose sake she 
suffered. Though that affection, indeed, 
had for some time appeared to be abated, 
she had borne its decrease with fortitude; 
but the last stroke of calamity, hitherto 
withheld, now came with irresistible 
force — the love, of which she lamented 
the loss, she now believed was transfer* 
Ted to another. 

The operation of strong passion con- 
fuses the powers of reason, and warps 
them to its own particular direction* 
Her usual degree of judgment, unop>» 
posed by the influence of her hearty 



103 

would probably have pointed out to. 
Madame La Motte some circumstances 
upon the subject of her distress, eq)ii« 
vocal, if not contradictory to her suspi- 
cions* No such circumstances appeared 
to her, and she did not long hesitate to 
decide, that Adeline was the object of 
her husband's attachment. Her beauty 
out of the question, who else, indee^d, 
could it be in a spot thifs secluded from 
the world ? 

The same cause destroyed, almost at 
the same moment, her only remaining 
comfort; and, when she wept that she 
could no longer look for happiness in the 
affection of La Motte, she wept also, 
that she could no longer seek solace in 
the friendship of Adeline. She had too 
great an esteem for- her to doubt, at first, 
the integrity of her conduct; but, ih 
spite of reason, her heart no longer ex*, 
panded to her with its usual warmth of 
kindness. She shrunk from her con- 
fidence, and, as the secret brood ings 
of jealousy cherished her suspicions, 
she became less kind to her, even in 
manner. 

F 4 



104 

Adeline, observing the change, at firsfc 
attributed it to accident, and afterwards 
to a temporary displeasure, arising from 
some little inadvertency in her conduct* 
She therefore increased her assiduities $ 
but perceiving, contrary to all expect* 
ation, that her efforts to please failed of 
their usual consequence, and that the 
reserve of Madame's manner rather ia« 
creased than abated, she beame seri« 
ously uneasy, and resolved to seek an 
explanation. This Madame La Motte 
as sedulously avoided, and was for some 
time able to prevent. Adeline, how. 
ever, too much interested in the event 
to yield to delicate scruples, pressed the 
subject so closely, that Madame was at 
first agitated and confused, but at length 
invented some idle excuse, and laughed 
offtheafiair. 

She now saw the necessity of subdu- 
ing all appearance of reserve towards 
Adeline ; and though her art could not 
conquer the prejudices of passion, it 
taught her to assume, with tolerable suc- 
cess, the aspect of kindness. Adeline 
was deceived, and was again at peace. 



105 

Indeed, confidence in the sincerity and 
goodness of others was her weakness. 
But the pangs of stifled jealousy struck 
deeper to the heart of Madame La Motte, 
and she resolved, at all events, to obtain 
some certainty upon the subject of her 
suspicions. 

She now condescended to an act of 
meanness, which she had before despised, 
and ordered Peter to watch the steps of 
his. master, in order to discover, if possi- #f 
ble, the place of his visitation ! So much 
did passion win upon her judgment, by 
time and indulgence, that she sometimes 
ventured even to doubt the integrity of 
Adeline, and afterwards proceeded to be- 
lieve it possible that the object of La 
Motte's rambles might be an assignation 
with her. What suggested this conjecture 
was, that Adeline frequently took long 
walks alone in the forest, and sometimes 
was absent from the abbey for many 
hours. This circumstance, which Ma- 
dame La Motte had at first attributed to 
Adeline's fondness for the picturesque 
beauties of nature, now operated forcibly 
upon her imagination, and she could 

^ 5 



100 

view it in no light, than as affording an 
o^ortunity for secret conversation with 

her husband. 

Peter obeyed the orders of his mistress 
with alacrity, for they were warmly 
seconded by his own curiosity. All bis 
endeavourfe were, however, fruitless ; he 
never dared to follow La Motte near 
enough to observe the place of his last 
retreat. Her impatience thus heightened 
by delay, and her passion stimulated by 
difficulty, Madame La Motte now re- 
solved to apply to her husband for an 
explanation of his conduct* 

After some consideration, concerning 
the manner most likely to succeed with 
him, she went to La Motte ; but when 
she entered the room where he sat, for- 
getting all her concerted address, she 
fell at his feet, and was, for some mo- 
xnents, lost in tears. Surprized at her 
attitude and distress, he inquired the 
occasion of it, and was answered, that it 
was caused by his own conduct, " My 
" conduct ! What jiart of it, pray P* 
inquired he* 



107 

•* Your reserve, your secret sorrow, 
*' and frequent absence from the abbey." 
^' Is it then so wonderful, that a man, 
** who has lost almost every thing, should 
^^ sometimes lament his misfortunes ? or 
^^ so criminal to attempt concealing his 
^^ grief, that he must be blimed for it 
*' by those, whom he would save from 
•* the pain of sharing it ?*' 

Having uttered these words, he quitted 
the room, leaving Madame La Motte 
lost in surprize, but somewhat relieved 
from the pressure of her former suspi- 
cions. Still, however, she pursued Ade« 
line with an eye of , scrutiny; and the 
mask of kindness would sometimes fall off, 
and discover the features of distrust* 
Adeline, without exactly knowing why^ 
felt less at ease and less happy in her pre* 
sence than formerly; her spirits drooped, 
and she would often, when alone, weep 
at the forlornness of her condition. For- 
merly, her remembrance of past suffer* 
ings was lost in the friendship of Madame 
La Motte ; now, though her behaviour 
was too guarded to betray any striking 
instance of unkindness, there was some- 

r 6 



108 

tiling in her manner which chilled the 
hopes of Adeline, unable as she was to 
analyse it. But a circumstance which 
soon occurred, suspended for a while 
the jealousy of Madame La Motte, and 
roused her husband from his state of 
gloomy stupefaction* 

Peter, having been one day to Au- 
boine, for the weekly supply of provi- 
sions, returned with intelligence that 
awakened in La Motte new apprehension 
and anxiety. 

" Oh, Sir ! Pve heard something that 
« has astonished me, as well it may," 
cried P ** and so it will yoq, when 

*' you come to know it. As I was stand- 
** ing in the blacksmith's shop while the 
*^ smith was driving a nail into the 
** horse's shoe (by the bye, the horse lost 
** it in an odd way, PU tell you. Sir, how 
« it was)— " 

" Nay, prithee, leave it till another 
** time, and go on with your story,** 

" Why then. Sir, as I was standing in 
•* the blacksmith's shop, comes in a man 
*< with a pipe in his mouth, and a large 
^* pouch of tobacco io his band««'^ 



109 

«« Well — what has the pipe to do with 
«' the story?" 

«* Nay, Sir, you put me out ; I can't 
«* go on, unless you let me tell it my own 
** ivay. As I was saying — with a pipe 
** in his month — I think I was there, 
" Your Honour ?" 
*« Yes, yes." 

•* He sets himself down on the bench, 
•* and, taking the pipe from his mouth, 
** says to the blacksmith, ' Neighbour, 
** do you know any body of the name of 
•* La Motte, hereabouts ?' — Bless Your 
** Honour, I turned all of a cold sweat 
** in a minute ! — Is not your Honour 
** well? shall I fetch you any thing ?^' 

" No — but be brief in your narra- 
<« tive." 

« « La Motte ! La Motte ! said the 
** blacksmith, I think Tve heard the 
*« name/ — * Have you?* said I, * you're 
" cunning then, for there's no such 
•* person hereabouts, to my know- 
^* ledge/ 

*^ Fool ! — why did you say that ?" 
•* Because I did not want them toknow 
^< Your Honour was here i and if! had 



cc 



110 

*^ not managed very cleverly, they wonld 
** have found me out. * There is no such 
^^ person hereabouts, to my knowledge/ 
" says I. — * Indeed I' says the black- 
*' smith, * you know more. of the neigh- 
•' bourhood thap I do, then.' — * Aye,* 
•* says the man with the pipe, * that's 
" very true. How came you to know. 
** so much of the neighbourhood ? I 
came here twenty-six years ago, come 
next St. Michael, and you know more 
^^ than I do. How came you to know 
" so much ?' s 

" With that he put his pipe in his 
<^ mouth, and gave a whifF fiiU in my 
*' face. Lord ! Your Honour, I trem- 
** bled from head to foot. * Nay, as for 
«« that matter,* says I, < I don't know 
•* more than other people, but I'm sure 
" I never heard of such a man as that.'— 
*« « Pray,' says the blacksmith, staring me 
*« full in the face, * an't you the man 
^< that was inquiring some time since 
« about Saint Clair's Abbey ?' ^ ' Well, 
« what of that ?' says I ; * what does 
« that prove ?' — ' Why, they say, some- 
•* body lives in the abbey now,' said the 









lit 



** man, turning to the other ; * anxl, for 

aught 1 know, it may be this same La 

Motte.* — ' Aye, or for aught I know 

** either,* says the man with the pipe, 

** getting up from the bench, ' and you 

*' know more of this than ypu'll own. 

*« 1*11 lay my life on't, this Monsieur La 

•* Motte lives at the abbey/ — ' Aye,* 

says 1, * you are out there, for he does 

not live at the abbey now/ 

" Confound your folly !'* cried La 

Motte ^ " but be quick — how did the 

" matter end ?" 

" ' My Master does not live there now,* 
" said I. — * Oh ! oh !* said the man with 
" the pipe, * he is your Master, then ? 
" And pray how long has he left the ab- 
" bey — and where does he live now ?*— 
" ' Hold,* said I, * not so fast — I know 
" when to speak, and when to hold my 
" tongue — but. who has been inquiring 
« for him ?* 

« « What! he expected somebody to in- 
^* quire for him ?* says the man. — ' No,* 
** says I, * he did not, but if he did, what 
** does that prove ? that argues nothings* 
« With that he looked at the blacksmith. 






112 

*^ and they went out of the shop together, 
" leaving my horse's shoe undone. But I 
" never minded that, for the moment 

they were gone, I mounted and rode 

away as fast as I could. But in my 
" fright. Your Honour, I forgot to take 
*' the round-about away, and so came 
" strait home.** 

La Motte, extremely shocked at Pe- 
ter's intelh'gence, made no other reply 
than by cursing his folly, and imme- 
diately went in search of Madame, who 
was walking with Adeline on the banks 
of the river. La Motte was too much 
agitated to soften his information by pre- 
face : ** We are discovered !** said he, 
** the King's officers have been inquiring 
•* for me at Auboine, and Peter has blun- 
" dered upon my ruin!*' He then in- 
formed her of what Peter had related, 
and bade her prepare to quit the abbey. 

" But whither can we fly?*', said Ma- 
dame La Motte, scarcely able to support 
herself. — ** Any where !*' said he, ** to 
** stay here is certain destruction. We 
*« must take refuge in Switzerland, I 
«* think. If any part of France would 



lid 

*^ have coficealed^me, surely it had been 
«• this!" 

** Alas, how are we persecuted !** re^ 
joined Madame* *^ This spot is scarcely 
*^ made comfortable, before we are ob» 
** liged to leave it^ and go we know not 
** whither/* 

** I wish we may not know whither/' 
replied La Motte, *^ that is the least evil 
** that threatens us. Let us escape a 
*' prison, and I care not whither we go. 
^* But return to the abbey immediately, 
** and pack up what moveables you can.'* 
A flood of tears came to the relief of 
Madame La Motte, and she hung upon 
Adeline's arm, silent and trembling : 
Adeline's^ though she had no comfort to 
bestow, endeavoured to command her 
feelings, and appear composed. ^^ Come,** 
said La Motte, ^^ we waste time; let u^ 
^^ lament hereafler, but at present pre- 
** pare for flight. ' Exert a little of that 
** fortitude, which is so necessary for our 
** preservation. Adeline does not weep, 
^^ yet her state is as wretched as your 
<^ own, foa* I know not haw long^ I shall 
*« be able to protect her,^ 



99 



114 

NotwithstandiDg her terror^ this re^ 
proof touched the pride of Madame La 
Motte, who dried her tears^ bat dis- 
dained to reply, and looked at Adeline 
M^ith a strong expression of displeasure. 
As they moved silently towards the 
abbey, Adeline asked La Motte if he waft 
sure they were the King's officers^ wha 
inquired for him.*— '^ I cannot doubt 
*^ it," he replied j ** who else could pos* 
** sibly inquire for me ? Besides^ the be* 
^^ haviour d* the man, who mentioned 
^^ my name, puts the matter beyond a 
** question." 

^^ Perhaps not,'* said Madame La 
Motte ; ^^ let us wait till morning ere 
<* we set off. We may then find it will 
** be unnecessary to go." 

^* We may, indeed; the King's of- 
*' ficers would probably by that time 
<^ have told us ast much.*' La Motte 
went to give orders to Peter. — " Set 
^^ off m an hotir !" said Peter, " Lord 
" bless you. Master! only consider 
^' the coach wheel : it would take me 
^< a day at least to mend it» for Your 



115 

^ Honour knows I never mended one 
" in my life/* 

This was a circumstance which La 
Motte had entirely overlooked. When 
they settled at the abbey, Peter had at 
first been too busy in repairing the apart- 
ments, to remember the carriage, and 
afterwards, believing it would not quickly 
be wanted, he had neglected to do it« 
La Motte's temper now entirely forsook 
him^ and with many execrations he or- 
dered Peter to go to work immediately : 
but on searching for the materials for- 
merly bought, they were no where to be 
found, and Peter at length remembered, 
though he was prudent enough to con^ 
ceal this circumstance, that he had used 
the nails in repairing the abbey. 

It> was now, therefore, impossible to 
quit the forest that night, and La Mott6 
had only to consider the most probable 
plan of concealment, should the officers 
of justice visit the ruin before the morn- 
ing; a circumstance^ which the thought-^ 
lessness of Peter in returning from 
Auboine by the straight way, made not 
unlikely. 



116 

' At firsts indeed, it occurred to bitii^ 
that though his family could not be re- 
moved, he might himself take one of 
the horses, and escape from the forest 
before night. But he thought there 
would dtill be some danger of detection 
in the towns through which he must 
pass, and he could not well bear the idea 
of leaving his family unprotected, with* 
out knowing when he could return to 
them, or whither he could direct them 
to follow him. La Motte was not a man 
of very vigorous resolution, and he was, 
perhaps, rather more willing to suffer in 
company than alone. 

After much consideration, he recol- 
lected the trap-door of the closet belong- 
ing to the chambers above : it was in- 
visible to the eye, and whatever might 
be its direction, it would securely shelter 
him at least from discovery. Having 
deliberated farther upon the subject, he 
determined to explore the recess to 
which the stairs lid, and thought it 
possible, that for a short time his whole 
family might be concealed within it. 
There was little time between the sug* 



117 

gestion of the plan and the execution 6^ 
his purpose, for darkness was spreading 
around, and in every murmur of the 
wind, he thought he heard the voices of 
his. enemies. 

He called for a light, and ascended 
alone to the chamber. When he came 
to the closet, it was sometime before he 
could find the trap-door, so exactly did 
it correspond with the boards of the 
floor. At length he found and raised it. 
The chill damps of long-confined air 
rushed from the aperture, and he stood 
for a moment to let them pass, ere he 
descended. As he stood looking down 
the abyss, he recollected the report which 
Peter had brought concerning the abbey^ 
and it gave him an uneasy sensation; 
but this soon yielded to more pressing 
interests. 

The stairs were steep, and in many 
places trembled beneatjb his weight* 
Having continued to descend for some 
time, his feet touched the ground, and 
he found himself in a narrow passage ; 
but as he turned to pursue it, the damp 
vapours curled round him and esLtin^ 



U8^ 

guished the light* He called aloud for 
Peter, but could make nobody hear, and 
after some time, he endeavoured to find 
bis way up the stairs^ In this, with dif- 
ficulty, he succeeded, and, passing the 
chambers with cautious steps, descended 
the tower* 

The security, which the place he had 
just quitted seemed to promise, was of 
too much importance to be slightly re- 
jected, and he determined immediately 
to msJce another experiment with the 
light : — having now fixed it in a lanthorn, 
be descended a second time to tlie pas- 
sage. The current of vapours^ occa- 
sioned by the opening of the trap-door 
vras abated, and the fresh air thence ad- 
mitted had begun to circulate: La Motte 
passed on unmolested. 

The passage was of considerable length, 
and led him to a door, which was fast- 
ened. He placed the lanthorn at some 
distance, to avoid the current of air, and 
applied his strength to the door: it 
shook under his hands, but did not yield. 
Upon examining it more closely, he per- 
ceived the v^ood round the lock was de* 



119 

«ayed, probably by the damps, and this 
encouraged him to proceed. After some 
time it gave way to his effort^ and he 
found himself in a square stone room* 

He stood for- some time to survey it* 
The walls, which were dripping with un* 
wholesonie dews, were entirely bare, and 
afforded not even a window. A small 
iron grate alone admitted the air. At 
the farther end, near a low recess, was 
another door. La Motte went towards 
it, and, as he passed, looked into the re« 
cess. Upon the ground within it, stood 
a large chest, which he went forward to 
examine, and, lifting the lid, he saw the 
remains of a ^human skeleton. Horror 
struck upon his heart, and he involun* 
tarily stepped back. During a pause of 
some moments, his first amotions subsi* 
ded. That thrilling curiosity which ob« 
jects of terror often excite in the human 
mind, impelled him to take a second 
view of this dismal spectacle. 

Ta Motte stood motionless as he gazed; 
the object before him seemed to confirm 
the report that some person had former- 
ly been murdered in the abbey. At 



1^ 

length be closied the chest, and advan« 
ced to the second door, which also was 
fastened, but the key was in the lock. 
He turned it with difficulty, and then 
found the door was held by two strong 
bolts. Having undrawn these, it dis* 
closed a flight of steps which he descen* 
ded : they terminated in a chain of low 
vaults, or rather cells, that, from the 
manner of their construction and pre-- 
sent condition, seemed to have been co« 
eval with the most ancient parts of the 
abbey. La Motte, in his then depressed 
state of mind, thought them the burial 
places of the monks, who formerly in- 
habited the pile above ; but they were 
more calculated for places of penance 
for the living, than of rest for the dead. 
Having reached the extremity of these 
cells, the way was again closed by a door. 
La Motte now hesitated whether he 
should attempt to proceed any farther. 
The present, spot seemed to afford the 
security he sought. Here he might pass 
the night unmolested by apprehension 
4>f discovery, and it was most probable, 
that if the officers arrived in the night. 



121 

and found tfae'&bbey vacated, they woold 
quit it before morning, or, at least, he^ 
fere he could have any occasion to 
emetg^ Irom concealment. These con- 
siderations restored bis mind to a state of 
greater composure. His only immei'^ 
diate care was to bring his family, as* 
soon as possible, to this place of security »' 
lest the oflScers should come unawarear 
upon them ; and while he stood thus 
musing, be blamed himself for delay« 

But; an irresistible desire of knowing 
to what this door led arrested his steps, 
and he turned to open it : the doory 
however, was fastened^ and as he at^ 
teinpted to force it, he suddenly thought 
he heard a noise above. It now occur-^ 
]20d to him, that the officers might al- 
ready have arrived, and he quitted the' 
q^lls with precipitation, intending to lis* 
ten at the trap-door. ' 

*' There, said he, I may wait in secu« 
^« rity, and perhaps hear something of 
** what passes. My family wHl not be^ 
*f known, or, at ieast, not hurt, and 
«^ their uneasiness on my account) thejr 
^ must learn to endure/* 

VOL. I. Q 



XI ^^- . 



. These were the zrguments of La 
Motte, in which, it must be owned^ self- 
iab prudence was more conspicuous than 
tender anxiety for his wife. He had by 
this time reached the bottom of the stairs, 
when, on looking up, he perceived the 
trap-door W2» left open, and ascending ia 
l^aste to close it, he heard footsteps ad. 
dancing .through the chambers above* 
Before he could descend entirely out of 
sight, he again looked up and perceived 
through the aperture the face of a man 
looking down upon him. ^^ Mairter,'^ 
cried Peter ;i-^La Motte was somewhat 
relieved at the sound of his voice, though 
angry that he had occasioned him so^ 
much terror. 

^< What brings you here, and what is- 
<* . the matter below ?*' 

. ^^ Nothing, Sir, nothiog's the matt^, 
^^ only my mistress sent me to see after 
•< your Honour.** 

^* There's nobody there tben,'*^ said La 
Motte, " setting his foot upon the step.** 

: << Yes, Sir, there is my mistress and" 
^ Mademoiselle Adeline and — ^* 



1^ 

M W«fl— well," said La Motte, hnjklf 
— «* go your ways, I am coming/' 

He informed Madame La Motte 
yi/here he had been, and of his intention 
of secreting himself, and deliberated 
upon the means of convincing the officers, 
idb<mld they arrive^ that he bad quitted 
the abbey. For this purpme he ordered 
all the moveable furniture to be convey- 
ed to the cells below. La Motte hint. 
self assisted in the business, and every 
band waa employed for dispatch. In a 
▼ery 4short time, the habitaUe part of the 
fabric was left almost as desolate ad he 
had found it He then bade Feter take 
the horses to a distaace from the abbey, 
and turn them loose* After fartlier con-r 
sidera^on, hetiiougfat it might cotitri^ 
bote to mislead the officers if* he placed 
in some conspicuous part of the &imc sm 
incriptbo, signifying his cotk^itum^ and 
mentioning the liate of his departure 
£rom tibe tibbey* Over the door of the 
tower, whieh led to tiie habitable part 
0f the structure^ he tiierefbre cut tba 
foliewiag lines : 

e t 



■^ 



^ 



^ ^ jrel whom tmsfortune may lead to fhtf ff^dl^ 
-^ Xearn that there a^e others, as miserable as jour- 
"jselv^s." 

> 

p Irr-M— - — , sa wretghed exile, ^ught 

•<within these walls a refuge from persecution, on 
the 27th of April 1658, and quitted them on the 
^2th of July in the same year, in4»earch4>f^ mora 
; ^onFenieot asyluqu 

Aftet engraving these woriis vnth a krdSs^ 
4he small stock of provisions remaining 
Iram the week's supply (for Peter, ia 
bis fright, bad returned .ttnloaded from 
his iMt journey) was put into a basket, 
jknd La Motte having assembled his fa- 
snify, they all ascended the stairs, of the 
tower, and passed through the chambers 
to the closet. Peter went first with a 
jKght, and with some difficulty found the 
trap^door. Madame La Motte shud- 
dered as she surveyed the gloomy abyss; 
but they were all silent. 

La Motte now took th^ light, a&d led 
Ihe way ; Madame followed, and then 
Adeline. ^ These old Monks loved 
^* good wine, as well as other people/' 
fiaid Peter, who brought up the rear, 



1^ 

" 1 Warrant Your HoDour,- na>^, this was 
^* their cellar j I smell the casks al* 
•* ready.*' ' 

" Peace/' said La Motte, " reserves 
*^ your jokes for a proper occasion." 

*' There is no harm in loving good 
«* wine, as Your Honour knows." 

" Have done with this buffoonery/* 
said La Motte in » tone more authori<< 
tative, " and go first." Peter obeyed. 

They came to the vaulted room. The 
dismal spectacle he had seen here, deter^ 
red La Motte, from passing the night ia 
this chamber ; and the furniure had, by 
his own order, been conveyed to the cella 
below. He was anxious that his family 
should not perceive the skeleton j an ob# 
ject, wliicli would, probably, excite a 
degree of horror not to be overcome du- 
ring their stay La Motte now passed 
the chest in haste ; and Madame La 
Motte and Adeline were too much en- 
grossed by their own thoughts, to give 
minute attention to external circum- 
stances. 

When they reached the cells, Madame 
Xra Motte wept at the necessity which 

<^ 3 



126 

condemned her to a spot so dismal. 
•* Alas," said she, ^ are we, indeed, thus 
** reduced ! The apartments above for- 
^ merly appeared to me a deplorable ha- 
^^ bitation ; but they are a palace, com- 
•* pared to these T' 

" True, my dear," said La Motte, 
<< and let the remembrance of what you 
^ once thought them, soothe your dis- 
** content now ; these cells are also a 
" palace, compared to theBicdtre, or the 
♦* Bastille, and to the terrors of farther 
*^ punishment, which would accompany 
** them : let the apprehension of the 
*« greater evil teach you to endure the 
^* less ; I am contented if we find here 
•* the refuge I seek." 

Madame La Motte was silent, and 
Adeline, forgetting her late unkindness, 
endeavoured as much as she could to 
console her ; while her heart was sinking 
with the misfortunes, which she could 
not but anticipate, she appeared com* 
posed, and even cheerful. She attended 
Madame La Motte with the most watch* 
ful solicitude, and felt so thankful that 
La Motte was now secreted within this 



1^ 

recess, that she almost lost her perdep^ 
tion of its glooms and inconveniences. 

This she artlessly expressed to him^ 
'Vrho could not be insensible to the ten^ 
deraess it discovered. Madame La 
Motte was also sensible of it, and it 
renewed a painful sensation. The effu- 
sions of gratitude she mistook for those 
of tenderness. 

La Motte returned frequently to the 
trap-door, to listen if any body was in 
the abbey, but no sound disturbed the 
stiUness of night; at length they saC 
down to supper ; the repast was a melan- 
choly one. " If the officers do not 
come hither to-night," said Madame 
JjsL Motte, sighing, ^ suppose, my dear, 
•• Peter returns to Auboine to-morrow ; 
" -he may there learn something more o( 
/* this affair; or at least he might pro- 
•* cure a carriage to convey us hence.'* 

*• To be sure he might," said La 
Motte, peevishly, ** and people to attend 
•* it also. Peter would be an excellent 
** person to shew the officers the way to 
^ the abbey, and to inform them of what 

4 



1 



I 



^ 



128 

•** they might else be in doubt aboutj 
" my concealment here,** 
^' " How cruel is this irony!*' replied 
Madame La Motte— " I proposed only 
^* what I thought would be for our mu^ 
^* tual good ; my judgment was, per- 
f* haps, wrong, but my intentioa waj 
f* certainly right*' Tears swelled intQ 
her eyes as she spoke these words, 
Adeline wished to relieve her ; but deli- 
cacy kept her silent. La Motte ob^ 
swerved the effect of his speech^ and 
something like remorse i^uched his heart* 
Jie approached, and taking her band, 
** You must allow for the perturbatioq. 
of my mind/' said he, <^ I did not 
mean to afflict you thus. The idea of 
^^ sending Peter to Auboine, where he 
^' has already done so much harm by 
^/ bis blunders, teazed me, and I could 
not let it pass unnoticed* No, my 
dear, our only chance of safety is to 
•* remain where we are while our pro- 
*< visions last. If the officers do not 
** come here to-night, they probably wiU 
** to-morrow, or perhaps the next day^^ 
" When they have searched the abbey,. 



CC 



<4 



X99 

" without finding me, they will depart; 
*• we may then emerge from this recess^ 
^ and take measures for removing to a 
**^ distant country/' 

Madame La Motte acknowledged the 
ju stice of his words, and her mind being 
relieved by the little apology he had 
made, she became tolerably cheerful* 
Supper beipg eqded. La Motte stationed 
the faithful, though simple, Peter, at 
the foot of the steps that ascended to 
the closet, there to keep watch during 
tlie night; Having done this, he re« 
turned to the lower cells, where he had 
lefl his little family. The beds were 
spread, and having mournfully bade each 
other good night, they laid down, and 
implored rest 

Adeline's thoughts were too busy to 
suffer her to repose, and when she he^ 
lieved her companions were sunk ia 
plumber, she indulged the sorrow which 
reflection brought. She also looked for^ 
ward to the future with the most mourn- 
ful apprehension. << Should La Motte 
<* be seized, what was to become of her? 
•♦ She would then be a wanderer in the 

G 5 



••^. 



ISO 

^* wide world} without friends to pro- 
** tect, or money to support her; the 
•* prospect was ^oomy— was terrible t** 
She surveyed it and shuddered ! The 
distresses too of Monsieur and Madame 
La Motte, whom she loved with the most 
lively affection, formed no incofisidera^ 
ble part of her'^s. 

Sometimes she looked back to her 
ikther; but in him she only saw an 
enemy, from whom she must % : this 
xemembrance heightened her sorrow; 
yet it was not the recollection of the 
suffering he had occasioned her, by 
which she was so much afflicted, as by 
the sense of his unkindiiess : she wept 
bitterly. At length, with that artless 
piety which innocence only knows, she 
addressed the Supreme Being, and re- 
signed herself to his care. Her mind 
then gradually became peaceful and re« 
assured, and soon after she sunk to 
lepose. 



laf 



CHAPTER V. 
A Surprize-Ati Adventure-A Mystery,. 

The night paned withoirt any alarm ; 
Peter had remained upon his post, and 
lieard notfamg that prevented his sleep* 
ing. La Motte heard him, long before 
Be saw him, most musically snoring; 
tbough it must be owned there was more 
of the bass, than of anj other part of the 
gamut in bis performance. He was 
soon roused by the brtwura of La Motte^ 
whose notes sounded discord to his ears, 
atrd destroyed the torpor of his tran^ 
quillity. 

^ God Mess you, Master, what's the 
** matter?'* cried Peter,^ waking j " ate 
•• they come ?'* 

** Yes, for aught you care, they might 
** be come. Did 1 place you here to 
^ sleep, sirrah P* 

^ Bless you, Master,^* returned Peter^ 
•< sleep is the Q»ly comfort to be had 

06 



isi 

^^ here ; Pm sure I would not deny it to 
*^ a dog in such a place as this/' 

La Motte sjkemly questioned him con- 
cerning any noise he might have heard 
in the night, and Peter full as soleninly 
protested he had heard none; an asser« 
tion which was strictly true, for he had 
enjoyed the comfort c£ being asleep the 
whole time. 

La Motte ascended to the trap-doorj, 
and listened attentively. No sounds 
were heard, and, as he ventured to lift 
it, the full light of the sun burst upon 
his sight, the morning being now far- 
advanced ; he walked softly along the 
chambers, and looked through a win- 
dow: no person was to be seen. £n^ 
couraged by this apparent security, be 
ventured down the stairs of the tower^ 
urtd entered the first apartment. He 
was proceeding towards the second, 
when suddenly recollecting himself^ ha 
first peeped through the crevice of the 
door, which stood half open. He looked,* 
and distinctly saw a person sitting neat 
the window, upon which his arm re8ted« 



^ The discovery so much shocked him} 
that for a moment he lost all presence o^ 
mindy'and was utterly unable to nnova 
^m the spot. The person, whose back 
was towards him, arose, and turned his 
head* La Motte now recovered himself^ 
and quitting the apartment as quickly^ 
and at the same time as silently as pos« 
sible, ascended to the closet. He raised 
the trap-door, but before he closed it^ 
heard the footsteps of a person entering^ 
the outer chamber. Bolts, or other; 
fastening to the trap there was none ; 
and his security depended solely uponr 
the exact correspondence of the boards^ 
The outer door of the stone room had 
no means of defence ; and the fastenings 
of the inner one were on the wrong side 
to afford him security, even till some 
means of escape could be found. 
. When he reached this room, he paused^ 
and heard distinctly, persons walking ia 
the closet above. While he was listen>» 
ing, he heard a voice call him by name^ 
and he instantly fled to the cells below^ 
expecting every moment to hear the 
trap lifted, and the footsteps of pursuit ^ 



rs4 

hal be Wft9 fled bejond tbe reach of 
bearing either. Having thrown fatmself 
on the ground, at the farthest extremitf 
ef the vaults, he lay for some time breath- 
less with agitation. Madame La Motte 
and Adeline, in the utmost terror, in- 
quired what had happened. It was 
some time before he could speak ; when 
he did, it was almost unnecessary, far 
line distant noises, which sounded iron 
aboTe, informed the ^mily of a part of 
^e truth. 

The sounds did not seem to approach, 
But Madame La Motte, unable to con- 
nand her terror, shrieked aloud r this 
redoubled the distress of La Motte. 
^ You hate already destroyed me,** 
cried he; ^ that shriek has informed 
*» them where I am.** He traversed 
the cells with clasped hands and quick 
steps. Adeline stood pale and^ still' as 
deaths supporrting Madame La Motte^ 
whom with difficulty, she prerented from 
feinting. "G! I>upras! Dupras! yont 
^ are already avenged !" said he, in a 
voice that seemed to burst from bis 
heart : there was a pause of silence; 



135 

*< But wby should I decehre myself with 
<« a hope of escaping?*^ he resumed^ 
•« why do I wait here for their coming ? 
^ Let me rather end these torturing 
*« pangs by throwing myself into their 
^ hands at once.** 

As he spoke, he moved towards the 
door ^ but the distresses of Madame La 
Motte arrested his steps. *< Stay!" ssud 
she, *^ for my sake stay ; do not leave 
^^ me thus, nor throw yourself volunta* 
^ rify upon destruction !** 

^^ Surely, Si»," said Adeline, *^ you 
*^ are too precipitate ; this despair is 
^ usetess, as it is ill-founded. We hear 
^ no person approaching ; if the officers 
*^ bad discovered the trap-door, they 
* would certainly have been here before 
<* now.*^ The words of AdeRne stilled 
^e tumult of his mind: the agitation i^ 
terror subsided ; and reason beamed a 
feeMe ray upon his hopes. He listened 
attentively, and perceiving that all wa;8 
silent advanced with caution to the stone 
jtoom, and thence to the foot of the 
stairs* that led to the trap^door. It was 
elosedi no sound was heard above. 



He wfttcbed a long time; and the su« 
Ifence continuing, his hopes strengthened^ 
and at length he began to believe Uiafe 
the officers had quitted the abbey y the 
day however was spent in anxious watch* 
fulness. He did not dare to unclose the 
trap-door; and he frequently thought 
he heard distant noises. It was evident^ 
however, that the secret of the closet 
had escaped discovery ; and on this cir* 
cumstancehe justly founded his security^ 
The following night was passed, like the 
day, in trembling hope, and incessant 
watching. 

But the necessities of hunger now 
threatened them. The provisions, which 
had been distributed with the nicest> 
economy, were nearly exhausted, and 
the most deplorable consequences might 
be expected from their remaining longer 
in concealment. Thus circumstanced, 
La Motte deliberated upon the mosfr 
prudent method of proceeding. There 
appeared no other alternative, than to 
send Peter to Auboine, the only town^ 
irom which he could return within the 
time .prescribed by their necessities^ 



\ 



137 

There was game^ indeed, in the forest ; 
but Peter, could neither handle a^gun, or 
use a fishing-rod to any advantaged 
f It was therefore agreed he should go 
to Auboine for a supply of provisions,, 
s^nd at the same time bring materials for 
mending the coach wheel, that they 
might have some ready conveyance from 

the forest* La Motte forbade Peter, to 

* 

ftsk any questions concerning the people 
yffho had inquired for him, or take any 
methods for discovering whether they 
had quitted the country, lest his blundera 
^houtd again betray him. He ordered: 
him to be entirely silent as to these 
subjects, and to finish his business, and 
leave the place with« all possible dispatch^ 
A^difiiculty yet remained to be over- 
ctome — Who should first venture abroad 
ixito the abbey, to learn whether it was 
vacated by the officers of justice? Lat 
Motte considered, that if he was agaia 
seen, he should.be effectually betrayed f 
^.hich- could not be so certain, if one 
of his, family was observed, for they 
\vere each unknown to the officers. It 
^as neces^ary^ however, that thQ peraoiv 



/ 



ISi 

tie sent should bave courage enough to 
go. through with the inqoky, and wit 
enough to conduct it with cautimi* 
Fkter^ perhaps^ had the first ; but was 
certainly destitute of the last. Annette 
had neither. La Motte looked at his 
wife, and asked her, if, for bis imke, she 
darei to venture. Her heart shrunk 
firom the proposal, yet she was unwilling 
to refuse, of appear indifferent upon a 
point so essential ta the safety of her 
liu^and. Adeline observed in her couq<« 
tenance the agitation c^ her mind, and, 
surmounting the fears which had hitherto 
kq>t her silent, she offered herself to go. 
« They will be less likely to oflfend 
** me,** said she " than a man." Shame 
would not suffer La Motte to accept her 
offer; and Madame, touched by the 
magnanimity of her conduct, felt a mo-* 
ttentary renewal of all her former kind** 
ness» Adeline pressed her proposal so 
warmly, and seemed so much in earnest, 
that La Motte began to hesitate. ^^ Yon, 
** Sir,** said she, "once preserved me 
^ from the most imminent danger, and 
*< yous kindness has since protected me. 



4€ 



1S9 

^ Do not refuse me the sat i^ction €if 
^^ deserving your goodness, by a grate* 
'^ fal return of it. Let me go into the 
'^ abbej, and if, by so doing, Isb^Hitd 
presenre yoa from evil, I shall be su^^ 
ficiently rewarded for what little dan>i 
ger i may incur, for my pleasure will 
** be at least equal ta your's.** 

Madame La Motte could scarcely re^ 
frain from tears as Adeline spoke ; and 
La Motte, sighing deeply, said, ^* Well^ 
^^ be it so ; go, Adeline, and from this 
^^ moAient consider me as your debtor/' 
Adeline stayed not to reply, but taking 
a I%ht, quitted the cells. La Motte fol- 
lowing to raise the trap-door, and cau<» 
tioning her to look, if possible, into every 
apartment, before she entered it. ^' If 
" you should be seen,** said be, " you 
^* must account for your appearance so 
** as not to discover me. Your own pre** 
^^ sence of mind may assist you, I can* 
^ not.— God bless you I*' 

When she was gone, Madame La 
Motte*is admiration of her conduct be. 
gan to yield to other emotions. DistruBt 
gradually undermined kindness^ smd3«ai* 



140 

}ou«y raised suspicions. ^^ It most Ge nr 
*^ sentiment/ more powerful than gratis 
^ tude," thought she, " that could 
^ teach Adeline to subdue her fears; 
^ What, but love, could influence her 
^ to a conduct so generous !" Madame. 
Xa Motte, when she found it impossible 
to account for Adeline's conduct, with^ 
out alleging some interested motives 
for it, however her suspicions' might 
agree with the practice of the world, had 
wrely forgotten how much she once ad^* 
mired the purity and disinterestedness 
Clf her young friend; 

Adeline, mean while, ascended to tbe 
ehambers ; the cheerful beams of the sun 
played once more upon her sight, and re« 
animated her spirits y she walked lightly 
through the apartments, nor stopped till^ 
file came to the stairs of tbe tower. Here 
she stood for some time, but no ^und& 
met her ear, save the sighing of the wind 
among the trees, and at length she de-i 
scended. She passed the apartments be- 
Imvit, without seeing any person ; and the 
little furniture that remained, seemed ta 
Inland exactly as she had left it. She nan? 



141 

ventured to look out Trom *tlie tower! 
the only animate objects thlit Appeared 
w&ce the deer, quietly grazing under the. 
shade of the woods. Her favourite lit* 
tie fawn distinguished Adeline, and came 
boun^ng towards her with strong marka^ 
of joy. She was somewhat alarmed kst 
the animal, being observed, should be* 
tray her, and walked'awiftly away through 
tlie cloisters. 

She opened the door <that led to tha 
great hall of the abbey, but the passage 
was so gloomy and dark, that she feared 
to enter it, and started back. It was 
necessary, however, that she should ex«r 
amine further, particularly on the op.po«^ 
site side of the ruin, of which she had 
hitherto ^ad no view : but .her fears re^ 
taimed when she recollected ^ow far it. 
ivould lead her from her only place of re* 
and how difficult it would be to re- 
She hesitated what to do ; but^ 
when she recollected her obliga4;ions to 
La Motte, and considered this as, per- 
haps, her only op||ortunity of doing him. 
a service, she determined to proceed. 




i44 

iiveljr, ' that it was witii'difficuify she 
could isupport herself-Hsbe hesitated, and 
knew not what to reply. Her manner 
seemed to confirm tbe suspicions of the 
stranger, and her -consciousness of this 
increased her embarrassment : be took 
advantage of it to press iier farther. 
Adeline at length replied, that 'f La 
^^ Motte had some since resided at the 
^bbey.** — ^^ And does still. Madam/' 
^id the stranger ; << lead me to where 
^^ he .may be ibund-r-I must see hiai« 
andr— ** 

" Never, Sir,^' replied Adeline, " aad 
^^ I solemnly assure you, it will be ia 
*• v^n to search for him/* 

•^ That I must try,*' resumed he* 
'^ ^ince you. Madam, will not assist me* 
<^ I have already followed him to some 
** chambers above, where I suddenly lost 
^ him: thereabouts he toust be con. 
'« ce;aled, and it's plain, tlierefore, they 
" afford some secret passage.'* 

Without waiting Adeline's reply, h< 
»prung to the door of the tower. She' 
now thought it would betray a conscious- 
ness of the truth of hi# cpnj.€«rture to (ol* 



145 



low. him, and resolved to remain be- 
low. But, upon farther consideration it 
occurred to her, that he might st^al 
sihmtly into the closet, and possibly sur. 
pnze La Motte at the door of the trap. 
She therefore hastened after him, that 
her voice m^t prevent the danger she- 
^prebended. He was already in the se- 
c^nd chamber when she overtook him ; 
she itnnlediately b^an to speak aloud. 

Ibis, room he searched with the most 
^rupulous care j but finding no private 
door or other outlet, he proceeded to 
the closet : then it was that it required 
ail her fortitude to conceal her agitation. 
tie continued the search. "Within 
** these chambers I know he is conceal- 
« ed," said he, « though hitherto I have 
not been able to discover how It 
«* was hither I followed a man, whom I 
« believe to be him, and he could not 
*' escape without a passage ; I shall not 
** quit the place till I have found it." 

He examined the walls and the boards 
but without discovering the division of 
the floor; which, indeed, so exactly cor 
responded, that La Motte himaetf had 

•UAT r - — 



VOL, I. H 



146 

not perceived it by the eye» but by tl^ 
trembling of the floor beneath his feet* 
<< Here is some mystery/' said the stnm- 
ger^ ^^ which I cannot comprehend, and 
*f perhaps never shall.'' He was turn- 
ing to quit the closet, when, who can 
paint the distress of Adeline, upon seeing 
the trap'door gently raised, and La 
Motte himself appear 1 ^^ Hah !" cried 
the stranger, advancing eagerly to faini« 
La Motte sprang forward, and they were 
locked in each other's arms. 

The astonishment of Adeline, for a 
moment, surpassed even her former dts« 
tress i but a remembrance darted across 
her mind, which explained the prewnt 
scene, and before La Motte could ex- 
claim, ^^ My son !" she knew the stran- 
ger as such. Peter, who stood at the 
foot of the stairs, and heard what passed 
above, flew to acquaint his mistrera with 
the joyful discovery, and, in a few mo- 
ments, she was folded in the embrace ci 
her son. This spot^ so lately the mansion 
of despair, seemed metamorphosed into 
the palace of pleasure, and the waUa 



147 

eehoed only to the accents ot j&y and 
coMgratiilation. 

The joy of Peter on this occasion was 
be3n(md expression : be acted a perfect 
paDtomi me^^— he capered about, * clapped 
hAods-^ran to his yoong master — 
him by the hand, in spite of the 
frowns of La Motte j ran erery where, 
without knowing for what, and gave no 
t»itional answer to any thing that was said 
to bkn* 

After their first emotions were sub* 
sidecis La Motte, as if suddenly recol- 
lecting himself, resumed his^ wonted 
aolemaily : ^^ I am t^ blame/' said he, 
** thus to give way to joy, when I am 
^ atiJly perhaps, sinrronnded by danger. 
<^ Lefc u& secure a retreat while it is yet 
*^ io our power/* eontinuedhe; ^^in a 
^ &wboars the King'^t efficejns may search 
** few me again.'' ' 

Xmiis ccmiprehended his father's 
words^ and immediately relieved his 
apprabeoaiona by the following rela-^ 
tion:-^ 

« A letter from Monsieur Nemours, 
*« containijfig an account of your flight 



N 



-■J 



CC 



148i 

^* from Paris, reached me at Peronne, 
*« where I was then upon duty with my 
^^ regiment. He mentioned, that you 
*^ were gone towards the south of Fhmce; 
^^ but as he bad not since beard from 
** you, he was ignorant of the place of 
" your refuge. It was about this time 
^' that I was dispatched into Flanders ; 
and, being unable to obtain farther in- 
telligence of you, I passed ^onie weeks 
of very painful solicitude. At the con-; 
^^ elusion of the campaign, I obtained 
** leave of absence, and immediately set 
*^ out for Paris, hoping to learn from 
** Nemours, where you had rfound in 
" asylum. ' 

Of this, however^ he was equally 
ignorant with myself. He informed 
me that you had once before written 
« to him from D , iipon your second 
" day's journey from Paris, ufider an as- 
^^ sumed name, as had been agreed upon; 
^ and that you then said the fear of dis- 
" covery would prevent yodr hazardipg 
" another letter: he, therefore, remained 
** ignorant of your abode, but said, he 
^< had no doubt you had continued your 



CC 
CC 
CC 






149 

«* journey to the southward. Upon this 
slender information I quitted Paris in 
search of you, and proceeded immedi- 
«* ately to V——, where my inquiries, 
*^ concerning your farther progress were 

** successful as far as M . There they 

*^ told me you* had staid some time, on 
account of the illness of a young lady ; 
a circumstance which perplexed me 
^^ much, as I could not imagine what 
young lady would accompany you. I 
proceeded, however, to L— — ; but 
*^ there all traces of you seemed to be 
** lost. As I sat musing at the window 
^^ of the inn, I observed some scribbling 
*^ on the glass, and the curiosity of idle- 
^^ ness prompted me to read it. I thought 
<f I knew the characters, and the lines I 
^^ read confirmed my conjecture ; for I 
*^ remembered to have heard you often 
** repeat them. 

«' Here I renewed my inquiries eoit^ 
^< cerning your route, and at length I 
^^ made the people of the inn* recollect 
<^ you, and traced you as far as Auboine. 
^^ There I again lost you, till upon my 
^' return from a fruitless inquiry in the 

» 3 



• 






ISO 

^ i)eighbourhaod» the landlord of A^ Itt* 
<* lie inn where I lodged, told me lie be- 
*^ lleved he had heard news of you^ and 
*^ immediately recounted what had hap- 
^^ pened at a blackamith's shop a few 
" hours before* 
<' His description of Peter was so exacts 
that I had not a doubt it was yoa 
who inhabited the abbey ; and^ as I 
knew your necessity for ooncealiiient» 
Peter's denial did not shake my confi- 
" dence* The next morning, with the 
assistance at' my landlord, I found my 
way hither, and, having searched every 
^' visible part of the fabric, I began to 
«^ credit Peter's assertion : your appev- 
anoe, however, destroyed ^is fear, hy 
proving that the place was^ till inha^i 
^^ bited ; for you disappeared so instan- 
*' taneously, that I was not certain it was 
^< you whom I had seen« I continued 
<f seeking you till near the close of day, 
^' and till then scarcely quitted the cham- 
^< bers whence you had disappeared. I 
^ called on you repeatedly, believing 
^^ that my voice might convince you of 












151 



«« your mistake. At length I retired, to 
^* pass the night at a cottage near the 
^^ border of the forest. 

<c I came early this morning, to renew 
^^ my inquiries, and hoped that, beltev- 
«« ing yourself safe, you would emerge 
<* Aam coneealment But how was I dis^ 
^^ appointed to find the abbey as silent 
<< and sditary as I had left it the pre- 
<< ceding eveningif I was returning once 
^ more from the great hall, when the 
^' TOice of this young lady caught my 
^ ear, and effected the discovery J had 
^< m anxiocisly sought/' 

Tidn little narrative entirely dissipated 
the l»te i^pprehenslons of La Motte ; but 
ho^now dfseaded that the inquiries of his 
son, and his own obvious desire of con- 
cealment, might excite a cariosity 
amongst the people of Auboinei and lead 
to a discovery of his true circumstances. 
However, for the present be determined 
to dismiss all painful thoughts, and en^ 
deavour fo enjoy the comfort which the 
preface of his son had brought him. 
The furniture was removed to a more ha- 
t)itable part of the abbey, and the cells 

H 4 



152 

.yt^ete again abahdoned to their own 
glooms. 

The arrival of her son seiemed to have 
animated Madame La.Mottewith new 
life, and all her .a£9ictions wiere,;for .the 
present, s^sorbed in joy. She often 
gazed silently on him with a mother's 
fondness, and her partiality 4)mghtiened 
-every improvement which time ihad 
wrought tn his person* and manner. He 
was now in his twenty-third year ; his 
person wasL manly, and his air qiilitary ; 
.his manners were unaffected and .gr^ce- 
'j^ul, rather than dignified ; and though 
his features were irregular^ they com- 
posed a countenance, which, having s^ea 
it once, you would seek again. 

She made eagiar inquiries after the 
friends she had left at Paris, ai^iearned, 
that within the few months- ol' her. ab- 
sence, some had died and others quitted 
the place. La Motte also learned, that 
a very strenuous search for him had been 
prosecuted at Paris ; and, though this 
intelligence was only what he had before 
expected, it shocked him so much, that 
he now declared it would be expedient 



153 

to remove to a distant country.. , Louis 
did not scruple to say, that he thought 
he would be as safe at the abbey as at 
any other place ; and repeated what Ne- 
mours had said, that the King's officers 
had been unable to trace any part of his 
route from Paris* 



** Besides/* resumed Louis, " this 



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CC 



abbey is protected by a supernatural 
power, and none of the country people 
dare approach it." 
•* Please you, my young master," said 
Peter, who was waiting in the room, ** w6 
were frightened enough the first nigbt 
we came here, and I, myself, God for- 
give me ! thought the place wasinhaf- 
-** bited by devils, but they were only 
•* owls, and such like, after all." ^ ^ 
«« Your opinion was not asked," said 
La Motte, " learn to be silent." 

Peter was abashed. When he : had 
quitted the room. La Motte asked his 
son, with seeming carelessness,' whiit 
were the reports circulated by the coun- 
try people ? *' O ! Sir," replied Louii, 
•* I cannot recollect half of them* 1 
<« remember, however, they said, that 

H s 



154 



^^ numy years ago a person (but nobody 
^ had ever seen him, so we may judge 
" how far the report ought to be ere- 
** dited^) was privately brought to this 
'' abbey, and confined in some part of 
^< it, and that there were strong reasons 
<^ to believe he came unfairly to bii 
« end." 

I^ Motte sighed. ** They farther 
eaid/' continued Iiouis, ^^ that the 
^' spectre of the deceased had ever since 
^ watched nightly among the ruins : and 
^^ to make the story more wonderful 
** (for the marvellous is the delight of 
*' the vu^ar) they added, that there wai 
^ a certain part of the ruin, from whence 
^^ no person that had dared to explore it, 
** had ever returned. Thus people, who 
** have few objects of real interest to en- 
*^ gage their thoughts, conjure up for 
** themselves imagin^iry ones*" 
/; LaMptte sat musing. « And what 
*• were the reasons," said he, at length 
awaking from his reverie, '^ they pre« 
^< tended to assign, for believing the per* 
« son confined here was murdered f " 

II 



€C 



15S 

^^ They did not use a term so positive 

as that,*' replied Louis. 

*• True/' said La Motte, recoUectiog 
himself^ *^ they only said he came uii<» 
•* fairiy to his end," 

^^ That is a nice distinctloii," said 
AdeUne. 

*^ Why I could not well comprehenii 
^^ what these reasons were^^ resumed 
XiQuif); ^< the people, indeed, say, that 
•♦ the person who was brought here, 
^^ was never known to depart ; but I do 
^^ not find it certain that he ever arrived ; 
^ that there was strange privacy and 
** mystery observed, while he was here, 
<^ and that the abbey had never ^incebeen 
'< inhabited by its owner. There seems, 
<* however, to be nothing in all this 
<^ tiiat deserves to be remembered/' La 
Motte raised his bead, as if to reply, 
when the entrance of Madame turned 
the discourse upon a new subject, and it 
was not resumed that day. 

Peter was now dispatched for pfovu 
•ions» while La Motte and Louis retired 
to consider how far it was safe for them 
to continue at the abbey. La MottOt 

H 6 



156 

notwithstanding the assurances lately 
given him, could not but think that 
Peter's blunders and his son's inquiries, 
might lead to a discovery of his residence. 
He revolved this in his mind for .some 
time; but at length a thought struck him, 
that the latter of these circumstances 
might considerably contribute to his se- 
curity. " If you/* said he to Louis, 
** return to the inn at Auboine, from 
** whence you were directed here, and 
^ without seeming^ to intend giving in- 
telligence, do give the landlord an ac- 
count of your having found the abbey 
" uninhabited, and than add, that you 
**• had discovered the residence of the per- 
son you sought in some distant town, 
it would suppress any Reports that may 
at present exist, and prevent the be- 
*^ lief of any in future. And if, after all 
f " this, you can trust yourself for pre- 

•• sence of mind and command of coun- 
^< tenance, so far as to describe some 
" dreadful apparition, I think these cir- 
*^ cumstahces, together with the distance 
*^ of the abbey, and the intricacies of the 



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157 

<^ forest, could entitle me to consider this 
" place as my castle/* 

Louis agreed to all that his father 
had proposed, and on the following day 
executed his commission with such suc- 
cess, that the tranquillity of the abbdy 
may be then said to have been entirely 
restored. 

Thus ended this adventure, the only 
one that had occurred to disturb the fa« 
mily, during their residence in the forest* 
Adeline, removed from the apprehension 
of those evils with which the late situa- 
tion of La Motte had threatened her, 
and from the depression which her in- 
terest in his occasioned her, now expe- 
rienced a more than usual complacency 
of mind. She thought, too, that she 
observed in Madame La Motte a renewal 
of her former kindness ; and this circum- 
stance awakened all her gratitude, and 
imparted to her a pleasure as lively as it 
Y^as innocent. The satisfaction with 
which the presence of her son inspired 
Madame La Motte, Adeline mistook for 
kindness to herself, and she exerted her 



158 

whole attention in an endeavour to be» 
come worthy of it. 

But the joy which his unexpected 
arrival had given to LaMotte quickly 
began to evaporate, and the gloom of 
despondency again settled on his coun- 
tenanc<34 He returned frequently to his 
haunt in the forest — the same mysteri* 
ous sadness tinctured his manner, and 
revived the anxiety of Madame La 
*Motte, who was resolved to acquaint 
her son with this subject of distress, and 
solicit his assistance to penetrate its 
fiource. 

Her jealousy of Adeline, however, 
she conkl not communicate, though it 
Ugain tormented her, and taught t^r to 
misconstrue, with wonderful ingenuity, 
every look and word of La Motte, and 
often to mistake the artless expressions 
of Adeline's gratitude and regard, for 
those of warmer tenderness. Adeline 
had formerly accustomed herself to long 
walks in the forest, and the design Ma« 
dame had formed of watching her steps, 
bad been frustrated by the late circum* 
stances, and was now entirely overcome 



by her sense of its diffieultjr and danger* 
To employ Peter in the af&ir, would be 
to acquaint him with her fears ; and to 
follow her herself, would most probably 
betray her scheme, by making Adeline 
aware of her jealousy. Being thus re- 
strained by pride and delicacy, she was 
obliged to endure the pangs of uncer-* 
tainty concerning the greatest part of her 
suspicions. 

To Louis, however, she related the 
mysterious change in hig fathei^'s tem* 
per. He listened to her account with 
very earnest attention, and the surprize 
and concern impressed upon his couateT 
nance spoke how much bis heart was 
interested. He was, however, involved 
in equal perplexity with herself upon 
this subject, and readily undertook to 
observe the aH)tions of La Motte, be* 
Jieving his interference likely to be of 
equal service both to his father a^d his 
mother. He saw^ in some degree, the 
auspicious of his mother} but as he 
thought she wished to disguise her feeU 
ings, he suffered her to belieVe that sh« 
jMigceeded* 



160 

He now inquired concerning Adeline, 
and listened to her little history, of which 
his mother gave a brief relation, with 
great apparent interest# So much pity 
did he express for her condition, and 
so much indignation at the unnatural 
conduct of her father, that the appre- 
hensions which Madame La Motte be- 
gan to form, of his having discovered 
her jealousy, yielded to those of a dif- 
ferent kind. She perceived that the 
beauty of Adeline had already fascinated 
his imagination, and she feared that her 
amiable manners would soon impress 
his heart. Had her first fondness for 
Adeline continued, she would still have 
looked with displeasure upon their at- 
tachment, as an obstacle to the promo- 
tion and the fortune she hoped to see 
one day enjoyed by her son. On these 
she rested all het future hopes of pros- 
perity, and regarded the matrimonial 
alliance which he might form, as the only 
means of extricating his family from 
their present difficulties. She, therefore, 
touched lightly upon Adeline's merit, 
coolly joined with Louis in compassioiu 



161 



atihg bei: misfortunes^ and with her cen- 
sure of the: father's conduct, mixed an 
implied suspicion of that of Adeline's. 
The means she employed to repress the 
passioiw of her son, had a contrary effect. 
The indifference, which she expressed 
towards Adeline^ increased his pity for 
her deatitote qoudition, and the tender- 
ness with wbieh she affected to judge the 
father, heightened his honest indignation 
at his character. 

As he quitted Madame La Motte, he 
saw. his father cross the. lawn, and enter 
the cjeep shade of the forest, on the left. 
He judged this to be a good opportunity 
of commencing his plan ; and, quitting 
the. abbey, slowly followed at a distance. 
JjBL Motte continued to walk straight for- 
ward, and seemed so deeply wrapt in 
thought, that he looked neither to the 
right or left, and scarcely lifted his head 
from the ground. Louis had followed 
him near half a mile, when he saw him 
suddenly strike into an avenue of the 
forest, which took a different direction 
from this way he had hitherto gone. He 
quickened bis steps that he might not 



162 

lost Sight of him ; but, having reached 
the avenue, found the trees so thickly 
interwoven, that La Motte was already 
hid from his view. 

He continued, however, to pursue the 
way before him: it conducted him 
through the ibost gloomy part of the 
forest he had yet seen, till at length it 
terminated in an obscure recess, over- 
arched with high trees, whose inter- 
woven branches excluded tlie direct rays 
of the sun, and admitted only a sort of 
solemn twilight. Louis looked around 
in search of La Motte, but he w^ no 
where to be seen* While he stood sau 
veyihg the place, and considering what 
farther should be done, he observed, 
&rough the gloom, an ol^ect at some 
distance ; but the deqi shadow that M 
around prevented his distinguishing what 
it was. 

On advancing, he perceived the rains 
of ,a small building, which, from the 
traces that remained, appeared to have 
been a tomb. As he gazed upon it, 
*^ Here," said he, " are probaUy depo* 
^^ sited the ashes of some ancient iiionir« 



I6B 



4C 
U 



once Ml inhabitant of the abbey ; pef* 
haps of die founder, who, after having 
spent a Ufe of abstinence and prayer, 
sought in heaven the reward of his 
*^ forbearance upon earth« Peace be to 
*^ his soul ! But did he think a life of 
<« mere negative virtue deserved an 
^^ Vernal reward ? Mistaken man ! rea- 
*^ son, had you trusted to its dictates, 
^* wduld have informed you, that the 
•* active virtues, the adherence to the 
•* golden rule, * Do as you would be 
** done unto,* could alone deserve the 
" favour of a .Deity, whose glory is 
** ^benevolence/' 

He remained with his eyes fixed upon 
the spot, and presently saw a figure arise 
under the arch c^* the sepulchre. It 
started, as if on perceiving him, and im« 
mediately disappeared. Louis, though 
unused to fear, felt at that moment an 
uneasy sensation ; but it almost imme» 
di^tely struck him that this was La 
Motte himself. He advanced to the 
ruin, and called him. No answer was 
returned, and he repeated the call, but 
all was yet still as the grave. He then 



l&k 



went up to the arch-wa/, and .endea- 
voured to examine the place where he 
had disappeared ; but the shadowy ob- 
scurity rendered the a^mpt fruitless. 
He Observed, however,: a little to the 
right, an entrance to the ruin, and ad- 
vanced some steps down a dark kind of 
passage, when, recollecting that this place 
might be the hafint of banditti, his dan- 
ger alarmed him, and he retreated with 
precipitation. 

He walked towards the abbey by the 
way he came ; and finding no person fol* 
lowed him, and believing himself again 
in safety, his former surmise returned, 
and he thought it was La Motte he had 
seen. He mused upon this strange 
possibility, and endeavoured to assign 
a reason for so mysterious a conduct, 
but in vain. Notwithstanding this, his 
belief of it strengthened, and he entered 
.the abbey under as full a conviction as 
the circumstances would admit of, that 
it was his father who had appeared in the 
sepulchre. On entering what was now 
used as a parlour, he was much surprized 
to find him quietly seated there with 



165 

Madflime La Mbtte and . Adieline, and 
conversing as if he had been returned 
some time. 

He took the first opportunity of ac- 
quainting his mother with the late ad« 
venture, and o£ inquiring how long La 
Motte had been returned before him ; 
when, learning that it was near half an 
hour, his surprize increased, and he knew 
not what to conclade. 

Meanwhile a perception of the grow- 
iilg partiality of Louis co-operated with 
the canker of suspicion* to destroy in 
Madame La Motte that affection which 
pity-and esteem had formerly excited for 
Adeline. Her unkindness was now too 
obvious to escape the notice of her to 
whom it was directed; and, being no- 
ticed,, it occasioned an anguish which 
Adeline found it very difficult to endure. 
With the warmth and candour of youth, 
she sought an explanation of this change 
of behaviour, and an opportunity of ex- 
culpating herself from any intention of 
provoking it. But this Madame La Motte 
artfully evaded, while at the same time 
she threw out hints, that involved Ade- 



166 

line in deeper perplexity, and served te 
make her present affliction more iato- 
^ lerable. 

<< I have lost that afifection/' she would 
say, ^* which was my all. It was my 
^< only comfort — ^yet I have lost it— ^ 
<< and this without even knowing my 
<^ offence* But I am thankful I have 
^^ not merited unkindness, and, though 
^< she has abandoned me^ I shall alwaya 
'* love her.*^ 

Thus distressed, she would frequently 
leave the parlour, and, retiring to h^ 
chamber, would yield to a despondeiu^y, 
which she had never known till now» 

One morning, being unaUe to sleep, 
she arose at a very early hour. The 
faint light of day now trembled through 
the clouds, and gradually spreading from 
the horizon, announced the rising sun. 
Every feature of the landscape was slowly 
unveiled, moist with the dews of night, 
and brightening with the dawn, till at 
length the sun appeared, and shed the 
fuU flood of day. The beauty oi the 
hour invited her to walk, and she went 
forth into the forest to taste the sweets 



107 

of morning. The carols of new«waked 
birds saluted her as she passed^ and the 
fresh gale came scented with the breath 
of flowers^ whose tints glowed more 
vivid through the dew-drops that hung 
on their leaves. 

She wandered on without noticing 
the distance, and following the mnditigi 
of the river, came to a dewy glade, whose 
woods, sweeping down to the very edge 
of the water, formed a scene so sweetly 
romantic, that she seated herself at the 
foot of a tree to qontemplate its beauty. 
These images insensibly soothed her sor- 
row, and inspbed her with that soft and^ 
pleasing melancholy so dear to the feel* 
ing mind. Por some time she sat lost in 
a reverie, while the flowers that grew on 
the banks beside her, seemed tci smile in 
new life, and drew from her a compa- 
rison with her own condition; She 
mused and ^hed, and then, in a voice 
wl\ose charming melody was modulated 
by the tenderness of her heart, she sung 
the following words : — • 



168 



* « < 



SONNET, 

TO THE LILY. 

♦ • 

Soft silken flowV ! that in the dewy vale 
Unfolds thy modest beauties to the moroy 

Amd breath'st thy fragrance on her wand'ring gale, 
O'er earth's green hills and shadowy valleys born ; 

When day has. closed his dazzling eye, 

And dying gales sink soft away ; 
When Eve steals down the western sky, 

And mountains, woods, and vales 4ecay ; 

Thy tender cups that graceful swell, 

Droop sad beneath her chilly dews ; 
Thy odours,seek their silken cell. 

And twilight veils thy languid hues. 

» 

But 800)1, fair flowV ! the morn shall rise, 
• And rear again thy pensive head ; 
Again unveil thy snowy dyes, 
Again thy velvet foliage spread. 

Sweet child of Spring ! like thee, in sorrow's shade» 
Full oft I mourn in tears, and droop forlorn : 

And O ! like thine, may light my gloom pervade. 
And Sorrow fly before Joy's living morn ! 



m 

A distant echo lengthened out her 
tones, and she sat listening to the sofl 
response,- till, repeating the last stanza 
of the Sonnet, she was answered by a 
voice almost as lender, and less distant* 
She looked round in surprize, and saw a 
young man in a hunter's dress, leaning 
against a tree, and gazing on her with 
that deep attention which marks an en* 
raptured mind. 

A thousand apprehensions shot athwart 
her busy thought:; and she now first re- 
membered her distance from the abbey. 
She rose in haste tp be gone, when the 
stranglr respectfully advanced ; but ob- 
serving her timid looks and retiring steps^ 
he paused. She pursued her way to- 
wards the abbey; and, though many 
reasons made her anxious to know whe- 
ther she was followed, delicacy forbade 
her to took back. V^hen she reached 
the abbey, finding the family was not 
yet assembled to breakfast, she retired to 
her chamber, where her whole thoughts 
were employed in conjectures concern- 
ing the stranger ; believing that she wa« 
interested on this point no farther than 

VOL. I. I 



170 

fi^ it concerned the safety of La Motte, 
she indulged, without scruple, the re- 
membrance of that dignified air and 
manner which so much distinguished the 
youth she had. seen* After revolving 
the . circumstance more deeply, she be- 
lieved it impossible that a person of his 
appearance should be epgaged in a stra- 
tagem to betray a fellow-creature ; and 
though she. was destitute of a single cir- 
cumstance that might assist her surmises 
of who he was, or what was-^is business 
in. an unfrequented forest, she rejected, 
unconsciously, every suspicion injurious 
to his character. Upon farther delibe- 
ration, therefore, she resolved not to 
mention this little circumstance to La 
Motte } well knowing, that though his 
danger might be imaginary, his appre- 
hensions would be real, and would renew 
all the safFerings and perplexity, from 
which he was but just released. She 
resolved, however, to refrain, for some 
time, walking in the forest. 

When she came down to breakfast^ 
she observed Madame La Motte to be 
more ^a .usu9.1Iy reserved. La Mott^ 



171 

entered the room soon afler her, and 
made some trifling observations on the 
weather; and, iiaving endeavoured to 
support an effort at cheerfulness, sunk 
into his usual melancholy* Adeline 
watched the countenance of Madame 
with anxiety ; and when there appeared 
in it a gleam of kindness, it was as sun- 
shine to her soul: but she very seldom 
suffered Adeline thus to flatter herself. 
Her conversation was restrained, and 
often pointed at something more than 
could be understood. The entrance of 
Louis was a very seasonable relief to 
Adeline, who almost feared to trust her 
voice with a sentence, lest its trembling 
accents should betray her uneasiness. 

*« This charming morning drew you 
««. early from your chamber," said Louis, 
addressing Adeline. — " You had, no 
«« doubt, a pleasant companion too,'* 
«aid Madame La Motte; ^^ a solitary 
«« walk is seldom agreeable.** 

<« I was alone. Madam,** replied 
Adeline. 

« Indeed! your own thoughts must 
^* be highly pleasing then.'* 

I % 



^* Alas!^* returned Adeline, a tear, 
apite of her efforts, starting to her eye, 
*♦ ihereare now few subjects of pleasure 
^' left for them.*' 

" That is very surprizing,*^ pursued 
Madame La Motte. 

^^ Is it, indeed, surprizing, Madam, 
^* for those who have lost their last 
** friend to be unhappy ?" 

Madame La Motte's conscience ac- 
j^nowledged the rebuke, and she blushed. 
" Well/' resunied she, after a short - 
^^ pause, that is not your situation, Ade- 
*^ line ;" looking earnestly at La Motte. ; 
Adeline, whose innocence protected, 
her from suspicion, did not regard this - 
circumstance; but, smiling through her. 
tears, said, " She rejoiced to hear her 
** say so.** During this conversation,' 
La Motte bad remained absorbed in his 
own thoughts ; and Louis, unable to 
guess at what it pointed, looked alter- 
nately at his mother and Adeline for an • 
explanation. The letter he regarded 
with an expression so full of tender 
compassion, that it revested at once to 
Madame La Motte the sentiments of his 



178 

soul; and she immediately replied to 
the last words of Adeline witb a very 
serious air: << A friend is only estimable 
** when our conduct deserves one ; the 
** friendship that survives the merit of 
'^ its object, is a disgrace instead of an 
*• honour, to both partiesr,'* 

The manner and emphasis with which 
she delivered these words, again alarmed 
Adeline, who mildly said, " She hoped 
*• she should never deserve such cen- 
^^ sure/' Madame was silent; but Ade- 
line was so much shocked by what had 
already passed, that tears sprung from 
her eyes, and she hid her face with her 
handkerchief. 

Lpuis now rose with some emotion; 
and La Motte, roused from his reverie^ 
inquired what was the matter ; but, be- 
fore he could receive an answer, he 
seemed to have forgot that he had asked 
a question. " Adeline may give you 
^^ her own account,'' said Madame La 
Motte. — " I have not deserved this,'* 
said Adeline, rising, " but since my pre- 
** sence is displeasing, I will retire/' 

She moved toward the door, when 

I 3 



N 






174 

Louis, who was pacing the room in ap- 
parent agitation, gently took her hand^ 
saying, *< Here is some unhappy mis- 
take/' and would have led her to her 
seat ; but her spirits were too much de- 
pressed to endure longer restraint ; and, 
withdrawing her hand, " Suffer me to • 
go ;*' said she — " if there is any mis- 
take, I am unable to explain it.'' 
Saying this she quitted the room. Louis 
followed her with his eyes to the doorj 
ivhen, turning to his mother, <* Surefy, 
" Madam,'^ said he, •' you are to blame} 
" my life on it, she deserves your warm- 
•^ est tenderness/' 

'^ You are very eloquent in her cause, 
" Sir," said Madame, "may I presume 
" to ask what has interested you thus in 
" her favour?" 

" Her own amiable manners," rejoin- 
ed Louis, *' which no one can obsene 
*' without esteeming them." 

" But you may presume too much on 
" your own observations ; it is possible 
** these amiable manners may deceive 
« you." 

" Your pardon, Madam j I may, with* 



175 

" out presumption, affirm they cannot 
•* deceive me." 

" You have, no doubt, good reasons 
•' for this assertion ; and I perceive, by 
*' your admiration of this artless innocent^ 
" she has succeeded in her design of 
" entrapping your heart/* 

** Without designing it, she has won 
" my admiration; which would not have 
•* been the case, had she been capable of 
** the conduct you/nention/* 

Madame La Motte was going to re- 
ply^ but was prevented by her husband, 
who, again roused from bis reverie, in- 
quired into the cause of dispute j *'Away 
«' with this ridiculous behaviour," said 
he, in a voice of displeasure. *^ Adeline 
** has omitted some household duty, I 
•* suppose, and an offence so heinous 
** deserves severe punishment, no doubt; 
** but let me be no more disturbed with 
*^ your petty, quarrels ; if you must be 
«' tyrannical. Madam, indulge your hu- 
** mour in private." 

Saying this, he abruptly quitted the 
room, and Louis immediately following,- 
Madame was left to her own unpleasant 

1 4 



176 

reflections. Her ill huiriour proceeded 
from the u^ual cause. She had heard of 
Adeline's walk ; and La Motte having 
gone forth into the forest at an early 
hour, her imagination, heated by the 
broodings of jealousy, suggested that 
they had appointed a meeting. This 
was confirmed to her by the entrance of 
Adeline, quickly followed by La Motte; 
and her perceptions thus jaundiced by 
passion, neither the presence of her son, 
or her usual attention to good manners, 
had been able to restrain her emotions. 
The behaviour of Adeline, in the late 
scene, she considered as a refined piece 
of art ; and the indifference of La Mott^ 
as affected. So true is it, that 



'< Trifles> light as air. 



*^ Are to the jealous confirmations strong, 
** As proof of Holy Writ/* 

And so ingenious was she ^^ to twist the 
•* true cause the wrong way.*' 

Adeline had retired to her chamber ta 
weep. When her first agitations were 
subsided, she took an jimple review of 
her conduct ; and perceiving iiotbing of 



177 

which i^he could accuse herself, she be^ 
came more satisfied, deriving her best 
comfort from the integrity of her inten- 
tions. In the moment of accusation, 
innocence may sometimes be oppressed 
with the punishment due only to guilt ; 
but reflection dissolves the illusions of 
terror, and bfings to the aching bosom 
the consolations of virtue. 

When La Motte quitted the room, he 
had gone into the forest j which Louis 
observing, he followed and joined him, 
with an intention of touching upon the 
subject of his melancholy. ^^ It is a fine 
*' morning. Sir," said Louis ; ^' if you 
** will give me leave, I will walk with 
«* you." La Motte, though dissatisfied^ 
did not object } and after they had pro* 
ceeded some way, he changed the course 
of his walk, striking into a path con- 
trary to that which Louis had observed 
him take on the foregoing day. 

Louis remarked, that the avenue they 
had quitted was '^ more shady, and there- 
** fore more pleasant." La Motte not 
seeming to notice this remark, <' It leads 
•^ to a singular spot," continued he, 

15 






178 

" which I discovered yesterday.'* Ia 
Motte raised his head. Louis proceeded 
to describe the tomb, and the adventure 
he had met with : during this relation, 
La Motte regarded him with earnest at- 
tention, while his own countenance su& 
fered various changes. When he had 
concluded, *^ You were very daring," 
said La Motte, " to examine that place^ 

particularly when you ventured down 

the passage : I would advise you to be 
*« more cautious how you penetrate the 
^* depths of this forest. 1, myself, have 
•* not ventured beyond a certain boun- 
" dary ; and am, therefore, uninformed 
« what inhabitants it may harbour. Your 
«' account has alarmed me," continued 
he, " for if banditti are in the neighbour- 
*« hood, I am not safe from their depre- 
•* dations : 'tis true, I have but little to 
<* lose, except my life.*' 

*^ And the lives of your family/* 
rejoined Louis. — ^^ Of course,'* said La 
Motte. 

<^ It would be well to have more 
f* certainty upon that head/' rejoined 



179 

Ix)uis ; " I am considering how we may: 
« obtain it." 

^ ^Tis useless to consider that,", said 
La Motte, " the inquiry itself brings 
" danger with it ; your life would, per* 
*^ haps, be paid for the indulgence of 
" your curiosity J our only chance, of 
^^ safety is by endeavouring to reuiaia 
*« un'discovered. Let us move towards 
" the abbey." 

Louis knew not what to think, but 
^id no more upon the subject. La 
Motte soon after relapsed into a fit. of 
musing ; and his son now took ocQ^sioa 
to lament that depression of spirits^ 
which he had lately observed in hivn^ 
** Rather lament the cause of it,*' 3ai4 
La Motte, with a sigh. — *^ That I do 
** most sincerely, whatever it may beu 
** May I venture to inquire. Sir, what is 
*' the cause ?" 

" Are, then, my misfortunes so little 
** known to you," rejoined La Motte, 
*< as to make that question necessary ? 
** Am J not driven from my home, from 
** my friends, and almost from my coaa- 
•' try, and shall it be asked why I ana 

I 6 



i 180 

" afflicted?" — Louis felt the justice of 
: this reproof, and was a moment silent : 

I " That you are afflicted. Sir, does not 

! *' excite my surprize,'* resumed he; " it 

** would, indeed, be strange, were you 
« not." 

*' What then does excite your sur- 
** prize ?*' 

•* The air of cheerfulness you wore 
•* when I first came hither." 

" You lately lamented that I was 
" afflicted," said La Motte, " and now 
•' seem not very well pleased that I once 
*' WW cheerful. What is the meaning 
«* of this?" 

** You much mistake me," said his son; 
** nothing could give me so much satis- 
** faction as to see that cheerfulness re- 
*• newed ; the same cause of sorrow 
** existed at that time, yet you was then 
** cheerful." 

*« That I was then cheerful," said La 
Motte, " you might, without flattery, 
" have attributed to yourself ; yourpre- 
*• sence revived me, and I was relieved 
^' at the same time from a load of appre« 
5* hensions." 



181 



** Why/then, as the same cause exisW, 
*« are you not still cheerful ?" 

«* And why do you not recollect that 
*♦ it is your father you thus speak to ?" 

^f I do. Sir, apd nothing but anxiety 
** for my father could have urged me 
thus far : it is with inexpressible con- 
cern I perceive you have some secret 
*< cause of uneasiness ; reveal it, Sir, to 
^^ those who claim a share in all your 
** affliction, and suffer them, by partici- 
*« pation, to soften its severity." Louis 
looked up, and observed the countenance 
of his father, pale as death; his lips 
trembled while he spoke. ** Your pe- 
*' netration, however, you may rely upon 
•* it, has, in the present instance, de- 
*« ceived you. I have no subject of 
•* distress, but what you are already ac- 
•« quainted with ; and I desire this con* 
«« versation may never be renewed.** 

" If it is your desire, of course I 
" obey," said Louis; " but, pardon 
*« me. Sir, if — 



if 



<• I will not pardon you. Sir," inter- 
rupted La Motte, " let the discourse end 
«* here." Saying' this, he quickened hi^ 



fteps, and Louis, ndt daring to pursue;^ 
walked quietly on till he reached the 
abbey. 

Adeline passed the greatest part of the 
day alone in her chamber, where, having 
examined her conduct, she endeavoured 
to fortify her heart against the unmerited 
displeasure of Madame La Motte. This 
was a task more difficult than that of 
self-acquittance. She loved her, and had 
relied on her friendship, which, notwith-r 
standing the conduct of Madame, still 
appeared valuable. It was true, she had 
Hot deserved to lose it, but Madame 
was so averse to explanation, that there 
was little probability of recovering ity 
however ill founded might be the cause 
of her dislike. A* length she reasoned, 
or rather, perhaps, persuaded herself, into 
tolerable composure j for to resign a real 
good with contentment, is less an effort 
ofreason than of temper. 

For many hours she busied herself 
upon a piece of work, which she had 
undertaken for Madame La Motte ; and 
this she did, without the least intention 
of conciliating her favour^ but because 



185 

khe felt there was something in thns^ re* 
paying unkindness, which was suitable ta 
her own temper, her sentiments, and her 
pride. Self-love may be the center; round 
which the human affections move ; for 
"whatever motive conduces to self-gratifi. 
cation maybe resolved into self-love; yet 
fiome of these affections are in their nature 
so refined, that though we cannot deny 
their origin, they almost deserve tlie 
name of virtue. Of this species was- 
that of Adeline. 

In this employment, and in reading, 
Adeline passed as much of the day as 
possible. From books, indeed, she had 
constantly derived her chief information 
and amusement: those belonging to 
La Motte were few, but well chosen; 
and Adeline could find pleasure in read^ 
ing them more than once. When her 
mind was discomposed by the behaviour 
of Madame La Motte, or by a retro- 
spection of her early misfortunes, a book 
was the opiate that lulled it to repose. 
La Motte had several of the best English 
poets, a language which Adeline had 
learned in the convent} their beauties, 



184 

therefore, she was capable of tasting, and 
they oflen inspired her with enthusiastic 
delight. 

At the decline of day, she quitted her 
chamber to enjoy the sweet evenirig hour; 
but strayed no farther than an avenue 
near the abbey,, which fronted the west. 
She read a little, but, finding it impos- 
sible any longer to abstract her attentioa 
from the scene around, she closed the 
book, and yielded to the sweet com- 
placent melancholy which the hour 
inspired. The air was still; the sud, 
sinking below the distant hills, spread 
a purple glow over the landscape, and 
touched the forest glades with softer 
light. A dewy freshness was diffused up- 
on the air. As the sun descended,; the 
dusk came silently on, and the scene as- 
sumed a solemn grandeur. As she mused, 
she recollected and repeated the follow* 
ing stanzas : 

NIGHT. 

Kow Ev'ning fades ! her pensive step retires. 
And Night leads on the dews, and shadowy hotirS; 

Her awful pomp of planetary fires, 
And all her train of visionary powers. 



185 

Fies paint with fleeting shapes the dream of sleep^ 
These swell the waking soul with pleasine dread ; 

Xhese through the glooms in forms terrific sweep^ 
And rouse the thrilling horrors of the dead ! 

Queen of the solemn thought — mysterious Night!' 
Whose step is darkness, and whos6 voice is fear 

Thy shades I welcome with severe delight. 
And hail thy hollow gales, that sigh so drear ! 

"When, wrapt in clouds, and riding in the blast, 
Thou roir^ the storm along the sounding shore|. 

I love to watch the whelming billowsi cast 
On rocks below, and listen to the roar* 

Thy milder terrors. Night, I frequent woo, 
' Thy silent lightnings, and thy meteor's glare ;. 
Thy northern fires, bright with ensanguine hue. 
That light in heaven's high vault the fervid air. 

But chief j( love thee, when thy lucid car 

. Sheds tliro' the fleecy clouds a trembling gleaQ% 
And shows the misty mountain from afar, « 
The nearer forest, and the valley's stream : 

And nameless objects in the vale below, 

That floating dimly to the musing eye,. 
Assume, at Fancy's touch, fantastic shew, 
* And raise her sweet romantic visions high. 

Then let me stand amidst thy glooms profound, 
On some wild woody steep, and hear the breeze 

That swells in mournful melody around. 
And faintly dies upon the distant trees. 

What melancholy charms steals o'er the mind 1 
Wtiat hallow'd tears the rising rapture greet t 



c< 



18ff 

While many a viewless spirit in the wind 
Sighs to the lonely hour in accents sweet f 

Ah ! ^ho the dear illusions pleas'd would yield. 
Which Fancy wakes from silence and from shades^ 

For all the sober forms of Truth reveal'd, 
For all the sctenes that Day's bright eye pervades I 

On her return to the abbey she waf 
joined by Louis, who, after some con- 
versation, said, *' I am much grieved 
by the scene to which I was witness: 
this morning, and have longed for an 
opportunity of telling you so. My 
*^. mother*s behaviour is too mysterious 
*• for me to account for ; but it is not 
" difficult to perceive she labours under 
*' some mistake. What I have to request 
" is, that whenever I can be of service 
** to you, you will command me/' 

Adeline thanked him for his friendly 
offer, which she felt more sensibly thaa 
she chose to express. *' I am uncon- 
*' scious,'' said she, " of any offence 
" that may have deserved Madame La 
*' Motte's displeasure, and am, there- 
** fore, totally unable to account for it. 
«« 1 have repeatedly sought an explan- 



« 



187 

'< ation, which she has as anxiousri/ 
" avoided ; it is better, therefore, to 
•* press the subject no farther. At the 
•* same time. Sir, suffer me to assure 
you, I have a just sense of your good- 
ness/' Louis sighed, and was silent.*r 
At length, " I wish you would permit 
** me," resumed he, " to speak with 
** my mother upon this subject. I aai 
*• sure I could convince her of her 
*• error.*' 

A^j tivr iJicaiiO, ic;pii^%A ^UUAlHC j 

** Madame La Motte's displeasure has 
" given me inexpressible concern ; but 
" to compel her to an explanation, would 
** only increase this displeasure, instead 
** of removing it. Let me beg of you 
*' not to attempt it." 

" I submit to your judgment," said 
Louis J "but, for once, it is with re- 
*^ luctance ; I should esteem my self most 
*^ happy, if I could be of service to you.'* 
He spoke this with an accent so tender^ 
that Adeline, for the first time, per- 
ceived the sentiments of his heart. A 
mind more fraught with vanity than 
her's, would have taught her long ago to 



188 

regard tlie attentions of Louis, as the re'- 
suit of something more than well-bred 
gallantry. She did not appear to notice 
his last words, but remained, silent, and 
involuntarily quickened her pace. Louis 
said no more, but seemed sunk in 
thought ; and this silence remained 
uninterrupted, till they entered the 
abbey. 



/ 



18d 



CHAPTER VI. 

'* Hence, horrible shadow ! 
"<* Unreal moeker3r9 hence !" 

Macbeth. 

Near a month elapsed without any re- 
markable occurrence: the melancholy of 
La Motte suffered little abatement; and 
the behaviour of Madame to 'Adeline, 
though somewhat softened, was still far 
from kind. Louis, by^numbefless little' 
attentions, testified his growing affection' 
for Adeline, who continued to treat them 
as j)assing civilities. 

It happened one stormy nighty as they 
were preparing for rest, that they were 
alarmed by a trampling of horses near 
the abbey. The sound of several voices 
succeeded, and a loud knocking at the' 
great gate of the hall soon after confirm- 
ed the alarm. La Motte had little doubt- 
±hat the officers of justice had at length 
discovered his retreat, and the perturba- 



190 

tion of fear almost confounded his senses; 
he, however, ordered the lights to be ex- 
tinguished, and a profound silence to be 
observed, unwilling to neglect even the 
slightest possibility of security. There 
was a chance, he thought, that the per- 
sons might suppose the place uninhabit- 
ed, and believe they had mistaken the 
object of their search. His orders were 
scarcely obeyed, when the knocking was 
renewed, and with increased violence. 
La Motte now repaired to a small grated 
window in the portal of the gate, that he 
might observe the number and appear- 
ance of the strangers. 

The darkness of the night baffled his 
purpose; he could only perceive a group 
of men on horseback ; but listening at- 
tentively, he distinguished apart of their 
discourse. Several of the men contend- 
ed, that they had mistaken the place; 
till a person, who, from his authoritative 
voice, appeared to be their leader, af- 
firmed, that the lights had issued from 
this spot, and he was positive there were 
persons within. Having said this, he 
again knocked loudly at the gate, and 



191 

ipiras answered only by hollow echoes. 
'La, Motte's heart trembled at the sounds 
and he was unable to move. 

After waiting some time, the strangers 
iseemed as if in consultation ; but their 
discourse was conducted in such a low 
tone of voice, that La Motte was unable 
to distinguish its purport. They with- 
drew from the grate, as if to depart, but 
he presently thought he heard them 
amongst the trees on the other side of the 
fabric, and soon became convinced they 
had not left the abbey. A- few minutes 
held La Motte in a state of torturing 
suspense} he quitted the grate, where 
Louis now stationed hiitiself, for that 
part of the edifice which overlooked the 
spot where he supposed them to be 
waiting. 

The storm was now loud, and the 
hollow blast, which rushed among the 
trees, prevented his distinguishing any 
other sound. Once, in the pauses of 
the wind, he thought he heard distinct 
voices ; but he was not long left to con- 
jecture, for the renewed knocking at the 
gate again appalled him ; and regardless 



192 

tff the terrors of Madame La Motte and 
Adeline, he ran to try his last chance of 
concealment, by means of the trap-door. 

Soon after, the violence of the assail- 
ants seeming to increase with every gust 
of the tempest: the gate, which was old 
and decayed, burst from its hinges, and 
adi?[ritted them to the hall. At the mo* 
ment of their entrance, a scream from 
Madame La Motte, who stood at the 
door of an adjoining apartment, con- 
firmed the suspicion of the principal 
stranger, who -continued to advance, as 
fast as the darkness would permit him. 

Adeline had fainted, and Madame La 
Motte was catling loudly for assistance, 
when Peter entered with lights^ and dis- 
covered the hall filled with men, and his 
young mistress senseless upon the floor. 
A Chevalier now advanced, and solicit- 
ing pardon of Madame for the rudeness 
of his conduct, was attempting an apo- 
logy, when perceiving Adeline, he has- 
tened to raise her from the ground ; but 
Louis, who now returned, caught her in 
his arms, and desired the stranger not to 
interfere. 



193 

The person to whom he spoke this, 
wore the star of one of the first orders m 
France, and had an air of dignity, which 
declared him to be of superior rank. He 
appeared to be about forty; but perhaps 
the spirit and lire of his countenance 
made the impression of time upon his 
features less perceptible. His softened 
aspect and insinuating manners, while, 
regardless of himself, he seemed atten- 
tive only to the condhion of Adeline, 
gradually dissipated the apprehensions 
of Madame La Motte, and subdued the 
sudden resentment of Louis* . Upon 
Adeline, who was yet insensible, he 
gazed with an eager admiration, which 
seemed to absorb all the faculties of hi« 
mind. She was, indeed,^ an object not 
to be contemplated with indifference. 

Her beauty, touched with the languid 
delicacy of illness, gained from sentiment 
what it lost in bloom. The negligence 
of her dress, loosened for the purpose of 
free respiration, discovered those glow- 
ing charms, which her auburn tresses, 
that fell in profusion over her bosom, 
shaded, but could not conceal, - 

VOL. I. K 



19* 

There now entered another stranger^ 
a young Chevalier, who, having spoken 
hastily to the elder, joined the general 
group that «irrounded Adeline. He was 
of a ji^rBon, in which elegance was hap- 
pily blended with strength ; ajatd had a 
countenance animated, but not hau^tyj 
noble, yet expressive of peculiar sweet- 
ness. What rendered it at present mote 
interesting, was the compassion he seecQ- 
ed to feel for Adeline, who now revived 
and saw him, the first cifagect that met 
her eyes, bending over her in silent 
anxiety. 

On perceiving hifii^ a bJush of quick 
surprize passed over her cheek, for she 
knew him to be the stranger she had seen 
in the forest. Her countenance instantly 
changed to the paleness of terror^ wh^ 
she obeerved tlie room crowded with 
people* Louis now supported her into 
another apartment, where the two Che- 
valiers, who followed her, again apolo* 
gized for the alarm they had occasioned. 
The elder, turning to Madame La Motte, 
said, '* You are, no doubt. Madam, ig- 
^< norant that I am the proprietor of this 



19S 



} 

I 

■ 

I 

I 



" abbey.** She started : ^^ Be not alarm- 
^< ed, Madam, you are safe and welcome. i 

^^ Tbifi ruinous spot has been long aban- ] 

«• doned by me, and if it ha3 afforded ; 

*« you a shelter, I am happy." Madame I 

La Motte expressed hpr gratitude for 
this condescension, and Louis declared 
his ^ense of the politeness of the Mar- 
quis de Montalt ; for that was the title 
of the noble straa^ger. 

" My chief residence," said the Mar. 
quis, " is in a distant province ; but I 
*' have a chateau near the borders of the 
« forest, and in returning from an ex. 
<' cuf aion, I have been benighted, and 
*< lost my way. A light, which gleamed 
«^ through the trees, attracted me hi« 
^^ ther; and such was the darknes$ 
*^ without, that I did not know It pro- 
^« ceeded from the abbey till 1 came to 
<< the door," The noble deportment of 
the strangers, the splendour of their 
apparel, and above, all, this speech, dissi- 
pated every remaining doubt pf Ma- 
dame's, and she was giving orders for 
refreshments to be set before them, when 
La Motte, who had listened, and was 

X 2 



196 

now convinced he had nothing to fear^ 
entered the apartment. 

He advanced towards the Marquis 
With a complacent air; but, as He would 
have spoke, the words of welcome fal- 
tered on his lips, his limbs trembled, 
and a ghastly paleness overspread his 
countenance. The Marquis was little 
less agitated, and, in the first moment 
of surprize, put his hand upon his sword; 
but recollecting himself, he vnthdrew it, 
and endeavoured to obtain a command 
of features. A pause of agonizing silence 
ensued* La Motte made some motion 
towards the door, but his agitated frame 
refused to support him, and he sunk 
into a chair silent and exhausted. The 
horror of his countenance, together with 
his whole behaviour, excited the utmost 
surprize in Madame, whose eyes inquired 
of the Marquis more than he thought 
proper to answer: his looks increased, 
instead of explaining the mystery, and 
expressed a mixtute of emotions, which 
she could not analyse. Meanwhile, she 
endeavoured to soothe and revive her 
husband, but he repressed her efforts. 



197 

and, averting his face^ covered it with 
his hands. 

The Marquis seeming to recover his 
presence of mind, stepped to the door 
of the hall where his people were assem- 
liled, when La Motte, starting from his 
seat, with a frantic air, called on him to 
return. The Marquis looked back and 
stepped, but still hesitating whether to 
proceed ; the supplications of Adeline. 
who was now returned, added to those 
of La Motte, determined him, and he 
sat down. . ** I request of you, my Lord,*' 
said La Motte, *^ that we may converse 
^* for a few moments by ourselves." 

^< The request is bold, and the indul- 
*^ gence, perhaps, dangerous," said the 
Marquis : ^^ it is more also than I wilL 
<* grant. You can have nothing to say, 
*^ with which your family are not ac- 
'^ quainted •^ speak your purpose, and 
** be brief." La Motte's complexion va- 
ried to every sentence of this speech. — 
^ Impossible ! my Lord," said he j " my 
^* lips shall clpse for ever, ere they pro- 
^^ nounce before another human being 
** the words reserved for you alone. I 

K3 



m 






efntteatf ^^T supplicate of yitm ^ ftw mo- 
inents private discourse/* A* ht pro* 
jfiounced these words, tears stireHed kto 
his eyes, and the Marquis, noftcned hy 
his distress, consented, though with 
evident emotion and relactance, tobfe 
request. 

La Motte took a light and led the 
Marquis to a small room in a reffidte 
part of the edifice, where they remained 
near an hour. Madame, alarmed by the 
length of their absence, wc^ntm quest of 
them : as she drew near, a curiosity, in 
such circumstances, perhaps, not anjus* 
tifiable, prompted her to listen. La 
Motle just then exclaimed -— ^' The 
<* phrenzy of despair !'* — Some words 
followed, delivered in a low tone, which 
she could not understand.—" I have 
•* suffered more than I ' can express," 
continued he; " the same image has 
*• pursued me in my midnight dream, 
<* and in my daily wanderings. There 
** is no punishment short of death,, which 
** I would not have endured, to regain 
^ the state of mind with which I entered 



199 

«< this forest* I again address myself to 
** your compassion/' 

A load gust of windy that burst along 
tbe passage where Madame La Motte 
stood, overpowered his voice, and that 
of the Marquis, who spoke in reply : but 
Ae soon after distinguished these words z* 
— ** To-morrow, my Lwd, if you re*- 
<< turn to these ruins, I will lead you to 
" the spot." 

'^ That is scarcely necessary, and may 
^< be dangerous,'^ said the Marq^iis. -^^ 
^< From you, my Lord, I can excuse 
^< these doubts^'' resumed La Motte ^ 
^< but I will swear whatever you shall pro- 
•* pose. — Yes,'* continued he, " what- 
^^ ever may be the consequence, I will 
<* swear to submit to your decree •" The 
rising tempest again drowned the sound 
of their voices, and Madame La Motte^ 
vainly endeavoured to hear those words, 
upon which probably hung the explan- 
ation of this mysterious conduct. They 
now moved towards the door, and she 
retreated with precipitation to tbe apart- 
ment where she bad left Adeline, with 
Louis and the young Chevalien 

K 4 



200 

Hither the Marquis and' La Motte 
soon followed ; the first haughty and 
trool, the latter somewhat more com- 
posed than before, though the irapre^ 
^ion of horror was not yet faded from 
his countenance. The Marquis passed on 
to the hall, where his retinue awaited: 
the storm was not yet ^subsided, but be 
seemed impatient to be gone, and or- 
dered his people to be in readiness. La 
Motte observed a sullen silence, fre- 
quently pacing this room with basity 
steps, and sometimes lost in reverie. — 
Meanwhile, the Marquis, seating him- 
self by Adeline, directed to her his 
whole attention, except when sudden 
fits of. absence came over his mind, 
and suspended him in silence : at these 
times the young Chevalier addressed 
Adeline^ who, with diffidence and some 
agitation, shrunk from the observance of 
both. 

The Marquis had been near two 
hours at the abbey, and the tempest 
stiU continuing, Madame La Motte of- 
fered him a bed. A look from her 
husband made her tremble for the con* 



^ J 



201 



sequence. Her offer was, however, 
politely declined, the Marquis being 
evidently as impatient to be gone, as 
his tenant appeared distressed by his pre- 
sence. He often returned to the hall, 
and from the gates raised a look of impa*' 
tience to the clouds. Nothing was to be 
seen through the darkness of night *-— 
nothing beard but the bowlings of the 
storm. 

The morning dawned before he de- 
parted. As he was preparing to leave 
the abbey. La Motte again drew him. 
aside, and held him for a few moments 
in close conversation. His impassioned 
gestures, which Madame La Motte ob>* 
served from a remote part of the room, 
added to her curiosity a degree of wild 
apprehension, derived from the obscu- 
rity of the subject. Her endeavour to 
distinguish the corresponding words was 
baffled by the low voice in which they 
were uttered. 

The Marquis and his retinue at length 
departed, and La Motte, having him, 
self fastened the gates, silently and de^ 
jectedly withdrew to his chamber. The 

K 5 



202 

moment they were alone, Madame seized 
the opportunity of entreating her hus- 
band to explain the scene she had wit- 
nessed. « Ask me no questions," said 
La Motte, sternly, « for I will answer 
" none. 1 have already forbade your 
«• speaking to me on this subject.*' 

«« What subject?** said his wife. La 
Motte seemed to recollect himself.— "No 
<« matter — I was mistaken — I thought 
<« you had repeated these questions be- 

« fore.*' 

« Ah !•' said Madame La Motte, *' it 
« is then as I suspected : your form^f 
*' melancholy, and the distress of this 
«^ night, have the same cause.*' 

** And why should you either suspect 
'^ or inquire ? Am I always to be perse- 
<« cuted with conjectures ?*' 

« Pardon me, I meant not to perse- 
«« cute you ; but my anxiety for your 
<< welfare will not suffer me to rest un- 
« der this dreadful uncertainty. I>^* 
«< me claim the privilege of a wife, and 
« share the affliction which oppresses 
«' you. Deny me not.''— La Motte in- 
terrupted her. '« Whatever may be the 



re 



aos 

'* cause of the emotions which you have 
^^ witnessed, I swear that I will not now 
" reveal it. A time may come, wheiai 
I shall no longer judge concealment 
necessary ; till then be silent, and d^ 
*^ sist from importunity ; above all, foj^ 
** bear to remark to any one what you 
^^ may have seen uncommon in meu 
<* Bury your surmise in your own bo- 
*^ som, as you would avoid my curse^ 
*^ and my- destruction." The deteri- 
mined air with which he spoke this, 
while his countenance was overspread 
with a livid hue, made his wife shudder; 
and she forbore all reply. 

Madame La Motte retired to bed, but 
not to rest. She ruminated on the past 
occurrence ; and her surprize and euri^ 
osity, concerning the words and beha* 
viour of her husband, were but more 
strongly stimulated by reflection. One 
truth, however, appeared; she could 
not doubt, but the mysterious conduct 
of La Motte, which had for so many 
months oppressed her with anxiety, and 
the late scene with the Marquis, origin, 
ated from the same cause. Thi$ beUef^ 

K 6 



904t 

I which seemed to prove how unjustly she 

I had suspected Adeline, brot^bt with it 

j a pang of self^-accusation. She looked 

forward to the morrow, iwhich would 
lead the Marquis again to the abbey, 
with impatience. Wearied nature at 
length resumed her rights, and yielded 
A short oblivion of care. 

At a late hour the next day the family 
assembled to breakfast* Each indivi- 
dual of the party appeared silent and 
abstracted ; but very different was the 
aspect of their features, and still more 
the complexion of their thoughts. Ia 
Motte seemed agitated by impatient 
fear, yet the sullenness of despair over- 
spread his countenance. A certain wild* 
ness in his eye at times expressed the 
sudden start of horror, and again his 
features would sink into the gloom of 
despondence. 

Madame La Motte seemed harassed 
with anxiety ; she watched every turn of 
her husband's countenance, and irapa** 
tiently waited the arrival of the Mar* 
quis. Louis was composed and thought* 
ful. Adeline seemed to feel her full 



905 

share of uneasiness. She bad observed 
the behaviour of La Motte the preceding 
night with much surprize, and the happy 
confidence she had hitherto reposed 
in him, was shaken. She feared, also».^ 
lest the exigency of his circumstances 
should precipitate him again into the 
\¥orId, and that he would be either un- 
able or unwilling to afford her a shelter 
beneath his roof. 

During breakfast La Motte frequently 
rose to the window, from whence he cast 
many an anxious look. His wife under- 
stood too well the cause of his impa- 
tience, and endeavoured to repress her 
own. In these intervals, Louis attempted 
by whispers to obtain ^me information 
from bis father, but La Motte always re- 
turned fo the table where the presence 
of Adeline prevented tarther discourse. 
. After breakfast, as he walked upon 
the lawn, Louis would have joined him j 
but La Motte peremptorily declared he 
intended to be alone, and soon after, the 
Marquis having not yet arrived, pro- 
ceeded to a greater distanqe from thQ 
abbey, 



90& 

Adeline retired into tbeir usual vrork«« 
ing room with Madame La Motte, who 
sheeted an air of cheerfulness^ and evea 
of kindness. Feeling the necessity of 
offering some reason for the striking 
agitation of La Motte, and of prevent- 
ing the surprize, which the unexpected 
appearance of the Marquis would occa- 
sion Adeline^ if she w&s left to connect 
it with his behaviour of the preceding 
night, she mentioned that the Marquis 
and La Motte had long been known to 
each Other» and that this unexpected 
meeting, after an absence of many years, 
and under circumstances so altered and 
humiliating on the part of the latter, had 
occasioned him much painftil emotion. 
This had been heightened by a con- 
sciousness that the Marquis had formerly 
misinterpreted some circumstances in 
Mis conduct towards him, which bad 
caused a suspension of their intimacy. 

This account did not bring conviction 
to the mind of Adeline, for it seemed 
inadequate to the degree of emotion the 
Marquis and La Motte had mutually be- 
trayed. Her surprize was excited, and 
/■^ II 



207 

her cariosity awakened, by the words 
which were meant to delude them both; 
but she forbore to express her thoughts. 
Madame, proceeding with her plan, 
said 9 *' The Marquis was now expected, 
** and she hoped whatever differences re- 
<' mained, would be perfectly adjusted/' 
Adeline blushed, and endeavouring to 
reply, her lips faltered. Conscious of 
this agitation, and of the observance of 
Madame La Motte, her confusion in^ 
creased, and her endeavours to suppress 
served only to heighten it. Still she 
tried to renew the discourse, and still 
she found it impossible to collect her 
thoughts. Shocked lest Madame should 
apprehend the sentiment, which had till 
this moment been concealed almost from 
herself, her colour fled, she fixed her 
eyes on the ground, and, for some time, 
found it difficult to respire* Madame 
La Motte inquired if she was ill, when 
Adeline, glad of the excuse, withdrew 
to the indulgence of her own thoughts, 
which were now wholly engrossed by the 
expectation of seeing again the young 
ChevaUer, who had accompanied the 
Marquis. "■ 



^8 

As she looked from her room, she saw 
the Marquis on horseback, with several 
attendants advancing at a distance, aad 
she hastened to apprize Madame La 
Motte of Iris approach. In a short time, 
he arrived at the gates, and Madame 
and Louis went out to receive him. La 
Motte being not yet returned. He en* 
teted the hall, followed by the young 
Chevalier, and accosting Madame with 
a sort of stately politeness, inquired for 
La Motte, whom Louis now went to 
8eek« 

The Marquis remained for a few mi- 
nutes silent, and then asked of Madame 
La Motte, " how her fair daughter did?" 
Madame understood it was Adeline he 
meant, and having answered his inquiry, 
and slightly said that she was not re- 
lated to her, Adeline, upon some iodi* 
cation of the Marquis's wish, was sent 
for: she entered the room with a mo- 
dest blush and a timid air, which seemed 
to engage all his attention. His com- 
pliments she received with a sweet grace; 
but, when the young Chevalier ap^ 
preached, the warmth of his manner 



«09 

rendered ber's involuntarily more re- 
served, and she scarcely dared to raise 
her eyes from the ground, lest they 
should encounter his. 

La Motte now entered, and apolo- 
gized for hisabsencie, which the Marquis 
noticed only by a slight inclination of 
his head, expressing at the same time by 
his looks, both distrust and pride. They 
immediately quitted the abbey together, 
and the Marquis beckoned his attend- 
ants to follow at a distance. La Motte 
forbade his son to accompany him, but 
Louis observed he took the way into the 
thickest part of the forest. He was lost 
in a chaos of conjecture concerning this 
affair, but curiosity and anxiety for his 
father induced him to follow at some 
distance. 

In the mean time the young stranger, 
whom the Marquis addressed by the 
name of Theodore, remained at the ab- 
bey with Madame La Motte and Ade- 
line. The former, with all her address, 
could not conceal her agitation during 
this interval. She moved involuntarily 
to the door,^ wjienever she heard a foot- 



step, dQd several tiaies she went to the 
bull door, in order to look into the fe* 
rest $ hot as often returned checked by 
disappointment. No person appeared. 
Theodore seemed to address as much of 
his attention to Adeline^ as politeness 
would allow him to withdraw firom Ma- 
dame LaMotte. His manners so gen** 
tie, yet dignified, insensibly subdued 
her timidity, and banished W reserve. 
Her conversation no longer suffered a 
painful constraint^ but gradually dis* 
closed the beauties of her mind^ and 
seemed to produce a mutual confidence* 
A similarity of sentiment soon appeared, 
and Theodore, by the impatient plea- 
sure which animated his . countenance, 
seemed frequently to anticipate the 
thoughts of Adeline. 

To them the absence of the Marquis 
was short ; though long to Madame La 
Motfe, whose countenance brightened, 
when she heard the trampling of horses . 
at the gate. 

The Marquis appeared but for a mo* 
ment, and passed on with La^Motte to 
a private room, where they remained for 



211 



sdme tufie iff cotiftrence, immediately' 
Bftef which be dipMted* Theodore took 
leave of Adeltee^ who^ sb well as La 
Motte and Madame^ attended tfaem to 
the gates, with an expressuw of tender 
r^egret, and ofttn, as he went, looked 
baek upon the abbey, tUl the intervening 
benches entirety excluded it from his 
view. 

The transient glow of pleasure difiused 
over the cheek of Adeline disappeared 
with the young stranger, and she sighed 
as she turned into the ball. The imagQ 
of Tlieodore pursued her to her cham* 
ber ; she recollected with exactness every 
particular of his late conversation-*— his 
sentiments so congenial with her own --^ 
his manners so engaging -~ his counte- 
nance so animated — so ingenuous and 
so noble, in which manly dignity was 
blended with the sweetness of benevo« 
lence — these, and every other grace she 
recollected, and a soft melancholy stole 
upon her heart. <* I shall see him no 
<* more," said she. A sigh that foU 
lowed, told her more of her heart than 
she wished to know. She blushed, and 



919 

sighed again, and then suddenly recol* 
lecting herself she endeavoured to divert 
her thoughts to a different subject. La 
Motte's connection with the Marquis 
for some time engaged her attention; 
but, unable to develope the mystery 
that attended it, she sought a refuge 
from her own reflections in the more 
pleasing ones to be derived from books. 

During this time Louis, shocked and 
surprized at the extreme distress which 
his father had manifested upon the first 
appearance of the Marquis, addressed 
him on the subject* He had no doubt 
that the Marquis was intimately con- 
cerned in the event which made it ne« 
cessary for La Motte to leave Paris, and 
he spoke his thoughts without disguise, 
lamenting at the same time the unlucky 
chance which had brought him to seek 
refuge in a place, of all others, the least 
capable of affording it-*- the estate of 
his enemy. La Motte did not contra- 
dict this opinion of his son's, and joined 
in lamenting the evil fate which bad 
conducted him thither. 

The term of Louis's absence from his 
regiment was now nearly expired) and 



«18 

he took occasion to express his sorrow^ 
that he must soon be obliged to leave 
his father in circumstances so dangerous 
as the present* ^^ I should leave you, 
'^ Sir, with less pain,'' continued he, 
^ was I sure I knew the full extent of 
*^ your mirfortunes. At present I am 
^^ left to conjecture evils, which, per- 
^* haps, do not exist Relieve me, Sir, 
<^ from this state of painful uncertainty, 
*< and suflfer me to prove myself worthy 
" of your confidence." 

<< I have already answered you on this 
*« subject," said La Motte, *« and for,- 
«^ bade you to renew it. I am now 
*^ obliged to tell you, I care not how 
«* soon you depart, if I am to be per- 
<< secuted with these inquiries." La 
Motte walked abruptly away, and left 
his son to doubt and concern. 

The arrival of the Marquis had dissi- 
pated the jealous fears of Madame La 
Motte, and she awoke to a sense of her 
cruelty towards Adeline. When she 
considered her orphan state--* the uni- 
form affection which had appeared in her 
behaviour — the mildness and patience 



with whieh riie had bofne her iqjuriouf 
treatment, she wad fbacked^ ^nd took 
an early opportunity of rei^ewing her 
former kindness* Bat she could mit e^- 
plain this seeming inccM^sj^tenay of con- 
duct, without betraying her Ute $U6- 
prions, whi(:h she now blttfih^d to re* 
member, nor could she apologise for her 
former behaviour,, without giving this 
explanation. 

She contented herself, therefore, with 
expressing in her maoo^r jtbe fOf^rd 
which was thitfi fievived. Ad^me was 
at first surprized, but she feit t^>o ipuch 
pleasure at the chMgj^ to be scrupulous 
in inquiries its <:ail9£u 

But notwithstandipg ifae satisfaction 
which Adeline received from the .revival 
of Madame La IVlotte's kiodness, h^r 
thoughts fireq^neia^tly recurred to the- pe^ 
culiar.and fortom circum^nces of her 
condition. She eoiMd not help feeling 
less confidence tbjan she had formerly 
done in the frij^ndsMp of Majdami^ La 
Motte, whose character npw ;Eippeared 
less amiable than her imaginatioi} h^ jre- 
presented it, and seemed strongly tine- 



81« 

tured with caprice. Her thoughts often 
dwelt upon the strange introduction of 
the Marquis at the abbey, and on the 
mutual emotions and apparent dislike 
of La Motte and himself; and, under 
these circumstances, it equally excited 
her surprize that La Motte should choose, 
and that the Marquis should permit him, 
to remain in his territory* 

Her mind returned the oftener, per- 
haps, to this subject, because it was con* 
nected with Theodore; but it returned 
uncon«cious of the idea which attracted 
it« She attributed the interest she felt 
in the affair to her anxiety for tl^e wel- 
fare of ^a Motte, and for h^r awn future 
destination, whieh was npw so deeply 
involved in his. Sometimes, indeed, she 
caught herself busfjr in coi^ecture as 
to the degree x>f retaliipnsbip in which 
Theodore stood to the Marquis ; but she 
immediately checked her thoughts, and 
severely blamed herself for having su& 
fered them to stray to an object, which 
she perceived was too dangerous to her 
peace. 



«16 



CHAPTER VII. 

^* Present ills 
** Are less than horrible imaginings.*' 

Julius CiBSAs. 

* • 

A FEW days after th« occurrence related 
in the preceding chapter, as Adeline 
sat alone in her chamber she was roused 
from a reverie hy a trampling of horses 

near the gate; and, on looking from 
the casement she saw the Marquis de 
Montalt enter the abbey. This cir- 
cumstance surpri;^' he^» and an emo- 
tion, whose cause she did not trouMe 
herself to inquire for, made her instantly 
retreat from the window. The same 
cause, however, led her thither again as 
hastily ; but the object of her search did 
not appear, and she was in no haste to 

retire. 

As she stood musing and disappointed, 

the Marquis came out with La Motte, 

and, immediately looking up, saw Ade- 

ane and bowed. She returned his com- 



217 

pUtneht respectfully, and withdrew from 
the window, vexed at having been seen 
there. They went into the forest, but 
the Marquis's attendants did not, as be- 
fore, follow them thither. When they 
returned, which was not till after a con- 
siderable time, the Marquis immediately 
mounted his horse and rode away. 

For the remainder of the day. La 
Motte appeared gloomy and silent, and 
was frequently lost in thought. Ade- 
line observed him with particular atten- 
tion and concern ; she perceived that he 
was always more melancholy after an 
interview with the Marquis, and was 
now surprized to hear that the latter had 
appointed to dine the next day at the 
abbey. 

When La Motte mentioned this, he 
added some high eulogium on the cha- 
racter of the Marquis, and particularly 
praised his generosity and nobleness of 
soul. At this instant, Adeline recol- 
lected the anecdotes she had formerly 
heard concerning the abbey, and they 
threw a shadow over the brightness of 
that excellence, which La Motte now 

VOL. I. L 



«18 

celebrated. The account, however, did 
not appear to deserve much credit; a 
part of it, as far as a negative will admit 
of demonstration, having been already 
proved false; for it had been reported, 
that the abbey was haunted, and no su- 
pernatural appearance had ever been ob- 
served by the present inhabitants. 

Adeline, however, ventured to inquire, 
whether it was the present Marquis of 
whom those injurious reports had been 
raised ? La Motte answered her with a 
smile of ridicule ; " Stories of ghosts and 
*^ hobgoblins have always been admired 
and cherished by the vulgar,*' said he* 
I am inclined to rely upon my own 
experience, at least, as much as upon 
*' the accounts of these peasants. K 
" you have seen any thing to corrobor- 
•^ ate these accounts, pray inforin me of 
" it, that I may establish my faith.'* 

" You mistake me. Sir," said she; 
** it was not concerning supernatural 
** agency that I would inquire : I al- 
" luded to a different part of the report, 
" which hinted, that some person had 
" been confined here, by order of the 



cc 






219 

*^ Marquis, who was said to have died 
** unfairly. This was alleged as a rea- 
«< son for the Marquis's having aban^ 
« doned the abbey." 

** All the mere coinage of idleness/' 
daid La Motte } ^' a romantic tale to ex« 
^^ cite wonder: to see the Marquis is 
*^ alone sufficient to refute this; and if we 
^^ credit half the number of those stories 

that spring from the same source, we 

prove ourselves little superior to the 
<* simpletons who invent them. Your 
«« good sense, Adeline, I think, will 
** teach you the merit of disbelief.** 

Adeline blushed and was silent ; but 
La Motte's defence of the Marquis ap- 
peared much warmer and more diffuse, 
than was consistent with his own dispo- 
sition, or required by the occasion. His 
former conversation with Louis occurred 
to her, and she was the more surprized 
at what passed at present. 

She looked forward to the morrow with 
a mixture of pain and pleasure ; the ex- 
pectation of seeing again the young che- 
valier occupying her thoughts, and 
agitating them with a various emotion : 

I. a 



S20 

now she feared his presence, and now she 
doubted whether he would come. At 
length she observed this, and blushed to 
find how much he engaged her attention. 
The morrow arrived — the Marquis came 
-*but he came alone; and the sunshine 
of Adeline's mind was clouded, though 
she was able to wear her usual air of 
cheerfulness. The Marquis was polite^ 
afiable, and attentive ; to manners the 
most eas^y and elegant, was added the 
last refinement of polished life. His 
conversation was lively, amusing, some- 
times even witty ; and discovered great 
knowledge of the world} or, what is 
often mistaken for it, an acquaintance 
with the higher circles, and with the 
topics of the day. 

Here La Motte was also qualified to 
converse with him, and they entered 
into a discussion of the characters and 
manners of the age with great spirit, and 
some humour. Madame La Motte had 
not seen her husband so cheerful since 
they left Paris; and sometimes she could 
almost fancy she was there. Adeline 
listened, till the cheerfulness, which she 



SSI 



had at first only assumed, became real* 
The address of the Marquis was so insi- 
nuating and affiible, that her reserve 
insensibly gave way before it, and her 
natural vivacity resumed its long-lost 
empire. 

At parting, the Marquis told La Motte 
he rejoiced at having found so agreeable 
a neighbour. La Motte bowed. ^^ I 
shall sometimes visit you/^ continued he, 
^ and I lament that I cannot at present 
^^ invite Madame La Motte and her fair 
^< friend to my chateau j but it is under- 
*^ going some repairs, which make it but 
^^ an uncomfortable residence/' 

The vivacity of La Motte disappeared 
i^ith his guest, and he soon relapsed into 
fits of silence and abstraction. ^< The 
^^ Marquis is a very agreeable man/' said 
Madame La Motte. — ^^ Very agreeable/' 
replied he. -~ ^^ And seems to have an 
*• excellent heart," she resumed.—" An 
** excellent one," said La Motte. 

" You seem discomposed, my dear ; 
* * what has disturbed you ?" 

" Not in the least — I was only think- 
♦* ing, that with such agreeable talents, 

^ 3 



922 



*^ and such an excellent heart, it was a 
** pity the Marquis should—" 

" What! my dear/* said Madame with 
impatience : ** That the Marquis should 
*' -— should suffer this abbey to fall into 
" ruins/' replied La Motte. 

" Is that all !" said Madame with dis. 
appointment. — « That is all, upon my 
" honour,*' said La Motte, and left the 
room. 

Adeline's spirits, no longer supported 
by the animated conversation of the Mar- 
quis, sunk into languor, and when he 
departed^ she walked pensively into thi 
forest. She followed a little romantic 
path that wound along the margin of the 
stream, and was overhung with deep 
shades. The tranquillity of the scene, 
which autumn now touched with her 
sweetest tints, softened her mind to a 
tender kind of melancholy, and she suf- 
fered a tear, which, she knew not where- 
fore, had stolen into her eye, to tremble 
there unchecked. She came to a little 
lonely recess, formed by high trees; the 
wind sighed mournfully among the 
branches, and as it waved their lofty 

II 



sas 

iieads^ scattered their leaves to the 
^ound. She seated herself on a bank 
beneath, and indulged the melancholjr 
reactions that pressed on her mind. 

*< O I could I dive into futurity, and 
<* behold the events which await me !'' 
said she; ^^ I should, perhaps, by con- 
^ stant contemplation, be enabled to 
^^ meet them with fortitude. An orphan 
«« in this wide world— thrown upon the 
-^ friendship of strangers for comfort, 
** and upon their bounty for the very 
^ means of existence, what but evil have 
** I to expect! Alas, my fether! how 
*• could you thus abandon your child— 
** how leave her to the storms of life -*• 
<' to sink, perhaps, beneath them? Alas, 
" I have no friend!" 

She was interrupted by a rustling 
among the fallen leaves ; she turned her 
head, and perceiving the Marquis's 
young friend, arose to depart. ^ Par- 
^< don this intrusion,'* said he, "your 
^^ voice attracted me hither, and your 
«< words detained me : my offence, how- 
** ever, brings with it its own punish- 
* « ment — having learned your sorrows, 

^ 4 



u 



9S4^ 

^* how can I he]p feelings tbem myself? 
** Would that my sympathy, or my sufi- 
fering, could rescue you from them I'* 
He hesitated—" Would that I co^ild 
deserve the title of your friend, and b^ 
thought worthy oiit by yourself!" 
The confusion of Ad^ine^s thoughts 
could scarcely permit her to. reply ; she 
trembled, and gently withdrew her hand, 
which he had taken, while he spoke, 
** You have perhaps heard. Sir, more- 
*^ than is true : I am, indeed, not happy, 
" but a moment of dejection has made 
^^ me. unjust, and J am less unfortunate 
^ than I have represented. When I 
" said I had no friend, I was ungrate* 
" fill to the kindness of Monsieur and 
<* Madame La Mdtte, who have been 
*< more than friends — >~have been as pa« 
" rents to me." 

" If so, I honour them," cried Theo- 
dore with warmth ; " and if I did not 
" feel it to be presumption, I would ask 
" why you are unhappy ? -«• But" — He 
paused. Adeline, raising her ey^ saw 
him gazing upon her with intense and 



cc 

CC 

CC 



225 

eager anxiety, and her looks were again 
jixed upon the ground. ^^ I have pained 
you," said Theodore, " by an im- 
proper request Can you forgive me, 
^^ and also when I add, that it was an in- 
terest in your welfare, which urged my 
inquiry ?'* 
Forgiveness, Sir, it is unnecessary 
^^ to ask« I am certainly obliged by the 
^< compassion you express. But the 
** evening is cold ; if you please, we 
** will walk towards the abbey." As 
they moved on, Theodore was for some 
time silent. At length, << It was but 
*^ lately that I solicited your pardon," 
said he, ^^ and I shall now, perhaps, have 
^< need of it again ; but you will do me 
<< the justice to believe, that I have a 
^^ strong, and indeed a pressing reason 
** to inquire how nearly you are related 
" to Monsieur La Motte." 

*• We are not at all related," said 
Adeline ; ^^ but the service he has done 
^^ me I can never repay, and I hope my 
** gratitude will teach me never to for- 
•« get it." 

^ 5 



226 

" Indeed!" said Theodore, surprized: 
^ and may I ask how long you have 
** known him ?" 

" Rather, Sir, let me ask, why these 
^ questions should be necessary ?'* 

" You are just," said he, with an air 
of self-condemnation; ^^ my conduct has 
** deserved this reproof; I should have 
•* been more explicit." He looked as 
if his mind was labouring with some- 
thing which he was unwilling to express. 
** But you know not how delicately I 
<^ am circumstanced," continued he» 
•* yet I wfll aver, that my questions are 

prompted by the tender est interest in 

your happiness — and even by my 
<«*fears for your safety." — Adeline start* 
ed. " I fear you are deceived," said 
he ; ** I fear there's danger near you." 

Adeline stopped, and, looking ear- 
nestly at him, begged he would explain 
himself. She suspected that some mis* 
chief threatened La Motte ; and Theo- 
dore continuing silent, she repeated her 
request. ** If La Motte is concerned in 
•* this danger," said she, ** let me en- 
^^ treat you to acquaint him with it im« 






327 

^^ mediately. He has but too many mis- 
«' fortunes to apprehend," 

*^ Excellent Adeline!" cried Theo- 
dore, ^^ that heart must be adamant that 
** would injure you. How shall I hint 
** what I fear is too true, and how for-* 
** bear to warn you of your danger, with- 
*^ out" — He was interrupted by a step 
among the trees, and presently after 
saw La Motte cross into the path they 
were in. Adeline felt confused at being 
thus seen with the chevalier, and was 
hastening to join La Motte ; but Theo- 
dore detained her, and entreated a mo- 
ment's attention. " There is now no 
*^ time to explain myself," said he ; *' yet 
«« what I would say is of the utmost 
*' consequence to t/ourselfi 

^^ Promise^ therefore, to meet me in 
^' some part of the forest at about this 
*^ time to-morrow evening ; you will 

then, I hope, be convinced, that my 

conduct is directed, neither by com- 
^^ mon circu instances, nor common re- 
*^ gard*" Adeline shuddered at the idea 
of making an appointment ; she hesU 
tated, and at length entreated Tbeo*» 

h 6 






9m 

dore not to delay till to-morrow an ex- 
planation which a{^eared to be so im- 
portant, but to follow La Motte and 
inform him of his danger immediately* 
*^ It is not with La Motte I would speak/' 
replied Theodore ; *' I know of no 
^ danger that threatens him— but he ap- 
^^ proaches; be quick, lovely Adeline, 
** and promise to meet me/' 

" I do promise," said Adeline, with a 
Altering voice ; ^' I will come to the spot 
^ where you found me this evening, 
" an hour earlier to-morrow." Saying 
this, she withdrew her trembling hand, 
which Theodore had pressed to his lips, 
in token of acknowledgment, and he 
immediately disappeared. 

La Motte now approached Adeline, 
who, fearing that he had seen Theodore, 
was in some confusion. ^* Whither is 
<^ Louis gone so fast ?" said La Motte. 
She rejoiced to find his mistake, and suf- 
fered him to remain in iU They walked 
pensively towards the abbey, where Ade- 
line, too much occupied by her ovn 
thoughts to bear company, retired to her 
cbstmber. She run\inated upon the wqrdfl 



I 



9aQ 

of Theodore, and the more she consider- 
ed them, the mtore she was perplexed* 
Sometimes she blamed herself for having 
made an appointment, doubting whether 
he had not solicited it for the purpose of 
pleading a passion ; and pow delicacy 
checked this thought, and made her 
vexed that she had presumed upon 
having inspired one. She recollected 
the seriobs earnestness of his voice and 
manner, when he entreated her to meet 
him ; and as they convinced her of the 
importance of the subject, she shud- 
dered at a danger, which she could not 
comprehend, looking forward to the 
morrow with anxious impatience. 

Sometimes, too, a remembrance of the 
tender inierest he had expressed for her 
welfare, and of his correspondent look 
and air, would steal across her memory, 
awakening a pleasing emotion, and a la* 
tent hope that she was not indifferent to 
him. From reflections like these she was 
roused by a summons to supper: the re- 
past was a melancholy one, it being the 
last evening of Louis's stay at the abbey. 
Adeline, who esteemed him, regretted 



2S0 

his departure, while his eyes were often 
bent on her, with a look which seemed 
to express that he was about to leave the 
object of his affection. She endeavoured, 
by her cheerfulness, to re-animate the 
whole party, and especially Madame 
La Motte, who frequently shed tears. 
<^ We shall soon meet again/' said Ade* 
line, ^' I trust in happier circumstances.'* 
La Motte sighed. The countenance of 
Louis brightened at her words. <* Do 
^^ you wish it?" said he, with peculiar 
emphasis. ^^ Most certainly I do," she 
replied. '^ Can you doubt my regard 
*« for my best friends ?" 

^^ I cannot doubt any thing that is 
" good of you," said he. 

«* You forget you have left Paris," 
said La Motte to his son, while a faint 
smile crossed bis face ; ^^ such a compU- 
^' raent would there be in character with 
<^ the place-— in these solitary woods it is 
" quite outre.*' 

<* The language of admiration is not 
<' always that of compliment, Sir," smd 
Louis. Adeline, willing to change the 
(liscpurse, asked to what part of France 



231 

he was goings He replied^ that his fegH 
ment was now at Peronne, and he should 
go immediately thither. After some 
mention of indifferent subjects, the fa- 
mily withdrew for the night to their 
several chambers. 

The approaching departure of her son 
occupied the thoughts of Madame La 
Motte, and she appeared at break&st 
with eyes swoln with weeping.. The 
pale countenance of Louis seemed to in- 
dicate that he had rested no better than 
his mother. When breakfast was over^ 
Adeline retired for a while, that she 
might not interrupt, by her presence^ 
their last conversation. As she walked on 
the lawn before the abbey she returned in 
thought to the occurrence of yesterday 
evening, and her impatience for the ap^ 
pointed interview increased. She was 
soon joined by Louis. ^^ It was unkind 
** of you to leave us," said he, " in the 
** last moments of my stay. Could I hope 
*^ that you would sometimes remember 
^< me, when I am far away, I should 
** depart with less sorrow." He then 
expressed his concern at leaving her^ 



233 

and though he had hitherto armed him- 
self with resolution to forbear a direct 
avowal of an attachment, which must be 
fruitless, bis heart now yielded to the 
force of passion, and he told what Ade- 
line every moment feared to hear. 

** This declaration/* said Adeline, en- 
deavouring to overcome the agitation it 
excited, ^^ gives me inexpressible con- 
« cern/' 

" O, say not so!" interrupted Louis, 
'^ but give me some slender hope to 
'^support me in the miseries of ab- 
^* sence. Say that you do not hate 
« me— Say— *' 

« That I do most readily say," replied 
Adeline, in a tremulous voice; " if it 
** will give you pleasure to be assured of 
^« my esteem and iriendship- — receive 
** this assurance : — as the son of my 
<< best benefactors, you are entitled 
«c to " 

" Name not benefits,*' said Louis, 
<c your merits out-run them all : and 
>< suffer me to hope for a sentiment less 
<< cool than that of friendship, as well as 
^ tobelievethat I do not owe your appro* 



^3S 

*^ bation of me to the actions of othenu 

" I have long borne my passion in j 

^ silence, because I foresaw the diffi* , 

'^ culties . that would attend it } nay, I 

^^ have even dared to endeavour to \ 

^^ overcome it : I have dared to be* 

** lieve it possible — forgive the sup- 

^^ position — that I could forget you-* 

^c and '' 

*^ You distress me/' interrupted Ade* 
line; ^' this is a conversation which I 
<^ ought not to .hear. I am above dis- 
<^ guise, and therefore assure you, that, 
^^ though your virtues will always aim- 
<^ mand my esteem, you have nothing 
<« to hope from my love. Were it even 
<< otherwise, our circumstances would 
«* effectually decide for us. If you are 
** really my friend, you will rejoice 
^< that I am spared this struggle be- 
^< tween affection and prudence. Lrot 
<* me hope also, that time will teach you 
<^ to reduce love within the limits of 
** friendship." 

" Never I** cried Louis vehemently : 
«( Were this possible, my passion would 
*< be unworthy of its object/' While 



€6 



984^ 

be/Spoke^ Adeline^s favoturite fawn came 
bounding towards hen This circum- 
stance ai^cted Louis even to tears. ^^ This 
** little animal/' said he, after a short 
pause, ^< first conducted me to you : it was 
witness to that happy moment when I 
first saw you, surrounded by attrac* 
i^ tions too powerful for my heart ; that 
*' moment is now fresh in my memory, 
^^ and the creature comes even to witness 
^} this sad one of my departure/' - Grief 
interrupted his utterance. 
. When he recov^^d his voice, he said, 
** Adeline! when you look upon your 
<< little favmirite and caress it, remember 
*^ the unhappy Louis, who will then be 
far, far fr<Hn you. Do not deny 
me the poor consolation of believing 
" thisr 

^^ I shall not require such a monitor to 
** remind me of you,'' said Adeline with 
a smile; *^ your excellent parents and 
** your own merits have sufficient claim 
^^ upon my remembrance. Could I see 
<< your natural good sense resume its in* 
<^ fluence over passion, my satisfaction 
^^ would eq[ual my esteem for you%" 






9S& 

** Do not hope it/* said Louis, " nor 
" will I wish it — fot passion here is vir- 
^ tue." As he spoke, he saw La Motte 
turn round an angle of the abbey/ 
'* The moments are precious,'* said he^ 
•« I am interrupted. O ! Adeline, fare- 
*' well ! and say that you will sometimes 
«« think of mte/* 

" Fareweiy* said Adeline, who was 
affected by his distress ^^ ^^ farewell ! 
<^ and peace attend you; I will think of 
*< you with the affection of a sister/* — 
He sighed deeply, and pressed her hand; 
wheii La Motte, winding round another 
projection of the ruin, again appeared. 
Adeline lei^ them together, s^nd with* 
drew to her chamber, oppressed by the 
scene. Louis's passion and her esteem 
i^ere too sincere not to inspire her with 
a strong degree of pity for his unhappy 
attachment. She remained in her cham- 
ber till he had quitted the abbey, un- 
willing to subject him or herself to the 
pain of a formal parting. 

As evening and the hour of appoint- 
ment drew nigh» Adeline's impatience 
increased'; y^tf when the tiaoe arrived^ 



«86 

her resolution failed, and she faltered 
firom her purpose. There was something 
of indelicacy and dissiimulation in an 
appointed interview, on> her part, that 
shocked her. She recollected the ten- 
derness of Theodore's manner, and se- 
veral little circumstances which seemed 
to indicate that his heart was not uncon* 
cerned in the event. Again she was in- 
clined to doubt, whether he had not ob- 
tained her consent to this meeting upon 
some groundless suspicion; and she 
almost determined not to go : yet it was 
possible Theodore's assertion might be 
sincere, and her danger real; the chance 
of this made her delicate scruples appear 
ridiculous ; she wondered, that she had 
for a moment suifero)^ them to weigh 
against so serious an interest, and blaming 
herself for the delay they had occasioned, 
hastened to the place of appointment. 

The little path which led to this spot 
was silent and solitary, and when she 
reached the recess, Theodore had not ar« 
rived. A transient pride made her un- 
willing he should find that she was more 
punctual to his appointment than bim« 



887 

self; and she turned from the recead 
into a track which wound among the 
trees to the right. Having walked some 
way without seeing any person, or hear* 
ing a footstep, she returned ; but he was 
not come, and she again left the place. 
A second time she came back, and Theo« 
dore was still absent, l^ecoliecting the 
time at which she had quitted the ab- 
bey she grew uneasy, and calculated that 
the hour appointed was now much ex- 
ceeded. She was offended and perplexed ; 
but she seated herself on the turf, and 
was resolved to wait the event. After 
remaining here till the fall of twilight, in 
fruitless expectation, her pride became 
more alarmed ; she feared that he had 
discovered something of the partiality he 
bad inspired, and believing that he now 
treated her with purposed neglect, she 
quitted the place with disgust and self- 
accusation. 

When these emotions subsided, and 
r€^ason resumed its influence, she blush- 
ed for what she termed this childish ef- 
fervescence of self-love. She recollected, 
as if for the firat time» these words of 



£88 

Theodore: « I fear you are deceived, and 
*« that some danger is near you/' Her 
judgment now acquitted the ofiTender, 
end she saw only the friend. The import 
of these words, whose truth she no longer 
doubted, again alarmed her. Why did 
he trouble himself to come from the 
chateau on purpose to hint her danger, 
if he did not wish to preserve her f And 
if he wished to preserve her, what but 
necessity^ could have withheld him from 
the appointment? 

These reflections decided her at once. 
She resolved to repair on the following 
day at the same hour to the recess, 
whither the interest which she believed 
him to take in her fate would no doubt 
conduct him in the hope of meeting her. 
— That some evil hovered over her she 
could not disbelieve ; but what it might 
be she was unable to guess. Monsieur 
and Madame La Motte were her friends, 
and who else, removed as she now 
thought herself, beyond the reach of her 
father, could injure her? But why did 
Theodore say she was deceived ? She 
found it impossible to extricate, herself 



889 

from the labyrinth of conjecture, but en- 
deavoured to command her anxiety till 
the following evening. In the mean 
time she engaged herself in efforts to 
amuse Madame La Motte, who required 
some relief, after the departure of her 
son. 

Thus oppressed by her own cares, and 
interested by those of Madame La Motte, 
Adeline retired to rest. She soon lost 
her recollection, but it was only to fall 
into harassed slumbers, such as but too 
often haunt the couch of the unhappy. 
At length her perturbed fancy suggested 
the following dream : — , 

She thought she was in a large old 
ehamber belonging to the abbey, more 
ancient and desolate, though in part fur- 
nished, than any she had yet seen. It 
\¥as strongly barricadoed, yet no person 
appeared. While she stood musing and 
surveying the apartment, she heard a low 
voice call her, and looking towards the 
plac^ whence it came, she perceived by 
the dim light of a lamp a figure stretched 
on a bed that lay on the floor.* The 
voice called a^aio^ and approaching the 



^^ 



240 

* bed, she (distinctly saw the features of a 
man who appeared to be dying. A 
ghastly paleness overspread his counte- 
nance, yet there was an expression of 
mildness and dignity in it, which strongly 
interested her. 

While she looked on him his features 
changed, and seemed convulsed in the 
agonies of death. The spectacle shocked 
her, and she started back ; but he sud- 
denly stretched forth his hand, and seiz- 
ing her's, grasped it with violence : she 
struggled in terror to disengage herself, 
and again looking on his face, saw a man, 
who appeared to be about thirty, with 
the same features, but in full health, and 
of a most benign countenance. He 
smiled tenderly upon her, and moved 
his lips, as if to speak, when the floor of 
the chamber suddenly opened, and he 
sunk from her view. The eflTort she 
made to -save herself from following, 
awoke her. — This dream bad so strongly 
impressed her fancy, that it was some 
time before she could overcome the 
terror it occasioned, or even be perfectly 
convinced she was in her own apartment. 



At length, however, she composed her- 
self to sleep } ' again she fell into a 
dream. 

She thought she was bewildered in 
some winding passages of the abbey; 
that it was almost dark, and that she 
wandered about a considerable time, 
without being able to find a door. Sudr 
denly she heard a bell toll from above, 
and soon after a confusion of distant 
voices. She redoubled her efforts to ex- 
tricate herself. Presently all was still, 
and at length, wearied with the search, 
she sat down on a step that crossed the 
passage She had not been long here 
when she saw a light glimmer at a dis- 
tance on the walls ; but a turn in the 
passage, which was very long, prevented 
her peeing from what it proceeded. It 
continued to glimmer faintly for some 
time, and then grew stronger, when she 
saw a man enter the passage, habited in 
^a long black cloak, like those usually 
worn by attendants at funerals, and bear- 
ing a torch. He called to her to follow 
him, and led her through a long passage, 
to the foot of a staircase. Here she fear- 

VOL. !• M 



1 



24S 

ed to proceed, and wa» runniag back, 
\rhen the man suddenly turned to pur- 
sue her, and with the terror which this 
occasioned, she awoke. 

Shocked by these visions, and more 
so by th^r seeming connection, which 
now struck her, she endeavoured to con- 
tinue awake, lest their terrific images 
should again haunt her mind : afler some 
time, however, her harassed spirits 
again sunk into slumber, though not to 
repose. 

She now thought herself in a large 
old gallery, and saw at one end of it a 
chamber door standing a little open, 
and a light within : she went towards it, 
and perceived the man she had before 
seen, standing at the door, and beckon- 
ing her towards him. With the incon- 
sistency so common in dreams, she no 
longer endeavoured to avoid him, butad- 
vancing, followed him into a suite of 
very ancient apartments, hung with 
black, and lighted up as if for a funeral. 
Still he led her on, till she found herself 
in the same chamber she remembered to 
have seen in her former dream : a coffin, 



243 

covered with a pall, stood at the farther 
eod of the room ; some lights, and seve« 
r^ persons surrounded it, who appeared 
to be in great distress. ^ 

Suddenly she thought these persons 
were all gpjie, and that she was left 
alone : that she went up to the coffin, 
and while she gazed upon it, she heard 
a voice speak as if from within, but saw 
nobody. The man she had before seen, 
soon after stood by the coffin, and lifting 
the pall, she saw beneath it a dead per- 
son, whom she thought to be the dying 
chevalier she had seen in her former 
dream : his features were sunk in death, 
but they were yet seiene. While she 
looked at bim a stream of blood gushed 
from his side, and descending to the 
floor, the whole chamber was overflow- 
ed ; at the same time some words were 
uttered in the voice she heard before j 
but the horror of the scene so entirely 
overcame her, that she started iind 
awoke. 

When she had recovered her recol- 
lection, she raised herself in the bed, to 
be convinced it was a dream she had wit- 



344 

nessed ; and the agitation of her spirits 
was so greaty' that she feared to be alone, 
and almost determined to call Annette. 
The features of the deceased person, and 
the (chamber where he lay, were strongly 
impressed upon her memory, and she still 
thought she heard the voice, and saw the 
countenance which her dream represent- 
ed. The longer she considered these 
dreams, the more she was surprized : 
they were so very terrible, returned so 
oflen, and seemed to be so connected 
with each other, that she could scarcely 
think them accidental; yet, why they 
should be supernatural, she could not 
tell. She slept no more that night. 



END OF THE FIRST VOLUME. 



\ 




Printed by A. Strahan, 
Vrinten-Street, London. 






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