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table; and on this Ludovico's sword, his lamp, the book he had been reading, and the remains of a flask of wine, still remained. At the foot of the table, too, was the basket, with some fragments of provision and wood.
Henri and the servant now uttered their astonishment without reserve, and though the count said little, there was a seriousness in his manner that expressed much. It appeared that Ludovico must have quitted these rooms by some concealed passage, for the count could not believe that any supernatural means had occasioned this event; yet, if there was any such passage, it seemed inexplicable why he should retreat through it; and it was equally surprising that not even the smallest vestige should appear by which his progress could be traced. In the rooms, everything remained as much in order as if he had just walked out by the common way.
The count himself assisted in lifting the arras with which the bed-chamber, saloon, and one of the ante-rooms were hung, that he might discover if any door had been concealed behind it; but after a laborious search, none was found; and he at length quitted the apartments, having secured the door of the last ante-chamber, the key of which he took into his own possession. He then gave orders that strict search should be made for Ludovico, not only in the château, but in the neighbourhood, and retiring with Henri to his closet, they remained there in conversation for a considerable time; and whatever was the subject of it, Henri from this hour lost much of his vivacity; and his manners were particularly grave and reserved, whenever the topic which now agitated the count's family with wonder and alarm, was introduced. *
* The château had been inhabited before the count came into its possession. He was not aware that the apparently outward walls contained
a series of passages and staircases, which led to unknown vaults underground; and, therefore, he never thought of looking for a door in those parts of the chamber which he supposed to be next to the air. In these was a communication with the room. The château (for we are not here in Udolpho) was on the sea-shore in Languedoc; íts vaults had become the store-house of pirates, who did their best to keep up the supernatural delusions that hindered people from searching the premises; and these pirates had carried Ludovico away.
FROM THE NOVEL OF “NATURE AND ART," BY MRS. INCHBALD,
ELIZABETH INCHBALD, an amusing dramatist, a writer of stories of the highest order for sentiment and passion, and a beautiful woman, admirable for attractiveness of almost every kind, especially candour and self-denial, was daughter of a farmer in Suffolk, of the name of Simpson. She married an actor, a very worthy man, who died not long after their union. She performed on the stage herself for some years, in spite of an impediment in her speech, which seems to have been generally under control; and then settled down into a successful authoress, courted by high and low, often with a view to marriage. In one or two instances offers would evidently have been accepted had they been made, but she was superior to all that were unconnected with the heart. She maintained some relatives at the expense of personal sacrifices that sometimes left her without a fire in winter; and she died at a respectable lodging-house in Kensington, where she was buried in the churchyard. She wrote the dramas of The Midnight Hour, The Mogul Tale, Such Things Are, &c.; and, besides the novel from which the following incident is taken, was authoress of The Simple Story, one of the deepest-felt and best-written tales in the language. We had not the honor of knowing Mrs. Inchbald; but we love her memory for many reasons—one of which is, that a mother who possessed similar virtues was fond of those novels, particularly Nature and Art, and recommended it strongly to us in our boyhood. Passages more beautiful and pathetic than those which we have selected are not to be found in the whole circle of English prose.
The reader will observe that the warning is not aimed at lawyers in particular. The writer would have done nothing so unjust. A
lawyer is only selected for the more striking illustration of it; and as the profession, generally speaking, has been as free in its way of life as most others, however admirable for the final wisdom and virtue in which its many-thoughted experience tends to settle it, the dreadful circumstances imagined in this story are but too possible—perhaps have often occurred in spirit, though not in letter. The exclamation “Oh, not from you!" may rank with the finest bursts of emotion in the tragic poets; and it comes more dreadfully home to the bosom of society.
THE day at length is come on which Agnes shall have THE
a sight of her beloved William ! She who has watched for hours near his door, to procure a glimpse of him going out or returning home; who has walked miles to see his chariot pass; she now will behold him, and he will see her, by command of the laws of his country. Those laws, which will deal with rigour towards her, are in this one instance still indulgent.
The time of the assizes at the county town in which she is imprisoned, is arrived—the prisoners are demanded at the shire-hall-the jail doors are opened—they go in sad procession. The trumpet sounds—it speaks the arrival of the judge—and that judge is William.
The day previous to her trial, Agnes had read, in the printed calendar of the prisoners, his name as the learned judge before whom she was to appear. For a moment she forgot her perilous state in the excess of joy which the still unconquerable love she bore to him permitted her to taste, even on the brink of the grave! After reflection made her check these worldly transports, as unfit for the present solemn occasion. But, alas ! to her, earth and William were so closely united, that, till she forsook the one, she could never cease to think, without the contending passions of hope, of fear, of love, of shame, and of despair, on the other.
Now fear took place of her first immoderate joy; she feared that, although much changed in person since he had seen her, and her real name now added to many an aliasyet she feared that some well-known glance of the eye,
turn of the action, or accent of speech, might recall her to his remembrance; and at that idea, shame overcame all her other sensations—for still she retained pride, in respect to his opinion, to wish him not to know Agnes was that wretch she felt she was ! Once a ray of hope beamed on her, that if he knew her—if he recognised her—he might possibly befriend her cause; and life, bestowed through William's friendship, seemed a precious object! But, again, that rigorous honour she had often heard him boast, that firmness to his word, of which she had fatal experience, taught her to know he would not, for any improper compassion, any unmanly weakness, forfeit his oath of impartial justice.
In meditations such as these she passed the sleepless night.
When, in the morning, she was brought to the bar, and her guilty hand held up before the righteous judgment-seat of William, imagination could not form two figures, or two situations more incompatible with the existence of former familiarity than the judge and the culprit; and yet, these very persons had passed together the most blissful moments that either ever tasted! Those hours of tender dalliance were now present to her mind—his thoughts were more nobly employed in his high office; nor could the haggard face, hollow eye, desponding countenance, and meagre person of the poor prisoner, once call to his memory, though her name was uttered among a list of others which she had assumed, his former youthful, lovely Agnes !
She heard herself arraigned, with trembling limbs and downcast looks, and many witnesses had appeared against