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 Julia accustomed herself to walk in the fine evenings under the shade of the high trees that environed the abbey. The dewy coolness of the air refreshed her. The innumerable roseate which the parting sun-beams reflected on the rocks above, and the fine vermil glow over the romantic scene beneath, softly fading from the eye, as the nightshades fell, excited sensations of a sweet and nature, and her into a temporary forgetfulness of her sorrows.  
The deep of the place her , and one evening she ventured with Madame de Menon to her walk. They returned to the abbey without having seen a human being, except a friar of the , who had been to a neighbouring town to order provision. On the following evening they repeated their walk; and, engaged in conversation, to a considerable distance from the abbey. The distant bell of the monastery sounding for vespers, reminded them of the hour, and looking round, they perceived the of the wood. They were returning towards the abbey, when struck by the appearance of some columns which were distinguishable between the trees, they paused. Curiosity them to examine to what pillars of such magnificent architecture could belong, in a scene so rude, and they went on.
There appeared on a point of rock over the valley the reliques of a palace, whose beauty time had only to heighten its . An arch of singular magnificence remained almost entire, beyond which appeared wild cliffs retiring in grand perspective. The sun, which was now setting, threw a trembling upon the ruins, and gave a finishing effect to the scene. They gazed in mute wonder upon the view; but the fast fading light, and the dewy chillness of the air, warned them to return. As Julia gave a last look to the scene, she perceived two men leaning upon a part of the ruin at some distance, in earnest conversation. As they , their looks were so on her, that she could have no doubt she was the subject of their . Alarmed at this circumstance, madame and Julia immediately retreated towards the abbey. They walked swiftly through the woods, whose shades, deepened by the gloom of evening, prevented their distinguishing whether they were pursued. They were surprized to observe the distance to which they had strayed from the monastery, whose dark towers were now obscurely seen rising among the trees that closed the perspective. They had almost reached the gates, when on looking back, they perceived the same men slowly advancing, without any appearance of pursuit, but clearly as if observing the place of their retreat.
This incident occasioned Julia much alarm. She could not but believe that the men whom she had seen were spies of the marquis;—if so, her was discovered, and she had every thing to . Madame now judged it necessary to the safety of Julia, that the should be informed of her story, and of the she had sought in his monastery, and also that he should be to protect her from tyranny. This was a , but a necessary step, to provide against the certain danger which must ensue, should the marquis, if he demanded his daughter of the Abate, be the first to acquaint him with her story. If she acted otherwise, she feared that the Abate, in whose she had not , and whose pity she had not solicited, would, in the pride of his , deliver her up, and thus would she become a certain victim to the Duke de Luovo.
Julia approved of this communication, though she trembled for the event; and requested madame to plead her cause with the Abate. On the following morning, therefore, madame solicited a private audience of the Abate; she obtained permission to see him, and Julia, in trembling anxiety, watched her to the door of his apartment. This conference was long, and every moment seemed an hour to Julia, who, in fearful expectation, awaited with Cornelia the sentence which would decide her destiny. She was now the constant companion of Cornelia, whose declining health interested her pity, and strengthened her .
Meanwhile madame developed to the Abate the story of Julia. She praised her , commended her , and her situation. She described the characters of the marquis and the duke, and concluded with pathetically representing, that Julia had sought in this monastery, a last asylum from and , and with that the Abate would grant her his pity and protection.
The Abate during this discourse preserved a silence; his eyes were bent to the ground, and his aspect was thoughful and solemn. When madame ceased to speak, a pause of profound silence ensued, and she sat in anxious expectation. She endeavoured to anticipate in his the answer preparing, but she no comfort from thence. At length raising his head, and from his deep reverie, he told her that her request required deliberation, and that the protection she solicited for Julia, might involve him in serious consequences, since, from a character so as the marquis's, much violence might reasonably be expected. 'Should his daughter be refused him,' concluded the Abate, 'he may even dare to violate the sanctuary.'
Madame, shocked by the stern of this reply, was a moment silent. The Abate went on. 'Whatever I shall determine upon, the young lady has reason to rejoice that she is admitted into this holy house; for I will even now venture to assure her, that if the marquis fails to demand her, she shall be permitted to remain in this sanctuary unmolested. You, Madam, will be sensible of this indulgence, and of the value of the sacrifice I make in granting it; for, in thus a child from her parent, I encourage her in disobedience, and consequently sacrifice my sense of duty, to what may be justly called a weak humanity.'
Madame listened to in silent sorrow and indignation. She made another effort to interest the Abate in favor of Julia, but he preserved his stern , and repeating that he would deliberate upon the matter, and acquaint her with the result, he arose with great solemnity, and quitted the room.
She now half of the confidence she had in him, and of the pity she had solicited, since he discovered a mind of understanding the first, and a temper to the influence of the latter. With an heavy heart she returned to Julia, who read in her countenance, at the moment she entered the room, news of no happy import. When madame related the particulars of the conference, Julia from it only misery, and giving herself up for lost—she burst into tears. She deplored the confidence she had been induced to yield; for she now saw herself in the power of a man, stern and unfeeling in his nature: and from whom, if he thought it fit to betray her, she had no means of escaping. But she the of her heart; and to console madame, to hope where she could only despair.
Several days elapsed, and no answer was returned from the Abate. Julia too well understood this silence.
One morning Cornelia entering her room with a disturbed and impatient air, informed her that some emissaries from the marquis were then in the monastery, having at the gate for the Abate, with whom, they said, they had business of importance to . The Abate had granted them audience, and they were now in close conference.
At this intelligence the spirits of Julia her; she trembled, grew pale, and stood in mute despair. Madame, though scarcely less , retained a presence of mind. She understood too justly the character of the Superior to doubt that he would hesitate in delivering Julia to the hands of the marquis. On this moment, therefore, turned the crisis of her fate!—this moment she might escape—the next she was a prisoner. She therefore advised Julia to seize the instant, and fly from the monastery before the conference was concluded, when the gates would most probably be closed upon her, assuring her, at the same time, she would accompany her in flight.
The generous conduct of madame called tears of into the eyes of Julia, who now awoke from the state of stupefaction which had caused. But before she could thank her faithful friend, a entered the room with a summons for madame to attend the Abate immediately. The distress which this message occasioned can not easily be conceived. Madame advised Julia to escape while she detained the Abate in conversation, as it was not probable that he had yet issued orders for her . Leaving her to this attempt, with an assurance of following her from the abbey as soon as possible, madame obeyed the summons. The coolness of her forsook her as she approached the Abate's apartment, and she became less certain as to the occasion of this summons.
The Abate was alone. His countenance was pale with anger, and he was pacing the room with slow but steps. The stern authority of his look startled her. 'Read this letter,' said he, stretching his hand which held a letter, 'and tell me what that mortal deserves, who dares insult our holy order, and set our sacred............
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