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 The evening now sunk in darkness, and the hour was fast approaching which would decide the fate of Julia. Trembling anxiety every other sensation; and as the minutes passed, her fears increased. At length she heard the gates of the fastened for the night; the bell rang the signal for ; and the passing footsteps of the told her they were hastening to obey it. After some time, all was silent. Julia did not yet dare to venture ; she employed the present in interesting and affectionate conversation with Madame de Menon, to whom, notwithstanding her situation, her heart bade a sorrowful adieu.  
The clock struck twelve, when she arose to depart. Having embraced her faithful friend with tears of grief and anxiety, she took a lamp in her hand, and with cautious, fearful steps, through the long passages to a private door, which opened into the church of the monastery. The church was gloomy and ; and the feeble rays of the lamp she bore, gave only light enough to discover its chilling . As she passed silently along the , she cast a look of anxious examination around—but Ferdinand was no where to be seen. She paused in timid , fearful to the gloomy obscurity which lay before her, yet to return.
As she stood examining the place, vainly looking for Ferdinand, yet fearing to call, lest her voice should betray her, a hollow arose from apart of the church very near her. It chilled her heart, and she remained to the spot. She turned her eyes a little to the left, and saw light appear through the chinks of a sepulchre at some distance. The groan was repeated—a low murmuring succeeded, and while she yet gazed, an old man issued from the with a lighted in his hand. Terror now subdued her, and she utterred an involuntary . In the succeeding moment, a noise was heard in a remote part of the ; and Ferdinand rushing forth from his , ran to her assistance. The old man, who appeared to be a friar, and who had been doing at the monument of a saint, now approached. His expressed a degree of surprise and terror almost equal to that of Julia's, who knew him to be the confessor of Vincent. Ferdinand seized the father; and laying his hand upon his sword, threatened him with death if he did not instantly swear to for ever his knowledge of what he then saw, and also assist them to escape from the abbey.
'Ungracious boy!' replied the father, in a calm voice, 'desist from this language, nor add to the of youth the crime of murdering, or terrifying a defenceless old man. Your violence would urge me to become your enemy, did not previous me to be your friend. I pity the of the lady Julia, to whom I am no stranger, and will cheerfully give her all the assistance in my power.'
At these words Julia revived, and Ferdinand, reproved by the of the father, and conscious of his own inferiority, shrunk back. 'I have no words to thank you,' said he, 'or to your pardon for the impetuosity of my conduct; your knowledge of my situation must plead my excuse.'—'It does,' replied the father, 'but we have no time to lose;—follow me.'
They followed him through the church to the , at the of which was a small door, which the friar unlocked. It opened upon the woods.
'This path,' said he, 'leads thro' an intricate part of the woods, to the rocks that rise on the right of the abbey; in their you may yourselves till you are prepared for a longer journey. But extinguish your light; it may betray you to the marquis's people, who are about this spot. Farewell! my children, and God's be upon ye.'
Julia's tears declared her ; she had no time for words. They stepped into the path, and the father closed the door. They were now from the monastery, but danger awaited them without, which it required all their caution to avoid. Ferdinand knew the path which the friar had out to be the same that led to the rocks where his horses were stationed, and he pursued it with quick and silent steps. Julia, whose fears with the gloom of night to magnify and transform every object around her, imagined at each step that she took, she perceived the figures of men, and fancied every whisper of the breeze the sound of pursuit.
They proceeded swiftly, till Julia, breathless and , could go no farther. They had not rested many minutes, when they heard a among the bushes at some distance, and soon after a low sound of voices. Ferdinand and Julia instantly renewed their flight, and thought they still heard voices advance upon the wind. This thought was soon confirmed, for the sounds now gained fast upon them, and they distinguished words which served only to heighten their , when they reached the extremity of the woods. The moon, which was now up, suddenly emerging from a dark cloud, discovered to them several man in pursuit; and also shewed to the pursuers the course of the . They endeavoured to gain the rocks where the horses were , and which now appeared in view. These they reached when the pursuers had almost overtaken them—but their horses were gone! Their only remaining chance of escape was to fly into the deep recesses of the rock. They, therefore, entered a winding cave, from whence branched several subterraneous avenues, at the extremity of one of which they stopped. The voices of men now vibrated in tremendous echoes through the various and secret of the place, and the sound of footsteps seemed fast approaching. Julia trembled with terror, and Ferdinand drew his sword, to protect her to the last. A confused volley of voices now sounded up that part of the cave were Ferdinand and Julia lay concealed. In a few moments the steps of the pursuers suddenly took a different direction, and the sounds sunk gradually away, and were heard no more. Ferdinand listened for a considerable time, but the stillness of the place remained undisturbed. It was now evident that the men had quitted the rock, and he ventured forth to the mouth of the cave. He surveyed the wilds around, as far as his eye could penetrate, and distinguished no human being; but in the pauses of the wind he still thought he heard a sound of distant voices. As he listened in anxious silence, his eye caught the appearance of a shadow, which moved upon the ground near where he stood. He started back within the cave, but in a few minutes again ventured forth. The shadow remained , but having watched it for some time, Ferdinand saw it along till it disappeared behind a point of rock. He had now no doubt that the cave was watched, and that it was one of his late pursuers whose shade he had seen. He returned, therefore, to Julia, and remained near an hour hid in the deepest of the rock; when, no sound having interrupted the profound silence of the place, he at length once more ventured to the mouth of the cave. Again he threw a fearful look around, but discerned no human form. The soft moon-beam slept upon the dewy landscape, and the solemn stillness of midnight wrapt the world. Fear heightened to the fugitives the of the hour. Ferdinand now led Julia forth, and they passed silently along the shelving foot of the rocks.
They continued their way without farther interruption; and among the cliffs, at some distance from the cave, discovered, to their inexpressible joy, their horses, who having broken their fastenings, had strayed , and had now laid themselves down to rest. Ferdinand and Julia immediately mounted; and to the plains, took the road that led to a small sea-port at some leagues distant, whence they could for Italy.
They travelled for some hours through gloomy forests of and chesnut; and their way was only faintly by the moon, which shed a trembling through the dark , and which was seen but at , as the passing clouds yielded to the power of her rays. They reached at length the skirts of the forest. The grey dawn now appeared, and the chill morning air bit shrewdly. It was with inexpressible joy that Julia observed the atmosphere; and soon after the rays of the rising sun the tops of the mountains, whose sides were yet involved in dark vapours.
Her fears dissipated with the darkness.—The sun now appeared amid clouds of inconceivable splendour; and unveiled a scene which in other circumstances Julia would have with . From the side of the hill, down which they were winding, a vale appeared, from whence arose wild and lofty mountains, whose steeps were cloathed with hanging woods, except where here and there a projected its bold and front. Here, a few half-withered trees hung from the of the rock, and gave a wildness to the object; there, clusters of half-seen cottages, rising from among tufted , the green of a stream which in the bottom, and bore its waves to the blue and distant main.
The freshness of morning breathed over the scene, and vivified each colour of the landscape. The bright dewdrops hung trembling from the branches of the trees, which at intervals overshadowed the road; and the music of the birds the rising day. Notwithstanding her anxiety the scene a soft complacency over the mind of Julia.
About noon they reached the............
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