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 Hippolitus, who had under a long and dangerous illness occasioned by his wounds, but heightened and prolonged by the of his mind, was detained in a small town in the coast of Calabria, and was yet ignorant of the death of Cornelia. He scarcely doubted that Julia was now to the duke, and this thought was at times poison to his heart. After his arrival in Calabria, immediately on the recovery of his senses, he dispatched a servant back to the castle of Mazzini, to gain secret intelligence of what had passed after his departure. The eagerness with which we endeavour to escape from , taught him to encourage a remote and romantic hope that Julia yet lived for him. Yet even this hope at length languished into despair, as the time elapsed which should have brought his servant from Sicily. Days and weeks passed away in the utmost anxiety to Hippolitus, for still his emissary did not appear; and at last, concluding that he had been either seized by robbers, or discovered and detained by the marquis, the Count sent off a second emissary to the castle of Mazzini. By him he learned the news of Julia's flight, and his heart with joy; but it was suddenly checked when he heard the marquis had discovered her retreat in the abbey of St Augustin. The wounds which still detained him in , now became intolerable. Julia might yet be lost to him for ever. But even his present state of fear and was compared with the of despair, which his mind had long endured.  
As soon as he was recovered, he quitted Italy for Sicily, in the design of visiting the of St Augustin, where it was possible Julia might yet remain. That he might pass with the necessary to his plan, and escape the attacks of the marquis, he left his servants in Calabria, and alone.
It was morning when he landed at a small port of Sicily, and proceeded towards the abbey of St Augustin. As he travelled, his imagination the scenes of his early love, the distress of Julia, and the sufferings of Ferdinand, and his heart melted at the . He considered the probabilities of Julia having found protection from her father in the pity of the Padre ; and even ventured to indulge himself in a flattering, fond of the moment when Julia should again be restored to his sight.
He arrived at the monastery, and his grief may easily be imagined, when he was informed of the death of his beloved sister, and of the flight of Julia. He quitted St Augustin's immediately, without even knowing that Madame de Menon was there, and set out for a town at some leagues distance, where he designed to pass the night.
Absorbed in the reflections which the late intelligence excited, he gave the to his horse, and journeyed on unmindful of his way. The evening was far advanced when he discovered that he had taken a wrong direction, and that he was bewildered in a wild and scene. He had wandered too far from the road to hope to it, and he had beside no recollection of the objects left behind him. A choice of errors, only, lay before him. The view on his right hand exhibited high and mountains, covered with heath and black fir; and the wild desolation of their aspect, together with the dangerous appearance of the path that wound up their sides, and which was the only apparent track they afforded, Hippolitus not to attempt their . On his left lay a forest, to which the path he was then in led; its appearance was gloomy, but he preferred it to the mountains; and, since he was uncertain of its extent, there was a possibility that he might pass it, and reach a village before the night was set in. At the worst, the forest would afford him a shelter from the winds; and, however he might be bewildered in its , he could a tree, and rest in security till the return of light should afford him an opportunity of himself. Among the mountains there was no possibility of meeting with other shelter than what the habitation of man afforded, and such a shelter there was little probability of finding. Innumerable dangers also threatened him here, from which he would be secure on level ground.
Having determined which way to pursue, he pushed his horse into a , and entered the forest as the last rays of the sun trembled on the mountains. The thick of the trees threw a gloom around, which was every moment deepened by the shades of evening. The path was uninterrupted, and the count continued to follow it till all distinction was confounded in the veil of night. Total darkness now made it impossible for him to pursue his way. He dismounted, and fastening his horse to a tree, climbed among the branches, purposing to remain there till morning.
He had not been long in this situation, when a confused sound of voices from a distance roused his attention. The sound returned at for some time, but without seeming to approach. He from the tree, that he might the better judge of the direction whence it came; but before he reached the ground, the noise was ceased, and all was profoundly silent. He continued to listen, but the silence remaining undisturbed, he began to think he had been deceived by the singing of the wind among the leaves; and was preparing to reascend, when he perceived a faint light through the foliage from afar. The sight revived a hope that he was near some place of human habitation; he therefore unfastened his horse, and led him towards the spot whence the ray issued. The moon was now risen, and threw a gleam over his path sufficient to direct him.
Before he had proceeded far the light disappeared. He continued, however, his way as nearly as he could guess, towards the place whence it had issued; and after much , found himself in a spot where the trees formed a circle round a kind of rude lawn. The moonlight discovered to him an which appeared to have been a monastery, but which now exhibited a pile of ruins, whose , heightened by decay, touched the with reverential . Hippolitus paused to gaze upon the scene; the sacred stillness of night increased its effect, and a secret , he knew not wherefore, stole upon his heart.
The silence and the character of the place made him doubt whether this was the spot he had been seeking; and as he stood hesitating whether to proceed or to return, he observed a figure under an arch-way of the ruin; it carried a light in its hand, and passing silently along, disappeared in a remote part of the building. The courage of Hippolitus for a moment him. An curiosity, however, his terror, and he determined to pursue, if possible, the way the figure had taken.
He passed over loose stones through a sort of court till he came to the archway; here he stopped, for fear returned upon him. Resuming his courage, however, he went on, still endeavouring to follow the way the figure had passed, and suddenly found himself in an enclosed part of the ruin, whose appearance was more wild and than any he had yet seen. Seized with unconquerable , he was retiring, when the low voice of a person struck his ear. His heart sunk at the sound, his limbs trembled, and he was unable to move.
The sound which appeared to be the last of a dying person, was repeated. Hippolitus made a strong effort, and sprang forward, when a light burst upon him from a shattered of the building, and at the same instant he heard the voices of men!
He advanced softly to the window, and in a small room, which was less decayed than the rest of the edifice, a group of men, who, from the of their looks, and from their dress, appeared to be banditti. They surrounded a man who lay on the ground wounded, and bathed in blood, and who it was very evident had uttered the heard by the count.
The obscurity of the place prevented Hippolitus from distinguishing the features of the dying man. From the blood which covered him, and from the surrounding circumstances, he appeared to be murdered; and the count had no doubt that the men he beheld were the murderers. The horror of the scene overcame him; he stood rooted to the spot, and saw the assassins rifle the pockets of the dying person, who, in a voice scarcely articulate, but which despair seemed to aid, for mercy. The ruffians answered him only with execrations, and continued their . His groans and his sufferings served only to their cruelty. They were to take from him a miniature picture, which was fastened round his neck, and had been hitherto in his ; when by a sudden effort he half raised himself from the ground, and attempted to save it from their hands. The effort availed him nothing; a blow from one of the laid the unfortunate man on the floor without motion. The barbarity of the act seized the mind of Hippolitus so entirely, that, forgetful of his own situation, he aloud, and started with an instantaneous design of the deed. The noise he made alarmed the banditti, who looking whence it came, discovered the count through the casement. They instantly quitted their prize, and rushed towards the door of the room. He was now returned to a sense of his danger, and endeavoured to escape to the part of the ruin; but terror bewildered his senses, and he mistook his way. Instead of the arch-way, he himself with fruitless wanderings, and at length found himself only more deeply involved in the secret of the pile.
The steps of his pursuers gained fast upon him, and he continued to perplex himself with vain efforts at escape, till at length, quite , he sunk on the ground, and endeavoured to resign himself to his fate. He listened with a kind of stern despair, and was surprised to find all silent. On looking round, he perceived by a ray of moonlight, which streamed through a part of the ruin from above, that he was in a sort of , which, from the small means he had of judging, he thought was extensive.
In this situation he remained for a considerable time, on the means of escape, yet scarcely believing escape was possible. If he continued in the vault, he might continue there only to be butchered; but by attempting to rescue himself from the place he was now in, he must rush into the hands of the banditti. Judging it, therefore, the safer way of the two to remain where he was, he endeavoured to await his fate with , when suddenly the loud voices of the murderers burst upon his ear, and he heard steps advancing quickly towards the spot where he lay.
Despair instantly renewed his ; he started from the ground, and throwing round him a look of eager desperation, his eye caught the glimpse of a small door, upon which the moon-beam now fell. He made towards it, and passed it just as the light of a torch gleamed upon the walls of the vault.
He groped his way along a passage, and at length came to a flight of steps. Notwithstanding the darkness, he reached the bottom in safety.
He now for the first time stopped to listen—the sounds of pursuit were ceased, and all was silent! Continuing to wander on in effectual endeavours to escape, his hands at length touched cold iron, and he quickly perceived it belonged to a door. The door, however, was fastened, and resisted all his efforts to open it. He was giving up the attempt in despair, when a loud scream from within, followed by a dead and heavy noise, roused all his attention. Silence ensued. He listened for a considerable time at the door, his imagination filled with images of horror, and expecting to hear the sound repeated. He then sought for a decayed part of the door, through which he might discover what was beyond; but he could find none; and after waiting some time without hearing any farther noise, he was quitting the spot, when in passing his arm over the door, it struck against something hard. On examination he perceived, to his extreme surprize, that the key was in the lock. For a moment he hesitated what to do; but curiosity overcame other considerations, and with a trembling hand he turned the key. The door opened into a large and desolate apartment, dimly lighted by a lamp that stood on a table, which was almost the only furniture of the place. The Count had advanced several steps before he perceived an object, which all his attention. This was the figure of a young woman lying on the floor dead. Her face was concealed in her robe; and the long auburn tresses which fell in beautiful luxuriance over her bosom, served to veil a part of the glowing beauty which the of her dress would have revealed.
Pity, surprize, and struggled in the breast of Hippolitus; and while he stood surveying the object which excited these different emotions, he heard a step advancing towards the room. He flew to the door by which he had entered, and was fortunate enough to reach it before the entrance of the persons whose steps he heard. Having tu............
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