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 When Julia had rested, they followed the track before them, and in a short time arrived at a village, where they obtained security and .  
But Julia, whose mind was occupied with dreadful anxiety for Ferdinand, became indifferent to all around her. Even the presence of Hippolitus, which but lately would have raised her from to joy, failed to her . The steady and noble of her brother had sunk deep in her heart, and reflection only her affliction. Yet the banditti had persisted in affirming that he was not in their ; and this circumstance, which threw a deeper shade over the fears of Hippolitus, imparted a of hope to the mind of Julia.
A more interest at length forced her mind from this sorrowful subject. It was necessary to determine upon some line of conduct, for she was now in an unknown spot, and ignorant of any place of refuge. The count, who trembled at the dangers which environed her, and at the probabilities he saw of her being torn from him for ever, suffered a consideration of them to overcome the dangerous which at this mournful period required his silence. He her to destroy the possibility of separation, by consenting to become his immediately. He urged that a priest could be easily from a neighboring convent, who would confirm the bonds which had so long united their hearts, and who would thus at once arrest the destiny that so long had threatened his hopes.
This proposal, though similar to the one she had before accepted; and though the certain means of rescuing her from the fate she , she now turned from in sorrow and dejection. She loved Hippolitus with a steady and tender affection, which was still heightened by the he claimed as her deliverer; but she considered it a prophanation of the memory of that brother who had suffered so much for her sake, to joy with the grief which her concerning him occasioned. She her refusal with a tender grace, that quickly dissipated the jealous doubt arising in the mind of Hippolitus, and increased his fond of her character.
She desired to retire for a time to some obscure convent, there to await the issue of the event, which at present involved her in perplexity and sorrow.
Hippolitus struggled with his feelings and forbore to press farther the suit on which his happiness, and almost his existence, now depended. He inquired at the village for a neighbouring convent, and was told, that there was none within twelve leagues, but that near the town of Palini, at about that distance, were two. He procured horses; and leaving the officers to return to Palermo for a stronger guard, he, accompanied by Julia, entered on the road to Palini.
Julia was silent and thoughtful; Hippolitus gradually sunk into the same mood, and he often cast a cautious look around as they travelled for some hours along the feet of the mountains. They stopped to dine under the shade of some beach-trees; for, fearful of discovery, Hippolitus had provided against the necessity of entering many inns. Having finished their repast, they pursued their journey; but Hippolitus now began to doubt whether he was in the right direction. Being , however, of the means of certainty upon this point, he followed the road before him, which now wound up the side of a steep hill, whence they into a rich valley, where the shepherd's pipe sounded sweetly from afar among the hills. The evening sun shed a mild and over the landscape, and softened each feature with a vermil glow that would have inspired a mind less occupied than Julia's with sensations of congenial .
The evening now closed in; and as they were doubtful of the road, and found it would be impossible to reach Palini that night, they took the way to a village, which they perceived at the of the valley.
They had proceeded about half a mile, when they heard a sudden shout of voices echoed from among the hills behind them; and looking back perceived faintly through the dusk a party of men on horseback making towards them. As they drew nearer, the words they were distinguishable, and Julia heard her own name sounded. Shocked at this circumstance, she had now no doubt that she was discovered by a party of her father's people, and she fled with Hippolitus along the valley. The pursuers, however, were almost come up with them, when they reached the mouth of a , into which she ran for . Hippolitus drew his sword; and awaiting his enemies, stood to defend the entrance.
In a few moments Julia heard the clashing of swords. Her heart trembled for Hippolitus; and she was upon the point of returning to resign herself at once to the power of her enemies, and thus the danger that threatened him, when she the loud voice of the duke.
She shrunk involuntarily at the sound, and pursuing the of the cavern, fled into its inmost recesses. Here she had not been long when the voices sounded through the cave, and drew near. It was now evident that Hippolitus was conquered, and that her enemies were in search of her. She threw round a look of unutterable , and perceived very near, by a sudden gleam of torchlight, a low and deep in the rock. The light which belonged to her pursuers, grew stronger; and she entered the rock on her knees, for the overhanging craggs would not suffer her to pass otherwise; and having gone a few yards, perceived that it was terminated by a door. The door yielded to her touch, and she suddenly found herself in a highly cavern, which received a feeble light from the moon-beams that streamed through an opening in the rock above.
She closed the door, and paused to listen. The voices grew louder, and more distinct, and at last approached so near, that she distinguished what was said. Above the rest she heard the voice of the duke. 'It is impossible she can have quitted the cavern,' said he, 'and I will not leave it till I have found her. Seek to the left of that rock, while I examine beyond this point.'
These words were sufficient for Julia; she fled from the door across the cavern before her, and having ran a considerable way, without coming to a termination, stopped to breathe. All was now still, and as she looked around, the gloomy obscurity of the place struck upon her fancy all its horrors. She imperfectly surveyed the vastness of the cavern in wild , and feared that she had herself again into the power of banditti, for whom along this place appeared a fit receptacle. Having listened a long time without hearing a return of voices, she thought to find the door by which she had entered, but the gloom, and vast extent of the cavern, made the endeavour hopeless, and the attempt unsuccessful. Having wandered a considerable time through the void, she gave up the effort, endeavoured to resign herself to her fate, and to compose her distracted thoughts. The remembrance of her former wonderful escape inspired her with confidence in the mercy of God. But Hippolitus and Ferdinand were now both lost to her—lost, perhaps, for ever—and the uncertainty of their fate gave force to fancy, and to sorrow.
Towards morning grief yielded to nature, and Julia sunk to . She was by the sun, whose rays through the opening in the rock, threw a partial light across the cavern. Her senses were yet bewildered by sleep, and she started in affright on her situation; as recollection gradually stole upon her mind, her sorrows returned, and she sickened at the fatal .
She arose, and renewed her search for an . The light, imperfect as it was, now assisted her, and she found a door, which she perceived was not the one by which she had entered. It was firmly fastened; she discovered, however, the bolts and the lock that held it, and at length unclosed the door. It opened upon a dark passage, which she entered.
She groped along the walls for some time, when she perceived the way was . She now discovered that another door interrupted her progress, and sought for the bolts which might fasten it. These she found; and strengthened by desparation forced them back. The door opened, and she in a small room, which received its feeble light from a window above, the pale and figure of a woman, seated, with half-closed eyes, in a kind of elbow-chair. On perceiving Julia, she started from her seat, and her expressed a wild surprise. Her features, which were worn by sorrow, still retained the traces of beauty, and in her air was a mild dignity that excited in Julia an involuntary .
She seemed as if about to speak, when fixing her eyes earnestly and steadily upon Julia, she stood for a moment in eager gaze, and suddenly exclaiming, 'My daughter!' fainted away.
The of Julia would scarcely suffer her to assist the lady who lay senseless on the floor. A multitude of strange imperfect ideas rushed upon her mind, and she was lost in perplexity; but as she examined the features of the stranger; which were now into life, she thought she discovered the resemblance of Emilia!
The lady breathing a deep sigh, unclosed her eyes; she raised them to Julia, who hung over her in speechless astonishment, and fixing them upon her with a tender earnest expression—they filled with tears. She pressed Julia to her heart, and a few moments of , unutterable emotion followed. When the lady became more composed, 'Thank heaven!' said she, 'my prayer is granted. I am permitted to embrace one of my children before I die. Tell me what brought you hither. Has the marquis at last relented, and allowed me once more to you, or has his death dissolved my wretched ?'
Truth now upon the mind of Julia, but so faintly, that instead of enlightening, it served only to increase her perplexity.
'Is the marquis Mazzini living?' continued the lady. These words were not to be doubted; Julia threw herself at the feet of her mother, and embracing her knees in an energy of joy, answered only in .
The marchioness eagerly inquired after her children, 'Emilia is living,' answered Julia, 'but my dear brother—' 'Tell me,' cried the marchioness, with quickness. An explanation ensued; When she was informed concerning Ferdinand, she sighed deeply, and raising her eyes to heaven, endeavoured to assume a look of resignation; but the struggle of feelings was visible in her countenance, and almost overcame her powers of resistance.
Julia gave a short account of the preceding adventures, and of her entrance into the cavern; and found, to her inexpressible surprize, that she was now in a belonging to the southern buildings of the castle of Mazzini! The marchioness was beginning her , when a door was heard to unlock above, and the sound of a footstep followed.
'Fly!' cried the marchioness, 'secret yourself, if possible, for the marquis is coming.' Julia's heart sunk at these words; she paused not a moment, but through the door by which she had entered. This she had scarcely done, when another door of the cell was unlocked, and she heard the voice of her father. Its sounds thrilled her with a universal tremour; the of discovery so strongly operated upon her mind, that she stood in expectation of seeing the door of the passage unclosed by the marquis; and she was deprived of all power of seeking refuge in the cavern.
At length the marquis, who came with food, quitted the cell, and relocked the door, when Julia stole from her hiding-place. The marchioness again embraced, and wept over her daughter. The narrative of her sufferings, upon which she now entered, dissipated the mystery which had so long the southern buildings of the castle.
'Oh! why,' said the marchioness, 'is it my task to discover to my daughter the of her father? In relating my sufferings, I reveal his crimes! It is now about fifteen years, as near as I can guess from the small means I have of judging, since I entered this horrible abode. My sorrows, ! began not here; they commenced at an earlier period. But it is sufficient to observe, that the passion whence originated all my misfortunes, was discovered by me long before I experienced its most baleful effects.
'Seven years had elapsed since my marriage, when the charms of Maria de Vellorno, a young lady singularly beautiful, inspired the marquis with a passion as violent as it was irregular. I observed, with deep and silent anguish, the cruel of my lord towards me, and the rapid progress of his passion for another. I examined my past conduct, which I am thankful to say presented a retrospect of only blameless actions; and I endeavoured, by , and tender assiduities, to recall that affection which was, alas! gone for ever. My meek submission was considered as a mark of a servile and insensible mind; and my tender assiduities, to which his heart no longer responded, created only disgust, and the proud spirit it was meant to conciliate.
'The secret grief which this change occasioned, consumed my spirits, and upon my constitution, till at length a severe illness threatened my life. I beheld the approach of death with a steady eye, and even welcomed it as the passport to tranquillity; but it was that I should linger through new scenes of misery.
'One day, which it appears was the paroxysm of my , I sunk in to a state of total , in which I lay for several hours. It is impossible to describe my feelings, when, on recovering, I found myself in this abode. For some time I doubted my senses, and afterwards believed that I had quitted this world for another; but I was not long suffered to continue in my error, the appearance of the marquis bringing me to a perfect sense of my situation.
'I now understood that I had been conveyed by his direction to this recess of horror, where it was his will I should remain. My pray............
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