Study Guide

The Mysteries of Udolpho Volume 1, Chapter 6

By Ann Radcliffe

Volume 1, Chapter 6

  • Before Valancourt heads off on his own, he breakfasts with the St. Auberts one last time.
  • St. Aubert tells Valancourt that he'd better hit them up if he's ever near La Vallée.
  • Finally, it's farewell time. The St. Auberts continue on in the opposite direction, and St. Aubert reminisces about what a promising young man Valancourt is.
  • This makes him think of his own childhood (naturally), which is long, long gone. He remarks to Emily that the world is closing to him.
  • Emily's all, "Nip it in the bud, Dad." But St. Aubert feels like being a sad sack, so he continues to mope.
  • The travelers reach Perpignan, where St. Aubert receives a letter from Quesnel. If you thought he was sad before, you should see how gloomy this letter makes him.
  • Emily wants to know what's wrong, so he fills her in: looks like St. Aubert's property was invested with a certain M. Motteville, who lost it all.
  • The family is basically ruined. St. Aubert doesn't care that much for his own sake, but he doesn't want his daughter to land in the poorhouse.
  • St. Aubert tells Emily that they can only have one servant. The horror!
  • They resume their journey to Languedoc, but St. Aubert is definitely looking worse for the wear.
  • At nighttime, St. Aubert doesn't feel he can go any further. They see a spooky-looking chateau in the distance, but peasants along the way tell him to steer clear.
  • Michael doesn't want to go to the chateau, but St. Aubert is really sick.
  • They pull over after St. Aubert faints, and Emily tries to revive him by sprinkling water on his face.
  • Since Michael won't leave his mules, Emily goes to look for help. Man, is it scary out there in the woods. She thinks she hears a riot, and turns back to check on her dad.
  • St. Aubert is up again, but he doesn't look too hot. A peasant named La Voisin appears in the woods and invites them to spend the night at his place.
  • Oh yeah, that riot Emily thought she heard? It was really the peasants doing a ritual dance.
  • They pass by the dancers on the way to La Voisin's cottage, but St. Aubert is wiped out.
  • Once at the cottage, La Voisin tells them about how his wife passed away long ago. He asks St. Aubert if, once they have died, they will be permitted to return to earth.
  • St. Aubert is thrilled to find a fellow sad sack. He says he hopes to be able to look down on those he loves when he's gone.
  • La Voisin fills in the St. Auberts on the mysterious chateau in the woods. Apparently, it used to belong to the Marquis de Villerois up until he died recently. Word of advice, La Voisin says: don't ever spend the night there.
  • La Voisin also talks about the late Marchioness, the Marquis' wife. She deserved a better fate, La Voisin says.
  • St. Aubert's really on a roll with the mopey thing. He says he remembers the Marchioness well and gets all teary-eyed.
  • All of the sudden a mysterious voice begins singing. An instrument in the distance plays a melancholy song, which both of the St. Auberts find very beautiful and strange.
  • La Voisin doesn't know where the music is coming from, but he says one of the monks told him it occurs whenever someone is about to die.
  • On that note, time for bed! St. Aubert is still feeling poorly, but Emily stays up and contemplates what happened to the Marquis de Villerois and his unfortunate wife. Curiosity killed the cat, Emily.

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