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Moral vision : a unity of cosmos, character, and incident in Mrs. Radcliffe's novels Whitley, Raymond Kenneth 1970

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MORAL VISION: A UNITY OF COSMOS, CHARACTER, AND INCIDENT IN MRS. RADCLIFFE'S NOVELS by RAYMOND KENNETH WHITLEY B.A., University of British Columbia, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1970 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r a n a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l m a k e i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e H e a d o f my D e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . English D e p a r t m e n t o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a D a t e lu October 70 i i Abstract C r i t i c a l treatment of Mrs. Radcliffe's canon, i n addition to being s u p e r f i c i a l , has l a i d altogether too much stress on the sensational aspects of her work. In my thesis, I assess the nature of the world which she creates, examine the consequent psychology of her good and e v i l characters, and point out the manner i n which her treatment of some other themes correspond to that nature and that psychology. By this means, I intend to show that there exists i n her works a strong moral v i s i o n and a unified a r t i s t i c statement that shows them to be far less frivolous and incompetent than i s generally thought. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page 1. Mrs. Radcliffe and Her Moral World 1 2. The Constitution of the Moral World 19 3. The Issues of Character: Vill a i n s and E v i l 60 4. The Issues of Character: Sympathetic Characters and Emotional Control 97 5. Other Themes Related to the Moral World and To Character 145 6. Conclusion 208 Works Cited 214 CHAPTER 1 MRS. RADCLIFFE, THE CRITICS, AND HER MORAL WORLD Those c r i t i c s who have participated i n the r e v i v a l of Mrs. Radcliffe's works i n recent decades are prepared to consider them as l i n k s i n the development of various l i t e r a r y styles and themes, to examine them as the racy sensationalism of a bygone era, or to fi n d and plumb i n them mysterious wells of symbolism, but very few have had s u f f i c i e n t confidence i n her art to look at i t with that cautious o b j e c t i v i t y which i s usually afforded other authors. Mrs. Radcliffe i s one of those unfortunate writers whom we accord a s i g n i f i c a n t position i n the history of English l i t e r a t u r e , yet alternately praise or damn beyond the l i m i t s of t h e i r virtues and vices. C r i t i c s are universally prepared to consider her work i n an h i s t o r i c a l context. Her sources are w e l l known, some commentators having traced the mechanical devices of her plots to Horace Walpole and Clara Reeve.*" Others f i n d the source of her la v i s h descriptions of 2 I t a l i a n and Provencal settings i n contemporary t r a v e l l i t e r a t u r e , and ^Devendra P. Varma, The Gothic Flame (London: Arthur Barker Ltd*, 1957), p. 102; also Clara Mclntyre, Anne: Radcliffe i n Relation to her  Time, Yale Studies i n English, Vol. LXVII (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1920), p. 51. 2 Varma (p. 122) points out th e i r s i m i l a r i t y to some of Mrs. P i o z z i ' s Observations and Reflections made i n the Course of a Journey through  France, I t a l y , and Germany, 1789; J.M.S. Tompkins, "Ramond de Carbonnieres, Grosley, and Mrs. R a d c l i f f e , " RES, 5 (1929), 104-118, notes passages copied from Ramond de Carbonnieres 1 Observations Faits dans les Pyrennees (1789) and A.J. Grosley 1s New Observations on I t a l y and i t s Inhabitants (1769). 2 thus l i n k her treatment of external nature to the eighteenth century 3 c u l t of the picturesque. Malcolm Ware, i n turn, has conclusively proven that effects wrought i n Mrs. Radcliffe's descriptions depend upon a close adherance to Edmund Burke's p r i n c i p l e s of:sublimity,'.'beauty, 4 and the psychology of fear. At the same time, many others have discussed the descent of characters from the sentimental novel to the ' \ 5 "gothic" mode i n general and Mrs. Radcliffe i n p a r t i c u l a r . Moreover, various scholars have mapped her influence both on her time and on l a t e r periods. Robert Mayo, i n the course of a r t i c l e s and a book resulting from his close analysis of novels and short stories i n magazines of the late eighteenth century and regency periods, has precisely measured the extent and longevity of her contemporary influence.** Others f i n d that "the Gothic n o v e l i s t , s t i l l 'enlightened' but imperfect i n his skepticism, gave to f i c t i o n a post-Enlightenment See, for instance, Bonamy Dobree, ed., The Mysteries of Udolptio by Ann- Radcliffe (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), p. v i i i . 4 Sublimity i n the Novels of Anne R a d c l i f f e , English I n s t i t u t e of the University of Uppsala Essays and Studies on English Language and Liter a t u r e , second s e r i e s , Vol. XXV (Uppsala, 1963). ^Among them Ernest A. Baker, The Novel of Sentiment and the Gothic  Romance, Vol. V of The History of the English Novel (London: Witherby, 1934), p. 175; Edith Birkhead, The Tale of Terror (London: Constable and Co., 1921), p. 223; James R. Foster, The History of Pre-Romantic  Novel i n England (New York: MLA; London: Oxford University Press, 1949), p. 262; Fred Garber, ed., The I t a l i a n by Ann- Radcliffe (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. v i i i ; and R.D. Hume, "Gothic versus Romantic: A Re-valuation of the Gothic Novel", PMLA, 84, No. 2 (March, 1969), 282-90. 6 I n "How long was Gothic F i c t i o n i n Vogue?", MLN, LVIII (1943), 58-64, "The Gothic Short Story i n the Magazines," MLR, XXXVII (1942), 448-54, and "Gothic F i c t i o n " i n The English Novel i n the Magazines, 1740-1825 (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1962), he traces her meteoric r i s e to l i o n i z a t i o n and the subsequent period Of frenzied emulation that extended w e l l into the nineteenth century. 3 pre-occupation with the preternatural, the i r r a t i o n a l , the primordial, the abnormal, and (tending to include the rest) the demonic"'' and credit Mrs. Radcliffe with a share i n i n s p i r i n g Matthew Lewis, Mary Shelley, 8 Maturin, and the Brontes. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , they universally acknowledge the Byronic hero's debt to her v i l l a i n s , who pass on t h e i r physiognomy and inner torture to countless successors. L i t t l e wonder 9 10 that both Varma and Montague Summers claim her work i s pre-Romantic. Yet a l l these h i s t o r i c a l arguments tend to ignore Mrs. R a d c l i f f e 1 s a r t . To l a b e l her as pre-Romantic or to discover i n her characters the seeds of far greater and more popular figures of l i t e r a t u r e i s to subordinate her work to l i t e r a r y giants, so that i t appears r e l a t i v e l y i n s i g n i f i c a n t i n i t s e l f . S i m i l a r l y , when the cul t of the picturesque or the rhetoric of sentiment is" discovered at work i n her novels, the c r i t i c a l tendency i s to write her off as "just another" lady authoress who followed the fashions of the late eighteenth century. A l l such refl e c t i o n s tend to be unnecessarily demeaning. At least everyone universally applauds Mrs. Radcliffe for her a b i l i t y , one way or another, to t i t i l l a t e the reader. Both the dramatic Francis Russel Hart, "The Experience of Character i n the English Gothic Novel", i n Experience i n the Novel, ed. Ray Harvey Pearce (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), p. 86. Q See Lowry Nelson J r . , "Night Thoughts on the Gothic Novel", Yale Review, L I I (1963), 236-57. 9p. 110. 1 0The Gothic Quest. A History of the Gothic Novel (London: Fortune Press, 1958), p. 24. nature of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels and contemporary theory'''"'" do indeed indicate that suspense i s a major purpose of her writin g s , and a l l applaud her handling of i t . William H a z l i t t declares that " i n harrowing up the soul with imaginary terrors and making the flesh creep, and the nerves t h r i l l with fond hopes and fears, she i s unrivalled among her 12 countrymen," and these sentiments are shared by nearly a l l those c r i t i c s who have since treated her work. Among the pioneers, we f i n d Edith Birkhead w r i t i n g that "so unnerved are we by the lurking shadows, the f l i c k e r i n g l i g h t s , the f l u t t e r i n g tapestry and the unaccountable groans with which she lowers our v i t a l i t y , that we tremble and s t a r t 13 at the wagging of a straw," while J.M.S. Tompkins finds that " l i k e Walpole, though to a far greater degree, she roared, b a f f l e d , and 14 f i n a l l y s a t i s f i e d the detective interest i n her readers," and Ernest Baker marks as her greatest success the creation of "wonder and suspense, suspense above a l l . " ^ To point out Mrs. Radcliffe's mastery of the sensational and to fin d i n her work one of the finest examples of the conscious and Clara Reeve, i n her "Preface" to The Old English Baron: A Gothic  Story (London: S. Mawman, 1811), p. v i i i , says that i n a "Gothic Story" "'.'.. there i s required a s u f f i c i e n t degree of the marvellous, to excite the attention..." 12 quoted by S.M. E l l i s i n "Ann* Radcliffe and her Li t e r a r y Influence," The Contemporary Review, CXXIII (1925), 190. 1 3 ,o p. 42. 1 4The Popular Novel i n England, 1770-1800 (London: Constable, 1932), p. 201. ^ p . 193; See also Hume, p. 284; and Dobree, p. x i i . 5 elaborate exploitation of suspense i s a l l very w e l l , but some c r i t i c s pursue such recognition to destructive extremes. T i t i l l a t i o n , to such c r i t i c s , becomes the sole purpose and merit of her novels. In W.L. Renwick's view, for example, "she captures the reader's attention a broad appeal to a l l h is senses, i n t h e i r aesthetic extension as w e l l as i n t h e i r primitive b e i n g , w i t h l i t t l e else i n her novels to recommend them. Varma says that her characters are not important compared to her suspenseful plots and the sensuousmoods created by her 17 manipulation of s e t t i n g ; i n so doing, he follows J.M.S. Tompkins, who goes so f a r as to say that "action was c h i e f l y important to her for i t s picturesque q u a l i t i e s , and as i t changes the scene or modifies the 18 atmosphere:,V and that, apart from Schedoni, "her other characters may, without great i n j u s t i c e , be compared to the figures of landscape painters, those groups of b a n d i t t i , or lovers, or haymakers, whose 19 function i s to focus and enhance the sentiment of the scene." Most recently, some c r i t i c s have enhanced our understanding of Mrs. Radcliffe's work by considering i t as featuring archetypal outbursts of subconscious yearning i n man, eighteenth century man i n p a r t i c u l a r . They explore the ramifications of generic analyses such as Northrop Frye's, when he says "the essential difference between p. 88. 17 1 6 E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 1789-1815 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), pp. 104, 113. ^ N o v e l , p. 256. 1 9 I b i d . , p. 255. 6 novel and romance l i e s In the conception of characterization. The romancer does not attempt to create 'real people' so much as s t y l i z e d 20 figures which expand into psychological archetypes." This school of c r i t i c s finds i n the work of Mrs. Radcliffe and her fellow gothic writers the suppressed wishes of a l l men. In Montague Summers' words, "the world, i f we had not our dreams, would, God knows, be a very d u l l place...We c a l l our dreams Romance and i t was ju s t t h i s that the Gothic 21 novelists gave to th e i r readers." S i m i l a r l y , J.M.S. Tompkins finds that i n the gothic "what De Quincey c a l l s the 'dreaming organ', the i n l e t of the 'dark sublime', 'the magnificent apparatus which forces the i n f i n i t e into the chambers of the human brain' was activated...and the access to the reader's emotional, imaginative, and subconscious l i f e opened. I t i s along these l i n e s that revolution of the Gothic Romance i s proceeding; and i t i s when the c r i t i c a l quarrel i s temporarily lowered that the modern reader can best understand the enthusiasm of contemporaries and feels the v i v i f y i n g force of the irr e g u l a r stream of power that runs through these books, with a l l i t s grotesque flotsam 22 23 24 and jetsam." On the same basis, both Edith Birkhead and Fred Barker 20 The Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), p. 304. 21 p. 198. 22 Introduction to The Gothic Flame, p. x i i . 23 p. 13. p. x i . 7 compare Hrs. R a d c l i f f e 1 s characters and situations to f a i r y t a l e s , and more s p e c i f i c a l l y , a number of these commentators f i n d that Mrs. Radcliffe's gothicism expresses the suppressed currents of emotional l i f e i n a p a r t i c u l a r l y ' r a t i o n a l ' age. Only Francis Russel Hart pleads for the essential r e a l i t y of character and s i t u a t i o n i n a l l gothic novels, and then only so that the impact of t h e i r symbolic 25 meaning can be most powerfully communicated. In speaking of subconscious desires and myths, these commentators can dismiss the immediate f i c t i o n a l r e a l i t y of Mrs. Radcliffe's work as i n s i g n i f i c a n t beside broader, symbolic meanings. This i s most important, because they frequently f i n d that denotative r e a l i t y faulty i n the course of conventional analysis. Mrs. Radcliffe's plots are seen as f a c i l e and improbable: " i f we scan her romances with a coldly c r i t i c a l eye - an almost criminal proceeding - obvious improbabilities 26 s t a r t into view." S i m i l a r l y , her characters, with the possible exception of Schedoni, are considered f l a t . Symbolic meaning becomes an excuse for this bad workmanship; thus, according to Fred Garber, " h i s t o r i c a l realism has as l i t t l e relevance to her manner as would f u l l y rounded characters, whose unpredictable a c t i v i t i e s would only get 27 i n the way of the t o t a l e f f e c t . " Ultimately, the bad workmanship becomes a positive virtue i n view of symbolic meaning: "Inaccuracies 25 pp. 91-2. 2 6Birkhead, p. 42. 27 p. x. 8 and inconsistencies, which established c r i t i c i s m feels must be explained away before the Gothic novel can be approached with f i t t i n g dignity and within suitably defined l i m i t s , give the s u r r e a l i s t no cause for alarm. On the contrary they represent a welcome and completely meritorious protest against the claims of the world of reason: an act 28 of a n t i - r a t i o n a l provocation, i n f a c t . " However, the:surrealist position i s the minority one-For the most part, c r i t i c s , while forced to acknowledge her significance as an authoress, s t i l l have grave reservations about Mrs. Radcliffe as an author, with the result that they concentrate exclusively on her use of the sensational or her revelation of the symbolic. The symbolic and archetypal approach assumes as a f i r s t p r i n c i p a l an a r t i s t i c clumsiness i n her work that must be somehow overlooked or overcome i f the novels are to be valued. S i m i l a r l y , those who concentrate on Mrs. Radcliffe's mastery of t i t i l l a t i o n avoid, as do those who f i x on her h i s t o r i c a l significance, analyses which, i f not demeaning to themselves ( i t i s easy to pronounce a work of l i t e r a t u r e shoddy), would be, i n t h e i r view, disastrous to Mrs. Radcliffe's reputation. I f , the reasoning goes, these works are . merely frivolous and sensational, t h e i r other shortcomings are less 29 culpable because the whole was not seriously done. Even so, a large 28 J.N. Matthews, Surrealism and the Novel (University of Michigan Press, 1966), p. 20. 29 W.L. Renwick, p. 89, excuses Mrs. Radcliffe on the grounds that her novels were primarily f o r "pleasure", not " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " . The , opinion i s indica t i v e of his attitude. 9 number of those who acknowledge her masterful use of suspense and fear, because they can see no redeeming merits elsewhere, condemn her work as morally and aesthetically d i s t a s t e f u l . Ernest Baker charges her 30 e f f o r t s with being " b r u t a l l y aimed to make the flesh creep", for 31 instance, a sentiment i n which he i s seconded by David Daiches and 32 Bertrand Evans. Thus, the c r i t i c a l consensus concerning Mrs. Radcliffe seems to be based on the assumption that her a r t , per se, i s so i n f e r i o r or abstracted as to preclude analysis and praise according to conventional c r i t i c a l approaches. What she actually communicates i n her novels has almost universally been ignored as a r e s u l t , and i t i s t h i s c r i t i c a l imbalance which t h i s thesis attempts to correct i n part. I do not mean to deny t o t a l l y the value of previous c r i t i c i s m ; sensation i s important i n her novels, some of the archetypal interpretations are undoubtedly as v a l i d as that approach i s i n any branch of l i t e r a t u r e , and the h i s t o r i c a l perspective already achieved by others has enabled me to frame my present arguments. However, by concentrating on those p. 175. 31 In "The Novel from Richardson to Jane Austen", A C r i t i c a l History  of English Literature i n Two Volumes (London: Seeker and Warburg, 1961), Vol. I I , p. 742, he dismisses Mrs. Radcliffe along with other Gothic novelists by saying t h e i r art "remains i n i t s e l f a crude form of f i c t i o n , requiring careful blending with and subordination to other elements i f i t i s to reach the l e v e l of mature art. Mere sensationalism, however, can always count on a certain amount of popularity, and t h i s form of f i c t i o n has never wholly died out." 32 Gothic Drama from Walpole to Shelley, University of C a l i f o r n i a Publications i n English, Vol. XVIII (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1947), p. 87. 10 modes of c r i t i c i s m , c r i t i c s have ignored the meaningful statement Mrs. Radcliffe makes i n her novels about man and his world, and this statement, which i s perceptible throughout her canon contributes, i n a manner hitherto undocumented, to the aesthetic unity of each work. Contrary to the opinions of many of the c r i t i c s mentioned above, she constructs a viable f i c t i o n a l world on t r a d i t i o n a l moral foundations. In her view of man's relationship to his cosmos and her treatment of s o c i a l questions she i s cautious rather than revolutionary, and Augustan 33 rather than Romantic. Her ideas of cosmos owe a great deal to the popular philosophy that emerged from the ideas of Rousseau and Shaftesbury, but they re t a i n that t y p i c a l l y Augustan r e s t r a i n t and security that i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the l a t t e r figure. Beyond the h i s t o r i c a l significance of these sources, they also Impart a tone of res t r a i n t and security of value to her world. S i m i l a r l y , her debts to Burke's sublimity and the cu l t of the picturesque have great q u a l i t a t i v e significance i n establishing a sense of pervasive order and j u s t i c e i n her world. Restraint and decorum i n response to t h i s world are also the keys to her characters and the manner i n which they int e r a c t . No one has yet analyzed adequately the significance that pertains i n this respect More must be made of J.M.S. Tompkins statement (In Varma, p. xiv) that "The Gothic Flame, i n f a c t , was often carried i n a safety lamp; and t h i s convenience could be constructed i n various proportions of humour, nationalism, and moral propriety . . . as to dear Ann Radcliffe . . . she, too, clung to her safety lamp. What else i s her explained supernatural, her unremitting propriety, but her e f f o r t , conscious or i n s t i n c t i v e , to control the i n f l u x of the dark sublime?" 11 34 to the psychology of her characters; most c r i t i c s , l i k e Varma, write off her emotional characters as "stock" figures of the sentimental novel. Some relegate the emotional responses of her beleaguered heroines to mere decorative importance i n her novels; Hume, for example, claims that Emily, i n The Mysteries of Udolpho, functions simply as a "moral norm", used to illuminate Montoni, whom he sees as 35 the central figure. In f a c t , the psychological disturbance of Mrs. Radcliffe's heroines and other characters and t h e i r need for emotional control take up so much of her ef f o r t s i n a l l the novels, i t i s strange that no one has seen them as the c r u c i a l issues they are, given the nature of the world as she portrays i t . Many of the other themes that f i n d expression i n her works depend, i n turn, on these central questions. F i n a l l y , the quality of Mrs. Radcliffe's art r e f l e c t s the quality of l i f e that she recommends through her characters, i n response to the quality of the world she perceives. When she says that i f she "has by i t s scenes beguiled the mourner of one hour of sorrow, or, by i t s moral, thought him to sustain i t - the e f f o r t , however humble, has not 36 been i n vain, nor i s the w r i t e r unrewarded','! she i s not just making a t r a d i t i o n a l gesture at the u t i l e so often demanded of the n o v e l i s t ; 3 4 p . 86. 35 p. 287. The Mysteries of Udolpho, ed. and i n t r o . by Bonamy Dobree (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), p. 672. 12 rather, she i s expressing herself i n a voice that, i n i t s morality, and r e s t r a i n t , i s a f i t t i n g and harmonious concomitant of the world she creates; moralizing i n Mrs. Radcliffe i s essential and v i t a l , not incidental and empty, because i t completes an aesthetic unity of v i s i o n that starts with her novels' world and continues through her characters and incidents. In my opinion, -Northanger Abbey, witty as i t may be i n i t s parody of the mechanics of Mrs. Radcliffe's books, misses her point i n attacking them as sensational acts of l i t e r a r y i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . In her way, she was quite as responsible and competent an author as even Jane Austen could wish. Certainly, however, i t i s easy to see how so many of her c r i t i c s , l i k e that contemporary s a t i r i s t , mistakenly have found Mrs. Radcliffe's works to be primarily a matter of f e a r f u l t h r i l l s for t h e i r own sake. Her world i s fraught with a l l manner of dark e v i l s , both natural and human, as we s h a l l see, and the emotional manner i n which her characters l i v e through them tends to obscure, for the reader who fixes too strongly upon i t , her pervasive moral concern i n w r i t i n g . In f a c t , hers i s a moral cosmos, i n which virtue i s rewarded and vice punished. In the course of each of her novels, virtue and j u s t i c e p r e v a i l against a l l d i f f i c u l t i e s with Implied Divine help. At the defeat of the Baron Malcolm i n The Castles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne, for example, Mrs. Radcliffe t e l l s us that Osbert "saw the innate and active power of j u s t i c e that pervades a l l the circumstances even of t h i s l i f e l i k e v i t a l p r i n c i p l e , and shines through the obscurity of human actions 37 See A l i d a Weiten, Mrs. R a d c l i f f e , Her Relation Towards Romanticism (Amsterdam: H.J. P a r i s , 1926), p. 60. 13 to the virtuous, the pure ray of Heaven; - to the g u i l t y , the destructive 38 glare of light n i n g . " S i m i l a r l y , according to the monkish narrator of the novel, Gaston de Blondeville exhibits how "overpowering j u s t i c e " rules over "deep v i l l a i n y " a n d "mortal weakness" by means of "supernatural 39 power". In addition to t h i s sense of external moral agency imposing i t s w i l l upon human a f f a i r s , her virtuous characters achieve mundane rewards because of t h e i r v i r t u e . At the conclusion of The Romance of the Forest, we are t o l d that the "former l i v e s " of Theodore and Adeline, the romantic leads, "afforded an example of t r i a l s w e l l endured, and 40 t h e i r present of vir t u e greatly rewarded," and i n The I t a l i a n , Paulo, the hero's manservant, effuses "you see how people get through t h e i r misfortune, i f they have but a heart to bear up against them, and do nothing that can be on t h e i r conscience afterwards." 4*" In contrast, vice i s always punished i n a Radcliffe novel: "The lat e Marquis de Mazzini, and Maria de Vellorno, were interred with the honour due to t h e i r rank, i n the church of the convent of St. Nicola. Their l i v e s exhibited a boundless indulgence of violence and luxurious passions, and t h e i r deaths marked the consequence of such indulgence 42 and held forth to mankind a singular instance of divine vengeance." 38 Ann R a d c l i f f e , The Castles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne (Philadelphia: Bradford, 1796), p. 202. 39 Ann R a d c l i f f e , Gaston de Blondeville (London: H. Colburn, 1826), Vol. I l l , p. 48. 40 Ann R a d c l i f f e , The Romance of the Forest (London: Routledge, 1904), p. 429. p. 414. 42 Ann R a d c l i f f e , A S i c i l i a n Romance (London: ;i. Limbird, 1825), p. 71. 14 So much for the v i l l a i n s of A S i c i l i a n Romance, but a l l the rest of her e v i l characters receive t h e i r j u s t deserts: Malcolm dies of b a t t l e wounds i n The Castles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne; The Marquis de Montalt commits suicide i n The Romance of the Forest, as does Schedoni i n The I t a l i a n ; while his accomplice, the Marchesa d i V i v a l d i dies of dis s i p a t i o n ; Montoni of Udolpho and the two v i l l a i n s of Gaston de  Blondeville, meanwhile, are a l l executed for t h e i r crimes, the f i r s t by temporal powers, the l a s t two by s p i r i t u a l agency. These retributions are ultimately manifestations of the same Divine j u s t i c e that rewards virtue i n the R a d c l i f f i a n world, but the punishment of v i l l a i n s i s operative also In lesser actions i n each novel. V i l l a i n y i s self-defeating; the antagonist i s invariably the v i c t i m of a pervasive moral irony as his own e v i l actions beget more e v i l for himself and heap more damnation upon his head. LaMotte, i n The Romance of the Forest, "saw himself entangled i n the web which his own crimes had woven. Being i n the power of the Marquis, he knew he must either consent to the commission of a deed from the enormity of which, depraved as he was, he shrunk In t e r r o r , or s a c r i f i c e fortune, freedom, probably l i f e i t s e l f , to the refusa l . He had been led on by slow gradations from f o l l y to v i c e , t i l l he now saw before him an abyss of g u i l t which 43 s t a r t l e d even the conscience that so long had slumbered." S i m i l a r l y , because the hero, a merchant called Woodreeve, i s dangerously near Romance of Forest, p. 268. 15 exposing him, the e v i l P r i o r "now, i n his f o l l y and wickedness, as wickedness leads on to wickedness, and blinds i t s followers, judged i t 44 necessary for his own l i f e , that the merchant should perish." Time and again, v i l l a i n o u s objectives are thwarted by the very e v i l means taken to achieve them. In A S i c i l i a n Romance, for example, the very vehemence of the Duke de Luovo i n his pursuit of J u l i a and Hippolytus leads him to attack a couple whom another would not have mistaken for them. Not only does he lose valuable time i n the pursuit, 45 but he i s also wounded i n the ambush. Maria de Vellorno's plan to keep Hippolytus from J u l i a backfires when he appears to have been k i l l e d i n an attempted elopement; "By a dextrous adaptation of her powers, she had worked upon the passions of the Marquis, so as to render him relentless i n the pursuit of ambitious purposes, and insatiable i n revenging disappointment. But the effects of her a r t i f i c e s exceeded her intention In exerting them; and when she meant only to s a c r i f i c e a r i v a l to her love, she found she had given up i t s object to revenge."^ S i m i l a r l y does the Marchesa d i V i v a l d i s i t "meditating misery for others 47 and i n f l i c t i n g i t only upon herself," and Schedoni's machinations operate against him i n every instance, while the virtuous reap rewards: " I t may be worthy of observation, that the virtues of O l i v i a , exerted i n a general cause, had thus led her unconsciously to the happiness of 44 Gaston, I I , p. 229. ^^See pp. 31-6. 46 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 26. ^ I t a l i a n , p. 171. 16 saving her daughter; while the vices of Schedoni had as unconsciously urged him nearly to destroy his niece, and had always been preventing, by the means they prompted him to employ, the success of his constant 48 aim." His very pride, i n driving him to be so assiduous i n the pursuit of monkish values, prevents his looked-for advancement by 49 i n s p i r i n g jealousy i n his superiors, and by preventing the marriage of Ellena and V i v a l d i , he thwarts his own ambitions of wealth and p o s i t i o n , by obstructing the a l l i a n c e of a r e l a t i v e with a noble family. In addition to t h e i r f u t i l e pursuit of s o c i a l ambitions, v i l l a i n s are even d e b i l i t a t e d physically by t h e i r e v i l , as t h e i r s e l f i s h passions both cause and aggravate i l l n e s s and even result i n death. The Marchessa V i v a l d i , as I mentioned, dies of her own luxurious diss i p a t i o n . The Duke de Luovo, having been wounded i n the ambush described above, i s far more incapacitated by i t than need be because of the caustic operation of his own s e l f i s h desires: "Those impetuous passions which so strongly marked h i s nature were roused and exasperated to a degree that operated powerfully upon his constitution, and threatened him with the most alarming consequences. The effect of his wound was heightened by the agitation of his mind; and a fever, which quickly assumed a very serious aspect, co-operated to endanger his l i f e . " " ' * ' S i m i l a r l y , the 50 ^ ^ I t a l i a n , p. 384. 49 I b i d . , p. 227. 5 0 I b i d . , p. 243. " ^ S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 36. 17 Marquis de Montalt, having been wounded i n an exchange with the hero, 52 Theodore, i s so overcome by "those inveterate and malignant passions" which tear at his mind that his i l l n e s s i s dangerously and unnecessarily prolonged, so much so that his physician threatens him with dire 53 consequences should he f a i l to regain t r a n q u i l i t y . What this reward of virtue and punishment of vice comprise i n the action of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels i s an ultimate sense of Divine j u s t i c e abroad i n the cosmos, and even when th i s inherent rectitude seems about to f a i l i n the temporal world, there i s s t i l l the "supreme consolation" of Divine reward after death, as i t i s offered by LaLuc when i t appears 54 his innocent son w i l l be executed i n The Romance of the Forest. Of course, Mrs. Radcliffe never actually does allow the morality of human a f f a i r s i n her world to lapse, even i f she must introduce a supernatural agent to execute i t , as i n Gaston de Blondeville. No matter how hard her v i l l a i n s try to perpetrate e v i l designs, God remains the revenger of vice and the rewarder of vir t u e who w i l l not leave the scale imbalanced. Nearly a l l Mrs. Radcliffe's commentators wrongly f e e l that they must make concessions for t h i s moral universe, and the progress of incident and character within i t . They f i n d i t "unreal". Thus 52 Romance of the Forest, p. 238. 5 3 I b i d . , p. 252. 5 4 p . 369. 3 18 H.l). Hume and Montague Summers both caution t h e i r readers that r e a l i t y i s not to be found i n the plot of Gothic f i c t i o n , Mrs. Radcliffe included, and then proceed to make excuses for that unreality; the former attempts to j u s t i f y the shortcoming on the basis of the redeeming power of symbolic themes,^ while the l a t t e r explains i t on the basis of an eighteenth century c r i t i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n between the romance and the n o v e l . T h o u g h everyone attacks her generally for being unbelievably f a n t a s t i c i n point of incident and character, no one i s prepared to do so s p e c i f i c a l l y , because they cannot. Objective r e a l i t y i n a work of art i s an irrelevant c r i t e r i o n of c r i t i c i s m , for no art reproduces i t , even when the a r t i s t claims that i t does; a r t , by d e f i n i t i o n , implies not an exact copy of r e a l i t y , but something analogous to i t which casts meaning upon i t . Thus, the quality of Mrs. Radcliffe's incidents and characters can be unacceptable only i f she f a i l s to create an organic whole out of her f i c t i o n a l world. In my opinion, t h i s world i s perfectly v a l i d , r e a l i f you w i l l , because Mrs. Radcliffe encourages the suspension of d i s b e l i e f through a unity of v i s i o n achieved by the manipulation of technique and symbol. 55 p. 284 f f . 56 pp. 32-3. CHAPTER 2 THE CONSTITUTION OF THE MORAL WORLD Mrs. Radcliffe manipulates technique and symbol according to popular trends i n contemporary philosophy and aesthetics, trends which her commentators have f a i l e d to l i n k adequately to the meaning of her novels. She likens her descriptive passages, on several occasions, to the work of the picturesque masters Claude, Poussin, and Salvator, she makes di s t i n c t i o n s between the sublime and beautiful i n the course of her works which suggest that the thought of Edmund Burke i s Im p l i c i t i n her outlook, and the moral and aesthetic quality of her world owes a great deal to Shaftesburian modes of philosophy. Yet most c r i t i c s are content either merely to note the presence of these currents i n her novels or to treat them as aspects of her frivolous mastery of the sensational, thus f a i l i n g to demonstrate the s k i l l with which she incorporates these elements into a coherent, u n i f i e d , aesthetic t o t a l i t y . At best, they see the picturesque perspective and the qu a l i t i e s of picturesque a r t i s t s i n her novels as productive of an aesthetic appeal somehow separate from t h e i r meaning. Bonamy Dobree, for example, condescendingly notes that "her descriptions, taken from other writers and from pictures and p r i n t s , make up i n splendour for what they lack i n accuracy,"*" and Devendra Varma i s s i m i l a r l y quick to acknowledge the presence of the picturesque i n R a d c l i f f i a n p. x £my I t a l i c s } . 20 description while ignoring the fact that i t was a way of looking at the world, and, as such, imported certain distinctive qualities to the world in i t s depiction. Similarly, Mrs. Radcliffe's c r i t i c s are content to relate her use of Burke's concepts of sublimity to the sensational in her novel. Alan McKillop proves that Mrs. Radcliffe used Burke in the construction 2 of terrifying suspenseful scenes; Malcolm Ware's exhaustive compilation of examples, mentioned above, concludes that sublimity, in precisely Burke's sense, i s operative i n Mrs. Radcliffe's landscapes and that this sublimity either leads her characters to God or frightens them to the point of enervation;. But neither writer goes on from these perfectly valid observations to trace the significance of sublimity to the meaning of her f i c t i o n a l world, of which i t i s a central character-i s t i c . Nor are her benevolent tendencies subject to anything but neglect 3 or gross over-interpretation. Only two of her c r i t i c s , James Foster 4 and Alida Weiten, acknowledge the congruency of her attitudes to Shaftesburian; and deist thought, and neither makes any meaningful analysis of i t s significance i n her novels. The rest either totally "Mrs. Radcliffe on the Supernatural i n Poetry," jEGP, XXXI (1932), 357-8. 3 Novel, p. 264. S i r s . Radcliffe, Her Relation Towards Romanticism (Amsterdam: H.j. Paris, 1926), p. 55. 21 deny her any transcending v i s i o n , ^ or look too far ahead i n t h e i r praise of her "r e l i g i o u s exultation" by comparing her to great Romantic poets such as Wordsworth. None attempts to say what sublimity means i n her f i c t i o n a l world, when actually, her use of the sublime,of various aspects of deist philosophy, and of the picturesque, lend to her f i c t i o n a l world that unique unity of design which j u s t i f i e s what otherwise might be u n j u s t i f i a b l e . Mrs. Radcliffe uses techniques analogous to those of her favourite graphic a r t i s t s to create the two cha r a c t e r i s t i c moods of landscape that define her f i c t i o n a l world. The picturesque a r t i s t s whom she follows verbally i n some manner exaggerated t h e i r subjects to make v a l i d a r t i s t i c statements about q u a l i t i e s within the landscapes they portrayed. Poussin figures forth his landscapes i n conscious order and harmony, while Claude, i n addition to favouring those q u a l i t i e s , creates scenes of soft l i g h t , shade and warmth. Both deserve the objective " I d y l l i c " because they magnify certain q u a l i t i e s and features of the actual landscape through t h e i r control of colour and form. S i m i l a r l y , Salvator communicates the awesome power of nature by exaggerating the dimensions of mountain and cloud, and emphasizing blackness and mass. From such sources, Mrs. Radcliffe gains a talent for a r t i s t i c selection and exaggeration i n the name of mood. Some of her landscapes are hazy and i n d i s t i n c t l y b e a u t i f u l not because she i s attempting to hideher lack of knowledge of her subjects,^ but because she i s intent "*See, for example, Hume, p. 289. ^As does Varma, p. 117. ^As Varma suggests, p. 111. 22 on reproducing the i d y l l i c quality of Claude and Poussin. At the opening of The I t a l i a n , for example, there i s a scene which i n Mediterranean subject and softened quality imitate Claude, down to the distant v i l l a and dancing figures that d e t a i l many of his paintings: "The deep, clear waters reflected every image of the landscape, the c l i f f s , branching into w i l d forms crowned with groves, whose rough foliage spread down the steeps i n picturesque luxuriance; the ruined v i l l a on some bold point, peeping through the trees; peasants' cabins hanging on the precipices, and the dancing figures on the sand, a l l g touched with the s i l v e r y t i n t and soft shadows of moonlight." S i m i l a r l y , Mrs. Radcliffe p i l e s up mass and blackness, as did Salvator, to depict the awful and t e r r i f y i n g i n nature. In these instances, the shade which elsewhere i s a welcome;:and sal\it6ry/ feature of the scene becomes a threatening blackness as objects i n the landscape assume overpowering vastness. In A S i c i l i a n Romance, for instance, trees and shade, the two most prominent features of the i d y l l i c scenes of Udolpho, are t o t a l l y transformed i n a sentence describing the f l i g h t of J u l i a and Madame de Menon: "After t r a v e l l i n g for some hours, they quitted the main road, and turned into a narrow, winding d e l l , j overshadowed by high trees, which almost * excluded the l i g h t . The gloom 9 of the place inspired t e r r i f i c images." S i m i l a r l y , the Convent of Mt. Carmel appears dark and huge through breaks i n the forest as Ellena p. 37. Similar prospects occur i n the f i r s t twenty or so pages of Udolpho, i n the views from La Vallee, the St. Aubert residence. p. 41 [my i t a l i c s } . p. 64. 23 is carried off to imprisonment in The Italian.*"^ Even when she copies descriptions from the work of other writers-Mrs. Piozzi's Observations  and Reflections made in the course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany (1789), Observations faites dans les Pyrenees by Ramond de Carbonnieres (1789), or A.J. Grosley's New Observations on  Italy and i t s inhabitants (1769)*"*" - Mrs. Radcliffe selects passages written under the influence of the same cult and reflecting the art of men such as Claude, Poussin, and Salvator both i n subject and quality. More than a simple, mechanical adaptation of graphic technique to the written word, however, the picturesque in Mrs. Radcliffe's novels acts to establish the tone of order, the sense of a God-ordered creation, that reinforces the moral nature of her f i c t i o n a l world. At f i r s t , admittedly, "picturesque" seems to have meant to Mrs. Radcliffe l i t t l e more than a term denoting "rough", "intricate", or just "like a picture". When, in A S i c i l i a n Romance, she casually refers to forest 12 scenery with a "picturesque wildness," she exhibits at best a shallow popular understanding of the word as i t appears in William Gilpin's pioneer theory. Later, however, i t she understood i t more explicitly as the ordered composition of painted art, transmitted to the world of her novels. Gilpin's theory of the picturesque - as i t appeared in his travel literature, published from 1782 onward - and the popular notions which See above, p. 1, n. 2. p. 56. 24 both inspired i t and arose, amplified, from i t , comprised the notions that "picturesque" s i g n i f i e d "having that aesthetic p o t e n t i a l , according 13 to the rules of graphic a r t , of becoming a good picture" and that "picturesque" was therefore an aesthetic good i n other art forms. I t i s i n t h i s facet of i t s meaning that Mrs. Radcliffe i s most interested i n the term. In the q u a l i t i e s of her picturesque description, she does not appear to have attempted to make any of the thorny th e o r e t i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n s concerning the picturesque that her contemporaries, S i r Uvedale Price and William Knight, made; her approach to the picturesque, i n f a c t , i s much less systematic than her treatment of another aesthetic concept, the sublime, would seem to imply. Rather, she responds to those notions which G i l p i n rationalized and made general knowledge i n his publications. In p a r t i c u l a r , she used the notion of graphic composition mentioned above i n most, i f not a l l , of her settings and groups after The Castles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne. Very often she refers to lengthy descriptive passages i n terms of painting, often with a l i t t l e f l o u r i s h of technical v i r t u o s i t y that smacks of the professional: having described the clandestine wedding party that gives the pages of The I t a l i a n i n s t r i k i n g l y v i s u a l terms, she remarks, l e s t we miss what she has been 14 about, that they "formed altogether a group worthy of the p e n c i l . " 13 For the idea, see Paul Frankl, The Gothic: Li t e r a r y Sources and  Interpretations through Eight Centuries (1960), pp. 439-40; or Walter John Hippie, The Beau t i f u l , The Sublime, and the Picturesque i n Eighteenth Century Aesthetic Theory (Carbondale: Southern I l l i n o i s University Press, 1957), p. 193. 1 4 p . 185. 25 Likewise, J u l i a i n A S i c i l i a n Romance, while escaping from her e v i l father, watches the passing landscape " t i l l the sun rose at once above the waves, and illuminating them with a flood of splendour, diffused gaiety and gladness around. The bold concave of the heavens, uniting with the vast expanse of ocean, formed a coup d ' o e i l , s t r i k i n g and sublime."^ Yet more important than terminology, she overtly builds her settings and scenes on prin c i p l e s of graphic composition, so that the mental eye sweeps, as across a contemporary canvas, from foreground, through intervening perspective, to background, always with a clear perception of the s p a t i a l relationships existing between objects comprising a scene. Here i s such a backdrop from Gaston de Blondeville ( i t i s , i n c i d e n t a l l y , another example of the use of the quality of l i g h t i n a manner reminiscent of Claude): Willoughton leaned over the bridge, and looked upon the scene i n silence. The brightness of the r i v e r , the dark, clear shade of the woods, reflected on i t s margin and r i s i n g with majesty up the steep, with the grey towers, i n softened  l i g h t , crowning a l l formed a harmony of t i n t s  and of objects such as he had not often seen, and which recalled to him that state of holy peace he had so l a t e l y experienced. "16} Notice the progression, i n v i s u a l terms, from bridge, to water, to woods, to castle and sky, and the words i n which the quality of t h e i r arrangement i s communicated. Of course, there are other means of p. 56. 1 6 V o l . I , p. 70 fmy i t a l i c s ] . 26 drawing our attention across the figurative picture. In The Mysteries  of Udolpho, the backdrop to the V i l l e f o r t s ' journey in the Pyrennes i s strikingly organized about streaming rays of sunlight and the precipitant planes of the mountainsides: "The rays of the setting sun now threw a yellow gleam upon the forests of pine and chestnut, that swept down to the lower regions of the mountains and gave resplendent tints to the snowy peaks a b o v e . W i t h such subtle guidance, Mrs. Radcliffe's settings are an easy pleasure to visualize both in form and quality. What she does with landscape, she does also with the human groups featured i n the course of her novels. There i s a scene in The Romance of the Forest - that i n which a l l the principals say farewell to the doomed hero, Theodore - in which every action, position, and gesture is strongly realized visually, so that the meaning of their mutual sentiments i s conveyed poignantly by their appearance alone, as in a 18 painting. A similar tableau occurs on the death of Schedoni as a l l the Inquisitors, the Vivaldis, and his accuser, Zampari, hang over his death-bed in the dim lamp light, and he communicates simply by a gesture and a look (both visual means) to Zampari that they are both 19 poisoned. It i s a moment of tremendous impact, chiefly because we have, from the authoress' hand, every detail of expression and movement that i s necessary to convey i t s power. One other example deserves 1 7 p . 597. 1 8 p . 385. 1 9The Italian, p. 402. 27 p a r t i c u l a r mention for i t s graphic capture of the quality of a scene; here i s Roman Catholic grandeur and r i t u a l , as Mrs. Radcliffe saw i t , i n a scene that occurs i n The I t a l i a n j ust before Ellena escapes her convent prison with V i v a l d i : In a vaulted apartment of considerable extent, lighted by innumerable tapers, and where even the ornaments, though pompous, partook of the solemn character of the i n s t i t u t i o n , were assembled about f i f t y nuns, who, i n the i n t e r -esting habit of t h e i r order, appeared with graceful plainness. The delicacy of t h e i r a i r , and t h e i r beauty, softened by the lawn that t h i n l y v e i l e d i t , were contrasted by the severe majesty of the lady Abbess, who, seated i n an elevated chair, apart from the audience, seemed empress 6f the scene, and by the venerable figures of the father Abate and his attendant monks, who were arranged without that screen of wire-work, extending the whole breadth of the apartment, which i s cal l e d the grate. -2C\ And so she goes on, for the rest of the page. We are told only a bare minimum of the simple physical attributes of the group - our imaginations are to supply those - but the quality of t h e i r characters and t h e i r i n s t i t u t i o n i s succinctly and graphically portrayed by the positions and demeanours of the figures. L i t t l e wonder, then, that the aesthetician, Christopher Hussey, can write that "her popularity was not a l i t t l e owing to the delight with which her readers beheld l i v e people wandering, galloping, s a i l i n g , and having innumerable 21 adventures, In pictures." 2 0 190 p. 129v 2*The Picturesque: Studies i n a Point of View (London: Frank Cass and Co., 1967), p. 231. 28 The r e s u l t , however, of t h i s consistent practice of planning her scenes and settings after works of graphic art i s a fe e l i n g of order, of aesthetic balance and unity i n things supposedly gathered at random. The components of her f i c t i o n a l world are, i n t h e i r own frame of reference, supposed to be naturally combined, not ordered by the pervading in t e l l i g e n c e of an omniscient "author. In the context of her f i c t i o n a l world, where Mrs. Radcliffe does not appear, the credit for creating and ordering the aesthetic perfections of i t s picturesque settings must rest elsewhere, with a r a t i o n a l , moral, and benevolent Deity who dispenses his creation i n such a way as to promote beauty. In f a c t , i n Mrs. Radcliffe's f i c t i o n a l world, virtue and taste can be equated i n a rather Shaftesburian fashion. To Shaftesbury, the highest virtue was the i n t r i n s i c love of those aesthetic principles -order, harmony, and beauty - central i n God's creation, a notion which hearkens back to his Neo-Platonic sources. As he himself put i t , "what i s b e a u t i f u l i s harmonious and proportionable; what i s harmonious and proportionable i s true; and what i s at once both beautiful and true i s , 22 of consequence, agreeable and good"; i t then becomes obvious that what i s "harmonious and proportionable" i n morality i s associated with modesty, generosity, and the golden rule of Christian thought. How close are these thoughts to St. Aubert's moral refl e c t i o n s i n The Mysteries of Udolpho, where he says, "virtue and taste are nearly Selections i n Eighteenth Century Poetry and Prose, 2nd e d i t i o n , ed. L.I. Bredvold, A.D. McKillop, and Lois Whitney (New York: Ronald Press Co., 1956), p. 327. 29 the same, for v i r t u e i s l i t t l e more than active taste, and the delicate 23 affections of each combine i n r e a l love." To Mrs. R a d c l i f f e , too, then, i t i s virtuous to appreciate and act according to Divine creative p r i n c i p l e s . Of course, as A l i d a Weiten points out, Mrs. Radcliffe's r e l i g i o n i s s t r i c t l y speaking Deist In neither the Shaftesburian nor the Rousseauistic sense, since i t neither removes s p e c i f i c Divine agency from the world of the present, nor seeks to make e v i l simply a phenomenon 24 of human society. Nevertheless, i t i s based on ideas congruent especially to the former, and no doubt r e f l e c t s one of the many views of a mixed nature held as systematic philosophy s i f t s down to the l e v e l of popular b e l i e f . As i n Shaftesbury's system, nature i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world i s an overt icon of the nature and existence of God. The order, harmony, and beauty that make Him manifest, according to Shaftesbury's view, are v i s i b l e to the virtuous man i n His works; Shaftesbury's God i s one with his creation, for not only are h i s creative p r i n c i p l e s active i n the continued existence of the universe, but his very love for that creation i s seen as contributing to i t s continued unity. He becomes an omnipresent S p i r i t infusing v i t a l i t y . Mrs. Radcliffe uses a s i m i l a r notion of revelation when her characters are inspired or consoled by nature. Sometimes, what they view i s the order, harmony, and beauty of Divine benevolence exactly as Shaftesbury would have presented i t . 23 p. 49. 24 p. 55. 30 In The Romance of the Forest, for instance, we f i n d : "The f i r s t tender t i n t s of morning now appeared on the verge of the horizon, stealing upon the darkness; - so pure, so f i n e , so ethereal! I t seemed as i f Heaven was opening to the view...Adeline's heart swelled...with gratitude and 25 adoration," and i n Gaston de Blondeville: The heart of Willoughton was deeply affected by the almost holy serenity, the s i l e n t course of order and benevolence, that he witnessed i n these f i r s t minutes of another day; he looked to Heaven, and breathed a prayer of b l e s s f u l 26 gratitude and adoration..." More often, however, the view of Godhead i s modified by Mrs. Radcliffe's use of the unique aesthetic theory of Edmund Burke, whose Inquiry, as we have noted, she followed precisely. Burke saw God i n the sublimity of nature, j u s t as Shaftesbury found him i n more passive aspects of creation: "we may be admitted, i f I may dare to say so", he claims, "into the counsels of the Almighty by a consideration 27 of his works." And Mrs. Radcliffe's characters consistently f i n d Godhead revealed most impressively i n natural sublimity. Since there i s very l i t t l e description of any sort i n The Castles of A t h l i n and  Dunbayne, an embryonic novel, r e l a t i v e to her l a t e r e f f o r t s , so for a clear instance, we must go to A S i c i l i a n Romance, where we f i n d the following passage: 2 5 p . 28. 2 6 V o l . I l l , p. 55 fmy i t a l i c s } . 27 A Philosophical Inquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the  Sublime and the Beautiful, ed. J.T. Boulton (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958), p. 52. 31 Here the vast magnificence elevated the mind of the beholder to enthusiasm. Fancy caught the t h r i l l i n g sensation and at her touch the towering steeps became shaded with unusual gloom; the caves more darkly frowned - the projecting c l i f f s assumed a more t e r r i f i c aspect, and the w i l d , overhanging shrubs waved to the gale i n deeper murmurs. The scene inspired madame with reverential awe, and her thoughts i n v o l u n t a r i l y , rose from Nature up to Nature's God. (28) Note that a l l the objects here have attributes of the sublime - vast s i z e , "unreal gloom", " t e r r i f i c aspect", and "deeper murmurs" - and i t i s these that give Madame de Menon a v i s i o n of Deity. By the time of The Mysteries of Udolpho, the l i n k between sublimity and God i s e x p l i c i t . Emily, for example, after her f i r s t t e r r i f y i n g night at the cast l e , l i f t s "her thoughts i n prayer, which she f e l t always most disposed to 29 do, when viewing the sublimity of nature," and i n the Pyrennes, "the tr a v e l l e r s had leis u r e to lin g e r amid these solitudes, and to indulge the sublime r e f l e c t i o n s , which soften, while they elevate, the heart, 30 and f i l l i t with the certainty of a present God." Emily, i n fa c t , shows a clear preference for the sublime aspects of her environment, as opposed to the b e a u t i f u l , because they give her a close view of God: "Nor was i t i n the soft and glowing landscape that she most delighted; she loved more the w i l d wood-walks that s k i r t e d the mountain; and s t i l l more the mountain's stupendous recesses, where the 2 8 P . 39. 2 9 p . 242. 3 0 p . 28. 32 silence and grandeur of solitude impressed a sacred awe upon her heart and l i f t e d her thoughts to the GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH."31 This preference for the sublime she shares with her s i s t e r heroines i n Mrs. Radcliffe's other novels. Such a d i s t i n c t i o n between Shaftesbury's and Mrs. Radcliffe's views i s very important for the nature of her f i c t i o n a l world. The fact that i t i s sublimity rather than a softer beauty that inspires her characters to holy thoughts indicates that she attaches a greater importance to God's wrath and power than did Shaftesbury. His concept of a benevolent diety i s based on cosmic:; love. Level to l e v e l , the hierarchic universe envisaged by the Cambridge F l a t o n i s t s , from whose thought he developed much of his own philosophy, was connected by a natural affection for a l l things, derived from God's love for t h i s creation, and "for 32 Shaftesbury, too, love i s the energy that unites a l l things." By contrast, the sublimity that i s repeatedly attributed to Mrs. Radcliffe's Deity i s based on fear, fear of potential power: Burke notes that "whatever i s f i t t e d i n any sort to excite the ideas of pain and danger, that i s to say, whatever i s i n any sort t e r r i b l e , or i s conversant about t e r r i b l e objects, or operates i n a manner analogous to terror i s a source of the sublime.. .Jlridee'd,the ideas of pain, and above a l l of death, are so very a f f e c t i n g , that whi l s t we remain i n the presence of whatever i s supposed to have the power of i n f l i c t i n g e i t h e r , i t i s 33 impossible to be perfectly free from t e r r o r . " p. 6. 32 Stanley Grean, Shaftesbury's Philosophy of Religion and Ethics (Ohio University Press, 1967), p. 33. 33 Burke, pp. 39, 65. 33 This i s not to suggest that the ultimate attitudes engendered towards Deity by Mrs. Radcliffe's view of revelation and Shaftesbury's theory are radically different. Sublimity produces a similar state of astonishment and awe to that ecstacy of reason which Shaftesbury experienced before the magnificence of creation. He says "there i s a power in numbers, harmony, proportion, and beauty of every kind which naturally captivates the heart, and raises the imagination to an 3 A opinion or conceit of something majestic and divine." Burke, for his part, says that the sublime produces astonishment, admiration, 35 reverence, and respect. This i s the same reaction that Mrs. Radcliffe's characters undergo when viewing God in nature; in The Romance of the Forest, for instance, La Lae t e l l s us, "The view of these objects...lifts the soul to their great Author, and we contemplate with a feeling almost too vast for humanity, the sublimity of his nature in the grandeur of 36 his works." There i s even a moment i n the same book where the 37 heroines are too awestruck by nature to define i t rationally in art. Moreover, Mrs. Radcliffe's Q,od inspires the same gratitude and adoration in the virtuous as Shaftesbury's. Once again, the.reason li e s 34 CharacteristicksTsic7 of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times (3 Vols. (London ? J , 1732), Vol. II, p. 174. 35 Inquiry, p. 51. 3 6p. 313. 37 p. 332. 34 in the nature of sublimity. Overwhelming power, in Burke's theory, must not threaten an individual immediately i f he i s to experience sublimity 38 from i t . And in Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, i f a character i s to experience sublime, religious feelings, he must not feel threatened by their cause. A perfect example occurs, once again, in The Romance of the Forest. Adeline's pleasure at viewing the Alps close up must be stronger than her fear of them before she can participate in the religious awe that ensues amongst her party as they climb: "She had not been accustomed to ride single, and the mountainous road they were to pass made experiment rather dangerous; but she concealed her fears, and they were not sufficient to make her wish to forego an enjoyment such as was now 39 offered to her." Always, Mrs. Radcliffe's characters experience sublime awe at creation when God is withholding the i n f i n i t e power and potential threat to be seen in i t . Thus, Mrs. Radcliffe implies that in withholding this i n f i n i t e power from the beholder, God exhibits benevolent grace. The virtuous, thence develop faith in the restitutive power of Divine grace, i f not in the mundane future, then in after l i f e . To Ellena, " i t i s scarcely possible to yield to the pressure of misfortune while we walk, as with the Deity, amidst his most stupendous 40 works," and La Luc claims that after long contemplation of nature, "We shall then be enabled to comprehend, perhaps, the sublimity of that Diety who f i r s t called us into being. These views of futurity, my 38 See Inquiry, pp. 40, 136. 39 , n p. 311. 40 The Italian, p. 62. 35 fr i e n d , elevate us above the e v i l s of this world.. t . " 4^ . The threat of God's wrath and power, as i t i s exhibited i n the sublime landscapes of her f i c t i o n a l world^,indicates that, unlike Shaftesbury's cosmos, hers i s postlapsarian. In Shaftesbury's system, the world s t i l l exhibited the t o t a l benevolence of God that had operated, according to t r a d i t i o n a l Christian doctrine, only before the f a l l from Grace, i n which the E a r l did not believe. In f a c t , e v i l did not r e a l l y e x i s t for him; as he put i t In a notebook"it follows that I must i n a certain manner be reconciled to a l l things, love a l l things, and absolutely hate or abhor nothing whatsoever that has being A2 i n the world." Mrs. Radcliffe avoids t h i s paradox of e v i l inherent i n the systems of Shaftesbury and his deist successors simply by accepting the t r a d i t i o n a l view, for only i f man and his world were f a l l e n could God appear threatening and wrathful, as he does i n the sublimity of her descriptive passages. In f a c t , the moral nature of Mrs. Radcliffe's universe, i n that i t i s postlapsarian, reveals that i t i s a very dangerous and painful place i n which to e x i s t . E v i l i s derived from the very nature of the f a l l e n universe; we have seen that the very sublimity that makes God manifest implies a cosmic threat, one that pervades a l l aspects of l i f e . As i f to emphasize t h i s threat, Mrs. Radcliffe makes very clear the miniscule scale of man beside the hugeness of objects and processes i n Forest, p. 324. Quoted i n Grean, p. 34. 36 his world. In The Mysteries of Udolpho, for instance, the scenery i s always impending over man i n a menacing way: "Sometimes the shattered face of a rock only was seen, crowned with w i l d shrubs; or a shepherd's 4 3 cabin seated on a c l i f f , overshadowed by dark cypress, or waving ash." Si m i l a r l y , the St. Auberts come across an inhabited valley which "with the surrounding Alps did indeed, present a perfect picture of the lovely 4 4 and the sublime, of 'beauty sleeping i n the lap of horror.'" Moreover, natural objects that are elsewhere sublime and g r a t i f y i n g deteriorate into objects of d e b i l i t a t i n g terror as t h e i r threatening natures become more apparent. The mountains can be dangerous; as early as The Castles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne, we fi n d Osbert reduced to abject 4 5 terror by the solitude and desolation of highland slopes, and i n the S i c i l i a n ranges, Hippolytus finds that "Innumerable dangers threatened 46 from which he would be secure on l e v e l ground." Moreover, the Appenines and Pyrennes hide the b a n d i t t i of Udolpho. The sublime manifestations of weather, billowing clouds and whistling winds can become dangerous, too. In The Romance of the Forest, Adeline's alpine party are a l l r e v e l l i n g i n the spectacle of a gathering storm - she even wishes for lightning - when i t breaks and a bolt of lightn i n g panics 4 7 Clara's horse, with near f a t a l r e s u l t s . Even the ocean, an object 4 3 ^ p. 7 . 4 4 p. 5 5 . 4 5 , n p. 1 0 . 4 6 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 5 8 . 4 7 am p. 3 1 5 . 37 48 singled out by Burke as sublime, can turn on i t s admirers. The sublimity of the ocean i s destroyed for Adeline, as i t i s for Blanche ( i n Udolpho) by coming closer to i t than a distant prospect so that 49 i t s dangerous force i s more apparent, and i n three novels, The Castles  of A t h l i n and Dunbayne, A S i c i l i a n Romance, and Udolpho, pr i n c i p a l s are subjected to shipwrecks. Besides the direct threats of natural forces, humanity i n Mrs. Radcliffe's novels i s subject to accident, unpredictable misfortune that has e v i l consequences. When Alleyn i s caught by the E a r l , i n the midst of an accidental meeting with Mary, whose b i r t h precludes t h e i r love, Mrs. Radcliffe emphasizes the role of pure chance i n causing e v i l : "The same accident which had unveiled to him the heart of Mary, and the f u l l extent of that happiness which fate withheld, convinced him i n despair. The same accident had exposed the delicacy of her he loved to a cruel shock, and had subjected his honour to suspicion; and to a severe rebuke from him by whom i t was his pride to be respected...""^ Numerous other e v i l chances b e f a l l other characters i n other novels. Among the least predictable and most dangerous are the collapse of the tower staircase under Ferdinand's weight i n A S i c i l i a n Romance^ and the f a i l u r e of - Ellena-'s l i g h t , j u s t when she i s about to read the ^ I n q u i r y , p. 58. 49 See Forest, p. 345, and Udolpho, p. 480. ^ C a s t l e s , p. 216. p. 15. 38 52 escape instructions in her convent prison. Yet a l l these dangers and accidents, sudden reversals of a l l human value by chance, point to the more general reflection that Mrs. Radcliffe's f i c t i o n a l world is a fallen one of mutability and inevitable death. The gothic edifices themselves are an emblem of the general trend of things toward dissolution. In Gaston de Blondeville, we find Kenilworth, whose "walls, where gorgeous tapestry had hung, showed only the remains of door-ways and of beautiful gothic windows, that had admitted the light of the same sun, which at this moment sent the last gleam of another day upon Willoughton, and warned him, that portion of 53 his l i f e , too, was departing." In The Romance of the Forest, The Abbey St. Claire i s described as "sinking into ruins, and that which had withstood the ravages of time, showed the remaining features of the fabric more awful in decay. The lofty battlements, thickly encrusted with ivy, were half demolished; and become the residence of birds of prey.""'4 Similar in quality and size are buildings from every novel - the ruined v i l l a on the lakeshore and the Roman ruins of The Italian, Castle Udolpho in The Mysteries of Udolpho, the ruined monastery to which Mary i s abducted in The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, and the Castle Mazzini and the banditti hide-out i n A S i c i l i a n Romance. They are universally rotting physically and at least partially disused, emblems of the fate 5 2The!,Italian, p. 132. 5 3 V o l . I, p. 2 0 . 5 4 on p. 2 0 . 39 of a l l things i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world. The consistent association of the v i l l a i n s with these edifices indicates symbolically t h e i r a l l i a n c e with the forces of dissolution and e v i l . In addition, many of Mrs. Radcliffe's characters and narrators are powerfully aware of mutability and the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of death, which consistently they remark at work i n human a f f a i r s . In A S i c i l i a n Romance, the narrator r e f l e c t s , on viewing the ruins of Mazzini, "thus,...shall the present generation - he who now smiles i n misery - and he who now swims i n pleasure, a l i k e pass away and be f o r g o t t e n . I n Udolpho, the age of the Pyrennes, the fact that they were once below the sea, reminds Count V l l l e f o r t of the transience of earthly things, man i n p a r t i c u l a r . ^ Gaston de Blondeville, too, with i t s p e c u l i a r l y medieval flavour, contains much appropriate moralizing over the impermanence of things. Simpson, for instance, one of the gentlemen t r a v e l l e r s whose adventures frame the t a l e , i s f u l l of a melancholy longing to know something of "beings with passions as warm as our own - beings who have so long since vanished from the e a r t h , a n d the motif of transcience i s taken up by the medieval narrator when the court i s i n shock after Gaston's strange death; he muses, "How changed, indeed, was the whole appearance of t h i s castle that i t wore on yester-ere; where i f the inhabitants were wakeful, i t was only from the restlessness of joy, and 55 56 p. 1 . p. 602. 57 Vol. I , p. 62-3. 40 58 preparation for the grand f e s t i v a l of the morrow." Later, he concludes the tale by adorning King Henry's departing progress with a warning of mutability - "And how the fading woods strewed yellow leaves on the long cavalcade, that wound below, whispering a moral to 59 departing greatness" - and including himself i n the whirlygig of change and death: even i n a monastery, " l i f e i s s t i l l a FLEETING VISION As such i t fades, whether i n court or convent,nor leaves a gleam behind - save of the l i g h t of good works I With sorrow, moreover, do these commentators view the inevitable passing of innocent, i d e a l i s t i c youth into d i s i l l u s i o n e d old age. Here, for example, i s part of Adeline's poem "Morning on the Sea-shore", i n which she regrets the passing of youthful i l l u s i o n s about the world: Ye sportive pleasures, sweet i l l u s i o n s , h a i l ! But oh! at morn's f i r s t blush again ye fade! So from youth's ardent gaze l i f e ' s landscape gay, And forms i n fancy's summer hues arranged, ^ Dissolve at once i n a i r at Truth's resplendent day. To that we might add the comment of the narrator i n Gaston de Blondeville as he describes the expectation with which the tournament i s awaited. "Woe to him, who would have set before t h e i r eyes the severe form of experience, and have reduced the gaieties of the i r boundless hope to the many chequered scenes of r e a l existence. A l l i n i t s season, comes the CO Vol. I l l , p. 13. 5 9 V o l . I l l , p. 46. 6 0 V o l . I l l , p. 50. ^ F o r e s t , p. 341. 41 62 noon-tide ray, and melts the beauteous visions of the morning." In every case, these individuals are p a i n f u l l y aware of humanity's subjection to change and death. As I f to back up th e i r melancholy r e f l e c t i o n s , a l l Mrs. Radcliffe's novels are punctuated by sudden, seemingly arbitrary deaths. In The Gastles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne, The Baron and Baroness Malcolm return to fi n d t h e i r son and his nurse dead, then the Baron himself i s k i l l e d accidentally; when Madame de Menon returns, i n A S i c i l i a n Romance, to her home, C a l i n i , her few friends have died; Madame La Motte asks after her friends i n Paris and learns that "within the few months of 63 her absence, some had died and others had quitted the place" ; when Emily returns to La Valle'e after the sudden death of her own father, she finds "that some were dead whom they had l e f t w e l l ; and others, who were i l l , had recovered,"*'4 and i t i s Signora Bianchi's unexplained and sudden demise that precipitates much of the intrigue i n The I t a l i a n . Nor are mutability and death the only e v i l s facing Mrs. Radcliffe's characters. Hers i s also a world of deceptive appearances, i n which no i n d i v i d u a l can glean s u f f i c i e n t evidence to judge without danger of error. Sometimes the good appear e v i l with disastrous r e s u l t s , as when i n Udolpho, S.t. Aubert mistakes Valancourt for a robber i n the darkness and shoots him.*'"' More often, however, the process i s the exact reverse. 6 2 V o l . I I , p. 313. ^ F o r e s t , p. 83. ^Udolpho, p. 94. 6 5 I b i d . , p. 38. 42 Many of the v i l l a i n s , a f ter a l l , appear to be virtuous men. I t i s the Marquis de Montalt's c i v i l i z e d demeanour that hides an e x t o r t i o n i s t , a lecher, and a murderer i n The Romance of the Forest, just as Count Morano's musical accomplishments i n Udolpho disguise his l u s t , and Schedoni's composure for a long time belies his g u i l t during his t r i a l i n The I t a l i a n . Because of such deception, even the most virtuous characters can be subjected to the e v i l machinations of v i l l a i n s , i f they are l e f t temporarily untouched by the natural processes of mutability and death. Nor are the e v i l s that b e f a l l humanity i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world wholly external. Just as i t i s a mixture of unfallen deist harmony and the t r a d i t i o n a l disruptions of the f a l l , so man himself, though he has a number of attributes that suggest innate goodness, must be considered, for the most part, a f a l l e n creature who may f a l l v i c t i m to the s i n f u l promptings of his depraved mind. I t i s easy to establish man's basic depravity, i n accordance with her cosmological locus. V i l l a i n s are consistently motivated by s e l f i s h passions which i t i s , or once was, i n t h e i r power to control. The mind of Baron Malcolm, we learn, "was agitated with a l l the d i r e f u l 66 passions of hate, revenge, and exulting pride"; the Marquis of Mazzini 67 "was a man of a voluptuous and imperious character"; his f r i e n d , the Castles, p. 34. S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 1. 43 68 Duke de Luovo, Is s i m i l a r , and h i s consort Maria de Vellorno* "a woman of i n f i n i t e a r t , devoted to pleasure."*' 9 So might we catalogue a l l the v i l l a i n s , i n each case finding boundless pride and some other passions as the root of t h e i r respective e v i l s . Nor are we, as a r u l e , given so much as a hint of mitigation i n the parading of th e i r g u i l t . Even the two least reprehensible, Schedoni and La Motte, are both capable, as we s h a l l see, of hardening t h e i r hearts to greater depravity i n times of c r i s i s , despite t h e i r knowledge of, and impulse toward, moral r i g h t . Furthermore, Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s ^invariably admit having w i l l f u l l y contravened morality i n t h e i r dying confessions. The dying Malcolm, for example, wins for himself a certain amount of our sympathy when, his face "overspread with the paleness of death", he admits, " I have understood v i r t u e , but I have loved v i c e . " ^ S i m i l a r l y , the Marchesa d i V i v a l d i dies admitting and repenting her complicity i n 71 Ellena's abduction, and Schedoni, l y i n g poisoned i n the i n q u i s i t o r s ' 72 prison, cheerlessly admits h i s g u i l t i n the same a f f a i r , though we might argue that t h i s i s simply a ploy to trap his betrayer, Zampari, into exposure. The Marquis de Montalt, too, admits his sins i n his 73 suicide note, and Gaston de Blondeville even returns from the grave S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 21. Ib i d . , p. 1 Castles, pp. 204-5. I t a l i a n , p. 376. Ib i d . , p. 392. Forest, p. 418. 44 to admit "my guilt was my doom."^4 It appears, then, that a l l these figures w i l l f u l l y disregard moral standards as a result of inherent and deeply rooted passions which even they acknowledge as the source of their guilt. By the same token, sympathetic characters are saved from a similar depravity only by strenuous education. In Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, "the vacant mind is ever on the watch for r e l i e f , and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness. Store i t with ideas, teach i t the pleasure of thinking; and the temptations of the world without w i l l be counteracted by the gratifications derived from the world w i t h i n . H e n c e , heroes and heroines are often under the s t r i c t but gentle guidance of older persons of unimpeachable morality and philosophy, from whom they learn their virtuous ways. Osbert and Mary have been educated by their noble mother, Matilda, Madame de Menon has charge of the education of Julia and Emilia, La Luc carefully raises Theodore and Clara in The Romance of the Forest, Emily St. Aubert grows into perfect youth under her father's tutelage, and Ellena receives precept and direction from her aunt, Signora Bianchi. In every case, these moral mentors encourage in their charges the sensibility, reason, and a r t i s t i c acumen that are necessary to their virtue and happiness In the world. And i f their presence behind at least one protagonist in everycone of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels is insufficient to convince us of their importance in forming their charges' characters, the example of Gaston, III, p. 23. Udolpho, p. 6. 45 the Countess Laurentini in The Mysteries of Udolpho, should persuade us i n the matter. She i s the repentant nun, Agnes, who dies of what might best be called nervous deterioration near the close of the book. Significantly, she laments that in her youth her parents did nothing to train her to curb her emotions and selfish passions, for, uncontrolled, they led her to adultery and murder for their gratification, and f i n a l l y drove her, once her dormant moral sense was roused by her crimes, into madness.7*' In Mrs. Radcliffe's view, then, the individual would f a l l naturally into the e v i l ways of v i l l a i n s were i t not for strenuous education to the contrary. Nevertheless, there are incidents and statements in the course of her novels that suggest innate goodness. For one thing, characters inherit good dispositions from their parents, though the pattern i s by no means consistent. Both the La Luc children, for example, are described as inheriting their parents' goodness in The Romance of the  Forest, as are the sisters Ju l i a and Emilia in A S i c i l i a n Romance. Yet even in the same novels, there are other offspring whose inherited traits would give the l i e to any theory of innate morality based on the experience of those already mentioned. How is i t , for instance, that the Montalt brothers, Adeline's father and uncle, the sons of the same parents, are so diametrically opposite in temperament and ethical predisposition, one good, the other bad? And i f goodness i s innate and inheritable, how i s i t that the Duke de Luovo's son in A S i c i l i a n Romance See p. 655. 46 i s so superior to his father? There i s obviously some tension here between the notions that character i s inborn or learnt, but perhaps, i n the end, we s t i l l have to admit that education i s the most consistent salutory Influence on Mrs. Radcliffe's characters. However, even t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c education sometimes suggests that i t s subjects are i n possession of some measure of innate moral and (what i s the same' i n Mrs. Radcliffe's cosmos) aesthetic sense. We never see the absolute beginnings of any virtuous character, so that i t i s impossible to know how much t h e i r f i r s t p r i n c i p l e s were learnt, or inherent. Furthermore, whenever a heroine "discovers" a talent or love for some virtuous a c t i v i t y i n childhood, i t i s not made clear whether the discovery i s the result of parental guidance or some innate predisposition. On one occasion at l e a s t , learning i s overtly l e f t to natural temperament; i n the manner of Rousseau; La Lac, i n following his philosophy of nature and common sense, allows Clara to become self-indulgent i n her lute playing, and then simply waits while her conscience over the duties to others she i s neglecting teaches her the value of s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e . ^ While we are on the subject of Rousseauistic t r a i t s i n these novels, Mrs. Radcliffe's consistent opposition of "natural" man l i v i n g In r u r a l v i r t u e to the depravity of supposedly civilized,urban man seems also to suggest a measure of innate goodness. The fact that a l l her country dwellers, peasant and noble a l i k e , are a l l good hearted, See Forest, pp. 295-9. 47 strong, and moral, while her c i t y f o l k are weak, immoral, s l y , and pernicious implies that human e v i l i s a product of bad education and culture, rather than innate depravity of w i l l . Even part of her indictment of the Roman Catholic Church, especially i n her l a t e r novels, maintains that i t s i n s t i t u t i o n s are i n part responsible for t h e i r inmates' depravity. The unnatural deprivations and false p r i n c i p l e s of monastic l i f e cause, beyond mere discontent, a disease of pent-up emotions. In nearly every case, a cloist e r e d existence i s portrayed as an unnatural and e v i l denial of simple emotional needs. Adeline, for example, i n describing her narrow escape from a nunnery, explains, Excluded from the cheerful intercourse of society - from the pleasant view of nature - almost from the l i g h t of day - condemned to silence - r i g i d formality - abstinence and penance - condemned to forego the delights of a world, which imagination painted i n the gayest and most a l l u r i n g colours, and whose hues were, perhaps, not the less captivating because they were only i d e a l - such was the state to which I was destined. (78) 79 Such a l i f e i s f i l l e d with "too many forms of r e a l t e r r o r " for a normal human being. Even the narrator of Gaston de Blondevilie, himself a monk, notes how his l i f e i n a monastery i s "seeming ages", "for these, pale moment, lingering after moment, l i k e rain-drop following drop, keeps melancholy chime with chants too formally repeated to leave, Forest, p. 46. Ib i d . , p. 45. 48 except on very few, the due impression of th e i r meaning, and with slow 80 returning v i g i l s . " This emotional deprivation breeds a secret conceit and worldliness amongst monks and nuns that i s the more d i s t a s t e f u l for being hidden behind forms of v i r t u e . Margaritone, Ellena's jail-keeper i n The I t a l i a n , i s s p i t e f u l because she i s jealous of her young prisoner's f e l i c i t y , r e l a t i v e to her own; and wishes "to i n f l i c t upon others some 81 portion of the unhappiness she herself suffered." This f e e l i n g she shares with her s i s t e r nuns, who are subject to a "malignant envy, 82 that taught them to exalt themselves upon the humiliation of others." Moreover, she Is distended with vanity of person, and cannot stand to hear Ellena praise s i s t e r O l i v i a ' s good looks. Once again, t h i s inappropriate vanity i s reflected i n the entire sisterhood, t h i s time i n t h e i r preparations for the f e s t i v a l during which Ellena escapes: The tables were to be ornamented with a r t i f i c i a l flowers, and a variety of other f a n c i f u l devices upon which the ingenuity of the s i s t e r s had been long employed, who prepared for these f e s t i v a l s with as much vanity, and expected them to dissipate the gloomy monotony of th e i r usual l i f e , with as much eagerness of delight as a young beauty anticipates a f i r s t b a l l . (83) So oppressively austere i s th e i r way of l i f e that they f i x t h e i r suppressed emotions on whatever t r i v i a i s at hand, with the result that 8 0 V o l . I l l , p. 50. 8 1 AA p. 66. 8 2 p . 68. 8 3 p . 125. 49 t h e i r vanity and envy, while reprehensible, i s also p i t i a b l e . The same complaint i n t h e i r leaders, the more privileged c l e r i c s , i s more enormous simply because they have more power by means of which to appease t h e i r s i n f u l pride. In the abbess of Mt. Carmel, pride and 84 resentment usurp the influence of every other f e e l i n g , " so that she staunchly supports her supposed duty i n abducting Ellena at the request of a noble such as the Marchesa. Her behaviour i s nothing more or less than the envious spite of Margaritone, operating at a l e v e l where i t can do more damage. S i m i l a r l y , the quality of monastic l i f e , i t s i n e r t i a and authoritarianism, makes the abbot of Mt. Carmel incapable of a virtuous action. "Indolence and t i m i d i t y , a t i m i d i t y the consequence of want of clear perception, deprived him of a l l energy of character; he was prudent rather than wise, and so f e a r f u l of being thought to do 85 wrong that he seldom did r i g h t . " Because t h e i r l i v e s deny the essence of l i f e i n denying a l l pleasure, the i n q u i s i t o r s , too, drive themselves into unreasonable acts of cruelty. At the Roman f a i r , "while they regarded with secret contempt those, who could be thus l i g h t l y pleased, the people, i n return, more wisely, perhaps regarded with contempt the proud moroseness, that refused to partake of innocent pleasures, because they were t r i f l i n g , and shrunk from countenances furrowed with the 86 sternness of cruelty." 8 4 F o r e s t , p. 120. 8 5 I b i d . , p. 121. 8 6 I b i d . , p. 195. 50 By means of this constant denial of l i f e , church institutions drive their servants into various e v i l s . It i s significant that those nuns, monks and clerics who are exceptional for their goodness and the achievement of tranquil piety i n Mrs. Radcliffe's books are conspicuous for their religious and cultural liberalism. In so far as so many of the church's votaries are trapped or coerced into monastic l i f e , as Adeline, J u l i a , and Ellena finds out, and in sorfar as the church's institutions cause that disease of the emotions that leads to e v i l action, we might argue that such e v i l was thrust on the individual from without, rather than growing from an innate depravity within. In addition to such suggestions of innate goodness running through the incidents of her novels, Mrs. Radcliffe does place, on one occasion, in the mouth of the Reverend La Luc, the notion that much theological and philosophical writing tends to destroy man's awareness of his potential for good by harping on his hopeless innate depravity. The authors of such works, he says, "have sought to degrade man i n his own eyes, and to make him discontent with l i f e , " whereas "that consciousness of innate dignity, which shows him the glory of his nature, w i l l be his 87 best protection from the meanness of vice." Certainly, Mrs. Radcliffe lacked a puritan pessimism about the potential of human nature, even i f i t were depraved. Now, since the appearance of innate depravity i s primarily the v i l l a i n s ' , and that of innate goodness the sympathetic characters', i t is tempting to claim that in her novels she exercises a double standard, Forest, p. 318. v i l l a i n s being treated as innately depraved, while others are seen from exactly the opposite point of view. However, I do not think Mrs. Radcliffe was g u i l t y of such prejudice and a r t i s t i c equivocacy. After a l l , Shaftesburian concept of innate goodness nowhere denies the importance of w i l l and s e l f interest i n human nature. Indeed, Shaftesbury himself acknowledges that s e l f - i n t e r e s t "may prove an 88 obstacle to pi e t y , as w e l l as to virtue and public love." "Man alone of a l l creatures (is) capable of grasping his relationship to the whole 89 of Being," by reason of his powers of r e f l e c t i v e and r a t i o n a l thought; he alone can actually distinguish between good and e v i l . I t i s up to him through the use of his reason and w i l l , to f u l f i l l himself as a man by choosing, In so f a r as he could, good i n every instance. I f he does not, he robs himself of humanity. This i s not far q u a l i t a t i v e l y from the t r a d i t i o n a l Christian view that, though f a l l e n , man i s capable of virtue through the operation of reason, w i l l , and Divine grace. Once again, I believe, Mrs. Radcliffe's position r e f l e c t s the adventure of philosophy and t r a d i t i o n a l theology that resulted as tenets of d e i s t i c thinking became current'in popular thought. In her works, man i s the f a l l e n creature of Christian theory, but he i s also capable, through careful education of his f a c u l t i e s , the operation of his w i l l and, presumably, the help of Divine grace, of virtue whose quality approaches that envisaged by the proponents of innate moral sense. Selections, p. 316. i Grean, p. 33. 52 The dual nature of Mrs. Radcliffe's world, divi n e l y ordered, j u s t and b e a u t i f u l , yet fraught with the e v i l of the f a l l , culminates i n a t r a d i t i o n a l dichotomy of l i g h t and dark imagery. Of course, the pattern i s by no means o r i g i n a l to Mrs. Ra d c l i f f e ; i t i s both a t r a d i t i o n a l part of Christian symbolism, and a favourite of Milton, whom Mrs. Radcliffe read and revered. Yet probably the most i n f l u e n t i a l source of Mrs. Radcliffe's predisposition toward l i g h t and dark imagery was Burke once again. Burke i d e n t i f i e s l i g h t , except that which i s 90 sudden or bl i n d i n g , as a source of beauty and simple pleasure; Mrs. R a d c l i f f e , i n consequence, uses l i g h t to denote salutary things -Divine grace, the rule of reason, and moral good. By the same token, Burke i d e n t i f i e s darkness as the supreme source of terror and therefore of the sublime because i t i s absolutely unknown. "In utter darkness," he says, " i t i s impossible to know i n what degree of safety we stand; we are ignorant of the objects that surround us; we may every moment s t r i k e against some dangerous obstruction; we may f a l l down a precipice the f i r s t step we take; and i f an enemy approach, we know 91 not i n what quarter to defend ourselves." The fact that Mrs. Radcliffe uses darkness as a p r i n c i p a l component of sensational suspense and 92 terror i n her novels has been noted by many c r i t i c s . However, Mrs. Radcliffe also uses darkness to suggest e v i l abroad i n her 90 See Inquiry, p. 80. 9 1 I b i d . , p. 143.; See also pp. 58, 80. 92 Among them Baker, p. 198; Foster, Novel, p. 263; A.O. McKillop, "Mrs. Radcliffe on the supernatural i n Poetry, JEGP, XXXI (1932), 355; and Summers, p. 197. 53 f i c t i o n a l world, a use which includes the one noticed before. The pervasive influence of darkness symbolizes a l l that i s malignant and e v i l i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world. In the f i r s t place, i t punctuates and i n t e n s i f i e s the danger of nearly every s i t u a t i o n i n which characters are threatened by e v i l . Thus, the f i r s t attempted storming of the Castle of Dunbayne i s made more dangerous by the fact that " a l l 93 was involved i n the gloom of night and the silence of death prevailed." S i m i l a r l y , the t r a v e l l e r s i n Udolpho are consistently becoming l o s t , or running across b a n d i t t i i n the obscurity of night, and the humorous escape attempts and abductions of the Radcliffe books a l l occur when the darkness can lead those involved into dangerous errors. Because i t renders the sense of sight useless, darkness compounds the threats of an already threatening world. Moreover, darkness portends approaching e v i l . In The I t a l i a n , for example, the descent of darkness symbolizes the coming of e v i l to disrupt the lovers' wedding: "As the appointed hour drew near, her s p i r i t s sank, and she watched, with melancholy foreboding, the sun r e t i r i n g amidst stormy clouds, and his rays fading from the highest points of the mountains, t i l l the gloom of t w i l i g h t prevailed over the 94 scene." S i m i l a r l y , the v i c i n i t y of the Castle Udolpho i s dominated by gloom; threatening crags "shut out every feature of the distant country. 93 Castles, p. 26. 94 * p. 183. 95 Udolpho, p. 225. 54 I t i s darkness, i n f a c t , that l i n k s cosmic and human e v i l ; through i t , the threat of the environment and the e v i l of the v i l l a i n are equated. Here i s a passage from the approach to Udolpho, mentioned above: The gloom of these shades, t h e i r s o l i t a r y silence, except when the breeze swept over t h e i r summits, the tremendous precipices of the mountains, that came p a r t i a l l y to the eye, each assisted to raise the solemnity of Emily's feelings into awe?; she saw only images of gloomy grandeur, or of dreadful sublimity, around her; other images, equally gloomy and equally t e r r i b l e , gleamed on her imagination. She was going she scarcely knew whither, under the dominion of a person, from whose arbitrary disposition she had already suffered so much, to marry, perhaps, a man who possessed neither her a f f e c t i o n , or esteem; or to endure, beyond the hope of succeur, whatever punishment, revenge, and that I t a l i a n revenge, might dictate. (96/ The reader moves, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , from the gloom of the environs of the castle to the e t h i c a l gloom of the v i l l a i n ' s e v i l , the one r e f l e c t i n g , as i t were, negatively on the other. L i t t l e wonder then, that the Gothic e d i f i c e s themselves, the l a i r s of the v i l l a i n s , are dark and gloomy i n symbolic representation of the quality of t h e i r owners' minds. Udolpho i s a place of darkness, from the environs described above to the b u r i a l catacombs under I t s f l o o r s , as i s the Abbey of St. Augustin, "whose gloomy battlements and majestic towers, arose i n proud sublimity 97 from amid the darkness of the surrounding shades," or the forboding ^Udolpho, p. 224. 97 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 43. 55 98 and shadowy v i l l a to which Ellena i s taken i n The I t a l i a n . S i m i l a r l y , the visages of the v i l l a i n s are marked with the physical projection of 99 t h e i r inner darkness. Mazzini, for instance, "was gloomy and s i l e n t , " while Montoni's "complexion changed almost to blackness as he looked upon his f a l l e n adversary." 1^ S i m i l a r l y , the P r i o r , a r c h - v i l l a i n of Gaston de Blondeville i s forever darkening his looks as "dark and thronging thoughts cast t h e i r shadows on his countenance." 1^ 1 But surely the most powerful application of the symbolism of darkness as applied to the v i l l a i n s occurs i n The I t a l i a n . There, a l l the v i l l a i n s are consistently figured forth i n terms of the shadows about t h e i r faces or the darkness of t h e i r robes, and even the mysterious monk of the old castle himself always appears i n the pitc h black of night, or the gloom of the i n q u i s i t i o n j a i l s u n t i l he i s . exposed by Schedoni, and Mrs. Radcliffe seizes a golden opportunity for an exquisite cameo df e v i l and darkness. Zampari "stood gazing at him (Schedoni) with the malignity of a demon. His glowing eyes just appeared under the edge of his cowl, while r o l l e d up i n his dark drapery, the lower features of his face were muffled; but the intermediate part of his countenance receiving the f u l l glare of the torch, displaying 9 8See p. 213. 99 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 5. ^^Udolpho, p. 267. 10 ^ o l . I I , p. 206. 56 102 a l l i t s speaking and t e r r i f i c l i n e s . " I r o n i c a l l y , the part of his face subject to any illumination only shows more c l e a r l y the f i g u r a t i v e blackness of his vengeance-ridden soul. S i m i l a r l y , we know the torturers and i n q u i s i t o r s for the e v i l men they are i n part because of the "portentious obscurity" which enveloped 103 a l i k e t h e i r persons and t h e i r proceedings." They appear and act i n darkness and the threatening, black imagery culminates i n i t s comparison to h e l l : " V i v a l d i almost believed himself i n the i n f e r n a l regions; the dismal aspect of t h i s place, the horrible preparation for punishment, and, above a l l , the disposition and appearance of the persons that were ready to i n f l i c t i t , confirmed the resemblance."^ 4 Interestingly. enough, the darkness of the i n q u i s i t i o n , symbol of i t s members monkish unreason, interferes with t h e i r a b i l i t y to deliberate, j u s t as t h e i r unreason does. On the one hand, "The suspicions of the t r i b u n a l , augmenting with t h e i r perplexity, seemed to fluctuate equally over every point of the subject before them, t i l l instead of throwing any l i g h t upon the t r u t h , they only served to Involve the whole i n deeper 105 obscurity," while on the other, the i n q u i s i t o r s are thrown into equal confusion by the physical darkness of the tribunal chamber, which thus becomes an icon of t h e i r vicious i r r a t i o n a l i t y . ^ ^ p. 396. 103 p. 311. Loc. c i t . 105 „ 0 p. 332. 1 (^See p. 315 f f . , when Zampari interrupts the court from the cover of I t s shadows. Conversely to the role of darkness, l i g h t symbolizes a l l that i s benignant and virtuous i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world. The coming of l i g h t , i n so far as i t banishes the uncertainty of darkness, i s a symbol of Divine grace, even when i t approaches sublimity at sunrise. Time and again i n the course of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, sunrise restores characters' confidence a f t e r the onslaught of e v i l , ultimately because i t expresses Divine concern for the cosmos. Thus, after the escape from the convent i n A S i c i l i a n Romance, i t was with inexpressible joy that J u l i a observed the k i n d l i n g atmosphere; and soon a f t e r , the rays of the r i s i n g sun touching the top of the mountains, whose sides were yet involved i n dark vapours. Her fears dissipated with the darkness - the sun now appeared amid clouds of inconceivable splendour; and unveiled a scene which i n other circumstances J u l i a would have contemplated with rapture. (107) Thus also, i n The Romance of the Forest, when the sun "burst i n f u l l splendour on the scene of the La Motte's f l i g h t , "the terror of La Motte 108 began to subside, and the gr i e f s of Adeline to soften." The coming of l i g h t also s i g n i f i e s f i g u r a t i v e l y the ascendancy of reason and truth, the mental illuminations of Divine grace. In the description of the abbey i n A S i c i l i a n Romance, for instance, the narrator p o n t i f i c a t e s , "The dark clouds of prejudice break away before the sun of science, and gradually dissolving, have the brightening 107 „ p. 55. 108 1 9 p. 12. 58 109 hemisphere to the influence of his beams." S i m i l a r l y , "truth now glimmered upon the mind of J u l i a [when she discovers her mother], but so f a i n t l y , that instead of enlightening, i t served only to increase her perplexity. F i n a l l y , i n f a c t , the coming of l i g h t can mean the coming of any sort of happiness or good fortune. In The I t a l i a n , O l i v i a exclaims, "The gloom, which has long hung over my prospects, seems now to open, and a distant gleam promises to l i g h t up the evening of my stormy day," 1 1 1 while the readers of Gaston de Blondeville are i n v i t e d to look into the Baroness de Blondeville's future to see "the gleam of hope and joy s t r i k i n g athwart her path, and further s t i l l , the calm 112 sunshine of happiness setting on her home..." Thus, then, l i g h t becomes a symbol of a l l good to balance the darkness, emblem of a l l e v i l i n Mrs. Radcliffe's f i c t i o n a l world. Though i t i s primarily a moral cosmos, presided over by a just and benevolent God, hers i s s t i l l the f a l l e n world, fraught with a l l manner of e v i l s , both natural and human, as a r e s u l t . Yet by means of her competent manipulation of the various philosophical and aesthetic pr i n c i p l e s discussed above, she i s able to create out of p o t e n t i a l l y 109 p. 43. p. 64. I l l - 7 1 p. 371. 112 Vol. I l l , p. 45. 59 contradictory elements a sing l e , coherent,cosmological point of view. As we s h a l l see, t h i s soundly conceived environment forms the basis of an o v e r a l l unity of presentation that includes the constitution of her characters, the major issues facing them as in d i v i d u a l s , and a number of other themes i n her works. CHAPTER 3 THE ISSUES OF CHARACTER: VILLAINS AND EVIL I pointed out, i n the preceding chapter, that the v i l l a i n s ' s e l f i s h passions indicate the depravity of man i n Mrs. Radcliffe's f a l l e n world and that part of i t s threatening e v i l i s t h e i r deceit; i n t h i s , I should l i k e , i n analyzing the desires, a b i l i t i e s , and shortcomings of her e v i l characters, to show how they further correspond to the world view she presents and contribute, therefore, to the a r t i s t i c unity of her presentations. While aesthetic and moral s e n s i b i l i t y forms i n her works a chief ;means by which characters relate themselves to t h e i r environment and achieve virtue and happiness, both aesthetic and moral-insensibility-/ Mrs. Radcliffe consistently treats as an e v i l . "Do not," warns St. Aubert, "...confound fortitude with apathy; apathy cannot know the v i r t u e . " 1 Apathy i s often the result of experience i n the e v i l of the world at large. Where we are " behold objects i n th e i r more genuine hues, t h e i r deformity i s by degrees less p a i n f u l to us. The fine touch of moral s u s c e p t i b i l i t y , by frequent i r r i t a t i o n , becomes callous, and too frequently we mingle with the world t i l l we are added 2 to the number of i t s votaries." And "when once sordid interest seizes £, p. 80. 2 Castles, p. 7. 61 on the heart, i t freezes the source of every warm and l i b e r a l f e e l i n g ; i t i s an enemy a l i k e to virtue and to taste - this i t perverts, and 3 that i t annihilates." I t i s e n t i r e l y appropriate, then, that the v i l l a i n s , who are t o t a l l y dominated by s e l f i s h passions, are distinguished i n Mrs. Radcliffe's work by cruelty and an indifference to aesthetic values that borders on- e nMty. V i l l a i n s have no time for the arts. Montoni, for instance, grows weary of the singing Emily enjoys so i n Venice, and goes with Count Morano to a casino. Again i n Udolpho,M. Quesnel shows his i n a b i l i t y to appreciate the balance of landscaping and venerable architecture at St. Aubert's former chateau by cutting down a noble avenue of trees at i t s approach immediately upon taking possession. I t i s a s i m i l a r indifference to aesthetics that makes the Marchesa d i V i v a l d i "wretched amidst a l l these luxuries of nature and a r t , which would have perfected the happiness of an innocent mind. Her heart was possessed by e v i l passions, and a l l her perceptions were distorted by them, which, l i k e a dark magician, had power to change the f a i r e s t scenes into those of gloom and desolation." 4 Thus, t h e i r selfishness prevents them from exercising the pleasures of good taste. Only when they have an u l t e r i o r motive for doing so do they feign i t . Thus, the Marquis de Montalt attempts to impress Adeline with the sententiously a r t i s t i c trappings of his pleasure palace, Count Morano sings and plays for Emily i n an attempt to win her heart and her money, and the Marchesa d i V i v a l d i sponsors Forest, p. 3. I t a l i a n , p. 291. 62 a composer i n the hope of aggrandizing her pride by his success. However, t h i s enthusiasm i s never of that genuine s o r t . f e l t and expressed by the protagonists which l i n k s them to the aesthetic pri n c i p l e s upon which creation i s founded i n Mrs. Radcliffe's system. In addition to t h e i r shortcomings as devotees of fine a r t , neither do the v i l l a i n s achieve the sympathetic characters' creative response to nature. Some are wholly i n d i f f e r e n t to nature as a result of the power of t h e i r s e l f i s h passions. "Over the gloom of Schedoni," for example, "no scenery had, at any moment, power; the shape and point of external imagery gave neither impressions nor colour to his fancy. He condemned the sweet i l l u s i o n s . . . ' . " The Marchesa i s l i t t l e better; having been given a magnificent cameo of a scene before which she re c l i n e s , we read: "...her eyes were fixed upon the prospect without, but her attention was wholly occupied by the visions that e v i l passion painted to her imagination." 7 Others, Madame Cheron (ne'e Montoni) i n p a r t i c u l a r , f a i l to appreciate nature properly. So strong i s her s e l f - l o v e , for instance, that she can muster only fear i n response to the sublimity of the Alps: "Madame Montoni only shuddered as she looked down precipices near whose edge the chairmen trotted l i g h t l y and s w i f t l y , almost, as the chamois bounded, and from which Emily, too, recoiled; but with her fears were mingled such various emotions of delight, such admiration, Garber, p. i x . ^ I t a l i a n , p. 255. 7 I b i d . , p. 292. 63 8 astonishment, and awe, as she had never experienced before." Only when she stands a chance of aggrandizing herself s o c i a l l y at the expense of the Quesnels does she boast of the natural sublimity about Castle Udolpho, "for Emily w e l l knew, that her aunt had no taste for s o l i t a r y grandeur, 9 and, p a r t i c u l a r l y for such as the castle of Udolpho promised." This aesthetic i n s e n s i b i l i t y i s complimented i n R a d c l i f f i a n v i l l a i n s by their lack of benevolent feelings. Of course, they are the authors of most of the bloodshed, g r i e f , and terror i n f l i c t e d on others i n Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, because they w i l l do anything to have t h e i r own way; they represent "that constitutional hardness of nerve, that cannot f e e l , and that, therefore, cannot fear.""^ Consequently, they despise good-heartedness i n others, just as they despise every other timid or inoffensive sentiment. Schedoni, for instance, not only. condemns as "weak and contemptible"^ the humane reservations of the Marchesa over ordering Ellena murdered, but also expresses surprise at finding s e n s i b i l i t y i n his supposed daughter: 'What i s the meaning of a l l t h i s ! 1 asked Schedoni with anger, "you cannot, surely, have the weakness to p i t y this fellow!" " I t i s t e r r i b l e to see anyone suffer," said Ellena. 12 g Udolpho, p. 166. 9 I b i d . , p. 212. 1 0 I b i d . , p. 358. ^"'"Italian, p. 266. 1 2 I b i d . , p. 210. 64 I t i s not surprising, then, that when a v i l l a i n seems benevolent, he actually has some s e l f i s h end i n view. In The Romance of the Forest, the Marquis de Montalt's i n i t i a l concern and generosity for the La Motte family, whom he finds squatting i n his ruined abbey, i s eventually exposed as a cover for his l u s t i n g after Adeline. In Udolpho, Madame Cheron i s busy f l a t t e r i n g herself when she claims that she has been too compassionate with Emily i n the matter of Valancourt, and the Countess V i l l e f o r t ' s s e n s i b i l i t y i s merely a fashionable dissimulation of true sentiment: "In the c o u n t r y s h e generally affected an elegant languor, that persuaded her almost to f a i n t , when her favourite read to her a story of f i c t i t i o u s sorrow; but her countenance suffered no change when l i v i n g objects of distress s o l i c i t e d her charity, and her heart beat 13 with no transport to the thought of giving them instant r e l i e f . . . " Yet t h i s aesthetic i n s e n s i b i l i t y and indifference to cruelty are a l l part of that predisposition toward s e l f i s h emotion which characterizes a l l R a d c l i f f i a n v i l l a i n s . Generally, Mrs. Radcliffe treats emotion with suspicion. The laudable emotional s u s c e p t i b i l i t y of the sympathetic characters i s desirable only i n so far as i t i s i n i t i a t e d and controlled by a r a t i o n a l perception of correct morality and the nature of Divine creation. Even heroes and heroines are capable of emotion which i s or may become a function of s e l f i s h excess and which i s unnecessarily p a i n f u l . Presumably/because-of<-theirbasically depraved nature, a l l men i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world are p o t e n t i a l l y subject to the unreasonable demands of s e l f , that i s , to the passions, and to his passions, every one of Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s i s a slave. Udolpho, p. 500. 65 In the f i r s t place, they a l l have developed uncontrollable appetites. i Many, among them Maria de Vellorno, the Countess V i l l e f o r t , La Motte, and the Marchesa d i V i v a l d i , flounder i n a proverbial "vortex of dis s i p a t i o n , " as depicted i n the luxuriant l i v e s they lead at Paris and Naples. In others, t h i s sensual indulgence i s complicated by l u s t ; the primary vice exhibited by the Baron Malcolm, the Duke de Luovo, and the Marquis de Montalt, for example, i n t h e i r respective pursuits of heroines i s rampant concupiscence. Even Madame de Menon's senile desires lead her to throw herself and her estates at Montoni. Ultimately, of course, a l l the v i l l a i n s ' ambitions and crimes are oriented toward the sa t i s f a c t i o n of t h e i r appetites. Count Morano wants to marry Emily so that money from her Gascony estate can support his dissipated l i f e i n Venice - Montoni marries Madame de Menon for the same reasons. Likewise, i t i s a combination of lust for his brother's wife and greed for his brother's goods that drives Schedoni to murder, while the Marquis de Montalt, too, commits f r a t r i c i d e i n order to enjoy the resources to b u i l d 14 and use his pleasure palace. In some measure, a l l Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s follow t h i s pattern. Yet the major keynote of t h e i r characters i s pride. They a l l seek to transcend what appears to be the natural and normal l i m i t of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n i n l i f e by aggrandizing themselves. In female characters, pride means s o c i a l affectation and ambition. We have already looked at Madame de Menon's boasting about Udolpho's scenery and the Countess V i l l e f o r t ' s affectation of false s e n s i b i l i t y out of a desire to be See Forest, p. 188, for a description of i t s sensual luxury. 66 fashionable. S i m i l a r l y , the Marchesa d i V i v a l d i keeps a composer, of whose reputation "She was as of her own,"1"' and w i l l not countenance her son's marriage unless i t i s one that increases her stature. In f a c t , when V i v a l d i elopes with Ellena, not even the most flagrant dissipation i s capable of rendering the Marchesa's mind 16 oblivious to the "gloomy forebodings of disappointed pride 1. " Pride also leads to vicious sexual jealousies i n the female v i l l a i n s , as male attention i s important to t h e i r sense of success. "The dread of r i v a l beauty operated strongly to the prejudice of Emilia and J u l i a " i n the mind of Maria de Vellorno, for example, and "she employed;all her influence over the Marquis to detain them i n retirement" 1 7 away from Naples; her jealousy increases to a d i a b o l i c a l hatred when "she saw, or fancied she saw, an impassioned a i r i n the count (her favorite) when 18 he addressed himself to J u l i a . " S i m i l a r l y , Madame de Menon i s dangerously jealous of Montoni's addresses to Emily at Toulouse. The male v i l l a i n s also exhibits a sovereign pride, but i n t h e i r case i t i s a matter of p o l i t i c a l and economic power. They obviously enjoy the power they wield from positions they have already attained. Baron Malcolm, for instance, i s "proud, oppressive, revengeful; and 15 I t a l i a n , p. 10. 1 6 I b i d . , p. 165. 1 7 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 3. 1 8 I b i d . , p. 7. 67 s t i l l residing i n a l l the pomp of feudal greatness, within a few miles 19 of the Castle of A t h l i n " at the beginning of The Castles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne. S i m i l a r l y , the Marquis Mazzini's " a i r " i s "haughty, and 20 his look severe" when he returns i n state to entertain at his castle. 21 Gaston de Blondeville, bearing "a proud defiance i n his eye" enjoys the opportunity he has to spite the court's d i s l i k e of his advancement by r i d i n g at King Henry's right hand. Even so, success such as t h i s i s rarely enough; The Marquis Mazzini i s prepared to s a c r i f i c e his daughter to a dissolute duke for the sake of better connections, j u s t as Montoni would give Emily to Morano i n the name of more economic power. Moreover, where pride has met a f a l l , as i n Schedoni's case, i t manifests i t s e l f i n insatiable ambition: "His s p i r i t , as i t had sometimes looked forth from under the disguise of his manners, seemed l o f t y ; i t showed not, however, the aspirings of a generous mind, but 22 rather the gloomy pride of a disappointed one." Consequently, Schedoni's pride and the love of power drive him, even as a monk, to seek high o f f i c e i n his church; i t leads him to offer criminal services to the Marchesa i n the hope of preferment and even to face private mo r t i f i c a t i o n before her i f i t w i l l lead to public recognition: "A desire...of the immediate preferment so necessary to his pride... f i n a l l y 19 Castles, p. 3i ( 20 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 8. 21 Gaston, I , p. 83. 2 2 I t a l i a n , p. 34. 68 made him w i l l i n g to subject every honest f e e l i n g , and submit to any meanness, however v i c i o u s , rather than forego the favour i te object of 23 h i s erroneous ambit ion." Their contemptuous awareness of t he i r super io r i t y , as they see i t , i n point of rank and mental i ty , i s yet more evidence of t he i r concei t . The Marquis Mazz in i , fo r instance, i s r e a l l y amusing himself wi th what he sees as h i s own mental super io r i ty when he answers the supers t i t ious apprehensions of h is daughters with " . . . a r e the weak and r id icu lous fancies of women and servants to be obtruded upon my 2 A no t ice?" Of a s im i l a r nature i s h is disgust of the marchioness' "meek 25 submission" as a "mark of a s e r v i l e and insensib le mind," and the other examples of v i l l a i n o u s contempt of s e n s i b i l i t y mentioned above. Nor i s Montoni d i s i nc l i ned to congratulate himself through contempt of others he sees as lesser than himsel f . Over the i r misunderstanding of her projected marriage to Morano, fo r instance, he re tor ts to Emi ly , ' " ' I might as reasonably have expected to f i nd s i nce r i t y and uniformity of conduct. 26 i n one of your sex as you to convict me of error i n th is a f f a i r . J " I t i s undoubtedly no coincidence that among Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s males, only the v i l l a i n s regard women as i n f e r i o r . Moreover, they often parade the i r ac tua l super io r i t y , mostly a 2 3 I t a l i a n , p. 231. 24 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 5. 2 " * Ib id . , p. 65. 2 6 Udolpho, p. 210. 69 function of physical power, for the pleasure of flaunting i t . When during their explorations of the south buildings of the Castle Mazzini, the Marquis cows his servants into obedience with a reminder of his absolute power over them, his action i s partially one of glorying i n his own power and appeasing his pride. Montoni does the same; though he wishes to coerce Emily into accepting Morano as a husband, for instance, he obviously relishes being able to retort to her protests: '"By what right'.' cried Montoni, with a malicious smile, 'by the right of my w i l l ; i f you can elude that, I w i l l not enquire by what right you do so. I now remind you, for the last time, that you are a stranger, in a foreign country, and that It is in your interest to make me your friend. ' 1 , 2 7 Because of his pride, none of Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s can bear incidents or reflections demeaning to himself: "Malcolm, whose pride was touched by the defeat of his people; whose ambition was curbed by the authority, and whose greatness was rivalled by the power of the Earl, conceived for him that deadly hatred which opposition to i t s 28 favourite passions naturally excites in a mind like his." Thus- is the hatred of a v i l l a i n aroused or aggravated by a view of his inf e r i o r i t y in some respect. Similarly, the Duke de Luovo, having been refused by Jul i a , grows vehement in his determination not to be defeated by a mere woman: "His passions, inflamed by disappointment, and Udolpho,pp.. 216-7. 'castles, p. 3. 70 strengthened by repulse, now defied the power of obstacle; and those considerations which would have operated with a more delicate mind to overcome I t s o r i g i n a l i n c l i n a t i o n , served only to increase the violence of h i s . " 2 9 Such hatred often leads to revenge against the author of the v i l l a i n ' s embarrassment. Because h i s pride was hurt by Alleyn's escape the Baron Malcolm resolves to have revenge by submitting Alleyn's l o r d , Osbert, to the slow mental torture of awaiting his execution for an extended period. Schedoni i s s i m i l a r l y affected by V i v a l d i ' s accusing him while he i s at prayer: "That i n s u l t , which had pointed forth his hypocrisy, and r i d i c u l e d the solemn abstraction he assumed, had sunk deep i n his heart, and fermenting the direst)passions of his nature, 30 he meditated a t e r r i b l e revenge." Notice that t h i s example Involves the possible exposure of the v i l l a i n ' s g u i l t , not just to others, but to s e l f . One supreme evidence of the v i l l a i n s ' overwhelming pride i s his i n a b i l i t y to acknowledge his own g u i l t , p o t e n t i a l l y the facet of his character most demeaning to his i n f l a t e d self-esteem. Exposure means not only contempt and physical punishment but also constant s t i m u l i to shame. In the example above, Schedoni i s t e r r i f i e d by V i v a l d i ^ h i n t s concerning his 31 past crimes, and when, during the i n q u i s i t i o n t r i a l , father Giovanni' 29 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 28. 3 0 I t a l i a n , p. 109. 3 1 X oc. c i t . 71 32 testimony completes his exposure, he i s utterly mortified. And i t i s only with the utmost effort that he forces himself to admit his complicity in Ellena's case: "Schedoni...appeared almost to writhe 33 under the agony, which his mind i n f l i c t e d on him..." For the same reasons, the Marquis cannot face guilt at the Parisian court in The  Romance of the Forest and plots only how to avoid doing so. In fact, the thought of public exposure i s so painful to Schedoni and the Marquis de Montalt that when they are fi n a l l y threatened with i t , they commit suicide rather than live with the shame. L i t t l e wonder, then, that to accuse a v i l l a i n i s to arouse his most inveterate hatred and ferocity. Despite such reprehensible t r a i t s , the pride of Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s i s j u s t i f i e d to a certain malevolent extent, in that they possess a self-centered, pragmatic intelligence that her sympathetic characters lack, as we shall have occasion to note later. They are prepared to catch at every advantage of timing and preparation. The Baron Malcolm, for instance, finding himself by chance i n possession of Osbert at a time when he lusts after Mary, resolves to have her In ransom for her brother. The knowledge that led to his capture, i n fact, i s a matter of the Baron's astuteness in establishing spies in the enemy camp. In the same way, having recognised a potential threat, Gaston de Blondeville and the Prior rush forward their plans to destroy Italian, p. 364. 3Ibia: p. 393. 72 Woodreeve while the l a t t e r ' s chief defender i s away: "Neither the P r i o r , nor the Baron de Blondeville, augured w e l l to themselves from the Archbishop, seeing the manner i n which he had held himself towards them; and they sought, by a l l means, to have the prisoner disposed of, before the return of that powerful and i n t r e p i d prelate." Gaston's l a t e r fouling of an opponent at the tournament'is yet another S i m i l a r l y , the v i l l a i n s are a l l i n t e l l i g e n t and experienced enough to size up the characters of others less disingenuous than themselves and to use such weaknesses as they may f i n d to t h e i r own advantage. As early as A S i c i l i a n Romance, for example, Mrs. Radcliffe discusses Maria de Vellorno's control of the Marquis Mazzini i n terms of her using his shortcomings: "His passions were vehement, and she had the address to bend them to her own purpose; and so w e l l conceal her influence that he thought himself most independent when he was most 35 enslaved." Nor i s the pattern disused even i n Gaston de Blondeville, where we f i n d the P r i o r forcing his w i l l regarding Woodreeve on King Henry by preying on the royal jealousy of sovereignty. However, i t i s Schedoni, Mrs. Radcliffe's most developed and most i n t e l l i g e n t v i l l a i n ,who exhibits t h i s dangerous talent most c l e a r l y . From the f i r s t , he i s accorded an uncanny a b i l i t y to judge others; his eyes seem "to penetrate, at a single glance, into the hearts of men, 36 and to read t h e i r most secret thoughts." I t i s not surprising, then, a b i l i t y \ s e i z e any advantage and turn i t to account. 34 Gaston, I I , p. 146. 35 p. 2. 36 I t a l i a n , p. 35. 73 to find him neatly f i e l d i n g V i v a l d i ' s inferences concerning his association with the mysterious:-mdnk?6fTEalu2zi. V i v a l d i , having badgered Schedoni into inquiring what injury this monk has caused him, attempts to trap Schedoni: ""You w i l l observe, reverend father, , !"he says,"''that I have not said I am injured...If you know that I am, this must be by other means than by my words; I have not even expressed "37 resentment."" Schedoni i s ready, because he has measured Vi v a l d i ' s i n a b i l i t y to conceal emotion precisely: '"'When,''"he r e p l i e s , " ' ^ man i s vehement and disordered we usually are i n c l i n e d to suppose he feels resentment, and that he has cause of complaint, either r e a l or ,,i3'8 imaginary. Throughout the novel, moreover, he manipulates the Marchesa V i v a l d i with considerable s k i l l , when once he has correctly assessed her character: "He perceived that her passions were strong, her judgement weak; and he understood, that, i f circumstances should ever enable him to be serviceable i n promoting the end at which anyone 39 of those passions might aim, his fortune would be established." Consequently, when he i s grooming her i n order to create such an opportunity, "he knew that by f l a t t e r i n g her vanity, he was most l i k e l y to succeed. He praised her, therefore, for q u a l i t i e s he wished her to possess, encouraged her to reject general opinions by admiring as the symptoms of a superior understanding, the convenient morality upon which she had occasionally acted; and c a l l i n g sternness, j u s t i c e , 37 I t a l i a n , p. 51. Loc. c i t . 3 9 I b i d . , p. 227. 74 exalted that for strength of mind which was only callous i n s e n s i b i l i t y . " 4 ^ 41 Clara Mclntyre c a l l s his a b i l i t y at manipulation Iago-like, and her estimation i s j u s t . >C Obviously, the major technique of t h i s villanous cunning i s deceit, that a b i l i t y i n emotional disguises which the sympathetic characters can neither comprehend nor achieve. Because t h e i r ambitions are invariably criminal, many of Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s f i n d i t necessary to further t h e i r ends under a mask of v i r t u e , whether they are on the offensive or the defensive. For Gaston de Blondeville, for example, to exhibit any concern about the supernatural portents and temporal accusations which implicate him i n murder would be disastrous to his position at court and perhaps even to his l i f e . Thus, he makes every e f f o r t to hide his fear In gaiety, noble bearing, and, i n the case of 42 Woodreeve's charges, righteous indignation. Never do we f i n d great evidence of malignity i n his conduct, and even just before his r e t r i b u t i v e death he cuts an admirable figure as a knight. Likewise, Schedoni must approach the Marchesa with the appearance of her humble confessor, but she suspects his ambitious motives and rejects him. When he i s f i n a l l y t r i e d , he, l i k e the Marquis de Montalt before him, maintains a convincing appearance of indifference, "the hardihood of 43 atrocious v i c e , " right up u n t i l the moment when conclusive evidence ^ I t a l i a n , p. 111. 4 1"The Later Career of the Elizabethan V i l l a i n - Hero," PMLA, XI (1925), 876. 4 2See Gaston, I , pp. 118, 128. 4 3 I t a l i a n , p. 339. 75 of his g u i l t i s Introduced. Thus far does he protect himself by his wits. This subtle Intelligence, of course, only applies to i n t e l l i g e n t v i l l a i n s . The dull-brained thug, Spalatro, who i s Schedoni's accomplice, i s as incapable of deceit as any heroine, though the q u a l i t i e s he cannot hide bear no comparison. At the ruined v i l l a , his face gives away his plan of poisoning to Ellena: "She was struck with the expression of his countenance which exhibited a strange mixture of archness and malignity. He seemed congratulating himself upon his ingenuity, and 44 anticipating some observation of triumph..." Moreover, subtle powers of character manipulation and deceit appear only i n those v i l l a i n s who have something to hide as w e l l as to gain. They give way to b r u t a l i t y i n v i l l a i n s who have no reason to hide t h e i r s e l f i s h aims, and who have already achieved a large measure of 45 power over those they would coerce. Thus Mazzini, Montoni, and Baron Malcolm, a l l of whom are l o c a l r u l e r s , are the ones who threaten violence, lock wives and sons i n dungeons, and torture enemies with the p o s s i b i l i t y of execution out of revenge. Of course, t h i s very b r u t a l i t y i s based on a shrewd assessment of what they have power enough to get away with, but i t lacks, somehow, the touch of e v i l genius that characterizes Schedoni, the P r i o r , and to a lesser extent, Gaston de Blondeville and the Marquis de Montalt. 44 I t a l i a n , p. 216. 45 Of course, while Mazzini i s s t i l l trying to hide the secret of his imprisoned wife, he manipulates the superstitions fears of his servants and family to keep them away from the south buildings. But more of that l a t e r . 76 In any case, the leading malefactors of a l l Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels show considerable a b i l i t y i n manipulating a f f a i r s to t h e i r own ends, and i t i s fortunate that, i n accordance with the moral nature of her f i c t i o n a l world, t h e i r designs cannot p r e v a i l . Sometimes, admittedly the v i l l a i n s are stumped merely by the l i m i t s of human reason. On two occasions, f o r example, Schedoni cannot, t r y as he may, come up with p l a u s i b l e excuses to explain h i s e r r a t i c behaviour i n pursuit of ambition. Shortly a f t e r stopping short of Ellena's murder, he can think of nothing to c l a r i f y h i s conduct toward her: "The circumstances of the l a t e discovery were almost perpetually recurring to h i s a f f r i g h t e d conscience, accompanied by a fear that E l l e n a might suspect the r e a l purpose of h i s midnight v i s i t ; and he a l t e r n a t e l y formed and rejected p l a u s i b l e falsehoods, that might assuage her c u r i o s i t y , and delude her apprehension.' Later, when he must face her with the news of Ellena's s u r v i v a l , he has s i m i l a r d i f f i c u l t y with the Marchesa: "He was ruminating upon an excuse to be offered the Marchesa, which might be s u f f i c i e n t both to assuage her disappointment and b a f f l e her c u r i o s i t y , and he could not, at present, f a b r i c a t e one that might soothe her resentment, without r i s k of betraying 47 h i s s ecret." Occasionally, very occasionally, the v i l l a i n i s also thwarted by the circumspection of h i s v i c t i m , when the P r i o r , f o r instance, comes f o r Woodreeve i n h i s c e l l at Kenilworth, h i s pretense of being a confessor sent i n the King's name i s not enough to gain him I t a l i a n , p. 246. I t a l i a n , p. 257. 77 entry, for the circumstances of the incident arouse Woodreeve1s fear and suspicion. For the most part, however, i t i s the vehemence of the v i l l a i n s ' own s e l f i s h passions that undermines his d e c e i t f u l plans and exposes his viciousness to a l l and sundry. Very often, despite his e f f o r t s to the contrary, the force of his passions or his g u i l t y fear as a result of them, i s so strong as to preclude disguise, and he undermines his deceptions by doing or saying the wrong thing at the wrong moment. In The Romance of the Forest, for instance, the Marquis de Montalt, once he-has imprisoned Adeline i n his palace of pleasure, t r i e s the urbane pleadings of a courtly lover on her, but gradually the facade of c i v i l i z a t i o n deteriorates into 48 savagery as she r e s i s t s his seductive persuasions." Schedoni, too,is frequently unable to control himself i n times of c r i s i s , as i n his nervous and desperate attempt to answer Ellena's suspicion of his involvement with the Marchesa: "'Informed of the Marchesa's designs I' said Schedoni, with embarrassment and displeasure: 'Have you ever imagined that I could be accessory - that I could consent to a s s i s t , I mean, could consent to be a confidant of such atrocious' - Schedoni, bewildered, confounded, and half betrayed, checked himself.'"' He i s so f e a r f u l that his g u i l t w i l l be betrayed and his hopes dashed, that he almost exposes himself. Later on, Schedoni becomes apprehensive of the Intentions of the peasant, t h e i r guide, i n view of hints that the See pp. 288-9. I t a l i a n , p. 267. 78 peasant has l e t drop; i n the course of interrogating him, however, he becomes so intent on turning the peasant's mind away from Spalatro's crimes that he reveals unwittingly that he knows more of them himself than he w i l l admit.^ The process by which we and the characters of Gaston de Blondeville become apprised of Gaston's c u l p a b i l i t y i s a series of s i m i l a r lapses on his part. His .actingsthe?.jpypussbridegroom at the revels that precede his wedding soon breaks down, for instance, and everyone sees that something i s wrong when his preoccupation with Woodreeve's charges causes him to break the decorum of the assembly - "He stood apart looking on, and, when her Highness spoke to him, he seemed nigh::senseless of the honour.""'1 Later, he betrays such emotion at Pierre's ballad, which preserves some of the d e t a i l s of his: crimes, that many present, and the readers as w e l l , scruple "not to think the story touched him 52 nearly," and, when Wood'reeve-accuses the P r i o r of wearing the locket and chain of a murdered man, "my Lord of York observed the chain to tremble i n i t s holder's [Gaston's] hand, and believed, that Woodreeve 53 had spoken the truth." More than i n words and actions, however, the v i l l a i n s ' r e a l feelings find most powerful expression i n t h e i r faces,despite t h e i r e f f o r t s to 50 I t a l i a n , pp. 278-9. ^*T, p. 146; S i m i l a r l y , he mopes about at his own wedding feast ( I I , p. 21-2) to the displeasure of the court. 52 • I , p. 172. 53 J I I , p. 270. 79 deceive. Thus, when, early i n the examination of Woodreeve, Gaston de Blondeville l i e s to account for the man said to have been murdered, "though his words were strong and s u f f i c i e n t , they beheld i n his countenance 54 paleness and consternation," and every time that the ghost interrupts the royal ceremonies, i t i s only Gaston who changes countenance at i t s presence, for everyone else takes i t for a human interloper. By the time Woodreeve i s t r i e d for supposed witchcraft i n Volume Two, we, along with the Archbishop of York and much of the court, h e a r t i l y d i s t r u s t Gaston i n the l i g h t of a l l h i s c r u c i a l s l i p s . Schedoni, too, being moved by passions and fears of s i m i l a r extent, has s i m i l a r d i f f i c u l t y i n hiding t h e i r expression i n his countenance, though his errors are only momentary, marking the i n t e r v a l between the shock of some int e l l i g e n c e and the reaction of his e v i l i n t e l l i g e n c e i n trying to hide his response. In his f i r s t confrontation with V i v a l d i at the Marchesa's chambers for example, Vi v a l d i ' s charges reveal a chink i n his smooth armour of deception. I t i s only an instantaneous exposure, but i n i t , V i v a l d i "beheld a man, whose passions might impel him to the perpetration of almost any crime, how hideous so ever.""'"' Only when Schedoni knows he i s t o t a l l y exposed does his mask s l i p completely, however, and by then i t i s too l a t e . Nevertheless, his reaction to the evidence i s f i n a l confirmation of his g u i l t : " V i v a l d i , whose attention was now Gaston: /, I, p. 120. I t a l i a n , p. 51. 80 fixed upon Schedoni, observed a l i v i d hue overspread his complexion, and.that his eyes were averted from t h i s extraordinary person with horror.""'*' The shock "and dismay of Schedoni were too powerful for concealment."^ 7 Montoni, i n The Mysteries of Udolpho, even betrays himself by the quality of his natural expressions. When Emily f i r s t meets him, she notices that "sometimes the deep workings of his mind e n t i r e l y abstracted him from surrounding objects, and threw a gloom over his visage that rendered i t t e r r i b l e ; at others, his eyes seemed almost to flash f i r e , and a l l the energies of his soul appeared to be roused 58 for some great enterprise." These glowing coals amid the glowering darkness of the rest of his face are obvious warnings of his viciousness. In addition to exposing them to the reader and to t h e i r fellow characters, the force of the v i l l a i n s ' passions also thwarts them by in t e r f e r i n g with t h e i r a b i l i t y to reason. As La Luc succinctly points out, "a bad heart and a t r u l y philosophic head, have never yet been 59 united i n the same i n d i v i d u a l . ' Such erroneous conclusions as they reach by means of th i s specious r a t i o n a l i t y leads them into self-deception and dangerous mistakes i n action. The evidence of t h e i r unreason i s f a i r l y clear. In the pursuit of s e l f i s h ends, f o r example, two of Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s attempt " ^ I t a l i a n , p. 344. 5 7 I b i d . , p. 362. C O Udolpho, p. 192. 59 Forest, p. 319. 81 to j u s t i f y murder by means of specious philosophy of the type which both La Luc and St. Aubert abhor: "When the Marquis de Montalt tempts La Motte to e v i l he does so by means of the subversive tenets of the 'new philosophy', the r e l a t i v i t y of right and wrong, and the exemption of the strong s p i r i t from the laws which control and support the weak."^ Schedoni uses s i m i l a r p r i n c i p l e s , a l l i e d to a standard of j u s t i c e defined by class to persuade the Marchesa that "death only can o b l i v i a t e the degradation she has occasioned; her death alone can restore the 61 o r i g i n a l splendour of the l i n e she would have s u l l i e d . " On both these, occasions, the v i l l a i n s are pressuring figures who, r e l a t i v e to themselves, are d u l l witted, so the incidents could be considered simple examples of cunning deception were i t not also true that the v i l l a i n s themselves think and act on s i m i l a r principles derived from a passion-clouded reason. Schedoni i s s t i l l the best example; when his brother cuts off the stipend he consistently squanders,his perverted reason suggests a j u s t i f i c a t i o n for f r a t r i c i d e based on evidence provided by his passions: " I t i s certain that Schedoni, terming the necessary prudence of d i Bruno to be meanness and cold i n s e n s i b i l i t y to the comforts of others, suffered f u l l as much resentment towards him from system, as he did from passion, though the meanness and i n s e n s i b i l i t y he imagined i n his brother's character were...real t r a i t s of his own..l.V"DZ ^Tompkins, Novel, p. 251. ^ I t a l i a n , p. 168. 62 I t a l i a n , p. 360 [my i t a l i c s ] 82 S i m i l a r l y , his actions are reasoned from false premises based on a view of the world distorted by passion. At the t r i a l , "Schedoni was somewhat surprised at t h i s apparent candour of V i v a l d i towards himself, but accustomed to impute an e v i l motive to a l l conduct, which he could not cl e a r l y comprehend, he did not scruple to believe, that some latent 6 3 mischief was directed against h i m . N o r can simple truth e x i s t , i n h is jaundiced outlook: "he seldom perceived truth when i t lay on the surface; he could follow I t through a l l the labyrinths of d i s q u i s i t i o n , but overlooked i t , when i t was undisguised before him. In fa c t , he cared not for t r u t h , nor sought i t by bold and broad argument, but loved to exert the wily cunning of his nature i n hunting i t through a r t i f i c i a l 64 pe r p l e x i t i e s . " By a f a l l a c i o u s analogy with himself, moreover, he denies goodness i n human nature: "He regarded V i v a l d i as a rash boy, who was swayed only by his passions; but while he suffered deep resent-ment for the e v i l i n his character, he f e l t neither respect nor kindness for the good, the s i n c e r i t y , the love of j u s t i c e , the generosity, which threw a b r i l l i a n c y even on his f o i b l e s . Schedoni, indeed, only saw e v i l i n human nature."*'"' Ultimately, Schedoni's perversion of reason results i n s e l f deception and error. Though he recognized f l a t t e r y , he f a i l s to r e s i s t i t : "While he detected her meaning, and persuaded himself that he despised the f l a t t e r y , with which she so t h i n l y v e i l e d i t [her order for Ellena's ^ I t a l i a n , p. 337. ^ I b i d . , p. 34. ^ I b i d . , p. 52. 83 murder], unconsciously suffered his self-love to be soothed by the 66 compliment." Nor i s he capable of an objective s e l f examination, as the protagonists usually are. After discovering his error i n attempting El l e n a 1 s murder, he looks, agonized, upon his g u i l t , i n search of i t s o r i g i n , "but the subtlety of se l f - l o v e s t i l l eluded his enquiries, and he did not detect that pride was even at t h i s instant of self-examination, and of c r i t i c a l import, the master-spring of his mind."*'7 In fact, a l l the values he does cherish, viewed r a t i o n a l l y , make him a f o o l ; "While he confounded delicacy of feel i n g with f a t u i t y of mind, taste with caprice, and imagination with error, he yielded, when he most congratulated himself on hi s sagacity, to I l l u s i o n s not less egregrious, because they were less b r i l l i a n t , than those which are incident to sentiment and 68 f e e l i n g . . " Ultimately, moreover, t h i s f o o l i s h self-deception and errors i n character appraisal such as that mentioned above (n. 65) lead him to his own destruction i n the In q u i s i t i o n . Now, since they are motivated by s i m i l a r passions, and since t h e i r actions i n the pursuit of those passions are analogous, we might with reasonable safety Imply a s i m i l a r lack of reason i n a l l Mrs. Radcliffe's other v i l l a i n s ; indeed, many have l e f t us with revealing examples of the i r thought, or lack of i t , to back up th i s surmise. The Marquis de Montalt's philosophy we have already mentioned, so here i s the ^ I t a l i a n , p. 176. 6 7 I b i d . , p. 225. 68, 3I b i d . , p. 289. 84 Marchesa d i V i v a l d i , sounding for a l l the world l i k e Lady Macbeth complaining of her husband's scruples: '"'He has the fau l t s of a mind which i s merely w e l l disposed; he i s destitute of the discernment and the energy which would make i t great. I f i t i s necessary to adopt a conduct, that departs i n the smallest degree from those common rules of morality which he has cherished, without examining them, from his infancy, he i s shocked, and shrinks from action."" S i m i l a r l y , Montoni's low opinion of women i s based on fa l l a c i o u s medieval prejudices, even by eighteenth century standards. 7^ Madame Montoni, of course, gives l i t t l e evidence to refute i t ; she i s so proud that she cannot recognize her own best interests and continues to oppose him when such opposition w i l l only lead, as i t does, to f a t a l consequences as a result of his power.7^" In Mrs. Radcliffe's f i r s t v i l l a i n , Baron Malcolm, the passions even succeed i n so completely d e b i l i t a t i n g the reason as to prevent his taking action. When Alleyn escapes from Castle Dunbayne, Malcolm i s so overcome by c o n f l i c t i n g passions, he can establish no viable course, not even of revenge^for some time: "Such i s the alternate violence of e v i l passions that they never suffer t h e i r subjects to act with consistency, but, torn by c o n f l i c t i n g energies, the g r a t i f i c a t i o n of one propensity i s destruction to the enjoyment of another, and i n the moment i n which they imagine happiness i n th e i r grasp, i s to them 72 the moment of disappointment." 6 9 I t a l i a r i , p. 172. 70 See Udolpho, p. 270. 7•Udolpho, p. 282. 72 Castles, p. 76. 85 Thus, increasingly i n Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, do her v i l l a i n s expose and undermine themselves. Her f i r s t v i l l a i n s , Malcolm, or Mazzini, for example, tend to be self-declared and crudely b r u t a l , yet even so, they f a l l , i r o n i c a l l y , as a res u l t of t h e i r own e v i l passions and acts. With her l a t e r miscreants comes a far greater complexity and subtlety of the same motif. In so far as they go to great lengths to appear virtuous while t h e i r plots become more devious and subtle, they make a progressively greater impact on the reader as t h e i r every design i s somehow blocked or contributes act i v e l y to t h e i r f i n a l demise. The i r o n i c , self-defeating aspect of v i l l a i n y i n Mrs. Radcliffe's novels at once contributes to Mrs. Radcliffe's negative recommendation concerning i t , j u s t i f i e s the ordered, moral nature of the external cosmos she creates, and therefore reinforces the a r t i s t i c unity her works represent. This discussion of s e l f i s h passion and punishment should not be l e f t to imply, however, that Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s are t o t a l l y depraved. On the contrary, i n accordance with the duality of f a l l e n mankind, a l l of them exhibit some virtue or conscience, be i t ever so microscopic and unmitigating. A l l of them, for example, with the exception of Maria de Vellorno,Montoni, and the P r i o r , who die off-stage where t h e i r commentary i s inaudible, undergo some sort of deathbed repentance which they communicate to those around them. Gaston de Blondeville and the Marquis de Montalt vary the pattern somewhat; the former returns as a s p i r i t to expiate, while the l a t t e r leaves a repentant suicide note. Some, moreover, have an occasional shining moment under less f e a r f u l circumstance's. The Marchesa d i V i v a l d i , for 86 instance, at least has scruples about ordering Ellena's murder. "Her mind was not yet f a m i l i a r with atrocious g u i l t ; and the crime which Schedoni had suggested, somewhat alarmed her. She feared to think, and 73 s t i l l more to name i t . . . ." Conscience even moves i n the d u l l brain of Spalatro, who, having been plagued by hallucinations of his victims, 74 w i l l not k i l l Ellena. S i m i l a r l y , Mazzini, when his wife begs' his''pity, suffers at the thought of his murdering her; "his mind was not yet s u f f i c i e n t l y hardened by g u i l t to repel the arrows of conscience, and his imagination responded to her power."7"' The Marquis de Montalt, too, i s plagued by his conscience on the night he stays at the abbey wherein he murdered his brother, 7*' and when he has La Motte arrested i n revenge for aiding Adeline, he "directed one of his servants to procure a carriage from Auboine, that Madame La Motte ...might follow her 77 husband" - a singular b i t of gallantry. However, Mrs. Radcliffe would explain these s l i g h t gestures at v i r t u e as a device to heighten our awareness of her v i l l a i n s ' e v i l by contrast. Of de Montalt, for example, she says " his character's ...nicer shades were blended with some shining t i n t s ; but these served only to render more s t r i k i n g , by contrast, the 78 general darkness of the p o r t r a i t . " Conscience, furthermore, i s part 7 3 I t a l i a n , p. 169. 7 A I b i d . , p. 232. 75 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 70. 7^Forest, p. 407. 7 7 I b i d . , p. 282. 7 8 I b i d . , p. 406. 87 of every soul in terms of the traditional Christian concepts she appears to embrace in her novels. Yet, whatever the cause, most of the v i l l a i n s ' saving graces are so miniscule in relation to their crimes that we are not materially encouraged to regard them with sympathy. Only two of her v i l l a i n s so strongly exhibit latent sensibility, conscience, and virtue amid their crimes that they become sympathetic figures in the eyes of the reader. As Fred Garber has noted in passing, "When a bad character does show qualms and trepidation, he i s on his way to becoming sympathetic, as in the case of La Motte, in The Romance 79 of the Forest, and Schedoni in The Italian." Schedoni and La Motte are somewhat cognate with Milton's Satan, whose f a l l and suffering are poignantly portrayed and tend to s o l i c i t emotional sympathy; to these two we come far closer than to their colleagues, for the others are viewed almost exclusively from without, in terms of their actions and immediate motives. La Motte, because he repents earlier treachery and bravely moves to save Adeline despite the consequences, becomes almost wholly the object of our condescending sympathy and approbation. That he is different from other Radcliffian v i l l a i n s becomes apparent when we learn that he is not vicious out of pride, but only from self-indulgent weakness: "He was a man whose passions often overcame his reason, and f.or a time silenced his conscience; but, though the image of virtue, Ttfhich nature had Impressed upon his heart, was sometimes obscured by 79 , . p. ix. 88 the passing influence of vifce, i t was never wholly o b l i t e r a t e d . With strength of mind s u f f i c i e n t to have withstood temptation, he would have passion to d i s s i p a t i o n - and from d i s s i p a t i o n to v i c e ; but having once touched the borders of infamy, the progressive steps followed each other f a s t , and he now saw himself the pander of a v i l l a i n , and the betrayer of an Innocent g i r l , whom every plea of j u s t i c e and humanity c a l l e d upon 81 him to protect." Of course, part of t h i s weakness i s a great t i m i d i t y , which, compared to the courage of the hero Theodore, or the b l u s t e r i n g menace of the r e a l v i l l a i n , Montalt, i s so great, he often appears a p i t i a b l e f i g u r e . Our f i r s t impression of him, at the mysterious house outside P a r i s , i s one of a quavering coward. He i s t e r r i f i e d by the surmise that h i s abductors intend to rob and murder him - he takes l i t t l e heed f or h i s wife, and " a f t e r revolving every p o s s i b i l i t y of escape, he endeavoured to await the event with f o r t i t u d e ; but La Motte could boast of no such 82 v i r t u e . " Later, he decides to hide h i s family from i n t e r l o p e r s i n the Abbey dungeons, but i n so deciding, " s e l f i s h prudence was more 83 conspicuous than tender anxiety f o r h i s wife," and when they are been a good man... I I 80 His progress i n t o e v i l has been led on by 80 Forest, p. 4. 81 Ibi d 247. ., p. 82 ,, i b ' i d ; . ^p . "7 . v -83 Ib i d . , p. 67. 89 interrupted, he runs away to hide, leaving his female charges 84 unprotected. Furthermore, i t i s fear f o r himself that persuades him to co-operate with the Marquis i n the attempts on Adeline's v i r t u e and l i f e . Only the extremities of t h i s fear can occasionally force him, with limited success,into expressions that are more t y p i c a l l y villanous i n th e i r violence or deceit. When, for example, he attempts to fabricate a "plausible falsehood" to explain to his wife and Adeline his peculiar relationship to the Marquis, he succeeds only i n arousing greater surprise 85 and c u r i o s i t y . But at least he i s able, at the height of his terror of the Marquis, to silence his wife's speculations: '"'Bury your surmise i n your own bosom, as you would avoid my curse and my d e s t r u c t i o n . 1 " 8 ^ Yet he i s never so extreme a v i l l a i n as most of Mrs. Radcliffe's malefactors, The reason i s , of course, that he does have scruples and f i n e r feelings In greater abundance than the others, a moral reserve that eventually leads to his r e h a b i l i t a t i o n . There are numerous occasions before the r e a l test of his character that indicate that he has much of the s e n s i b i l i t y which Mrs. Radcliffe requires of her sympathetic figures. In the f i r s t place, for instance, his humanity i s s u f f i c i e n t to prevent him from abandoning Adeline, to him merely a sick g i r l thrust on him by others, i n favour of a faster f l i g h t from the authorities. 8 4 F o r e s t , p. 104. 8 5 I b i d . , p. 112. 86 'i b i d . , p. 144. 90 In f a c t , he receives the news of her fever and exhaustion "with r e a l concern - The beauty and innocence of Adeline had overcome the disad-vantageous circumstances under which she had been introduced to him, and he now gave less consideration to the inconvenience she might 87 hereafter occasion him, than to the hope" of her recovery." Later, 88 he comes to appreciate and give thanks for her "amiable disp o s i t i o n , " and when she offers to go forth into the abbey to fi n d out who has entered, 89 he i s deeply moved by her s a c r i f i c e to him. In addition, i t i s out of regard f o r his l i t t l e family that he cannot bear the thought of 90 fleeing the abbey on horseback, and the thought of his weaknesses ^ consistently 91 f i l l s him with remorse. I t i s certainly not implausible, then, that, though he i s at f i r s t s t i l l prepared to take part i n the Marquis' designs, t h e i r extent eventually shocks him into repentance and new moral strength. When Adeline i s f i r s t returned to the abbey, "instead of employing his mind upon the means of saving Adeline from destruction, he endeavoured' only to l u l l the pangs of conscience, and to persuade himself into a b e l i e f that he must proceed i n the course he had begun. He knew himself to 92 be i n the power of the Marquis, and he dreaded that power... ." 87 Forest, p. 16. 8 8 I b i d . , p. 55. 8 9 I b i d . , p. 76. 9 ^ I b i d . , p. 64. 9 1See I b i d . , pp. 260, 374. 9 2 I b i d . , p. 247. 91 When, however, he has been shocked with the r e a l i z a t i o n that the Marquis contemplates murder,"he...saw before him an abyss of g u i l t which s t a r t l e d 93 even the conscience that so long had slumbered." From that point, his repentance i s j u s t a matter of time; though he goes half heartedly to her room as ordered, the sight of her innocence and the sound of her unknowingly appropriate supplication for his p i t y shock him into hi s f i r s t act of repentant v i r t u e , her release, "one of those sudden impulses of humanity which sometimes operate even upon the most depraved 94 hearts." From that point on, despite his continued t i m i d i t y , and weakness, he attracts our concern i n his sufferings as the saviour of the heroine. When he leaves at the end of the book for a secluded e x i l e , his conscience pained by Adeline's thanking him for the opportunity of escape, he goes with our blessing and a hint that his l i f e w i l l be, i n 95 future, reformed. Schedoni, too, encourages our sympathetic interest through his pa i n f u l burden of g u i l t and the "inchoate paternal passions he displays towards Ellena." 9** Like La Motte, Schedoni i s shocked by the potential extent of his g u i l t , and twice refrains from murdering Ellena. On the f i r s t occasion, she has fainted before him on the beach near Spalatro's 93 Forest, p. 268. 94 I b i d . , p. 277. 9 5 I b i d . , p. 402. 9^Garber, p. x i i i . 92 v i l l a : "As he gazed upon her helpless form, he became agitated. He qui t t e d i t , and traversed the beach i n short turns, and with hasty steps; came back again, and bent over i t - h i s heart seemed sensible 97 to some touch of p i t y . " There follows a see-saw b a t t l e between v i r t u e and expediency i n h i s mind, one of Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s best incidents of suspense, i n which he eventually y i e l d s to v i r t u e , but not without "shame 98 and indignation against himself" f o r doing so. Later, he i s able to order Spalatro to carry out the act, but when once again he finds that he must be the murderer, the pangs of conscience again begin to unnerve him: Spalatro resigned h i s s t i l e t t o , and threw the cloak again over h i s arm. The Confessor stepped to the door, and, t r y i n g to open i t , 'It i s fastened!' s a i d he i n alarm, 'Some person has got i n t o the house - i t i s fastened!' "That w e l l may be, Signor,' r e p l i e d Spalatro, calmly, 'for I saw you b o l t i t yourself a f t e r I came in t o the room.' 'True,' said Schedoni, recovering himself, 'that i s true.' 99 Not even the wine he gulps can preserve him from "severe emotion" on approaching Ellena's room. In the scene which follows, u n i v e r s a l l y acknowledged as the emotional climax of the book, he repeatedly moves to stab E l l e n a , examining h i s motives as he goes, repeatedly cannot bring himself to do i t , and f i n a l l y f a l l s i n t o a stupour of shocked g r i e f and conscience on discovering her to be h i s daughter. I t a l i a n , p. 223. I b i d . , p. 224. I b i d . , p. 231. 93 I t i s the emotional pain he experiences as a result of this discovery that most encourages our sympathy. Time and again, he i s lost i n horror and remorse at the thought of his plan: "...When he considered that t h i s very Spalatro, whom Ellena had with such s i m p l i c i t y supposed to have, at some time, spared a l i f e through p i t y , had i n truth spared her own, and, yet more, had been eventually a means of preventing him from destroying his own c h i l d , the confessor turned i n horror from his designs... . n 1 ^ S i m i l a r l y , when he must face the Marchesa, he experiences t e r r i b l e emotional pain. When she demands knowledge of his success, he raises his eyes to her, but quickly looks away - "indignation had l i f t e d them, and disgust and s t i f l e d horror turned them away."1^1 At f i r s t , he seems, genuinely repentant of i n f a n t i c i d e , and we p i t y him that he has no means of unburdening himself to his daughter. However, for a l l the power and anguish of his suffering, Schedoni never wins the complete forgiveness, i n terms of the novel, or i n the readers' eyes for that matter, that La Motte does. Mrs. Radcliffe points out, for instance, that he spares Ellena out of i n s t i n c t , not ra t i o n a l repentance of past crimes, and even i f we refuse to accept such a gl i b explanation, we have to admit that his new found virtue extends only to one p a r t i c u l a r crime, unlike La Motte's repentance, which leads him to face, a l b e i t i n t e r r i f i e d despair, the consequences of a l l his previous misdemeanours. So unrepentant i s Schedoni of a l l his other I t a l i a n , p. 267. Ib i d . , p. 293. 94 sins that he attempts to deny them a l l i n the court of the I n q u i s i t i o n . Moreover, ho sooner has he recoiled from murdering Ellena than her importance as a daughter becomes a poor second to her value as a means, through marriage to V i v a l d i , to his s e l f i s h and arrogant ends. Thus, Schedoni, though the attempted murder causes him much pain, gives up neither the pride nor the appetites that led him to contemplate I t , and remains throughout the novel a powerful, i n t e r e s t i n g , yet reprehensible figure of e v i l . Most of Mrs. Radcliffe's c r i t i c s , then, have both over and under estimated the stature of her v i l l a i n y . those who see l i t t l e more i n e a r l i e r gothic f i c t i o n than sensationalism can reduce him to a mere adjunct of the heroine's psychology, the necessary and affective cause 102 of her fears. At the opposite extreme, those who treat Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s and t h e i r world symbolically as a celebration of the power of i r r a t i o n a l e v i l i n the face of a r a t i o n a l l y conceived world view make him a figure only quantitatively removed from Ambrosio, Melmoth, or 103 Heathcliff. Actually, the v i l l a i n s of Mrs. Radcliffe's works l i e s between these two estimates. He i s more than a mere machine to frighten the heroine, though admittedly he holds that function as w e l l . He i s a character i n his own r i g h t , whose passion-ridden l i f e and death provide the bad notes on the scale of human worth i n Mrs. Radcliffe's novels. This i s not to argue that he i s complex, but since he has a violent emotional l i f e See, for example, Evans, p. 9. See, for example, Hart, pp. 88, 98. 95 of considerable colour, he i s perhaps less f l a t i n p r o f i l e than most of his counterparts In the contemporary f i c t i o n of an age i n which the didactic function of popular l i t e r a t u r e was s t i l l a central issue, and i n which, as a r e s u l t , authors tended to produce embodiments of moral attitudes rather than attempt the p o r t r a i t s of i n f i n i t e l y complex human psyches. Certainly, Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n has a great deal more l i f e and interest than a mere cypher of the p l o t . However, he also remains l e s s , on the other hand, than the sublimely shocking figure of Promethean e v i l that some fi n d him to be. In the f i r s t place, unlike the figure of primal e v i l , he does not stand defiantly outside the moral world, but rather within i t , as a s e l f -condemning example of v i c e , against which vi r t u e may be measured. He rea l i z e s he i s e v i l ; he w i l l s his e v i l ; i n f a c t , he i s a " s o c i a l v i l l a i n " , but he i s i n no way shallow,simply because he has been created on the basis of those t r a d i t i o n a l Christian concepts of depravity, w i l l , conscience, and Grace which structure Mrs. Radcliffe's cosmos. Nor i s he unreal because he i s part of a f i c t i o n a l world whose ultimate morality leads him, i r o n i c a l l y , t o contribute to his humiliation and destruction by means of h i s own e v i l acts. A character so constituted i n such a world can never achieve the mysterious a t t r a c t i o n of Ambrosio, a r c h - v i l l a i n of The Monk. Because i n the terms of his own world and psychological make-up he remains s o c i a l l y culpable for h i s crimes, he gains l i t t l e or none of our sympathy unless he repents. The g u i l t of his successors, on the other hand, i s shrouded i n moral doubt which allows us to excuse, at least to 96 an extent, t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l actions. Fred Garber st r i k e s a s i g n i f i c a n t contrast between Schedoni and Ambrosio i n t h i s regard: "Schedoni's pride," he says, "had driven him to Machiavellian manipulations and, before the events of the book, to f r a t r i c i d e . However shocking the l a t t e r , these are a l l the acknowledged, public, expected sins of the v i l l a i n , sins which he had consciously chosen to commit and could presumably have chosen not to, had he so w i l l e d . Ambrosio, though, who has already realized the public reputation that Schedoni has not yet perfected, becomes the vi c t i m of bottled up lusts brought to f r u i t i o n by a demon i n human d i s g u i s e . " 1 ^ 4 Moreover, the R a d c l i f f i a n v i l l a i n s are satanic only i n a t r a d i t i o n a l , l i t e r a r y sense; they are men, rather than preternatural embodiments of e v i l . Aside from dark and glowering looks, which are to be found on the faces of nearly a l l her malefactors, only Schedoni, again, i s accorded demonic q u a l i t i e s with any consistency, and even he remains a worldly, p l o t t e r for self-aggrandizement, unlike Ambrosio: "The v i l l a i n s do not... share the same si n s , and that t h i s point of divergence, the monks of Lewis and Mrs. Radcliffe reveal an ultimate difference i n outlook. Schedoni wants power and status (and the wealth that comes with them), but Ambrosio's passions are self-destructive and have no other goal 104 p. x i i . 1 0 ^ I n The I t a l i a n , (p. 34), we learn "there was something t e r r i b l e i n . . . h is figure's a i r ; something almost superhuman"; on p. 110, "he resembled a spectre rather than a 'human being'"; on p. 175, his appearance makes the Marchesa s t a r t , as at a ghost; and on p. 402, the pattern culminates i n his cry of ; phy-rric v i c t o r y , "so strange and ho r r i b l e , so convulsed, yet so loud, so exalting, yet so unlike any human voice..." 97 than immediate g r a t i f i c a t i o n . " ^ * ' We are not forced to recognize i n a R a d c l i f f i a n v i l l a i n an abyss of e v i l within ourselves; because he remains culpable i n terms of his f i c t i o n a l world, he remains representative of currents i n human nature which we do, or recognize that we should exclude from our own thought and behaviour. Garber, p. x i i . CHAPTER 4 THE ISSUES OF CHARACTER: THE SYMPATHETIC CHARACTERS AND EMOTIONAL CONTROL Just as Mrs. Radcliffe's v i l l a i n s , In accordance with t h e i r roles i n Mrs. Radcliffe's f i c t i o n a l cosmos, exhibit boundless cruelty and aesthetic i n s e n s i b i l i t y which alienate them from i t and leads to t h e i r downfall, so the sympathetic characters of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels distinguish themselves, i n contrast, by t h e i r a b i l i t y to appreciate the basic harmony and j u s t i c e of the universe and to f i t themselves to i t by means of aesthetic s e n s i t i v i t y , moral s e n s i b i l i t y , and benevolence, i n the manner of contemporary novels of sentiment. Their aspirations and l i m i t a t i o n s , too, complement and follow the coherent thematic pattern that marks Mrs. Radcliffe's work. In the f i r s t place, a l l her heroes and heroines exhibit a taste for the arts that suggests a love of those aesthetic pr i n c i p l e s on which creation i s based i n her novels. A l l are musical; heroine and hero al i k e are comforted by playing or l i s t e n i n g to instruments. J u l i a , Emily, and Adeline, for instance, a l l play the lute . S i m i l a r l y , Valancourt i s an accomplished musician and even St. Aubert relaxes with an oboe.''' S i m i l a r l y , they possess a b i l i t y and judgement i n the graphic For the sake of brevity, I s h a l l not give i n d i v i d u a l references for each character. I t i s s u f f i c i e n t , I hope, to say that they may be found engaged i n these a c t i v i t i e s at least once i n the course of t h e i r respective novels. 98 arts. J u l i a paints, for example, while Adeline and Emily draw. In addition, J u l i a , Emilia, and Madame de Menon are described as cultivating, 2 conversation, in the eighteenth century manner, as an art, while both St. Aubert and Count V i l l e f o r t exhibit a virtuoso-like regard of the natural and human history of a region which borders on aesthetic appreciation rather than s c i e n t i f i c analysis. But most important of these aesthetic interests i s poetry, which many sympathetic figures both write and appreciate. J u l i a often retires with a volume of Tasso, while at Leleoncourt,. La Luc's retreat, Adeline 3 finds great pleasure in "the better English poets," Milton and Shakespeare. Similarly, Emily St. Aubert often retires to her room at La Vallee to read verse; Valancourts rustic apartment i s f i l l e d with volumes of Homer, Horace, and Petrarch; Ellena finds r e l i e f in the poetry Olivia brings to her convent c e l l ; and even Baroness Barbara de Blondeville, a character l i t t l e developed i n Gaston de Blondeville, though she enjoys the attributes of a typical heroine, listens raptly to the songs of the court minstrels. Moreover, nearly a l l the characters mentioned above compose verse as well. In part, this poetical bent was a sine qua non of literary fashion. "A taste for introspective verse was an almost invariable accompaniment of sensibility. Every heroine possessed a copy of Thomson's Seasons, and the story of Lavinia in Autumn was found deeply affecting. Sombre reflections from Youngs Night Thoughts (1742-45) are S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 3. 3 • Forest, p. 308 [a fine b i t of eighteenth century British. nationalism]. 99 often quoted chapter mottoes." 4 Yet the characters' p o e t i c a l i n t e r e s t s i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels have much more s i g n i f i c a n c e than mere convention. The f a c t that her sympathetic characters are so attracted to the beauty, harmony, and noble thought of poetry or are so moved by some subject to write upon i t i n d i c a t e s , i n the context of Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s f i c t i o n a l world, a laudable s e n s i t i v i t y to both moral and aesthetic p r i n c i p l e s which, as we have seen, are ultimately Divine."' Of course, t h i s s e n s i t i v i t y i s revealed d i r e c t l y i n t h e i r constant appreciation of Divine aesthetics, benevolence,and j u s t i c e i n the forms of the universe. Much of the d e s c r i p t i o n i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels that p o s i t s God as creator of n a t u r a l harmony, beauty, and sublimity i s , as we have seen, i n terms of a sympathetic characters response to what he sees. And even on the countless occasions when Vie.ty i s not a c t u a l l y involved, a character's appreciative response to nature i s s t i l l a sure sign of a good heart and p r i n c i p l e s . Because, f o r example, "the serenity Edith Birkhead, "Sentiment and S e n s i b i l i t y i n the Eighteenth Century Novel", Essays and Studies of the English Association, XI, 101. A l l the poems mentioned i n t h i s quotation occur as chapter mottoes i n Udolpho. "*I should note In passing, moreover, that t h e i r poetry sometimes enriches l a r g e r currents within the novel as a whole. Occasionally, f o r instance, they have prophetic bearing on the p l o t , as does Osbert's Ode to Morning, sung by Mary, at the time of Alleyn's deepest dejection. I t angurs, with i t s symbolic coming of l i g h t , that t h e i r fortunes w i l l soon amend (See Castles, pp. 212-3). S i m i l a r l y , Pierre's long b a l l a d (Gaston de B l o n d e v i l l e , I, p. 150 f f ) . of dreadful murder avenged by supernatural agency i s an amalgam of court gossip that augurs the truth about the e v i l baron. Sometimes, such poems comment obliquely on themes treated more d i r e c t l y throughout the novel. Two of Adeline's poems i n The Romance of the Forest, Night (p. 100) and To the Visions  of Fancy (p. 44), f o r example, discuss the ro l e of the mind i n super-na t u r a l experiences, and the g r a t i f y i n g nature of such expansions of imaginative thought, whereas the action tends to show how dangerous and enervating they are. 100 of evening and the s t i l l solemnity of the scene, conspired to l u l l her mind into a pleasing forgetfulness of her troubles," we know that she possesses both correct morality and taste. The same might be said for her brother, Osbert, when we learn that he is tremendously moved x^hile rambling in the highlands. Similarly, i t is because Madame de Menon slips "into a pleasing and complacent melancholy"'' at the sight of a pleasant evening landscape that we, in part, know her for the admirable figure she i s . I might cite l i t e r a l l y dozens of other similar incidents, but let me conclude with one that is quite overtly slanted toward the revelation of character. In The Italian, there i s an unique passage in the course of the fl i g h t by Ellena and Vivaldi from the convent at Mount Carmel i n which the travellers come upon a typical picturesque prospect of great beauty. Now, instead of describing the scene at length and then t e l l i n g us how Ellena and Vivaldi reacted to i t - Mrs. Radcliffe's usualf manner of presentation - she has the characters engage in an aesthetic dialogue over i t : '"This cool and balmy a i r revives me,' said Ellena, 'and what a soothing shade prevails over the scenel How softened, yet how distinct, i s every object; how sweetly dubious the more removed ones; while the mountains beyond character themselves sublimely upon g the s t i l l glowing horizon.'" Vivaldi, in turn, applauds and amplifies this descriptive appreciation, and so they go on, u n t i l our knowledge of the view and of their mutual appreciation is complete. In this way, we are directly informed of characters' virtuous s e n s i b i l i t i e s . ^Castles, p. 40. ^ S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 39. 8p. 161. 101 As a result of this appreciation of the Divine principles on which the world is constituted, sympathetic characters are moved to carry out benevolent and moral acts which, being i n accordance with those principles, integrate them most successfully with their world. " good, since i t reveals a good heart: when one is capable of feeling, a situation of distress w i l l c a l l for a response as much as a landscape does. Benevolence and sensibility go hand in hand for Mrs. Radcliffe." 9 Once again, examples of benevolent thought and action are so copious that space must limit the catalogue. Osbert pities deeply the ladies he sees are fellow prisoners in the Castle Dunbayne, especially the Baroness Malcolm. Yet, as i n a l l Mrs. Radcliffe's works, "one act of benificence, one act of real usefulness, Is worth a l l the abstract sentiment i n the world,"1<"> so, "awake only to the wish of alleviating her sorrows, he rejected cold and useless delicacy, and resolved, i f possible, to learn the cause of her misfortunes.""'"1 Similarly the real Marchioness Mazzini finding her route of escape from her dungeon locked thinks not of herself: "'I have too long been used to misfortune to sink under i t s pressure...," 1 she says. '"It is for you, J u l i a , who so lament my fate; and who being* thus delivered to the power of your father Garber, p. v i i i . 'udolpho, p. 80. "Castles, p. 116. 102 12 are sacrificed to the Duke di Luovo - that my heart swells.'" In The Romance of the Forest, nearly every action of La Luc has an a l t r u i s t i c and benevolent intent, for "calamity taught him to feel with peculiar 13 sympathy the distress of others," while Theodore, of course, sacrifices himself for Adeline's sake - "For himself, indeed, he saw nothing but destruction, and was only relieved from total despair, by feeble hope, that she whom he loved better than himself, might one time enjoy that 14 happiness of :lwhich he not venture to look for a participation." In Udolpho, St. Aubert exhibits benevolence in his concern for his retainers, his kind assistance and hospitality to strangers such as Valancourt, and his consideration even for his enemies, the Quesnels, while Emily's f i r s t act on coming into the late Madame Cheron's estates i s to satisfy the wants of their needy tenants. And i t i s Valancourt's exhibition of benevolent generosity i n supporting the St. Aubert's old servant and in rescuing Bonnac from debtor's prison that f i n a l l y starts to re-establish his reputation in Emily's eyes. Sometimes, even nature becomes an object of benevolent feeling because of i t s human associations; like La Luc, Ellena finds the scenery precious because of i t s relation-ship to others who are absent: "When every mountain of that magnificent horizon, which enclosed her native landscape, that country which she believed Vivaldi to inhabit, stood unfolded, how affecting, how 12 Si c i l i a n Romance, p. 67. 13 p. 290. 1 4p. 242. 103 overwhelming were her sensations I"1"' Such are the actions and feelings which are repeated again and again in these and other novels, and which exhibit major characters' virtues and their congruency to the nature of their world. Of course, a s t r i c t sense of justice is often a necessary concomitant to benevolent feelings and actions towards one's fellow man. Thus i t i s , then, that Vivaldi w i l l not implicate even the arch-villain Schedoni to the inquisition without proof of guilt: He "required of the tribunal to understand that he did not summon Ansaldo, or any other person, before them, but had merely obeyed their command to repeat what the stranger had said." 1*' By the same token, the merchant Woodreeve w i l l not give up his just accusation of Gaston de Blondeville, "so confident was he that he was performing a duty; and, what i s more, that to perform his duty in this world is the wisest, the most truly cunning thing a man can contrive to do." 1 7 So far I have mentioned only principals in this matter of benevolence and justice, but i t extends to dozens of Mrs. Radcliffe's minor characters, of which I shall note but a few. Verneuil, for example, who rescues Clara La Luc from her bolting horse, begs "he might be spared the pain of receiving thanks for having followed only an 18 impulse of common humanity." Similarly, the guard who helps Paulo 1 5 I t a l i a n , p. 288. 1 6 I b i d . , p. 329. 1 7Gaston, I, p. 182. 1 8Forest, p. 315. 104 escape the i n q u i s i t i o n , being "too humane for his s i t u a t i o n , was become wretched i n i t , and he determined to escape from his o f f i c e before the 19 expiration of the time, for which he had been engaged." Everywhere i n her novels are s i m i l a r incidents of servants, doctors, nuns and monks, none of whom play a s i g n i f i c a n t role i n d i v i d u a l l y , helping t h e i r fellow men, and the heroes and heroines i n p a r t i c u l a r . I f nothing else, t h e i r e f f o r t s indicate that benevolence and moral j u s t i c e are normal modes of behaviour amongst humanity, not the attributes of a s a i n t l y aberration. Admittedly, the •.extent of various characters' good heartedness, especially i n the e a r l i e r novels, can reach ludicrous extremes. Alleyn's f a i l u r e , out of general humanity, to k i l l the guard who discovers him 20 trying to escape i s a case i n point, as i s Ferdinand's s i m i l a r refusal 21 "to involve an innocent man i n destruction" when his j a i l e r gives him an opportunity of escape by staying overnight i n his c e l l . Yet, benevolence i s self-rewarding i n both the short and long term. As we have seen, benevolent v i r t u e i s j always rewarded i n the large movements of the plot - the protagonists always carry the day, and even s p e c i f i c acts of benevolence reap s p e c i f i c rewards from page to page. I t Is Adeline's benevolence that wins her a place of security amongst the La Lues, for example, for "the sweetness of her behaviour had e n t i r e l y won the heart of Clara, and greatly interested that of her aunt, whose reports of Adeline, together with the praises bestowed by Clara, had ' I t a l i a n , p. 387. Castles, p. 49. S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 37. 105 excited both esteem and c u r i o s i t y i n the heart of La Luc. I I 22 Further-more, the s o l d i e r , Edric, whom Alleyn spares with such seeming foolishness, always has i t s reward, moral fe e l i n g must s t i l l remain a v a l i d mode of However, emotionality i n general i s dangerous i n her f i c t i o n a l world. As we have seen, the v i l l a i n s ' passions and s e l f i s h emotions, i n so f a r as they expose v i l l a i n o u s deception,foster t h e i r errors, and aggravate villainpusddiseases,contribute d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y to t h e i r destruction. S i m i l a r l y , given the nature of Mrs. Radcliffe's f i c t i o n a l world and of s e n s i b i l i t y , i t , too, becomes a pai n f u l and dangerous emotional attribute amongst sympathetic characters. S e n s i b i l i t y consists primarily of sympathetic emotional s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to a l l manner of s t i m u l i and to imagination, where such s t i m u l i are not actually present. I t i s a form of psychological i d e n t i f i c a t i o n : "for sympathy," says Burke, "must be considered as a sort of substitution, by which we are put into the place of another man, and affected i n 2A many respects as he i s affected." In these circumstances, s e n s i b i l i t y i s p o t e n t i a l l y p a i n f u l - i n a s p e c i f i c , physiological sense of causing 25 undue' tension i n the nerves, according to Burke - where e v i l i s becomes his means of escape, out of p i t y and gratitude. 23 Because i t action i n Mrs. Radcliffe's novels. 22. Forest, p. 305. 23 Castles, p. 53. 24 Inquiry, p. 44. 25 I b i d . , p. 132. 106 encountered. If a person has sensibility, he w i l l feel disagreeable emotions whenever he perceives someone else in trouble. Now, as we have seen, Mrs. Radcliffe's world i s fraught with e v i l . The natural environment threatens imminently; a storm may blow up any-time, or night may hide the hazards of the forest. Similarly, the individual must face the consequences of the machinations of e v i l men, and even should he escape these threats, he faces inevitable losses through mutability and death. Sensible (in the eighteenth century sense) individuals w i l l feel a l l these threats and losses not only as they occur to themselves, but also, in some measure, as they occur to others, so that their burden of emotional pain in l i f e i s greatly increased. Because, then, the absolute indulgence of sensibility i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world i s unbearably painful, she is careful to recommend, through her characters, i t s limitation. The moral mentors of some of her heroines warn against i t s complete indulgence and gear their charges' education to prevent such a calamity: "It was the particular care of Madame de Menon," for example, "to counteract those traits in the disposition of her young pupils which appeared inimical 26 to their future happiness." But i t is St. Aubert who really formulates the Radcliffian notions of emotional control and happiness. "Above a l l , my dear Emily," said he, "do not indulge in the pride of fine feeling, the romantic error of amiable minds. Those, who S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 2. 107 really possess sensibility, ought early to be taught, that i t Is a dangerous quality, which is continually extracting the excess of misery, or delight, from every surrounding circumstance. And, since, in our passage through this world, painful circumstances occur more frequently than pleasing ones, and since our sense of e v i l i s , I fear, more acute than our sense of good, we become the victims of our feelings, unless we can In some degree command them." 27 Moreover, i t is he who points out that in Mrs. Radcliffe's f i c t i o n a l world, "happiness arises i n a state of peace, not of tumult. It i s of a temperate and uniform nature, and can no more exist i n a heart that i s continually alive to minute circumstances, than in one that i s dead to f e e l i n g . " 2 8 On this basis, Mrs. Radcliffe presents us with a number of sensible heroes and heroines who exhibit in their various pursuits and problems a l l the unfavourable results of the indulgence of sensibility and the favourable ones of i t s control. Osbert and Mary, for example, "were arrived at an age, dangerous from i t s tender susceptibility, and from 29 the influence which imagination has at that time over the passions." Similarly, J u l i a i s presented to us as a heroine whose imagination i s dangerously "ardent" and whose sensibility to even slight reproof i s 30 extreme, and Emily, too, had discovered in her early years uncommon 27 Udolpho, p. 79. Ibid., p. 80. 29 Castles, p. 8. 30 Si c i l i a n Romance, p. 2. 108 delicacy of mind, warm affections and ready benevolence; but with these was observable a degree of susceptibility too exquisite to admit of lasting peace. In each of these cases, the characters are represented from the outset as possessing a dangerous attribute in their sensibility, and most of her other protagonists exhibit similar d i f f i c u l t i e s in the course of their respective novels; so pervasive, in fact, i s her concern with this matter of individual psychology that i t forms a major theme;. , in a l l her work. Edith Birkhead has said of Samuel Richardson that " i t was...cautious prudence...that won him favour with the moralists who feared the dangerous influence of Rousseau's Nouvelle Heloise or Goethe's Sorrows of Werther" in their indulgence of emotion per se. A similar restraint to that of Richardson is also to be found in Mrs. Radcliffe's novels. : She, too, shows sensibility at an extreme and insists that i t must be controlled. We share vicariously the violent emotional agitations of the heroine and her struggle to control them, see the results of her failure, and presumably, extract a warning of the importance of curbing them with reason and judgement, in a world such as that which Mrs. Radcliffe portrays. Before going on, I should point out that there is nothing inconsistent about extolling emotional control In books,which have suspense and terror as a major attraction. Our participation in their sensational aspects is merely, after a l l , an exercise in laudable sensibility. Apprehension for the characters as a result of suspense "Sentiment", p. 104. 109 and t e r r i f y i n g incidents i s simply that l e v e l of sympathetic p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r emotions which constitutes virtuous s e n s i b i l i t y both within and without the novel world. In any case, the reader i s removed too far from the action to experience those destructive pangs of fear and pain which actual characters must try to control. As adults, we do not experience the child's one to one i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with l i t e r a t u r e ; as we read, we are always aware, somewhere i n the back of our minds, that I t i s a l l f i c t i o n . Consequently, we always experience, i n Mrs. Radcliffe's own terms, the soul-expanding sublime rather than enervating horror and fear as readers, no matter how great the characters' t e r r o r , because we are safely distant from the f i c t i o n a l present, i n the here and now. In Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, o v e r s e n s i b i l i t y and imagination i n sympathetic characters sometimes leads to a dangerous and s i n f u l pride of v i r t u e , not aggressive, l i k e the v i l l a i n s ' passion, but pride nevertheless. An excessive apprehension for s e l f , which, as we have seen, can be e a s i l y part of the psychological condition that constitutes s e n s i b i l i t y , i s pe r i l o u s l y near self-indulgence. Here, for example, i s Ellena expressing her self-consciousness of i s o l a t i o n : "'Alas,' said she, 'I have no longer a home, a c i r c l e to smile welcomes upon me! I have no longer even one friend to support, to rescue me! I a miserable 32 wanderer on a distant shore!'" S i m i l a r l y , La Motte i s given to wallowing i n the sorrow of his own s i t u a t i o n . While he stands before The Abbey St. C l a i r e , "the comparison between himself and the gradation of decay, which these columns exhibited, was but too obvious and I t a l i a n , p. 220. 110 affecting. 'A few years,' said he, 'and I s h a l l become l i k e the mortals 33 on whose r e l i c s I now gaze... ."" Adeline i s infrequently as bad; viewing a sunset from a boat traversing the Provencal coast, she just has to r e f l e c t that '"so vanished my prospect of happiness...and my future view i s l i k e the waste of waters that surround me.'"34 I t i s very easy to accuse such characters, at times, of gloating over the emotional potential of t h e i r own troubles. When s e n s i b i l i t y becomes so extreme as to produce t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and wasteful brooding over s e l f , i t becomes also an e v i l passion, l i k e avarice and l u s t , because i t interferes with a character's proper attention to matters outside himself. Nor i s t h i s self-consciousness limited to o v e r s e n s i b i l i t y to personal problems; two of Mrs. Radcliffe's heroes are so enamoured of the image of themselves doing good works that they develop a rather unattractive hero complex. Osbert, for example, allows his s e n s i b i l i t y of the wrong done his father and his imagination of leading the army that redresses i t , to drive him into a rash and disastrous attack on Castle Dunbayne. At the clan f e s t i v a l , he i s overcome by emotion "at the r i t u a l toast of the clan, and" every consideration yielded to that 36 of avenging his father" so much so that he regards p i t y for his mother Forest, p. 21-2. 3 4 I b i d . , p. 344. 35 In Udolpho (p. 20), St. Aubert says, '"even that sorrow, which i s amiable i n i t s o r i g i n , becomes a s e l f i s h and unjust passion, i f indulged at the expense of our duty - by our duties I mean what we owe ourselves, as w e l l as to others." 1 Castles, p. 17. I l l 37 a vice when i t "overcomes the purposes of stronger virtue." When he is captured on account of his dangerous rashness, the sight of the Baron Malcolm roused " a l l those opposite emotions of furious indignation and tender pity, which the glowing image of his father could excite and produced a moment of perfect misery. The dreadful energy of these sensations exasperated his brain almost to madness; the cool fortitude in which he had so lately gloried, disappeared and he was on the point 38 of resigning his virtue and his l i f e . . . " ; once again, the extremity of his rather self-conscious heroic feelings almost causes a calamity. When he escapes, only the cool reason of the Baroness prevents him from once more rushing into another abortive attack and his heroic vision i s 39 shattered like a "fairy scene" of magic. In a similar manner, the heroic pretensions of Vivaldi early i n The Italian are forever making a dangerous f o o l of him. 'At the outset, we 40 are told that "he had somewhat of the fiery passions of the Marchesa," and from the moment he conceives himself as the noble protector of his love and her affairs, he becomes ludicrously belligerent and conscious of honour. He refuses to sing Ellena a serenade in the Neapolitan custom, 41 for example, because i t would "profane" his principled love for her.'-•• 37 Castles, p. 22. 3 8 I b i d . , p. 36. 3 9 I b i d . , p. 147. ^ I t a l i a n , p. 8. 4 1 I b i d . , p. 14. 112 He i s imprudently hot-blooded in her defence; he is not only prepared to tackle any number of thugs single handedly for the right to protect her, but also ready to turn violently on anyone who opposes his rashness, 42 even his friend, Bonarmo. Moreover, when he supposes that a r i v a l i s behind the monk's mysterious, threatening appearances, he launches himself into a tirade of rhetorical bombast that exactly mirrors his distressingly self-conscious nobility: "'And shall I tamely l i e in wait for his approach? Shall I lurk like a guilty assassin for this A 3 rival?'" The Abbot of Mt. Carmel speaks more than he knows when he warns Vivaldi'" are an enthusiast, and I pardon you. You are a knight of chivalry, who would go about the earth fighting with everybody by way of proving your right to do good; i t is unfortunate that you are born somewhat too late.'" 4 4 No doubt the veiled reference to Don Quixote i s quite intentional. Because "its~ energies are directed toward virtuous action rather than vice, this passion for heroics never becomes as pernicious and damning as the pride of the v i l l a i n s . Nevertheless, i t does represent an undesirable conceit which is not unlike the v i l l a i n s ' e v i l motives in quality. Thus, then, the oversensibility of some of Mrs. Radcliffe's characters can actually lead them into vice. However, the fact that oversensibility in Mrs. Radcliffe's sympathetic characters consistently causes them unnecessary fear and remorse is a 42 Italian, pp. 15-6. 4 3 I b i d . , p. 19. 44 Ibid., p. 122. 113 more significant symptom of the need for i t s control. To indulge f u l l y benevolent and sympathetic feelings for the plight of others is bearable when a character i s at a distance from them. Then the emotion is softened enough to remain pleasurable, as in the case of Ellena before 45 the ruined fortress of Celano. Just as we are removed by the f i c t i o n of literature from the immediacy of i t s emotions, so she is removed by class, time, and place from the immediacy of the despair of the fallen prince whose imprisonment she imagines. For this reason, she reaps nothing but pleasure from the situation. However, through the over-indulgence of sensibility, sympathetic characters often experience needless levels of emotional pain for others close to them when there is l i t t l e they can do to alleviate the situation. In Mary's mind, for example, "the idea of her brother, surrounded with the horrors of imprisonment and death, would often intrude i t s e l f on her imagination, with an emphasis which almost overcame her reason,"4*' and on Osbert's part, "whenever he permitted himself to think of the sufferings of the Countess and his sister, his heart melted with a sorrow that almost 47 unnerved him." Similarly, while J u l i a thinks he is dead, "not withstanding a l l her efforts, the idea of Hippolytus would at intervals return upon her memory with a force that at once subdued her fortitude 45 Italian, p. 159. ^Castles , p. 32. 4 7 I b i d . , p. 70. 114 48 and sunk her i n a temporary despair," and when Ferdinand, her brother, 49 disappears i n turn, she lapses into indifference and misery. Ellena, too, f r e t s inordinately over V i v a l d i , whom she believes Schedoni i s merely holding by means of the In q u i s i t i o n . " ^ Often, moreover, the operation of imagination as concomitant to s e n s i b i l i t y causes them to assume imaginary e v i l s and entertain concern which i s completely pointless. V i v a l d i i s so over apprehensive that when the monk warns of a death at V i l l a A l t i e r i , he assumes Ellena i s dead. As a r e s u l t , "...when he reached the boundary of the garden, h is whole frame trembled so, with horrible apprehension, that he rested a while, unable to venture further toward the t r u t h , e v e n though only Signora Bianchi has died of old age. S i m i l a r l y , Emily, having rejected as preposterous the notion that Montoni could have murdered her aunt, and having accepted a servant's offer to take her to her aunt's room, immediately assumes that the body she discovers i n the course of her subsequent journey across the castle i s that of her aunt, which throws her into a perfect paryoxism of horror and grief over, as i t transpires, the corpse of a so l d i e r . Clara La Luc thoughtlessly indulges her ove r s e n s i b i l i t y of her brother's plight just after he receives a reprieve: "Clara without scruple lamented the p o s s i b i l i t y that her brother might 48 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 42. 49 I b i d . , p. 62. 5°Italian, p. 299. 5 1 I b i d . , p. 41. 115 52 yet be taken from them, and a l l t h e i r joy turned to sorrow." She, too, then, allows her imagination to suggest sufferings that by no means yet e x i s t , with the unfortunate result of restoring the grief of both herself and her family. In the same way, an over apprehension of s e l f causes pointless fear and misery amongst sympathetic characters. La Motte, though he i s not pursued, i s so apprehensive of pursuit that he i s without peace 53 of mind throughout his f l i g h t from Paris. S i m i l a r l y , J u l i a magnifies her r e a l danger beyond reasonable bounds i n her escape from the monastery: " J u l i a , whose fears conspired 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 54 breeze the sound of pursuit." Nor i s she the only heroine whose imagination leads her to exaggerate her own misery; the high s e n s i b i l i t y of Mary " sharpen the points of a f f l i c t i o n , increase t h e i r force, and to disclose, i n stronger l i g h t , the various horrors of her situation""'*' i n having to marry Malcolm, or cause Osbert's murder, and at one point i n Udolpho, Emily, "having then leisure to think over a l l the circumstances of her present afflictions,...imagined a thousand 5 2 F o r e s t . p. 389. 53 I b i d . , p. 13. 54 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 55. "'"'castles, p. 94. 116 e v i l s for f u t u r i t y , and these r e a l and i d e a l subjects of distress a l i k e wounded her mind.""'*' Occasionally, a character's distress at his own sit u a t i o n i s blown so out of proportion to i t s stimulus by his imagination, that he appears f o o l i s h l y i n the upshot, tdNeither himself or us. Isolated incidents of t h i s sort involve many of her p r i n c i p a l characters, but two examples i n p a r t i c u l a r come to mind. Madame La Motte, for example, i s so sensible of her position as her husband's wife that she allows her imagination to exaggerate his coldness and frequent .absence from her into the signs of i l l i c i t passion for Adeline. 7 When i t transpires that her surmise i s t o t a l l y f a l s e , she i s chagrined at the thought of having mistreated Adeline: "When she considered her orphan state - the uniform affection which had appeared i n her behaviour - the mild heartedness and patience with which she had borne her injurious treatment, she was shocked, and took an early opportunity of renewing her former kindness. But she could not explain t h i s seeming inconsistency of conduct without betraying her late suspicions, which she now blushed .,58 to remember. V i v a l d i , too, allows his imagination to run away with his a f f l i c t i o n s , but he scarcely discovers the fact u n t i l Schedoni t e l l s him, at the end of the book, that i t i s by means of his own imagination 5 6 p . 320. ^ F o r e s t , pp. 56-7. 5 % i # ; p- us. 117 " ' 5 9 that he is duped into serving" the -villain. In the meantime, as Fred Garber points out, "there is more than a l i t t l e mockery in her treatment of...Vivaldi..., about whose personality we receive early w a r n i n g s . I n the f i r s t place, the extent of his sensibility about himself makes him out too frequently like an effete fopling than the hero he attempts to be. Early i n the novel, "the expectation of seeing Ellena agitated him with impatient joy and trembling hope which s t i l l increased as he approached her residence, t i l l , having reached the garden-gate, he was obliged to rest for a few moments to recover 61 breath and composure." This i s too much, even for one of Mrs. Radcliffe's romantic heroes. Others may be physically af f l i c t e d by great danger or sorrow, but Vivaldi's faintness, in the circumstances, i s a ludicrous extreme. A similar deflation occurs later on, when he v i s i t s Ellena, and finds only Signora Bianchi: his anxiety and apprehension had encreased so much that, believing he should be unable to support himself in her presence, he was more than once upon the point of leaving the house. At length he heard her approaching step from the h a l l , and his breath almost forsook him. The figure of Signora Bianchi was not of an order to inspire admiration, and a spectator might have smiled to see the perturbation of Vivaldi, his faltering step and anxious eye, as he advanced to meet the venerable Bianchi. 5 9 I t a l i a n , p. 397. 60 p. ix. ^ I t a l i a n , p. 8. ^""Ibid., p. 24. 118 Clearly, Mrs. Radcliffe intends us to see the extent of his apprehension and tension i n these incidents for what they are, a joke. Yet o v e r s e n s i b i l i t y i s by no means a l l laughable. In addition to subjecting characters to unnecessary mental anguish, i t also precipitates them, by i t s e f f e c t s , into dangerous situations. V i v a l d i ' s hero complex, for instance, leads him rashly to chase the monk through the ruins of Paluzzi where he can be trapped while Schedoni's thugs seize Ellena; moreover, because of the s u p e r f i c i a l resemblance between the monk and Schedoni, he immediately assumes they are one and the same, and 63 b e l l i g e r e n t l y accuses Schedoni i n the sanctity of a convent church, which action arouses Schedoni's t h i r s t for revenge, and thus leads to his brush with death i n the Inqu i s i t i o n . S i m i l a r l y , i n the course of their escape from the convent, J u l i a and Ferdinand come across a monk i n the church, whom Ferdinand i s about to k i l l i n the extremity of his fear; i t transpires that the monk i s a friend come to guide them out, so Ferdinand, out of over apprehension, had almost k i l l e d t h e i r means 64 of escape. And so t e r r i f i e d i s J u l i a when her father f i r s t appears at the convent, that, she almost makes the f a t a l error of attempting to escape through an impassable maze of catacombs.^ In The Romance of  the Forest, Adeline's imagination represents Theodore's immediate danger to her i n such exaggerated terms that she almost f a i l s to leave 66 for Paris,where her testimony i s essential i f his l i f e i s to be saved. ^ I t a l i a n , p. 42. 64 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 54. 6 5 I b i d . , p. 51. 6 6 p . 398. 119 In Udolpho, St. Aubert's extreme over-apprehension for the safety of his daughter and himself at night in the Pyrennes leads him to seriously wound Valancourt by accident.*'7 Later, at the castle, Emily so fears rape by Montoni's ruffians, whom she has just glimpsed drunk in another part of the place, that she assumes the knock on the door sometime after is them; when she f i n a l l y does open the door, she finds she has locked out poor Annette, the maid, where the thugs could have done as they 68 pleased with her, had they come by. And so we could go on, but the point i s that, i n every case, the oversensibility, i n i t s widest sense, of the character involved has potentially dangerous and unpleasant consequences for himself or others. Moreover, the extent of a character's emotional susceptibility can result in a physical and mental torpor, or fainting, both of which are worse than emotional torment because they resemble death, and nearly as dangerous, because they render their victim totally uncaring of his situation. Torpor results from a character's too active consideration of his own troubles or those of others, and comprises a despair that sometimes goes so far as to render him almost vegetable. As Mrs. Radcliffe t e l l s us in The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, "There i s a certain point of misery, beyond which the mind becomes callous, and acquires a sort of a r t i f i c i a l calm. Excess of misery may be said to blast the v i t a l powers of feeling, and by a natural consequence 6 7 p . 38. 6 8 p . 299. 120 consumes Its own principles. I I 69 Thus Adeline, though she can frequently beguile herself for a time with books, music, and nature, goads herself frequently, whenever she "pictures to herself a l l Theodore's sufferings, "into a state of dreadful torpor," in which she just s i t s , i s far from calm, though i t does mark a cessation of rationality. Thus Adeline's mind, when she is i n this desperate condition, suffers "such a tumult of grief, regret, despair, and terror, that she could not be said to think." 7 1 This suspension of rational thought and even of feelings, combined with the outward calm i t produces, does mark, in fact, the temporary death of the individual involved as nearly a l l the v i t a l functions of his s p i r i t u a l l i f e are annihilated in despair. Though he i s not actually dead, he certainly might as well be, and consistently, Mrs. Radcliffe treats the torpor of despair as far worse than the most excruciating level of active emotional torment. Thus, in The Romance of the Forest, Theodore lapses from unprofitable lament into uncaring despondency: "the violence of his distress had now subsided into a stern despair, 72 more dreadful than the vehemence which had lately possessed him." Similarly, any frenzy, so long as i t i s active, i s better to Alleyn in the dungeon of Castle Dunbayne than the torpor of despair; therefore, doing and feeling nothing. 70 The inward condition of torpor, however, 69 p. 223. 70. Forest, pp. 256-7. 71 Ibid., p. 243. 72 Forest, p. 242 £my i t a l i c s ] . 121 he w i l l s himself into a c t i v i t y which i s desperate i n the sense of being 73 e l e c t r i c with reckless energy, and his e f f o r t s are eventually rewarded with escape. This torpor, i n addition to being tantamount to death, i s exceptionally dangerous to the individual,because the despondent passivi t y he experiences i n i t renders him t o t a l l y vulnerable and unable to pursue his interests. Though Alleyn, for example, makes every e f f o r t to avoid the enervation of despair, when the sol d i e r who i s to help him escape i s replaced by another, "the stretch of human endurance" i s exceeded and 74 he sinks "down i n a state of t o r p i d i t y . " In th i s condition, he forgets that he has the means of escape, now the vaults through which he must go are unlocked; In f a c t , "his senses had been so stunned by the appearance of the stranger and his mirid so occupied with a fee l i n g of despair as to exclude every idea of escape."7"' So torpor here produces a dangerous delay, i n view of the fact that Malcolm i s planning A l l e y n 1 s execution. S i m i l a r l y , La Motte's " t o r p i d i t y of despair" 7*' prevents him from taking any action for himself i n his t r i a l and thereby accelerates him toward execution; i t takes the anger and treachery of Du Bosse, one of the Marquis' retainers, to rouse him into organizing a defence. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , with t h i s new evidence, "the prospect of l i f e again opened upon him." 7 7 7 3See Castles, p. 43. 7 4 I b i d . , p. 54. 7 ^ I b i d . , p. 56. ^ F o r e s t , p. 373. 7 7 I b i d . , p. 391. 122 Of course, the female characters are as much,If not more,affected by this extreme consequence of their oversensibility than the men. J u l i a , for example, summoned before the Abate after his private inter-view with Mazzini, i s by that time so enervated by her sensibility of her situation, that she is incapable of action or decision in the face 78 of her enemies; i t takes the knowledge that Hippolytus lives, that she has, therefore, hope, to free her from despondent inactivity and prompt her to engage in escape: "In learning that Hippolytus lived, J u l i a experienced a sudden renovation of l i f e and s p i r i t s . From the languid stupefaction which despair had occasioned, she revived as from a dream, and her sensations resembled those of a person suddenly awakened from a f r i g h t f u l vision, whose thoughts are yet obscured in the fear and uncertainty which the passing images impressed on his 79 fancy." Similarly, with interruption by the Marquis threatening imminently, the Marchioness hesitates to escape her dungeon with Juli a 80 out of "placid despair" and "broken s p i r i t s " . Emily, too, because of her extreme sensibility, spends the period of the revolt at Udolpho in a languid torpor of shock and fear which prevents her from taking 81 rational action to protect herself; she i s only lucky that the brawling ruffians she stumbles across do not set about her as well as 78 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 52. 79 Ibid., p. 54. 80 Ibid., p. 67. 123 their enemies. In similar fashion, Ellena, in the hands of Schedoni's abductors, on her way to the ruined v i l l a of Spalatro, "was tranquil, but I t was with the quietness of exhausted grief, not of resignation; and she looked back upon the past, and awaited the future, with a kind 82 of out-breathed despair." In this condition, she is totally at the mercy of her abductors, for she makes no effort to save herself. A l l that has been said of torpor and despondency can be reiterated with greater emphasis in the matter of the heroines' frequent fainting. It exceeds torpor as a state of spi r i t u a l "death", because i t involves total unconsciousness, and i t i s therefore to be avoided at a l l costs. Robert Utter i s superficial and unfair when he accuses Mrs. Radcliffe's heroines of "practising dying before the mirror", and "reading their own flattering obituaries in.the faces and comments of the 'interested' 83 bystanders." He ignores the fact that for the most part they faint before v i l l a i n s who couldn't care about "flattering obituaries" for female captives; moreover, their fainting i s almost always a genuine response to real threats to themselves or, to persons who inspire their sensibility. As Burke put i t , "no passion so effectually robs the mind 84 of a l l i t s powers of acting and reasoning as fear," and i t i s fear which robs heroines totally of those powers through unconsciousness. Admittedly, on very rare occasions, heroines faint for no real Italian, p. 209. Pamela's Daughters, (New York: MacMillan, 1936), p. 168. Inquiry, p. 57. 124 reason, except perhaps shock. Ju l i a , for example, passes out brie f l y 85 at the news of Hippolytus' survival; presumably the violent change out of despair to hope and joy was too much. Occasionally, too, heroines faint when their oversensibility presents them with a threat that i s unreal; Julia's collapse at Ferdinand's calling her at her room earlier 86 in A S i c i l i a n Romance is an example. Here, however, we can only indict the extremity of her sensibility, not her sincerity In reacting to i t . For the most part, however, their fainting i s at the direct threat of v i l l a i n s and i s exceptionally dangerous, for i t renders them physically in the v i l l a i n s ' power. When a gang of intruders come for Ellena in The Italian, for example, she i s able to s t a l l them so long as she has consciousness, even though she i s t e r r i f i e d . Only when she 87 faints do they carry her off. Later, when she f i r s t enters the custody of Spalatro, her horror again causes her to f a l l senseless, which 88 again places her entirely at the disposal of a v i l l a i n . When Emily faints over the body behind the arras, Count Morano's men have no trouble in carrying her beyond the castle gates; she is unable to c a l l for help or to defend herself because of the "extreme languor of her 89 s p i r i t s . " Adeline also plays into the hands of abductors by fa i l i n g 85 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 53. 8^Ibid., p. 23. 8 7 A I p. 61. 8 8pp. 210-1. 89 Udolpho, p. 348. 125 to remain conscious; she f a i n t s when her father's retainers come for her, 90 allowing them to lock her safely away without resistance. At the hide-out of the b a n d i t t i i n A S i c i l i a n Romance, J u l i a , too, adds to the danger of a s i t u a t i o n by "sinking l i f e l e s s " into the arms of Hippolytus just when he confronts the robber who i s attempting to rape her. How he l p f u l i s the incumbrance of her dead weight when he must fight t h i s 91 man i n order to escape? And even Mary, when she i s abducted, i s at least unco-operative to her captors u n t i l , seeing herself "conveying 92 towards the mouth of a horrible cavern", she faints i n terror; only Alleyn's fortuitous a r r i v a l saves her. Oversensibility goes further than physical d e b i l i t a t i o n i n placing Mrs. Radcliffe's sympathetic characters at the disposal of her v i l l a i n s , moreover, for i t also makes them easy objects of villainous machinations designed to dupe, coerce, or cause misery. The v i l l a i n s recognize i n extreme emotional s u s c e p t i b i l i t y , a weakness that can be a means to th e i r ends. To the sensible i n d i v i d u a l , actual bodily pain i s nothing "compared 93 to the subtle, the exquisite tortures of the mind," and i n the course of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels many extremely susceptible characters suffer 9^Forest, p. 53. p. 60. 92 Castles, p. 41. 93 I t a l i a n , p. 127. 126 through villainous plans calculated to cause them optimum anguish in revenge, or out of malice. Thus, i n The Italian, Schedoni has Vivaldi seized by the Inquisition so that he may be revenged by the effects on 94 Vivaldi's mind of his anxiety for Ellena and the threat of torture. Later, also, he reveals his supposed relationship to Ellena in Vivaldi's presence "for the purpose of revenging himself for the e v i l , which Vivaldi's evidence had contributed to produce, and i n f l i c t i n g the 95 exquisite misery such information must give." Likewise, Baron Malcolm decides to leave his captives, Alleyn and Osbert, imprisoned without knowledge of the fate he projects for them and for the family of Athlin, so that their susceptible imaginations and their fear of the unknown 96 can cause them the greatest possible distress. When Alleyn escapes, Osbert experiences a l l the terrifying preparations for an execution which i s stopped short only at the last moment, his sensibility 97 subjecting him to the emotional torture Malcolm's revenge requires. So also, when Mazzini loses affection for his wife, yet must retain her despite his passion for Maria de Vellarno, she suffers under abuse best 98 calculated to cause her pain. Moreover, sympathetic characters suffer miserably from coercion calculated by the v i l l a i n s to persuade by wrenching i t s objects' 94 ? Italian, p. 244. 9 5 I b i d . , p. 365. 96 Castles, p. 34. 97 Ibid., p. 76. 98 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 1. 127 s e n s i b i l i t y . Baron Malcolm conceals the fate of Osbert and h i s plan to s a t i s f y h i s l u s t f o r Mary from Matilda so that uncertain anxiety w i l l drive thenpoor Couritess i n t o such a weak state of desperation that 99 she w i l l accept h i s proposal of a trade. S i m i l a r l y , j u s t as the Abate of A S i c i l i a n Romance threatens J u l i a with exposure to her father's unjust wrath i f she w i l l not accept the v e i l , so i n The  Romance of the Forest, the abbess of Adeline's convent does the same: "Here, were the arts of cunning p r a c t i c e d upon fear [order reversed i n t e x t ] , not those of s o p h i s t i c a t i o n upon r e a s o n . i n f a c t , awareness of Adeline's timorousness figures i n most of the v i l l a i n s ' threats i n that work. La Motte on two occasions attempts to coerce her i n t o r e c e i v i n g the Marquis' attentions by r a i s i n g the spectre of her father's w r a t h , a n d when the Marquis de Montalt makes h i s amorous proposals, he does so i n terms of Adeline's fears. "'Monsieur La Motte has informed me of your misfortunes," 1 he says, '"and of the e v i l that now 102 threatens you; accept from me the protection which he cannot afford."' Emily's surrogate parents employ s i m i l a r t a c t i c s i n The Mysteries of  Udolpho; they repeatedly play on her emotional s u s c e p t i b i l i t y by threatening her with t o t a l a l i e n a t i o n from friends and protection, a menace which culminates i n Montoni's attempt to coerce her i n t o marrying 99 Castles, p. 38. 100 ... p. 45. 1 0 1 I b i d . , pp. 144, 148. 1 0 2 I b i d . , p. 146. 128 Count Morano: '"I now remind you, for the last time, that you are a stranger, i n a foreign country, and that i t i s in your interest to make C J A »!|103 me your friend. In addition to undergoing such intimidations, sensible characters also play into the v i l l a i n s ' hands by embracing those villainous deceptions which rely for success on attracting a sympathetic response from their sensibility. Thus, the Marquis de Montalt's kindness in allowing the La Mottes to stay in his abbey succeeds in attaining the i n i t i a l sympathy of Madame, Adeline and Louis: "His softened aspect and insinuating manners, while regardless of himself, he seemed attentive only to the condition of Adeline, gradually dissipated the apprehensions, and subdued the sudden resentment of L o u i s . S o also, '. he uses only a gentle voice and manner to Adeline when later he is attempting her seduction.'""^"' Similarly, Gaston de Blondeville i s able to strengthen the king's sympathy for his cause by pretending, in a private interview with the monarch, to be the injured party,so as to place Woodreeve's 106 accusations against him in the worst possible light. By preying on Woodreeve's sensibility, moreover, the Prior actually persuades him for a time that his accusations of Gaston are in error. Counting upon *^"^Udolpho, pp. 216-7. 1 0 4 F o r e s t , p. 105. 1 0 5 I b i d . , p. 188. Gaston, I, p. 132. 129 Woodreeve's sense of j u s t i c e to be moved, he casts doubt on Woodreeve's evidence, u n t i l "the merchant was no longer s u f f i c i e n t l y confident i n his own r e c o l l e c t i o n , to adhere to a purpose so surrounded with danger, either to his l i f e , or what was t r u l y more important, and what he always held to be more important - to his conscience."^ 7 Nor,indeed, i s t h i s manner i n which extreme s e n s i b i l i t y makes characters-vulnerable to t h e i r enemies i t s l a s t drawback i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world. As we have seen, i t was f e l t i n Mrs. Radcliffe's time that emotional stress caused a physical disorder i n the nerves which might lead to disease; indeed,even today we recognize that nervous tension contributes to a number of physical indispositions. I t i s not surprising, then, to f i n d that, j u s t as the v i l l a i n s ' s e l f i s h emotions could aggravate t h e i r diseases, so the extreme s e n s i b i l i t y of a number of her sympathetic characters contributes to t h e i r i l l n e s s e s , even death. Many of her female figures f a l l i l l from anxiety. Countess Matilda, for example, on the loss of Osbert, f a l l s into a "violent 108 i l l n e s s , which had nearly terminated her sorrows and her l i f e , " and Mary, too, "her tender frame...too susceptible of the sufferings of 109 her mind" declines i n health as she x^orries about Alleyn, who i s also l o s t . Under the stress of Mazzini's demands that she marry Luovo, J u l i a ^ 7Gaston, I I , p. 172, " ^ C a s t l e s , p. 31. 109 " ^ I b i d . , p. 39. 130 loses "the v i v i d glow of h e a l t h " 1 1 ^ that was once hers, and so extremely did her mother f e e l Mazzini's unfeeling authority, we learn, that i l l n e s s reduces her to the cataleptic state i n which she i s f i r s t locked i n the dungeon.*"11 Adeline, too, becomes i l l i n part as a result of her emotional s u s c e p t i b i l i t y immediately after her i n i t i a l release from de Montalt's men: "the violent agitation of mind, and the fatigue of body, which she had suffered for the l a s t twenty-four hours, had 112 overpowered her strength, and i n her whole frame trembled with i l l n e s s . " S i m i l a r l y , once Ellena reaches the monastery on the shores of Lake Celano, " i n d i s p o s i t i o n , the consequence of the long and severe anxiety she had suffered, compelled her to remain. A fever was on her s p i r i t s , 113 and an universal lassitude prevailed over her frame." Moreover, at least one of Mrs. Radcliffe's male characters i s subject to a s i m i l a r d i s a b i l i t y . St. Aubert, the passive recluse of Udolpho, i s so sensitive to the e v i l s of the world that, i n so far as he can, he has withdrawn from them. The shock to his mind of the loss of his wife, which alienates him s t i l l further, i s so great that his health 114 begins to decline, and i n a very r e a l sense the f i r s t movement of the book, the tour i n the Pyrennes, i s the chronicle of St. Aubert's search """""^Sicilian Romance, p. 24. 1 1 1 I b i d . , p. 65. Forest, p. 14. 1 1 3 I t a l i a n , p. 179. 1 1 4Udolpho, p. 25. 131 for mental and physical health. When, however, he finds that the e v i l of business associates has destroyed his fortune and his legacy to his daughter, he i s so overwhelmed that he lapses into his f i n a l i l l n e s s , and dies. Because their emotional susceptibility, their sensibility, stands to cause them so much danger and pain in the Radcliffian world, the sympathetic characters of her novels must strive to attain emotional control, which Mrs. Radcliffe calls "fortitude", i n order to optimize their happiness. This fortitude seems to signify three distinct levels and types of emotional control. F i r s t l y , characters may attain equanimity by escaping from themselves. They may, for example, lose themselves in books; Osbert attempts to s t i f l e his sensibility of the wrong done his father "by application to his favourite s t u d i e s , a n d time and again in the course of The Romance of the Forest do we find Adeline seeking "a refuge from her own reflections in the more pleasing ones to be derived from b o o k s . C h a r a c t e r s may also find a means to prevent their oversenslbility of e v i l from bearing them down by involving themselves in the problems of their fellow men. Ellena, for example, thinks not at a l l of "her own forlorn situation...while affection, pity, and i r r e s i s t i b l e grief for Bianchi occupied her h e a r t , a n d Emily, too, "^Castles, p. 9. 116 .._ p. 115. " ^ I t a l i a n , p. 56. 132 can remain composed at the time of her aunts death at Udolpho "while any duty required her a c t i v i t y . i i 118 S i m i l a r l y , J u l i a nursed the interesting "nun at the Abbey of St. Augustin" with unremitting care, and seemed to seize with a v i d i t y the temporary opportunity of escaping long as a heroine has someone to care f o r , she can remain happy i n the midst of adversity. Emotional control can also mean an external calm i n Mrs. Radcliffe's novels. This sort of "composure", as i t i s often designated, i s c h i e f l y a matter of w i l l ; i t allows her characters to continue under the threat of e v i l In spite of t h e i r tendency openly to break down as a result of s e n s i b i l i t y . Mrs. Radcliffe's "heroines seem genuinely vertebrate i n comparison with some of the moist, unpleasant j e l l y f i s h spawned by her contemporaries and predecessors." 1 2^* P r i n c i p a l l y , t h i s composure enables sympathetic characters to awe v i l l a i n s and so meet the onslaught of the i r threats. In A S i c i l i a n  Romance, for example, when she i s forced to countenance the advances of Luovo alone, "the emotion of Julia...was beyond anything she had before suffered; but by a sudden and strange exertion of fortitude which the force of desp e r ate calamity sometimes affords us, but which i n f e r i o r sorrow t o i l s after i n vain, she recovered her composure, from herself. I I 119 In f a c t , i n nearly a l l Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, so 118, Udolpho, pp. 374-5. 119 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 44. 120, Utter, p. 130. 133 121 and resumed her natural dignity." By t h i s means, she i s able to repel him and to gain a b r i e f respite from the prosecution of his amorous intentions. S i m i l a r l y , Emily, when Montoni attacks her for her refusal to marry Morano, opposes "his turbulence and indignation 122 only by the mild dignity of a superior mind." He eventually gives up his threatening, and she rejoices i n her victory with the words, "'Mow much more valuable i s the strength of fortitude than the grace of 123 se n s i b i l i t y . " ' When Adeline faces de Montalt with the same composure, she has equal success: "She liberated herself from his embrace, and with a look, on which was impressed the firm dignity of v i r t u e , yet touched with sorrow, she awed him to forbearance. Conscious of a superiority, which he was ashamed to acknowledge, and endeavouring to despise the influence which he could not r e s i s t , he stood for a moment 124 the slave of v i r t u e , though the votary of vice." And Ellena outfaces the Abbess of Mt. Carmel with the following powerful b i t of rhetoric: '"I w i l l neither condemn myself to a c l o i s t e r , or to the degradation, with which I am threatened on the other hand. Having said t h i s , I am prepared to meet whatever suffering you s h a l l i n f l i c t upon me; but be assured, that my own voice never s h a l l sanction the e v i l s to which I may be subjected, and that the immortal love of j u s t i c e . . . w i l l sustain 121 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 22. ""Udolpho, p. 214. 123 Edel -bit.: .  """"^Forest, p. 193. 134 my courage no less powerfully than the sense of what is due to my own 125 character,"1 Of her brave heroines, surely Ellena is Mrs. Radcliffe's bravest. While this external composure helps Radcliffian characters to defeat villainous threats, i t seems also to bolster the inner s p i r i t to an extent. Perhaps their success in making the v i l l a i n s look small makes these characters more confident of their ultimate delivery; perhaps their concentration on externally resisting the v i l l a i n s helps them forget their own misery. Yet whatever the reason, i f Ellena, for example, "could endure with calmness the hardships which she could not avoid, half their 126 weight would be unfelt," and so i t is for a l l the others. However, neither simple escape nor this external calm are permanent solutions to the sympathetic characters' problems of emotional control in relation to e v i l . Of course, they must always return to sorrow when the spell of the books, music, or charity which holds their attention is broken. Likewise, both Emily and Ellena, immediately after the incidents described above, withdraw to the safety of their rooms there to cry away their "long-oppressed s p i r i t s " . When a sensible character steels up his composure by an act of w i l l in order to meet the threats of his adversary, i t costs him so much in pent up emotional pain that must find release in anguished transports at some later period. Fortunately, there is a third, more permanent sort of fortitude Italian, p. 84. Ibid., p. 85. 135 possible. Ideally i n Mrs. Radcliffe's world, fortitude is an inner peace, f u l l resignation based on philosophic confidence in God, an attribute seen most constantly in the moral mentors of her heroes and heroines. Of course, resignation incorporates composure, by definition, and so we find Madame de Menon, for example, facing Mazzini's charges 127 that she aided Julia's escape with the utter dignity of virtue, or 128 St. Aubert calmly awaiting his death with no remorse. "Philosophy," we learn, moreover, "had strengthened, not hardened" the heart of La Luc; " i t enabled him to resist the pressure of a f f l i c t i o n rather than 129 to overcome i t . " Resignation does not eliminate feeling, then, but rather softens i t s otherwise destructive force into a typically "gentle 130 but not unpleasing melancholy" which closely resembles Burke's concept of grief. "In grief, the pleasure i s s t i l l uppermost because the person involved i s contemplating the perfection of the object of his grief ; and the a f f l i c t i o n we suffer has no resemblance to absolute pain, which i s always odious, and which we endeavour to shake off as 131 soon as possible." We might say, then, that with the help of Divine consolation, Mrs. Radcliffe's characters are sometimes able to metamorphose debilitating emotional pain into a gentle sort of grief, the central characteristic of resignation. •127 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 38. ^ 2 8Udolpho, p. 81. 129 Forest, p. 290. 130 Countess Matilda's disposition in Castles, p. 7. 131 Burke, Inquiry, p. 37. 136 Both this resignation and composure, as forms of emotional control, imply, moreover, the necessary ascendancy of reason over emotion in the individuals involved. The effort of w i l l required for a character to face the v i l l a i n with composure implies that he has rationally decided that the external appearances of his debilitating emotions must be hidden behind a facade of calm i f he is to present his best defence. Resignation, moreover, i s based even more on the consistent operation of reason in the individual. True, to a certain limited extent, resignation and hope are instinctive; Adeline, for instance, is regarded as not having lost 132 "by long oppression that elastic energy which resists calamity," and even Matilda, when her son is lost, seems to cling to hope as i f thus to 133 keep her tranquility i s a natural reflex of the human mind. Yet long oppression does easily break do\m this automatic emotional control in both their cases. The sole consistent basis for resignation i n the Radcliffe world is reason. It i s reason, for example, that allows La Luc to "elevate his mind 13 A above this world the sublimity of another." Having acknowledged i t s importance to a l l men, he goes on to define i t s role in establishing his religious faith: "Yet how wonderfull that man, whose frame i s so diminutive in the scale of beings, should have powers which spurn the narrow boundaries of time and place, soar beyond the Forest, p. 13. 133 Castles, p. 99. 134 Forest, p. 292. 137 sphere of his existence, penetrate the secret laws of nature, and 135 calculate their progressive effects." It i s rational reflection on the works of God in Creation, the perception of their harmony, beauty, and justice, that establishes,or at least reinforces the religious faith of nearly a l l Mrs. Radcliffe's sympathetic characters and explains the countless occasions in her novels on which the contemplation of nature alone i s enough to re-establish tranquil resignation in their minds. Reason is the means, for example, by which La Luc turns the evidence of natural beauty and sublimity gathered in his solitary alpine walls into a compensation for a l l the evils that have beset 136 him, even the loss of his wife. The same rational process is also implied in -the following passage, in which Ellena reaches for resignation after her abduction from her home: Ellena, after having been so long shut in darkness, and brooding over her own alarming circumstances, found temporary, though feeble, re l i e f in once more looking upon the face of nature; t i l l , her s p i r i t s being gradually revived and elevated by the grandeur of the images around her, she said to herself, 'If I am condemned to misery, surely I could endure i t with more fortitude in scenes like these, than amid the tamer landscapes of naturel Here the objects seem to impart somewhat of their own force, their own sublimity, to the soul. It is scarcely possible to yield to the pressure of misfortune while we walk, as with the Diety, amidst his most .stupendous worksI1' 137 Once they have established a faith in God, the trust in Divine Grace 135 Forest, p. 325. 1 3 6 I b i d . , p. 291. 137 Italian, p. 62. 138 and Justice on their behalf that also resigns them to a f f l i c t i o n is similarly derived from a process of reason. In most cases i t is implicit, but in that of Woodreeve, i t i s consciously pursued. Having reflected on the power of Divine Grace, "he trusted, that he, who was guiltless of any crime, and whom pity for a murdered kinsman had exposed to this 138 danger, would not be l e f t to be destroyed by any a r t i f i c e of man.'.' His consciousness of virtue convinces him that he w i l l be saved and his oppressors damned, either in the temporal world or in the hereafter, and this conclusion gives him the inward confidence to face them undismayed. A l l the numerous instances of characters attaining brave resignation by means of recalling their virtue have been preceded by the same sort of rational process sometime in the past. "The pride of 139 conscious worth" for example, can revive Ellena's courage and patience and enable her firmly to resist the Abbess of Mount Carmel because, in the back of her mind, she knows that w i l l be ultimately saved, whether temporally or otherwise, by Divine Grace. For the same reason, Emily's heart, her ethics being under attack by Montoni, "swelled with the consciousness of having deserved praise instead of censure";''"4^ Theodore is confident enough to accuse the Marquis de Montalt publically, to his face,^ 4^ and Vivaldi's demeanour before his accusers in the Inquisition i s "calm and dignified", while "his countenance 138 i Italian, p. 68 Gaston de Blondeville, II, p. 194. 139, 1 4°Udolpho, p. 270. ^ 4^Forest, p. 230. 139 expressed the solemn energy of his feelings, but nothing of dejection." As J.M.S. Tompkins puts i t , Mrs. Radcliffe's heroes and heroines "have no enemy within; they are sure that innocence w i l l be divinely shielded, 143 , and they never doubt t h e i r innocence." This tr a n q u i l confidence t i n the face of adversity i s based on concepts of r e l i g i o n and morality that are established by reason as w e l l as f a i t h . Just as reason i n sympathetic characters helps them to establish the l a s t i n g emotional control of resignation i n adversity, so i t also enables them, by keeping events i n perspective, to prevent the over apprehensive tendency of s e n s i b i l i t y from troubling them with' chimerical e v i l s . The Marchese d i V i v a l d i , for example, when his son runs away after Ellena, takes every reasonable precaution for finding him, but assuming no e v i l where there i s no evidence, he does not allow anxiety to prey 144 on his mind u n t i l V i v a l d i has been missing for an inordinate period. S i m i l a r l y , reason makes i t clear to some characters which e v i l s are inevitable and therefore to\ be borne, rather than fought and fretted over. When Osbert resolves to go to war, for instance, "Matilda, whose mind was strong as her heart was tender, since she could not prevent th i s hazardous undertaking, summoned a l l her fortitude to r e s i s t the impression of f r u i t l e s s g r i e f , and to search for the good which the occasion might present,""''4"' and Ellena, too, endeavours "to meet with 1 4 2 I t a l i a n , p. 336. 143 Novel, p. 259. 144 I t a l i a n , p. 296. 145 iSastles, p. 24. 140 f o r t i t u d e and to endure with patience, the e v i l which she could neither avoid or subdue."'''4*' This ascendancy of reason over emotion thus t a c i t l y recommended i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels as the best means of achieving emotional c o n t r o l c o n s t i t u t e s , 1 think, another c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n of that unity and coherence which i s present i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s books. In them, she creates a cosmos based on t h e o l o g i c a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l models which themselves emphasize that reason i n man should have mastery over emotion. The aesthetic p r i n c i p l e s , moreover, according to which t h i s cosmos i s perceived - sublimity and the picturesque, f o r example - are cerebral and a n a l y t i c a l o f f s p r i n g of the eighteenth century which also r e f l e c t a great importance attached to r a t i o n a l i t y by t h e i r adherents. Within t h i s cosmos, as we have seen, man, whether hero or v i l l a i n , s u f f e r s whenever h i s emotions rule h i s actions, and i n these circumstances i t i s e n t i r e l y appropriate that only when sympathetic characters' r a t i o n a l i t y i s i n control can they s u c c e s s f u l l y face the e v i l that f a l l s to t h e i r l o t . Sympathetic characters, however, much as they may succeed from time to time, are by no means co n s i s t e n t l y successful i n a t t a i n i n g t h i s emotional co n t r o l so necessary to t h e i r peace and safety. We might argue that some few characters appear to develop the a b i l i t y to cont r o l and resign themselves i n the course of t h e i r novels, but the process of learning i s f a r from consistent. Nowhere do we f i n d the cle a r pattern of s e l f r e v e l a t i o n , followed by a dramatic change i n Italian, p. 65. 141 attitude. Alleyn, for example, "in the joyful experience of unexpected deliverance" resolves "never more to admit despa i r " 1 4 7 when his escape attempt i s a success, yet afterwards, he f a l l s into despondency over both what he fears i s his failure to free Osbert and the seeming hopelessness of his love for Mary. Similarly, one might argue that . when Adeline rescues M. Amand from despondency and i l l - h e a l t h over the 148 loss of his wife, she is exhibiting her own new-found resignation, yet the business of Theodore's condemnation soon throws her into a similar welter of grief and despair, and in any case, she has been able to counsel others from the very f i r s t , x^hile f a i l i n g to take her own 149 advice. Only Vivaldi seems truly to learn emotional control; he moves from the affected, passionate fop of the f i r s t few pages of The Italian, ridiculously ardent i n his love, rash, and egregaouslv' superstitious, to the calm and circumspect prisoner of the Inquisition, who detects and treats cautiously a spy sent to incriminate him 1"^ and whose "better judgement" shows him "that innocence cannot suffer disgrace from any situation or circumstance" 1^ 1 so that he can undergo the inquisitors threats and accusations with perfect equananimity. However, the moment is never portrayed wherein he realizes that his own oversensibility has caused him pain and danger and changes his ways. 1 4 7 C a s t l e s , p. 62. 148„ . r u n Forest, p. 342. 149 Ibid., p. 37, where she talks La Motte out of a f i t of despondency, p. 301. 1 5 1 p . 309. 142 For the most part, in fact, the struggle within Mrs. Radcliffe's characters for emotional control she portrays as a see-saw battle that i s never wholly resolved. That resignation in a character which comes of confidence of deserving the help of Divine Grace i s easily shattered by the reflection that his suffering or death may cause someone else emotional pain. Ellena, for example "while she witnessed in imagination, the grief and distraction which her mysterious departure and must have occasioned him [Vivaldi], the fortitude with which she 152 had resisted her own sufferings, yielded to the picture of his," and Vivaldi's "virtuous indignation gave a loftiness, a calm heroic grandeur to his, mind, which never, for a moment, forsook him, except when he conjectured what might be the sufferings of Ellena. Then his fortitude 153 and magnanimity failed, and his tortured s p i r i t rose almost to frenzy." Similarly, that resignation that comes from a confidence i n God derived from the contemplation of his works is often impossible, as the Imminency of some dire threat prevents a character from any aesthetic response whatsoever. Burke claims, "It is absolutely necessary my l i f e should be out of any imminent hazard before I can take a delight in...anything 154 ...from any cause whatsoever," and Mrs. Radcliffe's characters seem to act according to a kindred principle. Thus,the scene in the garden of Montalt's palace from which she i s trying to escape "would have 1 5 2 I t a l i a n , p. 95. 153 Ibid., p. 305. Inquiry, p. 48. 143 soothed a heart less agitated than was that of Adeline,""''"'"' and because Emily suffers under the threats of Montoni, she can no longer f i n d comfort with the view at evening.""'"'*' So many and varied are the e v i l s i n f l i c t e d upon them, and so limi t e d are the means by which Mrs. Radcliffe's characters can maintain emotional control, most of them fluctuate e r r a t i c a l l y between fo r t i t u d e , In a l l i t s forms, and despair. Woodreeve, faced with the prospect of execution, fights "for composure and resignation""''''7 as h i s refle c t i o n s waver between confident f a i t h i n God and abject grief at his wife's suffering. Emily,too, after a b r i e f period of inner strength and resignation "found again that thought cannot always be controlled by 158 w i l l ; and hers returned to the consideration of her own si t u a t i o n ; " i n f a c t , both she and Adeline v a c i l l a t e frequently between fo r t i t u d e , and complete d e b i l i t a t i o n and despair. Even the moral mentors, who most perfectly exhibit consistent resignation, tend to lose emotional control when the e v i l that besets them i s s u f f i c i e n t l y pernicious. As we have seen, St. Aubert allows the loss of his wife and estate to bear him down to death i n spite of his warnings to Emily; even on La Luc's 159 countenance, "a struggle for resignation and composure" when his son 1 5 5 F o r e s t , p. 195. 1 3 6Udolpho, p. 403. """"'^ Gaston, I I I , p. 32, "'""'^ Udolpho, p. 383. " ^ F o r e s t , p. 360. 144 i s condemned, while the emotional pain he suffers appears to be hastening him, too, toward death u n t i l Theodore i s cleared. In the l i g h t of such evidence, we can only conclude that virtue i n Mrs. Radcliffe's novels l i e s only i n the attempt to s t r i k e a balance between s e n s i b i l i t y and emotional control which can minimize the danger and emotional pain that are inevitable i n her f i c t i o n a l world. CHAPTER 5 OTHER THEMES RELATED TO THE MORAL WORLD AND TO CHARACTER So far, we have examined the qualities of Mrs. Radcliffe's moral world, the central issues of character and human position within i t , and the close relationship between the two. In effect, we have set up frames of reference for further discussion of her novels. However, since i t i s my intent to argue for unity and coherence in her works, as well as to refocus other c r i t i c a l investigation, i t i s important that we should carry this discussion further, i n an effort to relate some of Mrs. Radcliffe's other concerns in her novels to that single point of view, in cosmos and in character, that has been the object of preceding chapters. Time and space, of course, prevent a detailed examination of a l l the matters that attract her attention, but i t i s sufficient perhaps, to pause over three additional themes which command an important position in her various works and which have caused much, and occasionally muddled, c r i t i c a l concern. The following chapter, then, w i l l examine society, romantic love, and the supernatural as Mrs. Radcliffe treats them, in an attempt to show how a l l three depend, in some measure, on the nature of her f i c t i o n a l world, and on the consequent need for emotional restraint amongst the human beings within i t . Nearly a l l of her c r i t i c s scold Mrs. Radcliffe for her failure to complete the suggestion of supernatural agency with i t s actual appearance. Most find her consistent debunking of such elements in her 146 work a r t i s t i c a l l y unsound, i f not downright fraudulent. S.M. E l l i s , for example, finds her guilty of "literary false pretence" 1 for raising our expectations of a ghost, then deflating them. Edith Birkhead does 2 not enjoy "being baffled and thwarted in so unexpected a manner," and Devendra Varma impatiently protests that "the suspense has been so long protracted, and the expectation raised so high, that no explanation can satisfy, and no imagery of horrors can equal the vague shapings of 3 our imagination." These latter two, moreover, perhaps as a result of their dissatisfaction, seriously underestimate supernatural innuendo in Mrs. Radcliffe's works, when i t is in fact an abiding concern throughout her canon. Some others justify her attitude in this matter by an his t o r i c a l rationalization, which i s no doubt sound as far as i t goes. James Foster, for instance, gives i t as his opinion that "to regard her work as a development of the sensibility that craved strong situations and the somber decorations of tombs and ruins, i t i s not necessary to b e l i t t l e the importance of the attempt to arouse fear, yet one must remember that she considered herself representative of the century of enlightenment and checked a l l impulses to go beyond the appearance of the supernatural.""' In these sentiments, he i s seconded by a number 1p. 192. Tale, p. 50. 3p. 97. 4Varma (pp. 88, 92) denies i t s existence in Castles and Forest; Birkhead (p. 52) denies that i t figures in The Italian. 5p. 461. 147 of the c r i t i c s to whom we have already had recourse.** No doubt what they say is generally correct; Clara Reeve's preface, one of the few contemporary c r i t i c a l documents extant on Mrs. Radcliffe's genre, takes Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto to task for just such an abuse of rationality in the presentation of the supernatural as that which these commentators claim bothered Mrs. Radcliffe. 7 However the c r i t i c s make no attempt to relate their explanation to the meaning of her novels; the debunked supernatural remains, in fact, an interruption, to them, of that c h i l l i n g flow of sensationalism in which they find her novels' chief worth. Since c r i t i c a l evaluation of this subject usually ceases at i t s sensational value, no one has really paused to analyze the f u l l impact of Mrs. Radcliffe's treatment of the supernatural. Actually, the supernatural experiences in Mrs. Radcliffe's novels are aberrations of sensibility, plausible extensions of both her character psychology, and the nature of her world, and, therefore, a r t i s t i c a l l y sound, forceful amplifications of her basic contentions on those matters. In part, the apprehension of the supernatural i s an experience which arises out of a lack of control of one's emotions and sensibility. Supernatural experiences and fears occur on numerous occasions, for example, when characters are already emotionally overwrought for some other reason, so that their rationality, being already weakened, i s unable to prevent an unnecessary,chilling surmise. During the interview 6 ' Among them Summers, p. 135; and Dobree, p. x i . 70n p. ix, she complains of the supernatural incidents, "Had the story been kept within the utmost verge of probability, the effect had been preserved, without losing the least circumstance that excites or detains the attentions." 148 with Schedoni in which she orders Ellena's murder, the purely natural co-incidence of the terrible warning inscribed over the confessional and the mournful sounds of a passing funeral strike the Marchesa, who i s already horror stricken by the prospect of her guilt, as a real 8 supernatural portent. In Udolpho, Emily is subjected to the "thick-9 coming fancies of a mind greatly enervated" by fear and grief in the form of "supernatural" hallucinations, so frequently that Mrs. Radcliffe remarks, "It was lamentable, that her excellent understanding should have yielded, even for a moment, to the reveries of superstition, or rather those starts of imagination which deceive the senses into what can be called nothing less than momentary madness .""""^  Similarly, Ferdinand attributes a faint groan he hears while exploring the deserted wing of Castle Mazzini "to the i l l u s i o n of a fancy, which terror had impregnated,""''1 even though he is overcome by i t when i t sounds again, and Osbert, awaiting his chance to escape Dunbayne, dimisses the ghostly figure he has just seen as "the phantoms of a s i c k imagination, which the agitation of his s p i r i t s , the solemnity of the hour, and the wide 12 desolation of the place, had conjured up. ' In addition to being a symptom of the debilitating effects of oversensibility, the experience of the supernatural i s also a product 8 Italian, pp. 176-7. 9 p. 103. Other similar occasions occur at pp. 63, 221, 228, 240, 355, 407. 10 Ibid., p. 102. "'""''Sicilian Romance, p. 18. 12 Castles, p. 149. 149 of the vanity of imagination, that faculty which, as we have seen, tends to aggravate the apprehensions of the sensible mind. In Udolpho, Mrs. Radcliffe traces belief in the supernatural to "that love, so natural to the human mind, of whatever is able to distend 13 i t s faculties with wonder and astonishment." The basis of this love is self-interest, for i t i s part of man's continual desire to raise himself i n his own eyes to greater levels of power and perception, and by perceiving something so awesomely powerful and unknown, as the supernatural, the mind can claim for i t s e l f , in Burke's words "some 14 part of the dignity and importance of the things which i t contemplates. The f u l l expression of the theory which I think Mrs. Radcliffe puts into practice in her novels occurs in a contemporary essay by one Dr. John Aikin; perhaps Mrs. Radcliffe does not follow him as she does Burke, but she at least writes from a point of view congruent to what follows: "A strange and unexpected event," he says, "awakens the mind and keeps i t on the stretch; and where the agency of Invisible beings is introduced, of 'forms unseen and mightier far than we', our imagination, darting forth, explores with rapture the new world which is la i d open to i t s view, and rejoices in the expansion of i t s power. Passion and fancy co-operating, elevate the soul to i t s highest pitch; and the pain of terror i s lost i n amazement."^ In this view, then, the supernatural has a l l the self-aggrandizing attractions to the imagination of other sublime experiences. 1 3 p . 549. ^Inquiry, p. 50. ^"On the Pleasures Derived from Objects of Terror," in Miscellaneous  Pieces in Prose (London: J. Johnson, 1792), p. 125. 150 In accordance with this instinctive attraction to such soul-expanding phenomena, whenever a character anticipates the supernatural in Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, his imagination i s depicted as running out of rational control, compulsively seizing upon likely evidence and turning i t into that which i t is not. Vivaldi, for example "was awed by the circumstances that attended the visitations of the monk, i f monk i t the solemn event which had verified his last warning; and his imagination, thus elevated by wonder and painful curiosity, was prepared for something above the reach of common conjecture, and beyond the accomplishment of human agency."1*' In fact, "his passions were now interested and his fancy awakened, and, though he was unconscious of this propensity, he would perhaps, have been somewhat disappointed, to have descended suddenly from the region of fearful sublimity, to which he had soared - the world of terrible shadows - to the earth, in which he daily walked, and to an explanation simply natural.""'"7 Moreover, there are numerous examples in which the same faculties and processes are involved, but less exp l i c i t l y realized. When Emily speaks to the guards on the parapet of Udolpho about the strange figure she has seen there, "her imagination was inflamed while her judgement was not 18 enlightened, and the terrors of superstition again pervaded her mind." In her dark room at the Abbey, Adeline "remembered the narrative of Peter, several superstitious circumstances of which had impressed her 1 6 I t a l i a n , p. 58. 17T Loc. c i t . """^ Udolpho, p. 371. 151 her imagination i n s p i t e of her reason, and she found d i f f i c u l t y wholly 19 to subdue apprehension;" t h i s twinge of s u p e r s t i t i o u s t e r r o r i s only an introduction to the consistent b a t t l e she f i g h t s to keep down both her imagination and her s e n s i b i l i t y to i t s suggestions u n t i l f i n a l l y , while she i s reading the g r i s l y manuscript, "her imagination refused any longer the c o n t r o l of reason, and turning her eyes, a f i g u r e , whose exact form she could not d i s t i n g u i s h , appeared to pass along an obscure part of the chamber; a dreadful c h i l l n e s s came over her, and she sat 20 f i x e d i n her c h a i r . " In each of the above cases,overactive imagination, i n seeking the expansive experience of a s p i r i t u a l world, has i n s p i r e d the oversensible mind of the character involved i n t o abject t e r r o r at h a l l u c i n a t i o n s of i t s own making. Mrs. R a d c l i f f e , then, makes the experience of the supernatural i n her characters a manifestation of that over-imaginative s u s c e p t i b i l i t y which hinders t h e i r l i v e s i n general, and i t i s i n t h i s context that the exposure of t h e i r t e r r i f y i n g assumptions i s s i g n i f i c a n t . Because they are d i r e c t l y threatened by supernatural power, they experience, as a r u l e , none of the sublime pleasure which A i k i n sees the reader of a t a l e of supernatural phenomena enjoying; they experience abject t e r r o r instead. Thus,when the ghostly noises and figures Ferdinand experiences i n A S i c i l i a n Romance turn out to be h i s imprisoned mother and her j a i l o r s , when the ghostly figure and song at Castle Udolpho turn out to Forest, p. 41. I b i d . , p. 159. 152 be Emily's fellow prisoner, Dupont, or when the object of Vivaldi's terror in The Italian turns out to be Zampari, a henchman of the v i l l a i n , Mrs. Radcliffe i s pointing out to us what unnecessary emotional pain the characters involved give themselves by allowing their imaginations and sensibility so to exaggerate slight evidence and cow their rationality. Moreover, from her f i r s t novel, in which the guards at Dunbayne 21 assume in terror that Osbert has escaped by supernatural means to her last, in which a garrulous old villager is the only modern character 22 who really believes in supernatural agency, the belief in ghosts is a t r a i t condescendingly attributed to "the minds of the vulgar", 23 where "any species of the wonderful is received with avidity," presumably because they lack the education and the rationality to subdue their imaginations. By having her educated, supposedly enlightened heroes and heroines also suffer themselves to be affected by preternatural suggestions, even while participating in condescension toward their poor, ignorant servants and often while their servants exhibit greater control than they, Mrs. Radcliffe creates a good deal of highly effective irony at the expense of their own oversusceptibility. Thus, Paulo's unconcern at Castle Paluzzi casts ironic light on his master's terror at the sight of the monk; so also the La Motte's bumpkin 21 Castles, p. 164. 22 Gaston, I, p. 55. 23 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 4. 153 servant, Peter, i s happy to venture down a dark passage, the noises from which have La Motte i n superstitious panic. When Peter returns with the news that the mysterious sound was only owls and rooks fluttering 2 4 about, the irony i s complete. Similarly, Emily's superiority "allowed her to smile at the superstitious terror, which had seized on Annette; for, though she sometimes f e l t i t s influence herself, she could smile 25 at i t when apparent in others," and on several occasions throughout the novel, she lectures this poor maid on the resistance of superstitious 26 propensities, only to give in to them, on very slight occasion, herself. In addition to being a source of unnecessary emotional pain, and characteristically the attribute of the vulgar and ignorant, vulnerability to supernatural suggestion, like the general oversensibility of Mrs. Radcliffe's sympathetic characters, leads to various dangerous and unfortunate consequences for them. Emily, for example, at one point during her imprisonment at Castle Udolpho, had almost summoned, through rational judgement, confidence enough to ask help of the mysterious figure on the parapet, but when occasion arises, "she trembled, breathed with d i f f i c u l t y , an icy coldness touched her cheeks, and her fears for 27 a while overcame her judgement" to such an extent that she cannot speak. 2 4Forest, p. 25. 25 Udolpho, p. 247. 26 See, for example, Udolpho, p. 239, on which, having been infected with Annette's superstition, she nearly faints when another servant knocks at the door. 2 7 l b i d . , p. 360. 154 Of course, the figure i s Dupont, who i s trying to contact her so that they may attempt escape. Because of her unnecessary terror, the escape is delayed for weeks, during which Montoni submits her to mental tortures she might have avoided. Occasionally, the v i l l a i n s use the superstition of other characters, just as they manipulate the rest of their over-imaginative sensibility, in the pursuit of e v i l ends. At the conclusion of The Italian, for instance, Schedoni t e l l s Vivaldi ho*/ easy i t was to dupe him into an unconscious co-operation in the plot against Ellena: "...the ardour of your imagination was apparent, and what ardent imagination ever was contented to trust plain reasoning, or to the evidence of the senses? It may not willingly confine i t s e l f to the dull truths of this earth, but, eager to expand i t s faculties, to f i l l i t s capacity, and to experience i t s own peculiar delights, soars after new 28 wonders into a world of i t s own!" Thus had Schedoni sent the ghostly Zampari to frighten Vivaldi away from Ellena and, when that failed, to lure him into the Castle Paluzzi where he might be detained while she was abducted. Similarly, the Marquis Mazzini exploits the superstition of his family and servants to prevent them from discovering the imprisonment of his f i r s t wife in the south buildings. At f i r s t , he attempts to silence the apprehensive curiosity of Madame de Menon and his servants about the noises and lights in the castle by arguing that the supernatural i s bunk. When Madame de Menon approaches him on the subject, he "represented the appearances she described as the illusions Italian, p. 397. 155 29 of a weak and timid mind," and he leads his fearful servants on a tour of the south buildings, during which he heaps sarcasm on their 30 "phantasms of idleness," while of course, nothing supernatural i s found. He hopes in both cases to inspire shame and thereby discourage apprehension and curiosity. When, however, Ferdinand t e l l s the Marquis of his own more terrifying experiences, he admits to a secret belief in the supernatural, and warns his son of a ghost in the castle. Naturally, this is a l l a cunning hoax; "the circumstance related was calculated, by impressing terror, to prevent farther inquiry into the recesses of these buildings. It served, also, to explain, by super-natural evidence the cause of those sounds, and of that appearance which had been there observed, but which were, in reality occasioned 31 only by the Marquis." Like other aspects of characters' emotional susceptibility and imagination superstition i s unnecessarily painful, because i t s terrors are wholly illusory, and potentially dangerous, as i t makes the individual more vulnerable to the machinations of e v i l . Mrs. Radcliffe, in exposing most of the supernatural phenomena as dangerous and disquieting chimeras of undisciplined imagination, links them to the overall problem of emotional control experienced by her characters. Far from being an a r t i s t i c imperfection, then, her debunking of the supernatural in fact forms a necessary and meaningful part of the moral statement of her novels. 29 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 5. 30 Ibid., p. 30. 3 1 I b i d . , p. 70. 156 We might even argue that i n some cases, her sympathetic characters le a r n f i r s t to c o n t r o l the temptation to entertain s u p e r s t i t i o n , and that t h i s new d i s c i p l i n e then becomes emblematic of a new c o n t r o l i n the e n t i r e spectrum of t h e i r emotional l i v e s . Very often, the r e v e l a t i o n of supernatural incidents as n a t u r a l phenomena embarrasses them in t o self-knowledge; Adeline, f o r example, i n her room at the Abbey "perceived the arras, with which the room was hung, wave backward and forwards; she continued to observe i t f o r some minutes, and then rose to examine i t further. I t v/as moved by the wind; and she blushed at the momentary 32 fear i t had excited." Emily, too, i s embarrassed by Dupont's revealing himself to be the ghost of Udolpho: "remembering how l a t e l y she had suffered h e r s e l f to be led away by s u p e r s t i t i o n , she determined now 33 to r e s i s t i t s contagion." From t h i s sort of evidence, i t i s a t t r a c t i v e to conclude that i n Emily's case at l e a s t , her r e j e c t i o n of the supernatural a f t e r her escape from Udolpho indicates a new strength of r a t i o n a l i t y and a new emotional d i s c i p l i n e . Even a f t e r she i s frightened by the l i f t i n g p a l l at Chateau Blanc, another incident during which already weakened s p i r i t s contribute to s u p e r s t i t i o u s t e r r o r , she i s prepared calmly to await the explanation of the phenomenon that both she and we expect a f t e r the 34 business of the other c a s t l e . However, the co n t r o l of s u p e r s t i t i o n , 3 2 F o r e s t , p. 136. 3 3Udolpho, p. 490. 3 4 I b i d . , p. 537. 157 l i k e other forms of emotional control, seems ultimately beyond the consistent reach of the i n d i v i d u a l . As Ludovico's disappearance from the "haunted" rooms becomes more protracted, and as even Count V i l l e f o r t i s t e r r i f i e d by a night spent i n them, Emily gradually begins once 35 again actively to fear supernatural agency. Though the novel ends on an optimistic note, with Emily once again chagrined at her weakness i n fearing yet another supernatural hoax - resident smugglers had 36 caused both the l i f t i n g p a l l and Ludovico's absence, we cannot help but r e f l e c t that her a b i l i t y to r e s i s t superstition i s far from consistent, l i k e her a b i l i t y to control her oversusceptibility i n general. There are going to be other situations i n which Emily's s e l f control f a i l s , even i f , generally speaking, i t s power has increased since the beginning of the novel. Of a l l Mrs. Radcliffe's characters, only V i v a l d i c l e a r l y learns to reject superstition. As we have seen, i t i s his overactive imagination which at f i r s t brings him to look for the supernatural i n the events at Castle P a l u z z i . Yet his superstition reaches a peak when the mysterious monk f i r s t appears at the I n q u i s i t i o n : "he looked up at the shadowy countenance of the stranger; and almost believed he 37 beheld an inhabitant of the world of s p i r i t s . " That "almost" i s the c r u c i a l word; V i v a l d i i s not wholly convinced he sees a ghost, though 35 Udolpho, p. 544. 3 6 I b i d . , p. 635. 37 I t a l i a n , p. 320. 158 he experiences t e r r o r . The fac t that he r e s i s t s h i s f r i g h t and continues 38 to demand of the figu r e what proof he can produce of h i s charges i s a d e f i n i t e i n d i c a t i o n of h i s increasing emotional c o n t r o l . His fear of the monk, whatever h i s nature, i s , as Mrs. R a d c l i f f e points out, j u s t i -f i e d : "To be thus exposed to the designs of a mysterious and powerful being, whom he was conscious of having offended, to sustain such a s i t u a t i o n , without s u f f e r i n g anxiety, required somewhat more than courage, 39 or l e s s than reason." He soon shows new-found strength of mind i n d e c i s i v e l y r e j e c t i n g a l l notions of fear that go beyond t h i s temporal influence: "Though h i s imagination i n c l i n e d him to the marvellous, and to admit ideas which, f i l l i n g and expanding a l l the f a c u l t i e s of the soul, produce f e e l i n g s that partake of the sublime, he now r e s i s t e d the propensity, and dismissed, as absurd, a supposition, which had begun to 40 t h r i l l h i s every nerve with horror." When V i v a l d i f i n a l l y acknowledges the justness of the dying Schedoni's assessment of his formerly overactive imagination, Mrs. R a d c l i f f e steps i n to remind us that he has noxj -41 achieved greater s e l f c o n t r o l than he had commanded before hand. Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s treatment of the supernatural, then, i s lin k e d to her characters' need f o r emotional co n t r o l given the f a l l e n world 3 8 I t a l i a n , p. 322. 3 9 I b i d . , p. 334. 4 0 I b i d . , p. 347. 4 1 I b i d . , p. 398. 159 in which their own inward qualities may betray them to e v i l and misery. If, to an extent, she encourages us vicariously to entertain, through her manipulation of darkness and the unknown, the same unreasonable apprehensions as her characters, we also participate in their embarrassment and the consequent chastening of their outlook when the "ghostly" phenomena are exposed. Yet,when the situation i s presented in terms of an i l l u s i o n practised upon reason by imagination, or when i t occurs, as in the case of the l i f t i n g p a l l in Udolpho, after the exposure of other supernatural phenomena, our feelings cannot be interested, as we expect a hoax. Were this pattern of undermining the supernatural not a just part of Mrs. Radcliffe's moral statement, thus to undermine i t s sensational value would be as a r t i s t i c a l l y unsound as others have suggested. However, Mrs. Radcliffe does not deny a l l supernatural agency as reprehensible fallacy; a ghost, after a l l , i s the prime mover of the entire plot i n Gaston de Blondeville. In three of her other novels, indeed, the possibility of the genuine appearance of ghosts in pursuit of Divine moral retribution i s several times raised in passing and is never contradicted. In discussing the supernatural with Emilia and Jul i a , for example, Madame de Menon says that the only ghosts that can have being appear "only by the express permission of God, and for some 42 very singular purposes." Similarly, Adeline, reflecting on the events surrounding her room in the abbey and the manuscript she finds, believes that "such a combination of circumstances...could only be produced by 42 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 14. 1 6 0 4 3 s o m e s u p e r n a t u r a l p o w e r , o p e r a t i n g f o r t h e r e t r i b u t i o n o f t h e g u i l t y , " a n d t h e g h o s t i n w h i c h V i v a l d i i s i n i t i a l l y p r e p a r e d t o b e l i e v e i s a " s p i r i t o f t h e m u r d e r e d . . . r e s t l e s s f o r j u s t i c e , b e c o m i n g v i s i b l e i n o u r w o r l d . " 4 4 In addition, even in t h e n o v e l s w h i c h m o s t s t r o n g l y e x h i b i t t h e d e b u n k e d s u p e r n a t u r a l , s y m p a t h e t i c c h a r a c t e r s e x p e r i e n c e d r e a m s w i t h a v e r i f i e d p o r t e n t u o u s s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a t s u g g e s t t h e o p e r a t i o n o f b o n a f i d e s u p e r n a t u r a l a g e n c y . A d e l i n e , f o r e x a m p l e , t h o u g h h e r n i g h t -4 5 m a r e s a r e d e s c r i b e d a s s u g g e s t i o n s o f " h e r p e r t u r b e d f a n c y , " t h e y p o r t r a y , o n s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s , e v e n t s w h i c h i n f a c t o c c u r l a t e r i n t h e b o o k ; i n o n e , s h e i s i n t h e f o r e s t w i t h h e r " f a t h e r " - t h e M a r q u i s 4 6 d e M o n t a l t - a n d " h i s l o o k s w e r e s e v e r e , a n d h i s g e s t u r e s m e n a c i n g , " j u s t a s t h e y a r e l a t e r w h e n h e a t t e m p t s s e d u c t i o n a n d m u r d e r . O n a n o t h e r , s h e r e p e a t e d l y d r e a m s o f c h a m b e r s w h e r e s h e f i n d s t h e r e c o r d 4 7 o f d i s t r e s s o f o n e m u r d e r e d t h e r e , a n d a f e w p a g e s l a t e r , t h e d r e a m 4 8 e x p e r i e n c e f i n d s i t s c o u n t e r p a r t i n r e a l i t y . T h i s e x a c t c o r r e s p o n d e n c e o f d r e a m w i t h r e a l i t y s u g g e s t s t h e w o r k o f s u p e r n a t u r a l a g e n c y , a n d M r s . R a d c l i f f e s i g n i f i c a n t l y m a k e s n o a t t e m p t t o e x p l a i n t h e l i k e n e s s , 4 3 F o r e s t , p . 1 6 8 . 4 4 I t a l i a n , p . 3 4 7 . 45 F o r e s t , p . 1 3 0 . J 4 6 I b i d . , p . 5 1 . 4 7 I b i d . , p . 1 3 0 . 4 8 I b i d . , p . 1 3 7 . 161 but allows i t to stand as a mystery instead. The same sort of thing occurs again i n The I t a l i a n where, though V i v a l d i ' s dream, l i k e Emily's 49 i n Udolpho. i s put down to the e f f e c t of h i s waking thoughts on h i s imagination, he dreams exactly what i n f a c t occurs l a t e r on - a monk comes and dramatically reveals to him a bloody dagger, as i t turns out, Schedoni's weapon of murder."'^ Once again, the correspondence of the dream with what occurs i s l e f t to stand as a genuine supernatural mystery, and i n both cases, the supernatural event warns the character who experiences i t of danger from the v i l l a i n , or exposes i n some way the v i l l a i n ' s g u i l t . These occurrences f i t , therefore, i n t o that realm of moral r e t r i b u t i o n which i s inherent i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s f i c t i o n a l world, and which she never closes to the p o s s i b i l i t y of supernatural agency. On one other occasion, furthermore, Mrs. R a d c l i f f e j u s t i f i e s the supernatural, and here i t i s i n a c r i t i c a l sense. During a dialogue on the supernatural which o r i g i n a l l y formed part of the introductory framework to Gaston de B l o n d e v i l l e , but which was published as part of The New Monthly Magazine a f t e r her death, she has the " s e n s i b l e " eighteenth century aesthete, Willoughton, whose theories and r e f l e c t i o n s open her l a s t novel, defend the use of apparitions, quite apart from moral considerations, i n l i t e r a t u r e "when they are congruous with s e t t i n g and s i t u a t i o n . " " ' 1 So even though, as an "enlightened" authoress, 49 p. 83. " ^ I t a l i a n , p. 318. 5 1 A l a n D. McKillop, "Mrs. R a d c l i f f e on the Supernatural i n Poetry," JEGP, XXXI (1932), 356. 162 she usually rejects the direct intervention of ghosts as I r r a t i o n a l bunk, she does appear to recognize that they have a legitimate place i n l i t e r a t u r e . I t would also appear that she wished to make that recognition before introducing overtly the supernatural i n the form of the spectre of Kenilworth i n Gaston de Blondeville. What, i n f a c t , she creates i n that shadowy personage i s a supernatural phenomenon that meets a l l her c r i t e r i a for a r e a l and j u s t i f i a b l e ghost. He both f i t s h is medieval context and i s the agent of God i n the moral universe. Iii the. f i r s t place,rthe appearance of an armed ghost i s perfectly congruent to the medieval atmosphere of superstition, magic, and r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f . For t h i s , the "enlightened" ref l e c t i o n s of Willoughton as he reads t h i s old book prepare us: "As he turned over the leaves, curious to see the thraldom of superstition to which the people [sic] of a remote age were l i a b l e , he often smiled at the artless absurdities he discovered, the clumsy Inventions practised upon the 52 fears of the ignorant by the venality of the monks." Indeed, when the hallucinatory pageant of the spectre at the royal banquet i s taken 53 to be the delusions of a "jongleur's" white magic, we know we are immersed i n an age when supernatural experiences are a plausible part of human l i f e . A s i m i l a r effect i s wrought by the Archbishop's consistently recognizing the ghost, with a solemn holy sign, as a Divine supernatural agent."*4 52 Gaston, I , p. 74. 53 Gaston, I I , p. 76. 54 I b i d . , p. 82, f o r example. 163 Furthermore, the ghost i s clearly distinguished from those chimerical hallucinations of fancy to which Mrs. Radcliffe attributes most of the supernatural experiences of her novels. When, for example, during interludes in the narrative, we return to the present of the tale's f i c t i o n a l framework, Willoughton is musing in the dark over his ancient manuscript and revelling aesthetically in what he knows are illusions of his own creation. Looking to the castle, "already he fancied he could perceive half-armed men, on guard, pacing the battle-ments, and the warder's f i r e blazing on the summit and contending with the moonlight.""'*' Similarly, while he is musing on the battlements of Warwick Castle with his friend Simpson, the wind, to Willoughton, "seemed like a voice imperfectly uttering forth some dark prophesy.""'"' The point i s that, in the modern sense, these things only "seem", and "could be"; Willoughton's experiences are, he knows, illusions of his fancy, whereas the hauntings of the tale i t s e l f are very real and lack the characteristic semantic pointers which Mrs. Radcliffe customarily employs to repudiate the validity of belief in the supernatural. Even in the context of the tale i t s e l f , Mrs. Radcliffe is at pains to distinguish the ghost from i l l u s i o n . At one point, for example, Woodreeve is comforted in prison by the apparition of his dead kinsman accompanied by singing;"' 7 this he attributes wholly to his fancy, despite hints of Heavenly grace, but i t later transpires that the singing was actually 5 5Gaston, II, p. 108. 5 6 I b i d . , I, p. 64. 5 7 I b i d . , II, p. 318. 164 his wife outside his prison, singing to attract his attention, while 58 the apparition and the hope i t imparted were real s p i r i t u a l phenomena. Similarly, just before the ghost appears to King Henry, he thinks the tapestry of Richard the Lion-hearted which adorns his wall has come alive: "This," the narrator t e l l s us, "was but a passing phantasie of the King's own mind, as was afterwards declared: but that, which followed, 59 was said to be no deceit of fancy." Beyond giving the ghost a new and convincing reality in his f i c t i o n a l context, Mrs. Radcliffe also makes him of just the type which in A S i c i l i a n Romance and The Italian she never denies. The basis of his haunting Is moral retribution; he can have no rest u n t i l those guilty of his murder are punished: '"A knight-hospitaller was slain," 1 he t e l l s King Henry, "'by that sword; i t has, this day, slain his slayer, Gaston de Blondeville. The Prior of St. Mary's was his accomplice. Punish the guilty. Release the innocent. Give me r e s t l 1 " ^ His efforts are an example of "overpowering justice" ruling over "deep v i l l a i n y " 61' and "mortal weakness" by means of "supernatural power." In his disruption of the social order of the court, the ghost i s at once the Divinely inspired emblem of the moral and s p i r i t u a l canker 58 Gaston, III, p. 10. 5 9 I b i d . , p." 20. •. , ^ I b i d . , p. 21. 6 1 I b i d . , p. 48. 165 hidden within i t i n the form of Gaston and the Prior, and the means of redressing that e v i l . On each of the numerous occasions on which he appears, he disrupts the symbolic order of court functions and establishes 62 confusion. He so disturbs the wedding ceremony that i t i s delayed; his appearance before the King's table causes the Baron, by his 63 consternation, to disrupt the formal hospitality of the royal board; when spectral visions of the murder are recognized at the wedding feast, 64 "a murmur and confused noise" run through the h a l l , and many stand, where heretofore they had been si t t i n g in state according to rank; and his appearance at the t r i a l and the portent of the Baron's bloody clothes likewise disrupt the proper forms of law as a sign of Gaston's guilt. This whole process of bringing anarchy to the formal order of court culminates at the tournament, where the ghost strikes Gaston dead by a gesture with his sword, thereby inspiring a tumult of confusion: "Immediately, Woodreeve perceived a rising up, and some confusion in the pavilion; the King motioned with his arm; the Archbishop made a sign in the air; some of the nobles, who stood round his Highness' chair, pressed forward - others drew back; and those behind, seemed to move to and fro in disorder."*'*' So complete i s this disorder that the pageantry cannot continue, and the confident tone of system and structure i s not again established u n t i l the Prior is punished as well. 62 Gaston, II, pp. 14-15. 6 3 I b i d . , pp. 44-5. 6 4 I b i d . , p. 79. ^ I b i d . , pp. 374-5. 166 In each case, the supernatural disturbance occurs to c a l l attention to Gaston's secret disregard of the God-given values on which courtly order is established and King Henry's irresponsible refusal to recognize his favourite's guilt. The confusion so caused i s symbolic of the anarchy to which such an attitude leads. The Divine nature of the ghost's mission i s only made more apparent by his being the instrument of moral retribution as well as the emblem of disorder. The ghost, moreover, aids and comforts the innocent, besides exposing and punishing the guilty. We have already seen, for example, how his benign appearance inspires Woodreeve to hope, and how he demands that prisoner's release from the King. In addition, when the King has sentenced Woodreeve to death, a welter of haunting occurs in protest 66 at the church. Mrs. Radcliffe's only real ghost, then, is both a plausible part of his medieval milieu, and a powerful and effective personification of moral force in the f i c t i o n a l world of Gaston de Blondeville. What a pity that, having created him, she occasionally throws a slight doubt upon his existence through the t i t u l a r author's monkish caution: "We vouch not," says he, "for the truth of a l l here told; we only repeat what others have said and their selves credited; but in these days what is there strange and wonderful, which does not pass as current as the coin of the hand; and what w i l l they not t e l l in h a l l or chamber, seated by night over blazing logs, as i f their greatest pleasure were to fear?"*' 7 In a l l her other novels, the criticism that she pointlessly 66 Gaston, III, pp. 4-5. 6 7 I b i d . , II, p. 257. 167 undermines the supernatural i s i n v a l i d because she does so f o r sound a r t i s t i c reasons. Here, i t may be v a l i d , i n so f a r as her narrator's voice represents her own, because i n so questioning the f i c t i o n a l r e a l i t y of her spectre, however s l i g h t l y , she casts doubt on h i s important symbolic function and therefore on the meaning of her novel U 1 6 8 as a x^hole. For the most part, however, the ghost i n Gaston de B l o n d e v i l l e f i t s the terms of that novel as appropriately as the supernatural innuendo i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s other works' contributes to t h e i r unity and coherence; the f i c t i o n a l l y r e a l and debunked supernatural are complimentary manifestations of two d i f f e r e n t aspects of the world of Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels. On the one hand the spectre of the murdered knight i s Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s ultimate symbolic expression of that moral j u s t i c e which, o r i g i n a t i n g i n the Divine benevolence of the Creator of her f i c t i o n a l world, pervades, as we have seen, each of her novels. On the other, the debunked supernatural amplifies her characters' need f o r emotional c o n t r o l as a r e s u l t of threatening e v i l both within and without themselves given the f a l l e n state of the cosmos. The nature and concerns of love i n her novels are also governed by the nature and extent of e v i l i n the a f f a i r s of her f i c t i o n a l world. Because i t i s i n the nature of Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s f i c t i o n a l world.that her heroines should be threatened over matters of romance from both within and without t h e i r f a m i l i e s , that they and t h e i r lovers exercise Of course, t h i s i s not true i f the narrator's outburst i s a function of h i s character rather than that of the author. I r a i s e i t because, for the most part, the narrator of Gaston i s presented as e n t i r e l y c r e d i b l e , so that any d i s t i n c t i o n between h i s voice and the author's seems u n l i k e l y . 168 sexual r e s t r a i n t and circumspection i n love becomes an e s s e n t i a l part of that o v e r a l l emotional c o n t r o l which i s necessary to t h e i r happiness. Generally speaking, there i s a degree of f a m i l i a l duty i n the matter of marriage that Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s heroines acknowledge. J u l i a , f o r example, f e e l s that despite the extreme provocation to which she i s submitted, she must s t i l l apologize to Madame de Menon f o r running 69 away from a marriage of s o c i a l and economic convenience; Emily d u t i f u l l y obeys her aunt i n r e j e c t i n g the s u i t of Valancourt, and Mary, too, r e j e c t s A l l e y n , whatever i t costs her personally, as h i s supposed low b i r t h would be a disgrace to her family. By the same token, there i s an acceptable l e v e l of f a m i l i a l r e s t r a i n t and ins i s t e n c e i n the same matter, though Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s p o s i t i o n here tends to be a l i t t l e equivocal. Parental regulation of t h e i r childrens' amours i s regarded as laudable and necessary as long as i t i s i n the childrens' own best i n t e r e s t s . So long, for example, as Matilda "extended her views beyond the present e v i l , to the future welfare of her c h i l d , " 7 ^ she i s ri g h t i n opposing Alleyn's progress i n Mary's heart and recommending the advances of Count Santmorin, though i n the l a t t e r case, she drops her support when she.sees, that the Count can have no place ,in.her daughter's affection. 7"'" S i m i l a r l y , Madame La Motte i s seen as j u s t l y opposing Louis' attachment to Adeline "as an obstacle to the promotion and the 69 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 39. 7°Castles, p. 188. 7 1 I b i d . , p. 209. 169 72 fortune she hoped to see one day enjoyed by her son." Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Signora Bianchi, reflecting on Vivaldi's attachment to Ellena, "sometimes thought that i t might be right to sacrifice considerations which in other circumstances would be laudable, to the obtaining for her niece the protection of a husband and a man 73 of honour." A principled supervision of amours by those in parental authority and a corresponding duty toward their judgements on the part of the lovers would appear to be positive value in the view of Mrs. Radcliffe. Yet there are certain equivocal reservations expressed against any sort of family duty in love at a l l . In A S i c i l i a n Romance, for example, Hippolytus refers to familial duty - admittedly, where i t recommends misery to the individual for l i f e - as a matter of "the prejudices of . education. 1 , 7 4 In The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, Osbert's opposition to Alleyn's love for Mary is described as the product of prejudice and ancient p r i d e , " 7 3 and in The Italian, the Marchese di Vivaldi's pride of birth i s "at once his vice and his virtue, his safeguard and his 76 vice," an attribute which Ellena in exasperation calls "a visionary prejudice."'' 7 However, amid a l l these various protests against the 72 Forest, p. 87. ^ I t a l i a n , p. 25. 74 9 / p. 24. 7 5p. 248. 76 _ p. /. 7 7 O A p. 26. 170 interference with the rights of lovers perpetrated by class distinction and family duty, both are always served in the end. Never do any of her lovers actually succeed in marrying in defiance of convention and the desires of their families; always the low-born hero or heroine i s revealed to be a lost heiress or noble so that the original attachment may be consummated without violating any of the restrictions of the social order. Perhaps in this case, Mrs. Radcliffe uses her moral universe, in so far as It rewards virtuous protagonists in her novels, as a means by which to elude a painful and potentially powerful encounter between her sympathy for the rights of the individual in love and her conservative precepts of social distinction. As her novels stand, she attempts to uphold both, as her plots preserve the justice of the latter, while her characters' sufferings before the plot i s resolved exhibit the former. Whether or not class distinction and family duty are justifiable in themselves, Mrs. Radcliffe consistently treats as a cruel and disastrous misuse of parental power any attempt to force marriage or celibacy on the grounds of family aggrandizement. Everywhere the terms used to portray this insistence suggest treachery and outlandish self-interest. In A S i c i l i a n Romance, for instance, the Marchioness organizes Julia's enforced marriage to the Duke de Luovo out of family ambition and a jealous desire to dispose of a r i v a l for Hippolytus' affection. In these circumstances, J u l i a i s "the joint victim of ambition and 78 i l l i c i t love." The e v i l machinations of the Marchioness are particular 78 p. 25. 171 perfidious i n r e l a t i o n to the parental role she should play: "In reviewing the events of the la s t few weeks," J u l i a saw "those most dear to her banished or imprisoned by the secret influence of a woman, every feature of whose character was exactly opposite to that of the 79 amiable mother she had been appointed to succeed." In the same way, the e v i l intentions of the Marchesa against V i v a l d i and Ellena are in t e n s i f i e d by comparison with the j u s t sentiments of a:smother. When the lovers have escaped Mt. Carmel, "she was i n a disposition, which heightened disappointment into fury; and she f o r f e i t e d , by the transports to which she yielded, the degree of p i t y that otherwise was due to a mother, who believed her only son to have s a c r i f i c e d his family 80 and himself to an unworthy passion." Even the Marchese, having promised his dying wife to allow V i v a l d i to marry Ellena and having " f e l t disposed to consent to a l l that might restore him to happiness, 81 could he but be restored to l i b e r t y , " i s unjust enough to rejiect Schedoni's claims about Ellena's b i r t h and character out of continuing • AA 8 2 prejudice. Such unjust and despotic exercise of parental power often leads to disastrous errors. In The I t a l i a n , the Marchesa's br u t a l enforcement of her opposition to Ellena eventually has V i v a l d i , her 79,. , . _ S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 43. 80.,, . , • v ,, , I t a l i a n ; p. 165. 8 1 I b i d . , p. 388. 8 2 I b i d . , p. 393. 172 son, facing death at the I n q u i s i t i o n . In A S i c i l i a n Romance, a s i m i l a r i n s i s t e n c e on absolute obedience on the part of two separate f a m i l i e s leads to a calamitous mistaken i d e n t i t y . On the one hand, the Duke de Luovo mistakes a couple f l e e i n g over the S i c i l i a n landscape for J u l i a and Hippolytus, and i n t r y i n g to capture the wrong people by 83 vi o l e n c e , i s himself wounded. On the other, J u l i a and Madame Menon are seized by armed men and taken to a ruined house, where they are harangued by an i r a t e and a u t o c r a t i c father who, to h i s embarrassment, 84 finds J u l i a i s not h i s runaway daughter. Though the connection i s not o v e r t l y made, the daughter he seeks must be the one the Duke mistook f o r J u l i a , and the entire,dangerous misunderstanding e x h i b i t s to what lengths unreasonable s t r i c t n e s s drives parents. Such v i o l e n t abuse of parental r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels has the e f f e c t of a l i e n a t i n g her heroines from t h e i r f a m i l i e s , which leaves them bereft of Identity and purpose and i n imminent danger from a h o s t i l e world. As Francis Russel Hart says, i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels, and i n gothic novels i n general, "characters haunt and pursue each other i n demonic malevolence when normal u n i t i e s disintegrate as 85 r e l a t i o n s are thwarted." Thus,this violence on the part of the heroines' f a m i l i e s s i g n i f i e s the perversion of the t r a d i t i o n a l a f f e c t i v e f a m i l i a l bonds by ambition and l u s t , 8 * 5 and indicates that they no longer ! 83 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 35. 8 A I b i d . , p. 43. p. 96. 86 Notice the large part played by v i l l a i n o u s passions i n destroying these e s s e n t i a l t i e s . 173 offer protection, but rather another threat. And in terms of their milieu, Mrs. Radcliffe's heroines can have neither identity or protection outside a family; alone they have no power and no legal rights beyond those which the weak chivalry of the world at large may offer. It i s by no means unreasonable, then, that they a l l treat this alienation as one of the worst possible evils when i t threatens them. Ellena, for example, feels after Bianchi's death "as i f going forth 87 Into a new and homeless world." We have already seen how Emily's relations consistently threaten her with total withdrawal of their protection in order to coerce her according to their wishes, but by the time the abduction attempt has been made, and she has seen what she thinks i s her aunt's body, she recognizes that she i s , i n any case, totally alienated from the love and protection that i s usually due her, and she clings desperately to Annette's friendship as her last hope in the world. But i t i s in Adeline's case, more than any other, that the isolation of the heroine plays the greatest role; alienated from the protection of her supposed father by his cruel insistence on her taking the v e i l and by his later abandonment of her to violent hands, she i s forever reflecting on her helplessness and loneliness in the world at large: "'An orphan in this wide world'", she laments, "'thrown upon the friendship of strangers for comfort, and upon their bounty for the 88 very means of existence, what but e v i l have I to expect!'" Italian, p. 66. 'Forest, p. 121. 174 What, indeed! Though such r e f l e c t i o n s may often sound s e l f - i n d u l g e n t , the f a c t remains that the alienated heroines of Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels are genuinely threatened by the l u s t s and ambitions of e v i l men. Conformity to mores of ch a s t i t y and propriety i s s t i l l the basis by which a s i n g l e woman i s judged i n the world at large. More s i g n i f i c a n t l y , moral v i r t u e remains important absolutely, as i t r e l a t e s each i n d i v i d u a l to hi s God. For these reasons, p u r i t y of reputation, to Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s 89 heroines, i s "dearer...than existence" because i t s preservation means l i f e i t s e l f . Once the heroine has l o s t the e f f e c t i v e temporal protection of her family, the heroine's v i r t u e , that a l l important a t t r i b u t e , becomes the prey of the unscrupulous because she i s p h y s i c a l l y vulnerable. Thus, the Marquis de Montalt and the Duke de Luovo can pursue Adeline and J u l i a to any lengths of viciousness out of l u s t , Montano can attempt to abduct Emily, and the church,under the Marchesa's orders,can attempt to p r o s t i t u t e E l l e n a to the man of t h e i r choice. Consciousness of t h i s v u l n e r a b i l i t y , e s p e c i a l l y t h e i r sexual v u l n e r a b i l i t y , tends n a t u r a l l y to cause Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s heroines generally to d i s t r u s t men, whereas they are more at ease amongst women, be they ever so unknown. One of the circumstances, f o r example, which most alarms E l l e n a about Spalatro's v i l l a i s that there i s no woman 90 l i v i n g there. S i m i l a r l y , when Adeline, at de Montalt's palace, S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 23. I t a l i a n , p. 213. 175 "perceived that the Marquis was gone and that she was in the care of 91 women," she is more at ease. When she awakes from her fever at Leleoncourt in the care of Clara and Madame La Luc, she troubles herself not at a l l , as we might expect, to anticipate in them the presence of 92 enemies. It is as part of this necessary caution about a l l men that the heroines of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels must be exceedingly circumspect in their love affairs. Of course, they must resist love where i t conflicts with the just demands of family duty, even when the resistance i s ultimately hopeless. Mary, for example, though she cannot banish her love for the supposed peasant, Alleyn, never gives in to i t and makes every effort to hide i t 93 from both herself and others. Similarly, because love i s , in any case, a potentially disquieting emotion, in that i t may be betrayed, the heroines must always entertain i t with caution. Here, J u l i a i s a perfect example; she embraces with wholehearted and naive exultation the atten-tions of Hippolytus, and works herself into a frenzy of happy expectation, only to sink into languor and disappointment when he abruptly leaves 94 95 Castle Mazzini. Henceforth, she treats the affa i r with greater caution. But most significantly, the heroines must resist the demands of love, or at least proceed with extreme caution, where they conflict with 91 Forest, p. 195. 9 2 I b i d . , p. 288. 93 See Castles, pp. 65, 67, 81. 94 S i c i l i a n Romance, pp. 8-9. 95 Ibid., p. 17, where she resolves "to conceal her sentiments t i l l an exploration of his abrupt departure from Mazzini, and subsequent absence, should have dissipated the shadow...which hung over...his conduct." 176 the precepts of absolute propriety; to f a i l to do so i s to ignore their vulnerability in a hostile world and to court the personal and public disaster of a lost reputation. Thus,Julia entertains the thought of eloping with Hippolytus only because her parents' injustice i s so extreme, and she sees no means of avoiding the disgrace accompanying such an act 96 "but by rushing upon the fate so dreadful to her imagination." ' Later, though her immediate marriage with Hippolytus would end the threats of her father and the Duke, though "she loved Hippolytus with a steady and tender affection," because she thinks Ferdinand i s dead, she refuses Hippolytus' proposal on grounds that i t would be a "profanation of the memory of that brother who had suffered so much for her sake, to mingle i 97 joy with the grief which her uncertainty concerning him occasioned." Beyond the dictates of public morality, i t i s essential that her own standards be maintained for the sake of self esteem. Adeline, too, must exercise extreme caution in her aff a i r with Theodore. In the f i r s t place, because she i s only too aware of the vulnerability of her position with the La Mottes, she consistently blames herself for having suffered her thoughts to consider an object, the young officer to whom she is attracted, "which she perceived was 98 too dangerous to her peace." Only because he wishes to impart to her 96 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 24. 97 Ib i d . , p. 63. 98 Forest, p. 117. 177 important information about the Marquis does she permit herself to meet him, and even then, "she blamed herself for having made an appointment, doubting whether he had not solicited i t for the purpose of pleading a passion; and now delicacy checked this thought, and made her vexed 99 that she had presumed upon having inspired one." Later, when she is satisfied that her affection i s returned, and i t appears that i t cannot be denied, she s t i l l refusesj even when she and Theodore are fleeing the Marquis' violent revenge, an immediate marriage "with a man, of whom she had l i t t l e knowledge, and to whose family and connections she had no sort of introduction;"'''^ she recognizes that in terms of her society i t i s "'an engagement which, at this time, can be productive only of misery to us both.'"'''^ Her devotion to propriety in this case places her once again in the hands of the Marquis, but by following morality to the letter, she preserves her self-esteem and insures her future happiness. Emily, too, f i r s t refuses Valancourt at Toulouse because she realizes that a clandestine marriage would be a blot for l i f e on her personal standards and on their public reputation that i s not worth the 102 risk and because her own principles demand obedience to Madame Cheron. When, later on, Valancourt appears to be a gambler and a wastrel who 99 Forest, p. 124. 1 0 0 I b i d . , p. 225. 1 0 1 I b i d . , p. 228. 1 0 2Udolpho, p. 155. 178 has deceived her and with whom she could not be happy, she knows that 103 her rejection of him i s "necessary to her future peace" no matter what i t s temporary cost i n emotional pain. Her fear of her v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n keeps her steadfastly aloof from him u n t i l the charges against his character are cleared. At f i r s t , Ellena, l i k e the others, refuses to admit her affection for V i v a l d i because she knows that his parents w i l l undoubtedly baulk at her humble origins; indeed, had she known the extent of t h e i r opposition at the beginning of the i r acquaintance, "a just regard for her own dignity would in s t a n t l y have taught her to subdue, without 104 d i f f i c u l t y , t h i s infant a f f e c t i o n . " She must protect herself from the heartbreak of disappointment to which her class dooms her. When, however, I t appears that Viva l d i ' s parents may be persuaded to accept her, and while she has the encouragement i n t h i s a f f a i r of her prudent aunt, she y i e l d s , against her better judgement, to her love. -"^ 3 By the time she finds out about the absolute opposition of Viva l d i ' s parents, i t causes her much b i t t e r remorse and confusion,""^ for now though she recognizes that to continue with her plans to marry him i s to v i o l a t e her own prin c i p l e s by entering a family "so decidedly averse to t h e i r marriage,"""^7 she cannot bring herself to reject him. S t i l l , her path 103 UJolpho, p. 513. " " ^ I t a l i a n , p. 32. 1 0 5 I b i d . , p. 38. 106 I b i d ; , p.. 69. 1 0 7 I b i d . , p. 125. 179 Is not clear,even when he has rescued her from the convent; she must decide whether or not they are to marry, and Mrs. Radcliffe Is at pains to show us that her heroine's scruples i n t h i s matter are much more than petty vanity: "She was too sensible of the d i f f i c u l t i e s of her present s i t u a t i o n , and too apprehensive of the influence which her determination must have on a l l her future l i f e , to be happy, though escaped from the prison of San Stefano, and i n the presence of V i v a l d i , 108 her beloved deliverer and protector." Only with the greatest uneasiness does she consent to the marriage as the least of many e v i l s . In t h i s way, then, apprehensiveness of t h e i r own v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n the world and a corresponding desire to preserve the public reputation and the private standards on which t h e i r happiness and safety are founded drive Mrs. Radcliffe's heroines to i n s i s t on absolute propriety In matters of the heart. Even i n Gaston de Blondeville, where the romantic theme i s scarcely developed, Lady Barbara's consolation for the loss of Gaston i s that her happiness would have been destroyed forever by having to l i v e with such a v i l l a i n : "She must have known him for the perpetrator of that lawless and wicked act, of which he was accused, 10' and,moreover,for the cruel destroyer of domestic f a i t h and happiness." As a result of t h i s apprehensive reserve, a hero, i f he i s to attract the affection or even the respect of a heroine, must conform to absolute propriety l e s t he appear too great a threat to her. For I t a l i a n , p. 160. 109 T T Q Q / I I , p. 394. 180 the most part, t h i s means he must curb the vehement passions of sexual love, whose violence and s e l f i s h n e s s i s often c r u e l i n any case. Unsuccessful lovers must learn to curb t h e i r emotion with resignation because to force t h e i r s u i t s , having been refused, i s to cause another unnecessary emotional pain i n a f u t i l e cause. As A l i d a Weiten points out, the mutual love of hero and heroine i n a R a d c l i f f e novel i s a r b i t r a r y and unassailable,""""^ so he has no chance of changing her mind; to p e r s i s t i s only to cause continuing d i s t r e s s f o r both her and himself. Thus Adeline r e j e c t s with moral indignation the passionate pleadings of Louis La Motte early i n The Romance of the Forest: "'You d i s t r e s s me,' interrupted Adeline; 'this i s a conversation which I ought not to hear. I am above disguise, and, therefore, assure you, that though your v i r t u e s w i l l always command my esteem, you have nothing to hope from my love.'"*""""" However, once Louis has made the e f f o r t to c o n t r o l h i s 112 passion and has nobly scorned to be jealous of Theodore, Adeline " finds her esteem f o r him ripen i n t o gratitude, and her regard d a i l y 113 increase." S i m i l a r l y , Dupont, Emily's rescuer i n Udolpho, must f i r s t l e arn to moderate h i s passionate and unwelcome professions of love before she can accept him as a f r i e n d . Nor can the successful lovers command the heroines' a f f e c t i o n s """"^Forest, p. 126. 112 I b i d . , p. 363. 1 1 3 I b i d . , p. 379. 181 while they continue in the ill-advised assumptions and outbursts of their passion. Mrs. Radcliffe's heroes seem to be guilty of selfishness in the pursuit of love. Vivaldi, for example, on several occasions attempts to force Ellena into a promise of immediate marriage, despite the emotional strain she i s under after their escape from San Stefano, 114 and despite the threat of pursuit. Valancourt, too, has trouble staying on the benevolent side of passion in his relationship with Emily. Early in Udolpho, when Emily insists that he follow proper form in suing for her hand, knowing that he w i l l be refused by Madame Cheron, he breaks into a f i t of impetuous insistence that frightens Emily with i t s violence;"""""' later, because she cannot bear the thought of a secret marriage, he quite brutally accuses her of not loving him."'""*' Nor are his passions better controlled i n i t i a l l y when she rejects him for his supposed immorality. At that time, he pleads for forgiveness with a vehement disregard for Emily's already distraught emotions. These violent outbursts in favour of morally culpable, precipitant acts are, of course, indicative of a mental state that the heroines must reject for their own safety and happiness. Therefore, they regularly oppose them with coldness and upraid the heroes for the cruelty of their expressions, whereupon the heroes' more tender sensibility usually returns, and they defer apologetically to their loves. """"4See Italian, pp. 144-5, for example, p. 146. p. 154. 1 8 2 W h e n A l l e y n , f o r e x a m p l e , g i v e s i n t o h i s f r u s t r a t e d a f f e c t i o n f o r M a r y a n d t h r o w s h i m s e l f i n a f i t o f p l e a d i n g a t h e r f e e t , h e r c o l d r e p l y b r i n g s h i m q u i c k l y t o h i s s e n s e s , a n d m a k e s h i m s o r r y s o u n f a i r l y t o a g g r a v a t e t h e i r m u t u a l d i s t r e s s . ^ " 7 J u l i a c r u s h e s a s i m i l a r a b j e c t d i s p l a y o n t h e p a r t o f H i p p o l y t u s t h u s : " ' R i s e my l o r d . . . t h a t a t t i t u d e 1 1 8 i s n e i t h e r b e c o m i n g y o u t o u s e , n o r me t o s u f f e r . ' " W h e n A d e l i n e r e p e a t e d l y r e j e c t s T h e o d o r e ' s p r o p o s a l s o f i m m e d i a t e m a r r i a g e a n d a s k s f o r r e t r e a t i n a c o n v e n t , h e , i n a n o u t b u r s t o f f r u s t r a t e d a n g e r , l i k e V a l a n c o u r t i n U d o l p h o , c a s t s d o u b t s u p o n t h e s i n c e r i t y o f h e r l o v e . H e r s h o c k e d a n d h u r t r e a c t i o n a w a k e n s t e n d e r n e s s , h o w e v e r : ' " W h a t a w r e t c h w a s I , , n s a y s h e , ' " t o c a u s e y o u t h i s d i s t r e s s b y q u e s t i o n i n g t h a t r e g a r d w i t h w h i c h I c a n n o l o n g e r d o u b t y o u h o n o u r m e ! F o r g i v e me A d e l i n e ; s a y b u t y o u f o r g i v e m e , a n d w h a t e v e r m a y b e t h e p a i n o f t h i s 1 1 9 s e p a r a t i o n , I w i l l n o l o n g e r o p p o s e i t . " ' T h i s p a t t e r n o f e m o t i o n a l o u t b u r s t , f o l l o w e d b y c o o l , m o r a l r e a c t i o n a n d r e m o r s e f u l a p o l o g y i s r e p e a t e d a g a i n a n d a g a i n b e t w e e n n e a r l y a l l o f M r s . R a d c l i f f e ' s h e r o e s a n d h e r o i n e s . M o r e o v e r , i t i s o n l y w h e n t h e h e r o b e g i n s t o d e f e r t o t h e i m p e c c a b l e d e l i c a c y o f t h e h e r o i n e t h a t h e r a f f e c t i o n b e c o m e s t o t a l l y h i s . T h e o d o r e ' s c o n d u c t , we l e a r n , " s i n c e A d e l i n e ' s e s c a p e , h a d e x c i t e d h e r w a r m e s t g r a t i t u d e , a n d t h e d a n g e r w h i c h h e h a d n o w e n c o u n t e r e d i n h e r b e h a l f , c a l l e d f o r t h h e r t e n d e r n e s s , a n d h e i g h t e n e d i t i n t o 1 2 0 l o v e . " L i k e w i s e , " b y a c t i n g w i t h a n h o n o u r s o d e l i c a t e " f o r t h e m o s t ^ ^ C a s t l e s , p . 215. . 1 1 8 S i c i l i a n R o m a n c e , p p . 1 6 - 1 7 , 119 F o r e s t , p . 2 2 8 . 1 2 0 I b i d . , p . 2 1 2 . 183 part, Vivaldi "unconsciously adopted a certain means of increasing her 121 Ellena's esteem and gratitude," so that shortly she i s indeed prepared to marry him,in spite of possible consequences. Even so, i t i s tempting to accuse Mrs. Radcliffe of some sort of primal feminine aggression in the way she consistently opposes male passion to female delicacy, to the detriment of the former. After a l l , the immediate marriage or elopement for which he pleads would, as in the cases of Hippolytus, Theodore, Valancourt, and Vivaldi, put the heroine out of danger from voracious relatives or lust-ridden nobles. Moreover, his passionate complaints are based only on the flattering fear that he might lose her. Yet the heroines appear universally cold, rational, and cruelly unfeeling: "these exquisitely sensitive, well-bred heroines alienate our sympathy by their impregnable self-esteem, a disconcerting t r a i t which would certainly have exasperated heroes less 122 perfect...than Mrs. Radcliffe's Theodores and Valancourts." Were i t not for each heroine's isolation and the magnitude of the threats facing them in their world, i t might be hard to justify their behaviour. Furthermore, we must note in her defence that the heroines of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels frequently have just as much trouble denying the inclinations of passionate love as their male counterparts. Love in Mrs. Radcliffe's world i s an organic symbiosis of minds based on common sentiments and interests. Vivaldi and Ellena grow together Italian, p. 160. Birkhead, Tale, p. 46. 184 during long evenings spent i n conversation and mutual adoration of Neapolitan landscape, while Emily and Valahcourt s w i f t l y discover the congruency of t h e i r aesthetic taste and moral pr i n c i p l e s during the St. Auberts' tour of the JPyrWmes, and when we read the following during Adeline's f i r s t contact with Theodore, i t becomes obvious that they are destined for one another: "Her conversation no longer suffered a pai n f u l r e s t r a i n t ; but gradually disclosed the beauties of her mind, and seemed to produce a mutual confidence. A s i m i l a r i t y of sentiment soon appeared, and Theodore, by the impatient pleasure which animated his countenance, seemed frequently to anticipate the thoughts 123 of Adeline." Such a strong and deep-rooted attachment i s not to be denied, at least not long. Often, j u s t at the moment when the heroines would l i k e most for reasons of circumspection to hide t h e i r love, i t shows through i n spite of t h e i r e f f o r t s . When Mary, for example, i s challenged on the subject, "the soft blush of her cheek showed the colours of her mind, while i n endeavouring to shade her feelings, she impelled them into stronger 12 A l i g h t . " Ellena, too, cannot be as hard as she would l i k e ; she 125 prudently sends her new suitor away, but "an involuntary smile" contradicts her reserve. Certainly, Mrs. Radcliffe's heroines suffer as much c o n f l i c t """""^Forest, p. 114. """"^Castles, p. 91. """""'Italian, p. 27. 185 internally in asserting the rational dictates of. delicacy as the heroes do externally in accepting them. As she listens to her mother's reservations about Alleyn, for instance, Mary's "judgement acknowledged 126 their justness, while her heart regretted their force" and throughout the book "the insignificance of the peasant was lost in the nobility 127 of the character, and every effort at forgetfullness was baffled." When Emily St. Aubert i s f i r s t told of Valancourt's e v i l ways, the consequences send her into such a welter of grief that she alternately 128 believes and disbelieves the evidence, and from that point u n t i l he i s cleared, she i s extremely hard put to deny her love in favour of the cold, rational rejection she knows is necessary. Her heart consistently contradicts the evidence of her reason, and by the time Valancourt is cleared, what she has learned herself of his benevolence to Therese and to his own tenants i s already secretly restoring even her rational 129 esteem. Adeline experiences similar d i f f i c u l t y in refusing the proposals of Theodore! "Adeline, who had long strove to support her s p i r i t s in his presence, while she adhered to a resolution which reason suggested, but which the pleadings of her heart powerfully opposed, was 130 unable longer to command her distress, and burst into tears." ^ 2^Castles, p. 82. 127 Ibid., p. 68. 1 IQ Udolpho, p. 509. 129 Ibid., p. 593. ^"^Forest, p. 228. 186 Ellena even gives over her delicacy in favour of love and a clandestine marriage with Vivaldi, though i t i s not without the encouragement of her late guardian and an excuse for ignoring the opposing wishes of Vivaldi's family. To exercise restraint i s as d i f f i c u l t for her as i t is for the others, for "whenever prudence and decorous pride forbade her to become a member of the Vivaldi family, as constantly did gratitude, affection, i r r e s i s t i b l e tenderness plead the 131 cause of Vivaldi." She suffers considerably to refuse Vivaldi's proposals as long as she does. However, her affection does have the 132 support of Signora Bianchi, her guardian, and she early realizes "that the injustice her imprisonment at San Stefano , which his family had exercised towards her, absolved her from a l l consideration of their 133 displeasure, otherwise than as i t might affect herself." With the help of these considerations, soon "she appeared to herself an unjust and selfish being, unwilling to make any sacrifice for the tranquility of him, who had given her liberty, even at the risk of his l i f e . Her very virtues, now that they were carried to excess, seemed to her to border on vices; her sense of dignity appeared to be narrow pride; her delicacy weakness; her moderated affection cold ingratitude; and her circumspection, 134 l i t t l e less than prudence degenerated into meanness." And she assents to the marriage. Perhaps this last example, since i t i s also 131 Italian, p. 182. 132 $bidi.j-.^ .|:--38.'" • 133 Ibid., p. 123. 1 3 4 I b i d . , p. 181. 187 Mrs. Radcliffe's l a s t portrayal of the struggle of heart and head i n a heroine, represents a mellowing toward love at the expense of prudence i n comparison with her e a r l i e r works. Certainly, i t i s much easier to forgive a l l her heroines' s t r i c t propriety when we re a l i z e how much i t costs them to achieve. I t would appear, then, that adherence to the s t r i c t forms of decorum i n matters sexual i s one facet of that o v e r a l l emotional r e s t r a i n t which both hero and heroine must s t r i v e to attain i n order to l i v e , as successfully as possible, the moral l i f e i n a f a l l e n world. Only when they have w e l l endured the e v i l s that beset them and resisted the pote n t i a l l y disastrous temptation to y i e l d to the passions of sexual love outside the approved modes of society do they enter those scenes of marital b l i s s which, l i k e the weddings concluding Shakespearean 135 comedies, symbolize i d e a l earthly happiness. Nor are the supernatural and romantic love the only themes that are governed by Mrs. Radcliffe's recommendations of emotional r e s t r a i n t . Because the quality of her f i c t i o n a l society and i t s In s t i t u t i o n s i s governed by the quality of the emotional l i v e s of those i n her novels who administer i t , she also recommends emotional r e s t r a i n t and damns s e l f i s h passion i n government and church. Most c r i t i c a l theories of the h i s t o r i c a l or s o c i a l significance of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels go to ludicrous extremes that cannot be 135 See, for example, Udolpho, p. 670; Castles, p. 258; I t a l i a n , p. 412; and Forest, pp. 422-3, a l l of which depict f a i r y land wedding celebrations of great richness and i d y l l i c future l i v e s . 188 supported adequately from her texts. Many find them to be a positive or negative projection of eighteenth century/ values into the medieval period. Evans, for example, claims that "Otranto and the genre i t initiated erupted from two related ideas: f i r s t , medieval l i f e was dark, gloomy, and barbarous; second, i t would be terrifying i f enlightened gentlemen'and 'sensible' ladies were transported from contemporary society 136 and suddenly thrust into that earlier time." In this he is partially ' 137 supported by Andre Breton, the French Surrealist, who finds in gothic f i c t i o n an expression of the revolution of democracy over feudalism, in which the ruined edifices equal fallen feudalism, the phantoms the threat of the past, and the dark passages the struggle of the individual out of the slavery of the past. To the contrary, Robert Utter finds Mrs. Radcliffe's works, in particular, a yearning for the past. The heroine's fainting in a Radcliffe novel, he says, we may think of "as a symptom of a sort of aristocracy complex, and of the Gothic romance as a dream of feudalism by way of escape from an inevitably rising tide 138 of democracy." Wylie Sypher even manages to suggest that Mrs. Radcliffe was a direct forbear of Marxism: "If one can force himself to penetrate the surface of Mrs. Radcliffe's gothic fabrications a pattern of socio-economic contradictions, paradoxes, ambivalences, and ambiguities appears that affords some c r i t e r i a of the greater romantics and of 1 3 6 n 8 p. o. 137 As Montague Summers represents him, p. 398. p. 163. 189 British romanticism generally... . In her, one more readily comprehends the total situation - the bourgeois standards and the oblique negation 139 of those standards." A l l these theories, because of the sweeping generalizations they make at the expense of the text, amount to just so much meaningless jargon. It i s simply a faet that Mrs. Radcliffe's novels reflect only the l i f e and views of the eighteenth century in England, even though they are set nominally in the foreign past. Gothic heroines like Emily and Adeline do not function as "projections of the nervous system of their 140 own time" into the "Dark Ages," because in Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, the f i c t i o n a l milieu i s eighteenth century in essence, whatever i t may be in name. Indeed, the very ruined appearance- of the gothic castles, as opposed to the numerous chateaux which give the impression of a far later era - they are a l l f i t t e d up in delicate eighteenth century fashion - suggest, along with the protagonists' concerns and values, that the whole flavour of the novel i s contemporary to the period of i t s writing and that the nominal period setting i s merely a trick of temporal 141 distancing. I am prepared to agree with those c r i t i c s who claim that Mrs. Radcliffe introduced these supposed foreign and past settings in accordance with contemporary c r i t i c a l theory which made such technique important to the suspension of disbelief. 1 "39 "Social Ambiguity in a Gothic Novel," Partisan Review, XII (1945), 51. 1 4 0 F Q Evans, p. 9. 141 Among them Foster, pp. 456-7; Hume, p. 286; and S. Diana N e i l l , A Short History of The English Novel, p. 115. 190 Of course, there is one exception to prove the rule, Gaston de 142 Blondeville. In this singular example, much ignored by the c r i t i c s , Mrs. Radcliffe uses a medieval setting, authentic in so far as she can make i t , to figure forth a compelling picture of a structured society disrupted by e v i l and restored by i t s purging. The extent to which she has sought detailed authenticity in her text, as te s t i f i e d by her copious notes, makes Gaston, more than any of her other books, a reproduction of l i f e and manners in a past age, though her commentators have attacked her here as pedantic.""4"' This attempt at authenticity imparts successfully, at least to a layman, a peculiarly medieval quality to the supposedly medieval narrative. There are numerous, interpolated moral asides, for example, a l l marked with a typically medieval other-worldliness. Here, for example, i s a medieval commonplace, straight out of Mrs. Radcliffe's text: "Gradually a sense of the vanity and nothingness of this fleeting part of an external existence, instead of being a melancholy, w i l l be a complacent perception, more than reconciling us to the shortness of 144 i t s imperfect joys and deeply consoling us for i t s sorrows." Of course, i t is undoubtedly no coincidence that this sentiment is philosophically congruent to that resignation offered by La Luc, 142 Except Birkhead, p. 57, who notes i t i n passing as "an early attempt to figure forth the days of chivalry", and Varma, p. 101, who plagiarizes her opinion word for word. 143 See Foster, p. 269; Birkhead, p. 57; and Varma, p. 88. 144 Gaston, II, p. 314. For other similar reflections, see I, p. 93; II, pp. 95, 347; III, pp. 13, 46, 50. 191 St. Aubert, and others in Mrs. Radcliffe's earlier novels, but never-theless, i t i s both structured in a medieval manner and introduced in the text in a medieval way - for no great reason at a l l save i t s in t r i n s i c value. Moreover, the narrative d r i f t s gracefully, just like the medieval chronicle i t i s supposed to be, into digressions and descriptive cul-de-sacs. The character of the Prior we f i r s t glean from incidental references to his presence, characteristic more of a chronicle than a novel. At the hunt, for example, we learn that the Prior of St. Mary's "was in the King's train; for he joyed in sports of the forest more than 145 well became one of his calling," this statement occurring quite as an aside from the description of the pageantry of the hunt. Similarly, the anecdote of Maister Henry's ballads being shortened by royal decree is cheerfully brought in as a means for the t i t u l a r author, in the medieval manner, to apologize for the length of his tale and to insist upon the necessity of i t s prolixity: "...for mine own part, I must be circumstantial, or else nothing, as this 'Trew chronique' in due time v , ,,146 must show. The style of composition is also characteristically medieval. Mrs. Radcliffe quite successfully masters a medievally-flavoured prose. Not only does she stud her sentences with archaisms - "When they came Gaston, II, p. 134. Ibid., I, p. 141. 192 nigh to Kenilworth,""" 4 7 "Certes, the noise of the trumpets,"""48 149 "warders in their niches to the number of eight;" She also makes copious use of studied and formal similies worthy of a medieval text of Latinate rhetoric: "This noble train...was; like unto some mighty river, that flowing along, appears, where the shades open, in shining bends upon the plain, and i s lost again as they enter beneath the gloom. """"^  The example is one of three similes which, occurring together, occupy an entire page of the text. In fact, in i t s length, i t s richness of detail, and i t s subjects of order and ceremony; Mrs. Radcliffe's copious descriptive passages achieve the quality of medieval tapestry, or some of Chaucer's lush chivalric passages. There are so many paragraphs that might be quoted, but here i s one substantial example, significantly medieval not only for the rich detail of appearance, but also in the order and r i t u a l portrayed: But, the finest sight of a l l was the going of the chamberlain to the cupboard, accompanied of three nobles of the highest estate in the realm, that were then present, (save the King's family) to receive the King's cup and spice-plates; and then the bringing up of the voide before his Highness. And, f i r s t , the usher, having assembled the King's sewers, their towels about their Hecks ?> with the four esquires of the body and the knights and esquires of the 147 r Gaston, I,, p. -86. 1 4 8 I b i d . , p. 92. 149 x *Ibid., p. 95. 1 5 0 I b i d . , p. 80. 193 household, to the number of seventeen; these, with other officers, being met at the cupboard, the Chamberlain took the King's towel, and, having kissed i t , as the custom i s , delivered i t to the Earl of Norfolk, who, reverently received the same, and la i d i t safely upon his shoulder. Then, the said chamberlain gave the gold spice-plates covered to the Earl of Hereford; and then the King's cup of massive gold, covered also, to the Earl of Warwick. At the same time were given to the knights of the household the Archbishop's spice plate and cup, covered also, to be carried up, by the space of one minute after the King's. 151 A place for everything, and everything in i t s place. Here i s another incident of rich pageantry, this time from the tournament: Firs t came, in solemn march, eight trumpeters, four abreast, blowing up amain, in their yellow tabards and high caps, their banner r o l l s displayed: then cornets, drums, and clarioners, in warlike fashion. Then came twelve knights armed, two and two, on foot. Next came the banner of the King's Highness, carried by a knight completely armed, and borne iip by four other knights armed, but bare-headed, each having his two shield-knaves...beside him carrying his spear, shield, and helmet. Then followed eight knights, appointed like the f i r s t , each with his two knaves, bearing helmet and shield; then forty yeomen, In doublets of scarlet and gold, bearing their partizans upright, their coats broidered with a golden lion and the King's crown above, surmounted with a cresent and a blazing star. 152 This passage continues for three more pages, equally as lush, and similar examples punctuate a l l three volumes of the text. The dramatic framework of this narrative, distanced in time by i t s eighteenth century setting Gaston, I, p. 139 f f . Ibid., II, p. 338. 194 and in attitude by the eighteenth century philosophy and aesthetics of the characters who discover the manuscript, serves only to throw into r e l i e f the characteristics of the "medieval" past against the tone of the f i c t i o n a l present of Willoughton and Simpson. The quality of serene confidence, formality, and order which distinguishes the manner of the narrative reflects symbolically upon the society depicted in i t . Through passages such as those quoted above, Mrs. Radcliffe creates in this medieval setting an extremely secure, humanly ordered world to which i t is d i f f i c u l t not to be attracted instinctively. It i s this pervasive order and justness in things which is dissipated by the ghost, who, as we have seen, i s a manifestation of the e v i l v/hich i s actually undermining the moral values of the society in the form of the Prior and Gaston, and which must be removed before the proper tenour of l i f e can be restored. Mrs. Radcliffe's attempt thus to imitate' the quality of medieval l i f e marks the only occasion on which the his t o r i c i t y of her novels assumes anything more than superficial significance. Nevertheless, though i t may not be tied to any particular period, there i s in her novels a good deal of criticism of upper class l i f e , as i t relates to individuals' responsibilities within that class to guide and rule society. Usually, this criticism bears on the failure of her nobles and clerics to live the l i f e of restraint she recommends in general. A l l her v i l l a i n s , after a l l , are nobles and churchmen who abuse their stations as a result of their indulgence of e v i l passions. Her t i t l e d v i l l a i n s , in order to satisfy their greed and pride, consistently abuse their authority at the expense of their subjects. 195 Baron Malcolm's lands are "scarcely sufficient to support his wretched people, who, sinking under severe exactions, suffer to l i e uncultivated, 153 tracts which would otherwise yield riches to their lord;" the result of his oppressive policy i s ultimately a revolt amongst his own household "who, impatient of the yoke of tyranny, only waited a favourable opportunity to throw i t off, and resume the rights of nature.""""'4 Similarly, i t i s an emblem of Montoni's avaricious irresponsibility that he w i l l not repair his seat, from which he is for the most part absent, even though his retainers must suffer discomfort as a result."""'"' In the following description of the last champion at the tournament in Gaston de Blondeville, a l l those who preceded him are damned for their irresponsiblity to their estates by comparison: "I say not more of his appearance, seeing he made not much, when compared with others, on that day; only this I w i l l add, he was of a most compassionate and honest nature; and might have vied with the rest, i f he would have pressed harder upon his dependents, or would have mortgaged his lands, as so many did, to the Jews.""""'*' The general view of the nobility to be had from Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, moreover, only extends this irresponsibility i n wider circles. In A S i c i l i a n Romance, the rulers of one era are compared to those of """'""Castles, p. 13. 1 5 4 I b i d . , p. 123. 155 Udolphq, p. 230. """^Gaston, II, p. 358. 196 another, and there i s l i t t l e d ifference but f o r a change of passions and v i c e s : "fhe rude manners, the boisterous passions, the daring ambition, and the gross indulgences which formerly characterized the p r i e s t , the nobleman, and the sovereign, had now begun to y i e l d to learning - the charms of r e f i n e d , conversation - p o l i t i c a l i n t r i g u e and priva t e artifice.""*'"' 7 With s i m i l a r force, Ferdinand, r e f l e c t i n g on the possible impact which h i s sudden absence from h i s s i s t e r ' s wedding would have (he has been imprisoned/by h i s father f o r attempting to help her escape), "knew too w e l l the di s s i p a t e d character of the S i c i l i a n n o b i l i t y , to doubt that whatever story should be invented would be very r e a d i l y believed by them; who, even i f they knew the tru t h , would not s u f f e r a discovery of t h e i r knowledge to int e r r u p t the f e s t i v i t y which 158 was offered them;" appetite comes to t h e i r minds before moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . In Udolpho, the St. Auberts seem to be the only honest, responsible, r u l i n g family l e f t amidst corruption; M. Quesnel, who takes over t h e i r family seat, immediately shows h i s s o c i a l i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y 159 symbolically by defacing the t r a d i t i o n a l forms of i t s decorations, f o r example, and i n Montoni and Morano we have nobles who are l i t t l e more than common b a n d i t t i . S i m i l a r l y , i t ultimately transpires i n Gaston de Bl o n d e v i l l e that the greed of many of the r u l e r s of the town of Kenilworth has been s u f f i c i e n t that they accept bribes from the P r i o r 157 p. 43. ^ ^ I b i d . , p. 27. ^ 9pp. 22—3. 197 in order to protect him, a treacherous robber, from justice; indeed, "those who, from education and station, might not have been suspected of such baseness, were now brought to truth, and were fain to hide their heads for shame.""^ ^ The clerics, too, as co-administrators of the state with the nobility in Radcliffe's novels are often just as corrupt. As we have seen, part of her indictment of the Roman Catholic church depends on that oppressiveness in Church institutions which causes diseased passions in i t s votaries. In addition, the secrecy and absolute power of Church institutions tend to make i t accessory to crime; in The Italian, the symbolic opening, during which the Englishman is horrified to find a 161 Cathedral asylum for a known assassin, is repeated in the action as the anonymity and secrecy that surrounds the orders of monks allow Schedoni to conceal his plans against Ellena and Vivaldi and to escape justice. In Gaston de Blondeville, the same attributes enable the Prior, who,like Schedoni,is "no true son of the Church," to remain concealed so near the scene of his robberies and murders. Even so, the Church as an institution i s s t i l l only as culpable as i t s individual clerics' hypocritical vices. Consistently, the abbots, abbesses and priests of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels abuse their s p i r i t u a l and temporal authority to appease their own greed and arrogance. One abbot, however overdone the incident, uses the walls of his cloister to hide that riotous high living which he professes to 160 T T T I l l , p. 40. 161 _ p. 2. 198 162 eschexj; another protects J u l i a from her father only out of revenge for the blow to his pride which Mazzini's ultimatums represent: "The s p i r i t of the abate was roused by this menace; and J u l i a obtained from his pride, that protection which neither his principle nor his humanity 163 would have granted." The Father-director of the pilgrimage with whom Vivaldi travels in The Italian i s a similar case in point: "The superior willingly resigned the solemn austerity of his office and permitted the company to make themselves as happy as possible, in consideration of receiving plenty of the most delicate of their viands; yet somewhat more of dignity was mingled with his condescensions, that compelled them to receive even his jokes with a degree of deference, and perhaps they 164 laughed at them less for their s p i r i t than because they were favours." Thus i s a sacred moral office reduced to a tissue of gluttony and conceit. Vivaldi's inquisitors, by the same token, seek only "the 165 self-applause of successful art" in their examinations as they pursue pride rather than justice, and the e v i l Prior of Gaston de  Blondeville consistently abuses his authority as head of St. Mary's by using i t to avoid his responsibilities as a c l e r i c and indulge s t i l l further his appetites for food, drink,and hunting. Very often, such clerics, corrupted by their passions, form unholy 162 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 34. 1 6 3 I b i d . , p. 48. 1 6 4 11 A p. 114. 1 6 5 I b i d . , p. 206. ^^^Sees •... II, p. 67, where he is s t i l l carousing with the nobles though his monks are at prayer. 199 alliances with equally depraved members of the nobility with a view to gaining mutual satisfaction in e v i l ends. The abbess of Adeline's convent in The Romance of the Forest, for example, co-operates with Montalt's scheme to put the orphan out of the way as a nun with a view to gaining for herself and her convent the resources of a rich sister. Similarly, out of pride and the expectation of reward, the Abbess of San Stefano agrees to imprison and coerce Ellena. Schedoni,.moreover, combines in himself both dissipated noble and corrupt c l e r i c . Yet beyond the power of these passion-ridden lords and priests, Mrs. Radcliffe even presents us, in the King Henry III of Gaston de  Blondeville with a figure of royal authority debased by pride and self-indulgence. Though his heart i s in the right place as a ruler and he does not consciously reject justice and responsibility, he i s as lavish and spendthrift as his knights: "With this King Henry i t was ever so, on the score of money; good as he was, on many other points he ever lived for the present hour, and suffered the next to shift for i t s e l f . " His problem, as the narrator points out, i s too much selfish passion, the lack of a cool heart and head.""*'8 Similarly, he insists on promoting foreign favourites before those indigenous nobles who deserve preferment principally as an assertion of his w i l l , with the result that p o l i t i c a l discontent rages at his court, 167 II, p. 306. 168 Ibid., p. 307. * 200 169 as we are consistently told by the narrator. Gaston de Blondeville i s one such favourite whom he promotes to a Baronetcy and the hand of an English beauty in stubborn defiance of grievous suspicions concerning the man's character, in order to assert his power over the discontent of his people. Admittedly, in part this stubbornness is simply his original benevolence, swayed and disfigured by the e v i l misrepresentations of the v i l l a i n s . At f i r s t , indeed, his "Highness had seemed willing to move more deliberately in this business of the Baron, and to s i f t i t 170 to the bottom," but, because his "understanding was often baffled by his humours and by the arts of cunning men,""'"7''* he listens more and more to the private arguments of Gaston, who claims Woodreeve's charges are 172 part of a plot against him, and against King Henry's foreign favourites, 173 a reason he already suspected. Once he is convinced of this, his pride of power causes him to act harshly and unjustly in Woodreeve's case, not only in the belief that he i s thereby protecting an innocent, Gaston, but also "to reprove and caution those of his subjects, who had a public prejudice against strangers.""''74 Pride of power, then, leads his original benevolence and justice astray, "and thus i t i s , i f Kingly 1 6 9 I , pp. 83, 85, 94, 106; II, pp. 18, 39, 251. 170 Ibid., II, p. 122. 1 7 1 I b i d . , II, p. 273. 1 7 2 I b i d . , I, p. 132. 173 J" -Ibid., p. 111. 174c .4M.av.-i.p-. 132.- • 201 power pertain to a weak head not carefully warned by early instructions against the dangers, which must beset a l l power, whether public or private, whether in Prince or subject; for the passions are the helm, whereon designing men seize to steer into action, as they wish."""7"' By contrast to a l l these figures of irresponsible rule, Radcliffe's sympathetic characters in authority, by living in so far as they can according to the creed of sensibility and emotional restraint, f u l f i l l their responsibilities with justice and humanity. In contrast to the hatred engendered by Baron Malcolm's oppression, for instance, Osbert's people are overjoyed to see him on his escape: "In the delight of that moment, his heart bore testimony to the superior advantages of an equitable government."17*' The St. Auberts employ most of their time in seeing to the comforts of the unfortunate among their retainers, as we have noted, a symbol of their own just and humane government. Surely also, the open, mutual warmth of the reunion between Paulo and Vivaldi, in contrast to the consternation i t causes amongst the Roman fops i n whose salon i t occurs, speaks well of Vivaldi's worth in the role of leader; "while the lacqueys were repairing the mischief Paulo had occasioned, were picking up the ro l l i n g snuff boxes he had jerked away in his passage, and wiping the snuff from the soiled clothes, Vivaldi was participating in a l l the delight, and returning a l l the affection of his servant."""''7 One who commands and returns such affection 175 Gaston, II, p. 392. ""^Castles, p. 169. 1 7 7 I t a l i a n , pp. 405-6. 202 c e r t a i n l y must deserve i t . In Gaston de B l o n d e v i l l e , moreover, the j u s t i c e , r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and compassion of young Prince Edward form a s i g n i f i c a n t contrast to h i s father's shortcomings. Where King Henry i s a careless s p e n d t h r i f t , we are c o n s i s t e n t l y t o l d of Edward's promise 178 i n s t a t e c r a f t , and the chaste f r u g a l i t y of h i s tent, "not i n any 179 feigned fashion, but i n that, which belongeth to tents i n war," symbolizes alongside the gay d i s s i p a t i o n of the others at the tournament h i s solemn dedication to what w i l l be the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of h i s o f f i c e ; where King Henry i s prejudiced and unjust i n the matter of Gaston, Edward 180 suspects Gaston and f e e l s Woodreeve i s innocent. Just as these lords temporal act responsibly as r u l e r s , so do Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s good c l e r i c s discharge t h e i r duties w e l l by eschewing s e l f and passion i n favour of benevolence and reason. I t i s La Luc's enlightened and benevolent influence i n h i s cure, for example, which make i t " f l o u r i s h i n g , healthy, and happy" where the surrounding 181 countryside s u f f e r s "the usual e f f e c t s of a r b i t r a r y government." S i m i l a r l y , the l i b e r a l views of r e l i g i o n and monasticism taken by the Mother Superior of the convent Santa d e l l a P i e t a , the only one that escapes c r i t i c i s m i n Mrs. R a d c l i f f e ' s novels, prevent her i n s t i t u t i o n from denying i t s members l i f e . it'J-isby no means i n s i g n i f i c a n t that her r e l i g i o n tends toward deism, her sermons toward Shaftesburian e t h i c s , ~""78Gaston, I I , pp. 26, 332, 179 X I b i d . , p. 324. 1 8 0 I b i d . , I I , p. 272. ~""8~"Torest, p. 284. 203 and her austerity toward benevolent limitation. 182 The Archbishop of York, too, in taking pity on Woodreeve and, after an objective examina-tion of the evidence surrounding his charges, urging the King not to be hasty of judgement, 183 exhibits that benevolent sensibility and reason that distinguishes him from his depraved colleagues. Mrs. Radcliffe's social criticisms, then, never reach the point of condemning whole classes 6r institutions of government, as In contemporary novels of purpose. She was too conservative, too augustan, to be a revolutionary democrat. Always, after a l l , there are good nobles and clerics as well as bad, and the dependants of a good lord are well provided, happy and fa i t h f u l , not discontented victims of oppressive institutions. What Mrs. Radcliffe preaches i s not the inherent rottenness of a system, but of the people who lead i t , and their failure in most cases to bring to the system personal standards, standards of emotional control, benevolent sensibility, and justice, that are the only means by which they can adequately rule in a world such as that which she portrays. The fact that the headquarters of the corrupt rulers of Mrs. Radcliffe's societies, the capital c i t i e s and courts, are universally portrayed as centers of dissipation only intensifies their perfidy. It is the e v i l temptation to gross indulgence found at Paris, for instance, which hold La Motte in a dizzy spiral of luxury: "the habits, which he had acquired, enchained him to the scene of his former pleasure; and thus he continued 182 Italian, p. 300. 183 Gaston, II, p. 103. 204 an expensive style of l i f e t i l l the means of prolonging i t were exhausted. 11 184 It i s Paris, too, at which Valancourt i s tempted into vice, such as i t i s . 185 When Vivaldi i s taken through the holy capital, Rome, on his way to the Inquisition, a l l he sees are scenes of loud entertainment and dissipation, and even the splendours of the English court in Gaston de Blondeville are dulled slightly by i t s a r t i f i c e and enervating luxury. Many of i t s members, the narrator t e l l s us, "thought i t were live amongst...woodlands, in blessed ease and sprightly health, than confined in the golden trammels of a court, where every feeling was checked, that i t might move only to certain steps of order, and nature was so nearly forgotten that, i f perchance she did 187 appear, she was... reproved for a child of ignorance." Not only do the corrupt rulers do nothing to improve these places which sould be the seats of a benevolent and just administration, they also actively patronize their vices. In fact, Paris and Venice, with their brothels, casinos, and routs are associated with their t i t l e d Inhabitants to suggest the corruption of a whole society through that of i t s leadership. Montoni and Morano, for example, both spend copiously at the casinos of Venice, and there i s even a veiled hint that Montoni keeps a whore in Signora Livona, the "lady" who i s always in his party there. Likewise,the two gambling salons of e v i l reputation to which 184. Forest, p. 5. 185. Udolpho, pp. 292-5. 186 Italian, pp. 194-5. 187 II, p. 125. 205 Valancourt f a l l s victim are run by noblewomen, c o u n tess Lacleur and the Marchioness Champfort. L i t t l e wonder then, that Mrs. Radcliffe's cit i e s can only appear attractive to the i d e a l i s t i c and youthful eyes of her heroines. By contrast, Mrs. Radcliffe's virtuous characters live the simple i d y l l i c l i f e of the country. A l l her peasants and woodsmen enjoy perfect virtue and peace as a result of their mode of li v i n g . Both Alleyn's guardian in The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne and La Voisin, the country patriarch who extends hospitality to St. Aubert and Emily in Udolpho, exhibit that perfect combination of sensibility, benevolence and contented resignation that i s the ideal of existence in her novels. Similarly, in The Italian.the simple but benevolent lives of the shepherds contrasts strongly with the corrupt machinations of Neapolitan mansions, and convents: "The simplicity of their appearance, approaching to wildness, was tempered by a hospitable s p i r i t . A venerable man, the chief shepherd, advanced to meet the strangers; and, learning their wants, conducted them to his cool cabin, where cream, cheese made of goats' milk, honey extracted from the delicious herbage of the mountains, 188 and dried figs were quickly placed before them." In nearly every novelip moreover, sympathetic characters enjoy an interlude of perfection in country retreat, very often, as in the cases of V i l l e f o r t and St. Aubert, with conscious intent of avoiding that city l i f e which they recognize to be corrupting and painful to the sensibility. p. 150. 206 At the opening of Udolpho, the St. Aubert family, resigned "to the influence of those sweet affections which are ever attendant on 189 simplicity and nature," enjoy a state of perfect rural happiness in pursuit of benevolent and aesthetic pastimes, a state wholly cognate to that in which La Luc lives at Leleoncourt, "untainted with the vicious 190 pleasures of society." In A S i c i l i a n Romance, i t is Julia's retreat from society at Mazzini that frames ideal happiness: "The refined conversation of Madame, the poetry of ,T.[a'sso» the lute of Ju l i a , and the friendship of Emilia, combined to form a species of happiness, such as elevated and highly susceptible minds are alone capable of receiving 191 or communicating." Even a character of dubious worth like La Motte responds to the clean living of the country after urban depravity; at the Abbey St. Claire, "his mornings were usually spent in shooting, or fishing, and the dinner thus provided by his industry, he relished with a keener appetite than had ever attended him at the luxurious tables of Paris.' „192 Indeed, nearly a l l the heroes and heroines return to an i d y l l i c country retreat as part of the earthly happiness they assume on marriage. Ellena and Vivaldi set up housekeeping in a modest v i l l a overlooking the sea, significantly distant from the corruption of Naples; 189 . p. 4. 190„ f „ , Forest, p. 322. 191 S i c i l i a n Romance, p. 3. Forest, p. 42. 207 193 Adeline and Theodore, "contemning the splendour of false happiness" leave France to join La Luc at Leleoncourt; Emily and Valancourt return to La Vallee there to re-establish the peaceful happiness of the St. Aubert family seat. It would seem, that, given the nature and extent of e v i l in-her world and the f r a g i l i t y of her characters' emotional lives, such retreats as these represent the best mode of li v i n g Mrs. Radcliffe can recommend. Because l i f e at large in human society, as represented by the c i t i e s , is sordid and linked palpably to those evils which the v i l l a i n s represent, since constantly to face the threats of such evils in such an environment is painful, i f not fatal to the sensibility of virtuous characters, l i f e in a rural retreat remains the only viable alternative to misery and corruption. There, where, amid the Divine harmony of creation and the security of a trusted c i r c l e , virtue can be preserved, the individual i s as far removed as he can be from the threat of human e v i l , and has, therefore, the best chance of optimizing the f e l i c i t y of his existence. Forest, p. 429. CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION In the preceding discussion of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, I have tried to show that, despite i t s ultimately moral nature, the quality of Mrs. Radcliffe's f i c t i o n a l world i s threatening. It threatens her characters physically, because i t i s subject to decay, death, and violent natural processes. Similarly, because i t s p o l i t i c a l , religious, and economic institutions are corrupted by e v i l men, i t threatens them socially. Moreover, while v i l l a i n s threaten the individual from without, the very virtues which distinguish sympathetic characters and elevate them above the vicious, passionate existence of their tormentors threaten their happiness from within. Yet despite the dire nature of the individual's position in such a world, Mrs. Radcliffe delineates i t discretely, properly, and according to simple, sure principles which reduce our shock and insecurity on vicariously entering i t . By using exclusively the third person omniscient narrator, she is able at once to abstract and objectify the whole story from i t s readers, and to develop a fine control over their responses to the material she presents. In her novels, as a result, we are always aware of being told a story, and because that story comes from one source, the third person narrator, we usually agree with his response to the material at hand. Characters and events are precisely what he says they are. This single viewpoint, and the distance we 209 maintain through the narrator, from the substance of the work, i s a very secure, safe point of view from which to view a threatening cosmos. Even the leisurely pace in Mrs. Radcliffe's novels which Montague Summers attributes to suspense'"' I see as a function of this secure point of view, because to move slowly and steadily through the material suggests a safe, complacent attitude in the narrator toward i t . Mrs. Radcliffe wishes to convince us, and - who knows - perhaps even herself that, though the cosmos she perceives i s dangerous, there i s a secure, safe manner in which to deal with i t . For this reason, she presents her readers with no unusual challenges to their values. She adheres, for example, to traditional Christian theology and ethics in structuring her world, and as we have seen, adds to them only those precepts from the deist school that enhance rather than challenge her basic outlook. We can always, as a result, be sure in her novels that the heroine is laudably virtuous and the v i l l a i n damnably vice ridden; Mrs. Radcliffe i s not one to look on e v i l and find a dreadful attraction there. Similarly, while we cannot c a l l her moral psychology of passion, sentiment and reason, by which these certain moral polarities are established; subtle, i t i s at least straightforward and approaches truth. Without the simple c r i t e r i a she develops to cast judgement on her characters, she could never develop the security of moral value her works enjoy; her characters are overtly delineated not so much because 1p. 55. 210 2 she was a bad artist but because she wished them to represent, in their opposition, clear dichotomies. It is precisely because they must speak through her code of morals and taste,which enforces a r i g i d decorum in every mode of existence,that their conversations are s t i l t e d . Moreover, this moral psychology is not a l i e , but only an oversimplification of the truth. We s t i l l recognize that emotions, that i s , passions, tend to be sel f i s h , whereas rationality, i f i t is not clearly a l t r u i s t i c , at least judges objectively between the two extremes. Similarly, we s t i l l find "sensibility", or more accurately, a l l that i t implies about sensitivity and benevolence to others, more attractive than cold indifference. Indeed, the positive value placed on the abi l i t y to feel for others and act accordingly is universal in human society. Selflessness i s always more virtuous than selfishness, and upon that universally accepted premise, Mrs. P%adcliffe's views of character are b u i l t . Just as her cosmos and her characters are built on sure principles designed to safeguard her readers' secure view of the e v i l world, so she refrains from shocking him, as a rule, with the stark fulfillment of the threatsait presents. Everywhere, in Mrs. Radcliffe's canon when death and suffering are to be represented, they are either modified by philosophical reflections, which c a l l to mind the dignity of such deprivation i n a good cause(as in the case of St. Aubert's demise, the threatened execution of Theodore, and the death bed repentances of villains), or represented vaguely offstage. As J.M.S. Tompkins has i t , 2 As Baker, p. 195; Birkhead, p. 45; and Foster, p. 266 seem to suggest. 211 "where p r e c i s i o n would lacerate the imagination, she i s impressively vague, and V i v a l d i i n the dungeons of the I n q u i s i t i o n hears nothing but a distant groan, sees only some undefined 'instruments', and though 3 once stretched i n preparation on the rack, never f e e l s i t s s t r a i n . " In addition, though i n every novel, some hapless character i s imprisoned, she " l e f t the dust and vermin out of account, ignored tedium, and defied 4 the power of unremitting oppression to produce i m b e c i l i t y of mind." She usually d i s s i p a t e s ultimate threats;, moreover, before they can m a t e r i a l i z e . If she were to submit her virtuous characters to the most d i s t a s t e f u l , h o r r i f y i n g experiences, i t would v i o l a t e the code of moral r e s t r a i n t through v/hich she can portray the e v i l world i n a manner which does not challenge our s e c u r i t y and shake our confidence i n the moral means she recommends, through those characters, of avoiding the world's e v i l i n large measure. Only r a r e l y , i n incidents of l i t t l e actual importance to the course of her characters' l i v e s , and when sensationalism, the other p r i n c i p a l raison d'etre of her works, t i p s the balance awry, does she stoop to the shocking and nauseous e x p l i c i t n e s s of,say/'Monk" Lewis. For the most part, she regards the horror so aroused as d e b i l i t a t i n g and undesirable,"' but i t seems that sometimes she could not r e s i s t . In the Castles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne, for example, A l l e y n stumbles on a Novel, p. 260. 4 I b i d . , p. 272. 5 M c K i l l o p , p. 357. 212 corpse in the dark, and we are treated to the grisly spectacle of his reaching out and touching i t s pudgy, cold flesh in order to find out what i t i s : "Every nerve t h r i l l e d with horror at the touch, and he 6 ' started back in an agony of terror." The fact that the body is written of lightly shortly thereafter and has no relevance to the central persons or events of the novel does nothing to justify i t s inclusion in the text. Similarly, though i t i s an irrelevant b i t of morbidity, she cannot resist the temptation to include the effigy of a rotted corpse behind a black v e i l , a ghastly object she had read about in a contemporary travel-book, 7 in The Mysteries of Udolpho for the sole purpose of tantalizing and 8 shocking her readers. Nor could she refrain from having La Motte open 9 a trunk at the Abbey to find a human skeleton crouched within, though admittedly this incident has some bearing on the plot, for they are the remains of Adeline's father. Fortunately, these grisly lapses are few and far between, and Mrs. Radcliffe, for the most part, keeps the e v i l of the world at arm's length. Despite these few sl i p s , however, her writing for the most part in a peculiarly decorous, formal, and sedate manner reflects exactly that style of l i f e , that mental outlook which she recommends through the experience of her characters. The values behind that restraint and P.J. Grosley's New Observations on Italy and its- Inhabitants (1769); see Tompkins, "Ramond de Carbonnieres", p. 299. 8See pp. 248-9, 662. 9 Forest, p. 66. 213 c o n s e r v a t i s m i n a u t h o r s h i p w h i c h p r e v e n t s s e n t i m e n t a l n a r r a t i v e s f r o m i n s p i r i n g o v e r b e a r i n g d i s q u i e t i n t h e i r r e a d e r s a t t h e c o n d i t i o n o f h u m a n i t y i n t h e w o r l d i s c o n g r u e n t t o t h a t c o m b i n a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y a n d e m o t i o n a l r e s t r a i n t f o r w h i c h , a s we h a v e s e e n , h e r c h a r a c t e r s m u s t s t r i v e i n o r d e r t o b e a s h a p p y a s p o s s i b l e . O n e m i g h t e v e n a r g u e t h a t t h o s e m o m e n t s i n w h i c h h e r s e n t i m e n t a l i t y i s b a n a l o r m o r b i d m a r k o c c a s i o n s s i m i l a r t o t h o s e w h i c h c o n t i n u a l l y b e s e t h e r c h a r a c t e r s , t r y a s t h e y m a y f o r e q u a n a n i m i t y a n d t h e c o n t r o l o f t h e p a s s i o n s ; h e r s e n s i b i l i t y o r h e r s e l f i s h p a s s i o n s r u n a w a y m o m e n t a r i l y w i t h h e r r e a s o n , a n d s h e b r e a k s m o m e n t a r i l y t h e s m o o t h d e c o r o u s n e s s o f h e r n a r r a t i v e t o n e . M r s . E . a d c l i f f e ' s m e d i u m , t h e n , c o r r e s p o n d s t o h e r m a t e r i a l . I n e v e r y a s p e c t o f h e r n o v e l s , we f i n d a c o n s i s t e n t a n d u n i f i e d m o r a l a n d p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o i n t o f v i e w t h a t g i v e s t h e m , e v e n i f t h e y a r e n o t g r e a t l i t e r a r y a r t , f a r g r e a t e r a e s t h e t i c v a l u e t h a n t h a t w i t h w h i c h t h e y a r e u s u a l l y c r e d i t e d . Works Consulted: Abbreviations: JEGP - Journal of English and Germanic Philoiogv:' MLN - Modern Language Notes MLR - Modern Language Review MLQ - Modern Language Quarterly MP - Modern Philology N and Q - Notes and Queries PMLA - Publications of the Modern Language Association PQ - P h i l o l o g i c a l Quarterly RES - Review of English Studies SP - Studies i n Philology 215 Works Consulted, cont.: Texts: R a d c l i f f e , Ann. A S i c i l i a n Romance. London: J. Limbird, 1825. . Gaston de Blondeville. London: H. Colburn, 1826. The Castles of A t h l i n and Dunbayne. Philadelphia: Bradford, 1796 fon Microcard, Early American Imprints, no.31067]. . The I t a l i a n , or The Confessional of the Black Penitents, ed. Fred Garber. London: Oxford University Press, 1968. . The Mysteries of Udolpho, ed. and i n t r o . by Bonamy Dobree. London: Oxford University Press, 1966. . The Romance of the Forest. London: Routledge, 1904. Books, Essays. Addison, Agnes. Romanticism and the Gothic Revival. New York: Richard R. Smith, 1938. A i k i n , Dr. John. "On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror," i n Miscellaneous Pieces, i n Prose. London: J . Johnson, 1792. Baker, Ernest A. The Novel of Sentiment and the Gothic Romance, Vol. V of/The History of the English Novel. London: Witherby, 1934. Birkhead, Edith. The Tale of Terror. London: Constable and Co., 1921. Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beau t i f u l , ed. J.T. Boulton. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958. Cooper, Anthony Ashley, Third E a r l of Shaftesbury. Selections i n Eighteenth Century Poetry and Prose, 2nd ed i t i o n , ed. L.I. Bredvold, A.D. McKillop, and Lois Whitney. New York: Ronald Press Co., 1956. . Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times. 3 vols. [London ? ] , 1732. Daiches, David. "The Novel from Richardson to Jane Austen" i n A C r i t i c a l  History of English Literature i n Two Volumes, Vol, I I , London: Seeker and Warbury, 1961. Evans, Bertrand. Gothic Drama from Walpole to Shelley. University of C a l i f o r n i a Publications i n English, Vol. XVIII. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1947. 216 Works Consulted, cont.: Foster, James R. History of the Pre-Romantic Novel i n England, New York: M.L.A.; London: Oxford University Press, 1949. Frankl, Paul. The Gothic: Literary Sources and Interpretations through  Eight Centuries. I960. Frye, Northrop. The Anatomy of Criticism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957. Grean, Stanley. Shaftesbury's Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Ohio University Press, 1967. Hart, Francis Russel. "The Experience of Character in the English Gothic Novel" in Experience in the Novel, ed. Ray Harvey Pearce. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968. Hearn, Lafcadio. Some Strange English Literary Figures of the Eighteenth  and Nineteenth Centuries. Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries, Inc., 1927. Hippie,Walter John. The Beautiful, the Sublime, and the Picturesque in Eighteenth Century Aesthetic Theory. Carbondale: Southern I l l i n o i s University Press, 1957. Hussey, Christopher. The Picturesque: Studies in a Point of View. London: Frank Cass and Co., 1967. Matthews, J.H. Surrealism and the Novel. University of Michigan Press, 1966. Mclntyre, Clara F. Ann Radcliffe in Relation to her Time. Yale Studies in English, Vol. LXII. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1920. Mayo, Robert D. "Gothic Fiction" in The English Novel in the Magazines, 1740-1815. 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