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|You know how I love quizes
Written by Laraine
(4/26/2003 3:10 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: NA Quiz answers, penned by Cheryl
I was happy with my results, but I missed one: I didn't remember who wrote the fable--for some reason I had thought it was La Fontaine, which makes little sense as a young English girl's memorization piece. Ah, well :}
Here's my ending to Henry's tale (a great deal of this is lifted moments in the eight horrid novels Catherine and Isabella plan to read]:
['when your lamp suddenly expires in the socket, and leaves you in total darkness.']
A violent gust of wind, rising with sudden fury, adds fresh horror to the moment, and you tremble from head to foot. In the pause succeeding, a sound of receding footsteps and the closing of a distant door brings on greater terror than human nature can support. The manuscript falls from your hand, and you grope your way to the bed to find an anchor in the absolute blankness. Just then, a violent crash of thunder shakes the turret: you spring from the bed and stand a moment in wild alarm, scarcely recollecting where you are, when a flash of lightning struck that side of the turret against which you are leaning; the wall instantaneously falls, and carries along with it your shrieking form.
After but a few moments of unconsciousness, you awake to find that you are but badly bruised with only a broken limb or two. You stagger from the ruin of the Abbey, hopeless of remedy and sure you will perish in the violence of the storm. You have but dropped next a conveniently placed tree and barely lost consciousness again when you are awakened by an old hermit in rags who, so feeble he can barely walk himself, brings you to his cell and heals all of your hurts by application of various herbs and simples. In the long hours of rest when you await the efficacy of the potions, the hermit tells you the tale of his life from infancy to his present age of five score and four, which involved but two murders for which he was wrongly accused and the fathering of but two children about whom he knew nothing until they had been born, suffered greatly, and died. When you discover that the name of the eldest of these children was none other than Wretched Matilda, you promptly tell him of the manuscript you discovered but which was lost in the ruin of the Abbey, totally bowed by life's hardships, the preserver of your life gives up his miserable spirit to his maker. You utter a loud shriek, sink upon the ground, and, realizing that you are now left with no clothes, no food, and a corpse, you again sink into oblivion.
Your intrepid spirits not being daunted for long, however, after a mere three weeks, you struggle to bury your erstwhile preserver and then help yourself to the considerable hoards of gold, diamonds, rubies, and women's clothing he had hidden deep in his cell. Even deeper in his cell, you find another small vaulted room in which you discover a conveniently healthy and well fed donkey, which who seems placed there specifically to allow you to care your considerable hoards, and though you care nothing for such tawdry baubles, you feel you must bring them with you as they may be of use the next time you need to ransom yourself from an evil step uncle or two.
Proceeding yet further into vaulted room, you find not only a lighted lantern but a door that connects it to several others, in which you perceive nothing remarkable, save a dagger in one, a few drops of blood in another, and in the third the remains of an ancient instrument of torture. There being something vaguely familiar about all of these rooms, you begin to examine this last quite closely. Over a door in the back you see a sign, written in German Gothic script, saying "This way didst the Wretched Matilda make her way to the Chapel of St. Anthony, in vain hopes of relieving her wretchedness."
Knowing now that you have but to fly down this subterraneous passage to come out again to the light, you advance with all haste. As you reach the end, you hear voices. Able to make out only a few phrase, you realize you are hearing the death-bed confession of a black heart: 'It was my intention to have married you, unless you rejected me -in that case you must take the consequence" --- Crimes have embittered every hour of my life --- Thus it is with the wicked; early plunged into vice, --- unable to repent --- best concerted schemes prove their ruin. --- yet even at this moment I adore Matilda. Pardon me, dear unhappy girl, the evils I have caused you; let me die forgiven by you---' And then another voice, assuring forgiveness and imploring heaven's mercy, then begging to be told, 'But tell me, Sir---never hear of my mother? --- Naples, with her family! --- O, what happiness, if I should ever embrace a mother!'
Bursting in on this scene in your gold trimmed ball gown, your lantern, and a heavily laden and by now gasping donkey, you cause a great deal of confusion and astonishment, but Matilda, finding that the heavily laden donkey and all its hoards belong not you but to her, asks you to accompany her on a trip to Naples to embrace her mother. Having nothing else to occupy you at the present moment, you agree, and Matilda rewards you with half the hoards and all of the clothes, her own store being equally complete due to a recent trip to London and Paris.
Off you go, having earned the reward of your steadiness, fortitude, and virtuous self-denial. A consciousness of performing your several duties ensures your happiness; and when you write to your beloved Mother the happy conclusion of your adventures, you tell her 'My many hardships and adventures have taught me that the unfortunate have claims upon the hearts of those whom God has blessed with affluence' and you thereby enclose a note to your banker repaying the ten guineas your father advanced to you before you made your way to Northanger Abbey.
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