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Shorter Novels, Eighteenth Century
The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia; The Castle of Otranto, a Gothic Story; Vathek, an Arabian Tale

written by "Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784"
...t her terror was so great that he apprehended[159] she would faint in his arms. He used every gentle word to dispel her alarms, and assured her that, far from injuring, he would defend her at the peril of his life. The lady recovering her spirits from his courteous demeanour, and gazing on her protector, said, “Sure, I have heard that voice before!” “Not to my knowledge,” replied Theodore, “unless, as I conjecture, thou art the Lady Isabella.” “Merciful Heaven!” cried she, “thou art not sent in quest of me, art thou?” And saying these words she threw herself at his feet, and besought him not to deliver her up to Manfred. “To Manfred!” cried Theodore; “no, lady, I have once already delivered thee from his tyranny, and it shall fare hard with me now, but I will place thee out of the reach of his daring.” “Is it possible,” said she, “that thou shouldst be the generous unknown whom I met last night in the vault of the castle? Sure thou art not a mortal, but my guardian angel. On my knees let me thank——” “Hold, gentle princess,” said Theodore, “nor demean thyself before a poor and friendless young man. If Heaven has selected me for thy deliverer, it will accomplish its work, and strengthen my arm in thy cause: but come, lady, we are too near the mouth of the cavern; let us seek its inmost recesses; I can have no tranquillity till I have placed thee beyond the reach of danger.” “Alas, what mean you, sir?” said she. “Though all your actions are noble, though your sentiments speak the purity of your soul, is it fitting that I should accompany you alone in these perplexed retreats? should we be found together, what would a censorious world think of my conduct?” “I respect your virtuous delicacy,” said Theodore; “nor do you harbour a suspicion that wounds my honour. I meant to conduct you into the most private cavity of these rocks, and then, at the hazard of m...

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