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so all I bave of a wise conies from the memory of times when natural feeling has its sway ; and times, the aggregate of which would not amount she is so gentle and endearing to those she to half-a-day, and from her letters, need I re- loves, it is almost impossible seeing her so, and peat, your accounts are inestimable to me? Nor seeing her as she was this evening-I ceased to is this all -you have been to myself so kind, so write as I recalled her loveliness : I said, is it considerate, yet so earnestly solicitous I should wise to dwell on it? Perhaps, too, the thought act up to my duty, that, the fact of having to came, Is it prudent to rave to Mrs. Gainswrite to you with the desire to deal bonestly borough about a lingering weakness she may in pritiog, gives a certain support to my good despise me for? How I long to see Helen again. resolutions. It is rather for me to make apolo- I long to hear her honest iones. Could I but gies for my hastily-written and most unequal have a glove fresh from her hand it would be correspondence. I would say to you now-suf- a charm. I look at the ring on my finger, but fer me to write what at the moment I feel need the wretched jeweller has marred her hair in the ful; speak your impressions of what I write. setting-to my fancy--though no doubt he They may be mistaken, probably from my own deemed his workmanship exquisite. Well, at fault in giving you imperfect grounds for form- all events, I see the lady, my cousin, more ing a judgment on my feelings or actions; but, soberly now. She is always wearing fresh I am confident they will be sincere, and, when jewellery. I wonder if those pretty, glittering you are much mistaken, you will suffer me to diamonds are new, or the old ones reset ! if the point it out.
former, where on earth does the money come "Lady Althea is here, and has been here a from? She has been making many bewildering week. My mother, being a resident in the purchases in Paris, and inducing my dear same house, I cannot avoid her. I believe you mother to make inore than she ought. I sball are right-Merton Brown tells me the same have to remind the latter that there is no more although aware of my marriage, she still thinks inoney forthcoming than that assigned for her a certain amount of devotion due to bersell use from the rent of the old place. Pleasant from me-a larger measure than you, I know task-Mr. Ainslie says he cannot get Helen to would approve. Yet put altogether from your draw for what is her own. mind-if it has entertained the idea-that my What do men live for? I suppose I ought cousin could forget her own dignity, or suffer to have some perception. I have been to any compromise of reputation for love of any school, and to college, and to church. My mortal under heaven. I firmly believe she head is rather bewildered just now, but I enwould spurn the fool weak enough to act on tertain an idea that its purpose is to increase such a supposition. She must learn to think our being by development of the goud imme a different being from what I have seemed. planted in us. Dazzling, cold, and yes, it is so But it must take time to bring this about. Il-selfish Althea ! You have been no good angel can hardly tell either herself or my mother that to me! I thank heaven I have hold of Helen's henceforth I am no longer guided by their judg. hand. Helen has brought me her all; those ment or desires. I must simply take my own were your words I remember. way when it no longer tallies with theirs. Yet, Daylight is coming. I must sleep now. to confess the truth, habit ties me a good deal. Morning, and this must go to the post, for I It is most natural-generally most easy to me may not find time to rewrite it. Take it, kind to comply. Although my heart has thrown off friend that you are. I will only add that you subjection to this beautiful queen, I cannot shut may believe this—I am fully sensible of the my eyes to the fact that she is lovely, and deep debt of gratitude I owe, and should loathe lovelier to my taste in comparison with the myself could I fail in requiting Helen in the foreign beauties she now moves among. Were sole way it is in my power to do—in loyalty. she my sister I must feel proud of her : I try as I will not let her place in my affections be asmuch as possible to think I am her brother.' sailed if I can help it: but I would entreat that,
It was evident to me that Mr. Mainwaring's as far as may be, you would urge her to give letter-writing had been interrupted at this me something more of herself in her letters. place. What followed was not only less cohe- I know, I feel convinced, though circumstanced rant, but the handwriting showed that the pen I am, I fail to awake il—there is some had been changed; and, even differed itself in warmth of feeling in her heart : some unreaa degree from his usual clear, firm, characters. sonable enthusiasm, perhaps you would call Thus it proceeds :
it; such, in fact, as you chided her for at the "I wish that old me of mine were dead in ruin by the rocks. Call it girl's folly, or what reality, that so no old memories would rise up you will, it has highest value for me at present. to haunt and trouble me. I feel sometimes I | I do not wish to feel too much as though I almost hate her for her cruelty. This night were her father and she my dutiful little she made me bate her. What a fool's paradise girl.--Yours truly. she once led me into; and what a fool I am to
“ ARDEN MAINWARING." let the memory of it rise, when I should be I paced up and down the shady walk in my thinking of what followed-if she would only garden that afternoon, revolving over and over be consistent, that I might despise her ; but it the questions, “ What should I say to Helen seems as though intellect, narrowed by con respecting the contents of this letter? What ventional views, ruled her actions. There are counsel should I give my correspondent? His
“ It may
candour encouraged me to a hopeful view of “ Helen, more than that. I know that you the goodness of his heart; I felt sure of his love him with a love very different to that you good intentions, but how should I feel confident bear your grandfather!” they would bear the strain of circumstances ? “Yes, he is more to me than all the world; True there was a bound I knew would not be he is the realization of all I ever hoped forpassed. I believed what he asserted of Lady Al- that is, he might be, if he were more of a reality thea's sense of what was due to her own honour to me. Even now the better part of my being Yet, if he were taught to look upon his union is all his: he holds it. I have no happiness with Helen as a bar to higher happiness—if, that I do not share with him in my heart. I dazzled and ensnared, his judgment gave the always seem to call to him to share it; and, preference away from her, where was poor when I am very much worried and troubled, I Helen's happiness ?
fancy he would be sorry for me if he knew what When, next morning, our usual studies had I felt; only sometimes I distrust my own hapbeen gone through, I suggested to my pupil piness, and doubt that he ever will love me.” that, her spelling being now very greatly im- Helen, darling, you are depressed this proved, she might venture to write to Vienna morning. You ought not to doubt that for a without showing her letters to me.
moment. Remember his letter requires you to well,” I said, “to let Mr. Main- encourage him in thinking of you not merely waring know how it has been. He perceives as a good, dutiful child, but the mistress of his some slight constraint in your letters to him, heart. Can you not speak of your affection for and I think would be better pleased to have less him much as you have now spoken to me?" taultless but more freely-written letters.' “No, I cannot,” she answered, decisively. Helen looked embarrassed-troubled.
“Jf my deeds fail to convince him he is loved must not take it amiss," I went on, “that he by me I cannot. Consider-does he yet love wishes for more of yourself
, your unconstrained me-love me as fully as he would have me conself to be revealed to him. His whole letter to fess I love him? No-though he is my husme shows that he thinks of you continually – band, I, I cannot write love-letters to him!” looks to you as to promised happiness.”
Oh, that cruel Lady Althea! I saw the “I wish Lady Althea were not there!" was wound she had inflicted was still unhealed. Helen's unexpected reply.
“Helen, dear,” I said, there is a rightful It a little disconcerted me. I felt a necessity pride in such matters; but I think your danger for saying something, and hastily questioned is in exceeding. Were it a question only of gra“What do you fear?”
tified feeling with your husband, I am not sure “ I fear she will lower me in the eyes of my that it would be wise to encourage in yourself husband,”. Helen answered. “I am sure she that sort of pride: but it is more; and mind has the will to do it. It is not having to show he is seeking your love. Whatever grace my letters to you, dear,” she continued, tbat you may grant in the way of revealiog affection constrains me; but I know that I never could is not unsought by him; and when you gave write- what I feel. I must be content to keep him your hand you gave him the right to claim off great errors or mistakes. If I were to let such love." fancy or feeling carry me on, I am greatly afraid “I believe I am in a bad humour to-day," my letters would read like nonsense - he would Helen said, after some moments of thought. 1 think them absurd! I cannot express ;
I have am too much disposed to look on the dark side. not the power of speaking, even, as Lady Althea I should like a good good gallop on Prossy, but can; and I have no doubt she writes beau- the sun is too warm for that till evening ; and I tifully. Does he complain much of my letters ?" don't want to meet Grant, as I am likely to do
I read the passages referring to them. if I go out then."
“I am sorry,” she said: “I did not intend “ Have you seen him yet?" him to think me cold. I must try and throw “Yes, there has been a formal reconciliation. off some of my foolish feelings. That great Moreover, yon may expeet a letter of apology world he is in sometimes makes me feel I have for his language to you that day in the pass. so little to tell him of that can be worth his at- "I bardly anticipated such a condescension." tention."
“It was his own suggestion. He only quese “He says, dear, he wants more of yourself.” tioned if I thought you would aecept it.”
Helen laughed-a nervous little laugh. "It “And of course you said I should be willing. is not considered right to put too many 'P's' in I have only good will towards your cousio, a letter,” she replied.
poor fellow, though I did feel indignant when “Rules have exceptions, and between friends he was for carrying things with a high hand. who love each other that one can hardly stand Do you think he is at all reconciled to the idea good. 'Do as you would be done by' is a bet- of your engagement? Does he guess with ter. Do you think I shall be pleased when my whom it is made ?" letter arrives from Captain Gainsborough if he “I cannot say. There has been no direct rehas been over-careful to count his 'I's?" ference to it. He is very quiet. He has been
Helen was silent awhile, then musingly re- ill.” peated, “ His dutiful little girl'-yes, that is “ I11? Not from any barm resulting from his what I am to him !"
confict with our champion ?”
“Not exactly. Perhaps mortification of feel- a shade less genial. If vanity had had much ing has had its part. He has had fever, and part in poor Helen's affections for you, or had looks much thinder-and so pale !”
she been unaware that you had loved before, it must indeed have given her bitter mortification, As it is, she is rather more timorous towards you.
more reticent. She does not doubt your truth, CHAP. XXXVI.
but she fears comparison with one you once
found so love-compelling. I believe there will FRIENDLY COUNSELS,
still remain something of care in her heart on
this score, which only your presence can dispel. My duties to my correspondent at Vienna Although I find nothing to blame you for, did not seem a whit the less difficult and deli- I must remind you that her care, as matters cate after this conversation. After tearing up appeared by your last letter, is far from groundmany sheets of paper, I decided to write this : less. I give you credit for having fought, as a
“If I am to help you effectually, it must be man should, to maintain your uprightness. by throwing more light upon the conduct and Fight still, and free yourself from the trammels motives of her who troubles your peace. I of habit, the babit of seeking pleasure in the know that, when I speak to her dispraise, you society of your cousin. Helen has a woman's must look upon me as a partisan; I do not see pride, and it is not likely she should be very how that can be avoided; but it ought not to liberal in speaking her heart's feelings towards keep me silent.
you while a shadow of doubt hangs over your Accepting entirely your opinion that Lady love for her. Yet, if you knew, as I do, how Altbea entertains no idea of compromising her fully that heart is occupied with thoughts of dignity, I yet assert that she seeks a supremacy you, the sense of your duty towards her would over your judgment, and also over your affec- be strengthened in the time of trial by pity for tions, which is now neither lawful for her to the loving girl.” seek nor for you to yield. I believe that, to I locked this up in my desk until Helen's maintain such supremacy, she is willing to letter should be ready to accompany it. I had sacrifice Helen's happiness and yours also ; charged her to narrate her adventure on the that she would rather you were unhappy as a
marsh, and to give such particulars respecting husband, so that you found consolation in such Mr. Witham and the affair at Harby Hall favour as she chose to bestow.
the Marsham Advertiser was deficient in. "Most men who had been as unfairly dealt with such material, I was certain her letter with as you have would be as bitter in their would be both long and interesting ; and the judgment as they had previously been partial. newspaper was to accompany our despatch. Such a revulsion of feeling bearing the judg- On the following morning the promised ment with it, indicates some weakness, and per- missive from Mr. Grant Wainwright arrived. baps the desire to avoid this makes you over It contained as ample an apology as I could generous. I do not blame your magnanimity, desire, and I wrote immediately in reply, to the but I fear it lays you open to further attempts. effect that I was satisfied to let by-gones be byShe may think that latent affection makes your gones. service to her sweet. This should not be so. I had promised Helen to come up to Darlis
“Had the lady a brother-such another as ton Hall this (Tuesday) afternoon that we might yourself-do you think he could feel pride in have an evening ride together; but was detained her conduct? Would he feel it was sufficient later than I intended by a visitor, Mr. Littingtoa. his sister were virtuous from self-respect, while He came to talk to me about Alfred Merrivale, willing to lead others towards unfaithfulness ? concerning whose welfare and prospects General
"I will pat the case more strongly to you; Wetheral was much disposed to interest him. what if Helen, circumstanced as she is, were to self. I was pleased to hear that bis desire was allow herself the same latitude towards Grant to afford him something more than a temporary Wainwright? I bear her witness, dear girl, her benefit. conduct has been of the very opposite descrip- “ I have thought the matter over," proceeded tion. She has so honest a concern for her old Mr. Littington ; “ but must confe myself at a playmate, that to see he had transferred his loss how beneficially to advise. If the youth allegiance would give her real gratification. had any inclination for farming I have no doubt
"I have said that Lady Althea is willing to the General could help him materially; but as sacrifice Helen's happiness, and I feel it needful to forwarding his interests as an artist I fear to warn you against any view of what Helen is, he can do but little. Could it be shewn presented by your cousin. I doubt if you have such a thing would be of real service, he is been informed of an occurrence at Cardington willing to give commissions sufficient to defray Castle very convincing to Helen in regard to his expenses in London or Paris, but he would Lady Althea's good-will towards her. I think be much better pleased, I know, to keep him you ought to know it, but would rather Lady on his estate, for he has taken a fancy to his Arabella Mainwaring told you than myself
. company. He thinks too, with me, that your Helen is very little likely to allude to the matter ; friend is rather young to start for the continent but the knowledge of it may help to account to alone. He has not enough experience of the you if her letters since that time have seemed / world."
“It might make him the better artist, I have “ What do you think?" said Helen; little doubt; but certainly, is Alfred were my grandfather asked if I thought Mr. Littington son, I should deprecate such a course as hazard- could have sent it! I believe he looks upon ous in almost every other respect.'
him as quite a gay young bachelor." “ Alfred has nothing like a studio at home. We both laughed at this idea, and I proIn so large a dwelling as Harbv Hall
, I should ceeded to speak of that gentleman's visit. think a fitting room might easily be spared : but Our evening ride was through green lanes to he ought to be allowed to bring what models Marsham. We passed the Rood Farm on our he pleases there."
left. It is on a slight elevation, a spur of "That I know the General would grant, for the ridge lying between the marsh and the he said he should like to keep him as an inmate Tudfield road, and I should have seen it from at the Hall. The thing is, would be be content St. Bride's but for a wood that lies between. to live in the retired manner General Wetberal When within sight of Marsham, we crossed is accustomed to ?”
some fields on our right to vary the return. “I know he has hitherto much liked the old Although this brought us near the wild marsh, gentleman's company, and am very sure he Helen assured me it was a safe road; some of would be far happier than in his present bome. the farm-labourers dwelling thereabout. Of course a visit to London now and then might We had not gone far along this new path be very desirable for his advancement in study, when we were met hy Grant Wainwright on his as his brother is there, that, I suppose, could grey. I perceived at a glance that he was a good be arranged. The only thing I deprecatc in deal altered ; I could hardly say for the worse, his living at Harby Hall is, that he may become since his paleness, and the look of languor accustomed to luxuries-good wine, soft beds, accompanying it, took from the harshness of and servants' attendance, which he may miss expression which before had characterized his hereafter. But if, as I think, he is a true artist countenance; and, with his black eyes and at heart, such things will not enthral him." moustache, he certainly looked what young
“Do you know if it is a fact," queried Mr. ladies call “ very interesting.” Had I followed Littington, " that Mr. M.Kinnom is engaged to my first impulse I should have offered him my Miss Merrivale ?”
hand; but second thoughts told me tbat a bow, “ I have heard nothing of it."
Good-evening,” Mr. Wainwright, would “The General thinks 80; and as he tells me suffice, and be more prudent. He "hoped we M‘Kinnom has a brother doing well in Canada, were enjoying our ride,” and passed on. and purposes some time joining him, I should We were aware afterwards that be followed think it the more likely. She would make him us on our way to Darliston Hall, but he did not a very suitable wife I should
draw near. "I think so; and he seems to be frequently at Layton Farm. Have you heard anything further of Mr. Witham ?"
CHAP. XXXVII. “ Yes ;
he is staying al Captain Ashton's omewhere on the coast beyond Cardington. LETTERS OF INTEREST. WHO IS Alfred Merrivale could get but very few words
STRAGGERS ? from him on Friday. He excused himself on the plea of having been already detained with Come at last! O my dear letter--my epistle the affair at the Hal! longer then he ought, but-my budget-my own dear Richard's private said he should call and speak to him more at and special log! It is not a thing to talk about leisure shortly. He declared himself satisfied even to my journal. It is mino to read again to take the water-colour copy of the Dulwich and again-mine to think over--to realize. He picture at half the amount he had sent, and is quite well, and the bonny old ship is wellpromised next time they met to arrange in re- no sickness on board of any importance. He spect to the remainder."
writes so that I can almost fancy his dear, cheerProceeding to Darliston Hall, I found Helen ful voice speaking the words ! in a more cheerful mood. She had, I think, Friday, July 16th.-I think now all is in rather pleased herself with the letter, which, order-all that need be before leaving my home. however, she begged me to look over. Doing All in order, that is, except my journal. I 80 I certainly was gratified, for I foresaw it have time for that too. No need to send my must interest.
thoughts in advance any more; the long hours Helen laughingly told me another bouquet had of my journey to London will give me plenty been sent to her. She was going to add a post- of leisure for that work to-morrow. I suppose cript to her letter giving this piece of infor- I stand a better chance of writing clearly if I mation, and consulted me about enclosing some keep to the order of time rather than commence of the bits of beath from the said bouquet. I with the matter most engrossing. I received agreed to this, and she made over the remainder my husband's letter the Saturday following my to me. It had been sent, as before, in a neat ride to Marsham with Helen. Nothing that í card-board box. Mrs. Cargill, who had taken remember of importance had occurred meanit from the Marsham carrier, asked from whence while, except, indeed, that the horse-dealer it came; but he knew only that it had been left Benson, on his second examination, was liberated at the White Hart, and the carriage was paid, on bail, several witpesses having come forward
to speak in his bebalf. The next day Grant was not rashly to run the risk of Mr. Wainwrights at Church with Helen. I walked with them on displeasure, and gave assurance that if it really the return, having been invited to dine at Dar. i seemed necessary that he should speak with liston, I did not know which to wonder at Helen, I would apprize as well as assist him in most, that events should so much have subdued the matter. Grant Wainwright, or that this effect should And now to speak of my own affairs-of the tend so greatly to the improvement of his purpose of my intended journey: manners. I could have supposed, from previous On Monday, while sitting with my desk beknowledge, that it would have made him snllen. fore me writing to Richard, my servant anUnder this new-come quietude there is a strange nounced that a person wished to speak with me. liveliness of attention. He does not neglect the “ She will not tell her business, ma'am,' ordinary amenities of society as formerly. I added Barbara ; but she says she comes from know the sister with whom he has been staying Tudfield, and her name is Markland.” moves in good society, and, doubtless, he has The connection of ideas between a matter studied to benefit by her suggestions. The I was writing of and this name was so close, marvel is that he should have deigned so to that I started up and few past Barbara into consider, and take the lessons offered. I fear the hall, to see at once what I could read in he has not yet given up hope of Helen - Mrs. Markland's face. She read mine-read, that this change of conduct is for her sake. doubtless, something of expectation, of hope, Helen's answers to my questions concerning and said, directly, “I wish I had any news, my him have been that he is most exemplary dear lady, as good for you as for me.” There has been no passion—no roughness - no My imagination is very quick in some matters. word or look that could possibly offend, and I was as near fainting as 1 ever chanced to be. yet I know she shares with me the feeling that I staggered into a chair and gazed at her. all trouble is not over concerning him. I know "Oh dear, ma'am," she said; “don't you be it by the anxious desire she has expressed to so frightened. If it isn't good, it isn't bad; bare one of the Ainslies to visit her in my and the truth is, we don't know what to make absence.
of it." Mr. Mainwaring's last letter to me was much “Come into the parlour, and tell me all you more satisfactory than the preceding. Thus he know." wrote concerning his cousin :
I managed to lead the way, and closed the “I have learnt from my mother that one of door upon us. Mrs. Markland put her hand in my letters to Althea had, through a mistake, her pocket and handed me this letter from her fallen into Helen's hands. I think this must be son :the occurrence of which you speak, though I
“ Barque Emma. am assured Helen mentioned it with apparent “MY DEAR MOTHER,- In hopes this will unconcern, as merely repeating information she find you safe and well, I hasten to write these already was acquainted with. My cousin dis- few lines, as there's a man boarded us from a claims knowledge of having offered Helen any vessel bound to Rangoon, and he says he'll paper of my writing, except some verses on the take care and post it; but I have only got ten old trees which gave the name to my paternal minutes to write it in, which is sharp work for estate-Forest Oaks.' On the cessation of our a slow fist like mine, dear mother. Well, the engagement, instead of the usual custom of re- arm is doing beautiful, and though the men turning such letters as had passed between us, are a rough set on board, they are kindly, and it was mutually agreed they should be destroyed. Captain Spark's a good one, though not like It is almost impossible to believe the lady ca- Captain Gainsborough, as is iny only own Cap: pable of so very mean and treacherous an act tain, and never can be another the same. And as that you evidently suspect her of; but I be- I hope the dear lady is well, and tell her seech you to tell me all you know concerning it, old Straggers is a chap she'd need fear for for I cannot rest until it is fully investigated. doing his duty. So, hoping all's well-here If no other means are left I will seek leave of he comesabsence from Lord St. George, and question
“ Your dutiful son, Helen about it. I fear by writing I could not
“HARRY MARKLAND. prevail on her to tell me all that is needful; it “P.S. Love to you and to all, not forgetting would, necessarily, be a painful, & most hateful the little one—and mind ask her who used to task to set her ; but, were I with her for one curl her hair.” hour in your parlour at Fairclough, I think i could prevail not only to make her speak, but The last few words were nearly illegible from to forgive. You will not, I trust, forbid me this haste. Having read the letter once over, I chance of self-vindication, although Mr. Wain- looked up with a confused idea that Mrs. Markwright has written a harsh refusal to my sug- land ought to understand it better than myself. gestion of coming to Darliston Hall. You She seemed considering me with a look which might be present, so that I could plan no told nothing but sympathy, and I read it over a ."
second time. ferring to my journal I was enabled to give Straggers ?" I inquired. Helen's account as I received it. I begged him “ Indeed I've no notion, ma'am. We have
I despatched a reply to this to-day. By re- sec Who is this man he speaks of—this