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bitious, would not allow him to take the side of mercy with impunity, nor suffer the man by whom her vanity had been wounded to escape unpunished. She had her surmises, likewise, to which many a small corroborative testimony lent weight, that in Lady Thornleigh's early history there was that which might affect the legitimacy of the heir apparent to Philip's title and estates.
To describe the manner in which, by means of these conjectures, she tortured her unhappy cousin, would be impossible. She threatened law proceedings in the event of her surviving him, for she was for ever indulging the hope that Thornleigh Abbey might still be hers, and her son's after her. She was as a thorn in his side, and as a perpetual blister to an irritating wound. It was only Helen who could soothe him when he was thus tried and wearied by many cares -only Helen who could whisper words of comfort, and lay his spirit, like that of a tired child, to rest.
But in the hearts of neither Philip nor Helen was the voice of conscience mute, for there were moments when the latter doubted the existence of the one cause for the which alone, by the laws of God, a wife may be 'put away;' and Helen, even while she strove to believe that she had not erred in returning to her wife-like duties, and in breathing again her vows of truthful love, trembled ofttimes in the silence of the night, and feared to pray for a blessing on their lives.
And thus they lived together. Not openly and world defyingly, nor with the passionate love of their early years tingling through their veins. But an affection, born of their former deep devotion, and nursed by the tender compassion that each felt for each, filled their hearts; and together, half in sorrow and half in gladness, they passed their years away.
“Il n'y a pour l'homme qu'un vrai malheur, qui est de se
trouver en faute, et d'avoir quelque chose à se reprocher.' -LA BRUYERE.
• Les malheureux qui ont de l'esprit, trouvent des ressources
WHEN Helen left the bed in which lay the mortal remains of Philip, she broke forth into no vehement expressions of grief or of despair. She was, as we have shown, not a woman of many tears, for her nerves were strong, and the connection between them and what is called feeling is often near enough. She closed the eyes that had looked their last upon her, and after pressing a tender, reverential kiss upon his claycold brow, she left him there alone. Very near to those dear remains she laid her
down; and then, wearied with watching, she fell into a deep and untroubled slumber.
Who has not experienced a dislike almost amounting to loathing to the bright lustre of the morning sun, when it shines upon the awakening to a great sorrow? What business has it there, that glowing, mocking light? And thus asking, we shun and shrink from it; and covering our faces with a mantle, we turn them to the wall. Even thus did Helen feel, when (awakening after the heavy sleep of utter exhaustion) she knew that another day, with its sorrows, its trials, and its responsibilities, had dawned upon her life.
She was no longer young, and the elasticity of her spirit had lost something of its spring; moreover she had enjoyed a long respite from grief and anxiety, and we all know how unwelcome is often the necessity for exertion, after a period of protracted rest.
She was close to him. A door, that she half fancied was open, led from that room
into the one on the couch of which she had thrown herself. It had been his dressingroom, and all within it spoke of the daily habits of him who would enter it no more. On one table were costly ornaments of crystal and of china; while on another, the luxurious toilet stood displayed.'
'Each silver vase in mystic order laid.' His last toilet had been made now, and that masterpiece of expensive ingenuity, the dressing-case, whose cost might have served as a little fortune, conducive, perhaps, to the saving both of a soul and body, must be laid by as a wasted thing. Flashing across the brain of the waking and half-bewildered woman came some such thoughts as these, and then, remembering the goodness and mercy of Him who knoweth all things, she prayed that the sins of omission engendered by force of habit, might not be recorded against him whose soul that night had been required of him. She rose from her couch as if moved by no will of hers; for at that