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dullness amused her, for I suppose that it would not do to reveal all the truth to your wife. But, however, I shall leave all that to you. To-morrow I will go to York, and to that place (if you do not change your mind) you can write me a letter in a business-like way. But stay; I must not forget to tell you that I am called Mrs. Langton now; it is my own name, and one I intend to retain.'
After a little more discussion, all the preliminaries were in a fair way of being settled ; but the visit was longer than was altogether agreeable to Helen, who felt a little afraid of the comments that the stonemason's wife might make upon it. A very decent body was that worthy landlady; a little cold, and hard, perhaps, like her own wares, and given, moreover, to a suspicion that the virtues of the dead, as recorded on the tombstones, are not always shared by the living. Her lodger was aware of this peculiarity, and rather shrank from arousing the spirit of her stern morality.
At last the Vicar seemed ready to depart.
Remember,' said Helen, 'that I consider myself engaged to you.'
I wish to But the warm words (if warm they were) were checked ere they were uttered; for Helen's band was already on the bell-rope, she having chosen to forget that the time was passed for her, when a 'ring' for the departing guest was a necessary and habitual ceremony.
Good-by,' she said, as she held out her hand.
Good-by; I am afraid you will find the country very dull.'
‘On the contrary; I expect to be very happy; and so they parted.
And now it is more than probable that the Reader will exclaim against the underhand' duplicity of the woman, who could lend herself to so base a deception for her own benefit (if not, indeed, for some worse purpose). It will be said, too, perhaps, that such a proceeding is at variance with the character of one who has hitherto shown herself to be peculiarly frank and outspoken. In extenuation for a fault so grave, and in explanation of an inconsistency that seems so glaring, we can only urge, that by concealing her former errors, Helen Langton believed that she wronged and injured no one. She felt strongly within her both the power and the inclination to do good, and be of service to her fellows; and was well aware that the knowledge of her previous history would be a bar and a hindrance to her, in the performance of the duties she had marked out for herself. Under these circumstances, and impressed with that conviction, she resolved to abstain from a voluntary confession, which might have injured many, and benefited none.
Let those of her sex blame her who have themselves revealed all. Is there one who reads this book that can lay her hand upon
her heart, and say that her friends, her husband-her world, in short, have been, by her own confession, made cognizant of her faults and her shortcomings ?
Does the mature young lady, whose temper has become soured by .previous disappointments, reveal to the poor doomed lover (ere she leads him to the altar) that the tongue which utters only pleasant flatteries to him now, will hereafter be (as that of the contentious wife') like a continual dropping ? And did Mrs. Jones, may I ask, who flaunts herself in silks and velvets, not allow, in the days of courtship, that poor young lawyer to believe that her ambition soared not above coloured calicoes and muslin? And as for you—and you-fair ladies, pray what have you not hidden from the men who listened at God’s altar to your vows, believing that your thoughts were pure, and that your, hearts were worth the keeping? And in all such cases injury is, by concealment, done to others; but in Helen's it was not so, and
therefore she may, perhaps, be excused, even in the sight of those who, being themselves blameless, will be the least likely to visit her act severely.
The lapse of little more than a week found • Mrs. Langton' (for so she must now be called) established in her new home. And a very pleasant home it was—a small three roomed cottage, with latticed windows, and a garden full of autumn flowers. The schoolmistress's house was the toy of a great and fanciful lady, who played with it for a few weeks in the fall of the year. It was quite a model affair, with late-blooming roses trained over the walls, and was made to match the school-house and the dairy-being built externally on the same principle. The small gardens belonging to each were similarly laid out, and were now all ablaze with red geraniums and many-tinted chrysanthemums.
It was a delightful surprise to the great lady to find so ornamental a teacher estab