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Things were in this state when Edward Montague returned from sporting excursion. Helen was all heart, and possessed acute feelings. Edward was a man without a heart, the worst of all monsters, or, as was said of Attorney General N-e's, if he had one, it was shrunk to the size and consistency of a leathern penny purse.' He wasted his time, his intellect, his power, and his fortune, to profit by the weakness, to subjugate the reason, and play upon the passions and feelings of misguided woman, merely to triumph over her fallen virtue. To pure love and its ennobling sentiments, he was an utter stranger; yet, amongst the many he had ruined, there was one poor suffering creature, who had devotedly loved this heartless being. She early met her fate. When she no longer pleased his capricious fancy, no longer suited his convenience, he left her to linger out her life in sorrow, shame and misery.

Edward Montague had no feeling in common with his family; and finding that Henry and Helen were at variance, he resolved to give every encouragement to Sir George, whose valuable stud would furnish him amusement, and would be at his command should he become Helen's husband.

Winter was now fast approaching. It was usually hailed with pleasure by Major Montague's family, as it was a season of hilarity and festivity, and of social and domestic happiness; yet its approach must awaken, in all reflective minds, emotions of a painful nature. It is the decline of another of those brief periods that mark the passing hours; and in the withered leaf, the stripped branch, the faded flower, in the sad stillness of the birds, in short, the gloom and general decay of all nature, our own fate and decline is strikingly and mournfully felt. But these were not the thoughts of the bright Helen, for BRIGHT she was. No other word can convey the idea of her sparkling, speaking smile; and had it not been for a determined look of the eye, a peculiar elevation of the head, none would have supposed her fine gipsy face could be the mirror of a temper so proud and so positive. Her thoughts were, though she would have blushed to own it to herself, occupied in fancying the serenely blissful days that would follow her marriage with Henry; and yet this infatuated, self-willed being, was preparing very different hours than those she anticipated.

The day following her fracas with Captain Dillon he sent up his name, and requested to see her alone. The proud swelling of her heart threw a look of anything but submissive affection in her countenance; and she drew up her finely formed head and neck, and looked as if she felt the earth too mean to bear her. She resolved to show no contrition, no regret; but if Henry were kind, to treat the whole as a jest-if haughty, to retort and retaliate; but her love was too firm not to induce him, before she parted from him (as she had so frequently succeeded in doing before,) to soften his reproaches and subdue his resentment, by saying something conciliatory and affectionate. But that his heart must be teazed, and he punished for his arrogance, as she considered his conduct, was a fixed point.

And, alas! who ever turned Helen Montague from her own positive will?

On entering the room, Henry's face perfectly expressed the bitter conflict, the sufferings of his heart. Helen's better feelings were nearly claiming their own influence, and she would have met him kindly, and asked his forgetfulness of the ill-understood past, but in an instant, the humiliating reflection occurred, he thinks himself secure of me;' and


she said, with assumed indifference, I hope I see Captain Henry Dillon in health, and in a more lover-like and less husband-like mood than he exhibited yesterday.'

Her apparent heartlessness-her affected 'gaité de cœur,' seemed unnoticed. He replied in an unshaken voice, and in a resolute yet mournful tone, as if her flippancy had not affected him.

Miss Montague I would be heard-for the last time, heard. I do not intrude upon you to remonstrate; for too well I am taught to know that my influence has passed away: I am disregarded, disclaimed — but dishonored, despised, I never will be!' and Henry proudly drew himself up, and fixed his fine penetrating eye upon her face. Never will be,' he repeated. I also feel I am not, cannot longer be necessary, or even contributory to your happiness; but if I cannot secure your respect, I will not lose my own. It is not to be my bright destiny to guard you, love you, worship you-nor will I interfere with any one you may invest with these privileges. My wishes, my hopes, my plans, all that was happy centered in you. I blessed you as my guiding star on earth, and fondly dreamed you would have been my own in time and in eternity. I would have been gentle to your errors, and patient to your de fects; I would have encouraged your many virtues, and hallowed your image in my soul; but you have scorned, and wrung, and broken a heart that lived for you, and would have died for you. But Helen, with all my heart's fondest devotion, my soul is superior to giving tolerance, even to the woman I would make a wife, to make a toy of me. May your many excellencies meet their reward; and may a brighter, happier love than mine sanctify and bless your union!

Helen! I resign the proud hope of calling you mine. Yes I resign you-and forever.'

This was uttered with so suppressed a voice, that, to one who was not prejudiced, it must have been evident the struggle was almost too agonising to endure. But the proud Helen ill could endure the humiliation of being rejected: her haughty soul was suffocating with complicated feelings; yet, fearful she should betray the anguish of her sorrowing heart, she made one desperate effort. Her eyes, had Henry sought them, would have told a truer tale than her demeanor, when she suddenly started up, singing,

• Vous ne voulez m'aimer
Ich bien ne m'aimez pas
J'nau si du regret
Mais, je n'en mourai pas.'

She then coldly and negligently added- As it is so, Monsieur Le Capitaine, let us to dinner with what appetite we may.' She could not much longer have supported her part; and she would have left the room but he grasped her wrist with a violence that made her slightly scream. For the moment his self-command was gone. She dared not look at him; she knew his eye was fixed upon her; she felt her color vary; she dreaded the next word; she seemed bound as with a chain. At that moment Daphne's fate would have been bliss: her hands shook; she breathed with painful difficulty; she felt choking, and her agony so extreme, she was nearly fainting. She felt she was losing the man she loved, from a pride which, though it supported her now, she knew would leave her heart desolate and a wreck hereafter. The poor girl would have become insensible, had not the voice of Henry aroused her from the stupor into which she was sinking.

'Woman!' he exclaimed as he painfully wrung her little hand. She raised not her eye. She felt his nervous grasp relax. Again he spoke.


'Helen, Helen! oh, God, is this the heart I prayed to be my own? Is this the woman I would have taken to my bosom?' Again his voice shook, his whole frame trembled; but starting, as if ashained of his weakness, and releasing her hand, he cried, Helen, I thank you.' Again his love, the softness of his affection asserted its empire, and he clasped her in his arms, pressed her to his throbbing heart, kissed her pale cheeks and lips, and, in heart-broken accents, crying, 'Bless you, bless you!' burst into tears, and wildly darted from the room, leaving almost lifeless the form of her he loved, on the sofa from which he had raised her.

Could this self-devoted, self-destroyed girl have uttered one word, one word only, it would have been to supplicate reconciliation. The pride which had succeeded his dignified resentment sunk before his manly sorrow. Tears are the natural expression of feminine grief and tenderness. The sterner mind of man disdains such indulgence of softer feelings. From the noble heart they must be wrung by the intensest agony. All this Helen felt, as a tear from his eye fell on her cheek in his farewell embrace. It was now she knew the real extent of her attachment to Henry, and the power he had obtained over her; but it was too late. He was gone,—gone forever.

Such were the occurrences which had taken place twelve months previous to the conversation with which this tale commences.

From the hour that Henry Dillon became a heart-broken exile, Helen's life was one continued scene of ACTING.

It is not immediately after we have determined on a great sacrifice or a painful effort, that we feel the misery and burthen we have to bear. The first feeling is satisfaction within ourselves when resolving to do what is right, and that feeling raises us for a time above our true strength. Thus it was with poor Helen, whose only refuge now was the indulgence of that pride which had been so fatal to her.

She felt her dream of happiness was over, and that she had nothing but the recollection of its bright and blissful hours to cheer her remaining life. Her youth, her beauty, her talents, her love, were scorned and abandoned by the only heart she had ever sought to gain, and which she had lost from her own unbending pride. But she resolved to fulfil her destiny without shrinking; and well was she seconded by her heartless brother (who hated and envied Henry for his superiority) to complete her sacrifice.

Twelve months had now elapsed. Helen and her mother were sitting one morning in their favorite pink room,' when Major Montague entered. He had become an altered, a melancholy being; for grievously had he been disappointed. The child of his love had ceased to be his pride; she was no longer the bright endearing Helen, diffusing gaiety and happiness by her sweet smile; she had ceased to be the joy of her father's home.

The Major entered with his accustomed sad and slow step, and took a seat without speaking: but looked fondly, yet reproachfully, on his child.

There are in the heart, recesses so deep as to be impenetrable even to the tender searching of a parent's eye. Helen was pale and thin, and no longer gay; but no one suspected the true state of her heart; and in

the affianced bride of Sir George Crowder, no one could have thought she was secretly pining, wasting, and suffering from love without hope. After a silence of some moments, Major Montague said, 'Is next Thursday really the day fixed for your nuptials, Helen?'

She bowed her head.

'My child, may you never repent the step. Your brother, alas! is not the one I would have selected-is not the person to depend on in establishing a sister's happiness. I believe Sir George to be amiable; but has he, do you think, the properties, the stability that will secure my Helen's happiness?'

I may be happy enough, papa,' she answered, in a suppressed tone; ' and you know, dearest father, in some societies hearts are useless things. I shall seek to move in one of them; it will not be a difficult task to find it.' The unbidden tear started to her eye.

The distressed father left the room without further remark. He that morning received a letter from the dying Henry. Yes, Henry Dillon was dying. He frequently wrote to the Major, but never mentioned Helen; and the father could not so compromise the pride of his highminded child as to offer his once rejected daughter again to his acceptance: yet he felt too surely that both were destroying their own hopes of happiness in this life; and Henry was returning, as he said, to make final arrangements previous to his leaving England forever.

On the Major having quitted the apartment, Mrs. Montague addressed her daughter. My Helen,' said she, my heart's comfort, do not cast away your every hope by this marriage. I fear a lingering love still exists in your bosom. Is it then like my Helen to give herself up to one and love another? Can she hope Heaven's blessing can sanctify such a union?'


Mother, forbear; say no more, search no further. Do you think I could bend to HIM. No, rather would I lay down this aching head and resign the life he has embittered. Yes, mother, I own it, embittered; I never shall, never can be happy: but the Henry I loved, and the Henry who cast me away when he had alarmed all a woman's dearest pride, (and that pride alone spoke), is not worth regretting.'

This conclusion was pride's last triumphant effort. The wish to feel as she spoke, raised bitter remembrance in the mind of the poor heartsorrowing girl: she burst into a passionate and violent flood of tears,a rare occurrence for poor Helen, who seldom sought this relief.

Had a propitious fate brought these two self-sacrificed lovers together at that moment, they had never parted.

Helen soon recovered her usually indifferent manner, and resumed, 'Mother, I will never allow Sir George to find his confidence misplaced. In all but heart I will do the duty of a wife, and he shall never have cause to repent having intrusted his honor to my care.' As Helen resolved, so she would have kept her resolution.

Had she allowed her better feelings to conquer her ruling passion, pride, she would have avoided the fatal error of giving a devoted and pre-engaged heart to a man, who, though he had many faults, so truly loved her and deserved a better fate; but her haughty spirit could not endure the humiliating thought that the world should suppose the once envied Helen Montague was sunk into a pitied love-sick girl. Thus she sealed her fate.

Brightly rose the sun on the day that was to behold the beautiful

Helen a bride; yet all in seeing her, though few could surmise why, thought

How soft is beauty's form when touched with woe.'

She was truly one of nature's loveliest growth; but the cankering worm of grief, of deeply hidden sorrow, of a sadness that hope could not reach, was visible in her pale countenance, and made it sadly evident that she strove, as Barry Cornwall so beautifully expresses it,

With that unslumbering serpent, blighted love.”


Many were the guests that accompanied this lovely being to the altar on which she was sacrificed; many and bright were the glittering jewels that adorned the victim; many the smiles that graced the faces of the surrounding beauties; many the hopes that swelled the hearts of those present.

The usual parade and pomp attended this hapless marriage. The prancing horses bore away the bride and her exulting husband, and left that blank in the desolated home of her youth, which the happiest inarriages never fail to produce.

A few weeks passed rapidly away. Helen was no longer the child of nature. Art held the entire command; but it could not conceal, it was not longer to be concealed, that she was very ill. Her figure daily became more fragile, and her sweet face was pale and faded. Poor Sir George, who loved more ardently than could have been expected from his volatile disposition, was distracted. He lost no time, but without announcing their intention, returned to town, that Helen might immediately consult the physicians, and Sir George Crowder's residence not being completed, they drove to Major Montague's.


Both he and Mrs. Montague were absent when they arrived. rested in the drawing-room a few minutes, and then, leaving Sir George to visit the stable, she hurried to her former apartments to hide in soutude the tide of sorrowing emotions which were agitating her heart, and, if possible, array her face in smiles long strangers to it, to meet her beloved parents as much like her former self as might be.

She opened the door, and hastily entered her former dressing-room. A sight met her gaze which transfixed her to the spot, harrowed up her very soul, and almost chilled to death every weakening faculty. On a couch, supported by pillows, lay the pale exhausted form of the dying Henry Dillon. Yes, poor proud Helen, the dying Henry!

He felt his life wasting, fast closing, and he implored and prevailed on his friend to allow him to breathe his last sighs where so many of his happiest hours had been past-in Helen's own morning room, her favorite pink room.'

Major Montague, not conceiving that his daughter would return for some weeks, indulged his unfortunate friend in his wishes.

Thus the two so loved by each other, again most fatally met.

Nature, once again in all her force, exerted her influence over the ill-fated Helen, and she exclaimed, falling on her knees, and taking his cold thin hand in her own, Oh Henry! dear, dear Henry, forgive; I deserve, but do not, do not curse me.'

'Curse you, Helen! Such curses as Heaven sheds on dying saints, as mothers give their infants, and happy husbands pray for their brides. Such, such, Helen, I pray for thee.' He pressed her feebly to his heart, fell back fainting, and that hue never to be mistaken, spread over his wasted countenance.

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