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the mind of the aggrieved lady confirmation strong as proof of holy writ; of the vile conspiracy against her peace,' carried on by the scheming Schoolmistress and her own lawful but law-breaking husband. We will not, however, follow her through the phases of her righteous wrath, nor describe the sufferings of the Vicar while writhing under the searching probe of her investigations, and the merciless incisions of her reproaches. A man may, in such cases; be left to fight his own battles, even though his antagonist be a womán; and therefore we desert the arena of the combat, to follow the fortunes of its ill-fated cause, who, almost within earshot of the tumult, resolved not to await its issue, but to go at once, not standing on the order for her going. She was not taken by prise; for, having always felt the insecurity of the refuge she had chosen, she had ever held herself in readiness to “up anchor" and steer her course to other and safer harbours.

But where was such a place of safety to be found? The Archdeacon was very kind, and took her to his own house; many blamed him for the deed, and there were not a few who pitied his wife when they heard that so dangerous an inmate had been admitted into the sanctuary of her home. But Esther Morton had no fears; for her own heart and her husband's conscience were her guides, and the Tables (not indeed of stone) on which her law was written. She shed many tears over Helen's downfall that poor Helen who for years had been so good, and whom the children loved so dearly. Gladly would she have retained her winning guest as a permanent inmate, but the Archdeacon was far from counselling such an arrangement;

nor would Helen herself have been willing to remain in the scene of her humiliation. So they found her a home in Eastern England, where her name and history were unguessed at, even by the friend to whom they consigned her. An almost bedridden invalid was that aged lady. Her fingers were distorted by rheumatic gout, and her eyes (worn by age and chronic weakness) were almost useless to her; but she was kind and charitable, and was, moreover, a rich and powerful single lady, having tenants who owned her sway; and from her bed she could wield her little sceptre, bidding her subjects "do this," and (even against the dictates of their consciences) they did do it.

Her nephew, a middle-aged book-loving bachelor, shortsighted in every sense of the word, lived under her roof; and for all the exigencies of society and companionship, they two (before the advent of Helen) had thought each other equal.

Old, wealthy Miss Lennard was the Archdeacon's godmother, and had, since he had grown to man's estate, held him and his sacred office in high esteem and affection. When, therefore, it was deemed expedient that a companion should be found, who for the helpless lady should have both eyes and tongue and understanding, the latter dictated a letter to her godson, asking for his advice and assistance. A portion of the reply, in which the latter recommended Mrs. Langton to her notice, ran as follows:

“I have known her for four years, and believe her temper to be perfect, and her disposition and principles excellent. She has known much both of sorrow and temptation, nor do I aver that her life has been altogether blameless; but during the years that I have Recommended to Mercy. I.


known her, she has never failed in one duty, but has been an example for good to all around her.", {

Helen was very urgent with the Archdeacon to reveal the whole of her story to Miss Lennard,

"I cannot endure," she said, to be a second time an impostor. Is it right to give what may be called a false character? I have heard you say how dishonourable is, such a deed in the case of a seryant why is it not equally so in mine?":1,60 tots els 20-4,

.."Because,” replied the Archdeacon, "I consider that there comes a time (after deep repentance and expiation) when a fault may be pardoned and its punishment may cease. And does that punishment cease if we blazon to the world that woman's error, on which, of all others, society has the least mercy? Were I to be asked the character of a man who, for confirmed habits of drunkenness, idleness, i, or, theft, had been discharged from my service, I should certainly deem it a grave act of dishonour were I to conceal his faults from the person who made the inquiry concerning him. But had a man of whom I was called upon to give an opinion failed, once, and that years before, and had his after-conduct proved that his repentance was sin cere, then I should not feel justified in depriving him of the means of earning an honest livelihood whieh Providence had placed within his reach. Non tainly I should not betray him."

Helen was but half convinced by these arguments. "I wish,” she said, " that Miss Lennard could be made

that you know against me. I should be much happier much more satisfied that I was doing right.”

"Make the old lady your friend,” said the Arch


aware of

f all

deacon, cheeringly; "let her judge for herself - let her (as Esther says) learn to love you; and then, all things seeming fitting, you can make her your confidante. If I mistake not, my old friend (little as she knows of the world and its ways, and exempt' as she has been from the trials and temptations of life) will say with 'me that the time for pardon has arrived, and that while she pities your sorrows she will, by kindness and affection, help you to forget the past."

“God grant it!”. ejaculated Helen, with a deep sigh: for as the time drew near when she was to say “farewell” to the kind friends who had sheltered her under their roof,' and to the children whose young affection had twined itself round her heartstrings, her courage seemed to ebb, and a feeling of despondency stole over her usually elastic spirit. * "God grant it! But even in the event of harm arriving from this concealment, it is not to you k to you who have been so far kinder to me than I deserve, that I will turn in my desolation; no

to my y own heart only will I whisper that I was in

wrong I wrong under any circumstances, and under any guidance, to cross a threshold with a falsehood in my right hand!” “On my

head be it!” was the Archdeacon's reply; while his wife, as she bade adieu to her departing friend, reminded her (with tears in her soft eyes) that there would ever be a home for her in the house she was leaving, and in the hearts of all within it.

The little children clung round her with tearful eyes; and when the last embrace had been given, and Helen looked back at the kind friends who were grouped at the door to witness her departure, she deeply mourned the necessity that compelled her to

one at

seek another home among those who knew her not. If only she had possessed a better brother! : least who would have allowed her the privilege of retaining her own humble fortune - she had not needed to trust herself to the small mercies of a merciless world. But regrets for the past were vain, and only served to increase her uneasiness for the future; so with a vigorous touch she swept them from her mind, while she pursued her lonely way to the next haltingplace on her life's journey.

The traveller was received kindly at “Darrow House,” which was the name of a frightful old pile of buildings on the chilly eastern coast. It was a place that by no possibility could be considered interesting to any bụt its owners; and Helen shuddered when she first caught sight of the tall, dark pine-trees, swayed to and fro by the strong winds that did battle against that inhospitable shore. Their bowed heads and tossing arms gave a wild welcome to the stranger, who, but that her nerves were young and braced, would have shrunk from the ominous greeting in dismay. The interior of the house pleased her better; and the old lady, in her helplessness and decrepitude, became an object of interest to her at once.

A married niece, whose husband possessed a considerable property on the outskirts of Miss Lennard's large estate, was often a visitor at Darrow House. She, too, was a great lady in her way.


very dress rich and rustling

bespoke her wealth and might; and in her manner there was a grand and impressive condescension. This lady, when called upon to pronounce on the fitness of Mrs. Langton for the office to which she had been appointed, and on her

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