and do not make for ourselves miseries,
where there are none in reality."
" You are a noble girl, Agnes," said
Constance, as she kjssed her fair cheek,
and bade her good night.
" I will try to be more like you. I
will think as little as possible of self. I
will be prepared for all things, and above
all, I will enjoy the present, without
embittering it by the fears of the future,
that perhaps, may never be mine. Now
go down to Miss Murray ; she is
certainly deserving, so far as I can judge
of her on a slight acquaintance, of even
" So I think," said Agnes, " and she is
decidedly the happiest girl in the world,
in the certainty of becoming the wife of
And so the friends parted for the
Lady Agnes found her papa in a quiet
slumber in his arm chair. The players
had finished their game, and were in
animated conversation, discussing the
merits of several new books, and
comparing them with works of an older
Lady Agnes had not seen Lord
Davenant so cheerful for a great while,
and she rejoiced in his recovered spirits.
He and Helen were looking over the
same book, which was a history of the
late war in India, with sketches of the
scenery in which one or two battles were
Lady Agnes took up a book, anxious
not to interupt a tete a tete which was
e\idently enjoyed by both. However,
she was much more attentive to their
remarks, than to her own studies, as she
felt rather curious to know why both
seemed so interested.
''This is the spot T was speaking of.
Miss Murray," observed Lord Davenant.
' Here it was that LesUe fought his first
''Oh, pray, pray, Lord Davenant let
oie have the book all to myself now,"
said Helen ; and her whole attention
was given to it.
" Is it not a lovely spot ; too lovely to
have been made the scene of such
a slaughter?" asked Lord Davenant.
This, Leslie's first battle, was the last of
many a brave soldier."
"It was the last my father fought,
Lord Davenant," said Helen, and her
eyes were filled with tears.
•Indeed, Miss Murray, I am sorry, I
am grieved," exclaimed his lordship.
Oh," cried Helen, "my tears flow
almost as much in joy as in sorrow when
I think how nobly my beloved father
earned his death. Lord Leslie has
described the whole of that battle to me
more than once; and so clearly, so
beautifully did he express himself, that I
understood it all, and I could have
Ustened to him for ever."
" I remember now," said Lord Dave-
nant, " Leslie telling us he knew your
father, Colonel Murray, and what pleasure
it had given him to make your acquaint-
Helen blushed, and her eyes sparkled
with animation. " Lord Leslie is very
kind," observed Helen.
" I know not a nobler fellow," said
Lord Davenant. " As boys we were
much together, and I have seen a good
deal of him the last few months."
" Is he hkely to remain long abroad ?"
Helen now ventured to inquire.
Lady Agnes had heard every syllable,
had watched every expression of Helen ;
she began to wonder if Constance were
indeed right in her suspicions. Lord
Davenant told Helen Clarence would
probably be away a year or two.
" How sad for your sister, and for
Lord Leslie," observed Helen.
" Yes," replied Lord Davenant. " You
doubtless know from Lord Clive all par-
ticulars of that wretched morning they
were almost man and wife. I sometimes
think my poor Constance will never
recover the shock she then received,
and that she will not live to be his
Helen trembled, and looked very
pale. Lady Agnes wondered why this
supposition of Lord Davenant should so
greatly affect her, for Constance was a
stranger to her. Was it then on Leslie's
account ? Was she so deeply interested
in him ? Was her friend again right as
regarded Helen ? and was she going to
marry Clive without loving him ? Lady
Agnes closed her eyes, and determined
no longer to interest herself with those
before her ; or, at least, not to attend to
them if possible.
Lord Moreton a^.voke at this moment,
as all sleepers in arm chairs do awake,
confused and unrefreshed, and willing
to believe he had not slept, or, at least,
that no one had perceived it. He started
from his seat, took up Tiis newspaper
from the carpet, and his first words
" Well, Agnes, is it tea time ?"
" Dear papa, it is almost eleven. We
had tea two hours ago," said Agnes.
" Oh, yes, I forgot," said her father.
" A very interesting leading article this,
Davenant ; how goes on the game : is
Miss Murray conquering you, as I hear
she does every one ?"
" Our game has been over a very
long time, my lord," said Davenant.
" Yes," observed Helen, rising from
the table at which she was seated,
and advancing to Lady Agnes, "and
Lord Davenant won it, very easily.
1 am not at all a good player^ Lord
More ton ; so some one has misled
"Oh, I did not mean that you
won games of chess, Miss Murray,"
said the Earl, " but that you win
Helen laughed, and gaily answered,
" That is as great a libel as the other,
" Is it ?" replied his lordship, who
was now wide awake. " What think
you, my Lord Davenant ? What says
" Lord Davenant gravely replied, " If
Miss Murray has won one heart, and
truly values it, she is a happy person,"
and his lordship, walking to the extreme
end of the room, took up a book, and
seemed absorbed in its pages.
"I think it is bed time, Helen,"
said Lady Agnes. "Are you disposed
to retire r"
" Quite," said Helen.
"Good night, dear Miss Murray,"
exclaimed the Earl. "We shall have
Chve to-morrow. Go and dream of
him in the intermediate time, and may
your sleep be peaceful."
" Good night, Lord Moreton," said
Helen, " and may I not dream at all,
and then my sleep is sure to be peaceful,
and Lord Chve will be here just as
surely, just as soon."
"I will see you again, dearest papa,"
" Thank you, darling," replied the
Earl, and Lady Agnes led the way up
" How is Miss Davenant to-night ?"
asked Helen. " I fear she is yet ill."
"Yes," said Lady Agnes. " I am very
anxious about her."
" And so is Lord Davenant, I am sure,"
observed Helen. "What a very inter-
esting person he is. Lady Agnes? And
how handsome ?"
They had now reached Helen's door.
"Will you not come in?" she con-
"For one minute, only," replied her
ladyship. " I always go to papa for
half-an-hour when he is in his bed room.
Poor papa. He feels himself so lonely.
I either talk to him, or read to him
till he is disposed to sleep. I hope
in time he will lose his distressing
nervous feehngs. But tell me. Miss
Murray, do you really find Lord Dave-
nant so charming ?"
" Indeed I do. Lady Agnes," said
"You must not call me Lady Agnes,
Helen. Remember, we shall soon be
cousins," and her ladyship took Helen's
hand. "Call me Agnes — and do not
be so formal as to say Lord Clive when
you speak of Henr}\ It makes me
fear you do not love him as he deserves
to be loved." *
" To call you Agnes is a great
privilege," answered Helen, " and to
have you for my cousin will doubtless
be another. And, if it offend you, or
annoy you to hear Olive's title given
to him, I will try to forget he has it."
'^ Perhaps it has some powerful attrac-
tion with you," said Agnes. " Yet
I cannot think you are a girl who cares
for rank, merely as rank, unless it be
accompanied by intrinsic worth."
"You do me but justice, dear Agnes,"
said Helen. " Rank and fortune could
never influence me."
" I thought so," exclaimed Agnes.
'^ And now, good night, and may you
be happy, and make my dear cousin
" Good night," echoed Helen ; and,
as the door closed, she sighed heavily,
and wished she could see clearly how
to disengage herself, and ensure the
happiness of the lovely girl who had
just left her. She had little doubt
but her love for her cousin was as
warm as ever, though so wonderfully
kept under control. But would Lord
Moreton give his consent r or was
Agnes free fi'om any promise to her
mother? These points she must find
out ; and that decided upon, Helen's
thoughts reverted to Miss Davenant,
and^ naturally enough, to Lord Leshe.
But she dared not dwell on them, and
took refuge in Lord Davenant. He
interested her much. He had made
himself particularly agreeable to her,
and she had never met any one she
thought so intelligent, so well informed,
and so eloquent. She pronounced him,
in her own mind, a disappointed man
in some way or other, for he was decidedly
melancholy at times, but still, it did
not seem habitual to him. She almost
wished Clive had been such as he, rather
than what he was ; then she could have
hoped, in time, to love him. " But,
then, perhaps, I should not have been
generous enough to have resigned him
to Lady Agnes, his beautiful, his amiable
cousin. Oh^ Agnes, you who have
had the opportunity of knowing and
Uving so much with Lord Davenant,
and still to love Clive. How strange—
but, perhaps, Lord Davenant is indifferent
to you. Yes, that must be it. Indeed,
it did strike me," soliloquized Helen,
'^ that he seldom spoke to you. I
suppose you do not interest him ? There
is no accounting for these things. I
shall never marry. I am quite certain
of that," said Helen, almost aloud, "so
I will devote my young days to darling
Aunt Melbourne, and when she is taken
from me, I hope I shall be able to
work my way to independence ; for
never will I exist on the bounty of
any one, save my beloved aunt."
And Helen, after spending the next
half-hour, as was her custom, in serious
reading, sought her pillow, and found
that repose which conscious rectitude
of purpose and humble piety invariably
Clive arrived an hour before dinner on
the following day. He met Helen with
evident pleasure, and with the affection
of a brother. She was rather reserved
in her manner, which was not observed
by Clive. However, it did not escape
the notice either of Agnes or Constance,
who were both in the room. Constance
was more than ever convinced that Helen
did not love Clive, and Agnes was again
annoyed by her coldness towards him.
She received her cousin with cordiality,
and none but a nice observer could have
detected the agitation which was so well
controlled. Constance, however, saw it.
Helen hoped she did, and Clive felt sure
of it, and his vanity was gratified, and his
heart, too, was touched.
The evening passed off very well, for
Clive was in good spirits, and he had
much to tell. His brother's affairs, he
said, were not so deeply involved as he
had fancied; and turning to Helen, he
added, " In five years Strathallan will be
free from all debt, Helen, and then we
will go and hve there part of every year.
In the meantime I shall let it."
" By the way," said Lord Davenant,
" won't it suit Leslie ? He told me he
should look out for a place in the north."
" Just the thing for him," said Clive.
" I will write to Clarence. When does
he come home ? Where is his regiment
now ? Should you like Scotland, Miss
" I am sure I should like Strathallan/'
replied Constance ; " but Clarence won't
want a place for the next two years,
^^ What nonsense," exclaimed Clive,
'^ he will be home in a few months ; he
is going to sell out."
'^ I think you are mistaken, Henry,"
observed Lord Moreton.
'' WeU, my lord," rephed Chve, " I
saw a man in town to-day who is first
on the Commander-in-Chiefs list, and
he told me he should soon get his com-
mission, for Lord Leslie had notified his
intention of retiring."
'' I am right glad to hear it," said the
Earl. " I was afraid Clarence was no
wrapped up in his profession that he
would have sacrificed every thing to it.
I suppose, Constance, we may thank
your influence for this."
" No, indeed, Lord Moreton," replied
Miss Davenant. '' I never urged it, and
I knew nothing of it till now."
" I wonder;' said Lady Agnes, " how
soon we may hope for Clarence's return.
Do you at^all know, Henry ?"
" Why I should imagine from what
Bolton said, that he may be here any
week," replied Lord Clive.
Constance was sensibly touched, and
she was glad to escape to her own
room to indulge her feelings. Was it
on her own account, then, that Lord
Leslie was giving up a profession he
doated on ? Was he contented to pass
the rest of his life quietly with her ? It
must be so, and she had judged him
wrongfully. Surely she might once
more look forward with hope to a union
with him, and believe almost it was one
of choice — of affection — of such affection
as she ought to be satisfied with ; and so
she told Agnes when she visited her,
as usual, before she retired for the
night. And great was her friend's
satisfaction to find Constance so assured
of what she thought she never ought to
VOL. III. F
have doubted, the sincerity of Leshe's
" This point so satisfactorily settled, I
wish I could convince myself," said
Agnes, " that Helen Murray really
loves Clive. You first raised my suspi-
cions, and her manner certainly confirms
them. Don't you think so, dear Con-
" Indeed I do, Agnes, " replied her
friend. " But Henry appears perfectly
satisfied, and Helen is not unhappy ; so
I daresay they will go on very well toge-
ther, and doubtless it is a grand match
for Miss Murray, for Lady Dolman told
me she had lost all her fortune lately by
the failure of some bank."
" Poor girl," sighed Agnes. ^' But I
wish she loved Clive."
'' I wish," said Constance, with an arch
smile, the first that had shown itself for
some weeks, " I wish you would take a
lesson from her, and make Davenant
happy. Helen is a sensible girl. She is
marrying a man whom she esteems^^
who loves her, and she will be a happy
wife, though she may not exactly be in
love with him. Why cannot you take
Reginald on those terms ?"
" Here is the difference, Constance/'
said Agnes. " Helen, most likely, never
had an attachment. Besides, I should
suppose Lord Davenant would be little
disposed to make a girl his wife on your
" Perhaps not, " said Constance, " if
they were stated to him ; but that would
not be necessary. But I see you are
determined Reginald shall be miserable.
You are an obstinate girl, Lady Agnefe,
and you almost deserve to be unhappy
when you so blindly throw away a heart
that is devoted to you, and which is so
well worth having."
" Spare me, dear Constance, " said
Agnes. '' But now Lord Davenant has
ceased to care for me, that is quite
certain. His cold manner, his total
neglect of me^ convince me of this. I
ought to rejoice, but I candidly tell you,
Constance, I am annoyed at his indif-
" That indifference is only assumed,
dear Agnes," said Constance. ^^ Though
Reginald has never breathed even your
narae to me, much more his own feelings,
and I have never ventured to refer to
his love, I know it exists as strongly in
his bosom as it ever did."
"Then I sincerely pity him, my friend,"
said Lady Agnes. '^ But he does not
suffer alone." And she wept.
" What mean these tears, Agnes ?"
"" They mean that I am a weak, nay,
a wicked girl," sobbed Agnes. " They
mean that I cannot conquer my own
love for Henry Clive."
"Alas, alas," said Constance, embracing
her, " there is no happiness for us.
When I think I see a gleam of sunshine
for myself, a dark cloud covers the
horizon^ and breaks over those as dear
to me as life Were I Leslie's wife this
moment, and he as happy as my fondest
wishes could make him, my bhss would
be marred by your misery, sweet Agnes,
and that of my doomed Reginald." And
the two girls for a few minutes were
lost in grief.
At last Lady Agnes said, '^ Excuse
this weakness, Constance. You shall not
weep again for me ; and let us hope that
time will also restore your brother's
cheerfulness. Last night, when in con-
versation with Miss Murray, he was
more like the Lord Davenant of former
times than I have ever seen him. They
seem to be mutually pleased with each
" Reginald thinks Miss Murray a par-
ticularly nice girl," observed Constance.
'^ So intelligent, so unaffected, though
so decidedly a beauty. He almost envies
Clive again, I do believe ; but good night,
Agnes. I take up far too much of your
time. I hope we shall soon hear from
Clarence, and know his plans ; and in
the meantime I will be a rational girl,
and try to look forward to a reasonable
degree of happiness with him."
" That is like my own dear Constance,"
said Agnes. " If you and Clarence are
happy, I will not complain. I have a
home duty now to perform, the fulfil-
ment of which must give me content-
ment. Adieu, papa is in his room by
And so Agnes found. " Is Helen
come up stairs ?" asked Agnes, as she
entered the bed room of Lord Moreton.
" No, love," replied her father. " I
left her in the drawing-room with Clive.
Davenant disappeared when you did.
\ What very uncertain spirits he has.
I Sometimes he laughs with the merriment
\ of a schoolboy, and the next minute he
] is so imperturbably grave that one feels
it impossible to be familiar with him. I
have sometimes, you know, wished my
Agnes to be Lady Davenant, but it seems
neither you nor his lordship have any
penchant for each other.
Agnes said nothing.
" CUve is urging his marriage on
Helen," continued his lordship. " I was
appealed to, and I gave my vote in favor
of its taking place at no distant day.
The more I see of Miss Murray, the
more I admire her, Agnes. I hope you
are satisfied that Henry has chosen
'^ If Helen loves him, he could not
have chosen better," said Agnes.
" If, my child, why can there be a
doubt*?" asked the Earl.
" In my mind there is, papa," replied
his daughter. " Did Helen object to an
early day for their marriage ?"
" She said she would be guided by
me after she had given her reasons
against it, which I am to hear to-mor-
row," said Lord Moreton. " 1 have
appointed a conference immediately after
" How very strange, " said Agnes.
" Helen knows so little of you, papa.
I should have supposed her aunt, Mrs.
Melbourne, would have been consulted,
and not you."
" Oh, my child, Miss Murray, is only
trying her lover a little," observed Lord
Moreton. " I saw she was not in earnest
but I entered into her jest, and so our
conference was fixed for the hour of
eleven. Of course it will not take place,
and we shall find to-morrow that Clive
and Helen have fixed the day, and that
it is an early one."
'^ I hear Helen's step now, papa, "
exclaimed Agnes. " I will just say good
night to her ; " and she joined Miss
Murray in the gallery, and they went
together to her bed-room door. Clive
at that moment appeared too ; he seemed
flushed and angry.
" Agnes/' said he^ " may I speak to
you one moment ?"
^^ Oh, yes," she repHed, "come to
papa's room, he is there."
Helen nodded to Lady Agnes, and
entering her room closed her door on the
" It is you alone I want to see," said
Clive. '^ Don't refuse me ; it is of
Helen I would speak."
Supposing it was to announce the day
of his marriage, Agnes led the way into
her boudoir, as they were even at the
'^ Agnes," said Clive, " T believe Helen
Murray is jealous of you, or, that she
has never loved me. 1 have quarrelled
with her even now, and I have parted
from her in anger."
" I am very sorry to know this,
Henry," said Lady Agnes, '^ but what
can I do r" and she trembled violently,
and looked ready to faint.
" I know not, dear cousin," said Clive ;
'^ I only know I am very wretched/' and
he threw himself into a chair, and put
his head on the table.
" Shall I go to Helen r" asked Agnes,
who struggled for composure, '' shall I
bring her to you ?''
" Oh, no, no," exclaimed Chve. " In-
deed she would not come."
" Then I fear the blame rests wholly
with you, Henry," said Agnes. " Let
me advise you, dear cousin, to go to bed ;
seek Helen early in the morning, and
pray, pray let all differences be made up,
whether you are the offender or not,
Clive, it is incumbent on you to seek a
reconciliation, and to ensure it at any
sacrifice of pride."
"You advise me then Agnes," asked
Clive, " to humble myself to a girl who
has most decidedly treated me with
''\ do not wish to hear what your
misunderstanding was about," replied
Agnes, ''for I will not call it a quarrel;
only let me see you friends to-morrow,
and let me know you to be happy/' and
she held out her hand to Henry, adding,
" that is quite necessary, dear cousin, to
ensure my happiness ;" and poor Agnes'
tears rolled down her pale cheeks.
Henry took the hand of his cousin,
and carrying it to his lips, he said, '' Oh,
beloved Agnes, that I had been allowed
to form that happiriess."
" Treason, Henry, treason," exclaimed
the agitated girl, as she endeavoured to
withdraw her hand, and conquer her
overpowering feelings. « No regrets for
the future are permitted, as far as we
are concerned. You have, I hope and
beheve, a prospect of great happiness
before you. Helen is worthy of you ;
trifle not with her affections, and make
her your wife quickly."
" That is the subject of my anger, dear
Agnes," said Clive, now recalled to a
sense of his real situation by Lady
Agnes. " Helen insists upon consulting
your father ; and I positively refuse to
allow her to do so. Helen is very hasty
in her temper, and does not like dictation ;
but, on this occasion I would not give
way to her wayward humour.
'' If that is the sum and substance of
your quarrel," said Agnes, "I really cannot
but laugh at you, Henry ; and to-mor-
row's sun will see you very good friends,
without a word passing between you. I
feared some serious misunderstanding."
"Why, Helen provoked me to say
what, perhaps, I had better not have
said," replied Clive. "I expressed my
regret that I had ever asked her at all to
be my wife ; when she, coldly and scorn-
fully declared I was free from my engage-
ment, and that, doubtless, such freedom
would be for the happiness of many."
" Oh, Henry, you are very much in
the wrong," said Agnes.
" I tried to soothe Helen afterwards,"
continued Clive, and her manner was
kind, but so decidedly indifferent towards
me that I almost believe she could never
have loved me ; for, if her feeling were
one of jealousy, she would not have been
so calm, so placid, even in her displea-
" Poor Henry," sighed Lady Agnes. " I
can do nothing for you ; but again
advise you to seek Miss Murray to-mor-
row early, and let it not be your fault if
she don't again take you into favour.
And now I must say good night. Papa is
" Good night my excellent, my beloved
cousin Agnes," exclaimed Clive. " May
God help us all on our path through life,
and enable us to tread it in innocency."
*^'Amen," whispered Agnes, and the
Helen Murray did not appear at the
breakfast table. Sh® sent her maid to
Lady Agnes to make her excuses. A
bad head ache, a sleepless night, and the
wish to be undisturbed at present ; she
also desired Alice to give a little note
into the hand of Lord Moreton's valet ;
and when Helen was quite sure that the
party would be occupied in the breakfast
room, she arose and dressed, and then
impatiently awaited the summons she
expected from Lord Moreton, for her
billet to him had been to claim the
promised interview with his lordship,
and she had requested him not to
mention the subject till after it had
In about an hour from the receipt of
her note, Lord Moretoh was in his
library, awaiting Helen, and she hastened
thither on Alice bringing a message to
" Good morning, Miss Murray," said
the Earl, as slie entered, meeting her
with extended hand. " I hope you are
not really ill," and he looked at her
" Not bodily ill, Lord Moreton," replied
Helen, as she occupied the chair the
Earl placed for her, '^ but very ill at ease