in my mind."
"Indeed," exclaimed his lordship, "I
am exceedingly sorry. Can I in any
way relieve you ?"
" I trust so. Lord Moreton," said
1 J 2 PROFESSIONS.
Helen^ " and therefore I have taken
the hberty of thus occupying your
"No Hbert} at all, my dear young
lady," replied the kind old Earl. " I am
too happy to be of the slightest service
to'you. I fear my nephew has pressed
his speedy marriage upon you further
than he ought to do ; but remember,
Miss Murray, his impassioned nature,
and his very trying disappointment. Am
I right in supposing you are come here
to talk to me of Henry ?"
" Quite, my Lord," said Helen, who,
now that she had gained her point,
and was actually alone with Lord Moreton
to open her heart to him, and to plead,
not merely her own cause, but also
that of Lord Clive and Lady Agnes,
almost repented of her boldness, and
felt disposed to let things remain as
they were, and run away from the very
conference she had so anxiously sought,
and upon which her own happiness.
and, she believed, that of others too
so much depended.
Helen became very pale, and with
considerable agitation continued, "Lord
Clive has every right, I know, to expect
me to consent to his wishes and to
name an early day for our marriage,
and I will do so. Lord Moreton, if you
think I ought, after I acknowledge to
you that I believe it is not for Chve's
happiness that I should ever be his
" Good God ! Miss Murray," exclaimed
his Lordship, " What is it you mean r
Pray, pray explain yourself. I had
hoped there was every reason to rejoice
in your approaching union with Henry."
" May I preface my confidence to you.
Lord Moreton." asked Helen, ''by one
question, without fear of being thought
impertinent ? And will you answer me
truthfully and candidly .-"
"Certainly, certainly, my dear young
lady," repHed the Earl, who now rose
from his chair, and awaited Helen's next
words with considerable curiosity.
Helen spoke. '^ Supposing I were out
of the question, Lord Moreton, would
you give your daughter to Lord Clive
to ensure the happiness of both of
Lord Moreton, in his turn, became
pale and agitated. He resumed his
seat, and taking Helen's hand, he said,
" My dear Miss Murray, I see now all
your meaning, all your thoughts. But do
not, 1 beseech you, do not make yourself
unhappy about my beloved Agnes.
She has long relinquished all hope,
all feeling, towards Henry that could
in the least interfere with your hap-
piness. And Clive knows it — and he
is attached to you. So never think
again that your union with him will
not secure his. Come, come, no more
of this. Let us now seek Henry, and
put him at ease, for, believe me he looks
very miserable this morning."
PROFESSIONS. 1 1 5
Helen did not interrupt the Earl, but
when he ceased speaking, she said, "Will
you not then answer my question, dear
Lord Moreton ; again I venture to repeat
it in the hope that you will do so.
Myself out of the question, would you
give Lady Agnes to Clive to ensure the
happiness of both of them ?"
The Earl was silent. Helen remained
seated, and, at last. Lord Moreton said,
'^And suppose my dear Miss Murray
that I would do so, the union of the
cousins is as impossible as it always
" Oh say not so, my Lord," exclaimed
Helen. '' Tell me not that you are under
any promise which will make it
'^ Promise," repeated his Lordship,
'^ Oh, no, I am under no promise ; but I
am not destitute. Miss Murray, of honour-
able, kindly feelings ; and now, Lord
Clive is the beloved, the affianced of
"The affianced, but not the beloved,"
almost whispered Helen, as she covered
her face with her hands.
"What is it you say, dear Miss
Murray ?" asked Lord Moreton with
eagerness and surprise expressed in
every feature. " Do you tell me, and tell
me truly, that Henry Clive has not your
love? Oh, do not deceive me, do not
try to deceive me in the vain hope that
I will sacrifice you to make my darling
Agnes happy. It is nobly intended ;
but, be assured it shall not be acted
upon." And he took Helen's hand, and
bid her look up and be comforted, and
he would send Clive to her, and he
would tell his Agnes all she had been
prepared to do for her sake. " And now,
my dear Helen, my dear niece, let me
assure you that you need not have one
jealous feeling as concerns Clive's late
attachment to his cousin. He is very
anxious to secure you his. Do not teaze
him any longer on this point. Fix with
him an early day, and let me have the
satisfaction of witnessing your happiness.
Tell me you will, my dear Miss INIurray."
Helen had listened patiently to Lord
Moreton's lengthy speech, and now was
the moment to decide her fate, and give
her confidence to the Earl. She said,
" Will you listen patiently to me, dear
Lord Moreton, for a few minutes ? I am
not the noble-minded girl you take me
for, nor am I the weak and jealous one.
Perhaps you may deem me ambitious,
and, may be, wicked. I do not love
Lord Clive. I have never loved him."
" And yet you would be his wife ?"
observed Lord Moreton.
" I would have been his wife, I should
now have been his wife," continued
Helen, "but for the untimely death of
his brother. Not, however, because I
loved him. When Lord Clive offered his
hand to me, his love for his cousin was
hopeless, and he believed, and so did I,
that it was extinct. He said his happi-
ness depended on our union, and I
believed him. But that did not influence
me in my acceptance of him. Oh no,
I had a stronger motive, and at the
time I believed, a sacred one. I have
always lived. Lord Moreton, with my
Aunt Melbourne, and she is, if possible,
even more than a mother to me. It was
her evident wish, from her knowledge of
dive's disposition, and believing in his
attachment to me, and also supposing
my heart was free," Helen slightly
coloured, " that I should be favorable to
his suit ; and, on the very morning when
Henry first declared his love to me, my
poor aunt was thrown into a sad state of
mental suffering by the announcement
of the loss of the whole of my little for-
tune, which left me dependent upon her.
My immediate determination was to gain
my own livelihood through the excellent
education I had received ; but I found
my aunt would not hear of my leaving
her — that she, in short, was bent upon
my marriage with Clive ; and, believing
he was not disagreeable to me, nay,
thinking, and justly too, that I did like
him very much as a friend, she doubted
not that my regard would naturally
become love when he professed so
much for me. T did not undeceive my
poor aunt, and I engaged myself to
Clive to ensure her happiness, feeling
that to be my one great duty."
" And did not Henry gain upon
your affections ? " asked Lord More-
ton ; "^ and is he not now the man of
ypur choice r Has he not a place in your
" I feel for Lord Clive just as I have
always done," replied Helen, '' a great
regard, a sincere friendship."
" Oh, call it by any name you please.
Miss Murray," said his Lordship, " but
I believe it is a feeling that will make
both Clive and yourself very happy, and
Agnes shall not interfere with that
" Since^ my Lord," said Hden, "I know
positively that there is no insuperable
obstacle to the marriage of Lord Clive
and Lady Agnes Scott, 1 shall be candid
with both of them, and I shall beg to be
released from my engagement ; and if I
am not to be believed that such a release
will add to my happiness, I cannot help
it. I shall have acted right, and the
result will probably convince all parties,
your Lordship amongst the number, that
I have simply related facts, and claim no
merit for my conduct, and that the
marriage of Chve with Lad} Agnes will
give me real satisfaction and pleasure ;"
and Helen rose to leave the room.
" Stay one moment. Miss Murray,"
said Lord Moreton, "and forgive my
apparent unbelief in your veracity. I do
not doubt your truthfulness, and 1 admire
your candour ; I am only afraid you are
self deceived, and that you are acting for
the happiness of others more than your
own. Besides, what will Mrs. Melbourne
say, what will she think of me if I take
advantage of your noble candour, and rob
you of my nephew, in order to secure
him for my child ?"
" My aunt knows now every feeling of
my heart," said Helen, " and she entirely
approves of what I am doing. She
would never, for a moment, have wished
me to accept Clive had she doubted my
power of loving him, for aunt Melbourne
is not mercenary. Lord Moreton. And
now I will seek Henry, and I hope you
will be favourable to his suit, for his
first, his best affections, are Lady Agnes'."
" Stay, Helen," said the Earl, seizing
her hand, " are you sure Henry Clive
loves Agnes ?"
" Oh, who can doubt it. Lord Moreton ?"
" iVnd my child," exclaimed the Earl,
" does she still "
" Yes, yes," interrupted Helen, " she
still loves her cousin well enough to
become his wife ; so you see, dear Lord
VOL. III. G
Moreton, my plan will make three people
very happy^ to say not one word of
yourself." And Helen looked so bright
and joyous, that the good old Earl could
not any longer doubt the fact.
" Well, well, my charming young
friend," said he, " you look so happy
yourself, that I must believe you ; and
always remember that Moreton Court
will ever be a home for you, and that
you must not think yourself without
friends so long as I am its master, and
my darling Agnes in existence."
" Oh, thank you, thank you, my lord,"
said Helen. " Will you now see Lady
Agnes ? and I will hasten to make Clive
happy." And Helen disappeared.
She found Henry in the drawing room
writing letters. '* Do I interrupt you.
Lord Clive?" she inquired, as she en-
" Most agreeably, undoubtedly," said
his lordship, as he threw^ down his pen
and advanced to meet her. " Are you
better, dear Helen? have you forgiven
" Let us not talk of the past, Henry,"
said Helen, " but of the future. I have
much to say to you ;" and she sat down,
entreating Lord Clive to give her a
patient hearing, and claiming his indul-
gence beforehand for all her wrongs to
We will not weary our readers with
a detail of poor Helen's confessions to
her lover. Suffice it to say, his vanity
was somewhat wounded, to be thrown
off by a penniless girl w^ho confessed she
had never loved him. But his heart beat
warmly towards his beloved cousin, whom
he had never ceased really to like, though
he had been so angry with her, and he
did not feel disposed to quarrel with a
girl whose indifference towards him pro-
duced such a happy result as uniting
him to his first and warmest love ; for,
when Helen declined the honor of his
hand, she lost no time in assuring him
of his uncle's consent to his union with
Agnes; and of her love Clive did not
doubt — for, setting aside his vanity, he
had no good reason to do so.
Helen retired to her own room after
her conference with Clive, and she wrote
to her Aunt Melbourne every particular
of the last few days.
Clive sought his uncle, and after hear-
ing from his own lips Helen's news con-
firmed, he most impatiently desired to
see Agnes ; and he met her returning
from the village of Moreton just as she
entered the halL
" Where have you been, Agnes ? "
asked Clive. " I have sought you every
" I have just returned from Moreton
Rectory, " said Agnes. " Poor old Mr.
Cooper grows more feeble every day. I
think we shall soon have you there,
" Is the old man so fast declining ?"
said Clive. " Well, poor fellow, he is a
great age, and I shall not be sorry to
change my residence ; and I hope it will
also please you, Agnes."
The cousins were then entering the
drawing room, which on this morning
" You know, Henry, " she replied,
"that I shall be delighted to have you
there ; but I fear Helen won't like the
change. May field seems to have great
charms for her, and no wonder, as her
Aunt Melbourne lives there. But, per-
haps, a cottage may be found for her at
" Oh, I daresay," said Chve ; " but,
dearest Agnes, can you spare me one half
hour ? and just let me put down your
basket and your bag. I have a wonderful
tale to tell you."
" Indeed !" exclaimed Lady Agnes.
'' You seem to be in excellent spirits,
Henry. I hope, indeed I feel sure,
that you and Helen have made up your
"We have^ indeed/' said Clive. " She
is a dear ingenuous girl, and I never can
be sufficiently grateful to her."
Agnes rejoiced in her heart, but she
turned pale, and she could not express
her feelings. " She hurriedly said,
" Where is Helen, and where is papa ?
Constance, too, I have not seen."
'' Are you in such haste to leave me,
Agnes ?" asked Henry, as she rose from
her chair. " It had not used to be so."
" I vrished to have told you all that
has passed between Helen and myself,"
" It is enough that you are both
happy," said Agnes. " I rejoice in it,
believe me, Henry ;" and she held out
her hand to him. He drew her towards
him. " Agnes, " he whispered — " My
own Agnes. Nay, try not to escape
from me, for now you are mine.
Helen has restored us to each other.
She has refused to confirm her engage-
ment to me ; she has declared she never
Agnes no longer was able to resist
the embrace of her lover ; she had fainted
in his arms. Clive, greatly alarmed,
carried her to a sofa, and summoned
assistance. Lord Moreton was quickly
with his child. WTien she was brought
to consciousness, he and Henry were
leaning over her with looks of anxiety
and love. Lady Agnes could not under-
stand it. She had a confused remem-
brance of what Clive had said, but she
did not know the truth. Her father
gently broke it to her, and after assuring
her that now she might indeed look for-
ward to a union with her long loved,
always loved Henry, he left the cousins
together ; and the months, the years of
misery their attachment had caused them,
were all forgotten in that one hour of
bhss they spent together.
Agnes was impatient to see Helen to
embrace her — to thank her for the hap-
piness she had caused — to be quite sure
she had not been making a sacrifice ; for
Lady Agnes found it difficult to believe
Clive was not loved. However^ Helen
convinced her, and Agnes vowed eternal
friendship and gratitude. The news was
announced to Constance by Agnes her-
self. She was surprised at the denouement,
though she had felt so sure Helen was
indifferent to Clive.
'^ Is it not passing strange, dear Con-
stance," said Agnes, " that Miss Murray
should be so insensible ?"
Constance smiled. " Such cases are
not singular, Agnes," she said. "Alas,
my poor brother. His fate is now in-
" And that is better than suspense
and vain hope," observed Agnes, " if,
indeed, Lord Davenant still thinks of
me with kindness."
" If, Agnes," sighed Constance, " you
are ungrateful to doubt it. But I must
see Reginald. I hope he will not have
heard this wonderful news. I know it
will upset him. I know, though perhaps
he would not allow it, that he has been
indulging hope that when Clive was really
married, you might change towards him."
" I trust you are mistaken, Constance,"
said Agnes. " I wish your brother and
Helen Murray could see more of each
other. I really think they would suit
each other exactly."
" Perhaps so, Agnes," said Miss Dave-
nant ; " but Reginald will never give his
heart again, depend upon it."
" And Helen," said Lady Agnes, '^ ap-
pears so insensible to merit, that I begin
to think she is not capable of love."
" I differ from you, Agnes," exclaimed
Constance, and she shuddered and turned
"What ails you, dear girl?" asked
Agnes. " Are } ou faint ?"
" Oh, no," said Constance. "A passing
thought, a terrible fear that at times ob-
"And is Helen concerned in it?" asked
Constance spoke not.
"Oli^ I know now what you mean,
dear friend," said Agnes. " But you pro-
mised me to conquer such fear. Leslie
will soon, I trust, be with us, and then
we shall be sisters indeed. We will be
married on the same day, Constance, will
we not :" and Agnes caressed her friend,
and tried to dispel the gloom that seemed
to settle on her brow
A knock at the door saved Constance
a reply. It was Lord Davenant. Agnes
immediately withdrew, and the brother
and sister were left together. Lord
Davenant heard all that Constance had
to tell him with perfect calmness. It
seemed as if his misery knew of no aug-
mentation. He expressed a wish to re-
turn to Castle Davenant, provided Con-
stance felt able to undertake the journey.
She at once declared she was, for to de-
sert her brother now would be impossi-
ble ; besides she thought she should be
happier at home, for the presence of
Helen disturbed her, though she could
not help thinking herself unjust to her,
and also to Leslie. But no wonder, after
all that had occurred, that Constance
Davenant, even with her strong mind,
should have gloomy forebodings of the
The intended departure of the Dave-
nants on the morrow was announced,
and though Agnes was very very sorr\-
to lose her fi'iend, she quite understood
and appreciated her motive for going as
regarded Lord Davenant, and, therefore,
she did not urge her to remain.
She made Helen Murray promise not
to leave Moreton Court for some time, if
her aunt did not object; and on the
morrow Clive was to go to Mayfield for a
few days, and he said he would gain Mrs.
Melbourne's permission for the prolonged
visit of Helen.
The evening of that day, so blessed to
many, was clouded by the evident gloom
of Lord Davenant and his sister. And
the happiness of Clive and his Agnes,
and the satisfaction of Lord Moreton,
and the joy of Helen, failed to overcome
the shadows thrown over the party by
the low spirits of the Davenants.
The next morning saw their departure
for Castle Davenant, and Clive soon after-
wards set out for Mayfield Vicarage, leav-
ing Helen happily domesticated with the
Earl and his daughter at Moreton Court.
" Is it really true^ my dear Mrs. Mel-
bourne," said Mrs. Brown, who was
calling at Mayfield Cottage about a
month after the date of our last chapter,
'^ Is it really true that your niece's en-
gagement is broken off ?"
" Quite so," replied Mrs. Melbourne.
" What a sad business, my dear friend,
and how mortifying to you to have
another girl preferred and Helen de-
serted," observed Mrs. Brown, trying to
look sorry, though evidently pleased that
Helen Murray had lost this chance of
making a more splendid match than her
" The mortification you regret is spared
me in this instance," said Mrs. Melbourne
quietly. "Helen, herself broke off the
engagement. She has long wished to do
Mrs. Brown looked incredulous ; and
Mrs. Melbourne not caring for her
sarcasm or her sympathy, changed the
subject by inquiring if Lady Dolman
had quite recovered her health.
" Oh, yes, I believe so," said Mrs.
Brown. " She has been very fool-
ish, riding and walking when she ought
not to have done so ; but I blame
Trevor the most ; he is old enough to
have known better. But I suppose in
his extreme indulgence to her he could
not deny her anything she wished."
" Are they now at Deerfold r" inquired
Mrs. Melbourne, who tried not to appear
to know that Mrs. Brown's supposition
was false, and, moreover, that she knew
it to be so.
'' They return to day, I beheve," said
Mrs. Brown. " I am sorry for Trevor.
He is disappointed of course. It is
natural with his immense wealth and
noble blood to wish for a son and heir.
When does Helen return ? I suppose not
till Lord Clive leaves Mayfield. I under-
stood that was a promise he made to
your niece. It is rather a good living
to give up."
'^ And certainly," replied Mrs. Mel-
bourne, "would not have been relin-
quished by Lord Clive if he had not been
presented to a better."
'' Oh, indeed," said Mrs. Brown. " I
fancied he would leave the church
altogether, now he belongs to the
" To the peerage he always belonged,"
observed Mrs. Melbourne, " and so must
he to the church, even if he declined
duty. But Henry Clive is much too
conscientious to be idle in his profession,
and his chief residence will be Moreton
'^ Oh, indeed," again said Mrs. Brown.
" Well, I suppose Helen did not fancy
a clergyman after all — very few girls of
spirit do ; and I don't wonder. But I
am detaining you. You expect Mr.
Fairfax carriage, I think?"
" Yes," rephed Mrs. Melbourne, " I
am going to Avondale to-day for a week.
Helen is to join me there to-morrow."
" I suppose, poor thing, she is coming
out of the way of the wedding, which I
hear is fixed for next month," observed
" Helen is to be one of Lady Agnes
Scott's bridesmaids," observed Mrs. Mel-
''' Really, how odd, how trying,"
observed Mrs. Brown. '^ A very good
blind though to the world, but few girls
could do it. Helen is one by herself. I
hope, my dear friend, that you will soon
have the comfort of seeing her settled in
life. Who knows but some one very
desirable may have the vicarage. Don't
despair. Rely on my friendship. You
must let Helen come to me. My
daughters are provided for. By the way,
Powis is very ill, so there is some hope
for Matilda. Jack has quite got over
his love for Helen, so there is no
danger in that quarter. You must let
Helen come. I will chaperon her this
next winter, and we will try what we
Mrs. Melbourne allowed Mrs. Brown
to run on, perfectly convinced that she
would have her way ; and also that she
would maintain her opinion as to the
breaking off of Helen's marriage, so she
quietly remarked, when Mrs. Brown had
talked herself out of breath, " Helen is
going from home for the winter. Lady
Heathdown has invited her to the Hague,
and she accompanies Mr. and Mrs.
Pemberton there immediately after her
" Indeed/' exclaimed Mrs. Brown. " I
greatly approve of your plan. Change of
air and scene will be the thing. My love
to her/' and Mrs. Brown left the cottage,
saying to herself, " Very grand indeed ^
The guest of an ambassador. That girl
will marry well yet. How provoking.
To Deerfold," shouted Mrs. Brown as
her dashing footman touched his hat
on shutting her carriage . door. ^^I will
be there to meet them, thought the wily
dame. A delicate little attention to my
daughter after her absence and her
illness. And I want to talk to Trevor
about my carriage horses."
At Deerfold Mrs. Brown arrived. It
was four o'clock. She inquired for
" Not at home," was the answer.
" Oh, not yet returned," said Mrs.
Brown to the venerable old butler
who appeared at the door. " When
do you expect her ladyship and Sh*
"Su- Trevor arrived an hour ago,
Madam/' replied the domestic.
" Indeed/' exclaimed Mrs. Brown,
" then I will come in."
" Sir Trevor has desired me not to
admit any one/' rephed the butler
"He will see 7ne of course/' said
Mrs. Brown, and she aUghted from
her carriage and walked into the hall.
A bell now rang violently. Mrs.
Brown quite started. " Good heaven !
what bell is that ?" she inquired.
" It is Sir Trevor's, madam. Will
you walk into the drawing room, and
I will tell my master that you are here,"
said the butler.
Mrs. Brown, nothing daunted, passed
on to the saloon ; and, making herself
comfortable by a nice cheerful fire which
was blazing in the bright grate, for the
summer was gone, and the autumn
was cold^ she awaited the appearance
of Sir Trevor Dolman, somewhat curious
to know why Henrietta was not there
Presently the butler again appeared,
and, with evident reluctance said, " My
master. Madam, is particularly engaged,
and cannot be interrupted."
" Oh, very well. I'll wait here awhile.
Order the horses to be taken out," said