And away Helen went, and in an hour
afterwards the sun shone forth, the rain
ceased, Mrs. Melbourne was dressed and
down stairs, when Lord Leslie was
Mrs. Melbourne received him not at
all as a stranger, and his lordship was
much pleased by her cordiaUty, and struck
with her appearance and manner.
" I hope Miss Murray is well r" in-
quired Leslie. " I know she is not at
" Helen is only at the school/' replied
'' So your sei-vant said," observed his
lordship. '^ Lewis Pemberton walked
with me, and on hearing this he went to
escort Miss Murray home."
^' I am glad Helen will know you are
here, Lord Leslie, as she will hasten
His lordship shghtly coloured as he
said, " I shall be delighted to see Miss
Murray again. I understand you join
the party at the Castle to-day."
" Yes," said Mrs. Melbourne ; " and I
scarcely expected the pleasure of seeing
you such a morning as this, as the
Heathdowns would tell you we were
going to them,"
" They did so, but I was anxious to
make my apologies to you, Mrs. Mel-
bourne," said Leslie, " for having so long
had a paper in my possession which was
addi'essed to you. The circumstance
quite escaped me : but when I found it
amongst some of my own letters, only
just now received from India, I recol-
lected that it was found on your poor
brother s person by his servant, after he
received his death wound. In the horrors
of a battle field it might well escape
my attention ; but this faithful servant
kept it carefully till after his master's
death, and then gave it to me. Battle
after battle followed â€” I was wounded, 1
came home, entirely forgetting this letter,
and it was only the other week that I
found it, as it were by chance, in a
bundle of my own papers. I hope, Mrs.
Melbourne, you forgive me," continued
Leslie, " and that the delay has not been
of real consequence."
'^ It is an important document, Lord
Leslie," said Mrs. Melbourne : '^ and I
claim your assistance as regards it."
She then shewed it to Lord Leshe, and
he was really annoyed to think how
very nearly it had been lost to its right-
ful owner. He begged to manage the
whole business for her, and he urged
upon her the immediate advancement of
the sum from his banker, as it would
not inconvenience him to wait for the
money from India. This Mrs. Melbourne
declined, but she gladly availed herself
of his assistance to settle everything con-
cerning it with the banker with whom
Lord Leslie had had frequent transac-
tions ; and this point discussed, his lord-
ship related to Mrs. Melbourne every
interesting particular of the last illness
of her brother, and he spoke of Major
Murray with such feeling, and in such
high praises, that Mrs. Melbourne was
much touched, and she thought, with
Helen, that it w^as impossible not to
admire Lord Leslie.
Helen now^ returned wi^h Lewis Pem-
berton, who seemed in high spirits and
in excellent health. He talked inces-
santly. He declared it was not proper
for Miss Murray to be shut up in that
horrid close damp school room, teaching
tiresome little girls. He begged to dis-
encumber her of her cloak. He offered
to unclasp her clogs. Indeed, he was so
polite, so officious Helen thought, that
she almost wished Lord Leslie had not
come as Lewis had accompanied him.
His lordship had met her with a slight
degree of embarrassment, but quite as an
old acquaintance, and half an hour was
passed in agreeable conversation ; and
when the gentlemen took their leave,
expressing great pleasure in the certainty
of a speedy meeting, Mrs. Melbourne
quite satisfied Helen in the praises she
bestowed on Lord Leslie.
''He is a most interesting person
indeed, " said Mrs. Melbourne ; " and
extremely good looking. A softened
likeness of Clive, I think. He appears
melancholy to me, Helen. I cannot
think he is quite happy, though he
talked so cheerfully."
" How long does he stay at Pemberton
Castle r" asked Helen.
" Till Thursday, he told me," said
Mrs. Melbourne, "and then he returns
home as his father is expecting visitors
the end of the week."
" Yes," said Helen, thoughtfully, " the
Davenants are going to Moreton Court.
I wonder aunt, if you will think Con-
stance worthy of Lord Leslie r"
"I wonder so too," observed Mrs.
Melbourne. " But tell me love, what
said Lewis ? He looked very happy ;
but you had an air of discontent, and
answered him almost peevishly."
"I am sorry for that," said Helen.
" I was vexed with him for being so
ridiculously anxious about me. I am
sure Lord Leslie remarked it."
" And did that annoy you, Helen ?"
asked her aunt. " Take care, love,
remember Leslie is an engaged man>
and never can be more than an acquaint-
ance to you."
" I am not at all afraid noiv, my dear
aunt," exclaimed Helen, " of losing my
heart to him â€” knowing he is to be
Constance's husband makes it quite
safe to admire him. I mean thoroughly
to enjoy his society the next two days ;
that is, if he give me the opportunity.
Perhaps, Aunt Melbourne, he may prefer
talking to you."
" And if he do, Helen r" asked her
"Why, to be candid," said Helen,
'' I shall envy you, but I shall not think
less highly of Lord Leslie."
" A very prettily turned compliment,
my child," said her aunt. "But are
you packed for Pemberton Castle. I
have given Alice orders about my ward-
robe. I shall keep this nice little girl
now, Helen. My poor brother's hand-
.some legacy will enable me to do that."
" I am very glad indeed/' said Helen,
" on all accounts, especially on Alice's.
She was quite miserable in the certainty
of leaving us."
'^ I believe she is a good girl," observed
Mrs Melbourne. "I hope she won't
be spoiled at these great houses. But
Helen you had better dress, and then
we will have luncheon."
At four o'clock Lord Heathdown's
carriage arrived at the cottage and Mrs.
Melbourne and Helen soon arrived at the
castle, where they met with a warm
reception from the kind host and hostess.
The house was full of company, consist-
ing of many of the people who were
there when Helen first met Lord Leslie.
There was the Earl of Moreton, the
Colvilles, the Astons, Mr. Perberton with
his plain but amiable little wife ; Frank
Pemberton and a friend of his, a young
officer of his regiment. Sir Lenox Buxton.
Tliere was Mr. Fairfax, (his lady had
excused herself,) and one or two stray
men belonging to nobody and to no
place. With the Astons was the Baronet's
sister, a very . handsome girl, about
Helen's age, and who was to come out
in London the next season. A few of
the neighbouring families joined the
dinner party. Amongst others Mr. and
Mrs. Young, and the Maxwells, and Mr.
Hertford : making altogether a numerous
party. Mrs. Melbourne did not dine but
she appeared in the drawing room.
Helen had been taken out to dinner
by Lewis, but Lord Leslie, who had been
told to escort Miss Aston, was on the
other side of our heroine, though not
without a little contrivance on his part,
which no one had perceived save Lord
Moreton and Helen. The former had
not wondered at his son's taste, for he
would have done likewise could any con-
trivance have placed him by his favorite
Helen Murray. Helen was much pleased,
nor did she attempt to disguise her
satisfaction. Poor Lewis was nearly
unattended to, and he very ill brooked
Helen's decided preference for Leslie :
and had not his lordship been an engaged
man, Lewis' jealousy would scarcely have
been kept within bounds.
Miss Aston found Frank Pemberton on
her other hand, and she cared not for
Lord Leslie, so that, without any rude-
ness he could devote himself to Helen
Murray, and every moment he was
adding to his misery by the certainty
that he loved her better than the woman
he must marry. Helen thought of
nothing but the present hour, she sighed
when the moment for retiring arrived.
She told her aunt Melbourne in the
drawing room, how fortunate she had
been at dinner, and how Lord Leslie
appeared more charming every moment.
Mrs. Melbourne again cautioned her, and
bade her remember Constance.
Helen laughed, and disclaimed all
danger. And now she was called upon
to play. She seemed on this evening
even to surpass herself, and every one
remarked upon her good spirits and her
recovered beauty ; and every one
admitted that the breaking off her
engagement with Lord CUve had not
impaired her health or her gaiety, for
they had never seen Miss Murray quite
so animated, or looking so decidedly
The gentlemen very early entered the
drawing room. Mr. Hertford took a
seat by Mrs. Melbourne, and he answered
all her inquiries about the Browns, for
she was really anxious about them, as,
at one time of her life, she was intimate
with them, and had received kindnesses
from them. Mr. Hertford knew more
about them than any one else. He told
Mrs. Melbourne that both Mr. and Mrs.
Brown were in a precarious state of
health, and that it was a terrible situa-
tion for Matilda, alone with them in a
foreign land. "I mean," said Hertford,
" to go to Naples next month, and I
hope to be some comfort to the whole
"Doubtless you will be," said Mrs.
Melbourne, '^ and I am very glad you are
going. Will you say something kind for
me ? "
"Surely Matilda will fall into good
hands when next she makes her choice,"
" Have you not regard enough for all
of them, and love enough for the young
lady to secure her respectability and
happiness, Mr. Hertford r " almost whis-
pered Mrs. Melbourne.
"Alas, Mrs. Melbourne," sighed Hert-
ford, "the Browns would think their
daughter very ill matched in that case,
and deem me presumptuous and ungrate-
ful, and Matilda would most certainly
refuse me. I know you have always said
I should marry one of those girls, but I
ever deemed you were joking ; and
knowing how sarcastic you can be, I
have felt displeased at your supposition,
because I have always professed too
much regard for them to wish it. But
now, as the Browns are situated, I would
willingly take to my name and my heart
Matilda Powis, and thus, perhaps, save
her from a worse fate."
" Such a love," said Mrs. Melbourne,
smiling " is worth a girl's accepting, and
Matilda Powis would be silly to refuse it.
When do you go ?"
"Next week, if at all," replied Hertford,
" Augustus can leave the office then for
a few weeks, and we shall travel together.
He is a fine fellow^, and will, if I mistake
not, restore the respectability of the
family. Jack is a reprobate, and the
sooner he is off the stage the better. He
is kilhng himself by inches. He passes
his time, I am told, chiefly in London,
where he frequents low gambling houses."
" How lamentable," observed Mrs.
Lord Moreton now approached and
entered into conversation with Mrs.
Melbourne. Hertford took up a book,
and pondered over what had just been
said to him. He did not quite Kke Mrs.
Melbourne, though he always seemed
attracted by her even against his incli-
nation. She was exactly what he most
admired in manner and appearance, but
she had too much discernment and pene-
tration of character for him to feel quite
comfortable in her presence. And her
candour, though occasionally, very
engaging, was often particularly disagree-
able. She was no professor herself, and
she invariably exposed those who tried to
humbug others by idle professions. Her
appreciation of Mr. Hertford was a just
one. A very clever and gentlemanlike
man, bad tempered, and hypocondriacal.
Fascinating when he wished to please.
Proud and dissatisfied with his position ;
agreeable in general society, but a petty
tyrant at home, and requiring a very
sensible wife in order to make him a good
husband. Not at anv time of her life
would she have trusted her happiness with
such a man. Poor Hertford ! he half
determined that evening not to go to
Naples, not to follow the dictates of his
heart, and why? That Mrs. Melbourne
might not be right. What a triumph for
her, if after all his professions for years,
he should marry Matilda Powis. He left
the party early, and before the day
arrived on which Augustus Brown set off
for Italy, Mr. Hertford had preceded him
on his journey, not quite certain, however,
whether Naples would be his route even
Lord Moreton and Mrs Melbourne
had an interesting conversation. Helen
and Henry CHve were the subjects of it.
His lordship told her that he hoped soon
to see his son Clarence as happily mar-
ried as his darling Agnes.
But w^e must not forget our heroine,
who was really the heroine of this party,
for she seemed to attract general admira-
tion, as well as partiadar. Lord Leslie
never left her side, and Lewis Pemberton
contended for the envied station too, but
alas ! poor Lewis got little of Helen's
attention. However, he consoled him-
self in the certainty that Lord Leslie was
appropriated, and that he could not
really interfere with his wishes as
Sir Lenox Buxton was much struck
with the beauty of Miss Murray, and
being a great connoisseur in music, he
never moved from the piano whilst she
was playing ; and he sang to, and
Helen played his accompaniments. Lewis
wished his brother Frank had not brought
the Baronet to the Castle, for he thought
he might become a dangerous rival. It
was very evident where Captain Pember-
ton's heart was. Julia Aston had been
domesticated a week at Pemberton Castle,
and she and Frank had made good use
ot that time, for they seemed quite to
understand each other, and to be on
excellent terms. Lewis only wished
that Helen could be won as easily as
Julia. His father and mother had
advised him not to be in a hurry to
propose ; but to be quite sure that he
had gained Helen's heart before he asked
for her hand. But for this wise caution
of his parents, Lewis would have offered
to our heroine as he walked with her
that morning from the school to the
cottage, and it seemed difficult for him
to restrain the expression of his love
and admiration even in the presence of
At last Helen found herself able to
leave the piano, and she gladly resigned
her place to the Colvilles and Maxwells.
She was sitting on the identical sofa she
had occupied with Clive when Leslie had
last met her in that drawing room. His
lordship had left the piano when Helen
did, and he was now by her side. Lord
Moreton came up at that moment, and
was on the point of setting down by
Helen, when, seeing his son standing, he
said " Clarence, sit down here. Remem-
ber you are still to humour that wounded
leg. This is a tempting seat I offer you/'
and he resigned it to his son, who now
began to tell Helen his astonishment
when he heard of Olive's engagement to
^'^ I really," said his lordship, " could
scarcely believe that you had been well
treated. Miss Murray, and I feared my
sister had proved herself selfish, and had
taken advantage of the generosity of her
" You don't think so now, I hope,
Lord Leslie ?" asked Helen.
'^ Oh, no, I cannot," said Clarence. " I
have heard the whole history from Agnes,
and Clive too. Besides, your own bright
looks, and a gaiety that cannot be misun-
derstood, shew me that you are happy.
It is strange how wonderfully things
right themselves in this world, if I may
so express myself, in opposition to the
plans of poor mortals."
" You, my Lord," said Helen, " were,
I understand, the originator of all the
mistakes concerning me and Lord Clive.
That part of our curious history has
never been explained to me."
"Nor will it admit of explanation.
Miss Murray," replied Leslie. "Clive's
admiration was very evident, and I
thought it was not disagreeable to you.
Then a few words overheard most
unintentionally confirmed me in my
opinion, and I wished to put Agnes on
her guard, knowing she had still a linger-
ing fancy for Henry, but not having
an idea that her attachment was so
devoted, or that Clive had, that very
evening, declared himself true to her.
I must say I think my sister ought not
to have acted upon what I told her,
after all Henry had so lately said to her.
That was the great mistake."
" At all events," replied Helen, '^ three
people were very nearly being made
miserable. Nothing short of the hand
of death could have prevented it. On
the very evening in question^ Lord Clive
gave me his confidence as regarded his
love for his cousin ; and, I suppose, on
our return from the library, your lord-
ship caught some words that misled
''Exactly so," said Clarence. "Thus
the great blame rests, after all, with
Clive. A man should never give his
confidence on such a subject."
" Perhaps not," replied Helen.
'' Oh, no ; love is a sacred subject,
Miss Murray," exclaimed Leslie, "and
should only be breathed to the object
who inspires it. Poor Lewis Pemberton,"
Helen blushed. " I am sure he wishes
me in India, or anywhere in the world
but by your side. Perhaps I ought not
so to occupy you. But how difficult to
deny myself the pleasure."
" Do you return to Moreton Court this
week ?" asked Helen, a little confused.
" Oh, yes, T fear I leave this enchant-
ing castle on Thursday," said Leshe.
" May I inquire if you are staying
" We also go home on Thursday."
'' Then that is all right. And you are
coming to the Rectory Agnes tells me,"
said his lordship.
"The following week," replied Helen.
" I hope, Lord Leslie, you will be at
Clarence's eyes sparkled with pleasure.
" I shall make a point of it, Miss Mur-
ray," was his immediate answer, and
then he added in a grave tone, " My
father is filling his house that week, and,
of course, he depends upon me."
" The Davenants are coming I think :"
"Yes, they are," repHed Leslie, and
a change came over his countenance and
manner, that Helen could not but re
mark and wonder at.
VOL. III. L
Lord Moreton, who had never gone
far from the sofa, now leaned on it and
said, " Miss Murray, you are coming to
Agnes next week I hear/'
" Yes," replied Helen, " I hope and
" I am sure so," said the Earl. " At
least, if you don't, I have been guilty of
holding out a false promise to a certain
gentleman of our acquaintance ;" and
the Earl looked very mischievous.
" May I ask the name of the fortunate
man you have so powerfully tempted?"
" Oh, yes," replied Lord Moreton. '^ A
great chess player, Helen ; a noble lord
who grew animated in your presence,
though he had not smiled for weeks
before. Now you know who I mean "
" Lord Davenant, I suppose," said
" Yes, right of course ; you could not
have made such a noble conquest with-
out being aware of it." And his lord-
ship laughed and continued : â€” " Well,
Helen, all joking apart, Davenant is a
fine fellow ; and if I could become a
match-maker in my old age, I would
positively try something in that quarter.
But, seriously, Davenant refused to come
with Constance in the first instance. I,
however, pressed him, and amongst
other friends mentioned you, and he
really is to be with us."
Lord Leslie had left the sofa, and now
Lord Moreton took his place.
" Is Miss Davenant quite well now r"
asked Helen, in rather an absent way,
for her eyes had followed Leshe, as well
as her thoughts. He had taken a vacant
seat by Mrs. Melbourne.
" Are you also coming to Moreton
Rectory next week ?" asked his lordship.
" If possible," rephed Mrs. Melbourne.
"I am anxious to see the happiness of
Henry, and to know your sister, Lord
Leslie ; and also to become acquainted
with all Helen's friends. I shall see Lord
Leslie turned pale.
" And your Constance, my lord ;" and
the colour returned to Clarence's cheek
and mounted to his brow.
" They are both worth knowing, my
dear Mrs. Melbourne," said Lord Leslie,
overcoming his emotion. " Lord Dave-
nant is a great friend of Miss Murray,
" She admires him exceedingly," said
Mrs. Melbourne ; " and she is sorry for
him, knowing the bitter disappointment
he has had."
" Pity, dear Mrs. Melbourne, " said
his lordship, rather sarcastically, " is
akin to love we are told. Perhaps still
Miss Murray and I may be near con-
" I never build castles, " said Mrs.
Melbourne. " I think I shall not lose
Helen for some time to come."
" And yet," said his lordship, " I think
I see an e^ddent attempt to take Miss
Murray's heart by storm."
" I agree with you," replied Mrs.
Melbourne, and they both looked at
Lewis Pemberton. " But," added Mrs.
Melbourne, "the fortress will not sur-
render. Helen's taste is very different,
though Lewis is a favourite."
" Perhaps a long siege may, in the
end, be successful ; it often is," observed
his lordship, who ha\ing now gained all
he could as to the state of Helen's affec-
tions, he again sought her side, and
found her talking to Lady Aston, and
arranging an excursion for the morrow :
a walk of two or three miles to a large
piece of water, and then a skating party.
Her ladyship excelled in that art, and
all the Pembertons were fond of it.
Lady Aston had enlisted Sir Lenox
Buxton and Frank Pemberton, and made
Julia Aston promise to go too. Helen
said she should like it very much, as
she had never seen any good skating.
nor evev dreamed that a lady attempted
" Then I will surprise you, Miss Mur-
ray," said her animated ladyship ; " and
here is Lord Leslie, will you go too,
my lord? or will you fear to risk your
now precious life in so dangerous an
" Wherever Lady Aston leads I will
follow," exclaimed Lord Leslie with
animation, and his eyes fell on Helen.
Her s sunk beneath their ardent gaze,
and she wondered at the varying spirits
and expressions of Lord Leslie. He
had only left her side half an hour ago,
when he had suddenly become cold and
reserved in his manner, and now he
returned to her all admiration and con-
fidence, if that look might be trusted.
'' You, too, are of the party, I con-
clude," said Leslie, as he sat down by
" Oh, yes, my lord," she replied, " I
have just promised to join in the excur-
At this moment Lady Aston ran off
to find Mr. Fairfax, for she declared he
must go, as he was one of the most dis-
tinguished skaters on the Serpentine.
" Do you skate. Miss Murray ?" asked
" No," said Helen.
" But I suppose Lady Aston will give
you your first lesson to-morrow ?" observed
"Most assuredly not," replied Helen,
" I shall much like to see the perform-
ance of others, but nothing would tempt
me to exhibit in a similar way."
" I hoped not, I thought not," almost
whispered Clarence. " It is not feminine,
it is not an exercise I should like for my
sister or my wife."
" Why, really," said Helen, " I cannot
fancy Agnes entering into it, neither
Miss Davenant. I am glad to hear from
Lord Moreton that she has recovered her
health. She seemed so very dehcate
when I saw her."
'' Poor Constance has had much to
try her," observed Lord Leshe. '^ A person
with a mind less strong would not have
borne it as she has done."
â€¢' Indeed, she appears to be very sen-
sible and clever," said Helen. " I liked
exceedingly the very little I saw of her,
but I hope to know her better."
'' And the brother, Helen â€” Miss Mur-
ray I mean," said Leslie.
'' Every one must admire Lord Dave-
nant," exclaimed Helen.
â€¢^ Then my father is right," observed
( Harence. " Happy Davenant."
'^ Pray, my lord," said Helen, very
seriously, "do not jump at conclusions in
this way ; and do not, above all things,
again suppose an attachment that has
no existence but in your own imagina-
" Poor Davenant, then, I may be
allowed to say," observed Leslie. " For
that he admh-es you is a reahty, Miss
Murray, and no fantasy of my brain.
Constance mentioned it to me, and now
my father has confirmed it."
" As to what Lord Moreton said,"