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COMFORT AND DISAPPOINTMENT.

249

“I'll confess my love to my lover; pledge my heart irrevocably; but continue our controversy as if 'delay' were necessary. We'll understand each other; and shall have rest. My inner torments will cease-yes; my heart must and shall be relieved of this harassing secret. And then what joy to meet. How sweet the interchange of love's sweet words! Oh! my heart will be satisfied at last; I have found him that my heart has craved: him that my mind must esteem and respect, my heart love and adore. How happy will my confession make him. Yes, it will call forth a burst of that enthusiasm which makes him divine. Oh, happy, happy moment! Would it were now !”

Helen's tears ceased flowing: she retired to rest; and her calm, sweet slumbers seemed an earnest that the resolve she had taken would, in its execution, give the desired peace to her mind, and joy to her heart.

On the following day, Leonard came, as usual, for his controversial lesson. How is this? A change has taken place, seemingly. Whether the high-flown ideas of love divine which Miss Brenton had so ardently expressed at the last interview, had mitigated his ardour by the insurmountable difficulty of her model; or that he had taken the resolution suggested by necessity to let a woman have her own way till she turn, like a gorged pike; or whatever shall appear hereafter to be the cause, certain it is, that to the unspeakable disappoint

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ment of Helen, her lover seemed all for controversy that day!

How annoying!

She had firmly resolved to make that interview compensate for all her past “coldness."

“coldness." Good, generous girl. And yet, the determined catechumen was unusually eager in proposing real or fictitious doubts-holding out for a while - to yield when some brilliant argument prompted that sweetest of flattery, a graceful concession of the point in debate.

He had never fascinated Helen so much before : he pleased her that morning more than ever.

What! Has he resolved to win her by flattery; by that species of flattery so pleasant to women of wit? It may seem so: for so determined was he to keep to the subject in discussion, that a sigh or two escaped from Helen's lips, unheeded, though not unobserved.

In vain did Helen seem absent at times ; seem to forget what she had just said, or was about to say-look him in the face, and then instantly drop her eyes, as if abashed at her own feeling.

She even seemed impatient, annoyed, restless for a few seconds.

All in vain.

The cruel lover exulted in the change which he fancied his new system of attack had produced; and hoping that a night's sensation of her wounds would make surrender certain, at his pleasure, he determined to take leave for the day.

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Helen's affliction must be imagined. But observe, fair, gentle reader, she admits that she has dissimulated; has lost many opportunities, or, as she calls them, “moments of bliss :" still, perhaps, you will sympathize with her. 'T was indeed a sad disappointment, and destined-alas! for her -to be indefinitely prolonged. Read the next chapter.

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On his return to his apartments, Leonard found a letter from his father. On reading a certain passage of the letter, he exclaimed, “So my scheme is just begun in time!”

MR. DEVIGNE TO LEONARD DEVIGNE, Esq. MY DEAR Son,

Your several letters I have duly received. I confess that the spirit which pervades your late letters is much more consonant with my present feelings than that of the former: I allude particularly to the one in which you speak of Count Emile de Valremy. Far be it from me to speak evil of the dead or the living ; but I think that your escape from that individual was a providential dispensation. However, as it seems to be a sore subject with you, my dear son, let it pass.

I am truly pleased with your late letters. Your description of your fellow-traveller, Colonel Amand, convinces me that he must be a man of merit ;-a union of wit and virtue,--things that don't generally

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A GENTLE REBUKE AND

FIFTY REASONS.” 253

go together, or follow so close on each other as their first letters do in the alphabet. I congratulate you on his disinterested friendship. I am obliged to him for the introduction, which seems to have been a source of gratification to you. You speak highly of Mr. Fraser and the Brentons ; “but,” say you,

they are papists.It is at all times impolite to call names, my dear son: “ Catholics" is as easily expressed or written, therefore avoid the nickname. This leads ine at once to the main subject of my letter. Perhaps you will be surprised at what I am about to say: I hope it will have a better effect.

It has pleased Almighty God to afflict me with a severe and sudden malady. In his great mercy He did more; He opened the eyes of my conscience to all my many past errors, and blessed me with repentance. I have repented; and, having duly matured the subject, sifted it to the bottom (you know I never take things on trust), I am happy to tell you, my dear son, that I have embraced the one true faith, and am a Catholic. I have given to the world Fifty Reasons for my change; and I trust that the pamphlet will be the means of opening the eyes of many.

I have no intention whatever of interfering with your belief: my only hope and trust are, that all men may see the light held up to their eyes, and follow it unto eternal life. But how much more solicitous should I be in the case of my son? But, I repeat it, I have no intention of interfering in your

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