She was silent. Her pale lips quivered, and her fingers trembled with agitation, as she nervously entwined them in the hair chain to which was appended her small gold watch--the only thing of value she had permitted herself to keep. I had said an unjust and cruel thing; but I must needs follow it up with something worse.

`But Helen!' I began in a soft, low tone, not daring to raise my eyes to her face-- `that man is not your husband: in the sight of Heaven he has forfeited all claim to--' She seized my arm with a grasp of startling energy.

`Gilbert, don't!' she cried, in a tone that would have pierced a heart of adamant. `For God's sake, don't you attempt these arguments! No fiend could torture me like this!'

`I won't, I won't!' said I, gently laying my hand on hers; almost as much alarmed at her vehemence, as ashamed of my own misconduct.

`Instead of acting like a true friend,' continued she, breaking from me and throwing herself into the old arm chair-- `and helping me with all your might--or rather taking your own part in the struggle of right against passion--you leave all the burden to me;--and not satisfied with that, you do your utmost to fight against me--when you know that I---' She paused, and hid her face in her handkerchief.

`Forgive me, Helen!' pleaded I, `I will never utter another word on the subject. But may we not still meet as friends?'

`It will not do,' she replied, mournfully shaking her head; and then she raised her eyes to mine, with a mildly reproachful look that seemed to say, `You must know that as well as I.'

`Then what must we do?' cried I, passionately. But immediately I added in a quieter tone-- `I'll do whatever you desire;--only don't say that this meeting is to be our last.'

`And why not? Don't you know that every time we meet, the thoughts of the final parting will become more painful? Don't you feel that every interview makes us dearer to each other than the last?'

The utterance of this last question was hurried and low, and the downcast eyes and burning blush too plainly showed that she, at least, had felt it. It was scarcely prudent to make such an admission, or to adds she presently did-- `I have power to bid you go, now: another time it might be different,'--but I was not base enough to attempt to take advantage of her candour.

`But we may write,' I timidly suggested-- `You will not deny me that consolation?'

`We can hear of each other through my brother.'

`Your brother!' A pang of remorse and shame shot through me. She had not heard of the injury he had sustained at my hands; and I had not the courage to tell her. `Your brother will not help us,' I said: `he would have all communion between us to be entirely at an end.'

`And he would be right, I suppose. As a friend of both, he would wish us both well; and every friend would tell us it was our interest, as well as our duty, to forget each other, though we might not see it ourselves. But don't be afraid, Gilbert,' she added, smiling sadly at my manifest discomposure, `there is little chance of my forgetting you. But I did not mean that Frederick should be the means of transmitting messages between us, only that each might know, through him, of the other's welfare;--and more than this ought not to be; for you are young, Gilbert, and you ought to marry--and will some time, though you may think it impossible now:--and though I hardly can say I wish you to forget me, I know it is right that you should, both for your own happiness and that of your future wife;--and therefore I must and will wish it,' she added resolutely.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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