The Love Quarrel

May never was the month of love,
    For May is full of flowers;
But rather April, richly kind,
    For love is full of showers.
       —Father Southwell.

There are partings which are truly “such sweet sorrow,” that they only appear as the heralds of happier meetings; and there are partings when stern destiny imperatively divides those whom love has united so fondly, that absence but renders them the dearer to each other; and there are also partings where the inexorable hand of death severs the silver tie that has linked faithful hearts so firmly, that the extinction of life alone can loosen that tender bond of affection. Such separations are painful, but there is no bitterness in the tears which they cause—tears in which the cordial of hope, or the heavenly balm of resignation to the divine will, is gently infused, leading the mourner to look forward to a reunion with the beloved object in those happy realms where partings are unknown. But oh! how different are the feelings of those who separate in doubt, in anger, and disdain, when the wounded spirit of each is prompted, by offended pride, to veil its agonies under the semblance of coldness and indifference!

It was thus that Helen Milbourne had parted from the object of her tenderest affection, the cavalier Colonel Dagworth, in the moonlight recesses of her Uncle Ireton’s garden at Irmingland Hall, where they had met, at peril of life to him and maiden fame to her. They had met in trembling hope, and with hearts overflowing with a love that neither the difference of party, rank, station, the wrath of kindred, nor the obstacles of time, absence, danger, and uncertainty, could overcome; and yet they had separated in anger, in consequence of a trifling misunderstanding that had arisen between them,—a cause of offence so slight that it would have been difficult for either to have explained why it was given, or wherefore it was taken; yet it had served to rend asunder those ties of tender union which would have defied the efforts of a world combined to have unknit. They parted on either side with a pang more bitter than the separation of soul and body, each smarting under the sense of injurious treatment from the other, and strangely imagining that they had mutually become, in one short hour, the object of hatred—ay, even of scorn—to the being most fondly beloved on earth. And oh, if pride would have permitted either to allow their natural emotions of tenderness and grief to be perceptible to the other, how different would have been the result of their first—their last—their only quarrel! As it was, Colonel Dagworth, agitated and distressed by the painful conviction of the hopeless position of the royal cause, and the ruin that impended over himself in common with all who nobly adhered to the fallen fortunes of his unhappy sovereign, deigned not to offer the slightest attempt at apology or conciliation to the wealthy heiress of the Parliamentary Commissioner, Ralph Milbourne, and the niece of the victorious Roundhead chieftain, Ireton; but, loosening the bridle-rein of his gallant grey from the withered arm of one of the stunted sallows that overhung the moat, he made a stern and silent parting obeisance to her; and, vaulting into the saddle, unconsciously vented his own intense sensation of mental anguish, by striking the rowels of his spurs so sharply into the sides of the faithful animal who had patiently bided his pleasure, that the bloody streaks on its glossy sides were distinctly visible, and would have excited an abhorrent exclamation from Helen had she observed it. But no! she, too, in imitation of her angry lover’s assumed disdain, with a haughty acknowledgment of his repulsive farewell, turned proudly away; yet it was partly to conceal the gush of tears, that overflowed her eyes at the very moment she was acting a part so foreign to her nature; and when she was sure that her motion could not be detected, she hurried to the only spot that commanded a view of the road he had taken, and eagerly strained her tearful gaze to catch a last look of his stately form, as he gained a sudden angle in the road which would conceal his further progress; and here the anxious query proposed itself to her fluttering heart: “Will he not turn his head to look once more?”

He did not. The resentful flush of wounded pride overspread the cheek of Helen, which a moment before had been of the hue of marble, and indignantly dashing away the tears that hung on its polished surface, she murmured,—

“It is past!—You have spurned a true heart from you, Edward Dagworth, and I will think of you no more!”

“No more!” did Helen say? Ay, thus she said, and many a time did she repeat her words; too often, indeed to adhere to the resolution she formed in the bitterness of what she considered slighted love and wronged affection. That indignant sentence, “I will think of him no more,” was the spring of all her thoughts, forbidding

  By PanEris using Melati.

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