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Both Sides Of The Story

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I was a governess wlien I lirst níet him, aud he was a cúrate. I was not very happy, for I had charge of four tiresome girls just getting into those most objectionable ages eleven to sixteen; and I was only twenty myself. Soinetirnes I feit as if I could not cope with thein; and I was obliged to be stern, prim and old maidish to try to keep up their respect. Wken the sun shone and the flowers bloomed, I longed to sing and dance in the fulness of youth and health; for I was only a girl after all. I dare say I ought to have liked teaching; but I did not. I hated it; and I was miserable. Those four girls torment ed me; they were not lovable, and I yearned after the little ones in the nursery. My employers were kind, I think; but a governess is rarely very happy; and I was young and lonely - an orphan and alone in the world. I had no relatives, save an uncle in Australia, wao sometimes wrote to me and occasionally sent me a ñve-pound note. Mr. Ponsonby was our rector - an old elergyrnan of the humdrum style, and the greater share of whose work . feil to the hands of neophytes, who ca :ne and went in succession. We - that is, I and my eldest pupil Caroline used to teach in the Sunday school. Mrs. Thompson liked her girls to be useful; and, as Caroline was only sixteen, she wished me to help her to each by taking part of her class. I was vexed at this, for did I not teach all the week ? And yet I grew to like he work. The solemn-faced, innocent ibtie ïustics were a weekly relief, in heir very simplicity and awe-struck espect for "teacher," f rom the airs and traces of the young ladies in the schooloom. On the Sunday that I saw Mr. Clithroe flrst I was teaching my small cholars, when the door opened and the ector carne in. He never minded me, nd I continued trying to impresssome act on the blue-eyed innocent who tood demurely before me, and who, as flrmly believed, was counting the )right buttons on my jacket instead of istening. Suddenly I raised my eyes nd saw a strange face. It was quiet, jrave and intellectual. I stopped and ïesitated. The stranger, seeing that ie had put me out, moved aside; and at ,hat moment Mr. Ponsonby came up to lim. "1 must introduce the teacher to you," he said. "Mr. Clitheroe, this is Miss Hodgson, who has the flrst class." A í'6 w words were exchanged; then hey came to us. "This is Miss Carolina Thomson of he Grange," said the Rector who is so dnd as to help us; and this - this is - mm - eh - Miss - Miss " "Morley," I said, quietly, to help him out of his difficulty. "Oh, yes, Miss Morley," he said. A formal bow then followed, and hey passed on. After this I saw Mr. Clitheroe very of ten; he became the greatest comfort to me, though he did not know it. His sermons went to my heart. Gradually my Ufe grew mere tolerable to me. Poor feolish little thing! I began to look forward to Sunday, to cherish his words and looks, to think, I am afraid, more of the preacher than of the message he delivered. In nearly a year I had hardly spoken to him a 'dozen times; but I often fancied that his eyes rested kindly and inquiringly on me. Then came onr school treat; and, as Mr. Thomson was the Squire, and gave the feast in his grounds, I dressed sen on tnax urigiit aay. ït was only a plain muslin gown that I wore; but, with a blue ribbon in iny hair and a nose gay in my dress, I could see that I looked nice. The day went on; Mr. Clitheroe never carne near me - never spoke to me. He had talked and laughed, played with the children, joined in the games and helped with the refreshments; but he took no heed of me, who was doing all this also. My hopes - though what I had hoped I knew not - dropped, and I thought it was going to be a blank day. Mr. Clitheroe took not the slightest notice of me; and af ter tea I feit too lonely to play. The children, fortifled by tea, were no longer shy and in need of help; and I wandered away into the park. I feit sad and the tears carne into my eyes. He might have spoken a word to me, I thought. Presently a tall figure appeared be side me, and a voice that thrilled me said - "Tired, Miss Morley? You have worked too hard." "What a glonous walk we had! He drew all my simple story out of me, and I told him all my "disagreeables" and troubles. He was so kind; he cheered me, he made me look on the sunny side, and he spoke of himself also. In fact, as we sat there chatting, I forgot that I was governess - forgot that I was on earfch; till some one called him away, and I did not speak to him again that day. I came back to mundane things sharply enough when stupid little Caroline came simpering up and began to tease me about him, notwithstanding my sharp rebuke. I saw more of Mr. Clitheroe after that, and he and I always seemed - at least, I fancied so - to have a kind of tacit sympathy between us. I could no Jonger conceal the seeret from myself that I loved him, but acaree dared to hope that my love was returned. One day a letter was brought to me in a strange, and jet strangely familiar hand, hearing only our village postmark. My heart throbbed, my color carne and went - the more so as I caught Caroline'a eyes 'ixed on mé with an expression of amusement. I feit that I was betrayiug myself, and with a mighty effort, I laid the letter face downward upon the table. 'Go on,' Caroline,' I said, 'don't stop like that.' And Schiller was resumed, though it was as much as I could do to translate Hm decently. The first free moment I liad I opened the letter and read - 'Oear Miss Moelbï.- Pardon me if I seem ibrupt, bat Iloveyou. I ndore you. You are leautiful as au angel, ycu are lovely as a rose. onJy live for you. I cannot wcist auy longer without you. I love yoa as my own lift. Give i me hope. Say "yet-"- that you Ceel Bome ' st in mo - that I msy fly to your fpt and there ' muront my dt-votioü. Dearest Miss Morley, 1 wiite to :ne, au: wer uie; teil me you wiil be , my brido. la lo-.incr ftuspeuee, Youid for ever, Arthur Clitheroe ' I dropped the letter into my lap and ' uried my face in my hands. He loved l me- he wanted metobehis! Oh, bliss nspeakable - oh, joyundeserved' Was l t a dream ? No : there lav that nre] cious letter. Again and again I read it - ïny first love letter. I was a little disappointod in the letter for a!l that - -it was too wild, too sentimental. I faucied he would have writteii rnoresobeily, more th..ughtfully. I wished that he had spoken instead of written - it was so formal to have to answer him. His proposal was not quite so nice as some I had read of. And yet should I quarrel with my bliss, come how it migbt? Oh. no! It was with a heart f uil to overflowing that I answered him. I did so at once, for my pupils and I were going out and I had a chance of posting it; moreover, I feit that I could never send it to him by hand. So, without waiting to think, lest I should lose my courage, I wrote my answer. It was not an easy task. 'Dbar He. Clithbbok. - I canuot teil you bow jour let er surpri ed me. I feel so flatteren, bo tfiateful to you for loving me. It bopitib ipcredible that yon should ask me to be your wife. I feel I can only auswer the truth, and that is that I iove you, and have loved you for a long time. Youra, Mabion Moriey.' This did not seem at all the kind of note to send, so I wrote another and another, all worse, desperation, I sealed and directed the first. I did not allow myself to think farther til' I aw it safe in the postoffice, and then, !or very shame, 1 would have gone in and asked for it back. I feit I had aken a plunge into unknown waters. dv thoiights were in a state of chaos- was joyful, trembling and excited. I fear my four girls thought me very absent that afternoon. As we went out, Caroline and Amy, the two eldest, egged me to go a different way from ;hat which I had chosen; but I said I must post a letter. 'Let me run with it to the post, Miss Morley,' said Caroline. 'It will take me oüly a minute from the turnpike, auil then we can still go by the highoad.' 'No, I must post it myself, dear,' I eplied, hugging my letter tight. They pressed me to let them take it, hose tiresome girls; and, like a silly litle thing, I turned as red as a peony, whereupon Carrie said: 'You look so red, Miss Morley! Perïaps it is a love-letter. I do believe it s!' she cried, as I stupidly got moro and more crimson. 'You must not be so forward; it is very vulgar to talk about love-letters,' answered, according to my rule. 'Is it vulgar to be in love then, Miss Morley?' she asked. 'I never knew hat. Do you hear, Amy Y It's vulgar -o be in love.' 'Well, not exactly vulgar, of course, üarrle,' I extenuated; 'but it's better bat young girls like you and Amy hould not talk of such thinga yet. 'Miss Morley, I've often heard papa ay that he was in love with mamma when he was quite a boy,' said Amy. Was he vulgar?' Of course not, Amy,' I replied, 'because - because he married your mamma, and it was a suitable match in every way.' 'Oh, I see!' said Caroline. 'But, supposing - supposing - just for instance, you know - that you were in love with Mr. Clitheroe - that would be vulgar, would it not?' 'How often have 1 told you, Carrie, that it is very rude and vulgar to make personal remarks ?' I said. We'll drop the subject, if you please.' I spoke with as much angry dignity as my confusión would adinit. Tiresome, forward children, I do believe their sharp eyes had somehow seen the address on my letter! Ho wever, it was posted; and the rest of the day and night passed in a sort of trance. My uppermost feeling was wonder ao to what would come next. I had to endure tormenting suspense all the next day. The post was my irst trial; I longed to, yet dared not, [ook at the letters, and alraost feit relieved that there was not oue for me. ïhen every ring at the bell set my heart quivering. At last, in the afternoon, when I was speaking to Mrs. Thomson in the garden, Mr. Clitheroe went past in the road. He only bowed; but she beckoned to him to come in. He did so; and I grew red and pale, and the hand I held out to him trembled. He looked conscious too - 1 saw that before I slipped away. Would he teil Mrs. Thompson, and would she send for me ? But no summons came; and night closed upon my wonder and excitement. The next day brought my suspense to an end. It was Wednesday, our halfholiday. The girls had gone out with their mother, and I was free for a few hours. 1 took my book out into the garden, but I could not read. The click of the gate startled me. I leaned forward to see who it was, and beheld Mr. Clitheroe. Oh, how ïry lieart beat, and how I trembled as he approached! 'How do you do, Miss Morley 't' he said. 'I am glad to be able to apeak to you alone, for [ have soraething to say and to explain.' I stole a glance at his face. He looked flushed and agitated. Hesatdown, and there was a minute of silence, which grew almost insupportable to me. Whj did he not speak or take my hand? Oh, I could have sunk at his feet and hiddenmy blushing face! 'Miss Morley,' he continued, 'I received a letter from you yesterday.' 'Yes, yes,' I said, hurriedly. 'It was a stupid letter, I know; but yours surprised me so. I never dared believe you could love me, I staminered, and hid my glowing faceiu roy hands. 'When did you get the letter you answered ?' he asked, gently. 'The day before yesterday,' I answered: and iii my nervousness I drew it from my pocket. He put out his hand and took it. He read it througi), and then he took my hand. 'Miss Morley,' he said, gravely and kindly, 'believe me, you caiinot know how highly I respect and esteem you, and how difflcult I flnd it to teil you that I never wrote that letter at all.' '-Never wrote it!' 1 echoed, stupefled. 'No,' he replied; 'there is some mistake here, some cruel jest. I never penned it; nor is it my writing, though in close imitation. Had I so meant to address you, 1 trust I should have treated so high and holy a theme in a more dignifled manner. 1 could not write to you like that. Miss Morley.' 'I thought, I feit,-' I muttered. Uut you never wrote it - you did not, pou do not - ' And then the real nature of my niserable situation flashed Hpon me. [t was all a mistake; he did not love I me! 'I do aot lTve you, Miss Morley, as that letter says,' he continued. 'Forgive me; but I feel ii is best and wisest to be frauk with you, I have never yet dreamt of marriage. I have no present means, and have been too busy with my profession tO think as yet of love. I bitterly deplore that some - I fear willful - mistake has exposed you to this unpleasantness.' I listened as in a dreain ; rny head was buried in my hands, and my very heart was fainl. Oh, the shame, the humiliatioii, the misery of having let him so openly seo my love, which now carne back to me rejected! I longedto fly, to escape from my intolerable position. He had tried to take my hand; but I had waived him off. 'Go away, go away !' was all 1 could say. I heurd his steps die away ; and then my tears carne. For a long time I sat on thus, crushed and stunned by this cruel blow. At last I rose to go in. The blissful hours of freedom were drawingto a close, and instinct taught me to hide my wound from others, I was starUed to behold Mr. Clitheroe still in the garden, apparently examinïng sorne plants. He heard me move. and hurried up to me before I could escape. "I cannot let you go like this, Miss Morley,' he said. "Will you forgive. me for being the innocent cause of this 3ruel annoyancer "Oh, yes!" I muttered. "But 1 am jo ashamed- my letter - "Miss Morley," he said, "I respect you more than ever. Your letter and your words shall be forgotten by me; they shall be as though they had not oeen. Trust me. I have forgotten already all that you would have me forjet. I must hope to merit your good jpinion of me by my discretion ; and I shall only try to flnd out who could lave so insulted you. Have you any mspicion." "No," I replied; "I have not thought ibout it. Please let it alone, and let ne go in now!" He raised his hat and said "GoodDye." I was alone - more alone than 3ver. My bright castles were shatter3d; and the letter that had been a mockng phantom to me - he had never written it. HIS STORY, I have been in at the death of many i fox, shot many an innocent bird and Deast as a young man, and have said cnany cruel words in my time, but I never feit such a barbarían before that iay. And yet it was not my fault. I was obliged to do it. Truth and honor demanded it. Poor little Marión Morley! I had uften noticed her sad face, and longed to be of use to her, and liad even trie 1 to make her think I would befriend her if she needed it. I had of ten preached at her the hard lesson, in whatsoever state she was, therewith to be content. But I had never dreamed at love - I had never tried to win her ïffection. As I told her, marriage Iay very Jar in the dim future with me - 30 far, in fact, as the living that I tioped would ultimately fall to my lot. [t never crossed my wildest fancy that she would have taken more than a friendly interest in me; therefore my utter astonishment can be imagined when I received the poor little innocent letter promising to be the wife I had nor, desired. How hard it was to teil her that I had never penned the letter she had received ! I returned home hmnbled and grieved - grieved to have wounded her sensitive feelings, grieved that she should havegiven me her love unsought. I prayed that night that she might forgive me. I feit very guilty; and yet I could find nothing of which to accuse myself. My chief feeling however was ïndignanon against tne person, whoever he or she might be, whose wicked jest had caused all this. I had rny suspicions. Carolina Thomson was never a f avorite of miné; I thought her a forward sly girl, precocious and assuming ; and I imagined her quite capable of playing such a trick. One day I met Miss Thomson walking in the village and joined her. Purposely I led the conversation around to practical jokes. "Idonotknow anything more cowardly than to play a practical joke," I said, "on a person whom circumstances places to a certain extent in one's power. A practical joke of any magritude is insult ing, cruel, stupid, and a disgrace to one person only - the perpetrator." The girl's face got very red, and she tittered nervously. 'Have you ever played such a joke?' I went on. 'I atn pretty sure you have, and on Miss Morley ; have you not?' I demanded sternly. 'What do you mean?' ske stammered. .'Piense answer mestraightforwardly, Miss Thomson,' J said, 'or I must, as your clergymaii, apply to your mother. You will know what I mean if youv conscience accuses you. Did you not lately play a practical joke upou Miss Morely ?' The girl burst into tears, and gradually told me all - how she and Amy had written the letter in f un and never meant any harm ; how, whun she imagined Miss Morley had answered it, she was too frightened to confess ; kow she was so very sorry, and so on. 'You have done an unmaidenly, cruel action,' I said - 'an action whièh, but for Miss Morley's good sense and like mind, might havt caused great miscbief. I hope that this will be a lesson to you, and that in the future, you will be more considérate for others' feelings.' I now hoped that all trouble aribing from thla unfortunate letter would be ended ; but it grieved me to see hovv Miss Morley drooped. She seerned almosl I atïaid to look at me, though I strove hard to put lier at her ease. Some inonths passed by, and I found myselt' taking more ánd inore interest in her, though we, rarely exchanged words now. One day I was much concerned to from Mrs. Thomson that she was leaving them. 'Miss Morley leaving!' 1 exclaimed. You surprise me.' Why isshe going?' '' 1 cannot discover,' said Mrs. Thomson. 'She has no complaintss to make. I have always been kind to her ; but ! 3he says she must go ; and she does seem to be, falling into bad health i liere. It's a great pity ; but I can't ' suade her to remain.' I could not help feeling that I was driving her away. The thought caused s me pain, and 1 began to wish that I s had never to!d her I had not written that letter, but had accepted the love t which now I hegan to prize. One thing I deterrained ; she must not leave her situation. I could far easier flnd another curacy than she another home. If I went at once she would doubtless remain ; all I need to do was to speak to and teil her as if easually that I was going. I watched for an opportunity. One afternoon I inet her coming out of the ehurch; she had been trying the organ. I hurried to join her at the gate. 'How do you do, Miss Morley?' I said. 'You have been practising, I see.' 'Yes,' she replied. 'It is a queer old organ, is it not?' I continued. 'I wish the parish could afford a new one.' Í suppose they cannot,' she said. 'Goodbye, Mr. Clithwoe.' 'Are you not going home ?' I asked. 'Nb,' she replied; 'I must go round by the village.' 'So mustl; and we will go together,' I said. 'I want to teil you that I am going away.' Going away ?' she repeated. 'Why ?' "To better myself.' as the people say,' I replied smilingly. Tve only just made the arrangement - in fact, it was only tuis morning that 1 told Mr. Ponsonby; and I mean to leave in less than a month.' 'You will be missed here, Mr. Clitheroe,' she said. 'Do you think so?' I asked. 'Ah, I fear very little! J3ut it is pleasant to think one leaves a kindly memory behind. AVhen are you going ?' I don't quite know,' she replied. 'Mrs. Thompson urges me to stay and not go at all.' 'I know she does,' I gaid; 'and I hope you will.' 'Perhaps I rnay,' she replied; 'but my plans are not settled yet.' I saw I was right. Poor child, she had no wish to go now I was leaving! We walked on for some time 'n silence. I could net part from her thus. At last I siiid suddenly - 'Miss Morley, I lovo you - I cannot tell you how much! When I liad to deny writing that letter, I did not; but sinee then you have crept into my inmost soul. Have I any chance left?' 'Mr. Clitheroe, I thank you,' she answered calmly; 'but I must beg you to drop the subject.' 'Why ?' I exclanied. 'Why?' she repeated. 'Because you are saying all this from pity. You think I have been unhappy, and you are sorry for me; but I am not unhappy, and 1 won't be pitied.' 'Indeed you wrong me,' I pleaded; but she was obdurate. I saw her once more before I left. I was lunching at the Thompson's. I had a rose-bud in my hand, and presented it to her. 'Is it not a lovely bud ?' 1 asked. 'Yes; it is a beauty,' she said. 'If you have not forgotten our conversation the other day,' I pieaded, 'will you wear this rose as a sign tome that you reien t and will be mine?' She hesitated, and turned very palé. I watched her closely. She seemed in doubt. Could I have spoken to her again, 1 fancy I could have won my cause; but other.; carne into the room. She took up the bud and placed it in a vase full of flowers, and then left the apartment. I went away, and soon after obtained another curacy. Sometimes I heard from the village. Marión Morley was still guverness at the Thompsons'; and as I did not like to iuquire after her in particular, I heard nothing of her for many months. The great event I had been hoping for so long arrived about a year after I had left Stonehouse. A small living was presented to me. 'Witli every longed-for joy a thora comes, I thought as T took up my bachelor quarters at Carstones. It was a nice place. As I knew that much of the pleasantness of my life there depended on the squire, I naturally feit a great curiosity to see him, the more so when 1 heard his name was Morley. I could not help wondering whether he was a relative of Marión. He was froin Australia, report said, and had only lately settled here and bought the estáte. He was awidower, very rich, and had a niece, his heiress, living with him. I found him a frank, sensible, kindly man. 'You and I are both strangers here,' he said, when we metfor the first time; 'we must pull together. As a beginning, suppose you come and dine with mg. My niece and I will b delighted.' 'Thank you,' I said; 'you are very kind.' 'Nol; at all,' lie said. 'Say to-morrow at six. No ceremony - just ourselves.' The morrow came, and I went up to the Hal). As I entered the drawingroom I was still wondering whether these Morleys were relatives of Marión, when, behold, she herself stood eefore me! My astonishment and delight nearly deprived me of speech. 'Did you not know I was here, Mr. Clltheroe?" she said. 'Directly my good únele carne horae, he sent for me, and lias adopted me as his own child.' 'I congratúlate you most sincereíy,' I said. 'I was so surprised when I heard that the new Vicar was Mr. Clitheroe,' she added. Then Mr. Morley entered. 'Ah, Mr. Clitheroe, how do you do?' nesaid. 'i see you and Manon need no introduction. I remeinber now; si) e said she had seen you or heard of you somewhere.' Somewhere- yes, indeed! I feit almost sorry to see her. Marión Morley the governess I would have loved on and on; Miss Morley of the Hall, an heiress, was very far above the reach of a poor Rector. I could not help feeling that this leap had laken her away from me altogether; and, though 1 loved her no less, I dared not renew my suit But at last, as time went on, I could bear it no longer, and deterrnined on a last appeal. As I feared she would not hear me out, I determined to write to lier; and, in order that there ' should be no mistake this time, I gave ' the note to her unole. i To this day I do not know how I spent the interval before I got the answer. At last il came. Tbough disappoin'ed in you onw, I am rviliing to try you again, and so I grant your r(lutsst. OomeaBrtsee me to morrow ranrning that we may talk t over. 'Makion Morley.' It was a mos!, welcome, though short and odd note. 1 eould scarcely see how she had been disappointed in me. But the favorable answer was too delightful to be cavilled at. In the morning j went over to the Hall, and Marión received me very calnily. 'How do you do, Mr. Clithei'oe ?' she said. 'You have come about the tracts, I presume? They have just arrived; so we can divide them among the districts at once.' 'But, Miss Morley,' I said, -first teil me in pity that you meant what you said yesterday in your note! You have relented ? You love me ?' She blushed, and seemed at a loss to know my meaning. 'That little note gave m great iov ' I said. ' 'What little note?' she asked. I gave it to her. She got very red, and then burst out laughing, 'I am indeed revenged,' she said. -I wrote Lhis, but not to you.' 'Not tome?' Jcried, No.' she replied; 'it was to Anne Channings, the girl who is pupil-teacher and got into that serape about the needlework. I wrote to promise her that I would see if see could get back again. I also wrote a note to you about the tracts, and I must have put the letters into wrong covers.' 'But did not Mr. Morley deliver you a note frora me yesterday?' I asked. 'i gave it to him to make sure of no mistake.' 'No; i never received it,' she replied. May 1 teil you what was in it ?' I asked. 'Yes,' she replied, I did so, and then asked - 'And now are you not sufficiently revenged f or the first mistake in our correspondence, Marión?' 'Quite,' was the reply. We spent the next two hours in delicious converse; and now we are spending our lives together, although we did make such a muddie of ourloveletters.


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