From Magdalen to Miss Garth.
"MY DEAR MISS GARTH -- I have been long in answering your letter; but you know what has happened, and you will forgive me.
"All that I have to say may be said in a few words. You may depend on my never making the general Sense of Propriety my enemy again: I am getting knowledge enough of the world to make it my accomplice next time. Norah will never leave another situation on my account -- my life as a public performer is at an end. It was harmless enough, God knows -- I may live, and so may you, to mourn the day when I parted from it -- but I shall never return to it again. It has left me, as Frank has left me, as all my better thoughts have left me except my thoughts of Norah.
"Enough of myself! Shall I tell you some news to brighten this dull letter? Mr. Michael Vanstone is dead, and Mr. Noel Vanstone has succeeded to the possession of my fortune and Norah's. He is quite worthy of his inheritance. In his father's place, he would have ruined us as his father did.
"I have no more to say that you would care to know. Don't be distressed about me. I am trying to recover my spirits -- I am trying to forget the poor deluded girl who was foolish enough to be fond of Frank in the old days at Combe-Raven. Sometimes a pang comes which tells me the girl won't be forgotten -- but not often.
"It was very kind of you, when you wrote to such a lost creature as I am, to sign yourself -- always my friend. 'Always' is a bold word, my dear old governess! I wonder whether you will ever want to recall it? It will make no difference if you do, in the gratitude I shall always feel for the trouble you took with me when I was a little girl. I have ill repaid that trouble -- ill repaid your kindness to me in after life. I ask your pardon and your pity. The best thing you can do for both of us is to forget me. Affectionately yours,
"P.S. -- I open the envelope to add one line. For God's sake, don't show this letter to Norah!"Next