Many interviews of this sort did not take place between
Euphra, in her turn, began to confide her history to Margaret.
It was a strangely different one — full of outward event and physical trouble; but, till it approached the last stages, wonderfully barren as to inward production or development. It was a history of Euphra’s circumstances and peculiarities, not of Euphra herself. Till of late, she had scarcely had any history. Margaret’s, on the contrary, was a true history; for, with much of the monotonous in circumstance, it described individual growth, and the change of progress. Where there is no change there can be no history; and as all change is either growth or decay, all history must describe progress or retrogression. The former had now begun for Euphra as well; and it was one proof of it that she told Margaret all I have already recorded for my readers, at least as far as it bore against herself. How much more she told her I am unable to say; but after she had told it, Euphra was still more humble towards Margaret, and Margaret more tender, more full of service, if possible, and more devoted to Euphra.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Shakspere. — Sonnet cxvi.
Margaret could not proceed very far in the story of her life, without making some reference to Hugh Sutherland. But she carefully avoided mentioning his name. Perhaps no one less calm, and free from the operation of excitement, could have been so successful in suppressing it.
“Ah!” said Euphra, one day, “your history is a little like mine there; a tutor comes into them both. Did you not fall dreadfully in love with him?”
“I loved him very much.”
“Where is he now?”
“In London, I believe.”
“Do you never see him?”
“Have you never seen him since he left your home — with the curious name?”
“Yes; but not spoken to him.”
Margaret was silent. Euphra knew her well enough now not to repeat the question.
“I should have been in love with him, I know.”
Margaret only smiled.
Another day, Euphra said:
“What a good boy that Harry is! And so clever too. Ah! Margaret, I have behaved like the devil to that boy. I wanted to have him all to myself, and so kept him a child. Need I confess all my ugliest sins?”
“Not to me, certainly, dear Miss Cameron. Tell God to look into your heart, and take them all out of it.”
“I will. I do. — I even enticed Mr. Sutherland away from him to me, when he was the only real friend he had, that I might have them both.”
“But you have done your best to make up for it since.”