The Hand but Not the Heart eBook

Timothy Shay Arthur
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about The Hand but Not the Heart.
would suffocate me.  There was a mutual wrong in our marriage; but I was most to blame; for I knew that I did not and never could love you as I believed a husband should be loved.  But you had extorted from me a promise of marriage, and I believed it to be my duty to fulfill that promise.  Young, inexperienced, blind to the future, I took up the burdens you laid at my feet, and believed myself strong enough to carry them all the days of my life.  It was a fatal error.  How painfully I have struggled on—­how prayerfully, how patiently, how self-denyingly, you can never know.  Yet, without avail.  I have fallen by the way, and there is not strength enough in me to lift the burdens again.  I know this, and One besides; and I am content to rest the case with Him.  The world will blame—­the church censure—­the law condemn.  Let it be so.  All that is light to the sufferings I have endured, and from which I have fled.

“I cannot see you, Mr. Dexter—­I will not see you.  Our ways in this world have parted, and forever.  The act was not mine, but yours.  You flung me off with a force that overcame all scruple—­all question of right—­all effort to cling to you as my husband.  I was trying, in my feeble way—­for not much power remained—­to be a dutiful wife, when you extinguished all hope of success by a charge as false as the evil spirit who whispered in your too willing ears a suspicion of infidelity against one who had never permitted a thought of wrong towards her husband to enter even the outermost portal of her mind.  I had not seen the person to whom you allude since my accidental meeting with him at Newport, so basely construed into design; and his passing my window at the moment you returned home, was as unexpected to me as to you.

“I had hoped that my previous solemn assurances were sufficient to give you confidence in my integrity.  But this was an error.  You had no faith in me; and assailed me with violence when my thoughts were as true to honor as ever were yours.  Did you imagine that I could lie passive at your feet, so trampled down and degraded?  No, sir!  God gave me a higher consciousness—­a purer spirit—­a nobler individuality!  You should have mated one of a different stamp from me!

“And yet I pity you, Leon Dexter!  This web of trouble, which your own hands have woven around your life, will fetter and gall you at every step in your future journey.  I have not left you in a spirit of retaliation; but simply because the natural strain of repulsion was stronger than all the attractive forces that held us together.  I only obeyed a law against which weak nature strove in vain.  Were it in my power, I would make all your future bright with the warmest sunshine.  But over your future I have no control—­yet, sadly enough, are our destinies linked, and the existence of each will be a thorn in the other’s heart.

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The Hand but Not the Heart from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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