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velled in the misery I had consummated till even its perfection pained me; for refinement of cruelty could proceed no farther. The
power of torturing my victim failed at last; I had regrets, but not for the enormities committed ; I sorrowed, but it was, that human suffering had reached its utmost limit, and that misery, such as I beheld, exceeded my powers of adding to its burthen. To remorse, to poverty, and to disease, I left then the last office of giving to the grave what remained of Lady Bellamont. I had secured to them the prey they already hovered over ; my work and my triumph was complete.
“ Start not at this avowal of infamy and of murder! the self-degradation which it entails on me, the abhorrence to which I willingly consign my name, must speak for the motive which actuates me; it is justice to you, it is a strong conviction of my guilt towards your unhappy niece, Lady Bellamont, who, though weak and vain perhaps, was not wicked, till rendered so by my villany, that urges me to this open confession of my crime.
“I write to you, I believe, from the bed of death. The Almighty has stricken me through the very being whom I had brought down prematurely and with dishonour to the grave. In her weakness, the victim of my strength has recoiled upon me, and in the hour of my unhallowed triumph I am laid low-as she is ! Oh! General Montgomery, could you know the agony, the torture of spirit which already brings me to a knowledge of the punishment that awaits my crimes, you would not refuse me the consolation of your pardon; you would not deny me the efficacy of your prayers, that I may yet be saved by a sincere and heartfelt repentance. I know that there is mercy, but I have rejected the terms upon which it is offered, till too late. I have despised the warnings, and set at nought the voice of my God, till he will show mercy no longer. I am plunged in despair-yet pray, pray for me-even me and forgive the man, who on his bended knees and with his dying voice, implores your pardon.
“ AUGUSTUS CARLTON."
The letter fell from General Montgomery's hand as he ceased reading, and an appalling awe took possession of him ; but when the first agitation and horror, occasioned by the disclosures it contained, had in some degree subsided, the merciful hand of Providence was deeply and gratefully acknowledged by him; and the incidents which had led to the developement of the whole mystery, were such as could be ascribed to no other cause than that Almighty power which brings good out of evil.
“ If we accustomed ourselves," said General Montgomery, “to trace throughout our lives the circumstances which overrule and decide our fortunes, how little should we pride ourselves on our own discernment; how much more humbly should we walk in our path; how clearly should we see, that though it is ours to act diligently for the best, and to depend upon a reward, still that the result of our actions, and the issue of our dependance, are ever under the guidance, and in the gift of an Almighty Providence, who wills that good and evil should sometimes come to us through unexpected channels, and through unforeseen instruments.”
General Montgomery's mind, relieved, as far as an explanation of the incidents went, relating to himself, and to an innocent individual, (Corrie Lovel,) from the anxiety and anguish which for a long time had pressed upon it, gradually recovered its serenity and peace.
The wounds, however, inflicted by the conduct and fate of his unhappy niece, were of a nature which, though resignation led him to enduré without repining, yet no lapse of years could entirely close, and the memory of them would often steal over and enibitter his happier moments.
Among the painful circumstances of a minor kind which he had still to bear, was the conviction (than which nothing is more wounding to a generous mind) of the atrocious villany of a man in whom he had hitherto trusted with such implicit confidence. The knowledge of Mr. Aldget's turpitude rendered it absolutely necessary for General Montgomery to withdraw his affairs from his hands; and the result of this measure was the public disclosure of Mr. Aldget's conduct, and the total ruin of his character.
In the happiness of his loved niece, General Montgomery could, indeed, boast of a sunshine of comfort and of glory, which shed a radiant brightness on the remainder of his days.
Felicity, unalloyed, is not the portion of hu. manity ; but felicity, unembittered by any selfreproach, and in as great a portion as ever pertained to humanity, was the lot of Lord and Lady Mowbray.
Time, in a happy and honourable union, brings, with added years, the added“ proofs of recollected love," to swell the present store. In its very continuance, there is fresh motive for it to continue still. A thousand tributary streams of mutual interests and habits flow into the channel of wedded love, and on such affections
“ Time but the impression stronger makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear.”
Not so is it in the illusory bliss of illicit passion ; there every added hour of guilty communion destroys the illusion, and blasts the short