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den from your husband ? "replied Amy.
6 Have you not something on your heart, and in your thoughts, which you think you cannot say to him ? And can you bear the reality, while you are annoyed and pained at the mere appearance ?"
“O, but it was foolish in Roberts to be so troubled by such a trifle. These letters might have related only to your concerns."
“ He would naturally wonder, then, why you did not say SO
why you should hide them. He would know that you could not suppose he would look at any letters unbidden. not afraid that he would recognize your handwriting ?”
“ It is true," said Fanny ; " and I am sorry they were not burnt immediately.”
“And will you carry that about in your heart, which you would, when on paper, desire to burn, and yet call yourself a true, and loving, and happy wife, Fanny ? "
“ But I am a true, and loving, and shall be a happy wife, if my husband will not have this foolish, jealous sensitiveness about trifles.”
“But the fact is, that he is sensitive, and that you know he is, Fanny. A man like Roberts, whose love is so tender, so refined, so elevated, cannot be satisfied with an affection which would, perhaps, satisfy a coarser mind. He wants an entire love, an entire trust - entire truth. He cannot bear to be doubted, or feared, or separated from his wife, even in trifles.”
“ I do not fear him. I know that he would forgive me for any thing that ought to be forgiven."
“ Yes, you do, Fanny ; you fear that he will discover what you have yet been willing to say to me. I think you have given your husband reason to complain of you, and to be jealous of your affections, within this hour.”
“ He has never said this to me,” replied Fanny, thoughtfully. - In that he has been
should say so to him ; but he may have thought that unless this perfect confidence were voluntary, it was worth nothing."
“ But would you have me tell my husband every thing I say, and do, and feel, and have done, or said and felt, Amy?
Yes, every thing that he can wish to know ; nothing is a trifle if he can care for it. You should have but one heart between you.”
“ How can I be good enough to show my whole foolish heart, my whole whimsical and faulty character to my husband ? what will he think when he really sees me as I am ?."
“ If,” replied Amy, “ he finds in your heart an entire love for himself, a perfect devotion to truth, and an earnest desire to cure all your faults, to be excellent; if he finds that you hunger and thirst after perfection, rely upon it that even your faults will form another bond of union between you.
There is nothing so touching to a generous mind, as that entire trust, which induces a loving heart to pour out to another all its weaknesses, all its errors, even all its sins. We love each other not so much for what we are, as for what we would be. It is that divine beau ideal which each one who aspires after excellence carries within, which is the real being. Would you hide this from your husband ? No, Fanny, I know you would not; and its first and most unquestioned feature is a renunciation of that selflove which would hide or vindicate our follies or our faults.”
Fanny made no answer; but her eyes glistened, and Amy thought she saw some noble purpose working in her heart, and she left her. A few moments after, Fanny sent for her hushand.
“ Are you at leisure ? ” she said; “I have something I wish to say to you."
“Quite, Fanny: but from your looks I fear it is something painful, and I think excitement is bad for your health."
“Never mind that,” replied Fanny ; "there are things more important than health, or life, William ; and I have come to the conclusion that you and I must speak of them.” Her husband looked much troubled, and waited for her to proceed.
“ We have not been as happy, William, as we ought to have been together, certainly as we hoped to be; have we?"
“Let us not speak of the past, Fanny; I cannot bear it.” Fanny was resolved to proceed.
“If we cannot bear to speak of it, how can we bear to think of it? Shall we carry that in our hearts which we cannot trust to our lips ? ”
“ But what is the use of it, Fanny ?”
“That we may, by confessing and understanding our mistakes, learn to correct them. I have been the most faulty, William: no one who does not see our hearts can tell who has suffered most ; but Heaven knows I have suffered enough."
“ I hoped I had been the greatest, the only sufferer ; but let us not talk of such painful things; it will destroy you, Fanny; I will not consent to it, I cannot bear it."
“ If I die," answered his wife, “all must now be said, all must be told to the last word, all confessed to the veriest trifle. You must bear it, let it be ever so painful, and I must speak, if these should be my last words. Amy is right; our love has a rotten foundation if we have any thing between us that may not be spoken of. I will make a clean breast to you now, if I never have before.”
“Dear Fanny, we have suffered too much; all is now as if it had never been ; there is no danger that we shall commit the same faults."
6 Within this hour we have both committed the same faults that have caused all our misery. I tried to hide these letters, and you were hurt, and you
did not tell me so. This was untrue in me, and not right in you." Fanny then reminded her husband of the letter she wrote to Amy, and asked him if he were not hurt at her not showing it to him. He confessed he was. “ Then why," said Fanny, “ did you not say
“I feared to give you pain."
Very like," said Fanny, “I should not then have told you the truth; but henceforward I promise to speak the truth to you, cost what it may; and I have a right, William, to demand the same of you. It will be our only security