Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/143

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143

EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

Then she drew from her own hand the ring of be-
trothal, bent toward Idalia as if to give it to her ; her
lips moved — she tried to speak — but her tongue refused
its office — only an audible sigh forced itself from her
heart — a hot tear fell on Idalia's hand and the ring
upon her lap. But Maria turned quickly round, threw
from the door-way another long, painful look at God-
ber, then looked at Idalia with a confiding smile, as if
to commend his happiness to her, and — had vanished.
  Idalia remained long in the same position, before she
could draw any clear ideas out of the confusion of her
thoughts and feelings. It was now perfectly plain to
her that she had broken the heart of a loving girl, and
her sympathy was excited in the highest degree. At
the same time, she felt herself unpleasantly restricted
as to the freedom of her own heart, from the fact that
it had now become a duty to bestow on the young man
an affection as sincere as that which he had lost in the
heart of Maria, through her. Even though this duty
might harmonise with her inclination, still it was a fet-
ter, and it was, therefore, in accordance with her char-
acter, rather a check than a spur to her passion. She
concealed from Godber the fact that she had received
the ring, and said nothing to him of Maria's visit to
his bedside. She was now, in her relation to him, bur-
dened with a secret. She might have felt conscious
that her love would not stand every trial; how, then,
could she have full confidence in his love ?
 Maria, indeed, would scarcely have gone there, as above
related, to remind Idalia of her, if the death of her
mother had not excited her feelings to a greater degree
even than the infidelity of her lover, and given her an