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slowly, "I particularly wanted to read it, and fancied I might,
because you did when it was so much talked about the winter we
were in Rome."
"I did read it to see if it was fit for you."
"And decided that it was not, I suppose, since you never gave it to
"Then I won't finish it. But, Uncle, I don't see why I should not,"
added Rose wistfully, for she had reached the heart of the romance
and found it wonderfully fascinating.
"You may not see, but don't you feel why not?" asked Dr. Alec
Rose leaned her flushed cheek on her hand and thought a minute,
then looked up and answered honestly, "Yes, I do, but can't explain
it, except that I know something must be wrong, because I blushed
and started when you came in."
"Exactly." And the doctor gave an emphatic nod, as if the
symptoms pleased him.
"But I really don't see any harm in the book so far. It is by a
famous author, wonderfully well written, as you know, and the
characters so lifelike that I feel as if I should really meet them
"I hope not!" ejaculated the doctor, shutting the book quickly, as if
to keep the objectionable beings from escaping.
Rose laughed, but persisted in her defense, for she did want to
finish the absorbing story, yet would not without leave.
"I have read French novels before, and you gave them to me. Not
many, to be sure, but the best, so I think I know what is good and
shouldn't like this if it was harmful."
Her uncle's answer was to reopen the volume and turn the leaves
an instant as if to find a particular place. Then he put it into her
hand, saying quietly: "Read a page or two aloud, translating as you
go. You used to like that try it again."
Rose obeyed and went glibly down a page, doing her best to give
the sense in her purest English. Presently she went more slowly,
then skipped a sentence here and there, and finally stopped short,
looking as if she needed a screen again.
"What's the matter?" asked her uncle, who had been watching her
with a serious eye.
"Some phrases are untranslatable, and it only spoils them to try.
They are not amiss in French, but sound coarse and bad in our
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