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streamers with the superior air of a woman of the world, aged
"Ah! But we do know, and if our silence and civility have no
effect, we ought to try something else and not encourage
wickedness of any kind. We needn't scold and preach, but we can
refuse to know such people and that will do some good, for they
don't like to be shunned and shut out from respectable society.
Uncle Alec told me not to know that man, and I won't." Rose
spoke with unusual warmth, forgetting that she could not tell the
real reason for her strong prejudice against "that man."
"Well, I know him. I think him very jolly, and I'm engaged to
dance the German with him after supper. He leads quite as well as
your cousin Charlie and is quite as fascinating, some people
think," returned Emma, tossing her head disdainfully, for Prince
Charming did not worship at her shrine and it piqued her vanity.
In spite of her quandary, Rose could not help smiling as she
recalled Mac's comparison, for Emma turned so red with spiteful
chagrin, she seemed to have added strawberry ice to the other
varieties composing the Harlequin.
"Each must judge for herself. I shall follow Aunt Jessie's advice
and try to keep my atmosphere as pure as I can, for she says every
woman has her own little circle and in it can use her influence for
good, if she will. I do will heartily, and I'll prove that I'm neither
proud nor fussy by receiving, here or at home, any respectable man
you like to present to me, no matter how poor or plain or
insignificant he may be."
With which declaration Rose ended her protest, and the four
damsels streamed downstairs together like a wandering rainbow.
But Kitty laid to heart what she had said; Annabel took credit
herself for siding with her; and Emma owned that she was not
trying to keep her atmosphere pure when she came to dance with
the objectionable Randal. So Rose's "little circle" was the better
for the influence she tried to exert, although she never knew it.
At suppertime Charlie kept near her, and she was quite content
with him, for he drank only coffee, and she saw him shake his
head with a frown when young Van beckoned him toward an
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