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not marry till late, if ever, being fond of books and a quiet life,"
responded Mrs. Jane, remembering how often her son had
expressed his belief that philosophers should not marry and
brought up Plato as an example of the serene wisdom to be
attained only by a single man while her husband sided with
Socrates, for whom he felt a profound sympathy, though he didn't
dare to own it.
"Well, I don't know about that. Since my Archie surprised me by
losing his heart as he did, I'm prepared for anything, and advise
you to do likewise. I really shouldn't wonder if Mac did something
remarkable in that line, though he shows no sign of it yet, I
confess," answered Mrs. Jessie, laughing.
"It won't be in that direction, you may be sure, for her fate is
sealed. Dear me, how sad it is to see a superior girl like that about
to throw herself away on a handsome scapegrace. I won't mention
names, but you understand me." And Mrs. Jane shook her head, as
if she could mention the name of one superior girl who had thrown
herself away and now saw the folly of it.
"I'm very anxious, of course, and so is Alec, but it may be the
saving of one party and the happiness of the other, for some
women love to give more than they receive," said Mrs. Jessie,
privately wondering, for the thousandth time, why brother Mac
ever married the learned Miss Humphries.
"You'll see that it won't prosper, and I shall always maintain that a
wife cannot entirely undo a mother's work. Rose will have her
hands full if she tries to set all Clara's mistakes right," answered
Aunt Jane grimly, then began to fan violently as their hostess
approached to have a dish of chat about "our dear young people."
Rose was in a merry mood that night, and found Mac quite ready
for fun, which was fortunate, since her first remark set them off on
a droll subject.
"Oh, Mac! Annabel has just confided to me that she is engaged to
Fun See! Think of her going to housekeeping in Canton someday
and having to order rats, puppies, and bird's-nest soup for dinner,"
whispered Rose, too much amused to keep the news to herself.
"By Confucius! Isn't that a sweet prospect?" And Mac burst out
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