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that dress is 'a sweet thing just out,' but upon my word she reminds
me of nothing but a Harlequin ice," and Mac turned his back on
her with a shudder, for he was sensitive to discords of all kinds.
"She certainly does, and that mixture of chocolate, pea green, and
pink is simply detestable, though many people would consider it
decidedly 'chic,' to use her favorite word. I suppose you will dress
your wife like a Spartan matron of the time of Lycurgus," added
Rose, much tickled by his new conceit.
"I'll wait till I get her before I decide. But one thing I'm sure of she
shall not dress like a Greek dancer of the time of Pericles,"
answered Mac, regarding with great disfavor a young lady who,
having a statuesque figure, affected drapery of the scanty and
"Then it is of no use to suggest that classic creature, so as you
reject my first attempts, I won't go on but look about me quietly,
and you had better do the same. Seriously, Mac, more gaiety and
less study would do you good, for you will grow old before your
time if you shut yourself up and pore over books so much."
"I don't believe there is a younger or a jollier-feeling fellow in the
room than I am, though I may not conduct myself like a dancing
dervish. But I own you may be right about the books, for there are
many sorts of intemperance, and a library is as irresistible to me as
a barroom to a toper. I shall have to sign a pledge and cork up the
only bottle that tempts me my ink-stand."
"I'll tell you how to make it easier to abstain. Stop studying and
write a novel into which you can put all your wise things, and so
clear your brains for a new start by and by. Do I should so like to
read it," cried Rose, delighted with the project, for she was sure
Mac could do anything he liked in that line.
"First live, then write. How can I go to romancing till I know what
romance means?" he asked soberly, feeling that so far he had had
very little in his life.
"Then you must find out, and nothing will help you more than to
love someone very much. Do as I've advised and be a modern
Diogenes going about with spectacles instead of a lantern in
search, not of an honest man, but a perfect woman. I do hope you
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