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his own and his cousin's prospects with perfect equanimity.
"His worth shines forth the brightest who in hope
Always confides: the Abject soul despairs,"
observed Mac, quoting Euripides in a conversational tone as he lay
upon a divan reposing after a hard day's work.
"Thank you," said Archie, brightening a little, for a hopeful word
from any source was very comfortable.
"That's your favorite Rip, isn't it? He was a wise old boy, but you
could find advice as good as that nearer home," put in Steve, who
just then felt equal to slapping Plato on the shoulder, so elated was
he at being engaged "first of all the lot," as he gracefully expressed
"Don't halloo till you are out of the wood, Dandy Mrs. Kit has
jilted two men, and may a third, so you'd better not brag of your
wisdom too soon, for she may make a fool of you yet," said
Charlie, cynically, his views of life being very gloomy about this
"No, she won't, Steve, if you do your part honestly. There's the
making of a good little woman in Kitty, and she has proved it by
taking you instead of those other fellows. You are not a Solomon,
but you're not spoilt yet, and she had the sense to see it," said Mac
encouragingly from his corner, for he and his brother were better
friends than even since the little scene at the Van Tassels'.
"Hear! Hear!" cried Steve, looking more than ever like a cheerful
young cockerel trying to crow as he stood upon the hearth rug with
his hands under his coat tails, rising and falling alternately upon
the toes and heels of his neat little boots.
"Come, you've given them each a pat on the head haven't you got
one for me? I need it enough, for if ever there was a poor devil
born under an evil star, it is C. C. Campbell," exclaimed Charlie,
leaning his chin on his cue with a discontented expression of
countenance, for trying to be good is often very hard work till one
gets used to it.
"Oh, yes! I can accommodate you." And, as if his words suggested
the selection, Mac, still lying flat upon his back, repeated one of
his favorite bits from Beaumont and Fletcher, for he had a
wonderful memory and could reel off poetry by the hour together.
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