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"Man is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man
Commands all light, all influence, all fate.
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are; or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."
"Confoundedly bad angels they are too," muttered Charlie ruefully,
remembering the one that undid him.
His cousins never knew exactly what occurred on New Year's
night, but suspected that something was amiss, for Charlie had the
blues, and Rose, though as kind as ever, expressed no surprise at
his long absences. They had all observed and wondered at this
state of things, yet discreetly made no remark till Steve, who was
as inquisitive as a magpie, seized this opportunity to say in a
friendly tone, which showed that he bore no malice for the dark
prophecy regarding his Kitty's faithfulness: "What's the trouble,
Prince? You are so seldom in a bad humor that we don't know
what to make of it and all feel out of spirits when you have the
blues. Had a tiff with Rose?"
"Never you mind, little boy, but this I will say the better women
are, the more unreasonable they are. They don't require us to be
saints like themselves, which is lucky, but they do expect us to
render an 'honest and a perfect man' sometimes, and that is asking
rather too much in a fallen world like this," said Charlie, glad to
get a little sympathy, though he had no intention of confessing his
"No, it isn't," said Mac, decidedly.
"Much you know about it," began Charlie, ill pleased to be so
"Well, I know this much," added Mac, suddenly sitting up with his
hair in a highly disheveled condition. "It is very unreasonable in us
to ask women to be saints and then expect them to feel honored
when we offer them our damaged hearts or, at best, one not half as
good as theirs. If they weren't blinded by love, they'd see what a
mean advantage we take of them and not make such bad bargains."
"Upon my word, the philosopher is coming out strong upon the
subject! We shall have him preaching 'Women's Rights' directly,"
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