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that made me try to imagine how it would seem to go on year after
year with Gustavus who had a dreadful temper, by the way and it
worried me so to think of it that I broke the engagement, and was
so glad ever afterward."
"You were a wise girl and I hope you'll do it again if you find, after
a time, that you and Steve do not truly trust and respect as well as
love one another. If you don't, you'll be miserable when it is too
late, as so many people are who do marry in haste and have a
lifetime to repent it. Aunt Jessie says so, and she knows."
"Don't be solemn, Rose. It fidgets me to think about life-times, and
respecting, and all those responsible things. I'm not used to it, and I
don't know how to do it."
"But you must think, and you must learn how before you take the
responsibility upon yourself. That is what your life is for, and you
mustn't spoil it by doing a very solemn thing without seeing if you
are ready for it."
"Do you think about all this?" asked Kitty, shrugging up her
shoulders as if responsibility of any sort did not sit comfortably on
"One has to sometimes, you know. But is that all you wanted to
tell me?" added Rose, anxious to turn the conversation from
"Oh, dear, no! The most serious thing of all is this. Steve is putting
himself in order generally, and so I want to do my part, and I must
begin right away before my thoughts get distracted with clothes
and all sorts of dear, delightful, frivolous things that I can't help
liking. Now I wish you'd tell me where to begin. Shouldn't I
improve my mind by reading something solid?" And Kitty looked
over at the well-filled bookcase as if to see if it contained anything
large and dry enough to be considered "solid."
"It would be an excellent plan, and we'll look up something. What
do you feel as if you needed most?"
"A little of everything I should say, for when I look into my mind
there really doesn't seem to be much there but odds and ends, and
yet I'm sure I've read a great deal more than some girls do. I
suppose novels don't count, though, and are of no use, for,
goodness knows, the people and things they describe aren't a bit
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