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like the real ones."
"Some novels are very useful and do as much good as sermons,
I've heard Uncle say, because they not only describe truly, but
teach so pleasantly that people like to learn in that way," said
Rose, who knew the sort of books Kitty had read and did not
wonder that she felt rather astray when she tried to guide herself by
"You pick me out some of the right kind, and I'll apply my mind to
them. Then I ought to have some 'serious views' and 'methods' and
'principles.' Steve said 'principles,' good firm ones, you know." And
Kitty gave a little pull at the bit of cambric she was cutting as
housewives pull cotton or calico when they want "a good firm
Rose could not help laughing now, though much pleased, for Kitty
was so prettily in earnest, and yet so perfectly ignorant how to
begin on the self-improvement she very much needed, that it was
pathetic as well as comical to see and hear her.
"You certainly want some of those, and must begin at once to get
them, but Aunt Jessie can help you there better than I can, or Aunt
Jane, for she has very 'firm' ones, I assure you," said Rose, sobering
down as quickly as possible.
"Mercy on us! I should never dare to say a word about it to Mrs.
Mac, for I'm dreadfully afraid of her, she is so stern, and how I'm
ever to get on when she is my mother-in-law I don't know!" cried
Kitty, clasping her hands in dismay at the idea.
"She isn't half as stern as she looks, and if you go to her without
fear, you've no idea how sensible and helpful she is. I used to be
frightened out of my wits with her, but now I'm not a bit, and we
get on nicely. Indeed, I'm fond of her, she is so reliable and upright
in all things."
"She certainly is the straightest woman I ever saw, and the most
precise. I never shall forget how scared I was when Steve took me
up to see her that first time. I put on all my plainest things, did my
hair in a meek knob, and tried to act like a sober, sedate young
woman. Steve would laugh at me and say I looked like a pretty
nun, so I couldn't be as proper as I wished. Mrs. Mac was very
kind, of course, but her eye was so sharp I felt as if she saw right
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