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days of air and sunshine put into a man, and the clear, bright look
of one who had caught glimpses of a new world from the
"Tramping agrees with me. I took a dip in the river as I came along
and made my toilet in a place where Milton's Sabrina might have
lived," he said, shaking back his damp hair and settling the knot of
scarlet bunchberries stuck in his buttonhole.
"You look as if you found the nymph at home," said Rose,
knowing how much he liked the "Comus."
"I found her here," and he made a little bow.
"That's very pretty, and I'll give you one in return. You grow more
like Uncle Alec every day, and I think I'll call you Alec, Jr."
"Alexander the Great wouldn't thank you for that," and Mac did
not look as grateful as she had expected.
"Very like, indeed, except the forehead. His is broad and
benevolent, yours high and arched. Do you know if you had no
beard, and wore your hair long, I really think you'd look like
Milton," added Rose, sure that would please him.
It certainly did amuse him, for he lay back on the hay and laughed
so heartily that his merriment scared the squirrel on the wall and
"You ungrateful boy! Will nothing suit you? When I say you look
like the best man I know, you gave a shrug, and when I liken you
to a great poet, you shout. I'm afraid you are very conceited, Mac."
And Rose laughed, too, glad to see him so gay.
"If I am, it is your fault. Nothing I can do will ever make a Milton
of me, unless I go blind someday," he said, sobering at the thought.
"You once said a man could be what he liked if he tried hard
enough, so why shouldn't you be a poet?" asked Rose, liking to trip
him up with his own words, as he often did her.
"I thought I was to be an M.D."
"You might be both. There have been poetical doctors, you know."
"Would you like me to be such a one?" asked Mac, looking at her
as seriously as if he really thought of trying it.
"No. I'd rather have you one or the other. I don't care which, only
you must be famous in either you choose. I'm very ambitious for
you, because, I insist upon it, you are a genius of some sort. I think
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