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Chapter 18 WHICH WAS IT?
Rose did read and digest, and found her days much richer for the
good company she kept, for an introduction to so much that was
wise, beautiful, and true could not but make that month a
memorable one. It is not strange that while the young man most
admired "Heroism" and "Self-Reliance," the girl preferred "Love"
and "Friendship," reading them over and over like prose poems, as
they are, to the fitting accompaniment of sunshine, solitude, and
sympathy, for letters went to and fro with praiseworthy regularity.
Rose much enjoyed this correspondence, and found herself
regretting that it was at an end when she went home in September,
for Mac wrote better than he talked, though he could do that
remarkably well when he chose. But she had no chance to express
either pleasure or regret, for the first time she saw him after her
return the great change in his appearance made her forget
everything else. Some whim had seized him to be shaven and
shorn, and when he presented himself to welcome Rose, she hardly
knew him. The shaggy hair was nicely trimmed and brushed, the
cherished brown beard entirely gone, showing a well-cut mouth
and handsome chin and giving a new expression to the whole face.
"Are you trying to look like Keats?" she asked, after a critical
glance, which left her undecided whether the change was an
improvement or not.
"I am trying not to look like Uncle," answered Mac coolly.
"And why, if you please?" demanded Rose in great surprise.
"Because I prefer to look like myself, and not resemble any other
man, no matter how good or great he may be."
"You haven't succeeded then, for you look now very much like the
young Augustus," returned Rose, rather pleased on the whole to
see what a finely shaped head appeared after the rough thatch was
"Trust a woman to find a comparison for everything under the
sun!" laughed Mac, not at all flattered by the one just made. "What
do you think of me, on the whole?" he asked a minute later, as he
found Rose still scrutinizing him with a meditative air.
"Haven't made up my mind. It is such an entire change, I don't
know you, and feel as if I ought to be introduced. You certainly
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