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offering more than she could accept.
Mac did neither; he only loved her, silently, patiently, hopefully,
and this generous sort of fidelity was very eloquent to a nature like
hers. She could not refuse or chide, since nothing was asked or
urged; there was no need of coldness, for he never presumed; no
call for pity, since he never complained. All that could be done
was to try and be as just and true as he was, and to wait as
trustfully for the end, whatever it was to be.
For a time she liked the new interest it put into her life, yet did
nothing to encourage it and thought that if she gave this love no
food it would soon starve to death. But it seemed to thrive on air,
and presently she began to feel as if a very strong will was slowly
but steadily influencing her in many ways. If Mac had never told
her that he meant to "make her love him," she might have yielded
unconsciously, but now she mistook the impulse to obey this
undercurrent for compassion and resisted stoutly, not
comprehending yet the reason for the unrest which took possession
of her about this time.
She had as many moods as an April day, and would have much
surprised Dr. Alec by her vagaries had he known them all. He saw
enough, however, to guess what was the matter, but took no notice,
for he knew this fever must run its course, and much medicine
only does harm. The others were busy about their own affairs, and
Aunt Plenty was too much absorbed in her rheumatism to think of
love, for the cold weather set in early, and the poor lady kept her
room for days at a time with Rose as nurse.
Mac had spoken of going away in November, and Rose began to
hope he would, for she decided that this silent sort of adoration
was bad for her, as it prevented her from steadily pursuing the
employments she had marked out for that year. What was the use
of trying to read useful books when her thoughts continually
wandered to those charming essays on "Love" and "Friendship"?
To copy antique casts, when all the masculine heads looked like
Cupid and the feminine ones like the Psyche on her mantelpiece?
To practice the best music if it ended in singing over and over the
pretty spring song without Phebe's bird chorus? Dulce's company
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