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assumption of languid elegance which would have been very
effective if his twinkling eyes had not spoilt it.
"There are none but gentlemen in our family, I hope," answered
Rose, with the proud air she always wore when anything was said
derogatory to the name of Campbell.
"Of course, of course. I should have said gentleman of leisure. You
see it is against my principles to slave as Archie does. What's the
use? Don't need the money, got plenty, so why not enjoy it and
keep jolly as long as possible? I'm sure cheerful people are public
benefactors in this world of woe."
It was not easy to object to this proposition, especially when made
by a comely young man who looked the picture of health and
happiness as he sat on the arm of the sofa smiling at his cousin in
the most engaging manner. Rose knew very well that the
Epicurean philosophy was not the true one to begin life upon, but
it was difficult to reason with Charlie because he always dodged
sober subjects and was so full of cheery spirits, one hated to lessen
the sort of sunshine which certainly is a public benefactor.
"You have such a clever way of putting things that I don't know
how to contradict you, though I still think I'm right," she said
gravely. "Mac likes to idle as well as you, but he is not going to do
it because he knows it's bad for him to fritter away his time. He is
going to study a profession like a wise boy, though he would much
prefer to live among his beloved books or ride his hobbies in
"That's all very well for him, because he doesn't care for society
and may as well be studying medicine as philandering about the
woods with his pockets full of musty philosophers and
old-fashioned poets," answered Charlie with a shrug which plainly
expressed his opinion of Mac.
"I wonder if musty philosophers, like Socrates and Aristotle, and
old-fashioned poets, like Shakespeare and Milton, are not safer
company for him to keep than some of the more modern friends
you have?" said Rose, remembering Jamie's hints about wild oats,
for she could be a little sharp sometimes and had not lectured "the
boys" for so long it seemed unusually pleasant.
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