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she used to do when she was a little girl confessing some misdeed:
"Uncle, I must tell you, for I've been getting very envious,
discontented, and bad lately. No, don't be good to me yet, for you
don't know how little I deserve it. Scold me well, and make me see
how wicked I am."
"I will as soon as I know what I am to scold about. Unburden
yourself, child, and let me see all your iniquity, for if you begin by
being jealous of Mac and Phebe, I'm prepared for anything," said
Dr. Alec, leaning back as if nothing could surprise him now.
"But I am not jealous in that way, sir. I mean I want to be or do
something splendid as well as they. I can't write poetry or sing like
a bird, but I should think I might have my share of glory in some
way. I thought perhaps I could paint, and I've tried, but I can only
copy I've no power to invent lovely things, and I'm so discouraged,
for that is my one accomplishment. Do you think I have any gift
that could be cultivated and do me credit like theirs?" she asked so
wistfully that her uncle felt for a moment as if he never could
forgive the fairies who endow babies in their cradles for being so
niggardly to his girl. But one look into the sweet, open face before
him reminded him that the good elves had been very generous and
he answered cheerfully: "Yes, I do, for you have one of the best
and noblest gifts a woman can possess. Music and poetry are fine
things, and I don't wonder you want them, or that you envy the
pleasant fame they bring. I've felt just so, and been ready to ask
why it didn't please heaven to be more generous to some people, so
you needn't be ashamed to tell me all about it."
"I know I ought to be contented, but I'm not. My life is very
comfortable, but so quiet and uneventful, I get tired of it and want
to launch out as the others have, and do something, or at least try.
I'm glad you think it isn't very bad of me, and I'd like to know what
my gift is," said Rose, looking less despondent already.
"The art of living for others so patiently and sweetly that we enjoy
it as we do the sunshine, and are not half grateful enough for the
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