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best. I should like to do that, and can I in a better way than leading
the life other girls lead? Just for a little while," she added, as her
uncle's face grew grave.
He was disappointed, yet acknowledged that the desire was natural
and in a moment saw that a trial of this sort might have its
advantages. Nevertheless, he dreaded it, for he had intended to
choose her society carefully and try to keep her unspoiled by the
world as long as possible, like many another fond parent and
guardian. But the spirit of Eve is strong in all her daughters
forbidden fruit will look rosier to them than any in their own
orchards, and the temptation to take just one little bite proves
irresistible to the wisest. So Rose, looking out from the safe
seclusion of her girlhood into the woman's kingdom which she was
about to take possession of, felt a sudden wish to try its pleasures
before assuming its responsibilities, and was too sincere to hide
"Very well, my dear, try it if you like, only take care of your health
be temperate in your gaiety and don't lose more than you gain, if
that is possible," he added under his breath, endeavoring to speak
cheerfully and not look anxious.
"I know it is foolish, but I do want to be a regular butterfly for a
little while and see what it is like. You know I couldn't help seeing
a good deal of fashionable life abroad, though we were not in it,
and here at home the girls tell me about all sorts of pleasant things
that are to happen this winter, so if you won't despise me very
much, I should like to try it."
"For how long?"
"Would three months be too long? New Year is a good time to take
a fresh start. Everyone is going to welcome me, so I must be gay in
spite of myself, unless I'm willing to seem very ungrateful and
morose," said Rose, glad to have so good a reason to offer for her
"You may like it so well that the three months may become years.
Pleasure is very sweet when we are young."
"Do you think it will intoxicate me?"
"We shall see, my dear."
"We shall!" And Rose marched away, looking as if she had taken a
pledge of some sort, and meant to keep it.
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