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more interesting. How can I like or respect men who go on as
some of them do and then imagine women can feel honored by the
offer of their hands? Hearts are out of fashion, so they don't say
much about them."
"Ah, ha! That is the trouble, is it? And we begin to have delicate
distresses, do we?" said Dr. Alec, glad to see her brightening and
full of interest in the new topic, for he was a romantic old fellow,
as he had confessed to his brother.
Rose put down the glove and looked up with a droll mixture of
amusement and disgust in her face. "Uncle, it is perfectly
disgraceful! I've wanted to tell you, but I was ashamed, because I
never could boast of such things as some girls do, and they were so
absurd I couldn't feel as if they were worth repeating even to you.
Perhaps I ought, though, for you may think it proper to command
me to make a good match, and of course I should have to obey,"
she added, trying to look meek.
"Tell, by all means. Don't I always keep your secrets and give you
the best advice, like a model guardian? You must have a confidant,
and where find a better one than here?" he asked, tapping his
waistcoat with an inviting gesture.
"Nowhere so I'll tell all but the names. I'd best be prudent, for I'm
afraid you may get a little fierce you do sometimes when people
vex me," began Rose, rather liking the prospect of a confidential
chat with Uncle, for he had kept himself a good deal in the
"You know our ideas are old-fashioned, so I was not prepared to
have men propose at all times and places with no warning but a
few smiles and soft speeches. I expected things of that sort would
be very interesting and proper, not to say thrilling, on my part but
they are not, and I find myself laughing instead of crying, feeling
angry instead of glad, and forgetting all about it very soon. Why,
Uncle, one absurd boy proposed when we'd met only half a dozen
times. But he was dreadfully in debt, so that accounted for it
perhaps." And Rose dusted her fingers, as if she had soiled them.
"I know him, and I thought he'd do it," observed the doctor with a
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