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Table of contents
Coming Home
Old Friends with New Faces
Miss Campbell
Thorns Among the Roses
Prince Charming
Polishing Mac
Phebe
Breakers Ahead
New Year's Calls
The Sad and Sober Part
Small Temptations
At Kitty's Ball
Both Sides
Aunt Clara's Plan
Alas for Charlie!
Good Works
Among the Haycocks
Which Was It?
Behind the Fountain
What Mac Did
How Phebe Earned Her Welcome
Short and Sweet

Chapter 20 WHAT MAC DID

 

 

Rose, meantime, was trying to find out what the sentiment was 

with which she regarded her cousin Mac. She could not seem to 

reconcile the character she had known so long with the new one 

lately shown her, and the idea of loving the droll, bookish, 

absentminded Mac of former times appeared quite impossible and 

absurd, but the new Mac, wide awake, full of talent, ardent and 

high-handed, was such a surprise to her, she felt as if her heart was 

being won by a stranger, and it became her to study him well 

before yielding to a charm which she could not deny. 

 

Affection came naturally, and had always been strong for the boy; 

regard for the studious youth easily deepened to respect for the 

integrity of the young man, and now something warmer was 

growing up within her; but at first she could not decide whether it 

was admiration for the rapid unfolding of talent of some sort or 

love answering to love. 

 

As if to settle that point, Mac sent her on New Year's Day a little 

book plainly bound and modestly entitled Songs and Sonnets. 

After reading this with ever-growing surprise and delight, Rose 

never had another doubt about the writer's being a poet, for though 

she was no critic, she had read the best authors and knew what was 

good. Unpretentious as it was, this had the true ring, and its very 

simplicity showed conscious power for, unlike so many first 

attempts, the book was not full of "My Lady," neither did it indulge 

in Swinburnian convulsions about 

 

"The lilies and languors of peace, 

The roses and raptures of love."; 

 

or contain any of the highly colored medieval word pictures so 

much in vogue. "My book should smell of pines, and resound with 

the hum of insects," might have been its motto, so sweet and 

wholesome was it with a springlike sort of freshness which plainly 

betrayed that the author had learned some of Nature's deepest 

secrets and possessed the skill to tell them in tuneful words. The 

songs went ringing through one's memory long after they were 

read, and the sonnets were full of the subtle beauty, insight, and 

half-unconscious wisdom, which seem to prove that "genius is 

divine when young." 


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