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Malbone: An Oldport Romance Thomas Wentworth Higginson

VI. "Some Lover's Clear Day"

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"I do not know it," said Philip.

"Of course you do not KNOW it," returned the questioner. "Do you not think it?"

"I have no reason to believe it."

"That has nothing to do with it," said Kate. "Things that we believe without any reason have a great deal more weight with us. Do you not believe it?"

"No," said Philip, point-blank.

"It is very strange," mused Kate. "Of course you do not know much about it. She may have misled you, but I am sure that neither you nor any one else could have cured her of a passion, especially an unreasonable one, without putting another in its place. If you did it without that, you are a magician, as Hope once called you. Philip, I am afraid of you."

"There we sympathize," said Phil. "I am sometimes afraid of myself, but I discover within half an hour what a very commonplace land harmless person I am."

Meantime Emilia found herself beside her sister, who was sketching. After watching Hope for a time in silence, she began to question her.

"Tell me what you have been doing in all these years," she said.

"O, I have been at school," said Hope. "First I went through the High School; then I stayed out of school a year, and studied Greek and German with my uncle, and music with my aunt, who plays uncommonly well. Then I persuaded them to let me go to the Normal School for two years, and learn to be a teacher."

"A teacher!" said Emilia, with surprise. "Is it necessary that you should be a teacher?"

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"Very necessary," replied Hope. "I must have something to do, you know, after I leave school."

"To do?" said the other. "Cannot you go to parties?"

"Not all the time," said her sister.

"Well," said Emilia, "in the mean time you can go to drive, or make calls, or stay at home and make pretty little things to wear, as other girls do."

"I can find time for that too, little sister, when I need them. But I love children, you know, and I like to teach interesting studies. I have splendid health, and I enjoy it all. I like it as you love dancing, my child, only I like dancing too, so I have a greater variety of enjoyments."

"But shall you not sometimes find it very hard?" said Emilia.

"That is why I shall like it," was the answer.

"What a girl you are!" exclaimed the younger sister. "You know everything and can do everything."

"A very short everything," interposed Hope.

"Kate says," continued Emilia, "that you speak French as well as I do, and I dare say you dance a great deal better; and those are the only things I know."

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Malbone: An Oldport Romance
Thomas Wentworth Higginson

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