“No roses for me,” said Jessie, smiling at herself in the mirror as she fastened a spray of rosy ivy-leaves in the bosom of her fresh white gown that October morning. “I’ll be true to my old friend; for it helped me in my dark days, and now it shall rejoice with me in my bright ones, and go on teaching me to climb bravely and patiently toward the light”
They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts.—Sir Philip Sidney.
“I’ve finished my book, and now what can I do till this tiresome rain is over?” exclaimed Carrie, as she lay back on the couch with a yawn of weariness.
“Take another and a better book; the house is full of them, and this is a rare chance for a feast on the best,” answered Alice, looking over the pile of volumes in her lap, as she sat on the floor before one of the tall book-cases that lined the room.
“Not being a book-worm like you, I can’t read forever, and you needn’t sniff at ‘Wanda,’ for it’s perfectly thrilling!” cried Carrie, regretfully turning the crumpled leaves of the Seaside Library copy of that interminable and impossible tale.
“We should read to improve our minds, and that rubbish is only a waste of time,” began Alice, in a warning tone, as she looked up from “Romola,” over which she had been poring with the delight one feels in meeting an old friend.
“I don’t wish to improve my mind, thank you: I read for amusement in vacation time, and don’t want to see any moral works till next autumn. I get enough of them in school. This isn’t ‘rubbish’! It’s full of fine descriptions of scenery—”
“Which you skip by the page, I’ve seen you do it,” said Eva, the third young girl in the library, as she shut up the stout book on her knee and began to knit as if this sudden outburst of chat disturbed her enjoyment of “The Dove in the Eagle’s Nest.”
“I do at first, being carried away by my interest in the people, but I almost always go back and read them afterward,” protested Carrie. “You know you like to hear about nice clothes, Eva, and Wanda’s were simply gorgeous; white velvet and a rope of pearls is one costume; gray velvet and a silver girdle another; and Idalia was all a ‘shower of perfumed laces,’ and scarlet and gold satin mask dresses, or primrose silk with violets, so lovely! I do revel in ’em!”
Both girls laughed as Carrie reeled off this list of elegances, with the relish of a French modiste.
“Well, I’m poor and can’t have as many pretty things as I want, so it is delightful to read about women who wear white quilted satin dressing-gowns and olive velvet trains with Mechlin lace sweepers to them. Diamonds as large as nuts, and rivers of opals and sapphires, and rubies and pearls, are great fun to read of, if you never even get a look at real ones. I don’t believe the love part does me a bit of harm, for we never see such languid swells in America, nor such lovely, naughty ladies; and Ouida scolds them all, so of course she doesn’t approve of them, and that’s moral, I’m sure.”