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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #64


[Charlie has broken a promise he made to Rose, but continues to press her for commitment.]      "My hands must be free if I'm to help you as I ought.  I will be kind; I will trust you: but don't swear anything, only try to resist temptation, and we'll all stand by you."      Charlie did not like that, and lost the ground he had gained by saying impetuously, --      "I don't want any one but you to stand by me, else, while I'm mortifying soul and body to please you, some stranger will come and steal your heart away from me.  I couldn't bear that; so I give you fair warning, in such a case I'll break the bargain, and go straight to the devil."       The last sentence spoilt it all; for it was both masterful and defiant. Rose had the Campbell spirit in her, though it seldom showed; as yet she valued her liberty more than any love offered her, and she resented the authority he assumed too soon, -- resented it all the more warmly, because of the effort she was making to reinstate her hero, who would insist on being a very faulty and ungrateful man.  She rose straight out of her chair, saying with a look and tone which rather startled her hearer, and convinced him that she was no longer a tender-hearted child, but a woman with a will of her own, and a spirit as proud and fiery as any of her race, --      "My heart is my own, to dispose of as I please.  Don't shut yourself out of it by presuming too much; for you have no claim on me but that of cousinship, and you never will have unless you earn it.  Remember that, and neither threaten nor defy me any more."  Louisa May Alcott, Rose in Bloom (1876), pp. 160-161 Illustration by Liz Kufs

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