called one of them the climbing Rose and the other the brier Rose, or

sometimes Rose of the river. She was well named, the pinkish speck. She

had not only some of the sweetest attributes of the wild rose, but the

parallel might have been extended as far as the thorns, for she had

wounded her scores,--hearts, be it understood, not hands. The wounding

was, on the whole, very innocently done; and if fault could be imputed

anywhere, it might rightly have been laid at the door of the kind powers

who had made her what she was, since the smile that blesses a single

heart is always destined to break many more.

She had not a single silk gown, but she had what is far better, a figure

to show off a cotton one. Not a brooch nor a pair of earrings was

numbered among her possessions, but any ordinary gems would have looked

rather dull and trivial when compelled to undergo comparison with her

bright eyes. As to her hair, the local milliner declared it impossible

for Rose Wiley to get an unbecoming hat; that on one occasion, being in

a frolicsome mood, Rose had tried on all the headgear in the village

emporium,--children's gingham "Shakers," mourning bonnets for aged

dames, men's haying hats and visored caps,--and she proved superior to

every test, looking as pretty as a pink in the best ones and simply

ravishing in the worst. In fact, she had been so fashioned and finished

by Nature that, had she been set on a revolving pedestal in a

show-window, the bystanders would have exclaimed, as each new charm came

into view: "Look at her waist!" "See her shoulders!" "And her neck and

chin!" "And her hair!" While the children, gazing with raptured

admiration, would have shrieked, in unison, "I choose her for mine."

All this is as much as to say that Rose of the river was a beauty, yet

it quite fails to explain, nevertheless, the secret of her power. When

she looked her worst the spell was as potent as when she looked her

best. Hidden away somewhere was a vital spark which warmed every one who

came in contact with it. Her lovely little person was a trifle below

medium height, and it might as well be confessed that her soul, on the

morning when Stephen Waterman saw her hanging out the clothes on the

river bank, was not large enough to be at all out of proportion; but

when eyes and dimples, lips and cheeks, enslave the onlooker, the soul

is seldom subjected to a close or critical scrutiny. Besides, Rose Wiley

was a nice girl, neat as wax, energetic, merry, amiable, economical. She

was a dutiful granddaughter to two of the most irritating old people in

the county; she never patronized her pug-nosed, pasty-faced girl

friends; she made wonderful pies and doughnuts; and besides, small

souls, if they are of the right sort, sometimes have a way of growing,

to the discomfiture of cynics and the gratification of the angels.

So, on one bank of the river grew the brier rose, a fragile thing,

swaying on a slender stalk and looking at its pretty reflection in the

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