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243
LAZY LAURENCE.

him shake off the apathy that so altered him, Amy sharpened both tongue and pencil, and began,—

"Flo and I have got a new name for you; it's 'Lazy Laurence'; how do you like it?"

She thought it would annoy him, but he only folded his arms under his head, with an imperturbable—"That's not bad! thank you, ladies."

"Do you want to know what I honestly think of you?"

"Pining to be told."

"Well, I despise you."

If she had even said "I hate you," in a petulant or coquettish tone, he would have laughed, and rather liked it; but the grave, almost sad accent of her voice, made him open his eyes, and ask quickly,—

"Why, if you please?"

"Because with every chance for being good, useful and happy, you are faulty, lazy and miserable."

"Strong language, mademoiselle."

"If you like it, I'll go on."

"Pray do, it's quite interesting."

"I thought you'd find it so; selfish people always like to talk about themselves."

"Am I selfish?" the question slipped out involuntarily, and in a tone of surprise, for the one virtue on which he prided himself was generosity.

"Yes, very selfish," continued Amy, in a calm, cool voice, twice as effective, just then, as an angry one. "I'll show you how, for I've studied you while we have been frolicking, and I'm not at all satisfied with you. Here you have been abroad nearly six months, and done nothing but waste time and money, and disappoint your friends."