Marmee: She was not elegantly dressed, but a noble-looking woman, and the
girls thought the gray cloak covered the most
splendid mother in the world.
"Yes, that's Beth. She's my girl, and a regular good one she is, too
the two elder were absorbed in the
all-important business of `getting ready for the party'
As she spoke, Amy showed the handsome flask which replaced
the cheap one, and looked so earnest and humble in her little
effort to forget herself that Meg hugged her on the spot, and Jo
pronounced her `a trump', while Beth ran to the window, and picked
her finest rose to ornament the stately bottle.
The pretty one is Meg
had roses and heliotrope, myrtle,
Jo's was sun flowers,
Beth had old-fashioned
fragrant flowers sweet peas and mignonette,
larkspur, pinks, pansies, Amys with
honeysuckle and morning-glories hanging their colored horns and
bells in graceful wreaths all over it, tall white lilies, delicate
liked the `Laurence boy' better than ever and took several good
looks at him, so that she might describe him to the girls, for they
had no brothers, very few male cousins, and boys were almost unknown
creatures to them.
"Fly at me again. I rather liked it," said Laurie, looking
mischievous, a thing he had not done for a fortnight.
Beth did have the fever, and was much sicker than anyone but
Hannah and the doctor suspected. The girls knew nothing about
illness, and Mr. Laurence was not allowed to see her, so Hannah had
everything her own way, and busy Dr. Bangs did his best, but left a
good deal to the excellent nurse.
Meg looked very like a rose herself, for all that was best and
sweetest in heart and soul seemed to bloom into her face that day,
making it fair and tender, with a charm more beautiful than beauty.
Neither silk, lace, nor orange flowers would she have. "I don't
want a fashionable wedding, but only those about me whom I love,
and to them I wish to look and be my familiar self."
Then it was that Jo, living in
the darkened room, with that suffering little sister always before
her eyes and that pathetic voice sounding in her ears, learned to
see the beauty and to sweetness of Beth's nature, to feel how deep
and tender a place she filled in all hearts, and to acknowledge the
worth of Beth's unselfish ambition to live for others, and make
home happy by that exercise of those simple virtues which all may
possess, and which all should love and value more than talent, wealth,
Then I am satisfied. But please hug and kiss me, everyone,
and don't mind my dress. I want a great many crumples of this
sort put into it today." And Meg opened her arms to her sisters,
who clung about her with April faces for a minute, feeling that
the new love had not changed the old.
Of course I couldn't say anything after that, and as it
really is a splendid opportunity, I made the bargain, and we
began. I took four lessons, and then I stuck fast in a grammatical
bog. The Professor was very patient with me, but it must
have been torment to him, and now and then he'd look at me
with such an expression of mild despair that it was a toss-up
with me whether to laugh or cry.
"I always do take a walk toward evening, and I don't know
why I should give it up, just because I happen to meet the Professor
on his way out," said Jo to herself
He went to Nice intending to stay a week, and remained
a month. He was tired of wandering about alone, and Amy's
familiar presence seemed to give a homelike charm to the
foreign scenes in which she bore a part.