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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »
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Little Women (Modern Library Classics)

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Little Women (Modern Library Classics) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Playing Pilgrims

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,"grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

"It's so dreadful to be poor!"sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have lots of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

"We've got father and mother, and each other, anyhow,"said Beth, contentedly, from her corner.

The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly?

"We haven't got father, and shall not have him for a long time." She didn't say "perhaps never,"but each silently added it, thinking of father far away, where the fighting was.

Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, "You know the reason mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas, was because it's going to be a hard winter for every one; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can't do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don't;"and Megshook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.

"But I don't think the little we should spend would do any good. We've each got a dollar, and the army wouldn't be much helped by our giving that. I agree not to expect anything from mother or you, but I do want to buy Undine and Sintram for myself; I've wanted it so long,'said Jo, who was a bookworm.

"I planned to spend mine in new music,"said Beth, with a little sigh, which no one heard but the hearth-brush and kettle-holder.

"I shall get a nice box of Faber's drawing pencils; I really need them," said Amy, decidedly.

"Mother didn't say anything about our money, and she won't wish us to give up everything. Let's each buy what we want, and have a little fun; I'm sure we grub hard enough to earn it,"cried Jo, examining the heels of her

boots in a gentlemanly manner.

"I know I do, teaching those dreadful children nearly all day, when I'm longing to enjoy myself at home," began Meg, in the complaining tone again.

"You don't have half such a hard time as I do," said Jo. "How would you like to be shut up for hours with a nervous, fussy old lady, who keeps you trotting, is never satisfied, and worries you till youe ready to fly out of the window or box her ears?"

"It's naughty to fret, but I do think washing dishes and keeping things tidy is the worst work in the world. It makes me cross; and my hands get so stiff, I can't practise good a bit." And Beth looked at her rough hands with a sigh that any one could hear that time.

"I don't believe any of you suffer as I do," cried Amy; "for you don't have to go to school with impertinent girls, who plague you if you don't know your lessons, and laugh at your dresses, and label your father if he isn't rich, and insult you when your nose isn't nice."

"If you mean libel I'd say so, and not talk about labels, as if pa was a pickle-bottle," advised Jo, laughing.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375756726
Introduction:
Cheever, Susan
Author:
Cheever, Susan
Introduction by:
Cheever, Susan
Introduction:
Cheever, Susan
Author:
Alcott, Louisa May
Author:
Cheever, Susan
Publisher:
Modern Library
Location:
New York
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
New england
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Autobiographical fiction
Subject:
March family
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Number:
2000
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Modern Library Classics
Series Volume:
TR-WRAP-00-1
Publication Date:
20010131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
8.02x5.16x1.11 in. .87 lbs.

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Related Subjects

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» Children's » Classics » General
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Little Women (Modern Library Classics) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 528 pages Modern Library - English 9780375756726 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Alcott's masterpiece: the eternally loved story of the March family's devotion to one another in turbulent times. This edition includes critical textual notes.
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