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212
Little Women.

"That's not right, Jo ; you mustn't talk in that way, and Laurie mustn't take your bad advice. You should do just what your grandfather wishes, my dear boy," said Meg, in her most maternal tone. " Do your best at college, and, when he sees that you try to please him, I'm sure he won't be hard or unjust to you. As you say, there is no one else to stay with and love him, and you'd never forgive yourself if you left him with- out his permission. Don't be dismal, or fret, but do your duty ; and you'll get your reward, as good Mr. Brooke has, by being respected and loved."

"What do you know about him?" asked Laurie, grateful for the good advice, but objecting to the lecture, and glad to turn the conversation from him- self, after his unusual outbreak.

" Only what your grandpa told mother about him; how he took good care of his own mother till she died, and wouldn't go abroad as tutor to some nice person, because he wouldn't leave her; and how he provides now for an old woman who nursed his mother ; and never tells any one, but is just as gen- erous, and patient, and good as he can be."

" So he is, dear old fellow ! " said Laurie, heartily, as Meg paused, looking flushed and earnest, with her story. " It's like grandpa to find out all about him, without letting him know, and to tell all his good- ness to others, so that they might like him. Brooke couldn't understand why your mother was so kind to him, asking him over with me, and treating him in her beautiful, friendly way. He thought she was just perfect, and talked about it for days and days,