attitude, and shook her fist at the reprehensible John. Mrs. March sighed, and Jo looked up with an air of relief.
You don't like it, mother? I'm glad of it; let's send him about his business, and not tell Meg a word of it, but all be jolly together as we always have been."
" I did wrong to sigh, Jo. It is natural and right you should all go to homes of your own, in time ; but I do want to keep my girls as long as I can ; and I am sorry that this happened so soon, for Meg is only seventeen, and it will be some years before John can make a home for her. Your father and I have agreed that she shall not bind herself in any way, nor be married, before twenty. If she and John love one another, they can wait, and test the love by doing so. She is conscientious, and I have no fear of her treat- ing him unkindly. My pretty, tender-hearted girl ! I hope things will go happily with her."
"Hadn't you rather have her marry a rich man?" asked Jo, as her mother's voice faltered a little over the last words.
" Money is a good and useful thing, Jo ; and I hope my girls will never feel the need of it too bitterly, nor be tempted by too much. I should like to know that John was firmly established in some good business, which gave him an income large enough to keep free from debt, and make Meg comfortable. I'm not ambitious for a splendid fortune, a fashionable posi- tion, or a great name for my girls. If rank and money come with love and virtue, also, I should accept them gratefully, and enjoy your good fortune ;