`Yes, you can have a vacation from school, but I want you to study a little every day with Beth,' said Mrs. March that evening. `I don't approve of corporal punishment, especially for girls. I dislike Mr. Davis's manner of teaching, and don't think the girls you associate with are doing you any good, so I shall ask your father's advice before I send you anywhere else.'

`That's good! I wish all the girls would leave, and spoil his old school. It's perfectly maddening to think of those lovely limes,' sighed Amy, with the air of a martyr.

`I am not sorry you lost them, for you broke the rules, and deserved some punishment for disobedience,' was the severe reply, which rather disappointed the young lady, who expected nothing but sympathy.

`Do you mean you are glad I was disgraced before the whole school?' cried Amy.

`I should not have chosen that way of mending a fault,' replied her mother; `but I'm not sure that it won't do you more good than a milder method. You are getting to be rather conceited, my dear, and it is quite time you set about correcting it. You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long; even if it is, the consciousness of possessing and using it well should satisfy one, and the great charm of all power is modesty.'

`So it is!' cried Laurie, who was playing chess in a corner with Jo. `I knew a girl, once, who had a really remarkable talent for music, and she didn't know it, never guessed what sweet little things she composed when she was alone, and wouldn't have believed it if anyone had told her.'

`I wish I'd known that nice girl; maybe she would have helped me, I'm so stupid,' said Beth, who stood beside him, listening eagerly.

`You do know her, and she helps you better than anyone else could,' answered Laurie, looking at her with such mischievous meaning in his merry black eyes, that Beth suddenly turned very red, and hid her face in the sofa-cushion, quite overcome by such an unexpected discovery.

Jo let Laurie win the game, to pay for that praise of her Beth, who could not be prevailed upon to play for them after her compliment.

So Laurie did his best, and sang delightfully, being in a particularly lively humour, for to the Marches he seldom showed the moody side of his character. When he was gone, Amy, who had been pensive all the evening, said suddenly, as if busy over some new idea: `Is Laurie an accomplished boy?'

`Yes; he has had an excellent education, and has much talent; he will make a fine man, if not spoilt by petting,' replied her mother.

`And he isn't conceited, is he?' asked Amy.

`Not in the least; that is why he is so charming, and we all like him so much.'

`I see; it's nice to have accomplishments, and be elegant; but not to show off, or get perked up,' said Amy, thoughtfully.

`These things are always seen and felt in a person's manner and conversation, if modestly used; but it is not necessary to display them,' said Mrs. March. `Any more than it's proper to wear all your bonnets and gowns and ribbons at once, that folks may know you've got them,' added Jo; and the lecture ended in a laugh.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.