Page:Good Wives.djvu/357

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prospect of one to give you, after much time perhaps, and hard work. How could I ask you to gif up so much for a poor old fellow, who has no fortune but a little learning?"

"I'm glad you are poor; I couldn't bear a rich husband!" said Jo, decidedly, adding, in a softer tone, "Don't fear poverty; I've known it long enough to lose my dread, and be happy working for those I love; and don't call yourself old,—I never think of it,—I couldn't help loving you if you were seventy!"

The Professor found that so touching that he would have been glad of his handkerchief if he could have got at it; as he couldn't, Jo wiped his eyes for him, and said, laughing, as she took away a bundle or two,—

"I may be strong-minded, but no one can say I'm out of my sphere now,—for woman's special mission is supposed to be drying tears and bearing burdens. I'm to carry my share, Friedrich, and help to earn the home. Make up your mind to that, or I'll never go," she added, resolutely, as he tried to reclaim his load.

"We shall see. Haf you patience to wait a long time, Jo? I must go away and do my work alone; I must help my boys first, because even for you I may not break my word to Minna. Can you forgif that, and be happy, while we hope and wait?"

"Yes, I know I can; for we love one another, and that makes all the rest easy to bear. I have my duty also, and my work. I couldn't enjoy myself if I neglected them even for you,—so there's no need of hurry or impatience. You can do your part out West,—I can do mine here,—and both be happy, hoping for the best, and leaving the future to be as God wills."