Page:Little Women.djvu/338

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324
Little Women.

" Now Beth ; " said Amy, longing for her turn, but ready to wait.

" There's so little of her I'm afraid to say much, for fear she will slip away altogether, though she is not so shy as she used to be," began their father, cheer- fully ; but, recollecting how nearly he had lost her, he held her close, saying, tenderly, with her cheek against his own, " I've got you safe, my Beth, and I'll keep you so, please God."

After a minute's silence, he looked down at Amy, who sat on the cricket at his feet, and said, with a caress of the shining hair, —

" I observed that Amy took drumsticks at dinner, ran errands for her mother all the afternoon, gave Meg her place to-night, and has waited on every one with patience and good-humor. I also observe that she does not fret much, nor prink at the glass, and has not even mentioned a very pretty ring which she wears ; so I conclude that she has learned to think of other people more, and of herself less, and has decided to try and mould her character as carefully as she moulds her little clay figures. I am glad of this ; for though I should be very proud of a graceful statue made by her, I shall be infinitely prouder of a lovable daughter, with a talent for making life beautiful to herself and others."

"What are you thinking of, Beth.?" asked Jo, when Amy had thanked her father, and told about her ring.

"I read in 'Pilgrim's Progress' today, how, after many troubles. Christian and Hopeful came to a pleasant green meadow, where lilies bloomed all the year round, and there they rested happily, as we do