4. CHAPTER FOUR
"Oh, dear, how hard it does seem to take up our packs
and go on," sighed Meg the morning after the party, for now
the holidays were over, the week of merrymaking did not fit
her for going on easily with the task she never liked.
"I wish it was Christmas or New Year's all the time.
Wouldn't it be fun?" answered Jo, yawning dismally.
"We shouldn't enjoy ourselves half so much as we do now.
But it does seem so nice to have little suppers and bouquets,
and go to parties, and drive home, and read and rest, and not
work. It's like other people, you know, and I always envy
girls who do such things, I'm so fond of luxury," said Meg,
trying to decide which of two shabby gowns was the least
"Well, we can't have it, so don't let us grumble but
shoulder our bundles and trudge along as cheerfully as
Marmee does. I'm sure Aunt March is a regular Old Man of
the Sea to me, but I suppose when I've learned to carry her
without complaining, she will tumble off, or get so light
that I shan't mind her."
This idea tickled Jo's fancy and put her in good spirits,
but Meg didn't brighten, for her burden, consisting
of four spoiled children, seemed heavier than ever.
She had not heart enough even to make herself pretty
as usual by putting on a blue neck ribbon and dressing
her hair in the most becoming way.
"Where's the use of looking nice, when no one sees me
but those cross midgets, and no one cares whether I'm pretty
or not?" she muttered, shutting her drawer with a jerk. "I
shall have to toil and moil all my days, with only little
bits of fun now and then, and get old and ugly and sour,
because I'm poor and can't enjoy my life as other girls do.
It's a shame!"
So Meg went down, wearing an injured look, and wasn't at
all agreeable at breakfast time. Everyone seemed rather out
of sorts and inclined to croak.