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CHAPTER I. NAT "Please, sir, is this Plumfield?" asked a ragged boy of the man who opened the great gate at which the omnibus left him. "Yes. Who sent you?" "Mr. Laurence. I have got a letter for the lady." "All right; go up to the house, and give it to her; she'll see to you, little chap." The man spoke pleasantly, and the boy went on, feeling much cheered by the words. Through the soft spring rain that fell on sprouting grass and budding... more...

Chapter 1. TEN YEARS LATER 'If anyone had told me what wonderful changes were to take place here in ten years, I wouldn't have believed it,' said Mrs Jo to Mrs Meg, as they sat on the piazza at Plumfield one summer day, looking about them with faces full of pride and pleasure. 'This is the sort of magic that money and kind hearts can work. I am sure Mr Laurence could have no nobler monument than the college he so generously endowed; and a home... more...

A FOREWORD BY MEG. In the good old times, when "Little Women" worked and played together, the big garret was the scene of many dramatic revels. After a long day of teaching, sewing, and "helping mother," the greatest delight of the girls was to transform themselves into queens, knights, and cavaliers of high degree, and ascend into a world of fancy and romance. Cinderella's godmother waved her wand, and the dismal room became a fairy-land.... more...

HOW IT WAS LOST Among green New England hills stood an ancient house, many-gabled, mossy-roofed, and quaintly built, but picturesque and pleasant to the eye; for a brook ran babbling through the orchard that encompassed it about, a garden-plat stretched upward to the whispering birches on the slope, and patriarchal elms stood sentinel upon the lawn, as they had stood almost a century ago, when the Revolution rolled that way and found them young.... more...

CHAPTER I. CHRISTIE. CHRISTIE. "AUNT BETSEY, there's going to be a new Declaration ofIndependence." "Bless and save us, what do you mean, child?" And the startled old lady precipitated a pie into the oven with destructive haste. "I mean that, being of age, I'm going to take care of myself, and not be a burden any longer. Uncle wishes me out of the way; thinks I ought to go, and, sooner or later, will tell me so. I don't intend to wait for... more...


CHAPTER I A MYSTERIOUS DOG The elm-tree avenue was all overgrown, the great gate was never unlocked, and the old house had been shut up for several years. Yet voices were heard about the place, the lilacs nodded over the high wall as if they said, "We could tell fine secrets if we chose," and the mullein outside the gate made haste to reach the keyhole, that it might peep in and see what was going on. If it had suddenly grown up like a magic... more...

There is a room upstairs in the old house at Fruitlands in Harvard, Massachusetts, where the visitors pause and look about them with a softening glance and often with visible emotion, as though they felt a sudden nearness to something infinitely intimate and personal. They have come to see the place where Bronson Alcott and the group of transcendentalists cut themselves off from the world in the spring of 1843 and tried to found a New Eden where... more...

I. A CHRISTMAS DREAM, AND HOW IT CAME TRUE. "I'm so tired of Christmas I wish there never would be another one!" exclaimed a discontented-looking little girl, as she sat idly watching her mother arrange a pile of gifts two days before they were to be given. "Why, Effie, what a dreadful thing to say! You are as bad as old Scrooge; and I'm afraid something will happen to you, as it did to him, if you don't care for dear Christmas," answered... more...

THE CANDY COUNTRY “I shall take mamma’s red sun umbrella, it is so warm, and none of the children at school will have one like it,” said Lily, one day, as she went through the hall. “The wind is very high; I’m afraid you’ll be blown away if you carry that big thing,” called Nurse from the window, as the red umbrella went bobbing down the garden walk with a small girl under it. “I wish it would;... more...

Chapter I DRAMATIS PERSONAE "How goes it, Frank? Down first, as usual." "The early bird gets the worm, Major." "Deuced ungallant speech, considering that the lovely Octavia is the worm," and with a significant laugh the major assumed an Englishman's favorite attitude before the fire. His companion shot a quick glance at him, and an expression of anxiety passed over his face as he replied, with a well-feigned air of indifference, "You are... more...