Monday, August 1, 2011
Marmee-isms #3 ~ Once Upon a Time...
"Tell another story, Marmee, ~ one with a moral to it, like this. I like to think about them afterwards, if they are real, & not too preachy," said Jo, after a minutes' silence.
"Mrs. March smiled, & began at once; for she had told stories to this little audience for many years, & knew how to please them.
"Once upon a time, there were 4 girls, who had enough to eat & drink & wear, a good many comforts & pleasures, kind friends & parents, who love them dearly, & yet they were not contented." (Here the listeners stole sly looks at one another, & began to sew diligently.) "These girls were anxious to be good, & made many excellent resolutions; but they did not keep them very well, & were constantly saying, 'If we only had this,' or 'If we could only do that,' quite forgetting how much they already had, & how many pleasant things they actually could do. So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, & she said, 'When you feel discontented, think over your blessings & be grateful.'" (Here Jo looked up quickly, as if about to speak, but changed her mind, seeing that the story was not done yet.)
"Being sensible girls, they decided to try her advice, & soon were surprised to see how well off they were. One discovered that money couldn't keep shame & sorrow out of rich people's houses; another that, though she was poor, she was a great deal happier, with her youth, health, & good spirits, than a certain, fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn't enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to have to go begging for it; & the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior. So they agreed to stop complaining, to enjoy the blessings already possessed, & try to deserve them, lest they should be taken away entirely, instead of increased; & I believe they were never disappointed, or sorry that they took the old woman's advice."
"Now, Marmee, that is very cunning of you to turn our own stories against us, & give us a sermon instead of a romance!" cried Meg.
"I like that kind of sermon. It's the sort father used to tell us," said Beth thoughtfully, putting the needles straight on Jo's cushion.
Little Women ~ Ch. 4
Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><