I’ve been ever-so-enjoying the independent study class that I am teaching a student from Grace Prep High School. We are in the midst of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Somehow, Marmee always seems to give her girls such stunning advice.Â These words were spoken when the girls were – you guessed it – discussing marriage plans.Â Her words are quite old fashioned, yet ever-so true.
“Holding a hand of each and watching the two young faces wistfully, Mrs. March said, in her serious yet cheery way – ‘I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good; to be admired, loved, and respected; to have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, Meg, right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy. My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world – marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing – and, when well used, a noble thing – but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I’d rather see you poor man’s wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, then queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace… better be happy old maids than unhappy wives or unmaidenly girls, running about to find husbands,” said Mrs March decidedly. “Don’t be troubled, Meg, poverty seldom daunts a sincere lover. Some of the best and most honored women I know were poor girls, but so love-worthy that they were not allowed to be old maids. Leave these things to time; make this home happy, so that you may be fit for homes of your own, if they are offered you, and contented here if they are not. One thing remember, my girls: Mother is always ready to be your confidante, Father to be your friend; and both of us trust and hope that our daughters, whether married or single, will be the pride and comfort of our lives.”