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Little Women

The First Wedding
The June roses over the porch were awake bright and early on that morning, rejoicing
with all their hearts in the cloudless sunshine, like friendly little neighbors, as they were.
Quite flushed with excitement were their ruddy faces, as they swung in the wind,
whispering to one another what they had seen, for some peeped in at the dining room
windows where the feast was spread, some climbed up to nod and smile at the sisters as
they dressed the bride, others waved a welcome to those who came and went on various
errands in garden, porch, and hall, and all, from the rosiest full-blown flower to the palest
baby bud, offered their tribute of beauty and fragrance to the gentle mistress who had
loved and tended them so long.
Meg looked very like a rose herself, for all that was best and sweetest in heart and soul
seemed to bloom into her face that day, making it fair and tender, with a charm more
beautiful than beauty. Neither silk, lace, nor orange flowers would she have. "I don't want
a fashionable wedding, but only those about me whom I love, and to them I wish to look
and be my familiar self."
So she made her wedding gown herself, sewing into it the tender hopes and innocent
romances of a girlish heart. her sisters braided up her pretty hair, and the only ornaments
she wore were the lilies of the valley, which `her John' liked best of all the flowers that
grew.
"You do look just like our own dear Meg, only so very sweet and lovely that I should hug
you if it wouldn't crumple your dress," cried Amy, surveying her with delight when all
was done.
"Then I am satisfied. But please hug and kiss me, everyone, and don't mind my dress. I
want a great many crumples of this sort put into it today." And Meg opened her arms to
her sisters, who clung about her with April faces for a minute, feeling that the new love
had not changed the old.
"Now I'm going to tie John's cravat for him, and then to stay a few minutes with Father
quietly in the study." And Meg ran down to perform these little ceremonies, and then to
follow her mother wherever she went, conscious that in spite of the smiles on the
motherly face, there was a secret sorrow hid in the motherly heart at the flight of the first
bird from the nest.
As the younger girls stand together, giving the last touches to their simple toilet, it may
be a good time to tell of a few changes which three years have wrought in their
appearance, for all are looking their best just now.
Jo's angles are much softened, she has learned to carry herself with ease, if not grace. The
curly crop has lengthened into a thick coil, more becoming to the small head atop of the
tall figure. There is a fresh color in her brown cheeks, a soft shine in her eyes, and only
gentle words fall from her sharp tongue today.
Beth has grown slender, pale, and more quiet than ever. The beautiful, kind eyes are
larger, and in them lies an expression that saddens one, although it is not sad itself. It is
the shadow of pain which touches the young face with such pathetic patience, but Beth
seldom complains and always speaks hopefully of `being better soon'.
 
 
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