小妇人
Little Women


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    1 Four sisters
    1 Four sisters
    
    'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,'said Jo crossly.
    'It's so awful to be poor!'agreed Meg,looking at her old dress.
    'It's not right for some girls to have pretty things,and others to have nothing at all,'said little Amy.
    'We've got Father and Mother,'and each other,'said Beth gently.
    The four young faces round the fire cheered up as they thought of this, but then Jo said sadly,'We haven't got Father,and we won't have him for a long time.'She didn't say 'perhaps never,'but each silently thought it,remembering that he was away at the war in the South.
    Then Meg said,'Mother says we shouldn't spend money on presents when our men are fighting a war.'
    'We can't expect anything from Mother or each otehr,'said Jo,' but we only have a dollar each, and that won't help the army much. Let's each buy ourselves what we want, and have a little fun. We work hard to earn it.'
    'I do, teaching those awful children,' said Meg.'What abut me?'said Jo.' I'm shut up all day working for a terrible old lady, who gives me different orders every five seconds!'
    'I think washing cups and plates and keeping things tidy is the worst work in the world,'said Beth.'My hands get too tired to play my music.'
    'I have to go to school with girls who laugh at my dresses and say cruel things because my father isn't rich,'said Amy.
    'I wish we had the money Father lost when we were little,Jo,'said Meg.
    'I wish I was a boy,' said Jo.'Then I could go and fight beside Father!'
    Meg was sixteen and very pretty, with large eyes and soft brown hair,and white hands.Fifteen-year-old Jo was very tall and thin. Her long,dark-red hair was usually pushed up out of the way. Beth was thirteen,a very shy girl who seemed to live in a happy world of her own.Amy was the youngest, but thought herself to be the most important. She had blue eyes,and yellow hair which curled on to her shoulders.
    At six o'clock,Beth put a pair of slippers by the fire to warm and Meg lit the lamp.Amy got out of the comfortable chair without bing asked, and Jo forgot how tired she was and held the slippers closer to the fire.
    'These are old, she said.'Mother needs a new pair.'
    'I'll get her some with my dollar,'said Beth.
    'No,I shall!'cried Amy.
    'I'm the oldest—'began Meg.
    'I'm the man of the family now Father is away, and I shall buy tnem,'said Jo.
    'Let's each get her something and not get anything for ourselves,'said beth.
    'That's a kind idea!'said Jo.'What shall we get?'
    Everyone thought for a moment,then Meg said,'I'll give her a nice pair of gloves.'
    'The best army slippers,said Jo.
    'Some handkerchiefs,'said Beth.
    'A little bottle of perfume,'said Amy.'It won't cost much, so I'll have some money left to buy something for me.'
    'We'll let Mother think we're getting things for ourselves,and then surprise her,'said Jo.
    Mrs March arrived home soon after. She took off her wet things and put on her warm slippers. Meg made the tea, Jo brought wood for the fire,Beth was quiet and busy,and Amy gave orders.
    I've got a letter from Father!'cried Mrs March.
    It was a letter to cheer them up, and the special message for the girls came at the end: Give them all my love and a kiss.I think of them every day.I know they will be loving childrento you,and that when I come back,I will be prouder than ever of my little women.A tear dropped off the end of Jo's nose.
    Amy hid her face on her momer's shoulder .'I'm selfish,'she cried,'but I'll try to be better.'
    'We all will!' cried Meg.'I think too much about the way I look, and hate to work, but I won't any more.'
    'And I'll try to be a“little woman”,'said Jo,'and not be rough and wild.'
    Beth said nothing, but she began to work hard at a blue army glove she was making.
    So the four girls decided that they would all try very hard to be good.They would never be cross,or lazy,or selfish-and they would all help each other.They talked over their plan that evening,while they made sheets for Aunt March.Then at nine o'clock they stopped to sing a song.Beth played the old piano, and Meg and her mother led the singing.Jo always sang in the wrong place, but the girls never got too old to sing together.
    
    1 四姐妹
    
    “如果没有礼物,圣诞节就徒有其名,”琼生气地说。
    “贫穷真是糟糕透了!”麦格边看着她的旧衣裙边表示赞同。
    “有些女孩子有漂亮的东西,而其他人却什么都没有,这太不应该了,”小艾米说。
    “我们有父亲和母亲,还拥有彼此,”白丝温文尔雅地说道。
    想起这些,围在火炉边的四张年轻的面孔变得快乐起来,可然后琼悲伤地说:“我们没有父亲,我们要有很长时间都不会有他。”她并没有说出“也许永远也不会有了”这句话,但想起父亲去南方打仗了,每个人都默默地想到了它。
    然后麦格说道:“妈妈说过,当我们的男人在打仗的时候我们不应该把钱花在买礼物上。”
    “我们不能期待会从母亲或彼此那里得到任何礼物,”琼说,“可我们每个人都有一块钱,这帮不了军队什么忙。咱们每人给自己买些想要的东西高兴高兴吧。这是咱们努力工作挣来的。”
    “是我挣的,我教那些糟糕的孩子,”麦格道。“我又怎么样?”琼说,“我一整天一句话都不说,给一个可怕的老太婆干活,她每五分钟就给我下一道不同的命令!”
    “我觉得洗杯子盘子和整理东西是世界上最坏的工作,”白丝说,“我的双手累得都弹不了琴了。”
    “我不得不跟那些笑话我穿戴的女孩子一起去上学,她们常说些难听的话,因为我的父亲不是有钱人。”艾米说。
    “真希望我们能有在我们小时候爸爸失掉的那些钱呀,琼,”麦格道。
    “我希望我是个男孩,”琼说,“那样我就可以去和爸爸并肩作战了。”
    麦格16岁了,长得很漂亮,大眼睛,拥有柔软的棕色头发,以及白皙的双手。15岁的琼又高又瘦。她常把深红色的长发梳得老高。白丝13岁,她是个很怕羞的女孩,看起来像是生活在她自己的快乐世界里。艾米最小,可她认为自己最重要。她有一双蓝色的眼睛,还有卷到肩头的黄色头发。
    6点钟,白丝把一双拖鞋放到火边烘烤,麦格点亮了灯。并没有人说什么,艾米就从那张舒服的椅子上爬起来,琼已忘记了她的疲惫。她将拖鞋放到离火近的地方。
    “这太旧了,”她说,“妈妈需要一双新拖鞋”。
    “我要用我的钱给她买,”白丝道。
    “不,我来买!”艾米大喊。
    “我最大——”麦格开口了。
    “现在爸爸不在,我就是家里的男人,我来买拖鞋,”琼说。
    “咱们每人都给她买些东西吧,什么都不要给自己买了,”白丝建议道。
    “那是个好主意!”琼说,“那我们买什么呢?”
    每个人都思索了片刻,然后麦格说:“我要给她买一副很好的手套。”
    “我要买最好的军用拖鞋,”琼说。
    “我想买一些手帕,”白丝说。
    “我会买一小瓶香水,”艾米道,“那不会很贵,所以我还会剩点钱给自己买些东西。”
    “咱们让妈妈觉得咱们在给自己买东西,然后让她大吃一惊,”琼说。
    马奇太太不久就回家了。她把湿衣服脱掉,换上暖和的拖鞋。麦格泡了茶,琼给火炉拿来了木柴,白丝一声不响地忙碌着,艾米在发号施令。
    “我拿到了爸爸的来信!”马奇太太喊道。
    那是一封叫大家高兴起来的信,信尾是特别写给女孩子们的:“替我向她们转达我的爱和吻。我每天都在想念她们,我知道她们会成为你的好孩子。我知道等我回家时,我会比以往任何时候都更为我的小妇人们感到骄傲。”
    艾米将脸藏在母亲的臂弯里。“我很自私自利,”她哭泣着说,“可我会努力变得好些。”
    “我们都会的,”麦格流着泪道。“我太注重自己的外表,憎恨工作,但我以后不会了。”
    “我会尽力做个'小妇人',”琼说,“不再粗野无礼了。”
    白丝什么也没说,但她开始卖力地做一双蓝色的军用手套。
    于是四个女孩都决心要尽力地做个好女孩,不再滥发脾气,不再懒隋,不再自私,她们将互相帮助。那天晚上,她们在给马奇姨妈做被单时仔细讨论了她们的计划。9点钟的时候,她们停下来一起唱一支歌。白丝弹着那架老钢琴,麦格和母亲一道领唱。琼总是唱得不对,可女孩子永远不会因为太大了而不能一起唱歌。
    

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