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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
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Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone,
"You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this
Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone;
and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when
our men are suffering so in the army. We can't do much, but we can
make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am
afraid I don't," and Meg shook her head, as she thought regretfully
of all the pretty things she wanted.

"But I don't think the little we should spend would do any
good. We've each got a dollar, and the army wouldn't be much helped
by our giving that. I agree not to expect anything from Mother or
you, but I do want to buy _Undine and Sintran_ for myself. I've
wanted it so long," said Jo, who was a bookworm.

"I planned to spend mine in new music," said Beth, with a
little sigh, which no one heard but the hearth brush and kettle-holder.

"I shall get a nice box of Faber's drawing pencils; I
really need them," said Amy decidedly.

"Mother didn't say anything about our money, and she won't
wish us to give up everything. Let's each buy what we want, and
have a little fun; I'm sure we work hard enough to earn it," cried
Jo, examining the heels of her shoes in a gentlemanly manner.

"I know I do--teaching those tiresome children nearly all
day, when I'm longing to enjoy myself at home," began Meg, in the
complaining tone again.