Little Women Chapter 23
The family is still hovering around their father and being very kind to him while Laurie continues to tease Meg about John. Jo asks Meg what she will say if Mr. Brooke asks her to marry him. Meg says that she will say that she can't because she is too young. Mr. Brooke shows up and Jo laughs and slips out of the room. Meg is nervous and tries to leave. Mr. Brooke tells her not to go. He asks her if she cares for him. Meg can't give the calm speech she prepared. Mr. Brooke tells her he will wait, and asks her to learn to love him if she can. Meg says no.
Just then, Aunt March comes in, intending to visit Mr. March, but finds Meg and Mr. Brooke. Meg is startled, and Mr. Brooke withdraws into the study. Aunt March tells Meg that if she marries Mr. Brooke, Meg will not get any money from her. Aunt March tells Meg to marry for money. "Now Aunt March possessed in perfection the art of rousing the spirit of opposition in the gentlest people, and enjoyed doing it. The best of us have a spice of perversity in us, especially when we are young and in love." Chapter 23, pg. 268 Meg defends Mr. Brooke and herself, saying that she will marry whom she likes and that Mr. Brooke is a great man. Angry, Aunt March drives off again.
Mr. Brooke, having overheard Meg, realizes that she does care for him. He asks he again and Meg can't object. Jo comes into the room finding Meg sitting on John's lap. Mr. Brooke tells Jo to congratulate them, but Jo, a bit upset, runs upstairs to tell everybody. Much to her irritation, they are all thrilled.
Later, Laurie tries to make Jo feel better about it, telling her that she is not losing a sister, that she just has to "go halves" on Meg.