Little Women Chapter 41
The lecture that Amy gave Laurie did him a lot of good. Laurie returns to trying to compose symphonies and operas until he realizes that he has talent but not genius. Still, after spending the time in Europe with Amy and his music, he realizes that he is getting over Jo. He is a little angry at himself for having let go so easily. He writes her one last letter asking her if she has changed her mind, but she hasn't. So he puts her letters away and takes off the ring that she once gave him.
He wants to go back to Amy in Nice very badly, but he waits until is his invited. In the meantime, Fred Vaughn returns to Amy and asks her to marry him. But, even though Amy had expected to say 'yes' when he asked her, she turns him down because she needs something more than money and position.
Amy and her chaperones, the Carrols, decide to go to Switzerland to avoid the heat. The letter telling Amy that Beth is failing never reached her. The next one told her about Beth's death. Amy decides that since it is too late to shorten her visit in order to see Beth one last time, she will stay. She is very weighed down by Beth's death and longs to have Laurie to comfort her.
Laurie comes to see her as soon as he hears about Beth. As soon as he and Amy are together, they realize that they are meant to be together always. When Aunt Carrol sees the way Amy brightens up when Laurie arrives, she realizes that they are falling in love and invites Laurie to stay. They spend time together and, now that Laurie is no longer "Lazy Laurence," they find that they get along easily together without any quarrels. Laurie doesn't have to propose marriage to Amy. It is simply understood that they are engaged.