. . . So the Pink Hyacinth was a True Prophet, and I Went to Bed a Happy Millionaire . . .

two white hyacinths blooming against the foundation of a houseFrom the Journals of Louisa May Alcott, 1868, perhaps while she was finishing or proofreading Little Women, which would be published September 30. Note the reference to the Civil War: “all these years.” Also, these are forced hyacinths she is describing, in wintertime actually, so her thoughts ahead are prompted by the new year. These posts were written on different days over several weeks.

After last winter’s hard experience, we cannot be too grateful. To-day my first hyacinth bloomed, white and sweet, — a good omen, — a little flag of truce, perhaps, from the enemies whom we have been fighting all these years. Perhaps we are to win after all, and conquer poverty, neglect, pain, and debt, and march on with flags flying into the new world with the new year.

My second hyacinth bloomed pale blue, like a timid hope, and I took the omen for a good one, as I am getting on, and have more than I can do of the work that I once went begging for. Enjoyed the little spring my little flower made for me, and Buzzy, my pet fly, moved into the sweet mansion from his hanging garden in the ivy pot.

a pink hyacinth, picked and lying on a counter or table

My third hyacinth bloomed this A. M., a lovely pink. So I found things snug, and had a busy day chasing—-who dodged. Then I wrote my tales . . . . On my doorstep I found a gentleman who asked if Miss A. lived here . . . he handed me a letter out of which fell a $100 bill. With this bait Mr. Bonner lured me to write “one column of Advice to Young Women,” as Mrs. Shaw and others were doing. If he had asked me for a Greek oration I would have said “yes.” So I gave a receipt, and the very elegant agent bowed himself away, leaving my “’umble” bower full of perfume, and my soul of peace.

So the pink hyacinth was a true prophet, and I went to bed a happy millionaire, to dream of flannel petticoats for my blessed Mother, paper for Father, a new dress for May, and sleds for my boys.

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