Well, if I can't be happy, I can be useful, perhaps.
 Louisa May Alcott, An Old-Fashioned Girl (1869). copy citation

Author Louisa May Alcott
Source An Old-Fashioned Girl
Topic happiness usefulness
Date 1869
Language English
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2787/2787-h/2787-h.htm


“«Sit down, my dear, I'm glad to see you, but excuse me if I go on with my work, as I'm in a driving hurry to get these things done to-night,» said the brisk little lady, with a smile and a nod, as she took a new needleful of thread, and ran up a seam as if for a wager.
«Let me help you, then; I'm lazy and cross, and it will do me good,» said Polly, sitting down with the resigned feeling. «Well, if I can't be happy, I can be useful, perhaps.»
«Thank you, my dear; yes, you can just hem the skirt while I put in the sleeves, and that will be a great lift.»
Polly put on her thimble in silence, but as Miss Mills spread the white flannel over her lap, she exclaimed, «Why, it looks like a shroud!” source

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