Laurie and Amy have a private conversation. Laurie exclaims that Professor Bhaer is going to marry Jo, and this precipitates a playful debate about how young women shouldn’t marry for money. Amy grows serious and tells Laurie that she wishes they could do something for Jo and Professor Bhaer, should they marry. She and Laurie vow to help Jo and Professor Bhaer somehow, in due time. Laurie and Amy then go on to vow to help all sorts of people, especially those who toil in silence without asking for charity.
Amy and Laurie reflect on the power they wield as members of the upper class. Their discussion underscores the extent to which their relationship has some aspects reminiscent of business partnership. Given her upbringing, it’s natural that Amy would want to help those who “toil in silence,” for this is what her family has done for so many years.