Lonely in his mansion, and often at odds with his high-spirited grandson, he found comfort in becoming a benefactor to the Marches. He protected the March sisters while their parents were away. He was a friend to Mrs. March's father, and admired their charitabled works. He developed a special, tender friendship with Beth March, who reminded him of his late granddaughter. He gave Beth the girl's piano.
He is described as a gruff man, though he has a soft spot for his grandson and the March family, especially Beth March.