“So you’re handin’ out your advice, are you, Bibbs?” said Sheridan. “What is it?”
“Let her see him all she wants.”
“You’re a—” Sheridan gave it up. “I don’t know what to call you!”
“Let her see him all she wants,” Bibbs repeated, thoughtfully. “You’re up against something too strong for you. If Edith were a weakling you’d have a chance this way, but she isn’t. She’s got a lot of your determination, father, and with what’s going on inside of her she’ll beat you. You can’t keep her from seeing him, as long as she feels about him the way she does now. You can’t make her think less of him, either. Nobody can. Your only chance is that she’ll do it for herself, and if you give her time and go easy she probably will. Marriage would do it for her quickest, but that’s just what you don’t want, and as you don’t want it, you’d better—”
“I can’t stand any more!” Sheridan burst out. “If it’s come to Bibbs advisin’ me how to run this house I better resign. Mamma, where’s that nigger George? Maybe he’s got some plan how I better manage my family. Bibbs, for God’s sake go and lay down! ’Let her see him all she wants’! Oh, Lord! here’s wisdom; here’s—”
“Bibbs,” said Mrs. Sheridan, “if you haven’t got anything to do, you might step over and take Sibyl’s wraps home—she left ’em in the hall. I don’t think you seem to quiet your poor father very much just now.”
“All right.” And Bibbs bore Sibyl’s wraps across the street and delivered them to Roscoe, who met him at the door. Bibbs said only, “Forgot these,” and, “Good night, Roscoe,” cordially and cheerfully, and returned to the New House. His mother and father were still talking in the library, but with discretion he passed rapidly on and upward to his own room, and there he proceeded to write in his note-book.
There seems to be another curious
thing about Love [Bibbs wrote].
Love is blind while it lives and only opens its eyes and becomes
very wide awake when it dies. Let it alone until then.
You cannot reason with love or with any other passion. The wise will not wish for love—nor for ambition. These are passions and bring others in their train—hatreds and jealousies—all blind. Friendship and a quiet heart for the wise.
What a turbulence is love! It is dangerous for a blind thing to be turbulent; there are precipices in life. One would not cross a mountain-pass with a thick cloth over his eyes. Lovers do. Friendship walks gently and with open eyes.
To walk to church with a friend! To sit beside her there! To rise when she rises, and to touch with one’s thumb and fingers the other half of the hymn-book that she holds! What lover, with his fierce ways, could know this transcendent happiness?