“Thee is restless,” said Rachel Froke, tying on her gray cloak. “And to make us so is oftentimes the first thing the Lord does for us. It was the first thing He did for the world. Then He said, ’Let there be light!’ In the meantime, thee is right; just darn thy stockings.” And Rachel went.
They had a nice morning, after that, “leaving frets alone,” as Diana said. Diana Ripwinkley was happy in things just as they were. If the sun shone, she rejoiced in the glory; if the rain fell, it shut her in sweetly to the heart of home, and the outside world grew fragrant for her breathing. There was never anything in her day that she could spare out of it, and there were no holes in the hours either. “Whether she was most bird or bee, it was hard to tell,” her mother said of her; from the time she used to sweep and dust her garret baby-house along the big beams in the old house at Homesworth, and make little cheeses, and set them to press in wooden pill-boxes from which she had punched the bottoms out, till now, that she began to take upon herself the daily freshening of the new parlors in Aspen Street, and had long lessons of geometry to learn, whose dry demonstrations she set to odd little improvised recitatives of music, and chanted over while she ran up and down putting away clean linen for her mother, that Luclarion brought up from the wash.
As for Hazel, she was only another variation upon the same sweet nature. There was more of outgo and enterprise with her. Diana made the thing or the place pleasant that she was in or doing. Hazel sought out new and blessed inventions. “There was always something coming to the child that wouldn’t ever have come to no one else,” Luclarion said. “And besides that, she was a real ‘Witch Hazel;’ she could tell where the springs were, and what’s more, where they warn’t.”
Luclarion Grapp would never have pleaded guilty to “dropping into poetry” in any light whatsoever; but what she meant by this was not exactly according to the letter, as one may easily see.
What was the use of “looking,” unless things were looked at? Mrs. Ledwith found at the end of the winter that she ought to give a party. Not a general one; Mrs. Ledwith always said “not a general one,” as if it were an exception, whereas she knew better than ever to undertake a general party; her list would be too general, and heterogeneous. It would simply be a physical, as well as a social, impossibility. She knew quantities of people separately and very cordially, in her easy have-a-good-time-when-you-can style, that she could by no means mix, or even gather together. She picked up acquaintances on summer journeys, she accepted civilities wherever she might be, she asked everybody to her house who took a fancy to her, or would admire her establishment, and if she had had a spring cleaning or a new carpeting,