I wonder what made me waste time thinking about Miss Bettie Simcoe and human peculiarities when I started to say something about sitting under the trees with Whythe at the MacLean party, but, born a rambler, I will ramble unto death, and there’s no use wasting time lamenting natural deficiencies. Whythe, of course, couldn’t very conveniently make personal remarks, as people were passing pretty close, though he did say I looked like a dream, which I did not, being too brown for a dream; but I did look real nice. I fished out one of the party dresses Mother made Clarissa put in my trunk, which I haven’t worn since I have been here, and I suppose it suited my brownness, as it was creamy and stuck out in the silly way skirts stick now, and it was new-fashioned enough to make everybody look at it and nudge a little. Whythe thought it was lovely, and told me so sixteen times, which was tiresome, and then I saw he was watching Elizabeth, who was on the porch with her new beau and did not know really whether my dress was blue or pink. The only thing he was thinking of was that not far from him was a superseder in possession of something which was once his. Whythe doesn’t like to be superseded in anything affecting his personal estimate of himself.
The Lord certainly let loose a lot of contradictions when he started the human race. When I saw the way Whythe was watching Elizabeth, and remembered how she had looked at him when he passed her a few minutes before, I knew two specimens of a common variety were before me, and I made up a parable as I watched them watch each other. The two specimens had been in love and been engaged. They had a fuss.