Thomas Jefferson and Maggie went with us. Tirzah Ann and Whitfield wuzn’t quite ready to go when we did, but they wuz a-comin’ later, when Tirzah Ann had got all her preperations made—her own dresses done, and Whitfield’s night-shirts embroidered, and her stockin’s knit.
I love Tirzah Ann. But I can’t help seein’ that she duz lots of things that hain’t neccessary.
Now it wuzn’t neccessary for her to have eleven new dresses made a purpose to go to the World’s Fair, and three white aprons all worked off round the bibs and pockets.
Good land! what would she want of aprons there in that crowd? And she no need to had six new complete suits of under-clothes made, all trimmed off elaborate with tattin’ and home-made edgin’ before she went. And it wuzn’t neccessary for her to knit two pairs of open-work stockin’s with fine spool thread.
I sez to her, “Tirzah Ann, why don’t you buy your stockin’s? You can git good ones for twenty cents. And,” sez I, “these will take you weeks and weeks to knit, besides bein’ expensive in thread.”
But she said “she couldn’t find such nice ones to the store—she couldn’t find shell-work.”
“Then,” sez I, “I shall go without shell-work.”
But she said, “They wuz dretful ornamental to the foot, specially to the instep, and she shouldn’t want to go without ’em.”
“But,” sez I, “who is a-goin’ to see your instep? You hain’t a-goin’ round in that crowd with slips on, be you?”
“No,” she said, “she didn’t spoze she should, but she should feel better to know that she had on nice stockin’s, if there didn’t anybody see ’em.”
And I thought to myself that I should ruther be upheld by my principles than the consciousness of shell-work stockin’s. But I didn’t say so right out. I see that she wouldn’t give up the idee.
And besides the stockin’s, which wuz goin’ to devour a fearful amount of time, she had got to embroider three night-shirts for Whitfield with fine linen floss.
Then I argued with her agin. Sez I, “Good land! I don’t believe that Christopher Columbus ever had any embroidered night-shirts.” Sez I, “If he had waited to have them embroidered, and shell-work stockin’s knit, we might have not been discovered to this day. But,” sez I, “good, sensible creeter, he knew better than to do it when he had everything else on his hands. And,” sez I, “with all your housework to do—and hot weather a-comin’ on—I don’t see how you are a-goin’ to git ’em all done and git to the Fair.”
And she said, “She had ruther come late, prepared, than to go early with everything at loose ends.”
“But,” sez I, “good plain sensible night-shirts and Lyle-thread stockin’s hain’t loose—they hain’t so loose as them you are knittin’.”
But I see that I couldn’t break it up, so I desisted in my efforts.
Maggie, though she is only my daughter-in-law, takes after me more in a good many things than Tirzah Ann duz, who is my own step-daughter. Curious, but so it is.