That is a simple scene, reader. But it is almost certain that you, too, have been in love—perhaps, even, more than once, though you may not choose to say so to all your feminine friends. If so, you will no more think the slight words, the timid looks, the tremulous touches, by which two human souls approach each other gradually, like two little quivering rain-streams, before they mingle into one—you will no more think these things trivial than you will think the first-detected signs of coming spring trivial, though they be but a faint indescribable something in the air and in the song of the birds, and the tiniest perceptible budding on the hedge-row branches. Those slight words and looks and touches are part of the soul’s language; and the finest language, I believe, is chiefly made up of unimposing words, such as “light,” “sound,” “stars,” “music”—words really not worth looking at, or hearing, in themselves, any more than “chips” or “sawdust.” It is only that they happen to be the signs of something unspeakably great and beautiful. I am of opinion that love is a great and beautiful thing too, and if you agree with me, the smallest signs of it will not be chips and sawdust to you: they will rather be like those little words, “light” and “music,” stirring the long-winding fibres of your memory and enriching your present with your most precious past.
Lisbeth’s touch of rheumatism could not be made to appear serious enough to detain Dinah another night from the Hall Farm, now she had made up her mind to leave her aunt so soon, and at evening the friends must part. “For a long while,” Dinah had said, for she had told Lisbeth of her resolve.
“Then it’ll be for all my life, an’ I shall ne’er see thee again,” said Lisbeth. “Long while! I’n got no long while t’ live. An’ I shall be took bad an’ die, an’ thee canst ne’er come a-nigh me, an’ I shall die a-longing for thee.”
That had been the key-note of her wailing talk all day; for Adam was not in the house, and so she put no restraint on her complaining. She had tried poor Dinah by returning again and again to the question, why she must go away; and refusing to accept reasons, which seemed to her nothing but whim and “contrairiness”; and still more, by regretting that she “couldna’ ha’ one o’ the lads” and be her daughter.
“Thee couldstna put up wi’ Seth,” she said. “He isna cliver enough for thee, happen, but he’d ha’ been very good t’ thee—he’s as handy as can be at doin’ things for me when I’m bad, an’ he’s as fond o’ the Bible an’ chappellin’ as thee art thysen. But happen, thee’dst like a husband better as isna just the cut o’ thysen: the runnin’ brook isna athirst for th’ rain. Adam ‘ud ha’ done for thee—I know he would—an’ he might come t’ like thee well enough, if thee’dst stop. But he’s as stubborn as th’ iron bar—there’s no bending him no way but’s own. But he’d be a fine husband for anybody, be they who they will, so looked-on an’ so cliver as he is. And he’d be rare an’ lovin’: it does me good on’y a look o’ the lad’s eye when he means kind tow’rt me.”