17. CHAPTER XVII
"And reason good as I should manage you, father," said Priscilla,
"else you'd be giving yourself your death with rheumatism. And as
for the farm, if anything turns out wrong, as it can't but do in
these times, there's nothing kills a man so soon as having nobody to
find fault with but himself. It's a deal the best way o' being
master, to let somebody else do the ordering, and keep the blaming
in your own hands. It 'ud save many a man a stroke, I believe."
"Well, well, my dear," said her father, with a quiet laugh, "I
didn't say you don't manage for everybody's good."
"Then manage so as you may stay tea, Priscilla," said Nancy,
putting her hand on her sister's arm affectionately. "Come now;
and we'll go round the garden while father has his nap."
"My dear child, he'll have a beautiful nap in the gig, for I shall
drive. And as for staying tea, I can't hear of it; for there's this
dairymaid, now she knows she's to be married, turned Michaelmas,
she'd as lief pour the new milk into the pig-trough as into the
pans. That's the way with 'em all: it's as if they thought the
world 'ud be new-made because they're to be married. So come and
let me put my bonnet on, and there'll be time for us to walk round
the garden while the horse is being put in."
When the sisters were treading the neatly-swept garden-walks,
between the bright turf that contrasted pleasantly with the dark
cones and arches and wall-like hedges of yew, Priscilla said--
"I'm as glad as anything at your husband's making that exchange o'
land with cousin Osgood, and beginning the dairying. It's a
thousand pities you didn't do it before; for it'll give you
something to fill your mind. There's nothing like a dairy if folks
want a bit o' worrit to make the days pass. For as for rubbing
furniture, when you can once see your face in a table there's
nothing else to look for; but there's always something fresh with
the dairy; for even in the depths o' winter there's some pleasure in
conquering the butter, and making it come whether or no. My dear,"
added Priscilla, pressing her sister's hand affectionately as they
walked side by side, "you'll never be low when you've got a