17. CHAPTER XVII
"Ah, Priscilla," said Nancy, returning the pressure with a
grateful glance of her clear eyes, "but it won't make up to
Godfrey: a dairy's not so much to a man. And it's only what he
cares for that ever makes me low. I'm contented with the blessings
we have, if he could be contented."
"It drives me past patience," said Priscilla, impetuously, "that
way o' the men--always wanting and wanting, and never easy with
what they've got: they can't sit comfortable in their chairs when
they've neither ache nor pain, but either they must stick a pipe in
their mouths, to make 'em better than well, or else they must be
swallowing something strong, though they're forced to make haste
before the next meal comes in. But joyful be it spoken, our father
was never that sort o' man. And if it had pleased God to make you
ugly, like me, so as the men wouldn't ha' run after you, we might
have kept to our own family, and had nothing to do with folks as
have got uneasy blood in their veins."
"Oh, don't say so, Priscilla," said Nancy, repenting that she had
called forth this outburst; "nobody has any occasion to find fault
with Godfrey. It's natural he should be disappointed at not having
any children: every man likes to have somebody to work for and lay
by for, and he always counted so on making a fuss with 'em when they
were little. There's many another man 'ud hanker more than he does.
He's the best of husbands."
"Oh, I know," said Priscilla, smiling sarcastically, "I know the
way o' wives; they set one on to abuse their husbands, and then they
turn round on one and praise 'em as if they wanted to sell 'em. But
father'll be waiting for me; we must turn now."
The large gig with the steady old grey was at the front door, and
Mr. Lammeter was already on the stone steps, passing the time in
recalling to Godfrey what very fine points Speckle had when his
master used to ride him.
"I always would have a good horse, you know," said the old
gentleman, not liking that spirited time to be quite effaced from
the memory of his juniors.