BOOK VI. THE WIDOW AND THE WIFE.
54. CHAPTER LIV.
"Negli occhi porta la mia donna Amore;
Per che si fa gentil eio ch'ella mira:
Ov'ella passa, ogni uom ver lei si gira,
E cui saluta fa tremar lo core.
Sicche, bassando il viso, tutto smore,
E d'ogni suo difetto allor sospira:
Fuggon dinanzi a lei Superbia ed Ira:
Aiutatemi, donne, a farle onore.
Ogni dolcezza, ogni pensiero umile
Nasee nel core a chi parlar la sente;
Ond' e beato chi prima la vide.
Quel ch'ella par quand' un poco sorride,
Non si pub dicer, ne tener a mente,
Si e nuovo miracolo gentile."
--DANTE: la Vita Nuova.
By that delightful morning when the hay-ricks at Stone Court were
scenting the air quite impartially, as if Mr. Raffles had been
a guest worthy of finest incense, Dorothea had again taken up
her abode at Lowick Manor. After three months Freshitt had become
rather oppressive: to sit like a model for Saint Catherine looking
rapturously at Celia's baby would not do for many hours in the day,
and to remain in that momentous babe's presence with persistent
disregard was a course that could not have been tolerated in a
childless sister. Dorothea would have been capable of carrying
baby joyfully for a mile if there had been need, and of loving
it the more tenderly for that labor; but to an aunt who does not
recognize her infant nephew as Bouddha, and has nothing to do for him but
to admire, his behavior is apt to appear monotonous, and the interest
of watching him exhaustible. This possibility was quite hidden
from Celia, who felt that Dorothea's childless widowhood fell in quite
prettily with the birth of little Arthur (baby was named after Mr. Brooke).
"Dodo is just the creature not to mind about having anything of her own--
children or anything!" said Celia to her husband. "And if she
had had a baby, it never could have been such a dear as Arthur.
Could it, James?
"Not if it had been like Casaubon," said Sir James, conscious of
some indirectness in his answer, and of holding a strictly private
opinion as to the perfections of his first-born.