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."
Dinah tried to escape from Lisbeth's closest looks and questions by finding little
tasks of housework that kept her moving about, and as soon as Seth came home
in the evening she put on her bonnet to go. It touched Dinah keenly to say the
last good-bye, and still more to look round on her way across the fields and see
the old woman still standing at the door, gazing after her till she must have been
the faintest speck in the dim aged eyes. "The God of love and peace be with
them," Dinah prayed, as she looked back from the last stile. "Make them glad
according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted them, and the years wherein
they have seen evil. It is thy will that I should part from them; let me have no will
Lisbeth turned into the house at last and sat down in the workshop near Seth,
who was busying himself there with fitting some bits of turned wood he had
brought from the village into a small work-box, which he meant to give to Dinah
before she went away.