It is very funny, but you do not always have to see people to love them. Just think about it, and tell me if it isn't so.
Rebecca's eyes were like faith,—the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Under her delicately etched brows they glowed like two stars, their dancing lights half hidden in lustrous darkness. Their glance was eager and full of interest, yet never satisfied; their steadfast gaze was brilliant and mysterious, and had the effect of looking directly through the obvious to something beyond, in the object, in the landscape, in you. They had never been accounted for, Rebecca's eyes. The school teacher and the minister at Temperance had tried and failed; the young artist who came for the summer to sketch the red barn, the ruined mill, and the bridge ended by giving up all these local beauties and devoting herself to the face of a child,—a small, plain face illuminated by a pair of eyes carrying such messages, such suggestions, such hints of sleeping power and insight, that one never tired of looking into their shining depths, nor of fancying that what one saw there was the reflection of one's own thought.
The soul grows into lovely habits as easily as into ugly ones, and the moment a life begins to blossom into beautiful words and deeds, that moment a new standard of conduct is established, and your eager neighbors look to you for a continuous manifestation of the good cheer, the sympathy, the ready wit, the comradeship, or the inspiration, you once showed yourself capable of. Bear figs for a season or two, and the world outside the orchard is very unwilling you should bear thistles.
I am not wise enough to say how much of all this squalor and wretchedness and hunger is the fault of the people themselves, how much of it belongs to circumstances and environment, how much is the result of past errors of government, how much is race, how much is religion. I only know that children should never be hungry, that there are ignorant human creatures to be taught how to live; and if it is a hard task, the sooner it is begun the better, both for teachers and pupils. It is comparatively easy to form opinions and devise remedies, when one knows the absolute truth of things; but it is so difficult to find the truth here, or at least there are so many and such different truths to weigh in the balance....
Hugh refused to leave the scene of the action. He seated himself on the top stair in the hall, banged his head against the railing a few times, just by way of uncorking the vials of his wrath, and then subsided into gloomy silence, waiting to declare war if more “first girl babies” were thrust upon a family already surfeited with that unnecessary article.