Lisbeth Bede loves her son with the love of a woman to whom her first-born has come late in life.
It is such a fond anxious mother's voice that you hear, as Lisbeth says, "Well, my lad, it's gone seven by th' clock.
"Done the coffin?" said Lisbeth, following him, and knitting uninterruptedly, though she looked at her son very anxiously.
"Why, thee canstna get the coffin ready," said Lisbeth. "Thee't work thyself to death.
Poor Lisbeth did not hear this threat for the first time, and if she had been wise she would have gone away quietly and said nothing for the next hour.
Lisbeth's voice became louder, and choked with sobs--a sort of wail, the most irritating of all sounds where real sorrows are to be borne and real work to be done.
But no sooner had he licked up his supper than he went back to his master, while Lisbeth sat down alone to cry over her knitting.
At last he called for a light and a draught of water (beer was a thing only to be drunk on holidays), and Lisbeth ventured to say as she took it in, "Thy supper stan's ready for thee, when thee lik'st."
Lisbeth was going on, for she was not at all afraid of Seth, and usually poured into his ears all the querulousness which was repressed by her awe of Adam.
"Adam's niver touched a bit o' victual sin' home he's come," said Lisbeth. "I reckon thee'st hed thy supper at some o' thy Methody folks."
"Come, then," said Lisbeth, "but donna thee ate the taters, for Adam 'ull happen ate 'em if I leave 'em stannin'.
"Donna talk to me about's marr'in'," said Lisbeth, crying afresh.