"So," continued Mrs. Meadowsweet, settling herself in a lazy, fat sort
of a way in her easy chair, and looking full at her visitor with a
complacent smile, "so I called her Beatrice. I thought under the
circumstances it was the best name I could give--it seemed to fit all
round, you know, and as _he_ had no objection, being very
easy-going, poor man, I gave her the name."
"Yes?" interrogated Mrs. Bertram, in a softly surprised, and but
slightly interested voice; "you called your daughter Beatrice? I don't
quite understand your remark about the name fitting all round."
Mrs. Meadowsweet raised one dimpled hand slowly and laid it on top of
the other. Her smile grew broader.
"A name is a solemn thing, Mrs. Bertram," she continued. "A name is, so
to speak, to fit the person to whom it is given, for life. Will you tell
me how any mother, even the shrewdest, is to prophecy how an infant of a
few weeks old is to turn out? I thought over that point a good deal when
I gave the name, and said I to myself however matters turn 'Beatrice'
will fit. If she grows up cozy and soft and petting and small, why she's
Bee, and if she's sharp and saucy, and a bit too independent, as many
lasses are in these days, what can suit her better than Trixie? And
again if she's inclined to be stately, and to hold herself erect, and to
think a little more of herself than her mother ever did--only not more
than she deserves--bless her--why then she's Beatrice in full. Oh! and
there you are, Beatrice! Mrs. Bertram has been good enough to call to
see me. Mrs. Bertram, this is my daughter Beatrice."