Now mind, you have a mistress instead of a master. I don’t yet know my powers or my talents in farming; but I shall do my best, and if you serve me well, so shall I serve you. Don’t any unfair ones among you […] suppose that because I am a woman I don’t understand the difference between bad goings-on and good.
Silence vs. Chatter.
So the chatter was all on her side. There is a loquacity that tells nothing, which was Bathsheba’s; and there is a silence which says much: that was Gabriel’s.
… Diana was the goddess whom Bathsheba instinctively adored. That she had never, by look, word, or sign, encouraged a man to approach her – that she felt herself sufficient to herself, and had in the independence of her girlish heart fancied there was a certain degradation in renouncing the simplicity of a maiden existence to become the humbler half of an indifferent marital whole…