268 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, OR
and turn every drawer and closet wrong side outward, on to the floor or tables, and make the ordinary confusion sevenfold more confounded. Then she would light her pipe, and leisurely go over her arrangements, looking things over, and discoursing upon them; making all the young fry scour most vigorously on the tin tilings, and keeping up for several hours a most energetic state of confusion, which she would explain to the satisfaction of all inquirers, by the remark that she was " a clarin' up." " She could n't hev things a-gwine on so as they had been, and she was gwine to make these yer young ones keep better order ; " for Dinah herself, somehow, indulged the illusion that she, herself, was the soul of order, and it was only the young uns, and the everybody else in the house, that were the cause of anything that fell short of perfection in this respect. When all the tins were scoured, and the tables scrubbed snowy white, and everything that could offend tucked out of sight in holes and corne'rs, Dinah would dress herself up in a smart dress, clean apron, and high, brilliant Madras turban, and tell all marauding "young uns" to keep out of the kitchen, for she was gwine to have things kept nice. Indeed, these periodic seasons were often an inconvenience to the whole household ; for Dinah would contract such an immoderate attachment to her scoured tin, as to insist upon it that it should n't be used again for any possible purpose, — at least, till the ardor of the " clarin' up " period abated.
Miss Ophelia, in a few days, thoroughly reformed every department of the house to a systematic pattern; but her labors in all departments that depended on the cooperation of servants were like those of Sisyphus or the Da-naides. In despair, she one day appealed to St. Clare.
" There is no such thing as getting anything like system in this family! "
" To be sure, there is n't," said St. Clare.
" Such shiftless management, such waste, such confusion, I never saw! "