Judith, who tends toward vanity, looks at Kit with envy, perceiving her as someone who has all the things she herself wishes she could have. Kit arrives at the Wood home dressed in comparative finery. Although the dress she is wearing is plain to her, to Judith, who, like the other women in the family must dress in garments made of "some nondescript sort of coarse gray stuff", it is magnificent, and the thought that Kit has seven trunks full of similar items is beyond belief. When Judith discovers Kit's generosity, she falls upon the nice things she is offered with undisguised greed. Judith longs for the pretty things Kit has, but is denied them by her Puritanical father.
When Matthew Wood learns that Kit has generously given his daughters items from her wardrobe, he reacts angrily. He orders them to give everything back, shouting, "No one in my family has any use for such frippery". In addition to his disapproval of what he considers to be "unseemly apparel", Matthew Wood reacts with a sense of injured pride, declaring "Nor are we beholden on anyone's charity for our clothing". Already put out by the fact that Kit has come to live with them unannounced, Matthew Wood is furious that she would "turn the heads of (his) daughters with (her) vanity". Although he turns a deaf ear to Judith's entreaties to be allowed to keep the gifts, he does relent in the case of Mercy, agreeing to let her keep a simple shawl Kit has given her because it will serve to keep her warm as she sits by the chimney (Chapters 3 and 4).