Liddy, like a little brook, though shallow, was always rippling; her presence had not so much weight as to task thought, and yet enough to exercise it.Far from the Madding Crowd p. 83
I have not seen any movie adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd, but I can see Liddy in my mind, and part of that vision comes from this description.
Liddy is not Harriet Smith (from Jane Austen’s Emma) by any stretch; even if one might say Emma’s companion is shallow. Harriet is fairly dependent upon the opinions of Emma. But Liddy is a good friend—faithful and constant—even if she is a servant-companion and not a friend on equal footing. And so while she may be obedient, she is not dependent on Bathsheba and in fact is a help, always rippling, always present when necessary. The benefit of presence cannot be overstated.