Even as it was, a change grew visible; a change partly to be regretted,

although whatever charm it infringed upon was repaired by another,

perhaps more precious. She was not so constantly gay, but had her

moods of thought, which Clifford, on the whole, liked better than her

former phase of unmingled cheerfulness; because now she understood him

better and more delicately, and sometimes even interpreted him to

himself. Her eyes looked larger, and darker, and deeper; so deep, at

some silent moments, that they seemed like Artesian wells, down, down,

into the infinite. She was less girlish than when we first beheld her

alighting from the omnibus; less girlish, but more a woman.


The only youthful mind with which Phoebe had an opportunity of frequent

intercourse was that of the daguerreotypist. Inevitably, by the

pressure of the seclusion about them, they had been brought into habits

of some familiarity. Had they met under different circumstances,

neither of these young persons would have been likely to bestow much

thought upon the other, unless, indeed, their extreme dissimilarity

should have proved a principle of mutual attraction. Both, it is true,

were characters proper to New England life, and possessing a common

ground, therefore, in their more external developments; but as unlike,

in their respective interiors, as if their native climes had been at

world-wide distance. During the early part of their acquaintance,

Phoebe had held back rather more than was customary with her frank and

simple manners from Holgrave's not very marked advances. Nor was she

yet satisfied that she knew him well, although they almost daily met

and talked together, in a kind, friendly, and what seemed to be a

familiar way.

The artist, in a desultory manner, had imparted to Phoebe something of

his history. Young as he was, and had his career terminated at the

point already attained, there had been enough of incident to fill, very

creditably, an autobiographic volume. A romance on the plan of Gil

Blas, adapted to American society and manners, would cease to be a

romance. The experience of many individuals among us, who think it

hardly worth the telling, would equal the vicissitudes of the

Spaniard's earlier life; while their ultimate success, or the point

whither they tend, may be incomparably higher than any that a novelist

would imagine for his hero. Holgrave, as he told Phoebe somewhat

proudly, could not boast of his origin, unless as being exceedingly

humble, nor of his education, except that it had been the scantiest

possible, and obtained by a few winter-months' attendance at a district

school. Left early to his own guidance, he had begun to be

self-dependent while yet a boy; and it was a condition aptly suited to

his natural force of will. Though now but twenty-two years old

(lacking some months, which are years in such a life), he had already

been, first, a country schoolmaster; next, a salesman in a country

store; and, either at the same time or afterwards, the political editor

of a country newspaper. He had subsequently travelled New England and

the Middle States, as a peddler, in the employment of a Connecticut

manufactory of cologne-water and other essences. In an episodical way

he had studied and practised dentistry, and with very flattering

success, especially in many of the factory-towns along our inland

streams. As a supernumerary official, of some kind or other, aboard a

packet-ship, he had visited Europe, and found means, before his return,

to see Italy, and part of France and Germany. At a later period he had

spent some months in a community of Fourierists. Still more recently

he had been a public lecturer on Mesmerism, for which science (as he

assured Phoebe, and, indeed, satisfactorily proved, by putting

Chanticleer, who happened to be scratching near by, to sleep) he had

very remarkable endowments.