And has he forgotten all the other items of his memoranda? Clifford's

affair arranged, he was to meet a State Street broker, who has

undertaken to procure a heavy percentage, and the best of paper, for a

few loose thousands which the Judge happens to have by him, uninvested.

The wrinkled note-shaver will have taken his railroad trip in vain.

Half an hour later, in the street next to this, there was to be an

auction of real estate, including a portion of the old Pyncheon

property, originally belonging to Maule's garden ground. It has been

alienated from the Pyncheons these four-score years; but the Judge had

kept it in his eye, and had set his heart on reannexing it to the small


demesne still left around the Seven Gables; and now, during this odd

fit of oblivion, the fatal hammer must have fallen, and transferred our

ancient patrimony to some alien possessor. Possibly, indeed, the sale

may have been postponed till fairer weather. If so, will the Judge

make it convenient to be present, and favor the auctioneer with his

bid, On the proximate occasion?

The next affair was to buy a horse for his own driving. The one

heretofore his favorite stumbled, this very morning, on the road to

town, and must be at once discarded. Judge Pyncheon's neck is too

precious to be risked on such a contingency as a stumbling steed.

Should all the above business be seasonably got through with, he might

attend the meeting of a charitable society; the very name of which,

however, in the multiplicity of his benevolence, is quite forgotten; so

that this engagement may pass unfulfilled, and no great harm done. And

if he have time, amid the press of more urgent matters, he must take

measures for the renewal of Mrs. Pyncheon's tombstone, which, the

sexton tells him, has fallen on its marble face, and is cracked quite

in twain. She was a praiseworthy woman enough, thinks the Judge, in

spite of her nervousness, and the tears that she was so oozy with, and

her foolish behavior about the coffee; and as she took her departure so

seasonably, he will not grudge the second tombstone. It is better, at

least, than if she had never needed any! The next item on his list was

to give orders for some fruit-trees, of a rare variety, to be

deliverable at his country-seat in the ensuing autumn. Yes, buy them,

by all means; and may the peaches be luscious in your mouth, Judge

Pyncheon! After this comes something more important. A committee of

his political party has besought him for a hundred or two of dollars,

in addition to his previous disbursements, towards carrying on the fall

campaign. The Judge is a patriot; the fate of the country is staked on

the November election; and besides, as will be shadowed forth in

another paragraph, he has no trifling stake of his own in the same

great game. He will do what the committee asks; nay, he will be

liberal beyond their expectations; they shall have a check for five

hundred dollars, and more anon, if it be needed. What next? A decayed

widow, whose husband was Judge Pyncheon's early friend, has laid her

case of destitution before him, in a very moving letter. She and her

fair daughter have scarcely bread to eat. He partly intends to call on

her to-day,--perhaps so--perhaps not,--accordingly as he may happen to

have leisure, and a small bank-note.