Two men were passing, just as the barouche drove off.
"Well, Dixey," said one of them, "what do you think of this? My wife
kept a cent-shop three months, and lost five dollars on her outlay.
Old Maid Pyncheon has been in trade just about as long, and rides off
in her carriage with a couple of hundred thousand,--reckoning her
share, and Clifford's, and Phoebe's,--and some say twice as much! If
you choose to call it luck, it is all very well; but if we are to take
it as the will of Providence, why, I can't exactly fathom it!"
"Pretty good business!" quoth the sagacious Dixey,--"pretty good
Maule's well, all this time, though left in solitude, was throwing up a
succession of kaleidoscopic pictures, in which a gifted eye might have
seen foreshadowed the coming fortunes of Hepzibah and Clifford, and the
descendant of the legendary wizard, and the village maiden, over whom
he had thrown love's web of sorcery. The Pyncheon Elm, moreover, with
what foliage the September gale had spared to it, whispered
unintelligible prophecies. And wise Uncle Venner, passing slowly from
the ruinous porch, seemed to hear a strain of music, and fancied that
sweet Alice Pyncheon--after witnessing these deeds, this bygone woe and
this present happiness, of her kindred mortals--had given one farewell
touch of a spirit's joy upon her harpsichord, as she floated heavenward
from the HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES!