Of course, Phoebe was far too sensible a girl to entertain this idea in

any other way than as matter for a smile. Possibly, also, could the

two personages have stood together before her eye, many points of

difference would have been perceptible, and perhaps only a general

resemblance. The long lapse of intervening years, in a climate so

unlike that which had fostered the ancestral Englishman, must

inevitably have wrought important changes in the physical system of his

descendant. The Judge's volume of muscle could hardly be the same as

the Colonel's; there was undoubtedly less beef in him. Though looked

upon as a weighty man among his contemporaries in respect of animal


substance, and as favored with a remarkable degree of fundamental

development, well adapting him for the judicial bench, we conceive that

the modern Judge Pyncheon, if weighed in the same balance with his

ancestor, would have required at least an old-fashioned fifty-six to

keep the scale in equilibrio. Then the Judge's face had lost the ruddy

English hue that showed its warmth through all the duskiness of the

Colonel's weather-beaten cheek, and had taken a sallow shade, the

established complexion of his countrymen. If we mistake not, moreover,

a certain quality of nervousness had become more or less manifest, even

in so solid a specimen of Puritan descent as the gentleman now under

discussion. As one of its effects, it bestowed on his countenance a

quicker mobility than the old Englishman's had possessed, and keener

vivacity, but at the expense of a sturdier something, on which these

acute endowments seemed to act like dissolving acids. This process,

for aught we know, may belong to the great system of human progress,

which, with every ascending footstep, as it diminishes the necessity

for animal force, may be destined gradually to spiritualize us, by

refining away our grosser attributes of body. If so, Judge Pyncheon

could endure a century or two more of such refinement as well as most

other men.

The similarity, intellectual and moral, between the Judge and his

ancestor appears to have been at least as strong as the resemblance of

mien and feature would afford reason to anticipate. In old Colonel

Pyncheon's funeral discourse the clergyman absolutely canonized his

deceased parishioner, and opening, as it were, a vista through the roof

of the church, and thence through the firmament above, showed him

seated, harp in hand, among the crowned choristers of the spiritual

world. On his tombstone, too, the record is highly eulogistic; nor

does history, so far as he holds a place upon its page, assail the

consistency and uprightness of his character. So also, as regards the

Judge Pyncheon of to-day, neither clergyman, nor legal critic, nor

inscriber of tombstones, nor historian of general or local politics,

would venture a word against this eminent person's sincerity as a

Christian, or respectability as a man, or integrity as a judge, or

courage and faithfulness as the often-tried representative of his

political party. But, besides these cold, formal, and empty words of

the chisel that inscribes, the voice that speaks, and the pen that

writes, for the public eye and for distant time,--and which inevitably

lose much of their truth and freedom by the fatal consciousness of so

doing,--there were traditions about the ancestor, and private diurnal

gossip about the Judge, remarkably accordant in their testimony. It is

often instructive to take the woman's, the private and domestic, view

of a public man; nor can anything be more curious than the vast

discrepancy between portraits intended for engraving and the

pencil-sketches that pass from hand to hand behind the original's back.