Within a few days after the appearance of this remarkable inmate, the

routine of life had established itself with a good deal of uniformity

in the old house of our narrative. In the morning, very shortly after

breakfast, it was Clifford's custom to fall asleep in his chair; nor,

unless accidentally disturbed, would he emerge from a dense cloud of

slumber or the thinner mists that flitted to and fro, until well

towards noonday. These hours of drowsihead were the season of the old

gentlewoman's attendance on her brother, while Phoebe took charge of

the shop; an arrangement which the public speedily understood, and

evinced their decided preference of the younger shopwoman by the


multiplicity of their calls during her administration of affairs.

Dinner over, Hepzibah took her knitting-work,--a long stocking of gray

yarn, for her brother's winter wear,--and with a sigh, and a scowl of

affectionate farewell to Clifford, and a gesture enjoining watchfulness

on Phoebe, went to take her seat behind the counter. It was now the

young girl's turn to be the nurse,--the guardian, the playmate,--or

whatever is the fitter phrase,--of the gray-haired man.