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bobalink--while three or four more delicate prisons were loudly vocal with canaries.
The pillars of the piazza were enwreathed in jasmine and sweet honeysuckle; while from the angle formed by the main structure and its west wing, in front, sprang a grape-vine of unexampled luxuriance. Scorning all restraint, it had clambered first to the lover roof-then to the higher; and along the ridge of this latter it continued to writhe on, throwing out tendrils to the right and left, until at length it fairly attained the east gable, and fell trailing over the stairs.
The whole house, with its wings, was constructed of the oldfashioned Dutch shingles—broad, and with unrounded corners. It is a peculiarity of this material to give houses built of it the appearance of being wider at bottom than at top-after the manner of Egyptian architecture; and in the present instance, this exceedingly picturesque effect was aided by numerous pots of gorgeous flowers that almost encompassed the base of the buildings.
The shingles were painted a dull gray; and the happiness with which this neutral tint melted into the vivid green of the tuliptree leaves that partially overshadowed the cottage, can readily be conceived by an artist.
From the position near the stone wall, as described, the buildings were seen at great advantage--for the south-eastern angle was thrown forward-so that the eye took in at once the whole of the two fronts, with the picturesque eastern gable, and at the same time obtained just a sufficient glimpse of the northern wing, with parts of a pretty roof to the spring-house, and nearly half of a light bridge that spanned the brook in the near vicinity of the main buildings.
I did not remain very long on the brow of the hill, although long enough to make a thorough survey of the scene at my feet. It was clear that I had wandered from the road to the village, and I had thus good travellers' excuse to open the gate before me, and inquire my way, at all events; so, without more ado, I proceeded.
The road, after passing the gate, seemed to lie upon a natural ledge, sloping gradually down along the face of the north-eastern
cliffs. It led me on to the foot of the northern precipice, and thence over the bridge, round by the eastern gable to the front door. In this progress, I took notice that no sight of the outhouses could be obtained.
As I turned the corner of the gable, the mastiff bounded towards me in stern silence, but with the eye and the whole air of a tiger. I held him out my hand, however, in token of amity-and I never yet knew the dog who was proof against such an appeal to his courtesy. He not only shut his mouth and wagged his tail, but absolutely offered me his paw-afterwards extending his civilities to Ponto
As no bell was discernible, I rapped with my stick against the door, which stood half open. Instantly a figure advanced to the threshold—that of a young woman about twenty-eight years of age--slender, or rather slight, and somewhat above the medium height. As she approached, with a certain modest decision of step altogether indescribable, I said to myself, “Surely here I have found the perfection of natural, in contradistinction from artificial grace.” The second impression which she made on me, but by far the more vivid of the two, was that of enthusiasm. So intense an expression of romance, perhaps I should call it, or of unworldliness, as that which gleamed from her deep-set eyes, had never so sunk into my heart of hearts before. I know not how it is, but this peculiar expression of the eye, wreathing itself occasionally into the lips, is the most powerful, if not absolutely the sole spell, which rivets my interest in woman.
" Romance," provided my readers fully comprehend what I would here imply by the word “romance” and “womanliness” seem to me convertible terms: and, after all, what man truly loves in woman, is, simply, her womanhood. The eyes of Annie (I heard some one from the interior call her“ Annie, darling !") were “spiritual gray;" her hair, a light chestnut: this is all I had time to observe of her.
At her most courteous of invitations, I entered-passing first into a tolerably wide vestibule. Having come mainly to observe, I took notice that to my right as I stepped in, was a window, such as those in front of the house; to the left, a door leading into the principal room; while, opposite me, an open door enabled me to see a small apartment, just the size of the vestibule, arranged
as a study, and having a large bow window looking out to the north.
Passing into the parlor, I found myself with Mr. Landor--for this, I afterwards found, was his name. He was civil, even cordial in his manner; but just then, I was more intent on observing the arrangements of the dwelling which had so much interested me, than the personal appearance of the tenant.
The north wing, I now saw, was a bed-chamber : its door opened into the parlor. West of this door was a single window, looking towards the brook. At the west end of the parlor, were a fire-place, and a door leading into the west wing--probably a kitchen.
Nothing could be more rigorously simple than the furniture of the parlor. On the floor was an ingrain carpet, of excellent texture—a white ground, spotted with small circular green figures. At the windows were curtains of snowy white jaconet muslin: they were tolerably full, and hung decisively, perhaps rather formally, in sharp, parallel plaits to the floor-just to the floor. The walls were papered with a French paper of great delicacy—a silver ground, with a faint green cord running zig-zag throughout. Its expanse was relieved merely by three of Julien's exquisite lithographs a trois crayons, fastened to the wall without frames. One of these drawings was a scene of Oriental luxury, or rather voluptuousness; another was a “ carnival piece," spirited beyond compare; the third was a Greek female head--a face so divinely beautiful, and yet of an expression so provokingly indeterminate, never before arrested my attention.
The more substantial furniture consisted of a round table, a few chairs (including a large rocking-chair,) and a sofa, or rather " settee :" its material was plain maple painted a creamy white, slightly interstriped with green--the seat of cane. The chairs and table were “to match ;" but the forms of all had evidently been designed by the same brain which planned "the grounds:" it is impossible to conceive anything more graceful.
On the table were a few books; a large, square, crystal bottle of some novel perfume; a plain, ground-glass astral (not solar) lamp, with an Italian shade; and a large vase of resplendentlyblooming flowers. Flowers indeed of gorgeous colors and delicate
odor, formed the sole mere decoration of the apartment. The fireplace was nearly filled with a vase of brilliant geranium. On a triangular shelf in each angle of the room stood also a similar vase, varied only as to its lovely contents. One or two smaller boquets adorned the mantel; and late violets clustered about the open
windows. It is not the purpose of this work to do more than give, in detail, a picture of Mr. Landor's residence- as I found it.
What say of it? what say CONSCIENCE grim,
Let me call myself, for the present, William Wilson. The fair page now lying before me need not be sullied with
appellation. This has been already too much an object for the scorn
for the horror—for the detestation of my race. To the uttermost regions of the globe have not the indignant winds bruited its unparalleled infamy? Oh,'outcast of all outcasts most abandoned to the earth art thou not for ever dead ? to its honors, to its flowers, to its golden aspirations ?-and a cloud, dense, dismal, and limitless, does it not hang eternally between thy hopes and heaven?
I would not, if I could, here or to-day, embody a record of my later years of unspeakable misery, and unpardonable crime. This epoch—these later years—took unto themselves a sudden elevation in turpitude, whose origin alone it is my present purpose to assign. Men usually grow base by degrees. From me, in an instant, all virtue dropped bodily as a mantle. From comparatively trivial wickedness I passed, with the stride of a giant, into more than the enormities of an Elah-Gabalus. What chance-what one event brought this evil thing to pass, bear with me while I relate. Death approaches; and the shadow which foreruns him has thrown a softening influence over my spirit. I long, in passing through the dim valley, for the sympathy—I had nearly said for the pity-of my fellow men. I would fain have them believe that I have been, in some measure, the slave of circumstances beyond human control. I would wish them to seek out for me, in