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Those who came nearest to the house knew There was hurrying, tramping of feet, fastenthat it was inhabited; for they could some- ing and darkening the windows, barring the times hear strange noises within, and see doors, the noise of loud and angry voices, hideous faces peeping out of the windows. high words and disputes. All declared that But who the owner was, or whether it had any the house was theirs; that they had always owner, nobody seemed to know, and nobody lived there, and therefore had a right to seemed to care.
it. Some of the inmates begged the owner to At length it began to be rumoured abroad go away, and leave them to be quiet; some that the place had been bought-that the laughed at him for thinking he could ever get purchaser had come from a long distance to possession of the house; some threatened to buy it, and that he had paid a most enormous set the dogs on him, or to shoot him if he came price for it. Why he should want that house, a foot nearer. and be willing to pay so much for it, nobody I shall not try to describe all who lived in could conceive. Some said the house must be the old house. There were men and women, of great value, and have uncounted gold buried but their voices and looks were all of them in its cellar. Some said it was all a sham,- loud and coarse. There was one quite a giant, the house had not been bought. Some said it who wore his hair long, and looked stupid in only wanted a little putting to rights, and a the face, and sleepy in the eyes, whose name, little painting, and it would be as good as if I understand right, was INDIFFERENCE.
He moved very slowly, seldom turned round, It was reported that the purchaser was lay in bed late in the morning, was loth to rise coming to see it and repair it,-and there was from his chair, hated the sound of a bell, read great curiosity to see him. Some looked out but little, and thought as little as he could. expecting to see a tall general come on a great His shoulders were so broad, that they set him black war-horse, with soldiers to guard him. against the doors, feeling sure that if all the Some looked out for a rich chariot to come in bars should break, he could hold the doors shut. clouds of dust, darkening the very air. Some Indifference had an obstinate little footman, thought he might be a nobleman, who would who was always near him. He was silent and come with bugles and drums, and flying sulky, and cared for nothing. His name was colours. All were looking out for some great STUBBORNNESS-and a more obstinate fellow display when the owner should come, and all there never was. He never threatened or cried thought they should get into his train, and out; but if once he clenched anything with follow him.
his hands, he held on like a vice. At length, suddenly, a young fair-looking There was a woman too whom they called man was seen walking round the old house. Envy. She was tall, and held her head up At first nobody seemed to notice him; but as high, and her eyes were so bright that she soon as he had given notice that he was the could see the smallest mote that floated in the owner of the house, there was a terrible com- air. She held in her hand a little ivorymotion. The poisonous serpents in the grass handled whip, with a long lash, and a snapper began to hiss, the vipers began to run, the at the end of it. She would strike with this vultures in the air began to fly and scream, as if in sport; but it carried a sting in it that and every hornet began to sharpen his sting, made you tingle to the very bones. and
every fly began to buzz, and every creature Another inmate of the old house, looking in Sunken Hollow seemed to wake up to resist enough like Envy to be her twin-sister, was him. There never was such commotion before. called JEALOUSY. She was not as tall as the
There was not much known about the in- other, nor were her eyes as sharp, but their side of the house, for it had been shut
and colour was a pale green. She wore a huge kept dark. Only it was known that it had pair of spectacles of the same shade as her large rooms in it, once richly finished—that its eyes, so that everything she looked at was of a walls were once all white and beautiful, and yellowish green. Her lips were thin, and she that nothing could be made more perfect than had a peculiar habit of biting them. She it was when built. Every part of the house would also every now and then pinch herself, showed that the most wonderful architect the till she was covered with marks of her own world ever saw must have planned it.
fingers. She had her own room, but she was The greatest commotion on the appearance so afraid that somebody would peep into it, of the owner was in the inside of the house. that she stuffed every crevice with cotton, till
she made it so tight that she could hardly Their speeches were not by any means breathe.
long, but they all showed one spirit and one The next inmate was called SELFISHNESS. feeling. He was a large-framed man, with a sharp face, " I've no doubt but I can sit down against a twinkling eye, and a mouth that shut up any door,” said Indifference, “and keep him tight. His movements were quick, his steps out.” short, and his head turned from side to side, “ And I can roll logs, and place my feet as if to see everything about him. When he sat against yours," said Stubbornness; "and be. down to eat, he would draw all the food close tween us we can keep the doors shut against round his plate. He always knew which was an army of such.” the softest chair; the warmest place before the “ I don't boast,” said Envy–"nobody ever fire, and the sunniest spot near the window. heard me boast! I have not broad shoulders, He had great huge pockets, into which he to be sure, and I may not be as strong as some would cram everything within his reach. He other folks ; but it may be, after all, that I can would go round the house claiming this and do as much when the time comes. But I never that to be his, till he had branded his name on boast-not I!” almost every article of furniture in the house. “ You all think so much of yourselves, and He was the strongest fellow amongst them all talk so much about yourselves, that you can't -ate the most, and yet never seemed satis- see anybody else,” said Jealousy. “I should fied.
like to know if there can't be something done I will try to describe only one more of the by modest people as well as by others !” And inmates of the old house. This was a fierce, then she bit her lips, and pricked her own fiery-looking woman, whom they called HATE. arms till she trembled with pain. She was
an active, wiry creature, able to “Nonsense! nonsense!” roared out Selfish. double herself up, and become so small that ness, “who does not know that possession is you would hardly notice her, and then again nine-tenths of the law,' and that we have had expanding and becoming so large that it possession here ever since wood
grew and seemed impossible for the house to hold her. water ran? Who supposes for one moment She sometimes was so cold as to freeze every- that we shall ever willingly give up all this, or thing that came near her; and then again she that there is any power that can make us give glowed with such heat that she scorched the it up? What say you, Mistress Hate p” very clothes of those whom she passed. She “What say I?” cried Hate. “I shall fight wore a garland of nettles on her head, and a to the last; not because I love you, but because row of wasps sat on her lips, with their stings I wish to spite him. I have a liquid in which all thrust out. Small, fiery rockets shot from I can soak all the bars of the doors, and make her eyes, and the tread of her foot made the them doubly strong. I have a stone on which very pavement under her to tremble.
I can grind your swords and daggers, and Such were some of the inhabitants of the make them doubly sharp. I have a cup in old house. However much they might, on which I can dip your arrows, and make each common occasions, disagree and make war one poisonous. I can arm every stone and among themselves—and their quarrels often beam in the house, to make war upon the in. made the old house rock-the moment they truder! You talk about your powers! but it saw the owner coming near, they all united in is my presence and aid that is to give you the raging and shouting against him. They held victory. It will be a hard fight; for that young a great meeting in what was called the Great man would not walk yonder so quietly, and Chamber. It was a vast room in the shape of look so calm, unless he has more power than a heart. They seemed to know by instinct we now see. My very heart burns while I look that the young man whom they had seen was at him!” the real owner, who had bought the place at Every moment the inhabitants of the old so great a price. Their deliberations were not house expected to see an army come over the very long, for the chairman, whom they called hill, and to hear the sound of the trumpet Mr. Passion, pushed the votes through as fast calling them to surrender, or feel the ground as possible. The unanimous conclusion was shake under the tramping of horses, and the that the old house was their own-their right charging of cavalry. But they looked in vain. had never been questioned before; and keep At length the owner bent his steps towards it tbey could, and keep it they would.
the house. Those within kept very still, until
he had ascended the steps, and then they broke one. She held in her hand a golden vessel; out into a scream of defiance and scorn that out of which she poured a small silver stream. made all the rooms ring again. How they But as the waters ran, they grew more and hooted the idea of his coming alone to drive more, till they became a great river that shone them out, and take possession of his house ! like silver, and sparkled in light. Whether But the moment he laid his hand on the handle men drank of the waters, or bathed in them, of the door, the bars gave way, the bolts were they were at once refreshed, and felt that no withdrawn, and the doors silently and gently waters were as sweet as these. You never had opened! The light burst in, and all the inmates to seek for Peace,-for while you were in the stood in astonishment. The owner looked them path of duty, whether pleasant or unpleasant, in the face, and they began to crouch down, and she was always near with her golden vessel. hide themselves behind the doors and the fur- She would slip round and enter at any door, niture. But he threw over them a small cord and always came in silence. that held them and bound them, and with Then there was Jor-a very bright inmate, which he dragged them towards the door. who would clap his hands and cheer you when Then they began to shriek and struggle, and he could. He kept near a sober, quiet, hardbeg and pray to be let alone, and stay in the working old lady called Duty, and at every old house. But no! the owner had come, and
turn he had something to say to cheer her. they must leave! So he turned them out, and Some of the labours of Duty were hard, and with a single look made them fall backward on some of her burdens were heavy to carry, but the ground. He bade them begone out of his Joy was always at hand to give a lift, and sight. They slank away among the hedges wipe away the tear from her face, and feed her and weeds, and crept round into dark places, with the sweet fruit that grew on the tree not wishing to leave Sunken Hollow, because called Gladness. they hoped in some way to get possession of But among them all there was none more the old house again.
beautiful and interesting than a little creature The owner now set about cleansing the old that could but just walk. She seemed to have mansion. He first cleared out the cobwebs little wings budding out. But she was very and the filth that had been increasing there so small and weak. Yet she would trot round long; then he had the windows washed, that through all the rooms, wiping the windows sunlight might enter; the chimneys cleaned, so that there might be a clearer view; bring. so that thefires might burn clearly; the furniture ing in little armfuls of wood, to keep the fires mended and put to rights. The weeds and bright; snuffing the candles and lamps, that rubbish round the house were cleared away, the light might be more brilliant; and while the old trees removed, great heaps of bones put her bright eye seemed to see things a great out of sight, and soon the grounds began to way off, she would beckon with her finger, and look green, and the garden to shoot up with point to things far beyond the Hollow. She flowers and vegetables.
The well was cleared was a great favourite with all; and though out, and cool fresh water began to rise up, they had to nurse and feed her, yet they all and the whole face of everything was changed. had to confess that there was no living without
But the greatest change was in the inhabit- her. A thousand times a day they would call, ants of the old mansion. When it was all “Faith, FAITH, come and show me this ! ready, the owner filled up the rooms with new Come and untie this knot! Come and read guests entirely unlike the former inmates. me this writing !” Shall I mention a few of them?
may mention only one more of the new• First came in a beautiful creature with
He was a large, iron-built man, who golden hair and a voice of music. She saw that could walk longer and further than any of the all the fires and lamps were lighted, so that the rest, and his strong hand would lift them over whole house was warm and light. Her face chasms, or rocks, or anything that lay in their glowed with emotion, and it was plain at the path. He was a grave sort of person ; talked first glance, that she must have been born in but little, yet what he did say was always the skies. They called her name Love, and encouraging. He was rather a doer than a no one who felt the touch of her hand ever talker. Nobody ever saw him going backward, forgot the thrill.
or sitting down and waiting for others. His The second Ishall mention was named PEACE. name was PERSEVERANCE, and very brave he She was of calmer countenance than the former was, and always to be trusted.