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Excerpts from Chapter 7, "The Guest,"

Excerpts from Chapter 7, "The Guest," of The House of the Seven Gables, which focus on Phoebe

Phoebe and Hepzibah spent considerable time in the kitchen, preparing and eating meals and probably staying warm by the fire. On the occasion of Clifford's return after a 30-year absence in prison, the two women prepared a feast for his first full meal in freedom.
 
. . . Hepzibah's small and ancient table, supported on its slender and graceful legs, and covered with a cloth of the richest damask, looked worthy to be the scene and centre of one of the cheerfullest of parties. The vapor of the broiled fish arose like incense from the shrine of a barbarian idol, while the fragrance of the Mocha might have gratified the nostrils of a tutelary Lar, or whatever power has scope over a modern breakfast-table. Phoebe's Indian cakes were the sweetest offering of all,--in their hue befitting the rustic altars of the innocent and golden age,--or, so brightly yellow were they, resembling some of the bread which was changed to glistening gold, when Midas tried to eat it. The butter must not be forgotten,--butter which Phoebe herself had churned, in her own rural home, and brought it to her cousin as a propitiatory gift,--smelling of clover-blossoms, and diffusing the charm of pastoral scenery through the dark-panelled parlor. All this, with the quaint gorgeousness of the old China cups and saucers, and the crested spoons, and a silver cream-jug (Hepzibah's only other article of plate, and shaped like the rudest porringer), set out a board at which the stateliest of old Colonel Pyncheon's guests need not have scorned to take his place. But the Puritan's face scowled down out of the picture, as if nothing on the table pleased his appetite.(Chapter 7- "The Guest" in The House of the Seven Gables) "



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