Hawthorne in Salem Search Hawthorne in Salem





Facebook Page
[Home]  

Excerpt from Chapter 5

Excerpt from Chapter 5 that provides Hepzibah's version of Alice's fate and the ways that she senses Alice's presence around the house

When the customer was gone, Hepzibah talked rather vaguely, and at great length, about a certain Alice Pyncheon, who had been exceedingly beautiful and accomplished in her lifetime, a hundred years ago. The fragrance of her rich and delightful character still lingered about the place where she had lived, as a dried rosebud scents the drawer where it has withered and perished. This lovely Alice had met with some great and mysterious calamity, and had grown thin and white, and gradually faded out of the world. But, even now, she was supposed to haunt the House of the Seven Gables, and, a great many times,--especially when one of the Pyncheons was to die,--she had been heard playing sadly and beautifully on the harpsichord. One of these tunes, just as it had sounded from her spiritual touch, had been written down by an amateur of music; it was so exquisitely mournful that nobody, to this day, could bear to hear it played, unless when a great sorrow had made them know the still profounder sweetness of it.

"Was it the same harpsichord that you showed me?" inquired Phoebe.

"The very same," said Hepzibah. "It was Alice Pyncheon's harpsichord. (Chapter 5)


Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/11604/


About US Privacy Policy Copyright Credits Site Map Site Help