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street parallel with the High Street of the
city, paved with round pebbles, and lined, on
each side, by huge lime trees, at regular
intervals. Looking down it, we could see the
cathedral at the bottomthe great window
of the choir exactly filling up the breadth
between the houses at the end. Ours was
one of the oldest houses in the city. The
fronts of each floor projected, one over the
other, darkening the little old-fashioned shop
below. I have a vision, even now, of a summer
evening, when, being at the door, and looking
down the street, I saw the walls and towers of
the cathedral standing up in the clear sky.
The sun was setting behind them, and a long
shadow was cast down the street. The air
was stillthe trees, in full leaf, were still;
the swallows, dropping from the roofs, passed
swiftly, up and down the street, from end to
end. I stood and watched them, sometimes
flying boldly down the middle of the roadway;
and againwith a turn that showed a
flash of white, skimming along the sides of
the housescoming straight on, as if they
would strike me in the face, and then
suddenly passing over my head, and away, before
I could turn up again to their clay nests under
the roofsclinging and fluttering awhile
then dropping, shaving the ground, passing
each other, to and fro, as if they would never
tire. Afterwards I fell into a reverie, and,
awakening, the swallows were gone, the stars
were coming out, and the cathedral walls
were dark.

My mother had died in my childhood, and
an old aunt, the only relative I ever saw,
lived with us, managing the household.
When my father and I had done our work,
he went down and sat with her; reading, or
playing backgammon, in what we called the
oak parlour; while I returned to my favourite
toil in the garden, or in a shed at the back.
No one interfered with me. I was accounted
rather eccentric, and enjoyed all the little
privileges and freedom from observation
which that reputation brings with it.
I was indeed a strange being. A wider
knowledge of mankinda more frequent
contact with the worldhave made me now,
I hope, a better man; but, at that time I
lived only for myself: my pursuits and my
ambition occupied all my thoughts.
Engrossed for ever by these, the sorrows of
others did not touch me. I worshipped only
beauty. I would not give up a moment for
the sake of others, or endure the slightest
obstacle to my purpose. I was fretful and
irritable when disturbed; and, when left to
myself, reservedalmost morose. My pride
was a kind of madness. I could not bear that
my father even should see the carvings that I
made, lest he should find some fault in them.
There was another sculptor in the city, a
carver of monuments, and a man of some
skill. He met me, one day, and said that he
had heard of my attempts, and offered to
assist me; but I told him that "I could go on
very well alone." I felt angry with him in
my heart. I thought he wished to persuade
me to show him my carvings, in order to
ridicule them, and try to move me from my
resolution. I knew that no one liked me,
except my father; but this did not trouble
me. "Let them think of me what they will,"
I thought, "they can neither help, nor hinder
me in my purpose."

I was working in the garden as usual, one
fine summer evening, carving a greyhound
from a drawing I had made. I had been for
some time wholly occupied with my task, and
unconscious of everything else; when,
suddenly raising my eyes, I saw a young woman
looking at me from the gardens of the alms-
houses. She was but a few yards from me;
and I fixed my eyes upon her, with the gaze
of a person suddenly aroused from deep
thought; for I saw that she was very
beautiful. Afterwards, I turned my face
away, lest she should feel abashed. When I
looked up again she was gone.

I resumed my work, and soon forgot the
circumstance; but several days after, I suddenly
recalled her face, and saw her, in my
imagination, as visibly as if she stood beside
me. I shut my eyes and saw her still in the
gloom. I fancied I had seen her before: I
could not recollect where, or when; but it
seemed many years before. I connected her
in my mind with the cathedral. I thought
I had seen her there with an old man and a
child, when there was a noise of bells ringing,
and birds fluttering under the roof. I
had been there and lingered with them till
dusk; when, going out at the door together,
I missed them suddenly: then, I had walked
on, thinking to overtake them again; but I
could not find them, although I heard the
child's voice somewhere: and I had
wandered for a long time, still hearing the child's
voice, and thinking myself near them, but
finding them not; till I came into a strange
place and could not find my way back. Upon
reflection, I knew that this must have been a
dream; and yet I thought I had dreamt it
long before I saw her.

Afterwards, I watched for her in the afternoon;
and one day I saw a figure, which I
knew was hers, pass in at the gate, and across
the grass-plot, though I did not see her face.
I felt disappointed and anxious to see her
again. I walked down to the cathedral one
afternoon, and sauntered through the aisles,
striving to recall my fancy of having met her
there; but I felt convinced that it was a
dream. Many days passed, and I did not see
her. Disappointment increased my anxiety.
The thought of her would not let me rest, and
for a time I relaxed in my labours. Once
I flung my tools down, and sat beside my
work to muse about her: afterwards, I rose
suddenly, and, springing over the low wall,
entered the house which she had visited, for I
was known to all the inmates of the alms-