This young Matthew Maule, the carpenter, it must be observed, was a person little understood, and not very generally liked, in the town where he resided; not that anything could be alleged against his integrity, or his skill and diligence in the handicraft which he exercised.
But, after all, what worked most to the young carpenter's disadvantage was, first, the reserve and sternness of his natural disposition, and next, the fact of his not being a church-communicant, and the suspicion of his holding heretical tenets in matters of religion and polity.
Pyncheon's message, the carpenter merely tarried to finish a small job, which he happened to have in hand, and then took his way towards the House of the Seven Gables.
There was a vertical sundial on the front gable; and as the carpenter passed beneath it, he looked up and noted the hour.
But the carpenter had a great deal of pride and stiffness in his nature; and, at this moment, moreover, his heart was bitter with the sense of hereditary wrong, because he considered the great Pyncheon House to be standing on soil which should have been his own.
Black Scipio answered the summons in a prodigious, hurry; but showed the whites of his eyes in amazement on beholding only the carpenter.
"I didn't think there was any danger," said Miss Carpenter, struggling with her tears.
"Hush, Agatha," said Miss Carpenter. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
"Oh!" said Miss Carpenter slowly, as if this reason had not occurred to her before.
Miss Carpenter again gave her tears way, and could not reply.
"She said it was all your fault," sobbed Miss Carpenter.
"I b-believe you LIKE writing in the Recording Angel," said Miss Carpenter spitefully.
'You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise.'
'Then I like the Carpenter best--if he didn't eat so many as the Walrus.'
Concerning the old carpenter
who fixed the bed for the writer, I only mentioned him because he, like many of what are called very common people, became the nearest thing to what is understandable and lovable of all the grotesques in the writer's book.