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music from the room below, and many a time 1 slip down and forget the old attic and my books and do not go up again till another day.
Yet I believe I never turn to go out of the door without giving a half regretful look at my fire. That, after all, is the real occupant of the room. It owns everything, and I may come and visit it. There it sits in its comfortable iron chair, and I feed it with coal, and dust about it, and sweep up around it, and sometimes sit down before it with the bellows, and gently tickle it with faint puffs of wind that make it jump and laugh with pleasure. Then it gets to burning steadily and with hearty cheer, and I take my rug and stretch myself before it, or sink into my easy chair while it tells me stories and crackles over its bright fancies. Just over it is a light mantel holding trifles; among them a bronze monk with a candle in his hand and afflicted with a painful sense of a hinge in his back. Yet he reads calmly on. I unhinge him to take out a match from under his girdle — with his head thrown alarmingly back he still reads; I shut him up with a snap, and he reads calmly on. Below the shelf is a row of plaster casts from marbles on the Temple of Apollo at Bassae. The marbles are very large; these casts are very
small, but there is a prodigious amount of life going on over them — horses and men struggling together and so tangled up that I never have quite made out which is to be victorious. So there is a little touch of history on my chimney.
Best of all is it when I have drawn my chair before the fire and my little niece comes in by the doorway, like a bit of the music which sometimes steals up to me, and finds a place somewhere in the chair, and we look at the fire, and then she tells me stories, and I tell her of the time when she used to climb into the paper basket and I carried her down to sell her to grandmother.
It happens to me now that I must leave my attic for another home. I have packed my books and taken the pictures from the walls. The red carpet is rolled up, the red cushion stowed away, the desk and chairs move off in a procession down-stairs. How shall I carry away the fancies and stories and thoughts which have endeared the room to me? Some indeed have already gone out with me into society ; I will gather those that seem most fitting and so go out from my little attic. Heaven send those who sit there after me as pleasant hours as I have had, and so forth we go, my little book and I.
LOOKING AT A PICTURE.
Eight o'clock in the Evening. It is snowing and blowing out-of-doors, and I have drawn the red curtain across my window, but sit in my window-seat still, with my feet drawn up on the cushion. The gas in the pipe is not lighted yet, but the gas in the coal is lighted, and flashes out of the fire-place most cheerily. It makes everything very distinct, and looking about I find nothing better to rest my eyes on than a picture which hangs over the mantel-shelf. It has no name except the one that I give it; for the artist who drew it put no name upon it, and he died forty years ago. It is “ The Entrance," by William Blake; and as I sit in my spuggery, the storm howling outside, this picture takes my recollections and my imaginings across the ocean, and back to the time when William Blake made it. I found it in a picture-store on the famous Strand of London, as one of the great streets running parallel with the Thames is called. [t had been lying neglected there for some time, waiting for some one to come who had