It is as apparent in the most perfect of his smaller tales, Rappaccini's Daughter, as in The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance, The House of the Seven Gables, and The Marble Faun. You may open almost at random, and you are as sure to find it as to hear the ripple in Mozart's music, or the pathetic minor in a Neapolitan melody.
The irregular roof of a large house, standing on lower ground than the garden, with quaint gables and old chimneys, rose above the belt of shrubs; the tiles on it lay in layers that made Beth think of a wasp's nest, only that they were dark-red instead of grey; but she loved the colour as it appeared all amongst the green trees and up against the blue sky.
It was through these old-world places, past these very walls and gables, that the mail coaches rattled day after day when they "went down with victory" conveying the news of Waterloo and Trafalgar into the heart of merry England.
A curious, pathetic town, full of nuns and pigeons and old gables and strange dormer windows, and courtyards where French nobles once assembled fish will be sold there in a few hours. Once I spent a summer in Dieppe. And during the hour we had to wait for the train, during the hour that we watched the green sky widening between masses of shrouding cloud, I thought of ten years ago.
The intermediate ground, however, was beautifully studded with timber. In the immediate foreground ran the little river which afterwards skirted the city, and, just to the right of the cathedral, the pointed gables and chimneys of Hiram's Hospital peeped out of the elms which encompass it. "Yes," said he, joining her. "I shall have a beautifully complete view of my adversaries.
All the gnomes and elves might have dwelt there in peaceful fellowship with the peasants who ploughed the little fields, and gathered the garlanded hops, and lived in the farmsteads and village houses with those high timber-laced gables. "We ought to have come here long ago with the children, when they were children," said March. "No," his wife returned; "it would have been too much for them.
It is not large, nor overburdened with gables, not ornamental, nor what is called striking, in any way, but simply an old English house, genuine and true.
It had been bought by the Diocese in the nineties, and was representative of that transitional period in American architecture when the mansard roof had been repudiated, when as yet no definite types had emerged to take its place. The house had pointed gables, and a tiny and utterly useless porch that served only to darken the front door, made of heavy pieces of wood fantastically curved.
I recommend to their notice also, very near the Holstenthor, on the left bank of the Trave, five or six crimson houses, shouldering each other for mutual support, bulging out in front, pierced with six or seven stories of windows, with denticulated gables, the deep red reflection of them trailing in the water, like some high-colored apron which a servant-maid is washing.
His queer boat seemed to go through the water of its own accord, and the distance was much shorter than he had expected, for in a few hours he caught sight of the gate and the roof of the Sea King's Palace. And what a large place it was, with its numberless sloping roofs and gables, its huge gateways, and its gray stone walls!