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In this passage from "Old Esther Dudley" Hawthorne outlines Esther's guardianship of the abandoned structure.

"The only actual share which she assumed in the business of the mansion was to glide through its passages and public chambers, late at night, to see that the servants had dropped no fire from their flaring torches, nor left embers crackling and blazing on the hearths. Perhaps it was this invariable custom of walking her rounds in the hush of midnight that caused the superstition of the times to invest the old woman with attributes of awe and mystery; fabling that she had entered the portal of the Province House, none knew whence, in the train of the first Royal Governor, and that it was her fate to dwell there till the last should have departed." (courtesy of Eric Eldred)




Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/10165/


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