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THE SCARLET LETTER

forms a medium of vocal communication with other parts of
the edifice. And here, some six months ago,–pacing from
corner to corner, or lounging on the long-legged stool, with his
elbow on the desk, and his eyes wandering up and down the
columns of the morning newspaper, you might have recog-
nized, honored reader, the same individual who welcomed
you into his cheery little study, where the sunshine glimmered
so pleasantly through the willow branches, on the western
side of the Old Manse. But now, should you go thither to
seek him, you would inquire in vain for the Loco-foco Sur-
veyor
. The besom of reform has swept him out of office; and
a worthier successor wears his dignity and pockets his emolu-
ments.

This old town of Salem-my native place, though I have
dwelt much away from it, both in boyhood and maturer years
-possesses, or did possess, a hold on my affections, the force
of which I have never realized during my seasons of actual
residence here. Indeed, so far as its physical aspect is con-
cerned, with its flat, unvaried surface, covered chiefly with
wooden houses, few or none of which pretend to architectural
beauty,– its irregularity, which is neither picturesque nor
quaint, but only tame,–its long and lazy street, lounging
wearisomely through the whole extent of the peninsula, with
Gallows Hill and New Guinea at one end, and a view of the
alms-house at the other,–such being the features of my
native town, it would be quite as reasonable to form a
sentimental attachment to a disarranged checkerboard. And
yet, though invariably happiest elsewhere, there is within me
a feeling for old Salem, which, in lack of a better phrase, I
must be content to call affection. The sentiment is probably
assignable to the deep and aged roots which my family
has struck into the soil. It is now nearly two centuries and a quarter
since the original Briton, the earliest emigrant of my name,
made his appearance in the wild and forest-bordered settle
ment, which has since become a city. And here his descendants

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