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Editor’s Note: Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his classic understatement, wrote in the preface to The House of the Seven Gables that he “would feel it a singular gratification if this Romance might effectively convince mankind (or, indeed, any one man) of the folly of tumbling down an avalanche of ill-gotten gold, or real estate, on the heads of an unfortunnat posterity, thereby to maim and crush them, until the accumulated mass shall be scattered abroad in its original atoms.” This, Hawthorne wrote, is...

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