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[283] improvements; and they are built, half the time, at the expense of some native of the town who may not have set eyes upon it for many years. Nay, the instinct lasts into the next generation; and Mrs. Leighton tells us that children born on the Pacific coast often speak of the unseen Atlantic region as “home.”

It is to be observed that in these cases of reverting to the early haunts the old house is not always piously preserved, as is so frequently the case in Europe. No American can help being charmed with the ancestral homes of England; there are so few instances in this country of the permanence of a homestead through many generations. Some such there are: in the rural parts of Essex County, Massachusetts, there are farms that have stood for two hundred years under the same family name; and I lived at Newport, Rhode Island, opposite an estate which had never passed by a deed, but was still held by the old Indian title, and was occupied by the fifth or sixth generation of the original stock. But when one thinks of the tremendous price that is paid in England for this permanence — of the unjust and often cruel working of that practice of primogeniture by which it is secured, and of that sea of houseless poverty that is seething all around it — to say nothing of the incidental result attributed to primogeniture by Dr. Johnson, that it made but one fool

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