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[145] was graduated at Bowdoin, with Longfellow, in the class of 1825, and returned to Salem for thirteen brooding lonely years in which he tried to teach himself the art of story-writing. His earliest tales, like Irving's, are essays in which characters emerge; he is absorbed in finding a setting for a preconceived “moral” ; he is in love with allegory and parable. His own words about his first collection of stories, Twice-told tales, have often been quoted: “They have the pale tint of flowers that blossomed in too retired a shade.” Yet they are for the most part exquisitely written. After a couple of years in the Boston Custom-House, and a residence at the socialistic community of Brook Farm, Hawthorne made the happiest of marriages to Sophia Peabody, and for nearly four years dwelt in the Old Manse at Concord. He described it in one of the ripest of his essays, the Preface to Mosses from an Old Manse, his second collection of stories. After three years in the Custom-House at Salem, his dismissal in 1849 gave him leisure to produce his masterpiece, The Scarlet letter, published in 1850. He was now forty-six. In 1851, he published The House of the seven Gables, the Wonder-book, and The snow-image, and other tales. In 1852 came The

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