IN the very heart of old New England towns there may often be seen some dilapidated house falling into ruins, surrounded by half-dead fruit-trees and straggling shrubs, while an adjacent garden, once productive and blooming, runs to waste beside it. Its gates are off the hinges, the fences falling to pieces, the hedges untrimmed, the flower-beds smothered in weeds; coarse burdocks and rampant wild vines encumber the ground and run over into the highway, the trim paths have disappeared, the out-houses are toppling over : forlornness and abandonment speak in every line of the decaying house, the former gentility of which renders its decline still more melancholy.
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