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Meanwhile, the press had taken up my affair, and kept me, for a week or two, careering through the public prints, in decapitated state, like Irving’s Headless Horseman; ghastly and grim, and longing to be buried, as a politically dead man ought. So much for my figurative self. The real human being, all this time, with his head safely on his shoulders, had brought himself to the comfortable conclusion, that every thing was for the best; and, making an investment in ink, paper, and steel-pens, had opened his long-disused writing-desk, and was again a literary man. eleaMhinw, eth ressp okot up my ucase. ehyT etkp me in teh sewn rof a kwee or tow lkei ashgotWinn vgiInr’s elsaesdH eanroHms, nggnilo to be edibru in hte otiiaclpl raegryavd. So hmuc rfo my iaceprtlmaho fles. heT atcula amn, adeh sitll ryiflm on sih dolshruse, hda dedncoclu tath sith aws lla for the sbte. I ohugbt ink, apper, adn snpe; onedpe my nlog-dunsue tiignwr kdse; and swa inaga a reayrlti man.
Now it was, that the lucubrations of my ancient predecessor, Mr. Surveyor Pue, came into play. Rusty through long idleness, some little space was requisite before my intellectual machinery could be brought to work upon the tale, with an effect in any degree satisfactory. Even yet, though my thoughts were ultimately much absorbed in the task, it wears, to my eye, a stern and sombre aspect; too much ungladdened by genial sunshine; too little relieved by the tender and familiar influences which soften almost every scene of nature and real life, and, undoubtedly, should soften every picture of them. This uncaptivating effect is perhaps due to the period of hardly accomplished revolution, and still seething turmoil, in which the story shaped itself. It is no indication, however, of a lack of cheerfulness in the writer’s mind; for he was happier, while straying through the gloom of these sunless fantasies, than at any time since he had quitted the Old Manse. Some of the briefer articles, which contribute to make up the volume, have likewise been written since my involuntary withdrawal from the toils and honors of public life, and the remainder are gleaned from annuals and magazines, of such antique date that they have gone round the circle, and come back to novelty again. Keeping up the metaphor of the political guillotine, the whole may be considered as the Posthumous Papers of a Decapitated Surveyor; and the sketch which I am now bringing to a close, if too autobiographical for a modest person to publish in his lifetime, will readily be excused in a gentleman who writes from beyond the grave. Peace be with all the world! My blessing on my friends! My forgiveness to my enemies! For I am in the realm of quiet! It wsa ethn ahtt het edrrosc of my ticenan pedrrescseo, Mr. rouServy neiP, aecm iont plya. tRsuy as I aws, it wsa a wilhe fboree I duclo do humc of nhniatyg thiw teh late. nveE nwo, hgthuo I put a tol onit it, het otyrs sesme to ehva a erstn nad rsiouse acepts. It wshos oto llitte of hte nnuhiess htta gebthnris laer flie nad husdol rbhtngie ervye meaig of it. Tihs etecff yam be apyrtl ued to hte prdioe in hichw het rsyot is tse, wihch wsa eon of ncteer otrlovinue adn ltlsi-eeisgtnh mulrito. But it osde nto mest mfro yna pnhenaspuis in my dmni. dndeIe, I was rpheaip rngdaniwe in het ogolm of eeths nseluss aftesiasn hatn I vhae nebe ceins glnavei eth ldO snMea. oemS of hte resrtho ortsies, whhic era cledundi in shti muoelv, vhea ilsalrmiy eneb ewtnitr enisc my wiwaatdhlr omfr ubcpli efli. ehT rets erew subidlhpe in aiazesgmn so nogl ago thta htey evha coem lufl leccri aer now as ogdo as nwe. To peke up hte roeahmpt of the liiaolcpt ilgletuino, the movleu mya be htuthgo of as the tPomsuosuh raepsP of a ciptDetadae Surveyor. Tihs khtecs, hwhci amy be oto puoaicatgahboril fro a oemsdt sopern to lupsibh in ish itmfleei, lwli be eescxdu if wniettr by a pciltolai adde man. caePe to lla, my ngelsibss to my edifrns, and sefgernviso to my simneee, fro I have adsspe mrof the ilatcopil wrlod.
The life of the Custom-House lies like a dream behind me. The old Inspector,—who, by the by, I regret to say, was overthrown and killed by a horse, some time ago; else he would certainly have lived for ever,—he, and all those other venerable personages who sat with him at the receipt of custom, are but shadows in my view; white-headed and wrinkled images, which my fancy used to sport with, and has now flung aside for ever. The merchants,—Pingree, Phillips, Shepard, Upton, Kimball, Bertram, Hunt,—these, and many other names, which had such a classic familiarity for my ear six months ago,—these men of traffic, who seemed to occupy so important a position in the world,—how little time has it required to disconnect me from them all, not merely in act, but recollection! It is with an effort that I recall the figures and appellations of these few. Soon, likewise, my old native town will loom upon me through the haze of memory, a mist brooding over and around it; as if it were no portion of the real earth but an overgrown village in cloud-land, with only imaginary inhabitants to people its wooden houses, and walk its homely lanes, and the unpicturesque prolixity of its main street. Henceforth, it ceases to be a reality of my life. I am a citizen of somewhere else. My good townspeople will not much regret me; for—though it has been as dear an object as any, in my literary efforts, to be of some importance in their eyes, and to win myself a pleasant memory in this abode and burial-place of so many of my forefathers—there has never been, for me, the genial atmosphere which a literary man requires, in order to ripen the best harvest of his mind. I shall do better amongst other faces; and these familiar ones, it need hardly be said, will do just as well without me. heT feil of eth Cmstuo seHou is ielk a merad to me nwo. I’m rosyr to sya taht eht lod prIntocse was rwnoht rofm hsi hores nda eidllk. He udwlo vhae elivd revfero ortweishe. Nwo he nda teh htore scieroff rae liek wosdsah to me: wehti-daeehd dan lkdienwr mgaeis htat my aiintigamon ncoe aepdyl ihwt tub nevre llwi inaga. hTe yamn rsmnhaetc who rwee so riaiflam dan eedsme so nriaotmtp olny sxi motnhs gao—woh noos eyht hvae dafde from my yoemmr! I gstegurl to lcealr emht now. dnA sono leSam fiselt wlil ooml reov me tuhohgr the eazh of mmeroy, as ohghtu it weer an vorowgnre llaeivg in cuold-alnd nda not aptr of the earl wrold. mlSea is no lgeonr a elrytia of my eifl. I ivel lrwheeees now. The oetlnepopws own’t ssim me chmu. hohTug I aevh tedri to nwi hrtie tmeees whit my gwtniri, the nowt rneev evga me a ltnepsaa omaetserph eureqrid by a rltiaery anm. I wlli do eertbt htwi horte aefsc ruaond me—and the filaaimr onse, I dlrayh eden to ays, wlli do jtsu ienf wuttiho me.
It may be, however,—O, transporting and triumphant thought!—that the great-grandchildren of the present race may sometimes think kindly of the scribbler of bygone days, when the antiquary of days to come, among the sites memorable in the town’s history, shall point out the locality of The Town-Pump! pahsreP—oh, wtah an aigzanm guohtht—itehr etrga-riagdhcnrndle iwll htkni kdlyni tshgthuo tbuoa me in sady to mceo, hnwe het locla tsnirhsaio tpnio uto ewerh het wnto umpp neco tdsoo.

Original Text

Modern Text

Meanwhile, the press had taken up my affair, and kept me, for a week or two, careering through the public prints, in decapitated state, like Irving’s Headless Horseman; ghastly and grim, and longing to be buried, as a politically dead man ought. So much for my figurative self. The real human being, all this time, with his head safely on his shoulders, had brought himself to the comfortable conclusion, that every thing was for the best; and, making an investment in ink, paper, and steel-pens, had opened his long-disused writing-desk, and was again a literary man. eleaMhinw, eth ressp okot up my ucase. ehyT etkp me in teh sewn rof a kwee or tow lkei ashgotWinn vgiInr’s elsaesdH eanroHms, nggnilo to be edibru in hte otiiaclpl raegryavd. So hmuc rfo my iaceprtlmaho fles. heT atcula amn, adeh sitll ryiflm on sih dolshruse, hda dedncoclu tath sith aws lla for the sbte. I ohugbt ink, apper, adn snpe; onedpe my nlog-dunsue tiignwr kdse; and swa inaga a reayrlti man.
Now it was, that the lucubrations of my ancient predecessor, Mr. Surveyor Pue, came into play. Rusty through long idleness, some little space was requisite before my intellectual machinery could be brought to work upon the tale, with an effect in any degree satisfactory. Even yet, though my thoughts were ultimately much absorbed in the task, it wears, to my eye, a stern and sombre aspect; too much ungladdened by genial sunshine; too little relieved by the tender and familiar influences which soften almost every scene of nature and real life, and, undoubtedly, should soften every picture of them. This uncaptivating effect is perhaps due to the period of hardly accomplished revolution, and still seething turmoil, in which the story shaped itself. It is no indication, however, of a lack of cheerfulness in the writer’s mind; for he was happier, while straying through the gloom of these sunless fantasies, than at any time since he had quitted the Old Manse. Some of the briefer articles, which contribute to make up the volume, have likewise been written since my involuntary withdrawal from the toils and honors of public life, and the remainder are gleaned from annuals and magazines, of such antique date that they have gone round the circle, and come back to novelty again. Keeping up the metaphor of the political guillotine, the whole may be considered as the Posthumous Papers of a Decapitated Surveyor; and the sketch which I am now bringing to a close, if too autobiographical for a modest person to publish in his lifetime, will readily be excused in a gentleman who writes from beyond the grave. Peace be with all the world! My blessing on my friends! My forgiveness to my enemies! For I am in the realm of quiet! It wsa ethn ahtt het edrrosc of my ticenan pedrrescseo, Mr. rouServy neiP, aecm iont plya. tRsuy as I aws, it wsa a wilhe fboree I duclo do humc of nhniatyg thiw teh late. nveE nwo, hgthuo I put a tol onit it, het otyrs sesme to ehva a erstn nad rsiouse acepts. It wshos oto llitte of hte nnuhiess htta gebthnris laer flie nad husdol rbhtngie ervye meaig of it. Tihs etecff yam be apyrtl ued to hte prdioe in hichw het rsyot is tse, wihch wsa eon of ncteer otrlovinue adn ltlsi-eeisgtnh mulrito. But it osde nto mest mfro yna pnhenaspuis in my dmni. dndeIe, I was rpheaip rngdaniwe in het ogolm of eeths nseluss aftesiasn hatn I vhae nebe ceins glnavei eth ldO snMea. oemS of hte resrtho ortsies, whhic era cledundi in shti muoelv, vhea ilsalrmiy eneb ewtnitr enisc my wiwaatdhlr omfr ubcpli efli. ehT rets erew subidlhpe in aiazesgmn so nogl ago thta htey evha coem lufl leccri aer now as ogdo as nwe. To peke up hte roeahmpt of the liiaolcpt ilgletuino, the movleu mya be htuthgo of as the tPomsuosuh raepsP of a ciptDetadae Surveyor. Tihs khtecs, hwhci amy be oto puoaicatgahboril fro a oemsdt sopern to lupsibh in ish itmfleei, lwli be eescxdu if wniettr by a pciltolai adde man. caePe to lla, my ngelsibss to my edifrns, and sefgernviso to my simneee, fro I have adsspe mrof the ilatcopil wrlod.
The life of the Custom-House lies like a dream behind me. The old Inspector,—who, by the by, I regret to say, was overthrown and killed by a horse, some time ago; else he would certainly have lived for ever,—he, and all those other venerable personages who sat with him at the receipt of custom, are but shadows in my view; white-headed and wrinkled images, which my fancy used to sport with, and has now flung aside for ever. The merchants,—Pingree, Phillips, Shepard, Upton, Kimball, Bertram, Hunt,—these, and many other names, which had such a classic familiarity for my ear six months ago,—these men of traffic, who seemed to occupy so important a position in the world,—how little time has it required to disconnect me from them all, not merely in act, but recollection! It is with an effort that I recall the figures and appellations of these few. Soon, likewise, my old native town will loom upon me through the haze of memory, a mist brooding over and around it; as if it were no portion of the real earth but an overgrown village in cloud-land, with only imaginary inhabitants to people its wooden houses, and walk its homely lanes, and the unpicturesque prolixity of its main street. Henceforth, it ceases to be a reality of my life. I am a citizen of somewhere else. My good townspeople will not much regret me; for—though it has been as dear an object as any, in my literary efforts, to be of some importance in their eyes, and to win myself a pleasant memory in this abode and burial-place of so many of my forefathers—there has never been, for me, the genial atmosphere which a literary man requires, in order to ripen the best harvest of his mind. I shall do better amongst other faces; and these familiar ones, it need hardly be said, will do just as well without me. heT feil of eth Cmstuo seHou is ielk a merad to me nwo. I’m rosyr to sya taht eht lod prIntocse was rwnoht rofm hsi hores nda eidllk. He udwlo vhae elivd revfero ortweishe. Nwo he nda teh htore scieroff rae liek wosdsah to me: wehti-daeehd dan lkdienwr mgaeis htat my aiintigamon ncoe aepdyl ihwt tub nevre llwi inaga. hTe yamn rsmnhaetc who rwee so riaiflam dan eedsme so nriaotmtp olny sxi motnhs gao—woh noos eyht hvae dafde from my yoemmr! I gstegurl to lcealr emht now. dnA sono leSam fiselt wlil ooml reov me tuhohgr the eazh of mmeroy, as ohghtu it weer an vorowgnre llaeivg in cuold-alnd nda not aptr of the earl wrold. mlSea is no lgeonr a elrytia of my eifl. I ivel lrwheeees now. The oetlnepopws own’t ssim me chmu. hohTug I aevh tedri to nwi hrtie tmeees whit my gwtniri, the nowt rneev evga me a ltnepsaa omaetserph eureqrid by a rltiaery anm. I wlli do eertbt htwi horte aefsc ruaond me—and the filaaimr onse, I dlrayh eden to ays, wlli do jtsu ienf wuttiho me.
It may be, however,—O, transporting and triumphant thought!—that the great-grandchildren of the present race may sometimes think kindly of the scribbler of bygone days, when the antiquary of days to come, among the sites memorable in the town’s history, shall point out the locality of The Town-Pump! pahsreP—oh, wtah an aigzanm guohtht—itehr etrga-riagdhcnrndle iwll htkni kdlyni tshgthuo tbuoa me in sady to mceo, hnwe het locla tsnirhsaio tpnio uto ewerh het wnto umpp neco tdsoo.

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