Then tell me what thou seest! Yonder woman, Sir, you must know, was the wife of a certain learned man, English by birth, but who had long ago dwelt in Amsterdam, whence some good time agone he was minded to cross over and cast in his lot with us of the Massachusetts.
Once again, for people in the stations of life which Hester and Dimmesdale hold, it would be unthinkable for them to comfort each other. Dimmesdale -- young clergyman, who had come from one of the great English universities, bringing all the learning of the age into our wild forest land.
The minister here made a pause; although the music still played the stately and rejoicing march to which the procession moved. What say you to it, once again, brother Dimmesdale? Focuses on traditional readings of the classics of world literature.
Ye cannot take it off. Hester Prynne, meanwhile, kept her place upon the pedestal of shame, with glazed eyes, and an air of weary indifference. She openly talks with Dimmesdale about subjects which would never be mentioned in any place other than the forest.
Bellingham, for the last few moments, had kept an anxious eye upon him. Now that there was an end, they needed more breath, more fit to support the gross and earthly life into which they relapsed, than that atmosphere which the preacher had converted into words of flame, and had burdened with the rich fragrance of his thought.
Peradventure the guilty one stands looking on at this sad spectacle, unknown of man, and forgetting that God sees him. Support me up yonder scaffold. It has already been noticed that directly over the platform on which Hester Prynne stood was a kind of balcony, or open gallery, appended to the meeting-house.
God knows; and He is merciful! Dimmesdale, and held up its little arms with a half-pleased, half-plaintive murmur. It irks me, nevertheless, that the partner of her iniquity should not at least, stand on the scaffold by her side. Dimmesdale -- as to most men, in their various spheres, though seldom recognised until they see it far behind them -- an epoch of life more brilliant and full of triumph than any previous one, or than any which could hereafter be.
The thought of Hester and Dimmesdale having an intimate conversation in the confines of the society in which they live is incomprehensible. Lo, the scarlet letter which Hester wears!
How feeble and pale he looked, amid all his triumph!
Thus, there had come to the Reverend Mr. His will be done! Such an interview, perhaps, would have been more terrible than even to meet him as she now did, with the hot mid-day sun burning down upon her face, and lighting up its shame; with the scarlet token of infamy on her breast; with the sin-born infant in her arms; with a whole people, drawn forth as to a festival, staring at the features that should have been seen only in the quiet gleam of the fireside, in the happy shadow of a home, or beneath a matronly veil at church.
This is precisely the escape route from strict mandates of law and religion, to a refuge where men, as well as women, can open up and be themselves. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt. It is a little remarkable, that?
Then, as such a man interested in human affairs, the narrator supposedly discovers "a treasure that would be brought to life. In the open air their rapture broke into speech.
According to their united testimony, never had man spoken in so wise, so high, and so holy a spirit, as he that spake this day; nor had inspiration ever breathed through mortal lips more evidently than it did through his.
Looking instinctively from the open window, --for it was summer-time, --the minister beheld Hester Prynne and little Pearl passing along the footpath that traversed the enclosure.
One of his clerical brethren -- it was the venerable John Wilson -- observing the state in which Mr. Take heed how thou deniest to him -- who, perchance, hath not the courage to grasp it for himself -- the bitter, but wholesome, cup that is now presented to thy lips!
This -- though doubtless it might acquire additional force and volume from the child-like loyalty which the age awarded to its rulers -- was felt to be an irrepressible outburst of enthusiasm kindled in the auditors by that high strain of eloquence which was yet reverberating in their ears.
The multitude, silent till then, broke out in a strange, deep voice of awe and wonder, which could not as yet find utterance, save in this murmur that rolled so heavily after the departed spirit.
Among those who promotedthe design, Governor Bellingham was said to be one of the most busy. How fared it with him, then? In a moment more the crowd began to gush forth from the doors of the church.Delve into The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne's meditation on human alienation and its effect on the soul in this story set in seventeenth-century Massachusetts and be dazzled by literature.
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