It is now nearly two centuries and a quarter since the original Briton, the earliest emigrant of my name, made his appearance in the wild and forest — bordered settlement which has since become a city.
But the town was all asleep. And now surrounded, like the saint-like personage of olden times, with a radiant halo, that glorified him amid this gloomy night of sin,--as if the departed Governor had left him an inheritance of his glory, or as if he had caught upon himself the distant shine of the celestial city, while looking thitherward to see the triumphant pilgrim pass within its gates,--now, in short, good Father Wilson was moving homeward, aiding his footsteps with a lighted lantern.
Not seldom, it had been seen by multitudes. An unvaried pall of cloud muffled the whole expanse of sky from zenith to horizon. His integrity was perfect; it was a law of nature with him, rather than a choice or a principle; nor can it be otherwise than the main condition of an intellect so remarkably clear and accurate as his to be honest and regular in the administration of affairs.
Hester is also seen embroidering baby garments; instead of Puritan colors, she uses most un-Puritan-like lavish and rich materials.
In short, unpleasant as was my predicament, at best, I saw much reason to congratulate myself that I was on the losing side rather than the triumphant one. Detecting the gleam of Governor Bellingham's lamp, the old lady quickly extinguished her own, and vanished. A mockery at which angels blushed and wept, while fiends rejoiced, with jeering laughter.
With the customary infirmity of temper that characterizes this unhappy fowl, she appears by the fierceness of her beak and eye, and the general truculency of her attitude, to threaten mischief to the inoffensive community; and especially to warn all citizens careful of their safety against intruding on the premises which she overshadows with her wings.
My fellow-officers, and the merchants and sea-captains with whom my official duties brought me into any manner of connection, viewed me in no other light, and probably knew me in no other character.
It threw a gleam of recognition, on here a post, and there a garden fence, and here a latticed window-pane, and there a pump, with its full trough of water, and here, again, an arched door of oak, with an iron knocker, and a rough log for the door-step.
He explains in a lengthy paragraph that love and hate have a lot in common, and perhaps in the next life, both the spurned husband and the minister will rest in peace. It's unclear what else can be found inside the book.
Though young, Dimmesdale is considered a learned theologian. Most people say they saw a scarlet A imprinted on Dimmesdale's chest, but there is conjecture as to its origin.
It was pleasant in the summer forenoons — when the fervent heat, that almost liquefied the rest of the human family, merely communicated a genial warmth to their half torpid systems — it was pleasant to hear them chatting in the back entry, a row of them all tipped against the wall, as usual; while the frozen witticisms of past generations were thawed out, and came bubbling with laughter from their lips.
She is remorseful for it. It is no matter that the place is joyless for him; that he is weary of the old wooden houses, the mud and dust, the dead level of site and sentiment, the chill east wind, and the chillest of social atmospheres; — all these, and whatever faults besides he may see or imagine, are nothing to the purpose.
And yet it strangely interested me.
This feeble and most sensitive of spirits could do neither, yet continually did one thing or another, which intertwined, in the same inextricable knot, the agony of heaven-defying guilt and vain repentance. But this seldom happens. Whom would they discern there, with the red eastern light upon his brow.
This, in fact — a desire to put myself in my true position as editor, or very little more, of the most prolix among the tales that make up my volume — this, and no other, is my true reason for assuming a personal relation with the public. Detecting the gleam of Governor Bellingham's lamp, the old lady quickly extinguished her own, and vanished.
Dimmesdale reached the spot where, now so long since, Hester Prynne had lived through her first hours of public ignominy. He had been driven hither by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere, and whose own sister and closely linked companion was that Cowardice which invariably drew him back, with her tremulous gripe, just when the other impulse had hurried him to the verge of a disclosure.
If his notice was sought, an expression of courtesy and interest gleamed out upon his features, proving that there was light within him, and that it was only the outward medium of the intellectual lamp that obstructed the rays in their passage.
My conclusion was that he had no soul, no heart, no mind; nothing, as I have already said, but instincts; and yet, withal, so cunningly had the few materials of his character been put together that there was no painful perception of deficiency, but, on my part, an entire contentment with what I found in him.
Might it not, in the tedious lapse of official life that lay before me, finally be with me as it was with this venerable friend — to make the dinner-hour the nucleus of the day, and to spend the rest of it, as an old dog spends it, asleep in the sunshine or in the shade.
The town did not awake; or, if it did, the drowsy slumberers mistook the cry either for something frightful in a dream, or for the noise of witches, whose voices, at that period, were often heard to pass over the settlements or lonely cottages, as they rode with Satan through the air.
To the citizens of Massachusetts, there is a contrast. I must plead guilty to the charge of abbreviating the official breath of more than one of these venerable servants of the republic.
In the way of literary talk, it is true, the Naval Officer — an excellent fellow, who came into the office with me, and went out only a little later — would often engage me in a discussion about one or the other of his favourite topics, Napoleon or Shakespeare.
He attributes this last version to the loyalty of friends to Dimmesdale. She withdrew her hand from Mr. Whom would they discern there, with the red eastern light upon his brow. Still other observers claim that the minister's death serves as a parable showing that even the most saintly of us are sinners.
The earliest riser, coming forth in the dim twilight, would perceive a vaguely-defined figure aloft on the place of shame; and, half-crazed betwixt alarm and curiosity, would go, knocking from door to door, summoning all the people to behold the ghost--as he needs must think it--of some defunct transgressor.
There is the little domestic scenery of the well-known apartment; the chairs, with each its separate individuality; the centre-table, sustaining a work-basket, a volume or two, and an extinguished lamp; the sofa; the book-case; the picture on the wall — all these details, so completely seen, are so spiritualised by the unusual light, that they seem to lose their actual substance, and become things of intellect.
He might truly be termed a legitimate son of the revenue system, dyed in the wool, or rather born in the purple; since his sire, a Revolutionary colonel, and formerly collector of the port, had created an office for him, and appointed him to fill it, at a period of the early ages which few living men can now remember.
If the same multitude which had stood as eye-witnesses while Hester Prynne sustained her punishment could now have been summoned forth, they would have discerned no face above the platform nor hardly the outline of a human shape, in the dark grey of the midnight.
Shortly afterwards, the like grisly sense of the humorous again stole in among the solemn phantoms of his thought. Presumably, the book includes a ledger of the souls that have been signed over to the Devil. Nov 16, · The Scarlet Letter: The Symbol of the Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne's scarlet token liberates her more than it punishes her.
First of all, Hester's soul is freed by her admission of her crime; by enduring her earthly punishment, Hester is assured of a place in the heavens.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Home / Literature / by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere, and whose own sister and closely linked companion was that Cowardice which invariably after a wary observation of the darkness--into which, nevertheless, he could see but little further than he might into a mill.
The Free Library > Literature > Nathaniel Hawthorne > The Scarlet Letter > THE MINISTER'S VIGIL THE MINISTER'S VIGIL Walking in the shadow of a dream, as it were, and perhaps actually under the influence of a species of somnambulism, Mr.
Dimmesdale reached the spot where, now so long since, Hester Prynne had lived through her first. The first two things any community makes, according to the narrator of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, are a cemetery and a prison.
This is an indication, of course, of two things that.
And thus, while standing on the scaffold, in this vain show of expiation, Mr. Dimmesdale was overcome with a great horror of mind, as if the universe were gazing at. Summary. Several versions circulate of what actually transpired in the marketplace. Most people say they saw a scarlet A imprinted on Dimmesdale's chest, but there is conjecture as to its origin.
Some think the emblem is a hideous torture the minister inflicted on himself, others think it is the result of Chillingworth's drugs, and still others believe it was remorse gnawing its way out of.An observation on the cowardice of dimmesdale in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne