But the sentiment has likewise its moral quality. The figure ofthat first ancestor, invested by family tradition with a dim anddusky grandeur, was present to my boyish imagination as far backas I can remember. It still haunts me, and induces a sort ofhome-feeling with the past, which I scarcely claim in referenceto the present phase of the town. I seem to have a strongerclaim to a residence here on account of this grave, bearded,sable-cloaked, and steeple-crowned progenitor-who came so early,with his Bible and his sword, and trode the unworn street withsuch a stately port, and made so large a figure, as a man of warand peace--a stronger claim than for myself, whose name isseldom heard and my face hardly known. He was a soldier,legislator, judge; he was a ruler in the Church; he had all thePuritanic traits, both good and evil. He waslikewise a bitter persecutor; as witness the Quakers, who haveremembered him in their histories, and relate an incident of hishard severity towards a woman of their sect, which will lastlonger, it is to be feared, than any record of his better deeds,although these were many. His son, too, inherited thepersecuting spirit, and made himself so conspicuous in themartyrdom of the witches, that their blood may fairly be said tohave left a stain upon him. So deep a stain, indeed, that hisdry old bones, in the Charter-street burial-ground, must stillretain it, if they have not crumbled utterly to dust I know notwhether these ancestors of mine bethought themselves to repent,and ask pardon of Heaven for their cruelties; or whether they arenow groaning under the heavy consequences of them in anotherstate of being. At all events, I, the present writer, as theirrepresentative, hereby take shame upon myself for their sakes,and pray that any curse incurred by them--as I have heard, andas the dreary and unprosperous condition of the race, for many along year back, would argue to exist--may be now and henceforthremoved.
In the second storey of the Custom-House there is a large room,in which the brick-work and naked rafters have never been coveredwith panelling and plaster. The edifice--originally projectedon a scale adapted to the old commercial enterprise of the port,and with an idea of subsequent prosperity destined never to berealized--contains far more space than its occupants know whatto do with. This airy hall, therefore, over the Collector'sapartments, remains unfinished to this day, and, in spite of theaged cobwebs that festoon its dusky beams, appears still to awaitthe labour of the carpenter and mason. At one end of the room,in a recess, were a number of barrels piled one upon another,containing bundles of official documents. Large quantities ofsimilar rubbish lay lumbering the floor. It was sorrowful to thinkhow many days, and weeks, and months, and years of toil had beenwasted on these musty papers, which were now only an encumbranceon earth, and were hidden away in this forgotten corner, nevermore to be glanced at by human eyes. But then, what reams ofother manuscripts--filled, not with the dulness of officialformalities, but with the thought of inventive brains and therich effusion of deep hearts--had gone equally to oblivion; andthat, moreover, without serving a purpose in their day, as theseheaped-up papers had, and--saddest of all--withoutpurchasing for their writers the comfortable livelihood which theclerks of the Custom-House had gained by these worthlessscratchings of the pen. Yet not altogether worthless, perhaps,as materials of local history. Here, no doubt, statistics of theformer commerce of Salem might be discovered, and memorials ofher princely merchants--old King Derby--old Billy Gray--oldSimon Forrester--and many another magnate in his day, whosepowdered head, however, was scarcely in the tomb before hismountain pile of wealth began to dwindle. The founders of thegreater part of the families which now compose the aristocracy ofSalem might here be traced, from the petty and obscure beginningsof their traffic, at periods generally much posterior to theRevolution, upward to what their children look upon aslong-established rank,
A Study In Scarlet - Essay by Budekhoa - Anti Essays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter, life centers on a rigid Puritan society which does not allow open self-expression, so the characters have to seek alternate means in order to relieve their personal anguishes and desires.
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With new ideas about women, main characters’ stories intertwined, and many different themes, The Scarlet Letter remains today as a extremely popular novel about 17th century Boston, Massachusetts.
SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Character List
A portion of his facts, by-the-by, did me good service in thepreparation of the article entitled "MAIN STREET," included inthe present volume. The remainder may perhaps be applied topurposes equally valuable hereafter, or not impossibly may beworked up, so far as they go, into a regular history of Salem,should my veneration for the natal soil ever impel me to so piousa task. Meanwhile, they shall be at the command of anygentleman, inclined and competent, to take the unprofitablelabour off my hands. As a final disposition I contemplatedepositing them with the Essex Historical Society. But theobject that most drew my attention to the mysterious package wasa certain affair of fine red cloth, much worn and faded, Therewere traces about it of gold embroidery, which, however, wasgreatly frayed and defaced, so that none, or very little, of theglitter was left. It had been wrought, as was easy to perceive,with wonderful skill of needlework; and the stitch (as I amassured by ladies conversant with such mysteries) gives evidenceof a now forgotten art, not to be discovered even by the processof picking out the threads. This rag of scarlet cloth--fortime, and wear, and a sacrilegious moth had reduced it to littleother than a rag--on careful examination, assumed the shape ofa letter.