Works, Volume 5

Front Cover
George Parsons Lathrop
Houghton-Mifflin, 1883
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Page 311 - Hester had vainly imagined that she herself might be the destined prophetess, but had long since recognized the impossibility that any mission of divine and mysterious truth should be confided to a woman stained with sin, bowed down with shame, or even burdened with a life-long sorrow. The angel and apostle of the coming revelation must be a woman indeed, but lofty, pure, and beautiful ; and wise, moreover, not through dusky grief but the ethereal medium of joy ; and showing how sacred love should...
Page 307 - Among many morals which press upon us from the poor minister's miserable experience, we put only this into a sentence:— "Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!
Page 74 - But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer, — so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time, — was that SCARLET LETTER, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom.
Page 25 - A writer of story-books! What kind of a business in life, what mode of glorifying God or being serviceable to mankind in his day and generation, may that be ? Why, the degenerate fellow might as well have been a fiddler ! " Such are the compliments bandied between my great-grandsires and myself, across the gulf of time!
Page 201 - Prynne, whose heart had lost its regular and healthy throb, wandered without a clew in the dark labyrinth of mind; now turned aside by an insurmountable precipice; now starting back from a deep chasm. There was wild and ghastly scenery all around her, and a home and comfort nowhere.
Page 152 - He deemed it essential, it would seem, to know the man, before attempting to do him good. Wherever there is a heart and an intellect, the diseases of the physical frame are tinged with the peculiarities of these. In Arthur Dimmesdale, thought and imagination were so active, and sensibility so intense, that the bodily infirmity would be likely to have its groundwork there.
Page 57 - The wiser effort would have been to diffuse thought and imagination through the opaque substance of today, and thus to make it a bright transparency; to spiritualize the burden that began to weigh so heavily; to seek, resolutely, the true and indestructible value that lay hidden in the petty and wearisome incidents and ordinary characters with which I was now conversant.
Page 74 - And never had Hester Prynne appeared more lady-like, in the antique interpretation of the term, than as she issued from the prison. Those who had before known her, and had expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped.
Page 151 - In no state of society would he have been what is called a man of liberal views ; it would always be essential to his peace to feel the pressure of a faith about him, supporting, while it confined him within its iron framework.
Page 70 - The women who were now standing about the prison-door stood within less than half a century of the period when the man-like Elizabeth had been the not altogether unsuitable representative of the sex. They were her countrywomen ; and the beef and ale of their native land, with a moral diet not a whit more refined, entered largely into their composition. The bright morning sun, therefore, shone on broad shoulders and well-developed busts, and on round and ruddy cheeks...

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