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Excerpt from "The Man of Adamant"

Excerpt from "The Man of Adamant"

As the man of adamant, Richard Digby spurns the curative water offered by Mary Goffe, who had been a convert to his teachings before his heart turned to stone. Mary's sad, kind charity in the face of Digby's churlishness offers an idea of Hawthorne's idea of spiritual virtue for at the end of the passage Mary Goffe is called a "dreamlike spirit, typifying pure Religion."
But Richard Digby, in utter abhorrence of the proposal, cast the Bible at his feet, and eyed her with such a fixed and evil frown, that he looked less like a living man than a marble statue, wrought by some dark imagined sculptor to express the most repulsive mood that human features could assume. And, as his look grew even devilish, so, with an equal change, did Mary Goffe become more sad, more mild, more pitiful, more like a sorrowing angel. But, the more heavenly she was, the more hateful did she seem to Richard Digby, who at length raised his hand, and smote down the cup of hallowed water upon the threshold of the cave, thus rejecting the only medicine that could have cured his stony heart. A sweet perfume lingered in the air for a moment, and then was gone.

"Tempt me no more, accursed woman," exclaimed he, still with his marble frown, "lest I smite thee down also! What hast thou to do with my Bible?--what with my prayers?-- what with my Heaven?" No sooner had he spoken these dreadful words, than Richard Digby's heart ceased to beat; while--so the legend says--the form of Mary Goffe melted into the last sunbeams, and returned from the sepulchral cave to Heaven. For Mary Goffe had been buried in an English churchyard, months before; and either it was her ghost that haunted the wold forest, or else a dreamlike spirit, typifying pure Religion.




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