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Excerpt from "My Kinsman, Major Molineux"

These contrasting passages suggest that if aristocracy, and those who admire it, will not recognize in the course of ordinary life that we all share "human sympathies," then we will make that discovery when we share the human miseries to which we are all susceptible. It is as if Hawthorne is making clear that while social excesses may be distributed unequally, physical pain is not and it is that which binds us to each other at last.

Passage I

Then, though as lightly as a sunbeam on a cloud, she placed her foot upon the cowering form, and extended her hand to meet that of the Governor. There was a brief interval, during which Lady Eleanore retained this attitude; and never, surely, was there an apter emblem of aristocracy and hereditary pride trampling on human sympathies and the kindred of nature, than these two figures presented at that moment. Yet the spectators were so smitten with her beauty, and so essential did pride seem to the existence of such a creature, that they gave a simultaneous acclamation of applause.

Passage II

Its red brand was no longer conferred like a noble's star, or an order of knighthood. It threaded its way through the narrow and crooked streets, and entered the low, mean, darksome dwellings, and laid its hand of death upon the artisans and laboring classes of the town. It compelled rich and poor to feel themselves brethren then; and stalking to and fro across the Three Hills, with a fierceness which made it almost a new pestilence, there was that mighty conqueror--that scourge and horror of our forefathers--the Small-Pox!




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