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Holgrave narrates the crisis of Alice's encounter with the carpenter Maule

Excerpt from Chapter 13 in which Holgrave narrates the crisis of Alice's encounter with the carpenter Maule

"I certainly shall entertain no manner of apprehension, with my father at hand," said Alice, with maidenly dignity. "Neither do I conceive that a lady, while true to herself, can have aught to fear, from whomsoever, or in any circumstances!"

Poor Alice! By what unhappy impulse did she thus put herself at once on terms of defiance against a strength which she could not estimate?

"Then, Mistress Alice," said Matthew Maule, handing a chair,--gracefully enough, for a craftsman,--"will it please you only to sit down, and do me the favor (though altogether beyond a poor carpenter's deserts) to fix your eyes on mine!"

Alice complied. She was very proud. Setting aside all advantages of rank, this fair girl deemed herself conscious of a power,--combined of beauty, high, unsullied purity, and the preservative force of womanhood,--that could make her sphere impenetrable, unless betrayed by treachery within. She instinctively knew, it may be, that some sinister or evil potency was now striving to pass her barriers; nor would she decline the contest. So Alice put the woman's might against man's might; a match not often equal on the part of woman. (Chapter 13)


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