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THE SCARLET LETTER

but to be pictured in fancy; not to be anticipated, nor desired.
What I saw in him–as evidently as the indestructible ram-
parts of Old Ticonderoga, already cited as the most appropri-
ate simile–were the features of stubborn and ponderous
endurance, which might well have amounted to obstinacy in
his earlier days; of integrity, that, like most of his other
endowments, lay in a somewhat heavy mass, and was just as
unmalleable and unmanageable as a ton of iron ore; and of
benevolence, which, fiercely as he led the bayonets on at
Chippewa or Fort Erie, I take to be of quite as genuine a
stamp as what actuates any or all the polemical philanthro-
pists of the age. He had slain men with his own hand, for
aught I know;–certainly, they had fallen, like blades of
grass at the sweep of the scythe, before the charge to which
his spirit imparted its triumphant energy;–but, be that as it
might, there was never in his heart so much cruelty as would
have brushed the down off a butterfly's wing. I have not
known the man, to whose innate kindliness I would more
confidently make an appeal.

Many characteristics–and those, too, which contribute
not the least forcibly to impart resemblance in a sketch–
must have vanished, or been obscured, before I met the
General. All merely graceful attributes are usually the most
evanescent; nor does Nature adorn the human ruin with
blossoms of new beauty, that have their roots and proper
nutriment only in the chinks and crevices of decay, as she
sows wall-flowers over the ruined fortress of Ticonderoga.
Still, even in respect of grace and beauty, there were points
well worth noting. A ray of humor, now and then, would make
its way through the veil of dim obstruction, and glimmer
pleasantly upon our faces. A trait of native elegance, seldom
seen in the masculine character after childhood or early youth,
was shown in the General's fondness for the sight and
fragrance of flowers. An old soldier might be supposed to
prize only the bloody laurel on his brow; but here was one,

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