Hawthorne in Salem Search Hawthorne in Salem





Facebook Page
[Home]  

The Scarlet Letter > Page
Previous Page Custom House Home Next Page   Audio Reading of Page

THE CUSTOM-HOUSE

law of nature with him, rather than a choice or a principle;
nor can it be otherwise than the main condition of an intellect
so remarkably clear and accurate as his, to be honest and
regular in the administration of affairs. A stain on his con-
science, as to any thing that came within the range of his
vocation, would trouble such a man very much in the same
way, though to a far greater degree, than an error in the
balance of an account, or an ink-blot on the fair page of a
book of record. Here, in a word,–and it is a rare instance in
my life,–I had met with a person thoroughly adapted to the
situation which he held.

Such were some of the people with whom I now found
myself connected. I took it in good part at the hands of
Providence, that I was thrown into a position so little akin to
my past habits; and set myself seriously to gather from it
whatever profit was to be had. After my fellowship of toil and
impracticable schemes, with the dreamy brethren of Brook
Farm
; after living for three years within the subtile influence
of an intellect like Emerson's; after those wild, free days on
the Assabeth, indulging fantastic speculations beside our fire
of fallen boughs, with Ellery Channing; after talking with
Thoreau about pine-trees and Indian relics, in his hermitage
at Walden; after growing fastidious by sympathy with the
classic refinement of Hillard's culture; after becoming imbued
with poetic sentiment at Longfellow's hearth-stone;–it was
time, at length, that I should exercise other faculties of my
nature, and nourish myself with food for which I had hitherto
had little appetite. Even the old Inspector was desirable, as a
change of diet, to a man who had known Alcott. I looked upon
it as an evidence, in some measure, of a system naturally well
balanced, and lacking no essential part of a thorough organiza-
tion, that, with such associates to remember, I could mingle
at once with men of altogether different qualities, and never
murmur at the change.

Literature, its exertions and objects, were now of little

The Scarlet Letter > Page
Previous Page Custom House Home Next Page   Audio Reading of Page
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/11950/


About US Privacy Policy Copyright Credits Site Map Site Help