The Scarlet Letter / Nathaniel Hawthorne

22 Kasım 2020

The Scarlet LetterThe Scarlet Letter

From The Scarlet Letter…

It will be seen, likewise, that this Custom-House sketch has a certain propriety, of a kind always recognized in literature, as explaining how a large portion of the following pages came into my possession, and as offering proofs of the authenticity of a narrative therein contained.

This, in fact,—a desire to put myself in my true position as editor, or very little more, of the most prolix among the tales that make up my volume,—this, and no other, is my true reason for assuming a personal relation with the public. In accomplishing the main purpose, it has appeared allowable, by a few extra touches, to give a faint representation of a mode of life not heretofore described, together with some of the characters that move in it, among whom the author happened to make one.

In my native town of Salem; at the head of what, half a century ago, in the days of old King Derby; was a bustling wharf,—but which is now burdened with decayed wooden warehouses; and exhibits few or no symptoms of commercial life; except, perhaps, a bark or brig, half-way down its melancholy length, discharging hides; or, nearer at hand, a Nova Scotia schooner; pitching out her cargo of firewood,—at the head, I say, of this dilapidated wharf; which the tide often overflows, and along which; at the base and in the rear of the row of buildings; the track of many languid years is seen in a border of unthrifty grass;—here, with a view from its front windows adown this not very enlivening prospect; and thence across the harbor, stands a spacious edifice of brick.

From the loftiest point of its roof, during precisely three and a half hours of each forenoon floats or droops, in breeze or calm,

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