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But the sentiment has likewise its moral quality.
The figure of that first ancestor, invested by family tradition with a dim and dusky grandeur, was present to my boyish imagination, as far back as I can remember.
It still haunts me and induces a sort of home-feeling with the past, which I scarcely claim in reference to the present phase of the town.
I seem to have a stronger claim to a residence here on account of this grave, bearded, sable-cloaked, and steeple-crowned progenitor,—who came so early.
With his Bible and his sword, and strode the unworn street with such a stately port, and made so large a figure, as a man of war and peace,—a stronger claim than for myself.
Whose name is seldom heard and my face is hardly known? He was a soldier, legislator, judge; he was a ruler in the Church; he had all the Puritanic traits, both good and evil.
He was likewise a bitter persecutor, as witness the Quakers, who have remembered him in their histories.
And relate an incident of his hard severity towards a woman of their sect, which will last longer, it is to be feared, than any record of his better deeds, although these were many.
His son, too, inherited the persecuting spirit, and made himself so conspicuous in the martyrdom of the witches, that their blood may fairly be said to have left a stain upon him.
So deep a stain, indeed, that his old dry bones, in the Charter Street burial-ground, must still retain it, if they have not crumbled utterly to dust!
I know not whether these ancestors of mine bethought themselves to repent and ask pardon of Heaven for their cruelties; or whether they are now groaning under the heavy consequences of them, in another state of being.
|No. of Pages||348|
|PDF Size||18.5 MB|
The Scarlet Letter Book PDF Free Download