Introductory to The Scarlet Letter Chapter 1: The Prison Door Chapter 2: The Marketplace Chapter 3: The Recognition Chapter 4: The Interview Chapter 5: Hester at Her Needle Chapter 6: The Elf-Child and the Minister Chapter 9: The Leech Chapter The Leech and His Patient Chapter Inside a Heart Chapter Another View of Hester Chapter Hester and the Doctor Chapter Hester and Pearl Chapter The Recognition Chapter 4: The Interview Chapter 5: Hester at Her Needle Chapter 6: The Elf-Child and the Minister Chapter 9: The Leech Chapter The Leech and His Patient Chapter Inside a Heart Chapter Another View of Hester Chapter Hester and the Doctor Chapter Hester and Pearl Chapter A Forest Walk Chapter The Pastor and His Parishioner Chapter A Flood of Sunshine Chapter The Child at the Brookside Chapter The Minister in a Maze Chapter The New England Holiday Chapter The Procession Chapter The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter Chapter Page 17 Chapter 1: Conclusion How to Cite.
Original Text Modern Text To observe and define his character, however, under such disadvantages, was as difficult a task as to trace out and build up anew, in imagination, an old fortress, like Ticonderoga, from a view of its gray and broken ruins. Here and there, perchance, the walls may remain almost complete; but elsewhere may be only a shapeless mound, cumbrous with its very strength, and overgrown, through long years of peace and neglect, with grass and alien weeds.
In that condition, however, observing and defining his character was as difficult as trying to plan and rebuild a fortress by looking at its gray and broken ruins. A wall might stand here and there, but elsewhere only a shapeless mound remained, overgrown with grass and weeds after long years of peace and neglect.
Nevertheless, looking at the old warrior with affection,—for, slight as was the communication between us, my feeling towards him, like that of all bipeds and quadrupeds who knew him, might not improperly be termed so,— I could discern the main points of his portrait. It was marked with the noble and heroic qualities which showed it to be not by a mere accident, but of good right, that he had won a distinguished name.
His spirit could never, I conceive, have been characterized by an uneasy activity; it must, at any period of his life, have required an impulse to set him in motion; but, once stirred up, with obstacles to overcome, and an adequate object to be attained, it was not in the man to give out or fail. The heat that had formerly pervaded his nature, and which was not yet extinct, was never of the kind that flashes and flickers in a blaze, but, rather, a deep, red glow, as of iron in a furnace.
Weight, solidity, firmness; this was the expression of his repose, even in such decay as had crept untimely over him, at the period of which I speak. And, in so intense a moment, his demeanour would have still been calm. Such an exhibition, however, was but to be pictured in fancy; not to be anticipated, nor desired. What I saw in him—as evidently as the indestructible ramparts of Old Ticonderoga, already cited as the most appropriate 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 philanthropists of the age.
I have not known the man, to whose innate kindliness I would more confidently make an appeal. I looked at the old warrior with affection.
A summary of The Custom-House: Introductory in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Scarlet Letter and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
The Custom House is largely an autobiographical sketch describing Hawthorne's life as an administrator of the Salem Custom House. It was written to enlarge the tale of The Scarlet Letter, since Hawthorne deemed the story too short to print by itself. It also serves as an excellent essay on society.
Welcome to the new SparkNotes! Your book-smartest friend just got a makeover. Our most popular lit guides now have twice as much helpful stuff, including writing guides, expanded quotes, and updated quick quizzes. Summary Hawthorne begins The Scarlet Letter with a long introductory essay that generally functions as a preface but, more specifically, accomplishes four signi The Custom-House Sign In | Sign Up.
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Scarlet Letter, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Kestler, Justin. "The Scarlet Letter The Custom House." LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 22 Jul Web. 4 Sep Kestler, Justin. "The Scarlet Letter The Custom House. 'The Custom House' serves as a very long introduction to Nathaniel Hawthorne's ''The Scarlet Letter.'' 'The Custom House' gives Hawthorne a chance.