Scarlet Letter (1850) 2ed

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For other versions of this work, see The Scarlet Letter.
 

THE

 

SCARLET LETTER,

 

A ROMANCE.

 

BY

 

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.

 

BOSTON:

TICKNOR, REED, AND FIELDS.

M DCCC L.

 

 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by Nathaniel Hawthorne,

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

 

Stereotyped by
HOBART & ROBBINS;
NEW ENGLAND TYPE AND STEREOTYPE FOUNDERY,
BOSTON.

 

PREFACE

TO THE SECOND EDITION.

 

 

Much to the author's surprise, and (if he may say so without additional offence) considerably to his amusement, he finds that his sketch of official life, introductory to The Scarlet Letter, has created an unprecedented excitement in the respectable community immediately around him. It could hardly have been more violent, indeed, had he burned down the Custom-House, and quenched its last smoking ember in the blood of a certain venerable personage, against whom he is supposed to cherish a peculiar malevolence. As the public disapprobation would weigh very heavily on him, were he conscious of deserving it, the author begs leave to say, that he has carefully read over the introductory pages, with a purpose to alter or expunge whatever might be found amiss, and to make the best reparation in his power for the atrocities of which he has been adjudged guilty. But it appears to him, that the only remarkable features of the sketch are its frank and genuine good-humor, and the general accuracy with which he has conveyed his sincere impressions of the characters therein described. As to enmity, or ill-feeling of any kind, personal or political, he utterly disclaims such motives. The sketch might, perhaps, have been wholly omitted, without loss to the public or detriment to the book; but, having undertaken to write it, he conceives that it could not have been done in a better or a kindlier spirit, nor, so far as his abilities availed, with a livelier effect of truth.

The author is constrained, therefore, to republish his introductory sketch without the change of a word.

Salem, March 30, 1850.

 

CONTENTS.



  1. ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    1

  2. I.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    53
  3. II.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    55
  4. III.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    68
  5. IV.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    80
  6. V.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    89
  7. VI.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    101
  8. VII.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    114
  9. VIII.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    123
  10. IX.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    135
  11. X.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    148
  12. XI.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    161
  13. XII.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    170
  14. XIII.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    184
  15. XIV.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    195
  16. XV.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    204
  17. XVI.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    213
  18. XVII.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    221
  19. XVIII.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    233
  20. XIX.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    241
  21. XX.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    250
  22. XXI.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    264
  23. XXII.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    276
  24. XXIII.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    289
  25. XXIV.
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    300

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.