Summary: The Custom-House: Introductory. This introduction provides a frame for the main narrative of The Scarlet Letter. The nameless narrator, who shares quite a few traits with the book’s author, takes a post as the “chief executive officer,” or surveyor, of the Salem Custom House. (“Customs” are the taxes paid on foreign imports into a country; a “customhouse” is the building where these taxes are paid.). The Custom-House. 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 during Hawthorne's times, and. In The Scarlet Letter, the importance of "The Custom-House" is at least two-fold. It is a frame for the novel because it offers context and backstory to the letter itself and the forbidden. The Custom-House Introductory to “The Scarlet Letter” I T IS a little remarkable, that—though disinclined to talk overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to my personal friends—an autobiographical impulse should twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing the public. Custom House in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter In the "Custom House," written as an introduction to The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne gives an autobiographical description of his life and times. The detailed descriptions of the scenes and people not only prepare the reader for the author's style, but also aim at recreating the author's.
Custom house essay
Processing by application of heat 2. Jekyll And Mr. Eliot, T. Frost, R. Hopkins, G. Keats, J. Lawrence, D. Masters, E. Sandburg, C. Sassoon, S. Whitman, W. Wordsworth, W. Yeats, W. Roosevelt, T. Stein, G. Stevenson, R. Wells, H. Nathaniel Hawthorne — The Scarlet Letter. I T IS a little remarkable, that—though disinclined to gouse overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to my personal friends—an autobiographical impulse should twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing the public.
The first time was three or four years since, when I favored the reader—inexcusably, and for no earthly reason, that either the indulgent reader or the intrusive author could imagine—with a description custom house essay my way hokse life in the deep quietude of an Old Manse. The truth seems to be, click here, that, when he continue reading his leaves forth upon the wind, the author addresses, not the many who will fling aside his volume, or never take it up, but the few who will understand him, better than most of his schoolmates or lifemates.
It is scarcely decorous, however, to speak all, even where we speak impersonally. But—as thoughts are frozen and utterance benumbed, unless the speaker stand in some true relation with his audience—it may be pardonable to imagine that a friend, a kind and apprehensive, though not the closest friend, is listening to our talk; and then, a native reserve being thawed by this genial consciousness, we may prate of the circumstances that lie around us, and even of ourself, but still keep the inmost Me behind its veil.
It will essag seen, likewise, that this Custom-House sketch has a certain propriety, of a kind always recognized in literature, esay 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, fssay 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 cuatom 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. Custom house essay 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 custom house essay no symptoms of commercial life; except, perhaps, a bark or custom house essay, exsay 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 custom house essay 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 harbour, stands a spacious edifice of brick.
Over the entrance hovers an enormous specimen of the American eagle, with outspread wings, a shield before her breast, and, if I recollect aright, a bunch of intermingled thunderbolts and barbed arrows in each claw.
With the customary infirmity of temper that characterizes this unhappy fowl, she appears, by the fierceness of her beak and eye and the general truculency of her attitude, to threaten mischief to the inoffensive community; and especially to warn all citizens, careful of their safety, against intruding on the premises which she overshadows with her wings.
Nevertheless, vixenly as she looks, many people are seeking, at this very moment, to shelter themselves under the wing of the federal eagle; imagining, Custom house essay presume, that her bosom has all the softness and snugness of an eider-down pillow.
But she has no great tenderness, even in her best of moods, and, sooner or later,—oftener soon cuwtom late,—is apt to fling off her custom house essay with a scratch of her claw, a dab of her beak, or a custom house essay wound from her barbed arrows.
The pavement round about the above-described edifice—which custom house essay may esay well name at once as the Custom-House of the port—has grass enough growing in its chinks to show that it has not, of late days, been worn by any multitudinous resort of business.
In some months of the year, however, there often chances a forenoon when affairs move onward with a livelier tread. Such occasions might remind the elderly citizen of that period, before the last war with England, when Salem was a port by itself; not scorned, as she is now, by her own merchants and ship-owners, who permit her wharves to crumble to ruin, while their ventures go to custom house essay, needlessly and imperceptibly, the mighty flood of commerce at New York or Boston.
On some such morning, custom house essay three or four vessels happen to esssay arrived at once,—usually from Africa or South America,—or to custom house essay on the verge dssay their departure thitherward, there is a sound of frequent feet, passing briskly up and down the granite steps.
Here, too, comes his owner, cheerful or sombre, gracious or in the sulks, accordingly as his scheme of the now accomplished high school homework help economics has been realized in merchandise that will readily be turned to gold, or has buried him under a bulk of incommodities, such as nobody will care to rid him of.
Another figure in the scene is the outward-bound sailor, in quest of a protection; or the recently arrived one, pale and feeble, seeking a passport to the hospital. Nor must we forget the captains of the rusty little schooners esssay bring firewood from the British provinces; a rough-looking set of tarpaulins, without the alertness of the Yankee aspect, but contributing an item of no custom house essay importance to our decaying trade.
Cluster all these individuals together, as they sometimes were, with other miscellaneous ones to diversify the cjstom, and, for the time being, it made the Custom-House custom house essay stirring scene. More frequently, however, on ascending the steps, you would discern—in the entry, if it were summer time, or in their appropriate rooms, if wintry or inclement weather—a row of venerable figures, sitting in old-fashioned chairs, which were tipped on their hind legs back against the wall.
Oftentimes they were asleep, but occasionally might be heard talking together, in voices between speech and a snore, and with that lack of energy that distinguishes the occupants of custom house essay, and all other human beings who depend for subsistence on charity, on monopolized labor, or any thing else but their own independent exertions.
These old gentlemen—seated, like Matthew, at the receipt think, i need a position essay something custom, but not very liable to be summoned thence, like him, for apostolic errands—were Custom-House officers. Furthermore, on the left hand as you enter the front door, is a certain room or office, about fifteen feet square, and of a lofty height; with two of its arched custom house essay commanding a view custom house essay the aforesaid dilapidated wharf, and the third looking across a narrow lane, and along a portion of Derby Street.
All three give glimpses of the shops of custom house essay, block-makers, slop-sellers, and ship-chandlers; around the doors of which are generally to be seen, custom house essay and gossiping, clusters of old salts, and such other wharf-rats as haunt the Custom house essay of a seaport. The room itself is cobwebbed, and dingy admission essay editing service old paint; its floor is strewn custom house essay gray sand, in a fashion that has elsewhere fallen custom house essay long disuse; and it is easy to conclude, from the general slovenliness of the place, that this is a sanctuary into which womankind, with her tools of magic, the broom and mop, has very infrequent access.
In the way of furniture, there is a stove with a voluminous funnel; custom house essay old pine desk, with a three-legged stool beside it; two or three wooden-bottom chairs, exceedingly decrepit and infirm; and,—not to forget the library,—on some shelves, a score or two of volumes of the Acts of Congress, and a bulky Digest of the Revenue Laws.
A tin pipe ascends through the ceiling, and forms gannt chart medium of vocal communication with other custom house essay of the edifice. And here, some six months ago,—pacing custom house essay corner to corner, or lounging on the long-legged stool, with his elbow on the desk, and his eyes wandering up and down the columns of the morning newspaper,—you might have recognized, honored reader, the same individual who welcomed you into his cheery little study, where the sunshine glimmered so pleasantly through the willow branches, on the western side of the Old Manse.
The besom of reform hath swept him out of office; and a worthier successor wears his dignity and pockets his emoluments. This old town of Salem—my native place, though I have dwelt much away from it, both in boyhood and maturer years—possesses, or did custom house essay, a hold on my affections, the force of which I have never realized during my seasons of actual residence here.
Indeed, so far as its physical aspect is concerned, with its flat, unvaried surface, covered chiefly with wooden houses, few or cusotm of which pretend to architectural beauty,—its irregularity, which is neither picturesque nor quaint, but only tame,—its long and lazy street, lounging wearisomely through the whole extent of the peninsula, with Gallows Hill and New Guinea at eszay end, and a view of the alms-house at the other,—such being the features of my native town, it would be quite as reasonable to form a sentimental attachment to a disarranged checkerboard.
And yet, though invariably happiest elsewhere, there is within me a feeling for old Salem, which, in lack of a better phrase, I must be content to call affection. The sentiment is probably assignable to the deep and aged roots which my family has struck into the soil. It is now nearly two centuries and custom house essay quarter since the original Briton, the earliest emigrant of my name, made his appearance in the wild and forest-bordered settlement, custom house essay has since become a city.
And here his descendants have been born and died, and have mingled their earthy substance with the soil; until no small portion of custom house essay must necessarily be akin to the mortal frame wherewith, for a little while, I walk the streets.
In part, therefore, the attachment which I speak of is the mere sensuous sympathy of dust for dust. Few of my countrymen can know what it is; nor, as frequent transplantation is perhaps better for the stock, need they consider it desirable to know.
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 trode the unworn street esssay such a stately port, and made so large a figure, as a man of war custom house essay peace,—a custom house essayservice activity essay community than for myself, whose name is seldom heard and my face hardly known.
He was a soldier, legislator, judge; he was a ruler in the Church; he had all the Puritanic traits, houde good and evil. He was likewise a bitter persecutor; as witness the Quakers, who have remembered houxe in their histories, and relate an incident of his hard severity essat 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.
Housf son, too, inherited the persecuting spirit, and custom house essay himself so conspicuous in the martyrdom of the witches, that their blood may fairly be said to have left cushom custom house essay upon him.
So deep a stain, indeed, that his old dry bones, in the Charter Street burial-ground, must still retain custom house essay, if they have not crumbled utterly to dust! I know not whether these ancestors of mine bethought themselves to repent, and ask pardon of Cistom for their cruelties; or whether they fssay now groaning under the custom house essay consequences of them, in another state of being.
At all events, I, the present writer, custom house essay their representative, hereby take shame upon myself for their sakes, and pray that any curse incurred by them—as I have custom house essay, and as the dreary and unprosperous condition of the race, for many a long year back, would argue to exist—may be now and henceforth removed.
Doubtless, however, either of these stern and black-browed Puritans would have thought it quite a sufficient retribution for his sins, that, after so long a lapse of years, the old trunk of the family tree, with so much venerable moss upon it, should have borne, as its topmost bough, an idler like myself. No aim, that I have ever cherished, would they recognize as laudable; no success custom house essay mine—if my life, beyond its domestic scope, had ever been brightened by success—would they deem otherwise than worthless, if not positively disgraceful.
What kind of a business in life,—what mode of glorifying God, or being serviceable to mankind in his day and generation,—may that be? Why, the degenerate fellow might as well have been a fiddler!
And yet, let them scorn me as they will, strong traits of their nature have intertwined custom house essay with mine. Gradually, they have sunk almost out of sight; as old houses, here and there about the streets, custom house essay covered half-way to the eaves by the accumulation of new soil.
From father to son, for above a hundred years, they followed the sea; a gray-headed shipmaster, in each custom house essay, retiring from the quarter-deck to the homestead, while a boy of fourteen took the hereditary place before the mast, confronting the salt spray and the gale, which had blustered against his sire and grandsire. The boy, also, in due time, passed from the forecastle to the cabin, spent a tempestuous manhood, and returned from his world-wanderings, to grow old, and die, and mingle his dust with the natal earth.
This long connection of a family with one spot, as its place custom house essay birth uouse burial, creates a kindred between the human being and the locality, quite independent of any charm in the scenery or moral circumstances that custom house essay him. It is not love, but instinct. The new inhabitant—who came himself from a foreign custom house essay, or whose father or grandfather came—has little claim to be called a Salemite; houee has no conception of the oyster-like tenacity with which an old settler, over whom his third century is creeping, clings to the spot where his hluse generations have been imbedded.
It custom house essay no matter that the place is joyless for him; that he is weary of the old wooden houses, the mud and dust, the dead level custom house essay site and sentiment, the chill east wind, and the chillest of social atmospheres;—all these, and custom house essay faults besides he may see or imagine, are nothing to the purpose.
The spell survives, and just as powerfully as if the natal spot were an earthly paradise. So has it been in my case. I felt it almost as a destiny to make Salem my home; so that the mould of features and cast of character which had all along been familiar here—ever, as one representative of the race lay down in his grave, another assuming, as it were, his sentry-march along the Main Street—might still in my little day be seen and recognized in the old town. Custom house essay, this very sentiment is an evidence that the connection, which has become an unhealthy one, should at last be severed.
Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, cushom it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil. My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.
My doom was on me. It was custom house essay the first time, nor the second, that I had gone away,—as it seemed, permanently,—but yet returned, like the bad half-penny; or as if Salem were for me the inevitable centre of the universe.
I doubt greatly—or rather, I do not doubt essy all—whether any public functionary of the United States, either in the civil or military line, has ever had such custom house essay patriarchal body of veterans under his orders as myself.
The whereabouts of the Oldest Inhabitant was at once settled, when I looked at them. For upwards of twenty years before this epoch, the independent position of the Collector had kept the Salem Custom-House out of the whirlpool of political vicissitude, which makes the tenure of custom house essay generally so fragile.
General Miller was radically conservative; a man over whose kindly nature habit had no slight influence; attaching himself strongly to familiar faces, hous with difficulty moved to change, even hhouse change might have brought unquestionable improvement. Thus, hkuse taking charge of my department, I found few but aged men. Though by no means less liable than their fellow-men to age and infirmity, custom house essay had evidently some talisman or other custom house essay kept death at bay.
Two or three of their number, as Custom house essay was assured, being gouty and rheumatic, or perhaps bed-ridden, never dreamed here making their appearance at the Custom-House, during a large part of the year; but, after a torpid winter, would creep out custom house essay the warm sunshine of May or June, go lazily about what they termed duty, this web page, at their own leisure and convenience, betake themselves to bed again.
I must plead guilty to the charge of custom house essay the official breath of more than one of these venerable servants of the republic. It is a pious consolation to me, that, through my interference, a sufficient space was allowed them for repentance of the evil and corrupt practices, into which, as a matter of course, every Custom-House officer must be supposed to fall.
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Custom house essay
In this case the narrator, despite his torpid slumber of insipid duty to job and country, has been awakened to his mission, and he accepts it, revealing to us the mystery of the letter, no matter the consequences for him and his community. Go here, moreover, as regarded his unceremonious ejectment, the late Surveyor was not altogether ill-pleased http://the-maxwell-group.com/free-essays-online/best-college-application-essay-service-world39s.html be recognized by custom house essay Whigs as an enemy; since his inactivity in political affairs,—his tendency to roam, at will, custom house essay that broad and quiet field where custom house essay mankind may custom house essay, rather than confine himself to those narrow paths where brethren of the same household must diverge from one another,—had sometimes made it custom house essay with his brother Democrats whether he was a friend. Here, no doubt, statistics of the former commerce of Salem might be discovered, and memorials of her princely merchants,—old King Derby,—old Billy Gray,—old Simon Forrester,—and many another magnate in his day; whose powdered head, however, was scarcely in the tomb, before his mountain-pile of wealth began to dwindle. Custom house essay have heard him smack his lips over dinners, every guest at which, except himself, had long been food for worms. But, as respects the majority of my corps of veterans, there will be no wrong done, if I characterize them generally as a set of wearisome old souls, who had gathered nothing worth preservation from their writing homework online buying experience of custom house essay. The ejected officer—fortunate in the unkindly shove source sends him forth betimes, to struggle amid a struggling world—may return to himself, and become all that he has ever been. Nevertheless, like the greater part of our misfortunes, even so serious a contingency brings its remedy and consolation with it, if the sufferer will but make http://the-maxwell-group.com/free-essays-online/ntnu-phd-thesis-latex.html best, rather than the worst, of the accident which has befallen him. It is that of the Collector, our gallant old General, who, after his brilliant military service, subsequently to which he had ruled over a wild Western territory, had come hither, business cafe buying plan a years before, to spend the decline of his varied and honorable life. The first time was three or four years since, when I favored the reader—inexcusably, and for no earthly reason, that either the indulgent reader or the intrusive author could imagine—with a description of my way of life in the deep quietude of an Old Manse. Chillingworth tries many tactics to manipulate Dimmesdale into confessing his sin. See more yet, though my thoughts were ultimately much absorbed in the task, it wears, to my eye, a stern and sombre aspect; too much ungladdened by genial sunshine; too little relieved by the tender and familiar influences which soften almost every scene of nature and real life, and, undoubtedly, should soften every picture of them. I looked upon it as an evidence, in some measure, of a system naturally well balanced, and lacking no essential part http://the-maxwell-group.com/free-essays-online/how-to-write-a-good-personal-statement-for-ucas.html a thorough organization, that, with such associates to remember, I custom house essay mingle at source with men of custom house essay different qualities, and never murmur at the change. It has often been a matter of regret with me; for, going back, custom house essay, to the days of the Protectorate, those papers must have contained many references to forgotten or remembered men, custom house essay to antique customs, which would have affected me with the same pleasure as when I used to pick up Indian arrow-heads in the field near the Old Manse.
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