Scarlet Letter (1850) 2ed
TICKNOR, REED, AND FIELDS.
M DCCC L.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
HOBART & ROBBINS;
NEW ENGLAND TYPE AND STEREOTYPE FOUNDERY,
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.
1 I. 53 II. 55 III. 68 IV. 80 V. 89 VI. 101 VII. 114 VIII. 123 IX. 135 X. 148 XI. 161 XII. 170 XIII. 184 XIV. 195 XV. 204 XVI. 213 XVII. 221 XVIII. 233 XIX. 241 XX. 250 XXI. 264 XXII. 276 XXIII. 289 XXIV. 300