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Passages from a Relinquised Work (From "Mosses from an Old Manse") by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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By Nathaniel Hawthorne



From infancy I was under the guardianship of a village parson, who
made me the subject of daily prayer and the sufferer of innumerable
stripes, using no distinction, as to these marks of paternal love,
between myself and his own three boys. The result, it must be
owned, has been very different in their cases and mine, they being
all respectable men and well settled in life; the eldest as the
successor to his father's pulpit, the second as a physician, and the
third as a partner in a wholesale shoe-store; while I, with better
prospects than either of them, have run the course which this volume
will describe. Yet there is room for doubt whether I should have
been any better contented with such success as theirs than with my
own misfortunes,--at least, till after my experience of the latter
had made it too late for another trial.

My guardian had a name of considerable eminence, and fitter for the
place it occupies in ecclesiastical history than for so frivolous a
page as mine. In his own vicinity, among the lighter part of his
hearers, he was called Parson Thumpcushion, from the very forcible
gestures with which he illustrated his doctrines. Certainly, if his
powers as a preacher were to be estimated by the damage done to his
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