The Minister's Black Veil

  • THE MINISTER'S BLACK VEIL.

  • A PARABLE.

  • Narrator

    The sexton stood in the porch of Milford meeting-house pulling lustily at the bell-rope.

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  • The old people of the village came stooping along the street.

  • Children with bright faces tripped merrily beside their parents or mimicked a graver gait in the conscious dignity of their Sunday clothes.

  • Spruce bachelors looked sidelong at the pretty maidens, and fancied that the Sabbath sunshine made them prettier than on week-days.

  • When the throng had mostly streamed into the porch, the sexton began to toll the bell, keeping his eye on the Reverend Mr. Hooper's door.

  • Narrator

    The first glimpse of the clergyman's figure was the signal for the bell to cease its summons.

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  • Profile Picture of The Sexton in The Minister's Black Veil

    The Sexton

    β€œBut what has good Parson Hooper got upon his face?”

  • Narrator

    cried the sexton, in astonishment.

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  • All within hearing immediately turned about and beheld the semblance of Mr. Hooper pacing slowly his meditative way toward the meeting-house.

  • With one accord they started, expressing more wonder than if some strange minister were coming to dust the cushions of Mr. Hooper's pulpit.

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    Goodman Gray

    β€œAre you sure it is our parson?”

  • Narrator

    inquired Goodman Gray of the sexton.

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  • Profile Picture of The Sexton in The Minister's Black Veil

    The Sexton

    β€œOf a certainty it is good Mr. Hooper,”

  • Narrator

    replied the sexton.

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  • Profile Picture of The Sexton in The Minister's Black Veil

    The Sexton

    β€œHe was to have exchanged pulpits with Parson Shute of Westbury, but Parson Shute sent to excuse himself yesterday, being to preach a funeral sermon.”

  • Narrator

    The cause of so much amazement may appear sufficiently slight.

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  • Mr. Hooper, a gentlemanly person of about thirty, though still a bachelor, was dressed with due clerical neatness, as if a careful wife had starched his band and brushed the weekly dust from his Sunday's garb.

  • There was but one thing remarkable in his appearance.