The Minister's Wooing
The Minister's Wooing
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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From the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, a domestic comedy that examines slavery, Protestant theology, and gender differences in early America.
First published in 1859, Harriet Beecher Stowe's third novel is set in eighteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, a community known for its engagement in both religious piety and the slave trade. Mary Scudder lives in a modest farmhouse with her widowed mother an their boarder, Samuel Hopkins, a famous Calvinist theologian who preaches against slavery. Mary is in love with the passionate James Marvyn, but Mary is devout and James is a skeptic, and Mary's mother opposes the union. James goes to sea, and when he is reportedly drowned, Mary is persuaded to become engaged to Dr. Hopkins.
With colorful characters, including many based on real figures, and a plot that hinges on romance, The Minister's Wooing combines comedy with regional history to show the convergence of daily life, slavery, and religion in post-Revolutionary New England.
sentiment, living on the most diluted moonshine, and spinning out elaborately all those charming and seraphic distinctions between tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee with which these ecstatic creatures delight themselves in certain stages of affaires du cœur.6 “The last development, on the part of my goddess, is a fit of celestial anger, of the cause of which I am in the most innocent ignorance. She writes me three pages of French sublimities, writing as only a French woman can,—bids me an eternal
Twitchel made her appearance at the door, her healthy glowing cheek wearing a still brighter color from the exercise of a three-mile walk in a July day. “Why, Cerinthy,” said Mary, “how glad I am to see you!” “Well,” said Cerinthy, “I have been meaning to come down all this week, but there’s so much to do in haying-time,—but to-day I told mother I must come. I brought these down,” she said, unfolding a dozen snowy damask napkins, “that I spun myself, and was thinking of you almost all the while
smiled in clouds of painting from every arch and altar, she might, like fair St. Catherine of Siena,3 have seen beatific visions in the sunset skies, and a silver dove descending upon her as she prayed; but, unfolding in the clear, keen, cold New England clime, and nurtured in its abstract and positive theologies, her religious faculties took other forms. Instead of lying entranced in mysterious raptures at the foot of altars, she read and pondered treatises on the Will,4 and listened in rapt
you don’t ask me for any promise,—because it would be wrong to give it; mother doesn’t even like me to be much with you. But I’m sure all I have said to you to-day is right; I shall tell her exactly all I have said.” “If Aunt Katy knew what things we fellows are pitched into, who take the world headforemost, she wouldn’t be so selfish. Mary, you girls and women don’t know the world you live in; you ought to be pure and good; you are not tempted as we are. You don’t know what men, what women,—no,
question distressed her; she must answer the truth. The fact was, that it had never come into her blessed little heart to tremble, for she was one of those children of the bride-chamber who cannot mourn because the bridegroom is ever with them; but then, when she saw the man for whom her reverence was almost like that for her God thus distrustful, thus lowly, she could not but feel that her too calm repose might, after all, be the shallow, treacherous calm of an ignorant, ill-grounded spirit, and