Earth's Holocaust (From "Mosses from an Old Manse") by Nathaniel Hawthorne


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Project Gutenberg EBook, Earth's Holocaust, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
From "Mosses From An Old Manse"
#58 in our series by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Title: Earth's Holocaust (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Release Date: Nov, 2005 [EBook #9231]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on September 6, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English

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By Nathaniel Hawthorne


Once upon a time--but whether in the time past or time to come is a
matter of little or no moment--this wide world had become so
overburdened with an accumulation of worn-out trumpery, that the
inhabitants determined to rid themselves of it by a general bonfire.
The site fixed upon at the representation of the insurance
companies, and as being as central a spot as any other on the globe,
was one of the broadest prairies of the West, where no human
habitation would be endangered by the flames, and where a vast
assemblage of spectators might commodiously admire the show. Having
a taste for sights of this kind, and imagining, likewise, that the
illumination of the bonfire might reveal some profundity of moral
truth heretofore hidden in mist or darkness, I made it convenient to
journey thither and be present. At my arrival, although the heap of
condemned rubbish was as yet comparatively small, the torch had
already been applied. Amid that boundless plain, in the dusk of the
evening, like a far off star alone in the firmament, there was merely
visible one tremulous gleam, whence none could have anticipated so
fierce a blaze as was destined to ensue. With every moment,
however, there came foot-travellers, women holding up their aprons,
men on horseback, wheelbarrows, lumbering baggage-wagons, and other
vehicles, great and small, and from far and near, laden with
articles that were judged fit for nothing but to be burned.

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