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[30] his philanthropic ideal, and, if he had chosen, might well have furnished the state of his own heart for examination. Hawthorne comments again, making his familiar point that a good ideal brings a man to a good end only if it does not lead him out of the natural sympathies of life:
The moral which presents itself to my reflections, as drawn from Hollingsworth's character and errors, is simply this—that, admitting what is called philanthropy, when adopted as a profession, to be often useful by its energetic impulse to society at large, it is perilous to the individual whose ruling passion, in one exclusive channel, it thus becomes. It ruins, or is fearfully apt to ruin, the heart, the rich juices of which God never meant should be pressed violently out and distilled into alcoholic liquor by an unnatural process, but should render life sweet, bland, and gently beneficent, and insensibly influence other hearts and other lives to the same blessed end.

Zenobia is a modern and conscious Hester—or rather, her experience is the reverse of Hester's, for she is a woman naturally emancipated who is ruined by disappointed love. It is this difference in their problems that makes her seem less noble than Hester, less tragic than pitiful. But in portraying her, Hawthorne raises more especially the question he had suggested in The scarlet letter: is not such a woman, so beautiful and so intellectual, an exotic creature in our society? Here is the modem woman whom Hester dreamed of, but the old misfortune still overtakes her; like Hester, she has married one who could not appreciate her, but she has never found the lover who should have been her mate, and she has no true companionship with other women. She seems to be a foreigner, and in the New England thought of Hawthorne's time foreigners had the right to be, like Zenobia, physically beautiful.

The marble faun repeats in Miriam the problem of Hester and of Zenobia, and in Hilda, the simple Puritan girl who finds peace in the Roman Catholic confessional, the story illustrates beautifully Hawthorne's faith that some of our most unconventional impulses lead us to a practical morality. But the philosophy of the book centres in Donatello, that wonderful creature who begins life with the animal-like innocence which radical thought seems often to desire for man, and who develops

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