Адаптированная книга на английском языке «The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne». Аудиокнига на английском.
On that June morning, in the middle years of the seventeenth century, the prison in Boston was still a new building. But it already looked old, and was a dark, ugly place, surrounded by rough grass. The only thing of beauty was a wild rose growing by the door, and its bright, sweet-smelling flowers seemed to smile kindly at the poor prisoners who went into that place, and at those who came out to their death.
A crowd of people waited in Prison Lane. The men all had beards, and wore sad-coloured clothes and tall grey hats.
I here were women, too, in the crowd, and all eyes watched the heavy wooden door of the prison. There was no mercy in the faces, and the women seemed to take a special interest in what was going to happen. They were country women, and the bright morning sun shone down on strong shoulders and wide skirts, and on round, red faces. Many of them had been born in England, and had crossed the sea twenty years before, with the first families who came to build the town of Boston in New England. They brought the customs and religion of old England with them — and also the loud voices and strong opinions of Englishwomen of those times.
it would be better,’ said one hard-faced woman of fifty, ‘if we good, sensible, church-going women could judge this Hester Prynne. And would we give her the same light punishment that the magistrates give her? No!’
‘People say,’ said another woman, ‘that Mr Dimmesdale, her priest, is deeply saddened by the shame that this woman has brought on his church.’
‘The magistrates are too merciful,’ said a third woman. ‘They should burn the letter into her forehead with hot metal, not put it on the front of her dress!’
‘She ought to die!’ cried another woman. ‘She has brought shame on all of us! Ah — here she comes!’
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