Fire Worship

Fire Worship
from Mosses from an Old Manse

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Fire Worship by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Published:

1843

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Fire Worship
from Mosses from an Old Manse

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Book Excerpt

ermed domestic, will seek its separate corners, and never gather itself into groups. The easy gossip; the merry yet unambitious Jest; the life-like, practical discussion of real matters in a casual way; the soul of truth which is so often incarnated in a simple fireside word,--will disappear from earth. Conversation will contract the air of debate, and all mortal intercourse be chilled with a fatal frost.

In classic times, the exhortation to fight "pro axis et focis," for the altars and the hearths, was considered the strongest appeal that could be made to patriotism. And it seemed an immortal utterance; for all subsequent ages and people have acknowledged its force and responded to it with the full portion of manhood that nature had assigned to each. Wisely were the altar and the hearth conjoined in one mighty sentence; for the hearth, too, had its kindred sanctity. Religion sat down beside it, not in the priestly robes which decorated and perhaps disguised her at the altar, but arrayed in a simple matr

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