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The Scarlet Letter
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The Scarlet Letter
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  • It was not merely during the three hours and a half which Uncle Sam claimed as his share of my daily life that this wretched numbness held possession of me.
  • His position is then one of the most singularly irksome, and, in every contingency, disagreeable, that a wretched mortal can possibly occupy; with seldom an alternative of good on either hand, although what presents itself to him as the worst event may very probably be the best.
  • Under that impulse she had made her choice, and had chosen, as it now appeared, the more wretched alternative of the two.
  • Why should a wretched man—guilty, we will say, of murder—prefer to keep the dead corpse buried in his own heart, rather than fling it forth at once, and let the universe take care of it!
  • So brief a journey would bring thee from a world where thou hast been most wretched, to one where thou mayest still be happy!
  • Wretched and sinful as I am, I have had no other thought than to drag on my earthly existence in the sphere where Providence hath placed me.
  • This wretched and wronged old man is opposing it with all his might!
  • The wretched minister!
  • Since that wretched epoch, he had watched with morbid zeal and minuteness, not his acts—for those it was easy to arrange—but each breath of emotion, and his every thought.
  • He had told his hearers that he was altogether vile, a viler companion of the vilest, the worst of sinners, an abomination, a thing of unimaginable iniquity, and that the only wonder was that they did not see his wretched body shrivelled up before their eyes by the burning wrath of the Almighty!
  • Unable to accomplish this, he nevertheless, as a matter of principle, continued his habits of social familiarity with the old man, and thus gave him constant opportunities for perfecting the purpose to which—poor forlorn creature that he was, and more wretched than his victim—the avenger had devoted himself.
  • Women, more especially—in the continually recurring trials of wounded, wasted, wronged, misplaced, or erring and sinful passion—or with the dreary burden of a heart unyielded, because unvalued and unsought came to Hester’s cottage, demanding why they were so wretched, and what the remedy!

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  • The children were taken into protective custody due to their wretched living conditions.
  • The photograph showed poor people in a wretched village in East Africa.

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