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Excerpt from "The Procession of Life"

Excerpt from "The Procession of Life"

It would appear that for Hawthorne humility is a precondition for virtue. In this passage, when the Good are called to march in the procession of life, none answer the summons, not because there are no worthy people, but because part of being worthy is the recognition of one's own shortcomings.
We have called the Evil; now let us call the Good. The trumpet's brazen throat should pour heavenly music over the earth, and the herald's voice go forth with the sweetness of an angel's accents, as if to summon each upright man to his reward. But, how is this? Do none answer to the call? Not one: for the just, the pure, the true, and all who might most worthily obey it, shrink sadly back, as most conscious of error and imperfection. Then let the summons be to those whose pervading principle is Love. This classification will embrace all the truly good, and none in whose souls there exists not something that may expand itself into a heaven, both of well-doing and felicity.

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