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Excerpt from "The Procession of Life"

Excerpt from "The Procession of Life"

For Hawthorne, to be good is to withhold judgment of others. Were one to take delight in the suffering of another or to imagine that another's crimes were deeds entirely out of the realm of personal possibility, those judgments would be evidence of a tainted spirit. The truly virtuous, for Hawthorne, experience themselves as capable of the most grievous errors.
Let the bond-servants of sin pass on. But neither man nor woman, in whom good predominates, will smile or sneer, nor bid the Rogues' March be played, in derision of their array. Feeling within their breasts a shuddering sympathy, which at least gives token of the sin that might have been, they will thank God for any place in the grand procession of human existence, save among those most wretched ones.

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