Who Talk(s)(ed) Like That? The Mudflingers in "The Scarlet Letter"

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So on page of 96 in my book (I'm not reading off of the ipad), there's the scene where Hester and Pearl are on their way to Bellingham's house and they come across a group of children that say

"Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter; and, of a truth, moreover, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running along by her side! Come, therefore, and let us fling mud at them!"

How, seriously, Hawthorne? I know my knowledge of the setting's time period and language is very limited, but I can't imagine a group of mud-flinging kids announcing something like this so elegantly and nobly. I don't even know what "verily" means! Even in a piece of fiction, I find this excerpt completely unbelievable.

Any thoughts?

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This is the exact same quote that I chose, and I honestly couldn't believe it, either! How much more awkward can you make a situation for a person going through harsh punishment than to have annoying little children just speak in such language? By the way, I used the iPad to check out the word "verily." It means "truly" or "certainly." Figures, it's an old Middle English word - no surprise there.

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This page contains a single entry by PatrickSchober published on September 7, 2010 10:57 AM.

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