Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

At the end of the day, the young Goodman Brown went out into the streets of Salem Village. Then he returned to the house for a second, and his wife Vera kissed him. She desperately asked him to stay at home, but Goodman Brown answered, that he had to make this journey before dawn. Vera looked from the house and the wind started playing with her hair. The young man resolutely went down the road. When he looked back, he saw the figure of his spouse with the pink ribbons in her hair in the distance. The woman was standing on the threshold. Goodman was ashamed to make Vera sad. Still he kept going. It was getting dark and an Indian could be hiding behind every tree. But the man was going to meet his companion and he had to get there on time.

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Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

At sunset Young Goodman Brown stepped into the street of Salem village. But then he put his head back inside his house and kissed his young wife Faith. She put her pretty head outside the house. The wind played with the pink ribbons in her hair while she called her husband.

“Dearest love,” she said, “please leave in the morning and sleep in your own bed tonight. Please stay with me tonight, dear husband.”

“My love and my Faith,” answered young Goodman Brown, “tonight I must stay away from you. I must make this journey between now and sunrise.”

“I will wait for you to return,” said Faith, with her pink ribbons.

“Say your prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed early, then nothing will happen to you.”

Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The young man walked on and then looked back. He saw Faith’s head with her pink ribbons. She was still looking at him.

“Poor little Faith!” he thought. “I should not leave her alone while I go on this journey. She often talks of dreams. When she spoke to me there was unhappiness in her face. Perhaps a dream told her what I am doing tonight! Oh, but it will kill her to think of it. She is an angel, and after tonight I will stay close to her forever.”

With this excellent resolution for the future, Goodman Brown felt better. He walked quickly toward his evil purpose. He took a dark, mysterious road in the forest with tall, dark trees all around him. It was very lonely and he did not know what was hidden behind the dark trees.

“There could be an Indian behind every tree,” said Goodman Brown to himself. He was afraid. He looked behind him and said, “What if the devil is here?”

On the road in front of him there was a man sitting under an old tree. He got up and said, “You are late, Goodman Brown.”

Surprised by his sudden appearance, he replied nervously, “I was with Faith.”

It was now very dark in the forest. The second traveler was about fifty years old and looked a lot like Goodman Brown. They looked like father and son. But, although the older man was simply dressed, he had a certain air of one who knew the world. He would be comfortable at the governor’s table or at King William’s court. But the only unusual thing about him was his staff. It was a strange staff. It looked like a living serpent. Of course, it was probably Goodman Brown’s imagination because it was very dark in the forest…

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