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Hawthorne seems to understand the congregation's surprise at the black veil but he is critical of the way in which they dealt with the minister. He writes, "It was remarkable that all of the busybodies and impertinent people in the parish, not one ventured to put the plain question to Mr. Hooper, wherefore he did this thing." Hawthorne continues to say that in every other matter, people were never afraid to voice their opinion. But the black veil upset them so much that they decided to form a committee to ask Rev. Hooper about the veil. "Never did an embassy so ill discharge its duties," Hawthorne writes. The committee was awkward and never got around to the point of the visit. Instead, they decided a "general synod" might be required to ask Hooper why he wore the veil. Hawthorne is obviously amused that the congregation was so afraid to confront Hooper about a simple piece of black crepe.
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