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As Coverdale continues to recuperate, he is visited by Priscilla, the newest Blithedale resident. She comes to his sick chamber, bearing a nightcap that she has made especially for him, and a letter for the transcendentalist Margaret Fuller. Coverdale marvels that he had just been thinking of the resemblance between Priscilla and Margaret when the former arrived in his chamber. Priscilla is confused by Coverdale’s remarks, so Coverdale does not pursue the topic.
As Coverdale convalesces, he enters a discussion with Hollingsworth concerning the works of Charles Fourier, a French theorist. Coverdale is amused by Fourier’s impractical suggestions. For example, Coverdale relates that Fourier’s theory is that, when the world’s society shall be transformed, the seas will be turned into lemonade.
Hollingsworth, however, is not so amused. He is disturbed by what he calls Fourier’s foundation of selfishness. Hollingsworth does not approve of a society that is founded upon the root cause of so much evil. While Coverdale sees some similarities between Fourier’s philosophy and Blithedale, Hollingsworth refuses to hear any more on the topic.
Coverdale begins to suspect that Hollingsworth’s tender care during his illness was nothing more than an attempt to proselytize him. Hollingsworth leads Coverdale to believe that they could never be life-long friends unless Coverdale strove with him towards the great object of his life, namely, the spread of his philosophy.
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