What is the summary for Chapter 24 of The Blithedale Romance?
Coverdale returns to Blithedale on "the most delightful of all days" He looks forward to seeing his friends, especially Hollingsworth, Zenobia, and Priscilla, but reflects that it is "both sad and dangerous...to be in too close affinity with the passions, the errors, and the misfortunes, of individuals who (stand) within a circle of their own". Although he is eagerly anticipating returning to his "home", he feels "reluctance...at the idea of presenting (himself) before (his) old associates, without first ascertaining the state in which they (are)", and is filled with a sense of foreboding.
As he approaches the farm, he hears "voices and much laughter proceeding from the interior of the wood". He has come upon a masked ball, and is stunned to see "a concourse of strange figures", including and Indian chief, the goddess Diana, Puritans, Cavaliers, and Revolutionary officers. Disenchanting the scene is Silas Foster, dressed "in his customary blue frock", watching the revelry from a spot nearby. Coverdale is recognized, and pursued by "the whole fantastic rabble". He makes his escape, only to find himself at Eliot's pulpit, where he encounters "Hollingsworth, with Priscilla at his feet, and Zenobia standing before them". Zenobia sardonically addresses Coverdale, telling him that he has come a "half-an-hour too late, and have missed a scene which (he) would have enjoyed" (Chapter 24).