It was as Hester said, in regard to the unwonted jollity that brightened the faces of the people. Into this festal season of the year – as it already was, and continued to be during the greater part of two centuries – the Puritans compressed whatever mirth and public joy they deemed allowable to human infirmity; thereby so far dispelling the customary cloud, that, for the space of a single holiday, they appeared scarcely more grave than most other communities at a period of general affliction.
(from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne)
7½*/10. The complete review is here.