Given to severe self-denial and practicing excessive abstinence and devotion.
Hester sought not to acquire anything beyond a subsistence, of the plainest and most ascetic description, for herself, and a simple abundance for her child. Her own dress was of the coarsest materials and the most sombre hue, with only that one ornament—the scarlet letter—which it was her doom to wear.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter (1850)
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