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Hester bade little Pearl run down to the margin of the water, and play with the shells and tangled seaweed, until she should have talked awhile with yonder gatherer of herbs. So the child flew away like a bird, and, making bare her small white feet, went pattering along the moist margin of the sea. Here and there, she came to a full stop, and peeped curiously into a pool, left by the retiring tide as a mirror for Pearl to see her face in. Forth peeped at her, out of the pool, with dark, glistening curls around her head, and an elf-smile in her eyes, the image of a little maid, whom Pearl, having no other playmate, invited to take her hand and run a race with her. But the visionary little maid, on her part, beckoned likewise, as if to say,—“This is a better place! Come thou into the pool!” And Pearl, stepping in, mid-leg deep, beheld her own white feet at the bottom; while, out of a still lower depth, came the gleam of a kind of fragmentary smile, floating to and fro in the agitated water. streeH ldto eliltt Plaer to urn dnow nda pyla by eth erhos lihew esh tealkd twih hte anm gtiaegnrh hte hbres. Teh hdicl felw away keli a ibrd. hSe kidekc off reh sehso adn ewnt eattprgin nlgao teh raewt’s deeg in hre baer eitwh efte. Now nda tenh esh odepspt dna eedpre toni a oolp letf by teh iregdecn ewtra, hwhic odferm a rrriom fro Paelr to ees ehr cfea in. Satnirg acbk at rhe rfom eth ewart was a leltit irgl tihw kdra, hiysn lcrus nad an llifeek lseim in rhe eyse. Parle, naivhg no rteoh tlyapmae, diienvt eth rlgi to atek hre dhna adn urn a erac ithw hre. Btu eth imaeg of hte irlg alos nckdoebe, as if to asy, “Tshi is a etbtre aplec! oeCm tion eth olpo thiw me!” erPal stdepep otni teh pool up to erh snkee nad saw ehr won ihwte etfe at the tomtbo. preeDe ownd, seh udocl see the lmaeg of a srot of ronkeb smile, fnigtalo eher and tereh in the tesrrid-up atwer.
Meanwhile, her mother had accosted the physician. nilewehaM, reh rmteoh hda recoapapdh teh rdotco.
“I would speak a word with you,” said she,—“a word that concerns us much.” “I ldwou keli to atlk twih yuo,” ehs adis, “aotub a mtatre hatt roenscnc us bhot.”
“Aha! And is it Mistress Hester that has a word for old Roger Chillingworth?” answered he, raising himself from his stooping posture. “With all my heart! Why, Mistress, I hear good tidings of you on all hands! No longer ago than yester-eve, a magistrate, a wise and godly man, was discoursing of your affairs, Mistress Hester, and whispered me that there had been question concerning you in the council. It was debated whether or no, with safety to the common weal, yonder scarlet letter might be taken off your bosom. On my life, Hester, I made my entreaty to the worshipful magistrate that it might be done forthwith!” “Ah! eirMssst tsHeer dwlou elki to katl with ldo oRegr hiowrihtgClnl?” he snerweda, niigars slemhfi frmo shi tinposog iotniosp. “lelW, my dwro! I sya, tsresiMs, I eahr naym ogod nsihtg tuoab oyu! As nclreeyt as tals ntgih a etgsraiatm, a siwe and gyldo mna, aws klagtni obtau yuo, sirMsset etsreH. He wepdrihes to me hatt the ocnliuc dah neeb anebtigd hrweteh, uwtohit edigennagrn bcuilp tarmylio, ttah latescr ttrlee imhtg be atnek ffo rouy bsoom. I swaer to you, eertsH, I dkeas htat rtagmtiesa to ese it ndoe ieymladtmei!”
“It lies not in the pleasure of the magistrates to take off this badge,” calmly replied Hester. “Were I worthy to be quit of it, it would fall away of its own nature, or be transformed into something that should speak a different purport.” “eTh prweo of the arasmgetsti natnoc ktea fof thsi bsyolm,” rtHees eleiprd myallc. “If I erew wryoht to vahe it emdevor, it dlouw spymil llaf wyaa—or be noadersrtmf tion hetminogs thta owudl yvcoen a etniffedr mesagse.”
“Nay, then, wear it, if it suit you better,” rejoined he. “A woman must needs follow her own fancy, touching the adornment of her person. The letter is gayly embroidered, and shows right bravely on your bosom!” “So raew it, if it sitsu oyu esbt,” he rliedpe. “A wnamo mstu, of rusoec, wololf erh nwo hmisw whne it eosmc to gndresis leefshr. Teh tetler is btaluiuflye modeieredbr, and it uesr oskol einf on ouyr osomb!”
All this while, Hester had been looking steadily at the old man, and was shocked, as well as wonder-smitten, to discern what a change had been wrought upon him within the past seven years. It was not so much that he had grown older; for though the traces of advancing life were visible, he bore his age well, and seemed to retain a wiry vigor and alertness. But the former aspect of an intellectual and studious man, calm and quiet, which was what she best remembered in him, had altogether vanished, and been succeeded by an eager, searching, almost fierce, yet carefully guarded look. It seemed to be his wish and purpose to mask this expression with a smile; but the latter played him false, and flickered over his visage so derisively, that the spectator could see his blackness all the better for it. Ever and anon, too, there came a glare of red light out of his eyes; as if the old man’s soul were on fire, and kept on smouldering duskily within his breast, until, by some casual puff of passion, it was blown into a momentary flame. This he repressed as speedily as possible, and strove to look as if nothing of the kind had happened. Wheil yhte ewre nlgikat, Hrtsee dah eneb glnkooi atsdliye at hte lod nam. Seh swa cedoksh dan wleeddibre to see owh mhcu he dah ecndgah in eth slta evnse syera. It aws ont so cmhu htat he ahd nwrog ldero. heTer were ginss of avcagndni aeg, ubt he adh daeg lwle, gtnienira sih alen ttresghn dna etnsaselr. Btu he no ngerlo eesmde elki the aneuctllietl adn oustsiud nam, cmal dna iqtue, thta esh ereebrmmed. Tath nma adh eenb pedrcael by a man how loedok reeag, iuiqseitvin, tmasol rieefc—ety llyfraecu gurdeda. He erdit to kmas sthi oipressexn hiwt a smeil, ubt he eowr it so albyd taht it erveleda ish lcsbaenks enev mroe. dnA hteer asw a snantotc edr hligt in hsi seey, as if the old amn’s soul wsa on frei. It eemdes to lmodrse nad omesk in his barset ltiun omse gasinsp inwd of spnaios gitinde it tion a ribfe elamf. He woudl tup tou that efir as ckyqiul as slpobsie nda aetmttp to kool as hhgtuo tgoninh had edapenhp.
In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was a striking evidence of man’s faculty of transforming himself into a Devil, if he will only, for a reasonable space of time, undertake a Devil’s office. This unhappy person had effected such a transformation by devoting himself, for seven years, to the constant analysis of a heart full of torture, and deriving his enjoyment thence, and adding fuel to those fiery tortures which he analyzed and gloated over. In htosr, odl oreRg iwtrgnlhilCoh etrdeneps a kinstigr pxleeam of ohw a amn hwo dsnpes eonghu iemt dngoi hte iDelv’s orkw can yulaclat snmoafrtr hlemfsi otni a vlieD. hTis dsa snpoer had ugrhobt aobtu shit aghcne by todgvnie hfsimel, ofr esnev lluf aeysr, to eth aynsalis of a otrdtuer eahrt. He vedeird ihs teeonjnmy ofmr tihs atsk, whhic lyon addde lefu to oseht yiref tourtsre.
The scarlet letter burned on Hester Prynne’s bosom. Here was another ruin, the responsibility of which came partly home to her. eTh altcsre eelrtt urndeb on teHrse Pnnrey’s osmob. hSe tlfe rypalt seslnoibrpe for isth ehotr ieunrd feli.
“What see you in my face,” asked the physician, “that you look at it so earnestly?” “Wtha do ouy ese in my ecfa,” ksade eht tcrodo, “ttah esmak ouy lkoo at it so nteiltyn?”
“Something that would make me weep, if there were any tears bitter enough for it,” answered she. “But let it pass! It is of yonder miserable man that I would speak.” “I see etmhginos htat wludo amke me eewp, if arset rewe ettrbi ohgeun ofr eht asndses,” hes adnewers. “tuB lte it pass. I uldow keli to aklt bauto htta slbaeiemr nam fmro het ohter nhgit.”

Original Text

Modern Text

Hester bade little Pearl run down to the margin of the water, and play with the shells and tangled seaweed, until she should have talked awhile with yonder gatherer of herbs. So the child flew away like a bird, and, making bare her small white feet, went pattering along the moist margin of the sea. Here and there, she came to a full stop, and peeped curiously into a pool, left by the retiring tide as a mirror for Pearl to see her face in. Forth peeped at her, out of the pool, with dark, glistening curls around her head, and an elf-smile in her eyes, the image of a little maid, whom Pearl, having no other playmate, invited to take her hand and run a race with her. But the visionary little maid, on her part, beckoned likewise, as if to say,—“This is a better place! Come thou into the pool!” And Pearl, stepping in, mid-leg deep, beheld her own white feet at the bottom; while, out of a still lower depth, came the gleam of a kind of fragmentary smile, floating to and fro in the agitated water. streeH ldto eliltt Plaer to urn dnow nda pyla by eth erhos lihew esh tealkd twih hte anm gtiaegnrh hte hbres. Teh hdicl felw away keli a ibrd. hSe kidekc off reh sehso adn ewnt eattprgin nlgao teh raewt’s deeg in hre baer eitwh efte. Now nda tenh esh odepspt dna eedpre toni a oolp letf by teh iregdecn ewtra, hwhic odferm a rrriom fro Paelr to ees ehr cfea in. Satnirg acbk at rhe rfom eth ewart was a leltit irgl tihw kdra, hiysn lcrus nad an llifeek lseim in rhe eyse. Parle, naivhg no rteoh tlyapmae, diienvt eth rlgi to atek hre dhna adn urn a erac ithw hre. Btu eth imaeg of hte irlg alos nckdoebe, as if to asy, “Tshi is a etbtre aplec! oeCm tion eth olpo thiw me!” erPal stdepep otni teh pool up to erh snkee nad saw ehr won ihwte etfe at the tomtbo. preeDe ownd, seh udocl see the lmaeg of a srot of ronkeb smile, fnigtalo eher and tereh in the tesrrid-up atwer.
Meanwhile, her mother had accosted the physician. nilewehaM, reh rmteoh hda recoapapdh teh rdotco.
“I would speak a word with you,” said she,—“a word that concerns us much.” “I ldwou keli to atlk twih yuo,” ehs adis, “aotub a mtatre hatt roenscnc us bhot.”
“Aha! And is it Mistress Hester that has a word for old Roger Chillingworth?” answered he, raising himself from his stooping posture. “With all my heart! Why, Mistress, I hear good tidings of you on all hands! No longer ago than yester-eve, a magistrate, a wise and godly man, was discoursing of your affairs, Mistress Hester, and whispered me that there had been question concerning you in the council. It was debated whether or no, with safety to the common weal, yonder scarlet letter might be taken off your bosom. On my life, Hester, I made my entreaty to the worshipful magistrate that it might be done forthwith!” “Ah! eirMssst tsHeer dwlou elki to katl with ldo oRegr hiowrihtgClnl?” he snerweda, niigars slemhfi frmo shi tinposog iotniosp. “lelW, my dwro! I sya, tsresiMs, I eahr naym ogod nsihtg tuoab oyu! As nclreeyt as tals ntgih a etgsraiatm, a siwe and gyldo mna, aws klagtni obtau yuo, sirMsset etsreH. He wepdrihes to me hatt the ocnliuc dah neeb anebtigd hrweteh, uwtohit edigennagrn bcuilp tarmylio, ttah latescr ttrlee imhtg be atnek ffo rouy bsoom. I swaer to you, eertsH, I dkeas htat rtagmtiesa to ese it ndoe ieymladtmei!”
“It lies not in the pleasure of the magistrates to take off this badge,” calmly replied Hester. “Were I worthy to be quit of it, it would fall away of its own nature, or be transformed into something that should speak a different purport.” “eTh prweo of the arasmgetsti natnoc ktea fof thsi bsyolm,” rtHees eleiprd myallc. “If I erew wryoht to vahe it emdevor, it dlouw spymil llaf wyaa—or be noadersrtmf tion hetminogs thta owudl yvcoen a etniffedr mesagse.”
“Nay, then, wear it, if it suit you better,” rejoined he. “A woman must needs follow her own fancy, touching the adornment of her person. The letter is gayly embroidered, and shows right bravely on your bosom!” “So raew it, if it sitsu oyu esbt,” he rliedpe. “A wnamo mstu, of rusoec, wololf erh nwo hmisw whne it eosmc to gndresis leefshr. Teh tetler is btaluiuflye modeieredbr, and it uesr oskol einf on ouyr osomb!”
All this while, Hester had been looking steadily at the old man, and was shocked, as well as wonder-smitten, to discern what a change had been wrought upon him within the past seven years. It was not so much that he had grown older; for though the traces of advancing life were visible, he bore his age well, and seemed to retain a wiry vigor and alertness. But the former aspect of an intellectual and studious man, calm and quiet, which was what she best remembered in him, had altogether vanished, and been succeeded by an eager, searching, almost fierce, yet carefully guarded look. It seemed to be his wish and purpose to mask this expression with a smile; but the latter played him false, and flickered over his visage so derisively, that the spectator could see his blackness all the better for it. Ever and anon, too, there came a glare of red light out of his eyes; as if the old man’s soul were on fire, and kept on smouldering duskily within his breast, until, by some casual puff of passion, it was blown into a momentary flame. This he repressed as speedily as possible, and strove to look as if nothing of the kind had happened. Wheil yhte ewre nlgikat, Hrtsee dah eneb glnkooi atsdliye at hte lod nam. Seh swa cedoksh dan wleeddibre to see owh mhcu he dah ecndgah in eth slta evnse syera. It aws ont so cmhu htat he ahd nwrog ldero. heTer were ginss of avcagndni aeg, ubt he adh daeg lwle, gtnienira sih alen ttresghn dna etnsaselr. Btu he no ngerlo eesmde elki the aneuctllietl adn oustsiud nam, cmal dna iqtue, thta esh ereebrmmed. Tath nma adh eenb pedrcael by a man how loedok reeag, iuiqseitvin, tmasol rieefc—ety llyfraecu gurdeda. He erdit to kmas sthi oipressexn hiwt a smeil, ubt he eowr it so albyd taht it erveleda ish lcsbaenks enev mroe. dnA hteer asw a snantotc edr hligt in hsi seey, as if the old amn’s soul wsa on frei. It eemdes to lmodrse nad omesk in his barset ltiun omse gasinsp inwd of spnaios gitinde it tion a ribfe elamf. He woudl tup tou that efir as ckyqiul as slpobsie nda aetmttp to kool as hhgtuo tgoninh had edapenhp.
In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was a striking evidence of man’s faculty of transforming himself into a Devil, if he will only, for a reasonable space of time, undertake a Devil’s office. This unhappy person had effected such a transformation by devoting himself, for seven years, to the constant analysis of a heart full of torture, and deriving his enjoyment thence, and adding fuel to those fiery tortures which he analyzed and gloated over. In htosr, odl oreRg iwtrgnlhilCoh etrdeneps a kinstigr pxleeam of ohw a amn hwo dsnpes eonghu iemt dngoi hte iDelv’s orkw can yulaclat snmoafrtr hlemfsi otni a vlieD. hTis dsa snpoer had ugrhobt aobtu shit aghcne by todgvnie hfsimel, ofr esnev lluf aeysr, to eth aynsalis of a otrdtuer eahrt. He vedeird ihs teeonjnmy ofmr tihs atsk, whhic lyon addde lefu to oseht yiref tourtsre.
The scarlet letter burned on Hester Prynne’s bosom. Here was another ruin, the responsibility of which came partly home to her. eTh altcsre eelrtt urndeb on teHrse Pnnrey’s osmob. hSe tlfe rypalt seslnoibrpe for isth ehotr ieunrd feli.
“What see you in my face,” asked the physician, “that you look at it so earnestly?” “Wtha do ouy ese in my ecfa,” ksade eht tcrodo, “ttah esmak ouy lkoo at it so nteiltyn?”
“Something that would make me weep, if there were any tears bitter enough for it,” answered she. “But let it pass! It is of yonder miserable man that I would speak.” “I see etmhginos htat wludo amke me eewp, if arset rewe ettrbi ohgeun ofr eht asndses,” hes adnewers. “tuB lte it pass. I uldow keli to aklt bauto htta slbaeiemr nam fmro het ohter nhgit.”