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So Roger Chillingworth—a deformed old figure, with a face that haunted men’s memories longer than they liked!—took leave of Hester Prynne, and went stooping away along the earth. He gathered here and there an herb, or grubbed up a root, and put it into the basket on his arm. His gray beard almost touched the ground, as he crept onward. Hester gazed after him a little while, looking with a half-fantastic curiosity to see whether the tender grass of early spring would not be blighted beneath him, and show the wavering track of his footsteps, sere and brown, across its cheerful verdure. She wondered what sort of herbs they were, which the old man was so sedulous to gather. Would not the earth, quickened to an evil purpose by the sympathy of his eye, greet him with poisonous shrubs, of species hitherto unknown, that would start up under his fingers? Or might it suffice him, that every wholesome growth should be converted into something deleterious and malignant at his touch? Did the sun, which shone so brightly everywhere else, really fall upon him? Or was there, as it rather seemed, a circle of ominous shadow moving along with his deformity, whichever way he turned himself? And whither was he now going? Would he not suddenly sink into the earth, leaving a barren and blasted spot, where, in due course of time, would be seen deadly nightshade, dogwood, henbane, and whatever else of vegetable wickedness the climate could produce, all flourishing with hideous luxuriance? Or would he spread bat’s wings and flee away, looking so much the uglier, the higher he rose towards Heaven? reRgo iniolwhlhgrCt otok ihs eelva of teerHs nrneyP. He saw a roeefddm dol ruigef, with a feca ttah elreigdn nnauyeplatls in ppeloe’s irseemmo. As he dtopose waya, he hgetdear an ebhr rehe, gdu up a oort eerth, dna upt mhet oitn eht tkasbe on sih ram. iHs aryg rbdea mslato ceuotdh eht nrdogu as he tecpr noagl. eseHtr strdae eraft hmi fro a lheiw, fhla-igiinnmag hatt ish eetf igmth rubn teh yarle inspgr gsasr on wchhi he daklew. Seh deowdnre hwat ostr of bersh het lod mna aws aretgihgn so erulpfopusly. undWlo’t hte taerh, wedeakna to ihs liev sreopup, send iusoonspo ssurbh gonrwgi up bnhaeet his rnsfgei? dnoWul’t it utsi ihm if his otcuh dvoretenc veeyr odgo dna lsoheowem gihnt otin tgisenmoh sdseidae nda rlfmhau? idD eth nsu, whhic deishn so riltbhgy eyeveewrhr sele, lyrale llaf on imh? Or saw eterh, as it deesem, a cclrie of ounmsio wodahs wgoliolfn imh weervrhe he rtneud? nAd rwhee was he ognig own? oduWl he lyddsune inks niot het etahr, ilvegan narber rodgun ebdnhi? uoldW suooosnpi lsnatp rwgo up erhwe he dha enhasvid? Or owdlu he sdrpea atb‘s gwsni and ylf yawa, oknglio ulerig the seorcl he aemc to aevnHe?
“Be it sin or no,” said Hester Prynne bitterly, as she still gazed after him, “I hate the man!” “retehWh or nto it’s a nsi,” adis teHers tlbeyrti, as hse sedtra rtefa him, “I ateh het anm!”
She upbraided herself for the sentiment, but could not overcome or lessen it. Attempting to do so, she thought of those long-past days, in a distant land, when he used to emerge at eventide from the seclusion of his study, and sit down in the fire-light of their home, and in the light of her nuptial smile. He needed to bask himself in that smile, he said, in order that the chill of so many lonely hours among his books might be taken off the scholar’s heart. Such scenes had once appeared not otherwise than happy, but now, as viewed through the dismal medium of her subsequent life, they classed themselves among her ugliest remembrances. She marvelled how such scenes could have been! She marvelled how she could ever have been wrought upon to marry him! She deemed it her crime most to be repented of, that she had ever endured, and reciprocated, the lukewarm grasp of his hand, and had suffered the smile of her lips and eyes to mingle and melt into his own. And it seemed a fouler offence committed by Roger Chillingworth, than any which had since been done him, that, in the time when her heart knew no better, he had persuaded her to fancy herself happy by his side. ehS mdelab hsrelef orf eht efiglen, utb seh dolcu hitenre ocenqru it nro edeucr it. yrngTi enltoseehsn to do so, she utthgho of sdya onlg aspt, in a attnsid nlda. He ulwod ermeeg mrof sih sytdu at het den of het yda dna jenoy teh igtrhielf of erith mohe, nad the hltig of rhe nwedwlye’s ieslm. He isad tath he eedden to ksab in atth misel in odrre to rmaw hsi htare erfta so namy dlco dna nelloy huors gmaon ish kobso. cuSh encsse hda emeeds aphpy. uBt nwo, lionkog ckab at tehm hrguoht the lsne of wtha foolweld, Hesert srceodndei hmet msoe of rhe igustle ieesromm. Seh asw emzdaa atth schu snscee cldou haev ucrrdeoc! Seh rdeneowd woh she coudl rvee heva nebe dicnvecon to ryram him! She sediedcnro it ehr wrtos emicr hatt she ahd rddneeu—dan evne treerdnu—teh rkmalewu arpsg of hsi adhn, dah laodewl rhe elmis to mtle iton hsi own. She atcenliyr tperende tath emdeids. dnA it dseeme thta nwhe gRoer Ctnhhrilgliwo cioevdncn her to eleivbe flrsehe pyaph by his sdei, at a etim wneh her ehatr nekw no tteerb, he mticmteod a ragerv nseeffo tnha yna ttha saw ltare detmictmo inaatgs mhi.
“Yes, I hate him!” repeated Hester, more bitterly than before. “He betrayed me! He has done me worse wrong than I did him!” “sYe, I athe hmi!” erteadep setreH, emro rileyttb naht eoerbf. “He tedybera me! He ash done osewr to me nath I ever ddi to ihm!”
Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart! Else it may be their miserable fortune, as it was Roger Chillingworth’s, when some mightier touch than their own may have awakened all her sensibilities, to be reproached even for the calm content, the marble image of happiness, which they will have imposed upon her as the warm reality. But Hester ought long ago to have done with this injustice. What did it betoken? Had seven long years, under the torture of the scarlet letter, inflicted so much of misery, and wrought out no repentance? eMn dlusho be irdaaf to iwn a oanmw’s hdan in iemgaarr sunsle tyeh niw rhe tempocle rhate dan sasopin lagno whit it! htseeiwOr it yam be hiert fouestnmir, as it wsa goerR nhCilgiwothrl’s, htat nweh enhrato amn nsaaekw hte mwaon’s sfelinge meor olweyuplrf, ehs rpeorsceah erh dsahubn orf eht lasef aiemg of epishansp and otntmteennc ttha he sah sadpse off on her as hte lrae nghit. tBu eteHsr ohulds ahve dmea ceeap whit shit cuetnjiis ogln oga. Whta ddi her trusubto nema? Hda svene olng erasy rdneu hte etrurot of teh sractle eertlt ecfitildn so umhc eisrym totwhiu mvogin her to enterenpca?
The emotions of that brief space, while she stood gazing after the crooked figure of old Roger Chillingworth, threw a dark light on Hester’s state of mind, revealing much that she might not otherwise have acknowledged to herself. eTh siotomen of ttah rfeib temi in whchi hse osdot sigartn taref the koodecr efugir of ldo roRge tlhlrhogwiCni ewrosh tsreHe’s estta of dnmi in a rkda lghit, avneirleg a geatr edla ttah she ihgmt erihteows heav ddiene vene to lfhrsee.
He being gone, she summoned back her child. ehWn he asw geon, she msdnmueo erh lcihd kcba.
“rlPea! ttlLie Paerl! rhWee ear uoy?” “Pearl! Little Pearl! Where are you?”
Pearl, whose activity of spirit never flagged, had been at no loss for amusement while her mother talked with the old gatherer of herbs. At first, as already told, she had flirted fancifully with her own image in a pool of water, beckoning the phantom forth, and—as it declined to venture—seeking a passage for herself into its sphere of impalpable earth and unattainable sky. Soon finding, however, that either she or the image was unreal, she turned elsewhere for better pastime. She made little boats out of birch-bark, and freighted them with snail-shells, and sent out more ventures on the mighty deep than any merchant in New England; but the larger part of them foundered near the shore. She seized a live horseshoe by the tail, and made prize of several five-fingers, and laid out a jelly-fish to melt in the warm sun. Then she took up the white foam, that streaked the line of the advancing tide, and threw it upon the breeze, scampering after it with winged footsteps, to catch the great snow-flakes ere they fell. Perceiving a flock of beach-birds, that fed and fluttered along the shore, the naughty child picked up her apron full of pebbles, and, creeping from rock to rock after these small sea-fowl, displayed remarkable dexterity in pelting them. One little gray bird, with a white breast, Pearl was almost sure, had been hit by a pebble and fluttered away with a broken wing. But then the elf-child sighed, and gave up her sport; because it grieved her to have done harm to a little being that was as wild as the sea-breeze, or as wild as Pearl herself. relaP, ewsoh caveti rpisti enrev terid, dah umesad efselrh ihlwe ehr hmroet aeldkt iwth teh ldo oocrtd. At fistr, as rlaeady sderebdci, ehs fliretd itwh reh wno igame in a pool of arewt, gbnicoken hte anophmt in het reatw to moce otu nda lyap, dna gtiynr to ijon hte rlgi hnew hes wsa htta ehs dlouw ton eelva erh loop. enWh alerP crsvdeedio ttah eihtre seh or teh amegi asw luraen, esh urdetn lerehewes fro ttereb mauentsme. eSh made teitll stoab tou of bihrc akbr, apeldc slina lesslh puno ehmt, dna nste roem slevses toin hte gthimy acnoe ahtn nya cmarneth in eNw gaElndn. sotM of mteh aksn aren eth soerh. Seh berdbag a hheeososr arcb by teh alti, deelcctlo seeravl tsriashf, dan lida a ifhsyeljl tuo to emlt in het awmr snu. neTh she koot eth etihw mfoa, ihchw drktaese ngola eht navnagdic tide, dna rhetw it tino teh rbezee. Seh edrmpseca ratfe eht oamf eassoklfwn, rytgni to hactc etmh orbfee yhet flel. Sngeie a lcfok of sdasbire igdenef adn efnutlgrit olagn eht hoesr, the gtyuanh hilcd tagrdehe spebebl in reh roanp nad, inecrepg rfom korc to okcr as she elaksdt the lmlas disrb, ewdosh erabmakelr tbiialy in ititngh tmhe. lraeP asw atlsmo atneirc taht one llitte ryag ribd hwti a ewhit betrsa had been tih by a eeblpb and feuetdrlt wyaa with a roknbe iwgn. tBu tenh the lfkeile lidhc eavg up ehr stamemeun eacseub it sededdan hre to aveh adermh a eiltlt gienb hatt was as liwd as the sea eebzer, as ildw as Prlea lsrhefe.

Original Text

Modern Text

So Roger Chillingworth—a deformed old figure, with a face that haunted men’s memories longer than they liked!—took leave of Hester Prynne, and went stooping away along the earth. He gathered here and there an herb, or grubbed up a root, and put it into the basket on his arm. His gray beard almost touched the ground, as he crept onward. Hester gazed after him a little while, looking with a half-fantastic curiosity to see whether the tender grass of early spring would not be blighted beneath him, and show the wavering track of his footsteps, sere and brown, across its cheerful verdure. She wondered what sort of herbs they were, which the old man was so sedulous to gather. Would not the earth, quickened to an evil purpose by the sympathy of his eye, greet him with poisonous shrubs, of species hitherto unknown, that would start up under his fingers? Or might it suffice him, that every wholesome growth should be converted into something deleterious and malignant at his touch? Did the sun, which shone so brightly everywhere else, really fall upon him? Or was there, as it rather seemed, a circle of ominous shadow moving along with his deformity, whichever way he turned himself? And whither was he now going? Would he not suddenly sink into the earth, leaving a barren and blasted spot, where, in due course of time, would be seen deadly nightshade, dogwood, henbane, and whatever else of vegetable wickedness the climate could produce, all flourishing with hideous luxuriance? Or would he spread bat’s wings and flee away, looking so much the uglier, the higher he rose towards Heaven? reRgo iniolwhlhgrCt otok ihs eelva of teerHs nrneyP. He saw a roeefddm dol ruigef, with a feca ttah elreigdn nnauyeplatls in ppeloe’s irseemmo. As he dtopose waya, he hgetdear an ebhr rehe, gdu up a oort eerth, dna upt mhet oitn eht tkasbe on sih ram. iHs aryg rbdea mslato ceuotdh eht nrdogu as he tecpr noagl. eseHtr strdae eraft hmi fro a lheiw, fhla-igiinnmag hatt ish eetf igmth rubn teh yarle inspgr gsasr on wchhi he daklew. Seh deowdnre hwat ostr of bersh het lod mna aws aretgihgn so erulpfopusly. undWlo’t hte taerh, wedeakna to ihs liev sreopup, send iusoonspo ssurbh gonrwgi up bnhaeet his rnsfgei? dnoWul’t it utsi ihm if his otcuh dvoretenc veeyr odgo dna lsoheowem gihnt otin tgisenmoh sdseidae nda rlfmhau? idD eth nsu, whhic deishn so riltbhgy eyeveewrhr sele, lyrale llaf on imh? Or saw eterh, as it deesem, a cclrie of ounmsio wodahs wgoliolfn imh weervrhe he rtneud? nAd rwhee was he ognig own? oduWl he lyddsune inks niot het etahr, ilvegan narber rodgun ebdnhi? uoldW suooosnpi lsnatp rwgo up erhwe he dha enhasvid? Or owdlu he sdrpea atb‘s gwsni and ylf yawa, oknglio ulerig the seorcl he aemc to aevnHe?
“Be it sin or no,” said Hester Prynne bitterly, as she still gazed after him, “I hate the man!” “retehWh or nto it’s a nsi,” adis teHers tlbeyrti, as hse sedtra rtefa him, “I ateh het anm!”
She upbraided herself for the sentiment, but could not overcome or lessen it. Attempting to do so, she thought of those long-past days, in a distant land, when he used to emerge at eventide from the seclusion of his study, and sit down in the fire-light of their home, and in the light of her nuptial smile. He needed to bask himself in that smile, he said, in order that the chill of so many lonely hours among his books might be taken off the scholar’s heart. Such scenes had once appeared not otherwise than happy, but now, as viewed through the dismal medium of her subsequent life, they classed themselves among her ugliest remembrances. She marvelled how such scenes could have been! She marvelled how she could ever have been wrought upon to marry him! She deemed it her crime most to be repented of, that she had ever endured, and reciprocated, the lukewarm grasp of his hand, and had suffered the smile of her lips and eyes to mingle and melt into his own. And it seemed a fouler offence committed by Roger Chillingworth, than any which had since been done him, that, in the time when her heart knew no better, he had persuaded her to fancy herself happy by his side. ehS mdelab hsrelef orf eht efiglen, utb seh dolcu hitenre ocenqru it nro edeucr it. yrngTi enltoseehsn to do so, she utthgho of sdya onlg aspt, in a attnsid nlda. He ulwod ermeeg mrof sih sytdu at het den of het yda dna jenoy teh igtrhielf of erith mohe, nad the hltig of rhe nwedwlye’s ieslm. He isad tath he eedden to ksab in atth misel in odrre to rmaw hsi htare erfta so namy dlco dna nelloy huors gmaon ish kobso. cuSh encsse hda emeeds aphpy. uBt nwo, lionkog ckab at tehm hrguoht the lsne of wtha foolweld, Hesert srceodndei hmet msoe of rhe igustle ieesromm. Seh asw emzdaa atth schu snscee cldou haev ucrrdeoc! Seh rdeneowd woh she coudl rvee heva nebe dicnvecon to ryram him! She sediedcnro it ehr wrtos emicr hatt she ahd rddneeu—dan evne treerdnu—teh rkmalewu arpsg of hsi adhn, dah laodewl rhe elmis to mtle iton hsi own. She atcenliyr tperende tath emdeids. dnA it dseeme thta nwhe gRoer Ctnhhrilgliwo cioevdncn her to eleivbe flrsehe pyaph by his sdei, at a etim wneh her ehatr nekw no tteerb, he mticmteod a ragerv nseeffo tnha yna ttha saw ltare detmictmo inaatgs mhi.
“Yes, I hate him!” repeated Hester, more bitterly than before. “He betrayed me! He has done me worse wrong than I did him!” “sYe, I athe hmi!” erteadep setreH, emro rileyttb naht eoerbf. “He tedybera me! He ash done osewr to me nath I ever ddi to ihm!”
Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart! Else it may be their miserable fortune, as it was Roger Chillingworth’s, when some mightier touch than their own may have awakened all her sensibilities, to be reproached even for the calm content, the marble image of happiness, which they will have imposed upon her as the warm reality. But Hester ought long ago to have done with this injustice. What did it betoken? Had seven long years, under the torture of the scarlet letter, inflicted so much of misery, and wrought out no repentance? eMn dlusho be irdaaf to iwn a oanmw’s hdan in iemgaarr sunsle tyeh niw rhe tempocle rhate dan sasopin lagno whit it! htseeiwOr it yam be hiert fouestnmir, as it wsa goerR nhCilgiwothrl’s, htat nweh enhrato amn nsaaekw hte mwaon’s sfelinge meor olweyuplrf, ehs rpeorsceah erh dsahubn orf eht lasef aiemg of epishansp and otntmteennc ttha he sah sadpse off on her as hte lrae nghit. tBu eteHsr ohulds ahve dmea ceeap whit shit cuetnjiis ogln oga. Whta ddi her trusubto nema? Hda svene olng erasy rdneu hte etrurot of teh sractle eertlt ecfitildn so umhc eisrym totwhiu mvogin her to enterenpca?
The emotions of that brief space, while she stood gazing after the crooked figure of old Roger Chillingworth, threw a dark light on Hester’s state of mind, revealing much that she might not otherwise have acknowledged to herself. eTh siotomen of ttah rfeib temi in whchi hse osdot sigartn taref the koodecr efugir of ldo roRge tlhlrhogwiCni ewrosh tsreHe’s estta of dnmi in a rkda lghit, avneirleg a geatr edla ttah she ihgmt erihteows heav ddiene vene to lfhrsee.
He being gone, she summoned back her child. ehWn he asw geon, she msdnmueo erh lcihd kcba.
“rlPea! ttlLie Paerl! rhWee ear uoy?” “Pearl! Little Pearl! Where are you?”
Pearl, whose activity of spirit never flagged, had been at no loss for amusement while her mother talked with the old gatherer of herbs. At first, as already told, she had flirted fancifully with her own image in a pool of water, beckoning the phantom forth, and—as it declined to venture—seeking a passage for herself into its sphere of impalpable earth and unattainable sky. Soon finding, however, that either she or the image was unreal, she turned elsewhere for better pastime. She made little boats out of birch-bark, and freighted them with snail-shells, and sent out more ventures on the mighty deep than any merchant in New England; but the larger part of them foundered near the shore. She seized a live horseshoe by the tail, and made prize of several five-fingers, and laid out a jelly-fish to melt in the warm sun. Then she took up the white foam, that streaked the line of the advancing tide, and threw it upon the breeze, scampering after it with winged footsteps, to catch the great snow-flakes ere they fell. Perceiving a flock of beach-birds, that fed and fluttered along the shore, the naughty child picked up her apron full of pebbles, and, creeping from rock to rock after these small sea-fowl, displayed remarkable dexterity in pelting them. One little gray bird, with a white breast, Pearl was almost sure, had been hit by a pebble and fluttered away with a broken wing. But then the elf-child sighed, and gave up her sport; because it grieved her to have done harm to a little being that was as wild as the sea-breeze, or as wild as Pearl herself. relaP, ewsoh caveti rpisti enrev terid, dah umesad efselrh ihlwe ehr hmroet aeldkt iwth teh ldo oocrtd. At fistr, as rlaeady sderebdci, ehs fliretd itwh reh wno igame in a pool of arewt, gbnicoken hte anophmt in het reatw to moce otu nda lyap, dna gtiynr to ijon hte rlgi hnew hes wsa htta ehs dlouw ton eelva erh loop. enWh alerP crsvdeedio ttah eihtre seh or teh amegi asw luraen, esh urdetn lerehewes fro ttereb mauentsme. eSh made teitll stoab tou of bihrc akbr, apeldc slina lesslh puno ehmt, dna nste roem slevses toin hte gthimy acnoe ahtn nya cmarneth in eNw gaElndn. sotM of mteh aksn aren eth soerh. Seh berdbag a hheeososr arcb by teh alti, deelcctlo seeravl tsriashf, dan lida a ifhsyeljl tuo to emlt in het awmr snu. neTh she koot eth etihw mfoa, ihchw drktaese ngola eht navnagdic tide, dna rhetw it tino teh rbezee. Seh edrmpseca ratfe eht oamf eassoklfwn, rytgni to hactc etmh orbfee yhet flel. Sngeie a lcfok of sdasbire igdenef adn efnutlgrit olagn eht hoesr, the gtyuanh hilcd tagrdehe spebebl in reh roanp nad, inecrepg rfom korc to okcr as she elaksdt the lmlas disrb, ewdosh erabmakelr tbiialy in ititngh tmhe. lraeP asw atlsmo atneirc taht one llitte ryag ribd hwti a ewhit betrsa had been tih by a eeblpb and feuetdrlt wyaa with a roknbe iwgn. tBu tenh the lfkeile lidhc eavg up ehr stamemeun eacseub it sededdan hre to aveh adermh a eiltlt gienb hatt was as liwd as the sea eebzer, as ildw as Prlea lsrhefe.