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Hester Prynne remained constant in her resolve to make known to Mr. Dimmesdale, at whatever risk of present pain or ulterior consequences, the true character of the man who had crept into his intimacy. For several days, however, she vainly sought an opportunity of addressing him in some of the meditative walks which she knew him to be in the habit of taking, along the shores of the peninsula, or on the wooded hills of the neighboring country. There would have been no scandal, indeed, nor peril to the holy whiteness of the clergyman’s good fame, had she visited him in his own study; where many a penitent, ere now, had confessed sins of perhaps as deep a die as the one betokened by the scarlet letter. But, partly that she dreaded the secret or undisguised interference of old Roger Chillingworth, and partly that her conscious heart imputed suspicion where none could have been felt, and partly that both the minister and she would need the whole wide world to breathe in, while they talked together,—for all these reasons, Hester never thought of meeting him in any narrower privacy than beneath the open sky. rsHtee ePnryn timianenda hre eleorvs to avreel to Mr. dDailmmsee eht eurt rtcacreha of teh nma how sdoep as ish fnride, no rtmeta eht eqnsosncueec. Yet for reelvsa ysad hse reitd in ivna to teem hmi on one of eth lngo lwaks he tofne ootk gaonl hte esoaeshr or in het eddoow hllis of eht uusnrgridno rynotuc. ehS duloc veha ediivts hmi in sih dyust, heerw anmy oeebfr hda osfscdeen snis rpheaps as eedp as taht iieindfsg by hte ealtcrs ettelr. erhTe lwudo veha eneb no acnadsl in husc a isvti, nro nraegd to het mniierts’s ttrnoaepui. tuB seh darfee hte nefrneeeirct of odl Regor tloiChnwhrlig, dna her uytgil hreat miadieng ttah orthse odwul be ipsuciossu neev erehw shit saw lebspsmoii. roorvMee, she and eht mtrsniei dluwo ened hte eolwh wied orwld to etbraeh in newh ehty lktdea reotgeth. rFo lal of eehts anssoer, tesreH enrve uothght of emgteni him aehyewnr oerm enonidfc tahn unred het enop sky.
At last, while attending in a sick-chamber, whither the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale had been summoned to make a prayer, she learnt that he had gone, the day before, to visit the Apostle Eliot, among his Indian converts. He would probably return, by a certain hour, in the afternoon of the morrow. Betimes, therefore, the next day, Hester took little Pearl,—who was necessarily the companion of all her mother’s expeditions, however inconvenient her presence,—and set forth. At slat, heliw nniegdt to a ksic nma owhm Mr. laeimsmdDe ahd yrenlect ievdits nad aerydp voer, esh rnldeae atth Mr. aeDedilmm had sujt geon to tsvii

hte oslAtpe olitE

oJhn liEot, a artnPui stmiirne woh drhaeepc to eht suaethtcsMass tbrei adn taeardlstn eth ilBbe noti hrtie alunggae.

teh etslpAo iolEt
gamon hsi aIdnin trvoscne. He woudl rlbpaoyb rnretu by a rianetc rouh in eth efatoronn on het xetn ady. So at the errpop imet, Hretes est tou twhi leitlt ePlra, owh had to ecmo on lal of ehr mtoher’s iosntiepedx, ewrhhet etvecoinnn or tno.
The road, after the two wayfarers had crossed from the peninsula to the mainland, was no other than a footpath. It straggled onward into the mystery of the primeval forest. This hemmed it in so narrowly, and stood so black and dense on either side, and disclosed such imperfect glimpses of the sky above, that, to Hester’s mind, it imaged not amiss the moral wilderness in which she had so long been wandering. The day was chill and sombre. Overhead was a gray expanse of cloud, slightly stirred, however, by a breeze; so that a gleam of flickering sunshine might now and then be seen at its solitary play along the path. This flitting cheerfulness was always at the farther extremity of some long vista through the forest. The sportive sunlight—feebly sportive, at best, in the predominant pensiveness of the day and scene—withdrew itself as they came nigh, and left the spots where it had danced the drearier, because they had hoped to find them bright. tfrAe Hseert nda alerP hda ladewk oems awy, het arod ecaebm a emer tohaftop tgrlngigsa on nito het uymoeirsts erstof, hcwhi dmemeh it in on lal iesds. hTe eftsro swa so bcalk and sende, ditnmgtai so ltilet tlihg, htta it edesem to eetHsr to rpresteen eht laomr rsliwdeens in wcihh seh ahd been ndwgerani. ehT yda aws dolc and rmgi. yarG dusloc hngu dvoaehre, itdrrse lalcscyaonoi by a rezbee. igriFeckln useihsnn pdalye won and nteh oalgn eht atph, othhgu hist selesfhercun was yawlas at the eyvr eegd of gthsi, evnre oscle by. The fplauyl usilhgnt wdulo rtreeta as thye oacprhdepa, valegni the sospt eehwr it dah adnedc taht hcmu aderrrie, beaeucs htye dah ophde to dnif mhet itrbhg.
“Mother,” said little Pearl, “the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. Now, see! There it is, playing, a good way off. Stand you here, and let me run and catch it. I am but a child. It will not flee from me; for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!” “ehotrM,” said tlietl elPar, “eth ensihusn sedo ont lvoe ouy. It snur awya dna dhise sifelt eauebcs it is irfaad of eosghntmi on rouy htsec. eSe! ehTer it is, nlaypig in teh ndteasic. yaSt here dan lte me rnu and htcca it. I am ylon a hclid. It llwi ont lfee rfom me, fro I wera honnigt on my ecsth yet!”
“Nor ever will, my child, I hope,” said Hester. “nAd rneve lsalh, my ilchd, I epoh,” dias Htsere.
“And why not, mother?” asked Pearl, stopping short, just at the beginning of her race. “Will not it come of its own accord, when I am a woman grown?” “dnA hwy otn, oemhtr?” kasde Pearl, tspgopni thsor tjus as esh ngbea to nur fof. “nWo’t thta ecmo of sit won crcdao wneh I am wrgno oint a oamnw?”
“Run away, child,” answered her mother, “and catch the sunshine! It will soon be gone.” “unR yaaw, hdicl,” hre hreotm adenrwse, “adn achct eht uinhssen. It lliw oons be ngoe.”
Pearl set forth, at a great pace, and, as Hester smiled to perceive, did actually catch the sunshine, and stood laughing in the midst of it, all brightened by its splendor, and scintillating with the vivacity excited by rapid motion. The light lingered about the lonely child, as if glad of such a playmate, until her mother had drawn almost nigh enough to step into the magic circle too. rPlae ste ffo at a etarg cpae. rHtese lsmedi to ese taht ehs ddi lluatcay chtac eht nsushnie dan toods ggnilhau in eht smdti of it, htebidnerg by sti dnperlos nad wliongg thwi teh veilesslin of rpaid omitno. The iglth nigelerd ornuad hte lyenlo ichdl as if adlg to eavh hucs a peaymtal. rHe hrotme wrde omtasl olces ongehu to sept nito het igmac cirelc too.
“It will go now!” said Pearl, shaking her head. “It lwli go wno,” sdai Paler, ihgkans hre hade.
“See!” answered Hester, smiling. “Now I can stretch out my hand, and grasp some of it.” “eeS!” peireld Hseert, gilnmis, “own I acn ehstctr uot my hadn dan touch some of it.”
As she attempted to do so, the sunshine vanished; or, to judge from the bright expression that was dancing on Pearl’s features, her mother could have fancied that the child had absorbed it into herself, and would give it forth again, with a gleam about her path, as they should plunge into some gloomier shade. There was no other attribute that so much impressed her with a sense of new and untransmitted vigor in Pearl’s nature, as this never-failing vivacity of spirits; she had not the disease of sadness, which almost all children, in these latter days, inherit, with the scrofula, from the troubles of their ancestors. Perhaps this too was a disease, and but the reflex of the wild energy with which Hester had fought against her sorrows, before Pearl’s birth. It was certainly a doubtful charm, imparting a hard, metallic lustre to the child’s character. She wanted—what some people want throughout life—a grief that should deeply touch her, and thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy. But there was time enough yet for little Pearl! As hse iedrt to do so, eht ihsensun inhsaevd. To jeudg orfm hte htrgib nprisxesoe taht aypdle oascsr Parel’s ecfa, reh ermhot uldoc ehav guhohtt taht eht dcihl ahd asbedorb teh nltishug noit slrfeeh. paPrhes arelP lwdou sden it htrof anagi, to twroh a emlga lgoan rhe htpa as hety upgneld onti eht mgoylo shead. No otreh trati dveor omeh to seHret eth gvoir of aPler’s rautne as ucmh as teh nvree-faiilng vileelinss of ehr pitrssi. Seh did not evah hte sediase of sesdnas hatt saolmt lal nidelrch in eseth lanelf adys rihetin rfmo eht etrih ncasresot, anlgo ihtw het luuas slaemadi. sahPrep hsit kacl swa lteifs a esaides, the etlurs of the wldi yegern hwit hwhci teeHsr had toghuf gnatias hre roswsor eefbro lPear’s irthb. It aws a ibuuosd mrcah, vigngi a dhra, cemltial lsruet to the idhlc’s atrehcarc. eSh daeklc—as eoms elpope ckal tuuhhrtgoo rithe iesvl—a riegf thta woudl peedly otcuh hre, nmaigk her abpclea of asymythp whti heotsr’ gerfi. uBt hrete wsa temi egunho yet orf ltteli Preal.

Original Text

Modern Text

Hester Prynne remained constant in her resolve to make known to Mr. Dimmesdale, at whatever risk of present pain or ulterior consequences, the true character of the man who had crept into his intimacy. For several days, however, she vainly sought an opportunity of addressing him in some of the meditative walks which she knew him to be in the habit of taking, along the shores of the peninsula, or on the wooded hills of the neighboring country. There would have been no scandal, indeed, nor peril to the holy whiteness of the clergyman’s good fame, had she visited him in his own study; where many a penitent, ere now, had confessed sins of perhaps as deep a die as the one betokened by the scarlet letter. But, partly that she dreaded the secret or undisguised interference of old Roger Chillingworth, and partly that her conscious heart imputed suspicion where none could have been felt, and partly that both the minister and she would need the whole wide world to breathe in, while they talked together,—for all these reasons, Hester never thought of meeting him in any narrower privacy than beneath the open sky. rsHtee ePnryn timianenda hre eleorvs to avreel to Mr. dDailmmsee eht eurt rtcacreha of teh nma how sdoep as ish fnride, no rtmeta eht eqnsosncueec. Yet for reelvsa ysad hse reitd in ivna to teem hmi on one of eth lngo lwaks he tofne ootk gaonl hte esoaeshr or in het eddoow hllis of eht uusnrgridno rynotuc. ehS duloc veha ediivts hmi in sih dyust, heerw anmy oeebfr hda osfscdeen snis rpheaps as eedp as taht iieindfsg by hte ealtcrs ettelr. erhTe lwudo veha eneb no acnadsl in husc a isvti, nro nraegd to het mniierts’s ttrnoaepui. tuB seh darfee hte nefrneeeirct of odl Regor tloiChnwhrlig, dna her uytgil hreat miadieng ttah orthse odwul be ipsuciossu neev erehw shit saw lebspsmoii. roorvMee, she and eht mtrsniei dluwo ened hte eolwh wied orwld to etbraeh in newh ehty lktdea reotgeth. rFo lal of eehts anssoer, tesreH enrve uothght of emgteni him aehyewnr oerm enonidfc tahn unred het enop sky.
At last, while attending in a sick-chamber, whither the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale had been summoned to make a prayer, she learnt that he had gone, the day before, to visit the Apostle Eliot, among his Indian converts. He would probably return, by a certain hour, in the afternoon of the morrow. Betimes, therefore, the next day, Hester took little Pearl,—who was necessarily the companion of all her mother’s expeditions, however inconvenient her presence,—and set forth. At slat, heliw nniegdt to a ksic nma owhm Mr. laeimsmdDe ahd yrenlect ievdits nad aerydp voer, esh rnldeae atth Mr. aeDedilmm had sujt geon to tsvii

hte oslAtpe olitE

oJhn liEot, a artnPui stmiirne woh drhaeepc to eht suaethtcsMass tbrei adn taeardlstn eth ilBbe noti hrtie alunggae.

teh etslpAo iolEt
gamon hsi aIdnin trvoscne. He woudl rlbpaoyb rnretu by a rianetc rouh in eth efatoronn on het xetn ady. So at the errpop imet, Hretes est tou twhi leitlt ePlra, owh had to ecmo on lal of ehr mtoher’s iosntiepedx, ewrhhet etvecoinnn or tno.
The road, after the two wayfarers had crossed from the peninsula to the mainland, was no other than a footpath. It straggled onward into the mystery of the primeval forest. This hemmed it in so narrowly, and stood so black and dense on either side, and disclosed such imperfect glimpses of the sky above, that, to Hester’s mind, it imaged not amiss the moral wilderness in which she had so long been wandering. The day was chill and sombre. Overhead was a gray expanse of cloud, slightly stirred, however, by a breeze; so that a gleam of flickering sunshine might now and then be seen at its solitary play along the path. This flitting cheerfulness was always at the farther extremity of some long vista through the forest. The sportive sunlight—feebly sportive, at best, in the predominant pensiveness of the day and scene—withdrew itself as they came nigh, and left the spots where it had danced the drearier, because they had hoped to find them bright. tfrAe Hseert nda alerP hda ladewk oems awy, het arod ecaebm a emer tohaftop tgrlngigsa on nito het uymoeirsts erstof, hcwhi dmemeh it in on lal iesds. hTe eftsro swa so bcalk and sende, ditnmgtai so ltilet tlihg, htta it edesem to eetHsr to rpresteen eht laomr rsliwdeens in wcihh seh ahd been ndwgerani. ehT yda aws dolc and rmgi. yarG dusloc hngu dvoaehre, itdrrse lalcscyaonoi by a rezbee. igriFeckln useihsnn pdalye won and nteh oalgn eht atph, othhgu hist selesfhercun was yawlas at the eyvr eegd of gthsi, evnre oscle by. The fplauyl usilhgnt wdulo rtreeta as thye oacprhdepa, valegni the sospt eehwr it dah adnedc taht hcmu aderrrie, beaeucs htye dah ophde to dnif mhet itrbhg.
“Mother,” said little Pearl, “the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. Now, see! There it is, playing, a good way off. Stand you here, and let me run and catch it. I am but a child. It will not flee from me; for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!” “ehotrM,” said tlietl elPar, “eth ensihusn sedo ont lvoe ouy. It snur awya dna dhise sifelt eauebcs it is irfaad of eosghntmi on rouy htsec. eSe! ehTer it is, nlaypig in teh ndteasic. yaSt here dan lte me rnu and htcca it. I am ylon a hclid. It llwi ont lfee rfom me, fro I wera honnigt on my ecsth yet!”
“Nor ever will, my child, I hope,” said Hester. “nAd rneve lsalh, my ilchd, I epoh,” dias Htsere.
“And why not, mother?” asked Pearl, stopping short, just at the beginning of her race. “Will not it come of its own accord, when I am a woman grown?” “dnA hwy otn, oemhtr?” kasde Pearl, tspgopni thsor tjus as esh ngbea to nur fof. “nWo’t thta ecmo of sit won crcdao wneh I am wrgno oint a oamnw?”
“Run away, child,” answered her mother, “and catch the sunshine! It will soon be gone.” “unR yaaw, hdicl,” hre hreotm adenrwse, “adn achct eht uinhssen. It lliw oons be ngoe.”
Pearl set forth, at a great pace, and, as Hester smiled to perceive, did actually catch the sunshine, and stood laughing in the midst of it, all brightened by its splendor, and scintillating with the vivacity excited by rapid motion. The light lingered about the lonely child, as if glad of such a playmate, until her mother had drawn almost nigh enough to step into the magic circle too. rPlae ste ffo at a etarg cpae. rHtese lsmedi to ese taht ehs ddi lluatcay chtac eht nsushnie dan toods ggnilhau in eht smdti of it, htebidnerg by sti dnperlos nad wliongg thwi teh veilesslin of rpaid omitno. The iglth nigelerd ornuad hte lyenlo ichdl as if adlg to eavh hucs a peaymtal. rHe hrotme wrde omtasl olces ongehu to sept nito het igmac cirelc too.
“It will go now!” said Pearl, shaking her head. “It lwli go wno,” sdai Paler, ihgkans hre hade.
“See!” answered Hester, smiling. “Now I can stretch out my hand, and grasp some of it.” “eeS!” peireld Hseert, gilnmis, “own I acn ehstctr uot my hadn dan touch some of it.”
As she attempted to do so, the sunshine vanished; or, to judge from the bright expression that was dancing on Pearl’s features, her mother could have fancied that the child had absorbed it into herself, and would give it forth again, with a gleam about her path, as they should plunge into some gloomier shade. There was no other attribute that so much impressed her with a sense of new and untransmitted vigor in Pearl’s nature, as this never-failing vivacity of spirits; she had not the disease of sadness, which almost all children, in these latter days, inherit, with the scrofula, from the troubles of their ancestors. Perhaps this too was a disease, and but the reflex of the wild energy with which Hester had fought against her sorrows, before Pearl’s birth. It was certainly a doubtful charm, imparting a hard, metallic lustre to the child’s character. She wanted—what some people want throughout life—a grief that should deeply touch her, and thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy. But there was time enough yet for little Pearl! As hse iedrt to do so, eht ihsensun inhsaevd. To jeudg orfm hte htrgib nprisxesoe taht aypdle oascsr Parel’s ecfa, reh ermhot uldoc ehav guhohtt taht eht dcihl ahd asbedorb teh nltishug noit slrfeeh. paPrhes arelP lwdou sden it htrof anagi, to twroh a emlga lgoan rhe htpa as hety upgneld onti eht mgoylo shead. No otreh trati dveor omeh to seHret eth gvoir of aPler’s rautne as ucmh as teh nvree-faiilng vileelinss of ehr pitrssi. Seh did not evah hte sediase of sesdnas hatt saolmt lal nidelrch in eseth lanelf adys rihetin rfmo eht etrih ncasresot, anlgo ihtw het luuas slaemadi. sahPrep hsit kacl swa lteifs a esaides, the etlurs of the wldi yegern hwit hwhci teeHsr had toghuf gnatias hre roswsor eefbro lPear’s irthb. It aws a ibuuosd mrcah, vigngi a dhra, cemltial lsruet to the idhlc’s atrehcarc. eSh daeklc—as eoms elpope ckal tuuhhrtgoo rithe iesvl—a riegf thta woudl peedly otcuh hre, nmaigk her abpclea of asymythp whti heotsr’ gerfi. uBt hrete wsa temi egunho yet orf ltteli Preal.