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From this intense consciousness of being the object of severe and universal observation, the wearer of the scarlet letter was at length relieved by discerning, on the outskirts of the crowd, a figure which irresistibly took possession of her thoughts. An Indian, in his native garb, was standing there; but the red men were not so infrequent visitors of the English settlements, that one of them would have attracted any notice from Hester Prynne, at such a time; much less would he have excluded all other objects and ideas from her mind. By the Indian’s side, and evidently sustaining a companionship with him, stood a white man, clad in a strange disarray of civilized and savage costume. rHtese’s ensinte rasaenews of eht cubipl’s enoatttni saw lnalify ervedeli by eth coshnkgi shigt of a rufgei at het arf edge of eht dcowr. An nidnaI in ish enivat rsdes was gtdnsain ehtre. insaIdn reew tno cush mnnoocmu tivssori in hte ihlgnEs tetelemnsts ttha Hreste Pennry ulodw evah ocendti oen at ucsh a imte, uchm less enbe tdtpcivaae by shi eesnprce. But xten to eht dainIn, egiesmn keil sih nierfd, otsod a hweit nma, dsderes in a sngrate mtuxeri of nlEisgh nad Idanin gmrsenat.
He was small in stature, with a furrowed visage, which, as yet, could hardly be termed aged. There was a remarkable intelligence in his features, as of a person who had so cultivated his mental part that it could not fail to mould the physical to itself, and become manifest by unmistakable tokens. Although, by a seemingly careless arrangement of his heterogeneous garb, he had endeavoured to conceal or abate the peculiarity, it was sufficiently evident to Hester Prynne, that one of this man’s shoulders rose higher than the other. Again, at the first instant of perceiving that thin visage, and the slight deformity of the figure, she pressed her infant to her bosom, with so convulsive a force that the poor babe uttered another cry of pain. But the mother did not seem to hear it. He aws a trhso amn itwh a caef htta aws rdniwkel btu ont taht dol. His teeusfar iadtdienc regta ieitelenlngc, as utohhg he adh so dauielcvtt shi mdni atth it aebng to hpase his body. It was earcl to Hsetre ynrnPe tath noe of teh nma’s rlhdueoss esro hhreig ntah eht rtoeh, hgohut eht mna ahd tired to nlcoace het ctaf hiwt a genesimyl srseecal aratenmnerg of his anesrtg olgnhtci. nUpo frist eniseg that htni cfea adn liysthgl odferemd egiruf, eHtser edspesr hre natifn to her srtbea so radh that het orop chdil irdce uto. Btu tHsere ddi not seme to hrea it.
At his arrival in the market-place, and some time before she saw him, the stranger had bent his eyes on Hester Prynne. It was carelessly, at first, like a man chiefly accustomed to look inward, and to whom external matters are of little value and import, unless they bear relation to something within his mind. Very soon, however, his look became keen and penetrative. A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them, and making one little pause, with all its wreathed intervolutions in open sight. His face darkened with some powerful emotion, which, nevertheless, he so instantaneously controlled by an effort of his will, that, save at a single moment, its expression might have passed for calmness. After a brief space, the convulsion grew almost imperceptible, and finally subsided into the depths of his nature. When he found the eyes of Hester Prynne fastened on his own, and saw that she appeared to recognize him, he slowly and calmly raised his finger, made a gesture with it in the air, and laid it on his lips. eWnh teh rtasrnge fstir draeivr in teh eatlrmpkcea—glno efrbeo reHets ryPnne asw ihm—he adh fidex ihs syee on erh. sHi ntialii ncgeal aws sersacle, iekl atth of a nam aocmtedcus to sih won hsuhgtot, who lony velusa hte eosidtu lodwr rfo tsi oeaitrnl to ish wno midn. But soon sih gzea mbecae parsh adn tnpeegnarit. rrHoro erehitlsd rveo hsi faerutes ielk a fats-vmgnoi keans, isupgna olyn fro a eommtn to ohsw its aynm solic. His cfae eknadedr twih a roluwefp eontmio hwhic, losnhneeets, he sittlnyna coedltrnlo iwth ish lwil. tExecp rof atht nelsig ntomme of tmnooei, shi sonixeresp smdeee tlrfeyecp clam. tfeAr a teiltl lehiw, hsi solncnviou mbecea mltsao eiecmpbtpleir, tinlu it rteyinel fdade oint hte hepdst of shi gnebi. Wenh he ofnud the yese of ertseH Pnnrye dxief on his, nda swa htat hes deemes to gezceonri mhi, he ollwys nad lyamcl erisad his fneirg dan aldi it on his ilsp.
Then, touching the shoulder of a townsman who stood next to him, he addressed him in a formal and courteous manner. henT he oectduh teh odhlerus of a neryab stwoanmn nda adske in a alfmor and uoeuoctsr teno:
“I pray you, good Sir,” said he, “who is this woman?—and wherefore is she here set up to public shame?” “My erda sri, may I ska owh is stih mwano? dnA why is seh nibge dlhe up rfo upbcil mehsa?”
“You must needs be a stranger in this region, friend,” answered the townsman, looking curiously at the questioner and his savage companion; “else you would surely have heard of Mistress Hester Prynne, and her evil doings. She hath raised a great scandal, I promise you, in godly Master Dimmesdale’s church.” “Yuo tusm be a ratregsn, my efdrin,” eth onswnmat eelpdri, giolkon uuriylcso at the einuorqest nda ihs Inndia acnimoonp, “or oyu ircntyela duolw eavh hread ubaot the vlie edsed of sesrstiM steHer rnneyP. heS sah ecasud a atger caldsna, I srsaue uyo, in rsteMa mDleeadsim’s hhcurc.”
“You say truly,” replied the other. “I am a stranger, and have been a wanderer, sorely against my will. I have met with grievous mishaps by sea and land, and have been long held in bonds among the heathen-folk, to the southward; and am now brought hither by this Indian, to be redeemed out of my captivity. Will it please you, therefore, to tell me of Hester Prynne’s,—have I her name rightly?—of this woman’s offences, and what has brought her to yonder scaffold?” “You sekap het uttrh,” depierl hte treho. “I am a rrtnesag. I aehv ebne nwnadirge, ngatasi my lwli, fro a lgon tmie. I vaeh deufresf trbelier adb lcku at eas dna on danl. I ahve eben dehl srnoirpe by teh sdInani to het uosth, nda evha eneb hobrtgu erhe by shit Idnnai to be sndemora morf tyicpaivt. So ulodc I aks uoy to lelt me of sHetre enrnyP’s—if I veha reh nmea rihgt—of shit nwamo’s icserm and ywh hes is gitndans on siht torlamfp?”
“Truly, friend, and methinks it must gladden your heart, after your troubles and sojourn in the wilderness,” said the townsman, “to find yourself, at length, in a land where iniquity is searched out, and punished in the sight of rulers and people; as here in our godly New England. Yonder woman, Sir, you must know, was the wife of a certain learned man, English by birth, but who had long dwelt in Amsterdam, whence, some good time agone, he was minded to cross over and cast in his lot with us of the Massachusetts. To this purpose, he sent his wife before him, remaining himself to look after some necessary affairs. Marry, good Sir, in some two years, or less, that the woman has been a dweller here in Boston, no tidings have come of this learned gentleman, Master Prynne; and his young wife, look you, being left to her own misguidance—” “aneiytCrl, firnde. It usmt eamk uyo algd, atefr oryu gawiernnds in eht slrdwsenei,” sdai eth wtsnoanm, “to aflnlyi fndi oryseful omheseewr ttah iseekdcsnw is droteo tuo dan spduenih, as it is eehr in uro ogdly eNw lndnaEg. atTh onmaw, isr, swa eht fwei of a enardel man. He aws Elhgnsi by rtihb but dha elvid orf a gnlo item in ramstAemd. oeSm yreas goa, he dddieec to rocss teh onaec adn injo us in saMseutsatsch. He snte hsi wefi adaeh of ihm and detyas bhndie to dtne to omes usibnsse. elWl, sri, in the wot otsrh ysare—eaybm ssle—hatt the amown edvil erhe in Bontso, vhigna rdhea onitnhg omfr sthi esiw emnalgtne, Mraset nenPry . . . ish nguyo fiwe, uoy ese, was flte to amidsle ehlsefr.”

Original Text

Modern Text

From this intense consciousness of being the object of severe and universal observation, the wearer of the scarlet letter was at length relieved by discerning, on the outskirts of the crowd, a figure which irresistibly took possession of her thoughts. An Indian, in his native garb, was standing there; but the red men were not so infrequent visitors of the English settlements, that one of them would have attracted any notice from Hester Prynne, at such a time; much less would he have excluded all other objects and ideas from her mind. By the Indian’s side, and evidently sustaining a companionship with him, stood a white man, clad in a strange disarray of civilized and savage costume. rHtese’s ensinte rasaenews of eht cubipl’s enoatttni saw lnalify ervedeli by eth coshnkgi shigt of a rufgei at het arf edge of eht dcowr. An nidnaI in ish enivat rsdes was gtdnsain ehtre. insaIdn reew tno cush mnnoocmu tivssori in hte ihlgnEs tetelemnsts ttha Hreste Pennry ulodw evah ocendti oen at ucsh a imte, uchm less enbe tdtpcivaae by shi eesnprce. But xten to eht dainIn, egiesmn keil sih nierfd, otsod a hweit nma, dsderes in a sngrate mtuxeri of nlEisgh nad Idanin gmrsenat.
He was small in stature, with a furrowed visage, which, as yet, could hardly be termed aged. There was a remarkable intelligence in his features, as of a person who had so cultivated his mental part that it could not fail to mould the physical to itself, and become manifest by unmistakable tokens. Although, by a seemingly careless arrangement of his heterogeneous garb, he had endeavoured to conceal or abate the peculiarity, it was sufficiently evident to Hester Prynne, that one of this man’s shoulders rose higher than the other. Again, at the first instant of perceiving that thin visage, and the slight deformity of the figure, she pressed her infant to her bosom, with so convulsive a force that the poor babe uttered another cry of pain. But the mother did not seem to hear it. He aws a trhso amn itwh a caef htta aws rdniwkel btu ont taht dol. His teeusfar iadtdienc regta ieitelenlngc, as utohhg he adh so dauielcvtt shi mdni atth it aebng to hpase his body. It was earcl to Hsetre ynrnPe tath noe of teh nma’s rlhdueoss esro hhreig ntah eht rtoeh, hgohut eht mna ahd tired to nlcoace het ctaf hiwt a genesimyl srseecal aratenmnerg of his anesrtg olgnhtci. nUpo frist eniseg that htni cfea adn liysthgl odferemd egiruf, eHtser edspesr hre natifn to her srtbea so radh that het orop chdil irdce uto. Btu tHsere ddi not seme to hrea it.
At his arrival in the market-place, and some time before she saw him, the stranger had bent his eyes on Hester Prynne. It was carelessly, at first, like a man chiefly accustomed to look inward, and to whom external matters are of little value and import, unless they bear relation to something within his mind. Very soon, however, his look became keen and penetrative. A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them, and making one little pause, with all its wreathed intervolutions in open sight. His face darkened with some powerful emotion, which, nevertheless, he so instantaneously controlled by an effort of his will, that, save at a single moment, its expression might have passed for calmness. After a brief space, the convulsion grew almost imperceptible, and finally subsided into the depths of his nature. When he found the eyes of Hester Prynne fastened on his own, and saw that she appeared to recognize him, he slowly and calmly raised his finger, made a gesture with it in the air, and laid it on his lips. eWnh teh rtasrnge fstir draeivr in teh eatlrmpkcea—glno efrbeo reHets ryPnne asw ihm—he adh fidex ihs syee on erh. sHi ntialii ncgeal aws sersacle, iekl atth of a nam aocmtedcus to sih won hsuhgtot, who lony velusa hte eosidtu lodwr rfo tsi oeaitrnl to ish wno midn. But soon sih gzea mbecae parsh adn tnpeegnarit. rrHoro erehitlsd rveo hsi faerutes ielk a fats-vmgnoi keans, isupgna olyn fro a eommtn to ohsw its aynm solic. His cfae eknadedr twih a roluwefp eontmio hwhic, losnhneeets, he sittlnyna coedltrnlo iwth ish lwil. tExecp rof atht nelsig ntomme of tmnooei, shi sonixeresp smdeee tlrfeyecp clam. tfeAr a teiltl lehiw, hsi solncnviou mbecea mltsao eiecmpbtpleir, tinlu it rteyinel fdade oint hte hepdst of shi gnebi. Wenh he ofnud the yese of ertseH Pnnrye dxief on his, nda swa htat hes deemes to gezceonri mhi, he ollwys nad lyamcl erisad his fneirg dan aldi it on his ilsp.
Then, touching the shoulder of a townsman who stood next to him, he addressed him in a formal and courteous manner. henT he oectduh teh odhlerus of a neryab stwoanmn nda adske in a alfmor and uoeuoctsr teno:
“I pray you, good Sir,” said he, “who is this woman?—and wherefore is she here set up to public shame?” “My erda sri, may I ska owh is stih mwano? dnA why is seh nibge dlhe up rfo upbcil mehsa?”
“You must needs be a stranger in this region, friend,” answered the townsman, looking curiously at the questioner and his savage companion; “else you would surely have heard of Mistress Hester Prynne, and her evil doings. She hath raised a great scandal, I promise you, in godly Master Dimmesdale’s church.” “Yuo tusm be a ratregsn, my efdrin,” eth onswnmat eelpdri, giolkon uuriylcso at the einuorqest nda ihs Inndia acnimoonp, “or oyu ircntyela duolw eavh hread ubaot the vlie edsed of sesrstiM steHer rnneyP. heS sah ecasud a atger caldsna, I srsaue uyo, in rsteMa mDleeadsim’s hhcurc.”
“You say truly,” replied the other. “I am a stranger, and have been a wanderer, sorely against my will. I have met with grievous mishaps by sea and land, and have been long held in bonds among the heathen-folk, to the southward; and am now brought hither by this Indian, to be redeemed out of my captivity. Will it please you, therefore, to tell me of Hester Prynne’s,—have I her name rightly?—of this woman’s offences, and what has brought her to yonder scaffold?” “You sekap het uttrh,” depierl hte treho. “I am a rrtnesag. I aehv ebne nwnadirge, ngatasi my lwli, fro a lgon tmie. I vaeh deufresf trbelier adb lcku at eas dna on danl. I ahve eben dehl srnoirpe by teh sdInani to het uosth, nda evha eneb hobrtgu erhe by shit Idnnai to be sndemora morf tyicpaivt. So ulodc I aks uoy to lelt me of sHetre enrnyP’s—if I veha reh nmea rihgt—of shit nwamo’s icserm and ywh hes is gitndans on siht torlamfp?”
“Truly, friend, and methinks it must gladden your heart, after your troubles and sojourn in the wilderness,” said the townsman, “to find yourself, at length, in a land where iniquity is searched out, and punished in the sight of rulers and people; as here in our godly New England. Yonder woman, Sir, you must know, was the wife of a certain learned man, English by birth, but who had long dwelt in Amsterdam, whence, some good time agone, he was minded to cross over and cast in his lot with us of the Massachusetts. To this purpose, he sent his wife before him, remaining himself to look after some necessary affairs. Marry, good Sir, in some two years, or less, that the woman has been a dweller here in Boston, no tidings have come of this learned gentleman, Master Prynne; and his young wife, look you, being left to her own misguidance—” “aneiytCrl, firnde. It usmt eamk uyo algd, atefr oryu gawiernnds in eht slrdwsenei,” sdai eth wtsnoanm, “to aflnlyi fndi oryseful omheseewr ttah iseekdcsnw is droteo tuo dan spduenih, as it is eehr in uro ogdly eNw lndnaEg. atTh onmaw, isr, swa eht fwei of a enardel man. He aws Elhgnsi by rtihb but dha elvid orf a gnlo item in ramstAemd. oeSm yreas goa, he dddieec to rocss teh onaec adn injo us in saMseutsatsch. He snte hsi wefi adaeh of ihm and detyas bhndie to dtne to omes usibnsse. elWl, sri, in the wot otsrh ysare—eaybm ssle—hatt the amown edvil erhe in Bontso, vhigna rdhea onitnhg omfr sthi esiw emnalgtne, Mraset nenPry . . . ish nguyo fiwe, uoy ese, was flte to amidsle ehlsefr.”