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Quotes

Preface

"Is not this better," murmured he, "than what we dreamed of in the forest?" "I know not! I know not!" she hurriedly replied. "Better? Yea; so we may both die, and little Pearl die with us!" (23.18-23)

Chapter 1

But on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rosebush, covered, in this month of June, with its delicate gems, which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and...

Chapter 2

Stretching for the official staff in his left hand, he laid his right upon the shoulder of a young woman, whom he thus drew forward; until, on the threshold of the prison door, she repelled him, by...

Chapter 3

It was whispered, by those who peered after her, that the scarlet letter threw a lurid gleam along the dark passageway of the interior. (3.33)

Chapter 4

“Why dost thou smile so at me?” inquired Hester, troubled at the expression of his eyes. “Art thou like the Black Man that haunts the forest round about us? Hast thou enticed me i...

Chapter 5

They averred that the symbol was not mere scarlet cloth tinged in an earthly dyepot, but was red-hot with infernal fire, and could be seen glowing all alight whenever Hester Prynne walked abroad in...

Chapter 6

The unlikeliest materials—a stick, a bunch of rags, a flower—were the puppets of Pearl’s witchcraft, and, without undergoing any outward change, became spiritually adapted to what...

Chapter 7

But the proprietor appeared already to have relinquished as hopeless the effort to perpetuate on this side of the Atlantic, in a hard soil and amid the close struggle for subsistence, the native En...

Chapter 8

“Wilt thou go with us tonight? There will be a merry company in the forest; and I well-nigh promised the Black Man that comely Hester Prynne should make one.” (8.39)

Chapter 9

For the sake of the minister’s health, and to enable the leech to gather plants with healing balm in them, they took long walks on the seashore or in the forest; mingling various talk with th...

Chapter 11

The intellect of Roger Chillingworth had now a sufficiently plain path before it. It was not, indeed, precisely that which he had laid out for himself to tread. Calm, gentle, passionless, as he app...

Chapter 12

It was, indeed, a majestic idea that the destiny of nations should be revealed, in these awful hieroglyphics, on the cope of heaven. A scroll so wide might not be deemed too expansive for Providenc...

Chapter 13

Yet, had little Pearl never come to her from the spiritual world, it might have been far otherwise. Then, she might have come down to us in history, hand in hand with Ann Hutchinson, as the foundre...

Chapter 14

“Peace, Hester, peace!” replied the old man, with gloomy sternness. “It is not granted me to pardon. I have no such power as though tallest me of. (…) Ye that have wronged m...

Chapter 15

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 wickedn...

Chapter 16

Pearl resembled the brook, inasmuch as the current of her life gushed from a wellspring as mysterious, and had flown through scenes shadowed as heavily with gloom. But, unlike the little stream, sh...

Chapter 17

"Thou shalt forgive me!" cried Hester, flinging herself on the fallen leaves beside [Dimmesdale]. "Let God punish! Thou shalt forgive!" (17.18).

Chapter 18

Were such a man once more to fall, what plea could be urged in extenuation of his crime? None; unless it avail him somewhat, that he was broken down by long and exquisite suffering; that his mind w...

Chapter 19

"Doth he love us?" said Pearl, looking up with acute intelligence into her mother's face. "Will he go back with us, hand in hand, we three together, into the town?" "Not now, dear child," answered...

Chapter 21

Children have always a sympathy in the agitations of those connected with them; always, especially, a sense of any trouble or impending revolution, of whatever kind, in domestic circumstances; and...

Chapter 22

She thought of the dim forest, with its little dell of solitude, and love, and anguish, and the mossy tree-trunk, where, sitting hand in hand, they had mingled their sad and passionate talk with th...

Chapter 23

"Thou hast escaped me!" [Chillingworth] repeated more than once. "Thou hast escaped me!""May God forgive thee!" said the minister. "Thou, too, hast deeply sinned!" (23.28-29)

Chapter 24

At old Roger Chillingworth's decease (which took place within the year), and by his last will and testament, of which Governor Bellingham and the Reverend Mr. Wilson were executors, he bequeathed a...
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