"Thy acts are like mercy," said Hester, bewildered and appalled;
"but thy words interpret thee as a terror!"
"One thing, thou that wast my wife, I would enjoin upon thee,"
continued the scholar. "Thou hast kept the secret of thy
paramour. Keep, likewise, mine! There are none in this land that
know me. Breathe not to any human soul that thou didst ever call
me husband! Here, on this wild outskirt of the earth, I shall
pitch my tent; for, elsewhere a wanderer, and isolated from
human interests, I find here a woman, a man, a child, amongst
whom and myself there exist the closest ligaments. No matter
whether of love or hate: no matter whether of right or wrong!
Thou and thine, Hester Prynne, belong to me. My home is where
thou art and where he is. But betray me not!"