Now Pearl knew well enough who made her, for Hester Prynne, the
daughter of a pious home, very soon after her talk with the
child about her Heavenly Father, had begun to inform her of
those truths which the human spirit, at whatever stage of
immaturity, imbibes with such eager interest. Pearl,
therefore--so large were the attainments of her three years'
lifetime--could have borne a fair examination in the New England
Primer, or the first column of the Westminster Catechisms,
although unacquainted with the outward form of either of those
celebrated works. But that perversity, which all children have
more or less of, and of which little Pearl had a tenfold
portion, now, at the most inopportune moment, took thorough
possession of her, and closed her lips, or impelled her to speak
words amiss. After putting her finger in her mouth, with many
ungracious refusals to answer good Mr. Wilson's question, the
child finally announced that she had not been made at all, but
had been plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses that
grew by the prison-door.
This phantasy was probably suggested by the near proximity of
the Governor's red roses, as Pearl stood outside of the window,
together with her recollection of the prison rose-bush, which
she had passed in coming hither.