"Oh, not so!--not so!" continued Mr. Dimmesdale. "She
recognises, believe me, the solemn miracle which God hath
wrought in the existence of that child. And may she feel,
too--what, methinks, is the very truth--that this boon was
meant, above all things else, to keep the mother's soul alive,
and to preserve her from blacker depths of sin into which Satan
might else have sought to plunge her! Therefore it is good for
this poor, sinful woman, that she hath an infant immortality, a
being capable of eternal joy or sorrow, confided to her care--to
be trained up by her to righteousness, to remind her, at every
moment, of her fall, but yet to teach her, as if it were by the
Creator's sacred pledge, that, if she bring the child to heaven,
the child also will bring its parents thither! Herein is the
sinful mother happier than the sinful father. For Hester
Prynne's sake, then, and no less for the poor child's sake, let
us leave them as Providence hath seen fit to place them!"
"You speak, my friend, with a strange earnestness," said old
Roger Chillingworth, smiling at him.
"And there is a weighty import in what my young brother hath
spoken," added the Rev. Mr. Wilson.
"What say you, worshipful Master Bellingham? Hath he not
pleaded well for the poor woman?"