"Were it God's will," said the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, when, in
fulfilment of this pledge, he requested old Roger
Chillingworth's professional advice, "I could be well content
that my labours, and my sorrows, and my sins, and my pains,
should shortly end with me, and what is earthly of them be
buried in my grave, and the spiritual go with me to my eternal
state, rather than that you should put your skill to the proof
in my behalf."
"Ah," replied Roger Chillingworth, with that quietness, which,
whether imposed or natural, marked all his deportment, "it is
thus that a young clergyman is apt to speak. Youthful men, not
having taken a deep root, give up their hold of life so easily!
And saintly men, who walk with God on earth, would fain be away,
to walk with him on the golden pavements of the New Jerusalem."
"Nay," rejoined the young minister, putting his hand to his
heart, with a flush of pain flitting over his brow, "were I
worthier to walk there, I could be better content to toil here."
"Good men ever interpret themselves too meanly," said the