"You speak in riddles, learned sir," said the pale minister,
glancing aside out of the window.
"Then, to speak more plainly," continued the physician, "and I
crave pardon, sir, should it seem to require pardon, for this
needful plainness of my speech. Let me ask as your friend, as
one having charge, under Providence, of your life and physical
well being, hath all the operations of this disorder been fairly
laid open and recounted to me?"
"How can you question it?" asked the minister. "Surely it were
child's play to call in a physician and then hide the sore!"
"You would tell me, then, that I know all?" said Roger
Chillingworth, deliberately, and fixing an eye, bright with
intense and concentrated intelligence, on the minister's face.
"Be it so! But again! He to whom only the outward and physical
evil is laid open, knoweth, oftentimes, but half the evil which
he is called upon to cure. A bodily disease, which we look upon
as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a
symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part. Your pardon once
again, good sir, if my speech give the shadow of offence. You,
sir, of all men whom I have known, are he whose body is the
closest conjoined, and imbued, and identified, so to speak, with
the spirit whereof it is the instrument."