"A rare case," he muttered. "I must needs look deeper into it.
A strange sympathy betwixt soul and body! Were it only for the
art's sake, I must search this matter to the bottom."
It came to pass, not long after the scene above recorded, that
the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, noon-day, and entirely unawares,
fell into a deep, deep slumber, sitting in his chair, with a
large black-letter volume open before him on the table. It must
have been a work of vast ability in the somniferous school of
literature. The profound depth of the minister's repose was the
more remarkable, inasmuch as he was one of those persons whose
sleep ordinarily is as light as fitful, and as easily scared
away, as a small bird hopping on a twig. To such an unwonted
remoteness, however, had his spirit now withdrawn into itself
that he stirred not in his chair when old Roger Chillingworth,
without any extraordinary precaution, came into the room. The
physician advanced directly in front of his patient, laid his
hand upon his bosom, and thrust aside the vestment, that
hitherto had always covered it even from the professional eye.