"Quickly, then, child!" said the minister, bending his ear close
to her lips. "Quickly, and as low as thou canst whisper."
Pearl mumbled something into his ear that sounded, indeed, like
human language, but was only such gibberish as children may be
heard amusing themselves with by the hour together. At all
events, if it involved any secret information in regard to old
Roger Chillingworth, it was in a tongue unknown to the erudite
clergyman, and did but increase the bewilderment of his mind.
The elvish child then laughed aloud.
"Dost thou mock me now?" said the minister.
"Thou wast not bold!--thou wast not true!" answered the child.
"Thou wouldst not promise to take my hand, and mother's hand,
"Worthy sir," answered the physician, who had now advanced to
the foot of the platform--"pious Master Dimmesdale! can this be
you? Well, well, indeed! We men of study, whose heads are in our
books, have need to be straitly looked after! We dream in our
waking moments, and walk in our sleep. Come, good sir, and my
dear friend, I pray you let me lead you home!"
"How knewest thou that I was here?" asked the minister,