"Verily, and in good faith," answered Roger Chillingworth, "I
knew nothing of the matter. I had spent the better part of the
night at the bedside of the worshipful Governor Winthrop, doing
what my poor skill might to give him ease. He, going home to a
better world, I, likewise, was on my way homeward, when this
light shone out. Come with me, I beseech you, Reverend sir, else
you will be poorly able to do Sabbath duty to-morrow. Aha! see
now how they trouble the brain--these books!--these books! You
should study less, good sir, and take a little pastime, or these
night whimsies will grow upon you."
"I will go home with you," said Mr. Dimmesdale.
With a chill despondency, like one awakening, all nerveless,
from an ugly dream, he yielded himself to the physician, and was
The next day, however, being the Sabbath, he preached a
discourse which was held to be the richest and most powerful,
and the most replete with heavenly influences, that had ever
proceeded from his lips. Souls, it is said, more souls than one,
were brought to the truth by the efficacy of that sermon, and
vowed within themselves to cherish a holy gratitude towards Mr.
Dimmesdale throughout the long hereafter. But as he came down
the pulpit steps, the grey-bearded sexton met him, holding up a
black glove, which the minister recognised as his own.