"It has avenged thee," answered Hester Prynne.
"I judged no less," said the physician. "And now what wouldst
thou with me touching this man?"
"I must reveal the secret," answered Hester, firmly. "He must
discern thee in thy true character. What may be the result I
know not. But this long debt of confidence, due from me to him,
whose bane and ruin I have been, shall at length be paid. So far
as concerns the overthrow or preservation of his fair fame and
his earthly state, and perchance his life, he is in my hands.
Nor do I--whom the scarlet letter has disciplined to truth,
though it be the truth of red-hot iron entering into the
soul--nor do I perceive such advantage in his living any longer
a life of ghastly emptiness, that I shall stoop to implore thy
mercy. Do with him as thou wilt! There is no good for him, no
good for me, no good for thee. There is no good for little
Pearl. There is no path to guide us out of this dismal maze."