"Thou must know Pearl!" said she. "Our little Pearl! Thou hast
seen her--yes, I know it!--but thou wilt see her now with other
eyes. She is a strange child! I hardly comprehend her! But thou
wilt love her dearly, as I do, and wilt advise me how to deal
"Dost thou think the child will be glad to know me?" asked the
minister, somewhat uneasily. "I have long shrunk from children,
because they often show a distrust--a backwardness to be
familiar with me. I have even been afraid of little Pearl!"
"Ah, that was sad!" answered the mother. "But she will love
thee dearly, and thou her. She is not far off. I will call her.
"I see the child," observed the minister. "Yonder she is,
standing in a streak of sunshine, a good way off, on the other
side of the brook. So thou thinkest the child will love me?"
Hester smiled, and again called to Pearl, who was visible at
some distance, as the minister had described her, like a
bright-apparelled vision in a sunbeam, which fell down upon her
through an arch of boughs. The ray quivered to and fro, making
her figure dim or distinct--now like a real child, now like a
child's spirit--as the splendour went and came again. She heard
her mother's voice, and approached slowly through the forest.