"The Scarlet Letter"
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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     "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 with her!"

     "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. Pearl! Pearl!"


     "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.

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