"Thou wilt love her dearly," repeated Hester Prynne, as she and
the minister sat watching little Pearl. "Dost thou not think her
beautiful? And see with what natural skill she has made those
simple flowers adorn her! Had she gathered pearls, and diamonds,
and rubies in the wood, they could not have become her better!
She is a splendid child! But I know whose brow she has!"
"Dost thou know, Hester," said Arthur Dimmesdale, with an
unquiet smile, "that this dear child, tripping about always at
thy side, hath caused me many an alarm? Methought--oh, Hester,
what a thought is that, and how terrible to dread it!--that my
own features were partly repeated in her face, and so strikingly
that the world might see them! But she is mostly thine!"
"No, no! Not mostly!" answered the mother, with a tender smile.
"A little longer, and thou needest not to be afraid to trace
whose child she is. But how strangely beautiful she looks with
those wild flowers in her hair! It is as if one of the fairies,
whom we left in dear old England, had decked her out to meet