"Thou canst not think," said the minister, glancing aside at
Hester Prynne, "how my heart dreads this interview, and yearns
for it! But, in truth, as I already told thee, children are not
readily won to be familiar with me. They will not climb my knee,
nor prattle in my ear, nor answer to my smile, but stand apart,
and eye me strangely. Even little babes, when I take them in my
arms, weep bitterly. Yet Pearl, twice in her little lifetime,
hath been kind to me! The first time--thou knowest it well! The
last was when thou ledst her with thee to the house of yonder
stern old Governor."
"And thou didst plead so bravely in her behalf and mine!"
answered the mother. "I remember it; and so shall little Pearl.
Fear nothing. She may be strange and shy at first, but will soon
learn to love thee!"