"Were it not better," said he, "that you use my poor skill
tonight? Verily, dear sir, we must take pains to make you strong
and vigorous for this occasion of the Election discourse. The
people look for great things from you, apprehending that another
year may come about and find their pastor gone."
"Yes, to another world," replied the minister with pious
resignation. "Heaven grant it be a better one; for, in good
sooth, I hardly think to tarry with my flock through the
flitting seasons of another year! But touching your medicine,
kind sir, in my present frame of body I need it not."
"I joy to hear it," answered the physician. "It may be that my
remedies, so long administered in vain, begin now to take due
effect. Happy man were I, and well deserving of New England's
gratitude, could I achieve this cure!"
"I thank you from my heart, most watchful friend," said the
Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale with a solemn smile. "I thank you, and
can but requite your good deeds with my prayers."
"A good man's prayers are golden recompense!" rejoined old Roger
Chillingworth, as he took his leave. "Yea, they are the current
gold coin of the New Jerusalem, with the King's own mint mark on