The Scarlet Letter (Chapter 6, page 1 of 10)

Previous Page
Next Page

Chapter 6

We have as yet hardly spoken of the infant; that little
creature, whose innocent life had sprung, by the inscrutable
decree of Providence, a lovely and immortal flower, out of the
rank luxuriance of a guilty passion. How strange it seemed to
the sad woman, as she watched the growth, and the beauty that
became every day more brilliant, and the intelligence that threw
its quivering sunshine over the tiny features of this child! Her
Pearl--for so had Hester called her; not as a name expressive of
her aspect, which had nothing of the calm, white, unimpassioned
lustre that would be indicated by the comparison. But she named
the infant "Pearl," as being of great price--purchased with all
she had--her mother's only treasure! How strange, indeed! Man
had marked this woman's sin by a scarlet letter, which had such
potent and disastrous efficacy that no human sympathy could
reach her, save it were sinful like herself. God, as a direct
consequence of the sin which man thus punished, had given her a
lovely child, whose place was on that same dishonoured bosom, to
connect her parent for ever with the race and descent of
mortals, and to be finally a blessed soul in heaven!

Yet these thoughts affected Hester Prynne less with hope than
apprehension. She knew that her deed had been evil; she could
have no faith, therefore, that its result would be good. Day
after day she looked fearfully into the child's expanding
nature, ever dreading to detect some dark and wild peculiarity
that should correspond with the guiltiness to which she owed her

Previous Page
Next Page

Rate This Book

Current Rating: 2.9/5 (446 votes cast)

Review This Book or Post a Comment