By an Indian 's side stood a white man.
He was small in stature, but with remarkable intelligence in his features. Although he had endeavoured (2) to conceal the peculiarity, it was evident to Hester that one of his shoulders rose higher than the other. At the first instant of perceiving that visage, she pressed her infant to her bosom, with such force the poor babe uttered another cry of pain. But the mother did not seem to hear it.
At his arrival in the market-place, and some time before she saw him, the stranger had bent his eyes on Hester. Carelessly, at first; then, horror twisted itself across his features, which, he instantaneously controlled. When he found Hester’s eyes fastened on his own, he calmly raised his finger, laying it on his lips.
Then, touching the shoulder of a nearby townsman, he addressed him. "Good Sir, who is this woman? Why is she set up here to public shame?"
"You must be a stranger, else you would have heard of Mistress Hester Prynne, and her evil doings.”
"I am. Will it please you, therefore, to tell me of her offences, and what has brought her to yonder scaffold?"
"She was the wife of a learned man who, some good time ago, was minded to cross over with us. He sent his wife before him. In some two years that the woman has been a dweller here, no news have come of this learned gentleman; and his young wife, being left to her own misguidance----"
"Ah! I understand," said the stranger with a bitter smile. "And who, may be the father of the babe Mistress Prynne is holding in her arms?"
"Madam Hester refuseth to speak. Perhaps the...
... middle of paper ...
...s a prefix, a section before a book begins
10/meddle(v): to interfere in the middle of a situation one has no right to interfere in; implies a needless, rude action
11/tempered(v): to be made less severe and stern
12/behooves(v): to be of advantage; as in, “it would be to your advantage”
13/exhort(v): to encourage an individual to do something, often in a pressing manner
14/melancholy(adj): sad, gloomy
15/seclusion(n): to be in a state of isolation, away from other people and places; implies a sheltered existence
16/steadfastly(adv): firmly, with intent and purpose; directly without being distracted; unwaveringly
17/manifested(v): to be expressed, to create (an emotion in people); to display
18/plaintive(adj): sad, wistful, mournful
19/ignominious(adj): shameful, associated with public disgrace and sin
20/dwell(v): to linger upon (when speaking), to brood about
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