He transformed into a thief. Entering a chamber where a man lies, half-asleep, he aimed to steal the man’s treasure.
But the floor would creak, Mr. Dimmesdale aware of a disturbance. Yet Roger Chillingworth-intuitive (4) and perceptive-would be prepared, appearing always as the clergyman’s kind friend.
Thus, they maintained a familiar relationship.
One day, the clergyman was looking out a window into the graveyard, conversing with the old man who was examining a bundle of plants.
“I found these,” Roger Chillingworth answered upon inquiry, “-on a grave. Perchance they grew out of the man’s heart and typify (5) some hideous secret buried with him, one which he should have confessed when in life.”
“Perhaps,” said Mr. Dimmesdale, “-he desired to but could not. The heart must hold certain secrets until that last day; only then will the hearts holding such miserable secrets yield (6) them with joy.”
“If with joy, why should they not reveal their secrets here?”
“Most do,” said the clergyman, grasping at his breast as if with an importunate (7) throb of pain. “Many have confessed to me, not only on the death–bed, but while strong in life. And, oh, what a relief I witnessed in those sinful brethren (8)!”
“Yet some men bury their secrets,” observed the calm physician.
“True. But, perhaps guilty as they may be, they shrink (9) from displaying themselves filthy; because thenceforward, they can do no good. Thus, they go about looking pure despite their hearts being stained with iniquity (10).”
“These men deceive themselves,” said Roger ...
... middle of paper ...
...importunate(adj): persistent to the point of being intrusive and unwanted
8/brethren(n): brothers (of a Christian community)
9/shrink(v): to refrain from a responsibility
10/iniquity(n): immorality; sinfulness
11/agitate(v): to unsettle; to make somebody nervous
12/irreverently(adv): without respect for something that most people take seriously
13/decorously(adv): politely; describing a behavior of good manners
14/burr(n): a rough, spiny fruit that grows on a burdock
15/ponder(v): to think long and hard about something; to contemplate
16/demerit(n): a mark that notes an individual’s offenses and faults
17/recount(v): to tell; to relate an event or experience to another
18/pious(adj): religious; godly; spiritual
19/unwarranted(adj): something that isn’t or cannot be justified; unreasonable
20/distinguish(v): to separate; to find a difference between two or more things
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