March music is heard, and even Pearl is momentarily transfixed by the sight and sound of the musicians, the military men, the civil authorities, and lastly, the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale as he is escorted to the meeting-house. He walks with unusual energy, and as Hester looks upon him, she senses that he is beyond her reach. In contrast to the closeness they shared in the forest, he seems a player in a drama and she, a mere spectator. Even Pearl is unsure that she recognizes the man.
Mistress Hibbins begins a conversation with Hester about the...
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