Although not religious by nature, Roger Chillingworth chooses the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale as his spiritual advisor, a choice designed to pique the reader’s curiosity. Dimmesdale’s humility and his many fasts and vigils have impressed the townspeople with his holiness, but they fear that his deteriorating physical condition has brought him close to death. The elders persuade him to seek the advice of the learned doctor. Though Dimmesdale says he prefers death to Chillingworth’s medicines, he and the doctor spend long hours together talking about many...
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