But for my aid his life would have burned away in torments within the first two years after the perpetration of his crime and thine.
A mortal man, with once a human heart, has become a fiend for his especial torment.
So, to their own unutterable torment, they go about among their fellow-creatures, looking pure as new-fallen snow, while their hearts are all speckled and spotted with iniquity of which they cannot rid themselves.
His pervading and continual hope—a hallucination, which, in the face of all discouragement, and making light of impossibilities, haunts him while he lives, and, I fancy, like the convulsive throes of the cholera, torments him for a brief space after death—is, that finally, and in no long time, by some happy coincidence of circumstances, he shall be restored to office.
Thou little knowest what a relief it is, after the torment of a seven years’ cheat, to look into an eye that recognises me for what I am!
But, as matters stand with my soul, whatever of good capacity there originally was in me, all of God’s gifts that were the choicest have become the ministers of spiritual torment.
Why shouldst thou tarry so much as one other day in the torments that have so gnawed into thy life? that have made thee feeble to will and to do? that will leave thee powerless even to repent?
Lastly, the inhabitants of the town (their own interest in this worn-out subject languidly reviving itself, by sympathy with what they saw others feel) lounged idly to the same quarter, and tormented Hester Prynne, perhaps more than all the rest, with their cool, well-acquainted gaze at her familiar shame.