As night approached, it proving impossible to quell her insubordination by rebuke or threats of punishment, Master Brackett, the jailer, thought fit to introduce a physician.
In fact, adown the vista of the garden avenue, a number of persons were seen approaching towards the house.
His eyes, however, were soon greeted by a little glimmering light, which, at first a long way off was approaching up the street.
Roger Chillingworth had by this time approached the window and smiled grimly down.
"Yes; it is Hester Prynne!" she replied, in a tone of surprise; and the minister heard her footsteps approaching from the side-walk, along which she had been passing.
They approached the door, which was of an arched form, and flanked on each side by a narrow tower or projection of the edifice, in both of which were lattice-windows, the wooden shutters to close over them at need.
As the ranks of military men and civil fathers moved onward, all eyes were turned towards the point where the minister was seen to approach among them.
She heard her mother’s voice, and approached slowly through the forest.
Near this latter spot, one afternoon some children were at play, when they beheld a tall woman in a gray robe approach the cottage-door.
The thought occurred to Hester, that the child might really be seeking to approach her with childlike confidence, and doing what she could, and as intelligently as she knew how, to establish a meeting-point of sympathy.
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And thus much of woman was there in Hester, that she could scarcely forgive him—least of all now, when the heavy footstep of their approaching Fate might be heard, nearer, nearer, nearer!
It is singular, however, how long a time often passes before words embody things; and with what security two persons, who choose to avoid a certain subject, may approach its very verge, and retire without disturbing it.
They beheld the minister, leaning on Hester’s shoulder, and supported by her arm around him, approach the scaffold, and ascend its steps; while still the little hand of the sin-born child was clasped in his.
Before Hester Prynne could call together her thoughts, and consider what was practicable to be done in this new and startling aspect of affairs, the sound of military music was heard approaching along a contiguous street.
After parting from the physician, the commander of the Bristol ship strolled idly through the market-place; until happening to approach the spot where Hester Prynne was standing, he appeared to recognise, and did not hesitate to address her.
But now the idea came strongly into Hester’s mind, that Pearl, with her remarkable precocity and acuteness, might already have approached the age when she could have been made a friend, and intrusted with as much of her mother’s sorrows as could be imparted, without irreverence either to the parent or the child.