The Evils Of Roger Ollingingworth By Roger Chillingworth

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After the incident last described, Roger Chillingworth had a sufficiently plain path before him. Calm as he appeared, there was now an awakened malice (1) in this old man. He began to plot a more intimate revenge upon his enemy than any mortal had ever wreaked (2).

He would make himself the clergyman’s one trusted friend. All that guilty sorrow hidden away from the world--a world that would have been much more apt to forgive him--would be solely revealed to him, the Pitiless—to him, the Unforgiving!

The clergyman’s sensitive and reserved nature interfered with this scheme. Yet Roger Chillingworth remained unsatisfied with the anguish Providence had already brought upon the miserable man. To him, those punishments were weak substitutes for
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And more than once, he had spoken! He had told his audience that he was the utmost vile (11) creature in all of existence-in hundreds of ways as well.

They heard it all-yet only revered (12) him more for his self-condemning words. “If he,” they would say, “-that godly youth, sees such sinfulness in himself, what iniquity there must be in thine or mine!”

The minister--remorseful hypocrite that he was--had known how his vague confession would be interpreted. In hoping to release the guilt in his conscience, he had only added to it by sinning anew.

And thus, above all else, he grew to loathe (13) himself!

In private, he plied (14) a bloody scourge (15) upon his shoulders, all the while laughing bitterly at the self-inflicted pain.

It was his habit, too, to undergo rigorous fasts--not like those of the pious (16) Puritans, who did so in order to purify their bodies, but rather as an act of penance (17) for his sins.

With the same intent did he keep nightly vigils (18). In their length, his brain often reeled (19), visions flitting before his eyes. Herds of diabolic (20) shapes grinned and mocked him. His father and mother turned their faces away as they passed by him. And then, Hester Prynne leading along little Pearl-the scarlet vision-who pointed her finger: first at the scarlet letter of the maternal bosom and then at the clergyman’s own

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