Hester looked at him with the thrill
of another joy.
"Thou must know Pearl!" said she. "Our little Pearl! Thou hast seen her- yes, I know it!- but thou wilt see her now with other eyes. She is a strange child! I hardly comprehend
her! But thou wilt love her dearly, as I do, and wilt advise me how to deal with her."
"Dost thou think the child will be glad to know me?" asked the minister, somewhat uneasily. "I have long shrunk from children, because they often show a distrust- a backwardness
to be familiar with me. I have even been afraid of little Pearl!"
"Ah, that was sad!" answered the mother. "But she will love thee dearly, and thou her. She is not far off. I will call her! Pearl! Pearl!"
"I see the child," observed the minister. "Yonder she is, standing in a streak
of sunshine, a good way off, on the other side of the brook, So thou thinkest the child will love me?"
Hester smiled, and again called to Pearl, who was visible, at some distance, as the minister had described her, like a bright-apparelled
vision, in a sunbeam
, which fell down upon her through an arch of boughs
. The ray quivered
to and fro, making her figure dim or distinct- now like a real child, now like a child's spirit- as the splendour
went and came again. She heard her mother's voice, and approached slowly through the forest.