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Chillingworth's uncommon intelligence and skill as a physician soon make him quite popular. At the same time Chillingworth begins to whither look older because of his stress and hate. The healer is unable to heal his own body and mind.
The townspeople are for the most part thrilled with the way the relationship between the two men is working out. This is ironic considering the two men dislike each other and Chillingworth is trying to slowly poison Dimmesdale.