In Ch. 12
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Dimmesdale keeps quite a few vigils and they all, the one's public, make his career stronger. One would think that the parishioners, finding Dimmesdale's glove on the scaffold, might think that he had been there. Instead they think Satan had been trying to frame their pious priest. As Dimmesdale gets weaker and weaker from basically torturing himself, the people think that he is closer to God.