In ch. 23
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Dimmesdale then sinks down to his knees and asks Pearl to kiss him now. She does, and "a spell was broken ... her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world. Towards her mother, too, Pearl's errand as a messenger of anguish was all fulfilled." Dimmesdale then dies on the scaffold.