Scarlet Letter Chapter 17 (XVII) The Pastor and his Parishioner
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They meet in the forest. She reveals the fact that Chillingworth is her former husband, at which Dimmesdale first appears angry but then sinks down into the ground. Hester advises Dimmesdale to leave the settlement and go into the wilderness where he can live in peace. He declines the very thought, but she presses him to then take a new name and go to Europe. Dimmesdale says, "thou tellest of running a race to a man whose knees are tottering beneath him!"