Such a union accordingly took place, and was attended with truly remarkable consequences and a deeply impressive moral. One young goodman brown research paper, very soon after their marriage, Aylmer sat gazing at his wife with a trouble in his countenance that grew stronger until he spoke. Georgiana,” said he, “has it never occurred to you that the mark upon your cheek might be removed? To tell you the truth it has been so often called a charm that I was simple enough to imagine it might be so.
No, dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me, as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection. Then why did you take me from my mother’s side? You cannot love what shocks you! To explain this conversation it must be mentioned that in the centre of Georgiana’s left cheek there was a singular mark, deeply interwoven, as it were, with the texture and substance of her face.
In the usual state of her complexion–a healthy though delicate bloom–the mark wore a tint of deeper crimson, which imperfectly defined its shape amid the surrounding rosiness. At all the seasons which should have been their happiest, he invariably and without intending it, nay, in spite of a purpose to the contrary, reverted to this one disastrous topic. Trifling as it at first appeared, it so connected itself with innumerable trains of thought and modes of feeling that it became the central point of all. Late one night when the lights were growing dim, so as hardly to betray the stain on the poor wife’s cheek, she herself, for the first time, voluntarily took up the subject. Do you remember, my dear Aylmer,” said she, with a feeble attempt at a smile, “have you any recollection of a dream last night about this odious hand?
I fell asleep it had taken a pretty firm hold of my fancy. And you did dream of it? I wonder that you can forget it. Is it possible to forget this one expression? I would have you recall that dream. The mind is in a sad state when Sleep, the all-involving, cannot confine her spectres within the dim region of her sway, but suffers them to break forth, affrighting this actual life with secrets that perchance belong to a deeper one. When the dream had shaped itself perfectly in his memory, Aylmer sat in his wife’s presence with a guilty feeling.
Truth often finds its way to the mind close muffled in robes of sleep, and then speaks with uncompromising directness of matters in regard to which we practise an unconscious self-deception during our waking moments. Aylmer,” resumed Georgiana, solemnly, “I know not what may be the cost to both of us to rid me of this fatal birthmark. Again: do we know that there is a possibility, on any terms, of unclasping the firm gripe of this little hand which was laid upon me before I came into the world? Dearest Georgiana, I have spent much thought upon the subject,” hastily interrupted Aylmer. I am convinced of the perfect practicability of its removal. If there be the remotest possibility of it,” continued Georgiana, “let the attempt be made at whatever risk.
I would fling down with joy. Either remove this dreadful hand, or take my wretched life! All the world bears witness of it. Noblest, dearest, tenderest wife,” cried Aylmer, rapturously, “doubt not my power.
I have already given this matter the deepest thought–thought which might almost have enlightened me to create a being less perfect than yourself. Georgiana, you have led me deeper than ever into the heart of science. It is resolved, then,” said Georgiana, faintly smiling. And, Aylmer, spare me not, though you should find the birthmark take refuge in my heart at last.
Her husband tenderly kissed her cheek–her right cheek–not that which bore the impress of the crimson hand. Georgiana, likewise, would enjoy the perfect repose essential to its success. As he led her over the threshold of the laboratory, Georgiana was cold and tremulous. Aylmer looked cheerfully into her face, with intent to reassure her, but was so startled with the intense glow of the birthmark upon the whiteness of her cheek that he could not restrain a strong convulsive shudder.
Aylmer, stamping violently on the floor. Forthwith there issued from an inner apartment a man of low stature, but bulky frame, with shaggy hair hanging about his visage, which was grimed with the vapors of the furnace. This personage had been Aylmer’s underworker during his whole scientific career, and was admirably fitted for that office by his great mechanical readiness, and the skill with which, while incapable of comprehending a single principle, he executed all the details of his master’s experiments. Throw open the door of the boudoir, Aminadab,” said Aylmer, “and burn a pastil. If she were my wife, I’d never part with that birthmark. When Georgiana recovered consciousness she found herself breathing an atmosphere of penetrating fragrance, the gentle potency of which had recalled her from her deathlike faintness. The scene around her looked like enchantment.