The next day, the whole village of Milford talked of little else than Parson Hooper's black veil.
Yet, though so well acquainted with this amiable weakness, no individual among his parishioners chose to make the black veil a subject of friendly remonstrance.
But there was one person in the village unappalled by the awe with which the black veil had impressed all beside herself.
Know, then, this veil is a type and a symbol, and I am bound to wear it ever, both in light and darkness, in solitude and before the gaze of multitudes, and as with strangers, so with my familiar friends.
Hooper, "I, perhaps, like most other mortals, have sorrows dark enough to be typified by a black veil.
He even smiled again--that same sad smile, which always appeared like a faint glimmering of light, proceeding from the obscurity beneath the veil.
But, in an instant, as it were, a new feeling took the place of sorrow: her eyes were fixed insensibly on the black veil, when, like a sudden twilight in the air, its terrors fell around her.
Do not desert me, though this veil must be between us here on earth.
Lift the veil but once, and look me in the face," said she.
She withdrew her arm from his grasp, and slowly departed, pausing at the door, to give one long shuddering gaze, that seemed almost to penetrate the mystery of the black veil.
In truth, his own antipathy to the veil was known to be so great, that he never willingly passed before a mirror, nor stooped to drink at a still fountain, lest, in its peaceful bosom, he should be affrighted by himself.
Among all its bad influences, the black veil had the one desirable effect, of making its wearer a very efficient clergyman.
As years wore on, shedding their snows above his sable veil, he acquired a name throughout the New England churches, and they called him Father Hooper.
And there lay the hoary head of good Father Hooper upon the death pillow, with the black veil still swathed about his brow, and reaching down over his face, so that each more difficult gasp of his faint breath caused it to stir.