Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel
Hawthorne
1804
1864

American Novelist, Short-Story Writer best known for novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables

Author Quotes

We had pleased ourselves with the delectable visions of the spiritualization of labor....Each stroke of the hoe was to uncover some aromatic root of wisdom... But... the clods of earth, which we constantly belabored and turned over and over, were never etherealized into thought. Our thoughts, on the contrary, were fast becoming cloddish. Our labor symbolized nothing and left us mentally sluggish in the dusk of the evening.

When an uninstructed multitude attempts to see with its eyes, it is exceedingly apt to be deceived. When, however, it forms its judgment, as it usually does, on the intuitions of its great and warm heart, the conclusions thus attained are often so profound and so unerring as to possess the character of truth supernaturally revealed.

Women are safer in perilous situations and emergencies than men, and might be still more so if they trusted themselves more confidingly to the chivalry of manhood.

We have yet to learn again the forgotten art of gaiety.

When he found the eyes of Hester Prynne fastened on his own, and saw that she appeared to recognize him, he slowly and calmly raised his finger, made a gesture with it in the air, and laid it on his lips.

Women derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from the delicate toil of the needle.

We men of study, whose heads are in our books, have need to be straightly looked after! We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.

When he is cheerful--when the sun shines into his mind--then I venture to peep in, just as far as the light reaches, but no further. It is holy ground where the shadow falls!

Wondrous strength and generosity of a woman's heart! She will not speak!

We must not always talk in the marketplace of what happens to us in the forest.

When individuals approach one another with deep purposes on both sides they seldom come at once to the matter which they have most at heart. They dread the electric shock of a too sudden contact with it.

Would Time but await the close of our favorite follies, we should all be young men, all of us, and until Doom's Day.

We must not think too unkindly even of the east wind. It is not, perhaps, a wind to be loved, even in its benignest moods; but there are seasons when I delight to feel its breath upon my cheek, though it be never advisable to throw open my bosom and take it into my heart, as I would its gentle sisters of the south and west.

When man is a brute, he is the most sensual and loathsome of all brutes.

Wouldst thou, then, have preferred the condition of a weak woman, exposed to all evil and capable of none?

What a strange, sad man is he! said the child, as if speaking partly to herself. In the dark night-time, he calls us to him, and holds thy hand and mine, as when we stood with him on the scaffold yonder! And in the deep forest, where only the old trees can hear, and the strip of sky see it, he talks with thee, sitting on a heap of moss! And he kisses my forehead, too, that the little brook would hardly wash it off! But here in the sunny day, and among all the people, he knows us not; nor must we know him! A strange, sad man is he, with is hand always over his heart!

When scattered clouds are resting on the bosoms of hills, it seems as if one might climb into the heavenly region, earth being so intermixed with sky, and gradually transformed into it.

Yes, poisonous thing! repeated Giovanni, beside himself with passion. Thou hast done it! Thou has blasted me! Thou hast filled my veins with poison! Thou hast made me as hateful, as ugly, as loathsome and deadly a creature as thyself ? a world's wonder of hideous monstrosity! Now, if our breath be happily as fatal to ourselves as to all others, let us join our lips in one kiss of unutterable hatred, and so die!

What a sweet reverence is that when a young man deems his mistress a little more than mortal and almost chides himself for longing to bring her close to his heart.

When the Artist rises high enough to achieve the Beautiful, the symbol by which he makes it perceptible to mortal senses becomes of little value in his eyes, while his spirit possesses itself in the enjoyment of the reality.

Yesterday I went out at about twelve, and visited the British Museum; an exceedingly tiresome affair. It quite crushes a person to see so much at once; and I wandered from hall to hall with a weary and heavy heart, wishing (Heaven forgive me!) that the Elgin marbles and the frieze of the Parthenon were all burnt into lime, and that the granite Egyptian statues were hewn and squared into building stones, and that the mummies had all turned to dust, two thousand years ago; and, in fine, that all the material relics of so many successive ages had disappeared with the generations that produced them. The present is burthened too much with the past.

What a terrible thing it is to try to let off a little bit of truth into this miserable humbug of a world!

When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best-beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a black veil!

You are my evil spirit, you and the hard, coarse world! The leaden thoughts and the despondency that you fling upon me are my clogs, else I should long ago have achieved the task that I was created for.

What are the haughtiest of us but ephemeral aristocrats of a summer's day?

Author Picture
First Name
Nathaniel
Last Name
Hawthorne
Birth Date
1804
Death Date
1864
Bio

American Novelist, Short-Story Writer best known for novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables