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

Who can tell where happiness may come, or where, though an expected guest, it may never show its face?

Unable to penetrate to the secret place of his soul where his motives lay hidden, he believed that a supernatural voice had called him onward, and that a supernatural power had obstructed his retreat.

What, in the name of common-sense, had I to do with any better society than I had always lived in? It had satisfied me well enough. My pleasant bachelor-parlor, sunny and shadowy, curtained and carpeted, with the bedchamber adjoining... my evening at the billiard club, the concert, the theatre, or at somebody's party, if I pleased - what could be better than all this? Was it better to hoe, to mow, to toil and moil amidst the accumulations of a barnyard; to be the chambermaid of two yoke of oxen and a dozen cows; to eat salt beef, and earn it with the sweat of my brow, and thereby take the tough morsel out of some wretch's mouth, into whose vocation I had thrust myself?

Why are poets so apt to choose their mates, not for any similarity of poetic endowment, but for qualities which might make the happiness of the rudest handicraftsman as well as that of the ideal craftsman of the spirit? Because, probably, at his highest elevation, the poet needs no human intercourse; but he finds it dreary to descend, and be a stranger.

Unfathomable to mere mortals is the lore of fiends.

What's that you mutter to yourself, Matthew Maule? asked Scicpio. And what for do you look so black at me? No matter, darky, said the carpenter. Do you think nobody is to look black but yourself?

Within the antique frame, which so recently had inclosed a sable waste of canvas, now appeared a visible picture, still dark, indeed, in its hues and shadings, but thrown forward in strong relief.

We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.

When an author gives their advertising pages, addresses, not the crowd throw aside the book, or ever will take it in hand, but the very few who understood better than most of their classmates college or his contemporaries. And not missing at this point authors go even further in certain sensitive details that may interest only and exclusively to a single heart and a mind in perfect sympathy with it, as if the printed book was launched with the vast world certainty to be stumbling to be forming the complement of the nature of the writer completing the circle of his existence and put them in the mutual communication.

Without any effort of his will, or power to restrain himself, he shrieked aloud; an outcry that went pealing through the night, and was beaten back from one house to another, and reverberated from the hills in the background; as if a company of devils, detecting so much misery and terror in it, had made a plaything of the sound and were bandying it to and fro.

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.

Mr. Brady wants to change The Scarlet Letter to I Was an Adulteress. I know it all seems a little odd to you -- but Mr. Brady understands the 25-cent-book field... The cover will be a picture of Hester Prynne with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. She'll be in a real tight, low-cut dress. Our big problem is -- if the dress is cut low enough to sell any copies, there won't be any space on the front for a big red letter.

Oh, for the years I have not lived, but only dreamed of living.

Pleasant is a rainy winter's day, within doors! The best study for such a day, or the best amusement, - call it which you will, - is a book of travels, describing scenes the most unlike that somber one.

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