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

She is gone! No longer shrinking from the winter wind, or lifting her calm pure forehead to the summer?s kiss; no longer gazing with her blue and glorious eyes into a far-oft sky; no longer yearning with a holy heart for heaven; no longer toiling painfully along the path, upward and upward, to the everlasting rock on which are based the walls of the city of the Most High; no longer here; she is there; gazing, seeing, knowing, loving, as the blessed only see, and know, and love. Earth has one angel less, and heaven one more, since yesterday. Already, kneeling at the throne, she has received her welcome, and is resting on the bosom of her Savior. If human love have power to penetrate the veil (and hath it not?) then there are yet living here a few who have the blessedness of knowing that an angel loves them.

Strength is incomprehensible by weakness, and, therefore, the more terrible.

The best of us being unfit to die, what an unexpressible absurdity to put the worst to death.

The holiest among us has but attained so far above his fellows as to discern more clearly the Mercy which looks down, and repudiate more utterly the phantom of human merit, which would look aspiringly upward.

The spectacle of this evening, if the oldest members of the provincial court circle might be believed, was the most gay and gorgeous affair that had occurred in the annals of the government. The brilliantly lighted apartments were thronged with figures that seemed to have stepped from the dark canvas of historic portraits, or to have flitted forth from the magic pages of romance, or at least to have flown hither from one of the London the?atres, without a change of garments.

There can be, if I forebode aright, no power, short of the Divine mercy, to disclose, whether by uttered words, or by type or emblem, the secrets that may be buried with a human heart. The heart, making itself guilty of such secrets, must perforce hold them, until the day when all hidden things shall be revealed. Nor have I so read or interpreted the Holy Writ, as to understand that the disclosure of human thoughts and deeds, then to be made, is intended as part of the retribution. That, surely, were a shallow view of it. No; these revelations, unless I greatly error, are meant merely to promote the intellectual satisfaction of all intelligent beings, who will stand waiting, on that day, to see the dark problem of this life made plain. A knowledge of men's hearts will be needful to the completest solution of that problem. And I conceive, moreover, that the hearts holding such secrets as you speak of will yield them up, at that last day, not with reluctance, but with a joy unutterable.

Thou are my only reality-- all other people are but shadows to me: all events and actions, in which thou dost not mingle, are but dreams.

Most people are so constituted that they can only be virtuous in a certain routine; an irregular course of life demoralizes them.

Nothing impressed me more than a story of a black myste?rious picture, which used to hang in one of the chambers of the Province House, directly above the room where we were now sitting.

'People say,' said another, 'that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to his heart that such a scandal has come upon his congregation.

She knocked a third time, three regular strokes, gentle, but perfectly distinct, and with meaning in them; for, modulate it with what cautious art we will, the hand cannot help playing some tune of what we feel upon the senseless wood.

Success presented itself as an impossibility, and the hope of it as a wild hallucination.

The book, if you would see anything in it, requires to be read in the clear, brown, twilight atmosphere in which it was written; if opened in the sunshine, it is apt to look exceedingly like a volume of blank pages.

The House of Seven Gables.

The struggle, if it were one, need not be described.

There is an alchemy of quiet malice by which women can concoct a subtle poison from ordinary trifles.

Thou, -- dost thou pray? cried Giovanni, still with the same fiendish scorn. Thy very prayers, as they come from thy lips, taint the atmosphere with death. Yes, yes; let us pray! Let us to church and dip our fingers in the holy water at the portal! They that come after us will perish as by a pestilence! Let us sign crosses in the air! It will be scattering curses abroad in the likeness of holy symbols!

Mother, said little Pearl, the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. Now, see! There it is, playing a good way off. Stand you here, and let me run and catch it.

O Fiend, whose talisman was that fatal symbol, wouldst thou leave nothing, whether in youth or age, for this poor sinner to revere??such loss of faith is ever one of the saddest results of sin.

Perhaps, moreover, he whose genius appears deepest and truest excels his fellows in nothing save the knack of expression; he throws out occasionally a lucky hint at truths of which every human soul is profoundly though unutterably conscious.

She marveled how she could ever have been wrought upon to marry him! She deemed it her crime most to be repented of, that she had ever endured and reciprocated the lukewarm grasp of his hand, and had suffered the smile of her lips and eyes to mingle and melt into his own. And it seemed a fouler offence committed by Roger Chillingworth than any which had since been done him, that, in the time when her heart knew no better, he had persuaded her to fancy herself happy by his side.

Such a scene, dimly vanishing from the eye by the ray of here and there a tallow candle, glimmering through the small panes of scattered windows, would form a somber contrast to the street as I beheld it, with the gas-lights blazing from corner to corner, flaming within the shops, and throwing a noonday brightness through the huge plates of glass.

The bookworm of great libraries.

The idea of the artist occurred to Hepzibah. Young and unknown, mere vagrant adventurer as he was, she had been conscious of a force in Holgrave which might well adapt him to be the champion of a crisis. With this thought in her mind, she unbolted a door, cobwebbed and long disused, but which had served as a former medium of communication between her own part of the house and the gable where the wandering daguerreotypist had now established his temporary home. He was not there.

The sun was still marking the passage of the first bright hour in a history that was not destined to be all so bright.

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