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

The sick in mind, and, perhaps, in body, are rendered more darkly and hopelessly so by the manifold reflection of their disease, mirrored back from all quarters in the deportment of those about them; they are compelled to inhale the poison of their own breath, in infinite repetition.

There are few things, - whether in the outward world, or to a certain depth, in the invisible sphere of thought, - few things hidden from the man who devotes himself earnestly and unreservedly to the solution of a mystery.

This world owes all its forward impulses to people ill at ease.

Monadnock was visible like a saphire cloud against the sky.

Nobody will use other people's experience, nor has any of his own till it is too late to use it.

People always grow more foolish, unless they take care to grow wiser and wiser.

She had spoken. But, after all, was this unconquerable distrust of Judge Pyncheon's integrity, and this utter denial, apparently, of his claim to stand in the ring of human sympathies,--were they founded in any just perception of his character, or merely the offspring of a woman's unreasonable prejudice, deduced from nothing?

Steeled knights of the Conquest, bearded statesmen of Queen Elizabeth, and high-ruffled ladies of her court, were mingled with characters of comedy, such as a party-colored Merry Andrew, jingling his cap and bells; a Falstaff, almost as provocative of laughter as his prototype; and a Don Quixote, with a bean pole for a lance, and a pot lid for a shield.

The besom of reform hath swept him out of office, and a worthier successor wears his dignity and pockets his emoluments.

The heart of true womanhood knows where its own sphere is, and never seeks to stray beyond it!

The sorrow that lay cold in her mother's heart... converted it into a tomb.

There are many things in this world that a child must not ask about.

Those with whom we can apparently become well acquainted in a few moments are generally the most difficult to rightly know and to understand.

Moonlight is sculpture; sunlight is painting.

Nothing gives a sadder sense of decay than this loss or suspension of the power to deal with unaccustomed things, and to keep up with the swiftness of the passing moment. [Speaking of self-posed isolation in old age.].

People never do get just the good they seek. If it come at all, it is something else, which they never dreamed of, and did not particularly want.

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.

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