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

There is great incongruity in this idea of monuments, since those to whom they are usually dedicated need no such recognition to embalm their memory; and any man who does, is not worthy of one.

Though we speak nonsense, God will pick out the meaning of it.

Mountains are earth's undecaying monuments.

Of a bitter satirist it might be said that the person or thing on which his satire fell shriveled up as if the devil had spit on it.

Phoebe, I want thee much. Thou aft the only person in the world that ever was necessary to me. Other people have occasionally been more or less agreeable; but I think I was always more at ease alone than in anybody's company, till I knew thee. And now I am only myself when thou art within my reach. Thou art an unspeakably beloved woman. How couldst thou inflict such frozen agony upon me in that dream?

She named the infant `Pearl', as being of great price purchased with all she had.

Such has often been my apathy, when objects long sought, and earnestly desired, were placed within my reach.

The breath of peace was fanning her glorious brow, her head was bowed a very little forward, and a tress, escaping from its bonds, fell by the side of her pure white temple, and close to her just opened lips; it hung there motionless! no breath disturbed its repose! She slept as an angel might sleep, having accomplished the mission of her God.

The influential classes, and those who take upon themselves to be leaders of the people, are fully liable to all the passionate error that has ever characterized the maddest mob.

The sun, meanwhile, if not already above the horizon, was ascending nearer and nearer to its verge. A few clouds, floating high upward, caught some of the earliest light, and threw down its golden gleam on the windows of all the houses in the street, not forgetting the House of the Seven Gables, which--many such sunrises as it had witnessed--looked cheerfully at the present one. The reflected radiance served to show, pretty distinctly, the aspect and arrangement of the room which Hepzibah entered, after descending the stairs.

There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given.

Thus content with an inner sphere which they inhabit together, it is not immediately that the outward world can obtrude itself upon their notice.

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.

She poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of his spirit.

Such is frequently the fate, and such the stern development, of the feminine character and person, when the woman has encountered, and lived through, an experience of peculiar severity. If she be all tenderness, she will die. If she survive, the tenderness will either be crushed out of her, or--and the outward semblance is the same--crushed so deeply into her heart that it can never show itself more.

The calmer thought is not always the right thought, just as the distant view is not always the truest view.

The inward pleasure of imparting pleasure--that is the choicest of all.

The tendency of her fate and fortunes had been to set her free. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers,?stern and wild ones,?and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October. The sunshine is peculiarly genial; and in sheltered places, as on the side of a bank, or of a barn or house, one becomes acquainted and friendly with the sunshine. It seems to be of a kindly and homely nature. And the green grass strewn with a few withered leaves looks the more green and beautiful for them. In summer or spring nature is farther from one's sympathies.

Thus I did with Susan as with most other things in my earlier days, dipping her image into my mind and coloring it of a thousand fantastic hues, before I could see her as she really was.

Much of the marble coldness of Hester's impression was to be attributed to the circumstance that her life had turned, in a great measure, from passion and feeling, to thought. Standing alone, as to any dependent on society, and with little Pearl to be guided and protected alone, and hopeless of retrieving her position, even as she had not scorned to consider it desirable, she cast away the fragments of a broken chain.

Oh, glorious Art! thus mused the enthusiastic painter, as he trod the street. Thou art the image of the Creator's own. The innumerable forms that wander in nothingness start into being at thy beck. The dead live again. Thou recallest them to their old scenes, and givest their gray shadows the lustre of a better life, at once earthly and immortal. Thou snatchest back the fleeing moments of History. With thee, there is no Past; for at thy touch, all that is great becomes forever present; and illustrious men live through long ages in the visible performance of the very deeds which made them what they are.

Possibly, he was in a state of second growth and recovery, and was constantly assimilating nutriment for his spirit and intellect from sights, sounds, and events which passed as a perfect void to persons more practiced with the world. As all is activity and vicissitude to the new mind of a child, so might it be, likewise, to a mind that had undergone a kind of new creation, after its long suspended life.

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