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 was a listlessness in his gait, as if he saw no reason for taking one step further, nor felt any desire to do so, but would have been glad, could he be glad of anything, to fling himself down at the root of the nearest tree, and lie there passive for evermore. The leaves might bestrew him, and the soil gradually accumulate and form a little hillock over his frame, no matter whether there were life in it or no. Death was too definite an object to be wished for or avoided.

Thus, by an inevitable necessity, as a magnet attracts steel-fillings, so did our man of business draw to himself the difficulties which everybody met with.

Nervous and excitable persons need to talk a great deal, by way of letting off their steam.

On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A.

Punishment of a miser to pay the drafts of his heir in his tomb.

She was doubly tortured; in part, with a sense of overwhelming shame that strange and unloving eyes should have the privilege of gazing, and partly because the idea occurred to her, with ridiculous importunity, that the window was not arranged so skilfully, nor nearly to so much advantage, as it might have been. It seemed as if the whole fortune or failure of her shop might depend on the display of a different set of articles, or substituting a fairer apple for one which appeared to be specked. So she made the change, and straightway fancied that everything was spoiled by it; not recognizing that it was the nervousness of the juncture, and her own native squeamishness as an old maid, that wrought all the seeming mischief.

Sunlight is painting.

The dismaying thing about the classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, though mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined. Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell?keeping perfect time for eight minutes and thirty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year. The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases. The willful filing off of gear teeth, the willful doing without certain obvious pieces of information... That is closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I've seen in my time.

The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one's family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash.

The whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds--the creaking of the trees, the howling of wild beasts, and the yell of Indians; while sometimes the wind tolled like a distant church bell, and sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveler, as if all Nature were laughing him to scorn. But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other horrors.

These black sinners, renewed doubts regarding women's fate. Can it satisfy even the most fortunate among her sisters? Personally for myself Hester had long since convinced that it is worth so to live, and never cared about it. He thought I was a woman, she became a conservative man, but also and sad. Perhaps because he sees all the hopelessness of his situation. If you wait for it to be improved, as the beginning you will need to liquidate the old social system and build in its place a new one. Then you will need to radically modify the male kind, or layered with centuries habits of men that have become second nature before the woman can take his place on merit and merit. But even if you remove all possible obstacles women still will not be able to take advantage of these preliminary transformations unless she herself did not undergo a more significant change, although this metamorphosis risks losing invisible nostrum its essence. So a reasonable solution to the problems women there. If the woman prevail over all the heart, then melt and her problems So Hester Prynne heart had stopped beating with a normal, healthy heartbeat, and she went about nosedive in the dark labyrinth of thought, full of insurmountable slopes and gaping abysses from which she turned away in horror. In the harsh desert of her life for her nowhere did our home, no comfort. Sometimes in her soul creeping even terrible doubt whether it would be better to send Pearl at once to heaven and take the path that she would afford just God.

To be left alone in the wide world, with scarcely a friend,?this makes the sadness which, striking its pang into the minds of the young and the affectionate, teaches them too soon to watch and interpret the spirit-signs of their own heart. The solitude of the aged, when, one by one, their friends fall off, as fall the sere leaves from the trees in autumn,?what is it to the overpowering sense of desolation which fills almost to breaking the sensitive heart of youth when the nearest and dearest ties are severed? Rendered callous by time and suffering, the old feel less, although they complain more: the young, ?bearing a grief too deep for tears,? shrine in their bosoms sad memories and melancholy anticipations, which often give dark hues to their feelings in after-life.

Never, never! whispered she. What we did had a consecration of its own.

One picture in ten thousand, perhaps, ought to live in the applause of mankind, from generation to generation until the colors fade and blacken out of sight or the canvas rot entirely away.

Returning to the arched window, she lifted her eyes- scowling, poor dim-sighted Hepzibah, in the face of heaven!- and strove hard to send up a prayer through the dense grey pavement of clouds. Those mists had gathered , as if to symbolize a great, brooding mass of human trouble, doubt, confusion, and chill indifference, between earth and the better regions. Her faith was too weak; the prayer to heavy to be thus uplifted. It fell back, a lump of lead, upon her heart. It smote her with the wretched conviction that Providence intermeddled not in these petty wrongs of one individual to his fellow, nor had any balm for these little agonies of a solitary soul; but shed it's justice , and it's mercy, in a broad, sunlike sweep, over half the universe at once. It's vastness made it nothing. But Hepzibah did not see that, just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a lovebeam of God's care and pity for every separate need

Singular as it may appear, the sufferer had now contracted a sort of affection for his tormentor, mingled, however, with the intensest loathing and horror. Nor were such discordant emotions incompatible. Each, on the contrary, imparted strength and poignancy to its opposite. Horrible love?horrible antipathy?embracing one another in his bosom, and both concentrating themselves upon a being that had crept into his vitals or been engendered there, and which was nourished with his food, and lived upon his life, and was as intimate with him as his own heart, and yet was the foulest of all created things!

Technologies of easy travel give us wings; they annihilate the toil and dust of pilgrimage; they spiritualize travel! Transition being so facile, what can be any man?s inducement to tarry in one spot? Why, therefore, should he build a more cumbrous habitation than can readily be carried off with him? Why should he make himself a prisoner for life in brick, and stone, and old worm-eaten timber, when he may just as easily dwell, in one sense, nowhere,?in a better sense, wherever the fit and beautiful shall offer him a home?

The divine chemistry works in the subsoil.

The Province House is constructed of brick, which seems recently to have been overlaid with a coat of light-colored paint. A flight of red free?stone steps, fenced in by a balustrade of curiously wrought iron, ascends from the court-yard to the spacious porch, over which is a balcony, with an iron balustrade of similar pattern and workman?ship to that beneath. These letters and figures -- 16 P. S. 79 -- are wrought into the iron work of the balcony, and probably express the date of the edifice, with the initials of its founder's name. A wide door with double leaves admitted me into the hall or entry, on the right of which is the entrance to the bar-room.

The whole portrait started so distinctly out of the background, that it had the effect of a person looking down from the wall at the astonished and awestricken spectators. The expression of the face, if any words can con?vey an idea of it, was that of a wretch detected in some hideous guilt, and exposed to the bitter ha?tred and laughter and withering scorn of a vast surrounding multitude. There was the struggle of defiance, beaten down and overwhelmed by the crushing weight of ignominy. The torture of the soul had come forth upon the countenance. It seemed as if the picture, while hidden behind the cloud of immemorial years, had been all the time acquiring an intenser depth and darkness of expres?sion, till now it gloomed forth again, and threw its evil omen over the present hour. Such, if the wild legend may be credited, was the portrait of Edward Randolph, as he appeared when a people's curse had wrought its influence upon his nature.

They are ordinarily men to whom forms are of paramount importance. Their field of action lies among the external phenomena of life. They possess the vast ability in grasping, and arranging, and appropriating to themselves the big, heavy, solid unrealities, such as gold, landed estate, offices of trust and emolument, and public honors. With these materials, and with deeds of goodly aspect, done in the public eye, an individual of this class builds up, as it were, a tall and stately edifice, which, in the view of other people, and ultimately in his own view, is no other than the man's character, or the man himself.

To do nothing is the way to be nothing.

Maule's well, all this time, though left in solitude, was throwing up a succession of kaleidoscopic pictures, in which a gifted eye might have seen foreshadowed the coming fortunes of Hepzibah and Clifford, and the descendant of the legendary wizard, and the village-maiden, over whom he had thrown Love's web of sorcery. The Pyncheon-elm, moreover, with what foliage the September gale had spared to it, whispered unintelligible prophecies. And wise Uncle Venner, passing slowly from the ruinous porch, seemed to hear a strain of music, and fancied that sweet Alice Pyncheon--after witnessing these deeds, this by-gone woe and this present happiness, of her kindred mortals--had given one farewell touch of a spirit's joy upon her harpsichord, as she floated heavenward from the HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES!

Next to the lightest heart, the heaviest is apt to be most playful.

Or this:?that the whole universe, her own sex and yours, and Providence, or Destiny, to boot, make common cause against the woman who swerves one hair's breadth out of the beaten track.

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