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

This was a freedom essential to the health even of a character so little susceptible of morbid influences as that of Phoebe. The old house [with dry rot in its structure and perhaps also in its inhabitants]... it was not good to breathe no other atmosphere that that.

Might and wrong combined, like iron magnetized, are endowed with irresistible attraction.

No, my little Pearl! Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee.

Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it.

She could no longer borrow from the future to ease her present grief.

Sometimes through that alchemy of quiet malice, by which women can concoct a subtle poison from ordinary trifles.

The aspect of the venerable mansion has always affected me like a human countenance, bearing the traces not merely of outward storm and sunshine, but expressive also, of the long lapse of mortal life, and accompanying vicissitudes that have passed within. Were these to be worthily recounted, they would form a narrative of no small interest and instruction, and possessing, moreover, a certain remarkable unity, which might almost seem the result of artistic arrangement.

The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor for ever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Towards her mother, too, Pearl's errand as a messenger of anguish was all fulfilled.

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.

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