Nathaniel Hawthorne


American Novelist, Short-Story Writer best known for novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables

Author Quotes

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.

Few of her sex, on such occasions, have ever looked so terrible as our poor scowling Hepzibah. But the visitor quietly closed the shop-door behind him, stood up his umbrella against the counter, and turned a visage of composed benignity, to meet the alarm and anger which his appearance had excited.

He had a winged nature; she was rather of the vegetable kind, and could hardly be kept long alive, if drawn up by the roots. Thus it happened that the relation heretofore existing between her brother and herself was changed.

His stories are good to hear at night, because we can dream about them asleep; and good in the morning, too, because then we can dream about them awake.

I hate track! I hate running! Running around and around and around and around, and all you get is this little ribbon. That's not for me.

If human love hath 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.

It came to pass, not long after the scene above recorded, that the Reverend Mr Dimmesdale, at noonday, and entirely unawares, fell into a deep, deep slumber, sitting in his chair, with a large black letter volume open before him on the table. It must have been a work of vast ability in the somniferous school of literature.

It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow.

Last night there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden. . . . It is sad that Nature will so sport with us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her; and then, when we are entirely in her power, striking us to the heart.

Many writers lay very great stress upon some definite moral purpose, at which they profess to aim their works. Not to be deficient in this particular, the author has provided himself with a moral, ? the truth, namely, that the wrong-doing of one generation lives into the successive ones, and, divesting itself of every temporary advantage, becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief; and he would feel it a singular gratification if this romance might effectually convince mankind ? or, indeed, any one man ? of the folly of tumbling down an avalanche of ill-gotten gold, or real estate, on the heads of an unfortunate posterity, thereby to maim and crush them, until the accumulated mass shall be scattered abroad in its original atoms. In good faith, however, he is not sufficiently imaginative to flatter himself with the slightest hope of this kind. When romances do really teach anything, or produce any effective operation, it is usually through a far more subtile process than the ostensible one. The author has considered it hardly worth his while, therefore, relentlessly to impale the story with its moral as with an iron rod, ? or, rather, as by sticking a pin through a butterfly, ? thus at once depriving it of life, and causing it to stiffen in an ungainly and unnatural attitude. A high truth, indeed, fairly, finely, and skilfully wrought out, brightening at every step, and crowning the final development of a work of fiction, may add an artistic glory, but is never any truer, and seldom any more evident, at the last page than at the first.

Few secrets can escape an investigator who has opportunity and license to undertake such a quest and skill to follow it up.

He had been driven hither by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere, and whose own sister and closely linked companion was that Cowardice which invariably drew him back, with her tremulous gripe, just when the other impulse had hurried him to the verge of a disclosure.

His was the profession at that era in which intellectual ability displayed itself far more than in political life; for?leaving a higher motive out of the question it offered inducements powerful enough in the almost worshipping respect of the community, to win the most aspiring ambition into its service. Even political power?as in the case of Increase Mather?was within the grasp of a successful priest.

I have an almost miraculous power of escaping from necessities of this kind. Destiny itself has often been worsted in the attempt to get me out to dinner.

If mankind were all intellect, they would be continually changing, so that one age would be entirely unlike another. The great conservative is the heart, which remains the same in all ages; so that commonplaces of a thousand years' standing are as effective as ever.

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American Novelist, Short-Story Writer best known for novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables