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Quotations From NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE

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  • 1.
    The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool; the truest heroism is to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. The Blithedale Romance, ch. 2 (1852).
  • 2.
    My fortune somewhat resembled that of a person who should entertain an idea of committing suicide, and, altogether beyond his hopes, meet with the good hap to be murdered.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. "The Custom-House," introduction, The Scarlet Letter (1850). Hawthorne was here relating the loss of his job as a customs surveyor in Salem, Massachusetts, as a result of political maneuvering; the blow was mitigated by his "previous weariness of office, and vague thoughts of resignation."

    Read more quotations about / on: suicide
  • 3.
    It contributes greatly towards a man's moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. "The Custom-House," introduction, The Scarlet Letter (1850).
  • 4.
    We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. journal entry, Oct. 25, 1836. Passages from the American Notebooks (1868).

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  • 5.
    Is it a fact—or have I dreamt it—that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time?
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. Clifford Pyncheon, in The House of the Seven Gables, ch. 17 (1851).

    Read more quotations about / on: time, world
  • 6.
    Every young sculptor seems to think that he must give the world some specimen of indecorous womanhood, and call it Eve, Venus, a Nymph, or any name that may apologize for a lack of decent clothing.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. Miriam, in The Marble Faun, ch. 14 (1860).

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  • 7.
    Nobody has any conscience about adding to the improbabilities of a marvelous tale.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. The Marble Faun, ch. 4 (1860).
  • 8.
    Man's own youth is the world's youth; at least he feels as if it were, and imagines that the earth's granite substance is something not yet hardened, and which he can mould into whatever shape he likes.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. The House of the Seven Gables, ch. 12 (1851).

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  • 9.
    The world, that gray-bearded and wrinkled profligate, decrepit, without being venerable.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. The House of the Seven Gables, ch. 12 (1851).

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  • 10.
    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.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. The Scarlet Letter, ch. 2 (1850). Referring to the scarlet letter of Hester Prynne, standing for Adulteress.

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