by Nathaniel Hawthorne
first published 1850
The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison.
Is there no virtue in woman, save what springs from a wholesome fear of the gallows?
In our nature there is a provision, alike marvellous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.
There are few things hidden from the man who devotes himself earnestly and unreservedly to the solution of a mystery.
Women derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from the delicate toil of the needle.
Save the long-sought regards of woman, nothing is sweeter than these marks of childish preference, accorded spontaneously by a spiritual instinct, and therefore seeming to imply in us something truly worthy to be loved.
Youthful men, not having taken a deep root, give up their hold of life so easily!
Good men ever interpret themselves too meanly.
A man burdened with a secret should especially avoid the intimacy of his physician.
When an uninstructed multitude attempts to see with its eyes, it is exceedingly apt to be deceived.
It must needs be better for the sufferer to be free to show his pain, than to cover it all up in his heart.
To the untrue man, the whole universe is false.
Crime is for the iron-nerved.
A pure hand needs no glove to cover it.
It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates.
The public is despotic in its temper.
If she be all tenderness, she will die.
She who has once been woman, and ceased to be so, might at any moment become a woman again, if there were only the magic touch to effect the transfiguration.
Persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society.
A tendency to speculation, though it may keep woman quiet, as it does man, yet makes her sad.
A woman must needs follow her own fancy, touching the adornment of her person.
Let man tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart!
A lie is never good, even though death threaten on the other side!
Love, whether newly born, or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create a sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance that it overflows upon the outward world.
An evil deed invests itself with the character of doom.
The higher the state, the more delicately adapted to it the man.
No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.
A good man's prayers are golden recompense!
Children have always a sympathy in the agitations of those connected with them.
Men of uncommon intellect, who have grown morbid, possess this occasional power of mighty effort, into which they throw the life of many days, and then are lifeless for as many more.
We must not always talk in the market place of what happens to us in the forest.
Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!
It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom.