The child probably overheard their voices; for, looking up to the window, with a bright, but naughty smile of mirth and intelligence, she threw one of the prickly burrs at the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale. The sensitive clergyman shrunk, with nervous dread, from the light missile.
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.
All merely graceful attributes are usually the most evanescent.
The moment when a man's head drops off is seldom or never, I am inclined to think, precisely the most agreeable of his life.
There are many things in this world that a child must not ask about.
But, all this while, I was giving myself very unnecessary alarm. Providence had mediated better things for me than I could possibly imagine for myself.
To the untrue man, the whole universe is false- it is impalpable- it shrinks to nothing within his grasp. And he himself is in so far as he shows himself in a false light, becomes a shadow, or, indeed, ceases to exist.
Do anything, save to lie down and die!
To-morrow would bring its own trial with it; so would the next day, and so would the next; each its own trial, and yet the very same that was now so unutterably grievous to be borne. The days of the far-off future would toil onward, still with the same burden for her to take up, and bear along with her, but never to fling down; for the accumulating days, and added years, would pile up their misery upon the heap of shame.
Finding it so directly on the threshold of our narrative, which is now about to issue from that inauspicious portal, we could hardly do otherwise than pluck one of its flowers and present it to the reader. 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.
We men of study, whose heads are in our books, have need to be straightly looked after! We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.
In all her intercourse with society, however, there was nothing that made her feel as if she belonged to it.
When an uninstructed multitude attempts to see with its eyes, it is exceedingly apt to be deceived.
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.
Without any effort of his will, or power to restrain himself, he shrieked aloud; an outcry that went pealing through the night, and was beaten back from one house to another, and reverberated from the hills in the background; as if a company of devils, detecting so much misery and terror in it, had made a plaything of the sound and were bandying it to and fro.
It is remarkable, that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society. The thoughts alone suffice them, without investing itself in the flesh and blood of action.
Wondrous strength and generosity of a woman's heart! She will not speak!
It was one of those moments-which sometimes occur only at the interval of years-when a man's moral aspect is faithfully revealed to his mind's eye. Not improbably, he had never before viewed himself as he did now.
Just where she had paused, the brook chanced to form a pool so smooth and quiet that it reflected a perfect image of her little figure, with all the brilliant picturesqueness of her beauty, in its adornment of flowers and wreathed foliage.... It was strange, the way in which Pearl stood, looking so steadfastly at them through the dim medium of the forest gloom, herself, meanwhile, all glorified with a ray of sunshine....
Shall we not spend our immortal life together? Surely, surely, we have ransomed one another, with all this woe!
She could no longer borrow from the future to ease her present grief.
She wanted-what some people want throughout life-a grief that should deeply touch her, and thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy.
Sometimes a light glimmered out of the physician's eyes, burning blue and ominous, like the reflection of a furnace, or, let us say, like one of those gleams of ghastly fire that darted from Bunyan's awful doorway in the hill-side, and quivered on the pilgrim's face.
A grave, wherever found, preaches a short and pithy sermon to the soul.
Zealots have an idol, to which they consecrate themselves high-priests, and deem it holy work to offer sacrifices of whatever is most precious.
Work is the curse of the world, and nobody can meddle with it without becoming proportionately brutalized.
Some maladies are rich and precious and only to be Acquired by the right of inheritance or purchased with gold.
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 it be obeyed.
Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not.
More Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotations (Based on Topics)
World - Mind - Happiness - Education - Love - Life - Society & Civilization - Man - Light - Death & Dying - Nature - Writing - Dreams - Friendship - Present - Heroism - Emotions - Literature - Sadness - View All Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotations
More Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Scarlet Letter
Richard Bach - Pearl S. Buck - P. D. James - Louisa May Alcott - Jack Higgins - J. R. R. Tolkien - Erich Segal - Emily Bronte - Boris Pasternak - Arthur Koestler