“David Swan,” a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne

“David Swan”

by

Nathaniel Hawthorne

from Twice-Told Tales


We can be but partially acquainted even with the events which actually influence our course through life and our final destiny. There are innumerable other events, if such they may be called, which come close upon us, yet pass away without actual results or even betraying their near approach by the reflection of any light or shadow across our minds. Could we know all the vicissitudes of our fortunes, life would be too full of hope and fear, exultation or disappointment, to afford us a single hour of true serenity. This idea may be illustrated by a page from the secret history of David Swan.

We have nothing to do with David until we find him, at the age of twenty, on the high road from his native place to the city of Boston, where his uncle, a small dealer in the grocery line, was to take him behind the counter. Be it enough to say that he was a native of New Hampshire, born of respectable parents, and had received an ordinary school education with a classic finish by a year at Gilmanton Academy. After journeying on foot from sunrise till nearly noon of a summer’s day, his weariness and the increasing heat determined him to sit down in the first convenient shade and await the coming up of the stage-coach. As if planted on purpose for him, there soon appeared a little tuft of maples with a delightful recess in the midst, and such a fresh bubbling spring that it seemed never to have sparkled for any wayfarer but David Swan. Virgin or not, he kissed it with his thirsty lips and then flung himself along the brink, pillowing his head upon some shirts and a pair of pantaloons tied up in a striped cotton handkerchief. The sunbeams could not reach him; the dust did not yet rise from the road after the heavy rain of yesterday, and his grassy lair suited the young man better than a bed of down. The spring murmured drowsily beside him; the branches waved dreamily across the blue sky overhead, and a deep sleep, perchance hiding dreams within its depths, fell upon David Swan. But we are to relate events which he did not dream of. Continue reading ““David Swan,” a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne”

Advertisements

Riverbed — F. Scott Hess

n19s73-b781258863z.120140219165436000gtj1ijbm8.1

Riverbed, 2004 by F. Scott Hess (b. 1955)

The Antipope — Max Ernst

76-2553-80_ph_web-1

The Antipope, 1942 by Max Ernst (1891–1976)

A Wonderful Day — Mu Pan

day

A Wonderful Day, 2018 by Mu Pan (b. 1976)

Screenshot 2018-11-12 at 5.29.14 PMScreenshot 2018-11-12 at 5.28.59 PMScreenshot 2018-11-12 at 5.28.34 PMScreenshot 2018-11-12 at 5.28.18 PMScreenshot 2018-11-12 at 5.29.34 PM

Moby — Mu Pan

moby_3000

Moby, 2018 by Mu Pan (b. 1976)

Screenshot 2018-08-05 at 5.33.05 PMScreenshot 2018-08-05 at 5.33.47 PMScreenshot 2018-08-05 at 5.34.45 PMScreenshot 2018-08-05 at 5.34.19 PMScreenshot 2018-08-05 at 5.34.03 PMScreenshot 2018-08-05 at 5.33.26 PMScreenshot 2018-08-05 at 5.36.04 PM

Destruction — Thomas Cole

Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_Destruction_1836

Destruction (From The Course of Empire series), 1836 by Thomas Cole (1801-1848)

Jupiter, Mercury, and Virtue — Dosso Dossi

jupiter-mercury-and-virtue-1524

Jupiter, Mercury, and Virtue, 1524 by Dosso Dossi (c. 1490-1542)

Hunter in the Snow I — Joshua Hagler

31d329272bda3ec6904d82d3d29df3ee

Hunter in the Snow I, 2016 by Joshua Hagler (b. 1979)

Unexpected Answer — Rene Magritte

4939817

Unexpected Answer, 1933 by Rene Magritte (1898-1967)

Fall — Martin Wittfooth

fall

Fall, 2016 by Martin Wittfooth (b. 1981)

Stolen Feast — F. Scott Hess

hess032

Stolen Feast, 1999 by F. Scott Hess (b. 1955)

Melting Point of Ice — Jean-Michel Basquiat

56ee5be9a7ef519c1cb9bb8b5f2602df_7514

Melting Point of Ice, 1984 by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

Red Door — F. Scott Hess

258704663

Red Door, 1994 by F. Scott Hess (b. 1955)

The Squeaky Wheel — Mike Davis

Τα κεραμίδια στάζουν-the squeaky wheel-Mike Davis

The Squeaky Wheel, 2014 by Mike Davis

The Rich — Remedios Varo

ncomkshj4jnmkl55tree

El Rico (The Rich), 1958 by Remedios Varo (1908-1963)

All Will Fall — Goya

all-will-fall-1799

Todos caerán (All Will Fall), 1799 by Francisco Goya (1770-1828)

Falsehood — Giovanni Bellini

137alle2

Falsehood (or Wisdom) from Four Allegories, c. 1490 by Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430-1516)