50 Famous Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes

50 Famous Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes

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Nathaniel Hawthorne was an author from Salem, Massachusetts in the early 1800′s. He is most famous for his novel The Scarlet Letter which was published in 1850. His fiction works was a very influential part of the Romantic Movement. He died on May 19, 1864 at the age of 59.

“A hero cannot be a hero unless in an heroic world.”

“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.”

“A stale article, if you dip it in a good, warm, sunny smile, will go off better than a fresh one that you’ve scowled upon.”

“Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty; inaccuracy, of dishonesty.”

“All brave men love; for he only is brave who has affections to fight for, whether in the daily battle of life, or in physical contests.”

“As far as my experience goes, men of genius are fairly gifted with the social qualities; and in this age, there appears to be a fellow-feeling among them, which had not heretofore been

“Caresses, expressions of one sort or another, are necessary to the life of the affections as leaves are to the life of a tree. If they are wholly restrained, love will die at the roots.”

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

“Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not.”

“Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained.”

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

“I do detest all offices — all, at least, that are held on a political tenure.”

“I seriously wished—selfish as it may appear—that the reformation of society had been postponed about half a century, or, at all events, to such a date as should have put my intermeddling
with it entirely out of the question.”

“If a man, sitting all alone, cannot dream strange things, and make them look like truth, he need never try to write romances.”

“If his inmost heart could have been laid open, there would have been discovered that dream of undying fame, which, dream as it is, is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

“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.”

“In youth men are apt to write more wisely than they really know or feel; and the remainder of life may be not idly spent in realizing and convincing themselves of the wisdom which they
uttered long ago.”

“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.”

“It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom.”

“It is a suggestive idea to track those worn feet backward through all the paths they have trodden ever since they were the tender and rosy little feet of a baby, and (cold as they now are)
were kept warm in his mother’s hand.”

“Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart.”

“Let the black flower blossom as it may!”

“Let us forget the other names of American statesmen, that have been stamped upon these hills, but still call the loftiest.”

“Long, long may it be, ere he comes again! His hour is one of darkness, and adversity, and peril. ”

“Many writers lay very great stress upon some definite moral purpose, at which they profess to aim their works.”

“Moonlight is sculpture; sunlight is painting.”

“Mountains are earth’s undecaying monuments.”

“My heart was a habitation large enough for many guests, but lonely and chill, and without a household fire. I longed to kindle one! It seemed not so wild a dream.”

“Nervous and excitable persons need to talk a great deal, by way of letting off their steam.”

“Nobody has any conscience about adding to the improbabilities of a marvelous tale.”

“Of all the events which constitute a person’s biography, there is scarcely one — none, certainly, of anything like a similar importance — to which the world so easily reconciles itself as
to his death.”

“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.”

“Our most intimate friend is not he to whom we show the worst, but the best of our nature.”

“Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.”

“Romance and poetry, ivy, lichens and wallflowers need ruin to make them grow.”

“Shall we never, never get rid of this Past? cried he, keeping up the earnest tone of his preceding conversation. “It lies upon the Present like a giant’s dead body.”

“Shame, Depair, Soltude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones,- and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.”

“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom!”

“She poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of his spirit.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death.”

“What other dungeon is so dark as one’s own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one’s self!”

“What would a man do, if he were compelled to live always in the sultry heat of society, and could never bathe himself in cool solitude?”

“What, in the name of common-sense, had I to do with any better society than I had always lived in?”

“When the Artist rises high enough to achieve the Beautiful, the symbol by which he makes it perceptible to mortal senses becomes of little value in his eyes, while his spirit possesses
itself in the enjoyment of the reality.”

“Words — so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”

“Would Time but await the close of our favorite follies, we should all be young men, all of us, and until Doom’s Day.”