76 Profound Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes To Keep Your Mind & Soul Wandering
Salem, Massachusetts, United States
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist, short story writer and well-known exponent of the genre of dark romance who rose to prominence in the 19th century and was considered among the noted authors of his time. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825 but according to his own admission, he was not a keen student. He worked as the editor of the magazine ‘American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Things’ before taking up a job in the Boston Custom House. His first novel ‘Fanshawe’ was published in 1828 but Hawthorne was not satisfied by his efforts. Hawthorne’s forte when he started off was in short stories and his stories were published in several periodicals of the time. However, his first success as a novelist was with the novel ‘The Scarlet Letter’, published in 1850. His other notable works include ‘The House of the Seven Gables’, ‘The Marble Faun’, ‘The Romance of Monte Beni’, ‘The Blithedale Romance’ and other short story collections. Hawthorne was one of the noted thinkers of his time and his writings, novels, thoughts, short stories and books were very well received by his audience. Excerpts from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s books, short stories, novels and other writings have become popular quotations and are frequently quoted by people. Following is a collection of some famous sayings and quotations by Nathaniel Hawthorne which have been collected from a vast sea of his work.
We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep. Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. Easy reading is damn hard writing. 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. She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom. Death should take me while I am in the mood. Love, whether newly born or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world. 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. I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."
[Notebook, Oct. 10, 1842] Oh, for the years I have not lived, but only dreamed of living. She could no longer borrow from the future to ease her present grief. Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart! Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not. I have laughed, in bitterness and agony of heart, at the contrast between what I seem and what I am! 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. She wanted—what some people want throughout life—a grief that should deeply touch her, and thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy. To do nothing is the way to be nothing. No summer ever came back, and no two summers ever were alike. Times change, and people change; and if our hearts do not change as readily, so much the worse for us. Do anything, save to lie down and die! There is something truer and more real, than what we can see with the eyes, and touch with the finger. ...if truth were everywhere to be shown, a scarlet letter would blaze forth on many a bosom... ...happiness is not found in things you possess, but in what you have the courage to release... And there I sat, long long ago, waiting for the world to know me. Shall we never never get rid of this Past? ... It lies upon the Present like a giant's dead body. Hold thy peace, dear little Pearl!" whispered her mother. "We must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest. Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal. Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred! What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart! What jailer so in exorable as one's self! There are many things in this world that a child must not ask about. The sorrow that lay cold in her mother's heart... converted it into a tomb. It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom. 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. All merely graceful attributes are usually the most evanescent. It [the scarlet letter] had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself. She poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of his spirit. It is very queer, but not the less true, that people are generally quite as vain, or even more so, of their deficiencies than of their available gifts. When an uninstructed multitude attempts to see with its eyes, it is exceedingly apt to be deceived. No, my little Pearl! Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee. Love, whether newly born, or aroused frrom a deathlike slumber, must alwasy create a sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world. Depending upon one another's hearts, ye had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream. Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of men. Pleasant is a rainy winter's day, within doors! The best study for such a day, or the best amusement,—call it which you will,—is a book of travels, describing scenes the most unlike that sombre one We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream : it may be so at the moment after death. 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. I find nothing so singular to life as that everything appears to lose its substance the instant one actually grapples with it. 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. In this republican country, amid the fluctuating waves of our social life, somebody is always at the drowning-point. Be it sin or no, I hate the man! A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world. A few feathery flakes are scattered widely through the air, and hover downward with uncertain flight, now almost alighting on the earth, now whirled again aloft into remote regions of the atmosphere. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man. His stories are good to hear at night, because we can dream about them asleep; and good in the morning, too, because then we can dream about them awake. (Cowslip) A forced smile is uglier than a frown. In the depths of every heart there is a tomb and a dungeon, though the lights, the music, and the revelry above may cause us to forget their existence... Women derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from the delicate toil of the needle. Or—but this more rarely happened—she would be convulsed with a rage of grief, and sob out her love for her mother, in broken words, and seem intent on proving that she had a heart, by breaking it. ...Chillingworth was a striking evidence of man's faculty of transforming himself into a devil, if he will only, for a reasonable space of time, undertake a devil's office. Cannot you conceive that another man may wish well to the world and struggle for its good on some other plan than precisely that which you have laid down? But this had been a sin of passion, not of principle, nor even purpose. I sometimes fancy," said Hilda, on whose susceptibility the scene always made a strong impression, "that Rome--mere Rome--will crowd everything else out of my heart. For, what other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one's self! The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits. To the untrue man, the whole universe is false--it is impalpable--it shrinks to nothing within his grasp. A dead man sits on all our judgment seats; and living judges do but search out and repeat his decisions. We read in dead men's books! We laugh a dead men's jokes, and cry at dead men's pathos! But year after year that summons, unheard but felt, was disobeyed. His one secret thought became like a chain binding down his spirit and like a serpent gnawing into his heart. ...such loss of faith is ever one of the saddest results of sin. But it is a strange experience, to a man of pride and sensibility, to know that his interests are within the control of individuals who neither love nor understand him 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?
... for when a man's spirit has been thoroughly crushed, he may be peevish at small offenses, but never resentful of great ones.
Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly-arranged and well-provisioned breakfast-table.
We have yet to learn again the forgotten art of gayety.
What other dungeon is so dark as one's heart! What jailor so inexorable as one's self.
Life is made up of marble and mud.
Words - so innocent and powerless, as they are standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women