Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes

A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world.

A pure hand needs no glove to cover it.

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.

A woman’s chastity consists, like an onion, of a series of coats.

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.

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. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it.

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.

In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous 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.

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.

Life is made up of marble and mud.

Love, whether newly born, or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, this it overflows upon the outward world.

Moonlight is sculpture.

Mountains are earth’s undecaying monuments.

My fortune somewhat resembled that of a person who should entertain an idea of committing suicide, and, altogether beyond his hopes, meet with the good hap to be murdered.

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.

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

Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed. Their highest merit is suggestiveness.

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.

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.

Selfishness is one of the qualities apt to inspire love.

Sunlight is painting.

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 it be obeyed.

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.

The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.

Time flies over us, but leaves it shadow behind.

We must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest.

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 we call real estate – the solid ground to build a house on – is the broad foundation on which nearly all the guilt of this world rests.

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.

You can get assent to almost any proposition so long as you are not going to do anything about it.