Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American author, short story writer, and dark romantic. His writings frequently deal with history, morals, and religion.

He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804.

On May 19, 1864, Hawthorne died, leaving behind his wife and three children.

Much of Hawthorne’s writing is set in New England, with several pieces having anti-Puritan moral metaphors.

Novels, short tales, and a biography of his college classmate Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, are among his published works.


Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes on Happiness (The Scarlet Letter)

When an uninstructed multitude attempts to see with its eyes, it is exceedingly apt to be deceived. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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

Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

She poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of his spirit. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

But what shall we say, when an individual discovers a revelation addressed to himself alone, on the same vast sheet of record. In such a case, it could only be the symptom of a highly disordered mental state, when a man, rendered morbidly self-contemplative by long, intense, and secret pain, had extended his egotism over the whole expanse of nature, until the firmament itself should appear no more than a fitting page for his soul’s history and fate. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Cupid in these latter times has probably laid aside his bow and arrow, and uses fire-arms – a pistol – perhaps a revolver. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

We go all wrong by too strenuous a resolution to go right. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings as now in October. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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… ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Sleeping or waking, we hear not the airy footsteps of the strange things that almost happen. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The world surely has not another place like Oxford; it is a despair to see such a place and ever to leave it, for it would take a lifetime and more than one to comprehend and enjoy it satisfactorily. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I have laughed, in bitterness and agony of heart, at the contrast between what I seem and what I am! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

No, my little Pearl! Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Trusting no man as his friend, he could not recognize his enemy when the latter actually appeared. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Truth often finds its way to the mind close muffled in robes of sleep, and then speaks with uncompromising directness of matters in regard to which we practise an unconscious self-deception during our waking moments. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

She could no longer borrow from the future to ease her present grief. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

A writer of story books! What kind of business in life-what mode of glorifying God, or being serviceable to mankind in his day and generation-may that be? Why, the degenerate fellow might as well have been a fiddler! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

There is something truer and more real, than what we can see with the eyes, and touch with the finger. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

There is an alchemy of quiet malice by which women can concoct a subtle poison from ordinary trifles. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of men. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The trees reflected in the river – they are unconscious of a spiritual world so near to them. So are we. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

She wanted – what some people want throughout life – a grief that should deeply touch her, and thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Sunlight is like the breath of life to the pomp of autumn. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Let the black flower blossom as it may! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a lovebeam of God’s care and pity for every separate need. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

But this had been a sin of passion, not of principle, nor even purpose. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

There is no such thing in man’s nature as a settled and full resolve either for good or evil, except at the very moment of execution. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Every crime destroys more Edens than our own. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

As the moral gloom of the world overpowers all systematic gaiety, even so was their home of wild mirth made desolate amid the sad forest. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Death should take me while I am in the mood. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

If the truth were to be known, everyone would be wearing a scarlet letter of one form or another. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Life is made up of marble and mud. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

There is evil in every human heart, which may remain latent, perhaps, through the whole of life; but circumstances may rouse it to activity. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Earth has one angel less and heaven one more, since yesterday. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Oh, for the years I have not lived, but only dreamed of living. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It is a little remarkable, that – though disinclined to talk overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to my personal friends – an autobiographical impulse should twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing the public. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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

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

What is there so ponderous in evil, that a thumb’s bigness of it should outweigh the mass of things not evil, which were heaped into the other scale! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I wish I had the gift of making rhymes, for methinks there is poetry in my head and heart since I have been in love with you. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

What we need for our happiness is often close at hand, if we knew but how to seek for it. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Mountains are earth’s undecaying monuments. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I find nothing so singular to life as that everything appears to lose its substance the instant one actually grapples with it. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

A pure hand needs no glove to cover it. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may going to prove one’s self a fool. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Language,-human language,-after all is but little better than the croak and cackle of fowls, and other utterances of brute nature,-sometimes not so adequate. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

This dull river has a deep religion of its own; so, let us trust, has the dullest human soul, though, perhaps, unconsciously. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I want nothing to do with politicians. Their hearts wither away, and die out of their bodies. Their consciences are turned to india-rubber, or to some substance as black as that, and which will stretch as much. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Benevolence is the twin of pride. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It is to the credit of human nature that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Romance and poetry, ivy, lichens and wallflowers need ruin to make them grow. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Masculine observers, if the birth-mark did not heighten their admiration, contented themselves with wishing it away, that the world might possess one living specimen of ideal loveliness, without the semblance of a flaw. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Death was too definite an object to be wished for or avoided. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

But, all this while, I was giving myself a very unnecessary alarm. Providence had mediated better things for me than I could possibly imagine for myself. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

She knew that her deed had been evil; she could have no faith, therefore, that its result would be for good. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It loves more readily than it hates. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Let the attempt be made, at whatever risk. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Bees are sometimes drowned in the honey which they collect so some writers are lost in their collected learning. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

That old woman taught me my catechism! said the young man; and there was a world of meaning in this simple comment. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

When a writer calls his work a Romance, it need hardly be observed that he wishes to claim a certain latitude, both as to its fashion and material, which he would not have felt himself entitled to assume had he professed to be writing a Novel. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The inward pleasure of imparting pleasure – that is the choicest of all. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

New England is quite as large a lump of earth as my heart can really take in. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Man is a wretch without woman; but woman is a monster-and thank Heaven, an almost impossible and hitherto imaginary monster – without man, as her acknowledged principal! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Unquestionably we do stand by our national flag as stoutly as any people in the world; and I myself have felt the heart-throb at sight of it, as sensibly as other men. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

A man’s bewilderment is the measure of his wisdom. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Though we speak nonsense, God will pick out the meaning of it. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Eager souls, mystics and revolutionaries, may propose to refashion the world in accordance with their dreams; but evil remains, and so long as it lurks in the secret places of the heart, utopia is only the shadow of a dream. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It is not good for man to cherish a solitary ambition. Unless there be those around him, by whose example he may regulate himself, his thoughts, desires, and hopes will become extravagant, and he the semblance, perhaps the reality, of a madman. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Labor is the curse of the world, and nobody can meddle with it without becoming proportionately brutalized. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty; inaccuracy, of dishonesty. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Writing can come naturally to some. Still, when it comes to good writing, this is true: Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The thing you set your mind on is the thing you ultimately become. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Happiness is like a butterfly… ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

To do nothing is the way to be nothing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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

A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly-arranged and well-provisioned breakfast-table. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Death is so genuine a fact that it excludes falsehoods, or betrays its emptiness; it is a touchstone that proves the gold, and dishonors the baser metal. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

All merely graceful attributes are usually the most evanescent. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Death possesses a good deal of real estate, namely, the graveyard in every town. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Families are always rising and falling in America. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Generosity is the flower of justice. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Happiness is like a butterfly – the more you chase, the more subtle, but if you stop moving and quietly wait for it to land on you. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.


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