Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes & Wallpapers

Nathaniel Hawthorne
Total Quotes: 373


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

...if truth were everywhere to be shown, a scarlet letter would blaze forth on many a bosom... Nathaniel Hawthorne

Would all, who cherish such wild wishes, but look around them, they would oftenest find their sphere of duty, of prosperity, and happiness, within those precincts, and in that station where Providence itself has cast their lot. Happy they who read the riddle without a weary world-search, or a lifetime spent in vain! Nathaniel Hawthorne

There is something more awful in happiness than in sorrow - the latter being earthly and finite, the former composed of the substance and texture of eternity, so that spirits still embodied may well tremble at it. Nathaniel Hawthorne

It is my opinion that a man's soul may be buried and perish under a dung-heap, or in a furrow of the field, just as well as under a pile of money. Nathaniel Hawthorne

We are but shadows: we are, not endowed with real life, and all that seems most real about us is but the thinnest substance of a dream, - till the heart be touched. That touch creates us - then we begin to be - thereby we are beings of reality and inheritors of eternity. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

In truth 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

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

This world owes all its forward impulses to people ill at ease. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

The best of us being unfit to die, what an unexpressible absurdity to put the worst to death. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

To be left alone in the wide world with scarcely a friend,-this makes the sadness which, striking its pang into the minds of the young and the affectionate, teaches them too soon to watch and interpret the spirit-signs of their own hearts. 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

When romances do really teach anything, or produce any effective operation, it is usually through a far more subtle process than the ostensible one. The author has considered it hardly worth his while, therefore, relentlessly to impale the story with its moral as with an iron rod-or, rather, as by sticking a pin through a butterfly-thus at once depriving it of life, and causing it to stiffen in an ungainly and unnatural attitude. Nathaniel Hawthorne

It will startle you to see what slaves we are to by-gone times-to Death, if we give the matter the right word! ... We read in Dead Men's books! We laugh at Dead Men's jokes, and cry at Dead Men's pathos! . . . Whatever we seek to do, of our own free motion, a Dead Man's icy hand obstructs us! Nathaniel Hawthorne

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. 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

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

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. 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

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

Articulate words are a harsh clamor and dissonance. When man arrives at his highest perfection, he will again be dumb. Nathaniel Hawthorne

Let us acknowledge it wiser, if not more sagacious to follow out one's day-dream to its natural consummation, although if the vision has been worth the having, it is certain never to be consummated otherwise than by a failure. Nathaniel Hawthorne

She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into a moral wilderness... Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods... The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers-stern and wild ones-and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

Our Creator would never have made such lovely days and have given us the dep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal. Nathaniel Hawthorne

To be left alone in the wide world with scarcely a friend, - this makes the sadness which, striking its pang into the minds of the young and the affectionate, teaches them too soon to watch and interpret the spirit-signs of their own hearts. 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

A grave, wherever found, preaches a short and pithy sermon to the soul. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

The greatest possible mint of style is to make the words absolutely disappear into the thought. Nathaniel Hawthorne

It is not strange that that early love of the heart should come back, as it so often does when the dim eye is brightening with its last light. It is not strange that the freshest fountains the heart has ever known in its wastes should bubble up anew when the lifeblood is growing stagnant. It is not strange that a bright memory should come to a dying old man, as the sunshine breaks across the hills at the close of a stormy day; nor that in the light of that ray, the very clouds that made the day dark should grow gloriously beautiful. Nathaniel Hawthorne

The calmer thought is not always the right thought, just as the distant view is not always the truest view Nathaniel Hawthorne

The whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds-the creaking of the trees, the howling of wild beasts, and the yell of Indians; while sometimes the wind tolled like a distant church bell, and sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveler, as if all Nature were laughing him to scorn. But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other horrors. Nathaniel Hawthorne

My wife is - in the strictest sense - my sole companion, and I need no other. There is no vacancy in my mind any more than in my heart. Nathaniel Hawthorne

A bodily disease which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

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

The love of posterity is the consequence of the necessity of death. If a man were sure of living forever here, he would not care about his offspring. 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

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. Nathaniel Hawthorne

In view of my previous weariness of office, and vague thoughts of resignation, 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. Nathaniel Hawthorne

London is like the grave in one respect - any man can make himself at home there; and whenever a man finds himself homeless elsewhere, he had better either die or go to London. Nathaniel Hawthorne

It [Catholicism] supplies a multitude of external forms in which the spiritual may be clothed and manifested. Nathaniel Hawthorne

Strength is incomprehensible by weakness, and, therefore, the more terrible. Nathaniel Hawthorne

...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. Nathaniel Hawthorne

It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom. Each, in its utmost development, supposes a high degree of intimacy and heart-knowledge; each renders one individual dependent for the food of his affections and spiritual life upon another; each leaves the passionate lover, or the no less passionate hater, forlorn and desolate by the withdrawal of his object. Nathaniel Hawthorne

The book, if you would see anything in it, requires to be read in the clear, brown, twilight atmosphere in which it was written; if opened in the sunshine, it is apt to look exceedingly like a volume of blank pages. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

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. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

Man's own youth is the world's youth; at least he feels as if it were, and imagines that the earth's granite substance is something not yet hardened, and which he can mould into whatever shape he likes. Nathaniel Hawthorne

In the depths of every heart, there is a tomb and a dungeon, though the lights, the music, and revelry above may cause us to forget their existence, and the buried ones, or prisoners whom they hide. But sometimes, and oftenest at midnight, those dark receptacles are flung wide open. In an hour like this, when the mind has a passive sensibility, but no active strength; when the imagination is a mirror, imparting vividness to all ideas, without the power of selecting or controlling them; then pray that your grieves may slumber, and the brotherhood of remorse not break their chain. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

Echo is the voice of a reflection in a mirror. 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

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

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

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

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

Thus we see, too, in the world that some persons assimilate only what is ugly and evil from the same moral circumstances which supply good and beautiful results - the fragrance of celestial flowers - to the daily life of others. Nathaniel Hawthorne

And there I sat, long long ago, waiting for the world to know me. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

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

I find myself at the extremity of a long beach. How gladly does the spirit leap forth, and suddenly enlarge its sense of being to the full extent of the broad, blue, sunny deep! A greeting and a homage to the Sea! I descend over its margin, and dip my hand into the wave that meets me, and bathe my brow. That far-resounding roar is the Ocean's voice of welcome. His salt breath brings a blessing along with it. Nathaniel Hawthorne

The marble keeps merely a cold and sad memory of a man who would else be forgotten. No man who needs a monument ever ought to have one. Nathaniel Hawthorne



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