Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes

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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 (The Scarlet Letter - Chapter XI, 1850)

When we find ourselves fading into shadows and unrealities, it seems hardly worth while to be sad, but rather to laugh as gaily as we may, and ask little reason wherefore.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Marble Faun, 1860)

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

Amid the seeming confusion of our mysterious world, individuals are so nicely adjusted to a system, and systems to one another and to a whole, that, by stepping aside for a moment, a man exposes himself to a fearful risk of losing his place forever.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (Twice Told Tales - Wakefield, 1835)

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 (The Scarlet Letter - Introduction, 1850)

That pit of blackness that lies beneath us, everywhere ... the firmest substance of human happiness is but a thin crust spread over it, with just reality enough to bear up the illusive stage-scenery amid which we tread. It needs no earthquake to open the chasm.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Marble Faun, 1860)

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.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Blithedale Romance, 1852)

There is a fatality, a feeling so irresistible and inevitable that it has the force of doom, which almost invariably compels human beings to linger around and haunt, ghostlike, the spot where some great and marked event has given the color to their lifetime; and still the more irresistibly, the darker the tinge that saddens it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter, 1850)

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 (The Scarlet Letter - Chapter IV, 1850)

It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates.  Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter - Chapter XIII, 1850)

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

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter - Chapter II, 1850)

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 (The Scarlet Letter - Chapter XVIII, 1850)

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Nathaniel Hawthorne Biography

Born: July 4, 1804
Died: May 19, 1864

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and writer. He is best known for being the author of the highly successful romantic novel "The Scarlet Letter"

Notable Works

Fanshawe (1828)
Twice Told Tales (1837)
The Scarlet Letter (1850)
The House of Seven Gables (1851)
The Blithedale Romance (1852)
Tanglewood Tales (1853)
The Marble Faun (1860)