25 Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes That Are Universal Life Lessons

Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4. 1804 — May 19, 1864) was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for his novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables.

His ancestors had been involved in the famous Salem witchcraft trials, where many people were accused of and executed for being “witches.” In order to distance himself from his family’s actions, the author added a “w” to his name (his original name being Hathorne).

At an early age, Hawthorne suffered from a leg injury that left him immobile for several months. During this period, he became an avid reader and developed an appetite for writing. Later, with the help of his wealthy uncles, he attended college, then came back home to pursue his dream.

Slowly, Hawthorne
gained fame while writing short stories, as they were very well received by his
audience. However, his talent was truly recognized after publishing The Scarlet Letter.

The author is a well-known
exponent of the genre of dark romance. The use of allegory and symbolism turned
Hawthorne into of the most noted authors of his time.

Here are 25 Nathaniel
Hawthorne quotes that are universal life lessons.

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.

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

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.

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.

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.

What other dungeon is so dark as one’s own heart! What jailer so in exorable 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.

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.

A forced smile is uglier than a frown.

Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil. 

Happiness is not found in things you possess, but in what you have the courage to release…

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

All merely graceful attributes are usually the most evanescent.

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.

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.

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

It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom. 

It is a good lesson – though it may often be a hard one – for a man… to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized, and to find how utterly devoid of significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at.

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

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

Providence had mediated better things for me than I could possibly imagine for myself.

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.

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.

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