Nathaniel Hawthorne

(1804-1864 / the United States)

Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotes

  • ''Is it a fact—or have I dreamt it—that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time?''
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. Clifford Pyncheon, in The House of the Seven Gables, ch. 17 (1851).
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  • ''A woman's chastity consists, like an onion, of a series of coats.''
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. English Notebooks, journal entry, March 16, 1854 (1870, revised 1941).
  • ''We must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest.''
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. Hester Prynne, in The Scarlet Letter, ch. 22 (1850).
  • ''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.''
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. Hilda, in The Marble Faun, ch. 41 (1860).
  • ''Every young sculptor seems to think that he must give the world some specimen of indecorous womanhood, and call it Eve, Venus, a Nymph, or any name that may apologize for a lack of decent clothing.''
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. Miriam, in The Marble Faun, ch. 14 (1860).
  • ''We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death.''
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. entry for Oct. 25, 1836. Passages from the American Notebooks (c. 1868).
  • ''We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death.''
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), U.S. author. journal entry, Oct. 25, 1836. Passages from the American Notebooks (1868).
  • ''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 (1804-1864), U.S. author. The Blithedale Romance, ch. 2 (1852).
  • ''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 (1804-1864), U.S. author. The Blithedale Romance, ch. 2 (1852).
  • ''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 (1804-1864), U.S. author. "The Custom-House," introduction, The Scarlet Letter (1850). Hawthorne was here relating the loss of his job as a customs surveyor in Salem, Massachusetts, as a result of political maneuvering; the blow was mitigated by his "previous weariness of office, and vague thoughts of resignation."

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Best Poem of Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Darken'D Veil

Oh, could I raise the darken'd veil
Which hides my future life from me,
Could unborn ages slowly sail
Before my view -- and could I see
My every action painted there,
To cast one look I would not dare.
There poverty and grief might stand,
And dark Despair's corroding hand,
Would make me seek the lonely tomb
To slumber in its endless gloom.
Then let me never cast a look,
Within Fate's fix'd mysterious book.

Read the full of The Darken'D Veil

Go To The Grave

Go to the grave where friends are laid,
And learn how quickly mortals fade,
Learn how the fairest flower must droop,
Learn how the strongest form must stoop,
Learn that we are but dust and clay,
The short-liv'd creatures of a day.
Yet do not sigh -- there is a clime,
Where they will dwell through endless time,
Who here on earth their Maker serve,

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