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 Ocean

The ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.
The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.
The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.

Read the full of The Ocean

Forms Of Heroes

Ye forms of Heroes slumb'ring here,
Beneath these tombstones cold and drear,
On which the moss of age has slept,
Since one fond heart has o'er you wept,
Oh tell me, if a Mortal's prayer,
Can ever wake your spirits, where
They sleep the dark dread sleep of death.
Tell me if now the laurel wreath,
Which Glory twin'd around your head,

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