Extract: It is a little remarkable, that-though disinclined to talk overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to my personal friends-an autobiographical impulse should twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing the public. The first time was three or four years since, when I favoured the reader-inexcusably, and for no earthly reason that either the indulgent reader or the intrusive author could imagine-with a description of my way of life in the deep quietude of an Old Manse. And now-because, beyond my deserts, I was happy enough to find a listener or two on the former occasion-I again seize the public by the button, and talk of my three years' experience in a Custom-House. The example of the famous "P. P., Clerk of this Parish," was never more faithfully followed. The truth seems to be, however, that when he casts his leaves forth upon the wind, the author addresses, not the many who will fling aside his volume, or never take it up, but the few who will understand him better than most of his schoolmates or lifemates. Some authors, indeed, do far more than this, and indulge themselves in such confidential depths of revelation as could fittingly be addressed only and exclusively to the one heart and mind of perfect sympathy; as if the printed book, thrown at large on the wide world, were certain to find out the divided segment of the writer's own nature, and complete his circle of existence by bringing him into communion with it. It is scarcely decorous, however, to speak all, even where we speak impersonally. But, as thoughts are frozen and utterance benumbed, unless the speaker stand in some true relation with his audience, it may be pardonable to imagine that a friend, a kind and apprehensive, though not the closest friend, is listening to our talk; and then, a native reserve being thawed by this genial consciousness, we may prate of the circumstances that lie around us, and even of ourself, but still keep the inmost Me behind its veil. To this extent, and within these limits, an author, methinks, may be autobiographical, without violating either the reader's rights or his own. It will be seen, likewise, that this Custom-House sketch has a certain propriety, of a kind always recognised in literature, as explaining how a large portion of the following pages came into my possession, and as offering proofs of the authenticity of a narrative therein contained.... Nathaniel Hawthorne (4 juillet 1804, Salem, Massachusetts, tats-Unis - 19 mai 1864, Plymouth, New Hampshire, tats-Unis) est un crivain am ricain, auteur de nouvelles et de romans. Biographie Jeunesse et formation Wayside, maison de Hawthorne Concord. Nathaniel Hawthorne voit le jour Salem (Massachusetts) le 4 juillet 1804. Sa maison natale a t pr serv e et est ouverte au public. William Hathorne, son arri re-grand-p re, tait un puritain qui migra d'Angleterre et s'installa Dorchester, avant de rejoindre Salem. L , il devint un membre minent de la colonie de la baie du Massachusetts et occupa plusieurs fonctions politiques, ainsi que celles de magistrat et de juge, o il se rendit c l bre par la's v rit de ses jugements. Son fils, John Hathorne, arri re-arri re-grand-p re de l'auteur, fut l'un des juges assesseurs au proc's des sorci res de Salem. la suite de la d couverte de ce fait, vers l' ge de 20 ans, l'auteur aurait ajout un w son nom, peu avant de sortir dipl m du coll ge, afin de se dissocier de ses anc tres. Le p re de Hawthorne, Nathaniel Hathorne Sr., tait capitaine de la marine marchande. Il mourut au Suriname, emport par la fi vre jaune, en 1808. Apr's, le jeune Hawthrone, sa m re et ses deux soeurs emm nagent chez les Manning, leurs parents maternels, Salem, o ils v curent dix ans. Durant ce's jour, Hawthorne est frapp la jambe lors d'un jeu de bat & ball; il devient boiteux et est clou au lit pendant un an, sans que les m d.