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Nathaniel Hawthorne by George E. Woodberry

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The narrative of Hawthorne's life has been partly told in the
autobiographical passages of his writings which he himself addressed to
his readers from time to time, and in the series of "Note Books," not
meant for publication but included in his posthumous works; the
remainder is chiefly contained in the family biography, "Nathaniel
Hawthorne and his Wife" by his son Julian Hawthorne, "Memories of
Hawthorne" by his daughter, Mrs. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, and "A Study of
Hawthorne," by his son-in-law, George Parsons Lathrop. Collateral
material is also to be found abundantly in books of reminiscences by his
contemporaries. These are the printed sources of the present biography.

The author takes pleasure in expressing his thanks to his publishers for
the ample material they have placed at his disposal; and also to Messrs.
Harper and Brothers for their permission to make extracts from Horatio
Bridge's "Personal Recollections of Nathaniel Hawthorne," and to Samuel
T. Pickard, Esq., author of "Hawthorne's First Diary," and to Dr.
Moncure D. Conway, author of "Nathaniel Hawthorne" (Appleton's), for a
like courtesy.

COLUMBIA COLLEGE, April 1, 1902.












* * * * *



The Hathorne family stock, to name it with the ancient spelling, was
English, and its old home is said to have been at Wigeastle, Wilton, in
Wiltshire. The emigrant planter, William Hathorne, twenty-three years
old, came over in the Arbella with Winthrop in 1630. He settled at
Dorchster, but in 1637 removed to Salem, where he received grants of
land; and there the line continued generation after generation with
varying fortune, at one time coming into public service and local
distinction, and at another lapsing again into the common lot, as was
the case of the long settled families generally. The planter, William
Hathorne, shared to the full in the vigor and enterprise of the first
generation in New England. He was a leader in war and peace, trade and
politics, with the versatility then required for leadership, being
legislator, magistrate, Indian fighter, explorer, and promoter, as well
as occasionally a preacher; and besides this practical force he had a
temper to sway and incite, which made him reputed the most eloquent man
in the public assembly. He possessed--and this may indicate another side
to his character--a copy of Sir Philip Sidney's "Arcadia," certainly a
rare book in the wilderness. He was best remembered, both in local
annals and family tradition, as a patriot and a persecutor, for he
refused to obey the king's summons to England, and he ordered Quaker
women to be whipped through the country-side.

The next generation, born in the colony, were generally of a narrower
type than their fathers, though in their turn they took up the work of
the new and making world with force and conscience; and the second
Hathorne, John, of fanatical memory, was as characteristically a
latter-day Puritan as his father had been a pioneer. He served in the
council and the field, but he left a name chiefly as a magistrate. His
duty as judge fell in the witchcraft years, and under that adversity of
fortune he showed those qualities of the Puritan temperament which are
most darkly recalled; he examined and sentenced to death several of the
accused persons, and bore himself so inhumanely in court that the
husband of one of the sufferers cursed him,--it must have been
dramatically done to have left so vivid a mark in men's minds,--him and
his children's children. This was the curse that lingered in the family
memory like a black blot in the blood, and was ever after used to
explain any ill luck that befell the house. The third heir of the name,
Joseph, was a plain farmer, in whose person the family probably ceased
from the ranks of the gentry, as the word was then used. The fourth,
Daniel, "bold Hathorne" of the Revolutionary ballad, was a
privateersman, robust, ruddy of face, blue-eyed, quick to wrath,--a
strong-featured type of the old Salem shipmaster. His son, Nathaniel,
the fifth descendant, was also bred to the sea, a young man of slight,
firm figure, and in face and build so closely resembling his famous
son--for he was the father of Hawthorne--that a passing sailor once
recognized the latter by the likeness. What else he transmitted to his
son, in addition to physique, by way of temperament and inbred capacity
and inclination, was to suffer more than a sea-change; but he is
recalled as a stern man on deck, of few words, showing doubtless the
early aging of those days under the influence of active responsibility,
danger, and the habit of command, and, like all these shipmasters--for
they were men of some education--he took books to sea with him. He died
at Surinam in 1808, when thirty-two years old. He had married Elizabeth
Clarke Manning, herself a descendant in the fifth generation of Richard
Manning, of St. Petrox Parish, Dartmouth, whose widow emigrated to New
England with her children in 1679. Other old colonial families that had
blended with the Hathornes and Mannings in these American years were the
Gardner, Bowditch, and Phelps stocks, on the one side, and the Giddings,
Potter, and Lord, on the other. Of such descent, Nathaniel Hawthorne,
the second child and only son of this marriage, was born at Salem, July
4, 1804, in his grandfather Daniel's house, on Union Street, near the

The pleasant, handsome, bright-haired boy was four years old when his
mother called him into her room and told him that his father was dead.
She soon removed with him and his sisters, of whom Elizabeth was four
years older and Louisa two years younger than himself, to her father's
house in the adjoining yard, which faced on Herbert Street; and there
the young mother, who was still but twenty-seven, following a custom
which made much of widows' mourning in those times, withdrew to a life
of seclusion in her own room, which, there or elsewhere, she maintained
till her death, through a period of forty years; and, as a perpetual
outward sign of her solitude, she took her meals apart, never eating at
the common table. There is a touch of mercy in life which allows
childhood to reconcile itself with all conditions; else one might regret
that the lad was to grow up from his earliest memory in the visible
presence of this grief separating him in some measure from his mother's
life; it was as if there were a ghost in the house; and though early
anecdotes of him are few and of little significance, yet in his childish
threat to go away to sea and never come back again, repeated through
years, one can but trace the deep print of that sorrow of the
un-returning ones which was the tragedy of women's lives all along this
coast. His mother cared for him none the less, though she was less his
companion, and there seems to have been no diminution of affection and
kindness between them, though an outward habit of coldness sprang up as
time went on. He had his sisters for playmates at first, and as he grew
up, he was much looked after by his uncles. His first master was Dr.
Worcester, the lexicographer, then just graduated from Yale, who set up
a school in Salem; and, the lad being lamed in ball-playing, the young
teacher came to the house to carry on the lessons. The accident happened
when Hawthorne was nine years old, and the injury, which reduced him to
crutches, continued to trouble him till he was twelve, at least, after
which, to judge by the fact that he attended dancing-school, he seems to
have entirely recovered from it. The habit of reading came to him
earlier, perhaps because of his confinement and disability for sports in
these three or four years; he was naturally thrown back upon himself. He
is seen lying upon the floor habitually, and when not playing with
cats--the only boyish fondness told of him--reading Shakspere, Milton,
Thomson, the books of the household, not uncommon in New England homes,
where good books were as plenty then as all books are now; and on
Sundays, at his grandmother Hathorne's, across the yard, he would crouch
hour after hour over Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," that refuge of
boyhood on the oldtime Sabbaths. It is recollected that, by the time he
was fourteen, he had read Clarendon, Froissart, and Rousseau, besides
"The Newgate Calendar," a week-day favorite; and he may be said to have
begun youth already well versed in good English books, and with the
habit and taste of literary pleasure established as a natural part of
life. "The Faerie Queene" was the first book he bought with his own
money. He was vigorous enough now; but the two outward circumstances
that most affected his boyhood, the monotone of his mother's sorrow and
his own protracted physical disability, must have given him touches of
gravity and delicacy beyond his years. It is noticeable that nothing is
heard of any boy friends; nor did he contract such friendships,
apparently, before college days.

In the fall of 1818, when Hawthorne was fourteen years old, the family
removed to Raymond, in Maine, where the Mannings possessed large tracts
of land. The site of this township was originally a grant to the
surviving members and the heirs of Captain Raymond's militia company of
Beverly, the next town to Salem, for service in the French and Indian
war; and Hawthorne's grandfather, Richard Manning, being the secretary
of the proprietors, who managed the property and held their meetings in
Beverly, had toward the close of the century bought out many of their
rights. After his death the estate thus acquired was kept undivided, and
was managed for his children by his sons Richard and Robert, and finally
at any rate, more particularly by the latter, who stood in the closest
relation to Hawthorne of all his uncles, having undertaken to provide
for his education. He had built a large, square, hip-roofed house at
Raymond, after the model common in his native county of Essex, as a
comfortable dwelling, but so seemingly grand amid the humble
surroundings of the Maine clearing as to earn the name of "Manning's
folly;" and, about 1814, he built a similar house for his sister, near
his own, but she had not occupied it until now, when she came to live
there, at first boarding with a tenant. It was pleasantly situated, with
a garden and apple orchard, and with rows of butternut-trees planted
beside it; and perhaps she had sought this retirement with the hope of
its being consonant with her own solitude. The country round about was
wilderness, most of it primeval woods. The little settlement, only a
mill and a country store and a few scattered houses, lay on a broad
headland making out into Sebago Lake, better known as the Great Pond, a
sheet of water eight miles across and fourteen miles long, and connected
with other lakes in a chain of navigable water; to the northwest the
distant horizon was filled with the White Mountains, and northward and
eastward rose the unfrequented hill and lake country, remarkable only,
then as now, for its pure air and waters, and presenting a vast
solitude. This was the Maine home of Hawthorne, of which he cherished
the memory as the brightest part of his boyhood. The spots that can be
named which may have excited his curiosity or interested his imagination
are few, and similar places would not be far off anywhere on the coast.
There was near his home a Pulpit Rock, such as tradition often
preserves, and by the Pond there was a cliff with the usual legend of a
romantic leap, and under it were the Indian rock-paintings called the
Images; but the essential charm of the place was that in all directions
the country lay open for adventure by boat or by trail. Hawthorne had
visited the scene before, in summer times, and he revisited it afterward
in vacations, but his long stay here was in his fifteenth year, the
greater part of which he passed in its neighborhood.

The contemporary record of these days is contained in a diary [Footnote:
Hawthorne's First Diary, with an account of its discovery and loss. By
Samuel T. Pickard. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1897. The volume has
been withdrawn by its editor in consequence of his later doubts of its
authenticity.] which has been regarded as Hawthorne's earliest writing.
The original has never been produced, and the copy was communicated for
publication under circumstances of mystery that easily allow doubts of
its authenticity to arise. The diary is said to have been given to him
by his uncle Richard "with the advice that he write out his thoughts,
some every day, in as good words as he can, upon any and all subjects,
as it is one of the best means of his securing for mature years command
of thought and language,"--these words being written on the first leaf
with the date, "Raymond, June 1, 1816." Whether this inscription and the
entries which follow it are genuine must be left undetermined; there is
nothing strange in Hawthorne's keeping a boy's diary, and being urged to
do so, in view of his tastes and circumstances, and it would be
interesting to trace to so early a beginning that habit of the note-book
that was such a resource to him in mature years; but the evidence is
inconclusive. Whether by his hand or not, the diary embodies the life he
led in this region on his visits and during his longer stay; the names
and places, the incidents, the people, the quality of the days are the
same that the boy knew, wrote of in letters of the time, and remembered
as a man; and though the story may be the fabrication of his mulatto boy
comrade of those days, it is woven of shreds and patches of reality.
After all, the little book is but a lad's log of small doings,--swapping
knives, swimming and fishing, of birds and snakes and bears, incidents
of the road and excursions into the woods and on the lake, and notices
of the tragic accidents of the neighborhood. It has some importance as
illustrating the external circumstances of the place, a very rural place
indeed, and suggesting that among these country people Hawthorne found
the secret of that fellowship--all he ever had--with the rough and
unlearned, on a footing of democratic equality, with the ease and
naturalness of a man. Here at Raymond in his youth, where his personal
superiority was too much a matter of course to be noticed, he must have
learned this freemasonry with young and old at the same time that he
held apart from all in his own life. For the rest, he has told himself
in his undoubted words how he swam and hunted, shot hen-hawks and
partridges, caught trout, and tracked bear in the snow, and ran wild,
yet not wholly free of the call-whistle of his master-passion: "I ran
quite wild," he wrote a quarter-century later, "and would, I doubt not,
have willingly run wild till this time, fishing all day long, or
shooting with an old fowling-piece; but reading a good deal, too, on
rainy days, especially in Shakespeare and 'The Pilgrim's Progress,' and
any poetry or light books within my reach. These were delightful
days.... I would skate all alone on Sebago Lake, with the deep shadows
of the icy hills on either hand. When I found myself far from home, and
weary with the exhaustion of skating, I would sometimes take refuge in a
log cabin where half a tree would be burning on the broad hearth. I
would sit in the ample chimney, and look at the stars through the great
aperture through which the flames went roaring up. Ah, how well I recall
the summer days, also, when with my gun I roamed at will through the
woods of Maine!" In these memories, it is evident, many years, younger
and older, are diffused in one recollection. For him, here rather than
by his native sea were those open places of freedom that boyhood loves,
and with them he associated the beginnings of his spirit,--the dark as
well as the bright; near his end he told Fields, as his mind wandered
back to these days, "I lived in Maine like a bird of the air, so perfect
was the freedom I enjoyed. But it was there I first got my cursed habits
of solitude." The tone of these reminiscences is verified by his
letters, when he went back to Salem; in the first months he writes of
"very hard fits of homesickness;" a year later he breaks out,--"Oh, that
I had the wings of a dove, that I might fly hence and be at rest! How
often do I long for my gun, and wish that I could again savageize with
you! But I shall never again run wild in Raymond, and I shall never be
so happy as when I did;" and, after another year's interval, "I have
preferred and still prefer Raymond to Salem, through every change of
fortune." There can be no doubt where his heart placed the home of his
boyhood; nor is it, perhaps, fanciful to observe that in his books the
love of nature he displays is rather for the woods than the sea, though
he was never content to live long away from the salt air.

It was plainly the need of schooling that took him from his mother's
home at Raymond and brought him back to Salem by the summer of 1819,
when he was just fifteen years old. Even in the winter interval he seems
to have gone for a few weeks to the house of the Rev. Caleb Bradley,
Stroudwater, Westbrook, in the same county as Raymond, to be tutored. He
remained in Salem with his uncles for the next two years, and was
prepared for college, partly, at least, by Benjamin Oliver, a lawyer, at
the expense of his uncle Robert, and during a portion of this time he
earned some money by writing in the office of his uncle William; but he
was occupied chiefly with his studies, reading, and early compositions.
At the beginning of this period, in his first autumn letters, he
mentions having lately read "Waverley," "The Mysteries of Udolpho," "The
Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom," "Roderick Random," and a volume
of "The Arabian Nights;" and he has learned the easy rhyming of first
verses, and stuffs his letters with specimens of his skill, clever
stanzas, well written, modulated in the cadences of the time, with
melancholy seriousness and such play of sad fancy as youthful poets use.
He laid little store by his faculty for verse, and yet he had practiced
it from an early childish age and had a fair mastery of its simple
forms; and once or twice in mature life he indulged himself in writing
and even in publishing serious poems. In these years, however, verses
were only a part of the ferment of his literary talent, nor have any of
them individuality. He practiced prose, too, and in the next summer,
1820, issued four numbers of a boy's paper, "The Spectator," bearing
weekly date from August 21 to September 18, and apparently he had made
an earlier experiment, without date, in such adolescent journalism; it
was printed with a pen on small note-paper, and contained such serious
matter as belongs to themes at school on "Solitude" and "Industry," with
the usual addresses to subscribers and the liveliness natural to family
news-columns. The composition is smooth and the manner entertaining, and
there is abundance of good spirits and fun of a boyish sort. The paper
shows the literary spirit and taste in its very earliest bud; but no
precocity of talent distinguished it, though doubtless the thought of
authorship fed on its tender leaves. Such experiments belong to the life
of growing boys where education is common and literary facility is
thought to be a distinction and sign of promise in the young; and
Hawthorne did not in these ways differ from the normal boy who was
destined for college. Nothing more than these trifles is to be gleaned
of his intellectual life at that time, but two or three letters
pleasantly illustrate his brotherly feeling, his spirits, and his
uncertainties in regard to the future, at the same time that they
display his absorption in the author's craft; and they conclude the
narrative of these early days before college. The first was written in
October, 1820, just after the last issue of "The Spectator," to his
younger sister Louisa, and shows incidentally that these literary
pleasures were a family diversion:--

Dear Sister,--I am very angry with you for not sending me some of your
poetry, which I consider a great piece of ingratitude. You will not see
one line of mine until you return the confidence which I have placed in
you. I have bought the "Lord of the Isles," and intend either to send or
to bring it to you. I like it as well as any of Scott's other poems. I
have read Hogg's "Tales," "Caleb Williams," "St. Leon," and
"Mandeville." I admire Godwin's novels, and intend to read them all. I
shall read the "Abbot," by the author of "Waverley," as soon as I can
hire it. I have read all Scott's novels except that. I wish I had not,
that I might have the pleasure of reading them again. Next to these I
like "Caleb Williams." I have almost given up writing poetry. No man can
be a Poet and a bookkeeper at the same time. I do find this place most
"dismal," and have taken to chewing tobacco with all my might, which, I
think, raises my spirits. Say nothing of it in your letters, nor of the
"Lord of the Isles." ... I do not think I shall ever go to college. I
can scarcely bear the thought of living upon Uncle Robert for four years
longer. How happy I should be to be able to say, "I am Lord of myself!"
You may cut off this part of my letter, and show the other to Uncle
Richard. Do write me some letters in skimmed milk. I must conclude, as I
am in a "monstrous hurry"!

Your affectionate brother,


P. S. The most beautiful poetry I think I ever saw begins:--

"She 'a gone to dwell in Heaven, my lassie,
She's gone to dwell in Heaven:
Ye're ow're pure quo' a voice aboon
For dwalling out of Heaven."

It is not the words, but the thoughts. I hope you have read it, as I
know you would admire it.

A passage from a second letter, six months later, March 13, 1821, to his
mother, reveals the character of his relationship with her:--

I don't read so much now as I did, because I am more taken up in
studying. I am quite reconciled to going to college, since I am to spend
the vacations with you. Yet four years of the best part of my life is a
great deal to throw away. I have not yet concluded what profession I
shall have. The being a minister is of course out of the question. I
should not think that even you could desire me to choose so dull a way
of life. Oh, no, mother, I was not born to vegetate forever in one
place, and to live and die as calm and tranquil as--a puddle of water.
As to lawyers, there are so many of them already that one half of them
(upon a moderate calculation) are in a state of actual starvation. A
physician, then, seems to be "Hobson's choice;" but yet I should not
like to live by the diseases and infirmities of my fellow-creatures. And
it would weigh very heavily on my conscience, in the course of my
practice, if I should chance to send any unlucky patient "ad inferum,"
which being interpreted is, "to the realms below." Oh that I was rich
enough to live without a profession! What do you think of my becoming an
author, and relying for support upon my pen? Indeed, I think the
illegibility of my handwriting is very author-like. How proud you would
feel to see my works praised by the reviewers, as equal to the proudest
productions of the scribbling sons of John Bull! But authors are always
poor devils, and therefore Satan may take them. I am in the same
predicament as the honest gentleman in "Espriella's Letters:"--

"I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here,
A-musing in my mind what garment I shall wear."

But as the mail closes soon, I must stop the career of my pen. I will
only inform you that I now write no poetry, or anything else. I hope
that either Elizabeth or you will write to me next week. I remain

Your affectionate son,


Do not show this letter.

A third letter, June 19, 1821, also to his mother, on the eve of his
departure for college, is interesting for the solicitude it exhibits for
her happiness in the solitary life she had come to live.

"I hope, dear mother, that you will not be tempted by my entreaties to
return to Salem to live. You can never have so much comfort here as you
now enjoy. You are now undisputed mistress of your own house.... If you
remove to Salem, I shall have no mother to return to during the college
vacations, and the expense will be too great for me to come to Salem. If
you remain at Raymond, think how delightfully the time will pass, with
all your children round you, shut out from the world, and nothing to
disturb us. It will be a second Garden of Eden.

'Lo, what an entertaining sight
Are kindred who agree!'

"Elizabeth is as anxious for you to stay as myself. She says she is
contented to remain here for a short time, but greatly prefers Raymond
as a permanent place of residence. The reason for my saying so much on
this subject is that Mrs. Dike and Miss Manning are very earnest for you
to return to Salem, and I am afraid they will commission uncle Robert to
persuade you to it. But, mother, if you wish to live in peace, I conjure
you not to consent to it. Grandmother, I think, is rather in favor of
your staying."

A few weeks later, in the summer of 1821, being then seventeen years
old, Hawthorne left Salem for Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine, by
the mail stage from Boston eastward, and before reaching his destination
picked up by the way a Sophomore, Franklin Pierce, afterwards President
of the United States, and two classmates of his own, Jonathan Cilley,
who went to Congress and was the victim of the well-remembered political
duel with Graves, and Alfred Mason; he made friends with these new
companions, and Mason became his room-mate for two years. Bowdoin was a
small college, graduating at that time about thirty students at its
annual Commencement; its professors were kindly and cultivated men, and
its curriculum the simple academic course of those days. Hawthorne's
class, immortalized fifty years later by Longfellow's grave and tender
anniversary lines, "Morituri Salutamus," was destined to unusual
distinction in after life. Longfellow, its scholastic star, was a boy of
fourteen, favored by the regard of the professors, and belonging to the
more studious and steady set of fellows, who gathered in the Peucinian
Society. Hawthorne joined the rival organisation, the Athenaeum, a more
free and boisterous group of lower standing in their studies, described
as the more democratic in their feelings. He is remembered as "a slender
lad, having a massive head, with dark, brilliant, and most expressive
eyes, heavy eyebrows, and a profusion of dark hair." He carried his head
on one side, which gave a singularity to his figure, and he had
generally a countrified appearance; but he took his place among his
mates without much observation. He was reticent in speech and reserved
in manner, and he was averse to intimacy; he had, nevertheless, a full
share in collegiate life and showed no signs of withdrawal from the
common arena. He did not indulge in sports, saving some rough-and-tumble
play, nor did he ride horseback or drive, nor apparently did he care for
that side of youthful life at all, though he was willing to fight on
occasion, and joined the military company of which Pierce was captain.
His athleticism seems to have been confined to his form. He played cards
for small stakes, being a member of the Androscoggin Loo Club, and he
took his part in the convivial drinking of the set where he made one,
winning the repute of possessing a strong head. These indulgences were
almost too trifling to deserve mention, for the scale of life at Bowdoin
was of the most inexpensive order, and though there was light gambling
and occasional jollification, bad habits were practically impossible in
these directions. He was certainly not ashamed of his doings, for on
being detected in one of these scrapes, at the end of his Freshman year,
anticipating a letter of the President, he wrote to his mother, May 30,
1822, an account of the affair:--

MY DEAR MOTHER,--I hope you have safely arrived in Salem. I have nothing
particular to inform you of, except that all the card-players in college
have been found out, and my unfortunate self among the number. One has
been dismissed from college, two suspended, and the rest, with myself,
have been fined fifty cents each. I believe the President intends to
write to the friends of all the delinquents. Should that be the case,
you must show the letter to nobody. If I am again detected, I shall have
the honor of being suspended; when the President asked what we played
for, I thought it proper to inform him it was fifty cents, although it
happened to be a quart of wine; but if I had told him of that, he would
probably have fined me for having a blow. There was no untruth in the
case, as the wine cost fifty cents. I have not played at all this term.
I have not drank any kind of spirits or wine this term, and shall not
till the last week.

* * * * *

He takes up the subject again in a letter to one of his sisters, August
5, 1822:--

"To quiet your suspicions, I can assure you that I am neither 'dead,
absconded, or anything worse.' I have involved myself in no 'foolish
scrape,' as you say all my friends suppose; but ever since my misfortune
I have been as steady as a sign-post, and as sober as a deacon, have
been in no 'blows' this term, nor drank any kind of 'wine or strong
drink.' So that your comparison of me to the 'prodigious son' will hold
good in nothing, except that I shall probably return penniless, for I
have had no money this six weeks.... The President's message is not so
severe as I expected. I perceive that he thinks I have been led away by
the wicked ones, in which, however, he is greatly mistaken. I was full
as willing to play as the person he suspects of having enticed me, and
would have been influenced by no one. I have a great mind to commence
playing again, merely to show him that I scorn to be seduced by another
into anything wrong."

The last week of the term and the close of the Senior year appear to
have been the seasons of conviviality, and Hawthorne's life of this sort
ended with his being an officer of the Navy Club, an impromptu
association of those of his classmates, fourteen out of thirty-eight,
who for one reason or another were not to have a Commencement part on
graduation. The Club met at the college tavern, Miss Ward's, near the
campus, for weekly suppers and every night during Commencement week;
this entertainment was for these youths the happy climax of their
academic life together.

In his studies Hawthorne must have followed his own will very freely. He
refused to declaim, and no power could make him do so, and for this
reason he was denied the honor of a Commencement part, which he had won,
being number eighteen by rank in his class; he was nervously shy about
declaiming, owing, it is said, to his having been laughed at on his
first attempt as a school-boy at Salem; but he either delivered or read
a Latin theme at a Junior exhibition. He also paid scant attention to
mathematics and metaphysics, and had no pride as to failing in
recitation in those branches; but he distinguished himself as a Latin
scholar and in English. His most fruitful hours, as so often happens,
were those spent in the little library of the Athenaeum Society, a
collection, as he writes home, of eight hundred books, among which he
especially mentions Rees's Cyclopaedia--such was the wealth of a boy of
genius in those days--but among the eight hundred books it is certain
that the bulk of English literature was contained. He practiced writing
somewhat, though he had given up poetry; and he played a prank by
sending to a Boston paper a fabricated account of one of those
destroying insects which visit that region from time to time, with notes
on ways of exterminating it,--all for the benefit of his uncle, who took
the paper; but no other trace of his composition remains except a memory
of his elder sister's that he wrote to her of "progress on my novel."
His way of life intellectually had not changed since his schoolboy days,
for it is noticeable that then he never mentioned his studies, but only
the books he read; so now he read the books for pleasure, and let his
studies subsist as best they could in the realm of duty. He was poor,
and even in the modest simplicity of this country college, where his
expenses could hardly have been three hundred dollars a year, was
evidently embarrassed with homely difficulties; the state of his clothes
seems to have been on his mind a good deal. But he was self-respecting,
patient, and grateful; he formed the good habit of hating debt; and he
went on his way little burdened except by doubtful hopes.

Though he was familiar with his classmates and contemporaries at
college, and firm and fast friends with a few, like Pierce and Cilley,
forming with them the ties that last through all things, he had but one
confidant, Horatio Bridge, afterwards of the United States Navy.
Hawthorne roomed at first with Alfred Mason, in Maine Hall, and being
burned out in their Freshman year, they found temporary quarters
elsewhere, but when the Hall was rebuilt returned to it and occupied
room number nineteen for the Sophomore year. The two chums, however, did
not become intimate, beyond pleasant companionship, and they belonged to
different societies; and the last two years Hawthorne roomed alone in a
private house, Mrs. Cunning's, where both he and Bridge also boarded. It
is from the latter, who remained through life one of Hawthorne's most
serviceable friends, that the account of his college days mainly comes.
He especially remembered, besides such matters of fact as have been
recounted, their walks and rambles together in the pine woods that
stretched about the college unbroken for miles, and by the river with
its rafts of spring logs, and over to the little bay sent up by a
far-reaching arm of the sea; and he recalled the confidences of
Hawthorne in speaking of his hopes of being a writer, in repeating to
him verses as they leaned in the moonlight over the railing of the
bridge below the falls, listening to the moving waters, and in allowing
him some inward glimpses of his solitary life in the brooding time of
youth. Bridge was a fellow of infinite cheer, and praised him, and
clapped him, and urged him on, and gave him the best companionship in
the world for that time of life, if not for all times,--the
companionship of being believed in by a friend. Hawthorne did not forget
it, and in due time paid the tribute of grateful remembrance in the
preface to the volume he dedicated to Bridge, where he recalled his
college days and his friend's part in them.

"If anybody is responsible for my being at this day an author, it is
yourself. I know not whence your faith came, but while we were lads
together at a country college, gathering blueberries in study hours
under those tall, academic pines, or watching the great logs as they
tumbled along the current of the Androscoggin, or shooting pigeons or
gray squirrels in the woods, or bat-fowling in the summer twilight, or
catching trout in that shadowy little stream which, I suppose, is still
wandering riverward through the forest, though you and I will never cast
a line in it again; two idle lads, in short (as we need not fear to
acknowledge now), doing a hundred things that the Faculty never heard
of, or else it would have been the worse for us--still, it was your
prognostic of your friend's destiny that he was to be a writer of

The picture is a vignette of the time, and being in the open, too,
pleasantly ends the tale of college. On separating, it is pleasant to
notice, the friends exchanged keepsakes.

The four years had lapsed quietly and quickly by, and Hawthorne, who now
adopted the fanciful spelling of the name after his personal whim, was
man grown. There had been trying circumstances in these early days, but
he had met them hardily and lightly, as a matter of course; he had
practically educated himself by the help of books, and had also
discharged his duties as they seemed to the eyes of others; he could go
home feeling that he had satisfied his friends. He seems to have feared
that he might have satisfied them too well; and, some commendation
having preceded him, he endeavored to put them right by a letter to his
sister, July 14, 1825:--

"The family had before conceived much too high an opinion of my talents,
and had probably formed expectations which I shall never realize. I have
thought much upon the subject, and have finally come to the conclusion
that I shall never make a distinguished figure in the world, and all I
hope or wish is to plod along with the multitude. I do not say this for
the purpose of drawing any flattery from you, but merely to set mother
and the rest of you right upon a point where your partiality has led you
astray. I did hope that uncle Robert's opinion of me was nearer to the
truth, as his deportment toward me never expressed a very high
estimation of my abilities."

This has the ring of sincerity, like all his home letters, and it is
true that so far there had been nothing precocious, brilliant, or
extraordinary in him to testify of genius,--he was only one of hundreds
of New England boys bred on literature under the shelter of academic
culture; and yet there may have been in his heart something left
unspoken, another mood equally sincere in its turn, for the heart is a
fickle prophet. As Mr. Lathrop suggests in that study of his
father-in-law which is so subtly appreciative of those vital suggestions
apt to escape record and analysis, another part of the truth may lie in
the words of "Fanshawe" where Hawthorne expresses the feelings of his
hero in a like situation with himself at the end of college days:--

"He called up the years that, even at his early age, he had spent in
solitary study,--in conversation with the dead,--while he had scorned to
mingle with the living world, or to be actuated by any of its motives.
Fanshawe had hitherto deemed himself unconnected with the world,
unconcerned in its feelings, and uninfluenced by it in any of his
pursuits. In this respect he probably deceived himself. If his inmost
heart could have been laid open, there would have been discovered that
dream of undying fame, which, dream as it is, is more powerful than a
thousand realities."



In the summer of 1825 Hawthorne returned to Salem, going back to the old
house on Herbert Street,--the home of his childhood, where his mother,
disregarding his boyish dissuasions, had again taken up her abode three
years before. He occupied a room on the second floor in the southwest
sunshine under the eaves, looking out on the business of the
wharf-streets; and in it he spent the next twelve years, a period which
remained in his memory as an unbroken tract of time preserving a
peculiar character. The way of his life knew little variation from the
beginning to the end. He lived in an intellectual solitude deepened by
the fact that it was only an inner cell of an outward seclusion almost
as complete, for the house had the habits of a hermitage. His mother,
after nearly a score of years of widowhood, still maintained her
separation even from her home world; she is said to have seen none of
her husband's relatives and few of her own, and a visitor must have been
a venturesome person. The custom of living apart spread through the
household. The elder sister, Elizabeth, who was of a strong and active
mind capable of understanding and sympathizing with her brother, and the
younger sister, Louisa, who was more like other people, stayed in their
rooms. The meals of the family, even, which usually go on when
everything else fails in the common life of house-mates, had an
uncertain and variable element in their conduct, as was not unnatural
where the mother never came to the table. The recluse habits of all
doubtless increased with indulgence, and after a while Hawthorne
himself, who was plainly the centre of interest there, fell into the
common ways of isolation. "He had little communication," writes Mr.
Lathrop, "with even the members of his family. Frequently his meals were
brought and left at his locked door, and it was not often that the four
inmates of the old Herbert Street mansion met in family circle. He never
read his stories aloud to his mother and sisters, as might be imagined
from the picture which Mr. Fields draws of the young author reciting his
new productions to his listening family; though, when they met, he
sometimes read older literature to them. It was the custom in this
household for the several members to remain very much by themselves; the
three ladies were perhaps nearly as rigorous recluses as himself; and,
speaking of the isolation which reigned among them, Hawthorne once said,
'We do not even _live_ at our house!'" He seldom went out by day,
unless for long excursions in the country; an early sea bath on summer
mornings and a dark walk after supper, longer in the warm weather,
shorter in the winter season, were habitual, and a bowl of thick
chocolate with bread crumbed into it, or a plate of fruit, on his return
prepared him for the night's work. Study in the morning, composition in
the afternoon, and reading in the evening, are described as his routine,
but it is unlikely that any such regularity ruled where times and
seasons were so much at his own command. He had no visitors and made no
friends; hardly twenty persons in the town, he thought, were aware of
his existence; but he brought home hundreds of volumes from the Salem
Athenaeum, and knew the paths of the woods and pastures and the way
along the beaches and rocky points, and he had the stuff of his fantasy
with which to occupy himself when nature and books failed to satisfy
him. At first there must have been great pleasure in being at home, for
he had not really lived a home life since he was fifteen years old, and
he was fond of home; and, too, in the young ambition to become a writer
and his efforts to achieve success, if not fame, in fiction, and in the
first motions of his creative genius, there was enough to fill his mind,
to provide him with active interest and occupation, and to abate the
sense of loneliness in his daily circumstances: but as youth passed and
manhood came, and yet fortune lagged with her gifts, this existence
became insufficient for him,--it grew burdensome as it showed barren,
and depression set in upon him like a chill and obscure fog over the
marshes where he walked. This, however, year dragging after year, was a
slow process; and the kind of life he led, its gray and deadening
monotone, sympathetic though it was with his temperament, was seen by
him better in retrospect than in its own time.

It is singular that Hawthorne should have undertaken to live by his pen,
or been allowed to do so by his friends, as a practical way of life, but
he was indulged at home, the young lord of the family. "We were in those
days," says Elizabeth, "almost absolutely obedient to him." Occasionally
he thought of going into his uncle's counting-room and so obtaining a
business and place in the world, but he never took this step. He
probably drifted, more or less, into authorship, partly through a
dilatory reluctance to do anything else, and partly led on by the hope
of a success with some one of his tales which would justify him.

The first attempts he made in the craft are involved in some obscurity.
He may have merely carried over from college days what he then had in
hand. At all events his sister Elizabeth, from whom the information
comes in respect to these details, remembered a little collection which
he had prepared for publication with the title "Seven Tales of my Native
Land," and she says that she read it in the summer of 1825; in that case
these stories must have been written at college, but her memory may have
erred. She gives the names of two of them as "Alice Doane" and "Susan
Grey," and adds that he told her, while the volume was still in the
stage of being offered to publishers, that he would first "write a story
which would make a smaller book, and get it published immediately if
possible, before the arrangements for bringing out the 'Tales' were
completed." This was presumably "Fanshawe," which may also have been the
novel she recollected his writing to her about while at college.

"Fanshawe" [Footnote: _Fanshawe_. A Tale. Boston: Marsh & Capen,
362 Washington St. Press of Putnam and Hunt, 1828. 12mo. Pp. 141.] was
published in 1828 by Marsh and Capen, at Boston, without the author's
name but at his expense, one hundred dollars being the sum paid; it
failed, and Hawthorne looked on it with so much subsequent displeasure
that he called in all the copies he could find and destroyed them, and
thus nearly succeeded in sinking the book in oblivion, but the few
copies which survived secured its republication after his death. The
novel is brief, with a melodramatic plot, well-marked scenes, and
strongly contrasted character; the style flows on pleasantly; but the
book is without distinction. Like many a just graduated collegian,
Hawthorne had recourse to his academic experience in lieu of anything
else, and in the setting of the story and some of its delineation of
character Longfellow recognized the strong suggestion of Bowdoin days;
in the same way the hero, Fanshawe, borrowed something from Hawthorne's
own temperament. The figure of the villain, too, adumbrates, though
faintly, the type which engaged Hawthorne's mind in later years.
"Fanshawe" as a whole in all its scenes, whether in the house of the old
President, the tavern, the hut, or the outdoor encounters of the lovers
and rivals, is strongly reminiscent of Scott, the management being
entirely in his manner; its low-life tragedy, its romantic scenery, and
its bookish humor, as well as the characterization in general, are also
from Scott; in fact, notwithstanding what Hawthorne had taken from his
own observation and feelings, this provincial sketch, for it is no more,
is a Scott story, done with a young man's clever mastery of the manner,
but weak internally in plot, character, and dramatic reality. It is as
destitute of any brilliant markings of his genius as his undergraduate
life itself had been, and is important only as showing the serious care
with which he undertook the task of authorship. It is the only relic,
except the shadowy "Seven Tales," of his literary work in the first
three years after leaving college. The "Tales" he is said to have
burned; no better publisher appearing, a young Salem printer, Ferdinand
Andrews, undertook to bring them out, but as he delayed the matter
through lack of capital, Hawthorne, growing impatient and exasperated,
recalled the manuscript and destroyed it.

The example of Scott was, perhaps, the potent influence in fixing
Hawthorne's attention on a definite object, and incited him to seek in
the history of his own country, and especially in the colonial tradition
of New England, which was so near at hand, the field of fiction. He
stored his mind, certainly, with the story of his own people during the
two centuries since the settlement, and prepared himself to describe its
stirring events and striking characters under the veil of imaginative
history. The nature of his reading shows that this was a conscious aim;
and, besides, it was an opinion, loudly proclaimed and widely shared in
that decade, that American writers should look to their own country for
their themes; Cooper was doing so in fiction, and Longfellow felt this
predilection in his choice of subject for verse. Salem was a true centre
of the old times; and a young imagination in that town and neighborhood,
already disposed to writing prose romance, would feel the charm of
historical association and naturally catch impulse from the past,
especially if, as in the case of Hawthorne, the history of his ancestors
was inwoven with its good and evil. It is not surprising therefore that,
as Hawthorne had begun, though unsuccessfully, with tales of his native
land, he should continue to work the vein; and, to adopt what seems to
be a reasonable inference, he now gathered from his materials a new
series which he knew as "Provincial Tales," in which it remains doubtful
how much of the old survived, for the burnt manuscripts of youth have
something of the phoenix in their ashes.

The first trace of these is "The Young Provincial," an anonymous piece,
[Footnote: It is unquestionable that Hawthorne contributed to annuals
and periodicals anonymous tales and sketches that he never claimed, as
he states in the preface to _Twice-Told Tales_ and in a letter to
Fields in which he beseeches him not to revive them. The identification
of such work, however, is beset with much temptation to find a tale
genuine, if it can be plausibly so represented, and in few cases can the
proof be conclusive. Mr. F. B. Sanborn presents the fullest list, all
from _The Token_, which he accepts as genuine, as follows: _The
Adventures of a Raindrop_, 1828, _The Young Provincial_, 1830,
_The Haunted Quack_ and _The New England Village_, 1831, _My
Wife's Novel_, 1832, _The Bald Eagle_, 1833, _The Modern
Job_, or _The Philosopher's Stone_, 1834. The correspondence
with Goodrich does not indicate that Hawthorne contributed to _The
Token_ before the issue for 1831. _The Young Provincial_ seems
to be the same sort of a tale as _The Downer's Banner_, as has been
intimated above: yet it would, perhaps, be more readily accepted,
together with _The Haunted Quack_ and _The Modern Job_. The
latest edition of Hawthorne includes all of these tales, given above,
except the first and last, but its editor does not vouch for their
authenticity.] ascribed to him on internal evidence and contributed to
"The Token," an annual published at Boston, for its issue of 1830. The
story relates the adventures of a youthful Revolutionary soldier who had
handed down to his descendants a "grandfather's gun;" it tells of Bunker
Hill, of imprisonment at Halifax and of escape, and it may be from
Hawthorne's pen. It must have been written early in 1829, if not before,
and it is noticed in the review of "The Token" in Willis's Boston
periodical, "The American Monthly Magazine" for September, 1829, where
it is described as a "pleasing story, told quite inartificially," and is
illustrated by a brief extract. It may not be irrelevant to observe that
a similar "provincial tale" appeared in this number of the magazine,
"The Downer's Banner," and if it was not by the same youthful author, it
shows that the same kind of subject had singularly interested two
writers in that neighborhood. It is, however, only in "The Token" that
Hawthorne can be further traced.

The editor of this annual, which was intended as a literary gift-book
for Christmas, was S. G. Goodrich, famous as "Peter Parley" in after
days, and to him belongs the honor of being Hawthorne's first literary
friend, and he always remained a faithful one. He was a promoter of
publishers' enterprises, in that part of the field of literature which
is distinctly pervaded with business; and in it he was successful, as
the millions of the Peter Parley books abundantly attest. At this time
he was sincerely interested, it must be believed, in furthering the
interests of American writers and artists, according to his lights and
means, and Griswold, who was a good judge, said of him, "It is
questionable whether any other person has done as much to improve the
style of the book manufacture or to promote the arts of engraving." With
such ambitions he had begun, in 1828, the issue of the annual, which is
now best remembered, and which in its own day longest survived the
changes of public taste. The nature of these volumes, of which there
were many in different publishing centres, is well described by a writer
in Willis's "Magazine" for 1829: "A few years ago, an elegant taste,
joined, perhaps, to a love of 'filthy lucre,' induced some English
publishers to give to the world the first specimens of those souvenirs
and 'Forget Me Nots' which are now so common through our country. How
beautiful they were at their first appearance, the eagerness with which
they were read will testify. How rapid was their increase, may be seen
by referring to the counters of every book-store. America, ready and
willing as she ever is to acknowledge the excellence, and imitate the
example of the parent country in every good thing, has imitated and
improved upon the plan. We can now boast of a species of literature,
which is conducted almost wholly by young men, and which has merited the
affection, because it has developed the power of our native genius.
Those who have made their first essays in literature, through the medium
of the pages of a Souvenir, will gain confidence in proportion as they
have tested their own strength. The American annuals do not profess to
be the works of the most finished or most accomplished writers of this
country. They should not be taken as specimens of what our literature
is, but as indications of what it may one day be. They are not the
matured fruits, but the bright promise and blossoming of genius; and
thus far they have been an honor to the taste and talent of American
writers, and monuments of the swift progress of our artists towards
excellence in their profession."

Such was the contemporary view of the annuals, and it is justified,
perhaps, by the fact that Longfellow, for example, was then contributing
to the "Atlantic Souvenir" of Philadelphia, the first of the brood, and
that Hawthorne found in "The Token" the principal opportunity to obtain
a hearing for himself in his first productive years.

Mr. Goodrich, in his "Recollections," states that he sought out
Hawthorne. "I had seen," he says, "some anonymous publications which
seemed to me to indicate extraordinary powers. I inquired of the
publishers as to the writer, and through them a correspondence ensued
between me and 'N. Hawthorne.' This name I considered a disguise, and it
was not till after many letters had passed, that I met the author, and
found it to be a true title, representing a very substantial personage."
This correspondence began, as nearly as can be judged, in 1829, and in
the course of it Hawthorne had already sent to Goodrich "The Young
Provincial," if that is to be accepted as by him, and also "Roger
Malvin's Burial," and, apparently later than this last, at least three
other tales, "The Gentle Boy," "My Uncle Molineaux," and "Alice Doane."
He had presented these as specimens of the "Provincial Tales," for which
he desired a publisher. Goodrich acknowledges these, January 19, 1830,
from Hartford, Connecticut, where he lived, and promises in the note to
endeavor to find a publisher for the book when he returns to Boston in
April. He adds, "Had 'Fanshawe' been in the hands of more extensive
dealers, I do believe it would have paid you a profit;" from which it
may be inferred that "Fanshawe" was the anonymous work which had
attracted Goodrich's attention. He praises the tales, and offers
thirty-five dollars for "The Gentle Boy" to be used in "The Token." The
first letter from Hawthorne, in respect to the matter, which has come to
light, is on May 6, 1830, and is given in Derby's "Fifty Years."

"I send you the two pieces for 'The Token.' They were ready some days
ago, but I kept them in expectation of hearing from you. I have complied
with your wishes in regard to brevity. You can insert them (if you think
them worthy a place in your publication) as by the author of 'Provincial
Tales,'--such being the title I propose giving my volume. I can conceive
no objection to your designating them in this manner, even if my tales
should not be published as soon as 'The Token,' or, indeed, if they
never see the light at all. An unpublished book is not more obscure than
many that creep into the world, and your readers will suppose that the
'Provincial Tales' are among the latter." The "two pieces" to which he
refers were clearly not members of the series he proposed to publish in
the book, and perhaps they should be identified as "Sights from a
Steeple," certainly, and for the other either "The New England Village"
or "The Haunted Quack," both which, besides the first, were published in
"The Token" for 1831, and have been ascribed to Hawthorne on internal
evidence of the same sort as that on which "The Young Provincial" has
been accepted.

Goodrich did not find a publisher for the "Provincial Tales," and
Hawthorne allowed him to use such as he desired for "The Token" for
1832. The publication of this annual, it should be observed, was
prepared for early in the preceding year, and the tales which it
contained must be regarded as at least a year old when issued. Thus, in
respect to the issue for 1832, just mentioned, Goodrich writes May 31,
1831: "I have made a very liberal use of the privilege you gave me as to
the insertion of your pieces in 'The Token.' I have already inserted
four of them; namely, 'The Wives of the Dead,' 'Roger Malvin's Burial,'
'Major Molineaux,' and 'The Gentle Boy;'" and he adds that they are as
good if not better than anything else he gets; and in a later note,
written on the publication of the volume, in October, he says, "I am
gratified to find that all whose opinion I have heard agree with me as
to the merit of the various pieces from your pen." In this issue,
besides the four mentioned, the story "My Wife's Novel" has also been
attributed to Hawthorne.

The project of the "Provincial Tales" had by this time been abandoned,
temporarily at least, and the author's mind turned to other kinds of
writing. He had already opened new veins in attempting to sketch
contemporary scenes, either after the fashion of the pleasant meditative
essay, such as "Sights from a Steeple," or else in the way of humorous
description. The scenes he looked down on, in fancy, in this first
paper, were the roof-tops and streets and horizon of Salem; but he had
wandered in other parts of his native land also, though not widely, and
he used these journeys in his compositions. It is noticeable that
Hawthorne always used all his material, consumed it, and made stories,
essays, and novels of it, except the slag. It was his characteristic
from youth. There is the same dubiousness about these journeys, his
earliest ventures in the world, as about his first attempts in the field
of authorship. He himself says, in the autobiographical notes he
furnished to Stoddard, that he left Salem "once a year or thereabouts,"
for a few weeks; and in his sketches there are traces of these
excursions, as at Martha's Vineyard, for example; but their times and
localities are verifiable only to a slight degree. It is stated that the
fact that his uncles, the Mannings, were interested in stage-lines gave
him some privileges as a traveller, or perhaps this only gave occasion
for a journey now and then, in which he joined his uncles on some
convenient business; thus, it was in company with his uncle Samuel, that
he was in New Hampshire in 1831, and visited the Shaker community at
Canterbury. Another known journey was in 1830, and took him through
Connecticut; and it is said, probably on conjecture, that it was at this
time that he went on, by the canal, to Niagara, and visited Ticonderoga
on his return. If his writings, in which he described these places, are
to be taken literally, he even embarked for Detroit; but information in
respect to the whole Niagara excursion is of the scantiest. All that is
known is that in some way, during his long stay at Salem in these years,
he made himself acquainted with portions of Connecticut, Vermont, New
York, and New Hampshire, to add to his knowledge of Massachusetts and
Maine; within this rather limited circle his wanderings were confined;
and the period when he went about with most freedom and vivacity of
impression was the summer of 1830 and, perhaps, the next year or two.

These experiences gave him the suggestion and in part the scene of his
next compositions, "The Canterbury Pilgrims" and "The Seven Vagabonds,"
the one a New Hampshire, the other a Connecticut tale, and in
Connecticut, too, is laid "The Bald Eagle," a humorous sketch of a
reception of Lafayette which failed to come off, attributed to Hawthorne
on the same grounds as the other doubtful pieces of these years; these
three appeared in "The Token" for 1833, "The Seven Vagabonds" as by the
author of "The Gentle Boy," the others anonymously, and, in addition,
that issue also contained the historical sketch, "Sir William
Pepperell," described as by the author of "Sights from a Steeple." If
"The Haunted Quack," which had already appeared in 1831, be regarded as
Hawthorne's, the journey by the canal which it records must have taken
place as early as 1829, in order for the manuscript to have been ready
in time for publication. The particular times and stories, however, are
of less importance; nor are these provincial travels noteworthy except
for the fact that Hawthorne found in them, whenever or wherever they
occurred, suggestions for his pen.

The idea which was the germ of his next conception for a book arose out
of this country rambling before the days of railroads. At the end of
"The Seven Vagabonds," he represented himself as taking up the character
of an itinerant story-teller on the impulse of the moment. To this he
now returned, and proposed to write a series of tales on the thread of
the adventures of this vagrant, and call it "The Story-Teller." The
work, such as he here conceived it, exists only as a fragment, "Passages
from a Relinquished Work," though he doubtless used elsewhere the
stories he intended to incorporate into it. In the young man as he is
sketched in the opening passage there is, notwithstanding the
affectation of levity, a touch of Hawthorne's own position:--

"I was a youth of gay and happy temperament, with an incorrigible levity
of spirit, of no vicious propensities, sensible enough, but wayward and
fanciful. What a character was this, to be brought in contact with the
stern old Pilgrim spirit of my guardian! We were at variance on a
thousand points; but our chief and final dispute arose from the
pertinacity with which he insisted on my adopting a particular
profession; while I, being heir to a moderate competence, had avowed my
purpose of keeping aloof from the regular business of life. This would
have been a dangerous resolution, anywhere in the world; it was fatal,
in New England. There is a grossness in the conceptions of my
countrymen; they will not be convinced that any good thing may consist
with what they call idleness; they can anticipate nothing but evil of a
young man who neither studies physic, law, nor gospel, nor opens a
store, nor takes to farming, but manifests an incomprehensible
disposition to be satisfied with what his father left him. The principle
is excellent, in its general influence, but most miserable in its effect
on the few that violate it. I had a quick sensitiveness to public
opinion, and felt as if it ranked me with the tavern-haunters and
town-paupers,--with the drunken poet, who hawked his own Fourth of July
odes, and the broken soldier who had been good for nothing since the
last war. The consequence of all this was a piece of light-hearted

The youth then takes up the character of the writer of "The Seven
Vagabonds," saying, "The idea of becoming a wandering story-teller had
been suggested, a year or two before, by an encounter with several merry
vagabonds in a showman's wagon, where they and I had sheltered
ourselves, during a summer shower;" and he announces that he determined
to follow that life, the account of which he proceeds to give with this
preliminary word of explanation:--

"The following pages will contain a picture of my vagrant life,
intermixed with specimens, generally brief and slight, of that great
mass of fiction to which I gave existence, and which has vanished like
cloud-shapes. Besides the occasions when I sought a pecuniary reward, I
was accustomed to exercise my narrative faculty, wherever chance had
collected a little audience, idle enough to listen. These rehearsals
were useful in testing the strong points of my stories; and, indeed, the
flow of fancy soon came upon me so abundantly, that its indulgence was
its own reward; though the hope of praise, also, became a powerful
incitement. Since I shall never feel the warm gush of new thought, as I
did then, let me beseech the reader to believe, that my tales were not
always so cold as he may find them now. With each specimen will be given
a sketch of the circumstances in which the story was told. Thus my
air-drawn pictures will be set in frames, perhaps more valuable than the
pictures themselves, since they will be embossed with groups of
characteristic figures, amid the lake and mountain scenery, the villages
and fertile fields, of our native land. But I write the book for the
sake of its moral, which many a dreaming youth may profit by, though it
is the experience of a wandering story-teller."

He makes the acquaintance of another itinerant, a preacher, Eliakim
Abbott, drawn after the fashion of that crude grotesque which is found
in Hawthorne's early work, and is not without a reminiscence of Scott in
the literary handling; and the two become fellows of the road, the one
with a sermon, the other with a story, and their fortune with their
audiences is related. The only adventure of note, however, is the
appearance of the Story-Teller as an attraction of a traveling
theatrical company, by special engagement, announced by posters, which
also bear on a pasted slip of paper a notice of Eliakim Abbott's
religious meeting. On this occasion he recited with great applause the
tale of "Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe." With this the fragment ends.

It is plain that Hawthorne intended by this scheme to unite with his
stories sketches of country life and scenes as he had noticed their
features in his wayside travels, and use the latter as the background
for his imaginative and fanciful work. These were the two sides of his
literary faculty, so far as he had tried his hand, and he would have the
benefit of both in one work, which would thereby gain variety and unity.
The success of the experiment cannot be thought striking, and it is
doubtful how far he carried the actual composition of the intervening
scenes. He confided the plan to Goodrich, who did not encourage it, so
far as can be judged, but took the opening chapters to the editors of
"The New England Magazine" on Hawthorne's behalf. This periodical, which
had three years before absorbed Willis's "Magazine," had been conducted
on somewhat grave and serious lines, as a kind of Boston cousin, as it
were, of the "North American," and was now in a state of change. Mr.
Buckingham relinquished the editorship, and the magazine went into the
hands of Dr. Samuel G. Howe and John O. Sargent. It was at this
favorable moment that Goodrich appeared with Hawthorne's manuscript; the
piece was accepted; and it was published, half in the first and half in
the second number issued by the new editors, in November and December,
1834. The connection proved a fortunate one for Hawthorne, and "The New
England Magazine" [Footnote: In the Riverside edition of Hawthorne's
works a paper, _Hints to Young Ambition_, which appeared in _The
New England Magazine,_ 1832, signed "H.," is included. The piece is
one of several, with the same signature, and there can he little
hesitation in rejecting it, as Goodrich would hardly have needed to
introduce Hawthorne to a magazine to which he already contributed. The
other pieces are not in his vein, and "H." is a common signature in the
periodicals of the time. At all events, Hawthorne would have gone
further afield for a pseudonym than the initial of his own name, which
he is not known ever to have used.] now became equally with "The Token"
a constant medium for the publication of his writings of all sorts. Park
Benjamin, who was soon associated with Howe and Sargent in the
editorship, took sole charge in March, 1835, and was from the first, and
always remained, a firm admirer of the new author's genius. To him, next
to Goodrich, Hawthorne owed his introduction to such readers as he then

If Hawthorne made any effort to break a way for himself in reaching the
public, it has not been traced, except that one letter exists, January
27, 1832, in which he offers his pen to the "Atlantic Souvenir" of
Philadelphia; but that annual was bought out by Goodrich the same year
and merged with "The Token," so that Hawthorne's venture only brought
him back to the old stand. In 1833 his connection with Goodrich appears
to have been temporarily broken, as "The Token" for 1834, which appeared
that fall, contains nothing by him. For 1835 he contributed to it "The
Haunted Mind" and "The Mermaid, A Revery," now known as "The Village
Uncle," anonymously, and "Alice Doane's Appeal" as by the author of "The
Gentle Boy." In "Youth's Keepsake" for the same year appeared "Little
Annie's Ramble." These stories were published in the fall of 1834,
before the venture of "The Story-Teller." Early in 1835 he furnished for
the next year's "Token," 1836, "The Wedding Knell" and "The Minister's
Black Veil" as by the author of "Sights from a Steeple," and "The
May-pole of Merry Mount" as by the author of "The Gentle Boy." What
there was left in his hands must have gone almost as a block to "The New
England Magazine," and perhaps his stock of unused papers was thus
exhausted. To complete the record, he published in this magazine "The
Gray Champion" as by the author of "The Gentle Boy," in January; "Old
News" anonymously, in February, March, and May; "My Visit to Niagara,"
in February; "Young Goodman Brown," in April; "Wakefield," in May; "The
Ambitious Guest," in June, and in the same month, anonymously in both
instances, "Graves and Goblins" and "A Bill from the Town Pump;" "The
Old Maid in the Winding Sheet," now known as "The White Old Maid," in
July; "The Vision of the Fountain," in August; "The Devil in Manuscript"
as by "Ashley A. Royce," in November; "Sketches from Memory" as by "A
Pedestrian," in November and December. All these pieces, except as
stated above, are given as by the author of "The Gray Champion." It may
fairly be thought that he had emptied his desk of its accumulations,
though a few tales may have been reserved for Goodrich.

Hawthorne had now been before the public with increasing frequency for
five years, but he had made little impression, and his success as an
author must have remained as doubtful to him as at the start. Goodrich,
in the passage already quoted from his "Recollections," went on to
describe him during this early time of their acquaintance, and shows how
slight was his progress in winning attention:--

"At this period he was unsettled as to his views; he had tried his hand
in literature, and considered himself to have met with a fatal rebuff
from the reading world. His mind vacillated between various projects,
verging, I think, toward a mercantile profession. I combated his
despondence, and assured him of triumph if he would persevere in a
literary career. He wrote numerous articles which appeared in 'The
Token;' occasionally an astute critic seemed to see through them, and to
discover the soul that was in them; but in general they passed without
notice. Such articles as 'Sights from a Steeple,' 'Sketches beneath an
Umbrella,' 'The Wives of the Dead,' 'The Prophetic Pictures,' now
universally acknowledged to be productions of extraordinary depth,
meaning, and power, extorted hardly a word of either praise or blame,
while columns were given to pieces since totally forgotten. I felt
annoyed, almost angry, indeed, at this. I wrote several articles in the
papers, directing attention to these productions, and finding no echo to
my views, I recollect to have asked John Pickering to read some of them,
and give me his opinion of them. He did as I requested; his answer was
that they displayed a wonderful beauty of style, with a kind of double
vision, a sort of second sight, which revealed, beyond the outward forms
of life and being, a sort of Spirit World."

Park Benjamin, in a notice of "The Token" for 1836 published in "The New
England Magazine," October, 1835, gave a single line to the author,
speaking of him as "the most pleasing writer of fanciful prose, except
Irving, in the country;" and in November of the same year, in a review
of the same work, Chorley, the critic of the London "Athenaeum,"
commended his tales and gave extracts from them. This was the first
substantial praise of a nature to encourage the author.

In Hawthorne's own eyes the stories and sketches had become a source of
depression, and the difficulties he had met with in getting out a book
had especially irritated him. It might be thought, perhaps, that he had
destroyed a good deal of his work, to judge by his own words, but this
seems unlikely, although he may have rewritten some of the earlier
pieces. The tale of "The Devil in Manuscript" is taken to be the
autobiographical parable, at least, commemorating the burning of the
"Seven Tales of my Native Land;" but it was written some years later,
and reflects his general experience as a discouraged storyteller, and it
contains touches of bitterness more marked than occur elsewhere. Its
personal character is emphasized by the hero's name, "Oberon," a
familiar signature Hawthorne used in his letters to his old college
friend, Bridge. The following passages are distinctly autobiographical,
and afford the most vivid view of the young author's inner life:--

"You cannot conceive what an effect the composition of these tales has
had on me. I have become ambitious of a bubble, and careless of solid
reputation. I am surrounding myself with shadows, which bewilder me, by
aping the realities of life. They have drawn me aside from the beaten
path of the world, and led me into a strange sort of solitude,--a
solitude in the midst of men,--where nobody wishes for what I do, nor
thinks nor feels as I do. The tales have done all this. When they are
ashes, perhaps I shall be as I was before they had existence. Moreover,
the sacrifice is less than you may suppose, since nobody will publish

"But the devil of the business is this. These people have put me so out
of conceit with the tales, that I loathe the very thought of them, and
actually experience a physical sickness of the stomach, whenever I
glance at them on the table. I tell you there is a demon in them! I
anticipate a wild enjoyment in seeing them in the blaze; such as I
should feel in taking vengeance on an enemy, or destroying something

"But how many recollections throng upon me, as I turn over these leaves!
This scene came into my fancy as I walked along a hilly road, on a
starlight October evening; in the pure and bracing air, I became all
soul, and felt as if I could climb the sky, and run a race along the
Milky Way. Here is another tale, in which I wrapt myself during a dark
and dreary night-ride in the month of March, till the rattling of the
wheels and the voices of my companions seemed like faint sounds of a
dream, and my visions a bright reality. That scribbled page describes
shadows which I summoned to my bedside at midnight: they would not
depart when I bade them; the gray dawn came, and found me wide awake and
feverish, the victim of my own enchantments!...

"Sometimes my ideas were like precious stones under the earth, requiring
toil to dig them up, and care to polish and brighten them; but often a
delicious stream of thought would gush out upon the page at once, like
water sparkling up suddenly in the desert; and when it had passed, I
gnawed my pen hopelessly, or blundered on with cold and miserable toil,
as if there were a wall of ice between me and my subject."

"Do you now perceive a corresponding difference," inquired I, "between
the passages which you wrote so coldly, and those fervid flashes of the

"No," said Oberon, tossing the manuscripts on the table. "I find no
traces of the golden pen with which I wrote in characters of fire. My
treasure of fairy coin is changed to worthless dross. My picture,
painted in what seemed the loveliest hues, presents nothing but a faded
and indistinguishable surface. I have been eloquent and poetical and
humorous in a dream,--and behold! it is all nonsense, now that I am

"I will burn them! Not a scorched syllable shall escape! Would you have
me a damned author--To undergo sneers, taunts, abuse, and cold neglect,
and faint praise, bestowed, for pity's sake, against the giver's
conscience! A hissing and a laughing-stock to my own traitorous
thoughts! An outlaw from the protection of the grave,--one whose ashes
every careless foot might spurn, unhonored in life, and remembered
scornfully in death! Am I to bear all this, when yonder fire will insure
me from the whole? No! There go the tales! May my hand wither when it
would write another!"

These extracts set forth the mixed emotions of young authorship in a
life-like manner. They have the stamp of personal experience. A
supplement to them is found in one of his more obscure pieces, "The
Journal of a Solitary Man," in which Hawthorne bids farewell to that
eidolon of himself which he had embodied as "Oberon." He describes the
character as an imaginary friend, from whose journals he gives extracts;
but the veil thrown over his own personality is transparent.

"Merely skimming the surface of life, I know nothing, by my own
experience, of its deep and warm realities. I have achieved none of
those objects which the instinct of mankind especially prompts them to
pursue, and the accomplishment of which must therefore beget a native
satisfaction. The truly wise, after all their speculations, will be led
into the common path, and, in homage to the human nature that pervades
them, will gather gold, and till the earth, and set out trees, and build
a house. But I have scorned such wisdom. I have rejected, also, the
settled, sober, careful gladness of a man by his own fireside, with
those around him whose welfare is committed to his trust, and all their
guidance to his fond authority. Without influence among serious affairs,
my footsteps were not imprinted on the earth, but lost in air; and I
shall leave no son to inherit my share of life, with a better sense of
its privileges and duties, when his father should vanish like a bubble;
so that few mortals, even the humblest and the weakest, have been such
ineffectual shadows in the world, or die so utterly as I must. Even a
young man's bliss has not been mine. With a thousand vagrant fantasies,
I have never truly loved, and perhaps shall be doomed to loneliness
throughout the eternal future, because, here on earth, my soul has never
married itself to the soul of woman.

"Such are the repinings of one who feels, too late, that the sympathies
of his nature have avenged themselves upon him. They have prostrated,
with a joyless life and the prospect of a reluctant death, my selfish
purpose to keep aloof from mortal disquietudes, and be a pleasant idler
among care-stricken and laborious men. I have other regrets, too,
savoring more of my old spirit. The time has been when I meant to visit
every region of the earth, except the poles and Central Africa. I had a
strange longing to see the Pyramids. To Persia and Arabia, and all the
gorgeous East, I owed a pilgrimage for the sake of their magic tales.
And England, the land of my ancestors! Once I had fancied that my sleep
would not be quiet in the grave unless I should return, as it were, to
my home of past ages, and see the very cities, and castles, and
battle-fields of history, and stand within the holy gloom of its
cathedrals, and kneel at the shrines of its immortal poets, there
asserting myself their hereditary countryman. This feeling lay among the
deepest in my heart. Yet, with this homesickness for the fatherland, and
all these plans of remote travel,--which I yet believe that my peculiar
instinct impelled me to form, and upbraided me for not accomplishing,--
the utmost limit of my wanderings has been little more than six
hundred miles from my native village. Thus, in whatever way I consider
my life, or what must be termed such, I cannot feel as if I had lived
at all.

"I am possessed, also, with the thought that I have never yet discovered
the real secret of my powers; that there has been a mighty treasure
within my reach, a mine of gold beneath my feet, worthless because I
have never known how to seek for it; and for want of perhaps one
fortunate idea, I am to die

'Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.'"

"Oberon" is represented as in the position of the "Story-Teller," and
leaves home because of some fancied oppression; he visits Niagara, of
which he gives some scenes as well as other anecdotes of his pedestrian
journey, but he falls ill and determines to return home to die. As he
approaches his birthplace he pleases himself with the fancy that there
is some youth there whom he can teach by the lesson of his life, and he
moralizes in a vein in which self-criticism may be read between the

"He shall be taught by my life, and by my death, that the world is a sad
one for him who shrinks from its sober duties. My experience shall warn
him to adopt some great and serious aim, such as manhood will cling to,
that he may not feel himself, too late, a cumberer of this overladen
earth, but a man among men. I will beseech him not to follow an
eccentric path, nor, by stepping aside from the highway of human
affairs, to relinquish his claim upon human sympathy. And often, as a
text of deep and varied meaning, I will remind him that he is an

Finally he describes the power he has obtained by the use of his
imagination, in the view of life:--

"I have already a spiritual sense of human nature, and see deeply into
the hearts of mankind, discovering what is hidden from the wisest. The
loves of young men and virgins are known to me, before the first kiss,
before the whispered word, with the birth of the first sigh. My glance
comprehends the crowd, and penetrates the breast of the solitary man. I
think better of the world than formerly, more generously of its virtues,
more mercifully of its faults, with a higher estimate of its present
happiness, and brighter hopes of its destiny."

These passages from "The Devil in Manuscript" and "The Journal of a
Solitary Man" may fairly be taken as a contemporary general account of
Hawthorne's secret life in the years before his own "Note-Books" begin.
The latter afford rather a view of his existence, from day to day. The
earliest of them which has survived opens in the summer of 1835, and
while containing scraps of information that he had jotted down as in a
commonplace book, and also brief memoranda of ideas for tales and
sketches, it also keeps record of his observations in his walks and
drives, and thus pictures his outward life. He lived at Salem still, in
the habits of seclusion that had always obtained in the house, and saw
little of mankind. Society, if he sought it at all, was found for him
among common people at the tavern or by the wayside, and was of the sort
that he enjoyed on his summer journeys. But solitude was his normal
state. This was indulged in his own room; or else he took a morning or
afternoon to wander out to the near Salem beaches and points, or to the
pleasant lanes of Danvers or across the river to the upland or seashore
of Beverly. He occasionally drove a dozen miles or more to Ipswich,
Nahant, or Andover. What he saw, however, was only rustic life of the
countryside, or the natural views of wood and sky and sea, with the
nearer objects to attract particular attention, of which he has left so
many minute descriptions. His observation at such times, though without
the naturalist's preoccupation,--rather with the poet's or
novelist's,--was as keen and detailed as Thoreau's. These Note-Books,
however, do not open his familiar life except as a record of changing
seasons and of detached thoughts to be worked up in fiction. Many of his
later tales are found here in the germ, in 1835 and for the year or two
after; but the diary is not so much a confidant as it afterward became.

The time had now come when he must make some further step in
establishing himself in some means of livelihood. He never showed much
power of initiative, and at every stage was materially aided by his
friends in obtaining employment and position. In this instance it was
Goodrich again who gave him opportunity. It was not a great chance, but
it was doubtless all Goodrich had to offer. He procured for him the
editorship of a small publication which undertook to disseminate popular
information, called "The American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining
Knowledge," and published by the Bewick Company, at Boston, with which
Goodrich had some connection through his interests in engraving. His
salary was to be five hundred dollars, and he entered on his duties
about the beginning of 1836. The change was welcomed by his friends, or
such of them as were still near enough to him to know of his affairs;
and from this time his college mates, Pierce, Cilley, and especially
Bridge, interested themselves in his fortunes. Bridge, writing from
Havana, February 20, 1836, congratulated him, as did also Pierce from
Washington, on the intelligence concerning his "late engagement in
active and responsible business," and particularly on his having got
"out of Salem," which he credits with "a peculiar dulness;" and in later
letters he continues to hearten him, subscribes for his magazine, reads
and praises it, in the most cordial and cheering way. But the event did
not justify these hopes and prognostications of a better fortune. The
magazine was, after all, the merest hack-work. Hawthorne, with the aid
of his sister Elizabeth, wrote most of it, compiling the matter from
books or utilizing his own notes of travel. In it appeared, of such
pieces as have found a place in his works, "An Ontario Steamboat," "The
Duston Family," "Nature of Sleep," "Bells," besides much that has been
suffered to repose in its scarce pages. The material, though
conscientiously dealt with according to the measure of time at his
disposal, is the slightest in interest, and the least re-worked from the
raw state, of any of his writings. He had, however, little temptation to
do more for the magazine than its limited scope required. He found great
difficulty in collecting his salary, and for this he blames Goodrich,
who had made promises of pay which he kept very imperfectly. Hawthorne
states that of forty-five dollars he was to receive on coming to Boston
he got only a small part, and on June 3, 1836, he received a notice, in
answer to a dunning letter, that the Bewick Company had made an
assignment, and he would have to wait until the settlement. Shortly
after this he gave up the editorship, and returned to Salem. The
incident was unfortunate, as in the course of it he developed a great
deal of irritation toward Goodrich, who was his best friend in practical
ways, and broke off communication with him. This, however, did not last
long; and Goodrich offered him the job of compiling a "Peter Parley"
book, for one hundred dollars. He wrote this, also with the aid of his
sister Elizabeth, and gave her the money. The volume was "Peter Parley's
Universal History on the basis of Geography," [Footnote: _Peter
Parley's Universal History on the basis of Geography._ For the Use of
Families. Illustrated by Maps and Engravings. Boston: American
Stationers' Company. John B. Russell, 1837. 12mo, cloth. 2 vols., pp.
380, 374.] and was published in 1837, and had a very large sale,
amounting finally, it is said, to more than a million copies.

In the mean time, Hawthorne had found cause of complaint also in his
relations with "The New England Magazine." This periodical had come to
an end in 1835, and at the close of that year was merged in "The
American Monthly Magazine" of New York, whither Park Benjamin, its
editor, went. It paid, according to its own statement, only one dollar a
page for contributions, but it appears to have been in arrears with
Hawthorne at the time of the change. Bridge states that when Hawthorne,
in consequence, stopped writing for it, the editor "begged for a mass of
manuscript in his possession, as yet unpublished, and it was scornfully
bestowed. 'Thus,' wrote Hawthorne, 'has this man, who would be
considered a Maecenas, taken from a penniless writer material
incomparably better than any his own brain can supply.'" In this
Hawthorne, if correctly reported, was scarcely just. Park Benjamin, who
had a violent quarrel with Goodrich, exempted Hawthorne from any adverse
criticism, even when writing a short notice of "The Token," and always
spoke well of him. The manuscripts he carried to New York could have
been but few and slight, unless they were burned in the fire which
destroyed the archives of the "American Monthly Magazine" not long
afterwards. At all events, the only paper by Hawthorne in that magazine
appears to have been "Old Ticonderoga," a note of travel, published in
February, 1836, unless "The Journal of a Solitary Man," which did not
appear till July, 1837, be added as one of the left-over manuscripts,
and also a paper, never yet attributed to him but which seems clearly
from his pen, "A Visit to the Clerk of the Weather," anonymously
published in May, 1836. Whatever the coolness was between Hawthorne and
Benjamin, it was overcome by the end of the year, and the quarrel was
made up. In 1836, too, he kept his temper with Goodrich sufficiently to
allow him to contribute to "The Token" of 1837, published in the
preceding fall, a group of tales, eight in number: "Monsieur du Miroir,"
as by the author of "Sights from a Steeple;" "Mrs. Bullfrog," as by the
author of "The Wives of the Dead;" "Sunday at Home" and "The Man of
Adamant," both as by the author of "The Gentle Boy," "David Swan, A
Fantasy," "Fancy's Show Box, A Morality," and "The Prophetic Pictures,"
all anonymously; and "The Great Carbuncle," as by the author of "The
Wedding Knell." These papers constituted one third of the volume, and
for them he was paid a dollar a page, or one hundred and eight dollars,
which may be regarded therefore as the normal price he received from
Goodrich. Two of these tales are on subjects set down in his "Note-Book"
of 1835; the others are perhaps earlier in conception. These tales were
his substantial work for the year.

They gave occasion for what appears to have been the first public
mention of Nathaniel Hawthorne as the author who had hitherto disguised
himself under so many descriptions. It is not surprising that his name
was unknown, for he had sedulously suppressed it. His sister, referring
to these years, said, "He kept his very existence a secret so far as
possible." He had never signed an article in the twelve years since
leaving college. He had preferred to become known in "the author of
Waverley" style, but the charm did not work. In "The Token" he was, in
the main, the author of "Sights from a Steeple" or "The Gentle Boy;" in
"The New England Magazine" he was the author of "The Gray Champion." But
now his anonymity was to be dissipated in a friendly if rude way. It
was, doubtless, Park Benjamin, in New York, who wrote thus of these last
tales in "The Token," in "The American Monthly Magazine" for October,

"The author of 'Sights from a Steeple,' of 'The Gentle Boy,' and of 'The
Wedding Knell,' we believe to be one and the same individual. The
assertion may sound very bold, yet we hesitate not to call this author
second to no man in this country, except Washington Irving. We refer
simply to romance writing; and trust no wise man of Gotham will talk of
Dewey, and Channing, and Everett, and Verplanck. Yes, to us the style of
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE is more pleasing, more fascinating, than any one's
except their dear Geoffry Crayon! This mention of the real name of our
author may be reprobated by him. His modesty is the best proof of his
true excellence. How different does such a man appear to us from one who
anxiously writes his name on every public post! We have read a
sufficient number of his pieces to make the reputation of a dozen of our
Yankee scribblers; and yet how few have heard the name above written! He
does not even cover himself with the same anonymous shield at all times;
but liberally gives the praise, which, concentrated on one, would be
great, to several unknowns. If Mr. Hawthorne would but collect his
various tales and essays into one volume, we can assure him that their
success would be brilliant--certainly in England, perhaps in this

It was in this way that the world began to hear of Mr. Nathaniel
Hawthorne, of Salem; but it was still long before the public knew him.
Meanwhile, at the very moment of the disclosure, he was in the lowest
ebb of discouragement, in spirits, that he ever knew. It is to this time
that his gloomiest memories attached themselves. He had tried to enter
the world, he had even tried to earn a living, and had failed. Cilley,
his old college mate, was just elected to Congress from Maine, Pierce
was just elected Senator from New Hampshire, and Longfellow had found
the ways of literature as smooth as the primrose path to the everlasting
bonfire. Hawthorne was of a noble disposition, and glad of the fortunes
that came to these of his circle in boyhood at Bowdoin; but it was not
in human nature to be oblivious of the difference in his own lot. To
this mood must be referred the dream he described afterwards as one that
recurred through life:--

"For a long, long while I have been occasionally visited with a singular
dream; and I have an impression that I have dreamed it ever since I have
been in England. It is, that I am still at college,--or, sometimes, even
at school,--and there is a sense that I have been there unconscionably
long, and have quite failed to make such progress as my contemporaries
have done; and I seem to meet some of them with a feeling of shame and
depression that broods over me as I think of it, even when awake. This
dream, recurring all through these twenty or thirty years, must be one
of the effects of that heavy seclusion in which I shut myself up for
twelve years after leaving college, when everybody moved onward, and
left me behind."

Under another picture, he describes this same state in the preface to
"The Snow Image," dedicated to Bridge:--

"I sat down by the wayside of life, like a man under enchantment, and a
shrubbery sprung up around me, and the bushes grew to be saplings, and
the saplings became trees, until no exit appeared possible, through the
entangling depths of my obscurity. And there, perhaps, I should be
sitting at this moment, with the moss on the imprisoning tree-trunks,
and the yellow leaves of more than a score of autumns piled above me, if
it had not been for you. For it was through your interposition--and
that, moreover, unknown to himself--that your early friend was brought
before the public, somewhat more prominently than heretofore, in the
first volume of 'Twice-Told Tales.'"

Bridge had been, in fact, his only confidant from boyish days. To him he
showed the misery of "hope deferred" that then was in his heart, and to
him allowed himself to speak in words that went beyond his steady sense
of the situation, though representing moments of low courage. "I'm a
doomed man," he wrote to him, "and over I must go."

It was under the impulse of the sight of this deep discouragement in
Hawthorne, in 1836, that this cheerful and sanguine friend made up his
mind to find out why Hawthorne could not get a volume of tales
published. He applied to Goodrich for information, and received an
answer, October 20, 1836, in which it was stated that if a guarantee of
two hundred and fifty dollars were furnished by Bridge, an edition of
one thousand copies, costing four hundred and fifty dollars and paying
Hawthorne a royalty of ten per cent, would be issued. Goodrich was not
himself a publisher, at that time, and he elsewhere says that he had
previously attempted to have the Stationers' Company, which now
undertook the volume on Bridge's guarantee, publish it, but without
success; he adds that he relinquished his own rights to Hawthorne, who
had sold the tales to him so far as they had appeared in "The Token,"
and that he also joined in the bond given by Bridge; but in these
remarks he seems to be taking credit to himself, for the tales were
valueless to him and his property in them was of a sort not often
claimed by an editor, while Bridge took the real risk. This transaction
was unknown to Hawthorne at the time, and Bridge felt obliged to warn
him not to be too grateful to Goodrich. A glance at the other letters of
this month shows that Bridge was almost alarmed by Hawthorne's
depression, and endeavoring in thoughtful ways to reassure him, as well
as to bring him forward in public. "I have just received your last," he
writes, October 22, 1836, "and do not like its tone at all. There is a
kind of desperate coolness about it that seems dangerous. I fear you are
too good a subject for suicide, and that some day you will end your
mortal woes on your own responsibility." The prospect of the book, even,
was not wholly an undoubted blessing to Hawthorne, now he had come to
its realization, and in December, on Christmas Day, the work being then
in proofs, Bridge writes to him again:--

"Whether your book will sell extensively may be doubtful; but that is of
small importance in the first one you publish. At all events, keep up
your spirits till the result is ascertained; and, my word for it, there
is more honor and emolument in store for you, from your writings, than
you imagine. The bane of your life has been self-distrust. This has kept
you back for many years; which, if you had improved by publishing, would
long ago have given you what you must now wait a short time for. It may
be for the best, but I doubt it.

"I have been trying to think what you are so miserable for. Although you
have not much property, you have good health and powers of writing,
which have made, and can still make, you independent.

"Suppose you get but $300 per annum for your writings. You can, with
economy, live upon that, though it would be a tight squeeze. You have no
family dependent upon you, and why should you 'borrow trouble'?

"This is taking the worst view of your case that it can possibly bear.
It seems to me that you never look at the bright side with any hope or
confidence. It is not the philosophy to make one happy.

"I expect, next summer, to be full of money, a part of which shall be
heartily at your service, if it comes."

Before the new volume went to press Hawthorne had made a connection,
apparently on the editor's initiative, with S. Gaylord Clark's
"Knickerbocker Magazine," and contributed to it, in the January number,
"The Fountain of Youth," now known as "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment"; and
in the opening months of the year he was engaged in preparing his usual
group of articles for the next "Token." Goodrich had also offered to him
a new "Peter Parley" book, on the manners and customs of all nations,
for three hundred dollars, but this Hawthorne seems to have declined.

"Twice-Told Tales" [Footnote: _Twice-Told Tales_. By Nathaniel
Hawthorne. Boston: American Stationers' Co. John B. Russell, 1837. 12mo,
cloth. Pp. 334. It contained the following tales: The Gray Champion,
Sunday at Home, The Wedding Knell, The Minister's Black Veil, The
May-Pole of Merry Mount, The Gentle Boy, Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe,
Little Annie's Ramble, Wakefield, A Rill from the Town Pump, The Great
Carbuncle, The Prophetic Pictures, David Swan, Sights from a Steeple,
The Hollow of the Three Hills, The Vision of the Fountain, Fancy's Show
Box, Dr. Heidegger's Experiment.] appeared, under the author's name,
from the press of the Boston American Stationers' Co., early in March,
1837. It contained eighteen pieces only, out of the thirty-six
undoubtedly by Hawthorne published up to this time, to neglect all
others which have been ascribed to him during this period; and it must
reflect his own judgment of what was best in his work. Far as it was
from being a complete collection, it was large and varied enough to
afford an adequate experiment of the public taste, and it included all
those articles, whether tale or essay, which had made him known in the
circle of his readers. The reception of the volume was, he thought,
cool, but it sold somewhat from the first, and within two months six or
seven hundred copies had been disposed of. Goodrich states that it "was
deemed a failure for more than a year, when a breeze seemed to rise and
fill its sails, and with it the author was carried on to fame and
fortune." Bridge was much pleased with the success of his venture, and
when he met Goodrich, in April, some of his good feeling overflowed upon
him: "I like him very much better than before," he wrote. "He told me
that the book was successful. It seemed that he was inclined to take too
much credit to himself for your present standing, on the ground of
having early discovered and brought you forward. But, on the whole, I
like him much." Hawthorne's view of Goodrich is contained in a letter
written to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Peabody, twenty years later:--

"As regards Goodrich's accounts of the relations between him and me, it
is funny enough to see him taking the airs of a patron; but I do not
mind it in the least, nor feel the slightest inclination to defend
myself or be defended. I should as soon think of controverting his
statement about my personal appearance (of which he draws no very lovely
picture) as about anything else that he says. So pray do not take up the
cudgels on my behalf; especially as I perceive that your recollections
are rather inaccurate. For instance, it was Park Benjamin, not Goodrich,
who cut up the 'Storyteller.' As for Goodrich, I have rather a kindly
feeling towards him, and he himself is a not unkindly man, in spite of
his propensity to feed and fatten himself on better brains than his own.
Only let him do that, and he will really sometimes put himself to some
trouble to do a good-natured act. His quarrel with me was, that I broke
away from him before he had quite finished his meal, and while a portion
of my brain was left; and I have not the slightest doubt that he really
felt himself wronged by my so doing. Really, I half think so too. He was
born to do what he did, as maggots to feed on rich cheese."

There is something too little generous in this. The record shows beyond
any cavil that Goodrich was the first and most constant friend of
Hawthorne in the way of helping him to get his work before the public;
he was also interested in him, thoughtful for him, and gave him hack
work to do, which, though it be a lowly is a true service, however
unwelcome the task may be in itself; and he used such influence as he
had in introducing Hawthorne to other employers and to publishers.
During these twelve years it may fairly be said that Goodrich was the
only person, not a relative, who cared for Hawthorne's genius or did
anything for him until Park Benjamin appeared as a second in the
periodical world and Horatio Bridge came to the rescue as a business
friend. It is true that Goodrich did not succeed in exploiting his
author; but he paid him the market price and gave him his chance, and
after all those days were not for Goodrich what our days have since
become for men of his calibre. Advertisement was not then the tenth

If the papers were "cool," as Hawthorne thought, there was a word of
comfort here and there in the periodicals. "The American Monthly
Magazine," recalling its announcement of Hawthorne as the author of
these tales in the preceding fall, took occasion in a notice of "The
Token" for 1838 to flatter itself that the new volume was due to its own
suggestion; and the writer, who is presumably Park Benjamin, renews his
old praise. A later notice of the book itself, ascribed by Mr. Lathrop
to Charles Fenno Hoffman, appeared in March, 1838, and, while somewhat
ineffective and sentimental, discovers at the end the right new word to
say: "His pathos we would call New England pathos, if we were not afraid
it would excite a smile; it is the pathos of an American, of a New
Englander. It is redolent of the images, objects, thoughts, and feelings
that spring up in that soil and nowhere else." It was, however, to
Longfellow that both Bridge and Hawthorne looked to help his old college
mate's book with the criticism that would have the accent of good taste
and literary authority, and would carry weight in those higher social
circles where fame was lost and won, at least as was then believed.
Hawthorne sent him the volume as soon as it was issued, with a note
regretting that they were not better acquainted at college and
expressing his gladness in Longfellow's success as a writer, author of
"Outre-Mer," and also in obtaining his Harvard professorship; and some
three months later he followed this with a letter, so characteristic and
valuable autobiographically that it cannot be passed over, and
interesting also as beginning that easy and amiable friendliness which
continued between them unbroken thereafter:--

"Not to burden you with my correspondence, I have delayed a rejoinder to
your very kind and cordial letter, until now. It gratifies me that you
have occasionally felt an interest in my situation; but your quotation
from Jean Paul about the 'lark's nest' makes me smile. You would have
been much nearer the truth if you had pictured me as dwelling in an
owl's nest; for mine is about as dismal, and like the owl I seldom
venture abroad till after dusk. By some witchcraft or other--for I
really cannot assign any reasonable why and wherefore--I have been
carried apart from the main current of life, and find it impossible to
get back again. Since we last met, which you remember was in Sawtell's
room, where you read a farewell poem to the relics of the class,--ever
since that time I have secluded myself from society; and yet I never
meant any such thing, nor dreamed what sort of life I was going to lead.
I have made a captive of myself, and put me into a dungeon, and now I
cannot find the key to let myself out,--and if the door were open, I
should be almost afraid to come out. You tell me that you have met with
troubles and changes. I know not what these may have been, but I can
assure you that trouble is the next best thing to enjoyment, and that
there is no fate in this world so horrible as to have no share in either
its joys or sorrows. For the last ten years, I have not lived, but only
dreamed of living. It may be true that there have been some
unsubstantial pleasures here in the shade, which I might have missed in
the sunshine, but you cannot conceive how utterly devoid of satisfaction
all my retrospects are. I have laid up no treasure of pleasant
remembrances against old age; but there is some comfort in thinking that
future years can hardly fail to be more varied and therefore more
tolerable than the past.

"You give me more credit than I deserve, in supposing that I have led a
studious life. I have indeed turned over a good many books, but in so
desultory a way that it cannot be called study, nor has it left me the
fruits of study. As to my literary efforts, I do not think much of them,
neither is it worth while to be ashamed of them. They would have been
better, I trust, if written under more favorable circumstances. I have
had no external excitement,--no consciousness that the public would like
what I wrote, nor much hope nor a passionate desire that they should do
so. Nevertheless, having nothing else to be ambitious of, I have been
considerably interested in literature; and if my writings had made any
decided impression, I should have been stimulated to greater exertions;
but there has been no warmth of approbation, so that I have always
written with benumbed fingers. I have another great difficulty in the
lack of materials; for I have seen so little of the world that I have
nothing but thin air to concoct my stories of, and it is not easy to
give a lifelike semblance to such shadowy stuff. Sometimes through a
peep-hole I have caught a glimpse of the real world, and the two or
three articles in which I have portrayed these glimpses please me better
than the others.

"I have now, or shall soon have, a sharper spur to exertion, which I
lacked at an earlier period; for I see little prospect but that I shall
have to scribble for a living. But this troubles me much less than you
would suppose. I can turn my pen to all sorts of drudgery, such as
children's books, etc., and by and by I shall get some editorship that
will answer my purpose. Frank Pierce, who was with us at college,
offered me his influence to obtain an office in the Exploring
Expedition; but I believe that he was mistaken in supposing that a
vacancy existed. If such a post were attainable, I should certainly
accept it; for, though fixed so long to one spot, I have always had a
desire to run round the world.... I intend in a week or two to come out
of my owl's nest, and not return till late in the summer,--employing the
interval in making a tour somewhere in New England. You who have the
dust of distant countries on your 'sandal-shoon' cannot imagine how much
enjoyment I shall have in this little excursion."

Longfellow's notice of "Twice-Told Tales" appeared in the July number of
"The North American Review," and gave perhaps more pleasure to Hawthorne
than he had hoped for; and in acknowledging it he mentions, with a
home-touch that carries more gratitude than a score of golden phrases,
the happiness that "my mother, my two sisters, and my old maiden aunt"
have had in it. The notice itself is elegant, kindly, warm even, with
the old-fashioned academic distinction of manner, through which the
young poet's picturesque fancy keeps playing, like a flutter of light;
it gives one a strange sense of old-world youthfulness to read it now.
Its characteristic passages, apart from this glamour, are its praise of
the lucid style and of the home-bred quality, "the nationality" of the
Tales: "The author has chosen his themes among the traditions of New
England, the dusty legends of 'the good old colony times when we lived
under a king.' This is the right material for story." But,
notwithstanding the good-will of Hawthorne's few friends, and this
handsome treatment by that one of them who had the greatest opportunity
to applaud him, his place was not yet won.

Meanwhile, his political friends had not been idle. The problem of a
livelihood, of an active share in the world's business, which Hawthorne
now sincerely desired, was not likely to be much advanced by the
publication of this volume. In any case, it would seem that Hawthorne's
friends were agreed that what he needed was to be got into an entirely
different set of surroundings, to have a change of scene. It was,
perhaps, with some such idea that Pierce suggested to him to join the
South Sea Exploring Expedition, then being planned by Reynolds, as
historian. There is something humorous, unconscious though it was, in
sending Hawthorne from the monotony and loneliness of Salem to seek
society in the polar regions, though no hint of it appears in the
correspondence. The scheme appealed to Hawthorne, however, and he was
desirous to go; but though his friends were active in his interest, and
brought the Maine and New Hampshire delegations to support his
candidacy, success was doubtful, and, the expedition being temporarily
abandoned, the plan came to nothing. On its failure Hawthorne went to
visit Bridge at his home in Augusta, Maine, and passed the month of July
with him very happily, as he tells at large in his Note-Books of that

On his return to Salem at midsummer he could hardly have flattered
himself on any perceptible change in his position. He fell into the old
life of rambling about the country and writing new tales; and, except
that he was in communication with his old friends, Bridge, Pierce, and
Cilley, and occasionally saw them in Boston, he was as much isolated and
without prospects as ever. The connection he had established with "The
Knickerbocker Magazine" he had kept up by contributing to it "A Bell's
Biography" as by the author of "Twice-Told Tales," in March, and he now
published, in the September issue, "Edward Fane's Rosebud" anonymously.
The publication of the book had attracted to him the notice of the new
"Democratic Review," edited by John O'Sullivan, a young fellow of
enterprise, spirits, and an Irish charm, who had solicited Hawthorne to
contribute to it, early in April. In reply to this application,
presumably, "A Toll Gatherer's Day," as by the author of "Twice-Told
Tales," appeared in the October number. The stories which Hawthorne had
prepared in the spring for "The Token" of 1838 now came out in the fall
of 1837, five in number: two of them, "Peter Goldthwaite's Treasure" and
"The Shaker Bridal" as by the author of the "Twice-Told Tales," and
three anonymously, "Night Scenes under an Umbrella," "Endicott and the
Red Cross," and "Sylph Etheredge." He still persistently neglected to
put his own name to his work. There was a reason for his anonymity in
"The Token," but elsewhere he continued his old custom, and was to be
known habitually only under the style "The Author of 'Twice-Told
Tales,'" which he adopted henceforth. To this time belong some further
traces of a more varied mixing with society in Salem than he had
hitherto shown. He attended the meetings of a club at Miss Burley's,
where the transcendental group appears to have gathered, and among them
Jones Very. The most singular episode of the time, however, is one that
would hardly be credited, had it not been mentioned by those who should
have known the truth. It is said that Hawthorne's sympathies were so
engaged by a lady who confided to him the injurious treatment she
alleged she had suffered from an acquaintance that he challenged the man
to a duel; he went to Washington for the purpose, and was only withdrawn
from the affair, under the advice of Cilley and Pierce, by the discovery
that he had been practiced upon by the lady, who had been led on by a
spirit of mischief or malice to deceive him, there being no basis for
the affair. A dark turn is given to the incident by the suggestion that
it was the citing of this example of Hawthorne's to his friend Cilley
which persuaded the latter to enter on the duel with Graves, in which he
lost his life not long after these events. Bridge, however, denies that
this was the case, and he should have known. Just when this incident
occurred is not stated; but Hawthorne's solitude in Salem must have been
less complete than has been represented in order for it to occur at all;
and it must be believed that he had at all times associates, whom he met
in one way and another, both men and women, however small the circle.

The period of twelve years which he used to refer to as the time of his
isolation in Salem had now come to an end; but he remained in the old
house for some time longer, though with a difference in his mood and
life. The habit of seclusion and the sense of separation from the world
had been somewhat broken up by the rally that his college friends, led
by Bridge, had made for him and the feeling of renewed companionship
with them, as well as by his appearance before the public in his own
right as the author of "Twice-Told Tales;" the old state of affairs,
however, was not ended by these things, but by a more vital matter.
There can be no doubt that in his own mind the acquaintance and growing
intimacy which now sprang up between himself and Sophia Peabody
coincided with the disappearance of the solitary depression of these
years,--for him the twelve years ended when he first saw this small,
graceful, intensely alive invalid, dressed in a simple white wrapper,
who had come down from her room to meet him in the family parlor. She
might seem, indeed, like himself, rather a "visitant" than an inhabitant
of this planet, and their courtship not unlike one of his own stories of
half immaterial lovers who go hand in hand, with sentiments for
sentences and great heedlessness of mortal matters, to an idyllic union
of hearts. He rose, on her entrance, to greet her, and looked at her
with great intentness; and it immediately occurred to her sister that he
would fall in love with her.

The narrative of this love-making has been very fully told, and in the
most lifelike way, since the characters have been allowed to speak for
themselves in their diaries and letters. It is a story so touched with
delicacies, and with such shades of humor, too, as to defy any
re-telling; even to outline it seems crude, because the effect lies all
in the details of trifles, phrases, and spontaneous things. The Peabody
family was of a type that flourished in that period, as good as was ever
produced on this soil, with the most sterling qualities, and blending an
intellectual culture of transcendental kinship with practical and
hospitable duties. The home, which was one of very moderate means, was
characterized by a moral high-mindedness pervading its life, and by
those literary and artistic tastes then spreading in the community,
which, though it is easy to smile at them in a vein of latter-day
superiority, were everywhere the signs of a nascent intellectual life
among our people. In this case, the fruits are the best comment on the
home, for of the three daughters, the eldest, Elizabeth, passed a much
honored and long life as a teacher in Boston, the friend of every good
cause; the second, Mary, became the wife of Horace Mann; and the third,
Sophia, the wife of Hawthorne. The Peabodys had been neighbors of the
Hawthornes in much earlier years, and the elder children had been little
playmates together; but the family had removed from Salem, and came back
again in 1828. It was not, however, till 1837, on the publication of
"Twice-Told Tales," that Elizabeth Peabody recognized in the author the
same person she had known as a child. She took steps to renew the
acquaintance with his sisters, and so to meet him again, till by many
little attentions, notes, books, walks, flowers, and whatever she could
invent, she succeeded in establishing an interchange of social civility
between the two houses. She affords, in her recollections, the best
glimpse of Hawthorne's mother. "Madame Hawthorne," she says, "always
looked as if she had walked out of an old picture, with her antique
costume, and a face of lovely sensibility and great brightness--for she
did not _seem_ at all a victim of morbid sensibility, notwithstanding
her all but Hindoo self-devotion to the manes of her husband. She
was a woman of fine understanding and very cultivated mind. But she
had very sensitive nerves." Elizabeth, Hawthorne's sister, was
strong-minded but abnormally retired, jealous of her brother, and not
much disposed to have him stolen out of the house. Louisa was more
companionable, and with his mother would sit with Hawthorne after tea;
and there was an old maiden aunt flitting about in the little garden,
apparently as recluse as the rest. With these feminine members of the
household Elizabeth Peabody made friends, and though a year elapsed in
the process, she then had her reward in receiving Hawthorne and his
sisters, who one evening came to call. She ran upstairs to her sister,
exclaiming, "Oh, Sophia, you must get up and dress and come down! The
Hawthornes are here, and you never saw anything so splendid as he
is,--he is handsomer than Lord Byron!" But Sophia did not come down, and
it was only on the second call that the two met as has been described.

Sophia Peabody was at this time twenty-six years old, having been born
in 1811, and had been an invalid through her girlhood; she was afflicted
with an acute nervous headache which lasted uninterruptedly, says her
son, from her twelfth to her thirty-first year, though the pain was not
so severe, her sister remarks, but that she could sometimes read. She
had received her education at home, mainly from her sister, who kept a
school in the house, and in spite of her ill-health had many and varied
acquisitions. She read Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and was somewhat
familiar with history. Passages in her journal show the character and
range of her reading, which was of that strangely mixed sort that
belonged to the notion of culture in those days; thus, for instance, in
her twentieth year, she records having read on one day De Gerando,
Fenelon, St. Luke and Isaiah, Young, Addison, and four comedies of
Shakspere, besides doing some sewing. She was a good French and Italian
scholar. Filled with intellectual enthusiasm and ambition as she was,
her sensibilities seem rather to have been roused by natural beauty,
effects of sky and weather and color, and her active powers took the
direction of art; she sketched, painted, and modeled in clay. In 1832
she had gone to Cuba with her mother for three years, and received some
benefit from the climate. She had especially practiced horseback-riding
there, of which she was fond. No permanent improvement, however, had
followed, on her return to Salem in 1835. When Hawthorne came to know
her, she was living a half-invalid life, taking her meals in her own
room, which she had fitted up with artistic prettiness, and yet
suffering the full transcendental tide of culture and emotion. Perhaps
no single passage can better illustrate her mind and feelings than a
description of Emerson's call in the spring of 1838, which she writes to
her sister, whom, at an earlier time, he had taught Greek:--

"We had an exquisite visit from Waldo. It was the warbling of the Attic
bird. The gleam of his _diffused_ smile; the musical thunder of his
voice; his repose, so full of the essence of life; his simplicity--just
think of all these, and of my privilege in seeing and hearing him. He
enjoyed everything we showed him so much! He talked so divinely to
Raphael's Madonna del Pesce! I vainly imagined I was very quiet all the
while, preserving a very demure exterior, and supposed I was sharing his
oceanic calm. But the next day I was aware that I had been in a very
intense state. I told Mary, that night after he had gone, that I felt
like a _gem_; that was the only way I could express it. I don't
know what Mary hoped to get from him, but _I_ was sure of drinking
in that which would make me paint Cuban skies better than even my
recollections could have made me, were they as vivid as the rays of the
sun in that sunniest of climates. He made me feel as Eliza Dwight did
once, when she looked uncommonly beautiful and animated. I felt as if
her beauty was all about the room, and that I was in it, and therefore
beautiful too. It seemed just so with Waldo's soul-beauty."

She had been in communication with others of the leading spirits of that
day besides Emerson. Dr. Channing and Allston sent her messages, kindly
and flattering, about her drawings and painting. She had copied some of
Allston's pictures. Her studio was the centre of her life; and there her
friends "glided in," to use her phrase, with roses and columbines,
little girls came to take peeps at its wonders, and from it came the
sunshine of the house. Here, to give some further trifling indications,
she described herself, after a visit of Hawthorne, as feeling "quite
lark-like, or like John of Bologna's Mercury;" or she indulged one of
her "dearest visions," which was "to get well enough to go into prisons
and tell felons I have sympathy for them, especially women;" or, when

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