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   Chapter 3 HAWTHORNE.

Yesterdays with Authors By James Thomas Fields Characters: 176851

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03

I am sitting to-day opposite the likeness of the rarest genius America has given to literature,-a man who lately sojourned in this busy world of ours, but during many years of his life

"Wandered lonely as a cloud,"-

a man who had, so to speak, a physical affinity with solitude. The writings of this author have never soiled the public mind with one unlovely image. His men and women have a magic of their own, and we shall wait a long time before another arises among us to take his place. Indeed, it seems probable no one will ever walk precisely the same round of fiction which he traversed with so free and firm a step.

The portrait I am looking at was made by Rowse (an exquisite drawing), and is a very truthful representation of the head of Nathaniel Hawthorne. He was several times painted and photographed, but it was impossible for art to give the light and beauty of his wonderful eyes. I remember to have heard, in the literary circles of Great Britain, that, since Burns, no author had appeared there with a finer face than Hawthorne's. Old Mrs. Basil Montagu told me, many years ago, that she sat next to Burns at dinner, when he appeared in society in the first flush of his fame, after the Edinburgh edition of his poems had been published. She said, among other things, that, although the company consisted of some of the best bred men of England, Burns seemed to her the most perfect gentleman among them. She noticed, particularly, his genuine grace and deferential manner toward women, and I was interested to hear Mrs. Montagu's brilliant daughter, when speaking of Hawthorne's advent in English society, describe him in almost the same terms as I had heard her mother, years before, describe the Scottish poet. I happened to be in London with Hawthorne during his consular residence in England, and was always greatly delighted at the rustle of admiration his personal appearance excited when he entered a room. His bearing was modestly grand, and his voice touched the ear like a melody.

Here is a golden curl which adorned the head of Nathaniel Hawthorne when he lay a little child in his cradle. It was given to me many years ago by one near and dear to him. I have two other similar "blossoms," which I keep pressed in the same book of remembrance. One is from the head of John Keats, and was given to me by Charles Cowden Clarke, and the other graced the head of Mary Mitford, and was sent to me after her death by her friendly physician, who watched over her last hours. Leigh Hunt says with a fine poetic emphasis,

"There seems a love in hair, though it be dead.

It is the gentlest, yet the strongest thread

Of our frail plant,-a blossom from the tree

Surviving the proud trunk;-as though it said,

Patience and Gentleness is Power. In me

Behold affectionate eternity."

There is a charming old lady, now living two doors from me, who dwelt in Salem when Hawthorne was born, and, being his mother's neighbor at that time (Mrs. Hawthorne then lived in Union Street), there came a message to her intimating that the baby could be seen by calling. So my friend tells me she went in, and saw the little winking thing in its mother's arms. She is very clear as to the beauty of the infant, even when only a week old, and remembers that "he was a pleasant child, quite handsome, with golden curls." She also tells me that Hawthorne's mother was a beautiful woman, with remarkable eyes, full of sensibility and expression, and that she was a person of singular purity of mind. Hawthorne's father, whom my friend knew well, she describes as a warm-hearted and kindly man, very fond of children. He was somewhat inclined to melancholy, and of a reticent disposition. He was a great reader, employing all his leisure time at sea over books.

Hawthorne's father died when Nathaniel was four years old, and from that time his uncle Robert Manning took charge of his education, sending him to the best schools and afterwards to college. When the lad was about nine years old, while playing bat and ball at school, he lamed his foot so badly that he used two crutches for more than a year. His foot ceased to grow like the other, and the doctors of the town were called in to examine the little lame boy. He was not perfectly restored till he was twelve years old. His kind-hearted schoolmaster, Joseph Worcester, the author of the Dictionary, came every day to the house to hear the boy's lessons, so that he did not fall behind in his studies. [There is a tradition in the Manning family that Mr. Worcester was very much interested in Maria Manning (a sister of Mrs. Hawthorne), who died in 1814, and that this was one reason of his attention to Nathaniel.] The boy used to lie flat upon the carpet, and read and study the long days through. Some time after he had recovered from this lameness he had an illness causing him to lose the use of his limbs, and he was obliged to seek again the aid of his old crutches, which were then pieced out at the ends to make them longer. While a little child, and as soon almost as he began to read, the authors he most delighted in were Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, and Thomson. The "Castle of Indolence" was an especial favorite with him during boyhood. The first book he bought with his own money was a copy of Spenser's "Faery Queen."

One who watched him during his childhood tells me, that "when he was six years old his favorite book was Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress': and that whenever he went to visit his Grandmother Hawthorne, he used to take the old family copy to a large chair in a corner of the room near a window, and read it by the hour, without once speaking. No one ever thought of asking how much of it he understood. I think it one of the happiest circumstances of his training, that nothing was ever explained to him, and that there was no professedly intellectual person in the family to usurp the place of Providence and supplement its shortcomings, in order to make him what he was never intended to be. His mind developed itself; intentional cultivation might have spoiled it.... He used to invent long stories, wild and fanciful, and tell where he was going when he grew up, and of the wonderful adventures he was to meet with, always ending with, 'And I'm never coming back again,' in quite a solemn tone, that enjoined upon us the advice to value him the more while he stayed with us."

When he could scarcely speak plain, it is recalled by members of the family that the little fellow would go about the house, repeating with vehement emphasis and gestures certain stagy lines from Shakespeare's Richard III., which he had overheard from older persons about him. One line, in particular, made a great impression upon him, and he would start up on the most unexpected occasions and fire off in his loudest tone,

"Stand back, my Lord, and let the coffin pass."

On the 21st of August, 1820, No. 1 of "The Spectator, edited by N. Hathorne," neatly written in printed letters by the editor's own hand, appeared. A prospectus was issued the week before, setting forth that the paper would be published on Wednesdays, "price 12 cents per annum, payment to be made at the end of the year." Among the advertisements is the following:-

"Nathaniel Hathorne proposes to publish by subscription a NEW EDITION of the MISERIES OF AUTHORS, to which will be added a SEQUEL, containing FACTS and REMARKS drawn from his own experience."

Six numbers only were published. The following subjects were discussed by young "Hathorne" in the Spectator,-"On Solitude," "The End of the Year," "On Industry," "On Benevolence," "On Autumn," "On Wealth," "On Hope," "On Courage." The poetry on the last page of each number was evidently written by the editor, except in one instance, when an Address to the Sun is signed by one of his sisters. In one of the numbers he apologizes that no deaths of any importance have taken place in the town. Under the head of Births, he gives the following news, "The lady of Dr. Winthrop Brown, a son and heir. Mrs. Hathorne's cat, seven kittens. We hear that both of the above ladies are in a state of convalescence." One of the literary advertisements reads:-

"Blank Books made and for sale by N. Hathorne."

While Hawthorne was yet a little fellow the family moved to Raymond in the State of Maine; here his out-of-door life did him great service, for he grew tall and strong, and became a good shot and an excellent fisherman. Here also his imagination was first stimulated, the wild scenery and the primitive manners of the people contributing greatly to awaken his thought. At seventeen he entered Bowdoin College, and after his graduation returned again to live in Salem. During his youth he had an impression that he would die before the age of twenty-five; but the Mannings, his ever-watchful and kind relations, did everything possible for the care of his health, and he was tided safely over the period when he was most delicate. Professor Packard told me that when Hawthorne was a student at Bowdoin in his freshman year, his Latin compositions showed such facility that they attracted the special attention of those who examined them. The Professor also remembers that Hawthorne's English compositions elicited from Professor Newman (author of the work on Rhetoric) high commendations.

When a youth Hawthorne made a journey into New Hampshire with his uncle, Samuel Manning. They travelled in a two-wheeled chaise, and met with many adventures which the young man chronicled in his home letters, Some of the touches in these epistles were very characteristic and amusing, and showed in those early years his quick observation and descriptive power. The travellers "put up" at Farmington, in order to rest over Sunday. Hawthorne writes to a member of the family in Salem: "As we were wearied with rapid travelling, we found it impossible to attend divine service, which was, of course, very grievous to us both. In the evening, however, I went to a Bible class, with a very polite and agreeable gentleman, whom I afterwards discovered to be a strolling tailor, of very questionable habits."

When the travellers arrived in the Shaker village of Canterbury, Hawthorne at once made the acquaintance of the Community there, and the account which he sent home was to the effect that the brothers and sisters led a good and comfortable life, and he wrote: "If it were not for the ridiculous ceremonies, a man might do a worse thing than to join them." Indeed, he spoke to them about becoming a member of the Society, and was evidently much impressed with the thrift and peace of the establishment.

This visit in early life to the Shakers is interesting as suggesting to Hawthorne his beautiful story of "The Canterbury Pilgrims," which is in his volume of "The Snow-Image, and other Twice-Told Tales."

A lady of my acquaintance (the identical "Little Annie" of the "Ramble" in "Twice-Told Tales") recalls the young man "when he returned home after his collegiate studies." "He was even then," she says, "a most noticeable person, never going into society, and deeply engaged in reading everything he could lay his hands on. It was said in those days that he had read every book in the Athenaeum Library in Salem." This lady remembers that when she was a child, and before Hawthorne had printed any of his stories, she used to sit on his knee and lean her head on his shoulder, while by the hour he would fascinate her with delightful legends, much more wonderful and beautiful than any she has ever read since in printed books.

The traits of the Hawthorne character were stern probity and truthfulness. Hawthorne's mother had many characteristics in common with her distinguished son, she also being a reserved and thoughtful person. Those who knew the family describe the son's affection for her as of the deepest and tenderest nature, and they remember that when she died his grief was almost insupportable. The anguish he suffered from her loss is distinctly recalled by many persons still living, who visited the family at that time in Salem.

I first saw Hawthorne when he was about thirty-five years old. He had then published a collection of his sketches, the now famous "Twice-Told Tales." Longfellow, ever alert for what is excellent, and eager to do a brother author opportune and substantial service, at once came before the public with a generous estimate of the work in the North American Review; but the choice little volume, the most promising addition to American literature that had appeared for many years, made little impression on the public mind. Discerning readers, however, recognized the supreme beauty in this new writer, and they never afterwards lost sight of him.

In 1828 Hawthorne published a short anonymous romance called Fanshawe. I once asked him about this disowned publication, and he spoke of it with great disgust, and afterwards he thus referred to the subject in a letter written to me in 1851: "You make an inquiry about some supposed former publication of mine. I cannot be sworn to make correct answers as to all the literary or other follies of my nonage; and I earnestly recommend you not to brush away the dust that may have gathered over them. Whatever might do me credit you may be pretty sure I should be ready enough to bring forward. Anything else it is our mutual interest to conceal; and so far from assisting your researches in that direction, I especially enjoin it on you, my dear friend, not to read any unacknowledged page that you may suppose to be mine."

When Mr. George Bancroft, then Collector of the Port of Boston, appointed Hawthorne weigher and gauger in the custom-house, he did a wise thing, for no public officer ever performed his disagreeable duties better than our romancer. Here is a tattered little official document signed by Hawthorne when he was watching over the interests of the country: it certifies his attendance at the unlading of a brig, then lying at Long Wharf in Boston. I keep this precious relic side by side with one of a similar custom-house character, signed Robert Burns.

I came to know Hawthorne very intimately after the Whigs displaced the Democratic romancer from office. In my ardent desire to have him retained in the public service, his salary at that time being his sole dependence,-not foreseeing that his withdrawal from that sort of employment would be the best thing for American letters that could possibly happen,-I called, in his behalf, on several influential politicians of the day, and well remember the rebuffs I received in my enthusiasm for the author of the "Twice-Told Tales." One pompous little gentleman in authority, after hearing my appeal, quite astounded me by his ignorance of the claims of a literary man on his country. "Yes, yes," he sarcastically croaked down his public turtle-fed throat, "I see through it all, I see through it; this Hawthorne is one of them 'ere visionists, and we don't want no such a man as him round." So the "visionist" was not allowed to remain in office, and the country was better served by him in another way. In the winter of 1849, after he had been ejected from the custom-house, I went down to Salem to see him and inquire after his health, for we heard he had been suffering from illness. He was then living in a modest wooden house in Mall Street, if I remember rightly the location. I found him alone in a chamber over the sitting-room of the dwelling; and as the day was cold, he was hovering near a stove. We fell into talk about his future prospects, and he was, as I feared I should find him, in a very desponding mood. "Now," said I, "is the time for you to publish, for I know during these years in Salem you must have got something ready for the press." "Nonsense," said he; "what heart had I to write anything, when my publishers (M. and Company) have been so many years trying to sell a small edition of the 'Twice-Told Tales'?" I still pressed upon him the good chances he would have now with something new. "Who would risk publishing a book for me, the most unpopular writer in America?" "I would," said I, "and would start with an edition of two thousand copies of anything you write." "What madness!" he exclaimed; "your friendship for me gets the better of your judgment. No, no," he continued; "I have no money to indemnify a publisher's losses on my account." I looked at my watch and found that the train would soon be starting for Boston, and I knew there was not much time to lose in trying to discover what had been his literary work during these last few years in Salem. I remember that I pressed him to reveal to me what he had been writing. He shook his head and gave me to understand he had produced nothing. At that moment I caught sight of a bureau or set of drawers near where we were sitting; and immediately it occurred to me that hidden away somewhere in that article of furniture was a story or stories by the author of the "Twice-Told Tales," and I became so positive of it that I charged him vehemently with the fact. He seemed surprised, I thought, but shook his head again; and I rose to take my leave, begging him not to come into the cold entry, saying I would come back and see him again in a few days. I was hurrying down the stairs when he called after me from the chamber, asking me to stop a moment. Then quickly stepping into the entry with a roll of manuscript in his hands, he said: "How in Heaven's name did you know this thing was there? As you have found me out, take what I have written, and tell me, after you get home and have time to read it, if it is good for anything. It is either very good or very bad,-I don't know which." On my way up to Boston I read the germ of "The Scarlet Letter"; before I slept that night I wrote him a note all aglow with admiration of the marvellous story he had put into my hands, and told him that I would come again to Salem the next day and arrange for its publication. I went on in such an amazing state of excitement when we met again in the little house, that he would not believe I was really in earnest. He seemed to think I was beside myself, and laughed sadly at my enthusiasm. However, we soon arranged for his appearance again before the public with a book.

This quarto volume before me contains numerous letters, written by him from 1850 down to the month of his death. The first one refers to "The Scarlet Letter," and is dated in January, 1850. At my suggestion he had altered the plan of that story. It was his intention to make "The Scarlet Letter" one of several short stories, all to be included in one volume, and to be called


Together With Sketches,


His first design was to make "The Scarlet Letter" occupy about two hundred pages in his new book; but I persuaded him, after reading the first chapters of the story, to elaborate it, and publish it as a separate work. After it was settled that "The Scarlet Letter" should be enlarged and printed by itself in a volume he wrote to me:-

"I am truly glad that you like the Introduction, for I was rather afraid that it might appear absurd and impertinent to be talking about myself, when nobody, that I know of, has requested any information on that subject.

"As regards the size of the book, I have been thinking a good deal about it. Considered merely as a matter of taste and beauty, the form of publication which you recommend seems to me much preferable to that of the 'Mosses.'

"In the present case, however, I have some doubts of the expediency, because, if the book is made up entirely of 'The Scarlet Letter,' it will be too sombre. I found it impossible to relieve the shadows of the story with so much light as I would gladly have thrown in. Keeping so close to its point as the tale does, and no otherwise than by turning different sides of the same to the reader's eye, it will weary very many people and disgust some. Is it safe, then, to stake the fate of the book entirely on this one chance? A hunter loads his gun with a bullet and several buckshot; and, following his sagacious example, it was my purpose to conjoin the one long story with half a dozen shorter ones, so that, failing to kill the public outright with my biggest and heaviest lump of lead, I might have other chances with the smaller bits, individually and in the aggregate. However, I am willing to leave these considerations to your judgment, and should not be sorry to have you decide for the separate publication.

"In this latter event it appears to me that the only proper title for the book would be 'The Scarlet Letter,' for 'The Custom-House' is merely introductory,-an entrance-hall to the magnificent edifice which I throw open to my guests. It would be funny if, seeing the further passages so dark and dismal, they should all choose to stop there! If 'The Scarlet Letter' is to be the title, would it not be well to print it on the title-page in red ink? I am not quite sure about the good taste of so doing, but it would certainly be piquant and appropriate, and, I think, attractive to the great gull whom we are endeavoring to circumvent."

One beautiful summer day, twenty years ago, I found Hawthorne in his little red cottage at Lenox, surrounded by his happy young family. He had the look, as somebody said, of a banished lord, and his grand figure among the hills of Berkshire seemed finer than ever. His boy and girl were swinging on the gate as we drove up to his door, and with their sunny curls formed an attractive feature in the landscape. As the afternoon was cool and delightful, we proposed a drive over to Pittsfield to see Holmes, who was then living on his ancestral farm. Hawthorne was in a cheerful condition, and seemed to enjoy the beauty of the day to the utmost. Next morning we were all invited by Mr. Dudley Field, then living at Stockbridge, to ascend Monument Mountain. Holmes, Hawthorne, Duyckinck, Herman Melville, Headley, Sedgwick, Matthews, and several ladies, were of the party. We scrambled to the top with great spirit, and when we arrived, Melville, I remember, bestrode a peaked rock, which ran out like a bowsprit, and pulled and hauled imaginary ropes for our delectation. Then we all assembled in a shady spot, and one of the party read to us Bryant's beautiful poem commemorating Monument Mountain. Then we lunched among the rocks, and somebody proposed Bryant's health, and "long life to the dear old poet." This was the most popular toast of the day, and it took, I remember, a considerable quantity of Heidsieck to do it justice. In the afternoon, pioneered by Headley, we made our way, with merry shouts and laughter, through the Ice-Glen. Hawthorne was among the most enterprising of the merry-makers; and being in the dark much of the time, he ventured to call out lustily and pretend that certain destruction was inevitable to all of us. After this extemporaneous jollity, we dined together at Mr. Dudley Field's in Stockbridge, and Hawthorne rayed out in a sparkling and unwonted manner. I remember the conversation at table chiefly ran on the physical differences between the present American and English men, Hawthorne stoutly taking part in favor of the American. This 5th of August was a happy day throughout, and I never saw Hawthorne in better spirits.

Often and often I have seen him sitting in the chair I am now occupying by the window, looking out into the twilight. He liked to watch the vessels dropping down the stream, and nothing pleased him more than to go on board a newly arrived bark from Down East, as she was just moored at the wharf. One night we made the acquaintance of a cabin-boy on board a brig, whom we found off duty and reading a large subscription volume, which proved, on inquiry, to be a Commentary on the Bible. When Hawthorne questioned him why he was reading, then and there, that particular book, he replied with a knowing wink at both of us, "There's consider'ble her'sy in our place, and I'm a studying up for 'em." He liked on Sunday to mouse about among the books, and there are few volumes in this room that he has not handled or read. He knew he could have unmolested habitation here, whenever he chose to come, and he was never allowed to be annoyed by intrusion of any kind. He always slept in the same room,-the one looking on the water; and many a night I have heard his solemn footsteps over my head, long after the rest of the house had gone to sleep. Like many other nervous men of genius, he was a light sleeper, and he liked to be up and about early; but it was only for a ramble among the books again. One summer morning I found him as early as four o'clock reading a favorite poem, on Solitude, a piece he very much admired. That morning I shall not soon forget, for he was in the vein for autobiographical talk, and he gave me a most interesting account of his father, the sea-captain, who died of the yellow-fever in Surinam in 1808, and of his beautiful mother, who dwelt a secluded mourner ever after the death of her husband. Then he told stories of his college life, and of his one sole intimate, Franklin Pierce, whom he loved devotedly his life long.

In the early period of our acquaintance he much affected the old Boston Exchange Coffee-House in Devonshire Street, and once I remember to have found him shut up there before a blazing coal-fire, in the "tumultuous privacy" of a great snow-storm, reading with apparent interest an obsolete copy of the "Old Farmer's Almanac," which he had picked up about the house. He also delighted in the Old Province House, at that time an inn, kept by one Thomas Waite, whom he has immortalized. After he was chosen a member of the Saturday Club he came frequently to dinner with Felton, Longfellow, Holmes, and the rest of his friends, who assembled once a month to dine together. At the table, on these occasions, he was rather reticent than conversational, but when he chose to talk it was observed that the best things said that day came from him.

As I turn over his letters, the old days, delightful to recall, come back again with added interest.

"I sha'n't have the new story," he says in one of them, dated from Lenox on the 1st of October, 1850, "ready by November, for I am never good for anything in the literary way till after the first autumnal frost, which has somewhat such an effect on my imagination that it does on the foliage here about me,-multiplying and brightening its hues; though they are likely to be sober and shabby enough after all.

"I am beginning to puzzle myself about a title for the book. The scene of it is in one of those old projecting-stoned houses, familiar to my eye in Salem; and the story, horrible to say, is a little less than two hundred years long; though all but thirty or forty pages of it refer to the present time. I think of such titles as 'The House of the Seven Gables,' there being that number of gable-ends to the old shanty; or 'The Seven-Gabled House'; or simply 'The Seven Gables.' Tell me how these strike you. It appears to me that the latter is rather the best, and has the great advantage that it would puzzle the Devil to tell what it means."

A month afterwards he writes further with regard to "The House of the Seven Gables," concerning the title to which he was still in a quandary:-

"'The Old Pyncheon House: A Romance'; 'The Old Pyncheon Family; or the House of the Seven Gables: A Romance';-choose between them. I have rather a distaste to a double title? otherwise, I think I should prefer the second. Is it any matter under which title it is announced? If a better should occur hereafter, we can substitute. Of these two, on the whole, I judge the first to be the better.

"I write diligently, but not so rapidly as I had hoped. I find the book requires more care and thought than 'The Scarlet Letter'; also I have to wait oftener for a mood. 'The Scarlet Letter' being all in one tone, I had only to get my pitch, and could then go on interminably. Many passages of this book ought to be finished with the minuteness of a Dutch picture, in order to give them their proper effect. Sometimes, when tired of it, it strikes me that the whole is an absurdity, from beginning to end; but the fact is, in writing a romance, a man is always, or always ought to be, careering on the utmost verge of a precipitous absurdity, and the skill lies in coming as close as possible, without actually tumbling over. My prevailing idea is, that the book ought to succeed better than 'The Scarlet Letter,' though I have no idea that it will."

On the 9th of December he was still at work on the new romance, and writes:-

"My desire and prayer is to get through with the business in hand. I have been in a Slough of Despond for some days past, having written so fiercely that I came to a stand-still. There are points where a writer gets bewildered and cannot form any judgment of what he has done, or tell what to do next. In these cases it is best to keep quiet."

On the 12th of January, 1851, he is still busy over his new book, and writes: "My 'House of the Seven Gables' is, so to speak, finished; only I am hammering away a little on the roof, and doing up a few odd jobs, that were left incomplete." At the end of the month the manuscript of his second great romance was put into the hands of the expressman at Lenox, by Hawthorne himself, to be delivered to me. On the 27th he writes:-

"If you do not soon receive it, you may conclude that it has miscarried; in which case, I shall not consent to the universe existing a moment longer. I have no copy of it, except the wildest scribble of a first draught, so that it could never be restored.

"It has met with extraordinary success from that portion of the public to whose judgment it has been submitted, viz. from my wife. I likewise prefer it to 'The Scarlet Letter'; but an author's opinion of his book just after completing it is worth little or nothing, he being then in the hot or cold fit of a fever, and certain to rate it too high or too low.

"It has undoubtedly one disadvantage in being brought so close to the present time; whereby its romantic improbabilities become more glaring.

"I deem it indispensable that the proof-sheets should be sent me for correction. It will cause some delay, no doubt, but probably not much more than if I lived in Salem. At all events, I don't see how it can be helped. My autography is sometimes villanously blind; and it is odd enough that whenever the printers do mistake a word, it is just the very jewel of a word, worth all the rest of the dictionary."

I well remember with what anxiety I awaited the arrival of the expressman with the precious parcel, and with what keen delight I read every word of the new story before I slept. Here is the original manuscript, just as it came that day, twenty years ago, fresh from the author's hand. The printers carefully preserved it for me; and Hawthorne once made a formal presentation of it, with great mock solemnity, in this very room where I am now sitting.

After the book came out he wrote:-

"I have by no means an inconvenient multitude of friends; but if they ever do appear a little too numerous, it is when I am making a list of those to whom presentation copies are to be sent. Please send one to General Pierce, Horatio Bridge, R.W. Emerson, W.E. Channing, Longfellow, Hillard, Sumner, Holmes, Lowell, and Thompson the artist. You will yourself give one to Whipple, whereby I shall make a saving. I presume you won't put the portrait into the book. It appears to me an improper accompaniment to a new work. Nevertheless, if it be ready, I should be glad to have each of these presentation copies accompanied by a copy of the engraving put loosely between the leaves. Good by. I must now trudge two miles to the village, through rain and mud knee-deep, after that accursed proof-sheet. The book reads very well in proofs, but I don't believe it will take like the former one. The preliminary chapter was what gave 'The Scarlet Letter' its vogue."

The engraving he refers to in this letter was made from a portrait by Mr. C.G. Thompson, and at that time, 1851, was an admirable likeness. On the 6th of March he writes:-

"The package, with my five heads, arrived yesterday afternoon, and we are truly obliged to you for putting so many at our disposal. They are admirably done. The children recognized their venerable sire with great delight. My wife complains somewhat of a want of cheerfulness in the face; and, to say the truth, it does appear to be with a bedevilled melancholy; but it will do all the better for the author of 'The Scarlet Letter.' In the expression there is a singular resemblance (which I do not remember in Thompson's picture) to a miniature of my father."

His letters to me, during the summer of 1851, were frequent and sometimes quite long. "The House of the Seven Gables" was warmly welcomed, both at home and abroad. On the 23d of May he writes:-

"Whipple's notices have done more than pleased me, for they have helped me to see my book. Much of the censure I recognize as just; I wish I could feel the praise to be so fully deserved. Being better (which I insist it is) than 'The Scarlet Letter,' I have never expected it to be so popular (this steel pen makes me write awfully). -- -- Esq., of Boston, has written to me, complaining that I have made his grandfather infamous! It seems there was actually a Pyncheon (or Pynchon, as he spells it) family resident in Salem, and that their representative, at the period of the Revolution, was a certain Judge Pynchon, a Tory and a refugee. This was Mr. --'s grandfather, and (at least, so he dutifully describes him) the most exemplary old gentleman in the world. There are several touches in my account of the Pyncheons which, he says, make it probable that I had this actual family in my eye, and he considers himself infinitely wronged and aggrieved, and thinks it monstrous that the 'virtuous dead' cannot be suffered to rest quietly in their graves. He further complains that I speak disrespectfully of the --'s in Grandfather's Chair. He writes more in sorrow than in anger, though there is quite enough of the latter quality to give piquancy to his epistle. The joke of the matter is, that I never heard of his grandfather, nor knew that any Pyncheons had ever lived in Salem, but took the name because it suited the tone of my book, and was as much my property, for fictitious purposes, as that of Smith. I have pacified him by a very polite and gentlemanly letter, and if ever you publish any more of the Seven Gables, I should like to write a brief preface, expressive of my anguish for this unintentional wrong, and making the best reparation possible else these wretched old Pyncheons will have no peace in the other world, nor in this. Furthermore, there is a Rev. Mr. --, resident within four miles of me, and a cousin of Mr. --, who states that he likewise is highly indignant. Who would have dreamed of claimants starting up for such an inheritance as the House of the Seven Gables!

"I mean, to write, within six weeks or two months next ensuing, a book of stories made up of classical myths. The subjects are: The Story of Midas, with his Golden Touch, Pandora's Box, The Adventure of Hercules in quest of the Golden Apples, Bellerophon and the Chimera, Baucis and Philemon, Perseus and Medusa; these, I think, will be enough to make up a volume. As a framework, I shall have a young college student telling these stories to his cousins and brothers and sisters, during his vacations, sometimes at the fireside, sometimes in the woods and dells. Unless I greatly mistake, these old fictions will work up admirably for the purpose; and I shall aim at substituting a tone in some degree Gothic or romantic, or any such tone as may best please myself, instead of the classic coldness, which is as repellant as the touch of marble.

"I give you these hints of my plan, because you will perhaps think it advisable to employ Billings to prepare some illustrations. There is a good scope in the above subjects for fanciful designs. Bellerophon and the Chimera, for instance: the Chimera a fantastic monster with three heads, and Bellerophon fighting him, mounted on Pegasus; Pandora opening the box; Hercules talking with Atlas, an enormous giant who holds the sky on his shoulders, or sailing across the sea in an immense bowl; Perseus transforming a king and all his subjects to stone, by exhibiting the Gorgon's head. No particular accuracy in costume need be aimed at. My stories will bear out the artist in any liberties he may be inclined to take. Billings would do these things well enough, though his characteristics are grace and delicacy rather than wildness of fancy. The book, if it comes out of my mind as I see it now, ought to have pretty wide success amongst young people; and, of course, I shall purge out all the old heathen wickedness, and put in a moral wherever practicable. For a title how would this do: 'A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys'; or, 'The Wonder-Book of Old Stories'? I prefer the former. Or 'Myths Modernized for my Children'; that won't do.

"I need a little change of scene, and meant to have come to Boston and elsewhere before writing this book; but I cannot leave home at present."

Throughout the summer Hawthorne was constantly worried by people who insisted that they, or their families in the present or past generations, had been deeply wronged in "The House of the Seven Gables." In a note, received from him on the 5th of June, he says:-

"I have just received a letter from still another claimant of the Pyncheon estate. I wonder if ever, and how soon, I shall get a just estimate of how many jackasses there are in this ridiculous world. My correspondent, by the way, estimates the number of these Pyncheon jackasses at about twenty; I am doubtless to by remonstrated with by each individual. After exchanging shots with all of them, I shall get you to publish the whole correspondence, in a style to match that of my other works, and I anticipate a great run for the volume.

"P.S. My last correspondent demands that another name be substituted, instead of that of the family; to which I assent, in case the publishers can be prevailed on to cancel the stereotype plates. Of course you will consent! Pray do!"

Praise now poured in upon him from all quarters. Hosts of critics, both in England and America, gallantly came forward to do him service, and his fame was assured. On the 15th of July he sends me a jubilant letter from Lenox, from which I will copy several passages:-

"Mrs. Kemble writes very good accounts from London of the reception my two romances have met with there. She says they have made a greater sensation than any book since 'Jane Eyre'; but probably she is a little or a good deal too emphatic in her representation of the matter. At any rate, she advises that the sheets of any future book be sent to Moxon, and such an arrangement made that a copyright may be secured in England as well as here. Could this be done with the Wonder-Book? And do you think it would be worth while? I must see the proof-sheets of this book. It is a cursed bore; for I want to be done with it from this moment. Can't you arrange it so that two or three or more sheets may be sent at once, on stated days, and so my journeys to the village be fewer?

"That review which you sent me is a remarkable production. There is praise enough to satisfy a greedier author than myself. I set it aside, as not being able to estimate how far it is deserved. I can better judge of the censure, much of which is undoubtedly just; and I shall profit by it if I can. But, after all, there would be no great use in attempting it. There are weeds enough in my mind, to be sure, and I might pluck them up by the handful; but in so doing I should root up the few flowers along with them. It is also to be considered, that what one man calls weeds another classifies among the choicest flowers in the garden. But this reviewer is certainly a man of sense, and sometimes tickles me under the fifth rib. I beg you to observe, however, that I do not acknowledge his justice in cutting and slashing among the characters of the two books at the rate he does; sparing nobody, I think, except Pearl and Phoebe. Yet I think he is right as to my tendency as respects individual character.

"I am going to begin to enjoy the summer now, and to read foolish novels, if I can get any, and smoke cigars, and think of nothing at all; which is equivalent to thinking of all manner of things."

The composition of the "Tanglewood Tales" gave him pleasant employment, and all his letters, during the period he was writing them, overflow with evidences of his felicitous mood. He requests that Billings should pay especial attention to the drawings, and is anxious that the porch of Tanglewood should be "well supplied with shrubbery." He seemed greatly pleased that Mary Russell Mitford had fallen in with his books and had written to me about them. "Her sketches," he said, "long ago as I read them, are as sweet in my memory as the scent of new hay." On the 18th of August he writes:-

"You are going to publish another thousand of the Seven Gables. I promised those Pyncheons a preface. What if you insert the following?

"(The author is pained to learn that, in selecting a name for the fictitious inhabitants of a castle in the air, he has wounded the feelings of more than one respectable descendant of an old Pyncheon family. He begs leave to say that he intended no reference to any individual of the name, now or heretofore extant; and further, that, at the time of writing his book, he was wholly unaware of the existence of such a family in New England for two hundred years back, and that whatever he may have since learned of them is altogether to their credit.)

"Insert it or not, as you like. I have done with the matter."

I advised him to let the Pyncheons rest as they were, and omit any addition, either as note or preface, to the romance.

Near the close of 1851 his health seemed unsettled, and he asked me to look over certain proofs "carefully," for he did not feel well enough to manage them himself. In one of his notes, written from Lenox at that time, he says:-

"Please God, I mean to look you in the face towards the end of next week; at all events, within ten days. I have stayed here too long and too constantly. To tell you a secret, I am sick to death of Berkshire, and hate to think of spending another winter here. But I must. The air and climate do not agree with my health at all; and, for the first time since I was a boy, I have felt languid and dispirited during almost my whole residence here. O that Providence would build me the merest little shanty, and mark me out a rood or two of garden-ground, near the sea-coast. I thank you for the two volumes of De Quincey. If it were not for your kindness in supplying me with books now and then, I should quite forget how to read."

Hawthorne was a hearty devourer of books, and in certain moods of mind it made very little difference what the volume before him happened to be. An old play or an old newspaper sometimes gave him wondrous great content, and he would ponder the sleepy, uninteresting sentences as if they contained immortal mental aliment. He once told me he found such delight in old advertisements in the newspapers at the Boston Athenaeum, that he had passed delicious hours among them. At other times he was very fastidious, and threw aside book after book until he found the right one. De Quincey was a special favorite with him, and the Sermons of Laurence Sterne he once commended to me as the best sermons ever written. In his library was an early copy of Sir Philip Sidney's "Arcadia," which had floated down to him from a remote ancestry, and which he had read so industriously for forty years that it was nearly worn out of its thick leathern cover. Hearing him say once that the old English State Trials were enchanting reading, and knowing that he did not possess a copy of those heavy folios, I picked up a set one day in a bookshop and sent them to him. He often told me that he spent more hours over them and got more delectation out of them than tongue could tell, and he said, if five lives were vouchsafed to him, he could employ them all in writing stories out of those books. He had sketched, in his mind, several romances founded on the remarkable trials reported in the ancient volumes; and one day, I remember, he made my blood tingle by relating some of the situations he intended, if his life was spared, to weave into future romances. Sir Walter Scott's novels he continued almost to worship, and was accustomed to read them aloud in his family. The novels of G.P.R. James, both the early and the later ones, he insisted were admirable stories, admirably told, and he had high praise to bestow on the works of Anthony Trollope. "Have you ever read these novels?" he wrote to me in a letter from England, some time before Trollope began to be much known in America. "They precisely suit my taste; solid and substantial, written on the strength of beef and through the inspiration of ale, and just as real as if some giant had hewn a great lump out of the earth and put it under a glass case, with all its inhabitants going about their daily business and not suspecting that they were made a show of. And these books are as English as a beefsteak. Have they ever been tried in America? It needs an English residence to make them thoroughly comprehensible; but still I should think that the human nature in them would give them success anywhere."

I have often been asked if all his moods were sombre, and if he was never jolly sometimes like other people. Indeed he was; and although the humorous side of Hawthorne was not easily or often discoverable, yet have I seen him marvellously moved to fun, and no man laughed more heartily in his way over a good story. Wise and witty H--, in whom wisdom and wit are so ingrained that age only increases his subtile spirit, and greatly enhances the power of his cheerful temperament, always had the talismanic faculty of breaking up that thoughtfully sad face into mirthful waves; and I remember how Hawthorne writhed with hilarious delight over Professor L--'s account of a butcher who remarked that "Idees had got afloat in the public mind with respect to sassingers." I once told him of a young woman who brought in a manuscript, and said, as she placed it in my hands, "I don't know what to do with myself sometimes, I'm so filled with mammoth thoughts." A series of convulsive efforts to suppress explosive laughter followed, which I remember to this day.

He had an inexhaustible store of amusing anecdotes to relate of people and things he had observed on the road. One day he described to me, in his inimitable and quietly ludicrous manner, being watched, while on a visit to a distant city, by a friend who called, and thought he needed a protector, his health being at that time not so good as usual. "He stuck by me," said Hawthorne, "as if he were afraid to leave me alone; he stayed past the dinner hour, and when I began to wonder if he never took meals himself, he departed and set another man to watch me till he should return. That man watched me so, in his unwearying kindness, that when I left the house I forgot half my luggage, and left behind, among other things, a beautiful pair of slippers. They watched me so, among them, I swear to you I forgot nearly everything I owned."

* * *

Hawthorne is still looking at me in his far-seeing way, as if he were pondering what was next to be said about him. It would not displease him, I know, if I were to begin my discursive talk to-day by telling a little incident connected with a famous American poem.

Hawthorne dined one day with Longfellow, and brought with him a friend from Salem. After dinner the friend said: "I have been trying to persuade Hawthorne to write a story, based upon a legend of Acadie, and still current there; a legend of a girl who, in the dispersion of the Acadians, was separated from her lover, and passed her life in waiting and seeking for him, and only found him dying in a hospital, when both were old." Longfellow wondered that this legend did not strike the fancy of Hawthorne, and said to him: "If you have really made up your mind not to use it for a story, will you give it to me for a poem?" To this Hawthorne assented, and moreover promised not to treat the subject in prose till Longfellow had seen what he could do with it in verse. And so we have "Evangeline" in beautiful hexameters, -a poem that will hold its place in literature while true affection lasts. Hawthorne rejoiced in this great success of Longfellow, and loved to count up the editions, both foreign and American, of this now world-renowned poem.

I have lately met an early friend of Hawthorne's, older than himself, who knew him intimately all his life long, and I have learned some additional facts about his youthful days. Soon after he left college he wrote some stories which he called "Seven Tales of my Native Land." The motto which he chose for the title-page was "We are Seven," from Wordsworth. My informant read the tales in manuscript, and says some of them were very striking, particularly one or two Witch Stories. As soon as the little book was well prepared for the press he deliberately threw it into the fire, and sat by to see its destruction.

When about fourteen he wrote out for a member of his family a list of the books he had at that time been reading. The catalogue was a long one, but my informant remembers that The Waverley Novels, Rousseau's Works, and The Newgate Calender were among them. Serious remonstrances were made by the family touching the perusal of this last work, but he persisted in going through it to the end. He had an objection in his boyhood to reading much that was called "true and useful." Of history in general he was not very fond, but he read Froissart with interest, and Clarendon's History of the Rebellion. He is remembered to have said at that time "he cared very little for the history of the world before the fourteenth century." After he left college he read a great deal of French literature, especially the works of Voltaire and his contemporaries. He rarely went into the streets during the daytime, unless there was to be a gathering of the people for some public purpose, such as a political meeting, a military muster, or a fire. A great conflagration attracted him in a peculiar manner, and he is remembered, while a young man in Salem, to have been often seen looking on, from some dark corner, while the fire was raging. When General Jackson, of whom he professed himself a partisan, visited Salem in 1833, he walked out to the boundary of the town to meet him,-not to speak to him, but only to look at him. When he came home at night he said he found only a few men and boys collected, not enough people, without the assistance he rendered, to welcome the General with a good cheer. It is said that Susan, in the "Village Uncle," one of the "Twice-Told Tales," is not altogether a creation of his fancy. Her father was a fisherman living in Salem, and Hawthorne was constantly telling the members of his family how charming she was, and he always spoke of her as his "mermaid." He said she had a great deal of what the French call espièglerie. There was another young beauty, living at that time in his native town, quite captivating to him, though in a different style from the mermaid. But if his head and heart were turned in his youth by these two nymphs in his native town, there was soon a transfer of his affections to quite another direction. His new passion was a much more permanent one, for now there dawned upon him so perfect a creature that he fell in love irrevocably; all his thoughts and all his delights centred in her, who suddenly became indeed the mistress of his soul. She filled the measure of his being, and became a part and parcel of his life. Who was this mysterious young person that had crossed his boyhood's path and made him hers forever? Whose daughter was she that could thus enthrall the ardent young man in Salem, who knew as yet so little of the world and its sirens? She is described by one who met her long before Hawthorne made her acquaintance as "the prettiest low-born lass that ever ran on the greensward," and she must have been a radiant child of beauty, indeed, that girl! She danced like a fairy, she sang exquisitely, so that every one who knew her seemed amazed at her perfect way of doing everything she attempted. Who was it that thus summoned all this witchery, making such a tumult in young Hawthorne's bosom? She was "daughter to Leontes and Hermione," king and queen of Sicilia, and her name was Perdita! It was Shakespeare who introduced Hawthorne to his first real love, and the lover never forgot his mistress. He was constant ever, and worshipped her through life. Beauty always captivated him. Where there was beauty he fancied other good gifts must naturally be in possession. During his childhood homeliness was always repulsive to him. When a little boy he is remembered to have said to a woman who wished to be kind to him, "Take her away! She is ugly and fat, and has a loud voice."

When quite a young man he applied for a situation under Commodore Wilkes on the Exploring Expedition, but did not succeed in obtaining an appointment. He thought this a great misfortune, as he was fond of travel, and he promised to do all sorts of wonderful things, should he be allowed to join the voyagers.

One very odd but characteristic notion of his, when a youth, was, that he should like a competent income which should neither increase nor diminish, for then, he said, it would not engross too much of his attention. Surrey's little poem, "The Means to obtain a Happy Life," expressed exactly what his idea of happiness was when a lad. When a school-boy he wrote verses for the newspapers, but he ignored their existence in after years with a smile of droll disgust. One of his quatrains lives in the memory of a friend, who repeated it to me recently:-

"The ocean hath its silent caves,

Deep, quiet, and alone;

Above them there are troubled waves,

Beneath them there are none."

When the Atlantic Cable was first laid, somebody, not knowing the author of the lines, quoted them to Hawthorne as applicable to the calmness said to exist in the depths of the ocean. He listened to the verse, and then laughingly observed, "I know something of the deep sea myself."

In 1836 he went to Boston, I am told, to edit the "American Magazine of Useful Knowledge," for which he was to be paid a salary of six hundred dollars a year. The proprietors soon became insolvent, so that he received nothing, but he kept on just the same as if he had been paid regularly. The plan of the work proposed by the publishers of the magazine admitted no fiction into its pages. The magazine was printed on coarse paper and was illustrated by engravings painful to look at. There were no contributors except the editor, and he wrote the whole of every number. Short biographical sketches of eminent men and historical narratives filled up its pages. I have examined the columns of this deceased magazine, and read Hawthorne's narrative of Mrs. Dustan's captivity. Mrs. Dustan was carried off by the Indians from Haverhill, and Hawthorne does not much commiserate the hardships she endured, but reserves his sympathy for her husband, who was not carried into captivity, and suffered nothing from the Indians, but who, he says, was a tenderhearted man, and took care of the children during Mrs. D.'s absence from home, and probably knew that his wife would be more than a match for a whole tribe of savages.

When the Rev. Mr. Cheever was knocked down and flogged in the streets of Salem and then imprisoned, Hawthorne came out of his retreat and visited him regularly in jail, showing strong sympathy for the man and great indignation for those who had maltreated him.

Those early days in Salem,-how interesting the memory of them must be to the friends who knew and followed the gentle dreamer in his budding career! When the whisper first came to the timid boy, in that "dismal chamber in Union Street," that he too possessed the soul of an artist, there were not many about him to share the divine rapture that must have filled his proud young heart. Outside of his own little family circle, doubting and desponding eyes looked upon him, and many a stupid head wagged in derision as he passed by. But there was always waiting for him a sweet and honest welcome by the pleasant hearth where his mother and sisters sat and listened to the beautiful creations of his fresh and glowing fancy. We can imagine the happy group gathered around the evening lamp! "Well, my son," says the fond mother, looking up from her knitting-work, "what have you got for us to-night? It is some time since you read us a story, and your sisters are as impatient as I am to have a new one." And then we can hear, or think we hear, the young man begin in a low and modest tone the story of "Edward Fane's Rosebud," or "The Seven Vagabonds," or perchance (O tearful, happy evening!) that tender idyl of "The Gentle Boy!" What a privilege to hear for the first time a "Twice-Told Tale," before it was even once told to the public! And I know with what rapture the delighted little audience must have hailed the advent of every fresh indication that genius, so seldom a visitant at any fireside, had come down so noiselessly to bless their quiet hearthstone in the sombre old town. In striking contrast to Hawthorne's audience nightly convened to listen while he read his charming tales and essays, I think of poor Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, facing those hard-eyed critics at the house of Madame Neckar, when as a young man and entirely unknown he essayed to read his then unpublished story of "Paul and Virginia." The story was simple and the voice of the poor and nameless reader trembled. Everybody was unsympathetic and gaped, and at the end of a quarter of an hour Monsieur de Buffon, who always had a loud way with him, cried out to Madame Neckar's servant, "Let the horses be put to my carriage!"

Hawthorne seems never to have known that raw period in authorship which is common to most growing writers, when the style is "overlanguaged," and when it plunges wildly through the "sandy deserts of rhetoric," or struggles as if it were having a personal difficulty with Ignorance and his brother Platitude. It was capitally said of Chateaubriand that "he lived on the summits of syllables," and of another young author that "he was so dully good, that he made even virtue disreputable." Hawthorne had no such literary vices to contend with. His looks seemed from the start to be

"Commercing with the skies,"

and he marching upward to the goal without impediment. I was struck a few days ago with the untruth, so far as Hawthorne is concerned, of a passage in the Preface to Endymion. Keats says: "The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted." Hawthorne's imagination had no middle period of decadence or doubt, but continued, as it began, in full vigor to the end.

* * *

In 1852 I went to Europe, and while absent had frequent most welcome letters from the delightful dreamer. He had finished the "Blithedale Romance" during my wanderings, and I was fortunate enough to arrange for its publication in London simultaneously with its appearance in Boston. One of his letters (dated from his new residence in Concord, June 17, 1852) runs thus:-

"You have succeeded admirably in regard to the 'Blithedale Romance,' and have got £150 more than I expected to receive. It will come in good time, too; for my drafts have been pretty heavy of late, in consequence of buying an estate!!! and fitting up my house. What a truant you are from the Corner! I wish, before leaving London, you would obtain for me copies of any English editions of my writings not already in my possession. I have Routledge's edition of 'The Scarlet Letter,' the 'Mosses,' and 'Twice-Told Tales'; Bohn's editions of 'The House of the Seven Gables,' the 'Snow-Image' and the 'Wonder-Book,' and Bogue's edition of 'The Scarlet Letter';-these are all, and I should be glad of the rest. I meant to have written another 'Wonder-Book' this summer, but another task has unexpectedly intervened. General Pierce of New Hampshire, the Democratic nominee for the Presidency, was a college friend of mine, as you know, and we have been intimate through life. He wishes me to write his biography, and I have consented to do so; somewhat reluctantly, however, for Pierce has now reached that altitude when a man, careful of his personal dignity, will begin to think of cutting his acquaintance. But I seek nothing from him, and therefore need not be ashamed to tell the truth of an old friend.... I have written to Barry Cornwall, and shall probably enclose the letter along with this. I don't more than half believe what you tell me of my reputation in England, and am only so far credulous on the strength of the £200, and shall have a somewhat stronger sense of this latter reality when I finger the cash. Do come home in season to preside over the publication of the Romance."

He had christened his estate The Wayside, and in a postscript to the above letter he begs me to consider the name and tell him how I like it.

Another letter, evidently foreshadowing a foreign appointment from the newly elected President, contains this passage:-

"Do make some inquiries about Portugal; as, for instance, in what part of the world it lies, and whether it is an empire, a kingdom, or a republic. Also, and more particularly, the expenses of living there, and whether the Minister would be likely to be much pestered with his own countrymen. Also, any other information about foreign countries would be acceptable to an inquiring mind."

When I returned from abroad I found him getting matters in readiness to leave the country for a consulship in Liverpool. He seemed happy at the thought of flitting, but I wondered if he could possibly be as contented across the water as he was in Concord. I remember walking with him to the Old Manse, a mile or so distant from The Wayside, his new residence, and talking over England and his proposed absence of several years. We strolled round the house, where he spent the first years of his married life, and he pointed from the outside to the windows, out of which he had looked and seen supernatural and other visions. We walked up and down the avenue, the memory of which he has embalmed in the "Mosses," and he discoursed most pleasantly of all that had befallen him since he led a lonely, secluded life in Salem. It was a sleepy, warm afternoon, and he proposed that we should wander up the banks of the river and lie down and watch the clouds float above and in the quiet stream. I recall his lounging, easy air as he tolled me along until we came to a spot secluded, and ofttimes sacred to his wayward thoughts. He bade me lie down on the grass and hear the birds sing. As we steeped ourselves in the delicious idleness, he began to murmur some half-forgotten lines from Thomson's "Seasons," which he said had been favorites of his from boyhood. While we lay there, hidden in the grass, we heard approaching footsteps, and Hawthorne hurriedly whispered, "Duck! or we shall be interrupted by somebody." The solemnity of his manner, and the thought of the down-flat position in which we had both placed ourselves to avoid being seen, threw me into a foolish, semi-hysterical fit of laughter, and when he nudged me, and again whispered more lugubriously than ever, "Heaven help me, Mr. -- is close upon us!" I felt convinced that if the thing went further, suffocation, in my case at least, must ensue.

He kept me constantly informed, after he went to Liverpool, of how he was passing his time; and his charming "English Note-Books" reveal the fact that he was never idle. There were touches, however, in his private letters which escaped daily record in his journal, and I remember how delightful it was, after he landed in Europe, to get his frequent missives. In one of the first he gives me an account of a dinner where he was obliged to make a speech. He says:-

"I tickled up John Bull's self-conceit (which is very easily done) with a few sentences of most outrageous flattery, and sat down in a general puddle of good feeling." In another he says: "I have taken a house in Rock Park, on the Cheshire side of the Mersey, and am as snug as a bug in a rug. Next year you must come and see how I live. Give my regards to everybody, and my love to half a dozen.... I wish you would call on Mr. Savage, the antiquarian, if you know him, and ask whether he can inform me what part of England the original William Hawthorne came from. He came over, I think in 1634.... It would really be a great obligation if he could answer the above query. Or, if the fact is not within his own knowledge, he might perhaps indicate some place where such information might be obtained here in England. I presume there are records still extant somewhere of all the passengers by those early ships, with their English localities annexed to their names. Of all things, I should like to find a gravestone in one of these old churchyards with my own name upon it, although, for myself, I should wish to be buried in America. The graves are too horribly damp here."

The hedgerows of England, the grassy meadows, and the picturesque old cottages delighted him, and he was never tired of writing to me about them. While wandering over the country, he was often deeply touched by meeting among the wild-flowers many of his old New England favorites,-bluebells, crocuses, primroses, foxglove, and other flowers which are cultivated in out gardens, and which had long been familiar to him in America.

I can imagine him, in his quiet, musing way, strolling through the daisied fields on a Sunday morning and hearing the distant church-bells chiming to service. His religion was deep and broad, but it was irksome for him to be fastened in by a pew-door, and I doubt if he often heard an English sermon. He very rarely described himself as inside a church, but he liked to wander among the graves in the churchyards and read the epitaphs on the moss-grown slabs. He liked better to meet and have a talk with the sexton than with the rector.

He was constantly demanding longer letters from home; and nothing gave him more pleasure than, monthly news from "The Saturday Club," and detailed accounts of what was going forward in literature. One of his letters dated in January, 1854, starts off thus:-

"I wish your epistolary propensities were stronger than they are. All your letters to me since I left America might be squeezed into one.... I send Ticknor a big cheese, which I long ago promised him, and my advice is, that he keep it in the shop, and daily, between eleven and one o'clock, distribute slices of it to your half-starved authors, together with crackers and something to drink.... I thank you for the books you send me, and more especially for Mrs. Mowatt's Autobiography, which seems to me an admirable book. Of all things I delight in autobiographies; and I hardly ever read one that interested me so much. She must be a remarkable woman, and I cannot but lament my ill fortune in never having seen her on the stage or elsewhere.... I count strongly upon your promise to be with us in May. Can't you bring Whipple with you?"

One of his favorite resorts in Liverpool was the boarding-house of good Mrs. Blodgett, in Duke Street, a house where many Americans have found delectable quarters, after being tossed on the stormy Atlantic. "I have never known a better woman," Hawthorne used to say, "and her motherly kindness to me and mine I can never forget." Hundreds of American travellers will bear witness to the excellence of that beautiful old lady, who presided with such dignity and sweetness over her hospitable mansion.

On the 13th of April, 1854, Hawthorne wrote to me this characteristic letter from the consular office in Liverpool:-

"I am very glad that the 'Mosses' have come into the hands of our firm; and I return the copy sent me, after a careful revision. When I wrote those dreamy sketches, I little thought that I should ever preface an edition for the press amidst the bustling life of a Liverpool consulate. Upon my honor, I am not quite sure that I entirely comprehend my own meaning, in some of these blasted allegories; but I remember that I always had a meaning, or at least thought I had. I am a good deal changed since those times; and, to tell you the truth, my past self is not very much to my taste, as I see myself in this book. Yet certainly there is more in it than the public generally gave me credit for at the time it was written.

"But I don't think myself worthy of very much more credit than I got. It has been a very disagreeable task to read the book. The story of 'Rappacini's Daughter' was published in the Democratic Review, about the year 1844; and it was prefaced by some remarks on the celebrated French author (a certain M. de l'Aubépine), from whose works it was translated. I left out this preface when the story was republished; but I wish you would turn to it in the Democratic, and see whether it is worth while to insert it in the new edition. I leave it altogether to your judgment.

"A young poet named -- has called on me, and has sent me some copies of his works to be transmitted to America. It seems to me there is good in him; and he is recognized by Tennyson, by Carlyle, by Kingsley, and others of the best people here. He writes me that this edition of his poems is nearly exhausted, and that Routledge is going to publish another enlarged and in better style.

"Perhaps it might be well for you to take him up in America. At all events, try to bring him into notice; and some day or other you may be glad to have helped a famous poet in his obscurity. The poor fellow has left a good post in the customs to cultivate literature in London!

"We shall begin to look for you now by every steamer from Boston. You must make up your mind to spend a good while with us before going to see your London friends.

"Did you read the article on your friend De Quincey in the last Westminster? It was written by Mr. -- of this city, who was in America a year or two ago. The article is pretty well, but does nothing like adequate justice to De Quincey; and in fact no Englishman cares a pin for him. We are ten times as good readers and critics as they.

"Is not Whipple coming here soon?"

Hawthorne's first visit to London afforded him great pleasure, but he kept out of the way of literary people as much as possible. He introduced himself to nobody, except Mr. --, whose assistance he needed, in order to be identified at the bank. He wrote to me from 24 George Street, Hanover Square, and told me he delighted in London, and wished he could spend a year there. He enjoyed floating about, in a sort of unknown way, among the rotund and rubicund figures made jolly with ale and port-wine. He was greatly amused at being told (his informants meaning to be complimentary) "that he would never be taken for anything but an Englishman." He called Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade," just printed at that time, "a broken-kneed gallop of a poem." He writes:-

"John Bull is in high spirits just now at the taking of Sebastopol. What an absurd personage John is! I find that my liking for him grows stronger the more I see of him, but that my admiration and respect have constantly decreased."

One of his most intimate friends (a man unlike that individual of whom it was said that he was the friend of everybody that did not need a friend) was Francis Bennoch, a merchant of Wood Street, Cheapside, London, the gentleman to whom Mrs. Hawthorne dedicated the English Note-Books. Hawthorne's letters abounded in warm expressions of affection for the man whose noble hospitality and deep interest made his residence in England full of happiness. Bennoch was indeed like a brother to him, sympathizing warmly in all his literary projects, and giving him the benefit of his excellent judgment while he was sojourning among strangers. Bennoch's record may be found in Tom Taylor's admirable life of poor Haydon, the artist. All literary and artistic people who have had the good fortune to enjoy his friendship have loved him. I happen to know of his bountiful kindness to Miss Mitford and Hawthorne and poor old Jerdan, for these hospitalities happened in my time; but he began to befriend all who needed friendship long before I knew him. His name ought never to be omitted from the literary annals of England; nor that of his wife either, for she has always made her delightful fireside warm and comforting to her husband's friends.

Many and many a happy time Bennoch, Hawthorne, and myself have had together on British soil. I remember we went once to dine at a great house in the country, years ago, where it was understood there would be no dinner speeches. The banquet was in honor of some society,-I have quite forgotten what,-but it was a jocose and not a serious club. The gentleman who gave it, Sir --, was a most kind and genial person, and gathered about him on this occasion some of the brightest and best from London. All the way down in the train Hawthorne was rejoicing that this was to be a dinner without speech-making; "for," said he, "nothing would tempt me to go if toasts and such confounded deviltry were to be the order of the day." So we rattled along, without a fear of any impending cloud of oratory. The entertainment was a most exquisite one, about twenty gentlemen sitting down at the beautifully ornamented table. Hawthorne was in uncommonly good spirits, and, having the seat of honor at the right of his host, was pretty keenly scrutinized by his British brethren of the quill. He had, of course, banished all thought of speech-making, and his knees never smote together once, as he told me afterwards. But it became evident to my mind that Hawthorne's health was to be proposed with all the honors. I glanced at him across the table, and saw that he was unsuspicious of any movement against his quiet serenity. Suddenly and without warning our host rapped the mahogany, and began a set speech of welcome to the "distinguished American romancer." It was a very honest and a very hearty speech, but I dared not look at Hawthorne. I expected every moment to see him glide out of the room, or sink down out of sight from his chair. The tortures I suffered on Hawthorne's account, on that occasion, I will not attempt to describe now. I knew nothing would have induced the shy man of letters to go down to Brighton, if he had known he was to be spoken at in that manner. I imagined his face a deep crimson, and his hands trembling with nervous horror; but judge of my surprise, when he rose to reply with so calm a voice and so composed a manner, that, in all my experience of dinner-speaking, I never witnessed such a case of apparent ease. (Easy-Chair C -- himself, one of the best makers of after-dinner or any other speeches of our day, according to Charles Dickens,-no inadequate judge, all will allow,-never surpassed in eloquent effect this speech by Hawthorne.) There was no hesitation, no sign of lack of preparation, but he went on for about ten minutes in such a masterly manner, that I declare it was one of the most successful efforts of the kind ever made. Everybody was delighted, and, when he sat down, a wild and unanimous shout of applause rattled the glasses on the table. The meaning of his singular composure on that occasion I could never get him satisfactorily to explain, and the only remark I ever heard him make, in any way connected with this marvellous exhibition of coolness, was simply, "What a confounded fool I was to go down to that speech-making dinner!"

During all those long years, while Hawthorne was absent in Europe, he was anything but an idle man. On the contrary, he was an eminently busy one, in the best sense of that term; and if his life had been prolonged, the public would have been a rich gainer for his residence abroad. His brain teemed with romances, and once I remember he told me he had no less than five stories, well thought out, any one of which he could finish and publish whenever he chose to. There was one subject for a work of imagination that seems to have haunted him for years, and he has mentioned it twice in his journal. This was the subsequent life of the young man whom Jesus, looking on, "loved," and whom he bade to sell all that he had and give to the poor, and take up his cross and follow him. "Something very deep and beautiful might be made out of this," Hawthorne said, "for the young man went away sorrowful, and is not recorded to have done what he was bidden to do."

One of the most difficult matters he had to manage while in England was the publication of Miss Bacon's singular book on Shakespeare. The poor lady, after he had agreed to see the work through the press, broke off all correspondence with him in a storm of wrath, accusing him of pusillanimity in not avowing full faith in her theory; so that, as he told me, so far as her good-will was concerned, he had not gained much by taking the responsibility of her book upon his shoulders. It was a heavy weight for him to bear in more senses than one, for he paid out of his own pocket the expenses of publication.

I find in his letters constant references to the kindness with which he was treated in London. He spoke of Mrs. S.C. Hall as "one of the best and warmest-hearted women in the world." Leigh Hunt, in his way, pleased and satisfied him more than almost any man he had seen in England. "As for other literary men," he says in one of his letters, "I doubt whether London can muster so good a dinner-party as that which assembles every month at the marble palace in School Street."

All sorts of adventures befell him during his stay in Europe, even to that of having his house robbed, and his causing the thieves to be tried and sentenced to transportation. In the summer-time he travelled about the country in England and pitched his tent wherever fancy prompted. One autumn afternoon in September he writes to me from Leamington:-

"I received your letter only this morning, at this cleanest and prettiest of English towns, where we are going to spend a week or two before taking our departure for Paris. We are acquainted with Leamington already, having resided here two summers ago; and the country round about is unadulterated England, rich in old castles, manor-houses, churches, and thatched cottages, and as green as Paradise itself. I only wish I had a house here, and that you could come and be my guest in it; but I am a poor wayside vagabond, and only find shelter for a night or so, and then trudge onward again. My wife and children and myself are familiar with all kinds of lodgement and modes of living, but we have forgotten what home is,-at least the children have, poor things! I doubt whether they will ever feel inclined to live long in one place. The worst of it is, I have outgrown my house in Concord, and feel no inclination to return to it.

"We spent seven weeks in Manchester, and went most diligently to the Art Exhibition; and I really begin to be sensible of the rudiments of a taste in pictures."

It was during one of his rambles with Alexander Ireland through the Manchester Exhibition rooms that Hawthorne saw Tennyson wandering about. I have always thought it unfortunate that these two men of genius could not have been introduced on that occasion. Hawthorne was too shy to seek an introduction, and Tennyson was not aware that the American author was present. Hawthorne records in his journal that he gazed at Tennyson with all his eyes, "and rejoiced more in him than in all the other wonders of the Exhibition." When I afterwards told Tennyson that the author whose "Twice-Told Tales" he happened to be then reading at Farringford had met him at Manchester, but did not make himself known, the Laureate said in his frank and hearty manner: "Why didn't he come up and let me shake hands with him? I am sure I should have been glad to meet a man like Hawthorne anywhere."

At the close of 1857 Hawthorne writes to me that he hears nothing of the appointment of his successor in the consulate, since he had sent in his resignation. "Somebody may turn up any day," he says, "with a new commission in his pocket." He was meanwhile getting ready for Italy, and he writes, "I expect shortly to be released from durance."

In his last letter before leaving England for the Continent he says:-

"I made up a huge package the other day, consisting of seven closely written volumes of journal, kept by me since my arrival in England, and filled with sketches of places and men and manners, many of which would doubtless be very delightful to the public. I think I shall seal them up, with directions in my will to have them opened and published a century hence; and your firm shall have the refusal of them then.

"Remember me to everybody, for I love all my friends at least as well as ever."

Released from the cares of office, and having nothing to distract his attention, his life on the Continent opened full of delightful excitement. His pecuniary situation was such as to enable him to live very comfortably in a country where, at that time, prices were moderate.

In a letter dated from a villa near Florence on the 3d of September, 1858, he thus describes in a charming manner his way of life in Italy:-

"I am afraid I have stayed away too long, and am forgotten by everybody. You have piled up the dusty remnants of my editions, I suppose, in that chamber over the shop, where you once took me to smoke a cigar, and have crossed my name out of your list of authors, without so much as asking whether I am dead or alive. But I like it well enough, nevertheless. It is pleasant to feel at last that I am really away from America,-a satisfaction that I never enjoyed as long as I stayed in Liverpool, where it seemed to me that the quintessence of nasal and hand-shaking Yankeedom was continually filtered and sublimated through my consulate, on the way outward and homeward. I first got acquainted with my own countrymen there. At Rome, too, it was not much better. But here in Florence, and in the summer-time, and in this secluded villa, I have escaped out of all my old tracks, and am really remote.

"I like my present residence immensely. The house stands on a hill, overlooking Florence, and is big enough to quarter a regiment; insomuch that each member of the family, including servants, has a separate suite of apartments, and there are vast wildernesses of upper rooms into which we have never yet sent exploring expeditions.

"At one end of the house there is a moss-grown tower, haunted by owls and by the ghost of a monk, who was confined there in the thirteenth century, previous to being burned at the stake in the principal square of Florence. I hire this villa, tower and all, at twenty-eight dollars a month; but I mean to take it away bodily and clap it into a romance, which I have in my head ready to be written out.

"Speaking of romances, I have planned two, one or both of which I could have ready for the press in a few months if I were either in England or America. But I find this Italian atmosphere not favorable to the close toil of composition, although it is a very good air to dream in. I must breathe the fogs of old England or the east-winds of Massachusetts, in order to put me into working trim. Nevertheless, I shall endeavor to be busy during the coming winter at Rome, but there will be so much to distract my thoughts that I have little hope of seriously accomplishing anything. It is a pity; for I have really a plethora of ideas, and should feel relieved by discharging some of them upon the public.

"We shall continue here till the end of this month, and shall then return to Rome, where I have already taken a house for six months. In the middle of April we intend to start for home by the way of Geneva and Paris; and, after spending a few weeks in England, shall embark for Boston in July or the beginning of August. After so long an absence (more than five years already, which will be six before you see me at the old Corner), it is not altogether delightful to think of returning. Everybody will be changed, and I myself, no doubt, as much as anybody. Ticknor and you, I suppose, were both upset in the late religious earthquake, and when I inquire for you the clerks will direct me to the 'Business Men's Conference.' It won't do. I shall be forced to come back again and take refuge in a London lodging. London is like the grave in one respect,-any man can make himself at home there; and whenever a man finds himself homeless elsewhere, he had better either die or go to London.

"Speaking of the grave reminds me of old age and other disagreeable matters; and I would remark that one grows old in Italy twice or three times as fast as in other countries. I have three gray hairs now for one that I brought from England, and I shall look venerable indeed by next summer, when I return.

"Remember me affectionately to all my friends. Whoever has a kindness for me may be assured that I have twice as much for him."

Hawthorne's second visit to Rome, in the winter of 1859, was not a fortunate one. His own health was excellent during his sojourn there, but several members of his family fell ill, and he became very nervous and longed to get away. In one of his letters he says:-

"I bitterly detest Rome, and shall rejoice to bid it farewell forever; and I fully acquiesce in all the mischief and ruin that has happened to it, from Nero's conflagration downward. In fact, I wish the very site had been obliterated before I ever saw it."

He found solace, however, during the series of domestic troubles (continued illness in his family) that befell, in writing memoranda for "The Marble Faun." He thus announces to me the beginning of the new romance:-

"I take some credit to myself for having sternly shut myself up for an hour or two almost every day, and come to close grips with a romance which I have been trying to tear out of my mind. As for my success, I can't say much; indeed, I don't know what to say at all. I only know that I have produced what seems to be a larger amount of scribble than either of my former romances, and that portions of it interested me a good deal while I was writing them; but I have had so many interruptions, from things to see and things to suffer, that the story has developed itself in a very imperfect way, and will have to be revised hereafter. I could finish it for the press in the time that I am to remain here (till the 15th of April), but my brain is tired of it just now; and, besides, there are many objects that I shall regret not seeing hereafter, though I care very little about seeing them now; so I shall throw aside the romance, and take it up again next August at The Wayside."

He decided to be back in England early in the summer, and to sail for home in July. He writes to me from Rome:-

"I shall go home, I fear, with a heavy heart, not expecting to be very well contented there.... If I were but a hundred times richer than I am, how very comfortable I could be! I consider it a great piece of good fortune that I have had experience of the discomforts and miseries of Italy, and did not go directly home from England. Anything will seem like Paradise after a Roman winter.

"If I had but a house fit to live in, I should be greatly more reconciled to coming home; but I am really at a loss to imagine how we are to squeeze ourselves into that littl

e old cottage of mine. We had outgrown it before we came away, and most of us are twice as big now as we were then.

"I have an attachment to the place, and should be sorry to give it up; but I shall half ruin myself if I try to enlarge the house, and quite if I build another. So what is to be done? Pray have some plan for me before I get back; not that I think you can possibly hit on anything that will suit me.... I shall return by way of Venice and Geneva, spend two or three weeks or more in Paris, and sail for home, as I said, in July. It would be an exceeding delight to me to meet you or Ticknor in England, or anywhere else. At any rate, it will cheer my heart to see you all and the old Corner itself, when I touch my dear native soil again."

I went abroad again in 1859, and found Hawthorne back in England, working away diligently at "The Marble Faun." While travelling on the Continent, during the autumn I had constant letters from him, giving accounts of his progress on the new romance. He says: "I get along more slowly than I expected.... If I mistake not, it will have some good chapters." Writing on the 10th of October he tells me:-

"The romance is almost finished, a great heap of manuscript being already accumulated, and only a few concluding chapters remaining behind. If hard pushed, I could have it ready for the press in a fortnight; but unless the publishers [Smith and Elder were to bring out the work in England] are in a hurry, I shall be somewhat longer about it. I have found far more work to do upon it than I anticipated. To confess the truth, I admire it exceedingly at intervals, but am liable to cold fits, during which I think it the most infernal nonsense. You ask for the title. I have not yet fixed upon one, but here are some that have occurred to me; neither of them exactly meets my idea: 'Monte Beni; or, The Faun. A Romance.' 'The Romance of a Faun.' 'The Faun of Monte Beni.' 'Monte Beni: a Romance.' 'Miriam: a Romance.' 'Hilda: a Romance.' 'Donatello: a Romance.' 'The Faun: a Romance.' 'Marble and Man: a Romance.' When you have read the work (which I especially wish you to do before it goes to press), you will be able to select one of them, or imagine something better. There is an objection in my mind to an Italian name, though perhaps Monte Beni might do. Neither do I wish, if I can help it, to make the fantastic aspect of the book too prominent by putting the Faun into the title-page."

Hawthorne wrote so intensely on his new story, that he was quite worn down before he finished it. To recruit his strength he went to Redcar, where the bracing air of the German Ocean soon counteracted the ill effect of overwork. "The Marble Faun" was in the London printing-office in November, and he seemed very glad to have it off his hands. His letters to me at this time (I was still on the Continent) were jubilant with hope. He was living in Leamington, and was constantly writing to me that I should find the next two months more comfortable in England than anywhere else. On the 17th he writes:-

"The Italian spring commences in February, which is certainly an advantage, especially as from February to May is the most disagreeable portion of the English year. But it is always summer by a bright coal-fire. We find nothing to complain of in the climate of Leamington. To be sure, we cannot always see our hands before us for fog; but I like fog, and do not care about seeing my hand before me. We have thought of staying here till after Christmas and then going somewhere else,-perhaps to Bath, perhaps to Devonshire. But all this is uncertain. Leamington is not so desirable a residence in winter as in summer; its great charm consisting in the many delightful walks and drives, and in its neighborhood to interesting places. I have quite finished the book (some time ago) and have sent it to Smith and Elder, who tell me it is in the printer's hands, but I have received no proof-sheets. They wrote to request another title instead of the 'Romance of Monte Beni,' and I sent them their choice of a dozen. I don't know what they have chosen; neither do I understand their objection to the above. Perhaps they don't like the book at all; but I shall not trouble myself about that, as long as they publish it and pay me my £600. For my part, I think it much my best romance; but I can see some points where it is open to assault. If it could have appeared first in America, it would have been a safe thing....

"I mean to spend the rest of my abode in England in blessed idleness: and as for my journal, in the first place I have not got it here; secondly, there is nothing in it that will do to publish."

* * *

Hawthorne was, indeed, a consummate artist, and I do not remember a single slovenly passage in all his acknowledged writings. It was a privilege, and one that I can never sufficiently estimate, to have known him personally through so many years. He was unlike any other author I have met, and there were qualities in his nature so sweet and commendable, that, through all his shy reserve, they sometimes asserted themselves in a marked and conspicuous manner. I have known rude people, who were jostling him in a crowd, give way at the sound of his low and almost irresolute voice, so potent was the gentle spell of command that seemed born of his genius.

Although he was apt to keep aloof from his kind, and did not hesitate frequently to announce by his manner that

"Solitude to him

Was blithe society, who filled the air

With gladness and involuntary songs,"

I ever found him, like Milton's Raphael, an "affable" angel, and inclined to converse on whatever was human and good in life.

Here are some more extracts from the letters he wrote to me while he was engaged on "The Marble Faun." On the 11th of February, 1860, he writes from Leamington in England (I was then in Italy):-

"I received your letter from Florence, and conclude that you are now in Rome, and probably enjoying the Carnival,-a tame description of which, by the by, I have introduced into my Romance.

"I thank you most heartily for your kind wishes in favor of the forthcoming work, and sincerely join my own prayers to yours in its behalf, but without much confidence of a good result. My own opinion is, that I am not really a popular writer, and that what popularity I have gained is chiefly accidental, and owing to other causes than my own kind or degree of merit. Possibly I may (or may not) deserve something better than popularity; but looking at all my productions, and especially this latter one, with a cold or critical eye, I can see that they do not make their appeal to the popular mind. It is odd enough, moreover, that my own individual taste is for quite another class of works than those which I myself am able to write. If I were to meet with such books as mine, by another writer, I don't believe I should be able to get through them.

* * *

"To return to my own moonshiny Romance; its fate will soon be settled, for Smith and Elder mean to publish on the 28th of this month. Poor Ticknor will have a tight scratch to get his edition out contemporaneously; they having sent him the third volume only a week ago. I think, however, there will be no danger of piracy in America. Perhaps nobody will think it worth stealing. Give my best regards to William Story, and look well at his Cleopatra, for you will meet her again in one of the chapters which I wrote with most pleasure. If he does not find himself famous henceforth, the fault will be none of mine. I, at least, have done my duty by him, whatever delinquency there may be on the part of other critics.

"Smith and Elder persist in calling the book 'Transformation,' which gives one the idea of Harlequin in a pantomime; but I have strictly enjoined upon Ticknor to call it 'The Marble Faun; a Romance of Monte Beni.'"

In one of his letters written at this period, referring to his design of going home, he says:-

"I shall not have been absent seven years till the 5th of July next, and I scorn to touch Yankee soil sooner than that.... As regards going home I alternate between a longing and a dread."

Returning to London from the Continent, in April, I found this letter, written from Bath, awaiting my arrival:-

"You are welcome back. I really began to fear that you had been assassinated among the Apennines or killed in that outbreak at Rome. I have taken passages for all of us in the steamer which sails the 16th of June. Your berths are Nos. 19 and 20. I engaged them with the understanding that you might go earlier or later, if you chose; but I would advise you to go on the 16th; in the first place, because the state-rooms for our party are the most eligible in the ship; secondly, because we shall otherwise mutually lose the pleasure of each other's company. Besides, I consider it my duty, towards Ticknor and towards Boston, and America at large, to take you into custody and bring you home; for I know you will never come except upon compulsion. Let me know at once whether I am to use force.

"The book (The Marble Faun) has done better than I thought it would; for you will have discovered, by this time, that it is an audacious attempt to impose a tissue of absurdities upon the public by the mere art of style of narrative. I hardly hoped that it would go down with John Bull; but then it is always my best point of writing, to undertake such a task, and I really put what strength I have into many parts of this book.

"The English critics generally (with two or three unimportant exceptions) have been sufficiently favorable, and the review in the Times awarded the highest praise of all. At home, too, the notices have been very kind, so far as they have come under my eye. Lowell had a good one in the Atlantic Monthly, and Hillard an excellent one in the Courier; and yesterday I received a sheet of the May number of the Atlantic containing a really keen and profound article by Whipple, in which he goes over all my works, and recognizes that element of unpopularity which (as nobody knows better than myself) pervades them all. I agree with almost all he says, except that I am conscious of not deserving nearly so much praise. When I get home, I will try to write a more genial book; but the Devil himself always seems to get into my inkstand, and I can only exorcise him by pensful at a time.

"I am coming to London very soon, and mean to spend a fortnight of next month there. I have been quite homesick through this past dreary winter. Did you ever spend a winter in England? If not, reserve your ultimate conclusion about the country until you have done so."

We met in London early in May, and, as our lodgings were not far apart, we were frequently together. I recall many pleasant dinners with him and mutual friends in various charming seaside and country-side places. We used to take a run down to Greenwich or Blackwall once or twice a week, and a trip to Richmond was always grateful to him. Bennoch was constantly planning a day's happiness for his friend, and the hours at that pleasant season of the year were not long enough for our delights. In London we strolled along the Strand, day after day, now diving into Bolt Court, in pursuit of Johnson's whereabouts, and now stumbling around the Temple, where Goldsmith at one time had his quarters. Hawthorne was never weary of standing on London Bridge, and watching the steamers plying up and down the Thames. I was much amused by his manner towards importunate and sometimes impudent beggars, scores of whom would attack us even in the shortest walk. He had a mild way of making a severe and cutting remark, which used to remind me of a little incident which Charlotte Cushman once related to me. She said a man in the gallery of a theatre (I think she was on the stage at the time) made such a disturbance that the play could not proceed. Cries of "Throw him over" arose from all parts of the house, and the noise became furious. All was tumultuous chaos until a sweet and gentle female voice was heard in the pit, exclaiming, "No! I pray you don't throw him over! I beg of you, dear friends, don't throw him over, but-kill him where he is."

One of our most royal times was at a parting dinner at the house of Barry Cornwall. Among the notables present were Kinglake and Leigh Hunt. Our kind-hearted host and his admirable wife greatly delighted in Hawthorne, and they made this occasion a most grateful one to him. I remember when we went up to the drawing-room to join the ladies after dinner, the two dear old poets, Leigh Hunt and Barry Cornwall, mounted the stairs with their arms round each other in a very tender and loving way. Hawthorne often referred to this scene as one he would not have missed for a great deal.

His renewed intercourse with Motley in England gave him peculiar pleasure, and his genius found an ardent admirer in the eminent historian. He did not go much, into society at that time, but there were a few houses in London where he always seemed happy.

I met him one night at a great evening-party, looking on from a nook a little removed from the full glare of the soirée. Soon, however, it was whispered about that the famous American romance-writer was in the room, and an enthusiastic English lady, a genuine admirer and intelligent reader of his books, ran for her album and attacked him for "a few words and his name at the end." He looked dismally perplexed, and turning to me said imploringly in a whisper, "For pity's sake, what shall I write? I can't think of a word to add to my name. Help me to something." Thinking him partly in fun, I said, "Write an original couplet,-this one, for instance,-

'When this you see,

Remember me,'"

and to my amazement he stepped forward at once to the table, wrote the foolish lines I had suggested, and, shutting the book, handed it very contentedly to the happy lady.

We sailed from England together in the month of June, as we had previously arranged, and our voyage home was, to say the least, an unusual one. We had calm summer, moonlight weather, with no storms. Mrs. Stowe was on board, and in her own cheery and delightful way she enlivened the passage with some capital stories of her early life.

When we arrived at Queenstown, the captain announced to us that, as the ship would wait there six hours, we might go ashore and see something of our Irish friends. So we chartered several jaunting-cars, after much tribulation and delay in arranging terms with the drivers thereof, and started off on a merry exploring expedition. I remember there was a good deal of racing up and down the hills of Queenstown, much shouting and laughing, and crowds of beggars howling after us for pence and beer. The Irish jaunting-car is a peculiar institution, and we all sat with our legs dangling over the road in a "dim and perilous way." Occasionally a horse would give out, for the animals were sad specimens, poorly fed and wofully driven. We were almost devoured by the ragamuffins that ran beside our wheels, and I remember the "sad civility" with which Hawthorne regarded their clamors. We had provided ourselves before starting with much small coin, which, however, gave out during our first mile. Hawthorne attempted to explain our inability further to supply their demands, having, as he said to them, nothing less than a sovereign in his pocket, when a voice from the crowd shouted, "Bedad, your honor, I can change that for ye"; and the knave actually did it on the spot.

Hawthorne's love for the sea amounted to a passionate worship; and while I (the worst sailor probably on this planet) was longing, spite of the good company on board, to reach land as soon as possible, Hawthorne was constantly saying in his quiet, earnest way, "I should like to sail on and on forever, and never touch the shore again." He liked to stand alone in the bows of the ship and see the sun go down, and he was never tired of walking the deck at midnight. I used to watch his dark, solitary figure under the stars, pacing up and down some unfrequented part of the vessel, musing and half melancholy. Sometimes he would lie down beside me and commiserate my unquiet condition. Seasickness, he declared, he could not understand, and was constantly recommending most extraordinary dishes and drinks, "all made out of the artist's brain," which he said were sovereign remedies for nautical illness. I remember to this day some of the preparations which, in his revelry of fancy, he would advise me to take, a farrago of good things almost rivalling "Oberon's Feast," spread out so daintily in Herrick's "Hesperides." He thought, at first, if I could bear a few roc's eggs beaten up by a mermaid on a dolphin's back, I might be benefited. He decided that a gruel made from a sheaf of Robin Hood's arrows would be strengthening. When suffering pain, "a right gude willie-waught," or a stiff cup of hemlock of the Socrates brand, before retiring, he considered very good. He said he had heard recommended a dose of salts distilled from the tears of Niobe, but he didn't approve of that remedy. He observed that he had a high opinion of hearty food, such as potted owl with Minerva sauce, airy tongues of sirens, stewed ibis, livers of Roman Capitol geese, the wings of a Phoenix not too much done, love-lorn nightingales cooked briskly over Aladdin's lamp, chicken-pies made of fowls raised by Mrs. Carey, Nautilus chowder, and the like. Fruit, by all means, should always be taken by an uneasy victim at sea, especially Atalanta pippins and purple grapes raised by Bacchus & Co. Examining my garments one day as I lay on deck, he thought I was not warmly enough clad, and he recommended, before I took another voyage, that I should fit myself out in Liverpool with a good warm shirt from the shop of Nessus & Co. in Bold Street, where I could also find stout seven-league boots to keep out the damp. He knew another shop, he said, where I could buy raven-down stockings, and sable clouds with a silver lining, most warm and comfortable for a sea voyage.

His own appetite was excellent, and day after day he used to come on deck after dinner and describe to me what he had eaten. Of course his accounts were always exaggerations, for my amusement. I remember one night he gave me a running catalogue of what food he had partaken during the day, and the sum total was convulsing from its absurdity. Among the viands he had consumed, I remember he stated there were "several yards of steak," and a "whole warrenful of Welsh rabbits." The "divine spirit of Humor" was upon him during many of those days at sea, and he revelled in it like a careless child.

That was a voyage, indeed, long to be remembered, and I shall ever look back upon it as the most satisfactory "sea turn" I ever happened to experience. I have sailed many a weary, watery mile since then, but Hawthorne was not on board!

The summer after his arrival home he spent quietly in Concord, at the Wayside, and illness in his family made him at times unusually sad. In one of his notes to me he says:-

"I am continually reminded nowadays of a response which I once heard a drunken sailor make to a pious gentleman, who asked him how he felt, 'Pretty d-d miserable, thank God!' It very well expresses my thorough discomfort and forced acquiescence."

Occasionally he wrote requesting me to make a change, here and there, in the new edition of his works then passing through the press. On the 23d of September, 1860, he writes:-

"Please to append the following note to the foot of the page, at the commencement of the story called 'Dr. Heidegger's Experiment,' in the 'Twice-Told Tales': 'In an English Review, not long since, I have been accused of plagiarizing the idea of this story from a chapter in one of the novels of Alexandra Dumas. There has undoubtedly been a plagiarism, on one side or the other; but as my story was written a good deal more than twenty years ago, and as the novel is of considerably more recent date, I take pleasure in thinking that M. Dumas has done me the honor to appropriate one of the fanciful conceptions of my earlier days. He is heartily welcome to it; nor is it the only instance, by many, in which the great French romancer has exercised the privilege of commanding genius by confiscating the intellectual property of less famous people to his own use and behoof.'"

Hawthorne was a diligent reader of the Bible, and when sometimes, in my ignorant way, I would question, in a proof-sheet, his use of a word, he would almost always refer me to the Bible as his authority. It was a great pleasure to hear him talk about the Book of Job, and his voice would be tremulous with feeling, as he sometimes quoted a touching passage from the New Testament. In one of his letters he says to me:-

"Did not I suggest to you, last summer, the publication of the Bible in ten or twelve 12mo volumes? I think it would have great success, and, at least (but, as a publisher, I suppose this is the very smallest of your cares), it would result in the salvation of a great many souls, who will never find their way to heaven, if left to learn it from the inconvenient editions of the Scriptures now in use. It is very singular that this form of publishing the Bible in a single bulky or closely printed volume should be so long continued. It was first adopted, I suppose, as being the universal mode of publication at the time when the Bible was translated. Shakespeare, and the other old dramatists and poets, were first published in the same form; but all of them have long since been broken into dozens and scores of portable and readable volumes; and why not the Bible?"

During this period, after his return from Europe, I saw him frequently at the Wayside, in Concord. He now seemed happy in the dwelling he had put in order for the calm and comfort of his middle and later life. He had added a tower to his house, in which he could be safe from intrusion, and where he could muse and write. Never was poet or romancer more fitly shrined. Drummond at Hawthornden, Scott at Abbotsford, Dickens at Gad's Hill, Irving at Sunnyside, were not more appropriately sheltered. Shut up in his tower, he could escape from the tumult of life, and be alone with only the birds and the bees in concert outside his casement. The view from this apartment, on every side, was lovely, and Hawthorne enjoyed the charming prospect as I have known, few men to enjoy nature.

His favorite walk lay near his house,-indeed it was part of his own grounds,-a little hillside, where he had worn a foot-path, and where he might be found in good weather, when not employed in the tower. While walking to and fro on this bit of rising ground he meditated and composed innumerable romances that were never written, as well as some that were. Here he, first announced to me his plan of "The Dolliver Romance," and, from what he told me of his design of the story as it existed in his mind, I thought it would have been the greatest of his books. An enchanting memory is left of that morning when he laid out the whole story before me as he intended to write it. The plot was a grand one, and I tried to tell him how much I was impressed by it. Very soon after our interview, he wrote to me:-

"In compliance with your exhortations, I have begun to think seriously of that story, not, as yet, with a pen in my hand, but trudging to and fro on my hilltop.... I don't mean to let you see the first chapters till I have written the final sentence of the story. Indeed, the first chapters of a story ought always to be the last written.... If you want me to write a good book, send me a good pen; not a gold one, for they seldom suit me; but a pen flexible and capacious of ink, and that will not grow stiff and rheumatic the moment I get attached to it. I never met with a good pen in my life."

Time went on, the war broke out, and he had not the heart to go on with his new Romance. During the month of April, 1862, he made a visit to Washington with his friend Ticknor, to whom he was greatly attached. While on this visit to the capital he sat to Leutze for a portrait. He took a special fancy to the artist, and, while he was sitting to him, wrote a long letter to me. Here is an extract from it:-

"I stay here only while Leutze finishes a portrait, which I think will be the best ever painted of the same unworthy subject. One charm it must needs have,-an aspect of immortal jollity and well-to-doness; for Leutze, when the sitting begins, gives me a first-rate cigar, and when he sees me getting tired, he brings out a bottle of splendid champagne; and we quaffed and smoked yesterday, in a blessed state of mutual good-will, for three hours and a half, during which the picture made a really miraculous progress. Leutze is the best of fellows."

In the same letter he thus describes the sinking of the Cumberland, and I know of nothing finer in its way:-

"I see in a newspaper that Holmes is going to write a song on the sinking of the Cumberland; and feeling it to be a subject of national importance, it occurs to me that he might like to know her present condition. She lies with her three masts sticking up out of the water, and careened over, the water being nearly on a level with her maintop,-I mean that first landing-place from the deck of the vessel, after climbing the shrouds. The rigging does not appear at all damaged. There is a tattered bit of a pennant, about a foot and a half long, fluttering from the tip-top of one of the masts; but the flag, the ensign of the ship (which never was struck, thank God), is under water, so as to be quite invisible, being attached to the gaff, I think they call it, of the mizzen-mast; and though this bald description makes nothing of it, I never saw anything so gloriously forlorn as those three masts. I did not think it was in me to be so moved by any spectacle of the kind. Bodies still occasionally float up from it. The Secretary of the Navy says she shall lie there till she goes to pieces, but I suppose by and by they will sell her to some Yankee for the value of her old iron.

"P.S. My hair really is not so white as this photograph, which I enclose, makes me. The sun seems to take an infernal pleasure in making me venerable,-as if I were as old as himself."

Hawthorne has rested so long in the twilight of impersonality, that I hesitate sometimes to reveal the man even to his warmest admirers. This very day Sainte-Beuve has made me feel a fresh reluctance in unveiling my friend, and there seems almost a reproof in these words, from the eloquent French author:-

"We know nothing or nearly nothing of the life of La Bruyère, and this obscurity adds, it has been remarked, to the effect of his work, and, it may be said, to the piquant happiness of his destiny. If there was not a single line of his unique book, which from the first instant of its publication did not appear and remain in the clear light, so, on the other hand, there was not one individual detail regarding the author which was well known. Every ray of the century fell upon each page of the book and the face of the man who held it open in his hand was veiled from our sight."

Beautifully said, as usual with Sainte-Beuve, but I venture, notwithstanding such eloquent warning, to proceed.

After his return home from Washington Hawthorne sent to me, during the month of May, an article for the Atlantic Monthly, which he entitled "Chiefly about War-Matters." The paper, excellently well done throughout, of course, contained a personal description of President Lincoln, which I thought, considered as a portrait of a living man, and drawn by Hawthorne, it would not be wise or tasteful to print. The office of an editor is a disagreeable one sometimes, and the case of Hawthorne on Lincoln disturbed me not a little. After reading the manuscript, I wrote to the author, and asked his permission to omit his description of the President's personal appearance. As usual,-for he was the kindest and sweetest of contributors, the most good-natured and the most amenable man to advise I ever knew,-he consented to my proposal, and allowed me to print the article with the alterations. If any one will turn to the paper in the Atlantic Monthly (it is in the number for July, 1862), it will be observed there are several notes; all of these were written by Hawthorne himself. He complied with my request without a murmur, but he always thought I was wrong in my decision. He said the whole description of the interview and the President's personal appearance were, to his mind, the only parts of the article worth publishing. "What a terrible thing," he complained, "it is to try to let off a little bit of truth into this miserable humbug of a world!" President Lincoln is dead, and as Hawthorne once wrote to me, "Upon my honor, it seems to me the passage omitted has an historical value," I will copy here verbatim what I advised my friend, both on his own account and the President's, not to print nine years ago. Hawthorne and his party had gone into the President's room, annexed, as he says, as supernumeraries to a deputation from a Massachusetts whip-factory, with a present of a splendid whip to the Chief Magistrate:-

"By and by there was a little stir on the staircase and in the passage way, and in lounged a tall, loose-jointed figure, of an exaggerated Yankee port and demeanor, whom (as being about the homeliest man I ever saw, yet by no means repulsive or disagreeable) it was impossible not to recognize as Uncle Abe.

"Unquestionably, Western man though he be, and Kentuckian by birth, President Lincoln is the essential representative of all Yankees, and the veritable specimen, physically, of what the world seems determined to regard as our characteristic qualities. It is the strangest and yet the fittest thing in the jumble of human vicissitudes, that he, out of so many millions, unlooked for, unselected by any intelligible process that could be based upon his genuine qualities, unknown to those who chose him, and unsuspected of what endowments may adapt him for his tremendous responsibility, should have found the way open for him to fling his lank personality into the chair of state,-where, I presume, it was his first impulse to throw his legs on the council-table, and tell the Cabinet Ministers a story. There is no describing his lengthy awkwardness, nor the uncouthness of his movement; and yet it seemed as if I had been in the habit of seeing him daily, and had shaken hands with him a thousand times in some village street; so true was he to the aspect of the pattern American, though with a certain extravagance which, possibly, I exaggerated still further by the delighted eagerness with which I took it in. If put to guess his calling and livelihood, I should have taken him for a country schoolmaster as soon as anything else. He was dressed in a rusty black frock-coat and pantaloons, unbrushed, and worn so faithfully that the suit had adapted itself to the curves and angularities of his figure, and had grown to be an outer skin of the man. He had shabby slippers on his feet. His hair was black, still unmixed with gray, stiff, somewhat bushy, and had apparently been acquainted with neither brush nor comb that morning, after the disarrangement of the pillow; and as to a nightcap, Uncle Abe probably knows nothing of such effeminacies. His complexion is dark and sallow, betokening, I fear, an insalubrious atmosphere around the White House; he has thick black eyebrows and an impending brow; his nose is large, and the lines about his mouth are very strongly defined.

"The whole physiognomy is as coarse a one as you would meet anywhere in the length and breadth of the States; but, withal, it is redeemed, illuminated, softened, and brightened by a kindly though serious look out of his eyes, and an expression of homely sagacity, that seems weighted with rich results of village experience. A great deal of native sense; no bookish cultivation, no refinement; honest at heart, and thoroughly so, and yet, in some sort, sly,-at least, endowed with a sort of tact and wisdom that are akin to craft, and would impel him, I think, to take an antagonist in flank, rather than to make a bull-run at him right in front. But, on the whole, I liked this sallow, queer, sagacious visage, with the homely human sympathies that warmed it; and, for my small share in the matter, would as lief have Uncle Abe for a ruler as any man whom it would have been practicable to put in his place.

"Immediately on his entrance the President accosted our member of Congress, who had us in charge, and, with a comical twist of his face, made some jocular remark about the length of his breakfast. He then greeted us all round, not waiting for an introduction, but shaking and squeezing everybody's hand with the utmost cordiality, whether the individual's name was announced to him or not. His manner towards us was wholly without pretence, but yet had a kind of natural dignity, quite sufficient to keep the forwardest of us from clapping him on the shoulder and asking for a story. A mutual acquaintance being established, our leader took the whip out of its case, and began to read the address of presentation. The whip was an exceedingly long one, its handle wrought in ivory (by some artist in the Massachusetts State Prison, I believe), and ornamented with a medallion of the President, and other equally beautiful devices; and along its whole length there was a succession of golden bands and ferrules. The address was shorter than the whip, but equally well made, consisting chiefly of an explanatory description of these artistic designs, and closing with a hint that the gift was a suggestive and emblematic one, and that the President would recognize the use to which such an instrument should be put.

"This suggestion gave Uncle Abe rather a delicate task in his reply, because, slight as the matter seemed, it apparently called for some declaration, or intimation, or faint foreshadowing of policy in reference to the conduct of the war, and the final treatment of the Rebels. But the President's Yankee aptness and not-to-be-caughtness stood him in good stead, and he jerked or wiggled himself out of the dilemma with an uncouth dexterity that was entirely in character; although, without his gesticulation of eye and mouth,-and especially the flourish of the whip, with which he imagined himself touching up a pair of fat horses,-I doubt whether his words would be worth recording, even if I could remember them. The gist of the reply was, that he accepted the whip as an emblem of peace, not punishment; and, this great affair over, we retired out of the presence in high good-humor, only regretting that we could not have seen the President sit down and fold up his legs (which is said to be a most extraordinary spectacle), or have heard him tell one of those delectable stories for which he is so celebrated. A good many of them are afloat upon the common talk of Washington, and are certainly the aptest, pithiest, and funniest little things imaginable; though, to be sure, they smack of the frontier freedom, and would not always bear repetition in a drawing-room, or on the immaculate page of the Atlantic."

So runs the passage which caused some good-natured discussion nine years ago, between the contributor and the editor. Perhaps I was squeamish not to have been, willing to print this matter at that time. Some persons, no doubt, will adopt that opinion, but as both President and author have long ago met on the other side of criticism and magazines, we will leave the subject to their decision, they being most interested in the transaction. I did what seemed best in 1862. In 1871 "circumstances have changed" with both parties, and I venture to-day what I hardly dared then.

* * *

Whenever I look at Hawthorne's portrait, and that is pretty often, some new trait or anecdote or reminiscence comes up and clamors to be made known to those who feel an interest in it. But time and eternity call loudly for mortal gossip to be brief, and I must hasten to my last session over that child of genius, who first saw the light on the 4th of July, 1804.

One of his favorite books was Lockhart's Life of Sir Walter Scott, and in 1862 I dedicated to him the Household Edition of that work. When he received the first volume, he wrote to me a letter of which I am so proud that I keep it among my best treasures.

"I am exceedingly gratified by the dedication. I do not deserve so high an honor; but if you think me worthy, it is enough to make the compliment in the highest degree acceptable, no matter who may dispute my title to it. I care more for your good opinion than for that of a host of critics, and have an excellent reason for so doing; inasmuch as my literary success, whatever it has been or may be, is the result of my connection with you. Somehow or other you smote the rock of public sympathy on my behalf, and a stream gushed forth in sufficient quantity to quench my thirst though not to drown me. I think no author can ever have had publisher that he valued so much as I do mine."

He began in 1862 to send me some articles from his English Journal for the Atlantic magazine, which he afterwards collected into a volume and called "Our Old Home." On forwarding one for December of that year he says:-

"I hope you will like it, for the subject seemed interesting to me when I was on the spot, but I always feel a singular despondency and heaviness of heart in reopening those old journals now. However, if I can make readable sketches out of them, it is no matter."

In the same letter he tells me he has been re-reading Scott's Life, and he suggests some additions to the concluding volume. He says:-

"If the last volume is not already printed and stereotyped, I think you ought to insert in it an explanation of all that is left mysterious in the former volumes,-the name and family of the lady he was in love with, etc. It is desirable, too, to know what have been the fortunes and final catastrophes of his family and intimate friends since his death, down to as recent a period as the death of Lockhart. All such matter would make your edition more valuable; and I see no reason why you should be bound by the deference to living connections of the family that may prevent the English publishers from inserting these particulars. We stand in the light of posterity to them, and have the privileges of posterity.... I should be glad to know something of the personal character and life of his eldest son, and whether (as I have heard) he was ashamed of his father for being a literary man. In short, fifty pages devoted to such elucidation would make the edition unique. Do come and see us before the leaves fall."

While he was engaged in copying out and rewriting his papers on England for the magazine he was despondent about their reception by the public. Speaking of them, one day, to me, he said: "We must remember that there is a good deal of intellectual ice mingled with this wine of memory." He was sometimes so dispirited during the war that he was obliged to postpone his contributions for sheer lack of spirit to go on. Near the close of the year 1862 he writes:-

"I am delighted at what you tell me about the kind appreciation of my articles, for I feel rather gloomy about them myself. I am really much encouraged by what you say; not but what I am sensible that you mollify me with a good deal of soft soap, but it is skilfully applied and effects all you intend it should.... I cannot come to Boston to spend more than a day, just at present. It would suit me better to come for a visit when the spring of next year is a little advanced, and if you renew your hospitable proposition then, I shall probably be glad to accept it; though I have now been a hermit so long, that the thought affects me somewhat as it would to invite a lobster or a crab to step out of his shell."

He continued, during the early months of 1863, to send now and then an article for the magazine from his English Note-Books. On the 22d of February he writes:-

"Here is another article. I wish it would not be so wretchedly long, but there are many things which I shall find no opportunity to say unless I say them now; so the article grows under my hand, and one part of it seems just about as well worth printing as another. Heaven sees fit to visit me with an unshakable conviction that all this series of articles is good for nothing; but that is none of my business, provided the public and you are of a different opinion. If you think any part of it can be left out with advantage, you are quite at liberty to do so. Probably I have not put Leigh Hunt quite high enough for your sentiments respecting him; but no more genuine characterization and criticism (so far as the writer's purpose to be true goes) was ever done. It is very slight. I might have made more of it, but should not have improved it.

"I mean to write two more of these articles, and then hold my hand. I intend to come to Boston before the end of this week, if the weather is good. It must be nearly or quite six months since I was there! I wonder how many people there are in the world who would keep their nerves in tolerably good order through such a length of nearly solitary imprisonment?"

I advised him to begin to put the series in order for a volume, and to preface the book with his "Consular Experiences." On the 18th of April he writes:-

"I don't think the public will bear any more of this sort of thing.... I had a letter from --, the other day, in which he sends me the enclosed verses, and I think he would like to have them published in the Atlantic. Do it if you like, I pretend to no judgment in poetry. He also sent this epithalamium by Mrs. --, and I doubt not the good lady will be pleased to see it copied into one of our American newspapers with a few laudatory remarks. Can't you do it in the Transcript, and send her a copy? You cannot imagine how a little praise jollifies us poor authors to the marrow of our bones. Consider, if you had not been a publisher, you would certainly have been one of our wretched tribe, and therefore ought to have a fellow-feeling for us. Let Michael Angelo write the remarks, if you have not the time."

("Michael Angelo" was a clever little Irish-boy who had the care of my room. Hawthorne conceived a fancy for the lad, and liked to hear stories of his smart replies to persistent authors who called during my absence with unpromising-looking manuscripts.) On the 30th of April he writes:-

"I send the article with which the volume is to commence, and you can begin printing it whenever you like. I can think of no better title than this, 'Our Old Home; a Series of English Sketches, by,' etc. I submit to your judgment whether it would not be well to print these 'Consular Experiences' in the volume without depriving them of any freshness they may have by previous publication in the magazine?

"The article has some of the features that attract the curiosity of the foolish public, being made up of personal narrative and gossip, with a few pungencies of personal satire, which will not be the less effective because the reader can scarcely find out who was the individual meant. I am not without hope of drawing down upon myself a good deal of critical severity on this score, and would gladly incur more of it if I could do so without seriously deserving censure.

"The story of the Doctor of Divinity, I think, will prove a good card in this way. It is every bit true (like the other anecdotes), only not told so darkly as it might have been for the reverend gentleman. I do not believe there is any danger of his identity being ascertained, and do not care whether it is or no, as it could only be done by the impertinent researches of other people. It seems to me quite essential to have some novelty in the collected volume, and, if possible, something that may excite a little discussion and remark. But decide for yourself and me; and if you conclude not to publish it in the magazine, I think I can concoct another article in season for the August number, if you wish. After the publication of the volume, it seems to me the public had better have no more of them.

"J-- has been telling us a mythical story of your intending to walk with him from Cambridge to Concord. We should be delighted to see you, though more for our own sakes than yours, for our aspect here is still a little winterish. When you come, let it be on Saturday, and stay till Monday. I am hungry to talk with you."

I was enchanted, of course, with the "Consular Experiences," and find from his letters, written at that time, that he was made specially happy by the encomiums I could not help sending upon that inimitable sketch. When the "Old Home" was nearly all in type, he began to think about a dedication to the book. On the 3d of May he writes:-

"I am of three minds about dedicating the volume. First, it seems due to Frank Pierce (as he put me into the position where I made all those profound observations of English scenery, life, and character) to inscribe it to him with a few pages of friendly and explanatory talk, which also would be very gratifying to my own lifelong affection for him.

"Secondly, I want to say something to Bennoch to show him that I am thoroughly mindful of all his hospitality and kindness; and I suppose he might be pleased to see his name at the head of a book of mine.

"Thirdly, I am not convinced that it is worth while to inscribe it to anybody. We will see hereafter."

The book moved on slowly through the press, and he seemed more than commonly nervous about the proof-sheets. On the 28th of May he says in a note to me:-

"In a proof-sheet of 'Our Old Home' which I sent you to-day (page 43, or 4, or 5 or thereabout) I corrected a line thus, 'possessing a happy faculty of seeing my own interest.' Now as the public interest was my sole and individual object while I held office, I think that as a matter of scanty justice to myself, the line ought to stand thus, 'possessing a happy faculty of seeing my own interest and the public's.' Even then, you see, I only give myself credit for half the disinterestedness I really felt. Pray, by all means, have it altered as above, even if the page is stereotyped; which it can't have been, as the proof is now in the Concord post-office, and you will have it at the same time with this.

"We are getting into full leaf here, and your walk with J--might come off any time."

An arrangement was made with the liberal house of Smith and Elder, of London, to bring out "Our Old Home" on the same day of its publication in Boston. On the 1st of July Hawthorne wrote to me from the Wayside as follows:-

"I am delighted with Smith and Elder, or rather with you; for it is you that squeeze the English sovereigns out of the poor devils. On my own behalf I never could have thought of asking more than £50, and should hardly have expected to get £10; I look upon the £180 as the only trustworthy funds I have, our own money being of such a gaseous consistency. By the time I can draw for it, I expect it will be worth at least fifteen hundred dollars.

"I shall think over the prefatory matter for 'Our Old Home' to-day, and will write it to-morrow. It requires some little thought and policy in order to say nothing amiss at this time; for I intend to dedicate the book to Frank Pierce, come what may. It shall reach you on Friday morning.

"We find -- a comfortable and desirable guest to have in the house. My wife likes her hugely, and for my part, I had no idea that there was such a sensible woman of letters in the world. She is just as healthy-minded as if she had never touched a pen. I am glad she had a pleasant time, and hope she will come back.

"I mean to come to Boston whenever I can be sure of a cool day.

"What a prodigious length of time you stayed among the mountains!

"You ought not to assume such liberties of absence without the consent of your friends, which I hardly think you would get. I, at least, want you always within attainable distance, even though I never see you. Why can't you come and stay a day or two with us, and drink some spruce beer?"

Those were troublous days, full of war gloom and general despondency. The North was naturally suspicious of all public men, who did not bear a conspicuous part in helping to put down the Rebellion. General Pierce had been President of the United States, and was not identified, to say the least, with the great party which favored the vigorous prosecution of the war. Hawthorne proposed to dedicate his new book to a very dear friend, indeed, but in doing so he would draw public attention in a marked way to an unpopular name. Several of Hawthorne's friends, on learning that he intended to inscribe his book to Franklin Pierce, came to me and begged that I would, if possible, help Hawthorne to see that he ought not to do anything to jeopardize the currency of his new volume. Accordingly I wrote to him, just what many of his friends had said to me, and this is his reply to my letter, which bears date the 18th of July, 1863:-

"I thank you for your note of the 15th instant, and have delayed my reply thus long in order to ponder deeply on your advice, smoke cigars over it, and see what it might be possible for me to do towards taking it. I find that it would be a piece of poltroonery in me to withdraw either the dedication or the dedicatory letter. My long and intimate personal relations with Pierce render the dedication altogether proper, especially as regards this book, which would have had no existence without his kindness; and if he is so exceedingly unpopular that his name is enough to sink the volume, there is so much the more need that an old friend should stand by him. I cannot, merely on account of pecuniary profit or literary reputation, go back from what I have deliberately felt and thought it right to do; and if I were to tear out the dedication, I should never look at the volume again without remorse and shame. As for the literary public, it must accept my book precisely as I think fit to give it, or let it alone.

"Nevertheless, I have no fancy for making myself a martyr when it is honorably and conscientiously possible to avoid it; and I always measure out my heroism very accurately according to the exigencies of the occasion, and should be the last man in the world to throw away a bit of it needlessly. So I have looked over the concluding paragraph and have amended it in such a way that, while doing what I know to be justice to my friend, it contains not a word that ought to be objectionable to any set of readers. If the public of the North see fit to ostracize me for this, I can only say that I would gladly sacrifice a thousand or two of dollars rather than retain the good-will of such a herd of dolts and mean-spirited scoundrels. I enclose the rewritten paragraph, and shall wish to see a proof of that and the whole dedication.

"I had a call from an Englishman yesterday, and kept him to dinner; not the threatened --, but a Mr. --, introduced by --. He says he knows you, and he seems to be a very good fellow. I have strong hopes that he will never come back here again, for J-- took him on a walk of several miles, whereby they both caught a most tremendous ducking, and the poor Englishman was frightened half to death by the thunder.... On the other page is the list of presentation people, and it amounts to twenty-four, which your liberality and kindness allow me. As likely as not I have forgotten two or three, and I held my pen suspended over one or two of the names, doubting whether they deserved of me so especial a favor as a portion of my heart and brain. I have few friends. Some authors, I should think, would require half the edition for private distribution."

"Our Old Home" was published in the autumn of 1863, and although it was everywhere welcomed, in England the strictures were applied with a liberal hand. On the 18th of October he writes to me:-

"You sent me the 'Reader' with a notice of the book, and I have received one or two others, one of them from Bennoch. The English critics seem to think me very bitter against their countrymen, and it is, perhaps, natural that they should, because their self-conceit can accept nothing short of indiscriminate adulation; but I really think that Americans have more cause than they to complain of me. Looking over the volume, I am rather surprised to find that whenever I draw a comparison between the two people, I almost invariably cast the balance against ourselves. It is not a good nor a weighty book, nor does it deserve any great amount either of praise or censure. I don't care about seeing any more notices of it."

Meantime the "Dolliver Romance," which had been laid aside on account of the exciting scenes through which we were then passing, and which unfitted him for the composition of a work of the imagination, made little progress. In a note written to me at this time he says:-

"I can't tell you when to expect an instalment of the Romance, if ever. There is something preternatural in my reluctance to begin. I linger at the threshold, and have a perception of very disagreeable phantasms to be encountered if I enter. I wish God had given me the faculty of writing a sunshiny book."

I invited him to come to Boston and have a cheerful week among his old friends, and threw in as an inducement a hint that he should hear the great organ in the Music Hall. I also suggested that we could talk over the new Romance together, if he would gladden us all by coming to the city. Instead of coming, he sent this reply:-

"I thank you for your kind invitation to hear the grand instrument; but it offers me no inducement additional to what I should always have for a visit to your abode. I have no ear for an organ or a jewsharp, nor for any instrument between the two; so you had better invite a worthier guest, and I will come another time.

"I don't see much probability of my having the first chapter of the Romance ready so soon as you want it. There are two or three chapters ready to be written, but I am not yet robust enough to begin, and I feel as if I should never carry it through.

"Besides, I want to prefix a little sketch of Thoreau to it, because, from a tradition which he told me about this house of mine, I got the idea of a deathless man, which is now taking a shape very different from the original one. It seems the duty of a live literary man to perpetuate the memory of a dead one, when there is such fair opportunity as in this case: but how Thoreau would scorn me for thinking that I could perpetuate him! And I don't think so.

"I can think of no title for the unborn Romance. Always heretofore I have waited till it was quite complete before attempting to name it, and I fear I shall have to do so now. I wish you or Mrs. Fields would suggest one. Perhaps you may snatch a title out of the infinite void that will miraculously suit the book, and give me a needful impetus to write it.

"I want a great deal of money..... I wonder how people manage to live economically. I seem to spend little or nothing, and yet it will get very far beyond the second thousand, for the present year.... If it were not for these troublesome necessities, I doubt whether you would ever see so much as the first chapter of the new Romance.

"Those verses entitled 'Weariness,' in the last magazine, seem to me profoundly touching. I too am weary, and begin to look ahead for the Wayside Inn."

I had frequent accounts of his ill health and changed appearance, but I supposed he would rally again soon, and become hale and strong before the winter fairly set in. But the shadows even then were about his pathway, and Allan Cunningham's lines, which he once quoted to me, must often have occurred to him,-

"Cauld's the snaw at my head,

And cauld at my feet,

And the finger o' death's at my een,

Closing them to sleep."

We had arranged together that the "Dolliver Romance" should be first published in the magazine, in monthly instalments, and we decided to begin in the January number of 1864. On the 8th of November came a long letter from him:-

"I foresee that there is little probability of my getting the first chapter ready by the 15th, although I have a resolute purpose to write it by the end of the month. It will be in time for the February number, if it turns out fit for publication at all. As to the title, we must defer settling that till the book is fully written, and meanwhile I see nothing better than to call the series of articles 'Fragments of a Romance.' This will leave me to exercise greater freedom as to the mechanism of the story than I otherwise can, and without which I shall probably get entangled in my own plot. When the work is completed in the magazine, I can fill up the gaps and make straight the crookednesses, and christen it with a fresh title. In this untried experiment of a serial work I desire not to pledge myself, or promise the public more than I may confidently expect to achieve. As regards the sketch of Thoreau, I am not ready to write it yet, but will mix him up with the life of The Wayside, and produce an autobiographical preface for the finished Romance. If the public like that sort of stuff, I too find it pleasant and easy writing, and can supply a new chapter of it for every new volume, and that, moreover, without infringing upon my proper privacy. An old Quaker wrote me, the other day, that he had been reading my Introduction to the 'Mosses' and the 'Scarlet Letter,' and felt as if he knew me better than his best friend; but I think he considerably overestimates the extent of his intimacy with me.

"I received several private letters and printed notices of 'Our Old Home' from England. It is laughable to see the innocent wonder with which they regard my criticisms, accounting for them by jaundice, insanity, jealousy, hatred, on my part, and never admitting the least suspicion that there may be a particle of truth in them. The monstrosity of their self-conceit is such that anything short of unlimited admiration impresses them as malicious caricature. But they do me great injustice in supposing that I hate them. I would as soon hate my own people.

"Tell Ticknor that I want a hundred dollars more, and I suppose I shall keep on wanting more and more till the end of my days. If I subside into the almshouse before my intellectual faculties are quite extinguished, it strikes me that I would make a very pretty book out of it; and, seriously, if I alone were concerned, I should not have any great objection to winding up there."

On the 14th of November came a pleasant little note from him, which seemed to have been written in better spirits than he had shown of late. Photographs of himself always amused him greatly, and in the little note I refer to there is this pleasant passage:-

"Here is the photograph,-a grandfatherly old figure enough; and I suppose that is the reason why you select it.

"I am much in want of cartes de visite to distribute on my own account, and am tired and disgusted with all the undesirable likenesses as yet presented of me. Don't you think I might sell my head to some photographer who would be willing to return me the value in small change; that is to say, in a dozen or two of cards?"

The first part of Chapter I. of "The Dolliver Romance" came to me from the Wayside on the 1st of December. Hawthorne was very anxious to see it in type as soon as possible, in order that he might compose the rest in a similar strain, and so conclude the preliminary phase of Dr. Dolliver. He was constantly imploring me to send him a good pen, complaining all the while that everything had failed him in that line. In one of his notes begging me to hunt him up something that he could write with, he says:-

"Nobody ever suffered more from pens than I have, and I am glad that my labor with the abominable little tool is drawing to a close."

In the month of December Hawthorne attended the funeral of Mrs. Franklin Pierce, and, after the ceremony, came to stay with us. He seemed ill and more nervous than usual. He said he found General Pierce greatly needing his companionship, for he was overwhelmed with grief at the loss of his wife. I well remember the sadness of Hawthorne's face when he told us he felt obliged to look on the dead. "It was," said he, "like a carven image laid in its richly embossed enclosure, and there was a remote expression about it as if the whole had nothing to do with things present." He told us, as an instance of the ever-constant courtesy of his friend General Pierce, that while they were standing at the grave, the General, though completely overcome with his own sorrow, turned and drew up the collar of Hawthorne's coat to shield him from the bitter cold.

The same day, as the sunset deepened and we sat together, Hawthorne began to talk in an autobiographical vein, and gave us the story of his early life, of which I have already written somewhat. He said at an early age he accompanied his mother and sister to the township in Maine, which his grandfather had purchased. That, he continued, was the happiest period of his life, and it lasted through several years, when he was sent to school in Salem. "I lived in Maine," he said, "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." During the moonlight nights of winter he would skate until midnight all alone upon Sebago Lake, with the deep shadows of the icy hills on either hand. When he found himself far away from his home and weary with the exertion of skating, he would sometimes take refuge in a log-cabin, where half a tree would be burning on the broad hearth. He would sit in the ample chimney and look at the stars through the great aperture through which the flames went roaring up. "Ah," he said, "how well I recall the summer days also, when, with my gun, I roamed at will through the woods of Maine. How sad middle life looks to people of erratic temperaments. Everything is beautiful in youth, for all things are allowed to it then."

The early home of the Hawthornes in Maine must have been a lonely dwelling-place indeed. A year ago (May 12, 1870) the old place was visited by one who had a true feeling for Hawthorne's genius, and who thus graphically described the spot.

"A little way off the main-travelled road in the town of Raymond there stood an old house which has much in common with houses of its day, but which is distinguished from them by the more evident marks of neglect and decay. Its unpainted walls are deeply stained by time. Cornice and window-ledge and threshold are fast falling with the weight of years. The fences were long since removed from all the enclosures, the garden-wall is broken down, and the garden itself is now grown up to pines whose shadows fall dark and heavy upon the old and mossy roof; fitting roof-trees for such a mansion, planted there by the hands of Nature herself, as if she could not realize that her darling child was ever to go out from his early home. The highway once passed its door, but the location of the road has been changed; and now the old house stands solitarily apart from the busy world. Longer than I can remember, and I have never learned how long, this house has stood untenanted and wholly unused, except, for a few years, as a place of public worship; but, for myself, and for all who know its earlier history, it will ever have the deepest interest, for it was the early home of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

"Often have I, when passing through that town, turned aside to study the features of that landscape, and to reflect upon the influence which his surroundings had upon the development of this author's genius. A few rods to the north runs a little mill-stream, its sloping bank once covered with grass, now so worn and washed by the rains as to show but little except yellow sand. Less than half a mile to the west, this stream empties into an arm of Sebago Lake. Doubtless, at the time the house was built, the forest was so much cut away in that direction as to bring into view the waters of the lake, for a mill was built upon the brook about half-way down the valley, and it is reasonable to suppose that a clearing was made from the mill to the landing upon the shore of the pond; but the pines have so far regained their old dominion as completely to shut out the whole prospect in that direction. Indeed, the site affords but a limited survey, except to the northwest. Across a narrow valley in that direction lie open fields and dark pine-covered slopes. Beyond these rise long ranges of forest-crowned hills, while in the far distance every hue of rock and tree, of field and grove, melts into the soft blue of Mount Washington. The spot must ever have had the utter loneliness of the pine forests upon the borders of our northern lakes. The deep silence and dark shadows of the old woods must have filled the imagination of a youth possessing Hawthorne's sensibility with images which later years could not dispel.

"To this place came the widowed mother of Hawthorne in company with her brother, an original proprietor and one of the early settlers of the town of Raymond. This house was built for her, and here she lived with her son for several years in the most complete seclusion. Perhaps she strove to conceal here a grief which she could not forget. In what way, and to what extent, the surroundings of his boyhood operated in moulding the character and developing the genius of that gifted author, I leave to the reader to determine. I have tried simply to draw a faithful picture of his early home."

On the 15th of December Hawthorne wrote to me:-

"I have not yet had courage to read the Dolliver proof-sheet, but will set about it soon, though with terrible reluctance, such as I never felt before.... I am most grateful to you for protecting me from that visitation of the elephant and his cub. If you happen to see Mr. -- of L--, a young man who was here last summer, pray tell him anything that your conscience will let you, to induce him to spare me another visit, which I know he intended. I really am not well and cannot be disturbed by strangers without more suffering than it is worth while to endure. I thank Mrs. P-- and yourself for your kind hospitality, past and prospective. I never come to see you without feeling the better for it, but I must not test so precious a remedy too often."

The new year found him incapacitated from writing much on the Romance. On the 17th of January, 1864, he says:-

"I am not quite up to writing yet, but shall make an effort as soon as I see any hope of success. You ought to be thankful that (like most other broken-down authors) I do not pester you with decrepit pages, and insist upon your accepting them as full of the old spirit and vigor. That trouble, perhaps, still awaits you, after I shall have reached a further stage of decay. Seriously, my mind has, for the present, lost its temper and its fine edge, and I have an instinct that I had better keep quiet. Perhaps I shall have a new spirit of vigor, if I wait quietly for it; perhaps not."

The end of February found him in a mood which is best indicated in this letter, which he addressed to me on the 25th of the month:-

"I hardly know what to say to the public about this abortive Romance, though I know pretty well what the case will be. I shall never finish it. Yet it is not quite pleasant for an author to announce himself, or to be announced, as finally broken down as to his literary faculty. It is a pity that I let you put this work in your programme for the year, for I had always a presentiment that it would fail us at the pinch. Say to the public what you think best, and as little as possible; for example: 'We regret that Mr. Hawthorne's Romance, announced for this magazine some months ago, still lies upon the author's writing-table, he having been interrupted in his labor upon it by an impaired state of health'; or, 'We are sorry to hear (but know not whether the public will share our grief) that Mr. Hawthorne is out of health and is thereby prevented, for the present, from proceeding with another of his promised (or threatened) Romances, intended for this magazine'; or, 'Mr. Hawthorne's brain is addled at last, and, much to our satisfaction, he tells us that he cannot possibly go on with the Romance announced on the cover of the January magazine. We consider him finally shelved, and shall take early occasion to bury him under a heavy article, carefully summing up his merits (such as they were) and his demerits, what few of them can be touched upon in our limited space'; or, 'We shall commence the publication of Mr. Hawthorne's Romance as soon as that gentleman chooses to forward it. We are quite at a loss how to account for this delay in the fulfilment of his contract; especially as he has already been most liberally paid for the first number.' Say anything you like, in short, though I really don't believe that the public will care what you say or whether you say anything. If you choose, you may publish the first chapter as an insulated fragment, and charge me with the overpayment. I cannot finish it unless a great change comes over me; and if I make too great an effort to do so, it will be my death; not that I should care much for that, if I could fight the battle through and win it, thus ending a life of much smoulder and scanty fire in a blaze of glory. But I should smother myself in mud of my own making. I mean to come to Boston soon, not for a week but for a single day, and then I can talk about my sanitary prospects more freely than I choose to write. I am not low-spirited, nor fanciful, nor freakish, but look what seem to be realities in the face, and am ready to take whatever may come. If I could but go to England now, I think that the sea voyage and the 'Old Home' might set me all right.

"This letter is for your own eye, and I wish especially that no echo of it may come back in your notes to me.

"P.S. Give my kindest regards to Mrs. F--, and tell her that one of my choicest ideal places is her drawing-room, and therefore I seldom visit it."

On Monday, the 28th of March, Hawthorne came to town and made my house his first station on a journey to the South for health. I was greatly shocked at his invalid appearance, and he seemed quite deaf. The light in his eye was beautiful as ever, but his limbs seemed shrunken and his usual stalwart vigor utterly gone. He said to me with a pathetic voice, "Why does Nature treat us like little children! I think we could bear it all if we knew our fate; at least it would not make much difference to me now what became of me." Toward night he brightened up a little, and his delicious wit flashed out, at intervals, as of old; but he was evidently broken and dispirited about his health. Looking out on the bay that was sparkling in the moonlight, he said he thought the moon rather lost something of its charm for him as he grew older. He spoke with great delight of a little story, called "Pet Marjorie," and said he had read it carefully through twice, every word of it. He had much to say about England, and observed, among other things, that "the extent over which her dominions are spread leads her to fancy herself stronger than she really is; but she is not to-day a powerful empire; she is much like a squash-vine, which runs over a whole garden, but, if you cut it at the root, it is at once destroyed." At breakfast, next morning, he spoke of his kind neighbors in Concord, and said Alcott was one of the most excellent men he had ever known. "It is impossible to quarrel with him, for he would take all your harsh words like a saint."

He left us shortly after this for a journey to Washington, with his friend Mr. Ticknor. The travellers spent several days in New York, and then proceeded to Philadelphia. Hawthorne wrote to me from the Continental Hotel, dating his letter "Saturday evening," announcing the severe illness of his companion. He did not seem to anticipate a fatal result, but on Sunday morning the news came that Mr. Ticknor was dead. Hawthorne returned at once to Boston, and stayed here over night. He was in a very excited and nervous state, and talked incessantly of the sad scenes he had just been passing through. We sat late together, conversing of the friend we had lost, and I am sure he hardly closed his eyes that night. In the morning he went back to his own home in Concord.

His health, from that time, seemed to give way rapidly, and in the middle of May his friend, General Pierce, proposed that they should go among the New Hampshire hills together and meet the spring there.

The first letter we received from Mrs. Hawthorne [*] after her husband's return to Concord in April gave us great anxiety. It was dated "Monday eve," and here are some extracts from it:-

"I have just sent Mr. Hawthorne to bed, and so have a moment to speak to you. Generally it has been late and I have not liked to disturb him by sitting up after him, and so I could not write since he returned, though I wished very much to tell you about him, ever since he came home. He came back unlooked for that day; and when I heard a step on the piazza, I was lying on a couch and feeling quite indisposed. But as soon as I saw him I was frightened out of all knowledge of myself,-so haggard, so white, so deeply scored with pain and fatigue was the face, so much more ill he looked than I ever saw him before. He had walked from the station because he saw no carriage there, and his brow was streaming with a perfect rain, so great had been the effort to walk so far.... He needed much to get home to me, where he could fling off all care of himself and give way to his feelings, pent up and kept back for so long, especially since his watch and ward of most excellent, kind Mr. Ticknor. It relieved him somewhat to break down as he spoke of that scene.... But he was so weak and weary he could not sit up much, and lay on the couch nearly all the time in a kind of uneasy somnolency, not wishing to be read to even, not able to attend or fix his thoughts at all. On Saturday he unfortunately took cold, and, after a most restless night, was seized early in the morning with a very bad stiff neck, which was acutely painful all Sunday. Sunday night, however, a compress of linen wrung in cold water cured him, with belladonna. But he slept also most of this morning.... He could as easily build London as go to the Shakespeare dinner. It tires him so much to get entirely through his toilet in the morning, that he has to lie down a long time after it. To-day he walked out on the grounds, and could not stay ten minutes, because I would not let him sit down in the wind, and he could not bear any longer exercise. He has more than lost all he gained by the journey, by the sad event. From being the nursed and cared for,-early to bed and late to rise,-led, as it were, by the ever-ready hand of kind Mr. Ticknor, to become the nurse and night-watcher with all the responsibilities, with his mighty power of sympathy and his vast apprehension of suffering in others, and to see death for the first time in a state so weak as his,-the death also of so valued a friend,-as Mr. Hawthorne says himself, 'it told upon him' fearfully. There are lines ploughed on his brow which never were there before.... I have been up and alert ever since his return, but one day I was obliged, when he was busy, to run off and lie down for fear I should drop before his eyes. My head was in such an agony I could not endure it another moment. But I am well now. I have wrestled and won, and now I think I shall not fail again. Your most generous kindness of hospitality I heartily thank you for, but Mr. Hawthorne says he cannot leave home. He wants rest, and he says when the wind is warm he shall feel well. This cold wind ruins him. I wish he were in Cuba or on some isle in the Gulf Stream. But I must say I could not think him able to go anywhere, unless I could go with him. He is too weak to take care of himself. I do not like to have him go up and down stairs alone. I have read to him all the afternoon and evening and after he walked in the morning to-day. I do nothing but sit with him, ready to do or not to do, just as he wishes. The wheels of my small ménage are all stopped. He is my world and all the business of it. He has not smiled since he came home till to-day, and I made him laugh with Thackeray's humor in reading to him; but a smile looks strange on a face that once shone like a thousand suns with smiles. The light for the time has gone out of his eyes, entirely. An infinite weariness films them quite. I thank Heaven that summer and not winter approaches."

* * *

[*] As I write this paragraph, my friend, the Reverend James Freeman Clarke, puts into my hand the following note, which Hawthorne sent to him nearly thirty years ago:-

54 PINCKNEY STREET, Friday, July 8, 1842. MY DEAR SIR,-Though personally a stranger to you, I am about to request of you the greatest favor which I can receive from any man. I am to be married to Miss Sophia Peabody; and it is our mutual desire that you should perform the ceremony. Unless it should be decidedly a rainy day, a carriage will call for you at half past eleven o'clock in the forenoon.

Very respectfully yours,


Rev. JAMES F. CLARKE, Chestnut Street.

* * *

On Friday evening of the same week Mrs. Hawthorne sent off another despatch to us:-

"Mr. Hawthorne has been miserably ill for two or three days, so that I could not find a moment to speak to you. I am most anxious to have him leave Concord again, and General Pierce's plan is admirable, now that the General is well himself. I think the serene jog-trot in a private carriage into country places, by trout-streams and to old farm-houses, away from care and news, will be very restorative. The boy associations with the General will refresh him. They will fish, and muse, and rest, and saunter upon horses' feet, and be in the air all the time in fine weather. I am quite content, though I wish I could go for a few petits sions. But General Pierce has been a most tender, constant nurse for many years, and knows how to take care of the sick. And his love for Mr. Hawthorne is the strongest passion of his soul, now his wife is departed. They will go to the Isles of Shoals together probably, before their return.

"Mr. Hawthorne cannot walk ten minutes now without wishing to sit down, as I think I told you, so that he cannot take sufficient air except in a carriage. And his horror of hotels and rail-cars is immense, and human beings beset him in cities. He is indeed very weak. I hardly know what takes away his strength. I now am obliged to superintend my workman, who is arranging the grounds. Whenever my husband lies down (which is sadly often) I rush out of doors to see what the gardener is about.

"I cannot feel rested till Mr. Hawthorne is better, but I get along. I shall go to town when he is safe in the care of General Pierce."

On Saturday this communication from Mrs. Hawthorne reached us:-

"General Pierce wrote yesterday to say he wished to meet Mr. Hawthorne in Boston on Wednesday, and go from thence on their way.

"Mr. Hawthorne is much weaker. I find, than he has been before at any time, and I shall go down with him, having a great many things to do in Boston; but I am sure he is not fit to be left by himself, for his steps are so uncertain, and his eyes are very uncertain too. Dear Mr. Fields, I am very anxious about him, and I write now to say that he absolutely refuses to see a physician officially, and so I wish to know whether Dr. Holmes could not see him in some ingenious way on Wednesday as a friend; but with his experienced, acute observation, to look at him also as a physician, to note how he is and what he judges of him comparatively since he last saw him. It almost deprives me of my wits to see him growing weaker with no aid. He seems quite bilious, and has a restlessness that is infinite. His look is more distressed and harassed than before; and he has so little rest, that he is getting worn out. I hope immensely in regard of this sauntering journey with General Pierce.

"I feel as if I ought not to speak to you of anything when you are so busy and weary and bereaved. But yet in such a sad emergency as this, I am sure your generous, kind heart will not refuse me any help you can render.... I wish Dr. Holmes would feel his pulse; I do not know how to judge of it, but it seems to me irregular."

His friend, Dr. O.W. Holmes, in compliance with Mrs. Hawthorne's desire, expressed in this letter to me, saw the invalid, and thus describes his appearance in an article full of tenderness and feeling which was published in the "Atlantic Monthly" for July, 1864:-

"Late in the afternoon of the day before he left Boston on his last journey I called upon him at the hotel where he was staying. He had gone out but a moment before. Looking along the street, I saw a form at some distance in advance which could only be his,-but how changed from his former port and figure! There was no mistaking the long iron-gray locks, the carriage of the head, and the general look of the natural outlines and movement; but he seemed to have shrunken in all his dimensions, and faltered along with an uncertain, feeble step, as if every movement were an effort. I joined him, and we walked together half an hour, during which time I learned so much of his state of mind and body as could be got at without worrying him with suggestive questions,-my object being to form an opinion of his condition, as I had been requested to do, and to give him some hints that might be useful to him on his journey.

"His aspect, medically considered, was very unfavorable. There were persistent local symptoms, referred especially to the stomach,-'boring pain,' distension, difficult digestion, with great wasting of flesh and strength. He was very gentle, very willing to answer questions, very docile to such counsel as I offered him, but evidently had no hope of recovering his health. He spoke as if his work were done, and he should write no more.

"With all his obvious depression, there was no failing noticeable in his conversational powers. There was the same backwardness and hesitancy which in his best days it was hard for him to overcome, so that talking with him was almost like love-making, and his shy, beautiful soul had to be wooed from its bashful prudency like an unschooled maiden. The calm despondency with which he spoke about himself confirmed the unfavorable opinion suggested by his look and history."

I saw Hawthorne alive, for the last time, the day he started on this his last mortal journey. His speech and his gait indicated severe illness, and I had great misgivings about the jaunt he was proposing to take so early in the season. His tones were more subdued than ever, and he scarcely spoke above a whisper. He was very affectionate in parting, and I followed him to the door, looking after him as he went up School Street. I noticed that he faltered from weakness, and I should have taken my hat and joined him to offer my arm, but I knew he did not wish to seem ill, and I feared he might be troubled at my anxiety. Fearing to disturb him, I followed him with my eyes only, and watched him till he turned the corner and passed out of sight.

On the morning of the 19th of May, 1864, a telegram, signed by Franklin Pierce, stunned us all. It announced the death of Hawthorne. In the afternoon of the same day came this letter to me:-

"Pemigewasset House, Plymouth, N.H., Thursday morning, 5 o'clock

"My Dear Sir,-The telegraph has communicated to you the fact of our dear friend Hawthorne's death. My friend Colonel Hibbard, who bears this note, was a friend of H--, and will tell you more than I am able to write.

"I enclose herewith a note which I commenced last evening to dear Mrs. Hawthorne. O, how will she bear this shock! Dear mother-dear children-

"When I met Hawthorne in Boston a week ago, it was apparent that he was much more feeble and more seriously diseased than I had supposed him to be. We came from Centre Harbor yesterday afternoon, and I thought he was on the whole brighter than he was the day before. Through the week he had been inclined to somnolency during the day, but restless at night. He retired last night soon after nine o'clock, and soon fell into a quiet slumber. In less than half an hour changed his position, but continued to sleep. I left the door open between his bedroom and mine,-our beds being opposite to each other,-and was asleep myself before eleven o'clock. The light continued to burn in my room. At two o'clock, I went to H--'s bedside; he was apparently in a sound sleep, and I did not place my hand upon him. At four o'clock I went into his room again, and, as his position was unchanged, I placed my hand upon him and found that life was extinct. I sent, however, immediately for a physician, and called Judge Bell and Colonel Hibbard, who occupied rooms upon the same floor and near me. He lies upon his side, his position so perfectly natural and easy, his eyes closed, that it is difficult to realize, while looking upon his noble face, that this is death. He must have passed from natural slumber to that from which there is no waking without the slightest movement.

"I cannot write to dear Mrs. Hawthorne, and you must exercise your judgment with regard to sending this and the unfinished note, enclosed, to her.

"Your friend,


Hawthorne's lifelong desire that the end might be a sudden one was gratified. Often and often he has said to me, "What a blessing to go quickly!" So the same swift angel that came as a messenger to Allston, Irving, Prescott, Macaulay, Thackeray, and Dickens was commissioned to touch his forehead, also, and beckon him away.

The room in which death fell upon him,

"Like a shadow thrown

Softly and lightly from a passing cloud,"

looks toward the east; and standing in it, as I have frequently done, since he passed out silently into the skies, it is easy to imagine the scene on that spring morning which President Pierce so feelingly describes in his letter.

On the 24th of May we carried Hawthorne through the blossoming orchards of Concord, and laid him down under a group of pines, on a hillside, overlooking historic fields. All the way from the village church to the grave the birds kept up a perpetual melody. The sun shone brightly, and the air was sweet and pleasant, as if death had never entered the world. Longfellow and Emerson, Channing and Hoar, Agassiz and Lowell, Greene and Whipple, Alcott and Clarke, Holmes and Hillard, and other friends whom he loved, walked slowly by his side that beautiful spring morning. The companion of his youth and his manhood, for whom he would willingly, at any time, have given up his own life, Franklin Pierce, was there among the rest, and scattered flowers into the grave. The unfinished Romance, which had cost him so much anxiety, the last literary work on which he had ever been engaged, was laid on his coffin.

"Ah! who shall lift that wand of magic power,

And the lost clew regain?

The unfinished window in Aladdin's tower

Unfinished must remain."

Longfellow's beautiful poem will always be associated with the memory of Hawthorne, and most fitting was it that his fellow-student, whom he so loved and honored, should sing his requiem.

* * *


"O friend with heart as gentle for distress,

As resolute with wise true thoughts to bind

The happiest with the unhappiest of our kind/"

John Forster.

"All men are to an unspeakable degree brothers, each man's life a strange emblem of every man's; and Human Portraits, faithfully drawn, are of all pictures the welcomest on human walls."-Carlyle.

* * *

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