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- Hawthorne and His Circle - 1/47 -


HAWTHORNE AND HIS CIRCLE

BY

JULIAN HAWTHORNE

ILLUSTRATED

[IMAGE: NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (From a crayon drawing by Samuel Rowse)]

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Inheritance of friendships--Gracious giants--My own good fortune--My father the central figure--What did his gift to me cost him?--A revelation in Colorado--Privileges make difficulties--Lights and shadows of memory--An informal narrative--Contrast between my father's life and mine

I

Value of dates--My aunt Lizzie's efforts--My father's decapitation--My mother's strong-box--The spirit of The Scarlet Letter--The strain of imaginative composition--My grandmother Hawthorne's death--Infantile indifference to calamity--The children's plays and books--The house on Mall Street--Scarlet fever--The study on the third floor--The haunted mahogany writing-desk--The secret drawers--The upright Egyptian--Mr. Pickwick--My father in 1850--The flowered writing-gown, and the ink butterfly--Driving the quill pen--The occupants of the second floor--Aunt Louisa and Aunt Ebe--The dowager Mrs. Hawthorne--I kick my aunt Lizzie--The kittens and the great mystery--The greatest book of the age

II

Horatio Bridge's "I-told-you-so"--What a house by the sea might have done--Unknown Lenox--The restlessness of youth--The Unpardonable Sin and the Death--less Man--The little red house--Materials of culture--Our best playmates--The mystery of Mrs. Peter's dough--Our intellectual hen-fishing for poultry--Yacht-building--Swimming with one foot on the ground--Shipwreck--Our playfellow the brook--Tanglewood--Nuts--Giants and enchanters--Coasting--Wet noses, dark eyes, ambrosial breath-My first horseback ride--Herman Melville's stories--Another kind of James--The thunder-storm--Yearning ladies and melancholy-sinners--Hindlegs--Probable murder--"I abominate the sight of it!"--The peril of Tanglewood--The truth of fiction--An eighteen-months' work--We leave five cats behind

III

Chariots of delight--West Newton--Raw American life--Baby's fingers--Our cousin Benjamin's untoward head--Our uncle Horace--His vacuum--A reformer's bristles--Grace Greenwood's first tears--The heralding of Kossuth--The decorated engine--The chief incident of the reception--Blithedale and Brook Farm--Notes from real life--Rough draughts--Paths of composition--The struggle with the Pensioner--Hawthorne's method--The invitation of Concord--Four wooden walls and a roof--Mr. Alcott's assthetic carpentering--Appurtenances of "The Wayside"--Franklin Pierce for President--"The most homeless people in the world"

IV

A transfigured cattle-pen--Emerson the hub of Concord--His incorrigible modesty--Grocery-store sages--To make common men feel more like Emerson than he did--His personal appearance--His favorite gesture--A glance like the reveille of a trumpet--The creaking boots--"The muses are in the woods"--Emerson could not read Hawthorne--Typical versus individual--Benefit from child-prattle--Concord-grape Bull--Sounds of distant battle--Politics, sociology, and grape-culture--The great white fence--Richard Henry Stoddard--A country youth of genius--Whipple's Attic salt--An unwritten romance--The consulship retires literature--Louisa's tragedy--Hard hit--The spiritual sphere of good men--Nearer than in the world--The return of the pilgrim

V

A paddle-wheel ocean-liner--The hens, the cow, and the carpenter--W. D. Ticknor--Our first Englishman--An aristocratic acrobat--Speech that beggars eulogy--The boots of great travellers--Complimentary cannon--The last infirmity of noble republican minds--The golden promise: the spiritual fulfilment--Fatuous serenity--Past and future--The coquetry of chalk cliffs--Two kinds of imagination--The thirsty island--Gloomy English comforts--Systematic geniality--A standing puzzle--The respirator--Scamps, fools, mendicants, and desperadoes--The wrongs of sailor-men--"Is this myself?"--"Profoundly akin"--Henry Bright--Charm of insular prejudice--No stooping to compromise--The battle against dinner--"I'm glad you liked it!"--An English-, Irish-, and Scotchman--An Englishman owns his country--A contradiction in Englishmen--A hospitable gateway--Years of memorable trifles

VI

Patricians and plebeians--The discomforts of democracy--Varieties of equality--Social rights of beggars--The coming peril--Being dragged to the rich--Frankness of vulgarity and hopelessness of destitution--Villages rooted in the landscape--Evanescence of the spiritual and survival of the material--"Of Bebbington the holy peak"--The Old Yew of Eastham--Malice--prepense interest--History and afternoon tea--An East--Indian Englishman--The merchantman sticks in the mud--A poetical man of the world--Likeness to Longfellow--Real breakfasts--Heads and stomachs--A poet-pugilist--Clean-cut, cold, gentle, dry--A respectable female atheist--The tragedy of the red ants--Voluptuous struggles--A psalm of praise

VII

Life in Rock Park--Inconvenient independence of lodgings--The average man--"How many gardeners have you got?"--Shielded by rose-leaves of culture and refinement--The English middle class--Prejudice, complacency, and Burke's Peerage--Never heard of Tennyson or Browning--Satisfaction in the solid earth--A bond of fellowship--A damp, winding, verdurous street--The parent of stucco villas--Inactivity of individual conscience--A plateau and a cliff--dwelling--"The Campbells are Coming!"--Sortes Virgilianae--A division in the family--Precaution against famine--English praying and card-playing--Exercise for mind and body--Knight-errantry--Sentimentality and mawkishness--The policeman and the cobbler--A profound truth--Fireworks by lamplight--Mr. Squarey and Mrs. Roundey--Sandford and Merton--The ball of jolly

VIII

Cataclysmic adventures--On the trail of dazzling fortunes--"Lovely, but reprehensible Madham"--The throne saves the artist--English robin redbreast--A sad and weary old man--"Most indelicate woman I've ever known"--Perfectly chaste--Something human stirred dimly--"She loves me; she loves me!"--The Prince of Wales and half-a-crown--Portentous and thundering title--Honest English simplicity--"The spirit lacking"--Abelard, Isaac Newton, and Ruskin--A famous and charming woman of genius--Deep and wide well of human sympathy--The whooping-cough

IX

Two New England consciences--Inexhaustible faith and energy--Deep and abiding love of England--"'How the Water Comes Down at Lodore"--"He took an' he let go"--Naked mountains--The unsentimental little quadruped--The human element in things sticks--The coasts of England--A string of sleepy donkeys--Unutterable boy-thoughts--Grins and chuckles like an ogress---Hideous maternal parody---The adorable inverted bell-glass--Strange things happen in the world--An ominous clouding of the water--Something the world has never known--Overweening security--An admonition not to climb too high--How vice may become virtue by repetition--Corporal Blair's chest--Black-Bottle Cardigan--Called to Lisbon

X

If there were boarding-houses in paradise--Blodgett, the delight of mankind--Solomon foresaw her--A withering retort--A modest, puny poise about her--Hidden thoughts derived from Mother Eve and Grecian Helen--The feminine council that ruled the Yankee captains--Bonds of fraternity, double-riveted and copper-fastened--Through the looking-glass--Men only of the manliest sort--The lady-paramount--Hands which were true works of art--Retained his dignity without putting it on--Sighed heavily over my efforts--Unctuous M. Huguenin--"From dawn to eve I fell"--The multum-in-parvo machine--"Beauty and the Beast"--Frank Channing--"Blood-and water!"--A lapful of Irish stew

XI

Bennoch and Bright like young housekeepers--"What did you marry that woman for?"--"Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures"--"The worst book anybody ever wrote"--"Most magnificent eye I ever saw"--A great deal of the feminine in Reade--Fire, pathos, fun, and dramatic animation--A philosophical library in itself--Amusing appanage of his own book--Oily and voluble sanctimoniousness--Self-worship of the _os-rotundas_ sort--Inflamed rather than abated by years--"Every word of it true; but--"--Better, or happier, because we had lived--Appropriated somebody else's adventure--Filtering remarks through the mind of a third person--A delightful Irishman--Unparalleled audacity--An unregenerate opinion--The whole line of Guelphs in it--"Oh, that somebody would invent a new sin!"--"The Angel in the House"--Very well dressed--Indomitable figure, aggressively American--Too much of the elixir of life--A little strangeness between us--Sunshine will always rest on it

XII

Talked familiarly with kings and queens--Half-witted girl who giggled all the time--It gnawed me terribly--A Scotch terrier named Towsey--A sentiment of diplomatic etiquette--London as a physical entity--Ladies in low-necked dresses--An elderly man like a garden-spider--Into the bowels of the earth--The inner luminousness of genius--Isolated and tragic situation--"Ate ever man such a morsel before!"--The great,


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