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Chapter 2


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 Deathless 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.

--

Horatio Bridge, my father's college friend, was a purser in the navy
and lived in Augusta, Maine, his official residence being at
Portsmouth. He had kept in closer touch with the romancer than any of
his other friends had since their graduating days, and he had been
from the first a believer in his coming literary renown. So, when The
Scarlet Letter shone eminent in the firmament of book-land, it was his
triumphant "I-told-you-so" that was among the earliest to be heard.
And when my father cast about for a more congenial place than Salem to
live in, it was to Bridge that he applied for suggestions. He
stipulated that the place should be somewhere along the New England
sea-coast.

Had this wish of his been fulfilled it might have made great
differences. Hawthorne had always dwelt within sight and sound of the
Atlantic, on which his forefathers had sailed so often between the
Indies and Salem port, and Atlantic breezes were necessary to his
complete well-being. At this juncture physical health had for the
first time become an object to him; he was run down by a year of
suffering and hard work, and needed nature's kindest offices. A
suitable house of his own by the sea-side would probably have brought
him up to his best physical condition to begin with, and kept him so;
and it would so have endeared itself to him that when, two or three
years later, Pierce had offered him a foreign appointment he might
have been moved to decline it, and have gone on writing American
romances to the end--to the advantage of American letters. Concord had
its own attractions; but it never held him as the sea would have done,
nor nourished his health, nor stimulated his genius. A house of his
own beside the Atlantic might well have added twenty years to his
life.

But it was not upon the knees of the gods.

Bridge's zealous efforts failed to find a place available, and after
an uneasy interval, during which his friend wandered uncomfortably
about Boston and the neighborhood (incidentally noting down some
side-scenes afterwards to be incorporated in The Blithedale Romance),
a cottage in the Berkshire Hills was spoken of, and upon examination
seemed practicable. Lenox, at that time, was as little known as Mount
Desert; it was not until long afterwards that fashion found them out
and made them uninhabitable to any but fashionable folks. Moreover, my
father had seen something of Lenox a dozen years before.

A dozen years before he was not yet betrothed to Sophia Peabody; he
already loved her and she him; but her health seemed an insuperable
barrier between them. This and certain other matters were weighing
heavily upon his soul, and his future seemed dark and uncertain. He
thought of taking a voyage round the world; he thought of getting into
politics; he even thought--as young men full of life sometimes
will--of death. What he finally did, with native good sense, was to
make a two-months' trip in the mountainous region to the westward, to
change the scene and his state of mind, and to get what artists call a
fresh eye. He chose North Adams as his headquarters, and forayed
thence in various directions over a radius of twenty miles. He was
then beginning to revolve one of the two great romance themes that
preoccupied his whole after-life, neither of which was he destined to
write. This was the idea of the Unpardonable Sin; the other was the
conception of the Deathless Man. The only essay we have towards the
embodiment of the first vision is the short fragment published in
Mosses from an Old Manse, called "Ethan Brand." The other was
attempted in various forms, of which Septimius, Dr. Grimshawe's
Secret, and The Dolliver Romance, all posthumously published, are the
most important.

But Stockbridge, Pittsfield, and Lenox had been included among his
haunts during the break-away above mentioned, and he remembered that
the scenery was beautiful, the situation remote, and the air noble.
Next to the sea it seemed an ideal place to recuperate and write in.
Thither, at all events, he resolved to go, and early in the summer of
1850 we arrived at the little red house above the shores of
Stockbridge Bowl, with bag and baggage. Little though the house was,
the bag and baggage were none too much to find easy accommodation in
it.

A fair-sized city drawing-room of these sumptuous contemporary days
could stow away in a corner the entire structure which then became our
habitation, and retain space enough outside it for the exploitation of
social functions. Nevertheless, by the simple expedient of making the
interior divisions small enough, this liliputian edifice managed to
contain eight rooms on its two floors (including the kitchen). One of
the rooms was, in fact, the entrance-hall; you stepped into it across
the threshold of the outer door, and the staircase ascended from it.
It was used as an extension of the drawing-room, which opened out of
it. The drawing-room adjoined the dining-room, with windows facing the
west, with a view of the mountains across the lake, and the
dining-room communicated with the kitchen. One of the western-looking
up-stairs rooms served as my father's study; my sister Una had her
chamber, I mine (which was employed as the guest-chamber upon
occasion), and our parents the other. What more could be asked? for
when Rose was born, her crib stood beside her mother's bedstead.

When we were not asleep--that is, during twelve hours out of the
twenty-four--Una's existence and mine were passed mainly in the outer
sitting-room and in the dining-room. There was plenty to entertain us.
I had my rocking-horse, which I bestrode with perfect fearlessness; my
porcelain lion, which still survives unscathed after the cataclysms of
half a century; my toy sloop, made for me by Uncle Nat; and a
jack-knife, all but the edge and point, which had been removed out of
deference to my youth. Una had a doll, a miniature mahogany
centre-table and bureau, and other things in which I felt no interest.
In common, we possessed the box of wooden bricks, and the big
portfolio containing tracings by my mother, exquisitely done, of
Flaxman's "Outlines of the Iliad and Odyssey" and other classic
subjects. We knew by heart the story of all these mythological
personages, and they formed a large part of our life. They also served
the important use of suggesting to my father his Wonder-Book and
Tanglewood Tales stories, and, together with the figures of Gothic
fairy-lore, they were the only playmates, with the exception of our
father and mother, that we had or desired.

But our father and mother were, of course, the main thing, after all.
She was with us all day long; he, from the time he stopped writing,
early in the afternoon, till our bed-time. They answered all our
questions about things animate and inanimate, physical and
metaphysical; and that must have taken time, for our curiosity was
magnificent; and "The Old Boy," my father records, "asked me today
what were sensible questions--I suppose with a view to asking me
some." They superintended our projections of creation on the
black-board--a great, old-fashioned black-board, the like of which I
have not since beheld; they read to us and told us stories. Many of
these stories were of incidents of their own child-life; and there was
also the narrative of our mother's voyage to Cuba and back, and
residence there when she was about eighteen or twenty--a fascinating
chronicle. Meal-times were delectable festivals, not only because the
bread-and-milk, the boiled rice and tapioca pudding, and eggs and
fruit tasted so good, but by reason of the broad outlook out of window
over the field, the wood, the lake, and the mountains; supper-time,
with the declining sun pouring light into the little room and making
the landscape glorious, was especially exhilarating. Ambrosial was
the bread baked by Mrs. Peters, the taciturn and serious religious
person of color who attended to our cooking; the prize morsels were
the ends, golden brown in hue, crunching so crisply between our teeth.
I used to wonder how a being with hands so dark as those of Mrs.
Peters managed to turn out dough so immaculate. She would plunge them
right into the ivory-hued substance, yet it became only whiter than
before. But the life of life was, of course, out-doors. There was a
barn containing a hay-mow and a large hen-coop, soon populous with
hens and chickens, with an heroic snow-white rooster to keep them in
order. Hens are the most audacious and presuming of pets, and they
have strong individuality.

One of our brood was more intellectual and enterprising than the
others; she found a way of getting out of the coop, no matter how
tightly it was shut up; and she would jump in our laps as we sat
eating a piece of bread in the barn doorway and snatch it away from
us; but I think we sometimes sat there with the bread on purpose to
have her do it. Once or twice--until I was detected and stopped--I
enjoyed the poignant delight of fishing for hens out of the barn loft;
my tackle consisted of a bent pin at the end of a string tied to a
stick. It was baited with a grain of corn, or a bit of rag would do as
well, for hens have no hereditary suspicion of anglers, and are much
more readily entrapped than fishes. Pulling them up, squawking and
fluttering, was thrilling, but, of course, it was wrong, like other
thrilling things, and had to be foregone. A less unregenerate
experiment was fastening two grains of corn to the ends of a long bit
of thread; two hens would seize each a grain and begin swallowing
thread until they interfered, with each other, when a disgorgement
would take place. It was an economical sport--the one bit of thread
and the two corn-grains would last all day--and, in view of the joy
afforded to the spectators, did not seem too unkind. My father had
mechanical talent, and with an old door-knob and some strips of
shingle he would make a figure of a man with a saw; you fixed it to
the edge of a table, set the door-knob swinging, and the creature
would saw with the most absurd diligence. From the same shingle he
would construct a pugilist, who, being set up where the wind played
upon him, would swing his arms interminably. It was yacht-building,
however, that afforded us most entertainment. A shingle was whittled
to a point at one end; a stick with a square paper slipped on it was
stuck up in the middle, and a rudder made fast to the stern; such a
boat would sail boldly out upon the vastness of the lake, till the eye
could no longer follow the diminishing white speck. These days beside
the lake were full of good things. The water was clear, with a white
sand bottom; we were given swimming-lessons in the hot summer weather;
having waded in up to our middles, we faced towards the shore, where
sat our father with a long fishing-pole, the end of which he kept
within our reach, and bade us lean forward on the water and kick up
our feet. But, for my part, I kept one foot on the bottom. It was not
till years afterwards that I mustered courage to take it off, and that
was in a lake three thousand miles from Stockbridge Bowl, with the
towers of the castle of Chillon reflected in its calm surface.

We also made limited use of a leaky old punt, which one day capsized
and emptied its whole crew into the water, luckily close to shore. We
fished for gold carp for hours together, and during our two summers we
caught a couple of them; there were thousands of them swimming about;
but a bent pin with the bait washed off is not a good lure. In winter,
the lake had five feet of ice on it, which lasted far into the spring,
and once or twice we got aboard this great raft and tracked across it,
with as much awe and enthusiasm as ever Kane had felt in his arctic
explorations. In all, we became intimate friends with the lake idea,
new to us then, but never to grow stale; and our good fortune favored
us during after-life with many lovely lakes and ponds, including such
gems as Rydal, Walden, and Geneva.

Water, in another enchanting guise, dashed and gurgled for us in the
brook that penetrated like a happy dream the slumber of the forest
that bordered on the lake. The wooded declivity through which it went
was just enough to keep it ever vocal and animated. Gazing down upon
it, it was clear brown, with glancing gleams of interior green, and
sparkles diamond white; tiny fishes switched themselves against the
current with quivering tails; the shaggy margins were flecked with
sunshine, and beautiful with columbines, violets, arbutus, and
houstonias. Fragments of rock and large pebbles interrupted its flow
and deepened its mellow song; above it brooded the twilight of the
tall pines and walnuts, responding to its merriment with solemn
murmurings. What playfellow is more inexhaustible than such a brook,
so full of life, of motion, of sound and color, of variety and
constancy. A child welcomes it as an answer to its own soul, with its
mystery and transparency, its bounded lawlessness, its love of earth
and its echoes of the sky. In winter our brook had a new charm: it ran
beneath a roof of ice, often mounded with snow; its voice sounding
cheerful as ever in those inscrutable caverns, as if it discoursed
secret wonders of fairy-land, and carried treasures of the elves and
gnomes. Zero, with his utmost rigors, could not still its speech for a
day or fix his grip upon those elastic limbs. Indeed, the frosty god
conspired with it for our delight; building crystal bridges, with
tracery of lace delicater than Valenciennes, and spangled
string-pieces, and fretted vaultings, whimsical sierras, stalactite
and stalagmite. An icicle is one of those careless toys of nature
which the decorative art of man imitates in vain. They are among the
myriad decorations of children's palaces.

To Tanglewood, as we called it, at all seasons of the year, came
Hawthorne and his wife and children. In spring there was the issuing
forth of the new life from beneath the winter coverlid; the first
discovery of sociable houstonias, and the exquisite tints and
fragrance of the mayflower on its dark, bearded stalk. When June
became perfect, and afterwards till nuts were ripe, my father loved to
lie at full length upon the mossy and leaf-strewn floor, looking up at
the green roof, the lofty whispering-gallery of vaulted boughs, with
its azure lattices and descending sunlight-shafts; wrapped in
imaginings some of which were afterwards to delight the world; but
many more of them, no doubt, were fated to join the glorious company
of untold tales. Beside him sat our mother, on a throne which we had
fashioned for her from the upright stump of a tree; round about them
played the little girl and boy. They brought all the treasures which
this wonderfully affluent world afforded: flowers in all seasons;
strawberries, small but of potent flavor, which the little boy would
gather with earnest diligence, and fetch to the persons he loved,
mashed into premature jam in his small fist; exciting turtles with
variegated carapaces, and heads and feet that went in and out;
occasional newts from the plashy places; and in autumn, hatfuls of
walnuts. There were chestnuts, too, upon whose prickly hulls the
preoccupied children would sometimes inadvertently plump themselves.
Our father was a great tree-climber, and he was also fond of playing
the role of magician. "Hide your eyes!" he would say, and the next
moment, from being there beside us on the moss, we would hear his
voice descending from the sky, and behold! he swung among the topmost
branches, showering down upon us a hail-storm of nuts. There was a big
cavern behind the kitchen chimney, which gradually became filled with
these harvests, and on winter evenings they were brought forth and
cracked with a hammer on the hearth-stone.

The wide field, or croft, which sloped from the house to the wood was
thickly grown with mullein-stalks, against which I waged war with an
upper section of one of my father's old broken canes, for I took them
for giants, and stubborn, evil-minded enchanters. I slew them by
scores; but I could make no way against the grasshoppers, which jumped
against my bare legs and pricked them. There were wasps, too; one of
them stung Una on the lower lip as she was climbing over a rail-fence.
Her lip at once assumed a Bourbon contour, and I reached the
conclusion, by some tacit syllogism of infancy, that the rail-fence
was at least half to blame for the catastrophe, and always carefully
avoided it. I likewise avoided the wasps; a certain trick they have of
giving a hitch to their after-parts as they walk along always struck
me as being obviously diabolical.

When the snows came, two and three feet deep, we got out the family
sled from its summer lodging in the barn and went forth, muffled in
interminable knit tippets and other woollen armor, to coast down the
long slope. Our father sat in front with the reins in his hands and
his feet thrust out to steer, and away we went clinging fast behind
him. Sometimes we swept triumphantly to the bottom; at other times we
would collide with some hidden obstacle, and describe each a separate
trajectory into the snow-banks. We made enormous snow-balls by
beginning with a small one and rolling it over and over in the soft
snow till it waxed too vast for our strength; two or three of these
piled one on another would be sculptured by the author of The Scarlet
Letter into a snow-man, who would stand stanch for weeks. Snow-storms
in Lenox began early and lasted till far into April. The little red
house had all it could do, sometimes, to lift its upper windows above
them. In the front yard there was a symmetrical balsam fir-tree,
tapering like a Chinese pagoda. One winter morning we found upon one
of its lower boughs a little brown sparrow frozen stiff. We put it in
a card-board coffin, and dug out a grave for it beneath the fir, with
a shingle head-stone. The funeral ceremonies had for the two mourners
a solemnity such as is not always felt at such functions in later
life.

Of the regular daily routine was the journey to Luther Butler's,
quarter of a mile up the road, for milk and butter. I generally
accompanied my father, and saw placid Luther's cows, placid as
himself, with their broad, wet noses, amiable dark eyes, questionable
horns, and ambrosial breath. Mr. Tappan, our landlord, had horses,
and once he mounted me on the bare back of one of the largest of these
quadrupeds, which, to the stupefaction of everybody, instantly set off
at full gallop. Down the road we thundered, the rider, with his legs
sticking out at right angles, screaming with joy, for this transcended
any rocking-horse experiences. A hundred yards away there was a bend
in the road. Just at that point there was a manure-pile, which had
long bided its time. I had hold of a strand of the horse's mane; but
when he swerved at the bend I had to let go, and after a short flight
in air, the manure-pile received me in its soft embrace. Looking up
the road, I saw Mr. Tappan, with dilated eyes and a countenance
expressing keen emotion, coming towards me at a wonderful pace, and my
father and mother following him at a short distance. I did not myself
mind the smell of manure, and the others were glad to put up with it
in consideration of my having escaped broken bones.

We did not keep a dog, but Herman Melville, who often came over from
Pittsfield, had a large Newfoundland which he sometimes brought with,
him, and Mr. G. P. R. James, a novelist of the Walter Scott school,
had another, and I was permitted to bestride both of them; they were
safe enough, but they would turn back their heads and lay their cold
noses on my leg; I preferred the now-forbidden horse. But Melville
himself made up for everything by the tremendous stories he used to
tell about the South Sea Islands and the whale fishery. Normally he
was not a man of noticeable appearance; but when the narrative
inspiration was on him, he looked like all the things he was
describing--savages, sea-captains, the lovely Fayaway in her canoe, or
the terrible Moby Dick himself. There was vivid genius in this man,
and he was the strangest being that ever came into our circle. Through
all his wild and reckless adventures, of which a small part only got
into his fascinating books, he had been unable to rid himself of a
Puritan conscience; he afterwards tried to loosen its grip by studying
German metaphysics, but in vain. He was restless and disposed to dark
hours, and there is reason to suspect that there was in him a vein of
insanity. His later writings were incomprehensible. When we were
living in England, he passed through the midst of us on one of his
aimless, mysterious journeys round the world; and when I was in New
York, in 1884, I met him, looking pale, sombre, nervous, but little
touched by age. He died a few years later. He conceived the highest
admiration for my father's genius, and a deep affection for him
personally; but he told me, during our talk, that he was convinced
that there was some secret in my father's life which had never been
revealed, and which accounted for the gloomy passages in his books. It
was characteristic in him to imagine so; there were many secrets
untold in his own career. But there were few honester or more lovable
men than Herman Melville.

James (no relation of our distinguished contemporary) was a
commonplace, meritorious person, with much blameless and intelligent
conversation; but the only thing that recalls him personally to my
memory is the fact of his being associated with a furious
thunder-storm. My father and I were alone in the house at the time; my
mother had gone to West Newton on a three weeks' visit. In the midst
of the thunder and lightning, the downpour and the hurricane, the
crash of matter and the wreck of worlds, our door burst open, and
behold! of all persons in the world to be heralded by such
circumstances, G. P. R. James! Not he only, but close upon his heels
his entire family, numerous, orthodox, admirable, and infinitely
undesirable to two secluded gentlemen without a wife and mother to
help them out. But it was a choice between murder and hospitality, and
come in they must. Never before or after did our liliputian
drawing-room harbor so large an assemblage. They dripped on the
carpet, they were conventional and courteous; we made conversation
between us; but whenever the thunder rolled, Mrs. James became ghastly
pale. Mr. James explained that this was his birthday, and that they
were on a pleasure excursion. He conciliated me by anecdotes of a pet
magpie or raven who stole spoons. At last, the thunder-storm and the
G. P. R. Jameses passed off together.

There were many other visitors, not only old friends, but persons
attracted thither out of the void by the fame of the book "along whose
burning leaves," as Oliver Wendell Holmes sang of it, "his scarlet web
our wild romancer weaves." It was a novel experience for the man who
had become accustomed to regarding himself as the obscurest man of
letters in America. Lonely, yearning ladies came; enthusiastic young
men; melancholy sinners. The little red house was not a literary Mecca
only, but a moral one. The dark-browed, kindly smiling author received
them all courteously; he was invariably courteous. "I would not have a
drunken man politer than I," he once answered me, when I asked him why
he had returned the salutation of a toper. What counsel he gave to
those who came to him as to a father confessor of course I know not;
but later, when I used to sit in his office in the Liverpool
consulate, I sometimes heard him speak plain truths to the waifs and
strays who drifted in there; and truth more plain, yet bestowed with
more humanity and brotherly purpose, I have never heard since. It made
them tremble, but it did them good. Such things made him suffer, but
he never flinched from the occasion by a hair's-breadth. He must have
loved his fellow-creatures.

Somebody gave me a rabbit, which I named Hind-legs. I was deeply
interested in him for a while, especially when I learned that he could
not drink water; but he lasted only two weeks, and I am under the
impression that I killed him. Not that I loved him less; but children
are prone to experiment with this singular thing called life when it
is in their power. They do not believe that death can be other than a
transient phenomenon; the lifeless body may puzzle, but it does not
convince them. I was certainly not a cruel urchin, and I can recall
none but cordial sentiments towards Hindlegs on my part. I remember no
details of the murder, if murder were done; but I do remember feeling
no surprise when, one morning, Hindlegs was found dead. After so many
years, I will not bring against the owner of Hindlegs a verdict of
positive guilt; but I suspect him. Hindlegs, at all events, achieved
an immortality which can belong to few of his brethren; for my father,
after pooh-poohing the imbecile little bundle of fur for a day or two,
conceived an involuntary affection for him, and reported his character
and habits in his journal in a manner which is likely to keep his
memory alive long after the hand that (perhaps) slew him is dust.

In default of dogs and Hindlegs, we had abundant cats. My father was
always fond of these mysterious deities of ancient Egypt, and they
were never turned away from our doors; but how so many of them
happened to find us out in this remote region I cannot explain. It
seems as if goodwill towards cats spontaneously generated them. They
appeared, one after another, to the number of five; but when the time
came for us to leave the red house forever, the cats would not and
could not be packed up, and they were left behind. In my mind's eye I
still see them, squatting abreast, silhouetted against the sky, on the
brow of the hill as we drove down the road; for they had scampered
after our carry-all when we drove away. Cats teach Americans what they
are slow to learn--the sanctity and permanence of home.

But Lenox could not be a home for us. It was, indeed, a paradise for
the children; but the children's father was never well there. He had a
succession of colds--as those affections are called; it was ascribed
to the variations of temperature during the summers; but the
temperature would not have troubled him had he not been hard hit
before he went to Berkshire. He got out of patience with the climate,
and was wont to anathematize it with humorous extravagance, as his way
was: "It is horrible. One knows not for ten minutes together whether
he is too cool or too warm. I detest it! I hate Berkshire with my
whole soul. Here, where I had hoped for perfect health, I have for the
first time been made sensible that I cannot with impunity encounter
nature in all her moods." It was the summers that disagreed with him.
"Upon the whole," he said, "I think that the best time for living in
the country is the winter." It was during the winter that he did most
of his writing. The House of the Seven Gables was written between
September of 1850 and January or February of 1851.

But composition took more out of him than formerly. He admitted to
his sister Louisa that he was "a little worn down with constant work,"
and added that he could not afford any idle time now, being evidently
of the opinion that his popularity would be short-lived, and that it
behooved him, therefore, to make the most of it. But "the pen is so
constantly in my fingers that I abominate the sight of it!" he
exclaimed. This was after he had transgressed his custom of never
writing in the hot months. He began in June and finished in forty days
the whole volume of The Wonder-Book. He also read the tales to his
domestic audience as fast as they were written, and benefited,
perhaps, by the expert criticism of the small people. Many passages in
the intercalated chapters, describing the adventures of Eustace Bright
and the Tangle-wood children, are based on facts well known to his own
two youngsters. And when Eustace tells his hearers that if the
dark-haired man dwelling in the cottage yonder were simply to put some
sheets of writing-paper in the fire, all of them and Tangle-wood
itself would turn into cinders and vanish in smoke up the
chimney--even the present chronicler saw the point; though, at the
same time, he somehow could not help believing in the reality of
Primrose, Buttercup, Dandelion, Squash-blossom, and the rest. Thus
early did he begin to grasp the philosophy of the truth of fiction.

The House of the Seven Gables and The Wonder-Book were a fair
eighteen-months' work, and in addition to them Hawthorne had, before
leaving Lenox, planned out the story of The Blithedale Romance; so
that after we got to West Newton--our half-way station on the road to
Concord--he was prepared to sit down and write it. Long before we left
Concord for England he had published Tangle-wood Tales, not to mention
the biography of Franklin Pierce. Una and her brother knew nothing
about the romances; they knew and approved the fairy tales; but their
feeling about all their father's writings was, that he was being
wasted in his study, when he might be with them, and there could be
nothing in any books, whether his own or other authors', that could
for a moment bear comparison with his actual companionship. What he
set down upon the page was but a less free and rich version of the
things that came from his living mouth in our heedless playtimes. "If
only papa wouldn't write, how nice it would be!" And, indeed, a book
is but a poor substitute for the mind and heart of a man, and it
exists only as one of the numberless sorry makeshifts to which time
constrains us, while we are waiting for eternity and full communion.

It was a dreary day in the beginning of the second winter that we set
out on our eastward journey; but Hawthorne's face was brighter than
the weather warranted, for it was turned once more towards the sea. We
were destined, ere we turned back, to go much farther towards the
rising sun than any of us then suspected. We took with us one who had
not been present at our coming--a little auburn-haired baby, born in
May. Which are the happiest years of a man's life? Those in which he
is too much occupied with present felicity to look either forward or
backward--to hope or to remember. There are no such years; but such
moments there may be, and perhaps there were as many such moments
awaiting Hawthorne as had already passed.

His greatest work was done before he left his native land, and within
a year or two of his death he wrote to Richard Stoddard: "I have been
a happy man, and yet I cannot remember any moment of such happy
conspiring circumstances that I would have rung a joy-bell at it."

Julian Hawthorne

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