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some service-although the Whigs declared He sailed to the United States in June, it was the greatest fiction the author had 1860, about a year before the Civil War written—and Pierce, feeling that he owed a broke out. He was deeply affected by the debt of gratitude, would have given his situation of affairs, and was unable to set friend a foreign mission. But Hawthome himself at work with anything of the old was not rich enough to accept an appoint- spirit. He believed that a separation was ment as minister, and preferred the place inevitable, and the only thing to contend of consul to Liverpool, then worth about for was to retain as many of the Northern £2,500 a year.
Even this he declined Slave States as possible. His anxiety is eviat first, but subsequently reconsidered his dent in all that he wrote, and it was the decision.
opinion of his friends that it shortened his The pressure of official business prevented days. He brought out two volumes of selecany effective literary labour, and nothing tions from his English note-books, entitled was accomplished of any moment (beyond “Our Old Home," and he had begun “The memoranda in his note-books) until he left Dolliver Romance," but he did not live to the consulate. His duties were extremely complete it. His friend ex-President Pierce irksome, and he was kept in perpetual un- induced him to take a trip to Plymouth, easiness by the attempts in Congress to New Hampshire, hoping to revive his spirits, deprive him of his fees and put him on a which were depressed by many causes, chiefly limited salary. A literary man in the con- by the sudden death of Mr. Ticknor, of the sular service of the Republic cannot look firm of Ticknor and Fields, his publishers. for repose. He must move in society for The two friends drove to New Hampshire in which his small income is insufficient to a carriage and stopped for the night at a maintain him on equal terms, and he is per- hotel, where, without warning, Hawthorne petually harassed by demands on his time, was found dead in his bed.
This was and especially on his purse, by those of his May 19, 1864. He was buried a few days countrymen who for any reason find them later in the cemetery of Concord, the funeral selves stranded for want of money.
being attended by a large number of literary Hawthorne might probably have remained men. Mr. Fields has left a beautiful and in office through the administration of Bu- sympathetic account of it in his “Yesterdays chanan (who succeeded Pierce), but he re- with Authors,” and Longfellow's touching signed in 1857 and went to Italy in January, poem upon the occasion will recur to ali 1858. His life in the land of art and song
readers. was pleasurable, and he planned several ro
“ There, in seclusion ard remote from men, mances, but the air was enervating and
The wizard hand lies cold,
Which at its topmost speed let fall the pen, everything led to repose. “The Marble
And left the tale half told. Faun” was sketched in Italy, but was not
"Ah, who shall lift that wand of magic power, written until his return to England. For And the lost clue regain !
The unfinished window
in Aladdin's tower somé unexplained reason the title of the
Unfinished must remain!” English edition was changed to “Transformation;" but the admirers of the author The fame of most novels is of short durcin the United States hold to the fine and tion, seldom extending much beyond the suggestive name he gave it. “The Scarlet generation whose tastes they reflect, and Letter” is wonderful for its atmosphere, whose manners they would perpetuate; the its characteristic local colouring; it is a ideal creations of romance have more vitality. perfect mirror of colonial times as regards Most novels are built up of a multitude of scenery, manners, and ideas; but “The details, the result of observation, so that a Marble Faun,” which equally bears the novelist like Dickens might say, “Genius is marks of the author's individuality, is only patience and attention.” But no amount equally faithful to all that is beautiful in of patience and attention could have conItaly, and suggests the indescribable charm ceived and wrought "The Scarlet Letter.” of antiquity, the lingering traditions of the Roger Chillingworth and Hester Prynne golden age. It is one of his three great could not have been created from the most romances, and perhaps the greatest, as it ingenious combination of traits and peculiwas the last. He left unfinished sketches arities. They are vital conceptions developed entitled "Septimus Felton," "The Dolliver from within. They and Dimmesdale are fatally Romance," and "Dr. Grimshaw's Secret," bound together, and not even the author none of which, as they stand, add to his could have controlled their conduct and desfame.
tiny after having formed them : they must
be developed and led to the crisis of the certain works of ancient art, some Faun of tragedy according to the laws of their being. Praxiteles or Venus of Milo, that one expeThe story is a pure creation, like the forma- riences a similar feeling of restful admiration of a crystal.
tion. The truth of line and the naturalness Hawthorne has his place among writers of pose and expression appear inevitable ; one endowed with poetic and constructive imagi- cannot think of their being otherwise; their nation, a limited number in all the ages. beauty and grace must have always existed ; Lowell calls him “a John Bunyan-Fouque;' they are no longer works in our eyes, but but the comparison, though suggestive, fails must have been spoken into being. somewhat in application. "The Pilgrim's The obvious drawback in too many of Progress” belongs chiefly to the spiritual Hawthorne's stories is their prevailing sombre realm, and “Undine "to fairyland, while the tone. There are occasional scenes glowing chief romances of Hawthorne have their with light, like parts of a landscape touched scenes in the actual world, and might have by rays that stream through cloud-rifts; but been literal narrations of human experiences. his mind was possessed of tragic conceptions, His genius suggests the occult influences and his fairest characters are decked for sawithout invoking the aid of miracle, or tak- crifice. This bent came partly from his coning us from our firm footing as reasoning templation of the gloomy life of the old
Puritan colony as it was in the days of his It might have been supposed from his ancestors, and partly from his solitary ancestry, his inherited traits, and his sur habits, and his natural tendency to melanroundings, that his romances, if he produced choly. any, would have been full of storm and While the memory of a writer is fresh, stress, startling in plot, violent in action, something of his personality mingles in our and highly coloured in style, but of all estimate of what he has done ; but the time modern writers he is the one whose language comes when his amiability or his moroseness is most temperate, whose movements are is forgotten, and his works are judged purely most measured, and whose taste is most re- by their merits. What would it matter tofined. When one thinks of his inborn day whether Dante had been Guelph or energy and his proneness to tempests of Ghibeline, whether Milton had been Puritan wrath, this gracious and equable style affects or Cavalier ? And what will it matter a us like the tense restraint of the fiery Rubin- hundred years hence what view Hawthorne stein playing a melody pianissimo.
took of the American civil war, provided Theodore Parker says (in substance) that only his romances retain their charm ? At the noblest man has in him some of the finer this time, in thinking of the terrible cost at feminine traits, as the noblest woman has which the union of the States has been presomething of man's firm qualities. Haw- served, we cannot wholly forgive men like thorne had much of a woman's delicacy and Hawthorne and Carlyle, who were willing to sensibility as an offset to his unusual power. see that union shattered. Could they have This is evident in the character of his heroines. lived to see the grand result of the struggle, He not only knew the creatures of his brain, the magnanimity of the victors, and the but entered into their feelings, and repre- return of fraternal feeling, they would have sented their speech and action with a sub- been forced to confess their shortsightedtilty which affects us like the airy traits of ness. Shakespeare's Miranda and Juliet. The The bitterness engendered by the war is most cursory reader feels this, although he passing away; errors of judgment like Hawmay not be able to account for his impres- thorne's will be excused; and the time must sions.
come when the people of Boston, and of The genius of Hawthorne is shown in no Salem and Concord as well, will bethink special detail; it is not one thing or another, themselves of erecting proper memorials of but the whole conception of the plots and the author whose fame sheds lustre upon the characters. There is no field in his books them all. If Boston honours its great writers for collectors of “elegant extracts” unless as Antwerp has honoured its great artists, they are willing to transfer entire scenes. there will be in its public squares many The reader follows with his spontaneous statues in bronze or marble in memory
of the admiration without being able to select a brilliant men who for the last half century description or a sentence which, more than have made its name illustrious ; and of that another, moves him to say "how beautiful !" remarkable group no one is surer of enduring I must repeat that it is only in presence of fame than Nathaniel Hawthorne.
OUR ISLAND SPORTS.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “John HALIFAX, GENTLEYAN."
miles. Along its usually solitary line were moving all sorts of equipages-spring-carts, dog-carts, waggonettes-objects of surprise and admiration to one who remembers when almost the only mode of locomotion on the island, except "gude shanks-naigie," was a sort of rude cart without any springs at all. To be jolted in it along this String road was a martyrdom compared to which the longest walk became a luxury.
We had thought that to sit still for two
hours in a comfortable carriage would be a A ND most insu- desirable rest for our mountaineers. Not a
larly primi- bit of it! They never seem to know what tive they were— rest is, except when asleep in their beds. would have been They kept jumping out at every available regarded with mild instant, to relieve the horses, they said, but disdain at Lord's, also, I believe, to get rid of their own exubeor Lillie Bridge, or rant vitality. And every five minutes they any other athletic turned to look tenderly at the lofty peak centre
“the whence they had just descended, and remark adjacent islands of with patronising calmness of every beautiful Great Britain and view that was pointed out to them, “Oh! Ireland.” But in we've seen it before—at five this morning.” our Scottish island Truly, to watch the sunrise from a mountain-our dear Atlan- top makes a person intolerably conceited for
tis of the West- a week after. we thought them very grand indeed. All So thought those who fain would go and our rank, wealth, beauty, and fashion, never can, but must watch mountains from migratory and resident, turned out to look the humble plain for the rest of their days. at them, while our aboriginal working popu- Only, what a good thing it is to have a mounlation had for weeks beforehand been exer- tain to watch, and eyes to see it! cised in preparing for that one day of play. The-village shall I call it ? as it consists A heavenly day it was, such as makes this merely of a road-side inn, a farm, and a few our Golden Island as beautiful as any southern scattered cottages—had never till now arrived paradise.
at the dignity of having sports at all, and felt “Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard-lawns,
itself important accordingly. There was And bowery hollows crowned with summer seas. quite a bustle in front of the little "public." Some of the party had watched its dawn Its yard was filled with vehicles, and before from a peak three thousand feet high, having its door were rows of white-c vered tables, started at one in the morning in the dim inquirers being informed that an commodation moon-set, rowed across the bay, and climbed could only be had “outside.' Inside, the the mountain by starlight, just in time for a comfortable-looking landlady and pleasantgorgeous sunrise, descending thence triumph- faced lassie, who had to do everything antly to breakfast, and professing themselves between them, seemed overladen with "ready for anything."
responsibility, but yet prepared to meet Which we elders scarcely were, for you it all. can't go to bed at two and rise at seven, So half of us relieved them by walking off with a party of young Alpine climbers on with our provision basket, and cating our your mind, without feeling a trifle sleepy dinner in peace by the side of a burn, leaving afterwards. But we roused ourselves, and the others, who preferred luxury and hot enjoyed fully the drive along the shore, and meat, to make the best of it; which was better up the beautiful “String” road, which winds than they expected, for they met us half like a thread over the hillside, visible for an hour after with cheerful countenances,
declaring they had dined
Throwing a promise to kill "half a
The Caber. sheep” for us to-morrow. Whether the other half was to be left running about the mountains and jackets, hats all feathers and lace, wiggletill required, did not transpire. We took waggle dress-improvers, and barbarous highboat next day to the mainland.
heeled shoes we saw in plenty ; but where But this happened thirty years ago. Since was the bright-tinted petticoat and short then, our island has advanced in civilisation gown ?—the white mutch with the plaid drawn most miraculously — sometimes most pain- over it ?—the tartan and the kilt ? Gone, fully. Astonishing were the toilettes we fol- all gone ! Not a single trace of the old lowed down the farm-yard lane which led to Highland costume could we discover, and we the field, where in a large level plateau the mourned over our Islanders fallen from their sports were going on. Fashionable polonaises high estate of picturesque simplicity, and
melting into the light of common day.
Still, the natural beauty of the scene could not be spoiled. Our artist, leaning against a gate, took it all in, despairing to set it down the horse-shoe circle of spectators keenly interested, the accidental groups moving outside, and the sunshiny sleepy repose of the mountains beyond, each standing in his place through gloom or shine. No Lord's” or “Lillie Bridge” could rival them.
The honest ground was the only seat provided for everybody, except a rude platform covered with a bit of brilliant, but not too artistic, carpet, where were placed, pro tem., the musicians—a harp, cornet, and violinwho gave us
“Who'll be King but Charlie ?"
“A wee Bird came to our ha' door,” “The The Auld House," and other known tunes, with a
pathos and energy, as well as skill, often wanting in much grander bands; and when they subsided into
modern music they did equally well, though it was rather funny to hear the
Iolanthe and Patience airs in our far-away had been increased by a good number better island.
dressed and calmer minded-tourists and But, except ourselves, no one seemed to holiday folk. It was amusing to notice what listen much; all were absorbed in the high really charming costumes had been fished out jump then going on. Youth after youth, of portmanteaus and chest of drawers in those lithe and wiry, though scarcely so graceful tiny white “letting" cottages, which dot as our southern athletes, cleared the pole, every corner of the island, and where whole almost as high as themselves. At each suc- families who have discovered, and, alas ! are cess there was a hearty shout; at each of discovering more and more every year, what the few failures a good-natured laugh. Evi- a delightful island it is, contrive to stow dently the competitors were all showing off themselves away for the summer. No gorunder the eyes of their “ain folk,” which geous silks or satins appeared : the dresses much increased the excitement.
were chiefly of coloured cotton, or pure white It reached its pitch when a long line of brightened with a "Liberty” sash; while many young men were tied by the leg in twos and a pretty face smiled from under a three-halftwos, to run the comical three-legged race, penny Zulu hat, decked with a bit of bright which always delights children and the child colour, or a bunch of real heather. The like populace. None sported the brilliant, if young men too-does a young man ever rather limited running costume familiar to look so well as in his grey shooting clothes, English athletes, but wore just their ordinary his bonnet and his knickerbockers ? devotcoloured shirt, and trousers tucked up to the ing himself to a simply-dressed girl—not a knee ; yet there were some fine Greek forms "young lady”—who brings an almost childamong them, which our artist hastily sketched. like element of frank enjoyment into the And when, at the sound of a pistol shot, they natural charm which draws men and young all started, wild were the shouts, in Gaelic and women together, and will do to theend of timet English, that followed them; and loud was And if it ends in something deeper, well! the cry, half howl, half cheer, which rang which is likely to be the best and safest love, across the field, when they all fell together, a that born in a ball-room or on a Highland writhing mass of legs and arms, in front of moor? a winning-post. One couple lay there some The children too were especially happy. minutes, and when unbound were seen to be I noticed half-a-dozen groups of slender examined so anxiously that a whisper of damsels with short frocks and long tails, "Leg broken ran round the admiring circle, who may grow up to be the belles of the and an ardent disciple of St. John's Ambu next generation. And there was a boy about lance Society was just about to advance, prof-twelve, who went about the field dressed in fering “first aid to the wounded,” when the the roughest of clothes, with his beautiful young man rose up and walked away. bare brown legs and feet shaped like an
Putting the stone and throwing the caber Antinous, and a face that might have been are performances exclusively Scottish. Only that of a young duke. Highland thews and sinews, frames hardened And when the aristocratic element really by mountain air and porridge, and innocent came upon the scene, it still further exempliof beef and beer-Hodge, poor fellow, is too fied the fact, that the higher you go up in apt to overeat as well as overdrink himself the social scale the simpler are your manners, if he gets a chance-only such brawny fellows and the less you " bother" about as these could have “putted” so accurately clothes. By-and-by, the band having vacated and so far a twenty-pound lump of solid the tiny platform, it was occupied by three granite, or poised with such amazing steadi- ladies, very quietly attired, and two gentleness and then thrown over in a double somer- men in shooting costumes. The former had sault, a huge pine-tree that might have served a rough garden seat provided, the latter sat as walking-stick to the “monster Polypheme.” dangling their legs over the wooden frameOne man (I believe a game-keeper-and if work, but all five seemed thoroughly to enjoy so, woe to the poacher who had to wrestle the scene ; especially the hundred yards race with him !) “putted” the stone again and which now came off, accompanied by shouts of again ; another, grey-haired, but Herculean “Noo, Thomas !""" Noo, Donald I” “Well still
, balanced the caber, and ran along with done, John !” Everybody seemed to know it for a few yards before throwing it over, everybody and to call them by their Chrisin a way perfectly marvellous to our Saxon tian names. And no Pythian or Olympian eyes.
games could have been watched with greater By this time, the excited throng of natives excitement, while Hymettus itself could not