Hawthorne

English Men of Letters Series

Author: Henry James
Published: 1879
Language: English
Wordcount: 57,196 / 171 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 54.2
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 1,290
Added to site: 2006.06.13
mnybks.net#: 13844
Genres: Biography, Criticism
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Excerpt

serviceable to mankind in his day and generation, may that be? Why, the degenerate fellow might as well have been a fiddler!' Such are the compliments bandied between my great grandsires and myself across the gulf of time! And yet, let them scorn me as they will, strong traits of their nature have intertwined themselves with mine."

In this last observation we may imagine that there was not a little truth. Poet and novelist as Hawthorne was, sceptic and dreamer and little of a man of action, late-coming fruit of a tree which might seem to have lost the power to bloom, he was morally, in an appreciative degree, a chip of the old block. His forefathers had crossed the Atlantic for conscience' sake, and it was the idea of the urgent conscience that haunted the imagination of their so-called degenerate successor. The Puritan strain in his blood ran clear--there are passages in his Diaries, kept during his residence in Europe, which might almost have been written by the grimmest of the old Salem worthies. T

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