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Title: Literary Shrines - The Haunts of Some Famous American Authors
Author: Wolfe, Theodore F. (Theodore Frelinghuysen)
Language: English
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LITERARY SHRINES

FIFTH EDITION


      *      *      *      *      *      *

  _BY DR. WOLFE_

  Uniform with this volume

  A LITERARY PILGRIMAGE
  AMONG THE HAUNTS OF SOME FAMOUS BRITISH AUTHORS

  _Treating descriptively and reminiscently of the homes and resorts of
  English writers from the time of Chaucer to the present, and of the
  scenes commemorated in their works_

  262 pages. Illustrated with four photogravures. $1.25

  A LITERARY PILGRIMAGE AND LITERARY SHRINES

  Two volumes in a box, $2.50

      *      *      *      *      *      *


  [Illustration: THE WAYSIDE, CONCORD]


LITERARY SHRINES

The Haunts of Some Famous American Authors

by

THEODORE F. WOLFE
M.D. PH.D.

Author of A Literary Pilgrimage etc.



J. B. Lippincott Company
Philadelphia. MDCCCXCV

Copyright, 1895,
By
Theodore F. Wolfe.

Printed by J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A.



  TO

  MY WIFE,

  MY SYMPATHETIC AND APPRECIATIVE
  COMPANION IN PILGRIMAGES
  TO MANY

  LITERARY SHRINES

  IN THE NEW WORLD AND THE OLD,
  THIS VOLUME
  IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED.



PREFACE


For some years it has been the delightful privilege of the writer of the
present volume to ramble and sojourn in the scenes amid which his
best-beloved authors erst lived and wrote. He has made repeated
pilgrimages to most of the shrines herein described, and has been, at
one time or another, favored by intercourse and correspondence with many
of the authors adverted to or with their surviving friends and
neighbors. In the ensuing pages he has endeavored to portray these
shrines in pen-pictures which, it is hoped, may be interesting to those
who are unable to visit them and helpful and companionable for those who
can and will. If certain prominent American authors receive little more
than mention in these pages, it is mainly because so few objects and
places associated with their lives and writings can now be indisputably
identified: in some instances the writer has expended more time upon
fruitless quests for shrines which proved to be non-existent or of
doubtful genuineness than upon others which are themes for the chapters
of this booklet.

                                                                T. F. W.



CONTENTS


  THE CONCORD PILGRIMAGE
                                                                    PAGE
    I. A VILLAGE OF LITERARY SHRINES.

  _Abodes of Thoreau--The Alcotts--Channing--Sanborn--Hudson--Hoar--
    Wheildon--Bartlett--The Historic Common--Cemetery--Church_        17

    II. THE OLD MANSE.

  _Abode of Dr. Ripley--The Emersons--Hawthorne--Learned Mrs.
    Ripley--Its Famed Study and Apartments--Grounds--Guests--Ghosts--
    A Transcendental Social Court_                                    28

    III. A STORIED RIVER AND BATTLE-FIELD.

  _Where Zenobia Drowned--Where Embattled Farmers Fought--Thoreau's
    Hemlocks--Haunts of Hawthorne--Channing--Thoreau--Emerson, etc._  39

    IV. THE HOME OF EMERSON.

  _An Intellectual Capitol and Pharos--Its Grounds, Library, and
    Literary Workshop--Famous Rooms and Visitants--Relics and
    Reminiscences of the Concord Sage_                                45

    V. THE ORCHARD HOUSE AND ITS NEIGHBORS.

  _Ellery Channing--Margaret Fuller--The Alcotts--Professor
    Harris--Summer School of Philosophy--Where Little Women was
    written and Robert Hagburn lived--Where Cyril Norton was slain_   52

    VI. HAWTHORNE'S WAYSIDE HOME.

  _Sometime Abode of Alcott--Hawthorne--Lathrop--Margaret Sidney--
    Storied Apartments--Hawthorne's Study--His Mount of Vision--Where
    Septimius Felton and Rose Garfield dwelt_                         58

    VII. THE WALDEN OF THOREAU.

  _A Transcendental Font--Emerson's Garden--Thoreau's
    Cove--Cairn--Beanfield--Resort of Emerson--Hawthorne--Channing--
    Hosmer--Alcott, etc._                                             68

    VIII. THE HILL-TOP HEARSED WITH PINES.

  _Last Resting-Place of the Illustrious Concord Company--Their
    Graves beneath the Piny Boughs_                                   75


  IN AND OUT OF LITERARY BOSTON


  IN BOSTON

  _A Golden Age of Letters--Literary Associations--Isms--Clubs--Where
    Hester Prynne and Silas Lapham lived--The Corner Book-store--Home
    of Fields--Sargent--Hilliard--Aldrich--Deland--Parkman--Holmes--
    Howells--Moulton--Hale--Howe--Jane Austin, etc._                  83


  OUT OF BOSTON

    I. CAMBRIDGE: ELMWOOD: MOUNT AUBURN.

  _Holmes's Church-yard--Bridge--Smithy, Chapel, and River of
    Longfellow's Verse--Abodes of Lettered Culture--Holmes--
    Higginson--Agassiz--Norton--Clough--Howells--Fuller--
    Longfellow--Lowell--Longfellow's City of the Dead and its
    Precious Graves_                                                 103

    II. BELMONT: THE WAYSIDE INN: HOME OF WHITTIER.

  _Lowell's Beaver Brook--Abode of Trowbridge--Red Horse Tavern--
    Parsons and the Company of Longfellow's Friends--Birthplace of
    Whittier--Scenes of his Poems--Dwelling and Grave of the
    Countess--Powow Hill--Whittier's Amesbury Home--His Church and
    Tomb_                                                            117

    III. SALEM: WHITTIER'S OAK-KNOLL AND BEYOND.

  _Cemetery of Hawthorne's Ancestors--Birthplace of Hawthorne and his
    Wife--Where Fame was won--House of the Seven Gables--
    Custom-House--Where Scarlet Letter was written--Main Street
    and Witch Hill--Sights from a Steeple--Later Home of Whittier--
    Norman's Woe--Lucy Larcom--Parton, etc.--Rivermouth--Thaxter_    128

    IV. WEBSTER'S MARSHFIELD: BROOK FARM, ETC.

  _Scenes of the Old Oaken Bucket--Webster's Home and Grave--Where
    Emerson won his Wife--Home of Miss Peabody--Parkman--Miss
    Guiney--Aldrich's Ponkapog--Farm of Ripley's Community--Relics
    and Reminiscences_                                               141


  IN BERKSHIRE WITH HAWTHORNE

    I. THE GRAYLOCK AND HOOSAC REGION.

  _North Adams and about--Hawthorne's Acquaintances and Excursions--
    Actors and Incidents of Ethan Brand--Kiln of Bertram the
    Lime-Burner--Natural Bridge--Graylock--Thoreau--Hoosac
    Mountain--Deerfield Arch--Williamstown--Bryant_                  155

    II. LENOX AND MIDDLE BERKSHIRE.

  _Beloved of the Littérateurs--La Maison Rouge--Where The House of
    the Seven Gables was written--Wonder-Book and Tanglewood Scenes--
    The Bowl--Beecher's Laurel Lake--Kemble--Bryant's Monument
    Mountain--Stockbridge--Catherine Sedgwick--Melville's Piazza
    and Chimney--Holmes--Longfellow--Pittsfield_                     176


  A DAY WITH THE GOOD GRAY POET

  _Walk and Talk with Socrates in Camden--The Bard's Appearance and
    Surroundings--Recollections of his Life and Work--Hospital
    Service--Praise for his Critics--His Literary Habit, Purpose,
    Equipment, and Style--His Religious Bent--Readings_              201



  ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                                    PAGE

  The Wayside, Concord                                   _Frontispiece._

  The Thoreau-Alcott House,--Present Appearance                       21

  The Grave of Emerson                                                78

  Where Longfellow lived                                             108



THE CONCORD PILGRIMAGE


  I. A Village of Literary Shrines
  II. The Old Manse
  III. Storied River and Battle-field
  IV. The Home of Emerson
  V. Alcott's Orchard House, etc.
  VI. Hawthorne's Wayside Home
  VII. The Walden of Thoreau
  VIII. The Hill-top Hearsed with Pines



I

A VILLAGE OF LITERARY SHRINES

_Abodes of Thoreau--The Alcotts--Channing--Sanborn--Hudson--Hoar--
  Wheildon--Bartlett--The Historic Common--Cemetery--Church._


If to trace the footsteps of genius and to linger and muse in the
sometime haunts of the authors we read and love, serve to bring us
nearer their personality, to place us _en rapport_ with their
aspirations, and thus to incite our own spiritual development and
broaden and exalt our moral nature, then the Concord pilgrimage should
be one of the most fruitful and beneficent of human experiences.
Familiarity with the physical stand-point of our authors, with the
scenes amid which they lived and wrote, and with the objects which
suggested the imagery of their poems, the settings of their tales, and
which gave tone and color to their work, will not only bring us into
closer sympathy with the writers, but will help us to a better
understanding of the writings.

A plain, straggling village, set in a low country amid a landscape
devoid of any striking beauty or grandeur, Concord yet attracts more
pilgrims than any other place of equal size upon the continent, not
because it holds an historic battle-field, but because it has been the
dwelling-place of some of the brightest and best in American letters,
who have here written their books and warred against creeds, forms, and
intellectual servitude. It is another Stratford, another Mecca, to which
come reverent pilgrims from the Old World and the New to worship at its
shrines and to wander through the scenes hallowed by the memories of its
illustrious _littérateurs_, seers, and evangels. To the literary prowler
it is all sacred ground,--its streets, its environing hills, forests,
lakes, and streams have alike been blessed by the loving presence of
genius, have alike been the theatres and the inspirations of noble
literary achievement.

Our way lies by historic Lexington, and thence, through a pleasant
country and by the road so fateful to the British soldiery, we approach
Concord. It is a placid, almost somnolent village of villas, abounding
with delightful lawns and gardens, with great elms shading its
old-fashioned thoroughfares and drooping their pliant boughs above its
comfortable homes.

Elizabeth Hoar has said, "Concord is Thoreau's monument, adorned with
inscriptions by his hand;" of the circle of brilliant souls who have
given the town its world-wide fame, he alone was native here; he has
left his imprint upon the place, and we meet some reminder of him at
every turn. By the historic village Common is the quondam home of his
grandfather, where his father was reared, and where the "New England
Essene" himself lived some time with the unmarried aunt who made the
ample homespun suit he wore at Walden. The house of his maternal
grandmother, where Henry David Thoreau was born, stood a little way out
on a by-road to Lexington, and a daughter of this home--Thoreau's
winsome aunt Louisa Dunbar--was ineffectually wooed by the famous Daniel
Webster. At the age of eight months the infant Thoreau was removed to
the village, in which nearly the whole of his life was passed. Believing
that Concord, with its sylvan environment, was a microcosm "by the study
of which the whole world could be comprehended," this wildest of
civilized men seldom strayed beyond its familiar precincts. Alcott
declared that Thoreau thought he dwelt in the centre of the universe,
and seriously contemplated annexing the rest of the planet to Concord.

On the south side of the elm-shaded Main street of the village we find a
pleasant and comfortable, old-fashioned wooden dwelling,--the home
which, in his later years, the philosopher, poet, and mystic shared with
his mother and sisters. About it are great trees which Thoreau planted;
a stairway and some of the partition walls of the house are said to have
been erected by him. In the second story of an extension at the back of
the main edifice, some of the family worked at their father's trade of
pencil-making. In the large room at the right of the entrance, afterward
the sitting-room of the Alcotts, some of Thoreau's later writing was
done, and here, one May morning of 1862, he breathed out a life all too
brief and doubtless abbreviated by the storms and drenchings endured in
his pantheistic pursuits. In this house Thoreau's "spiritual brother,"
John Brown of Osawatomie, was a welcome guest, and more than one
wretched fugitive from slavery found shelter and protection. From
his village home Thoreau made, with the poet Ellery Channing, the
journey described in his "Yankee in Canada," and several shorter
"Excursions,"--shared with Edward Hoar, Channing, and others,--which he
has detailed in the delightful manner which gives him a distinct
position in American literature.

  [Illustration: THE THOREAU-ALCOTT HOUSE]

After the removal of Sophia, the last of Thoreau's family, his friend
Frank B. Sanborn occupied the Thoreau house for some years, and then
it became the home of the Alcott family. Here Mrs. Alcott, the "Marmee"
of "Little Women," died; here Bronson Alcott was stricken with the fatal
paralysis; here commenced the malady which contributed to the death of
his illustrious daughter Louisa; here lived "Meg," the mother of the
"Little Men" and widow of "John Brooke" of the Alcott books; and here
now lives her son, while his brother, "Demi-John," dwells just around
the corner in the next street. In the room at the left of the hall,
fitted up for her study and workshop, Louisa Alcott wrote some of the
tales which the world will not forget. An added apartment at the right
of the sitting-room was long the sick-room of the Orphic philosopher and
the scene of Louisa's tender care. Here the writer saw them both for the
last time: Alcott helpless upon his couch, his bright intelligence
dulled by a veil of darkness; the daughter at his bedside, sedulous of
his comfort, devoted, hopeful, helpful to the end. A cherished memento
of that interview is a photograph of the Thoreau-Alcott mansion, made by
one of the "Little Men," and presented to the writer, with her latest
book, by "Jo" herself. The front fence has since been removed, and the
illustration shows the present view.

In Thoreau's time, a modest dwelling, with a low roof sloping to the
rear,--now removed to the other side of the street,--stood directly
opposite his home, and was for some time the abode of his friend and
earliest biographer, the sweet poet William Ellery Channing. Thoreau
thought Channing one of the few who understood "the art of taking
walks," and the two were almost constant companions in saunterings
through the countryside, or in idyllic excursions upon the river in the
boat which Thoreau kept moored to a riverside willow at the foot of
Channing's garden. The beneficent influence of their comradeship is
apparent in the work of both these recluse writers, and many of the most
charming of Channing's stanzas are either inspired by or are poetic
portrayals of the scenes he saw with Thoreau,--the "Rudolpho" and the
"Idolon" of his verse. Thoreau's last earthly "Excursion" was with this
friend to Monadnoc, where they encamped some days in 1860. To this home
of Channing came, in 1855, Sanborn, who was welcomed to Concord by all
the literary galaxy, and quickly became a familiar associate of each
particular star. To go swimming together seems to have been, among these
earnest and exalted thinkers, the highest evidence of mutual esteem, and
so favored was Sanborn that he is able to record, "I have swum with
Alcott in Thoreau's Cove, with Thoreau in the Assabet, with Channing in
every water of Concord."

In this home Sanborn entertained John Brown on the eve of his Virginia
venture; here escaping slaves found refuge; here fugitives from the
Harper's Ferry fight were concealed; here Sanborn was arrested for
supposed complicity in Brown's abortive schemes, and was forcibly
rescued by his indignant neighbors. This modest dwelling gave place to
the later residence of Frederic Hudson, the historian of journalism, who
here produced many of his contributions to literature. Professor Folsom,
of "Translations of the Four Gospels," and the popular authoress Mrs.
Austin have also lived in this neighborhood.

For some years Sanborn had a famous select school on a street back of
Thoreau's house, not far from the recent hermit-home of his friend
Channing, at whose request Hawthorne sent some of his children to this
school, in which Emerson's daughter--the present Mrs. Forbes--was a
beloved pupil, and where, also, the daughters of John Brown were for
some time placed.

A few rods westward from his former dwelling we find Sanborn in a
tasteful modern villa,--spending life's early autumn among his books.
He abounds with memories of his friends of the by-gone time, and his
reminiscences and biographies of some of them have largely employed his
pen in his pleasant study here.

Some time ago the sweet singer Channing suffered in his hermitage a
severe illness, which prompted his appreciative friend Sanborn to take
him into his own home; so we find two surviving witnesses or
participants in the moral, intellectual, and political renaissance
dwelling under the same roof. In the kindly atmosphere of this home, the
shy poet--who in his age is more recluse than ever, and scarce known to
his neighbors--so far regained physical vigor that he has resumed his
frequent visits to the Boston library, long time a favorite haunt of
his. The world refused to listen to this exquisite singer, and now "his
songs have ceased." He has been celebrated by Emerson in the "Dial," by
Thoreau in his "Week," by Hawthorne in "Mosses" and "Note-Books," by the
generous and sympathetic Sanborn in many ways and places; but even such
poems as "Earth-Spirit," "Poet's Hope," and "Reverence" found few
readers,--the dainty little volumes fewer purchasers.

Below the Thoreau-Alcott house on the village street was a prior home of
Thoreau, from which he made, with his brother, the voyage described in
his "Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers," and from which, in superb
disdain of "civilization" and social conventionalities, he went to the
two years' hermitage of "Walden."

Nearly opposite the earlier residence of the stoic is the home of the
Hoars, where lived Thoreau's comrade Edward Hoar, and Edward's
sister,--styled "Elizabeth the Wise" by Emerson, of whom she was the
especial friend and favorite, having been the _fiancée_ of his brother
Charles, who died in early manhood. The adjacent spacious mansion was
long the home of Wheildon, the historian, essayist, and pamphleteer.
Nearer the village Common lived John A. Stone, dramatist of "The Ancient
Briton" and of the "Metamora" in which Forrest won his first fame. In
this part of the village the eminent correspondent "Warrington," author
of "Manual of Parliamentary Law," was born and reared; and in Lowell
Street, not far away, lives the gifted George B. Bartlett, of the
"Carnival of Authors,"--poet, scenic artist, and local historian.

In the public library we find copies of the printed works of the many
Concord authors, and portraits or busts of most of the writers. Among
the treasures of the institution are priceless manuscripts of Curtis,
Motley, Lowell, Holmes, Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and others.

Among the thickly-strewn graves on the hill-side above the Common repose
the ashes of Emerson's ancestors; about them lie the fore-fathers of the
settlement,--some of them asleep here for two centuries, reckless alike
of the resistance to British oppression and of the later struggle for
freedom of thought which their townsmen have waged. A tree on the Common
is pointed out as that beneath which Emerson made an address at the
dedication of the soldiers' monument, and Bartlett records the tradition
that the grandfather of the Concord sage stood on the same spot a
hundred years before to harangue the "embattled farmers" on the morning
of the Concord fight.

Near by is the ancient church where Emerson's ancestors preached, and
within whose framework the Provincial Congress met. Of the religious
services here Emerson was always a supporter, often an attendant; here
he sometimes preached in early manhood; here his children were
christened by the elder Channing,--"the first minister he had known who
was as good as they;" here Emerson's daughter is a devout worshipper.

The comparatively few of the transcendental company who prayed within a
pew came to this temple, but here all were brought at last for funeral
rites: here lay Thoreau among his thronging townsmen while Emerson and
Bronson Alcott made their touching eulogies and Ellery Channing read a
dirge in a voice almost hushed with emotion; here James Freeman Clarke,
who had married Hawthorne twenty-two years before, preached his funeral
sermon above the lifeless body which bore upon its breast the unfinished
"Dolliver Romance;" before the pulpit here lay the coffined
Emerson,--"his eyes forever closed, his voice forever still,"--while a
vast concourse looked upon him for the last time, and his neighbor Judge
Hoar pronounced one of the most impressive panegyrics that ever fell
from human lips, and the devoted Alcott read a sonnet.



II

THE OLD MANSE

_Abode of Dr. Ripley--The Emersons--Hawthorne--Learned Mrs. Ripley--Its
  Famed Study and Apartments--Grounds--Guests--Ghosts--A Transcendental
  Social Court._


Northward from the village Common, a delightful stroll along a shaded
highway, less secluded now than when Hawthorne "daily trudged" upon it
to the post-office or trundled the carriage of "baby Una," brings us to
the famous "Old Manse" about which he culled his "Mosses."

This antique mansion was first tenanted by Ralph Waldo Emerson's
grandsire, and next by Dr. Ezra Ripley, who married the previous
occupant's widow and became guardian of her children,--born under its
roof,--of whom Emerson's father was one. When his father died Emerson
found a secondary home here with Dr. Ripley. The Manse was again the
abode of Emerson and his mother in 1834-35, when he here wrote his first
volume. In 1842, the year following the demise of the good Dr. Ripley,
the Manse was profaned by its first lay occupant, Nathaniel Hawthorne.
He brought here his bride, lovely Sophia Peabody (who, with the gifted
Elizabeth and Mrs. Horace Mann, formed a famous triune sisterhood), and
for four years lived here the ideal life of which his "Note-Books" and
"Mosses" give us such delicious glimpses. Hawthorne's landlord, Samuel
Ripley, was related to the George Ripley with whom Hawthorne had
recently been associated at Brook Farm. He was uncle of Emerson, and
preached his ordination sermon; was himself reared in the old Manse, and
succeeded Hawthorne as resident there. His widow, born Sarah Bradford,
and celebrated as "the most learned woman ever seen in New England," the
close friend of Emerson and of the brilliant Concord company, survived
here until 1876. She made a valuable collection of lichens, and
sometimes trained young men for Harvard University. Conway records that
a _savant_ called here one day and found her hearing at once the lesson
of one student in Sophocles and that of another in Differential
Calculus, while rocking her grandchild's cradle with one foot and
shelling peas for dinner. The place is now owned by her daughters, who
reside in Cambridge, and is rented in summer.

It is little changed since the time Emerson's ancestor hurried thence to
the gathering of his parishioners by his church-door before the Concord
battle,--still less changed since the halcyon days when the great wizard
of romance dwelt--the "most unknown of authors"--within its shades. It
is still the unpretentious Eden, "the El Dorado for dreamers," which so
completely won the heart of the sensitive Hawthorne.

The picturesque old mansion stands amid greensward and foliage, its
ample grounds divided from the highway by a low wall. The gate-way is
flanked by tall posts of rough-hewn stone, whence a grass-grown avenue,
bordered by a colonnade of overarching trees, leads to the house. Within
the scattered sunshine and shade of the avenue, a row of stone slabs
sunken in the turf like gravestones paves the path paced by Ripley,
Emerson, and Hawthorne as they pondered and planned their compositions.
Of the trees aligned upon either side, some, gray-lichened and broken,
are survivors of Hawthorne's time; others are set to replace fallen
patriarchs and keep the stately lines complete. At the right of the
broad _allée_ and extending away to the battle-ground is the field,
waving now with lush grass, where Hawthorne and Thoreau found the flint
arrow-heads and other relics of an aboriginal village. Upon the space
which skirts the other side of the avenue, Hawthorne had the garden
which engaged so much of his time and thought, and where he produced
for us abundant crops of something better than his vegetables. Here his
Brook-Farm experience was useful. Passing neighbors would often see the
darkly-clad figure of the recluse hoeing in this "patch," or, as often,
standing motionless, gazing upon the ground so fixedly and so
long--sometimes for hours together--that they thought him daft. Of the
delights of summer mornings spent here with his peas, potatoes, and
squashes, he gives us many glimpses in his record of that happy time;
but the "Note-Books" show us, alas! that this simple pleasure was not
without alloy, for, although his "garden flourished like Eden," there
are hints of "weeds," next "more weeds," then a "ferocious banditti of
weeds" with which "the other Adam" could never have contended. But a
greater woe came with the foes who menaced his artistic squashes,--"the
unconscionable squash-bugs," "those infernal squash-bugs," against which
he must "carry on continual war." For the moments that we contemplate
the scene of his entomic warfare, the greater battle-field, a few rods
away, seems hardly more impressive. Few of the trees which in
Hawthorne's time stood nearest the house remain; the producers of the
peaches and "thumping pears" have gone the way of all trees. So has Dr.
Ripley's famous willow--celebrated in Emerson's and Channing's exquisite
verse and in Hawthorne's matchless prose--which veiled the western face
of the mansion and through which Hawthorne's study-windows peeped out
upon orchard, river, and mead. In the orchard that has borne such
luscious fruit of fancy, some of the contorted and moss-grown trees,
whose branches--"like withered hands and arms"--hold out the sweet
blossoms on this June day, are the same that Hawthorne pictures among
his "Mosses," and beneath which he lay in summer reverie. Few vines now
clamber upon the house-walls, lilacs still grow beneath the old
study-window, and a tall mass of their foliage screens a corner of the
venerable edifice, which time has toned into perfect harmony with its
picturesque environment. It is a great, square, wooden structure of two
stories, with added attic rooms beneath an overwhelming gambrel roof,
which is the conspicuous feature of the edifice and contributes to its
antique form. The heavy roof settles down close upon the small,
multipaned windows. From above the door little convex glasses, like a
row of eyes, look out upon the visitor as he applies for admission.

A spacious central hall, rich in antique panelling and sombre with grave
tints, extends through the house. From its dusk and coolness we look out
upon the bright summer day through its open doors; through one we see
the "hill of the Emersons" beyond the highway, the other frames a
pleasing picture of orchard and sward with glimpses of the river shining
through its bordering shrubbery. The quaint apartments are darkly
wainscoted and low-ceiled, with massive beams crossing overhead. Some of
these rooms Hawthorne has shown us. The one at the left, which the
novelist believed to have been the sleeping-room of Dr. Ripley, was the
parlor of the Hawthornes, and--decked with a gladsome carpet, pictures,
and flowers daily gathered from the river-bank--Hawthorne averred it was
"one of the prettiest and pleasantest rooms in the whole world." To this
room then came the sage Emerson "with a sunbeam in his face;" the
"cast-iron man" Thoreau, "long-nosed, queer-mouthed, ugly as sin," but
with whom to talk "is like hearing the wind among the boughs of a forest
tree;" Ellery Channing, with his wife and her illustrious sister,
Margaret Fuller; the gifted George William Curtis, then tilling a farm
not far from the Manse, long before he lounged in an "Easy Chair;"
genial Bradford, relative of Ripley, and associate and firm friend of
Hawthorne; Horatio Bridge, of the "African Cruiser" and of the recent
Hawthorne "Recollections;" the critic George Hillard, at whose house
Hawthorne was married; "Prince" Lowell, the large-hearted; Franklin
Pierce, Hawthorne's life-long friend. Concerning the discussion of
things physical and metaphysical, to which these old walls then
listened, the host gives us little hint. Sometimes the guests were
"feasted on nectar and ambrosia" by the new Adam and Eve; sometimes they
"listened to the music of the spheres which, for private convenience, is
packed into a music-box,"--left here by Thoreau when he went to teach in
the family of Emerson's brother; once here before this wide fireplace
they sat late and told ghost stories,--doubtless suggested by the
clerical phantom whose sighs they used to hear in yonder dusky corner,
and whose rustling gown sometimes almost touched the company as he moved
about among them. In this room Dr. Ripley penned, besides his "History
of the Concord Fight" and "Treatise on Education," three thousand of his
protracted homilies,--a fact upon which Hawthorne found it "awful to
reflect,"--and here in our day the gifted George B. Bartlett wrote some
part of his Concord sketches, etc. Here, too, and in the larger room
opposite, the erudite and versatile Mrs. Samuel Ripley held her social
court and received the exalted Concord conclave, with other earnest
leaders of thought.

In the front chamber at the right Hawthorne's first child, the hapless
Una,--named from Spenser's "Faerie Queene,"--was born. Behind this is
the "ten-foot-square" apartment which was Hawthorne's study and
workshop. Two windows of small, prismatic-hued panes look into the
orchard, and upon one of these Hawthorne has inscribed,--

    "Nath^{l}. Hawthorne.
  This is his study, 1843."

Below this another hand has graven,--

    "Inscribed by my husband at
      Sunset Apr 3^{d} 1843
    In the gold light S. A. H.

  Man's accidents are God's purposes.
                      SOPHIA A. HAWTHORNE 1843."

From its north window, said to have been cracked by the explosions of
musketry in the conflict, we see the battle-field and a reach of the
placid river. This room had been the study of Emerson's grandfather;
from its window his wife watched the fight between his undrilled
parishioners and the British veterans. His daughter Mary--aunt of our
American Plato and herself a gifted writer--used to boast "she was in
arms at the battle," having been held up at this window to see the
soldiery in the highway. Years later Emerson himself came into
possession of this room, and here wrote his "Nature," antagonizing many
of the orthodox tenets. Perhaps it was well for the moral serenity of
his ancestor--to whom the transcendental movement would have seemed
arrant March-madness--that he could not foresee the composition of such
a volume here within the sanctity of his old study. The book was
published anonymously, and Sanborn says that when inquiry was made, "Who
is the author of 'Nature?'" a Concord wit replied, "God and Waldo
Emerson."

Next, the dreamy Hawthorne succeeded to the little study, and here, with
the sunlight glimmering through the willow boughs, he worked in solitude
upon his charming productions for three or four hours of each day. Here,
besides the copious entries in his journals, he prepared most of the
papers of his "Mosses," wrote many articles for the "Democratic Review"
and other magazines, edited "Old Dartmoor Prisoner" and Horatio Bridge's
"African Cruiser." It is note-worthy that the "Celestial Railroad," in
which Hawthorne records his condemnation of the spiritual renaissance by
substituting the "terrible giant Transcendentalist" (who feeds upon
pilgrims bound for the Celestial City) in place of the Pope and Pagan of
Bunyan's allegory, was written in the same room with Emerson's volume,
which inaugurated the great transcendental movement in the Western
World.

Among the recesses of the great attic of the Manse we may still see the
"Saints' Chamber," with its fireplace and single window; but it is
tenanted by sprouting clergymen no longer. The atmosphere of theological
twilight and mustiness--acquired from generations of clerical
inhabitants--which pervaded the place in Hawthorne's time has been
dissipated by the larger and happier home-life of Mrs. Samuel Ripley and
the blithe and brilliant company that gathered about her here. Dismayed
by these beneficent influences, the ghosts have indignantly deserted the
mansion: even the persistive clerical, who sighed in Hawthorne's parlor
and noisily turned his sermon-leaves in the upper hall, has not
disturbed the later occupants of the Manse.

One might muse and linger long about the old place which, as his
"Mosses" and journals show, Hawthorne made a part of his very life. Its
air of antiquity, its traditional associations, its seclusion, and all
its peaceful environment were pleasing to the shy and susceptible nature
of the subtle romancer, and accorded well with his introspective habit.
Besides, it was "the first home he ever had," and it was shared with his
"new Eve." No wonder is it that he could here declare, "I had rather be
on earth than in the seventh heaven, just now."

It is saddening to remember that, from this paradise, poverty drove him
forth.



III

A STORIED RIVER AND BATTLE-FIELD

_Where Zenobia Drowned--Where Embattled Farmers Fought--Thoreau's
  Hemlocks--Haunts of Hawthorne--Channing--Thoreau--Emerson, etc._


Behind Hawthorne's "Old Manse"--its course so tortuous that Thoreau
suggested for Concord's escutcheon "a field verdant with the river
circling nine times round," so noiseless that he likened it to the
"moccasined tread" of an Indian, so sluggish that Hawthorne had dwelt
some weeks beside it before he determined which way its current
lies--flows the Concord, "river of peace." This placid stream is the
aboriginal "Musketaquid" of Emerson's poem,--sung of Thoreau, Channing,
and many another bard, beloved of Hawthorne and pictured in rapturous
phrase in his "Note-Books" and "Mosses from an Old Manse." It was the
delightful haunt of Hawthorne's leisure, the scene of the occurrence
which inspired the most thrilling and high-wrought chapter of his
romance.

A grassy path, shaded by orchard trees, leads from the west door of the
Manse to the river's margin at the place where Hawthorne kept his boat
under the willows. The boat had before been the property of Thoreau,
built by his hands and used by him on the famous voyage described in his
"Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers." Hawthorne named the craft
"Pond-Lily," because it brought so many cargoes of that beautiful flower
to decorate his home. In it, alone or accompanied by Thoreau or Ellery
Channing, he made the many delightful excursions he has described.
Embarking on the slumberous stream, we follow the course of Hawthorne's
boat to many a scene made familiar by that dreamful romancer and by the
poets and philosophers of Concord. First to the place, below the bridge
of the battle, where one dark night Hawthorne and Channing assisted in
recovering from the water the ghastly body of the girl-suicide, an
incident which made a profoundly horrible impression upon the sensitive
novelist, and which he employed as the thrilling termination of the tale
of Zenobia in "The Blithedale Romance,"--portraying it with a tragic
power which has never been surpassed. Thence we paddle up the placid
stream, as it slumbers along its winding course between the meadows,
kisses the tangled grasses and wild flowers that fringe its margins,
bathes the roots and boughs of the elders and dwarf willows which
overhang its surface as if to gaze upon the reflections of their own
loveliness mirrored there. The reach of river--"from Nashawtuc to the
Cliff"--above the confluence of the two branches was most beloved and
frequented of Thoreau; here he sometimes brought Emerson, as on that
summer evening when the sage's diary records, "the river-god took the
form of my valiant Henry Thoreau and introduced me to the riches of his
shadowy, starlit, moonlit stream," etc.

The deeper portion of the river near the Manse was Hawthorne's habitual
resort for bathing and fishing, but his longer solitary voyages and his
"wild, free days" with Ellery Channing were upon the beautiful and
sheltered North Branch,--the Assabeth of the "Mosses,"--which flows into
the Concord a half-mile above the Manse. Into this branch we turn our
boat, and through sunshine and shade we follow the winsome course of the
lingering stream, finding new and delightful seclusion at every turn. A
railway now lies along one lofty bank, but its unsightliness is
concealed by long lines of willows planted by the loving hands of poet
and artist,--Bartlett and French,--and the infrequent trains little
disturb the seclusion of the place. Giant trees, standing with "their
feet fixed in the flood," bend their bright foliage above the
softly-flowing stream and fleck its surface with shadows; pond-lilies
are still up-borne by its dreaming waters, and cardinal flowers bedeck
its banks; its barer reaches are ribbons of reflected sky. The spot on
the margin locally known as "The Hemlocks," and noted by Hawthorne as
being only less sacred in his memory than the household hearth, remains
itself undisturbed. Here a clump of great evergreens projects from the
base of the lofty bank above and across the stream, and forms on the
shore a shaded bower, carpeted by the brown needles which have fallen
through many a year. This was a favorite haunt of Hawthorne and Channing
in blissful days; here they prepared their sylvan noontide feasts; here
they lounged and dreamed; here their "talk gushed up like the babble of
a fountain." As we recline in their accustomed resting-place beside the
sighing stream, and look up at the azure heaven through the boughs where
erstwhile often curled the smoke of their fire, we vainly try to imagine
something of what would be the converse, merry or profound, of such
starry spirits amid such an inspiring scene, and we more than ever
regret that neither the gentle poet nor the subtle romancer has chosen
to share that converse with his readers.

Long and lovingly we loiter in this consecrated spot, and then slowly
float back to Hawthorne's landing-place by his orchard wall.

A few rods distant, at the corner of his field, is the site of the "rude
bridge that arched the flood," and the first battle-ground of the
American Revolution. On the farther side a colossal minute-man in
bronze, modelled by the Concord sculptor French, surmounts a granite
pedestal inscribed with Emerson's immortal epic, and marks the spot
where stood the irregular array of the "embattled farmers" when they
here "fired the shot heard round the world." The statue replaces a bush
which sprang from the soil fertilized by the blood of Davis, and which
Emerson imaged as the "burning bush where God spake for his people."

The position of the British regulars on the hither shore is indicated by
the "votive stone" of Emerson's poem,--a slender obelisk of
granite,--and near it, close under the wall of the Manse enclosure, is
the rude memorial that marks the grave of the British soldiers who were
slain on this spot. The current tradition that a lad who, after the
battle, came, axe in hand, from the Manse wood-pile, found one of the
soldiers yet alive and dispatched him with the axe, was first related to
Hawthorne by James Russell Lowell, as they stood together above this
grave. The effect of this story upon the feelings of the susceptible
Hawthorne is told on a page of "The Old Manse," and--a score of years
later and in different shape--is related in the romance of "Septimius
Felton."



IV

THE HOME OF EMERSON

_An Intellectual Capitol and Pharos--Its Grounds, Library, and Literary
  Workshop--Famous Rooms and Visitants--Relics and Reminiscences of the
  Concord Sage._


Following the direction of the British retreat from the historic Common,
we come, beyond the village, to the modest mansion which was for half a
century the abode of the princely man who was not only "the Sage of
Concord," but, in the esteem of some contemporaries, "was Concord
itself."

Emerson declares, "great men never live in a crowd,"--"a scholar must
embrace solitude as a bride, must have his glees and glooms alone." Of
himself he says, "I am a poet and must therefore live in the country; a
sunset, a forest, a river view are more to me than many friends, and
must divide my day with my books;" and this was the consideration which
finally determined his withdrawal from the storm and fret of the city to
his chosen home here by Walden woods and among the scenes of his
childhood. It was his retirement to this semi-seclusion which called
forth his much-quoted poem, "Good-by, proud world! I'm going home." To
him here came the afflatus he had before lacked, here his faculties
were inspirited, and here his literary productiveness commenced.

Behind a row of dense-leaved horse-chestnuts ranged along the highway,
the quondam home of Emerson nestles among clustering evergreens which
were planted by Bronson Alcott and Henry D. Thoreau for their friend. A
copse of pines sighs in the summer wind close by; an orchard planted and
pruned by Emerson's hands, and a garden tended by Thoreau, extend from
the house to a brook flowing through the grounds and later joining the
Concord by the famous old Manse; beyond the brook lies the way to
Walden. At the left of the house is a narrow open reach of greensward on
the farther verge of which erst stood the unique rustic bower--with a
wind-harp of untrimmed branches above it--which was fashioned by the
loving hands of Alcott. The mansion is a substantial, square,
clapboarded structure of two stories, with hip-roofs; a square window
projects at one side; a wing is joined at the back; covered porches
protect the entrances; light paint covers the plain walls which gleam
through the bowering foliage, and the whole aspect of the place is
delightfully attractive and home-like. Its pleasant and unpretentious
apartments more than realize the comfortable suggestion of the
exterior. Adjoining the hall on the right is the plain, rectangular room
which was the philosopher's library and workshop. The cheerful fireplace
and the simple furnishings of the room are little changed since he here
laid down his pen for the last time; the heavy table held his
manuscript, his books are ranged upon the shelves, the busts and
portraits he cherished adorn the walls, his accustomed chair is upon the
spot where he sat to write.

Emerson's afternoons were usually spent abroad, but his mornings were
habitually passed among his books in this small corner-room--"the study
under the pines"--recording, in "a pellucid style which his genius made
classic," the truths which had come to him as he mused by shadowy lake
or songful stream, in deep wood glade or wayside path. Most of all his
pen produced, of divinest poetry, of gravest philosophy, of grandest
thought, was minted into words and inscribed in this simple apartment.

The adjoining parlor--a spacious, pleasant, home-like room, furnished
forth with many mementos of illustrious friends and guests--is scarcely
less interesting than the library. This house was the intellectual
capitol of the village; to it freely came the Concord circle of shining
ones,--Thoreau, Channing, Sanborn, the Alcotts, the Hoars,--less
frequently, Hawthorne. For a long time Mrs. Samuel Ripley habitually
passed her Sabbath evenings here. The Delphic Margaret Fuller, who was
as truly the "blood of transcendentalism" as Emerson "was its brain,"
was here for months an honored guest. For long periods Thoreau, whose
fame owes much to Emerson's generosity, was here an inmate and intimate.
In Emerson's parlor were held the more formal _séances_ of the Concord
galaxy; here met the short-lived "Monday Evening Club," which George
William Curtis whimsically describes as a "congress of oracles," who ate
russet-apples and discoursed celestially while Hawthorne looked on from
his corner,--"a statue of night and silence;" here were held many of
Bronson Alcott's famous "conversations," as well as those of that
disciple of Platonism, Dr. Jones.

Emerson belonged not to Concord only, but to the whole world,--"his
thought was the thought of Christendom." To these plain rooms as to an
intellectual court came, from his own and other lands, hundreds famed in
art, literature, and politics. Here came Curtis and Bartol to sit at the
feet of the sage; Charles Sumner and Moncure Conway to bear hence--as
one of them has said--"memories like those Bunyan's pilgrim must have
cherished of the Interpreter." Here "came Theodore Parker from the fight
for free thought," and Wendell Phillips and John Brown from the conflict
for free men; here came Howells, bearing the line from Hawthorne, "I
find this young man worthy;" here came Whittier, Agassiz, Hedge,
Longfellow, Bradford, Lowell, Colonel Higginson, Elizabeth Peabody,
Julia Ward Howe, as to a fount of wisdom and purity. In this
unpretentious parlor have gathered such guests as Stanley, Walt Whitman,
Bret Harte, Henry James, Louis Kossuth, Arthur Clough, Lord Amberley,
Jones Very, Fredrika Bremer, Harriet Martineau, and many others who,
like these, would have felt repaid for their journey over leagues of
land and sea by a hand-clasp and an hour's communion with the intellect
that has been the beacon of thousands in mental darkness and storm. With
these came another class of pilgrims, the great army of impracticables,
"men with long hair, long beards, long collars,--many with long ears,
each in full chase after the millennium," and each intent upon securing
the endorsement of Emerson for his own pet scheme. The wonder is that
the little library saw any work accomplished, so many came to it and
claimed the time of the master; for to every one--scholar, tradesman,
and "crank"--were accorded his never-failing courtesy and kindly
interest. Any one might be the bearer of a divine message, so he
listened to all,--the most uncouth and _outré_ visitant might be the
coming man for whom his faith waited, therefore all were admitted.

Here all were "assayed, not analyzed." Emerson's habitual quest for only
the divinest traits and his quickened perception of the best in men
enabled him to recognize excellencies which were yet unseen by others.
While Hawthorne, the shy hermit at the Manse, was unheeded by the world
and thought crazed by his neighbors, Emerson knew and proclaimed his
transcendent genius. He first recognized the inspiration of Ellery
Channing, and made for his exquisite verse exalted claims which have
been fully justified, and which the world may yet allow. While to others
Henry Thoreau was yet only an eccentric egotist, Emerson knew him as a
poet and philosopher, and made him the "forest seer, the heart of all
the scene," in his lyrical masterpiece "Wood-Notes." He promptly hailed
Walt Whitman as a true poet while many of us were yet wondering if it
were not charitable to think him insane.

Emerson's cordiality won for him the honor which prophets rarely enjoy
in their own country; the objects and places once associated with him
here are still esteemed sacred by his old neighbors. We find among them
at this day many who can know nothing of his books, but who, for memory
of his simple kindness, go far from their furrow or swath to show us
spots he loved and frequented in woodland or meadow, on swelling
hill-side or by winding river.

To his home here Emerson brought his bride sixty years ago; here he
lived his fruitful life and accomplished his work; here he rose to the
zenith of poesy and prophecy; to him here came the "great and grave
transition which may not king or priest or conqueror spare;" from here
his wife, lingering behind him in the eternal march, went a year or two
ago to rejoin him on the piny hill-top; and here his unmarried
daughter--of "saint-like face and nun-like garb"--inhabits his home and
cherishes its treasures.

Emerson's son and biographer some time ago relinquished his medical
practice in Concord, and has since devoted himself to art. He has a
residence a mile or so out of the village, but spends much of his time
abroad. Last year he lectured in London upon the lives and writings of
some of the Concord authors.



V

THE ORCHARD HOUSE AND ITS NEIGHBORS

_Ellery Channing--Margaret Fuller--The Alcotts--Professor Harris--Summer
  School of Philosophy--Where Little Women was written and Robert
  Hagburn lived--Where Cyril Norton was slain._


A plain little cottage by the road, not far from Emerson's home, was for
some time the abode of the companion of many of his rambles through the
countryside,--the poet Ellery Channing. It was to this simple dwelling,
as the author of "Little Women" once told the writer, that Channing
brought his young wife--sister of Margaret Fuller--before the Alcotts
had come to live in their hill-side home under the wooded ridge, and it
was here he commenced the sequestered life so suited to his nature and
tastes.

Some of his descriptive poems of Concord landscapes were written in this
little cottage. The scenes of one of his earlier winters in the
neighborhood--when he chopped wood in a rude clearing--are portrayed in
the exquisite lines of his "Woodman." In those days he thought his poems
"too sacred to be sold for money," and they were kept for his circle of
friends. Of the poet's modest home Miss Fuller--that "dazzling woman
with the flame in her heart"--was a frequent inmate; it was from Concord
that she went to live in the family of Horace Greeley in New York. At
the time of her visits at Channing's cottage Thoreau was sojourning with
Emerson, and we may be sure that the quartette of starry souls, thus
_juxtaposé_, held much soulful and edifying converse. But those of us
who deplore our lack of the supreme transcendental spirit which we
ascribe to the Concord circle may find consolation in reflecting that
some of this gifted company had also earthly tastes, and found even
discourse concerning the "over-soul" sometimes tiresome. The "strained
pitch of intellectual intensity" was, upon occasion, gladly relaxed;
thus we discover the exalted Channing sometime profanely inviting
Hawthorne--"the gentlest man that kindly Nature ever drew"--to visit him
in Concord, alluring the novelist with prospects of strong-waters, pipes
and tobacco without end, and urging, as the utmost inducement, "Emerson
is gone and there is nobody here to bore you."


A few furlongs farther eastward, under the high-soaring elms of the
Lexington road, we come to the "Orchard House" of Bronson Alcott, "the
grandfather of the 'Little Women.'" The tasteful dwelling stands several
rods back from the street, nestling cosily at the foot of a pine-crowned
slope, and having a wide, sunny outlook in front. Embowered in orchards
and vines, and shaded by the overreaching arms of giant elms, it seems a
most delightful home for culture and contemplative study. The cottage
itself is a low, wide, gabled, picturesquely irregular edifice, which
our Pythagorean mystic evolved from a forlorn, box-like farm-house which
he found here when he purchased the place. The rustic fence he set along
the highway is replaced by an ambitious modern structure. On this
hill-side Alcott, the "most transcendent of the transcendentalists,"
lived for nearly thirty years,--but not all of that time in this
house,--coming here first after the failure of his "Fruitlands"
community in 1845, and finally twelve years later. Prior to this he had
been assisted by Margaret Fuller and Elizabeth Peabody in his renowned
Boston Temple School, which was a failure in a financial sense only,
since it furnished a theme for Miss Peabody's "Record of a School," and
Louisa Alcott's girlish recollections of it provided her a model for the
delightful "Plumfield" of her books.

Alcott's treatise on "Early Education," his "Gospels" and "Orphic
Sayings," had been published, and his "very best contribution to
literature"--his daughter Louisa--was also extant before he came to this
home, but it was here that his maturer works and most of his charming
essays and "Conversations" were produced.

In this house were held the early sessions of the Summer School of
Philosophy, of which Alcott was the leading spirit; here his daughter,
the "Beth" of "Jo's" books, died. The interior of the "Orchard House" is
roomy and quaint and abounds in surprising nooks and cosy recesses. In
the corner-room Louisa wrote "Little Women" and other delicious books;
in the room behind it, May, "our Madonna,"--who died Madame
Nieriker,--had her studio and practised the art which made her famous
before her untimely end. In the great attic under the sloping roof the
"Little Women" acted the "comic tragedies" written by "Jo" and "Meg"
(some of them now published in a volume with a "Foreword" by "Meg")
until the increasing audiences of Concord children caused the removal of
the mimic stage to the big barn on the hill-side.

Hawthorne makes this house the abode of Robert Hagburn in "Septimius
Felton." Along the brow of the tree-clad ridge which overlooks the
place, and to which Bronson Alcott resorted for the morning and evening
view, the patriots hastened to intercept the retreat of the British
troops, "blackened and bloody." In the depression of the ridge just back
of the house we find the spot where "Septimius Felton" shot the young
officer, Cyril Norton, and buried him under the trees. On the grave here
"Septimius" sat with Rose Garfield and the half-crazed Sibyl Dacy; here
grew the crimson flower which he distilled in his "elixir of
immortality," and here Sibyl came to die after her draught of the
compound.

After the removal of the Alcotts to the Thoreau house in the village,
"Apple Slump"--as Louisa sometimes called this orchard home--became the
property and residence of that disciple of Hegel, Professor
Harris,--once principal of the Summer School of Philosophy, and now the
head of the National Bureau of Education at Washington,--who sometimes
comes here in summer.

The "Hillside Chapel," erected by Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson, of New York,
for the sessions of the Summer Philosophers, is placed among the trees
of the orchard adjoining Alcott's old home. It is a plain little
structure of wood, tasteful in design, with pointed gables and
vine-draped porch and windows. Its embowered walls, unpainted and
unplastered, seem "scarcely large enough to contain the wisdom of the
world," but they have held assemblages of such lights as Emerson,
Alcott, Sanborn, Bartol, McCosh, Holland, Porter, Lathrop, Stedman,
Wilder, Hedge, Dr. Jones, Elizabeth Peabody, Ward Howe, Ednah Cheney,
and other like seekers and promoters of fundamental truth.



VI

HAWTHORNE'S WAYSIDE HOME.

_Sometime Abode of Alcott--Hawthorne--Lathrop--Margaret Sidney--Storied
  Apartments--Hawthorne's Study--His Mount of Vision--Where Septimius
  Felton and Rose Garfield dwelt._


On the Lexington road, a little way beyond the Orchard House, is the
once Wayside home of Hawthorne, the dwelling in which, at a tender age,
Louisa M. Alcott made her first literary essay. It is a curious, wide,
straggling, and irregular structure, of varying ages, heights, and
styles. The central gambrel-roofed portion was the original house of
four rooms, described as the residence of "Septimius Felton;" other
rooms have been added at different periods and to serve the need of
successive occupants, until an architecturally incongruous and
altogether delightful mansion has been produced. To the ugly little
square house which Alcott found here in 1845 and christened "Hillside"
he added a low wing at each side, the central gable in the front of the
old roof, and wide rustic piazzas across the front of the wings. No
additions were made during Hawthorne's first residence here, nor during
the occupancy of Mrs. Hawthorne's brother, while the novelist was
abroad; but when Hawthorne returned to it in 1860, with "most of his
family twice as big as when they left," he enlarged one wing by adding
the barn to it, heightened the other side-wing, erected two spacious
apartments at the back, and crowned the edifice with a square
third-story study, which, with its great chimney and many gables,
overtops the rambling roofs like an observatory, and may have been
suggested by the tower of the Villa Montauto, where he wrote "The Marble
Faun." No important changes have been made by the subsequent owners of
the place.

Hawthorne's widow left the Wayside in 1868. It was afterward occupied by
a school for young ladies; then by Hawthorne's daughter Rose--herself a
charming writer--with her husband, the gifted and versatile George
Parsons Lathrop; later it was purchased by the Boston publisher Daniel
Lothrop, and has since been the summer home of his widow, who is widely
known as "Margaret Sidney," the creator of "Five Little Peppers," and
writer of many delightful books. Hawthorne said, anent his visit to
Abbotsford, "A house is forever ruined as a home by having been the
abode of a great man,"--a truth well attested by the present amiable
mistress of his own Wayside, whose experience with a legion of
unaccredited, intrusive, and often insolent persons who come at all
hours of the day, and sometimes in the night, demanding to be shown over
the place, would be more ludicrous were it less provoking.

Some details of the interior have been beautified by the æsthetic taste
of Mrs. Lothrop, but an appreciative reverence for Hawthorne leads her
to preserve his home and its belongings essentially unchanged. At the
right of the entrance is an antique reception-room, which was
Hawthorne's study during his first residence here, as it had long before
been the study of "Septimius Felton" in the tale. It is a low-studded
apartment with floor of oaken planks, heavy beams strutting from its
ceiling, a generous fireplace against a side wall, and with two windows
looking out upon the near highway. In this room Hawthorne wrote
"Tanglewood Tales" and "Life of Franklin Pierce;" and here that creature
of his imagination, "Septimius," brooded over his doubts and questions.
Through yonder windows "Septimius" saw the British soldiery pass and
repass; above this oaken mantel--now artistically fitted and embellished
with rare pottery--he hung the sword of the officer he had slain; before
this fireplace he pored over the mysterious manuscript his dying victim
had given him; on this hearth he distilled the mystic potion, and here
poor Sibyl quaffed it. The spacious room at the left, across the hall,
was at first Hawthorne's parlor; but after he enlarged the dwelling this
became the library, where he read aloud to the assembled family on
winter evenings, and where his widow afterward transcribed his
"Note-Books" for publication. The sunny room above this was the chamber
of the unfortunate Una; Hawthorne's own sleeping apartment, on the
second floor, is entered from the hall through the narrowest of
door-ways. In the upper hall a little wall-closet was the repository of
Hawthorne's manuscripts, and here, to the surprise of all, an entire
unpublished romance was found after his death. From this hall a narrow
stairway, so steep that one need cling to the iron rail at the side in
order to scale it, ascends to Hawthorne's study in the tower, a lofty
room with vaulted ceiling. On one side wall is the Gothic enclosure of
the stairs, against which once stood his plain oaken writing-desk; upon
it the bronze inkstand he brought from Italy, where it held the ink for
"The Marble Faun." In this inkstand, he declared, lurked "the little
imp" which sometimes controlled his pen. Attached to a side of the
staircase was the high desk or shelf upon which he often wrote
standing. Book-closets filled the corners at the back, and a little
fireplace with a plain mantel was placed between two of the windows.
Loving hands have neatly decorated the ceiling, and painted upon the
walls mottoes commemorative of the master who wrought here. The views he
beheld through the windows of this sanctum when he lifted his eyes from
his book or manuscript are tranquil and soothing: across his roofs in
one direction he looked upon the sunny grasslands of the valley; in
another he saw placid slopes of darkly-wooded hills and a reach of the
elm-bordered road; in a third direction, smiling fields and the
vineyards where the famous Concord grape first grew met his vision; and
through his north windows appeared the thick woods that crowned his own
hill-top,--so near that he "could see the nodding wild flowers" among
the trees and breathe the woodland odors.

Local tradition declares that, to prevent intrusion into this den,
Hawthorne habitually sat upon a trap-door in the floor, which was the
only entrance. Without this precaution he found in this eyrie the
seclusion he coveted, and here, among the birds and the tree-tops,
remote from the tumult of life and above ordinary distracting
influences, he could linger undisturbed in that border-land between
shadow and substance which was his delight, could evoke and fix upon his
pages the weird creatures of his fancy. Several hours of each day he
passed here alone in musing or composition, and here, besides some
papers for the "Atlantic," he wrote "Our Old Home," "Grimshaw's Secret,"
"Septimius Felton," and the "Dolliver Romance" fragment. Years before,
Thoreau told him, the Wayside had once been inhabited by a man who
believed he would never die. The thus suggested idea, of a deathless man
associated with this house, seems to have clung to Hawthorne in his last
years, and was embodied in both his later works,--the scene of
"Septimius Felton" being laid here at the Wayside. No one knew aught of
its composition, and the author, rereading the tale in the solitude of
this study and finding it in some way lacking the perfection of his
ideal, laid it away in his closet, and, in weariness and failing health,
commenced and vainly tried to finish the "Dolliver Romance" from the
same materials.

The house is separated from the highway by a narrow strip of sward, out
of which grow elms planted by Bronson Alcott and clustering evergreens
rooted by Hawthorne himself. The greater part of his domain lies along
the dark slope and the wooded summit of the ridge which rises close
behind the house. At the extremity of the grounds nearest the Orchard
House, a depression in the turf marks the site of the little house where
dwelt the Rose Garfield of "Septimius." Hawthorne planted sunflowers in
this hollow, and Julian, his son, remembers seeing the novelist stand
here and contemplate their wide disks above the old cellar.

On the steep hill-side remain the rough terraces Alcott fashioned when
he occupied the place, and many of the flowering locusts and fruit-trees
he and Thoreau planted. Here, too, are the sombre spruces and firs which
Hawthorne sent from "Our Old Home" or planted after his return, and all
are grown until they overshadow the whole place and fairly embower the
house with their branches. Along the hill-side are the famous "Acacia
path" of Mrs. Hawthorne and other walks planned by the novelist, some of
them having been opened by him in the last summer of his life. By one
path, once familiar to his feet, we find our way up the steep ascent
among the locusts to the "Mount of Vision,"--as Mrs. Hawthorne named the
ridge to which the novelist daily resorted for study and meditation.

The hill-top is clothed with a tangled growth of trees which hides it
from the lower world and renders it a fitting trysting-place for the
wizard romancer and the mystic figures which abound in his tales. Along
the brow we trace, among the ferns, vestiges of the pathway worn by his
feet. In the safe seclusion of this spot he spent delectable hours,
lying under the trees "with a book in his hands and an unwritten book in
his thoughts," while the pines murmured to him of the mystery and shadow
he loved. More often he sat on a rustic seat between yonder pair of
giant trees, or paced his foot-path hour after hour, as he pondered his
plots and worked out the mystic details of many romances, some of them
never to be written. Walking here with Fields he unfolded his design of
the "Dolliver" tale, which he left half told. Here he composed the weird
story of "Septimius Felton," while trudging on the very path he
describes as having been worn by his hero,--Hawthorne himself habitually
walking, with hands clasped behind him and with eyes bent on the ground,
in the very attitude he ascribes to "Septimius" as Rose saw him
"treading, treading, treading, many a year," on this foot-path by the
grave of the officer he had slain. In this refuge Hawthorne remained a
whole day alone with his grief, when tidings came to him of the loss of
his sister in the burning of the "Henry Clay." Here he sat with Howells
one memorable afternoon. In the last years his wife was often with him
here, sometimes walking, but more frequently sitting, with him,--as did
Rose with "Septimius,"--and looking out, through an opening in the
foliage near the western end of his path, upon the restful landscape,
not less charming to-day than when his eyes lovingly lingered upon it.
We see the same broad, sun-kissed meadows awave with lush grass and
flecked with fleeting cloud-shadows, and beyond, the dark forests of
Thoreau's Walden and the gentle outlines of low-lying hills which shut
in the valley like a human life.

For some months after the election to the Presidency of his friend
Franklin Pierce, the Wayside was frequented by office-seekers; but
ordinarily Hawthorne had few visitors besides his Concord friends.
Fields, Holmes, Hilliard, Whipple, Longfellow, Howells, Horatio Bridge,
the poet Stoddard, Henry Bright, came to him here. The visits of "Gail
Hamilton" (Miss Abigail Dodge), mentioned by Hawthorne as "a sensible,
healthy-minded woman," were especially enjoyed by him. His own visits
were very infrequent; "Orphic" Alcott said that in the several years he
lived next door Hawthorne came but twice into his house: the first time
he quickly excused himself "because the stove was too hot," next time
"because the clock ticked too loud."

The Wayside was the only home Hawthorne ever owned. To it he came soon
after his removal from the "little red house" in Berkshire, and to it he
returned from his sojourn abroad; here, with failing health and
desponding spirits, he lived in the gloomy war-days,--writing in his
study or, with steps more and more uncertain, pacing his hill-top; from
here he set out with his life-long friend Pierce on the last sad journey
which ended so quickly and quietly.



VII

THE WALDEN OF THOREAU

_A Transcendental Font--Emerson's Garden--Thoreau's Cove--Cairn--
  Beanfield--Resort of Emerson--Hawthorne--Channing--Hosmer--Alcott,
  etc._


One long-to-be-remembered day we follow the shady foot-paths, once
familiar to the sublimated Concord company, through their favorite
forest retreats to "the blue-eyed Walden,"--sung by many a bard, beloved
by transcendental saint and seer. After a delightful stroll of a mile or
more, we emerge from the wood and see the lovely lakelet "smiling upon
its neighbor pines." We find it a half-mile in diameter, with bold and
picturesquely irregular margins indented with deep bays and mostly
wooded to the pebbles at the water's edge. From this setting of emerald
foliage it scintillates like a gem: its wavelets lave a narrow pebbly
shore within which a bottom of pure white sand gleams upward through the
most transparent water ever seen. At one point where the railway skirts
the margin, the woods are disfigured with pavilions and tables for
summer pleasure-seekers, and a farther wooded slope has recently been
ravaged by fire; but most of the shore has escaped both profanation and
devastation, so that the literary pilgrim will find the shrines he seeks
little disturbed since the Concord luminaries here had their haunt.

From the summit of the forest ledge which rises from the southern shore,
the lakelet seems a foliage-framed patch of the firmament. This
rocky eminence affords a wide and enchanting prospect, and was the
terminus and object of many excursions of Emerson and the other
"Walden-Pond-Walkers," as the transcendentalists were styled by their
more prosy and orthodox neighbors. It was upon this elevation in the
midst of a portion of his estate which he celebrates in his poetry as
"My Garden"--whose "banks slope down to the blue lake-edge"--that
Emerson proposed to erect a lodge or retreat for retirement and thought.
A mossy path, once trodden almost daily by the philosopher and his
friends, brings us to the beautiful and secluded cove where Emerson and
Thoreau kept a boat, and where the shining ones often came to bathe in
this limpid water. Ablution here seems to have been a sort of
transcendent baptism, and many a visitor, eminent in art, thought, or
letters, has boasted that he walked and talked with Emerson in Walden
woods and bathed with him in Walden water. In this romantic nook
Thoreau spent much time during his hermitage, sitting in reverie on its
banks or afloat on its glassy surface, fishing or playing his flute to
the charmed perch. On the shore of this cove he procured the stones for
the foundations and the sand for the plastering of his cabin. From the
water's edge an obscure path, bordered by the wild flowers he loved,
winds among the murmuring pines up to the site of Thoreau's retreat, on
a gentle hill-side which falls away to the shore a few rods distant. A
cairn of small stones, placed by reverent pilgrims, stands upon or near
the spot where he erected his dwelling at an outlay of twenty-eight
dollars and lived upon an income of one dollar per month.

The hermit would hardly know the place now; his young pines are grown
into giants that allow but glimpses of the shimmering lake; even the
"potato hole" he dug under his cabin, whence the squirrels chirped at
him from beneath the floor as he sat to write, and where he kept his
winter store,--the "beans with the weevil in them" and the "potatoes
with every third one nibbled by chipmunks,"--is obliterated and
overgrown with the glabrous sumach. His near-by field, where he learned
to "know beans" and gathered relics of a previous and aboriginal race of
bean-hoers, is covered by a growth of pines and dwarf oaks, in places
so dense as to be almost impassable.

Some one has said, "Thoreau experienced Nature as other men experience
religion." Certainly the life at Walden, which he depicted in one of the
most fascinating of books, was in all its details--whether he was
ecstatically hoeing beans in his field or dreaming on his door-step,
floating on the lake or rambling in forest and field--that of an ascetic
and devout worshipper of Nature in all her moods. Thoreau "built himself
in Walden woods a den" in 1845,--after his return from tutoring in the
family of Emerson's brother at Staten Island; here he wrote most of
"Walden" and the "Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers," and much
more that has been posthumously published; from here he went to jail for
refusing to pay a tax on his poll, from here he made the excursion
described in "The Maine Woods."

He finally removed from Walden in the autumn of 1847, to reside in the
house of Emerson during that sage's absence in Europe. An old neighbor
of Thoreau's, who had often watched his "stumpy" figure as he hoed the
beans, and had even once or twice assisted him in that celestial
agriculture, tells us that Thoreau's hut was removed by a gardener to
the middle of the bean-field and there occupied for some years. Later
it was purchased by a farmer, who set it upon wheels and conveyed it to
his farm some miles distant, where it has decayed and gone to pieces.

In Concord it is not difficult to identify the personages associated
with Thoreau's life at Walden Pond and referred to in his book. The
"landlord and waterlord" of the domain, on which Thoreau was "a
squatter," was Waldo Emerson; the owner of the axe which the hermit
borrowed to hew the frame of his hut was Bronson Alcott; the "honorable
raisers" of the structure were Emerson, Curtis the Nile "Howadji,"
Alcott, Hosmer, and others; the lady who made the sketch of the
hermitage which appears on the title-page of "Walden" was the author's
sister Sophia. Of the hermit's visitors here, "the one who came
oftenest" was Emerson; "the one who came farthest" was also the poet
whom the hermit "took to board for a fortnight," Ellery Channing; the
"long-headed farmer," who had "donned a frock instead of a professor's
gown," was Thoreau's neighbor and life-long friend Edmund Hosmer, who is
celebrated in the poetry of Emerson and Channing; the "last of the
philosophers," the "Great Looker--great Expecter," who "first peddled
wares and then his own brains," was Bronson Alcott, who spent long
evenings here in converse with the hermit, or in listening to chapters
from his manuscript. Here came Hawthorne to talk with his "cast-iron
man" about trees and arrow-heads; here came George Hilliard and James T.
Fields, and others,--sometimes so many that the hut would scarce contain
them; the only complaint heard from Thoreau anent the narrowness of his
quarters being that there was not room for the words to ricochet between
him and his guests. Here, too, came humbler visitors, hunted slaves, who
were never denied the shelter of the hermitage nor the sympathy and aid
of the hermit.

Another generation of visitors comes now to this spot,--pilgrims from
far, like ourselves, to the shrine of a "stoic greater than Zeno or
Xenophanes,"--a man whose "breath and core was conscience." We linger
till the twilight, for the genius of this shrine seems very near us as
we muse in the place where he dwelt incarnate alone with Nature, and
there is for us a hint of his healthful spirit in the odor of his pines
and of the wild flowers beside his path,--a vague whisper of his
earnest, honest thought in the murmur of the clustering boughs and in
the lapping of the wavelets upon the mimic strand.

We bring from the shore a stone--the whitest we can find--for his cairn,
and place with it a bright leaf, like those his callers in other days
left for visiting cards upon his door-step, and then, through the
wondrous half-lights of the summer evening, we walk silently away.



VIII

THE HILL-TOP HEARSED WITH PINES

_Last Resting-Place of the Illustrious Concord Company--Their Graves
  beneath the Piny Boughs._


During Hawthorne's habitation of the "Old Manse" and his first residence
at the Wayside, his favorite walk was to the "Sleepy Hollow," a
beautifully diversified precinct of hill and vale which lies a little
way eastward from the village. His habitual resting-place here was a
pine-shaded hill-top where he often met Emerson, Thoreau, Bronson
Alcott, Elizabeth Hoar, Mrs. Ripley, or Margaret Fuller,--for all that
sublimated company loved and frequented this spot. More often Hawthorne
lounged and mused or chatted here alone with his lovely wife. Their
letters and journals of this period make frequent mention of the walks
to this place and of "our castle,"--a fanciful structure which, in their
happy converse here under the pines, they planned to erect for their
habitation on this hill-top. In their pleasant conceit, the terraced
path which skirts the verge of the hollow and thence ascends the ridge
was the grand "chariot-road" to their castle. This park has become a
cemetery,--at its dedication Emerson made an oration and Frank B.
Sanborn read a beautiful ode,--and on their beloved hill-top nearly all
the transcendent company whom Hawthorne used to meet there, save
Margaret Fuller who rests beneath the sea, lie at last in "the dreamless
sleep that lulls the dead."

First came Thoreau, to lie among his kindred under the wild flowers and
the fallen needles of his dear pines, in a grave marked now by a simple
stone graven with his name and age. Next came Hawthorne: with his
"half-told tale" and a wreath of apple-blossoms from the "Old Manse"
resting on his coffin, and with Emerson, Longfellow, Fields, Ellery
Channing, Agassiz, Hoar, Lowell, Whipple, Alcott, Holmes, and George
Hilliard walking mournfully by his side, he was borne, through the
flowering orchards and up the hill-side path,--which was to have been
his "chariot-road,"--to a grave on the site of the "castle" of his
fancy; where his dearest friend Franklin Pierce covered him with flowers
and James Freeman Clarke committed his mortal part to the lap of earth.
Alas, that the beloved cohabitant of his dream-castle must lie in death
a thousand leagues away! in no dream of his would such a separation from
her have seemed possible. She tried to mark his tomb by a leafy
monument of hawthorn shrubbery, but the rigorous climate prevented; now
a low marble, inscribed with the one word "Hawthorne," stands at either
extremity of his grave, and a glossy growth of periwinkle covers the
spot where sleeps the great master of American romance. Some smaller
graves are beside his: in one lies a child of Julian Hawthorne; in
another, Rose--the daughter of Hawthorne's age--laid the son which her
husband, Parsons Lathrop, commemorates in the lines of "The Flown Soul."
Next Mrs. Ripley and Elizabeth Hoar were borne to this "God's acre," and
then Emerson--followed by a vast concourse and mourned by all the
world--was brought to "give his body back to earth again," in this loved
retreat, near Hawthorne and his own "forest-seer" Thoreau. A gigantic
pine towers above him here, and a massive triangular boulder of untooled
pink quartz--already marred by the vandalism of relic-seekers--is placed
to mark the grave of the great "King of Thought." It bore no inscription
or device of any sort until a few months ago, when a bronze plate
inscribed with his name and years and the lines--

  "The passive master lent his hand
  To the vast soul that o'er him planned"--

was set in the rough surface of the stone. By Emerson lie his wife, his
mother, two children of his son and biographer Dr. Emerson, and his own
little child,--the "wondrous, deep-eyed boy" whom Emerson mourned in his
matchless "Threnody."

  "O child of paradise,
  Boy who made dear his father's home,
  In whose deep eyes
  Men read the welfare of the times to come,--
  I am too much bereft."

Six years after Emerson, Bronson Alcott and his illustrious daughter
Louisa were laid here, within a few yards of Hawthorne and the rest, on
a spot selected by the "Beth" of the Alcott books who was herself the
first to be interred in it. Now all the "Little Women" repose here with
their parents and good "John Brooke,"--"Jo" being so placed as to
suggest to her biographer that she is still to take care of parents and
sisters "as she had done all her life."

  [Illustration: THE GRAVE OF EMERSON]

No other spot of earth holds dust more precious than does this "hill-top
hearsed with pines." We are pleased to find the native beauty of the
place little disturbed,--the trees, the indigenous grasses, ferns, and
flowers remaining for the most part as they were known and loved by
those who sleep beneath them. The contour of the ground and the foliage
which clusters upon the slopes measurably shut out the view of other
portions of the enclosure from this secluded hill-top, and, as we sit by
the graves under the moaning pines, we seem to be alone with these _our_
dead. Through the boughs we have glimpses of the motionless deeps of a
summer sky; the patches of sunshine which illumine the graves about us
are broken by foliate shadows sometimes as still as if painted upon the
turf. No discordant sound from the haunts of men disturbs our
meditations; the silence is unbroken save by the frequent sighs of the
mourning pines.

As we linger, the pervading quiet becomes something more than mere
silence, it acquires the air and sense of reserve: the impression is
borne into our thought that these asleep here, who once freely gave us
their richest and best, are withholding something from us now,--some
newly-learned wisdom, some higher thought. Does "an awful spell bind
them to silence," or are they vainly repeating to us in the tender
monotone of the pines a message we cannot hear or cannot bear? Or have
they ceased from all ken or care for earthly things? Do they no longer
love this once beloved spot? Do they not rejoice in the beauty of this
summer day and the sunshine that falls upon their windowless palace?
Are they conscious of our reverent tread on the turf above them, of our
low words of remembrance and affection? Do they care that we have come
from far to bend over them here?

"For knowledge of all these things, we must"--as the greatest of this
transcendent circle once said--"wait for to-morrow morning."



IN AND OUT OF LITERARY BOSTON


IN BOSTON

OUT OF BOSTON

  I. Cambridge; Elmwood, etc.
  II. Belmont; Wayside Inn; Homes of Whittier
  III. The Salem of Hawthorne; Whittier's Oak Knoll
  IV. Webster's Marsh-field; Brook Farm and other Shrines



IN BOSTON

_A Golden Age of Letters--Literary Associations--Isms--Clubs--Where
  Hester Prynne and Silas Lapham lived--The Corner Book-store--Home of
  Fields--Sargent--Hilliard--Aldrich--Deland--Parkman--Holmes--Howells--
  Moulton--Hale--Howe--Jane Austin, etc._


Of the cisatlantic cities our "modern Athens" is, to the literary
pilgrim, the most interesting; for, whatever may be the claims of other
cities to the present literary primacy, all must concede that Boston was
long the intellectual capital of the continent and its centre of
literary culture and achievement. If the pilgrim have attained to middle
life and be loyal to the literary idols of his youth, his regard for the
Boston of to-day must be largely reminiscential of a past that is
rapidly becoming historic; for, of the constellation of brilliant
authors and thinkers who first gained for the place its pre-eminence in
letters, few or none remain alive. The requirements of labor and trade
are transforming the old streets; the sedate and comfortable dwellings,
once the abodes or the resorts of the _littérateurs_, are giving place
to palatial shops or great factories; the neighborhood where Bancroft,
Choate, Winthrop, Webster, and Edward Everett dwelt within a few rods
of each other was long ago surrendered to merchandise and mammon; yet
for us the busy scenes are haunted by memories and peopled by presences
which the spirit of trade is powerless to exorcise.

To tread the streets which have daily echoed the foot-falls of the
illustrious company who created here a golden age of learning and
culture were alone a pleasure, but the city holds many closer and more
personal mementos of her dead prophets, as well as the homes of a
present generation who worthily strive to sustain her place and
prestige.

Interwoven with the older Boston are literary associations hardly less
memorable and enduring than its history: in the belfry of its historic
holy of holies--Old South Church--was the study of the historian Dr.
Belknap, and the dove that nested beneath the church-bell is preserved
in the poetry of N. P. Willis; King's Chapel, the sanctuary where the
beloved Dr. Holmes worshipped for so many years, and whence he was not
long ago sadly borne to his burial, figures in the fiction of Fenimore
Cooper; historic Copp's Hill is also a scene in a tale of the same
novelist; the court-house occupies the site of the "beetle-browed"
prison of Hester Prynne of "The Scarlet Letter;" the storied old
State-house marked the place of her pillory; the theatre of the Boston
Massacre is the scene of the thrilling episode of Hawthorne's "Gray
Champion;" his "Legends of Province House" commemorate the ancient
structure which stood nearly opposite the Old South Church; the Tremont
House, where the "Jacobins' Club" used to assemble with Ripley,
Channing, Theodore Parker, Bronson Alcott, Peabody, and the extreme
reformers, was the resort of Hawthorne's "Miles Coverdale," as it was of
the novelist himself, and on the street here he saw "ragamuffin Moodie"
of "The Blithedale Romance." On the site of Bowdoin School, Charles
Sumner was born; at one hundred and twenty Hancock Street he lived and
composed the early orations which made his fame; at number one Exeter
Place, Theodore Parker, the Vulcan of the New England pulpit, forged his
bolts and wrote the "Discourses of Religion;" in Essex Street lived and
wrote Wendell Phillips, at thirty-seven Common Street he died; at
thirty-one Hollis Street the gifted Harriet Martineau was the guest of
Francis Jackson; at the corner of Congress and Water Streets Lloyd
Garrison wrote and published "The Liberator." In this older city,
antedating the luxury of the Back Bay district of the new Boston, Mather
wrote the "Magnalia," Paine sang his songs, Allston composed his
tales, Buckminster wrote his homilies, Bowditch translated La Place's
"_Mécanique céleste_." Here Emerson, Motley, Parkman, and Poe were born;
here Bancroft lived, Combe wrote, Spurzheim died. Here Maffit, Channing,
and Pierpont preached; Agassiz, Phillips, and Lyell lectured; Alcott,
Elizabeth Peabody, and Fuller taught. Here Sargent wrote "Dealings with
the Dead," Sprague his "Curiosity," Prescott his "Ferdinand and
Isabella;" here Margaret Fuller held the "Conversations" which attracted
and impressed the leading spirits of the time, and Bronson Alcott
favored elect circles with his Orphic and oracular utterances; here
lived Melvill, pictured in Holmes's "Last Leaf;" here Emerson preached
Unitarianism "until he had carried it to the jumping-off-place," as one
of his quondam parishioners avers, and here commenced his career as
philosopher and lecturer. Here, besides those above mentioned, Dwight,
Brisbane, Quincy, Ripley, Graham, Thompson, Hovey, Loring, Miller, Mrs.
Folsom, and others of similar ability or zeal, discoursed and wrote in
advocacy of the various reforms and "isms" in vogue half a century or
more ago.

It has been said that, according to the local creed, whoso is born in
Boston needs not to be born again, but some decades ago a literary
prowler, like ourselves, discovered that "nobody is born in Boston," the
people who have made its fame in letters and art being usually allured
to it from other places. This is true in less degree of the present age,
since Hale, Robert Grant, Ballou,--of "The Pearl of India,"--Bates,
Guiney, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and others are "to the manor born;"
but, if Boston has few birthplaces, she cherishes the homes and haunts
of two generations of adult intellectual giants.

Prominent among the literary landmarks is the "Corner Book-store"--once
the shop of the father of Dr. Clarke--at School and Washington Streets,
which, like Murray's in London, has long been the rendezvous of the
_littérateurs_. Here appeared the first American edition of "The Opium
Eater" and of Tennyson's poems. Here was the early home of the
"Atlantic," then edited by James T. Fields, who was the literary partner
of the firm and the presiding genius of the old store. This lover of
letters and sympathetic friend of literary men--always kind of heart and
generous of hand--drew to him here the foremost of that galaxy who first
achieved for America a place in the world of letters. To this literary
Rialto, as familiar loungers, came in that golden age George Hilliard,
Emerson, Ticknor, Saxe, Whipple, Longfellow, Hawthorne, Lowell, Agassiz,
the "Autocrat," and the rest, to loiter among and discuss the new books,
or, more often, to chat with their friend Fields at his desk, in the
nook behind the green baize curtain. The store is altered some since
Fields left it; the curtained back-corner, which was the domain of the
Celtic urchin "Michael Angelo" and the trysting spot of the literary
fraternity, has given place to shelves of shining books. The side
entrance--used mostly by the authors because it brought them more
directly to Fields's desk and den--is replaced by a window which looks
out upon the spot where, as we remember with a thrill, Fields last shook
Hawthorne's hand and stood looking after him as--faltering with
weakness--he walked up this side street with Pierce to start upon the
journey from which he never returned.

Literary tourists come to the store as to a shrine: thus in later years
Matthew Arnold, Cable, Edmund Gosse, Professor Drummond, Dr. Doyle, and
others like them, have visited the old corner. Nor is it deserted by the
authors of the day; Holmes was often here up to the time of his death,
and the visitor may still see, turning the glossy pages, some who are
writers as well as readers of books: Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Scudder,
Alger, Robert Grant,--whose "Reflections" and "Opinions" have been so
widely read,--Miss Winthrop, Miss Jewett, Mrs. Louise Chandler Moulton,
and Mrs. Coffin are among those who still come to the familiar place.
Near by, in Washington Street, Hawthorne's first romance, "Fanshawe,"
was published in 1828. From Fields's famous store the transition to the
staid old mansion which was long his home, and in which his widow still
lives, is easy and natural. We find it pleasantly placed below the
western slope of Beacon Hill, overlooking an enchanting prospect of blue
waters and sunset skies. It is one of those dignified, substantial, and
altogether comfortable dwellings--with spacious rooms, wide halls, easy
stairways, and generous fireplaces--which we inherit from a previous
generation. Here Fields, hardly less famed as an author than as the
friend of authors, and his gifted wife--who is still a charming
writer--created in their beautiful home an atmosphere which attracted to
it the best and highest of their kind, and made it what it has been for
more than forty years, a centre and ganglion of literary life and
interest. The old-fashioned rooms are aglow with most precious memories
and teem with artistic and literary treasures, many of them being
_souvenirs_ of the illustrious authors whom the Fields have numbered
among their friends and guests. The letters of Dickens, Hawthorne,
Emerson, and others reveal the quality of the hospitality of this house
and show how it was prized by its recipients. For years this was the
Boston home of Hawthorne; to it came Emerson, Longfellow, and Whittier
almost as freely as to their own abodes; here Holmes, Lowell, Charles
Sumner, Greene, Bayard Taylor, Joseph Jefferson, were frequent guests;
and here we see a quaintly furnished bedchamber which has at various
times been occupied by Dickens, Trollope, Arthur Clough, Thackeray,
Charles Kingsley, Matthew Arnold, Charlotte Cushman, and others of equal
fame. Of the delights of familiar intercourse with the starry spirits
who frequented this house, of their brilliant discussions of men and
books, their scintillations of wit, their sage and sober words of
wisdom, Mrs. Annie Fields affords but tantalizing hints in her
reminiscences and the glimpses she occasionally allows us of her
husband's diary and letters. Fields's library on the second
floor--described as "My Friend's Library"--is a most alluring apartment,
where we see, besides the "Shelf of Old Books" of which Mrs. Fields
gives such a sympathetic account, other shelves containing numerous
curious and uniquely precious volumes,--among them the few hundreds of
worn and much annotated books which constituted the library of Leigh
Hunt. In this room Emerson, while awaiting breakfast, wrote one of his
poems, to which the hostess gave title.

In later years a younger generation of writers came to this mansion:
Celia Thaxter was a frequent guest; the princess-like Sarah Orne Jewett,
beloved by Whittier as a daughter, has made it her Boston home; Aldrich
comes to see the widow of his friend; Miss Preston, Mrs. Ward, and other
luminous spirits may be met among the company who assemble in these
memory-haunted rooms. For several years Holmes lived in the same street,
within a few doors of Fields's house.

At number fifty-four in quaint Pinckney Street, around the corner from
Mrs. Fields's and near the former residence of Aldrich, we find the
house in which the brilliant George Hilliard lived and died, scarcely
changed since the time James Freeman Clarke here married Hawthorne to
the lovely Sophia Peabody.

Upon the opposite side, at number eleven, dwells Mrs. E. P. Whipple,
widow of the eminent author and critic,--herself a lady of refined
critical tastes,--who keeps unchanged the home in which her husband
died. In his lifetime a select circle of friends usually assembled here
on Sunday evenings,--a circle in which Fields, Bronson Alcott, Lowell,
Emerson, Longfellow, Holmes, Sumner, Clarke, Dr. Bartol, Ole Bull,
Lucretia Hale, Edwin Booth, and others of similar eminence in letters or
art were included. Just around the corner, in Louisburg Square, Bronson
Alcott died in the house of his daughter Mrs. Pratt,--the "Meg" of
Louisa Alcott's books.

On Beacon Hill, in the next--Mount Vernon--street, we find near the "hub
of the Hub" a tall, deep-roomed dwelling, surmounted by an observatory
which commands a charming view of the city and its environs, and this is
the elegant city home of the poet, novelist, and prince of
conversationalists, Thomas Bailey Aldrich. His library, full of
treasures, is on a lower floor, but the study in which he pens his
delightful compositions is high above the distractions of the world. As
one sees the author of "Marjorie Daw" and the recent "Unguarded Gates"
among his books, there is no hint of his sixty years in his fresh, ruddy
face, with its carefully waxed moustache, nor in his sprightly speech
and manner.

In the same street, the spacious mansion of ex-Governor Claflin was long
a resort of a wise, earnest, and dazzling company of sublimated
intellects. This house was in later years the usual haven of Whittier,
the gentle Quaker bard, during his visits to Boston; and here, protected
by the hostess from the eager kindness of his numerous friends, he spent
many restful days when rest was most needed.

Near by, on the same hill-side, the talented authoress of "John Ward,
Preacher" inhabits a many-windowed home of sober brick. Within, we find
everywhere evidences of the fastidious personality of Mrs. Margaret
Deland. In her parlors are dainty articles of furniture and bric-à-brac,
wide fireplaces, deep windows full of flowers, many pictures, many more
books. In her study and work-room, her desk stands near another
fireplace, about it are still more flowers, pictures and books galore;
here, not long ago, that tragedy of selfishness--"Philip and His
Wife"--was written.

At the sumptuous home of the Sargents in the adjoining street have been
held some of the _séances_ of the noted Radical Club, in which, as Mrs.
Moulton says, "somebody read a paper and everybody else pulled it to
pieces." At these sessions such spirits as Emerson, Bronson Alcott,
Holmes, Edward Everett Hale, Carl Schurz, the genial Colonel Higginson,
the serene James Freeman Clarke, the mystic Dr. Bartol,--who still lives
in retirement in his old home,--and other representatives of advanced
thought have discussed the ethics of life as well as of letters.

A plain brick house of three stories in the same quiet street was the
abode of Francis Parkman's sister, where, after the death of his wife,
the historian spent his winters, his study here being a simple front
room on the upper floor, with open fireplace and book-lined walls.

In Park Street, above the Common, the ample mansion of George
Ticknor--the chronicler of "Spanish Literature" and the autocrat of
literary taste--was during many years a haunt of the best of Boston
culture. We find its stately walls still standing, but the interior has
been surrendered to the Philistines.

On Beacon Street, but a door or two removed from the birthplace of
Wendell Phillips, in a house whose number the poet-lover said he
"remembered by thinking of the Thirty-Nine Articles," Longfellow won
Miss Appleton to be his wife. Just across the Common, in Carver Street,
Hawthorne's son was born.

At many of the homes here mentioned were held the assemblages of the
Ladies' Social Club. Among its readers were Agassiz, Emerson, Greene,
Whipple, Clarke, and E. E. Hale. It was ironically styled the "Brain
Club," and died after many years because, according to one ex-member,
"the newer members brought into it too much Supper and Stomach and no
Brain at all." A successor has been the Round Table Club, with Colonel
Higginson for first president,--its meetings for essays and discussions
being held in the homes of its literary or artistic members.

Boston's Belgravia occupies a district which has been reclaimed from the
waters of the "Back Bay" of the Charles River,--on whose shore Hawthorne
placed the shunned and isolated thatched cottage of Hester Prynne in
"The Scarlet Letter," and the windows of many of Boston's Four Hundred
overlook the same delightful vista of water, hills, and western skies
which to the sad eyes of Hester and little Pearl were a daily vision. On
the water side of Beacon Street, within this select region, is the
four-floored, picturesque mansion of brick--its front embellished with a
growth of ivy which clusters about the bay-windows--where not long ago
we found the gentle and genial Holmes sitting among his books, serene in
the golden sunset of life, happy in the love of friends and in the
benedictions of the thousands his work has uplifted and beatified. The
mansion is redolent of literary associations, and throughout its
apartments were tastefully disposed articles of virtu, curios, and
mementos--literary, artistic, or historic--of affection and regard from
Holmes's many friends at home and abroad. His study was a large room at
the back of the house, occupying the entire width of the second floor.
Its broad window commands a sweep of the Charles, with its tides and its
many craft, beyond which the poet could see, as he said, Cambridge where
he was born, Harvard where he was educated, and Mount Auburn where he
expected to lie in his last sleep. We last saw the "Autocrat" in his
easy-chair, among the treasures of this apartment, with a portrait of
his ancestress "Dorothy Q" looking down at him from a side wall. His
hair was silvered and his kindly face had lost its smoothness,--for he
was eighty-five "years young," as he would say,--but his faculties were
keen and alert, and, in benign age, his greeting was no less cordial and
his outlook upon men and affairs was no less cheery and optimistic than
in the flush and vigor of early manhood. In this luxurious study were
written several of his twenty-five volumes,--"Over the Teacups" being
the most popular of those produced here,--and we found him still
devoting some hours of each day to light literary tasks, oftenest
dictating materials for his memoirs, which are yet to be published.

Above the study, and overlooking the river on which he used to row and
the farther green hills, is the chamber immortalized in "My Aviary;" and
here, as he sat in his favorite chair, surrounded by his family, death
came to him, and his spirit peacefully passed into the eternal silence.
Then the "Last Leaf" had fallen, to be mourned by all the world.

A door or two from Holmes sometime dwelt the versatile novelist, poet,
playwright, and "Altrurian Traveller." A popular print of "Howells in
his Library" is an interior of his Beacon Street house; the view of the
glassy river-basin, with the roofs and spires of Cambridge rising from
banks and bowers of foliage beyond,--which he pictures from the new
house of "Silas Lapham" on this street,--is the one Howells daily beheld
from his study window here. His latest Boston home was in the same
district on the superb Commonwealth Avenue, near the statue of Garrison,
and here, in a sumptuous, six-storied, bow-fronted mansion, he wrote
"The Shadow of a Dream" and other widely read books.

A modest, old-fashioned house on Beacon Street has long been the home of
the poet and starry genius Julia Ward Howe, writer of the "Battle-Hymn
of the Republic." Other members of her singularly gifted family have
sojourned here, and the "home of the Howes" has been frequented by men
and women eminent for culture and thought and for achievement in
literature or art.

In the adjacent Marlborough Street recently died the polished author and
orator Robert C. Winthrop, and here, too, was the home of Dr. Ellis, the
friend of Lowell's father.

Farther away in this newer Boston of luxury and culture is the charming
and hospitable home of the poet, essayist, novelist, and critic Mrs.
Louise Chandler Moulton, whose American admirers complain that in late
years she remains too much in London. When at home, she inhabits a
delightful dwelling which, from entrance to attic, teems with pictures,
rare books, curios, and other _souvenirs_ of her many friends in many
lands. In her library, where much of "Garden of Dreams," "Swallow
Flights," and other books was written, and where more of all "the work
nearest her heart" was accomplished, are preserved many autograph copies
of books by recent writers--several of them dedicated to Mrs.
Moulton--and a priceless collection of letters from illustrious literary
workers. In her drawing-rooms one may meet many of the famed authors of
the day,--Higginson, Wendell, Horsford, Bynner, Nora Perry of the
charming books for girls, Miss Conway, Miss Louise Imogen Guiney, Mrs.
Howe, Arlo Bates, Adams, the jocosely serious Robert Grant, and others
of Boston's newer lights of literature.

If we "drive on down Washington Street" with "Silas Lapham," we shall
find in Chester Square the "Nankeen Square" where he dwelt in his less
ambitious days, and the pretty oval green with the sturdy trees which
the worthy colonel saw grow from saplings.

In a pleasant dwelling on the contiguous street lives and works the
bright and busy Lucretia P. Hale, sister of the author-divine. She was
the favorite scholar of Miss Elizabeth Peabody; and she has, through her
writings and her classes, acquired an influence and discipleship little
smaller than that which Margaret Fuller once possessed.

Farther south, in the Roxbury district, we seek the abode of the famed
author of "The Man without a Country." Sauntering along the shady and
delectable Highland Street, we interrogate a uniformed guardian of the
law, who heartily rejoins, "Dr. Hale's is a temple on the right a block
further on: and if any man's fit to live in a temple, it's him." As we
walk the "block further on" we think that, however defective his
grammar, the policeman's estimate of Hale is beyond criticism and agrees
with that of the thousands of readers and friends of the indefatigable
author, lecturer, preacher, editor, reformer, and promoter of all good.
We find the house--very like a Greek temple--standing back from the
street in the midst of an ample lawn, shaded by noble trees and decked
with a wealth of shrubbery and bloom. The mansion is a large square
edifice, with great dormer-windows in its roofs, surmounted by a cupola,
and having in front a lofty portico upheld by heavy Ionic pillars,
between which interlacing woodbine forms a leafy screen. Within is a
wide hall, and opening out of it are generously proportioned rooms, some
of them lined from floor to ceiling with thousands of books. The study
is a commodious room, with a "pamphlet-annex" adjoining it on the garden
side, and is crammed with book-shelves and drawers, while piles of
books, magazines, portfolios, manuscripts, and memoranda are disposed on
cases, tables, and stands about the apartment. Everything is obviously
arranged for convenient and ready use, and well it may be so, for this
is the work-room and "thinking-shop" of the hardest-working literary man
in America. The books which made his first fame were written before he
came to this house; of all the works produced in this study, the
numerous poems, romances, histories, essays, editorials, reviews,
discussions, translations,--to say nothing of the many hundreds of
well-considered and carefully written sermons,--we may not here mention
even the names, for no writer since Voltaire is more fruitful of
finished and masterly work. It is notable that Hale regards "In His
Name" as his best work from a literary point of view; of his other
productions, he thinks some of the poems of the latest collection, "For
Fifty Years," as good as anything,--"always excepting his sermons."
Among the abundant treasures of his study, Hale has a most interesting
and valuable collection of autograph letters, of which he is justly
proud. His father was Nathan Hale of the Boston "Advertiser," his mother
was sister to Edward Everett and herself an author and translator, his
wife is niece to Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, his son Robert has already
acquired a reputation in the domain of letters. The doctor himself has
been a writer from childhood, his earliest contributions being to his
father's paper. His illustrious sister declares that in their nursery
days she and her brother used to take their meals with the "Advertiser"
pinned under their chins,--a practice to which their literary precocity
has been attributed. We find Hale at the age of seventy-three blithe and
hopeful, working as much and manifestly accomplishing more than ever
before.

A little farther out on the same street is the dwelling where William
Lloyd Garrison spent his last years, and in this neighborhood lived Mrs.
Blake, poet of "Verses Along the Way." Here also are the early home of
Miss Guiney and the school to which she was first sent,--or rather
"carried neck and heels," because she refused to walk. Close by we find
the pleasant home in which Jane G. Austin wrote some of her famed
colonial tales and where she died not many months ago; and in the same
delightful suburb, a half-mile beyond Hale's house, is the retreat where
the beloved author of "Little Women" breathed out her too brief life.



OUT OF BOSTON

I

CAMBRIDGE: ELMWOOD: MOUNT AUBURN

_Holmes's Church-yard--Bridge, Smithy, Chapel, and River of Longfellow's
  Verse--Abodes of Lettered Culture--Holmes--Higginson--Agassiz--
  Norton--Clough--Howells--Fuller--Longfellow--Lowell--Longfellow's City
  of the Dead and its Precious Graves._


Crossing the Charles by "The Bridge" of Longfellow's popular poem, a
stroll along elm-shaded streets brings us to the ancient Common of
Cambridge and a vicinage which has much besides its historic traditions
to allure the literary pilgrim. For centuries the site of a celebrated
college and a conspicuous centre of learning, it has long been the
abiding-place of representatives of the best and foremost in American
culture and mental achievement.

Close by the Common, and opposite the remains of the elm beneath which
Washington assumed the command of the patriot army, stood the old
gambrel-roofed house in which that "gentlest of autocrats," Holmes, was
born and reared, and upon whose door-post was first displayed his
"shingle," on which he whimsically proposed to inscribe "The Smallest
Fevers Thankfully Received;" across the college grounds is the home-like
edifice where lived the erudite Professor Felton, loved by Dickens and
oft mentioned in his letters; not far away, at the corner of Broadway,
was the home of Agassiz, since occupied by his son; and a few rods
eastward is the picturesque residence of the witty and profound Colonel
Higginson,--poet, essayist, novelist, and reformer. In the adjacent
Kirkland Street dwelt the delightful Dr. Estes Howe, brother-in-law to
Lowell, with whom the poet sometime lived and whom he celebrated as "the
Doctor" in the "Fable for Critics." Dr. C. C. Abbott formerly lived in
this neighborhood, and the collections on which his best-known books are
founded are preserved in the near-by Peabody Museum, beyond which we
find the tasteful abode of Professor Charles Eliot Norton, the friend
and literary executor of Lowell. Near the Common, too, dwelt for a year
or so that rare poet Arthur Clough, author of "The Bothie" and "Qua
Cursum Ventus;" and the sweet singer Charlotte Fiske Bates--the intimate
friend of Longfellow--had her habitation in the same neighborhood.
Opposite the southern end of the Common is the ancient village cemetery
celebrated in the poetry of Holmes and Longfellow; a little way
westward, Howells lived in a delightful rose-embowered cottage and
pleasantly pictured many features of the old town in the "Charlesbridge"
of his "Suburban Sketches." Two or three furlongs distant, within the
grounds of the Botanic Garden, long lived the American Linnæus,
Professor Asa Gray.

Of all the Cambridge thoroughfares, the shady and venerable Brattle
Street, which curves westward from the University Press, is most
interesting and attractive. Near the Press building stands the historic
Brattle House,--its beautiful stairway and other antique features
preserved by the Social Club, to whom the property now belongs,--where
Margaret Fuller, the priestess and queen of modern Transcendentalism,
passed much of her youth and young womanhood, and where her sister, wife
to the poet Ellery Channing, was reared. Margaret, who is said to have
stood for the Theodora of Beaconsfield's "Lothair," first saw the light
in a modest little dwelling in Main Street nearer the Boston bridge, and
here attended school with Holmes and Richard Henry Dana; but it was in
this Brattle House that her marvellous, and in some respects unique,
intellectual career commenced. Here she acquired the moral and mental
equipment which fitted her for leadership in the most vital epoch of
American culture and thought, and here she attracted and attached all
the wisest and noblest spirits within her range. To her here came
Theodore Parker, the older Channing, Harriet Martineau, James Freeman
Clarke,--the earnest, brilliant, and thoughtful of all ages and
conditions. One noble soul who knew her here speaks of her friendship as
a "gift of the gods," and some eminent in thought and achievement
testify that they have ever striven toward standards set up for them by
her in that early period of her residence here.

Close by Miss Fuller's home, "under a spreading chestnut-tree" at the
intersection of Story Street, stood the smithy of Pratt, who was
immortalized by Longfellow as "The Village Blacksmith." To the poet,
passing daily on the way between his home and the college, the "mighty
man" at his anvil in the shaded smithy was long a familiar vision. The
tree--a horse-chestnut--has been removed, the shop has given place to a
modern dwelling, and years ago the worthy smith rejoined his wife,
"singing in Paradise."

A few steps westward from the site of the smithy is the "Chapel of St.
John" of another sweet poem of Longfellow; and just beyond this we
find, bowered by lilacs and environed by acres of shade and sward, the
colonial Cragie House, once the sojourn of Washington, but holding for
us more precious associations, since Sparks, Worcester, and Everett have
lived within its time-honored walls, and our popular poet of grace and
sentiment for near half a century here had his home, and from here
passed into the unknown. The picturesque mansion wears the aspect of an
old acquaintance, and the interior, with its princely proportioned
rooms, spacious fireplaces, wide halls, curious carvings and tiles, has
much that Longfellow has shared with his readers. On the entrance door
is the ponderous knocker; a landing of the broad stairway holds "The Old
Clock on the Stairs;" the right of the hall is the study, with its
priceless mementos of the tender and sympathetic bard who wrought here
the most and best of his life-work, from early manhood onward into the
mellow twilight of sweet and benign age. Here is his chair, vacated by
him but a few days before he died; his desk; his inkstand which had been
Coleridge's; his pen with its "link from the chain of Bonnivard;" the
antique pitcher of his "Drinking Song;" the fireplace of "The Wind over
the Chimney;" the arm-chair carved from the "spreading chestnut-tree"
of the smithy, which was presented to him by the village children and
celebrated in his poem "From my Arm-Chair." About us here are his
cherished books, his pictures, his manuscripts, all his precious
belongings, and from his window we see, beyond the Longfellow Memorial
Park, the river so often sung in his verse, "stealing onward, like the
stream of life." In this room Washington held his war councils. Of the
many intellectual _séances_ its walls have witnessed we contemplate with
greatest pleasure the Wednesday evening meetings of the "Dante Club,"
when Lowell, Howells, Fields, Norton, Greene, and other friends and
scholars sat here with Longfellow to revise the new translation of
Dante.

The book-lined apartment over the study--once the bedchamber of
Washington and later of Talleyrand--was occupied by Longfellow when he
first lived as a lodger in the old house. It was here he heard
"Footsteps of Angels" and "Voices of the Night," and saw by the fitful
firelight the "Being Beauteous" at his side; here he wrote "Hyperion"
and the earlier poems which made him known and loved in every clime.
Later this room became the nursery of his children, and some of the
grotesque tiles which adorn its chimney are mentioned in his poem
"To a Child:"

  "The lady with the gay macaw,
  The dancing-girl, the grave bashaw.
      The Chinese mandarin."

  [Illustration: WHERE LONGFELLOW LIVED]

Along the western façade of the mansion stretches a wide veranda, where
the poet was wont to take his daily exercise when "the goddess
Neuralgia" or "the two Ws" (Work and Weather) prevented his walking
abroad. In this stately old house his children were born and reared,
here his wife met her tragic death, and here his daughter--the "grave
Alice" of "The Children's Hour"--abides and preserves its precious
relics, while "laughing Allegra" (Anna) and "Edith with golden
hair"--now Mrs. Dana and Mrs. Thorp--have dwellings within the grounds
of their childhood home, and their brother Ernst owns a modern cottage a
few rods westward on the same street.

In Sparks Street, just out of Brattle, dwelt the author Robert
Carter,--familiarly, "The Don,"--sometime secretary to Prescott and long
the especial friend of Lowell, with whom he was associated in the
editorship of the short-lived "Pioneer." Carter's home here was the
rendezvous of a circle of choice spirits, where one might often meet
"Prince" Lowell,--as his friends delighted to call him,--Bartlett of
"Familiar Quotations," and that "songless poet" John Holmes, brother of
the "American Montaigne."

A short walk under the arching elms of Brattle Street brings us to
Elmwood, the life-long home of Lowell. The house, erected by the last
British lieutenant-governor of the province, is a plain, square
structure of wood, three stories in height, and is surrounded by a park
of simple and natural beauty, whose abundant growth of trees gives to
some portions of the grounds the sombreness and apparent seclusion of a
forest. A gigantic hedge of trees encloses the place like a leafy wall,
excluding the vision of the world and harboring thousands of birds who
tenant its shades. Some of the aquatic fowl of the vicinage are referred
to in Longfellow's "Herons of Elmwood." In the old mansion, long the
home of Elbridge Gerry, Lowell was born and grew to manhood, and to it
he brought the bride of his youth, the lovely Maria White, herself the
writer of some exquisite poems; here, a few years later, she died in the
same night that a child was born to Longfellow, whose poem "The Two
Angels" commemorates both events. Here, too, Lowell lost his children
one by one until a daughter, the present Mrs. Burnett,--now owner and
occupant of Elmwood,--alone remained. During the poet's stay abroad, his
house was tenanted by Mrs. Ole Bull and by Lowell's brother-bard Bailey
Aldrich, who in this sweet retirement wrought some of his delicious
work. To the beloved trees and birds of his old home Lowell returned
from his embassage, and here, with his daughter, he passed his last
years among his books and a chosen circle of friends. Here, where he
wished to die, he died, and here his daughter preserves his former home
and its contents unchanged since he was borne hence to his burial. Until
the death of his father, Lowell's study was an upper front room at the
left of the entrance. It is a plain, low-studded corner apartment, which
the poet called "his garret," and where he slept as a boy. Its windows
now look only into the neighboring trees, but when autumn has shorn the
boughs of their foliage the front window commands a wide level of the
sluggish Charles and its bordering lowlands, while the side window
overlooks the beautiful slopes of Mount Auburn, where Lowell now lies
with his poet-wife and the children who went before. His study windows
suggested the title of his most interesting volume of prose essays. In
this upper chamber he wrote his "Conversations on the Poets" and the
early poems which made his fame,--"Irene," "Prometheus," "Rhoecus,"
"Sir Launfal,"--which was composed in five days,--and the first series
of that collection of grotesque drolleries, "The Biglow Papers." Here
also he prepared his editorial contributions to the "Atlantic." His
later study was on the lower floor, at the left of the ample hall which
traverses the centre of the house. It is a prim and delightful
old-fashioned apartment, with low walls, a wide and cheerful fireplace,
and pleasant windows which look out among the trees and lilacs upon a
long reach of lawn. In this room the poet's best-loved books, copiously
annotated by his hand, remain upon his shelves; here we see his table,
his accustomed chair, the desk upon which he wrote the "Commemoration
Ode," "Under the Willows," and many famous poems, besides the volumes of
prose essays. In this study he sometimes gathered his classes in Dante,
and to him here came his friends familiarly and informally,--for
"receptions" were rare at Elmwood: most often came "The Don," "The
Doctor," Norton, Owen, Bartlett, Felton, Stillman,--less frequently
Godkin, Fields, Holmes, Child, Motley, Edmund Quincy, and the historian
Parkman.

While the older trees of the place were planted by Gerry, the pines and
clustering lilacs were rooted by Lowell or his father. All who remember
the poet's passionate love for this home will rejoice in the assurance
that the old mansion, with its precious associations and mementos, and
the acres immediately adjoining it, will not be in any way disturbed
during the life of his daughter and her children. At most, the memorial
park which has been planned by the literary people of Boston and
Cambridge will include only that portion of the grounds which belonged
to the poet's brothers and sisters.

A narrow street separates the hedges of Elmwood from the peaceful shades
of Mount Auburn,--the "City of the Dead" of Longfellow's sonnet. Lowell
thought this the most delightful spot on earth. The late Francis Parkman
told the writer that Lowell, in his youth, had confided to him that he
habitually went into the cemetery at midnight and sat upon a tombstone,
hoping to find there the poetic afflatus. He confessed he had not
succeeded, and was warned by his friend that the custom would bring him
more rheumatism than inspiration. Dr. Ellis testified that at this
period his friend Dr. Lowell often expressed to him his anxiety "lest
his son James would amount to nothing, because he had taken to writing
poetry."

In the sanctuary of Mount Auburn we find many of the names mentioned in
these chapters,--names written on the scroll of fame, blazoned on
title-pages, borne in the hearts of thousands of readers in all
lands,--now, alas! inscribed above their graves. From the eminence of
Mount Auburn, we look upon Longfellow's river "stealing with silent
pace" around the sacred enclosure; the verdant meads along the stream;
the distant cities, erst the abodes of those who sleep about us
here,--for whom life's fever is ended and life's work done. Near this
summit, Charlotte Cushman rests at the base of a tall obelisk, her
favorite myrtle growing dense and dark above her. By the elevated Ridge
Path, on a site long ago selected by him, Longfellow lies in a grave
decked with profuse flowers and marked by a monument of brown stone. On
Fountain Avenue we find a beautiful spot, shaded by two giant trees,
which was a beloved resort of Lowell, and where he now lies among his
kindred, his sepulchre marked by a simple slab of slate: "Good-night,
sweet Prince!" Not far away is the beautiful Jackson plot, where not
long ago the beloved Holmes was tenderly laid in the same grave with his
wife beneath a burden of flowers. Some of the blossoms we lately saw
upon this grave were newly placed by the creator of "Micah Clarke" and
"Sherlock Holmes," Dr. Conan Doyle. By a great oak near the main avenue
is the sarcophagus of Sumner, and one shady slope bears the memorial of
Margaret Fuller and her husband,--buried beneath the sea on the coast of
Fire Island. Near by we find the grave of "Fanny Fern,"--wife of Parton
and sister of N. P. Willis,--with its white cross adorned with
exquisitely carved ferns; the pillar of granite and marble which
designates the resting-place of Everett; the granite boulder--its
unchiselled surface overgrown with the lichens he loved--which covers
the ashes of Agassiz; the simple sarcophagus of Rufus Choate; the
cenotaph of Kirkland; the tomb of Spurzheim; and on the lovely slopes
about us, under the dreaming trees, amid myriad witcheries of bough and
bloom, are the enduring memorials of affection beneath which repose the
mortal parts of Sargent, Quincy, Story, Parker, Worcester, Greene,
Bigelow, William Ellery Channing, Edwin Booth, Phillips Brooks, and many
like them whom the world will not soon forget.

In this sweet summer day, their place of rest is so quiet and
beautiful,--with the birds singing here their lowest and tenderest
songs, the soft winds breathing a lullaby in the leafy boughs, the air
full of a grateful peace and calm, the trees spreading their great
branches in perpetual benediction above the turf-grown graves,--it seems
that here, if anywhere, the restless wayfarer might learn to love
restful death.



OUT OF BOSTON

II

BELMONT: THE WAYSIDE INN: HOME OF WHITTIER

_Lowell's Beaver Brook--Abode of Trowbridge--Red Horse Tavern--Parsons
  and the Company of Longfellow's Friends--Birthplace of Whittier--
  Scenes of his Poems--Dwelling and Grave of the Countess--Powow Hill--
  Whittier's Amesbury Home--His Church and Tomb._


A few miles westward from the classic shades of Cambridge we found,
perched upon a breezy height of Belmont, a picturesque, red-roofed
villa, for some years the summer home of our "Altrurian Traveller." From
its verandas he overlooked a slumberous plain, diversified with meads,
fields, country-seats, and heavy-tinted copses, and bordered by a circle
of verdant hills; while on the eastern horizon rises the distant city,
crowned by the resplendent dome of the capitol. In his dainty white
study here, with its gladsome fireplace and curious carvings and
mottoes, Howells wrote--besides other good things--his "Lady of the
Aroostook," in which some claim to have discerned an answer to Henry
James's "Daisy Miller."

In this neighborhood is the valley of "Beaver Brook," a favorite haunt
of Lowell, to which he brought the English poet Arthur Clough. The old
mill is removed, but we find the water-fall and the other romantic
features little changed since the poet depicted the ideal beauties of
this dale, in what has been adjudged one of the most artistic poems of
modern times.

In a charming retreat among the hills of Arlington, scarce a mile away
from Howells's sometime Belmont home, dwells and writes that genial and
gifted poet and novelist, John T. Trowbridge, whose books--notably his
war-time tales--have found readers round the world.

[Sidenote: Longfellow's Wayside Inn]

Westward again from Belmont, a prolonged drive through a delightful
country brings us to "Sudbury town" and the former hostelry of 'Squire
Howe,--the "Wayside Inn" of Longfellow's "Tales." Our companion and
guide is one who well knew the old house and its neighborhood in the
halcyon days when Professor Treadwell, Parsons,--the poet of the "Bust
of Dante,"--and the quiet coterie of Longfellow's friends came, summer
after summer, to find rest and seclusion under its ample roof and
sheltering trees, among the hills of this remote region. The environment
of fragrant meadow and smiling field, of deep wood glade and
forest-clad height, is indeed alluring. About the ancient inn remain
some of the giant elms and the "oak-trees, broad and high," shading it
now as in the day when the "Tales" immortalized it with the "Tabard" of
Chaucer; while through the near meadow circles the "well-remembered
brook" of the poet's verse, in which his friends saw the inverted
landscape and their own faces "looking up at them from below."

The house is a great, old-fashioned, bare and weather-worn edifice of
wood,--"somewhat fallen to decay."--standing close upon the highway. Its
two stories of spacious rooms are supplemented by smaller chambers in a
vast attic; two or three chimneys, "huge and tiled and tall," rise
through its gambrel roofs among the bowering foliage; a wing abuts upon
one side and imparts a pleasing irregularity to the otherwise plain
parallelogram. The wide, low-studded rooms are lighted by windows of
many small panes. Among the apartments we find the one once occupied by
Major Molineaux, "whom Hawthorne hath immortal made," and that of Dr.
Parsons, the laureate of this place, who has celebrated it in the
stanzas of "Old House at Sudbury" and other poems. But it is the old
inn parlor which most interests the literary visitor,--a great, low,
square apartment, with oaken floors, ponderous beams overhead, and a
broad hearth, where in the olden time blazed a log fire whose ruddy glow
filled the room and shone out through the windows. It is this room which
Longfellow peoples with his friends, who sat about the old fireplace and
told his "Tales of a Wayside Inn." The "rapt musician" whose
transfiguring portraiture we have in the Prelude is Ole Bull; the
student "of old books and days" is Henry Wales; the young Sicilian, "in
sight of Etna born and bred," is Luigi Monti, who dined every Sunday
with Longfellow; the "Spanish Jew from Alicant" is Edrelei, a Boston
Oriental dealer; the "Theologian from the school of Cambridge on the
Charles" is Professor Daniel Treadwell; the Poet is T. W. Parsons, the
Dantean student and translator of "Divina Commedia;" the Landlord is
'Squire Lyman Howe, the portly bachelor who then kept this "Red Horse
Tavern," as it was called. Most of this goodly circle have been here in
the flesh, and our companion has seen them in this old room, as well as
Longfellow himself, who came here years afterward, when the Landlord was
dead and the poet's company had left the old inn forever. In this room
we see the corner where stood the ancient spinet, the spot on the wall
where hung the highly colored coat of arms of Howe and the sword of his
knightly grandfather near Queen Mary's pictured face, the places on the
prismatic-hued windows where the names of Molineaux, Treadwell, etc.,
had been inscribed by hands that now are dust.

Descendants of the woman who died of the "Shoc o' Num Palsy" are said to
live in the neighborhood, as well as some other odd characters who are
embalmed in Parsons's humorous verse. But the ancient edifice is no
longer an inn; the Red Horse on the swinging sign-board years ago ceased
to invite the weary wayfarer to rest and cakes and ale; the
memory-haunted chambers, where starry spirits met and tarried in the
golden past, were later inhabited by laborers, who displayed the rooms
for a fee and plied the pilgrim with lies anent the former famed
occupants. The storied structure has recently passed to the possession
of appreciative owners,--Hon. Herbert Howe being one of them,--who have
made the repairs needful for its preservation and have placed it in the
charge of a proper custodian.

A longer way out of Boston, in another direction, our guest is among the
haunts of the beloved Quaker bard. On the bank of the Merrimac--his
own "lowland river"--and among darkly wooded hills of hackmatack and
pine, we find the humble farm-house, guarded by giant sentinel poplars,
where eighty-eight years agone Whittier came into the world.

[Sidenote: Scenes of Whittier's Poems]

Among the plain and bare apartments, with their low ceilings, antique
cross-beams, and multipaned windows, we see the lowly chamber of his
birth; the simple study where his literary work was begun; the great
kitchen, with its brick oven and its heavy crane in the wide fireplace,
where he laid the famous winter's evening scene in "Snow-Bound,"
peopling the plain "old rude-furnished room" with the persons he here
best knew and loved. We see the dwelling little changed since the time
when Whittier dwelt--a dark-haired lad--under its roof; it is now
carefully preserved, and through the old rooms are disposed articles of
furniture from his Amesbury cottage, which are objects of interest to
many visitors.

All about the place are spots of tender identification of poet and poem:
here are the brook and the garden wall of his "Barefoot Boy;" the scene
of his "Telling the Bees;" the spring and meadow of "Maud Muller;" not
far away, with the sumachs and blackberries clustering about it still,
is the site of the rude academy of his "School Days;" and beyond the low
hill the grasses grow upon the grave of the dear, brown-eyed girl who
"hated to go above him." We may still loiter beneath the overarching
sycamores planted by poor Tallant,--"pioneer of Erin's outcasts,"--where
young Whittier pondered the story of "Floyd Ireson with the hard heart."

Delightful rambles through the country-side bring us to many scenes
familiar to the tender poet and by him made familiar to all the world.
Thus we come to the "stranded village" of Aunt Mose,--"the muttering
witch-wife of the gossip's tale,"--where Whittier found the materials
out of which he wrought the touching poem "The Countess," and where we
see the poor low rooms in which pretty, blue-eyed Mary Ingalls was born
and lived a too brief life of love, and her sepulchre--now reclaimed
from a tangle of brake and brier--in the lonely old burial-ground that
"slopes against the west." Her grave is in the row nearest the dusty
highway, and is marked by a mossy slab of slate, which is now protected
from the avidity of relic-gatherers by a net-work of iron, bearing the
inscription, "The Grave of the Countess."

Thus, too, we come to the ruined foundation of the cottage of "Mabel
Martin, the Witch's Daughter," and look thence upon other haunts of the
beloved bard, as well as upon his river "glassing the heavens" and the
wave-like swells of foliage-clad hills which are "The Laurels" of his
verse. In West Newbury, the town of his "Northman's Written Rock," we
find the comfortable "Maplewood" homestead where lived and lately died
the supposed sweetheart of the poet's early manhood.

[Sidenote: Whittier's Amesbury Cottage]

Whittier's beloved Amesbury, the "home of his heart," is larger and
busier than he knew it, but, as we dally on its dusty avenues, we find
them aglow with living memories of the sweet singer. In Friend Street
stands--still occupied by Whittier's former friends--the plain little
frame house which was so long his home. A bay window has been placed
above the porch, but the place is otherwise little changed since he left
it; the same noble elms shade the front, the fruit-trees he planted and
pruned and beneath which the saddened throng sat at his funeral are in
the garden; here too are the grape-vines which were the especial objects
of his loving care,--one of them grown from a rootlet sent to him in a
letter by Charles Sumner.

Within, we see the famous "garden room," which was his sanctum and
workshop, and where this gentle man of peace waged valiant warfare with
his pen for the rights of man. In this room, with its sunny outlook
among his vines and pear-trees, he kept his chosen books, his treasured
souvenirs; and here he welcomed his friends,--Longfellow, Fields,
Sumner, Lowell, Colonel Higginson, Bayard Taylor, Mrs. Thaxter, Mrs.
Phelps-Ward, Alice Cary, Lucy Larcom, Sarah Orne Jewett, and many
another illustrious child of genius.

A quaint Franklin fireplace stood by one side wall,--usually surmounted
in summer by a bouquet; in the nook between this and the sash-door was
placed an old-fashioned writing-desk, and here he wrote many of the
poems which brought him world-wide fame and voiced the convictions and
the conscience of half the nation. Here are still preserved some of his
cherished books. Above the study was Whittier's bedchamber, near the
rooms of his mother, his "youngest and dearest" sister, and the "dear
aunt" (Mercy) of "Snow-Bound," who came with him to this home and shared
it until their deaths. After the others were gone, the brother and
sister long dwelt here alone, later a niece was for some years his
house-keeper, and at her marriage the poet gave up most of the house to
some old friends, who kept his study and chamber in constant readiness
for his return upon the prolonged sojourns which were continued until
his last year of life,--this being always his best-loved home.

Near by are the "painted shingly town-house" of his verse, where during
many years he failed not to meet with his neighbors to deposit "the
freeman's vote for Freedom," and the little, wooden Friends'
meeting-house, where he loved to sit in silent introspection among the
people of his faith. The trees which now shade its plain old walls with
abundant foliage were long ago planted by his hands. The "Powow Hill" of
his "Preacher" and "The Prophecy of Samuel Sewall" rises steeply near
his home, and was a favorite resort, to which he often came, alone or
with his guests. One who has often stood with Whittier there pilots us
to his accustomed place on the lofty rounded summit, whence we overlook
the village, the long reach of the "sea-seeking" river, and the
entrancing scene pictured by the poet in the beautiful lines of
"Miriam."

[Sidenote: Whittier's Tomb]

From these precious haunts our pilgrim shoon trace the revered bard to
the peaceful precincts of the God's-acre--just without the town--where,
in a sequestered spot beneath a dark cedar which sobs and soughs in the
summer wind, his mortal part is forever laid, with his beloved sister
and kindred, within

                "the low green tent
  Whose curtain never outward swings."



OUT OF BOSTON

III

SALEM: WHITTIER'S OAK-KNOLL AND BEYOND

_Cemetery of Hawthorne's Ancestors--Birthplace of Hawthorne and his
  Wife--Where Fame was won--House of the Seven Gables--Custom-House--
  Where Scarlet Letter was written--Main Street and Witch Hill--Sights
  from a Steeple--Later Home of Whittier--Norman's Woe--Lucy Larcom--
  Parton, etc.--Rivermouth--Thaxter._


[Sidenote: Hawthorne's Salem]

A half-hour's jaunt by train brings us to the shaded streets of quaint
old Salem and the scenes of Hawthorne's early life, work, and triumph.
Here we find on Charter Street, in the old cemetery of "Dr. Grimshaw's
Secret" and "Dolliver Romance," the sunken and turf-grown graves of
Hawthorne's mariner ancestors, some of whom sailed forth on the ocean of
eternity nearly two centuries ago. Among the curiously carved
gravestones of slate we see that of John Hathorn, the "witch-judge" of
Hawthorne's "Note-Books." Close at hand repose the ancestors of the
novelist's wife, and the Doctor Swinnerton who preceded "Dolliver" and
who was called to consider the cause of Colonel Pyncheon's death in the
opening chapter of "The House of the Seven Gables."

The sombre house which encroaches upon a corner of the cemetery
enclosure--with the green billows surging about it so closely that its
side windows are within our reach from the gravestones--was the home of
the Peabodys, whence Hawthorne wooed the amiable Sophia, and where, in
his tales, he domiciled Grandsir "Dolliver" and also "Doctor Grimshaw"
with Ned and Elsie. We found it a rather depressing, hip-roofed,
low-studded, and irregular edifice of wood, standing close upon the
street, and obviously degenerated a little from the degree of
respectability--"not sinking below the boundary of the genteel"--which
the romancer ascribed to it. The little porch or hood protects the front
entrance, and the back door communicates with the cemetery,--a
circumstance which recalls the novelist's fancy that the dead might get
out of their graves at night and steal into this house to warm
themselves at the convenient fireside.

Not many rods distant, in Union Street, stands the little house where
Captain Hathorn left his family when he went away to sea, and where the
novelist was born. The street is small, shabby, shadeless,
dispiriting,--its inhabitants not select. The house--builded by
Hawthorne's grandfather and lately numbered twenty-seven--stands close
to the sidewalk, upon which its door-stone encroaches, leaving no space
for flower or vine; the garden where Hawthorne "rolled on a grass-plot
under an apple-tree and picked abundant currants" is despoiled of turf
and tree, and the wooden house walls rise bare and bleak. It is a plain,
uninviting, eight-roomed structure, with a lower addition at the back,
and with a square central chimney-stack rising like a tower above the
gambrel roof. The rooms are low and contracted, with quaint corner
fireplaces and curiously designed closets, and with protuberant beams
crossing the ceilings. From the entrance between the front rooms a
narrow winding stair leads to an upper landing, at the left of which we
find the little, low-ceiled chamber where, ninety years ago, America's
greatest romancer first saw the light. It is one of the most cheerless
of rooms, with rude fireplace of bricks, a mantel of painted planks, and
two small windows which look into the verdureless yard. In a modest
brick house upon the opposite side of the street, and but a few rods
distant from the birthplace of her future husband, Hawthorne's wife was
born five years subsequent to his nativity.

[Sidenote: The Manning House]

Abutting upon the back yard of Hawthorne's birthplace is the old Manning
homestead of his maternal ancestors, the home of his own youth and
middle age and the theatre of his struggles and triumph. It is known as
number twelve Herbert Street, and is a tall, unsightly, erratic fabric
of wood, with nothing pleasing or gracious in its aspect or environment.
The ugly and commonplace character of his surroundings here during half
his life must have been peculiarly depressing to such a sensitive
temperament as Hawthorne's, and doubtless accounts for his mental
habits. That he had no joyous memories of this old house his letters and
journals abundantly show. Its interior arrangement has been somewhat
changed to accommodate the several families of laborers who have since
inhabited it, and one front room seems to have been used as a shop; but
it is not difficult to identify the haunted chamber which was
Hawthorne's bed-room and study. This little, dark, dreary apartment
under the eaves, with its multipaned window looking down into the room
where he was born, is to us one of the most interesting of all the
Hawthorne shrines. Here the magician kept his solitary vigil during the
long period of his literary probation, shunning his family, declining
all human sympathy and fellowship, for some time going abroad only
after nightfall; here he studied, pondered, wrote, revised, destroyed,
day after day as the slow months went by; and here, after ten years of
working and waiting for the world to know him, he triumphantly recorded,
"In this dismal chamber FAME was won." Here he wrote "Twice-Told Tales"
and many others, which were published in various periodicals, and here,
after his residence at the old Manse,--for it was to this Manning house
that he "always came back, like the bad halfpenny," as he said,--he
completed the "Mosses." This old dwelling is one of the several which
have been fixed upon as being the original "House of the Seven Gables,"
despite the novelist's averment that the Pyncheon mansion was "of
materials long in use for constructing castles in the air." The pilgrim
in Salem will be persistently assured that a house which stands near the
shore by the foot of Turner Street, and is known as number thirty-four,
was the model of Hawthorne's structure. It is an antique edifice of some
architectural pretensions, displays five fine gables, and has spacious
wainscoted and frescoed apartments, with quaint mantels and other
evidences of colonial stateliness. It was an object familiar to the
novelist from his boyhood,--he had often visited it while it was the
home of pretty "Susie" Ingersol,--and it may have suggested the style of
architecture he employed for the visionary mansion of the tale. The
names Maule and Pyncheon, employed in the story, were those of old
residents of Salem.

[Sidenote: Hawthorne's Custom-House]

But a few rods from Herbert Street is the Custom-House where Hawthorne
did irksome duty as "Locofoco Surveyor," its exterior being--except for
the addition of a cupola--essentially unchanged since his description
was written, and its interior being even more somnolent than of yore.
The wide and worn granite steps still lead up to the entrance portico;
above it hovers the same enormous specimen of the American eagle, and a
recent reburnishing has rendered even more evident the truculent
attitude of that "unhappy fowl." The entry-way where the venerable
officials of Hawthorne's time sat at the receipt of customs has been
renovated, the antique chairs in which they used to drowse, "tilted back
against the wall," have given place to others of more modern and elegant
fashion, and the patriarchal dozers themselves--lying now in the
profounder slumber of death--are replaced by younger and sprightlier
successors, who wear their dignities and pocket their emoluments. At the
left we find the room, "fifteen feet square and of lofty height," which
was Hawthorne's office during the period of his surveyorship: it is no
longer "cobwebbed and dingy," but is tastefully refitted and
refurnished, and the once sanded floor, which the romancer "paced from
corner to corner" like a caged lion, is now neatly carpeted. The
"exceedingly decrepit and infirm" chairs, and the three-legged stool on
which he lounged with his elbow on the old pine desk, have been retired,
and the desk itself is now tenderly cherished among the treasures of the
Essex Institute, on Essex Street, a few blocks distant, where the
custodian proudly shows us the name of Hawthorne graven within the lid,
in some idle moment, by the thumb-nail of the novelist. Some yellow
documents bearing his official stamp and signature are preserved at the
Custom-House, and the courteous official who now occupies Hawthorne's
room displays to us here a rough stencil plate marked "Salem N Hawthorne
Surr 1847," by means of which knowledge of Hawthorne's existence was
blazoned abroad "on pepper-bags, cigar-boxes, and bales of dutiable
merchandise," instead of on title-pages. The arched window, by which
stood his desk, commands a view upon which his vision often rested, and
which seems to us decidedly more pleasing and attractive than he has
led us to expect. The picturesque old wharf in the foreground, the
white-sailed shipping, and a shimmering expanse of water extending to
the farther bold headlands of the coast form, we think, a pleasant
picture for the lounger here.

The apartment opposite to Hawthorne's was, in his day, occupied by the
brave warrior General James Miller, who is graphically described as the
"old Collector" in the introduction to "Scarlet Letter;" the room
directly above it--which is the private office of the present chief
executive, the genial Collector Waters--a portrait of the hero of
Lundy's Lane now looks down from the wall upon the visitor; but no
picture of Hawthorne is to be found in the edifice.

An ample room at the right of the hall on the second floor, now
handsomely fitted and furnished, was in Hawthorne's time open and
unfinished, its bare beams festooned with cobwebs and its floor lumbered
with barrels and bundles of musty official documents; and it was here
that he discovered, among the accumulated rubbish of the past, the
"scarlet, gold-embroidered letter," and the manuscript of Surveyor
Prue,--Hawthorne's ancient predecessor in office,--which recorded the
"doings and sufferings" of Hester Prynne.

A short walk from the Custom-House brings us to the spot where, with
"public notices posted upon its front and an iron goblet chained to its
waist," stood that "eloquent monologist," the town-pump of Hawthorne's
famous "Rill." Already its locality, at the corner of Essex and
Washington Streets, is pointed out with pride as being among the sites
memorable in the town's history, and thus the playful prophecy with
which Hawthorne terminates the sketch of his official life is more than
fulfilled.

The spacious and well-preserved old frame house at number fourteen Mall
Street--a neighborhood superior to that of his former residences--was
Hawthorne's abode for three or four years. It was here that he, on the
day of his official death, announced to his wife, "Well, Sophie, my head
is off, so I must write a book;" and here, in the ensuing six months,
disturbed and distressed by illness of his family, by the death of his
mother, and by financial needs, he wrote our most famous romance, "The
Scarlet Letter." A bare little room in the front of the third story was
his study here, and while he wrote in solitude his wife worked in a
sitting-room just beneath, decorating lamp-shades whose sale helped to
sustain the household.

[Sidenote: Salem--Witch Hill]

As we saunter along the "Main Street" of Hawthorne's sketch and the
other shady avenues he knew so well, the curious old town, which in his
discontent he called tame and unattractive, seems to our eyes
picturesque and beautiful, with its wide elm-bordered streets, its
grassy waysides, its many gardens and square, embowered dwellings, not
greatly changed since he knew them. If we follow "the long and lazy
street" to the Witch Hill, which the novelist describes in "Alice
Doane's Appeal," we may behold from that unhappy spot, where men and
women suffered death for imagined misdoing, the whole of Hawthorne's
Salem, with the environment he pictures in "Sights from a Steeple." We
see the house-roofs of the town--half hidden by clustering
foliage--extending now from the slopes of the fateful hill to the
glinting waters of the harbor; the farther expanse of field and meadow,
dotted with white villages and scored with shadowy water-ways; the
craggy coast, with the Atlantic thundering endlessly against its
headlands. Yonder is the steeple of Hawthorne's vision, beyond is the
scene of the exquisite "Footprints in the Sand," and across the blue of
the rippling sea we behold the place of the fierce fight in which the
gallant Lawrence lost at once his ship and his life.

Not far from Salem is Oak-Knoll, where the white-souled Whittier,
"wearing his silver crown," passed "life's late afternoon" with his
devoted relatives. It is a delightful, sheltered old country-seat, with
wide lawns, and scores of broad acres wooded with noble trees, beneath
which the poet loved to stroll or sit, soothed and inspirited by the
gracious and generous beauty of the scene about him.

One spot in the glimmering shade of an overarching oak is shown as his
favorite resort. Close by the house is a circular, green-walled garden,
where, in summer mornings, he delighted to work with rake and hoe among
the flowers. The mansion is a dreamful, old-fashioned edifice, with wide
and lofty piazzas, whose roofs are upheld by massive columns; and, with
its grand setting of trees, it presents a pleasing picture. Whittier's
study--a pleasant, cheerful room, with a delightful outlook and sunny
exposure, a friendly-looking fireplace, and a glass door opening upon
the veranda--was especially erected for him in a corner of the house,
and here his later poems were penned. A bright and ample chamber above
the parlor was his sleeping-apartment.

[Sidenote: Whittier--Longfellow, etc.]

The sweet poetess Miss Preston and the sprightly and versatile "Gail
Hamilton" dwelt in the neighborhood and came often to this room to talk
with the "transplanted prophet of Amesbury." Lucy Larcom and that
"Sappho of the isles," Celia Thaxter, came less frequently. The place is
still occupied by the relatives Whittier loved, who have preserved
essentially unchanged the scenes he here inhabited.

A little farther up the rock-bound coast are the scene of Lucy Larcom's
touching poem "Hannah's at the Window Binding Shoes;" the hearth-stone
where Longfellow saw his "Fire of Drift-Wood;" and the bleak sea-side
home of "Floyd Ireson" of Whittier's verse. Beyond these lie the
sometime summer homes of the poet Dana, Harriet Prescott Spofford,
Fields, and Whipple, with that Mecca of the tourist, the savage reef of
Norman's Woe,--celebrated in Longfellow's pathetic poem as the scene of
"The Wreck of the Hesperus,"--not far away; while across the harbor a
summer resort of the gifted Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward stands--an "Old
Maid's Paradise" no longer--among the rocks of the shore.

By the mouth of Whittier's "lowland river" we find the birthplace of
Lloyd Garrison, the ancestral abode of the Longfellows, the tomb of
Whitefield beneath the spot where he preached, the once sojourn of
Talleyrand. Here, too, still inhabited by his family, we find the large,
three-storied corner house in which Parton spent his last twenty years
of busy life, and the low book-lined attic study where, in his cherished
easy-chair with his manuscript resting upon a lap-board, he did much of
his valuable work.

Still farther northward, we come to the ancient town of Aldrich's "Bad
Boy"-hood,--immortalized as the "Rivermouth" of his prose,--the place of
Longfellow's "Lady Wentworth," the home of Hawthorne's Sir William
Pepperell; and to the picturesque island realm of that "Princess of
Thule," Celia Thaxter, and her gifted poet-brother Laighton;--but these
shrines are worthy of a separate pilgrimage.



OUT OF BOSTON

IV

WEBSTER'S MARSHFIELD: BROOK FARM, ETC

_Scenes of the Old Oaken Bucket--Webster's Home and Grave--Where Emerson
  won his Wife--Home of Miss Peabody--Parkman--Miss Guiney--Aldrich's
  Ponkapog--Farm of Ripley's Community--Relics and Reminiscences._


One day's excursion out of Boston is southward through the birthplace
and ancestral home of the brilliant essayist Quincy to the boyhood
haunts of Woodworth and the scenes which inspired his sweetest lyric. In
Scituate, by the village of Greenbush, we find the well of the "Old
Oaken Bucket" remaining at the site of the dwelling where the poet was
born and reared. Most of the "loved scenes" of his childhood--the
wide-spreading pond, the venerable orchard, the flower-decked meadow,
the "deep-tangled wildwood"--may still be seen, little changed since he
knew them; but the rock of the cataract has been removed and the cascade
itself somewhat altered by the widening of the highway; the "cot of his
father" has given place to a modern farm-house; and the "moss-covered
bucket that hung in the well" has been supplanted by a convenient but
unpoetical pump.

[Sidenote: Webster's Home and Grave]

A few miles beyond this romantic spot we come to the Marshfield home of
Daniel Webster, set in the midst of a pleasant rural region, not far
from the ancient abode of Governor Winslow of the Plymouth colony. On
the site of Webster's farm-house of thirty rooms--destroyed by fire some
years ago--his son's widow erected a pretty and tasteful modern cottage,
in which she preserved many relics of the illustrious statesman and
orator, which had been rescued from the flames. Some of the relics were
afterward removed to Boston, and, the family becoming extinct with the
death of Mrs. Fletcher Webster, the place found an appreciatory
proprietor in Mr. Walton Hall, a Boston business-man who was reared in
this neighborhood, where Webster's was "a name to conjure by."

The objects connected with the memory of the statesman have been as far
as possible preserved, and we find the cottage partially furnished with
his former belongings. Here we see his writing-table, covered with
ink-stained green baize; his phenomenally large arm-chair with seat of
leather; the andirons from his study fireplace; the heavy cane he used
in his walks about the farm; portraits of the great _genius loci_--one
of them representing him in his coarse farm attire--and of members of
his family; a fine cabinet of beetles and butterflies presented to him
by the Emperor of Brazil; and a number of paintings, articles of
furniture, and bric-à-brac which had once been Webster's.

Near the house stand the great memorial elms, each planted by Webster's
hand at the death of one of his children. His favorite tree, beneath
which his coffined figure lay at his funeral, was injured by the fire
and has since been removed. Behind the house is a pretty lakelet, on
whose surface--by his desire--lights were kept burning at night during
his last illness, so that he might see them from his bed in the Pink
Room where he died.

His study window looked out through a colonnade of trees upon the
hill-side cemetery--a furlong distant--where he now sleeps in a spot he
loved and chose for his sepulchre. His tomb, on the brow of the hill, is
marked by a huge mound of earth crowned by a ponderous marble slab. The
memorial stones about it were erected by him to commemorate his family,
already sleeping in the vault here before he came to lie among
them:--all save one, and that one died at Bull Run.

Not far away lie Governor Winslow and the Peregrine White who was born
on the Mayflower. From among the neglected graves we look abroad upon
the acres Webster tilled, the creeks he fished, the meadows he hunted,
the haunts of his leisure during many years: on the one hand, we see a
stretch of verdant pastures and lowly hills dotted by white cottages and
bounded by distant forests; on the other hand, across the wave-like
dunes and glistening sands we see a silver rim flecked with white
sails,--the ocean, whose low-sounding monotone, eternally responding to
some whisper of the infinite, mayhap lulls the dreamless sleepers
beneath our feet.

Southward again, we come to historic old Plymouth, with its many Puritan
shrines and associations, which did not prevent its becoming a
shire-town of Transcendentalism. Here we see the house (framed in
England, and erected here upside down) where Emerson, the fountain-head
of that great "wave of spirituality," wooed and won Miss Jackson to be
his wife; and not far away the lovely spot where, among his gardens,
groves, and orchards, Marston Watson had his "Hillside" home,--to which
resorted Emerson, Theodore Parker, Peabody, Thoreau, and Bronson Alcott,
and which the latter celebrated in a sonnet. Here, too, we find the
church where Kendall preached, and the farm of Morton, the earliest
historian of the Western world.

[Sidenote: Miss Peabody]

In the Boston suburb of Jamaica Plain we find, near the station, the
modest apartments where Miss Elizabeth Peabody--the "Saint Elizabeth" of
her friends--passed her later years, and where, not many months ago, she
died, having survived nearly all her associates in the earlier struggle
for the enlargement of the bounds of spiritual freedom. She had been the
intimate friend of Emerson, Channing, Theodore Parker, and the rest; and
of the wider spirituality which they proclaimed she was esteemed a
prophetess. Most of her literary work was done before she came to this
home; and the latest literary effort of her life, her autobiography
(which was undertaken here in age and weariness), was frustrated by her
increasing infirmities.

[Sidenote: Parkman]

In the same delightful suburb was the ideally beautiful home of the
historian Francis Parkman. His wide and tasteful dwelling surmounted an
elevation overlooking a pretty lakelet, and was environed by ample
grounds filled with choicest shrubbery and flowers, where there were
roods of the roses and lilies he loved and studied. In this place he
lived thirty-four years, and, although practically blind and rarely free
from torturing pain, he here produced many volumes and accomplished the
work which places him among the foremost historians of the age. In this
home he died a year or so ago: his grounds having been taken for a
public park, it is now proposed to erect here a bronze memorial of the
great historian amid the floral beauty he created and cherished.

In the remoter region of Canton, Thomas Bailey Aldrich has a sometime
summer home, erected among enchanting landscapes, where he has pondered
and written much of his dainty prose and daintier poesy. The curious
name of this rural retreat is preserved in the title of his entertaining
volume of travel-sketches, "From Ponkapog to Pesth." The tree near his
door was the home of the pair of birds he described in the delightful
sketch "Our New Neighbors at Ponkapog."

[Sidenote: Miss Guiney]

A morning's drive westward through the shade and sheen of a delectable
urban district conveys us to the village of Auburndale, where we find
the tasteful cottage home of Louise Imogen Guiney, with its French
roofs, wide windows, square tower, and embosoming foliage. Here, if we
come properly accredited, we may (or might before she became the
village postmistress) see the gifted poetess of "White Sail" and
"Roadside Harp" and essayist of "English Gallery" and "Prose Idyls"--a
_petite_ and attractive young lady--at her desk, surrounded by her
treasures of books and bric-à-brac and with the portraits of many
friends looking down upon her from the walls of the square upper room
where she writes. She has little to say concerning her own
work,--fascinating as it is to her,--but discourses pleasantly on many
topics and narrates _con amore_ the history of the precious tomes and
the literary relics she has gathered here, and describes the traits and
lineage of her beloved canine pets, who have been execrated by some of
her neighbors.

[Sidenote: Brook Farm]

Nearer Jamaica Plain is the quiet corner of West Roxbury, where the
exalted community of Brook Farmers attempted to realize in external and
material fashion their high ideals and to inaugurate the precursor of an
Arcadian era. In this season, "the sweet o' the year," we find the farm
a delightful spot, fully warranting Hawthorne's eulogium in "Blithedale
Romance." The songful stream which gives the place its name is margined
by verdant and sun-kissed meads which slope away to the circling
Charles; on either side, fields and picturesque pastures--broken here
and there by rocky ledges and copse-covered knolls--swell upward to
feathery acclivities of pine and oak, with rugged escarpments of rock.
From the elevation about the farm-house we overlook most of the domain
of these social reformers,--the many acres of woodlands, the orchards
and fields where Ripley, George William Curtis, Hawthorne, Dwight,
Bedford, Pratt, Dana, and other transcendental enthusiasts held
sublimated discourse while they performed the coarsest farm drudgery,
applied uncelestial fertilizers, "belabored rugged furrows," or delved
for the infinite in a peat-bog. Curtis has said "there never were such
witty potato-patches, such sparkling corn-fields; the weeds were
scratched out of the ground to the music of Tennyson and Browning." The
farm-house stands above the highway, and is shaded by giant trees
planted by Ripley and his associates. It is a commodious, antiquated
structure of weather-worn wood, two stories in height, with a vast attic
beneath the sloping roofs and an extension which has been recently
enlarged. The original edifice is a ponderous fabric of almost square
form, with an entrance in the middle of the front, massive chimneys at
either end, and contains four spacious lower rooms, besides an outer
scullery. Here we see the sitting-room of the reformers, where at first
Channing sometimes preached and the now "Nestor of American journalism"
sang bass in the choir; their refectory, where Dana served as
head-waiter; and their brick-paved kitchen, where the erudite Mrs.
Ripley and the soulful Margaret Fuller sometimes helped to prepare the
bran bread and baked beans for the exalted brotherhood. Adjoining is the
old "wash-room," where some who have since become famous in literature
or politics pounded the soiled linen in a hogshead with a heavy wooden
pestle; and just without is the turf-carpeted yard where the dignified
and handsome Hawthorne, the brilliant Charles A. Dana (who certainly was
the most popular member of the community), and the genial Curtis were
sometimes seen hanging the moist garments upon the lines, a truly
edifying spectacle for gods and men. It was from Curtis's pockets that
the clothes-pins sometimes dropped during the evening dances. Some of
the trees yet to be seen near the house were rooted from the nursery
established here by Dana.

This old house was the original "Hive" of the community, who added the
extensive wing at the back, but increasing numbers soon forced a
portion of the company to swarm, and other dormitories were erected.
Of these we find vestiges of the "Eyrie"--which was also used as a
school-house--upon a commanding ledge at a little distance from the
house, and nearer the grove where the rural festivals of the association
were held. Of the "Nest," the little house where Miss Ripley lived, the
"Cottage," where Margaret Fuller lodged during her sojourns at the farm,
the large barn, where social _séances_ were held while the starry
company prepared vegetables for the market, and the other steading
erected by the community, only the cellars and broken foundations
remain. In the wood at some distance from the house is the "Eliot's
Pulpit" of Coverdale's narrative, a mass of rock crowning a knoll and
having a great fissure through its core; in the forest beyond we may
find "Coverdale's Walk," and the "Hermitage" where he heard by accident
the colloquy of Westervelt and Zenobia.

After the day of Ripley's brilliant colony the broad acres of Brook Farm
were tilled by the town poor, and--"to what base uses!"--the pretty
cottage of Margaret Fuller became a loathsome small-pox pest-house; the
rooms of the "Hive," after six years of familiarity with ideal refiners
and reformers, became the abode of paupers, and at this day are aswarm
with an odorous multitude of German orphans, wards of a Lutheran
society that now owns the place.

While the pilgrim may find but few traces of the physical labors of the
choice spirits who once inhabited this spot, the beneficent results of
the mental and moral work here accomplished--especially among the
young--are manifest and ineffaceable. These infertile fields yielded but
scant returns for the manual toil of the optimistic philosophers, but
their earnest strivings toward social and mental emancipation have borne
abundant fruit.



IN BERKSHIRE WITH HAWTHORNE

  I. The Graylock and Hoosac Region
  II. Lenox and Middle Berkshire



I

THE GRAYLOCK AND HOOSAC REGION

_North Adams and about--Hawthorne's Acquaintances and Excursions--Actors
  and Incidents of Ethan Brand--Kiln of Bertram the Lime-Burner--Natural
  Bridge--Graylock--Thoreau--Hoosac Mountain--Deerfield Arch--
  Williamstown--Bryant._


The Hawthorne pilgrimage has drawn us to many shrines: the sunny scenes
of "The Marble Faun," the peaceful landscapes of "Our Old Home," the now
busy city of "The Scarlet Letter," the elm-shaded Salem of "Dr.
Grimshaw" and "The House of the Seven Gables," the Manse of the
"Mosses," the Wayside of "Septimius Felton" and "The Dolliver
Romance,"--these and many another resort of the subtile romancer, in the
Old World and the New, have held our lingering feet.

Amid the splendors of a New England September we follow him into the
"headlong Berkshire" of "Ethan Brand" and "Tanglewood Tales."

Hawthorne was more than most writers influenced by environment; the
situations and circumstances under which his work was produced often
determined its tone and color, while the persons, localities, and
occurrences observed by his alert senses in the real world about him
were skilfully wrought into his romance. His residence in Berkshire
affected not only the books written there, but some subsequently
produced, and the scenery of this loveliest corner of New England
supplied the setting for many of his tales. Some of the best passages of
his "American Note-Books" are records of his observations in this
region,--sundry scenes, characters, and incidents being afterward
literally transcribed therefrom into his fiction,--while a few of his
shorter stories seem to have been suggested by legends once current in
Berkshire. It passes, therefore, that for us the greatest charm of this
realm of delights is that all its beauties--the grandeur of its
mountains, the enchantment of its valleys, the glamour of its autumn
woods, the sheen of its lakelets, the sapphire of its skies--serve to
bring us into closer sympathy with Hawthorne, to whom these beauties
were once a familiar vision.

He first came to Berkshire in the summer of 1838. For thirteen years he
had bravely "waited for the world to know" him. His "Twice-Told Tales"
had brought him little fame or money, but they had procured him the
friendship of the Peabodys, and it would appear that he and the lovely
Sophia already loved each other. In a letter to her sister Elizabeth,
written early in the summer, Sophia says, "Hawthorne came one morning
for a take-leave call, looking radiant. He said he was not going to tell
any one, not even his mother, where he should be for the next months; he
thought he should change his name, so that if he died no one would be
able to find his gravestone. We asked him to keep a journal while he was
gone. He at first said he would not write anything, but finally
concluded it would suit very well for hints for future stories." It was
from his journal of these months of mysterious retirement that, forty
years later, the gentle Sophia--then his widow--transcribed those pages
of the "Note-Books" which contain the account of his sojourn in upper
Berkshire and of his observations and meditations there. How far the
journal furnished "hints for future stories" the literary world well
knows.

A few days after this "take-leave call" we find Hawthorne at Pittsfield,
where his Berkshire saunterings (and ours) fitly began. We follow him
northward along a curving valley hemmed by mountains that slope upward
to the azure; on the right rise the rugged Hoosacs in

  "Wave-like walls that block the sky
  With tints of gold and mists of blue;"

on the left loom the darkly-wooded domes of the Taconics above the
bright upland pastures, while before us grand old "Graylock" uprears his
head "shaggy with primeval forest,"--his gigantic shape forming the
culmination of the superb landscape. Hawthorne's superlative pleasure of
beholding this grandeur and beauty from the driver's seat of a stage and
being regaled at the same time by the converse of the driver is
denied to us, but we enjoy quite as much as did Hawthorne the
little "love-pats" and passages of a newly-wedded pair of our
fellow-passengers. The stage has disappeared, the driver and the
high-stepping steeds which served him "in wheel and in whoa" have given
place to the engineer and the locomotive; the changes of the
half-century since Hawthorne journeyed here have well-nigh overturned
the world; only the eternal beauty of these hills and the bewraying
demeanor of the newly-married remain evermore unchanged.

[Sidenote: Hawthorne at North Adams]

[Sidenote: Characters of his Fiction]

At North Adams, which the magician, "liking indifferent well, made his
head-quarters," we have lodgings near the place of his on the Main
Street and in the domicile of one who, as a lad of fourteen years, had
known Hawthorne during his stay here. Apparently he did not attempt to
carry out his plan of concealing his identity; he certainly was known to
some of the villagers as the author of "Twice-Told Tales," and a
descendant of one of Hawthorne's "seven doctors of the place" recalls
his delight on being told that the "Whig Tavern boarder" was the creator
of "The Gentle Boy;" and he remembers his subsequent and consequent
worshipful espionage of the wonderful being. To this espionage we are
indebted for some edifying details of Hawthorne's sojourn in upper
Berkshire. The world has known few handsomer men than Hawthorne was at
this period of his life,--he had been styled Oberon at college,--and our
informant recollects him as "the most brilliantly handsome person he
ever beheld," tall, dark, with an expressive mobile face and a lustrous
eye which held something "indescribably more than keenness" in its quick
glances. (Charles Reade said Hawthorne's eye was "like a violet with a
soul in it.") As remembered here, his expression was often abstracted,
sometimes despondent. He would sit for hours at a time on the broad
porch of the old "North Adams House," or in a corner of the bar-room,
silently smoking and apparently oblivious to his surroundings, yet, as
we know, vigilant to note the oddities of character and opinion he
encountered. It is certain that he did not drink immoderately at this
time. There were a few persons--_not_ the model men of the community--to
whom he occasionally unbent and whom he admitted to a sort of
comradeship, which, as his diary shows, often became confessionary upon
their part. With these he held prolonged converse upon the tavern
porch,--his part in the conversations being mainly suggestions
calculated to elicit the whimsical conceits or experiences of his
companions,--sitting the while in the posture of the venerable
custom-house officials, described in the sketch introductory to the
"Scarlet Letter," with "chair tipped on its hind legs" and his feet
elevated against a pillar of the porch. Among those remembered to have
been thus favored was Captain C----, called Captain Gavett in the
"Note-Books," who dispensed metaphysics and maple sugar from the tavern
steps, and a jolly blacksmith named Wetherel, described by Hawthorne as
"big in the paunch and enormous in the rear," who came regularly to the
bar for his stimulant. Another was the "lath-like, round-backed,
rough-bearded, thin-visaged" stage-driver, Platt, whom Hawthorne honors
as "a friend of mine" in the diary, and whose acquaintance he made
during the ride from Pittsfield. In later years Platt's pride in having
known Hawthorne eclipsed even his sense of distinction in being "the
first and only man to drive an ox-team to the top of Graylock, sir." He
had once been employed to haul the materials for an observatory up that
mountain's steep inclines. Of the other "hangers-on" who were wont to
infest the bar-room and porch fifty years ago and whom Hawthorne depicts
in his journal and his fiction, few of the present generation of
loungers in the place have ever heard. Orrin ----, the sportive widower
whose peccadilloes are hinted at in the "Note-Books," is remembered by
older residents of the town, and the "fellow who refused to pay six
dollars for the coffin in which his wife was buried" may still be named
as the personification of meanness. The maimed and dissolute Daniel
Haines--nicknamed "Black Hawk"--was then a familiar figure in the
village streets, and his unique history and appearance could not escape
the notice of the great romancer nor be soon forgotten by the
towns-people. As Hawthorne says, "he had slid down by degrees from law
to the soap-vat." Once a reputable lawyer, his bibulous habits and an
accident--his hand being "torn away by the devilish grip of a
steam-engine"--had so reduced him that at the time Hawthorne saw him he
maintained himself by boiling soap and practising phrenology. It is
remembered that he used to "feel of bumps" for the price of a drink, and
that, Hawthorne's head being submitted to his manipulation, he gravely
assured the tavern company, "This man was created to shine as a bank
president," and then privately advised the landlord to "make that chap
pay in advance for his board." A resident tells us that this dirty and
often drunken Haines used to make biweekly visits to his father's house,
with a cart drawn by disreputable-looking dogs, to receive fat in
exchange for soap. The novelist touches this odd character many times in
his journal, and utilizes it in the romance of "Ethan Brand," where it
is the "Lawyer Giles, the elderly ragamuffin," who, with the rest of the
lazy regiment from the village tavern, came in response to the summons
of the "boy Joe" to see poor Brand returned from his long search after
the Unpardonable Sin. This "boy Joe," son of "Bertram the lime-burner,"
was also a bar-room character, noted here by Hawthorne, but obviously
for a different use than that made of him in "Ethan Brand,"--a reference
to him in the "Note-Books" being supplemented by this memorandum: "take
this boy as the germ of a tavern-haunter, a country _roué_, to spend a
wild and brutal youth, ten years of his prime in prison and his old age
in the poor-house." This sketch may have been written in the spirit of
prophecy, so exactly has the life of one bar-room boy coincided with
Hawthorne's outline; the career of another lad whom he here saw and
possibly had in mind was happier.

[Sidenote: Characters and Scenes]

A modern hotel has replaced the "Whig Tavern" of Hawthorne's time, and a
new set of _habitués_ now frequent its bar-room; another generation of
fat men has succeeded the individuals whose breadth of back was a marvel
to the novelist, and in the increased population of the place the "many
obese" would no longer provoke comment. The lapsing decades have
expanded the pretty and busy factory-village he found into a prettier
and busier factory-city without materially changing its prevailing air.
The vigorous young city has not wholly out-grown the "hollow vale"
walled in by towering mountains; the aspect of its grand environment is
therefore essentially unaltered, and it chances that there is scarcely a
spot, in or about the town, which received the notice of Hawthorne which
may not still be identified. It is our crowning pleasure in the
resplendent autumn days to follow his thoughtful step and dreamy vision
through town and country-side to the spots he frequented and described,
thus sharing, in a way, his companionship and beholding through his eyes
the beauties which he has depicted of mountain and vale, forest and
stream. On the summit of a hill in the village cemetery, where white
gravestones gleam amid the evergreens, the grave of a child at whose
burial Hawthorne assisted is pointed out by one who was present with
him. The well-known author-divine Washington Gladden, sometime preached
in a near-by church. The ever-varying phases of the heights which look
down upon the town--the wondrous play of light and shade upon the great
sweeps of foliage which clothe the mountain-sides, the shadows chasing
each other along the slopes and changing from side to side as the day
declines, until the vale lies in twilight while the near summits are
gilded with sunset gold, the exquisite cloud-effects as the fleecy
masses drift above the ridges or cling to the higher peaks--were a
never-failing source of pleasure to Hawthorne, as they are to the
loiterer of this day. Every shifting of the point of view as we stroll
in the town reveals a new aspect of its mountain ramparts and arouses
fresh delight. Hawthorne thought the village itself most beautiful when
clouds deeply shaded the mountains while sunshine flooded the valley
and, by contrast, made streets and houses a bright, rich gold.

[Sidenote: Hawthorne's Rambles]

The investing mountains give to the place the "snug and insular" air
which Hawthorne observed; from many points it seems completely severed
from the rest of the world. On some dark days sombre banks of cloud
settle along the ridges and apparently so strengthen and heighten the
beleaguering walls that we recall Hawthorne's fancy that egress is
impossible save by "climbing above the clouds." However, the railways
tunnel the base of one mountain and curve around the flanks of others,
while

  "Old roads winding, as old roads will,"

find easy grades about and over the ramparts, so that the bustling
"Tunnel-city" is by no means isolated from the outside world.

The rambles among and beyond these investing mountains, by which
Hawthorne made himself and "Eustace Bright" of "Wonder-Book" and
"Tanglewood Tales" familiar with "rough, rugged, broken, headlong"
Berkshire, were usually solitary. The before-mentioned admirer of the
"Gentle Boy" sometimes offered to guide the novelist to places of
interest in the vicinage, but he usually preferred to be alone with
nature and his own reveries. Once when the lad proposed to pilot him to
the peak of Graylock, Hawthorne replied he "did not care to soar so
high; the Bellows-Pipe was sightly enough for him." He visited the
latter point many times; it is a long walk from the village, and once he
returned so late that the hotel was closed for the night and our lad
pommelled the door for him until the landlord descended, in wrath and
confidentially scant attire, to admit the novelist.

[Sidenote: Ethan Brand]

One starless night we were guided to the kiln of "Bertram the
lime-burner" which Hawthorne visited with Mr. Leach,--one of several
kilns high up on the steep slope without the town, where the marble of
the mountain is converted into snow-white lime. The graphic imagery of
the tale may all be realized here upon the spot where it is laid. Amid
the darkness, the iron door which encloses the glowing limestone
apparently opens into the mountain-side, and seems a veritable entrance
to the infernal regions whose lurid flames escape by every crevice. The
dark and silent figure, revealed to us by the weird light, sitting and
musing before the kiln, is surely "Ethan Brand" on his solitary vigil,
intent on perilous thoughts as he looks into the flame, or mutely
listening to the fiend he has evoked from the fire to tell him of the
Unpardonable Sin; or it is the same Brand returned to the foot of
Graylock after eighteen years of weary searching abroad, to find the Sin
in his own heart and to burn that heart into snowy whiteness and purity
in the kiln he had watched so long. As we ponder the scene we would
scarce be surprised to witness the approach of the village rabble led by
Joe, the old Jew exhibiting his "peep-show" at the foot of the kiln, and
the self-pursuing cur violently chasing his own shortened tail, or to
hear the demoniac laughter of Brand which scattered the terror-stricken
rabble in the surrounding darkness. Certain it is that, thirteen years
before he wrote the tale, Hawthorne saw here, at a kiln on the foot-hill
of Graylock, his "Bertram," and heard the legend of a demented creature
who threw himself into the midst of the circle of fire. The name "Ethan
Brand" was that of an old resident of Hawthorne's Salem.

[Sidenote: Graylock]

The summit of Graylock, whose rugged beauty has been sung by Holmes,
Thoreau, Bryant, and Fanny Kemble, had for Hawthorne a sort of
fascination. From the streets of the village, from all the ways by which
he sauntered through the country-side, his eyes were continually
turning to that lofty height, observant of its ever-changing aspects.
His diary of the time abounds with records of its phases, presented in
varying conditions of cloud and sunshine and from different places of
prospect, and of the fanciful impressions suggested to his subtile
thought by each fresh and unfamiliar appearance. A walk repeatedly
enjoyed by him is along a primitive road on the mountain-side to the
southern end of The Notch,--"where it slopes upward to the
skies,"--whence he could see most of the enchanting valley of
Berkshire--with its lakes, embowered villages, and billowy expanses of
upland and mead--extending between mountain-borders to the great Dome
which looms across it sixty miles away. In the distance he could see the
crags of Bryant's Monument Mountain--the "headless sphinx" of his own
"Wonder-Book"--rising above the gleaming lake whose margin was to be his
later home.

Our route to the peak of Graylock is that taken by Hawthorne and Thoreau
through the savage cleft of The Notch. We follow up a dashing
mountain-stream past a charming cascade beneath darkening hemlocks, then
along a rough road by the houses whose inhabitants Hawthorne thought
"ought to be temperance people" from the quality of the water they gave
him to drink. In the remoter parts of the glen a stranger-pedestrian is
still a wonder, and will be regarded as curiously as was the romancer.
From the extremity of The Notch, Graylock rises steeply, his sides
clothed with forests, through which we climb to the summit and our
reward. From the site of Thoreau's bivouac, where Fanny Kemble once
declaimed Romeo and Juliet to a picnic party, we behold a scene of
unrivalled vastness and beauty,--on every side peak soaring beyond peak
until the shadowy outlines blend with the distant sky. The view ranges
from Grand Monadnock and the misty Adirondacks to the Catskills, the
Dome of Mount Washington, and the far-away hills of Connecticut, while
at our feet smiles the bright valley, as beautiful as that in which
Rasselas dwelt.

[Sidenote: Natural Bridge]

A mile from the town we find one of the most picturesque spectacles in
New England, the Natural Bridge, to which Hawthorne came again and again
during his sojourn in this region. Amid a grove of pines apparently
rooted in the solid rock, a tributary of the Hoosac has, during
measureless eons of time, worn in the white marble a chasm sixty feet
deep and fifteen feet wide, spanned at one point by a beautifully arched
mass which forms a bridge high above the stream which frets along the
rock-strewn floor of the canyon. Within the ravine the brook falls in a
rainbow-crowned cascade, and below this is a placid pool with margins of
polished marble, where Hawthorne once meditated a bath, but, alarmed by
the approach of visitors, he hastily resumed his habiliments, "not
caring to be to them the most curious part of the spectacle."

From the deep bed of the brook the gazer looks heavenward between lofty
walls of crystalline whiteness which seem to converge as they rise,
whose surmounting crags jutting from the verge are crowned by sombre
evergreens which overhang the chasm and almost shut out the sky. As we
traverse the gorge whose wildness so impressed Hawthorne and listen to
the re-echoing roar of the now diminished stream, we are reminded of his
conceit that the scene is "like a heart that has been rent asunder by a
torrent of passion which has raged and left ineffaceable traces, though
now there is but a rill of feeling at the bottom."

Our way back to the town is along a riotous stream which took strong
hold upon the liking of the novelist, by which he often walked and in
whose cool depths he bathed. His brief descriptions of its secluded and
turbulent course, through resounding hollows, amid dark woods, under
pine-crowned cliffs,--"talking to itself of its own wild fantasies in
the voice of solitude and the wilderness,"--although written at the time
but for his own perusal, are among the gems of the language. Farther
down, the boisterous stream is now subdued and harnessed by man and made
to turn wheels of factories; its limpid waters are discolored by
dye-stuffs; its beauty is lost with its freedom; it becomes useful
and--ugly.

[Sidenote: Incidents and Characters of Tales]

One day our excursion is into the romantic valley of the Deerfield by
the old stage-road over the Hoosac range, the route which Hawthorne took
with his friends Birch and Leach. The many turns by which the road
accomplishes the ascent afford constantly varying vistas of the valley
out of which we rise, and progressively widening prospects of the
forest-clad mountains beyond. At the summit we are in the centre of the
magnificent panorama of mountains--glowing now with autumnal crimson and
gold--which extorted from Henry Clay the declaration that he had "never
beheld anything so beautiful."

On the bare and wind-swept plain which lies along the summit are a few
farm-dwellings. Among these at the time of Hawthorne's visit--before
the great tunnel had pierced the mountain and superseded the
stage-route--was a homely wayside inn, afterward a farm-house, at whose
bar passengers were wont to "wet their whistles." It may be assumed that
the romancer and his companions failed not to conform to this
time-honored custom, for it was in that rude bar-room--since a
farm-kitchen--that Hawthorne met the itinerant Jew with a diorama of
execrable scratchings which he carried upon his back and exhibited as
"specimens of the fine arts;" in that room also the novelist witnessed
the whimsical performance of the usually sensible and sedate old dog,
who periodically broke out in an infuriated pursuit of his own tail, "as
if one half of his body were at deadly enmity with the other." These
incidents were carefully noted at the time for possible future use, and
in such choice diction that when, many years afterward, he wove them
into the fabric of a tale of "The Snow Image" volume, he transcribed
them from his diary to his manuscript essentially unchanged. This
instance illustrates the method of this consummate literary artist and
his alertness to perceive and utilize the details of real life. His
journals abundantly show that he was by no means the aphelxian dreamer
he has been adjudged.

[Sidenote: Deerfield Arch]

As we descend into the deep valley we find a wild gulf where a brooklet
from the top of Hoosac falls a hundred feet into a rock-bordered pool,
whence it hastens to lose itself in the river; and a mile or two farther
along the Deerfield we come to the Natural Arch which Hawthorne visited.
It is in one of the wildest parts of the picturesque valley, where
mountain-walls rise a thousand feet on either side. Through a mass of
rock projecting from the margin the stream has wrought for itself a
symmetrically arched passage as large as and very like the door-way of
an Old-World cathedral. The summit of the arch and the water-worn
pillars upon either side display "pot-holes" and other evidences of
erosion, and in the bed of the current lie fragments of similarly
attrite rocks which seem to indicate that at some period a series of
arches spanned the entire space from mountain to mountain. Hawthorne's
pleasing fancy makes this arch the entrance to an enchanted palace which
has all vanished except the door-way that "now opens only into
nothingness and empty space."

[Sidenote: Williamstown]

On other days our saunterings follow Hawthorne's to beautiful
Williamstown and through the picturesque scenery which environs it.
Within the park-like village the alma mater of Bryant, Garfield, and
Hawthorne's "Eustace Bright" stands embowered in noble elms and
overlooked by mighty Graylock. Viewed from here, Emerson thought
Graylock "a serious mountain." Thoreau considered its proximity worth at
least "one endowed professorship; it were as well to be educated in the
shadow of a mount as in more classic shades. Some will remember not only
that they went to the college but that they went to the mountain."
Hawthorne visited both. At the college commencement we find him more
attentive to the eccentric characters in the assemblage without the
church than to the literary exercises within, as evidenced by his
piquant description of the enterprising pedler with the "heterogeny" of
wares, the gingerbread man, the negroes, and other oddities of the
out-door company.

[Sidenote: Bryant--Emerson]

About us here lie the scenes which stirred in William Cullen Bryant that
intense love of nature which inspired his best stanzas. A winsome walk
brings us to a sequestered glen where a brooklet winds amid moss-covered
rocks and dainty ferns, and mirrors in its clear pools the overhanging
boughs and the patches of azure; this was a favorite haunt of the
youthful Bryant, and here he pondered or composed his earlier poems,
including some portion of the matchless

"Thanatopsis." Here Emerson, lingering under the spell of the spot, was
moved to recite Wordsworth's "Excursion" to a companion, who must
evermore feel an enviable thrill when he recalls the exquisite lines
falling from the lips of the "great evangel and seer" amid the
loveliness of such a scene.



II

LENOX AND MIDDLE BERKSHIRE

_Beloved of the Littérateurs--La Maison Rouge--Where The House of the
  Seven Gables was written--Wonder-Book and Tanglewood Scenes--The
  Bowl--Beecher's Laurel Lake--Kemble--Bryant's Monument Mountain--
  Stockbridge--Catherine Sedgwick--Melville's Piazza and Chimney--
  Holmes--Longfellow--Pittsfield._


We have only to accompany Eustace Bright of "Wonder-Book" from Williams
College to his home, where Catherine Sedgwick's "Stockbridge Bowl"
nestles among the summer-enchanted hills of central Berkshire, to find
the abode of Hawthorne during the most fertile period of his life. This
region of inspiring landscapes has long been a favorite residence of
_littérateurs_. Here Jonathan Edwards compiled his predestined
treatises; here Catherine Sedgwick wrote the romances which charmed her
generation; here Elihu Burritt "the Learned Blacksmith," wrought out the
"Sparks" that made him famous; here Bryant composed his best stanzas and
made Monument Mountain and Green River classic spots; here Henry Ward
Beecher indited many "Star Papers;" here Herman Melville produced his
sea-tales and brilliant essays; here Headley and Holmes, Lowell and
Longfellow, Curtis and James, Audubon and Whipple, Mrs. Sigourney and
Martineau, Fanny Kemble and Frederika Bremer, the gifted sisters
Goodale, and many other shining spirits, have had home or haunt and have
invested the scenery with the splendors of their genius. Half a score of
this galaxy were in Berkshire at the time of Hawthorne's residence
there.

After his sojourn in northern Berkshire he returned to Salem, where he
married the lovely Sophia Peabody, endured some years of custom-house
drudgery, and wrote the "Scarlet Letter," which made him famous: he then
sought again the seclusion of the mountains.

[Sidenote: Hawthorne's Return to Berkshire]

Poverty, which he had long and bravely endured, has been assigned as the
cause of his removal to the humble Berkshire abode in 1850; one writer
refers to the slenderness of his larder here, another says the rent for
his poor dwelling was paid by his friends, another that the rent was
remitted by the owner, who was his friend. But the success of the
"Scarlet Letter" had relieved the necessitous condition of its author;
and his landlord here--Tappan of "Tanglewood"--testifies and Hawthorne's
letters show that he was able to pay his rent. His motive in returning
to Berkshire is stated in a letter to Bridge: "I have taken a house in
Lenox--I long to get into the country, for my health is not what it has
been. An hour or two of labor in a garden and a daily ramble in country
air would keep me all right." Doubtless, too, he hoped to find the quiet
and seclusion of the place favorable for his work.

[Sidenote: His Home and Study]

The habitation to which he brought his family he describes as "the very
ugliest little bit of an old red farm-house you ever saw," "the most
inconvenient and wretched hovel I ever put my head in." His wife's
letters characterize it, "the reddest and smallest of houses," with such
a low stud that she "fears to be crushed."

In later years we have found it scarcely changed since Hawthorne's
occupancy; it was indeed of the humblest and plainest,--a low-eaved,
one-and-a-half-storied structure, with a lower wing at the side, dingy
red in color, with window-shutters of green. The interior was cosy and
more commodious than the exterior would indicate, and one could readily
conceive that the artistic taste and deft fingers of Mrs. Hawthorne
might create here the idyllic home her letters portray. We have been
indebted to the courtesy of Hawthorne's friend Tappan for glimpses of
the rooms which Mrs. Hawthorne had already made familiar to us: the tiny
reception-room, where she "sewed at her stand and read to the children
about Christ;" the drawing-room, where she disposed "the embroidered
furniture," and where, in the farther corner, stood "Apollo with his
head tied on;" the dining-room, where the "Pembroke table stood between
the windows;" the small boudoir, with its enchanting outlook; the
"golden chamber" where the baby Rose was born; the room of the "little
lady Una;" and the low, dingy apartment which was the study of the
master-genius. Of this room she says, "it can boast of nothing but his
presence in the morning and the picture out of the window in the
evening." His secretary was so placed that as he sat at his work he
could look out upon a landscape of forest and meadow, lake and mountain,
as beautiful as a poet's dream. It was the exquisite loveliness of this
scene--which Hawthorne thought surpassed all others in Berkshire--that
for a time reconciled him to the deficiencies of his situation here.

Monument Mountain, looming almost across the valley, is the most
prominent feature of this view, and it was from his study window that he
noted most of its varying aspects which are depicted in the
"Wonder-Book" and in his letters and journals. Its contour is to him
that of a "huge, headless sphinx," and when--as on the days we beheld it
from his window--it blazes from base to summit with the resplendent hues
of autumn, his fancy suggested that "the sphinx is wrapped in a rich
Persian shawl;" with the sunshine upon it, "it has the aspect of
burnished copper;" now it has "a fleece of sun-brightened mist," again
it seems "founded on a cloud;" on other days it is "enveloped as if in
the smoke of a great battle." Upon the pane through which he had looked
upon these changeful phases his hand inscribed, "Nathaniel Hawthorne,
February 9, 1851."

[Sidenote: Site of his Little Red House]

He could scarcely have found a lovelier location for his home. The
valley, which sometimes seemed to him "a vast basin filled with sunshine
as with wine," is enclosed by groups of mountains piled and terraced to
the horizon. As we behold them in the splendor of the October days,
great patches of sunshine and sable cloud-shadows flit along the glowing
slopes in the sport of the wind. On the one side, the ground sweeps
upward from the cottage site to the "Bald Summit" of the "Wonder-Book;"
on the other, a meadow--as long as the finger of the giant of "Three
Golden Apples"--slopes to the lake a furlong distant. That beautiful
water, sung by Sigourney, Sedgwick, and Fanny Kemble, stretches its bays
three miles among the hills to the southward and mirrors its own wooded
margins and the farther mountains. Beyond the lake, rising in mid-air
like a great gray wall, are the sheer precipices of Monument Mountain,
and in the hazy distance the loftier Taconics uprear their grand Dome in
the illimitable blue.

Of "La Maison Rouge" of Hawthorne's letters, the pilgrim of to-day finds
only the blackened and broken foundation walls: a devouring fire, from
which Tappan saved little of his furniture, has laid it low. These walls
(which remain only because relic-hunters cannot easily carry them away)
measurably indicate the form and dimensions of the cottage and its
general arrangement. Its site is close upon the highway, from which it
is partially screened by evergreen trees. The gate of the enclosure is
of course an unworthy successor to that upon which Fields found
Hawthorne swinging his children, but these near-by elms have shaded the
great romancer, the tallest of the evergreens is the tree his wife
thought "full of a thousand memories," and all about the spot cluster
reminders of the simple, healthful life Hawthorne led here. Here are
the garden ground he tilled and where he buried the pet rabbit "Bunny;"
the "patch," ploughed for him by Tappan, where he raised beans for
himself and corn for his hens (he had learned something of agriculture
at Brook Farm, albeit it was said there he could do nothing but feed the
hogs); the now great fruit-trees whose leaden labels little Julian
destroyed, as Tappan remembers; the place of the "scientific hennery,"
fitted up by the "Man of Genius and the Naval Officer,"--Hawthorne and
Horatio Bridge; the long declivity where the novelist as well as his
Eustace Bright used to coast "in the nectared air of winter" with the
children of the "Wonder-Book;" the leafy woods--his refuge from
visitors--where he walked with his children and where Bright nutted with
the little Pringles; the lake-shore where Hawthorne loitered or lay
extended in the shade during summer hours, "smoking cigars, reading
foolish novels, and thinking of nothing at all," while the children
played about him or covered his chin and breast with long grasses to
make him "look like the mighty Pan."

Near by are other friends he has made known to us. Yonder copse shades a
narrow glen whose braes border a brooklet winding and chattering on its
way to the lake; this glen was a summer haunt of Hawthorne, where he
doubtless pondered much of his work. Here he brought his children
"to play with the brook" and helped them to build water-falls, or
reclined in the shade and told them stories as described in the
"Wonder-Book,"--for this is the "dell of Shadow-Brook," where the
children picnicked with Bright and where he told them the story of "The
Golden Touch" on such an afternoon as this, on which we behold the dell
thickly strewn with golden leaves, as if King Midas had newly emptied
his coffers there.

[Sidenote: Tanglewood and Wonder-Book Scenes]

Yonder mansion of Hawthorne's landlord, just beyond the highway, is
"Tanglewood,"--place of the Pringles' home and still the abode of
Tappan's daughters,--where Bright spent his vacations and where
Hawthorne makes him tell many of the "Tales." The view described on the
porch, where the "Gorgon's Head" was narrated, is the one Hawthorne saw
from his study window. Glimpses of various rooms of the mansion which
Tappan then inhabited and called "Highwood" are prefixed to the stories
told in them. Beyond "Tanglewood" steeply rises an eminence whose bare
acclivity Hawthorne often climbed with his family,--the "Bald Summit"
where the Pringles listened to the tale of "The Chimera." We ascend by
the novelist's accustomed way "through Luther Butler's orchard," and are
repaid by a view extending from the mountains of Vermont to the
Catskills and deserving the high praise Hawthorne bestowed. A golden
cloud floating close to Graylock's shaggy head reminds us of Hawthorne's
conceit that a mortal might step from the mountain to the cloud and thus
ascend heavenly heights. The farther ranges enclose a valley of
wave-like hills,--which look as if a tumultuous ocean had been
transfixed and solidified,--dotted with farmsteads and picturesque
villages whose white spires rise from embowering trees. At our feet the
"Bowl" ripples and scintillates, farther away the "Echo Lake" of
Christine Nilsson and many smaller lakelets "open their blue eyes to the
sun," while the placid stream, fringed by overhanging willows, circles
here and there through the valley like a shining ribbon. Here we may
realize the immensity of Hawthorne's giant in the "Three Golden Apples,"
who was so tall he "might have seated himself on Taconic and had
Monument Mountain for a footstool."

[Sidenote: Resorts and Reminiscences]

[Sidenote: Fanny Kemble]

Not far away, near another shore of the shimmering "Bowl," that
versatile genius "Carl Benson"--Charles Astor Bristed--dwelt for some
time in a quaint old farm-house which has since been destroyed by fire,
and here accomplished some of his literary work. Laurel Lake (the
Scott's Pond of Hawthorne's "Note-Books"), where Beecher "bought a
hundred acres to lie down upon,"--and called them Blossom Farm in the
"Star Papers" written there,--was another resort of Hawthorne. We find
it a pretty water, although its margins are mostly denuded of large
trees. A bright matron of the vicinage, who, when a child, thought the
author of the "Wonder-Book" the "greatest man in the world save only
Franklin Pierce," lived then by Hawthorne's road to Laurel Lake. Her
admiration for him (heightened by his intimacy with Pierce) led her to
daily watch the road by which he would come from Tanglewood, and when
she saw him approaching--which would be twice a week in good
weather--she would go into the yard and reverently gaze at him until his
swift gait had carried him out of sight. To her he was a tall, dark man
with a handsome clean-shaven face and lustrous eyes which saw nothing
but the ground directly before him, habitually dressed in black, with a
wide-brimmed soft hat. Usually his walk was solitary, but sometimes
Herman Melville, who was well known in the neighborhood, was his
companion, and one autumn he was twice or thrice accompanied by "a
light spare man,"--the poet Ellery Channing. Once Hawthorne strode past
toward the lake when Fanny Kemble, who lived near by, rode her black
steed by his side and "seemed to be doing all the talking"--she was
capable of that--and "was talking politics." Having secured a Democratic
auditor, she doubtless "improved the occasion" with her habitual
vivaciousness. A neighbor of Hawthorne's tells us this incident of the
following year, when the novelist's friend Pierce had been named for the
Presidency. One dark night this neighbor went on foot to a campaign
lecture at Lenox Furnace. At its close, he essayed to shorten the
homeward walk by a "short cut" across the fields, and, of course, lost
his way. Descrying a light, he directed his steps toward it, but found
himself involved in a labyrinth of obstacles, and had to make so many
détours that when he finally reached the house whence the light
proceeded, and when in response to his hail the door was opened by
Kemble herself, he was so distraught and amazed at being lost among his
own farms that he could hardly explain his plight; but she quickly
interrupted his incoherent account: "Yes, I see, poor benighted man!
you've been to a Democratic meeting; no wonder you are bewildered! Now
I'll lend you a good Whig lantern that will light you safe home." We
find Mrs. Kemble-Butler's "Perch"--as she named her home here--a little
enlarged, but not otherwise changed since the time of her occupancy. She
was a general favorite, and her dark steed, which had cost her the
proceeds of a volume of her poems, used to stop before every house in
the vicinage. She often came, habited in a sort of bloomer costume which
shocked some of her friends, to fish in the "Bowl" at the time Hawthorne
dwelt by its shore.

The death of Louis Kossuth, some time ago, reminded her former neighbors
here that she led the dance with him at a ball in Lenox, when the exiled
patriot was a guest of the Sedgwicks.

[Sidenote: Monument Mountain]

Our approach to Monument Mountain is along one of those sequestered
by-ways which Hawthorne loved, with "an unseen torrent roaring at an
unseen depth" near by. A rift in the morning mists which enshroud the
valley displays the mountain summit bathed in sunshine. We ascend by
Bryant's "path which conducts up the narrow battlement to the north,"
the same along which Hawthorne and his friends--Holmes, James T. Fields,
Sedgwick, and the rest--were piloted by the historian Headley on a
summer's day more than forty years ago. Standing upon the beetling
verge, which is scarred and splintered by thunderbolts and overhangs a
precipice of five hundred feet or more, we look abroad upon a landscape
of wondrous expanse and beauty. Here we may realize all the prospect
Bryant portrayed as he stood upon this spot:

                "A beautiful river
  Wanders amid the fresh and fertile meads;
                        On either side
  The fields swell upward to the hills; beyond,
  Above the hills, in the blue distance, rise
  The mighty columns with which earth props heaven."

In the middle distance, across the Bowl, which gleams a veritable
"mountain mirror," we see the site of the home whence Hawthorne so often
looked upon these cliffs. Yonder detached pinnacle, rising from the base
of the precipice beneath us, is the "Pulpit Rock" which Catherine
Sedgwick christened when Hawthorne's party picnicked here; from the crag
projecting from the verge Fanny Kemble declaimed Bryant's poem, and
Herman Melville, bestriding the same rock for a bowsprit, "pulled and
hauled imaginary ropes" for the amusement of the company. Among these
splintered masses the company lunched that day and drank quantities of
Heidsieck to the health of the "dear old poet of Monument Mountain." On
the east, almost within sight from this eminence, is the spot where he
was born, near the birthplaces of Warner and the gifted Mrs. Howe.

[Sidenote: Hawthorne at Stockbridge]

Another day we follow the same brilliant party of Hawthorne's friends
through the Stockbridge Ice Glen,--a narrow gorge which cleaves a rugged
mountain from base to summit, its riven sides being apparently held
asunder by immense rocky masses hurled upon each other in wild
confusion. Beneath are weird grottos and great recesses which the sun
never penetrates, and within these we make our way--clambering and
sliding over huge boulders--through the heart of the mountain. One of
Hawthorne's company here testifies that in all the extemporaneous
jollity of the scramble through the glen the usually silent novelist was
foremost, and, being sometimes in the dark, dared use his
tongue,--"calling out lustily and pretending that certain destruction
threatened us all. I never saw him in better spirits than throughout
this day."

From the glen we trace Hawthorne to the staid old house of Burr's
boyhood, where lived and wrote Jonathan Edwards, and the statelier
dwelling whence Catherine Sedgwick gave her tales to the world. Near by
we find the grave where she lies amid the scenes of her own "Hope
Leslie," and not far from the sojourn of her gifted niece whose
translation of Sand's "Fadette" has been so well received.
Overlooking the village is the summer residence of Field of the
"Evangelist,"--author of the delightful books of travel.

Farther away is a little farm-house, with a "huge, corpulent, old Harry
VIII. of a chimney," to which Hawthorne was a frequent visitor,--the
"Arrow-Head" of Herman Melville. "Godfrey Graylock" says the friendship
between Hawthorne and Melville originated in their taking refuge
together, during an electric shower, in a narrow cleft of Monument
Mountain. They had been coy of each other on account of Melville's
review of the "Scarlet Letter" in Duyckinck's _Literary World_, but
during some hours of enforced intercourse and propinquity in very
contracted quarters they discovered in each other a correlation of
thought and feeling which made them fast friends for life. Thereafter
Melville was often at the little red house, where the children knew him
as "Mr. Omoo," and less often Hawthorne came to chat with the racy
romancer and philosopher by the great chimney. Once he was accompanied
by little Una--"Onion" he sometimes called her--and remained a whole
week. This visit--certainly unique in the life of the shy Hawthorne--was
the topic when, not so long agone, we last looked upon the living face
of Melville in his city home. March weather prevented walks abroad, so
the pair spent most of the week in smoking and talking metaphysics in
the barn,--Hawthorne usually lounging upon a carpenter's bench. When he
was leaving, he jocosely declared he would write a report of their
psychological discussions for publication in a volume to be called "A
Week on a Work-Bench in a Barn," the title being a travesty upon that of
Thoreau's then recent book, "A Week on Concord River," etc.

[Sidenote: Melville's Arrow-Head]

Sitting upon the north piazza, of "Piazza Tales," at Arrow-Head, where
Hawthorne and his friend lingered in summer days, we look away to
Graylock and enjoy "the calm prospect of things from a fair piazza"
which Melville so whimsically describes. At Arrow-Head, too, we find the
astonishing chimney which suggested the essay, still occupying the
centre of the house and "leaving only the odd holes and corners" to
Melville's nieces, who now inhabit the place in summer; the study where
Hawthorne and Melville discussed the plot of the "White Whale" and other
tales; the great fireplace, with its inscriptions from "I and my
Chimney;" the window-view of Melville's "October Mountain,"--beloved of
Longfellow,--whose autumn glories inspired that superb word-picture and
metaphysical sketch.

On a near knoll, commanding a view of the circle of mountains and the
winding river, stands the sometime summer residence of Holmes among his
ancestral acres, where Hawthorne and Fields came to visit him. His
"den," in which he did much literary work, overlooks the beautiful
meadows, and is now expanded into a large library, while the trees he
planted are grown to be the crowning beauty of the place, which the
owner calls Holmesdale. It was the hereditary home of the Wendells.

[Sidenote: Pittsfield]

Beyond, at the edge of the town of Pittsfield, is the mansion where
Longfellow found his wife and his famous "Old Clock on the Stairs." At
the Athenæum in the town some thousands of Holmes's books will soon be
placed, and here is preserved the secretary from Hawthorne's study in
the little red house,--a time-worn mahogany combination of desk,
drawers, and shelves, at which he wrote "The House of the Seven Gables,"
"The Wonder-Book," "The Snow Image," and part of "The Blithedale
Romance." Pittsfield was long the home of "Godfrey Graylock;" here the
gifted Rose Terry Cooke passed her closing years of life with her
husband, and not far away Josh Billings, "the Yankee Solomon," was born
and reared as Henry Savage Shaw. One day we trace from Pittsfield the
footsteps of Hawthorne and Melville across the Taconics to the whilom
home of "Mother Ann" and to the higher Hancock peaks.

Hawthorne's daily walk to the post-office was past the later residence
of Charlotte Cushman, and by the church where the older Channing
delivered his last discourse and where twenty years ago Parkhurst was
preacher. In the church-tower Fanny Kemble's clock still tells the hours
above the lovely spot where she desired to be buried.

[Sidenote: Hawthorne's Habit of Meditation]

These various excursions compass the range of Hawthorne's rambles in
this region: he was never ten miles away from the little red house
during his residence here. Obviously he preferred short and solitary
strolls which allowed undisturbed meditation upon the work in hand. The
quantity and finish of the writing done here indicate that much thought
was expended upon it outside his study. We may be sure that upon "The
House of the Seven Gables" were bestowed, besides the five months of
daily sessions at his desk, other months of study and thought as he
strolled the country roads and loitered by the lake-side or in the dell
of "Blossom-Brook." He avowed himself a shameless idler in warm weather,
declaring he was "good for nothing in a literary way until after the
autumnal frosts" brightened his imagination as they did the foliage
about him here; yet the meditations of one summer in Berkshire produced
his masterpiece, and the next summer accomplished "The Wonder-Book,"
quickly followed by "The Snow Image" and "Blithedale." During this
summer also he had a voluminous correspondence with the many "Pyncheon
jackasses" who thought themselves aggrieved by his use of their name in
"The House of the Seven Gables."

[Sidenote: Life in the Little Red House]

Of the simple home-life at the little red house, Hawthorne's diaries and
letters, as well as some of the books written here, afford pleasing
glimpses. The "Violet" and "Peony" of the "Snow Image" story are the
novelist's own little Una and Julian, and the tale was suggested by some
occurrence in their play; the incidents related of Eustace Bright and
the young Pringles, which are prefixed to the "Wonder-Book" stories, are
merely experiences of Hawthorne and his children, and during the
composition of these tales he delighted these children--as one of them
remembers--by reading to them each evening the work of the day. A
grim-visaged negress named Peters, who was the servant here in the
little red house, is said to have suggested the character of Aunt Keziah
in "Septimius Felton."

Hawthorne's chickens receive notice as members of the family in his
diary,--thus: "Seven chickens hatched, J. T. Headley called--eight
chickens;" "ascended a mountain with my wife, eight more chickens
hatched." In a letter to Horatio Bridge, "Our children grow apace and so
do our chickens;" "we are so intimate with every individual chicken that
it seems like cannibalism to think of eating one of them." Hawthorne's
daily walk with pail in hand to Luther Butler's, the next farm-house, he
speaks of as his "milky way." Butler lives now two miles distant. The
novelist thus announces to his friend Bridge the birth of the present
gifted poetess, Mrs. Lathrop, the daughter of his age: "Mrs. Hawthorne
has published a little work which still lies in sheets, but makes some
noise in the world; it is a healthy miss with no present pretensions to
beauty." Five cats were cherished by the novelist and his children; a
snowy morning after Hawthorne's removal, three of the cats came to a
neighboring house, where their descendants are still petted and
cherished.

A few visitors came to the little red house--Kemble, James, Lowell,
Holmes, E. P. Whipple, and the others already mentioned--in whose
presence the "statue of night and silence" was wont to relax, but for
the most part his life was that of a recluse. Here, as elsewhere, his
thoughts dwelt apart in "a twilight region" where the company of his
kind was usually a perturbing intrusion. For companionship, his family,
the lake, the woods, his own thoughts, sufficed; he seldom sought any
other, and therefore was unpopular in the neighborhood. It is hardly to
be supposed that the creator of Zenobia, Hester Prynne, and the
Pyncheons would greatly enjoy the society of his rural neighbors, but
they were not therefore the less displeased by his habitually going out
of his way--sometimes across the fields--to avoid meeting them. Some of
them had a notion that he was the author of "a poem, or an arithmetic,
or some other kind of a book,"--as he makes "Primrose Pringle" to say of
him in the tale,--but to most he was incomprehensible, perhaps a little
uncanny, and the great genius of romance is yet mentioned here as "a
queer sort o' man that lived in Tappan's red house."

[Sidenote: Reasons for leaving Berkshire]

His son records that after Hawthorne had freed himself from Salem "he
soon wearied of any particular locality;" after a time he tired even of
beautiful Berkshire. Its obtrusive scenery "with the same strong
impressions repeated day after day" became irksome; then he grew tired
of the mountains and "would joyfully see them laid flat." He writes to
Fields, "I am sick of Berkshire, and hate to think of spending another
winter here." Doubtless the region which we behold in the glamour of the
early autumn seemed very different to Hawthorne in the season when he
had daily "to trudge two miles to the post-office through snow or slush
knee-deep." Ellery Channing--who had knowledge of the winter here--in
his letters to Hawthorne calls Berkshire "that satanic institution of
Spitzbergen," "that ice-plant of the Sedgwicks."

A more cogent reason for Hawthorne's discontent here is found in his
failing health. He writes to Pike, "I am not vigorous as I used to be on
the coast;" to Fields, "For the first time since boyhood I feel languid
and dispirited. Oh, that Providence would build me the merest shanty and
mark me out a rood or two of garden near the coast."

For these and other reasons Hawthorne finally left Berkshire at the end
of 1851, going first to West Newton and a few months later to "the
Wayside," while his friend Tappan occupied the thenceforth famous little
red house.

The world of readers owes much to Hawthorne's residence among the
mountains. Besides the material here gathered and the exquisite settings
for his tales these landscapes afforded, we are indebted to his
environment in Berkshire for the quality of the work here accomplished
and for its quantity as well; for he responded so readily to the
inspiriting influence of his surroundings that he produced more during
his stay here than at any similar period of his life. The soulful beauty
and the seclusion of the haunts to which we here trace him, suiting well
his solitary mood, may measurably account to us for his habit of thought
and for the manner of expression by which nature was here portrayed and
life expounded by the great master of American romance.



A DAY WITH THE GOOD GRAY POET



A DAY WITH THE GOOD GRAY POET

_Walk and Talk with Socrates in Camden--The Bard's Appearance and
  Surroundings--Recollections of his Life and Work--Hospital Service--
  Praise for his Critics--His Literary Habit, Purpose, Equipment, and
  Style--His Religious Bent--Readings._


"How can you find him? Nothing is easier," quoth the Philadelphia friend
who some time before Whitman's death brought us an invitation from the
bard; "you have only to cross the ferry and apply to the first man or
woman you meet, for there is no one in Camden who does not know Walt
Whitman or who would not go out of his way to bring you to him." The
event justifies the prediction, for when we make inquiry of a tradesman
standing before a shop, he speedily throws aside his apron, closes his
door against evidently needed customers, and--despite our protest--sets
out to conduct us to the home of the poet. This is done with such
obvious ardor that we hint to our guide that he must be one of the
"Whitmaniacs," whereupon he rejoins, "I never read a word Whitman wrote.
I don't know why they call him Socrates, but I do know he never passes
me without a friendly nod and a word of greeting that warms me all
through." We subsequently find that it is this sort of "Whitmania,"
rather than that Swinburne deplores, which pervades the vicinage of the
poet's home.

Our conductor leaves us at the door of three hundred and twenty-eight
Mickle Street, a neat thoroughfare bordered by unpretentious frame
dwellings, hardly a furlong from the Delaware. The dingy little
two-storied domicile is so disappointingly different from what we were
expecting to see that the confirmatory testimony of the name "W.
Whitman" upon the door-plate is needed to convince us that this is the
oft-mentioned "neat and comfortable" dwelling of one of the world's
celebrities.

We are kept waiting upon the door-step long enough to observe that the
unpainted boards of the house are weather-worn and that the shabby
window-shutters and the cellar-door, which opens aslant upon the
sidewalk, are in sad need of repair, and then we are admitted by the
"good, faithful, young Jersey woman who," as he lovingly testifies,
"cooks for and vigilantly sees to" the venerable bard. A moment later we
are in his presence, in the spacious second-story room which is his
sleeping apartment and work-room.

"You are good to come early while I am fresh and rested," exclaims Walt
Whitman, rising to his six feet of burly manhood and advancing a heavy
step or two to greet us; "we are going to have a talk, and we have
something to talk about, you know," referring to a literary venture of
ours which had procured us the invitation to visit him. When he has
regained the depths of his famous and phenomenal chair, the "Jersey
woman" hands him a score of letters, which he offers to lay aside, but
we insist that he shall read them at once, and while he is thus occupied
we have opportunity to observe more closely the bard and his
surroundings.

[Sidenote: Whitman's Personal Appearance]

We see a man made in massive mould, stalwart and symmetrical,--not bowed
by the weight of time nor deformed by the long years of hemiplegia; a
majestic head, large, leonine, Homeric, crowned with a wealth of flowing
silvery hair; a face like "the statued Greek" (Bucke says it is the
noblest he ever saw); all the features are full and handsome; the
forehead, high and thoughtful, is marked by "deep furrows which life has
ploughed;" the heavy brows are highly arched above eyes of gray-blue
which in repose seem suave rather than brilliant; the upper lid droops
over the eye nearly to the pupil,--a condition which obtains in partial
ptosis,--and we afterward observe that when he speaks of matters which
deeply move him his eyelids have a tendency to decline still farther,
imparting to his eyes an appearance of lethargy altogether at variance
with the thrilling earnestness and tremor of his voice. A strong nose,
cheeks round and delicate, a complexion of florid and transparent
pink,--its hue being heightened by the snowy whiteness of the fleecy
beard which frames the face and falls upon the breast. The face is sweet
and wholesome rather than refined, vital and virile rather than
intellectual. Joaquin Miller has said that, even when destitute and
dying, Whitman "looked like a Titan god."

We think the habitual expression of his face to be that of the sage
benignity that comes with age when life has been well lived and life's
work well done. The expression bespeaks a soul at ease with itself,
unbroken by age, poverty, and disease, unsoured by calumny and insult.
Certainly his bufferings and his brave endurance of wrong have left no
record of malice or even of impatience upon his kindly face. His manly
form is clad in a loosely fitting suit of gray; his rolling and ample
shirt-collar, worn without a tie, is open at the throat and exposes the
upper part of his breast; all his attire, "from snowy linen to
burnished boot," is scrupulously clean and neat.

[Sidenote: His Study and Surroundings]

His room is of generous proportions, occupying nearly the entire width
of the house, and lighted by three windows in front. The floor is partly
uncarpeted, and the furniture is of the simplest; his bed, covered by a
white counterpane, occupies a corner; there are two large tables; an
immense iron-bound trunk stands by one wall and an old-fashioned stove
by another; a number of boxes and uncushioned seats are scattered
through the apartment; on the walls are wardrobe-hooks, shelves, and
many pictures,--a few fine engravings, a print of the Seminole Osceola,
portraits of the poet's parents (his father's face is a good one) and
sisters, and of "another--not a sister."

There are many books here and there, some of them well worn; one corner
holds several Greek and Latin classics and copies of Burns, Tennyson,
Scott, Ossian, Emerson, etc. On the large table near his chair are his
writing materials, with the Bible, Shakespeare, Dante, and the Iliad
within reach. Bundles of papers lie in odd places about the room; piles
of books, magazines, and manuscripts are heaped high upon the tables,
litter the chairs, and overflow and encumber the floor. This room holds
what Whitman has called the "storage collection" of his life.

"And now you are to tell me about yourself and your work," says the
poet, pushing aside his letters. But, although he is the best of
listeners, we are intent to make him talk, and a fortunate remark
concerning one of his letters which had seemed to interest him more than
the others--it came from a friend of his far-away boyhood--enables us to
profit by the reminiscential mood the letter has inspired.

In his low-toned voice he pictures his early home, his parents, and his
first ventures into the world; with evident relish he narrates his
ludicrous experience when he--a stripling school-master--"went boarding
'round." Than this, there was but one happier period of his life, and
that was when he drove among the farms and villages distributing his
_Long Islander_: "that was bliss."

Later he was a politician and "stumped the island" for the Democratic
candidates, but the enactment of the fugitive slave law disgusted him,
and he declared his political emancipation in the poem "Blood-Money." At
odd times he has done "a deal of newspaper drudgery" and other work, but
his "forte always was loafing and writing poetry,--at least until the
war." He began early to clothe his thought in verse, and was but a lad
when a poem of his was accepted for publication in the New York
_Mirror_, and he depicts for us the surprised delight with which he
beheld his stanzas in that fashionable journal.

[Sidenote: His Recollections]

A pleasure of those early years was the companionship of Bryant, and he
details to us the "glorious walks and talks" they had together along the
North Shore in sweet summer days. This, he says with a sigh, was the
dearest of the friendships lost to him by the publication of "Leaves of
Grass;" "but there were compensations, Emerson and Tennyson." Of later
events he speaks less freely. Of the years of devoted service to the
wounded and dying in army hospitals, when day and night he literally
gave himself for others,--living upon the coarsest fare that he might
bestow his earnings upon "his sick boys,"--of these years he speaks not
at all, save as to the causation of his "war paralysis." "Yes, it made
an old man of me; but I would like to do it all again if there were
need." Of his long years of suffering and his brave and patient
confronting of pain, poverty, and imminent death, his "Specimen Days" is
the fitting record.

Replying to a question concerning a dainty volume of his poems which lay
near us, and which we have been secretly coveting, he says, "You know I
have never been the fashion; publishers were afraid of me, and I have
sold the books myself, though I always advise people not to buy them,
for I fear they are worthless." But when he writes his name and ours
upon the title-page, and lays within the cover several portraits taken
at different periods of his life, we wonder if he can ever know how very
far from "worthless" the book will be to us. We tender in payment a
bank-note of larger denomination than we could be supposed to possess,
with a deprecating remark upon the novelty of an author's handling a
fifty-dollar note, whereupon he laughs heartily: "A novelty to you, is
it? I tell you it's an impossibility to me; why, my whole income from my
books during a recent half-year was only twenty-two dollars and six
cents: don't forget the six cents," he adds, with a twinkle. Then he
assures us that he is not in want, and that his "shanty," as he calls
his home, is nearly paid for.

[Sidenote: Popularity with his Neighbors]

He proposes a walk,--"a hobble" it must be for him,--which may afford
opportunity to change the note; and as we saunter toward the river, he
leaning heavily upon his cane, it is a pleasure to observe the evident
feeling of liking and camaraderie which people have for him.

They go out of their way to meet him and to receive merely a friendly
nod, for he stops to speak with none save the children who leave their
play to run to him. He seems mightily amused when one wee toddler calls
him "Mister Socrates," and he tells us this is the first time he has
been so addressed, although he understands that some of his friends
speak of him among themselves by the name of that philosopher. So far as
he knows, the name was first applied to him in Buchanan's lines "To
Socrates in Camden."

Everywhere we go, on the ferry, at the hotel where we lunch, he receives
affectionate greeting from people of every rank, yet he is not
loquacious, certainly not effusive. He shakes hands but once while we
are out, and that is with an unknown man, and because he _is_ unknown,
as Whitman afterward tells us.

During luncheon we speak of a recent visit to Mrs. Howarth (the poetess
"Clementine"). Whitman is at once interested, and questions until he has
drawn out the pathetic story of her struggles with poverty, disease, and
impeding environment, and then declares he will go to see her as soon as
he is able. He declines to receive a copy of her poems, saying he is far
more interested in her than he could possibly be in her books, and that
he "nowadays religiously abstains from reading poetry." Confirmation of
this latter statement occurs in our subsequent conversation. A friend of
ours had met Swinburne, and had been assured by that erratic (please
don't print it erotic) bard that he thinks Whitman, next to Hugo, the
best of recent poets. When we tell our poet of this, and endeavor to
ascertain if the admiration be reciprocal, we find him unfamiliar with
Swinburne's recent works. Reference to the latter's retraction of his
first praise elicits the pertinent observation, "The trouble with
Swinburne seems to be he don't know his own mind," but this is followed
by warm encomiums upon "Atalanta" and its gifted author.

Whitman had seen Emerson for the last time when the philosopher's memory
had failed and all his powers were weakening: instead of being shocked
by this condition, Whitman thinks it fit and natural, "nature gradually
reclaiming the elements she had lent, work all nobly done, soul and
senses preparing for rest." Mentioning George Arnold,--

  "Doubly dead because he died so young,"--

we find that Whitman loved and mourned him tenderly. He expresses an
especial pleasure and pride in the successes of the poet Richard Watson
Gilder,--"young Gilder," as he familiarly calls him. He loves Browning,
and laments that "Browning never took to" him. He thinks our own country
is fortunate in having felt the clean and healthful influences of four
such natures as Emerson, Bryant, Whittier, and Longfellow.

[Sidenote: His Good Word for Everybody]

Indeed, he has a good word for everybody, and discerns laudable
qualities in some whom the world has agreed to contemn and cast out. He
has glowing expressions of affection for his devoted friends in all
lands, and only words of excuse for his enemies. Of the pharisaic
Harlan, who dismissed him from a government clerkship solely because he
had, ten years before, published the poems of "Enfans d'Adam," he
charitably says, "No doubt the man thought he was doing right."
Concerning his harshest critics, including the author of the choice
epithet "swan of the sewers," he speaks only in justification: from
their stand-point, their denunciations of him and his book were
deserved; "he never dreamt of blaming them for not seeing as he sees."

After our return to his "shanty" we read to him a laudatory notice from
the current number of one of our great magazines, in which one of his
poems is mentioned with especial favor; whereupon he produces from his
trunk a note written some years before from the same magazine,
contemptuously refusing to publish that very poem. Evidences like this
of a change in popular opinion are not needed to confirm Whitman's faith
in his own future, nor in that of the great humanity of which he is the
prophet and exponent.

Questioned concerning his habits and methods of literary work, he says
he carries some sheets of paper loosely fastened together and pencils
upon these "the rough draft of his thought" wherever the thought comes
to him. Thus, "Leaves of Grass" was composed on the Brooklyn ferry, on
the top of stages amid the roar of Broadway, at the opera, in the
fields, on the sea-shore. "Drum Taps" was written amid war scenes, on
battle-fields, in camps, at hospital bedsides, in actual contact with
the subjects it portrays with such tenderness and power. The poems thus
born of spontaneous impulse are finally given to the world in a crisp
diction which is the result of much study and thought; every word is
well considered,--the work of revision being done "almost anywhere" and
without the ordinary aids to literary composition. In late years he
wrote mostly upon the broad right arm of his chair.

Complete equipment for his work was derived from contact with Nature in
her abounding moods, from sympathetic intimacy with men and women in all
phases of their lives, and from life-long study of the best books;
these--Job, Isaiah, Homer, Dante, Shakespeare--have been his teachers,
and possibly his models, although he has never consciously imitated any
of them. His matter and manner are alike his own; he has not borrowed
Blake's style, as Stedman believed, to recast Emerson's thoughts, as
Clarence Cook alleged. His style would naturally resemble that of the
Semitic prophets and Gaelic bards,--"the large utterance of the early
gods,"--because inspired by familiarity with the same objects: the
surging sea, the wind-swept mountain, the star-decked heaven, the forest
primeval.

[Sidenote: His Literary Work--Its Aims]

His purpose, the moral elevation of humanity, he trusts is apparent in
every page of his book. By his book he means "Leaves of Grass," the real
work of his life, representing the truest thoughts and the highest
imaginings of forty years, to which his other work has been incidental
and tributary. After its eight periods of growth, "hitches," he calls
them, he completes them with the annex, "Good-bye my Fancy," and thinks
his record for the future is made up; "hit or miss, he will bother
himself no more about it."

When questioned concerning the lines whose "naked naturalness" has been
an offence to many, he impressively avers that he has pondered them
earnestly in these latest days, and is sure he would not alter or recall
them if he could.

[Sidenote: His Religious Trust]

While not professing a moral regeneration or confessing the need of it,
he yet assures us, "No array of words can describe how much I am at
peace about God and about death." The author of "Whispers of Heavenly
Death" cannot be an irreverent person; the impassioned "prayer"--

  "That Thou, O God, my life hast lighted
  With ray of light, ineffable, vouchsafed of Thee.
  For that, O God, be it my latest word, here on my knees,
  Old, poor, and paralyzed, I thank Thee....
  I will cling to Thee, O God, though the waves buffet me.
  Thee, Thee, at least, I know"--

is not the utterance of an irreligious heart. One who has known Whitman
long and well testifies that he was always a religious _exalté_, and his
stanzas show that his musings on death and immortality are inspired by
fullest faith. As we listen to him, calmly discoursing upon the great
mysteries,--which to him are now mysteries no longer,--we wonder how
many of those who call him "beast" or "atheist" can confront the vast
unknown with his lofty trust, to say nothing of actual thanksgiving for
death itself!

  "Praised be the fathomless universe
  For life and joy, for objects and knowledge curious,
  And for love, sweet love,--but praise! praise! praise!
  For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding death."

We who survive him will not forget his peaceful yielding of himself to
"the sure-enwinding arms," nor the abounding trust breathed in his last
message, sent back from the mystic frontier of the shadowy realm: "Tell
them it makes no difference whether I live or die."

[Sidenote: Readings]

In our chat he discloses a surprising knowledge of men and things, and a
more surprising lack of knowledge of his own poetry. More than once it
strangely appears that the visitor is more familiar with the lines under
discussion than is their author. When this is commented upon he
laughingly says, "Oh, yes, my friends often tell me there is a book
called 'Leaves of Grass' which I ought to read." So when we, about to
take leave, ask him to recite one of his shorter poems, he assures us he
does not remember one of them, but will read anything we wish. We ask
for the wonderful elegy, "Out of the Cradle endlessly Rocking," and
afterward for the night hymn, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard
Bloomed," and his compliance confers a never-to-be-forgotten pleasure.
He reads slowly and without effort, his voice often tremulous with
emotion, the lines gaining new grandeur and pathos as they come from his
lips.

And this--alas that it must be!--is our final recollection of one of the
world's immortals: a hoar and reverend bard,--"old, poor, and
paralyzed," yet clinging to the optimistic creeds of his youth,--throned
in his great chair among his books, with the waning light falling like a
benediction upon his uplifted head, his face and eyes suffused with the
exquisite tenderness of his theme, and all the air about him vibrating
with the tones of his immortal chant to Death,--the "dark mother always
gliding near with soft feet."

Another hand-clasp, a prayerful "God keep you," and we have left him
alone in the gathering twilight.

[Sidenote: His Future Fame]

We will not here discuss his literary merits. The encomiums of Emerson,
Thoreau, Burroughs, Sanborn, Stedman, Ruskin, Tennyson, Rossetti,
Buchanan, Sarrazin, etc., show what he is to men of their intellectual
stature; but will he ever reach the great, struggling mass for whose
uplifting he wrought? His own brave faith is contagious, and we may
discern in the wide-spread sorrow over his death, in the changed
attitude of critics and reviewers, as well as in the largely increased
demand for his books, evidences of his general acceptance.

His day is coming,--is come. He died with its dawn shining full upon
him.



INDEX


  Abbot, C. C., 104.

  Agassiz, 49, 104, 115.

  Alcott, Bronson, 21, 73, 78, 92, 144;
    Orchard House, 54;
    Wayside, 58.

  Alcott, L. M., 21, 54, 102;
    Grave, 78;
    Homes, 21, 55.

  Aldrich, 91, 111, 140;
    In Boston, 92;
    Ponkapog, 146.

  Amesbury, 124.

  Auburndale, 146.

  Austin, J. G., 102.


  Bartlett, G. B., 25, 34, 41.

  Bartol, Dr., 48, 94.

  Beecher, H. W., 176, 185.

  Benson, Carl, 184.

  Berkshire, 155-198.

  Billings, Josh, 193.

  Boston, 83-102.

  Bridge, Horatio, 34, 182.

  Brook Farm, 147.

  Brown, John, 20, 23.

  Bryant, W. C., 174, 188, 189, 207.

  Burritt, Elihu, 176.


  Cambridge, 103.

  Carter, Robert, 109.

  Channing, W. E., 24, 41, 50, 72, 186;
    Homes, 22, 24, 52.

  Clarke, J. F., 27, 76.

  Clough, Arthur, 49, 104, 118.

  Concord, 17-80;
    Battle-Field, 43;
    River, 39.

  Conway, Moncure, quoted, 29, 48.

  Cooke, Rose Terry, 193.

  Corner Book-Store, Boston, 87.

  Curtis, G. W., 33, 48, 148, 149.

  Cushman, Charlotte, 114, 193.


  Dana, C. A., 149.

  Dana, R. H., 105.

  Danvers, Oak-Knoll, 138.

  Day with Walt Whitman, 201.

  Deerfield Arch, 173.

  Deland, Margaret, 93.


  Elmwood, 110.

  Emerson, R. W., 26, 27, 28, 36, 41, 43, 69, 86, 144, 175;
    Grave, 77;
    Home, 45.

  Emerson, William, 26, 29, 35.

  Ethan Brand, 166.


  Fanny Fern's Grave, 115.

  Felton, Professor, 104.

  Field, H. M., 190.

  Fields, Annie, 89, 91.

  Fields, J. T., 65, 87;
    Home, 89.

  Fuller, Margaret, 48, 53, 86, 115, 149;
    Brattle House, 105.


  Gail Hamilton, 66, 139.

  Garrison, W. L., 85, 102, 139.

  Gilder, R. W., 211.

  Gladden, Washington, 164.

  Grant, Robert, 89, 99.

  Gray, Asa, 105.

  Graylock, 158, 167, 174, 184.

  Guiney, L. I., 99, 102;
    Home, 146.


  Hale, E. E., 94;
    Study and Abode, 100.

  Hale, Lucretia P., 99.

  Hamilton, Gail, 66, 139.

  Harris, Professor, 56.

  Haverhill, 122.

  Hawthorne, 27, 41, 50, 53, 85, 88, 91;
    Berkshire, 155-198;
    Brook Farm, 149;
    Manse, 28-39;
    Salem, 128-138;
    Sleepy Hollow, 75-77;
    Wayside, 59-67.

  Headley, J. T., 187, 195.

  Higginson, T. W., 94, 99, 104.

  Hilliard, George, 34, 66, 91.

  Hoar, Elizabeth, 25.

  Hoar, Judge, 27.

  Holmes, 84;
    Boston Abodes, 91, 95;
    Cambridge, 103;
    Grave, 114;
    Pittsfield, 192.

  House of the Seven Gables, 132, 193, 194.

  Howarth, Clementine, 209.

  Howe, Julia W., 98.

  Howells, 49, 66;
    Homes, 97, 105, 117.


  Jamaica Plain, 145.

  Jewett, Sarah Orne, 91.


  Kemble, Fanny, 169, 186, 188, 193.

  Kossuth, Louis, 49, 187.


  Larcom, Lucy, 139.

  Lathrop, G. P., 59.

  Lathrop, Rose H., 195.

  Laurel Lake, 185.

  Lenox (Hawthorne), 176-198.

  Little Men, 21.

  Little Women, 21, 55, 78.

  Longfellow, 106, 110, 139, 192;
    Grave, 114;
    Home, 107;
    Wayside Inn, 118.

  Lowell, J. R., 43, 118;
    Elmwood, 110;
    Mount Auburn, 113.


  Marshfield, 142.

  Martineau, Harriet, 85, 106.

  Melville, Herman, 177, 185, 188;
    Arrow-Head, 190.

  Monument Mountain, 168, 179, 187.

  Moulton, L. C., 93, 98.

  Mount Auburn, 113.


  Natural Bridge, 169.

  North Adams, 158-171.

  Norton, Professor, 104.


  Oak-Knoll, 138.

  Old Manse, 28-39.

  Orchard House, 53-56.


  Parker, Theodore, 49, 85.

  Parkman, Francis, 94, 113;
    Home, 145.

  Parsons, T. W., 118, 119, 120.

  Parton, James, 115;
    Study, 140.

  Peabody, Elizabeth, 29, 54, 145.

  Phelps-Ward, Mrs., 91, 125, 139.

  Phillips, Wendell, 49, 85.

  Pittsfield, 190-193.

  Plymouth, 144.

  Prescott, W. H., 86.


  Ripley, Ezra, 28, 33, 34.

  Ripley, Mrs. Samuel, 29, 35, 48.


  Salem, 128.

  Sanborn, F. B., 20-24.

  Scarlet Letter, 95, 135, 136.

  Sedgwick, Catherine, 176, 189, 190.

  Septimius Felton, 55, 60-65.

  Silas Lapham, 97, 99.

  Sleepy Hollow, 75-80.

  Sprague, Charles, 86.

  Stockbridge, 189;
    Bowl, 176, 181;
    Glen, 189.

  Stone, J. A., 25.

  Sudbury, 118.

  Summer School of Philosophy, 55, 56.

  Sumner, Charles, 85, 92, 124.

  Swinburne, A. C., 210.


  Tanglewood, 183.

  Thaxter, Celia, 91, 139, 140.

  Thoreau, 19, 22, 27, 33, 41, 50, 63, 76, 169, 174;
    Abodes, 20, 24;
    Walden, 68-74.

  Ticknor, George, 94.


  Walden Pond, 68.

  Wayside, The, 58.

  Wayside Inn, The, 118.

  Webster, Daniel, 19;
    Marshfield, 142.

  Wheildon, William, 25.

  Whipple, E. P., 66, 76, 91.

  Whitefield, George, 140.

  Whitman, Walt, 50;
    A Day with, 201;
    Leaves of Grass, 212, 213.

  Whittier, 90, 93;
    Homes, 122, 124, 138;
    Scenes, 122, 123, 124, 126;
    Sepulchre, 127.

  Williamstown, 173.

  Willis, N. P., 84, 115.

  Woodworth;
    Old Oaken Bucket, 141.


  Zenobia, 40, 150.



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:

  Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been retained from
    the original.





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