Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

which spared his isolated imagination the simplicity of the Puritian nature, and yet necessity of trying to paint in the exact insulated from the world for which he wished style of the people he was addressing. He to write, and too shy to press into it, are the wanted an apparent excuse for the far-off favorite themes of Hawthorne's brooding and and distant tune of thought and feeling shadowy moods. which was most natural to him.

His power over his readers arises from And when we turn from the manner to much the same cause as that of his own fanthe thoughts of this weird New England ciful creation,—the minister' who wore the genius, we find the subjects on which Haw- black veil as a symbol of the veil which is on thorne tries to “open intercourse" with the all hearts, and who startled men less because world are just the subjects on which the he was hidden from their view than because ghost of New England would like to con- he made them aware of their own solitude. verse with New England, -the workings of " Why do you tremble at me alone ? "

says guilt, remorse, and shame in the old Puritan the mild old man on his death-bed, from betimes, as in the “ Scarlet Letter ;' the mor- neath his black veil, and with the glimnmerbid thirst to discover and to sin the unpar- ing smile on his half-hidden lips, “ tremble donable sin, as in the very striking little also at each other? Have men avoided me, fragment called “ Ethan Brand,” wbich we and women shown no pity, and children have always regretted keenly that Haw- screamed and fled only from my black veil ? thorne never completed ; the eternal solitude What but the mystery which it obscurely of every individual spirit, and the terror with typifies has made this piece of crape so awful? which people realize that solitude, if they When the friend shows his inmost heart to ever do completely realize it, as in the his friend, the lover to his best beloved,—when extraordinary tale of the awe inspired by a man does not vainly shrink from the eye

of mild and even tender-bearted man, who has his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the made a vow which puts a black veil forever secret of his sin, then deem mea monster for between his face and that of all other human the symbol beneath which I have lived and heings, an called the - Minister's Black die ! I look around me, and lo! on every Veil;"? —the mode in which sin may develop visage a black veil !” Hawthorne, with the the intellect treated imaginatively both in pale, melancholy smile that seems ever to be " Ethan Brand,” and at greater length and always on his lips, seems to speak from a with even more power in “ Transforma- somewhat similar solitude. Indeed, we sustion;'—the mysterious links between the pect the story was a kind of parable of his flesh and the spirit, the physical and the own experience. Edgar Poe, though by no spiritual nature, a subject on which all origi- means a poor critic, made one great blunder, nal New England writers have displayed a when he said of Hawthorne, “ He has not singular and almost morbid interest, and half the material for the exclusiveness of which Hawthorne has touched more or less authorship that he has for its universality. in very many of his tales, especially in the He has the purest style, the finest taste, the strange and lurid fancy called Rappacini's most available scholarship, the most delicate Daughter," where Hawthorne conceives a humor, the most touching pathos, the most girl accustomed by her father's chemical radiant imagination, the most consummate skill to the use of the most deadly poisons, ingenuity, and with these varied good qualiwhose beauty of mind and body is equal and ties he has done well as a mystic. But is perfect, but who, like deadly nightshade or there any one of these qualities which should the beautiful purple flowers whose fragrance prevent his doing doubly well in a career of she inhales, breathes out a poison which de- honest, upright, sensible, prehensible, and stroys every insect that floats near her mouth, comprehensible literature ? Let him mend shudders at her own malign influence on his pen, get a bottle of visible ink, come out everything she touches, and gives rise, of from the Old Manse, cut Mr. Alcott, hang course, to the most deadly conflict of emotions (if possible) the editor of the Dial, and throw in those who love her ;—these and subjects out of window to the pigs all his old numlike these, indigenous in a mind steeped in bers of the North American Review.” The the metaphysical and moral lore of New difficulty did not lie in these sacrifices, but in England, endowed with much of the cold the greater feat of escaping from himself;

66

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

and could he have done so, of course he language has lost one of its true chiefs.
would as much have lost bis imaginative spell Who now can analyze, as he did, the strange
as a ghost would do who really returned secrets of hearts dimmed with sin or wild
into the body. That pallid, tender, solitary, with passion? Who can touch, as he did,
imaginative treatment of characteristics and on the mysteries of human nature, and half
problems which have lain, and still lie, very lift the veil which conceals from us the un-
close to the heart of New England,—that seen world of visions? Who can throw, as
power of exhibiting them lit up by the moon- he did, so wondrous a light of fancy on all
light of a melancholy imagination,—that common things that they grow beautiful, or
ghostly balf appeal for sympathy, half offer fantastic, or pathetic, as the rays dart fitfully
of counsel on the diseases latent in the New upon them? His way, as that of all true
England nature, ; -were no eccentricity, but men of genius, was his own way in which he
of the essence of his literary power. What alone bad mastery. We have in the old
gave him that pure style, that fine taste, that country two or three novelists of genius as
delicate humor, that touching pathos, in a true, and one with higher gifts than Haw-
great degree even that radiant imagination thorne’s; but neither here nor in America is
and that consummate ingenuity, was the con- there any writer to fill the place which stands
sciously separate and aloof life which he vacant now; and that border-land between
lived. Without it he might have been prose and poetry, which he made his own,
merely a shrewd, hard, sensible, conservative, now lies unclaimed by any.
success-worshipping, business-loving Yankee But a grief far keener than the regret for
democrat, like the intimate college friend, a great author's death has fallen on those
Ex-President Pierce, whom he helped to who knew Hawthorne as a friend. His
raise to a somewhat ignominious term of friendship was not easy to win; for he was
power, and who was one of the mourners reserved and shy and proudly independent;
beside his death-bed. Hawthorne had power but when once the ice was broken, then that
to haunt such men as these because he had noble and gentle heart showed itself as it
nursed many of their qualities, thoughts, and truly was. The Man was so simple in his
difficulties, in a ghostly solitude, and could nature, so quiet, so pure, so loving, that the
60 make them feel, as the poor folks said strange power and insight of the Author
figuratively of themselves after communing seemed marvellous as one of his own roman-
with the veiled minister, that “they had ces. He was so generous in a thousand ways,
been with him behind the veil."

80 happy in the life of every day, so kindly
in his sympathies, that the dark scenes, into
which his imagination threw itself, must
have had for him some charm of contrasting
shade.

The more he was known, the stronger in
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE'S DEATH.

every case the love and admiration grew. The news of Hawthorne’s death came Though delicately sensitive, no one was so closer home to some of us in England as a little apt to take or think offence, and the cause of grief than the account of many bat-amari aliquid, which sometimes mingles in tles. It seemed but yesterday that we were his writings, never appeared in him, except, all breaking friendly lances at him, for love perhaps, where he suspected a personal patof English ladies; and now he has gone down ronage, or fancied that his dear country was before the inevitable lance, which no one being looked down upon or despised. dreamed to be so near. The grass on Thack- And so that great author, that good man, eray's grave is hardly green, when we are that unselfish friend, has passed away; and called to look on that last resting-place by we in England can do no more than join our the Concord River, where Longfellow and regrets with the regrets of those who, in Lowell and Holmes and Agassiz and many America, have just followed him to the grave, more dear friends have laid what remained and whose fond hands have strewn upon it of the greatest of American romancers. fresh blossoms from that Old Manse garden,

Those of us who knew Hawthorne only where his earliest fame was won.Examiner, by his writings feel that the literature of our 18 June.

66

[ocr errors]

a

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

From The Saturday Review. -joined, with the yet lingering tradition of JOHN WINTHROP.*

their presence, which somewhat scandalously This volume lays claim to the sympathies spoke of the emigrants as “regicides,” and of readers on both sides of the Atlantic, fur-hinted at treasure buried by them there, benishing as it does new materiels with regard fore their s flight” to America—determined to the early life and character of one of the him to undertake the task of rendering filial leading men in that strong and conscientious justice to his progenitors, by putting together band, who impressed so much of the best the available materials of their family history. qualities of the Englishman upon the Amer. His labors toward this praiseworthy end were ican mind in the old colonial days. The shortly afterwards greatly facilitated by his public career of John Winthrop, as first gov- coming into possession of a very large colernor and real founder of the State of Massa- lection of papers,-almost embarrassing, inchusetts, has been depicted by every historian deed, in their wealth of information,--which of the early fortunes of the republic. His enabled him to trace the Winthrops as men own journals and correspondence have suf- of mark, four centuries and a half beyond the ficiently set before the world the external time when the greatest of the race exchanged actions and commanding policy of the man; their primeval seat for a freer home beyond and the pages of Bancroft and Palfrey," in the seas. In not a few instances, the editor particular, do ample justice to his remark- has been able to verify and supplement the able force of mind and character, and to the notices thus acquired out of official docuwisdom, justice, and moderation of his rule. ments, as well as from published county and The present work is of a more directly per- family histories. On the Rolls of Court of sonal nature, and in point of time may be re- the county of York, for a. D. 1200, there is a garded as a preface, or introduction to that record which begins with the name of “ Robportion of his biography with which we have ert de Winetorp.” The name of “ I. Winealready been made familiar. His own more thorp” is found seven years later in a simsystematic or official journal begins March ilar record for the county of Lincoln. Thorpe, 29, 1630,—the date of the sailing of the it need scarcely be said, corresponding to the Ladly Arbella, one of seventeen vessels having Dutch word Dorp, is the Saxon name of a on board the first emigrants, nearly 1,500 village. Of the prefix “Win,” or “ Wine," svuls, -and contains an accurate and detailed more than one signification has been prorecord of the affairs of the infant colony, to posed, as the root may be supposed to indiJanuary 11, 1648-9, the year of his death. cate" war, strength, the masculine temper,' The original MS. of that history was divid- or “dear, beloved, pleasant,” if not that ed into three books. The first two books more direct allusion to the juice of the grape were intrusted for publication by his descend- which may be thought to connect it with ants to the care of Governor Trumbull, in either class of qualities. Mr. Bowditch, 1790. The third book-passing through the American writer on surnames, is probably hands of Mr. Prince, while compiling his not far out in the theory that “ Winthrop' “Annals”—came into the custody of the Mas- means simply a pleasant "winsome” village. sachusetts Historical Society, and was pub- An old pedigree traces the family “ ancientlished at length in 1825-6, with copious ly” to Northumberland, then to a village illustrative notes by Mr. James' Savage, in called Winthorpe, near Newark, whence the form of a complete History of New Eng- they came up to London and owned Marriland. The present work, completing the se- bone (Marylebone) Park," and afterwards ries of his memoirs, sprung out of a pilgrim- went to “ Groton, in Suffolk, where they age made in the year 1857 by one of the lived many years." Cotton Mather, the patriarch's descendants, Mr. Robert C. Win- writer of the Magnalia, one of a family intithrop, to the ancestral home of the family at mately connected with the Winthrops, and Groton, in Suffolk. The sight of the tomb himself a close friend of Wait-Still Winthrop, which yet bore his forefathers' names, of the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Maschurch wherein they worshipped, and of the sachusetts (1708-17), makes mention of three still traceable ruins of their manorial-house generations of gentlemen and scholars, who

* “Life and Letters of John Winthrop.” By R. bore the name of Adam Winthrop. The first C. Winthrop. Boston : Ticknor and Fields. 1864. Adam, "a worthy, a discreet, and a learned

18

e

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

gentleman,” was “particularly eminent for made for the language in which a man of his skill in the law, nor without remark for love peculiar temperament, deeply imbued with to the gospel, under the reign of King Henry the theology of the time, would naturally VIII.” To a brother of his the martyr Phil- vent his sense of his own backslidings and pot is said to have committed his papers. shortcomings. He was, he tells us, "very The second, a wealthy clothier and a distin- lewdly disposed, and inclining unto and atguished member of the Clothworkers' Com- tempting (so far as his heart enabled him) pany,—vir pius et veræ religionis amans,- all kinds of wickedness, except swearing and having incurred the penalty of imprisonment scorning religion.” When we learn that at and a fine of £600 for illegal “ negotiation ten years of age he“ found manifest answer": with foreigners,” and for the freedom of his to bis prayers, and two years later felt that opinions in politics and religion, was consoled he had“ more understanding in divinity than by the grant of the lordship of the dissolved his fellows," we might think that he was not Abbey of Groton, and the arms and dignity altogether in a hopeless way. But it was in of an esquire. His portrait, ascribed to Hol- the nature of his severe manhood, fortified bein,-one of the heirlooms of the family,- by stern Puritan discipline, to magnily every is engraved in the volume before us. At bis peccadillo of his hot youth into a deed of house ip “ Gracious” (Gracechurch) Street deadly wickedness. To other eyes than his was born his son Adam, the father of the sub- own he seemed a paragon of uprightness and ject of this memoir. This last Adam, audi- decorum. He was a justice of the peace at tor of Trinity and St. John's Colleges, Cam- eighteen years of age, by which time, morebridge, a bit of an antiquarian and poet, bad over, he was a husband and a father, being, for his first wife a sister of Dr. John Still, as “ his parents conceived " him, “a man in Master of Trinity, and afterwards Bishop of stature and understanding." His wife, Mary Bath and Wells. And John Winthrop, Forth, died within eleven years of their mar“ borne on Thursday about 5 of the clocke riage, leaving him six children, the eldest of in the morning the 12 daie of January anno whom, John, became afterward the first Gov1587" (January 22, 1588, N. S.), was his ernor of Connecticut. A second marriage only son by his second wife Anne, daughter with Thomasine, daughter of William Clopof Henry Browne, clothier of Edwardston-ton, proved even less auspicious, being cut fæmina quæ Christum corde gerebat herum. short by her death within a year and a day. So speaks the poetical old Latin pedigree. There is much power and pathos in the

The diary of Adam Winthrop presents somewhat lengthy outpourings in which the us with all kinds of queer details of country soul of the mourner seeks expression for its life at Groton, together with incidental no- “ experiences,” dwelling with minute and tices of his son's early history. From it bis almost morbid particularity upon the sympdescendants have been enabled to establish toms and sayings, the wandering thoughts the fact, previously a matter of vague sur- and delirious fancies, the “ temptations of mise, that John Winthrop was a member of the enemy,” the parting words, the passing the University of Cambridge, having entered bell, the last sighs and tears. His was, howat Trinity College the 8th of December, 1602, ever, a nature far too warm and domestic to before completing his fifteenth year. It was be reconciled to a perpetual blank, and it is doubtless his lingering attachment to Alma no derogation from the glowing tribute he Maler which caused that venerable institu- pays to her memory that in less than two tion to be reproduced by name under his aus- years we find her place filled by a third pices, and by the bounty of another of her spouse. undoubted children, John Harvard, thirty The minute diary from which his editor years later, on the soil of New England. quotes, at somewhat wearisome length, is less From his own recorded “ Christian Experi- abundant in historical facts than in the recences," we gain glimpses of character which ords of the inward conflicts of a spirit wantgive us the idea of a youth of singular prom. ing a field for healthful exercise, and secretly ise, with strong passions and fits of religious preying upon itself. Until the political trouenthusiasm, alternately breaking out into bles of the time, and the pressure which began wild excesses and grovelling in the depths to tell upon those of his way of thinking in of self-abasement. Some allowance may be religion, brought him a call to more vigor

a

66 that as

[ocr errors]

6 de

66

ous action, and opened to him a new and some good men were ofended to heare of. wider career, his strength of character seems some gaminge wc was used ” in his house by to have spent itself in the effort of self-disci- his servants, “I resolved,” he says, pline, and in subduing the natural impulse for my selfe not to use any cardings, etc, so to energetic and stirring and even passionate for others to represse it as much as I could, action. His ascetic tem per of mind having during the continuance of my present state, "loaded his conscience with much shame" & if God bringe me once to be whollye by at “ followinge idle and vaine pastymes," my selfe, then to banishe all togither.” A there is an amusing mixture of the scholarly dozen years later, he enumerates among the habits of his early training in the categorical benefits which he reaped from a “ hote macorrectness with which Winthrop sets down lignt feaver,” which he had in London, the scruples which induced him to give up in liverance from the bondage whereinto I was future the practice of shooting :

fallen by the immoderate use & love of To

bacco, so as I gave it cleane over." HithFindinge by muche examination that or- erto the worthy màn had not only found dinary shootinge in a gunne, etc : could not

an innocent solace in his “ pype,” but bad stande wth a good conscience in my selfe, as first, for that it is simply prohibited by the shown himself

. no inexpert judge of the quallawe of the land, uppon this grounde amonst ity of the article smoked. His son Henry others, that it spoiles more of the creatures had made a voyage to the West Indies in the than it getts; 2 it procures offence unto spring or summer of 1627, bad established manye ; 3 it wastes great store of tyme ; 4 himself there as a planter of tobacco, and it toyles a mans bodye overmuche; 5 it en- had, it appears, sent over specimens of the dangers a mans life, etc; 6 it brings no pro-produce for distribution among divers friends, fite all things considered ; 7 it hazards more of a mans estate by the penaltye of it

, then probably with the hope of obtaining patron

“ But," writes his father in a man would willingly parte with ; 8 it brings age at home. a man of worth & godlines into some con

acknowledging the receipt of his sample, " I tempt :— lastly for mine owne parte I haue found, by the rolls you sent to me and to ever binne crossed in usinge it, for when I your uncles, that it was very ill-conditioned, haue

gone about it not wth out some woūdes foul, and full of stalks, and evil colored ; of conscience, & haue taken muche paynes & and your uncle Fones, taking the judgment hazarded my healthe, I haue gotten some of divers grocers, none of them would give times a verye little but most comonly nothinge at all towards my cost & laboure :

five shillings a pound for it.” This youth ** Therefore I haue resolved & covenanted seems to have been from the first somewhat wth the Lorde to give over alltogither shoot- of a thorn in his father's side, to judge from inge at the creeke ;-& for killinge of birds, the objurgation contained in the same letter etc.: either to leave that altogither or els to concerning his “ vain, overreaching mind,” use it, bothe verye seldome & verye secreatly. which will surely be the cause of his “ God (if he please) can giue me fowle by some other meanes, but if he will not, yet, in that throw,” if he "attain not more discretion it is (his] will who loves me, it is sufficient and moderation ” with his years. to uphould my resolution."

We should hardly know all this time, but

for chance allusion here and there, that There is a touch of that characteristic blend- Winthrop met with success in bis practice of ing of shrewd sense with pietistic fervor the law, and held the lucrative office of At which has been at all times common with torney to the Court of Wards and Liveries, the Puritan, in the reason which finally besides drawing numerous draughts of bills clinches the chain of this godly reasoning. for Parliament. He vacated this office in “ Bad luck with his gun," as his editor can- 1629,-whether deprived of it on account of didly remarks,

though the last reason his opposition to the government or of his assigned, may have given the original im- marked religious sympathies, does not appulse to much of this philosophy about pear. But the tone of his diary about that shooting.” The governor was evidently not time prepares us for the great step which he a good shot in bis youth. Nor did his renun- was shortly to take. The only document of ciations of the minor kinds of social recrea- a public kind here published among bis retiun stop here. Being admonislied about the mains is the paper of General Considerations bame time, “ by a Christian freinde, that for the Plantation of New England, with an

VOL. XXVI. 1214

Over

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THIRD SERIES.

LIVING AGE.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »