HAWTHORNE: IRVING: LONGFELLOW
WHITTIER: HOLMES: LOWELL:
WITH INTRODUCTIONS AND NOTES
BY HORACE E. SCUDDER.
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY,
11 EAST SEVENTEENTH STREET, NEW STORK.
Copyright, 1851 and 1864,
By NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.
By ROSE HAWTHORNE LATHROP.
By HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
By JOHN G. WUITTIER.
By OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
By JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
By HENRY D. TIIOREAU
By TICKNOR AND FIELDS.
Copyright, 1860 and 1870,
_ By RALPH WALDO EMERSON.
. Copyright, 1880,
" ; *y &OUGHTON, OSGOOD & CO.
* * &LI rights reserved.
RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE :
TEBEOTYPED AND PRINTED BY
H. O. HOU6HTON A\T> COMPANY-
TN making a selection of American Prose the
principle which controlled in American Poems
has been followed. The book does not profess to
be representative of the authors included, but com-
plete papers or stories have been taken of a length
permitting a fair display of some of the author's
characteristics. The object has been to set before
the reader some of the higher forms of prose art
as interpreted by American writers, and to culti-
vate a taste for the enduring elements of literature.
As before, an attempt has been made to lead the
student from the simpler to the more involved and
subtle forms, and throughout the book the litera-
ture of knowledge has been less regarded than the
literature of power. The best result will be reached
if those who use this volume are impelled to ask
for the fuller works of the authors whose acquaint-
ance as writers of prose they may here make.
In American Poems a brief biographical sketch
of each writer was given, and since a similar plan
in this volume would have required some repeti-
tion, the editor has preferred to make the introduc-
tions more general in character, with a view to sug-
gesting points of critical inquiry in literature, for
such a volume as this offers a good opportunity for
directing young students toward a more thoughtful
attention in reading. ^ Prose, with its familiar forms
and its more intimate relations to other studies, is
often a better field for practice in criticism than
poetry, especially as the student has the advan-
tage of using it himself. The writing of poetry
frequently helps in a critical interpretation of
poetical forms, but to most such exercises have an
element of unreality, while prose, as the mother
tongue of all, affords a material which is never
strange. It is worth while, therefore, to show the
young what fine qualities exist in that which all
men are using.
The more expanded character of prose makes
annotation less necessary than in poetry. Besides,
ihe interruption of an obscure reference is less
fatal to enjoyment than in poetry. The editor,
therefore, has given fewer notes than in American
Poems, and has purposely left work to be done by
the reader, the doing of which will add a zest to
his reading. This is most noticeable in the case
of Emerson's essay on Books. It would be an
admirable exercise for any young student to edit
this paper by making full references to the array
of points presented in it A similar exercise in
local historical study could be found in commenting
upon Hawthorne's sketch of Howe's Masquerade.
Acknowledgment is made to Messrs. G. P. Put-
nam's Sons for their courtesy in permitting the use
of the selections from Irving's Sketch Book.
KTATHANIEL HAWTHORNE. PAOB
THE SNOW-IMAGE 8
THE GREAT STONE FACE .... 32
BROWNE'S WOODEN IMAGE ... 62
HOWE'S MASQUERADE 82
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . 104
RIP VAN WINKLE HO
LITTLE BRITAIN 140
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
THE VALLEY OF THE LOIRE . . .171
JOURNEY INTO SPAIN 183
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.
YANKEE GYPSIES 198
THE BOY CAPTIVES 220
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
THE GAMBREL-ROOFED HOUSE . . . 237
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. PAOI
MY GARDEN ACQUAINTANCE . . . 268
HENRY DAVID THOREAU.
BRUTE NEIGHBORS 323
THE HIGHLAND LIGHT .... 338
RALPH WALDO EMERSON.
BOOKS . .... 39?
IT was Hawthorne's wont to keep note-books, in
which he recorded his observations and reflec-
tions ; sometimes he spoke in them of himself, his
plans, and his prospects. He began the practice
early, and continued it through life, and after his
death selections from these note-books were pub-
lished in six volumes, under the titles : Passages
from the American Note-Books of Nathaniel Haw-
thorne, Passages from the English Note-Books of
Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Passages from the French
and Italian Note-Books of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
In these books, and in prefaces which appear in
the front of the volumes containing his collected
stories, one finds many frank expressions of the
interest which Hawthorne took in his work, and
the author appeals very ingenuously to the reader,
speaking with an almost confidential closeness of
his stories and sketches. Then the Note- Books
contain the unwrought material of the books which
the writer put out in his lifetime. One finds there
the suggestions of stories, and frequently pages of
2 NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.
observation and reflection, which were afterward
transferred, almost as they stood, into the author's
works. It is a very interesting labor to trace Haw-
thorne's stories arid sketches back to these records
in his note-books, and to compare the finished work
with the rough material. It seems, also, as if each
reader was admitted into the privacy of the author's
mind. That is the first impression, but a closer
study reveals two facts very clearly. One is stated
by Hawthorne himself in his preface to The Snow-
Image and other Twice- Told Tales : " I have been
especially careful [in my Introductions] to make
no disclosures respecting myself which the most
indifferent observer might not have been acquainted
with, and which I was not perfectly willing that
my worst enemy should know I have taken
facts which relate to myself [when telling stories]
because they chance to be nearest at hand, and
likewise are my own property. And, as for ego-
tism, a person who has been burrowing, to his
utmost ability, into the depths of our common nat-
ure for the purposes of psychological romance
and who pursues his researches in that dusky region,
as he needs must, as well by the tact of sympathy
as by the light of observation will smile at in-
curring such an imputation in virtue of a little
preliminary talk about his external habits, his abode,
his casual associates, and other matters entirely
upon the surface. These things hide the man
instead of displaying him. You must make quite
another kind of inquest, and look through the
whole range of his fictitious characters, good and
evil, in order to detect any of his essential traits."
There has rarely been a writer of fiction, then,
whose personality has been so absolutely separate
from that of each character created by him, and at
the same time has so intimately penetrated the
whole body of his writing. Of no one of his char-
acters, male or female, is one ever tempted to say,
This is Hawthorne, except in the case of Miles Cov-
erdale in The Blithedale Romance, where the circum-
stances of the story tempt one into an identification ;
yet all of Hawthorne's work is stamped emphatically
with his mark. Hawthorne wrote it, is very simple
and easy to say of all but the merest trifle in his
collected works ; but the world has yet to learn who
Hawthorne was, and even if he had not forbidden
a biography of himself, it is scarcely likely that
any life could have disclosed more than he has
chosen himself to reveal.
The advantage of this is that it leaves the stu-
dent free to concentrate his attention upon the
writings rather than on the man. Hawthorne, in
the passage quoted above, speaks of himself as one
" who has been burrowing, to his utmost ability,
into the depths of our common nature for the pur-
poses of psychological romance," and this states, as
closely as so short a sentence can, the controlling
purpose and end of the author. The vitality of
Hawthorne's characters is derived but little from
any external description ; it resides in the truthful-
ness with which they respond to some permanent
4 NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.
and controlling operation of the human soul. Look-
ing into his own heart, and always, when studying
others, in search of fundamental rather than occa-
sional motives, he proceeded to develop these mo-
tives in conduct and life. Hence he had a leaning
toward the allegory, where human figures are
merely masks for spiritual activities, and sometimes
he employed the simple allegory, as in The Celes-
tial Railroad. More often in his short stories he
has a spiritual truth to illustrate, and uses the sim-
plest, most direct means, taking no pains to conceal
his purpose, yet touching his characters quietly or
playfully with human sensibilities, and investing
them with just so much real life as answers the
purpose of the story. This is exquisitely done in
The Snow-Image. The consequence of this " bur-
rowing into the depths of our common nature " has
been to bring much of the darker and concealed
life into the movement of his stories. The fact of
evil is the terrible fact of life, and its workings in
the human soul had more interest for Hawthorne
than the obvious physical manifestations. Since
his observations are less of the men and women
whom everybody sees and recognizes than of the
souls which are hidden from most eyes, it is not
strange that his stories should often lay bare se-
crets of sin, and that a somewhat dusky light should
seem to be the atmosphere of much of his work.
Now and then, especially when dealing with child-
hood, a warm, sunny glow spreads over the pages
of his books ; but the reader must be prepared for
the most part to read stories which lie in the
shadow of life.
There was one class of subjects which had a
peculiar interest for Hawthorne, and in a measure
affected his work. He had a strong taste for New
England history, and he found in the scenes and
characters of that history favorable material for the
representation of spiritual conflict. He was him-
self the most New English of New Englanders,
and held an extraordinary sympathy with the very
soil of his section of the country. By this sympa-
thy, rather than by any painful research, he was
singularly acquainted with the historic life of New
England. His stories, based directly on historic
facts, are true to the spirit of the times in some-
thing more than an archaeological way. One is as-
tonished at the ease with which he seized upon
characteristic features, and reproduced them in a
word or phrase. Merely careful arid diligent re-
search would never be adequate to give the life-like-
ness of the images in Howe's Masquerade.
There is, then, a second fact discovered by a
study of Hawthorne, that while one finds in the
Note-Books, for example, the material out of which
stories and sketches seem to have been constructed,
and while the facts of New England history have
been used without exaggeration or distortion, the
result in stories and romances is something far be-
yond a mere report of what has been seen and
wul . The charm of a vivifying imagination is the
ctuWnhijg charm of Hawthorne's stories, and ita
6 NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.
medium is a graceful and often exquisitely apt dic-
tion. Hawthorne's sense of touch as a writer is
very fine. He knows when to be light, and when
to press heavily ; a very conspicuous quality is what
one is likely to term quaintness, a gentle pleas-
antry which seems to spring from the author's atti-
tude toward his own work, as if he looked upon
that, too, as a part of the spiritual universe which
he was surveying.
Hawthorne spent much of his life silently, and
there are touching passages in his note-books re-
garding his sense of loneliness and his wish for rec-
ognition from the world. His early writings were
short stories, sketches, and biographies, scattered in
magazines and brought together into Twice- Told
Tales, in two volumes, published, the first in 1837,
the second in 1842 ; Mosses from an Old Manse ', in
1846; The Snow-Image and other Twice- Told Tales,
in 1851. They had a limited circle of readers.
Some recognized his genius, but it was not until the
publication of The Scarlet Letter, in 1850, that Haw-
thorne's name was fairly before the world as a great
and original writer of romance. The House of the
Seven Gables followed in 1851. The Blithedale
Romance in 1852. He spent the years 1853-1860
in Europe, and the immediate result of his life there
is in Our Old Home : A Series of English Sketches,
published in 1863, and The Marble Faun, or the
Romance of Monte Beni, in 1864. For young
people he wrote Grandfathers Chair, a collection
9f stories from New England history, The Won*
dcr-Book and Tanglewood Tales, containing stories
out of classic mythology. There are a few other
scattered writings which have been collected into
volumes and published in the complete series of his
Hawthorne was born July 4, 1804, and died
May 19, 1864.
The student of Hawthorne will find in G. P.
Lathrop's A Study of Hawthorne, and Henry James
Jr.'s Hawthorne, in the series English Men of Let-
ters, material which will assist him. Dr. Holmes
published, shortly after Hawthorne's death, a paper
of reminiscences which is included in Soundings
from the Atlantic ; and Longfellow welcomed Twice-
Told Tales with a glowing article in the North
American Review, xlviii. 59, which is reproduced in
his prose works. The reader will find it an agree
able task to discover what the poets, Longfellow,
Lowell, Stedman, and others have said of this man
A CHILDISH MIRACLE.
ONE afternoon of a cold winter's day, when the
un shone forth with chilly brightness, after a long
storm, two children asked leave of their mother to
run out and play in the new-fallen snow. The
elder child was a little girl, whom, because she was
of a tender and modest disposition, and was thought
to be very beautiful, her parents, and other people
who were familiar with her, used to call Violet.
But her brother was known by the style and title
of Peony, on account of the ruddiness of his broad
and round little phiz, which made everybody think
of sunshine and great scarlet flowers. The father
of these two children, a certain Mr. Lindsey, it is
important to say, was an excellent but exceedingly
matter-of-fact sort of man, a dealer in hardware,
and was sturdily accustomed to take what is called
the common-sense view of all matters that came
under his consideration. With a heart about as
tender as other people's, he had a head as hard and
impenetrable, and therefore, perhaps, as empty, as
one of the iron pots which it was a part of his busi-
THE SNOW-IMAGE. 9
ness to sell. The mother's character, on the other
hand, had a strain of poetry in it, a trait of un-
worldly beauty, a delicate and dewy flower, as
it were, that had survived out of her imaginative
youth, and still kept itself alive amid the dusty re-
alities of matrimony and motherhood.
So Violet and Peony, as I began with saying,
besought their mother to let them run and play in
the new snow ; for, though it had looked so dreary
and dismal, drifting downward out of the gray sky,
it had a very cheerful aspect now that the sun was
shining on it. The children dwelt in a city, and
had no wider play-place than a little garden before
the house, divided by a white fence from the street,
and with a pear-tree and two or three plum-trees
overshadowing it, and some rose-bushes just in front
of the parlor windows. The trees and shrubs, how-
ever, were now leafless, and their twigs were envel-
oped in the light snow, which thus made a kind of
wintry foliage, with here and there a pendent icicle
for the fruit.
" Yes, Violet, yes, my little Peony," said their
kind mother ; " you may go out and play in the
Accordingly, the good lady bundled up her dar-
lings in woollen jackets and wadded sacks, and put
comforters round their necks, and a pair of striped
gaiters on each little pair of legs, and worsted mit-
tens on their hands, and gave them a kiss apiece,
by way of a spell to keep away Jack Frost. Forth
sallied the two children, with a hop-skip-and-juinp
10 NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.
that carried them at once into the very heart of a
huge snow-drift, whence Violet emerged like a snow-
bunting, while little Peony floundered out with his
round face in full bloom. Then what a merry time
had they ! To look at them, frolicking in the win-
try garden, you would have thought that the dark
and pitiless storm had been sent for no other pur-
pose but to provide a new plaything for Violet and
Peony ; and that they themselves had been created,
as the snow-birds were, to take delight only in the
tempest, and in the white mantle which it spread
over the earth.
At last, when they had frosted one another all
over with handfuls of snow, Violet, after laughing
heartily at little Peony's figure, was struck with a
"You look exactly like a snow-image, Peony,"
said she, " if your cheeks were not so red. And
that puts me in mind! Let us make an image out
of snow, an image of a little girl, and it shall
be our sister, and shall run about and play with us
all winter long. Won't it be nice ? "
" Oh, yes ! " cried Peony, as plainly as he could
speak, for he was but a little boy. " That will be
nice ! And mamma shall see it ! "
" Yes," answered Violet ; " mamma shall see the
new little girl. But she must not make her come
into the warm parlor ; for, you know, our little
snow-sister will not love the warmth."
And forth with the children began this great busi-
QCSS of making a snow-image that should run about ;
THE SNOW-IMAGE. 11
while their mother, who was sitting at the window
and overheard some of their talk, could not help
smiling at the gravity with which they set about it.
They really seemed to imagine that there would be
no difficulty whatever in creating a live little girl
out of the snow. And to say the truth, if miracles
are ever to be wrought, it will be by putting our
hands to the work in precisely such a simple and
undoubting frame of mind as that in which Violet
and Peony now undertook to perform one, without
so much as knowing that it was a miracle. So
thought the mother ; and thought, likewise, that
the new snow, just fallen from heaven, would be
excellent material to make new beings of, if it were
not so very cold. She gazed at the children a mo-
ment longer, delighting to watch their little figures,
the girl, tall for her age, graceful and agile, and
so delicately colored that she looked like a cheerful
thought, more than a physical reality ; while Peony
expanded in breadth rather than height, and rolled
along on his short and sturdy legs as substantial as
an elephant, though not quite so big. Then the
mother resumed her work; what it was I forget,
but she was either trimming a silken bonnet for
Violet, or darning a pair of stockings for little
Peony's short legs. Again, however, and again,
and yet other agains, she could not help turning
her head to the window to see how the children got
on with their snow-image.
Indeed, it was an exceedingly pleasant sight,
those bright little souls at their tasks ! Moreover,
12 NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.
it was really wonderful to observe how knowingly
and skilfully they managed the matter. Violet as-
sumed the chief direction, and told Peony what to
do, while, with her own delicate fingers, she shaped
out all the nicer parts of the snow-figure. It
seemed, in fact, not so much to be made by the
children, as to grow up under their hands, while
they were playing and prattling about it. Their
mother was quite surprised at this ; and the longer
she looked the more and more surprised she grew.
" What remarkable children mine are ! " thought
she, smiling with a mother's pride ; and, smiling at
herself, too, for being so proud of them. " What
other children could have made anything so like a
little girl's figure out of snow at the first trial ?
Well ; but now I must finish Peony's new frock,
for his grandfather is coming to-morrow, and I want
the little fellow to look handsome."
So she took up the frock, and was soon as busily
at work again with her needle as the two children
with their snow-image. But still, as the needle
travelled hither and thither through the seams of
the dress, the mother made her toil light and happy
by listening to the airy voices of Violet and Peony.
They kept talking to one another all the time, their
tongues being quite as active as their feet and hands.
Except at intervals, she could not distinctly hear
what was said, but had merely a sweet impression
that they were in a most loving mood, and were
enjoying themselves highly, and that the business
gf making the snow-image went prosperously oa
THE SNOW-IMAGE. 13
Now and then, however, when Violet and Peony
happened to raise their voices, the words were as
audible as if they had been spoken in the very par-
lor where the mother sat. Oh, how delightfully
those words echoed in her heart, even though they
meant nothing so very wise or wonderful, after
But you must know a mother listens with her
heart much more than with her ears ; and thus she
is often delighted with the trills of celestial music,
when other people can hear nothing of the kind.
" Peony, Peony ! " cried Violet to her brother,
who had gone to another part of the garden, " bring
me some of that fresh snow, Peony, from the very
farthest corner, where we have not been trampling.
I want it to shape our little snow-sister's bosom
with. You know that part must be quite pure,
just as it came out of the sky ! "
" Here it is, Violet ! " answered Peony, in his
bluff tone, but a very sweet tone, too, as he
came floundering through the half-trodden drifts.
" Here is the snow for her little bosom. O Violet,
how beau-ti-ful she begins to look ! "
" Yes," said Violet, thoughtfully and quietly ;
" our snow-sister does look very lovely. I did not
quite know, Peony, that we could make such a
sweet little girl as this."
The mother, as she listened, thought how fit and
delightful an incident it would be, if fairies, or,
still better, if angel-children were to come from
paradise and play invisibly with her own darlings,
14 NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.
and help them to make their snow-image^ giving it
the features of celestial babyhood ! Violet and Pe-
ony would not be aware of their immortal play-
mates, only they would see that the image grew
very beautiful while they worked at it, and would
think that they themselves had done it all.
" My little girl and boy deserve such playmates,
if mortal children ever did ! " said the mother to
herself; and then she smiled again at her own
Nevertheless, the idea seized upon her imagina-
tion ; and, ever and anon, she took a glimpse out
of the window, half dreaming that she might see
the golden-haired children of paradise sporting with
her own golden-haired Violet and bright-cheeked
Now, for a few moments, there was a busy and
earnest, but indistinct, hum of the two children's
voices, as Violet and Peony wrought together with
one happy consent. Violet still seemed to be the
guiding spirit, while Peony acted rather as a la-
borer, and brought her the snow from far and near.
And yet the little urchin evidently had a proper
understanding of the matter, too !
" Peony, Peony ! " cried Violet ; for her brother
was again at the other side of the garden. " Bring
me those light wreaths of snow that have rested on
the lower branches of the pear-tree. You can
vUamber on the snow-drift, Peony, and reach them
easily. I must have them to make some ringlet*
for our snow-sister's head ! "
THE SNOW-IMAGE. 15
u Here they are, Violet ! " answered the little
boy. u Take care you do not break them. "Well
done ! Well done ! How pretty ! "
" Does she not look sweetly ? " said Violet, with
a very satisfied tone ; " and now we must have some
little shining bits of ice, to make the brightness of