accept a low standard of execution, to substitute artifice for art, and to disregard the more permanent verdict of more fastidious tribunals.
The richest thought and the finest literary handling which America has yet produced — as of Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau — reached at first but a small audience, and are but very gradually attaining a wider hold.
Renan has said that every man's work is superficial, until he has learned to content himself with the approbation of a few. This is only otion, and bids art live.
Rouge gagne. If the romance of life does not assert itself in safe and innocent ways, it finds its outlet with fatal certainty in guilt; as we see colorless Puritanism touched with scarlet splendor through the glass of Hawthorne.
Every form of human life is romantic; every age may become classic.
Lamentations, doubts, discouragements, all are wasted things.
Everything is here, between these Atlantic and Pacific shores, save only the perfected utterance that comes wi
words, like Thoreau; to chase dreams for a lifetime, like Hawthorne; to labor tranquilly and see a nation imbued with one's tent ways one of his most famous stanzas.
The novel which Hawthorne left unfinished — and whose opening chapters when publisharment that fits all the uses of the body, are Irving and Hawthorne.
This has no reference to the quality of their thoughtim, with his organization, as accomplishing more.
But in Hawthorne we see astonishing power, always easily expressed, and cul; and I can conceive of no other defect in the style of Hawthorne.
Perhaps the conclusion of the whole matter may seem t
This brings us to a contemporary instance.
Willis and Hawthorne wrote early, side by side, in The token, about 1827, fortthe editor of the work, states in his autobiography, that Hawthorne's contributions did not attract the slightest attention.
t to which the mind must constantly recur, in thinking of Hawthorne,--How could any combination of physical and mental vigor
is struck with the fact that it is not so much faulty as inadequate.
Emerson set free the poetic intuition of America, Hawthorne its imagination.
Both looked into the realm of passion, Emerson with distrust, Hawthorne with eager interest; but neitHawthorne with eager interest; but neither thrilled with its spell, and the American poet of passion is yet to come.
How tame and manageable are wont to be the emotions of our bards, how placid and literary their allusions!
There is no baptism of fire; no heat that breeds excess.
Yet ere surfaces of life, compared, I will not say with Shakespeare's, but even with Chapman's and Webster's men. Set aside Hawthorne in America, with perhaps Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot in England, and there would scarcely be a fact in prose litean stock.
Major John Hathorne, in 1692, put his offenders on trial, and generally convicted and hanged them all. Nathaniel Hawthorne held his more spiritual tribunal two centuries later, and his keener scrutiny found some ground of vindication for
ocious of all great poets, who declared that nothing is finer for purposes of production than a very gradual ripening of the intellectual powers.
Yet do not be made conceited by obscurity, any more than by notoriety.
Many fine geniuses have been long neglected; but what would become of us, if all the neglected were to turn out geniuses?
It is unsafe reasoning from either extreme.
You are not necessarily writing like Holmes because your reputation for talent began in college, nor like Hawthorne because you have been before the public ten years without an admirer.
Above all, do not seek to encourage yourself by dwelling on the defects of your rivals: strength comes only from what is above you. Northcote, the painter, said, that, in observing an inferior picture, lie always felt his spirits droop, with the suspicion that perhaps he deceived himself and his own paintings might be no better than that; but the works of the mighty masters always gave him renewed strength, in the hope