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[18] in all things; small wonder that Hawthorne seems an alien among such cheerful sages. When Emerson says that either love or crime leads all souls to the good, that there is no straight line in nature, that evil in the end will bless, Hawthorne examines the doctrine somewhat dubiously in Hepzibah and Clifford Pyncheon and in Donatello; and when the cheerful philosopher tells us to trust ourselves, to follow our own nature, to live from the Devil if we are the Devil's children, Hawthorne projects the advice experimentally in The scarlet letter and in The Blithedale romance.

Those who classify Hawthorne in a loose way as the romancer of Puritanism sometimes speak of him also as a psychologist. The term needs defining. To him, as to other Transcendentalists, the fortune of a human soul was the most critical of experiences, comparatively negligible were the doings of society as a whole or the outward panorama of events and scenes. If to be thus interested in the soul is to be a psychologist, then Hawthorne was one, as to some extent are all who write of human nature. But if the term denotes attention to motives and to fine mental processes, to the anatomy, as it were, of character, then Hawthorne was no such psychologist as, let us say, Henry James or George Meredith. It is important to realize how broad and general his ideas and his art were, how completely he avoided the special and the minute. He studied no subtle character, nor any character subtly. He was a moralist rather than a psychologist. Were it not sufficiently evident in the stories themselves, the notes preserved in his journals would show that his imagination was engaged first by a moral idea, which he afterwards incorporated in plot and in persons. When he is most successful the plot seems actually to occur, and the persons really live; when his imagination fails him, the incidents seem allegorical and the figures become shadowy; but in either case the abstract idea from which he started is likely to be clear enough, and his own personality will probably be felt as standing outside the story, looking on. Since he is neither novelist nor preacher, but only an investigator of moral ideas, it is equally beside the mark to expect of him Balzac's sense of the social panorama, or Bunyan's certitude of faith.

A writer who pictures life chiefly in order to project abstract

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