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[22] not only perplexing at times, but really contradictory, and it is not strange that he should have proved in one aspect of his genius inspiring to Maeterlinck and in the other aspect acceptable to Nietzsche. Hawthorne belonged altogether to the second type of thinker. Concerned primarily with the actual world before him, he found a natural use for the past in the explanation it might give of the present, but the present was to him just as naturally the more important moment, and most interesting of all was the occasional hint or prophecy of that to which time through its past and present changes might be tending. He was a radical, therefore, but he saw clearly that this particular present will soon be no more sacred than any other moment of the past, and that to devote oneself to any cause as though it were a final remedy of circumstances, promising rest thereafter, is merely to postpone stagnation for a while. With this insight he could not readily give his faith to any reform or reformer; even the crusade for abolition and the war for the Union left him cold, for he wisely doubted whether measures conceived in the root-and-branch spirit might not raise more evils in the state than they were intended to cure. True reform, the only kind that could enlist his sympathy, must work hand in hand with nature's slowly evolving but inevitable order, and so long as that order can be but partially or infrequently discerned, it is best to do nothing violent, nothing headlong. Even when we discern the order, from time to time, we should become humble, observing how little it resembles our own morality, our own dreams of perfection.

It needs no fine perception to discover these principles or attitudes in Hawthorne, for they are displayed quite simply on the surface of his early stories. The significance he attached to the present world, whatever it might be, can be seen in the important group of essay sketches such as A Rill from the Town Pump, David Swan, Sights from a Steeple, and Main Street. Some resemblance has been found between this department of his work and the essays of Addison and of Irving, and certainly Addison's cheerfulness is here, and often something more than Irving's fancy. But neither The spectator nor The sketch Book would suggest that Addison or Irving was in the habit of keeping a diary; whereas Hawthorne's

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