, a rich ironical story drawn from his Brook Farm experience.
Four years in the American Consulate
and three subsequent years of residence upon the Continent saw no literary harvest except carefully filled notebooks and the deeply imaginative moral romance, The Marble Faun
returned home in 1860 and settled in the Wayside at Concord
, busying himself with a new, and, as was destined, a never completed story about the elixir of immortality.
But his vitality was ebbing, and in May, 1864, he passed away in his sleep.
He rests under the pines in Sleepy Hollow
, near the Alcotts and the Emersons.
It is difficult for contemporary Americans
to assess the value of such a man, who evidently did nothing except to write a few books.
His rare, delicate genius was scarcely touched by passing events.
Not many of his countrymen really love his writings, as they love, for instance the writings of Dickens
Everyone reads, at some time of his life, The Scarlet letter
, and trembles at its passionate indictment of the sin of concealment, at its agonized admonition, “Be true!
Perhaps the happiest memories of Hawthorne
's readers, as of Kipling