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[41] confused as if a landsman were writing about seamanship. When, for instance, a vivacious Londoner like Mr. Andrew Lang attempts to deal with that profound imaginative creation, Arthur Dimmesdale, in the ‘Scarlet Letter,’ he fails to comprehend him from an obvious and perhaps natural want of acquaintance with the whole environment of the man. To Mr. Lang he is simply a commonplace clerical Lovelace, a dissenting clergyman caught in a shabby intrigue. But if this clever writer had known the Puritan clergy as we know them, the high priests of a Jewish theocracy, with the whole work of God in a strange land resting on their shoulders, he would have comprehended the awful tragedy in this tortured soul, and would have seen in him the profoundest and most minutely studied of all Hawthorne's characterizations. The imaginary offender for whom that great author carried all winter, as Mrs. Hawthorne told me, ‘a knot in his forehead,’ is not to be viewed as if his tale were a mere chapter out of the ‘Memoires de Casanova.’

When, at the beginning of this century,

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