usical composer Jomelli went to a teacher to seek,--the art of not being embarrassed by his own ideas.
Mrs. Hawthorne told me that her husband grappled alone all winter with The scarlet letter, and came daily from his study with a knot in his forehead; and yet his self-mastery was so complete that every sentence would seem to have crystallized in an atmosphere of perfect calm.
We see the value of this element in his literary execution, when we turn from it to that of an author so great as Lowell, for instance, and see him often entangled and weighed down by his own rich thoughts, his style being overcrowded by the very wealth it bears.
Hawthorne never needed Italic letters to distribute his emphasis, never a footnote for assistance.
There was no conception so daring that he shrank from attempting it; and none that he could not so master as to state it, if he pleased, in terms of monosyllables.
For all these merits he paid one high and inexorable penalty,--the utter absence of a
r and censor, both Channing in his memoir, and Lowell in his well-known criticism, have brought the one who thus knew him to be quite patient with Lowell in what seems almost wanton misrepresentation.
Lowell applies to Thoreau the word indolent: but you might as well speak of the indolence of a selt noisily, yet it never knows an idle moment.
Lowell says that Thoreau looked with utter contempt o Study Windows, p. 206. but was it Thoreau, or Lowell, who found a voice when the curtain fell, aftehis stray papers in newspapers and magazines.
Lowell accepts throughout the popular misconception —whole attitude has been needlessly distorted.
Lowell says that his shanty-life was mere impossibili, p. 208. But what a man of straw is this that Lowell is constructing!
What is this shanty-life ? Aashionable summer world to that safe retreat.
Lowell himself has celebrated in immortal verse the s shanty.
Let me not seem to do injustice to Lowell, who closes his paper on Thoreau with a genero[1 more...]