My Dear Hawthorne: -- This name of "Hawthorne" seems to be ubiquitous. I have been on something of a tour lately, and it has saluted me vocally & typographically in all sorts of places & in all sorts of ways. I was at the solitary Crusoeish island of Naushon (one of the Elisabeth group) and there, on a stately piazza, I saw it gilded on the back of a very new book, and in the hands of a clergyman. -- I went to visit a gentleman in Brooklyne, and as we were sitting at our wine, in came the lady of the house, holding a beaming volume in her hand, from the city -- "My Dear," to her husband, "I have brought you Hawthorne's new book." I entered the cars at Boston for this place. In came a lively boy "Hawthorne's new book!" -- In good time I arrived home. Said my lady-wife "there is Mr Hawthorne's new book, come by mail" And this morning, lo! on my table a little note, subscribed Hawthorne again. -- Well, the Hawthorne is a sweet flower; may it flourish in every hedge.
I am sorry, but I can not at present come to see you at Concord as you propose. -- I am but just returned from a two weeks' absence; and for the last three months & more I have been an utter idler and a savage -- out of doors all the time. So, the hour has come for me to sit down again.
Do send me a specimen of your sand-hill, and a sunbeam from the countenance of Mrs: Hawthorne, and a vine from the curly arbor of Master Julian.
As I am only just home, I have not yet got far into the book but enough to see that you have most admirably employed materials which are richer than I had fancied them. Especially at this day, the volume is welcome, as an antidote to the mooniness of some dreamers -- who are merely dreamers -- Yet who the devel aint a dreamer?
My rememberances to Miss Una & Master Julian -- & the "compliments" & perfumes of the season to the "Rose-bud."
Return to Melville's letters to Hawthorne
Return to Melville Home Page
Please address all correspondence on this Site to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Life and Works of Herman Melville is brought to you by Multiverse.