Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife, Volume II
By Julian Hawthorne, 1884
The Marble Faun
IT was before leaving Leamington, I think, that Hawthorne accompanied his friend Henry Bright to Rugby, where the latter had been at school when a boy, and was introduced to Dr. Temple, the head master, since made Bishop of Exeter. Bright then took him over to Bilton Hall, across the fields, where Addison had lived; and be was much interested in some of the pictures there.
He met Bright again on coming to London, and (says the latter)
"we spent several hours wandering about and chatting. I told him I had heard that his Miriam (it was Arthur Penrhyn Stanley's idea) was Mdlle. de Luzzy, the governess of the Duc de Praslyn. He was much amused. 'Well, I dare say she was,' he said. 'I knew I had some dim recollection of some crime, but I didn't know what.' He added, 'As regards the last chapter of "Transformation" in the second edition, don't read it; it's good for nothing. The story isn't meant to be explained; it's cloudland.' We went together to the National Gallery, and looked for a faun among the Bacchanalian pictures; but no faun we could see had furry ears. The satyrs all had. We had a great deal of fun about this."
Hawthorne went in March to Bath, and remained there six or seven weeks. "I have no longer any impulse to describe what I see," he writes, "and cannot overcome my reluctance to take up the pen." A brief but comprehensive description of Bath will, however, be found in the Note-Books. He found the air preferable to that of Leamington, "yet heavy enough, in the lack of any object of interest which I at present have, to make me feverish and miserable. Perhaps," he adds, "I will describe the Pump-Room some time; and no matter if I don't!" He appends to his journal two or three notes for use in possible stories,--the last notes of the kind he ever made.
"At the shop-window of a carpenter and undertaker, the other day, I saw two or three rows of books, of all sizes, from folio to duodecimo, and mostly wearing an antique aspect. There was the old folio of Fox's 'Book of Martyrs,' and volumes of old sermons, and histories, looking like books that had long been the household literature of families, and which the present owner had got possession of, probably, when he went to measure the dead man for his coffin, and perform the other funeral rites,-- taking these volumes, perhaps, in part payment of his services."
"Imagine a ghost, just passed into the other state of being, looking back into this mortal world, and shocked by many things that were delightful just before,--more shocked than the living are at the ghostly world."
"A pretty young girl, so small and lustrous that you would like to set her in a brooch and wear her in your bosom."
--The first English reviews of "Transformation" appeared early in March, 1860. The book was received with eagerness; but general disappointment was felt at what was considered to be its inconclusive conclusion. Most of the reviewers, and many of Hawthorne's personal acquaintances, shared in this feeling. The most shining exception to the rule was John Lothrop Motley, who wrote the author an admirable letter about the romance, which, since it has been quoted in another place (together with Hawthorne's reply), I will not give here. The book was the first that Hawthorne had written which had not been cordially welcomed, and no doubt the change was a disappointment to him. He was always too ready to think slightly of his own work, and, in his then condition of mind, he found little spirits to make head against what seemed the popular verdict. He used to read the letters and the reviews with a smile, and sometimes with a laugh, but sadly, too. "The thing is a failure," he used to say. He meant, perhaps, that he had failed in making his audience take his point of view towards the story. Certainly, he had taken most of them out of their depth. There was a general demand for an "explanation" of the mysteries of the tale; and at last Hawthorne, in a half-ironic mood, wrote the short chapter now appended to the book. Nothing, of course, is explained; it was impossible to explain to the reader his own stupidity. It was not till many years afterwards, when Hawthorne was in his grave, that a more intelligent criticism began to perceive that the story had been told after all.
One of the first letters received was from Henry Bright.
". . . I 'm in the middle of 'Monte Beni' (why did Smith and Elder transform it into 'Transformation'?--they are rather given to playing these pranks with author's titles), and I am delighted with it. I am glad that sulky 'Athenaeum' was so civil; for they are equally powerful and unprincipled, and a bad word there would have done harm. I think your descriptions of scenery and places most admirable; and as for statues and pictures, I think they never were so described before,--you seem to enter into their (or their artists') very soul, and lay it bare before us. As I 've not read more than a volume yet, I can say nothing about the plot, except that it interests and excites me. Donatello I hardly quite like and understand as yet; a being half man, half child, half animal, puzzles me; to me there seems a something a little--just a little-- wanting, and that gives me an uncomfortable feeling of half development, half idiocy, which is of course unpleasant. But as I know him better I may like him more. Harriet says you 've stolen the description of Miriam from her Jewess--as she calls the extract you gave her--and intends to accuse you of plagiarism if not of theft. In Hilda it seems to me you had a thought of Una. My acquaintance with Kenyon is as yet too slight. You have not, I trust, forgotten about the precious manuscript which is to be the gem, the Koh-i-noor, of my autographs. . . .
"I 've finished the book, and am, I think, more angry at your tantalizing cruelty than either 'Athenaeum' or 'Saturday Review.' I want to know a hundred things you do not tell me,--who Miriam was, what was the crime in which she was concerned and of which all Europe knew, what was in the packet, what became of Hilda, whether Miriam married Donatello, whether Donatello got his head cut off, etc. Of course you'll say I ought to guess; well, if I do guess, it is but a guess, and I want to know. Yesterday I wrote a review of you in the 'Examiner,' and in spite of my natural indignation, I hope you will not altogether dislike what I have said. In other respects I admire 'Monte Beni' more than I can tell you; and I suppose no one now will visit Rome without a copy of it in his band. Nowhere are descriptions to be found so beautiful, so true, and so pathetic. And there are little bits of you in the book which are best of all, -half moralizing, half thinking aloud. There is a bit about women sewing which Harriet raves about. There are bits about Catholicism and love and sin, which are marvellously thought and gloriously written." .
To the first instalment of this letter Hawthorne wrote the following reply:
DEAR MR. BRIGHT,--I thank you very much for your letter, and am glad you like the romance so far and so well. I shall be really gratified if you review it. Very likely you are right about Donatello; for, though the idea in my mind was an agreeable and beautiful one, it was not easy to present it to the reader.
Smith and Elder certainly do take strange liberties with the titles of books. I wanted to call it "The Marble Faun," but they insisted upon "Transformation," which will lead the reader to anticipate a sort of pantomime. They wrote me some days ago that the edition was nearly all sold, and that they are going to print another; to which I mean to append a few pages, in the shape of a conversation between Kenyon, Hilda, and the author, throwing some further light on matters which seem to have been left too much in the dark. For my own part, however, I should prefer the book as it now stands.
It so happened that, at the very time you were writing, Una was making up a parcel of the manuscript to send to you. There is a further portion, now in the hands of Smith and Elder, which I will procure when I go to London,--that is, if you do not consider this immense mass more than enough.
I begin to be restless (and so do we all) with the anticipation of our approaching departure, and, almost for the first time, I long to be at home. Nothing more can be done or enjoyed till we have breathed our native air again. I do not even care for London now, though I mean to spend a few weeks there before taking our final leave; not that I mean to think it a last leave-taking, either. In three or four more years or less, my longings will no doubt be transferred from that side of the water to this; and perhaps I shall write another book, and come over to get it published.
We are rather at a loss for a suitable place to stay at during the interval between this and the middle of June, when we mean to sail. Liverpool is to be avoided, on Mrs. Hawthorne's account, till the last moment; and I am afraid there is no air in England fit for her to breathe. We have some idea of going to Bath, but more probably we shall establish ourselves for a month or two in the neighborhood of London. But, as I said before, we shall enjoy little or nothing, wherever we may be. Our roots are pulled up, and we cannot really live till we stick them into the ground again. There will be pleasure, indeed, in greeting you again at Liverpool (the most disagreeable city in England, nevertheless), but a sharp pain in bidding you farewell. The sooner it is all over, the better. What an uneasy kind of world we live in! With this very original remark, I remain
Most sincerely your friend,
--Mr. Bright answered as follows--
MY DEAR MR. HAWTHORNE,--Thank you most heartily for your kind letter, and for the manuscript of " Transformation," which has this morning reached me. Please get the missing pages from Smith and Elder. I am going to bind the book up in three gorgeous volumes; there always seems to me to be a peculiar color about every story you write, and my binding will depend on what I think when I have finished the book. What binding do you think would be most appropriate? I must really try to be in London again in May, that I may meet you in that most heavenly place,--that we may again dine together at the Club, and see strange, out-of-the-way nooks, and watch the carriages in the Park, Please let me know where you are to be found. If before going to London you are looking for a pleasant place to spend a month, why not Malvern? I do so want you to see it and love it as I do.
Ever most truly yours,
H. A. BRIGHT.
--Concerning the bound volumes of the manuscript, Mr. Bright writes to me : "It is beautifully written, and I remember that he spoke of the few corrections with some pride. Kenyon's name was originally Grayson, and is altered throughout."
Among other letters, there was this from Monckton Milnes--
MY DEAR SIR,--I would not return you my thanks for the gift of your book till I could return thanks for the delight of reading it. I enjoyed it as a true Anglo-Roman; it took me back twenty years, and gave me a true sentimental journey round all my old haunts and impressions. Your moral is bold and most true,--
Man cannot stand,--he must advance, or fall,
And sometimes, falling, makes most way of all
Had you any real "Tale of Horrors" in your mind, as the solution of your enigma? Where are you? Shall we meet ?
Yours very truly,
RICHD. MONCKTON MILNES.
--Mr. Henry Bright's review of "Transformation" followed generally the lines of his letter, though the grumbling was toned down to a mild remonstrance. But I will append extracts from the "Athenaeum's" (Mr. Chorley's) notice, and from that in the "Saturday Review," which is amusingly characteristic.
"To Mr. Hawthorne truth always seems to arrive through the medium of the imagination. . . . His hero, the Count of Monte Beni, would never have lived had not the Faun of Praxiteles stirred the author's admiration. . . . The other characters, Mr. Hawthorne must bear to be told, are not new to a tale of his. Miriam, the mysterious, with her hideous tormentor, was indicated in the Zenobia of 'The Blithedale Romance,'--Hilda, the pure and innocent, is own cousin to Phoebe in 'The House of the Seven Gables,'--Kenyon, the sculptor, though carefully wrought out, is a stone image, with little that appeals to our experience of men."--Of the plot the writer says: "We know of little in romance more inconclusive and hazy than the manner in which the tale is brought to a close. Hints will not suffice to satisfy interest which has been excited to voracity. . . .Hilda and Kenyon marry, as it was to be seen they would do on the first page; but the secret of Miriam's agony and unrest, the manner of final extrication from it, for herself and the gay Faun, who shed blood to defend her, then grew sad and human under the consciousness of the stain, are all left too vaporously involved in suggestion to satisfy any one whose blood has turned back at the admirable, clear, and forcible last scenes of 'The Scarlet Letter.'"
--This was the best Mr. Chorley could do, under his sense of disappointment; and no doubt he might have done worse. But Mrs. Hawthorne, who had formed a high idea of the clever little critic's ability, was not satisfied to let his exceptions pass without a protest. It was a part of her creed that agreeable people would always take just views of things if they were afforded a proper opportunity; and she had found Mr. Chorley very agreeable. So she sat down and wrote him the following letter, which, were he conscious of error, might, one would fancy, have consoled him for having fallen into it. Whether or not he made amends, there is nothing to show; his answer, if he wrote one, not having been preserved.
MY DEAR MR. CHORLEY,--Why do you run with your fine lance directly into the face of Hilda? You were so fierce and wrathful at being shut out from the mysteries (for which we are all disappointed), that you struck in your spurs and plunged with your visor down. For, in deed and in truth, Hilda is not Phoebe, no more than a wild rose is a calm lily. They are alike only in purity and innocence; and I am sure you will see this whenever you read the romance a second time. I am very much grieved that Mr. Chorley should seem not to be nicely discriminating; for what are we to do in that case? The artistic, pensive, reserved, contemplative, delicately appreciative Hilda can in no wise be related to the enchanting littIe housewife, whose energy, radiance, and eglantine sweetness fill her daily homely duties with joy, animation, and fragrance. Tell me, then, is it not so? I utterly protest against being supposed partial because I am Mrs. Hawthorne. But it is so very naughty of you to demolish this new growth in such a hurry, that I cannot help a disclaimer; and I am so sure of your friendliness and largeness, that I am not in the least afraid. You took all the fright out of me by that exquisite, gemlike, aesthetic dinner and tea which you gave us at the fairest of houses last summer. It was a prettier and more mignonne thing than I thought could happen in London; so safe and so quiet, and so very satisfactory, with the light of thought playing all about. I have a good deal of fight left in me still about Kenyon, and the "of course" union of Kenyon and Hilda; but I will not say more, except that Mr. Hawthorne had no idea that they were destined for each other. Mr. Hawthorne is driven by his muse, but does not drive her; and I have known him to be in an inextricable doubt, in the midst of a book or sketch, as to its probable issue, waiting upon the muse for the rounding in of the sphere which every true work of art is. I am surprised to find that Mr. Hawthorne was so absorbed in Italy that he had no idea that the story, as such, was interesting! and therefore is somewhat absolved for having "excited our interest to voracity.". . . I dare say you are laughing (gently) at my explosion of small muskets. But I feel more comfortable now I have discharged a little of my opposition. With sincere regard I am, dear Mr. Chorley,
On the blank page Mr. Hawthorne added the following--
DEAR MR. CHORLEY,--You see how fortunate I am in having a critic close at hand, whose favorable verdict consoles me for any lack of appreciation in other quarters. Really, I think you were wrong in assaulting the individuality of my poor Hilda. If her portrait hears any resemblance to that of Phoebe, it must be the fault of my mannerism as a painter. But I thank you for the kind spirit of your notice; and if you had found ten times as much fault, you are amply entitled to do so by the quantity of generous praise heretofore bestowed.
Hawthorne had sent a copy of the book to Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall, who had received it as coming from the publishers, and Mr. Hall reviewed it in the art periodical of which he was at that time the editor, but made no communication to Hawthorne on the subject. Subsequently, however, the fact of the book's having been an "author's copy" came out, and Mrs. Hall wrote:--
I wish I could prevail on you to come to us on the 30th. I will write and ask dear Mrs. Hawthorne to give you her sanction--for one day more, if she will but do so. It is sad to think we cannot have you together, that one evening; but, if to have both is impossible, do please come yourself. Mr. Bennoch wrote me that you were so kind and gracious as to send me your book. I only heard that on Saturday. Mr. Hall thought it came as usual from the publishers,--with the line written by them "from the author,"--and he reviewed it in the "Art Journal." I took up my pen more than once to thank you most gratefully for the intense enjoyment the book gave us,--eloquent and poetic and thoughtful as it is,--such a glory of a book--but I imagined again you might think it presumptuous, and so I restrained myself; little thinking the book was mine from its gifted author Please, when you dine with us on the 30th, you must write my name in it. Mr. Hall would call on you if you would graciously fix an hour to receive him.
My dear sir, with great admiration, sincerely yours
ANNA M. HALL.
--This was as flattering as the most exacting romancer could desire; and Mr. Hall took pains to express his enthusiasm over the romance in no less measured terms, and gave it to be understood that his review of it had been the deliberate concentration of his spoken delight The review itself, however, was not produced, for some unexplained reason, and Hawthorne never saw it. Twenty years afterwards the present writer met Mr. Hall in London, when the latter, in the course of conversation, recurred to the above episode, and gave a glowing reminiscence of the criticism in the "Art Journal." It so happened, however, that I was shortly afterwards in the house of a friend, in whose library I found a complete edition of the volumes of the "Art Journal;" and it occurred to me to look up the famous review of" Transformation." It was a brief notice, and began as follows:--
"We are not to accept this book as a story; in that respect it is grievously deficient. The characters are utterly untrue to nature and to fact; they speak, all and always, the sentiments of the author; their words also are his; there is no one of them for which the world has furnished a model."
--The reviewer then goes on to commend some of the descriptions of scenery, and so concludes. No doubt the "review" expressed Mr. Hall's genuine opinion; but it is perplexing that he should so promptly have forgotten what that opinion was, and even have imagined it to be quite the opposite of what is here recorded. But the incident is so characteristic of Mr. Hall that no one who has had the pleasure of knowing him will be surprised at it. His temperamental tendency to paint the lily of truth is beyond his control and even beyond his consciousness. I recollect his having related, before a company of gentlemen at dinner, an anecdote of "myself and my friend Hawthorne," which was accurate enough in all particulars, except that the "my-self" in question happened to have been, not Mr. Hall, but another gentleman, there present, and occupying the next chair to my own.
The "Saturday Review" notice appeared on the same day as that in the "Athenaeum," and is worth recalling as another thoroughly English effort to deal with an abstruse problem. We are told that
"a mystery is set before us to unriddle, and at the end the author turns round and asks us what is the good of solving it. That the impression of emptiness and unmeaningness thus produced is in itself a blemish to the work, no one can deny. Mr. Hawthorne really trades upon the honesty of other writers. We feel a sort of interest in the story, slightly and sketchily as it is told, because our experience of other novels leads us to assume that, when an author pretends to have a plot, he has one."
The reviewer goes on to say that, in regard to Donatello,
"Mr. Hawthorne does not refrain from giving the loosest rein to his fancy;" while as for "Miriani" (as the name is printed throughout the article), "the lady for whom this unhappy animal conceives a passionate love," she "belongs scarcely less to the region of pure fancy. She first presents herself as an artist; and it appears to be accepted as an axiom in every description of artist life that a man or woman who paints pictures or moulds clay is released from all the ties and burdens of life,-- that it is impertinent to inquire whence they came or how they live, or with whom or on what." "Hilda" is "the type of high-souled innocence, purity, and virgin modesty. She also is an artist; and we are therefore supposed not to feel surprise at finding that she lives, without any one to protect her, at the top of a high tower in the centre of Rome, where she feeds a brood of milky doves, and keeps a lamp burning in honor of the Virgin. . . . A lover is assigned her, both that his successful love may mitigate the blackness of the story, and also because, as he is a sculptor, Mr. Hawthorne has the pleasure of describing the real works of American sculptors at Rome under the fiction that they were the creations of the imaginary artist." The reviewer goes on to remark that "Mr. Hawthorne seems to have been greatly attracted by Catholicism. . . . No one could fall more entirely than Mr. Hawthorne into the modern fashion of asking, not whether a religion is true, but whether it is suitable to a particular individual . . As it happens, however, the same sensibility that attracts him to Catholicism also repels him from it; and when he ceases to reason he is as little able to make allowances where they are due as to discover faults where they exist. It is the priests and the Papal Government that seem to have scared Mr. Hawthorne from the Romish Church. They are such poor, mean creatures, and the Papal Government produced so much misery, poverty, and dirt, that, as the clean citizen of a State accustomed to make its own way in the world he would not mix himself up with what he so thoroughly despised. His Protestantism seems to have been greatly indebted to the theory in which he finally rested,--that the Papal system is dying out." But, although feeling constrained thus to condemn the characters, plot, and sentiment of the romance, the reviewer awards it high praise as "a tourist's sketch," and "we may add that the style is singularly beautiful, the writing most careful, and the justness and felicity of the epithets used to convey the effect of scenery unusually great. The Americans may be proud that they have produced a writer who, in his own special walk of English, has few rivals or equals in the mother country, and they may perhaps allow this excellence to atone for the sincere contempt with which he evidently regards the large majority of his countrymen who show themselves on this side of the Atlantic."
--This must suffice as an exposition of the English attitude towards "Transformation" at the time of its first appearance; for the following poetic tribute to the writer, though emanating from the pen of a born Londoner, Mr. William Bennett, can hardly be considered English in its tone. Mr. Bennett, it will be remembered, had always been among the most sincere of Hawthorne's admirers, and he did not fail now to avouch that admiration in the heartiest terms at his command. As a poem, the writing may perhaps be open to criticism; but as an honest and cordial effort at appreciation and friendly sympathy, it is well worth preserving.
O mightiest name of Death,--O awful Rome,--
How has he writ, in marble, on thy hills
His presence Death thy stony valleys fills
There, with the ghostly past, he makes his home;
Yet, in the shadow of thy mighty dome,
What life eternal lives--a breath that stills
His boasts to dumbness, and thy conqueror kills.
Who breathe thy air, deathless henceforth become;
For ears that hear, thy lips have mystic lore;
To those who question thee, in the weird might
Of genius, lo, thy thousand tongues restore
The spells that scare oblivion to flight
Greatness is in thy touch. Lo, here once more
To one thou givest thy glory as his right.
Here is the life of Rome ;--the air of death,
Silence and solitude and awe, are here,
Spectres of grandeur, at whose bygone breath
Earth stilled and trembled, from these leaves appear;
From these weird words steal wonder and strange fear,
An awful past, which he who listeneth
In solemn awe, with trembling heart, may hear,
Hearing what from her stones the bygone saith.
Here is the double life that haunts Rome's hills,
Power spelt in ruins, art that wreathes all time,
Beauty eternal that the rapt air fills
With reverence from fit souls from every clime.
Hawthorne, henceforth, here, with life's joys and ills,
Rome's thoughts are with me, and her dreams sublime.
"From evils, goods,--from sin and sorrow, peace,
A holier future, and a loftier faith,"--
This to the soul thy mystic volume saith,
Hawthorne, and bids doubt's spectral night to cease,
Offering from its dread gloom what bless'd release!
If any say, "Evil accuses Him
From whom is all, of evil," here, in dim,
Wan characters is writ, "Good hath increase
Even from the stifling ill with which it strives;
God's wisdom is not ours. From blackest ill
Souls, sorrow-deepened, have won whitest lives;
Bless Him for all things all things are His will.
His stroke the granite of our hearts but rives,
That light may enter and His ends fulfil."
Early in May, Hawthorne wrote the following letter to Henry Bright:
18 CHARLES STEEET, BATH, May 5, 1860.
DEAR MR. BRIGHT,--Here is Mr. Lemprière Hammond's very kind note. Under your auspices, I think I may venture to accept his hospitality, and I should be delighted to spend one night within the walls of Trinity. Is Mr. Hammond a descendant of Lemprière's Classical Dictionary?--or perchance a mythical personage? Do not let him hear of this foolish query; for people are as touchy about their names as a cat about her tail.
I mean to go to London either the latter part of next week or the first of the succeeding one. Part of the time I shall be at the house of Mr. Motley (the Dutch historian), 31 Hertford Street. It is not my purpose to return to Bath till after our visit to Cambridge.
You will not find any photograph nor (so far as I am aware) any engraving of the Faun of Praxiteles. There are photographs, stereoscopic and otherwise, of another Faun, which is almost identical with the hero of my romance, though only an inferior repetition of it. My Faun is in the Capitol; the other, in the Vatican. The genuine statue has never been photographed, on account, I suppose, of its standing in a bad light. The photograph of the Vatican Faun supplies its place very well, except as to the face, which is very inferior.
I think your club is the Oxford and Cambridge. When I come to London, I shall send or call there unless I otherwise hear of you.
Truly yours, NATH. HAWTHORNE.
--Soon after his arrival (on the 16th), they took breakfast with Monckton Milnes, meeting Lady Galway, Thiriwall (Bishop of Saint David's), and one or two more; and, on the 19th, went to Mayal, the photographer, where Hawthorne sat for his photograph (the same that has been etched for this work). In regard to this photograph, by the by, an erroneous story has gone abroad, which it may be as well to correct. I know not by whom it was originally invented; but I find it quoted from the "Salem Gazette" as follows:
"J. Lothrop Motley, who well knew Hawthorne's aversion to photographic processes, set a trap for his friend in this wise. He invited him to walk one day in London; and as they were passing the studio of a well-known photographer, Motley asked Hawthorne to step in and make a selection from some pictures of himself, which were ready, he supposed, for examination. They entered, chatting pleasantly together, Hawthorne at the time being in the best of spirits. Dropping into a chair, which Motley placed for him, he looked brightly after his friend disappearing behind a screen in quest of the proofs. At this moment, and with this look of animation upon his face, the photograph referred to was taken, the artist having made all necessary preparations to capture a likeness from the unsuspecting sitter. Motley's proofs were produced and examined, and Hawthorne was never told that he had been taken. This was shortly before the family returned home. One of the children, it seems,--I think it was the ethereal Una,--had seen the surreptitious picture at Motley's or at Bennoch's, and on the homeward voyage she referred to it, and said it was a beautiful likeness, far better than she had ever seen before. Hawthorne, of course, was incredulous, and assured his wife that the child must he mistaken. After her husband's death, Mrs. Hawthorne became acquainted with the facts as above narrated, and at her earnest entreaty the photograph was sent to her."
This story is a real curiosity in fabrication. There is not one syllable of truth in it from beginning to end; but the ingenious and elaborate manner in which it is worked up from point to point is remarkable, showing as it does that the writer was in no respect laboring under a misapprehension, or suffering from a defective memory or incomplete information, but that he was consciously inventing all the way through, and enjoying his invention. The real facts are as follows,--I will quote the entire passage from a recent letter from Henry Bright to me:
"The account of the photograph being taken for Mr. Motley is quite wrong. I went with Hawthorne to the photographer (Mayal), as he had promised me a photograph of himself. He gave his name, and Mayal came up in a great state of excitement. Hawthorne got very shy, and grasped his umbrella as if it were the last friend left him. This, of course, was taken away from him by the photographer, and a table with a book on it was put in its place. 'Now, sir,' said Mayal, 'please to look intense!' He was afterwards told to look smiling (at the portrait of a lady!). I chose the 'intense' one, and afterwards had a copy taken of it for a friend of Hawthorne. I am amused to find (in the current anecdote) that Mr. Motley attracted Hawthorne's attention 'at the critical moment.' This is quite imaginative; for Mayal insisted on my going behind a screen, where your father could not see me. After your father's death the photograph was engraved, and I sent other copies to your mother, Mr. Longfellow, and one or two more. The original (there was only one taken at the time) hangs in my own room."
--It may be worth noting, for those who are interested in coincidences, that the 19th of May, four years afterwards, was the date of Hawthorne's death. The note which Bright had sent to Hawthorne the previous day, reminding him of his appointment, runs thus--
THURSDAY, May 18, 1860.
MY DEAR MR. HAWTHORNE,--If to-morrow is sunshiny enough to photograph you, and if you are not otherwise engaged, well, let us get it done! I shall be here (Oxford and Cambridge Club) at twelve, and again at four, if you will look in at either time. Milnes says I am to bring you punctually at ten on Saturday; so I will call for you five minutes before. It is no party; and Mrs. Milnes, who has just come. will be there. I was very glad indeed to see Mr. Motley last night.
Ever yours, H. A. BRIGHT
--On the following evening Hawthorne was at the Cosmopolitan Club, where he and Mr. Layard found a great deal to say to each other; and on the 25th of May he left London for Cambridge, by previous appointment with Bright, who was to receive his master's degree there. Mr. Bright says
"My old friend, Lemprière Hammond (well known at Cambridge), got rooms for him in the oldest part of the old Court of Trinity. I remember how amused Hawthorne was to find that the room had been so dark that he had lost his umbrella--the precious umbrella--in it for two days! He was much delighted with Cambridge, and saw everything, including Cromwell's picture in Sydney College, and 'Byron's Pool.' He also visited the Union. Our best friends there were Hammond, and that most accomplished of Cambridge men (whose too early death was a real loss to the University), W. G. Clark, the public orator, and afterwards vice-master of Trinity."
--Hawthorne has himself given some impressions of this excursion in a letter to his daughter. The "Uncle John" referred to is John O'Sullivan.
TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, May 25, 1860.
DEAR UNA,--I am established here in an ancient set of college rooms, which happen to be temporarily vacated by the rightful possessor. I arrived yesterday evening, and am pretty well wearied by a day of sightseeing,--as you may suppose, Mr. Bright being the cicerone. I snatch just this moment to write, before going to dine with one of the fellows of the college. You ask about Uncle John. I have very little to say on that subject, except that I called at his hotel some days ago, and found him not there; and shortly after received a note, informing me that be had left for the Continent. I think you had better intermit writing to him till we hear more. I shall return to London on Monday morning, go to Canterbury the same day, return to Bennoch's the next day (Tuesday), and probably stay there till Thursday morning, when I am resolved to come home. I have received an invitation to dine with Smith and Elder, and meet the contributors to the "Cornhill Magazine;" but I declined it, being tired to death of dinners, and longing to see you all again; and this dinner would detain me another weary day. You had better direct your next letter to the care of Bennoch, unless there should be urgent need of communicating with me between now and Monday, in which case you might direct to the care of Lemprieère Hammond, Esq., Trinity College, Cambridge. But I trust there will be no necessity for this. I long to see you all again, for it seems ages since I went away. I heard a nightingale--two or three, indeed--last night! Give my best love to mamma, and very warm love to Julian, Rosebud, and yourself. Affectionately yours,
--He returned to Bath about the 1st June, and we shortly afterwards set out for Liverpool, whence, after a brief sojourn at Mrs. Blodgett's, we embarked for Boston, under the captaincy of our old friend Leitch, After a pleasant voyage of ten days, we were safely landed at our destination.