The Marble Faun, Or, The Romance of Monte Beni - Vol. 1

The Marble Faun, Or, The Romance of Monte Beni - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

The Marble Faun, Or, The Romance of Monte Beni - Vol. 1

The Marble Faun, Or, The Romance of Monte Beni - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

From the spring of 1850 to the spring of 1853 Hawthorne published seven books, — The Scarlet Letter, written at Salem, The Hozase of the Seven Gables and A Wonder-Book, both written at Lenox, The Snow Image, a collection of tales and sketches of earlier date, The Blithedale Romance, written at West Newton, Life of Franklin Pierce and Tanglewood Tales, both written at Concord. After these seven books came seven years of silence. The one book in the list unworthy of Hawthorne, the campaign biography, was the only one which brought him a rich financial reward. As soon as Pierce became President, he appointed Hawthorne to the Liverpool consulate, and the debt-burdened, overworked romancer, putting by a finer instinct, accepted the position. In the middle of October, 1852, Hawthorne had written to his old Bowdoin friend, Horatio Bridge :—

" I did not send you the 'Life of Pierce,' not considering it fairly one of my literary productions.

" I was terribly reluctant to undertake this work, and tried to persuade Pierce—both by letter and viva voce— that I could not perform it so well as many others; but he thought differently; and, of course, after a friendship of thirty years, it was impossible to refuse my best efforts in his behalf at this—the great pinch of his life....

" Before undertaking it, I made an inward resolution that I would accept no office from him; but, to say the truth, I doubt whether it would not be rather folly than heroism to adhere to this purpose in case he should offer me anything particularly good. We shall see. A foreign mission I could not afford to take. The consulship at Liverpool I might."

This appointment was then one of the most lucrative in the Presidential gift, and Hawthorne's friends hoped . . .

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