But you have not this lovely lake, nor, I suppose, the

delicate purple mist which folds these slumbering mountains in airy

veils. Mr. Hawthorne has been lying down in the sun shine, slightly

fleckered with the shadows of a tree, and Una and Julian have been

making him look like the mighty Pan, by covering his chin and breast

with long grass-blades, that looked like a verdant and venerable

beard." The pleasantness and peace of his surroundings and of his

modest home, in Lenox, may be taken into account as harmonizing with

the mellow serenity of the romance then produced. Of the work, when it

appeared in the early spring of 1851, he wrote to Horatio Bridge these


words, now published for the first time:-"'The House of the Seven Gables' in my opinion, is better than 'The

Scarlet Letter:' but I should not wonder if I had refined upon the

principal character a little too much for popular appreciation, nor if

the romance of the book should be somewhat at odds with the humble and

familiar scenery in which I invest it. But I feel that portions of it

are as good as anything I can hope to write, and the publisher speaks

encouragingly of its success."

From England, especially, came many warm expressions of praise,--a fact

which Mrs. Hawthorne, in a private letter, commented on as the

fulfillment of a possibility which Hawthorne, writing in boyhood to his

mother, had looked forward to. He had asked her if she would not like

him to become an author and have his books read in England.

G. P. L.