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“His head is low, and no man cares for him.
A half-incredulous, half-hysterical cry.
Higher than you be.” Enoch said again,
My grief and solitude have broken me;
Nevertheless, know you that I am he 855 Who married — but that name has twice been changed –
I married her who married Philip Ray.
His gazing in on Annie, his resolve,
Fast flow'd the current of her easy tears,
“Woman, disturb me not now at the last,
For my dead face would vex her after-life.
He ceased; and Miriam Lane
Then the third night after this
So past the strong heroic soul away.
6 Down. Stretches of elevated land near the sea covered with fine turf.
7 Barrows. Burial mounds, found in England and supposed to have been made by the Danes when they invaded England.
18 Fluke. The broad part of the anchor which fastens to the ground.
94 Osier. A basket made of willow twigs. 96 Market-cross. An old stone cross is found in the market-place of many English villages.
98 Lion-whelp. That is, a family shield bearing a lion over the door of the hall, or English country house.
99 Yewtree. In old time gardens yewtrees were often pruned into the form of a peacock. 100 Friday. A day of abstinence in the Catholic Church and the eating of meat is forbidden. 103 Haven. Harbor. 123 Boatswain. A ship's officer who has charge of the crew. 131 Offing. That part of the sea remote from shore. 186 Mystery. That is, the mystery of prayer. 222 Cares. See I. Peter, V., 7. 223 Uttermost. See Psalm CXXXIX. 226 Sea is His. Psalm xcv. 326 Garth.
An enclosed yard or garden.
Rabbits. 339 Charitable. That is, so that it might not seem like a gift of charity. 370 Just, etc. Compare this line with 67. The repetition serves to bind together the part
of the poem.
376 Whitening. Hazel nuts are a grayish white when ripe.
Blood relations. 416 Burthen.
Burden, care. 470 Calculation. Impatient because their predictions did not come true.
491 Holy Book. The practise of opening a book and interpreting the first passage on which the eye falls as a personal message is very ancient. Christians of all ages have used the Bible in
494 Under, etc. Judges, IV., 5.
He had become so much a part of nature. 601 Line. The equator or the equinoctial circle. 638 Sweet water. Fresh, not sea water. 657 Ghostly. Because of the white chalk cliffs of the south coast. 671 Holt. A thicket, a wooded hill. 671 Tilth. Cultivated land; land that has been turned over by the plough.
688 Timber-crost. A house made of plaster crossed with timber, like Shakespeare's birthplace. English villages contain many such houses.
724 Signal fire. Such means of warning or summons were common in days when travel was difficult. The blaze fascinated the bird as candle-light the moth.
728 Latest. Last.
911 Costlier. This was the only way in which they could show the reverence that his sacrifice inspired.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born at Salem, July 4, 1804, in a queer oldfashioned house that faced the Custom House. He was the second child born to his parents and was their only son. His father had always been a sailor, having served in nearly all capacities on ship board, until he made voyages for himself to the East and West Indies, to Africa and South America. He died of a fever in the latter country, in 1808, and left his widow most disconsolate. Fifty years later in speaking of the loss of an uncle at sea, Hawthorne gives us an idea of how his father's death, away from home and under uncertain circumstances, made a sort of living ghost in their family, as they continually felt that he might yet be alive and return to them..
Little that is unusual is to be found in Hawthorne's childhood, except his devotion to solitude, and this, though natural, was intensified by the secluded life led by the child's widowed mother, who, besides her sorrow, had a nature intensely pious and given to the most careful observance of feast or fast days. We first hear of him as “a pleasant child, quite handsome, with golden curls.” Through life he greatly resembled his mother, whose eyes were especially fine, and whose general bearing was majestic.
He was sent to the village school then in charge of Worcester, the famous lexicographer, and he seems to have been a favorite of the master, for there is yet in use one of his dictionaries with this inscription on the fly-leaf – “Nathaniel Hawthorne, with the respects of J. E. Worcester.” While in school he was struck in the foot with a ball. The injury at one time threatened to disable him for life, but after more or less trouble for three years it disappeared. For a long time he was confined to the house and many tedious hours he whiled away with his cats, of which he was, then and ever after, very fond, now knitting stockings for them and again building houses out of books in which to imprison them.
In 1818, his mother removed to Raymond, Maine, where she occupied a large house built by her brother. Here young Hawthorne resumed his solitary walks, but in exchange for the narrow streets of Salem he had the boundless forests and the margin of Sebago Lake. After a year's residence at Raymond he returned to Salem to prepare for college. He was even then thinking about a profession, for he wrote to his mother, “I do not want to be a doctor and live by men's diseases, nor a lawyer and live by their quarrels, nor a minister and live by their sins. So I don't see that there is anything left for me but to be an author.” In 1821, he entered Bowdoin College at Brunswick, Maine, and became
a member of the famous class of Cheever and Longfellow. The latter he knew but little until after they left college, but their relations then became intimate and delightful.
While at college he excelled in classical studies, particularly in Latin compositions. It is rather funny to find that he was fined fifty cents for playing cards and reported to his mother for the same offence. After his graduation in 1825, he returned to Salem and lived a solitary life.
Hawthorne's first admirers were three young ladies of Salem, one of whom, Sophia Peabody, he married in 1842, and happy was it for Hawthorne and for us that this marriage took place. His hitherto solitary life was now enlivened by a companion at once charming and helpful. His wife was his first audience and by her kindly sympathy she encouraged him to produce some of his best works.
When the campaign, in which Franklin Pierce figured, opened, Pierce asked Hawthorne to write his biography, to be distributed during the campaign. The work was not at all to Hawthorne's taste, though he was a warm friend of Pierce, but he finally consented, and gave to his countrymen a simple narrative of the events in the life of a man in every way commonplace.
When it was known that Pierce was elected, Hawthorne quietly made up his mind to accept no office from his friend. This greatly disappointed the President, and, only after the interposition of friends, could Hawthorne be induced to accept the consulship at Liverpool. He then remained abroad seven years. After his duties at Liverpool closed, he visited other parts of England and then went to Italy, in whose dreamy atmosphere he delighted.
The happiest period of Hawthorne's life, with perhaps the exception of that spent at the Old Manse, was the seven years spent abroad. When he returned to America on the eve of the great Civil War, his faith in the concord of his American brothers received a great shock, and his health for some years delicate, suffered in consequence. His luxuriant hair grew whiter and whiter, and his wondrous gray eyes mellowed with what seemed fatigue; his hand and brain refused to work though urged on by a universal fame. In company with his friend Pierce, in May, 1864, he was seeking physical aid by a trip to the White Mountains, but one morning after spending the night at Plymouth, his friend found Hawthorne dead in his bed, wearing the same calm expression that had characterized him through life. They took him back to Wayside, to his stricken family, and, amid a chorus of birds, underneath the blossom-laden trees of a New England spring, laid him to rest in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The stone which marks his grave, like that of Wordsworth at Grasmere, is the simplest, and bears merely the name "Hawthorne," but to his readers that single word on a simple stone is more than a legend inscribed on another's monument.