Page:Nathaniel Hawthorne (Woodbury).djvu/114

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NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE

People," [1] and "Liberty Tree." [2] They appeared in rapid succession in 1841, and were successful. But notwithstanding the high character of these little books as entertainment for children, it will hardly be thought that literature had profited much by the devotion of genius to coal and salt and the oversight of day laborers.

In the spring of 1841, immediately after the change of administration in March, Hawthorne lost his place in the Custom House, and he at once betook himself to Brook Farm, in Roxbury, a suburb of Boston, or, to give its full name, "The Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education." The place, the celebrities who gathered there in their youth, and their way of life, have all been many times described, so that there is no occasion to renew a detailed account, especially as Hawthorne's interest in the scheme was purely incidental. He must have had his plans already made in preparation for a change in his life. The shop of the Peabodys in Boston was a centre of transcendentalism, "The Dial" being published there; and Hawthorne's attention may have been drawn to the movement for a practical application

  1. Famous Old People. Being the Second Epoch of Grandfather's Chair. By Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of Twice-Told Tales. Boston: E. P. Peabody, 13 West St. 1841. 32mo. Pp. vii, 158. The preface is dated December 30, 1840.
  2. Liberty Tree. With the Last Words of Grandfather's Chair. By Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of Twice-Told Tales. Boston: E. P. Peabody, 13 West St. 1841. 32mo. Pp. vii, 160. The preface is dated Boston, February 27, 1841.