this life, after all. That part of New England was not far from being a Forest of Arden, when Emerson might be met any day with a pail berrying in the pastures, or Margaret Fuller reclining by a brook, or Hawthorne on a high rock throwing stones at his own shadow in the water. There was a Thoreau—there still is—in every New England village, usually inglorious. The lone fisherman of the Isaak Walton type had become, in the New World, the wood-walker, the flower-hunter, the bird-fancier, the berry-picker, and many another variety of the modern ruralist. Hawthorne might easily have found a companion or two of similar wandering habits and half hermit-like intellectual life, though seldom so fortunate as to be able to give themselves entirely up to vagrancy of mind, like himself. Thoreau is, perhaps, the type, on the nature side; and Hawthorne was to the village what Thoreau was to the wild wood.
The truth of these sketches is their prime quality, for Hawthorne wrote them with the familiar affection and home-attachment of one who had fleeted the golden time of his youth amid these scenes of common day, and prolonged it far into manhood, and should never quite lose its glow of mere existence, its kindliness for humble things, its generous leisure for the perishable beauty of nature dotted here and there with human life. It is a countrified scene that is disclosed, but this truth which characterizes it, this fidelity of fact