Letter to the editor of the Literary Review

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Nathl Hawtorne leter.jpg
Lenox, August 29th. 1850.

My dear sir,

I have read Melville's works with a progressive appreciation of the author. No writer ever put the reality before his reader more unflinchingly than he does in "Redburn" and "White Jacket". "Mardi" is a rich book, with depths here and there that compel a man to swim for his life. It is so good that one scarcely pardons the writer for not having brooded long over it, so as to make it a great deal better.

You will see by my wife's note that I have all along had one staunch admirer; and with her to back me, I really believe I should do very well without any other. Nevertheless, I must own that I have read the articles in the Literary World with very great pleasure. The writer has a truly generous heart; nor do I think it necessary to appropriate the whole magnificence of his encomium, any more than to devour everything on the table, when a host of noble hospitality spreads a banquet before me. But he is no common man; and, next to deserving praise, it is good to have beguiled or bewitched such a man into praising me more than I deserve.

Sincerely yours,
Nathl Hawthorne
E.A. Duyckinck, Esq.
New York.