The passages from Sketches from Memory show that Hawthorne had visited the mountains in one of his occasional rambles from home, but there are no entries in his Note Books which give accounts of such a visit.
It is not impossible that this conceit occurred to Hawthorne before he had himself seen the Old Man of the Mountain, or the Profile, in the Franconia Notch which is generally associated in the minds of readers with The Great Stone Face.
In the Sketches from Memory Hawthorne gives an intimation of the tale which he might write and did afterward write of The Great Carbuncle.
In a letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, given in 'Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife,' his daily life is set forth.
Hawthorne, who was then living in the red cottage at Lenox, had a week at Arrow Head with his daughter Una the previous spring.
Melville from early manhood indulged deeply in philosophical studies, and his fondness for discussing such matters is pointed out by Hawthorne also, in the 'English Note Books.' This habit increased as he advanced in years, if possible.
Especially interesting are fifteen or twenty first editions of Hawthorne's books inscribed to Mr.
Melville, in a letter to Hawthorne, speaks of himself as having no development at all until his twenty-fifth year, the time of his return from the Pacific; but surely the process of development must have been well advanced to permit of so virile and artistic a creation as 'Typee.' While the narrative does not always run smoothly, yet the style for the most part is graceful and alluring, so that we pass from one scene of Pacific enchantment to another quite oblivious of the vast amount of descriptive detail which is being poured out upon us.
The book represents, to a certain extent, the conflict between the author's earlier and later methods of composition, but the gigantic conception of the 'White Whale,' as Hawthorne expressed it, permeates the whole work, and lifts it bodily into the highest domain of romance.
Some say that it was occupied by your own ancestor, William Hawthorne
, first speaker of the House of Representatives.
You may read the greatest part of Dickens, as you may read the greatest part of Hawthorne
or Tolstoy, and not once be reminded of literature as a business or a cult, but you can hardly read a paragraph, hardly a sentence, of Thackeray's without being reminded of it either by suggestion or downright allusion.