"And it's no bad place, neither, that farm of mine," cried the old man, cheerily, as if there was something positively delightful in the prospect; "no bad place is the old brick farm-house, especially for them that will find a good many old cronies there, as will be my case. I quite long to be among them, sometimes, of the winter evenings; for it is but dull business for a lonesome elderly man, like me, to be nodding by the hour together, with no company but his air-tight stove. Summer or winter, there's a great deal to be said in favor of my farm! And, take it in the autumn, what can be pleasanter, than to spend a whole day on the sunny side of a barn or wood-pile, chatting with somebody as old as one's self; or, perhaps, idling away the time with a natural-born simpleton, who knows how to be idle, because even our busy Yankees never have found out how to put him to any use? Upon my word, I doubt whether I've ever been so comfortable as I mean to be at my farm, which most folks call the work-house."
In this book common-place materials are wrought into a very effective story. The dimness of romance here almost fades into the "light of common day." The moral is a very useful one, "the truth, namely, that the wrong-doing of one generation lives into the succeeding ones, and divesting itself of every temporary advantage becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief." We are taught "the folly of tumbling down an avalanche of ill-gotten gold or real estate on the heads of an unfortunate posterity, thereby to maim and crush them until the accumulated mass shall be scattered abroad in its original atoms."
* 12 captioned illustrations by Maude and Genevieve Cowles.
* All the page decorations from the Houghton Mifflin edition of 1899 have been included.
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About the Author
One of the greatest authors in American literature, Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was a novelist and short story writer born in Salem, Massachusetts. Hawthorne’s best-known books include The House of the Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter, works marked by a psychological depth and moral insight seldom equaled by other writers.
Date of Birth:July 4, 1804
Date of Death:May 19, 1864
Place of Birth:Salem, Massachusetts
Place of Death:Plymouth, New Hampshire
Education:Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1824