- read famous books online for free

P.'s Correspondence (From "Mosses from an Old Manse") by Nathaniel Hawthorne
page 1 of 22 (04%)

By Nathaniel Hawthorne


My unfortunate friend P. has lost the thread of his life by the
interposition of long intervals of partially disordered reason. The
past and present are jumbled together in his mind in a manner often
productive of curious results, and which will be better understood
after the perusal of the following letter than from any description
that I could give. The poor fellow, without once stirring from the
little whitewashed, iron-grated room to which he alludes in his
first paragraph, is nevertheless a great traveller, and meets in his
wanderings a variety of personages who have long ceased to be
visible to any eye save his own. In my opinion, all this is not so
much a delusion as a partly wilful and partly involuntary sport of
the imagination, to which his disease has imparted such morbid
energy that he beholds these spectral scenes and characters with no
less distinctness than a play upon the stage, and with somewhat more
of illusive credence. Many of his letters are in my possession, some
based upon the same vagary as the present one, and others upon
hypotheses not a whit short of it in absurdity. The whole form a
series of correspondence, which, should fate seasonably remove my
poor friend from what is to him a world of moonshine, I promise
myself a pious pleasure in editing for the public eye. P. had
always a hankering after literary reputation, and has made more than
one unsuccessful effort to achieve it. It would not be a little
DigitalOcean Referral Badge