Now it happened that the poet, though he lived so far away, had not only heard of Ernest but had thought much about his character and wished to meet this man whose wisdom walked hand in hand with the noble simplicity of his life. One summer day, therefore, he arrived at Ernest’s door, where he found the good old man holding a book in his hand, which he read and, then, with a finger between the leaves, looked lovingly at the Great Stone Face.
“Good evening,” said the poet. “Can you give a traveller a night’s shelter?”
“Gladly,” answered Ernest; and then he added, smiling, “I think I never saw the Great Stone Face look so hospitably at a stranger.”
Ernest yearned to see the poet, and the poet, in turn, yearned to see Ernest. Just as Ernest was captivated by the poetry he had written, the poet was fascinated by Ernest's knowledge and simplicity. Despite the fact that they resided in different parts of the city, their desire to meet each other may have originated from common thoughts.
Ernest had a vision of the poet as a noble person, and the poet had a vision of Ernest as well. Ernest's simplicity, dignity, and compassion, as well as his wisdom, were all things that he pondered. Ernest was a nice, friendly man who was always willing to offer passers-by a spot to sit and rest. The poet was eager to meet Ernest, so he went to Ernest's residence one summer day. When the poet arrived at Ernest's house, he found him reading his (the poet's) book and staring at the Great Stone Face in the midst of it.
Ernest-reading the poet's book
The poet initiated a conversation with Ernest by introducing himself as a traveller without revealing his identity and asking for a night's stay at his house.
Ernest gladly accepted his request as a benevolent person, but his intuition was able to detect something related to the Great Stone Face in the new visitor's appearance. The poet said, smiling, that he had never seen the Great Stone Face greet a visitor with such kindness and courtesy.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Simplicity||The quality of leading a simple life|
|Benevolent||Being kind and helpful to others|
|Hospitable||Friendly and kind towards guests|
|Stranger||A person you do not know before|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. The Great Stone Face II - Nathaniel Hawthorne (pp. 128-132). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.