Nathaniel Hawthorne was a kind-hearted man as well as a great novelist.

While he was consul at Liverpool a young Yankee walked into his office. The boy had left home to seek his fortune, but evidently hadn’t found it yet, although he had crossed the sea in his search. Homesick, friendless, nearly penniless, he wanted a passage home. The clerk said Mr. Hawthorne could not be seen, and intimated that the boy was not American, but was trying to steal a passage. The boy stuck to his point, and the clerk at last went to the little room and said to Mr. Hawthorne: “Here’s a boy who insists upon seeing you. He says he is an American, but I know he isn’t.” Hawthorne came out of the room and looked keenly at the eager, ruddy face of the boy. “You want a passage to America?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And you say you’re an American?”

“Yes, sir.”

“From what part of America?”

“United States, sir.”

“What State?”

“New Hampshire, sir.”


“Exeter, sir.”

Hawthorne looked at him for a minute before asking him the next question. “Who sold the best apples in your town?”

“Skim-milk Folsom, sir,” said the boy, with glistening eye, as the old familiar by-word brought up the dear old scenes of home.

“It’s all right,” said Hawthorne to the clerk; “give him a passage.”


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