- Books Name
- Yash Tyagi Coaching English Book
- ACERISE INDIA
- CBSE Class 8
The Great Stone Face - II
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
Lesson-10, The Great Stone Face-II, is a continuation of Lesson-9, The Great Stone Face-I. Ernest, a quiet and unnoticed child, had grown into an elderly man with white hair. All of the years that had brought him here had not been in vain because he had grown so wise that the number of wise thoughts on his head outnumbered the number of white hairs on his head. He was no longer unpopular. Many people came to see him, and the story tells of one such poet, born in the valley, who had moved to distant cities but come back to see Ernest. The old prophecy is fulfilled at the end of the story when they find the man who possesses the likeness of the Great Stone Face.
Ernest, a very simple and unnoticed boy, had grown up to be an old man with white hair in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Great Stone Face-II. All those years had made him so wise and knowledgeable that distant men from cities came to see him just to talk. He greeted them gently and with kindness. His face would brighten and shine on others as he spoke to them, as if he were a mild evening light. The story then introduces us to another valley son who moved to distant cities and filled them with his sweet music. In his poems, he kept the Great Stone Face alive.
Ernest came to know about him, and as he read the poet's thoughts in his book, he wished for the poet to be a likeness of the Great Stone Face. When the poet knew about Ernest, he expressed an intense desire to meet him. As a result, he comes back to the valley and asks Ernest for a night's shelter. They exchanged words. Never before had the poet talked with a man as wise, gentle, and kind as Ernest. The living images flung out of the poet's mind, on the other hand, moved Ernest. When asked, the poet told him that he was the author of the book Ernest was reading. When Ernest heard this, he immediately compared the poet's features to those of the Great Stone Face, and when they didn't match, he was sad. When asked, Ernest told the poet that when he read his book, he thought he was the man who would fulfil the prophecy, but to his disappointment, he was not. The poet thought himself unworthy of bearing the resemblance to the Great Stone Face because he knew that while his thoughts were great and he had great dreams, they had only remained dreams and he lacked faith in his thoughts.
Ernest made it a ritual to speak with his neighbours in the open air every evening at sunset. Both men went to the meeting place, which was clearly visible from the Great Stone Face, and as Ernest began speaking, he shared whatever was on his mind and heart. His thoughts were so powerful because he had lived a life full of good deeds. Those were words of life, not just thoughts. As he listened, the poet realised that Ernest's life and character were a nobler form of poetry than anything he had ever written. His eyes filled up with tears as he realised he had never met a man as gentle, sweet, and wise as Ernest. Suddenly, He noticed the Great Stone Face, which was bathed in the golden light of the setting sun and surrounded by mist. He noticed that it resembled Ernest's eyebrow. When the poet compared Ernest's grand expression to the Great Stone Stone Face, he couldn't help but notice that Ernest looked liked the Great Stone Face. Everyone agreed. Ernest, on the other hand, hoped for a man better and wiser than himself to appear, resembling the Great Stone Face.
The years hurried on, and brought white hairs upon the head of Ernest, and made wrinkles across his forehead and furrows in his cheeks. He was an old man. But not in vain had he grown old; more numerous than the white hairs on his head were the wise thoughts in his mind. And Ernest had ceased to be obscure. Unsought for, undesired, had come the fame which so many seek. He had become famous beyond the limits of the valley. College professors, and even the active men of cities, came from far to see and converse with Ernest, and he received them with gentle sincerity, and spoke freely with them of whatever came uppermost or lay deepest in his heart or their own. While they talked together, his face would brighten, unawares, and shine upon them, as with a mild evening light.
• Furrows- deep lines
• Vain- producing no result; useless
• Ceased- come or bring to an end
• Obscure- not well known
• Unawares- unknowingly
After many years, Ernest was an elderly man with white hairs on his head, wrinkles across his forehead, and deep lines on his cheeks. All of the years that had brought him to this point had not been in vain because he had become so wise that the number of wise thoughts on his head outnumbered the number of white hairs on his head. He was no longer unpopular. Despite being undesired for, he received all the fame that many seek. In fact, he had made a name for himself outside of the valley. Many active men from the cities, college professors, and people from far away used to come to see Ernest and talk with him. He welcomed them warmly and conversed with them from the bottom of his heart, saying whatever came to mind or even sharing his deepest thoughts. As he spoke to people, his face would light up and shine on others as if he were a mild evening light, despite his being unaware of it.
While Ernest had been growing old, God had granted a new poet to this earth. He, too, was a native of the valley, but had spent the greater part of his life in distant cities, pouring out his sweet music everywhere. Neither was the Great Stone Face forgotten, for the poet had celebrated it in a poem. The songs of this poet found their way to Ernest. He read them after his customary toil, seated on the bench before his cottage door. As he read he lifted his eyes to the mountain.
- Customary toil- usual work
With each passing year, Ernest came to know more about the poet who had come to this earth by the grace of God. Despite being a valley native, the poet had spent the majority of his life in distant cities, blessing them with his music. With his poems, he even kept the Great Stone Face alive. His work reached Ernest, and after finishing his usual day's work, Ernest would read on the bench in front of his cottage door. Ernest would raise his eyes after reading the poems to look at the Great Stone Face.
“O Great Stone Face,” he said, “is not this man worthy to be your likeness?” The face seemed to smile, but did not answer. 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.
Earnest lifted his eyes to see the Great Stone Face as he read the poet's works and asked if the poet was worthy of its likeness. The mountain appeared to be smiling, but it did not reply. On the other hand, despite living far from the valley, the poet was well aware of Ernest and had put so much thought into his character that he wished to meet Ernest, who was wise yet simple in his way of life. One hot summer day, the poet knocked on Ernest's door, where he found Ernest reading a book and glancing at the Great Stone Face through the leaves.
“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.” The poet sat down beside him, and he and Ernest talked together. Never before had the poet talked with a man like Ernest, so wise, and gentle, and kind. Ernest, on the other hand, was moved by the living images flung out of the poet’s mind.
- Hospitably- (here) gently, kindly
The poet greeted Ernest with a 'Good Evening' and asked if he could stay the night there. Ernest agreed gladly, adding with a smile that he had never seen the Great Stone Face welcome a stranger so gently and kindly. The poet sat next to Ernest and they talked for a while. The poet had never had the opportunity to talk with someone as wise, gentle, and kind as Ernest. Ernest, on the other hand, was amazed as he listened to the poet converse so vividly.
As Ernest listened to the poet, he imagined that the Great Stone Face was bending forward to listen too. He gazed into the poet’s eyes. “Who are you, my gifted guest?” he asked. The poet laid his finger on the book that Ernest had been reading. “You have read these poems,” said he. “You know me, then, for I wrote them.”
While Ernest was listening to the poet, he imagined the Great Stone Face bending to listen him as well. Ernest asked, very politely, who he was as he looked into the poet's eyes. The poet pointed to Ernest's book and told him that if he had read it, he would recognise him because he had written it.
Again and again, Ernest examined the poet’s features; he turned towards the Great Stone Face then back. He shook his head and sighed. “Why are you sad?” inquired the poet. “Because,” replied Ernest, “all through life I have awaited the fulfillment of a prophecy, and when I read these poems, I hoped that it might be fulfilled in you.” “You hoped,” answered the poet, faintly smiling, “to find in me the likeness of the Great Stone Face. I am not worthy to be its likeness.”
Ernest began noticing the man's features as he turned repeatedly towards the Great Stone Face as soon as he realised who he was. Ernest let out a sigh of disappointment. When asked why he was sad, Ernest told the poet that he had waited his entire life for the prophecy to come true and that he hoped the poet would fulfil it when he read his poems. The poet replied, with a faint smile on his face, that he is not worthy of bearing the resemblance of the Great Stone Face.
“And why not?” asked Ernest. He pointed to the book. “Are not those thoughts worthy?” “You can hear in them the distant voice of a heavenly song. But my life, dear Ernest, has not corresponded with my thoughts. I have had grand dreams, but they have been only dreams. Sometimes I lack faith in my own thoughts. Why, then, pure seeker of the good and true, should you hope to find me in the face of the mountain?” The poet spoke sadly and his eyes were wet with tears. So, too, were those of Ernest.'
- Corresponded- been in harmony with
Ernest asked the poet why he didn't consider himself and his thoughts (so beautifully articulated in his books) deserved it. The poet responded that while he was aware that his thoughts recited a distant voice of a heavenly song, his life had not been in accordance with his thoughts. He admitted to seeing huge dreams, but they remained only dreams because he lacked faith in his own thoughts. The poet goes on to wonder why a man like Ernest, who was always portraying goodness and truth, would see the poet as resembling the Great Stone Face. The poet said it all in a sad tone, his eyes were filled with tears. Ernest's eyes were also filled with tears.
At the hour of sunset, as had long been his custom, Ernest was to speak to a group of neighbours in the open air. Together he and the poet went to the meeting place, arm in arm. From there could be seen the Great Stone Face.
- Custom- habit
Ernest had a habit of talking to his neighbours in the open air at sunset. As a result, he and his guest went to walk to the meeting place, arm in arm. The Great Stone Face could also be seen from the meeting place.
Ernest threw a look of familiar kindness around upon his audience. He began to speak to the people what was in his heart and mind. His words had power, because they agreed with his thoughts; and his thoughts had reality and depth, because they harmonized with the life which he had always lived. It was not mere breath that the preacher uttered; they were the words of life. A life of good deeds and selfless love was melted into them. The poet, as he listened, felt that the life and character of Ernest were a nobler strain of poetry than he had ever written. His eyes filled with tears and he said to himself that never was there so worthy a sage as that mild, sweet, thoughtful face, with the glory of white hair diffused about it.
- Harmonised with- corresponded with, agreed with
- Sage- wise man
- Diffused- spread all around
Ernest radiated familiar kindness to his audience as he began speaking to them. He said whatever was on his mind and heart. His words had a special power because they corresponded with his thoughts, and his thoughts were significant and practical because they matched how he had always lived his life. He didn't just preach; he shared words of life, words filled with love and supported by a life spent doing good. As the poet listened to Ernest speak, he realised that Ernest's life story and personality were forms of poetry in and of themselves, which he had never written. As he heard Ernest, his eyes wet with tears, and he thought to himself on how he had never met a man so wise, kind, and gentle, with a thoughtful face framed by the glory of white hair.
At a distance, but clearly to be seen, high up in the golden light of the setting sun, appeared the Great Stone Face, with white mists around it, like the white hairs around the brow of Ernest. At that moment, Ernest’s face took on an expression so grand that the poet was moved to throw his arms up and shout. “Behold! Behold! Ernest is himself the likeness of the Great Stone Face!”
The Great Stone was clearly visible from their meeting point, despite being a few miles away. The golden light of the setting sun fell upon it, along with mist that covered it, much like Ernest's white hair around his brow. When the poet compared Ernest's grand expression to the Great Stone Face, he couldn't control himself and threw his arms in the air and shouted, "Behold! Behold!" to draw everyone's attention to the fact that Ernest is the likeness of the Great Stone Face.
Then all the people looked, and saw that what the poet said was true. The prophecy was fulfilled. But Ernest, having finished what he had to say, took the poet’s arm, and walked slowly homeward, still hoping that some wiser and better man than himself would by and by appear, bearing a resemblance to the Great Stone Face.
Everyone noticed it, and they eventually concluded that the poet was telling the truth. Finally, the prophecy came true. Ernest, on the other hand, finished his speech and held the poet's arm as they walked slowly towards home. Ernest hoped that someday, a man wiser and better than himself would appear to be the likeness of the Great Stone Face.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, a New England writer, was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts, where his paternal ancestors had been prominent since the founding generation (who then spelled their last name Hathorn). When he began writing fiction, he was drawn into a search for material in his ancestors' careers and in the history of colonial New England. While at Bowdoin College, Hawthorne began writing stories, romances, or both. He went on to write a number of American stories and novels, including "Young Goodman Brown" (1835), Twice-Told Tales (1837), "Ethan Brand" (1850), The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), and The Blithedale Romance (1852).