A Delicate Business


WE have received the following letter, accompanied by perplexing request that we WE have received the following letter, accompanied by the rather perplexing request that we should “ forward it ” to its proper address. The commission is altogether one of great delicacy. It is now many years since Nathaniel Hawthorne was collector of customs at the port of Salem, and though we individually have little doubt as to his present environment, there are persons — chiefly persons mentioned in his recently published letters and diaries — who would not take our optimistic view of the matter. Though, we repeat, we are quite positive touching Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s whereabouts, it does not fall in with our inclination at the moment to deliver the letter in propriâ personâ, nor is it in our power to transmit it to him by mail. Owing to the glaring inefficiency of our temporary and corrupt administration, no post-office has been established in Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s district, although his sympathies have ever been wholly with the Democratic party. Under these circumstances, and with an indefinable trust that the contents of this precious epistle will in some inscrutable way be conveyed to his intelligence, we print the letter here : —

—, PA. , October 6, 1887.



DEAR SIR : We propose to hold a Literary Fair to get money for our Public School Library.

If our object is worthy of so much attention from you, please place your name with any sentiment you feel like expressing on the enclosed card and return it to us.

Your works are very popular in this community and your photograph or one of your books coming directly from you would be highly appreciated and would aid us very materially but we feel it would be presumptuous in us to ask so much of you. Yours truly

Prin. of Pub. Schools.

The little town of —, in Pennsylvania, is to be felicitated on having its educational system under the eye of so alert and enterprising a gentleman.