This is a true story about a poor young man who traveled to Paris to look for a good friend of his father’s. He found him and asked the man if he could help him get a job.
“Are you proficient in math?” the friend asked. The young man shook his head in response.
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“How about history and geography?” the friend continued. Again, the young man shook his head in embarrassment.
“What about law?” the friend pressed. The young man shook his head mechanically. His face became pale as he started to lose hope.
“Well, I have to find you a job somehow. Why don’t you write down your address for me?” suggested the friend. Ashamed of his incompetence, the young man did as he was told. On finishing, he put down the pen and paper and was ready to leave.
“Young man, your name was written quite beautifully. Don’t you think that is an asset?” This praise was unexpected.
“Writing my name beautifully is an asset?” The young man doubted that but saw an affirmative response from the friend.
“When you write your name well, you can work to get praise for your writing, and then you can concentrate on writing beautiful passages!” were the positive words from the friend.
The young man was encouraged and inspired by those words. From then on, he worked to enhance his asset.
A few years later, he published his first play, which gained wide recognition and became a classic of its genre.
Alexandre Dumas, a master novelist of romanticism in 19th century France, was the young man in the story. Starting from writing his name in good form, to writing beautifully, and to finally becoming well-known for such great works as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Corsican Brothers, and The Three Musketeers, the amplification of his asset proved to have served him well.
Translated by Cecilia and edited by Helen