Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The man of business
 The Christian philanthropist
 Financial skill
 Decision of character
 Fidelity to trust
 Punctuality and method
 Foresight and prudence
 Gentleness and courtesy
 Liberality and benevolence
 Employment of leisure hours
 Back Cover

Title: Success in life
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054424/00001
 Material Information
Title: Success in life a book for young men
Physical Description: 395, 8 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Publisher: T. Nelson & Sons
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburgh ;
New York
Publication Date: c1873
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Queens -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Success -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Diligence -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1873   ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1873   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1873
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
General Note: Publisher's catalogues follow text.
General Note: Added t.p. and frontispiece printed in colros; plates printed in sepia; illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00054424
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238163
notis - ALH8659
oclc - 65338409

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    The man of business
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    The Christian philanthropist
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Financial skill
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
    Decision of character
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    Fidelity to trust
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
    Punctuality and method
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
    Foresight and prudence
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
    Gentleness and courtesy
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
    Liberality and benevolence
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
    Employment of leisure hours
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
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A $zozk for Hunm fitn.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries."



HE following work is chiefly designed to
illustrate the important truth, that success
in life mainly depends with every man on
his industry, perseverance, and moral rectitude. "He
becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand; but
the hand of the diligent maketh rich:" such is the
maxim of divine wisdom; while in other admonitions
to the same virtue, wherein consists the great element
of success, the words of inspiration partake of the
character of a promise and a covenant for reward:
" The hand of the diligent shall bear rule," says Solo-
mon; and again, Seest thou a man diligent in his
business; he shall stand before kings."
It is no less the purpose of the following pages to
guide the young reader in the choice of an honourable
and worthy aim for which to strive. Diligence, per-
severance, firmness, and untiring self-denial, may, after
all, be so directed as to be a curse to their owner
instead of a blessing. The haste to be rich, and the


eagerness to amass wealth, have in all ages-and nevei
more than in our own day-proved a prolific source
of selfishness, vice and misery. The love of money
has too clearly proved itself the root of all evil,"
while the divine injunction has been entirely forgotten,
" With all thy getting, get wisdom and get understand-
ing." Yet, while the anxiety to get wealth has so
often proved the means of leading the mind away from
all the nobler aims of life, there is nothing incompa-
tible between the highest morality and purest prin-
ciples of true religion, and a diligent perseverance in
the business of the world. Wealth in the hands of
the good man is the great instrument of benevolence,
philanthropy, and generous Christian zeal. Nay, so
essentially are the duties of industry and true piety
allied together in the man whose life is guided by the
divine law that St. Paul connects the diligence in
business with the service of God, knowing that, with
the true Christian, the virtues which lead to diligence
in the one are no less certain to produce it in the
other. It becomes, therefore, one of the most import-
ant branches of mental culture, towards which every
young man who aims at an honourable success in life
must strive, to pursue with due discrimination the
objects of a well regulated ambition, and to give to
each its due place in the untiring assiduity with which
he seeks to share in the prosperity which may be
reasonably desired by all. To supply at once a guide


and a stimulus to the youthful reader, in this path
of honourable ambition, is the purpose of the follow-
ing work. May he learn from its pages some lessons
and examples calculated to lure him into the happy
paths of virtuous perseverance, that so, in due time,
he may contribute to the prosperity of his country,
and share abundantly in all the blessings. and the high
privileges which its institutions confer.


I. Perseverance, ... ... ... *.. ... 9

II. The Man of Business, .., .. .. ... 32

III. The Christian Philanthropist, ... ... ... 54

IV. Integrity, ... ... ... ... .. ... 79

V. Industry, .. ... ... *.. ... 104

VI. Financial Skill, ... ... ... ... ... 135

VII. Decision of Character, ... *.. ... ... 161

VIII. Fidelity to Trust, ... ... ... ... ... 189

IX. Punctuality and Method, ... ... ... ... 225

X. Economy, .., ... cs ... ... 247

XI. Foresight and Prudence, ... ..t ... ... 275

XII. Gentleness and Courtesy, .. ... ... ... 307

XIII. Liberality and Benevolence, .. ... ... ... 345

XIV. Employment of Leisure Hours, ,,. .., .. 363



"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune."

HERE is a strong tendency in the minds of
many men to envy the success of the for-
tunate few, and to repine at Fortune, by
whose partial distribution of favours the objects of
their envy are assumed to have attained to coveted
honours and rewards. We will all blame any cause
sooner than our own imprudence, or neglect of the
proper means, when we see ourselves outstripped in
the race. Yet we own, abstractly, the good old maxims
which promise health and wealth to the industrious;
fortune to those who rise early and work late; an
abundant harvest to the farmer who ploughs the
deepest, and casts the richest seed into his furrows;


and, in a word, under all its many forms, that "the
hand of the diligent maketh rich." Doubtless, all the
virtuous are not fortunate, nor all the vicious unfor-
tunate and poor. There are those who fail in life by
no fault of their own, and those also who prosper by
dishonest and unworthy means. Yet is the maxim a
sound one, and confirmed by experience-" He becometh
poor that dealeth with a slack hand; but the hand of
the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer
is a wise son; but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son
that causeth shame." Nor is it less surely established
by experience-" When a wicked man dieth, his ex-
pectations shall perish; and the hope of unjust men
It is a maxim which we can have no hesitation in
setting forth as the result of experience, that success
in life is equally certain in any and every career to
him that uses the right means. Energy and concentra-
tion of power are of far more real practical value even
than talent. It is no uncommon thing, indeed, to see
the man of some considerable talent, surpassed in com-
mercial life by one apparently greatly his inferior, from
no other reason than this, that while the one devotes
his whole energy and his undivided thoughts to the
object of his life, the other is diverted by many irre-
concileable tastes, and grudgingly gives but half his
mind to the business on which depends all his worldly
prospects. Yet he, too, covets success, and chides at


fortune for her capricious favours, while in reality his
reward has been rendered him according to his dili-
gence. There is sound truth in JEsop's old fable of
"Jupiter and the Waggoner,"-where a waggoner,
whose wheel has got fast in the mud, is pictured by
the Greek moralist as shouting to Jupiter for aid;
upon which the king of the gods, looking down from
his Olympian throne, bids the indolent clown cease
his supplications and put his own shoulder to the
wheel. In how many cases, in human life, does success
really depend on our putting our own shoulder to
the wheel! Success! How the heart bounds at the
exulting word! Man aims at it from the moment he
places his tiny foot upon the floor till he lays his head
in the grave. Success is the exciting motive to all
endeavour, and its crowning glory.
During the reign of superstition over Christendom,
men consulted astrologers, who wrested from the
"stars in their courses" omens of success. At a later
period they inquired, in the same curious spirit, of the
fortune-teller, or, with the aid of childish omens,
sought to be their own diviners. In our brighter
Man is his own star."
He needs no conjurer to cast his horoscope. Courage,
industry, perseverance, honesty, courtesy, faith, hope,
combined with talents and upright principles, make up
the moral horoscope. Some, indeed, are born great-


" some achieve greatness "-all in our free country may
do it; and" some have greatness thrust upon them; "
but all have within their reach the rewards of honest
For the benefit of the young, we are about to trace
"footprints" left by the truly wise and good "on
the sands of time "-footprints that mark the road to
The farmer who ploughs deepest, and commits his
seed to the well manured furrow, is not certain of a
harvest. He trusts to the genial ministry of heaven-
the sun, and the rain, and the dew-the good pro-
vidence of God. Drought, and flood, and cold, may
blight his hopes, for thus it seemeth good to the all-
wise Disposer; yet success is considered so sure, as
the result of these means, that no wise husbandman
neglects to employ them.
Success in life is equally certain, in any and every
career, to him who uses the right means.

"The child is father to the man."

The boy, in the perusal of a book suited to his taste
and talents, betrays, by his sparkling eye and glowing
cheek, that the impulse is given which will bear him
on triumphantly to successful achievement. Nor must
it be overlooked, that one most essential means of
success lies in the choice of a profession. Since it
is indispensable that he devote his whole undivided


energies to it, he must see that it is not one so unsuited
to his taste, or so peculiar in its requirements, as to
render these difficult or impossible.
Books oftentimes develop talent and energy which
otherwise would lie wholly dormant, or they give direc-
tion and concentration to both, by fixing the choice on
a worthy object of pursuit for life.
It is in the hope that a work devoted to illustrate
honourable and useful pursuits may prove of such
avail to many readers, that the following chapters have
been written, in illustration of success in life. But,
above all, this book is designed to show, that the
elevated principles of Christian integrity are indis-
pensable to those who aim at success-such success as
can alone be a fit object of our desire. Dr. Chalmers
has thus pictured the man who, with all that is right
in mercantile principle, and all that is open and unim-
peachable in the habit of his mercantile transactions,
lives in a state of utter estrangement from the concerns
of immortality: -
He has an attribute of character which is in itself
pure, and lovely, and honourable, and of good report.
He has a natural principle of integrity; and under its
impulse he may be carried forward to such fine exhibi-
tions of himself, as are worthy of all admiration. It
is very noble, when the simple utterance of his word
carries as much security along with it, as if he had
accompanied that utterance by the signatures, and the


securities, and the legal obligations, which are required
of other men. It might tempt one to be proud of his
species when he looks at the faith that is put in him
by a distant correspondent, who, without one other
hold of him than his honour, consigns to him the
wealth of a whole flotilla, and sleeps in the confidence
that it is safe. It is indeed an animating thought,
amid the gloom of this world's depravity, when we
behold the credit wlbich one man puts in another,
though separated by oceans and by continents; when
he fixes the anchor of a sure and steady dependence on
the reported honesty of one whom he never saw; when,
with all his fears for the treachery of the varied
elements, through which his property has to pass, he
knows, that should it only arrive at the door of its
destined agent, all his fears and all his suspicions may
be at an end. We know nothing finer than such an
act of homage from one human being to another, when
perhaps the diameter of the globe is between them;
nor do we think that either the renown of her victories,
or the wisdom of her counsels, so signalizes the country
in which we live, as does the honourable dealing of her
merchants; that all the glories of British policy, and
British valour, are far eclipsed by the moral splendour
which British faith has thrown over the name and the
character of our nation; nor has she gathered so proud
a distinction from all the tributaries of her power, as
she has done from the awarded confidence of those


men of all tribes, and colours, and languages, who look
to our agency for the most faithful of all management,
and to our keeping for the most unviolable of all
"There is no denying, then, the very extended pre-
valence of a principle of integrity in the commercial
world; and to him who has -such, the epithets, pure,
lovely, and of good report, may rightly be appropriated.
But it is just as impossible to deny, that, with this
thing which he has, there may be another thing which
he has not. He may not have one duteous feeling of
reverence which points upward to God. He may not
have one wish, or one anticipation, which points for-
ward to eternity. He may not have any sense of
dependence on the, Being who sustains him, and who
gave him his very principle of honour, as part of that
interior furniture which he has put into his bosom,
and who surrounded him with the theatre on which
he has come forward, with the finest and most illus-
trious displays of it; and who set the whole machinery
of his sentiment and action a-going; and can, by a
single word of hig power, bid it cease from the variety,
and cease from the gracefulness of its movements. In
other words, he is a man of integrity, and yet he is a
man of ungodliness. He is a man born for the con-
fidence and the admiration of his fellows, and yet a
man whom his Maker can charge with utter defection
from all the principles of a spiritual obedience. He is


a man whose virtues have blazoned his own character
in time, and have upheld the interests of society, and
yet a man who has not, by one movement of principle,
brought himself nearer to the kingdom of heaven,
than the most profligate of the species. The con-
demnation, that he is an alien from God, rests upon
him in all the weight of its unmitigated severity. The
threat, that they who forget God shall be turned into
hell, will, on the great day of its fell and sweeping
operation, involve him among the wretched outcasts
of society. That God from whom, while in the world,
he withheld every due offering of gratitude, and re-
membrance, and universal subordination of habit and
of desire, will show him to his face, how, under the
delusive garb of such sympathies as drew upon him
the love of his acquaintances, and of such integrities
as drew upon him their respect and their confidence,
he was, in fact, a determined rebel against the autho-
rity of heaven; that not one commandment of the
law, in the true extent of its interpretation, was ever
fulfilled by him; that the pervading principle of obedi-
ence to this law, which is love to God, never had its
ascendency over him; that the beseeching voice of the
Lawgiver, so offended and so insulted-but who, never-
theless, devised in love a way of reconciliation for the
guilty, never had the effect of recalling him; that, in
fact, he neither had a wish for the friendship of God,
nor cherished the hope of enjoying him."


Such, we trust, is not the success at which our
readers shall aim-a success which shall win time at
the price of eternity. Business demands no such ex-
clusive homage to win success. There have been
merchants, lawyers, traders, and manufacturers, who,
amid the engrossing cares of an extensive and pro-
sperous career, have found it possible not only to spare
time for the duties of religion, but also for a large and
generous career of benevolence, such as the precepts
and example of our Saviour enjoin. Above all things,
it is indispensable for us, whatever be the course of
life we propose to pursue, to be orderly, methodic,
and persevering in our work. Let each hour have its
duties, and each day its business; and let no fancy
intrude on these engagements, and no indulgence tempt
their postponement to another time. This done, all
will go well. Religion will have her own appointed
time, her morning, evening, and even mid-day hours,
while her spirit ever pervades the life and soul.
Charity, too, can be spared her hour; nor need innocent
pleasures and recreations be denied their share of
time, in fitting season, so that all move on with that
well-regulated spirit of diligence which makes duty the
rule of life.
Diligent perseverance is no less indispensable than
order, method, high principle, and strict obedience to
duty. We well remember the favourite maxim with
which an old teacher was wont to meet every expression
(21) 2


of despondency or inclination to abandon a difficulty
in despair. "Try again!" was his invariable answer
to the faint-hearted pupil; though, sometimes, it was
uttered musingly, as if the good man were pondering
in hope of finding some easier method, and felt himself
unwillingly compelled to announce, as the only course
-TRY AGAIN! A well-known incident in early Scottish
history most happily illustrates the value of this maxim.
When Robert the Bruce determined to devote his life
to the establishment of the liberty and independence
of his country, he found himself surrounded with
apparently insuperable difficulties. Some of his country-
men were false, others were faint-hearted and de-
spairing, and all were crushed down under the iron
hand of the powerful invading foe. After struggling
long, fortune seemed entirely to fail him. Kildrummie
Castle, the very last stronghold possessed by him in
Scotland, was taken, and with it his own wife, and
some of his dearest friends, fell into the hands of his
enemies. The news of the taking of Kildrummie, the
captivity of his wife, and the execution of his brother,
reached Bruce while he was residing in a miserable
-dwelling at Rachrin, and reduced him to the point of
"It was about this time," says Sir Walter Scott,
"that an incident took place, which, although it rests
only on tradition in families of the name of Bruce, is
rendered probable by the manners of the times. After


receiving the last unpleasing intelligence from Scotland,
Bruce was lying one morning on his wretched bed, and
deliberating with himself whether he had not better
resign all thoughts of again attempting to make good
his right to the Scottish crown, and, dismissing his
followers, transport himself and his brothers to the
Holy Land, and spend the rest of his life in fighting
against the Saracens; by which he thought, perhaps,
he might deserve the forgiveness of Heaven for the
great sin of stabbing Comyn in the church of Dumfries.
But then, on the other hand, he thought it would be
both criminal and cowardly to give up his attempts to
restore freedom to Scotland, while yet there remained
the least chance of his being successful in an under-
taking which, rightly considered, was much more his
duty than to drive the infidels out of Palestine, though
the superstition of his age might think otherwise.
While he was divided betwixt these reflections,
and doubtful of what he should do, Bruce was looking
upward to the roof of the cabin in which he lay; and
his eye was attracted by a spider, which, hanging at'
the end of a long thread of its own spinning, was
endeavouring, as is the fashion of that creature, to
swing itself from one beam in the roof to another, for
the purpose of fixing the line on which it meant to
stretch its web. The insect made the attempt again
and again without success, and at length Bruce counted
that it had tried to carry its point six times, and been


as often unable to do so. It came into his head that
he had himself fought just six battles against the
English and their allies, and that the poor persevering
spider was exactly in the same situation with himself,
having made as many trials, and been as often dis-
appointed in what it aimed at. 'Now,' thought Bruce,
'as I have no means of knowing what is best to be
done, I will be guided by the luck which shall attend
this spider. If the insect shall make another effort to
fix its thread, and shall be successful, I will venture a
seventh time to try my fortune in Scotland; but if the
spider shall fail, I will go to the wars in Palestine, and
never return to my native country more.'
While Bruce was forming this resolution, the spider
made another exertion with all the force it could
muster, and fairly succeeded in fastening its thread to
the beam which it had so often in vain attempted to
reach. Bruce, seeing the success of the spider, re-
solved to try his own fortune; and as he had never
before gained a victory, so he never afterwards sus-
tained any considerable or decisive check or defeat. I
have often met with people of the name of Bruce, so
completely persuaded of the truth of this story, that
they would not on any account kill a spider; because it
was that insect which had shown the example of per-
severance, and given a signal of good luck, to their
great namesake."
This fine old illustration of the simple but invaluable


maxim-Try again! may not unfitly be conjoined here
with the following homely but practical modern ex-
ample of its use alike to young and old :-
"Have you finished your lesson, George ?" said
Mr. Prentice to his son, who had laid aside his book,
and was busily engaged in making a large paper kite.
No, father," replied George, hanging down his head.
Why not, my son "
Because it is so difficult, father. I am sure that
I shall never learn it."
"And what is the reason that you cannot learn it?"
"Because-because I can't."
"Can't learn, George!" exclaimed his father, looking
at his son with apparent surprise.
"Indeed, -I have tried my best," replied the boy,
earnestly, the tears starting to his eyes; "but it is to
no use, father. Other boys can get their lessons with-
out any trouble. But I try, and try, but still I cannot
learn them."
"Cannot is a word no boy should ever utter in re-
ference to learning," replied his father. "You can
learn anything you please, George, if you only per-
"But have I not tried, and tried, father ?"
"Yes. But you must try once more."
"And so I have, father."
"Well, try again, and again; never say you cannot
learn a lesson."


"But then," urged George, trying a new argument,
"I cannot remember it, after I have learned it. My
memory is so bad."
"If I were to promise you a holiday on the thirtieth
of the month after the next, do you think that you
would forget it ? "
"No, I am pretty sure that I should not."
"And why, George ? The pleasure you would take
in the idea of having a holiday would keep the date
of it fresh in your memory. Now, if you were to take
the same delight in learning that you do in playing,
you would find no difficulty. You play at marbles
well, I believe; and your brother tells me that your
kite flies highest, and that you are the first in skating."
"Yes, my kite always flies the best; aind I can cut
every figure from one to nine, and form every letter
in the alphabet on the ice."
"You are very fond of skating, and flying your kite,
and playing at ball and marbles, and yet you cannot
learn your lesson! My dear boy, you are deceiving
yourself. You can learn as well as any one, if you
will only try."
But have I not tried, father ? again urged George.
"Well, try again. Come, lay aside that kite you
are making for this afternoon, and give another effort
to get your lesson ready. Be in earnest, and you will
soon learn it. To show you that it only requires
perseverance, I will tell you a story. One of the


dullest boys at a village school, more than thirty years
ago, came up to repeat his lesson one morning, and
as usual did not know it. 'Go to your seat, you
blockhead!' said the teacher, pettishly; 'you will
never be fit for anything but a scavenger. I wonder
what they send such a stupid dunce here for!' The
poor dispirited boy stole off to his seat, and bent his
eyes again on his lesson. 'It is no use. I cannot
learn,' he said in a whisper to a companion who sat
near him. 'You must try hard,' replied the sympa-
thizing and kind-hearted boy. 'I have tried, and it is
no use. I may just as well give up at once.' 'Try
again, Henry!' whispered his companion, in an earnest
and encouraging tone. These two little words gave
him a fresh impulse, and he bent his mind with
renewed effort to his task. It was only the committing
to memory of a grammar lesson-not difficult by any
means. The concentration of his mind upon the task
was more earnest and fixed than usual; gradually he
began to find the sentences lingering in his memory,
and soon, to his surprise and pleasure, the whole
lesson was mastered. With a livelier motion, and a
more confident manner, than he had ever before
exhibited in going up to say a lesson, he rose from his
seat, and proceeded to the teacher's desk. 'What do
you want now?' asked that person. 'To say my
lesson, sir.' Go off to your seat! Did you not try
half an hour ago Yes; but I can say it now, sir,


timidly urged the boy. 'Go on, then. And if you
miss a sentence, you shall have six bad marks.' Henry
commenced, and said off the whole lesson rapidly,
without missing a word. The master cast on him a
look of pleasure, as he handed him back his book, but
said nothing. As the boy returned to his seat, his
step was lighter, for his heart beat with a new impulse.
'Did you say it ?' whispered his kind-hearted school-
mate. 'Every word,' replied the boy proudly. 'Then
you see you can learn.' 'Yes, but it is hard work.'
'But there is nothing like trying.' 'No. And from
this hour,' replied Henry, firmly, 'I will never say I
cannot.'-From that day," continued Mr. Prentice,
"there was no boy in the school who learned more
rapidly than Henry. It required much thought and
application, but these he gave cheerfully, and success
crowned his efforts."
"And did he always continue thus to learn? asked
George, looking up into his father's face.
"From that day to the present hour he has been a
student, and now urges his son George to 'try again,'
as he tried."
"And was it, indeed, you, father?" asked his son,
eagerly looking up into the face of his kind parent.
"Yes, my child. That dull boy was your own
father in his early years."
"Then I will try again," said George, in a decided
tone; and flinging aside his half-made kite, he turned


and re-entered the house, and was soon bending in
earnest attention over his lesson.
"Well, what success, George 1 asked Mr. Prentice,
as the family gathered around the well-furnished tea
I've got the lesson, father! replied the boy. "I
can say every word of it."
"You found it pretty hard work ? "
"Not so very hard after I had once made up my
mind that I would learn it. Indeed I never stopped
to think, as I usually do, about its being difficult or
tiresome; but went right on until I had mastered
every sentence."
"May you never forget this lesson, my son!" said
Mr. Prentice, feelingly. "You possess now the secret
of success. It lies in your never stopping to think
about a task being difficult or tiresome; but in going
on steadily in the performance of it, with a fixed
determination to succeed. Within a short time you
have mastered a task that you ever despaired of learn-
ing at all. And now, George, remember, never again
%tter the words I can't."
The success that had rewarded his own determined
efforts, united with the impulse that the simple refer-
ence of his father to his own early difficulties gave to
his mind, was sufficient to make George a rapid learner
from that day. He became interested in his studies,
and therefore he succeeded in them. When he left


college, at the age of eighteen, he bore with him the
highest honours of the institution, and the respect of
his teachers. He now entered the house of a merchant,
to prepare for a business life. At first, his new occu-
pation was by no means pleasant. The change from
books and studies to busy life and the dull details of
trade, as he called them, was for a time exceedingly
"I shall never make a merchant, I fear," he said
to his father one evening, when he felt unusually
wearied with his occupation, and dispirited.
"And why not, George ?" asked Mr. Prentice.
"I have no taste for it," replied the young man,
rather out of humour.
"That is a poor reason. I gave you a choice of
professions; but you preferred, you said, a mercantile
"Yes. And still when I reflect on the subject, my
preference is for a mercantile life over the others."
"Then, George, you must compel yourself to be
interested in your new pursuit."
"I have' tried, father," replied George.
"Then, try again!" said Mr. Prentice, with pecu-
liar emphasis; at the same time casting a significant
glance at his son.
These simple words thrilled through the mind of
George Prentice. The past rose up before him, with


its doubts, its difficulties, and its triumphs. Springing
suddenly to his feet, he said with emphasis---
"I will try again."
"And you will succeed."
"Yes. I feel that I shall."
And he did succeed in obtaining a thorough practical
knowledge of business; for he applied himself with
patient and fixed determination, and soon became
interested in his new pursuits.
At the age of twenty-five, he entered into business
for himself, with a small capital furnished him by his
father. Little beyond this could he expect, as several
younger brothers required a share of their father's pro-
perty. It became necessary, therefore, to invest it with
care and prudence. The house in which he had been
employed was engaged in the West India trade, and as
his familiarity with this line of business was more
intimate than with any other, he determined to turn
his little capital in that direction. Accordingly, after
renting a small warehouse on one of the principal
wharves, he proceeded to freight a vessel with all the
prudence that an intimate knowledge of the markets
afforded him. But, alas! misfortune sometimes comes
to us when least expected and least deserved: two
days before his vessel arrived, the market had been
overstocked by shipments from other countries; and
a large loss, instead of the anticipated profits, was the


For some days after this disheartening news reached
him, he gave way to desponding thoughts. But soon
he bent his mind to a new adventure. In this he was
more successful; but as the investment had been small
the profit was inconsiderable. His next shipment was
large; involving at least two-thirds of his capital. The
policy of insurance, safe in his fire-closet, the young
merchant deemed himself secure against total loss.
For wise purposes, God often sees fit to frustrate our
hopes, and make the best-laid schemes of success or
security fail. Two months from the day on which the
vessel sailed, news arrived that she had been wrecked,
and the whole cargo lost. Nor was this all: some
informality or neglect of the captain vitiated the
insurance, and the underwriters refused to pay. A
suit was commenced against them, which occupied
from eight to six months, before a decision could be
Nearly a twelvemonth from the day the unfortunate
adventure was made, George Prentice sat musing in
his counting-room, his mind busy with unpleasant and
desponding thoughts. He had done little or no busi-
ness since the news of his loss had reached him, for he
had but a remnant of his capital to work upon, and no
heart to risk that. He was "holding off," as they say,
until some decision was made in the suit pending with
the underwriters. While he thus sat, in deep thought,
a letter from his agent in London, where the insurance


had been effected, was handed him. He tore it open
eagerly. The first brief sentence, "We have lost our
suit," almost unmanned him.
"Ruined !-ruined! he mentally ejaculated, throw-
ing the letter upon his desk as he finished reading it.
"What shall I do? "
Try again a voice seemed to whisper in his
ear. He started and looked around. "Try again," it
repeated; and this time he perceived that the voice
was within him. For a moment he paused, many
thoughts passing rapidly through his mind. "I will
try again!" he exclaimed, rising to his feet.
And he did try. This time he examined the con-
dition of the markets with the most careful scrutiny;
ascertained the amount of shipments within the pre-
ceding four months, from the principal continental
cities; and then, by the aid of his correspondents,
learned the expeditions that were getting up, and the
articles, and quantities of each composing the cargoes.
Knowing the monthly consumption of the various
foreign products at the port to which he proposed
making a shipment, he was satisfied that a cargo of
flour, if run in immediately, would pay a handsome
profit. He at once hired a vessel, the captain of which
he knew could be depended on for strict obedience to
instructions, and freighted her with flour. The vessel
sailed, and the young merchant awaited with almost
trembling expectation the news of her arrival out. He


had adventured his all; and the result must be success
or the utter prostration of his hopes.
In anxious expectation he waited week after week,
until every day seemed to him prolonged to double its
number of hours. At last a letter came from his con-
signee. He almost trembled as he broke the seal.
"Your flour has arrived at the very best time," it
For a few moments he could read no further. He
was compelled to pause, lest the emotion he felt should
be betrayed to those around him. Then he read the
whole letter calmly through. It stated, that the
supply of flour was nearly exhausted when his cargo
arrived, which had been promptly sold at fourteen
shillings a barrel above the last quotations.
"I shall clear nearly five hundred pounds by my
last shipment," he said to his father, who entered the
counting-room at the moment.
Indeed! Well, I am very glad to hear you say so,
George. I hope, after this, you will be more successful."
"I hope that I shall. But I had nearly given up
in despair," the son remarked.
"But you thought you would try again!" observed
the old gentleman, smiling.
"Exactly so, father."
"That was right, George. Never despair. Let 'try
again' be your motto at all times, and success will in
the end attend your efforts."


His father was right. George Prentice is now a
wealthy merchant. He is somewhat advanced in
years, and is accounted by some a little eccentric. One
evidence of this eccentricity is the fact, that over the
range of desks in his counting-room is painted, in
large letters, the words "TRY AGAIN."
This, we may believe, was a motto which inspired the
laborious career of Palissy the Potter. The secret of
enamelling pottery with that beautiful glaze which
makes the commonest article look beautiful, had been
lost, and Palissy, desirous to increase the resources of
his country by opening up a new branch of trade,
resolved on attempting to re-discover it. The experi-
ments he made were numberless; but no failure dis-
couraged him. Year after year he persevered with
unflinching resolution. His wife and children were
reduced almost to beggary; but he would not give
way. He collected the broken fragments of his ware,
and tried again. When he was too poor to buy fuel
for his furnace, he fed it with his chairs and tables;
and at last his efforts were crowned with success. He
found out the lost art; he gave a new source of wealth
to his country; and he secured immortality for him-
Let the young reader treasure up in his heart of
hearts the simple but eloquent advice,-


r Ijtean f 4teinu^.
"To toil for the reward
Of virtue, and yet lose it !-wherefore hard?
He that would win the race must guide the horse
Obedient to the customs of the course ;
Else, though unequal to the goal he flies,
A meaner than himself shall gain the prize."

E have styled the first chapter in this work
"Perseverance," because it is essential even
i to the very beginnings of success in life.
But it might with equal propriety be made the title of
every chapter, for the motto of him that aims at suc-
cess, must be Persevere! Persevere! Persevere! The
feeble-minded give way to despondency, when their
first projects fail, and of necessity win no further
progress; but the resolute and stout-hearted aim at
forcing success, and find only in disappointments a
stimulus to renewed exertion. "Never!" exclaimed
-Napoleon to an officer who had declared a projected
aim impossible, "Never let me hear that blockhead of
a word !" Such should be the resolution of every man

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guided by firmness and sound principle, and aiming
only at that which is just and right. Actuated by
such principles, and guided by such a resolution, it is
wonderful how few things will really prove impossible
to the man of resolute decision and unwearied diligence.
We shall endeavour to sketch the career of one,
who, more perhaps than any man of our day, exempli-
fied the noble character of a high-minded, consistent
Christian merchant, and of an English gentleman. The
incidents in the life of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton,
have been sketched by the able pen of the Rev.
Thomas Binney, in a lecture to young men, originally
delivered by him in Exeter Hall, London. From this
we shall derive the chief features of the interesting
narrative. "Towards the close of the last century,"
says Mr. Binney, in introducing the subject of his
address, "about the year 1798, as it was drawing nigh
to the Easter holidays, a respectable widow lady, neatly
apparelled as a member of the Society of Friends,-or
with just, perhaps, a shade or two less than what was
required by professional strictness,-might have been
seen on her way from London to Greenwich, where she
had two or three of her sons at school. One of them
was a lad of some twelve years of age. He was bold
and impetuous-rather of a violent and domineering
disposition; he had been fatherless from his sixth
year, and his mother had 'allowed him to assume, at
home, the position and airs of the master of the house:'
(21) 3


his brothers and sisters had to yield him obedience;
.he felt himself rather encouraged 'to play the little
tyrant,' and was not very reluctant to try the character.
During the Christmas holidays previous to the time
we refer to,' Master Fowell had been angry, and had
struck his sister's governess;' and, to punish this out-
break, Master Fowell had been threatened with being
left at school when his brothers should return home at
Easter. Circumstances, however, led the mother to
think she had better not carry the threat into effect,
and so she went down to Greenwich to see the boy and
settle the matter with him. She received an answer
combining in it something of heroism and something
of hardihood,-the latter, however, so predominating,
that she left him resolutely to his punishment. The
boy did not stay very long at school after this. He
never made much progress there. He got other boys
to do his exercises; and at fifteen returned home, and
stayed at home doing nothing but what he pleased;-
and what did please him was riding, and shooting, and
boating-reading for amusement-or anything but
work. He had good expectations as to property,-but
some of these were blasted;-and at two-and-twenty
with a wife and child, he would have given anything
for a situation of 100 a-year, if he had had to work
twelve hours a day for it.' Now, let the principal
points of that picture be attentively observed and kept
firmly in remembrance, and then turn to another.


"We will come down to within a few years of
the present time-to February 1845. Imagine your-
selves standing before the residence of a country
gentleman, a hall, with its lawn, and fields, and old
trees; with its garden, and park, and woodlands, and
all the other signs of the worldly wealth and the
respectable social standing of its possessor. We will
draw nigh, and enter, and observe. The owner of this
fair domain appears to be the head of a numerous
household. Sons and daughters-children and grand-
children, have sprung from him. Many of them are
here. Everything in the house indicates substance,
elegance, refinement; everything about its inmates,
education, talent, accomplishments, piety. But where
are we now? Hush! Tread softly;-we have ap-
proached and are entering the chamber of a dying
man! The master of the mansion is nigh to his last
hour, and all things seem to say to us, 'Mark the
perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of
that man is peace.' He is resigned, calm, hopeful,
triumphant. He utters expressions of the most
spiritual nature, indicating his familiar acquaintance
with the truths of evangelical religion, and his deep
experience of vital godliness!-But his family have
gathered about his bed. He has fallen asleep. All is
over! What a deep, sacred silence has succeeded those
last lingering indications of life!-a silence broken at
length by the brother of the dead-a man publicly



distinguished and extensively venerated for wisdom,
devotion, piety, and goodness. His voice, tremulous
with emotion, yet rising into clearness and force as he
gives utterance to his calm joy, grateful admiration
and firm faith, conveys to us these thrillings words of
truth and love: C Never was death more still, and
solemn, and gentle! This chamber presents one of the
fairest pictures that ever met the eye! Such an ex-
pression of intellectual power and refinement,-of love to
God and man,-I have never before seen in any human
But now connect with this which is passing within,
the knowledge and indications of what is passing with-
out, and include in the picture, or combine rather with
it, in your recollections, subsequent events. The illness
and death of this man are matters of national interest.
He is spoken of in the newspapers, of both city and
country, as one who had passed a public life of great
usefulness and distinction; whose condition excites
constant inquiries and wide-spread sympathy; and
whose death is tremblingly anticipated as a blow that
will reverberate through half the world. His funeral,
though as private as possible, is like the gathering of
a clan, or the meeting and mourning of many tribes.
His memory is to be honoured by a public monument.
The husband of the Queen heads the subscription.
Numbers throughout the land, of all ranks, join will-
ingly in the work. Multitudes from afar-rescued


and liberated bondsmen, with hearts bearing on
them the name, heaving and beating at the remem-
brance of their advocate and benefactor-bring to-
gether pence and halfpence from so many hands that
450 are sent over by them Fifty thousand persons,
exclusive of those in this country, subscribe to this
monument. And at length it is raised-raised in
Westminster Abbey;--the highest distinction this
that can be conferred on man;-the greatest and
richest honour that the first and greatest nation in the
world has it in its power to pay to science, to arms, to
genius, or to virtue! There he stands;-the raw,
rude boy of 1798, transformed into the noble, intellec-
tual, patriotic, public man,-the devout and pious
Christian-whose loss, in 1845, is mourned alike at
the equator and the Indies! The lad, who was con-
tent to depend on the help of others for his learning,
and who seemed at one time to care for nothing but
vagrant and volatile enjoyment,-he grew into this
good, great, and heroic man; and he stands there in
his place, in the noblest edifice of the empire, among
poets, politicians, and philanthropists, elevated to the
rank, and sharing the immortality of those various
forms of beneficence or greatness that have adorned
the land and done honour to human nature! "
Such are the pictures presented to us in looking
from the commencement to the close of the life of Sir
Thomas Fowell Buxton, a man whose name is still


familiar to ever Briton as a household word. The
former is well calculated to stimulate the most
desponding, when placed along-side of such a contrast.
In 1808, the youth had married when just entering on
manhood, trusting to the inheritance of a large Irish
property which he never obtained; and he not only
was in the position that a humble clerkship would
have been a thankful boon to him, but it was as a
clerk to his uncles, the well-known brewers, Hanburys,
with which his name was afterwards so familiarly
associated, that he commenced his career in life.
"After an interview or two with his uncles he was
received as a clerk at a salary, with the promise of a
partnership at the end of three years. In 1811, when
his probation expired, he obtained that partnership;-
he retained it to the end of his life; and, in conse-
quence mainly of his suggestions and superintendence,
the business of the firm so increased as to produce to
the members of it large profits. Sir F. Buxton became
possessed of considerable property, the greater portion
of which was so directly the result of his own exertions,
that it may be said of him,-what young men should
remember is a great and honourable secular testimony,
-that, in respect to his wealth and worldly advance-
ment, as a man of business, if not the absolute founder,
he was at least the builder up of his own fortune.
Unquestionably," adds Mr. Binney, "the greatest
thing that can be said of a man is, 'that he had no


father; that he sprang from nothing, and made him-
self; that he was born mud and died marble:' but
the next best thing is, 'that having something, he
made it more;-being given the fulcrum-the standing
point for his energies-he invented his machines and
wrought his engines, till he made conquests and gained
territory that gave lustre to the paternal name, which
lent him at first its own for his beginnings.'
"The Greenwich schoolboy, then, is now the man of
business in Spitalfields; with plenty on his hands daily
in the city, and a family constantly increasing at home.
He is interested and active, however, in religious and
benevolent societies,-in the instruction of the poor,
and the relief of the destitute;-till, in 1816, when he
had attained his thirtieth year, an event occurred which
marked him out for public life far beyond the precincts
of Spitalfields, and was the immediate occasion of his
entrance upon it. This was a speech which he
delivered at a meeting held for the relief of the Spital-
fields weavers, and presided over by the Lord Mayor.
The effect of this speech was extraordinary. I have
no doubt its delivery told on the audience, not only
from the fulness and character of its information and
facts, but from the commanding person of the speaker,
his rich voice, benignant countenance, and pathetic
tones. Without these accessories, however-simply as
a speech reported in the newspapers-the impression
of it was deep and extensive. It was republished by


opposite political parties. It was circulated exten-
sively. It was a principal means of producing a
splendid royal benefaction; and it called forth from
Mr. Wilberforce a letter to the speaker, hailing him as
an acquisition for the support and advocacy of every
good cause, and anticipating and urging his appearance
in parliament as the appropriate sphere of his talents
and influence.
"In 1817, he published a work on Prison Discipline,
Six editions of it were sold the first year. It gave
depth and extent to that sympathy with the subject
which many already felt, and greatly elevated the
writer's reputation. It was referred to in parliament
by the most illustrious speakers, and in the most
glowing terms. It was translated into other tongues.
It produced fruit in Ireland, in France, in Turkey, and
India, besides its immediate results among ourselves.
It is a fine thing this !-a Spitalfields brewer, a man
busily engaged in seeing to business and making his
fortune; drawn, on the one hand, by relative attrac-
tions, and meeting, on the other, his full proportion of
domestic care;-at the age of thirty producing a book,
which instantaneously affected the largest hearts and
the loftiest minds in different nations;-told in the
councils of state and the closets of kings;-aroused the
zeal and guided the activity of the philanthropic;-
excited the admiration and called forth the eulogy of
distinguished philosophers and eloquent patriots;-and


produced immediate practical results, not only in
England and on the continent, but in those distant
oriental regions, the oldest inhabited by man, and that
new western world in which society is appearing in its
latest developments! "
Here, therefore, we have abundant proof that dili-
gence in business in no degree necessitates the neglect
of other duties; and, happily for England, this is no
solitary instance of the British merchant, who, amid
the cares and engrossing duties of business, has found
time for the noblest deeds of Christian charity and
benevolence. He who is thus presented to us in his
opening career, as a thoughtless idle boy, of unsettled
habits, and a taste only for amusements and the sports
of the field, was selected, in 1818, in consequence of his
integrity, influential position, and great eloquence, to
be a member of the British parliament. For nineteen
years he bore his part in the British legislature, and is
chiefly distinguished as the friend, the coadjutor, and
the successor of Wilberforce, in the cause of negro
emancipation. In this great anti-slavery struggle he
contended long, and at length finally triumphed. Yet
this was not the sole cause he advocated. The refor-
mation of prison discipline and the criminal law; the
treatment of the aborigines in our colonial possessions;
and all the large questions of justice and philanthropy
brought before the House of Commons, secured his
sympathy and hearty aid. Amid the most determined


opposition he always commanded attention and respect
Among the assembled representatives of the British
Empire, he was looked up to by an influential party of
its best men, as their counsellor and guide; nor was
his power unfelt even in the private councils of the
sovereign, and the deliberations of the responsible
advisers of the Crown, by whom he was distinguished
with the hereditary rank of a titled British commoner.
For us it is no unimportant inquiry to make, after
reviewing the beginning and the close of such a course,
" How was it that such ends were accomplished and
brought forth from so unpromising a dawn '" It
cannot be unprofitable for any man, and especially for
any young man, to pause on the considerations to
which such an inquiry conducts us. Sir Thomas
Fowell Buxton was the builder of his own fortune,
and the accomplisher of his own success in life. His
example may therefore be of use to all men, whether
born to inherit affluence, or to buffet with the un-
certainties and difficulties of an unaided life-struggle.
Decision of character appears to have been one of his
most distinguishing points. His determinations
were supreme and regal. His purpose, once fixed, was
inflexible. His perseverance in action-his indepen-
dence and self-trust- his capacity for courageous
and continual labour-were as great and remarkable
as the pertinacity, force, and decision of his will. For
all this-constituting the predominant elements of his


character, and some of the prime sources of his success
--he was indebted to his parents, especially to his
mother. Sir Fowell Buxton inherited from his parents
the great and incalculable blessing of a sound, healthy,
physical structure; a robust muscular frame--and
with that many important elements of character-as to
temperament, disposition, moral instincts, tastes, ten-
dencies; aspirations ready to be awakened; capacities
and powers having within them a native impulsive
force towards the good and the better rather than the
Like many great men, Fowell Buxton owed much to
his mother, a woman of strong principle and determined
resolution, who conducted his entire training on prin-
ciples directed towards his future life, and with which
she permitted no momentary feelings of mistaken ten-
derness to interfere. He turned out the sort of man
that she wished to make him. Her desire was, that
he should have a strong, vigorous, decided character;
have mental independence, moral courage, an unconquer-
able will. Her idea of a man was robustness, power,
self-trust, general capacity for any achievement he might
deem it right to undertake, united, however, with can-
dour and benevolence, loving thoughts, sympathy with
suffering, and impatience with, and hostility to, injustice
and wrong. She despised whatever was weak, effemi-
nate, and luxurious. She erred somewhat in allowing
Fowell, as the eldest son, while yet but a boy, to assume


the position of the master of the house, and in requiring
his brothers and sisters to obey him. But she pera
emptorily demanded his obedience herself. Her rules
were, in one direction, 'little indulgence but much
liberty;' and in another, implicit obedience, uncondi-
tional submission. Fowell was encouraged to converse
with her as an equal, and to form and express his opinions
without reserve. The consequence was, that he early
acquired the habit of resolutely thinking and acting for
himself; and to this habitual independence and decision,
he was accustomed to say that he stood indebted for
all the success he had met with in life. But, along
with this element of power, it was Mrs. Buxton's object
to inspire her children with sentiments that would in-
duce self-denial and self-sacrifice, and render them
thoughtful for the happiness of others. His father,
when filling the office of sheriff, devoted his atten-
tion to the condition of the prisoners and the discipline
of the jail. His mother talked with him, there can
be little doubt of this circumstance,-it is known that
she did of the horrors of the slave trade and the suffer-
ings of the slave. It is as natural, therefore, in fact,
as it is beautiful in itself and encouraging to others, to
find him saying to her, in the meridian of his manhood
and in the midst of his multitudinous and merciful
pursuits,' I constantly feel, especially in action and ex-
ertion for others, the effects of principles early implanted
by you in my mind.' He had a high idea of his mother's


character; her large mindedness, intellect, courage, dis-
interestedness, generosity, and general excellence. His
love for her was strong, his veneration great,-and mo-
thers who have really earned love and veneration are
very seldom defrauded of either. She lived to see him
all that she could wish, and far more perhaps than she
had once hoped. Time did more than justify the trust
and fulfil the prediction, which, when his self-will as a
boy was remarked to her, she expressed by saying,
' Never mind; he is self-willed now-you will see it turn
out well in the end.'"
In these elements of firmness and unswerving resolu-
tion lie the essential principles of success in every ardu-
ous undertaking. All men have not herculean frames,
robust health, worldly means, or such fair opportunities
as the subject of our present sketch enjoyed. But we
will not believe that, amid all the diversities of character
and disposition, a man of sound mind and healthy bodily
frame is incapable of firmly following out what his
conscience points out to him as his duty. We have
seen in the homely but instructive narrative of little
George Prentice, that though, according to his own
account, he tried and tried, and could not learn his les-
son, yet he found no difficulty in overcoming all the
difficulties of constructing a kite, though we know from
our own juvenile experience that is not unattended
with difficulties. He could play at marbles, could skate,
and indeed excelled most of his companions in the games


of the playground. So it is with old as well as young
What is only duty, if it interfere with any favourite
taste or sinful indulgence, becomes an impossibility to
the weak man who chooses to be the slave of his own
idle fancies; while to him who puts a duty before him
as a thing to be done, the possibility of it is never
doubted. The hand once put forth is never withdrawn;
the spirit once bent to the undertaking is never allowed
to flag; no opposition daunts, no ridicule or doubt dis-
courages; and it is strange indeed if the object is not
This is one most important truth to be kept in view
by all men, whatever be their pursuits or objects in life.
No man may dispense with it without being a sufferer,
and no man can safely delay the training of his mind
to that well-disciplined state, by which, like a spirited
but docile horse, it will submit its powers to the guid-
ance of duty, and yielding to the reins of conscience,
will bend its whole energies to the appointed task, how-
ever rugged may be the path and steep the hill of diffi-
culty. All men and women," says the judicious writer
from whose narrative of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton's life
we have extracted the previous incidents-" All men and
women are essentially the same; the same great crises
await every one and are alike to all;-the same inward
awakening, the same outward warfare, the same mystery.
ous moulding influences springing up in the inner man,
or coming down from event and circumstance. The


same solid substantial stuff of which the real essence
of life consists,-the experience, vicissitudes, duties,
dangers, of this mortal state,-belongs equally to all
ranks and all classes. He who fashioneth the hearts
of men alike,' has given one essentially similar to the
queen on the throne and the maiden in the meadow,-
the one holds a sceptre and the other handles a rake,
but both have within them, simply as beings and crea-
tures of this life, what makes them more really one than
all that is external can make them two. So, whatever
be the position of any individual portrayed before you,
whatever his birth or patrimony, his education or talents,
the theatre of his exertions, or the compass of his fame,
the business he transacts, the things he achieves, the
society he belongs to or into which he is introduced,
the men and women to whom he becomes attached or
who attach themselves to him,-everything, in short,
that affects his character and influences his destiny,-
in all these, there may be a principle lying, a point in-
volved, common to every one of you with him. The
youth behind the counter, the clerk at the desk, the
warehouseman in his room, may all feel themselves on
the same ground with the student at his books, the
commander in the field, the minister in the senate,
or the artist or author, with his chisel, his brush, his
palette, or his pen. So, also, as to the practical philo-
sophy of life. The incidents and events which stir tho
elements of incipient manhood, which awaken passion,


occasion perils, arouse energy, demand prudence, excite,
debase, or purify ambition, together with whatever tasks
the heart, soul, hand, in the prosecution of man's daily
'battle and war,'-all this is substantially the same in
peer and peasant, and may be so set forth in the history
of those who have moved the world and 'stood before
kings,' as to admonish and instruct the Manchester
traveller or London apprentice, the shopman or com-
positor, the son alike of the porter and the principal,
the engineer, the schoolmaster, the carpenter at the
bench, or the weaver at the loom."
But the youthful student cannot too carefully guard
himself against the error of mistaking a mere undis-
ciplined energy and self-will for the needful firmness
and self-command on which success depends. Energy
is indispensable,; but method is no less so. In hun-
dreds of instances in daily life, do we see realized the
old fable of the "Hare and Tortoise." Many a pair
start together for the same goal, the one bounding off
in triumphant eagerness and impetuosity, like ZEsop's
hare, while the other is slowly moving on, apparently
hopelessly distanced in the race. But let not him that
putteth on the armour, rejoice as him that taketh it off.
Victory is not always to the mighty, nor the race to
the swift; and he who starts, tortoise-like, in his cau-
tious slowness, yet doing the utmost which his capacity
and opportunities enable him, if only, tortoise-like, he
persevere, is more likely to triumph in the end, than


the sanguine rival who rushes, without thought of the
future, or preparation for unforeseen difficulties, into an
uncalculated career. The subject of our present notice
gained distinguished honours at college, having then
resolved to try and try again till he succeeded. Quit-
ting that, his next thought was the important one of de-
termining on a profession for life,-certainly one of the
most important steps which it falls to a man to choose.
He thought of the bar, and it is probable he would
have excelled there, gifted as he was with a fine per-
sonal address and great powers of eloquence; but he
determined against such a choice, directed his thoughts
to business, and, that done, he devoted himself to it
with characteristic energy. What he did was done
with all his might. For the time which business de-
manded, he gave his mind wholly to it, and no mis-
taken call of inclination or of sensibility ever tempted
him to swerve from his appointed task. Yet, amid
engrossing cares of business, he found time for reading,
and, indeed, for earnest devotion to study, preparatory
to the important position he was ultimately destined
to occupy in public life. This valuable, and, what we
would call healthy feature in his character, is well de-
serving of imitation. "Whatever he thought worthy
of doing at all, he thought worth doing well. He was
hearty, earnest, fixed, united; his whole soul, as it were,
was knit and compressed together, and bent and con-
centrated on the point before him. He could be at-
(21) 4


tracted for the time by nothing else. He was equally
thus in his business and at his books. 'I could brew,'
he says, 'one hour; do mathematics the next; and shoot
the next; and each with my whole soul.' "
Therein lay the real element of this man's success.
His own motto, in his own words, was, The longer I
live, the more I am certain that the great difference be-
tween men, between the feeble and the powerful, the
great and the insignificant,--is energy-invincible de-
termination-a purpose once fixed, and then death or
victory. That quality will do anything that can be done
in this world; and no talents, no circumstances, no op-
portunities, will make a two-legged creature a man
without it."
This is worthy to be the motto of every man, in every
calling or sphere of life. With it he may do all things.
Without it, or something akin to it, he will never ac-
complish much worth toiling for. Energy and deter-
mination are not, indeed, the sole indispensable elements
of success. They may be applied to evil as well as to
good purposes, and in the hands of the evil-disposed,
the dishonest, and the vicious, are the most powerful
instruments of wickedness. But all things must be
made subject in us to conscience and the divine law,
and then the well-regulated and energetic mind, acting
in obedience to the dictates of elevated religious prin-
ciples, will be the sure guide to a success worthy of the
labour expended in its attainment. This important


element in the character of Sir T. F. Buxton manifested
itself through life in many ways, often becoming appar-
ent even in the most simple and seemingly trivial acts.
A few examples may be selected. It began to show
itself in him when a mere boy, and appears, indeed, to
have been inherited from his mother, and fostered in no
slight degree by her tuition. It is, indeed, one of those
habits of mind which early education may do much to
implant in the most unpromising soil. It is remem-
bered of him, that told, when but a little boy, to deliver
a message to a pig-driver, away he went, by field or
road, through mud and mire, guessing his way, as best
be could, by the footmarks of the herd, till he overtook
the man and fulfilled his mission. Look how re-
solutely he gave up every idle and desultory habit,
when he awoke to duty and determined to be a scholar.
Urged to play at billiards for a little recreation by his
college companions, he would not touch cue or ball,
however persuaded, because he had purposed with him-
self that he would not. When he became a partner in
Hanbury's concern, he saw that everything wanted re-
formation, and he resolved upon reform. One old stager
was rather refractory-he could not fall in with new
notions and revolutionary disturbance. 'Meet me,' said
Buxton, 'in the office to-morrow morning at six o'clock.'
When they met, he simply said, Be so good as hand
me your set of books, I intend in future to take charge
of them myself.' Opposition was at an end. The seat


of power and the force of ruling will were recognized
and acknowledged, and order and obedience became
matters of course. Only once, some long time after-
wards, did the same individual betray a little of his
original restiveness; but it was quelled in a moment by
Buxton's very quietly saying, 'I think you had better
meet me to-morrow morning at six o'clock!"
"The whole course of his preparation for parliamen-
tary life illustrated his vigour and perseverance. In
the progress of his public measures he was sometimes
put to severe trials, in having to follow his personal
judgment, and to adhere to his own purposes, in spite
of the opposition, or, what was far worse, the earnest
entreaty of his colleagues and friends. One of the finest
moral pictures-the resistance of the individual against
united numbers-the victory of personal conviction, self-
trust, adherence to the sense of obligation and right,
over every sort of influence that could be brought to
bear on inferior affections-may be seen in Sir Fowell
Buxton's behaviour in the House of Commons on a
night when, in spite of all that his friends could urge,
he was determined to push his point to a division. His
unalterable purpose looked like dead, downright obsti-
nacy:-as the most rational firmness always does, when
it seems a reproach, or is an inconvenience to others.
Some of Buxton's friends blamed the 'obstinacy;' but
the minister said, 'It had settled the question.' It is a
happy thing when events justify what is adhered to


under a painful sense of personal responsibility : though
even disappointment would not destroy the complacency
of a rationally decided man."
From the life of George Stephenson we might borrow
many illustrations of the value of business habits.
From the day when, in his pitman's cottage, he amused
his son afterwards the eminent engineer, Robert
Stephenson-with models of his own making, down to
the day when, as the constructer of some of our prin-
cipal lines of railway, he was the honoured guest of
the noble and wealthy, he was, emphatically, the Man
of Business. Genius was not his distinction, so much
as sagacity, and clearness of view, and promptitude in
action. His integrity was unimpeachable. His mas-
tery of method was remarkable. He never failed in
any scheme which he undertook, and never undertook
any in which failure was probable. For energy, per-
severance, prudence, patience, a blameless life, and an
honourable mind, he may justly be compared even with
Fowell Buxton.

-^^^^^^ rP


"Some make of gain a fountain whence proceeds
A stream of liberal arid heroic deeds;
These have an ear for His paternal call,
Who makes some rich for the supply of all."

E have considered in the preceding chapter
the character and early life of a man dis-
tinguished above many others for his success
in life, and for the noble use he made of it. We have,
however, only very slightly touched upon one, the most
important of all the elements of Sir Thomas Fowell
Buxton's distinction. All men admire true greatness,
and applaud philanthropy, public spirit, and unwearied
energy in life; but there are virtues of a nobler kind
which are not so universally hailed with the same meed
of praise. Dr. Chalmers has thus drawn with vivid
force the great distinction which pertains between two
classes of the Divine requirements, in their estimation
by men :-" By the former, we are enjoined to practise
certain virtues, which, separately from our Saviour's


injunction altogether, are in great demand, and in great
reverence, amongst the members of society-such as
compassion, and generosity, and justice, and truth;
which, independently of the religious sanction they
obtain from the law of the Saviour, are in themselves
so lovely, and so honourable, and of such good report,
that they are ever sure to carry general applause along
with them, and thus to combine both the characteristics
of the sacred text-that he who in these things serveth
Christ, is both acceptable to God, and approved of men.
But there is another set of requirements, where the
will of God, instead of being seconded by the applause
of men, is utterly at variance with it. There are some
who can admire the generous sacrifices that are made to
truth or to friendship, but who, without one opposing
scruple, abandon themselves to all the excesses of riot
and festivity, and are therefore the last to admire the
Puritanic sobriety of him whom they cannot tempt to
put his chastity or his temperance away from him;
though the same God, who bids us lie not one to an-
other, also bids us keep the body under subjection, and
to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul
Again, there are some in whose eyes an unvitiated
delicacy looks a beauteous and an interesting spectacle,
and an undeviating self-control looks a manly and re-
spectable accomplishment; but who have no taste in
themselves, and no admiration in others, for the more
direct exercises of religion; and who positively hate the


strict and unbending preciseness of those who join in
every ordinance, and on every returning night celebrate
the praises of God in their family; and that, though the
heavenly Lawgiver, who tells us to live righteously and
soberly, tells us also to live godly in the present evil
world. And, lastly, there are some who have not
merely a toleration, but a liking for -all the decencies of
an established observation; but who, with the homage
they pay to Sabbaths and to sacraments, nauseate the
Christian principle in the supreme and regenerating
vitality of its influences; who, under a general religious-
ness of aspect, are still in fact the children of the world
-and therefore hate the children of light in all that is
peculiar and essentially characteristic of that high
designation; who understand not what is meant by
having our conversation in heaven; and utter strangers
to the separated walk, and the spiritual exercises, and
the humble devotedness, and the consecrated affections,
of the new creature in Jesus Christ, shrink from them
altogether as from the extravagances of a fanaticism in
which they have no share, and with which they can
have no sympathy-and all this, though the same
scripture which prescribes the exercises of household
and of public religion, lays claim to an undivided
authority over all the desires and affections of the soul;
and will admit of no compromise between God and the
world; and insists upon an utter deadness to the one,
and a most vehement sensibility to the other; and


elevates the standard of loyalty to the Father of our
Spirits, to the lofty pitch of loving him with all our
strength, and of doing all things to his glory."
To such a false distinction all hearts are liable. The
old Romish anchorite, when he aimed at practising what
he believed to be the will of God, withdrew to some
desert cave, or mountain fastness, afar from sound of
human voice or the influence of social ties, because he
believed that the devotion of the heart to God was
utterly incompatible with intercourse with the world.
But we have not so learned Christ. His divine religion
was not meant to expend its fruits in the desert, but to
enter into every engagement and duty of life; to
sanctify the meanest calling; to ennoble the humblest
duties; and to guide the transactions of the counting-
house and the workshop no less than of the religious
synod or clerical assembly. To the just understanding
of this important truth, and to the practical obedience
rendered to the divine law, and the pure and holy faith
which our Redeemer taught, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton
owed, even more than to his energy and firmness, that
exalted position which made it felt when he died by
thousands of every class, members of various churches,
and natives of many and distant lands, "that a prince
and a great man had fallen in Israel."
A very important influence was exercised on young
Buxton's life by his introduction, through a boyish
friendship, to the well-known family of the Gurneys of


Norwich. "He had become acquainted with John
Gurney, the eldest son of John Gurney, Esq., of Earlham
Hall, near Norwich. He was invited thither, on a visit,
and went. He found himself in a new world. Mr.
Gurney had eleven children, all of them, at this time,
at home. There were three elder daughters; John,
Buxton's friend; then a group of four girls, about
Buxton's own age; and, lastly, three younger boys.
The father had for several years been a widower. He
was by profession a Friend-but not very strict. His
worldly position and long widowhood-his going into
society and his home hospitalities-his connection with
the literary and the fashionable, on the one side, and
with the Quaker body, on the other-had, altogether,
a striking effect on the family circle. The members
of it were all persons of superior minds-especially
the women. One of the elder daughters was already
under the influence both of religion and Quakerism;
the others were somewhat gay in their habits; all
were intellectual. Music, dancing, and drawing, were
among their accomplishments; but they were zealously
devoted to the higher forms of self-culture, and were
strenuous in their endeavours to acquire knowledge and
to strengthen their understandings. There would be
signs, I should think, in the doings, and dress, and
daily life of this extraordinary family, indicative of the
two spheres to which they belonged. There might be
something present, or absent, here and there, about


their apparel, that just served to show whence they
came, and to give increased interest to what they were.
There might be little things, in their modes of address
and manners towards each other, startingly beautiful
as 'not of the world,' while yet, at the same time, that
glow and sunlight of earth's gay morning that is of the
world, sat on their brow, and was bright about them.
They went a good deal into society, and their power to
interest and please would lose nothing, I am persuaded,
by the slight tinge of the Quaker element that they
might carry with them. At home, all were zealously
occupied in self-education. The younger boys, even,
sympathized with their sisters, and the whole circle
were full of energy in the pursuit of knowledge and the
conquest of difficulties. They were alike hearty in their
play and work, their amusements and their studies-in
the exercise of the accomplishments that adorn life, as
in the acquisition of knowledge and the culture and dis-
cipline of their best faculties. Sketching and reading
in the park, under the shadow of its old trees-' their
custom, often, in an afternoon;' their excursions on foot
-their long days spent in the woods gathering wild
flowers, which, though in sport they might decorate the
bonnet, were intended in earnestness to instruct in
botany; their long, dashing rides on horseback; their
conversation on an evening in the old hall; their one
day dining out with a lord, and their receiving on an-
other the visit of a prince; their being equally at home


with an artist in his studies, an author with his book,
or an officer at a ball;-all these things to our raw,
rude Devonshire lad, made Earlham Hall a scene of
enchantment. Captivated and delighted, however
dazzled and entranced, as he unquestionably was, by
what he saw in his fair associates, the great point to be
observed is, that their mental exercises and intellectual
pursuits, their intelligence and taste, their aspirations
and aims after self-improvement, were the sources of
the influence they exercised over him, and of the manly
character of the sympathy they excited. He became a
new man. Intellectual tastes and energies were awak-
ened. Studious habits were instantly formed. A
course of classical reading commenced. A laudable
ambition was enkindled and sustained, which superseded
his fondness for the field and the gun. It was, intel-
lectually, 'a renewing of the mind,'-' a being born
again,'--a sudden transition 'from death to life, and
from darkness to light,'-' old things passed away, all
things became new.' From the moment that he was
subjected to a highly gifted intellectual influence, his
whole mental being underwent a change. He proceeded
to Earlham a great, idle lad, of sporting propensities
and desultory habits; he left it in purpose and pursuits
a man. He lived longer in that month than he had
seemed to do in previous years, or than he could ever
do again in the same period, except, indeed, in experi-
encing another and a higher birth. I know no blessing,


he says, 'of a temporal nature, for which I ought to
render so many thanks, as my connection with the Earl.
ham family. It has given a colour to my life. Its
influence was most positive and pregnant with good, at
that critical period between school and manhood.' "
From this happy family circle he selected the future
partner of his life. Hannah Gurney became his wife
at the early age of twenty-one; and though the prudence
of the step at the time it was undertaken may well be
questioned, he was most fortunate and most happy in
the object of his choice, as well as in the pleasant re-
lationships which sprung from it. "The known ten-
dencies of Sir T. F. Buxton induced Mr. Wilberforce,
when he invited him into Parliament, to anticipate from
him appropriate aid; the friendship of such a man
would give power and fixedness to his previous pur-
poses; while these again, associated with his proved
ability for parliamentary business, determined the
choice of the retiring veteran, and led him to devolve
on the rising advocate the management and leadership
of the great cause. Lushington, Macaulay, Brougham,
Mackintosh, and other names of the living and the
dead, might be mentioned as those of public individuals,
who, with Buxton, mutually acted on and influenced
each other. But the most powerful, the most constrain-
ing, the holiest and best of the external impulses that
touched and moved Sir Fowell Buxton-that to which
he yielded with constant delight-and the source of


whose potency lay in its pure and heavenly gentleness
in conjunction with the stirring of his human love--
was what came upon him in his own domestic circle,
and from the more gifted of his family connections.
Of several of his 'sweet sisters,' he speaks in terms of
high respect; but for Priscilla Gurney,-one of the
gay Earlham group, who, like Mrs. Fry, gave up the
world, devoted herself to God, and became a female
minister among the Friends-his love and admiration
are almost boundless. He speaks of her intellect as of
the first order; of her eloquence as uncommon, almost
unparalleled; of her character as the combination of
illustrious virtues. She died in 1821. During her
illness she repeatedly sent for Buxton, 'urging him to
make the cause and condition of the slaves the first
object of his life.' Her last act, or nearly her last, was
an attempt to reiterate the solemn charge; she almost
expired in the ineffectual effort;-she could only indi-
cate, in two or three feeble, broken words, what be-
came the most sacred memory of the dead, and was
cherished as her parting legacy by the living. It is
distinctly stated, that it was one of the things to which
he often referred, as preparing his mind for accepting
the advocacy of the anti-slavery cause."
'But all his sympathies were large, and his heart was
open to the most winning and gentle influences of love.
" Only think of the leader of a section of the House of
Commons,-the man bending under the weight of


public business, absorbed by interests the most momen-
tous, and fighting with difficulties that demanded, and
had, nights and days of anxiety and labour,-think of
him coming along the Strand from some parliamentary
committee, stepping into a shop to purchase a picture,
hiding it when he got home among the torn-up letters
and envelops in his basket, that when his little children
should rummage amongst them, or turn them out, he
might hear their exultation at discovering the treasure,
and join in a joy that would ring like the news of a
nursery California! He was lying one day very
fatigued and tired on a sofa; one of his sons was lying
on another: their eyes were alike just open, though each
supposed the other to be asleep. Presently, the great,
giant-like man-the man that swayed the senate, was
looked up to by thousands as a leader, and who seemed
born for authority and command-slowly and quietly
rose up from his position-trod softly and stealthily
across the room-placed a chair-lifted the feet of the
young sleeper, as they seemed to be hanging uneasily
from the sofa-laid them gently on the chair, and then
crept back again as carefully as he had gone, and lay
down to his own repose! All had been seen, though
he thought not so. It would never have been mentioned
-it might not have been remembered by him-had it
only been a thing known to the father. It was the ir-
resistible impulse, the gushing out of irrepressible
affection. I dare say he turned away from the lad


with a glow at his heart and a prayer upon his tongue
a prayer whose answer he had already, though uncon
sciously, secured; for the impression of that act on the
heart of the son must have given such sacredness to
the wishes of the father, as could not fail, I should
think, to have done more for the youth's virtue than
any mere preceptive teaching could have secured."
But there are nobler attributes of the great and
good man than these, and to them our attention must
now be directed. We have already referred to his
intellectual birth-to the renewing of his mind under
the genial influence of the happy domestic circle at
Earlham Hall; but another and far different conver-
sion was essential to the fit preparation of him for that
course of virtue and holiness by which he was more
distinguished and truly great, than by all his eloquence,
influence, and power. Mr. Binney has remarked, in
sympathetic consistency with Dr. Chalmers, "I admit
the excellence and admire the virtues of many a na-
tural or unconverted man. Such an individual may be
pure, truthful, upright, benevolent, beneficent-a model,
indeed, for many of far higher pretensions. But the
point is, that a man may be all this without thinking
of God-without even believing in him;-his excel-
lence, however great, may be altogether of the earth,
earthy; it may spring from sources which lie within
the limits of mere social morality; and it may be con-
fined, therefore, to the rewards which flow from it in


the world to which it belongs. There is nothing severe
or uncharitable in saying, that something far more than
this is needed to the perfection of a being who possesses
essentially a religious nature; who sustains relations
to a personal God; who is born under an obligation
to all divine virtues as well as secular; and who, as a
spirit, has to come one day into direct contact with the
Infinite Spirit, and to a condition of existence exclu-
sively spiritual.
"Without the possession of religious faith-without
the exercise of love to and delight in God-character
is imperfect; without an inward harmony of thought
and will, affection and preference, between man's soul
and the divine source of it, there can be no cordial cor-
respondence between them, and no fitness for their
dwelling together. The virtuous man is not excluded
from heaven because of his virtues; he is incapable of
heaven by an inherent defect. In spite of all that is
in him and about him of the just and good, the pure
and the beautiful, it is possible for him to be destitute
of devotion--disloyal as regards the supreme govern-
ment and the divine law, and utterly 'without God in
the world.' With the glow and blush of his many
virtues upon him, and while justly the object of social
respect, or the idol of popular admiration, he may be
guilty of the most serious crime, by trampling upon all
spiritual obligation; and he may be placed-by no
capricious or arbitrary act, but just by the operation of


the essential laws of his spiritual being-in a position
pregnant with alarm and peril. Two men may stand
before us very much alike in all that appears to the
eye of the observer; they may do precisely the same
things, as to their outward form, and have the same
aspect of social goodness; and yet the one shall act
from the impulses of a life which has no existence in
the other at all. The one shall do everything 'unto
God;' the other man may never think of Him as obliga-
tion or end. The one shall maintain intercourse with
Christ as the object of love and the source of assistance;
the other may be either ignorant or infidel--careless
concerning or rejecting his redemption. Both may
appear equally useful and attractive to the world, in
the aspect presented to it of their world-life-and,
so far as the world is concerned, both are beautiful and
both good; but, in consequence of the essential differ-
ence between them-the presence in the one and the
absence in the other of a religious, spiritual, divine
life-the excellence of the first comes to be holiness,
that of the second remains virtue. The one, as a spirit,
out of the body, would find himself in harmony with
the persons and the duties, the avocations and pleasures,
of a perfectly holy and divine world; the other, in the
midst of it, would be surrounded by all that was uncon-
genial and foreign, distasteful and repulsive. He could
no more live in it than a man in water, though that
water were 'clear as crystal; or the fish of the sea' on


the 'dry land,' though that land were Paradise itself,
bright with the verdure of the virgin earth, smiled upon
by the sky of an infant world.
"Now, I wish you to understand that Sir Fowell
Buxton was, in the sense of these statements, so far as
the principle pervading them is concerned, a religious
man. He was an earnest, evangelical Christian; and
one of the great uses of his biography, as it seems to
me, is to show the possibility of a man's combining
a very laborious outward life-a life of business, trade,
politics-with one of deep and eminent spirituality,
Men busily occupied in the affairs of the world, behind
the counter or the desk, in chambers' or at the house,'
often imagine, or perhaps complain, that they have no
time to attend to spiritual subjects, or for the discharge
of religious acts. If reminded of David as a soldier
writing his psalms, or Daniel at court directing a king-
dom, and yet keeping daily his hours of prayer, they
can discover reasons, in their peculiar aids as inspired
men, to render their example inapplicable to them.
Here, however, is a man of our day, and one ever
active and all alive in his worldly duties, not said to
have been attentive to devout communings with his
own spirit, and to earnest and holy walking with God,
but proved to have been so, by papers bearing the
stamp of sincerity, and indicating at once the reality of
his religion and the constancy of his efforts to preserve
it by culture and to evince it by consistency."


The history of the manifestation of a renewed life in
the subject of the present sketch, bears a very close
resemblance to that of many under similar circum-
stances. Brought up as he was under the roof of pious
parents, and educated to a great extent under the eye
of an affectionate and watchful mother, he was guarded
from many dangers and temptations to which thousands
are exposed. Yet the human heart is ever the same in
its natural state-deceitful above all things, and des-
perately wicked. No natural benevolence or amiability
will suffice to counteract the tendencies of the corrupt
heart, so far as to preclude the manifestations of its
true nature. Young Fowell Buxton, we have seen,
was wayward, restless, and disinclined to study. Yet
even amid all his waywardness, his exclusive devotion
to field sports, and his indifference or distaste for
learning, there was nothing vicious in the boy. Thus
far the care of a Christian parent had been rewarded,
and even this is no small return for the utmost solicitude
and anxiety of a parent.
We find in the history of Sir T. F. Buxton, as in
that of many other children of Christian parents, that
the influences of their pious education were gradually
manifested under the blessing of God, so that the fruits
of the Spirit's teaching became apparent more gradually
and with less sudden manifestations than is frequently
seen in the awakening of the utterly careless and god-
less sinner, who has been living without hope and


without God in the world, exposed without check to
its strongest temptations, and yielding himself without
restraint to the practice of open vices. It was appa-
rently to his intercouse with the Earlham family that
young Fowell Buxton owed his spiritual as well as
his intellectual conversion. In 1806, when he was
only twenty years of age, he accompanied his Earlham
friends in a tour through Scotland ; and his intimate
converse with them during that period, and the pleasing
exhibition of active Christian benevolence and love
which he witnessed, appears, under the blessing of
God, to have quickened into life the good seed already
sown in his heart. During this journey he purchased
a Bible, and formed the resolution of reading a portion
every day. Soon we find him recording that he no
longer looked upon this as a mere duty, but as a source
of pleasure and delight. I am sure," he remarks on
one occasion, that some of the happiest hours that I
spend are while I am reading the Bible." He was,
indeed, as yet but dimly cognizant of the true nature
of spiritual life, but he was "following on to know the
Lord ;" and soon we find more distinct evidence of
the growth of grace in his heart.
"The next event in the order of means, and of
gracious providential arrangement, was in 1811, when
he was recommended by two clerical friends to attend
the ministry of the Rev. Josiah Pratt. Mr. Pratt was
a pious evangelical clergyman of the school of the


Newtons, Simeons, and Cecils of former days. Under
his teaching, Sir T. F. Buxton's mind speedily opened
to the intelligent reception of the truth. He obtained
far more clear, deep, and enlarged conceptions of it
than he had previously received. The insufficiency of
our own righteousness; the importance of faith in the
atoning sacrifice, and of the influences of the sanctify-
ing Spirit; the need of being 'saved,' and the way to be
saved-as held and taught by the best expounders of
the apostolic testimony, with every other related truth
-were exhibited and enforced, I imagine, with such
power, richness, and fervour, as by God's blessing
materially to affect the mind and heart of our Christian
inquirer,-to give fulness to his knowledge and impulse
to his piety.
The last and perfecting event,-that which gave
fixedness and maturity to Sir Fowell Buxton's religion,
-which brought it out as life in the experience, as
well as light and knowledge in the intellect,-was an
alarming illness with which he was visited in 1813.
I do not mean that he had not subjectively experienced
something of religion before, or that the spiritual life
now only began. The process had been gradually
advancing for years. The light had early and long
been 'as the morning spread upon the mountains,' and
had struggled and increased against mist and darkness.
Life had been stirring and augmenting within him, like
the growth-and ripening of the infant in the womb; it


was now to be developed in a higher form, and to
become a thing both of distincter consciousness and of
richer manifestation. The account given of this event
is deeply interesting, and the frequent references to it by
the father justify fully the statement of the son-that
the period of its occurrence was that, 'from which may
be dated that ascendency of religion over his mind,
which gave shape and colouring to the whole of his
after life.' The points I would direct you to observe
are, the sight which he obtained of the utter in-
sufficiency of his own virtue,-his glad reception of
the Christian atonement,-with the happy persuasion
and high assurance of his interest in it. The effect,
too, of the whole process in deepening his sense of
personal sinfulness, and filling him with shame as well
as joy, is very significant. It is thus often that men
are never half aware of the magnitude of their guilt
till it is removed; they only learn the extent of their
criminality by the extent of their obligations to the
grace that saves them. It is well that it is so. 'Who
knoweth the power of thine anger ?' Alas! if known,
'the spirit would fail before it,' and the souls which
God has made."
Such was the actuating principle which moved and
controlled the whole actions of Sir T. F. Buxton's life,
and made of him the noble Christian philanthropist,
whose name is for ever associated with those of Clark-
son, Wilberforce, Fry, and other benefactors of mankind.


But one great element of his persevering success,
springing from this living principle implanted in his
heart, must not be overlooked here. Without it all
other things must be vain. The last, great, powerful,
and principal means, by which Sir Fowell Buxton
appears to have nourished and enriched his piety, was
PRAYER. He seems to have been a man of earnest and
habitual devotion. He cultivated the spirit of prayer
by thoughtfulness; by reading what was adapted to
quicken and feed it; by writing, at times, his requests
before God; and by very frequent vocal utterance.
While an active, engaged, busy public man,-necessarily
careful for and cumberedd' with many things,-he found
time, or made it, for prayer. He was calmer and
brighter for it-better and stronger. He lived and
moved in it; in it he found the light of his spiritual
being,-through it the support of his religious life.
He wrote prayers in connection with his purposes of
action; in the prospect of the year; in the anticipation
of special events. When he anticipated an improve-
ment in his worldly circumstances, he prayed; when
he wrote his books, he prayed; when he was collecting
materials, and preparing his speeches, and fighting the
'good fight' in the House of Commons,-he did all
with prayer. He prayed in his family,-and that, too,
with serious preparation and forethought-that his topics
might be selected and arranged, his spirit calm, his
manner becoming, the service comprehensive, serious,


instructive. For his work, his friends, his family, his
children-for the latter on great and important occasions,
or at particular crises in their course-prayers would
seem to have been often offered, and sometimes written.
He could not get on without prayer. He so habitually
contemplated his public engagements as 'working the
work of God,' as the discharge of a service to which he
was 'called,'-which was allotted to him from above,
-which had in itself the Divine approbation, and
made necessary for him Divine aid,-that he was
drawn to prayer in it as by a natural law: to him,
there was that about his great public service, that
made prayer equally appropriate and necessary,-that
drew him to it as by the force of a sympathy, and
impelled him by considerations connected with success.
Throughout life, as a part of his religion itself, in
circumstances of sorrow and of joy, when 'his heart
was lifted up in the ways of the Lord,' or his spirit
broken and crushed by disasters, he prayed. The
necessity to his soul of the hallowed exercise, seemed
to increase as his day declined. He found it to be
strength in weakness, light in darkness, life in death.
Through it, 'though the outward man perished, the
inward man was renewed day by day.' Like his divine
Lord, as he drew near his last sufferings and was enter-
ing into them, he again and again prayed. 'Being in
an agony he prayed more fervently.' He sometimes
'rose in the night,' and spent considerable time in this


exercise; with earnest utterance, as he expressed it,
'praying hard.' Like Jacob wrestling with the angel
at Peniel, till the day broke, and he passed onward
having obtained the blessing.

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air;
His watchword at the gates of death:
He enters heaven by prayer.'

"Sir Fowell Buxton's spirit and habit of prayer arose
very much from the child-like simplicity of his religion;
and from his power strongly to realize the absent and
the distant, and therefore the spiritual and invisible,
which, as a natural attribute of his mind, became faith
when inspired by piety. After he became fixed and
happy in his persuasion of the enjoyment of the Divine
favour through Christ, he never encouraged any per-
plexing doubts, or suffered himself to be seduced into
the region of theological difficulties."
In the most interesting and instructive address to
young men, which Mr. Binney has based on the inci-
dents that marked the career of this eminent philan-
thropist, he has contrasted it with that of other men,
contemporaries of his own, who, with a corresponding
social position, and equal means for doing good, have
attracted public attention, and won notoriety, where
they have failed to secure esteem. He has taken Sir
Samuel Romilly, a highly gifted and noble man, whose
son felt no less delight in recording the honourable


career of his distinguished father, than the son of Sir
T. F. Buxton experienced in writing that on which
our present sketch is founded. But with all his solid
excellencies, Romilly was no man of prayer. This
world was all he lived for, and his biography, though
penned with all the affection and admiration of filial
love and duty, serves to prove how much the less he
was adapted for the highest duties of this life, by his
neglect of those which belong to the life hereafter.
Again, Buxton is compared to a benevolent en-
thusiast still living, who, setting all religion aside, has
aimed at reforming the world by Eutopian and vision-
ary schemes, which have proved, like the house of the
foolish builders, founded on the sand. Or again, he is
contrasted with Beckford of Fonthill, the showy,
voluptuous man of taste and extravagance, whose
costly monument of magnificent folly is already in
ruins; with Sheridan, the poor dissipated man of wit
and genius,-each aiming at his own goal of selfish
pleasure or unwise design. "How much better for
Buxton, that he possessed the spirit of 'a sound
mind!' How much wiser he, to spend his life in
aiming at possibilities; and how happy for him at
last, to feel that he had not lived and laboured in
vain ?
"What a contrast is Buxton to others of his con-
temporaries! A Banker in Berners Street finds him-
self in difficulties, and commences a course of fraud


and forgery to keep up the credit of the house. At all
hazards he will retain his place in society, and have, at
least, the outward seeming of a gentleman,-though he
is pursuing, all the time, a life of deceit and falsehood,
and appropriating the property of others as his own.
As might be expected, personal habits are as irregular
as the social are criminal. He lives, without knowing
the blessedness of a home; a husband without the rites
of the Church,-a father without the sanctities of the
relation. At length, early on a dark, damp November
morning, a continual low murmuring sound is heard
increasing in the thoroughfares of the city. Before the
dark abode of punishment and crime, men are busy
erecting the apparatus of death. Yellow flashes from
various torches flickering against it, render it dimly
visible to the eye, while the hollow sounds of the
workman's hammer fall like heavy strokes upon the
heart. At length it is day; thousands upon thousands
are discovered-the packed filth and refuse of the
metropolis--waiting to see a gentleman hanged!
There he is! Beautifully dressed; elegant in figure;
his hair, slightly touched by time, moving in the wind;
he has all the appearance of being born to move in
cultivated society, and to find his equals there. But
he is here. And now,-see,-he is left by every
individual having the aspect of one of his own class.
He has brought himself to the level of the wretched
dregs and offscouring of all things, who seem to hold


him as their associate, and to hail him as one identi-
fied with themselves! What a terrible price to have
to pay for the past! There is nothing in the universe
so expensive as sin. Moral courage, true power,
principle, religion, would not only have kept the man
from sinking into the criminal, but might have raised
him high into usefulness and honour. The Banker
might have equalled the Brewer, if, like him, he had
purposed, and worked, and believed, and prayed.
What a contrast such a life as the one before us.
to that of the man who lives for nothing but to grub
on, get money, hoard, and leave it! And how such
people sometimes leave it!- causing the world to
wonder, first at the enormous amount of their wealth,
and then at the folly or vanity-the meanness or
injustice-of its testamentary distribution. There was
an old tradesman whom I knew by sight, and whom
Buxton, I dare say, knew. He accumulated much.
Every Sunday morning he used to ride out into the
country, walk about a little on Clapham Common, and
return to dinner. I used to meet him regularly. It
was but a poor form of life his; nothing divine about
it. He was a social, genial, man too, in his way-but
had no idea but that of getting money; not much
faith, I fear, in anything beyond that,-and the 'great
fact,' indeed, of the unseen, but not unfelt, reality-
the stomach! He married his cook; died very rich;
and left some thousands to his Company 'to make

themselves comfortable!' What an idea of the end
for which man was born! This man and Buxton seem
dike beings of different species--yet were they alike;
living at the same time; inhabiting the same city;
within the sound of the same gospel, and capable of
the same divine life."
Such is the contrast which might be multiplied an
hundred fold, proving the force of the beautiful maxim
of sacred writ, Godliness has the promise of this life,
and also of that which is to come."


"To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

N the example of an upright British trader,
and English gentleman, which has occupied
our attention in the two previous chapters,
we have witnessed the exhibition of perseverance
integrity, sound principle, high-toned Christian phil-
anthropy, and a generous and public-spirited dis-
interestedness. Such great examples are only of rare
occurrence, and require that peculiar combination of
talent with high principle which only falls to the lot
of a few. All, however, can emulate his honesty,
integrity, and perseverance; nor are there wanting
abundant examples of the manifestation of these by the
lowly and poorly gifted, to whom they have proved a
better fortune than all the wealth which the sons of
fortune have inherited. Honesty is, indeed, every day
proved to be the best policy, whether our aim be


happiness, honour, or wealth. Men, indeed, have
often sacrificed fortune rather than retain or acquire it
by a dereliction from the paths of rectitude; and every
man must be prepared to do so, if exposed to such a
trial of his integrity. Yet, even then, the sacrifice is
well worth the fruits, and the reward not purchased at
too costly a price. Wealth is in itself useless and
valueless; it is the comforts it can purchase, the oppor-
tunities it bestows, and the enjoyments which it
secures, that make it so desirable. But the man who
wins wealth by dishonest means, forfeits all these
accompaniments by which it is alone rendered worth
having, and, with the burden of his guilty conscience,
is not to be envied by the poorest man, who, amid his
integrity, is left to struggle for his daily bread. What
is wealth without peace of mind and conscious recti-
tude, but a drag upon the soul, not the less burden-
some to be borne though it be made of gold.
A few examples of manifestation of noble integrity,
under a variety of circumstances, will best suffice to
enforce the duty and the value of this golden rule of
The Roman soldier, ere he faced the foe, was armed
in panoply of steel; the polished greaves and breast-
plate, and the helmet, defended his person, and before
him he held the invulnerable shield. A moral panoply,
equally strong, is needed for the young man who enters
into the warfare of commercial life.


So long as there is craft and subtilty, and dishonesty
and meanness, in the world, this warfare will continue;
but let it be met by integrity, stern unflinching in-
tegrity, and in the end you will come off victorious.
True, you may encounter many difficulties by the way;
you may see other and ignoble means for a time success-
ful, and doubt whether honesty, after all, is indeed the
best policy, but persevere, and in the end you will
acknowledge it so to be, in the highest sense of the
word. Your coffers may not as rapidly fill to the brim,
but they will be steadily filling, and that is success;
successful you will be, moreover, in having kept your
conscience unsullied; in the approbation and esteem,
not only of the good, but even the bad, for they can
respect the honest man; but, above all, you will be
successful in receiving at last the commendation, beyond
all earthly praise, from the Almighty Ruler-" Well
done, good and faithful servant."
Of the late Joseph May, of Boston, his biographer
says-" His eighty-one years were so spent, that few
men ever went more truly lamented to his grave. His
judicious benevolence, his noble elevation of sentiment,
his unimpeachable purity of purpose, his many years
of public usefulness, his joy in advanced years and
happiness at the approach of death, may well profitably
engage upon him our passing thoughts.
His integrity has never been questioned. It passed
through the trial of adversity and failure in business
(2)b 6


without a stain. His conscientious honesty moved
him to give up all to his creditors, even the ring upon
his finger.
The public confidence continually called him to the
charge of most important public institutions, and to
private trusts of the most delicate nature; to the
guardianship of children, the administration of estates,
and the oversight of the widow and the orphan."
The richest of the well-known Salem merchants has
received the following tribute from one who formerly
sailed in his service :-
"The late William Gray, by his successful mercantile
career, well illustrated the truth of the homely adage,
'Honesty is the best policy.' Although bold in his
speculations, he was prudent in his calculations, and
fortune smiled upon his undertakings. But William
Gray was emphatically an honest man. Not a dollar
of his immense wealth was-acquired by violating, directly
or indirectly, the laws of any country.
Having, on a number of occasions, had charge of
large amounts of property belonging to him, we have
had abundant opportunities of knowing the manner in
which he transacted his mercantile operations, and we
have often had occasion to admire the stern integrity
which formed a prominent feature in his character."
M. de Vaubran, a French merchant, entered into
partnership with Mustapha Zari, a native of Turcomania,
who lived at Constantinople, and traded in silks. After


they had carried on business for four years, M. de
Vaubran had occasion to return home, to take posses-
sion of an estate that had been left him; he therefore
desired that the accounts between them might be
settled. When the balance came to be adjusted, it was
discovered that M. de Vaubran remained indebted to his
partner nine hundred sequins, for which he gave him
five sealed bags, and desired him to count the money.
" No," replied Mustapha, "we have dealt together thus
long, and I have found you an honest man; God forbid
that I should mistrust my friend at our parting."
The next day, M. de Vaubran took horse for Smyrna,
and it happened that as soon as he was gone, Mustapha
had occasion to pay fifteen hundred sequins to a
merchant of Holland. He took the five bags he had
received from his partner, and making up the remainder,
gave them to the Dutchman, saying, that he had not
counted the money in those five bags, as he took them
on the credit of a very worthy and honest man, who
had been his partner. The suspicious Christian would
not show so much generosity and confidence, for he
immediately broke open the seals in the presence of
Mustapha, and having counted the money, said it was
all right, and was about to put it up again. Mustapha,
who had a quick eye, and being well versed in counting
money, perceived that there was a great deal more than
nine hundred sequins; he therefore said, he must count
the money himself, as he suspected there was some


mistake. The Dutchman durst not deny this privilege
to a true believer under the Grand Seignor's protection,
whatever he might have done in his own country.
When Mustapha counted the money, he found eleven
hundred and fifty sequins in the bags given him by his
partner. Having settled with the Dutch merchant, he
sent an express with the two hundred and fifty sequins
to M. de Vaubran, who he knew was to remain some
days at a town on the road, about twenty leagues from
Constantinople. With the money, he transmitted this
letter: "My friend, God forbid that I should detain
anything beyond my right, or deal with thee as a
certain Frank would have done with me; for thou
knowest I took the money on thy credit, without
counting it; but being to pay it away this day to a
Dutch merchant, he not having the same faith, would
count it; and finding these two hundred and fifty
sequins over and above the sum supposed to be in the
bags, he would have smuggled them in his Dutch con-
science, had not I discovered his fraud, and prevented
him. I send them to thee as thy right, supposing it
was some oversight: God prohibits all injustice."
In this we see one of the thousand instances in which
the nominal Christian disgraces the faith and the prin-
ciples of the Bible, and exhibits a want of principle
which heathen integrity puts to shame.
How far more valuable to the Mussulman merchant
of Constantinople was his conscious rectitude, than a4t


the guilty pleasures which the dishonest acquirements
of the Dutchman might have secured. The hoards of
the miser are even less valueless than the acquirements
of the knave. The spirit with actuates the miser is a
disease, a species of insanity, when carried the length
of hoarding up money, not for its use but its posses-
sion; but the acquirer of ill-gotten gains is guilty of a
crime against human laws, and of sin against God, and
cannot escape the fruits of his deeds. There have not,
indeed, been wanting examples of men in whom the
excessive love of wealth assumed the strange and diseased
form of miserly hoarding, who have yet been no less
noticeable for their strict integrity than for the economy
and care which at length degenerated into such an excess.
Mr. Elwes, a well-known citizen of London, was one
who secured the respect of others by his straightforward
dealing, while he obtained the unenviable title of a
miser, by his inordinate desire for the useless accumula-
tion of wealth. It is told of him that he was one of
the very few persons who, under the old unreformed
system of parliamentary representation, secured a seat
in the House of Commons by popular election, for
nothing, or for eighteenpence; which was the sum he
said it cost him to get returned for the county of Suf-
folk. His seat costing him so little, he never sought
to make anything by it; for although he sat in the
House twelve years, a more faithful or a more incor-
ruptible representative never entered St. Stephen's


Chapel. In the whole of his parliamentary life, he
never asked or received a favour, and never gave a vote,
but he could solemnly and conscientiously say, "I
believe I am doing what is for the best." He voted as
a man would do, who felt that there were people to
live after him; as one who wished to deliver, unmort-
gaged, to his children the public estate of government,
and who felt that if he suffered himself to become a
pensioner on it, he thus far embarrassed his posterity
and injured the inheritance.
As a legislator, Mr. Elwes could never be said to be-
long to any particular party, for he had the very
singular quality of not determining how to vote, before
he heard what was said on the subject. On this account,
he was not reckoned an acquisition by either side, and
he was perfectly indifferent to the opinions of both.
When Mr. Elwes first took his seat in 1774, the
opposition of that time, headed by Mr. Fox, had great
hopes that he would be of their party. These hopes,
however, were disappointed, for Mr. Elwes immediately
joined the party of Lord North, and that from a fair
and honest belief that his measures were right. But
Mr. Elwes never was of that decided cast of men that
a minister would best approve. He would frequently
dissent, and really vote as his conscience led him.
Hence many members of the opposition looked upon
him as a man off and on," or, as they styled him, a
parliamentary coquette." It is remarkable that both


parties were equally fond of having him as a nominee
on their contested elections; frequently he was the chair-
man; and he was remarkable for the patience with
which he always heard the counsel.
Mr. Elwes went on in his support of Lord North, and
his American war, till the country grew tired of this
course of measure; but the support given by Mr. Elwes
was of the most disinterested kind, for no man suffered
more by the continuance of the war than he did.
When Lord Shelburne come into power, Mr. Elwes
was found supporting for a time his administration;
but not long after this he voted with Mr. Fox, against
his lordship, and thus added another confirmation to
the political opinion that was held of him, "that no
man, or party of men, could be sure of him." Sir
Edward Astley, Sir George Saville, Mr. Powis, and Mr.
Marsham, frequently talked to him on his whimsical
versatility. But it will, undoubtedly, admit of a question
in politics, how far a man, thus voting on either side,
as his opinion led him at the moment, be or be not a de-
sirable man in aiding the good government of a country I
Mr. Elwes, having thus voted against Lord Shelburne,
gave his entire support to the celebrated coalition of
Lord North and Mr. Fox. It is imagined that he thought
they were the only men who, at that time, were able to
govern this country.
In private life, notwithstanding his avarice, all his
dealings were marked by the most inflexible integrity;


and although to save a halfpenny at a turnpike gate, he
would ride a dozen miles out of his way, yet he would
not do a dishonourable act to gain millions.
When the father of the late Earl Spencer was a boy,
he called at an inn at St. Albans, where he had fre-
quently stopped, and observing that the landlord looked
unusually dejected, inquired the cause. The landlord,
after some hesitation, stated that his affairs had become
embarrassed, and that his creditors were so severe, that
he would be compelled to shut up his house. Why,"
said the young gentleman, how much money will re-
lieve you from all difficulties ?" The landlord said,
not less than a thousand pounds; and if he could borrow
that sum, he did not doubt of his being able in a short
time to repay it. Young Spencer said nothing, but
ordering his horses, posted off to London, and going
instantly to his guardian, told him he wanted 1000.
The guardian naturally inquired for what purpose so
large a sum was to be applied; and was answered, that
it was for no purpose of extravagance, but, on the con-
trary, to serve a deserving man. The guardian refused
to advance the money, when the youth hastened to
one of his relations; a consultation was held, and it was
agreed to advance the money, and trust to his discre-
tion. He immediately carried it to the distressed land-
lord, whose business was now conducted with fresh
vigour; and in a very few years, when his lordship re-
turned from his travels, and stopped at the same inn,


he found his host in a more flourishing condition, and
knowing of his expected arrival, had the 1000 ready
to return him, with gratitude for having not only saved
him from ruin, but raised him to prosperity. The
noble lord very generously begged him to keep it as a
marriage portion for his daughter.
Such instances of generosity have frequently received
a similar return, though there doubtless are not wanting
examples where dishonesty has met it with ingratitude
and deceit; nor others where the hopes of the borrower
have proved too sanguine, and his failure has been
accompanied with the injury to his benefactor, which
must always occasion the most poignant grief to a
generous mind. An instance somewhat akin to that
which has been related above, occurred to a British
merchant in India, whose generosity was extended to a
poor Hindoo. Mr. Wood, a merchant of Decca, going
to Calcutta, fell in with a poor native wood-cutter, who,
in the course of conversation, said that if he had but
fifty rupees, he would make a comfortable settlement
on those tracts of uncultivated and marshy woods
which the Ganges overflows. Mr. Wood lent him the
fifty rupees and after remaining some time at Calcutta,
he set out on his return to Decca. He saw the effect
of his bounty in an advanced settlement on a small
eminence, which pleased him so much, that he lent
him fifty rupees more. In his next journey, he
beheld the rapid progress of the settlement, and the


wood-cutter offered to pay half the small but generous
loan. Mr. Wood refused to receive it, but lent him
one hundred rupees more. Eighteen months after the
commencement of the settlement, the industrious wood-
cutter was at the head of five populous villages, and a
spacious tract of fine land under cultivation. He now
repaid the whole of the money he had borrowed, and
tendered the interest; but the latter Mr. Wood declined
to accept.
It is astonishing how small the beginnings have fre-
quently been by which men have attained to fortunes.
He who daily makes more than he spends, however
trifling the surplus may be, is on the way to fortune;
and patient industry, when aided by a systematic and
rigid economy, frequently achieves more than the most
daring speculation, backed by the possession of thou-
sands. Nevertheless, there are few ways in which a
wealthy and benevolent man can more safely and usefully
expend his surplus funds, than in advancing a small
capital to the poor but diligent and industrious trader
or labourer. So much is the value of this known, that
several benevolent men have at different times be-
queathed their fortunes to trustees, to be employed in
advancing loans to enable industrious young men to
begin the world. The smallest sum thus supplied be-
comes like a lever in the hands of the borrower, arming
him for the accomplishment of his desired purpose, and,
at the same time, if he be actuated by a just spirit,


supplying a fresh incentive to industry and perseverance,
in order that he may prove himself deserving of the
confidence reposed in him.
Foster relates, in his Essay on Decision of Character,
a curious instance illustrative of the very small means
which may suffice a man of resolute purpose to begin
the world with, and achieve success. Addressing the
friend to whom his essays were originally submitted,
in the form of letters, he observes--"You may recollect
the mention, in one of our conversations, of a young
man, who wasted in two or three years a large patri-
mony in profligate revels with a number of worthless
associates, who called themselves his friends, and who,
when his last means were exhausted, treated him, of
course, with neglect or contempt. Reduced to absolute
want, he one day went out of the house with an in-
tention to put an end to his life; but wandering awhile
almost unconsciously, he came to the brow of an emi-
nence which overlooked what were lately his estates.
Here he sat down, and remained fixed in thought a
number of hours, at the end of which he sprang from
the ground with a vehement exulting emotion. He
had formed his resolution, which was, that all these
estates should be his again ; he had formed his plan,
too, which he instantly began to execute. He walked
hastily forward, determined to seize the very first op-
portunity, of however humble a kind, to gain any
money, though it were ever so despicable a trifle, and


resolved absolutely not to spend, if he could help it, a
farthing of whatever he might obtain. The first thing
that drew his attention, was a heap of coals shot out of
carts on the pavement before a house. He offered
himself to shovel or wheel them into the place where
they were to be laid, and was employed. He received
a few pence for the labour; and then, in pursuance of
the saving part of his plan, requested some small gratuity
of meat and drink, which was given him. He then
looked out for the next thing that might chance to
offer, and went, with indefatigable industry, through a
succession of servile employment, in different places, of
longer and shorter duration, still scrupulously avoiding,
as far as possible, the expense of a penny. He promptly
seized every opportunity which could advance his de-
sign, without regarding the meanness of occupation or
appearance. By this method he had gained, after a
considerable time, money enough to purchase, in order
to sell again, a few cattle, of which he had taken pains
to understand the value. He speedily but cautiously
turned his first gains into second advantages; retained,
without a single deviation, his extreme parsimony; and
thus advanced .by degrees into larger transactions and
incipient wealth. I did not hear, or have forgotten, the
continued course of his life; but the final result was,
that he more than recovered his lost possessions, and
died an inveterate miser, worth 60,000. I have
always recollected this as a signal instance, though in


an unfortunate and ignoble direction, of decisive char-
acter, and of the extraordinary effect which, according
to general laws, belongs to the strongest form of such a
"But not less decision has been displayed by men of
virtue. In this distinction no man ever exceeded, for
instance, or ever will exceed, the late illustrious Howard.
"The energy of his determination was so great, that
if, instead of being habitual, it had been shown only
for a short time on particular occasions, it would have
appeared a vehement impetuosity; but by being un-
intermitted, it had an equability of manner which
scarcely appeared to exceed the tone of a calm con-
stancy, it was so totally the reverse of anything like
turbulence or agitation. It was the calmness of an
intensity kept uniform by the nature of the human
mind forbidding it to be more, and by the character of
the individual forbidding it to be less. The habitual
passion of his mind was a measure of feeling almost
equal to the temporary extremes and paroxysms of
common minds; as a great river, in its customary
state, is equal to a small or moderate one when swollen
to a torrent.
The moment of finishing his plans in deliberation,
and commencing them in action, was the same. I
wonder what must have been the amount of that bribe
in emolument or pleasure, that would have detained
him a week inactive after their final adjustment. The


law which carries water down a declivity, was not more
unconquerable and invariable than the determination of
his feelings toward the main object. The importance
of this object held his faculties in a state of excitement
which was too rigid to be affected by lighter interests
and on which, therefore, the beauties of nature and of art
had no power. He had no leisure feeling which he
could spare to be diverted among the innumerable
varieties of the extensive scene which he traversed; all
his subordinate feelings lost their separate existence
and operation, by falling into the grand one. There
have not been wanting trivial minds, to mark this as a
fault in his character. But the mere men of taste
ought to be silent respecting such a man as Howard;
he is above their sphere of judgment. The invisible
spirits, who fulfil their commission of philanthropy
among mortals, do not care about pictures, statues, and
sumptuous buildings; and no more did he, when the
time in which he must have inspected and admired
them, would have been taken from the work to which
he had consecrated his life. The curiosity which he
might feel, was reduced to wait till the hour should
arrive, when its gratification should be presented by
conscience, which kept a scrupulous charge, of all his
time, as the most sacred duty of that hour. If he was
still at every hour, when it came, fated to feel the
attractions of the fine arts but the second claim, they
might be sure of their revenge; for no other man will


ever visit Rome under such a despotic consciousness of
duty as to refuse himself time for surveying the magni-
ficence of its ruins. Such a sin against taste is very
far beyond the reach of common saintship to commit.
It implied an inconceivable severity of conviction, that
he had one thing to do, and that he who would do some
great thing in this short life, must apply himself to the
work with such a concentration of his forces, as, to idle
spectators who live only to amuse themselves, looks like
His attention was so strongly and tenaciously fixed
on his object, that even at the greatest distance, like
the Egyptian pyramids to travellers, it appeared to him
with a luminous distinctness as if it had been nigh,
and beguiled the toilsome length of labour and enter-
prise by which he was to reach it. It was so conspicu-
ous before him, that not a step deviated from the
direction, and every movement and every day was an
approximation. As his method referred everything he
did and thought to the end, and as his exertion did not
relax for a moment, he made the trial so seldom made,
what is the utmost effect which may be granted to the
last possible efforts of a human agent: and therefore
what he did not accomplish, he might conclude to
be placed beyond the sphere of mortal activity, and
calmly leave to the immediate disposal of Omnipo-
Let the reader mark, in these two pictures, the

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