io THE WAY TO SUCCEED. whose noblest efforts are evoked by opposition and obstacles.
They are superior to reverses and greater than vicissitudes.
These serve only to develop more invincible manhood, and make surer the final triumph.
Garfield once said to young men in a public address, ” To carry on the business of life, you must have surplus power,—be fit for more than the thing you are now doing.
Let everyone know that you have a reserve in yourself; that you have more power than you are now using.
If you are not too large for the place you now occupy, you are too small for it.” . When the late Isaac Hopper, the distinguished Quaker philanthropist of Philadelphia, was the guest of a noted family in London, he received an invitation to visit another family, whereupon his host remarked, ” Those people are very respectable, but not of the first circles.
They belong to our church, but not exactly to our set.
Their father was a mechanic.” ” Well, I am a mechanic myself,” replied Mr.
Hopper. “Perhaps if thou hadst known that fact, thou wouldst not have invited me.” ” Is it possible,” exclaimed his astonished host, ” that a man of your information and appearance can be a mechanic?” “Yes, I followed the business of tailor for many years.
Look at my hands.
Dost thoa not see marks of the shears ? Some of the mayors of Philadelphia have been tailors.
When I lived there I often walked the streets with the chief justice.
It never occurred to me that it was any honour, and I don’t think it did to him.” Benjamin Franklin was greater than his occupation.
In admiring the statesman and philosopher, we lose sight of the tallow-chandler and printer.
Miss Read supposed she had captured only a printer when she married him, but in process of time she found that her husband was one of the fathers of American independence.
Her first view of him was on one Sunday morning when he passed her father’s residence with a baker’s roll under each arm,, and GREATER THAN ONE’S BUSINESS.
N a third one, which he was devouring, in his hand.
He cut a comical figure, over which the young girl made herself merry, little dreaming that she was making fun of her future husband, who was altogether greater than his appearance indicated.
Could she have seen the ” Minister to the Court of England,” one of the “Framers of the Constitution of the United States,” ” Minister Plenipotentiary to France,” and the ” Nestor of America,” as the French Assembly called him, in the shabby and awkward young man devouring his roll on the street, surprise and wonder would have taken the place of ridicule.
But true greatness hides often under very poor jackets.
The youth who turns out to be greater than his business begins life with his business appearing to be greater than himself.
Franklin’s remarkable career was the product of his wise maxims in practice, which he expressed as follows :— ” If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.
Let us, then, be up and doing, and doing to the purpose.
Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy; and he that riseth late must not rest all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
Drive thy business, and not let that drive thee.
There are no gains without pains.
Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry.
Work while it is called to-day; for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow.
One to-day is worth two to-morrows; and never leave till to-morrow what you can do today.
Handle your tools without mittens; remember that the cat in gloves catches no mice.
It is true there is much to-be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed ; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects, for constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence -and patience the mouse ate in two the cable ; and little strokes fell great oaks.” General Grant is another illustration of our theme. 12 THE WAY TO SUCCEED. When he was but eight or nine years old, the proprietor of a circus called for some boy in the audience to come forth and ride the pony.
A monkey had ridden him around the course and been thrown, and throwing the boy was a part of the programme.
Ulysses Grant responded to the call, and a shout of applause went up from those who had seen him ride a vicious colt around the public square, when the feet of the fractious animal in front and rear were alternately in the air. ” You are not afraid of being thrown, I suppose ?” remarked the manager, with a roguish smile in his eye. “No, sir,” promptly answered Ulysses, and mounted.
Away flew the pony under the crack of the driver’s whip, over the course, round and round, faster and faster, finally leaping and kicking to throw the young rider, who stuck his little feet into the sides of the pony, and clung to his mane with a grip that said as plainly as words, ” You can’t do it.” The audience shouted in wild excitement, and some cried out, ” Stick, Lyss, stick ! good ! good !” He did stick, and the pony was beaten.
The vociferous applause that followed proved that the audience appreciated the boy’s triumph. At twelve years of age, Ulysses hauled the logs two miles for the new county jail which his father contracted to build.
He hauled them with a pair of fine black horses which his father owned.
Each log was one foot square, when hewn, and fourteen feet long.
It was the business of the hewers to load the logs, and it took three or four of them to accomplish the feat.
One dark, cloudy morning, when a drizzling rain was falling, he went to the woods as usual, but the hewers were not there.
The threatening weather made no impression upon him, but it kept the men at home.
What should he do ? Strange as it may seem, he resolved to load the logs himself, instead of enduring the mortification of returning without them.
He saw a half-fallen sugar maple, with its top lodged m another tree. MAKING THINGS HAPPEN. 13 Its trunk slanted just right to form an inclined plane on which he could haul the butt end of the logs up to the necessary height, which he did with the help of one of the horses.
Then backing the waggon up and hitching a chain to one of them, the horses easily drew it into the waggon.
In this way the usual number were soon loaded.
His father was not only surprised at the result, but he was delighted with the boy’s method of loading logs, and instructed his men to adopt it thereafter. ” The boy was father to the man.” At the outbreak of the late Civil War, he was made captain of a volunteer company, but the place was too small for him, or he was too big for the place.
He became colonel, and soon proved himself too large for that position; so he was made brigadier-general, and soon after major-general.
A grateful, loyal people looked on, and said, ” You can do better still.” He reduced Forts Henry and Donelson, and the nation said, ” On to Vicksburg ; you are equal to it!” Vicks-burg conquered, the government had found the general to command all the armies of the United States, and to capture Richmond. ” Fit for something more than he was doing,” the people made him President,—their greatest gift.
At every step, he proved himself greater than what he was doing.
He appeared to have reserves to bring up in every emergency; resources inexhaustible on which to draw in every crisis. So the youth who is greater than his business is ” heir-apparent ” to a throne ! MAKING THINGS HAPPEN. THE “Country Parson” says, “What you are prepared for rarely happens.
The precise thing that you expected comes not once in a thousand times.” This is true of that limp, easy-going, irresolute class of youth, who never determine what they will be thirty years from now, 14 THE WA Y TO SUCCEED. and therefore never do or dare.
But it is not true of the class who strike out for themselves, and by pluck, industry, and persistent efforts hew their way to success.
They make things happen.
Certain things must happen to make their life-purpose triumphant. “Where there’s a will there’s a way ;” but it is not that sort of a will which says, ” The precise thing that you expected comes not once in a thousand times.” It is the will which grows stronger before mighty obstacles, and exclaims with another, “Impossible? Impossible is the adjective of fools !” There is no waiting for ” something to turn up;” the man who wills proceeds to turn things up.
His will fills valleys, and levels hills; it surmounts obstacles royally, and overcomes difficulties like a conqueror.
A youth with such a will is never the “creature of circumstances ; ‘ he is the master of them. Said the late President Garfield in a public address, ” To a young man who has in himself the magnificent possibilities of life, it is not fitting that he should be permanently commanded; he should be a commander.
You must not continue to be the employed; you must be an employer.
You must be promoted from the ranks to the command.
There is something, young man, which you can command : go and find it, and command it.
Do not, I beseech you, enter upon any business which does not require and compel constant intellectual growth.” This is ringing counsel because it is right counsel; and President Garfield himself was an illustration of what he meant.
He was not content to be “commanded” all his days; he became a commander.
He was not content to be among ” the employed;” he became an employer.
To accomplish this, he made things happen, such things as he wanted to happen, and which must happen, to achieve his purpose.
His boyhood was under a cloud of poverty, for hardship may be called a cloud.
Born in the western wilderness, in a poor log cabin, far away from schools, churches, and other symbols of civilized life, and becoming fatherless when only eighteen MAKING THINGS HAPPEN. 15 months old, his prospects were not at all flattering.
To attain to a noble and stalwart manhood, he must make a great many things happen.
He must command circum-■stances, and compel them to contribute to his advancement.
That is just what young Garfield, the canal-boy, did.
At seventeen years of age he was on the towpath, a strapping, awkward youth, hankering for the sea; at fifty, President of the United States.
No language can describe the struggles that lay between these two extremes.
He beheld Ihe goal, and his conquering spirit summoned all the faculties of his soul to the task. Singleness of purpose, untiring work, ceaseless application, undaunted courage, and inspiring hope, all fell into line, like so many warriors, under the command of his heroic spirit, and moved forward to victory.
Pride, ease, and pleasure went down under the kingly tread of his career.
He was the unconscious illustration of what he wrote, at twenty-six years of age, to one of his discouraged pupils: “Tell me, Burke, do you not feel a spirit stirring within you that longs to know, to do, and to dare; to hold converse with the great woild of thought, and hold before you some high and noble object to which the vigour of your mind and the strength of your arm may be given ? Do you not have longings like these, which you breathe to no one, and which you feel must be heeded, or you will pass through life unsatisfied and regretful ? I am sure you have them, and they will for ever cling around your heart till you obey their mandate.
They are the voices of that nature which God has given you, and which, when obeyed, will bless you and your fellow-men,” It was this ” spirit stirring within him ” by which what he wanted he made happen,—the ineffaceable mark of victorious manhood.
Study his life-record, reader; there ..
Is a good lesson in it.
Farming at ten years of age ; a wood-chopper, black-salter, and amateur carpenter at fiom twelve to sixteen; a mule-driver on the canal at seventeen; 16 THE WA Y TO SUCCEED.
Read more about Pony U : Away flew the pony under the crack of the driver’s….: