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than the acquisition of wealth, it would respect too far is certainly to err in the only be necessary to follow the rule by right direction. which some people guide their conduct in Another item of character which plays life, viz. “Get money, honestly if you an important part in moulding the future can; but if you can't get it honestly, get is one's ideas regarding“ standard of comit.” Want of honesty and morality may fort" and expenditure. If a man makes in some isolated instances be no bar to ac- up his mind to practise thrift, and if he quiring mere wealth, but generally would considers that word a synonym for meanbe, more particularly in the case of employ- ness, stinginess, and shabbiness, in order ees.

to save money, he has very little knowlThe same may be said of punctuality. edge of the world. “Take care of the Punctuality is a habit which indicates a pence, and the pounds will take care of great deal more than the simple facts of themselves" is advice ill-suited to the rebeing at business in good time, keeping an quirements of modern life. Judicious ex. appointment punctually, or making pay- penditure has probably made more fortunes ments promptly ; it is an indication of than saving and economy have ; and even character, and as such should be carefully among those whose incoines are not large cultivated. It is, perhaps, quite unneces- and whose resources are limited (clerks in sary to lay stress upon the need of main- banks and similar institutions, men in bustaining a character for honesty, sobriety, iness, or budding professional men) the morality, and punctuality by those who are expenditure of a disproportionately large ambitious to rise to important positions in part of income on appearances, not perlife.

sonal appearance only, is frequently one of There are, however, elements of charac- the very best investments that could be ter more sabtle, less easy to cultivate, and made with the money. Extravagance is yet which have tremendous influence in not judicious expenditure, and usually infixing the stratum of society to which a dicates a weak point in one's character. man is ultimately to rise or fall. Two of A man who has no other merit will frethese are self-respect and thrift. With quently rely upon reckless expenditure to regard to self-respect it cannot be too obtain for him the character for liberality strongly impressed that the chief means of and the good opinion of his fellows. gaining the respect of others is to respect The foregoing brief summary is perhaps one's self. But there is danger in both di- sufficient to show to how large an extent rections. Want of self-respect will soon success is dependent upon character. But bring one down, no matter how favorable a good character is hardly an active cause other circumstances may be ; but in guard- of success, although it is a condition necing against it, and it must be guarded essary to success. Everybody is expected against at all hazards, it is possible to go to be honest, sober, punctual, moral, and to the other extreme, and the production to possess self-respect; and, strictly speakwill be conceit and snobbery. There is, ing, there is no conparative or superlative however, plenty of distance between Scylla of these qualities in their positive form. and Charybdis ; the one must be avoided, If one man is less honest than another, the and it is well not to go too near the other. former must be at least slightly dishonest. The moment self-respect becomes a nega- If a man is not very honest, he is not an tive quality there is great risk to the honest man at all ; and if not very sober, career, while as a positive quantity it may his sobriety becomes a negative quantity develop and increase considerably before at once. But if honesty and sobriety are it becomes injurious to success. By those not active causes of success, on the other whose standard of self-respect is low any hand dishonesty, intemperance, and want higher standard than their own will be im- of self-respect are very active causes of mediately dubbed conceit, and therefore failure, and may exist in every state and judgment is required to fix the lines be- stage from positive to superlative. tween want of self-respect and self-esteem It would be impossible within the limits carried to excess. This zone, for it can- of a magazine article to dwell at length not be described as a line, must not be upon each item of the component parts of fixed for us by others, but by ourselves, the four classes into which the elements of and the taunt of conceit must not be too success have been divided ; indeed, to do readily taken to heart, for to carry self- so would probably result in a réchauffé of stale platitudes. Having briefly glanced Talent, cultivated or uncultivated, if it at the value of character, we now come to is only of average quality, is financially of ability.

little value. It becomes of value when it Forti nihil difficilewas the adopted is above the average, and its value then will motto of Lord Beaconsfield, a man who be found to increase in a geometrical rather rose to a very high pinnacle of fame and than an arithmetical progression. It is in success by means principally of his abili. this respect like diamonds or pearls, the ties ; not altogether by his abilities, for relative values of large and small being out even the circumstance of being placed in a of all proportion to size, every increase in sphere in which he had the opportunity of size adding to the price in a much greater distinguishing bimself was not entirely due ratio until, like the Koh-i-noor and other to his inherent merits, and so becomes luck. historical gems, they become of almost To the strong nothing is difficult,' was priceless value. So it is with talent and his somewhat conceited motto, and there skill. A man may have a talent for music, is truth in the assertion ; therefore it would and may have bestowed upon it considerbe useful to the aspirants to success to able cultivation. Up to a point it will only know who are

the strong.'

What con

afford recreation to himself and pleasure stitutes this strength which renders noth- to his friends, and at the same time be of ing difficult ?. It is special knowledge. very little market value, even though a not “The strong' are those who have that very wide gulf divides hinn from profesknowledge, and who are not handicapped sionals receiving fabulous sums for their with adverse circumstances beyond their services. own control.

Special professional skill or knowledge It must not be assumed that knowledge bas proportionally very much greater value is a synonym for scholastic attainments. than average knowledge. In professions Scholastic attainments form a most valuable like those of law and inedicine, there is so help to success, but it is well known that much ground to cover and so much knowlmere scholars, as a general rule, are not edge to acquire, that it is almost impossisuccessful men of the world. The branch ble in a lifetime to master every branch of of knowledge which contributes most to the study, and to keep pace with the new success is that which Lord Beaconsfield Acts, judicial interpretations, or medical possessed, a knowledge of men and of the discoveries which each year produces. ways of the world, and it could easily be To attempt to master the whole would shown by examples that when scholars usually result in general knowledge and have achieved success it has been because skill of only average quality. It is the they have possessed some of the other ele- specialist who makes a reputation and a ments of ability.

fortune. The great secret of professionali The constituent parts of ability for the success is to possess some branch of the purpose of advancing one's self in the world skill or knowledge in a greater degree than are natural talent, education or acquired the average of those in the profession, andi ability, energy, discretion, address and if possible beyond all others. It is better manners, and self-assertion.

for the individual, and certainly better for Natural talent is an accident of birth, humanity, that a medical man, for inand is undoubtedly a kind of luck, but it stance, should devote himself heart and is also inherent merit. Natural talent sel- soul to the investigation and study of some dom contributes to success except when it particular form of disease, and thereby add is cultivated, and when it is applied in a to pre-existing knowledge, and be himself direction where it is appreciated, and in request because of his special skill

. wben the person who possesses it knows It goes without saying that those who how to let those to whom it is of value have natural talents and education have an know that he does possess it. The proc. advantage over those who have not, other ess of cultivation of natural talent is called things being equal. It is because other education, and it is only when education things are not equal that men of education has made considerable progress that it is sometimes fail to succeed, and are pushed possible to discover what natural talents aside in the race of life by others whose one possesses, and whether or not they are scanty information and moderate attainsuch as to be worth placing reliance upon ments are compensated for by energy,

disto ensure a saccessful career.

cretion, and self-assertion. Now SERIES. -VOL, LIV., No. 1,

5

success.

own

The teachers of the Christian religion cures the opportunity to achieve success, are continually urging upon mankind the and as success depends so much upon havvirtues of self-sacrifice and abnegation, and ing an opportunity, it

opportunity, it follows that the great wickedness of self-seeking and cheek”

may

be a most valuable factor ambition. Avarice, greed, envy and covet- in making a successful career. ousness are the motives frequently ascribed Character and ability are admitted on to those who endeavor to succeed in life. all hands to be very important elements of Is it too much to say that very many men

Merit deserves success, but does desire to possess wealth and influence in not always ensure it, for the reason that its order that they may be enabled to benefit value may be neutralized by bad luck, or others, rather than to minister to their some of the elements of luck in a negative

selfish desires and pleasures ? quantity. A youth who has sufficient natWhether it be to ensure the comfort of ural talent for painting or sculpture to their families, to do honor to the family achieve great success if educated for the name, or to be in a position to confer ben- profession, may, through poverty, parental efits on those who stand in need of assist- want of discernment, or other circumance, such motives most frequently are the stances over which he has no control, have real incentives to labor and industry on the the misfortune to be placed in some occupart of men who already have achieved pation which precludes him entirely from soine amount of success.

following his favorite pursuit. Choice of It must be borne in mind that in the profession or business by parents is a lot. race of life, unless a man knows how to tery ; they make soldiers of effeminate keep in the running, there are thousands cowards, parsons of rogues, and lawyers pressing him hard, only too ready to thrust of fools. The coward might do remarkhim aside, and if he fall, to trample upon ably well at somethivg else, but bad luck him without compunction or remorse. has ordained it otherwise. The family Self-assertion is indispensable ; it is nec- living in the Church must not be lost, and essary in self-defence. A man who is con- the future rector is nominated from his scious of and has confidence in his abili. very cradle. The fine old family business ties, and who neglects to assert himself, of the solicitor must not pass to strangers ; commits a fraud upon those who are de- the son, whatever his mental capacities, pendent upon him. But self-assertion un- must succeed the father. Luck, however, accompanied by genuine merit becomes lu- often operates in the other direction, and dicrous, and is correctly described by the the profession selected by the parent, by vulgar word “ cheek.”

But even pure pure accident, may be that best suited to downright “cheek” is frequently the the talents and tastes of the youth, and a means of obtaining a large amount of suc- successful career is the result. cess, because it may secure for one a po- Lack plays an enormous part in forming sition of importance, the duties of which,

For example, in professions like by the exercise of discretion alone, may be the Army, the Law, the Church, or in the satisfactorily discharged by surrounding Civil Service, and large establishments, a one's self with those whose brains, energy, very important element is the removal or discretion and address provide the quali- retention of obstacles to promotion. Morties which are needed to maintain the po- tality among those holding high positions sition and fulfil its obligations. Cheek” may give unexpected promotion to some, may, indeed, do more ; it has sometimes while others, similarly situated and whose obtained for a man a reputation for talents prospects may have appeared better, conand attainments which he does not pos- tinue in subordinate positions because no sess, or for having greater special knowl vacancies occur. edge than he does possess. Having Another operation of chance is the age secured a reputation beyond his merits, at which an individual secures his opporhis only care need be to prevent the world tunity, because an opportunity invaluable from being undeceived. This should not to a man under middle age may be absolute. be very often a matter of difficulty ; the ly worthless to an older man. world has always shown a ready disposi- But pure chance exerts its most powertion to assess a man's abilities at his own ful influence in the matter of health. valuation, or at a reputed valuation ; and Character and ability of the highest order, as such an over-estiinate frequently pro- combined with all the other elements of opportunity and assistance, are, alas ! too many others have lived to know how at often rendered nugatory by some form of some period in their careers they paused ill-health, physical or mental.

careers.

before two turnings, and by good fortune When speaking of character, dishonesty alone avoided destruction. was referred to as the frequent cause of Luck consists of opportunity and assistruined lives. Here, again, luck is power- ance. Opportunity is indispensable to sucful in both its positive and negative forms, cess, but assistance is not indispensable, in the shape of temptation. Who can tell and success may be achieved not only withwhat careers have been blighted and out assistance, but even with that form of wrecked, families ruined, and honored luck in a negative quantity. Unearned names disgraced by the pure accident of capital, influential parentage, useful strong temptation presenting itself ? On friends, good personal appearance, good the other hand, who can say what success- report, and the accident of pure chance ful men have been saved by the good for- favorable at important junctures, these tune of having been spared temptation are circumstances which facilitate one's enwhich at certain periods of their lives they deavors to succeed in life. could not have resisted ?

The talismanic properties of money are So with intemperance ; a youth sur- too well known, alike to those who have it rounded by bad examples and temptation and those who liave it not, to require even at home is less likely to possess the virtue the briefest comment.

Suffice it to say of sobriety than one brought up among that experience seems to furnish constant abstainers. His failure in life may be the examples of the fulfilment of the Scriptural result due to the accident of chance in paradox : “ Unto every one that hath shall being tempted to do wrong. Of course, be given, and he shall have abundance ; a man who is a drunkard, even under such but from him that bath not shall be taken circumstances, must be weak in character ; away even that which he hath.” but the same weakness of character might, Parentage, even in the last decade of in the absence of constant temptation, have the nineteenth century, is a potent eleproved no bindrance to success.

ment. The influence of a father who ocThe opportunity to achieve success de- cupies an important position in the world pends so much upon health, age, a con- is, of course, of service to the son. But genial profession, a business in which valuable assistance is derived very often competition is not too keen, and an ab- from the mere possession of a name which sence of irresistible temptation to do seri- indicates influential connections, or kinship ous wrong, through folly, ignorance, or with an aristocratic family, even though weakness of will, that, on the whole, op- it be an impoverished peerage or a new portunity is chance. It may be said that creation. It is undoubtedly true that the a clever man can make his own oppor- English people “ dearly love a lord,” and tunity to achieve success ; he can choose it is not untrue that even professing demohis profession, for instance. True, if he crats have at tiines betrayed indications of has had the good fortune not to have had a kind of sneaking reverence, not only for an unsuitable one chosen for him by others, lords, but also for remote collateral deor by himself. A man commencing the scendants of aristocratic families, and have business of life frequently has more than not unfrequently shown a preference for one good opening placed before him, and leaders chosen from the “ classes." Pamuch depends upon a correct decision as rentage still influences employers in the to which is the better, and that decision selection of clerks and others in similar po. would often be made through some cir- sitions, although not to so large an extent cumstance as purely the operation of as formerly. Caste influence is still so chance as the result of tossing up a coin strong that the appointment of the son of into the air. The advantages of one a mechanic to be a clerk would, in many course may be carefully considered and places of business, produce great indignaweighed against the prospects of the other, tion, and most probably the new-comer and yet chance may be the ultimate arbiter. would be virtually boycotted by men perMany who have failed in life have be. haps morally and mentally his inferiors, moaned that failure was due to their hav- and possessed in a less degree of the ining adopted a fatal course, through no want stincts and manners of gentlemen. This of judgment, when another was open ; same caste influence is not confined to the

classes mentioned. In more important forgotten. Let a man succeed in having positions in life the accident of humble a speech or lecture reported to the length birth may militate very seriously against of half a column in the daily papers, promotion, and the good fortune of hav- neither he nor his friends will hear very ing superior parentage may greatly assist much about his success ; but let him, on one's advancement, so that men of equal the other hand, have his name mentioned ability and good character, and having the in a small paragraph in any paper, if it be luck of opportunity in equal proportions, connected with something discreditable, a would discover that parentage is a form of bill of sale, a police-court summons, or the assisting luck which it is impossible to like, the news will speedily travel into all ignore. The assistance of friends is classi- the ramifications of his acquaintanceship, fied as luck, because it is external to the and will penetrate with a kind of capillary individual who is thereby aided. The attraction, and be absorbed like moisture assistance of friends, or the evil wrought into a piece of sugar. What is true of by the malevolence of an enemy, is good published information, is equally true of or bad luck, but the process of making oral communications, and the latter are friends is usually due to ability and char- more likely to give currency to statements acter, and the making of enemies to indis- which are libelous and false. cretion, or some other negative form of Slander may be unpreventable, and is ability, if only a want of knowing how to then a form of bad luck ; possibly of sufficonciliate. It has been remarked that the cient power to arrest a successful career life of a man who never makes an enemy which otherwise was assured. The indimust be very insipid. Possibly it may vidual who suffers may be in total ignoseem so to those who love quarrels. But rance of its operating against him, and be men of long experience could corroborate quite at a loss to ascertain the reason for the assertion that one enemy is able very his supersession, or his failure, where he often to neutralize the whole favorable in- had anticipated success. fluences of a large number of friends ; in Finally, the pure accident of chance has other words, it is unwisdom to gain friends often made success. Speculation based by making enemies, and bad policy to apon unreliable information, unexpected make enemies at all when it is not unavoid. legacies, an unforeseen demand for one's able. There is an energy in enmity and manufactures ; these causes may bring hate which one seldom finds in friendship; wealth which is potential, although not an enemy will take great pains to do harm, omnipotent in making a successful career. but friends, as a rule there are exceptions The least meritorious are frequently the to the rule), are satisfied to give such aid most fortunate. The operations of chance only as can be given without personal loss seldom coincide with justice, as was the or inconvenience to themselves.

case when the lot fell upon Jonah. Good report and unmerited slander are The foregoing arguments are intended the positive and negative forms of another to lead to the conclusion that success in element of assisting luck, the one proceed- life is dependent upon much that is quite ing from friends, the other emanating from beyond the influence or control of the asenemies ; actual enemies, though not pirant. Great success connotes ambition, always wilful enemies. The man who and implies a will to labor in order to atgives currency to a false statement as to tain the desired end. But it is possible to another's character or abilities is an en- imagine cases where transcendent abilities emy, because he is doing harm, even and spotless character may exist unnoticed, though he may not have the slightest de- unknown, and unrewarded. sire to do harm or reason for wishing Our army of to-day contains in the ranks evil. The worst of slander is that it is so generals as able as Wellington, Napoleon, difficult to unearth and refute, unless it be or Von Moltke, but who will never be repeated to one who has the courage known to fame through not having the luck to inform the person of whom it is of opportunity ; and in every sphere of spoken.

life there are many quite willing to hide Human nature, unfortunately, is prone their light under a bushel, and the bushel to listen to, and be interested in evil re- is eagerly supplied for the purpose by port, and to pay little heed to good report. others whose feeble flicker may then beThe evil is remembered, the good soon come visible.-National Magazine.

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