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Character is power - is influence ; it makes friends; creates funds it draws patronage and support ; and opens a sure and easy way to wealth honor, and happiness.- J . HAWES;

When all have done their utmost, surely he Hath given the best who gives a character Erect and constant.


I'm called away by particular business, but I leave my character behind me. - SHERIDAN.

As there is nothing in the world great but man, there is nothing truly great in man but character. - W. M. EVARTS.

The spirit of a single mind Makes that of multitudes take one direction, As roll the waters to the breathing wind.


Character must stand behind and back up everything-the sermon, the poem, the picture, the play. None of them is worth a straw without it. G. HOLLAND.

The alleged power to charm down insanity, or ferocity in beasts, is a power behind the eye.- EMERSON. Character is the diamond that scratches every other stone.- BARTOL.

"DAREST thou kill Caius Marius ?" said the unarmed Roman to the assassin sent to his dungeon. The Cimbrian quailed before the captive's eye, dropped his weapon, and fled.

Learning that Napoleon would soon pass alone through a long dim passage, a young man hid there to slay the ruthless invader of his country. As the emperor approached, his massive head bowed in thought, the young man raised his weapon, took careful aim, and was about to press the trigger when a slight noise betrayed his presence. Napoleon looked up, and comprehended the situation at a glance. He did not speak, but gazed intently upon the youth, a smile of haughty

GEORGE WASHINGTON "That tower of strength Which stood four square to all the winds that blew."

challenge upon his face. The weapon fell from nerveless hands, and the hero of a hundred fields passed on in silence, his head again bowed in meditation upon affairs of state. To him it was but one incident in a crowded career, a mere personal triumph soon lost sight of amid memories of battles which shook the world with the thunder of his victorious legions. To the young man it was the experience of a lifetime, a crushing, bewildering sense of his own inferiority in comparison with the enormous, ponderous weight of character of a man who threw every fibre and faculty and power of his being into the life he was living. As well might the glowworm match himself against the lightning!

" Let a king and a beggar converse freely together," said Bulwer, "and it is the beggar's fault if he does not say something which makes the king lift his hat to him." What is that to which the king would make obeisance ? Information ? No. He would not lift his hat to that. Is there not something which the poorest and humblest may have in equal or greater proportion than the monarch-manliness ? We admire wisdom, but we bow our heads before a man, whether he be a child of misfortune or a king.

"Be you only whole and sufficient," says Emerson, "and I shall feel you in every part of my life and fortune, and I can as easily dodge the gravitation of the globe. as escape your influence." Character is power.

"No, say what you have to say in her presence, too," said King Cleomenes of Sparta, when his visitor Anistagoras asked him to send away his little daughter Gorgo, ten years old, knowing how much harder it is to persuade a man to do wrong when his child is at his side. So Gorgo sat at her father's feet, and listened while the stranger offered more and more money if Cleomenes would aid him to become king in a neighboring country. She did not understand the matter, but when she saw her father look troubled and hesitate,
she took hold of his hand and said, " Papa, come away -come, or this strange man will make you do wrong." The king went away with the child, and saved himself and his country from dishonor. Character is power, even in a child.

When grown to womanhood, Gorgo was married to the hero Leonidas. One day a messenger brought a tablet sent by a friend who was a prisoner in Persia. But the closest scrutiny failed to reveal a single word or line on the white waxen surface, and the king and all his noblemen concluded that it was sent as a jest. "Let me take it," said Queen Gorgo ; and, after looking it all over, she exclaimed, "There must be some writing underneath the wax!" They scraped away the wax and found a warning to Leonidas from the Grecian prisoner, saying that Xerxes was coming with his immense host to conquer all Greece. Acting on this warning Leonidas and the other kings assembled their armies and checked the mighty host of Xerxes, which is said to have shaken the earth as it marched.

During the Revolutionary War, Richard Jackson was accused of an intention to join the British army, and admitted the truth of the charge. He was committed to the rude county jail, from which he could have escaped easily; but he considered himself held by due process of law, and his sense of duty forbade flight under such circumstances. He asked leave of the sheriff to go out and work by day, promising to return each night. Consent was given readily, as his character for simple honesty was well known, and for eight months he went out each morning and returned at evening. At length the sheriff prepared to take him to Springfield, to be tried for high treason. Jackson said this would be needless trouble and expense, for he could go just as well alone. Again his word was taken, and he set off alone. On the way he was overtaken by Mr. Edwards of the council of Massachusetts, who asked -whither. he was going. “To Springfield, sir," was the reply, "to be tried for my life." The proof was complete, and Jackson was condemned to death. When the president of the council asked if a pardon should be granted, member after member opposed, until Mr. Edwards told the story of his meeting with Jackson in the woods. By common consent a pardon was at once made out. The childlike simplicity and integrity of the man had saved his life. Character is power.

In the great monetary panic of 1857, a meeting was called of the various bank presidents of New York city. When asked what percentage of specie had been drawn during the day, some replied fifty per cent., some even as high as seventy-five per cent., but Moses Taylor of the City Bank said: "We had in the bank this morning, $400,000; this evening, $470,000." While other banks were badly " run," the confidence in the City Bank under Mr. Taylor's management was such that people had deposited in that institution what they had drawn from other banks. Character gives confidence.

"One man speaks with the accent of conviction, and his words are edicts. Nations run to obey, as if to obey was the only joy they coveted. Another speaks hesitatingly and only makes us question whether the gift of speech be, on the whole, a blessing."

We can calculate the efficiency of an engine to the last ounce of pressure. Its power can be as accurately determined as the temperature of a room. But who can rightly determine the inherent force of a man of predominant character ? Who can estimate the influence of a single boy or girl upon the character of a school? Traditions, customs, manners have been changed for several school generations by one or two strong characters, who in their own small way, but none the less important, have become school heroes - as much real forces in life as if they were locomotives dragging loads of cars. Any teacher will tell you that many a school has been pulled up grade, or run down, by just such imperious characters.

When war with France seemed imminent, in 1798, President Adams wrote to George Washington, then a private citizen in retirement at Mount Vernon: “We must have your name, if you will permit us to use it; there will be more efficacy in it than in many an army." Character is power.

Wellington said that Napoleon's presence in the French army was equivalent to forty thousand additional soldiers, and Richter said of the invincible Luther, "His words were half battles."

St. Bernard had such power over men that mothers hid their sons, wives their husbands, companions their friends, lest they should be persuaded to enter the monastery.

"You could not stand with Burke under an archway while a shower of rain was passing," said Dr. Johnson, "without discovering that he was an extraordinary man."

Warren Hastings said he thought himself the basest of men while Burke was hurling at him his terrible denunciations when on trial for his alleged misrule in India.

"Hence it was," said Franklin, speaking of the influence of his known integrity of character, "that I - had so much weight with my fellow citizens. I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to much hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in language, and yet I generally carried my point."

" The man behind the sermon," said William M. Evarts, “ is the secret of John Hall's power." In fact. if there is not a man with a character behind it nothing about it is of the slightest consequence.

John Brown (of Ossawatomie) said': “One good,

strong, sound man is worth one hundred, nay, one thousand men without character, in building up a state."

We all believe in the man of character. What power of magic lies in a great name. Theodore Parker used to say that Socrates was worth more to a nation than many such states as South Carolina.

Jefferson once wrote to Washington: “ The confidence of the whole nation centres in you." There was not a throne in Europe that could stand against Washington's character, and in comparison with it the millions of the Rothschilds would look ridiculous. What are the works of avarice compared with the names of Lincoln, Grant, or Garfield ? A few names have ever been the salt which has preserved the nations from premature decay.

It is the nature of party in England," said John Russell, "to ask the assistance of men of genius, but to follow the guidance of men of character."

“ My road must be through character to power," wrote Canning in 1801. "I will try no other course; and I am sanguine enough to believe that this course, though not perhaps the quickest, is the surest"

Power is the great goal of ambition, and it is only through a noble character that one can arrive at a personality strong enough to move men and nations.

"The thought, the feeling in the central man in a great city touches all who are in it who think and feel," said C. T. Brooks. " The very boys catch something of his power, and have something about them that would not be there if he were not in the town."

During the civil war in France, Montaigne alone kept his castle gates unbarred, and was not molested. His character was more powerful than the king's guards. Truly, as Pope says, he's armed without that's innocent within.

History and biography show many wonderful in. stances of the immunity accorded to men of character.

A strange talisman seemed to surround them. Read the lives of William Penn, Roger Williams, Xavier, Livingstone, and of many others who courted danger for the sake of religion or science, and why is it that they have been spared by the savage spear ? Character is protection.

In the army, fleeing from Moscow amid the bewildering snows of a biting Russian winter, was a German prince whose sterling character had endeared him to all his soldiers. One bitter night, in the ruins of a shed built for cattle, all lay down to sleep, cold, tired, and hungry. At dawn the prince awoke, warm and refreshed, and listened to the wind as it howled and shrieked around the shed. He called his men, but received no reply. Looking around, he found their dead bodies covered with snow, while their cloaks were piled upon himself - their lives given to save his.

"There is a time for all things," said the Reverend Peter J. G. Muhlenburg to his congregation at Woodstock, Va., about the close of seventeen hundred and seventy-five; “a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight and that time has now come." So saying, he flung aside his ministerial robes and stood before them in the full uniform of a Virginia colonel. Nearly every man in his congregation joined him; and, with others quickly rallied from a distance, he marched to do noble service in the Revolutionary War, from which he returned an honored major-general.

"I fear, my Attilia, that, for this year, our little fields must remain unsown," said Quintius Cincinnatus to his wife, as the deputies of the Roman Senate led him away to a consulship, when the great empire was in danger. They had found him holding the plough, clad in plain attire, and apparently destitute of ambition for office. By his moderation, humanity, and justice in the midst of factional jealousy, he soon restored public tranquillity, and returned to his plough.

Another exigency soon arose, when the Eternal City needed character, and. the senate made him dictator, with unlimited power. He restored public confidence; reorganized the army, defeated a powerful enemy, and then, having refused any share of the rich spoil, he resigned the dictatorship which he had held but fourteen days, and resumed work upon his farm as calmly as if nothing had happened.

“ O sir, we are beaten," exclaimed the general in command of Sheridan's army, retreating before the victorious Early. "No, sir," replied the indignant Sheridan; "you are beaten, but this army is not beaten." Drawing his sword, he waved it above his head, and pointed it at the pursuing host, while his clarion voice rose above the horrid din in a command to charge once more. The lines paused, turned, -

"And with the ocean's mighty swing, When heaving to the tempest's wing, They hurled them on the foe; "

and the Confederate army was wildly routed.

How could an ancient battle be won by bringing upon the field, bound upright upon his familiar charger, the corpse of Douglas, of whose death his troops were ignorant? When Clan Alpine's best were borne backward in Scott's "Lady of the Lake," why would one blast upon his bugle-horn have been worth a thousand men, if blown by Roderick Dhu, then lying in his blood at Stirling Castle ? Surely a living private were better than a dead general, and scores of mountaineers could blow as loud a blast as Roderick. The power all emanated from the character or spirit of which the clay on horseback was known as the outward embodiment, and the stirring bugle-call the voice.

One of the most dramatic illustrations of the force of manhood in action, and at the same time in restraint, comes to us from the Civil War. The following thrilling description of the charge at New Market Heights is an extract from General Butler's speech on the Civil Rights Bill: -

"Now, sir, you will allow me to state how I got over my prejudices. I think the House got over theirs after the exhibition we had yesterday. I think no man will get up here and say he speaks only to white men again. He must, at first, show himself worthy before he can speak for some colored men in the House, after what occurred yesterday.

"I came into command in Virginia in eighteen hundred and sixty-three. I there organized twenty-five regiments, with some that were sent to me, and disciplined them. Still, all my brother officers of the regular army said my colored soldiers would not fight, and I felt it was necessary that they should fight to show that their race was capable of the duties of citizens; for one of the highest duties of citizens is to defend their own liberties and their country's flag and honor. I went myself with the colored troops to attack the enemy at New Market Heights, which was the key to the enemy's flank on the north side of James River. When the flash of dawn was breaking, I placed a column of three thousand colored troops, in close column by division, right in front, with guns at right shoulder shift.

" I said: ' That work must be taken by the weight of your column: no shot must be fired;' and to prevent their firing I had the caps taken from the nipples of their guns. Then I said: ' Your cry, when you charge, will be " Remember Fort Pillow; "' and as the sun rose up in the heavens the order was given ‘Forward,' and they marched forward, steadily as if on parade -went down the hill, across the marsh, and as they got into the brook they came within range of the enemy's fire, which vigorously opened upon them. They broke a little as they forded the brook, and the column wavered Oh, it was a moment of intensest anxiety, but they formed again as they reached the firm ground, marching steadily on with closed ranks under the enemy's fire, until the head of the column reached the first line of abatis, some one hundred and fifty yards from the enemy's works. Then axemen ran to the front to cut away the heavy obstructions of defense, while one thousand men of the enemy with their artillery concentrated, from the redoubt, poured a heavy fire upon the head of the column hardly wider than the clerk's desk. The axemen went down under the murderous fire; other strong hands grasped the axes in their stead, and the abatis was cut away. Again, at double-quick, the column goes forward to within forty yards of the fort, to meet there another line of abatis. The column halts.

And there a very fire of hell is poured upon them. The abatis resists and holds, the head of the column seemed literally to melt away under the shot and shell, the flags of the leading regiments go down, but a brave black hand seizes the colors; strong hands and willing hearts seize the heavy, sharpened trees and drag them away, and the column went forward, and, with a shout which now rings in my ear, they went over that redoubt like a flash, and the enemy never stopped running for four miles.

"It became my painful duty, sir, to follow in the track of that charging column, and there, in a space not wider than the clerk's desk and three hundred yards long, lay the dead bodies of five hundred and forty-three of my colored soldiers, slain in defense of their country, and who had laid down their lives to uphold its flag and its honor as a willing sacrifice; and, as I rode along among them, guiding my horse this way and that way, lest he should profane with his foot what seemed to me the sacred dead, and I looked on their bronzed faces upturned in the shining sun to heaven, as if in mute appeal against the wrongs of that country for which they lead given their lives, and whose flag had only been to them a flag of stripes, on which no star of glory had ever shone for them, - feeling that I had wronged them in the past, and believing what was the future of my country to them, -among my dead comrades there I swore to myself a solemn oath: ' May my right hand forget its cunning and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I ever fail to defend the rights of these men who have given their blood for me and my country this day and for their grace forever.;' and, God helping me, I will keep that oath."

On the 2nd of September, 1792, the populace broke into the prisons of Paris, crowded almost to suffocation with aristocrats and priests. These fell like grain before the scythe of the reaper. But in the midst of that wild revel of blood, a sans culotte recognized the Abbe Sicard, who had spent his life teaching the deaf and dumb, and in whose house

"The cunning fingers finely twined

The subtle thread that knitteth mind to mind ;

There that strange bridge of signs was built where roll

The sunless waves that sever soul from soul,

And by the arch, no bigger than a hand,

Truth traveled over to the silent land."

"Behold the bosom through which you must pass to reach that of this good citizen," said Mounot, who knew the abbe only by sight and reputation; "you do not know him. He is - the Abbe Sicard, one of the most benevolent of men, the most useful to his country, the father of the deaf and dumb." And the murderers around embraced him, and wished to carry him home in their arms. Even in that bloodstained throng the power of a noble character was still supreme.

The Franks had maintained a siege of the Roman walls of Paris until the starving garrison began to despair, although their fortifications were strong enough. No warrior was willing to incur the risk of going out in search of provisions. But Genevieve, a maid of the
garrison, went down the Seine in a little boat, beyond the camp of the besiegers, and succeeded in persuading the different Gallic tribes to send supplies to their famished brethren.

The Franks withdrew; but, in a later attempt when Genevieve was absent, they seized the city and closed the gates in mysterious fear that she might return, the guards being specially instructed to deny her admittance. But in the homely gown and veil of a peasant she entered unsuspected, and appeared before the Frank leader Hilperik in the midst of a wild carousal. What passed in that interview is not known beyond the fact that the barbarian granted safety to his captives and mercy to all the people. She is regarded to this day the patron saint of Paris.

Character, when expressed, is only reflex action: it is the doing what we have always resolved to do when the chance came. Character is like stock in trade; the more of it a man possesses, the greater his facilities for adding to it. Just as a man prizes his character, so is he.

Sir Philip Sidney, mortally wounded at Zutphen, was tortured by thirst from his great loss of blood. Water was carried to him. A wounded soldier borne by on a litter fixed his eyes upon the bottle with such a wistful gaze that Sidney insisted on giving it to him, saying, “Thy necessity is greater than mine." Sidney died, but this deed alone would have made his name honored when that of the king he served is forgotten.

Florence Nightingale tells of soldiers suffering with dysentery, who, scorning to report themselves sick lest they should force more labor on their overworked comrades, would. go down to the trenches and make them their death-beds. Say what you will, there is in the man who gives his time, his strength, his life, if need be, for something not himself, -whether he call it his queen, his country, his colors, or his fellow man, - something more truly Christian than in all the ascetic fasts, humiliations, and confessions that have ever been made.

Porsena threatened Caius Mutius with torture, when the latter coolly stretched his right hand into the camp fire, and watched it burn to a crisp without a groan. The Tuscan freed his prisoner, and concluded a treaty with Rome, the country which reared such men as Mutius and Horatius.

“I have read," Emerson says, "that they who listened to Lord Chatham felt that there was something finer in the man than anything which he said." It has been complained of Carlyle that when he has told all his facts about Mirabeau they do not justify his estimate of the latter's genius. The Gracchi, Agis, Cleomenes, and others of Plutarch's heroes do not in the record of facts equal their own fame. Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Walter Raleigh are men of great figure and of few deeds.

We cannot find the smallest part of the personal weight of Washington in the narrative of his exploits. The authority of the name of Schiller is too great for his books. This inequality of the reputation to the works or the ancedotes is not accounted for by saying that the reverberation is longer than the thunderclap; but something resided in these men which begot an expectation that outran all their performance. The largest part of their power was latent.

This is that which we call character, - a reserved force which acts directly by presence, and without means. What others effect by talent or eloquence, the man of character accomplishes by some magnetism. "Half his strength he puts not forth." His victories are by demonstration of superiority, and not by crossing bayonets. He conquers, because his arrival alters the face of affairs. " O Iole ! how didst thou know that Hercules was a god?" "Because," answered Iole, “ I was content the moment my eyes fell on him. When I beheld Theseus, I desired that I might see him offer battle, or at least
drive his horses in the chariot-race; but Hercules did not wait for a contest; he conquered whether he stood, or walked, or sat, or whatever else he did."

There are men and women in every country who conquer before they speak, and who exert an influence out of all proportion to their ability, and people wonder what is the secret of their power over men. It is natural for all classes to believe in and to follow character, for character is power. Even the murderer respects the justice of the judge who

pronounces his death-sentence. Something in him instinctively feels and indorses its right and justice. Never did Caesar exert a greater influence over the Roman people than when he lay upon the marble floor of the senate, pierced by cruel daggers, -his wounds so many open mouths pleading for him.

It was said of Sheridan : "Had he possessed principle he might have ruled the world." How few young men realize that their success in life depends more upon what they are than upon what they know. It was character, not ability, that elected Washington and Lincoln to the presidency.

Webster bid high for the presidency. The price was his honor - all his former convictions. When a farmer heard that he had lost the nomination, he said: “The South never pays its slaves."

What is this principle that Napoleon and Webster lacked ? Is it not a deathless loyalty to the highest ideal which the world has been able to produce up to the present date? This is what we admire and respect in strong men whose roots are deep in the ground and whose character is robust enough to keep them like oaks in their places when all around is whirling.

"Trying to run without a pilot," was the only comment of a captain, as a passenger once pointed to a wreck lying upon the rocks. This would form a pertinent inscription over Byron, Burns, and many a premature grave. Character is safety.

When promised protection in Turkey if he would embrace the Mohammedan religion, the exiled Bossuth replied: "Between death and shame, I have never been dubious. Though once the governor of a generous people, I leave no inheritance to my children. That were at least better than an insulted name God's will be done. I am prepared to die." “These hands of mine," he said at another time, "are empty but clean."

"Mamma," exclaimed the young Princess Victoria, "I cannot see who is to come after Uncle William unless it is myself." When told that she was the heir apparent, she said: "I will be good." More than half a century has elapsed since this princess of eighteen years was roused from slumber on the 21st of June, 1837, and summoned to appear before the Archbishop of Canterbury. Without even time to dress, she hastily threw a wrapper over her night robes, and, with slippers on bare feet, and hair in disorder, she went before the archbishop and was saluted "Queen." The king was dead, and business of state will not wait for ladies' toilets. With all the dignity, innocence, and good sense of a true woman, the young queen extended her hand for the customary kiss of allegiance. Character, courtesy, and sound judgment have distinguished her wonderful reign of over half a century, and not once has she ceased to be a real queen.

When Petrarch approached the tribunal to take the customary oath as a witness, he was told that such was the confidence of the court in his veracity that his word would be sufficient, and he would not be required to swear to his testimony.

Hugh Miller was offered the position of cashier in a large bank, but declined, saying that he knew little of accounts, and could not get a bondsman. "We do not require bonds of you," said Mr. Ross, president of the bank. Miller did not ever know that Ross knew him.

Our characteristics are always under inspection whether we realize it or not.

"No man ever entered Mr. Pitt's closet who did not feel himself a braver man when he came out," said an eminent soldier who knew Chatham well.

When, Florence Nightingale entered the hospital at the Crimea, the whole atmosphere seemed changed. From those rough soldiers, tossing on beds of anguish, there came not a word to shock the most fastidious.

Vittoria Colonna wrote her husband, when the princes of Italy urged him to desert the Spanish cause, to which he was bound by every tie of faithfulness, "Remember your honor, which raises you above kings. By that alone, and not by titles and splendor, is glory acquired - the glory which it will be your happiness and pride to transmit unspotted to your posterity."

When Thoreau lay dying, a Calvinistic friend asked anxiously, " Henry, have you made your peace with God ?" '° John," whispered the dying naturalist, “ I didn't know God and myself had quarreled."

Lincoln, although President of a great people, was the laughing-stock of the aristocratic and fashionable circles of Europe. The illustrated papers of all Christendom caricatured the awkwardness and want of dignity of this backwoods graduate. Politicians were shocked at the simplicity of his state papers, and wished to make them more conventional; but Lincoln only replied, "The people will understand them." Even in Washington he was ridiculed as "the ape," “stupid block head," and “satyr." On reading these terrible denunciations and criticisms, he once said, "Well, Abraham

Lincoln, are you a man or are you a dog ? " After the repulse at Fredericksburg he said, " If there is a man out of hell that suffers more than I do, I pity him." But the great heart of the common people beat in unison with his. The poor operatives in European cotton-mills sometimes nearly starved for lack of cotton, but they never petitioned their government to break Lincoln's blockade. Working people, the world over, believed in and sympathized with him. No man ever lived of whom it could have been more truly said that, -

“The elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up. And say to all the world, ' This is a man.'

The world, it is said, is always looking for men who are not for sale; men who are honest, sound from centre to circumference, true to the heart's core ; men whose consciences are as steady as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right if the heavens totter and the earth reels; men who can tell the truth, and look the world and the devil right in the eye; men that neither brag nor run; men that neither flag nor flinch; men who can have courage without shouting to it; men in whom the courage of everlasting life runs still, deep, and strong; men who know their message and tell it; men who know their places and fill them; men who know their own business and attend to it; men who will not lie, shirk, nor dodge; men who are not too lazy to work, not too proud to be poor; men who are willing to eat what they have earned, and wear what they have paid for ; men who are not afraid to say "No" with emphasis, and who are not ashamed to say, I can't afford it."

"How true it is that many millionaires, like the butternut, impoverish the ground upon which they grow; others are like the olive-trees which enrich the very soil upon which they feed. Others are affluent souls, which enrich by their very presence, whose smiles are full of blessing, and whose touch has a balm of healing in it like the touch of Him of Nazareth."

If there is any one power in the world that will make itself felt, it is character. There may be little culture, slender abilities, no property, no position in "society;" yet, if there be a character of sterling excellence, it will demand influence and secure respect.

"A man, Caesar, is born," says Emerson, "and for ages after, we have a Roman empire. Napoleon changes the front of the world. Bacon turns in a new direction the thought of the human race. Newton interprets the thoughts of God. Franklin unlocks the temple of Nature."

" A right act strikes a chord that extends through the whole universe, touches all moral intelligence, visits every world, vibrates along its whole extent, and conveys its vibrations to the very bosom of God."

Do you not see a quality greater than leadership or generalship in Moses at the Red Sea, Leonidas at Thermopylae, Horatius at the bridge, Winkelried at Lake Zurich, Napoleon at Arcola or Lodi, Ney guarding the rear of the Grand Army, Nelson at the Nile, Wolfe at Quebec, Allen at Ticonderoga, Arnold at Saratoga, Washington at Yorktown, Perry at Lake Erie, Jackson at New Orleans, Farragut on the Mississippi, Grant at Vicksburg, Sheridan at Winchester, or in scores of others who have achieved triumphs in war or in peace ?

Louis XIV asked Colbert how it was that, ruling so great and populous a country as France, he had been unable to conquer so small a country as Holland. "Because," said the minister, "the greatness of a country does not depend upon the extent of its territory, but on the character of its people."

The characters of great men are the dowry of a nation. Chateaubriand said he saw Washington but once, yet it inspired his whole life. An English tanner whose leather gained a great reputation said he should not have made it so good had he not read Carlyle. It is said that Franklin reformed the manners of a whole workshop in London. Ariosto and Titian inspired each other and heightened each other's glory.
whom you admire, and I will tell you what you are.” A book or work of art puts us in the mood or train of thought of him who produced it. Is Michael Angelo dead ? Ask the hundreds of thousands who have gazed with rapt souls upon his immortal works at Rome. In how many thousands of lives has he lived and reigned Are Washington, Grant, and Lincoln dead ? Did they ever live more truly than today ? What American; heart or home does not enshrine their characters ? Picture to yourself, if you can, Egypt without Moses, Babylon without a Daniel, Athens without a Demosthenes, Phidias, Socrates, or Plato.

What was Carthage two hundred years before Christ without her Hannibal ? What was Rome without her Caesar, her Cicero, Marcus Aurelius ? What is Paris without her Napoleon, and Hugo, and Pere Hyacinthe ? What is England without her Newton, Shakespeare, Milton, Pitt, Burke, Gladstone ? What is Boston without such characters as Garrison, and Phillips, and Whittier, and Emerson, and Holmes ? What is New York without such men as Peter Cooper, or Horace Greeley ? What is California without her Stanford, or Chicago without her Armour, Pullman, and Field ? In these cities millions of lesser note have planned, and toiled, and worshiped, - have lived and died, and have made the real history which should receive our most careful attention ; but the leaven of the thoughts, the genius, the character of a few eminent men and women has so leavened the whole lump of life in either city, that they are largely typical of its history.

What were the Crusades without Peter the Hermit, Godfrey de Bouillon, and Richard Coeur de Lion ?

Take from England a score of names like Gladstone's, and who would read her history ? Through all the centuries of Italy's degradation Dante's name was the watchword of the country, while in the brain of many a slave still echoed the impassioned words of Cicero, of the Scipios, and the Gracchi. Byron said: “The Italians talk Dante, write Dante, and think Dante at this moment to an excess which would be ridiculous but that he deserves their admiration." Even degenerate Greece is not dead to the influence of the intellectual and moral giants of her golden age. Indeed, they still hold sway throughout the earth, more potent than when living, in the realms of thought and feeling. Our minds are shaped by the combined influence of the minds of men called dead, nearly as strongly as by those with whom we associate in life; our creeds are sanctified by the devotion of martyrs in whose sufferings under persecution we share through sympathy, and are thereby ennobled; our deeds are such as we feel that our ideals would have performed under like conditions.

“But strew his ashes to the wind

Whose sword or voice has served mankind

And is he dead, whose glorious mind

Lifts thine on high ?

To live in hearts we leave behind

Is not to die."

Every thought which enters the mind, every word we utter, every deed we perform, makes its impression upon the inmost fibre of our being, and the resultant of these impressions is our character. The study of books, of music, or of the fine arts, is not essential to a lofty character. Those most accomplished in learning and art have often been the worst of men and women. Indeed, bookworms who become all books, and artists who become all art, are usually weak. Low, aimless lives leave their mark upon the character as truly as the Creator branded Cain with his guilt. On the other hand, there are men in, whom the very dogs on the street believe. Character is power.

Turner was on the hanging-committee of the Royal Academy when the artist Bird presented a picture of merit for which no place could be found. After pleading hard for it, only to be met by the constant assertion of impracticability, Turner took down one of his own cherished pictures, and hung Bird's in its place.

Amos Lawrence gave the odd half cent and the odd quarter of a yard to his customer. It was a little thing, but it indicated his character.

We resemble insects which assume the color of the leaves and plants they feed upon, for sooner or later we become like the food of our minds, like the creatures that live in our hearts. Every act of our lives, every word, every association, is written with an iron pen into the very texture of our being. The ghosts of our murdered opportunities, squandered forces, killed time, forever rise up to rebuke us, and will not down. How hard it is to learn that like begets like; that an acorn will always become an oak, if anything; that birds of a feather will flock together; that there is a magnetic affinity between kindred things which inevitably brings them together, and that they must communicate their own properties and nothing else; that they can do no differently.

Association with the good can only produce good ; with the wicked, evil. No matter how sly, how secret, no matter if our associations have been in the dark, their images will sooner or later appear in our faces and conduct. The idols of the heart look through our eyes, appear in our manners, and betray their worshipers. Our associates, our loves, hates, struggles, triumphs, defeats, dissipations, aspirations, intrigues, honesty, dishonesty, all leave their indelible autographs upon the soul's window and are published to the world. Black hearts cast black shadows upon the face which all our will power cannot drive away. What a panorama passes across the face of a dissipated life! Behold the barrooms, the dens of infamy, the dissipated wretches, the polluted companions, the disgusting scenes, the ask tugs and denyings of passions, the struggles for victory, the broken resolutions, the sore defeats. But oh! what radiance glorifies the faces of those who have overcome temptation and disciplined their powers in striving for self-improvement !

Did you ever see a pure and noble woman enter a room where a lot of coarse, rough men were talking and telling stories ? The whole character and tone of the company rises. The very atmosphere seems purer. The entire company is transformed. Sometimes we see such a woman transform a whole neighborhood. On the other hand, one bad woman may sometimes ruin a hundred young men.

We do not need an introduction to a great man to feel his greatness. If you meet a cheerful man on the street on a cold day, you seem to feel the mercury rise several degrees.

Our manners, our bearing, our presence, tell the story of our lives, though we do not speak, and the influence of every act is felt in the utmost part of the globe. Every man that ever lived contributed something towards making me what I am. The chisel of every member of society contributed a blow to the marble of my life, and influenced its destiny.

He is the greatest man, to me, at least, who emancipates me from the imprisonment of my surroundings and environments, who loosens my tongue, and unlocks the floodgates of my possibilities. He is a lens to my defective vision. I see things in a broader light, my horizon extends, my possibilities expand. My nerves thrill with the consciousness of added force. My whole being vibrates with the magnetic currents from another soul.

Anger begets anger, and hate, hate; the passions are contagious. Actors tell us that they often go upon the stage with heavy hearts and melancholy moods, when they have to play light and gay characters, without the slightest feeling of sympathy with the parts they have
taken; yet so powerful is the law of association that the moment they assume the attitude of the character, the real feelings which belong to it come to them. Every thing reproduces itself, and cannot do otherwise. One discordant instrument spoils the harmony of the finest orchestra, and one mischief-making man or woman ruins the peace of a town.

“Character is always known," says Emerson. "Thefts never enrich; alms never impoverish; murder will speak out of stone walls. The least mixture of a lie - for example, the taint of vanity, any attempt to make a good impression, a favorable appearance - will instantly vitiate the effect. But speak the truth and all nature and all spirits help you with unexpected furtherance" Character is the poor man's capital.

Believe with Stevens that every man has in himself a continent of undiscovered possibilities. Happy is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul.

Luther says that the prosperity of a country depends, not on the abundance of its revenues, nor on the strength of its fortifications, nor on the beauty of its public buildings ; but it consists in the number of its cultivated citizens, in its men of education, enlightenment, and character; here are to be found its true interest, its chief strength, its real power.

"Rather the ground that's deep enough for graves,

Rather the stream that's strong enough for waves,

Than the loose sandy drift

Whose shifting surface cherishes no seed

Either of any flower or any weed,

Whichever way it Shift."

GALILEO 'The better is always enemy to the best.


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