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‘Tis said best men are moulded of their faults. - SHAKESPEARE. They never fail who die in a great cause. - BYRON.

Failures are but the pillars of success. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -


Adversity is the diamond-dust Heaven polishes its jewels with. LEIGHTON.

Who falls for the love of God, shall rise a star. - BEN JONSON.

Nor deem the irrevocable Past As wholly wasted, wholly vain, If, rising on its wrecks, at last To something nobler we attain.


What is defeat ? Nothing but education; nothing but the first steps to something better - WENDELL PHILLIPS. A great career, though balked of its end, is still a landmark of human energy. - SMILES.

Let Fortune empty her whole quiver on me, I have a soul that, like an ample shield, Can take in all, and verge enough for more; Fate was not mine, nor am I Fate's Souls know no conquerors.


Sometimes the truest lives of all, are lived by those who fail. - MYRON HANFORD VRON.

NEARLY a hundred thousand Romans are assembled in the Colosseum to see the hated Christians struggle for their lives with the wild beasts of the amphi-theatre. The grand spectacle is preceded by a duel between two rival gladiators, trained to fight to the death to amuse the populace. When a gladiator hit his adversary in such contests he would say "hoc habet" (he has it), and look up to see whether he should kill or spare. It

ROBERT E. LEE "The world will be blind indeed if it does not reckon among its great ones heroes without laurels and conquerors without the jubilation of triumph." the people held their thumbs up, the victim would be left to recover; if down, he was to die. If he showed the least reluctance in presenting his throat for the death-blow, there would rise a scornful shout: “Recipe ferrum" (receive the steel). Prominent persons would sometimes go into the arena and watch the death agonies of the vanquished, or taste the warm blood of some brave hero.

The two rival gladiators, as they entered, had shouted to the emperor: “ Ave, Caesar, morituri to salutaut" (Hail, Caesar, those about to die salute thee). Then in mortal strife they fought long and desperately, their faces wet with perspiration and dark with the dust of the arena. Suddenly an aged stranger in the audience leaps over the railing, and, standing bareheaded and barefoot between the contestants, bids them stay their hands. A hissing sound comes from the vast audience, like that of steam issuing from a geyser, followed by cries of “ back, back, old man." But the gray-haired hermit stands like a statue. " Cut him down, cut him down," roar the spectators, and the gladiators strike the would-be peacemaker to earth, and fight over his dead body.

But what of it ? What is the. life of a poor old hermit compared with the thousands who have met their deaths in that vast arena ? The unknown man died, indeed, but his death brought Rome to her senses, and no more gladiatorial contests disgraced the Colosseum, while in every province of the empire the custom was utterly abolished, to be revived no more. The vast ruin stands today a monument to the victory in the hermit's defeat.

No man fails who does his best, for if the critical world ignore him, his labor is weighed in the scales of Omniscient Justice. As there is no effect without cause, no loss of energy in the world, so conscientious persistence cannot fail of its ultimate reward.

One of the first lessons of life is to learn how to get victory out of defeat. It takes courage and stamina, when mortified and embarrassed by humiliating disaster, to seek in the wreck or ruins the elements of future conquest. Yet this measures the difference between those who succeed and those who fail. You cannot measure a man by his failures. You must know what use he makes of them. What did they mean to him? What did he get out of them?

I always watch with great interest a young man's first failure. It is the index of his life, the measure of his success-power. The mere fact of his failure does not interest me much; but how did he take his defeat ? What did he do next ? Was he discouraged ? Did he slink out of sight ? Did he conclude that he had made a mistake in his calling, and dabble in something else ? Or did he up and at it again with a determination that knows no defeat ?

"I thank God I was not made a dexterous manipulator," said Humphry Davy, "for the most important of my discoveries have been suggested to me by failures."

"God forbid that I should do this thing, and flee away from them," said Judas Maccabaeus, when, with only eight hundred faithful men, he was urged to retire before the Syrian army of twenty thousand. "If our time be come, let us die manfully for our brethren, and let us not stain our honor."

"Sore was the battle," says Miss Youge; "as sore as that waged by the three hundred at Thermopylae, and the end was the same. Judas and his eight hundred were not driven from the field, but lay dead upon it.

But their work was done. The moral effect of such a defeat goes further than many a victory. Those lives, sold so dearly, were the price of freedom for Judea. Judas's brothers, Jonathan and Simon, laid him in his father's tomb, and then ended the work that he had begun; and when Simon died, the Jews, once so trodden on, were the most prosperous race in the East. The temple was raised from its ruins, and the exploits of the Maccabaeus had nerved the whole people to do or die in defense of the holy faith of their fathers." After a long and desperate but vain struggle to free his country from the iron rule of Rome, Vercingetorix surrendered himself to Caesar on condition that his army should be allowed to return home without molestation. He was held a prisoner for six years, then dragged in chains over the cold stones of Rome to grace an imperial triumph, and killed in his dungeon the following night. Yet no one would think of naming any one else if asked who was the bravest. and noblest among the Gallic leaders.

"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man," said Latimer, as he stood with his friend at the stake; "we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as I trust shall never be put out; " and every word had more influence than would the preaching of a hundred sermons against the intolerance of the age. So incensed did the people become that, besides Cranmer, burned two years later, very few others were sacrificed; and of these it is said that they were secretly tried and burned at night, surrounded by soldiers, for fear of riots by the populace enraged at such injustice and cruelty.

There is something grand and inspiring in a young man who fails squarely after doing his level best, and then enters the contest again and again with undaunted courage and redoubled energy. I have no fears for the youth who is not disheartened at failure.

"It is defeat," says Henry Ward Beecher, "that turns bone to flint, and gristle to muscle, and makes men invincible, and formed those heroic natures that are now in ascendency in the world. Do not, then, be afraid of defeat. You are never so near to victory as when defeated in a good cause."


Failure becomes the final test of persistence and of an iron will. It either crushes a life, or solidifies it. The wounded oyster mends his shell with pearl.

" Failure is, in a sense," says Keats, " the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterward carefully avoid."

"We mount to heaven," says A. B. Alcott, "mostly on the ruins of our cherished schemes, finding our failures were successes."

No man is a failure who is upright and true. No cause is a failure which is in the right. There is but one failure, and that is not to be true to the best that is in us. Of what avail would it be for a man without a kingdom, without an army, to oppose the most powerful monarch of Europe ? William the Silent was a learned philosopher, an accomplished linguist, of good family and great wealth, and a lover of peace. Yet, as a mere citizen of little Holland, on what could he rely should he attempt to wage war against overwhelming odds, except the justice of his cause and the weight, of his character Philip II. was a nephew of the emperor of Germany, husband of the queen of England, and ruler in his own right of Spain, Holland, Belgium, and most of Italy, Oran, Tunis, the Cape Verde, Canary, and Philippine Islands, the Antilles, Mexico, and Peru. While his neighbors were weakened by quarrels, his resources were unrivaled. His cause was supported by the arms, wealth, glory, genius, and religion of Europe.

Philip determined to establish the Inquisition in the Netherlands, and William resolved to consecrate himself to the defense of the liberties of his country. The struggle was prodigious. At last William died, but Philip was not a victor. Holland, indeed, was without a leader, but the vast Spanish monarchy was tottering to its fall. From the beginning of the contest, “the figure of the king becomes smaller and smaller until it finally disappears, while that of the Prince of Orange grows and grows, until it becomes the most glorious figure of the century." Proscribed, impoverished, calumniated, surrounded by assassins, often a fugitive, and finally a lifeless lump of clay, William had maintained throughout a solidity of character against which beat in vain the waves of corrupt wealth and injustice. Character is power.

Raleigh failed, but he left a name ever to be linked with brave effort and noble character. Kossuth did not succeed, but his lofty career, his burning words, and his ideal fidelity will move men for good as long as time shall last. O'Connell did not win his cause, but he did achieve enduring fame as an orator, patriot, and apostle of liberty.

Viewed in this light, the retreat of Xenophon's Ten Thousand outshines the conquests of Alexander; and the retreat of Sir John Moore to Corunna was as great as the victories of Wellington.

" Gentlemen, apply to my young friend, Mr. Whitney, he can make anything," said the widow of General Greene, when some officers who had served under her husband in the Revolution said it was impossible to extend the culture of cotton, on account of the trouble and expense of separating the seed from the fibre. Eli Whitney had gone from his Massachusetts home, in 1792, to teach in Georgia.

Mrs. Greene, at whose house be was visiting, introduced Mr. Whitney to the officers and some planter guests, and recommended him as a young man of great integrity and ingenuity. The young teacher said that he had never seen cotton or cotton-seed, but promised to see what he could do. He found a little in Savannah, and shut himself up in a basement to experiment. He had to make his own tools, and even draw his wire, as none could then be bought in Savannah. He hammered and tinkered all winter, but at last his machine was successful.

Mr. Miller, who had recently married Mrs. Greene, offered to become an equal partner with Mr. Whitney, furnishing funds for perfecting, patenting, and making the machines. People came to see the wonderful device, but Mr. Miller refused to show it, as it was not yet patented.

Some of the visitors broke open the building by night and carried off the gin. Soon the partners found that machines that infringed upon theirs were upon the market. Mr. Whitney established a manufactory in New Haven, but was hampered greatly by a long sickness, while suits to defend the patent swallowed all the money of the partners. Again Whitney was sick, and had but just recovered when his manufactory burned with all his machines and papers, leaving him bankrupt. Just then came the news that British manufacturers rejected cotton cleaned by his machine, saying that the process was injurious. He went to England and at last overcame this prejudice, when his cotton-gin was again in demand. A suit against an infringer was decided against him by a Georgia jury, although the judge charged in his favor. The market. was flooded with infringements. Not until. 1807, the last year of his patent, was a suit decided in his favor, Judge Johnson saying:

"The whole interior of the Southern States was languishing and its inhabitants emigrating for want of some object to engage their attention and employ their industry, when the invention of this machine at once opened views to them which set the whole country in active motion. From childhood to age, it has presented to us a lucrative employment. Individuals who were depressed with poverty and sunk in idleness have suddenly risen to wealth and respectability. Our debts have been paid off. Our capitals have increased, and our lands have trebled themselves in value."

Whitney was obliged to engage in another kind of business to gain a livelihood, on account of the injustice of his fellow countrymen, yet one of the world's greatest victories grew out of his apparent defeat. Instead of a pound of cleaned cotton as the result of a day's work of an able-bodied man, he had made it possible for him to clean hundreds of pounds. His invention increased the production of cotton in the South more than a thousand fold, and was worth, according to conservative men, more than a thousand millions of dollars to the United States. What an inspiration there is in this career for discouraged souls in life's great battles.

"No language," says E. P. Whipple, "can fitly express the meanness, the baseness, the brutality, with which the world has ever treated its victims of one age and boasts of them in the next. Dante is worshiped at that grave to which he was hurried by persecution. Milton in his own day was ' Mr. Milton, the blind adder, that spit his venom on the king's person;' and soon after, ‘the mighty orb of song.' These absurd transitions from hatred to apotheosis, this recognition just at the moment when it becomes a mockery, sadden all intellectual history."

"Even in this world," says Mrs. Stowe, "they will have their judgment-day; and their names, which went down in the dust like a gallant banner trodden in the mire, shall rise again all glorious in the sight of nations." -

What cared Garrison or Phillips for the rotten eggs, the jeers and hisses in Faneuil Hall ? What did Demosthenes, Curran, or Disraeli care for the taunts and hisses that drove them from the rostrum ? They felt within the power of greatness, and knew that the time would come when they would be heard. Mortified by humiliation and roused by defeat, they were spurted into a grander eloquence. Those apparent defeats which would have silenced forever men of ordinary mould, only excited in these men a determination which, like the waters of the Hellespont, " ne'er felt retiring ebb." Who can estimate the world's debt to weak, deformed, and apparently defeated men, whose desperate struggles to redeem themselves from perpetual scorn have made them immortal ? It was Byron's club-foot and shyness which caused him to pour forth his soul in song. It was to Bedford jail that we owe the finest allegory in the world. Bunyan wrote nothing of note before or after his twelve years' imprisonment.

Death wins no victory over such men. Regulus might be destroyed bodily by cruel torture, but his spirit animated Rome to blot Carthage from the face of the earth. Winkelried did indeed fall beneath the Austrian spears, but Switzerland is free. Wallace was quartered, Scotland never. Lincoln became the victim of an assassin, but none the less his work went forward. Never was martyr yet whose death did not advance the cause he advocated tenfold more than could possibly have been accomplished by his voice or pen.

He who never failed has never half succeeded. The defeat at Bull Run was really the greatest victory of the Civil War, for it sent the cowards to the rear and the politicians home. It was the lightning-flash in the dark night of our nation's peril which gave us glimpses of the weak places in our army. It was the mirror which showed us the faces of the political aspirants.

"The angel of martyrdom is brother to the angel of victory." What cared Savonarola though the pope excommunicated him because he could not bribe him ? What cared he for the live coals on his feet ? He would still tell the Italian people of their terrible sins, and he knew that though they should burn him at the stake, his ashes would plead for him and speak louder than his. tongue had ever done. He shrank not from telling the dying Lorenzo to restore liberty to Florence and return what he had stolen from the people, before he would grant him absolution. Though the prince turned his face to the wall, rather than purchase forgiveness on such terms, Savonarola was inflexible, and the monarch died unabsolved. On the way to the scaffold, the bishop said, " I separate thee from the Church militant and triumphant." Savonarola corrected him, saying, "Not triumphant, that is not yours to do."

4' Heaven is probably a place for those who have failed on earth. The world will be blind indeed if it does not reckon among its greatest ones such martyrs as miss the palms but not the pains of martyrdom, heroes without laurels and conquerors without the jubilations of triumph."

Uninterrupted successes at the beginning of a career are dangerous. Beware of the first great triumph. It may prove a failure. Many a man has been ruined by over-confidence born of his first victory. The mountain oak, tossed and swayed in the tempest until its proud top sweeps the earth, is all the stronger for its hundred battles with the elements if it only straighten up again. The danger is not in a fall, but in failing to rise.

All the great work of the world has been accomplished by courage, and the world's greatest victories have been born of defeat. Every blessing that we enjoy-personal security, individual liberty, and constitutional freedom - has been obtained through long apprenticeships of evil. The right of existing as a nation has only been accomplished through ages of wars and horrors. It required four centuries of martyrdom to establish Christianity, and a century of civil wars to introduce the Reformation.

"There are some whom the lightning of fortune blasts, only to render holy,," says Bulwer. "Amidst all that humbles and scathes-amidst all that shatters from their life its verdure, smites to the dust the pomp and summit of their pride, and in the very heart of existence writeth a sudden and strange defeature, they stand erect, - riven, not uprooted, a monument less of pity than of awe! There are some who pass through the lazar-house of misery with a step more august than a Caesar's in his hall. The very things which, seen alone, are despicable and vile, associated with them become almost venerable and divine; and one ray, however dim and feeble, of that intense holiness which, in the infant God, shed majesty over the manger and the straw, not denied to those who, in the depth of affliction, cherished his patient image, flings over the meanest localities of earth an emanation from the glory of Heaven!"

Even from the dreary waste and desolation of his bereavement at Fordham, the stricken soul of Edgar A. Poe blossomed in those matchless flowers of funeral song, the delicately ethereal dirges, “ Ulalume" and "Annabel Lee," which alone would immortalize their author.

To know how to wring victory from defeat, and make stepping stones of our stumbling-blocks, is the secret of success. What matters it:

"If what shone afar so grand Turned to ashes in the hand ? On again, the virtue lies In the struggle, not the prize."

Raphael died at thirty-seven, in the very flush o: young manhood, before he had finished his "Transfiguration." Yet he had produced the finest picture in the world, and it was carried in his funeral procession, while all Rome mourned their great loss.

Even the defeat of death found victorious voice in the unequaled requiem of Mozart.

There is something sublime in the resolute, fixed purpose of suffering without complaining, which makes disappointment often better than success. Constant success shows us only one side of the world; for as it surrounds us with friends who tell us only of our merits, so it silences those enemies from whom only we can learn our defects.

Columbus was carried home in chains, on his third voyage, from the world he had discovered. Although the indignant people remonstrated, and his friend the queen had him set free, persecution followed him when he again crossed the Atlantic westward. At the age of seventy, after the "long wandering woe" of this fourth and final voyage, he was glad to reach Spain at last. He hoped for some reward-at least enough to keep soul and body together. But his appeals were fruitless. He lived for a few months after his return, poor, lonely, and stricken with a mortal disease. Even towards his death he was a scarcely tolerated beggar. He had to complain that his frock had been taken and sold, that he had not a roof of his own, and lacked wherewithal to pay his tavern bill. It was then that, with failing health, he uttered the words, sublime in their touching simplicity, "I, a native of Genoa, discovered in the distant West, the continent and isles of India." He expired at Valladolid, May 20, 1506, his last words being, "Lord, I deliver my soul into thy hands." Thus Columbus died a neglected beggar, while a pickle-dealer of Seville, whose highest position was that of second mate of a vessel, gave his name to the greatest continent on the globe. But was the Genoese mariner a failure ? Ask more than a hundred millions of people who inhabit the world he found a wilderness. Ask the grandest republic the sun ever shone upon if Columbus was a failure.

Joan of Arc was burned alive at Rouen, without even a remonstrance from Charles VII., who owed her his crown. Was the life of Joan of Arc a failure ? Ask a nation besprinkled with her bronze and marble statues if the memory of the Maid of Orleans is. not enshrined in every Frenchman's heart.

"A heroic Wallace, quartered upon the scaffold," said Carlyle, " cannot hinder that his Scotland become, one day, a part of England; but he does hinder that it become, on tyrannous, unfair terms, a part of it; commands still, as with a god's voice, from his old Valhalla and Temple of the brave, that there be a just, real union as of brother and brother, not a false and merely semblant one as of slave and master."

Leonidas and his three hundred may perish after defending a little mountain-pass against the vast Persian army for three days in hand to hand conflict; but their defeat shall prove a nation's victory, and they shall live in song and story when Xerxes and his vast horde will be remembered only because they were repulsed at Thermopylae and vanquished at Salamis and Plateea.

When the troop-laden English ship Birkenhead was found to be foundering in stress of weather, the officer in charge of the battalion ordered his men to stand at "parade rest" while the boats rowed away with the women and children. They kept their places as the water swashed higher and higher around their feet, and, when it reached their waists, unstrapped their belts and held aloft their cartridge-boxes until with a wild lurch the wreck went down. Think you there was no victory in this apparent defeat ? Character is power and triumphs over physical weakness.

"A man, true to man's grave religion," says Bulwer, "can no more despise a life wrecked in all else, while a hallowing affection stands out sublime through the rents and chinks of fortune, than he can profane with rude mockery a temple in ruins - if still left there the altar."

The exertion of all your strength of mind or body may result in nothing but failure in the eyes of a critical world, but what you have done is already weighed in the scales of Omniscient Justice, and can in no way avoid its legitimate reward. Your deed is registered

"In the rolls of Heaven, where it will live, A theme for angels when they celebrate The high-souled virtues which forgetful earth Has witnessed."


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