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Abraham Lincoln: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in.”

The author's excuse for one more postponement of the end " of making many books " can be briefly, given. He early determined that if it should ever lie in his power, he would write a book to encourage, inspire, and stimulate boys and girls who long to be somebody and do something in the world, but feel that they have no chance in life. Among hundreds of American and English books for the young, claiming to give the "secret of success," he found but few which satisfy the cravings of youth, hungry for stories of successful lives, and eager for every hint and every bit of information which may help them to make their way in the world. He believed that the power of an ideal book for youth should lie in its richness of concrete examples, as the basis and inspiration of character-building; in its uplifting, energizing, suggestive force, more than in its arguments; that it should be free from materialism, on the one hand, and from cant on the other; and that it should abound in stirring examples of men and women who have brought things to pass. To the preparation of such a book he had devoted all his spare moments for ten years, when a fire destroyed all his manuscript and notes. The memory of some of the lost illustrations of difficulties overcome stimulated to another attempt; so once more the gleanings of odd bits of time for years have been arranged in the following pages.

The author's aim has been to spur the perplexed youth to act the Columbus to his own undiscovered possibilities; to urge him not to brood over the past, nor dream of the future, but to get his lesson from the hour; to encourage him to make every occasion a great occasion, for he cannot tell when fate may take his measure for a higher place; to show him that he must not wait for his


opportunity, but make it; to tell the round boy how he may get out of the square hole, into which he has been wedged by circumstances or mistakes; to help him to find his right place in life; to teach the hesitating youth that in a land where shoemakers and farmers sit in Congress no limit can be placed to the career of a determined youth who has once learned the alphabet. The standard of the book is not measured in gold, but in growth; not in position, but in personal power; not in capital, but in character. It shows that a great checkbook can never make a great man; that beside the character of a Washington, the millions of a Croesus look contemptible; that a man may be rich without money, and may succeed though he does not become President or member of Congress; that he who would grasp the key to power must be greater than his calling, and resist the vulgar prosperity that retrogrades toward barbarism; that there is something greater than wealth, grander than fame; that character is success, and there is no other.

If this volume shall open wider the door of some narrow life, and awaken powers before unknown, the author will feel repaid for his labor. No special originality is claimed for the book. It has been prepared in odd moments snatched from a busy life, and is merely a new way of telling stories and teaching lessons that have been told and taught by many others from Solomon down. These well-worn and trite topics lie " the marrow of the wisdom of the world."

"Though old the thought, and oft expressed, 'T is his at last who says it best."

If in rewriting this book from lost manuscript, the author has failed to always give due credit, he desires to hereby express the fullest obligation. He also wishes to acknowledge valuable assistance from Mr. Arthur W. Brown, of West Kingston, R. I. 43 BowDois Street, Boston, November 11, 1894.


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