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It is not difficult to find a lawyer or a physician who knows a good deal, who is eminent in his profession; but it is not so easy to find one who is a man before he is a lawyer or a physician; whose name is a synonym for all that is clean, reliable, solid, substantial. It is not difficult to find a good preacher; but it is not so easy to find a real man, sterling manhood, back of the sermon. It is easy to find successful merchants, but not so easy to find men who put character above merchandise. What the world wants is men who have principle underlying their expertness-principle under their law, their medicine, their business; men who stand for something outside of their offices and stores; who stand for something in their community; whose very presence carries weight .

Everywhere we see smart, clever, longheaded, shrewd men, but how comparatively rare it is to find one whose record is as clean as a hound's tooth; who will not swerve from the right; who would rather fail than be a party to a questionable transaction! Everywhere we see business men putting the stumbling-blocks of deception and dishonest methods right across their own pathway, tripping themselves up while trying to deceive others.

We see men worth millions of dollars filled with terror; trembling lest investigations may uncover things which will damn them in the public estimation! We see them cowed before the law like whipped spaniels; catching at any straw that will save them from public disgrace

What a terrible thing to live in the limelight of popular favor, to be envied as rich and powerful, to be esteemed as honorable and straightforward, and yet to be conscious all the time of not being what the world thinks we are; to live in constant terror of discovery, in fear that something may happen to unmask us and show us up in our true light!

But nothing can happen to injure seriously the man who lives four-square to the world; who has nothing to cover up, nothing to hide from his fellows; who lives a transparent, clean life, with never a fear of disclosures. If all of his material possessions are swept away from him, he knows that he has a monument in the hearts of his countrymen, in the affection and admiration of the people, and that nothing can happen to harm his real self because he has kept his record clean.

Mr. Roosevelt early resolved that, let what would come, whether he succeeded in what he undertook or failed, whether he made friends or enemies, he would not take chances with his good name-he would part with everything else first; that he would never gamble with his reputation; that he would keep his record clean. His first ambition was to stand for something, to be a man. Before he was a politician or anything else the man must come first.

In his early career he had many opportunities to make a great deal of money by allying himself with crooked, sneaking, unscrupulous politicians. He had all sorts of opportunities for political graft. But crookedness never had any attraction for him. He refused to be a party to any political jobbery, any underhand business. He preferred to lose any position he was seeking, to let somebody else have it, if he must get smirched in the getting it. He would not touch a dollar, place, or preferment unless it came to him clean, with no trace of jobbery on it. Politicians who had an " ax to grind " knew it was no use to try to bribe him, or to influence him with promises of patronage, money, position, or power. Mr. Roosevelt knew perfectly well that he would make many mistakes and many enemies, but he resolved to carry himself in such a way that even his enemies should at least respect him for his honesty of purpose, and for his straightforward, " square-deal " methods. He resolved to keep his record clean, his name white, at all hazards. Everything else seemed unimportant in comparison.

In times like these the world especially needs such men as Mr. Roosevelt-men who hew close to the chalk-line of right and hold the line plumb to truth; men who do not pander to public favor; men who make duty and truth their goal and go straight to their mark, turning neither to the right nor to the left, though a paradise tempt them.

Who can ever estimate how much his influence has done toward purging politics and elevating the American ideal. He has changed the view-point of many statesmen and politicians. He has shown them a new and a better way. He has made many of them ashamed of the old methods of grafting and selfish greed. He has held up a new ideal, shown them that unselfish service to their country is infinitely nobler than an ambition for self-aggrandizement. American patriotism has a higher meaning today, because of the example of this great American. Many young politicians and statesmen have adopted cleaner methods and higher aims because of his influence. There is no doubt that tens of thousands of young men in this country are cleaner in their lives, and more honest and ambitious to be good citizens, because here is a man who always stands for the " square deal," for civic righteousness, for American manhood.

Every man ought to feel that there is something in him that bribery can not touch, that influence can not buy; something that is not for sale; something he would not sacrifice or tamper with for any price; something he would give his life for if necessary.

If a man stands for something worth while, compels recognition for himself alone, on account of his real worth, he is not dependent upon recommendations; upon fine clothes, a fine house, or a pull. He is his own best recommendation.

The young man who starts out with the resolution to make his character his capital, and to pledge his whole manhood for every obligation he enters into, will not be a failure, though he wins neither fame nor fortune. No man ever really does a great thing who loses his character in the process. No substitute has ever yet been discovered for honesty. Multitudes of people have gone to the wall trying to find one. Our prisons are full of people who have attempted to substitute something else for it.

No man can really believe in himself when he is occupying a false position and wearing a mask; when the little monitor within him is constantly saying, " You know you are a fraud; you are not the man you pretend to be." The consciousness of not being genuine, not being what others think him to be, robs a man of power, honeycombs the character, and destroys self-respect and self-confidence.

When Lincoln was asked to take the wrong side of a case he said, " I could not do it. All the time while talking to that jury I should be thinking, `Lincoln, you're a liar, you're a liar,' and I believe I should forget myself and say it out loud."

Character as capital is very much underestimated by a great number of young men. They seem to put more emphasis upon smartness, shrewdness, longheadedness, cunning, influence, a pull, than upon downright honesty and integrity of character. Yet why do scores of concerns pay enormous sums for the use of the name of a man who, perhaps, has been dead for half a century or more? It is because there is power in that name; because there is character in it; because it stands for something; because it represents reliability and square dealing. Think of what the name of Tiffany, of Park and Tilford, or any of the great names which stand in the commercial world as solid and immovable as the rock of Gibraltar, are worth!

Does it not seem strange that young men who know these facts should try to build up a business on a foundation of cunning, scheming, and trickery, instead of building on the solid rock of character, reliability, and manhood? Is it not remarkable that so many men should work so hard to establish a business on an unreliable, flimsy foundation, instead of building upon the solid masonry of honest goods, square dealing, reliability?

A name is worth everything until it is questioned; but when suspicion clings to it, it is worth nothing. There is nothing in this world that will take the place of character. There is no policy in the world, to say nothing of the right or wrong of it, that compares with honesty and square dealing.

In spite of, or because of all the crookedness and dishonesty that is being uncovered, of all the scoundrels that are being unmasked, integrity is the biggest word in the business world today. There never was a time in all history when it was so big, and it is growing bigger. There never was a time when character meant so much in business; when it stood for so much everywhere as it does today.

There was a time when the man who was the shrewdest and sharpest and cunningest in taking advantage of others got the biggest salary; but today the man at the other end of the bargain is looming up as never before.

Nathan Straus, when asked the secret of the great success of his firm, said it was their treatment of the man at the other end of the bargain. He said they could not afford to make enemies; they could not afford to displease or to take advantage of customers, or to give them reason to think that they had been unfairly dealt with, -that, in the long run, the man who gave the squarest deal to the man at the other end of the bargain would get ahead fastest.

There are merchants who have made great fortunes, but who do not carry weight among their fellow men because they have dealt all their lives with inferiority. They have lived with shoddy and shams so long that the suggestion has been held in their minds until their whole standards of life have been lowered; their ideals have shrunken; their characters have partaken of the quality of their business.

Contrast these men with the men who stood for half a century or more at the head of solid houses, substantial institutions; men who have always stood for quality in everything; who have surrounded themselves not only with ability but with men and women of character. We instinctively believe in character. We admire people who stand for something; who are centered in truth and honesty. It is not necessary that they agree with us. We admire them for their strength, the honesty of their opinions, the inflexibility of their principles.

The late Carl Schurz was a strong man and antagonized many people. He changed his political views very often; but even his worst enemies knew there was one thing he would never go back on, friends or no friends, party or no party-and that was his devotion to principle as he saw it. There was no parleying with his convictions. He could stand alone, if necessary, with all the world against him. His inconsistencies, his many changes in parties and politics, could not destroy the universal admiration for the man who stood for his convictions. Although he escaped from a German prison and fled his country, where he had been arrested on account of his revolutionary principles when but a mere youth, Emperor William the First had such a profound respect for his honesty of purpose and his strength of character that he invited him to return to Germany and visit him, gave him a public dinner, and paid him great tribute.

Who can estimate the influence of President Eliot in enriching and uplifting our national ideas and standards through the thousands of students who go out from Harvard University? The tremendous force and nobility of character of Phillips Brooks raised everyone who came within his influence to higher levels. His great earnestness in trying to lead people up to his lofty ideals swept everything before it. One could not help feeling while listening to him and watching him that there was a mighty triumph of character, a grand expression of superb manhood. Such men as these increase our faith in the race; in the possibilities of the grandeur of the coming man. We are prouder of our country because of such standards.

It is the ideal that determines the direction of the life. And what a grand sight, what an inspiration, are those men who sacrifice the dollar to the ideal. The principles by which the problem of success is solved are right and justice, honesty and integrity; and just in proportion as a man deviates from these principles he falls short of solving his problem.

It is true that he may reach something. He may get money, but is that success? The thief gets money, but does he succeed? Is it any honester to steal by means of a long head than by means of a long arm? It is very much more dishonest, because the victim is deceived and then robbed - a double crime.

We often receive letters which read like this " I am getting a good salary; but I do not feel right about it, somehow. I can not still the voice within me that says, `Wrong, wrong,' to what I am doing." " Leave it, leave it," we always say to the writers of these letters. " Do not stay in a questionable occupation, no matter what inducement it offers.

Its false light will land you on the rocks if you follow it. It is demoralizing to the mental faculties, paralyzing to the character, to do a thing which. one's conscience forbids."

Tell the employer who expects you to do questionable things that you can not work for him unless you can put the trade-mark of your manhood, the stamp of your integrity, upon everything you do. Tell him that if the highest thing in you can not bring success, surely the lowest can not. You can not afford to sell the best thing in you, your honor, your manhood, to a dishonest man or a lying institution. You should regard even the suggestion that you might sell out for a consideration as an insult.

Resolve that you will not be paid for being something less than a man; that you will not lease your ability, your education, your inventiveness, your self-respect, for salary, to do a man's lying for him; either in writing advertisements, selling goods, or in any other capacity.

Resolve that, whatever your vocation, you are going to stand for something; that you are not going to be merely a lawyer, a physician, a merchant, a clerk, a farmer, a congressman, or a man who carries a big money bag; but that you are going to be a man first, last, and all the time.


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