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Self Help by Samuel Smiles

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neighbourhood of some fine old Gothic structure, in studying which
he occupied his leisure. After a year's working, travel, and study
abroad, he returned to Scotland. He continued his studies, and
became a proficient in drawing and perspective: Melrose was his
favourite ruin; and he produced several elaborate drawings of the
building, one of which, exhibiting it in a "restored" state, was
afterwards engraved. He also obtained employment as a modeller of
architectural designs; and made drawings for a work begun by an
Edinburgh engraver, after the plan of Britton's 'Cathedral
Antiquities.' This was a task congenial to his tastes, and he
laboured at it with an enthusiasm which ensured its rapid advance;
walking on foot for the purpose over half Scotland, and living as
an ordinary mechanic, whilst executing drawings which would have
done credit to the best masters in the art. The projector of the
work having died suddenly, the publication was however stopped, and
Kemp sought other employment. Few knew of the genius of this man--
for he was exceedingly taciturn and habitually modest--when the
Committee of the Scott Monument offered a prize for the best
design. The competitors were numerous--including some of the
greatest names in classical architecture; but the design
unanimously selected was that of George Kemp, who was working at
Kilwinning Abbey in Ayrshire, many miles off, when the letter
reached him intimating the decision of the committee. Poor Kemp!
Shortly after this event he met an untimely death, and did not live
to see the first result of his indefatigable industry and self-
culture embodied in stone,--one of the most beautiful and
appropriate memorials ever erected to literary genius.

John Gibson was another artist full of a genuine enthusiasm and
love for his art, which placed him high above those sordid
temptations which urge meaner natures to make time the measure of
profit. He was born at Gyffn, near Conway, in North Wales--the son
of a gardener. He early showed indications of his talent by the
carvings in wood which he made by means of a common pocket knife;
and his father, noting the direction of his talent, sent him to
Liverpool and bound him apprentice to a cabinet-maker and wood-
carver. He rapidly improved at his trade, and some of his carvings
were much admired. He was thus naturally led to sculpture, and
when eighteen years old he modelled a small figure of Time in wax,
which attracted considerable notice. The Messrs. Franceys,
sculptors, of Liverpool, having purchased the boy's indentures,
took him as their apprentice for six years, during which his genius
displayed itself in many original works. From thence he proceeded
to London, and afterwards to Rome; and his fame became European.

Robert Thorburn, the Royal Academician, like John Gibson, was born
of poor parents. His father was a shoe-maker at Dumfries. Besides
Robert there were two other sons; one of whom is a skilful carver
in wood. One day a lady called at the shoemaker's and found
Robert, then a mere boy, engaged in drawing upon a stool which
served him for a table. She examined his work, and observing his
abilities, interested herself in obtaining for him some employment
in drawing, and enlisted in his behalf the services of others who
could assist him in prosecuting the study of art. The boy was
diligent, pains-taking, staid, and silent, mixing little with his
companions, and forming but few intimacies. About the year 1830,
some gentlemen of the town provided him with the means of
proceeding to Edinburgh, where he was admitted a student at the
Scottish Academy. There he had the advantage of studying under
competent masters, and the progress which he made was rapid. From
Edinburgh he removed to London, where, we understand, he had the
advantage of being introduced to notice under the patronage of the
Duke of Buccleuch. We need scarcely say, however, that of whatever
use patronage may have been to Thorburn in giving him an
introduction to the best circles, patronage of no kind could have
made him the great artist that he unquestionably is, without native
genius and diligent application.

Noel Paton, the well-known painter, began his artistic career at
Dunfermline and Paisley, as a drawer of patterns for table-cloths
and muslin embroidered by hand; meanwhile working diligently at
higher subjects, including the drawing of the human figure. He
was, like Turner, ready to turn his hand to any kind of work, and
in 1840, when a mere youth, we find him engaged, among his other
labours, in illustrating the 'Renfrewshire Annual.' He worked his
way step by step, slowly yet surely; but he remained unknown until
the exhibition of the prize cartoons painted for the houses of
Parliament, when his picture of the Spirit of Religion (for which
he obtained one of the first prizes) revealed him to the world as a
genuine artist; and the works which he has since exhibited--such as
the 'Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania,' 'Home,' and 'The bluidy
Tryste'--have shown a steady advance in artistic power and culture.

Another striking exemplification of perseverance and industry in
the cultivation of art in humble life is presented in the career of
James Sharples, a working blacksmith at Blackburn. He was born at
Wakefield in Yorkshire, in 1825, one of a family of thirteen
children. His father was a working ironfounder, and removed to
Bury to follow his business. The boys received no school
education, but were all sent to work as soon as they were able; and
at about ten James was placed in a foundry, where he was employed
for about two years as smithy-boy. After that he was sent into the
engine-shop where his father worked as engine-smith. The boy's
employment was to heat and carry rivets for the boiler-makers.
Though his hours of labour were very long--often from six in the
morning until eight at night--his father contrived to give him some
little teaching after working hours; and it was thus that he
partially learned his letters. An incident occurred in the course
of his employment among the boiler-makers, which first awakened in
him the desire to learn drawing. He had occasionally been employed
by the foreman to hold the chalked line with which he made the
designs of boilers upon the floor of the workshop; and on such
occasions the foreman was accustomed to hold the line, and direct
the boy to make the necessary dimensions. James soon became so
expert at this as to be of considerable service to the foreman; and
at his leisure hours at home his great delight was to practise
drawing designs of boilers upon his mother's floor. On one
occasion, when a female relative was expected from Manchester to
pay the family a visit, and the house had been made as decent as
possible for her reception, the boy, on coming in from the foundry
in the evening, began his usual operations upon the floor. He had
proceeded some way with his design of a large boiler in chalk, when
his mother arrived with the visitor, and to her dismay found the
boy unwashed and the floor chalked all over. The relative,
however, professed to be pleased with the boy's industry, praised
his design, and recommended his mother to provide "the little
sweep," as she called him, with paper and pencils.

Encouraged by his elder brother, he began to practise figure and
landscape drawing, making copies of lithographs, but as yet without
any knowledge of the rules of perspective and the principles of
light and shade. He worked on, however, and gradually acquired
expertness in copying. At sixteen, he entered the Bury Mechanic's
Institution in order to attend the drawing class, taught by an
amateur who followed the trade of a barber. There he had a lesson
a week during three months. The teacher recommended him to obtain
from the library Burnet's 'Practical Treatise on Painting;' but as
he could not yet read with ease, he was under the necessity of
getting his mother, and sometimes his elder brother, to read
passages from the book for him while he sat by and listened.
Feeling hampered by his ignorance of the art of reading, and eager
to master the contents of Burnet's book, he ceased attending the
drawing class at the Institute after the first quarter, and devoted
himself to learning reading and writing at home. In this he soon
succeeded; and when he again entered the Institute and took out
'Burnet' a second time, he was not only able to read it, but to
make written extracts for further use. So ardently did he study
the volume, that he used to rise at four o'clock in the morning to
read it and copy out passages; after which he went to the foundry
at six, worked until six and sometimes eight in the evening; and
returned home to enter with fresh zest upon the study of Burnet,
which he continued often until a late hour. Parts of his nights
were also occupied in drawing and making copies of drawings. On
one of these--a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper"--he spent
an entire night. He went to bed indeed, but his mind was so
engrossed with the subject that he could not sleep, and rose again
to resume his pencil.

He next proceeded to try his hand at painting in oil, for which
purpose he procured some canvas from a draper, stretched it on a
frame, coated it over with white lead, and began painting on it
with colours bought from a house-painter. But his work proved a
total failure; for the canvas was rough and knotty, and the paint
would not dry. In his extremity he applied to his old teacher, the
barber, from whom he first learnt that prepared canvas was to be
had, and that there were colours and varnishes made for the special
purpose of oil-painting. As soon therefore, as his means would
allow, he bought a small stock of the necessary articles and began
afresh,--his amateur master showing him how to paint; and the pupil
succeeded so well that he excelled the master's copy. His first
picture was a copy from an engraving called "Sheep-shearing," and
was afterwards sold by him for half-a-crown. Aided by a shilling
Guide to Oil-painting, he went on working at his leisure hours, and
gradually acquired a better knowledge of his materials. He made
his own easel and palette, palette-knife, and paint-chest; he
bought his paint, brushes, and canvas, as he could raise the money
by working over-time. This was the slender fund which his parents
consented to allow him for the purpose; the burden of supporting a
very large family precluding them from doing more. Often he would
walk to Manchester and back in the evenings to buy two or three
shillings' worth of paint and canvas, returning almost at midnight,
after his eighteen miles' walk, sometimes wet through and
completely exhausted, but borne up throughout by his inexhaustible
hope and invincible determination. The further progress of the
self-taught artist is best narrated in his own words, as
communicated by him in a letter to the author:-

"The next pictures I painted," he says, "were a Landscape by
Moonlight, a Fruitpiece, and one or two others; after which I
conceived the idea of painting 'The Forge.' I had for some time
thought about it, but had not attempted to embody the conception in
a drawing. I now, however, made a sketch of the subject upon
paper, and then proceeded to paint it on canvas. The picture
simply represents the interior of a large workshop such as I have
been accustomed to work in, although not of any particular shop.
It is, therefore, to this extent, an original conception. Having
made an outline of the subject, I found that, before I could
proceed with it successfully, a knowledge of anatomy was
indispensable to enable me accurately to delineate the muscles of
the figures. My brother Peter came to my assistance at this
juncture, and kindly purchased for me Flaxman's 'Anatomical
studies,'--a work altogether beyond my means at the time, for it
cost twenty-four shillings. This book I looked upon as a great
treasure, and I studied it laboriously, rising at three o'clock in
the morning to draw after it, and occasionally getting my brother
Peter to stand for me as a model at that untimely hour. Although I
gradually improved myself by this practice, it was some time before
I felt sufficient confidence to go on with my picture. I also felt
hampered by my want of knowledge of perspective, which I
endeavoured to remedy by carefully studying Brook Taylor's
'Principles;' and shortly after I resumed my painting. While
engaged in the study of perspective at home, I used to apply for
and obtain leave to work at the heavier kinds of smith work at the
foundry, and for this reason--the time required for heating the
heaviest iron work is so much longer than that required for heating
the lighter, that it enabled me to secure a number of spare minutes
in the course of the day, which I carefully employed in making
diagrams in perspective upon the sheet iron casing in front of the
hearth at which I worked."

Thus assiduously working and studying, James Sharples steadily
advanced in his knowledge of the principles of art, and acquired
greater facility in its practice. Some eighteen months after the
expiry of his apprenticeship he painted a portrait of his father,
which attracted considerable notice in the town; as also did the
picture of "The Forge," which he finished soon after. His success
in portrait-painting obtained for him a commission from the foreman
of the shop to paint a family group, and Sharples executed it so
well that the foreman not only paid him the agreed price of
eighteen pounds, but thirty shillings to boot. While engaged on
this group he ceased to work at the foundry, and he had thoughts of
giving up his trade altogether and devoting himself exclusively to
painting. He proceeded to paint several pictures, amongst others a
head of Christ, an original conception, life-size, and a view of
Bury; but not obtaining sufficient employment at portraits to
occupy his time, or give him the prospect of a steady income, he
had the good sense to resume his leather apron, and go on working
at his honest trade of a blacksmith; employing his leisure hours in
engraving his picture of "The Forge," since published. He was
induced to commence the engraving by the following circumstance. A
Manchester picture-dealer, to whom he showed the painting, let drop
the observation, that in the hands of a skilful engraver it would
make a very good print. Sharples immediately conceived the idea of
engraving it himself, though altogether ignorant of the art. The
difficulties which he encountered and successfully overcame in
carrying out his project are thus described by himself:-

"I had seen an advertisement of a Sheffield steel-plate maker,
giving a list of the prices at which he supplied plates of various
sizes, and, fixing upon one of suitable dimensions, I remitted the
amount, together with a small additional sum for which I requested
him to send me a few engraving tools. I could not specify the
articles wanted, for I did not then know anything about the process
of engraving. However, there duly arrived with the plate three or
four gravers and an etching needle; the latter I spoiled before I
knew its use. While working at the plate, the Amalgamated Society
of Engineers offered a premium for the best design for an
emblematical picture, for which I determined to compete, and I was
so fortunate as to win the prize. Shortly after this I removed to
Blackburn, where I obtained employment at Messrs. Yates',
engineers, as an engine-smith; and continued to employ my leisure
time in drawing, painting, and engraving, as before. With the
engraving I made but very slow progress, owing to the difficulties
I experienced from not possessing proper tools. I then determined
to try to make some that would suit my purpose, and after several
failures I succeeded in making many that I have used in the course
of my engraving. I was also greatly at a loss for want of a proper
magnifying glass, and part of the plate was executed with no other
assistance of this sort than what my father's spectacles afforded,
though I afterwards succeeded in obtaining a proper magnifier,
which was of the utmost use to me. An incident occurred while I
was engraving the plate, which had almost caused me to abandon it
altogether. It sometimes happened that I was obliged to lay it
aside for a considerable time, when other work pressed; and in
order to guard it against rust, I was accustomed to rub over the
graven parts with oil. But on examining the plate after one of
such intervals, I found that the oil had become a dark sticky
substance extremely difficult to get out. I tried to pick it out
with a needle, but found that it would almost take as much time as
to engrave the parts afresh. I was in great despair at this, but
at length hit upon the expedient of boiling it in water containing
soda, and afterwards rubbing the engraved parts with a tooth-brush;
and to my delight found the plan succeeded perfectly. My greatest
difficulties now over, patience and perseverance were all that were
needed to bring my labours to a successful issue. I had neither
advice nor assistance from any one in finishing the plate. If,
therefore, the work possess any merit, I can claim it as my own;
and if in its accomplishment I have contributed to show what can be
done by persevering industry and determination, it is all the
honour I wish to lay claim to."

It would be beside our purpose to enter upon any criticism of "The
Forge" as an engraving; its merits having been already fully
recognised by the art journals. The execution of the work occupied
Sharples's leisure evening hours during a period of five years; and
it was only when he took the plate to the printer that he for the
first time saw an engraved plate produced by any other man. To
this unvarnished picture of industry and genius, we add one other
trait, and it is a domestic one. "I have been married seven
years," says he, "and during that time my greatest pleasure, after
I have finished my daily labour at the foundry, has been to resume
my pencil or graver, frequently until a late hour of the evening,
my wife meanwhile sitting by my side and reading to me from some
interesting book,"--a simple but beautiful testimony to the
thorough common sense as well as the genuine right-heartedness of
this most interesting and deserving workman.

The same industry and application which we have found to be
necessary in order to acquire excellence in painting and sculpture,
are equally required in the sister art of music--the one being the
poetry of form and colour, the other of the sounds of nature.
Handel was an indefatigable and constant worker; he was never cast
down by defeat, but his energy seemed to increase the more that
adversity struck him. When a prey to his mortifications as an
insolvent debtor, he did not give way for a moment, but in one year
produced his 'Saul,' 'Israel,' the music for Dryden's 'Ode,' his
'Twelve Grand Concertos,' and the opera of 'Jupiter in Argos,'
among the finest of his works. As his biographer says of him, "He
braved everything, and, by his unaided self, accomplished the work
of twelve men."

Haydn, speaking of his art, said, "It consists in taking up a
subject and pursuing it." "Work," said Mozart, "is my chief
pleasure." Beethoven's favourite maxim was, "The barriers are not
erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, 'Thus far
and no farther.'" When Moscheles submitted his score of 'Fidelio'
for the pianoforte to Beethoven, the latter found written at the
bottom of the last page, "Finis, with God's help." Beethoven
immediately wrote underneath, "O man! help thyself!" This was the
motto of his artistic life. John Sebastian Bach said of himself,
"I was industrious; whoever is equally sedulous, will be equally
successful." But there is no doubt that Bach was born with a
passion for music, which formed the mainspring of his industry, and
was the true secret of his success. When a mere youth, his elder
brother, wishing to turn his abilities in another direction,
destroyed a collection of studies which the young Sebastian, being
denied candles, had copied by moonlight; proving the strong natural
bent of the boy's genius. Of Meyerbeer, Bayle thus wrote from
Milan in 1820:- "He is a man of some talent, but no genius; he
lives solitary, working fifteen hours a day at music." Years
passed, and Meyerbeer's hard work fully brought out his genius, as
displayed in his 'Roberto,' 'Huguenots,' 'Prophete,' and other
works, confessedly amongst the greatest operas which have been
produced in modern times.

Although musical composition is not an art in which Englishmen have
as yet greatly distinguished themselves, their energies having for
the most part taken other and more practical directions, we are not
without native illustrations of the power of perseverance in this
special pursuit. Arne was an upholsterer's son, intended by his
father for the legal profession; but his love of music was so
great, that he could not be withheld from pursuing it. While
engaged in an attorney's office, his means were very limited, but,
to gratify his tastes, he was accustomed to borrow a livery and go
into the gallery of the Opera, then appropriated to domestics.
Unknown to his father he made great progress with the violin, and
the first knowledge his father had of the circumstance was when
accidentally calling at the house of a neighbouring gentleman, to
his surprise and consternation he found his son playing the leading
instrument with a party of musicians. This incident decided the
fate of Arne. His father offered no further opposition to his
wishes; and the world thereby lost a lawyer, but gained a musician
of much taste and delicacy of feeling, who added many valuable
works to our stores of English music.

The career of the late William Jackson, author of 'The Deliverance
of Israel,' an oratorio which has been successfully performed in
the principal towns of his native county of York, furnishes an
interesting illustration of the triumph of perseverance over
difficulties in the pursuit of musical science. He was the son of
a miller at Masham, a little town situated in the valley of the
Yore, in the north-west corner of Yorkshire. Musical taste seems
to have been hereditary in the family, for his father played the
fife in the band of the Masham Volunteers, and was a singer in the
parish choir. His grandfather also was leading singer and ringer
at Masham Church; and one of the boy's earliest musical treats was
to be present at the bell pealing on Sunday mornings. During the
service, his wonder was still more excited by the organist's
performance on the barrel-organ, the doors of which were thrown
open behind to let the sound fully into the church, by which the
stops, pipes, barrels, staples, keyboard, and jacks, were fully
exposed, to the wonderment of the little boys sitting in the
gallery behind, and to none more than our young musician. At eight
years of age he began to play upon his father's old fife, which,
however, would not sound D; but his mother remedied the difficulty
by buying for him a one-keyed flute; and shortly after, a gentleman
of the neighbourhood presented him with a flute with four silver
keys. As the boy made no progress with his "book learning," being
fonder of cricket, fives, and boxing, than of his school lessons--
the village schoolmaster giving him up as "a bad job"--his parents
sent him off to a school at Pateley Bridge. While there he found
congenial society in a club of village choral singers at Brighouse
Gate, and with them he learnt the sol-fa-ing gamut on the old
English plan. He was thus well drilled in the reading of music, in
which he soon became a proficient. His progress astonished the
club, and he returned home full of musical ambition. He now learnt
to play upon his father's old piano, but with little melodious
result; and he became eager to possess a finger-organ, but had no
means of procuring one. About this time, a neighbouring parish
clerk had purchased, for an insignificant sum, a small disabled
barrel-organ, which had gone the circuit of the northern counties
with a show. The clerk tried to revive the tones of the
instrument, but failed; at last he bethought him that he would try
the skill of young Jackson, who had succeeded in making some
alterations and improvements in the hand-organ of the parish
church. He accordingly brought it to the lad's house in a donkey
cart, and in a short time the instrument was repaired, and played
over its old tunes again, greatly to the owner's satisfaction.

The thought now haunted the youth that he could make a barrel-
organ, and he determined to do so. His father and he set to work,
and though without practice in carpentering, yet, by dint of hard
labour and after many failures, they at last succeeded; and an
organ was constructed which played ten tunes very decently, and the
instrument was generally regarded as a marvel in the neighbourhood.
Young Jackson was now frequently sent for to repair old church
organs, and to put new music upon the barrels which he added to
them. All this he accomplished to the satisfaction of his
employers, after which he proceeded with the construction of a
four-stop finger-organ, adapting to it the keys of an old
harpsichord. This he learnt to play upon,--studying 'Callcott's
Thorough Bass' in the evening, and working at his trade of a miller
during the day; occasionally also tramping about the country as a
"cadger," with an ass and a cart. During summer he worked in the
fields, at turnip-time, hay-time, and harvest, but was never
without the solace of music in his leisure evening hours. He next
tried his hand at musical composition, and twelve of his anthems
were shown to the late Mr. Camidge, of York, as "the production of
a miller's lad of fourteen." Mr. Camidge was pleased with them,
marked the objectionable passages, and returned them with the
encouraging remark, that they did the youth great credit, and that
he must "go on writing."

A village band having been set on foot at Masham, young Jackson
joined it, and was ultimately appointed leader. He played all the
instruments by turns, and thus acquired a considerable practical
knowledge of his art: he also composed numerous tunes for the
band. A new finger-organ having been presented to the parish
church, he was appointed the organist. He now gave up his
employment as a journeyman miller, and commenced tallow-chandling,
still employing his spare hours in the study of music. In 1839 he
published his first anthem--'For joy let fertile valleys sing;' and
in the following year he gained the first prize from the
Huddersfield Glee Club, for his 'Sisters of the Lea.' His other
anthem 'God be merciful to us,' and the 103rd Psalm, written for a
double chorus and orchestra, are well known. In the midst of these
minor works, Jackson proceeded with the composition of his
oratorio,--'The Deliverance of Israel from Babylon.' His practice
was, to jot down a sketch of the ideas as they presented themselves
to his mind, and to write them out in score in the evenings, after
he had left his work in the candle-shop. His oratorio was
published in parts, in the course of 1844-5, and he published the
last chorus on his twenty-ninth birthday. The work was exceedingly
well received, and has been frequently performed with much success
in the northern towns. Mr. Jackson eventually settled as a
professor of music at Bradford, where he contributed in no small
degree to the cultivation of the musical taste of that town and its
neighbourhood. Some years since he had the honour of leading his
fine company of Bradford choral singers before Her Majesty at
Buckingham Palace; on which occasion, as well as at the Crystal
Palace, some choral pieces of his composition, were performed with
great effect. {22}

Such is a brief outline of the career of a self-taught musician,
whose life affords but another illustration of the power of self-
help, and the force of courage and industry in enabling a man to
surmount and overcome early difficulties and obstructions of no
ordinary kind.


"He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,
That dares not put it to the touch,
To gain or lose it all."--Marquis of Montrose.

"He hath put down the mighty from their seats; and exalted them of
low degree."--St. Luke.

We have already referred to some illustrious Commoners raised from
humble to elevated positions by the power of application and
industry; and we might point to even the Peerage itself as
affording equally instructive examples. One reason why the Peerage
of England has succeeded so well in holding its own, arises from
the fact that, unlike the peerages of other countries, it has been
fed, from time to time, by the best industrial blood of the
country--the very "liver, heart, and brain of Britain." Like the
fabled Antaeus, it has been invigorated and refreshed by touching
its mother earth, and mingling with that most ancient order of
nobility--the working order.

The blood of all men flows from equally remote sources; and though
some are unable to trace their line directly beyond their
grandfathers, all are nevertheless justified in placing at the head
of their pedigree the great progenitors of the race, as Lord
Chesterfield did when he wrote, "ADAM de Stanhope--EVE de
Stanhope." No class is ever long stationary. The mighty fall, and
the humble are exalted. New families take the place of the old,
who disappear among the ranks of the common people. Burke's
'Vicissitudes of Families' strikingly exhibit this rise and fall of
families, and show that the misfortunes which overtake the rich and
noble are greater in proportion than those which overwhelm the
poor. This author points out that of the twenty-five barons
selected to enforce the observance of Magna Charta, there is not
now in the House of Peers a single male descendant. Civil wars and
rebellions ruined many of the old nobility and dispersed their
families. Yet their descendants in many cases survive, and are to
be found among the ranks of the people. Fuller wrote in his
'Worthies,' that "some who justly hold the surnames of Bohuns,
Mortimers, and Plantagenets, are hid in the heap of common men."
Thus Burke shows that two of the lineal descendants of the Earl of
Kent, sixth son of Edward I., were discovered in a butcher and a
toll-gatherer; that the great grandson of Margaret Plantagenet,
daughter of the Duke of Clarance, sank to the condition of a
cobbler at Newport, in Shropshire; and that among the lineal
descendants of the Duke of Gloucester, son of Edward III., was the
late sexton of St George's, Hanover Square. It is understood that
the lineal descendant of Simon de Montfort, England's premier
baron, is a saddler in Tooley Street. One of the descendants of
the "Proud Percys," a claimant of the title of Duke of
Northumberland, was a Dublin trunk-maker; and not many years since
one of the claimants for the title of Earl of Perth presented
himself in the person of a labourer in a Northumberland coal-pit.
Hugh Miller, when working as a stone-mason near Edinburgh, was
served by a hodman, who was one of the numerous claimants for the
earldom of Crauford--all that was wanted to establish his claim
being a missing marriage certificate; and while the work was going
on, the cry resounded from the walls many times in the day, of--
"John, Yearl Crauford, bring us anither hod o'lime." One of Oliver
Cromwell's great grandsons was a grocer on Snow Hill, and others of
his descendants died in great poverty. Many barons of proud names
and titles have perished, like the sloth, upon their family tree,
after eating up all the leaves; while others have been overtaken by
adversities which they have been unable to retrieve, and sunk at
last into poverty and obscurity. Such are the mutabilities of rank
and fortune.

The great bulk of our peerage is comparatively modern, so far as
the titles go; but it is not the less noble that it has been
recruited to so large an extent from the ranks of honourable
industry. In olden times, the wealth and commerce of London,
conducted as it was by energetic and enterprising men, was a
prolific source of peerages. Thus, the earldom of Cornwallis was
founded by Thomas Cornwallis, the Cheapside merchant; that of Essex
by William Capel, the draper; and that of Craven by William Craven,
the merchant tailor. The modern Earl of Warwick is not descended
from the "King-maker," but from William Greville, the woolstapler;
whilst the modern dukes of Northumberland find their head, not in
the Percies, but in Hugh Smithson, a respectable London apothecary.
The founders of the families of Dartmouth, Radnor, Ducie, and
Pomfret, were respectively a skinner, a silk manufacturer, a
merchant tailor, and a Calais merchant; whilst the founders of the
peerages of Tankerville, Dormer, and Coventry, were mercers. The
ancestors of Earl Romney, and Lord Dudley and Ward, were goldsmiths
and jewellers; and Lord Dacres was a banker in the reign of Charles
I., as Lord Overstone is in that of Queen Victoria. Edward
Osborne, the founder of the Dukedom of Leeds, was apprentice to
William Hewet, a rich clothworker on London Bridge, whose only
daughter he courageously rescued from drowning, by leaping into the
Thames after her, and eventually married. Among other peerages
founded by trade are those of Fitzwilliam, Leigh, Petre, Cowper,
Darnley, Hill, and Carrington. The founders of the houses of Foley
and Normanby were remarkable men in many respects, and, as
furnishing striking examples of energy of character, the story of
their lives is worthy of preservation.

The father of Richard Foley, the founder of the family, was a small
yeoman living in the neighbourhood of Stourbridge in the time of
Charles I. That place was then the centre of the iron manufacture
of the midland districts, and Richard was brought up to work at one
of the branches of the trade--that of nail-making. He was thus a
daily observer of the great labour and loss of time caused by the
clumsy process then adopted for dividing the rods of iron in the
manufacture of nails. It appeared that the Stourbridge nailers
were gradually losing their trade in consequence of the importation
of nails from Sweden, by which they were undersold in the market.
It became known that the Swedes were enabled to make their nails so
much cheaper, by the use of splitting mills and machinery, which
had completely superseded the laborious process of preparing the
rods for nail-making then practised in England.

Richard Foley, having ascertained this much, determined to make
himself master of the new process. He suddenly disappeared from
the neighbourhood of Stourbridge, and was not heard of for several
years. No one knew whither he had gone, not even his own family;
for he had not informed them of his intention, lest he should fail.
He had little or no money in his pocket, but contrived to get to
Hull, where he engaged himself on board a ship bound for a Swedish
port, and worked his passage there. The only article of property
which he possessed was his fiddle, and on landing in Sweden he
begged and fiddled his way to the Dannemora mines, near Upsala. He
was a capital musician, as well as a pleasant fellow, and soon
ingratiated himself with the iron-workers. He was received into
the works, to every part of which he had access; and he seized the
opportunity thus afforded him of storing his mind with
observations, and mastering, as he thought, the mechanism of iron
splitting. After a continued stay for this purpose, he suddenly
disappeared from amongst his kind friends the miners--no one knew

Returned to England, he communicated the results of his voyage to
Mr. Knight and another person at Stourbridge, who had sufficient
confidence in him to advance the requisite funds for the purpose of
erecting buildings and machinery for splitting iron by the new
process. But when set to work, to the great vexation and
disappointment of all, and especially of Richard Foley, it was
found that the machinery would not act--at all events it would not
split the bars of iron. Again Foley disappeared. It was thought
that shame and mortification at his failure had driven him away for
ever. Not so! Foley had determined to master this secret of iron-
splitting, and he would yet do it. He had again set out for
Sweden, accompanied by his fiddle as before, and found his way to
the iron works, where he was joyfully welcomed by the miners; and,
to make sure of their fiddler, they this time lodged him in the
very splitting-mill itself. There was such an apparent absence of
intelligence about the man, except in fiddle-playing, that the
miners entertained no suspicions as to the object of their
minstrel, whom they thus enabled to attain the very end and aim of
his life. He now carefully examined the works, and soon discovered
the cause of his failure. He made drawings or tracings of the
machinery as well as he could, though this was a branch of art
quite new to him; and after remaining at the place long enough to
enable him to verify his observations, and to impress the
mechanical arrangements clearly and vividly on his mind, he again
left the miners, reached a Swedish port, and took ship for England.
A man of such purpose could not but succeed. Arrived amongst his
surprised friends, he now completed his arrangements, and the
results were entirely successful. By his skill and his industry he
soon laid the foundations of a large fortune, at the same time that
he restored the business of an extensive district. He himself
continued, during his life, to carry on his trade, aiding and
encouraging all works of benevolence in his neighbourhood. He
founded and endowed a school at Stourbridge; and his son Thomas (a
great benefactor of Kidderminster), who was High Sheriff of
Worcestershire in the time of "The Rump," founded and endowed an
hospital, still in existence, for the free education of children at
Old Swinford. All the early Foleys were Puritans. Richard Baxter
seems to have been on familiar and intimate terms with various
members of the family, and makes frequent mention of them in his
'Life and Times.' Thomas Foley, when appointed high sheriff of the
county, requested Baxter to preach the customary sermon before him;
and Baxter in his 'Life' speaks of him as "of so just and blameless
dealing, that all men he ever had to do with magnified his great
integrity and honesty, which were questioned by none." The family
was ennobled in the reign of Charles the Second.

William Phipps, the founder of the Mulgrave or Normanby family, was
a man quite as remarkable in his way as Richard Foley. His father
was a gunsmith--a robust Englishman settled at Woolwich, in Maine,
then forming part of our English colonies in America. He was born
in 1651, one of a family of not fewer than twenty-six children (of
whom twenty-one were sons), whose only fortune lay in their stout
hearts and strong arms. William seems to have had a dash of the
Danish-sea blood in his veins, and did not take kindly to the quiet
life of a shepherd in which he spent his early years. By nature
bold and adventurous, he longed to become a sailor and roam through
the world. He sought to join some ship; but not being able to find
one, he apprenticed himself to a shipbuilder, with whom he
thoroughly learnt his trade, acquiring the arts of reading and
writing during his leisure hours. Having completed his
apprenticeship and removed to Boston, he wooed and married a widow
of some means, after which he set up a little shipbuilding yard of
his own, built a ship, and, putting to sea in her, he engaged in
the lumber trade, which he carried on in a plodding and laborious
way for the space of about ten years.

It happened that one day, whilst passing through the crooked
streets of old Boston, he overheard some sailors talking to each
other of a wreck which had just taken place off the Bahamas; that
of a Spanish ship, supposed to have much money on board. His
adventurous spirit was at once kindled, and getting together a
likely crew without loss of time, he set sail for the Bahamas. The
wreck being well in-shore, he easily found it, and succeeded in
recovering a great deal of its cargo, but very little money; and
the result was, that he barely defrayed his expenses. His success
had been such, however, as to stimulate his enterprising spirit;
and when he was told of another and far more richly laden vessel
which had been wrecked near Port de la Plata more than half a
century before, he forthwith formed the resolution of raising the
wreck, or at all events of fishing up the treasure.

Being too poor, however, to undertake such an enterprise without
powerful help, he set sail for England in the hope that he might
there obtain it. The fame of his success in raising the wreck off
the Bahamas had already preceded him. He applied direct to the
Government. By his urgent enthusiasm, he succeeded in overcoming
the usual inertia of official minds; and Charles II. eventually
placed at his disposal the "Rose Algier," a ship of eighteen guns
and ninety-five men, appointing him to the chief command.

Phipps then set sail to find the Spanish ship and fish up the
treasure. He reached the coast of Hispaniola in safety; but how to
find the sunken ship was the great difficulty. The fact of the
wreck was more than fifty years old; and Phipps had only the
traditionary rumours of the event to work upon. There was a wide
coast to explore, and an outspread ocean without any trace whatever
of the argosy which lay somewhere at its bottom. But the man was
stout in heart and full of hope. He set his seamen to work to drag
along the coast, and for weeks they went on fishing up sea-weed,
shingle, and bits of rock. No occupation could be more trying to
seamen, and they began to grumble one to another, and to whisper
that the man in command had brought them on a fool's errand.

At length the murmurers gained head, and the men broke into open
mutiny. A body of them rushed one day on to the quarter-deck, and
demanded that the voyage should be relinquished. Phipps, however,
was not a man to be intimidated; he seized the ringleaders, and
sent the others back to their duty. It became necessary to bring
the ship to anchor close to a small island for the purpose of
repairs; and, to lighten her, the chief part of the stores was
landed. Discontent still increasing amongst the crew, a new plot
was laid amongst the men on shore to seize the ship, throw Phipps
overboard, and start on a piratical cruize against the Spaniards in
the South Seas. But it was necessary to secure the services of the
chief ship carpenter, who was consequently made privy to the pilot.
This man proved faithful, and at once told the captain of his
danger. Summoning about him those whom he knew to be loyal, Phipps
had the ship's guns loaded which commanded the shore, and ordered
the bridge communicating with the vessel to be drawn up. When the
mutineers made their appearance, the captain hailed them, and told
the men he would fire upon them if they approached the stores
(still on land),--when they drew back; on which Phipps had the
stores reshipped under cover of his guns. The mutineers, fearful
of being left upon the barren island, threw down their arms and
implored to be permitted to return to their duty. The request was
granted, and suitable precautions were taken against future
mischief. Phipps, however, took the first opportunity of landing
the mutinous part of the crew, and engaging other men in their
places; but, by the time that he could again proceed actively with
his explorations, he found it absolutely necessary to proceed to
England for the purpose of repairing the ship. He had now,
however, gained more precise information as to the spot where the
Spanish treasure ship had sunk; and, though as yet baffled, he was
more confident than ever of the eventual success of his enterprise.

Returned to London, Phipps reported the result of his voyage to the
Admiralty, who professed to be pleased with his exertions; but he
had been unsuccessful, and they would not entrust him with another
king's ship. James II. was now on the throne, and the Government
was in trouble; so Phipps and his golden project appealed to them
in vain. He next tried to raise the requisite means by a public
subscription. At first he was laughed at; but his ceaseless
importunity at length prevailed, and after four years' dinning of
his project into the ears of the great and influential--during
which time he lived in poverty--he at length succeeded. A company
was formed in twenty shares, the Duke of Albermarle, son of General
Monk, taking the chief interest in it, and subscribing the
principal part of the necessary fund for the prosecution of the

Like Foley, Phipps proved more fortunate in his second voyage than
in his first. The ship arrived without accident at Port de la
Plata, in the neighbourhood of the reef of rocks supposed to have
been the scene of the wreck. His first object was to build a stout
boat capable of carrying eight or ten oars, in constructing which
Phipps used the adze himself. It is also said that he constructed
a machine for the purpose of exploring the bottom of the sea
similar to what is now known as the Diving Bell. Such a machine
was found referred to in books, but Phipps knew little of books,
and may be said to have re-invented the apparatus for his own use.
He also engaged Indian divers, whose feats of diving for pearls,
and in submarine operations, were very remarkable. The tender and
boat having been taken to the reef, the men were set to work, the
diving bell was sunk, and the various modes of dragging the bottom
of the sea were employed continuously for many weeks, but without
any prospect of success. Phipps, however, held on valiantly,
hoping almost against hope. At length, one day, a sailor, looking
over the boat's side down into the clear water, observed a curious
sea-plant growing in what appeared to be a crevice of the rock; and
he called upon an Indian diver to go down and fetch it for him. On
the red man coming up with the weed, he reported that a number of
ships guns were lying in the same place. The intelligence was at
first received with incredulity, but on further investigation it
proved to be correct. Search was made, and presently a diver came
up with a solid bar of silver in his arms. When Phipps was shown
it, he exclaimed, "Thanks be to God! we are all made men." Diving
bell and divers now went to work with a will, and in a few days,
treasure was brought up to the value of about 300,000 pounds, with
which Phipps set sail for England. On his arrival, it was urged
upon the king that he should seize the ship and its cargo, under
the pretence that Phipps, when soliciting his Majesty's permission,
had not given accurate information respecting the business. But
the king replied, that he knew Phipps to be an honest man, and that
he and his friends should divide the whole treasure amongst them,
even though he had returned with double the value. Phipps's share
was about 20,000 pounds, and the king, to show his approval of his
energy and honesty in conducting the enterprise, conferred upon him
the honour of knighthood. He was also made High Sheriff of New
England; and during the time he held the office, he did valiant
service for the mother country and the colonists against the
French, by expeditions against Port Royal and Quebec. He also held
the post of Governor of Massachusetts, from which he returned to
England, and died in London in 1695.

Phipps throughout the latter part of his career, was not ashamed to
allude to the lowness of his origin, and it was matter of honest
pride to him that he had risen from the condition of common ship
carpenter to the honours of knighthood and the government of a
province. When perplexed with public business, he would often
declare that it would be easier for him to go back to his broad axe
again. He left behind him a character for probity, honesty,
patriotism, and courage, which is certainly not the least noble
inheritance of the house of Normanby.

William Petty, the founder of the house of Lansdowne, was a man of
like energy and public usefulness in his day. He was the son of a
clothier in humble circumstances, at Romsey, in Hampshire, where he
was born in 1623. In his boyhood he obtained a tolerable education
at the grammar school of his native town; after which he determined
to improve himself by study at the University of Caen, in Normandy.
Whilst there he contrived to support himself unassisted by his
father, carrying on a sort of small pedler's trade with "a little
stock of merchandise." Returning to England, he had himself bound
apprentice to a sea captain, who "drubbed him with a rope's end"
for the badness of his sight. He left the navy in disgust, taking
to the study of medicine. When at Paris he engaged in dissection,
during which time he also drew diagrams for Hobbes, who was then
writing his treatise on Optics. He was reduced to such poverty
that he subsisted for two or three weeks entirely on walnuts. But
again he began to trade in a small way, turning an honest penny,
and he was enabled shortly to return to England with money in his
pocket. Being of an ingenious mechanical turn, we find him taking
out a patent for a letter-copying machine. He began to write upon
the arts and sciences, and practised chemistry and physic with such
success that his reputation shortly became considerable.
Associating with men of science, the project of forming a Society
for its prosecution was discussed, and the first meetings of the
infant Royal Society were held at his lodgings. At Oxford he acted
for a time as deputy to the anatomical professor there, who had a
great repugnance to dissection. In 1652 his industry was rewarded
by the appointment of physician to the army in Ireland, whither he
went; and whilst there he was the medical attendant of three
successive lords-lieutenant, Lambert, Fleetwood, and Henry
Cromwell. Large grants of forfeited land having been awarded to
the Puritan soldiery, Petty observed that the lands were very
inaccurately measured; and in the midst of his many avocations he
undertook to do the work himself. His appointments became so
numerous and lucrative that he was charged by the envious with
corruption, and removed from them all; but he was again taken into
favour at the Restoration.

Petty was a most indefatigable contriver, inventor, and organizer
of industry. One of his inventions was a double-bottomed ship, to
sail against wind and tide. He published treatises on dyeing, on
naval philosophy, on woollen cloth manufacture, on political
arithmetic, and many other subjects. He founded iron works, opened
lead mines, and commenced a pilchard fishery and a timber trade; in
the midst of which he found time to take part in the discussions of
the Royal Society, to which he largely contributed. He left an
ample fortune to his sons, the eldest of whom was created Baron
Shelburne. His will was a curious document, singularly
illustrative of his character; containing a detail of the principal
events of his life, and the gradual advancement of his fortune.
His sentiments on pauperism are characteristic: "As for legacies
for the poor," said he, "I am at a stand; as for beggars by trade
and election, I give them nothing; as for impotents by the hand of
God, the public ought to maintain them; as for those who have been
bred to no calling nor estate, they should be put upon their
kindred;" . . . "wherefore I am contented that I have assisted all
my poor relations, and put many into a way of getting their own
bread; have laboured in public works; and by inventions have sought
out real objects of charity; and I do hereby conjure all who
partake of my estate, from time to time, to do the same at their
peril. Nevertheless to answer custom, and to take the surer side,
I give 20l. to the most wanting of the parish wherein I die." He
was interred in the fine old Norman church of Romsey--the town
wherein he was born a poor man's son--and on the south side of the
choir is still to be seen a plain slab, with the inscription, cut
by an illiterate workman, "Here Layes Sir William Petty."

Another family, ennobled by invention and trade in our own day, is
that of Strutt of Belper. Their patent of nobility was virtually
secured by Jedediah Strutt in 1758, when he invented his machine
for making ribbed stockings, and thereby laid the foundations of a
fortune which the subsequent bearers of the name have largely
increased and nobly employed. The father of Jedediah was a farmer
and malster, who did but little for the education of his children;
yet they all prospered. Jedediah was the second son, and when a
boy assisted his father in the work of the farm. At an early age
he exhibited a taste for mechanics, and introduced several
improvements in the rude agricultural implements of the period. On
the death of his uncle he succeeded to a farm at Blackwall, near
Normanton, long in the tenancy of the family, and shortly after he
married Miss Wollatt, the daughter of a Derby hosier. Having
learned from his wife's brother that various unsuccessful attempts
had been made to manufacture ribbed-stockings, he proceeded to
study the subject with a view to effect what others had failed in
accomplishing. He accordingly obtained a stocking-frame, and after
mastering its construction and mode of action, he proceeded to
introduce new combinations, by means of which he succeeded in
effecting a variation in the plain looped-work of the frame, and
was thereby enabled to turn out "ribbed" hosiery. Having secured a
patent for the improved machine, he removed to Derby, and there
entered largely on the manufacture of ribbed-stockings, in which he
was very successful. He afterwards joined Arkwright, of the merits
of whose invention he fully satisfied himself, and found the means
of securing his patent, as well as erecting a large cotton-mill at
Cranford, in Derbyshire. After the expiry of the partnership with
Arkwright, the Strutts erected extensive cotton-mills at Milford,
near Belper, which worthily gives its title to the present head of
the family. The sons of the founder were, like their father,
distinguished for their mechanical ability. Thus William Strutt,
the eldest, is said to have invented a self-acting mule, the
success of which was only prevented by the mechanical skill of that
day being unequal to its manufacture. Edward, the son of William,
was a man of eminent mechanical genius, having early discovered the
principle of suspension-wheels for carriages: he had a wheelbarrow
and two carts made on the principle, which were used on his farm
near Belper. It may be added that the Strutts have throughout been
distinguished for their noble employment of the wealth which their
industry and skill have brought them; that they have sought in all
ways to improve the moral and social condition of the work-people
in their employment; and that they have been liberal donors in
every good cause--of which the presentation, by Mr. Joseph Strutt,
of the beautiful park or Arboretum at Derby, as a gift to the
townspeople for ever, affords only one of many illustrations. The
concluding words of the short address which he delivered on
presenting this valuable gift are worthy of being quoted and
remembered:- "As the sun has shone brightly on me through life, it
would be ungrateful in me not to employ a portion of the fortune I
possess in promoting the welfare of those amongst whom I live, and
by whose industry I have been aided in its organisation."

No less industry and energy have been displayed by the many brave
men, both in present and past times, who have earned the peerage by
their valour on land and at sea. Not to mention the older feudal
lords, whose tenure depended upon military service, and who so
often led the van of the English armies in great national
encounters, we may point to Nelson, St. Vincent, and Lyons--to
Wellington, Hill, Hardinge, Clyde, and many more in recent times,
who have nobly earned their rank by their distinguished services.
But plodding industry has far oftener worked its way to the peerage
by the honourable pursuit of the legal profession, than by any
other. No fewer than seventy British peerages, including two
dukedoms, have been founded by successful lawyers. Mansfield and
Erskine were, it is true, of noble family; but the latter used to
thank God that out of his own family he did not know a lord. {23}
The others were, for the most part, the sons of attorneys, grocers,
clergymen, merchants, and hardworking members of the middle class.
Out of this profession have sprung the peerages of Howard and
Cavendish, the first peers of both families having been judges;
those of Aylesford, Ellenborough, Guildford, Shaftesbury,
Hardwicke, Cardigan, Clarendon, Camden, Ellesmere, Rosslyn; and
others nearer our own day, such as Tenterden, Eldon, Brougham,
Denman, Truro, Lyndhurst, St. Leonards, Cranworth, Campbell, and

Lord Lyndhurst's father was a portrait painter, and that of St.
Leonards a perfumer and hairdresser in Burlington Street. Young
Edward Sugden was originally an errand-boy in the office of the
late Mr. Groom, of Henrietta Street, Cavendish Square, a
certificated conveyancer; and it was there that the future Lord
Chancellor of Ireland obtained his first notions of law. The
origin of the late Lord Tenterden was perhaps the humblest of all,
nor was he ashamed of it; for he felt that the industry, study, and
application, by means of which he achieved his eminent position,
were entirely due to himself. It is related of him, that on one
occasion he took his son Charles to a little shed, then standing
opposite the western front of Canterbury Cathedral, and pointing it
out to him, said, "Charles, you see this little shop; I have
brought you here on purpose to show it you. In that shop your
grandfather used to shave for a penny: that is the proudest
reflection of my life." When a boy, Lord Tenterden was a singer in
the Cathedral, and it is a curious circumstance that his
destination in life was changed by a disappointment. When he and
Mr. Justice Richards were going the Home Circuit together, they
went to service in the cathedral; and on Richards commending the
voice of a singing man in the choir, Lord Tenterden said, "Ah! that
is the only man I ever envied! When at school in this town, we
were candidates for a chorister's place, and he obtained it."

Not less remarkable was the rise to the same distinguished office
of Lord Chief Justice, of the rugged Kenyon and the robust
Ellenborough; nor was he a less notable man who recently held the
same office--the astute Lord Campbell, late Lord Chancellor of
England, son of a parish minister in Fifeshire. For many years he
worked hard as a reporter for the press, while diligently preparing
himself for the practice of his profession. It is said of him,
that at the beginning of his career, he was accustomed to walk from
county town to county town when on circuit, being as yet too poor
to afford the luxury of posting. But step by step he rose slowly
but surely to that eminence and distinction which ever follow a
career of industry honourably and energetically pursued, in the
legal, as in every other profession.

There have been other illustrious instances of Lords Chancellors
who have plodded up the steep of fame and honour with equal energy
and success. The career of the late Lord Eldon is perhaps one of
the most remarkable examples. He was the son of a Newcastle coal-
fitter; a mischievous rather than a studious boy; a great
scapegrace at school, and the subject of many terrible thrashings,-
-for orchard-robbing was one of the favourite exploits of the
future Lord Chancellor. His father first thought of putting him
apprentice to a grocer, and afterwards had almost made up his mind
to bring him up to his own trade of a coal-fitter. But by this
time his eldest son William (afterwards Lord Stowell) who had
gained a scholarship at Oxford, wrote to his father, "Send Jack up
to me, I can do better for him." John was sent up to Oxford
accordingly, where, by his brother's influence and his own
application, he succeeded in obtaining a fellowship. But when at
home during the vacation, he was so unfortunate--or rather so
fortunate, as the issue proved--as to fall in love; and running
across the Border with his eloped bride, he married, and as his
friends thought, ruined himself for life. He had neither house nor
home when he married, and had not yet earned a penny. He lost his
fellowship, and at the same time shut himself out from preferment
in the Church, for which he had been destined. He accordingly
turned his attention to the study of the law. To a friend he
wrote, "I have married rashly; but it is my determination to work
hard to provide for the woman I love."

John Scott came up to London, and took a small house in Cursitor
Lane, where he settled down to the study of the law. He worked
with great diligence and resolution; rising at four every morning
and studying till late at night, binding a wet towel round his head
to keep himself awake. Too poor to study under a special pleader,
he copied out three folio volumes from a manuscript collection of
precedents. Long after, when Lord Chancellor, passing down
Cursitor Lane one day, he said to his secretary, "Here was my first
perch: many a time do I recollect coming down this street with
sixpence in my hand to buy sprats for supper." When at length
called to the bar, he waited long for employment. His first year's
earnings amounted to only nine shillings. For four years he
assiduously attended the London Courts and the Northern Circuit,
with little better success. Even in his native town, he seldom had
other than pauper cases to defend. The results were indeed so
discouraging, that he had almost determined to relinquish his
chance of London business, and settle down in some provincial town
as a country barrister. His brother William wrote home, "Business
is dull with poor Jack, very dull indeed!" But as he had escaped
being a grocer, a coal-fitter, and a country parson so did he also
escape being a country lawyer.

An opportunity at length occurred which enabled John Scott to
exhibit the large legal knowledge which he had so laboriously
acquired. In a case in which he was engaged, he urged a legal
point against the wishes both of the attorney and client who
employed him. The Master of the Rolls decided against him, but on
an appeal to the House of Lords, Lord Thurlow reversed the decision
on the very point that Scott had urged. On leaving the House that
day, a solicitor tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Young man,
your bread and butter's cut for life." And the prophecy proved a
true one. Lord Mansfield used to say that he knew no interval
between no business and 3000l. a-year, and Scott might have told
the same story; for so rapid was his progress, that in 1783, when
only thirty-two, he was appointed King's Counsel, was at the head
of the Northern Circuit, and sat in Parliament for the borough of
Weobley. It was in the dull but unflinching drudgery of the early
part of his career that he laid the foundation of his future
success. He won his spurs by perseverance, knowledge, and ability,
diligently cultivated. He was successively appointed to the
offices of solicitor and attorney-general, and rose steadily
upwards to the highest office that the Crown had to bestow--that of
Lord Chancellor of England, which he held for a quarter of a

Henry Bickersteth was the son of a surgeon at Kirkby Lonsdale, in
Westmoreland, and was himself educated to that profession. As a
student at Edinburgh, he distinguished himself by the steadiness
with which he worked, and the application which he devoted to the
science of medicine. Returned to Kirkby Lonsdale, he took an
active part in his father's practice; but he had no liking for the
profession, and grew discontented with the obscurity of a country
town. He went on, nevertheless, diligently improving himself, and
engaged on speculations in the higher branches of physiology. In
conformity with his own wish, his father consented to send him to
Cambridge, where it was his intention to take a medical degree with
the view of practising in the metropolis. Close application to his
studies, however, threw him out of health, and with a view to re-
establishing his strength he accepted the appointment of travelling
physician to Lord Oxford. While abroad he mastered Italian, and
acquired a great admiration for Italian literature, but no greater
liking for medicine than before. On the contrary, he determined to
abandon it; but returning to Cambridge, he took his degree; and
that he worked hard may be inferred from the fact that he was
senior wrangler of his year. Disappointed in his desire to enter
the army, he turned to the bar, and entered a student of the Inner
Temple. He worked as hard at law as he had done at medicine.
Writing to his father, he said, "Everybody says to me, 'You are
certain of success in the end--only persevere;' and though I don't
well understand how this is to happen, I try to believe it as much
as I can, and I shall not fail to do everything in my power." At
twenty-eight he was called to the bar, and had every step in life
yet to make. His means were straitened, and he lived upon the
contributions of his friends. For years he studied and waited.
Still no business came. He stinted himself in recreation, in
clothes, and even in the necessaries of life; struggling on
indefatigably through all. Writing home, he "confessed that he
hardly knew how he should be able to struggle on till he had fair
time and opportunity to establish himself." After three years'
waiting, still without success, he wrote to his friends that rather
than be a burden upon them longer, he was willing to give the
matter up and return to Cambridge, "where he was sure of support
and some profit." The friends at home sent him another small
remittance, and he persevered. Business gradually came in.
Acquitting himself creditably in small matters, he was at length
entrusted with cases of greater importance. He was a man who never
missed an opportunity, nor allowed a legitimate chance of
improvement to escape him. His unflinching industry soon began to
tell upon his fortunes; a few more years and he was not only
enabled to do without assistance from home, but he was in a
position to pay back with interest the debts which he had incurred.
The clouds had dispersed, and the after career of Henry Bickersteth
was one of honour, of emolument, and of distinguished fame. He
ended his career as Master of the Rolls, sitting in the House of
Peers as Baron Langdale. His life affords only another
illustration of the power of patience, perseverance, and
conscientious working, in elevating the character of the
individual, and crowning his labours with the most complete

Such are a few of the distinguished men who have honourably worked
their way to the highest position, and won the richest rewards of
their profession, by the diligent exercise of qualities in many
respects of an ordinary character, but made potent by the force of
application and industry.


"A coeur vaillant rien d'impossible."--Jacques Coeur.

"Den Muthigen gehort die Welt."--German Proverb.

"In every work that he began . . . he did it with all his heart,
and prospered."--II. Chron. XXXI. 21.

There is a famous speech recorded of an old Norseman, thoroughly
characteristic of the Teuton. "I believe neither in idols nor
demons," said he, "I put my sole trust in my own strength of body
and soul." The ancient crest of a pickaxe with the motto of
"Either I will find a way or make one," was an expression of the
same sturdy independence which to this day distinguishes the
descendants of the Northmen. Indeed nothing could be more
characteristic of the Scandinavian mythology, than that it had a
god with a hammer. A man's character is seen in small matters; and
from even so slight a test as the mode in which a man wields a
hammer, his energy may in some measure be inferred. Thus an
eminent Frenchman hit off in a single phrase the characteristic
quality of the inhabitants of a particular district, in which a
friend of his proposed to settle and buy land. "Beware," said he,
"of making a purchase there; I know the men of that department; the
pupils who come from it to our veterinary school at Paris DO NOR
STRIKE HARD UPON THE ANVIL; they want energy; and you will not get
a satisfactory return on any capital you may invest there." A fine
and just appreciation of character, indicating the thoughtful
observer; and strikingly illustrative of the fact that it is the
energy of the individual men that gives strength to a State, and
confers a value even upon the very soil which they cultivate. As
the French proverb has it: "Tant vaut l'homme, tant vaut sa

The cultivation of this quality is of the greatest importance;
resolute determination in the pursuit of worthy objects being the
foundation of all true greatness of character. Energy enables a
man to force his way through irksome drudgery and dry details, and
carries him onward and upward in every station in life. It
accomplishes more than genius, with not one-half the disappointment
and peril. It is not eminent talent that is required to ensure
success in any pursuit, so much as purpose,--not merely the power
to achieve, but the will to labour energetically and perseveringly.
Hence energy of will may be defined to be the very central power of
character in a man--in a word, it is the Man himself. It gives
impulse to his every action, and soul to every effort. True hope
is based on it,--and it is hope that gives the real perfume to
life. There is a fine heraldic motto on a broken helmet in Battle
Abbey, "L'espoir est ma force," which might be the motto of every
man's life. "Woe unto him that is fainthearted," says the son of
Sirach. There is, indeed, no blessing equal to the possession of a
stout heart. Even if a man fail in his efforts, it will be a
satisfaction to him to enjoy the consciousness of having done his
best. In humble life nothing can be more cheering and beautiful
than to see a man combating suffering by patience, triumphing in
his integrity, and who, when his feet are bleeding and his limbs
failing him, still walks upon his courage.

Mere wishes and desires but engender a sort of green sickness in
young minds, unless they are promptly embodied in act and deed. It
will not avail merely to wait as so many do, "until Blucher comes
up," but they must struggle on and persevere in the mean time, as
Wellington did. The good purpose once formed must be carried out
with alacrity and without swerving. In most conditions of life,
drudgery and toil are to be cheerfully endured as the best and most
wholesome discipline. "In life," said Ary Scheffer, "nothing bears
fruit except by labour of mind or body. To strive and still
strive--such is life; and in this respect mine is fulfilled; but I
dare to say, with just pride, that nothing has ever shaken my
courage. With a strong soul, and a noble aim, one can do what one
wills, morally speaking."

Hugh Miller said the only school in which he was properly taught
was "that world-wide school in which toil and hardship are the
severe but noble teachers." He who allows his application to
falter, or shirks his work on frivolous pretexts, is on the sure
road to ultimate failure. Let any task be undertaken as a thing
not possible to be evaded, and it will soon come to be performed
with alacrity and cheerfulness. Charles IX. of Sweden was a firm
believer in the power of will, even in youth. Laying his hand on
the head of his youngest son when engaged on a difficult task, he
exclaimed, "He SHALL do it! he SHALL do it!" The habit of
application becomes easy in time, like every other habit. Thus
persons with comparatively moderate powers will accomplish much, if
they apply themselves wholly and indefatigably to one thing at a
time. Fowell Buxton placed his confidence in ordinary means and
extraordinary application; realizing the scriptural injunction,
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might;" and
he attributed his own success in life to his practice of "being a
whole man to one thing at a time."

Nothing that is of real worth can be achieved without courageous
working. Man owes his growth chiefly to that active striving of
the will, that encounter with difficulty, which we call effort; and
it is astonishing to find how often results apparently
impracticable are thus made possible. An intense anticipation
itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often
but the precursors of the things which we are capable of
performing. On the contrary, the timid and hesitating find
everything impossible, chiefly because it seems so. It is related
of a young French officer, that he used to walk about his apartment
exclaiming, "I WILL be Marshal of France and a great general." His
ardent desire was the presentiment of his success; for the young
officer did become a distinguished commander, and he died a Marshal
of France.

Mr. Walker, author of the 'Original,' had so great a faith in the
power of will, that he says on one occasion he DETERMINED to be
well, and he was so. This may answer once; but, though safer to
follow than many prescriptions, it will not always succeed. The
power of mind over body is no doubt great, but it may be strained
until the physical power breaks down altogether. It is related of
Muley Moluc, the Moorish leader, that, when lying ill, almost worn
out by an incurable disease, a battle took place between his troops
and the Portuguese; when, starting from his litter at the great
crisis of the fight, he rallied his army, led them to victory, and
instantly afterwards sank exhausted and expired.

It is will,--force of purpose,--that enables a man to do or be
whatever he sets his mind on being or doing. A holy man was
accustomed to say, "Whatever you wish, that you are: for such is
the force of our will, joined to the Divine, that whatever we wish
to be, seriously, and with a true intention, that we become. No
one ardently wishes to be submissive, patient, modest, or liberal,
who does not become what he wishes." The story is told of a
working carpenter, who was observed one day planing a magistrate's
bench which he was repairing, with more than usual carefulness; and
when asked the reason, he replied, "Because I wish to make it easy
against the time when I come to sit upon it myself." And
singularly enough, the man actually lived to sit upon that very
bench as a magistrate.

Whatever theoretical conclusions logicians may have formed as to
the freedom of the will, each individual feels that practically he
is free to choose between good and evil--that he is not as a mere
straw thrown upon the water to mark the direction of the current,
but that he has within him the power of a strong swimmer, and is
capable of striking out for himself, of buffeting with the waves,
and directing to a great extent his own independent course. There
is no absolute constraint upon our volitions, and we feel and know
that we are not bound, as by a spell, with reference to our
actions. It would paralyze all desire of excellence were we to
think otherwise. The entire business and conduct of life, with its
domestic rules, its social arrangements, and its public
institutions, proceed upon the practical conviction that the will
is free. Without this where would be responsibility?--and what the
advantage of teaching, advising, preaching, reproof, and
correction? What were the use of laws, were it not the universal
belief, as it is the universal fact, that men obey them or not,
very much as they individually determine? In every moment of our
life, conscience is proclaiming that our will is free. It is the
only thing that is wholly ours, and it rests solely with ourselves
individually, whether we give it the right or the wrong direction.
Our habits or our temptations are not our masters, but we of them.
Even in yielding, conscience tells us we might resist; and that
were we determined to master them, there would not be required for
that purpose a stronger resolution than we know ourselves to be
capable of exercising.

"You are now at the age," said Lamennais once, addressing a gay
youth, "at which a decision must be formed by you; a little later,
and you may have to groan within the tomb which you yourself have
dug, without the power of rolling away the stone. That which the
easiest becomes a habit in us is the will. Learn then to will
strongly and decisively; thus fix your floating life, and leave it
no longer to be carried hither and thither, like a withered leaf,
by every wind that blows."

Buxton held the conviction that a young man might be very much what
he pleased, provided he formed a strong resolution and held to it.
Writing to one of his sons, he said to him, "You are now at that
period of life, in which you must make a turn to the right or the
left. You must now give proofs of principle, determination, and
strength of mind; or you must sink into idleness, and acquire the
habits and character of a desultory, ineffective young man; and if
once you fall to that point, you will find it no easy matter to
rise again. I am sure that a young man may be very much what he
pleases. In my own case it was so. . . . Much of my happiness, and
all my prosperity in life, have resulted from the change I made at
your age. If you seriously resolve to be energetic and
industrious, depend upon it that you will for your whole life have
reason to rejoice that you were wise enough to form and to act upon
that determination." As will, considered without regard to
direction, is simply constancy, firmness, perseverance, it will be
obvious that everything depends upon right direction and motives.
Directed towards the enjoyment of the senses, the strong will may
be a demon, and the intellect merely its debased slave; but
directed towards good, the strong will is a king, and the intellect
the minister of man's highest well-being.

"Where there is a will there is a way," is an old and true saying.
He who resolves upon doing a thing, by that very resolution often
scales the barriers to it, and secures its achievement. To think
we are able, is almost to be so--to determine upon attainment is
frequently attainment itself. Thus, earnest resolution has often
seemed to have about it almost a savour of omnipotence. The
strength of Suwarrow's character lay in his power of willing, and,
like most resolute persons, he preached it up as a system. "You
can only half will," he would say to people who failed. Like
Richelieu and Napoleon, he would have the word "impossible"
banished from the dictionary. "I don't know," "I can't," and
"impossible," were words which he detested above all others.
"Learn! Do! Try!" he would exclaim. His biographer has said of
him, that he furnished a remarkable illustration of what may be
effected by the energetic development and exercise of faculties,
the germs of which at least are in every human heart.

One of Napoleon's favourite maxims was, "The truest wisdom is a
resolute determination." His life, beyond most others, vividly
showed what a powerful and unscrupulous will could accomplish. He
threw his whole force of body and mind direct upon his work.
Imbecile rulers and the nations they governed went down before him
in succession. He was told that the Alps stood in the way of his
armies--"There shall be no Alps," he said, and the road across the
Simplon was constructed, through a district formerly almost
inaccessible. "Impossible," said he, "is a word only to be found
in the dictionary of fools." He was a man who toiled terribly;
sometimes employing and exhausting four secretaries at a time. He
spared no one, not even himself. His influence inspired other men,
and put a new life into them. "I made my generals out of mud," he
said. But all was of no avail; for Napoleon's intense selfishness
was his ruin, and the ruin of France, which he left a prey to
anarchy. His life taught the lesson that power, however
energetically wielded, without beneficence, is fatal to its
possessor and its subjects; and that knowledge, or knowingness,
without goodness, is but the incarnate principle of Evil.

Our own Wellington was a far greater man. Not less resolute, firm,
and persistent, but more self-denying, conscientious, and truly
patriotic. Napoleon's aim was "Glory;" Wellington's watchword,
like Nelson's, was "Duty." The former word, it is said, does not
once occur in his despatches; the latter often, but never
accompanied by any high-sounding professions. The greatest
difficulties could neither embarrass nor intimidate Wellington; his
energy invariably rising in proportion to the obstacles to be
surmounted. The patience, the firmness, the resolution, with which
he bore through the maddening vexations and gigantic difficulties
of the Peninsular campaigns, is, perhaps, one of the sublimest
things to be found in history. In Spain, Wellington not only
exhibited the genius of the general, but the comprehensive wisdom
of the statesman. Though his natural temper was irritable in the
extreme, his high sense of duty enabled him to restrain it; and to
those about him his patience seemed absolutely inexhaustible. His
great character stands untarnished by ambition, by avarice, or any
low passion. Though a man of powerful individuality, he yet
displayed a great variety of endowment. The equal of Napoleon in
generalship, he was as prompt, vigorous, and daring as Clive; as
wise a statesman as Cromwell; and as pure and high-minded as
Washington. The great Wellington left behind him an enduring
reputation, founded on toilsome campaigns won by skilful
combination, by fortitude which nothing could exhaust, by sublime
daring, and perhaps by still sublimer patience.

Energy usually displays itself in promptitude and decision. When
Ledyard the traveller was asked by the African Association when he
would be ready to set out for Africa, he immediately answered, "To-
morrow morning." Blucher's promptitude obtained for him the
cognomen of "Marshal Forwards" throughout the Prussian army. When
John Jervis, afterwards Earl St. Vincent, was asked when he would
be ready to join his ship, he replied, "Directly." And when Sir
Colin Campbell, appointed to the command of the Indian army, was
asked when he could set out, his answer was, "To-morrow,"--an
earnest of his subsequent success. For it is rapid decision, and a
similar promptitude in action, such as taking instant advantage of
an enemy's mistakes, that so often wins battles. "At Arcola," said
Napoleon, "I won the battle with twenty-five horsemen. I seized a
moment of lassitude, gave every man a trumpet, and gained the day
with this handful. Two armies are two bodies which meet and
endeavour to frighten each other: a moment of panic occurs, and
THAT MOMENT must be turned to advantage." "Every moment lost,"
said he at another time, "gives an opportunity for misfortune;" and
he declared that he beat the Austrians because they never knew the
value of time: while they dawdled, he overthrew them.

India has, during the last century, been a great field for the
display of British energy. From Clive to Havelock and Clyde there
is a long and honourable roll of distinguished names in Indian
legislation and warfare,--such as Wellesley, Metcalfe, Outram,
Edwardes, and the Lawrences. Another great but sullied name is
that of Warren Hastings--a man of dauntless will and indefatigable
industry. His family was ancient and illustrious; but their
vicissitudes of fortune and ill-requited loyalty in the cause of
the Stuarts, brought them to poverty, and the family estate at
Daylesford, of which they had been lords of the manor for hundreds
of years, at length passed from their hands. The last Hastings of
Daylesford had, however, presented the parish living to his second
son; and it was in his house, many years later, that Warren
Hastings, his grandson, was born. The boy learnt his letters at
the village school, on the same bench with the children of the
peasantry. He played in the fields which his fathers had owned;
and what the loyal and brave Hastings of Daylesford HAD been, was
ever in the boy's thoughts. His young ambition was fired, and it
is said that one summer's day, when only seven years old, as he
laid him down on the bank of the stream which flowed through the
domain, he formed in his mind the resolution that he would yet
recover possession of the family lands. It was the romantic vision
of a boy; yet he lived to realize it. The dream became a passion,
rooted in his very life; and he pursued his determination through
youth up to manhood, with that calm but indomitable force of will
which was the most striking peculiarity of his character. The
orphan boy became one of the most powerful men of his time; he
retrieved the fortunes of his line; bought back the old estate, and
rebuilt the family mansion. "When, under a tropical sun," says
Macaulay, "he ruled fifty millions of Asiatics, his hopes, amidst
all the cares of war, finance, and legislation, still pointed to
Daylesford. And when his long public life, so singularly chequered
with good and evil, with glory and obloquy, had at length closed
for ever, it was to Daylesford that he retired to die."

Sir Charles Napier was another Indian leader of extraordinary
courage and determination. He once said of the difficulties with
which he was surrounded in one of his campaigns, "They only make my
feet go deeper into the ground." His battle of Meeanee was one of
the most extraordinary feats in history. With 2000 men, of whom
only 400 were Europeans, he encountered an army of 35,000 hardy and
well-armed Beloochees. It was an act, apparently, of the most
daring temerity, but the general had faith in himself and in his
men. He charged the Belooch centre up a high bank which formed
their rampart in front, and for three mortal hours the battle
raged. Each man of that small force, inspired by the chief, became
for the time a hero. The Beloochees, though twenty to one, were
driven back, but with their faces to the foe. It is this sort of
pluck, tenacity, and determined perseverance which wins soldiers'
battles, and, indeed, every battle. It is the one neck nearer that
wins the race and shows the blood; it is the one march more that
wins the campaign; the five minutes' more persistent courage that
wins the fight. Though your force be less than another's, you
equal and outmaster your opponent if you continue it longer and
concentrate it more. The reply of the Spartan father, who said to
his son, when complaining that his sword was too short, "Add a step
to it," is applicable to everything in life.

Napier took the right method of inspiring his men with his own
heroic spirit. He worked as hard as any private in the ranks.
"The great art of commanding," he said, "is to take a fair share of
the work. The man who leads an army cannot succeed unless his
whole mind is thrown into his work. The more trouble, the more
labour must be given; the more danger, the more pluck must be
shown, till all is overpowered." A young officer who accompanied
him in his campaign in the Cutchee Hills, once said, "When I see
that old man incessantly on his horse, how can I be idle who am
young and strong? I would go into a loaded cannon's mouth if he
ordered me." This remark, when repeated to Napier, he said was
ample reward for his toils. The anecdote of his interview with the
Indian juggler strikingly illustrates his cool courage as well as
his remarkable simplicity and honesty of character. On one
occasion, after the Indian battles, a famous juggler visited the
camp and performed his feats before the General, his family, and
staff. Among other performances, this man cut in two with a stroke
of his sword a lime or lemon placed in the hand of his assistant.
Napier thought there was some collusion between the juggler and his
retainer. To divide by a sweep of the sword on a man's hand so
small an object without touching the flesh he believed to be
impossible, though a similar incident is related by Scott in his
romance of the 'Talisman.' To determine the point, the General
offered his own hand for the experiment, and he stretched out his
right arm. The juggler looked attentively at the hand, and said he
would not make the trial. "I thought I would find you out!"
exclaimed Napier. "But stop," added the other, "let me see your
left hand." The left hand was submitted, and the man then said
firmly, "If you will hold your arm steady I will perform the feat."
"But why the left hand and not the right?" "Because the right hand
is hollow in the centre, and there is a risk of cutting off the
thumb; the left is high, and the danger will be less." Napier was
startled. "I got frightened," he said; "I saw it was an actual
feat of delicate swordsmanship, and if I had not abused the man as
I did before my staff, and challenged him to the trial, I honestly
acknowledge I would have retired from the encounter. However, I
put the lime on my hand, and held out my arm steadily. The juggler
balanced himself, and, with a swift stroke cut the lime in two
pieces. I felt the edge of the sword on my hand as if a cold
thread had been drawn across it. So much (he added) for the brave
swordsmen of India, whom our fine fellows defeated at Meeanee."

The recent terrible struggle in India has served to bring out,
perhaps more prominently than any previous event in our history,
the determined energy and self-reliance of the national character.
Although English officialism may often drift stupidly into gigantic
blunders, the men of the nation generally contrive to work their
way out of them with a heroism almost approaching the sublime. In
May, 1857, when the revolt burst upon India like a thunder-clap,
the British forces had been allowed to dwindle to their extreme
minimum, and were scattered over a wide extent of country, many of
them in remote cantonments. The Bengal regiments, one after
another, rose against their officers, broke away, and rushed to
Delhi. Province after province was lapped in mutiny and rebellion;
and the cry for help rose from east to west. Everywhere the
English stood at bay in small detachments, beleaguered and
surrounded, apparently incapable of resistance. Their discomfiture
seemed so complete, and the utter ruin of the British cause in
India so certain, that it might be said of them then, as it had
been said before, "These English never know when they are beaten."
According to rule, they ought then and there to have succumbed to
inevitable fate.

While the issue of the mutiny still appeared uncertain, Holkar, one
of the native princes, consulted his astrologer for information.
The reply was, "If all the Europeans save one are slain, that one
will remain to fight and reconquer." In their very darkest moment-
-even where, as at Lucknow, a mere handful of British soldiers,
civilians, and women, held out amidst a city and province in arms
against them--there was no word of despair, no thought of
surrender. Though cut off from all communication with their
friends for months, and not knowing whether India was lost or held,
they never ceased to have perfect faith in the courage and
devotedness of their countrymen. They knew that while a body of
men of English race held together in India, they would not be left
unheeded to perish. They never dreamt of any other issue but
retrieval of their misfortune and ultimate triumph; and if the
worst came to the worst, they could but fall at their post, and die
in the performance of their duty. Need we remind the reader of the
names of Havelock, Inglis, Neill, and Outram--men of truly heroic
mould--of each of whom it might with truth be said that he had the
heart of a chevalier, the soul of a believer, and the temperament
of a martyr. Montalembert has said of them that "they do honour to
the human race." But throughout that terrible trial almost all
proved equally great--women, civilians and soldiers--from the
general down through all grades to the private and bugleman. The
men were not picked: they belonged to the same ordinary people
whom we daily meet at home--in the streets, in workshops, in the
fields, at clubs; yet when sudden disaster fell upon them, each and
all displayed a wealth of personal resources and energy, and became
as it were individually heroic. "Not one of them," says
Montalembert, "shrank or trembled--all, military and civilians,
young and old, generals and soldiers, resisted, fought, and
perished with a coolness and intrepidity which never faltered. It
is in this circumstance that shines out the immense value of public
education, which invites the Englishman from his youth to make use
of his strength and his liberty, to associate, resist, fear
nothing, to be astonished at nothing, and to save himself, by his
own sole exertions, from every sore strait in life."

It has been said that Delhi was taken and India saved by the
personal character of Sir John Lawrence. The very name of
"Lawrence" represented power in the North-West Provinces. His
standard of duty, zeal, and personal effort, was of the highest;
and every man who served under him seemed to be inspired by his
spirit. It was declared of him that his character alone was worth
an army. The same might be said of his brother Sir Henry, who
organised the Punjaub force that took so prominent a part in the
capture of Delhi. Both brothers inspired those who were about them
with perfect love and confidence. Both possessed that quality of
tenderness, which is one of the true elements of the heroic
character. Both lived amongst the people, and powerfully
influenced them for good. Above all as Col. Edwardes says, "they
drew models on young fellows' minds, which they went forth and
copied in their several administrations: they sketched a FAITH,
and begot a SCHOOL, which are both living things at this day." Sir
John Lawrence had by his side such men as Montgomery, Nicholson,
Cotton, and Edwardes, as prompt, decisive, and high-souled as
himself. John Nicholson was one of the finest, manliest, and
noblest of men--"every inch a hakim," the natives said of him--"a
tower of strength," as he was characterised by Lord Dalhousie. In
whatever capacity he acted he was great, because he acted with his
whole strength and soul. A brotherhood of fakeers--borne away by
their enthusiastic admiration of the man--even began the worship of
Nikkil Seyn: he had some of them punished for their folly, but
they continued their worship nevertheless. Of his sustained energy
and persistency an illustration may be cited in his pursuit of the
55th Sepoy mutineers, when he was in the saddle for twenty
consecutive hours, and travelled more than seventy miles. When the
enemy set up their standard at Delhi, Lawrence and Montgomery,
relying on the support of the people of the Punjaub, and compelling
their admiration and confidence, strained every nerve to keep their
own province in perfect order, whilst they hurled every available
soldier, European and Sikh, against that city. Sir John wrote to
the commander-in-chief to "hang on to the rebels' noses before
Delhi," while the troops pressed on by forced marches under
Nicholson, "the tramp of whose war-horse might be heard miles off,"
as was afterwards said of him by a rough Sikh who wept over his

The siege and storming of Delhi was the most illustrious event
which occurred in the course of that gigantic struggle, although
the leaguer of Lucknow, during which the merest skeleton of a
British regiment--the 32nd--held out, under the heroic Inglis, for
six months against two hundred thousand armed enemies, has perhaps
excited more intense interest. At Delhi, too, the British were
really the besieged, though ostensibly the besiegers; they were a
mere handful of men "in the open"--not more than 3,700 bayonets,
European and native--and they were assailed from day to day by an
army of rebels numbering at one time as many as 75,000 men, trained
to European discipline by English officers, and supplied with all
but exhaustless munitions of war. The heroic little band sat down
before the city under the burning rays of a tropical sun. Death,
wounds, and fever failed to turn them from their purpose. Thirty
times they were attacked by overwhelming numbers, and thirty times
did they drive back the enemy behind their defences. As Captain
Hodson--himself one of the bravest there--has said, "I venture to
aver that no other nation in the world would have remained here, or
avoided defeat if they had attempted to do so." Never for an
instant did these heroes falter at their work; with sublime
endurance they held on, fought on, and never relaxed until, dashing
through the "imminent deadly breach," the place was won, and the
British flag was again unfurled on the walls of Delhi. All were
great--privates, officers, and generals. Common soldiers who had
been inured to a life of hardship, and young officers who had been
nursed in luxurious homes, alike proved their manhood, and emerged
from that terrible trial with equal honour. The native strength
and soundness of the English race, and of manly English training
and discipline, were never more powerfully exhibited; and it was
there emphatically proved that the Men of England are, after all,
its greatest products. A terrible price was paid for this great
chapter in our history, but if those who survive, and those who
come after, profit by the lesson and example, it may not have been
purchased at too great a cost.

But not less energy and courage have been displayed in India and
the East by men of various nations, in other lines of action more
peaceful and beneficent than that of war. And while the heroes of
the sword are remembered, the heroes of the gospel ought not to be
forgotten. From Xavier to Martyn and Williams, there has been a
succession of illustrious missionary labourers, working in a spirit
of sublime self-sacrifice, without any thought of worldly honour,
inspired solely by the hope of seeking out and rescuing the lost
and fallen of their race. Borne up by invincible courage and
never-failing patience, these men have endured privations, braved
dangers, walked through pestilence, and borne all toils, fatigues,
and sufferings, yet held on their way rejoicing, glorying even in
martyrdom itself. Of these one of the first and most illustrious
was Francis Xavier. Born of noble lineage, and with pleasure,
power, and honour within his reach, he proved by his life that
there are higher objects in the world than rank, and nobler
aspirations than the accumulation of wealth. He was a true
gentleman in manners and sentiment; brave, honourable, generous;
easily led, yet capable of leading; easily persuaded, yet himself
persuasive; a most patient, resolute and energetic man. At the age
of twenty-two he was earning his living as a public teacher of
philosophy at the University of Paris. There Xavier became the
intimate friend and associate of Loyola, and shortly afterwards he
conducted the pilgrimage of the first little band of proselytes to

When John III. of Portugal resolved to plant Christianity in the
Indian territories subject to his influence, Bobadilla was first
selected as his missionary; but being disabled by illness, it was
found necessary to make another selection, and Xavier was chosen.
Repairing his tattered cassock, and with no other baggage than his
breviary, he at once started for Lisbon and embarked for the East.
The ship in which he set sail for Goa had the Governor on board,
with a reinforcement of a thousand men for the garrison of the
place. Though a cabin was placed at his disposal, Xavier slept on
deck throughout the voyage with his head on a coil of ropes,
messing with the sailors. By ministering to their wants, inventing
innocent sports for their amusement, and attending them in their
sickness, he wholly won their hearts, and they regarded him with

Arrived at Goa, Xavier was shocked at the depravity of the people,
settlers as well as natives; for the former had imported the vices
without the restraints of civilization, and the latter had only
been too apt to imitate their bad example. Passing along the
streets of the city, sounding his handbell as he went, he implored
the people to send him their children to be instructed. He shortly
succeeded in collecting a large number of scholars, whom he
carefully taught day by day, at the same time visiting the sick,
the lepers, and the wretched of all classes, with the object of
assuaging their miseries, and bringing them to the Truth. No cry
of human suffering which reached him was disregarded. Hearing of
the degradation and misery of the pearl fishers of Manaar, he set
out to visit them, and his bell again rang out the invitation of
mercy. He baptized and he taught, but the latter he could only do
through interpreters. His most eloquent teaching was his
ministration to the wants and the sufferings of the wretched.

On he went, his hand-bell sounding along the coast of Comorin,
among the towns and villages, the temples and the bazaars,
summoning the natives to gather about him and be instructed. He
had translations made of the Catechism, the Apostles' Creed, the
Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and some of the devotional offices
of the Church. Committing these to memory in their own tongue he
recited them to the children, until they had them by heart; after
which he sent them forth to teach the words to their parents and
neighbours. At Cape Comorin, he appointed thirty teachers, who
under himself presided over thirty Christian Churches, though the
Churches were but humble, in most cases consisting only of a
cottage surmounted by a cross. Thence he passed to Travancore,
sounding his way from village to village, baptizing until his hands
dropped with weariness, and repeating his formulas until his voice
became almost inaudible. According to his own account, the success
of his mission surpassed his highest expectations. His pure,
earnest, and beautiful life, and the irresistible eloquence of his
deeds, made converts wherever he went; and by sheer force of
sympathy, those who saw him and listened to him insensibly caught a
portion of his ardour.

Burdened with the thought that "the harvest is great and the
labourers are few," Xavier next sailed to Malacca and Japan, where
he found himself amongst entirely new races speaking other tongues.
The most that he could do here was to weep and pray, to smooth the
pillow and watch by the sick-bed, sometimes soaking the sleeve of
his surplice in water, from which to squeeze out a few drops and
baptize the dying. Hoping all things, and fearing nothing, this
valiant soldier of the truth was borne onward throughout by faith
and energy. "Whatever form of death or torture," said he, "awaits
me, I am ready to suffer it ten thousand times for the salvation of
a single soul." He battled with hunger, thirst, privations and
dangers of all kinds, still pursuing his mission of love, unresting
and unwearying. At length, after eleven years' labour, this great
good man, while striving to find a way into China, was stricken
with fever in the Island of Sanchian, and there received his crown
of glory. A hero of nobler mould, more pure, self-denying, and
courageous, has probably never trod this earth.

Other missionaries have followed Xavier in the same field of work,
such as Schwartz, Carey, and Marshman in India; Gutzlaff and
Morrison in China; Williams in the South Seas; Campbell, Moffatt
and Livingstone in Africa. John Williams, the martyr of Erromanga,
was originally apprenticed to a furnishing ironmonger. Though
considered a dull boy, he was handy at his trade, in which he
acquired so much skill that his master usually entrusted him with
any blacksmiths work that required the exercise of more than
ordinary care. He was also fond of bell-hanging and other
employments which took him away from the shop. A casual sermon
which he heard gave his mind a serious bias, and he became a
Sunday-school teacher. The cause of missions having been brought
under his notice at some of his society's meetings, he determined
to devote himself to this work. His services were accepted by the
London Missionary Society; and his master allowed him to leave the
ironmonger's shop before the expiry of his indentures. The islands
of the Pacific Ocean were the principal scene of his labours--more
particularly Huahine in Tahiti, Raiatea, and Rarotonga. Like the
Apostles he worked with his hands,--at blacksmith work, gardening,
shipbuilding; and he endeavoured to teach the islanders the art of
civilised life, at the same time that he instructed them in the
truths of religion. It was in the course of his indefatigable
labours that he was massacred by savages on the shore of Erromanga-
-none worthier than he to wear the martyr's crown.

The career of Dr. Livingstone is one of the most interesting of
all. He has told the story of his life in that modest and
unassuming manner which is so characteristic of the man himself.
His ancestors were poor but honest Highlanders, and it is related
of one of them, renowned in his district for wisdom and prudence,
that when on his death-bed he called his children round him and
left them these words, the only legacy he had to bequeath--"In my
life-time," said he, "I have searched most carefully through all
the traditions I could find of our family, and I never could
discover that there was a dishonest man among our forefathers: if,
therefore, any of you or any of your children should take to
dishonest ways, it will not be because it runs in our blood; it
does not belong to you: I leave this precept with you--Be honest."
At the age of ten Livingstone was sent to work in a cotton factory
near Glasgow as a "piecer." With part of his first week's wages he
bought a Latin grammar, and began to learn that language, pursuing
the study for years at a night school. He would sit up conning his
lessons till twelve or later, when not sent to bed by his mother,
for he had to be up and at work in the factory every morning by
six. In this way he plodded through Virgil and Horace, also
reading extensively all books, excepting novels, that came in his
way, but more especially scientific works and books of travels. He
occupied his spare hours, which were but few, in the pursuit of
botany, scouring the neighbourhood to collect plants. He even
carried on his reading amidst the roar of the factory machinery, so
placing the book upon the spinning jenny which he worked that he
could catch sentence after sentence as he passed it. In this way
the persevering youth acquired much useful knowledge; and as he
grew older, the desire possessed him of becoming a missionary to
the heathen. With this object he set himself to obtain a medical
education, in order the better to be qualified for the work. He
accordingly economised his earnings, and saved as much money as
enabled him to support himself while attending the Medical and
Greek classes, as well as the Divinity Lectures, at Glasgow, for
several winters, working as a cotton spinner during the remainder
of each year. He thus supported himself, during his college
career, entirely by his own earnings as a factory workman, never
having received a farthing of help from any other source. "Looking
back now," he honestly says, "at that life of toil, I cannot but
feel thankful that it formed such a material part of my early
education; and, were it possible, I should like to begin life over
again in the same lowly style, and to pass through the same hardy
training." At length he finished his medical curriculum, wrote his
Latin thesis, passed his examinations, and was admitted a
licentiate of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons. At first he
thought of going to China, but the war then waging with that
country prevented his following out the idea; and having offered
his services to the London Missionary Society, he was by them sent
out to Africa, which he reached in 1840. He had intended to
proceed to China by his own efforts; and he says the only pang he
had in going to Africa at the charge of the London Missionary
Society was, because "it was not quite agreeable to one accustomed
to work his own way to become, in a manner, dependent upon others."
Arrived in Africa he set to work with great zeal. He could not
brook the idea of merely entering upon the labours of others, but
cut out a large sphere of independent work, preparing himself for
it by undertaking manual labour in building and other handicraft
employment, in addition to teaching, which, he says, "made me
generally as much exhausted and unfit for study in the evenings as
ever I had been when a cotton-spinner." Whilst labouring amongst
the Bechuanas, he dug canals, built houses, cultivated fields,
reared cattle, and taught the natives to work as well as worship.
When he first started with a party of them on foot upon a long
journey, he overheard their observations upon his appearance and
powers--"He is not strong," said they; "he is quite slim, and only
appears stout because he puts himself into those bags (trowsers):
he will soon knock up." This caused the missionary's Highland
blood to rise, and made him despise the fatigue of keeping them all
at the top of their speed for days together, until he heard them
expressing proper opinions of his pedestrian powers. What he did
in Africa, and how he worked, may be learnt from his own
'Missionary Travels,' one of the most fascinating books of its kind
that has ever been given to the public. One of his last known acts
is thoroughly characteristic of the man. The 'Birkenhead' steam
launch, which he took out with him to Africa, having proved a
failure, he sent home orders for the construction of another vessel
at an estimated cost of 2000l. This sum he proposed to defray out
of the means which he had set aside for his children arising from
the profits of his books of travels. "The children must make it up
themselves," was in effect his expression in sending home the order
for the appropriation of the money.

The career of John Howard was throughout a striking illustration of
the same power of patient purpose. His sublime life proved that
even physical weakness could remove mountains in the pursuit of an
end recommended by duty. The idea of ameliorating the condition of
prisoners engrossed his whole thoughts and possessed him like a
passion; and no toil, nor danger, nor bodily suffering could turn
him from that great object of his life. Though a man of no genius
and but moderate talent, his heart was pure and his will was
strong. Even in his own time he achieved a remarkable degree of
success; and his influence did not die with him, for it has
continued powerfully to affect not only the legislation of England,
but of all civilised nations, down to the present hour.

Jonas Hanway was another of the many patient and persevering men
who have made England what it is--content simply to do with energy
the work they have been appointed to do, and go to their rest
thankfully when it is done -

"Leaving no memorial but a world
Made better by their lives."

He was born in 1712, at Portsmouth, where his father, a storekeeper
in the dockyard, being killed by an accident, he was left an orphan
at an early age. His mother removed with her children to London,
where she had them put to school, and struggled hard to bring them
up respectably. At seventeen Jonas was sent to Lisbon to be
apprenticed to a merchant, where his close attention to business,
his punctuality, and his strict honour and integrity, gained for
him the respect and esteem of all who knew him. Returning to
London in 1743, he accepted the offer of a partnership in an
English mercantile house at St. Petersburg engaged in the Caspian
trade, then in its infancy. Hanway went to Russia for the purpose
of extending the business; and shortly after his arrival at the
capital he set out for Persia, with a caravan of English bales of
cloth making twenty carriage loads. At Astracan he sailed for
Astrabad, on the south-eastern shore of the Caspian; but he had
scarcely landed his bales, when an insurrection broke out, his
goods were seized, and though he afterwards recovered the principal
part of them, the fruits of his enterprise were in a great measure
lost. A plot was set on foot to seize himself and his party; so he
took to sea and, after encountering great perils, reached Ghilan in
safety. His escape on this occasion gave him the first idea of the
words which he afterwards adopted as the motto of his life--"NEVER
DESPAIR." He afterwards resided in St. Petersburg for five years,
carrying on a prosperous business. But a relative having left him
some property, and his own means being considerable, he left
Russia, and arrived in his native country in 1755. His object in
returning to England was, as he himself expressed it, "to consult
his own health (which was extremely delicate), and do as much good
to himself and others as he was able." The rest of his life was
spent in deeds of active benevolence and usefulness to his fellow
men. He lived in a quiet style, in order that he might employ a
larger share of his income in works of benevolence. One of the
first public improvements to which he devoted himself was that of
the highways of the metropolis, in which he succeeded to a large
extent. The rumour of a French invasion being prevalent in 1755,
Mr. Hanway turned his attention to the best mode of keeping up the
supply of seamen. He summoned a meeting of merchants and
shipowners at the Royal Exchange, and there proposed to them to
form themselves into a society for fitting out landsmen volunteers
and boys, to serve on board the king's ships. The proposal was
received with enthusiasm: a society was formed, and officers were
appointed, Mr. Hanway directing its entire operations. The result
was the establishment in 1756 of The Marine Society, an institution
which has proved of much national advantage, and is to this day of
great and substantial utility. Within six years from its
formation, 5451 boys and 4787 landsmen volunteers had been trained
and fitted out by the society and added to the navy, and to this
day it is in active operation, about 600 poor boys, after a careful
education, being annually apprenticed as sailors, principally in
the merchant service.

Mr. Hanway devoted the other portions of his spare time to
improving or establishing important public institutions in the
metropolis. From an early period he took an active interest in the
Foundling Hospital, which had been started by Thomas Coram many
years before, but which, by encouraging parents to abandon their
children to the charge of a charity, was threatening to do more
harm than good. He determined to take steps to stem the evil,
entering upon the work in the face of the fashionable philanthropy
of the time; but by holding to his purpose he eventually succeeded
in bringing the charity back to its proper objects; and time and
experience have proved that he was right. The Magdalen Hospital
was also established in a great measure through Mr. Hanway's
exertions. But his most laborious and persevering efforts were in
behalf of the infant parish poor. The misery and neglect amidst
which the children of the parish poor then grew up, and the
mortality which prevailed amongst them, were frightful; but there
was no fashionable movement on foot to abate the suffering, as in
the case of the foundlings. So Jonas Hanway summoned his energies
to the task. Alone and unassisted he first ascertained by personal
inquiry the extent of the evil. He explored the dwellings of the
poorest classes in London, and visited the poorhouse sick wards, by
which he ascertained the management in detail of every workhouse in
and near the metropolis. He next made a journey into France and
through Holland, visiting the houses for the reception of the poor,
and noting whatever he thought might be adopted at home with
advantage. He was thus employed for five years; and on his return
to England he published the results of his observations. The
consequence was that many of the workhouses were reformed and
improved. In 1761 he obtained an Act obliging every London parish
to keep an annual register of all the infants received, discharged,
and dead; and he took care that the Act should work, for he himself
superintended its working with indefatigable watchfulness. He went
about from workhouse to workhouse in the morning, and from one
member of parliament to another in the afternoon, for day after
day, and for year after year, enduring every rebuff, answering
every objection, and accommodating himself to every humour. At
length, after a perseverance hardly to be equalled, and after
nearly ten years' labour, he obtained another Act, at his sole
expense (7 Geo. III. c. 39), directing that all parish infants
belonging to the parishes within the bills of mortality should not
be nursed in the workhouses, but be sent to nurse a certain number
of miles out of town, until they were six years old, under the care
of guardians to be elected triennially. The poor people called
this "the Act for keeping children alive;" and the registers for
the years which followed its passing, as compared with those which
preceded it, showed that thousands of lives had been preserved
through the judicious interference of this good and sensible man.

Wherever a philanthropic work was to be done in London, be sure
that Jonas Hanway's hand was in it. One of the first Acts for the
protection of chimney-sweepers' boys was obtained through his
influence. A destructive fire at Montreal, and another at
Bridgetown, Barbadoes, afforded him the opportunity for raising a
timely subscription for the relief of the sufferers. His name
appeared in every list, and his disinterestedness and sincerity
were universally recognized. But he was not suffered to waste his
little fortune entirely in the service of others. Five leading
citizens of London, headed by Mr. Hoare, the banker, without Mr.
Hanway's knowledge, waited on Lord Bute, then prime minister, in a
body, and in the names of their fellow-citizens requested that some
notice might be taken of this good man's disinterested services to
his country. The result was, his appointment shortly after, as one
of the commissioners for victualling the navy.

Towards the close of his life Mr. Hanway's health became very
feeble, and although he found it necessary to resign his office at
the Victualling Board, he could not be idle; but laboured at the
establishment of Sunday Schools,--a movement then in its infancy,--
or in relieving poor blacks, many of whom wandered destitute about
the streets of the metropolis,--or, in alleviating the sufferings
of some neglected and destitute class of society. Notwithstanding
his familiarity with misery in all its shapes, he was one of the
most cheerful of beings; and, but for his cheerfulness he could
never, with so delicate a frame, have got through so vast an amount
of self-imposed work. He dreaded nothing so much as inactivity.
Though fragile, he was bold and indefatigable; and his moral
courage was of the first order. It may be regarded as a trivial
matter to mention that he was the first who ventured to walk the
streets of London with an umbrella over his head. But let any
modern London merchant venture to walk along Cornhill in a peaked
Chinese hat, and he will find it takes some degree of moral courage
to persevere in it. After carrying an umbrella for thirty years,
Mr. Hanway saw the article at length come into general use.

Hanway was a man of strict honour, truthfulness, and integrity; and
every word he said might be relied upon. He had so great a
respect, amounting almost to a reverence, for the character of the
honest merchant, that it was the only subject upon which he was
ever seduced into a eulogium. He strictly practised what he
professed, and both as a merchant, and afterwards as a commissioner
for victualling the navy, his conduct was without stain. He would
not accept the slightest favour of any sort from a contractor; and
when any present was sent to him whilst at the Victualling Office,
he would politely return it, with the intimation that "he had made
it a rule not to accept anything from any person engaged with the
office." When he found his powers failing, he prepared for death
with as much cheerfulness as he would have prepared himself for a
journey into the country. He sent round and paid all his

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