« ZurückWeiter »
reveal themselves. Bad deeds will ooze out. Beware of the flatterer! Remember the good old proverb, “He that flattereth his neighbour, spreadeth a net for his feet.”
Companionship in. boyhood springs from impulse; but proffered friendship in after years often arises from motive; consequently, the beginning of TRUST should be the result of calm consideration. Above all things, see that your friend is a good man, for if not, his friendship is rotten; for a bad man is not true to himself, and therefore must prove false to you. Have nothing to do with him.
Mr. Billington leaped out of a handsome two-horsed brougham, rushed into the office, and shaking me by the hand, said, “I want to introduce you to my friend S
; come along. His brougham is at the door. We dine at Lovegrove's.".
66 Who is S-? I don't remember his name."
66 Just introduced to him. Fine fellow! He will be of use in our concern. Come along; I want you to give me your opinion of him."
We sat down to a sumptuous dinner; the wine went freely round; Billington was full of anecdote; Slaughed and complimented Billington on his wit. Compliments, and the obsequious “ Friend Billington, your health!" tickled poor Billington, who was pleased, and talked, and laughed, and drank, and was overjoyed with the dinner and the wine, and with all about and around him. Friends present, and friends absent, received the warm words of affection from
excited friend. About a fortnight afterwards Billington called at my office in THE brougham. He was alone, and called to give me a drive and a dinner.
66 What do you think of my friend SM-? Fine fellow! keeps a splendid table; has a box at the Opera, and mixes in the best society."
“ What do I think of him?" • Is he not a fine fellow ?” “ Handsome enough." 66 You don't like him?" " I have seen men at a first interview that I liked better." “He is acknowledged to be a shrewd, clever man.”
“Granted; but there is such a thing as being too clever and too shrewd.”
" He takes you for a shrewd man."
“ Common sense and honesty, Billington, that's all. I wish your friend possessed the latter. But, tell me, how do you stand in matters of business with him?" " He is appointed our actuary."
Actuary! Be careful; for I have my doubts. But, my dear B- have you given up your literary pursuits and your lectures for a brougham and a dinner, and nights of pernicious pleasures, which you used to despise ? Where is your promised lecture on · Colonisation,' that you purposed giving at the Egyptian Hall, when your respected friend, the eminent lecturer on · Heroes and Hero-Worship,' was to preside ?"
“ You are right. I must reform. Back to my paternal cell! I shall give the lecture. I now see that my pace is fast. Good night, and thanks.” Billington fixed a day and lectured, and an excellent lecture
“ On the Advantages of Colonisation.” Mr. Thomas Carlyle, who was present, and to whom I was introduced, spoke encouragingly-praised, but advised less flights and more facts as the simple expression of facts is more eloquent than the arts of rhetoric.
I looked at these two men- --the one not old, but great; the other young, and growing fast into greatness.
Let me now contrast the relative position of these two friends.
It was only the other day that the greatest honour that could be conferred upon a philanthropist, was conferred upon the good and noble-hearted Carlyle-his installation as Lord
Rector of the University of Edinburgh. His address to the students on that occasion breathes the spirit of love and encouragement, and portions of it deserve to be engraven on
ANALOGOUS POSITION. “ Your enthusiasm towards me, I must admit, is very beautiful in itself, however desirable it may be in regard to the object of it. It is a feeling honourable to all men, and one well known to myself when I was in a position analogous to your own. I can only hope that it may endure to the end that noble desire to honour those whom you think worthy of honour, and come to be more and more select and discriminate in the choice of the object of it; for I can well understand that you will modify your opinions of me and many things else as you go on."
VOICE OF YOUNG SCOTLAND.
“ There are now fifty-six years gone last November since I first entered your city, a boy of not quite fourteen-fifty-six years ago-to attend classes here, and gain knowledge of all kinds, I know not what, with feelings of wonder and awe-struck expect
and now, after a long, long course, this is what we have come to. There is something touching and tragic, and yet at the same time beautiful, to see the third generation, as it were, of my dear old native land, rising up and saying: 'Well, you are not altogether an unworthy labourer in the vineyard : you have toiled through a great variety of fortunes, and have had many judges.' As the old proverb says, “He that builds by the wayside has many masters.' We must expect a variety of judges; but the voice of young Scotland, through you, is really of some value to me, and I return you many thanks for it, though I cannot describe my emotions to you, and perhaps will be much more conceivable if expressed in silence."
AMBITION. - When this office was first proposed to me, some of you know that I was not very ambitious to accept it at first. I was taught to believe that there were more or less certain important duties would lie in my power. This, I confess, was my chief motive in going into it—at least in reconciling the objections felt to such things; for if I can do anything to honour you and my dear old Alma Mater, why should I not do so? Well, but on practically looking into the matter when the office actually came into my hands, I find it grows more and more uncertain and abstruse to me whether there is much real duty that I can do at all. I live four hundred miles away from you, in an entirely different state of things; and my weak health—now for many years accumulating upon me—and a total unacquaintance with such subjects as concern your affairs here,—all this fills me with apprehension that there is really nothing worth the least consideration that I can do on that score. however, depend upon it that if any such duty does arise in any form, I will use my most faithful endeavour to do whatever is right and proper, according to the best of my judgment."
PURSUITS. “ In the meanwhile, the duty I have at present which might be very pleasant, but which is quite the reverse, as you may fancy—is to address some words to you on some subjects more or less cognate to the pursuits you are engaged in. In fact, I had meant to throw out some loose observations—loose in point of order I mean—in such a way as they may occur to me—the truths I have in me about the business you are engaged in, the race you have started on, what kind of race it is you young gentlemen have begun, and what sort of arena you are likely to find in this world. I ought, I believe, according to custom, to have written all that down on paper and had it read out. That would have been much handier to me at the present moment, but, when I attempted to write, I found that I was not accus
not solely or simply by writing good Political Economy in it. The organisation of a first-rate commercial paper in 1843 required a great inventiveness and also a great discretion. Nothing of the kind then existed; it was not known what the public most wished to know on business interests ; the best shape of communicating information had to be invented in detail. The labour of creating such a paper and of administer. ing it during its early stages is very great ; and might well deter most men even of superior ability from attempting it. At this period of his life Mr. Wilson used to superintend the whole of the Economist ; to write all the important leaders, nearly all the unimportant ones; to make himself master of every commercial question as it arose ; to give practical details as to the practical aspects of it; to be on the watch for every kind of new commercial information; to spend hours in adapting it to the daily wants of commercial men. He often worked till far into the morning, and impressed all about him with wonder at the anxiety, labour, and exhaustion he was able to undergo. For some months after the commencement of the Economist, he was still engaged in his former business ; and after he relinquished that, he used to write the City article and also leaders for the Morning Chronicle, at the very time that he was doing on the Economist far more than most men would have had endurance of mind or strength of body for. Long afterwards he used to speak of this period as far more exhausting than the most exhausting part of a laborious public life. ** Our public men,” he once said, “ do not know what anxiety means; they have never known what it is to have their own position dependent on their exertions.” In 1843, and for some time afterwards, he had himself to bear extreme labour and great anxiety together; and even his iron frame was worn and tried by the conjunction.
“Within seven years from the foundation of the Economist, Mr. Wilson dealt effectively and thoroughly with three firstrate subjects,—the railway mania, the famine in Ireland, and