Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

we cannot help seeing them, then we are to use these very faults as warnings for our conduct, to escape them, or steer clear of them if we wish to be good men and women — even if we may not be great ones.

Now, what made Washington great? We admit that he had faults; but who remembers them now, or tries to pick them out? If you recall the life of Columbus, the Admiral, which opened this series of Children's Lives of Great Men, you will recollect that he had very great and detestable faults, and was capable of doing things that really good men like Washington and Lincoln would not have done for all the wealth of the Indies, nor all the gold of Carthay. And yet Columbus is to-day one of the world's great men; his faults are forgotten; only what he achieved is remembered.

Of Washington, we set down this: as a boy he was honest, upright, truthful, obedient and brave — liking out-of-door life and out-of-door sports, and entering into everything so heartily that he soon became the leader of his playmates, and the one that all other boys who knew him looked up to (“ tied to,” as the saying is), and followed; as a young man, he was reliable, adventurous, courageous, manly, pure and strong — doing whatever task was set for him as well as he could, never grumbling, and never shirking; as a man, he was what we call a leader of men — clear-headed, clean-hearted, seeing what ought to be done and doing it, or setting others to do it when he had shown the way, never trying to get the best of others, never jealous, never disturbed

[graphic][merged small]

by the jealousies of smaller men, however hard they tried to upset his plans or injure his reputation, a planner of great things, and a doer of them as well, just the man for just the work that the making of a nation demanded.

He was not born great. He grew into greatness. He was not a bright nor a brilliant boy; but if he had anything to do he set about doing

it at once. And as Jandi Fabrol 069 Lei he grew older and Son Loadour mixed with men, the youth and not ?- Ghafhington saw that what made Zarostaglaophotha obeyed by others was G effen

7799

WASHINGTON'S HANDWRITING AS A MAN.

saw that what made men respected and a obe

hers was reliability -- that is,

lovi Post 2 Leprie myle. keeping one's promises, and promising horend Verao Su only what one felt he December 10 Matherston? could do.

There are some people who object to what is called “ hero-worship;” but if a man is worthy to be called a hero, then it is well and wise for men and women, especially for boys and girls, to set him high in their hearts, to look up to him, and to call him great and grand and noble. Only, boys and girls, be careful how you pick out your hero. Not the conqueror, who, like Napoleon Bonaparte, though a mighty genius, was, still, simply brave and smart and selfish, who loved war and power simply for his own ends, and because they brought him what he desired — not such a man is worthy to be selected by you as a real hero; not the man who is powerful because he is rich, or because he is strong, or because he is smart, alone, is to be chosen by you as your hero; but the man who, knowing what is right, dares to do it, and, doing it, is able to do it nobly and well, the man whose work is not for himself, but for the good of others, who is courageous, strong and honest, loving, tender and true, who can command and counsel, but is himself willing to obey and to take advice, who is a leader of men, but a lover of men also, who is noble because he is good, and great because he is noble — that is the man you can take for your hero, and thank God that such a man really has lived and labored and succeeded in the world. And such a man was George Washington.

The people who, as I have told you, object to heroworship are ready to criticise Washington. They will tell you that he was not an American, but only an Englishman who happened to live in America when America was really English; they will tell you he was cold and stern, and unloving; that he was great, as a mountain or an iceberg is great, but not such a man as boys and girls would love if they. knew him, or would care to hang about or cling to, if they were with him; they will tell you that he never laughed, that he never played, that he never joked or did any of the things that make men pleasant comrades and good fellows.

« ZurückWeiter »