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courteousness, even in rebuking others for their errors, and he always observed it.
He was subject to many calls for charity, and other purposes. These must have been a great interruption to him in his business. But he always met them with the same gentlemanly bearing which he shewed to a buyer. Even when he felt obliged to decline the call, it was done in such a familiar, kind way, as frequently awakened the solicitor's admiration. His brother, the Hon. Abbott Lawrence, was highly distinguished for this quality. A writer says of him and others : versal politeness has become a primary law in all eminent mercantile houses. It characterises the intercourse of the Barings, Rothschilds, Laboucheres, and all the most highly respected American houses. Every Boston merchant remembers with pleasure the genial urbanity which graced the energy, the beneficence, and important public services of Abbot Lawrence, the distinguished merchant and statesman. The feelings and courtesies of the true gentleman marked his character. Whoever enters the counting-rooms of a Baring, Labouchere, or a Lawrence, whether his proposals are accepted or declined, is sure to meet with civility."
This happy blending of urbane manners, with those high moral virtues, already discussed, contributed not a little to render Mr Lawrence a popular public officer, a respected and favourite merchant, and a sympathising valuable friend.
Mr Butler, of Providence, a well-known millionaire, commenced business in that city when a young man. He was very affable and pleasant, so that customers were favourably impressed. He was so obliging, that
on one occasion he reopened bis shop, after he had closed at night, solely to supply a little girl with a spool of cotton. The incident became known, and it awakened general interest in the young merchant. His custom rapidly increased, and he was soon on the high road of prosperity.
A lady subscribed £20 to aid Amherst College, although she was not connected with the denomination. She gave as a reason, that she once met the president, Rev. Dr Humphrey, in an omnibus, and he shewed himself to be a man of genuine politeness ; and she added : "A college with such a president deserves to be supported.”
The following fact illustrates the value of this quality in the young :
“An elderly lady passing down a busy street in New Haven, was overtaken by a sudden shower. She was some distance from any acquaintance, and had no umbrella. She was deliberating what to do, when a pleasant voice beside her said : Will
my umbrella, madam ?' The speaker was a boy, perhaps ten years old. “< Thank you,' said the lady ; 'I am afraid you
cio Never mind me, madam; I am but a boy, and you are a lady.' 6:6 But perhaps you
accompany me to a friend's, and then I shall not find it necessary to rob you.'
“ The boy did so, and received the thanks of the lady, and departed. “ Two years rolled
away. The lady often related the circumstance, and wondered what had become of her friend, but little thinking ever to see him again. In the dull season of the year this boy was thrown out of his employment, and the circumstance coming to the knowledge of this lady, she was able to introduce him to a good situation."
Such facts speak for themselves. True politeness finds favour with all classes ; and, united with the higher virtues of humanity and religion, it becomes a prominent element of success.
In a previous chapter we spoke of little faults and sins, and their influence upon character. We wish now to speak of other little things which go to make up life. They are often trifled with by old and young, and the result is disastrous. Many a person has made shipwreck of his hopes, simply because he despised little things.
It is very difficult to make young people believe that such affairs are of any consequence, so far as character is concerned. They are rather disposed to regard any caution as a whim of old people, not worth minding. Therefore, they pass over little matters as unimportant, and long for great things. If they are seeking wealth, they aim for hundreds and thousands, while small sums scarcely obtain their attention. If they are in the path of knowledge, they would reach the summit of the hill of science without inaking the journey step by step. They would ascend to the top of the ladder of fame by one long stride without treading upon every round. So it is with nearly every thing else. The disposition to trifle with little things appears to be well-nigh universal with the young.
Now we wish to shew that there is no such thing as success that is not made up of littles.
“ Little by little,” is the way that most rich men have become so: and the same is true of the learned and honoured. Mr Lawrence wrote, concerning the profits of his first year's business : “I made about three hundred pounds the first year, and more than eight hundred the second. Probably had I made a large sum the first year, I might have failed the second or third year.” Great gains would have nurtured his desire for money, so that he would have run hazards for wealth, which would have proved his ruin. But he was satisfied with comparatively small profits, and never seemed to cherish a longing desire for great riches. The same was true of other merchants to whom we have referred. men who want to get the world by “heaps,” and are quite unwilling to take it by the piece, are those who fail.
We have seen that Mr L. was very particular that his sons should keep an exact account of all their receipts and expenses. Some youths might laugh at this as making too much of a boy's affairs. But there is not a man of experience in any pursuit, who will not admire his practice on this point. Observation, if not experience, has convinced them, that such things have
Those young The boy
more influence upon character than many
others usually considered far more important.
A few years ago, a New York merchant advertised for a lad. A youth saw the advertisement, and called at the warehouse. “ Walk into the office, my lad," said the merchant; “I'll attend to you soon. seated himself in the office, and in due time the merchant appeared, and took a chair beside him. On sitting down, he observed a cigar in his hat. “My boy," said he, “I want a smart, honest, faithful lad ; but I see that you smoke cigars, and in my experience of many years, I have ever found cigar-smoking in lads to be connected with various other evil habits. You will not suit me." Perhaps the youth thought the merchant was more particular than wise. But he, in common with all men of as much discernment of character as Lawrence, understood the drift of such small things as a cigar in a boy's hat. A straw shews the direction of the wind. So character is usually judged of by little things. A man is very exact and earnest for the farthing that is his due; and we infer that he is penurious. Another is rude in the presence of ladies in the train, and we suppose that he is ill-bred.
A third spells some common words erroneously in a letter, and we conclude that his education is deficient. In this way, we make minor affairs a test of character, often, and perhaps .generally. We might never know the true character of a governor or president, judged only by his great public acts. We must know something of them in the more private and every-day transactions of life, in order to understand them exactly.
Let us visit any community, and become familiar