We love upright, energetic men. Pull them this way, and then that way, and the other, and they only bend, but never break. Trip them down, and in a trice they are on their feet. Bury them in the mud, and in an hour they will be out and bright. They are not ever yawning away existence, or walking about the world as if they had come into it with only half their soul; you cannot keep them down; you cannot destroy them. But for these the world would soon degenerate. They are the salt of the earth. Who but they start any noble project? They build our cities and rear our manufactories; they whiten the ocean with their sails, and they blacken the heavens with the smoke of their steam-vessels and furnace fires; they draw treasures from the mine; they plow the earth. Blessings on them! Look to them, young men, and take courage; imitate their example; catch the spirit of their energy and enterprise, and you will deserve, and no doubt command, success.
From Readings for Young Men, Merchants, and Men of Business, 1866
Last updated: November 19, 2015