Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/52

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


to it to the last breath of life and do his best. We are called upon to do that; and the reward we all get—which we are perfectly sure of, if we have merited it—is that we have got the work done, or at least that we have tried to do the work. For that is a great blessing in itself; and I should say there is not very much more reward than that going in this world. If the man gets meat and clothes, what matter it whether he buy those necessaries with seven thousand a year, or with seven million, could that be, or with seventy pounds a year? He can get meat and clothes for that; and he will find intrinsically, if he is a wise man, wonderfully little real difference.

On the whole, avoid what is called ambition; that is not a fine principle to go upon—and it has in it all degrees of vulgarity, if that is a consideration. "Seekest thou great things, seek them not"; I warmly second that advice of the wisest of men. Do not be ambitious; do not too much need success; be loyal and modest. Cut down the proud towering thoughts that get into you, or see that they be pure as well as high. There is a nobler ambition than the gaining of all California would be, or the getting of all the suffrages that are on the planet just now.

On the whole, I would bid you stand up to your work, whatever it may be, and not be afraid of it; not in sorrows or contradictions to yield, but to push on toward the goal. And do not suppose that people are hostile to you or have you