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the recipient of his bounty not to mention gentleman was Astor, the man whom it, for two reasons: first, he wished to those in charitable occupations denounce save him from the ill-natured remarks of as heartless, avaricious, and so forth. On the envious; and second, he did not wish inquiry as to dates, I found that Astor, the to be known as a man willing to do some very next morning after I had told him small part of his duty to men of merit, lest of Sam.'s somewhat straightened circumhe should be run down by men of no merit. stances, had called on him. Sam. lives, He was told, by his friend Fulton, of this or then lived, in one of Astor's houses, liberal and gentlemanly act, not under in- not a very stylish one. Astor proposed junction of secrecy, but of course his dis- to him to exchange into another house, cretion was relied on; and he knew that saying that for a particular reason be I would wait for whatever might come wished him to vacate the one he was in. from that quarter, and not risk the chance There should be no increase of rent, alof annoying by an application that might though the house was better. Fulton, not be at once appreciated.
who had never seen Astor before, and had “You must know,” said Dozentongue, heard the popular slanders about him, " that my family has for generations been hinted that he would like a house that he intimate with the Livingstons; and of could afford to keep after his present course became acquainted with Fulton. lease expired. Being assured that there Sam. Fulton and I were playmates. I should be no disappointment on that score, am sorry to say that Sam. didn't inherit Fulton consented to move, Astor promismuch from the profits of his father's in- ing to meet him at the new house and exvention and enterprise, and never got change the papers. much from Congress, or the Legislature of "I met him,' said he, 'my dear Doz New York, in consideration of the incal- entongue. I never shall forget that meet culable benefits of steam navigation which ing, that gratifying surprise. My wife, Robert Fulton conferred on the State, the my Lucy'
(that's a charming girl, and country, and the world. In short, Sam. Sam. is truly blest to have such a daugh. is hard up, - I mean, was hard up, ter), “and Robert and myself, too, were and has at times done me the honor to unable to restrain our tears when he apolshare my humble purse. Talking of the ogized — yes, apologized — for not having injustice of this case to my friend, Wil-known before that a son of Robert Fulton liam B. Astor, as we were sipping our was one of his tenants, and for not having wine after dinner, I was surprised to see done his duty to the children of that ilhim look a little uneasy, or annoyed, - lustrious man. He then took my lease not exactly that, either ; but somehow of the house I had left, and put into my not as he usually looks when enjoying the hand a deed of the splendid house I had society of his friends. Astor and I nev- i entered ; and, modestly hinting that we er had a harsh word, even in our politi- might wish to be alone, hoped that he cal discussions. We are always like would soon have an opportunity to express brothers of the same creed, the same more fully his sense of obligation, and reparty, even of the same family. I could tired. What was our surprise to find in not, for my life, imagine what ailed him; one of the rooms a complete stock of furhe was quite well, bodily. In short, I niture for the whole house, and a most had to change the subject. I didn't be- magnificent service of plate, with this inlieve I had in any way hurt his feelings; scription, -“Presented to Samuel Fulbut I could not help feeling distressed ton by one who reveres the mem until, the other day, when Fulton dined father, Robert Fulton!” with me, as we sat together over a glass "Sam. always drops a tear into his glass, of humble sherry, he told me that he had when he proposes the health of Astor, lately had a most friendly and liberal do- as he invariably does when I dine with nation, due to the regard of a private him. Astor looks fidgety, as if he gentleman for the merits and invaluable feared Sam. would put him to the blush services of his honored father. That by blabbing his liberality. He's a
emory of his
d-lish fine fellow ! Don't you think ventions no more be found out, and the
mines of nature be no more explored ? Another man of this mental constitu- Idiots ! let them console their own imbetion, whom some denounce as an unmit- cility by traducing genius; but the adigated liar, has a different turn of imag- mirers of the enthusiastic inventor will at ination. He has new inventions as often least examine his new plans, and indepenas a cat has kittens; and each new inven- dently exercise their judgment, and buy tion is to revolutionize a system, to light if they are satisfied, whatever may be said a city for the mere cost of apparatus, to by those who never fail to ridicule what propel a ship round the world with only they have not brains to appreciate. fuel enough to start the wheels, to work Šo the visionary speculator probably engines with cold water, making them has faith, and believes in the value of perfectly safe, and requiring no expense what he buys, and does not peril his monor attention but to supply a gallon of ey on what is utterly valueless for the water per week to make up for evapora- chance of selling it to a greater fool, or tion. When his bubbles have exploded more desperate gambler. under trial, and his patents proved worth I know a young man who inherited a but seven cents a pound, those who have small fortune and invested it unwisely, as invested hundreds to gain millions furi- some thought; but in his darkest hours, ously denounce him as a humbug and when his clothes were most seedy, he was swindler; but the admirers of his new in- cheerful and hopeful, and enjoyed the forvention are confident that he has hit upon tune that was to come. What is the real a most valuable improvement at last, enjoyment of one whose fortune is already whatever hitches there may have been in come, however great ? He can eat and his former plans, or the execution of them. drink but a limited quantity, and then is Allowances are made for his enthusiasm, satiated, and it will be hours before he that naturally prevents his seeing difficul- can renew his enjoyment; but my cheerties that others don't see; and he sells ful friend never knew satiety, and perpethis last invention as he sold the others. ually enjoyed his visions of luxury, and And if he does not get paid at once, he perpetually hoped to realize them in a has little difficulty in borrowing enough year or less. When the time should for current expenditure, which is profuse ; come, then he would boldly demand the for men are ready to lend to millionnaires hand of one who confessed her love for even before they have actually got their him, but whose matter-of-fact father formillions. No one who is not prejudiced bade him the house and endeavored, hapby failure, that may have been partly or pily in vain, to persuade his daughter to wholly the fault of himself or his asso- marry a shoddy millionnaire who could not ciates, ever doubts the perfect sincerity appreciate her beauty, her sentimentality, of his representations; and the physiog- her intelligence, her refinement, and other nomist, and even the phrenologist, is con- excellencies that elevated her above all strained to believe that the visionary in- women. ventor, like the visionary religionist, art- When my friend Goldsmith had sold ist, spiritualist, or socialist, really believes his lands and houses and bought Harlem
- that his shares are sold, railway stock at seven, he considered his
what he says,
never would get a dividend, that his cer- 6. What is it?" tificates of stock were not worth their “ If you will buy an annuity of ten weight in clean rags, that he had made thousand dollars, for seventy years, and himself a beggar, that his best course was settle half of it on yourself, and half on to sell out at once to greater fools than Clara, I'll say no more about Harlem himself, if he could find them, and that stock.” he never should have his daughter. “Agreed," said Goldsmith.
But the lover would not take the ad. “In earnest ?” asked Ingalls, with vice, though he did not resent it. He some astonishment. professed his confidence that within a few Quite so; but I am particular to years the stock would pay forty per cent. have you understand that I yield purely on its par value, and declared his unalter- from love of Clara, and not because I able attachment to Clara and his resolu- think less than I have always thought of tion to renew his suit as soon as the wis- that unappreciated property: However, dom of his investment was proved by the I am perfectly willing to make the sacrimarket value of Harlem stock. He con- fice for Clara, and to ease your mind as tinued to salute the obdurate father with to her welfare." the utmost respect and good-feeling when- “ Well! confound it; I've been the ever they met; but the prosperous man fool! I'll be infinitely obliged if you'll of certainties scarcely noticed the seedy rub out old scores. speculator.
I never scored anything that needs to But time, that changes all things, be rubbed out." changed the market price of this stock, “That was uncommonly forbearing in and with it the manner of this obdurate, you. Let's shake hands over a permamatter-of-fact man of dollars. As the nent reconciliation, and then go and fix stock went up to fifty, sixty, seventy, up the annuities; and then you'll go home eighty, and so on, Mr. Ingalls saw, nod- with me to dinner, eh ?” ded, bowed, smiled, and so on. Time “Good! and the sooner we start the went on; the stock went up; passion better. I shall be suited.” went down. One day, Goldsmith, decent. ly dressed, met Mr. Ingalls just at his Not
weeks after this conversa. counting-house door. " How d’ye do?” tion, Dozentongue called on me with a popped out before he could stop it. “Come headache. He didn't hesitate to be jolly in, Goldsmith,” followed incontinently. on proper occasions, and had drunk ex“D-n it, let's have a talk. I believe cessively of champagne at Goldsmith's you were not so big a fool as I was. wedding, the night before. They had a Come in.”
high time of it. All the great men of In he went. Ingalls, who knew all dollars were there, and dismounted from about his stocks, strenuously advised him their stilts and determined to enjoy themto sell out. All in vain. Goldsmith, selves in honor of their brother millionstill faithful to Clara, and still counting naire and his bride. George Maw, Cor- . as certain a happy union with her, re- nell Wanderbilt, Willy Bastor, and too spectfully maintained that Harlem stock many others to mention, poured their liwas worth five hundred, and could not be bations to Bacchus, and resolved unani.
tremely merry and happy. There was a and seen that two-thirds of the capital general breaking up of ice. Many of would be sunk, and had no visionaries the frigid expressed what they long had promised returns that rogues might have secretly wished but dreaded to express, promised in vain ? Truth, without the and several matches were made. Dozen- wild exaggeration of visionaries, would tongue is one of those whose time had not move those other visionaries who see come, and is to be married to one of the lions in the path and dare not say what most beautiful, dashing, celebrated, and has not been said by the majority. These wealthy belles, and is going to surpass are the grossest visionaries, whose fears the hospitality of his friend Goldsmith in conjure up objections that obvious facts style, numbers, and every way. He has would refute, if reason were not borne engaged the Fifth Avenue Hotel for the down by fear of loss. They are weaker occasion
in mind, and infinitely lower in a moral
view, than the penniless borrower whose There are, and always have been, and bonds are in bubbles, and whose trinkets will be for ages to come, men of common and clothes are pawned; for he has coursense who deem themselves philosophers. age to turn attention from the nakedness These men would immure in insane asy- of his avarice. What can we say of lums and houses of industry those whom those who, in 1825, before committees of they pity as visionaries. Had such men parliament, ridiculed the timid represengoverned the world, Newton would have tation that locomotives could rival the been an almanac-maker, or a teacher of speed of mail-coaches, and derided as visarithmetic, if he would avoid picking ionaries those who made the representa oakum; Watt would have tinkered stoves tion? Which were visionaries? Which and grates; Fulton would have rowed a were the most sordid visionaries ? wherry ; Trevithick and Stevenson would And what is the origin of visions ? have driven carts; Morse would have Has nature given a power that is only for made wire cages : and all other disturbers evil? Has the mind a power that has no of industry would have been induced or good work to do? Are day-dreams of forced to do useful work. But out of the improvement no indication of good to be mouths of babes and sucklings we have hoped and sought for? Shall the dreamhad truths that learned priesthoods could er, though ignorant of science and merely not appreciate nor suppress. So from a dreamer, be deemed insane because, disvisionaries, as they are called, we have gusted with the filthiness of a city, he scientific truths that these essentially vul- imagines and dares to suggest that sewgar, self-conceited philosophers cannot ap- ers may be preferable to gutters; that preciate and cannot conquer, though they iron roads with elemental power may be may, for a long time, obstruct them. Even preferable to dirt-making roads and dirtthe real visionary, on whom facts have no making animals; that the resources of effect but to excite his imagination, has nature are not yet exhausted ; that enough an important function in this common yet remains to satisfy the tastes as well sense world; for without his earnest and as the appetites of man? If we call him sincere advocacy, none would expect ten- a visionary who believes in such ideas, fold returns, and hope would never be what shall we call him who affirms that strong enough to overcome the fear of man must forever suffer the filth of streets failure. It is in vain to say that advo- and roads, the noise of heavy vehicles on
robber; but clothe him and fill his pocket, beforehand, so that the work is done withand every bush will point a pistol at him. in the estimates ; few can judge to-day of The man who has no money in the bank the value of artificial property five years may not fear a projector; but give him a hence; all is more or less work of chance; public contract and a large balance in the and hope, liberality, courage, and love of bank, and he will guard all points like a improvement are the motors which impel hedgehog, when a projector is in the way; men to preach and practise in the ad. and unless a sincere and unrestricted vis- vancement of material wealth and science. ionary excites his hope of tenfold gain, These qualities being exceptional, the mahe will not be caught. No man can jority decide that they who possess and safely presume that his wisdom exempts manifest them are in a degree deranged, him from the common infirmity ; that in and they have selected the word visionary the few years he has lived he has acquired to distinguish them. That they should power to determine before trial whether feel resentment towards them is natural; systems, inventions, and projects are wor- for they claim superiority over the majorthy of trial. The best we can do is to ity; and that they should put them down consider whether what is proposed is de- by all means allowed by law and public sirable on account of its utility or beauty, opinion is certainly less surprising than and to decide by trial, and not without that the only perfectly wise and good trial, whether it is economically practica- man of the human race was derided as a ble. It is desirable to send messages a visionary and put to death as a blasthousand miles in a few seconds; but a phemer. trial, after all calculations of the few, was required to convince the many that THE PRAYING MOTHER. - We believe they would not lose their money by the it is Richard Cecil who records the folproject. That trial was got at the public lowing as his experience: cost, by influences that confirm rather “ Nothing used to impress upon my than abate what has been said of the vis- mind so strongly the reality and excelionaries whose ruling propensity is fear. lence of religion as my mother's counsels
Blake was a gentle and hopeful vision and prayers. Frequently she retired ary. He had taste, benevolence, faith, with her children to a private room; and and courage enough to be unaffected by after she had read the Bible with us, and lions in the path. He dreamed of angels, given us •some good instruction and adof moral improvement, and of what other vice, she kneeled down with us and offered visionaries desire but doubt of. Sweden- a prayer which, for apparent earnestness borg was a liberal and somewhat philo- and fervor, I have never known equalled. sophical visionary, incomparably superior These seasons were always pleasant to us, to many now engaged in various branches and sometimes we looked forward to them of the moral reform business. Fourier with impatience. My mother seemed to was a more extravagant visionary than me then almost an angel ; her language, either, but not so bad as most political her manner, the very expression of her reformers. And others, even those who countenance indicating great nearness to intend nothing but to fill their own cof- the throne of grace. I could not have fers, are above the timid multitude of un- shown levity at such times; it would suspected visionaries.
have been impossible. I felt then it was In current language, our mental work a great blessing to have a praying mothis either a repetition of what we have er; and I have felt it much more sensibly learned from others, or is chiefly guess- since. Those prayers and counsels time work that is uncertain of success, and will never efface from my memory. They proceeds by trial, correction, repetition, form, as it were, a part of my very conpartial success, losses at first, and in most stitution. instances decided failure. It is a work of hazard, almost as much as insurance Truth in its most original expression is ; few, if any, are competent to plan is always lyrical.