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[P.T. Barnum] : Every man's occupation should be beneficial to his fellow-man as well as profitable to himself. All else is vanity and folly.
"Yes. Search for the deepest inclination of your heart and follow it."
P.T. Barnum
[People] > P.T. Barnum
P. T. Barnum
[People] > P. T. Barnum
Art of Money Getting
by [P. T. Barnum]
The University of Hard Knocks
Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, hdknk11.txt.
VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, hdknk10a.txt.
midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement.
P. O. Box 2782
fault. So, among other things, this "Small Print!" statement
this "Small Print!" statement. If you do not, you can receive
medium (such as a disk), you must return it with your request.
codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.
or addition to the etext, or [3] any Defect.
[1] Only give exact copies of it. Among other things, this
etext or this "small print!" statement. You may however,
"Small Print!" statement.
writing a book," says Ralph Parlette. "It is the way I say it. The
the sorghum would fairly squirt into my bucket. Later in the fall
squirt. It would come out slowly and reluctantly, so that I would
running freely, you will have to warm up.
it. How much any one gets out of a lecture depends also upon the
the next person says he got nothing out of it.
our own personal overcoming, and that we never finish it.
We are told that the stomach needs bulk as well as nutriment. It
discussions of these truths. Here is bulk as well as nutriment.
reveal it.
I care little about your glorious or inglorious past. I care little
about your present. I care much about your future for that is to
not get that bump again. We do not need it. We have traveled past
it. They do not waste the bumps. We get promoted to the next bump.
foreigner I had never met. His name was Shakespeare. It was this:
"Tongues in trees," I thought. "Trees can't talk! That man is
no running brooks. They'd get wet. And that sermons in stones! They
he also reap."
say that. It was back at the time when I was trying to run our home
I became enamored with that coffee-pot. I decided I needed that
coffee-pot in my business. I reached over to get the coffee-pot.
And that day when I wanted the coffee-pot--I did want it. Nobody
how I desired that coffee-pot. "One thing thou lackest," a
I stopped it. I got the coffee-pot. I know I got the coffee-pot. I
got it. I got about a gallon of the reddest, hottest coffee a bad
it, knowing that it would burn me. She would say, "Don't." Then she
notice upon me, and then let me go ahead and get my coffee-pot.
running brooks and the sermons in the stones all repeat it.
We are lucky if we learn the lesson with one bump. We are unlucky
She said, "It hain't your fault. You wasn't born right. You was
familiar look," and dodge it.
seat. Then he did what every blind man does, he lifted his hand
People are like sheep. The shepherd can lead them to heaven--or to
the subject. You have pounded your soul into a jelly. You don't
know how badly you are hurt.
where your poor dear father was lost." And Johnny Fly remembers for
stuck a bit. Mother is such a silly old worryer. She means all
First he puts one foot down and pulls it out. That is a lot of fun.
feet down in the stickiness. It is harder to pull them out. Then he
puts three down and puts down a few more trying to pull them out.
The world loves to write resolutions of respect. How often we
merely "knocked out."
It broke your heart. You have had your heart broken. I have had my
there to bump. He bumped you--hit you with the ax! How it hurt you!
school began. They roasted it. It is a great thing to be roasted.
money for what had been roasted the most.
cripple into the tent. She was tall and stately. She was
right, I need another bump.
now. A conflagration might sweep your town from the map. Your
you love most.
You are down and out." Do not believe that you are down and out,
you are down and out. He wants you to sympathize with yourself. You
a picture of it.
track was a grocery with a row of barrels of apples in front. There
need to do it. It does itself. It is the shaking of the barrel that
try to get to the top. The little, runty apples would try to hold
I saw that for thirty years before I saw it. Did you ever notice
years before they see it.
and the big walnuts shake up. Not one bean asks, "Which way do I
big ones go up.
Help me up."
the top. See! I have boosted him. I have uplifted him.
stay on top." So I put him back again on top.
is too small to stay up. He cannot stand prosperity.
the can. Lifting them up or putting them down will not do it. But
grow bigger and he will shake up. Let the big one grow smaller and
We shake down if we become small; we shake up if we become great.
If we wish to go up, we must grow greater, and we shall shake up.
3. He is going up.
the places you fit. And when you are in your places--in stores,
shook down and the big ones shook up. The bump that was bad luck to
wait--to be told what to do next.
The barrel did the rest. Today she is giving orders to all of them,
for she is the office superintendent.
The other girls feel hurt about it. They will tell you in
was nothing fair about it. Jennie ought to have been made
superintendent. Jennie had been here four years."
popular favor, and get our names in the blue-book at the start.
about. There the real people do not often ask us, "On what branch
filling it. The teacher must be seeing new possibilities in the
commencement, not an end-ment.
that. You can't tell me anything about that." He is generally
death-rattle in his throat.
and get it. If we do not have pull enough, get some more pull. Get
We think if we could only get into a great place we would be great.
for the sake of the home folks who import it.
be helped on the inside. Not many willing to grow up.
Maybe he paid a commission for such a choice beggars' beat.
I used to say, "Nobody uses me right. Nobody gives me a chance."
pumping a handcar. I was naturally bright. I used to say "If the
minutes, down to the peanut row, for I was only a peanut. Remember,
do not get the coffee-pot until we are ready to handle it.
Getting up is growing up.
WE go up as we grow great. That is, we go up as we grow up. But so
not leave our kitchen or blacksmith shop. We take the kitchen or
great blacksmith shop. It becomes our throne-room!
"Getting to the top" is the world's pet delusion. There is no top.
and "Forging to the Front." Too often they are the sordid story of
top." Those two sons of Zebedee wanted to have the greatest places
you, let him be your servant."
thus it becomes great.
and thus it becomes great.
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
become great. It is a great stairway that leads from where our feet
spectacular stride of a thousand steps at one leap. That is why we
fall so hard when we miss our step.
treasury. That is not why we give. We give to become great. The
fear of want.
course. But I learned that he had all to do with it. He had sold
unusual attainment. He made every town an unusual town. He turned
Sometimes they were right about that.
glorious. This man's preaching did not make him great. His college
did not make him great. His books did not make him great. These are
great--makes his preaching, his college and his books great.
career would stop.
Many homes and communities have reached it.
Toll the bell! There's going to be a "blow out." Those inflated
There was a factory town back East. Not a pretty town, but just a
He began to buy it. He began to polish and sandpaper Gussie from
blindness of his love he robbed his boy of his birthright.
and receives it. There is a row of professors with their sleeves
rolled up who give him the degrees. So as Mr. T. Steer of Panhandle
from department to department. They upholstered him, enameled him,
He had inherited the entire plant. "F. Gustavus Adolphus, President."
would swell up. How fast he grew! He became the most useful man in
do that. You cannot get an education from the book and the college
finer equipment.
end-ment. You will discover with the passing years that life is
went out of my audience very indignant. He said he was very glad
his boy was not there to hear it. But that good, deluded father now
the training of their children. Poverty is a better trainer for the rest.
to rattle. Father and mother can be great and you can be a peanut.
earn for yourself, is robbing you of your birthright.
his house where he could watch it develop. One day he saw a little
the envelope. It seemed in trouble and needed help. He opened the
killing it. He took away from it the very thing it had to have--the
means one day nearer the scrapheap.
of the whip. Such a worker is the horse we used to have hitched to
instead of by shaking up.
I edit all day and take a vacation lecturing at night. I lecture
follows the dog when I forget all about it. The grunter lets the
The speaker is perfectly honest. He has no place to put a lecture.
progress leaves them, they wail, they "never had no chanct." They
want to start a new party to reform the government.
these cities would drop off the map.
"Many people say that. But they don't understand. If these people
to break out. So a few of us can hold them."
pride, "Our students come to school; they are not sent."
for the military department. His school was one surging mass of
of men and women of uniformly greater achievement.
wonderful equipment. Today we are replacing the many small colleges
the old oak-slab bench with its splintered side up.
spirit of its teachers are its greatest endowment. And sometimes
have not yet learned it. Every few days I stumble over it
I did not learn it. I wish I had learned by reading it that if I
blisters in order to learn it.
took me so long because I was naturally bright. It takes that kind
department. Some go to the fancywork department. Some go to the
swine department. Everybody goes to his own department. Even the
went--to the "trimming department."
the middle shell. I saw it there, being naturally bright. I was the
family to keep. But I would teach him a lesson not to "monkey" with
people like me, naturally bright.
to learn the lesson from the bump. I said, "Next time I shall be
I am putting these cakes of Wonder Soap in my hat. You see I am
hat. Now who will give me five dollars for the privilege of taking
disappeared. I never knew where it went. The man whipped up his
horse and also disappeared. I never knew where he went.
kept my investments in it. I mean, the investments I did not have
to lock up. You get the pathos of that--the investments nobody
I wonder how I will make it.
Nobody could know while I kept that drawer shut. As I looked over
buy because I knew the minister was honest and believed in it. He
stock. That was doubling and trebling my money over night. An old
will pay you five or six per cent. and get it?"
or a hundred per cent.--then. Give me the five per cent. now!
never met. His name was Thomas A. Cleage, and he was in the Rialto
Building, St. Louis, Missouri. He wrote me in extreme confidence,
in with us in the inner circle and get a thousand per cent.
train for St. Louis. I was afraid somebody might beat me there if
sheep-shears ready. Lambie, lambie, lambie, come to St. Louis!
happened in St. Louis. It is none of your business!
O, I am so glad I went to St. Louis. Being naturally bright, I
St. Louis to Tom Cleage's bucket-shop and pay him eleven hundred
had made up to that time, for I got the most out of it. I do not
get juicy when you know it. Today when I open a newspaper and see
floor. I will not grasp it. Come away, it is a coffee-pot!
If he offers me a hundred per cent. I call for the police!
Meeting is adjourned. I select the waste-basket. Here, get in there
you are naturally bright. When you get a letter, "You have been
selected to receive a thousand per cent. dividends," it means you
to lose it."
accumulates by sharp practices or by undue profits never owns it.
it. We only own what we have rendered definite service to bound.
know how it hurts. It is the first time they have worn it.
lieth Italy!" (Bring arms down, letting fingers follow the wrist.
ready for my try-out. I certainly loaded it to the muzzle.
But I made the mistake I am trying to warn you against. Instead of
the air as you speak. You can notice it on me yet.
I am not sneering at expression. Expression is a noble art. All
express-wagon and got no load for it. So it rattled. I got a
according to the blueprint. I cried on page fourteen! I never knew
that earlier. I wish now I had sat down before I got up. I was the
bad, bub, I've heerd worse than that. You're all right, bub, but
you don't know nothin' yet."
that the old man was right. I had wonderful truth in that sermon.
No sermon ever had greater truth, but I had not lived it. The old
live must come out of his heart. They are his own life. They come
agriculturist. We must take a hoe and go out and agricult. That is
discouraged and down and out. It was in my little back-room, the
popular heart. And while we have a continual inundation of popular
of that man as an intellectual cold storage plant.
understandingly from it.
the floor when you could not sleep. You have learned that "beyond
sleep. You are going to walk the floor when you cannot sleep. Some
That is growing up.
day came from all over the township. They were so glad our school
great baskets of provender and we had a feast. We covered the
Then we had a "doings." Everybody did a stunt. We executed a lot of
shut my eyes and see it yet. I can see my pupils coming forward to
for we were "dressed up." Many a head showed father had mowed it
mouth, it was a great opening, but nothing came out. It came out of
spatter on my six-dollar suit.
wept. It was a teary time. I only said, "Weep not for me, dear
scarcely know whether to look up or down as I say that. He never
a second-class saint.
for I will sa-a-a-a-ave you!" or words to that effect.
I held thanksgiving services that night. I could see better. I had
years before, just before commencement. I had not seen the picture
I got a truer perspective of life that night. Did you ever sit
genius-esses and things like that.
There was one boy in the class who was not naturally bright. It was
not the one you may be thinking of! No, it was Jim Lambert. He had
intellect. He was "conditioned" into the senior class. We all felt
on the stage back of the oleander commencement night.
Most of them were doing very well even Jim Lambert. Jim had become
stood that night.
stay down had shaken up.
smart and bright.
beauty contest. Clarice went right on remaining in the social
spotlight, primping and flirting. She outshone all the rest. But it
alone have that.
and for the circumstances that compelled it.
thought! He has water enough to start south, and he does that.
The Mississippi gets to St. Paul and Minneapolis. He is a great
goes on south to St. Louis. He is a wonderful river now. But he
does not stop. He goes on south and grows greater.
So many of those young goslings believe that. They quit and get
one victory. Success goes to the head and defeat goes to "de feet."
efficient. Many a professional man is in the same class.
best. I hope he says, "I am just beginning. Just beginning to
moment for all the years before it. I have their footings at
You children cheer up. Your black hair and auburn hair and the other
never get any better. I had reached my limit. Those lectures were
the "limit." I shiver as I think what I was saying then. I want to
getting up. I'm too old. When you get as old as I am, you'll not
"That's all right. But, my man, how old are you?"
"Senator, I'm old in body and old in spirit. I'm past sixty."
Thomas Alva Edison. He had gotten to St. Paul, and he went on
before I hit upon that."
time" when he becomes the leader of the Israelite host.
can hardly keep up. Moses is eighty-five and busier and more
The committee begins to weep. "General Moses, you are a very old
mortified, for all the invitations are out. It waits.
attend it. I haven't even time to think about getting old."
himself. But he makes the committee wait.
So another crop of Americans came into the limelight. If we modern
They tell me nobody uses them right. The person going on south has
They say nobody loves them. Which is often a fact. Nobody loves the
about all there was to inherit. I cannot remember when I was not
that my heart does not go out to them. I remember when I did that.
"company" had to come and gobble it up. They would fill the table
and father would sit down in the last seat. There was no place for
me to sit. Father would say, "You go into the next room, my boy,
and wait. There's no room for you at the table."
I would watch them thru the key-hole. It was going so fast. There
was only one piece of chicken left. It was the neck. O, Lord, spare
A child can be full of happiness and only hold a pint. But
afterwhile the same child will hold a quart.
Material things will grow old. This stage will grow old and stop.
This hall will grow old and stop. This house we live in will grow
old and stop. This flesh and blood house we live in will grow old
and stop. This lecture even will grow old--and stop! But you and I
the light and power from the struggle. The great city of St. Louis,
be developed. So many of us do not understand that. We look
depot. There they are in the hotel warming the chairs and making
the guests stand up. There they are--rows of retired farmers who
For they are dead from the ears up. They have not thought a new
they just sit. They have not gone south an inch the past year.
money "outa town." Ringling and Barnum & Bailey get theirs.
I do not smile as I refer to the dead. I weep. I wish I could
defile him. The Mississippi makes St. Paul and Minneapolis about
to those around us. We say, "I can forgive, but I cannot forget."
we ought to forget. We need schools of memory, but we need schools
wait. I know, for I have waited!
There is nobody who does not have that to meet. The preacher, the
We fail to see what we are doing or why we are doing it. Sometimes
quit. I have done my share. Nobody appreciates what I do. Let
Stop! You are not saying that. The evil one is whispering that into
your heart. His business is to stop you from going south. His most
valley for praise or blame, for appreciation or lack of it. You do
unhappy pond or swamp.
us a medal or resolutions, we want to quit. That is why there are
science has not yet been able to put a bridge across it.
I watched them pile the steel train upon a ferry-boat. I watched
life. Father of Waters, you have fought a good fight. You are
wild cat and then look at the tabby cat. The wild cat supports
the actor, the author and every other one of attainment.
lift. There is a wooden shelf nailed to the side of the perpendicular
upward from Alpine Tavern to the summit. It is three miles long
and rises eleven hundred feet.
one could throw a pebble over into it. How a mountain does reduce
All alone I scrambled up that three-mile trail to the summit. All
I must go on up the mountain to see it.
upon them from higher up. Each day as I look back I see more
steepness of the ascent. The bumps are lifts. The things that seem
see how I could live past that bump. The years have passed and I now
up to the summit. The beams of the setting sun were yet gilding
Mount Lowe's summit. It was night down in the valley, but it was
But I shall be on the mountain top. I shall look down upon the
shall be in the new day of the mountain-top, forever above the night.
the number on up. "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have
"It is a great big boost for everybody who will read it. People
within, and not among the things that lie at our feet. The
mighty hard to beat.

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