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First digital edition 2016 by Anna Ruggieri
- I. OBSERVATION—THE KEY TO SUCCESS
- II. WHO THE REAL LEADERS ARE
- III. MASTERING NATURAL FORCES
- IV. WHOM MANKIND SHALL LOVE
- V. NEED OF ORATORS
- VI. WOMAN'S INFLUENCE
People are thinking, but they can think much more. The housewife isthinking about the chemical changes caused by heat in meats, vegetables, and liquids. The sailor thinks about the gold in sea-water, the soldier thinks of smokeless powder and muffled guns; the puddler meditates on iron squeezers and electric furnaces; thefarmer admires Luther Burbank's magical combinations in plant life; the school-girl examines the composition of her pencil and analyses the writing-paper; the teacher studies psychology at first hand; the preacher understands more of the life that now is;the merchant and manufacturer give more attention to the demand. Yes, we are all thinking. But we are still thinking too far away; even the prism through which we see the stars is near the eyes. The dentist is thinking too much about other people's teeth.
This book is sent out to induce people to look at their own eyes, to pick up the gold in their laps, to study anatomy under the tutorship of their own hearts. One could accumulate great wisdom and secure fortunes by studying his own finger-nails. This lesson seems the very easiest to learn, and for that reason is the most difficult.
The lecture, "The Silver Crown," which the author has been giving in various forms for fifty years, is herein printed from a stenographic report of one address on this generalsubject. It will not be found all together, as a lecture, for this book is an attempt to give further suggestion on the many different ways in which the subject has been treated, just as the lecture has varied in its illustrations from time to time. The lecture was addressed to the ear. This truth, which amplifies the lecture, is addressed to the eye.
I have been greatly assisted, and sometimes superseded, in the preparation of these pages by Prof. James F. Willis, of Philadelphia. Bless him!
My hope is bythis means to reach a larger audience even than that which has heard some of the things herein so many times in the last forty-five years. We do not hope to give or sell anything to the reader. He has enough already. But many starve with bread in their mouths. They spit it out and weep for food. Humans are a strange collection. But they can be induced to think much more accurately and far more efficiently. This book is sent out as an aid to closer observation and more efficient living.
Russell H. Conwell.
Years ago we went up the Ganges River in India. I was then a traveling correspondent, and we visited Argra, the sacred city of northern India, going thence to the Taj Mahal. Then we hired an ox team to take us across country twenty-two miles to visit the summer home of Ackba, the great Mogulof India. That is a wonderful, but dead city.
I have never been sorry that I traversed that country. What I saw and heard furnished me with a story which I have never seen in print.Harper's Magazinerecently published an illustrated article upon the city, so that if you secure the files you may find the account of that wonderful dead city at Futtepore Sicree.
As we were being shown around those buildings the old guide, full of Eastern lore, told us a tradition connected with the ancient history of that place which has served me often as an illustration of the practical ideas I desire to advance. I wrote it down in the "hen tracks" of short-hand which are now difficult to decipher. But I remember well the story.
He said that there was a beautiful palace onthat spot before the great Mogul purchased it. That previous palace was the scene of the traditional story. In the palace there was a throne-room, and at the head of that room there was a raised platform, and upon the platform was placed the throne of burnished gold. Beside the throne was a pedestal upon which rested the wonderful Crown of Silver, which the emperor wore when his word was to be actual law. At other times he was no more than an ordinary citizen. But when he assumed that crown, which was madeof silver because silver was then worth much more than gold, his command was as absolute as the law of the Medes and Persians.
The guide said that when the old king who had ruled that country for many years died he was without heirs, leaving no person to claim that throne or to wear that Crown of Silver. The people, believing in the divine right of kings, were unwilling to accept any person to rule who was not born in the royal line. They wasted twelve years in searching for some successor, some relative ofthe late king. At last the people sank into anarchy, business ceased, famine overspread the land, and the afflicted people called upon the astrologers—their priests—to find a king.
The astrologers, who then worshiped the stars, met in that throne-room and, consulting their curious charts, asked of the stars:
"Where shall we find a successor to our king?"
The stars made to them this reply:
"Look up and down your country, and when you finda man whom the animals follow, the sun serves, the waters obey, and mankind love, you need not ask who his ancestors were. This man will be one of the royal line entitled to the throne of gold and the Crown of Silver."
The astrologers dispersed and began to ask of the people:
"Have you seen a man whom the animals follow, the sun serves, the waters obey, and mankind love?"
They were only met with ridicule. At last, in his travels, one gray old astrologer found his way into the depths of the Himalaya Mountains. He was overtaken by a December storm and sought shelter in a huntsman's cottage on the side of a mountain.
That night, as he lay awake, weeping for his suffering and dying people, he suddenly heard the howl of a wild beast down the valley. He listened as it drew nearer. He detected "the purr of the hyena, the hiss of thetiger, and the howl of the wolf." In a moment or two those wild animals sniffed at the log walls within which the astrologer lay. In his fright he arose to close the window lest they should leap in where the moonlight entered. While he stood by the windowhe saw the dark outline of his host, the huntsman, descending the ladder from the loft to the floor. The astrologer saw the huntsman approach the door as though he were about to open it and go out. The astrologer leaped forward, and said:
"Don't open thatdoor! There are tigers, panthers, hyenas, and wolves out there."
The huntsman replied:
"Lie down, my friend, in peace. These are acquaintances of mine."