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PRACTICAL BENEVOLENCE.

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fortunate in its closing days, because encompassed by the prayers of those he has aided by his liberality, and by the respect and honor of the great District he has beautified by his princely endowments—such a man ought to spend a most comfortable Christmas; and George W. Childs, of Philadelphia, whose royal bounties all the year round have so touching a crown in his holiday gifts to the needy, as if to show he does not forget how he broke the prison bars of poverty and escaped the "twin jailors of the daring heart;” and Jay Cooke, with his great heart full of the warmest impulses, and eager to help with uninquiring benevolencethe patron of every noble art and the helper of every stricken wanderer; and W. C. Rallston, of San Francisco, who, also risen from the ranks of toil, recollects that he should

“Give, as 'twas given, a blessing to thee;"

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Gives, as 'twas given, a blessing to be;" and bright Thomas A. Scott, a prototype of Rallston, who ever thinks of the unfortunate or the unlucky, and aids with equal modesty and profusion.

Thanks be to God! there are many more in the ranks of the living—more, many more, who prove that Humanity has yet earnest ministers in a world too often abused as cold and callous. Nor let us forget the graves of those who toiled to bestow their wealth upon the poor and the needy. There is an altar in Girard College where the orphans can spend Christmas in honor of the great Frenchman, who accumulated millions by hard work and close savings, that he might pour them down through the ages upon the fatherless and the motherless. There are palaces in London and colleges in the South where grateful thousands can recall every Christmas-day the NewEnglander who was almost a miser in life, that, after death, he might approve himself a Midas in the distribution of his countless treasures for Charity and Education. And presently there will rise a templę to Art and to Benevolence, on the loveliest shore of the Delaware, in which the name of Edwin Forrest, never so honored as it will be on this coming Christmas, will be preserved as that of one who toiled through fifty years of successive penury, privation, triumph, envy, and admiration, that he might die the best friend of the unfortunate children of the English and American stage.

[December 22, 1872.]

XCIII.

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JOSEPH HARRISON, JR., of Philadelphia, probably the richest man in that city to-day, was apprenticed in a machine-shop when he was fifteen. He was foreman in the same establishment when he was twenty, and at twenty-seven partner in one of the earliest locomotive manufactories in this country. Every life, however humble, is a lesson-sometimes an example, and sometimes a warning ; but a lesson always. Joseph Harrison's experience is an example. Born in 1810, and now in his sixtythird

year, it is interesting to follow his career, and to trace the effect of foreign travel, careful study, and business ambition upon a mind which had few or no advantages of early education. He was a worker in iron, and proud of his trade. Perhaps the words he used at a public dinner to Henry C. Carey, in 1859, may be cited as the ideal of his mission: “That glorious metal, Iron, must ever be the great agent for promoting the mechanic arts. Iron is the true precious metal, a metal so interwoven with the wants of life, and with our very enjoyments, that to do without it would be to relapse into barbarism. Take away gold and silver, and the whole range of baser metals, leaving us iron, and we would hardly miss them. Take away Iron, and we lose what is next to life, and that which sustains life, the greatest boon the Almighty has conferred upon man.”

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These words were spoken in 1859, and they are a more correct picture of the utilities and adaptations of iron in 1872. Covering most of the necessities of life, iron has become one of the essentials of art in its highest aspirations; entering into the luxuries of our homes; into the triumphs of our progress;

in fact, into most of the realms of science and imagination. And yet all the objects to which it may be applied are unknown. The iron production and development are in their infancy.

Mr. Harrison spent twelve years in Russia, building iron roads, locomotives, and bridges for the Emperor Nicholas, and receiving, with his partners, the costliest presents for the fidelity and efficiency of their work. In such society the mind of the young mechanic rapidly expanded. He saw a new civilization and entered upon a broader field. Intercourse with men of science gave him a deeper insight into the secrets of his own trade, and opened before him a future of boundless interest. He studied, not alone the practical, but the æsthetic side of the subject. He saw the finest specimens of art in the galleries of Europe, read the best books, and gathered information from his conversations with learned men, and when he came back to his native city he had grown in experience and in knowledge. But he had not forgotten that he was a worker in iron. He had not forgotten his humble origin, and if you could visit his magnificent mansion in Eighteenth Street, near Walnut, in Philadelphia, you would see in one of the panels in his gallery, among some of the finest triumphs of art, a picture called the “IronWorker and King Solomon," painted in 1865 for Mr. Harrison by the celebrated Christian Schuessele. The object is to show that iron is the chief agent in all the mechanic arts; and a Hebrew legend is quoted, setting forth that when Solomon's Temple was about to be opened, the blacksmith, finding himself omitted from the list of invited guests, boldly marched into the Temple, fresh from the forge, and, taking the King's own seat, insisted that without him the splendid fane had never been con

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structed. King Solomon heard the appeal, and the blacksmith sat by his side at the royal feast. And in a beautiful volume of Mr. Harrison's writings, printed for private circulation, we find the painting described in a very excellent poem, from his own pen, dedicated to his “dear children and grandchildren,” to impress upon their minds the value of what is too frequently thought to be very humble labor. Following the other pages we find this idea elaborately presented by other hands, including addresses by Mr. Harrison on art and science before our great institutions, and a proposition for the erection of a gallery of art in Fairmount Park, which is to be adorned by several of the best pictures in his gallery, presented to the Park Commissioners. There is also a series of careful steam-boiler, an invention to prevent destructive explosions, even when carelessly used. The variety of the subjects discussed and the style of writing, the noble aim apparent throughout, show that Joseph Harrison's life has been a useful experience to himself, and a lesson and example to others.

[December 27, 1872.]

ssays on his

XCIV.

How to distribute large individual wealth is one of the problems of civilization. Stephen Girard seems to have solved it, if his great foundation, “ The Girard College,” is tested by its marvelous and increasing success. Its massive and harmonious proportions, seen from afar, do not more recall and refresh his memory than the occasional parades of the orphans through the streets, or their decorum, subordination, and intelligence within doors. These youth make little noise in the world, but they are felt, far and wide, as so many missionaries. Their gratitude to their benefactor is proved by the fact that there

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are few failures among them. I know of many

excellent men who have found the dead Frenchman a living father, and whose ability, integrity, and energy are the fruit of the seeds he planted. He survives in their ever-renewing gratitude; and if it were necessary, I could name lawyers, architects, physicians, manufacturers, bankers of eminence, who proudly look to Girard College as their Alma Mater. The orphan who goes in without a friend emerges with hundreds, and, what is better than all, with a self-respect that makes him richer than if he had been left the irresponsible heir of a fortune he could not count. The crop of boys is systematically replenished. They

. enter from six to ten, and are bound out, between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, to agriculture, navigation, arts, mechanical trades, or manufactures. No stigma attaches to their probation, and the name of Stephen Girard is enshrined among their sweetest memories.

As an illustration of the present position of the Girard Col. lege, of which so little is known to the outside world, it is only necessary to say that at the last annual meeting the reported number of pupils was 550! What a sight it would be if Girard himself could reappear upon the scene and study the harvest of his superb benevolence! He died on the 20th of December, 1831, in Water Street, above Market, Philadelphia, a little more than forty years ago. In this interval Philadelphia has grown into a vast metropolis, the nation into something more than án empire, and the world revolutionized by the agencies of science; but no wonder would so impress him as his own College and its matchless influence upon civilization. He would realize that his behests had not been disobeyed, and that his bounties had not been misspent. He at least sets a good example to other men of opulence.

I wish our American manufacturers and capitalists, whose colossal fortunes are no less the outgrowth of the industry of their workmen than of their own opportunities, could see the

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