Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son


How much do I want to read more? 8/10

Sounds like a nice set of lessons from the father to his children.


1

Chicago, October 1, 189—

I want to tell you to be sure not to under-study.
Some men learn the value of money by not having any, and some learn it by having fifty thousand or so.
Some men learn the value of truth by having to do business with liars; and some by going to Sunday School.
Some men learn the cussedness of whiskey by having a drunken father; and some by having a good mother.
Some men get an education from other men and newspapers and public libraries; and some get it from professors and parchments.
The package doesn’t count after the eye’s been attracted by it.
It’s the quality of the goods inside.

The first thing that any education ought to give a man is character, and the second thing is education.
I’m not starting in to preach to you, because I know a young fellow with the right sort of stuff in him preaches to himself harder than any one else can, and that he’s mighty often switched off the right path by having it pointed out to him in the wrong way.

When a boy’s had a good mother he’s got a good conscience, and when he’s got a good conscience he don’t need to have right and wrong labeled for him.