Dollars and sense; or, How to get on, the whole secret in a nutshell
from the publisher's introduction
How to get on" In life is the great problem that confronts us all, whatever help may be given from the outside; it is a problem which in the main each must solve for himself.
To make ourselves useful in our day and generation, to deserve the respect of the community, to put to good use the talents which an All-wise Creator has committed to our charge, to earn our share of earthly blessings — this should be the aim of all. We must be willing to work with our best endowments of mind and muscle if we would win honourable and enduring success; and those who ignore this necessity, or try to evade its requirements, are at war with all the facts of human history, as well as with the laws of all conscious life.
Work in some form, therefore, is the law of all earthly existence. Every living thing must work or die. The problem is by no means easy to solve. It requires accurate knowledge of ourselves, and a fair understanding of the circumstances by which we are sur- rounded. Oftentimes we shall find our own unaided wisdom at fault, and shall be forced to look for guidance to those who have successfully solved the problem for themselves.
Those who have successfully travelled a road are the best guides. For though the aims, the occupations, and the circumstances of men be diverse, there will be found to be some ruling principles which should be observed by all, some mistakes which all are liable to make, and which the voice of experience may help us to avoid. It is with the view of helping those who feel that they require it, that the publishers offer this volume.
Mr P. T. Barnum is himself a conspicuous example of success in life and therefore is qualified to write a work of this kind for the guidance of his countrymen. His name alone, and his wonderful career, known of all men, add great weight to his words. But the words themselves need no recommendation; they are so wise, practical, and sensible, born of a large and lengthened experience (an experience of over fifty-five years) that they carry conviction with them.
The golden maxims by which he has shaped his own successful business career will, through the medium of the printed page, help to shape the lives of others and bear fruit long after " old age, serene, bright, And lovely as a Lapland night, Shall lead him to his grave." Books of advice are apt to be dry and uninteresting; no one, however, can find this fault with the present volume.
The store of shrewd and kindly observation; the numerous illustrations and anecdotes marked by dry humour which is itself irresistible; and the personal reminiscences of a man who has mingled with all sorts and conditions of men, unite to add unusual interest to this work, without in any way detracting from its high value as a guide to mankind.
This feature of the work is high to be commended and of great value. With a view of illustrating to a certain extent the rules laid down by Mr Barnum, sketches of the lives of successful men are given. The history of persons whose lives and experiences have been worthy of emulation always commands the interest of mankind.
Life is so short that we are all compelled to avail ourselves of the experience of others if we would achieve the best results in the briefest time. In perfect touch with these cheerful and encouraging chapters lies the money problem, and its relation to human needs, commerce, to art, and to civilization. From whence comes the dollar and whither it goes, is an ever-interesting topic of thought and speculation.
It is involved in the science of banking, and the principles of our nation's fiscal policy. More especially does this money question beat in harmony with the secret of success in life when shorn of its technical mysteries and lifted into the broad sunlight of the mind untrained in economic theories? Such is the happy tenor in which the subject has been here unfolded by the author of the third part of this work, and in those closing pages will the reader find much that is useful and instructive upon an expanding and ever-important subject.
the book details :