Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 694 pages of information about Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made.
privilege of giving him the aforesaid overcoat.  Much to her gratification, Mr. Longworth assented, and the coachman wore off the ‘Hard Times,’ the good wife replacing it by an elegant broadcloth that she had quietly provided for the occasion.  The next morning ‘Old Nick’ very innocently (?) overlooked the new coat, and went off to make his usual morning rounds without one; but it would be impossible to portray the annoyance of the household when they saw him returning to dinner wearing a duplicate of the veritable ‘Hard Times,’ and for weeks afterward it was no uncommon occurrence to see the ‘master and man’ flitting about the old homestead dressed in their gray stripes.”

The shabbiness of his dress once led to an amusing adventure, which he enjoyed very much.  Climbing one of the hilly streets of the city one broiling summer day, he sat down on a pile of bricks, under the cool shade of a tree, to rest.  Taking off his well-worn hat, he laid it on his knee, and closing his eyes, sat enjoying the breeze which had just then sprung up.  He was very tired, and his whole figure expressed his weariness.  As he sat there in his shabby dress, with his eyes closed, and his hat resting on his knees, he looked the very picture of a blind beggar soliciting charity.  For such, indeed, he was mistaken by a working man who passed by a few minutes later, and who, pitying the supposed unfortunate, tossed a few pennies into his hat.  The noise of the coppers made the old man open his eyes and look up; and to his amazement the workman recognized in the object of his charity Nicholas Longworth, the millionaire.  Mr. Longworth looked at him a moment in his dry, quizzical way, and then, thanking him politely, put the coins in his pocket, and, closing his eyes, once more resumed his former position.

Mr. Longworth had erected a magnificent mansion in the midst of his vineyard.  He gathered there a fine library, and a collection of paintings, statuary, and other art treasures, which were his pride.  He died there on the 10th of February, 1863, at the age of eighty-one.  His loss was severely felt by the community, especially by his “devil’s poor,” for whom he had cared so tenderly.

CHAPTER VIII.

GEORGE PEABODY.

It is not often that men who pass their lives in the acquisition of money are able to retain the desire to give it to others who have had no share in the earning of it.  In European countries, the wealthy merchant commonly uses his fortune for the purpose of founding a family, and securing sometimes a title of nobility.  His wealth is entailed, that it may remain in his family and benefit remote generations; but few save those of his own blood enjoy any benefit from it, and the world is no better off for his life and success than if he had never been born.  In America, instances of personal generosity and benevolence on a large scale are of more common occurrence than

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Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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