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Van Dyke, John Charles / Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie
AUTOBIOGRAPHY

OF

ANDREW CARNEGIE


WITH ILLUSTRATIONS


[Illustration: [signature] Andrew Carnegie]


London
CONSTABLE & CO. LIMITED
1920

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY LOUISE WHITFIELD CARNEGIE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED




PREFACE


After retiring from active business my husband yielded to the earnest
solicitations of friends, both here and in Great Britain, and began to
jot down from time to time recollections of his early days. He soon
found, however, that instead of the leisure he expected, his life was
more occupied with affairs than ever before, and the writing of these
memoirs was reserved for his play-time in Scotland. For a few weeks
each summer we retired to our little bungalow on the moors at
Aultnagar to enjoy the simple life, and it was there that Mr. Carnegie
did most of his writing. He delighted in going back to those early
times, and as he wrote he lived them all over again. He was thus
engaged in July, 1914, when the war clouds began to gather, and when
the fateful news of the 4th of August reached us, we immediately left
our retreat in the hills and returned to Skibo to be more in touch
with the situation.

These memoirs ended at that time. Henceforth he was never able to
interest himself in private affairs. Many times he made the attempt to
continue writing, but found it useless. Until then he had lived the
life of a man in middle life--and a young one at that--golfing,
fishing, swimming each day, sometimes doing all three in one day.
Optimist as he always was and tried to be, even in the face of the
failure of his hopes, the world disaster was too much. His heart was
broken. A severe attack of influenza followed by two serious attacks
of pneumonia precipitated old age upon him.

It was said of a contemporary who passed away a few months before Mr.
Carnegie that "he never could have borne the burden of old age."
Perhaps the most inspiring part of Mr. Carnegie's life, to those who
were privileged to know it intimately, was the way he bore his "burden
of old age." Always patient, considerate, cheerful, grateful for any
little pleasure or service, never thinking of himself, but always of
the dawning of the better day, his spirit ever shone brighter and
brighter until "he was not, for God took him."

Written with his own hand on the fly-leaf of his manuscript are these
words: "It is probable that material for a small volume might be
collected from these memoirs which the public would care to read, and
that a private and larger volume might please my relatives and
friends. Much I have written from time to time may, I think, wisely be
omitted. Whoever arranges these notes should be careful not to burden
the public with too much. A man with a heart as well as a head should
be chosen."

Who, then, could so well fill this description as our friend Professor
John C. Van Dyke? When the manuscript was shown to him, he remarked,
without having read Mr. Carnegie's notation, "It would be a labor of
love to prepare this for publication." Here, then, the choice was
mutual, and the manner in which he has performed this "labor" proves
the wisdom of the choice--a choice made and carried out in the name of
a rare and beautiful friendship.

LOUISE WHITFIELD CARNEGIE

_New York_
_April 16, 1920_




EDITOR'S NOTE


The story of a man's life, especially when it is told by the man
himself, should not be interrupted by the hecklings of an editor. He
should be allowed to tell the tale in his own way, and enthusiasm,
even extravagance in recitation should be received as a part of the
story. The quality of the man may underlie exuberance of spirit, as
truth may be found in apparent exaggeration. Therefore, in preparing
these chapters for publication the editor has done little more than
arrange the material chronologically and sequentially so that the
narrative might run on unbrokenly to the end. Some footnotes by way of
explanation, some illustrations that offer sight-help to the text,
have been added; but the narrative is the thing.

This is neither the time nor the place to characterize or eulogize the
maker of "this strange eventful history," but perhaps it is worth
while to recognize that the history really was eventful. And strange.
Nothing stranger ever came out of the _Arabian Nights_ than the story
of this poor Scotch boy who came to America and step by step, through
many trials and triumphs, became the great steel master, built up a
colossal industry, amassed an enormous fortune, and then deliberately
and systematically gave away the whole of it for the enlightenment and
betterment of mankind. Not only that. He established a gospel of
wealth that can be neither ignored nor forgotten, and set a pace in
distribution that succeeding millionaires have followed as a
precedent. In the course of his career he became a nation-builder, a
leader in thought, a writer, a speaker, the friend of workmen,
schoolmen, and statesmen, the associate of both the lowly and the
lofty. But these were merely interesting happenings in his life as
compared with his great inspirations--his distribution of wealth, his
passion for world peace, and his love for mankind.

Perhaps we are too near this history to see it in proper proportions,
but in the time to come it should gain in perspective and in interest.
The generations hereafter may realize the wonder of it more fully than
we of to-day. Happily it is preserved to us, and that, too, in Mr.
Carnegie's own words and in his own buoyant style. It is a very
memorable record--a record perhaps the like of which we shall not look
upon again.

JOHN C. VAN DYKE

_New York_
_August, 1920_




CONTENTS


I. PARENTS AND CHILDHOOD 1

II. DUNFERMLINE AND AMERICA 20

III. PITTSBURGH AND WORK 32

IV. COLONEL ANDERSON AND BOOKS 45

V. THE TELEGRAPH OFFICE 54

VI. RAILROAD SERVICE 65

VII. SUPERINTENDENT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA 84

VIII. CIVIL WAR PERIOD 99

IX. BRIDGE-BUILDING 115

X. THE IRON WORKS 130

XI. NEW YORK AS HEADQUARTERS 149

XII. BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS 167

XIII. THE AGE OF STEEL 181

XIV. PARTNERS, BOOKS, AND TRAVEL 198

XV. COACHING TRIP AND MARRIAGE 210

XVI. MILLS AND THE MEN 220

XVII. THE HOMESTEAD STRIKE 228

XVIII. PROBLEMS OF LABOR 240

XIX. THE "GOSPEL OF WEALTH" 255

XX. EDUCATIONAL AND PENSION FUNDS 268

XXI. THE PEACE PALACE AND PITTENCRIEFF 282

XXII. MATTHEW ARNOLD AND OTHERS 298

XXIII. BRITISH POLITICAL LEADERS 309

XXIV. GLADSTONE AND MORLEY 318

XXV. HERBERT SPENCER AND HIS DISCIPLE 333

XXVI. BLAINE AND HARRISON 341

XXVII. WASHINGTON DIPLOMACY 350

XXVIII. HAY AND MCKINLEY 358

XXIX. MEETING THE GERMAN EMPEROR 366

BIBLIOGRAPHY 373

INDEX 377




ILLUSTRATIONS


ANDREW CARNEGIE _Photogravure frontispiece_

ANDREW CARNEGIE'S BIRTHPLACE 2

DUNFERMLINE ABBEY 6

MR. CARNEGIE'S MOTHER 22

ANDREW CARNEGIE AT SIXTEEN WITH HIS BROTHER THOMAS 30

DAVID MCCARGO 38

ROBERT PITCAIRN 42

COLONEL JAMES ANDERSON 46

HENRY PHIPPS 58

THOMAS A. SCOTT 72

JOHN EDGAR THOMSON 72

THOMAS MORRISON CARNEGIE 118

GEORGE LAUDER 144

JUNIUS SPENCER MORGAN 156

JOHN PIERPONT MORGAN 172

AN AMERICAN FOUR-IN-HAND IN BRITAIN 210

ANDREW CARNEGIE (ABOUT 1878) 214

MRS. ANDREW CARNEGIE 218

MARGARET CARNEGIE AT FIFTEEN 240

CHARLES M. SCHWAB 256

THE CARNEGIE INSTITUTE AT PITTSBURGH 262

MR. CARNEGIE AND VISCOUNT BRYCE 270

MATTHEW ARNOLD 298

WILLIAM E. GLADSTONE 318

VISCOUNT MORLEY OF BLACKBURN 322

MR. CARNEGIE AND VISCOUNT MORLEY 326

THE CARNEGIE FAMILY AT SKIBO 326

HERBERT SPENCER 334

JAMES G. BLAINE 342

SKIBO CASTLE 356

MR. CARNEGIE AT SKIBO, 1914 370




AUTOBIOGRAPHY

OF

ANDREW CARNEGIE




CHAPTER I

PARENTS AND CHILDHOOD


If the story of any man's life, truly told, must be interesting, as
some sage avers, those of my relatives and immediate friends who have
insisted upon having an account of mine may not be unduly disappointed
with this result. I may console myself with the assurance that such a
story must interest at least a certain number of people who have known
me, and that knowledge will encourage me to proceed.

A book of this kind, written years ago by my friend, Judge Mellon, of
Pittsburgh, gave me so much pleasure that I am inclined to agree with
the wise one whose opinion I have given above; for, certainly, the
story which the Judge told has proved a source of infinite
satisfaction to his friends, and must continue to influence succeeding
generations of his family to live life well. And not only this; to
some beyond his immediate circle it holds rank with their favorite
authors. The book contains one essential feature of value--it reveals
the man. It was written without any intention of attracting public
notice, being designed only for his family. In like manner I intend to
tell my story, not as one posturing before the public, but as in the
midst of my own people and friends, tried and true, to whom I can
speak with the utmost freedom, feeling that even trifling incidents
may not be wholly destitute of interest for them.

To begin, then, I was born in Dunfermline, in the attic of the small
one-story house, corner of Moodie Street and Priory Lane, on the 25th
of November, 1835, and, as the saying is, "of poor but honest parents,
of good kith and kin." Dunfermline had long been noted as the center
of the damask trade in Scotland.[1] My father, William Carnegie, was a
damask weaver, the son of Andrew Carnegie after whom I was named.

[Footnote 1: The Eighteenth-Century Carnegies lived at the picturesque
hamlet of Patiemuir, two miles south of Dunfermline. The growing
importance of the linen industry in Dunfermline finally led the
Carnegies to move to that town.]

My Grandfather Carnegie was well known throughout the district for his
wit and humor, his genial nature and irrepressible spirits. He was
head of the lively ones of his day, and known far and near as the
chief of their joyous club--"Patiemuir College." Upon my return to
Dunfermline, after an absence of fourteen years, I remember being
approached by an old man who had been told that I was the grandson of
the "Professor," my grandfather's title among his cronies. He was the
very picture of palsied eld;

"His nose and chin they threatened ither."

As he tottered across the room toward me and laid his trembling hand
upon my head he said: "And ye are the grandson o' Andra Carnegie! Eh,
mon, I ha'e seen the day when your grandfaither and I could ha'e
hallooed ony reasonable man oot o' his jidgment."

[Illustration: ANDREW CARNEGIE'S BIRTHPLACE]

Several other old people of Dunfermline told me stories of my
grandfather. Here is one of them:

One Hogmanay night[2] an old wifey, quite a character in the
village, being surprised by a disguised face suddenly thrust in at the
window, looked up and after a moment's pause exclaimed, "Oh, it's jist
that daft callant Andra Carnegie." She was right; my grandfather at
seventy-five was out frightening his old lady friends, disguised like
other frolicking youngsters.

[Footnote 2: The 31st of December.]

I think my optimistic nature, my ability to shed trouble and to laugh
through life, making "all my ducks swans," as friends say I do, must
have been inherited from this delightful old masquerading grandfather
whose name I am proud to bear.[3] A sunny disposition is worth more
than fortune. Young people should know that it can be cultivated; that
the mind like the body can be moved from the shade into sunshine. Let
us move it then. Laugh trouble away if possible, and one usually can
if he be anything of a philosopher, provided that self-reproach comes
not from his own wrongdoing. That always remains. There is no washing
out of these "damned spots." The judge within sits in the supreme
court and can never be cheated. Hence the grand rule of life which
Burns gives:

"Thine own reproach alone do fear."

[Footnote 3: "There is no sign that Andrew, though he prospered in his
wooing, was specially successful in acquisition of worldly gear.
Otherwise, however, he became an outstanding character not only in the
village, but in the adjoining city and district. A 'brainy' man who
read and thought for himself he became associated with the radical
weavers of Dunfermline, who in Patiemuir formed a meeting-place which
they named a college (Andrew was the 'Professor' of it)." (_Andrew
Carnegie: His Dunfermline Ties and Benefactions_, by J.B. Mackie,
F.J.I.)]

This motto adopted early in life has been more to me than all the
sermons I ever heard, and I have heard not a few, although I may admit
resemblance to my old friend Baillie Walker in my mature years. He was
asked by his doctor about his sleep and replied that it was far from
satisfactory, he was very wakeful, adding with a twinkle in his eye:
"But I get a bit fine doze i' the kirk noo and then."

On my mother's side the grandfather was even more marked, for my
grandfather Thomas Morrison was a friend of William Cobbett, a
contributor to his "Register," and in constant correspondence with
him. Even as I write, in Dunfermline old men who knew Grandfather
Morrison speak of him as one of the finest orators and ablest men they
have known. He was publisher of "The Precursor," a small edition it
might be said of Cobbett's "Register," and thought to have been the
first radical paper in Scotland. I have read some of his writings, and
in view of the importance now given to technical education, I think
the most remarkable of them is a pamphlet which he published
seventy-odd years ago entitled "Head-ication versus Hand-ication." It
insists upon the importance of the latter in a manner that would
reflect credit upon the strongest advocate of technical education
to-day. It ends with these words, "I thank God that in my youth I
learned to make and mend shoes." Cobbett published it in the
"Register" in 1833, remarking editorially, "One of the most valuable
communications ever published in the 'Register' upon the subject, is
that of our esteemed friend and correspondent in Scotland, Thomas
Morrison, which appears in this issue." So it seems I come by my
scribbling propensities by inheritance--from both sides, for the
Carnegies were also readers and thinkers.

My Grandfather Morrison was a born orator, a keen politician, and the
head of the advanced wing of the radical party in the district--a
position which his son, my Uncle Bailie Morrison, occupied as his
successor. More than one well-known Scotsman in America has called
upon me, to shake hands with "the grandson of Thomas Morrison." Mr.
Farmer, president of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad Company,
once said to me, "I owe all that I have of learning and culture to the
influence of your grandfather"; and Ebenezer Henderson, author of the
remarkable history of Dunfermline, stated that he largely owed his
advancement in life to the fortunate fact that while a boy he entered
my grandfather's service.

I have not passed so far through life without receiving some
compliments, but I think nothing of a complimentary character has ever
pleased me so much as this from a writer in a Glasgow newspaper, who
had been a listener to a speech on Home Rule in America which I
delivered in Saint Andrew's Hall. The correspondent wrote that much
was then being said in Scotland with regard to myself and family and
especially my grandfather Thomas Morrison, and he went on to say,
"Judge my surprise when I found in the grandson on the platform, in
manner, gesture and appearance, a perfect _facsimile_ of the Thomas
Morrison of old."

My surprising likeness to my grandfather, whom I do not remember to
have ever seen, cannot be doubted, because I remember well upon my
first return to Dunfermline in my twenty-seventh year, while sitting
upon a sofa with my Uncle Bailie Morrison, that his big black eyes
filled with tears. He could not speak and rushed out of the room
overcome. Returning after a time he explained that something in me now
and then flashed before him his father, who would instantly vanish but
come back at intervals. Some gesture it was, but what precisely he
could not make out. My mother continually noticed in me some of my
grandfather's peculiarities. The doctrine of inherited tendencies is
proved every day and hour, but how subtle is the law which transmits
gesture, something as it were beyond the material body. I was deeply
impressed.

My Grandfather Morrison married Miss Hodge, of Edinburgh, a lady in
education, manners, and position, who died while the family was still
young. At this time he was in good circumstances, a leather merchant
conducting the tanning business in Dunfermline; but the peace after
the Battle of Waterloo involved him in ruin, as it did thousands; so
that while my Uncle Bailie, the eldest son, had been brought up in
what might be termed luxury, for he had a pony to ride, the younger
members of the family encountered other and harder days.

The second daughter, Margaret, was my mother, about whom I cannot
trust myself to speak at length. She inherited from her mother the
dignity, refinement, and air of the cultivated lady. Perhaps some day
I may be able to tell the world something of this heroine, but I doubt
it. I feel her to be sacred to myself and not for others to know. None
could ever really know her--I alone did that. After my father's early
death she was all my own. The dedication of my first book[4] tells the
story. It was: "To my favorite Heroine My Mother."

[Footnote 4: _An American Four-in-Hand in Great Britain._ New York,
1888.]

[Illustration: DUNFERMLINE ABBEY]

Fortunate in my ancestors I was supremely so in my birthplace. Where
one is born is very important, for different surroundings and
traditions appeal to and stimulate different latent tendencies in the
child. Ruskin truly observes that every bright boy in Edinburgh is
influenced by the sight of the Castle. So is the child of Dunfermline,
by its noble Abbey, the Westminster of Scotland, founded early in the
eleventh century (1070) by Malcolm Canmore and his Queen Margaret,
Scotland's patron saint. The ruins of the great monastery and of
the Palace where kings were born still stand, and there, too, is
Pittencrieff Glen, embracing Queen Margaret's shrine and the ruins of
King Malcolm's Tower, with which the old ballad of "Sir Patrick Spens"
begins:

"The King sits in Dunfermline _tower_,[5]
Drinking the bluid red wine."

[Footnote 5: _The Percy Reliques_ and _The Oxford Book of Ballads_
give "town" instead of "tower"; but Mr. Carnegie insisted that it
should be "tower."]

The tomb of The Bruce is in the center of the Abbey, Saint Margaret's
tomb is near, and many of the "royal folk" lie sleeping close around.
Fortunate, indeed, the child who first sees the light in that romantic
town, which occupies high ground three miles north of the Firth of
Forth, overlooking the sea, with Edinburgh in sight to the south, and
to the north the peaks of the Ochils clearly in view. All is still
redolent of the mighty past when Dunfermline was both nationally and
religiously the capital of Scotland.

The child privileged to develop amid such surroundings absorbs poetry
and romance with the air he breathes, assimilates history and
tradition as he gazes around. These become to him his real world in
childhood--the ideal is the ever-present real. The actual has yet to
come when, later in life, he is launched into the workaday world of
stern reality. Even then, and till his last day, the early impressions
remain, sometimes for short seasons disappearing perchance, but only
apparently driven away or suppressed. They are always rising and
coming again to the front to exert their influence, to elevate his
thought and color his life. No bright child of Dunfermline can escape
the influence of the Abbey, Palace, and Glen. These touch him and set
fire to the latent spark within, making him something different and
beyond what, less happily born, he would have become. Under these
inspiring conditions my parents had also been born, and hence came, I
doubt not, the potency of the romantic and poetic strain which
pervaded both.

As my father succeeded in the weaving business we removed from Moodie
Street to a much more commodious house in Reid's Park. My father's
four or five looms occupied the lower story; we resided in the upper,
which was reached, after a fashion common in the older Scottish
houses, by outside stairs from the pavement. It is here that my
earliest recollections begin, and, strangely enough, the first trace
of memory takes me back to a day when I saw a small map of America. It
was upon rollers and about two feet square. Upon this my father,
mother, Uncle William, and Aunt Aitken were looking for Pittsburgh and
pointing out Lake Erie and Niagara. Soon after my uncle and Aunt
Aitken sailed for the land of promise.

At this time I remember my cousin-brother, George Lauder ("Dod"), and
myself were deeply impressed with the great danger overhanging us
because a lawless flag was secreted in the garret. It had been painted
to be carried, and I believe was carried by my father, or uncle, or
some other good radical of our family, in a procession during the Corn
Law agitation. There had been riots in the town and a troop of cavalry
was quartered in the Guildhall. My grandfathers and uncles on both
sides, and my father, had been foremost in addressing meetings, and
the whole family circle was in a ferment.

I remember as if it were yesterday being awakened during the night by
a tap at the back window by men who had come to inform my parents that
my uncle, Bailie Morrison, had been thrown into jail because he had
dared to hold a meeting which had been forbidden. The sheriff with the
aid of the soldiers had arrested him a few miles from the town where
the meeting had been held, and brought him into the town during the
night, followed by an immense throng of people.[6]

[Footnote 6: At the opening of the Lauder Technical School in October,
1880, nearly half a century after the disquieting scenes of 1842, Mr.
Carnegie thus recalled the shock which was given to his boy mind: "One
of my earliest recollections is that of being wakened in the darkness
to be told that my Uncle Morrison was in jail. Well, it is one of the
proudest boasts I can make to-day to be able to say that I had an
uncle who was in jail. But, ladies and gentlemen, my uncle went to
jail to vindicate the rights of public assembly." (Mackie.)]

Serious trouble was feared, for the populace threatened to rescue him,
and, as we learned afterwards, he had been induced by the provost of
the town to step forward to a window overlooking the High Street and
beg the people to retire. This he did, saying: "If there be a friend
of the good cause here to-night, let him fold his arms." They did so.
And then, after a pause, he said, "Now depart in peace!"[7] My uncle,
like all our family, was a moral-force man and strong for obedience to
law, but radical to the core and an intense admirer of the American
Republic.

[Footnote 7: "The Crown agents wisely let the proceedings lapse....
Mr. Morrison was given a gratifying assurance of the appreciation of
his fellow citizens by his election to the Council and his elevation
to the Magisterial Bench, followed shortly after by his appointment to
the office of Burgh Chamberlain. The patriotic reformer whom the
criminal authorities endeavored to convict as a law-breaker became by
the choice of his fellow citizens a Magistrate, and was further given
a certificate for trustworthiness and integrity." (Mackie.)]

One may imagine when all this was going on in public how bitter were
the words that passed from one to the other in private. The
denunciations of monarchical and aristocratic government, of privilege
in all its forms, the grandeur of the republican system, the
superiority of America, a land peopled by our own race, a home for
freemen in which every citizen's privilege was every man's
right--these were the exciting themes upon which I was nurtured. As a
child I could have slain king, duke, or lord, and considered their
deaths a service to the state and hence an heroic act.

Such is the influence of childhood's earliest associations that it was
long before I could trust myself to speak respectfully of any
privileged class or person who had not distinguished himself in some
good way and therefore earned the right to public respect. There was
still the sneer behind for mere pedigree--"he is nothing, has done
nothing, only an accident, a fraud strutting in borrowed plumes; all
he has to his account is the accident of birth; the most fruitful part
of his family, as with the potato, lies underground." I wondered that
intelligent men could live where another human being was born to a
privilege which was not also their birthright. I was never tired of
quoting the only words which gave proper vent to my indignation:

"There was a Brutus once that would have brooked
Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king."

But then kings were kings, not mere shadows. All this was inherited,
of course. I only echoed what I heard at home.

Dunfermline has long been renowned as perhaps the most radical town in
the Kingdom, although I know Paisley has claims. This is all the more
creditable to the cause of radicalism because in the days of which I
speak the population of Dunfermline was in large part composed of men
who were small manufacturers, each owning his own loom or looms. They
were not tied down to regular hours, their labors being piece work.
They got webs from the larger manufacturers and the weaving was done
at home.

These were times of intense political excitement, and there was
frequently seen throughout the entire town, for a short time after the
midday meal, small groups of men with their aprons girt about them
discussing affairs of state. The names of Hume, Cobden, and Bright
were upon every one's tongue. I was often attracted, small as I was,
to these circles and was an earnest listener to the conversation,
which was wholly one-sided. The generally accepted conclusion was that
there must be a change. Clubs were formed among the townsfolk, and the
London newspapers were subscribed for. The leading editorials were
read every evening to the people, strangely enough, from one of the
pulpits of the town. My uncle, Bailie Morrison, was often the reader,
and, as the articles were commented upon by him and others after being
read, the meetings were quite exciting.

These political meetings were of frequent occurrence, and, as might be
expected, I was as deeply interested as any of the family and attended
many. One of my uncles or my father was generally to be heard. I
remember one evening my father addressed a large outdoor meeting in
the Pends. I had wedged my way in under the legs of the hearers, and
at one cheer louder than all the rest I could not restrain my
enthusiasm. Looking up to the man under whose legs I had found
protection I informed him that was my father speaking. He lifted me on
his shoulder and kept me there.

To another meeting I was taken by my father to hear John Bright, who
spoke in favor of J.B. Smith as the Liberal candidate for the Stirling
Burghs. I made the criticism at home that Mr. Bright did not speak
correctly, as he said "men" when he meant "maan." He did not give the
broad _a_ we were accustomed to in Scotland. It is not to be wondered
at that, nursed amid such surroundings, I developed into a violent
young Republican whose motto was "death to privilege." At that time I
did not know what privilege meant, but my father did.

One of my Uncle Lauder's best stories was about this same J.B. Smith,
the friend of John Bright, who was standing for Parliament in
Dunfermline. Uncle was a member of his Committee and all went well
until it was proclaimed that Smith was a "Unitawrian." The district
was placarded with the enquiry: Would you vote for a "Unitawrian"? It
was serious. The Chairman of Smith's Committee in the village of
Cairney Hill, a blacksmith, was reported as having declared he never
would. Uncle drove over to remonstrate with him. They met in the
village tavern over a gill:

"Man, I canna vote for a Unitawrian," said the Chairman.

"But," said my uncle, "Maitland [the opposing candidate] is a
Trinitawrian."

"Damn; that's waur," was the response.

And the blacksmith voted right. Smith won by a small majority.

The change from hand-loom to steam-loom weaving was disastrous to our
family. My father did not recognize the impending revolution, and was
struggling under the old system. His looms sank greatly in value, and
it became necessary for that power which never failed in any
emergency--my mother--to step forward and endeavor to repair the
family fortune. She opened a small shop in Moodie Street and
contributed to the revenues which, though slender, nevertheless at
that time sufficed to keep us in comfort and "respectable."

I remember that shortly after this I began to learn what poverty
meant. Dreadful days came when my father took the last of his webs to
the great manufacturer, and I saw my mother anxiously awaiting his
return to know whether a new web was to be obtained or that a period
of idleness was upon us. It was burnt into my heart then that my
father, though neither "abject, mean, nor vile," as Burns has it, had
nevertheless to

"Beg a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil."

And then and there came the resolve that I would cure that when I got
to be a man. We were not, however, reduced to anything like poverty
compared with many of our neighbors. I do not know to what lengths of
privation my mother would not have gone that she might see her two
boys wearing large white collars, and trimly dressed.

In an incautious moment my parents had promised that I should never be
sent to school until I asked leave to go. This promise I afterward
learned began to give them considerable uneasiness because as I grew
up I showed no disposition to ask. The schoolmaster, Mr. Robert
Martin, was applied to and induced to take some notice of me. He took
me upon an excursion one day with some of my companions who attended
school, and great relief was experienced by my parents when one day
soon afterward I came and asked for permission to go to Mr. Martin's
school.[8] I need not say the permission was duly granted. I had then
entered upon my eighth year, which subsequent experience leads me to
say is quite early enough for any child to begin attending school.

[Footnote 8: It was known as Rolland School.]

The school was a perfect delight to me, and if anything occurred which
prevented my attendance I was unhappy. This happened every now and
then because my morning duty was to bring water from the well at the
head of Moodie Street. The supply was scanty and irregular. Sometimes
it was not allowed to run until late in the morning and a score of old
wives were sitting around, the turn of each having been previously
secured through the night by placing a worthless can in the line.
This, as might be expected, led to numerous contentions in which I
would not be put down even by these venerable old dames. I earned the
reputation of being "an awfu' laddie." In this way I probably
developed the strain of argumentativeness, or perhaps combativeness,
which has always remained with me.

In the performance of these duties I was often late for school, but
the master, knowing the cause, forgave the lapses. In the same
connection I may mention that I had often the shop errands to run
after school, so that in looking back upon my life I have the
satisfaction of feeling that I became useful to my parents even at the
early age of ten. Soon after that the accounts of the various people
who dealt with the shop were entrusted to my keeping so that I became
acquainted, in a small way, with business affairs even in childhood.

One cause of misery there was, however, in my school experience. The
boys nicknamed me "Martin's pet," and sometimes called out that
dreadful epithet to me as I passed along the street. I did not know
all that it meant, but it seemed to me a term of the utmost
opprobrium, and I know that it kept me from responding as freely as I
should otherwise have done to that excellent teacher, my only
schoolmaster, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude which I regret I never
had opportunity to do more than acknowledge before he died.

I may mention here a man whose influence over me cannot be
overestimated, my Uncle Lauder, George Lauder's father.[9] My father
was necessarily constantly at work in the loom shop and had little
leisure to bestow upon me through the day. My uncle being a shopkeeper
in the High Street was not thus tied down. Note the location, for this
was among the shopkeeping aristocracy, and high and varied degrees of
aristocracy there were even among shopkeepers in Dunfermline. Deeply
affected by my Aunt Seaton's death, which occurred about the beginning
of my school life, he found his chief solace in the companionship of
his only son, George, and myself. He possessed an extraordinary gift
of dealing with children and taught us many things. Among others I
remember how he taught us British history by imagining each of the
monarchs in a certain place upon the walls of the room performing the
act for which he was well known. Thus for me King John sits to this
day above the mantelpiece signing the Magna Charta, and Queen Victoria
is on the back of the door with her children on her knee.

[Footnote 9: The Lauder Technical College given by Mr. Carnegie to
Dunfermline was named in honor of this uncle, George Lauder.]

It may be taken for granted that the omission which, years after, I
found in the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey was fully supplied in
our list of monarchs. A slab in a small chapel at Westminster says
that the body of Oliver Cromwell was removed from there. In the list
of the monarchs which I learned at my uncle's knee the grand
republican monarch appeared writing his message to the Pope of Rome,
informing His Holiness that "if he did not cease persecuting the
Protestants the thunder of Great Britain's cannon would be heard in
the Vatican." It is needless to say that the estimate we formed of
Cromwell was that he was worth them "a' thegither."

It was from my uncle I learned all that I know of the early history of
Scotland--of Wallace and Bruce and Burns, of Blind Harry's history, of
Scott, Ramsey, Tannahill, Hogg, and Fergusson. I can truly say in the
words of Burns that there was then and there created in me a vein of
Scottish prejudice (or patriotism) which will cease to exist only with
life. Wallace, of course, was our hero. Everything heroic centered in
him. Sad was the day when a wicked big boy at school told me that
England was far larger than Scotland. I went to the uncle, who had the
remedy.

"Not at all, Naig; if Scotland were rolled out flat as England,
Scotland would be the larger, but would you have the Highlands rolled
down?"

Oh, never! There was balm in Gilead for the wounded young patriot.
Later the greater population of England was forced upon me, and again
to the uncle I went.

"Yes, Naig, seven to one, but there were more than that odds against
us at Bannockburn." And again there was joy in my heart--joy that
there were more English men there since the glory was the greater.

This is something of a commentary upon the truth that war breeds war,
that every battle sows the seeds of future battles, and that thus
nations become traditional enemies. The experience of American boys is
that of the Scotch. They grow up to read of Washington and Valley
Forge, of Hessians hired to kill Americans, and they come to hate the
very name of Englishman. Such was my experience with my American
nephews. Scotland was all right, but England that had fought Scotland
was the wicked partner. Not till they became men was the prejudice
eradicated, and even yet some of it may linger.

Uncle Lauder has told me since that he often brought people into the
room assuring them that he could make "Dod" (George Lauder) and me
weep, laugh, or close our little fists ready to fight--in short, play
upon all our moods through the influence of poetry and song. The
betrayal of Wallace was his trump card which never failed to cause our
little hearts to sob, a complete breakdown being the invariable
result. Often as he told the story it never lost its hold. No doubt it
received from time to time new embellishments. My uncle's stories
never wanted "the hat and the stick" which Scott gave his. How
wonderful is the influence of a hero upon children!

I spent many hours and evenings in the High Street with my uncle and
"Dod," and thus began a lifelong brotherly alliance between the latter
and myself. "Dod" and "Naig" we always were in the family. I could not
say "George" in infancy and he could not get more than "Naig" out of
Carnegie, and it has always been "Dod" and "Naig" with us. No other
names would mean anything.

There were two roads by which to return from my uncle's house in the
High Street to my home in Moodie Street at the foot of the town, one
along the eerie churchyard of the Abbey among the dead, where there
was no light; and the other along the lighted streets by way of the
May Gate. When it became necessary for me to go home, my uncle, with a
wicked pleasure, would ask which way I was going. Thinking what
Wallace would do, I always replied I was going by the Abbey. I have
the satisfaction of believing that never, not even upon one occasion,
did I yield to the temptation to take the other turn and follow the
lamps at the junction of the May Gate. I often passed along that
churchyard and through the dark arch of the Abbey with my heart in my
mouth. Trying to whistle and keep up my courage, I would plod through
the darkness, falling back in all emergencies upon the thought of what
Wallace would have done if he had met with any foe, natural or
supernatural.

King Robert the Bruce never got justice from my cousin or myself in
childhood. It was enough for us that he was a king while Wallace was
the man of the people. Sir John Graham was our second. The intensity
of a Scottish boy's patriotism, reared as I was, constitutes a real
force in his life to the very end.



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