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He looked upon the abject wretch before him,
Who fell into a swoon at sight of him,
So sensitive is even an evil conscience,
And, speaking not a word, lifted him up
And bore him safely down into the street
Then shook him from him like a noisome thing!

"Anon the man revived, and with quick terror
Asked for his childhis little four years' son
But he had been forgottenstill was left
Within the house to perish. Who would save him!
Grovelling before his feet the father lay,
Of all forgetful but of his dear child,
And prayed the injured man who had saved his life
To save the boy! 'Why spake ye not of him?
He was more worthy saving of the two!'
Said John, abrupt and briefand straight was gone.
Once more he scaled the roof. The crowd was hushed
Into deep silence: it had but one heart,
Had but one breath, intense anxiety
For that brave man who put again his life
In such dire jeopardy. None spoke,
But many a prayer was breathed. Along the roof
Anon they saw him hurrying with the child.
The red flames met him, hemmed him round about!
Escape was not! The women sobbed and moaned
Down in the crowd below; men gazed and trembled,
And wild suggestions ran throughout the mass
Of how he might be saved. But all were vain,
Help was there none! Amid the roaring flames
His voice was heard; he spake, they knew not what;
They hurried to and fro; the engines drenched
The burning pile. He made another sign!
Oh, God! could they but know what was his wish!
They knew it not! The fierce flame mastered all
The roof fell inthe childthe man was lost!"

The grandsire paused a moment, then went on;
"Yes, in our common life of every day
There are true heroes, truer, many a one,
Than they whose deeds are blazoned forth on brass!
Now leave me to myself; give me my pipe
You've had your will; I've told you of a hero,
One of God's makingand he was your own father!"


THE great benefactors of our species may
be divided into two grand classesthe men
of thought, and the men of action; the men
whose genius was chiefly in the realm of
mind, and those whose power lies in tangible
things. Let no one set up the idle and
invidious comparison as to which of the two is
the nobler, since both are equally needful to
the world's progress; all great thoughts and
theories, dreams and visions (let us never
fear the truth, but honor it even in using
terms of vulgar and shortsighted opprobrium)
of men of genius and knowledge, being the
germ and origin of great actions,—and all great
actions being the practical working out of the
former, without which no good to mankind
at large can be accomplished. To set thought
and action, therefore, in opposition to each
other, is like setting the arms and legs of
Hercules to quarrel with his head while
performing his labours. Nor can the distinction,
thus broadly stated, be drawn at all
times with any definite precision, since the
man who conceives and develops a new
principle, is sometimes able to carry it out
himself. This combination of powers in the
same individual is very rare, and is obviously
one reason why, in most cases, the originator
of a new thing is neglected as a visionary, and
a madman. But the energy of thought to
conceive and design displayed by Lieutenant
Waghorn, was more than equalled by the
energy of character and action required to
carry out his stupendous plans. Sometimes
with the best assistancesometimes with none
sometimes in defiance of contest, opprobrium,
and oppositionthe vigour of mind
and body of this man caused him to undertake
and to succeed in projects which are
among the most prominent of those which
especially characterise the genius of the present

We have intimated that Mr. Waghorn was
both a man of thought and action, but this
must be understood with certain marked
limitations. Mr. Waghorn's mind was of that
peculiar construction, which appears never
to think earnestly except with a view to
action. Even that quality, which in other
men is of the most ideal kind, and commonly
exerts itself in matters of little or no
substantiality of fact and purpose, with him
partook of the physicality of his strong nature
as much as the admixture was possible,—so
that he may be said to have had a practical
imagination. His objects and designs were
welded into all the materials of his
understanding and knowledge; his ambitions and
hopes were fused with the generation of the
mighty steam-forces that were to drive his
ships across the ocean and inland seas; the
elasticity of his spirit was identified with the
flying speed of Arab horses, and dromedaries
carrying the "mail" across the desert; and
when he projected a wonderful shortening of
time and space, he at the same moment beheld
the broad massive arm of England stretched
across to govern and make use of her enormous
Indian territories, comprising a hundred
million of souls. He never thought of himself;
he was too much engaged with the vastness of
his designs for his country. We shall see how
that country rewarded his efforts.

Thomas Waghorn was born at Chatham,
in 1800. At twelve years of age he became
a midshipman in Her Majesty's Navy; and
before he had reached seventeen, passed in
"navigation" for Lieutenant, being the
youngest midshipman that had ever done so
the examination requiring a great amount
of both theoretical and practical knowledge,
and being always conducted with severity.
This made him eligible to the rank of
lieutenant, but did not include it. At the close