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5. CHAPTER V (continued)
True, he was rich, universally respected and of an excellent natural constitution. If he had eaten and drunk less he would never have known a day's indisposition. Perhaps his main strength lay in the fact that though his capacity was a little above the average, it was not too much so. It is on this rock that so many clever people split. The successful man will see just so much more than his neighbours as they will be able to see too when it is shown them, but not enough to puzzle them. It is far safer to know too little than too much. People will condemn the one, though they will resent being called upon to exert themselves to follow the other.
The best example of Mr Pontifex's good sense in matters connected with his business which I can think of at this moment is the revolution which he effected in the style of advertising works published by the firm. When he first became a partner one of the firm's advertisements ran thus:-
"Books proper to be given away at this Season. -
"The Pious Country Parishioner, being directions how a Christian may manage every day in the course of his whole life with safety and success; how to spend the Sabbath Day; what books of the Holy Scripture ought to be read first; the whole method of education; collects for the most important virtues that adorn the soul; a discourse on the Lord's Supper; rules to set the soul right in sickness; so that in this treatise are contained all the rules requisite for salvation. The 8th edition with additions. Price 10d.
*** An allowance will be made to those who give them away."
Before he had been many years a partner the advertisement stood as follows:-
"The Pious Country Parishioner. A complete manual of Christian Devotion. Price 10d.
A reduction will be made to purchasers for gratuitous distribution."
What a stride is made in the foregoing towards the modern standard, and what intelligence is involved in the perception of the unseemliness of the old style, when others did not perceive it!
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