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George Burns, His Times and Friends
Chapter XV. The Burden and Heat of the Day


It must needs be that every successful adventure should give rise to many jealousies and to keen competition, and the Cunard Company was no exception to the rule.

Mr. Burns was, by nature, one of the most peace-loving of men, but he was also a man of great determination, and having set his hand to the plough, he was not one to look back. We cannot attempt to give a systematic account of the progress of the enormous business transactions in which he was concerned; to do so would involve an epitome of the whole history of merchant shipping since the introduction of steam, but we must glance at some of its most salient features in order to see the important part he played in that history.

After the first four vessels to which we have already referred were placed in the mail service between Liverpool, Halifax, and Boston, in 1840, others followed in quick succession, and in each the newest and most reliable advances in scientific engineering were introduced. Then in 1844 the Cambria and Hibernia, each of 500 horse-power and of 1,422 tons, with an average speed of 94 knots, were brought into the service; in 184§ the America, Niagara, Europa, and Canada followed, each of about 1,820 tons and 680 horse-power, with an average speed of 104 knots—and so on, continually, each fresh hatch of vessels corresponding to the increasing demands of the public for greater speed and for improved accommodation.

Of course this could not be continued without opposition. The Great Western Company complained of a monopoly having been granted to their injury, and a Parliamentary inquiry was the result. But it ended in a report of the Select Committee to the effect that the contract made with Messrs. Cunard, Burns, and Maclver was more advantageous than any other that could be made, and that the service had been most efficiently performed.

In 1847, the American people aroused themselves, for they saw their most valuable maritime commerce passing away from them. They established a line of steam ships of their own to run from New York to Southampton ; hut their first ship, the Washington, started on the same day that the Britannia, the first of the Cunard ships, started from Liverpool for New York, and the first race ever run between American and British steamers was won by the Britannia by two full days!

In 1850, the British Government entered into a contract with the Cunard Company for the conveyance of the mails between Halifax, New York, and Bermuda in small vessels, one of which should leave Halifax for Bermuda and another for St. John’s within twenty-four hours after the arrival of the packet from Liverpool; a third conveyed the mails monthly between Bermuda and New York. A year later, the British Government concluded another contract with Mr. Cunard for a monthly conveyance of the mails between Bermuda and St. Thomas, with the view of connecting the West Indies with the United States and the North American Provinces.

It is not surprising to find that when the eyes of the Americans were opened, and it was seen that the Ocean mails along their southern coasts had been placed in the hands of foreign carriers; that the Cunard line, under British contracts, constituted the only medium of regular steam navigation between the United States and Europe, and that the commercial and political interests of their country were at stake, their national pride was wounded, and Congress resolved “to make their postal arrangements altogether independent of foreign and rival agencies. They had subsidised to advantage a line of steamers between New York and Chagres, via New Orleans and its auxiliaries; they had repossessed themselves of the power of transport of their mails for Mexico, South America, and their possessions in the Pacific, which, in consequence of the discoveries of gold in California, had become of no ordinary importance. As the steamers for this line were of the highest class, possessing great speed and superior passenger accommodation, and capable, besides, of being converted at small expense into war-steamers, they estimated that similar successful results would attend the establishment of another line of steam-ships of their own between New York and Liverpool.”

The right time, as it was thought, having come, the man was ready, and Mr. E. K. Collins, of New York, and other American citizens, commenced the establishment of a line of splendid steamers with the avowed object of driving the Cunarders off the Atlantic.

It was unfortunate for the Collins Company that they started their gigantic concern upon wrong principles ; first, by asking from their Government a monopoly of the business, and next, by alleging in their memorial that “the rival English line was sustained to a very great extent by the English Government;” the fact being, as we have shown, that there was no subsidy whatever, but simply a freight paid for carrying the mail bags, from which the Government profited.

The Collins Company obtained their subsidy, but that fact brought forth the unanimous protest of sixty-three distinct houses—the oldest and most enterprising shipping firms in New York—against fostering a dozen eminent capitalists at the expense of the whole shipping interest of the country.

Notwithstanding this, four magnificent vessels were contracted for—the Arctic, Baltic, Atlantic, and Pacific (the nomenclature ending in it, as that of the Cunarders ended in vessels equal, if not superior, to any constructed of wood then afloat.

The contest was for the supremacy of ocean steam navigation, and the combatants were a wealthy company hacked by their Government with a subsidy of $19,250 per voyage, which was soon increased to $53,000 per voyage, equal to about .£178,750 per annum, and a private firm of a few individuals, absolutely without Government subsidy.

In 1850, the Collins Line began to run, the head and front of their scheme being to sweep the Atlantic of the Cunarders. To attain this, it was made a sine qua non by the Government that the Collins vessels should be run at a greatly increased rate of speed.

The Cunard Company were equal to the occasion; they put on new vessels—but they would not move a finger towards any plan that should in the slightest degree endanger their ships or the lives of their passengers.

“The competition between these two great lines of steam-ships,” says Mr. Lindsay, “excited extraordinary public interest at the time on both sides of the Atlantic, and indeed in all parts of the world; numerous records were kept for twelve months of the length of the respective voyages of the ships of the contending companies, and large sums of money were expended in bets on the result of each passage.”

The result for the year was that the Cunarders were beaten in respect of the time occupied in the voyages, although they gained steadily in general estimation on the score of comfort in their accommodation and in a sense of safety.

Great were the rejoicings in America at the seeming triumph of the Collins Line, and not less hearty were they among lovers of progress in our own country. Meanwhile the Cunard Company quietly laid their plans for producing a fleet of » steamers which should surpass all competitors in speed as in every other requirement, and while the world was ringing with plaudits upon the triumph of America in the “great ocean race,” as it was incorrectly called, Charles Maclver wrote to Samuel Cunard: “The Collins Company are pretty much in the situation of finding that breaking our windows with sovereigns, though very fine fun, is too costly to keep up.” And so they found it. For four years the Collins Line encountered no accidents worthy of note, but in 1854 a terrible series of disasters commenced. In September of that year the Arctic went down, with fearful loss of life, the wife, son, and daughter of Mr. Collins being among the number who perished. A little more than twelve months later the Pacific left Liverpool, and was never heard of again.

Still the Collins Company persevered; capital was found to replace the vessels they had lost, hut before they were ready for service, the new Cunarders were on the seas defying all competition, their average speed for the year 1850 eclipsing not only the Collins Line, hut of another line specially adapted for the conveyance of emigrants, and, in fact, of all the principal steamers of all countries then engaged in the Transatlantic trade.

In 1858, it was found that the Collins Company were competing with the Cunard Company at a ruinous rate : the losses had been stupendous ; every attempt at revival had failed; and the opportunity was taken by the merchants and ship-owners of Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other places to renew their protest against monopoly and Government subsidies. The result was the total collapse of the Collins Line, and the determination of the American Government not to aid from the public purse any company which might take its place.

While the tierce competition of the Collins Company was at its height, the Cunard Company largely extended the field of its operations. In 1853, six iron screw steam-ships, specially adapted for the purpose, were built, and branch lines established between Liverpool and the principal ports in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Levant, Bosphorus, and Black Sea, and also between Liverpool and Havre. Although originally intended to act chiefly as feeders to the main line, these off-shoots of the parent stem have sprung forth and become important adjuncts to the Company’s business.

It was about this time (1853) that a Select Committee was appointed by the House of Commons to inquire into the matter of contract packets, and the following extract from their report shows the estimation in which the Company’s Transatlantic service was held and the manner in which it was conducted :—

This line of packets (the Cunard) has of late years had to contend against serious foreign competition. We find that the vessels employed in the line are much more powerful, and, of course, more costly than is required by the terms of the contract, and that, as regards their fitness for war purposes, they are reported by the Committee of Naval and Military Officers as being capable of being made more efficient substitutes for men-of-war than any of the other vessels under contract for the packet service. The service has been performed with great regularity, speed, and certainty—the average length of passage, Liverpool to NeAv York, being 12 days, 1 hour, 1d minutes.

It was a curious coincidence that the collapse of the Collins Company took place in the year in which Hr. Burns, having amassed a handsome fortune, and having seen his ambition realised in placing on the seas a fleet of the finest vessels afloat, retired from business to enjoy the rest which is only appreciated to its full extent by those who have had to toil hard and to buffet against opposition.

Some further account of the Company which he had been instrumental in founding, and with which his name will always he associated, may not he uninteresting. To him is due a large share of the credit for the inauguration and establishment of that splendid system of administration, which has been faithfully adhered to until the present time, and has proved the foundation of the honourable reputation it now enjoys.

The most remarkable fact in connection with the history of the Company is, the wonderful immunity from accident, although hundreds of thousands of passengers and millions of letters have been conveyed across the stormy Atlantic in their ships. The dangers have been manifold on this the most dangerous and boisterous ocean known to navigators; high speed has been maintained, fogs, storms, and icebergs have been encountered; and yet there has been from the foundation of the Company in 1840 to the present time, singular exemption from misadventure. By some this has been looked upon as “a wonderful run of luck/’ and by others as “a special interposition of Providence.” Neither view is a correct one. Luck is far too tickle a thing to attend upon any scheme for forty or fifty years in succession, and Providence does not favour one particular commercial firm to the disadvantage of others. There was a story current, which had its origin in America, that the sailing of every ship of the Cunard fleet was made the subject of special prayer, and that Mr. Burns was wont to attribute his success to this source. Such was not the case. While trusting in Providence and believing implicitly in the power of prayer, he was .also a firm believer in doing work well, and in subordinating profit and speed to safety, comfort, and efficiency.

To the excellent measures adopted h}^ the Company to prevent casualties, and to the rigour with which their are enforced, the immunity from accident may safely he attributed.

One of the principles actuating Mr. Burns and the Cunard Company was, that each ship added to the fleet should he superior to those which had preceded it; at the same time the greatest caution was observed never to adopt new inventions, or to he influenced by new theories, until they had been thoroughly tested. It was always the policy of the Company that others should experimentalise, and when the novel principle had been proved by indubitable tests, then, and not till then, to introduce it into their next vessel.

Thus, although scientists had urged since 1830 the adaptability of iron in the construction of the hulls of ships, and for several years prior to 1852 had been recommending the adoption of the screw propeller, it was not until the latter year that the Cunard Company had sufficient confidence in either invention to give it a trial.

A few of the precautions observed in order to ensure that their vessels should be well-built, efficiently manned, and carefully sailed, may he mentioned here. “Their solicitude,” says a writer in The Naval and Military Magazine, "begins at the keel of each vessel, and continues throughout the whole course of construction. The progress of the work is closely scrutinised by the Company’s general and engineer superintendents; and, in addition, a foreman, carpenter, and rivet inspector are constantly emplo3red in the building-yard, for the sole purpose of detecting defective material or workmanship and having it rectified. Before every voyage a thorough examination of ship and crew is made by the general and marine superintendents and other officials. The men are mustered and exercised in boat drill, fire drill, and pump drill; heed being taken that every man knows his proper position, so as to avoid panic or confusion in the event of a sudden emergency. An inspection is then made of the store-rooms, the rockets and other signals are critically examined, and the doors of the water-tight compartments are shut and tested; and each day while the ship is at sea the men stationed at the water-tight doors are mustered, and every water-tight door in the ship is closed; the chief officer and chief engineer reporting to the captain at 1 p.m. the condition of the doors in their respective departments. Knowing how much depends upon the acuteness of vision possessed by .the officers and look-out men, the greatest care is taken to guard against weak sight or colour-blindness in every person connected with tlie sailing department. An exhaustive code of instructions lias been compiled for tlie use of captains, officers, engineers, and every man on board, plainly stating their individual duties, and laying down distinct rules for their guidance under all circumstances. Lastly, with the view of diminishing the chances of collision, the Company’s Atlantic steamers take specified courses according to the seasons of the year. Indeed, all the means which human forethought can devise, and long experience teach, are enlisted to secure the safety of lives and property.”

"With all these precautions we cannot wonder that Mark Twain should say cc he felt himself rather safer on board a Cunard steamer than he did upon land.”

The success which crowned the labours of Mr. Burns, in conjunction with Sir Samuel Cunard (and his son, Sir Edward Cunard) and Messrs. D. and C. Maclver, has been continued without variation by their successors.

The original shareholders had by degrees been bought out by the founders, until the whole concern became vested exclusively in the three families of Cunard, Burns, and Maclver, each holding one-third of the property.

Sir Samuel Cunard died in 1865, and his shares were inherited by his son, Sir Edward Cunard. He died in 1869, and the Cunard interest devolved upon liis brother, Mr. William Cunard, who from that time to the present has continued to represent the Company in London.

David Maclver died in 1845, and his share fell to the lot of his brother, Charles Maclver, whose sons have since retired from the Cunard Company.

George Burns, upon his retirement in 1858, divided his holding in the Company between his two sons, John and James Cleland Burns.

In 1878 it was considered expedient to consolidate the interests of the partners by registering the Company under the Limited Liability Acts. A Joint-stock Company was accordingly formed, with a capital of £2,000,000, of which £1,200,000 was issued and taken by the families of Cunard, Burns, and Maclver. No shares were offered to the public until 1880, when a prospectus was sent forth stating that “the growing wants of the Company’s Transatlantic trade demanded the acquisition of additional steamships of great size and power, involving a cost for construction which might best be met by a large public company.” The available shares were at once subscribed for, the directorate was re-constituted, and Mr. John Burns was elected Chairman of the Board.

It will he remembered that it was one of the terms of the original contract with the British Government that the vessels of the Cunard Company should be available in time of war for the transport of troops and stores. In 1854, war was declared against Russia, and the Company was called upon for the first time to assist the Government in the emergency by furnishing troop-ships and transports. An immediate response was made, and eight of the best of the Cunard steamers were placed at the disposal of the Admiralty, and were employed in various important commissions throughout the tedious Russian campaign.

On many subsequent occasions the Cunard vessels were requisitioned for similar purposes. Between 1856 and 1878 they conveyed troops and stores at various times to Halifax, Quebec, Gibraltar, Malta, and other ports. In 1879, when war broke out at the Cape, four vessels were under charter to the Admiralty for a considerable period as troop-ships. Among the first vessels dispatched with troops to Alexandria in 1882, were three of the Cunard fleet.

“In the spring of 1885, in consequence of the Russian war scare, the Admiralty chartered the Umbria and the Oregon for six months as merchant cruisers, and retained the services of the Etruria also if required. The two first-named vessels were completely armed and fitted up under the superintendence of Admiralty officers, and when the great naval demonstration took place in July, 1885, the Oregon was chosen to accompany the evolutionary squadron under the command of Admiral Sir Geoffrey Hornby, G.C.B. She was the only armed merchant cruiser present with the fleet, and proved herself invaluable as a scout, gaining the admiration of the officers of the squadron for her wonderful speed and sea-going qualities.”

Few people have any conception of the vastness and variety of the , provisioning necessary for the proper maintenance of the enormous number of persons carried in the “floating hotels” of the Cunard Company, or of the internal economy generally. A few particulars may not he uninteresting.

The pioneer vessel of the Cunard Line, the Britannia, built in 1839, took for her outward journey from Liverpool 600 tons of coal, and burned 44 tons a day, whilst her steam pressure was 9 lbs. and her speed a little over 8 knots per hour. Contrast that with the Etruria, built in 1885. Her average speed is 18 knots an hour, which is equal to nearly 21 statute miles, or somewhat greater than the average speed of the ordinary train service on any railway in the world. Her engines indicate 14,000 horse-power, and are supplied with steam from 9 double-ended boilers, each with 8 furnaces, or a total of 72 furnaces. The total consumption of coal is 300 tons per day, or 12 tons per hour, and if the whole of the fires were raked together and formed into one large fire there would be 42 tons of coal, or a mass 20 feet long, 20 feet broad, and rather more than 4 feet high, burning fiercely. Her crew consists of 287 hands, all told.

The victualling department is under the charge of the chief steward, who is responsible not only for the good order of the servants and the cleanliness of the saloons and cabins and baths, but for providing the passengers with a good and liberal table.

For a single passage to America the Etruria, with 547 cabin passengers and a crew of 287 persons on board, carries the following quantities of provisions : 12,550 lbs. fresh beef, 760 lbs. corned beef, 5,320 lbs. mutton, 850 lbs. lamb, 350 lbs. veal, 350 lbs. pork, 2,000 lbs. fresh fish, 600 fowls, 300 chickens, 100 ducks, 50 geese, 80 turkeys, 200 brace grouse, 15 tons potatoes, 30 hampers of vegetables, 220 quarts ice cream, 1000 quarts of milk, and 11,500 eggs (or at the rate of one egg per minute from the time the ship sails from Liverpool until her arrival in New York).

The quantities of wines, spirits, beer, Ac., put on board for consumption on the round voyage comprise 1,100 bottles of champagne, 850 bottles claret, 6000 bottles ale, 2,500 bottles porter, 4,500 bottles mineral waters, 650 bottles various spirits.

Crockery is broken very extensively, being at the rate of 900 plates, 280 cups, 438 saucers, 1,213 tumblers, 200 wine-glasses, 27 decanters, and 63 water-bottles in a single voyage.

As regards the consumption on board the whole fleet for o)ie year, the figures seem almost fabulous: 4,606 sheep, 1,800 lambs, 2,474 oxen are consumed— an array of flocks and herds surpassing in extent the possessions of many a pastoral patriarch of ancient times—besides 24,075 fowls, 4,230 ducks, 2,200 turkeys, 2,200 geese, 53 tons of ham, 20 tons bacon, 15 tons cheese, and 831,503 eggs.

Other articles are in extensive demand, and in the course of a year there is consumed : One ton and a half of mustard, one ton and three-quarters of pepper, 7,216 bottles pickles, 8000 tins sardines, 30 tons salt cod and ling, 4,102 four-lb. jars of jam, 15 tons marmalade, 22 tons raisins, currants, and figs, 18 tons split peas, 15 tons pearl barlfey, 17 tons rice, 34 tons oatmeal, 460 tons flour, 23 tons biscuits, 33 tons salt, 48,002 loaves of bread 8 lbs. each.

The Cunard passengers annually drink and smoke to the following extent:—8,030 bottles and 17,613 half-bottles champagne, 13,041 bottles and 7,310 half bottles claret, 0,200 bottles other wines, 480,344 bottles ale and porter, 174,021 bottles mineral waters, 34.400 bottles spirits ; 34,360 lbs. tobacco, 63,340 cigars, and 56,871 cigarettes.

The heaviest item in the annual consumption of the Company is of course coal, of which 356,764 tons are burnt—nearly equal to 1000 tons for every day in the year. This quantity of coal, if built as a wall four feet high and one foot thick, would reach from Land’s End to John o’ Groats’ House.

With regard to the aggregate employment of labour by the Cunard Company, it includes 34 captains, 146 officers, 28 engineers, boiler-makers and carpenters, 665 seamen, 916 firemen, 900 stewards, 62 stewardesses, 42 women to keep the upholstery and linen in order, with 1,100 men of a shore gang, or about 4,506 people to run the ships, which traverse yearly a distance equal to five times that between the earth and the moon !

Since the time when George Burns became connected with shipping, the large fleet over which he presided, and his firm owned, has represented from first to last no less a sum than upwards of seven millions sterling.

Thirty years after his retirement from business, Mr. Burns took as keen an interest in everything that related to shipping as he did when he was bearing the burden and heat of the day. As he sat upon his lawn and watched the Clyde steamers skimming over the waters, his thoughts would often go back to the old, old days of which he, alone of all his compeers, had any remembrance. During his lifetime greater changes had taken place in the shipping world than in the three thousand years that had elapsed since the Argo was launched. He watched the rise and progress of the power of steam, which has brought together all the nations of the earth for their common good, and has done for the material well-being of mankind what printing did for the inter-communication of ideas and the development of intellectual power. He saw the little

Comet start on lier first journey ; and lie saw the Great Eastern as she lay off Greenock in her last days. Between these periods all the great problems of naval architecture had virtually been set at rest, and it had been demonstrated that there were no engineering difficulties in size, and no practical limit, except expediency, to the amount of power that might be applied to steam navigation.

To glance, however rapidly, at the great changes he witnessed during the period specified, would require much more space than we have at our disposal. To one aspect of the subject, and one only, will we call attention here. For the last half-century, and more, there has scarcely been a session of Parliament without legislation on Merchant Shipping; numberless committees and commissions have been appointed to consider schemes for the improvement of our mercantile marine, and measures innumerable have been passed having for their object the safety, welfare, and progress of British ships and seamen. The result has been that lighthouses have been multiplied and improved ; sound-signals have been established; harbours have been constructed, deepened, and made accessible; charts have been perfected ; the classification of ships has been revised ; tonnage measurement has been reformed; an excellent system of ship registry has been established; masters, mates, and engineers have been required to pass examinations, and can be cashiered if drunken or incompetent; offices are set up where seamen are engaged and discharged, where they receive their wages, and where their characters are recorded; savings banks and money orders are provided for them; they have summary means of recovering wages; special provision is made concerning their food, medicine, and lodging. Lifeboats and rocket apparatus for saving life from shipwreck are established round the coasts; every wreck is made the subject of an investigation more or less stringent; shipwrecked property is protected from plunder; international rules have been made for preventing collision ; an international code of general signals has been established, as well as an international system of signals of distress ; and the old law of merchant shipping has been once and again codified. Above all, burdens and restrictions of all kinds, general and local, have been removed, so that ship and sailor are now absolutely free from all burdens, except such regulations and such taxes as are needed for their own welfare.

In procuring these measures, Mr. Burns played an important although not always a conspicuous part. His wide knowledge of everything connected with ships and shipping, his keen business capacity, his far-sightedness, and liis unwavering integrity, gave value to his advice, which was eagerly sought and generally acted upon. Not invariably, however.

When the Amended Shipping Act was passing through the House of Commons in 1854, for instance, Mr. Cardwell placed the manuscript of the Bill in the hands of Mr. Burns with an introduction to Mr. Thring (afterwards Lord Thring), of Lincoln’s Inn, who had the charge of drawing it up, in order that they might go over it together. Leferring to this interview, Mr. Burns, in conversation with the writer, said :—

I went very carefully into it, and effected, as I supposed, some improvements. I especially drew attention to the penalties attachable to owners in case of accidents to life or property. Lord Campbell’s Act, which was applicable at first to railways and not to shipping, was, to a considerable extent, incorporated in principle into the Shipping Bill. To this I was strongly opposed, and my argument was briefly this: Let there be penalties stringent, but not fatal to a shipowner. The Board of Trade reserves to itself the power of sanctioning officers in the mercantile marine, and an owner has to comply with their rules. Suppose that an owner has bestowed very particular attention to the quality of his ships and the character of his officers; his ship sails to India, or elsewhere, an accident takes place, and he (through no fault of his own) is liable to be punished to the extent of the whole value of his ship, and ruined. When a change of Ministry took place, Mr. Cardwell left the Board of Trade and was living at Whitehall Gardens, where I saw him. ‘ I can now speak to you,’ he said to me, ‘much more freely than I could when I was on the other side of the street.’ He approved of my views on the subject.

A long time afterwards, when Lord Stanley of Aldcrley was President of the Board of Trade, I had occasion to argue very much in the same strain with him. Mr  Cardwell’s Bill having been passed, Afterwards Viscount Cardwell. used the argument with Lord Stanley that one of our American steamships cost upwards of £150,000 (the cost of steamships now amounts to more than double that sum), and that we were liable to be amerced in the whole amount. He laughed and said, ‘ You’re very well off to have such a ship.’ I replied, ‘Yes, but if you are lying at night with the knowledge that you may wake up in the morning and find yourself ruined by such a loss, you would not sleep very comfortably.’ His reply was that hitherto the law had not operated severely upon shipowners who took every precaution to prevent accidents. ‘True,’ I replied, “but that is not a sound basis to rest such vast interests upon.’ Eventually a much more sensible and satisfactory basis was found.

For himself his own ever-increasing commercial relations, Mr. Burns had laid it down as a business principle that his highest interest lay in the safety of every enterprise—that the loss of ship, cargo, passengers, or crew, would be his loss; and therefore, while trusting in Providence for protection, he looked with an anxious eye to everything which could conduce to the safety of his ship—to her build, her equipment, her loading, her manning, and her navigation.

The secret of Mr. Burns’ success is not however to he attributed to his sagacity cr his shrewdness, or even to the soundness of the business principles on which he acted. His success was the outcome of his character. No man ever knew him say a word that was not the exact and literal truth; no one ever heard of any business transaction of his that was not absolutely honourable in the minutest particular. He was accurate in all his dealings, faithful to every trust, tenacious of every promise, disdaining to take the least advantage of the weakness, or cupidity, or incapacity of any man. Every action, great or small, came before the tribunal of conscience, and, disregarding the judgment of men, he could not and would not engage in anjr undertaking upon which he was unable to ask God’s blessing.

It was this honest, straightforward trustworthiness that drew men to him, and justified the confidence of more than one who said, “If George Burns is prepared to go into any scheme, I am prepared to go in with him.”

“A sincere man,” says a quaint old writer, “is not gilded, hut gold; not a splendid and burnished plating outside to cover some baser metal within, but all the way through to the heart what he outwardly appears to he.”

And such a man was George Burns. What he was in the counting-house or the committee-room, he was in the chamber of prayer or at the communion table, and the self-same principles that made him a faithful servant of God made him a faithful man of business.


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