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He Aimed High And Hit The Mark
by [?]

“Without vision the people perish”

Without a high ideal an individual never climbs. Keep your eyes on the mountain top, and, though you may stumble and fall many times in the ascent, though great bowlders, dense forests, and roaring torrents may often bar the way, look right on, never losing sight of the light which shines away up in the clear atmosphere of the mountain peak, and you will ultimately reach your goal.

When the late Horace Maynard, LL.D., entered Amherst College, he exposed himself to the ridicule and jibing questions of his fellow-students by placing over the door of his room a large square of white cardboard on which was inscribed in bold outlines the single letter “V.” Disregarding comment and question, the young man applied himself to his work, ever keeping in mind the height to which he wished to climb, the first step toward which was signified by the mysterious “V.”

Four years later, after receiving the compliments of professors and students on the way he had acquitted himself as valedictorian of his class, young Maynard called the attention of his fellow-graduates to the letter over his door. Then a light broke in upon them, and they cried out, “Is it possible that you had the valedictory in mind when you put that ‘V’ over your door?”

“Assuredly I had,” was the emphatic reply.

On he climbed, from height to height, becoming successively professor of mathematics in the University of Tennessee, lawyer, member of Congress, attorney-general of Tennessee, United States minister to Constantinople, and, finally, postmaster-general.

Honorable ambition is the leaven that raises the whole mass of mankind. Ideals, visions, are the stepping-stones by which we rise to higher things.

“Still, through our paltry stir and strife,
Glows down the wished ideal,
And longing molds in clay what life
Carves in the marble real;

“To let the new life in, we know,
Desire must ope the portal,–
Perhaps the longing to be so
Helps make the soul immortal.”