The value of his advice.--His beautiful nature. Since he passed from life many months have gone by, and still I have not found myself competent to put into words my feelings for him and my estimate of him. For he is as yet too near, the restraint of his spirit too effective. All through my life I have been the easy prey of the cheap adventurer. He came, he lied, he robbed, and went his way, and the next one arrived by the next train and began to scrape up what was left. I was in the toils of one of these creatures sixteen years ago, and it was Mr. Rogers who got me out. We were strangers when we met, and friends when we parted, half an hour afterward. The meeting was accidental and unforeseen, but it had memorable and fortunate consequences for me. He dragged me out of that difficulty, and also out of the next one--a year or two later--which was still more formidable than its predecessor. He did these saving things at no cost to my self-love, no hurt to my pride; indeed, he did them with so delicate an art that I almost seemed to have done them myself. By no sign, no hint, no word did he ever betray any consciousness that I was under obligations to him. I have never been so great as that, and I have not known another who was. I have never approached it; it belongs among the loftiest of human attributes. This is a world where you get nothing for nothing; where you pay value for everything you get and 50 per cent over; and when it is gratitude you owe, you have to pay a thousand. In fact, gratitude is a debt which usually goes on accumulating, like blackmail; the more you pay, the more is exacted. In time you are made to realize that the kindness done you is become a curse and you wish it had not happened. You find yourself situated as was Mr. W., a friend of friends of mine, years ago. He was rich and good-hearted and appreciative. His wife's life was saved by a grocer's young man, who stopped her runaway horses. Her husband was grateful beyond words. For he supposed gratitude was a sentiment; he did not know it had a price and that he was not the one to determine the rate. But by and by he was educated. Then he said to the grocer's young man, "Take this five hundred dollars and vanish; I have had you and your tribe on my back three years, and if ever another man saves my wife's life, let him buy a coffin, for he will need it." Mr. Rogers was a great man. No one denies him that praise. He was great in more ways than one--ways in which other men are great, ways in which he had not a monopoly; but in that fine trait which I have mentioned he was uniquely great; he held that high place almost alone, almost without a sharer. If nobilities of character were accorded decorations symbolizing degrees of merit and distinction, I think this one could claim rank, unchallenged, with the Garter and the Golden Fleece. But what I am trying to place before unfamiliar eyes is the heart of him. When the publishing house of Webster & Company failed, in the early '90's, its liabilities exceeded its assets by 66 per cent. I was morally bound for the debts, though not legally. The panic was on, business houses were falling to ruin everywhere, creditors were taking the assets--when there were any--and letting the rest go. Old business friends of mine said: "Business is business, sentiment is sentiment--and this is business. Turn the assets over to the creditors and compromise on that; other creditors are not getting 33 per cent." My wife said, "No, you will pay a hundred cents on the dollar." Mr. Rogers was certainly a business man--no one doubts that. People who know him only by printed report will think they know what his attitude would be in the matter. And they will be mistaken. He sided with my wife. He was the only man who had a clear eye for the situation, and could see that it differed from other apparently parallel situations. In substance he said this: "Business has its laws and customs, and they are justified; but a literary man's reputation is his life; he can afford to be money poor, but he cannot afford to be character poor; you must earn the cent per cent, and pay it." My nephew, the late Samuel E. Moffett--himself a literary man--felt in the same way, naturally enough; but I only mention him to recall and revivify a happy remark which he made, and which traveled around the globe: "Honor knows no statute of limitations." So it was decided. I must cease from idling and take up work again. I must write a book; also I must return to the lecture platform. My wife said I could clear off the load of debt in four years. Mr. Rogers was more cautious, more conservative, more liberal. He said I could have as many years as I wanted--seven to start with. That was his joke. When he was not in the humor for pleasantry, it was because he was asleep. Privately I was afraid his seven might be nearer the mark than Mrs. Clemens's four. One day I got a shock--a shock which disturbed me a good deal. I overheard a brief conversation between Mr. Rogers and a couple of other seasoned men of affairs. First Man of Affairs. "How old is Clemens?" Mr. Rogers. "Fifty-eight." First Man of Affairs. "Ninety-five per cent of the men who fail at fifty-eight never get up again." Second Man of Affairs. "You can make it ninety-eight per cent and be nearer right." Those sayings haunted me for several days, troubling me with melancholy forebodings, and would not be reasoned away by me. There wasn't any room for reasoning, anyway, so far as I could see. If, at fifty-eight, ninety-eight men in a hundred who fail never get up again, what chance had I to draw No. 99 or No. 100? However, the depression did not last; it soon passed away, because Mrs. Clemens took her always-ready pencil and paper, when she learned my trouble, and clearly and convincingly ciphered out the intake of the four years and the resultant success. I could see that she was right. Indeed, she was always right. In foresight, wisdom, accurate calculation, good judgment, and the ability to see all sides of a problem, she had no match among people I have known, except Mr. Rogers. Necessarily it took a good while to arrange the details and make the engagements for a lecture trip around the globe, but this labor was completed at last, and we made our start in the middle of July, 1895, booked ahead for twelve months. Meantime he was in command, in the matter of the creditors--and had been from the beginning. There were ninety-six creditors. He had meetings with them, discussions, arguments, persuasions, but no quarrels. Mrs. Clemens wanted to turn over to the creditors the house she had built in Hartford, and which stood in her name, but he would not allow it. Neither would he allow my copyrights to go to them. Mrs. Clemens had lent the Webster firm $65,000 upon its notes, in its perishing days, in the hope of saving its life, and Mr. Rogers insisted upon making her a preferred creditor and letting her have the copyrights in liquidation of the notes. He would not budge from this position, and the creditors finally yielded the point. Mr. Rogers insisted upon just two things besides the relinquishment of the copyrights: the creditors must be content with the Webster assets, for the present, and give me time to earn the rest of the firm's debt. He won them over. There were a clarity about his reasonings, and a charm about his manner, his voice, and the kindness and sincerity that looked out of his eyes, that could win anybody that had brains in his head and a heart in his body. Of the ninety-six creditors, only three or four stood out for rigorous and uncompromising measures against me and refused to relent. The others said I could go free and take my own time. They said they would obstruct me in no way and would bring no actions; and they kept their word. As to the three or four, I have never resented their animosity, except in my Autobiography. And even there, not in spite, not in malice, but only frankly and in only a brief chapter--a chapter which can never wound them, for I have every confidence that they will be in hell before it is printed. The long, long head that Mr. Rogers carried on his shoulders! When he was so strenuous about my copyrights, and so determined to keep them in the family, I was not able to understand why he should think the matter so important. He insisted that they were a great asset. I said they were not an asset at all; I couldn't even give them away. He said, wait--let the panic subside and business revive, and I would see; they would be worth more than they had ever been worth before. That was his idea--the idea of a financier, familiar with finance; of a capitalist, deep in railroads, oil, banks, iron, copper, telegraphs, and so on, and familiar with those things, but what could he know about books? What was his opinion about copyright values worth, if it clashed with the opinion of experienced old publishers? Which it did. The Webster failure threw seven of my books on my hands. I had offered them to three first-class publishers; they didn't want them. If Mr. Rogers had let Mrs. Clemens and me have our way, the copyrights would have been handed over to the publishers. I am grateful to his memory for many a kindness and many a good service he did me, but gratefulest of all for the saving of my copyrights--a service which saved me and my family from want and assured us permanent comfort and prosperity. How could he look into the future and see all that, when the men whose trade and training it was to exercise that technical vision were forecast blind and saw no vestige of it? This is only one example of the wonders of his mind; his intimates could cite many others, products of that rich treasury. I was never able to teach him anything about finance, though I tried hard and did the best I could. I was not able to move him. Once I had hopes for a little while. The Standard Oil declared one of its customary fury-breeding 40- or 50-per-cent dividends on its $100,000,000 capital, and the storm broke out, as usual. To the unposted public a 40- or 50-per-cent dividend could mean only one thing--the giant Trust was squeezing an utterly and wickedly unfair profit out of the helpless people; whereas in truth the giant Trust was not doing anything of the kind, but was getting only 5 or 6 per cent on the money actually invested in its business, which was eight or ten times a hundred millions. In my quality of uneducated financial expert I urged that the nominal capital be raised to $1,000,000,000; then next year's dividend would drop to 4 or 5 per cent, the year's profit would be the same as usual, but the usual storm would not happen. If I remember rightly, I think he offered the objection that the tenfold increase of taxes would be too heavy, and I rejoined that by the ill-veiled exultation in his eye I knew he regarded my suggestion as of vast value and was trying to invent some plausible way of getting out of paying a commission on it. I often gave him fresh financial ideas, quite uninvited; and in return--uninvited--he told me how to write my literature better; but nothing came of it, both of us remained as poor as ever. Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities which we ourselves lack. Hero worship consists in just that. Our heroes are the men who do things which we recognize, with regret, and sometimes with a secret shame, that we cannot do. We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes. Mr. Rogers was endowed with many great qualities; but the one which I most admired, and which was to me a constant reproach because I lacked it, was his unselfishness where a friend or a cause that was near his heart was concerned, and his native readiness to come forward and take vigorous hold of the difficulty involved and abolish it. I was born to indolence, idleness, procrastination, indifference--the qualities that constitute a shirk; and so he was always a wonder to me, and a delight--he who never shirked anything, but kept his master brain and his master hands going all day long, and every day, and was happiest when he was busiest, and apparently lightest of heart when his burden of labor and duty was heaviest. He could take trouble; I could not take trouble, either for myself or for anyone else. I dreaded anything that might disturb my ease and comfort, and would put that thing from me even when it cost me shame to do it; and so to see him take trouble, no end of trouble, days and days of trouble, and take it so patiently, so placidly, so interestedly--and so affectionately, too, if it was for somebody else--was to me a strange and marvelous thing, and beautiful. It probably never occurred to him to admire it; no, he would be occupied in admiring some quality in some one else which was lacking in his own composition. The question of what is a gentleman was being thrashed out in the newspapers shortly after Mr. Rogers's death, and many definitions were furnished, but no decision reached. The larger part of the definitions were in substance alike, differing only in small details and delicate shadings. They painted a lofty and charming and lovable personality. Mr. Rogers could have sat for that portrait.