Shifting For Himself; or, Gilbert Greyson's Fortunes
SHIFTING FOR HIMSELF;
FAMOUS ALGER BOOKS.
RAGGED DICK SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 6 vols. 12mo. Cloth.
- Ragged Dick.
- Fame and Fortune.
- Mark the Match Boy.
- Rough and Ready
- Ben the Luggage Boy.
- Rufus and Rose.
TATTERED TOM SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 4 vols. 12mo. Cloth. First Series.
- Tattered Tom.
- Phil the Fiddler.
- Phil the Fiddler
- Slow and Sure
TATTERED TOM SERIES. 4 vols. 12mo. Cloth. Second Series.
- The Young Outlaw.
- Sam’s Chance.
- The Telegraph Boy.
CAMPAIGN SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 3 vols.
- Frank’s Campaign.
- Paul Prescott’s Charge.
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LUCK AND PLUCK SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 4 vols. 12mo. Cloth. First Series.
- Luck and Pluck.
- Strong and Steady.
- Strive and Succeed.
LUCK AND PLUCK SERIES. 4 vols. 12mo. Cloth. Second Series.
- Try and Trust.
- Bound to Rise.
- Risen from the Ranks.
- Herbert Carter’s Legacy.
BRAVE AND BOLD SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 4 vols. 12mo. Cloth.
- Brave and Bold.
- Jack’s Ward.
- Shifting for Himself.
- Wait and Hope.
PACIFIC SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 4 vols. 12mo.
- The Young Adventurer.
- The Young Miner.
- The Young Explorers.
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ATLANTIC SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 4 vols.
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- Do and Dare.
- Hector’s Inheritance.
- Helping Himself.
WAY TO SUCCESS SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 4 vols. 12mo. Cloth.
- Bob Burton.
- The Store Boy.
- Luke Walton.
- Struggling Upward.
NEW WORLD SERIES. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 3 vols. 12mo. Cloth.
- Digging for Gold.
- Facing the World.
- In a New World.
“Shifting for Himself” records the experiencesof a boy who, in the course of apreparation for college, suddenly finds himselfreduced to poverty. He is obliged toleave his books, and give up his cherishedplans. How cheerfully Gilbert Greyson acceptedthe situation, and settled down to regularwork, what obstacles he encounteredand overcame, and what degree of successhe met with in the end, the reader of thisstory will learn.
Though it must be admitted that Gilbertwas more fortunate than the majority ofboys in his position, it is claimed that hedisplayed qualities which may wisely be imitatedby all boys who are called upon tovishift for themselves. In the last three yearsmany thousand American boys have beencompelled, like Gilbert, to give up theircherished hopes, and exchange school-life fornarrow means and hard work. Nothing ismore uncertain than riches; and such casesare liable to occur at all times. I shall beglad if the story of Gilbert Greyson andhis fortunes gives heart or hope to any ofmy young readers who are similarly placed.The loss of wealth often develops a manlyself-reliance, and in such cases it may provea blessing in disguise.
New York, Oct. 20, 1876.
Dr. Burton’s boarding-school was in a fermentof hope and expectation. To-morrow was the endof the term, and vacation, so dear to the heart ofevery school-boy, was close at hand.
The school was not a large one. There weretwenty-four boarding pupils, and an equal numberof day-scholars from the village of Westville, inwhich the school had been established twenty yearsbefore. It was favorably situated, being only fortymiles from New York. Half the boarding-scholarswere from the city, and half from more distant places.10Generally two or three pupils were sent to collegeeach year, and, as the principal was a thoroughscholar, maintained a creditable, often a high rank.
The school-session was over, and the boys separatedinto little knots. The day-scholars mostly went home,carrying their books under their arms.
Among the little knots we must direct particularattention to two boys, one a boarding-scholar, theother a day-scholar. The first was Gilbert Greyson,a handsome, spirited boy of sixteen; the other, JohnMunford, of about the same age, and much moreplainly dressed. John was the son of a carpenter,of limited means, and had already begun to learnhis father’s business. But the father was sensibleof the advantages of education, and had permittedhis son to spend six months of each year at school,on condition that he would work the balance of thetime. This arrangement seemed fair to John, andhe took care, whether he studied or worked, to doboth in earnest.
“How do you feel about vacation, John?” askedGilbert.
11“I was in no hurry to have it come, Gilbert. Itis likely to be a very long vacation to me.”
“I have got through my school-life.”
“What! Are you not coming back next term?”asked Gilbert, with evident disappointment, for Johnwas his most intimate friend.
“Neither next term, nor any other term, Gilbert,I am sorry to say.”
“Have you finished your education, then?”
“So far as school goes.”
“I am sorry for that. I shall miss you more thanany one else.”
“We shall still meet, I hope. I shall be at work;but there will be times—in the evening—when wecan see each other.”
“No doubt; but that won’t be like sitting at thesame desk, and studying together. You had betterlet me ask your father to send you one more year.”
John shook his head.
“No, Gilbert, it ought not to be. My father ispoor you know, and it has been a sacrifice to him12to spare me half the year thus far. Now I must goto work in earnest, and perfect myself in my trade,that I may relieve him of all expense on myaccount.”
“I suppose you are right, John; but I shall missyou none the less. Somehow I never could bereconciled to your becoming a carpenter. You arenot cut out for it.”
“Don’t you think I will make a good one?” askedJohn, smiling.
“I am sure you will; but that isn’t the question.Do you think you are better fitted for that than foranything else?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Do you prefer that trade to any other business?”
“No; but I can’t choose for myself. I shouldrather be a teacher, or a lawyer; but there is smallchance for either. For either I should be obliged tostudy years, and I can’t afford to do that. A carpenterI am to be, and I will try to make a goodone. Now, your case is different. You are goingto school next year, I suppose?”
13“Yes, I suppose so. That is as my guardiandetermines, and no letter has been received from himyet. I believe Dr. Burton is expecting one to-dayor to-morrow.”
“You won’t spend the summer here, I suppose,Gilbert?”
“I am hoping to make a little tour, as I did lastyear.”
“You went to the White Mountains then.”
“Yes, and had a jolly good time.”
“Where will you go this year?”
“I want to go to Niagara, stopping on the way atSaratoga. I have estimated that I can do it for ahundred dollars,—the same that my last summer’strip cost me.”
“It must be splendid to travel,” said John, enthusiastically.“I mean to see something of the worldsome day, though I suspect that I shall be a prettyold boy before I am able to. I have no guardian tosend me money. I must earn my money before Ispend it.”
“I never earned a dollar in my life,” said Gilbert.14“I wonder how it would seem if I had to supportmyself, and make my own way in the world.”
“It would seem hard at first. It comes natural tome; but then I have been differently brought up fromyou.”
“I rather envy you, John,” said Gilbert, thoughtfully.“You are so much more self-reliant, so muchbetter able to take care of yourself.”
“It’s the difference in the training, Gilbert. I’veno doubt it’s in you; but circumstances have neverbrought it out. You expect to go to Yale Collegea year hence, don’t you?”
“I expect to; at least that has been Dr. Burton’splan; but my guardian has never expressed his opinion.He has simply given his consent