The Upward Spiral (Inspirational and Motivational Quotes to Kindle Your Fire of Desire Book 1)

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Again, 26 was the age my great-grandfather had reached before he undertook domestic responsibilities. And like caution was shown by my grandfather. A more pronounced manifestation of prudential feeling was habitually given by my great-grandmother, Elizabeth.

As said at the outset, facts of lineage may have significance where there are pronounced family-traits, and especially where these traits are manifested along both lines of ancestry.


This seems to be the case here. Beyond the relative independence of nature thus displayed, there was implied a correlative dependence on something higher than legislative enactments. Under circumstances indicated by the bearing of persecution for religious beliefs, nonconformity to human authority implies conformity to something regarded as higher than human authority.

And this conformity is of the same intrinsic nature whether it be shown towards a conceived personal Deity, or whether it be shown towards a Power transcending conception whence the established order proceeds—whether the rule of life is derived from supposed divine dicta or whether it is derived from ascertained natural principles. In either case there is obedience to regulations upheld as superior to the regulations made by men.

A further trait common to the two lines of forefathers Edition: current; Page: [ 13 ] is regard for remote results rather than for immediate results.

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Relinquishment of present satisfactions with the view of obtaining future satisfactions, is shown alike in that prudence which by self-denial seeks terrestrial welfare and by that prudence which by self-denial seeks celestial welfare. In both cases, proximate gratifications which are seen to be relatively small are sacrificed to future gratifications which are conceived as relatively great.

In the family-traits above described were visible both these aspects of the self-restraining nature. The elder Brettells, described by their son Jeremiah as moral and church-going people, gave such indications of this character as well-conducted life implies; and the Wesleyans among their children, displayed it in the form of preference for the promised happiness of a life hereafter to various pleasures of the present life.

Exhibiting the same trait in their creed and corresponding conduct, the Spencers exhibited it in other ways.

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The relatively late marriages indicated, and still more that emphatic advice to forecast, imply that the readiness to sacrifice the passing day for days to come was a family-characteristic. And this was recognized by some members of the last generation; for I remember in a letter of one uncle to another, a failing which they were said to have in common, was described as a tendency to dwell too much upon possible forthcoming evils. Has there not been inheritance of these ancestral traits, or some of them? That the spirit of nonconformity is shown by me in various directions, no one can deny: the disregard of authority, political, religious, or social, is very conspicuous.

Along with this there goes, in a transfigured form, a placing of principles having superhuman origins above rules having human origins; for throughout Edition: current; Page: [ 14 ] all writings of mine relating to the affairs of men, it is contended that ethical injunctions stand above legal injunctions. And once more, there is everywhere shown in my discussions of political questions, a contemplation of remote results rather than immediate results, joined with an insistence on the importance of the first as compared with that of the last.

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These analogies are so clear that it can scarcely, I think, be fancy on my part to regard them as implying a descent of family-characteristics. Pursuing the same course as before, I will here describe first those members of the grandparental group about whom there is least to be said. Of John Holmes, my maternal grandfather, the earliest record I have is an indenture of apprenticeship to John Evatt, a plumber and glazier in Derby, dated , and which identifies him as the son of Frances Holmes, widow, of the same place: the probability being that his deceased father had left wife and child with but narrow means.

Save the possible relationship before named, to the Holmeses of Brailsford, this is all I know of his antecedents. I infer that he succeeded to Mr. At any rate he carried on with success the specified trade for many years, and became a prosperous man. This is shown by the fact that when my mother was 20 in he had a suburban house in addition to his place of business.

Soon after, however, he illustrated the truth that men who are prudent in small matters are apt to commit extreme imprudences in large matters: their caution having prevented them from gaining those experiences which lead to knowledge of dangers. He was induced to enter into partnership with a man named Aucott, as a pin-manufacturer; and he supplied most, if not the whole, of the capital. The enterprise was a failure and he lost nearly all of his property: partly through Edition: current; Page: [ 16 ] non-success of the business and partly by becoming security for his partner. In common with all members of both families in that generation, he was a Wesleyan, and an active member of the connexion in Derby.

I saw much of him during my early boyhood, when he had partially lost his faculties and wandered a good deal—wandered in a double sense, for his failure of memory took the form of supposing that he had matters of business to look after, and led to rambles through the town with a vain desire to fulfil them. Joined with the remembrance of this goes the remembrance of his peculiar walk—a walk which seemed about to break into a run, as though he were hurried. Eagerness in the fulfilment Edition: current; Page: [ 17 ] of duty survived even after mental decay had gone far.

A portrait of her which is shown in this volume probably flatters her unduly, for I remember my mother said that it was not a good likeness. That she had, however, some attractions, mental or bodily or both, is shown by verses addressed to her, and signed Sarah Crole, expressed in the high-flown style of eulogy common in those days.

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From an expression in the letter accompanying the verses I have named, it seems that Sarah Crole was a governess, and that the verses were addressed to my grandmother on her departure for England in July, The marriage to my grandfather must have been rather late. Her birth being in and her return from America being in , she must have been something like My mother, born in , was the only child.

Such evidence as there is implies that this maternal grandmother was a commonplace person. Indeed, my father described her as vulgar-minded.

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His estimate was doubtless influenced by her persistent opposition to his marriage with my mother: an opposition founded, as it seems, on worldly considerations. That she took a purely Edition: current; Page: [ 18 ] mercantile view of marriage, I find further evidence in a letter to her from a nephew—John Bromley, a London auctioneer—expostulating with her upon this opposition, and implying that she ignored altogether the sentimental element in the relation.

Perhaps this was not, however, then so decided an evidence of character as it would be now; for in those days there still survived the ideas and usages which subordinated the wills of children to the wills of parents, in the choice of husbands or wives, and made motives of policy the exclusive, or almost exclusive, determinants. In justice to her I should add that her disapproval of the marriage was in part prompted by the belief that her daughter would be too much subordinated; and in this she proved to be right. A tolerably distinct image of my grandfather Spencer remains with me.

It is the image of a melancholy-looking old man, sitting by the fireside, rarely saying anything, and rarely showing any sign of pleasure. The only smiles I ever saw on his face occurred when he patted me on the head during my childhood. When, some 40 years ago, inquiries prompted a reference to Dr. But both faces had the same worn and sad look. Not improbably religious fears had something to do with this chronic melancholy; or perhaps these merely gave a definite form to the depression caused by constitutional exhaustion. His mature life had been passed during war time, when taxes were heavy and the necessaries of life Edition: current; Page: [ 19 ] dear; and the rearing of a large family on the proceeds of a school, augmented to but a small extent by the returns from his little property at Kirk-Ireton, had been a heavy burden upon him.

Leaving the Derby Grammar School out of the comparison, his school was about the best in the place. In my early days I remember hearing sundry leading men of the town speak of having been his pupils. But in addition to teaching his own school, he played the part of a master at the Grammar School. He was not a classical master, but he undertook the commercial division of the education given there. As one of the masters he had some of the Grammar-School boys as boarders, and from his account book I see that one of them was a son of Mr.

Nightingale of Leahurst: not, however, an ancestor of Miss Nightingale, for the present Nightingales assumed the name on the property coming to them. This must have been before increase of his own family filled all available space in his house.


There was no decided mark of intellectual superiority in him. He must have been a teacher entirely of the old kind—a mechanical teacher. Nor does he seem to have had any intellectual ambition or appreciation of intellectual culture.

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So far from encouraging my father in studies lying beyond or above the routine work of teaching, he spoke disapprovingly of them: wondering how my father could waste time over them. If he possessed mental faculty above the average, it must have been latent, or must have been rendered dormant by the labours of his hard life. But if nothing in the way of intellectual superiority can be ascribed to him, there may be ascribed a marked moral superiority. As I gathered from the remarks dropped concerning John Hallam by my father and uncles, he was one of the few men who have attempted to carry out Christian ethics with literalness.

That his unusual character produced a great impression in the locality, is shown by the fact that there exists a mezzotint portrait of him, and is further shown by a passage contained in a letter by my Aunt Mary to my father.

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Speaking of a conversation with some pedlar who had been named to her by John Hallam, she said that the man expressed his feeling by saying that when John Hallam died he should put on his worst clothes: meaning, as it appears, that lacking other means of going into mourning, he should mourn in that way a curious reversion to a primitive form.

My grandfather so far sympathized with this John Hallam and his eccentricities, that he invited him to take up his abode at No. Born in and marrying in , when nearly 28, she had eight children, led a very active life, and lived till Edition: current; Page: [ 21 ] dying at the age of 84 in possession of all her faculties. Her constitutional strength was shown by the fact that some writing of hers which I possess was written at the age of 80 without spectacles. Like her husband she was a follower of John Wesley. She knew him personally, and was among the few who attached themselves to him in the days when he was pelted by the populace. At the time of her death she was the oldest member of the Wesleyan connexion in Derby. Of her original appearance there exists no evidence. Of her face in old age the portrait gives a fair idea.

It is reproduced from a pencil sketch I made of her in , when she was in her 83rd year. This sketch shows her as wearing the plain Methodist cap, which she adhered to all through life: this being a part of that wholly unornamented dress which, in the early days of Methodism, was, I think, de rigucur —a point of community with Quakerism. Nothing was specially manifest in her, intellectually considered, unless, indeed, what would be called sound common sense. But of her superior emotional nature the proofs were marked.

Unwearying, compassionate, good-tempered, conscientious, and affectionate, she had all the domestic virtues in large measures. How far this was due to her strong religious feeling, and how far to original character, I am not prepared to say. No doubt the two factors co-operated; but, in the absence of high moral endowments, no religious feeling would have sufficed to produce the traits she displayed. There are two ways in which a superior creed may act. Either the subordination-element in it may impress, and there may be great observance of prescribed usages, an habitual expression of reverence, manifestations of fear and obedience; Edition: current; Page: [ 22 ] or there may be more especially operative the ethical element associated with the creed.

In the case of both these grandparents, while the subordination-element, which Christianity involves was duly recognized, the ethical element, revived as it was in Wesleyanism, was more especially appreciated. Their innate tendencies were mainly the causes of their high moral manifestations, while, no doubt, these innate tendencies were strengthened by the religious sanction.