BENEATH THE BANNER by F. J. Cross

The book can be downloaded as a free e-book from the Project Gutenberg site. Click on the following link http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10024/10024-8.txt

The book has around three dozen chapters each devoted to a famous person, including such worthies as Florence Nightingale, John Wesley, David Livingstone, General Gordon and Grace Darling.  I have extracted and pasted below the Chapter on George Moore which is entitled

'FROM FARM LAD TO MERCHANT PRINCE'

THE STORY OF GEORGE MOORE.

George Moore was born in Cumberland in 1807. His father was a small
farmer. He had the misfortune to lose his mother when he was six years
old; but his father was a good and pious man, whose example had a
great effect upon him.

The lad was shrewd and earnest, and showed a power of thinking and
acting for himself.

At one time he worked for his brother in return for his board and
lodging; but wishing to make some money for himself he asked the
neighbouring farmers to give him some extra work to do, for which he
got wages.

By the time he was ten years old he was able to earn as much as
eighteenpence a day, and at twelve years old did the work and earned
the wages of a full-grown man.

He had had but little schooling, and his master was one of those
persons who thought the best way to get learning implanted in a boy's
mind was by forcing it into him at the point of the ruler. He beat his
boys much, but taught them little.

To finish his education his father sent George for one quarter to a
better school. The cost was only eight shillings, but the boy then got
an idea for the first time of the value of learning.

He determined not to return to farm life, believing he could do better
for himself in a town. So at about thirteen years of age George Moore
began his business life as apprentice to a draper at Wigton.

He did not make at all a pleasant or successful start. His work was
very hard. He had to light fires, clean windows, groom horses, and
make himself generally useful. His master was fond of drink, and
George had to get his meals at a public-house. One of his duties was
to serve out spirits to customers who made good purchases.

All things considered, it is perhaps not surprising that he got into
bad habits himself. He began to gamble at cards, sitting up often
nearly all night, and losing or winning considerable sums of money.

At last a change came in a rather unexpected manner. George lodged at
his master's house, and when he went out to play was accustomed to
leave a window unfastened so that he could let himself in without
rousing the household. Somehow or other his master found out this
plan, and determined to put a stop to it. So one night when George had
gone out he nailed down the window, and when the apprentice returned
home in the early hours of the morning he found himself locked out.
Nothing daunted he climbed on to the roof and managed to get in
through his bedroom window.

But he narrowly escaped being discharged, and on thinking the matter
over he saw how great was his folly. So he determined, with God's
help, to give up his evil ways, and was enabled to lead a better life
in future.

As soon as his apprenticeship was up George Moore resolved to try his
fortune in London. At first everything went against him. He tramped
the streets of the city from morn till eve, calling here, there and
everywhere, seeking for employment, and finding no one to give him a
trial. At last he made up his mind to go to America. One day, however,
he received from a Cumberland man engaged in the drapery trade a
request to call upon him. To his intense delight he was engaged,
receiving a salary of thirty pounds a year.

George had now got his foot on the first round of the ladder, and made
up his mind to climb higher. So he at once took lessons at a night
school, and worked hard at self-education.

Then he got a better place; but, for a time, had to bear much abuse
from his master, who declared that, although he had come across many
blockheads from Cumberland, George was the stupidest one of all! Still
he bore the reproaches of his employer good-naturedly, and before long
made his mark. He was offered the position of town traveller, and soon
proved himself to be one of the cleverest business men of the time.

Before this, however, George had made up his mind about marriage.
Seeing his master's little daughter come into the shop he was much
struck by her appearance, and remarked that, if he were ever able to
marry, that girl should be his wife. His companions laughed at him
heartily; but, as a matter of fact, he did marry that girl, though she
refused him the first time he asked.

From this it will be seen that George Moore was no ordinary youth; and
before he had been travelling for his firm long, they discovered his
value. So did another firm, which found he was taking away their
business, and offered him £500 a year to travel for them. But George
told them nothing less than a partnership would satisfy him; and as
they were determined to secure his services they gave it him, and at
the age of twenty-three George Moore became junior partner in the
famous house of Groucock & Copestake, to which the name of Moore was
then added.

His fortune was thus early made, and his business life was one
continued series of successes. He had an immense capacity for work,
and boasted that for twelve years he laboured sixteen hours a day.

Yet his energies were not confined to business. After a time, when
he no longer needed to work so hard for himself, he took up various
charitable schemes, and by his intense vigour soon obtained for them
remarkable support. The Commercial Travellers' Schools was one of the
institutions in which he took great interest. These schools were built
at a cost of about £25,000, the greater portion of which he obtained.

In his native county, in his house of business; everywhere George
Moore became famed for his liberal gifts. He spent £15,000 in building
a church in one of the poorest districts of London. He visited Paris
just after the siege to assist in the distribution of the funds
subscribed in England; and to many charitable schemes he subscribed
with a generous hand.

In November, 1876, he was knocked down in the streets of Carlisle by a
runaway horse, and carried into the hospital to die. He had expressed
a wish when he was in good health to be told when he was dying; so his
wife said to him, "We have often talked about heaven. Perhaps Jesus is
going to take you home. You are willing to go with Him, are you not?"

"Yes," he replied; "I fear no evil ... He will never leave me, nor
forsake me."

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