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Title: Stop! - A Handy Monitor, Pocket Conscience and Portable Guardian - against the World, the Flesh and the Devil
Author: Urner, Nathan Dean
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  _A Handy Monitor and
  Pocket Conscience._


  By Author of NEVER and ALWAYS.


  Over a MILLION Sold


  Queenie Hetherton


  For Sale Everywhere

  Price, $1.50.


  _A Handy Monitor, Pocket Conscience
  and Portable Guardian
  against the World,
  the Flesh and the

“Stop! To pause, knock off, let up, cheese it, switch off, give it a
rest, cut short, stand like a rock, kick against, shut down, bring up
with a round turn, hold hard,” etc.--THESAURUS.

“What would you, sir? I pray you _stop_, nor yield a hair to vicious






  _G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers_.



  Stereotyped by
  42 DEY STREET, N. Y.




_THE pining need of a work of this kind--an instructive sharpener in
book-form, as it were, of the moral faculty--has long been so seriously
felt that the author eagerly hastens to supply it._

_In_ “NEVER” _and_ “ALWAYS,” _his appeal was rather
to the externalities of life. In_ “STOP,” _his aim is to
regulate the very springs of impulse, deliberation and resolve. In
other words, there is not a temptation that he would not strip of its
disguise, not an unworthy motive that he would not pulverize as with a
corrective club, not a misleading conceit that he would not skewer to
its squirming source._

_Although the pearls of thought and monitory gems herewith presented
are intended mainly for young men just entering upon the great work of
life, there is neither man nor maid, stripling nor patriarch, saphead
nor sage who may not scramble for them with avidity, and glory in their

_Young man, are you hesitating in the choice of a vocation? A reference
to the admonitions under this head in_ “STOP” _may be the
means of your becoming a Millionaire, a Police Magistrate or an
ornament to society. Are you in love, or willing to be? A consultation
of the advice at your command may place you in such hobnobbing,
soul-wedded relations with the rosy god as shall cause you to charm,
to captivate, and finally to wrest the rapt, responsive throb from
Beauty’s battlemented heart. Are you a driveling idiot in money
matters? Imbibe, and be wise. And so on, through all the departments of

_Thus, panoplied, as it were, against the World, the Flesh and the
Devil, you might eventually, in an agony of gratitude and wonderment,
eulogize the author in the significant words of Hamlet, slightly
altered, to the following effect:_

_“’Sblood! he plays on me easier than on a pipe! He would seem to know
my_ STOPS; _he would pluck out the heart of my mystery; he
would sound me from my lowest notes to the top of my compass; there is
so much music, excellent voice and incomparable counsel in this little





  In Choosing a Vocation                            9

  In General Deportment                            19

  In Love Affairs                                  27

  In Money Matters                                 39

  In Guarding Against Bad Habits                   48

  In Judging Others                                55

  In Recreations                                   64

  In the Domestic Relations                        73

  In Business Life                                 84

  In Thought, Word and Deed                        91




In Choosing a Vocation.

Stop, first, and reflect what you are fit for. To rush recklessly into
an occupation of which you are as ignorant as a horse is of music, is
not to be thought of.

Stop, next, and consider if what you have in view is respectable. Or,
if too much of an ass to distinguish between banking and bunco, for
instance, read up carefully on horse-sense.

Stop, again, and be sure that your choice is in keeping with your
capacity. To essay one of the learned professions if wholly uneducated,
speculative pursuits if a natural born fool, or hod-carrying if
lily-handed, spindle-propped and wasp-waisted, is hardly a proof of

Stop, your career being chosen, to master its rudiments before essaying
its higher walks. Rome was not built in a day, nor is any vocation a
spring-board to waft you into the empyrean at the primary bounce.

Stop long enough to master the rule of “addition, division and
silence,” if seeking political preferrment, or employment as a
confidential clerk.

Stop long enough in one vocation to give it a fair trial.
Jacks-of-all-trades--men who are studying law in the morning,
counter-hopping after dinner, peddling soap to-day, starting a bank
to-morrow--are seldom successful.

Stop, and ponder deeply, before becoming that pitiable object, a
professional office-seeker. Rather sink your independence of thought
and action at once by marrying for money, or toadying upon a rich

Stop, if a lawyer’s office-boy, before intruding your legal views upon
your employer’s graver consultations. Think! Should you excite his
professional envy at the outset?

Stop, if beginning as a dry-goods clerk, before imagining yourself a
silent partner in the concern, with your four dollars a week as its
chief investment. Self-respect is one thing, unmitigated, idiotic
asininity another.

Stop, if at the tape-and-shoestrings counter, before aspiring to
the glittering generalities of the ribbons and laces, or the grave
responsibilities of the white-goods department. The cares of these high
functions may surpass your conception, and we must creep before we

Stop before entering the ministry, if without religious convictions, a
sacrilegious scoffer, and morally depraved.

Stop on the ragged edge of the fallacy that your place, or any man’s
cannot be filled by another. When men die, as they all must, are their
places not always filled?

Stop on the brink of blatant, unaccredited, irresponsible quackery
in anything, but especially if desirous of becoming a disciple of

Stop, if contemplating a banking career, and inquire if you have a
mathematical mind and attainments. A vague acquaintance with the rule
of three, together with a mouth-watering desire for colossal wealth,
cannot alone enable you to rival the wizards of finance.

Stop before setting up on your own account, unless thoroughly in
earnest. Even a peanut-stand may be dignified by business energy and

Stop short, bring up with a round turn, at any inducement, however
dazzling, that is not strictly honest. You can better afford to be
mediocre than obnoxious.

Stop, and consider well, before taking up a patent lightning-rod.
Agents are already numerous, and farmers’ dogs on the alert.

Stop, before joining the army of commercial drummers, and be sure that
you possess three qualifications in a superlative degree, _i.e._: cheek,
pertinacity and the gift of gab.

Stop, should you become a drummer, at the nineteenth lie in support of
one line of goods. Mendacity hath its limits, and even the credulity of
a yokel may be gorged.

Stop on the giddy verge of over-estimate in any business. “Hope,” says
_Lacon_, “is a prodigal young heir, and experience is his banker; but
his drafts are seldom honored, because he draws largely on a small
capital, is not yet in possession, and if he were, would _die_.”

Stop, indignantly repel, all inducements on the part of advertising
sharks. Their name is legion, and they seek but to devour.

Stop, howsoever tempted, at the allurements of roguery, embezzlement,
rascality, and satanic suggestions of every description. If you must be
a cutpurse let it be on the broad highway, pistol in hand, dime-novel
at heart, and the gallows in sight.

Stop, if contemplating a political career, and distinctly settle this
question in your mind: Am I to boss the party, or is the party to boss
me? There is nothing like avoiding a confusion of ideas.

Stop, next, and be certain that your ambition is not o’erleaping its
aim. Pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon, if possible, but
to make a dead set for the Presidency and bring up as a police-court
janitor, or coroner’s assistant, is apt to prove discouraging.

Stop, even if rich, before entering upon pleasure as a business. Few
constitutions can long stand the racket, _ennui_ is the result, and
premature death its bourne.

Stop before entering the literary profession, if devoid of imagination,
a proverbial fool, and with but a lazy comprehension of orthography,
grammar and syntax.

Stop, next, and ask yourself, what great author, dead or living, shall
I emulate? Then, be your model Shakespeare or Bartley Campbell,
Thackeray or Tupper, Byron or the _Burlington Hawkeye_, stick to your
ideal, revel in ink and starve for glory.

Stop, if of a dramatic turn, before absolutely forcing a manager to
produce your play. There are, unfortunately, legal safeguards for even
this species of credulous, unsophisticated, professionals.

Stop, and reflect profoundly, before adopting pugilism as a vocation,
if constitutionally weak in the back, color-blind, short-winded, and
timid to pusillanimity.

Stop before deciding upon a histrionic career, until satisfied that you
are not better fitted for an auction-room or a junk-shop.

Stop, in any calling, long enough to become familiar with the foot of
the ladder before clawing ineffectually at the top-round. Beginning
at the top, to come down with a rush, is reserved for millionaires’
sons, holders of winning lottery-tickets and cat’s-paws of nominating



In General Deportment.

Stop at the assumption of a supercilious, ducal air, especially if
small of stature, monkey-brained and impecunious. This is solely the
privilege of floor-walkers, brained midgets and actresses’ husbands.

Stop, on the other hand, if tall and commanding, before cultivating a
creeping, crushed demeanor, unless you are a colporteur or dog-stealer.

Stop on the brink of wholly disregarding the prevailing fashions.
Knee-breeches, shoe-buckles, a powdered wig, and a swallow-tailed coat,
with the waist-buttons between the shoulder-blades, would stamp you as
an eccentric at the present day.

Stop before despising the requirements of the seasons. A straw-hat in a
snow-storm, for instance, would excite remark.

Stop when vanity counsels an excess of ornament. To exhibit a jewel or
two with judgment is one thing, to groan under a clanking avoirdupois
of gauds and trinkets another.

Stop at the claims of both a cadaverous gravity and a causeless
facetiousness of demeanor. Neither the belfry owl nor the proverbial
basket of chips should be your model in this regard.

Stop on the verge of unnecessary violence in word and deed. Resent, if
you must, without preliminary roaring. The deadly submarine torpedo is
terrible in its explosion, but less noisy than the harmless bursting of
an inflated paper-bag.

Stop before criticising what you do not understand. The bore indulging
in this species of idiocy is deserving of an enforced association with
numerous mothers-in-law in a whisper-gallery.

Stop, indeed, snap your jaws to like a spring-trap, at the very
suggestion of an oath or low expression. “Profanity,” says _Lacon_,
“never yet dignified wrath nor emphasized a great purpose.”

Stop before indulging in covert sneers. Indeed, “a good, mouth-filling
oath” is preferable, because less hypocritical, but an ungarnished
assertion is better than either.

Stop before meanly insinuating what should be plainly spoken. Even if
a man owes you money, which you think he ought to pay, tell him so, or
ask for an explanation, instead of conveying your meaning through an
allusion to his current expense or new clothes. This is the course of a
sneak and a coward.

Stop, rather, and bewail the abolition of imprisonment for debt,
or tell him that he ought to live cheaply and go in rags until he

Stop before assuming a rasping, file-edged, whip-in-hand demeanor
toward your dependents or inferiors. Apart from its villainously
bad taste, the whirligig of time may bring about a transposition of
relations, and then where are you?

Stop, on the other hand, ere adopting a groveling, sycophantic,
ultra-ingratiating manner with your superiors. “The flavor that can
only be won by fawning servility is seldom of great worth.”

Stop before persisting in a style of laugh that can betray your motives
to your disadvantage. The “He, he, he!” of hypocrisy is as patent as
the “Haw, haw, haw!” of the windbag.

Stop at an unwarranted ostentation of speech and bearing. The
dung-hill bird is distinguished quite as much by his strut as by his

Stop, in addressing a woman, and consider the privilege of her sex,
even if she may have aggrieved you.

Stop, on the other hand, before over-whelming her with an excess of
courtesy. Over-attentiveness to women always inspires a suspicion as
to its motive.

Stop before retailing a scandal, even if convinced of its truth. This
is the province of the incorrigible gossip and the newspaper reporter,
with neither of whom you can hope to cope.

Stop on the threshold of a temptation to distort the truth.
Plausibility in lying is an art in which but few can earn distinction.

Stop before disputing a fact, however distasteful, that can be proved
by statistical evidence. Figures are not apt to lie, save on gas-metres.

Stop before adhering to an error through a mistaken sense of shame.
“Who acknowledgeth his error showeth an increase of wisdom; who
stubbornly adhereth to what hath been disproved confesseth himself a

Stop short of the conceit that irresistibility with the fair sex
depends on good-looks alone. The manners make the man.

Stop before aping the characteristics of another, however exalted.
The gesticulations of the Frenchman would be unseemly in the staid
Hidalgo, and that which would be a pleasing originality in one might be
a preposterous parody in the imitator.

Stop short of the notion that wiseacre looks and frigidity of manner
will always be indicative of reserved force and intellectual acumen.
The owl is the solemnest and likewise the stupidest of birds.

Stop, whenever in moral doubt or distress, and consult the masterly
advice and sage promptings of this jewel of a book. It shall be unto
you “as rivers of water in a dry place, or the shadow of a great rock
in a weary land.”



In Love Affairs.

Stop!--That burning thought--that delirium in thy heart--as to the
lovely being whose image is before thee night and day--is it such as
her modesty and virtue, her seraphic guilelessness should inspire? if
not, away with it--blot it out!

Stop! Was she rather plain than peerless, and is it the thought of her
father’s bonds and shekels that now summons the enamored hectic to thy
virile cheek? Away with it, likewise, and for shame! Shall blood with
boodle blend--emotion cringe at Mammon’s beck--and Love be unavenged?

Stop! Stay yet again thy headlong plunge! Was she yet lovely, an houri
of a dream, but still beneath thee in family, station, fortune, and
didst therefore smile but to deceive? If so, hold hard, hug this sweet
volume to thy heart of hearts, and sin no more!

Stop, and meditate upon the three foregoing paragraphs, for in them are
embodied the cardinal principles in making love: Purity of purpose,
Disinterestedness and Truth.

Stop for some encouragement before rendering your attentions
universally conspicuous. A glance of the eye, a tremor of the lip, the
merest shadow of a blush upon the seashell-tinted cheek, will suffice.

Stop, if such subtle signs are wanting or withheld, and plan some
deep-laid scheme to unveil heart’s predilection, indifference, or
dislike. Oysters and ice-cream are still available in their respective

Stop before mistaking a passing fancy for a wild, consuming maddening,
over-mastering, star-jostling passion. This mistake has evoked more
paternal walking-sticks and breach-of-promise suits than would keep a
French novelist in subject-matter for a twelvemonth.

Stop, after falling head over ears in love, to collect your senses
and formulate your plans. An inconsiderate, maniacal rush into a
declaration is often repented at leisure.

Stop, if not certain of your ground, before wholly unmasking your
batteries. Delicate attentions, even worshiping, awe-struck glances
from afar, are time-old preliminaries, but none the less effective.

Stop, however, on the threshold of feverish demonstration at the
outset. Furnace-like sighs, dazed, dumb-founded looks, like those of an
expiring calf, and frenzied bodily contortions may be brought to bear
in their own good time.

Stop short of opposing her tastes and convictions. To gently chime
with them, whether you have any of your own or not, while preserving
a vigorous masculinity in favor of quail-gorging, head-punching and
kindred noble sports, is in the main commendable.

Stop before vaunting a wild, atheistical or Ingersollian contempt
for all things sacred, if she should be of a deeply religious turn.
However, this is not to prescribe a regular biblical course, a very
little of which goes a great way in the wooing o’t.

Stop before disclaiming all love for music, or suggesting the banjo or
bagpipe as your favorite instrument, should she dote on the opera, sing
divinely and be a piano-pounder of no mean ability in her own person.

Stop before depreciating anything the dear creature does, or tries to
do. Eagerly demand another song, even if the screech of her first has
ruined your tympanum, call her verses divine, if they are no better
than Tennyson’s latest senility, swear that her favorite scent is
yours, even if ’tis musk or garlic, and build, build as with a wand,
the shining edifice of love!

Stop right off at the idea that there may be anything hypocritical or
insincere advised in the foregoing paragraph. If really in love, you
will religiously believe everything you tell her, and more too.

Stop, first, however, and study the character of your enchantress. All
women are no more to be wooed alike than are all fish to be tempted
with the same kind of bait.

Stop before addressing a brainy, well-read penetrative divinity as you
would a laughing elf, a careless, careless fay, a butterfly of mirth
and joy. An Hypatia is not a Hebe, and reflect! Would you tempt an
eagle with a moth-light, or a striped-bass with an eel-bob?

Stop, if she be intellectual, and study up to an equality with her
tastes, should you be her inferior. Then scientific discussions,
with poetry as a side-dish, may gradually lead up to the delicious
desideratum of two hearts that beat as one.

Stop, however, at the error of preferring her intellectual to her
physical charms. She is a lovely liar if she pretends to a desire for
such preference, and your sin will be unpardonable, should you take her
at her word.

Stop, in any case, before praising another woman’s good-looks in the
adored one’s presence. In fact, you can afford her no pleasanter
flattery than by a systematic depreciation of a prettier woman’s

Stop, if she be a Hebe, we will say, and plunge recklessly amid her
paucity of ideas. Flounder in folly, palpitate with persiflage, at her
giggling beck; and here is ample opportunity for the silent eloquence
of the nosegay, the oyster, or the iced refreshment, not less than
for the princely prodigality of the opera, the midnight coupe and the
church fair lottery.

Stop short of any display of fear in her presence, even if you are
timorous to the core. Let her do the shrieking at the onset of a mouse,
but stand you as the rugged rock, the beaten anvil, or the rooted oak!
You might even trample out a croton-bug occasionally, with a cold,
feelingless laugh. Imperturbability in peril was never yet a masculine
fault in gentle woman’s eyes.

Stop before incurring the dislike of the fair one’s little brothers or
sisters. The malapert maliciousness of _l’enfant terrible_ may occasion
mortifications without number.

Stop before losing your temper with a rival in your charmer’s presence.
If you must come to blows, let it be in a retired spot, but it were
far better to sit him out, beat him on bouquets, gum drops and
theatre-tickets, or otherwise defeat him in the rosy lists.

Stop at the one thousandth kiss, after receiving the coveted “Yes”
from the adored one’s lips. Byron, it is true, in one of his callow
effusions, counsels a million, but, as a conscientious Mentor, we
prefer to draw the line somewhere even in such an emotional proceeding.

Stop, discontinue the siege altogether, in case of a downright
rejection, howsoever reluctant, howsoever tearful. Don’t put up with
the sisterly substitute, either; but just float out grandly on the
ebb-tide of broken hopes, until brighter eyes a welcome shine to solace
and to cheer.

Stop before imagining, if accepted, that your ordeal is now nearly at
an end. Why, gentle sir, it hath just begun. You are now owned.

Stop short at the idea that even your former devotion is still in
order. If it was a bouquet or two per week before, it is now a
cart-load per day; your male familiars must sigh for you in vain--your
off-nights are things of the past; you are on exhibition, not only to
your _fiancée’s_ family, but to the world at large; you are an engaged

Stop on the verge of suicidal despair as a result of your first
lovers’ quarrel. This is but the pepper-sauce of passion, the curry of
courtship, the horse-radish of happiness, without which that crowning
reflection, the kiss-gilt, teardrop-rainbowed making-up were banished
forever from Love’s golden feast!

Stop, in a general way, before making love for the fun of the thing.
There is no meaner, more reptilian creature in society than the
professional male flirt.

Stop before yielding an iota to the allurements of a notorious
coquette. Heartlessness is her dower, emotional misery her delight,
falseness her stock in trade, and the ashen Dead Sea fruit the only
reward in her power, even if she love at last.

Stop before permitting your admiration of an actress, or ballet dancer,
to glide into a master passion. Disenchantment, if desired, is mostly
within easy reach, and you can console yourself with the reflection
that there is far more beauty off the stage than on it.

Stop short of making love at all, if you are not of an affectionate
disposition; or, when too late--that is, when married, love will be
likely to stop short of you.


In Money Matters.

Stop, first, and understand the value of money--the importance of never
being without _some_ money, even if a very little.

Stop, next, and understand that money is nothing in itself alone, but
valuable and powerful only in what it will purchase and _can_ purchase.
A pure love of it for itself, and not for what it represents, develops
a loathsome disease--the disease of miserliness.

Stop short of envying the rich, even if penniless yourself. A
philosophical reflection as to the causes of your bad fortune,
together with a resolve to mend it by a more enlightened course, is
your only remedy.

Stop, however, yet shorter of the vulgar, pigheaded notion that money,
even by the ton-weight, can be everything without moral or intellectual
backing. If this were so, wealth would be more glorious than wisdom,
which happily, it is not.

Stop before parting with money, even to an insignificant amount,
without some sort of equivalent. This rule need not render you either
parsimonious or uncharitable, since even alms-giving brings a return in
the consciousness of having yielded to a kindly impulse.

Stop before cultivating a hoarding spirit, and remember that,
logically, as between the miser and the spendthrift, the latter has
the best of the bargain. For, while the spendthrift has the selfish
satisfaction of squandering his fortune in his own person, the miser
is the dupe of his own self-denial, for the benefit of others who come
after him.

Stop, however, before emulating the spendthrift any more than the
miser. If there is never any love for the scheming parsimony of the
one, neither is there ever any gratitude for the thoughtless largesse
of the other.

Stop, and reflect well, before borrowing money under any circumstances.
To an honest man, indebtedness is ever a double torture--self-torture
in the haunting possibility of not being able to keep his word, and the
torture of imagining what, in that case, will be thought of him.

Stop, dead, before borrowing money that you are not sure of being able
to repay. As for the man who borrows without the _intention_ to repay,
he is even worse than a professional thief, and as fully deserving of
social ostracism.

Stop before becoming that unmitigated bore, a chronic borrower. He is
at best a pitiful creature, shunned even when commiserated, and the
strongest ties of friendship cannot long withstand the wrench of his

Stop, even before lending money to a friend, and reflect that
non-liquidation must cost you your money, and _may_ cost you--your

Stop, however, if you mean to grant a request for a loan, and grant it
freely. To produce it as if extracting a wisdom-tooth, or accompany it
with a stereotyped moral lecture on the hardness of the times, etc., is
much like placing his request on a level with mendicancy.

Stop short--indeed, as abruptly as you please--of lending money to a
known profligate or spendthrift. The proverbial blood from a turnip may
be sooner expected than genuine thankfulness for an accommodation from
such a source, and the probability is that he will secretly laugh at
you for a fool.

Stop, however, and reflect well before adopting a general and
irrevocable rule of never lending money under any circumstances. Many
eminent men, the reverse of hard-hearted, have conscientiously adopted
this rule, but whether it is the best, as the world goes, is a question.

Stop before compromising with such a rule by offering as a gift that
which is entreated as a loan. This is the course usually pursued by the
eminent men alluded to above; but such a proffer is always humiliating,
and often insulting.

Stop before running in debt, even for groceries or beer, for that for
which you can pay on the spot. It is a pernicious habit that must
steadily engender looser and looser notions about money matters.

Stop before adopting honesty as your standard merely on the immorally
aphoristic grounds of its being the best policy. True integrity should
stand on its merits, win or lose; whereas any shrewd rascal would be
honest on occasion, if satisfied that he would _make_ by it.

Stop, rather, and fortify your uprightness on the broad grounds, “that
_honesty is not only the deepest policy, but the highest wisdom_; since
however difficult it may be for integrity to get on, it is a thousand
times more difficult for knavery to _get off_.”

Stop before cultivating an inordinate desire to get rich in haste. In
ninety-nine cases out of a hundred it will develop into a species of
frenzy that must over-reach and defeat its aims.

Stop, rather, and understand that in speculation, the prizes of the few
are only rendered possible by the ruin of the many.

Stop before setting up financial comets--that is suddenly-rich men--as
your exemplars. The exceptional boldness, or unscrupulousness which
constituted their _open sesame_ to dazzling fortune, may but fling
wide, for the mediocre imitator, the doors of poverty or of the state

Stop when you have achieved a comfortable competence, and devote
yourself to the rational enjoyment thereof. To be stacking up dollars
and securities to the last gasp is worse than making a hell on earth;
since it is a perversity so obtuse as to imagine that as heaven which
is in truth a hell.

Stop, and remember, that the accumulation of wealth, as a sole pursuit,
is a diseased passion, just as much as is the craving for strong
drink, or for the excitement of gambling.

Stop, therefore, in the headlong race for money, and so intersperse
that pursuit with knowledge and unselfish deeds, with moral and
intellectual recreations, as shall render it the chief means, rather
than the chief end, of a useful existence.



In Guarding Against Bad Habits.

Stop before cultivating an inordinate self-conceit, and remember that
real worth is mostly modest, while those persons are the vainest who
have the least to be vain of.

Stop before contracting a habit of exaggeration. This is the
stock-in-trade of the cheap penny-a-liner, while the strength of the
true historian lies in conscientious statement.

Stop short of fancying that such exaggeration can impress others with
your imaginative powers. Were this true, the grimaces of a baboon
might be ascribed to emotional fine frenzy.

Stop before contracting the habit of lying, even in a harmless way. But
this fault is as naturally the outgrowth of extravagance or looseness
of statement, as is the noxious weed of the miscellaneous muck that
stimulates it into useless being.

Stop short of listlessness in word, look and deed. A perfunctory person
is never in demand, and Rip Van Winkle only indemnified society in
sleeping out his twenty years.

Stop, and do nothing, rather than procrastinate indefinitely.
Untrustworthiness is the final result of procrastination, and a
reputation for that is tantamount to elimination from the world’s

Stop far short of any indulgence that can affect your general
reputation. “The two most precious things this side the grave,” says
_Lacon_, “are our reputation and our life; the most contemptible
whisper may deprive us of the one, the weakest weapon of the other.”

Stop the use of tobacco, if addicted to it, but especially in the form
of chewing, the vileness of this practice is in no wise mitigated by
its prevalence.

Stop smoking, also, at its first threatened inroad upon the general
health. To persist in it thereafter is a confession of both moral and
mental weakness.

Stop on the threshold of gambling of every description, and, if already
in the toils, shut down on the practice with all the ponderosity at
your command.

Stop, moreover, and understand that gambling--the worship of
chance--is death to the soul, to faith in human nature, to man’s
nobler attributes. In this regard, it is more literally demoralizing
than alcoholic drunkenness; and there is yet to be found the veteran
professional gambler who is not a materialistic atheist.

Stop, once more, and remember that every man who will play cards for
money, will in time, cheat. He may set out honestly enough, but it is
only a question of time before he will take an unfair advantage in
_self-defense_. What, then, can be thought of a practice that almost
necessitates dishonesty?

Stop--hold! That “D--n!” upon thy lips! Would not “Confound it!” “The
deuce take it!” or simply “Bless me!” emphasize resentment or annoyance
equally well? Or, still better, is there any need for emphasis at all?

Stop, above all, before falling into the profane habit, upon no
provocation. A passionless, half-conscious interlarding of speech with
oaths and epithets is as idiotic as it is disgusting.

Stop on the verge of becoming anecdotal to excess. Second only to the
confirmed scandal-bearer is the friend whose encounter one must dodge
for fear of being made the repository of some long-winded anecdote, or
pointless pun.

Stop short of narrating indecent stories. Unfortunately, nearly all
stories of much point that are interchanged among men are of this
description; _ergo_, eschew the retailing of them, on your own part,

Stop before becoming the slave of any depraved appetite. To take
the appetite for strong drink as an illustration, it is a terrible
enchantress--siren, bacchante, or task-mistress, at will. One can
seldom coquette with but he marries her at last; when, like the Lamia
of the legend, she turns to a serpent in the embrace, and her dalliance
is despair and death.

Stop before contracting a habit of belittling or sneering at what you
do not understand. This is but the pasteboard buckler with which the
fool would shield his self-love.

Stop before habitually ascribing mean or sordid motives to others upon
mere conjecture.

Stop short of any habit that can fruitlessly waste one’s time or
substance, since the one is more than money, because, once dissipated,
it can never be replaced, and the other is the very means of life.



In Judging Others.

Stop before gauging a person’s capacity solely by his physiognomy.
Lafayette’s forehead suggested idiocy, Keats, the poet, had the jaws of
a prize-fighter, and warriors of the Salvation Army have been mistaken
(before opening their mouths) for men of intelligence.

Stop, however, before judging people altogether on antithetic grounds.
To invariably accept a monkey-jawed, rat-eyed, ear-shadowed countenance
as a criterion for mental profundity, for instance, or crime-sodden,
sin-exhaling bulldog traits as suggestive of ethical culture or
religious zeal, is hardly to be recommended.

Stop before judging others, especially men, wholly by their dress and
manners. A millionaire may be “shabby-genteel” and retiring to excess,
whereas professional scoundrels are often notorious for a fashionable
exterior and distinction of bearing “as to the manner born.”

Stop on the verge of taking dress and ornament as a sure indication
of a woman’s character or station. You might regret mistaking a
quietly-attired unadorned heiress for a shirt-maker in distress; or a
fourth-class pawnbroker’s wife, beringed and bediamonded from bang to
belt, for a sorceress of fashion.

Stop before judging people disparagingly by their eccentricities. A
poet, for instance, may indulge in long hair, without necessarily being
an _æsthete_ or a cowboy; the habit of talking to one’s-self is no
proof of a guilty conscience; and absent-mindedness in many forms has
accompanied the possession of exceptional capacity.

Stop, however, before accepting such betrayals as positive indications
of either genius, talent or brains. To do this would be to libel the
ordinarily well-behaved people who have some respect for the amenities
of existence.

Stop, for instance, ere ascribing pure benevolence to the
absent-mindedness that mistakes your silk umbrella for a mislaid
gingham one, shaky in the ribs, feruled with long service, and filtery
at the seams.

Stop and draw a line likewise, at the abstraction that finds its hand
in your pocket, or creeps in at your bedroom window, or is blandly
oblivious as to whether it owes you money, or _vice versa_.

Stop, and turn the question over in your mind: True enough, there is a
chance of such eccentricities being the concomitants of a certain sort
of talent, but is it exactly the sort that ought to be encouraged?

Stop, if naturally dishonest or vicious yourself, and inquire if
you can fairly judge others according to your own corrupt standard.
This may prevent your giving yourself away, besides leavening your
collective baseness with a grain or two of charity.

Stop, however, if honest and well-meaning--and, indeed, it is mainly
for such that this symposium of golden precepts is prepared--and
remember, as a stimulant to careful discrimination in these things,
that your own superficialities may be constantly and cruelly misjudged.

Stop short of supposing that you have no superficialities, or but few,
to be judged by. The visibility of existence is largely made up of
them; it is, perhaps even well that the heart is not often worn upon
the sleeve; and equally well that our externals are but deceptive
indices of the springs of action, the blots and foibles they disguise,
else were the wisest of us each other’s sport.

Stop before taking mildness and retirement of manner for a want
of resolution or courage. True greatness in anything is seldom
self-celebrating, and it is as true as proverbial that “still waters
run deep.”

Stop, on the other hand, before setting down a strutting
self-importance as invariably betokening a wind-bag or a nincompoop.
Modesty is, unfortunately, not always the hand-maid of merit.

Stop before mistaking ostentation for generosity, or calm acceptance
for ingratitude. “As the mean have a calculating avarice that sometimes
inclines them to give, so the magnanimous have a condescending
generosity that sometimes inclines them to receive.”

Stop before despising in another the demonstrativeness that you would
despise in yourself. The babble of the brook is as natural as the
stillness of the pool and temperamental differences are always to be

Stop before regarding extreme particularity in dress as an invariable
evidence of intellectual insignificance. It often is so, but
nine-tenths of the shabbily-attired men of brains would dress better if
they could afford to.

Stop on the dizzy verge of mistaking an excessive and painstaking
courtesy for a genuine and heartfelt interest. It should rather put you
on your guard.

Stop short of the old-time cynicism of regarding every man as a rascal
until he shall have afforded proofs to the contrary. Such a wholesale
distrust of human nature is creditable to neither the head nor the

Stop before sweepingly condemning a discreditable action the
temptations to which are outside your own experience. Even to “put
yourself in his place” is not always available for the formation of
intelligent criticism in such cases.

Stop before lightly assigning reasons for another’s domestic troubles.
The closet-skeleton is a strictly local spectre that is not the less
terrible by reason of the narrowness of its haunting powers.

Stop short of disparaging the charity that methodizes and calculates
its smallest alms. There is an enlightened self-interest that relieves
more real distress than all the off-handed gratuities that are bestowed.

Stop before impugning self-seeking motives to a good deed that redounds
to the doer’s advantage. Even if partly premeditated to this end, the
result, if humanitarian in its general influence, is not the less
useful and noble.

Stop before judging a man solely by his errors or misfortunes. The
former may have been circumstantially unavoidable, as the latter may
have been undeserved.

Stop before adopting the stereotyped, canting
“I-might-have-told-you-so” criticism in the case of a friend who has
fallen. The helping hand is then in order, if ever at all; and he is
doubtless aware of the cause of his disgrace, without your telling him.


In Recreation.

Stop before making a regular business of any form of diversion, which
then ceases to be either recreative or relaxing, and but adds to the
tissue-waste that should be restored.

Stop, next, and consider that recreation, in its literal and best
sense, is something more than relaxation. More than to merely loosen,
slacken and remit, to recreate is to revive, reanimate, recuperate and
build up afresh.

Stop, therefore, before playing billiards or pool every night for five
or six hours at a stretch, under the mistaken notion that you are
combining recreation with amusement.

Stop, rather, and consider if the nervous tension produced by an
unremitting desire to win, and thus saddle your adversary with the cost
of the game, may not be greater than the wear and tear of the routine
business from which you are seeking relief.

Stop short of the error that billiards in public is a wholly innocent
diversion, when candid reflection must convince you to the contrary.
The associations are mostly the reverse of refined, the gambling
principle is necessarily involved, and say what you will, non-success
is ever attended by a sense of exasperation.

Stop wondering why you don’t feel freshened up for business after a
ten hours’ siege of whisky-poker, uninterrupted cigars, and consequent
loss of sleep.

Stop before fancying chess-playing as any sort of relaxation whatever
from mental exertion. The game, being a constant mental exercise,
in itself should form a diversion from physical, rather than from
intellectual, over-work.

Stop short of daily conviviality after business hours. The idea that
regular rum or beer-guzzling, even with the merriest of companions, can
be sooner or latter anything but injurious is either hypocritical or

Stop, likewise, short of spreeing as a relief from business cares.
Indeed, as between the hebdomadal hurrah and the diurnal hoist, the
distinction is so thoroughly relative to the confessedly evil effects
in both cases as not to be worthy of consideration.

Stop before seeking recreation in low resorts. Give them all a wide
berth--concert-saloons, dives, dens, hells, houses of ill-repute,
bucket-shops, slums, cribs, joints--all! and remember that what is
essentially debasing can never reanimate exhaustion or repair fatigue.

Stop before patronizing a low performance of any description.
Dog-fights, rat-baitings, cocking-mains, _et al._, are happily
surreptitious now, but there are equally immoral exhibitions still in
vogue to tempt the thoughtless and unwary.

Stop before seeking recreation in sensuous performances or spectacles.
True, the ballet is often fascinating, but--Well, let the line be
drawn sharply just after the ballet, at all events.

Stop before attempting either skating, bicycling, or horse-back
exercise in public, as a gentle and graceful relaxation, when wholly
inexperienced, if you would both corruscate and career.

Stop before making a specialty of any kind of recreation that is beyond
your means. Otherwise, you may not infrequently exclaim, with _Hamlet_,
“For O, for O, the hobby-horse is forgot!”

Stop at the yawning abyss of resorting to opium, or any similar drug,
as a relief from care. As the alcoholic habit has been likened to an
enchantress, a circean witch, so the opium habit is a dream-woman, the
sorceress of a phantom realm, elysian at first, but changing at last
into a horror-haunted sphere that appals the spirit while it tortures
and consumes the frame.

Stop before applying yourself to excessive gymnastics as a relaxation,
if a horse-car conductor or a letter-carrier. Variety is the spice of

Stop, if engaged in wholly intellectual pursuits, before reading dry
and statistical books, such as Patent Reports, as a pleasing and
hilarious change.

Stop before joining a club with whose objects you are unfamiliar. To
find yourself unawares, for instance, in the bosom of a hoodlum coterie
when in search of Christian refinement, or unexpectedly affiliated
with a Bible society when thirsting for roaring and convivial
companionship, would be alike uncongenial.

Stop before seeking recreation in travel, if without money. True,
commercial drummers and tramps have attained some success in this
field, but neither the talents of the one class nor the methods of the
other are to be cordially recommended.

Stop before indulging in the rougher athletic sports for which you are
physically unqualified. Study your capacities well--take in the entire
athletic range, from jackstraws to Indian clubs, from the bean-bag to
foot-ball--and discriminate for all you are worth.

Stop before instituting any home-amusement that shall bind you to the
house of evenings forever thereafter. You might really want to go
out and “see a man,” but the excuse would avail you little with the
charming home-game awaiting your patronage.

Stop before frequenting any lounging place, be it beer-saloon or
cigar-shop, so much as to become a figure-head of the premises. Not to
loaf at all is an excellent general rule.

Stop before attempting recreation “on the road” in an ultra-economical
way. A livery-stable plug, hobbling ambitiously before a battered
sleigh or antediluvian buggy, in the midst of swell turn-outs and
speeding teams, would doubtless cause something of a sensation, but
would it be of the most enviable kind?

Stop short of seeking mental repose by attending “excursions” in which
bibulous feats and glee-club improvisations bid fair to make up the
chief fund of amusement.

Stop short of practical jokes as a relief for the work-oppressed brain.
As between jok_er_ and jok_ee_, the entertainment is mostly altogether
with the former, and one-sided or top-heavy diversions are both selfish
and untimely.

Stop, and be sure that you have a work-oppressed brain, before rushing
wildly into any recreation whatever. The former is often imaginary,
or a hypocritical excuse for demanding a pastime, which is then, as a
consequence, apt to prove much harder work than play.


In The Domestic Relations.

Stop short of thinking that marriage and settlement in life can acquit
you of the tenderness and reverence due your parents, even if they
are well-to-do. It is a moral obligation which, contracted at your
birth, should cease not even with their death, but live on and on, an
evergreen of the memory, an amaranth of the heart.

Stop before reserving for the bosom of your own family the fits of
ill-temper that you would be ashamed of if public. This is putting your
own household on a level with a private bear-garden, whose limited
spectators cannot be over-grateful for the privilege accorded.

Stop short of supposing that your wife is anything less than an equal
partner in the hymeneal firm. Even if she came to you penniless, the
idea that she is thenceforth indebted to you for home, position or
freedom from care, is a barbarism fortunately obsolete in this country.

Stop, likewise, short of the imported notion, also obsolete, that
she _belongs_ to you other than by the free heart-gift that inspired
her marriage vows, or that she is in any sense your property. The
cherishing of such a sentiment is degrading alike to husband and wife.

Stop before denying to your wife the right to have little secrets of
her own, if you claim the same privilege for yourself. A loving and
trusted wife will have no important secrets apart from her husband.

Stop short of altogether distrusting her in money matters. Even if
she have but little common sense in such things, her wifehood is a
responsibility for which you are responsible, and which cannot be
wholly nullified without humiliating her.

Stop short of denying her the possession of some pocket-money of her
own, if but very little. “During my married life,” said a prominent
lecturer on woman’s rights, “I never had a cent of pocket-money that I
was not forced to _steal_ from my husband.” And this statement will
evoke more reflection than censure in the thoughtful mind.

Stop before grumblingly supplying the household demands. This practice
of growling over a domestic expenditure, which is but a tithe of what
your next “good time with the boys” will cost you, is more prevalent
than sensible.

Stop before placing any one over your wife’s head in her own house. Be
it mother-in-law, sister-in-law, or any one else, the course is alike
risky and unwise.

Stop before cultivating a dislike or niggardliness for your wife’s
passion for dress, if it is accompanied by a refined taste and an
earnest desire to be within what you can afford. Fine feathers may not
always make fine birds, but a naturally attractive woman is undeniably
more lovable and attractive when tastefully attired than otherwise.

Stop long before relinquishing, after marriage, the delicate little
attentions and sacrifices that were so acceptable during your
courtship. A lover-husband will make a sweetheart-wife, and for such
the honey-moon need have no wane.

Stop, however, dead short of uxoriousness to a degree that shall excite
a smile or comment. The former is apt to be exasperating, and the
latter of a nature the reverse of soothing to your _amour propre_.

Stop before developing a womanish desire to interfere with domestic
arrangements outside of your province. In other words, never be what
your wife might call a “cock-biddy,” and your cook “an intermiddling

Stop before developing a fault-finding disposition with the cooking
or other accommodations, or first be sure that you are not more
responsible for the faults than your wife.

Stop short of concealing the fact from your wife, if she is falling
unconsciously into slovenly and unkempt personal habits when only in
your presence. Let her but comprehend that this is a wifely neglect
that has driven many a husband into neater but unscrupulous feminine
society, and speedy amendment must follow.

Stop before holding your wife accountable for every little smile or
frankness accorded to her antenuptial admirers. ’Tis the watched fire
that languishes; and, should she meditate treason, she would not hint
it by so much as a rush-light.

Stop before letting her know it, if you find out that your marriage
has been a mistake. Doubtless this will make itself felt, despite your
utmost precautions, and her sufferings in making the sad discovery will
then challenge your compunction, your pity and your redoubled devotion,
if you are a true man.

Stop before laughing at piety in your wife, even if an infidel
yourself. “Wise men like to have pious wives,” says Emerson, “and it is
well for all concerned that it should be so.”

Stop before betraying your weaknesses to your children. Even a
hypocritical assumption of a morality that you do not always practice
is preferable to self-exposure in this regard.

Stop before correcting them in the presence of outsiders. The
self-respect of a little child, once wounded to the quick, is long in
healing; and some consideration is due, moreover, to the outsiders.

Stop before punishing a child when influenced by anger. The punishment
then ceases to be corrective, and is only resentful; whereas the
helplessness of the child should of itself evoke but magnanimity.

Stop, when thus impelled by anger, and reflect if you would as readily
seek to gratify it, were no such disparity existent--that is, where
the child as big and powerful as yourself.

Stop before threatening a chastisement that you don’t intend to
inflict. Or, if you must persist in this course, don’t ascribe the
continued disobedience, which is its inevitable outgrowth, to anything
but your own weakness.

Stop short of deception or untruth in your dealings with your children,
if you would impress them with the opposite sentiments.

Stop, in this regard, and reflect that, if the childish mind is wax
to early impressions, it is of a kind that hardens with the imprint,
and that from the hardening process spring the imitation and the
_emulation_, which must gradually corrupt or ennoble, as the case may

Stop before assuming a bullying tone or attitude toward your family or
your domestics. Vaporings of this description are always in wretched
taste, and a home-circle that must needs be terrorized is little to be

Stop before living beyond, or even quite up to your means, and be not
ambitious to make an outside show at the expense of internal comfort.

Stop short of lessening the significance of old-time festivities, such
as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year’s and birth-day observances,
simply because you have yourself outgrown their zest.

Stop before repressing any innocent propensity to _gush_ on the part
of your wife or children. It is a chill home-fountain that will not
occasionally overflow.

Stop, if possible, before ever disturbing your family peace with even
so much as an unkind or hasty word. The pretty lines,

    “We have greeting words for the stranger,
      And smiles for the sometime guest,
    But oft for Our Own the bitter tone.
      Though we love Our Own the best,”

should never be pertinent in a wise man’s household.

Stop before assuming an oracular or infallible attitude--in other
words, setting yourself up as a small god--before your own family. Ten
to one, it is an assumption that you cannot maintain with any degree
of consistency, and one which may entail a humiliating back-down when
least expected.


In Business Life.

Stop short of attempting a business enterprise wholly beyond
your mental and financial equipment. To attempt the _rôle_ of a
railroad magnate, for instance, when you have the soul of a licensed
fish-vender, or the manipulation of a government loan with hardly
enough capital for a fruit-stand, would be more ambitious than wise.

Stop before adopting rigorous and unbending methods that, under a
change of fortune, can be quoted against you to your disadvantage.
Thus, to never lend money, on principle, when prosperous, but be
perfectly willing to borrow it when broke, might subject you to
unpleasant comment.

Stop before assuming a domineering, Jovian tone toward those with less
money than you, even if you have a corner on the market. Men are often
like rats in this, that they fight when they are cornered.

Stop when already so deep into a hopeless speculation that you can’t
beg or borrow another cent, when certain ruin stares you in the face,
and even your pawn-tickets are at a discount. Forlorn hopes are only
practicable in serial stories and war.

Stop, even at the height of prosperity, and make sure of the future by
settling upon your family a competence that shall thenceforth forever
be secured to them, come what may. This prudent course, feasible and
honorable during prosperity, would be just the reverse if deferred
until after business disaster may have come.

Stop short of imagining that there is any more _luck_ in a legitimate
business than in games of chance--in other words, that there is any at
all. Or, if there is any, it consists of superior energy, foresight,
shrewdness and application, wherein, of course, the stronger wins while
the weaker goes to the wall.

Stop, and reflect well, before venturing outside of a legitimate,
fairly-paying business upon the sea of speculation, which is in reality
but gambling under another name.

Stop before cultivating a reputation for either over-credulity or
relentless hard bargaining in business life. The one will be abused,
while the other will foster enmities through the abuse it practices.

Stop short of uncompromising martinetism toward your employees.
Our clerks, for instance, can no longer be treated as apprentices;
many of them are rich men in embryo; and with what satisfaction and
gratitude do powerful millionaires often recall slight kindnesses and
encouragements received from their employers when they were nothing but
obscure clerks or office-boys!

Stop before choosing business quarters of a magnitude and pretension
wholly out of keeping with your trade and custom. There is a laughable
case in point, in the upper part of New York, where a diminutive,
tumble-down junk-shop displays a flaring sign with the preposterous
legend: “Great American Mammoth Junk Emporium.”

Stop before advertising your commodities for something better than they
really are. This is to cheat yourself in the long run, for the average
of public buyers rarely allow themselves to be deliberately swindled
twice by the same liar.

Stop short of supposing that the hackneyed phrase, “Business is
business,” can ever excuse a downright dishonest transaction in the
opinion of _all_ your business acquaintances.

Stop, therefore, before setting the majority of them down as secretly
unprincipled, and vaunting their uprightness as a mask. Money-loving as
they are, the majority of those whose good opinion is worth having are
personally honest at the core.

Stop short of being dazzled by mere business success, irrespective of
questionable or dangerous methods by which it may have been achieved.
Unless the means shall have justified the result, there can be no
praiseworthy success.

Stop short of supposing that spasmodic cleverness can ever take the
place of solid method, organized effort and settled application in any
respectable calling.

Stop, and go easy before provoking a powerful business hostility,
if possible, but never to the sacrifice of a true principle;
and, war being fully declared (_i.e._, competition, ruthless and
uncompromising), let it be to the knife, to the bitter end, till the
last pecuniary sinew snaps!



In Thought, Word and Deed.

Stop before even thinking unworthily. Not to entertain in the mind what
you would blush to speak or put in writing is an excellent general rule
of ethics.

Stop before nourishing a pride of nationality. This is even more
unreasonable than the pride of ancestry, for the greatness of the
latter may be in some degree inherited, while for the mere accident of
birth-_place_ a man is as irresponsible as he is unentitled to plume
himself upon historical greatness in the abstract.

Stop, also, before cherishing even a pride of race. This is wholly
distinct from the virtue of Patriotism, in its best sense; is opposed
to the enlightened spirit of the age; and is one of the narrowest of

Stop short of despising public spirit in others, or eliminating it from
your own calculations. The most insignificant pot-house politician
is of more worldly use than the most gifted misanthrope. No amount
of selfish seclusion or isolation can absolve one from his duty of

Stop before making butts of others, especially by reason of personal
peculiarities for which they are in no wise responsible. The old
aphorism about stone-throwing in relation to glass domiciles is always
in order; and even a natural-born fool is more to be pitied than

Stop putting in words that which you would not do, or putting in
writing that which you would not sign.

Stop, and remember that an ill-considered angry word may, on the breath
of hearsay, become a winged seed, from which shall spring a poisonous
upas growth, whose deadly influence could not have been dreamed of at
its inception.

Stop before falling into apathy, before becoming a do-nothing, through
discouragements. “A great mind,” says _Lacon_, “may change its objects,
but it cannot relinquish them; it must have something to pursue.
Variety is its relaxation, and amusement its repose.”

Stop short of being painstaking to excess in what you would pass off
as improvised. Over-elaboration in this regard may be likened to
the dishabille in which a coquette would wish you to think you have
surprised her, after spending hours at her toilet.

Stop short of supposing that rascality can be as uniformly logical
as honesty. Villains are usually the worst casuists, and rush into
_greater_ crimes to avoid _less_.

Stop, in combating the World, and reflect that by resisting its
temptations you master the secret of ultimately possessing its noblest
prizes, the respect of your fellows, and the proudest self-respect in
having successfully withstood not in order to achieve, but from a sense
of moral duty.

Stop, in resisting the allurements of the Flesh, and consider that
by subjecting them to the yoke of reason, your capacity for rational
fleshly enjoyment is both intensified and prolonged.

Stop, in fighting the Devil (_i.e._, moral perverseness,) and remember
that your victory will be evidence of moral balance on your own part,
rather than of faint-heartedness on His Inky Majesty’s. And you may
likewise recall with complacency Emerson’s indictment, where he says,
“It stands to reason that the Devil is an ass.”

Stop, after having fairly floored the Machiavellian triumvirate, the
World, the Flesh and the Devil, and candidly confess that you might
have fared worse but for the precepts and injunctions laid down in this
little book.






  “A Bad Boy’s Diary.”


  Price 50 cents.

[Transcriber’s Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.