Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

21   By: (1861-1928)

Book cover

First Page:

"We may all possess wisdom if we are willing to be persuaded that the experience of others is as useful as our own. Why give to old age alone the privilege of wisdom? What would be thought of one who prided himself on possessing bracelets when he had lost his two arms in war?"

Yoritomo, the Japanese Philosopher.




Being the article "If I Were Twenty One" which originally appeared in the American Magazine .

Revised by the author


Copyright, 1918, by


All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian.




A Foreword Prelude I. If I were Twenty One I would do the next thing II. If I were Twenty One I would adjust myself III. If I were Twenty One I would take care of my body IV. If I were Twenty One I would train my mind V. If I were Twenty One I would be happy VI. If I were Twenty One I would get married VII. If I were Twenty One I would save money VIII. If I were Twenty One I would study the art of pleasing IX. If I were Twenty One I would determine, even if I could never be anything else in the world, that I would be a thoroughbred X. If I were Twenty One I would make some permanent, amicable arrangement with my conscience


The following note, by the editor of the American Magazine , appeared in conjunction with the publication of this story in that magazine:

In most of the biggest cities of the United States, from New York and Chicago down, you will find people who, every night of their lives, watch for and read in their evening paper an editorial by Frank Crane. These editorials are syndicated in a chain of thirty eight newspapers, which reach many millions of readers. The grip which Crane has on these readers is tremendous. The reason is that the man has plenty of sensible ideas, which he presents simply and forcibly so that people get hold of them.

In reality, Crane is a wonderful preacher. Years ago, in fact, he was the pastor of a great church in Chicago. But he left the pulpit and took up writing because he had the ability to interest millions, and could reach them only by means of the printing press.

Doctor Crane lives in New York and does most of his work there.


The voyager entering a new country will listen with attention to the traveller who is just returning from its exploration; and the young warrior buckling on his armour may be benefited by the experiences of the old warrior who is laying his armour off. I have climbed the Hill of Life, and am past the summit, I suppose , and perhaps it may help those just venturing the first incline to know what I think I would do if I had it to do over.

I have lived an average life. I have had the same kind of follies, fears, and fires my twenty one year old reader has. I have failed often and bitterly. I have loved and hated, lost and won, done some good deeds and many bad ones. I have had some measure of success and I have made about every kind of mistake there is to make. In other words, I have lived a full, active, human life, and have got thus far safely along.

I am on the shady side of fifty. As people grow old they accumulate two kinds of spiritual supplies: one, a pile of doubts, questionings, and mysteries; and the other, a much smaller pile of positive conclusions. There is a great temptation to expatiate upon the former subjects, for negative and critical statements have a seductive appearance of depth and much more of a flavour of wisdom than clear and succinct declarations. But I will endeavour to resist this temptation, and will set down, as concisely as I can, some of the positive convictions I have gained... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books