Mackenzie’s early introduction to the work world, his fierce commitment to the well-being of his family, and his religious background and convictions, indeed his Scottish culture, made him utilitarian. Even in maturity, he found little use for frivolous pursuits: he complained in a world-weary way to his wife in 1879 about the fuss people made over Edward Hanlan*’s latest rowing victory, which he termed an “utterly useless trial of strength.” Had the test been “cutting and splitting wood, hoeing corn, ploughing or any other useful occupation which would be of general benefit to mankind, I could have some sympathy with the excitement.” None of his contemporaries disputed the diligence with which Mackenzie pursued what he conceived to be his duty. Photographs of the man show an austere face, sharp eyes, and a tight mouth. He combined a physically compact frame with slightly reddish hair and a weather-beaten face. He did not dress well, most obviously at the beginning of his career in federal politics. This lack of sartorial concern reflected not only his utilitarian outlook but also his constant sense of personal budgetary constraint. In 1876, when he was prime minister, he lamented having to spend $128 for a politically necessary banquet and noted that he was avoiding entertaining on the score of cost. Here was the personal corollary of the political reformer’s emphasis on financial retrenchment.