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knows it; if he finds the gate open he knows enough to close it. He can take the dog and go after the cows; he carries his father a drink to the field, and calls him to dinner; he takes care of the baby, and helps in a hundred ways, and it is all splendid development. He can milk when he is ten, plow a little later, and run the farm when he is sixteen, and he has never been a slave to either work or idleness. He has been knocked about; he has been tried; he has been abused at times, but it is all transforming him into a magnificent man. He knows what it is to work from six until twelve and to get so hungry that at ten he thinks he has reached the limit. He knows what it is to get up in the winter, build the fire, do the chores, and hustle to school about an hour before time so that he can be in the games. He is an all-round boy.
He knows how to get himself out of a difficult situation. If he has a break-down he can patch the machine up and go ahead; if the harness breaks, he knows how to mend it. He knows how to cure ring-bone, spavin, and poll-evils, how to break balky horses, and how to tell the age of any "critter" (or he thinks he does). He knows what each horse and calf on
the place is worth; he knows how many pounds of wheat are in a bushel, and how much to sow on an acre, and knows all about everything else that grows. He knows the names of the birds in the air, the fish in the stream, and knows the nature and habitation of every wild animal. He knows about how much he can stand. He knows his own strength, because he has done the thing before. What chance has the average city-bred boy with such a one when they enter business and competition? It is not the ponderous brain nor the mighty intellect, nor the theoretical education alone that counts; it is this practical knowledge and talent that have been unconsciously developed. It is not the man who knows the most; it is the man who knows how to use what he does know. When a man has never had a fight, has never had any opposition, has never met any grief and doesn't know what it is to work against odds, he is at a mighty disadvantage. He doesn't know whether he is going to win or lose; but show me a fellow who has been at it since he was three years old, and I will show you a fellow that you can't stop with a club. He has learned how to use his head, and how to adapt himself
to circumstances and win out, without even thinking it is hard or out of the ordinary.
Human nature is so constructed that neither a boy nor a man can develop good common sense and clear judgment, learn to think quickly and decide instantly unless he is placed in a position where he is obliged to figure his way out. Give the boy a chance to rely upon himself, whether he is in town or in the country. If he is in town, give him something to do, and the sooner the better. If town people would only dismiss some of their servants and set their boys to carrying coal, washing dishes, scrubbing the floor, mowing the lawn, cleaning windows, turning the washing machine, running the furnace and carrying out the ashes, taking care of the horse, etc., there would be more town boys in the United States Senate and in every successful enterprise. Let him sell papers. There is no reason why the poor boy should have that great advantage all to himself. Teach him to make bargains, buy the groceries, and pay bills, and he will become self-reliant and learn how to deal with men. Teach him to buy his own clothes. It is worth something to a boy to know the price of com
modities-to know what it costs to live. Teach him the value of self-reliance and the glory of doing things that are useful. Give the rich boy a chance. He ought not to be made to suffer and go through life handicapped and without practical education because of the combined good fortune and foolishness of his father. Wherever he is give him a chance to work with both head and hands. Give him opposition; give him something to endure, something to strive for, something to prize, and you place within his grasp the lever that moves the world.
Boys don't have to be made to do these things; they have to be let. Give them plenty of encouragement; keep their confidence, and they will come out broad-minded, hard-muscled, successful men. This preparation they must have.
If you look up the career of each successful man you will find that he had made a thorough preparation long before the world discovered him and long before he discovered himself. We all know the story of David, who did battle with the giant. King Saul said to him: "David, you are only a boy. You can't fight the giant. He has an armor that cannot be penetrated;
his sword is so large that it would take two men to handle it, and his spear an ordinary man could hardly lift." David replied: "In taking care of my father's sheep there came a lion, and I slew the lion with a stone from my sling; and there came a bear, and I killed the bear; and I know that with my sling I can kill Goliath." I don't think there was any miracle about it. David was an expert with the sling. He knew just what he could do, because he had been doing it every day of his life.
Abraham Lincoln fought the pangs of poverty in the wilderness of Indiana and Illinois. He knew all about overcoming obstacles. He had attempted the impossible even, and had seen it yield, and when he was President of the United States and became engaged in that great strife, the Civil War, and when his resignation was demanded by the South and by thousands in the North who should have been his friends, he was not dismayed. He knew from past experience that he could win out. That battle was no greater for him then than were many former battles in which he had triumphed.
The greatest preparation that James A.