|Vol. III.—No. 107.
||Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
||price four cents.
|Tuesday, November 15, 1881.
||Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.
||$1.50 per Year, in Advance.
"It's growing late," said the honey-bee;
"Winter's no sort of weather for me;
I'll hurry away to the hive."
"It's growing cold," said the bustling fly;
"There's going to be plenty of snow by-and-by,
And how will a poor fly thrive?"
The cricket piped, "The season is old,
Leaves and grasses are turning to gold;
It's a queer world that changes so;
My chirp has lost its musical tones,
And the north wind bites to my very bones;
I think I had better go."
The squirrel said, "It is growing chill;
The windfalls have gone to the cider-mill;
But there's many a chestnut burr
Ready to burst at the frost's first touch.
If snow flies soon, I sha'n't mind much,
Wrapped in my thickening fur."
"The best of the year," trilled the lingering thrush,
"Has left us behind; there's a tender hush
Brooding o'er meadow and dell;
Our nests are all empty, our birdlings have flown;
There is nothing to keep us at home, I must own;
There's nothing to sing but 'Farewell.'"
"Just like his luck!" half of the boys said, when Charlie Foster won the State Scholarship.
They had made the same remark when his name had been sent in by the principal of the school to the superintendent as his best scholar. In all likelihood these same old school-fellows will keep on saying, "Just like his luck!" if Charlie ever becomes a Judge, or a Senator, or if he marries happily, or makes a fortune. Every step upward is attributed by some men and boys to that unknown quantity called "luck." And curiously enough, just as "Like his luck" is used to account for the success of one's friends, so "Just like my luck" is used to explain our own failures.
"It is just my luck! There was not a single question about anything I knew. I had crammed up the capitals of the States, square root, and the conjugations, and I was asked about mountain ranges, compound interest, and the fifth declension. I always was unlucky!"
In all this talk about "luck" is there not a good deal of inconsistency? We never employ the word to account for our own successes or somebody else's failures. When the said Charlie Foster misses a catch at base-ball, or catches a crab in a race, we do not cry, "How unlucky he is!" but, "What a muff that Charlie Foster is!" and when we ourselves manage to get on the roll of honor, we resent with virtuous indignation any congratulations on our luck. "Luck, indeed!" we growl; "there was no luck at all. It was just hard work, and nothing else."
Moreover, this talk about luck is, in the first place, somewhat unmanly, not to say cowardly. To trust to luck is a confession that one can not do anything by one's own labor or one's own intellect. It is really, my boy, an acknowledgment that you have no independence of character, no strength of will, no patience, and no perseverance. It is a sure confession of carelessness and idleness. "I'll study this thing or that thing, and trust to luck for the rest," you say, and the result is you are nowhere in the examination.
So in everything we undertake. If we neglect to take ordinary pains, if we omit ordinary prudence, no luck ever saves us from disaster.
Trusting in luck is a very different thing from trusting in Providence.