Did you ever hear about the little boats that they build? They lay their eggs on the water, in which the sun’s warmth hatches them out. The insect leaves the water a full-fledged mosquito ready to annoy man and beast with its sting.
The eyes of this insect are remarkable. They are so large that they cover the larger part of the head. Its feelers are very delicate, and look as if they were made of the finest feathers. Its wings are very pretty, and with them it makes a humming noise.
The organ, which the female mosquito alone employs on her victims, is called a trunk, or proboscis. This trunk is a tube, inside of which is a bundle of stings with very sharp points. When she settles on your face or hands, she pierces the skin, extracts some blood, and at the same time injects a little poison; this produces the feeling which proves so annoying.
Of all the elements of success none is more vital than self-reliance,—a determination to be one’s own helper, and not to look to others for support. It is the secret of all individual growth and vigor, the master-key that unlocks all difficulties in every profession or calling. “Help yourself, and Heaven will help you,” should be the motto of every man who would make himself useful in the world. He who begins with crutches will generally end with crutches. Help from within always strengthens, but help from without invariably enfeebles.
It is said that a lobster, when left high and dry among the rocks, has not instinct and energy enough to work his way back to the sea, but waits for the sea to come to him. If it does not come, he remains where he is and dies, although the slightest effort would enable him to reach the waves. The world is full of human lobsters,—men stranded on the rocks of business, who, instead of putting forth their energy, are waiting for some grand billow of good fortune to set them afloat.
There are many young men, who, instead of carrying their own burdens, are always dreaming of some Hercules, in the shape of a rich uncle, or some other benevolent relative, coming to give them a “lift.” In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, pecuniary help to a beginner is not a blessing, but a calamity. Under the appearance of aiding, it weakens its victims, and keeps them in perpetual slavery and degradation.
Let every young man have faith in himself, and take an earnest hold of life, scorning all props and buttresses, all crutches and life-preservers. Instead of wielding the rusted swords of valorous forefathers, let him forge his own weapons; and, mindful of the Providence over him, let him fight his own battles with his own good lance.
PRAYER IN BATTLE
Father, I call
Roaring enshrouds me, the din of the battle,
Round me like lightning the leaping shots rattle.
Leader of battles, I call to Thee.
Father, Thou lead me.