"this lesson is so hard!" said Mary. "I cannot learn it, and I won't try."
"My dear," said her mother, "how do you know you cannot learn it, if you will not try?"
"It looks hard," said Mary, "and I know it is no use to try. It is so lung that I should never get through it, even if I did try."
Mary was not an idle girl, but she had made up her mind that she could not learn the lesson. She had giyen it up, just because it looked hard.
Her mother said no more for a short time; but soon she saw Mary take up her book again, and look at the lesson as if she wished she knew it. Then she said:
"Mary, did you ever walk a mile?"
"O yes, mother, very often."
"Did you do it all at once?"
"No; I did it step by step."
"Then try the lesson in that way. Learn a part at a time; and if you keep on, you will soon know it all."
Mary did as her mother told her, and in less than an hour she sprang from her seat and said, "I have learned it, mother! I know the lesson."
Her mother was very glad to hear this, and said, "Never say again, my child, that you cannot do anything until you have tried.
"Remember it was only by one step at a time that you learned to walk; by one letter at a time that you learned to read; and by one stroke at a time that you learned to write."
"Heaven's not reached by a single bound,
But we build the ladder by which we rise,"
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
—Ecclesiastes ix. 10.