HE was only fourteen years old, and an apprentice boy at that; but he changed a poor little peasant village into a great manufacturing town, and, more than this, left to his country a profitable Industry which has grown into her principal resource for wealth. This is the way he did it:— Two hundred years ago a horse-trader came to the peasant village of Chaux-des-Fonds, in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland, bringing with him a silver watch. The villagers had never seen anything of the kind, and it was a great curiosity.

People came from far and near to see the wonderful little machine work. But one day it stopped.  Nobody knew what to do, and not only the owner but the whole town felt the loss. Everybody was talking about the misfortune, and with good reason. Imagine living in a town where there was never a time-piece of any description! At last, Jean Richard, a smith's apprentice, made his appearance. He was a clear-headed, clever boy; and looking carefully among the wheels and cogs of the watch, he fancied that he might put it in order. He asked if he might try, and permission was readily given. He put the watch in order very quickly, and at once became the hero of the village. But he was not satisfied. If he could mend a watch, he could make one, he believed; and so he set about the work without tools, machinery, patterns, experience or anything, in fact, save his own will and purpose and ingenuity. He worked bravely on, toiling late at night and early in the morning, and in a little less than two years saw his first watch measuring time.

It was a triumph, and the brave boy deserved all his satisfaction. A few years more and Jean himself was at the head of a large and successful watch-making business, and before many years had passed, Switzerland was noted as a watch-producing country.

You see, boys, what the qualities were which led to this success,—perseverance, courage, and hope. Jean Richard had no more of these, perhaps, than many a boy who does little or nothing, but he was willing to try the seemingly impossible thing. Are you?





S. S. Classmate.