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34
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
home—a distance of nearly five hundred miles. There are persons who will not believe in mira­cles; but what miracle is equal to this? And yet we know its reality. We cannot explain the process, but we see the fact. We see that instinct is a power which supersedes the neces­sity of instruction to the animal creation; and that, while they are made to be guided by this mysterious gift, man is left to the guidance of experience and education.
In human society, it is found alike convenient and necessary that men should be distributed into various occupations. Some must be farm­ers, some carpenters, some hunters, and some fishermen. Amongst animals, we observe a simi­lar diversity of pursuits. But it is to be re­marked, that, while the latter are instructed by nature in their various trades, and supplied by nature with the tools necessary to carry them on, mankind are obliged to serve a toilsome apprenticeship of many years, in order to ac­quire a competent knowledge of the several arts and professions to which they devote them­selves.
Thus, we observe that the woodpecker, who is a natural carpenter, supplied with a tool that serves both as chisel and mallet, goes un­taught to the forest, selects his piece of timber.
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