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50
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
teaching may mould it to almost any shape. He is willing, therefore, to enlighten his subjects by the diffusion of knowledge, taking care, however, to braid in with the strands of learn­ing ideas of the necessity of monarchical insti­tutions and the duty of loyal allegiance to the crown. The system involves the doctrine that early impressions may control even an enlight­ened intellect; that the associations of child­hood may be so multiplied and netted over the mind as to lead captive the giant powers of mature manhood; and that an instructed peo­ple, thus tied to the car of despotism, while they will be much more powerful, will be equally submissive with the ignorant and unin-structed slave. It is, therefore, a scheme found­ed in a deep knowledge of human character, and displaying a sagacity beyond the scope of ordinary kings. It is, however, a bold experi­ment, and the world will look on with interest for the result. Time will determine whether an instructed people, even though trained to the yoke of monarchy, will continue to bend the neck and toil submissively at the plough.
But, though the Prussian sovereign has un­dertaken to see that education is diffused over the whole community throughout his domin­ions, he is not the first despot that has been a
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