72 FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
defy the rust of years, and outhve the more mature but less vivid pictures of after days. So deep, so lasting, indeed, are the impressions of early life, that you often see a man in the imbecility of age holding fresh in his recollection the events of childhood, while all the wide space between that and the present hour is a blasted and forgotten waste. You have perchance seen an old and half-obliterated portrait, and in the attempt to have it cleaned and restored, you may have seen it fade away, while a brighter and more perfect picture, painted beneath, is revealed to view. This portrait, first drawn upon the canvass, is no inapt illustration of youth; and though it may be concealed by some after design, still the original traits will shine through the outward picture, giving it tone while fresh, and surviving it in decay.
Such is the fireside—the great institution furnished by providence for the education of man. Having ordained that man should receive his character from education, it was also ordained that early instruction should exert a decisive influence on character, and that during this important period of existence, children should be subject to the charge of their parents. The sagacity and benevolence displayed in this de-