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198
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
are a robber. For all these acts of injustice, human laws provide punishment; there are comparatively few, therefore, who will be guilty of such crimes. But I am afraid that many persons, who would be shocked at the idea of cheating, thieving, or robbing, in matters of property, have no scruples in cheating an­other of what might be due to his character —of stealing away his peace of mind or rob­bing him of his fair fame. But it should not be forgotten that justice requires fair dealing in the one case as well as the other; that if human laws watch over the rights of property, the all-seeing eye of justice watches over the subtler rights and possessions of the heart.
It is true we have walls and fences to protect our lands, bolts and bars to secure our mer­chandise ; we have also statutes against acts of injustice in respect to property; we have courts to try, and prisons to punish offenders against these laws; and all this array of power admo­nishes every member of society to be just in the common business of life. But there are dearer possessions than those of lands and merchan­dise, which are thus protected. " He who steals my purse steals trash, but he who robs me of my good name leaves me poor indeed." And how shall these delicate interests be defended ?
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