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240
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
cultivation had rendered it fertile. Thriving orchards, rich pastures and prolific meadows occupied the bed of the valley and the rugged sides of the hills. I was struck with the scene, and, when I reached a village at the distance of two or three miles, I made some inquiries, where I learnt the story of the proprietor. He was originally a poor boy, and wholly depen­dent upon his own exertions. He was brought up as a farmer, and began life as a day laborer. In childhood, he had read that "procrastination is the thief of time.1' He did not at first un­derstand its meaning, and pondered long upon this desperate thief, who bore the formidable title of Procrastination. It was at length, ex­plained to him; but the struggles he had made to comprehend the adage fixed it deep in his mind. He often thought of it, and, feeling its force, it became the ruling maxim of his life. Following its dictates with inflexible persever­ance, he at length became proprietor of the lit­tle valley I have described. Year by -year it improved under his care, and, at the period of which I am speaking, he was supposed to be worth at least twenty thousand dollars.
Such is the force of perseverance. It gives power to weakness, and opens to poverty the world's wealth. It spreads fertility over the
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