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242
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
shall hereafter attempt to define. In this coun­try, it is the duty of every individual to live an active life. No one, even though he be rich, has a right to be idle or useless. In the hive of bees, there is a privileged class of drones: but there the government is despotic, with a queen at its head. Ours is a republican government, which admits of no drones, and tolerates no aristocratic indolence. Nor is industry more a duty to society than a source of individual happiness. There are no pleasures so sweet as those earned by effort, no possessions so dear as those acquired by toil. The truth is that the main happiness of life consists in the vigorous exercise of those faculties which God has given us. Thus it usually happens that more enjoy­ment is found in the acquisition of property than in its possession. How often does the rich man, surrounded with every luxury, look back from the pinnacle which he has attained, with fond regret, to those days of humble but happy toil when he was struggling up the steep ascent of fortune !
Make industry, then, a part of fireside edu­cation. Teach it to your children as a point of duty; render it familiar to them by practice. Personal exertion and ready activity are natu­ral to some children, and these hardly need any
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