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258
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
sundry mischievous tricks. But he was patient, and tough, in his patience, as the tree that gave him a name; and he overcame them at last. One by one, the villagers began to imitate him. The small brown houses gradually lost their look of squalidness and disorder. The Swamp emerged from its shadow, and became a cul­tivated valley. The little farmers and the humble mechanics rose from their degraded condition: education spread its light; industry and frugality showered down their blessings ; and Uneasy Swamp became the flourishing vil­lage of Thrivewell.
And thus, though none of the people are what is called rich, none are poor. The small houses are neat, and the fruit-trees, the blossoming shrubs, the green grass, around them, declare that the people are happy. They are not mad in the foolish chase for riches, which is destroy­ing more peace in this country than all the bodily diseases our flesh is heir to. They are now, from better knowledge, satisfied that the rich man shall possess his wealth, both because they perceive that, generally speaking, the la­boring classes are the happiest, and that the security of property is the only steady impulse to economy, industry, providence, and the other important village virtues. They are more fond
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