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INTELLECTUAL CULTURE.                     303
instruction to tens, but the common school to thousands. The people therefore will, on the whole, he well or ill instructed, according to the character of our common schools. Let us analyze these institutions, and attempt to define their proper limits and functions. Having done this, and compared our schools, as they actu­ally exist, with what they ought to he. we can determine what improvement in them society should attempt to make.
In the first place, then, the common schools should he the nurseries of learning, in which every child's mind is to be ingrafted with the scions of knowledge and virtue. They should be universal—thrown open to all. I would not have gratuitous admission, even if it were lea-sible. for experience has shown that education which costs nothing is usually contemned by both parent and pupil. I would therefore have some toll demanded at the gates of knowledge; but this should be so light that all who desire it. the poor as well as the rich, may enter in.
In the second place, these seminaries should be so well managed as to satisfy all parents, even those who are rich and are willing to pay any price for good instruction. They should. wherever they exist, be the best schools in the place. If the public schools are poor or indif-
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