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392                      FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
thorough English education, and thus imbue them with a strong and lasting taste for litera­ture. Persons who are thus instructed, though devoted to a life of labor, still appear to me to possess very eligible prospects for life.
I happen to be acquainted with an individual, in the vicinity of Boston, who is a working man, laboring day by day with his hands, and who has, for years, invested the surplus of his earnings in books. He has a taste for good edi­tions,—a circumstance which deserves the more commendation from the fact that bad paper and bad print are so much in vogue,—and he has accordingly collected together one of the most splendid libraries in this country. It now con­sists of several thousand volumes, embracing many of the most costly and rare productions of the British press. It is the design of the pro­prietor to make such a disposition of this library that it shall be kept together after his death. With such an example before us of elevated taste and exalted public spirit in a working man, let it not be imagined that the pure plea­sures and ennobling influences of literary pur­suits are necessarily denied to those who lite­rally earn their bread by the sweat of the brow.
There is, I think, a common mistake in soci­ety, that a man's character is determined by his
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