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[105] for its difficulty or for its results, such triumphs as those of Trafalgar and Waterloo would not be worthy of mention.

There have been self-sustaining monasteries! Will there never be self-sustaining colleges? Is there anything like an inherent impossibility in a thousand men and women, in the fresh strength of youth, capable of a just subordination, working together, each for all and all for each, with the assistance of steam, machinery, and a thousand fertile acres—earning a subsistence by a few hours' labor per day, and securing, at least, half their time for the acquisition of the art, or the language, or the science which they prefer? I think not. We are at present a nation of ignoramuses, our ignorance rendered only the more conspicuous and misleading, by the faint intimations of knowledge which we acquire at our schools. Are we to remain such for ever?

But if Horace Greeley derived no help from schools and teachers, he received no harm from them. He finished his apprenticeship, an uncontaminated young man, with the means of independence at his finger-ends, ashamed of no honest employment, of no decent habitation, of no cleanly garb. ‘There are unhappy times,’ says Mr. Carlyle, ‘in the world's history, when he that is least educated will chiefly have to say that he is least perverted; and, with the multitude of false eye-glasses, convex, concave, green, or even yellow, has not lost the natural use of his eyes.’ ‘How were it,’ he asks, ‘if we surmised, that for a man gifted with natural vigor, with a man's character to be developed in him, more especially if in the way of literature, as thinker and writer, it is actually, in these strange days, no special misfortune to be trained up among the uneducated classes, and not among the educated; but rather, of the two misfortunes, the smaller?’ And again, he observes, ‘The grand result of schooling is a mind with just vision to discern, with free force to do; the grand schoolmaster is practice.’

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