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[2074] —to have a right to speak to nobody; but very soon you learn to take care of yourself, and then the freedom of the place is delightful.

It is fine to see how thoroughly Mr. and Mrs. R. act out, in their own persons, what they intend.

All Saturday I was off in the woods. In the evening we had a general conversation, opened by me, upon Education, in its largest sense, and on what we can do for ourselves and others. I took my usual ground: The aim is perfection; patience the road. The present object is to give ourselves and others a tolerable chance. Let us not be too ambitious in our hopes as to immediate results. Our lives should be considered as a tendency, an approximation only. Parents and teachers expect to do too much. They are not legislators, but only interpreters to the next generation. Soon, very soon, does the parent become merely the elder brother of his child;—a little wiser, it is to be hoped. ——Differed from me as to some things I said about the gradations of experience,—that ‘to be brought prematurely near perfect beings would chill and discourage.’ He thought it would cheer and console. He spoke well,— with a youthful nobleness. ——said ‘that the most perfect person would be the most impersonal’—philosophical bull that, I trow—‘and, consequently, would impede us least from God.’ Mr. R. spoke admirably on the nature of loyalty. The people showed a good deal of the sans-culotte tendency in their manners,— throwing themselves on the floor, yawning, and going out when they had heard enough. Yet, as the majority differ from me, to begin with,—that being the reason this subject was chosen,—they showed, on the whole, more respect and interest than I had expected. As I

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