Monday, May 18, 2009


2. Education.

The aim of education is to show our youth the broad line of demarcation between the value of those things which can be owned by but one, and those which can be owned and enjoyed by all. If I own a ship, a house, a farm, or a mass of the metals called precious, my right to them is, in its nature, sole and exclusive. No other man has a right to trade with my ship, to occupy my house, to gather my harvests, or appropriate my treasures to his use. They are mine, and are incapable both of a sole and of a joint possession. But not so of the treasures of knowledge, which it is the duty of education to diffuse. The same truth may enrich and ennoble all intelligences at once. Infinite diffusion subtracts nothing from depth. None are poorer because others are made rich. In this part of the Divine economy, the privilege of primogeniture attaches to all, and every son and daughter of Adam is an heir to an infinite patrimony.

77. Mann, Mass., 1796-1859.

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