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Quotation of the Day…

… is from Algernon Wells’s essay (circa 1848) “On the Education of the Working Classes”; it is quoted on page 172 of George H. Smith’s important new 2013 book, The System of Liberty:

How to teach, how to improve children, are questions admitting of new and advanced solutions, no less than inquiries how best to cultivate the soil, or to perfect manufactures.  And these improvements cannot fail to proceed indefinitely, so long as education is kept wide open, and free to competition, and to all those impulses which liberty constantly supplies.  But once close up this great science and movement of mind from these invigorating breezes, whether by monopoly or bounty, whether by coercion or patronage, and the sure result will be torpor and stagnancy.