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will, Philip; but I say, every boy ought to know what laws he can break, and will be punished for breaking--and every one that can, should read the constitution of the United States, and of his own state; especially one who talks so much of freedom as you do.
Frank. Yes; then he would know what freedom means.
Philip. But what boy has time to read so much? not I, for one.
George. I heard you tell Jim Barret, that there was not a boy in the city who had more time than you have; and you could read, all I said you ouglit, in a short time; for it is not more than sixty pages of a small sized book.
Frank. In what book, George?
George. “The American's Guide;" it has in it, too, General Washington's speech when he was made president, and his farewell address to the people. I read that twice.
Philip. Your father is so strict-I know he keeps you reading when you would like, well enough, to be at play: I am glad mine is not so, I should have no fun; he never cares what I do.
George. You are mistaken if you mean my father is cross; he makes us all mind what he says to us, and he gets books for us to read: but when we are tired of reading, we may do what we please.
Philip. I know better than that; for I met your Bob one holiday, and wanted him to go with me to the commons to see the soldiers, and he said he could not, for his father told him he must never do that.
George. I did not say that he gives us liberty to do what he thinks wrong; and he says, if we run after the soldiers we shall get into bad company in the crowd, and hear bad language: but when there is any great parade, he takes us himself to see it; and when there is a holiday, he always finds some way for us to spend it that is pleasant.
Philip. Last election day I seen you working in the shop.
George. Yes; my father told me it I chose to do so, I might use some of his tools; and what I made, I sold for enough money to take me to the museum.
Philip. But then you missed all the fun.
George. You are welcome to such fun as you had that day; do you remember how it ended in a black eye?
Philip. Well, no matter for that now; does your father vote?
George. Yes, always.
Philip. What right has her my father does not.
George. Every free man that is of the age of twenty-one years, and has lived in the state for two years next before the election, and has paid a tax, that was assessed six months before, may vote.
Philip. My father was born here, but he never paid a tax.
George. The law says, every man of twenty-one years
George. My father was born here, too, and he paid a tax as soon as he was of age; for, he says, he always thought it mean spirited to have the good of such a government, and not do what you can towards helping to support it.
Philip. Your father never takes a holiday, so he can earn money enough to pav
pay a tax.
father loves a little fun, and I think it likely he does more good at elections than yours, though he has no right to vote.
Frank. Why, what does he do?
Philip. He stays all day on the election ground helping to hurra, for the right side; and tries to persuade silly fellows who can vote, but do not know on which side to be on, to vote on the right side: and so may gain more for that side than if he only voted himself as your father does.
George. Do you know he could be fined for doing that?
George. At eight o'clock; let us go through the hall of the State House, and walk round the yard until that time.
The four boys went along the gravel walk. When they were opposite to a building that Frank stopped to look at, % that is the City Library,” said George.
Frank. I see the name under the statue, that is over the door, is, “ Benjamin Franklin."
George. Yes, Grandfather told me that ninety-six years ago, Franklin asked some of his acquaintances to put their books together and make a library, and then each one could take a book home and read it.
Frank. And was that the beginning of this Library?
George. Yes, and now there are more than twenty-four thousand books in it.
Frank. Franklin was born in our state, in Boston--I have read his life; he was the son of a tallow chandler.
Philip. I always thought, from his statue being up there, that he was some great man.
Frank Though he was a chandler's son, and a printer's apprentice, he raised himself so as to have a great name for wisdom, whereever he has been heard of.
And in his account of his own life, he gives thanks to a kind providence, which prospered his endeavours, and brought and fame. It was he that first thought of making lightning rods to carry the lightning into the ground, and so keep the buildings to which they are put, from being struck.