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As to the pleasure to be derived from education at present by hard-working men, a bookish man is apt to think that even the almighty capitalist can hardly take that away from his slave if he has really learned to enjoy reading and to understand books, and that whatever happens he must have an hour in a day (or if it were only half an hour) to indulge himself in this pleasure. But then does the average hard-working man (of any grade) really acquire this capacity by means of the short period of education which he is painfully dragged through? I doubt it. Though even our mechanical school system cannot crush out a natural bent towards literature (with all the pleasures of thought and imagination which that word means) yet certainly its dull round will hardly implant such a taste in anyone's mind; and as for the caput mortuum, the dead mass of mere information which the worker comes away with when his 'education' is over, he will and must soon forget this when he finds out that it is of little use to him and gives him no pleasure.

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Now if I am told that this is à priori reasoning, I am prepared to fortify it by my own observation. I have often been told by working-men (Socialist and others} that they cannot read books; are too tired with the day's work to do so, and the like. Also amongst my middle-class acquaintances, who believe that they work hard, I meet with men who clearly do not read books, and therefore, I suppose, cannot; and I move in each case in a circle that has decided literary tendencies. So that other person's experiences will, I am sure, lead them to conclusions on this point not more favourable than mine.

William Morris

Added by Bryce Wilner
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