At the time I first threw out the proposition in regard to the education of the little Nailer, I hardly believed that they could so abolish space and dry up the ocean intervening between them and such a young sufferer, as they have done. Bless your hearts, children, I reckoned you would have a merry time of it about Christmas, and have your pockets filled with all sorts of nice things, that would come by way of affectionate remembrance from grand-papa down to the fourth cousin; and you would bring to mind lots of boys and girls that had no one to give them a picture-book as large as a cent, and who couldn’t read it if they had one. I thought this would be a good time to put in a word for “The Little Nailer;” and so I threw out the thought, very hopefully, that you should all contribute something from your Christmas presents and make the little fellow a Christmas gift of a year’s schooling. I suggested this idea between doubt and hope. I did not know how it would strike you. I did not know but some of you might think that the great ocean was too wide to be crossed by your little charities; that others might say, “He is only an English boy—he doesn’t belong to our family circle—let him alone,” And so I waited anxiously to hear from you; for I was sure you would talk it over among yourselves in the “School-room,” and on the way home, and by the fireside. Well, after waiting a few weeks, the English steamer came in from Boston, and brought me a letter from Ezekiel; and the happiest thing in it was, that the boys and girls of “Our School Room” had made no more of the Atlantic Ocean than if it had been a mud-puddle, which they could step across to give a helping hand to a lad who was down and couldn’t get up alone. It made my heart get up in my mouth and try to talk instead of my tongue, when I read to some of my friends here what you had done for the little Nailer; when I told them to read for themselves and see that your sympathies knew nothing about any geography, any more than if the science of natural divisions had never been discovered, or if oceans, seas, rivers or mountains, or any such terms as American, English or African, were not to be found in the Dictionary. The letter stated that ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY half-dimes had already come in, from children all over the country, to pay the schoolmaster for teaching the little English nailer to read in the Testament, and to write a legible hand. Nor was this all.—Ezekiel said that there was no telling how many more half-dimes would come in; for not only had the children of our own “School-Room” taken up the matter, but those of other school-rooms, especially away down in Maine, were determined to have some share in fitting out the nailer-boy with an education sufficient to make a man of him, if he will use it aright. I saw it clear that the little fellow was to be put to school; that his hammer was to lie silent on the anvil for the space of one cold winter; and that the young folks in America would foot the bill. And I was determined that this should be a Christmas gift to him, that he and his young American benefactors might enjoy it together. So two days before Christmas, I started from Birmingham on foot to carry the present to him.