But let us examine first, for a moment, what right any member of the community has to express and to disseminate his opinions with a view to the inquiry whether the teacher is really bound to confine himself to what he can do on this subject with the common consent of his employers.
The various monarchical nations of Europe have been for many years, as is well known, strongly agitated with questions of politics. It is with difficulty that public tranquillity is preserved. Every man takes sides. Now, in this state of things, a wealthy gentleman residing in one of these countries is opposed to the revolutionary projects so constantly growing up there, and being, both from principle and feeling, strongly attached to monarchical government, wishes to bring up his children with the same feelings which he himself cherishes. He has a right to do so. No matter if his opinions are wrong. He ought, it will be generally supposed in this country, to be republican. I suppose him to adopt opinions which will generally, by my readers, be considered wrong, that I may bring more distinctly to view the right he has to educate his children as he thinks it proper that they should be educated. He may be wrong to form such opinions; but the opinions once formed, he has a right, with which no human power can justly interfere, to educate his children in conformity with those opinions. It is alike the law of God and nature that the father should control, as he alone is responsible, the education of his child.
Now, under these circumstances, he employs an American mechanic, who is residing in Paris, to come to his house and teach his children the use of the lathe. After some time he comes into their little work-shop, and is astonished to find the lathe standing still, and the boys gathered round the Republican turner, who is relating to them stories of the tyranny of kings, the happiness of republicans, and the glory of war. The parent remonstrates. The mechanic defends himself.
“I am a Republican,” he says, “upon principle, and wherever I go I must exert all the influence in my power to promote free principles, and to expose the usurpations and the tyranny of kings.”
To this the monarchist might very properly reply,
“In your efforts to promote your principles, you are limited, or you ought to be limited, to modes that are proper and honorable. I employ you for a distinct and specific purpose, which has nothing to do with questions of government, and you ought not to allow your love of republican principles to lead you to take advantage of the position in which I place you, and interfere with my plans for the political education of my children.”