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Excerpt from The Importance of Literature to Men of Business: Series of Addresses Delivered at Various Popular Institutions
I will tell you, Gentlemen, in the first place, why I think this occasion so important. We are assembled here in performance of our part of a process which is going on at present more slowly than might he wished, but which is at length fairly entered upon, and must advance with more rapidity as example sanctions and persuasion urges it; and will, I trust, in a very few years, he in active progress in every town, village, and parish in the kingdom - a process on which it is no exaggeration to say, that the future destinies of this empire will very mainly depend - because on it depends, by a natural and indissoluble link, our capacity as a nation for a high degree of civil liberty. The process I mean is the active endeavour, on the part of every one who can lend a hand to it, to improve the standard of moral and intellectual culture in the mass of the people.
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