MAZZINI, Giuseppe, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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'Life is a duty, a function, a mission'

MAZZINI, Giuseppe (1805-1872). Italian patriot.
Long Autograph Letter Signed to W. Malleson in Holborn Hill, 11 pages 16mo with envelope (split in one fold), 11 November 1865 (postmark). A long letter declining to write about the education of Malleson's son and then continuing for eleven pages to expound his theories on the subject at great length.
'... I ought to know him, his tendencies, his capabilities, what he has already learned. To give general rules is nothing. He may require special ones. I have mentioned his tendencies. That must be your special object. Every man is a speciality: is capable of some definite thing. You must try to discover that special tendency, and then frame his education accordingly. After a general teaching of those branches which are good any man, direct his studies towards that development of the special tendency which you will have discovered. Education means drawing out, educing, what is in the boy: not creating in him what is not. ... You must give him a proper notion of what Life is and of what the world in which he has been put for the fulfilment of a task is. Life is a duty, a function, a mission. For God's sake, do not teach him any Benthamite theory above happiness either individual or collective. A creed of individual happiness would make him an egoist: a creed of collective happiness will reach the same result soon or later. ...
Languages are easily learned in boyhood. French, German and Italian, if possible, ought to be taught. Two years of study may put the boy in communication with three worlds.
I would not teach any positive Religion: but the great fundamental trinity, God, the immortality of the soul, the necessity of a religion as a common link of brotherhood for mankind, grounded on the acknowledgement of the Law of Progression. ...'
Together with Malleson's copy of a pamphlet, Mazzini and the Irish Question, 4 pages 8vo, dated 'October 1887'.
[No: 21491]


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