A poor man cannot rival the rich in luxury of life, but he can in luxury of knowledge. He cannot furnish his house as the wealthy can, but he can furnish his head. He cannot found a house of note, but he may found a mind of mark. Though some kingdoms may be adorned or afflicted with kings, learning has always been a republic, where all are equal who know.
Anybody can see that the little money you get is half-wasted, because you cannot spend it to advantage. The worst food comes to the poor, which their poverty makes them buy and their necessity makes them eat. Their stomachs are the waste-basket of the State. It is their lot to swallow all the adulterations on the market.
Free thought means fearless thought. It is not deterred by legal penalties, nor by spiritual consequences. Dissent from the Bible does not alarm the true investigator, who takes truth for authority not authority for truth. The thinker who is really free, is independent; he is under no dread; he yields to no menace; he is not dismayed by law, nor custom, nor pulpits, nor society-whose opinion appals so many. He who has the manly passion of free thought, has no fear of anything, save the fear of error.