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Teachers And Teaching

( Originally Published 1907 )



THESE old academies have been held in loving remembrance by those who enjoyed their privileges. It is pleasant to read such words of reminiscence as their old-time students have put on record, and not surprising that they sometimes lament the glory departed, when they turn their attention to the high school of these later days. Some of this feeling is doubtless due to the fact so often noted that scenes grow fairer as they pass from present experience to become only things remembered. But that is not all. Individual enterprise and the endeavors of small groups of friends and neighbors, overcoming difficulties together, played a large part in the making of those academies. A personal and romantic interest attaches to such undertakings, which is often missed in great public systems like our state systems of schools. An institution that was picturesque and interesting enough when standing alone may be thought commonplace when it appears as one among many of the same sort, all organized under uniform.statutory provisions.

There were other reasons for the strong hold those academies gained upon the affection of their students. And among these must be mentioned the fact that, through some fortunate combination of circumstances, a goodly number of very able teachers were at one time and another employed in them. Some of these fine old masters should be mentioned by name in such a sketch as this.

The second principal at Phillips Exeter, Benjamin Abbot, LL.D., is perhaps the most famous of those early teachers whose reputation rests altogether upon their academy career. He was an Andover man, and came of a long line of ancestors who had all lived upon the same Andover farm. Benjamin was nineteen years of age when he entered the newly opened Phillips Andover Academy and began the study of Latin. He was one of Principal Pearson's boys. In 1788 he was graduated from Harvard College, and was immediately called to teach at Phillips Exeter. He was virtually the head of the institution from that time on, and in 1790 was regularly elected to the principalship. His salary at the first was " one hundred and thirty-three pounds six shillings and eight-pence, lawful money," per year. It was soon increased to one hundred and fifty pounds. In 1799 it was made seven hundred dollars. He had also the free use of a dwelling house.

He was a tall man, finely proportioned, graceful in every movement, and his pupils long remembered the sweet and gentle dignity of his expression. It has been said that he knew the" science of boys." He had a long forefinger, and boys of every sort trembled when he shook it ominously before them. He punished with notable thoroughness, but the culprit was restored to respect mid favor as soon as the punishment was over. Judge H. C. Whitman, of Cincinnati, recalled in after years one occasion on which he was directed to come to the library at eight o'clock in the morning, to meet Dr. Abbot on serious business. He was met at the front door with the command, "Go round to the back door, sir." Having reached the library from the rear of the house, he had an interview with the Doctor which he does not describe in detail. But at the close he was taken to the front door and bowed politely out !

The father of Lewis Cass hesitated to send his son to the academy because the boy was so wild and hard to manage. But the preceptor said, " Send him to me, and I'll see what I can do with him." The experiment was altogether successful. After it had gone on for several months, the elder Cass declared to Dr. Abbot that " if Lewis was half as afraid of the Almighty as he is of you, I should never have any more trouble with him."

Of his scholarship a very favorable account is given. Cicero and Horace were his favorite authors. His reading of the Latin text of the orations against Catiline and the Carmen Sceculare was highly expressive, and produced a great impression upon his pupils. He was a student, and kept up a living acquaintance not only with new works relating to the classic literatures and languages, but with current publications in the fields of politics, theology, general literature, and education. His own contribution to the literature of classical study was not unimportant. At his request, a friend who visited Europe in 1802 looked into the methods of instruction at Eton and other prominent schools, and made him acquainted with the results of the investigation.

In 1838, Dr. Abbot withdrew from the principalship of the academy, in which he had labored with great success for the period of fifty years. A jubilee festival was held on this occasion, and many men, former pupils of the school who had become eminent in various walks in life, came together at Exeter to do honor to the great teacher. Daniel Webster presided at the celebration. Letters were read from Lewis Cass, Josiah Quincy, and Dr. Dana. Speeches were made by Edward Everett, John P. Hale, Caleb Cushing, and others whose reputation was national. Dr. Abbot was presented with a massive silver vase, Mr. Webster making the presentation address. His portrait was presented to the academy. Funds were subscribed to found an Abbot scholar-ship at Cambridge. It must, from all accounts have been a time when good feeling overflowed and school reminiscence was at its best. We may well doubt whether many occasions worthy to be compared with this have been known in the history of our secondary schools.

Dr. Abbot was succeeded in the principalship of the academy by the hardly less venerated Gideon Lane Soule, who had been a teacher in the institution since 1822. Dr. Soule's jubilee was celebrated with warmth and enthusiasm in 1872.

The constitutions of both of the Phillips academies charged the trustees to exercise great care in the selection of suitable men for the principalship. This injunction was heeded at Andover as well as at Exeter. Here the first principal, Eliphalet Pearson, afterwards professor of Hebrew at Harvard, and still later back at Andover, in the theological seminary, was a man of great force and versatility and of commanding presence. To the boys he was " Elephant Pearson." A pupil who had been reprimanded by him was asked how he came through the ordeal. The youngster replied, "I pinched myself to see whether I was alive." Washington is reported to have said of this master, " His eye shows him worthy not only to lead boys, but to command men."

He rendered the Commander no unimportant service ; for when Judge Phillips erected his powder mill, he depended on his friend, the schoolmaster, to help him over the difficulty of a lack of saltpetre. Pearson improvised a laboratory, and by dint of hard labor, study, and experiment, found a way to supply the missing ingredient. At another time he showed skill of a different sort by constructing a bass viol, which stood for a long time in the Old South church at Andover.

Our earliest account of the routine life of Phillips Andover is contained in a letter addressed by Principal Pearson to his trustees, in 1780 :

" School begins at eight o'clock with devotional exercises ; a psalm is read and sung. Then a class consisting of four scholars repeats memoriter two pages in Greek Grammar, after which a class of thirty persons repeats a page and a half of Latin Grammar ; then follows the ' Accidence tribe,' who repeat two, three, four, five and ten pages each. To this may be added three who are studying arithmetic ; one is in the Rule of Three, another in Fellowship, and the third in Practice. School is closed at night by reading Dr. Doddridge's Family Expositor, accompanied by rehearsals, questions, remarks and reflections, and by the singing of a hymn and a prayer. On Monday the scholars recite what they can remember of the sermons heard on the Lord's Day previous ; on Saturday the bills are presented and punishments administered."

The story of John Adams, who was principal of Phillips Andover from 1810 to 1833, has recently been put before the public in a very readable volume . Dr. Adams came to the principalship at the age of thirty-eight. He was a graduate of Yale College, and had already won distinction by his success in the principalship of the academy at Plain-field, Connecticut, and of the Bacon Academy, at Colchester in the same state. About two thousand pupils had been under his instruction. He was a straightforward, simple-hearted man, who gave himself wholly to the duties of his office. He would have no ceremony of inauguration, but when the time came to enter upon his new duties, he went straight to the schoolroom alone and took up the work of the day.

It is the successor of this schoolroom, in a building erected several years after Dr. Adams began his labors at Andover, that is celebrated by Oliver Wendell Holmes in his centennial anniversary poem,

" THE SCHOOL–BOY.

" How all comes back ! The upward slanting floor, —
The masters' thrones that flank the central door, —
The long, outstretching alleys that divide
The rows of desks that stand on either side, —
The staring boys, a face to every desk,
Bright, dull, pale, blooming, common, picturesque.
Grave is the Master's look ; his forehead wears
Thick rows of wrinkles, prints of worrying cares ;
Uneasy lie the heads of all that rule,
His most of all whose kingdom is a school.
Supreme he sits; before the awful frown
That bends his brows the boldest eye goes down;
Not more submissive Israel heard and saw
At Sinai's foot the Giver of the Law."

We are assured that so far as it goes this is a faithful description of both the room and the master.

There were twenty-three boys in the Andover Academy when Dr. Adams became its principal. By 1817, it had increased to one hundred, and the Preceptor had three assistants. In all, Dr. Adams admitted 1,119 pupils to the academy. Nearly one-fifth of these became ministers. In 1832, his catalogue showed ninety pupils — a slight falling-off since the early twenties. Phillips Exeter, too, admitted fewer pupils during the third decade of the century than during the second, and a still smaller number in the eighteen-hundred-thirties. Dr. Adams reported that his ninety were all pursuing classical studies.

Thucydides and Herodotus were introduced into the academy early in Dr. Adams's principalship. It is said of the Doctor's scholarship that, " His attainments, if not brilliant, were substantial. What he knew he knew thoroughly, and he had an unusual faculty for communicating knowledge to the minds of others."

But he became conscious of the fact that members of his board of trustees desired a younger man in the principalship of the institution. He immediately resigned his office, and began looking for another position. There is some-thing very pitiful in the story of his wearisome search over New England and New York for a place in which his undoubted talents should be in demand. The father of a former pupil, finally, gave him cordial encouragement to open a school at Elbridge, in New York. There for three years he conducted an institution which afterwards grew into Monroe Academy.

In the Andover days, Dr. Adams had been associated with the professors of the Theological Seminary in projecting the American Education Society, an organization which exerted a strong influence in the building up of educational institutions in the new west. Andover was in fact one of the chief centres of the educational propaganda which the east was beginning to carry on in the west ; and John Adams was quite in touch with movements in which he had long been deeply concerned, when he withdrew from the academy at Elbridge, and went on a difficult educational pilgrimage to the wilds of Illinois.

In that new country he labored for long years as a teacher and Sunday-school missionary, and there he died, in Jacksonville, in the ninety-first year of his age. His career is worthy of very honorable mention ; and no part of it shows more of the real soundness of the man's character than does his ready giving-up of the dearest associations of his life when the good of his school seemed to demand the sacrifice, and his turning without bitterness to throw the whole strength of his later years into new and arduous labors.

We may get a glimpse of school life at Andover in the time of Principal Adams, from a letter of William Person, a student in the academy :

" Plumps ACADEMY, June 18, [1814].

" I will relate to you the order of our studies, which, while it may amuse, may also serve to apologise for my delay. I will begin on Sunday, as that is the first day of the week. If we are absent from meeting, where our attendance is strictly required, we are noted for absence by some one of the monitors, and our names are reported to the Principal on the monitor's bill at the end of the term. We are liable to be called upon the next day to give an abstract of the sermons. For morning recitations on Monday we are allotted ten pages of Vincent's explanations of the Westminster Assembly's Shorter Catechism. This must be committed on Sunday or Monday morning, as we have no other time. For morning recitations on Saturday about as many pages of an inestimable tract by Mason on Self-knowledge ; this we learn as we have opportunity between Monday and Saturday. So much of our time and attention is given to religious and moral studies. It is not only a useful exercise for the memory, but it is an excellent method of bringing us to an acquaintance with God, with mankind and with ourselves — knowledge of the greatest possible importance. [We can hardly doubt that this little dissertation on educational values is an echo of the sayings of the preceptor.] Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (afternoon of the latter excepted) are engaged in our common classical studies ; ditto Thursday and Friday, and Saturday in the forenoon. Wednesday afternoons in every week are devoted to declamation. From this pleasing exercise no scholar is excepted. I begin to get a little acquainted with Latin. Have progressed as far as the fiftieth page in the Epitome. Write Latin from Clark's Introduction every Thursday afternoon. Also practice writing one hour every day on Wrifford's plan, under the direction of a writing master from the divinity college. For absence, tardiness, and for every detected foible our names are entered on the monitor's bill, with the charges respectively annexed, which is shown to the Preceptor at the end of the term, and we are obliged to give satisfactory reasons for our remissness in these particulars, etc. This relation will at once convince you that I have but little leisure."

How delightfully vague is that " etc." In the literary slang of our day, it is, indeed, a little touch.

The charges referred to may have been actual money items. At Nazareth Hall, a little earlier, there was a regular system of fines : " A farthing for talking at meals, a ha' penny for falling on the floor, 1d. for tearing a leaf out of a book, 2d. for telling a lie, 3d. for an oath."

Perhaps one chief cause of the dissatisfaction with Principal Adams may be found in the very intensity of his devotion to the religious side of the school's activities. Since his time, the institution may not have been less religious in reality ; but its purely religious aspect has been rather less conspicuous and its emphasis upon classical scholarship rather more marked. Mr. Osgood Johnson's short term in the principalship, from 1833 to 1837, is remembered as a time of almost religious devotion to the finest things in the classical studies.

Then followed, 1837-71, the long and notable career of Principal Samuel H. Taylor, which many men not yet old recall with the warmth of personal affection. " The spirit of Taylor," wrote the Rev. William E. Park, " calls up that of Pearson. They stand confronting each other like the two towers of a suspension bridge. . . . There was not in the soul of Taylor much of the low material of scepticism ; . . . he was emphatically a man of faith, made up of many faiths. A strong underlying belief in the possibilities of human nature; a deep sense of that which the scholar can be made to be ; a reliance upon the power of correct habits ; a thorough, heartfelt, unaffected belief in the efficacy of classical literature as the great educating force, with a partial failure to appreciate the developing power of other studies ; a boundless confidence in his own ability to instruct, causing some neglect in his oversight of the work of his subordinates, combined to make this remarkable man."

The first President Dwight holds a place of no small importance in the history of American literature and of American theology. His fame, however, rests chiefly upon his contribution to American education. The greatness of his service to Yale College is universally recognized, but little stress has been laid upon his career as an academy instructor. This aspect of his many-sided activity calls for notice not only because of its importance in the development of our secondary education, but also because of its intimate connection with his later work in the college, to which reference has already been made.

The grandson of Jonathan Edwards and first cousin of Aaron Burr might be expected to rise above the commonplace. But Timothy Dwight must have been a superhuman being, if we may judge from the eulogies of his disciples. His manners and his personal presence are described as wonderfully winning and impressive. He was an orator of indescribable persuasiveness. His memory was phenomenal; his vigor of thought so great that ordinary men found their strength gone at the mere contemplation of his achievements.

He learned the alphabet at one lesson. At the age of six, the Latin grammar was kept from him for his own good. But he got hold of a copy, and twice went through it on the sly, as Jack Horner might have eaten the spoils of his two thumbs. He might easily have been ready for college at the age of eight, but was made to wait till he was thirteen. At seventeen he was graduated and became master of the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven. From nineteen to twenty-five he was tutor in the college, where he gained a prodigious influence over his students. He was one of the Yale literary group, and matched Trumbull's McFingal with his own Conquest of Canaan. At different times during the disturbance caused by the Revolutionary War, when the college was scattered, students resorted to him for instruction at places remote from New Haven. He entered the Christian ministry and became chaplain of a brigade in General Putnam's division of the Continental army. His sermons and daily ministrations gained for him great influence in the army. He made the acquaintance of Washing-ton, who honored him with courteous attentions. Later he became a member of the Massachusetts legislature, where, in addition to other services, his Yale eloquence stemmed the tide that was running against a proposed appropriation for Harvard, and secured the adoption of the bill. Such was the man who in 1783 was settled over the parish of Greenfield, in Connecticut, and soon thereafter added to his pastorate the conduct of the Greenfield Hill Academy.

If the eulogies seem exaggerated, Timothy Dwight must at the least have been a very remarkable man to have made the exaggeration so unanimous. From one point of view, we may regard him as the noblest after-development of the Great Awakening. The finer educational impulses of that wave of religious enthusiasm came out at their best in the life of this man. He had close affinities, too, with those choice spirits of the earlier academy movement in England. One writer speaks of his " universal thirst for knowledge ; " his "unbounded love of knowledge in every form." This was a true academy trait, from Milton down. In his tutor days he had given a great impetus to the study of rhetoric at the college. He plunged into Newton's Principia. In his Greenfield Hill Academy he carried his pupils forward in their studies with a fine disregard of all formal metes and bounds. He conducted some of them well on through the studies of a college course, and he taught them subjects not found in the ordinary college course of that day.

One of his biographers adds that, " In his school he adopted to a considerable degree, one part of the Lancasterian mode of instruction ; making it extensively the duty of the older scholars, who were competent, to hear the recitations of the younger." Another noteworthy characteristic of the school at Greenfield Hill was the fact, to which reference has already been made, that it was co-educational. President Dwight is justly regarded as one of the pioneers in the education of women. It was with him a matter of principle. He firmly believed, in opposition to the prevailing opinion of the time, that women had minds equal to those of men in their capacity for education. Even before he went to Greenfield, he had conducted a school for both sexes at Northampton. He had a high appreciation of feminine excellence, and it is said that he greatly loved the company of refined and intelligent women.

He gave freely of his time to the conduct of the academy, putting in his six hours daily at the school house as regularly as any teacher. At the same time he was discharging the duties of his pastorate, preparing his system of theology, exercising a wide hospitality, cultivating a large garden with his own hands, and composing in verse for recreation. Young people flocked to his academy not only from New England, but also from the middle and southern states. It was carried on through the twelve years of his Greenfield pastorate, and during that time he taught more than one thousand pupils. Professor Denison Olmsted, who had been both student and tutor under President Dwight at Yale, said years afterward that in his youth he had been acquainted with men distinguished for their literary attainments and high intelligence whose education had all been acquired in this school at Greenfield Hill.

In his poem entitled Greenfield Hill, Dr. Dwight gave a sketch of his school. It had been his purpose to imitate di fferent British poets in the several portions of this poem — a design which he finally abandoned; but the influence of Goldsmith is readily seen in the following passages :

"Where yonder humbler spire salutes the eye,
It's vane slow turning in the liquid sky,
Where, in light gambols, healthy striplings sport,
Ambitious learning builds her outer court ;
A grave preceptor, there, her usher stands,
And rules, without a rod, her little bands.
Some half-grown sprigs of learning grac'd his brow :
Little he knew, though much he wish'd to know,
Inchanted hung o'er Virgil's honeyed lay,
And smiled to see desipient Horace play ;
Glean'd scraps of Greek ; and curious, trae'd afar,
Through Pope's clear glass, the bright Mnonian star.
Yet oft his students at his wisdom star'd,
For many a student to his side repair'd,
Surpriz'd, they heard him Dilworth's knots untie,
And tell, what lauds beyond the Atlantic lie."
"Many his faults ; his virtues small and few;
Some little good he did, or strove to do;
Laborious still, he taught the early mind,
And urg'd to manners meek, and thoughts refin'd ;
Truth he impress'd, and every virtue prais'd;
While infant eyes, in wondering silence, gaz'd."

The south was not lacking in eminent academy instructors, one of whom, Moses Waddel, established a remarkable school at Willington, South Carolina, in 1804. Mr. Meriwether has gathered together much interesting information with reference to this institution. Architecturally, the establishment must have been a rude and diminutive prototype of the University of Virginia.

"Instead of large, luxurious dormitories for the students, were built little log huts, with chimneys of wood usually, but sometimes of brick. The students were encouraged to build these themselves. The whole formed ` a street shaded by majestic oaks, and composed entirely of log huts, varying in size from six to sixteen feet square. . . . The street was about forty yards wide and the houses ten or twelve ranged on the sides, either built by the students themselves or by architects hired by them.' The common price was five dollars for a house, ' on front row, waterproof, and easily chinked. . . In the suburbs were several other buildings of the same kind erected by literary recluses . . . who could not endure the din of the city at play-time — at play-time, we say, for there was no din in it in study hours. At the head of the street stood the academy, differing in nothing from the other buildings but in size, and the number of its rooms.' There were two rooms in this, one for the primary pupils, while ' the larger was the recitation room of Dr. Waddel himself, the prayer-room, court-room, and general convocation room for all matters concerning the school. It was without seats and just large enough to contain one hundred and fifty boys standing erect, close pressed, and leave a circle of six feet diameter at the door for jigs and cotillons at the teachers' regular soirees every Monday morning.' "

Dr. Waddel conducted this academy for fifteen years, when he withdrew to become president of the University of Georgia. During this period he had among his pupils a surprising number of young men who rose to high position in after years. He prepared John C. Calhoun and Judge A. B. Longstreet to enter the junior class at Yale ; and rendered a similar service to Governor Patrick Noble, who went to the junior class at Princeton, and to George McDuffie — governor, senator, and mighty orator — whom he sent to the junior class at the University of South Carolina. William H. Crawford, who in 1824 came near to the presidency of the United States, was another of his students, and the list of eminent names might be greatly extended.

The master was strict in discipline and did not spare the rod. He insisted upon thorough work and steady attention to business. His students, some of whom had grown to manhood before they entered his school, respected him and loved him, and the memories of Willington were held by them in the highest reverence.

It would seem that Dr. Waddel was particularly mindful of individual differences among his pupils. He did not neglect to stimulate the brighter boys as well as to urge on the backward and negligent. Perhaps this is one reason why so many of fine natural abilities came to him, and why they made the most of their talents when they went out into active life.

" George Carey prepared a thousand lines of Virgil for a Monday's recitation when at Willington. The Virgil class was too large, and its members were of such unequal grade, that the teacher announced that it would be divided on the basis of the work done by each one by the following Monday, and it was under this stimulus that Carey did his work. George McDuffie excelled this intellectual feat a year or so later with one thousand two hundred and twelve lines of Horace. He was poor, and was boarded gratuitously in the family of Mr. William Calhoun. His ability was first recognized by James Calhoun, who aided him in his attendance at the South Carolina College. He was a very hard student and is said `to have devoured his Latin grammar in three weeks.' "

Something should be said of the instruction which was going on in the mean time in the old grammar schools that still survived. The Autobiography of the first president of the University of North Carolina, the Rev. Joseph Caldwell, I).D., gives us details of the daily routine in some New Jersey schools just after the Revolution, and shows incidentally the improvement of methods which came in from Scotland by way of Princeton College.

"I think," he says, "it was in the year 1784, when I was eleven or twelve years of age, a Latin grammar was wanted, and upon inquiry none was to be had. One of the boys having one on hand that was nearly worn out, gave it to me. The grammar was instantly and eagerly commenced, and as eagerly prosecuted till finished. Corderius, Selecta e Veteri, Selecta e Profanis, Cresar, Greek Grammar, Greek Testament, Mair's Introduction, Virgil, and perhaps some other books, followed in as quick succession as intent application could compass them. [This was in the grammar school of Princeton College.] Before my entering college, our family removed to Newark, where my studies were continued under Dr. McWhorter. The school at Princeton was made an object of special regulation, and sometimes of personal attention by Dr. Witherspoon [president of the college]. From this circumstance it certainly had singular advantages in comparison with other academies. The modes of instruction, and the exercises in which we were trained, were derived immediately from Scotland. Of their superior efficacy I was made sensible by the change. Dr. McWhorter was undoubtedly among the best teachers in the country, but in the class with which I was united, everything came so easily in my preparations that it was almost like sport, while the rest of the class appeared to meet as much difficulty as they could well vanquish. This difference proceeded from the different methods of teaching, and I was perfectly convinced of it at the time."

"In Mair's Introduction, it was the custom at Newark to write down no more than two or three of the longer sentences in good Latin, as a weekly task on Saturday. But in Princeton we were required to come prepared every forenoon, while we were in that book, to read the whole of one of those sentences in English, and then to repeat it with equal promptness in correct Latin; and our daily appointment was two or three pages. Nor was this all. For we then closed our books, and the instructor would read to us long portions of the English, and we must give the Latin of them without mistake in word or grammatical construction, from beginning to end. We were not permitted to do this tardily, for not only if any one made a mistake, but if he did not move directly forward in enunciating the translation of the sentence put to him, the next below was to pronounce it forthwith, and if successful, was to take his place. To a student trained to this vigor and promptness of thought and action, what difficulty could there be in writing down two or three sentences in corrected Latin as a weekly exercise, as was the custom at Newark l We wrote Latin versions weekly at Princeton also, but we had nothing but English sentences given, and we selected the Latin words and phraseology for our-selves. This taught us the use of words agreeably to their true classical import. Dr. Witherspoon had various methods of drilling a class. One was to run a verb, as it was called, through all the successive tenses and moods in the first person, then in the second person, the third, and so on ; and to repeat the imperative, the infinitive, the gerunds, supines, and participles. This was done in both voices. Another exercise consisted in comparing an adjective, and keeping up the repetition of the degrees, through all the genders and cases in both numbers. A third method of giving us skill was to carry an adjective through the cases and numbers in company with a masculine substantive, then with a feminine, and then with a neuter. A fourth exercise was to come prepared daily with a page or two of vocables, so as to give the English for the Latin, and the Latin for the English. In another instance, he would select a Latin verb, and call upon each of us, successively, to give a comma pound with the meaning, till all the compounds were exhausted. A sixth exercise was made out by taking some verb, as ago, having various idiomatic imports according to its connection, and we were required to give examples of its idiomatic uses. This note is subjoined evidently not for all readers, but as a suggestion to teachers. But these are by no means all the methods of drilling to which we were called. When we first commenced any one of them, we were slow; but the quickness to which we presently attained, was evidence of the improvement consequent upon such practice. The most efficient cause of the high degree of perfection at which scholars arrive in European grammar schools and scientific institutions, is to be seen in the diversity of exercises devised and continually practiced through the whole course of education."

Dr. Caldwell, it may be added, was himself a worthy representative of that long line of educational missionaries which Princeton College was sending out to the south and west.

The post-revolutionary history of the Boston Latin School, or at least the earlier half of that history, comes in for some notice here. The school was reopened a few months after the town was evacuated by the British. But during the first generation of its later career it passed through troublous times. The discipline was harsh and ineffective and the instruction of an inferior quality. The published reminiscences of the daily life of the school about 1811, when Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of its pupils, describe a most deplorable state of affairs. The rattan was in use much of the time, its operation being interspersed with altercations between the master and the boys undergoing punishment. The master indulged in a sardonic pedagogue humor, illustrating the rules of grammar with strokes of the rod, or improvising in doggerel rhyme,

"If I see any boy catching flies,
I'll whip him till he cries,
And make the tears run out of his eyes; "

or at another time,

"If you 'll be good, I'll thank you !
If not, I'll spank you ! "

The boys called him Sawney, and he had his own plentiful vocabulary of epithets to apply to them. The cramming and coaching for public examinations, by which this master sought to conceal the defects of his daily instruction, was of the most shameless sort.

Mr. Emerson told of the ultimate downfall of this regime :

"One day when [the master referred to] was giving orders to the boys on one side of the School there was a sudden shout on the opposite side. He turned around amazed to them, and instantly the boys on the eastern side roared aloud. I have never known any rebellion like this in the English Schools to surpass it. I think the School was immediately dismissed, and I think Mr. [ ] never entered it again. I remember that on the following morning the prayer was simply these words: `Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' "

A young man, hardly out of college, Mr. Benjamin Apthorp Gould, was then called to the mastership, and under his rule the school was soon brought to a high state of efficiency. He left his mark on the organization of studies and instruction for half a century.

Mr. Gould's own account of the school as it was in the eighteen-hundred-twenties is one of the most explicit statements that we have of the actual school management of that time. It is well worth reproducing as a whole ; but in the interest of brevity only a portion of it is presented here :

"The scholars are distributed into six separate apartments, under the care of the same number of instructors; viz. a Principal, or Head Master, a Sub-Master, and four Assistants. For admission, boys must be at least nine years old ; able to read correctly and with fluency, and to write running hand; they must know all the stops, marks, and abbreviations, and have sufficient knowledge of English .grammar to parse common sentences in prose. . . . The regular course of instruction lasts five years ; and the School is divided into five classes according to the time of entrance.

"When a class has entered, the boys commence the Latin Grammar all together, under the eye of the Principal; where they continue until he has become in some degree acquainted with their individual characters and capacities. As they change places at each recitation, those boys will naturally rise to the upper part of the class, who are most industrious, or who learn with the greatest facility. After a time a division of from twelve to fifteen boys is taken off from the upper end of the class; after a few days more, another division is in like manner taken off; and so on until the whole class is separated into divisions of equal number, it having been found that from twelve to fifteen is the most convenient number to drill together.

" ... The class, thus arranged for the year, is distributed among the assistant teachers, a division to each. . . . As writing is not taught in the School, the younger classes for the first two or three years are dismissed at eleven o'clock, an hour before school is done, that they may attend a writing school.. . .

" When this distribution is made, the boys continue for the year in the apartment in which they are first placed, unless some particular reason should exist for changing them; or when the higher divisions attend the Sub-Master for instruction in Geography and Mathematics, to whom these departments are committed.

"This method of studying each branch separately, is adopted throughout the school. The same individuals do not study Latin one part of the day, and Greek the other, but each for a month at a time; and so with mathematics, except that the lesson for the evening, which is usually a written exercise, or a portion of Latin or Greek to be committed to memory, is in a different department from the studies of the day. . . .

"At the close of every month the boys in each department undergo a rigid examination in all the studies of that month. . . . The rank of each scholar and his seat for the succeeding month are determined by this examination, unless an account of places for each recitation of the month has been kept, in which case they are determined by a general average. [The monitor and his 'bill' are referred to briefly.]

"Boys commence with Adam's Latin Grammar, in learning which they are required to commit to memory much that they do not understand at the time, as an exercise of memory, and to accustom them to labor [ ! ]." [Some further apology is offered for this practice.] "It takes from six to eight months for a boy to commit to memory all that is required in Adam's Grammar; but those who do master the grammar completely, seldom find any difficulty afterwards in committing to memory whatever may be required of them. . . . " [Indeed, who can doubt it?]



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