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The resolution gave rise to debate, but no ac- coverlets and the open stage, or the full cos. tion was taken upon the question of its adop- tume, the scenery and the drop curtain of tion."
some village dramatic club. Home, Feb. 15, 1858.
Is it easy to convince an intelligent boy DEAR SCHOOLMASTER :
that he may innocently attend, on Monday People of late have labored to convince night, the school exhibition, and that it is honest men that theaters are the best teachers
at teachers wicked on Tuesday night to listen to the perof sound morality, but I, sitting at my fireside,
formance'of a dramatic club who employ the have not yet become won to that belief. Af
to that belief. Af same scenes and costumes, and represent the ter questioning many good men on the matter same play that his companions had borrowed and reading some pages of the history of the
istory of the the night before? Or is it easy for any candrama, I am surprised to find that the opin- did
nin. did man to convince himself that if a play be ions of a majority of men of wisdom and wrong in one place it is right in another? I sense agree with my own. I have been search. I do not imagine that even the atmosphere of ing, too, for the benefits of stage instruction,
a church can consecrate the « Lady of Lyons" and am compelled to say that I have been dis.
to the spiritual good of its hearers, or that appointed in my search. Those who attend
“Uncle Tom" is so good as not to become most seem to be benefitted least. I finally ar-contaminated by the association of the Muse. rive at the conclusion that as the tendency of
Truly yours, JOHN. such displays must be either good or bad, and as it is certainly not always good, it may be
For the Schoolmaster.
Dido and Aneas. very bad. And this result follows legitimately from the character of the exhibitions.
| A CLASS in Virgil, consisting of nine misses There is danger, and danger ought to be avoid
(nine muses), came to the account of Æneas' ed, unless it be essential to embrace it.
leaving Dido so unceremoniously, which is • Since there is danger, Mr. Schoolmaster, in given in the Æneid, Book iv. lines 554–584, attending a theater, there must be wrong in and were so incensed at the Trojan leader for leading one to desire to attend such displays. such conduct, as well as at Mercury for Now I come to the subject.
advising him to such a course, and for utter. Those school exhibitions which introduce ing the sentiment found in line 571— Varium costumes or other stage effects, such as cur- et mutabile semper fomina !—that they indig. tains, scenes, or footlights, extracts from plays nantly read the line, Varium et mutabile sem. or the whole of plays, are nothing less than per nomo! and afterwards burned Æneas in theaters on a small scale, wherein the perform- effigy. They would probably have served ers are boys and girls, the curtains and the Mercury in the same manner had he not been costumes impromptu and the scenes ill-painted, one of the Immortals. The following appear. if any there be.—But these are only less mag- ed as the composition of a member of the nificent and beautiful than in the complete class, a few days after :
ED. theater because the means of the performers
DIDO ET DUX TROJANUS. or of the directors will not allow. These facts
Pulchram fæminam jam cano are self-evident. Perhaps one reader of this
Nomine Didonem, letter may have witnessed, as I have, in school
Laesam perdito et vano, exhibitions, the green-room of continuous! Audite sermonem.
Wild with grief, to phrensy maddened,
And consumed by hidden fire, Hopes all blighted, life all saddened, Died queen Dido on the pyre.
Say not, to excuse the traitor,
“Fate had willed that this should be;"
M. L. B..... Young Ladies' High School, New London, Ct., January, 1858.
Reunion of the Young Ladies' High School.
Radiant in her youth and beauty
With Diana's witching grace; All intent on her high duty,
Nobly toiled she for her race. True to one long since departed,
He she loved was in the tomb,All her suitors disregarded
Shared alike the unwelcome doom. But it might not last forever
Life so calm and gentle peace; Lofty aims and high endeavor,
Overruled by fate, must cease. There appeared a princely stranger,
With Apollo's graceful mien ; Dido blind to threatening danger
Woman still,-forgot the queen. Venus, child of deep blue ocean,
Goddess fair of grace and love, Urged her on to mad devotion,
Though with scruples, long she strove. Who can, whether high or lowly,
Circumvent all Cupid's arts ? Who can say, and say it truly,
Love sways not the strongest hearts. If, perchance, bright dreams romantic
Often tinged her musing hours, Blame her not, ye minds pedantic,
Only blame the Higher Powers !
It is known to many of our readers that the present School Commissioner of our state, John Kingsbury, LL. D., has for many years been the teacher of a Young Ladies' High School in this city. It may not be known to them all that he has been the sole teacher of one school for thirty years. We do not know where a parallel case can be found.
We copy at length from the Providence Journal the following admirably written report of the “ Reunion” of the members, past and present, of this school, which took place February 5, in Manning Hall, Brown UniverI sity. Our readers will allow us to call their
especial attention to the address of Commis Passed like the mist from off the hill, sioner Kingsbury, particularly to that portion
Yet memory fond recalls them still. relative to means for securing punctuality and
Within a generation's span, regular attendance.-Ed.
The union ends which then began; “Seldom has there been a more interesting
Above, in heaven, oh, may there be
A union for eternity. event in the city of Providence than the one which took place yesterday morning in the DR. WAYLAND'S ADDRESS.
llege chapel, the reunion of the members, Dr. Wayland then made a short, but capi. past and present, of the Young Ladies High tal address, in which he said perhaps it was neSchool. The hall was well filled, mostly with
cessary for him to say something of the nature ladies of course, of all ages (if it is proper to
of the occasion which had called us out this speak of age) and sizes, from the slender
morning, though he thought the occasion sufmaiden of fifteen to the portly matron of no 6.
ficiently explained itself. To him it was a matter how many years. A few of the sterner
very interesting event, for he had witnessed the sex graced the assembly with their presence, beci
presence, beginning of the Institution, and had watched chiefly fathers, husbands and sons of some of it through all the intervening years up to the the pupils. Among the honorary guests were close of it under its first Principal. At the Rev. Dr. Wayland, Rev. Dr. Sears, Profes
es | beginning doubt was entertained whether sors Caswell, Chace, Gammell, Lincoln and
10 such an enterprise as a Young Ladies' High Dunn, Hon. George P. Marsh, His Excellen
School in Providence could succeed. New cy Gov. Dyer, Rev. Dr. Crocker, Rev. Dr.
T: York, Philadelphia, and Boston might have Crane, Rev. Daniel Leach, Rev. Dr. Swain,
such schools, but it was doubtful whether one Dr. Tobey, and Mr. Amos Perry, the succes
could be sustained in Providence. Mr. Kingssor of Mr. Kingsbury.
bury thought differently. He knew us better At the hour for commencing the exercises than we knew ourselves. He commenced his of the morning, Dr. Tobey led to the pulpit school, and so well did he succeed, that at the Rev. Dr. Wayland, who was to be the chair- close of the first term, he had applicants sufman on this interesting occasion. Rev. Dr. ficient to fill another school of the same size, Swain then offered prayer, after which was He did not condescend to cater to fluctuating sung, to the tune of Old Hundred, the follow-public opinion, but went on in a manly, honest ing hymn, composed by a recent pupil, Pro- and straight-forward manner. He would have fessor Fuller presiding at the melodeon : | a school that should be an honor to Prof.
idence, or he would have none at all. What A grateful band we come to-day, Within these sacred walls to pay
his school has been, is known to all in the A parting tribute to our guide,
community. He has succeeded, as I venture Who led our steps to wisdom's tide. to say, no other man could have succeeded.
The result of his labors, the influence of his Here are the friends we loved of yore,
instructions are seen in almost every family. With whom we studied earthly lore;
Not only is a tribute due to him from his puWho trod with us the paths of truth,
pils, but from the city at large. Not only has In those light hearted days of youth.
he left his mark on his own school, but his Gone from us now those sunny hours, influence has been felt in the cause of educaVanished like dew-drops from the flowers; tion in general throughout the state, nay,
I may add, throughout the country. How ties for education that they will be under less much he has done for Brown University, how necessity of spending abroad the most importhe has labored in building up churches, in ant period of their lives—a period in which a helping on the Art Association ! In short, he mother's judicious care is so necessary to the has laid his hands on nothing which he has formation of character. In this undertaking not adorned, he has begun nothing that he has we look for support only among those who not completed. The young ladies that have wish their daughters to acquire a thorough edbeen educated under his fostering, superin- ucation. No attempt will be made to gain the tending care may well be called the jewels approbation of such as would prefer showy of the city of Providence ;' which sentiment and superficial accomplishments to a well-regwas received with applause, and called forth ulated mind.' complacent smiles and congratulatory looks
SUCCESS OF THE SCHOOL. from those who had been so fortunate as to
| The enterprise was regarded as chimerical, have one or more of those 'jewels' shining
and certain to end in failure. With all its dearound his domestic board.
ficiencies, however, in one respect, at least, it MR. KINGSBURY'S ADDRESS. has not failed. The number was limited, at Mr. Kingsbury, being called upon by the first, to thirty-six, and afterwards to forty. chairman to give some account of the school, This number was increased to forty-three, afsaid that the task which he assumed was ex- ter the erection of the present building, and tremely difficult. To give the history of a has remained the fixed number till to-day At school under the charge of one individual for the end of six months the complement of thirty years, and that individual himself, made scholars was made up. Since that period, the the “ Quorum pars magna fui” too obvious number of applications for admittance, in adnot to expose him to censure. Yet he knew vance of the full number, has not been less than no other way but to use the little but offensive twenty. It has often been fifty and sixty, and word from whence egotism comes, and then at the time when he decided to close his conthrow himself upon the kindness of his hearers. nection with it, the number was thirty-two.
The whole number admitted has been five ORIGIN AND DESIGN OF THE SCHOOL
hundred and fifty-seven, eighty of whom have Just thirty-two years ago, while Mr. Kings
| died. Forty of these were married and forty bury was a student in Brown University, Mr.
were unmarried. G. A. DeWitt, of the Providence High School,
The whole number who
have married is two hundred and eighty-two; invited him to become an associate Principal in
consequently two hundred and seventy-five rethe instruction and management of that insti- |
main single. Eighty-one of the whole numtution. The Young Ladies' High School was, at first, a separate department of the larger in
ber have been named Mary, sixty-one Sarah
or Sally, fifty-one Eliza or Elizabeth. stitution, and hence its name. A circular was sent forth to announce the
SCHOOLS THIRTY YEARS AGO. opening of this department, and it was the only To form some estimate of the difficulty of advertisement ever used to attract public atten- organizing and sustaining such a school, we tion. In this circular the following language must remember that a great change in public was used:
sentiment has taken place in the last thirty Our object in the establishment of this de- years. Parents now are more anxious to have partment is to afford young ladies such facili- 'their children educated, teachers are more respected and receive a better compensation. last thirty years more. Novelty caused people As an illustration, Mr. Kingsbury was remind- to flock to see the new school-room, and one ed by one of his college friends that it would man came from Kentucky for this purpose. be throwing himself away to engage in the The old room was low studded and badly venbusiness of teaching for life. In further illus- tilated, and at the end of twenty years gave tration of the change, the range of studies was way to the present beautiful and commodious very limited in girls' schools. The study of structure. The old building, out of deference Latin and mathematics was ridiculed, and the to early scholars, was pulled down and burnboys, in derision, would say, " There goes the ed, lest it might be desecrated as the residence man who teaches the girls Latin." The price of some degraded specimen of humanity. of tuition in the highest classical school in the
MEANS FOR SECURING REGULAR ATTENDANCE. city was five dollars per quarter ; and teachers
Mr. Kingsbury gave some account of the were almost offended that the new school
means taken to secure punctuality and regular should charge $12 50, not perceiving that they
attendance. An account of every minute's would be the gainers by the change. Public
deficiency has been kept, which has resulted school teachers received $500 per year. Some
in a great degree of success. Many have atprivate school teachers were so much injured
tended an entire year without one mark against that their income in less than two years was
their names, while the marking has been so doubled. Vacations also afford another illus
rigid that if a scholar were half way from the tration. Private schools had no vacation un
door to her seat when the clock struck she less the time was lost to the teacher; public
could not escape. A considerable number schools had four days, viz., the Friday follow
have attended two years, one three and one ing each quarterly examination, which took
quarter years, and another four entire years place on Thursday,
without a single failure. The teacher has lost SCHOOL-HOUSES THIRTY YEARS AGO. at three different times in the thirty years, School-rooms were frequently nothing more eleven weeks, and has been one minute late, than rooms cast off as unfit for mechanical pur which, as he was within the door as the clock poses. The rudest and cheapest furniture was struck, he desired to have taken off from generally procured for these rooms, and thus / against his name. a wretched contrast was first presented to those who had come from well-furnished houses at
| He also gave an account of the examination
of several classes at an early period of the hisA building standing where the present one tory of the school. The largest examination now stands, which had been used as a school that was ever held in the school lasted three by the venerable Oliver Angell, Esq., of this days, when a class of five pupils graduated. city, was entirely refitted, and a carpet was A testimonial from the examining committee, placed on the floor; the first carpet, probably, of which Dr. Wayland was chairman, was in our country, covering an entire school-room then read by Professor Lincoln, after which floor. Desks covered with broadcloth, and Mr. Kingsbury resumed. In 1834, another chairs instead of high-backed board seats were class of five graduated, and another public provided. Many exclaimed, what a pity to examination was held, which lasted two days. waste so much money! But the desks and A reminiscence from that class will be read chairs, after thirty years' use, may with care presently.