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To the glancing Reader, if he will just stop a moment and see what it is.
This little volume was written in the hope that it would be a trifling aid to that improvement which is going on in respect to common schools. It was also intended to present a pleasant picture of some peculiarities which have prevailed in our country, but are now passing away.
It is trusted that no one who has kept* or is keeping a district school after the old fashion, will be offended at the slight degree of satire he will meet with here. Any one of due benevolence is willing to be laughed at, and even to join in the laugh against himself, if it will but hasten the tardy steps of improvement. Indeed, there are quite a number who have reason to believe that the author has here sketched some of his own school-keeping deficiencies.
It may be reasonably anticipated, that the young will be the most numerous readers of these pages. Some scenes have been described, the sports of the school-going season, for instance, with a special view to their entertainment. It is trusted, however, that the older may not find it unpleasant to recall the pastimes of their early years.
* Keep school is a very different thing from leach school, according to Mr. J. G. Carter, in his Essays on Popular Education.
Now and then a word has been used which some young readers may not understand. In this case they are entreated to seek a dictionary, and find out its meaning. They may be assured that the time spent in this way will not be lost. The definition thus acquired may be of use to them the very
next book they shall take up, or at least in the course of the reading, their future leisure will allow them to enjoy.
The reader shall no longer be detained from the experience of a supposed school-boy; if true to nature, no matter whether it really be, or be not, that of the
DISTRICT SCHOOL AS IT WAS.
The Old School-house, as it used to be called, how distinctly it rises to existence anew before the eye of my mind!
Here was kept the District School as it was. This was the seat of my rustic Alma Mater, to borrow a phrase from collegiate and classic use.
It is now no more; and those of similar construction are passing away, never to be patterned again. It may be well, therefore, to describe the edifice wherein and whereabout occur
of the scenes about to be recorded. I would have future generations acquainted with the accommodations, or rather dis-accommodations, of their predecessors.
The Old School-house in District No. 5, stood on the top of a very high hill, on the north side of what was called the County road. The house of