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were left for the salaries, and for the number of boys the Latin master was to teach. The first instance of partiality, in favor of the Latin part of the institution, was in giving the title of rector to the Latin master, and no title to the English one. But the most striking instance was, when we met to sign, and the blanks were first to be filled up, the votes of a majority carried it to give twice as much salary to the Latin master as to the English, and yet require twice as much duty from the English master as from the Latin, viz. 2001. to the Latin master to teach twenty boys; 1001. to the English master to teach forty! However, the trustees who voted these salaries being themselves by far the greatest subscribers, though not the most numerous, it was thought they had a kind of right to predominate in money matters; and those, who had wished an equal regard might have been shown to both schools, submitted, though not without regret, and at times some little complaining, which, with their not being able in nine months to find a proper person for English master, who would undertake the office for so low a salary, induced the trustees at length, viz. in July, 1750, to offer 501. more.
Another instance of the partiality above mentioned was in the March preceding, when 1001. sterling was voted to buy Latin and Greek books, maps, drafts, and instruments for the use of the Academy, and nothing for the English books.
The great part of the subscribers, who had the English education chiefly in view, were however soothed into a submission to these partialities, chiefly by the expectation given them by the constitution, viz. that the trustees would make it their pleasure, and in some degree their business, to visit the Academy often, to encourage and countenance the youth, look on the
students as in some measure their own children, treat them with familiarity and affection; and, when they have behaved well, gone through their studies, and are to enter the world, the trustees shall zealously unite, and make all the interest that can be made, to promote and establish them, whether in business, offices, marriages, or any other thing for their advantage, preferable to all other persons whatsoever, even of equal merit. ,
These splendid promises dazzled the eyes of the public. The trustees were most of them the principal gentlemen of the province. Children taught in other schools had no reason to expect such powerful patronage. The subscribers had placed such entire confidence in them as to leave themselves no power of changing them, if their conduct of the plan should be disapproved; and so, in hopes of the best, all these partialities were submitted to. .
Near a year passed before a proper person was found to take charge of the English school. At length Mr. Dove, who had been many years master of a school in England, and had come hither with an apparatus for giving lectures in experimental philosophy, was prevailed with by me, after his lectures were finished, to accept that employment for the salary offered, though he thought it too scanty. He had a good voice, read perfectly well, with proper accent and just pronunciation, and his method of communicating habits of the same kind to his pupils was this. When he gave a lesson to one of them, he always first read it to him aloud, with all the different modulations of voice, that the subject and sense required. These the scholars, in studying and repeating the lesson, naturally endeavoured to imitate; and it was really surprising to see how soon they caught his manner, which convinced
me and others who frequently attended his school, that, though bad tones and manners in reading are, when once acquired, rarely, with difficulty, if ever cured, yet, when none have been already formed, good ones are as easily learned as bad. In a few weeks after opening his school, the trustees were invited to hear the scholars read and recite. The parents and relations of the boys also attended. The performances were surprisingly good, and of course were admired and applauded; and the English school thereby acquired such reputation, that the number of Mr. Dove's scholars soon amounted to upwards of ninety, which number did not diminish as long as he continued master, viz. upwards of two years; but, he finding the salary insufficient, and having set up a school for girls in his own house to supply the deficiency, and quitting the boys' school somewhat before the hour to attend the girls, the trustees disapproved of his so doing, and he quitted their employment, continued his girls’ school, and opened one for boys on his own account. The trustees provided another English master; but, though a good man, yet not possessing the talents of an English schoolmaster in the same perfection with Mr. Dove, the school diminished daily, and soon was found to have but about forty scholars left. The performances of the boys, in reading and speaking, were no longer so brilliant; the trustees of course had not the same pleasure in hearing them, and the monthly visitations, which had so long afforded a delightful entertainment to large audiences, became less and , less attended, and at length discontinued; and the English school has never since recovered its original reputation.
Thus, by our injudiciously starving the English part of our scheme of education, we only saved fifty pounds a year, which was required as an additional salary to an acknowledged excellent English master, which would have equalled his encouragement to that of the Latin master; I say, by saving the 501. we lost fifty scholars, which would have been 2001. a year, and defeated, besides, one great end of the institution.
In the mean time our favors were showered upon the Latin part; the number of teachers was increased, and their salaries from time to time augmented, till, if I mistake not, they amounted in the whole to more than 6001. a year, though the scholars hardly ever exceeded sixty; so that each scholar cost the funds 101. per annum, while he paid but 41., which was a loss of 6l. every one of them.
The monthly visitations of the schools by the trustees having been long neglected, the omission was complained of by the parents as a breach of original promise ; whereupon the trustees, July 11th, 1755, made it a law, that “ they should meet on the second Tuesday in every month at the Academy, to visit the schools, examine the scholars, hear their public exercises, &c.” This good law, however, like many others, was not long observed; for I find by a minute of December 14th, 1756, that the examination of the schools by the trustees had been long neglected, and it was agreed that it should thereafter be done on the first Monday in every month; and yet, notwithstanding this new rule, the neglect returned, so that we are informed, by another minute of January 13th, 1761, “that for five months past there had not been one meeting of the trustees.” In the course of fourteen years several of the original trustees, who had been disposed to favor the English school, deceased, and others not so favorable were chosen to supply their places; however, it appears by the minutes, that the remainder had sometimes weight enough to recall the attention of their
colleagues to that school, and obtain acknowledgments of the unjust neglect it had been treated with; of this the following extracts from the minutes are authentic proofs, viz. (Minute Book, Vol. I., February 8th, 1763 ;) “ The state of the English school was taken into consideration, and it was observed, that Mr. Kinnersley's time was entirely taken up in teaching little bays the elements of the English language (this is what it dwindled into, a school similar to those kept by old women, who teach children their letters); and that speaking and rehearsing in public were totally disused, to the great prejudice, of the other scholars and students, and contrary to the original design of the trustees in the forming of that school; and, as this was a matter of great importance, it was particularly recommended to be fully considered by the trustees at their next meeting.” At their next meeting it was not considered ; but this minute contains full proof of the fact, that the English education had been neglected, and it contains an acknowledgment that the conduct of the English school was contrary to the original design of the trustees in forming it.
In the same book of minutes we find the following, of April 12th, 1763. “The state of the English school was again taken into consideration; and it was the opinion of the trustees that the ORIGINAL DESIGN should be prosecuted, of teaching the scholars (of that and the other schools) the elegance of the English language, and giving them a proper pronunciation ; and that the old method of hearing them read and repeat in public should be again used. And a committee was appointed to confer with Mr. Kinnersley how this might best be done, as well as what assistance would be necessary to give Mr. Kinnersley to enable him to VOL. II.