CHAPTER IV. SCHOOL LIFE. — Continued.
In looking back at this distant period to my schoolboy days and taking all the conditions into consideration, I think that next to Miss Clark, Mr. Baker was the best teacher I ever had. Yet their mode of teacliing and manner of keeping order were diametrically the opposite, the former accomplishing the purpose by kindness and simple per¬ suasion, the latter with absolute despotism. But in fairness to both teachers it is proper to say that the make-up of the schools was widely different. As Miss Clark taught in the sunmier, her scholars were principally girls and the younger boys, but few of them being over ten or twelve years of age. As Mr. Baker taught in the winter, liis school was entirely of boys, from eleven upwards to seven¬ teen, and frequently twenty years of age. The winter schools were the only chance the farmer boys, who were old enough and able to work, had to get an education. This condition of affairs (primitive as the schools were) neces¬ sarily caused a large attendance. The last three mnters that I attended school, at the age of thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen, the attendance numbered daily over forty scholars, all boys, and of all ages from eleven to eighteen, and some up to twenty-one. The reader, if he knows anything of boys of the ages referred to, can well imagine the difficulties the teacher had to contend with in keeping proper order, to say nothing of the time necessary for the proper instruc¬ tion of the students.
Fortunately for the teacher, but very unfortunately for