30 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
tion compared vnth that of seventy or eighty years ago. Now there are free schools for aU, with their weU-educated and trained teachers, under the eye of able, practical, and scientific Superintendents, with rooms to suit the various classes and teachers for each of them, and with the studies scientifically arranged. An education can be obtained at the pubUc schools to-day superior to that of the country academy, as it existed before the days of free schools. At that time the academy ffiled a gap between the day or subscription school and the college, much the same as the preparatory school does to-day between the pubUc school and the coUege, for those who are so fortunate as to have an opportunity to secure a collegiate course of education.
As I now had but one more summer to spend on the farm, and as I have previously referred to the various duties as being largely routine, I wiU make no further allusion to them, except to say that I occupied the same leading posi¬ tion that I had been occupying for years previous, until the harvest was all properly stored and the fall grain in the ground. This ended my early days on the farm. Receiv¬ ing my father's most favorable congratulations on what I had done and on the manner in which it had been done, and hoping that whatever should fall to my lot in the future might be equally satisfactory to my employer, the time of my departure had come. Notwithstanding the long hours and hard work that had to be done on a farm (as before stated, it was prior to the introduction of agricultural machinery, and everything had to be done by hand), yet the Ufe on a farm is so natural and so free and interesting, and above all so independent, that when my time came to leave it, and to go into a new field of business, with aU to be learned, I must confess that the separation caused me much regret; and to leave a plain and happy home, looked after