14 Old-time Schools and School-books
The text-book equipment of the old schools was exceedingly meagre, and the average schoolboy had only a catechism or primer, a Psalter, and a Testament, or a Bible. For Latin students this list would have to be extended, but ordinarily it comprised all a boy ever used as long as he attended school. Still, scattered copies of the school-books put forth in England were possessed, and these were not without influence in the schools and on the attainments of the pupils. The text-books were practically all of foreign authorship. Indeed, I believe the only school-book of American origin prior to the Revolution was a little Latin grammar by Ezekiel Cheever. Cheever was one of the most notable of the early schoolmasters. He taught in New Haven and some smaller places; but for the last thirty-eight years of his life was master of the Boston Latin School. He died at his post in i 708, at the age of ninety-four, after having given seventy years of continuous service to the New England schools. His death was widely mourned, and he was long held in affectionate remembrance, for he was more patient with the slow boys and less severe and brutal with all boys than schoolmasters of that age were wont to be.
Full to the brim with Puritan theofogy, he wrote a book called The Scriptural Prophesies Explained, and he was unflagging in earnest endeavors to help his boys to become Christian men. The text-book of his authorship to which I have referred was, A Short Introduction to the Latin Tongue, generally known as " Cheever's Accidence." It enjoyed for over a century immense popularity. The first edi-