16 Old-time Schools and School-books
tion appeared in 1645, and the book was republished as late as 1838. In the grammar schools Cheever's was usually the first Latin book, and after the boys had worked their way through that they plunged into the dreary wilderness of " Lily's Grammar' with its twenty-five kinds of nouns, its seven genders, and other things in proportion — all to be wearisomely committed to memory. The purgatory of this grammar was early recognized, and Cotton Mather said of it, " Persisting in the use of Lily's book will prolong the reign of the ferule." The only copies I have seen have been revisions of the original, yet the one I own, dated 1766, states that the unrevised is still printed and for sale. The author of the work died in 1523, and one would think that in the two centuries and a half since the book first appeared it would have been entirely supplanted.
A more attractive book to the Latin boys was John Amos Comenius's Visible World which was published in 1658. Aside from ABC primers, this was the first illustrated school-book ever printed. Comenius, born in 1592, was a Moravian bishop, and the most distinguished educational reformer of his time. He wrote a number of books, but the one that attained the widest circulation was this " Vijible World: ox a Nomenclature, and Pictures of all the chief things that are in the World, and of Men's Employments therein; in above an 150 Copper Cuts." Every subject treated had its picture, and below the engraving was a medley of explanatory little sentences in two columns, one column in Latin,