The District Schools iij
tained a whipping-post set firmly in the schoolroom floor. To this post offenders were tied and whipped in the presence of their mates. It is also related that the schoolroom walls, as time went on, became marred with dents made by ferules hurled at misbehaving pupils' heads with an aim that sometimes proved untrue.
Occasionally a teacher did not punish at all by main strength, but resorted to moral suasion. Horace Greeley tells of attending a New Hampshire district school of sixty or seventy pupils about 1815, the master of which rarely or never struck a blow. He governed instead by appeals to his scholars' nobler impulses. When the master left at the close of his second term, a general attendance of parents on his last afternoon, and a rural feast they provided of boiled cider and doughnuts attested the emphatic appreciation of his worth. Another master of this gentler type held sway in Belchertown, Massachusetts, a little earlier. If his scholars became noisy, he would stamp his foot and cry out, " Children, if you do not behave better, I will go right off and leave you !' and the children would be frightened into orderly quiet.
To turn again to Horace Greeley's reminiscences, a still more curious bit of school lore is his description of the custom of barring out.
At the close of the morning session of the first of January, and perhaps on some other day that the big boys chose to consider or make a holiday, the moment the master left the house in quest of his dinner, the little ones were