Summer Schools and Academies 137
sion would split a school in two, and a portion of the families in the district would secede and set up a school of their own in some dwelling or shop ; but as a rule nothing was done until the next annual meeting, when another committeeman might be chosen and a new dynasty substituted
The employment of women in the public schools had become general, and coincident with this recognition of their value as teachers came the enlarging of the educational opportunities of the girls; but it was not until the nineteenth century was well advanced that they had anything approaching the same advantages as the boys. Books had nearly always been considered outside the feminine sphere from the most ancient times. When Francoise de Saint-onges, in the sixteenth century, wished to establish girls' schools in France, she was hooted in the streets, and her father called together four doctors of law to decide whether she was possessed of a devil in planning to teach women. In like manner, early in the last century, when Mary Somerville's father discovered that she was engaged by herself in mathematical and other studies, he said to his wife, " Peg, we must put a stop to this, or we shall have Mary in a strait-jacket one of these days."
Instruction in household duties was the essential thing, and if a girl had that, she could do very well without book-learning; yet there was a time in England about the period of Queen Elizabeth when English girls studied Latin and Greek, and the wisest masters were glad to teach them. However, this state of affairs passed away, and educated