An Illustrated history & description Of Schools in the 18th & 19th Centurys.

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C HILDREN have always been prone to scrib­bling, and the pupils in the old district schools were no exception to the rule. They did not by any means confine their chirography to their copy­books. A fair surface of paper, no matter where found, was a temptation to some of them, and all had moments of mental ennui when the employ­ment of the fingers in aimless, or at least unneces­sary, whittling and writing was as natural as breathing. Instances can be found where there was a genuine ferment of literary or artistic inspiration, but mostly the children produced only copies of what they had seen their schoolmates do. Probably the young folks of two or three generations ago scribbled less in their school-books than their descendants ; for the majority of the old books that have survived the wear and tear of use and the casualties of the passing years are comparatively free from markings. Books were rarer and far more valued in the early days than later, and were treated with more respect, though it must be admitted the comparative immaculateness of such copies as are now extant is in part due to the fact that the books most decorated were the soonest to go to pieces, and they no longer exist. But
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