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

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302 Old-time Schools and School-books
of the early district-school period. Rules were om­nipresent in it. There was indeed a rule for nearly every page, and many of them were calculated to tax the understanding of a pupil severely to grasp their meaning. Some of the problems, too, re­quired for their mastery a great deal of genuine mathematical capacity.
A majority of the district-school pupils, includ­ing practically all the girls, ciphered only through the four fundamentals of addition, subtraction, mul­tiplication, and division, with a short excursion into vulgar fractions. They won distinction among their mates if they penetrated into the mysteries of the Rule of Three ; and to cipher through " Old Pike ,: was to be accounted a prodigy.
The manuscript of this first American arithmetic was ready in 1785, and after the manner of early school-book authors, both in this country and in England, " Nicholas Pike, Esq.," submitted it in that form to various worthies to get their opinions as to its merits. They responded with polite com­mendations, which, as was usual, were printed in the book. For many years after the volume was issued, it held the foremost place among text-books of its class. A preface in 1793 to an abridged edition, es­pecially prepared for use in the public schools, speaks of the larger book as " That celebrated work, which is now ufed as a claffical book in all the Newengland Univerfities.,,
Here are a few items from the table of contents that will give some idea of the ground Pike attempted to cover; —
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