Page:Letters of Life.djvu/75

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63
MY TEACHERS.

regular parallelograms by lines of red ink, we wrote on their left the name of every country on the habitable globe, filling its even line of regular compartments according to their designation over the top—Length and Breadth, Latitude and Longitude, Boundaries, Rivers, Mountains, Form of Government, Population, Universities and Learned Men, where they existed, and whatever circumstance of history was reducible to so narrow a compass. The search after these facts, the conciseness of style requisite, and the fair chirography which was held indispensable, were all valuable attainments. This could not be an exercise common to the whole school, from the large space required for accommodation. I recollect being one of six—three of each sex—who had permission to pursue it, and to have each a table spread for that purpose in a large vacant apartment. So much was our conscientiousness cultivated by this admirable instructor, that we, in conformity to our promise, comported ourselves with the same gravity as if in his presence, holding no conversation save what was necessary to test and condense the knowledge drawn out from the text-books on separate papers, and criticized ere they were copied. He also suggested an excellent employment for the intervals of Sunday—the selection of passages of Scripture on subjects given us by himself. Our zeal to bring a large number, neatly copied, on Monday morning, prevented the idle waste of consecrated time, and promoted an