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[353] For these teachers in Virginia are nearly all ladies, not in sex only, but in birth and training; with the grace and accent, manner and appearance, of women whose mothers were ladies. Poverty at first, patriotism afterwards, disposed these women to adopt the art of teaching as a profession. They are fairly paid, and, once the false shame of taking honest money for honest work is overcome, everything goes well with them at school and home.

The system works by an internal force. A real lady, daughter of a gentleman, ranking with the First Families, accepts a teacher's desk, and asks her friends to send their girls to school. No one now objects. Where Minnie teaches, Minnie's younger sisters, cousins, and acquaintance can attend the class. A better sentiment comes in; class sentiment, it may be; but the social forces here begin to act for good instead of evil. Free schools have become a fashion,and some of the best culture in Virginia is being devoted to the task of teaching in these Richmond schools.

The schools are mixed, not as to colour, but as to sex. Boys and girls learn together, with a young lady for instructress. In one excellent school we find Grace Alston, a delicate girl, beautiful as a

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