made him the rival of John Randolph
, of Virginia
, with whom he came into frequent collision.
It would be difficult to say which of them won the palm in the interchange of vitriolic personalities.
I had intended to give a more complete description of the buildings in the square and its neighborhood, but the enumeration of them would be prolix and interesting only to a few. I will therefore proceed at once to give some account of the schools of Medford
as I passed through them from 1836 to 1842.
I first attended the Cross
-street Grammar School, kept of Mr. Aaron Magoun
, afterwards a muchre-spected teacher in one of the Cambridgeport schools
, of which he was master for a very long term of years.
The Cross-street school was a school very much after the antique pattern.
Boys and girls attended of all ages, from eight years to twenty.
The teacher had twice or thrice as much to do as he could attend to, and the discipline was of a very rough-and-ready sort.
The curriculum which I followed up was remarkable for its limitations: a lesson in Colburn
's Mental Arithmetic, a reading exercise, and a lesson in spelling, the memorizing of a column of words from the spelling,—book,—all very long words of five or six syllables, which I have never had occasion to use since.
When I left the school, after attending it a year, I am sure I should have spelt the word ‘which’ with a ‘t’ in the centre.
I never wrote
a word while in the school.
Having a good deal of leisure on my hands, I spent part of it in swapping marbles with my neighbor and in drawing pictures of ships and horses on my slate.
Every boy in Medford
could then draw the picture of a ship—it was his duty to pay homage to the local industry.
The monotony of the day was varied by an occasional call to the desk, and you retired from a short interview with the teacher with resentment in your heart and a good deal of inflammation in your hand.
I never knew a teacher who could strike the end of