some story of the olden times, or sing to the guitar which she had learned to touch quite skilfully, a song of her own writing, or lead them forth into the mazes of a merry contra dance.’
In referring to the papers of that period, it is found that her charges were thirty dollars per month for board; five dollars entrance each for music and dancing, and then seventy-five cents per lesson for one and eight dollars per quarter for the other.
Miss Peggy Swan
was the teacher in penmanship.
In discipline Mrs. Rowson
was severe and yet not arbitrary, One of her contemporaries wrote of her: ‘such were her accomplishments, her refined and moral principles, and her pious and charitable disposition, that her friends were numerous, and her pupils represented the most respectable families in the community; many of them are now to be seen in the refined circles of the capital of New England
She published a dictionary, a geography, and some other elementary books for the benefit of her pupils.
A book, entitled ‘A Present for Young Ladies, containing poems, dialogues, addresses, etc., as recited by the pupils of Mrs. Rowson
's Academy at the annual exhibition,’ was published in 1811.
In the introduction, Mrs. Rowson
alludes to them as ‘Bagatelles,’ written for the amusement and information of very young minds.
‘Let not the old and learned look at them with a critic's eye. My chief pleasure arises from being loved, esteemed and applauded by a few; the children whom I have educated, and the friends who are satisfied with my endeavors to please, constitute the few. Conscious of meaning well, I leave to the wit, the scholar and the critic to astonish, correct or satirize, and rest content with the feelings of a heart, grateful for the many blessings it possesses, and devoid of envy for the superior excellence or happiness of another.’
‘A Girl's Life Eighty Years Ago,’ published in 1888, consists of a selection of the letters of Eliza S. Bowne
; she was a pupil of Mrs. Rowson
, and many of her letters were written from Medford
In a letter to her father,