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Prior to 1852 public examinations were held in April and November; but when the school year was made to end with the summer term, both were dispensed with and a private one in midwinter and a public one in July substituted. The latter became largely an exhibition and attracted more spectators than the room could conveniently accommodate.

In 1863 the Committee voted that the examination and exhibition should occur on separate days and that the latter should be held in the Town Hall. In view of the heavy responsibility thus suddenly laid upon then, the graduating class of that year quailed and begged reprieve; whereupon the vote was rescinded so far as that class was concerned, but left binding upon its successors.

The matter thus becoming optional, it was easy for the master to persuade the actors to inaugurate voluntarily a custom which was to prevail by law in succeeding years.

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