Great was the grief amongst the village school-boys when Tom drove off with the Squire, one August morning, to meet the coach on his way to school. Each of them had given him some little present of the best that he had, and his small private box was full of peg-taps, white marbles (called "alley-taws" in the Vale), screws, birds' eggs, whip-cord, jews-harps, and other miscellaneous boys' wealth.
It was a fair average specimen, kept by a gentleman, with another gentleman as second master; but it was little enough of the real work they did--merely coming into school when lessons were prepared and all ready to be heard.
This story was begun, within a few months after the publication of the completed "Pickwick Papers." There were, then, a good many cheap Yorkshire schools in existence.
Of the monstrous neglect of education in England, and the disregard of it by the State as a means of forming good or bad citizens, and miserable or happy men, private schools long afforded a notable example.
The Avonlea school was a whitewashed building, low in the eaves and wide in the windows, furnished inside with comfortable substantial old-fashioned desks that opened and shut, and were carved all over their lids with the initials and hieroglyphics of three generations of school children.
Marilla had seen Anne start off to school on the first day of September with many secret misgivings.
It was contrary to the traditions of the school that one of the lower-masters should be chosen.
He had come to the school as a day-boy, with the best scholarship on their endowment, so that his education had cost him nothing.
See Pinocchio hurrying off to school
with his new A-B-C book under his arm!
In a few moments the master arrived and school "took in." Tom did not feel a strong interest in his studies.
The next moment the master faced the school. Every eye sank under his gaze.
No communication of any sort was permitted between his pupils during school hours.
One day in school Cyrus sent a letter across to Cecily.
Schools can do no good; what will do good is an economic organization in which the people will become richer, will have more leisure--and then there will be schools."
"Still, all over Europe now schools are obligatory."