Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

proposed to be done;" when their preceding minute declares, that "The original design was teaching scholars the elegance of the English language, and giving them a proper pronunciation; and that hearing them read and repeat in public was the old method, and should be again used." And certainly, the method that had been used might be again used, if the trustees had thought fit to order Mr. Kinnersley to attend his own school, and not spend his time in the philosophy classes, where his duty did not require his attendance. What the apprehended partiality was which the minute mentions, does not appear, and cannot easily be imagined, and the great inconvenience of obliging him to attend his own school, could only be depriving the Latinists of his assistance, to which they had no right.

The trustees may possibly have supposed, that by this resolution they had precluded all future attempts to trouble them with respect to their conduct of the English school. The parents indeed, despairing of any reformation, withdrew their children, and placed them in private schools, of which several now appeared in the city, professing to teach what had been promised to be taught in the academy; and they have since florished and increased by the scholars the academy might have had, if it had performed its engagements. But the public was not satisfied; and we find, five years after, the English school appearing again, after five years' silence, haunting the trustees like an evil conscience, and reminding them of their failure in duty. For, of their meetings Jan. 19 and 26, 1768, we find these minutes: "Jan. 19, 1768. It having been remarked, that the schools suffer in the public esteem by the discontinuance of public speaking, a special meeting is to be called on Tuesday next, to consider the state of the English school, and to regulate such matters as may be necessary."— "Jan. 26. A special meeting. It is agreed to give Mr. Jon. Easton and Mr. Thomas Hall, at the rate of twenty-five pounds per annum each, for assisting Mr. Kinnersley in the English school, and taking care of the same when he shall be employed in teaching the students in the philosophy classes and grammar school, the art of public speaking. A committee, Mr. Peters, Mr. Coxe, and Mr. Duche, with the masters, was appointed to fix rules and times for employing the youth in public speaking. Mr. Easton and Mr. Hall are to be paid out of a fund to be raised by some public performance for the benefit of the college."

It appears from these minutes, 1. That the reputation of the academy had suffered in the public esteem by the trustees' neglect of that school. 2. That Mr. Kinnersley, whose sole business it was to attend it, had been called from his duty and employed in the philosophy classes and Latin grammar school, teaching the scholars there the art of public speaking, which the Latinists used to boast they could teach themselves. 3. That the neglect for so many years of the English scholars by this subtraction of their master, was now acknowledged, and proposed to be remedied for the future by engaging two persons, Mr. Hall and Mr. Easton, at twenty-five pounds per annum, to take care of those scholars, while Mr. Kinnersley was employed among the Latinists.

Care was however taken by the trustees, not to be at any expense for this assistance to Mr. Kinnersley; for Hall and Easton were only to be paid out of the uncertain fund of money to be raised by some public performance for the benefit of the college.

A committee was however now appointed to fix rules and times for employing the youth in public speaking. Whether any thing was done in consequence of these minutes, does not appear; no report of the committee respecting their doings being to be found on the records, and the probability is that they did as heretofore, nothing to the purpose. For the English school continued to decline, and the first subsequent mention we find made of it, is in the minute of March 21, 1769, when the design began to be entertained of abolishing it altogether, whereby the Latinists would get rid of an eyesore, and the trustees of what occasioned them such frequent trouble. The minute is this: "The state of the English school is to be taken into consideration at next meeting, and whether it be proper to continue it on its present footing or nut." This consideration was however not taken at the next meeting, at least nothing was concluded so as to be minuted; nor do we find any farther mention of the English school till the 18th of July, when the following minute was entered; viz. "A special meeting is appointed to be held on Monday next, and notice to be given that the design of this meeting is to consider whether the English school is to be longer continued."

This special meeting was accordingly held on the 23d of July, 1769, of which date is the following minute and resolution: viz. "The trustees at this meeting, as well as several former ones, having taken into their serious consideration the state of the English school, are unanimously of opinion, that as the said school is far from defraying the expense at which they now support it, and not thinking that they ought to lay out any great part of the funds intrusted to them, on this branch of education, which can so easily be procured at other schools in this city, have resolved, that from and after the 17th of October next, Mr. Kinnersley's present salary do cease, and that from that time the said school, if he shall be inclined to keep it, shall be on the following footing; viz. that he shall have the free use of the room where he now teaches, and also the whole tuition-money arising from the boys that may be taught by him, and that he continue professor of English and oratory, and as such, have the house he lives in rent-free, in consideration of his giving two afternoons in the week as heretofore, for the instruction of the students belonging to the college in public speaking; agreeable to such rules as are or shall be made for that purpose by the trustees and faculty. It is further ordered by this regulation, that the boys belonging to his school shall be still considered as part of the youth belonging to the college, and under the same general government of the trustees and faculty; and such of his scholars as may attend the mathematical or any other master having a salary from the college, for any part of their time, shall pay proportionably into the fund of the trustees, to be accounted for by Mr. Kinnersley, and deducted out of the twenty pounds per quarter now paid by the English scholars."

The trustees hope this regulation may be agreeable to Mr. Kinnersley, as it proceeds entirely from the reasons set forth above, and not from any abatement of that esteem which they have always retained for him, during the whole course of his services in college.

Upon this and some of the preceding minutes, may be observed: 1. That the English school having been long neglected, the scholars were so diminished in number as to be far from defraying the expense in supporting it. 2. That the instruction they received there, instead of a complete English education, which had been promised to the subscribers by the original constitutions, were only such as might easily be procured at other schools

« ZurückWeiter »