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7. Daily seeking the special aid of Heavenly wisdom and guidance.
And now at the end of thirty years, I find myself but imperfectly satisfied with the result. Yet, as I look upon the long line of those, who have been members of the school, as I behold them adorning the stations of life allotted them by Divine Providence—whether or not I have been instrumental in any degree in preparing them for these stations-I am not unwilling to challenge the world to present a more intelligent, a more efficient, a wiser or a nobler band of women.
It has been well said, that though men die, institutions live. Though I leave the Young Ladies' High School to-day, the institution lives. May he who will assume the charge of it, meet with the same favor from this community, that I have received, and may the results which he shall produce, be far more satisfactory both to himself and others, than those which have attended my labors.
At the close of these remarks by Mr. Kingsbury, the following contributions from those who had been members of the school, were read to the audience by Professors Lincoln and Dunn, whose services in this respect, added much to the interest of the occasion.
1. The examination of 1834. By Mrs. JANE ANTHONY EAMES, a member of the class of that year.
On this day, dawns a new era in the educational history of our fair city,—the close of the Young Ladies' High School, under the superintendence of its first Principal; of one who, for thirty years, has made himself respected and beloved by all who have been privileged to be his pupils. Doubtless, this day, and this event, will call forth contributions from abler pens than mine; still, may I hope that my offering, humble though it be, will not scornfully be put aside.
Being, emphatically, one of the "old scholars,” I feel myself privileged to go back to the time when many of these fair girls before me had not entered upon this mortal life, and to tell them a little about the class of which it was my happy lot to be one, and of the examination which closed our career as members of the “Young Ladies' High School." We numbered five; perhaps, like Rory O'Moore, we thought "there is luck in odd numbers.” Two of the class had been seven years in the school; two, five; and one, only two. We were studious girls, (I am sure I may say that without taking too much upon myself;) and, as in those ancient days we went to school for the old-fashioned purpose of studying, not playing, we, really had not been all that time at school for nothing. Our Principal, (“may he" in Eastern parlance, “live a thousand years, and may his shadow never grow less,") judged it expedient to finish our school course by a public examination; and so, at the close of the summer term, in 1834, the examination took place. As, unfortunately, no “chiel was among us taking notes," I have nothing but my memory to help me out with the recollections of that all important examination, which was held in Franklin Hall, larger at that time than this, when extension and expansion are the order of the day, and our sex makes up in circumference for—I shall not say what. Our examination lasted two
days. On the first day, there were present only our "paternal derivatives;" the Faculty of Brown University, the school committee, the clergy, and the learned men of our city, not included in the above-mentioned bodies. These “grave and reverend seigniors” were permitted, nay, requested, to put to us any questions they pleased; and in many of the lessons, I beg pardon, branches of science, in which we were examined, our Principal, with becoming modesty, retired into the background, leaving particular members of those learned bodies to conduct the examination themselves. On the second day, besides those present the day before, each member of the class was allowed to invite thirty of her friends, while the Principal invited as many more as the hall would comfortably seat. On each day the examination lasted five hours. At one time we were soaring along the blue vaults of Heaven, gazing at planets and distant worlds; and at another, we were plunging into the very depths of the earth. Now, we were discoursing of Kings, Queens, and royal personages, as though we were as familiarly acquainted with them as with our alphabet; and now, showing how thoroughly conversant we were with grammatical, rhetorical and philosophical lore. Anon, we were standing before the blackboard, demonstrating intricate problems; showing conclusively that A, B, C, equalled D, E, F; and then, by cabalistic figures, proving that “plus” and “minus" if properly managed, would come out right at the last. To show that females could use more tongues than one, our acquirements in Latin and French were brought forward, and I am ashamed to add, in Greek, too, for I am afraid we now know Greek, as many of us know distinguished personages-only by sight.
Then came “the grand finale," each one reading a composition; the valedictory calling forth, as usual, a great display of white handkerchiefs, and what is not so pleasant, or so romantic, a great blowing of noses !
And then each member of the class was presented with a testimonial, to the effect that she had “ finished the course of study pursued at the Young Ladies' High School."
At this late period of time, it is impossible for me to recall what we wore, at that grand examination; but of one thing I am sure, no one appeared in a “pea-green silk skirt and white basque;" neither did any one sport a “scarlet petticoat;" those costumes not having then been introduced into fashionable life.
For more than twenty years, our class remained unbroken. All married; all, except one, had smiling children around them; all, but one, crossed the Atlantic—some, more than once--and visited foreign scenes. At last came Death, and took the fairest, loveliest of all. In her ripe beauty and matured womanhood, she passed away from this world of sorrow and trouble, to one where all is joy and happiness forever. We were five; and although
“One is dead, her spirit is in Heaven," we say, like Wordsworth's "little maid," we are five still.
And now, loved classmates and fellow pupils of the “Young Ladies' High School," I bid you farewell. May the memory of our school-days
be ever pleasant and fragrant; and may he, who for thirty years has stood at the helm, and guided this institution on its onward and upward course, be abundantly blessed by the loving Father of us all.
2. Lines to My Teacher. By ISABEL E. BalLOU, a recent pupil.
Hail to the chief, who in triumph advances,
Trumpet and pibroch, to greet him may sound;
Dear will his greeting seem,
Where'er his face may gleam,
Then let our welcome be,
Long live John KINGSBURY;
Bauiling with ignorance; harder, by far,
Long has he fought, and well;
But for his shot and shell,
Then give him all respect;
He, who for intellect
Presidents of our most wonderful nation,
Find it hard work to rule men at their will;
Hark! from the sky a sound
Comes through the air around,
“ Shall we not praise him, then,
Champion of married men ;
Sad, of the length of our lessons complain;
Kisses to right of us,
Kisses to left of us,
And we shall see no more,
What we have seen before,
But he has left us :-in vain we lament him ;
Vain, to his High School we call him again;
But when we meet again,
Under the bright sun, or where the dark shade is,
Let us all shout with glee,
Long live John KINGSBURY ;
Hail to the chief of five hundred young ladies. 3. Sonnet, and Address to the present members of the School. By MRS. R. T. WILLING, of Philadelphia.
Stay yet awhile, thou fair meridian hour !
Such is the strain that, from the matron band
But late they wandered 'neath yon cloudless skies,
Nor bloomed to life in that sweet morning air,
Yet, tasted then, from many a living spring,
Like you, scarce recked they of the ascending way,
Dread not that hour, young pilgrim! thou shalt feel
Yes! gladly drink that ether keen and clear!
two-fold vigor shall thy trust repay, Strong in thyself, and strong to aid and cheer.
Nearer shall press, to share thy joy, thy pain,
Thine eye shall pierce to depihs undreamed before ;
Thine ear shall catch the myriad tones that rise
And on full many a well-earned vantage ground,
Shalt joy to see the great horizon spread
Round thee are still thy loved ones ;-larger faith
And o'er thee bends the bright and happy sky,
Yet, onward! upward! for the steady sun