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of his Accidence,-134 small 4to pages to 79 small 12mo., with the addition of an excellent Table of Irregular Verbs from the great work of the days of Roger Ascham.'*
We have not been able to obtain an earlier edition of this little work than the one above quoted, or to ascertain when, or by whom, it was first printed. An edition was published so late as 1838, under the title of CHEEVER'S LATIN ACCIDENCE, with an announcement on the title-page that it was
used in the schools of this country for more than a hundred and fifty years previous to the close of the last century.” This edition is accompanied by letters from several eminent scholars and teachers highly commendatory of its many excellencies, and hopeful of its restoration to its former place in the schools. President Quincy, of Harvard College, says: “It is distinguished for simplicity, comprehensiveness, and exactness; and, as a primer or first elementary book, I do not believe it is exceeded by any other work, in respect to those important qualities." Samuel Walker, an eminent instructor of the Latin language, adds : “The Latin Accidence, which was the favorite little book of our youthful days, has probably done more to inspire young minds with the love of the study of the Latin language than any other work of the kind since the first settlement of the country. I have had it in constant use for my pupils, whenever it could be obtained, for more than fifty years, and have found it to be the best book, for beginners in the study of Latin, that has come within my knowledge."
* Mr John Brinsley, author of the Latin Accidence referred to, was the author of a little work on English Grammar. printed in 1622, with the following title:
"A CONSOLATION For Our GRAMMAR
A faithful and most comfortable incouragement for laying of a sure foundation of a good
Learning in our Schooles, and for prosperous building thereupon. More Specially for all those of the inferior sort, and all ruder countries and places ; namely, for Irela Wales, Virginia, with the Sommer Islands, and for their more speedie at. Laining of our English tongue by the same labour, that all may speake one and the same Language. And withall, for the helping of all such as are desirous speedlie to recover that which they had formerlie got in the Grammar Schooles : and to proceed aright therein, for the perpetuall benefit of these our Nations, and of the Churches
LONDON: Printed by Richard Field for Thomas Man. dwelling in Paternoster Rowo, at the Sign of
the Thilcot, 1622 ; small 4to. Epistle, dedicatory, and table of contents, pp. 1 684 and Examiner's Censure, pp. 2 This rare treatise is in the Library of George Brinley, Esq., of Hartford, Conn.
1 Since the above paragraph was in type, we have seen four other editions of the Accidence the earliest of which is the seventh, printed in Boston, by B. Edes & S. Gill, for I. Edwards & I. and T. Leverett, in Cornhill, MDCCIV. For an opportunity of consulting these editions an original edition of Dr. Cotton Mather's Funeral Sermon on the occasion of Cheever's death, and several other authorities referred to in this sketch, we are indebted to George Brinley, Esq., of Hartford, who has one of the largest and choicest collection of books and pamphlets, printed in New England, or relating to its affairs, civil and ecclesiastical, state, lown, church, and individual, to be found in the country.
IN THREE SHORT
Mr. Cheever was also the author of a small treatise of thirty-two pages, of which, the only copy we have seen [in Harvard University Library] was published forty-nine years after his death, and entitled
"Scripture Prophecies Explained
III. On the personal coming of Jesus Christ,
By Ezekiel Cheever,
BOSTON, Printed and sold by Green & Russell, at their Printing Office, in Queen-street. MDCCLVII." The author concludes his last Essay as follows:
Lastly. To conclude, this personal coming of Christ at or before the beginning of the thousand years, is no other but the second coming of Christ, and great day of judgment, which the Scripture speaks of, and all Christians believe, and wait for, only there are several works to be performed in the several parts of this great day. The first works, in the first part or beginning of this day, is to raise the Saints; destroy his enemies with temporal destruction ; to set up his kingdom ; to rule and reign on the earth, with his raised and then living Sainte, a thousand years; after that, in the latter part of the day, to destroy Gog and Magog : To enter upon the last general judgment, raising the wicked, judging them according to their works, and casting them into the lake of fire, which is the second death. All this, from first to last, is but one day of judgment; that great and terrible day of the Lord, and is but one coming, which is his second, as we plead for. After this, the work being finished, Christ will deliver up his mediatory kingdom to his Father, and, himself, become a subject, that GOD may be all in all. With this interpretation, all the Scriptures alleged, and many more, will better agree and harmonize in a clear and fair way, not crossing any ordinary rules given of interpreting Scripture than in restraining Christ's personal coming to the work and time of the last judgment. And, though many of these Scriptures may have a spiritual meaning, and, may be already in part fulfilled, which I deny not, yet that will not hinder, but that they may have a literal sense
Of Mr. Cheever's personal history, after he removed to Boston, we have been successful in gathering but few particulars not already published. From a petition addressed by him to Sir Edmund Andross, in 1687, some seventeen years after he removed to Boston, it appears, that he was then in prime working order as a teacherstill enjoying his “wonted abilities of mind, health of body, vivacity of spirit, and delight in his work." The following is the petition copied from the Hutchinson Papers in the Massachusetts Historical Society and printed by Mr. Gould : " To His Excellency, Sir Edmund Andross, Knight, Governor and Captain
General of His Majesty's territories and dominions in New England.
“ The humble petition of Ezekiel Cheever of Boston, schoolmaster, sheweth that your poor petitioner hath near fifty years been employed in the work and office of a public Grammar-schoolmaster in several places in this country. With what acceptance and success, I submit to the judgment of those that are able to testify. Now seeing that God is pleased mercifully yet to continue my wonted abilities of mind, health of body, vivacity of spirit, delight in my work, which alone I am any way fit and capable of, and whereby I have my outward subsistence,I most humbly entreat your Excellenoy, that according to your former kindness
Bo often manifested, I may by your Excellency's favor, allowance and encouragement, still be continued in my present place. And whereas there is due to me about fifty-five pounds for my labor's past, and the former way of that part of niy maintenance is thought good to be altered, -I with all submission beseech your Excellency, that you would be pleased to give order for my due satisfaction, the want of which would fall heavy upon me in my old age, and children also, who are otherwise poor enough. And your poor petitioner shall ever pray, &c. Your Excellency's most humble servant,
Ezekiel Cuerver." He died, according to Dr. Mather," on Saturday morning, August 21, 1708—in the ninety-fourth year of his age ; after he had been a skillful, painful, faithful schoolinaster for seventy years, and had the singular favor of Heaven, that though he had usefully spent his life among children, yet he was not become twice a child, but held bis abilities, in an unusual degree, to the very last,”—“ his intellectual force as little abated as his natural.” It was his singular good fortune to have lived as an equal among the very founders of New England, with them of Boston, and Salem, and New Haven,—to have taught their children, and their children's children, unto the third and fourth generation--and to have lingered in the recollections of his pupils and their children, the model and monument, the survivor and representative of the Puritan and Pilgrim stock, down almost to the beginning of the present century.
President Stiles of Yale College, in his Literary Diary, 25th April 1772, mentions seeing the “Rev. and aged Mr. Samuel Maxwell, of Warren,” R. I., in whom“ I have seen a man who had been acquainted with one of the original and first settlers of New England, now a rarity.”+ “ He told me he well knew the famous Grammar schoolmaster, Mr. E. Cheever of Boston, author of the Accidence : that he wore a long white beard, terminating in a point; that when he stroked his beard to the point, it was a sign for the boys to stand clear.” In another entry, made on the 17th of July 1774, Dr. Stiles, after noting down several dates in the life of Mr. Cheever, adds, " I have seen those who knew the venerable saint, particularly the Rev. John Barnard, of Marblehead, who was fitted for college by him, and entered 1698." Rev. Dr. Mather, in 1708, speaks of him not only as his master, seven and thirty years ago, but, also, “as master to my betters, no less than seventy years ago; so long ago, that I must even mention my father's tutor for one of them.”
• " Venerable,” says Governor Hutchinson, in his History of Massachusetts, (Vol. II., page 175, Note), “not merely for his great age, 94, but for having been the schoolmaster of most of the principal gentlemen in Boston, who were then upon the stage. He is not the only master who kept his lamp longer lighted than otherwise it would have been by a supply of oil from bis scholars."
1 There is now living in Bangor, Maine, “ Father Sawyer," who was born in Hebron, Conn., in Nov., 1755, and who has preached the gospel for 70 years. He knew Rev. John Barnard, of Marblehead, a pupil of Mr. Cheever. These three persons connect the present with the first generation of New England.
Soon after the period of Mr. Cheever's death, the following important passage occurs in the Records of the town. • The Committee chosen by the town the 19th of December 1709 last, to consider the Affaires relating to ye Free-Grammer-School of this Town, haveing now made their report unto ye Town as followeth, viz. Wee have discoursed with Mr. (Nathaniel] Williams the present master, of whose qualifications and fitness for that employment, we take for ranted every body must be abundantly satisfied. He expresses a wood Inclination to the worke; and his resolution intirely to devote him Selfe thereto. If the Town please to Encourage his continuance therein, by allowing him a competent Sallary, that he may support his family, and Granting him an Assistant. He is very Sencible of the Advantage of the Assistance lately afforded him, both with respect to his health and also as to ye Schollars. We are of opinion the worke of that School does Necessarily require the Attendance of a master and an Usher, and it Seem's Impracticable for one person alone, well to oversee the manners of so great a number of Schollars (oft-times more than a hundred). To hear their dayly Exercises, and Instruct them to that degree of profitting, which otherwise may be with an Assistant. We Recommend it to the Town, to Encourage m' William's continuance in the School, by advancing his Sallary to the Sum of One hundred pounds pr. Annum, which we think to be a modest demand, and to grant him the assistance of an Usher, at the Towns charge. In which we have je concurrent Opinion and Advice of ye Revral Ministers. We further propose and recommend, as of Great Service and Advantage for the promoting of Diligence and good-Literature, That the Town Agreeably to the Usage in England, and (as we understand) in Some time past practiced here, Do Nominate and Appoint a Certain number of Gentlemen of Liberal Education, Together with some of ye Revd Ministers of the Town, to be Inspectors of the Sa Schools under That name, Title, or denomination, to Visit ye School from time to time, when and as Oft, as they shall think fit, to Enform themselves of the Methodes Used in Teaching of the Schollars, and to Inquire of their Proficiency, and be present at the performance of Some of their Exercises, the Master being before notified of their comeing, And with him to Consult and Advise of further Methods for y® Advancement of Learning and the good Government of the Schools; and at their sd Visitation, One of the Ministers by turn's to pray with the Schollars, and Entertain'em with Some Instructions of Piety Specially Adapted to their age and Education.'
Mr. Williams graduated at Harvard in 1693, and was ordained an evangelist for one of the West India islands, 1698; but, as the climate proved unfriendly to his constitution, he returned soon after to his native town. In 1708, he was appointed master of this, as Mr. Prince calls it, the principal school of the British colonies, if not in all America,' and continued in the charge of it till 1734. When in the West Indies, Mr. Williams applied himself to the study of medicine, and after his return to Boston entered into practice as a physician. When he took charge of the Latin School, he was persuaded by his friends, who had employed him, not to relinquish his profession. He continued, therefore, to practice as a physician in many families; and after he relinquished the school on account of his infirmities, he past the remainder of his days in the practice of medicine. He was called,' says his biographer, the “ beloved physician,” and was so agreeable in his manners, that when he entered the chambers of the sick,“ his voice and countenance did good like medicine.” Amidst the multiplicity of his duties, as instructor and physician, in extensive practice, he never left the ministerial work.' He resigned his office in 1734. He died, January 15th, 1738, at the age of sixty-three years. The celebrated Jeremy Gridley was for a time assistant to Mr. Williams, but in 1730, being about to commence the career in which he afterward became so distinguished, he left the school; and was succeeded by Mr. John Lovell, who, in 1734, was made head master.
Mr. Lovell was graduated at Harvard College in 1728, two years before his appointment to the place of assistant to Mr. Williams. After his promotion he continued to discharge the duties of that important station for nearly forty-two years with great skill and fidelity. When Boston was evacuated by the British troops, in March, 1776, Mr. Lovell retired with the loyalists to Halifax, where he spent the remainder of his life.
Mr. Lovell usually passed the two vacations, one of which was at Election, and the other at Commencement, with a fishing party, at Spot Pond, in Stoneham. “And,' says his pupil already quoted, “the boys heard with glee that he and the gentlemen who accompanied him passed their time pleasantly in telling funny stories and laughing very loudly.'
There was a dwelling-house and an extensive garden furnished by the town for Mr. Lovell. The house was situated in School street, nearly in front of the new Court-house; and the garden extended back toward Court street, about as far as the spot where the jail now stands.
This garden was cultivated for Mr. Lovell in the best