Skip to main content

Full text of "Memorial of Francis Gardner, LL. D. : late head-master of the Boston Latin School"

See other formats








irr OF 








was held in the hall of the school-house on Thursday, 
January i3th, 1876, to take action in reference to the death 
of FRANCIS GARDNER, LL. D., late head-master of the school. 
The President, Mr. Charles K. Dillaway, appointed Mr. 
Wendell Phillips, Dr. B. B. Appleton, William R. Dimmock, 
LL. D., Mr. Augustine M. Gay, and Mr. Godfrey Morse, 
a committee to prepare suitable Resolutions, which were 
reported, and entered as a Minute on the records of the 
Association. They will be found on a subsequent page. 
A committee was appointed to arrange for a Memorial 
Service, consisting of the following gentlemen : Mr. 
Charles K. Dillaway, President, Mr* Joseph Healy, Secretary, 
Mr. John D. Bryant, Mr. Augustine M. Gay, Rev. Henry F. 
Jenks, Mr. Godfrey Morse, and Mr. Arthur Reed. 


The Memorial Services were held in Huntington Hall, 
March i5th, 1876, the anniversary of Dr. GARDNER S birth. 
The following was the 


PRAYER, by the Rev. James H. Means, D. D., a graduate 
of the Class of 1839 : 

Our Father and our Friend, we gather before Thee as Thy 
children. Thou dost call us into being, and give us each our 
work, and in Thine own time dost take the life Thou didst give. 
But amid these changes, Thou Thyself remainest the same, 
guiding all, and building whatever we accomplish into the great 
temple of Thy plans ; so that if we live to Thee, our work cannot 
be in vain or perish. 

We are mindful to-night of the devoted labors of him who was 
our Teacher. We thank Thee that Thou didst spare him so 
long, didst permit him to accomplish so much for successive 
classes of pupils, and didst in the end so order it that his work 
and life should cease together. 

Thou didst lead him in a path not of his own choosing. Thou 
didst call him in early life to the care of widowed mother and 
sisters, a trust how sacredly fulfilled ! Hedging up the path 
to domestic life, Thou gavest him his pupils for his children. 

With grateful hearts, we bless Thee for what he was to us : 
for the fidelity with which he toiled for our good ; for the earnest 
ness of his efforts to foster all high thought and generous learning ; 
for his spirit of self-sacrifice. We recall tenderly his words of 

counsel and encouragement. We can rejoice now even in his 
stern severity, seeing in it only the proof of his zeal in our behalf. 
We honor his memory, feeling that his life has entered into ours, 
that we owe largely to him what we may have been able to 
accomplish ; and we pray Thee that by his example and teaching, 
by all the high-toned characters of those about us, we may be 
quickened and made diligent, may be led to live for the good of 
our fellow-men and for Thy glory so that when the end comes 
to us, as it has to him, we may feel that we have finished the 
work given us to do, and, looking unto Jesus, may rest in peace. 

May Thy blessing be with those personally bereaved ; comfort 
them in Thine infinite love. May it rest with those now or in 
other years associated with the departed in the work of instruction. 
May the School with which he was so long connected, send forth 
in the future as in the past, many who shall serve Thee in their 
generation by honorable and useful lives. Guide those who have 
charge of the interests of education in this city, that its institutions 
of learning may be models for the whole land. And let the words 
now to be spoken to us stir our hearts at once to honor him who 
has gone, and to profit by his example, even as we were blessed 
by his life. 

And unto Thee, of whom and through whom, and to whom are 
all things, shall be the praise forever. Amen. 

Music, " INTEGER VITAE," by the choristers :- 

Integer vitae scelerisque purus 
Non eget Mauris jaculis nee arcu 
Nee venenatis gravida sagittis 
Fusee, pharetra, 

Sive per Syrtes iter aestuosas 
Sive facturus per inhospitalem 
Caucasum vel quae loca fabulosus 
Lambit Hydaspes. 

Namque me silva lupus in Sabina, 
Dum meam canto Lalagen et ultra 
Terminum curis vagor expeditis, 
Fugit inermem. 

A MEMORIAL ODE was next pronounced by Mr. Robert 
Grant, of the Class of 1869, (given in full on a subsequent 
page,) followed by 

Music, by the Choristers : " Master, Master, growing 
old." Words by Mr. Horace E. Scudder, of the Class of 
1864 ; music by Mr. Charles L. Capen. 

" Master, Master, growing old, 

Dost thou cling- to me? 
Seek my boyish hand to hold ? 

Use my eyes to see ? " 
" I was young as thou art now ; 

Let me still be young as thou." 

" Careless youth and learned age 

Master, dost thou find 
Aught on my unwritten page, 
That may ease thy mind ? " 
" Faith and honor, love and truth, 
These abide with happy youth." 

" Master, art thou gone from me ? 
Hast thou dropped my hand ? 
Whither shall I go for thee ? 
To what shadowy land ? " 

" Where the young are, there am I ; 
Youth lives on, though age may die." 

Closed are now those burning eyes, 

Gone that rugged smile ; 
Deep in our hearts the Master lies : 

Past his grave we file, 

Singing: "Master, hear our song; 
Live in our hearts forever young." 

The MEMORIAL ADDRESS was then delivered by William 
R. Dimmock, LL. D., of the Class of i85i, which was 
succeeded by 

Music, from Mendelssohn s St. Paul, " Be thou faithful 
unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Be not 
afraid ; My help is nigh," which was sung by Dr. S. W. 

The exercises were closed with the BENEDICTION, by the 
Rev. James Reed, of the Class of i85i. 

The musical portion of the exercises, sung by choristers, 
under the leadership of Mr. C. J. Capen, of the Class of 


1839* was furnished by the following named gentlemen : - 
First Tenors, Henry W. Broughton, (Class of 1871,) John 
Homans, (1854,) Henry R. Stedman, (1867,) Howard M. 
Stephens. Second Tenors, Harry B. Hodges, (1870,) Arthur 
S. Kendall, (1871,) Frederick H. Lombard, Frank Merriam, 
(1867.) First Bases, Francis Campbell, (1871,) Frederick 
Dabney, (1862,) Frank W. Robinson, (1866,) Frederick H. 
Robinson, (1870.) Second Bases, Alfred S. Dabney, (1867,) 
Horace A. Lamb, (1867,) George S. Lamson, (1872,) 
Frank W. Rollins, (1873.) 




^ I ^HE task I have undertaken to-night is a difficult one. 
The life of a teacher is such, that it cannot, in its full 
measure, be made known to any. Its deepest anxieties 
and highest aspirations are such, that one so self-contained 
as he whose life and services we come here to commemo 
rate, would not speak much of them to his friends, however 
intimate ; and its toils and efforts are not those that are 
observed of men. 

In most walks of life, we can judge of men by what they 
do. Their efforts pass into achievements : the achieve 
ments remain. But when the simple record of a life is, 
that forty-three years \vere spent in the same school among 
successive generations of boys, who, because of their 
boyhood, could know really little of the motives and the 
efforts of their teacher, whom yet they venerated; I may 
well feel afraid, lest my words should fall so far short of 
their intended effect, as not to present the reasons for your 


veneration so fully as to justify the respect and love that 
you already bear for him. 

Besides, if he had been a somewhat common-place man, 
whose principal traits had been amiability and a genial 
disposition; who had, by continued existence in the same 
place, performed with fidelity, year after year, a round of 
routine duties, until we felt that his long service had given 
him title to our respect as a faithful public servant, it would 
not, perhaps, be hard to present fully to you such a presence 
and such a character. 

But every one who knew at all the great man whose 
memory we would preserve, felt that he was, in no sense, a 
common man ; that his traits of character were both marked 
and peculiar, that they were fashioned in a complex 
mould. HOW T can I, then, be sure that I can represent 
it in words, so that you will have the same impression of 
FRANCIS GARDNER, which was" partially formed in my own 
mind in boyhood ; modified and rounded in my early man 
hood, and which has been strengthened and deepened by 
every year of my acquaintance with him ? And if I should 
so succeed in conveying to you this impression, how can I 
be sure that this will appear to you at all the likeness of 
the man whom you knew ? 

Feeling these inherent difficulties in my undertaking, I 
should have been glad if some one else had accepted this 
office ; and it is only from a sense of profound gratitude, 

1 1 

and of all but filial duty, that I have yielded to the wish of 
your Committee, and attempt to represent to you something 
of the worth of the noble life and the grandeur of personal 
character of FRANCIS GARDNER. 

Sixty-four years ago, to-day, in the beautiful village of 
Walpole, New Hampshire, he was born. His father, the 
Hon. Francis Gardner, was a lawyer, a graduate of Harvard 
College, in the Class of 1/93, son of the Reverend Francis 
Gardner, also a graduate of Harvard, in the Class of i;55, 
a Congregational clergyman, settled in Leorninster, Massa 
chusetts, who is described in the History of Leominster as 
"a man of sound understanding and of great learning," and 
"a discreet and prudent pastor." His mother s maiden 
name was Margaret Leonard, daughter of William Leonard, 
a man of influence in West Springfield, Massachusetts. 

The father, Francis Gardner, Senior, was a lawyer of 
prominence in Southern New Hampshire, and represented 
his district in Congress in 1807-8. There, however, he 
offended his party, by proving himself independent of party 
politics, and was not re-elected. These times in which we 
live, are not, in all respects, unlike the times that have gone 
before, and it was quite as bitter an offence then, as now, 
for a man to have a conscience for himself in party matters. 
Something of that independence that we so highly esteemed 

1 2 

in the son, descended, doubtless, from the honorable inde 
pendence of the father. 

The mother many of us knew, as she lived to advanced 
years, the centre of her household all her days, the object 
of fondest affection from her daughters, of the deepest 
devotion from her son. She was a decided character ; 
intellectually very keen and bright, with a good deal of 
humor "excellent company," even amid the infirmities of 
old age. 

In those early days of Walpole, when the young lawyer 
settled there, it was a town of a little less than eighteen 
hundred inhabitants, but was distinguished for the culture of 
its people. In i/95, he found worthy competitors in his 
profession ; for here, in this small village, there resided at 
the same time with himself, the Hon. Jeremiah Mason, who 
needs no words to recall his fame ; Joseph Dennie, well 
known in the literature of the time, and Hon. Roger Vose, 
distinguished as a wit, as well as a lawyer. The clergy 
man of the town, the celebrated " Parson Fessenden," 
father of Thomas G. Fessenden, one of the most noted 
poets of that clay, was himself a scholar, wit, and author. 
In 1793, that great- printer and publisher, Isaiah Thomas, 
established in Walpole, in partnership with David Carlisle 
who had been his apprentice at Worcester, the "New 
Hampshire Journal." This was subsequently changed in 


name to the " Farmer s Weekly Museum," and Joseph 
Dennie became the editor. Under his management, and 
the contributions of that brilliant coterie of lawyers and 
wits, the Farmer s Museum became widely known, and had 
a large circulation through the whole country, from Maine 
to Georgia. 

There must have been a brilliant society in that town, 
when Francis Gardner, Senior, first went there to live. In 
addition to these, there were five sons of Col. Benjamin 
Bellows, the wealthy founder of the town, who lived there 
on ample estates, with large houses, kept up with all the 
comfort and hospitality of the olden time. I think we may 
well say, in the words of a faithful son of Walpole,* that 
" It was almost, if not quite, unequaled by any town of the 
size in New England, in the cultivation of its inhabitants, 
and the generous hospitality which they exercised towards 
each other, and towards visitors from abroad." 

In this town, Francis Gardner, Senior, built a house, 
which is still one of the principal residences in the village. 
It is one of those substantial square houses, with a slightly 
slanting roof, that have such a look of spacious comfort, and 
seem always in keeping with a country life. It is situated 
near the brow of a bluff, and commands an extensive view 
of the beautiful valley of the Connecticut, whose course can 

* Mr. Thomas Bellows Peck, (H. C. 1863,) from whom these particulars of the early 
society of Walpole and the description of its scenery were received. 


be traced for several miles, towards the south, till the view 
is closed by the apparent meeting of the New Hampshire 
and Vermont hills in the distance. Directly opposite is the 
town of Westminster, with its wide and fertile meadows, 
from which rises gradually an extensive range of hills, 
which may be considered the beginning, on the East, of 
the Green Mountains. On the North, the view is closed by 
the huge bulk of Fall Mountain, at the foot of which are 
the well known Bellows Falls, and opposite, in Vermont, by 
a range of hills. As you stand at the Gardner house, you 
see on all these sides foliao-e-covered hills, encircling the 

t> o 

beautiful valley. Back of you is the pleasant village, and 
rising beyond it, another range,- the Walpole hills, which 
complete the enclosure. There can be few lovelier views in 
New England. It was upon this scene, that the boy, whose 
whole life was to be spent away from nature, gazed in his 
earliest years. 

He was, then, the child of distinguished and intellectual 
parents, and back of him were three generations, * trained 
in the best education of New England. His earliest home 
was amid scenes of beauty, and his family had the benefit 
of the brilliant and excellent society of this very remarkable 
country town. All this must have had an influence upon 
the child. When, however, he was but a few years of 


* Rev. John Gardner, the father of Rev. Francis Gardner, was a graduate of Harvard 
College, of the class of 1715. 


his father moved to Keene, in search of wider practice, and 
four or five years later to Boston. 

In 1822, FRANCIS GARDNER entered the Latin School. 
At that time, Benjamin A. Gould was Master, Jonathan 
Greely Stevenson was Sub-master, and Mr. Leverett, the 
editor of the Latin Dictionary, was an usher. In 1827, at 
the age of fifteen, FRANCIS GARDNER entered Harvard 
College, and was graduated with distinction in 1831. 

Mr. Wendell Phillips, who was his classmate at* school 
and college, says, that they met for the first time, and sat 
next to each other, at the examination for admission to the 
school, and that a close friendship then began, which lasted 
through their lives. " He seemed," says Mr. Phillips, "a 
rough, young giant, the tallest and strongest boy in the 
class, with all the magnanimity of strength ; but the rough 
ness was on the surface only. He was never coarse, never 
ungentle, but in feeling, thought, and word was always 
delicately refined, in the rudest play never a word spoken 
that our sisters might not have heard. An unkind word 
would at any time bring tears to his eyes ; any amount of 
pain he would bear, like an Indian, unmoved ; but the 
slightest disgrace, any sneer, made his eyes moisten. I 
never knew him afraid of anybody or anything but disgrace. 
He was from mere boyhood and all life long eminently a 
just man, only claiming fair play, and more than willing to 
allow it to others. I never knew the time, even in his 


boyhood, when he did not detect or despise a sham ; that 
seemed born in him. Perhaps it grew out of what seemed 
a necessity of his nature, thoroughness. In play, in exer 
cise, in study, in any little business, such as boys sometimes 
have, he was always thorough, and he had no moods or fits. 
Whatever could be done, was done at once." 

Mr. Phillips says that he never was a general favorite, 
either at school or in college ; that he lived an isolated life, 
wrapped up in his pet studies, exercises, and odd habits, 
and rarely sought companionship ; but that there were a 
few who valued him highly and whom he valued. " He 
never quarreled, never resented an affront, was tender as a 
girl of any one s feelings or sufferings. 

" His conscientiousness, the dominance of the idea of 
duty, grew with his years. It marked his boyhood it 
governed his maturer years. The seriousness of life itself, 
that it was a terribly earnest thing, no frolic or make-shift 
to pass time, this element showed itself when I first knew 

" For an American, he was singular from the first, in 
putting many things above money. To know and to do 
was all his ambition." 

At that time there was at the University a military corps, 
and GARDNER was first non-commissioned officer. Mr. 
Phillips says, that his character and the reputation in which 
he was held, were markedly illustrated by his position and 

the manner in which he fulfilled his duties. " He was 
a sturdy, stubborn and despotic disciplinarian, as exact, 
thorough, and painstaking as any drill corporal at West 
Point. Though not a popular man, the whole class recog 
nized at once, without debate, that he was the man for the 
place, submitted to him and his exactions cheerfully, when 
they would have rebelled at half as much despotism from 
anybody else in that office. They knew that for him to be 
thoroughly exact, was fate and irresistible." 

He came forth from college at nineteen years of age, 
already an earnest, resolute, healthy man, "pure, truthful, 
just, honorable, kind, never bearing ill will, ever ready to 
acknowledge and ever sincerely enjoying real merit and fail- 
superiority to himself." 

These are the words of his classmate, who knew him so 
well from ten years of age. 

These were the traits of character of the young man as 
he entered on life. 

In the autumn following his graduation, he was appoint 
ed an usher in the Latin school. It was not, however, his 
purpose to devote himself for life to teaching. He intended 
to adopt his father s profession, and began the study of law 
while engaged as a teacher in the school, reading in the 
then famous office of Messrs. Rand and Fiske. But in the 
early summer of 1835, his father died. His practice in New 
Hampshire could not have been more than sufficient, with 



the competition that he met, to provide comfortably for his 
growing family, and he moved too late to Boston, to enter 
as fully into lucrative business, as he doubtless would have 
done in early life. He supported his family and educated 
his five children, sending, as we have seen, his only son to 
Harvard ; but when the summons came, he had but little 
property to leave them. On his dying bed, he committed 
to his son the care of his mother and sisters, and this 
duty the son performed with the utmost filial and fraternal 
fidelity. This change compelled him to abandon his own 
personal aims and hopes. He made the surrender a 
complete one, and, though another course in life might 
have tended to his greater comfort, he never regretted 
it. Indeed, with his devotion to duty, he could have 
done no differently, and this audience, assembled here 
to-night to do honor to his memory, bears witness, that 
out of self-renunciation comes true honor the truest 

And yet, Dr. GARDNER thoroughly enjoyed his work. 
He once said : " I love my calling, and if I were not a 
teacher, I think I should wish now to be a farmer. I want 
constantly to see something growing." 

He was appointed sub-master of the school in 1836, and 
remained in that position until the summer of i85o. He 
then accepted an appointment as private tutor of a young 
man visiting Europe, but in the autumn of i85i was. elected 


Head Master of the school, which office he retained until 
his death nearly twenty-five years. 

Some years ago his health began to fail. A final illness, 
distressing and painful, after a few weeks, was ended by 
death, on the tenth of January last. 

This was the uneventful life of Dr. GARDNER : his daily 
course in and out of the same house for more than thirty 
years, at the same school for forty-three ; the regular hours, 
till age began, at the gymnasium, and early in his life the 
daily walk to Roxbury Neck ; the only relaxation, looking 
in at the bookstores in search of something that he might 
use in his work, and, at one period of his life, groping 
among the piles of books at the Public Library a simple, 
quiet life, that many men might pass, and pass with service 
to their fellow men, and yet leave nothing distinctive in 
their record. 

But what was behind and under this? How did the man 
shine out amid this simple round of regular duties ? 

A real teacher is much more than a patient hearer of 
lessons ; than a discriminating giver of tasks adapted to his 
pupils minds ; than a careful student and wise imparter of 
knowledge. A teacher, endowed by God for his task, is 
first a God-created man. He is one whose manhood is 
seen through all his work ; whose temperament is not 
smothered nor concealed ; who, through all peculiarities, and 
even throuo-h faults, comes into close contact with the minds 


and the hearts of those over whom he is placed, so that they 
are impressed and stimulated by the living presence of one 
higher th-an they ; whose work is to be to them a guide, a 
corrector, but above all, an inspirer ; whose whole being 
is instinct with a devotion, with a life that is seen by them 
and enters into theirs. He may work by methods and 
upon carefully considered principles, but he is never an 
educational machine. His powers may be enhanced by 
thorough training ; his stores of knowledge enlarged by 
patient study, but a teacher s results are after all not so 
much from what he does, as from what he is the chief 
factor at work is not his knowledge nor his skill, but beyond 
all that the man himself. 

And I am sure that all you who were fortunate in being 
his pupils, however much you feel conscious of owing to his 
instruction in the varied studies that you may have worked 
at under him, yet would say, that as your eyes first fell 
upon the notice of his death ; as you, perhaps, looked upon 
him as he lay upon his bier, the thoughts that came rushing 
to your mind, were not first of Latin or of Greek, but of 
his character of his robust and independent soul. 

It is then essential, in estimating the worth of Dr. 
GARDNER as a teacher of the thousands who have gone 
forth into life, to call up to our minds the recollection of the 
manner of man he was. 


I have already mentioned the change that was made in 
all his plans and thoughts by his father s death, and of his 
assuming the charge and support of his father s family. 
Devoting himself, as he did, to them, consciously aban 
doning all selfish aims, and feeling that he was to live for 
them alone, it was not long before he grew into a higher 
consecration still to service. Life seemed to him rightly 
spent only as it was spent for use. The ordinary enjoy 
ments of men, the social pleasures, absorption in the delights 
of literature, all these he put forever away from him. He 
was never seen at places of public amusement, never, 
during the larger part of his life, at the table even of a 
friend ; all invitations were declined ; not even the annual 
dinner at Commencement found him present. But if a boy 
had a question to ask, if a former pupil or even a stranger 
sought instruction, all that he knew, and all his skill, were 
given, without thought of time, and with absolute refusal to 
take reward. 

A number of years ago, Mr. Seavey, the Head-master 
of the Girls High School, came to Dr. GARDNER, with whom 
he was always on terms of intimate friendship, and said that 
there were some of the teachers of his school who wished 
to study Latin thoroughly, and asked him to direct them 
to some competent teacher. Dr. GARDNER pondered a 
moment, and then told him that, on one condition, he would 
teach them himself, and would devote to their service two 


afternoons in each week. The condition was, that they 
should not offer any pay nor give him any present. He 
should be very glad to serve them, and the city through 
them. They accepted his offer, and for two winters he 
gave to their service two afternoons a week, and found it a 
pleasure to teach such intelligent and earnest pupils. So 
ready was he ever to labor for others, so wedded was he 
to work. 

Regular exercise he took far beyond the measure of 
most men. It was necessary for health, but he denied 
himself all mere pleasure, and in this he was most strict. 

Nothing was more impressive in reference to his use of 
time, than the limitations that he set in reading and in study. 
Some years ago, I learned to my great surprise, that he had 
never read one of Dickens s novels. Indeed, I never knew 
of his reading fiction, so rigid was he in self-discipline, - 
though he had diligently studied the English poets and 
principal essayists, and prized them with a personal fond 
ness. To sit in his beautiful library, and look around upon 
its many cases stored with books, and then to see that it 
consisted almost entirely of the classics, and all that would 
best illustrate them, and of the most select of English 


authors of highest imagination and highest thought ; to 
know that out of all the number, no book was ever bought 
merely that it might be read, but only as he believed that it 
would be of value for frequent study or future reference ; to 


hear him say, that he took no pleasure in reading anything, 
aside from the hope that it might be of use to himself or 
others ; to find that, even in his favorite departments of 
study, the same inexorable law apparently ruled ; that he 
did not concern himself much with speculations connected 
with the classics or with ancient life, but confined himself in 
all his studies mainly to his own direct work of a teacher of 
boys, was to feel that his high idea of usefulness was carried 
fully into all the relations of life ; that he sought abso 
lutely nothing for himself except to spend and be spent 
in service. 

Yet, let me not give an impression that his range 
of study was narrow. In Latin, he was a profound student. 
He knew the language with rare exactness ; and it was 
characteristic of him that, though he valued Greek far more 
highly, and though nothing, perhaps, stirred him more 
strongly to a sort of despairing indignation than the efforts 
of some to strike out from the foundation of a liberal 
education that language in which men have been trained 
since the revival of letters, which is the hopeless model of 
vigor, precision, and beauty of expression, as well as the 
principal element in all modern thought, he yet gave more 
study to Latin than to Greek. His work in teaching 
language lay largely through the medium of Latin ; and 
hence to Latin his best work was given. But no one could 


hear him conduct a recitation in Homer, without seeing 
how minute was his knowledge, and how careful had 
been his study of Greek. 

In his knowledge of French, the same trait was mani 
fested. I do not think that he ever gave much time to 
reading French literature, though he read French with 
fluency. That would have seemed to him reading for 
amusement ; but I have never met any one who had 
studied the grammar of the language so extendedly and so 

His knowledge of other foreign tongues was limited, 
but he had studied both German and Italian sufficiently 
for such uses as he had in view. No one could be 
more modest than he about his attainments. No one had 
more contempt for the common claim to a knowledge of 
several languages. I was standing with him one day upon 
his platform at school, when a boy came up and said, <% Mr. 
GARDNER, will you tell me, please, how many languages 
you know? " Mr. GARDNER replied : " I do not know that 
any one can really be said absolutely to know any language, 
but, allowing for the imperfection of the human faculties, 
and for the impossibility of knowing all that makes up the 
speech of an entire people, I have given so much time to 
its study, have examined it in so many different ways, that 
I think I may fairly be said to know one language, and that 
is, the English." The boy looked amazed. " But," said he, 


how many languages do you know, as other people say, 
that they know languages ? " " Oh ! you mean how many 
languages do I know something about. Why, four or five 
more, perhaps." 

And how well he knew the English language, in its 
structure and form, its vocabulary and its pronunciation ! 
In literature he had studied it always in the best authors. 
How frequent his criticism : "That word is not good 
English ; you may find it in the newspaper or in a novel, 
perhaps, but you will not find it in an author recognized 
as standard." In pronunciation, he was careful to a degree 
that we rarely find. In the shades of vowel sounds and in 
the enunciation of diphthongs, he was quite as particular as 
in accentuation. He used to complain with some bitterness 
that both our great American dictionaries had spoiled the 
sound of the English language. 

His acquaintance with history was large, and in one 
period,, that of the French Revolution, his knowledge was 
exceedingly minute, descending to all incidents and all 
characters. The way in which he gained this particular 
knowledge was characteristic. Some one asked him the 
meaning of an allusion in Carlyle s History of the French 
Revolution. He did not understand it and undertook to 
find it out. He searched libraries until he found the answer 
to this inquiry ; but other questions meanwhile arose and he 
continued, until he accumulated something like a thousand 


pages of manuscript notes and seven volumes of engravings 
and other prints illustrating the book and the period. 
Sometimes a brief note cost him all his leisure hours for 
weeks. This unique collection he was always ready to lend 
to any reader. He made it, hoping that it would be of 
service, and his pride of ownership was never suffered to 
withhold it from any opportunity of use. 

He eagerly read anything upon the subject of his pro 
fession, particularly upon methods of teaching the languages. 
He was often considered to be ultra-conservative in his 
methods, but while he did take an attitude of decided 
opposition to those whom he thought ignorant theorists 
or pretentious charlatans in education, he was really by 
nature an experimentalist, seeking to accomplish all that he 
could for his pupils, and trying, although convinced that 
there was no royal road to learning, to remove difficulties 
wherever possible. He was always ready to welcome the 
thoughts of any man of real experience or knowledge. 
Thus it must be nearly twenty years ago, that he put into 
my hands, and commended to my careful attention, that 
very original and brilliant work of " Marcel on Language." 

His knowledge was exact and always ready for use. 
During the last twenty-five years of his life, he could hardly 
be said to have read books he always studied subjects. 
In this study he would exhaust book after book, sometimes 
go from library to library, but he always had some precise 


and definite end, and did not cease his investigation until he 
had reached that end. The point upon which he started 
might seem a small one, but he could not rest until he was 
satisfied upon it. 

It was singular to see how all his thoughts turned to 
usefulness. He once said, " I often think that when I get 
too old for service in the school, I should like to be a sort 
of volunteer assistant in the Public Library, where my 
knowledge upon some special subjects might be of use in 
directing readers." In his last years he on one occasion 
asked a friend : " If the school-committee should fail some 
day to re-elect me, don t you think that I should be happier 
in Italy than in this country without any especial object 
to live for? After an affirmative response, he said, " I 
think so, and if I should not be re-elected, I should not 
care. I think that so far as mere happiness is concerned, I 
could now be happier there than here. I should look upon 
it as a release, but I shall not resign so long as I think 
that I am able to do my work. I do not think that I 
have any right to lay my armor down so long as I have 
strength to wear it." It was in accordance, doubtless, 
with this feeling, that at the beginning of his last sickness 
he sent his resignation in his work was over. But the 


school-committee, to their honor be it said, did not accept 
his resignation, and so he died in office as master of the 
school the first head-master to die while actually in the 


service, since Ezekiel Cheever, who was appointed in 1671 
and died in 1708, at the age of ninety-four. 

Of his physical characteristics, I need hardly speak to 
you who recollect so well that face and figure. Just six feet 
in height, his weight one hundred and ninety pounds, all 
bone and muscle, he was very active in all his movements 
till his powers began to fail. How often have I thought, 
as I have seen him running up that long, winding staircase 
at the Latin School, generally two steps at a time, of Dr. 
Arnold s saying, that when he could no longer run up the 
library stairs, he should know that it was time for him to go. 
How well do we remember when every night from five to 
six he led as teacher in the general exercises in the old 
gymnasium in Franklin Street, a nd how we afterwards 
watched him admiringly on the parallel bars, and laughed, 
perhaps, as we saw his skull cap fall on one side and his 
spectacles on the other, as he turned in rapid somersaults, 
supported by his arms as a pivot, over and over again. 
How pleased were we to listen to the stories that some 
older friend would tell of his prowess in still earlier days as 
a boxer, and how that length of arm and prodigious 
strength made him an antagonist with the gloves, dreaded 
even by professionals. 

That iron frame and those immense powers gave him 
great capabilities for work, for he never used them to 


fatigue. His exercise refreshed his mind and did not tire 
his body. He was simply keeping- himself in best condition 
for labor. No ordinary toil or care could weary him. He 
must have been fifty years of age when he told me that so 
far as fatigue was concerned, he never knew the day when 
he could not, at its close, do the whole day s work right 
over again ; and having this remark alluded to afterwards, 
he said that he believed that it was literally true. He said 
once that the only sense of weariness that he ever had from 
teaching was that at times he felt as if a certain amount of 
magnetism had been drained from him. Such a wonderful 
man was he in his physical prime. 

A man so earnest in his work and life, so full of power, 
so firm in self-discipline, so strong of will as he, could not 
have appeared in manner like other men. But some pecu 
liarities of appearance and expression, and more particularly 
an increasing sombreness of spirit, grew out of circumstances 
of his life to which it is necessary to allude. He was so 
weighted with the cares of his father s family, that he early 
put away from himself the idea of marriage, and grew into 
years, without adding other interests to his, without attach 
ing to his life the dearest ties. But of intense strength in 
domestic affection, he clung most closely to his mother and 
his sisters. Strong man as he was, he burst into uncon 
trollable tears at an illness of his mother a number of years 
before her death. Of intense sensitiveness to all that was 


calculated to touch the heart, he bore out for burial from his 
house, subsequent to his father s death, no less than eight 
members of his family brother-in-law, four sisters, nephew, 
niece, and mother, until he was left the past seven years 
entirely alone. 

But it was not only the deaths of these loved ones, this 
succession of repeated blows, that wounded him to the 
depths of his heart, and compelled him to sternest self- 
control. In most of these cases, the death was preceded by 
a long period of slow declining health, if not of actual 
disease; so that some years ago he said, "I have seldom 
for thirty years entered my house, without the thought that 
I might immediately hear sad intelligence from some one 
there sick." His home then was not one of gladness, but 
almost continually was laden with an atmosphere of sadness, 
was filled with sad memories and sadder forebodings. At 
length the last tie was broken ; his whole household was 
with the dead. There was no successor to any member 
of his family, and he knew that he must henceforth live a 
solitary life and die a lonely death. 

His life was not like that of other men; it was filled with 
pain to his deepest feelings. It is not strange that he seemed 
to many an austere man. Only they who really knew him 
could see the quivering heart underneath the rigid aspect, 
and knew that he was nerving himself for duty, and saw that 
the duty was always done, though we could only guess at 

what cost to himself. In 1870 he wrote thus to a friend: 
" We all have an instinctive dread of death ; but were 
to-morrow s mail to carry to you the news that I had passed 
away, I should wish you to understand that it was an event 
I most wished. Don t think that I am gloomy, for I am not. 
I simply have nothing to live for." And yet, another letter 
of his, a year later, tells the secret of his continued labors, 
gives a glimpse into the depths of his great heart, and 
shows the spirit with which he bowed to these afflictions. 
" If we accept the death of these loved ones in the right 
spirit, the love which would have been concentrated upon 
them will be more widely diffused, bringing a happiness, 
desolate as the heart may be, infinitely superior to any 
happiness springing from self-gratification in any form." 

As a teacher, the qualities of the man found their full 
exercise. Thorough and systematic in instruction, he trained 
his pupils to good habits of study, to mental accuracy, and 
solid foundations of learning. 

He had a remarkable facility for illustrating subjects by 
familiar objects and incidents. He was a marvel of patience 
in giving explanations. When he felt that the class or the 
individual boy was really seeking to understand a subject, he 
would repeat and vary his efforts over and over again, until 
the subject was made clear. These illustrations of his were 
often homely and quaint ; his anecdotes were pointed and 


odd ; and they gave so much of originality to his instruction 
that boys were first interested and aroused by his manner 
and methods, and then received with zest the knowledge 
that he was trying to convey. He had especial skill with 
the lower end of the class with those who had, perhaps, 
been thought idlers or dunces through years of their school 
course. Many of them were of just the manly disposition, 
notwithstanding their own indifference to their studies, to 
appreciate the intense out-spoken directness of Dr. GARDNER, 
and began to work with new zeal ; while the skill of their 
instructor, in explanation and illustration, made their work 
more intelligible than ever before. The progress made by 
the poorest scholars in his room was constantly a surprise. 
Year after year, boys who had been looked upon as hope 
less by other teachers, were enabled, at the close of the 
year in his room, to enter Harvard very respectably. No 
pains were ever too great for him to take with a pupil, and 
he devoted afternoons, and holidays, and vacations with 
most earnest zeal to the service of any who needed his 

Some of his means of illustration were very ingenious. 
He had a model of Caesar s bridge, made by himself, that 
seemed much more simple to a boy than did the description 
in the Latin. His bag of beans was often in use to illustrate 
the principles of arithmetic. The black-board was constantly 
made a means of instruction to convey by diagrams lessons 


in morals, too, as well as geometry. He would startle a 
class sometimes by the peculiarity of his illustrations. I 
remember once that he drew a figure on his coat-sleeve 
instead of the black-board. We remembered that, though 
we might have forgotten it, if put upon the board probably 
just what he intended. 

He believed strongly in presenting to the eye the object 
he desired to convey to the mind, by all means of pictorial 
illustration. By his personal exertions, the Latin School 
acquired probably the largest collection of pictorial and other 
illustrations of Roman and Grecian topography and antiqui 
ties possessed by any institution in the country ; comprising 
paintings, rare and old engravings, models in cork, casts 
from the antique, the best foreign mural maps and 
plans, casts of medals, antique coins, specimens of marbles 
from ancient ruins, and hundreds of photographs of Italian 
and Athenian views and of statuary. But these were not 
merely placed upon the walls, they were used by him in 
the instruction of his classes, and no recitation was more 
interesting to visitors from Europe as well as from this 
country, than those in which the boys, after giving an 
outline description of Rome or Athens, would proceed to 
different parts of the room, pointing out the different locali 
ties upon the maps and pictures, or giving from the models 
details of the buildings. Their knowledge came directly 
from hinv from no text-book save a brief manuscript of his 


writing ; and one of his pupils told me that he found this 
outline, learned in his school days, of more value to him in 
Athens than all the guide books that he had. And yet, 
Dr. GARDNER was never in Athens or Rome. 

How well his pupils remember him in recitation ; the 
short and quick questions, one leading to another ; the care 
ful accuracy that he required in matters of etymology ; the 
common-sense view that he took of matters of syntax. 
How he used to go down to elementary principles, surpris 
ing, perhaps, a class who had imagined themselves equal to 
the exceptional cases of syntax, by a few questions that told 
them that their knowledge of some of the parts of speech 
was uncertain. I remember his coming into the room of 
one of the younger classes holding up a knife. " What 
part of speech is that ? " A few boys accustomed to look 
for something out of the usual course in his questions, main 
tained a prudent silence ; but almost all gave as answer, " A 
noun." " No, it is not a part of speech at all its name is 
a noun it is a knife." This merely illustrates his way of 
probing frequently the knowledge of the boys in familiar 
style, seeing if they really comprehended what they were 
learning. The great object that he aimed at in his instruc 
tions was that the boys in their classical work should learn 
Latin and Greek, and not merely to translate certain selec 
tions from the languages. Mere polish of work he valued 
little in recitation in comparison with progress made. Under 


his instruction the boys year after year gained accurate and 
ready knowledge ; they carried away an idea of thorough 
ness, a standard of comparison that must have been useful 
in all pursuits of life. 

But he was by no means confined by the topics of 
the recitation. He was always willing to attend to, always 
encouraged questions from the boys, unless they were 
plainly idle ; and his pupils remember with admiration his 
remarkable readiness on all the multiform questions raised 
by school boy curiosity and ingenuity. 

In the government of his school he required strict 
obedience, unquestioning submission to authority, and re 
spect in both words and manner. But he was not particular 
about points of order regarded as essential by many. His 
authority was so absolute, that he could allow a great deal 
of freedom in the school-room. His own physical powers 
were so vigorous, that he appeared to sympathize with the 
restlessness of boys. He endeavored to secure their interest 
in their studies, believing that then the ordinary forms of 
school discipline could be dispensed with. There was 
always in his room an impression of vigorous life. The 
painful stillness of the House of Correction and of many 
schools a stillness as of death, you did not find, but indi 
cations of intelligent study and happy work. 

He left a great deal to boys honor, but it was always 
with his eyes wide open. If he found himself deceived, 


there was, according to circumstances, a lash of contempt 
applied with stinging words, or an expression of evidently 
sincere sorrow and disappointment, either of which was 
generally sufficient to prevent a repetition of the trans 

There was always under his influence an unusually high 
standard of truth among his pupils. He was so straight 
forward himself, so free from any tricks or meanness, that he 
made a very strong impression of the manliness of truth. 
He was never more severe than upon falsehood, and upon 
the usual methods of deception by which boys often disguise 
or dodge the truth. He did not readily forget such offences 
in a boy ; indeed, it is doubtful if he ever forgot them. But 
while he would encourage a boy to make every effort to 
redeem himself, he felt that if a boy had once erred in a 
particular direction, he was likely ever after to sin again in 
the same way. He had a remarkable faculty of detecting 
the faults of boys, underneath the surface of ordinary 
school propriety, and was inexorable in holding good boys 
to a high standard of right feeling as well as of right action ; 
and, possibly, he may have appeared more stern to their 
slight offences, than to the more serious faults of boys who 
made little effort to do right. In truth, he was educating 
those who seemed more capable of it, to high moral princi 
ples ; while in the case of those of lower character, he was sat 
isfied with securing reasonable conformity to external duty. 


Boys in the lower classes who did not come into close 
contact with him, except when detected in serious faults, 
were often afraid of him. But the boys in his own classes 
were soon impressed by his patience in instruction, his entire 
devotion to their interests, and his earnest maintaining of 
an absolute standard of truth. The absence of unnecessary 
restraint, his perfect impartiality and love of justice, his. 
readiness to make full amends for any mistake in govern 
ment, the air of manliness and independence that always 
characterized him, his firmness that could be shaken by no 
appliances of influence, his especial kindness to the poor- 
to those who were laboring under difficulties led them 
almost universally to respect, to admire, to venerate him. 
His manner was unsympathetic, but they early learned that 
they could trust implicitly to his real kindness of action and 
life. There was nothing demonstrative about his regard for 
them, but they felt that they could rely upon him for any 
service they might need. As one of his pupils wrote a 
number of years ago : " We soon learned that under Mr. 
GARDNER S straightforward, blunt manner lay a genuine 
affection for us and for his own vocation as teacher ; and 
the curt phrase of censure came home without rankling, 
because we knew it not only just and uttered in all kindness, 
but based on a higher sense of duty and a more perfect 
appreciation of right, than we could ourselves compre 


He had a certain grim humor and an odd quaintness of 
expression that were very effective in his dealing with the 
boys, and often very amusing as they were repeated and 
passed through the school. Conceit he was very apt to 
pierce, and the few pupils who carried away from the school 
any bitterness of feeling, were mainly those whom, after 
the manner of Socrates, he chided for " thinking themselves 
to be something when they were nothing." 

But what was Dr. GARDNER as a Head Master, as well as 
a teacher, in his relations to his assistants ? Doubtless he 
was not always understood by those who were working 
under him. Some, perhaps, thought him hard a man 
who demanded a great deal of labor from them, and then 
was not always satisfied with the best that they could do. 
Habituated to hard toil and great expenditure of effort 
himself, it may be that he did demand more than some with 
the best will could perform. He never asked any to give 
so much toil and energy to the school as he gave himself. 
But it is true that he did insist on results, on success in 
teaching. If the boys of a class did not make fair progress, 
he was dissatisfied, no matter how patient or how scholarly 
the teacher. He did not expect all things from any one, 
but he did feel that the city paid sufficient salaries to secure 
as teachers men who had fair power of control, reasonable 
tact in government, and devotion to their duties. He did 


not think it right that the time of a whole class of boys 
should be wasted, that a teacher might have opportunity 
gradually to work into fitness for the place, the duties of 
which he was supposed, on his appointment, competent to 
perform. He was too strong a man to allow his sympathy 
for a teacher whom he thought unsuccessful to interfere with 
his conviction of duty to his school. 

But Dr. GARDNER never required any one to adopt ways 
and methods of his. He allowed the largest liberty in this 
respect, and only demanded that the classes should make the 
desired progress. When under twenty-one years of age, I 
was appointed an usher in the school. I had, of course, but 
the slightest experience in teaching. I remember well the 
morning when I presented myself before him for my in 
structions. I never forgot his words ; I repeat them here 
because I presume that he uttered them substantially to 
others, and they seem to me to illustrate better than any of 
my own, his relations to his assistants. After telling me that 
the city had a right to expect good teaching, and that if a 
teacher did not succeed, he must give way to some one who 
could, he said, " I shall demand of you results, but you may 
take your own methods of producing them. I shall not 
complain of your methods if the right results come. I shall 
always be glad to give you advice, but one thing more. 
If you adopt your own course and methods, you may fail ; 
if you try to copy mine, you certainly will. In teaching, no 


6ne can copy another ; he must be himself. I do not under 
value experience, of course, but after all, in a very high 
sense, a teacher is born and not made." 

He was then a strong, decided man, not only doing his 
own work well, but insisting, so far as he had the power, 
that others should do their work well also. 

His authority in all general matters extended down 
through the school, and it was an authority that was felt. 
But teachers in their own rooms, so far as they did not 
interfere with the general discipline of the school, were left 
to adopt such measures and means as they found best, 
unless the interference of the Head Master was required. 
In any particular case where the teacher needed the especial 
assistance of the master, Dr. GARDNER was ready with 
advice or authority ; but if there was a radical lack of con 
trol, he never undertook to govern a class for another. He 


was sometimes blamed for not propping up the weak control 
of a teacher ; but he firmly held the opinion, that if one 
were really deficient in authority, he could not be supported 
or materially helped by any one else. 

But completely as he was identified with the school, his 
heart beat in quick response to any call for sympathy in 
public matters. How earnestly patriotic he was during the 
war! How he endeavored to link the school to the move 
ments in the field, and so carry to an ardent glow the 

patriotic feelings of his pupils by the adoption of one 
company, (whose captain was an old school-boy,) known as 
the Latin School Company, to the comfort of whose men 
the school constantly contributed, his pupils at that time 
will well remember. And when the war was over, how 
tenderly he honored the memory of those who fell, and 
cherished the services of those who survived, is shown hy 
the portraits in the school hall, by the marble tablets, and 
by the beautiful statue that exhibits upon her shield the 
names of our dead heroes. 

And not only in our country s greatest need did he 
reach out in service beyond his home and school, but in the 
public fairs for great charities that have illustrated the gen 
erosity of our city, it has been well known how actively he 
gave his energies, how ready he was to assist his boys in 
learning early to give their help. 

Such then was our teacher ; eager for the improvement 
and the character of his scholars ; devoted, with a devotion 
that took no thought of self, to all their interests ; thorough 
in his teaching and accurate in knowledge, apt at instruction, 
enthusiastic in his work, conscientious and firm as an agent 
of the city in directing others, and yet so liberal- that he 
recognized the right of others to work in their own way, as 
they were best fitted to work; energetic, impartial, un 
affected, independent, sincere ; proud of his school, proud 
of the city ; devoted with untiring loyalty to his country, 


with a heart that beat in sympathy with the suffering every 

The old School has many bright names upon its record. 
We can count scholars from Cotton Mather down. In this 
centennial year, we number five signers of the Declaration 
of Independence, from our roll of boys ; orators whose fiery 
words could summon a people to arms, or, if human words 
could, assuage the passions of contending sections ; many 
representatives of our government at foreign courts, judges 
and chief justices of our own and other States, governors 
and members of Congress in numbers, bishops and saintly 
clergy, men of power to-day in all professions and callings 
in life : but is there one among them all, from Governor 
Leverett, who was a boy here in 1635, down to our own 
time, who ever did more for the School, through the 
impress upon his pupils, did more for this community, is 
more deserving in this connection to be honored and 
revered by us, than FRANCIS GARDNER ? 

But in speaking of him as our teacher, we have not said 
all that we think of, as we remember him to-night. As a 
teacher he was great, but in ways that we can hardly 
describe, in the bearing and look of the man, in the uncon 
scious influence that he exerted, he gave such an expression of 
genuine manhood, of honest and fearless independence, and 
of undeviating honesty, with a hatred of shams and pre 
tense, that his name is dear to us and his character dearly 


prized. We think of him, after all, not so miich as our 
teacher, as we do as a man whom it was good to know. 

Just here we have, I think, an indication of how great 
he really was. Number up the men who have left any name 
as famous teachers, how few they are. But how fewer still 
are they of whom you can think as anything else than 
teachers. If they became great, it was, in part, because 
they were really absorbed in their work. You could not 
think of them ^as anything else. But with Dr. GARDNER, 
great teacher as we know he was, we yet feel that his 
manhood was large enough for any calling. 

We can imagine him in the profession that he first 
fancied. What might he not have attained as an advocate 
at the bar, with his immense application, capacity for storing 
knowledge ready for use, clear discernment of character, 
great power of will, skill in elucidating facts, exact and 
immense command of language and, in case of need, 
withering sarcasm and humor that could scorch ? 


Suppose him in public life. How independent would he 
have been of all mere party ties or partizan action 1 How 
he would have scorned the corruptions of the day, how true 
he would have been to all our highest aspirations for our 
country s life ! 

Again, what a soldier he would have made! How 
strict a disciplinarian, and yet how faithful to his men ; how 
ready would he have been for all emergencies ! How we 


can imagine him leading a forlorn hope, with a courage that 
could not falter ! 

We would not unduly extol his memory. He had his 
faults, as others have ; but where, I appeal to you, his 
pupils, do you find another man of such decision and 
force, whose tenderness was so great, of such power of 
will and such self-trust, who so systematically devoted him 
self to service ; of such stores of knowledge and such skill 
in controling others ; whose only ambition was usefulness ? 

We feel grateful for his instruction as a teacher; we 
look back upon his life devoted to the School with admira 
tion ; we in some measure realize how noble and self- 
denying a life he lived. FRANCIS GARDNER, our teacher, the 
great Head Master of our time, has gone. And as we now 
know how large a place he has filled in our recollections and 
regards, we feel that to us without him the world will never 
seem quite the same. 


WE come to-night together 

From the great world s stir and strife, 
To pay the fitting trib ute 

To a pure, devoted life ; 
To sound a good man s praises ; 

Of simple worth to tell, 
And to fall a tear on the humble bier 

Of one who lived so well. 

Oh, whatsoever be man s fate 

In this strange world of ours, 
Tread he a pathway rough with thorns 

Or strewn with smiling flowers ; 
Tis the deepest wish of each human heart 

That when life s toil is past, 
The world may say, o er his coffined clay, 

He was faithful to the last. 

4 6 

And with the truest meaning, 

May those rare words be said 
Of the stern, heroic, Christian man 

We mourn to-night as dead. 
A crown of thorns was the life reward 

Of our dear old guide and friend, 
But he bravely fought without a thought 

Of himself to the bitter end. 

Oh happy he whom fate allows 

The cup of joy to drain ; 
Oh happy he whose life is tuned 

To fortune s sweet refrain ! 
For when the face of Heaven smiles, 

For when the heart is light, 
And no tears arise to dim the eyes, 

It is easy to do right. 

But think of him content to toil 

Through all the weary years, 
Renounce the wishes of his heart 

And win his bread with tears 
All silently for others sake 

He worked by day, by night, 
Until at length his rugged strength 

In duty found delight. 


And through the dull, the weary years 

He kept his secret still ; 
He knew not wealth, he knew no ease, 

And all the world seemed chill 
The few stars faded one by one 

That cheered his humble sky, 
Nor wife, nor child, beside him smiled 

When the good man came to die. 

E en as the oak, that long exposed 

To lightning, wind and rain, 
Uprooted falls before its time, 

In ruin to the plain ; 
He bore with fortitude the strokes 

Of Providence, until, 
O erwhelmed at last by blow and blast, 

The steadfast heart grew still. 

And so we leave unto his God 

Our friend, whose rugged truth, 
Instilled the seeds of manliness 

Within our cherished youth. 
Oh may our children ne er forget 

With reverence to speak 
Of the brave old man of iron, 

Who taught their fathers Greek. 

4 8 

Above his grave the grass will grow, 

And still the busy tide 
Of life roll on, as if our friend 

Had never lived and died. 
There was a beauty in his years 

Which never can depart ; 
Well doeth he, whoe er he be, 

Who takes it to his heart. 


recognizes the measureless debt which the School owes to the 
generous, untiring and zealous devotion of the late Dr. FRANCIS 

He brought to its service marvellous industry, almost unequalled 
power to work, exact scholarship, and a conscientious thoroughness 
in preparation for duty, rare among American scholars ; a talent 
for teaching and love of it, which not only served the brilliant 
and ready intellect, but won to study and lifted to success minds 
upon which the most persevering efforts of others had been 
wholly without result. His ingenuity in varying his explanations 
and fertility of illustration,- joined to singular patience, generally 
succeeded at last in rousing the most sluggard, interesting the 
most indifferent, and reaching the comprehension of the dullest 

He had the true master s power to win submission. Even 
his boyish delight in athletic games, which made him join his 


boys in all their sports on terms of frolic equality, never lessened 
this power of control. 

He let no pupil see he was a favorite. Neither brilliant gifts 
nor social position tempted his scrupulous impartiality. If a 
keen watch did ever detect any inclining of the scale, it was 
toward some poor and friendless one to whom nature had not 
been generous, and who was struggling for light and strength. 

The Association owes its existence to him, and to his zeal and 
effort the School itself owes a large share of the love and respect 
it enjoys to-day. 

He did not so much serve it as live for it ; had hardly any 
life separate from the School, and died in the harness ; his vigorous 
constitution and iron strength were worn out by a too generous 
and unresting service, which was indeed the joy and delight of 
his life. 

Those who grew up under his "care recognize that he taught 
them more than language, or science; since by his inspiration 
life took a serious and earnest purpose, and by example as well 
as precept he stirred them to be always thoroughly fit for any 
duty they undertook. Though his method was one of strict 
discipline and unquestioning submission to authority, it was 
ennobled and justified by training boys to a hearty love of sound 
learning, to the highest sense of honor and a perfect loyalty to 
truth. No habit of deception, in word or deed, no toleration of 
shams, could survive his discipline and example. Patient of labor 
and never sparing himself, he demanded of his pupils diligent 


efforts, but only to secure the full development of their own 

Under a manner which some thought austere was a tenderness 
almost womanly, which felt keenly even a cold word, and melted 
in his harshest-seeming moments before the first appeal to his 
heart. It is not for us to recall that domestic circle where, self- 
denying and devoted, he bore, all his life, heavy responsibility 
with tireless love. 

During his long term of. office, nearly half a century, he neither 
took nor needed recreation or leisure. To so wholly devoted and 
disinterested a spirit, rest meant giving up his leisure hours to 
some lagging or ill-prepared pupil, enjoining on him only the 
condition that he should offer no pay nor any special thanks. 
These rare gifts and this uncalculating sacrifice reaped all the 
reward they asked, the love and respect of those who grew up 
under them, and who look back to him not only as the great 
Head Master, ranking with those of other lands whose names have 
come down to us embalmed in the gratitude of ages, but as one 
of the best friends of their happiest years, one to whom they owe 
the finest inspiration and the best help those years had. 

Though his rigorous devotion to his profession left him little 
time for other matters, still his influence was always felt on the 
right side, and his pupils were never mere scholars, but ready and 
prepared at every call of citizenship or society. 

The debt which sound learning, classical study and a true 
education owe to his efforts is incalculable. But more valuable 


still, here and now, is the inspiration of a life sacredly and modestly 
devoted to constant usefulness, of a conscientiousness which 
sought no public applause, gave no hour to gain, allowed none for 
leisure, and repudiated even the cultivation of literature unless as 
a means to help others ; this example is an invaluable contribution 
to the educating forces of society and a noble spur both to teacher 
and pupil. 

No man in this generation has given himself more earnestly or 
more disinterestedly to the service of the community, and few 
have achieved greater success in such service.