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Academy Keeper.

[Price One Shilling]


Academy Keeper:

Or VARIETY of useful


Concerning the Management of an






Proper Methods of addressing Parents and
Guardians of all Ranks and Conditions.


Necessary RULES for the proper Choice and Treatment
of Academy-Wives, Ushers, and other
menial Servants: with the Reasons of making
them public.

_Quando pauperiem, missis ambagibus, horres;
Accipe, quâ ratione, queas ditescere._ HOR.


Printed for THO. PEAT, No. 22. Fleet-Street.

Transcriber's Note: In the Contents, Chapter IX has been changed to
read "Ushers" only and Chapter X, "Other Servants", which was not
included in the original text, has been added. Sect. 14 in Chapter IX
is missing from the original text.


After many unsuccessful experiments, made some years ago, to retrieve a
declining fortune, I was lucky enough at last to marry the mistress of
a boarding-school: her circumstances were not, indeed, at the time of
our marriage, very considerable. But as I was neither unacquainted with
the world, nor the more useful sciences, by a peculiar attention to
the tempers of the boys, and the dispositions of their parents, by a
flexibility of face, for which I was always remarkable, the assistance
of a northern degree, and a tolerable share of assiduity; I soon
accumulated a large fortune with credit. My eldest daughter I
afterwards married to a favourite usher, resigned to him the school,
and for his service drew up most of the following rules. After his
decease I favoured many others with a copy, who adhered to them with
equally great advantage, and added a few to their number: I therefore
should not acquit myself properly as a citizen of the world, if I did
not give every one an opportunity of seeing them who may have occasion
to use them. Many alterations in the mode of education render them
indeed, at this time, peculiarly necessary.

Mothers, not school-masters, have with great propriety of late, the
sole direction of their children's studies; as also what punishments
shall be inflicted on them; what diversions must be allowed them;
what degree of insolence they may express to their ushers; and what
liberties they may take with their school-fellows. These are
circumstances formerly unknown, and many, by a too great inattention to
them, and an adherence to the ancient plan, have lately been ruined.

There is another inducement to the publication of these rules, which
I must not suppress. The cause of learning declines with the reputation
of its friends. And if we enquire, why the character of an
Academy-Keeper is treated with such general contempt, we shall not find
the true causes to be either superciliousness, pedantry, ignorance, or
venality, as the world maliciously insinuates, but the modesty of these
people, and their disinterested probity; by the former of which they
have unhappily prevented the world from being acquainted with their
merit, and by the latter prevented themselves from emerging out of a
state of poverty and raggedness, which in these golden days cannot be
expected to find much courtesy in the world. In retrieving therefore
their fortunes, we may not only re-establish their characters, but
administer relief to learning and science, which have been wounded
through their sides.

Nor were these my only motives for publishing these papers. Another, and
very considerable one, was the good of the public. The parents of these
times seem duly sensible of the advantages of a good education, and are
rather desirous of having their children instructed in the different
branches of polite literature, and genteel deportment, than acquainted
with the crabbed writers of antiquity, or the useless distinctions and
discoveries of modern philosophical subtlety. But, for want of proper
information, they know not where those several accomplishments are
regularly taught. These directions, therefore, may be of the greatest
service; since by properly enquiring how many of them shall be
hereafter practised at the respective Academies in and near London;
parents may generally know in what school their children are likeliest
to receive the desired improvements.

_Note._ As it is not imagined that the following Directions are all
that may be necessary, whoever amongst my readers is kind enough to
communicate to my bookseller others equally pertinent, may be assured
of finding them properly noticed in the next edition.















Page 2. l. 8-9. Expences is, _for_ expences are.
- - - l. 11. charge, _for_ charges.
Page 7. l. 9. is, _for_ are.
- - - l. 11. boulli, _for_ boulliè.
Page 11. l. 20. month, _for_ year.
Page 15. l. 6. _dele_ (see article USHER.)

The reader is also desired to excuse a few other typographical errors;
as the author could not conveniently attend the press.



Academy Keepers.



SECT. 1. You are desirous of engaging in the management of an Academy.
Are you in low circumstances? Are you a broken attorney, or excise-man?
A disbanded Frenchman, or superannuated clerk? Offer your service for a
trifling consideration; declaim on the roguery of requiring large sums,
and make yourself amends in the inferior articles; quills, paper, ink,
books, candles, fire, extraordinary expences, taylors and shoe-maker's
bills, are excellent items in academy-accounts. You may charge them as
amply as you please, without injury to your reputation. The expence in
books, paper, &c. is chearfully paid, as proofs of a rapid progress.
The charge of candles, fire, and extraordinary expences, as proofs of
your indulgence; and no-body will suspect you to be partner in your
taylor's and shoe-maker's bills. This is an approved rule, and
practised with success by many of my acquaintance.

SECT. 2. But we will suppose you of higher character, and better
prospect. We will suppose you an emigrant from some northern
university, or a tuftless child of one of our own, and to have been a
considerable time assistant in some southern school. Twenty-five pounds
is the least you can ask. Nor are you to neglect to avail yourself of
the preceding items; but deem it a general rule that your extraordinary
advantages are to bear a direct proportion to your stated terms.

SECT. 3. If you have promised to confine your attention to a trifling
number; by advertising that one or two are still wanting, or by
decreasing your terms, attempt immediately to retract this promise.
Apply to your first benefactors; hope they will permit you to
accommodate a few pretty little masters, sons of Mr. Such-a-one, who
may be of the greatest service to you. They will not deny you; they
will consider it as a proof of your rising reputation. You are indebted
for this judicious rule to the late eminent Mr. Jerkham, who died
broken-hearted, as is supposed, in consequence of the ridiculous
appearance he made in one of our late monthly reviews. I mention this
melancholy circumstance, that you may avoid his fate, and let your
learning be known only to your boys; it will do you most service, be a
proof of your modesty and attention to your school.

SECT. 4. When advertising for boys does not answer, advertisements for
servants may probably succeed. The following is an approved copy.

Wanted at an academy near London three domestics;

A compleat penman, accomptant, and mathematician, with an undeniable

A steady careful person capable of teaching the English language
grammatically, and willing to attend the children to bed:

A cleanly sober wench to look after the children's linen, and do other
occasional work: Enquire of Mr. Twitch, broom-maker, in Kent-street.

By properly publishing advertisements like this, you will seldom fail
of attracting the attention of the publick.

But you may want none of these servants. You have an easy redress. Ask
the mathematician if he understands English, the abecedarian if he
understands mathematics; upon these conditions promise them each ten
pounds a year, (board, lodging, and washing) with eighteen-penny
perquisites, and you are acquitted with credit; as to the wench, if she
comes bare-foot, almost before the news-paper appears, rebuffs of this
kind are so common, that you may say, without suspicion, you are

SECT. 5. If you are at any time desirous of enlarging your terms,
expostulate plentifully on your intended improvements, and the large
stipends your assistants require. Your expences are extremely great,
and the business above measure fatiguing; you have been long accustomed
to children, and are fond of seeing them about you; and indeed
otherwise the business would be insupportable.



Among the first articles enquired after, both by parents and children,
are those of the table. You cannot therefore be too early instructed in
the desirable art of giving all reasonable satisfaction in this matter,
at the least possible expence.

SECT. 1. Remember then always, to see the fruit-basket amongst your
boys before dinner. Fruit is least prejudicial to an empty stomach; and
if the children will indulge themselves with biscuit and gingerbread,
who can help it.

SECT. 2. If your number of boys or their allowances deserve not a
fruit-woman's attendance, your wife may properly enough engage in the
office; it will prevent the boys from being cheated, and be a proof of
her humility.

The use of some neighbouring tavern may also be permitted with caution;
it is an indulgence which will not fail to conciliate the affection of
your leading boys.

SECT. 3. If there be no considerable parish work-house near you, it
will be your interest to secure the stale loaves and neck-beef; the
former is excellent in boiled milk or plumb-pudding, the latter in
boulli for a Saturday's dinner. The butchers and bakers you must
remember have been time immemorial the best academy-ticks.

SECT. 4. The worse your fresh joints are dressed the better for you;
the boys will eat the less, and it is always the cook's fault.

SECT. 5. Whenever the boys find fault with the quality of your meat,
appear at the head of your table, declare the extraordinary price you
have given for it, and call your servants to witness that you sent for
the best in the market. Whoever replies, turn him away.

SECT. 6. I allow of no pies except a little before the holidays.
Delicacies and dainties are not to be expected in a school.

SECT. 7. The less salt, vinegar, pepper, &c. at dinner upon the table,
so much the better; boys want no such provocatives.

SECT. 8. If you oblige your boys to eat all you send them, it will
prevent the frequent return of their plates, and learn them an
excellent custom; if not, what they leave will make excellent hashes,
and seem more indulgent: in this point I find few who are agreed.

SECT. 9. If you are afraid they will eat more than you have provided,
say grace.



SECT. 1. Few instructions may suffice on this head. The lighter the
boys are covered, and the harder the bed, the more natural and more

SECT. 2. The fewer chamber-pots the better; it will prevent the boys
catching cold by rising in the night, and make them unwilling to drink
much beer at supper.

SECT. 3. The more you put in the bed the better also; it will endear
them to each other, and prevent their playing wicked tricks.

SECT. 4. Lodge the great boys always farthest from you, it will prevent
them disturbing you in the night. If they lie near the maids, so much
the better; the maids may give you proper notice of their behaviour.

SECT. 5. Your usher must always be stowed amongst the little boys, to
prevent them from tumbling out of bed, and to help them in the night.

SECT. 6. If you allow the occasional use of a close-stool, let it be
locked up in the garret that they may not abuse it. But I rather
approve of their easing themselves in some corner of the room, that
they may have the less pleasure in resorting thither in the day-time,
and tumbling the bed-clothes about; and that their mothers, who always
pay a visit to the bed-chambers, may be sensible what trouble you have
with them.

SECT. 7. Let the beds be always to be made, at the time of undressing.
Going to bed is a thing the boys dislike. This little respite,
therefore, will please them mightily, and they will please the maids.



SECT. 1. The more holidays the better; it will give the boys an
opportunity of feeding themselves at their own expence, and, by tasking
them well, you will prevent the complaints of their parents. But the
fewer holidays you promise before-hand the more prudent; it will
prevent your usher from gadding abroad.

SECT. 2. Never give a holiday on the day appointed for the
entertainment of your friend; you will have the fewer interruptions,
and a good excuse for being absent from your school.

SECT. 3. Give a holiday always on public rejoicing-days; it will be
considered as a proof of your loyalty; and let that day of the month on
which your predecessor died, be always a feast for the boys; it is a
tribute due to his memory.

SECT. 4. Send your boys always on a holiday to see something or other
in the neighbourhood; it will please both them and their parents,
prevent their lurking about the pantry, and employ your ushers.

SECT. 5. Boys commonly endeavour on these days to dispatch a letter or
two privately. It will be your business to intercept them; they may be
negligently written; there may be solecisms in them, or
misrepresentations of facts, which might be displeasing to their



SECT. 1. Remember always to exercise your first severity on poor
people's children, and day-scholars. The first floggings are a
perpetual disgrace, and it is but reasonable that they should bear it,
by whom you are least profited.

SECT. 2. Never punish the favourite of a family, if he have any younger

SECT. 3. Boys who bear flogging best are commonly those who most
deserve it. If four be accused, therefore, he who bears flogging best
is always in the fault.

SECT. 4. If a father gives you full power over his son's posteriors, be
not afraid to use it, but make him the scape-goat of the school as
often as convenient. In this, and many other rules, the reasons are too
obvious to be particularly noticed.

SECT. 5. No good to be done with a boy who has not a good opinion of
his master. If a boy, therefore, accuses you, or your ushers, of
ignorance or incapacity, take the first opportunity to expel him,
especially if he be clever, and likely to make a progress, in which you
may be ill-qualified to accompany him.

SECT. 6. Insolence to ushers is to be punished with great caution. This
will best maintain a proper distinction between you and them.

SECT. 7. If some untouchable youth happens to be detected in expressing
his insolence, your wife, or the person he has offended, must beg him

SECT. 8. Severe discipline is never to be inflicted immediately before
the school breaks up, or very soon after the return.

SECT. 9. Setting a maid upon her head, or pissing upon a mistress's new
gown, is a flogging matter, no more; it might look like partiality.

SECT. 10. The best punishment for idleness is confinement and short

By an adherence to this rule you will not endanger the children's
health; you will save your victuals, expose your scholars to sufficient
disgrace, and give them an opportunity of learning their book.



The instruction of youth you must commit in a great measure to your
ushers; it is for this purpose you employ them, (see article USHER.)
But not to omit any thing material, which may concern you, take the
following rules.

SECT. 1. If your principal boys ask too hard questions, make it a rule
never to tell them; it would be excusing them from a necessary part of
their duty. Tell them it is easy enough, and send them back; the more
pains they take to acquire their learning, the longer they will retain

SECT. 2. If you be ever obliged to have a hard lesson said to you, busy
yourself in writing letters, or take an occasional nap; the boys will
be glad of it, and it may prevent their accusing you of ignorance.

SECT. 3. Never explain a passage in a difficult author; your scholars
will hereafter have a greater pleasure in making the discovery

SECT. 4. If you ever condescend to hear your head boys tell them of it;
it will make them get their lesson the better, and thereby give you
less trouble. If they happen to meet with a _ne plus ultra_, abuse
them, and send them back; if they grumble, flagellation is necessary.

SECT. 5. If you see a boy sent back by an usher, and the boy cries,
call him, unseen by the usher, hear him, and let it pass; it will
please the boy mightily.

SECT. 6. Never let your boys get too forward; the longer they stay, the
longer they pay. I have known a dozen boys of six years standing in an
academy, who neither knew the declension or conjugations of their
accidence, their multiplication or pence table, or any thing else
besides, which they had been sent to learn, and for the learning of
which, some of them to my certain knowledge had paid upwards of three
hundred pounds. What then? the boys are rather slow, and require time;
or a little idle, and will, it is hoped, grow more thoughtful as they
grow up; or your ushers have neglected their duty; and you have
therefore thought it necessary to change them.

SECT. 7. In all kinds of Latin or Greek exercises it is best to mark
the faults, and let the boys mend them, it puts them on enquiring into
the exact meaning of the words they use, and will make them more
careful of committing blunders.

SECT. 8. If your highest attainments be only some small smattering in
the English language, and the command of the pen, it were to be wished
you could impress upon the boys a higher opinion of you than you
deserve: and, for this purpose, I know nothing better than to inform
yourself of the merit of the different authors of the learned
languages. Declaim on this subject to your boys, and order all their
exercises to be publickly submitted to your inspection regularly every
evening. This was an infallible rule with our friend Gerundivy Leech,
and he acquired an easy fortune, has taken out his Dedimus for the
county of Wilts, and lives in great repute.

SECT. 9. If you are a Dissenter, or a Roman Catholic, you will not fail
to make the young gentlemen committed to your care, sensible of the
truth of your particular tenets; it will prevent their being bigots.


ADDRESS and BEHAVIOUR before Parents.

SECT. 1. When a gentleman or lady pays you a visit, run out, the more
slovenly the better; it will shew your attention to business, and a due
sense of the honour they do you. It would be proper also that your wife
hold the door open; your ushers be all ready to bow as they pass; and
that your best looking boys be called into the parlour.

SECT. 2. If a parent unfortunately call to see a boy who has been just
whipped, call the boy to you, and threaten, if he promises not to
behave better, to tell his parents; then carry him into the parlour,
pat him upon the head; tell them how prettily he reads, that he is
sometimes in fault - but you never tell, and he will do so no more.

SECT. 3. If a fond mother come too often to see a favourite child,
never fail to tell her, how the child cries when she is gone.

SECT. 4. Write always to ministers of state, and your brethren of the
_Birch_, in Latin or Greek, and the more blunders the better; the
former will take them for elegances which they have forgot; and the
latter which they never knew.

SECT. 5. Never ask the parents or friends of the boys to dine with you.
You live upon the fragments left by the boys, and have nothing worth
asking them to; it will be a proof of your frugality, and they will the
more readily pay your demands.



SECT. 1. The properest person is a daughter or widow of the trade, such
a one is commonly best instructed in the mystery of the business, best
able to conciliate the affection of the boys, and make most of the
children's linen.

SECT. 2. If such a one cannot be had, some old maiden must be sought
for; she probably may have learnt the art of frugality, and if peevish
and proud, the more desirable; you will be liked the better, it will
preserve her also from being too familiar with the ushers, and she will
be more respected by people of quality.

SECT. 3. Never, I beseech you, attempt to marry a young woman of
fortune or family.

SECT. 4. Never allow your wife to contradict you before the boys or

SECT. 5. The older your wife the better; she will look more motherly,
and take more patiently such names as the children may wantonly give

SECT. 6. Never let her be humble enough to inspect the children's
heads; it will put her too much on a condition with the servants: and
yet she should not be too proud to sell them ribbon, garters, studds,
gingerbread, &c. It is a necessary part of her duty.

SECT. 7. When you are absent she must watch the ushers, and see that
they watch the boys, and cheat them not out of their money or
play-things: there is no trusting any of them.



SECT. 1. Never employ a man of abilities if you can help it; he will
scarce ever submit to the drudgery of your business, or pay that
deference to your authority, which you may find necessary.

SECT. 2. The most desirable method of procuring ushers is by
advertisements. None will apply who are not in desperate circumstances,
and these are your men. If they know little it is no great matter; they
will be the more diligent: and should the children detect their
ignorance, or the parents complain, you may easily dismiss them; others
such-like are to be had; and it will shew your friends how desirous you
are to oblige them.

SECT. 3. When your ushers first come, you must endeavour to open their
hearts by kind treatment. Make yourself acquainted with their
circumstances; you may then more judiciously reduce them to trammels.

SECT. 4. It is not your interest that the ushers be too intimate one
with another, or with the boys; they may communicate their respective
observations; poison the minds of your boys with injurious reflections
on your character; or revolt, and make a confusion in your school.

SECT. 5. If a search is to be made after some hoards of forbidden
dainties, the information must always be declared to come from an
usher; it will preserve the odium from you: but the seizure must be
made by you or your wife; it will afford you an agreeable repast.

SECT. 6. If a boy be sent home, whose parents are in low circumstances,
the usher is the man to accompany him: he is the properest person to
inform the parents what progress the boy makes: and to send your
footman would be making no distinction betwixt the children of the poor
and the rich.

SECT. 7. If a beggar appears at the door, your usher is the man to send
him away, both because he may be mistaken for the master of the house,
and because he ought, whilst the boys are at play, to be always at the


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