As St. Paul's is one of the largest of our New England boarding-schools, a brief account of the life there may be found of interest.
The school has about three hundred scholars, ranging in age from about eleven or twelve to twenty. They are divided into six forms and a "remove" or graduate department. A man is ready for college at the end of his fifth form year, the sixth form being equivalent to our freshman class. School work begins at nine and lasts until noon; commences again at four and continues till six, with a half-holiday Wednesdays and Saturdays. In addition, an hour in the evening is devoted to preparing the next day's lessons. Marks are given on each recitation under the heads of punctuality, decorum and industry, and rank-lists based on these marks are posted every month. On Sunday everyone must attend church three times and have sacred studies besides, while on week days there is morning chapel and evening prayers.
In the lower forms each pupil sleeps in an alcove, but on reaching the dignity of the fifth form, he is entitled to a room by himself. Scholars are not allowed to visit Concord (the nearest town) without special permission; nor can a student, without permission, go out of "bounds," which enclose about one-half a square mile. Smoking is strictly forbidden, and also cards, even when no money is at stake.
In spite of the time devoted to study great interest is taken in almost all branches of athletics, and fine grounds are laid out for cricket, foot-ball and tennis, as well as for track athletics, while about two miles from the school is Long Pond, which furnishes a good stretch of water for the crews. Cricket might be called the school game, and every effort is made by the masters to encourage it. Each of the two cricket clubs, "Isthmian" and "Old Hundred," have four elevens, and the school team is picked from these. Base-ball has been forbidden as it was found to detract from the interest in cricket.
There are two boat clubs, the "Halcyon" and the "Shattuck," and each of them have one six oared crew and two four-oared crews. Regattas are held every spring in which single sculls also take part.
The school has a fine gymnasium built about ten years ago. In the basement are the rowing weights and sparring room, while in the second story is a small theatre. The gymnasium proper occupies the first floor and it is here on Easter Monday that the indoor meetings of the Athletic Association are held. The Athletic Association also holds two out-door meetings. The autumn meeting is a handicap, and the spring meeting, which comes on the anniversary of the founding of the school, is the occasion for a general jollification; lunch is served in the gymnasium, and a concert is given by the school choir in the evening.
It is found that on an average about thirty or thirty-five men from each graduate class enter college. Of these Harvard claims nine or ten, Yale about the same number, while the rest are divided between Trinity, Columbia and Princeton.