In Ireland long ago there were no national schools, and school was taught on the sheltry side of a hedge in some lonesome place, and the school teacher travelled from village to village and when he reached the place where school was held, he whistled loudly and all the children of the village came to him. In later years school was held in an old house or barn, and during the winter the rain would be coming down through the roof, and there were many big holes in the floor, the seats were big, long, rough planks resting on big stones. The teacher had a table and a chair for his own use, and on the table were left the roll book and a long rule, and a few long sticks, and when the master was beating the boys, one was put on the other's back and then given a few blows of the stick. They had only a few books; a reading book, a grammar, a spelling book, and my father has his spelling book yet. And each boy had a slate and his name was printed on it with a nail.