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Teachers or schoolteachers are people who provide education for pupils (children) and students (adults). The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education.
- CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations, See also , External links
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- My school was a happy place. All of us who started our schooling there completed our studies till the eighth standard. I don't remember even a single person dropping out. These days, when i visit schools, both big and small, all across the country, i tell them that true quality does not come from a great building or great facilities or great advertisements. It happens when education is imparted with love by great teachers.
- APJ Abdul Kalam, My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions, Rupa Publications, 2014.
- Rarely will you meet anyone so jealous as a teacher. Year after year students tumble along like the waters of a river. They flow away, and only the teacher is left behind, like some deeply buried rock at the bottom of the current. Although he may tell others of his hopes, he doesn't dream of them himself. He thinks of himself as worthless and either falls into masochistic loneliness or, failing that, ultimately becomes suspicious and pious, forever denouncing the eccentricities of others. He longs so much for freedom and action that he can only hate people.
- A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
- Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, Ch. 20, "Failure".
- Philosophy teachers are teachers, i.e. intellectuals employed in a given education system and subject to that system, performing, as a mass, the social function of inculcating the 'values of the ruling ideology'. The fact that there may be a certain amount of 'play' in schools and other institutions which enables individual teachers to turn their teaching and reflection against these established 'values' does not change the mass effect of the philosophical teaching function. Philosophers are intellectuals and therefore petty bourgeois, subject as a mass to bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology.
- O ye! who teach the ingenious youth of nations,
Holland, France, England, Germany or Spain,
I pray ye flog them upon all occasions,
It mends their morals, never mind the pain.
- 'Tis pleasing to be school'd in a strange tongue
By female lips and eyes—that is, I mean,
When both the teacher and the taught are young,
As was the case, at least, where I have been;
They smile so when one's right; and when one's wrong
They smile still more.
- You seemed to be listening to me, not to find out useful information, but to try to catch me in a logical fallacy. This tells us all that you are used to being smarter than your teachers, and that you listen to them in order to catch them making mistakes and prove how smart you are to the other students. This is such a pointless, stupid way of listening to teachers that it is clear you are going to waste months of our time before you finally catch on that the only transaction that matters is a transfer of useful information from adults who possess it to children who do not, and that catching mistakes is a criminal misuse of time.
- Orson Scott Card Ender's Shadow
- I developed The Great Teacher theory late in my freshman year. It was a cornerstone of the theory that great teachers had great personalities and that the greatest teachers had outrageous personalities. I did not like decorum or rectitude in a classroom; I preferred a highly oxygenated atmosphere, a climate of intemperance, rhetoric, and feverish melodrama. And I wanted my teachers to make me smart. A great teacher is my adversary, my conqueror, commissioned to chastise me. He leaves me tame and grateful for the new language he has purloined from other kings whose granaries are filled and whose libraries are famous. He tells me that teaching is the art of theft; knowing what to steal and from whom. Bad teachers do not touch me; the great ones never leave me. They ride with me during all my days, and I pass on to others what they have imparted to me. I exchange their handy gifts with strangers on trains, and I pretend the gifts are mine. I steal from the great teachers. And the truly wonderful thing about them is that they would applaud my theft, laugh at the thought of it, realizing that they had taught me their larcenous skills well.
- Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline (1980), p. 271
- [A good teacher] brings knowledge and his pupil into a vital relationship; and the object of teaching is to establish that relationship on an intelligible basis. This can only be done ... by appealing to two qualities which are at the bottom of all knowledge, curiosity and observation. They are born with us, every child naturally develops them, and it is the duty of the teacher to direct them to proper ends.
- Mandell Creighton, Thoughts on Education: Speeches and Sermons (1902)
- Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
- John Cotton Dana. In 1912 Dana, a Newark, New Jersey, librarian, was asked to supply a Latin quotation suitable for inscription on a new building at Newark State College (now Kean College of New Jersey), Union, New Jersey. Unable to find an appropriate quotation, Dana composed what became the college motto. The New York Times Book Review, March 5, 1967, p. 55.
- To be a schoolmaster is next to being a king. Do you reckon it a mean employment to imbue the minds of your fellow-citizens in their earliest years with the best Letters and with the love of Christ, and to return them to their country honest and virtuous men? In the opinion of fools it is a humble task, but in fact it is the noblest of occupations.
- Erasmus, Letter to Joanes Sapidus (c. 1581), The Epistles of Erasmus (1904), p. 235
- Such an office demands an upright and incorruptible man, who would take delight in his pious work even without any pay, while a high salary and a position of dignity would attract the meanest characters.
- Erasmus, Letter to Joanes Sapidus (c. 1581), The Epistles of Erasmus (1904), p. 236
- D'ordinaire, ceux qui gouvernent les enfants ne leur pardonnent rien, et se pardonnent tout à eux-mêmes.
- In general, those who govern children forgive nothing in them, but everything in themselves.
- François Fénelon Traité de l'éducation des filles, ch. 5, cited from De l'éducation des filles, dialogues des morts et opuscules divers (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1857) p. 15; translation from Selections from the Writings of Fénelon (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little and Wilkins, 1829) p. 137. (1687).
- The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards; and curiosity itself can be vivid and wholesome only in proportion as the mind is contented and happy.
- Anatole France, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard (vol. 1 of The Works of Anatole France), trans. Lafcadio Hearn, part 2, chapter 4, June 6, 1860, p. 198 (1924).
G - L
- The function of the teacher, as we have just defined it, is naturally directed toward a twofold object, interior and exterior, depending upon whether it is applied to the truth the teacher meditates upon and contemplates within himself or to the listeners whom he is teaching.
- Étienne Gilson, Thomism: The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Introduction
- Outside of that you have teachers who are increasingly deskilled through models of curricula that claim that objective assessments are all that matters, and that teachers just have to implement the assessments. So teachers are completely losing control over the conditions of their labor, they’re being abused, they’re not being paid properly, they’re losing their benefits, and their unions are being disseminated. This is a full-fledged attack. It’s an attack on one of the most important foundations of a democracy, it’s an attack on teachers, and it’s an attack on young people — particularly those who are marginalized by virtue of class, race, and ethnicity.
- Henry Giroux, as quoted in Henry Giroux on His Latest Book — The Terror of the Unforeseen — and How Neoliberal Capitalism Sets the Stage for Fascism (August 19, 2019), Media For Us.
- [T]eachers have to be involved in the community and connected with parents and others who shape the lives of young people. They have to be involved with a whole range of people. They have to bring people together. They have to make sure that students in some way find that the work that they’re doing has something to do with their lives and matters.
- Henry Giroux, as quoted in Henry Giroux on His Latest Book — The Terror of the Unforeseen — and How Neoliberal Capitalism Sets the Stage for Fascism (August 19, 2019), Media For Us.
- Not to keep from error, is the duty of the educator of men, but to guide the erring one, even to let him swill his error out of full cups — that is the wisdom of teachers. Whoever merely tastes of his error, will keep house with it for a long time, … but whoever drains it completely will have to get to know it.
- Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he:
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770), line 201.
- Good teachers are enthusiastic. The number one quality of a good teacher is enthusiasm. Students often complain that their teacher is boring. Can you recall sitting in a class where the teacher was not enthusiastic, to say the least, about his or her work? Can you recall what a difference an enthusiastic teacher made? What about the same for teachers you've known? Enthusiasm demonstrates passion for one's work. When one is passionate one usually enjoys what he or she is doing and one usually succeeds. Moreover, such enthusiasm is inspiring. Consider some of the world's great leaders. I think you'll agree that two of the most important qualities they possess are energy and optimism. They inspire others to action.
- Jeffrey Glanz, Teaching 101: Classroom Strategies for the Beginning Teacher (2004), p. 33
- When I first began teaching, I visited with a former teacher who I respected greatly. I asked him for some advice. He responded without hesitation, "A good teacher must love his students." "Love?" I queried. "Yes, love. When you come to care about each student as your very own child, then you'll become a great teacher."
- Jeffrey Glanz, Teaching 101: Classroom Strategies for the Beginning Teacher (2004), p. 131
- Daily contact with some teachers is itself all-sided ethical education for the child without a spoken precept. Here, too, the real advantage of male over female teachers,especially for boys, is seen in their superior physical strength,which often, if highly estimated, gives real dignity and commands real respect, and especially in the unquestionably greater uniformity of their moods and their discipline.
- Stanley Hall, Youth: it's education, regimen and hygiene (available at gutenberg.org).
- A boor cannot be sin-fearing, an ignoramus cannot be pious, a bashful one cannot learn, a short-tempered person cannot teach, nor does anyone who does much business grow wise.
- Hillel the Younger Pirkei Avot 2:5
- If you are truly serious about preparing your child for the future, don't teach him to subtract - teach him to deduct.
- Fran Lebowitz, Social Studies (1981).
- If you ask most teachers of science what their main goal is, they will probably say: for my students to understand the basic concepts of physics, chemistry, biology, or whatever other field is being studied. The critical words here are ‘understand’ and ‘concept’, and both of these terms assume a fundamentally psychological approach to learning... If we see the goals of science education in terms of what students will be able to do, and how they will be able to make sense of the world, rather than in terms of our speculations about what may be going on in their brains, then we need to see scientific learning as the acquisition of cultural tools and practices, as learning to participate in very specific and often specialized forms of human activity
- Jay L. Lemke, "Teaching all the languages of science: Words, symbols, images, and actions." Conference on Science Education in Barcelona. 1998.
- It is the capitalist class that pays you, that feeds you, that puts the very clothes on your backs that you are wearing tonight. And in return you preach to your employers the brands of metaphysics that are especially acceptable to them; and the especially acceptable brands are acceptable because they do not menace the established order of society. ... You are sincere. You preach what you believe. There lies your strength and your value—to the capitalist class. But should you change your belief to something that menaces the established order, your preaching would be unacceptable to your employers, and you would be discharged. ... Your hands are soft with the work others have performed for you. Your stomachs are round with the plenitude of eating. ... And your minds are filled with doctrines that are buttresses of the established order. You are as much mercenaries (sincere mercenaries, I grant) as were the men of the Swiss Guard.
M - R
- This fallacy [appeal to authority] is not in itself an error; it is impossible to learn much in today's world without letting somebody else crunch the numbers and offer us explanations. And teachers are sources of necessary information. But how we choose our "authorities" and place a value on such information, is just another skill rarely taught in our education systems. It's little wonder that to most folk, sound bites and talking heads are enough to count as experts. […] Teaching is reinforcing the appeal to authority, where anybody who seems more intelligent than you must ultimately be right. […] We educators must simply role-model critical thinking. […] Educators themselves have to be prepared to show that "evidence" and "answers" are two separate things by firmly believing that, themselves.
- School teachers, taking them by and large, are probably the most ignorant and stupid class of men in the whole group of mental workers.
- H.L. Mencken The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1908), pg. 217
- The very corner-stone of an education intended to form great minds, must be the recognition of the principle, that the object is to call forth the greatest possible quantity of intellectual power, and to inspire the intensest love of truth: and this without a particle of regard to the results to which the exercise of that power may lead, even though it should conduct the pupil to opinions diametrically opposite to those of his teachers. We say this, not because we think opinions unimportant, but because of the immense importance which we attach to them; for in proportion to the degree of intellectual power and love of truth which we succeed in creating, is the certainty that (whatever may happen in any one particular instance) in the aggregate of instances true opinions will be the result; and intellectual power and practical love of truth are alike impossible where the reasoner is shown his conclusions, and informed beforehand that he is expected to arrive at them.
- John Stuart Mill "Civilization," London and Westminster Review (April 1836).
- The schoolmaster is the person who builds up the intelligence of the pupil; the intelligence of the pupil increases in direct proportion to the efforts of the teacher; in other words, he knows just what the master has made him know and understands neither more nor less than the master has made him understand. When an inspector visits a school and questions the pupils he turns to the master, and if he is satisfied says: "Well done, teacher!" For the result is indubitably the work of the master; the discipline by which he has fixed the attention of his pupils, even to the psychical mechanism which has guided him in his teaching, all is due to him. God enters the school as a symbol in the crucifix, but the creator is the teacher.
- Maria Montessori, Spontaneous Activity in Education (available at gutenberg.org).
- "To make oneself interesting artificially," that is, interesting to those who have no interest in us, is indeed a very difficult task; and to arrest the attention hour after hour, and year after year, not of one, but of a multitude of persons who have nothing in common with us, not even years, is indeed a superhuman undertaking. Yet this is the task of the teacher, or, as he would say, his "art": to make this assembly of children whom he has reduced to immobility by discipline follow him with their minds, understand what he says, and learn; an internal action, which he cannot govern, as he governs the position of their bodies, but which he must win by making himself interesting, and by maintaining this interest.
- Maria Montessori, Spontaneous Activity in Education (available at gutenberg.org).
- Charles Xavier: A new generation of mutants is emerging, that much is certain. They will be called freaks. Genetic monstrosities. [...] But they are emerging in the inner cities, in the suburbs, in the deserts and the jungles. And when they emerge, they will need teachers, people who can help them overcome their anger and show them how to use their strange gifts responsibly. They will need us.
- Grant Morrison New X-Men Vol 1. #114 E is for Extinction
- For the life of me I cannot fathom why we expect so much from teachers and provide them so little in return. In 1940, the average pay of a male teacher was actually 3.6 percent more than what other college-educated men earned. Today it is 60 percent lower. Women teachers now earn 16 percent less than other college-educated women. This bewilders me. [...] There was no Plato without Socrates, and no John Coltrane without Miles Davis.
- Bill Moyers, "America 101", speech at the fiftieth anniversary of the Council of Great City Schools, 27 October 2006, Moyers on Democracy (2008), p. 237.
- Ethics could teach us only those purposes and ideals. If the teachers seeks insight into the means by which the aim can be reached, into the facts by which the child can be molded, his way must lead from ethics to psychology. (...) Water flows downhill, anyhow, but to bring the water uphill hydraulic forces are indeed necessary. To overcome nature and instead to prepare for a life of ideals, to inhibit personal desires and instead to learn to serve the higher purposes indeed demands most serious and most systematic efforts. It is the teachers' task to make these efforts with all his best knowledge of mind and body, of social and of cultural values.
- Hugo Munsterberg, Psychology and the Teacher, 1909 (new edition, 2006), pp. 64-65.
- A good teacher does not draw out; he gives out, and what he gives out is love. And by love I mean approval, or if you like, friendliness, good nature. The good teacher not only understands the child: he approves of the child.
- A. S. Neill, The Problem Teacher (1939), p. 11.
- Don't tell us that the only way to teach a child is to spend too much of a year preparing him to fill out a few bubbles on a standardized test; we know that's not true.
- What constitutes the teacher is the passion to make scholars, and again and again it happens that the great scholar has no such passion whatever.
- George Herbert Palmer, The Ideal Teacher (Boston: Houghton Mifflin; 1910), page 9.
- Since human beings are highly adaptable it may be possible for an individual with any sort of competence to learn, in the end, according to any teaching strategy. But the experiments show, very clearly indeed, that the rate, quality and durability of learning is crucially dependent upon whether or not the teaching strategy is of a sort that suits the individual
- Gordon Pask (1972) Learning Strategies and Individual Competence p. 221.
- In a democratic state the schoolmaster is afraid of his pupils and flatters them, and the pupils despise both schoolmaster and pedagogues. The young expect the same treatment as the old, and contradict them and quarrel with them. In fact, seniors have to flatter their juniors, in order not to be thought morose old dotards.
- Each of these private teachers who work for pay ... inculcates nothing else than these opinions of the multitude which they opine when they are assembled and calls this knowledge wisdom.
- What's all the noisy jargon of the schools?
- John Pomfret, Reason (1700), line 57.
- Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown propos'd as things forgot.
- To dazzle let the vain design,
To raise the thought and touch the heart, be thine!
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle II, line 249.
- Education is unfolding the wings of head and heart together. A true teacher pushes the students out of the nest to strengthen the wings.
- Amit Ray. Walking the Path of Compassion
- It is always the teacher who must learn the most … or else nothing real has happened in the exchange.
- Kim Stanley Robinson,The Years of Rice and Salt (2002), Book 2, Ch. 5.
- Whoever enters the Way without a guide
will take a hundred years to travel a two-day journey.
The Prophet said "In this way you have no more
faithful companion than your works."
How can these works and this earning in the way of righteousness
be accomplished without a master, O father? Can you practice the meanest profession in the world
without a master's guidance?
Whoever undertakes a profession without a master
becomes the laughingstock of city and town.
- Rumi Mathnavi translated by William Chittick pp. 122-123 as quoted in Classical Islam and Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition by Muhammad Hisham Kabbani p. 153
S - Z
- When I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble,
* * * *
Say, I taught thee.
- We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring i' the winter.
- Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
Fit to instruct her youth. * * *
* * * To cunning men
I will be very kind, and liberal
To mine own children in good bringing up.
- I do present you with a man of mine,
Cunning in music and the mathematics,
To instruct her fully in those sciences.
- He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
- George Bernard Shaw, "Maxims for Revolutionists", appendix 2 to Man and Superman, in his Selected Plays with Prefaces (1948), vol. 3, p. 733.
- Neither my life in school nor my life away from school is particularly blissful. My car breaks down, I quarrel with my friends, I get sick, and I worry about my children. I have to keep a watch on my moods, needs, biases, weaknesses, and limits in order to see how they are affecting my work. If I can monitor how my emotions are at play in my classroom, I can better put a break on them when they are destructive, and better allow my joyful, level, nurturant side to dominate.
- Bob Strachota, On Their Side: Helping Children Take Charge of Their Learning (1996), p. 75
- To teach is to touch the heart and impel it to action.
- A secure teacher expects to be a learner all day, every day, and is comfortable with the ambiguity of that role. It’s not so important to be “right” as to be open; it’s not so important to have all the answers as to be hungry for them. A secure teacher leaves school each day with important questions to puzzle about overnight and the belief that each day contains the insights necessary for a more effective tomorrow. A secure teacher believes that having these kinds of insights is professionally challenging and personally satisfying.
- Carol Ann Tomlinson, The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners (2014), p. 49
- I do not allow a woman to teach or to usurp authority over the man.
- 1 Timothy 2 v 12
- The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.
- Alexandra K. Trenfor, in a widely used internet quote.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 779-80.
- We must not contradict, but instruct him that contradicts us; for a madman is not cured by another running mad also.
- What's a' your jargon o' your schools,
Your Latin names for horns and stools;
If honest nature made you fools.
- Robert Burns, Epistle to J. L.——k.
- He is wise who can instruct us and assist us in the business of daily virtuous living.
- Thomas Carlyle, Essays, Schiller.
- You cannot teach old dogs new tricks.
- Quoted by Jos. Chamberlain, at Greenock (Oct., 1903).
- Seek to delight, that they may mend mankind,
And, while they captivate, inform the mind.
- William Cowper, Hope, line 770.
- The sounding jargon of the schools.
- William Cowper, Truth, line 367.
- The twig is so easily bended
I have banished the rule and the rod:
I have taught them the goodness of knowledge,
They have taught me the goodness of God;
My heart is the dungeon of darkness,
Where I shut them for breaking a rule;
My frown is sufficient correction;
My love is the law of the school.
- Charles M. Dickinson, The Children.
- There is no teaching until the pupil is brought into the same state or principle in which you are; a transfusion takes place; he is you, and you are he; there is a teaching; and by no unfriendly chance or bad company can he ever quite lose the benefit.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, Of Spiritual Laws.
- Instruction does not prevent waste of time or mistakes; and mistakes themselves are often the best teachers of all.
- James Anthony Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects, Education.
- A boy is better unborn than untaught.
- Grave is the Master's look; his forehead wears
Thick rows of wrinkles, prints of worrying cares:
Uneasy lies the heads of all that rule,
His worst of all whose kingdom is a school.
Supreme he sits; before the awful frown
That binds his brows the boldest eye goes down;
Not more submissive Israel heard and saw
At Sinai's foot the Giver of the Law.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The School Boy.
- Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam.
- Instruction enlarges the natural powers of the mind.
- Horace, Carmina, IV. 4. 33.
- Fingit equum tenera docilem cervice magister
Ire viam qua monstret eques.
- The trainer trains the docile horse to turn, with his sensitive neck, whichever way the rider indicates.
- Horace, Epistles, Book I. 2. 64. ("Quam" for "qua in some texts).
- If you be a lover of instruction, you will be well instructed.
- Isocrates, Ad Dæmonicum. Inscribed in golden letters over his school, according to Roger Ascham, in his Schoolmaster.
- Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee.
- Job, XII. 8.
- Whilst that the childe is young, let him be instructed in vertue and lytterature.
- John Lyly, Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit, Of the Education of Youth.
- Adde, quod ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes
Emollit mores, nec sinit esse fervos.
- To be instructed in the arts, softens the manners and makes men gentle.
- Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, II. 9. 47.
- Fas est ab hoste doceri.
- It is lawful to be taught by an enemy.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, IV. 428.
- All jargon of the schools.
- Matthew Prior, An Ode on Exodus III. 14. "I am that I am".
- I am not a teacher: only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead—ahead of myself as well as of you.
- Bernard Shaw, Getting Married.
- A little bench of heedless bishops here,
And there a chancellor in embryo.
- William Shenstone, The School Mistress, Stanza 28.
- Whoe'er excels in what we prize,
Appears a hero in our eyes;
Each girl, when pleased with what is taught,
Will have the teacher in her thought.
* * * * *
A blockhead with melodious voice,
In boarding-schools may have his choice.
- Jonathan Swift, Cadenus and Vanessa, line 733.
- Better fed than taught.
- John Taylor, Jack a Lent.
- Domi habuit unde disceret.
- He need not go away from home for instruction.
- Terence, Adelphi, III. 3. 60.
- Delightful task! to rear the tender Thought,
To teach the young Idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh Instruction o'er the Mind,
To breathe the enlivening Spirit, and to fix
urpose in the glowing breast.
- James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring (1728), line 1,150.
The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)
- Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 221.
- A man's scholarship may be perfect, his character admirable, and yet, for want of the power to control subordinates and govern boys, he may be wholly unfit for a schoolmaster.
- Sir R. Matins, V.-C, Hayman v. Governors of Rugby School (1874), L. R. 18 Eq. Ca. 85.
- An original thinker and able teacher very soon attracts a large class and vice versa.
- Lord Watson, Caird v. Sime (1887), 57 L. J. P. C. 9.
- Let the soldier be abroad if he will, he can do nothing in this age. There is another personage, a personage less imposing in the eyes of some, perhaps insignificant. The schoolmaster is abroad, and I trust to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier in full military array.
- Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, speech (Jan. 28, 1828).
- A master should be paid liberally, in order to secure a person properly qualified.
- Sir John Romilly, Att.-Gen. v. Warden, &c. of Louth School (1852), 14 Beav. 206.