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The latter years at school may well have included the study of Greek, but textbooks were scarce (due to printers having insufficient Greek type) and masters did not always have sufficent experience to teach the language. The master of grammar often refused to be bothered with the teaching of handwriting too and so, in rural schools, a travelling scrivener might spend a month to six weeks of the year instructing the youngest boys. In the same way, little time was given to arithmetic, it being crowded in at the end of an afternoon or on the weekly half-holiday. The school provided no organised games but the boys might amuse themselves with activites such as stool-ball. This was a form of cricket in which a stool served as the wicket and the ball was struck with the hand. Hand-ball - resembling fives - might also be played outside against the schoolroom walls. Football had been banned in Edward III's time because it interfered with archery and by the sixteenth-century the game had become a disorderly rable. Any school concerned about its public image would forbid its pupils to play in the streets.

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