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Title: Forgotten Books of the American Nursery - A History of the Development of the American Story-Book
Author: Halsey, Rosalie Vrylina
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Forgotten Books of the American Nursery - A History of the Development of the American Story-Book" ***

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NURSERY***


Transcriber's note:

   A number of typographical errors have been maintained in the
   current version of this book. A complete list is found at the
   end of the text.



FORGOTTEN BOOKS OF THE AMERICAN NURSERY

A History of the Development of the American Story-Book

by

ROSALIE V. HALSEY



[Illustration: _The Devil and the Disobedient Child_]



Boston
Charles E. Goodspeed & Co.
1911
Copyright, 1911, by C.E. Goodspeed & Co.
Of this book seven hundred copies were printed in November
1911, by D.B. Updike, at The Merrymount Press, Boston



TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

  I.  Introductory                                                     3

 II.  The Play-Book in England                                        33

III.  Newbery's Books in America                                      59

 IV.  Patriotic Printers and the American Newbery                     89

  V.  The Child and his Book at the End of the Eighteenth Century    121

 VI.  Toy-Books in the early Nineteenth Century                      147

VII.  American Writers and English Critics                           191

      Index                                                          233



ILLUSTRATIONS

_The Devil and the Disobedient Child_                       Frontispiece
  From "The Prodigal Daughter." Sold at the Printing Office, No. 5,
  Cornhill, Boston. [J. and J. Fleet, 1789?]

                                                                  Facing
                                                                    Page
_The Devil appears as a French Gentleman_                             26
  From "The Prodigal Daughter." Sold at the Printing Office, No. 5,
  Cornhill, Boston. [J. and J. Fleet, 1789?]

_Title-page from "The Child's New Play-thing"_                        44
  Printed by J. Draper; J. Edwards in Boston [1750]. Now in the
  New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations

_Title-page from "A Little Pretty Pocket-Book"_                       47
  Printed by Isaiah Thomas, Worcester, MDCCLXXXVII. Now in the New
  York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations

_A page from "A Little Pretty Pocket-Book"_                           49
  Printed by Isaiah Thomas, Worcester, MDCCLXXXVII. Now in the New
  York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations

_John Newbery's Advertisement of Children's Books_                    60
  From the "Pennsylvania Gazette" of November 15, 1750

_Title-page of "The New Gift for Children"_                           70
  Printed by Zechariah Fowle, Boston, 1762. Now in the Library of
  the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

_Miss Fanny's Maid_                                                   74
  Illustration from "The New Gift for Children," printed by Zechariah
  Fowle, Boston, 1762. Now in the Library of the Historical Society
  of Pennsylvania

_A page from a Catalogue of Children's Books printed by Isaiah
Thomas_                                                              106
  From "The Picture Exhibition," Worcester, MDCCLXXXVIII

_Illustration of Riddle XIV_                                         110
  From "The Puzzling-Cap," printed by John Adams, Philadelphia, 1805

_Frontispiece from "The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes"_          117
  From one of _The First Worcester Edition_, printed by Isaiah
  Thomas in MDCCLXXXVII. Now in the Library of the Historical
  Society of Pennsylvania

_Sir Walter Raleigh and his Man_                                     125
  Copper-plate illustration from "Little Truths," printed in
  Philadelphia by J. and J. Crukshank in 1800

_Foot Ball_                                                          126
  Copper-plate illustration from "Youthful Recreations," printed in
  Philadelphia by Jacob Johnson about 1802

_Jacob Johnson's Book-Store in Philadelphia about 1800_              155

_A Wall-paper Book-Cover_                                            165
  From "Lessons for Children from Four to Five Years Old," printed
  in Wilmington (Delaware) by Peter Brynberg in 1804

_Tom the Piper's Son_                                                170
  Illustration and text engraved on copper by William Charles, of
  Philadelphia, in 1808

_A Kind and Good Father_                                             172
  Woodcut by Alexander Anderson for "The Prize for Youthful
  Obedience," printed in Philadelphia by Jacob Johnson in 1807

_A Virginian_                                                        174
  Illustration from "People of all Nations," printed in Philadelphia
  by Jacob Johnson in 1807

_A Baboon_                                                           174
  Illustration from "A Familiar Description of Beasts and Birds,"
  printed in Boston by Lincoln and Edmands in 1813

_Drest or Undrest_                                                   176
  Illustration from "The Daisy," published by Jacob Johnson in 1808

_Little Nancy_                                                       182
  Probably engraved by William Charles for "Little Nancy, or, the
  Punishment of Greediness," published in Philadelphia by Morgan &
  Yeager about 1830

_Children of the Cottage_                                            196
  Engraved by Joseph I. Pease for "The Youth's Sketch Book,"
  published in Boston by Lilly, Wait and Company in 1834

_Henrietta_                                                          200
  Engraved by Thomas Illman for "The American Juvenile Keepsake,"
  published in Brockville, U.C., by Horace Billings & Co. in 1835

_A Child and her Doll_                                               206
  Illustration from "Little Mary," Part II, published in Boston by
  Cottons and Barnard in 1831

_The Little Runaway_                                                 227
  Drawn and engraved by J.W. Steel for "Affection's Gift," published
  in New York by J.C. Riker in 1832



CHAPTER I

_Introductory_



    Thy life to mend
    This _book_ attend.
            _The New England Tutor_
                     London (1702-14)

    To be brought up in fear
    And learn A B C.
             FOXE, _Book of Martyrs_



_Forgotten Books of the American Nursery_



CHAPTER I

_Introductory_


A shelf full of books belonging to the American children of colonial
times and of the early days of the Republic presents a strangely
unfamiliar and curious appearance. If chronologically placed, the
earliest coverless chap-books are hardly noticeable next to their
immediate successors with wooden sides; and these, in turn, are
dominated by the gilt, silver, and many colored bindings of diminutive
dimensions which hold the stories dear to the childish heart from
Revolutionary days to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Then
bright blue, salmon, yellow, and marbled paper covers make a vivid
display which, as the century grows older, fades into the sad-colored
cloth bindings thought adapted to many children's books of its second
quarter.

An examination of their contents shows them to be equally foreign to
present day ideas as to the desirable characteristics for children's
literature. Yet the crooked black type and crude illustrations of the
wholly religious episodes related in the oldest volumes on the shelf, the
didactic and moral stories with their tiny type-metal, wood, and
copper-plate pictures of the next groups; and the "improving" American
tales adorned with blurred colored engravings, or stiff steel and wood
illustrations, that were produced for juvenile amusement in the early
part of the nineteenth century,--all are as interesting to the lover of
children as they are unattractive to the modern children themselves. The
little ones very naturally find the stilted language of these old stories
unintelligible and the artificial plots bewildering; but to one
interested in the adult literature of the same periods of history an
acquaintance with these amusement books of past generations has a
peculiar charm and value of its own. They then become not merely
curiosities, but the means of tracing the evolution of an American
literature for children.

To the student desiring an intimate acquaintance with any civilized
people, its lighter literature is always a great aid to personal
research; the more trivial, the more detailed, the greater the worth to
the investigator are these pen-pictures as records of the nation he
wishes to know. Something of this value have the story-books of
old-fashioned childhood. Trivial as they undoubtedly are, they
nevertheless often contain our best sketches of child-life in the
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries,--a life as different from that
of a twentieth century child as was the adult society of those old days
from that of the present time. They also enable us to mark as is possible
in no other way, the gradual development of a body of writing which,
though lagging much behind the adult literature, was yet also affected by
the local and social conditions in America.

Without attempting to give the history of the evolution of the A B C
book in England--the legitimate ancestor of all juvenile books--two main
topics must be briefly discussed before entering upon the proper matter
of this volume. The first relates to the family life in the early days
of the Massachusetts Commonwealth, the province that produced the first
juvenile book. The second topic has to do with the literature thought
suitable for children in those early Puritan days. These two subjects
are closely related, the second being dependent upon the first. Both are
necessary to the history of these quaint toy volumes, whose stories lack
much meaning unless the conditions of life and literature preceding them
are understood.

When the Pilgrim Fathers, seeking freedom of faith, founded their first
settlements in the new country, one of their earliest efforts was
directed toward firmly establishing their own religion. This, though
nominally free, was eventually, under the Mathers, to become a theocracy
as intolerant as that faith from which they had fled. The rocks upon
which this religion was builded were the Bible and the Catechism. In
this history of toy-books the catechism is, however, perhaps almost the
more important to consider, for it was a product of the times, and
regarded as indispensable to the proper training of a family.

The Puritan conception of life, as an error to be rectified by suffering
rather than as a joy to be accepted with thanksgiving, made the
preparation for death and the dreadful Day of Judgment the chief end of
existence. The catechism, therefore, with its fear-inspiring description
of Hell and the consequences of sin, became inevitably the chief means of
instructing children in the knowledge of their sinful inheritance. In
order to insure a supply of catechisms, it was voted by the members of
the company in sixteen hundred and twenty-nine, when preparing to
emigrate, to expend "3 shillings for 2 dussen and ten catechismes."[6-A]
A contract was also made in the same year with "sundry intended ministers
for catechising, as also in teaching, or causing to be taught the
Companyes servants & their children, as also the salvages and their
children."[6-B] Parents, especially the mothers, were continually
exhorted in sermons preached for a century after the founding of the
colony, to catechize the children every day, "that," said Cotton Mather,
"you may be continually dropping something of the _Catechism_ upon them:
Some Honey out of the Rock"! Indeed, the learned divine seems to have
regarded it as a soothing and toothsome morsel, for he even imagined that
the children cried for it continuously, saying: _"O our dear Parents,
Acquaint us with the Great God.... Let us not go from your Tender Knees,
down to the Place of Dragons. Oh! not Parents, but Ostriches: Not
Parents, but Prodigies."_[6-C]

Much dissension soon arose among the ministers of the settlements as to
which catechism should be taught. As the result of the discussion the
"General Corte," which met in sixteen hundred and forty-one, "desired
that the elders would make a catechism for _the instruction of youth in
the grounds of religion_."[6-D]

To meet this request, several clergymen immediately responded. Among
them was John Cotton, who presumably prepared a small volume which was
entitled "_Milk for Babes_. Drawn out of the Breast of Both Testaments.
Chiefly for the spiritual nourishment of _Boston_ Babes in either
England: But may be of like use for any children." For the present
purpose the importance of this little book lies in the supposition that
it was printed at Cambridge, by Daye, between sixteen hundred and
forty-one and sixteen hundred and forty-five, and therefore was the
first book of any kind written and printed in America for children;--an
importance altogether different from that attached to it by the author's
grandson, Cotton Mather, when he asserted that "Milk for Babes" would be
"valued and studied and improved till New England cease to be New
England."[7-A]

To the little colonials this "Catechism of New England" was a great
improvement upon any predecessor, even upon the Westminster Shorter
Catechism, for it reduced the one hundred and seven questions of that
famous body of doctrine to sixty-seven, and the longest answer in "Milk
for Babes" contained only eighty-four words.[7-B]

As the century grew older other catechisms were printed. The number
produced before the eighteenth century bears witness to the diverse
views in a community in which they were considered an essential for
every member, adult or child. Among the six hundred titles roughly
computed as the output of the press by seventeen hundred in the new
country, eleven different catechisms may be counted, with twenty
editions in all; of these the titles of four indicate that they were
designed for very little children. In each community the pastor
appointed the catechism to be taught in the school, and joined the
teacher in drilling the children in its questions and answers. Indeed,
the answers were regarded as irrefutable in those uncritical days, and
hence a strong shield and buckler against manifold temptations provided
by "yt ould deluder Satan." To offset the task of learning these
doctrines of the church, it is probable that the mothers regaled the
little ones with old folk-lore tales when the family gathered together
around the great living-room fire in the winter evening, or asked
eagerly for a bedtime story in the long summer twilight. Tales such as
"Jack the Giant Killer," "Tom Thumb," the "Children in the Wood," and
"Guy of Warwick," were orally current even among the plain people of
England, though frowned upon by many of the Puritan element. Therefore
it is at least presumable that these were all familiar to the colonists.
In fact, it is known that John Dunton, in sixteen hundred and
eighty-six, sold in his Boston warehouse "The History of Tom Thumb,"
which he facetiously offered to an ignorant customer "in folio with
Marginal notes." Besides these orally related tales of enchantment, the
children had a few simple pastimes, but at first the few toys were
necessarily of home manufacture. On the whole, amusements were not
encouraged, although "In the year sixteen hundred and ninety-five Mr.
Higginson," writes Mrs. Earle, "wrote from Massachusetts to his brother
in England, that if toys were imported in small quantity to America,
they would sell." And a venture of this character was certainly made by
seventeen hundred and twelve in Boston. Still, these were the exception
in a commonwealth where amusements were considered as wiles of the
Devil, against whom the ministers constantly warned the congregations
committed to their charge.

Home in the seventeenth century--and indeed in the eighteenth
century--was a place where for children the rule "to be seen, not
heard," was strictly enforced. To read Judge Sewall's diary is to be
convinced that for children to obtain any importance in life, death was
necessary. Funerals of little ones were of frequent occurrence, and were
conducted with great ceremony, in which pomp and meagre preparation were
strangely mingled. Baby Henry Sewall's funeral procession, for instance,
included eight ministers, the governor and magistrates of the county,
and two nurses who bore the little body to the grave, into which, half
full of water from the raging storm, the rude coffin was lowered. Death
was kept before the eyes of every member of the colony; even
two-year-old babies learned such mournful verse as this:

   "I, in the Burying Place may See
    Graves Shorter than I;
    From Death's Arrest no age is free
    Young Children too may die;
    My God, may such an awful Sight
    Awakening be to me!
    Oh! that by Grace I might
    For Death prepared be."

When the younger members of the family are otherwise mentioned in the
Judge's diary, it is perhaps to note the parents' pride in the
eighteen-months-old infant's knowledge of the catechism, an acquirement
rewarded by the gift of a red apple, but which suggests the reason for
many funerals. Or, again, difficulties with the alphabet are sorrowfully
put down; and also deliquencies at the age of four in attending family
prayer, with a full account of punishments meted out to the culprit.
Such details are, indeed, but natural, for under the stern conditions
imposed by Cotton and the Mathers, religion looms large in the
foreground of any sketch of family life handed down from the first
century of the Massachusetts colony. Perhaps the very earliest picture
in which a colonial child with a book occupies the centre of the canvas
is that given in a letter of Samuel Sewall's. In sixteen hundred and
seventy-one he wrote with pride to a friend of "little Betty, who though
Reading passing well, took Three Moneths to Read the first Volume of the
Book of Martyrs" as she sat by the fire-light at night after her daily
task of spinning was done. Foxe's "Martyrs" seems gruesome reading for a
little girl at bedtime, but it was so popular in England that, with the
Bible and Catechism, it was included in the library of all households
that could afford it.

Just ten years later, in sixteen hundred and eighty-one, Bunyan's
"Pilgrim's Progress" was printed in Boston by Samuel Green, and, being
easily obtainable, superseded in a measure the "Book of Martyrs" as a
household treasure. Bunyan's dream, according to Macaulay, was the daily
conversation of thousands, and was received in New England with far
greater eagerness than in the author's own country. The children
undoubtedly listened to the talk of their elders and gazed with
wide-open eyes at the execrable plates in the imported editions
illustrating Christian's journey. After the deaths by fire and sword of
the Martyrs, the Pilgrim's difficulties in the Slough of Despond, or
with the Giant Despair, afforded pleasurable reading; while Mr. Great
Heart's courageous cheerfulness brought practically a new characteristic
into Puritan literature.

To Bunyan the children in both old and New England were indebted for
another book, entitled "A Book for Boys and Girls: or, Country Rhimes
for Children. By J.B. Licensed and Entered according to Order."[11-A]
Printed in London, it probably soon made its way to this country, where
Bunyan was already so well known. "This little octavo volume," writes
Mrs. Field in "The Child and his Book," "was considered a perfect
child's book, but was in fact only the literary milk of the unfortunate
babes of the period." In the light of modern views upon juvenile reading
and entertainment, the Puritan ideal of mental pabulum for little ones
is worth recording in an extract from the preface. The following lines
set forth this author's three-fold purpose:

   "To show them how each Fingle-fangle,
    On which they doting are, their souls entangle,
    As with a Web, a Trap, a Gin, or Snare.
    While by their Play-things, I would them entice,
    To mount their Thoughts from what are childish Toys
    To Heaven for that's prepar'd for Girls and Boys.
    Nor do I so confine myself to these
    As to shun graver things, I seek to please,
    Those more compos'd with better things than Toys:
    Tho thus I would be catching Girls and Boys."

In the seventy-four Meditations composing this curious medley--"tho but
in Homely Rhimes"--upon subjects familiar to any little girl or boy,
none leaves the moral to the imagination. Nevertheless, it could well
have been a relaxation, after the daily drill in "A B abs" and
catechism, to turn the leaves and to spell out this:

    UPON THE FROG

    The Frog by nature is both damp and cold,
    Her mouth is large, her belly much will hold,
    She sits somewhat ascending, loves to be
    Croaking in gardens tho' unpleasantly.

   _Comparison_

    The hypocrite is like unto this frog;
    As like as is the Puppy to the Dog.
    He is of nature cold, his mouth is wide
    To prate, and at true Goodness to deride.

Doubtless, too, many little Puritans quite envied the child in "The Boy
and the Watchmaker," a jingle wherein the former said, among other
things:

   "This Watch my Father did on me bestow
    A Golden one it is, but 'twill not go,
    Unless it be at an Uncertainty;
    I think there is no watch as bad as mine.
    Sometimes 'tis sullen, 'twill not go at all,
    And yet 'twas never broke, nor had a fall."

The same small boys may even have enjoyed the tedious explanation of the
mechanism of the time-piece given by the _Watchmaker_, and after
skipping the "Comparison" (which made the boy represent a convert and
the watch in his pocket illustrative of "Grace within his Heart"), they
probably turned eagerly to the next Meditation _Upon the Boy and his
Paper of Plumbs_. Weather-cocks, Hobby-horses, Horses, and Drums, all
served Bunyan in his effort "to point a moral" while adorning his tales.

In a later edition of these grotesque and quaint conceptions, some
alterations were made and a primer was included. It then appeared as "A
Book for Boys and Girls; or Temporal Things Spiritualized;" and by the
time the ninth edition was reached, in seventeen hundred and twenty-four,
the book was hardly recognizable as "Divine Emblems; or Temporal Things
Spiritualized."

At present there is no evidence that these rhymes were printed in the
colonies until long after this ninth edition was issued. It is possible
that the success attending a book printed in Boston shortly after the
original "Country Rhimes" was written, made the colonial printers feel
that their profit would be greater by devoting spare type and paper to
the now famous "New England Primer." Moreover, it seems peculiarly in
keeping with the cast of the New England mind of the eighteenth century
that although Bunyan had attempted to combine play-things with religious
teaching for the English children, for the little colonials the first
combination was the elementary teaching and religious exercises found in
the great "Puritan Primer." Each child was practically, if not verbally,
told that

    "This little Catechism learned by heart (for so it ought)
    The Primer next commanded is for Children to be taught."

The Primer, however, was not a product wholly of New England. In sixteen
hundred and eighty-five there had been printed in Boston by Green, "The
Protestant Tutor for Children," a primer, a mutilated copy of which is
now owned by the American Antiquarian Society. "This," again to quote
Mr. Ford, "was probably an abridged edition of a book bearing the same
title, printed in London, with the expressed design of bringing up
children in an aversion to Popery." In Protestant New England the
author's purpose naturally called forth profound approbation, and in
"Green's edition of the Tutor lay the germ of the great picture alphabet
of our fore-fathers."[14-A] The author, Benjamin Harris, had immigrated
to Boston for personal reasons, and coming in contact with the
residents, saw the latent possibilities in "The Protestant Tutor." "To
make it more salable," writes Mr. Ford in "The New England Primer," "the
school-book character was increased, while to give it an even better
chance of success by an appeal to local pride it was rechristened and
came forth under the now famous title of 'The New England
Primer.'"[14-B]

A careful examination of the titles contained in the first volume of
Evans's "American Bibliography" shows how exactly this infant's primer
represented the spirit of the times. This chronological list of American
imprints of the first one hundred years of the colonial press is largely
a record in type of the religious activity of the country, and is
impressive as a witness to the obedience of the press to the law of
supply and demand. With the Puritan appetite for a grim religion served
in sermons upon every subject, ornamented and seasoned with supposedly
apt Scriptural quotations, a demand was created for printed discourses
to be read and inwardly digested at home. This demand the printers
supplied. Amid such literary conditions the primer came as light food
for infants' minds, and as such was accepted by parents to impress
religious ideas when teaching the alphabet.

It is not by any means certain that the first edition of this great
primer of our ancestors contained illustrations, as engravers were few
in America before the eighteenth century. Yet it seems altogether
probable that they were introduced early in the next century, as by
seventeen hundred and seventeen Benjamin Harris, Jr., had printed in
Boston "The Holy Bible in Verse," containing cuts identical with those
in "The New England Primer" of a somewhat later date, and these pictures
could well have served as illustrations for both these books for
children's use, profit, and pleasure. At all events, the thorough
approval by parents and clergy of this small school-book soon brought to
many a household the novelty of a real picture-book.

Hitherto little children had been perforce content with the few
illustrations the adult books offered. Now the printing of this tiny
volume, with its curious black pictures accompanying the text of
religious instruction, catechism, and alphabets, marked the milestone on
the long lane that eventually led to the well-drawn pictures in the
modern books for children.

It is difficult at so late a day to estimate correctly the pleasure this
famous picture alphabet brought to the various colonial households. What
the original illustrations were like can only be inferred from those in
"The Holy Bible in Verse," and in the later editions of the primer
itself. In the Bible Adam (or is it Eve?) stands pointing to a tree
around which a serpent is coiled. By seventeen hundred and thirty-seven
the engraver was sufficiently skilled to represent two figures, who
stand as colossal statues on either side of the tree whose fruit had
such disastrous effects. However, at a time when art criticism had no
terrors for the engraver, it could well have been a delight to many a
family of little ones to gaze upon

   "The Lion bold
    The Lamb doth hold"

and to speculate upon the exact place where the lion ended and the lamb
began. The wholly religious character of the book was no drawback to its
popularity, for the two great diaries of the time show how absolutely
religion permeated the atmosphere surrounding both old and young.

Cotton Mather's diary gives various glimpses of his dealing with his own
and other people's children. His son Increase, or "Cressy," as he was
affectionately called, seems to have been particularly unresponsive to
religious coercion. Mather's method, however, appears to have been more
efficacious with the younger members of his family, and of Elizabeth and
Samuel (seven years of age) he wrote: "My two younger children shall
before the Psalm and prayer answer a Quæstion in the catechism; and have
their Leaves ready turned unto the proofs of the Answer in the Bible;
which they shall distinctly read unto us, and show what they prove. This
also shall supply a fresh matter for prayer." Again he tells of his
table talk: "Tho' I will have my table talk facetious as well as
instructive ... yett I will have the Exercise continually intermixed. I
will set before them some sentence of the Bible, and make some useful
Remarks upon it." Other people's children he taught as occasion offered;
even when "on the Road in the Woods," he wrote on another day, "I, being
desirous to do some Good, called some little children ... and bestowed
some Instruction with a little Book upon them." To children accustomed
to instruction at all hours, the amusement found in the pages of the
primer was far greater than in any other book printed in the colonies
for years.

Certain titles indicate the nature of the meagre juvenile literary fare
in the beginning of the new eighteenth century. In seventeen hundred
Nicholas Boone, in his "Shop over against the old Meeting-house" in
Boston, reprinted Janeway's "Token for Children." To this was added by
the Boston printer a "Token for the children of New England, or some
examples of children in whom the fear of God was remarkably budding when
they dyed; in several parts of New England." Of course its author, the
Reverend Mr. Mather, found colonial "examples" as deeply religious as
any that the mother country could produce; but there is for us a grim
humor in these various incidents concerning pious and precocious infants
"of thin habit and pale countenance," whose pallor became that of death
at so early an age. If it was by the repetition of such tales that the
Puritan divine strove to convert Cressy, it may well be that the son
considered it better policy, since Death claimed the little saints, to
remain a sinner.

By seventeen hundred and six two juvenile books appeared from the press
of Timothy Green in Boston. The first, "A LITTLE BOOK for
children wherein are set down several directions for little children:
and several remarkable stories both ancient and modern of little
children, divers whereof are lately deceased," was a reprint from an
English book of the same title, and therefore has not in this chronicle
the interest of the second book. The purpose of its publication is given
in Mather's diary:

     [1706] 22d. Im. Friday.

     About this Time sending my little son to School, Where ye Child was
     Learning to Read, I did use every morning for diverse months, to
     Write in a plain Hand for the Child, and send thither by him, _a
     Lesson in Verse_, to be not only _read_, but also _Gott_ by Heart.
     My proposal was to have the Child improve in goodness, at the same
     time that he improved in _Reading_. Upon further Thoughts I
     apprehended that a Collection of some of them would be serviceable
     to ye Good Education of other children. So I lett ye printer take
     them & print them, in some hope of some Help to thereby contributed
     unto that great Intention of a _Good Education_. The book is
     entituled _Good Lessons for Children_; or Instruction provided for a
     little Son to learn at School, when learning to Read.

Although this small book lives only by record, it is safe to assume from
the extracts of the author's diary already quoted, that it lacked every
quality of amusement, and was adapted only to those whom he described,
in a sermon preached before the Governor and Council, as "verie Sharpe
and early Ripe in their capacities." "Good Lessons" has the distinction
of being the first American book to be composed, like many a modern
publication, for a particular young child; and, with its purpose "to
improve in goodness," struck clearly the keynote of the greater part of
all writing for children during the succeeding one hundred and
seventy-five years.

The first glimpse of the amusement book proper appears in that unique
"History of Printing in America," by Isaiah Thomas. This describes,
among other old printers, one Thomas Fleet, who established himself in
Boston about 1713. "At first," wrote Mr. Thomas, "he printed pamphlets
for booksellers, small books for children and ballads" in Pudding
Lane.[19-A] "He owned several negroes, one of which ... was an ingenious
man and cut on wooden blocks all the pictures which decorated the
ballads and small books for his master."[19-B] As corroborative of these
statements Thomas also mentions Thomas Fleet, Sr., as "the putative
compiler of Mother Goose Melodies, which he first published in 1719,
bearing the title of 'Songs for the Nursery.'"

Much discussion has arisen as to the earliest edition of Mother Goose.
Thomas's suggestion as to the origin of the first American edition has
been of late years relegated to the region of myth. Nevertheless, there
is something to be said in favor of the existence of some book of
nonsense at that time. The Boston "News Letter" for April 12-19, 1739,
contained a criticism of Tate and Brady's version of the Psalms, in
which the reviewer wrote that in Psalm VI the translators used the
phrase, "a wretch forlorn." He added: "(1) There is nothing of this in
the original or the English Psalter. (2) 'Tis a low expression and to
add a low one is the less allowable. But (3) what I am most concerned
for is, that it will be apt to make our Children think of the line in
their vulgar Play song; much like it, 'This is the maiden all forlorn.'"
We recognize at once a reference to our nursery friend of the "House
that Jack Built;" and if this and "Tom Thumb" were sold in Boston, why
should not other ditties have been among the chap-books which Thomas
remembered to have set up when a 'prentice lad in the printing-house of
Zechariah Fowle, who in turn had copied some issued previously by Thomas
Fleet? In further confirmation of Thomas's statement is a paragraph in
the preface to an edition of Mother Goose, published in Boston in 1833,
by Monroe & Francis. The editor traces the origin of these rhymes to a
London book entitled, "Rhymes for the Nursery or Lullabies for
Children," "that," he writes, "contained many of the identical pieces
handed down to us." He continues: "The first book of the kind known to
be printed in this country _bears_ [_the italics are mine_] the title,
'_Songs for the Nursery: or Mother Goose's Melodies for Children_.'
Something probably intended to represent a goose, with a very long neck
and mouth wide open, covered a large part of the title-page; at the
bottom of which was: 'Printed by T. Fleet, at his printing house,
Pudding Lane (Boston) 1719.' Several pages were missing, so that the
whole number could not be ascertained." The editor clearly writes as if
he had either seen, or heard accurately described, this piece of
_Americana_, which the bibliophile to-day would consider a treasure
trove. Later writers doubt whether any such book existed, for it is
hardly credible that the Puritan element which so largely composed the
population of Boston in the first quarter of the eighteenth century
would have encouraged the printing of any nonsensical jingles.

Boston, however, was not at this time the only place in the colonies
where primers and religious books were written and printed. In
Philadelphia, Andrew Bradford, famous as the founder of the "American
Weekly Mercury," had in 1714 put through his press, probably upon
subscription, the "Last Words and Dyeing Expressions of Hannah Hill,
aged 11 years and near three Months." This morbid account of the death
of a little Quakeress furnished the Philadelphia children with a book
very similar to Mather's "Token." Not to be outdone by any precocious
example in Pennsylvania, the Reverend Mr. Mather soon found an instance
of "Early Piety in Elizabeth Butcher of Boston, being just 8 years and
11 months old," when she died in 1718. In two years two editions of her
life had been issued "to instruct and to invite little children to the
exercise of early piety."

Such mortuary effusions were so common at the time that Benjamin
Franklin's witty skit upon them is apropos in this connection. In 1719,
at the age of sixteen, under the pseudonym of Mrs. Dogood, he wrote a
series of letters for his brother's paper, "The New England Courant."
From the following extract, taken from these letters, it is evident that
these children's "Last Words" followed the prevailing fashion:

     _A Receipt_ to make a _New England_
     Funeral _Elegy_.

     _For the title of your Elegy_. Of these you may have enough ready
     made at your Hands: But if you should chuse to make it yourself you
     must be sure not to omit the Words _Aetatis Suae_, which will
     beautify it exceedingly.

     _For the subject of your Elegy_. Take one of your neighbors who has
     lately departed this life; it is no great matter at what age the
     Party Dy'd, but it will be best if he went away suddenly, being
     _Kill'd_, _Drown'd_ or _Froze to Death_.

     Having chosen the Person, take all his Virtues, Excellencies, &c.
     and if he have not enough, you may borrow some to make up a
     sufficient Quantity: To these add his last Words, dying Expressions,
     &c. if they are to be had: mix all these together, and be sure you
     strain them well. Then season all with a Handful or two of
     Melancholy Expressions, such as _Dreadful, Dreadly, cruel, cold,
     Death, unhappy, Fate, weeping Eyes_, &c. Having mixed all these
     Ingredients well, put them in an empty Scull of some _young
     Harvard_; (but in case you have ne'er a One at Hand, you may use
     your _own_,) then let them Ferment for the Space of a Fortnight, and
     by that Time they will be incorporated into a Body, which take out
     and having prepared a sufficient Quantity of double Rhimes, such as
     _Power, Flower; Quiver, Shiver; Grieve us, Leave us; tell you, excel
     you; Expeditions, Physicians; Fatigue him, Intrigue him_; &c. you
     must spread all upon Paper, and if you can procure a Scrap of Latin
     to put at the _End_, it will garnish it mightily: then having
     affixed your Name at the bottom with a _Maestus Composuit_, you will
     have an Excellent Elegy.

     N.B. This Receipt will serve when a Female is the subject of your
     Elegy, provided you borrow a greater Quantity of Virtues,
     Excellencies &c.

Of other original books for children of colonial parents in the first
quarter of that century, "A Looking-glass" did but mirror more religious
episodes concerning infants, while Mather in his zeal had also published
"An Earnest Exhortation" to New England children, and "The A, B, C, of
religion. Fitted unto the youngest and lowest capacities." To this,
taking advantage of the use of rhymes, he appended further instruction,
including "The Body of Divinity versified." With our knowledge of the
clergyman's methods with his congregation it is not difficult to imagine
that he insisted upon the purchase of these godly aids for every
household.

In attempting to reproduce the conditions of family life in the early
settlements and towns of colonial days, we turn quite naturally to the
newspapers, whose appearance in the first quarter of the eighteenth
century was gladly welcomed by the people of their time, and whose files
are now eagerly searched for items of great or small importance. Indeed,
much information can be gathered from their advertisements, which often
filled the major part of these periodicals. Apparently shop-keepers were
keen to take advantage of such space as was reserved for them, as
sometimes a marginal note informed the public that other advertisements
must wait for the next issue to appear.

Booksellers' announcements, however, are not too frequent in Boston
papers, and are noticeably lacking in the early issues of the
Philadelphia "Weekly Mercury." This dearth of book-news accounts for the
difficulty experienced by book-lovers of that town in procuring
literature--a lack noticed at once by the wide-awake young Franklin upon
his arrival in the city, and recorded in his biography as follows:

"At the time I established myself in Pennsylvania [1728] there was not a
bookseller's shop in any of the colonies to the southward of Boston. In
New York and Phil'a the printers were indeed stationers; they sold only
paper, etc., ballads, and a few books. Those who lov'd reading were
obliged to send for their books from London."

Franklin undertook to better this condition by opening a shop for the
sale of foreign books. Both he and his rival in journalism, Andrew
Bradford, had stationer's shops, in which were to be had besides "Good
Writing Paper; Cyphering Slates; Ink Powders, etc., Chapmens Books and
Ballads." Bradford also advertised in seventeen hundred and thirty that
all persons could be supplied with "Primers and small Histories of many
sorts." "Small histories" were probably chap-books, which, hawked about
the country by peddlers or chapmen, contained tales of "Fair Rosamond,"
"Jane Grey," "Tom Thumb" or "Tom Hick-a-Thrift," and though read by old
and young, were hardly more suitable for juvenile reading than the
religious elegies then so popular. These chap-books were sold in
considerable quantities on account of their cheapness, and included
religious subjects as well as tales of adventure.

One of the earliest examples of this chap-book literature, thought
suitable for children, was printed in the colonies by the press of
Thomas Fleet, already mentioned as a printer of small books. This book
of 1736, being intended for ready sale, was such as every Puritan would
buy for the family library. Entitled "The Prodigal Daughter," it told in
Psalm-book metre of a "proud, vain girl, who, because her parents would
not indulge her in all her extravagances, bargained with the devil to
poisen them." The parents, however, were warned by an angel of her
intentions:

   "One night her parents sleeping were in bed
    Nothing but troubled dreams run in their head,
    At length an angel did to them appear
    Saying awake, and unto me give ear.
    A messenger I'm sent by Heaven kind
    To let you know your lives are both design'd;
    Your graceless child, whom you love so dear,
    She for your precious lives hath laid a snare.
    To poison you the devil tempts her so,
    She hath no power from the snare to go:
    But God such care doth of his servants take,
    Those that believe on Him He'll not forsake.

   "You must not use her cruel or severe,
    For though these things to you I do declare,
    It is to show you what the Lord can do,
    He soon can turn her heart, you'll find it so."

The daughter, discovered in her attempt to poison their food, was
reproached by the mother for her evil intention and swooned. Every
effort failed to "bring her spirits to revive:"

   "Four days they kept her, when they did prepare
    To lay her body in the dust we hear,
    At her funeral a sermon then was preach'd,
    All other wicked children for to teach....
    But suddenly they bitter groans did hear
    Which much surprized all that then were there.
    At length they did observe the dismal sound
    Came from the body just laid in the ground."

The Puritan pride in funeral display is naïvely exhibited in the
portrayal of the girl when she "in her coffin sat, and did admire her
winding sheet," before she related her experiences "among lonesome wild
deserts and briary woods, which dismal were and dark." But immediately
after her description of the lake of burning misery and of the fierce
grim Tempter, the Puritan matter-of-fact acceptance of it all is
suggested by the concluding lines:

   "When thus her story she to them had told,
    She said, put me to bed for I am cold."

The illustrations of a later edition entered thoroughly into the spirit
of the author's intent. The contemporary opinion of the French character
is quaintly shown in the portrait of the Devil dressed as a French
gentleman, his cloven foot discovering his identity. Whatever
deficiencies are revealed in these early attempts to illustrate, they
invariably expressed the artist's purpose, and in this case the Devil,
after the girl's conversion, is drawn in lines very acceptable to
Puritan children's idea of his personality.

Almanacs also were in demand, and furnished parents and children, in
many cases, with their entire library for week-day reading. "Successive
numbers hung from a string by the chimney or ranked by years and
generations on cupboard shelves."[26-A] But when Franklin made "Poor
Richard" an international success, he, by giving short extracts from
Swift, Steele, Defoe, and Bacon, accustomed the provincial population,
old and young, to something better than the meagre religious fare
provided by the colonial press.

Such, then, were the literary conditions for children when an
advertisement inserted in the "Weekly Mercury" gave promise of better
days for the little Philadelphians.[26-B] Strangely enough, this attempt
to make learning seem attractive to children did not appear in the
booksellers' lists; but crowded in between Tandums, Holland Tapes,
London Steel, and good Muscavado Sugar,--"Guilt horn books" were
advertised by Joseph Sims in 1740 as "for sale on reasonable Terms for
Cash."

[Illustration: _The Devil appears as a French Gentleman_]

Horn-books in themselves were only too common, and not in the least
delightful. Made of thin wood, whereon was placed a printed sheet of
paper containing the alphabet and Lord's Prayer, a horn-book was hardly,
properly speaking, a book at all. But when the printed page was covered
with yellowish transparent horn, secured to the wooden back by strips of
brass, it furnished an economical and practically indestructible
elementary text-book for thousands of English-speaking children on both
sides of the Atlantic. Sometimes an effort was also made to guard
against the inconvenient faculty of children for losing school-books, by
attaching a cord, which, passing through a hole in the handle of the
board, was hung around the scholar's neck. But since nothing is proof
against the ingenuity of a schoolboy, many were successfully disposed
of. Although printed by thousands, few in England or in America have
survived the century that has elapsed since they were used.
Occasionally, in tearing down an old building, one of these horn-books
has been found; dropped in a convenient hole, it has remained secure
from parents' sight, until brought to light by workmen and prized as a
curiosity by grown people of the present generation. This notice of
little gilt horn-books was inserted in the "Weekly Mercury" but once.
Whether the supply was quickly exhausted, or whether they did not prove
a successful novelty, can never be known; but at least they herald the
approach of the little gilt story-books which ten years later were to
make the name of John Newbery well known in English households, and
hardly less familiar in the American colonies.

So far the only attractions to induce children to read have been through
the pictures in the Primer of New England, and by the gilding of the
horn-book. From further south comes the first note of amusement in
reading, as well as the first expression of pleasure from the children
themselves in regard to a book. In 1741, in Virginia, two letters were
written and received by R.H. Lee and George Washington. These letters,
which afford the first in any way authentic account of tales of real
entertainment, are given by Mr. Lossing in "The Home of Washington," and
tell their own tale:


     [_Richard Henry Lee to George Washington_]

     PA brought me two pretty books full of pictures he got them
     in Alexandria they have pictures of dogs and cats and tigers and
     elefants and ever so many pretty things cousin bids me send you one
     of them it has a picture of an elefant and a little indian boy on
     his back like uncle jo's Sam pa says if I learn my tasks good he
     will let uncle jo bring me to see you will you ask your ma to let
     you come to see me.

     RICHARD HENRY LEE.


     [_G. Washington to R.H. Lee_]

     DEAR DICKEY--I thank you very much for the pretty picture
     book you gave me. Sam asked me to show him the pictures and I showed
     him all the pictures in it; and I read to him how the tame Elephant
     took care of the Master's little boy, and put him on his back and
     would not let anybody touch his master's little son. I can read
     three or four pages sometimes without missing a word.... I have a
     little piece of poetry about the picture book you gave me but I
     mustn't tell you who wrote the poetry.

         G.W.'s compliments to R.H.L.
         And likes his book full well,
         Henceforth will count him his friend
         And hopes many happy days he may spend.

     Your good friend
     GEORGE WASHINGTON.

In a note Mr. Lossing states that he had copies of these two letters,
sent him by a Mr. Lee, who wrote: "The letter of Richard Henry Lee was
written by himself, and uncorrected sent by him to his boy friend George
Washington. The poetical effusion was, I have heard, written by a Mr.
Howard, a gentleman who used to visit at the house of Mr. Washington."

It would be gratifying to know the titles of these two books, so
evidently English chap-book tales. It is probable that they were
imported by a shop-keeper in Alexandria, as in seventeen hundred and
forty-one there was only one press in Virginia, owned by William Sharps,
who had moved from Annapolis in seventeen hundred and thirty-six.
Luxuries were so much more common among the Virginia planters, and life
was so much more roseate in hue than was the case in the northern
colonies, that it seems most natural that two southern boys should have
left the earliest account of any real story-books. Though unfortunately
nameless, they at least form an interesting coincidence. Bought in
seventeen hundred and forty-one, they follow just one hundred years
later than the meeting of the General Court, which was responsible for
the preparation of Cotton's "Milk for Babes," and precede by a century
the date when an American story-book literature was recognized as very
different from that written for English children.

FOOTNOTES:

[6-A] _Records of Mass. Bay_, vol. i, p. 37 h.

[6-B] _Ibid._, vol. i, p. 37 e.

[6-C] Ford, _The New England Primer_, p. 83.

[6-D] _Records of Mass. Bay_, vol. i, p. 328.

[7-A] Ford, _The New England Primer_, p. 92.

[7-B] _Ibid._

[11-A] In the possession of the British Museum.

[14-A] Ford, _The New England Primer_, p. 38.

[14-B] _Ibid._

[19-A] Thomas, _History of Printing in America_, vol. iii, p. 145.

[19-B] _Ibid._, vol. i, p. 294.

[26-A] Sears, _American Literature_, p. 86.

[26-B] Although this appears to be the first advertisement of gilt
horn-books in Philadelphia papers, an inventory of the estate of Michael
Perry, a Boston bookseller, made in seventeen hundred, includes sixteen
dozen gilt horn-books.



CHAPTER II

1747-1767



    He who learns his letters fair,
    Shall have a coach and take the air.
             _Royal Primer_, Newbery, 1762

    Our king the good
    No man of blood.
             _The New England Primer_, 1762



CHAPTER II

1747-1767

_The Play-Book in England_


The vast horde of story-books so constantly poured into modern nurseries
makes it difficult to realize that the library of the early colonial
child consisted of such books as have been already described. The
juvenile books to-day are multiform. The quantities displayed upon
shop-counters or ranged upon play-room shelves include a variety of
subjects bewildering to all but those whose business necessitates a
knowledge of this kind of literature. For the little child there is no
lack of gayly colored pictures and short tales in large print; for the
older boys and girls there lies a generous choice, ranging from Bunny
stories to Jungle Books, or they

   "May see how all things are,
    Seas and cities near and far.
    And the flying fairies' looks
    In the picture story-books."

The contrast is indeed extreme between that scanty fare of dull sermons
and "The New England Primer" given to the little people of the early
eighteenth century, and this superabundance prepared with lavish care
for the nation of American children.

The beginning of this complex juvenile literature is, therefore, to be
regarded as a comparatively modern invention of about seventeen hundred
and forty-five. From that date can be traced the slow growth of a
literature written with an avowed intention of furnishing amusement as
well as instruction; and in the toy-books published one hundred and
fifty years ago are found the prototypes of the present modes of
bringing fun and knowledge to the American fireside.

The question at once arises as to the reason why this literature came
into existence; why was it that children after seventeen hundred and
fifty should have been favored in a way unknown to their parents?

To even the casual reader of English literature the answer is plain, if
this subject of toy-books be regarded as of near kin to the larger body
of writing. It has been somewhat the custom to consider children's
literature as a thing wholly apart from that of adults, probably because
the majority of the authors of these little tales have so generally
lacked the qualities indispensable for any true literary work. In
reality the connection between the two is somewhat like that of parent
and child; the smaller body, though lacking in power, has closely
imitated the larger mass of writing in form and kind, and has reflected,
sometimes clearly, sometimes dimly, the good or bad fashions that have
shared the successive periods of literary history, like a child who
unconsciously reproduces a parent's foibles or excellences.

It is to England, then, that we must look to find the conditions out of
which grew the necessity for this modern invention--the story-book.

The love of stories has been the splendid birthright of every child in
all ages and in all lands. "Stories," wrote Thackeray,--"stories exist
everywhere; there is no calculating the distance through which the
stories have come to us, the number of languages through which they have
been filtered, or the centuries during which they have been told. Many
of them have been narrated almost in their present shape for thousands
of years to the little copper-coloured Sanscrit children, listening to
their mothers under the palm-trees by the banks of the yellow
Jumna--their Brahmin mother, who softly narrated them through the ring
in her nose. The very same tale has been heard by the Northern Vikings
as they lay on their shields on deck; and the Arabs couched under the
stars on the Syrian plains when their flocks were gathered in, and their
mares were picketed by the tents." This picturesque description leads
exactly to the point to be emphasized: that children shared in the
simple tales of their people as long as those tales retained their
freshness and simplicity; but when, as in England in the eighteenth
century, the literature lost these qualities and became artificial,
critical, and even skeptical, it lost its charm for the little ones and
they no longer cared to listen to it.

Fashion and taste were then alike absorbed in the works of Dryden, Pope,
Addison, Steele, and Swift, and the novels from the pens of Richardson,
Fielding, and Smollett had begun to claim and to hold the attention of
the English reading public. The children, however, could neither
comprehend nor enjoy the witty criticism and subtle treatment of the
topics discussed by the older men, although, as will be seen in another
chapter, the novels became, in both the original and in the abridged
forms, the delight of many a "young master and miss." Meanwhile, in the
American colonies the people who could afford to buy books inherited
their taste for literature as well as for tea from the Puritans and
fashionables in the mother country; although it is a fact familiar to
all, that the works of the comparatively few native authors lagged, in
spirit and in style, far behind the writings of Englishmen of the time.

The reading of one who was a boy in the older era of the urbane Addison
and the witty Pope, and a man in the newer period of the novelists, is
well described in Benjamin Franklin's autobiography. "All the little
money," wrote that book-lover, "that came into my hands was laid out in
books. Pleased with the Pilgrim's Progress, my collection was of John
Bunyan's works in separate volumes. I afterwards sold them to buy R.
Burton's Historical Collections; they were Chapmen's books, and cheap,
40 or 50 in all."

Burton's "Historical Collections" contained history, travels,
adventures, fiction, natural history, and biography. So great was the
favor in which they were held in the eighteenth century that the
compiler, Nathaniel Crouch, almost lost his identity in his pseudonym,
and like the late Mr. Clemens, was better known by his nom-de-plume than
by his family name. According to Dunton, he "melted down the best of the
English histories into twelve-penny books, which are filled with
wonders, rarities and curiosities." Although characterized by Dr.
Johnson as "very proper to allure backward readers," the contents of
many of the various books afforded the knowledge and entertainment
eagerly grasped by Franklin and other future makers of the American
nation. The scarcity of historical works concerning the colonies made
Burton's account of the "English Empire in America" at once a mine of
interest to wide-awake boys of the day. Number VIII, entitled "Winter
Evenings' Entertainment," was long a source of amusement with its
stories and riddles, and its title was handed down to other books of a
similar nature. To children, however, the best-known volume of the
series was Burton's illustrated versification of Bible stories called
"The Youth's Divine Pastime." But the subjects chosen by Burton were
such as belonged to a very plain-spoken age; and as the versifier was no
euphuist in his relation of facts, the result was a remarkable "Pastime
for Youth." The literature read by English children was, of course, the
same; the little ones of both countries ate of the same tree of
knowledge of facts, often either silly or revolting.

To deliver the younger and future generations from such unpalatable and
indigestible mental food, there was soon to appear in London a man, John
Newbery by name, who, already a printer, publisher, and vendor of patent
medicines, seized the opportunity to issue stories written especially
for the amusement of little children.

While Newbery was making his plans to provide pleasure for young folks
in England, in the colonies the idea of a child's need of recreation
through books was slowly gaining ground. It is well to note the manner
in which the little colonists were prepared to receive Newbery's books
as recreative features crept gradually into the very few publications of
which there is record.

In seventeen hundred and forty-five native talent was still entirely
confined to writing for little people lugubrious sermons or discourses
delivered on Sunday and "Catechize days," and afterwards printed for
larger circulation. The reprints from English publications were such
exotics as, "A Poesie out of Mr. Dod's Garden," an alluring title, which
did not in the least deceive the small colonials as to the religious
nature of its contents.

In New York the Dutch element, until the advent of Garrat Noel, paid so
little attention to the subject of juvenile literature that the
popularity of Watts's "Divine Songs" (issued by an Englishman) is well
attested by the fact that at present it is one of the very few child's
books of any kind recorded as printed in that city before 1760. But in
Boston, old Thomas Fleet, in 1741, saw the value of the element of some
entertainment in connection with reading, and, when he published "The
Parents' Gift, containing a choice collection of God's judgments and
Mercies," lives of the Evangelists, and other religious matter, he added
a "variety of pleasant Pictures proper for the Entertainment of
Children." This is, perhaps, the first printed acknowledgment in America
that pictures were commendable to parents _because_ entertaining to
their offspring. Such an idea put into words upon paper and advertised
in so well-read a sheet as the "Boston Evening Post," must surely have
impressed fathers and mothers really solicitous for the family welfare
and anxious to provide harmless pleasure. This pictorial element was
further encouraged by Franklin, when, in 1747, he reprinted, probably
for the first time in this country, "Dilworth's New Guide to the English
Tongue." In this school-book, after the alphabets and spelling lessons,
a special feature was introduced, that is, illustrated "Select Fables."
The cuts at the top of each fable possess an added interest from the
supposition that they were engraved by the printer himself; and the
constant use of the "Guide" by colonial school-masters and mistresses
made their pupils unconsciously quite ready for more illustrated and
fewer homiletic volumes.

Indeed, before the middle of the century pictures had become an accepted
feature of the few juvenile books, and "The History of the Holy Jesus"
versified for little ones was issued by at least two old Boston printers
in 1747 and 1748 with more than a dozen cuts. Among the rare extant
copies of this small chap-book is one that, although torn and disfigured
by tiny fingers and the century and a half since it pleased its first
owner, bears the personal touch of this inscription "Ebenezer ... Bought
June ... 1749 ... price 0=2=d." Was the price marked upon its page as a
reminder that two shillings was a large price to pay for a boy's book?
Perhaps for this reason it received the careful handling that has
enabled us to examine it, when so many of its contemporaries and
successors have vanished.

The versified story, notwithstanding its quaintness of diction, begins
with a dignified directness:

   "The glorious blessed Time had come,
    The Father had decreed,
    Jesus of _Mary_ there was born,
    And in a Manger laid."


At the end are two _Hymns_, entitled "Delight in the Lord Jesus," and
"Absence from Christ intolerable." The final stanza is typical of one
Puritan doctrine:

   "The Devil throws his fiery Darts,
    And wicked Ones do act their parts,
    To ruin me when Christ is gone,
    And leaves me all alone."

The woodcuts are not the least interesting feature of this old-time
duodecimo, from the picture showing the mother reading to her children
to the illustration of the quaking of the earth on the day of the
crucifixion. Crude and badly drawn as they now seem, they were surely
sufficient to attract the child of their generation.

About the same time old Zechariah Fowle, who apprenticed Isaiah Thomas,
and both printed and vended chap-books in Back Street, Boston,
advertised among his list of books "Lately Publish'd" this same small
book, together with "A Token for Youth," the "Life and Death of
Elizabeth Butcher," "A Preservative from the Sins and Follies of
Childhood and Youth," "The Prodigal Daughter," "The Happy Child," and
"The New Gift for Children with Cuts." Of these "The New Gift" was
certainly a real story-book, as one of a later edition still extant
readily proves.

Thus the children in both countries were prepared to enjoy Newbery's
miniature story-books, although for somewhat different reasons: in
England the literature had reached a point too artificial to be
interesting to little ones; in America the product of the press and the
character of the majority of the juvenile importations, the reprints, or
home-made chap-books, has been shown to be such as would hardly attract
those who were to be the future arbiters of the colonies' destiny.

The reasons for the coming to light of this new form of infant
literature have been dwelt upon in order to show the necessity for some
change in the kind of reading-matter to be put in the hands of the
younger members of the family. The natural order of consideration is
next to point out the phase it assumed upon its appearance in
England,--a phase largely due to the influence of one man,--and once
there, the modifications effected by the fashions in adult fiction.

Although there was already much interest in the education and welfare of
children still in the nursery, the character of the first play-books was
probably due to the esteem in which the opinions of the philosopher,
John Locke, were held. He it was who gradually moved the vane of public
opinion around to serious consideration of recreation as a factor in the
well-being of these nursery inmates. Although it took time for Locke's
ideas upon the subject to sink into the public mind, it is impossible to
compare one of the first attempts to produce a play-book, "The Child's
New Play-thing," with the advice written to his friend, Edward Clarke,
without feeling that the progress from the religious books to primers
and readers (such as "Dilworth's Guide"), and then onward to
story-books, was largely the result of the publication of his letters
under the title of "Thoughts on Education."

In these letters Locke took an extraordinary course: he first made a
quaint plea for the _general welfare_ of Mr. Clarke's little son. "I
imagine," he wrote, "the minds of children are as easily turned this or
that way as Water itself, and though this be the principal Part, and our
main Care should be about the inside, yet the Clay Cottage is not to be
neglected. I shall therefore begin with the case, and consider first the
_Health_ of the body." Under Health he discussed clothing, including
thin shoes, "that they may leak and let in Water." A pause was then
made to show the benefits of wet feet as against the apparent
disadvantages of filthy stockings and muddy boots; for mothers even in
that time were inclined to consider their floors and steps. Bathing next
received attention. Bathing every day in cold water, Locke regarded as
exceedingly desirable; no exceptions were to be made, even in the case
of a "puleing and tender" child. The beneficial effects of air,
sunlight, the establishment of good conduct, diet, sleep, and "physick"
were all discussed by the doctor and philosopher, before the development
of the mind was touched upon. "Education," he wrote, "concerns itself
with the forming of Children's Minds, giving them that seasoning early,
which shall influence their Lives later." This seasoning referred to the
training of children in matters pertaining to their general government
and to the reverence of parents. For the Puritan population it was
undoubtedly a shock to find Locke interesting himself in, and moreover
advocating, dancing as a part of a child's education; and worst of all,
that he should mention it before their hobby, LEARNING. In this
connection it is worth while to make mention of a favorite primer,
which, published about the middle of the eighteenth century, was
entitled "The Hobby Horse." Locke was quite aware that his method would
be criticised, and therefore took the bull by the horns in the following
manner. He admitted that to put the subject of learning last was a cause
for wonder, "especially if I tell you I think it the least part. This
may seem strange in the mouth of a bookish man, and this making usually
the chief, if not only bustle and stir about children; this being almost
that alone, which is thought on, when People talk about Education, make
it the greater Paradox." An unusual piece of advice it most surely was
to parents to whose children came the task of learning to read as soon
as they were given spoon-food.

Even more revolutionary to the custom of an eighteenth century mother
was the admonition that reading "be never made a Task." Locke, however,
was not the man to urge a cure for a bad habit without prescribing a
remedy, so he went on to say that it was always his "Fancy that Learning
be made a Play and Recreation to Children"--a "Fancy" at present much in
vogue. To accomplish this desirable result, "Dice and Play-things with
the Letters on them" were recommended to teach children the alphabet;
"and," he added, "twenty other ways may be found ... to make this kind
of Learning a Sport to them." Letter-blocks were in this way made
popular, and formed the approved and advanced method until in these
latter days pedagogy has swept aside the letter-blocks and syllabariums
and carried the sport to word-pictures.

This theory had a practical result in the introduction to many households
of "The Child's New Play-thing." This book, already mentioned, was
printed in England in seventeen hundred and forty-three, and dedicated to
Prince George. In seventeen hundred and forty-four we find through the
"Boston Evening Post" of January 23 that the third edition was sold by
Joseph Edwards, in Cornhill, and it was probably from this edition that
the first American edition was printed in seventeen hundred and fifty.
From the following description of this American reprint (one of which is
happily in the Lenox Collection), it will be seen that the "Play-thing"
was an attempt to follow Locke's advice, as well as a connecting link
between the primer of the past and the story-book of the near future.

The title, which the illustration shows, reads, "The Child's New
Play-thing being a spelling-book intended to make Learning to read a
diversion instead of a task. Consisting of Scripture-histories, fables,
stories, moral and religious precepts, proverbs, songs, riddles,
dialogues, &c. The whole adapted to the capacities of children, and
divided into lessons of one, two, three and four syllables. The fourth
edition. To which is added three dialogues; 1. Shewing how a little boy
shall make every body love him. 2. How a little boy shall grow wiser than
the rest of his school-fellows. 3. How a little boy shall become a great
man. Designed for the use of schools, or for children before they go to
school."

[Illustration: _Title-page from "The Child's new Play-Thing"_]

Coverless and faded, hard usage is written in unmistakable characters
upon this play-thing of a whole family. Upon a fly-leaf are the
autographs of "Ebenezer Ware and Sarah Ware, Their Book," and upon
another page these two names with the addition of the signatures of
"Ichabod Ware and Cyrus Ware 1787." One parent may have used it when it
was fresh from the press of Draper & Edwards in Boston; then, through
enforced economy, handed it down to the next generation, who doubtless
scorned the dedication so eminently proper in seventeen hundred and
fifty, so thoroughly out of place thirty-seven years later. There it
stands in large black type:

  To his ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE GEORGE This Little
        Play-thing is most humbly dedicated
                         By
                His ROYAL HIGHNESS'S
                  Devoted Servant

Of especial interest are the alphabets in "Roman, Italian, and English
Names" on the third page, while page four contains the dear old alphabet
in rhyme, fortunately not altogether forgotten in this prosaic age. We
recognize it as soon as we see it.

   "A Apple-Pye
    B bit it
    C cut it,"

and involuntarily add, D divided it. After the spelling lessons came
fables, proverbs, and the splendid "Stories proper to raise the
Attention and excite the Curiosity of Children" of any age; namely, "St.
George and the Dragon," "Fortunatus," "Guy of Warwick," "Brother and
Sister," "Reynard the Fox," "The Wolf and the Kid." "The Good Dr.
Watts," writes Mrs. Field, "is supposed to have had a hand in the
composition of this toy book especially in the stories, one of which is
quite in the style of the old hymn writer." Here it is:

     "Once on a time two dogs went out to walk. Tray was a good dog, and
     would not hurt the least thing in the world, but Snap was cross, and
     would snarl and bite at all that came in his way. At last they came
     to a town. All the dogs came round them. Tray hurt none of them, but
     Snap would grin at one, snarl at the next, and bite a third, till at
     last they fell on him and tore him limb from limb, and as poor Tray
     was with him, he met with his death at the same time.

     _Moral_

     "By this fable you see how dangerous it is to be in company with bad
     boys. Tray was a quiet harmless dog, and hurt nobody, but,
     &c."[45-A]

Thus we find that Locke sowed the seed, Watts watered the soil in which
the seed fell, and that Newbery, after mixing in ideas from his very
fertile brain, soon reaped a golden harvest from the crop of readers,
picture-books, and little histories which he, with the aid of certain
well-known authors, produced.

According to his biographer, Mr. Charles Welsh, John Newbery was born in
a quaint parish of England in seventeen hundred and thirteen. Although
his father was only a small farmer, Newbury inherited his bookish tastes
from an ancestor, Ralph or Rafe Newbery, who had been a great publisher
of the sixteenth century. Showing no inclination toward the life of a
farmer, the boy, at sixteen, had already entered the shop of a merchant
in Reading. The name of this merchant is not known, but inference points
to Mr. Carnan, printer, proprietor, and editor of one of the earliest
provincial newspapers. In seventeen hundred and thirty-seven, at the
death of Carnan, John Newbery, then about twenty-four years of age,
found himself one of the proprietor's heirs and an executor of the
estate. Carnan left a widow, to whom, to quote her son, Newbery's "love
of books and acquirements as a printer rendered him very acceptable."
The amiable and well-to-do widow and Newbery were soon married, and
their youngest son, Francis Newbery, eventually succeeded his father in
the business of publishing.

[Illustration: _Title-page from "A Little Pretty Pocket-Book"_]

Shortly after Newbery's marriage his ambition and enterprise resulted in
the establishment of his family in London, where, in seventeen hundred
and forty-four, he opened a warehouse at _The Bible and Crown_, near
Devereux Court, without Temple Bar. Meanwhile he had associated
himself with Benjamin Collins, a printer in Salisbury. Collins both
planned and printed some of Newbery's toy volumes, and his name likewise
was well-known to shop-keepers in the colonies. Newbery soon found that
his business warranted another move nearer to the centre of trade. He
therefore combined two establishments into one at the now celebrated
corner of St. Paul's Churchyard, and at the same time decided to confine
his attention exclusively to book publishing and medicine vending.

Before his departure from Devereux Court, Newbery had published at least
one book for juvenile readers. The title reads: "Little Pretty
Pocket-Book, intended for the instruction and Amusement of Little Master
Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly, with an agreeable Letter to read from Jack
the Giant Killer, as also a Ball and Pincushion, the use of which will
infallibly make Tommy a good Boy, and Polly a good Girl. To the whole is
prefixed a letter on education humbly addressed to all Parents,
Guardians, Governesses, &c., wherein rules are laid down for making
their children strong, healthy, virtuous, wise and happy." To this
extraordinarily long title were added couplets from Dryden and Pope,
probably because extracts from these poets were usually placed upon the
title-page of books for grown people; possibly also in order to give a
finish to miniature volumes that would be like the larger publications.
A wholly simple method of writing title-pages never came into even
Newbery's original mind; he did for the juvenile customer exactly what
he was accustomed to do for his father and mother. And yet the habit of
spreading out over the page the entire contents of the book was not
without value: it gave the purchaser no excuse for not knowing what was
to be found within its covers; and in the days when books were a luxury
and literary reviews non-existent, the country trade was enabled to make
a better choice.

[Illustration: _A page from "A Little Pretty Pocket-Book"_]

The manner in which the "Little Pretty Pocket-Book" is written is so
characteristic of those who were the first to attempt to write for the
younger generation in an amusing way, that it is worth while to examine
briefly the topics treated. An American reprint of a later date, now in
the Lenox Collection, will serve to show the method chosen to combine
instruction with amusement. The book itself is miniature in size, about
two by four inches, with embossed gilt paper covers--Newbery's own
specialty as a binding. The sixty-five little illustrations at the top
of its pages were numerous enough to afford pleasure to any eighteenth
century child, although they were crude in execution and especially
lacked true perspective. The first chapter after the "Address to
Parents" and to the other people mentioned on the title-page gives
letters to Master Tommy and Miss Polly. First, Tommy is congratulated
upon the good character that his Nurse has given him, and instructed as
to the use of the "Pocket-Book," "which will teach you to play at all
those innocent games that good Boys and Girls divert themselves with."
The boy reader is next advised to mark his good and bad actions with
pins upon a red and black ball. Little Polly is then given similar
congratulations and instructions, except that in her case a pincushion
is to be substituted for a ball. Then follow thirty pages devoted to
"alphabetically digested" games, from "The _great A Play_" and "The
_Little_ _a Play_" to "The _great and little Rs_," when plays, or the
author's imagination, give out and rhymes begin the alphabet anew.
Modern picture alphabets have not improved much upon this jingle:

   "Great A, B and C
    And tumble down D,
    The Cat's a blind buff,
    And she cannot see."

Next in order are four fables with morals (written in the guise of
letters), for in Newbery's books and in those of a much later period, we
feel, as Mr. Welsh writes, a "strong determination on the part of the
authors to place the moral plainly in sight and to point steadily to
it." Pictures also take a leading part in this effort to inculcate good
behaviour; thus _Good Children_ are portrayed in cuts, which accompany
the directions for attaining perfection. Proverbs, having been hitherto
introduced into school-books, appear again quite naturally in this
source of diversion, which closes--at least in the American
edition--with sixty-three "Rules for Behaviour." These rules include
those suitable for various occasions, such as "At the Meeting-House,"
"Home," "The Table," "In Company," and "When abroad with other
Children." To-day, when many such rules are as obsolete as the tiny
pages themselves, this chapter affords many glimpses of the customs and
etiquette of the old-fashioned child's life. Such a direction as "Be not
hasty to run out of Meeting-House when Worship is ended, as if thou
weary of being there" (probably an American adaptation of the English
original), recalls the well-filled colonial meeting-house, where weary
children sat for hours on high seats, with dangling legs, or screwed
their small bodies in vain efforts to touch the floor. Again we can see
the anxious mothers, when, after the long sermon was brought to a close,
they put restraining hands upon the little ones, lest they, in haste to
be gone, should forget this admonition. The formalism of the time is
suggested in this request, "Make a Bow always when come Home, and be
instantly uncovered," for the ceremony of polite manners in these
bustling days has so much relaxed that the modern boy does all that is
required if he remembers to be "instantly uncovered when come Home."
Among the numerous other requirements only one more may be cited--a rule
which reveals the table manners of polite society in its requisite for
genteel conduct: "Throw not anything under the Table. Pick not thy teeth
at the Table, unless holding thy Napkin before thy mouth with thine
other Hand." With such an array of intellectual and moral contents, the
little "Pocket-Book" may appear to-day to be almost anything except an
amusement book. Yet this was the phase that the English play-book first
assumed, and it must not be forgotten that English prose fiction was
only then coming into existence, except such germs as are found in the
character sketches in the "Spectator" and in the cleverly told incidents
by Defoe.

In 1744, when Newbery published this duodecimo, Dr. Samuel Johnson was
the presiding genius of English letters; four years earlier, fiction had
come prominently into the foreground with the publication of "Pamela" by
Samuel Richardson; and between seventeen hundred and forty and seventeen
hundred and fifty-two, Richardson's "Clarissa Harlowe," Smollett's
"Roderick Random" and "Peregrine Pickle," and Fielding's "Tom Jones" were
published. This fact may seem irrelevant to the present subject;
nevertheless, the idea of a veritable story-book, that is a book relating
a tale, does not seem to have entered Newbery's mind until after these
novels had met with a deserved and popular success.

The result of Newbery's first efforts to follow Locke's advice was so
satisfactory that his wares were sought most eagerly. "Very soon," said
his son, Francis Newbery, "he was in the full employment of his talents
in writing and publishing books of amusement and instruction for
Children. The call for them was immense, an edition of many thousands
being sometimes exhausted during the Christmas holidays. His friend, Dr.
Samuel Johnson, who, like other grave characters, could now and then be
jocose, had used to say of him, 'Newbery is an extraordinary man, for I
know not whether he has read or written most Books.'"[51-A]

The bookseller was no less clever in his use of other people's wits. No
one knows how many of the tiny gilt bindings covered stories told by
impecunious writers, to whom the proceeds in times of starvation were
bread if not butter. Newbery, though called by Goldsmith "the
philanthropic publisher of St. Paul's Churchyard," knew very well the
worth to his own pocket of these authors' skill in story-writing. Between
the years seventeen hundred and fifty-seven and seventeen hundred and
sixty-seven, the English publisher was at the height of his prosperity;
his name became a household word in England, and was hardly less well
known to the little colonials of America.

Newbery's literary associations, too, were both numerous and important.
Before Oliver Goldsmith began to write for children, he is thought to
have contributed articles for Newbery's "Literary Magazine" about
seventeen hundred and fifty-eight, while Johnson's celebrated "Idler"
was first printed in a weekly journal started by the publisher about the
same time. For the "British Magazine" Newbery engaged Smollett as
editor. In this periodical appeared Goldsmith's "History of Miss
Stanton." When later this was published as "The Vicar of Wakefield," it
contained a characterization of the bookseller as a good-natured man
with red, pimpled face, "who was no sooner alighted than he was in haste
to be gone, for he was ever on business of the utmost importance, and he
was at that time actually compiling materials for the history of Mr.
Thomas Trip."[52-A] With such an acquaintance it is probable that
Newbery often turned to Goldsmith, Giles Jones, and Tobias Smollett for
assistance in writing or abridging the various children's tales; even
the pompous Dr. Johnson is said to have had a hand in their
production--since he expressed a wish to do so. Newbery himself,
however, assumed the responsibility as well as the credit of so many
little "Histories," that it is exceedingly difficult to fix upon the
real authors of some of the best-known volumes in the publisher's
juvenile library.

The histories of "Goody Two-Shoes" and "Tommy Trip" (once such nursery
favorites, and now almost, if not quite, forgotten) have been attributed
to various men; but according to Mr. Pearson in "Banbury Chap-Books,"
Goldsmith confessed to writing both. Certainly, his sly wit and quizzical
vein of humor seem to pervade "Goody Two-Shoes"--often ascribed to Giles
Jones--and the notes affixed to the rhymes of Mother Goose before she
became Americanized. Again his skill is seen in the adaptation of
"Wonders of Nature and Art" for juvenile admirers; and for "Fables in
Verse" he is generally considered responsible. As all these tales were
printed in the colonies or in the young Republic, their peculiarities and
particularities may be better described when dealing with the issues of
the American press.

John Newbery, the most illustrious of publishers in the eyes of the
old-fashioned child, died in 1767, at the comparatively early age of
fifty-four. Yet before his death he had proved his talent for producing
at least fifty original little books, to be worth considerably more than
the Biblical ten talents.

No sketch of Newbery's life should fail to mention another large factor
in his successful experiment--the insertion in the "London Chronicle"
and other newspapers of striking and novel advertisements of his gilt
volumes, which were to be had for "six-pence the price of binding." An
instance of his skill appeared in the "London Chronicle" for December
19, 1764-January 1, 1765:

"The Philosophers, Politicians, Necromancers, and the learned in every
faculty are desired to observe that on the 1st of January, being New
Year's Day (oh, that we may all lead new lives!) Mr. Newbery intends to
publish the following important volumes, bound and gilt, and hereby
invites all his little friends who are good to call for them at the
Bible and Sun in St. Paul's Churchyard, but those who are naughty to
have none."[54-A]

Christopher Smart, his brother-in-law, who was an adept in the art of
puffing, possibly wrote many of the advertisements of new books--notices
so cleverly phrased that they could not fail to attract the attention of
many a country shop-keeper. In this way thousands were sold to the
country districts; and book-dealers in the American commonwealths,
reading the English papers and alert to improve their trade, imported
them in considerable quantities.

After Newbery's death, his son, Francis, and Carnan, his stepson,
carried on the business until seventeen hundred and eighty-eight; from
that year until eighteen hundred and two Edward Newbery (a nephew of the
senior Newbery), who in seventeen hundred and sixty-seven had set up a
rival establishment, continued to publish new editions of the same
little works. Yet the credit of this experiment of printing juvenile
stories belongs entirely to the older publisher. Through them he made a
strong protest against the reading by children of the lax chap-book
literature, so excellently described by Mr. John Ashton in "Chap-Books
of the Eighteenth Century;" and although his stories occasionally
alluded to disagreeable subjects or situations, these were unfortunately
familiar to his small patrons.

The gay little covers of gilt or parti-colored paper in which this
English publisher dressed his books expressed an evident purpose to
afford pleasure, which was increased by the many illustrations that
adorned the pages and added interest to the contents.

To the modern child, these books give no pleasure; but to those who love
the history of children of the past, they are interesting for two
reasons. In them is portrayed something of the life of eighteenth
century children; and by them the century's difference in point of view
as to the constituents of a story-book can be gauged. Moreover, all
Newbery's publications are to be credited with a careful preparation
that later stories sadly lacked. They were always written with a certain
art; if the language was pompous, we remember Dr. Johnson; if the style
was formal, its composition was correct; if the tales lacked ease in
telling, it was only the starched etiquette of the day reduced to a
printed page; and if they preached, they at least were seldom vulgar.

The preaching, moreover, was of different character from that of former
times. Hitherto, the fear of the Lord had wholly occupied the author's
attention when he composed a book "proper for a child as soon as he can
read;" now, material welfare was dwelt upon, and a good boy's reward
came to him when he was chosen the Lord Mayor of London. Good girls were
not forgotten, and were assured that, like Goody Two-Shoes, they should
attain a state of prosperity wherein

   "Their Fortune and their Fame would fix
    And gallop in their Coach and Six."

Goody Two-Shoes, with her particular method of instilling the alphabet,
and such books as "King Pippin" (a prodigy of learning) may be
considered as tiny commentaries upon the years when Johnson reigned
supreme in the realm of learning. These and many others emphasized not
the effects of piety,--Cotton Mather's forte,--but the benefits of
learning; and hence the good boy was also one who at the age of five
spelt "apple-pye" correctly and therefore eventually became a great man.

At the time of Newbery's death it was more than evident that his
experiment had succeeded, and children's stories were a printed fact.

FOOTNOTES:

[45-A] Field, _The Child and his Book_, p. 223.

[51-A] Welsh, _Bookseller of the Last Century_, pp. 22, 23.

[52-A] Foster, _Life of Goldsmith_, vol. i, p. 244.

[54-A] Welsh, _Bookseller of the Last Century_, p. 109.



CHAPTER III

1750-1776



    Kings should be good
    Not men of blood.
             _The New England Primer_, 1791

    If Faith itself has different dresses worn
    What wonder modes in wit should take their turn.
             POPE: _Essay on Man_



CHAPTER III

1750-1776

_Newbery's Books in America_


In the middle of the eighteenth century Thursdays were red-letter days
for the residents of the Quaker town of Philadelphia. On that day Thomas
Bradford sent forth from the "Sign of the Bible" in Second Street the
weekly number of the "Pennsylvania Journal," and upon the same day his
rival journalists, Franklin and Hall, issued the "Pennsylvania Gazette."

On Thursday, the fifteenth of November, seventeen hundred and fifty, Old
Style, the good people of the town took up their newspapers with
doubtless a feeling of comfortable anticipation, as they drew their
chairs to the fireside and began to look over the local occurrences of
the past week, the "freshest foreign advices," and the various bits of
information that had filtered slowly from the northern and more southern
provinces.

On this particular evening the subscribers to both newspapers found a
trifle more news in the "Journal," but in each paper the same domestic
items of interest, somewhat differently worded. The latest news from
Boston was that of November fifth, from New York, November eighth, the
Annapolis item was dated October tenth, and the few lines from London
had been written in August.

The "Gazette" (a larger sheet than the "Journal") occasionally had upon
its first page some timely article of political or local interest. But
more frequently there appeared in its first column an effusion of no
local color, but full of sentimental or moral reflections. In this day's
issue there was a long letter, dated New York, from one who claimed to
be "Beauty's Votary." This expressed the writer's disappointment that an
interesting "Piece" inserted in the "Gazette" a fortnight earlier had
presented in its conclusion "an unexpected shocking Image." The shock to
the writer it appears was the greater, because the beginning of the
article had, he thought, promised a strong contrast between "Furious
Rage in our rough Sex, and Gentle mildness adorn'd with Beauty's charms
in the other." The rest of the letter was an apostrophe to the fair sex
in the sentimental and florid language of the period.

To the women, we imagine, this letter was more acceptable than to the
men, who found the shipping news more to their taste, and noted with
pleasure the arrival of the ship Carolina and the Snow Strong, which
brought cargoes valuable for their various industries.

Advertisements filled a number of columns. Among them was one so novel
in its character that it must have caught the eye of all readers. The
middle column on the second page was devoted almost entirely to an
announcement that John Newbery had for "Sale to Schoolmasters,
Shopkeepers, &c, who buy in quantities to sell again," "The Museum," "A
new French Primer," "The Royal Battledore," and "The Pretty Book for
Children." This notice--a reduced fac-simile of which is given--made
Newbery's début in Philadelphia; and it must not be forgotten that but a
short period had elapsed since his first book had been printed in
England.

[Illustration: _John Newbery's Advertisement of Children's Books_]

Franklin had doubtless heard of the publisher in St. Paul's
Churchyard through Mr. Strahan, his correspondent, who filled orders for
him from London booksellers; but the omission of the customary
announcement of special books as "to be had of the Printer hereof"
points to Newbery's enterprise in seeking a wider market for his wares,
and Franklin's business ability in securing the advertisement, as it is
not repeated in the "Journal."

This "Museum" was probably a newer book than the "Royal Primer,"
"Battledore," and "Pretty Book," and consequently was more fully
described; and oddly enough, all of these books are of earlier editions
than Mr. Welsh, Newbery's biographer, was able to trace in England.

"The Museum" still clings to the same idea which pervaded "The
Play-thing." Its second title reads: "A private TUTOR for little MASTERS
and MISSES." The contents show that this purpose was carried out. It
tutored them by giving directions for reading with eloquence and
propriety; by presenting "the antient and present State of _Great
Britain_ with a compendious History of _England_;" by instructing them
in "the Solar System, geography, Arts and Sciences" and the inevitable
"Rules for Behaviour, Religion and Morality;" and it admonished them by
giving the "Dying Words of Great Men when just quitting the Stage of
Life." As a museum it included descriptions of the Seven Wonders of the
World, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Churchyard, and the Tower of
London, with an ethnological section in the geographical department! All
of this amusement was to be had for the price of "One Shilling," neatly
bound, with, thrown in as good measure, "Letters, Tales and Fables
illustrated with Cuts." Such a library, complete in itself, was a fine
and most welcome reward for scholarship, when prizes were awarded at the
end of the school session.

Importations of "Parcels of entertaining books for children" had earlier
in the year been announced through the columns of the "Gazette;" but
these importations, though they show familiarity with Newbery's quaint
phraseology in advertising, probably also included an assortment of such
little chap-books as "Tom Thumb," "Cinderella" (from the French of
Monsieur Perrault), and some few other old stories which the children
had long since appropriated as their own property.

In 1751 we find New York waking up to the appreciation of children's
books. There J. Waddell and James Parker were apparently the pioneers in
bringing to public notice the fact that they had for sale little
novel-books in addition to horn-books and primers; and moreover the
"Weekly Post-Boy" advertised that these booksellers had "Pretty Books
for little Masters and Misses" (clearly a Newbery imitation), "with
Blank Flourished Christmas pieces for Scholars."

But as yet even Franklin had hardly been convinced that the old way of
imparting knowledge was not superior to the then modern combination of
amusement and instruction; therefore, although with his partner, David
Hall, he without doubt sold such children's books as were available, for
his daughter Sally, aged seven, he had other views. At his request his
wife, in December, 1751, wrote the following letter to William Strahan:

     MADAM,--I am ordered by my Master to write for him Books
     for Sally Franklin. I am in Hopes She will be abel to write for
     herself by the Spring.

       8 Sets of the Perceptor best Edit.
       8 Doz. of Croxall's Fables.
       3 Doz. of Bishop Kenns Manual for Winchester School.
       1 Doz. Familiar Forms, Latin and Eng.
       Ainsworth's Dictionaries, 4 best Edit.
       2 Doz. Select Tales and Fables.
       2 Doz. Costalio's Test.
       Cole's Dictionarys Latin and Eng. 6 a half doz.
       3 Doz. of Clarke's Cordery. 1 Boyle's Pliny 2 vols. 8vo.
       6 Sets of Nature displayed in 7 vols. 12mo.
       One good Quarto Bibel with Cudes bound in calfe.
       1 Penrilla. 1 Art of making Common Salt. By Browning.

     My Dafter gives her duty to Mr. Stroyhan and his Lady, and her
     compliments to Master Billy and all his brothers and Sisters....

     Your humbel Servant
       DEBORAH FRANKLIN

Little Sally Franklin could not have needed eight dozen copies of
Aesop's Fables, nor four Ainsworth's Dictionaries, so it is probable
that Deborah Franklin's far from ready pen put down the book order for
the spring, and that Sally herself was only to be supplied with the
"Perceptor," the "Fables," and the "one good Quarto Bibel."

As far as it is now possible to judge, the people of the towns soon
learned the value of Newbery's little nursery tales, and after seventeen
hundred and fifty-five, when most of his books were written and
published, they rapidly gained a place on the family book-shelves in
America.

By seventeen hundred and sixty Hugh Gaine, printer, publisher, patent
medicine seller, and employment agent for New York, was importing
practically all the Englishman's juvenile publications then for sale. At
the "Bible and Crown," where Gaine printed the "Weekly Mercury," could
be bought, wholesale and retail, such books as, "Poems for Children
Three Feet High," "Tommy Trapwit," "Trip's Book of Pictures," "The New
Year's Gift," "The Christmas Box," etc.

Gaine himself was a prominent printer in New York in the latter half of
the eighteenth century. Until the Revolution his shop was a favorite one
and well patronized. But when the hostilities began, the condition of
his pocket seems to have regulated his sympathies, and he was by turn
Whig and Tory according to the possession of New York by so-called
Rebels, or King's Servants. When the British army evacuated New York,
Gaine, wishing to keep up his trade, dropped the "Crown" from his sign.
Among the enthusiastic patriots this ruse had scant success. In
Freneau's political satire of the bookseller, the first verse gives a
strong suggestion of the ridicule to follow:

   "And first, he was, in his own representation,
    A printer, once of good reputation.
    He dwelt in the street called Hanover-Square,
    (You'll know where it is if you ever was there
    Next door to the dwelling of Mr. Brownjohn,
    Who now to the drug-shop of Pluto is gone)
    But what do I say--who e'er came to town,
    And knew not Hugh Gaine at the _Bible_ and _Crown_."

A contemporary of, and rival bookseller to, Gaine in seventeen hundred
and sixty was James Rivington. Mr. Hildeburn has given Rivington a
rather unenviable reputation; still, as he occasionally printed (?) a
child's book, Mr. Hildeburn's remarks are quoted:

"Until the advent of Rivington it was generally possible to tell from an
American Bookseller's advertisement in the current newspapers whether
the work offered for sale was printed in America or England. But the
books he received in every fresh invoice from London were 'just
published by James Rivington' and this form was speedily adopted by
other booksellers, so that after 1761 the advertisement of books is no
longer a guide to the issues of the colonial press."

Although Rivington did not set up a press until about seventeen hundred
and seventy-three,--according to Mr. Hildeburn,--he had a book-shop much
earlier. Here he probably reprinted the title-page and then put an
elaborate notice in the "Weekly Mercury" for November 17, 1760, as
follows:

     JAMES RIVINGTON

     _Bookseller and Stationer from London over against the Golden Key in
     Hanover Square._

     This day is published, Price, seven Shillings, and sold by the said
     JAMES RIVINGTON, adorned with two hundred Pictures

           THE
     FABLES OF AESOP

     with a moral to each Fable in Verse, and an Application in Prose,
     intended for the Use of the youngest of readers, and proper to be
     put into the hands of Children, immediately after they have done
     with the Spelling-Book, it being adapted to their tender Capacities,
     the Fables are related in a short and lively Manner, and they are
     recommended to all those who are concerned in the education of
     Children. This is an entire new Work, elegantly printed and
     ornamented with much better Cuts than any other Edition of Aesop's
     Fables. Be pleased to ask for DRAPER'S AESOP.

From such records of parents' care as are given in Mrs. Charles
Pinckney's letters to her husband's agent in London, and Josiah Quincy's
reminiscences of his early training, it seems very evident that John
Locke's advice in "Thoughts on Education" was read and followed at this
time in the American colonies. Therefore, in accordance with the
bachelor philosopher's theory as to reading-matter for little children,
the bookseller recommended the "Fables" to "those concerned in the
education of children." It is at least a happy coincidence that one of
the earliest books (as far as is known to the writer), aside from school
and religious books, issued as published in America for children, should
have been the one Locke had so heartily recommended. This is what he had
said many years previously: "When by these gentle ways he begins to
_read_, some easy pleasant Book, suited to his capacities, should be put
into his Hands, wherein the Entertainment that he finds might draw him
on, and reward his Pains in Reading, and yet not such as will fill his
head with perfectly useless Trumpery, or lay the Principles of Vice and
Folly. To this Purpose, I think Aesop's Fables the best which being
Stories apt to delight and entertain a child, may yet afford useful
Reflections to a grown Man.... If his Aesop has pictures in it, it will
entertain him much better and encourage him to read." The two hundred
pictures in Rivington's edition made it, of course, high priced in
comparison with Newbery's books: but New York then contained many
families well able to afford this outlay to secure such an acquisition
to the family library.

Hugh Gaine at this time, as a rule, received each year two shipments of
books, among which were usually some for children, yet about 1762 he
began to try his own hand at reprinting Newbery's now famous little
duodecimos.

In that year we find an announcement through the "New York Mercury" that
he had himself printed "Divers diverting books for infants." The
following list gives some idea of their character:

     _Just published by Hugh Gaine_

     A pretty Book for Children; Or an Easy Guide to the English Tongue.

     The private Tutor for little Masters and Misses.

     Food for the Mind; or a new Riddle Book compiled for the use of
       little Good Boys and Girls in America. By Jack the Giant-Killer,
       Esq.

     A Collection of Pretty Poems, by Tommy Tag, Esq.

     Aesop's Fables in Verse, with the Conversation of Beasts and Birds,
       at their several Meetings. By Woglog the great Giant.

     A Little pretty Book, intended for the Amusement of Little Master
       Tommy and pretty Miss Polly, with two Letters from Jack the
       Giant-Killer.

     Be Merry and Wise: Or the Cream of the Jests. By Tommy Trapwit, Esq.

The title of "Food for the Mind" is of special importance, since in it
Gaine made a clever alteration by inserting the words "Good Boys and
Girls in _America_." The colonials were already beginning to feel a
pride in the fact of belonging to the new country, America, and
therefore Gaine shrewdly changed the English title to one more likely to
induce people to purchase.

Gaine and Rivington alone have left records of printing children's
story-books in the town of New York before the Revolution; but before
they began to print, other booksellers advertised their invoices of
books. In 1759 Garrat Noel, a Dutchman, had announced that he had "the
very prettiest gilt Books for little Masters and Misses that ever were
invented, full of wit and wisdom, at the surprising low Price of only
one Shilling each finely bound and adorned with a number of curious
Cuts." By 1762 Noel had increased his stock and placed a somewhat larger
advertisement in the "Mercury" of December 27. The late arrival of his
goods may have been responsible for the bargains he offered at this
holiday sale.

     GARRAT NOEL _Begs Leave to Inform the Public, that according to
     his Annual Custom, he has provided a very large Assortment of Books
     for Entertainment and Improvement of Youth, in Reading, Writing,
     Cyphering, and Drawing, as Proper Presents at _CHRISTMAS_
     and _New-Year_._

     The following Small, but improving Histories, are sold at _Two
     Shillings_, each, neatly bound in red, and adorn'd with Cuts.

     [Symbol: hand]Those who buy _Six_, shall have a _Seventh Gratis_,
     and buying only _Three_, they shall have a present of a fine large
     Copper-Plate Christmas Piece: [_List of histories follows._]

     The following neat Gilt Books, very instructive and Amusing being
     full of Pictures, are sold at _Eighteen Pence_ each.

          Fables in Verse and Prose, with the Conversation of Birds &
          Beasts at their several meetings, Routs and Assemblies for the
          Improvement of Old and Young, etc.

To-day none of these gay little volumes sold in New York are to be seen.
The inherent faculty of children for losing and destroying books,
coupled with the perishable nature of these toy volumes, has rendered
the children's treasures of seventeen hundred and sixty-two a great
rarity. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is the fortunate
possessor of one much prized story-book printed in that year; but though
it is at present in the Quaker City, a printer of Boston was responsible
for its production.

In Isaiah Thomas's recollections of the early Boston printers, he
described Zechariah Fowle, with whom he served his apprenticeship, and
Samuel Draper, Fowle's partner. These men, about seventeen hundred and
fifty-seven, took a house in Marlborough Street. Here, according to
Thomas, "they printed and opened a shop. They kept a great supply of
ballads, and small pamphlets for book pedlars, of whom there were many
at that time. Fowle was bred to the business, but he was an indifferent
hand at the press, and much worse at the case."

This description of the printer's ability is borne out by the "New-Gift
for Children," printed by this firm. It is probably the oldest
story-book bearing an American imprint now in existence, and for this
reason merits description, although its contents can be seen in the
picture of the title-page. Brown with age and like all chap-books
without a cover--for it was Newbery who introduced this more durable and
attractive feature--all sizes in type were used to print its fifteen
stories. The stories in themselves were not new, as it is called the
"Fourth edition." It is possible that they were taken from the Banbury
chap-books, which also often copied Newbery's juvenile library, as the
list of his publications compiled by Mr. Charles Welsh does not contain
this title.

The loyalty of the Boston printers found expression on the third page by
a very black cut of King George the Third, who appears rather puzzled
and not a little unhappy; but it found favor with customers, for as yet
the colonials thought their king "no man of blood." On turning the page
Queen Charlotte looks out with goggle-eyes, curls, and a row of beads
about the size of pebbles around her thick neck. The picture seems to be
a copy from some miniature of the queen, as an oval frame with a crown
surmounting it encircles the portrait. The stories are so much better
than some that were written even after the nineteenth century, that
extracts from them are worth reading. The third tale, called "The
Generosity of Confessing a Fault," begins as follows:

"Miss _Fanny Goodwill_ was one of the prettiest children that ever was
seen; her temper was as sweet as her looks, and her behavior so genteel
and obliging that everybody admir'd her; for nobody can help loving good
children, any more than they can help being angry with those that are
naughty. It is no wonder then that her papa and mama lov'd her
dearly, they took a great deal of pains to improve her mind so that
before she was seven years old, she could read, and talk, and work like
a little woman. One day as her papa was sitting by the fire, he set her
upon his knees, kiss'd her, and told her how very much he lov'd her; and
then smiling, and taking hold of her hand, My dear Fanny, said he, take
care never to tell a lye, and then I shall always love you as well as I
do now. You or I may be guilty of a fault; but there is something noble
and generous in owning our errors, and striving to mend them; but a lye
more than doubles the fault, and when it is found out, makes the lyar
appear mean and contemptible.... Thus, my dear, the lyar is a wretch,
whom nobody trusts, nobody regards, nobody pities. Indeed papa, said
Miss _Fanny_, I would not be such a creature for all the world. You are
very good, my little _charmer_, said her papa and kiss'd her again."

[Illustration: _Title-page from "The New Gift for Children"_]

The inevitable temptation came when Miss Fanny went on "a visit to a
Miss in the neighborhood; her mama ordered her to be home at eight
o'clock; but she was engag'd at play, and did not mind how the time
pass'd, so that she stay'd till near ten; and then her mama sent for
her." The child of course was frightened by the lateness of the hour,
and the maid--who appears in the illustration with cocked hat and
musket!--tried to calm her fears with the advice to "tell her mama that
the Miss she went to see had taken her out." "_No Mary_, said Miss
_Fanny_, wiping her pretty eyes, I am above a lye;" and she rehearsed
for the benefit of the maid her father's admonition.

Story IX tells of the _Good Girl and Pretty Girl_. In this the pretty
child had bright eyes and pretty plump cheeks and was much admired. She,
however, was a meanly proud girl, and so naughty as not to want to grow
wiser, but applied to those good people who happened to be less favored
in looks such terms as "bandy-legs, crump, and all such naughty names."
The good sister "could read before the pretty miss could tell a letter;
and though her shape was not so genteel her behavior was a great deal
more so. But alas! the pretty creature fell sick of the small-pox, and
all her beauty vanished." Thus in the eighteenth century was the adage
"Beauty is but skin deep" brought to bear upon conduct.

On the last page is a cut of "Louisburg demolished," which had served
its time already upon almanacs, but the eight cuts were undoubtedly made
especially for children. Moreover, since they do not altogether
illustrate the various stories, they are good proof that similar
chap-book tales were printed by Fowle and Draper for little ones before
the War of Independence.

In the southern provinces the sea afforded better transportation
facilities for household necessities and luxuries than the few
post-lines from the north could offer. Bills of exchange could be drawn
against London, to be paid by the profits of the tobacco crops, a safer
method of payment than any that then existed between the northern and
southern towns. In the regular orders sent by George Washington to
Robert Carey in London, twice we find mention of the children's needs
and wishes. In the very first invoice of goods to be shipped to
Washington after his marriage with Mrs. Custis in seventeen hundred and
fifty-nine, he ordered "10 Shillings worth of Toys, 6 little books for
children beginning to read and a fashionable dressed baby to cost 10
Shillings;" and again later in ordering clothes, "Toys, Sugar, Images
and Comfits" for his step-children he added: "Books according to the
enclosed list to be charged equally to John Parke Custis and Martha
Parke Custis."

But in Boston the people bought directly from the booksellers, of whom
there were already many. One of these was John Mein, who played a part
in the historic Non-Importation Agreement. In seventeen hundred and
fifty this Englishman had opened in King Street a shop which he called
the "London Book-Store." Here he sold many imported books, and in
seventeen hundred and sixty-five, when the population of Boston numbered
some twenty thousand, he started the "earliest circulating library,
advertised to contain ten thousand volumes."[73-A] This shop was both
famous and notorious: famous because of its "Very Grand Assortment of
the most modern Books;" notorious because of the accusations made
against its owner when the colonials, aroused by the action of
Parliament, passed the Non-Importation Agreement.

Before the excitement had culminated in this "Agreement," John Mein's
lists of importations show that the children's pleasure had not been
forgotten, and after it their books singularly enough were connected
with this historic action.

In 1766, in the "Boston Evening Post," we find Mein's announcement that
"Little Books with Pictures for Children" could be purchased at the
London Book-Store; in December, 1767, he advertised through the columns
of the "Boston Chronicle," among other books, "in every branch of polite
literature," a "Great Variety of entertaining Books for CHILDREN, proper
for presents at Christmas or New-year's day--Prices from Two Coppers to
Two Shillings." In August of the following year Mein gave the names of
seven of Newbery's famous gilt volumes, as "to be sold" at his shop.
These "pretty little entertaining and instructive Books" were "Giles
Gingerbread," the "Adventures of little TOMMY TRIP with his dog JOULER,"
"Tommy Trip's Select Fables," and "an excellent Pastoral Hymn," "The
Famous Tommy Thumb's Little Story-Book," "Leo, the Great Giant," and
"URAX, or the Fair Wanderer--price eight pence lawful money. _A very
interesting tale in which the protection of the Almighty_ is proved to
be the first and chief support of the FEMALE SEX." Number seven in the
list was the story of the "Cruel Giant Barbarico," and it is one of this
edition that is now among the rare Americana of the Boston Public
Library. The imprint upon its title-page coincides with Isaiah Thomas's
statement that though "Fleming was not concerned with Mein in
book-selling, several books were printed at their house for Mein." Its
date, 1768, would indicate that Mein had reproduced one of his
importations to which allusion has already been made. The book in
marbled covers, time-worn and faded now, was sold for only "six-pence
lawful" when new, possibly because it lacked illustrations.

[Illustration: _Miss Fanny's Maid_]

One year later, when the Non-Importation Agreement had passed and was
rigorously enforced in the port of Boston, these same little books were
advertised again in the "Chronicle" of December 4-7 under the large
caption, PRINTED IN AMERICA AND TO BE SOLD BY JOHN MEIN. Times
had so changed within one year's space that even a child's six-penny
book was unpopular, if known to have been imported.

Mein was among those accused of violating the "Agreement;" he was
charged with the importation of materials for book-making. In a November
number of the "Chronicle" of seventeen hundred and sixty-nine, Mein
published an article entitled "A State of the Importation from Great
Britain into the Port of BOSTON with the advertisement of a set
of Men, who assume to themselves THE TITLE of _ALL the Well
Disposed Merchants_." In this letter the London Book-Store proprietor
vigorously defended himself, and protested that the quantity of his work
necessitated some importations not procurable in Boston. He also made
sarcastic references to other men whom he thought the cap fitted better
with less excuse. It was in the following December that he tried to keep
this trade in children's books by his apparently patriotic announcement
regarding them. His protests were useless. Already in disfavor with some
because he was supposed to print books in America but used a London
imprint, his popularity waned; he was marked as a loyalist, and there
was little of the spirit of tolerance for such in that hot-bed of
patriotism. The air was so full of the growing differences between the
colonials and the king's government, that in seventeen hundred and
seventy Mein closed out his stock and returned to England.

On the other hand, the patriotic booksellers did not fail to take note
of the crystallization of public opinion. Robert Bell in Philadelphia
appended a note to his catalogue of books, stating that "The Lovers and
Practisers of Patriotism are requested to note that all the Books in
this Catalogue are either of American manufacture, or imported before
the Non-Importation Agreement."

The supply of home-made paper was of course limited. So much was needed
to circulate among the colonies pamphlets dealing with the injustice of
the king's government toward his American subjects, that it seems
remarkable that any juvenile books should have been printed in those
stirring days before the war began. It is rather to be expected that,
with the serious turn that events had taken and the consequent questions
that had arisen, the publications of the American press should have
received the shadow of the forthcoming trouble--a shadow sufficient to
discourage any attempt at humor for adult or child. Evidence, however,
points to the fact that humor and amusement were not totally lacking in
the issues of the press of at least one printer in Boston, John Boyle.
The humorous satire produced by his press in seventeen hundred and
seventy-five, called "The First Book of the American Chronicles of the
Times," purported to set forth the state of political affairs during the
troubles "wherein all our calamities are seen to flow from the fact that
the king had set up for our worship the god of the heathen--The Tea
Chest." This pamphlet has been one to keep the name of John Boyle among
the prominent printers of pre-Revolutionary days. Additional interest
accrues for this reason to a play-book printed by Boyle--the only one
extant of this decade known to the writer.

This quaint little chap-book, three by four inches in size, was issued
in seventeen hundred and seventy-one, soon after Boyle had set up his
printing establishment and four years before the publication of the
famous pamphlet. It represents fully the standard for children's
literature in the days when Newbery's tiny classics were making their
way to America, and was indeed advertised by Mein in seventeen hundred
and sixty-eight among the list of books "Printed in America." Its title,
"The Famous Tommy Thumb's Little Story-Book: Containing his Life and
Adventures," has rather a familiar sound, but its contents would not now
be allowed upon any nursery table. Since the days of the Anglo-Saxons,
Tom Thumb's adventures have been told and retold; each generation has
given to the rising generation the version thought proper for the ears
of children. In Boyle's edition this method resulted in realism pushed
to the extreme; but it is not to be denied that the yellowed pages
contain the wondrous adventures and hairbreadth escapes so dear to the
small boy of all time. The thrilling incidents were further enlivened,
moreover, by cuts called by the printer "_curious_" in the sense of very
fine: and _curious_ they are to-day because of the crudeness of their
execution and the coarseness of their design. Nevertheless, the
grotesque character of the illustrations was altogether effective in
impressing upon the reader the doughty deeds of his old friend, Tom
Thumb. The book itself shows marks of its popularity, and of the hard
usage to which it was subjected by its happy owner, who was not critical
of the editor's freedom of speech.

The coarseness permitted in a nursery favorite makes it sufficiently
clear that the standard for the ideal toy-book of the eighteenth century
is no gauge for that of the twentieth. Child-life differed in many
particulars, as Mr. Julian Hawthorne pointed out some years ago, when he
wrote that the children of the eighteenth century "were urged to grow up
almost before they were short-coated." We must bear this in mind in
turning to another class of books popular with adult and child alike in
both England and America before and for some years after the Revolution.

This was the period when the novel in the hands of Richardson, Fielding,
and Smollett was assuming hitherto unsuspected possibilities. Allusion
must be made to some of the characteristics of their work, since their
style undoubtedly affected juvenile reading and the tales written for
children.

Taking for the sake of convenience the novels of the earliest of this
group of men, Samuel Richardson, as a starting-point, we find in Pamela
and Mr. Lovelace types of character that merge from the Puritanical
concrete examples of virtue and vice into a psychological attempt to
depict the emotion and feeling preceding every act of heroine and
villain. Through every stage of the story the author still clings to the
long-established precedent of giving moral and religious instruction.
Afterwards, when Fielding attempted to parody "Pamela," he developed the
novel of adventure in high and low life, and produced "Joseph Andrews."
He then followed this with the character-study represented by "Tom
Jones, Foundling." Richardson in "Pamela" had aimed to emphasize virtue
as in the end prospering; Fielding's characters rather embody the
principle of virtue being its own reward and of vice bringing its own
punishment. Smollett in "Humphrey Clinker's Adventures" brought forth
fun from English surroundings instead of seeking for the hero thrilling
and daring deeds in foreign countries. He also added to the list of
character-studies "Roderick Random," a tale of the sea, the mystery of
which has never palled since "Robinson Crusoe" saw light.

There was also the novel of letters. In the age of the first great
novelists letter-writing was among the polite arts. It was therefore
counted a great but natural achievement when the epistolary method of
revealing the plot was introduced. "Clarissa Harlowe" and "Sir Charles
Grandison" were the results of this style of writing; they comprehended
the "most Important Concerns of private life"--"concerns" which moved
with lingering and emotional persistency towards the inevitable
catastrophe in "Clarissa," and the happy issue out of the
misunderstandings and misadventures which resulted in Miss Byron's
alliance with Sir Charles.

Until after the next (nineteenth) century had passed its first decade
these tales were read in full or abridged forms by many children among
the fashionable and literary sets in England and America. Indeed, the
art of writing for children was so unknown that often attempts to
produce child-like "histories" for them resulted in little other than
novels upon an abridged scale.

But before even abridged novels found their way into juvenile favor, it
was "customary in Richardson's time to read his novels aloud in the
family circle. When some pathetic passage was reached the members of the
family would retire to separate apartments to weep; and after composing
themselves, they would return to the fireside to have the reading
proceed. It was reported to Richardson, that, on one of these occasions,
'an amiable little boy sobbed as if his sides would burst and resolved
to mind his books that he might be able to read Pamela through without
stopping.' That there might be something in the family novel expressly
for children, Richardson sometimes stepped aside from the main narrative
to tell them a moral tale."[80-A]

Mr. Cross gives an example of this which, shorn of its decoration, was
the tale of two little boys and two little girls, who never told fibs,
who were never rude and noisy, mischievous or quarrelsome; who always
said their prayers when going to bed, and therefore became fine ladies
and gentlemen.

To make the tales less difficult for amiable children to read, an
abridgment of their contents was undertaken; and Goldsmith is said to
have done much of the "cutting" in "Pamela," "Clarissa Harlowe," "Sir
Charles Grandison," and others. These books were included in the lists
of those sent to America for juvenile reading. In Boston, Cox and Berry
inserted in the "Boston Gazette and Country Journal" a notice that they
had the "following little Books for all good Boys and Girls:

The Brother's Gift, or the Naughty Girl Reformed.
The Sister's Gift, or the Naughty Boy Reformed.
The Hobby Horse, or Christmas Companion.
The Cries of London as Exhibited in the Streets.
The Puzzling Cap.
The History of Tom Jones.
The History of Joseph Andrews.   Abridg'd from the works of H. Fielding
The History of Pamela.           abridg'd from the works of Samuel
                                 Richardson, Esq.
The History of Grandison.
The History of Clarissa."

Up to this time the story has been rather of the books read by the
Puritan and Quaker population of the colonies. There had arisen during
the first half of the eighteenth century, however, a merchant class
which owed its prosperity to its own ability. Such men sought for their
families the material results of wealth which only a place like Boston
could bestow. Many children, therefore, were sent to this town to
acquire suitable education in books, accomplishments, and deportment. A
highly interesting record of a child of well-to-do parents has been left
by Anna Green Winslow, who came to Boston to stay with an aunt for the
winters of 1771 and 1772. Her diary gives delightful glimpses of
children's tea-parties, fashions, and schools, all put down with a
childish disregard of importance or connection. It is in these jottings
of daily occurrences that proof is found that so young a girl read,
quite as a matter of course, the abridged works of Fielding and
Richardson.

On January 1, 1772, she wrote in her diary, "a Happy New Year, I have
bestowed no new year's gifts, as yet. But have received one very
handsome one, Viz, the History of Joseph Andrews abreviated. In nice
Guilt and Flowers covers." Again, she put down an account of a day's
work, which she called "a piecemeal for in the first place I sew'd on
the bosom of unkle's shirt, and mended two pairs of gloves, mended for
the wash two handkerch'fs, (one cambrick) sewed on half a border of a
lawn apron of aunt's, read part of the xxist chapter of Exodous, & a
story in the Mother's Gift." Later she jotted in her book the loan of "3
of Cousin Charles' books to read, viz.--The puzzling Cap, the female
Orators & the history of Gaffer Two Shoes." Little Miss Winslow, though
only eleven years of age, was a typical child of the educated class in
Boston, and, according to her journal, also followed the English custom
of reading aloud "with Miss Winslow, the Generous Inconstant and Sir
Charles Grandison." It is to be regretted that her diary gives no
information as to how she liked such tales. We must anticipate some
years to find a comment in the Commonplace Book of a Connecticut girl.
Lucy Sheldon lived in Litchfield, a thriving town in eighteen hundred,
and did much reading for a child in those days. Upon "Sir Charles
Grandison" she confided to her book this offhand note: "Read in little
Grandison, which shows that, virtue always meets its reward and vice is
punished." The item is very suggestive of Goldsmith's success in
producing an abridgment that left the moral where it could not be
overlooked.

To discuss in detail this class of writings is not necessary, but a
glance at the story of "Clarissa" gives an instructive impression of
what old-fashioned children found zestful.

"Clarissa Harlowe" in its abridged form was first published by Newbery,
Senior. The book that lies before the writer was printed in seventeen
hundred and seventy-two by his son, Francis Newbery. In size five by
three and one-half inches, it is decked in once gay parti-colored heavy
Dutch paper, with a delicate gold tracery over all. This paper binding,
called by Anna Winslow "Flowery Guilt," can no longer be found in
Holland, the place of its manufacture; with sarsinet and other
fascinating materials it has vanished so completely that it exists only
on the faded bindings of such small books as "Clarissa."

The narrative itself is compressed from the original seven volumes into
one volume of one hundred and seventy-six closely printed pages, with
several full-page copper-plate illustrations. The plot, however, gains
rather than loses in this condensed form. The principal distressing
situations follow so fast one upon the other that the intensity of the
various episodes in the _affecting_ history is increased by the total
absence of all the "moving" letters found in the original work. The
"lordly husband and father," "the imperious son," "the proud ambitious
sister, Arabella," all combined to force the universally beloved and
unassuming Clarissa to marry the wealthy Mr. Somers, who was to be the
means of "the aggrandisement of the family." Clarissa, in this
perplexing situation, yielded in a desperate mood to "the earnest
entreaties of the artful Lovelace to accept the protection of the Ladies
of his family." Who these ladies were, to whom the designing Lovelace
conducted the agitated heroine, is set forth in unmistakable language;
and thereafter follow the treacherous behaviour exhibited by Lovelace,
the various attempts to escape by the unhappy beauty, and her final
exhaustion and death. An example of the style may be given in this
description of the death-scene:

"Clarissa had before remarked that all would be most conveniently over
in bed: The solemn, the most important moment approached, but her soul
ardently aspiring after immorality [immortality was of course the
author's intention], she imagined the time moved slowly; and with great
presence of mind, she gave orders in relation to her body, directing her
nurse and the maid of the house, as soon as she was cold, to put her
into her coffin. The Colonel [her cousin], after paying her another
visit, wrote to her uncle, Mr. John Harlowe, that they might save
themselves the trouble of having any further debates about
reconciliation; for before they could resolve, his dear cousin would
probably be no more....

"A day or two after, Mr. Belford [a friend] was sent for, and
immediately came; at his entrance he saw the Colonel kneeling by her
bed-side with the ladies right hand in both his, which his face covered
bathing it with tears, though she had just been endeavoring to comfort
him, in noble and elevated strains. On the opposite side of the bed was
seated Mrs. Lovick, who leaning against the bed's-head in a most
disconsolate manner, turned to him as soon as she saw him, crying, O Mr.
Belford, the dear lady! a heavy sigh not permitting her to say more.
Mrs. Smith [the landlady] was kneeling at the bed's feet with clasped
fingers and uplifted eyes, with tears trickling in large drops from her
cheeks, as if imploring help from the source of all comfort.

"The excellent lady had been silent a few minutes, and was thought
speechless, she moving her lips without uttering a word; but when Mrs.
Lovick, on Mr. Belford's approach, pronounced his name, O Mr. Belford!
cried she, in a faint inward voice, Now!--now!--I bless God, all will
soon be over--a few minutes will end this strife--and I shall be happy,"
etc. Her speech was long, although broken by dashes, and again she
resumed, "in a more faint and broken accent," the blessing and
directions. "She then sunk her head upon the pillow; and fainting away,
drew from them her hands." Once more she returned to consciousness,
"when waving her hand to him [Mr. Belford] and to her cousin, and bowing
her head to every one present, not omitting the nurse and maid servant,
with a faltering and inward voice, she added Bless--Bless--you all!--"

The illustrations, in comparison with others of the time, are very well
engraved, although the choice of subjects is somewhat singular. The last
one represents Clarissa's friend, "Miss Howe" (the loyal friend to whom
all the absent letters were addressed), "lamenting over the corpse of
Clarissa," who lies in the coffin ordered by the heroine "to be covered
with fine black cloth, and lined with white satin."

As one lays aside this faded duodecimo, the conviction is strong that
the texture of the life of an old-fashioned child was of coarser weave
than is pleasant to contemplate. How else could elders and guardians
have placed without scruple such books in the hands of children? The one
explanation is to be found in such diaries as that of Anna Winslow, who
quaintly put down in her book facts and occurrences denoting the
maturity already reached by a little miss of eleven.

FOOTNOTES:

[73-A] Winsor, _Memorial History of Boston_, vol. ii, p. xix.

[80-A] Cross, _Development of the English Novel_, pp. 38, 39.



CHAPTER IV

1776-1790



    The British King
    Lost States thirteen.
             _The New England Primer_,
                      Philadelphia, 1797

    The good little boy
    That will not tell a lie,
    Shall have a plum-pudding
    Or hot apple-pye.
             _Jacky Dandy's Delight_,
                      Worcester, 1786



CHAPTER IV

1776-1790

_Patriotic Printers and the American Newbery_


When John Mein was forced to close his London Book-Store in Boston and
to return to England in 1770, the children of that vicinity had need to
cherish their six-penny books with increased care. The shadow of
impending conflict was already deep upon the country when Mein departed;
and the events of the decade following seventeen hundred and
seventy-three--the year of the Boston Tea-Party--were too absorbing and
distressing for such trifling publications as toy-books to be more than
occasionally printed. Indeed, the history of the American Revolution is
so interwoven with tales of privation of the necessities of life that it
is astonishing that any printer was able to find ink or paper to produce
even the nursery classic "Goody Two-Shoes," printed by Robert Bell of
Philadelphia in seventeen hundred and seventy-six.

In New York the conditions were different. The Loyalists, as long as the
town was held by the British, continued to receive importations of goods
of all descriptions. Among the booksellers, Valentine Nutter from time
to time advertised children's as well as adults' books. Hugh Gaine
apparently continued to reprint Newbery's duodecimos; and, in a rather
newer shop, Roger and Berry's, in Hanover Square, near Gaine's, could be
had "Gilt Books, together with Stationary, Jewelry, a Collection of the
most books, bibles, prayer-books and patent medicines warranted
genuine."

Elsewhere in the colonies, as in Boston, the children went without new
books, although very occasionally such notices as the following were
inserted in the newspapers:

     _Just imported and to be Sold by Thomas Bradford_

     At his Book-Store in Market-Street, adjoining the Coffee-house

     _The following Books_ ...

     Little Histories for Children,

     Among which are, Book of Knowledge, Joe Miller's Jests, Jenny
       Twitchells' ditto, the Linnet, The Lark (being collections of best
       Songs), Robin Redbreast, Choice Spirits, Argalus & Parthenia,
       Valentine and Orson, Seven Wise Masters, Seven Wise Mistresses,
       Russell's seven Sermons, Death of Abel, French Convert, Art's
       Treasury, Complete Letter-Writer, Winter Evening Entertainment,
       Stories and Tales, Triumphs of Love, being a Collection of Short
       Stories, Joseph Andrews, Aesop's Fables, Scotch Rogue, Moll
       Flanders, Lives of Highwaymen, Lives of Pirates, Buccaneers of
       America, Robinson Crusoe, Twelve Caesars.

Such was the assortment of penny-dreadfuls and religious tracts offered
in seventeen hundred and eighty-one to the Philadelphia public for
juvenile reading. It is typical of the chapmen's library peddled about
the colonies long after they had become states. "Valentine and Orson,"
"The Seven Wise Masters," "The Seven Wise Mistresses," and "Winter
Evening Entertainment" are found in publishers' lists for many years,
and, in spite of frequent vulgarities, there was often no discrimination
between them and Newbery's far superior stories; but by eighteen hundred
and thirty almost all of these undesirable reprints had disappeared,
being buried under the quantities of Sunday-school tales held in high
favor at that date.

Meanwhile, the six years of struggle for liberty had rendered the
necessaries of life in many cases luxuries. As early as seventeen
hundred and seventy-five, during the siege of Boston, provisions and
articles of dress had reached such prices that we find thrifty Mrs. John
Adams, in Braintree, Massachusetts, foreseeing a worse condition,
writing her husband, who was one of the Council assembled in
Philadelphia, to send her, if possible, six thousand pins, even if they
should cost five pounds. Prices continued to rise and currency to
depreciate. In seventeen hundred and seventy-nine Mrs. Adams reported in
her letters to her husband that potatoes were ten dollars a bushel, and
writing-paper brought the same price per pound.

Yet family life went on in spite of these increasing difficulties. The
diaries and letters of such remarkable women as the patriotic Abigail
Adams, the Quakeress, Mrs. Eliza Drinker, the letters of the Loyalist
and exile, James Murray, the correspondence of Eliza Pinckney of
Charleston, and the reminiscences of a Whig family who were obliged to
leave New York upon the occupation of the town by British forces, abound
in those details of domestic life that give a many sided picture. Joys
derived from good news of dear ones, and family reunions; anxieties
occasioned by illness, or the armies' depredations; courageous efforts
on the part of mothers not to allow their children's education and
occupations to suffer unnecessarily; tragedies of death and ruined
homes--all are recorded with a "particularity" for which we are now
grateful to the writers.

It is through these writings, also, that we are allowed glimpses of the
enthusiasm for the cause of Liberty, or King, which was imbibed from the
parents by the smallest children. On the Whig side, patriotic mothers in
New England filled their sons with zeal for the cause of freedom and
with hatred of the tyranny of the Crown; while in the more southern
colonies the partisanship of the little ones was no less intense. "From
the constant topic of the present conversation," wrote the Rev. John J.
Zubly (a Swiss clergyman settled in South Carolina and Georgia), in an
address to the Earl of Dartmouth in seventeen hundred and
seventy-five,--"from the constant topic of the present conversation,
every child unborn will be impressed with the notion--it is slavery to
be bound at the will of another 'in all things whatsoever.' Every
mother's milk will convey a detestation of this maxim. Were your
lordship in America, you might see little ones acquainted with the word
of command before they can distinctly speak, and shouldering of a gun
before they are well able to walk."[92-A]

The children of the Tories had also their part in the struggle. To some
the property of parents was made over, to save it from confiscation in
the event of the success of the American cause. To others came the
bitterness of separation from parents, when they were sent across the
sea to unknown relatives; while again some faint manuscript record tells
of a motherless child brought from a comfortable home, no longer
tenable, to whatever quarters could be found within the British lines.
Fortunately, children usually adapt themselves easily to changed
conditions, and in the novelty and excitement of the life around them,
it is probable they soon forgot the luxuries of dolls and hobby-horses,
toy-books and drums, of former days.

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the sentiment of the period was
expressed in two or three editions of "The New England Primer." Already
in 1770 one had appeared containing as frontispiece a poor wood-cut of
John Hancock. In 1775 the enthusiasm over the appointment of George
Washington as commander-in-chief brought out another edition of the A B
C book with the same picture labelled "General Washington." The custom
of making one cut do duty in several representations was so well
understood that this method of introducing George Washington to the
infant reader naturally escaped remark.

Another primer appeared four years later, which was advertised by
Walters and Norman in the "Pennsylvania Evening Post" as "adorned with a
beautiful head of George Washington and other copper-plates." According
to Mr. Hildeburn, this small book had the honor of containing the first
portrait of Washington engraved in America. While such facts are of
trifling importance, they are, nevertheless, indications of the state of
intense feeling that existed at the time, and point the way by which the
children's books became nationalized.

In New England the very games of children centred in the events which
thrilled the country. Josiah Quincy remembered very well in after life,
how "at the age of five or six, astride my grandfather's cane and with
my little whip, I performed prodigies of valor, and more than once came
to my mother's knees declaring that I had driven the British out of
Boston." Afterwards at Phillips Academy, in Andover, between seventeen
hundred and seventy-eight and seventeen hundred and eighty-six, Josiah
and his schoolfellows "established it as a principle that every hoop,
sled, etc., should in some way bear _Thirteen_ marks as evidence of the
political character of the owner,--if which were wanting the articles
became fair prize and were condemned and forfeited without judge, jury,
or decree of admiralty."[94-A]

Other boys, such as John Quincy Adams, had tutors at home as a less
expensive means of education than the wartime price of forty dollars a
week for each child that good boarding-schools demanded. But at their
homes the children had plenty of opportunity to show their intense
enthusiasm for the cause of liberty. Years later, Mr. Adams wrote to a
Quaker friend:

"For the space of twelve months my mother with her infant children dwelt,
liable every hour of the day and of the night to be butchered in cold
blood, or taken and carried to Boston as hostages. My mother lived in
uninterrupted danger of being consumed with them all in a conflagration
kindled by a torch in the same hands which on the Seventeenth of June
[1775] lighted the fires of Charlestown."[94-B]

He was, of course, only one of many boys who saw from some height near
their homes the signs of battle, the fires of the enemy's camps, the
smoke rising from some farm fired by the British, or burned by its owner
to prevent their occupation of it. With hearts made to beat quickly by
the news that filtered through the lines, and heads made old by the
responsibility thrust upon them,--in the absence of fathers and older
brothers,--such boys as John Quincy Adams saw active service in the
capacity of post-riders bearing in their several districts the anxiously
awaited tidings from Congress or battlefield.

Fortunate indeed were the families whose homes were not disturbed by the
military operations. From Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, families
were sent hastily to the country until the progress of the war made it
possible to return to such comforts as had not been destroyed by the
British soldiers. The "Memoirs of Eliza Morton," afterward Mrs. Josiah
Quincy, but a child eight years of age in seventeen hundred and
seventy-six, gives a realistic account of the life of such Whig
refugees. Upon the occupation of New York by the British, her father, a
merchant of wealth, as riches were then reckoned, was obliged to burn
his warehouse to save it from English hands. Mr. Morton then gathered
together in the little country village of Basking Ridge, seven miles
from Morristown, New Jersey, such of his possessions as could be hastily
transported from the city. Among the books saved in this way were the
works of Thurston, Thomson, Lyttleton, and Goldsmith, and for the
children's benefit, "Dodsley's Collection of Poems," and "Pilgrim's
Progress." "This," wrote Mrs. Quincy, "was a great favorite; Mr.
Greatheart was in my opinion a hero, well able to help us all on our
way." During the exile from New York, as Eliza Morton grew up, she read
all these books, and years afterward told her grandchildren that while
she admired the works of Thurston, Thomson, and Lyttleton, "those of
Goldsmith were my chief delight. When my reading became afterward more
extensive I instinctively disliked the extravagant fiction which often
injures the youthful mind."

The war, however, was not allowed to interfere with the children's
education in this family. In company with other little exiles, they were
taught by a venerable old man until the evacuation of Philadelphia made
it possible to send the older children to Germantown, where a Mr. Leslie
had what was considered a fine school. The schoolroom walls were hung
with lists of texts of Scripture beginning with the same letter, and for
globes were substituted the schoolmaster's snuffbox and balls of yarn.
If these failed to impress a child with the correct notions concerning
the solar system, the children themselves were made to whirl around the
teacher.

In Basking Ridge the children had much excitement with the passing of
soldiers to Washington's headquarters in Morristown, and with watching
for "The Post" who carried the news between Philadelphia, Princeton, and
Morristown. "'The Post,' Mr. Martin," wrote Mrs. Quincy, "was an old man
who carried the mail, ... he was our constant medium of communication;
and always stopped at our house to refresh himself and horse, tell the
news, and bring packets. He used to wear a blue coat with yellow
buttons, a scarlet waistcoat, leathern small-clothes, blue yarn
stockings, and a red wig and cocked hat, which gave him a sort of
military appearance. He usually traveled in a sulky, but sometimes in a
chaise, or on horseback.... Mr. Martin also contrived to employ himself
in knitting coarse yarn stockings while driving or rather jogging along
the road, or when seated on his saddle-bags on horseback. He certainly
did not ride _post_, according to the present [1821] meaning of that
term."

Deprived like many other children of Newbery's peaceful biographies and
stories, the little Mortons' lives were too full of an intense daily
interest to feel the lack of new literature of this sort. Tales of the
campaigns told in letters to friends and neighbors were reëchoed in the
ballads and songs that formed part of the literary warfare waged by Whig
or Loyal partisans. Children of to-day sing so zestfully the popular
tunes of the moment, that it requires very little imagination to picture
the schoolboy of Revolutionary days shouting lustily verses from "The
Battle of the Kegs," and other rhymed stories of military incidents.
Such a ballad was "A Song for the Red Coats," written after the
successful campaign against Burgoyne, and beginning:

   "Come unto me, ye heroes,
    Whose hearts are true and bold,
    Who value more your honor,
    Than others do their gold!
    Give ear unto my story,
    And I the truth will tell,
    Concerning many a soldier,
    Who for his country fell."

Children, it has been said, are good haters. To the patriot boy and
girl, the opportunity to execrate Benedict Arnold was found in these
lines of a patriotic "ditty" concerning the fate of Major André:

   "When he was executed
    He looked both meek and mild;
    He looked upon the people,
    And pleasantly he smiled.
    It moved each eye to pity,
    Caused every heart to bleed;
    And every one wished him released--
    And _Arnold_ in his stead."[98-A]

Loyalist children had an almost equal supply of satirical verse to fling
back at neighbors' families, where in country districts some farms were
still occupied by sympathizers with Great Britain. A vigorous example of
this style of warfare is quoted by Mr. Tyler in his "Literature of the
American Revolution," and which, written in seventeen hundred and
seventy-six, is entitled "The Congress." It begins:

   "These hardy knaves and stupid fools,
    Some apish and pragmatic mules,
    Some servile acquiescing tools,--
    These, these compose the Congress!"[98-B]

Or, again, such taunts over the general poverty of the land and
character of the army as were made in a ballad called "The Rebels" by a
Loyalist officer:

   "With loud peals of laughter, your sides,
    Sirs, would crack,
    To see General Convict and Colonel Shoe-black,
    With their hunting-shirts and rifle-guns,
    See Cobblers and quacks, rebel priests and the like,
    Pettifoggers and barbers, with sword and with pike."

Those Loyalists who lived through this exciting period in America's
history bore their full share in the heavy personal misfortunes of their
political party. The hatred felt toward such colonials as were true to
the king has until recently hardly subsided sufficiently to permit any
sympathy with the hardships they suffered. Driven from their homes,
crowded together in those places occupied by the English, or exiled to
England or Halifax, these faithful subjects had also to undergo
separation of families perhaps never again united.

Such a Loyalist was James Murray. Forced to leave his daughter and
grandchildren in Boston with a sister, he took ship for Halifax to seek
a living. There, amid the pressing anxieties occasioned by this
separation, he strove to reëstablish himself, and sent from time to time
such articles as he felt were necessary for their welfare. Thus he
writes a memorandum of articles sent in seventeen hundred and eighty by
"Mr. Bean's Cartel to Miss Betsy Murray:--viz: Everlasting 4 yards;
binding 1 piece, Nankeen 4-7/8 yards. Of Gingham 2 gown patterns; 2
pairs red shoes from A.E.C. for boys, Jack and Ralph, a parcel--to Mrs.
Brigden, 1 pair silk shoes and some flowers--Arthur's Geographical
Grammar,--Locke on Education,--5 children's books," etc. And in return
he is informed that "Charlotte goes to dancing and writing school,
improves apace and grows tall. Betsy and Charles are much better but not
well. The rest of the children are in good health, desiring their duty
to their Uncle and Aunt Inman, and thanks for their cake and gloves."

To such families the end of the war meant either the necessity for
making permanent their residence in the British dominion, or of bearing
both outspoken and silent scorn in the new Republic.

For the Americans the peace of Yorktown brought joy, but new beginnings
had also to be made. Farms had been laid waste, or had suffered from
lack of men to cultivate them; industries were almost at a standstill
from want of material and laborers. Still the people had the splendid
compensation of freedom with victory, and men went sturdily back to
their homes to take up as far as possible their various occupations.

An example of the way in which business undertaken before the war was
rapidly resumed, or increased, is afforded by the revival of prosperity
for the booksellers in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Renewals of
orders to London agents were speedily made, for the Americans still looked
to England for their intellectual needs. In Philadelphia--a town of forty
thousand inhabitants in seventeen hundred and eighty-three--among the
principal booksellers and printers were Thomas Bradford, Mr. Woodhouse,
Mr. Oswald, Mr. Pritchard,--who had established a circulating
library,--Robert Aitkin, Mr. Liddon, Mr. Dunlap, Mr. Rice, William and
David Hall, Benjamin Bache, J. Crukshank, and Robert Bell. Bell had
undoubtedly the largest bookstore, but seems not to have been altogether
popular, if an allusion in "The Philadelphiad" is to be credited. This
"New Picture of the City" was anonymously published in seventeen hundred
and eighty-four, and described, among other well-known places, Robert
Bell's book-shop:

    BELL'S BOOK STORE

    Just by St. Paul's where dry divines rehearse,
    Bell keeps his store for vending prose and verse,
    And books that's neither ... for no age nor clime,
    Lame languid prose begot on hobb'ling rhyme.
    Here authors meet who ne'er a spring have got,
    The poet, player, doctor, wit and sot,
    Smart politicians wrangling here are seen,
    Condemning Jeffries or indulging spleen.

In 1776 Bell's facilities for printing had enabled him to produce an
edition of "Little Goody Two-Shoes," which seems likely to have been the
only story-book printed during the troubled years of the Revolution.
Besides this, Bell printed in 1777 "Aesop's Fables," as did also Robert
Aitkin; and J. Crukshank had issued during the war an A B C book,
written by the old schoolmaster, A. Benezet, who had drilled many a
Philadelphian in his letters. After the Revolution Benjamin Bache
apparently printed children's books in considerable quantities, and
orders were sent by other firms to England for juvenile reading-matter.

New England also has records of the sale of these small books in several
towns soon after peace was established. John Carter, "at Shakespeare's
Head," in Providence, announced by a broadside issued in November,
seventeen hundred and eighty-three, that he had a large assortment of
stationers' wares, and included in his list "Gilt Books for _Children_,"
among which were most of Newbery's publications. In Hartford,
Connecticut, where there had been a good press since seventeen hundred
and sixty-four, "The Children's Magazine" was reprinted in seventeen
hundred and eighty-nine. Its preposterous titles are noteworthy, since
it is probable that this was the first attempt at periodical literature
made for young people in America. One number contains:

     An easy Introduction to Geography.
     The Schoolboy addressed to the Editors.
     Moral Tales continued.
       Tale VIII. The Jealous Wife.
     The Affectionate Sisters.
     Familiar Letters on Various Subjects,--Continued....
       Letter V from _Phillis Flowerdale_ to _Miss Truelove_.
       Letter VI from _Miss Truelove_ to _Phillis Flowerdale_.
     Poetry.--The Sweets of May.
     The Cottage Retirement.
     Advice to the Fair.
     The Contented Cottager.
     The Tear.
     The Honest Heart.

The autograph of Eben Holt makes the contents of the magazine ludicrous
as subjects of interest to a boy But having nothing better, Eben most
surely read it from cover to cover.

In Charleston, South Carolina, Robert Wells imported the books read by
the members of the various branches of the Ravenel, Pinckney, Prioleau,
Drayton, and other families. Boston supplied the juvenile public largely
through E. Battelle and Thomas Andrews, who were the agents for Isaiah
Thomas, the American Newbery.

An account of the work of this remarkable printer of Worcester,
Massachusetts, has been given in Dr. Charles L. Nichols's "Bibliography
of Worcester." Thomas's publications ranked as among the very best of
the last quarter of the eighteenth century, and were sought by
book-dealers in the various states. At one time he had sixteen presses,
seven of which were in Worcester. He had also four bookstores in various
towns of Massachusetts, one in Concord, New Hampshire, one in Baltimore,
and one in Albany.

In 1761, at the age of ten, Thomas had set up as his "'Prentice's
Token," a primer issued by A. Barclay in Cornhill, Boston, entitled "Tom
Thumb's Play-Book, To Teach Children their letters as soon as they can
speak." Although this primer was issued by Barclay, Thomas had already
served four years in a printer's office, for according to his own
statement he had been sent at the age of six to learn his trade of
Zechariah Fowle. Here, as 'prentice, he may have helped to set up the
stories of the "Holy Jesus" and the "New Gift," and upon the cutting of
their rude illustrations perhaps took his first lessons in engraving.
For we know that by seventeen hundred and sixty-four he did fairly good
work upon the "Book of Knowledge" from the press of the old printer.
Upon the fly-leaf of a copy of this owned by the American Antiquarian
Society, founded by Thomas, is the statement in the Worcester printer's
handwriting, "Printed and cuts engraved by I. Thomas then 13 years of
age for Z. Fowle when I.T. was his Apprentice: bad as the cuts are
executed, there was not at that time an artist in Boston who could have
done them much better. Some time before, and soon after there were
better engravers in Boston." These cuts, especially the frontispiece
representing a boy with a spy-glass and globe, and with a sextant at his
feet, are far from poor work for a lad of thirteen. "The battered
dictionary," says Dr. Nichols, "and the ink-stained Bible which he found
in Fowle's office started him in his career, and the printing-press,
together with an invincible determination to excel in his calling,
carried him onward, until he stands to-day with Franklin and
Baskerville, a type of the man who with few educational advantages
succeeds because he loves his art for his art's sake."

In supplying to American children a home-made library, Thomas, although
he did no really original work for children, such as his English
prototype, Newbery, had accomplished, yet had a motive which was not
altogether selfish and pecuniary. The prejudice against anything of
British manufacture was especially strong in the vicinity of Boston; and
it was an altogether natural expression of this spirit that impelled the
Worcester printer, as soon as his business was well established, to
begin to reprint the various little histories. These reprints were all
pirated from Newbery and his successors, Newbery and Carnan; but they
compare most favorably with them, and so far surpassed the work of any
other American printer of children's books (except possibly those of
Bache in Philadelphia) that his work demands more than a passing
mention.

Beginning, like most printers, with the production of a primer in
seventeen hundred and eighty-four, by seventeen hundred and eighty-six
Thomas was well under way in his work for children. In that year at
least eleven little books bore his imprint and were sent to his Boston
agents to be sold. In the "Worcester Magazine" for June, 1786, Thomas
addressed an "Advertisement to Booksellers," as follows: "A large
assortment of all the various sizes of CHILDREN'S Books, known
by the name of Newbery's Little Books for Children, are now republished
by I. Thomas in Worcester, Massachusetts. They are all done excellently
in his English Method, and it is supposed the paper, printing, cuts, and
binding are in every way equal to those imported from England. As the
Subscriber has been at great expense to carry on this particular branch
of Printing extensively, he hopes to meet with encouragement from the
Booksellers in the United States."

Evidently he did meet with great encouragement from parents as well as
booksellers; and it is suspected that the best printed books bearing
imprints of other booksellers were often printed in Worcester and bound
according to the taste and facilities of the dealer. That this practice
of reprinting the title-page and rebinding was customary, a letter from
Franklin to his nephew in Boston gives indisputable evidence:

     Philada. Nov. 26, 1788.

     LOVING COUSIN:

     I have lately set up one of my grand-children, Benja. F. Bache, as a
     Printer here, and he has printed some very pretty little Books for
     Children. By the Sloop Friendship, Capt. Stutson, I have sent a Box
     address'd to you, containing 150 of each volume, in Sheets, which I
     request you would, according to your wonted Goodness, put in a way
     of being dispos'd of for the Benefit of my dear Sister. They are
     sold here, bound in marbled Paper at 1 S. a Volume; but I should
     suppose it best, if it may be done, to sell the whole to some
     Stationer, at once, unbound as they are; in which case I imagine
     that half a Dollar a Quire may be thought a reasonable Price,
     allowing usual Credit if necessary.

     My Love to your Family, & believe me ever,

     Your affectionate Uncle
          B. FRANKLIN.

     JONA. WILLIAMS, ESQ.

Franklin's reference to the Philadelphia manner of binding toy-books in
marbled paper indicates that this home-made product was already
displacing the attractive imported gilt embossed and parti-colored
covers used by Thomas, who seems never to have adopted this ugly dress
for his juvenile publications. As the demand for his wares increased,
Thomas set up other volumes from Newbery's stock, until by seventeen
hundred and eighty-seven he had reproduced practically every item for
his increasing trade. It was his custom to include in many of these
books a Catalogue of the various tales for sale, and in "The Picture
Exhibition" we find a list of fifty-two stories to be sold for prices
varying from six pence to a shilling and a half.

These books may be divided into several classes, all imitations of the
English adult literature then in vogue. The alphabets and primers, such
as the "Little Lottery Book," "Christmas Box," and "Tom Thumb's
Play-thing," are outside the limits of the present subject, since they
were written primarily to instruct; and while it is often difficult to
draw the line where amusement begins and instruction sinks to the
background, the title-pages can usually be taken as evidence at least of
the author's intention. These other books, however, fall naturally under
the heads of jest and puzzle books, nature stories, fables, rhymes,
novels, and stories--all prototypes of the nursery literature of to-day.

The jest and joke books published by Thomas numbered, as far as is known
to the writer, only five. Their titles seem to offer a feast of fun
unfulfilled by the contents. "Be Merry & Wise, or the Cream of the Jests
and the Marrow of Maxims," by Tommy Trapwit, contained concentrated
extracts of wisdom, and jokes such as were current among adults. The
children for whom they were meant were accustomed to nothing more
facetious than the following jest: "An arch wag said, _Taylors_ were
like _Woodcocks_ for they got their substance by their long bills."
Perhaps they understood also the point in this: "A certain lord had a
termagant wife, and at the same time a chaplain that was a tolerable
poet, whom his lordship desired to write a copy of verses upon a shrew.
I can't imagine, said the chaplain, why your lordship should want a
copy, who has so good an original." Other witticisms are not quotable.

[Illustration: _A page from a Catalogue of Children's Books printed by
Isaiah Thomas_]

Conundrums played their part in the eighteenth century juvenile life,
much as they do to-day. These were to be found in "A Bag of Nuts ready
Cracked," and "The Big and Little Puzzling Caps." "Food for the Mind"
was the solemn title of another riddle-book, whose conundrums are very
serious matters. Riddle XIV of the "Puzzling Cap" is typical of its
rather dreary contents:

   "There was a man bespoke a thing,
    Which when the maker home did bring,
    This same maker did refuse it;
    He who bespoke it did not use it
    And he who had it did not know
    Whether he had it, yea or no."

This was a nut also "ready cracked" by the answer reproduced in the
illustration.

Nature stories were attempted under the titles of "The Natural History
of Four Footed Beasts," "Jacky Dandy's Delight; or the History of Birds
and Beasts in Verse and Prose," "Mr. Telltruth's Natural History of
Birds," and "Tommy Trip's History of Beasts and Birds." All these were
written after Oliver Goldsmith's "Animated Nature" had won its way into
great popularity. As a consequence of the favorable impression this book
had made, Goldsmith is supposed to have been asked by Newbery to try his
hand upon a juvenile natural history.

Possibly it was as a result of Newbery's request that we have the
anonymous "Jacky Dandy's Delight" and "Tommy Trip's History of Beasts
and Birds." The former appears to be a good example of Goldsmith's
facility for amusing himself when doing hack-work for Newbery. How like
Goldsmith's manner is this description of a monkey:

    "The monkey mischievous
     Like a naughty boy looks;
     Who plagues all his friends,
     And regards not his books.

     "He is an active, pert, busy animal, who mimicks human actions so
     well that some think him rational. The Indians say, he can speak if
     he pleases, but will not lest he should be set to work. Herein he
     resembles those naughty little boys who will not learn A, lest they
     should be obliged to learn B, too. He is a native of warm countries,
     and a useless beast in this part of the world; so I shall leave him
     to speak of another that is more bulky, and comes from cold
     countries: I mean the Bear."

To poke fun in an offhand manner at little boys and girls seemed to have
been the only conception of humor to be found in the children's books of
the period, if we except the "Jests" and the attempts made in a
ponderous manner on the title-pages. The title of "The Picture
Exhibition; containing the Original Drawings of Eighteen Disciples....
Published under the Inspection of Mr. Peter Paul Rubens,..." is
evidently one of Newbery's efforts to be facetious. To the author, the
pretence that the pictures were by "Disciples of Peter Paul Rubens"
evidently conveyed the same idea of wit that "Punch" has at times
represented to others of a later century.

Fables have always been a mine of interest to young folks, and were
interspersed liberally with all moral tales, but "Entertaining Fables"
bears upon its title-page a suggestion that the children's old friend,
"Aesop," appeared in a new dress.

Another series of books contained the much abridged novels written for
the older people. "Peregrine Pickle" and "Roderick Random" were both
reprinted by Isaiah Thomas as early as seventeen hundred and
eighty-eight. These tales of adventure seem to have had their small
reflections in such stories as "The Adventures of a Pincushion," and
"The Adventures of a Peg-top," by Dorothy Kilner, an Englishwoman.
Mention has already been made of "Pamela" and "Clarissa" in condensed
form. These were books of over two hundred pages; but most of the
toy-books were limited to less than one hundred. A remarkable instance
of the pith of a long plot put into small compass was "The History of
Tom Jones." A dog-eared copy of such an edition of "Tom Jones" is still
in existence. Its flowery Dutch binding covers only thirty-one pages,
four inches long, with a frontispiece and five wood-cut illustrations.
In so small a space no detailed account of the life of the hero is to be
expected; nevertheless, the first paragraph introduces Tom as no
ordinary foundling. Mr. Allworthy finds the infant in his bed one
evening and rings up his housekeeper Mrs. Deborah Wilkins. "She being a
strict observer of decency was exceedingly alarmed, on entering her
master's room, to find him undressed, but more so on his presenting her
with the child, which he ordered immediately to be taken care of." The
story proceeds--with little punctuation to enable the reader to take
breath--to tell how the infant is named, and how Mr. Allworthy's nephew,
Master Bilfil, is also brought under that generous and respectable
gentleman's protection. Tommy turned out "good," as Mr. Allworthy had
hoped when he assumed charge of him; and therefore eventually inherited
riches and gained the hand of Miss Sophia Western, with whom he rode
about the country in their "Coach and Six."

Of the stories in this juvenile library, the names, at least, of "Giles
Gingerbread," "Little King Pippin," and "Goody Two-Shoes" have been
handed down through various generations. One hundred years ago every
child knew that "Little King Pippin" attained his glorious end by
attention to his books in the beginning of his career; that "Giles
Gingerbread" first learned his alphabet from gingerbread letters, and
later obtained the patronage of a fine gentleman by spelling "apple-pye"
correctly. Thus did his digestion prove of material assistance in mental
gymnastics.

[Illustration: _Illustration of Riddle XIV in "The Puzzling-Cap"_]

But the nursery favorite was undoubtedly "Margery, or Little Goody
Two-Shoes." She was introduced to the reader in her "state of rags and
care," from which she gradually emerged in the chapters entitled, "How
and about Little Margery and her Brother;" "How Little Margery
obtained the name of Goody Two-Shoes;" "How she became a Tutoress" to
the farmers' families in which she taught spelling by a game; and how
they all sang the "Cuz's Chorus" in the intervals between the spelling
lesson and the composition of sentences like this: "I pray God to bless
the whole country, and all our friends and all our enemies." Like the
usual heroine of eighteenth century fiction, she married a title, and as
Lady Jones was the Lady Bountiful of the district. From these tales it
is clear that piety as the chief end of the story-book child has been
succeeded by learning as the desideratum; yet morality is still pushed
into evidence, and the American mother undoubtedly translated the
ethical sign-boards along the progress of the tale into Biblical
admonitions.

All the books were didactic in the extreme. A series of four, called
"The Mother's," "Father's," "Sister's," and "Brother's Gifts," is a good
example of this didactic method of story-telling. "The Father's Gift"
has lessons in spelling preceded by these lines:

   "Let me not join with those in Play,
    Who fibs and stories tell,
    I with my Book will spend the Day,
    And not with such Boys dwell.
    For one rude Boy will spoil a score
    As I have oft been told;
    And one bad sheep, in Time, is sure
    To injure all the Fold."

"The Mother's Gift" was confined largely to the same instructive field,
but had one or two stories which conformed to the sentiment of the
author of "The Adventures of a Pincushion," who stated her motive to be
"That of providing the young reader with a few pages which should be
innocent of corrupting if they did not amuse."

"The Brother's" and "Sister's Gifts," however, adopt a different plan of
instruction. In "The Brother's Gift" we find a brother solicitous
concerning his sister's education: "Miss Kitty Bland was apt, forward and
headstrong; and had it not been for the care of her brother, Billy, would
have probably witnessed all the disadvantages of a modern education"!
Upon Kitty's return from boarding-school, "she could neither read, nor
sew, nor write grammatically, dancing stiff and awkward, her musick
inelegant, and everything she did bordered strongly on affectation." Here
was a large field for reformation for Billy to effect. He had no doubts
as to what method to pursue. She was desired to make him twelve shirts,
and when the first one was presented to him, "he was astonished to find
her lacking in so useful a female accomplishment." Exemplary conversation
produced such results that the rest of the garments were satisfactory to
the critical Billy, who, "as a mark of approbation made her a present of
a fine pair of stays."

"The Sister's Gift" presents an opposite picture. In this case it is
Master Courtley who, a "youth of Folly and Idleness," received large
doses of advice from his sister. This counsel was so efficient with
Billy's sensitive nature that before the story ends, "he wept bitterly,
and declared to his sister that she had painted the enormity of his
vices in such striking colors, that they shocked him in the greatest
degree; and promised ever after to be as remarkable for generosity,
compassion and every other virtue as he had hitherto been for cruelty,
forwardness and ill-nature." Virtue in this instance was its own reward,
as Billy received no gift in recognition of his changed habits.

To the modern lover of children such tales seem strangely ill-suited to
the childish mind, losing, as they do, all tenderness in the effort of
the authors (so often confided to parents in the preface) "to express
their sentiments with propriety." Such criticism of the style and matter
of these early attempts to write for little people was probably not made
by either infant or adult readers of that old-time public. The children
read what was placed before them as intellectual food, plain and
sweetened, as unconcernedly as they ate the food upon their plates at
meal-time. That their own language was the formal one of the period is
shown by such letters as the following one from Mary Wilder, who had
just read "The Mother's Gift:"

     Lancaster, October 9th, 1789.

     HOND. MADM:

     Your goodness to me I cannot express. My mind is continually crowded
     with your kindness. If your goodness could be rewarded, I hope God
     will repay you. If you remember, some time ago I read a story in
     "The Mother's Gift," but I hope I shall never resemble Miss Gonson.
     O Dear! What a thing it is to disobey one's parents. I have one of
     the best Masters. He gave me a sheet of paper this morning. I hope
     Uncle Flagg will come up. I am quite tired of looking for Betsy, but
     I hope she will come. When school is done keeping, I shall come to
     Sudbury. What a fine book Mrs. Chapone's Letters is: My time grows
     short and I must make my letter short.

     Your dutiful daughter,
          P.W.

Nursery rhymes and jingles of these present days have all descended from
song-books of the eighteenth century, entitled "Little Robin Red
Breast," "A Poetical Description of Song Birds," "Tommy Thumb's
Song-Book," and the famous "Melodies of Mother Goose," whose name is
happily not yet relegated to the days of long ago. Two extracts from the
"Poetical Description of Song Birds" will be sufficient to show how
foreign to the birds familiar to American children were the
descriptions:

    THE BULLFINCH

    This lovely bird is charming to the sight:
    The back is glossy blue, the belly white,
    A jetty black shines on his neck and head;
    His breast is flaming with a beauteous red.

    THE TWITE

    Green like the Linnet it appears to sight,
    And like the Linnet sings from morn till night.
    A reddish spot upon his rump is seen,
    Short is his bill, his feathers always clean:
    When other singing birds are dull or nice,
    To sing again the merry Twites entice.

Reflections of the prevailing taste of grown people for biography are
suggested in three little books, of two of which the author was Mrs.
Pilkington, who had already written several successful stories for young
ladies. Her "Biography for Girls" contains various novelettes, in each
of which the heroine lives the conventional life and dies the
conventional death of the period, and receives a laudatory epitaph. They
are remarkable only as being devoid of any interest. Her "Biography for
Boys" does not appear to have attained the same popularity as that for
girls. A third book, "The Juvenile Biographers," containing the "Lives
of Little Masters and Misses," is representative of the changes made in
many books by the printer to cater to that pride in the young Republic
so manifest in all local literary productions. In one biography we note
a Representative to the Massachusetts Assembly:

"As Master Sammy had always been a very sober and careful child, and
very attentive to his Books, it is no wonder that he proved, in the End,
to be an excellent Scholar.

"Accordingly, when he had reached the age of fourteen, Mr. William
Goodall, a wealthy merchant in the city of Boston, took him into his
counting house, in order to bring him up in the merchantile Way, and
thereby make his Fortune.

"This was a sad Stroke to his poor Sister Nancy, who having lost both
her Papa and Mama, was now likely to lose her Brother likewise; but
Sammy did all he could to appease her, and assured her, that he would
spend all his leisure Time with her. This he most punctually performed,
and never were Brother and Sister as happy in each other's company as
they were.

"Mr. William Goodall was highly satisfied with Sammy's Behaviour, and
dying much about the Time that Miss Nancy was married to the Gentleman,
he left all his business to Sammy, together with a large Capital to
carry it on. So much is Mr. Careful esteemed (for we must now no longer
call him Master Sammy) that he was chosen in the late General Election,
Representative in the General Court, for one of the first Towns in New
England, without the least expense to himself. We here see what are the
Effects of Good Behaviour."

This adaptation of the English tale to the surroundings of the American
child is often found in Thomas's reprints, and naturally, owing to his
enthusiasm over the recent change in the form of government, is made
wholly by political references. Therefore while the lark and the linnet
still sang in songs and the cowslips were scattered throughout the
nature descriptions, Master Friendly no longer rode in the Lord Mayor's
coach, but was seated as a Congressman in a sedan chair, "and he
looked--he looked--I do not know what he looked like, but everybody was
in love with him." The engraver as well as the biographer of the
recently made Representative was evidently at a loss as to his
appearance, as the four dots indicating the young gentleman's features
give but a blank look perhaps intended to denote amazement at his
election.

The illustrations of Thomas's toy reprints should not be overlooked. The
Worcester printer seems to have rewritten the "Introduction" to "Goody
Two-Shoes," and at the end he affixed a "Letter from the Printer which
he desires may be inserted.

     SIR: I have come with your copy, and so you may return it
     to the Vatican, if you please; and pray tell Mr. Angelo to brush up
     his cuts; that in the next edition they may give us a good
     impression."

This apology for the character of the illustrations serves as an
introduction to a most interesting subject of conjecture as to the
making of the cuts, and particularly as to the engraving of the
frontispiece in "Goody Two-Shoes."

[Illustration: _Goody Twoshoes._]

It will be remembered that Isaiah Thomas in his advertisement to
booksellers had expressly mentioned the great expense he had incurred in
bringing out the juvenile books in "the English method." But Mr. Edwin
Pearson, in his delightful discussion of "Banbury Chap-Books," has also
stated that the wood-cut frontispiece in the first American edition of
"Goody Two-Shoes," printed by Thomas, was engraved by Bewick, the famous
English illustrator. A comparison of the reproduction of the Bewick
engraving in Mr. Pearson's book with the frontispiece in Thomas's
edition shows so much difference that it is a matter of regret that Mr.
Pearson withheld his authority for attributing to Bewick the
representation of Margery Two-Shoes. Besides the inference from Thomas's
letter that the poor cuts would be improved before another edition
should be printed, there are several points to be observed in comparing
the cuts. In the first place, the execution in the Thomas cut suggests a
different hand in the use of the tools; again, the reversed position of
the figure of "Goody" indicates a copy of the English original. Also the
expression of Thomas's heroine, although slightly mincing, is less
distressed than the British dame's, to say nothing of the variation in
the fashion of the gowns. And such details as the replacing of the
English landscape by the spire of a meeting-house in the distance seem
to confirm the impression that the drawing was made after, but not by
Bewick. In the cuts scattered throughout the text the same difference in
execution and portrayal of the little schoolmistress is noticeable.
Margery, upon her rounds to teach the farmers' children to spell such
words as "plumb-pudding" "(and who can suppose a better?)," presents her
full face in the Newbery edition, and but a three-quarter view to her
American admirers.

These facts, together with the knowledge that Isaiah Thomas was a fair
engraver himself, make it possible that his apology for the first
impression of the tiny classic was for his own engraving, which he
thought to better.

Thomas not only copied and pirated Newbery's juvenile histories, but he
adopted his method of advertising by insertions in the text of these
tales. For example, in "The Travels of Robinson Crusoe, Written by
Himself," the little reader was told, "If you learn this Book well and
are good, you can buy a larger and more complete History of Mr. Crusoe
at your friend the Bookseller's in Worcester near the Court House." In
"The Mother's Gift," there is described well-brought-up Miss Nugent
displaying to ill-bred Miss Jones, "a pretty large collection of books
neatly bound and nicely kept," all to be had of Mr. Thomas; and again
Mr. Careful, in "Virtue and Vice," "presented at Christmas time to the
sons and daughters of his friends, little Gilt Books to read, such as
are sold at Mr. Thomas' near the Court House in Worcester."

Thomas and his son continued to send out these toy-books until their gay
bindings faded away before the novelty of the printed paper covers of
the nineteenth century.

FOOTNOTES:

[92-A] Tyler, _Literary History of the American Revolution_, vol. i, p.
485.

[94-A] _Life of Josiah Quincy_, p. 27. Boston, 1866.

[94-B] Earle, _Child Life in Colonial Days_, p. 171.

[98-A] Tyler, _Literature of the American Revolution_, vol. ii, p. 182.

[98-B] _Ibid._, p. 156.



CHAPTER V

1790-1800



    By Washington
    Great deeds were done.
             _The New England Primer_,
                      New York, 1794

    Line after line their wisdom flows
    Page after page repeating.
              T.G. HAKE



CHAPTER V

1790-1800

_The Child and his Book at the End of the Century_


Any attempt to trace the slow development of the American child's story
of the nineteenth century must inevitably be made through the
school-books written during the previous one. Before this, English books
had been adapted to the American trade. But now the continued interest
in education produced text-books pervaded with the American spirit. They
cannot, therefore, be ignored as sporadically in the springtime of the
young Republic, they, like crocuses, thrust forward in the different
states their blue and yellow covers.

Next to clergymen, schoolmasters received the veneration of the people,
for learning and godliness went hand in hand. It was the schoolmaster
who reinforced the efforts of the parents to make good Americans of the
young folks, by compiling text-books which outsold the English ones
hitherto used. In the new editions of the old "New England Primer,"
laudatory verse about General Washington replaced the alphabet rhyme:

   "Whales in the Sea
    God's Voice obey."

Proud parents thereafter heard their infants lisp:

   "By Washington
    Great deeds were done."

For older pupils Noah Webster's speller almost superseded Dilworth's,
and his "Little Readers' Assistant" became the First Reader of many
children. Webster as schoolmaster in a country district prepared this
book for his own scholars. It was printed in Hartford in seventeen
hundred and ninety, and contained a list of subjects suitable for
farmers' children:

  I. A number of Stories mostly taken from the history of
     America, and adorned with Cuts.

 II. Rudiments of English Grammar.

III. The Federal Catechism, being a short and easy explanation
     of the Constitution of the United States.

 IV. General principles of Government and Commerce.

  V. Farmers' Catechism containing plain rules of husbandry.

Bennington, Vermont, contributed in "The Little Scholar's Pretty Pocket
Companion in Rhyme and Verse," this indirect allusion to political
affairs:

   "'Twas a toy of royalty, of late almost forgot,
    'Tis said she represented France
    On English Monarchies arms,
    But lately broke his chains by chance
    And widely spread alarms."

But the most naïve attempt to inculcate patriotism together with a
lesson in obedience is found in "The Child's Instructor," published
about seventeen hundred and ninety-one, and written by a Philadelphian.
Philadelphia had become the residence of the President--a fact that may
account for one of the stories in this book about an infant prodigy
called Billy. "The child at five years of age was always good and
obedient, and prone to make such a remark as, 'If you would be wise you
must always attend to your vowels and consonants.' When General
Washington came to town Billy's mama asked him to say a speech to the
ladies, and he began, 'Americans! place constantly before your eyes, the
deplorable scenes of your servitude, and the enchanting picture of your
deliverance. Begin with the infant in his cradle; let the first word he
lisps be _Washington_.' The ladies were all delighted to hear Billy
speak so well. One said he should be a lawyer, and another said he
should be President of the United States. But Billy said he could not be
either unless his mama gave him leave."[123-A]

Another Philadelphian attempted to embody political sentiment in "A
Tale--The Political Balance; or, The Fate of Britain and America
Compared." This juvenile has long since disappeared, but it was
advertised by its printer, Francis Bailey, in seventeen hundred and
ninety-two, together with "The History of the Little Boy found under a
Haycock," and several other books for children. One year later a
"History of the American Revolution" for children was also printed in
Philadelphia for the generation who had been born since the war had
ended. This was written in the Biblical phraseology introduced and made
popular by Franklin in his famous "Parable against Persecution."

This enthusiasm over the results of the late war and scorn for the
defeated English sometimes indeed cropped out in the Newbery reprints.
An edition (1796) of "Goody Two-Shoes" contains this footnote in
reference to the tyranny of the English landlord over Goody's father:

_"Such is the state of things in Britain. AMERICANS prize your liberty,
guard your rights and be happy._"[123-B]

In this last decade of the century that had made a nation of the
colonial commonwealths, the prosperity of the country enabled more
printers to pirate the generally approved Newbery library. Samuel Hall
in Boston, with a shop near the court-house, printed them all, using at
times the dainty covers of flowery Dutch or gilt paper, and again
another style of binding occasionally used in England. "The Death and
Burial of Cock Robin," for instance, has a quaint red and gilt cover,
which according to Mr. Charles Welsh was made by stamping paper with
dies originally used for printing old German playing-cards. He says: "To
find such a cover can only be accounted for by the innocence of the
purchasers as to the appearance of his Satanic Majesty's picture cards
and hence [they] did not recognize them." In one corner of the book
cover is impressed the single word "Münch," which stamps this paper as
"made in Germany." Hall himself was probably as ignorant of the original
purpose of the picture as the unsuspecting purchaser, who would
cheerfully have burned it rather than see such an instrument of the
Devil in the hands of its owner, little Sally Barnes.

[Illustration: Frontispiece.
Sr. Walter Raleigh and his man.]

Of Samuel Hall's reprints from the popular English publications, "Little
Truths" was in all probability one of the most salable. So few books
contained any information about America that one of these two volumes
may be regarded as of particular interest to the young generation of his
time. The author of "Little Truths," William Darton, a Quaker publisher
in London, does not divulge from what source he gleaned his knowledge.
His information concerning Americans is of that misty description
that confuses Indians ("native Americans") with people of Spanish and
English descent. The usual "Introduction" states that "The author has
chose a method after the manner of conversations between children and
their instructor," and the dialogue is indicated by printing the
children's observations in italics. These volumes were issued for twenty
years after they were introduced by Hall, and those of an eighteen
hundred Philadelphia edition are bound separately. Number one is in blue
paper with copper-plate pictures on both covers. This volume gives
information regarding farm produce, live-stock, and about birds quite
unfamiliar to American children. But the second volume, in white covers,
introduces the story of Sir Walter Raleigh and his pipe-smoking
incident, made very realistic in the copper-plate frontispiece. The
children's question, "_Did Sir Walter Raleigh find out the virtues of
tobacco?_" affords an excellent opportunity for a discourse upon smoking
and snuff-taking. These remarks conclude with this prosaic statement:
"Hundreds of sensible people have fell into these customs from example;
and, when they would have left them off, found it a very great
difficulty." Next comes a lesson upon the growth of tobacco leading up
to a short account of the slave-trade, already a subject of differing
opinion in the United States, as well as in England. Of further interest
to small Americans was a short tale of the discovery of this country.
Perhaps to most children their first book-knowledge of this event came
from the pages of "Little Truths."

Hall's books were not all so proper for the amusement of young folks. A
perusal of "Capt. Gulliver's Adventures" leaves one in no doubt as to
the reason that so many of the old-fashioned mothers preferred to keep
such tales out of children's hands, and to read over and over again the
adventures of the Pilgrim, Christian. Mrs. Eliza Drinker of Philadelphia
in seventeen hundred and ninety-six was re-reading for the third time
"Pilgrim's Progress," which she considered a "generally approved book,"
although then "ridiculed by many." The "Legacy to Children" Mrs. Drinker
also read aloud to her grandchildren, having herself "wept over it
between fifty and sixty years ago, as did my grandchildren when it was
read to them. She, Hannah Hill, died in 1714, and ye book was printed in
1714 by Andrew Bradford."

But Mrs. Drinker's grandchildren had another book very different from
the pious sayings of the dying Hannah. This contained "64 little stories
and as many pictures drawn and written by Nancy Skyrin," the mother of
some of the children. P. Widdows had bound the stories in gilt paper,
and it was so prized by the family that the grandmother thought the fact
of the recovery of the book, after it was supposed to have been
irretrievably lost, worthy of an entry in her journal. Careful inquiry
among the descendants of Mrs. Drinker has led to the belief that these
stories were read out of existence many years ago. What they were about
can only be imagined. Perhaps they were incidents in the lives of the
same children who cried over the pathetic morbidity of Hannah's dying
words; or possibly rhymes and verses about school and play hours of
little Philadelphians; with pictures showing bait-the-bear, trap-ball,
and other sports of days long since passed away, as well as "I Spie
Hi" and marbles, familiar still to boys and girls.

[Illustration: _Foot Ball_]

From the fact that these stories were written for the author's own
children, another book, composed less than a century before, is brought
to mind. Comparison of even the meagre description of Mrs. Skyrin's book
with Cotton Mather's professed purpose in "Good Lessons" shows the
stride made in children's literature to be a long one. Yet a quarter of
a century was still to run before any other original writing was done in
America for children's benefit.

Nobody else in America, indeed, seems to have considered the question of
writing for nursery inmates. Mrs. Barbauld's "Easy Lessons for Children
from Two to Five Years old," written for English children, were
considered perfectly adapted to gaining knowledge and perhaps amusement.
It is true that when Benjamin Bache of Philadelphia issued "Easy
Lessons," he added this note: "Some alterations were thought necessary to
be made in this ... American edition, to make it agree with the original
design of rendering instruction easy and useful.... The climate and the
familiar objects of this country suggested these alterations." Except for
the substitution of such words as "Wheat" for "Corn," the intentions of
the editor seem hardly to have had result, except by way of
advertisement; and are of interest merely because they represent one step
further in the direction of Americanizing the story-book literature.

All Mrs. Barbauld's books were considered excellent for young children.
As a "Dissenter," she gained in the esteem of the people of the northern
states, and her books were imported as well as reprinted here. Perhaps
she was best known to our grandparents as the joint author, with Dr.
Aikin, of "Evenings at Home," and of "Hymns in Prose and Verse." Both
were read extensively for fifty years. The "Hymns" had an enormous
circulation, and were often full of fine rhythm and undeserving of the
entire neglect into which they have fallen. Of course, as the fashion
changed in the "approved" type of story, Mrs. Barbauld suffered
criticism. "Mrs. and Miss Edgeworth in their 'Practical Education'
insisted that evil lurked behind the phrase in 'Easy Lessons,' 'Charles
wants his dinner' because of the implication 'that Charles must have
whatever he desires,' and to say 'the sun has gone to bed,' is to incur
the odium of telling the child a falsehood."[128-A]

But the manner in which these critics of Mrs. Barbauld thought they had
improved upon her method of story-telling is a tale belonging to another
chapter. When Miss Edgeworth's wave of popularity reached this country
Mrs. Barbauld's ideas still flourished as very acceptable to parents.

A contemporary and rival writer for the English nursery was Mrs. Sarah
Trimmer. Her works for little children were also credited with much
information they did not give. After the publication of Mrs. Barbauld's
"Easy Lessons" (which was the result of her own teaching of an adopted
child), Mrs. Trimmer's friends urged her to make a like use of the
lessons given to her family of six, and accordingly she published in
seventeen hundred and seventy-eight an "Easy Introduction into the
Knowledge of Nature," and followed it some years after its initial
success by "Fabulous Histories," afterwards known as the "History of
the Robins." Although Mrs. Trimmer represents more nearly than Mrs.
Barbauld the religious emotionalism pervading Sunday-school
libraries,--in which she was deeply interested,--the work of both these
ladies exemplifies the transitional stage to that Labor-in-Play school
of writing which was to invade the American nursery in the next century
when Parley and Abbott throve upon the proceeds of the educational
narrative.

Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" and Thomas Day's "Sanford and Merton" occupied
the place in the estimation of boys that the doings of Mrs. Barbauld's
and Mrs. Trimmer's works held in the opinion of the younger members of
the nursery. Edition followed upon edition of the adventures of the
famous island hero. In Philadelphia, in seventeen hundred and
ninety-three, William Young issued what purported to be the sixth
edition. In New York many thousands of copies were sold, and in eighteen
hundred and twenty-four we find a Spanish translation attesting its
widespread favor. In seventeen hundred and ninety-four, Isaiah Thomas
placed the surprising adventures of the mariner as on the "Coast of
America, lying near the mouth of the great river Oroonoque."

Parents also thought very highly of Thomas Day's "Children's Miscellany"
and "Sanford and Merton." To read this last book is to believe it to be
possibly in the style that Dr. Samuel Johnson had in mind when he
remarked to Mrs. Piozzi that "the parents buy the books but the children
never read them." Yet the testimony of publishers of the past is that
"Sanford and Merton" had a large and continuous sale for many years.
"'Sanford and Merton,'" writes Mr. Julian Hawthorne, "ran 'Robinson
Crusoe' harder than any other work of the eighteenth century
particularly written for children." "The work," he adds, "is quaint and
interesting rather to the historian than to the general, especially the
child, reader. Children would hardly appreciate so amazingly ancient a
form of conversation as that which resulted from Tommy [the bad boy of
the story] losing a ball and ordering a ragged boy to pick it up:

"'Bring my ball directly!'

"'I don't choose it,' said the boy.

"'Sirrah,' cried Tommy, 'if I come to you I will make you choose it.'

"'Perhaps not, my pretty master,' said the boy.

"'You little rascal,' said Tommy, who now began to be very angry, 'if I
come over the hedge I will thrash you within an inch of your life.'"

The gist of Tommy's threat has often been couched in modern language by
grandsons of the boys from whom the Socratic Mr. Day wrote to expose the
evils of too luxurious an education. His method of compilation of facts
to be taught may best be given in the words of his Preface: "All who
have been conversant in the education of very young children, have
complained of the total want of proper books to be put in their hands,
while they are taught the elements of reading.... The least exceptional
passages of books that I could find for the purpose were 'Plutarch's
Lives' and Xenophon's 'History of the Institution of Cyrus,' in English
translation; with some part of 'Robinson Crusoe,' and a few passages
from Mr. Brooke's 'Fool of Quality.' ... I therefore resolved ... not
only to collect all such stories as I thought adapted to the faculties
of children, but to connect these by continued narration.... As to the
histories themselves, I have used the most unbounded licence.... As to
the language, I have endeavored to throw into it a greater degree of
elegance and ornament than is usually to be met with in such
compositions; preserving at the same time a sufficient degree of
simplicity to make it intelligible to very young children, and rather
choosing to be diffuse than obscure." With these objects in mind, we can
understand small Tommy's embellishment of his demand for the return of
his ball by addressing the ragged urchin as "Sirrah."

Mr. Day's "Children's Miscellany" contained a number of stories, of
which one, "The History of Little Jack," about a lost child who was
adopted by a goat, was popular enough to be afterwards published
separately. It is a debatable question as to whether the parents or the
children figuring in this "Miscellany" were the more artificial. "Proud
and unfeeling girl," says one tender mother to her little daughter who
had bestowed half her pin money upon a poor family,--"proud and
unfeeling girl, to prefer vain and trifling ornaments to the delight of
relieving the sick and miserable! Retire from my presence! Take away
with you trinket and nosegay, and receive from them all the comforts
they are able to bestow!" Why Mr. Day's stories met with such
unqualified praise at the time they were published, this example of
canting rubbish does not reveal. In real life parents certainly did
retain some of their substance for their own pleasure; why, therefore,
discipline a child for following the same inclination?

In contrast to Mr. Day's method, Mrs. Barbauld's plan of simple
conversation in words of one, two, and three syllables seems modern.
Both aimed to afford pleasure to children "learning the elements of
reading." Where Mrs. Barbauld probably judged truly the capacity of
young children in the dialogues with the little Charles of "Easy
Lessons," Mr. Day loaded his gun with flowers of rhetoric and overshot
infant comprehension.

Nevertheless, in spite of the criticism that has waylaid and torn to
tatters Thomas Day's efforts to provide a suitable and edifying variety
of stories, his method still stands for the distinct secularization of
children's literature of amusement. Moreover, as Mr. Montrose J. Moses
writes in his delightful study of "Children's Books and Reading," "he
foreshadowed the method of retelling incidents from the classics and
from standard history and travel,--a form which is practised to a great
extent by our present writers, who thread diverse materials on a slender
wire of subsidiary story, and who, like Butterworth and Knox, invent
untiring families of travellers who go to foreign parts, who see things,
and then talk out loud about them."

Besides tales by English authors, there was a French woman, Madame de
Genlis, whose books many educated people regarded as particularly
suitable for their daughters, both in the original text and in the
English translations. In Aaron Burr's letters we find references to his
interest in the progress made by his little daughter, Theodosia, in her
studies. His zeal in searching for helpful books was typical of the care
many others took to place the best literature within their children's
reach. From Theodosia's own letters to her father we learn that she was
a studious child, who wrote and ciphered from five to eight every
morning and during the same hours every evening. To improve her French,
Mr. Burr took pains to find reading-matter when his law practice
necessitated frequent absence from home. Thus from West Chester, in
seventeen hundred and ninety-six, when Theodosia was nine years old, he
wrote:

     I rose up suddenly from the sofa and rubbing my head--"What book
     shall I buy for her?" said I to myself. "She reads so much and so
     rapidly that it is not easy to find proper and amusing French books
     for her; and yet I am so flattered with her progress in that
     language, that I am resolved that she shall, at all events, be
     gratified." So ... I took my hat and sallied out. It was not my
     first attempt. I went into one bookseller's after another. I found
     plenty of fairy tales and such nonsense, for the generality of
     children of nine or ten years old. "These," said I, "will never do.
     Her understanding begins to be above such things." ... I began to be
     discouraged. "But I will search a little longer." I persevered. At
     last I found it. I found the very thing I sought. It is contained in
     two volumes, octavo, handsomely bound, and with prints and reprints.
     It is a work of fancy but replete with instruction and amusement. I
     must present it with my own hand.

     Yr. affectionate
          A. BURR.

What speculation there must have been in the Burr family as to the name
of the gift, and what joy when Mr. Burr presented the two volumes upon
his return! From a letter written later by Mr. Burr to his wife, it
appears that he afterward found reason to regret his purchase, which
seems to have been Madame de Genlis's famous "Annales." "Your account,"
he wrote, "of Madame Genlis surprises me, and is new evidence of the
necessity of reading books before we put them in the hands of children."
Opinion differed, of course, concerning the French lady's books. In New
York, in Miss Dodsworth's most genteel and fashionable school, a play
written from "The Dove" by Madame de Genlis was acted with the same zest
by little girls of ten and twelve years of age as they showed in another
play taken from "The Search after Happiness," a drama by the Quakeress
and religious writer, Hannah More. These plays were given at the end of
school terms by fond parents with that appreciation of the histrionic
ability of their daughters still to be seen on such occasions.

No such objection as Mrs. Burr made to this lady's "Annales" was
possible in regard to another French book, by Berquin. Entitled "Ami des
Enfans," it received under the Rev. Mr. Cooper's translation the name
"The Looking Glass for the Mind." This collection of tales supposedly
mirrored the frailties and virtues of rich and poor children. It was
often bound in full calf, and an edition of seventeen hundred and
ninety-four contains a better engraved frontispiece than it was
customary to place in juvenile publications. For half a century it was
to be found in the shop of all booksellers, and had its place in the
library of every family of means. There are still those among us who
have not forgotten the impression produced upon their infant minds by
certain of the tales. Some remember the cruel child and the canary.
Others recollect their admiration of the little maid who, when all
others deserted her young patroness, lying ill with the smallpox, won
the undying gratitude of the mother by her tender nursing. The author,
blind himself to the possibilities of detriment to the sick child by
unskilled care, held up to the view of all, this example of devotion of
one girl in contrast to the hard-heartedness of many others. This book
seems also to have been called by the literal translation of its
original title, "Ami des Enfans;" for in an account of the occupations
of one summer Sunday in seventeen hundred and ninety-seven, Julia
Cowles, living in Litchfield, Connecticut, wrote: "Attended meeting all
day long, but do not recollect the text. Read in 'The Children's
Friend.'" Many children would not have been permitted to read so nearly
secular a book; but evidently Julia Cowles's parents were liberal in
their view of Sunday reading after the family had attended "meeting all
day long."

In addition to the interest of the context of these toy-books of a past
generation, one who handles such relics of a century ago sees much of
the fashions for children of that day. In "The Looking Glass," for
instance, the illustrations copied from engravings by the famous English
artist, Bewick, show that at the end of the eighteenth century children
were still clothed like their elders; the coats and waistcoats, knee
breeches and hats, of boys were patterned after gentlemen's garments,
and the caps and aprons, kerchiefs and gowns, for girls were
reproductions of the mothers' wardrobes.

Again, the fly-leaf of "The History of Master Jacky and Miss Harriot"
arrests the eye by its quaint inscription: "Rozella Ford's Book. For
being the second speller in the second class." At once the imagination
calls up the exercises in a village school at the end of a year's
session: a row of prim little maids and sturdy boys, standing before the
school dame and by turn spelling in shrill tones words of three to five
syllables, until only two, Rozella and a better speller, remain
unconfused by Dilworth's and Webster's word mysteries. Then the two
children step forward with bow and curtsey to receive their tiny gilt
prizes from a pile of duodecimos upon the teacher's desk. Indeed, the
giving of rewards was carried to such an extent as to become a great
drain upon the meagre stipend of the teacher. Thus when in copper-plate
handwriting we find in another six-penny volume the inscription:
"Benjamin H. Bailey, from one he esteems and loves, Mr. Hapgood," we
read between its lines the self-denial practised by Mr. Hapgood, who
possibly received, like many other teachers, but seventy-five cents a
week besides his board and lodging.

Other books afford a glimpse of children's life: the formal every-day
routine, the plays they enjoyed, and their demonstration of a
sensibility as keen as was then in fashion for adults. The "History of a
Doll," lying upon the writer's table, is among the best in this respect.
It was evidently much read by its owner and fairly "loved to pieces."
When it reached this disintegrated stage, a careful mother, or aunt,
sewed it with coarse flax thread inside a home-made cover of bright blue
wall-paper. Although the "History of the Pedigree and Rise of the Pretty
Doll" bears no date, its companion story in the wall-paper wrapper has
the imprint seventeen hundred and ninety-one, and this, together with
the press-work, places it as belonging to the eighteenth century. It
offers to the reader a charming insight into the formality of many an
old-fashioned family: the deportment stiff with the starched customs of
that day, the seriousness of their fun, and the sensibility among little
maidens akin to that exhibited in the heroines of fiction created by
Richardson and Fielding.

The chapter concerning "The Pedigree of the Doll" treats of finding a
branch of a tree by a carver, who was desired by Sir John Amiable to
make one of the best dolls in his power for his "pretty little daughter
who was as good as she was pretty." The carver accordingly took the
branch and began carving out the head, shoulders, body, and legs, which
he soon brought to their proper shape. "He then covered it with a fine,
flesh-colored enamel and painted its cheeks in the most lively manner.
It had the finest black and sparkling eyes that were ever beheld; its
cheeks resembled the blushing rose, its neck the lilly, and its lips the
coral." The doll is presented, and the next chapter tells of "an
assembly of little female gossips in full debate on the clothing of the
doll." "Miss Polly having made her papa a vast number of courtesies for
it, prevailed on her brother to go round to all the little gossips in
the neighborhood, begging their company to tea in the afternoon, in
order to consult in what mode the doll should be dressed." The company
assembled. "Miss Micklin undertook to make it a fine ruffled laced
shift, Miss Mantua to make it a silk sacque and petticoat; and in short,
every one contributed, in some measure, to dress out this beautiful
creature."

"Everything went on with great harmony till they came to the head-dress
of the doll; and here they differed so much in opinion, that all their
little clappers were going at once.... Luckily, at this instant Mrs.
Amiable happened to come in, and soon brought the little gossips to
order. The matter in dispute was, whether it should have a high
head-dress or whether the hair should come down on the forehead, and the
curls flow in natural ringlets on the shoulders. However, after some
pretty warm debate, this last mode was adopted, as most proper for a
little miss." In chapter third "The doll is named:--Accidents attend the
Ceremony." Here we have a picture of a children's party. "The young
ladies and gentlemen were entertained with tea and coffee; and when that
was over, each was presented with a glass of raisin wine." During the
christening ceremony an accident happened to the doll, because Master
Tommy, the parson, "in endeavouring to get rid of it before the little
gossips were ready to receive it, made a sad blunder.... Miss Polly,
with tears in her eyes, snatched up the doll and clasped it to her
bosom; while the rest of the little gossips turned all the little
masters out of the room, that they might be left to themselves to
inquire more privately into what injuries the dear doll had received....
Amidst these alarming considerations Tommy Amiable sent the ladies word,
that, if they would permit him and the rest of the young gentlemen to
pass the evening among them in the parlour, he would engage to replace
the nose of the doll in such a manner that not the appearance of the
late accident should be seen." Permission was accordingly granted for a
surgical operation upon the nose, but "as to the fracture in one of the
doll's legs, it was never certainly known how that was remedied, as the
young ladies thought it very indelicate to mention anything about the
matter." The misadventures of the doll include its theft by a monkey in
the West Indies, and at this interesting point the only available copy
of the tale is cut short by the loss of the last four pages. The charm
of this book lies largely in the fact that the owner of the doll does
not grow up and marry as in almost every other novelette. This
difference, of course, prevents the story from being a typical one of
its period, but it is, nevertheless, a worthy forerunner of those tales
of the nineteenth century in which an effort was made to write about
incidents in a child's life, and to avoid the biographical tendency.

Before leaving the books of the eighteenth century, one tale must be
mentioned because it contains the germ of the idea which has developed
into Mr. George's "Junior Republic." It was called "Juvenile Trials for
Robbing Orchards, Telling Tales and other Heinous Offenses." "This,"
said Dr. Aikin--Mrs. Barbauld's brother and collaborator in "Evenings at
Home"--"is a very pleasing and ingenious little Work, in which a Court
of Justice is supposed to be instituted in a school, composed of the
Scholars themselves, for the purpose of trying offenses committed at
School." In "Trial the First" Master Tommy Tell-Truth charges Billy
Prattle with robbing an orchard. The jury, after hearing Billy express
his contrition for his act, brings in a verdict of guilty; but the judge
pardons the culprit because of his repentant frame of mind. Miss Delia,
the offender in case _Number Two_, does not escape so lightly. Miss
Stirling charges her with raising contention and strife among her
school-fellows over a piece of angelica, "whereby," say her prosecutors,
"one had her favorite cap torn to pieces, and her hair which had been
that day nicely dressed, pulled all about her shoulders; another had her
sack torn down the middle; a third had a fine flowered apron of her own
working, reduced to rags; a fourth was wounded by a pelick, or scratch
of her antagonist, and in short, there was hardly one among them who had
not some mark to shew of having been concerned in this unfortunate
affair." That the good Dr. Aikin approved of the punishment decreed, we
are sure. The little prisoner was condemned to pass three days in her
room, as just penalty for such "indelicate" behaviour.

By the close of the century Miss Edgeworth was beginning to supersede
Mrs. Barbauld in England; but in America the taste in juvenile reading
was still satisfied with the older writer's little Charles, as the
correct model for children's deportment, and with Giles Gingerbread as
the exemplary student. The child's lessons had passed from "Be good or
you will go to Hell" to "Be good and you will be rich;" or, with the
Puritan element still so largely predominant, "Be good and you will go
to Heaven." Virtue as an ethical quality had been shown in "Goody
Two-Shoes" to bring its reward as surely as vice brought punishment. It
is to be doubted if this was altogether wholesome; and it may well be
that it was with this idea in mind that Dr. Johnson made his celebrated
criticism of the nursery literature in vogue, when he said to Mrs.
Piozzi, "Babies do not want to be told about babies; they like to be
told of giants and castles, and of somewhat which can stretch and
stimulate their little minds."[141-A]

The learned Doctor, having himself been brought up on "Jack the Giant
Killer" and "The History of Blue Beard," was inclined to scorn Newbery's
tales as lacking in imaginative quality. That Dr. Johnson was really
interested in stories for the young people of his time is attested by a
note written in seventeen hundred and sixty-three on the fly-leaf of a
collection of chap-books: "I shall certainly, sometime or other, write a
little Story-Book in the style of these. I shall be happy to succeed,
for he who pleases children will be remembered by them."[141-B]

In America, however, it is doubtful whether any true critical spirit
regarding children's books had been reached. Fortunately in England, at
the beginning of the next century, there was a man who dared speak his
opinion. Mrs. Barbauld and Mrs. Trimmer (who had contributed "Fabulous
Histories" to the juvenile library, and for them had shared the approval
which greeted Mrs. Barbauld's efforts) were the objects of Charles
Lamb's particular detestation. In a letter to Coleridge, written in
1802, he said:

"Goody Two Shoes is almost out of print. Mrs. Barbauld's stuff has
banished all the old classics of the nursery, and the shopman at
Newbery's hardly deigned to reach them off an old exploded corner of a
shelf, when Mary asked for them. Mrs. Barbauld's and Mrs. Trimmer's
nonsense lay in piles about. Knowledge insignificant and vapid as Mrs.
Barbauld's books convey, it seems, must come to a child in the shape of
knowledge; and his empty noddle must be turned with conceit of his own
powers when he has learned that a horse is an animal and Billy is better
than a horse, and such like, instead of that beautiful interest in wild
tales, which made the child a man, while all the time he suspected
himself to be no bigger than a child. Science has succeeded to poetry no
less in the little walks of children than of men. Is there no
possibility of arresting this force of evil? Think what you would have
been now, if instead of being fed with tales and old wives' fables in
childhood, you had been crammed with geography and natural history. Hang
them! I mean the cursed Barbauld crew, those blights and blasts of all
that is human in man and child."[142-A]

To Lamb's extremely sensitive nature, the vanished hand of the literary
man of Grub Street could not be replaced by Mrs. Barbauld's wish to
instruct by using simple language. It is possible that he did her some
injustice. Yet a retrospective glance over the story-book literature
evolved since Newbery's juvenile library was produced, shows little that
was not poor in quality and untrue to life. Therefore, it is no wonder
that Lamb should have cried out against the sore evil which had "beset a
child's mind." All the poetry of life, all the imaginative powers of a
child, Mrs. Barbauld, Mrs. Trimmer, and Mr. Day ignored; and Newbery in
his way, and the old ballads in their way, had appealed to both.

In both countries the passion for knowledge resulted in this curious
literature of amusement. In England books were written; in America they
were reprinted, until a religious revival left in its wake the series
of morbid and educational tales which the desire to write original
stories for American children produced.

FOOTNOTES:

[123-A] Miss Hewins, _Atlantic Monthly_, vol. lxi, p. 112.

[123-B] Brynberg. Wilmington, 1796.

[128-A] Miss Repplier, _Atlantic Monthly_, vol. lvii, p. 509.

[141-A] Hill, _Johnsonian Miscellany_, vol. i, p. 157.

[141-B] _Ibid._

[142-A] Welsh, _Introduction to Goody Two Shoes_, p. x.



CHAPTER VI

1800-1825



    Her morals then the Matron read,
    Studious to teach her Children dear,
    And they by love or Duty led,
    With Pleasure read.
             _A Mother's Remarks_,
                      Philadelphia, 1810

    Mama! see what a pretty book
    At Day's papa has bought,
    That I may at its pictures look,
    And by its words be taught.



CHAPTER VI

1800-1825

_Toy-Books in the Early Nineteenth Century_


On the 23d of December, 1823, there appeared anonymously in the "Troy
(New York) Sentinel," a Christmas ballad entitled "A Visit from St.
Nicholas." This rhymed story of Santa Claus and his reindeer, written
one year before its publication by Clement Clarke Moore for his own
family, marks the appearance of a truly original story in the literature
of the American nursery.

We have seen the somewhat lugubrious influence of Puritan and Quaker
upon the occasional writings for American children; and now comes a
story bearing upon its face the features of a Dutchman, as the jolly old
gentleman enters nursery lore with his happy errand.

Up to this time children of wholly English extraction had probably
little association with the Feast of St. Nicholas. The Christmas season
had hitherto been regarded as pagan in its origin by people of Puritan
or Scotch descent, and was celebrated only as a religious festival by
the descendants of the more liberal adherents to the Church of England.
The Dutch element in New York, however, still clung to some of their
traditions; and the custom of exchanging simple gifts upon Christmas Day
had come down to them as a result of a combination of the church legend
of the good St. Nicholas, patron of children, and the Scandinavian myth
of the fairy gnome, who from his bower in the woods showered good
children with gifts.[148-A] But to celebrate the day quietly was
altogether a different thing from introducing to the American public the
character of Santa Claus, who has become in his mythical entity as well
known to every American as that other Dutch legendary personage, Rip Van
Winkle.

In the "Visit from St. Nicholas" Mr. Moore not only introduced Santa
Claus to the young folk of the various states, but gave to them their
first story of any lasting merit whatsoever. It is worthy of remark that
as every impulse to write for juvenile readers has lagged behind the
desire to write for adults, so the composition of these familiar verses
telling of the arrival in America of the mysterious and welcome visitor
on

   "The night before Christmas, when all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,"

fell at the end of that quarter of the nineteenth century to which we
are accustomed to refer as the beginning of the national period of
American literature.

It is, of course, true that the older children of that period had
already begun to enjoy some of the writings of Irving and Cooper, and to
learn the fortunately still familiar verses by Hopkinson, Key, Drake,
and Halleck. School-readers have served to familiarize generation after
generation with "Hail Columbia," "The Star Spangled Banner," and
sometimes with "The American Flag." It is, doubtless, their authors'
jubilant enthusiasm over the freedom of the young Republic that has
caused the children of the more mature nation to delight in the
repetition of the patriotic verses. The youthful extravagance of
expression pervading every line is reëchoed in the heart of the
schoolboy, who likes to imagine himself, before anything else, a
patriot. But until "Donder and Blitzen" pranced into the foreground as
Santa Claus' steeds, there was nothing in American nursery literature of
any lasting fame. Thereafter, as the custom of observing Christmas Day
gradually became popular, the perennial small child felt--until
automobiles sent reindeer to the limbo of bygone things--the thrill of
delight and fear over the annual visit of Santa Claus that the bigger
child experiences in exploding fire-crackers on the Fourth of July.
There are possibilities in both excitements which appeal to one of the
child's dearest possessions--his imagination.

It is this direct appeal to the imagination that surprises and delights
us in Mr. Moore's ballad. To re-read it is to be amazed that anything so
full of merriment, so modern, so free from pompousness or condescension,
from pedantry or didacticism, could have been written before the latter
half of the nineteenth century. Not only its style is simple in contrast
with the labored efforts at simplicity of its contemporaneous verse, but
its story runs fifty years ahead of its time in its freedom from the
restraining hand of the moralist and from the warning finger of the
religious teacher, if we except Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Wonder Book."

In our examination of the toy-books of twenty years preceding its
publication, we shall find nothing so attractive in manner, nor so
imaginative in conception. Indeed, we shall see, upon the one hand, that
fun was held in with such a tight curb that it hardly ever escaped into
print; and upon the other hand that the imagination had little chance
to develop because of the prodigal indulgence in realities and in
religious experience from which all authors suffered. We shall also see
that these realities were made very uncompromising and uncomfortable to
run counter to. Duty spelled in capital letters was a stumbling-block
with which only the well-trained story-book child could successfully
cope; recreation followed in small portions large shares of instruction,
whether disguised or bare faced. The Religion-in-Play, the
Ethics-in-Play, and the Labor-in-Play schools of writing for children
had arrived in America from the land of their origin.

The stories in vogue in England during this first quarter of the
nineteenth century explain every vagary in America. There fashionable
and educational authorities had hitched their wagon to the literary
star, Miss Edgeworth, and the followers of her system; while the
religiously inclined pinned their faith also upon tracts written by Miss
Hannah More. In this still imitative land the booksellers simply
reprinted the more successful of these juvenile publications. The
changes, therefore, in the character of the juvenile literature of
amusement of the early nineteenth century in America were due to the
adoption of the works of these two Englishwomen, and to the increased
facilities for reproducing toy-books, both in press-work and in
illustrations.

Hannah More's allegories and religious dramas, written to coöperate with
the teachings of the first Sabbath Day schools, are, of course, outside
the literature of amusement. Yet they affected its type in America as
they undoubtedly gave direction to the efforts of the early writers for
children.

Miss More, born in seventeen hundred and fifty-four, was a woman of
already established literary reputation when her attention was attracted
by Robert Raikes's successful experiment of opening a Sunday-school, in
seventeen hundred and eighty-one. During the religious revival that
attended the preaching of George Whitefield, Raikes, already interested
in the hardships and social condition of the working-classes, was
further aroused by his intimate knowledge of the manner of life of some
children in a pin factory. To provide instruction for these child
laborers, who, without work or restrictions on Sundays, sought
occupation far from elevating, Raikes founded the first "Sabbath Day
school."

The movement spread rapidly in England, and ten years later, in seventeen
hundred and ninety-one, under the inspiration of Bishop White, the
pioneer First Day school in America was opened in Philadelphia. The good
Bishop was disturbed mentally by the religious and moral degeneracy of
the poor children in his diocese, and annoyed during church services by
their clamor outside the churches--a noise often sufficient to drown the
prayers of his flock and the sermons of his clergy. To occupy these
restless children for a part of the day, two sessions of the school were
held each Sunday: one before the morning service, from eight until
half-past ten o'clock, and the other in the afternoon for an hour and a
half. The Bible was used as a reader, and the teaching was done regularly
by paid instructors.

The first Sunday-school library owed its origin to a wish to further the
instruction given in the school, and hence contained books thought
admirably adapted to Sunday reading. Among the somewhat meagre stock
provided for this purpose were Doddridge's "Power of Religion," Miss
More's tracts and the writings of her imitators, together with "The
Fairchild Family," by Mrs. Sherwood, "The Two Lambs," by Mrs. Cameron,
"The Economy of Human Life," and a little volume made up of selections
from Mrs. Barbauld's works for children. "The Economy of Human Life,"
said Miss Sedgwick (who herself afterwards wrote several good books for
girls), "was quite above my comprehension, and I thought it unmeaning
and tedious." Testimony of this kind about a book which for years
appeared regularly upon booksellers' lists enables us to realize that
the average intelligent child of the year eighteen hundred was beginning
to be as bored by some of the literature placed in his hands as a child
would be one hundred years later.

To increase this special class of books, Hannah More devoted her
attention. Her forty tracts comprising "The Cheap Repository" included
"The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain" and "The Two Shoemakers," which, often
appearing in American booksellers' advertisements, were for many years a
staple article in Sunday-school libraries, and even now, although pushed
to the rear, are discoverable in some such collections of books. Their
objective point is best given by their author's own words in the preface
to an edition of "The Search after Happiness; A Pastoral Drama," issued
by Jacob Johnson of Philadelphia in eighteen hundred and eleven.

Miss More began in the self-depreciatory manner then thought modest and
becoming in women writers: "The author is sensible it may have many
imperfections, but if it may be happily instrumental in producing a
regard to Religion and Virtue in the minds of Young Persons, and afford
them an innocent, and perhaps not altogether unuseful amusement in the
exercise of recitation, the end for which it was originally composed ...
will be fully answered." A drama may seem to us above the comprehension
of the poor and illiterate class of people whose attention Miss More
wished to hold, but when we feel inclined to criticise, let us not
forget that the author was one who had written little eight-year-old
Thomas Macaulay: "I think we have nearly exhausted the epics. What say
you to a little good prose? Johnson's 'Hebrides,' or Walton's 'Lives,'
unless you would like a neat edition of Cowper's poems or 'Paradise
Lost.'"

Miss More's influence upon the character of Sunday-school books in
England undoubtedly did much to incline many unknown American women of
the nineteenth century to take up this class of books as their own field
for religious effort and pecuniary profit.

Contemporary with Hannah More's writings in the interest of religious
life of Sunday-school scholars were some of the literary products of the
painstaking pen of Maria Edgeworth.

Mention of Miss Edgeworth has already been made. About her stories for
children criticism has played seriously, admiringly, and contemptuously.
It is not the present purpose, however, to do other than to make clear
her own aim, and to try to show the effect of her extremely moral tales
upon her own generation of writers for American children. It is possible
that she affected these authors more than the child audience for whom
she wrote. Little ones have a wonderful faculty for seizing upon what
suits them and leaving the remainder for their elders to discuss.

Maria Edgeworth's life was a long one. Born in seventeen hundred and
sixty-seven, when John Newbery's books were at the height of their fame,
she lived until eighteen hundred and forty-nine, when they were scarcely
remembered; and now her own once popular tales have met a similar fate.

She was educated by a father filled with enthusiasm by the teachings of
Rousseau and with advice from the platitudinous family friend, Thomas
Day, author of "Sanford and Merton." Only the truly genial nature and
strong character of Miss Edgeworth prevented her genius from being
altogether swamped by this incongruous combination. Fortunately, also,
her busy practical home life allowed her sympathies full sway and
counteracted many of the theories introduced by Mr. Edgeworth into his
family circle. Successive stepmothers filled the Edgeworth nursery with
children, for whom the devoted older sister planned and wrote the
stories afterward published.

In seventeen hundred and ninety-one Maria Edgeworth, at her father's
suggestion, began to note down anecdotes of the children of the family,
and later these were often used as copy to be criticised by the little
ones themselves before they were turned over to the printer. Her
father's educational conversations with his family were often committed
to paper, and these also furnished material from which Miss Edgeworth
made it her object in life to interweave knowledge, amusement, and
ethics. Indeed, it has been most aptly said that between the narrow
banks of Richard Edgeworth's theories "his daughter's genius flowed
through many volumes of amusement."

[Illustration: _Jacob Johnson's Book-Store._]

Her first collection of tales was published under the title of "The
Parent's Assistant," although Miss Edgeworth's own choice of a name had
been the less formidable one of "The Parent's Friend." Based upon her
experience as eldest sister in a large and constantly increasing family,
these tales necessarily struck many true notes and gave valuable hints
to perplexed parents. In "The Parent's Assistant" realities stalked full
grown into the nursery as

   "Every object in creation
    Furnished hints for contemplation."

The characters were invariably true to their creator's original drawing.
A good girl was good from morning to night; a naughty child began and
ended the day in disobedience, and by it bottles were smashed,
strawberries spilled, and lessons disregarded in unbroken sequence. In
later life Miss Edgeworth confessed to having occasionally introduced in
"Harry and Lucy" some nonsense as an "alloy to make the sense work
well;" but as all her earlier children's tales were subjected to the
pruning scissors of Mr. Edgeworth, this amalgam is to-day hardly
noticeable in "Popular Tales," "Early Lessons," and "Frank," which
preceded the six volumes of "Harry and Lucy."

Although a contemporary of Mrs. Barbauld, who had written for little
children "Easy Lessons," Miss Edgeworth does not seem to have been well
known in America until about eighteen hundred and five. Then "Harry and
Lucy" was brought out by Jacob Johnson, a Philadelphia book-dealer.
This was issued in six small red and blue marbled paper volumes,
although other parts were not completed until eighteen hundred and
twenty-three. Between the first and second parts of volume one the
educational hand of Mr. Edgeworth is visible in the insertion of a
"Glossary," "to give a popular meaning of the words." "This Glossary,"
the editor, Mr. Edgeworth, thought, "should be read to children a little
at a time, and should be made the subject of conversation. Afterwards
they will read it with more pleasure." The popular meaning of words may
be succinctly given by one definition: "Dry, what is not wet." Could
anything be more lucid?

Among the stories by Miss Edgeworth are three rarely mentioned by
critics, and yet among the most natural and entertaining of her short
tales. They were also printed by Jacob Johnson in Philadelphia, in
eighteen hundred and five, under the simple title, "Three Stories for
Children." "Little Dog Trusty" is a dog any small child would like to
read about; "The Orangeman" was a character familiar to English
children; and "The Cherry Orchard" is a tale of a day's pleasure whose
spirit American children could readily seize. In each Miss Edgeworth had
a story to tell, and she told it well, even though "she walked," as has
been often said, "as mentor beside her characters."

Of Miss Edgeworth's many tales, "Waste Not, Want Not" was long
considered a model. In it what Mr. Edgeworth styled the "shafts of
ridicule" were aimed at the rich nephew of Mr. Gresham. Mr. Gresham
(whose prototype we strongly suspect was Mr. Edgeworth himself) "lived
neither in idleness nor extravagance," and was desirous of adopting an
heir to his considerable property. Therefore, he invited two nephews to
visit him, with the object of choosing the more suitable for his
purpose; apparently he had only to signify his wish and no parental
objection to his plan would be interposed. The boys arrive: Hal, whose
mama spends her days at Bath over cards with Lady Diana Sweepstake, is
an ill-bred child, neither deferential to his uncle, nor with appetite
for buns when queen-cakes may be had. His cousin Ben, on the contrary,
has been taught those virtuous habits that make for a respectful
attitude toward rich uncles and assure a dissertation upon the
beneficial effect of buns _versus_ queen-cakes. The boys, having had
their characters thus definitely shown, proceed to live up to them in
every particular. From start to finish it is the virtuous Ben--his
generosity, thrift, and foresight are never allowed to lapse for an
instant--who triumphs in every episode. He saves his string, "good
whipcord," when requested by Mr. Gresham to untie a parcel, and it
thereafter serves to spin a fine new top, to help Hal out of a
difficulty with his toy, and in the final incident of the story, an
archery contest, our provident hero, finding his bowstring "cracked,"
calmly draws from his pocket the still excellent piece of cord, and
affixing it to his bow, wins the match. Hal betrays his great lack of
self-control by exclaiming, "The everlasting whipcord, I declare," and
thereupon Patty, Mr. Gresham's only child, who has suffered from Hal's
defects of character, openly rejoices when the prize is given to Ben. As
is usual with Miss Edgeworth's badly behaved children, the reader now
sees the error of Hal's ways, and perceives also that in the lad's
acknowledgment of the truth of the formerly scorned motto, "Waste not,
want not," the era of his reformation has begun.

Perpetual action was the key to the success of Miss Edgeworth's
writings. If to us her fictitious children seem like puppets whose
strings are too obviously jerked, the monotonous moral cloaked in the
variety of incident was liked by her own generation,

Miss Edgeworth not only pleased the children, but received the applause
of their parents and friends. Sir Walter Scott, the prince of
story-tellers, found much to admire in her tales, and wrote of "Simple
Susan:" "When the boy brings back the lamb to the little girl, there is
nothing for it but to put down the book and cry." Susan was the pattern
child in the tale, "clean as well as industrious," while Barbara--a
violent contrast--was conceited and lazy, and a _lady_ who "could
descend without shame from the height of insolent pride to the lowest
measure of fawning familiarity." Therefore it is small wonder that Sir
Walter passed her by without mention.

However much we may value an English author's admiration for Miss
Edgeworth's story-telling gifts, it is to America that we naturally turn
to seek contemporary opinion. In educational circles there is no doubt
that Miss Edgeworth won high praise. That her books were not always easy
to procure, however, we know from a letter written from Washington by
Mrs. Josiah Quincy, whose life as a child during the Revolution has
already been described. When Mrs. Quincy was living in the capital city
in eighteen hundred and ten, during her husband's term as Congressman,
she found it difficult to provide her family with books. She therefore
wrote to Boston to a friend, requesting to have sent her Miss
Edgeworth's "Moral Tales," "if the work can be obtained in one of the
bookstores. If not," she continued, "borrow one ... and I will replace
it with a new copy. Cut the book out of its binding and enclose the
pages in packets.... Be careful to send the entire text and title page."
The scarcity in Washington of books for young people Mrs. Quincy thought
justified the hope that reprinting these tales would be profitable to a
bookseller in whose efforts to introduce a better taste among the
inhabitants she took a keen interest. But Mrs. Quincy need not have sent
to Boston for them. Jacob Johnson in Philadelphia had issued most of the
English author's books by eighteen hundred and five, and New York
publishers probably made good profit by printing them.

Reading aloud was both a pastime and an education to families in those
early days of the Republic. Although Mrs. Quincy made every effort to
procure Miss Edgeworth's stories for her family because, in her opinion,
"they obtained a decided preference to the works of Hannah More, Mrs.
Trimmer and Mrs. Chapone," for reading aloud she chose extracts from
Shakespeare, Milton, Addison, and Goldsmith. Indeed, if it were possible
to ask our great-grandparents what books they remembered reading in
their childhood, I think we should find that beyond somewhat hazy
recollections of Miss Edgeworth's books and Berquin's "The Looking Glass
for the Mind," they would either mention "Robinson Crusoe," Newbery's
tales of "Giles Gingerbread," "Little King Pippin," and "Goody
Two-Shoes" (written fifty years before their own childhood), or
remember only the classic tales and sketches read to them by their
parents.

Certainly this is the case if we may take as trustworthy the
recollections of literary people whose childhood was passed in the first
part of the nineteenth century. Catharine Sedgwick, for instance, has
left a charming picture of American family life in a country town in
eighteen hundred--a life doubtless paralleled by many households in
comfortable circumstances. Among the host of little prigs and prudes in
story-books of the day, it is delightful to find in Catharine Sedgwick
herself an example of a bookish child who was natural. Her reminiscences
include an account of the way the task of sweeping out the schoolhouse
after hours was made bearable by feasts of Malaga wine and raisins.
These she procured from the store where her father kept an open account,
until the bill having been rendered dotted over with such charges "per
daughter Catharine," these treats to favorite schoolmates ceased. Also a
host of intimate details of this large family's life in the country
brings us in touch with the times: fifteen pairs of calfskin shoes
ordered from the village shoemaker, because town-bought morocco slippers
were few and far between; the excitement of a silk gown; the distress of
a brother, whose trousers for fête occasions were remodelled from an
older brother's "blue broadcloth worn to fragility--so that Robert [the
younger brother] said he could not look at them without making a rent;"
and again the anticipation of the father's return from Philadelphia with
gifts of necessaries and books.

After seventeen hundred and ninety-five Mr. Sedgwick was compelled as a
member of Congress to be away the greater part of each year, leaving
household and farm to the care of an invalid wife. Memories of Mr.
Sedgwick's infrequent visits home were mingled in his daughter's mind
with the recollections of being kept up until nine o'clock to listen to
his reading from Shakespeare, Don Quixote, or Hudibras. "Certainly,"
wrote Miss Sedgwick, "I did not understand them, but some glances of
celestial light reached my soul, and I caught from his magnetic sympathy
some elevation of feeling, and that love of reading which has been to me
an 'education.'" "I was not more than twelve years old," she continues,
"I think but ten--when one winter I read Rollin's Ancient History. The
walking to our schoolhouse was often bad, and I took my lunch (how well
I remember the bread and butter, and 'nut cake' and cold sausage, and
nuts and apples that made the miscellaneous contents of that enchanting
lunch-basket!), and in the interim between morning and afternoon school
I crept under my desk (the desks were so made as to afford little close
recesses under them) and read and munched and forgot myself in Cyrus'
greatness."

It is beyond question that the keen relish induced by the scarcity of
juvenile reading, together with the sound digestion it promoted,
overbalanced in mental gain the novelties of a later day.

The Sedgwick library was probably typical of the average choice in
reading-matter of the contemporary American child. Half a dozen little
story-books, Berquin's "Children's Friend" (the very form and shade of
color of its binding with its green edges were never forgotten by any
member of the Sedgwick family), and the "Looking Glass for the Mind"
were shelved side by side with a large volume entitled "Elegant
Extracts," full of ballads, fables, and tales delightful to children
whose imagination was already excited by the solemn mystery of Rowe's
"Letters from the Dead to the Living." Since none of these books except
those containing an infusion of religion were allowed to be read on
Sunday, the Sedgwick children extended the bounds by turning over the
pages of a book, and if the word "God" or "Lord" appeared, it was pounced
upon as sanctified and therefore permissible.

Where families were too poor to buy story-books, the children found what
amusement they could in the parents' small library. In ministers'
families sermons were more plentiful than books. Mrs. H.B. Stowe, when a
girl, found barrels of sermons in the garret of her father, the Rev. Dr.
Beecher, in Litchfield, Connecticut. Through these sermons his daughter
searched hungrily for mental food. It seemed as if there were thousands
of the most unintelligible things. "An appeal on the unlawfulness of a
man's marrying his wife's sister" turned up in every barrel by the
dozens, until she despaired of finding an end of it. At last an ancient
volume of "Arabian Nights" was unearthed. Here was the one inexhaustible
source of delight to a child so eager for books that at ten years of age
she had pored over the two volumes of the "Magnalia."

The library advantages of a more fortunately placed old-fashioned child
we know from Dr. Holmes's frequent reference to incidents of his
boyhood. He frankly confessed that he read in and not through many of
the two thousand books in his father's library; but he found much to
interest him in the volumes of periodicals, especially in the "Annual
Register" and Rees's "Encyclopedia." Although apparently allowed to
choose from the book-shelves, there were frequent evidences of a
parent's careful supervision. "I remember," he once wrote to a friend,
"many leaves were torn out of a copy of Dryden's Poems, with the comment
'Hiatus haud diflendus,' but I had like all children a kind of Indian
sagacity in the discovery of contraband reading, such as a boy carries
to a corner for perusal. Sermons I had enough from the pulpit. I don't
know that I ever read one sermon of my own accord during my childhood.
The 'Life of David,' by Samuel Chandler, had adventures enough, to say
nothing of gallantry, in it to stimulate and gratify curiosity."
"Biographies of Pious Children," wrote Dr. Holmes at another time, "were
not to my taste. Those young persons were generally sickly, melancholy,
and buzzed around by ghostly comforters or discomforters in a way that
made me sick to contemplate." Again, Dr. Holmes, writing of the revolt
from the commonly accepted religious doctrines he experienced upon
reading the Rev. Thomas Scott's Family Bible, contrasted the gruesome
doctrines it set forth with the story of Christian told in "Pilgrim's
Progress," a book which captivated his imagination.

As to story-books, Dr. Holmes once referred to Mrs. Barbauld and Dr.
Aikin's joint production, "Evenings at Home," with an accuracy bearing
testimony to his early love for natural science. He also paid a graceful
tribute to Lady Bountiful of "Little King Pippin" in comparing her in a
conversation "At the Breakfast Table" with the appearance of three
maiden ladies "rustling through the aisles of the old meeting-house, in
silk and satin, not gay but more than decent."

Although Dr. Holmes was not sufficiently impressed with the contents of
Miss Edgeworth's tales to mention them, at least one of her books
contained much of the sort of information he found attractive in
"Evenings at Home." "Harry and Lucy," besides pointing a moral on every
page, foreshadowed that taste for natural science which turned every
writer's thought toward printing geographical walks, botanical
observations, natural history conversations, and geological
dissertations in the guise of toy-books of amusement. A batch of books
issued in America during the first two decades of the nineteenth century
is illustrative of this new fashion. These books, belonging to the
Labor-in-Play school, may best be described in their American editions.

One hundred years ago the American publishers of toy works were devoting
their attention to the make-up rather than to the contents of their
wares. The steady progress of the industrial arts enabled a greater
number of printers to issue juvenile books, whose attractiveness was
increased by better illustrations; and also with the improved facilities
for printing and publishing, the issues of the various firms became more
individual. At the beginning of the century the cheaper books entirely
lost their charming gilt, flowery Dutch, and silver wrappers, as home
products came into use. Size and illustrations also underwent a change.

[Illustration: _A Wall-paper Book-Cover_]

In Philadelphia, Benjamin and Jacob Johnson, and later Johnson and
Warner, issued both tiny books two inches square, and somewhat larger
volumes containing illustrations as well as text. These firms used
for binding gray and blue marbled paper, gold-powdered yellow cardboard,
or salmon pink, blue, and olive-green papers, usually without
ornamentation. In eighteen hundred J. and J. Crukshank, of the same
town, began to decorate with copper-plate cuts the outside of the white
or blue paper covers of their imprints for children. Other printers
followed their example, especially after wood-engraving became more
generally used.

In Wilmington, Delaware, John Adams printed and sold "The New History of
Blue Beard" in both peacock-blue and olive-green paper covers; but Peter
Brynberg, also of that town, was still in eighteen hundred and four
using quaint wall-paper to dress his toy imprints. Matthew Carey, the
well-known printer of school-books for the children of Philadelphia,
made a "Child's Guide to Spelling and Reading" more acceptable by a
charming cover of yellow and red striped paper dotted over with little
black hearts suggestive of the old Primer rhyme for the letter B:

   "My Book and Heart
    Shall never part."

In New York the dealers in juvenile books seem either to have bound in
calf such classics as "The Blossoms of Morality," published by David
Longworth at the Shakespeare Gallery in eighteen hundred and two, or in
decorated but unattractive brown paper. This was the cover almost
invariably used for years by Samuel Wood, the founder of the present
publishing-house of medical works. He began in eighteen hundred and six
to print the first of his many thousands of children's religious,
instructive, and nursery books. As was the custom in order to insure a
good sale, Wood first brought out a primer, "The Young Child's A B C."
He decorated its Quaker gray cover with a woodcut of a flock of birds,
and its title-page with a picture, presumably by Alexander Anderson, of
a girl holding up a dove in her left hand and holding down a lamb with
her right.

In New England, Nathaniel Coverly of Salem sometimes used a watered pink
paper to cover his sixteen page toy-books, and in Boston his son, as
late as eighteen hundred and thirteen, still used pieces of large
patterned wall-paper for six-penny books, such as "Tom Thumb," "Old
Mother Hubbard," and "Cock Robin."

The change in the appearance of most toy-books, however, was due largely
to the increased use of illustrations. The work of the famous English
engraver, Thomas Bewick, had at last been successfully copied by a
physician of New York, Dr. Alexander Anderson.

Dr. Anderson was born in New York in seventeen hundred and seventy-five,
and by seventeen hundred and ninety-three was employed by printers and
publishers in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and even Charleston to
illustrate their books. Like other engravers, he began by cutting in
type-metal, or engraving upon copper. In seventeen hundred and
ninety-four, for Durell of New York, he undertook to make illustrations,
probably for "The Looking Glass for the Mind." Beginning by copying
Bewick's pictures upon type-metal, when "about one-third done, Dr.
Anderson felt satisfied he could do better on wood."[166-A] In his diary
we find noted an instance of his perseverance in the midst of
discouragement: "Sept. 24. This morning I was quite discouraged on
seeing a crack in the wood. Employed as usual at the Doctor's, came home
to dinner, glued the wood and began again with fresh hopes of producing
a good wood engraving." September 26 found him "pretty well satisfied
with the impression and so was Durell." In eighteen hundred he engraved
all the pictures on wood for a new edition of the same book, and from
this time he seems to have discontinued the use of type-metal, which he
had employed in his earlier work as illustrator of the "Pilgrim's
Progress" issued by Hugh Gaine, and of "Tom Thumb's Folio" printed by
Brewer. After eighteen hundred and twelve Anderson almost gave up
engraving on copper also, and devoted himself to satisfying the great
demand for his work on wood. For Durell of New York, an extensive
reprinter of English books, from toy-books to a folio edition of
Josephus, he reproduced the English engravings, never making, according
to Mr. Lossing, more than a frontispiece for the larger volumes.

Although Samuel Wood and Sons of New York also gave Dr. Anderson many
orders for cuts for their various juvenile publications, he still found
time to engrave for publishers of other cities. We find his
illustrations in the toy-books printed in Boston and Philadelphia; and
for Sidney Babcock, a New Haven publisher of juvenile literature, he
supplied many of the numerous woodcuts required. The best of Anderson's
work as an engraver coincided with the years of Babcock's very extensive
business of issuing children's books, between 1805 and 1840. His cuts
adorned the juvenile duodecimos that this printer's widely extended
trade demanded; and even as far south as Charleston, South Carolina,
Babcock, like Isaiah Thomas, found it profitable to open a branch shop.

Anderson's illustrations are the main features of most of Babcock's
little blue, pink, and yellow paper-covered books; especially of those
printed in the early years of the nineteenth century. We notice in them
the changes in the dress of children, who no longer were clothed exactly
in the semblance of their elders, but began to assume garments more
appropriate to their ages, sports, and occupations. Anderson also
sometimes introduced into his pictures a negro coachman or nurse in the
place of the footman or maid of the English tale he illustrated.

While the demand for the engraver's work was constant, his remuneration
was small, if we are to judge by Babcock's payment of only fifty
shillings for fifteen cuts.

For these toy-books Anderson made many reproductions from Bewick's cuts,
and although he did not equal the Englishman's work, he so far surpassed
his pupils and imitators of the early part of the century that his
engravings are generally to be recognized even when not signed. In
eighteen hundred and two Dr. Anderson began to reproduce for David
Longworth Bewick's "Quadrupeds," and these "cuts were afterwards made
use of, with the Bewick letter-press also, for a series of children's
books."[168-A]

In eighteen hundred and twelve, for Munroe & Francis of Boston, Dr.
Anderson made after J. Thompson a set of cuts, mainly remarkable "as
the chief of his few departures from the style of his favorite,
Bewick."[169-A]

The custom of not signing either text or engravings in the children's
books has made it difficult to identify writers and illustrators of
juvenile literature. But some of the best engravers undoubtedly
practised their art on these toy-books. Nathaniel Dearborn, who was a
stationer, printer, and engraver in Boston about eighteen hundred and
eleven, sometimes signed the full-page illustrations on both wood and
copper, and Abel Bowen, a copper-engraver, and possibly the first
wood-engraver in Boston, signed a very curious publication entitled "A
Metamorphosis"--a manifold paper which in its various possible
combinations transformed one figure into another in keeping with the
progress of the story.

C. Gilbert, a pupil of Mason, who had introduced the art of
wood-engraving in Philadelphia from Boston, engraved on wood certainly
the two full-page illustrations for "A Present for a Little Girl,"
printed in eighteen hundred and sixteen for a Baltimore firm, Warner &
Hanna.

Adams and his pupils, Lansing and Morgan, also did work on children's
books. Adams seems to have worked under Anderson's instruction, and
after eighteen hundred and twenty-five did cuts for some books in the
juvenile libraries of S. Wood and Mahlon Day of New York.

Of the engravers on copper, many tried their hands on these toy-books.
Among them may be mentioned Amos Doolittle of New Haven, James Poupard,
John Neagle, and W. Ralph of Philadelphia, and Rollinson of New York,
who is credited with having engraved the silver buttons on the coat
worn by Washington on his inauguration as President.

But of the copper-plate engravers, perhaps none did more work for
children's books than William Charles of Philadelphia. Charles, who is
best known by his series of caricatures of the events of the War of 1812
and of local politics, worked upon toy-books as early as eighteen
hundred and eight, when in Philadelphia he published in two parts "Tom
the Piper's Son; illustrated with whimsical engravings." In these books
both text and pictures were engraved, as will be seen in the
illustration. Charles's plates for a series of moral tales in verse were
used by his successors, Mary Charles, Morgan & Yeager, and Morgan &
Sons, for certainly fifteen years after the originals were made. To
William Charles the children in the vicinity of Philadelphia were also
probably indebted for the introduction of colored pictures. It is
possible that the young folks of Boston had the novelty of colored
picture-books somewhat before Charles introduced them in Philadelphia,
as we find that "The History and Adventures of Little Henry exemplified
in a series of figures" was printed by J. Belcher of the Massachusetts
town in 1812. These "figures" exhibited little Henry suitably attired
for the various incidents of his career, with a movable head to be
attached at will to any of the figures, which were not engraved with the
text, but each was laid in loose on a blank page. William Charles's
method of coloring the pictures engraved with the text was a slight
advance, perhaps, upon the illustrations inserted separately; but it is
doubtful whether these immovable plates afforded as much entertainment
to little readers as the separate figures similar to paper dolls
which Belcher, and somewhat later Charles also, used in a few of their
publications.

[Illustration: _Tom the Piper's Son_]

The "Peacock at Home," engraved by Charles and then colored in
aqua-tint, is one of the rare early colored picture-books still extant,
having been first issued in eighteen hundred and fourteen. The coloring
of the illustrations at first doubled the price, and seems to have been
used principally for a series of stories belonging to what may be styled
the Ethics-in-Play type of juvenile literature, and entitled the
"History and Adventures of Little William," "Little Nancy," etc. These
tales, written after the objective manner of Miss Edgeworth, glossed
over by rhyme, contained usually eight colored plates, and sold for
twenty-five cents each instead of twelve cents, the price of the
picture-book without colored plates. Sometimes, as in the case of
"Cinderella," we find the text illustrated with a number of "Elegant
Figures, to dress and undress." The paper doll could be placed behind
the costumes appropriate to the various adventures, and, to prevent the
loss of the heroine, the book was tied up with pink or blue ribbon after
the manner of a portfolio.

With engravers on wood and copper able to make more attractive the
passion for instruction which marked the first quarter of the nineteenth
century, the variety of toy-book literature naturally became greater.
Indeed, without pictures to render somewhat entertaining the
Labor-in-Play school, it is doubtful whether it could have attained its
widespread popularity.

It is, of course, possible to name but a few titles typical of the
various kinds of instruction offered as amusement. "To present to the
young Reader a Little Miscellany of Natural History, Moral Precept,
Sentiment, and Narrative," Dr. Kendall wrote "Keeper's Travels in Search
of his Master," "The Canary Bird," and "The Sparrow." "The Prize for
Youthful Obedience" endeavored to instill a love for animals, and to
promote obedient habits. Its story runs in this way:

"A kind and good father had a little lively son, named Francis; but,
although that little boy was six years old, he had not yet learned to
read.

"His mama said to him, one day, 'if Francis will learn to read well, he
shall have a pretty little chaise.'

"The little boy was vastly pleased with this; he presently spelt five or
six words and then kissed his mama.

"'Mama,' said Francis, 'I am delighted with the thoughts of this chaise,
but I should like to have a horse to draw it.'

"'Francis shall have a little dog, which will do instead of a horse,'
replied his mama, 'but he must take care to give him some victuals, and
not do him any harm.'"

The dog was purchased, and named Chloe. "She was as brisk as a bee,
prettily spotted, and as gentle as a lamb." We are now prepared for
trouble, for the lesson of the story is surely not hidden. Chloe was
fastened to the chaise, a cat secured to serve as a passenger, and
"Francis drove his little chaise along the walk." But "when he had been
long enough among the gooseberry trees, his mama took him in the garden
and told him the names of the flowers." We are thus led to suppose that
Francis had never been in the garden before! The mother is called away.
We feel sure that the trouble anticipated is at hand. "As soon as she
was gone Francis began whipping the dog," and of course when the dog
dashed forward the cat tumbled out, and "poor Chloe was terrified by the
chaise which banged on all sides. Francis now heartily repented of his
cruel behaviour and went into the house crying, and looking like a very
simple boy."

[Illustration: _A Kind and Good Father_]

"I see very plainly the cause of this misfortune," said the father, who,
however, soon forgave his repentant son. Thereafter every day Francis
learned his lesson, and was rewarded by facts and pictures about
animals, by table-talks, or by walks about the country.

Knowledge offered within small compass seems to have been a novelty
introduced in Philadelphia by Jacob Johnson, who had a juvenile library
in High Street.

In eighteen hundred and three he printed two tiny volumes entitled "A
Description of Various Objects." Bound in green paper covers, the
two-inch square pages were printed in bold type. The first volume
contained the illustrations of the objects described in the other. The
characterizations were exceedingly short, as, for example, this of the
"Puppet Show:" "Here are several little boys and girls looking at a
puppet show, I suppose you would like to make one of them."

Four years later Johnson improved upon this, when he printed in better
type "People of all Nations; an useful toy for Girl or Boy." Of
approximately the same size as the other volumes, it was bound with
stiff sides and calf back. The plates, engraved on copper, represent men
of various nationalities in the favorite alphabetical order. A is an
American. V is a Virginian,--an Indian in scant costume of feathers
with a long pipe,--who, the printed description says, "is generally
dressed after the manner of the English; but this is a poor African, and
made a slave of." An orang-outang represents the letter O, and according
to the author, is "a wild man of the woods, in the East Indies. He
sleeps under trees, and builds himself a hut. He cannot speak, but when
the natives make a fire in the woods he will come and warm himself." Ten
years later there was still some difficulty in getting exact
descriptions of unfamiliar animals. Thus in "A Familiar Description of
Beasts and Birds" the baboon is drawn with a dog's body and an uncanny
head with a snout. The reader is informed that "the baboon has a long
face resembling a dog's; his eyes are red and very bright, his teeth are
large and strong, but his swiftness renders him hard to be taken. He
delights in fishing, and will stay for a considerable time under water.
He imitates several of our actions, and will drink wine, and eat human
food."

Another series of three books, written by William Darton, the English
publisher and maker of toy-books, was called "Chapters of Accidents,
containing Caution and Instruction." Thrilling accounts of "Escapes from
Danger" when robbing birds'-nests and hunting lions and tigers were
intermingled with wise counsel and lessons to be gained from an "Upset
Cart," or a "Balloon Excursion." With one incident the Philadelphia
printer took the liberty of changing the title to "Cautions to Walkers
on the Streets of Philadelphia." High Street, now Market Street, is
represented in a picture of the young woman who, unmindful of the
warning, "Never to turn hastily around the corner of a street," "ran
against the porter's load and nearly lost one of her eyes." The
change, of course, is worthy of notice only because of the slight effort
to locate the story in America.

[Illustration: _a Virginian_]

[Illustration: _A Baboon_]

An attempt to familiarize children with flowers resulted in two tales,
called "The Rose's Breakfast" and "Flora's Gala," in which flowers were
personified as they took part in fêtes. "Garden Amusements, for
Improving the Minds of Little Children," was issued by Samuel Wood of
New York with this advertisement: "This little treatise, (written and
first published in the great emporium of the British nation) containing
so many pleasing remarks for the juvenile mind, was thought worthy of an
American edition.... Being so very natural, ... and its tendency so
moral and amusing, it is to be hoped an advantage will be obtained from
its re-publication in Freedonia."

Dialogue was the usual method of instruction employed by Miss Edgeworth
and her followers. In "Garden Amusements" the conversation was
interrupted by a note criticising a quotation from Milton as savoring
too much of poetic license. Cowper also gained the anonymous critic's
disapproval, although it was his point of view and not his style that
came under censure.

In still another series of stories often reprinted from London editions
were those moral tales with the sub-title "Cautionary Stories in Verse."
Mr. William James used these "Cautionary Verses for Children" as an
example of the manner in which "the muse of evangelical protestantism in
England, with the mind fixed on the ideas of danger, had at last drifted
away from the original gospel of freedom." "Chronic anxiety," Mr. James
continued, "marked the earlier part of this [nineteenth] century in
evangelical circles." A little salmon-colored volume, "The Daisy," is a
good example of this series. Each rhyme is a warning or an admonition; a
chronic fear that a child might be naughty. "Drest or Undrest" is
typical of the sixteen hints for the proper conduct of every-day life
contained in the innocent "Daisy:"

   "When children are naughty and will not be drest,
    Pray what do you think is the way?
    Why, often I really believe it is best
    To keep them in night-clothes all day!

   "But then they can have no good breakfast to eat,
    Nor walk with their mother and aunt;
    At dinner they'll have neither pudding nor meat,
    Nor anything else that they want.

   "Then who would be naughty and sit all the day
    In night-clothes unfit to be seen!
    And pray who would lose all their pudding and play
    For not being drest neat and clean."

Two other sets of books with a like purpose were brought out by Charles
about eighteen hundred and sixteen. One began with those familiar
nursery verses entitled "My Mother," by Ann Taylor, which were soon
followed by "My Father," all the family, "My Governess," and even "My
Pony." The other set of books was "calculated to promote Benevolence and
Virtue in Children." "Little Fanny," "Little Nancy," and "Little Sophie"
were all held up as warnings of the results of pride, greed, and
disobedience.

[Illustration: _Drest or Undrest_]

The difference between these heroines of fiction and the characters
drawn by Maria Edgeworth lies mainly in the fact that they spoke in
rhyme instead of in prose, and that they were almost invariably naughty;
or else the parents were cruel and the children suffered. Rarely do we
find a cheerful tale such as "The Cherry Orchard" in this cautionary
style of toy-book. Still more rarely do we find any suspicion of that
alloy of nonsense supposed by Miss Edgeworth to make the sense work
well. It is all quite serious. "Little Nancy, or, the Punishment of
Greediness," is representative of this sort of moral and cautionary
tale. The frontispiece, "embellishing" the first scene, shows Nancy in
receipt of an invitation to a garden party:

   "Now the day soon appear'd
    But she very much fear'd
    She should not be permitted to go.
    Her best frock she had torn,
    The last time it was worn;
    Which was very vexatious, you know."

However, the mother consents with the _caution_:

   "Not to greedily eat
    The nice things at the treat;
    As she much wished to break her of this."

Arrived at the party, Nancy shared the games, and

   "At length was seated,
    With her friends to be treated;
    So determin'd on having her share,
    That she drank and she eat
    Ev'ry thing she could get,
    Yet still she was loth to forbear."

The disastrous consequences attending Nancy's disregard of her mother's
admonition are displayed in a full-page illustration, which is followed
by another depicting the sorrowful end in bed of the day's pleasure.
Then the moral:

   "My young readers beware,
    And avoid with great care
    Such _excesses_ as these you've just read;
    For be sure you will find
    It your interest to mind
    What your friends and relations have said."

Perhaps of all the toy imprints of the early century none are more
curious in modern eyes than the three or four German translations
printed by Philadelphia firms. In eighteen hundred and nine Johnson and
Warner issued "Kleine Erzählungen über ein Buch mit Kupfern." This seems
to be a translation of "A Mother's Remarks over a Set of Cuts," and
contains a reference to another book entitled "Anecdoten von Hunden."
Still another book is extant, printed in eighteen hundred and five by
Zentler, "Unterhaltungen für Deutsche Kinder." This, according to its
preface, was one of a series for which Jacob and Benjamin Johnson had
consented to lend the plates for illustrations.

Patriotism, rather than diversion, still characterized the very little
original work of the first quarter of the century for American children.
A book with the imposing title of "Geographical, Statistical and
Political Amusement" was published in Philadelphia in eighteen hundred
and six. "This work," says its advertisement, "is designed as an easy
means of uniting Instruction with Pleasure ... to entice the youthful
mind to an acquaintance with a species of information [about the United
States] highly useful."

"The Juvenile Magazine, or Miscellaneous Repository of Useful
Information," issued in eighteen hundred and three, contained as its
only original contribution an article upon General Washington's will,
"an affecting and most original composition," wrote the editor. This was
followed seven years later by the well-known "Life of George
Washington," by M.L. Weems, in which was printed the now famous and
disputed cherry-tree incident. Its abridged form known to present day
nursery lore differs from the long drawn out account by Weems, who, like
Thomas Day, risked being diffuse in his desire to show plainly his
moral. The last part of the story sufficiently gives his manner of
writing:

"Presently George and his hatchet made their appearance. 'George,' said
his father, 'do you know who killed that beautiful little cherry tree
yonder in the garden?' That was a tough question; and George staggered
under it for a moment; but quickly recovered himself, and looking at his
father, with the sweet face of youth brightened with the inexpressible
charm of all conquering truth, he bravely cried out, 'I can't tell a
lie, Pa; you know I can't tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet!'
'Run to my arms, you dearest boy,' cried his father in transports, 'run
to my arms; glad am I, George, that you killed my tree; for you have
paid me for it a thousand fold. Such an act of heroism is worth more
than a thousand trees, though blossomed with silver, and their fruits of
purest gold.'"

Franklin's "Way to Wealth" was considered to be perfectly adapted to all
children's comprehension, and was issued by various publishers of
juvenile books. By eighteen hundred and eight it was illustrated and
sold "with fine engravings for twenty-five cents."

Of patriotic poetry there was much for grown folks, but the "Patriotic
and Amatory Songster," advertised by S. Avery of Boston about the time
Weems's biography was published, seems a title ill-suited to the
juvenile public for whom Avery professed to issue it.

Among the books which may be cited as furnishing instructive amusement
with less of the admixture of moral purpose was the "London Cries for
Children," with pictures of street peddlers. This was imitated in
America by the publication of the "Cries of New York" and "Cries of
Philadelphia."

In the Lenox Collection there is now one of the various editions of the
"Cries of New York" (published in 1808), which is valuable both as a
record of the street life of the old-fashioned town of ninety-six
thousand inhabitants, and as perhaps the first child's book of purely
local interest, with original woodcuts very possibly designed and
engraved by Alexander Anderson.

The "Cries of New York" is of course modelled after the "London Cries,"
but the account it gives of various incidents in the daily life of old
New York makes us grateful for the existence of this child's toy. A
picture of a chimney-sweep, for instance, is copied, with his cry of
"Sweep, O, O, O, O," from the London book, but the text accompanying it
is altered to accord with the custom in New York of firing a gun at
dawn:

"About break of day, after the morning gun is heard from Governor's
Island, and so through the forenoon, the ears of the citizens are
greeted with this uncouth sound from figures as unpleasant to the sight,
clothed in rags and covered with soot--a necessary and suffering class
of human beings indeed--spending their childhood thus. And in regard to
the unnecessary bawling of those sooty boys; it is _admirable_ in such a
noisy place as this, where every needless sound should be hushed, that
such disagreeable ones should be allowed. The prices for sweeping
chimneys are--one story houses twelve cents; two stories, eighteen
cents; three stories, twenty-five cents, and so on."

"Hot Corn" was also cried by children, whose business it was to "gather
cents, by distributing corn to those who are disposed to regale
themselves with an ear." Baked pears are pictured as sold "by a little
black girl, with the pears in an earthen dish under her arm." At the
same season of the year, "Here's your fine ripe water-melons" also made
itself heard above the street noises as a street cry of entirely
American origin. Again there were pictured "Oyster Stands," served by
negroes, and these were followed by cries of

   "Fine Clams: choice Clams,
    Here's your Rock-a-way beach
    Clams: here's your fine
    Young, sand Clams,"

from Flushing Cove Bay, which the text explains, "turn out as good, or
perhaps better," than oysters. The introduction of negroes and negro
children into the illustrations is altogether a novelty, and together
with the scenes drawn from the street life of the town gave to the
old-fashioned child its first distinctly American picture-book. Indeed,
with the exception of this and an occasional illustration in some
otherwise English reproduction, all the American publishers at this time
seem to have modelled their wares for small children after those of two
large London firms, J. Harris, successor to Newbery, and William Darton.

To Darton, the author of "Little Truths," the children were indebted for
a serious attempt to improve the character of toy-books. A copper-plate
engraver by profession, Darton's attention was drawn to the scarcity of
books for children by the discovery that there was not much written for
them that was worth illustrating. Like Newbery, he set about to make
books himself, and with John Harvey, also an engraver, he set up in
Grace Church Street an establishment for printing and publishing, from
which he supplied, to a great extent, the juvenile books closely
imitated by American printers. Besides his own compositions, he was very
alert to encourage promising authors, and through him the famous verses
of Jane and Ann Taylor were brought into notice. "Original Poems," and
"Rhymes for the Nursery," by these sisters, were to the old-time child
what Stevenson's "Child's Garden of Verses" is to the modern nursery.
Darton and Harvey paid ten pounds for the first series of "Original
Poems," and fifteen pounds for the second; while "Rhymes for the
Nursery" brought to its authors the unusual sum of twenty pounds. The
Taylors were the originators of that long series of verses for infants
which "My Sister" and "My Governess" strove to surpass but never in any
way equalled, although they apparently met with a fair sale in America.

[Illustration: _Little Nancy_]

Enterprising American booksellers also copied the new ways of
advertising juvenile books. An instance of this is afforded by Johnson
and Warner of Philadelphia, who apparently succeeded Jacob and Benjamin
Johnson, and had, by eighteen hundred and ten, branch shops in Richmond,
Virginia, and Lexington, Kentucky. They advertised their "neatly
executed books of amusement" in book notes in the "Young Gentlemen and
Ladies' Magazine," by means of digressions from the thread of their
stories, and sometimes by inserting as frontispiece a rhyme taken from
one used by John Harris of St. Paul's Churchyard:

   "At JO---- store in Market Street
    A sure reward good children meet.
    In coming home the other day
    I heard a little master say
    For ev'ry three-pence there he took
    He had received a little book.
    With covers neat and cuts so pretty
    There's not its like in all the city;
    And that for three-pence he could buy
    A story book would make one cry;
    For little more a book of Riddles:
    Then let us not buy drums and fiddles
    Nor yet be stopped at pastry cooks',
    But spend our money all in books;
    For when we've learnt each bit by heart
    Mamma will treat us with a tart."

Later, when engraving had become more general in use, William Charles
cut for an advertisement, as frontispiece to some of his imprints, an
interior scene containing a shelf of books labelled "W. Charles' Library
for Little Folks." About the same time another form of advertisement
came into use. This was the publisher's _Recommendation_, which
frequently accompanied the narrative in place of a preface. The "Story
of Little Henry and his Bearer," by Mrs. Sherwood, a writer of many
English Sunday-school tales, contained the announcement that it was
"fraught with much useful instruction. It is recommended as an excellent
thing to be put in the hands of children; and grown persons will find
themselves well paid for the trouble of reading it."

Little Henry belonged to the Sunday-school type of hero, one whose
biography Dr. Holmes doubtless avoided when possible. Yet no history of
toy-books printed presumably for children's amusement as well as
instruction should omit this favorite story, which represents all others
of its class of Religion-in-Play books. The following incidents are
taken from an edition printed by Lincoln and Edmunds of Boston. This
firm made a special feature of "Books suitable for Presents in
Sunday-School." They sold wholesale for eight dollars a hundred, such
tales as Taylor's "Hymns for Infant Minds," "Friendly Instruction,"
Fenelon's "Reflections," Doddridge's "Principles of the Christian
Religion," "Pleasures of Piety in Youth," "Walks of Usefulness,"
"Practical Piety," etc.

The objective point of little Henry's melancholy history was to prove
the "Usefulness of Female Missionaries," said its editor, Mrs. Cameron,
a sister of the author, who at the time was herself living in India.
Mrs. Sherwood based the thread of her story upon the life of a household
in India, but it winds itself mainly around the conversion of the
faithful Indian bearer who served five-year-old Henry. This small
orphan was one of those morbidly religious children who "never said a
bad word and was vexed when he heard any other person do it." He also,
although himself "saved by grace," as the phrase then ran in evangelical
circles, was chronically anxious lest he should offend the Lord. To
quote verbatim from this relic of the former religious life would savor
too much of ridiculing those things that were sacred and serious to the
people of that day. Yet the main incidents of the story were these:
Henry's conversion took place after a year and a half of hard work on
the part of a missionary, who finally had the satisfaction of bringing
little Henry "from the state of grossest heathen darkness and ignorance
to a competent knowledge of those doctrines necessary to salvation."
This was followed immediately by the offer of Henry to give all his toys
for a Bible with a purple morocco cover. Then came the preparations for
the teacher's departure, when she called him to her room and catechized
him in a manner worthy of Cotton Mather a century before. After his
teacher's departure the boy, mindful of the lady's final admonition,
sought to make a Christian of his bearer, Boosy. Like so many story-book
parents, Henry's mother was altogether neglectful of her child; and
consequently he was left much to the care of Boosy--time which he
improved with "arguments with Boosy concerning the great Creator of
things." But it is not necessary to follow Henry through his ardent
missionary efforts to the admission of the black boy of his sinful
state, nor to the time when the hero was delivered from this evil world.
Enough has been said to show that the religious child of fiction was not
very different from little Elizabeth Butcher or Hannah Hill of colonial
days, whose pious sayings were still read when "Little Henry" was
introduced to the American child.

Indeed, when Mrs. Sherwood's fictitious children were not sufficiently
religious to come up to the standard of five-year-old Henry, their
parents were invariably as pious as the father of the "Fairchild
Family." This was imported and reprinted for more than one generation as
a "best seller." It was almost a modernized version of Janeway's "Token
for Children," with Mather's supplement of "A Token for the Children of
New England," in its frequent production of death-bed scenes, together
with painful object lessons upon the sinfulness of every heart. To
impress such lessons Mr. Fairchild spared his family no sight of horror
or distress. He even took them to see a man on the gallows, "that," said
the ingenuous gentleman, "they may love each other with a perfect and
heavenly love." As the children gazed upon the dreadful object the
tender father described in detail its every phase, and ended by kneeling
in prayer. The story of Evelyn in the third chapter was written as the
result of a present of books from an American _Universalist_, whose
doctrines Mrs. Sherwood thought likely to be pernicious to children and
should be controverted as soon as possible. Later, other things
emanating from America were considered injurious to children, but this
seems to be the first indication that American ideas were noticed in
English juvenile literature.

But all this lady's tales were not so lugubrious, and many were immense
favorites. Children were even named for the hero of the "Little
Millenium Boy." Publishers frequently sent her orders for books to be
"written to cuts," and the "Busy Bee," the "Errand Boy," and the "Rose"
were some of the results of this method of supplying the demand for her
work. Naturally, Mrs. Sherwood, like Miss Edgeworth, had many imitators,
but if we could believe the incidents related as true to life, parents
would seem to have been either very indifferent to their children or
forever suspicious of them. In Newbery's time it had been thought no sin
to wear fine buckled shoes, to be genteelly dressed with a wide
"ribband;" but now the vain child was one who wore a white frock with
pink sash, towards whom the finger of scorn was pointed, and from whom
the moral was unfailingly drawn. Vanity was, apparently, an unpardonable
sin, as when in a "Moral Tale,"

   "Mamma observed the rising lass
    By stealth retiring to the glass
    To practise little arts unseen
    In the true genius of thirteen."

The constant effort to draw a lesson from every action sometimes led to
overstepping the bounds of truth by the parents themselves, as for
example in a similar instance of love for a mirror. "What is this I see,
Harriet?" asked a mother in "Emulation." "Is that the way you employ
your precious time? I am no longer surprised at the alteration in your
looks of late, that you have appeared so sickly, have lost your
complexion; in short I have twenty times been on the point of asking you
if you are ill. You look shockingly, child."

"I am very well, Mamma, indeed," cried Harriet, quite alarmed.

"Impossible, my dear, you can never look well, while you follow such an
unwholesome practice. Looking-glasses were never intended for little
girls, and very few sensible people use them as there is something
really poisonous in their composition. To use them is not only
prejudicial to the health but to the disposition."

Although this conception of the use of looking-glasses as prejudicial to
right living seems to hark back to the views expressed in the old story
of the "Prodigal Daughter," who sat before a mirror when the Devil made
his second appearance, yet the world of story-book literature, even
though its creators were sometimes either careless or ignorant of facts,
now also emphasized the value of general knowledge, which it endeavored
to pour in increasing quantity into the nursery. Miss More had started
the stream of goody-goody books, while Miss Edgeworth, Mrs. Barbauld,
and Thomas Day were the originators of the deluge of conversational
bores, babies, boys, and teachers that threatened to flood the family
book-shelves of America when the American writers for children came upon
the scene.

FOOTNOTES:

[148-A] As long ago as seventeen hundred and sixty-two, Garrat Noel, a
Dutch bookseller in New York, advertised that, "according to his Annual
Custom, he ... provided a very large Assortment of Books ... as proper
Presents at Christmas." See page 68.

[166-A] Linton, _Wood Engraving in America_. Boston, 1882.

[168-A] Linton, _Wood Engraving in America_. Boston, 1882.

[169-A] Linton, _Wood Engraving in America_. Boston, 1882.



CHAPTER VII

1825-1840



    Old story-books! old story-books! we owe you much, old friends,
    Bright-coloured threads in Memory's warp, of which Death holds the
      ends.
    Who can forget? Who can spurn the ministers of joy
    That waited on the lisping girl and petticoated boy?
    Talk of your vellum, gold embossed, morocco, roan, and calf;
    The blue and yellow wraps of old were prettier by half.
                                                 ELIZA COOKE

    Their works of amusement, when not laden with more religion than the
    tale can hold in solution, are often admirable.
                                                _Quarterly Review_, 1843



CHAPTER VII

1825-1840

_American Writers and English Critics_


It is customary to refer to the early writings of Washington Irving as
works that marked the time when literature pure and simple developed in
America. Such writing as had hitherto attracted attention concerned
itself, not with matters of the imagination, but with facts and theories
of current and momentous interest. Religion and the affairs of the
separate commonwealths were uppermost in people's minds in colonial
days; political warfare and the defence of the policy of Congress
absorbed attention in Revolutionary times; and later the necessity of
expounding principles of government and of fostering a national feeling
produced a literature of fact rather than of fancy.

Gradually all this had changed. A new generation had grown up with more
leisure for writing and more time to devote to the general culture of
the public. The English periodical with its purpose of "improving the
taste, awakening the attention, and amending the heart," had once met
these requirements. Later on these periodicals had been keenly enjoyed,
but at the same time there appeared American magazines, modelled after
them, but largely filled by contributions from literary Americans. Early
in the nineteenth century such publications were current in most large
towns. From the short essays and papers in these periodicals to the
tales of Cooper and Irving the step, after all, was not a long one.

The children's literature of amusement developed, after the end of the
eighteenth century, in a somewhat similar way, although as usual tagging
along after that of their parents.

With the constantly increasing population the production of children's
books grew more profitable, and in eighteen hundred and two Benjamin
Johnson made an attempt to publish a "Juvenile Magazine" in
Philadelphia. Its purpose was to be a "Miscellaneous Repository of
Useful Information;" but the contents were so largely drawn from English
sources that it was probably, like the toy-books, pirated from an
English publisher. Indeed, one of the few extant volumes contains only
one article of distinctly American composition among essays on
_Education_, the _Choice of a Wife_, _Love_, papers on natural history,
selections from poems by Coleridge and Cowper; and by anonymous makers
of verse about _Consumption_ and _Friendship_. The American
contribution, a discussion of President Washington's will, has already
been mentioned.

In the same year, 1802, the "Juvenile Olio" was started, edited by
"Amyntor," but like Johnson's "Juvenile Magazine," was only issued at
irregular intervals and was short-lived.

Other ventures in children's periodicals continued to be made, however.
The "Juvenile Magazine," with "Religious, Moral, and Entertaining Pieces
in Prose and Verse," was compiled by Arthur Donaldson, and sold in
eighteen hundred and eleven as a monthly in Philadelphia--then the
literary centre--for twelve and a half cents a number. In eighteen
hundred and thirteen, in the same city, the "Juvenile Portfolio" made
its appearance, possibly in imitation of Joseph Dennie's "Port Folio;"
but it too failed from lack of support and interest.

Boston proved more successful in arousing attention to the possibilities
in a well-conducted children's periodical, although it was not until
thirteen years later that Lydia Maria Child established the "Juvenile
Miscellany for the Instruction and Amusement of Youth." Three numbers
were issued in 1826, and thereafter it appeared every other month until
August, 1834, when it was succeeded by a magazine of the same name
conducted by Sarah J. Hale.

This periodical is a landmark in the history of story-writing for the
American child. Here at last was an opportunity for the editors to give
to their subscribers descriptions of cities in their own land in place
of accounts of palaces in Persia; biographies of national heroes instead
of incidents in the life of Mahomet; and tales of Indians rather than
histories of Arabians and Turks. For its pages Mrs. Sigourney, Miss
Eliza Leslie, Mrs. Wells, Miss Sedgwick, and numerous anonymous
contributors gladly sent stories of American scenes and incidents which
were welcomed by parents as well as by children.

In the year following the first appearance of Mrs. Hale's "Juvenile
Miscellany," the March number is typical of the amusement and
instruction the editor endeavored to provide. This contained a life of
Benjamin Franklin (perhaps the earliest child's life of the philosopher
and statesman), a tale of an Indian massacre of an entire settlement in
Maine, an essay on memory, a religious episode, and extracts from a
traveller's journal. The traveller, quite evidently a Bostonian,
criticised New York in a way not unfamiliar in later days, as a city
where "the love of literature was less strong than in some other parts
of the United States;" and then in trying to soften the statement, she
fell into a comparison with Philadelphia, also made many times since the
gentle critic observed the difference. "New York," she wrote, "has
energy, spirit, and bold, lofty enterprise, totally wanting in
Philadelphia, ... a place of neat, well regulated plans." Also, like the
English story-book of the previous century, this American "Miscellany"
introduced _Maxims for a Student_, found, it cheerfully explained,
"among the manuscripts of a deceased friend." Puzzles and conundrums
made an entertaining feature, and as the literary _chef d'oeuvre_ was
inserted a poem supposed to be composed by a babe in South Carolina, but
of which the author was undoubtedly Mrs. Gilman, whose ideas of a baby's
ability were certainly not drawn from her own nursery.

A rival to the "Juvenile Miscellany" was the "Youth's Companion,"
established at this time in Boston by Nathaniel P. Willis and the
Reverend Asa Rand. The various religious societies also began to issue
children's magazines for Sunday perusal: the Massachusetts Sunday School
Union beginning in 1828 the "Sabbath School Times," and other societies
soon following its example.

"Parley's Magazine," planned by Samuel G. Goodrich and published by
Lilly, Wait and Company of Boston, ran a successful course of nine years
from eighteen hundred and thirty-three. The prospectus declared the
intention of its conductors "to give descriptions of manners, customs,
and countries, Travels, Voyages, and Adventures in Various parts of the
world, interesting historical notes, Biography, particularly of young
persons, original tales, cheerful and pleasing Rhymes, and to issue the
magazine every fortnight." The popularity of the name of Peter Parley
insured a goodly number of subscriptions from the beginning, and the
life of "Parley's Magazine" was somewhat longer than any of its
predecessors.

In the south the idea of issuing a juvenile magazine was taken up by a
firm in Charleston, and the "Rose Bud" was started in eighteen hundred
and thirty. The "Rose Bud," a weekly, was largely the result of the
success of the "Juvenile Miscellany," as the editor of the southern
paper, Mrs. Gilman, was a valued contributor to the "Miscellany," and
had been encouraged in her plan of a paper for children of the south by
the Boston conductors of the northern periodical.

Mrs. Gilman was born in Boston, and at sixteen years of age had
published a poem most favorably criticised at the time. Marrying a
clergyman who settled in Charleston, she continued her literary work,
but was best known to our grandmothers as the author of "Recollections
of a New England Housekeeper." The "Rose Bud" soon blossomed into the
"Southern Rose," a family paper, but faded away in 1839.

Among other juvenile weeklies of the time may be mentioned the "Juvenile
Rambler" and the "Hive," which are chiefly interesting by reason of the
opportunity their columns offered to youthful contributors.

Another series of "miscellaneous repositories" for the instructive
enjoyment of little people was furnished by the Annuals of the period.
These, of course, were modelled after the adult Annuals revolving in
social circles and adorning the marble-topped tables of drawing-rooms in
both England and America.

Issued at the Christmas and New Year seasons, these children's Annuals
formed the conventional gift-book for many years, and publishers spared
no effort to make them attractive. Indeed, their red morocco, silk, or
embossed scarlet cloth bindings form a cheerful contrast to the dreary
array of black and drab cloth covering the fiction of both old and
young. Better illustrations were also introduced than the ugly cuts
"adorning" the other books for juvenile readers. Oliver Pelton, Joseph
Andrews (who ranked well as an engraver), Elisha Gallaudet, Joseph G.
Kellogg, Joseph I. Pease, and Thomas Illman were among the workers in
line-engraving whose early work served to illustrate, often
delightfully, these popular collections of children's stories.

Among the "Annualettes," "Keepsakes," "Evening Hours," and "Infant's
Hours" published at intervals after eighteen hundred and twenty-five the
"Token" stands preëminent. Edited by Samuel G. Goodrich (Peter Parley)
between the years eighteen hundred and twenty-eight and eighteen hundred
and forty-two, its contents and illustrations were almost entirely
American. Edward Everett, Bishop Doane, A.H. Everett, John Quincy Adams,
Longfellow, Hawthorne, Miss Sedgwick, Eliza Leslie, Dr. Holmes, Horace
Greeley, James T. Fields, and Gulian Verplanck--all were called upon to
make the "Token" an annual treat to children. Of the many stories
written for it, only Hawthorne's "Twice Told Tales" survive; but the
long list of contributors of mark in American literature cannot be
surpassed to-day by any child's book by contemporary authors. The
contents, although written in the style of eighty years ago, are
undoubtedly good from a literary standpoint, however out of date their
story-telling qualities may be. And, moreover, the "Token" assuredly
gave pleasure to the public for which its yearly publication was made.

[Illustration: _Children of the Cottage_]

By eighteen hundred and thirty-five the "Annual" was in full swing as a
popular publication. Then an international book was issued, "The
American Juvenile Keepsake," edited by Mrs. Hofland, the well-known
writer of English stories for children. Mrs. Hofland cried up her wares
in a manner quite different from that of the earlier literary ladies.
"My table of contents," she wrote in her introduction, "exhibits a list
of names not exceeded in reputation by any preceding Juvenile Annual;
for, although got up with a celerity almost distressing in the hurry it
imposed, such has been the kindness of my literary friends, that they
have left me little more to wish for." Among the English contributors
were Miss Mitford, Miss Jean Roberts, Miss Browne, and Mrs. Hall, the
ablest writers for English children, and already familiar to American
households.

Mrs. Hofland, herself, wrote one of its stories, noteworthy as an early
attempt of an English author to write for an American juvenile public.
She found her theme in the movement of emigration strong in England just
then among the laboring people. No amount of discouragement and bitter
criticism of the United States by the British press was sufficient to
stem appreciably the tide of laborers that flowed towards the country
whence came information of better wages and more work. Mrs. Hofland,
although writing for little Americans, could not wholly resist the
customary fling at American life and society. She acknowledged, however,
that long residence altered first impressions and brought out the kernel
of American character, whose husk only was visible to sojourners. She
deplored the fact that "gay English girls used only to the polished
society of London were likely to return with the impression that the men
were rude and women frivolous." This impression the author was inclined
to believe unjust, yet deemed it wise, because of the incredulous
(perhaps even in America!), to back her own opinion by a note saying
that this view was also shared by a valued friend who had lived fourteen
years in Raleigh, South Carolina.

Having thus done justice, in her own eyes, to conditions in the new
country, Mrs. Hofland, launched the laborer's family upon the sea, and
followed their travels from New York to Lexington, Kentucky, at that
time a land unknown to the average American child beyond some hazy
association with the name of Daniel Boone. It was thus comparatively
safe ground on which to place the struggles of the immigrants, who
prospered because of their English thrift and were an example to the
former residents. Of course the son grew up to prove a blessing to the
community, and eventually, like the heroes in old Isaiah Thomas's
adaptations of Newbery's good boys, was chosen Congressman.

There is another point of interest in connection with this English
author's tale. Whether consciously or not, it is a very good imitation
of Peter Parley's method of travelling with his characters in various
lands or over new country. It is, perhaps, the first instance in the
history of children's literature of an American story-writer influencing
the English writer of juvenile fiction. And it was not the only time. So
popular and profitable did Goodrich's style of story become that
somewhat later the frequent attempts to exploit anonymously and
profitably his pseudonymn in England as well as in America were loudly
lamented by the originator of the "Tales of Peter Parley." It is,
moreover, suggestive of the gradual change in the relations between the
two countries that anything written in America was thought worth
imitating. America, indeed, was beginning to supply incidents around
which to weave stories for British children and tales altogether made at
home for her own little readers.

In the same volume Mrs. S.C. Hall also boldly attempted to place her
heroine in American surroundings. Philadelphia was the scene chosen for
her tale; but, having flattered her readers by this concession to their
sympathies and interest, the author was still sufficiently insular to
doubt the existence of a competent local physician in this the earliest
medical centre in the United States. An English family had come to make
their home in the city, where the mother's illness necessitated the
attendance of a French doctor to make a correct diagnosis of her case.
An operation was advised, which the mother, Mrs. Allen, hesitated to
undergo in an unknown land. Emily, the fourteen-year-old daughter, urged
her not to delay, as she felt quite competent to be in attendance,
having had "five teeth drawn without screaming; nursed a brother through
the whooping-cough and a sister through the measles."

"Ma foi, Mademoiselle," said the French doctor, "you are very heroic;
why, let me see, you talk of being present at an operation, which I
would not hardly suffer my junior pupils to attend."

"Put," said the heroic damsel, "my resolution, sir, to any test you
please; draw one, two, three teeth, I will not flinch." And this courage
the writer thought could not be surpassed in a London child. It is
needless to say that Emily's fortitude was sufficient to endure the
sight of her mother's suffering, and to nurse her to complete recovery.
Evidently residence in America had not yet sapped the young girl's moral
strength, or reduced her to the frivolous creature an American woman was
reputed in England to be.

Among the home contributors to "The American Juvenile Keepsake" were
William L. Stone, who wrote a prosy article about animals; and Mrs.
Embury, called the Mitford of America (because of her stories of village
life), who furnished a religious tale to controvert the infidel
doctrines considered at the time subtly undermining to childish faith,
with probable reference to the Unitarian movement then gaining many
adherents. Mrs. Embury's stories were so generally gloomy, being
strongly tinged with the melancholy religious views of certain church
denominations, that one would suppose them to have been eminently
successful in turning children away from the faith she sought to
encourage. For this "Keepsake" the same lady let her poetical fancy take
flight in "The Remembrance of Youth is a Sigh," a somewhat lugubrious
and pessimistic subject for a child's Christmas Annual. Occasionally a
more cheerful mood possessed "Ianthe," as she chose to call herself, and
then we have some of the earliest descriptions of country life in
literature for American children. There is one especially charming
picture of a walk in New England woods upon a crisp October day, when
the children merrily hunt for chestnuts among the dry brown leaves,
and the squirrels play above their heads in the many colored boughs.

[Illustration: _Henrietta_]

Dr. Holmes has somewhere remarked upon the total lack of American nature
descriptions in the literature of his boyhood. No birds familiar to him
were ever mentioned; nor were the flowers such as a New England child
could ever gather. Only English larks and linnets, cowslips and
hawthorn, were to be found in the toy-books and little histories read to
him. "Everything was British: even the robin, a domestic bird," wrote
the doctor, "instead of a great fidgety, jerky, whooping thrush." But
when Peter Parley, Jacob Abbott, Lydia Maria Child, Mrs. Embury, and
Eliza Leslie began to write short stories, the Annuals and periodicals
abounded in American scenes and local color.

There was also another great incentive for writers to work for children.
This was the demand made for stories from the American Sunday School
Union, whose influence upon the character of juvenile literature was a
force bearing upon the various writers, and whose growth was coincident
with the development of the children's periodical literature.

The American Sunday School Union, an outgrowth of the several religious
publication societies, in eighteen hundred and twenty-four began to do
more extensive work, and therefore formed a committee to judge and
pronounce upon all manuscripts, which American writers were asked to
submit.

The sessions of the Sunday-schools were no longer held for illiterate
children only. The younger members of each parish or church were found
upon its benches each Sunday morning or afternoon. To promote and to
impress the religious teaching in these schools, rewards were offered
for well-prepared lessons and regular attendance. Also the scholars were
encouraged to use the Sunday-school library. For these different
purposes many books were needed, but naturally only those stamped with
the approval of the clergyman in charge were circulated.

The board of publication appointed by the American Sunday School
Union--composed chiefly of clergymen of certain denominations--passed
upon the merits of the many manuscripts sent in by piously inclined
persons, and edited such of them as proved acceptable. The marginal
notes on the pages of the first edition of an old Sunday-school favorite
bear witness to the painstaking care of the editors that the leaflets,
tracts, and stories poured in from all parts of the country should
"shine by reason of the truth contained," and "avoid the least
appearance, the most indirect insinuations, of anything which can
militate against the strictest ideas of propriety." The tales had also
to keep absolutely within the bounds of religion. Many were the stories
found lacking in direct religious teaching, or returned because religion
was not vitally connected with the plot, to be rewritten or sent
elsewhere for publication.

The hundreds of stories turned out in what soon became a mechanical
fashion were of two patterns: the one of the good child, a constant
attendant upon Sabbath School and Divine Worship, but who died young
after converting parent or worldly friend during a painful illness; the
other of the unregenerate youth, who turned away from the godly
admonition of mother and clergyman, refused to attend Sunday-school,
and consequently fell into evil ways leading to the thief's or
drunkard's grave. Often a sick mother was introduced to claim emotional
attention, or to use as a lay figure upon which to drape Scripture texts
as fearful warnings to the black sheep of the family. Indeed, the little
reader no sooner began to enjoy the tale of some sweet and gentle girl,
or to delight in the mischievous boy, than he was called upon to reflect
that early piety portended an early death, and youthful pranks led to a
miserable old age. Neither prospect offered much encouragement to hope
for a happy life, and from conversations with those brought up on this
form of religious culture, it is certain that if a child escaped without
becoming morbid and neurotic, there were dark and secret resolves to
risk the unpleasant future in favor of a happy present.

The stories, too, presented a somewhat paradoxical familiarity with the
ways of a mysterious Providence. This was exceedingly perplexing to the
thoughtful child, whose queries as to justice were too often hushed by
parent or teacher. In real life, every child expected, even if he did
not receive, a tangible reward for doing the right thing; but
Providence, according to these authors, immediately caused a good child
to become ill unto death. It is not a matter for surprise that the
healthy-minded, vigorous child often turned in disgust from the
Sunday-school library to search for Cooper's tales of adventure on his
father's book-shelves.

The correct and approved child's story, even if not issued under
religious auspices, was thoroughly saturated with religion. Whatever may
have been the practice of parents in regard to their own reading, they
wished that of the nursery to show not only an educational and moral,
but a religious tendency. The books for American children therefore
divided themselves into three classes: the denominational story, to set
forth the doctrines of one church; the educational tale; and the moral
narrative of American life.

The denominational stories produced by the several Sunday-school
societies were, as has been said, only a kind of scaffolding upon which
to build the teachings of the various churches. But their sale was
enormous, and a factor to be reckoned with because of their influence
upon the educational and moral tales of their period. By eighteen
hundred and twenty-seven, fifty-thousand books and tracts had been sent
out by one Sunday-school society alone.[204-A] There are few things more
remarkable in the history of juvenile literature than the growth of the
business of the American Sunday School Union. By eighteen hundred and
twenty-eight it had issued over seven hundred of these religious
trifles, varying from a sixteen-page duodecimo to a small octavo volume;
and most of these appear to have been written by Americans trying their
inexperienced pens upon a form of literature not then recognized as
difficult. The influence of such a flood of tiny books could hardly have
been other than morbid, although occasionally there floated down the
stream duodecimos which were grasped by little readers with eagerness.
Such volumes, one reader of bygone Sunday-school books tells us,
glimmered from the dark depths of death and prison scenes, and were
passed along with whispered recommendation until their well-worn covers
attracted the eye of the teacher, and were quickly found to be missing
from library shelves. Others were commended in their stead, such as
described the city boy showing the country cousin the town sights, with
most edifying conversation as to their history; or, again, amusement of
a light and alluring character was presumably to be found in the story
of a little maid who sat upon a footstool at her mother's knee, and
while she hemmed the four sides of a handkerchief, listened to the
account of missionary enterprises in the dark corners of the earth.

To us of to-day the small illustrations are perhaps the most interesting
feature, preserving as they do children's occupations and costumes. In
one book we see quaintly frocked and pantaletted girls and much buttoned
boys in Sunday-school. In another, entitled "Election Day," are pictured
two little lads watching, from the square in front of Independence Hall,
the handing in of votes for the President through a window of the famous
building--a picture that emphasizes the change in methods of casting the
ballot since eighteen hundred and twenty-eight.

That engravers were not always successful when called upon to embellish
the pages of the Sunday-school books, many of them easily prove. That
the designers of woodcuts were sometimes lacking in imagination when
obliged to depict Bible verses can have no better example than the
favorite vignette on title-pages portraying "My soul doth magnify the
Lord" as a man with a magnifying glass held over a blank space. Perhaps
equal in lack of imagination was the often repeated frontispiece of
"Mercy streaming from the Cross," illustrated by a large cross with an
effulgent rain beating upon the luxuriant tresses of a languishing lady.
There were many pictures but little art in the old-fashioned
Sunday-school library books.

It was in Philadelphia that one of the first, if not the first
children's library was incorporated in 1827 as the Apprentices' Library.
Eleven years later this library contained more than two thousand books,
and had seven hundred children as patrons. The catalogue of that year is
indicative of the prevalence of the Sunday-school book. "Adventures of
Lot" precedes the "Affectionate Daughter-in-Law," which is followed by
"Anecdotes of Christian Missions" and "An Alarm to Unconverted Sinners."
Turning the yellowed pages, we find "Hannah Swanton, the Casco Captive,"
histories of Bible worthies, the "Infidel Class," "Little Deceiver
Reclaimed," "Letters to Little Children," "Juvenile Piety," and
"Julianna Oakley." The bookish child of this decade could not escape
from the "Reformed Family" and the consumptive little Christian, except
by taking refuge in the parents' novels, collections of the British
poets and essayists, and the constantly increasing American writings for
adults. Perhaps in this way the Sunday-school books may be counted among
that long list of such things as are commonly called blessings in
disguise.

[Illustration: _A Child and her Doll_]

Aside from the strictly religious tale, the contents of the now
considerable output of Harper and Brothers, Mahlon Day, Samuel Wood and
Sons of New York; Cottons and Barnard, Lincoln and Edmunds, Lilly, Wait
and Company, Munroe and Francis of Boston; Matthew Carey, Conrad and
Parsons, Morgan and Sons, and Thomas T. Ashe of Philadelphia--to
mention but a few of the publishers of juvenile novelties--are
convincing proof that booksellers catered to the demand for stories with
a strong religious bias. The "New York Weekly," indeed, called attention
to Day's books as "maintaining an unbroken tendency to virtue and
piety."

When not impossibly pious, these children of anonymous fiction were
either insufferable prigs with a steel moral code, or so ill-bred as to
be equally impossible and unnatural. The favorite plan of their creators
was to follow Miss Edgeworth's device of contrasting the good and
naughty infant. The children, too, were often cousins: one, for example,
was the son of a gentleman who in his choice of a wife was influenced by
strict religious principles; the other boy inherited his disposition
from his mother, a lady of bland manners and fine external appearance,
but who failed to establish in her offspring "correct principles of
virtue, religion, and morality." The author paused at this point in the
narrative to discuss the frailties of the lady, before resuming its
slender thread. Who to-day could wade through with children the
good-goody books of that generation?

Happily, many of the writers for little ones chose to be unknown, for it
would be ungenerous to disparage by name these ladies who considered
their productions edifying, and in their ingenuousness never dreamed
that their stories were devoid of every quality that makes a child's
book of value to the child. They were literally unconscious that their
tales lacked that simplicity and directness in style, and they
themselves that knowledge of human nature, absolutely necessary to
construct a pleasing and profitable story. The watchwords of these
painstaking ladies were "religion, virtue, and morality," and heedless
of everything else, they found oblivion in most cases before they gained
recognition from the public they longed to influence.

The decade following eighteen hundred and thirty brought prominently to
the foreground six American authors among the many who occasioned brief
notice. Of these writers two were men and four were women. Jacob Abbott
and Samuel G. Goodrich wrote the educational tales, Abbott largely for
the nursery, while Goodrich devoted his attention mainly to books for
the little lads at school. The four women, Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, Miss
Eliza Leslie, Miss Catharine Sedgwick, and Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney,
wrote mainly for girls, and took American life as their subject. Mrs.
Hale wrote much for adults, but when editor of the "Juvenile
Miscellany," she made various contributions to it. Yet to-day we know
her only by one of her "Poems for Children," published in Boston in
eighteen hundred and thirty--"Mary had a Little Lamb."

Mary's lamb has travelled much farther than to school, and has even
reached that point when its authorship has been disputed. Quite recently
in the "Century Magazine" Mrs. Hale's claim to its composition has been
set forth at some length by Mr. Richard W. Hale, who shows clearly her
desire when more than ninety years of age to be recognized as the
originator of these verses, In fact, "shortly before her death," wrote
Mr. Hale, "she directed her son to write emphatically that every poem in
her book of eighteen hundred and thirty was of her own composition."
Although rarely seen in print, "Mary had a Little Lamb" has outlived
all other nursery rhymes of its day; perhaps because it had most truly
the quality, unusual at the time, of being told directly and simply--a
quality, indeed, that appeals to every generation.

Miss Leslie, like Mrs. Hale, did much editing, beginning on adult
gift-books and collections of housewife's receipts, and then giving most
of her attention to juvenile literature. As editor Miss Leslie did good
work on the "Violet" and the "Pearl," both gift-books for children. She
also abridged, edited, and rewrote "The Wonderful Traveller," and the
adventures of Munchausen, Gulliver, and Sindbad, heroes often
disregarded by this period of lack of imagination and over-supply of
educational theories. Also, as a writer of stories for little girls and
school-maidens, Eliza Leslie met with warm approval on both sides of the
Atlantic.

Undoubtedly the success of Eliza Leslie's "American Girls' Book,"
modelled after the English "Boy's Own Book," and published in 1831,
added to the popularity attained by her earlier work, although of this
she was but the compiler.

The "American Girls' Book" was intended for little girls, and by
dialogue, the prevailing mode of conveying instruction or amusement,
numerous games and plays were described. Already many of the pastimes
have gone out of fashion. "Lady Queen Anne" and "Robin's Alive," "a
dangerous game with a lighted stick," are altogether unknown; "Track the
Rabbit" has changed its name to "Fox and Geese;" "Hot Buttered Beans"
has found a substitute in "Hunt the Thimble;" and "Stir the Mush" has
given place to "Going to Jerusalem."

But Miss Leslie did more than preserve for us these old-fashioned
games. She has left sketches of children's ways and nature in her
various stories for little people. She shared, of course, in the habit
of moralizing characteristic of her day, but her children are childish,
and her heroines are full of the whims, and have truly the pleasures and
natural emotions, of real children.

Miss Leslie began her work for children in eighteen hundred and
twenty-seven, when "Atlantic Stories" were published, and as her
sketches of child-life appeared one after another, her pen grew more
sure in its delineation of characters and her talent was speedily
recognized. Even now "Birthday Stories" are worth reading and treasuring
because of the pictures of family life eighty years ago. The "Souvenir,"
for example, is a Christmas tale of old Philadelphia; the "Cadet's
Sister" sketches life at West Point, where the author's brother had been
a student; while the "Launch of the Frigate" and "Anthony and Clara"
tell of customs and amusements quite passed away. The charming
description of children shopping for their simple Christmas gifts, the
narrative of the boys who paid a poor lad in a bookstore to ornament
their "writing-pieces" for more "respectable presents" to parents, the
quiet celebration of the day itself, can ill be spared from the history
of child life and diversions in America. It is well to be reminded, in
these days of complex and expensive amusements, of some of the saner and
simpler pleasures enjoyed by children in Miss Leslie's lifetime.

All of this writer's books, moreover, have some real interest, whether
it be "Althea Vernon," with the description of summer life and fashions
at Far Rockaway (New York's Manhattan Beach of 1830), or "Henrietta
Harrison," with its sarcastic reference to the fashionable school where
the pupils could sing French songs and Italian operas, but could not be
sure of the notes of "Hail Columbia." Or again, the account is worth
reading of the heroine's trip to New York from Philadelphia. "Simply
habited in a plaid silk frock and Thibet shawl," little Henrietta
starts, under her uncle's protection, at five o'clock in the morning to
take the boat for Bordentown, New Jersey. There she has her first
experience of a railway train, and looks out of the window "at all the
velocity of the train will allow her to see." At Heightstown small
children meet the train with fruit and cakes to sell to hungry
travellers. And finally comes the wonderful voyage from Amboy to the
Battery in New York, which is not reached until night has fallen.

This is the simple explanation as to why Eliza Leslie's books met with
so generous a reception: they were full of the incidents which children
love, and unusually free from the affectations of the pious fictitious
heroine.

The stories of Miss Catharine Sedgwick also received most favorable
criticism, and in point of style were certainly better than Miss
Leslie's. Her reputation as a literary woman was more than national, and
"Redwood," one of her best novels, was attributed in France to Fenimore
Cooper, when it appeared anonymously in eighteen hundred and
twenty-four. Miss Sedgwick's novels, however, pass out of nursery
comprehension in the first chapters, although these were full of a
healthy New England atmosphere, with coasting parties and picnics,
Indians and gypsies, nowhere else better described. The same tone
pervades her contributions to the "Juvenile Miscellany," the "Token,"
and the "Youth's Keepsake," together with her best-known children's
books, "Stories for Children," "A Well Spent Hour," and "A Love Token
for Children."

In contrast to Mrs. Sherwood's still popular "Fairchild Family,"
Catharine Sedgwick's stories breathe a sunny, invigorating atmosphere,
abounding in local incidents, and vigorous in delineation of types then
plentiful in New England. "She has fallen," wrote one admirer, most
truthfully, in the "North American Review" of 1827,--"she has fallen
upon the view, from which the treasures of our future literature are to
be wrought. A literature to have real freshness must be moulded by the
influences of the society where it had its origin. Letters thrive, when
they are at home in the soil. Miss Sedgwick's imaginations have such
vigor and bloom because they are not exotics." Another reviewer, aroused
by English criticism of the social life in America, and full of the much
vaunted theory that "all men are equal," rejoiced in the author's
attitude towards the so-called "help" in New England families in
contrast to Miss More's portrayal of the English child's condescension
towards inferiors, which he thought unsuitable to set before the
children in America.

All Miss Sedgwick's stories were the product of her own keen
intelligence and observation, and not written in imitation of Miss More,
Miss Edgeworth, or Mrs. Sherwood, as were the anonymous tales of "Little
Lucy; or, the Pleasant Day," or "Little Helen; a Day in the Life of a
Naughty Girl." They preached, indeed, at length, but the preaching
could be skipped by interested readers, and unlike the work of many
contemporaries, there was always a thread to take up.

Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney, another favorite contributor to magazines,
collected her "Poetry for Children" into a volume bearing this title, in
eighteen hundred and thirty-four, and published "Tales and Essays" in
the same year. These were followed two years later by "Olive Buds," and
thereafter at intervals she brought out several other books, none of
which have now any interest except as examples of juvenile literature
that had once a decided vogue and could safely be bought for the
Sunday-school library.

The names of Mrs. Anna M. Wells, Mrs. Frances S. Osgood, Mrs. Farrar,
Mrs. Eliza L. Follen, and Mrs. Seba Smith were all well beloved by
children eighty years ago, and their writings, if long since lost sight
of, at least added their quota to the children's publications which were
distinctly American.

If the quantity of books sold is any indication of the popularity of an
author's work, nothing produced by any of these ladies is to be compared
with the "Tales of Peter Parley" and the "Rollo Books" of Jacob Abbott.

The tendency to instruct while endeavoring to entertain was remodelled
by these men, who in after years had a host of imitators. Great visions
of good to children had overtaken dreams of making children good, with
the result that William Darton's conversational method of instruction
was compounded with Miss Edgeworth's educational theories and elaborated
after the manner of Hannah More. Samuel Goodrich, at least, confessed
that his many tales were the direct result of a conversation with Miss
More, whom, because of his admiration for her books, he made an effort
to meet when in England in eighteen hundred and twenty-three. While
talking with the old lady about her "Shepherd of Salisbury Plain," the
idea came to Mr. Goodrich that he, himself, might write for American
children and make good use of her method of introducing much detail in
description. As a child he had not found the few toy-books within his
reach either amusing or interesting, with the exception of this
Englishwoman's writings. He resolved that the growing generation should
be better served, but little dreamed of the unprecedented success, as
far as popularity was concerned, that the result of his determination
would prove.

After his return to America, the immediate favorable reception of the
"Token," under Goodrich's direction, led to the publication in the same
year (1828) of "Peter Parley's Tales about America," followed by "Tales
about Europe." At this date of retrospection the first volume seems in
many ways the best of any of the numerous books by the same author. The
boy hero, taken as a child companion upon a journey through several
states, met with adventures among Indians upon the frontiers, and saw
places of historical significance. Every incident is told in imitation
of Miss More, with that detailed description which Goodrich had found so
fascinating. If a little overdone in this respect, the narrative has
certainly a freshness sadly deficient in many later volumes. Even the
second tale seems to lack the engaging spontaneity of the first, and
already to grow didactic and recitative rather than personal. But both
met with an equally generous and appreciative reception. Parley's
educational tales were undoubtedly the American pioneers in what may be
readily styled the "travelogue" manner used in later years by Elbridge
Brooks and many other writers for little people. These early attempts of
Parley's to educate the young reader were followed by one hundred
others, which sold like hot cakes. Of some tales the sales reached a
total of fifty thousand in one year, while it is estimated that seven
million of Peter Parley's "Histories" and "Tales" were sold before the
admiration of their style and qualities waned.

Peter Parley took his heroes far afield. Jacob Abbott adopted another
plan of instruction in the majority of his books. Beginning in eighteen
hundred and thirty-four with the "Young Christian Series," the Reverend
Mr. Abbott soon had readers in England, Scotland, Germany, France,
Holland, and India, where many of his volumes were translated and
republished. In the "Rollo Books" and "Franconia" an attempt was made to
answer many of the questions that children of each century pour out to
astonish and confound their elders. The child reader saw nothing
incongruous in the remarkable wisdom and maturity of Mary Bell and
Beechnut, who could give advice and information with equal glibness. The
advice, moreover, was often worth following, and the knowledge
occasionally worth having; and the little one swallowed chunks of morals
and morsels of learning without realizing that he was doing so. Most of
both was speedily forgotten, but many adults in after years were
unconsciously indebted to Goodrich and Abbott for some familiarity with
foreign countries, some interest in natural science.

Notwithstanding the immense demand for American stories, there was
fortunately still some doubt as to whether this remodelled form of
instructive amusement and moral story-book literature did not lack
certain wholesome features characteristic of the days when fairies and
folklore, and Newbery's gilt volumes, had plenty of room on the nursery
table. "I cannot very well tell," wrote the editor of the "Fairy
Book"[216-A] in 1836,--"I cannot very well tell why it is that the good
old histories and tales, which used to be given to young people for
their amusement and instruction, as soon as they could read, have of
late years gone quite out of fashion in this country. In former days
there was a worthy English bookseller, one Mr. Newbery, who used to
print thousands of nice little volumes of such stories, which, as he
solemnly declared in print in the books themselves, he gave away to all
little boys and girls, charging them only a sixpenny for the gold
covers. These of course no one could be so unreasonable as to wish him
to furnish at his own expense.... Yet in the last generation, American
boys and girls (the fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers
of the present generation) were not wholly dependent upon Mr. Newbery of
St. Paul's church-yard, though they knew him well and loved him much.
The great Benjamin Franklin, when a printer in Philadelphia, did not
disdain to print divers of Newbery's books adorned with cuts in the
likeness of his, though it must be confessed somewhat inferior.[216-B]
Yet rude as they were, they were probably the first things in the way of
pictures that West and Copley ever beheld, and so instilled into those
future painters, the rudiments of that art by which they afterwards
became so eminent themselves, and conferred such honour upon their
native country. In somewhat later time there were the worthy Hugh Gaine,
at the Sign of the Bible and Crown in Pearl street, and the patriotic
Samuel Loudon, and the genuine and unadulterated New Yorker, Evert
Duyckinck, besides others in Boston and Philadelphia, who trod in the
steps of Newbery, and supplied the infant mind with its first and
sweetest literary food. The munificent Newbery, and the pious and loyal
Hugh Gaine, and the patriotic Samuel Loudon are departed. Banks now
abound and brokers swarm where Loudon erst printed, and many millions
worth of silk and woolen goods are every year sold where Gaine vended
his big Bibles and his little story-books. They are all gone; the
glittering covers and their more brilliant contents, the tales of wonder
and enchantment, the father's best reward for merit, the good
grandmother's most prized presents. They are gone--the cheap delight of
childhood, the unbought grace of boyhood, the dearest, freshest, and
most unfading recollections of maturer life. They are gone--and in their
stead has succeeded a swarm of geological catechisms, entomological
primers, and tales of political economy--dismal trash, all of them;
something half-way between stupid story-books and bad school-books;
being so ingeniously written as to be unfit for any useful purpose in
school and too dull for any entertainment out of it."

This is practically Charles Lamb's lament of some thirty years before.
Lamb had despised the learned Charles, Mrs. Barbauld's peg upon which
to hang instruction, and now an American Shakespeare lover found the use
of toy-books as mechanical guides to knowledge for nursery inmates
equally deplorable.

Yet an age so in love with the acquirement of solid facts as to produce
a Parley and an Abbott was the period when the most famous of all
nursery books was brought out from the dark corner into which it had
been swept by the theories of two generations, and presented once again
as "The Only True Mother Goose Melodies."

The origin of Mother Goose as the protecting genius of the various
familiar jingles has been an interesting field of speculation and
research. The claim for Boston as the birthplace of their sponsor has
long ago been proved a poor one, and now seems likely to have been an
ingenious form of advertisement. But Boston undoubtedly did once again
make popular, at least in America, the lullabies and rhymes repeated for
centuries around French or English firesides.

The history of Mother Goose and her brood is a long one. "Mother Goose,"
writes Mr. Walter T. Field, "began her existence as the raconteuse of
fairy tales, not as the nursery poetess. As La Mère Oye she told stories
to French children more than two hundred and fifty years ago." According
to the researches made by Mr. Field in the literature of Mother Goose,
"the earliest date at which Mother Goose appears as the author of
children's stories is 1667, when Charles Perrault, a distinguished
French littérateur, published in Paris a little book of tales which he
had during that and the preceding year contributed to a magazine known
as 'Moejen's Recueil,' printed at The Hague. This book is entitled
'Histoires ou Contes du Tems Passé, avec des Moralitez,' and has a
frontispiece in which an old woman is pictured, telling stories to a
family group by the fireside while in the background are the words in
large characters, 'Contes de ma Mère l'Oye.'"

It seems, however, to have been John Newbery's publishing-house that
made Mother Goose sponsor for the ditties in much the form in which we
now have them. In Newbery's collection of "Melodies" there were numerous
footnotes burlesquing Dr. Johnson and his dictionary, together with
jests upon the moralizing habit prevalent among authors. There is
evidence that Goldsmith wrote many of these notes when doing hack-work
for the famous publisher in St. Paul's Churchyard. It is known, for
instance, that in January, 1760, Goldsmith celebrated the production of
his "Good Natur'd Man" by dining his friends at an inn. During the feast
he sang his favorite song, said to be

   "There was an old woman tos't up in a blanket,
    Seventy times as high as the moon."

This was introduced quite irrelevantly in the preface to "Mother Goose's
Melodies," but with the apology that it was a favorite with the editor.
There is also the often quoted remark of Miss Hawkins as confirming
Goldsmith's editorship: "I little thought what I should have to boast,
when Goldsmith taught me to play Jack and Jill, by two bits of paper on
his fingers." But neither of these statements seems to have more weight
in solving the mystery of the editor's name than the evidence of the
whimsically satirical notes themselves. How like the author of the
"Vicar of Wakefield" and the children's "Fables in Verse" is this
remark underneath:

    "'There was an old Woman who liv'd under a hill,
     And if she's not gone, she lives there still.'

     "This is a self evident Proposition, which is the very essence of
     Truth. She lived under the hill, and if she's not gone, she lives
     there still. Nobody will presume to contradict this. _Croesa._"

And is not this also a good-natured imitation of that kind of seriously
intended information which Mr. Edgeworth inserted some thirty years
later in "Harry and Lucy:" "Dry, what is not wet"? Again this note is
appended to

   "See Saw Margery Daw
    Jacky shall have a new master:"

"It is a mean and scandalous Practise in Authors to put Notes to Things
that deserve no Notice." Who except Goldsmith was capable of this vein
of humor?

When Munroe and Francis in Boston undertook about eighteen hundred and
twenty-four to republish these old-fashioned rhymes, in the practice of
the current theory that everything must be simplified, they omitted all
these notes and changed many of the "Melodies." Sir Walter Scott's
"Donnel Dhu" was included, and the beautiful Shakespeare selections,
"When Daffodils begin to 'pear," "When the Bee sucks," etc., were
omitted. Doubtless the American editors thought that they had vastly
improved upon the Newbery publication in every word changed and every
line omitted. In reality, they deprived the nursery of much that might
well have remained as it was, although certain expressions were very
properly altered. In a negative manner they did one surprising and
fortunate thing: in leaving out the amusing notes they did not attempt
to replace them, and consequently the nursery had one book free from
that advice and precept, which in other verse for children resulted in
persistent nagging. The illustrations were entirely redrawn, and Abel
Bowen and Nathaniel Dearborn were asked to do the engraving for this
Americanized edition.

Of the poetry written in America for children before eighteen hundred
and forty there is little that need be said. Much of it was entirely
religious in character and most of it was colorless and dreary stuff.
The "Child's Gem" of eighteen hundred and thirty-eight, considered a
treasury of precious verse by one reviewer, and issued in embossed
morocco binding, was characteristic of many contemporary _poems_, in
which nature was forced to exude precepts of virtue and industry. The
following stanzas are no exception to the general tone of the contents
of practically every book entitled "Poetry for Children:"

   "'Be good, little Edmund,' your mother will say,
    She will whisper it soft in your ear,
    And often repeat it, by night and by day
    That you may not forget it, my dear.

   "And the ant at its work, and the flower-loving bee
    And the sweet little bird in the wood
    As it warbles its song, from its nest in the tree,
    Seems to say, 'little Eddy be good.'"

The change in the character of the children's books written by Americans
had begun to be seriously noticed in England. Although there were still
many importations (such as the series written by Mrs. Sherwood), there
was some inclination to resent the stocking of American booksellers'
shelves by the work of local talent, much to the detriment of English
publishers' pockets. The literary critics took up the subject, and
thought themselves justified in disparaging many of the American books
which found also ready sale on English book-counters. The religious
books underwent scathing criticism, possibly not undeserved, except that
the English productions of the same order and time make it now appear
that it was but the pot calling the kettle black. Almost as much fault
was found with the story-books. It apparently mattered little that the
tables were now turned and British publishers were pirating American
tales as freely and successfully as Thomas and Philadelphia printers had
in former years made use of Newbery's, and Darton and Harvey's, juvenile
novelties in book ware.

In the "Quarterly Review" of 1843, in an article entitled "Books for
Children," the writer found much cause for complaint in regard to
stories then all too conspicuous in bookshops in England. "The same
egregious mistakes," said the critic, "as to the nature of a child's
understanding--the same explanations, which are all but indelicate, and
always profane--seem to pervade all these American mentors; and of a
number by Peter Parley, Abbott, Todd, &c., it matters little which we
take up." "Under the name of Peter Parley," continued the disgruntled
gentleman, after finding only malicious evil in poor Mr. Todd's efforts
to explain religious doctrines, "such a number of juvenile school-books
are current--some greatly altered from the originals and many more by
_adopters_ of _Mr. Goodrich's_ pseudonym--that it becomes difficult to
measure the merits or demerits of the said _magnus parens_, Goodrich."
Liberal quotations followed from "Peter Parley's Farewell," which was
censured as palling to the mind of those familiar with the English
sources from which the facts had been irreverently culled.

The reviewer then passed on to another section of "American
abominations" which "seem to have some claim to popularity since they
are easily sold." "These," continued the anonymous critic, "are works
not of amusement--those we shall touch upon later--but of that
half-and-half description where instruction blows with a side wind....
Accordingly after impatient investigation of an immense number of little
tomes, we are come to the conclusion that they may be briefly
classified--firstly, as containing such information as any child in
average life who can speak plainly is likely to be possessed of; and
secondly, such as when acquired is not worth having."

To this second class of book the Reverend Mr. Abbott's "Rollo Books"
were unhesitatingly consigned. They were regarded as curiosities for
"mere occupation of the eye, and utter stagnation of the thoughts, full
of empty minutiae with all the rules of common sense set aside."

Next the writer considered the style of those Americans who persuaded
shillings from English pockets by "ingeniously contrived series which
rendered the purchase of a single volume by no means so recommendable as
that of all." The "uncouth phraseology, crack-jack words, and puritan
derived words are nationalized and therefore do not permit cavilling,"
continued the reviewer, dismayed and disgusted that it was necessary to
warn his public, "but their children never did, or perhaps never will,
hear any other language; and it is to be hoped they _understand_ it. At
all events, we have nothing to do but keep ours from it, believing
firmly that early familiarity with refined and beautiful forms ... is
one of the greatest safeguards against evil, if not necessary to good."

However, the critic did not close his article without a good word for
those ladies in whose books we ourselves have found merit. "Their works
of amusement" he considered admirable, "when not laden with more
religion than the tale can hold in solution. Miss Sedgwick takes a high
place for powers of description and traits of nature, though her
language is so studded with Americanisms as much to mar the pleasure and
perplex the mind of an English reader. Besides this lady, Mrs. Sigourney
and Mrs. Seba Smith may be mentioned. The former, especially, to all
other gifts adds a refinement, and nationality of subject, with a
knowledge of life, which some of her poetical pieces led us to expect.
Indeed the little Americans have little occasion to go begging to the
history or tradition of other nations for topics of interest."

The "Westminster Review" of eighteen hundred and forty was also in doubt
"whether all this Americanism [such as Parley's 'Tales' contained] is
desirable for English children, were it," writes the critic, "only for
them we keep the 'pure well of English undefiled,' and cannot at all
admire the improvements which it pleases that go-ahead nation to claim
the right of making in our common tongue: unwisely enough as regards
themselves, we think, for one of the elements in the power of a nation
is the wide spread of its language."

This same criticism was made again and again about the style of American
writers for adults, so that it is little wonder the children's books
received no unqualified praise. But Americanisms were not the worst
feature of the "inundation of American children's books," which because
of their novelty threatened to swamp the "higher class" English. They
were feared because of the "multitude of false notions likely to be
derived from them, the more so as the similarity of name and language
prevents children from being on their guard, and from remembering that
the representations that they read are by foreigners." It was the
American view of English institutions (presented in story-book form)
which rankled in the British breast as a "condescending tenderness of
the free nation towards the monarchical régime" from which at any cost
the English child must be guarded. In this respect Peter Parley was the
worst offender, and was regarded as "a sad purveyor of slip-slop, and no
matter how amusing, ignorant of his subject." That gentleman, meanwhile,
read the criticisms and went on making "bread and butter," while he
scowled at the English across the water, who criticised, but pirated as
fast as he published in America.

Gentle Miss Eliza Leslie received altogether different treatment in this
review of American juvenile literature. She was considered "good
everywhere, and particularly so for the meridian in which her tales were
placed;" and we quite agree with the reviewer who considered it well
worth while to quote long paragraphs from her "Tell Tale" to show its
character and "truly useful lesson." "To America," continued this
writer, "we also owe a host of little books, that bring together the
literature of childhood and the people; as 'Home,' 'Live and Let Live'
[by Miss Sedgwick], &c., but excellent in intention as they are, we have
our doubts, as to the general reception they will meet in this country
while so much of more exciting and elegant food is at hand." Even if the
food of amusement in England appeared to the British mind more spiced
and more _elegant_, neither Miss Leslie's nor Miss Sedgwick's fictitious
children were ever anaemic puppets without wills of their own,--a type
made familiar by Miss Edgeworth and persisted in by her admirers and
successors,--but vitalized little creatures, who acted to some degree,
at least, like the average child who loved their histories and named her
dolls after favorite characters.

To-day these English criticisms are only of value as showing that the
American story-book was no longer imitating the English tale, but was
developing, by reason of the impress of differing social forces, a new
type. Its faults do not prevent us from seeing that the spirit expressed
in this juvenile literature is that of a new nation feeling its own way,
and making known its purpose in its own manner. While we smile at
sedulous endeavors of the serious-minded writers to present their
convictions, educational, religious, or moral, in palatable form, and to
consider children always as a race apart, whose natural actions were
invariably sinful, we still read between the lines that these writers
were really interested in the welfare of the American child; and that
they were working according to the accepted theories of the third decade
of the nineteenth century as to the constituents of a juvenile
library which, while "judicious and attractive, should also blend
instruction with innocent amusement."

[Illustration: _The Little Runaway_]

And now as we have reached the point in the history of the American
story-book when it is popular at least in both English-speaking
countries, if not altogether satisfactory to either, what can be said of
the value of this juvenile literature of amusement which has developed
on the tiny pages of well-worn volumes? If, of all the books written for
children by Americans seventy-five years and more ago, only Nathaniel
Hawthorne's "Wonder Book" has survived to the present generation; of all
the verse produced, only the simple rhyme, "Mary had a Little Lamb," and
Clement Moore's "The Night before Christmas" are still quoted, has their
history any value to-day?

If we consider that there is nothing more rare in the fiction of any
nation than the popular child's story that endures; nothing more unusual
than the successful well-written juvenile tale, we can perhaps find a
value not to be reckoned by the survival or literary character of these
old-fashioned books, but in their silent testimony to the influence of
the progress of social forces at work even upon so small a thing as a
child's toy-book. The successful well-written child's book has been
rare, because it has been too often the object rather than the manner of
writing that has been considered of importance; because it has been the
aim of all writers either to "improve in goodness" the young reader, as
when, two hundred years ago, Cotton Mather penned "Good Lessons" for his
infant son to learn at school, or, to quote the editor of "Affection's
Gift" (published a century and a quarter later), it has been for the
purpose of "imparting moral precepts and elevated sentiments, of uniting
instruction and amusement, through the fascinating mediums of
interesting narrative and harmony of numbers."

The result of both intentions has been a collection of dingy or faded
duodecimos containing a series of impressions of what each generation
thought good, religiously, morally, and educationally, for little folk.
If few of them shed any light upon child nature in those long-ago days,
many throw shafts of illumination upon the change and progress in
American ideals and thought concerning the welfare of children. As has
already been said, the press supplied what the public taste demanded,
and if the writers produced for earlier generations of children what may
now be considered lumber, the press of more modern date has not
progressed so far in this field of literature as to make it in any
degree certain that our children's treasures may not be consigned to an
equal oblivion. For these too are but composites made by superimposing
the latest fads or theories as to instructive amusement of children upon
those of previous generations of toy-books. Most of what was once
considered the "perfume of youth and freshness" in a literary way has
been discarded as dry and unprofitable, mistaken or deceptive; and yet,
after all has been said by way of criticism of methods and subjects,
these chap-books, magazines, gift and story books form our best if
blurred pictures of the amusements and daily life of the old-time
American child.

We are learning also to prize these small "Histories" as part of the
progress of the arts of book-making and illustration, and of the growth
of the business of publishing in America; and already we are aware of
the fulfilment of what was called by one old bookseller, "Tom Thumb's
Maxim in Trade and Politics:" "He who buys this book for Two-pence, and
lays it up till it is worth Three-pence, may get an hundred per cent by
the bargain."

FOOTNOTES:

[204-A] _Election Day_, p. 71. American Sunday School Union, 1828.

[216-A] Mr. G.C. Verplanck was probably the editor of this book,
published by Harper & Bros.

[216-B] This statement the writer has been unable to verify.



_Index_



INDEX


ABBOTT, Jacob, 201, 208, 213, 215, 218, 222, 223.

Abbott, John S.C., 129.

A, B, C Book, 101.

A, B, C of religion, 22.

Absence from Christ intolerable, 39.

Adams, John, 165.

Adams, Mrs. John, 91.

Adams, J.A., 169.

Adams, John Quincy, 196.

Addison, Joseph, 159.

Adventures of a Peg-top, 109.

Adventures of a Pincushion, 109, 111, 112.

Adventures of Lot, 206.

Aesop, 63, 66, 67, 69, 90, 101, 109.

Affectionate Daughter-in-Law, 206.

Affection's Gift, 227.

Aikin, Dr. John, 139, 140, 163.

Ainsworth, Robert, 63.

Aitkin, Robert, 100, 101.

Alarm to Unconverted Sinners, An, 206.

Althea Vernon, 210.

American Antiquarian Society, 103.

American Flag, 148.

American Girls' Book, 209.

American Juvenile Keepsake, 197, 200.

American Sunday School Union, 201, 202, 204.

American Weekly Mercury, 20.

Ami des Enfans, 134, 135.

Amyntor, 192.

Anderson, Dr. Alexander, 166-169, 180.

André, Major John, 97.

Andrews, Joseph, 196.

Andrews, Thomas, 102.

Anecdoten von Hunden, 178.

Anecdotes of Christian Missions, 206.

Animated Nature, 108.

Annales of Madame de Genlis, 134.

Annual Register, 163.

Anthony and Clara, 210.

Arabian Nights, 162.

Argalus & Parthenia, 90.

Arnold, Benedict, 97, 98.

Arthur's Geographical Grammar, 99.

Art's Treasury, 90.

Ashe, Thomas T., 207.

Ashton, John, 54.

Atlantic Stories, 210.

Avery, S., 180.


BABCOCK, Sidney, 167, 168.

Bache, Benjamin, 100, 101, 104, 105, 127.

Bag of Nuts ready Cracked, 107.

Bailey, Francis, 123.

Banbury Chap-Books, 53, 70, 117.

Barbauld, Anna Letitia, 127-129, 132, 140-142, 152, 155, 163, 188, 218.

Barclay, Andrew, 102, 103.

Baskerville, John, 103.

Battelle, E., 102.

Battle of the Kegs, 97.

Be Merry and Wise, 67, 106.

Beecher, Rev. Dr. Lyman, 162.

Belcher, J., 170, 171.

Bell, Robert, 75, 76, 89, 100, 101.

Benezet, Anthony, 101.

Berquin, Arnaud, 134, 159, 161.

Bewick, Thomas, 117, 118, 135, 166, 168, 169.

Bewick's Quadrupeds, 168.

Bibliography of Worcester, 102.

Big and Little Puzzling Caps, 107.

Biography for Boys, 115.

Biography for Girls, 114, 115.

Birthday Stories, 210.

Blossoms of Morality, 165.

Blue Beard, The History of, 141, 165.

Body of Divinity versified, 22.

Book for Boys and Girls; or, Country Rhimes for Children, 11.

Book for Boys and Girls; or, Temporal Things Spiritualized, 13.

Book of Knowledge, 90, 103.

Book of Martyrs, 10.

Books for Children, 222.

Bookseller of the last century, The, 51, 54.

Boone, Daniel, 198.

Boone, Nicholas, 17.

Boston Chronicle, 74, 75.

Boston Evening Post, 38, 43, 73.

Boston Gazette and Country Journal, 80.

Boston News Letter, 19.

Boston Public Library, 74.

Bowen, Abel, 169, 221.

Boy and his Paper of Plumbs, 12.

Boy and the Watchmaker, 12.

Boy's Own Book, 209.

Boyle, John, 76, 77.

Bradford, Andrew, 20, 21, 126.

Bradford, Thomas, 59, 90, 100.

Brewer, printer, 167.

Brooke, Henry, 130.

Brooks, Elbridge, 215.

Brother's Gift, 80, 111, 112.

Browne, Miss, 197.

Brynberg, Peter, 165.

Buccaneers of America, 90.

Bunyan, John, 10-13.

Burr, Aaron, 132-134.

Burr, Theodosia, 132, 133.

Burton, R., 36, 37.

Burton's Historical Collections, 36.

Busy Bee, 187.

Butcher, Elizabeth, 21, 40, 186.

Butterworth, Hezekiah, 132.


CADET'S Sister, 210.

Cameron, Lucy Lyttleton, 152, 184.

Canary Bird, The, 172.

Carey, Matthew, 165, 206.

Carey, Robert, 72.

Carnan, Mr., 46, 104.

Carter, John, 101.

Catechism, 5, 6, 10, 15.

Catechism of New England, 7.

Cautionary Stories in Verse, 175.

Century Magazine, 208.

Chandler, Samuel, 163.

Chap-Books of the Eighteenth Century, 54.

Chapone, Hester, 113, 114, 159.

Chapters of Accidents, 174.

Charles, Mary, 170.

Charles, William, 170, 171, 176, 183.

Cheap Repository, 152.

Cherry Orchard, The, 156, 177.

Child, Lydia Maria, 193, 201.

Child and his Book, 11, 45.

Children in the Wood, 8.

Children's Books and Reading, 132.

Children's Friend, 135, 161.

Children's Magazine, The, 101.

Children's Miscellany, 129, 131.

Child's Garden of Verses, Stevenson's, 182.

Child's Gem, 221.

Child's Guide to Spelling and Reading, 165.

Child's Instructor, 122, 123.

Child's New Play-thing, 41, 43-45.

Choice Spirits, 90.

Christmas Box, 64, 106.

Cinderella, 62, 171.

Clarissa Harlowe, 50, 79-85, 109.

Clarke, Edward, 41.

Cock Robin, 166.

Collection of Pretty Poems, 67.

Collins, Benjamin, 47.

Complete Letter-Writer, 90.

Congress, The, 98.

Conrad and Parsons, 206, 207.

Contes de ma Mère l'Oye, 219.

Cooper, James Fenimore, 148, 191, 203, 211.

Cooper, Rev. Mr., 134.

Copley, John Stuart, 217.

Cotton, John, 6, 9, 30.

Cottons and Barnard, 206.

Country Rhimes for Children, 11, 13.

Coverly, Nathaniel, 166.

Cowper, William, 153, 175.

Cox and Berry, 80.

Cries of London, 80, 180.

Cries of New York, 180-182.

Cries of Philadelphia, 180.

Cross, Wilbur L., 80.

Crouch, Nathaniel, 36.

Cruel Giant Barbarico, 74.

Crukshank, Joseph, 100, 101, 165.

Custis, John Parke, 73.

Custis, Martha Parke, 73.

Cuz's Chorus, 111.


DAISY, The, 176.

Darton, William, 124, 174, 182, 213.

Darton and Harvey, 222.

Day, Mahlon, 169, 206, 207.

Day, Thomas, 129-132, 142, 145, 154, 179, 188.

Daye, John, 7.

Dearborn, Nathaniel, 169, 221.

Death and Burial of Cock Robin, 124.

Death of Abel, 90.

Defoe, Daniel, 129.

Delight in the Lord Jesus, 39.

Description of Various Objects, A, 173.

Development of the English novel, 80.

Dennie, Joseph, 192.

Dilworth, Thomas, 38, 41, 121, 136.

Divine emblems, 13.

Divine Songs, 38.

Doane, Bishop G.W., 196.

Doddridge, Philip, 152, 184.

Dodsley, Robert, 95.

Don Quixote, 161.

Donaldson, Arthur, 192.

Donnel Dhu, 220.

Doolittle, Amos, 169.

Dove, The, 134.

Drake, Joseph Rodman, 148.

Draper, Samuel, 69.

Draper and Edwards, 44.

Drinker, Eliza, 91, 126.

Dryden's Poems, 163.

Dunlap, John, 100.

Dunton, John, 8, 36.

Durell, publisher, 166, 167.

Duyckinck, Evert, 217.


EARLY Lessons, 155.

Earnest Exhortation, 22.

Easy Introduction into the knowledge of Nature, 128.

Easy Lessons for Children, 127, 128, 132, 155.

Economy of Human Life, 152.

Edgeworth, Maria, 128, 140, 150, 153-159, 164, 171, 175-177, 187, 188,
207, 212, 213, 226.

Edgeworth, Richard Lovell, 154-156, 220.

Edwards, Joseph, 43.

Elegant Extracts, 162.

Embury, Emma C., 200, 201.

Emulation, 187.

English Empire in America, 36.

Entertaining Fables, 109.

Errand Boy, 187.

Evenings at Home, 128, 139, 163, 164.

Everett, Alexander H., 196.

Everett, Edward, 196.


FABLES in verse, 53, 220.

Fabulous Histories, 128, 141.

Fair Rosamond, 24.

Fairchild Family, The, 152, 186, 212.

Fairy Book, 216.

Familiar Description of Beasts and Birds, 174.

Farrar, Eliza Ware, 213.

Father's Gift, The, 111.

Female Orators, 82.

Fenelon's Reflections, 184.

Field, E.M., 11, 45.

Field, Walter T., 218.

Fielding, Henry, 51, 78, 80, 81, 137.

Fields, James T., 196.

First Book of the American Chronicles of the Times, 76.

Fleet, Thomas, 19, 20, 24, 38.

Fleming, John, 74.

Flora's Gala, 175.

Follen, Eliza L., 213.

Food for the Mind, 67, 68, 107.

Fool of Quality, 130.

Ford, Paul Leicester, 14.

Fowle, Zechariah, 20, 40, 69, 103.

Fowle and Draper, 72.

Fox and Geese, 209.

Foxe, John, 10.

Franconia, 215.

Frank, 155.

Franklin, Benjamin, 21-24, 26, 36, 38, 59-62, 103, 105, 123, 179, 193, 216.

Franklin, Sally, 62, 63.

Franklin and Hall, 59.

French Convert, 90.

Friendly Instruction, 184.


GAFFER Two Shoes, 82.

Gaine, Hugh, 64, 65, 67, 68, 89, 167, 217.

Gallaudet, Elisha, 196.

Garden Amusements, 175.

Generous Inconstant, The, 82.

Genlis, Madame Stéphanie-Félicité de, 132, 134.

Geographical, Statistical and Political Amusement, 178.

George's Junior Republic, 139.

Gilbert, C., 169.

Giles Gingerbread, 74, 110, 140, 159.

Gilman, Caroline, 194, 195.

Going to Jerusalem, 209.

Goldsmith, Oliver, 51, 52, 80, 82, 95, 108, 159, 219, 220.

Good Lessons for Children, 18, 127, 227.

Good Natur'd Man, 219.

Goodrich, Samuel G., 129, 194-196, 198, 199, 201, 208, 213-215, 218,
222-225.

Goody Two-Shoes, 52, 53, 55, 89, 101, 110, 116-118, 123, 140-142, 159.

Greeley, Horace, 196.

Green, Samuel, 10, 13, 14.

Green, Timothy, 17.

Gulliver's Adventures, 125.

Guy of Warwick, 8.


HAIL Columbia, 148, 211.

Hale, Richard W., 208.

Hale, Sarah J., 193, 208, 209.

Hall, Anna Maria, 197, 199.

Hall, David, 59, 62, 100.

Hall, Samuel, 124, 125.

Hall, William, 100.

Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 148.

Hannah Swanton, the Casco Captive, 206.

Happy Child, 40.

Harper and Brothers, 206, 216.

Harris, Benjamin, 14.

Harris, John, 182, 183.

Harry and Lucy, 155, 156, 164, 220.

Harvey, John, 182.

Hawkins, Laetitia Matilda, 219.

Hawthorne, Julian, 78, 129, 130.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 149, 196, 227.

Hebrides, 153.

Henrietta Harrison, 211.

Hildeburn, Charles R., 65, 93.

Hill, George Birbeck, 141.

Hill, Hannah, 21, 186.

Histoires ou Contes du Tems Passé, 219.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 69.

History of a Doll, 136.

History of printing in America, 18, 19.

History of the American Revolution, 123.

History of the Holy Jesus, 39, 40, 103.

History of the Institution of Cyrus, 130.

History of the Robins, 129.

Hive, The, 195.

Hobby Horse, The, 42, 80.

Hofland, Barbara, 197, 198.

Holmes, Dr. Oliver Wendell, 162-164, 184, 196, 201.

Holy Bible in Verse, 15.

Home, 226.

Home of Washington, 28.

Hopkinson, Joseph, 148.

Hot Buttered Beans, 209.

House that Jack Built, 19.

Howard, Mr., 29.

Hudibras, 161.

Hunt the Thimble, 209.

Hymns for Infant Minds, 184.

Hymns in Prose and Verse, 128.


"IANTHE." _See_ Embury.

Illman, Thomas, 196.

Infidel Class, 206.

Irving, Washington, 148, 191.


JACK and Jill, 219.

Jack the Giant Killer, 8, 141.

Jacky Dandy's Delight, 107, 108.

James, William, 175, 176.

Jane Grey, 24.

Janeway, James, 17, 186.

Jenny Twitchell's Jests, 90.

Joe Miller's Jests, 90.

Johnson, Benjamin, 164, 178, 183, 192.

Johnson, Jacob, 152, 155, 156, 159, 164, 173, 178, 183.

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 36, 50-52, 129, 140, 141, 153, 219.

Johnson and Warner, 164, 178, 183.

Johnsonian Miscellany, 141.

Jones, Giles, 52, 53.

Joseph Andrews, 78, 81, 90.

Josephus, 167.

Julianna Oakley, 206.

Juvenile Biographers, 115, 116.

Juvenile Magazine, 179, 192.

Juvenile Miscellany, 193-195, 208, 212.

Juvenile Olio, 192.

Juvenile Piety, 206.

Juvenile Portfolio, 192.

Juvenile Rambler, 195.

Juvenile Trials for Robbing Orchards, etc., 139, 140.


KEEPER'S Travels in Search of his Master, 172.

Kellogg, Joseph G., 196.

Kendall, Dr., 172.

Key, Francis Scott, 148.

Kilner, Dorothy, 109.

King Pippin, 55, 110, 159, 163.

Kleine Erzählungen über ein Buch mit Kupfern, 178.

Knox, Thomas W., 132.


LADY Queen Anne, 209.

Lamb, Charles, 141, 142, 217.

Lansing, G., 169.

Lark, The, 90.

Launch of the Frigate, 210.

Lee, Richard Henry, 28, 29.

Legacy to Children, 126.

Lenox Collection, 180.

Leo, the Great Giant, 74.

Leslie, Eliza, 193, 196, 201, 208-211, 225, 226.

Letters from the Dead to the Living, 162.

Letters to Little Children, 206.

Liddon, Mr., 100.

Life of David, 163.

Lilly, Wait and Company, 194, 206.

Lincoln and Edmunds, 184, 206.

Linnet, The, 90.

Linton, William James, 166, 168, 169.

Literary Magazine, 52.

Literature of the American Revolution, 98.

Little Book for Children, 17.

Little Boy found under a Haycock, 123.

Little Deceiver Reclaimed, 206.

Little Dog Trusty, 156.

Little Fanny, 176.

Little Helen, 212.

Little Henry, 170.

Little Henry and his Bearer, 184, 185.

Little Jack, 131.

Little Lottery Book, 106.

Little Lucy, 212.

Little Millenium Boy, 186.

Little Nancy, 171, 176-178.

Little Pretty Pocket-Book, A, 47-50, 67.

Little Readers' Assistant, 121, 122.

Little Robin Red Breast, 114.

Little Scholar's Pretty Pocket Companion, 122.

Little Sophie, 176.

Little Truths, 124, 125, 182.

Little William, 171.

Live and Let Live, 226.

Lives of Highwaymen, 90.

Lives of Pirates, 90.

Locke, John, 41-43, 46, 51, 66, 99.

London Chronicle, 53.

Longfellow, Henry W., 196.

Longworth, David, 165, 168.

Looking-glass, A, 22.

Looking Glass for the Mind, 134, 135, 159, 162, 166.

Lossing, Benson J., 28, 29, 167.

Loudon, Samuel, 217.

Love Token for Children, 212.


MACAULAY, T.B., 153.

Magnalia, 162.

Mary had a Little Lamb, 208, 209, 227.

Mason, A.J., 169.

Massachusetts Sunday School Union, 194.

Master Jacky and Miss Harriot, 135.

Mather, Cotton, 6, 7, 9, 16-18, 21, 22, 56, 127, 185, 186, 227.

Mather, Elizabeth, 16.

Mather, Increase, 16-18.

Mather, Samuel, 16.

Mein, John, 73-75, 77, 89.

Metamorphosis, A, 169.

Milk for Babes, 6, 7, 30.

Milton, John, 159, 175.

Mr. Telltruth's Natural History of Birds, 107.

Mitford, Mary Russell, 197.

Moejen's Recueil, 218.

Moll Flanders, 90.

Moore, Clement Clarke, 147-149, 227.

Moral Tale, 187.

Moral Tales, 159.

More, Hannah, 134, 150-153, 159, 188, 212-214.

Morgan, engraver, 169.

Morgan and Sons, 170, 207.

Morgan and Yeager, 170.

Morton, Eliza, 95.

Moses, Montrose J., 132.

Mother Goose Melodies, 19, 20, 53, 114, 218-220.

Mother's Gift, 82, 111, 113, 118.

Mother's Remarks over a Set of Cuts, A, 178.

Munroe and Francis, 20, 168, 206, 220.

Murray, James, 91.

Museum, The, 60, 61.

My Father, 176.

My Governess, 176, 182.

My Mother, 176.

My Pony, 176.

My Sister, 182.


NATURAL History of Four Footed Beasts, 107.

Neagle, John, 169.

New England Courant, 21, 22.

New England Primer, 6, 7, 13-15, 28, 33, 93, 121.

New French Primer, 60.

New Gift for Children with Cuts, 40, 69-72, 103.

New Guide to the English Tongue, 38.

New Picture of the City, 100.

New Year's Gift, 64.

New York Mercury, 67.

New York Weekly, 207.

Newbery, Carnan, 54.

Newbery, Edward, 54.

Newbery, Francis, 46, 51, 54, 82.

Newbery, John, 28, 37, 40, 46-56, 60-62, 64, 67, 70, 74, 77, 82, 89, 90,
97, 101, 104, 108, 118, 123, 124, 141, 142, 154, 159, 182, 187, 198,
216, 217, 219, 220, 222.

Newbery, Ralph, 46.

Nichols, Dr. Charles L., 102, 103.

Night before Christmas, The, 147, 148, 227.

Noel, Garrat, 68, 148.

North American Review, 212.

Nutter, Valentine, 89.


OLD Mother Hubbard, 166.

Olive Buds, 213.

Orangeman, The, 156.

Original Poems, 182.

Osgood, Frances S., 213.

Oswald, Ebenezer, 100.


PAMELA, 50, 78, 80, 81, 109.

Parable against Persecution, 123.

Paradise Lost, 153.

Parent's Assistant, 155.

Parents' Gift, 38.

Parker, James, 62.

Parley, Peter. _See_ Goodrich, S.G.

Pastoral Hymn, 74.

Patriotic and Amatory Songster, 180.

Peacock at Home, 171.

Pearl, The, 209.

Pearson, Edwin, 53, 117.

Pease, Joseph I., 196.

Pedigree and Rise of the Pretty Doll, 136-139.

Pelton, Oliver, 196.

Pennsylvania Evening Post, 93.

Pennsylvania Gazette, 59, 62.

Pennsylvania Journal, 59.

People of all Nations, 173, 174.

Peregrine Pickle, 51, 109.

Perrault, Charles, 62, 218.

Perry, Michael, 26.

Philadelphiad, The, 100.

Picture Exhibition, The, 106, 109.

Pilgrim's Progress, 10, 36, 95, 126, 163, 167.

Pilkington, Mary, 114.

Pinckney, Eliza, 91.

Play-thing, The, 61.

Pleasures of Piety in Youth, 184.

Plutarch's Lives, 130.

Poems for Children, 208.

Poems for Children Three Feet High, 64.

Poesie out of Mr. Dod's Garden, 38.

Poetical Description of Song Birds, 114.

Poetry for Children, 213, 221.

Popular Tales, 155.

Poupard, James, 169.

Power of Religion, 152.

Practical Education, 128.

Practical Piety, 184.

Present for a Little Girl, 169.

Preservative from the Sins and Follies of Childhood, 40.

Pretty Book for Children, 60, 61, 67.

Principles of the Christian Religion, 184.

Pritchard, Mr., 100.

Private Tutor for little Masters and Misses, 67.

Prize for Youthful Obedience, 172, 173.

Prodigal Daughter, The, 24-26, 40, 188.

Protestant Tutor for Children, 13, 14.

Puritan Primer, 13.

Puzzling Cap, 80, 82.


QUARTERLY Review, 222.

Quincy, Mrs. Josiah, 158, 159.


RAIKES, Robert, 151.

Ralph, W., 169.

Rand, Rev. Asa, 194.

Rebels, The, 98.

Recollections of a New England Housekeeper, 195.

Redwood, 211.

Rees's Encyclopedia, 163.

Reformed Family, 206.

Remembrance of Youth is a Sigh, 200.

Rhymes for the Nursery, 20, 182.

Rice, Mr., 100.

Richardson, Samuel, 50, 78-81, 137.

Rivington, James, 65, 67, 68.

Roberts, Jean, 197.

Robin Red Breast, 90.

Robin's Alive, 209.

Robinson Crusoe, 79, 90, 118, 129, 130, 159.

Roderick Random, 51, 109.

Roger and Berry, 89.

Rollin's Ancient History, 161.

Rollinson, William, 169.

Rollo Books, 213, 215, 223.

Rose, The, 187.

Rose Bud, 195.

Rose's Breakfast, The, 175.

Rowe, Elizabeth, 162.

Royal Battledore, 60, 61.

Royal Primer, 61.

Russell's Seven Sermons, 90.


SABBATH School Times, 194.

Sanford and Merton, 129, 154.

Scotch Rogue, 90.

Scott, Sir Walter, 158, 220.

Scott's (Rev. Thomas) Family Bible, 163.

Search after Happiness, 134, 152.

Sedgwick, Catharine Maria, 152, 160, 161, 193, 196, 208, 211, 212, 224,
226.

Seven Wise Masters, 90.

Seven Wise Mistresses, 90.

Sewall, Henry, 9.

Sewall, Samuel, 9, 10.

Shakespeare, William, 159, 161.

Sharps, William, 29.

Sheldon, Lucy, 82.

Shepherd of Salisbury Plain, 152, 214.

Sherwood, Mary Martha, 152, 184, 186, 187, 212, 221.

Sigourney, Lydia H., 193, 208, 213, 224.

Simple Susan, 158.

Sims, Joseph, 27.

Sir Charles Grandison, 79-82.

Sister's Gift, 80, 111-113.

Skyrin, Nancy, 126, 127.

Smart, Christopher, 54.

Smith, Elizabeth Oakes, 213, 224.

Smollett, Tobias, 51, 52, 78, 79.

Song for the Red Coats, 97.

Songs for the Nursery, 19, 20.

Southern Rose, 195.

Souvenir, 210.

Sparrow, The, 172.

Star Spangled Banner, 148.

Stevenson, Robert Louis, 182.

Stir the Mush, 209.

Stone, William L., 200.

Stories and Tales, 90.

Stories for Children, 212.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 162.

Strahan, William, 61-63.


TALE, A: The Political Balance, 123.

Tales and Essays, 213.

Taylor, Ann, 176, 182.

Taylor, Jane, 182, 184.

Tell Tale, 225.

Thackerary, W.M., 34.

Thomas, Isaiah, 18-20, 40, 69, 74, 102-104, 106, 109, 116-118, 129, 168,
198, 222.

Thompson, John, 168.

Thoughts on Education, 41, 66, 99.

Three Stories for Children, 156.

Todd, John, D.D., 222.

Token, The, 196, 197, 212, 214.

Token for Children, 17, 186.

Token for the Children of New England, 17, 21, 186.

Token for Youth, 40.

Tom Hick-a-Thrift, 24.

Tom Jones, 51, 78, 80, 109, 110.

Tom the Piper's Son, 170.

Tom Thumb, 8, 19, 24, 62, 74, 77, 102, 106, 114, 166, 167.

Tommy Trapwit, 64.

Tommy Trip, 52, 74, 107, 108.

Track the Rabbit, 209.

Trimmer, Sarah, 128, 129, 141, 142, 159.

Trip's Book of Pictures, 64.

Triumphs of Love, 90.

Troy (N.Y.) Sentinel, 147.

Twelve Caesars, 90.

Twice Told Tales, 196.

Two Lambs, 152.

Two Shoemakers, 152.

Tyler, Moses Coit, 98.


UNTERHALTUNGEN für Deutsche Kinder, 178.

Urax, or the Fair Wanderer, 74.


VALENTINE and Orson, 90.

Verplanck, Gulian C., 196, 216.

Vicar of Wakefield, 52, 219.

Violet, The, 209.


WADDELL, J., 62.

Walks of Usefulness, 184.

Walters and Norman, 93.

Walton's Lives, 153.

Warner and Hanna, 169.

Washington, George, 28, 29, 72, 73, 93, 122, 123, 170, 179.

Waste Not, Want Not, 156-158.

Watts, Isaac, 38, 45, 46.

Way to Wealth, 179.

Webster, Noah, 121, 122, 136.

Weekly Mercury, 23, 26, 27, 64, 65, 68.

Weekly Post-Boy, 62.

Weems's Life of George Washington, 179, 180.

Well Spent Hour, 212.

Wells, Anna M., 193, 213.

Wells, Robert, 102.

Welsh, Charles, 46, 49, 51, 54, 61, 70, 124, 142.

West, Benjamin, 216.

Westminster Review, 224.

Westminster Shorter Catechism, 7.

White, William, D.D., 151.

Whitefield, George, 151.

Widdows, P., 126.

Wilder, Mary, 113.

Willis, Nathaniel P., 194.

Winslow, Anna Green, 81-83, 85.

Winter Evenings' Entertainment, 37, 90.

Wonder Book, 149, 227.

Wonderful Traveller, 209.

Wonders of Nature and Art, 53.

Wood, Samuel, 165, 166, 169, 175.

Wood, Samuel, and Sons, 167, 206.

Wood-engraving in America, 166-169.

Woodhouse, William, 100.

Worcester Magazine, 104.


XENOPHON, 130.


YOUNG, William, 129.

Young Child's A B C, 166.

Young Christian Series, 215.

Young Gentlemen and Ladies' Magazine, 183.

Youth's Companion, 194.

Youth's Divine Pastime, 37.

Youth's Keepsake, 212.


ZENTLER, publisher, 178.



     *     *     *     *     *     *



Transcriber's note:

   The following errors and inconsistencies have been maintained.

   Misspelled words and typographical errors:

      p. ix   Edmands for Edmunds
      p. 46   Newbury  for Newbery
      p. 102  Period missing at end of the sentence "to a boy But"
      p. 158  Paragraph ends with , "her own generation,"
      p. 208  Sentence ends with a comma: "the originator of these
              verses,"
      p. 243  Thackerary for Thackeray

   Inconsistent hyphenation:

      folk-lore / folklore
      school-fellows / schoolfellows
      school-masters / schoolmasters
      small-pox / smallpox
      wood-cut / woodcut





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This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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