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Title: Child Life in Colonial Days
Author: Earle, Alice Morse, 1851-1911
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.

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       *       *       *       *       *

Child Life in Colonial Days

[Illustration: The MM Co.]

[Illustration: John Quincy





  author of _Home Life in Colonial Days_

  and other Domestic and Social

  Histories of Olden Times

  With many Illustrations

  from Photographs


  New York
  The Macmillan Company
  London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd.

  All rights reserved

  COPYRIGHT, 1899,

  Set up and electrotyped November, 1899. Reprinted December,
  1899; March, 1904; February, 1909; March, 1915.

  Norwood Press

  J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith
  Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.




  OF A





_When we regard the large share which child study has in the
interest of the reader and thinker of to-day, it is indeed curious
to see how little is told of child life in history. The ancients
made no record of the life of young children; classic Rome furnishes
no data for child study; the Greeks left no child forms in art. The
student of original sources of history learns little about children
in his searches; few in number and comparatively meagre in quality
are the literary remains that even refer to them._

_We know little of the childhood days of our forbears, and have
scant opportunity to make comparisons or note progress. The child of
colonial days was emphatically "to be seen, not to be heard"--nor
was he even to be much in evidence to the eye. He was of as little
importance in domestic, social, or ethical relations as his childish
successor is of great importance to-day; it was deemed neither
courteous, decorous, nor wise to make him appear of value or note in
his own eyes or in the eyes of his seniors. Hence there was none of
that exhaustive study of the motives, thoughts, and acts of a child
which is now rife._

_The accounts of oldtime child life gathered for this book are
wholly unconscious and full of honesty and simplicity, not only from
the attitude of the child, but from that of his parents, guardians,
and friends. The records have been made from affectionate interest,
not from scientific interest; no profound search has been made for
motives or significance, but the proof they give of tenderness and
affection in the family are beautiful to read and to know._

_The quotations from manuscript letters, records, diaries, and
accounts which are here given could only have been acquired by
precisely the method which has been followed,--a constant and
distinct search for many years, combined with an alert watchfulness
for items or even hints relating to the subject, during as many
years of extended historical reading. Many private collections and
many single-treasured relics have been freely offered for use, and
nearly all the sentences and pages selected from these sources now
appear in print for the first time. The portraits of children form
a group as rare as it is beautiful. They are specially valuable as
a study of costume. Nearly all of these also are as true emblems
of the generous friendship of the present owners as they are of
the life of the past. The rich stores of our many historical
associations, of the Essex Institute, the American Antiquarian
Society, the Long Island Historical Society, the Deerfield_
_Memorial Hall, the Lenox Library, have been generously opened,
carefully gleaned, and freely used. The expression of gratitude so
often tendered to these helpful kinsfolk and friends and to these
bountiful societies and libraries can scarcely be emphasized by any
public thanks, yet it would seem that for such assistance thanks
could never be offered too frequently, nor too publicly._

_Nor have I, in gathering for this,--as for my other books,--failed
to exercise what Emerson calls "the catlike love of garrets,
presses, and cornchambers, and of the conveniences of long
housekeeping." Many long-kept homes have I searched, many an old
garret and press has yielded conveniences for this book._

_Though this is a record of the life of children in the American
colonies, I have freely compared the conditions in this country
with similar ones in England at the same date, both for the sake of
fuller elucidation, and also to attempt to put on a proper basis the
civilization which the colonists left behind them. Many statements
of conditions in America do not convey correct ideas of our past
comfort and present and liberal progress unless we compare them
with facts in English life. We must not overrate seventeenth and
eighteenth century life in England, either in private or public.
England was not a first-class power among nations till the time of
the Treaty of Paris, in 1763. When our colonies were settled it
was third-rate. Life among the nobility was magnificent, but the
life of the peasantry was wretched, and middle-class social life
was very bleak and monotonous in both city and country. From early
days life was much better in many ways in America than in England
for the family of moderate means, and children shared the benefits
of these better conditions. A child's life was more valuable here.
The colonial laws plainly show this increased valuation, and the
child responded to this regard of him by a growing sense of his own
importance, which in time has produced "Young America."_

_It is my hope that children as well as grown folk will find in
these pages much to interest them in the accounts of the life of
children of olden times. I have had this end constantly in my mind,
though I have made no attempt, nor had I any intent, to write in
a style for the perusal of children; for I have not found that
intelligent children care much or long for such books, except in the
very rare cases of the few great books that have been written for
children, and which are loved and read as much by the old as by the

As our tired century has grown gray it has developed an interest in
things youthful,--in the beginnings of things. Its attitude is akin
to that of an old man, still in health and clear-headed, but weary;
who has lived through his scores of crowded years of action, toil,
and strife, and seeks in the last days of his life a serene and
peaceful harbor,--the companionship of little children. There is
something of mystery, too, in "the turn of the century" something
which then makes our gaze retrospective and comparative rather than
inquisitive into the future. Hence this year of our Lord MDCCCXCIX
has been the allotted day and hour for the writing of this book.
There has been a trend of destiny which has brought not only a book
on oldtime child life, and that book at this century end, but has
included the fate that it should be written by Alice Morse Earle.



  I. Babyhood                                 1

  II. Children's Dress                       34

  III. Schools and School Life               63

  IV. Women Teachers and Girl Scholars       90

  V. Hornbook and Primer                    117

  VI. School-books                          133

  VII. Penmanship and Letters               150

  VIII. Diaries and Commonplace Books       163

  IX. Childish Precocity                    176

  X. Oldtime Discipline                     191

  XI. Manners and Courtesy                  211

  XII. Religious Thought and Training       227

  XIII. Religious Books                     248

  XIV. Story and Picture Books              264

  XV. Children's Diligence                  305

  XVI. Needlecraft and Decorative Arts      321

  XVII. Games and Pastimes                  342

  XVIII. Children's Toys                    361

  XIX. Flower Lore of Children              377

List of Illustrations

  John Quincy, One Year and a Half Old, 1690. Owned
      by Hon. Charles Francis Adams, Boston, Mass.


  Miniature, Governor Edward Winslow, Six Years Old,
      1602. Owned by Rev. Dr. William Copley Winslow,
      Boston, Mass.     _facing_ 4

  Mayflower Cradle, 1620. In Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth, Mass.     10

  Townes Cradle. In Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.              14

  Old Pincushion. Owned by Mrs. Sophia C. Bedlow,
      Portland, Maine                                          19

  Indian Cradle. In Memorial Hall, Deerfield, Mass.            20

  Governor Bradford's Christening Blanket, 1590. Owned
      by John Taylor Terry, Esq., Tarry town, N.Y.             22

  Standing Stool, Eighteenth Century                           24

  Go-cart                                                      27

  De Peyster Twins, Four Years Old, 1729. Owned by
      Mrs. Azoy and Miss Velasquez                    _facing_ 26

  Baptismal Shirt and Mittens of Governor Bradford,
      1590. In Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.                   35

  Robert Gibbs, Four and a Half Years Old, 1670. Owned
      by Miss Sarah Bigelow Hagar, Kendal Green, Mass.
                                                      _facing_ 36

  Infant's Mitts, Sixteenth Century. In Essex Institute        39

  Jane Bonner, Eight Years Old, 1700. Owned by Connecticut
      Historical Society                              _facing_ 42

  Infant's Robe, Cap, and Christening Blanket. In Memorial
      Hall, Deerfield, Mass.                                   46

  Ellinor Cordes, Two Years Old, 1740. Owned by Mrs.
      St. Julian Ravenel, Charleston, S.C.            _facing_ 48

  Daniel Ravenel, Five Years Old, 1765. Owned by Mrs.
      St. Julian Ravenel, Charleston, S.C.            _facing_ 50

  Children's Shoes. In Bedford Historical Society, Bedford,
      Mass.                                                    51

  Gore Children, 1754. Painted by Copley. Owned by the
      Misses Robins, Boston, Mass.                    _facing_ 54

  Jonathan Mountfort, Seven Years Old, 1753. Painted by
      Copley. Owned by Mrs. Farlin, Detroit, Mich.
                                                      _facing_ 58

  Boy's Suit of Clothing, 1784. In Memorial Hall,
      Deerfield, Mass.                                _facing_ 60

  Mary Lord, 1710 _circa_. Owned by Connecticut Historical
      Society.                                        _facing_ 66

  "Erudition" Schoolhouse, Bath, Maine, 1797                   70

  Oldtime School Certificate of Landlord of Wayside Inn,
      Sudbury, Mass.                                           73

  "Old Harmony" Schoolhouse, Raritan Township, Hunterdon
      County, N.J.                                             76

  Samuel Pemberton, Twelve Years Old, 1736. Owned by
      Miss Ellen M. Ward, Boston, Mass.               _facing_ 78

  Nathan Hale Schoolhouse, East Haddam, Conn.                  82

  Old Brick Schoolhouse, Norwich, Conn. From "Old
      Houses of Norwich," by Miss Mary E. Perkins              85

  Elizabeth Storer, Twelve Years Old, 1738. Painted by
      Smibert. Owned by Dr. Townsend, Boston, Mass.   _facing_ 98

  Carved Busks. Owned by Essex Institute                      106

  "Dorothy Q." "Thirteen Summers," 1720 circa. Owned by
      Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes, Boston, Mass.     _facing_ 108

  Elizabeth Quincy Wendell, 1720 circa. Owned by Dr.
      Josiah L. Hale, Brookline, Mass.               _facing_ 112

  Hornbook. Owned by Mrs. Anne Robinson Minturn,
      Shoreham, Vt.                                  _facing_ 118

  Hornbook. Owned by Miss Grace L. Gordon, Flushing,
      L.I.                                                    120

  Back of Hornbook. Owned by Miss Grace L. Gordon             123

  "The Royal Battledore"                             _facing_ 124

  "My New Battledore"                                _facing_ 126

  Reading-board, Erasmus Hall, Flatbush, L.I.                 127

  Page of New England Primer                                  130

  "The Grammarian's Funeral"                         _facing_ 134

  "Readingmadeasy"                                   _facing_ 136

  Page from Abraham Lincoln's Sum Book               _facing_ 138

  Battledore, "Lessons in Numbers"                   _facing_ 140

  Title-page of "Cocker's Arithmetic"                         140

  "American Selection," by Noah Webster, Jr.         _facing_ 142

  "The Little Reader's Assistant," by Noah Webster,
      Jr. _facing_                                            144

  Exhibition "Piece" of Anne Reynolds                _facing_ 152

  Ornamental Letter                                           154

  Writing of Abiah Holbrook                          _facing_ 154

  David Waite, Seven Years Old. Owned by Professor
      Langley, Washington, D.C.                      _facing_ 158

  Page of "White" Bible                              _facing_ 162

  Anna Green Winslow. Owned by Miss Elizabeth Trott,
      Niagara Falls, N.Y.                            _facing_ 164

  Pages from Diary of Mary Osgood Sumner. Owned by
      Dr. P. H. Mell, Auburn, Ala.                   _facing_ 166

  Joshua Carter, Four Years Old. Painted by Charles Wilson
      Peale. Owned by Miss Anna Thaxter Reynolds, Boston,
      Mass.                                          _facing_ 170

  Page from Diary of Anna Green Winslow                       174

  Samuel Torrey, Twelve Years Old, 1770. Owned by Miss
      Frances R. Morse, Boston, Mass.                _facing_ 176

  The Copley Family                                  _facing_ 180

  Facsimile from Sir Hugh Plat's "Jewel House of Art and
      Nature," 1653                                           183

  Polly Flagg, One Year Old, 1751. Painted by Smibert.
      Owned by Mrs. Albert Thorndike, Boston, Mass.  _facing_ 184

  James Flagg, Five Years Old, 1744. Painted by Smibert.
      Owned by Mrs. Albert Thorndike, Boston, Mass.  _facing_ 188

  Katherine Ten Broeck, Four Years Old, 1719. Owned
      by Miss Louise Livingstone Smith, Argyle, N.Y. _facing_ 192

  Illustration from "Plain Things for Little Folks"           195

  Whispering Sticks                                           198

  Illustration from "Early Seeds to produce Spring Flowers"   201

  Cathalina Post, Fourteen Years Old, 1750. Owned by
      Dr. Van Santvoord, Kingston, N.Y.              _facing_ 204

  Illustration from "Young Wilfrid"                  _facing_ 206

  William Verstile, 1769. Painted by Copley. Owned by
      Mrs. Charles Pinney, Derby, Conn.              _facing_ 210

  The Pepperell Children. Owned by Miss Alice Longfellow,
      Cambridge, Mass.                               _facing_ 214

  Title-page of the "School of Manners"                       216

  Page of the "School of Manners"                             218

  Thomas Aston Coffin, Three Years Old. Painted by Copley.
      Owned by heirs of Miss Anne S. Robbins, Boston,
      Mass.                                          _facing_ 222

  Mrs. John Hesselius and her Children, John and Caroline.
      Painted by John Hesselius. Owned by Mrs. Ridgeley,
      Baltimore, Md.                                 _facing_ 228

  Charlotte and Elizabeth Hesselius. Painted by John
      Hesselius. Owned by Mrs. Ridgeley, Baltimore, Md.
                                                     _facing_ 234

  Charles Spooner Cary, Eight Years Old, 1786. Owned
      by Mrs. Edward Cunningham, East Milton, Mass.  _facing_ 240

  Margaret Graves Cary, Fourteen Years Old, 1786. Owned
      by Mrs. Edward Cunningham, East Milton, Mass.  _facing_ 246

  The Custis Children, 1760 circa. Owned by General
      Custis Lee, Lexington, Va.                     _facing_ 250

  "The Holy Bible Abridged." Owned by American
      Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.          _facing_ 254

  Illustration from "Original Poetry for Young Minds"         256

  Page of "Hieroglyphick Bible." Owned by American
      Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.                   259

  Title-page of "Merry Tales of the Wise Men of Gotham"       266

  Page of "Merry Tales of the Wise Men of Gotham"             267

  "The Renowned History of Goody Two Shoes"          _facing_ 270

  Title-page of "A New Lottery Book"                          274

  Two Pages of "A New Lottery Book"                           276

  Frontispiece of "Be Merry and Wise." Owned by
      American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.          278

  Title-page of "Be Merry and Wise." Owned by American
      Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.                   282

  Page of "Cobwebs to catch Flies"                            284

  Woodcut by Bewick. "William and Amelia." From
      "The Looking Glass for the Mind"                        286

  Woodcut by Bewick. "Caroline, or A Lesson to cure
      Vanity." From "The Looking Glass for the Mind"          289

  Woodcut by Bewick. "Sir John Denham and his Worthy
      Tenant." From "The Looking Glass for the Mind"          291

  Woodcut by Bewick. "Clarissa, or The Grateful Orphan."
      From "The Looking Glass for the Mind"                   294

  Page from "The Juvenile Biographer"                         296

  "The Juvenile Biographer"                          _facing_ 298

  Two Pages of "The Father's Gift"                   _facing_ 300

  Page of "Vice in its Proper Shape." Owned by American
      Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.                   302

  "The Good Girl at her Wheel"                                307

  Illustration from "Plain Things for Little Folks"           309

  Anne Lennod's Sampler                                       313

  Colonel Wadsworth and his Son. Painted by Trumbull.
      Owned by Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn.   _facing_ 316

  Jerusha Pitkin's Embroidery and Frame. 1751. Copyrighted.
      Owned by Mrs. William Lee, Boston, Mass.                324

  Lora Standish's Sampler. In Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth,
      Mass                                                    327

  Fleetwood-Quincy Sampler. Owned by Mrs. Swan,
      Cambridge, Mass                                         330

  Polly Coggeshall's Sampler. Owned by Miss Julia Hazard
      Thomas, Flushing, L. I.                                 334

  Flowered Apron, 1750 _circa_. Owned by Mrs. Swan,
      Cambridge, Mass                                         336

  Mary Richard's Sampler. Owned by Miss Elizabeth Wendell
      van Rensselaer                                          337

  Ancient Lace Pillow, Reels, and Pockets. In Essex
      Institute, Salem, Mass                                  340

  "Scotch Hoppers" from "Juvenile Games for the Four
      Seasons"                                                345

  Ancient Skates. In Deerfield Memorial Hall         _facing_ 346

  "Skating." From Old Picture Book                            349

  Cornelius D. Wynkoop, Eight Years Old, 1742. Owned
      by James D. Wynkoop, Esq., Hurley, N.Y.        _facing_ 352

  Page from "Youthful Sports"                                 355

  Stephen Row Bradley, 1800 circa. Owned by Arthur C.
      Bradley, Esq., Newport, N. H.                  _facing_ 356

  Dolls' Furniture. One Hundred Years Old. In Bedford
      Historical Society                                      359

  Ancient Doll                                                362

  Old Rag Doll. In Bedford Historical Society.                363

  "French Doll." In Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.             364

  "French Doll." In Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.             367

  Dolls and Furniture. Owned by Bedford Historical Society    368

  Chinese Coach and Horses. In Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.  369

  Old Jackknives. In Deerfield Memorial Hall.                 370

  "Bangwell Putt." In Deerfield Memorial Hall        _facing_ 370

  White House Doll. Owned by Mrs. Clement, Newburyport,
      Mass.                                                   372

  Ancient Tin Toy                                             373

  Doll's Wicker Coach                                         374

  Stella Bradley Bellows, 1800 _circa_. Owned by Arthur C.
      Bradley, Esq., Newport, N. H.                  _facing_ 378

  Daisy Chain.                                                381

  Playing Marbles                                             385

  Spanish Dolls. In Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.             389

  Leaf Boats. Made from Leaves of Flower de Luce              395

Child Life in Colonial Days



    _Some things are of that nature as to make
    One's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache._

    --_The Author's Way of Sending Forth His Second Part of the
    Pilgrim. John Bunyan, 1684._

There is something inexpressibly sad in the thought of the children
who crossed the ocean with the Pilgrims and the fathers of
Jamestown, New Amsterdam, and Boston, and the infancy of those born
in the first years of colonial life in this strange new world. It
was hard for grown folk to live; conditions and surroundings offered
even to strong men constant and many obstacles to the continuance of
existence; how difficult was it then to rear children!

In the southern colonies the planters found a climate and enforced
modes of life widely varying from home life in England; it took
several generations to accustom infants to thrive under those
conditions. The first years of life at Plymouth are the records
of a bitter struggle, not for comfort but for existence. Scarcely
less sad are the pages of Governor Winthrop's journal, which
tell of the settlers of Massachusetts Bay. On the journey across
seas not a child "had shown fear or dismayedness." Those brave
children were welcomed to the shore with good cheer, says the old
chronicler, Joshua Scottow; "with external flavor and sweet odor;
fragrant was the land, such was the plenty of sweet fern, laurel,
and other fragrant simples; such was the scent of our aromatic
and balsam-bearing pines, spruces and larch trees, with our tall
cedars." They landed on a beautiful day in June, "with a smell on
the shore like the smell of a garden," and these happy children had
gathered sweet wild strawberries and single wild roses. It is easy
to picture the merry faces and cheerful laughter.

Scant, alas! were the succeeding days of either sweetness or light.
The summer wore on in weary work, in which the children had to join;
in constant fears, which the children multiplied and magnified; and
winter came, and death. "There is not a house where there is not one
dead," wrote Dudley. One little earth-weary traveller, a child whose
"family and kindred had dyed so many," was, like the prophets in the
Bible, given exalted vision through sorrow, and had "extraordinary
evidence concerning the things of another world." Fierce east winds
searched the settlers through and through, and frosts and snows
chilled them. The dreary ocean, the gloomy forests, were their
bounds. Scant was their fare, and mean their roof-trees; yet amid
all the want and cold little children were born and welcomed with
that ideality of affection which seems as immortal as the souls of
the loved ones.

Hunger and privation did not last long in the Massachusetts colony,
for it was a rich community--for its day--and soon the various
settlements grew in numbers and commerce and wealth, and an
exultant note runs through their records. Prosperous peoples will
not be morose; thanksgiving proclamations reflect the rosy hues of
successful years. Child life was in harmony with its surroundings;
it was more cheerful, but there was still fearful menace to the
life and health of an infant. From the moment when the baby opened
his eyes on the bleak world around him, he had a Spartan struggle
for life; half the Puritan children had scarce drawn breath in this
vale of tears ere they had to endure an ordeal which might well
have given rise to the expression "the survival of the fittest."
I say half the babies, presuming that half were born in warm
weather, half in cold. All had to be baptized within a few days of
birth, and baptized in the meeting-house; fortunate, indeed, was
the child of midsummer. We can imagine the January babe carried
through the narrow streets or lanes to the freezing meeting-house,
which had grown damper and deadlier with every wintry blast; there
to be christened, when sometimes the ice had to be broken in the
christening bowl. On January 22, 1694, Judge Samuel Sewall, of
Boston, records in his diary:--

     "A very extraordinary Storm by reason of the falling and driving
     of Snow. Few women could get to Meeting. A Child named Alexander
     was baptized in the afternoon."

The Judge tells of his own children--four days old--shrinking from
the icy water, but crying not. It was a cold and disheartening
reception these children had into the Puritan church; many
lingered but a short time therein. The mortality among infants was
appallingly great; they died singly, and in little groups, and in
vast companies. Putrid fevers, epidemic influenzas, malignant sore
throats, "bladders in the windpipe," raging small pox, carried
off hundreds of the children who survived baptism. The laws of
sanitation were absolutely disregarded--because unknown; drainage
there was none--nor deemed necessary; disinfection was feebly
desired--but the scanty sprinkling of vinegar was the only
expression of that desire; isolation of contagious diseases was
proclaimed--but the measures were as futile when the disease was
known to be contagious as they were lacking in the diseases which
our fathers did not know were communicable. It is appalling to think
what must have been the unbounded production and nurture of disease
germs; and we can paraphrase with truth the words of Sir Thomas
Browne, and say of our grandfathers and their children, "Considering
the thousand roads that lead to death, I do thank my God they could
die but once."

[Illustration: Edward Winslow]

It is heartrending to read the entries in many an old family
Bible--the records of suffering, distress, and blasted hopes.
Until this century these sad stories may be found. There lies
open before me an old leather-bound Bible with the record of my
great-grandfather's family. He had sixteen children. When the first
child was a year and a half old the second child was born. The baby
was but four days old when the older child died. Five times did that
mother's heart bear a similar cruel loss when she had a baby in her
arms; therefore when she had been nine years married she had one
living child, and five little graves bore record of her sorrow.

In the seventeenth century the science of medicine had not wholly
cut asunder from astrology and necromancy; and the trusting
Christian still believed in some occult influences, chiefly
planetary, which governed not only his crops but his health and
life. Hence the entries of births in the Bible usually gave the
hour and minute, as well as the day, month, and year. Thus could be
accurately calculated what favoring or mischief-bearing planets were
in ascendency at the time of the child's birth; what influences he
would have to encounter in life.

The belief that meteorological and astrological conditions affected
medicines was strong in all minds. The best physicians gravely noted
the condition of the moon when gathering herbs and simples and
concocting medicines; and certain drugs were held to be powerless
at certain times of the year, owing to planetary influences.
"Sympathetical" medicines were confidingly trusted, and tried to a
surprising extent upon children; apparently these were as beneficial
as our modern method of healing by the insinuation of improved

We cannot wonder that children died when we know the nostrums with
which they were dosed. There were quack medicines which held sway
for a century--among them, a valuable property, _Daffy's Elixir_.
These patented--or rather secret--medicines had a formidable rival
in snail-water, which was used as a tonic and also a lotion. Many
of the ingredients and extracts used in domestic medicines were
incredibly revolting.

Venice treacle was a nasty and popular compound, traditionally
invented by Nero's physician; it was made of vipers, white wine,
opium, "spices from both the Indies," licorice, red roses, tops of
germander and St.-John's-wort, and some twenty other herbs, juice
of rough sloes, mixed with honey "triple the weight of all the dry
spices." The recipe is published in dispensatories till within this
century. The vipers had to be put, "twelve of 'em," into white wine
alone. Mithridate, the ancient cure-all of King Mithridates, was
another dose for children. There were forty-five ingredients in
this, each prepared and introduced with care. Rubila, made chiefly
of antimony and nitre, was beloved of the Winthrops, and frequently
dispensed by them--and with benefit.

Children were grievously afflicted with rickets, though curiously
enough it was a new disease, not old enough to have received
adequate observation in England, wrote Sir Thomas Browne in the
latter part of the seventeenth century. Snails furnished many doses
for the rickets.

Exact instruction of treatment for the rickets is given in a
manuscript letter written to Rev. Joseph Perry of Windsor,
Connecticut, in 1769:--

     "REV'D SIR:

     "In ye Rickets the best Corrective I have ever found is a Syrup
     made of Black Cherrys. Thus. Take of Cherrys (dry'd ones are as
     good as any) & put them into a vessel with water. Set ye vessel
     near ye fire and let ye water be Scalding hot. Then take ye
     Cherrys into a thin Cloth and squeeze them into ye Vessell, &
     sweeten ye Liquor with Melosses. Give 2 Spoonfuls of this 2 or
     3 times in a day. If you Dip your Child, Do it in this manner:
     viz: naked, in ye morning, head foremost in Cold Water, don't
     dress it Immediately, but let it be made warm in ye Cradle &
     sweat at least half an Hour moderately. Do this 3 mornings going
     & if one or both feet are Cold while other Parts sweat (which is
     sometimes ye Case) Let a little blood be taken out of ye feet ye
     2nd Morning and yt will cause them to sweat afterwards. Before
     ye dips of ye Child give it some Snakeroot and Saffern Steep'd
     in Rum & Water, give this Immediately before Diping and after
     you have dipt ye Child 3 Mornings Give it several times a Day ye
     following Syrup made of Comfry, Hartshorn, Red Roses, Hog-brake
     roots, knot-grass, petty-moral roots, sweeten ye Syrup with
     Melosses. Physicians are generally fearful about diping when ye
     Fever is hard, but oftentimes all attemps to lower it without
     diping are vain. Experience has taught me that these fears are
     groundless, yt many have about diping in Rickety Fevers; I have
     found in a multitude of Instances of diping is most effectual
     means to break a Rickety Fever. These Directions are agreable to
     what I have practiced for many years."

Among other English notions thrust upon American children was one
thus advertised in ante-Revolutionary newspapers:--


     "_price 20 shillings_

     "For children's teeth, recommended in England by Dr. Chamberlen,
     with a remedy to open and ease the foregums of teething children
     and bring their teeth safely out. Children on the very brink
     of the Grave and thought past recovery with their teeth, fits,
     fevers, convulsions, hooping and other violent coughs, gripes,
     looseness, and all proceeding from their teeth who cannot tell
     what they suffer nor make known their pains any other way but
     by crying and moans, have almost miraculously recovered after
     having worn the famous Anodyne Necklace but one night's time. A
     mother then would never forgive herself whose child should die
     for want of so very easy a remedy for its teeth. And what is
     particularly remarkable of this necklace is, that of those vast
     numbers who have had this necklace for their children, none have
     made any complaints but express how glad they have been that
     their children have worn it whereas if they had not had it, they
     believed their children would have been in the grave, all means
     having been used in vain until they had the necklace."

These anodyne necklaces were akin to the medicated belts of our own
day, and were worn as children still wear amber beads to avert the

Various native berries had restorative and preventive properties
when strung as a necklace. Uglier decorations were those recommended
by Josselyn to New England parents, strings of fawn's teeth or
wolf's fangs, a sure promoter of easy teething. He also advised
scratching the child's gums with an osprey bone. Children died,
however, in spite of these varied charms and doses, in vast numbers
while teething.

[Illustration: Mayflower Cradle, owned by the Pilgrim William White]

There were some feeble expressions of revolt against the horrible
doses of the day. In 1647 we hear of the publication of "a Most
Desperate Booke written against taking of Phissick," but it was
promptly ordered to be burnt; and the doses were continued until
well into this century. The shadow of their power lingers yet in
country homes.

Many alluring baits were written back to England by the first
emigrants to tempt others to follow to the new world. Among other
considerations Gabriel Thomas made this statement:--

     "The Christian children born here are generally well-favored
     and beautiful to behold. I never knew any to come into the
     world with the least blemish on any part of the body; being in
     the general observed to be better-natured, milder, and more
     tender-hearted than those born in England."

John Hammond lavished equal praise on the children in Virginia. It
was also asserted that the average number of children in a family
was larger, which is always true in a pioneer settlement in a new
country. The promise of the Lord is ever fulfilled that he will
"make the families of his servants in the wilderness like a flock."

A cheerful home life was insured by these large families when
they lived. Sir William Phips was one of twenty-six children,
all with the same mother. Green, the Boston printer, had thirty
children. Another printer, Benjamin Franklin, was one of a family
of seventeen. William Rawson had twenty children by one wife. Rev.
Cotton Mather tells us:--

     "One woman had not less than twenty-two children, and another
     had no less than twenty-three children by one husband, whereof
     nineteen lived to man's estate, and a third was mother to seven
     and twenty children."

He himself had fifteen children, though but two survived him. Other
ministers had larger families. Rev. John Sherman, of Watertown,
Massachusetts, had twenty-six children by two wives. Rev. Samuel
Willard, the first minister of Groton, Massachusetts, had twenty
children, and was himself one of seventeen children. It is to the
honor of these poorly paid ministers that they brought up these
large families well. Rev. Abijah Weld, of Attleboro, Massachusetts,
had an annual salary of about two hundred and twenty dollars. He had
a small farm and a decent house; he lived in generous hospitality,
entertaining many visitors and contributing to the wants of the
poor. He had fifteen children and reared a grandchild. In his
fifty-five years of service as a minister he was never detained from
his duties nor failed to perform them.

Rev. Moses Fiske had sixteen children; he sent three sons to college
and married off all his daughters; his salary was never over ninety
pounds, and usually but sixty pounds a year, paid chiefly in corn
and wood. One verse of a memorial poem to Mrs. Sarah Thayer reads:--

    "And one thing more remarkable
       Which here I shall record;
     She'd fourteen children with her
       At the table of her Lord."

These large families were eagerly welcomed. Children were a
blessing. The Danish proverb says, "Children are the poor man's
wealth." To the farmer, especially the frontiersman, every child in
the home is an extra producer. No town in New England had less land
to distribute than Boston, but on all allotments women and children
received their full proportion; the early allotments of land in
Brookline (then part of Boston) were made by "heads," that is,
according to the number of people in the family.

It is an interesting study to trace the underlying reason for
naming children many of the curious names which were given to the
offspring of the first colonists. Parents searched for names of deep
significance, for names appropriate to conditions, for those of
profound influence--presumably on the child's life. Glory to God and
zealous ambition for the child's future were equally influential in
deciding selection.

[Illustration: Townes Cradle]

Rev. Richard Buck, one of the early parsons in Virginia, in days of
deep depression named his first child Mara. This text indicates the
reason for his choice: "Call me Mara for the Almighty hath dealt
very bitterly with me. I went out full and the Lord hath brought me
home empty." His second child was christened Gershom; for Moses'
wife "bare him a son and called his name Gershom, for he said I
have been in a strange land." Eber, the Hebrew patriarch, called
his son Peleg, "for his days were divided." Mr. Buck celebrated the
_Pelegging_, or dividing of Virginia, into legislative districts by
naming his third child Peleg. Many names have a pathos and sadness
which can be felt down through the centuries. Dame Dinely, widow of
a doctor or barber-surgeon who had died in the snow while striving
to visit a distant patient, named her poor babe Fathergone. A little
Goodman child, born after the death of her father, was sadly but
trustingly named Abiel--_God is my father_. Seaborn was the name
indicative of the introduction into life of one of my own ancestors.

In the old Ropes Bible in Salem is given the reason for an unusual
name which often appears in that family; it is Seeth. One of the
family was supposed to be dead, having disappeared. On his sudden
reappearance a pious Ropes exclaimed in joy, "The Lord seeth not as
man seeth, and my child shall be named Seeth." An early example of
the name is Seeth Grafton, who became the wife of Thomas Gardner in

Judge Sewall named one son Joseph,

     "In hopes of the accomplishment of the Prophecy of Ezekiel
     xxxvii. and such; and not out of respect to any Relation or any
     other Person except the first Joseph."

Judge Sewall again made an entry in his diary after a christening.

     "I named my little Daughter Sarah. Mr. Torrey said call her
     Sarah and make a Madam of her. I was struggling whether to call
     her Mehetable or Sarah. But when I saw Sarah's standing in the
     Scripture, viz: Peter, Galatians, Hebrews, Romans, I resolv'd on
     that suddenly."

Abigail, meaning father's joy, was also frequently given, and
Hannah, meaning grace; the history of these two Hebrew women made
their names honored of New England Puritans. Zurishaddai, the
Almighty is my rock, was bestowed on more than one boy. Comfort,
Deliverance, Temperance, Peace, Hope, Patience, Charity, Faith,
Love, Submit, Endurance, Silence, Joy, Rejoice, Hoped for, and
similar names indicative of a trait of character, a virtue, or an
aspiration of goodness, were common. The children of Roger Clap were
named Experience, Waitstill, Preserved, Hopestill, Wait, Thanks,
Desire, Unite, and Supply. Madam Austin, an early settler of old
Narragansett, had sixteen children. Their names were Parvis, Picus,
Piersus, Prisemus, Polybius, Lois, Lettice, Avis, Anstice, Eunice,
Mary, John, Elizabeth, Ruth, Freelove. All lived to be threescore
and ten, one to be a hundred and two years old.

Edward Bendall's children were named Truegrace, Reform, Hoped for,
More mercy, and Restore. Richard Gridley's offspring were Return,
Believe, and Tremble.

With the exception of Puritanical names, double Christian names were
very rare until after the Revolution, as may be seen by examining
any document with many signatures; such, for instance, as the
Declaration of Independence, or the lists of officers and men in the
Continental Army. Return Jonathan Meigs was a notable exception.

There exists in New England a tradition of "groaning-cakes" being
made and baked at the birth of a child, to give to visitors. I have
found no record of it. The Frenchman, Misson, in his _Travels in
England_, says, "At the birth of their children they (visitors)
drink a glass of wine and eat a bit of a certain cake, which is
seldom made but upon these occasions." Anna Green Winslow, a Boston
schoolgirl, tells of making what she calls "a setting up visit"
to a relative who had a baby about four weeks old. She wore her
best and most formal attire and says, "It cost me a pistareen to
Nurse Eaton for two cakes which I took care to eat before I paid
for them." There certainly was a custom of giving money, clothing,
or petty trinkets to the nurse at such visits. Judge Sewall
frequently writes of these "vails" which he made at the house of his
friends. He writes in one case of brewing "groaning-beer," and in
his household were held two New England amphidromia. The midwife,
nurses, and all the neighboring women who had helped with work or
advice during the early days of the child's life were bidden to a
dinner. One Sewall baby was scarcely two weeks old when seventeen
women dined at the Judge's house, on boiled pork, beef, and fowls;
roast beef and turkey; pies and tarts. At another time "minc'd Pyes
and cheese" were added. Judge Winthrop's sister, Madam Downing,
furnished sack and claret also. A survival of this custom lasted
till this century in the drinking of caudle by the bedside of the

A pincushion was for many years and indeed is still in some parts of
New England a highly conventional gift to a mother with a young babe.

_Poor Robin's Almanack_ for the year 1676 says:--

    "Pincushions and such other knacks
     A childbed woman always lacks."

[Illustration: pincushion]

I have seen in different families five of precisely the same pattern
and size, all made about the time of the Revolution. One given to
a Boston baby, while his new home was in state of siege, bore the
inscription, "Welcome little Stranger, tho' the Port is closed."
These words were formed by the heads of pins. Another, about five
inches long and three inches wide, is of green figured silk with a
flowered vine stuck in pins and the words, "John Winslow, March,
1783, Welcome, Little Stranger." Anna Green Winslow tells of her
aunts making one with "a planthorn of flowers" and the name. I have
seen one with similar inscription knitted of fine silk and with
the name sewed on in steel beads, among which pins were stuck in a
graceful pattern.

[Illustration: Indian Cradle]

The seventeenth-century baby slept, as his nineteenth-century
descendant does, in a cradle. Nothing could be prettier than the
old cradles that have survived successive years of use with many
generations of babies. In Pilgrim Hall still may be seen the quaint
and finely wrought wicker cradle of Peregrine White, the first white
child born in Plymouth. This cradle is of Dutch manufacture; and is
one of the few authentic articles still surviving that came over on
the _Mayflower_. It was brought over by William White, whose widow
married Governor Edward Winslow. A similar wicker cradle may be
seen at the Essex Institute in Salem, together with a heavy wooden
cradle in which many members of the Townes family of Topsfield,
Massachusetts, were rocked to sleep two centuries ago. Judge Sewall
bought a wicker cradle for one of his many children and paid sixteen
shillings for it. A graceful variant of the swinging cradle is shown
in the Indian basket hung at either end from a wooden standard
or frame. In this strong basket, fashioned by an Indian mother,
many a white child has been swung and sung to sleep. A still more
picturesque cradle was made of birch bark, that plentiful material
so widely adaptive to household uses, and so deftly manipulated and
shaped by the patient squaws.

In these cradles the colonial baby slept, warmly wrapped in a
homespun blanket or pressed quilt.

_Poor Robin's Almanack_ for the year 1676 enumerates among a baby's

    "Blanckets of a several scantling
     Therein for to wrap a bantling."

Of these wraps, of the thinner sort, may be named the thin,
close-woven, homespun "flannel sheet," spun of the whitest wool into
a fine twisted worsted, and woven with a close sley into an even web
as enduring as the true Oriental cashmere. The baby's initials were
often marked on these sheets, and fortunate was the child who had
the light, warm wrappings. My own children had "flannel sheets" that
had seen a century or more of use with generations of forbears.

[Illustration: Governor Bradford's Christening Blanket, 1590]

A finer coverlet, one of state, the christening blanket, was
usually made of silk, richly embroidered, sometimes with a text of
Scripture. These were often lace-bordered or edged with a narrow
home-woven silk fringe. The christening blanket of Governor Bradford
of the Plymouth Colony still exists, whole of fabric and unfaded
of dye. It is a rich crimson silk, soft of texture, like a heavy
sarcenet silk, and is powdered at regular distances about six inches
apart with conventional sprays of flowers embroidered chiefly
in pink and yellow, in minute and beautiful cross-stitch. It is
distinctly Oriental in appearance, far more so than is indicated
by its black and white representation here. Another beautiful silk
christening blanket was quilted in an intricate flower pattern in
almost imperceptible stitches. These formal wrappings of state were
sometimes called bearing-cloths or clothes, and served through
many generations. Shakespeare speaks in _Henry VI._ of a child's

A go-cart or standing-stool was a favorite instrument to teach a
child to walk. A standing-stool a century old in which Newburyport
babies stood and toddled is a rather crude frame of wood with a
ledge or narrow table for toys. The method of using a go-cart is
shown in this old print taken from a child's book called, _Little
Prattle over a Book of Prints_, published for sixpence in 1801.
In the writers of Queen Anne's day frequent references are made to

[Illustration: Standing Stool]

I find strong evidence that Locke's _Thoughts on Education_,
published in England in 1690, found many readers and ardent
followers in the new world. The book is in many old-time library
lists in New England, and among the scant volumes of those who had
but a single book-shelf or book-box. I have seen abstracts and
transpositions of his precepts on the pages of almanacs, the most
universally circulated and studied of all eighteenth-century books
save the Bible. In contemporary letters evidence is found of the
influence of Locke's principles. In the prefaces of Thomas' reprints
he is quoted and eulogized. The notions of the English philosopher
appealed to American parents because they were, as the author said,
"the consideration not what a physician ought to do with a sick or
crazy child, but what parents without the help of physic should do
for the preservation of an healthy constitution." Crazy here is used
in the old-time sense of feeble bodily health, not mental. In these
days of hundreds of books on child-study, education, child-culture,
and kindred topics, it is a distinct pleasure to read Locke's sturdy
sentences; to see how wise, and kindly, and logical he was in nearly
all his advices, especially on moral or ethical questions. Even
those on physical conditions that seem laughably obsolete to-day
were so in advance of the general practices of his day that they
are farther removed from the notions of his time than from those of
ours. In judging them let us remember Dr. Holmes' lines:--

    "Little of all we value here
     Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
     Without both looking and feeling queer."

Certainly an existence of two centuries may make us pardon a little
queerness in advice.

One of Locke's instructions much thought on in the years his book
was so widely read was the advice to wash the child's feet daily
in cold water, and "to have his shoes so thin that they might leak
and let in water." Josiah Quincy was the suffering subject of some
of this instruction; when only three years old he was taken from
his warm bed in winter as well as summer (and this in Eastern
Massachusetts), carried downstairs to a cellar kitchen and dipped
three times in a tub of cold water fresh from the pump. He was also
brought up with utter indifference to wet feet; he said that in his
boyhood he sat more than half the time with his feet wet and cold,
but with no ill results.

Locke also strongly counselled learning dancing, swimming, and
playing in the open air. In his diet "flesh should be forborn as
long as the boy is in coats, or at least till he is two or three
years old"; for breakfast and supper he advises milk, milk-pottage,
water-gruel, flummery, and similar "spoon-meat," or brown bread with
cheese. If the boy called for victuals between meals, he should
have dry bread. His only extra drink should be small-beer, which
should be warm; and seldom he should taste wine or strong drink.
Locke would not have children eat melons, peaches, plums, or grapes;
while berries and ripe pears and apples, the latter especially after
October, he deems healthful. The bed should be hard, of quilts
rather than of feathers. Under these rigid rules were reared many of
our Revolutionary heroes and statesmen.

[Illustration: De Peyster Twins]

The adoption of Locke's ideas about the use of cold water, or
indeed of any frequent bathing, was perhaps the most radical
innovation in modes of living. The English never bathed, in our
sense of the word, a complete immersion, nor, I suppose, did our
Puritan, Cavalier, or Quaker ancestors. Sewall makes not one
reference to anything of the kind, but that is not strange; nor is
his omission any proof, negative or positive, for he refers to no
personal habits, and very shortly and infrequently to dress. Pepys,
the courtier and dandy, tells of rare monumental occasions when he
cleaned himself--far too rare, we may judge from side-lights thrown
by other of his statements. The _Youth's Behavior_, an old-time
book of etiquette, lays down an assertion that it is a point of
wholesomeness to wash one's face and hands as soon as one is up and
dressed, and "to comb one's head in time and season, yet not too
curiously." Bathing the person in unaccustomed spots was a ticklish
proceeding--a water ordeal, to be gravely considered. Mistress Alice
Thornton, a Yorkshire dame, records in her account of her life one
occasion when she washed her feet, but she was overbold. "Which my
mother did believe it was the cause of that dangerous fitt the next
day." In the Verney volumes we find that forlorn Verney boy, poor
sickly "Mun," wearing a harness for his crooked back till his shirt
was black, when the famous surgeon changed the harness, and Mun
his shirt, with no thought on the part of either of a bath being a

[Illustration: Go-Cart]

In 1630 a ship was sent from England to Massachusetts which was
provisioned for three months. Among the stores for the passengers'
use were two casks of Malaga and Canary; twenty gallons of
aqua-vitæ; forty-five tuns of beer; and for drinking, washing,
cooking, bathing, etc., but six tuns of water. The ships sent out
to Georgia by Oglethorpe were so scantily supplied with water that
it is positive no fresh water could have been used for bathing even
in minute amount. The reputation of hidden malevolence which hung
around water as a beverage seems to have extended to its use in any
form. It was believed to be permeated with minute noxious particles,
which in those ante-bacteriological days could not be explained, but
which were distinctly appreciated and dreaded.

But these be parlous words. Let us rather show some sympathy for our
ancestors. We bathe in well-warmed rooms, often in cold water, but
with steaming hot water in ample command at a turn of the hand. Had
we to carry all the water for our bathing use from a well whence we
laboriously raised it in small amounts, and were we forced to bathe
in an icy atmosphere, with cutting draughts striking us on every
side, with the basins of water freezing on the hearth in front of
a blazing fire, and the juices of the wood freezing at the ends of
burning logs, we might not deem our daily bath such an indispensable

We have heard an advanced thinker like Locke suggest brown bread,
cheese, and warm beer as food for young children. What, then, must
have been the notions of less thoughtful folk? Doubtless in England
such food would have been simple; but in the new world less beer
was drank and more milk, which must have proved the salvation of
American children. And the plentiful and varied cereal foods, many
of them from Indian corn, were a suitable diet for young children.
Samp, hominy, suppawn, pone, succotash,--all Indian foods and
cooked in Indian ways,--were found in every home in every colony.
Baked beans, another Indian dish, were also good food for children.
Native and domestic fruits were plentiful, but, with the exception
of apples and pears, were not very attractive. The succession of
summer's and autumn's berries must have been eagerly welcomed. They
were in the rich and spicy plenty offered by a virgin soil.

A curious, rare, and quaintly named English book is owned by Earl
Spencer. Its title runs thus:--

     "Dyves Pragmaticus. A booke in English metre of the great
     marchuant man called Dyves Pragmaticus, very pretye for chyldren
     to rede, whereby they may be the better and more readyer rede
     and wryte Wares and Implements in this World contayned.... When
     thou sellest aught unto thy neighbour or byest anything of
     him deceave not nor oppress him, etc. Imprinted at London in
     Aldersgate strete by Alexander Lacy dwellynge beside the Wall.
     The XXV of Aprill, 1563."

It contains a list of sweetmeats for the enticement of children
which may be confidently relied on as a full one if we can judge by
the exhaustiveness of the lists of other commodities found in the

    "I have Sucket, Surrip, Grene Ginger, and Marmalade,
     Bisket, Cumfet, and Carraways as fine as can be made."

A sucket was a dried sweetmeat such as candied orange peel. A
caraway was a sweet cake with caraway-seeds.

Apples and caraways were a favorite dish, still served at some of
the anniversary feasts of English universities. Comfits were highly
flavored, often scented with strong perfumes like musk and bergamot.

Sweetmeats appear to have been plentiful in the colonies from early
days. The first native poet of New England wrote complainingly as
early as 1675 that--

    "From western isles now fruits and delicacies
     Do rot maids' teeth and spoil their handsome faces."

Ships in the "Indian trade" brought to the colonies abundance
of sugar, molasses, chocolate, ginger, and other dried fruits.
These were apparently far more common here than in England;
Mr. Ernst says these constant relays of sweets "produced the
American sweet-tooth--a wonder." Candied eringo-root, candied
lemon-peel, angelica candy, as well as caraway comfits and sugared
coriander-seed and dried ginger, were advertised for sale in Boston,
and show the taste of the day. In 1731 Widow Bonyet had a notice of
her specialties in the _Boston News Letter_. It has quite the modern
ring in its meat jellies for the sick, and home-made preserves,
jellies, and sirups. She also made those ancient sweets, macaroons,
marchpanes, and crisp almonds. These latter do not appear to be the
glazed and burnt almonds of the confectioner, and may have been
salted almonds. The only candy Sewall refers to is sugared almonds.
He frequently speaks of gifts of oranges, figs, and "raisins of
the sun." Raisins were brought into all the colonial ports in vast
amounts, and were until this century regarded by children as a great

Each large city seems to have had some special confectioner or
baker who was renowned for special cakes. Boston had Meer's cakes.
New York children probably had the greatest variety of cookies,
crullers, and various small cakes, as these were distinctly Dutch,
and the Dutch vrouws excelled in cake-making.

Strings of rock-candy came from China, but were rivalled by a
distinctly native sweet--maple sugar. Equally American appear to
us those Salem sweets, namely, Black Jacks and Salem Gibraltars.
Base imitations appeared elsewhere, but never equalled the original
delights in Salem. Children who were fortunate enough to live in
coast towns reaped the sweet fruits of their fathers' foreign
ventures. When a ship came into port with eighty boxes of sugar
candy on board and sixty tubs of rock-candy, poor indeed was
the child who was not surfeited with sweets. There was a sequel,
however, to the toothsome feast, a bitter dessert. The ship that
brought eighty boxes of sugar candy also fetched a hundred boxes of
rhubarb and ten of senna.



     _Man's earthly Interests are all hooked and buttoned together
     and held up by Clothes._

  --_Sartor Resartus. Thomas Carlyle, 1833._

Of the dress of infants of colonial times we can judge from the
articles of clothing which have been preserved till this day.
Perhaps I should say that we can judge of the better garments worn
by babies, not their everyday dress; for it is not their simpler
attire that has survived, but their christening robes, their finer
shirts and petticoats and caps.

Linen formed the chilling substructure of their dress, thin
linen, low-necked, short-sleeved shirts; and linen even formed
the underwear of infants until the middle of this century. These
little linen shirts are daintier than the warmest silk or fine
woollen underwear that have succeeded them; they are edged with fine
narrow thread lace, hemstitched with tiny rows of stitches, and
sometimes embroidered by hand. I have seen a little shirt and a cap
embroidered with the coat of arms of the Lux and Johnson families
and the motto, "God bless the Babe;" these delicate garments were
worn in infancy by the Revolutionary soldier, Governor Johnson of

[Illustration: Baptismal Shirt and Mittens of Governor Bradford,

In the Essex Institute in Salem, Massachusetts, are the baptismal
shirt and mittens of the Pilgrim Father, William Bradford, second
governor of the Plymouth Colony, who was born in 1590. All are of
firm, close-woven, homespun linen, but the little mittens have
been worn at the ends by the active friction of baby hands, and
are patched with colored "chiney" or calico. A similar colored
material frills the sleeves and neck. A pair of baby's mitts of fine
lace also may be seen at the Essex Institute. These were wrought in
the sixteenth century, and the stitches and work are those of the
antique Flanders laces. I have seen many tiny mitts knit of silk
and mittens of fine linen, hemstitched, worked in drawn work or
embroidered, and edged with thread-lace, and also a few mitts of
yellow nankeen which must have proved specially irritating to the
tiny little hands that wore them.

I have never seen a woollen petticoat that was worn by an infant
of pre-Revolutionary days. It may be argued that woollen garments,
being liable to ruin by moths, would naturally not be treasured.
This argument scarcely is one of force, because I have been shown
infants' cloaks of wool as well as woollen garments for older folk,
that have been successfully preserved; also beautifully embroidered
long cloaks of chamois skin. I think infants wore no woollen
petticoats; their shirts, petticoats, and gowns were of linen or
some cotton stuff like dimity. Warmth of clothing was given by tiny
shawls pinned round the shoulders, and heavier blankets and quilts
and shawls in which baby and petticoats were wholly enveloped.

[Illustration: Robert Gibbs, Four and a Half Years Old, 1670]

The baby dresses of olden times are either rather shapeless
sacques drawn in at the neck with narrow cotton ferret or linen
bobbin, or little straight-waisted gowns of state. All were
exquisitely made by hand, and usually of fine stuff. But the babies
in pioneer settlements a century ago had to share in wearing
homespun. It is told of one in a log cabin in a New Hampshire
clearing that when the grandmother rode out eighty miles on
horseback to see her son's first baby, she shed bitter tears at
beholding the child, but a few months old, clad in a gray woollen
homespun slip with an apron or tier of blue and white checked linen.
The mother, a frontier lass, dressed the infant according to the
fashions she was accustomed to.

Nothing could show so fully the costume of children in olden times
as their portraits, and a series of such portraits of successive
dates will be given in these pages. Many of them are asserted to
be by the three well-known artists of colonial days,--Blackburn,
Smibert, and Copley; a few are by Peale, Trumbull, and Stuart. I
have accepted all family traditions as true, and in many cases
believe them to be true, especially since there were few painters of
any rank in the community, and no others who could paint portraits
such as those which have been preserved. The Gilbert Stuarts and
Trumbulls usually have some authentic pedigree. Many of these
pictures have no artist's signature and are absolutely valueless as
works of art, and probably meritless as likenesses; but as records
of costume they are always of interest and historical worth.

There is a certain sweetness in some of these old-time portraits;
they are stiff and flat, but some of them have a quaintness that
reminds me of the angels of the early Florentine painters. They
have little grace of figure, but the details of costume make them
pleasing even if they are not beautiful.

The first child's portrait in this series is one of extraordinary
interest. It is opposite page 4, and has never before been given
to the public. It is the reputed miniature of the Pilgrim Father,
Governor Edward Winslow, when a boy about six years of age, which
would be in 1602; it is the only miniature in existence of any of
the Pilgrims at any age. I have, in deference to the wishes of the
Rev. Dr. William Copley Winslow of Boston (to whom I am indebted for
it), entitled it the reputed miniature of the child Edward Winslow,
though the term expresses neither his belief nor mine; and seems
scarcely just to a portrait whose claims to authenticity are far
more definite than those of many of the family portraits that have
descended to us.

[Illustration: Infant's Mitts, 16th Century]

The miniature came to Dr. Winslow from Mrs. Hersey of Pembroke,
Massachusetts. She died at the age of eighty-six. Her grandfather
assured her that his father (the famous General John Winslow)
received the likeness from his father (the grandson of Edward
the Pilgrim), and that it was the Pilgrim's likeness as a child.
This--through long-lived Winslows--is a record of few retellings;
and these were told by folk to be trusted. The Winslows were
gentlefolk of ample means, such as were likely to have miniatures
painted; and the portrait of Governor Winslow when fifty-six years
of age, now in Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth, is the sole one (save this
miniature) of any of the Pilgrims. Other strong evidence is the
extraordinary resemblance of the child's picture to the "grown-up"
portrait, the same brow, contour of face, and other similarity.

There is something in the child's portrait that is singularly
suggestive to any one with any historical imagination. The
simplicity of the dress and arrangement of the hair show the
influence of Puritanism. As I look at it I can fancy, yes, I can
plainly see, some little English children, twenty years later
standing on that crowded historic ship, looking back with childish
serenity at the home they were leaving, and then greeting as
cheerfully and trustingly the "sad Plymouth" where they disembarked;
and the faces that I see have the broad brow, the flowing hair, the
bared neck, and simple dress shown in this miniature.

The next portrait, which faces the title page, shows the costume
worn in 1690 by a boy a year or two old; it is a charming and quaint
picture of the first John Quincy, who was born in 1689, and who when
dying, in 1767, gave his name to his great-grandson, John Quincy
Adams, who had just been born. Some have thought the picture that of
a sister, Esther Quincy; but to me it has a hard little boy's face,
not the features of a delicate girl, and also a boy's hands, and a
boy's toy.

Children in America, if gentlefolk, dressed just as children did
in England at that date; and boys wore "coats" in England till they
were six or seven. One of the most charming of all grandmothers'
letters was written by a doting English grandmother to her son, Lord
Chief Justice North, telling of the "leaving off of coats" of his
motherless little son, Francis Guildford, then six years old. The
letter is dated October 10, 1679:--

     "DEAR SON:

     "You cannot beleeve the great concerne that was in the whole
     family here last Wednesday, it being the day that the taylor was
     to helpe to dress little ffrank in his breeches in order to the
     making an everyday suit by it. Never had any bride that was to
     be drest upon her weding night more handes about her, some the
     legs, some the armes, the taylor butt'ning, and others putting
     on the sword, and so many lookers on that had I not a ffinger
     amongst I could not have seen him. When he was quite drest he
     acted his part as well as any of them for he desired he might
     goe downe to inquire for the little gentleman that was there
     the day before in a black coat, and speak to the man to tell
     the gentleman when he came from school that there was a gallant
     with very fine clothes and a sword to have waited upon him and
     would come again upon Sunday next. But this was not all, there
     was great contrivings while he was dressing who should have the
     first salute; but he sayd if old Joan had been here, she should,
     but he gave it to me to quiett them all. They were very fitt,
     everything, and he looks taller and prettyer than in his coats.
     Little Charles rejoyced as much as he did for he jumpt all the
     while about him and took notice of everything. I went to Bury,
     and bo^t everything for another suitt which will be finisht on
     Saturday so the coats are to be quite left off on Sunday. I
     consider it is not yett terme time and since you could not have
     the pleasure of the first sight, I resolved you should have a
     full relation from

     "Yo^r most aff^nate Mother
     "A NORTH.

     When he was drest he asked Buckle whether muffs were out of
     fashion because they had not sent him one."

This affectionate letter, written to a great and busy statesman, the
Lord Keeper of the Seals, shows how pure and delightful domestic
life in England could be; but the writer was not a commonplace
woman--she was the mother of fourteen children, and had had years of
experience with a father-in-law before whom an army of traditional
mothers-in-law would pale. She lived through this ordeal and a
trying marital experience, and her children rose up and called her
blessed. Among her virtues her son Roger dilated at length upon her
delightful letter-writing, her "freedom of style and matter," and
declared that her letters were among the comforts of her children's

[Illustration: Jane Bonner, Eight Years Old, 1700]

To return to the dress of John Quincy: with the exception of the
neck of the body of the frock it is much like the dress of grown
women of that day. We have existing portraits of Madam Shimpton and
Rebecca Rawson of the same date. In both of these, as in this little
boy's portrait, the sleeve is the most noticeable feature, with its
single slash, double puff drawn in below the elbow and confined with
pretty ribbon knots. This sleeve was known as the virago sleeve,
and John Quincy's are darker colored than his frock. All three wear
loosely tied rather shapeless hoods, such as are seen on the women
in the prints of the coronation procession of King William. The boy
has a close cap under his hood. His dress is certainly picturesque
and distinctive.

A portrait, facing page 36, of another Massachusetts boy,
contemporary with John Quincy, is that of Robert Gibbs, the rich
Boston merchant. This is plainly marked as being painted when he
was four and a half years old, and with the date 1670. He wears the
same stiff cuirass as John Quincy, the same odd truncated shoes of
buff leather, and has the same masculine swing of the petticoats.
Both figures stand on a checker-board floor, four squares deep, with
their toes at the same point on the board. Robert Gibbs wears a more
boyish collar, or band, as befits a bigger boy. The sleeves are
an important feature of his dress, having a pair of long hanging
sleeves bordered with fur, which do not show in the print in this
book, but are plainly visible in the original portrait. Hanging
sleeves were so distinctively the dress of a little child that the
term had at that time a symbolic significance, implying childishness
both of youth and second childhood. Pepys thus figuratively employs
the term. Judge Sewall wrote in old age to a brother whose widowed
sister he desired to marry:--

     "I remember when I was going from school at Newbury to have
     sometime met your sisters Martha and Mary in Hanging Sleeves,
     coming home from their school in Chandlers Lane, and have had
     the pleasure of speaking to them. And I could find it in my
     heart now to speak to Mrs Martha again, now I myself am reduc'd
     to Hanging Sleeves."

This roundabout wooing came to naught. The Judge married Widow Mary
Gibbs, relict of this very Robert Gibbs whose childish portrait we
have here. The artist who painted this picture may have been Tom
Child, who is named by Judge Sewall as the portrait-painter of that

A demure and quaint portrait, opposite page 42, is that of Jane
Bonner. She was born in 1691, the daughter of Captain John Bonner of
Boston, and was married in 1710 to John Ellery. She was about eight
or ten years old when the portrait was painted. Crude as is the
painting, it gives evident proof that the lace of the stomacher and
sleeve frills is of the nature of what is now called rose point.

In the early settlements of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and
Virginia, sumptuary laws were passed to restrain and attempt to
prohibit extravagance in dress. The New England magistrates were
curiously minute in description of overluxurious attire, and many
offenders were tried and fined. But vain daughters and sons "psisted
in fflonting," though ministers joined the lawmakers in solemn
warnings and reprehensions. Young girls were fined for silk hoods
and immoderate great sleeves, and boldly appeared in court in still
richer attire. The Dutch never attempted or wished to simplify
the dress of either men or women. In New York dress was ample,
substantial, varied in texture, and variegated in color. It ever
formed a considerable item in personal property. The children of
the Dutch settlers had plentiful and warm clothing, and sometimes
very rich clothing, as may be seen in the quaint and interesting
picture facing page 26, of twin girls, the two daughters of Abraham
De Peyster of New York, and his wife, Margaret Van Cortlandt. They
are dressed in red velvet trained gowns, but are barefooted. They
were born December 3, 1724, and Eva died in 1729, a month after
the portrait was painted. Catherine was married on her eighteenth
birthday to John Livingstone, son of the second lord of the manor.
Their son had a daughter Catherine, who became the wife of Don
Mariano Velasquez de la Cadenas. To their daughters, Mrs. Azoy and
Miss Mariana Velasquez, this interesting portrait now belongs.

[Illustration: Infant's Robe, Cap and Christening Blanket]

The mother of these twins was the daughter of Jacobus Van Cortlandt
and Eva De Vries Philipse. The names of Eva and Catherine have ever
been given to the little daughters of these allied families, and are
borne to-day by many of their descendants.

Another little girl of Dutch blood was Cathalina Post, who married
Zegor Van Santvoord. Her portrait was painted in 1750 when she
was fourteen years old, and is now owned by Dr. Van Santvoord of
Kingston-on-Hudson, New York. A copy of this quaint old picture
faces page 204. It is most interesting in costume; the head-gear
showing distinct Dutch influence.

There is a suggestion of earrings in this portrait, and Katherine
Ten Broeck, another child of Dutch blood, but three years old, wears
earrings. The reproduction of her portrait, given opposite page 192,
shows these jewels but dimly, but they are visible in the original
oil-painting. She was born in Albany in 1715. The portrait is marked
Ætat^s Sua, 3 Years, 1719. She was married to John Livingstone, and
lived to become a stately old dame, receiving formally on New Year's
Day her grandchildren, who always greeted her in Dutch learned for
the special occasion.

The devastations of two wars (and in some localities
three)--destruction by fire and earthquake--have sadly destroyed
the cherished relics of many southern homes. From Mrs. St. Julian
Ravenel of Charleston, South Carolina, the delightful biographer
of that delightful colonial dame, Eliza Lucas Pinckney, come two
portraits of children of the Huguenot settlers. The picture facing
page 48 of Ellinor Cordes of St. John's, Berkeley County, South
Carolina, painted about 1740, shows a lovely little child of French
features, and French daintiness of dress, albeit a bright yellow
brocaded satin would seem rather gorgeous attire for a girl but
two years old. Opposite page 50 is a picture of Daniel Ravenel
of Wantoot, St. John's, Berkeley County, South Carolina, who was
born in 1760, and was about five years old when this portrait was
painted; though he still wears what might be termed a frock with
petticoats, there is a decided boyishness in the waistcoat with its
silver buttons and lace, and the befrogged overcoat with broad cuffs
and wrist ruffles, and a turned-over revers, and narrow linen inner
collar. It is an exceptionally pleasing boy's dress for a little

Two portraits of Flagg children painted, it is said, by Smibert,
must be among his latest portraits, for the baby, Polly Flagg, was
born in Boston in 1750, and Smibert died in 1751. The portrait
facing page 184 shows, as may be seen, a dear little baby not a year
old, in baby dress and cap, clasping a toy. It is marked on the
back Mrs. Polly Hurd; for the little girl lived to be the wife and
widow of Dr. Wilder of Lancaster, Massachusetts, and of Dr. Hurd of
Concord, Massachusetts. Of equal interest is the severely beautiful
face of James Flagg, her brother, shown opposite page 188. He was
born in 1739, and was still "coats" when this portrait was painted.
These portraits are owned by Mrs. Albert Thorndike of Boston,
Massachusetts, the great-granddaughter of Griselda Apthorpe Flagg,
the sister of these two children.

[Illustration: Ellinor Cordes, Two Years Old, 1740]

The portrait of Jonathan Mountfort, given opposite page 58, has
a special interest to the art student, since it is a specimen of
Copley's early work. The boy was born December 6, 1746, and was
seven years old when the portrait was painted. He married Mary Bole,
a Newfoundland girl, whose father sent her to a school in Halifax,
under the charge of Captain Shepherd of Medford, Massachusetts.
Finding Halifax in a state of blockade, the captain took the little
girl to Boston. He and his wife were childless and became deeply
attached to her and finally adopted her. She became engaged to Dr.
Mountfort, and went to visit her parents in Ireland, whither they
had removed. On her return, bringing with her the gifts, wardrobe,
and household furnishings of a bride of that period, she came into
Boston harbor only to be wrecked in sight of the town. The ship's
mate swam with her to the lighthouse, and the two were the only
ones saved. Captain Shepherd gave her a house and fresh outfit,
and she married Dr. Mountfort. They had seven children, but the
name of Mountfort is now extinct. Their daughter Elizabeth married
Major Thomas Pitts, whose daughter is now Mrs. Farlin of Detroit,
Michigan, the present owner of this interesting portrait.

[Illustration: Daniel Ravenel, Five Years Old, 1765]

An altogether charming group of children, facing page 54, two
sisters and two brothers of Governor Christopher Gore (seventh
governor of Massachusetts), was painted about the year 1754, by
Copley. The mature little girl of this picture, Frances, married
Thomas Crafts, colonel of the regiment of which Paul Revere was
lieutenant-colonel in the Revolution. Colonel and Mrs. Crafts were
the great-grandparents of the present owners, Miss Julia G. Robins
and Miss Susan P. B. Robins. This picture was for a time in the
Boston Museum of Art, and on returning it General Loring wrote, "I
shall miss the little grown-ups--were there no children in those
days?" This look of maturity seems universal to all these portraits.
I have photographs of several other groups of children, one of the
most charming, that of the Grymes children, now in the Capitol
at Richmond, Virginia; but they are all too darkened with age to
admit of proper or adequate reproduction, and must be left out of
these pages. The baby in the Grymes group is truly a baby, not a

[Illustration: Child's Shoes]

The handsomest of all the boy-portraits of colonial days is that
of Samuel Pemberton, by Blackburn; it is perfect in feature and
expression; though he is but twelve years old he wears a wig. It was
painted in 1736, and boys of good family then wore costly wigs. Mr.
Freeman of Portland, Maine, had in his book of expenses of the year
1750, such items as these:--

  "Shaving my three sons at sundry times. £5. 14_s._
  Expenses for James' Wig                  9.
      "     "  Samuel's Wig                9.

The three sons--Samuel, James, and William--were aged eleven, nine,
and seven years. The shaving was of their heads. Slaves of fashion
were parents of that day to bedeck their boys with such rich wigs.

A more exquisite portrait than that of Thomas Aston Coffin, opposite
page 222, can scarcely be found. It is painted in Copley's best
manner (shown in the highest perfection in the portrait of his
daughter Elizabeth). A light-hued satin petticoat-front shows under
a rich full-skirted satin over-dress which brushes the ground. The
pretty satin sleeves have white under-sleeves and wrist ruffles, but
the neck is cut very low and round. The child holds two pigeons by
a leash, and a feathered hat is by his side. This portrait was much
loved by its late owner, Miss Anne S. Robbins of Boston.

This charming picture of the Pepperell children, facing page 214,
was believed to be by Copley, and included in Mr. Perkins' list.
At present this authorship is doubted. It is owned by Miss Alice
Longfellow of Cambridge, having been bought by her father, the poet,
from the owner of the Portsmouth Museum, who had in some singular
way acquired it. The children are William, son of the second Sir
William Pepperell, and his sister Elizabeth Royal Pepperell, who
married Rev. Henry Hutton.

A bright-eyed little girl, Mary Lord, has her portrait, given
opposite page 66, hanging in the rooms of the Connecticut
Historical Society. She was born in 1702, in Hartford, Connecticut,
and married, in 1724, Colonel Joseph Pitkin of Hartford. By her side
hangs the picture of Colonel Wadsworth and his son, shown opposite
page 316. It is the one which the artist Trumbull took to Sir Joshua
Reynolds for advice and comment. He was snubbed with the snappish
criticism that "the coat looked like bent tin." Other criticism
might be made on the anatomical proportions of the subjects.

Copley's genius is shown in the fine portrait of William Verstile,
facing page 210, painted in 1769. There is one little glimpse of
this boy's boyhood which has so human an element, is so fully in
touch with modern life, that I give it. It is from an old letter
written by his mother, during a visit in Boston, where possibly this
very portrait was painted. It shows the beginning of tastes which
found ample scope in his services in the war of the Revolution.

     "BOSTON, June 11, 1766.

     My Dear these leaves me and my friends as I hope they will find
     you for health. I was obliged to stay a fortnight as I didn't
     set out till the middle of the week from Weathersfield, was
     obliged to tarry here a fortnight on account of coming with the
     Post. We got down safe we got into Boston Wednesday afternoon
     at four o Clock. The Horse seem'd to enter Boston as free &
     fresh as when he first set out from home. Mr. Lowder says he
     is a prime horse. He wasn't galled or fretted in the least but
     would have come right back again. I was a good deal worried as
     Billey didn't fill the chaise no more, the horse might have
     brought three as well as two & not have felt it. I have had but
     very little Comfort since I have bin here on account of Billey
     as there's so much powderwork going on among the Children since
     the Illumination Billey has bin very forward of firing iron
     guns. Since we've bin here its not only the powder amongst
     the Children but the wharfes being so neare he's down there
     continually. Johnny Bradford & Ned & Dan Warner and Billey was
     down the wharfe together when a boy push'd Dan over & lik'd to
     bin drown'd & might bin Billey so I can't take much comfort on
     leaving of him but shall bring him, you needn't be Concern'd
     about threes coming up as Mr. Hide tells me Billey may ride
     behind him if he's a mind to."

Billey became a portrait painter himself, and got four guineas
apiece for his miniatures. He early showed artistic predilections,
and these tastes were well supplied. Interspersed with pumps and
hose and hats for Billey are found in his father's purchases "brass
deviders," scales, "books for limning," two dozen "hair pencils,"
and "1 box painter's collurs on glass," which cost twelve shillings.

[Illustration: Gore Children, 1754]

I don't know who taught Billey limning. There was a funny book in
circulation among students in that day. It was written in serious
intent, but its rules read as though they were dictated by Oliver
Herford. It was entitled _Every Young Man's Companion in Drawing_.
Here are a few of its instructions to young artists:--

     "Make your outlines, which may be mended occasionally.

     "From the Elbow to the Root of the Little Finger is Two Noses.

     "The Thumb contains a Nose.

     "The Inside of Arm to Middle of Arm is Four Noses."

The crowning glory of the Copley portraits is the charming family
group opposite page 180, depicting Copley himself, his beautiful
wife, his dignified father-in-law, and his lovely children. It is
now exhibited in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This group seems
perfect, and the quaint figure of the child Elizabeth Copley, in the
foreground, is worthy the brush of Van Dyck.

Colonel John Lewis, one of the old Virginia gentlemen, had two
child wards. As befitted young gentlefolk of that day of opulence
and extravagance, they had their dress from England. In 1736, when
Robert Carter, the younger child, was about nine years old, suits of
fine holland, laced, and of red worsted and of green German serge
came across seas for him, with laced hats with loops and buttons.
When he was twelve years old part of his "winter cloathes" were six
pair of shoes and two of pumps, four pair of worked hose and four of
thread hose, gloves, hats, and shoe buckles. His sister Betty had a
truly fashionable wardrobe, and the stiff, restrictive dress of the
times was indicated by the items of stays, hoops, masks, and fans.
When "Miss Custis" was but four years old George Washington ordered
for her from England packthread stays, stiffened coats, a large
number of gloves and masks.

An order for purchases sent to a London agent by Washington in 1761
contains a full list of garments for both his step-children. "Miss
Custis" was then six years old. These are some of the items:--

    "1 Coat made of Fashionable Silk.

     A Fashionable Cap or fillet with Bib apron.

     Ruffles and Tuckers, to be laced.

     4 Fashionable Dresses made of Long Lawn.

     2 Fine Cambrick Frocks.

     A Satin Capuchin, hat, and neckatees.

     A Persian Quilted Coat.

     1 p. Pack Thread Stays.

     4 p. Callimanco Shoes.

     6 p. Leather Shoes.

     2 p. Satin Shoes with flat ties.

     6 p. Fine Cotton Stockings.

     4 p. White Worsted Stockings.

     12 p. Mitts.

     6 p. White Kid Gloves.

     1 p. Silver Shoe Buckles.

     1 p. Neat Sleeve Buttons.

     6 Handsome Egrettes Different Sorts.

     6 Yards Ribbon for Egrettes.

     12 Yards Coarse Green Callimanco."

There is a large-headed portrait of the Custis children which was
painted at about this time. A copy of it is shown opposite page 250.
While the dress of both children is mature, it is not so elegant as
might be expected from the rich garments which were imported for

Sir William Pepperell ordered, in 1737, equally costly and
formal clothing from England for his little daughter to disport
at Piscataquay. Stays and masks are ever on the lists of little
gentlewomen. A letter of the day tells of seeing the youthful
daughter of Governor Tryon sitting stiffly in a chair, in broad lace
collar, with heavy dress, never playing, running, or even walking.

Delicacy of figure and whiteness of complexion were equal fetiches
with colonial mammas. Little Dolly Payne, afterward Dolly Madison,
wore long gloves, a linen mask, and had a sunbonnet sewed on her
head every morning by her devoted mother. Very thin shoes of silk,
morocco, or light stuff unfitted little girls for any very active
exercise; these were high-heeled. A tiny pair of shoes for a
little girl of three are shown on page 51. I have seen children's
stays, made of heavy strips of board and steel, tightly wrought
with heavy buckram or canvas into an iron frame like an instrument
of torture. These had been worn by a little girl five years old.
Staymakers advertised stays, jumps, gazzets, costrells, and caushets
(which were doubtless corsets) for ladies and children, "to make
them appear strait." And I have been told of tin corsets for little
girls, but I have never seen any such abominations. One pair of
stays was labelled as having been worn by a boy when five years old.
There certainly is a suspicious suggestion in some of these little
fellows' portraits of whalebone and buckram.

In the sprightly descriptions given by Anna Green Winslow of her own
dress we see with much distinctness the little girl of twelve of the
year 1771:--

     "I was dress'd in my yellow coat, my black bib & apron, my
     pompedore shoes, the cap my aunt Storer sometime since presented
     me with blue ribbins on it, a very handsome loket in the shape
     of a hart, the paste pin my Hon'^d Papa presented me with in my
     cap, my new cloak & bonnet on, my pompedore gloves, and I would
     tell you they all lik'd my dress very much."... "I was dress'd
     in my yellow coat, black bib and apron, black feathers on my
     head, my paste comb, all my paste, garnet, marquasett, and jet
     pins, together with my silver plume,--my loket rings, black
     coller round my neck, black mitts, 2 or 3 yards of blue ribbin,
     striped tucker & ruffels & my silk shoes compleated my dress."

[Illustration: Jonathan Mountfort, Seven Years Old, 1753]

It would seem somewhat puzzling to fancy how, with a little girl's
soft hair, the astonishing and varied head-gear named above could be
attached. Little Anna gives a full description of the way her hair
was dressed over a high roll, so heavy and hot that it made her head
"itch & ach & burn like anything." She tells of the height of her

     "When it first came home, Aunt put it on & my new cap on it; she
     then took up her apron & measur'd me, & from the roots of my
     hair on my forehead to the top of my notions, I measur'd above
     an inch longer than I did downwards from the roots of my hair to
     the end of my chin."

Her picture, shown facing page 164, is taken from a miniature
painted when she was a few years older. The roll is more modest
in size, and the decorations are fewer in number. Each year the
"head-equipage" diminished, till cropped heads were seen, with a
shock of tight curls on the forehead--an incredibly disfiguring

In the chapter upon the school life of girls a letter is given
describing the dress of two young girls who were boarding in Boston
while they were being taught. There is no doubt that very rich dress
was desired, and possibly required of these young scholar-boarders.
The oft-quoted letter in regard to Miss Huntington's wardrobe shows
the elegance of dress of those schoolgirls. She had twelve silk
gowns; but word was sent home to Norwich that a recently imported
rich fabric was most suitable for her rank and station; and in
answer to the teacher's request the parents ordered the purchase of
this elegant dress.

When cotton fabrics from Oriental countries became everywhere and
every time worn, children's dress, as likewise that of grown folk,
was much reduced in elegance as it was in warmth. Hoops disappeared
and heavy petticoats also; the soft slimsy clinging stuffs, suitable
only for summer wear, were not discarded in winter. Boys wore
nankeen suits the entire year. Calico and chintz were fashioned into
trousers and jackets. A little suit is shown, facing page 60, made
of figured calico of high colors, which it is stated was worn in
1784. The labels are very exact and the labellers very cautious of
the Deerfield Memorial Hall collection, else I should assign this
suit to a ten or even twenty years' later date. Children must
have suffered sadly with the cold in this age of cotton. Girls'
dresses were half low-necked, and were filled in with a thin tucker;
separate sleeves were tied in at the arm size, and often long-armed
mitts of nankeen or linen took the place of the sleeves.

[Illustration: Boy's Suit of Clothing, 1784]

A family of Cary children had several charming portraits painted in
London. Two of them are given opposite pages 240 and 246. They note
the transitions of costume which came at the approach of the close
of the century. The portrait of the boy is interesting in a special
point of costume; it shows the abandonment of the cocked hat and
adoption of the simpler modern form of head-covering. The little
girl, Margaret, has a most roguish expression, which is suggestive
of Sir Joshua Reynolds' _Girl with the Mouse Trap_. The resemblance
is even more marked in the portrait of the same child at the age
of six, wherein the eyes and half-smile are charmingly engaging;
unfortunately the photograph from that portrait is not clear enough
for satisfactory reproduction.

A demure little brother and sister were the children of General
Stephen Rowe Bradley of Westminster, Vermont, whose portraits face
pages 356 and 378. These were painted soon after the Revolution,
and show the definite changes in dress which set in with other
Republican institutions. At this date there began to be worn a
special dress for both boys and girls. Until then, as soon as a boy
put on breeches he dressed precisely like his father--in miniature.
By tradition Marie Antoinette was the first who had a special dress
made for her young son. And sadly was she reviled for dressing her
poor little Dauphin in jacket and trousers instead of flapped coat,
waistcoat, and knee-breeches.



    _First mark whereof scholes were erected,
      And what the founders did intend.
    And then doe thou thy study directe
      For to obtain unto that end._

    _Doubtless this was all their meaning,
      To have their countrie founded
    With all poyntes of honest lernynge
      Whereof the public weal had nede._

    --_The Last Trumpet. R. Crowley, 1550._

No greater contrast of conditions could exist than between the
school life of what we love to call the "good old times," and that
of the far better times of to-day. Poor, small, and uncomfortable
schoolhouses, scant furnishings, few and uninteresting books,
tiresome and indifferent methods of teaching, great severity of
discipline, were the accompaniments of school days until this
century. Yet with all these disadvantages children obtained an
education, for an education was warmly desired; no difficulties
could chill that deep-lying longing for learning. "Child," said one
noble New England mother of the olden days, "if God make thee a good
Christian and a good scholar, 'tis all thy mother ever asked for

Not only did parents strive for the education of their children, but
the colonies assisted by commanding the building and maintaining
of a school in each town where there was a sufficient number of
families and scholars. Rhode Island was the only New England colony
that did not compel the building of schoolhouses and the education
of children.

So determined was Massachusetts to have schools that in 1636, only
six years after the settlement of Boston, the General Court, which
was composed of representatives from every settlement in the Bay
Colony, and which was the same as our House of Representatives
to-day, gave over half the annual income of the entire colony to
establish the school which two years later became Harvard College.
This event should be remembered; it is distinguished in history as
the first time any body of people in any country ever gave through
its representatives its own money to found a place of education.

In Virginia schoolhouses were few for over a century. Governor
Berkeley, an obstinate and narrow-minded Englishman, wrote home to
England in 1670,

"I thank God there are in Virginia no free schools nor printing, and
I hope we shall not have, for learning hath brought disobedience
and heresy into the world." Some Virginia gentlemen did not agree
with him, however, and gave money to try to establish free schools
for poor children. A far greater hindrance to the establishment
of schools than the governor's stupid opposition, was the fact
that there was no town or village life in Virginia; the houses and
plantations were scattered; previous to the year 1700 Jamestown
was the only Virginia town, and it was but a petty settlement.
Williamsburg was not even laid out; a few seaports had been planned,
but had not been built. Hence the children of wealthy planters were
taught by private tutors at home, or were sent to school in England.

Occasionally, as years passed on, there might be found in Virginia,
the Carolinas, and Georgia, what was called an old-field school, the
uniting of a few neighbors to hire a teacher, too often a poor one,
like the "hedge-teachers" of Europe, for a short term of teaching,
in a shabby building placed on an old exhausted tobacco field.

In one of these old-field schools kept by Hobby--sexton, pedagogue,
and "the most conceited man in three parishes"--George Washington
obtained most of his education. A daily ride on horseback for a
year to a similar school ten miles away, and for another year a
row morning and night even in roughest weather across the river
to a Fredericksburg teacher, ended his school career when he
was thirteen; but he had then made a big pile of neatly written
manuscript school books, which may now be seen in the Library at
Washington; and he had acquired a passionate longing to be educated,
which accompanied him through life.

An "advisive narrative" sent from America to the Bishop of London,
toward the end of the seventeenth century, says:--

     "This lack of schools in Virginia is a consequence of their
     scattered planting. It renders a very numerous generation of
     Christian's Children born in Virginia, who naturally are of
     beautiful and comely Persons, and generally of more ingenious
     Spirits than those in England, unserviceable for any great
     Employment in Church or State."

[Illustration: Mary Lord, 1710 _circa_]

This statement was not wholly correct; for though Virginians were
not usually fitted to be parsons, they certainly proved suited to
state and government. When the war of the Revolution broke out,
the noblest number of great statesmen, orators, and generals,
who certainly were men of genius if not of conventional school
education, came from the southern provinces. These brilliant
Virginians were strong evidence and proof of what the great
orator, Patrick Henry, called, in his singular pronunciation,
"naiteral pairts"; which he declared was of more account than "all
the book-lairnin' on the airth." Different climates and surroundings
soon bring out different traits in the same race of people. The warm
climate and fruitful soil in the southern colonies developed from
English stock an easy-living race who needed the great stimulus and
noble excitement of the Revolution to exhibit the highest qualities
of brain. The Puritan minister, Cotton Mather, said in 1685, in a
sermon before the Governor and Council in Massachusetts, "The Youth
in this Country are verie Sharp and early Ripe in their Capacities."
Thus speedily had keen New England air and hard New England life
developed these characteristic New England traits.

New England at that time was controlled, both in public and private
life, by the Puritan ministers, who felt, as one of them said, that
"unless school and college flourish, church and state cannot live."
The ministers were accredited guardians of the schools; and when
Boston chose five school inspectors to visit the Latin School with
the ministers, many of the latter were highly incensed, and Increase
Mather refused to go with these lay visitors.

By a law of Massachusetts, passed in 1647, it was ordered that
every town of fifty families should provide a school where children
could be taught to read and write; while every town of one hundred
householders was required to have a grammar school. In the
Connecticut Code of Laws of 1650 were the same orders. These schools
were public, but were not free; they were supported at the expense
of the parents.

In 1644 the town of Salem ordered "that a note be published the next
lecture day, that such as have children to be kept at school, would
bring in their names, and what they will give for a whole year; and
also that if any poor body hath children or a child to be put to
school, and not able to pay for their schooling, that the town will
pay it by a rate." Lists of children were made out in towns, and if
the parents were well-to-do, they had to pay whether their children
attended school or not.

Land was sometimes set aside to support partly the school; it was
called the "school-meadows," or "school-fields," and was let out for
an income to help to pay the teacher. This was a grant made on the
same principle that grants were made to physicians, tanners, and
other useful persons, not to establish free education. At a later
date lotteries were a favorite method of raising money for schools.

It was not until about the time of the Revolution that the modern
signification of the word "free"--a school paid for entirely by
general town taxes--could be applied to the public schools of most
Massachusetts towns, and when the schools of Boston were made free,
that community stood alone for its liberality not only in America,
but in the world.

The pay was given in any of the inconvenient exchanges which had to
pass as money at that time,--in wampum, beaver skins, Indian corn,
wheat, peas, beans, or any country product known as "truck." It is
told of a Salem school, that one scholar was always seated at the
window to study and also to hail passers-by, and endeavor to sell
to them the accumulation of corn, vegetables, etc., which had been
given in payment to the teacher.

The logs for the great fireplace were furnished by the parents or
guardians of the scholars as a part of the pay for schooling; and
an important part it was in the northern colonies, in the bitter
winter, in the poorly built schoolhouses. Some schoolmasters,
indignant at the carelessness of parents who failed to send the
expected load of wood early in the winter, banished the unfortunate
child of the tardy parent to the coldest corner of the schoolroom.
The town of Windsor, Connecticut, voted "that the committee be
empowered to exclude any scholar that shall not carry his share of
wood for the use of the said school." In 1736 West Hartford ordered
every child "barred from the fire" whose parents had not sent wood.

[Illustration: "Erudition" Schoolhouse, Bath, Maine, 1797]

The school laws of the State of Massachusetts, framed in 1789,
crystallized all the principles, practice, and hopes that had been
developed by a hundred and fifty years of school life. The standard
set by these laws was decidedly lower than those of colonial days.
Where a permanent English school had been imperative, six months
schooling a year might be permitted to take its place; where every
town of a hundred families had had a grammar school in which boys
could be fitted for the university, only towns of two hundred
families were compelled to have such schools. Thus the open path
to the university was closed in a hundred and twenty Massachusetts

Judge Thomas Holme composed in grammarless rhyme, in 1696, a _True
Relation of the Flourishing State of Philadelphia_. In it he says:--

    "Here are schools of divers sorts
     To which our youth daily resorts,
     Good women, who do very well
     Bring little ones to read and spell,
     Which fits them for writing; and then
     Here's men to bring them to their pen,
     And to instruct and make them quick
     In all sorts of Arithmetick."

These statements were scarcely carried out in fact; in Pennsylvania
educational advantages were few, and among some classes education
was sorely hampered. The Quakers did not encourage absolute
illiteracy, but they thought knowledge of the "three R's" was
enough; they distinctly disapproved of any extended scholarship,
as it fostered undue pride and provoked idleness. The Germans were
worse; their own historians, the Calvinist and Lutheran preachers,
Schlatter and Muhlenberg, are authority; there were among them a
few schools of low grade; but the introduction of the public school
system among the Germans was resisted by indignation meetings and
litigation. The Tunkers degenerated so that they did not desire a
membership of educated persons, and would have liked to destroy all
books but religious ones. It was said by these German settlers that
schooling made boys lazy and dissatisfied on the farms, and that
religion would suffer by too much learning. As Bayard Taylor puts it
in his _Pennsylvania Farmer_:--

    "Book learning gets the upper hand and work is slow and slack,
     And they that come long after us will find things gone to wrack."

School-teachers in the middle and southern colonies were frequently
found in degraded circumstances; many of them were redemptioners
and exported convicts. I have frequently noted such newspaper
advertisements as this from the _Maryland Gazette_:--

     "Ran away: A Servant man who followed the occupation of a
     Schoolmaster, much given to drinking and gambling."

So universal was drunkenness among schoolmasters that a chorus of
colonial "gerund-grinders" might sing in Goldsmith's words:--

    "Let schoolmasters puzzle their brains
       With grammar and nonsense and learning,
     Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
       Gives genius a better discerning."

[Illustration: handwritten note]

Scotland furnished the best and the largest number of schoolmasters
to the colonies.

The first pedagogue of New Amsterdam was one Adam Roelantsen, and
he had a checkered career. His name appears with frequency on the
court records of the little town both as plaintiff and defendant.
He was as active in slandering his neighbors as they were in
slandering him; though, as Miss Van Vechten observes, "It is hard
to see what fiction worse than truth could have been invented about
him." In spite of the fact that "people did not speak well of
him," he married well. But his misdemeanors continued and he was
finally sentenced to be flogged. We may contrast the legal records
of this gentleman's shortcomings with his duties as set forth in
his commission, one of which was "to set others a good example as
becometh a devout, pious, and worthy consoler of the sick, church
clerk, precentor, and schoolmaster."

Some of the contracts under which teachers were hired still exist.
One for the teacher at the Dutch settlement of Flatbush, Long
Island, in 1682, is very full in detail, and we learn much of the
old-time school from it. A bell was rung to call the scholars
together at eight o'clock in the morning, the school closed for a
recess at eleven, opened again at one, closed at four; all sessions
began and closed with prayer. On Wednesdays and Saturdays the
children were taught the questions and answers in the catechism
and the common prayers. The master was paid (usually in wheat or
corn) for "a speller or reader" three guilders a quarter, for "a
writer" four guilders. He had many other duties to perform besides
teaching the children. He rung the church bell on Sunday, read the
Bible at service in church, and led in the singing; sometimes he
read the sermon. He provided water for baptisms, bread and wine
for communion, and in fact performed all the duties now done by a
sexton, including sweeping out the church. He delivered invitations
to funerals and carried messages. Sometimes he dug the graves, and
often he visited and comforted the sick.

Full descriptions exist of the first country schoolhouses in
Pennsylvania and New York. They were universally made of logs.
Some had a rough puncheon floor, others a dirt floor which readily
ground into dust two or three inches thick, that unruly pupils
would purposely stir up in clouds to annoy the masters and disturb
the school. The bark roof was a little higher at one side that the
rain might drain off. Usually the teacher sat in the middle of the
room, and pegs were thrust between the logs around the walls, three
or four feet from the ground; boards were laid on these pegs; at
these rude desks sat the older scholars with their backs to the
teacher. Younger scholars sat on blocks or benches of logs. Until
this century many schoolhouses did not have glass set in the small
windows, but newspapers or white papers greased with lard were
fastened in the rude sashes, or in holes cut in the wall, and let
in a dim light. At one end, or in the middle, a "cat and clay"
chimney furnished a fireplace. When the first rough log cabin was
replaced by a better schoolhouse the hexagonal shape, so beloved
in those states for meeting-houses, was chosen, and occasionally
built in stone. A picture of one still standing and still used as a
schoolhouse, in Raritan, New Jersey, is here shown. It retained its
old shelf desks till a few years ago.

[Illustration: "Old Harmony" Schoolhouse, Raritan Township,
Hunterdon Co., New Jersey]

In a halting way schools in America followed the customs of English
schools. The "potation-penny," or "the drinking," was collected in
schools in the colonies. In England a considerable sum was often
gathered for this treat at the end of the term; but the pennies
were doled out more slowly in American schools. Young Joseph
Lloyd (of the family of Lloyds Neck on Long Island), in the year
1693, paid out a shilling and sixpence "to the Mistris for feast
and wine." A century later, in a school in New Hampshire, the
children diligently saved the wood-ashes in the big fireplace and
sold them to a neighboring potash works for their treat. They had
ample funds to buy rum, raisins, and gingerbread for all who came
to the treat, including the ministers and deacons. It was of this
school, doubtless attended largely by Scotch-Irish children, that
the teacher recorded that the boys, even the youngest, wore leather
aprons, while many of the girls took snuff. Another old English
custom, the barring-out, occasionally was known here, especially in

The furnishing of the schoolrooms was meagre; there were no
blackboards, no maps, seldom was there a pair of globes. Though Mr.
MacMaster asserts that pencils were never used even in the early
years of our Federal life, his statement is certainly a mistake.
Faber's pencils were made as early as 1761. Peter Goelet advertised
lead pencils for sale in New York in 1786, with india rubbers, and
as early as 1740 they were offered among booksellers' wares in
Boston for threepence apiece, both black and red lead. Judge Sewall
had one; perhaps it was not our common lead pencil of to-day.

In 1771 we find the patriot Henry Laurens writing thus to his
daughter Martha, "his dearest Patsey," when she was about twelve
years old.

     "... I have recollected your request for a pair of globes,
     therefore I have wrote to Mr. Grubb to ship a pair of the best
     18 inch, with caps, and a book of directions, and to add a case
     of neat instruments, and one dozen Middleton's best pencils
     marked M. L. When you are measuring the surface of the globe
     remember you are to cut a part in it, and think of a plum
     pudding and other domestic duties. Your father,


Still lead pencils were not in common use even in city schools till
this century. The manuscript arithmetics or "sum-books" which
I have seen were always done in ink. Many a country boy grew to
manhood without ever seeing a lead pencil.

[Illustration: Samuel Pemberton, Twelve Years Old, 1736]

In country schools even till the middle of this century copy-books
were made of foolscap paper carefully sewed into book shape, and
were ruled by hand. For this children used lead plummets instead of
pencils. These plummets were made of lead melted and cast in wooden
moulds cut out by the ever ready jackknife and were then tied by a
hempen string to the ruler. These plummets were usually shaped like
a tomahawk, and carefully whittled and trimmed to a sharp edge.
Slightly varied shapes were a carpenter's or a woodcutter's axe;
also there were cannon, battledores, and cylinders.

Paper was scarce and too highly prized for children to waste; it was
a great burden even to ministers to get what paper they needed for
their sermons, and they frequently acquired microscopic hand-writing
for economy's sake. To the forest the scholars turned for the ever
plentiful birch bark, which formed a delightful substitute to cipher
on instead of paper. Among the thrifty Scotch-Irish settlers in New
Hampshire and the planters in Maine, sets of arithmetic rules were
copied by each child on birch bark and made a substantial text-book.
Rolls of birch bark resembling in shape the parchment rolls of the
Egyptians and lead plummets seem too ancient in appearance to have
been commonly employed in schools within a century in this country.

It has been asserted that school slates were not used till this
century. Noah Webster says distinctly in a letter written about
the schools of his childhood, that "before the Revolution and for
some years after no slates were used in common schools." S. Town,
attending school in Belchertown, Massachusetts, in 1785, says that
slates were unknown.

I have seen but a single reference to them in America and that is in
such an ingenuous schoolboy's letter I will quote it in full:--

                    att Albany.

     "Stamford, the 13th Day of October, 1752.


     "These fiew Lines comes to let you know that I am in a good
     State of Health and I hope this may find you also. I have found
     all the things in my trunk but I must have a pare of Schuse. And
     mama please to send me some Ches Nutts and some Wall Nutts; you
     please to send me a Slate, and som pensals, and please to send
     me some smok befe, and for bringing my trunk 3/9, and for a pare
     of Schuse 9 shillings. You please to send me a pare of indin's
     Schuse, You please to send me som dride corn. My Duty to Father
     and Mother and Sister and to all frinds.

     "I am your Dutyfull Son,


     "Father forgot to send me my Schuse."

In an advertisement of an English bookseller of the year 1737,
one James Marshal of the Bible and Sun at Stockton are named
Slate Pocket Books, Slates, and Slate Pens. The first slates were
frameless, and had a hole pierced at one side on which a pencil
could be hung, or by which they could be suspended around the neck.
An old gentleman told me that he distinctly recalled the first time
he ever saw slates in school. The master brought in a score that
had been ordered to supply his pupils. He asked if any scholar had
a bit of string. My old gentleman thrust his hand in his pocket and
confidingly brought out his best fishing-line. The master took it,
calmly cut it into twenty lengths, each long enough to go around the
neck of a child and permit the slate when hung on it to lie loosely
in front of his chest. It was a bitter blow to the boy to witness
the cruel and unexpected severing of his beloved treasure, and he
never forgot it.

[Illustration: Nathan Hale Schoolhouse]

In England for centuries existed the custom of sending young
children to the houses of friends, relatives, or people of some
condition and state to be educated. Young boys were placed in
noblemen's households to learn carving, singing, and good manners.
Young girls went to learn housewifery, needlework, and etiquette.
The work of these children in what would to-day be deemed the duties
of upper servants was given in payment for their board and tuition.
The housemistress gained a large corps of orderly, intelligent
servitors; and there was no disgrace in that day in being called a
servant. In the time of Henry VII. these customs were universal.
_The Italian Relation of England_, of that date, is most severe upon
English parents, saying this putting away of young children, though
under the guise of having them taught good manners, was done really
through lack of affection, through greediness. The _Paston Letters_,
the _Verney Papers_, give ample proof that children of good families
were thus banished.

A remnant of this custom of the "putting-forth" of children lingered
in the colonies. A good education could generally be obtained only
in the schools in larger towns, or in the households of learned men.
The New England ministers almost universally eked out their meagre
incomes by taking young lads into their homes to educate.

When at school in Andover, Josiah Quincy boarded with the minister.
The boys, eight in number, slept in a large chamber with four beds,
two boys in each. The fare was ample but simple; of beef, pork,
plentiful vegetables, badly baked rye and Indian bread. The minister
had white bread as the brown bread gave him the heart-burn.

Children went, if possible, to the house of a kinsman. An old
letter in the _Mather Papers_ is from Mary Hoar. She writes "To her
Esteemed Sister, Mistris Bridget Hoar at Cambridge." One sentence
runs thus:--

     "I presume our sonn John is left in the hands of a stranger;
     which may be of some evel consequence if not timely prevented
     and therefore I doe look upon myself as conserned (soe far as
     I am capable to diserne ye evel at such a distance) to make my
     request to you to prevail with my brother to receive him into
     your own family that he may be under your own ey. And to goe to
     school in the same town, where you cannot doubtless be destitute
     of a good schoolmaster, which might be of singular benefit to ye

Bridget Hoar was the daughter of Lady Alice Lisle, the martyr, and
the wife of Leonard Hoar, president of Harvard College.

Another letter similar in kindly intent is this written to Henry
Wolcott, at Windsor, Connecticut;--

     "SALEM, April ye 6th, 1695.

     "DEAR BRO^R:

     "I cannot but be much concerned for your children's disadvantage
     in your remote livinge (tho' God has blest you with a good
     Estate which is likely to descend to them) the want of Education
     being the grand Calamity of this Country, but you have always
     Been offered no small advantages, besides their diet free,
     w^ch I deeme the Leest. I can only Renew the same offer which
     I have made tenn yeares since and annually, that if you please
     to send either of your daughters to my House they shall find
     they are welcome to spend the Summer or a year or as long as
     you and they please; and they will be equally welcome to my
     Wife, also I think it may be to your Sons' advantage to hasten
     downe to the Colledge while our nephew Price is there, and if
     you have anything by you, that you designe for their Cloathing,
     let it be made up here; Else it will not be fit for either of
     them to ware. Also for the next Winter if your Son be minded to
     Retire for a month or two, as many do in the Dead Season, he
     may come to my howse, and Mr. Noyes, I am sure, will be very
     ready to oblige him, with the use of his Library and Stoody, he
     being Remooved to his own House next weeke, and has a Tenant in
     one end of it that dresses his Victualls. I shall not Enlarge
     only to assure you that I shall be happie wherein I may be
     serviceable to my father's Children and theirs. I am Sir your
     very Aff. Bro^r & Servant,

     "J. WOLCOTT."

[Illustration: Old Brick Schoolhouse, Norwich, Connecticut]

It was the custom of the wealthy planters of the island of Barbadoes
to send their children to New England, usually to Boston, to school.
At one time a special school flourished there for the education of
the sons of these planters. Several volumes of letter books of Hon.
Hugh Hall, Judge of the Admiralty, are in the possession of his
descendant, Miss Margaret Seymour Hall. He had occasional charge of
his younger brothers and sisters, who were sent to Boston from the
Barbadoes, and his letters frequently refer to them. Many of these
letters are to and from his grandmother, Madam Lydia Coleman, the
daughter of the old Indian fighter, Captain Joshua Scottow. She had
three husbands,--Colonel Benjamin Gibbs, Attorney General Anthony
Checkley, and William Coleman.

Richard Hall came to Boston in 1718. His older brother writes:--

     "This Northern Air seems well calculated for Richard's
     Temperament of body and I am Psuaded he never appeared so Fat
     and Sanguine while in Barbados. I am taking all Imaginable Care
     in Placing him at our best Grammar School and have desir'd the
     Master and Usher to treat him with the highest Tenderness,
     Intimating he has a Capacity to go thro ye Exercises of ye
     School & that a Mild and good Natur'd Treatment will best
     prevail; who have promised me their Pticular favour to him."

A few months later the grandmother writes in various letters:--

     "Richard is well in health, and minds his Learning and likes our
     Cold country better than I do.... I delivered Richard's Master,
     Mr. Williams, 25 lbs. Cocoa. I spoke with him a little before
     and asked him what he expected for Richard's schooling. He told
     me 40 shillings a yeare. As for Richard since I told him I would
     write to his Father he is more orderly, & he is very hungry, and
     has grown so much yt all his Clothes is too Little for him. He
     loves his book and his play too. I hired him to get a Chapter
     of ye Proverbs & give him a penny every Sabbath day, & promised
     him 5 shillings when he can say them all by heart. I would do my
     duty by his soul as well as his body.... I hope he does consider
     ye many inconveniences yt will attend him if he wont be ruled.
     He has grown a good boy and minds his School and Lattin and
     Dancing. He is a brisk Child & grows very Cute and wont wear his
     new silk coat yt was made for him. He wont wear it every day so
     yt I don't know what to do with it. It wont make him a jackitt.
     I would have him a good husbander but he is but a child. For
     shoes, gloves, hankers & stockens, they ask very deare, 8
     shillings for a paire & Richard takes no care of them.... I put
     him in mind of writing but he tells me he don't know what to

Then comes Richard's delightful effusion:--

     "BOSTON, NEW ENGLAND, July 1, 1719.


     "I would have wrote now but to tell ye Truth I do not know
     what to write for I have not had a letter from you since Capt.
     Beale, and I am very sorry I can't write to you but I thought
     it my Duty to write these few lines to you to acquaint you of
     my welfare, and what proficiency I have made in Learning since
     my Last to you. My Master is very kind to me. I am now in the
     Second Form, am Learning Castalio and Ovid's Metamorphosis & I
     hope I shall be fit to go to College in two Years time which I
     am resolved to do, God willing and by your leave, I shant detain
     you any longer but only to give my Duty to your good self &
     Mother & love to my Brothers & Sisters. Please to give my Duty
     to my God father and to my Uncle & Aunt Adamson & love to Cozen

     "Your dutifull Son,


Soon another letter goes to the father:--

     "Richard wears out nigh 12 paire of shoes a year. He brought 12
     hankers with him and they have all been lost long ago; and I
     have bought him 3 or 4 more at a time. His way is to tie knottys
     at one end & beat ye Boys with them and then to lose them & he
     cares not a bit what I will say to him."

Mothers and guardians of the present day who have sent boys
off to the boarding school with ample store of neatly marked
underclothing, stockings, and handkerchiefs, and had them return
at the holidays nearly bereft of underwear, bearing stockings with
feet existing only in outlines, and possessing but two or three
handkerchiefs, these in dingy wads at the bottom of coat-pockets and
usually marked with some other scholar's name--such can sympathize
with poor, thrifty old lady Coleman, when naughty Richard tied his
good new handkerchiefs in knots, beat his companions, and recklessly
threw the knotted strings away.



     _A godly young Woman of special parts, who was fallen into a sad
     infirmity, the loss of her understanding and reason, which had
     been growing upon her divers years by occasion of giving herself
     wholly to reading and writing and had written many books. Her
     husbande was loath to grieve hir; but he saw his error when it
     was too late. For if she had attended to her household affairs,
     and such things as belong to women, and not gone out of hir
     way and calling to meddle in such things as are proper for men
     whose minds are stronger, she had kept hir Wits, and might have
     improved them usefully and honorably._

     --History of New England. Governor John Winthrop, 1640.

While the education of the sons of the planters in all the colonies
was bravely provided and supported, the daughters fared but poorly.
The education of a girl in book learning was deemed of vastly less
importance than her instruction in household duties. But small
arrangement was made in any school for her presence, nor was it
thought desirable that she should have any very varied knowledge.
That she should read and write was certainly satisfactory, and
cipher a little; but many girls got on very well without the
ciphering, and many, alas! without the reading and writing.

There had been a time when English girls and English gentlewomen had
eagerly studied Latin and Greek; and wise masters, such as Erasmus
and Colet and Roger Ascham had told with pride of their intelligent
English girl scholars; but all that had passed away with the "good
old times." In the seventeenth century English gentlemen looked with
marked disfavor on learned women.

Sir Ralph Verney, who adored his own little daughters to the neglect
of his sons, and was tender, devoted, and generous to every little
girl of his acquaintance, wrote about the year 1690 to a friend:--

     "Let not your girle learn Latin or short hand; the difficulty
     of the first may keep her from that Vice, for soe I must
     esteem it in a woeman; but the easinesse of the other may bee
     a prejudice to her; for the pride of taking sermon noates hath
     made multitudes of woemen most unfortunate. Had St. Paul lived
     in our Times I am confident hee would have fixt a _Shame_ upon
     our woemen for writing as well as for speaking in church."

Occasionally an intelligent father would carefully teach his
daughters. President Colman of Harvard was such a father. He
gave what was called a profound education to his daughter Jane. A
letter of his to her, when she was ten years old, is worthy of full

     "MY DEAR CHILD:--

     "I have this morning your Letter which pleases me very well and
     gives me hopes of many a pleasant line from you in Time to come
     if God spare you to me and me to you. I very much long to see
     your Mother but doubt whether the weather will permit to-day.
     I pray God to bless you and make you one of his Children. I
     charge you to pray daily, and read your Bible, and fear to sin.
     Be very dutiful to your Mother, and respectful to everybody.
     Be very humble and modest, womanly and discreet. Take care of
     your health and as you love me do not eat green apples. Drink
     sparingly of water, except the day be warm. When I last saw you,
     you were too shamefaced; look people in the face, speak freely
     and behave decently. I hope to bring Nabby in her grandfather's
     Chariot to see you. The meanwhile I kiss your dear Mother, and
     commend her health to the gracious care of God, and you with her
     to His Grace. Give my service to Mr. A. and family and be sure
     you never forget the respect they have honoured you with.

     "Your loving father.

     "BOSTON, Aug. 1, 1718."

Jonathan Edwards was an only son with ten sisters. In 1711, when
he was eight years old, five of these sisters had been born. The
father, Timothy Edwards, went as chaplain on an expedition to
Canada. His letters home show his care and thought for his children,
girls and boy:--

     "I desire thee to take care that Jonathan dont lose what he
     hath learnt, but that as he hath got the accidence and about
     two sides of Propria quæ maribus by heart, so that he keep what
     he hath got I would therefore have him say pretty often to the
     girls. I would also have the girls keep what they have learnt of
     the Grammar, and get by heart as far as Jonathan hath learnt; he
     can keep them as far as he had learnt. And would have both him
     and them keep their writing, and therefore write much oftener
     than they did when I was at home. I have left paper enough for
     them which they may use to that end."

Conditions remained the same throughout the century. The wife of
President John Adams, born in 1744, the daughter of a New England
minister of good family and social position, doubtless had as good
an education as any girl of her birth and station. She writes in

     "My early education did not partake of the abundant
     opportunities which the present days offer, and which even
     our common country schools now afford. I never was sent to
     any school. I was always sick. Female education, in the best
     families, went no further than writing and arithmetic; in some
     few and rare instances music and dancing."

On another occasion she said that female education had been
everywhere neglected, and female learning ridiculed, and she speaks
of the trifling, narrow, contracted education of American women.

Girls in the other colonies fared no better than New England
damsels. The instruction given to girls of Dutch and English
parentage in New York was certainly very meagre. Mrs. Anne Grant
wrote an interesting account of her childhood in Albany, New York,
in a book called _Memoir of an American Lady_. The date was the
first half of the eighteenth century. She said:--

     "It was at that time very difficult to procure the means
     of instruction in those districts; female education was in
     consequence conducted on a very limited scale; girls learned
     needlework (in which they were indeed both skilful and
     ingenious), from their mothers and aunts; they were taught,
     too, at that period to read, in Dutch, the Bible, and a few
     Calvinistic tracts of the devotional kind. But in the infancy
     of the settlement few girls read English; when they did they
     were thought accomplished; they generally spoke it, however
     imperfectly, and a few were taught writing."

William Smith wrote in 1756 that the schools in New York then were
of the lowest order, the teachers ignorant, and women, especially,
ill-educated. It was the same in Virginia. Mary Ball, the mother of
George Washington, wrote from her Virginia home when fifteen years

     "We have not had a schoolmaster in our neighborhood till now
     in nearly four years. We have now a young minister living with
     us who was educated at Oxford, took orders and came over as
     assistant to Rev. Kemp. The parish is too poor to keep both, and
     he teaches school for his board. He teaches Sister Susie and me
     and Madam Carter's boy and two girls. I am now learning pretty

The _Catechism of Health_, an old-time child's book, thus summarily
and definitely sets girls in their proper places:--

     "_Query_: Ought female children to receive the same education as
     boys and have the same scope for play?

     "_Answer_: In their earlier years there should be no difference.
     But there are shades of discretion and regards to propriety
     which judicious and prudent guardians and teachers can discern
     and can adjust and apply."

We seldom find any recognition of girls as pupils in the early
public schools. Sometimes it is evident that they were admitted at
times not devoted to the teaching of boys. For instance, in May,
1767, a school was advertised in Providence for teaching writing
and arithmetic to "young ladies." But the girls had to go from six
to half-past seven in the morning, and half-past four to six in
the afternoon. The price for this most inconvenient and ill-timed
schooling was two dollars a quarter. It is pathetic to read of a
learning-hungry little maid in Hatfield, Massachusetts, who would
slip away from her spinning and knitting and sit on the schoolhouse
steps to listen with eager envy to the boys as they recited within.
When it became popular to have girls attend public schools, an old
farmer on a country school committee gave these matter-of-fact
objections to the innovation. "In winter it's too far for girls to
walk; in summer they ought to stay at home to help in the kitchen."

The first school for girls only, where they were taught in branches
not learned in the lower schools, was started in 1780 in Middletown,
Connecticut, by a graduate of Yale College named William Woodbridge.
Boston girls owed much to a famous teacher, Caleb Bingham, who came
to that city in 1784 and advertised to open a school where girls
could be taught writing, arithmetic, reading, spelling, and English
grammar. His school was eagerly welcomed, and it prospered. He wrote
for his girl pupils the famous _Young Lady's Accidence_, referred
to in another chapter, and under his teaching "newspapers were to
be introduced in the school at the discretion of the master." This
is the first instance--I believe in any country--of the reading of
newspapers being ordered by a school committee.

There were always dame-schools, which were attended by small boys
and girls. Rev. John Barnard, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, was born
in 1681 and was educated in Boston. He wrote in his old age a sketch
of his school life. He says:--

     "By that time I had a little passed my sixth year I had left
     my reading school, in the latter part of which my mistress had
     made me a sort of usher appointing me to teach some children
     that were older than myself as well as some smaller ones. And
     in which time I had read my Bible through thrice. My parents
     thought me to be weakly because of my thin habit and pale

The penultimate sentence of this account evidently accounts for the
ultimate. It also appears that this unnamed school dame practised
the monitorial system a century or more before Bell and Lancaster
made their claims of inventing it.

The pay of women teachers who taught the dame-schools was meagre in
the extreme. The town of Woburn, Massachusetts, reached the lowest
ebb of salary. In 1641 a highly respected widow, one Mrs. Walker,
kept a school in a room of her own house. The town agreed to pay
her ten shillings for the first year; but after deducting seven
shillings for taxes, and various small amounts for produce, etc.,
she received finally from the town _one shilling and three pence_
for her pedagogical work.

Elizabeth Wright was the first teacher in the town of Northfield,
Massachusetts. She taught a class of young children at her own
house for twenty-two weeks each summer; for this she received
fourpence a week for each child. At this time she had four young
children of her own. She took all the care of them and did all the
work of her household, made shirts for the Indians for eight-pence
each, and breeches for Englishmen for one shilling sixpence a
pair, and wove much fine linen to order. For the summer school at
Franklin, Connecticut, in 1798, "a qualified woman teacher" had but
sixty-seven cents a week pay. Men teachers who taught both girls
and boys usually had better pay; but Samuel Appleton, in later
life the well-known Boston merchant and philanthropist, was my
great-grandfather's teacher in the year 1786. His pay was his board,
lodging, and washing, and sixty-seven cents per week, and it was
deemed liberal and ample.

[Illustration: Elizabeth Storer, Twelve Years Old, 1738]

There were always in the large cities small classes where favored
girls could be taught the rudiments of an education, and there were
many private teachers who taught young misses. Boston gentlewomen
from very early days had a mode of eking out a limited income by
taking little girls and young ladies from country homes, especially
from the southern colonies and the Barbadoes, to board while they
attended these classes and recited to these teachers.

Many honored New England names appear among the advertisements of
those desiring boarders. Mrs. Deming wrote to her niece, Anna Green
Winslow, telling her of two boarders she had:--

     "Had I time and spirits I could acquaint you of an expedition
     the two sisters made to Dorchester, a walk begun at sunrise last
     Thursday morning--dress'd in their dammasks, padusoy, gauze,
     ribbins, flapetts, flowers, new white hats, white shades, and
     black leather shoes (Paddington's make) and finish'd, journey,
     garments, orniments and all quite finish'd on Saturday before
     noon (mud over shoes) never did I behold such destruction in
     so short a space--bottom of padusoy coat fring'd quite around,
     besides places worn entire to floss, and besides frays, dammask
     from shoulders to bottom not lightly soil'd, but as if every
     part had rub'd tables and chairs that had long been us'd to wax
     mingl'd with grease.

     "I could have cried, for I really pitied em--nothing left fit to
     be seen. They had leave to go, but it never entered anyone's
     tho'ts but their own to be dressed in all (even to loading) of
     their best. What signifies it to worry ourselves about beings
     that are and will be just so? I can, and do, pity and advise,
     but I shall get no credit by such-like. The eldest talks much
     of learning dancing, musick (the spinet and guitar) embroidery,
     dresden, the French tongue, &c. The younger with an air of her
     own advis'd the elder when she first mention'd French to learn
     first to read English and was answer'd, 'Law, so I can well eno'
     a'ready.' You've heard her do what she calls reading, I believe.
     Poor Creature! Well! we have a time of it!"

There is a beautifully written letter in existence of Elizabeth
Saltonstall, sent to her young daughter Elizabeth on July 26, 1680,
when the latter was away from home and attending school. It abruptly


     "Having an opportunity to send to you, I could doe no less than
     write a few lines to mind you that you carry yourself very
     respectively and dutyfully to Mrs. Graves as though she were
     your Mother: and likewise respectively and loveingly to the
     children, and soberly in words and actions to the servants: and
     be sure you keep yourself diligently imployed either at home or
     at school, as Mrs. Graves shall order you. Doe nothing without
     her leave, and assure yourself it will be a great preservative
     from falling into evill to keep yourself well imployed. But with
     all and in the first place make it your dayly work to pray
     earnestly to God that he would keep you from all manner of evil.
     Take heed of your discourse at all times that it be not vaine
     and foolish but know that for every idle word you must certainly
     give account another day. Be sure to follow your reading, omit
     it not one day: your father doth propose to send you some
     coppies that so you may follow your wrighting likewise. I shall
     say no more at present but only lay a strict charge upon you
     that you remember and practise what I have minded you of: and as
     you desire the blessing of God upon you either in soul or body
     be careful to observe the counsell of your parents and consider
     that they are the words of your loving and affectionate mother,


     Present my best respects to Mistris Graves. Your brothers
     remember their love to you."

Old Madam Coleman, who had somewhat of a handful in her grandson,
Richard Hall, during his school days, was given charge of his
sister Sarah, in 1719, to care for and guard while she received
an education. When Missy arrived from the Barbadoes she was eight
years old. She brought with her a maid. The grandmother wrote
back cheerfully to the parents that the child was well and brisk,
as indeed she was. All the very young gentlemen and young ladies
of Boston Brahmin blood paid her visits, and she gave a feast at
a child's dancing party with the sweetmeats left over from her
sea-store. Her stay in her grandmother's household was surprisingly
brief. She left unceremoniously and unbidden with her maid, and went
to a Mr. Binning's to board; she sent home word to the Barbadoes
that her grandmother made her drink water with her meals. Her
brother wrote at once in return to Madam Coleman:--

     "We were all persuaded of your tender and hearty affection to
     my Sister when we recommended her to your parental care. We are
     sorry to hear of her Independence in removing from under the
     Benign Influences of your Wing & am surprised she dare do it
     without our leave or consent or that Mr. Binning receive her at
     his house before he knew how we were affected to it. We shall
     now desire Mr. Binning to resign her with her waiting maid to
     you and in our Letter to him have strictly ordered her to Return
     to your House. And you may let her know before my Father took
     his departure for London he desired me peremptorily to enjoin
     it, and my Mother and myself back it with our Commands, which we
     hope she wont venture to refuse or disobey."

But no brother could control this spirited young damsel. Three
months later a letter from Madam Coleman read thus:--

     "Sally wont go to school nor to church and wants a nue muff and
     a great many other things she don't need. I tell her fine things
     are cheaper in Barbadoes. She says she will go to Barbados in
     the Spring. She is well and brisk, says her Brother has nothing
     to do with her as long as her father is alive."

Hugh Hall wrote in return, saying his daughter ought to have one
room to sleep in, and her maid another, that it was not befitting
children of their station to drink water, they should have wine and
beer. The grandmother was not offended with him or the children,
but shielded the boy from rebuke when he was sent from one school
to another; said proudly he was "a child of great parts, ye best
Dancer of any in town," and could learn as much in an hour as
another in three hours. The bill for the dancing lessons still
exists. Richard's dancing lessons for a year and a quarter cost
seven pounds. Sally's for four months, two pounds. Four months'
instruction in writing (and pens, ink, and paper) was one pound
seven shillings and four pence. The entrance fee for dancing lessons
was a pound apiece. Sally learned "to sew, floure, write, and
dance." The brisk child grew up a dashing belle, and married Major
John Wentworth, brother of Governor Benning Wentworth. Good Brother
Richard writes:--

     "I heartily rejoice in Sally's good fortune and hope Molly will
     have her turn also, but it would not have been fair to let Sally
     dance barefoot which I hear Molly expected would have been

Sister Molly married first Adam Winthrop and then Captain William
Wentworth. The two sisters were left widows and lived till great old
age in the famous old Wentworth House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
both dying in 1790.

Mistress Agan Blair of Williamsburg, Virginia, married one Colonel
John Banister of Petersburg; her letters, even in old age, are full
of a charming freedom of description and familiarity of language,
even amounting to slang, which are very unusual in correspondence of
that day. They are printed in the _History of the Blair and Braxton
Families_. She writes to her sister, Mrs. Braxton, of the latter's
little daughter, Betsey, in the year 1769:--

     "Betsey is at work for you. I suppose she will tell you
     to-morrow is Dancing Day, for it is in her Thoughts by Day & her
     dreams by Night. Mr. Fearson was so surprised to find she knew
     so much of the Minuet step, and could not help asking if Miss
     had never been taught. So you will find she is likely to make
     some progress that way. Mr. Wray by reason of business has but
     lately taken her in hand tho' he assures me a little practice is
     all she wants; her Reading I hear twice a day. And when I go out
     she is consigned over to my Sister Blair: we have had some few
     Quarrels and one Battle. Betsey and her Cousin Jenny had been
     fighting for several days successively & was threatened to be
     whipt for it as often but they did not regard us. Her Mamma &
     self thought it necessary to let them see we were in earnest--if
     they have fought since we have never heard of it. She has
     finish'd her work'd Tucker, but ye weather is so warm that with
     all ye pains I can take with clean hands and so forth she cannot
     help dirtying it a little. I do not observe her to be fond of
     negroes company, nor have I heard lately of any bad words;
     chief of our Quarrels is for eating of those green Apples in
     our garden and not keeping the head smooth.... I have had Hair
     put on Miss Dolly but find it is not in my power of complying
     with my promise in giving her Silk for a Sacque and Coat. Some
     of our pretty Gang broke open a Trunk in my Absence and stole
     several Things of which the Silk makes a part. So imagine Betsey
     will petition you for some. I am much obliged for the care you
     have taken to get all my Duds together, I cannot find you have
     neglected putting up anything for Betsey."

It will readily be seen from all these letters that whether the
little girl was taught at home or in a private school, to "sew,
floure, write, and dance" were really the chief things she learned,
usually the only things, save deportment and elegance of carriage.
To attain an erect and dignified bearing growing girls were tortured
as in English boarding schools by sitting in stocks, wearing
harnesses, and being strapped to backboards. The packthread stays
and stiffened coats of "little Miss Custis" were made still more
unyielding by metal and wood busks; the latter made of close-grained
heavy wood. These were often carved in various designs or with names
and verses, or ornamented with drawings in colored inks, and made a
favorite gift.

[Illustration: Carved Busks]

All these constrainments and accessories contributed to a certain
thin-chested though erect appearance, which is notable in the
portraits of girls and women painted in the past century.

The backboard certainly helped to produce an erect and dignified
carriage, and was assisted by the quick, graceful motions used in
wool-spinning. The daughter of the Revolutionary patriot General
Nathanael Greene stated to her grandchildren that in her girlhood
she sat every day with her feet in stocks, strapped to a backboard.
She was until the end of her long life a straight-backed elegant

Many of the portraits given in this book plainly show the reign of
the backboard. The portrait of Elizabeth Storer, facing page 98, is
perhaps the best example. It is authenticated as having been painted
by Smibert when the subject was but twelve years old, but she is
certainly a most mature-faced child.

Another straight-backed portrait, opposite page 108, is the famous
one immortalized in rhyme by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, that of
"Dorothy Q.," the daughter of Judge Edmund Quincy. The poet's lines
are more simply descriptive than any prose.

    "Grandmother's mother: her age, I guess
     Thirteen summers or something less,
     Girlish bust, but womanly air;
     Smooth square forehead with uprolled hair.
     Lips that lover has never kissed,
     Taper fingers and slender wrist.
     Hanging sleeves of stiff brocade,
     So they painted the little maid."

    "Who the painter was none may tell,
     One whose best was not over well;
     Hard and dry it must be confessed,
     Flat as a rose that has long been pressed.
     Yet in her cheek the hues are bright,
     Dainty colors of red and white;
     And in her slender shape are seen
     Hint and promise of stately mien."

It would be no effort of the imagination to stretch the poet's
"thirteen summers or less" to thirty summers.

[Illustration: "Dorothy Q." "Thirteen Summers," 1720 _circa_]

Of associate interest is the portrait of Elizabeth Quincy, her
sister, facing page 112. The faces, hair, and dress are similar,
but the parrot is replaced by an impossible little dog. Elizabeth
is somewhat fairer to look upon. Dorothy is certainly "nothing
handsome." On the back of the portrait is written this inscription:
"It pleased God to take Out of Life my Honor'd and dearly Belov'd
Mother, M^rs Elizabeth Wendell, daughter to Honble Edmund Quincy,
Esq^r. March, 1746, aged 39 Years." Her brother Edmund Quincy
married her husband's sister Elizabeth (thus the two Elizabeths
exchanged surnames), and Dorothy Q. married Edward Jackson.

The desire of girls and women to be ethereal and slender, delicate
and shrinking, began over a century ago, but reached a climax in
the early years of this century. To effect this, severe measures
were taken in girls' schools. Dr. Holmes wrote in jest, but in truth

    "They braced my aunt against a board
       To make her straight and tall,
     They laced her up, they starved her down,
       To make her light and small.
     They pinched her feet, they singed her hair,
       They screwed it up with pins--
     Oh, never mortal suffered more
       In penance for her sins."

Though Madam Coleman, a Boston Puritan, told so proudly of her
grandchildren's dancing, that accomplishment, or rather integral
part of a little lass's education, had not been quietly promoted in
that sober city. In early years both magistrates and ministers had
declaimed against it.

In 1684 Increase Mather preached a strong sermon against what he
termed "Gynecandrical Dancing or that which is commonly called Mixt
or Promiscuous Dancing of Men and Women, be they elder or younger
Persons together." He called it the great sin of the Daughters of
Zion, and he bursts forth:--

     "Who were the Inventors of Petulant Dancings? Learned men have
     well observed that the Devil was the First Inventor of the
     impleaded Dances, and the Gentiles who worshipped him the first
     Practitioners of this Art."

Of course he could not be silent as to the dancings of Miriam and
David in the Bible, but disposed of them summarily thus, "Those
Instances are not at all to the Purpose." Preaching against dancing
was as futile as against wig-wearing; "Horrid Bushes of Vanity"
soon decked every head, and gay young feet tripped merrily to the
sound of music in every village and town. Dancing could not be
repressed in an age when there was so little other excitement, so
great physical activity, and so narrow a range of conversation; and
after a time "Ordination-balls" were given when a new minister was

Dancing was a pleasant accomplishment, and a serious one in good
society. The regard of it as a formal function is proved by the
story the Marquis de Chastellux told of the Philadelphia Assembly.
A young lady who was up in a country dance spoke for a moment to a
friend and thus forgot her turn. The Master of Ceremonies, Colonel
Mitchell, immediately came to her side and said severely: "Give
over, Miss. Take care what you are about. Do you think you came here
for your pleasure?"

It was a much more varied art than is ordinarily taught to-day.
Signor Sodi taught rigadoons and paspies in Philadelphia; John Walsh
added the Spanish fandango. Other modish dances were "Allemand
vally's, De la cours, Devonshire jiggs, Minuets." Complicated
contra-dances were many in number and quaint in name: The Innocent
Maid, A Successful Campaign, Priest's House, Clinton's Retreat, Blue
Bonnets, The Orange Tree.

A letter from an interesting little child shows that dancing was
deemed part of a "liberal education."

     "PHILADELPHIA, March 30, 1739.


     "Since my coming up I have entered with Mr. Hackett to improve
     my Dancing, and hope to make such Progress therein as may answer
     to the Expense, and enable me to appear well in any Public
     Company. The great Desire I have of pleasing you will make me
     the more Assiduous in my undertaking, and I arrive at any degree
     of Perfection it must be Attributed to the Liberal Education you
     bestow on me.

     "I am with greatest Respect, Dear Pappa,

     "Yr dutiful Daughter,

     New Castle, Delaware."

We have much contemporary evidence to show that music, as a
formulated study, was rarely taught till after the Revolution. But
there never was a time in colonial life when music was not loved and
clung to with a sentiment that is difficult of explanation, but must
not be underrated.

Dr. John Earle gives in his _Microcosmographie_, the character
of a Puritan woman, or a "shee-precise Hypocrite," saying "shee
suffers not her daughters to learne on the Virginalls, because of
their affinity with the Organs," yet I find Judge Sewall, a true
Puritan, taking his wife's virginals to be repaired. I supposed she
played psalm tunes on them. Spinets and harpsichords were brought to
wealthy citizens. Copies of old-time music show how very elementary
were the performances on these instruments. Listeners were
profoundly moved at the sound, but it would seem far from inspiring

    "The notes of slender harpsichords with tapping, twinkling quills,
     Or carrolling to a spinet with its thin, metallic thrills."

[Illustration: Elizabeth Quincy Wendell, 1720 _circa_]

Even the "new Clementi with glittering keys" gave but a tinny
sound. Girls "raised a tune," however, to these far from resonant
accompaniments, and sung their ballads and sentimental ditties,
unhampered by thoughts of technique and methods and schools.
Many of these old musical instruments are still in existence. The
harpsichord bought for "little Miss Custis" is in its rightful home
at Mount Vernon.

By Revolutionary times, girls' boarding schools had sprung into
existence in large towns, and certainly filled a great want. One
New England school, haloed with romance, was kept by Mrs. Susanna
Rawson, who was an actress, the daughter of an English officer, and
married to a musician. She was also a play-writer and wrote one
novel of great popularity, _Charlotte Temple_. Eliza Southgate Bowne
gives some glimpses of the life at this school in her letters. She
was fourteen years when she thus wrote to her father:--

     "HON. FATHER:

     "I am again placed at school under the tuition of an amiable
     lady, so mild, so good, no one can help loving her; she treats
     all her scholars with such tenderness as would win the affection
     of the most savage brute. I learn Embroiderey and Geography at
     present, and wish your permission to learn Musick.... I have
     described one of the blessings of creation in Mrs. Rawson, and
     now I will describe Mrs. Lyman as the reverse: she is the worst
     woman I ever knew of or that I ever saw, nobody knows what I
     suffered from the treatment of that woman."

This Mrs. Lyman kept a boarding school at Medford; eight girls
slept in one room, the fare was meagre, and the education kept close
company with the fare.

The Moravian schools at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, were widely
popular. President John Adams wrote to his daughter of the girls'
school that one hundred and twenty girls lived in one house and
slept in one garret in single beds in two long rows. He says, "How
should you like to live in such a nunnery?" Eliza Southgate Bowne
wrote a pretty account of this school:--

     "The first was merely a _sewing school_, little children and
     a pretty single sister about 30, with her white skirt, white
     short tight waistcoat, nice handkerchief pinned outside, a
     muslin apron and a close cap, of the most singular form you
     can imagine. I can't describe it. The hair is all put out of
     sight, turned back, and no border to the cap, very unbecoming
     and very singular, tied under the chin with a pink ribbon--blue
     for the married, white for the widows. Here was a Piano forte
     and another sister teaching a little girl music. We went thro'
     all the different school rooms, some misses of sixteen, their
     teachers were very agreeable and easy, and in every room was a

She also tells of the great dormitory; the beds of singular shape,
high and covered; a single hanging-lamp lighted at night, with one
sister walking patrol.

Though the education given to girls in these boarding schools
was not very profound, they had at the close of the school year a
grand opportunity of "showing-off" in a school exhibition. Mary
Grafton Dulany wrote when thirteen years old to her father, from a
Philadelphia school:--

     "I went to Madame B.s exhibition. There were five Crowns, two
     principal for Eminence in Lessons, and Virtue. They were crowned
     in great style in the Assembly Rooms in the presence of 500

Mrs. Quincy wrote of a school which she attended in 1784, of what
she termed "the breaking up":--

     "A stage was erected at the end of the room, covered with a
     carpet, ornamented with evergreens and lighted by candles in
     gilt branches. Two window curtains were drawn aside from the
     centre before it and the audience were seated on the benches
     of the schoolroom. The 'Search after Happiness,' by Mrs. More,
     'The Milliner,' and 'The Dove,' by Madame Genlis were performed.
     In the first I acted Euphelia, one of the court ladies, and
     also sung a song intended in the play for one of the daughters
     of Urania, but as I had the best voice it was given to me. My
     dress was a pink and green striped silk, feathers and flowers
     decorated my head; and with bracelets on my arms and paste
     buckles on my shoes I thought I made a splendid appearance. The
     only time I ever rode in a sedan chair was on this occasion,
     when after being dressed at home, I was conveyed in one to
     Miss Ledyard's residence. Hackney coaches were then unknown
     in New York. In the second piece I acted the milliner and by
     some strange notion of Miss Ledyard's or my own was dressed
     in a gown, cap, handkerchief and apron of my mother's, with a
     pair of spectacles to look like an elderly woman--a proof how
     little we understood the character of a French milliner. When
     the curtain was drawn, many of the audience declared it must be
     Mrs. Morton herself on the stage. How my mother with her strict
     notions and prejudices against the theatre ever consented to
     such proceedings is still a surprise to me."

All parents did not approve of those exhibitions. Major Dulany wrote
with decision to his daughter that he lamented the boldness and
over-assurance which accompanied any success in such performances,
and which proceeded, he deemed, from callous feeling.

These plays were merely a revival of an old fashion when English
school children took part in miracle plays or mysteries. In the
seventeenth century schoolmasters took great pride in writing
exhibition plays for their pupils. Dreary enough these acts or
interludes are. One forced all the characters to act "anomalies of
all the chiefest parts of grammar"--oh! the poor lads that therein
played their parts!



    _To those who are in years but Babes I bow
      My Pen to teach them what the Letters be,
      And how they may improve their A. B. C.
    Nor let my pretty Children them despise.
    All needs must there begin, that would be wise,
      Nor let them fall under Discouragement,
      Who at their Hornbook stick, and time hath spent,
    Upon that A. B. C, while others do
    Into their Primer or their Psalter go._

    --_A Book for Boys and Girls, or Country Rhimes for Children.
        John Bunyan, 1686._

The English philosopher, John Locke, in his _Thoughts concerning
Education_, written in 1690, says the method of teaching children
to read in England at that time was always "the ordinary road of
Horn-book, Primer, Psalter, Testament, and Bible." These, he said,
"engage the liking of children and tempt them to read." The road was
the same in New England, but it would hardly be called a tempting

The first book from which the children of the colonists learned
their letters and to spell, was not really a book at all, in our
sense of the word. It was what was called a hornbook. A thin piece
of wood, usually about four or five inches long and two inches wide,
had placed upon it a sheet of paper a trifle smaller, printed at
the top with the alphabet in large and small letters; below were
simple syllables such as ab, eb, ib, ob, etc.; then came the Lord's
Prayer. This printed page was covered with a thin sheet of yellowish
horn, which was not as transparent as glass, yet permitted the
letters to be read through it; and both the paper and the horn were
fastened around the edges to the wood by a narrow strip of metal,
usually brass, which was tacked down by fine tacks or nails. It was,
therefore, a book of a single page. At the two upper corners of
the page were crosses, hence to read the hornbook was often called
"reading a criss-cross row." At the lower end of the wooden back was
usually a little handle which often was pierced with a hole; thus
the hornbook could be carried by a string, which could be placed
around the neck or hung by the side.

[Illustration: Hornbook owned by Mrs. Anne Robinson Minturn]

When, five years ago, was published my book entitled _Customs and
Fashions in Old New England_, I wrote that I did not know of the
preservation of a single hornbook in America; though for many years
eager and patient antiquaries, of English and of American blood,
had vainly sought in American historical collections, in American
libraries, in American rural homes, for a true American hornbook;
that is, one studied by American children of colonial times. The
publication of my statement has made known to me three American
hornbooks. The first is the shabby little treasure owned by Mrs.
Anne Robinson Minturn of Shoreham, Vermont, found hidden under the
dusty eaves of a Vermont garret. The illustration shows its exact
size. On the back is a paper coarsely stamped in red with a portrait
of Charles II., king of England, on horseback. This may indicate its
age, but not its exact date. The young colonist who owned it was by
this print taught loyalty to the Crown, though in a far land.

The second hornbook is owned by Miss Grace L. Gordon of Flushing,
Long Island. It is a family heirloom, having come to its present
owner through a great-uncle who was born in 1782, and stated that it
was used by his father, who was born in 1736. The tablet is of oak,
and the back is covered with a red paper stamped with the design of
a double-headed eagle. The third, owned by Mrs. John W. Norton of
Guildford, Connecticut, is almost precisely like Miss Gordon's, and
is equally well preserved.

[Illustration: Hornbook owned by Miss Gordon]

From these shabby little relics and from thousands of their
ill-printed, but useful kinsfolk, childish lips in America first
read aloud the letters, pointed firmly out by a knitting needle
in some dame's hand. Undisturbed by kindergarten inductions and
suggestions, unbewildered by baleful processes and diagrams,
unthreatened by scientific principles of instruction, did the young
colonists stoutly shout their a-b abs, did they spell out their
prayer, did they read in triumphal chorus their criss-cross row.
Isn't it strange that these three lonely little ghosts of old-time
schooling should be the only representatives of their regiments of
classmates? Wouldn't it seem that tender association, or miserly
hoarding, or even forgetful neglect would have made some greater
salvage from the vast number of hornbooks sent to this country
in the century after its settlement; that by intent or accident
many scores would have survived? But these are all; three little
battered oaken backs and stubby handles, three faded paper slips, a
splintered sheet or two of horn, a few strips of brass tape, a score
of tiny hand-wrought nails--all poor things enough, but shaping
themselves into precious and treasured relics. Another of their
kindred, a penny hornbook, proved its present value at a sale in
London in 1893, by fetching the far from ignoble sum of sixty-five

One of these little hornbooks filled in its single self what has
become a vast item in public school expenses. As Mr. Martin wittily
expresses it, "it was in embryo all that the Massachusetts statutes
now designate by the formal phrase 'text-books and supplies.'"

The knitting needle of the schooldame could be dignified by the
pompous name of fescue, a pointer; and something of that nature, a
straw, a pin, a quill, a skewer of wood, was always used to direct
children's eyes to letter or word.

There certainly were plenty of these humble little engines of
instruction in America; old Judge Sewall had them for his fourteen
children at the end of the seventeenth century, as we know from
his diary; he wrote in 1691 of his son Joseph going to school "his
cousin Jane accompanying him, carrying his horn-book." Waitstill
Winthrop sent them to his little Connecticut Plantation nieces in
1716. It is told of one zealous Puritan minister that hating the
symbolism of the cross he blotted it out of the criss-cross row of a
number of hornbooks imported to Boston.

[Illustration: Back of Hornbook]

"Gilt horns" were sold in Philadelphia with Bibles and Primers,
as we learn from the _Pennsylvania Gazette_ of December 4, 1760,
and in New York in 1753, so says the _New York Gazette_ of May 14,
of that year. Pretty little lesson-toys, these gilded horns must
have proved, but not so fine as the hornbooks of silver and ivory
used by young misses of quality in England. Scores of pictures by
seventeenth-century artists--on canvas and glass--show demure little
maids and masters with hanging hornbooks. Even the pictures of the
Holy Family show the infant Christ, hornbook in hand, tenderly
taught by the Virgin Mother.

The hornbook was called by other names, horn-gig, horn-bat,
battledore-book, absey-book, etc.; and in Dutch it was the
_a-b-boordje_. They were worked in needlework, and written in ink,
and stamped on tin and carved in wood, as well as printed, and Prior
tells in rhyme of a hornbook, common enough in England, which must
have proved eminently satisfactory to the student.

    "To master John the English maid
       A horn-book gives of gingerbread;
     And that the child may learn the better,
       As he can name, he eats the letter."

To this day in England, at certain Fairs and in Kensington
bake-shops, these gingerbread hornbooks are made and sold in spite
of the solemn warning of British moralists--"No liquorish learning
to thy babes extend." Still

    "All the letters are digested,
     Hateful ignorance detested."

I have seen in New England what were called "cookey-moulds," which
were of heavy wood incised with the alphabet, were of ancient Dutch
manufacture, and had been used for making those "koeckje" hornbooks.

[Illustration: The Royal Battledore]

The sight of an old hornbook must always be of interest to any
one of any power of imagination or of thoughtful mind, who can
read between the irregular lines, the ill-shapen letters, its true
significance as the emblem, the well-spring of English education
and literature. This thought of the symbolism of the hornbook is
expressed in quaint words on the back of a shabby battered specimen
of questionable age in the British Museum:--

     "What more could be wished for even by a literary Gourmand under
     the Tudors than to be able to Read and Spell; to repeat that
     holy Charm before which fled all unholy Ghosts, Goblins, or even
     the Old Gentleman himself, to the very bottom of the Red Sea;
     to say that immortal Prayer which seems Heaven to all who _ex
     animo_ use it; and to have those mathematical powers by knowing
     units, from which spring countless myriads."

For a fuller account of the hornbook, readers should go to the
_History of the Hornbook_, by Andrew W. Tuer, two splendid volumes
forming one of the most interesting and exhaustive accounts of any
special educational topic that has ever been written.

The printed cardboard battledore was a successor of the hornbook.
This was often printed on a double fold of stiff card with a
third fold or flap lapping over like an old pocket-book. These
battledores were issued in such vast numbers that it is futile to
attempt even to allude to the myriad of publishers. An affine of the
hornbook is seen in the wooden "reading-boards" which were used a
hundred years ago in Erasmus Hall, the famous old academy built in
1786 in Flatbush, Long Island. It is still standing and still used
for educational purposes. These "reading-boards" are tablets of
wood, fifteen inches long, covered on either side with time-yellowed
paper printed in large letters with some simple reading-lesson.
The old fashioned long s in the type proves their age. Through a
pierced hole a loop of string suspended these boards before a class
of little scholars, who doubtless all read in chorus. Similar ones
bearing the alphabet are still used in Cornish Sunday-schools. They
were certainly used in Dutch schools, two centuries ago, as the
illustrations of old Dutch books prove.

[Illustration: "My New Battledore"]

A prymer or primer was specifically and ecclesiastically before
and after the Reformation in England a book of private devotions.
As authorized by the Church, and written or printed partially or
wholly in the vernacular, it contained devotions for the hours, the
Creed, Lord's Prayer, Ten Commandments, some psalms and certain
instructions as to the elements of Christian knowledge. These
little books often opened with the criss-cross row or alphabet
arranged hornbook fashion, hence the term primer naturally came
to be applied to all elementary books for children's use. A, B,
C, the Middle-English name for the alphabet in the forms apsey,
abce, absie, etc., was also given to what we now call a primer.
Shakespeare called it absey-book. The list in _Dyves Pragmaticus_

    "I have inke, paper and pennes to lode with a barge,
     Primers and abces and books of small charge,
         What Lack you Scollers, come hither to me."

[Illustration: Reading Board. Erasmus Hall]

The book which succeeded the hornbook in general use was the _New
England Primer_. It was the most universally studied school-book
that has ever been used in America; for one hundred years it was
_the_ school-book of America; for nearly another hundred years
it was frequently printed and much used. More than three million
copies of this _New England Primer_ were printed, so declares its
historian, Paul Leicester Ford. These were studied by many more
millions of school-children. All of us whose great-grandparents were
American born may be sure that those great-grandparents, and their
fathers and mothers and ancestors before them learned to read from
one of these little books. It was so religious in all its teachings
and suggestions that it has been fitly called the "Little Bible of
New England."

It is a poorly printed little book about five inches long and
three wide, of about eighty pages. It contains the alphabet, and a
short table of easy syllables, such as a-b ab, e-b eb, and words
up to those of six syllables. This was called a syllabarium. There
were twelve five-syllable words; of these five were _abomination_,
_edification_, _humiliation_, _mortification_, and _purification_.
There were a morning and evening prayer for children, and a grace to
be said before meat. Then followed a set of little rhymes which have
become known everywhere, and are frequently quoted. Each letter of
the alphabet is illustrated with a blurred little picture. Of these,
two-thirds represent Biblical incidents. They begin:--

    "In Adam's fall
     We sinned all,"

and end with Z:--

    "Zaccheus he
     Did climb a tree
     His Lord to see."

In the early days of the Primer, all the colonies were true to the
English king, and the rhyme for the letter K reads:--

    "King Charles the Good
     No man of blood."

But by Revolutionary years the verse for K was changed to:--

    "Queens and Kings
     Are Gaudy Things."

Later verses tell the praise of George Washington. Then comes a
series of Bible questions and answers; then an "alphabet of lessons
for youth," consisting of verses of the Bible beginning successively
with A, B, C, and so on. X was a difficult initial letter, and had
to be contented with "Xhort one another daily, etc." After the
Lord's Prayer and Apostle's Creed appeared sometimes a list of names
for men and women, to teach children to spell their own names. The
largest and most interesting picture was that of the burning at the
stake of John Rogers; and after this a six page set of pious rhymes
which the martyr left at his death for his family of small children.

[Illustration: "MR. JOHN ROGERS, Minister of the Gospel in _London_,
was the first Martyr in Queen _Mary's_ Reign, and was burnt at
_Smithfield_, _February 14th 1554_. His Wife with nine small
Children, and one at her Breast, following him to the Stake; with
which sorrowful Sight he was not in the least daunted, but with
wonderful Patience died courageously for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


John Rogers]

After the year 1750, a few very short stories were added to its
pages, and were probably all the children's stories that many of the
scholars of that day ever saw. It is interesting to see that the
little prayer so well known to-day, beginning "Now I lay me down
to sleep," is usually found in the _New England Primer_ of dates
later than the year 1737. The _Shorter Catechism_ was, perhaps, the
most important part of this primer. It was so called in contrast
to the catechism in use in England called _The Careful Father and
Pious Child_, which had twelve hundred questions with answers. The
_Shorter Catechism_ had but a hundred and seven questions, though
some of the answers were long. Usually another catechism was found
in the primer, called _Spiritual Milk for Babes_. It was written
by the Boston minister, John Cotton, and it had but eighty-seven
questions with short answers. Sometimes a _Dialogue between Christ,
Youth, and the Devil_ was added.

The _Shorter Catechism_ was the special delight of all New
Englanders. Cotton Mather called it a "little watering pot" to shed
good lessons. He begged writing masters to set sentences from it to
be copied by their pupils; and he advised mothers to "continually
drop something of the Catechism on their children, as Honey from the
Rock." Learning the catechism was enforced by law in New England,
and the deacons and ministers visited and examined families to see
that the law was obeyed. Thus it may plainly be seen that this
primer truly filled the requisites of what the Roxbury school
trustees called "scholastical, theological, and moral discipline."



     _The most worthless book of a bygone day is a record worthy of
     preservation. Like a telescopic star, its obscurity may render
     it unavailable for most purposes, but it serves in hands which
     know how to use it to determine the places of more important

     --_A. de Morgan, 1847._

When any scholar could advance beyond hornbook and primer he was
ready for grammar. This was not English grammar, but Latin, and
the boy usually began to study it long before he had any book to
con. A bulky and wretched grammar called Lilly's was most popular
in England. Locke said the study of it was a religious observance
without which no scholar was orthodox. It named twenty-five
different kinds of nouns and devoted twenty-two pages of solid print
to declensions of nouns; it gave seven genders, with fifteen pages
of rules for genders and exceptions. Under such a régime we can
sympathize with Nash's outburst, "Syntaxis and prosodia! you are
tormentors of wit and good for nothing but to get schoolmasters
twopence a week."

It was said of Ezekiel Cheever, the old Boston schoolmaster, who
taught for over seventy years, "He taught us Lilly and he Gospel
taught." But he also wrote a Latin grammar of his own, _Cheever's
Accidence_, which had unvarying popularity for over a century.
Cheever was a thorough grammarian. Cotton Mather thus eulogized

    "Were Grammar quite extinct, yet at his Brain
     The Candle might have well been Lit again."

There was brought forth at his death a broadside entitled _The
Grammarian's Funeral_. A fac-simile of it is here given. Josiah
Quincy, later in life the president of Harvard College, wrote an
account of his dismal school life at Andover. He entered the school
when he was six years old, and on the form by his side sat a man
of thirty. Both began _Cheever's Accidence_, and committed to
memory pages of a book which the younger child certainly could not
understand, and no advance was permitted till the first book was
conquered. He studied through the book twenty times before mastering
it. The hours of study were long--eight hours a day--and this upon
lessons absolutely meaningless. [Ilustration:

The Grammarians Funeral,


An ELEGY compo[f.]ed upon the Death of Mr. _John Woodmancy_,
formerly a School-Ma[f.]ter in _Bo[f.]ton_: But now Publi[f.]hed
upon the DEATH of the Venerable

Mr. Ezekiel Chevers,

The late and famous School-Ma[f.]ter of _Bo[f.]ton_ in
_New-England_; Who Departed this Life the _Twenty-fir[f.]t_ of
_Augu[f.]t_ 1708. Early in the Morning. In the Ninety-fourth Year of
his Age.

    Eight Parts of _Speech_ this Day wear _Mourning Gowns_
    Declin'd _Verbs, Pronouns, Participles, Nouns_.
    And not declined, _Adverbs_ and _Conjunctions_,
    In _Lillies_ Porch they [f.]tand to do their functions.
    With _Prepo[f.]ition_; but the mo[f.]t affection
    Was [f.]till ob[f.]erved in the _Interjection_.
    The _Sub[f.]tantive_ [f.]eeming the limbed be[f.]t,
    Would [f.]et a hand to bear him to his Re[f.]t.
    The _Adjective_ with very grief did [f.]ay,
    Hold me by [f.]trength, or I [f.]hall faint away.
    The Clouds of Tears did over-ca[f.]t their faces,
    Yea all were in mo[f.]t lamentable _Ca[f.]es_.
    The five _Declen[f.]ions_ did the Work decline,
    And _Told_ the _Pronoun Tu_, The work is thine:
    But in this ca[f.]e tho[f.]e have no call to go
    That want the _Vocative_, and can't [f.]ay O!
    The _Pronouns_ [f.]aid that if the _Nouns_ were there,
    There was no need of them, they might them [f.]pare:
    But for the [f.]ake of _Empha[f.]is_ they would,
    In their Di[f.]cretion do what ere they could.
    Great honour was confer'd on _Conjugations_,
    They were to follow next to the _Relations_.
    _Amo_ did love him be[f.]t, and _Doceo_ might
    Alledge he was his Glory and Delight.
    But _Lego_ [f.]aid by me he got his skill,
    And therefore next the _Her[f.]e_ I follow will.
    _Audio_ [f.]aid little, hearing them [f.]o hot,
    Yet knew by him much Learning he had got.--
    O _Verbs_ the _Active_ were, Or _Pa[f.][f]ive_ [f.]ure,
    _Sum_ to be _Neuter_ could not well endure:
    But this was common to them all to Moan
    Their load of grief they could not [f.]oon _Depone_.
    A doleful Day for _Verbs_, they look [f.]o _moody_,
    They drove Spectators to a Mournful Study.
    The _Verbs_ irregular, 'twas thought by [f.]ome,
    Would break no rule, if they were plea[f.]'d to come.
    _Gaudeo_ could not be found; fearing di[f.]grace
    He had with-drawn, [f.]ent _Mæreo_ in his Place.
    _Po[f.][f]um_ did to the utmo[f.]t he was able,
    And bore as Stout as if he'd been A _Table_.
    _Volo_ was willing, _Nolo_ [f.]ome-what [f.]tout,
    But _Malo_ rather cho[f.]e, not to [f.]tand out.
    _Po[f.][f]um_ and _Volo_ wi[f.]h'd all might afford
    Their help, but had not an _Imperative Word_.
    _Edo_ from Service would by no means Swerve,
    Rather than fail, he thought the _Cakes_ to Serve.
    _Fio_ was taken in a fit, and [f.]aid,
    By him a Mournful P O E M [f.]hould be made.
    _Fero_ was willing for to bear a part,
    Altho' he did it with an aking heart.
    _Feror_ excus'd, with grief he was [f.]o Torn,
    He could not bear, he needed to be born.

    Such _Nouns_ and _Verbs_ as we defective find,
    No _Grammar_ Rule did their attendance bind.
    They were excepted, and exempted hence,
    But _Supines_, all did blame for negligence.
    _Verbs_ Offspring, _Participles_ hand-in-hand,
    Follow, and by the [f.]ame direction [f.]tand:
    The re[f.]t Promi[f.]cuou[f.]ly did croud and cumber,
    Such Multitudes of each, they wanted Number.
    Next to the Corps to make th' attendance even,
    _Jove, Mercury, Apollo_ came from heaven.
    And _Virgil, Cato_, gods, men, Rivers, Winds,
    With _Elegies_, Tears, Sighs, came in their kinds.
    _Ovid_ from _Pontus_ ha[f.]t's Apparell'd thus,
    In Exile-weeds bringing _De Tri[f.]tibus_:
    And _Homer_ [f.]ure had been among the Rout,
    But that the Stories [f.]ay his Eyes were out.
    _Queens, Cities, Countries, I[f.]lands_, Come
    All Trees, Birds, Fi[f.]hes, and each Word in _Um_.

    What _Syntax_ here can you expect to find?
    Where each one bears [f.]uch di[f.]compo[f.]ed mind.
    Figures of Diction and Con[f.]truction,
    Do little: Yet [f.]tand [f.]adly looking on.
    That [f.]uch a Train may in their motion _chord_,
    _Pro[f.]odia_ gives the mea[f.]ure Word for Word.

     _Sic Mæ[f.]tus Cecinit_,

     Benj. Tomp[f.]on.]

The custom was in Boston--until this century--to study through the
grammar three times before any application to parsing.

Far better wit than any found in an old-time jest book was the
sub-title of a very turgid Latin grammar, "A delysious Syrupe newly
Claryfied for Yonge Scholars yt thurste for the Swete Lycore of
Latin Speche."

The first English Grammar used in Boston public schools and retained
in use till this century, was _The Young Lady's Accidence, or a
Short and Easy Introduction to English Grammar, design'd principally
for the use of Young Learners, more especially for those of the Fair
Sex, though Proper for Either_. It is said that a hundred thousand
copies of it were sold. It was a very little grammar about four or
five inches long and two or three wide, and had only fifty-seven
pages, but it was a very good little grammar when compared with its
fellows, being simple and clearly worded.

The fashion of the day was to set everything in rhyme as an aid to
memory; and even so unpoetical a subject as English Grammar did not
escape the rhyming writer. In the _Grammar of the English Tongue_,
a large and formidable book in fine type, all the rules and lists
of exceptions and definitions were in verse. A single specimen, the
definition of a letter, will show the best style of composition,
which, when it struggled with moods and tenses, was absolutely

    "A Letter is an uncompounded Sound
     Of which there no Division can be Found,
     Those Sounds to Certain Characters we fix,
     Which in the English Tongue are Twenty-Six."

The spelling of that day was wildly varied. _Dilworth's Speller_ was
one of the earliest used, and the spelling in it differed much from
that of the British Instructor. A third edition of _The Child's New
Spelling Book_ was published in 1744. Famous English lesson-books
known among common folk as "Readamadeasies," and book traders as
"Reading Easies"--really Reading made easy--belied their name. Some
had alphabets on two pages because "One Alphabet is commonly worn
out before the Scholar is perfect in his Letters." It is interesting
to find "Poor Richard's" sayings in these English books, but it is
natural, too, when we consider Franklin's popularity abroad, and
know that broadsides printed with his pithy and worldly-wise maxims
were found hanging on the wall of many an English cottage.

[Illustration: 42

Reading Made Easy.

ceeds with all her train; warm gentle gales begin to blow, and soft
falling showers moisten the earth.——The surface of the
ground is adorned with young verdent flowers, the cowslip, daisy,
primrose, and a thousand pleasing objects spread themselves all
around; the trees put forth their green buds, and deck themselves
with blossoms; the birds fill every grove with the charming music
of nature; love, tunes their little voices, and they join in pairs
to build their nests with care and labour; which, sometimes the
playful, the careless, the giddy boy destroys. The careful farmer
now ploughs up his fields, and casts the seeds into the bosom of the
earth, and waits for harvest. Now too, the young and harmless lambs
skip over the grass in wanton play! The cuckoo sings--and all nature
seems to rejoice.

    Trees, which dead did late appear,
    Crown with leaves the rising year;
    Ev'ry object seems to say,
    Winter's gloom has pass'd away.


[Illustration: Farm couple with rakes and haying tools.]


Summer succeeds.--The sun now darts his beams with greater force,
and the days are at the longest. The flocks and herds not being able
to endure the scorching heat of the sun, retire beneath the shade of
some spreading tree, or the side of some cooling stream or river.
The wanton youths betake themselves to the waters and swim with
pleasure over the liquid surface. Early in the morning the careful
mower walks forth with his scythe on his shoulder, and sometimes
with a pipe in]

Not until the days of Noah Webster and his famous Spelling Book and
Dictionary was there any decided uniformity of spelling. Professor
Earle says the process of compelling a uniform spelling is a
strife against nature. Certainly it took a long struggle against
nature to make spelling uniform in America. In the same letter,
men of high education would spell the same word several different
ways. There was no better usage in England. The edition of Milton's
_Paradise Lost_ printed in 1688 shows some very grotesque spelling.
Therefore it is not strange to find a New York teacher advertising
to teach "writeing and spilling."

To show that a fetich was made of spelling seventy-five years ago, I
give this extract from a Danbury school notice:--

     "The advantages that small children obtain at this school may
     be easily imagined when the public are informed that those who
     spell go through the whole of Webster's spelling book twice a

The teaching of spelling in many schools was peculiar. The master
gave out the word, with a blow of his strap on the desk as a signal
for all to start together, and the whole class spelled out the word
in syllables in chorus. The teacher's ear was so trained and acute
that he at once detected any misspelling. If this happened, he
demanded the name of the scholar who made the mistake. If there was
any hesitancy or refusal in acknowledgment, he kept the whole class
until, by repeated trials of long words, accuracy was obtained.
The roar of the many voices of the large school, all pitched in
different keys, could be heard on summer days for a long distance.
In many country schools the scholars not only spelled aloud but
studied all their lessons aloud, as children in Oriental countries
do to-day: and the teacher was quick to detect any lowering of
the volume of sound and would reprove any child who was studying
silently. Sometimes the combined roar of voices became offensive to
the neighbors of the school, and restraining votes were passed at

The colonial school and schoolmaster took a firm stand on
"cyphering." "The Bible and figgers is all I want my boys to
know," said an old farmer. Arithmetic was usually taught without
text-books. Teachers had manuscript "sum-books," from which they
gave out rules and problems in arithmetic to their scholars. Abraham
Lincoln learned arithmetic from a "sum-book" of which he made a neat
copy. A page from this sum-book is here given in reduced size. Too
often these sums were copied by the pupil without any explanation
of the process being offered or rendered by the master. The artist
Trumbull recalled that he spent three weeks, unaided in any way,
over a single sum in long division.

[Illustration: Page from Abraham Lincoln's Sum Book]

A manuscript sum-book in my possession is marked, "Sarah Keeler her
Book, May ye 1st, A.D. 1773, Ridgbury." There are multiplication
examples of fifteen figures multiplied by fifteen, and long division
examples of a dividend of quintillions, chiefly in sevens and nines,
divided by a mixed divisor of billions in eights and fives--a
thing to make poor Sarah turn in her grave. There are Reductions
Ascending and Reductions Descending and Reductions both Ascending
and Descending at the same time, as complicated as the computations
of the revolutions of the celestial spheres. There are miserable
catch-examples about people's ages and others about collections of
excises, with "Proofs," and still others about I know not what, for
there are within their borders mysterious abbreviations and signs,
like some black magic. Sainted Sarah Keeler! a melancholy sympathy
settles on me as I regard this book and all the extended sums you
knew, and think of the paths of pleasantness of the present pupils
of kindergartens; and wonder what kind of a mathematical song or
game or allegory could be invented to disguise these very "plain

Sometimes a zealous teacher would write out tables of measures and a
few blind rules for his scholars. This amateur arithmetic would be
copied and recopied until it was punctuated with mistakes.





A plain and familiar Method, [f.]uitable to the meane[f.]t Capacity,
for the full under[f.]tanding of that incomparable Art, as it is now
taught by the able[f.]t School-Ma[f.]ters in City and Country.


By _Edward Cocker_, late Practitioner in the Arts of Writing,
Arithmetick, and Engraving. Being that [f.]o long [f.]ince
promi[f.]ed to the World.


By _John Hawkins_, Writing-Ma[f.]ter near _St. George's_ Church in
_Southwark_, by the Author's correct Copy, and commended to the
World by many eminent Mathematicians and Writing-Ma[f.]ters in and
near _London_.

_This Impre[f.][f]ion is corrected and amended, with many Additions
throughout the whole._

Licen[f.]ed, Sept. 3. 1677. Roger L'E[f.]trange.


Printed by _R. Holt_, for _T. Pa[f.][f.]inger_, and [f.]old by _John
Back_, at the black Boy on _London-Bridge_, 1688.]


  No. 1 First Picture Alphabet.
  No. 2. Second Picture Alphabet.
  No. 3. Third Picture Alphabet.
  No. 4. Lessons in One Syllable.
  No. 5. Lessons in Numbers.
  No. 6. Words in Common Use.

  One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven Twelve
  I.  II. III.  IV.  V.   VI. VII.  VIII. IX.  X.  XI.    XII.
  1   2   3     4    5    6   7     8     9    10  11     12

The Clock has two hands; a long one and a short one. The short hand
is the hour hand, and the long one is the minute hand.

The short or hour hand moves very slowly, and the long or minute
hand goes all round the Clock face while the hour hand goes from one
figure to the next one.

  Two and two added together make       4
  One and four together make            5
  Five and two together make            7
  Seven and one together make           8
  What are eight and two? They make    10
  Twice ten make                       20
  Twenty is a score, and five score   100

[Illustration: Battledore, "Lessons in Numbers"]

Many scholars never saw a printed arithmetic; and when the master
had one for circulation it was scarcely more helpful than the
sum-book. One of the most ancient arithmetics was written by the
mathematician Record, who lived from the year 1500 to 1558. He is
said to have invented the sign of equality =, but there is nothing
in his book to indicate this fact. The terms "arsemetrick" and
"augrime" are used in it, instead of arithmetic. Many curious and
obsolete rules are given, among them, "The Golden Rule," "Rule of
Falsehood," "The Redeeming of Pawnes of Geams," "The Backer Rule of
Thirds." Here is a simple problem under the latter:--

     "I did lend my friend 3/4 of a Porteguise 7 months upon promise
     that he should do as much for me again, and when I should borrow
     of him, he could lend me but 5/12 of a Porteguese, now I demand
     how long time I must keep his money in just Recompence of my
     loan, accounting 13 months in the year."

Rhyme is used in this book, in dialogues between the master and
scholar. Copies of _Cocker's Arithmetick_ are said to be very rare
in England, but I have seen several in America. An edition was
published in Philadelphia in 1779. The frontispiece of English and
American editions shows the picture of the mathematician surrounded
by a wreath of laurel with the droll apostrophe:--

    "Ingenious Cocker! Now to Rest thou 'rt Gone
     Noe Art can Show thee fully but thine Own
     Thy rare _Arithmetick_ alone can show
     What vast Sums of Thanks wee for Thy Labour owe."

"Ingenious Cocker," as one would say "Most noble Shakespeare!" It
is hard indeed to idealize or write poetical tributes to one by the
name of Cocker. It gives us a sense of pleasant familiarity with
any one to know that he is "well acquaint" with one of our intimate
friends, so I feel much drawn to ingenious Cocker by knowing that
he was well known of Sam Pepys. He was a writing master, and did
some mighty fine engraving for Pepys, who calls him ingenuous, not
ingenious. It is rather a facer to learn from the notes in the Diary
that Cocker had nothing whatever to do with his Arithmetic, which
was a forgery by John Hawkins.

The age that would rhyme a grammar would rhyme an arithmetic, and
Record's example was followed and enlarged upon. Thomas Hylles
published one in 1620, _The Arte of Vulgar Arithmiteke_, written in
dialogue, with the rules and theorems in verse. This is an example
of his poesy:--


    "A farthing first finds forty-eight
     A Halfpeny hopes for twentiefoure
     Three farthings seeks out 16 streight
     A peny puls a dozen lower
     Dicke dandiprat drewe 8 out deade
     Twopence took 6 and went his way
     Tom trip a goe with 4 is fled
     But Goodman grote on 3 doth stay
     A testerne only 2 doth take
     Moe parts a Shilling cannot make."

[Illustration: Noah Webster's "American Selection"]

In 1633 Nicholas Hunt added to his rules and tables an
"Arithmetike-Rithmeticall or the Handmaid's Song of Numbers," which
rhymes are simply unspeakable. These attempts did not end with the
seventeenth century. In 1801 Richard Vyse had a _Tutor's Guide_ with
problems in rhyme.

    "When first the Marriage Knot was tied
         Between my Wife and Me
     My age did hers as far exceed
         As three times three does three.
     But when Ten years and half ten Years
         We man and wife had been
     Her age came up as near to mine
         As eight is to sixteen.
     Now tell me I pray
         What were our Ages on our Wedding Day?"

The earliest date of the old rhyme,--

    "Thirtie daies hath September, Aprill, June and November,
     Februarie eight and twentie alone, all the rest thirtie and one."

is given by Halliwell as 1633. I have found it in an old arithmetic
printed in London in 1596. The lines beginning "Multiplication is
vexation," are not an outburst of modern students. They are found in
a manuscript dated 1570 circa.

    "Multiplication is mie vexation
     And Division quite as bad,
     The Golden rule is mie stumbling stule,
     And Practice makes me mad."

After the Revolution, in new and zealous Americanism, text-books
by American authors outsold English books. The blue-backed
spelling book of Noah Webster drove Perry and Dilworth from the
field. Bingham and Webster took advantage of the need of suitable
school-books and divided the field between them. Webster's Spelling
Book outstripped Bingham's _Child's Companion_, but Bingham's
Readers, such as _The American Preceptor_ and _The Columbian Orator_
held their ground against Webster's. Not one of Bingham's books
proved a failure. _The Columbian Orator_ contained seven extracts
from speeches of Pitt in opposition to the measures of George
III., it had speeches by Fox and Sheridan, part of the address of
President Carnot at the establishment of the French Republic, and
the famous speech of Colonel Barré on the Stamp Act.

Nicholas Pike of Newburyport, Massachusetts, wrote an arithmetic
that routed the English books of Cocker and Hodder. It was studied
by many persons now living. It had three hundred and sixty-three
barren rules, and not a single explanation of one of them. Many of
them would now be wholly unintelligible to scholars, though no more
antiquated than are the methods; for instance, this rule in Tare and

     "Deduct the Tare and Trett. Divide the Suttle by amount given;
     the Quotient will be the Cloff which subtract from the Suttle
     the Remainder will be the Neat."

[Illustration: "The Little Reader's Assistant," by Noah Webster]

The tables of measures were longer than ours to-day; in measuring
liquids were used the terms anchors, tuns, butts, tierces,
kilderkins, firkins, puncheons, etc. In dry measure were pottles,
strikes, cooms, quarters, weys, lasts. Examples in currency were in
pounds, shillings, and pence; and doubtless helped to retain the use
of these terms in daily trade long after dollars had been coined in
America. This labored book, aided by the flattering testimonials of
Governor Bowdoin, of the Presidents of Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth
Colleges, and of that idolized American, George Washington, gained
wide acceptance.

I have examined with care a _Wingate's Arithmetic_ printed in
1620, which was used for over a century in the Winslow family
in Massachusetts. "Pythagoras his Table," is, of course, our
multiplication table. Then comes, the "Rule of Three," the "double
Golden Rule," the "Rule of Fellowship," the "Rule of False," etc.,
etc., ending with "Pastimes, a collection of pleasant and polite
Questions to exercise all the parts of Vulgar Arithmetick." Here is

     "This Problem is usually propounded in this manner, viz. fifteen
     _Christians_ and fifteen _Turks_ being at Sea in one and the
     same Ship in a terrible Storm, & the Pilot declaring a necessity
     of casting the one half of those Persons into the Sea, that
     the rest might be saved; they all agreed that the persons to
     be cast away should be set out by lot after this manner, viz.
     the thirty persons should be placed in a round form like a
     _Ring_, and then beginning to count at one of the Passengers,
     and proceeding circularly, every ninth person should be cast
     into the Sea, until of the thirty persons there remained only
     fifteen. The question is, how those thirty persons ought to be
     placed, that the lot might infallibly fall upon the fifteen
     _Turks_ & not upon any of the fifteen _Christians_? For the
     more easie remembering of the rule to resolve this question
     shall presuppose the five vowels, a, e, i, o, u, to signifie
     five numbers to wit, (a) one, (e) two, (i) three, (o) four, and
     (u) five; then will the rule it self be briefly comprehended in
     these two following verses:--

    From numbers, aid and art
    Never will fame depart.

     In which verses you are principally to observe the vowels, with
     their correspondent numbers before assigned, and then beginning
     with the _Christians_ the vowel _o_ (in _from_) signifieth that
     four _Christians_ are to be placed together; next unto them,
     the vowel _u_ (in _num_) signifieth that five _Turks_ are to be
     placed. In like manner _e_ (in _bers_) denoteth 2 _Christians_,
     _a_ (in _aid_) 1 _Turk_, _i_ (in _aid_) 3 _Christians_, _a_ (in
     _and_) 1 _Turk_, _a_ (in _art_) 1 _Christian_, _e_ (in _ne_)
     2 _Turks_, _e_ (in _ver_) 2 _Christians_, _i_ (in _will_)
     3 _Turks_, _a_ (in _fame_) 1 _Christian_, _e_ (in _fame_) 2
     _Turks_, _e_ (in _de_) 2 _Christians_, _a_ (in _part_) 1 _Turk_.

     "The invention of the said Rule and such like, dependeth upon
     the subsequent demonstration, viz. if the number of persons be
     thirty, let thirty figures or cyphers be placed circularly or
     else in a right line as you see:--


I trust the little Winslows and their neighbors understood this sum,
and its explanation, and that the Christians were all saved, and the
Turks were all drowned.

Geography was an accomplishment rather than a necessary study,
and was spoken of as a diversion for a winter's evening. Many
objections were made that it took the scholar's attention away
from "cyphering." It was not taught in the elementary schools till
this century. _Morse's Geography_ was not written till after the
Revolution. It had a mean little map of the United States, only a
few inches square. On it all the land west of the Mississippi River
was called Louisiana, and nearly all north of the Ohio River, the
Northwestern Territory. Small as the book was, and meagre as was
its information, many of its pages were devoted to short, stilted
dialogues between a teacher and pupil, in which the scholar was made
to say such priggish sentences:--

     "I am very thankful, sir, for your entertaining instruction, and
     I shall never forget what you have been telling me.

     "I long, sir, for to-morrow to come that I may hear more of your

     "I am truly delighted, sir, with the account you have given me
     of my country. I wish, sir, it may be agreeable to you to give
     me a more particular description of the United States.

     "I hope, sir, I have a due sense of your goodness to me. I have,
     sir, very cheerfully, and I trust very profitably, attended your

A rather amusing _Geographical Catechism_ was published in 1796,
by Rev. Henry Pattillo, a Presbyterian minister of North Carolina,
for the use of the university students. It is properly and
Presbyterianly religious. It gives this explanation of comets:--

     "Their uses are mere conjecture. Some judge them the seats of
     punishment where sinners suffer the extremes of heat and cold.
     Mr. Whiston says a comet approaching the sun brushed the earth
     with its tail and caused the deluge, and that another will cause
     the conflagration."

Let us not be too eager to jeer at these ancient school-books. Pope
wrote nearly two centuries ago:

    "Still is to-morrow wiser than to-day
     We think our fathers fools so wise we grow.
     Our wiser sons no doubt will think us so."

Perhaps the series of text-books which have chased each other in and
out of our nineteenth-century public schools under the successive
boards of commissioners and school committees who have also flashed
briefly on our educational horizon, may cut no better figure two
centuries hence than do those of Lilly and Pike and Cocker.



    _Ink alwais good store on right hand to stand
    Brown paper for great haste or else box of sand.
    Dip pen and shake pen and touch pen for haire
    Wax, quills and penknife see alwais ye beare._

    --_A New Book of Hands, 1650 circa._

In glancing over old school contracts it will be noted that in a
majority of cases the teacher is specified as a writing-master;
without doubt the chief requisite of a satisfactory teacher in
colonial days was that he should be a good teacher of penmanship.

We have seen in our own day distinct changes in the handwriting
of an entire generation; the colonists whose lives ended with the
seventeenth century had a characteristic handwriting which retained
certain elements of old English, even of mediæval script. It was a
handsome and dignified chirography and an impressive one, and was
usually easy to read. The writing of the first Pilgrim and Puritan
fathers was not over-good. Governor John Winthrop's was not much
better than Horace Greeley's. Bradford's we are familiar with
through the beautiful facsimiles of his _Relation_.

The first half of the succeeding century did not send forth such
good writers; nor did it send forth writers so universally; the
proportion of signatures to public documents by cross instead of
writing increased. Our grandparents and great-grandparents all wrote
well. In hundreds of century-old letters which I have examined an
ill-written letter is an exception. Children at the close of the
eighteenth century wrote beautifully rounded, clear, and uniform
hands, if we can judge from their copy-books. Little Anna Green
Winslow, writing in 1771, showed page after page in a hand far
better than that of most girls of her age to-day.

Claude Blanchard was commissary of supplies for the French army
which landed in Newport in 1780. He visited the Newport school and
gave this tribute to the scholars:--

     "I saw the writing of these children, it appeared to me to be
     handsome; among others that of a young girl nine or ten years
     old, very pretty and very modest, and such as I would like my
     own daughter to be when she is so old; she was called Abigail
     Earle, as I perceived upon her copy-book, on which her name was
     written. I wrote it myself, adding to it 'very pretty.'"

An "exhibition piece" is here given of the penmanship of Anne
Reynolds, a little girl of Norwich, Connecticut, who died shortly
after this "piece" was written.

Writing-masters were universally honored in every community. A part
of the funeral notice of one in Boston, who died in 1769, reads

     "Last Friday morning died Mr. Abiah Holbrook in this town. He
     was looked upon by the best Judges as the Greatest Master of
     the pen we ever had among us, of which he has left a beautiful

This "beautiful demonstration" of his penmanship was a most
intricate piece of what was known as fine knotting, or knotwork. It
was said to be "written in all the known hands of Great Britain,"
and was valued at £100. It was bequeathed to Harvard College unless
it was bought by the Revolutionary patriot, John Hancock, who had
been one of Master Holbrook's pupils and, as we know from the fine
bold signature of his own name to the Declaration of Independence,
was a very creditable scholar.

[Illustration: Exhibition "Piece" of Anne Reynolds]

This work had occupied every moment of what Abiah Holbrook called
his "spare time" for seven years. As he had, in the year 1745, two
hundred and twenty scholars at one time in one school, his spare
time must have been very short. He and other writing-masters of the
Holbrook family left behind a still nobler demonstration than this
knotwork in the handwriting of their scholars--Boston ministers,
merchants, statesmen, and patriots--whose elegant penmanship really
formed a distinct style, and was known as "Boston Style of Writing."

The "hands of Great Britain" were many in number; among them Saxon,
Old Mss., Chancery, Gothic, Running Court, Exchequer, Pipe Office,
Engrossing, Running Secretary, Round Text, and the "Lettre Frisee,"
which was minutely and regularly zigzagged.

A well-known Boston writing-master was familiarly known as Johnny
Tileston. He was born in 1738 and taught till 1823, when he was
pensioned off. He was a rough-mannered old fellow; his chief address
to the scholars being the term, "You gnurly wretch." His ideal was
his own teacher, Master Proctor, and when late in life he saw a
scholar wipe his pen on a bit of cloth, he approached the desk,
lifted the rag and said, "What's this? Master Proctor had no such
thing." Tileston himself always wiped his pens with his little
finger and in turn dried his finger on his own white hairs under his
wig. An old spelling-book has these lines for a "writing-copy ":--

    "X things a penman should have near at hand--
     Paper, pomice, pen, ink, knife, horn, rule, plummet, wax, sand."

It will be noted that a penwiper is not upon the list.

[Illustration: Writing-master's Initial]

In olden times but one kind of a pen was used, one cut from a
goose-quill with the feathers left on the handle. The selection and
manufacture of these goose-quill pens was a matter of considerable
care in the beginning, and of constant watchfulness and "mending"
till the pen was worn out. One of the indispensable qualities of
a colonial schoolmaster was that he was a good pen maker and pen
mender. It often took the master and usher two hours to make the
pens for the school. Boys studied arithmetic at eleven years of age,
but were not allowed to make pens in school till they were twelve
years old.

Ink was not bought in convenient liquid form as at present; each
family, each person had to be an ink manufacturer. The favorite
method of ink-making was through the dissolving of ink-powder.
Liquid ink was but seldom seen for sale. In remote districts of
Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts, home-made ink, feeble and
pale, was made by steeping the bark of swamp-maple in water, boiling
the decoction till thick, and diluting it with copperas. Each child
brought to school an ink-bottle or ink-horn filled with the varying
fluid of domestic manufacture.

[Illustration: Writing of Abiah Holbrook]

A book called _The District School_, written as late as 1834, shows
the indifferent quality of the ink used. The writer complains that
the parents made a poor ink of vinegar, water, and ink-powder, which
the child could not use, and permitted to dry up while he borrowed
of the teacher. The inkstand is then "used at the evening meetings
as a candlestick." Other inkstands with good ink are seized and used
for the same purpose and the ink ruined with grease and nothing left
to write with when the teacher sets his scholars to work.

There are no remains of olden times that put us more closely in
touch with the men, women, and children who moved and lived in these
shadowy days than do the letters they wrote. Old James Howell said
over two centuries ago: "Letters are the Idea and the truest Miror
of the Mind; they shew the Inside of a Man." Certainly the most
imaginative mind must be touched with a sense of nearness to the
heart of the writer whose yellowed pages he unfolds and whose fading
words he deciphers. The roll of centuries cannot dim the power of
written words.

In the Prince Library, in Boston, are the manuscripts known under
the various titles of the _Mather Papers_, the _Cotton Papers_,
the _Torrey Papers_, etc. They are delightful to see and to read,
for the ink is still clear and black, the paper firm and good, the
letters well-formed, and the text breathes a spirit of kindness,
affection, and loving thoughtfulness that speaks of the beauty
of Puritan home life. Some of the letters are written by Puritan
women; and these letters are uniformly well spelt, well written,
and intelligent. Perhaps only intelligent women were taught to
write. These letters are on fine Dutch paper; there was no English
writing-paper till the time of William and Mary. They are carefully
folded with due regard to the etiquette of letter-folding, and
plainly and neatly addressed.

The letters are very tender and gentle; sometimes they are written
to children; they begin, "My deare Child"; "My Indear'd Sonn"; "To
my dearly loved Friend and Child." One ends, "With my Indeared Love,
committing thyself and thy duty and service to all our friends, and
to the protection of the Almighty, I am thine." A mother addresses
on the outside her letter to her son in these words, "To my very
good friend, These Present," etc. John Cotton addresses a letter
externally thus: "These, For the Reverend, his very deare Brother,
Mr. Increase Mather, Teacher of a Church at Boston, Present."
Sometimes the address ran, "Messenger present these to, etc." Hence
it may be seen that the word "Present" sometimes seen on modern
letters properly is the imperative verb Present. Occasionally the
words "Haste! post haste!" were seen, as on English letters, but I
have never seen the old postal inscription, "Haste! post, haste! on
your Life! on your Life!"

A very genuine and pleasing letter was written by John Quincy Adams
when he was nine years old to his father, President John Adams:--

     "BRAINTREE, June the 2nd, 1777.

     "DEAR SIR: I love to receive letters very well, much better than
     I love to write them. I make but a poor figure at composition,
     my head is much too fickle, my thoughts are running after bird's
     eggs, play, and trifles till I get vexed with myself. I have but
     just entered the 3rd vol of Smollett tho' I had design'd to have
     got it half through by this time. I have determined this week
     to be more diligent, as Mr. Thaxter will be absent at Court, &
     I cannot persue my other studies. I have set myself a Stent &
     determine to read the 3rd Volume Half out. If I can but keep
     my resolution, I will write again at the end of the week and
     give a better account of myself. I wish, Sir, you would give
     me some instructions with regard to my time & advise me how to
     proportion my Studies & my Play, in writing I will keep them by
     me & endeavour to follow them. I am, dear Sir, with a present
     determination of growing better yours. P.S. Sir, if you will be
     so good as to favour me with a Blank Book, I will transcribe the
     most remarkable occurrences I meet with in my reading which will
     serve to fix them upon my mind."

We cannot wonder at the precision and elegance of the letter-writing
of our forbears, when we know the "painful" precepts of parents
in regard to their children's penmanship and composition. In the
letters written by Ephraim Williams, a plain New England farmer,
from his home in Stockbridge in the years 1749 _et seq._ to his son
Elijah, while the latter was in Princeton College, is shown the
respect felt for a good handwriting. Nearly every letter had some
such sentences as these:--

     "I would intreet you to endeavour daily to Improve yourself in
     writting and spelling; they are very ornimentall to a scholar
     and the want of them is an exceeding great Blemish."

     [Illustration: David Waite, Seven Years Old]

     "I desire you would observe in your Wrighting to make proper
     Distances between words; don't blend your words together use
     your utmost endeavours to spell well; consult all Rules likely
     to help you; Such words as require it allways begin with
     a capitoll Letter, it will much Grace your wrighting. Try to
     mend your hand in wrighting every day all Opportunities you can
     possibly get. Observe strictly Gentlemen's meathod of wrighting
     and superscribing, it may be of service to you: you can scarce
     conceive what a vast disadvantage it will be to leave the
     Colledg and not be able to write and spell well. Learn to write
     a pretty fine Hand as you may have Ocation."

He urges him to study the spelling rules laid down in the _Youth's
Instructor in the English Tounge_, and tells him not to follow his
(the father's) writing for an example as he has "but common English
learning." He reproves, admonishes, and finally says Elijah's
sisters will prove better scholars than he is if he does not have a
care, which was a bitter taunt.

Major Dulany of Maryland wrote to his little daughter some very
intelligent advice, of which these lines are a portion:--

     "In letter writing as in conversation it will be found that
     those who substitute the design of distinguishing themselves
     for that of giving pleasure to those whom they address must
     ever fail. Having decided upon what is proper to be said
     accustom yourself to express it in the best possible manner.
     Always use the words that most exactly correspond with the
     ideas you mean to express. There are fewer synonymous words in
     our language than is generally supposed, as you will find in
     looking over your Dictionary. It has been remembered upon as
     a great excellence of Gen'l Washington's writings that no one
     could substitute a single word which could so well express his
     meaning. I have heard (whether it be true or not I cannot say)
     that for seven years of his life he never wrote without having
     his Dictionary before him."

The letters of Aaron Burr, written at a little later period to
his beloved daughter Theodosia, show as unvarying and incessant
pains to form perfection in letter-writing, as was displayed by
Lord Chesterfield in his letters to his son. When she was but
ten or twelve we find Burr giving her minute instruction as to
her penmanship; its size, shape, the formation of sentences, the
spelling, the exact use of synonyms. He sends her sentences bidding
her return them in a more elegant form, to translate them into
Latin. He exhorts her to study the meaning, use, and etymology of
every word in his letter. He has her keep for him a daily journal
written in a narrative style. Even when on trial for treason in 1808
he still instructed her, reproving her for her negligent failure to
acknowledge letters received. He commended her style, saying she had
energy and aptitude of expression; altogether I can fancy no rule
of correct epistolary conduct left unsaid by Burr to his daughter.
That he had a high opinion of her powers we cannot doubt; but the
specimens of her composition that exist show no great brilliancy or

As books multiplied after the Revolution, many letters were modelled
on effusions that had been seen and admired in print: this at a loss
of much naturalness and quaintness of expression. Letter-writing
guides formed the most pernicious influence. Miss Stoughton of East
Windsor inviting sprightly Nancy Williams of East Hartford to a gay
party began her note in this surprising way: "Worthy Lady."

Children (and grown people too) had a very reprehensible habit of
scribbling in their books. Of course each owner wrote his name, with
more or less elegance and accompanying flourishes, according to his
capacity. Some very valuable autographs have by this means been
preserved. A single title-page will often bear the names of several
owners. They also wrote various rhymes and sentiments, which might
be gathered under the head of title-page lore.

The most ancient rhyme I have seen is dated 1635 and is in an
ancient _Cocker's Arithmetic_:--

    "John Greene (or Graves), his book
     God give Him Grace theirein to look
     Not oneley to look, but to Understand
     That Larning is better than House or Land."

This rhyme is frequently seen, sometimes with the added lines:--

    "When Land is Gone and Money Spent
     Then Larning is most excellent.
             If this you See
             Remember Me."

Another rhyme is:--

    "Steal not this Book for if You Do
     The Devil will be after You.

Longer and more formal rhymes are found in the books of older
owners. Occasionally a child's book had a valentine sentiment, or a
riddle, or a drawing of hearts and darts; crude pictures of Indians
and horses are many. I have seldom found verses from the Bible or
religious sentiments written in childish hands. Whether this is the
result of profound respect or of indifference I cannot tell. As a
special example of book scribbling, one of historical interest is
given, a page of the famous "White Bible," which contains the entry,
much disputed of genealogical and historical societies, that John
Howland married Governor Carver's "grand-darter."

[Illustration: Page from "White" Bible]



    _And such his judgment, so exact his text
    As what was best in bookes as what bookes best,
    That had he join'd those notes his labours tooke
    From each most praised and praise-deserving booke,
    And could the world of that choise treasure boast
    It need not care though all the rest were lost:
    And such his wit, he writ past what he quotes
    And his productions farre exceed his notes._

    --_Eglogue on the Death of Ben Jonson,_
          _Lucius Cary, Lord Falkland, 1637._

Grown folk had in colonial days a habit of keeping diaries and
making notes in interleaved almanacs, but they are not of great
value to the historian; for they are not what Wordsworth declared
such compositions should be, namely, "abundant in observation
and sparing of reflection." They are instead barren of accounts
of happenings, and descriptions of surroundings, and are chiefly
devoted to weather reports and moral and religious reflections,
both original and in the form of sermon and lecture notes. The
note-taking habit of Puritan women was held up by such detractors
as Bishop Earle as one of their most contemptible traits. To-day
we can simply deplore it as having been such a vain thing; for
it is certainly true, no matter how deeply religious in feeling
any one of the present day may be, that to the modern mind a long
course of the pious sentiments and religious aspirations of others
is desperately tiresome reading. Such records were not tiresome,
however, to those of Puritan faith; there were but few old-time
diaries which were not composed on those lines. The chief exception
is that historical treasure-house, Judge Sewall's diary, which shows
plainly, also, the deep religious feeling of its author. Another
of more restricted interest, but of value, is that of Dr. Parkman,
the Westborough minister. Governor Winthrop's _History_ has much of
the diary element in it. Naturally, the diaries of children copied
in quality and wording those of their elders. A unique exception in
these youthful records is the journal of a year or two of the life
of a Boston schoolgirl, Anna Green Winslow. Fortunately, little
Anna's desire to report the sermons she had heard at the Old South
Church, and to moralize in ambitious theological comments thereon,
was checked by the sensible aunt with whom she lived, who said,
"A Miss of 12 years cant possibly do justice to nice Subjects
in Divinity, and therefore had better not attempt a repetition of
particulars." We, therefore, have a story of her life, not of her
thoughts; and many references to her diary appear in this volume.

[Illustration: Anna Green Winslow]

It is curious and interesting to note how Puritan traits and habits
lingered in generation after generation, and outlived change
of environment and mode of living. In 1630, Rev. John White of
Dorchester, England, brought out a Puritan colony which settled
in Massachusetts, and named the village Dorchester, after their
English home. In 1695, a group of the descendants of these settlers
once more emigrated to "Carolina." Tradition asserts that they were
horrified at the persecution of witches in Massachusetts. Upham
names one Daniel Andrew as a man who protested so vigorously against
the prevailing folly and persecution, that he was compelled to fly
to South Carolina. Thomas Staples was fearless enough to sue and
obtain judgment against the Deputy Governor for saying Goodwife
Staples was a witch, and members of his family went also to South

With loyalty to their two Dorchester homes, a third Dorchester, in
South Carolina, was named. They built a good church which is still
standing, though the village has entirely disappeared, and the
site is overgrown with large trees. Indian wars, poor government,
church oppression, and malaria once more drove forth these undaunted
Puritans to found a fourth Dorchester in Georgia. In 1752, they
left in a body, took up a grant of twenty-two thousand acres in St.
John's Parish, and formed the Midway Church. Their meeting-house
was headquarters for the Whigs during the Revolution, was burned by
the British, rebuilt in 1790, and is still standing. In it meetings
are held every spring by hundreds of the descendants of its early
members, though it is remote from railroads, and swamps and pine
barrens have taken the place of smiling rice and cotton fields.

Stories of the rigidity of church government of these people still
exist. The tradition of one child who smiled in Midway Church was
for generations held up with horror, "as though she had hoofs and
horns." There attended this church a descendant of both Andrew and
Staples, the scoffers at witches, one Mary Osgood Sumner. She had a
short and sad life. Married at eighteen she was a widow at twenty,
and with her sister, Mrs. Holmes (an aunt of Oliver Wendell Holmes),
and another sister, Anne, sailed from Newport to New York, "and were
never heard of more."

[Illustration: Pages from the Diary of Mary Osgood Sumner]

She left behind her sermon notes and a "Monitor," or diary, which
had what she called a black list of her childish wrong-doings,
omissions of duty, etc., while the white list showed the duties she
performed. Though she was evidently absolutely conscientious these
are the only entries on the "Black Leaf":--

     "July 8. I left my staise on the bed.

       "   9. Misplaced Sister's sash.

       "  10. Spoke in haste to my little Sister, spilt the cream on
                    the floor in the closet.

       "  12. I left Sister Cynthia's frock on the bed.

       "  16. I left the brush on the chair; was not diligent in
                    learning at school.

       "  17. I left my fan on the bed.

       "  19. I got vexed because Sister was a-going to cut my frock.

       "  22. Part of this day I did not improve my time well.

       "  30. I was careless and lost my needle.

     Aug.  5. I spilt some coffee on the table."

Not a very heinous list.

Here are entries from the good page of her little "Monitor":--


     "July 8. I went and said my Catechism to-day. Came home and
     wrote down the questions and answers, then dressed and went to
     the dance, endeavoured to behave myself decent.

     " 11. I improved my time before breakfast; after breakfast made
     some biscuits and did all my work before the sun was down.

     " 12. I went to meeting and paid good attention to the sermon,
     came home and wrote down as much of it as I could remember.

     " 17. I did everything before breakfast; endeavored to improve
     in school; went to the funeral in the afternoon, attended to
     what was said, came home and wrote down as much as I could

     " 25. A part of this day I parsed and endeavored to do well and
     a part of it I made some tarts and did some work and wrote a

     " 27. I did everything this morning same as usual, went to
     school and endeavored to be diligent; came home and washed the
     butter and assisted in getting coffee.

     " 28. I endeavored to be diligent to-day in my learning, went
     from school to sit up with the sick, nursed her as well as I

     " 30. I was pretty diligent at my work to-day and made a pudding
     for dinner.

     Aug. 1. I got some peaches for to stew after I was done washing
     up the things and got my work and was midlin Diligent.

     " 4. I did everything before breakfast and after breakfast got
     some peaches for Aunt Mell and then got my work and stuck pretty
     close to it and at night sat up with Sister and nursed her as
     good as I could.

     " 8. I stuck pretty close to my work to-day and did all that
     Sister gave me and after I was done I swept out the house and
     put the things to rights.

     " 9. I endeavored to improve my time to-day in reading and
     attending to what Brother read and most of the evening I was

I have given this record of this monotonous young life in detail,
simply to prove the simplicity of the daily round of a child's life
at that time. The pages prove with equal force the domination of
the Puritan temperament, a nervous desire and intent to be good,
and industrious, and attentive, and helpful. We seldom meet that
temperament in children nowadays; and when we do it is sure to be,
as in this case, a Puritan inheritance.

John Quincy Adams, when eleven years old, determined to write a
Journal, and he thus lucidly and sensibly explains his intentions to
his mother:--

     "HONOURED MAMMA: My Pappa enjoins it upon me to keep a journal,
     or diary of the Events that happen to me, and of objects I see,
     and of Characters that I converse with from day to day; and
     altho' I am convinced of the utility, importance, & necessity
     of this Exercise, yet I have not patience & perseverance enough
     to do it so Constantly as I ought. My Pappa, who takes a great
     deal of Pains to put me in the right way, has also advised
     me to Preserve copies of all my letters, and has given me a
     Convenient Blank Book for this end; and altho' I shall have
     the mortification a few years hence to read a great deal of my
     Childish nonsense, yet I shall have the Pleasure and advantage
     of Remarking the several steps by which I shall have advanced in
     taste judgment and knowledge. A journal Book & a letter Book of
     a Lad of Eleven years old can not be expected to contain much
     of Science, Litterature, arts, wisdom or wit, yet it may serve
     to perpetuate many observations that I may make & may hereafter
     help me to recolect both Persons & things that would other ways
     escape my memory.... My father has given me hopes of a Pencil
     & Pencil Book in which I can make notes upon the spot to be
     transferred afterwards to my Diary, and my letters, this will
     give me great pleasure, both because it will be a sure means of
     improvement to myself & make me to be more entertaining to you.

     "I am my ever honoured and revered Mamma your Dutiful &
     Affectionate Son.


[Illustration: Joshua Carter, Four Years Old, 1765]

I believe this diary, so carefully decided upon, does not now exist.
The Adams family preserved a vast number of family papers, but this
was not among them. I am sorry; for I find John Quincy Adams a very
pleasing child. When he was about seven years old, his father was
away from home as a delegate to a Congress in Philadelphia which
sought to secure unity of action among the rebellious colonies.
His patriotic mother taught her boy in their retreat at Braintree
to repeat daily each morning, with the Lord's Prayer, Collins'
inspiring ode beginning, "How sleep the brave who sink to rest,"
etc. Later in life 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 into Boston
     as hostages. My mother lived in unintermitted 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. I saw with my own eyes those fires,
     and heard Britannia's thunders in the Battle of Bunker Hill, and
     witnessed the tears of my mother and mingled them with my own."

The mother took her boy by the hand and mounted a height near their
home and showed him the distant signs of battle. Thus she fixed
an impression of a war for liberty on his young memory. Two years
later, to relieve her anxious and tedious waiting for intelligence
from her husband, the boy became "post rider" for her between
Braintree and Boston, which towns were eleven miles apart--not a
light or easy task, for the nine-year-old boy with the unsettled
roads and unsettled times. The spirit of patriotism which filled
the mind of all grown folk was everywhere reflected in the minds of
the children. Josiah Quincy was at school in Andover from 1778 to
1786, and he stated that he and his schoolmates had as a principle,
as a schoolboy law, that every hoop, sled, etc., should in some
way bear _thirteen_ marks. This was evidence of the good political
character of the owner; and if the marks were wanting the article
was contraband, was seized and forfeited without judge, jury, or
power of appeal.

Besides journal keeping, folks of that day had a useful custom of
keeping a commonplace book; that is, they wrote out in a blank-book
memorable sentences or words which attracted their attention or
admiration in the various books they read, or made abstracts or
notes of the same. Cotton Mather tells of such note making by young
students. This writing out of aphorisms, statements, etc., not
only fixed them in the memory, but kept them where the memory, if
faulty, could easily be assisted. It also served as practice in
penmanship. A verb, to commonplace, came from this use of the word.
The biography of Francis North, Baron Guildford, gave an account
which explains fully commonplacing:--

     "It was his lordship's constant practice to commonplace as he
     read. He had no bad memory but was diffident and would not
     trust it. He acquired a very small but legible hand, for where
     contracting is the main business (of law) it is not well to
     write as the fashion now is, in uncial or semi-uncial letters
     to look like a pig's ribs. His writing on his commonplaces was
     not by way of index but epitome: because he used to say the
     looking over a commonplace book on any occasion gave him a sort
     of survey of what he had read about matters not then inquisited,
     which refreshed them somewhat in his memory."

People invented methods of keeping commonplace books and gave rules
and instructions in commonplacing. I have seen several commonplace
books, made by children of colonial times; pathetic memorials, in
every case, of children who died in early youth. Tender and loving
hearts have saved those little unfinished records of childish
reading, after the way of mothers and fathers till the present day,
whose grieved affections cannot bear the thought even of reverent
destruction of the irregular writing of a dearly loved child whose
hands are folded in death. One of these books with scantily filled
pages was tied with a number of note-books of an old New England
minister, and in the father's handwriting on the first leaf were
these words:--

     "Fifty years ago died my little John. A child of promise. Alas!
     alas! January 10th, 1805."

[Illustration: Page from Diary of Anna Green Winslow]

The matter read by those children is clearly indicated by their
commonplace books. One entry shows evidence of light reading. It is
of riddles which are headed "Guesses"; they are the ones familiar to
us all in _Mother Goose's Melodies_ to-day. The answers are written
in a most transparent juvenile shorthand. Thus the answer, "Well,"
is indicated by the figures 23, 5, 12, 12, referring to the position
of the letters in the alphabet.

The usual entries are of a religious character; extracts from
sermons, answers from the catechism, verses of hymns, accompany
stilted religious aspirations and appeals. In them a painful
familiarity with and partiality for quotations bearing on hell and
the devil show the religious teaching of the times.



    _Where babies, much to their surprise,
    Were born astonishingly wise;
    With every Science on their lips,
    And Latin at their finger-tips._

    --_Bab Ballads. W. S. Gilbert, 1877._

The seventeenth century was in Europe a period of eager development
and hasty harvesting; English boys were made serious-minded by the
conditions they saw around them, as well as by a forcing-house
system of education, begun at very early years. This early ageing
is reflected in the writings of the times. The _Religio Medici_,
apparently the composition of a man of the large experience and
serene contemplation of extreme age, was written by Sir Thomas
Browne when he was but thirty.

[Illustration: Samuel Torrey, Twelve Years Old, 1770]

There are many records of the precocity of children, preserved for
us many times, alas! through the sad recounting of early deaths. One
of the most pathetic records of a father's blasted hopes may be
found in the pages of the diary of John Evelyn. In December, 1658,
died his little son, Richard, five years and three days old. He was
a prodigy of wit and learning, as beautiful as an angel, and of rare
mental endowment. His father's account of his acquirements runs

     "He had learned all his catechism at two years and a half old;
     he could perfectly read any of the English, Latin, French, or
     Gothic letters, pronouncing the first three languages exactly.
     He had, before the fifth year, or in that year, not only skill
     to read most written hands, but to decline all the nouns,
     conjugate the verbs regular, and most of the irregular; learned
     out Puerelis, got by heart almost the entire vocabulary of Latin
     and French primitives and words, could make congruous syntax,
     turn English into Latin, and vice versa, construe and prove what
     he read, and did the government and use of relatives, verbs,
     substantives, ellipses and many figures and tropes, and made
     a considerable progress in Comenius' Janua; begun himself to
     write legibly and had a strong passion for Greek. The number of
     verses he could recite was prodigious, and what he remembered of
     the parts of plays which he would also act; and, when seeing a
     Plautus in one's hand, he asked what book it was, and being told
     it was comedy and too difficult for him, he wept for sorrow.
     Strange was his apt and ingenious application of fables and
     morals, for he had read Æsop; he had a wonderful disposition
     to mathematics, having by heart divers propositions of Euclid
     that were read to him in play, and he would make lines and
     demonstrate them. He had learned by heart divers sentences
     in Latin and Greek which on occasion he would produce even
     to wonder. He was all life, all prettiness, far from morose,
     sullen, or childish in any thing he said or did."

Of course this is not given as an ordinary education of an every-day
child. It is an extraordinary record of a very unusual child, but
it shows what an intelligent child could be permitted to do. Evelyn
was a man of great good sense; not the sort of man who would force
a child; indeed he averred that he abhorred precocity. But in truth
it was a time in England's history when such a child could easily be
overstimulated, when public events, the course of history, was so
exciting that every child of keen wit must have felt the effects.

The crowding of young minds did not end with the seventeenth
century. A striking example of the desire to press education is
found in the letters of Lord Chesterfield to his son, beginning in
1738, when the boy was not six years old. The language and subjects
would be deemed to-day suited only to mature minds. In 1741 the
father wrote:--

     "This is the last letter I shall write to you as a little boy,
     for to-morrow you will attain your ninth year; so that for the
     future, I shall treat you as a youth. You must now commence a
     different course of life, a different course of studies. No more
     levity. Childish toys and playthings must be thrown aside, and
     your mind directed to serious objects. What was not unbecoming
     to a child would be disgraceful to a youth" etc.

Letter after letter continued in this tone. For years was the
process carried on. The result was a striking proof of the futility
of such methods. The son died when but little past his youth, a
failure in everything the father had most fondly desired and striven
for. The crowded brain ever stumbled and hesitated when put to any
important test.

It was inevitable that New England parents, with their fairly
passionate intensity of zeal for the education of their children,
should in many cases overstimulate and force the infant minds in
their charge. It seems somewhat anomalous with the almost universal
distrust and hindrance of female education that one of the most
precocious flowers of Puritanism should have been a girl, the "pious
and ingenious Mrs. Jane Turell," who was born in Boston in 1708.
Before her second year was finished she could speak distinctly, knew
her letters, and "could relate many stories out of the Scriptures
to the satisfaction and pleasure of the most judicious." Governor
Dudley and other "wise and polite" New England gentlemen were among
those entitled "judicious," who placed her on a table to show off
her acquirements. When she was three years old she could recite the
greater part of the _Assembly's Catechism_, many of the psalms, many
lines of poetry, and read distinctly; at the age of four she "asked
many astonishing questions about divine mysteries."

As her father was President of Harvard College, it may be inferred
she had an extended reading course; but in a catalogue of Harvard
College library printed a year or two later there is not a title
in it of any of the works of Addison, or any of the poems of Pope,
nothing of Dryden, Steele, Young, or Prior. In 1722, when Jane
Turell was twenty years old, the works of Shakespeare were first
advertised for sale in Boston.

[Illustration: The Copley Family]

In many families of extreme Puritanical thought, the children
developed at an early age a comprehension of religious matters
which would seem abnormal to-day, but was natural then. A striking
instance of this youthful development (as he was of highly sensitive
thought of every description) was Jonathan Edwards. A letter of his
written when he was twelve years old is certainly precocious in its
depth, though there is a certain hint of humor in it. Some one had
stated the belief that the soul was material and remained in the
body until after the resurrection. Young Edwards wrote:--

     "I am informed y^t you have advanced a notion y^t the soul is
     material and keeps w^th y^e body till y^e resurrection. As
     I am a profest lover of novelty you must alow me to be much
     entertained by this discovery. 1^st. I w^d know whether this
     material soul keeps w^th in ye Coffin, and if so whether it
     might not be convenient to build a repository for it in order
     w^ch I w^d know w^t shape it is of whether round, triangular
     or foresquare or whether it is a number of long fine strings
     reaching from y^e head to y^e foot, and whether it does not
     live a very discontented life. I am afraid when ye Coffin gives
     way ye Earth will fall in and crush it, but if it should chuse
     to live above Ground and hover above y^e Grave how big it is,
     whether it covers all ye body, or is assined to y^e Head or
     Breast, w^t it does when another Body is laid upon it. Souls are
     not so big but y^t 10 or a dozen of y^m may be about one body
     whether yy will not quarrill for y^e highest place."

His paper on spiders, written when he was but twelve, has become
famous as a bit of childish composition. It shows great habits of
observance, care in note-taking, and logical reasoning; and bears no
evidence of youth either in matter or manner.

A typical example of the spirit of the times in regard to juvenile
education is found in the letters of Mrs. Pinckney. She writes to a

     "Shall I give you the trouble my dear Madam to buy my son a new
     toy (a description of which I inclose) to teach him according
     to Mr. Locke's method (which I have carefully studied) to play
     himself into learning. Mr. Pinckney (his father) himself has
     been contriving a sett of toys to teach him his letters by the
     time he can speak. You perceive we begin betimes for he is not
     yet four months old."

This toy may have been what is known to-day as a set of alphabet
blocks, a commonplace toy. Locke speaks of a game of dice with
letters with which children could play a game like "royal-oak," and
through which they would learn to spell. He was not the inventor of
these "letter-dice," as is generally asserted. It was a stratagem of
Sir Hugh Plat, fully explained and illustrated in his _Jewel House
of Art and Nature_, printed in London in 1653, a portion of a page
of which is shown here.

The toy seems to have been a success, for the following year Mrs.
Pinckney writes to her sister:--

     "Your little nephew not yet two and twenty months old prattles
     very intelligibly: he gives his duty to you and thanks for the
     toys, and desires me to tell his Aunt Polly that if she don't
     take a care and a great deal of pains in her learning, he will
     soon be the best scholar, for he can tell his letters in any
     book without hesitation, and begins to spell before he is two
     years old."

This precocious infant, afterward General Charles Cotesworth
Pinckney of Revolutionary fame, declared in his later life that this
early teaching was sad stuff, and that the haste to make him a very
clever fellow nearly made him a very stupid one.


_A ready way for children to learn their A.B.C._

Cau[f.]e 4 large dice of bone or wood to be made, and upon every
[f.]quare, one of the [f.]mal letters of the cro[f.]s row to be
graven, but in [f.]ome bigger [f.]hape, and the child u[f.]ing to
play much with them, and being alwayes told what letter chanceth,
will [f.]oon gain his Alphabet, as it were by the way of [f.]port or
pa[f.]time. I have heard of a pair of cards, whereon mo[f.]t of the
principall Grammer rules have been printed, and the School-Ma[f.]ter
hath found good [f.]port thereat with his [f.]chollers.

Facsimile from _Jewel House of Art and Nature_]

Little Martha Laurens, born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1759,
could, in her third year, "read any book"; and like many another
child since her day learned to read holding the book upside down.
Joseph T. Buckingham declared that when he was four years old he
knew by heart nearly all the reading lessons in the primer and much
of the _Westminster Catechism_.

Boys entered the Boston Latin School when as young as but six years
and a half old. They began to study Latin frequently when much
younger. Zealous and injudicious parents sometimes taught infants
but three years old to read Latin words as soon as they could
English ones. It redounds to the credit of the scholarship of one
of my kinsmen, rather than to his good sense or good temper (albeit
he was a minister of the Gospel) that each morning while he shaved,
his little son, five years of age, stood by his dressing-table,
on a footstool, and read Latin to his father, who had also a copy
of the same book open before him, that he might note and correct
the child's errors. And the child when grown to old age told his
children and grandchildren that his father, angered at what he
deemed slowness of progress, frequent errors of pronunciation, and
poor attempts at translation, would throw the book at the child, and
once felled him from the footstool to the floor.

[Illustration: Polly Flagg, One Year Old, 1751]

It is told of Timothy Dwight, President of Yale College, that he
learned the alphabet at a single lesson, and could read the Bible
before he was four years old, and taught it to his comrades. At
the age of six he was sent to the grammar school and importuned his
father to let him study Latin. Being denied he studied through the
Latin grammar twice without a teacher, borrowing a book of an older
boy. He would have been prepared for college when but eight years
old, had not the grammar school luckily discontinued and left him
without a teacher.

The curriculum at Harvard in olden times bore little resemblance
to that of to-day. Sciences were unknown, and the requirements in
mathematics were meagre. Still a boy needed even then to be clever
to know enough Greek and Latin to enter at eleven. Paul Dudley did
so in 1686. His father wrote to the president a quaint letter of

     "I have humbly to offer you a little, sober, and well-disposed
     son, who, tho' very young, if he may have the favour of
     admittance, I hope his learning may be tollerable: and for him
     I will promise that by your care and my care, his own Industry,
     and the blessing of God, this mother the University shall not be
     ashamed to allow him the place of a son--Appoint a time when he
     may be examined."

There were still younger college students. In 1799 there was
graduated from Rhode Island College (now Brown University) a boy
named John Pitman, who was barely fourteen.

There is no evidence that the early marriages, that is, marriages
of children and very young lads and girls, which were far from rare
in England during the first years of our colonial life, ever were
permitted in the new world. Nor were they as common at that date in
England as during the previous century, for there had been severe
legislation against them, especially against the youthful marriages
of poor folk.

Many have known of the juvenile weddings of English princes and
princesses and marriages by proxy for reasons of state; but few know
of these unions being general among English people. An interesting
and authoritative book on this subject was published in 1897 by the
_Early English Text Society_. Dr. Furnivall made a careful study of
the old court records of the town of Chester, England, and published
this account of trials and law cases concerning child-marriages,
divorces, ratifications, troth-plights, affiliations, clandestine
marriages, and other kindred matters. It is, as the editor says, a
"most light-giving" volume. It ranges over all classes, from people
of wealth, the manor owners and squires, to ale-house keepers,
farmers, cobblers, maids, and men. It tells of the marriages of
little children in their nurses' arms, some but two or three years
old, so young that their baby tongues could not speak the words
of matrimony. Various arrangements, chiefly relating to lands and
maintenance, led to these marriages, also a desire to evade the
Crown's guardianship of orphans. In one case, a "bigge damsell" of
twelve "intysed with two apples" a younger boy to marry her. "The
woman tempted me and I did eat." One little bridegroom of three
was held up in the arms of an English clergyman, who coaxed him to
repeat the words of the service. Before it was finished the child
said he would learn no more of his lesson that day. The parson
answered, "You must speak a little more and then go play yon." The
child-marriage of the Earl and Countess of Essex in 1606, resulting
in the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury, and the Countess' marriage
to the Earl of Somerset, is a well-known historical example of the
unhappy result of such marriages. The Earl of Anglesey's grandson
was married in 1673, when he was eight years old. Mary Hewitt of
Danton Basset was wedded in 1669, when three years old. In 1672
John Evelyn was present "at the marriage of Lord Arlington's only
daughter, a sweet child if there ever was any, aged five, to the
Duke of Grafton."

I have given the dates of these later child-marriages to show that
they were not unusual in England long after America was settled. As
late as 1729 a little English girl of some wealth and but nine years
old was taken from her boarding school by her guardian and married
to his son. Very differently did the upright New Englander regard
the duties of guardianship. A little girl named Rebecca Cooper was
left an orphan in early colonial days at Salem, Massachusetts. She
was "a verie good match," an "inheritrice," and the sharp eyes of
Emanuel Downing and his wife were upon her to "make a motion of
marriage" for their son. Both wrote to Governor Winthrop, Madam
Downing's brother, to gain his intercession in the matter, though
the maid had not been spoken to. Madam wrote:--

     "The disposition of the mayde and her education with Mrs.
     Endicott are hopefull, her person tollerable, the estate very
     convenient, and that is the state of the business."

Governor Endicott was the guardian and his answering letter to
Winthrop has a manly and honorable ring which might well have
sounded in the ears of all English guardians.

[Illustration: James Flagg, Five Years Old, 1744]

     "I am told you are sollicited in a busniss concerninge the girle
     which was putt to my warde and trust. I have not been made
     acquainted with it by you know whome, which, if there had been
     any such intendment, I think had been but reason. But to let
     that passe, I pray you advise not to stirre in it, for it will
     not be affected for reasons I shall show you....

     "The Lord knows I have alwais resolved (and so hath my wife ever
     since the girl came to vs) to yielde her vp to be disposed by
     yourself to any of yours if ever the Lord should make her fitt
     and worthie.

     "Now for the other for whom you writt. I confesse I cannot
     freelie yeald thereunto for the present, for these grounds.
     ffirst: The girle desires not to mary as yet. 2ndlee: Shee
     confesseth (which is the truth) hereselfe to be altogether yett
     vnfitt for such a condition, shee beinge a verie girl and but
     15 yeares of age. 3rdlie: Where the man was moved to her shee
     said shee could not like him. 4thlie: You know it would be of
     ill reporte that a girl because shee hath some estate should
     bee disposed of soe young, espetialie not having any parents to
     choose for her. ffifthlie: I have some good hopes of the child's
     coming on to the best thinges. And on the other side I fear--I
     will say no more. Other things I shall tell you when we meet.
     If this will not satisfy some, let the Court take her from mee
     and place with any other to dispose of her. I shall be content.
     Which I heare was plotted to accomplish this end; but I will
     further enquire about it, and you shall know if it be true, ffor
     I know there are many passages about this busniss which when you
     heare of you will not like."

It is pleasant to record that all this match-making and machination
came to naught. It would not have been strange if Governor Winthrop
had deemed this girl old enough to be married. He had been but
seventeen years old himself when he was married, but he was, so he
writes, "a man in stature and understanding." He evidently was of
the opinion that a child of fourteen or fifteen was of mature years.
When his son John was but fourteen the governor made a will making
the boy the executor of it.

These child-marriages were not abolished in America because maturity
or majority was established at a greater age; for up to the
Revolution boys reached man's estate at sixteen years of age, became
tax-payers, and served in the militia. Early unions were controlled
by restrictive laws, such as the one enacted in Massachusetts in
1646, that no female orphan during her minority should be given in
marriage by any one except with the approbation of the majority of
the selectmen of the town in which she resided. Another privilege
of the girl orphan was that at fourteen she could choose her own
guardian. Thus were children protected in the new world, and their
rights conserved.



    _My child and scholar take good heed
      unto the words that here are set,
    And see thou do accordingly
      or else be sure thou shalt be beat._

    --_The English Schoolmaster. Edward Coote, 1680._

The manner of oldtime children differed as much from the carriage of
children to-day as the severe and arbitrary modes of discipline of
colonial days differed from the persuasive explanations, the moral
inculcations and exhortations by which modern youth are influenced
to obedience. Parents, teachers, and ministers chanted in solemn and
unceasing chorus, "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child,"
and they believed the only cure for that foolishness was in stern
repression and sharp correction--above all in the rod. They found
abundant support for this belief in the Bible, their constant guide.

John Robinson, the Pilgrim preacher, said in his essay on _Children
and Their Education_:--

     "Surely there is in all children (though not alike) a stubbernes
     and stoutnes of minde arising from naturall pride which must in
     the first place be broken and beaten down that so the foundation
     of their education being layd in humilitie and tractablenes
     other virtues may in their time be built thereon. It is
     commendable in a horse that he be stout and stomackfull being
     never left to his own government, but always to have his rider
     on his back and his bit in his mouth, but who would have his
     child like his horse in his brutishnes?"

The chief field of the "breaking and beating down" process was in
school. English schoolmasters were proverbial for their severity,
and from earliest days; though monks with their classes are never
depicted with the rod.

We find Agnes Paston, in 1457, writing to London for word to be
delivered to the schoolmaster of her son Clement, who was then
sixteen years old:--

     "If he hath nought do well, nor wyll nought amend, pray hym that
     he wyll trewly belassch hym, tyll he wyll amend; and so did the
     last master, and the best that ever he had, at Cambridge. And
     say I wyll give hym X marks for hys labor, for I had lever he
     were beryed than lost for defaute."

[Illustration: Katherine Ten Broeck, Three Years Old, 1719]

She herself had "borne on hand" on her marriageable daughter;
beating her every week, sometime twice a day, "and her head
broken in two or three places." This seems to have been the usual
custom of the British matron in high life. Lady Jane Grey, when
she was fifteen years old, never came into the presence of her
father and mother but she was "sharply taunted, cruelly threatened,
yea, punished sometimes with pinches, nips, bobs, and other way."
Elizabeth, Lady Falkland, as long as her mother lived, always spoke
to that rigid lady while kneeling before her, "sometimes for more
than an hour together, though she was but an ill kneeler, and worse
riser." Poor Elizabeth! she was an only child, "an inheritrice"; but
she could truthfully aver she never was spoiled.

An early allusion to school discipline is in the _Boy Bishop's
Sermon_ from the press of Wynkyn de Worde, who died in 1535. It runs

     "There is no fault he doth but he is punished. Sometimes he
     wringeth him by the ear, sometimes he giveth him a strype on the
     hand with the ferrul, sometimes beateth him sharply with the

Great Cromwell was sent off to school with injunctions to the
master, Dr. Beard, to flog the boy soundly "for persisting in the
wickedness of the assertion" that he had had a vision and prophecy
of his future greatness. Dr. Johnson told of the unmerciful
beating he had by one Master Hunter, who was "very wrong-headedly
severe." He said the man never distinguished between ignorance
and negligence, and beat as hard for not knowing a thing as for
neglecting to know it, and as he whipped would shout, "This I do to
save you from the gallows." Still the Doctor was grateful for the
beatings, as he felt to them he owed his knowledge of Latin; and he
approved of the rod, saying of some well-behaved young ladies whose
mother had whipped them oft and heavily, in variation of one of
Shakespeare's lines, "_Rod_, I will honor thee for this thy duty."
His creed of correction was this:--

     "I would rather have the rod to be the general terror to all,
     to make them learn, than to tell a child, if you do this, or
     thus, you will be more esteemed than your brothers and sisters.
     The rod produces an effect which terminates in itself. A child
     is afraid of being whipped, and gets his task, and there's an
     end on't. Whereas, by exciting emulation and comparisons of
     superiority, you lay the foundation of lasting mischief; you
     make brothers and sisters hate each other."

The illustrations of old Dutch books that show school furniture,
have the odd ferules of monkish days, the flat ladle-shaped
pieces of wood which were distinctly for striking the palm of the
scholar's hand. The derivation of the word "ferule" is interesting.
It is from _ferula_, fennel. The tough stalks of the giant fennel
of Southern Europe were used by the Roman schoolmasters as an
instrument of castigation.

[Illustration: 21. THE DUNCE.

This is a sight to give us pain, Once seen ne'er wished to see again.

Illustration from _Plain Things for Little Folks_]

Old English lesson books of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, many, even, of the early years of this century, that have
any illustrations of classes, schoolmasters, or school interiors,
invariably picture the master with a rod or bunch of birch twigs.
An old herbalist says:--

     "I have not red of any vertue byrche hath in physick, howbeit it
     serveth many good uses, and none better than for the betynge of
     stubborn boyes, that either lye or will not learn."

Birch rods were tauntingly sold on London streets with a cry by
pedlers of "Buy my fine Jemmies; Buy my London Tartars." Even that
miserable _Dyves Pragmaticus_ enumerated "Fyne Rod for Children of
Wyllow and Burche" among his wares. A crowning insult was charging
the cost of birch rod on schoolboys' bills; and in some cases making
the boy pay for the birch out of his scant spending money.

Birch trees were plentiful in America--and whippings too. Scholars
in New England were not permitted to forget the methods of
discipline of "the good old days." Massachusetts schools resounded
with strokes of the rod. Varied instruments of chastisement were
known, from

    "A besomme of byrche for babes verye fit
     To a long lasting lybbet for lubbers as meet."

A lybbet was a billet of wood, and the heavy walnut stick of one
Boston master well deserved the name. A cruel inquisitor invented
an instrument of torture which he termed a flapper. It was a heavy
piece of leather six inches in diameter, with a hole in the middle.
This was fastened by an edge to a pliable handle. Every stroke on
the bare flesh raised a blister the size of the hole in the leather.
Equally brutal was the tattling stick, a cat-o'-nine-tails with
heavy leather straps. The whipping with this tattling stick was
ordered to be done upon "a peaked block"--whatever that may be. That
fierce Boston disciplinarian and patriot, Master Lovell, whipped
with strong birch rods, and made one culprit mount the back of
another scholar to receive his lashing. He called these whippings
trouncings, the good old English word of the Elizabethan dramatists.
Another brutal Boston master struck his scholars on the head with
a ferule, until this was forbidden by the school directors; he
then whipped the soles of the scholars' feet, and roared out in an
ecstasy of cruelty, "Oh! the Caitiffs! it is good for them."

There was sometimes an aftermath of sorrow, when our stern old
grandfathers whipped their children at home for being whipped at
school, so told Rev. Eliphalet Nott.

[Illustration: Whispering Sticks]

Many ingenious punishments were invented. A specially insulting one
was to send the pupil out to cut a small branch of a tree. A split
was made by the teacher at the severed end of the branch, and the
culprit's nose was placed in the cleft end. Then he was forced
to stand, painfully pinched, an object of ridicule. A familiar
punishment of the dame school, which lingered till our own day, was
the smart tapping of the child's head with a heavy thimble; this was
known as "thimell-pie." Another was to yoke two delinquents together
in a yoke made with two bows like an ox yoke. Sometimes times a
boy and girl were yoked together--a terrible disgrace. "Whispering
sticks" were used to preserve quiet in the schoolroom. Two are shown
here, wooden gags to be tied in the mouth with strings, somewhat as
a bit is placed in a horse's mouth. Children were punished by being
seated on a unipod, a stool with but a single leg, upon which it
was most tiring to try to balance; they were made to stand on dunce
stools and wear dunce caps and heavy leather spectacles; they were
labelled with large placards marked with degrading or ridiculous
names, such as "Tell-Tale," "Bite-Finger-Baby," "Lying Ananias,"
"Idle-Boy," and "Pert-Miss-Prat-a-Pace."

One of Miss Hetty Higginson's punishments in her Salem school at the
beginning of this century was to make a child hold a heavy book,
such as a dictionary, by a single leaf. Of course any restless
motion would tear the leaf. Her rewards of merit should be also
told. She would divide a single strawberry in minute portions among
six or more scholars; and she had a "bussee," or good child, who was
to be kissed.

Many stories have been told of special punishments invented by
special teachers. The schoolmaster at Flatbush was annoyed by the
children in his school constantly using Dutch words, as he was
employed to teach them English. He gave every day to the first
scholar who used a Dutch word a little metal token or medal. This
scholar could promptly transfer the token to the next child who
spoke a Dutch word, and so on; thus it went from hand to hand
through the day. But the unlucky scholar who had the token in his
possession at the close of school, received a sound whipping.

An amusing method of securing good lessons and good behavior was
employed by old Ezekiel Cheever, and was thus told by one of his
pupils, Rev. John Barnard:--

     "I was a very naughty boy, much given to play, in so much that
     Master Cheever openly declared, 'You, Barnard, I know you can do
     well enough if you will, but you are so full of play you hinder
     your classmates from getting their lessons, therefore if any of
     them cannot perform their duty, I shall correct you for it.' One
     day one of my classmates did not look at his book, and could not
     say his lesson, though I called upon him once and again to mind
     his book. Whereupon our master beat me.... The boy was pleased
     with my being corrected and persisted in his neglect for which I
     was still beaten and that for several days. I thought in justice
     I ought to correct the boy and compel him to a better temper;
     therefore after school was done I went to him and told him I had
     been beaten several times for his neglect and since master would
     not correct him, I would, and then drubbed him heartily."

The famous Lancasterian system--that of monitorial
schools--discountenanced the rod, but the forms of punishment were
not wholly above criticism. They were the neck-and-hands pillory,
familiar up to that date in England and America as a public
punishment of criminals; wooden shackles; hanging in a sack; tying
the legs together; and labelling with the name of the offence
against rules.

[Illustration: 12. Falsehood Punished.

Illustration from _Early Seeds to Produce Spring Flowers_]

I have found nothing to show that Dutch schoolmasters were as severe
as those of the English colonies. Dr. Curtius, the first master of
the Latin School in New Amsterdam, complained that "his hands were
tied as some of the parents of his scholars forbade him punishing
their children," and that as a result these unruly young Dutchmen
"beat each other and tore the clothes from each other's backs." The
contract between the Flatbush Church and schoolmaster, dated 1682,
specifies that he shall "demean himself patient and friendly towards
the children."

The discipline of Master Leslie, a New York teacher of the next
century, is described by Eliza Morton Quincy in her delightful
_Memoirs_. The date is about 1782:--

     "His modes of punishment would astonish children of the present
     day. One of them was to hold the blocks. They were of two sizes.
     The large one was a heavy block of wood, with a ring in the
     centre, by which it was to be held a definite number of minutes,
     according to the magnitude of the offence. The smaller block
     was for the younger child. Another punishment was by a number
     of leathern straps, about an inch wide and a finger long, with
     which he used to strap the hands of the larger boys."

One German schoolmaster, Samuel Dock, stands out in relief in this
desert of ignorance and cruelty. With simplicity and earnestness he
wrote in 1750 the story of his successful teaching, as in simplicity
and earnestness he had taught in his school at Shippack. His story
is as homely as his life:--


     "It is done in the following manner. The child is first welcomed
     by the other scholars, who extend their hands to it. It is then
     asked by me whether it will learn industriously and be obedient.
     If it promises me this, I explain to it how it must behave; and
     if it can say its A. B. C.'s in order, one after the other, and
     also by way of proof, can point out with the forefinger all the
     designated letters, it is put into the A-b, Abs. When it gets
     thus far, its father must give it a penny and its mother must
     cook for it two eggs, because of its industry; and a similar
     reward is due to it when it goes further into words; and so

He made them little presents as prizes; drew pictures for them;
taught them singing and also musical notation; and he had a plan to
have the children teach each other. He had a careful set of rules
for their behavior, to try to change them from brutish peasants to
intelligent citizens. They must be clean; and delinquents were not
punished with the rod, but by having the whole school write and
shout out their names with the word "lazy" attached. Letter-writing
was carefully taught, with exercises in writing to various people,
and to each other. Profanity was punished by wearing a yoke, and
being told the awful purport of the oaths. He taught spelling and
reading with much Bible instruction; but he did not teach the
Catechism, since he had scholars of many sects and denominations;
however, he made them all learn and understand what he called the
"honey-flowers of the New Testament."

In order to appreciate his gentleness and intelligence, one should
know of the drunken, dirty, careless, and cruel teachers in other
Pennsylvania schools. One whipped daily and hourly with a hickory
club with leather thongs attached at one end; this he called the
"taws." Another had a row of rods of different sizes which, with
ugly humor, he termed his "mint sticks." Another, nicknamed Tiptoe
Bobby, always carried a raccoon's tail slightly weighted at the
butt-end; this he would throw with sudden accuracy at any offender,
who meekly returned it to his instructor and received a fierce
whipping with a butt-end of rawhide with strips of leather at the
smaller end. One Quaker teacher in Philadelphia, John Todd, had such
a passion for incessant whipping that, after reading accounts of his
ferocious discipline, his manner and his words, the only explanation
of his violence and cruelty is that of insanity.

[Illustration: Cathalina Post, Fourteen Years Old, 1750]

There is no doubt that the practice of whipping servants was common
here, not only children who were bound out, and apprentices and
young redemptioners, but grown servants as well. Occasionally the
cruel master was fined or punished for a brutal over-exercise of his
right of punishment. At least one little child died from the hand
of his murderous master. In Boston and other towns commissioners
were elected who had power to sentence to be whipped, exceeding
ten stripes, children and servants who behaved "disobediently and
disorderly toward their parents, masters, and governours, to the
disturbance of families and discouragement of such parents and
governours." In Hartford, Connecticut, a topping young maid felt the
force of a similar law:--

     "Susan Coles for her rebellious cariedge towards her mistris
     is to be sent to the house of correction, and be kept to hard
     labour and coarse dyet, to be brought forth the next Lecture Day
     to be publicquely corrected and so to be corrected Weekly until
     Order be given to the Contrary."

Scores of similar records might be given. Judge Sewall, in his
diary, never refers to punishing his servants, nor to any need of
punishing them. There is some evidence of their faithfulness and of
his satisfaction in it, especially in the references to his negro
man servant, Boston, who, after a life of faithful service, was
buried like a gentleman, with a ceremonious funeral, a notice of his
death in the _News Letter_, a well-warmed parlor, chairs set in
orderly rows, cake and wine, and doubtless gloves.

John Wynter was the head agent of a London company at a settlement
at Richmond's Island, in Maine. His wife had an idle maid, and some
report of her beating this maid was sent back to England. Wynter

     "You write of some yll reports is given of my Wyfe for beatinge
     the maide: yf a faire way will not doe yt, beatinge must
     sometimes vppon such idle girrels as she is. Yf you think yt
     fitte for my Wyfe to do all the work and the maide sitt still,
     and shee must forbear her hands to strike then the work will lye
     vndonn.... Her beatinge that she hath had hath never hurt her
     body nor limes. She is so fatt and soggy shee can hardly doe any
     work. Yf this maide at her lazy tymes when she hath bin found in
     her yll accyons doe not disserve 2 or 3 blowes I pray you who
     hath the most reason to complain my Wyfe or maide. My Wyfe hath
     an vnthankful office."

[Illustration: Illustration from "Young Wilfrid"]

It has surprised me that this complaint--and others--should have
been sent home to England, where (as we have abundant evidence) the
whipping of servants was excessive and constant. Pepys and other
old English authors make frequent note of it. Pepys whipped his
boy till his arm was lame. The _Diary of a Lady of Quality_ gives
some glimpses of this custom. On January 30, 1760, Lady Frances
Pennoyer writes at her home at Bullingham Court, Herefordshire, that
one of her maids spoke in the housekeeper's room about a matter that
was not to the credit of the family. My lady knew there was truth in
what the girl said, but it was not her place to speak of it, and she
must be taught to know and keep her place.

The diarist writes:--

     "She hath a pretty face, and should not be too ready to speak
     ill of those above her in station. I should be very sorry to
     turn her adrift upon the world, and she hath but a poor home.
     Sent for her to my room, and gave her choice, either to be well
     whipped or to leave the house instantly. She chose wisely I
     think and with many tears said I might do what I liked. I bade
     her attend my chamber at twelve.

     "Dearlove, my maid, came to my room as I bade her. I bade her
     fetch the rod from what was my mother-in-law's rod-closet, and
     kneel and ask pardon, which she did with tears. I made her
     prepare, and I whipped her well. The girl's flesh is plump and
     firm, and she is a cleanly person, such a one, not excepting my
     own daughters who are thin, and one of them, Charlotte, rather
     sallow, as I have not whipped for a long time. She hath never
     been whipped before, she says, since she was a child (what can
     her mother and the late lady have been about I wonder?), and she
     cried out a great deal."

Poor little Dearlove, fair and plump, and in bitter tears--you make
a more pleasing picture seen through the haze of a century than
fierce my lady with her rod.

The many hundred pages of Judge Sewall's diary give abundant
testimony of his tender affection for his children. In this record
of his entire married life he but twice refers to punishing his
children; once his son was whipped for telling a lie, a second time
he notes the punishment thus:--

     "1692, Nov. 6. Joseph threw a knob of Brass, and hit his sister
     Betty upon the forehead so as to make it bleed; upon which, and
     for his playing at Prayer-time, and eating when Return Thanks I
     whip'd him pretty smartly. When I first went in, call'd by his
     Grandmother, he sought to shadow and hide himself from me behind
     the head of the Cradle, which gave me the sorrowful remembrance
     of Adam's carriage."

It was natural that Judge Sewall, ever finding symbols of religious
signification in natural events, should see in his son Joseph's
demeanor a painful reminder of original sin; and we can imagine with
what sad sense of duty he whipped him.

It is the standard resort of ignorant writers upon Puritanism, and
especially upon Puritanic severity, to give the name of Cotton
Mather as a prime expositor of cruel discipline. I have before me a
magazine illustration which represents him, lean, lank, violent,
and mean of aspect, with clipped head, raising a heavy bunch of rods
over a cowering child. He was in reality exceedingly handsome, very
richly bewigged, with the full, distinctly sensual countenance of
the Cottons, not the severe ascetic features of the Mathers, and he
as strongly opposed punishment by the rod as most of his friends and
neighbors favored and practised it. His son wrote of him:--

     "The slavish way of education carried on with raving and kicking
     and scourging, in schools as well as in families, he looked
     upon as a dreadful judgment of God on the world: he thought the
     practice abominable and expressed a mortal aversion to it.

     "The first chastisement which he would inflict for any ordinary
     fault, was to let the child see and hear him in an astonishment,
     and hardly able to believe that the child would do so base a
     thing. He would never come to give the child a blow, except in
     case of obstinacy, or something very criminal. To be chased for
     a while out of his presence he would make to be looked upon as
     the sorest punishment in his family."

There can be found episodes of colonial history where the
disprejudiced modern mind can perceive ample need of the sharp
whippings so freely bestowed upon dull or idle scholars and
slow servants. Cotton Mather was too gentle and too forbearing
toward certain children with whom he had close relations. A "warm
birch" applied in the early stages of that terrible tragedy, the
Salem Witchcraft, to Ann Putnam, the protagonist of that drama,
would doubtless so quickly have ended it in its incipiency as to
obliterate it entirely from the pages of history.

[Illustration: William Verstile 1769]



    _A child should always say what's true,
    And speak when he is spoken to,
    And behave mannerly at table,
    At least as far as he is able._

    --_A Child's Garden of Verse. Robert Louis Stevenson, 1895

In ancient days in England, manners and courtesy, manly exercises,
music and singing, knowledge of precedency and rank, heraldry and
ability to carve, were much more important elements in education
than Latin and philosophy. Children were sent to school, and placed
in great men's houses to learn courtesy and the formalities of high

Of all the accomplishments and studies of the Squire as recounted
by Chaucer in the _Canterbury Tales_, but one would now be taught
in English college--music. Of all which were taught, courtesy was
deemed the most important.

    "Aristotle the Philosopher
        this worthye sayinge writ
     That manners in a chylde
        are more requisit

     Than playinge on instrumentes
       and other vayne pleasure;
     For virtuous manners
       is a most precious treasure."

The importance given to outward forms of courtesy was a natural
result of the domination for centuries of the laws of chivalry
and rules of heraldry. But they were something more than outward
show. Emerson says, "The forms of politeness universally express
benevolence in a superlative degree." They certainly developed a
regard for others which is evinced in its highest and best type in
the character of what we term a gentleman and gentlewoman.

It is impossible to overestimate the value these laws of etiquette,
these conventions of customs had at a time when neighborhood life
was the whole outside world. Without them life would have proved
unendurable. Even savage nations and tribes have felt in their
isolated lives the need of some conventions, which with them assume
the form of taboos, superstitious observances, and religious

The laws of courtesy had much influence upon the development of
the character of the colonial child. Domestic life lacked many of
the comforts of to-day, but save in formality it did not differ
in essential elements from our own home life. Everything in the
community was made to tend to the preservation of relations of
civility; this is plainly shown by the laws. Modern historians
have been wont to wax jocose over the accounts of law-suits for
slander, scandal-monging, name-calling, lying, etc., which may be
found in colonial court records. Astonishingly petty seem many of
the charges; even the calling of degrading nicknames, making of wry
faces, jeering, and "finger-sticking" were fined and punished. But
all this rigidity tended to a preservation of peace. The child who
saw a man fined for lying, who beheld another set in the stocks for
calling his neighbor ill names, or repeating scandalous assertions,
grew up with a definite knowledge of the wickedness and danger of
lying, and a wholesome regard for the proprieties of life. These
sentiments may not have made him a better man, but they certainly
made him a more endurable one.

The child of colonial days had but little connection with, little
knowledge of, the world at large. He probably never had seen a map
of the world, and if he had, he didn't understand it. Foreign news
there was none, in our present sense. Of special English events he
might occasionally learn, months after they had happened; but never
any details nor any ordinary happenings. European information was of
the scantiest and rarest kind; knowledge of the result of a war or
a vast disaster, like the Lisbon earthquake, might come. From the
other great continents came nothing.

Nor was his knowledge of his own land extended. There was nothing to
interest him in the newsletter, even if he read it. He cared nothing
for the other colonies, he knew little of other towns. If he lived
in a seaport, he doubtless heard from the sailors on the wharves
tales of adventure and romantic interest, and he heard from his
elders details of trade, both of foreign and native ports.

The boy, therefore, grew up with his life revolving in a small
circle; the girl's was still smaller. It had its advantages and its
serious disadvantages. It developed an extraordinarily noble and
pure type of neighborliness, but it did not foster a general broad
love of humanity. Perhaps those conditions developed types which
were fitted to receive and absorb gradually the more extended views
of life which came through the wider extent of vision, which has
been brought to us by newspapers, by steam, and by electricity. At
any rate children were serenely content, for they were unconscious.

[Illustration: The Pepperell Children]

Among early printed English books are many containing rules of
courtesy and behavior. Many of these and manuscripts on kindred
topics were carefully reprinted in 1868 by the _Early English_
_Text Society_ of Great Britain. Among these are: _The Babees Book_;
_The Lytill Children's Lytil Boke_; _The Boke of Nurture, 1577_; _The
Boke of Curtasye, 1460_; _The Schole of Vertue, 1557_. From those days
till the present, similar books have been written and printed, and
form a history of domestic manners.

It certainly conveys an idea of the demeanor of children of colonial
days to read what was enjoined upon them in a little book of
etiquette which was apparently widely circulated, and doubtless
carefully read. Instructions as to behavior at the table run thus:--

     "Never sit down at the table till asked, and after the blessing.
     Ask for nothing; tarry till it be offered thee. Speak not. Bite
     not thy bread but break it. Take salt only with a clean knife.
     Dip not the meat in the same. Hold not thy knife upright but
     sloping, and lay it down at right hand of plate with blade on
     plate. Look not earnestly at any other that is eating. When
     moderately satisfied leave the table. Sing not, hum not, wriggle
     not. Spit no where in the room but in the corner, and--"

But I will pursue the quotation no further, nor discover other
eighteenth-century pronenesses painfully revealed in lurid light in
other detailed "Don'ts."

It is evident that the ancient child was prone to eat as did Dr.
Samuel Johnson, hotly, avidly, with strange loud eager champings;
he was enjoined to more moderation:--

     "Eat not too fast nor with Greedy Behavior. Eat not vastly but
     moderately. Make not a noise with thy Tongue, Mouth, Lips, or
     Breath in Thy Eating and Drinking. Smell not of thy Meat; nor
     put it to Thy Nose; turn it not the other side upward on Thy

[Illustration: THE SCHOOL OF MANNERS. OR RULES for Childrens

At Church, at Home, at Table, in Company, in Di[f.]cour[f.]e, at
School, abroad, and among Boys. With [f.]ome other [f.]hort and mixt

By the Author of the _Engli[f.]h Exerci[f.]es_.

The Fourth Edition.


Printed for _Tho. Cockerill_, at the Three Legs and Bible again[f.]t
Grocers-Hall in the _Poultrey_, 1701.

Title-page of _The School of Manners_]

In many households in the new world children could not be seated
at the table, even after the blessing had been asked. They stood
through the entire meal. Sometimes they had a standing place and
plate or trencher; at other boards they stood behind the grown folk
and took whatever food was handed to them. This must have been in
families of low social station and meagre house furnishings. In
many homes they sat or stood at a side-table, and trencher in hand,
ran over to the great table for their supplies. A certain formality
existed at the table of more fashionable folk. Children were given
a few drops of wine in which to drink the health of their elders.
In one family the formula was, "Health to papa and mamma, health
to brothers and sisters, health to all my friends." In another,
the father's health only was named. Sometimes the presence of
grandparents at the table was the only occasion when children joined
in health-drinking.

The little book teaches good listening:--

     "When any speak to thee, stand up. Say not I have heard it
     before. Never endeavour to help him out if he tell it not right.
     Snigger not; never question the Truth of it."

The child is enjoined minutely as to his behavior at school: to take
off his hat at entering, and bow to the teacher; to rise up and bow
at the entrance of any stranger; to "bawl not in speaking"; to "walk
not cheek by jole," but fall respectfully behind and always "give
the Wall to Superiors."

[Illustration: (9)

17. Bite not thy bread, but break it, but not with [f.]lovenly
Fingers, nor with the [f.]ame wherewith thou take[f.]t up thy meat.

18. Dip not thy Meat in the Sawce.

19. Take not [f.]alt with a greazy Knife.

20. Spit not, cough not, nor blow thy No[f.]e at Table if it may be
avoided; but if there be nece[f.][f]ity, do it a[f.]ide, and without
much noi[f.]e.

21. Lean not thy Elbow on the Table, or on the back of thy Chair.

22. Stuff not thy mouth [f.]o as to fill thy Cheeks; be content with
[f.]maller Mouthfuls.

23. Blow not thy Meat, but with Patience wait till it be cool.

24. Sup not Broth at the Table, but eat it with a Spoon.

Page of _The School of Manners_]

The young student's passage from his home to his school should be as
decorous as his demeanor at either terminus:--

     "Run not Hastily in the Street, nor go too Slowly. Wag not to
     and fro, nor use any Antick Postures either of thy Head, Hands,
     Feet or Body. Throw not aught on the Street, as Dirt or Stones.
     If thou meetest the scholars of any other School jeer not nor
     affront them, but show them love and respect and quietly let
     them pass along."

Boys took a good deal from their preceptors, and took it patiently
and respectfully; but I can well imagine the roar of disgust with
which even a much-hampered, eighteenth-century schoolboy read the
instructions to show love and respect to the boys of a rival school
and not to jeer or fire stones at them.

This book of manners was reprinted in Worcester by Isaiah Thomas
in 1787. I have seen an earlier edition, called _The School of
Manners_, which was published in London in 1701. The title-page
and a page of the precepts are here reproduced. The directions in
these books of etiquette are plainly copied from a famous book
entitled _Youths' Behaviour, or Decency in Conversation Amongst
Men_, a book unsurpassed in the seventeenth century as an epitome of
contemporary manners, and held in such esteem that it ran through
eleven editions in less than forty years after its first appearance.
Not the least remarkable thing about this volume was the fact that
the first edition in English was by an "ingeniose Spark" not then
eight years of age, one Francis Hawkins, who rendered it from "the
French of grave persons." The bookseller begs the reader to "connive
at the stile," on the plea that it was "wrought by an uncouth and
rough file of one in green years." Green years! we cannot fancy
sober young Francis as ever green or as anything but a sere and
prematurely withered leaf. We can see him in sad colored attire,
carefully made quill pen in hand, seated at desk and standish,
his poor little shrunken legs hanging pitifully down, inditing on
foolscap with precision and elegance his pompous precepts. After
all he only translated these maxims; hence, perhaps, was the reason
that he managed to live to grow up. For translating did not tax his
"intellectuals" as would have composition.

The _Youths' Behaviour_ contained many rules and instructions worded
from still older books on courtesy, such as _The Babees Book_,
and _The Boke of Nurture_, and traces of those hackneyed rules
lingered even in the etiquette books of Isaiah Thomas, long after
the house-furnishings and household conditions indicated by them
and sometimes necessitated by them had become as obsolete as the
formal duties of the squire's sons, "the younkers of account, youths
of good houses, and young gentlemen henxmen," for whom they had
originally been written. Let us believe that the habits pointed out
by such rules were obsolete also. I cannot think, for instance, that
the boy born after our Revolutionary war was in the habit of casting
poultry and meat bones under dining tables, even though he is so
seriously enjoined not to do so. This rule is a survivor from the
earthen floors and dirty ways of old England.

A famous book of rules of etiquette, entitled _The Mirror of
Compliments_, was printed in 1635 in England, and as late as 1795
many pages of it were reprinted in America by Thomas under the title
_A New Academy of Compliments_. The teachings in this book were
fearfully and wonderfully polite. This is the sort of thing enjoined
upon children and grown folk as correct phrases to be exchanged on
the subject of breaking bread together:--

     "Sir, you shall oblige me very much if you will do me the honour
     to take my poor dinner with me.

     "Sir, you are too courteous and persuasive to be refused and
     therefore I shall trouble you.

     "Sir, pray excuse your bad entertainment at the present dinner
     and another time we will endeavour to make you amends.

     "Truly, Sir, it has been very good, without any defect, and
     needs no excuse."

The child who sought to be mannerly certainly must have felt rather
discouraged at the prospect laid before him. These superfluities of
politeness were equalled by the absurdities of restraint. It would
certainly have been a study of facial expression to see the average
schoolboy when he read this dictum, "It is a wilde and rude thing to
lean upon ones elbow."

In Brinsley's _Grammar Schoole_, written in 1612, he enumerates the
"bookes to bee first learned of children." First were "abcies" and
primers, then the Psalms in metre, then the Testament.

     "Then if any other require any little booke meet to enter
     Children, the _Schoole of Virtue_ is one of the Principall,
     and easiest for the first enterers being full of precepts of
     ciuilitie.... And after the _Schoole of Good Manners_, leading
     the child as by the hand, in the way of all good manners."

The constant reading of these books, and the persistent reprinting
of their formal rules of behavior, may have tended to conserve the
old-fashioned deportment of children which has been so lamented
by aged grumblers and lovers of the good old times. It was
certainly natural that children should be affected by the regard
for etiquette, the distinctions of social position which they saw
heeded all around them, and in all departments of life. No man
could enlist in the Massachusetts Cavalry unless he had a certain
amount of property. Even boys in college had their names placed in
the catalogues, not by classes, years, scholarship, or alphabetical
order, but by the dignity and wealth of their family and social
position; and a college boy at Harvard had to give the baluster
side of the staircase to any one who was his social superior. Of
course the careful "seating of the meeting" was simply an evidence
of this regard of rank and station.

[Illustration: Thomas Aston Coffin, Three Years Old]

It was a profound distance between Mr. and Goodman. Mistress and
Goody marked a distinction as positive if not as great as between a
duchess and a milkmaid. Unmarried women and girls, if deemed worthy
any title at all, were not termed Miss, but were also Mrs. Rev. Mr.
Tompson wrote a funeral tribute to a little girl of six, entitled,
"A Neighbour's Tears dropt on ye Grave of an amiable Virgin; a
pleasant Plant cut down in the blooming of her Spring, viz: Mrs.
Rebecka Sewall August ye 4th, 1710." Cotton Mather wrote of "Mrs.
Sarah Gerrish, a very beautiful and ingenious damsel seven years of
age." Miss was not exactly a term of reproach, but it was not one
of respect. It denoted childishness, flippancy, lack of character,
and was not applied in public to children of dignified families. In
_Evelina_ the vulgar cousins, the Branghtons, call the heroine Miss.
"Lord! Miss, never mind that!" "Aunt has told you all hant she,

A certain regard for formality obtained even in very humble
households. The childhood of David and John Brainerd, born
respectively in 1718 and 1720, in East Haddam, Connecticut, who
later in life were missionaries to the New Jersey Indians, has
been written by a kinsman. They were nurtured under the influences
of Connecticut Puritanism, in a simple New England home. Their
biographer writes of their rearing:--

     "A boy was early taught a profound respect for his parents,
     teachers, and guardians, and implicit prompt obedience. If
     he undertook to rebel his will was broken by persistent and
     adequate punishment. He was taught that it was a sin to find
     fault with his meals, his apparel, his tasks or his lot in life.
     Courtesy was enjoined as a duty. He must be silent among his
     superiors. If addressed by older persons he must respond with
     a bow. He was to bow as he entered and left the school, and
     to every man and woman, old or young, rich or poor, black or
     white, whom he met on the road. Special punishment was visited
     on him if he failed to show respect for the aged, the poor, the
     colored, or to any persons whatever whom God had visited with

All children in godly households were taught personal consideration
of the old and afflicted, a consideration which lasted till our
present days of organized charities. As a lesson of patience and
kindness, read Mrs. Silsbee's account of the blind piano tuner in
Salem. He was employed in many households and ever treated with
marked attention. His tuning instrument had to be placed for him on
each piano-screw by some member of the family. He was paid, given
cake and wine, then humored by being given a tangled skein of silk
to unravel and thus show his dexterity, and finally led tenderly

Sir Francis Doyle says, "It is the intention of the Almighty that
there should exist for a certain time between childhood and manhood,
the natural production known as a boy." This natural production
existed two centuries ago as well as to-day. Though children were
certainly subdued and silent in the presence of older folk, still
they were boys and girls, not machine-like models of perfection. We
know of their turbulence in church; and boys in colonial days robbed
orchards, and played ball in the streets, and tore down gates, and
frightened horses, and threw stones with as much vim and violence
as if they had been born in the nineteenth century. Mather, in his
_Vindication of New England_, referring to the charge of injuring
King's Chapel, shows us Boston schoolboys in much the same mischief
that schoolboys have been in since:--

     "All the mischief done is the breaking of a few Quarels of Glass
     by idle Boys, who if discover'd had been chastis'd by their
     own Parents. They have built their Chapel in a Publick burying
     place, next adjoining a great Free School, where the Boyes
     (having gotten to play) may, some by Accident, some in Frolick,
     and some perhaps in Revenge for disturbing their Relatives'
     Graves by the Foundation of that Building, have broken a few
     Quarels of the Windows."

Children did not always pose either as models of decorum or
propriety in their relations with each other. In a little book
called _The Village School_, we read of their beating and kicking
each other, and that there was one bleeding nose. Worse yet, when
the girls went forth to gather "daisies and butter-flowers," the
ungallant boys kicked the girls "to make them pipe."



     _Puritanism is not of the Nineteenth Century, but of the
     Seventeenth, the grand unintelligibility for us lies there. The
     Fast Day Sermons, in spite of printers, are all grown dumb. In
     long rows of dumpy little quartos they indeed stand here bodily
     before us; by human volition they can be read, but not by any
     human memory remembered. The Age of the Puritans is not extinct
     only and gone away from us, but it is as if fallen beyond the
     capabilities of memory itself; it is grown what we may call
     incredible. Its earnest Purport awakens now no resonance in our
     frivolous hearts, ... the sound of it has become tedious as a
     tale of past stupidities.

     --Oliver Cromwell's Life and Letters. Thomas Carlyle, 1845._

The religious aspect of the life of children, especially in early
colonial days, and most particularly in New England, bore a far
deeper relation to the round of daily life than can be accorded to
it in these pages. The spirit of the Lord, perhaps I should say the
fear of the Lord, truly filled their days. Born into a religious
atmosphere, reared in religious ways, surrounded on every side by
religious influences, they could not escape the impress of deep
religious feeling; they certainly had a profound familiarity with
the Bible. The historian Green says that the Englishman of that day
was a man of one book, and that book the Bible. It might with equal
truth be said that the universal child's book of that day was the
Bible. There were few American children until after the Revolution
who had ever read from any book save the Bible, a primer, or
catechism, and perhaps a hymn book or an almanac.

The usual method at that time of reading the Bible through was
in the regular succession of every chapter from beginning to
end, not leaving out even Leviticus and Numbers. This naturally
detracted from the interest which would have been awakened by a
wise selection of parts suited to the liking of children; and many
portions doubtless frightened young children, as we have abundant
record in the writings of Sewall and Mather. J. T. Buckingham
stated in his _Memoirs_ that he read the Bible through at least
a dozen times before he was sixteen years old. Some portions,
especially the Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John, filled him
with unspeakable terror, and he called the enforced reading of them
"a piece of gratuitous and unprofitable cruelty." He was careful,
however, to pay due tribute to the influence of the Bible upon his
literary composition and phraseology. The constant reading of the
beautiful English wording of the Bible influenced not only the style
of writing of that day, but controlled the everyday speech of the
people, keeping it pure and simple.

[Illustration: Mrs. John Hesselius and her Children, John and

There was one important reason for the unfailing desire of English
folk for the Bible and the employment of its words and terms;
it was not only the sole book with which most English readers
were familiar,--the book which supplied to them sacred hymns and
warlike songs, the great voices of the prophets, the parables of
the Evangelists, stories of peril and adventure, logic, legends,
history, visions,--but it was also a new book. The family of the
seventeenth century that read the words of the small Geneva Bibles
in the home circle, or poorer folk who listened to the outdoor
reading thereof, heard a voice that they had longed for and waited
for and suffered for, and that their fathers had died for, and a
treasure thus acquired is never lightly heeded. The Pilgrim Fathers
left England for Holland before King James' Bible, our Authorized
Version, had been published. The Puritans of the Boston and Salem
settlements had seen the importation of Geneva Bibles forbidden
in England by Laud in 1633, and the reading prohibited at their
meetings. They revelled in it in their new homes, for custom
had not deadened their delight, and they were filled with it; it
satisfied them; they needed no other literature.

Though Puritanism in its anxious and restricted religionism denied
freedom to childhood, yet the spirit of Puritanism was deeply
observant and conservative of family relations. The meagre records
of domestic life in Puritan households are full of a pure affection,
if not of grace or good cheer. The welfare, if not the pleasure of
their children, lay close to the heart of the Pilgrims. Their love
was seldom expressed, but their rigid sense of duty extended to duty
to be fulfilled as well as exacted.

Governor Bradford wrote in his now world-famous _Log-book_, in
his lucid and beautiful English, an account of the motives of the
emigration from Holland, and in a few sentences therein he gives one
of the most profound reasons of all, their intense yearning for the
true welfare of their children:--

     "As necessitie was a taskmaster over them, so they were forced
     to be such, not only to their servants but in a sorte, to
     their dearest children; the which as it did not a little wound
     ye tender harts of many a loving father and mother, so it
     produced likewise sundrie sad and sorrowful effects. For many
     of theier children, that were of best dispositions and gracious
     inclinations, having lernde to bear the yoake in their youth
     and willing to beare parte of their parents burden, were often
     times so oppressed with their hevie labours, that though their
     minds were free and willing yet their bodies bowed under ye
     weight of ye same, and became decrepid in their early youth, the
     vigor of nature being consumed in ye very budd as it were. But
     that which was more lamentable and of all sorrows most heavie to
     be borne was that many of their children, were drawne away by
     evill examples into extravagant and dangerous coarses, getting
     ye raines off their necks, and departing from their parents."

This country was settled at a time when all English people were
religious. The Puritan child was full of religious thoughts and
exercises, so also was the child of Roman Catholic parents, or one
reared in the Established Church. The diarist Evelyn was a stanch
Church of England man, no lover of Puritan ways, but he could write
thus of his little child:--

     "As to his piety, astonishing were his applications of Scripture
     upon occasion and his sense of God. He had learned all his
     Catechism early, and understood all the historical part of the
     Bible and New Testament to a wonder, how Christ came to redeem
     mankind, and how comprehending those messages himself, his
     godfathers were discharged of his promises.

     "He would of himself select the most pathetic psalms and
     chapters out of Job, to read to his maid during his sickness,
     telling her, when she pitied him, that all God's children must
     suffer affliction. He declaimed against the vanities of the
     world before he had seen any. Often he would desire those who
     came to see him to pray by him, and a year before he fell sick
     to kneel and pray with him alone in some corner."

It was not of a Puritan dame that this was written:--

     "Her Maids came into her Chamber early every morning, and
     ordinarily shee passed about an howr with them; In praying, and
     catechizing, and instructing them: To these secret and private
     Praiers, the publick Morning and Evening praiers of the Church,
     before dinner and supper, and another form, together with
     reading Scriptures, and singing Psalms, before bed-time, were
     daily and constantly added."

This zealous Christian was Letice, Lady Falkland, a devoted Church
of England woman; so strict was she that if she missed any from the
religious services, she "presently sent for them and consecrated
another howr of praier there purposely for them." A strenuous
insistence showed itself in all sects in the new world. The
"Articles Lawes and Orders Divine Politique and Martiall for the
colony of Virginea" were unrivalled in their mingling of barbarity
and Christianity by any other code of laws issued in America. No
Puritan dared go farther than did the good Episcopalian Sir Thomas
Dale. For irreverence to "any Preacher or Minister of Gods Holy
Word" the offender was to be whipped three times and thrice to
ask public forgiveness. Any one who persistently refused to be
instructed and catechized could be whipped every day. Rigidly were
all forced to attend the Sunday exercises.

There is one name which must appear constantly on the pages of any
history of New England of the half century from 1680 to 1728,--that
of Cotton Mather. This reference is due him not only because he
was prominent in the history of those years, but because he is the
preserver of that history for us. From his multitudinous pages--full
though they be of extraordinary religious sentiments, strained
metaphors, and unmistakable slang--we also gain much to show us
the life of his day. The man himself was not only a Puritan of the
Puritans, but the personification of a passionate desire to do good.
This constant thought for others and wish to benefit them frequently
led him to perform deeds which were certainly officious, ill-timed,
and unwelcome, though inspired by noble motives.

His son Samuel wrote a life of him, which has justly been
characterized by Professor Barrett Wendell as the most colorless
book in the English language; but even from those bleached and dried
pages we learn of Cotton Mather's love of his children, and his
earnest desire for their education and salvation. His son's words
may be given as evidently truthful:--

     "He began betimes to entertain them with delightful stories,
     especially Scriptural ones; and he would ever conclude with
     some lesson of piety bidding them to learn that lesson from
     the story. Thus every day at the table he used himself to tell
     some entertaining tale before he rose; and endeavor to make it
     useful to the olive plants about the table. When his children
     accidentally at any time came in his way, it was his custom
     to let fall some sentence or other that might be monitory or
     profitable to them.

     "He betimes tried to engage his children in exercises of piety,
     and especially secret prayer.... He would often call upon them,
     'Child, don't you forget every day to go alone and pray as
     I have directed you.' He betimes endeavoured to form in his
     children a temper of kindness. He would put them upon doing
     services and kindnesses for one another and other children. He
     would applaud them when he saw them delight in it. He would
     upbraid all aversion to it. He would caution them exquisitely
     against all revenges of injuries and would instruct them to
     return good offices for evil ones.... He would let them discover
     he was not satisfied, except when they had a sweetness of temper
     shining in them."

His thought for the young did not cease with those of his own
family; he never failed to instil good lessons everywhere; and a
special habit of his on visiting any town was to beg a holiday for
the school children, asking them to perform some religious task in

[Illustration: Charlotte and Elizabeth Hesselius]

Another Puritan preacher, Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, was so laden with the
fruit of the tree of knowledge that "he stoopt for the very children
to pick off the apple ready to drop into their mouths." When they
came to his study, he would examine them, "How they walked with God?
How they spent their time, what good books they read? Whether they
prayed without ceasing?" He wrote to a brother minister in 1657:--

     "Do your children and family grow more godly? I find greatest
     trouble and grief about the rising generation. Young people are
     little stirred here; but they strengthen one another in evil by
     example and by counsel. Much ado have I with my own family; hard
     to get a servant that is glad of catechizing or family duties.
     I had a rare blessing of servants in Yorkshire, and those that
     I brought over were a blessing, but the young brood doth much
     afflict me. Even the children of the godly here, and elsewhere
     make a woful proof."

These ministers lived at a time when New England Puritanism in its
extreme type was coming to a close; but parents and households thus
reared clung more rigidly and exactly to it and instilled in it a
fervent hope of giving permanency to what seemed to their sad eyes
in danger of being wholly thrust aside and lost. Such religionists
were both Cotton Mather and Samuel Sewall, "true New-English
Christians" they called and deemed themselves. They were very gentle
with their children; but a profound anxiety for the welfare of those
young souls made them most cruel in the intensity of their teaching
and warning; especially displeasing to modern modes of thought are
their constant reminders of death.

When Cotton Mather's little daughter was but four years old he made
this entry in his diary:--

     "I took my little daughter Katy into my Study and then I told
     my child I am to dye Shortly and shee must, when I am Dead,
     remember Everything I now said unto her. I sett before her the
     sinful Condition of her Nature, and I charged her to pray in
     Secret Places every Day. That God for the sake of Jesus Christ
     would give her a New Heart. I gave her to understand that when
     I am taken from her she must look to meet with more humbling
     Afflictions than she does now she has a Tender Father to provide
     for her."

The vanity of all such painful instruction, harrowing to the father
and terrifying to the child, is shown in the sequel. Cotton Mather
did not die till thirty years afterward, and long survived the
tender little blossom that he loved yet blighted with the chill and
dread of death.

The pages of Judge Sewall's diary sadly prove his performance
of what he believed to be his duty to his children, just as the
entries show the bewilderment and terror of his children under his
teachings. Elizabeth Sewall was the most timid and fearful of them
all; a frightened child, a retiring girl, a vacillating sweetheart,
an unwilling bride, she became the mother of eight children; but
always suffered from morbid introspection, and overwhelming fear
of death and the future life, until at the age of thirty-five her
father sadly wrote, "God has delivered her now from all her fears."

The process which developed this unhappy nature is plainly shown by
many entries in the diary. This was when she was about five years

     "It falls to my daughter Elizabeth's Share to read the 24 of
     Isaiah which she doth with many Tears not being very well and
     the Contents of the Chapter and Sympathy with her draw Tears
     from me also."

The terrible verses telling of God's judgment on the land, of fear,
of the pit, of the snare, of emptiness and waste, of destruction and
desolation, must have sunk deep into the heart of the sick child,
and produced the condition shown by this entry when she was a few
years older:--

     "When I came in, past 7 at night, my wife met me in the Entry
     and told me Betty had surprised them. I was surprised with the
     Abruptness of the Relation. It seems Betty Sewall had given some
     signs of dejection and sorrow; but a little while after dinner
     she burst into an amazing cry which caus'd all the family to
     cry too. Her Mother ask'd the Reason, she gave none; at last
     said she was afraid she should go to Hell, her Sins were not
     pardon'd. She was first wounded by my reading a sermon of Mr.
     Norton's; Text, Ye shall seek me and shall not find me. And
     these words in the Sermon, Ye shall seek me and die in your
     Sins, ran in her Mind and terrified her greatly. And staying
     at home, she read out of Mr. Cotton Mather--Why hath Satan
     filled thy Heart? which increas'd her Fear. Her Mother asked her
     whether she pray'd. She answered Yes, but fear'd her prayers
     were not heard, because her sins were not pardoned."

Poor little wounded Betty! her fear that she should go to hell
because she, like Spira, was not elected, was answered by her father
who, having led her into this sad state, was but ill-fitted to
comfort her. Both prayed with bitter tears, and he says mournfully,
"I hope God heard us." Hell, Satan, eternal damnation, everlasting
torments, were ever held up before these Puritan children. We could
truthfully paraphrase Wordsworth's beautiful line "Heaven lies about
us in our infancy," and say of these Boston children, "Hell lay
about them in their infancy." The lists in their books of the proper
names in the Bible had an accompanying list--that of names of the

A most painfully explicit account of one of the ultra-sensitive
natures developed by these methods is given by Cotton Mather in his
most offensive style in a short religious biography of Nathaniel
Mather. The boy died when he was nineteen years old, but unhappily
he kept a diary of his religious sentiments and fears. He fasted
often and prayed constantly even in his sleep. He wrote out in
detail his covenant with God, and I cannot doubt that he more than
lived up to his promises, as he did to the minute rules he laid out
for his various religious duties. Still this young Christian was
full of self-loathing, horrible conceptions of God, unbounded dread
of death, and all the horrors of a morbid soul.

A letter written by an older Mather (about 1638), when he was twelve
years old, shows an ancestral tendency to religious fears:--

     "Though I am thus well in body yet I question whether my soul
     doth prosper as my body doth, for I perceive yet to this very
     day, little _growth_ in grace; and this makes me question
     whether grace be in my heart or no. I feel also daily great
     unwillingness to good duties, and the great ruling of sin in my
     heart; and that God is angry with me and gives me no answers
     to my prayers; but many times he even throws them down as dust
     in my face; and he does not grant my continued request for the
     _spiritual blessing of the softening of my hard heart_. And in
     all this I could yet take some comfort but that it makes me to
     wonder what God's _secret decree_ concerning me may be: for I
     doubt whether even God is wont to deny grace and mercy to his
     chosen (though _uncalled_) when they seek unto him by prayer for
     it; and therefore, seeing he doth thus deny it to me, I think
     that the reason of it is most like to be because I belong not
     unto _the election of grace_. I desire that you would let me
     have your prayers as I doubt not but I have them, and rest

     "Your Son, SAMUEL MATHER."

A strong characteristic of English folk at the time of the
settlement of the American colonies was superstition. This showed
not only in scores of petty observances but in serious beliefs, such
as those about comets and thunder-storms. It controlled medical
practice, and was displayed in the religious significance attributed
to trifling natural events. It was evinced in the dependence on
dreams, and the dread of portents. Naturally children were imbued
with the beliefs and fears of their parents, and multiplied
the importance and the terror of these notions. It can readily be
seen that religious training and thought, such as was shown in the
families of Samuel Sewall and Cotton Mather, joined to hereditary
traits and race superstitions, could naturally produce a condition
of mind and judgment which would permit such an episode as that
known as the Salem Witchcraft. Nor is it anything but natural to
find that those two prominent Bostonians took such important parts
in the progress of that tragedy.

[Illustration: Charles Spooner Cary, Eight Years Old, 1786]

It was my intent to devote a chapter of this book to the results
of the study of the part borne by children in that sad tale of
psychological phenomena and religious fanaticism. The study proved
most fascinating, and research was faithfully made; but a stronger
desire was that children might find some pleasure in these pages
in reading of the child life of their forbears. Such a chapter
could neither be profitable to the child nor comprehended by him,
nor would it be to the taste of parents of the present day. It was
a sad tale, but was not peculiar to Salem nor to New England. The
Salem and Boston settlers came largely from the English counties of
Suffolk and Essex, where witches and witch-hunters and witch-finders
abounded, and Salem children and parents had seen in their English
homes or heard the tales of hundreds of similar obsessions and

New England children were instilled with a familiarity with death
in still another way than through talking and reading of it. Their
presence at funerals was universal. A funeral in those days had an
entirely different status as a ceremony from to-day. It was a social
function as well as a solemn one; it was a reunion of friends and
kinsfolk, a ceremonial of much expense and pomp, a scene of much
feasting and drinking.

Judge Sewall tells of the attendance of his little children when
five and six years old at funerals. When Rev. Thomas Shepherd was
buried "scholars went before the Herse" at the funeral. Sargent, in
his _Dealings with the Dead_, tells of country funerals in the days
of his youth:--

     "When I was a boy and at an academy in the country everybody
     went to everybody's funeral in the village. The population
     was small, funerals rare; the preceptor's absence would have
     excited remark and the boys were dismissed for the funeral....
     A clergyman told me that when he was settled at Concord, N.H.,
     he officiated at the funeral of a little boy. The body was borne
     in a chaise, and six little nominal pall-bearers, the oldest not
     thirteen, walked by the side of the vehicle. Before they left
     the house a sort of master of ceremonies took them to the table
     and mixed a tumbler of gin, sugar and water for each."

A crisis was reached in Boston when funerals had to be prohibited
on Sundays because the vast concourse of children and servants that
followed the coffin through the streets became a noisy rabble that
profaned the sacred day.

Little girls were pall-bearers also at the funerals of their
childish mates, and young unmarried girls at those of their
companions. Dressed in white with uncovered heads, or veiled in
white, these little girls made a touching sight.

Religious expression naturally found its highest point in Puritan
communities in the strict and decorous observance of Sunday. Stern
were the laws in ordering this observance. Fines, imprisonment,
and stripes on the naked back were dealt out rigorously for
Sabbath-breaking. The New Haven Code of Laws with still greater
severity enjoined that profanation of the Lord's Day, if done
"proudly and with a high hand against the authority of God," should
be punished with death. This rigid observance fell with special
force and restriction on children. A loved poet, Oliver Wendell
Holmes, wrote of the day:--

    "Hush, 'tis the Sabbath's silence-stricken morn,
     No feet must wander through the tasselled corn,
     No merry children laugh around the door,
     No idle playthings strew the sanded floor.
     The law of Moses lays its awful ban
     On all that stirs. Here comes the Tithing-man."

There were many public offices in colonial times which we do not
have to-day, for we do not need them. One of these is that of
tithing-man; he was a town officer, and had several neighboring
families under his charge, usually ten, as the word "tithing" would
signify. He enforced the learning of the church catechism in these
ten homes, visited the houses, and heard the children recite their
catechism. These ten families he watched specially on Sundays to
see whether they attended church, and did not loiter on the way. In
some Massachusetts towns he watched on week days to keep "boys and
all persons from swimming in the water." Ten families with many boys
must have kept him busy on hot August days. He inspected taverns,
reported disorderly persons, and forbade the sale of intoxicating
liquor to them. He administered the "oath of fidelity" to new
citizens, and warned undesirable visitors and wanderers to leave the
town. He could arrest persons who ran or rode at too fast a pace
when going to meeting on Sunday, or who took unnecessary rides on
Sunday, or otherwise broke the Sunday laws.

Within the meeting-house he kept order by beating out dogs,
correcting unruly and noisy boys, and waking those who slept. He
sometimes walked up and down the church aisles, carrying a stick
which had a knob on one end, and a dangling foxtail on the other,
tapping the boys on the head with the knob end of the stick, and
tickling the face of sleeping church attendants with the foxtail.
Some churches had tithing-men until this century.

A Puritanical regard of the Sabbath still lingers in our New England
towns. There are many Christian old gentlemen still living of whom
such an anecdote as this of old Deacon Davis of Westborough might be
told. A grandson walked to church with him one Sabbath morning and a
gray squirrel ran across the road. The child, delighted, pointed out
the beautiful little creature to his grandfather. A sharp twist of
the ear was the old Puritan's rejoinder, and the caustic words that
"squirrels were not to be spoken of on the Lord's Day."

With all the religious restriction, and all the religious
instruction, with the everyday repression of youth and the special
Sabbath-day rigidity of laws, it is somewhat a surprise to the
reader of the original sources of history to find that girls
sometimes laughed, and boys behaved very badly in meeting. The
latter condition would be more surprising to us did we not see
so plainly that the method of "seating the meeting" in colonial
days was not calculated to produce or maintain order. Boys were
not separated from each other into various pews in the company of
their parents as to-day; they were all huddled together in any
undignified or uncomfortable seats. In Salem, in 1676, it was
ordered that all the boys of the town "sitt upon ye three paire of
stairs in ye meeting-house"; and two citizens were deputed to assist
the tithing-man in controlling them and watching them, and if any
proved unruly "to psent their names as the law directs." Sometimes
they were seated on the pulpit stairs, under the eyes of the entire
audience; more frequently in a "boys pue" in a high gallery remote
from all other Christians, the "wretched boys" were set off as
though they were religious lepers.

In Dorchester the boys could not keep still in meeting; the
selectmen had to appoint some "meet person to inspect the boys in
the meeting house in time of divine service." These guardians had to
tarry at noon and "prevent disorder" then. By 1776 the boys were so
turbulent, the spirit of independence was so rife and riotous, that
six men had to be appointed to keep order, and they had authority to
"give proper discipline" if necessary.

[Illustration: Margaret Graves Cary, Fourteen Years Old, 1786]

It is not necessary to multiply examples of the badness of the
boys, nor of the unsophisticated artlessness of their parents.
Scores of old town and church records give ample proof of the traits
of both fathers and sons. These accounts are often as amusing as
they are surprising in their hopelessness. The natural remedy of
the isolation of the inventors of mischief, and separation of
conspirators and quarrellers, did not enter the brains of our
simple old forefathers for over a century. Indeed, these "Devil's
play-houses," as Dr. Porter called them, were not entirely abolished
until fifty years ago. The town of Windsor, Connecticut, suffered
and suffered from "boys pews" until the year 1845.



    Lisping new syllables, we scramble next
    Through moral narrative, or sacred text,
    And learn with wonder how this world began;
    Who made, who marred, and who has ransomed man.

    --Tyrocinium. William Cowper, 1784.

It was inevitable, since the colonization of America was in the day
of Puritanism, that the first modern literature known by American
children should be the distinctive literature of that sect and
period. These were religious emblems, controversial treatises,
records of martyrdoms, catechismic dialogues, and a few accounts of
precociously pious infants who had died. Thomas White, a Puritan
minister, wrote thus:--

     "When thou canst read, read no ballads and romances and foolish
     books, but the Bible and the Plaine Man's Pathway to Heaven,
     a very plaine holy book for you. Get the Practice of Piety,
     Mr. Baxter's call to the Unconverted, Allen's Alarm to the
     Unconverted, The Book of Martyrs."

The two books which he named after the Bible had the distinction of
being the only ones owned by the wife of John Bunyan. The confiding
Puritan child who read _The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven_, under
the promise that it was a "plaine and perfite" book, must have been
sorely disappointed. But if it wasn't plain it was popular. The
twelfth edition is dated 1733. Foxe's _Book of Martyrs_ was found in
many colonial homes, and was eagerly read by many children. Neither
this nor any of the books on the Rev. Mr. White's list were properly
children's books.

A special book for children was written by a Puritan preacher whose
sayings were very dull in prose, and I am sure must have been more
so in verse. It was called, _Old Mr. Dod's Sayings; composed in
Verse, for the better Help of Memory; and the Delightfulness of
Children reading them, and learning them, whereby they may be the
better ingrafted in their memories and Understanding_. Cotton Mather
also wrote _Good Lessons for Children, in Verse_.

Doubtless the most popular and most widely read of all children's
books in New England was one whose title-page runs thus: _A Token
for Children, being an Exact Account of the Conversion, Holy and
Exemplary Lives and Joyful Deaths of Several Young Children, by
James Janeway. To which is added A Token for the Children of
New England or Some Examples of Children in whom the Fear of God
was remarkably Budding before they died; in several Parts of New
England. Preserved and Published for the Encouragement of Piety in
other Children._

The first portion of this book was written by an English minister
and was as popular in England as in America. The entire book with
the title as given went through many editions both in England
and America, even being reprinted in this century. In spite of
its absolute trustfulness and simplicity of belief, it is a sad
commentary on the spiritual conditions of the times. I will not
give any of the accounts in full, for the expression of religious
thought shown therein is so contrary to the sentiment of to-day that
it would not be pleasing to modern readers. The New England portion
was written by Cotton Mather, and out-Janeways Janeway. Young babes
chide their parents for too infrequent praying, and have ecstasies
of delight when they can pray _ad infinitum_. One child two years
old was able "savingly to understand the mysteries of Redemption";
another of the same age was "a dear lover of faithful ministers."
One poor little creature had "such extraordinary meltings that his
eyes were red and sore from weeping on his sins." Anne Greenwich,
who died when five years old, "discoursed most astonishingly of
great mysteries"; Daniel Bradley, who had an "Impression and
inquisitiveness of the State of Souls after Death," when three years
old; Elizabeth Butcher, who, "when two and a half years old, as
she lay in the Cradle would ask her self the Question What is my
corrupt Nature? and would answer herself It is empty of Grace, bent
unto Sin, and only to Sin, and that Continually," were among the
distressing examples.

[Illustration: The Custis Children, 1760, _circa_]

Jonathan Edwards' _Narratives of Conversions_ contained similar
records of religious precocity. There is a curious double light
in all these narratives: the premature sadness of the children,
who seem as old as original sin, is equalled by the absolute
childishness of the reverend gentlemen, Mr. Janeway, Mr. Mather, Mr.
Edwards, who tell the tales. There were other similar collections
of examples,--one of children in Siberia, others in Silesia, and
another of _Pious Motions and Devout Exercises of Jewish Children
in Berlin_. Siberia was apparently as remote and inaccessible to
Boston in those days as the moon, and the incredulous mind cannot
help wondering who sent and how were sent these accounts to those
trusting Boston ministers.

Another child's book, by James Janeway, was _The Looking Glass
for Children_. There had been a previous book with nearly the same
title. Janeway's book was certainly popular, perhaps because it was
in verse, and children's poetry was very scanty and rare in those
days. It was reprinted many times, and parts appeared in selections
and compilations until this century. A few lines run thus:--

    "When by Spectators I behold
       What Beauty doth adorn me
     Or in a glass when I behold
       How sweetly God did form me,
     Hath God such comeliness bestowed
       And on me made to dwell
     What pity such a pretty maid
       As I should go to Hell."

A book of similar title was _Divine Blossoms, a Prospect or Looking
Glass for Youth_.

The lack of poetry may also account in some degree for the
astonishing popularity of a poem which appeared in 1662, written
by a Puritan preacher named Michael Wigglesworth, and entitled,
_The Day of Doom; or a Poetical description of the Great and Last
Judgement_. This "epic of hell-fire and damnation" was reprinted
again and again, and was sold in such large numbers that it is safe
to assert that every New England household, whose members could
read, was familiar with it. It was printed as a broadside, and
children committed it to memory; teachers extolled it; ministers
quoted it. Its horrible descriptions of hell and the sufferings of
the damned are weakened to the modern mind by the thought of the
presumptuous complacence of the author who would dare to give page
after page of what he conceived the great Judge would say on the Day
of Judgment. But of course no child, certainly no child of Puritan
training, would note either absurdity or impropriety in assigning
such words, and it is sad to think what must have been the climax
of horror with which a sensitive child read God's answer to the
plea for salvation made by "reprobate infants"; the terrible words
running on through many stanzas, and ending thus:--

    "Will you demand Grace at my hand,
       and challenge what is mine?
     Will you teach me whom to set free
       and thus my Grace confine?
     You sinners are, and such a share
       as sinners may expect;
     Such you shall have; for I do save
       none but my own Elect.

    "Yet to compare your sin with their's
       who liv'd a longer time,
     I do confess yours is much less,
       though every sin's a crime.
     A Crime it is, therefore in bliss
       you may not hope to dwell;
     But unto you I shall allow
       the easiest room in Hell."

Thomas White wrote a book for children which certainly comes under
the head of religious books, though its pages held also those
frivolous lines "A was an archer who shot at a frog," etc. This
dreary volume was entitled a _Little Book for Little Children_. It
contained accounts of short-lived and morbid young Christians, much
like those of James Janeway's book. One child of eight wept bitter
and inconsolable tears for his sins. One wicked deed was lying. His
mother asked him whether he were cold. He answered "Yes" instead
of "Forsooth," and afterward doubted whether he really was cold or
not. Another sin was whetting his knife on the Sabbath day. Poor
Nathaniel Mather whittled on the Lord's day--and hid behind the
door while thus sinning. A boy's jack-knife was a powerful force
then as now. This book also had accounts of the Christian martyrs
and their tortures. This was an English book, first reprinted in
Boston in 1702. An edition of _Pilgrim's Progress_ was printed in
Boston in 1681, another in 1706, and an illustrated edition in 1744,
but I doubt that these were the complete book. Many shortened
copies and imitations appeared. One was called _The Christian's
Metamorphosis Unfolded_. Another _The Christian Pilgrim_. Dr. Neale
edited it for children, making, says a modern critic, "a most
impudent book." Bunyan also wrote _Divine Emblems_, which the young
were enjoined to read, and he also "bowed his pen to children" and
wrote _Country Rhimes for Children_. For many years no copy of this
was known to exist, but one was found in America in recent years,
and is now in the British Museum. It is an uncouth mixture of
religious phrases and similes and very crude natural history.


And the serpent [f.]aid unto the woman, Ye [f.]hall not [f.]urely

GENESIS iii. 4.








Illu[f.]trated with NOTES, and adorned with CUTS,

For the U[f.]e of CHILDRENS.

_Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not._ LUKE
xviii. 16.




The Holy Bible Abridged]

_Pilgrim's Progress_ was the first light reading of Benjamin
Franklin. Other books of his boyhood were Plutarch's _Lives_,
Defoe's _Essays upon Projects_, Cotton Mather's _Essays to do
Good_, and Burton's _Historical Collections_. Another patriot, at
a later day--Abraham Lincoln--learning little but the primer at
school, read slowly and absorbed into his brain, his heart, and his
everyday speech the Bible, _Pilgrim's Progress_, Æsop's _Fables_
and Plutarch's _Lives_,--a good education,--to which a _Life of
Washington_ added details of local patriotism.

[Illustration: Illustration from _Original Poetry for Young Minds_]

Another book for young people--which might be termed a story-book,
though its lesson was deemed deeply religious--was called, _A
Small Book in Easy Verse Very Suitable for Children, entitled
The Prodigal Daughter or the Disobedient Lady Reclaimed_. It was a
poem of about a hundred stanzas, relating the story of a very wilful
young woman who, on being locked up in her room by her father to
check her extravagance, made a league with the Devil, attempted
to poison her father and mother, dropped dead apparently on her
wickedness being discovered, was carried to the grave, but revived
just as the sexton was about to lower her coffin in the ground.
She recovered, repented, related her experiences with unction, and
lived ever after happy. The title-page bears a picture of the
devil as a fine gentleman wearing his tail as a sword, and having
one high-topped cloven-footed boot. This book enjoyed unbounded
popularity even during the early years of this century.

It was similar in teaching to a chap-book which was entitled _The
Afflicted Parents, or the Undutiful Child Punished_. In this tale
the daughter gave some very priggish advice to her wicked brother,
who promptly knocks her down and kills her. He is captured,
tried, condemned, sentenced, and at last executed by two pardoned
highwaymen. But upon being cut down he comes to life, pompously
discourses at much length, and then is executed a second time, as a
warning to all disobedient children.

Death-bed scenes continued to be full of living interest. _The Good
Child's Little Hymnbook_ represents the taste of the times. One poem
is on the death and burial of twins, and thus is doubly interesting.
Another is on "Dying." The child asks whether he is going to die
and "look white and awful and be put in the pithole with other dead
people." And yet the preface runs:--

    "Mamma See what a Pretty Book
       At Day's Pappa has bought,
     That I may at the pictures look
       And by the words be taught."

After a time some attempts were made to render the Bible in a form
specially for children's reading. There was a rhymed adaptation
called the _Bible in Verse._ This was not the Bible versification of
Samuel Wesley, printed in 1717, of which he says condescendingly,
"Some passages here represented are so barren of Circumstances
that it was not easy to make them shine in Verse." Older hands had
essayed to rhyme the Bible; one was called _A Briefe Somme of the

These Bible abridgments were literally little books, usually three
or four inches long, covered with brown or mottled paper. One tiny,
well-worn book of Bible stories was but two inches long and an inch
wide. It had two hundred and fifty pages, each of about twenty words.

There was also the famous _Thumb Bible_ printed by the Boston book
printers, Mein and Fleming. A copy of this may be seen at the Lenox
Library in New York City. _The Hieroglyphick Bible with Emblematick
Figures_ was illustrated with five hundred tiny pictures set with
the print, which helped to tell the story after the manner of an
illustrated rebus. Bewick made the cuts for the English edition.
Tiny catechisms were widely printed and sought after, and used as
gifts to good and godly children. There were also dull little books
of parables, modelled on the parables of the Bible. Those were
profoundly religious, but were so darkly and figuratively expressed
as to be frequently entirely incomprehensible; and they fully
realized the definition of a parable given by a child I know--"a
heavenly story with no earthly meaning."

[Illustration: Page of Hieroglyphick Bible]

An extremely curious and antiquated religious panada was entitled
the _History of the Holy Jesus_. The seventh edition was printed
in New London in 1754. The illustrations in this stupid little
book were more surprising than the miserable text. No attempt was
made to represent Oriental scenery. The picture of an earthquake
showed a group of toy houses and a substantial church of the type
of the Old South in perfect condition, tipped over and leaning
solidly on each other. The Prodigal Son returned to an English
manor-house with latticed windows, and the women wore high commodes
and hoop-skirts. In the cut intended to represent to the inquiring
young Christian in New England the Adoration of the Magi, the wise
men of the East appear in the guise of prosperous British merchants;
in cocked hats, knee breeches, and full-skirted coats with great
flapped pockets, they look wisely at the star-spotted heavens, and
a mammoth and extremely conventionalized comet through British
telescopes mounted on tripods. The Slaughter of the Innocents must
have seemed painfully close at hand when Yankee children looked at
the trim military platoons of English-clad infants, each waving an
English flag; while Herod, in a modern uniform, on a horse with
modern trappings, charged upon them. Perhaps some of the fathers and
mothers born in England and in the Church of England had a still
more vivid realization of Herod's crime, for it was the custom in
some English parishes at one time to whip all the children on Holy
Innocent's Day. As Gregory said:--

     "It hath been a custom to whip up the children upon Innocent's
     Day morning, that the memorie of this murther might stick the
     closer; and in a moderate proportion to act over the crueltie
     again in kind."

The book was in rhyme. Here are a few of the verses:--

    "The Wise Men from the East do come
       Led by a Shining Star.
     And offer to the new born King
       Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh.
     Which Herod hears & wrathful Grows
       And now by Heavn's Decree
     Joseph and Mary and her Son
       Do into Ægypt flee.
     The Bloody Wretch enrag'd to think
       Christ's Death he could not gain,
     Commands that Infants all about
       Bethlehem should be slain.
     But O! to hear the awful cries
       Of Mothers in Distress,
     And Rachel mourns for her first-born
       Snatch'd from her tender Breast."

_The History of the Holy Jesus_ was told by Rev. Mr. Instructwell
to Master Learnwell. The book contained also the _Child's Body of
Divinity_, and some of Dr. Watts' hymns. These _Divine Songs for
Children_ appear in many forms. The _Cradle Hymn_ is the one most
frequently seen, and I recently have heard it extolled as "a perfect
lullaby for a child." A curious study it is, showing how absolutely
traditional religious conception could usurp the mind and obscure
the impulses of the heart. Its sweet and tender lines, which begin--

    "Hush my dear, lie still and slumber.
     Holy angels guard thy bed,"

are soon contrasted with the vehement words which tell of the lot
of the infant Jesus; and at the mother's passionate expressions of
"brutal creatures," "cursed sinners," that "affront their Lord," the
child apparently cries, for the mother sings:--

    "Soft, my child, I did not chide thee,
     Though my song may sound too hard."

In the next stanza, however, theological venom again finds vent to
the poor wondering baby:--

    "Yet to read the shameful story
     How the Jews abused their King--
     How they served the Lord of Glory,
     Makes me angry while I sing."

This certainly seems an ill-phrased and exciting lullaby, but is
perhaps what might be expected as the notion of a soothing cradle
hymn from a bigoted old bachelor.



     _If we are to consider that the condition of the human mind at
     any particular juncture is worth studying, it is certainly of
     importance to know on what food its infancy is fed.

     --The Book Hunter. John Hill Burton, 1863._

Locke says in his _Thoughts on Education_ that "the only book
I know of fit for children is Æsop's 'Fables' and 'Reynard the
Fox.'" By this he means the only story-books. A chap-book, a cheap,
ill-printed edition of Æsop's _Fables_, was read in New England, but
I have found nothing to indicate that these fables were specially
printed or bought for children, or that children were familiar with

There seem to have been absolutely no books for the special delight
of young men and maids in the first years in the new world, no
romances or tales of adventure; nor were there any in England. One
Richard Codrington, a Puritan, and a tiresome old bore, wrote a book
"For the Instructing of the Younger Sort of Maids and Boarders at
Schools." It is about as void of instruction as a book well could
be; and this is his pleasant notion of a "girl's own book":--

     "To entertain young Gentlewomen in their hours of Recreation
     we shall commend unto them God's Revenge against Murther and
     Artemidorous his Interpretation of Dreams."

It isn't hard to guess which one of these two was "taken out" most
frequently from the school library. Speculation about dreams was one
of the few existing outlets to youthful imagination, and many happy
hours were spent in elaborate interpretations. Thus tired Nature's
sweet restorer, balmy Sleep, supplied the element of romance which
the dull waking hours denied, and made life worth living.

Though no great books were written for children during all these
years, three of the great books of the world, written with deep
purpose, for grown readers, were calmly appropriated by children
with a promptness that would seem to prove the truth of the
assertion that children are the most unerring critics of a story.
These books were _Pilgrim's Progress_, first published in 1688;
_Robinson Crusoe_, in 1714; and _Gulliver's Travels_, in 1726. The
religious, political, and satirical purposes of these books have
been wholly obscured by their warm adoption as stories. They have
been loved by hundreds of thousands of English-reading children,
and translated into many other languages. Hundreds of other books,
chiefly for children, have been written, that have been inspired by
or modelled on these books--thus the debt of children to them is

[Illustration: MERRY TALES. OF THE Wi[f.]e Men of GOTHAM.

Printed and Sold in London.

Title-page of _Merry Tales_]

The history of children's story-books in both England and America
begins with the life of John Newbery, the English publisher, who
settled in London in 1744. His life and his work have been told at
length by Mr. Charles Welsh in the book entitled _A Book Seller
of the Last Century_. Newbery was the first English bookseller
who made any extended attempt to publish books especially for
children's reading. The text of these books was written by himself,
and by various English authors, among them no less a genius than
Oliver Goldsmith. His books were promptly exported to America,
where they were doubtless as eagerly welcomed as in England. The
meagre advertisements of colonial newspapers contain his lists.
During Newbery's active career as a publisher--and activity was his
distinguishing characteristic--he published over two hundred books
for children. One of the earliest was announced in 1744 as "a pretty
little pocket book." It contained the story of Jack the Giant Killer.

[Illustration: TALE III.

[Illustration two men with a cuckoo]

On a time the men of Gotham fain would have pinned the cuckoo, that
[f.]he might [f.]ing all the year, all in the mid[f.]t of the town
they had a hedge made in a round compa[f.]s, and got a cuckoo,
and put her into it, and [f.]aid, Sing here and you [f.]hall lack
neither meat nor drink all the year. The Cuckoo when [f.]he [f.]ee
her[f.]elf encompa[f.][f]ed within the hedge, flew away. A vengeance
on her [f.]aid the Wi[f.]e Men, we made not the hedge high enough.

Page of _Merry Tales of Wise Men of Gotham_]

An amusing, albeit thrifty, intermezzo of all children's books was
the publisher's persistent advertisement of his other juvenile
literary wares. If a generous godfather is introduced, he is at
once importuned to buy another of good Mr. Newbery the printer's
books. When Tommy Truelove is to have his reward of virtue and
industry, he implores that it may be a little book sold at the Book
Shop over against Aldermary Churchyard, Bow Lane. If a kind mamma
sets out to "learn Jenny June to read," she does it with one of
Marshall's "Universal Battledores, so beloved of young masters and
misses." The old-time reader was never permitted to forget for over
a page that the good, kind, thoughtful gentleman who printed this
book had plenty of others to sell.

Newbery was the most ingenious of these advertisers. This is an
example of one of his newspaper eye-catchers printed in 1755:--

     "This day was published Nurse Truelove's New Years Gift or the
     book of books for children, adorned with cuts, and designed as
     a present for every little boy who would become a great man,
     and ride upon a fine horse; and to every little girl who would
     become a great woman and ride in a lord-mayor's gilt coach.
     Printed for the author who has ordered these books to be given
     gratis to all boys and girls, at the Bible and Sun in St. Paul's
     Churchyard, they paying for the binding which is only twopence
     for each book."

Other books were sold "with a Ball and Pincushion, the use of which
will infallibly make Tommy a good boy, and Polly a good girl." The
juvenile characters in the books are always turning aside to read or
buy some one of Mr. Newbery's little books; or pulling one of Mr.
Newbery's "nice gilded library" out of their pockets, or taking Dr.
James' Fever Powder, which was also one of Mr. Newbery's popular

The Revolutionary patriot and printer, Isaiah Thomas, was said to
be very "ingenious in spirit." I do not know the exact significance
of this term unless it means that he was a wide-awake publisher,
which he certainly was. He was a bright, stirring man of quick wit
and active intelligence in all things. He brought out just after
the Revolution many little books for children. Few of them have
any pretence of originality, even in a single page. Nearly all are
wholesale reprints of various English books for children, chiefly
those of John Newbery.

I don't know what made Thomas so ready to catch up the reprinting
of these children's books in advance of other American printers.
Perhaps his attention was led to it by the fact that his "Prentice's
Token," or specimen of his work when he was a printer's 'prentice,
was one of those little books. It was issued in 1761 by A. Barclay
in Cornhill, Boston, and a copy now in the possession of the
American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, Massachusetts, is
indorsed in Thomas' own handwriting as being by his 'prentice hand.
The book is entitled, _Tom Thumbs Play Book. To Teach Children their
letters as soon as they can speak_. It contains the old rhyme,
"A, Apple pye, B, bit it, C, cut it," etc. Then came the rhymes
beginning, "A, was an Archer and shot at a frog;" also a short

Isaiah Thomas lived in Worcester, printed these books there, and
founded there the American Antiquarian Society; in the library of
that society now in that city may be seen copies of nearly all these
children's books which he reprinted; and a collection of pretty,
quaint little volumes they are.

It is the universal decision of the special students of juvenile
literature, that Goldsmith wrote _Goody Two Shoes_. Washington
Irving thought the title-page plainly "bore the stamp of the sly and
playful humour" of the author of the _Vicar of Wakefield_. It reads

     "The History of Little Goody Two Shoes, otherwise called Mrs.
     Margery Two Shoes, with the means by which she acquired her
     Learning and Wisdom, and in consequence thereof, her Estate; set
     forth at large for the Benefit of those

    "Who from a state of Rags and Care
     And having Shoes but half a pair,
     Their fortune and their fame would fix
     And gallop in a Coach and Six.

[Illustration: _The Renowned history of GOODY TWOSHOES."_

your rooks do. You [f.]ee they are going to re[f.]t already.

Illustration: Two people in front of a building.

Do you so likewi[f.]e, and get up with them in the morning; earn,
as they do, every day what you eat, and eat and drink no more than
you earn, and you'll get health and keep it. What [f.]hould induce
the rooks to frequent gentlemen's hou[f.]es only, but to tell them
how to lead a prudent life? They never build over cottages or farm
hou[f.]es, becau[f.]e they [f.]ee, that the[f.]e people know how to
live without their admonition.

    _Thus health and wit you may improve,
    Taught by the tenants of the grove._

The gentleman laughing gave Margery [f.]ixpence, and told her [f.]he
was a [f.]ensible hu[f.][f]ey.


_How the whole Pari[f.]h was frightened._

Who does not know Lady Ducklington, or who does not know that [f.]he
was buried at this pari[f.]h church?


_The Renowned History of Goody Two Shoes_]

     "See the original manuscript in the Vatican at Rome, and the
     Cuts by Michael Angelo. Illustrated by the Comments of our great
     modern Critics. Price Sixpence."

Copies of _Goody Two Shoes_ are seldom seen for sale to-day, and
many copies are expurgated. The following quaint chapter is the one
chosen for excision, because our children must never hear the word


     "Who does not know Lady Ducklington, or who does not know that
     she was buried at this parish church?

     "Well, I never saw so grand a funeral in all my life; but the
     money they squandered away would have been better laid out in
     little books for children, or in meat, drink, and clothes for
     the poor. This is a fine hearse indeed, and the nodding plumes
     on the horses look very grand; but what end does that answer,
     otherwise than to display the pride of the living, or the vanity
     of the dead. Fie upon such folly, say I, and heaven grant that
     those who want more sense may have it.

     "But all the country round came to see the burying, and it was
     late before the corpse was interred. After which, in the night,
     or rather about four o'clock in the morning, the bells were
     heard to jingle in the steeple, which frightened the people
     prodigiously, who all thought it was Lady Ducklington's ghost
     dancing among the bell ropes. The people flocked to Will
     Dobbins, the Clerk, and wanted him to go and see what it was;
     but William said he was sure it was a ghost, and that he would
     not offer to open the door. At length Mr. Long, the rector,
     hearing such an uproar in the village, went to the clerk to know
     why he did not go into the church and see who was there. I go,
     says William, why the ghost would frighten me out of my wits.
     Mrs. Dobbins, too, cried, and laying hold on her husband said
     he should not be eat up by the ghost. A ghost, you blockheads,
     says Mr. Long in a pet, did either of you ever see a ghost,
     or know anybody that did? Yes, says the clerk, my father did
     once in the shape of a windmill, and it walked all round the
     church in a white sheet, with jack boots on, and had a gun by
     its side instead of a sword. A fine picture of a ghost truly,
     says Mr. Long, give me the key of the church, you monkey; for
     I tell you there is no such thing now, whatever may have been
     formerly. Then taking the key he went to the church, all the
     people following him. As soon as he opened the door what sort of
     a ghost do you think appeared? Why little Twoshoes, who being
     weary, had fallen asleep in one of the pews during the funeral
     service and was shut in all night. She immediately asked Mr.
     Long's pardon for the trouble she had given him, told him she
     had been locked into the church, and said she should not have
     rung the bells, but that she was very cold, and hearing Farmer
     Boult's man go whistling by with his horses, she was in hopes he
     would have went to the Clerk for the key to let her out."

It would seem that even an advanced pedagogist and child culturist
might forgive this delightful ghost--like a windmill with jack-boots
and a gun, just as a modern grammarian must forgive the verb "would
have went" from little Two Shoes, who, as Mr. Charles Welsh says,
"really ought to have known better."

The first Worcester edition of _Goody Two Shoes_ was printed in
1787, with some alterations suited to time and place. Margery sings
"the Cuzzes Chorus which may be found in the Pretty Little Pocket
Book of Mr. Thomas," etc., and when she grows up she is made a
teacher in Mrs. Williams' "College," which is described in Nurse
Truelove's American books.

It will doubtless be a surprise to many that _Tommy Trip's History
of Beasts and Birds_, etc., was written by Goldsmith. This little
book opens with an account of Tommy and his dog Jowler, who serves
Tommy for a horse.

     "When Tommy has a mind to ride, he pulls a little bridle out of
     his pocket, whips it upon honest Jowler, and away he gallops
     tantwivy. As he rides through the town he frequently stops at
     the doors to know how the good children do within, and if they
     are good and learn their books, he then leaves an apple, an
     orange or a plumb-cake at the door, and away he gallops again
     tantwivy tantwivy."

As a specimen of Tommy's literary skill he gives the lines

    "Three children sliding on the ice
     Upon a summer's day," etc.

The description of animals are such as would be expected from
the author of _Animated Nature_, an amusing medley of truth and

[Illustration: A NEW



_A Plan Entirely New_;

Designed to allure _Little Ones_ into a Knowledge of their Letters,
&c. by way of Diversion.


_A Lover of Children_.


_Printed and Sold Wholesale_,



_Price Twopence._

Title-page of _A New Lottery Book_]

The name Tommy Trip seems to have been deemed a taking one in
juvenile literature, and is found in many books for children, both
in the titles and as the name of ascribed author. It was used until
this century. The title-page of _A New Lottery Book by Tommy Trip_
is here shown. The manner of using this little _Lottery Book_ is
thus explained:--

     "As soon as the child can speak let him stick a pin through
     the page by the side of the letter you wish to teach him. Turn
     the page every time and explain the letter by which means the
     child's mind will be so fixed upon the letter that he will get a
     perfect idea of it, and will not be liable to mistake it for any
     other. Then show him the picture opposite the letter and make
     him read the name of."

The antique mind seems to have found even in Biblical days a vast
satisfaction in riddles. Quintilian said the making and study of
riddles strengthened the reflective faculties.

Old-time jest-books called _Guess Books_ were deemed proper reading
for children, such as _Joe Miller's_ and _Merry Tales of the Wise
Men of Gotham_; very stale and dull were the jests. The _Puzzling
Cap_ was a popular one; also _The Sphinx or Allegorical Lozenges_.
Others were _Guess Again_, and one entitled _Food for the Mind_,
which bore these lines on the title-page:--

    "Who Riddles Tells and Many Tales,
     O'er Nutbrown Cakes and Mugs of Ale."


Nurse Truelove was a popular character in these books, and a popular
story was _Nurse True Love's New Year Gift, designed as a present to
every little Boy who would become a great Man, and ride upon a fine
Horse, and to every little Girl who would become a fine Woman and
ride in a Governour's Coach; But Turn over the Leaf and see More of
the Matter_. This was originally an English book, one of Newbery's,
as shown by his advertisement already quoted. Thomas Americanized
the Lord Mayor's coach into a Governor's coach, but he carried out
to the fullest extent the English publishers' mode of advertising.
The sub-title of the book was _History of Mistress Williams, and her
Plumb Cake; With a Word or Two Concerning Precedency and Trade_.


24 _A New Lottery Book._

Ii _Ii_

Jj _Jj_

IX Jay. 9

Kk _Kk_

X Key. 10


J Was a Jay, that prattles and toys,

K Was a Key, that lock'd up bad boys.

Two Pages of _A New Lottery Book_]

     "Mrs. Williams when I first became acquainted with her was a
     Widow Gentlewoman who kept a little College in a Country Town
     for the Instruction of Young Gentlemen and Ladies in the
     Science of A, B, C. The Books she put into the hands of her
     Pupils were, 1st, The Christmas Box. 2nd, The Father's Gift.
     3rd, Mr. Perry's Excellent Spelling Book. 4th, The Brother's
     Gift. 5th, The Sister's Gift. 6th, The Infant Tutor. 7th, The
     Pretty Little Pocket Book. 8th, The Pretty Plaything. 9th,
     Tommy Trip's History of Birds and Beasts. And when their minds
     were so enlarged as to be capable of other entertainments she
     recommended to Them the Lilliputian Magazine and other Books
     that are sold by Mr. Isaiah Thomas at his Book Store near the
     Court House in Worcester, &c., &c."

It will be noted that the word college is employed in its old-time
meaning of school; but I am not sure that Thomas used it innocently.
For in the following pages the text compares Mrs. Williams to
"any other old Lady in the European Universities." _The Christmas
Box_ referred to has a decided American flavor. It was printed
in 1789 and is entitled _Nurse True Love's Christmas Box or a
Golden Plaything for Children_. It gives the history of one Master
Friendly, and is specially forced in style. Here are two sentences:--

     "He learned so fast, Dear me! it did my heart good to hear him
     talk and read. Why! he got all the little books by rote that are
     sold by Mr. Thomas in Worcester, when he was but a very little
     boy. Then he never missed church. Ah! he was a charming boy.

     "He is chosen Congressman already and yet he is not puffed
     up. Well, I saw him seated in a Chair when he was chosen
     Congressman, and he looked--he looked--I do not know what he
     looked like, but everybody was in love with him."

[Illustration: _He! He! He!_

Frontispiece of _Be Merry and Wise_]

This latter sentence is accompanied by a cut of Congressman
Friendly, imbecile in countenance, seated in a chair fixed on
two handles, and borne aloft by four footmen in full livery. This
picture had evidently seen service as "a chairing" in some English
book. When we think what the Congressmen of that day were,--earnest,
simple-hearted patriots, and that Thomas knew them well,--it seems
strange that he could have given such stuff to American children. On
the inside of the cover are printed these lines:--

    "Come hither, little Lady fair,
    And you shall ride & take the Air.
    But first of all pray let me know
    If you can say your criss-cross row.
    For none should e'er in coaches be,
    Unless they know their A, B, C."

It may interest children to read a short story from one of these
little volumes to see the sort of thing children had to amuse them a
hundred years ago. This is from a book called _The Father's Gift, or
How to be Wise and Happy_.

     "There were two little Boys and Girls, the Children of a fine
     Lady and Gentleman who loved them dearly. They were all so good
     and loved one another so well that every Body who saw them
     talked of them with Admiration far and near. They would part
     with any Thing to each other, loved the Poor, spoke kindly to
     Servants, did every Thing they were bid to do, were not proud,
     knew no Strife, but who should learn their Books best, and be
     the prettiest Scholar. The Servants loved them, and would do any
     Thing they desired. They were not proud of fine Clothes, their
     Heads never ran on their Playthings when they should mind their
     Books. They said Grace before they ate, and Prayer before going
     to bed and as soon as they rose. They were always clean and
     neat, would not tell a Fib for the World, and were above doing
     any Thing that required one. God blessed them more and more, and
     their Papa, Mama, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins for their Sakes.
     They were a happy Family, no one idle; all prettily employed,
     the little Masters at their Books, the little Misses at their
     Needles. At their Play hours they were never noisy, mischievous
     or quarrelsome. No such word was ever heard from their Mouths
     as "Why mayn't I have this or that as well as Betty or Bobby."
     Or "Why should Sally have this or that any more than I;" but it
     was always "as Mama pleases, she knows best," with a Bow and a
     Smile, without Surliness to be seen on their Brow. They grew
     up, the Masters became fine Scholars and fine Gentlemen and
     were honoured; the Misses fine Ladies and fine Housewives. This
     Gentleman sought to Marry one of the Misses, and that Gentleman
     the Other. Happy was he that could be admitted into their
     Company. They had nothing to do but to pick and choose the best
     Matches in the Country, while the greatest Ladies for Birth and
     most remarkable for Virtue thought themselves honoured by the
     Addresses of the two Brothers. They all married and made good
     Papas and Mamas, and so the blessing goes round."

_The Brother's Gift, or the Naughty Girl Reformed_, of which the
third Worcester edition was printed in 1791, bore these lines as a

    "Ye Misses, Shun the Coxcomb of the Mall,
    The Masquerade, the Rout, the Midnight Ball;
    In lieu of these more useful arts pursue,
    And as you're fair, be wise and virtuous too."

Though useful arts were inculcated by this book, the reward of
virtue to the reformed girl was a fine new pair of stays, which are
duly pictured.

Another of Newbery's beloved books was _The History of Tommy
Careless, or the Misfortunes of a Week_. On Monday Tommy fell in the
water, spoiled his coat, and was sent to bed. On Tuesday he lost his
kite and ended the day in bed. On Wednesday he fell from the apple
tree, and again was put in bed. Thursday the maid gave him two old
pewter spoons; he made some dump-moulds, and in casting his dumps
scalded his fingers, and as ever was put in retirement. On Friday he
killed the canary bird--and to bed again. On Saturday he managed to
incite Dobbin to kick the house dog and kill him; then he caught his
own fingers in a trap, and ended the week in bed as he began it.


  Be MERRY and WISE;
  CREAM of the JESTS
  For the Conduct of LIFE.

  _Publi[f.]hed for the U[f.]e of all good Little_
  BOYS _and_ GIRLS.



  _Would you be agreeable in Company, and u[f.]eful
  to Society; carry [f.]ome merry Je[f.]ts in your
  Mind, and hone[f.]t Maxims in your Heart._




  Title-page of _Be Merry and Wise_]

When we think of the vast number of these books, it seems strange
that so few have survived. The penny books were too valueless to be
saved. Sometimes we find one among abandoned or discarded piles or
bundles of books. It has been the fate, however, of most children's
books to be destroyed by children. With coarse, time-browned paper,
poor type, and torn, worn leaves, they are not very attractive. Open
one at random. Ten to one you have before you the page upon which
centres the interest of the book, its climax, its adventure, or its
high wit. That page was a favorite. Many times you will find crude
attempts at amateur coloring of the prints.

In these books is found an entirely different code from that
inculcated by modern books or taught by earlier books. The first
books for children simply exhorted goodness, giving no reasons, but
commanding obedience and virtue. The books of the Puritan epoch
taught children to be good for fear of hell. This succeeding school
instructed them to be good because it was profitable. All the
advice is frankly politic; much is of mercenary mould. Children are
instructed to do aright, not because they should, but because they
will benefit thereby--and profit is given the most worldly guise,
such as riding in a coach, having a purse full of gold, wearing
silks and satins, becoming Lord Mayor, or most exalted station of
all, "a proud Sheriff." As chief officer of the Crown, the old-time
sheriff of each English county was superior in rank to every
nobleman in the county. The diarist Evelyn tells that his father
when sheriff had a hundred and fifty servants in livery, and many
gentleman attendants. Punishment, the abhorrence of parents, and
evil results fall upon children not so fiercely for lying, stealing,
treachery, or cruelty as they do for soiling their clothes, falling
into the water, tumbling off walls, breaking windows or china, and
a score of other actions which are the result of carelessness,
clumsiness, or indifference, rather than of viciousness. These books
would educate (had they been forcible enough to be of profound
influence) generations of trucklers, time servers, and money lovers.
The natural inclination and the diversity of inclination of children
made them rise above these instructions.



In another part of the fair the boys [f.]aw [f.]ome children
to[f.][f]ed about thus.

They were [f.]inging merrily the old nur[f.]e's ditty.

    "Now we go up, up, up,
    "Now we go down, down, down;
    "Now we go backward and forward,
    "Now we go round, round, round."

Page from _Cobwebs to Catch Flies_]

It was the constant effort of the artists, authors, and teachers
of olden times to imbue youth with the notion that no harm could
possibly come to the good--unless early death could be counted
an evil. Children were taught that virtue and each good action
was ever, immediately, and conspicuously rewarded. The pictures
repeated and emphasized the didactic teachings; and morality,
industry, and good intentions were made to triumph over things
animate and inanimate. That the old illustrations were a delight
to children cannot be doubted; they were so easily comprehended.
The bad boys of the story always bore a miserable countenance and
figure, and the good boys were smugly prosperous. The prim girls are
shown the beloved of all, and the tomboys equally the misery and
embarrassment. All this is lacking in modern picture books, which
so truly represent real life and things that the naughty boy is not
blazoned at first glance as a different being from the pious delight.

I am inclined to believe that the old-time grotesqueness was more
amusing and impressive to children than modern realism; that
there was a stronger association of ideas with the emphasis of
disproportion; the absurdities and anachronisms of scenery and
costume were unnoted by the juvenile reader because he knew no

In the children's books which I have examined, the colored
illustrations are all of dates later than 1800 (when dated at
all). Mr. Andrew W. Tuer, in the preface to his most interesting
collection entitled _Pages and Pictures from Forgotten Children's
Books_, says that the coloring was done by children in their teens
who worked with great celerity. Each child had a single pan of
water-color, a brush, a properly colored guide, and a pile of
printed sheets. One child painted in all the red required by the
copy, another the green, another the blue, and so on till the
coloring was finished.

[Illustration: "William and Amelia," from _The Looking Glass for the

There was one book which children loved, that every little child
loves to-day--_Mother Goose's Melodies_. Attempts have been made
to show that the name and collection were both American; that the
former referred to one Mrs. Goose or Vergoose, a Boston goodwife.
The name Mother Goose is believed by most folk to be of French, not
of English or American origin. A collection of nursery rhymes was
printed for John Newbery about 1760, under the popular name _Mother
Goose's Melodies_; about 1785 Isaiah Thomas issued at Worcester,
Massachusetts, an edition of _Mother Goose's Melodies_ with the
songs from Shakespeare, and certainly this must have been an oasis
in the desert of dull books for New England children.

There is no pretence in this edition of Thomas' that the book had
any American origin; it is said to be a collection of rhymes by
"old British nurses"; and such it really was. Halliwell says many
of these nursery rhymes are fragments of old ballads. Mr. Whitmore
deems the great popularity of "Mother Goose" due to the Boston
editions issued in large numbers from 1824 to 1860.

The preface to the Worcester edition of 1785 _circa_ is said to be
written by a very great writer of very little books. Could this have
been Oliver Goldsmith? Irving, in his _Life of Goldsmith_, refers
to the poet's love of catches and simple melodies, and tells of his
singing "his favorite song about An old woman tossed in a blanket
seventeen times as high as the moon." A Miss Hawkins boasted late in
life that Goldsmith taught her to play Jack and Jill with bits of
paper on his fingers just as we show the trick to children to-day.
Included in these melodies are the verses "Three children sliding
on the ice," which we know were written by Goldsmith. Here is an
example of one of the melodies and its note:--

            "Trip upon Trenchers
             Dance upon Dishes
    My mother sent me for some Barm, some Barm.
             She bade me tread Lightly
             And leave again Quickly,
    For fear the Young Men should do me some Harm.
             Yet! don't you see?
             What naughty tricks they put upon me!
    They broke my Pitcher
    And spilt my Water
    And huffed my Mother
    And chid her Daughter,
    And kiss'd my Sister instead of me.

     "What a Succession of Misfortunes befell this poor Girl? But the
     last Circumstance was the most affecting and might have proved

     --WINSLOW'S _View of Britain_.

  According to the notion of humor of the day,
  the notion of Goldsmith, or some other book-hack-wag,
  these notes were all ascribed as quotations from
  some profound author, just as the cuts in _Goody
  Two Shoes_ were said to be by Michael Angelo, and
  the text from the Vatican. Thus after the rhymes,
  "See-saw, Margery Daw," etc., is the sober comment,
  "It is a mean and Scandalous Practice in
  an author to put Notes to a Thing that deserves
  no Notice. Grotius." After the "Three Wise
  Men of Gotham," which ends with the lines--

  "If the bowl had been stronger
  My tale had been longer,"

is the sententious note "It's long enough. Never lament the Loss of
what is not worth having. Boyle." Puffendorf, Coke on Littleton,
Pliny, Bentley on the _Sublime and Beautiful_, Mapes' _Geography of
the Mind_, are other authors and books that are soberly cited.

[Illustration: "Caroline, or a Lesson to Cure Vanity," from _The
Looking Glass for the Mind_]

A very priggish little book was entitled _Cobwebs to Catch Flies_.
The tone of its text may be shown in the dialogue about "The Toss
About." The brothers who attended a country fair had been forbidden
by their mother to ride in the Merry-go-round. Dear Ned wished
to try the fun. Dear James said with propriety, "Dear Ned, I am
sure our mamma would object to our riding in this Toss-about." Ned
answered, "Dear James, did you ever hear her name the Toss-about?"
"No, dear Ned, but I am certain that if she had known of it
she would have given us the same caution as she did about the
Merry-go-round." Ned paused a moment, then said, "How happy am I to
have an elder brother who is so prudent." Whereupon James replied,
"I am no less happy that you are so willing to be advised," etc.

A distinctly American book for children was printed in Philadelphia
in 1793, a _History of the Revolution_. It was in Biblical
phraseology. This sort of writing had been made popular by Franklin
in his famous _Parable against Persecution_ which he wrote,
committed to memory, and pretended to read as the last chapter in

[Illustration: "Sir John Denham and his Worthy Tenant," from _The
Looking Glass for the Mind_]

Exceeding plainness and even coarseness of speech was presented in
the pages of these old-time story-books. It was simply the speech
of the times shown in the plays, tales, and essays of the day, and
reflected to some degree even in the literature for children. As
an example of what was deemed wit may be given a portion of the
prologue to "Who Killed Cock Robin." The book is entitled _Death
and Burial of Cock Robin_.

     "We were all enjoying ourselves very agreeably after dinner,
     when on a sudden, Sir Peter's Lady gave so loud a sneeze as
     threw the whole company into disorder. Master Danvers instead
     of cracking a nut gave his fingers a tolerable squeeze in the
     nut-crackers. Miss Friendly who had carried with intent to put
     a fine cherry in her mouth missed the mark and bit her finger.
     Sir Peter himself, who was filling a glass of wine, spilled
     the bottle on the table. Miss Comely and Miss Danvers who were
     talking with each other with their heads very close to each
     other very politely knocked them together to see which was the
     hardest. I myself had twelve of my ten toes handsomely trod on
     by one of the young ladies jumping off a chair in a fright. But
     this is not all, no nor half what I was an eye witness of; for
     just at the time her Ladyship sneezed, I was busy contemplating
     the beauty and song of Miss Prudence's Cock Robin that was
     singing and as noisy as a grig when my Lady sneezed which so
     frightened him he fell to the bottom of the Cage as dead as a

A widely read little book was somewhat pompously entitled _The
Looking Glass for the Mind_. It was chiefly translated from that
much-admired work, _L'Ami des Enfans_. Those terse and entertaining
tales of Berquin had perennial youth in their English form and
were reprinted till our own day. The illustrations of Bewick have
a distinct value as showing the dress of children. A few are here
shown. The first is from _William and Amelia_; both children are not
eight years old. The long trained gowns, bare necks, elbow sleeves,
and tall feathered hats are precisely the dress of grown women of
that day, as William's coat and knee-breeches are the garb of a man.
The two "ladies" were "walking arm in arm humming a pretty song then
fashionable in the village collection of Ballads." When they glanced
at the apples in the tree William, "the politest and prettiest
little fellow in the village," dropped his shepherd's pipe, climbed
the tree, and threw down apples in the ladies' aprons. As Charlotte
got more and bigger apples Amelia abandoned her "usual pleasing
prattle," sulked and at last ordered William to fall down "on his
knees on this instant" to apologize. As he refused Amelia pouted
at dinner, would not touch her wine nor say "Your good health,
William," and at last was ordered by her mother from the table.
William, after many attempts, sneaked out with some peaches for her,
and thus an affectionate and generous friendship was restored.

[Illustration: "Clarissa, or the Grateful Orphan," from _The Looking
Glass for the Mind_]

Another illustration is for the tale, _Caroline, or a Lesson to Cure
Vanity_. Caroline's dress is further described in the text as of
pea-green taffety with

fine pink trimmings, elegantly worked shoes, hair a clod of powder
and pomatum. Her "fine silk slip was nicely soused in the rain"; her
hoop and flounces and train caught in the furzes, her gauze hat blew
in a pond of filthy water, etc.; all these made her glad to return
to a more modest dress. The illustration for the _Worthy Tenant_
shows Farmer Harris speaking to polite Sophia, while "Robert was
so shamefully impertinent as to walk round the farmer, holding his
nose, and asking his brother if he did not perceive something of
the smell of a dung heap. He then lighted some paper at the fire,
and carried it around the room in order to disperse, as he said, the
unpleasant smell," etc. _Clarissa, or the Grateful Orphan_, who was
so good that the king relinquished a large fortune to her, complete
the quartette of illustrations.

A group of books was published just after the end of the colonial
period, which had a vast influence on the children of our young
Republic. These books were English; the most important of them
were: _The History of the Fairchild Family_, 1788 _circa_, by Mrs.
Sherwood; _Sanford and Merton_, 1783, by Thomas Day; _The Parents'
Assistant_, 1796, by Maria Edgeworth; _Evenings at Home_, 1792, by
Dr. Aikin and Mrs. Barbauld.

[Illustration: _The Juvenile Biographer 83_

When Mi[f.]s Fiddle Faddle is in the Company of little Females of
her Acquaintance, her whole Di[f.]cour[f.]e turns on the prevailing
Fa[f.]hion of Head-dre[f.]s; what an elegant Ta[f.]te one little
Mi[f.]s has, and how terribly impolite is another.

Page from _The Juvenile Biographer_]

The painfully religious tales of James Janeway were not the only
ones to familiarize death to the reading child. _The Fairchild
Family_ was once deemed a most charming, as it was certainly a most
earnest book, and it has ever had popularity, for within a few
years it has been reprinted in a large edition. I wonder how many
death-bed scenes and references there are in that book! Nor are
ordinary death-beds the saddest or most grewsome scenes. The little
Fairchilds having lost their little tempers and pommelled each other
somewhat, their father takes them as a shocking object-lesson to
see the body of a man hung in chains on a gibbet. The horror of
the progress through the gloomy wood to this revolting sight, the
father's unsparing comments, the hideous account of the _thing,_
rattling, swinging, turning its horrible countenance while Mr.
Fairchild described and explained and gloated over it, and finally
kneeled and prayed,--all this through several pages no carefully
reared child to-day would be permitted to read. Mr. Fairchild's
reason for taking them to this gibbeted corpse should not be omitted
from this account; it was "to show them something which I think they
will remember as long as they live, that they may love each other
with perfect and heavenly love."

A painful and ever present lesson found on every page is the
sinfulness of the world. The children recite verses and quote Bible
texts to prove that all mankind have bad hearts, and Lucy commits to
memory a prayer, a portion of which runs thus:--

     "My heart is so exceedingly wicked, so vile, so full of sin,
     that even when I appear to be tolerably good, even then I am
     sinning. When I am praying, or reading the Bible, or hearing
     other people read the Bible, even then I sin. When I speak, I
     sin; when I am silent, I sin."

_Sandford and Merton_ is most insincerely recommended by many folk
to children to-day. I cannot believe any one who has recently read
the book would ever expect a modern child to care for it. It is
haloed in the memory of people who read it in their youth and fancy
they still like it, but won't take the trouble to read it and see
that they don't.

Jane and Ann Taylor should be added to this class of authors. The
poem, _My Mother_, by Ann Taylor, was published in book form,
and had many imitations. _My Father, My Sister, My Brother, My
Grandmother, My Playmate, My Pony, My Fido_, and lastly, _My
Governess_,--all, says the advertisement, "in the same stile,"--a
style so easily imitated as to seem almost like parody:--

    "Who learnt me how to read and Spell,
     And with my Needle work as well,
     And called me her good little Girl?
       My Governess.

    "Who made the Scholar proud to show
     The Sampler work'd to friend and foe,
     And with Instruction fonder grow?
       My Governess."

We have the contemporary opinion of Charles Lamb of this new school
of juvenile literature. In 1802 he wrote thus to Coleridge:--

     "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 as insignificant and vapid, as Mrs. Barbauld's
     books convey, it seems must come to a child in the shape of
     knowledge; his empty noddle must be turned with the 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 the
     beautiful interest in mild tales which made the child a man,
     while all the time he suspected himself to be no bigger than a
     child.... Hang them!--I mean the cursed Barbauld crew, those
     blights and blasts of all that is human in man and child."


40 The Juvenile Biographer.

One Day, [f.]ome one of Mi[f.]s Polly's little Acquaintances,
coming along the Road near Mi[f.]s Charity's Hou[f.]e, found her
[f.]tanding and crying over a little Beggar, who [f.]at by the Side
of the Road. This is a ju[f.]t Repre[f.]entation of this pitiful

Her Acquaintance a[f.]ked her what [f.]he

The Juvenile Biographer. 41

was crying for. "My dear, ([f.]aid Polly) this poor little Creature
is [f.]tarving, and I have not a Penny to give her; but if you
will lend me Two-pence, if you have [f.]o much about you, I will
certainly pay you again very [f.]oon. What a terrible Thing it is
to think, that while we live upon Dainties, this poor little Girl
[f.]hall be [f.]tarving!"

"My dear, ([f.]aid Miss Polly's Acquaintance) I am happy that I
have Two-pence about me, which is all I am worth in the World, and
tho[f.]e were ju[f.]t now given me by a Gentleman for my pretty
Behaviour to him. Here they are, and you [f.]hall be indebted to
me only One Penny, for I will give her the other my[f.]elf." They
eagerly embraced each other,

The Juvenile Biographer]

In the _Boston Gazette and Country Journal_, January 20, 1772, the
Boston booksellers, Cox and Berry, have this notice of their wares:--

  "The following Little Books for the Instruction and
  Amusement of all good Boys and Girls:--

  The Brother Gift or the Naughty Girl Reformed.

  The Sister Gift or the Naughty Boy Reformed.

  Hobby Horse or Christian Companion.

  Robin Good-Fellow, a Fairy Tale.

  Puzzling Cap, a Collection of Riddles.

  The Cries of London as exhibited in the Streets.

  Royal Guide or Early Instruction in Reading English.

  Mr. Winlove's Collection of Moral Tales.

  History of Tom Jones, abridg'd.

  " " Joseph Andrews "

  " " Pamela         "

  " " Grandison      "

  " " Clarissa   "   "

It may be seen by the last-named books on this list that another
series of books for children were abridgments of _Tom Jones_,
_Joseph Andrews_, _Pamela_, and other great novels of the day.
Rabelais said no abridgment of a book could be a good abridgment;
these are worse than none. The childish reader is notified that if
he likes the little books, his good friend, Mr. Thomas, has the
larger books for sale.

The engraving of the great Mr. Richardson sitting in his grotto,
in 1751, in turban, banyan, and slippers, reading _Sir Charles
Grandison_ to a group of friends, chiefly admiring young ladies in
great hats and padusoy sacques, is typical of his life. He lived in
a flower garden of girls, one intimate circle around his feet, and
swelling circles extending even to America,--all facing inward and
worshipping him and his works. They wept and smiled in a vast chorus
at the dull pages of _Pamela_, at the surprising ones of _Clarissa_,
and the thousands of interesting ones of _Sir Charles Grandison_.
These seven volumes of letters exchanged between sixteen women,
twenty men, all lovers, and fourteen Italians who are enumerated as
of another sex, and are likewise chiefly lovers, are too prolix to
be read to-day, but were a record of love-making which touched every
girl's heart a century and more ago.


     14 _The_ FATHER'S GIFT.

     _Father._ Now my Dear, as I find you have learned to [f.]pell
     and read ea[f.]y words, let me advi[f.]e you to purcha[f.]e
     the Ladder to Learning, which is printed in three Parts, or
     Steps; the fir[f.]t Part is a Collection of pretty Fables,
     Con[f.]i[f.]ting of Words of only one Syllable; the [f.]econd
     Part, of Words not exceeding two Syllables; and the third Part
     of few Words more than three Syllables. When you have reached
     the third Step, Attention and Application will [f.]oon enable
     you to read with Plea[f.]ure to your[f.]elf and Satisfaction
     to your Friends, all the little Books publi[f.]hed for good
     Ma[f.]ters and Mi[f.][f.]es, by your Friend in WORCESTER, near
     the COURT-HOUSE; a View of who[f.]e Shop I here give you.

     _The_ FATHER'S GIFT. 15


     By an attentive Peru[f.]al of tho[f.]e little Publications, you
     will attain the e[f.]teem of all who know you; you will learn to
     be dutiful to your Papa and Mama, obedient to your Superiours,
     loving and kind to your Equals and Inferiours; and, above all,
     you will learn to fear God, and to call upon him often, that you
     may, through his Grace, become wi[f.]e and happy.

Two Pages of _The Father's Gift_]

Little Anna Green Winslow speaks occasionally in her diary
of story-books. She had for a New Year's gift the "History of
Joseph Andrews abbreviated in guilt and flowered covers." She
read the _Pilgrim's Progress_, the _Mother's Gift_, _Gulliver's
Travels_, _The Puzzling Cap_, _The French Orators_, and _Gaffer Two
Shoes_--this may have been our own Goody, not Gaffer.

The "flowery and gilt" binding of these books, so often spoken of in
the notices, is wholly a thing of the past. It was made in Holland
and Germany; but recent inquiry about it discovered that the stamps
and presses used in its manufacture had all been destroyed. An
enthusiastic lover of these little books wrote:--

    "Talk of your vellum, gold embossed morocco, roan, and calf,
     The blue and yellow wraps of old were prettier by half."

They were cheap enough, but a penny apiece, some of them, others
sixpence. It is doubtful whether they were ever sold in America in
vast numbers. Children lent them to each other. Anna Green Winslow
borrowed them, and letters of her day show other children doing
likewise. It was a day of book-lending; for circulating libraries
were slow of formation. The minister's library was often the largest
one in each town, and he lent his precious books to his flock.
In the sparse advertisements of colonial newspapers are many
advertisements of book owners who have lent books, forgotten to
whom, and wish them returned. The only way country children had of
reading many books was by borrowing.


Vice in its proper Shape 39 he had lived to years of maturity, kind
death was plea[f.]ed to di[f.]patch him in the twelfth year of his
age, by the help of a dozen penny cu[f.]tards, which he greedily
conveyed down his throat at one meal, and thereby gorged his
stomach, and threw him[f.]elf into a mortal fever. After his

Page of _Vice in its proper Shape._]

American boys and girls felt till our own day both bewilderment
and impatience at forever reading stories whose local color was
wholly strange to them. Dr. Holmes thus expresses this condition of

     "Books where James was called Jem not Jim as we heard it; where
     naughty schoolboys got through a gap in the hedge to steal
     Farmer Giles's red-streaks, instead of shinning over the fence
     to hook old Daddy Jones's baldwins; where Hodge used to go to
     the ale-house for his mug of beer, while we used to see old
     Joe steering for the grocery to get his glass of rum; where
     there were larks and nightingales instead of yellow-birds and
     bobolinks; where the robin was a little domestic bird that fed
     at table instead of a great, fidgety, jerky, whooping thrush."

The debt of amusement which American children owed to Newbery was
paid in this century by the supply to English children of a vast
number of little books of profit and pleasure, all written by a
single author, "Peter Parley," or Samuel G. Goodrich. In the middle
of the century this gentleman stated that he had written one hundred
and twenty books that were professedly juvenile. Of these and his
books for older minds about seven million copies had been sold, and
about three hundred thousand were still sold annually. They were
sent to England in vast numbers, and were reprinted there both with
and without the author's permission. And when the original books
were not pirated, the name Peter Parley was calmly attached to the
compositions of English authors, as a vastly salable trade-mark.

Scores of American authors, by the middle of this century,
were writing little books for children. These were a class by
themselves--Sunday-school books. They do not come within the very
elastic time limit set for this chapter. They are not old enough
in years, though they are rapidly becoming as obsolete as any
children's books of the last century.

Books written avowedly for Sunday-schools are in decreasing demand.
Those with sectarian teachings, especially, find fewer and fewer



    _For Satan finds some mischief still
          For idle hands to do._

    --_Divine Songs for Children. Isaac Watts, 1720._

Colonial children did not spend much time in play. "The old deluder
Sathan" was not permitted to find many idle hands ready for his
mischievous work. It was ordered by the magistrates that children
tending sheep or cattle in the field should be "set to some other
employment withal, such as spinning upon the rock, knitting,
weaving tape," etc. These were all simple industries requiring
slight paraphernalia. The rock was the hand distaff. It was simple
of manipulation, but required a certain knack of dexterity to
produce even well-twisted thread. Good spinners could spin on the
rock as they walked. Tape-weaving was done on a simple appliance,
the heddle-frame of primitive weavers, known as a tape-loom,
garter-loom, belt-loom, or "gallus-frame." On these small looms
girls wove scores of braids and tapes for use as glove-ties,
shoe-strings, hair-laces, stay-laces, garters, hatbands, belts,
etc., and boys wove garters and breeches-suspenders.

There was plenty of work on a farm even for little children; they
sowed various seeds in early spring; they weeded flax fields,
walking barefoot among the tender plants; they hetchelled flax and
combed wool.

All the work on the flax after the breaking was done in olden times
by women and children. It is said there are in all twenty different
occupations in flax manufacture, of which half can be easily done
by children. Much of the work in domestic wool spinning and weaving
was done by little girls. They could spin on "the great wheel" when
they were so small that they had to stand on a foot-stool to reach
up. They skeined the yarn on a clock-reel. They easily filled the
"quills" with the woollen yarn used in weaving bedspreads and set
the quills in the middle of the great pointed wooden shuttles.
They wound the white warp on the spools, and set the spools on
the scarne. They might, if very deft and attentive, help "set the
piece," that is, wind the warp threads on the great yarn-beam, pass
them through the eyes of the heddles or harness, and the spans of
the reed. Girls of six could spin flax. Anna Green Winslow, when
twelve years old, speaks often in her diary of spinning; and when
disabled from sewing by a painful whitlow on her finger, wrote that
"it is a nice opportunity if I do but improve it, to perfect myself
in learning to spin flax."

[Illustration: The Good Girl and her Wheel]

In the _Memoirs_ of the missionaries, David and John Brainerd, a
boy's busy life on a Connecticut farm is thus described:--

     "The boy was taught that laziness was the worst form of original
     sin. Hence he must rise early and make himself useful before he
     went to school, must be diligent there in study, and promptly
     home to do "chores" at evening. His whole time out of school
     must be filled up with some service, such as bringing in
     fuel for the day, cutting potatoes for the sheep, feeding the
     swine, watering the horses, picking the berries, gathering the
     vegetables, spooling the yarn. He was expected never to be
     reluctant and not often tired."

This constant employment of a farm boy's time lasted till our own
day; but now conditions have changed in Eastern farm life. The work
still is hard and incessant, but not so varied as of yore. Many
crops are obsolete; no flax is raised, and but little wool, and that
sold as soon as sheared. Little grain is raised and no threshing is
done by the flail. Vast itinerant threshing machines go from farm
to farm. Few farmers make cider, which gave so much work to the
boys in autumn. There is no potash or soap boiling. One of the most
delightful chronicles of obsolete farm industry is written by Hon.
George Sheldon and entitled _The Passing of the Stall-Fed Ox and the
Farmer's Boy_.



    This pretty sempstress who can see
    And not admire her industry
    As thus upright she sits to sew,
    Not stooping as some children do.

Illustration from _Plain Things for Little Folks_]

The sawing and chopping of wood was a never diminishing incubus;
this outdoor work on wood was continued within doors in the series
of articles fashioned for farm and domestic use by the boy's
jack-knife and the few heavy carpenter's tools at his command;
some gave to the farm boy the rare pennies of his spending money.
The making of birch splinter brooms was the best paying work. For
these the boy got six cents apiece. The splitting of shoe-pegs
was another. Setting card-teeth was for many years the universal
income furnisher for New England children. Gathering nuts was
a scantily paid-for harvest; tying onions a less pleasing one,
and chiefly followed in the Connecticut Valley. The crop of wild
cherries known as chokecherries was one of the most lucrative of
the boy's resources. They were much desired for making cherry-rum
or cherry-bounce, and would fetch readily a dollar a bushel. A
good-sized tree would yield about six bushels. J. T. Buckingham
tells of his first spending money being ninepence received from a
brush-maker for hog-bristles saved from slaughtered swine.

The story of various silk fevers which raged in America cannot
be given here, romantic as they are. From the first venture the
care of silkworms was held to be a specially suitable work for
children. It was said two boys, "if their hands be not sleeping in
their pockets," could care for six ounces of seed from hatching
till within fourteen days of spinning, when "three or four more
helps, women and children being as proper as men," had to assist in
feeding, cleansing, airing, drying, and perfuming them.

The _Reformed Virginia Silk Worm_ asserted:--

        "For the Labour of a man and boy
    They gain you Sixty pounds which is no toy."

Mulberry trees were planted everywhere and kept low like a hedge,
so children could pick the leaves. All the books of instruction of
the day reiterate that a child ten years of age could easily gather
seventy-five pounds of mulberry leaves a day, and make great wages.
But an old lady, now eighty years old, who made much sewing silk in
Connecticut in her youth, writes thus to me: "Girls picked most of
the leaves. It was very hard work and very small pay. They had ten
cents a bushel for picking. Some could pick three bushels a day."

The first thought of spring brought to the men of the New England
household a hard work--maple-sugar making--which meant vast labor in
preparation and in execution--all of which was cheerfully hailed,
for it gave men and boys a chance to be as Charles Kingsley said, "a
savage for a while." It meant several nights spent in the sugar-camp
in the woods, a-gypsying. Think of the delight of that scene: the
air clear but mild enough to make the sap run; patches of snow
still shining pure in the moonlight and starlight; all the mystery
of the voices of the night, when a startled rabbit or squirrel
made a crackling sound in its stealthy retreat; the distant hoot
of a wakeful owl; the snapping of pendent icicles and crackling of
blazing brush, yet over all a great stillness, "all silence and
all glisten." An exaltation of the spirit and senses came to the
country boy which was transformed at midnight into keen thrills
of imaginative fright at recollection of the stories told by his
elders with rude acting and vivid wording during the early evening
round the fire; of hunting and trapping, of Indians and bears, and
those delights of country story-tellers in New England, catamounts,
wolverines, and cats--this latter ever meaning in hunter's phrasing
wild-cats. Think of "a wolverine with eyes like blazing coals, and
every hair whistling like a bell," as he sprung with outspread claws
from a high tree on the passing hunter--do you think the boy sat
by the fire throughout the night without looking a score of times
for the blazing eyeballs, and listening for the whistling fur, and
hearing steps like that of the lion in _Pilgrim s Progress_, "a
great soft padding paw."

What forest lore the boys learned, too: that more and sweeter sap
came from a maple which stood alone than from any in a grove; that
the shallow gouge flowed more freely, but the deep gouge was richest
in sweet; and that many other forest trees besides the maple ran a
sweet sap.

I believe that in earliest colonial days boys also took part in a
joyful outing, a public custom known as perambulating or beating
the bounds. The memory of boundaries and division lines, of
commons, public highways, etc., was kept fresh in the minds of the
inhabitants by an old-time Aryan custom,--the walking around them
once a year, noting lines of boundary, and impressing these on
the notice and memory of young people. To induce English boys to
accompany these perambulations, it was customary to distribute some
little gratuity; this was usually a willow wand, tied at the end
with a bunch of points, which were bits of string about eight inches
long, consisting of strands of cotton or woollen yarn braided or
twisted together, ended by a tag of a bit of metal or wood. These
points were used to tie the hose to the knees of the breeches; the
waistband of the breeches to the jacket, etc. Long after points were
abandoned as a portion of dress the wands with their little knot of
points were given. Pepys wrote in 1661 that he heard that at certain
boundaries the boys were smartly whipped to impress the bounds upon
their memories.

[Illustration: Anne Lennod's Sampler]

"Beating the bounds" was a specially important duty in the colonies
where land surveys were imperfect, land grants irregular, and the
boundaries of each man's farm or plantation at first very uncertain.
In Virginia this beating the bounds was called "processioning."
Landmarks were renewed that were becoming obliterated; blazes
on a tree would be somewhat grown over--they were deeply recut;
piles of great stones containing a certain number for designation
were sometimes scattered--the original number would be restored.
Special trees would be found fallen or cut down; new marking trees
would be planted, usually pear trees, as they were long-lived.
Disputed boundaries were decided upon and announced to all the
persons present, some of whom at the next "processioning" would
be living and be able to testify as to the correct line. This
processioning took place between Easter and Whitsuntide, that lovely
season of the year in Virginia; and must have proved a pleasant
reunion of neighbors, a May-party. In New England this was called
"perambulating the bounds," and the surveyors who took charge were
called "perambulators" or "boundsgoers."

To either man or boy of to-day or any day it would seem an absurdity
to name hunting and fishing in a chapter dealing with boys'
diligence; for in the sports of the woods and waters colonial boys
doubtless found one of their greatest amusements. But these sports
were also hard work and were engaged in for profit as well as for
pleasure. The scattered sheepfolds and grazing pastures at first had
to be zealously guarded from wild animals; wolves were everywhere
the most hated and most destructive beasts. They were caught in
many ways; in wolf-pits, in log-pens, in log-traps. Heavy mackerel
hooks were tied together, dipped in melted tallow which hardened
in a bunch and concealed the hooks, and tied to a strong chain. If
the wolf swallowed the hooks without any chain attached, it would
kill him; but he might die in the depths of the forest and his head
could not be brought in to secure the bounty. In old town lists are
the names of many boys with "wolf-money set to their credit." A
wolf-rout or wolf-drive, which was like the old English "drift of
the forest," was a ring of men and boys armed with guns surrounding
a large tract of forest. The wary wolves scented their enemies afar
and retreated before them to the centre of a circle, and many were
killed. Squirrels and hares were hunted in the same way. Once a
year in many places they had shooting matches in which every living
wild creature was prey, and a prize was given to the one bringing
in the most birds' heads and animals' tails. This cruel wholesale
destruction of singing birds as well as game birds was carried on
almost till our own day.

Foxes were destructive in the hen yards. On a bright moonlight night
the hunters placed a load of codfish heads on the bright side of a
stone wall. The fish could be smelt afar, and when the keen foxes
approached they were shot by the hunters, hiding in the shadow.
Bears lingered long even in the vicinity of cities and were hunted
with dogs. The _History of Roxbury_ states that in the year 1725, in
one week in September, twenty bears were killed within two miles of

In Virginia deer-hunting was a constant sport. They were "burnt
out," and in imitation of the Indian way of hunting under the blind
of a "stalking head," the English taught their horses to walk slowly
by the huntsman's side, hiding him as he approached the deer, who
were not afraid of horses. A diverting sport was what was called
"vermin-hunting." It was done on foot with small dogs, by moon or
starlight. Raccoons, foxes, and opossums were the chief animals
sought. Bounties were paid for the destruction of squirrels and
rattlesnakes. It is appalling to see the bounty lists of some New
England towns for snake rattles. Yet the loss of life was small from
snake bites. The boys profited by all these bounties, and worked
eagerly to secure them.

[Illustration: Colonel Wadsworth and his Son]

Wild turkeys were caught in turkey pens, enclosures made of poles
about twenty feet long, laid one above another, forming a solid wall
ten feet high. This was covered with a close pole and brush roof.
A ditch was dug beginning about fifteen feet away from the pen;
sloping down and carried under one side of the pen and opening up
into it through a board in which a hole was cut just large enough
for a turkey to pass through. Corn was strewn the whole length of
the ditch. The turkeys followed the ditch and the corn up through
the hole into the pen; and held their heads too high ever to find
their way out again. Often fifty captives would be found in the

Boys learned "to prate" for pigeons, that is, to imitate their
call. This was useful in luring them within gun-shot. A successful
method of pigeon-shooting was learned from the Indians. A covert
was made of green branches with an opening in the back by which the
hunter could enter. In front of this covert, at firing distance, a
long pole was raised up on two crotched sticks eight or ten feet
from the ground, set so that a shot from the booth would rake the
entire length of the pole; hence the crotch nearest the booth was a
trifle lower than the other, at the same angle that the gun barrel
would take. To lure pigeons from a flock to settle on this pole
live pigeons were used as decoys. They were temporarily blinded in
a cruel manner. A hole was pierced in the lower eyelid, a thread
inserted, and the eyelid drawn up and tied over the eye. A soft kid
boot or loop was put over one leg and a fine cord tied to it. The
pigeon called the long flyer had a long cord, and by his fluttering
attracted pigeons from a flock. The short flyer with shorter cord
lured pigeons flying low. The hoverer was tied close to the end of a
small pole set on an upright post. This pole was worked by a string,
and by moving the pigeon up and down it appeared to be hovering as
if to alight. The hunter, loudly prating, sat hidden behind his
three blind, fluttering, terrified decoys. Then came a beautiful
flash and gleam of color and life and graceful motion, as with a
swish of reversed wings a row of gentle creatures lighted on the
fatal pole. In a second came the report of the gun, and the ground
was covered with the fluttering, maimed, and dead bodies. Fifty-two
at one shot, a Lexington man named William Locke killed. Other
methods of pigeon-killing were by snaring them in "twitch-ups"; also
in a pigeon-bed, baited, over which a net was thrown on the feeding

By the seashore whole communities turned to the teeming ocean for
the means of life. Every fishing vessel that left the towns of Cape
Ann and Cape Cod carried, with its crew of grown men, a boy of
ten or twelve to learn "the art and mystery" of fishing. He had a
name--a "cut-tail." He cut a wedge-shaped bit from the tail of every
fish he caught, and in the sorting-out and counting-up at the close
of the trip his share of the profits was thus plainly indicated.
Long before these fishing industries were thoroughly organized the
early chroniclers told of the share of boys in fishing. Even John
Smith stirred up English stay-at-homes, saying:--

     "Young boyes, girles, salvages or any others, bee they never
     such idlers, may turne, carry, and returne fish without shame,
     or either greate paine: hee is very idle that is past twelve
     years of age and cannot doe so much; and shee is very old that
     cannot spin a thread to catch them."

It was natural that boys born in seashore towns should turn to the
sea. They found in the incoming ships their sole connecting link
with the outside world. Romance, sentiment, mystery, deviltry,
haloed the sailor. He was ever welcome to the public, and ever a
source of interest whether in tarry working garb, or gay shore togs
of flapping trousers, crimson sash, eelskin and cutlasses, or
perhaps garbed like Captain Creedon, who appeared in Boston in the
year 1662 dressed, so says the letter of a Boston minister, "in a
strange habitt with a 4 Cornered Capp instead of a hatt and his
Breeches hung with Ribbons from the Wast downward a great depth one
over the other like the Shingles of a house." Naturally enough "the
boys made an outcry and wondered."

Can it be wondered that two centuries of New England boys, stirred
in their quiet round of life by similar gay comets and tales of
adventure, have had a passionate ichor in their veins of longing
for "the magic and the mystery of the sea," that they have eagerly
gone before the mast, and rounded the Horn, and come home master
seamen when in their teens. I know a New England family of dignity
and wealth in which six successive generations of sons have gone to
sea in their boyhood, some of later years running away from home to
do so. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1787,--so tells a newspaper
of that date,--were living a man and wife who had been married about
twenty years, and had eighteen sons, of whom ten were then at sea.



    _She wrought all Needleworks that Women exercise,
    With Pin Frame or Stoole all Pictures Artificiall,
    Curious Knots or Traits that Fancy could devise,
    Beasts, Birds, or Flowers even as things Naturall._

    --_Epitaph of Elizabeth Lucar. Church St. Michael, Crooked
    Lane, London, 1537._

Human nature was the same in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries as to-day; waves of devotion to some special form of
ornamentation either for the household or the wardrobe swept over
families, neighborhoods, communities; when we reach the days of
newspapers we find in their columns some evidence of the names and
character of these decorations. In 1716 Mr. Brownell, the Boston
schoolmaster, advertised that at his school young women and children
could be taught "all sorts of fine works as Feather-works, Filigree,
and Painting on Glass, Embroidering a new way, Turkeywork for
Handkerchiefs two new Ways, fine new fashion Purses, flourishing
ishing and Plain work," The perishable nature of the material would
prevent the preservation of many specimens of feather-work; but very
pretty flowers for head-dresses and bonnets were made of minute
feathers or portions of feathers pasted on a firm foundation in many
collected shapes. This work may have been suggested by the beautiful
feather flowers made in many of the South Sea Islands; perhaps an
old sea captain brought some home to his wife or sweetheart as a
gift. The sober colors of many of our home birds would not make so
brilliant a bouquet as the songless birds of the tropics, especially
the millions of the various parrot tribes; still an everyday New
England rooster has a wealth of splendid glistening color, while
blue jays, red-headed woodpeckers, yellow birds, and an occasional
oriole or scarlet tanager could furnish beautiful feathers enough to
waken the ire of an Audubon Society.

Painting on glass was an amusement of more scope. In England it was
all the mode, and some very quaint specimens survive; simpering
beauties, flowers, and fruit were the favorite subjects. Coats of
arms, too, were painted on glass, and handsome they were. It is not
possible to state exactly the position which the study of armorial
bearings and significations had for two or three centuries. It
seemed to bear relatively the same place that a profound study of
literature has to-day--the pastime and delight of cultured people.
We have been amused for a few years past at the domination of color
in literature; every book title had a color word, as _The Red
Robe_, _Under the Red Lamp_, _A Study in Scarlet_, _The Red Badge
of Courage_, etc. This idiasm--as Mr. Ingleby would call it--has
extended to music, and even into scientific suggestion and medicine;
but this attributing unusual qualities to colors is nothing new.
In the Cotton Manuscripts, a series of essays on music six hundred
years old, the relation between music and color, especially in coat
armor, is given; for instance, "fire-red" was the most malignant
color in arms, and only third in benignity in music. All gentlefolk
were profoundly wise as to the meaning of colors in coats of arms,
etc., and their influence on the character and life of the persons
bearing the arms.

This interest in the study of heraldry wavered in intensity but did
not die till the days of a new nation; and we find from the middle
of the seventeenth to the middle of the eighteenth century that
young girls in the families of gentlefolk paid much attention to the
making of coats of arms. Those painted on glass were the richest in
color and the most satisfactory, but embroidered ones were more
common. The choicest materials were used, the drawing was carefully
executed, and the stitches minute. It is interesting to note that
the laws of the herald were strictly regarded in the setting of the
stitches. In _azure_ the stitches were laid parallel across the
escutcheon; in _gules_, perpendicular; in _purpure_, diagonally from
right to left, and so on.

[Illustration: Jerusha Pitkin's Embroidery and Frame]

Here is shown an unfinished coat of arms of the Pitkin family which
belonged to Jerusha Pitkin, who was born in 1736. The frame upon
which the work is stretched, the manner in which it is mounted,
the hand-made nails that fasten it, the way the work is outlined,
are all of interest. The needle still is thrust in the black satin
background where it was left by girlish hands a century and a half
ago. Colored silks, gold bullion and thread to complete this work
have been preserved with it. The embroidery is on black satin,
and is lozenge-shaped, as was the proper shape of a hatchment or
mourning emblem; and it is possible that this work was begun as a
funeral piece, commemorative of some Pitkin ancestor.

Such funeral pieces were deemed a very dignified observance of
respect and mark of affection. They had as successors what were
definitely termed "mourning pieces," bearing stiff presentments of
funeral urns, monuments, drooping willows, and sometimes a bowed and
weeping figure.

After the death of Washington, mourning designs deploring our
national loss and significant of our affection and respect for
that honored name appeared in vast numbers. Framed prints of these
designs hung on every wall, table china in large numbers and variety
bore these funereal emblems, and laudatory and sad mottoes. As other
Revolutionary heroes passed away, similar designs appeared in more
limited numbers, and the reign of embroidered "mourning pieces"
may be said to begin at this time. Washington--so to speak--set the
fashion. Familiarized with the hideous Apotheosis pitcher, or the
gloomy Washington's Tomb teacups as set on a festal board, special
mourning embroideries did not seem oversad for decorative purposes,
and soon no properly ambitious household was without one. They
were even embroidered when the family circle was unbroken, and an
empty space was left yawning like an open grave for some one to
die. Religious designs were also eagerly sought for. The Tree of
Life was a favorite. A conventional tree was hung at wide intervals
with apples, bearing the names of various virtues and estimable
traits of humanity, such as Honor, Modesty, Silence, Patience, etc.
The sparse harvest of these emblematic fruits seemed to indicate
a cynical belief in scant nobility of nature; but there was hope
of improvement, for a white-winged angel assiduously watered the
roots of the tree with a realistic watering-pot. The devil, never
absent in that day from art, science, or literature, also loomed in
blackness beneath the branches, but sadly handicapped from activity
by being forced to carry a colossal pitchfork and an absolutely
unsurmountable tail of gigantic proportions.

These mourning pieces were but decadent successors of the
significant heraldic embroideries of earlier days. We passed through
trying days in art, architecture, and costume in the first half
of this century; and it was not until we revived the older forms
of embroidery, and the ancient stitches, that we rallied from the
blight of commonplaceness and sentimentality which seemed to spread
over everything.

[Illustration: Lora Standish's Sampler]

The most universal and best-preserved piece of embroidery done by
our foremothers was the sampler. These were known as sampleths,
sam-cloths, saumplers, and sampleres; the titles were all derived by
apheresis from _esampler_, _exampleir_.

The sampler "contrived a double debt to pay" of teaching letters
and stitches; it was, in fact, a needlework hornbook, containing
the alphabet, a verse indicative of good morals or industry, or
a sentence from the Bible, the name and date, and some crude
representations of impossible birds, beasts, flowers, trees,
or human beings. Though the sampler's reign in every American
household was in the eighteenth century and the earlier years of
the nineteenth, it was the direct successor of the glories of
needlework of English women of earlier years, which was known and
admired on the Continent as _Opus Anglicanum_. The chief excellency
of English needlework has even been closely associated with a high
state of social morals. In Elizabeth's day Englishwomen still loved
needlecraft. Shakespeare, Sidney, Milton, Herrick, all refer to
women's samplers. In a collection of old ballads printed in 1725 is
"A Short and Sweet Sonnet made by one of the Maids of Honour upon
the death of Q. Elizabeth, which she sewed upon a Sampler of Red

    "Gone is _Elizabeth_ whom we have loved so dear,
     She our kind Mistress was full four and Forty Year,
     _England_ she govern'd well not to be blamed.
     _Flanders_ she govern'd well, and _Ireland_ famed.
     France she befriended, Spain she had toiled,
     _Papists_ rejected, and the _Pope_ spoiled.
     To _Princes_ powerful, to the _World_ vertuous,
     To her _Foes_ merciful, to subjects gracious.
     Her Soul is in Heaven, the World keeps her glory,
     Subjects her good deeds, so ends my Story."

In the licentious days of King James and King Charles there is
little record of women's needlework in court or country, but the
Puritan women, the virtuous home makers, revived and encouraged all
household arts.

There is no doubt that as a rule the long and narrow samplers
are older than those more nearly square. These ancient samplers,
especially the few bearing dates of the seventeenth century, are
much finer in design, more closely worked, and better in execution
than those of later date. The linen background is much more closely
covered. They have more curious and varied stitches. Occasionally
they are of minute size, but four or five inches long, with
exquisitely fine stitches.

[Illustration: Fleetwood-Quincy Sampler]

Two ancient samplers are here depicted. One shown on page 327 was
made by Lora Standish, the daughter of a Pilgrim Father, and it is
now at Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth. The interesting and beautiful sampler
known as the Fleetwood-Quincy Sampler has such perfect stitches
that both sides are alike. It bears the names Miles and Abigail
Fleetwood, and the date 1654. It has been in the possession of Mrs.
Henry Quincy and her descendants since 1750. There is little doubt
that the Miles Fleetwood of the sampler was the brother or nephew
of Charles Fleetwood who married Anne Ireton, eldest daughter of
great Cromwell. A splendid piece of Anne Fleetwood's embroidery
was recently exhibited in the Kensington Museum. It was scarcely a
sampler for it bore a curious design in applique work of a lozenge
formed by four right-angled triangles, each of a different bit of
rich brocade of gold and silver figures on amber or pink ground; all
worked together with curious vines and stitches. Miles Fleetwood
clung to the royal cause, and thus fell into the obscurity hinted
at in the sampler verses:--

    "In prosperity friends will be plenty,
     But in adversity not one in twenty."

In the older samplers little attention is paid to the representation
of things in their real colors; a green horse may balance a blue
tree. And as flat tints were used there were few effects of light
and shade, and no perspective. Distance is indicated by a different
color of worsted; thus the green horse will have his off legs worked
in red. This is precisely the method used in the Bayeux Tapestry and
other antique embroideries.

Sampler verses had their times and seasons, and ran through
families. They were eagerly copied for young friends, and, in a
few cases, were "natural composures"--or, as we should say to-day,
"original compositions." Ruth Gray of Salem embroidered on her
sampler a century ago:--

    "Next unto God, dear Parents, I address
     Myself to you in humble Thankfulness.
     For all your Care and Charge on me bestow'd,
     The means of learning unto me allowed.
     Go on! I pray, and let me still Pursue
     Such Golden Arts the Vulgar never knew."

To show the extent to which those lines could be transmitted
let me state that they are found on a sampler in Dorchester,
Massachusetts, worked in 1802, one in Waltham, Massachusetts, one
worked in 1813 in a seminary in Boston, one in Medford, one worked
in 1790 in Salem by a young girl of ten, another in Lynn, on an
English sampler in the Kensington Museum, and in the diary of that
Boston schoolgirl, Anna Green Winslow, dated 1771.

There were certain variants of a popular sampler verse that ran

    "This is my Sampler,
     Here you see
     What care my Mother
     Took of me."

Another rhyme was:--

    "Mary Jackson is my name,
     America my nation,
     Boston is my dwelling place,
     And Christ is my salvation."

The doxology, "From all that dwell below the skies," etc., appears
on samplers; and these lines:--

    "Though life is fair
     And pleasure young,
     And Love on ev'ry
     Shepherd's Tongue,
     I turn my thoughts
     To serious things,
     Life is ever on the wing."

Another rhyme is found with varying words in some of the lines:--

    "Young Ladyes fair when youthful minds incline
     To all that's curious, Innocent, and fine
     With Admiration let your worke be made
     The various textures and the twining thread
     Then let your fingers with unrivalled skill
     Exalt the Needle, Grace the noble Quill."

Some of the verses are as short as the scant but sweet English words
on the sampler of Katherine, the wife of Charles II.:--

    "21st of Maye
     Was our Wedding Daye."

A sampler in the Old South Church in Boston has this inscription:--

    "Dorothy Lynde is my Name
     And this Work is mine
     My Friends may have
     When I am Dead and laid in Grave
     This Needlework of mine can tell
     That in my youth I learned well
     And by my elders also taught
     Not to spend my time for naught."

[Illustration: Polly Coggeshall's Sampler]

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was high fashion to
have mottoes and texts carved or painted on many articles where
they would frequently catch the eye. Printed books were then rare
possessions, and these mottoes, whether of vanity or piety, took
their place. Perhaps inscriptions on various pieces of tableware
and drinking utensils were the most common. Specially beautiful and
interesting early examples are the sets of "beechen roundels" known
to collectors; that is, sets of wooden plates or trenchers carved
with mottoes. Women dexterous of the needle embroidered mottoes and
words on articles of clothing. Whole texts of the Bible are said to
have been inscribed on the edges of gowns and petticoats.

    "She is a Puritan at her needle too
     She works religious petticoats."

Elaborate vines of flowers and other scroll designs were worked on
petticoats, often in colored crewels. There still exists the linen
petticoat of Rebecca Taylor Orne, a Salem dame who lived to be one
hundred and twenty years old. It is deeply embroidered with trees,
vines, flowers, and fruits, on homespun linen. Silk petticoats were
also embroidered and painted by young girls, and are beautiful
pieces of work.

In New York newspapers we find proof that New York girls were
taught decorative accomplishments similar to those which were so
fashionable in Boston:--

     "Martha Gazley, late from Great Britain, now in the city of
     New York Makes and Teacheth the following curious Works,
     viz: Artificial Fruit and Flowers and other Wax-Works,
     Nuns-work, Philligree and Pencil Work upon Muslin, all sorts of
     Needle-Work, and Raising of Paste, as also to Paint upon Glass,
     and Transparant for Sconces, with other Works. If any young
     Gentlewomen, or others are inclined to learn any or all of the
     above-mentioned curious Works, they may be carefully instructed
     in the same by said Martha Gazley."

[Illustration: Flowered Apron]

The waxwork of Martha Gazley was more fully detailed in a school
advertisement of Mrs. Sarah Wilson of Philadelphia. She taught
"waxworks in all its branches"; flowers, fruit, and pin-baskets,
also "how to take profiles in wax." This latter was distinctly art
work; and portraits of Washington and other Revolutionary heroes
still exist in wax--a material that could be worked with facility;
but was very perishable.

[Illustration: Mary Richards' Sampler]

A very full list of old-time stitches has come down to us, and
curiously enough not from any woman who worked these stitches but
from the pen of a man, John Taylor, "the Water-Poet," in his _Praise
of the Needle_, 1640.

    "For _Tent-worke_, Rais'd-work, Laid-worke, Frost-worke, Net-worke,
     Most curious Purles, or rare Italian Cut-worke,
     Fine Ferne-stitch, Finny-stitch, New-stitch and Chain-stitch
     Brave Bred-stitch, Fisher-stitch, Irish-stitch and Queen-stitch
     The Spanish-stitch, Rosemary-stitch and Mouse-stitch
     The smarting Whip-stitch, Back-stitch and the Cross-stitch
     All these are good, and these we must allow,
     And these are everywhere in practise now."

They were doubtless "everywhere in practice," in America as well,
but nearly all are now but empty names.

While Dutch women must be awarded the palm of comfortable and
attractive housekeeping, they did not excel Englishwomen in
needlework; though the first gold thimble was made for Madam Van
Rensselaer, the foremother of our American patroons; and many
beautiful specimens of Dutch embroidery exist. A sample is here
shown which was worked by Mary Richards, a granddaughter of the
famous Anneke Jans. Mrs. Van Cortlandt wrote in her delightful
account of home life in old New York:--

     "Crewel-work and silk-embroidery were fashionable, and
     surprisingly pretty effects were produced. Every little maiden
     had her sampler which she begun with the alphabet and numerals,
     following them with a Scriptural text or verse of a psalm. Then
     fancy was let loose on birds, beasts and trees. Most of the old
     families possessed framed pieces of embroidery, the handiwork of
     female ancestors."

Pride in needlework, and a longing for household decoration, found
expression in quilt-piecing. Bits of calico "chiney" or chintz
were carefully shaped by older hands, and sewed by diligent little
fingers into many fanciful designs. A Job's Trouble, made of
hexagon pieces, could be neatly done by little children, but more
complicated designs required more "judgement," and the age of a
little daughter might be accurately guessed by her patchwork. The
quilt-making was the work of older folk. It required long arms,
larger hands, greater strength.

Knitting was taught to little girls as soon as they could hold the
needles. Girls four years of age could knit stockings and mittens.
In country households young damsels knit mittens to sell and coarse
socks. Many fine and beautiful stitches were taught, and a beautiful
pair of long silk stockings of open-work design has initials knit on
the instep. They were the wedding hose of a bride of the year 1760;
and the silk for them was raised, wound, and spun by the bride's
sister, a girl of fourteen, who also did the exquisite knitting.

Lace-making was never an industry in the colonies; it was an elegant
accomplishment. Pillow lace was made, and the stitches were taught
in families of wealth; a guinea a stitch was charged by some
teachers. Old lace pillows have been preserved to this day, with
strips of unfinished lace and hanging bobbins, to show the kind of
lace which was the mode--a thread lace much like the fine Swiss
hand-made laces.

[Illustration: Old Lace Pillow, Reels and Pockets]

Tambour work on muslin or lace, and a lace made of certain designs
darned on net, took the place of pillow lace. Nothing could be more
beautiful in execution and design than the rich veils, collars, and
caps of this worked net, which remained the mode during the early
years of this century. Girls spent years working on a single collar
or tucker. Sometimes medallions of this net lace were embroidered
down upon fine linen lawn. I have infants' caps of this beautiful
work, finer than any needlework of to-day.



     _The plays of children are nonsense--but very educative

     _--Essay on Experience. Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860._

There are no more striking survivals of antiquity than the games and
pastimes of children. We have no historians of old-time child life
to tell us of these games, but we can get side glimpses of that life
which reveal to us, as Ruskin says, more light than a broad stare.
Many of these games were originally religious observances; but there
are scores that in their present purpose of simple amusement date
from mediæval days.

The chronicler Froissart, in _L'Espinette Amoureuse_, tells of the
sports of his early life, over five centuries ago:--

    "In that early childish day
     I was never tired to play
     Games that children everyone
     Love until twelve years are done.
     To dam up a rivulet
     With a tile, or else to let
     A small saucer for a boat
     Down the purling gutter float:
     Over two bricks at a will
     To erect a water mill.

    "In those days for dice and chess
     Cared we busy children less
     Than mud-pies and buns to make,
     And heedfully in oven bake.
     Of four bricks; and when came Lent
     Out was brought a complement
     Of river shells from secret hold,
     Estimated above gold,
     To play away as I thought meet
     With the children of our street."

"The children of our street" has a delightfully familiar ring.
He also names many familiar games, such as playing ball, ring,
prisoner's base, riddles, and blowing soap-bubbles. Top-spinning was
an ancient game, even in Froissart's day, having been played in old
Rome and the Orient since time immemorial.

It is interesting to note the persistent survival of games which are
seldom learned from printed rules, but are simply told from child
to child from year to year. On the sidewalk, in front of my house,
is now marked out with chalk the lines for a game of hop-scotch
and a group of children are playing it, precisely as I played it
in my New England home in my childhood, and as my grandfathers and
grandmothers played "Scotch-hoppers" in their day.

In a little century-old picture book, called _Youthful Recreations_,
Scotch-hoppers is named and vaguely explained, and a note says:--

     "This exercise was frequently practiced by the Greeks and
     Spartan women. Might it not be useful in the present day to
     prevent children having chilblains?"

Now isn't that stupid? Every one knows hop-scotch time is not in the
winter when the ground is rough and frozen or wet with snow and when
chilblains are rife. It is a game for the hard, solid earth, or a
sunny pavement.

The variants of tag have descended to us and are played to-day, just
as they were played when Boston and New York streets were lanes and
cowpaths. The pretty game, "I catch you without green," mentioned
by Rabelais, is well known in the Carolinas, whither it was carried
by French Huguenot immigrants, who retained many of their home
customs as well as their language for so long a time. Stone-tag and
wood-tag took the place in America of the tag on iron of Elizabeth's
day. Squat-tag and cross-tag have their times and seasons, and in
Philadelphia tell-tag is also played. Pickadill is a winter sport,
a tag played in the snow. Another tag game known as poison, or
stone-poison, is where the player is tagged if he steps off stones.
The little books on etiquette so frequently read in the seventeenth
century, and quoted in other pages of this book, have this severe
injunction, "Tread not pomposely on pebblestones for it is the art
of a fool." A man who was not a fool, one Dr. Samuel Johnson, was
swayed in his walk by similar notions.

[Illustration: "Scotch Hoppers," from _Juvenile Games for the Four

Honey pots still is played by American children. Halliwell says the
"honey pot" was a boy rolled up in a certain stiff position. I have
seen it played by two girls carrying a third in a "chair" made by
crossing hands. In a popular little book of the last century called
_Juvenile Pastimes, or Sports for Four Seasons_, the illustration
shows girls playing it. The explanatory verse reads:--

    "Carry your Honey pot safe and sound
    Or it will fall upon the Ground."

A truly historic game taught by children to each other, is what
is called cats-cradle or cratch-cradle. One player stretches a
length of looped cords over the extended fingers of both hands
in a symmetrical form. The second player inserts the fingers and
removes the cord without dropping the loops in a way to produce
another figure. These various figures had childish titles. If Hone's
derivation of the game and its meaning is true, cratch-cradle is the
correct name. A cratch was a grated crib or manger. The adjustment
of threads purported to represent the manger or cradle wherein the
infant Saviour was laid by his Virgin Mother. As little girls "take
off" the cradle they say, "criss-cross, criss-cross." This like the
criss-cross row in the hornbook was originally Christ's cross.

[Illustration: Old Skates]

In a quaint little book called _The Pretty Little Pocket Book_,
published in America at Revolutionary times, is a list of boys'
games with dingy pictures showing how the games were played; the
names given were chuck-farthing; kite-flying; dancing round
May-pole; marbles; hoop and hide; thread the needle; fishing;
blindman's buff; shuttlecock; king am I; peg-farthing; knock out
and span; hop, skip, and jump; boys and girls come out to play; I
sent a letter to my love; cricket; stool-ball; base-ball; trap-ball;
swimming; tip-cat; train-banding; fives; leap-frog; bird-nesting;
hop-hat; shooting; hop-scotch; squares; riding; rosemary tree. The
descriptions of the games are given in rhyme, and to each attached a
moral lesson in verse. Some of the verses read thus:--


    "As you value your Pence
       At the Hole take your Aim.
     Chuck all safely in,
       And You'll win the Game.


    "Chuck-Farthing like Trade,
       Requires great Care.
     The more you observe
       The better you'll fare."

A few of the games are to-day unknown, or little known; for
instance, the game called in the book "Pitch and Hussel."

    "Poise your hand fairly,
       Pitch plumb your Slat.
     Then shake for all Heads
       Turn down the Hat."

The game called "All the birds of the air," reads:--

    "Here various boys stand round and soon
       Does each some favorite bird assume;
     And if the Slave once hits his name,
       He's then made free and crowns the game."

Mr. Newell has given a list and description of many of the historic
singing games and rounds of American children. These were known to
me in my childhood: "Here we go round the mulberry bush;" "Here come
three Lords out of Spain;" "On the green carpet here we stand;"
"I've come to see Miss 'Ginia Jones;" "Little Sally Waters, sitting
in the sun;" "Green gravel, green gravel, the grass is so green;"
"Old Uncle John is very sick, what shall we send him?" "Oats,
pease, beans and barley grows;" "When I was a shoemaker;" "Here I
brew, Here I bake, Here I make my Wedding Cake;" "The needle's eye
that doth supply;" "Soldier Brown will you marry, marry me?" "O
dear Doctor don't you cry;" "There's a rose in the garden for you,
young man;" "Ring around a rosy;" "Go round and round the valley;"
"Quaker, Quaker, How art thee?" "I put my right foot in;" "My master
sent me to you, sir;" "London Bridge is falling down."

[Illustration: Skating, from Old Picture Book]

Some of these rhymes were founded on certain lines of ballads; but
without any printed words or music we all knew them well, and the
music was the same that our mothers used--though our mothers had
not taught us. To-day children all over the country are singing
and playing these games to the same music. I heard verse after
verse of London Bridge sung in a high key in the shrill voices of
the children of a New Hampshire country school this winter. Such a
survival in such an environment is not strange; but it is surprising
and pathetic, too, to hear in a public primary or a parochial school
the children of German, Italian, or Irish parentage chanting "Green
gravel, green gravel, the grass is so green," within the damp and
dingy yard walls or in the basement playrooms of our greatest city.

The Dutch settlers had many games. They were very fond of bowling
on the grass; a well-known street in New York, Bowling Green, shows
the popularity of the game and where it was played. They played
"tick-tack," a complicated sort of backgammon; and trock, on a table
somewhat like a billiard table; in it an ivory ball was struck under
wire-wickets with a cue. Coasting down hill became a most popular
sport. Many attempts were made to control and stop the coasters.
At one time the Albany constables were ordered to take the "small
or great slees" in which "boys and girls ryde down the hills," and
break them in pieces. At another time the boy had to forfeit his hat
if he were caught coasting on Sunday. The sleds were low, with a
rope in front, and were started and guided by a sharp stick.

There is a Massachusetts law of the year 1633 against "common
coasters, unprofitable fowlers and tobacco-takers,"--three classes
of detrimentals. Mr. Ernst says coasting meant loafing along the
shore, then idling in general, then sliding down hill for fun. In
Canada they slid down the long hills on toboggans. In New England
they used a double runner, a long narrow board platform on two
sleds or two sets of runners. Judge Sewall speaks of his little
daughter going out on sleds, but there is nothing to indicate
precisely what he meant thereby.

"Sports of the Innyards" languished in New England. Innkeepers were
ordered not to permit the playing of "Dice, Cards, Tables, Quoits,
Log-gats, Bowls, Ninepins, or any other Unlawful Game in house,
yard, Garden or backside." Slide-groat was also forbidden. Mr. Henry
Cabot Lodge says the shovel-board of Shakespeare's day was almost
the only game that was tolerated. This game was perhaps the most
popular of old-time domestic pastimes, and was akin to slide-groat.

I found nothing to indicate that the cruel sport known as
cock-throwing, cock-steling, or cock-squoiling ever prevailed in
America. In this sport the cock was tied by a short cord to a stake,
and boys at a distance of twenty yards took turns at throwing sticks
at him till he was killed. This sport was as old as Chaucer's time,
and universal among the English.

Judge Sewall wrote of Shrove Tuesday in Boston in 1685 that there
was great disorder in Boston by reason of "cock-skailing." Another
year he tells of a young lad going through Boston streets "carrying
a cock on his back and a bell in his hand." Several friends
followed him, loosely blindfolded and carrying cart whips; and
under pretence of striking at him managed to distribute their blows
with stinging force on the gaping crowd around. This was an old
English custom. At a later date the sport of shying at leaden cocks
prevailed. The "dumps" which were thrown, and the crude little
images of lead and pewter shaped like a cock, were often made and
sold by apprentices as part of their perquisites.

Cock-fighting was popular in the Southern colonies and New York.
There are prohibitions against it in the rules of William and Mary
College. Certainly it was not encouraged or permitted here as in
English schools, where boys had cock-fights in the schoolroom;
and where that great teacher, Roger Ascham, impoverished himself
with dicing and cock-fighting. Cock-fights were often held on
Shrove Tuesday. The picture of Colonel Richard Wynkoop, shown on
the opposite page, was painted when he was twelve years old; the
dim figures of two fighting cocks can be seen by his side. They
are obscured by the sword which the colonel carried during the
Revolution, and which is thrust in front of the picture. The cruel
Dutch sport of riding for the goose, was riding at full speed to
catch a swinging greased goose. Young lads sometimes took part in
this, but no small boys.

[Illustration: Cornelius D. Wynkoop, Eight Years Old, 1742]

In _The Schole of Vertue_, 1557, we read:--

    "O, Lytle childe, eschew thou ever game
     For that hath brought many one to shame.
     As dysing, and cardynge, and such other playes
     Which many undoeth, as we see nowe-a-dayes."

Playing cards were fiercely hated, and their sale prohibited in
Puritan communities, but games of cards could not be "beaten down."
Grown folk had a love of card-playing and gaming which seemed almost
hereditary. But I do not believe young children indulged much in
card-playing in any of the colonies.

William Bradford, then governor of the colony at Plymouth, thus
grimly records in his now famous Log-book, the first Christmas Day
in that settlement:--

     "The day called Christmas Day ye Gov^r cal'd them out to
     worke (as was used) but ye moste of this new company excused
     themselves, and saide y^t went against their consciences to work
     on y^t Day. So ye Gov^r tould them that if they made it mater of
     conscience, he would spare them till they were better informed.
     So he led away ye rest and left them; but when they came home at
     noon from their work he found them in ye street at play openly,
     some pitching ye bar, and some at stoolball and such like
     sports. So he went to them and took away their implements and
     tould them it was against his conscience that they should play
     and others work."

The exact description of this game I do not know. Dr. Johnson says
it is a play where balls are driven from stool to stool, which may
be a good definition, but is a very poor explanation.

The _Pretty Little Pocket Book_ says vaguely:--

    "The ball once struck with Art and Care
     And drove impetuous through the Air,
     Swift round his Course the Gamester flies
     Or his Stools are taken by surprise."

At the end of the seventeenth century a French traveller, named
Misson, wrote a very vivacious account of his travels in England. He
sagely noted English customs, fashions, attributes, and manners; and
airily discoursed on the English game of football:--

     "In winter football is a useful and charming exercise. It is a
     leather ball about as big as one's head, fill'd with wind. This
     is kick'd about from one to tother in the streets, by him that
     can get it, and that is all the art of it."

That is all the art of it! I can imagine the sentiments of the
general reader of that day (if any general reader existed in England
at that time), when he read and noted the debonair simplicity
of this brief account of what was even then a game of so much
importance in England. The proof that Misson was truly ignorant of
this subject is shown in the fact that he could by any stretch
of an author's privileged imagination call the English game of
foot-ball of that day "a useful and charming exercise." Nothing
could be further from the Englishman's intent than to make it either
profitable or pleasing.


3 Battledore and Shuttlecock.

4 Thread the Needle.

Page from _Youthful Sports_]

In the year 1583 a Puritan, named Phillip Stubbes, horror-stricken
and sore afraid at the many crying evils and wickednesses which were
rife in England, published a book which he called _The Anatomie
of Abuses_. It was "made dialogue-wise," and is one of the most
distinct contributions to our knowledge of Shakespeare's England.
Written in racy, spirited English, it is unsparing in denunciations
of the public and private evils of the day. His characterization of
the game of foot-ball is one of the strongest and most fearless of
his accusations:--

     "Now who is so grosly blinde that seeth not that these aforesaid
     exercises not only withdraw us from godliness and virtue,
     but also haile and allure us to wickednesse and sin? For as
     concerning football playing I protest unto you that it may
     rather be called a friendlie kinde of fyghte than a play or
     recreation--a bloody and murthering practice than a felowly
     sport or pastime. For dooth not everyone lye in waight for his
     adversarie, seeking to overthrowe him and picke him on his nose,
     though it be uppon hard stones, in ditch or dale, in valley or
     hill, or whatever place soever it be hee careth not, so hee
     have him downe; and he that can serve the most of this fashion
     he is counted the only fellow, and who but he?... So that by
     this means sometimes their necks are broken, sometimes their
     backs, sometimes their legs, sometimes their armes, sometimes
     their noses gush out with blood, sometimes their eyes start
     out, and sometimes hurte in one place, sometimes in another.
     But whosoever scapeth away the best goeth not scot free, but is
     either forewounded, craised, or bruised, so as he dyeth of it or
     else scapeth very hardlie; and no mervaile, for they have the
     sleights to meet one betwixt two, to dash him against the hart
     with their elbowes, to hit him under the short ribs with their
     griped fists and with their knees to catch him on the hip and
     pick him on his neck, with a hundred such murthering devices."

[Illustration: Stephen Row Bradley, 1800. _circa_]

This was written three hundred years ago, and these are not the
words of a modern reporter, "They have sleights to meet one betwixt
two, to dash him against the heart with their elbows, to hit him
under the short ribs with their griped fists, and with their knees
to catch him on the hip and pick him on the neck."

Stubbes may be set down by many as a sour-visaged, sour-voiced
Puritan; but a very gracious courtier of his day, an intelligent and
thoughtful man, Sir Thomas Elyot, was equally severe on the game. He
wrote, in 1537, _The Boke named the Gouvernour_, full of sensible
advice and instruction. In it he says:--

     "Foot-ball wherein is nothynge but beastlye furie and exstreme
     violence, whereof proceedeth hurte; and consequently malice and
     rancour do remayne with them that be wounded; whereof it is to
     be putt in perpetuall silence."

The "perpetuall silence" which he put on the game has not fallen
even by the end of three centuries and a half.

Some indirect testimony as to the character of the English game
comes from travellers in the American colonies, where the American
Indians were found playing a game of foot-ball like that of their
white brothers. John Dunton, travelling in New England when Boston
was half a century old, tells of the Indians' game:--

     "There was that day a great game of Foot-ball to be played.
     There was another Town played against 'em as is sometimes common
     in England; but they played with their bare feet, which I
     thought very odd; but it was upon a broad sandy Shoar free from
     Stones which made it the more easie. Neither were they so apt to
     trip up one another's heels and quarrel as I have seen 'em in

At the same time English boys were kicking the foot-ball around
Boston streets, and were getting themselves complained of by
game-hating Puritan neighbors, and enjoined by pragmatical
magistrates, just as they were in English towns.

Fewer games are played now by both boys and girls than in former
times, in England as well as America. In a manuscript list of games
played at Eton in 1765 are these titles: cricket, fives, shirking
walls, scrambling walls, bally cally, battledore, pegtop, peg in the
ring, goals, hop-scotch, heading, conquering cobs, hoops, marbles,
trap ball, steal baggage, puss in the corner, cat gallows, kites,
cloyster and hyer gigs, tops, humming tops, hunt the hare, hunt the
dark lanthorn, chuck, sinks, stare-caps, hurtlecap. No games are now
recognized at Eton save cricket, foot-ball, and fives. Racquet and
hockey flourished for a time. The playing of marbles was abandoned
about 1820, and top-spinning about 1840. Top-time had always opened
ten days after the return to school after the summer holidays. Hoops
were made of stout ash laths with the bark on, and the hoop-rolling
season ended with a class fray with hoopsticks for weapons. At one
time marble-playing was prohibited in the English universities. It
is not probable that those undergraduates habitually played marble
any more than do our Princeton University men, who have a day of
marble-playing and one of top-spinning each spring.

[Illustration: Doll's Furniture, One Hundred Years Old]

A record of old-time sports would be incomplete without reference
to the laws of sport times. These are as firmly established as the
seasons, and as regular as the blooming of flowers. Children cannot
explain them, nor is there any leader who establishes them. It is
not a matter of reason; it is instinct. A Swiss writer says that
boys' games there belong chiefly to the first third of the year,
always return in the same order, and "without the individual child
being able to say who had given the sign, and made the beginning."
From Maine to Georgia the first time is, has been (and we may almost
add "ever shall be world without end"), marble time. Then come tops.
The saying is, "Top time's gone, kite time's come, April Fool's
Day will soon be here." Ball-playing in Boston had as its time the
first Thursday in April. Whistle-making would naturally come at a
time when whistle wood was in good condition. All the boys in all
the towns perch on stilts as closely in unison as the reports of a
Gatling gun. There is much sentiment in the thought that for years,
almost for centuries, thousands of boys in every community have had
the same games at the same time, and the recital almost reaches the
dignity of history.



    _Behold the child, by nature's kindly law
    Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw.
    Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight,
    A little louder but as empty quite._

    --_Essay on Man. Alexander Pope, 1732._

In the year 1695 Mr. Higginson wrote from Massachusetts to his
brother in England, that if toys were imported in small quantity to
America they would sell. In very small quantity, we fancy, though
the influence of crown and court began to be felt in New England,
and many articles of luxury were exported to that colony as they
were to Virginia.

According to our present ideas, playthings for children in colonial
time were few in number, save the various ones they manufactured for
themselves. They played more games, and had fewer toys than modern
children. In 1712, on the list of rich goods brought into Boston
by a privateersman and sold there, were "Boxes of Toys." In 1743
the _Boston News Letter_ advertised "Dutch and English Toys for
Children," and Mr. Ernst says Boston had a flourishing toy shop at
that date. Other towns did not, as we know from many shipping orders.

[Illustration: An Old Doll]

_The Toy Shop or Sentimental Preceptor_, one of Newbery's books,
gives a list of toys which the young English scholar sought;
they are a looking-glass, a "spying glass," a "fluffed dog," a
pocket-book, a mask, a drum, a doll, a watch, a pair of scales. Few
of these articles named would really be termed toys. Some of the
games already alluded to, such as top-spinning, hoop-rolling, and
the various games of ball, required toys to carry them on; but they
seemed to fall into classification more naturally in the chapter on
games than in this one.

[Illustration: An Old Doll]

I have often been asked whether the first childish girl emigrants
to this solemn new world had the comfort of dolls. They certainly
had something in the semblance of a doll, though far removed from
the radiant doll creatures of this day; little puppets, crude and
shapeless, yet ever beloved symbols of maternity, have been known
to children in all countries and all ages; dolls are as old as the
world and human life. In the tombs of Attica are found classic
dolls, of ivory and terra-cotta, with jointed legs and arms. Sad
little toys are these; for their human guardians are scattered
dust. Dolls were called puppets in olden times, and babies. In the
_Gentleman's Magazine_, London, September, 1751, is an early use
of the word doll, "Several dolls with different dresses made in
St. James Street have been sent to the Czarina to show the manner
of dressing at present in fashion among English ladies." This
circulation of dressed dolls as fashion transmitters was a universal
custom. Fashion-plates are scarce more than a century old in use.
Dolls were sent from house to house, from town to town, from country
to country, and even to a new continent.

[Illustration: French Doll]

These babies for fashion models came to be made in large numbers
for the use of milliners; and as the finest ones came from the
Netherlands, they were called "Flanders babies." To the busy fingers
of Dutch children, English and American children owed many toys
besides these dolls. It was a rhymed reproach to the latter that--

    "What the children of Holland take pleasure in making,
     The children of England take pleasure in breaking."

Fashions changed, and the modish raiment grew antiquated and
despised; but still the "Flanders babies" had a cherished old age.
They were graduated from milliners' boxes and mantua-makers' show
rooms to nurseries and play-rooms where they reigned as queens of
juvenile hearts. There are old ladies still living who recall the
dolls of their youth as having been the battered fashion dolls sent
to their mammas.

The best dolls in England were originally sold at Bartholomew Fair
and were known as "Bartholomew babies." The English poet, Ward,

    "Ladies d'y want fine Toys
     For Misses or for Boys
     Of all sorts I have Choice
       And pretty things to tease ye.
     I want a little Babye
     As pretty a one as may be
       With head-dress made of Feather."

In _Poor Robin's Almanack_, 1695, is a reference to a "Bartholomew
baby trickt up with ribbons and knots"; and they were known at the
time of the landing of the Pilgrims. Therefore it is not impossible
that some Winslow or Winthrop maid, some little miss of Bradford
or Brewster birth, brought across seas a Bartholomew baby and was
comforted by it.

A pathetic interest is attached to the shapeless similitude of
a doll named Bangwell Putt, shown facing page 370. It is in the
collection at Deerfield Memorial Hall. It was cherished for eighty
years by Clarissa Field of Northfield, Massachusetts, who was born
blind, and whose halting but trusting rhymes of longing for the
clear vision of another world are fastened to the plaything she
loved in youth and in old age.

Nothing more absurd could be fancied than the nomenclature "French"
attached to the two shapeless, inelegant creatures, a century old,
shown on pages 364 and 367. Yet gawky as they are, they show signs
of hard usage, which proves them to have had a more beloved life
than the case of elegant Spanish dolls, on page 389, which were
evidently too fine ever to be touched. The "White House Doll" spent
the days of her youth in the White House at Washington, with the
children of the President, John Quincy Adams, and is still cherished
by his descendants.

[Illustration: French Doll]

Skilful jackknives could manufacture home-made dolls' furniture.
Birch bark was especially adaptable to such uses. The wicker cradles
and "chaises" of babies were copied in miniature for dolls. Tin
toys were scarce, for tin was not much used for domestic utensils.
A tin horse and chaise over a hundred years old is shown on page
373, and a quaint plaything it is. The eternal desire of a child
for something suggestive of a horse found satisfaction in home-made
hobby-horses; and, when American ships wandered over the world in
the India trade, they brought home to American children strange
coaches and chariots of gay colors and strange woods; these were
often comical copies of European shapes, sometimes astonishingly
crude, but ample for the ever active imagination of a child to
clothe with beautiful outlines. An old coach is shown on page 369,
with the box in which it was originally packed. It is marked
Leghorn, but is doubtless Chinese.

[Illustration: Dolls and Furniture]

[Illustration: Chinese Coach and Horses]

The word "jack" as a common noun and in compound words has been
held to be a general term applied to any contrivance which does the
work of a boy or servant, or a simple appliance which is subjected
to common usage. In French the name Jacques was a term for a young
man of menial condition. The term "country jake" is of kindred
sense. Jack lord, jack meddler, jackanapes, Jack Tar, smoke-jack,
jack-o'-lantern, black-jack, jack-rabbit, the term jack applied to
the knave in playing cards, and the expressions jack-at-a-pinch,
jack in office, jack in bedlam, jack in a box, jack of all trades,
and many others show the derivative meaning. Hence jack-knife may
mean a boy's knife. In English dialect the word was jack-lag-knife,
also jack-a-legs, in Scotch, jock-te-leg--these by a somewhat
fanciful derivation said to be from Jacques de Liege, the celebrated

[Illustration: Old Jack-knives]

A good jack-knife was the most highly desired possession of a boy.
Days of weary work and hours of persistent pleading were gone
through with in hundreds of cases before the prize was secured.
Barlow knives had a century of popularity. Some now in Deerfield
Memorial Hall are here shown. Note the curved end, a shape now
obsolete, but in truth an excellent one for safe pocket carriage.
Knives of similar shape have been found that are known to be a
century and a half old. I have never seen in America any of the
old knives used as lovers' tokens, with mottoes engraved on them,
referred to by Shakespeare. The boy's stock of toys was largely
supplied by his own jack-knife: elder pop-guns, chestnut and willow
whistles, windmills, water-wheels, box-traps, figure 4 traps. Toy
weapons have varied little from the Christian era till to-day.
Clubs, slings, bows and arrows, air-guns, are as old as the year
One. Ere these were used as toys, they had been formidable weapons.
They were weapons still, for some years of colonial life. In 1645
the court of Massachusetts ordered that all boys from ten to sixteen
years old should be exercised with bows and arrows.

[Illustration: Bangwell Putt]

Skating is an ancient pastime. As early as the thirteenth century
Fitzstephen tells of young Londoners fastening the leg-bones of
animals to the soles of the feet, and then pushing themselves on the
ice by means of poles shod with sharp iron points.

Pepys thought skating "a very pretty art" when he saw it in 1662,
but it was then a novelty to him, and he was characteristically a
little afraid of it; justly disturbed, too, that the Duke of York
would go "though the ice was broken and dangerous, yet he would go
slide upon his scates which I did not like--but he slides very well."

[Illustration: White House Doll]

Wooden skates shod with iron runners were invented in the Low
Countries. Dutch children in New Netherlands all skated, just
as their grandfathers had in old Batavia. The first skates that
William Livingstone had on the frozen Hudson were made of beef
bones, as were those of mediæval children. In Massachusetts and
Connecticut, skating was among the many Dutch ways and doings
practised by English folk in the new world. The Plymouth Pilgrims
brought these Dutch customs to the new world through their long
and intimate sojourn in Holland; the New Haven and Connecticut
Valley settlers learned them through their constant trade and
intercourse with their neighbors, the Dutch of Manhattan; but the
Massachusetts Bay settlers of Boston and Salem had known these Dutch
ways longer,--they brought them from England across seas, from the
counties of Essex and Suffolk, where the Dutch had gone years before
and married with the English.

[Illustration: Old Tin Toy]

New England boys in those early days went skating on thin ice and
broke through and were drowned, just as New England boys and girls
are to-day, alas! Judge Sewall wrote in his diary on the last day
in November, in 1696, that many scholars went to "scate" on Fresh
Pond, and that two boys, named Maxwell and Eyre, fell in and were

[Illustration: Doll's Wicker Coach]

Advertisements of men's and boys' skates and of "Best Holland Scates
of Different Sizes," show a constant demand and use. In an invoice
of "sundry merchandise" to Weathersfield, Connecticut, in the year
1763, are twelve pair "small brass scates, @ 3/--£3, 16/." I do not
know the age of the skates shown opposite page 346. No date less
than a hundred years ago is ever willingly assigned to such relics.
They are similar in shape to the ones shown on page 349, in the
illustration taken from a book for children entitled _Children's
Sports_, published a century ago, which ends its dissertation on
skating with this sensible advice:--

    "'Tis true it looks exceeding nice
     To see boys gliding on the ice,
     And to behold so many feats
     Perform'd upon the sliding skates,
     But before you venture there
     Wait until the ice will bear,
     For want of this both young and old
     Have tumbled in,--got wet and cold."

It was not until October, 1771, that a pleasure-filled item
appeared, "Boys' Marbles." In _The Pretty Little Pocket Book_ are
these lines:--


    "Knuckle down to your Taw.
       Aim well, shoot away.
     Keep out of the Ring,
       You'll soon learn to Play.


    "Time rolls like a Marble,
       And drives every State.
     Then improve each Moment,
       Before its too late."

Boys played with them precisely as boys do now. The poet Cowper in
his _Tirocinium_ says of the games of his school life:--

    "The little ones unbutton'd, glowing hot
     Playing our games and on the very spot
     As happy as we once, to kneel and draw
     The chalky ring, and knuckle down at taw."

The terms used were the same as those heard to-day in school yards:
taws, vent, back-licks, rounces, dubs, alleys, and alley-taws,
agates, bull's-eyes, and commoneys. Jackstones was an old English
game known in Locke's day as dibstones. Other names for the game
were chuckstones, chuckie-stones, and clinches. The game is
precisely the same as was played two centuries ago; it was a girl's
game then--it is a girl's game now.

Battledores and Shuttles were advertised for sale in Boston in 1761;
but they are far older than that. Many portraits of children show
battledores, as that of Thomas Aston Coffin. All books of children's
games speak of them. It was, in fact, a popular game, and deemed a
properly elegant exercise for decorous young misses to indulge in.



    _In childhood when with eager eyes
        The season-measured years I view'd
            All, garb'd in fairy guise
                Pledg'd constancy of good._

    _Spring sang of heaven; the summer flowers
        Bade me gaze on, and did not fade;
            Even suns o'er autumn's bowers
                Heard my strong wish, and stay'd._

    _They came and went, the short-lived four,
        Yet, as their varying dance they wove,
            To my young heart each bore
                    Its own sure claim of love._

    --_J. H. Card. Newman, 1874._

The records of childish flower lore contained in this chapter are
those of my own childhood; but they are equally the records of the
customs of colonial children, for these games and rhymes and plays
about flowers have been preserved from generation to generation of
New England children. The transmission of this nature lore has been
as direct and unaltered in the new world as in Great Britain. Some
of these customs, such as the eating of hollyhock cheeses and the
blowing of dandelion clocks, came originally, as have other play
usages, from England; many were varied in early years by different
conditions in the new world, by local fitness and suggestion.

One chapter in Mr. Newell's book upon the _Games of American
Children_ dwells upon the conservatism of children. The
unquestioning reception of play formulas, which he proves, extended
to the flower rhymes and lore which I have recollected and herein
set down. These inherited customs are far dearer to children than
modern inventions. There is a quaintness of expression, a sentiment
of tradition, that the child feels without power of formulating.

[Illustration: Stella (Bradley) Bellows, 1800, _circa_]

If the paradise of the Orientals is a garden, so was a garden of
old-fashioned flowers the earthly paradise for a child: the long
sunny days brought into life so many delightful playthings to be
made through the exercise of that keen instinct of all children,
destructiveness. Each year saw the fresh retelling and teaching
of child to child of happy flower customs almost intuitively, or
through the "knowledge never learned at schools," that curious
subtle system of transmission which everywhere exists among
children who are blessed enough to spend their summer days in the
woods or in a garden. The sober teachings of science in later years
can never make up the loss to those who have lived their youth in
great cities, and have grown up debarred from this inheritance,
knowing not when

  "The summer comes with flower and bee."

The dandelion was the earliest flower to stir the children's
memories; in New England it is "the firstling of the year." In the
days of my childhood we did not wait for the buttercup to open to
learn whether we "loved butter"; the soft dimpled chin of each child
was held up, as had been those of other children for past decades,
to catch the yellow reflection of the first dandelion on the pinky

The dandelion had other charms for the child. When the blooms had
grown long-stemmed through seeking the sun from under the dense
box borders, what pale green, opal-tinted curls could be made by
splitting the translucent stems and immersing them in water, or by
placing them in the mouth! I taste still their bitterness! What
grace these curls conferred when fastened to our round combs, or
hung over our straight braids!--far better than locks of corn silk.
And what adorning necklaces and chains like Indian wampum could be
made by stringing "dandelion beads," formed by cutting the stems
into sections! This is an ancient usage; one German name of the
flower is chain-flower. The making of dandelion curls is also an
old-time childish custom in Germany. When the dandelion had lost her
golden locks, and had grown old and gray, the children still plucked
the downy heads, the "clocks" or blowballs, and holding aloft these
airy seed vessels, and fortifying the strong young lungs with a deep
breath, they blew upon the head "to see whether my mother wants me,"
or to learn the time o' day.

    "Dandelion, the globe of down,
     The schoolboy's clock in every town,
     Which the truant puffs amain
     To conjure back long hours again."

The ox-eye daisy, the farmer's whiteweed, was brought to New
England, so tradition tells, as a garden flower. Now, as Dr. Holmes
says, it whitens our fields to the great disgust of our liberal
shepherds. It soon followed the dandelion in bloom, and a fresh
necklace could be strung from the starry blossoms, a daisy chain,
just as English children string their true pink and white daisies.
This daisy was also used as a medium of amatory divination, by
pulling from the floret the white ray flowers, saying, "He loves me,
he loves me not," or by repeating the old "apple-seed rhyme":--

[Illustration: A daisy chain surrounds most of the page]

    "One I love,
     Two I love,
     Three I love, I say,
     Four I love with all my heart,
     Five I cast away," etc.

Flower oracles are mediæval, and divination by leaves of grass.
Children to-day, as of old, draw grass stalks in the field and match
them to see who will be "It." Walther von der Vogelweide (1170-1230)
did likewise:--

    "A spire of grass hath made me gay--
     I measured in the self-same way
     I have seen practised by a child.
     Come, look, and listen if she really does,
     She does, does not, she does, does not, she does."

The yellow disk, or "button," of the ox-eye daisy, which was formed
by stripping off the white rays, made a pretty pumpkin pie for the
dolls' table. A very effective and bilious old lady, or "daisy
grandmother," was made by clipping off the rays to shape the border
or ruffle of a cap, leaving two long rays for strings, and marking
in a grotesque old face with pen and ink. A dusky face, called with
childish plainness of speech a "nigger head," could be made in like
fashion from the "black-eyed Susan" or "yellow daisy," which now
rivals the ox-eye daisy as a pest of New England fields.

Though the spring violets were dearly loved, we slaughtered them
ruthlessly by "fighting roosters" with them. The projecting spur
under the curved stem at the base of the flower was a hook, and when
the violets "clinched" we pulled till the stronger was conqueror,
and the weaker head was off.

What braided "cat-ladders," and quaint, antique-shaped boats with
swelling lateen sail and pennant of striped grass could be made from
the flat, sword-like leaves of the "flower-de-luce!" Filled with
flowers, these leafy boats could be set gayly adrift down a tiny
brook in the meadow, or, with equal sentiment, in that delight of
children since Froissart's day, the purling gutter of a hillside
street after a heavy midsummer shower. The flowers chosen to
sail in these tiny crafts were those most human of all flowers,
pansies, or their smaller garden sisters, the "ladies'-delights"
that turned their laughing, happy faces to us from every nook
and corner of our garden. The folk names of this flower, such as
"three-faces-under-a-hood," "johnny-jump-up," "jump-up-and-kiss-me,"
"come-tickle-me," show the universal sense of its kinship to
humanity. I knew a child who insisted for years that pansies spoke
to her. Another child, who had stolen a rose, and hidden it under
her apron, called out pettishly (throwing the rose in a pansy bed),
"Here! take your old flower"--as the pansy faces blinked and nodded
knowingly to her.

The "dielytra" (bleeding-heart, or lady's-eardrops we called it)
had long, gracefully drooping racemes of bright red-pink flowers,
which when pulled apart and straightened out made fairy gondolas,
or which might be twisted into a harp and bottle. How many scores
have I carefully dissected, trying to preserve intact in skeleton
shape the little heart-shaped "frame" of the delicate flower! The
bleeding-heart is a flower of inexplicable charm to children; it has
something of that mystery which in human nature we term fascination.
Little children beg to pick it, and babies stretch out their tiny
hands to it when showier blossoms are unheeded.

What black-headed puppets or dolls could be made from the great
poppies, whose reflexed petals formed gay scarlet petticoats; and
also from the blossoms of vari-colored double balsams, with their
frills and flounces! The hollyhock, ever ready to render to the
child a new pleasure, could be tied into tiny dolls with shining
satin gowns, true fairies. Families--nay, tribes of patriarchal
size had the little garden-mother. Mertensia, or lungwort, we
termed "pink and blue ladies." The lovely blossoms, which so
delighted the English naturalist Wallace, and which he called
"drooping porcelain-blue bells," are shaped something like a child's
straight-waisted, full-skirted frock. If pins are stuck upright in a
piece of wood, the little blue silken frocks can be hung over them,
and the green calyx looks like a tiny hat. A child friend forbidden
to play with dolls on the solemn New England Sabbath was permitted
to gather the mertensia bells on that holy day, and also to use the
cherished income of a prosperous pin store. It was discovered with
maternal horror that she had carefully arranged her pink and blue
ladies in quadrilles and contra-dances, and was very cheerfully
playing dancing party, to beguile the hours of a weary summer Sunday

[Illustration: Playing Marbles]

Mr. Tylor, the author of _Primitive Culture_, call our attention
to the fact that many of the beloved plays of children are only
sportive imitations of the serious business of life. In some
cases the game has outlived the serious practice of which it is a
copy--such as the use of bows and arrows. Children love to produce
these imitations themselves with what materials they can obtain, not
to have them provided in finished perfection. Thus the elaborately
fitted-up doll's house and imitation grocery store cannot keep the
child contented for days and weeks as can the doll's room or shop
counter furnished by the makeshifts of the garden. The child makes
her cups and saucers and furniture herself. She prepares her own
powders and distillations and is satisfied.

A harvest of acorn cups furnished table garniture, but not a
cherished one; they were too substantial; we preferred more fragile,
more perishable wares. Rose-hips were fashioned into tiny tea-sets,
and would not be thought to be of great durability. A few years
ago I was present at the opening of an ancient chest which had not
been thoroughly searched for many years. In a tiny box within it
was found some cherished belongings of a little child who had died
in the year 1794. Among them was one of these tea-sets made of
rose-hips, with handles of bent pins. Though shrunken and withered,
the rose-hips still possessed some life color, but they soon fell
into dust. There was something most tender in the thought of that
loving mother, who had herself been dead over half a century, who
had thus preserved the childish work of her beloved daughter.

Poppy pericarps made famous pepper-boxes, from which the seed could
be shaken as pepper; dishes and cups, too, for dolls' tea-tables,
and tiny handles of strong grass stems could be attached to the
cups. For the child's larder, hollyhocks furnished food in their
mucilaginous cheeses, and the insipid akenes of the sunflower and
seeds of pumpkins swelled the feast. A daintier morsel, a drop
of honey, the "clear bee-wine" of Keats, could be sucked from the
curved spur of the columbine, and the scarlet-and-yellow trumpet of
the beautiful coral honeysuckle, mellifluous of the name, as well as
from the tubes of the heads of clover. We ate rose-leaves, also, and
grass roots, and smarting peppergrass. The sorrel and oxalis (which
we called "ladies' sorrel") and the curling tendrils of grape-vines
gave an acid zest to our childish nibblings and browsings.

The gnarled plum trees at the end of the garden exuded beautiful
crystals of gum, of which we could say proudly, like Cornelia,
"These are my jewels." Translucent topaz and amber were never more
beautiful, and, void of settings, these pellucid gems could be
stuck directly on the fingers or on the tip of the ear. And when
our vanity was sated with the bravery, or we could no longer resist
our appetite, there still remained another charm: with childish
opulence, like Cleopatra, we swallowed our jewels.

A low-growing mallow, wherever it chanced to run, shared with its
cousin hollyhock the duty of providing cheeses. These mallow cheeses
were also eaten by English children. In allusion to this the poet
Clare wrote:--

    "The sitting down when school was o'er
     Upon the threshold of the door,
     Picking from mallows, sport to please,
     The crumpled seed we call a cheese."

These flower customs never came to us through reading. All our
English story-books told of making cowslip balls, of breaking the
shepherd's purse, of playing lords and ladies with the arum--what we
call jack-in-the-pulpit; yet we never thought of making any kindred
attempts with these or similar flowers. We did gather eagerly the
jack-in-the-pulpit, whose singularity of aspect seems always to
attract the attention of children, and by pinching it at the base
of the flower made it squeak, "made Jack preach." But like true
republicans we never called our jacks lords and ladies.

The only liking we had for the portulaca was in gathering the seeds
which grew in little boxes with a lid opening in a line around the
middle. Oh, dear! It doesn't seem like the same thing to hear these
beloved little seed-boxes described as "a pyxis, or a capsule with a
circumscissile dehiscence."

From the live-for-ever, or orpine (once tenderly cherished as a
garden favorite, now in many localities a hated and persistent
weed), we made frogs, or purses, by gently pinching the fleshy
leaves between thumb and forefinger, thus loosening the epidermis on
the lower side of the leaf and making a bladder which, when blown
up, would burst with a delightful pop. The New England folk-names
by which this plant is called, such as frog-plant, blow-leaf,
pudding-bag plant, show the wide-spread prevalence of this custom.
A rival in sound could be made by popping the foxglove's fingers.
English countrywomen call the foxglove a pop. The morning-glory
could also be blown up and popped, and the canterbury-bell. We
placed rose petals and certain tender leaves over our lips, and drew
in the centres for explosion.

[Illustration: Spanish Dolls]

Noisy boys found scores of other ways to make various resounding
notes in the gardens. A louder pop could be made by placing broad
leaves on the extended thumb and forefinger of one hand and
striking them with the other. The boys also made squawks out of
birch bark and fiddles of cornstalks and trombones from the striped
prickly leaf-stalks of pumpkins and squashes.

The New England chronicler in rhyme of boyhood days, Rev. John
Pierpont, called this sound evoked from the last-named instrument
"the deeper tone that murmurs from the pumpkin leaf trombone."
It is, instead, a harsh trumpeting. These trombones were made in
Germany as early as the thirteenth century.

An ear-piercing whistle could be constructed from a willow branch,
and a particularly disagreeable sound could be evoked by every boy,
and (I must acknowledge it) by every girl, too, by placing broad
leaves of grass--preferably the pretty striped ribbon-grass, or
gardener's garters--between the thumbs and blowing thereon. Other
skilful and girl-envied accomplishments of the boys I will simply
name: making baskets and brooches by cutting or filing the furrowed
butternut or the stone of a peach; also fairy baskets, Japanesque
in workmanship, of cherry stones; manufacturing old-women dolls of
hickory nuts; squirt-guns and pop-guns of elderberry stems; pipes
of horse-chestnuts, corn-cobs, or acorns, in which dried sweet-fern
could be smoked; sweet-fern or grape-stem or corn-silk cigars.

Some child customs successfully defy the law of the survival of the
useful, and ignore the lesson of reason; they simply exist. A marked
example of these, of bootless toil, is the laborious hoarding of
horse-chestnuts each autumn. With what eagerness and hard work do
boys gather these pretty nuts; how they quarrel with one another
over the possession of every one; how stingily they dole out a few
to the girls who cannot climb the trees, and are not permitted to
belabor the branches with clubs and stones for dislodgment of the
treasures, as do their lordly brothers! How carefully the gathered
store is laid away for winter, and not one thing ever done with one
horse-chestnut, until all feed a grand blaze in the open fireplace!
At the time of their gathering they are converted to certain uses,
are made into certain toys. They are tied to the ends of strings,
and two boys, holding the stringed chestnuts, play cob-nut. Two nuts
are also tied together by a yard of cord, and, by a catching knack,
circled in opposite directions. But these games have a very emphatic
time and season,--the weeks when the horse-chestnuts ripen. The
winter's store is always untouched.

From a stray burdock plant which had escaped destruction in our
kitchen garden, or from a group of these pestilent weeds in a
neighboring by-path, could be gathered materials for many days of
pleasure. The small, tenacious burs could be easily wrought into
interesting shapes. There was a romance in our neighborhood about
a bur-basket. A young man conveyed a written proposal of marriage
to his sweetheart reposing in one of the spiny vehicles. Like the
Ahkoond of Swat, I don't know "why or which or when or what" he
chose such an extraordinary medium, but the bur-basket was forever
after haloed with sentiment. We made from burs more prosaic but
admirable furniture for the dolls' house,--tables, chairs, and
cradles: Traces of the upholstery clung long and disfiguringly to
our clothing, but never deterred us from the fascinating occupation.
To throw these burs upon each other's clothing was held to be the
commission of the unpardonable sin in childish morals; still it was
done "in holiday foolery," as in Shakespeare's day.

The milkweed, one of our few native weeds, and a determined settler
on its native soil, furnished abundant playthings. The empty
pods became fairy cradles, and tiny pillows could be made of the
beautiful silk. The milkweed and thistle both furnish pretty,
silvery balls when treated with deft fingers; and their manufacture
is no modern fashion. Manasseh Cutler, writing in 1786, says:--

     "I was pleased with a number of perfectly white silken balls, as
     they appeared to be, suspended by small threads along the frame
     of the looking-glass. They were made by taking off the calyx of
     the thistle at an early stage of blooming."

Ingenious toys of amusing shapes could be formed of the pith of
the milkweed, and when weighted with a tack would always fall tack
downward, as did the grotesque corn-stalk witches.

Pressed flowers were devoted to special uses. I cannot recall
pressing any flower save larkspur,--the "lark-heels" of Shakespeare.
Why this flower was chosen I do not know, unless for the reason that
its colors were so enduring. We used to make charming wreaths of the
stemless flowers by placing the spur of one in the centre of another
flower, and thus forming a tiny circle. A favorite arrangement was
alternating the colors pink and blue. These stiff little pressed
wreaths were gummed on a sheet of paper, to be used at the proper
time as a valentine,--were made for that definite purpose; yet I
cannot now recall that, when February came, I ever sent one of these
valentines, or indeed had any to send.

I have found these larkspur wreaths in a Pike's Arithmetic, used a
century ago, and also in old Bibles, sometimes fastened in festoons
on the title-page, around the name of a past owner. Did Dr. Holmes
refer to one when he wrote his graceful line, "light as a loop of
larkspur"? A similar wreath could be made of the columbine spurs. A
friend tells me she made scores in her youth; but we never pressed
any flowers but larkspur.

Many pretty wreaths were made of freshly gathered flowers. The
daintiest were of lilac or phlox petals, which clung firmly
together without being threaded, and the alternation of color in
these wreaths--one white and two purple lilac petals, or two white
phlox petals and two crimson--could easily prove the ingenuity
and originality of the child who produced them. In default of
better-loved flowers, the four-o'clock, or marvel-of-Peru, was made
into a similar garland.

In the beautiful and cleanly needles of the pine the children had an
unlimited supply for the manufacture of toys. Pretty necklaces could
be made for personal adornment, resembling in miniature the fringed
bark garments of the South Sea Islanders, and tiny brooms for dolls'
houses. A thickly growing cluster of needles was called "a lady."
When her petticoats were carefully trimmed, she could be placed
upright on a sheet of paper, and by softly blowing upon it could
be made to dance. A winter's amusement was furnished by gathering
and storing the pitch-pine cones and hearing them snap open in the
house. The cones could also be planted with grass-seeds, and form a
cheerful green growing ornament.

[Illustration: Leaf Boats made from Flower-de-luce]

From birch bark gathered in long wood walks could be made
cornucopias and drinking-cups, and letters could be cut thereon and
thereof. There wandered through the town, harmless and happy, one
of "God's fools," whose like is seen in every country community.
He found his pleasure in early autumn in strolling through the
country, and marking with his jack-knife, in cabalistic designs,
the surface of all the unripe pumpkins and squashes. He was driven
by the farmers from this annoying trespass in the daytime, but "by
brave moonshine" could still make his mysterious mark on the harvest
of the year. The boys of the town, impressed by the sight of a
garden or field of squashes thus curiously marked, fell into a habit
of similar inscription, which in them became wanton vandalism, and
had none of the sense of baffled mystery which always hung around
and illumined poor Elmer's letters. A favorite manner of using the
autumn store of pumpkins was in the manufacture of Jack-o'-lanterns,
which were most effective and hideous when lighted from within.

"The umbrellas are out!" call country children in spring, when
the peltate leaves of the May apple spread their umbrella-shaped
lobes, and the little girls gather them, and the leaves of the
wild sarsaparilla, for dolls' parasols. The spreading head of what
we called snake grass could also be tied into a very effective
miniature parasol. There is no sense of caste among children when
in a field or garden--all are equally well dressed when "bedizened
and brocaded" with garden finery. Green leaves can be pinned with
their stems into fantastic caps and bonnets; foxglove fingers can be
used as gloves; the blossoms of the jewelweed make pretty earrings;
and the dandelion and daisy chains are not the only necklaces,--the
lilac and larkspur chains and pretty little circlets of phlox are
proudly worn; and strings of rose-hips end the summer. The old
English herbalist says "children with delight make chains and pretty
gewgaws of the fruit of roses." Truly, the garden-bred child walks
in gay attire from May to October.

The "satten" found by the traveller Josselyn, in seventeenth-century
New England gardens, formed throughout New England a universal
plaything, and a frequent winter posy, in country parlors, on
mantel or table. The broad white oval partition, of satiny lustre,
remaining after the side valves had fallen, made juvenile money, and
the plant went by the appropriate name of money-in-both-pockets.

Other seeds were gathered as the children's spoils: those of the
garden balsam, to see them burst, or to feel them curl up in the
hand like living creatures; those of the balsam's cousin, the
jewelweed, to watch them snap violently open--hence its country name
of touch-me-not and snapweed. When the leaves were hung with dew it
deserved its title of jewelweed, and when they were immersed in
water its other pretty descriptive folk name of silver-leaf.

A grotesquery could be formed from the seed-pods in the centre of
the peony, when opened, in such a way that the tiny pink and white
seeds resembled two sets of teeth in an open mouth. Imaginary
miniature likenesses were found in the various parts of many
flowers: the naked pistil and stamens of one were a pair of tongs;
another had a seed ovary which was a lady, a very stout lady with
extending hoops. The heart's-ease had in its centre an old lady
washing her feet; the monk's-hood, a devil in his chariot. A single
petal of the columbine, with attached sepals, was a hovering dove,
and the whole flower--Izaak Walton's "culverkeys"--formed a little
dish with a ring of pigeon-heads bending within.

There were many primitive inks and staining juices that could be
expressed, and milks and gums that exuded, from various plants. We
painted pictures in our books with the sap from the petals of the
red peonies, and blue juice from the blossom of the spiderwort, or
tradescantia, now a neglected flower. We dyed dolls' clothes with
the juice of elderberries. The country child could also dye a vivid
red with the juice of the pokeberry, the "red-ink" plant, or with
the stems of the bloodroot; and the sap crushed from soft, pulpy
leaves, such as those of the live-for-ever, furnished a green stain.

There was a certain garden lore connected with insects, not so
extensive, probably, as a child would have upon a farm. We said to
the snail:--

    "Snail, snail, come out of your hole,
     Or else I will beat you as black as a coal."

We sang to the lady-bug:--

    "Lady-bug, lady-bug, fly away home;
     Your house is on fire, your children will burn."

We caught the grasshoppers, and thus exhorted them:--

    "Grandfather, grandfather gray,
     Give me molasses, or I'll throw you away."

We believed that earwigs lived for the sole purpose of penetrating
our ears, that dragon-flies flew with the sole thought of sewing
up our lips--devil's darning-needles we called them. To this day
I instinctively cover my mouth at their approach. We used to
entrap bumble-bees in the bells of monopetalous flowers such as
canterbury-bells, or in the ample folds of the hollyhock, and
listen to their indignant scolding and buzzing, and watch them gnaw
and push out to freedom. I cannot recall ever being stung in the

We had the artistic diversion of "pin-a-sights." These were one of
the shop-furnishings of pin stores, whose curious lore, and the
oddly shaped and named articles made for them, should be recorded
ere they are forgotten. A "pin-a-sight" was made of a piece of
glass, on which were stuck flowers in various designs. Over these
flowers was pasted a covering of paper, in which a movable flap
could be lifted, to display, on payment of a pin, the concealed
treasures. We used to chant, to entice sight-seers, "A pin, a pin,
a poppy-show." This being our rendering of the word "puppet-show."
I recall as our "sights" chiefly the tiny larkspur wreaths before
named, and miniature trees carefully manufactured of grass-spires.
A noted "pin-a-sight," glorious still in childish history and
tradition, was made for my pin-store by a grown-up girl of fourteen.
She cut in twain tiny baskets, which she pasted on glass, and filled
with wonderful artificial flowers manufactured out of the petals of
real blossoms. I well remember her "gilding refined gold" by making
a gorgeous blue rose out of the petals of a flower-de-luce.

I cannot recall playing much with roses; we fashioned a bird out
of the buds. The old English rhyme describing the variation of the
sepals was unknown to us:--

    "On a summer's day in sultry weather
     Five brethren were born together:
     Two had beards, and two had none,
     And the other had but half a one."

Still, with the rose is connected one of my most tender child
memories,--somewhat of a gastronomic cast, yet suffused with an
element of grace,--the making of "rosy-cakes." These dainty fairy
cakes were made of layers of rose-leaves sprinkled with powdered
sugar and cinnamon, and then carefully enfolded in slips of white
paper. Sometimes they were placed in the garden over night, pressed
between two flat stones. As a morsel for the epicure they were not
altogether alluring, although inoffensive, but decidedly preferable
to pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and they were englamoured with
sentiment; for these rosy-cakes were not destined to be greedily
eaten by the concocter, but were to be given with much secrecy
as a mark of affection, a true love token, to another child or
some beloved older person, and were to be eaten also in secret.
I recall to this day the thrill of happiness which the gift of
one of these little paper-inclosed rosy-cakes brought to me, in
the days of my childhood, when it was slipped into my hand by a
beautiful and gentle child, who died the following evening, during
a thunder-storm, of fright. The tragedy of her death, the memory
of the startling glimpses given by the vivid lightning, of agitated
running to and fro in the heavy rain and lowering darkness, and the
terrified summons of kindly neighbors,--all have fixed more firmly
in my mind the happy recollection of her last gift.

Another custom of my youth was watching at dusk the opening of the
twisted buds of the garden primrose into wan, yellow stars, "pallid
flowers, by dew and moonlight fed," which filled the early evening
with a faint, ineffable fragrance that drew a host of encircling
night moths. Keats said they "leaped from buds into ripe flowers," a
habit thus told by Margaret Deland:--

    "Here, in warm darkness of a night in June,
     *  *  *  *  *  children came
     To watch the primrose blow.
                            Silent they stood,
     Hand clasped in hand, in breathless hush around,
     And saw her shyly doff her soft green hood
     And blossom--with a silken burst of sound!"

In our home garden stood a clump of tall primroses, whose beautiful
flowers, when opened, were four inches in diameter. When riding,
one summer evening, along a seaside road on Cape Ann, we first saw
one of these queens of the night in an humble dooryard. In the
dark its seeds were gathered and given by an unknown hand and a
flower-loving heart to my mother, to form under her "fair tendance"
the luminous evening glory of her garden. And on summer nights this
stately primrose still blooms in moonlight and starlight, though the
gentle hand that planted it is no longer there:--

    "Yon rising Moon that looks for us again
     How oft hereafter will she wax and wane
       How oft hereafter look for us
     Through this same Garden--and for _one_ in vain."

To every garden-bred child the sudden blossoming and pale shining in
the gloaming have ever given the evening primrose a special tender
interest,--a faintly mystic charm through the chill of falling
dew and the dim light, and through a half-sad atmosphere which
has always encircled the flower, and has been felt by many of the
poets, making them seldom sing the evening primrose as a flower of
happiness. With the good night of children to the flowers, I close
this record of old-time child life.


     _Ye labor and ye patience, ye judgment and ye penetration which
     are required to make a good index is only known to those who
     have gone through with this most necessary and painful but least
     praised part of a publication._

     _--William Oldys, 1687._

  Abcie. See Absey-book.

  Abiel, the name, 15.

  Abigail, the name, 16.

  Absey-book, 127, 229.

  _Accidence, Young Lady's_, 96, 135;
    _Cheever's_, 134.

  Acorn cups, playthings of, 386.

  Adams, Abigail, quoted, 93-94;
    patriotism of, 171.

  Adams, John Quincy, birth of, 40;
    letters of, 147, 169-170;
    patriotic education of, 170 _et seq._

  Advertisements, of booksellers, 267 _et seq._

  Æsop's _Fables_, 264.

  _Afflicted Parents_, 257.

  Agates, 375.

  Albany, N. Y., education of girls in, 94.

  Alleys, 375.

  "All the birds of the air," 348.

  Almanacs, notes in, 163.

  Almonds, 32.

  Alphabet-blocks, 182.

  _American Preceptor_, 144.

  Amphidromia, 18.

  Andover, Mass., school at, 83, 134.

  Angelica candy, 31.

  Appleseed rhyme, 381.

  Appleton, Samuel, as teacher, 98.

  Arithmetic, manuscript, 79, 138, 139;
    study of, 138;
    verses in, 141, 142;
    printed, 140 _et seq._;
    rules on birch bark, 79.

  Arsemetrick, 140.

  _Arte of Vulgar Arithmetike_, 142.

  Ascham, Roger, 91;
    habits of, 352.

  Ashes, saved by school children, 77.

  Astrology, 5-6.

  Augrime, 140.

  Austin, Madam, names of children, 16.

  _Babees Book_, 215, 220.

  Babies. See Dolls.

  Backboard, 105, 107.

  Ball, games of, 347.

  Ball, Mary, quoted, 95.

  Balsam, dolls of, 384.

  Bangwell Putt, 366.

  Baptism, in winter, 4.

  Barbadoes, scholars from, 86 _et seq._

  Barbauld, Mrs., learnt upon, 298 _et seq._

  Barnard, John, quoted, 97, 200.

  Barring-out, 77.

  Baskets, of fruit stones, 390;
    of burs, 392.

  Bathing, 25, 26;
    Locke's ideas about, 25;
    old-time lack of, 27-29;
    on shipboard, 28.

  Battledore and shuttlecock, 376.

  Battledore book, 125 _et seq._

  Beans, as food, 30.

  Bears, hunting of, 316.

  Bearing-cloth, 23.

  Beechen roundels, 335.

  Beer, drinking of, 26.

  Bendall, Edward, names of children, 17.

  Berkeley, Governor, his narrow mind, 64;
    quoted, 65.

  Berries, as food, 30.

  Bethlehem, Pa., schools at, 114.

  Bewick, cuts of, 258, 286, 289, 291, 293.

  Bible, as guide, 191;
    use in schools, 203 _et seq._;
    reading of, 228;
    familiarity with, 228;
    deprivation of, 229;
    influence of, 229;
    versification of, 258;
    abridgments of, 258;
    texts of, embroidered, 334.

  Bingham, Caleb, school of, 96-97;
    books of, 96, 135, 144.

  Birch, for rods, 196.

  Birch bark, for paper, 79;
    for cradles, 21;
    toys of, 367, 390;
    letters cut of, 395;
    cups of, 395.

  Blackburn, portraits by, 37, 51.

  Black-jacks, 32.

  Bladders in windpipe, 4.

  Blair, Agan, letter of, 104-105.

  Blanchard, Claude, quoted, 151.

  Blankets, 21-23.

  Bleeding heart, 383.

  Bloodroot, ink from, 398.

  Boarding schools, 113 _et seq._

  _Boke of Curtasye_, 215.

  _Boke of Nurture_, 215.

  _Book of Martyrs_, 249.

  Bonner, Jane, portrait of, 44-45.

  Borrowing, of books, 301, 302.

  Boston, land allotment of, 13;
    cakes in, 32;
    schools of, 69, 99, 135;
    boarders in, 99;
    writing-teachers of, 152, 153;
    laws in, 205;
    funerals in, 243;
    children's books in, 299;
    style of writing, 153.

  Bounds, beating the, 312 _et seq._

  Bowling, 350.

  Bowne, Eliza Southgate, letters of, 113, 114.

  Bows and arrows, 371, 385.

  Boys' pews, 246.

  _Boy Bishop's Sermon_, 193.

  Bradley, Daniel, infant conversion of, 251.

  Bradford, Governor, christening shirt and mittens of, 35;
    bearing-cloth of, 23;
    quoted, 230-231, 353.

  Bradley children, 61.

  Brainerd, David and John, childhood of, 223 _et seq._, 307 _et seq._

  Breaking up, in school, 115.

  Breeches, 62.

  Bristle-saving, 310.

  _British Instructor_, 136.

  Brookline, Mass., land grants in, 13.

  Broom-making, 308.

  _Brother's Gift_, 281.

  Browne, Sir Thomas, quoted, 57;
    his early maturity, 176.

  Brownell, advertisement of, 321.

  Buck, Richard, children's names, 14-15.

  Buckingham, Joseph T., precocity of, 184;
    cited, 310.

  Bumble bees, trapping of, 399.

  Bunyan, John, writings of, 254-255.

  Bunyan, Mrs. John, books of, 249.

  Burr, Aaron, advice to daughter, 160-161.

  Burs, playthings of, 392.

  Busks, 106.

  Bussee, 199.

  Butcher, Elizabeth, infant query of, 251.

  Cakes, groaning, 17;
    nurses', 18;
    Meers, 32;
    caraway, 31.

  Canterbury bells, 389.

  Caraways, 31.

  _Careful Father and Pious Child_, 130.

  Cards, playing, 353.

  Card-setting, 309.

  Carter, Robert, wardrobe of, 55-56.

  Carolinas, schools of, 65.

  _Caroline, or a Lesson to Cure Vanity_, 293-294.

  Cary children, 61.

  Cat and clay chimney, 76.

  Catechism, in schools, 131;
    as gifts, 258.

  _Catechism of Health_, 95.

  Cat-ladders, 382.

  Cat's-cradle, 346.

  Caudle, drinking of, 18.

  Cereal foods, 29-31.

  _Charlotte Temple_, 113.

  Chaucer, cited, 211.

  Chastellux, Marquis de, cited, 110-111.

  Cheeses, of hollyhocks, 386;
    of mallows, 387.

  Cheever, Ezekiel, discipline of, 200;
    grammar of, 134.

  Chester, England, child marriages in, 186 _et seq._

  Chesterfield, Lord, education of his son, 178-179;
    quoted, 178.

  Child, Tom, 44.

  _Child's Body of Divinity_, 262.

  _Child's Companion_, 144.

  _Child's New Spelling Book_, 136.

  Chimney, cat and clay, 76.

  Chokecherry-gathering, 309.

  Christening, in winter, 34.

  Christening dress, 34 _et seq._

  Christening party, 18.

  _Christian's Metamorphosis Unfolded_, 255.

  _Christian Pilgrim_, 255.

  Chuck farthing, 347.

  Chuckstones, 375.

  Clap, Roger, names of children, 16.

  Clare, quoted, 387.

  _Clarissa, or The Grateful Orphan_, 295.

  Clinches, 375.

  Clocks, dandelion, 380.

  Coarseness of children's books, 291.

  Coasting, 350.

  Coats, worn by boys, 41.

  Coat-of-arms, 323 _et seq._

  Cobnuts, 391.

  _Cobwebs to Catch Flies_, 284, 290.

  Cocker's Arithmetic, 140, 142.

  Cock-fighting, 352.

  Cock-throwing, 351.

  Codrington, Richard, quoted, 264, 265.

  Coffin, Thomas A., portrait of, 52.

  Coleman, Jane, education of, 91 _et seq._

  Coleman, Lydia, letters of, 87-88, 102;
    guardianship of, 87 _et seq._, 101 _et seq._

  Coleman, President, letter of, 92.

  Colet, 91.

  College, old use of word, 277.

  _Columbian Orator_, 144.

  Columbine, wreaths of, 394;
    playthings of, 398.

  Comets, notions about, 148, 240.

  Comfits, 87.

  Commonplace books, 172 _et seq._;
    of children, 173.

  Concord, N. H., funeral at, 242-243.

  Connecticut, schools of, 68;
    early laws of, 68.

  Conservatism of children, 378.

  Contagious diseases, 5.

  Cookies, 32.

  Cookey-moulds, 124.

  Cooper, Rebecca, wooing of, 188 _et seq._

  Copley, portraits by, 37, 49, 50, 52, 53, 55.

  Copley family, 55.

  Copybooks, home-made, 79.

  Cordes, Ellinor, portrait, 48.

  Cornstalk, witches of, 393;
    fiddles of, 390.

  Corsets. See Stays.

  Cotton, dress of, 60.

  Cotton, John, 130.

  _Country Rhimes for Children_, 255.

  Cowper, William, quoted, 375.

  Cradle, of Peregrine White, 20;
    swinging, 21;
    of birch bark, 21;
    of wicker, 21;
    of Indians, 21;
    cost of, 21.

  _Cradle Hymn_, 262-263.

  Criss-cross row, 118.

  Cromwell, Oliver, discipline of, 193.

  Culverkeys, 398.

  Curtius, Dr., 201-202.

  Custis, "Miss," wardrobe of, 56-57;
    harpsichord of, 113.

  Custis family, portrait, 57.

  Cutler, Manasseh, quoted, 393.

  Cut-tail, 319.

  Cyphering. See Arithmetic.

  Daffy's Elixir, 6.

  Daisies, divination with, 380;
    chains of, 380.

  Dame schools, 97.

  Danbury, Mass., spelling in, 137.

  "Dance barefoot," 103.

  Dancing, price of lessons, 103;
    "gynecandrical," 109;
    "petulant," 110;
    sermon against, 109-110;
    repression of, 110;
    formality of, 110-111;
    varied titles of, 111.

  Dandelion, chains, 409;
    clocks, 380.

  _Day of Doom_, 252 _et seq._

  _Dealings with the Dead_, 242.

  _Death and Burial of Cock Robin_, 292.

  Death-bed scenes, 257, 295.

  Death rate, 4.

  Deer, hunting of, 316.

  Deland, Margaret, quoted, 402.

  Deming, Mrs., letter of, 99.

  De Peyster twins, portrait of, 45.

  Deportment, 105.

  Desks, primitive, 75.

  Devil, familiarity with, 175;
    names of, 239.

  Devil's play-houses, 247.

  _Dialogue between Christ, Youth, and the Devil_, 131.

  Diaries, of adults, 163 _et seq._;
    of children, 164;
    penmanship of, 164.

  _Diary of a Lady of Quality_, 206.

  Dibstones, 375.

  Dielytra, 383.

  Diet, of children, 26, 29-30;
    Locke's notions on, 26.

  _Dilworth's Speller_, 136.

  Discipline, in American schools, 196 _et seq._;
    in English schools, 192 _et seq._;
    Dr. Johnson on, 194;
    in Dutch schools, 194;
    parental, 192;
    of servants, 192;
    of grown children, 192.

  Diseases of children, 4.

  Disinfection, 4-5.

  _District School_, 155.

  _Divine Blossoms_, 252.

  _Divine Emblems_, 255.

  _Divine Songs for Children_, 262.

  Dock, Samuel, character of, 209 _et seq._;
    methods of teaching, 210;
    quoted, 211.

  Dod, Mr., book of, 249.

  Dogs, in meeting-house, 245.

  Dolls, antiquity of, 363;
    as fashion conveyors, 364-365;
    Dutch, 365;
    Bartholomew Fair, 365-366;
    French, 366-367;
    of hollyhocks, 384;
    of poppies, 384;
    of mertensia, 384;
    of hickory-nuts, 390.

  Dorchester, Mass., boys of, 246.

  Dorchester in America, 165 _et seq._;
    churches in, 166.

  Dorothy Q., 107-108.

  Double names, 17.

  Downing, Lucy, christening party, 18;
    on son's marriage, 188.

  Doyle, Sir Francis, quoted, 225.

  Dragon flies, notions about, 399.

  Drainage, 4-5.

  Dream-books, 265.

  Dress, laws about, 45;
    in book-cuts, 293.

  Drift of the forest, 315.

  Drunkenness, of school-teachers, 72.

  Dudley, Governor, 179;
    quoted, 2, 185.

  Dudley, Paul, 185.

  Dulany, Major, on school plays, 116;
    on letter writing, 159-160.

  Dulany, Mary Grafton. See Mary Grafton.

  Dumps, 352.

  Dunton, John, quoted, 358.

  Dwight, Timothy, precocity of, 184-185.

  Dyves Pragmaticus, title of, 30;
    on sweetmeats, 30;
    on books, 127 _et seq._;
    on birch, 196.

  Earle, Abigail, handwriting of, 151.

  Earle, John, quoted, 112;
    cited, 164.

  Earle, Professor, cited, 136-137.

  Earrings, 47.

  Earwigs, notions about, 399.

  Edwards, Jonathan, education of, 92-93;
    precocity of, 180;
    letter of, 180-181;
    on spiders, 181;
    his book, 251.

  Edwards, Timothy, letter of, 92.

  Elderberries, squirt guns of, 390;
    ink from, 398.

  Elyot, Sir Thomas, quoted, 357.

  Emerson, Ralph Waldo, quoted, 215.

  Endicott, Governor, quoted, 188 _et seq._

  Epidemics, 4.

  Equality, sign of, 139.

  Erasmus, 91.

  Erasmus Hall, 126.

  Eringo-root, candied, 31.

  Ernst, C. W., quoted, 31.

  Essex, Earl of, child marriage of, 187.

  _Essays to do Good_, 255.

  Etiquette, regard for, 222 _et seq._

  Eton, games at, 358.

  Evelyn, John, quoted, 177, 231-232;
    on child marriage, 187;
    cited, 283.

  Evelyn, Richard, character of, 177 _et seq._

  _Evenings at Home_, 295.

  _Every Young Man's Companion in Drawing_, 54.

  Exhibitions, school, 115 _et seq._

  Exposure, at baptism, 4.

  _Fairchild Family_, 295 _et seq._

  Falkland, Elizabeth, discipline of, 193.

  Falkland, Letice, quoted, 232.

  Family, size of, 11 _et seq._

  Farm life, change of duties in, 308.

  Fathergone, the name, 15.

  _Father's Gift_, story from, 279-280.

  Fear of the Lord, 227, 237.

  Feather-work, 322.

  Feet, wetting of, 25.

  Ferule, in Dutch schools, 194;
    derivation of, 195.

  Fescue, 122.

  Fiddle, corn-stalk, 390.

  Finger-sticking, 213.

  Fiske, Reverend Moses, family of, 12;
    thrift of, 12.

  Flagg, James, portrait, 48-49.

  Flagg, Polly, portrait, 48.

  Flannel sheet, 21.

  Flapper, 197.

  Flatbush, L. I., school at, 74, 202;
    curious discipline of scholars, 199-200.

  Flax, children's work on, 306.

  Fleetwood-Quincy sampler, 329 _et seq._

  Fleetwood, Anne, 330.

  Fleetwood, Miles, 330.

  Floor, of earth, 75;
    puncheon, 75.

  Flower de luce, playthings of, 382-383.

  Food. See Diet.

  _Food for the Mind_, 275.

  Foot-ball, 354 _et seq._

  Ford, P. L., cited, 128.

  Four-o'clock, wreaths of, 394.

  Foxes, hunting of, 316.

  Foxgloves, as playthings, 389, 397.

  Franklin, Benjamin, family of, 11-12;
    proverbs of, 136;
    early reading of, 255;
    practical jest of, 290-291.

  Franklin, Conn., teachers' pay in, 98.

  Fredericksburg, Va., school in, 66.

  Froissart, Jean, quoted, 342-343.

  Fruit, eating of, 26;
    native, 30.

  Funeral, of servant, 205-206;
    children at, 242.

  Funeral pieces, 325.

  Furnivall, Dr., cited, 186.

  Games, antiquity of, 349;
    exact recurrence of, 360.

  Gardeners' garters, 390.

  _Geographical Catechism_, 148.

  Geography, study of, 147 _et seq._

  Germans, indifference to education, 71.

  Gershom, the name, 14.

  Gibbs, Robert, portrait of, 43-44.

  Gibraltars, Salem, 32.

  Gingerbread, hornbooks of, 124.

  Girls, schools for, 90 _et seq._;
    in England, 91;
    school-hours for, 95;
    price of schooling for, 96;
    education in New York, 94, 95;
    education in Providence, R. I., 95;
    education in Salem, Mass., 95;
    discipline of, in England, 192 _et seq._

  Glass-painting, 322.

  Go-cart, 23-24.

  Goldsmith, Oliver, quoted, 72;
    children's books by, 267, 270, 273, 287;
    love of catches, 287.

  _Good Child's Little Hymn Book_, 257.

  Goodrich, S. G. See Peter Parley.

  _Goody Two Shoes_, authorship of, 270;
    title-page of, 270-271;
    chapter from, 271-272;
    Charles Lamb on, 298.

  Goosequill pens, 154.

  Gore family, portrait, 50.

  Gordon, G. L., hornbook of, 119.

  Grafton, Mary, letter of, 111, 115.

  Grafton, Seeth, 15.

  Grammar, study of, 133 _et seq._

  _Grammar of the English Tongue_, 135.

  _Grammarian's Funeral_, 134.

  _Grammar School_, 221-222.

  Grant, Anne, quoted, 94.

  Grasshoppers, rhyme to, 399.

  Green, family of, 11.

  Green, cited, 228.

  Greene, Nathanael, daughter of, 107.

  Grey, Lady Jane, punishment of, 193.

  Gridley, Richard, children's names, 17.

  Groaning-beer, 18.

  Groaning-cakes, 17.

  "Grown-ups," 50.

  Grymes family, portrait, 50.

  Guessbooks, 275.

  _Gulliver's Travels_, 265.

  Hair, dressing of, 59.

  Hall, Richard, his schooling, 86 _et seq._;
    letters of, 87.

  Hall, Sarah, her schooling, 101-103;
    marriage, 103-104.

  Hall, Hugh, letters of, 86, 102.

  Halliwell, cited, 143.

  Hammond, John, quoted, 11.

  Handwriting. See Penmanship.

  Hancock, John, teacher of, 152;
    handwriting of, 152.

  Hands of Great Britain, 153.

  Hannah, the name, 16.

  Harpsichords, 112-113.

  Hartford. Mass., servants in, 205.

  Harvard College, establishment of, 64;
    library of, 180;
    bequest to, 152;
    curriculum of, 185;
    etiquette at, 222.

  Hatfield, Mass., school at, 96.

  Hawkins, Francis, precocity of, 219.

  Head-dress, 59.

  Health-drinking, 217, 293.

  Heartsease, playthings of, 398.

  Heddle-frame, 305.

  Hedge-teachers, 65.

  Hell, familiarity with, 175.

  Henry, Patrick, saying of, 67;
    pronunciation of, 67.

  Heraldry, domination of, 212.

  Herbs, in medicine, 6-8.

  _Hieroglyphick Bible_, 258.

  Higginson, Hetty, school of, 199.

  _History of the Holy Jesus_, 260, 261.

  _History of the Revolution_, 290.

  _History of Tommy Careless_, 281.

  Hoar, Bridget, 84.

  Hoar, Mary, letter of, 83-84.

  Hobby, teacher of Washington, 65.

  Holbrook, Abiah, funeral notice of, 152;
    accomplishments of, 152-153.

  Hollyhocks, cheeses from, 386;
    dolls of, 384.

  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, quoted, 25, 107, 108, 109, 243-244, 303, 394.

  Holmes, Thomas, quoted, 71.

  Holy Innocents' Day, 261.

  Homespun, infant's dress of, 37.

  Honey, 387.

  "Honey flowers of New Testament," 204.

  Honeypots, 345-346.

  Honeysuckle, 387.

  Hop-scotch, 343-344.

  Hornbook, description, 118;
    in America, 119-120, 122;
    rarity of, 121;
    price of, 121;
    gilt, 122;
    of silver, 122;
    of ivory, 122;
    names for, 124;
    of gingerbread, 124;
    symbolism of, 125.

  Horsechestnuts, as playthings, 391.

  Hoverer, 318.

  Howell, James, quoted, 155.

  Hunt, Nicholas, 143.

  Hunters, tales of, 311, 312.

  Huntington, Miss, dress of, 60.

  Hylles, Thomas, 142.

  Illustration, of children's books, 285 _et seq._

  Indians, cradles of, 21;
    names of foods, 29-30;
    hunting methods of, 316 _et seq._;
    foot-ball of, 357-358.

  Ink, home-made, 154-155;
    from flowers, 398.

  Ink-powder, 154.

  Irving, Washington, quoted, 270, 287.

  _Italian Relation of England_, 82.

  Jack, signification of word, 369.

  Jack-in-pulpit, 388.

  Jack-knife, power of, 254;
    use of, 308;
    derivation of, 370;
    of old times, 370.

  Jack-o'-lanterns, 396.

  Jackstones, 375.

  _Jack the Giant Killer_, 267.

  Janeway, James, books of, 249, 251.

  Jest-books, 275.

  Jewel weed, as playthings, 397.

  "Job's Trouble," 389.

  _Joe Miller's Guess-Book_, 275.

  Johnson, Samuel, school-life of, 193-194;
    on discipline, 194;
    manners of, 215.

  Johnson, Governor, infant's dress of, 35.

  Joseph, the name, 15.

  Josselyn, John, quoted, 397.

  _Juvenile Pastimes_, 346.

  Keats, quoted, 387, 402.

  Keeler, Sarah, sum-book of, 139.

  Kingsley, Charles, quoted, 311.

  Knitting, 339.

  Knotwork, described, 152.

  Lace, pillow, 339;
    darned, 341.

  Lady-bug, rhyme to, 399.

  Ladies' delights, folk names of, 383.

  Lamb, Charles, quoted, on children's books, 298 _et seq._

  Lancasterian System, punishments of, 200-201.

  Land, allotment of, 13.

  Larkspur, wreaths of, 393-394.

  Latin, study of, 133 _et seq._; 184 _et seq._

  Laurens, Henry, letter of, 78.

  Laurens, Martha, precocity of, 183.

  Leather, worn by children, 77.

  Lester, Master, 202.

  Letter, defined in rhyme, 136.

  Letter dice, 182.

  Letters, sentiment of, 155 _et seq._;
    of Puritan women, 156;
    mode of addressing, 156, 157;
    formality of, 161.

  Letter-writing, taught by Samuel Dock, 205.

  Lewis, John, wards of, 55.

  Lilacs, wreaths of, 394.

  _Lilly's Grammar_, 133.

  Limning, materials for, 54;
    teaching of, 54-55.

  Lincoln, Abraham, sum-book of, 138;
    early reading of, 255.

  Linen, for clothing, 34.

  _Little Book for Little Children_, 254.

  _Little Prattle over a Book of Prints_, 23.

  Live-forever, as playthings, 388;
    folk names of, 389;
    ink from, 399.

  Livingstone, John, wife of, 47.

  Livingstone, John L., wife of, 46.

  Livingstone, William, skates of, 372.

  Lloyd, Joseph, school-feast of, 77.

  Locke, popularity of, 24;
    on children's books, 264;
    good sense of, 25;
    advanced thought of, 25-26;
    on bathing, 25;
    on diet, 26;
    quoted, 117, 133;
    on learning letters, 182.

  London, letter to Bishop of, 66.

  _Looking Glass for Children_, 251 _et seq._

  _Looking Glass for the Mind_, 292 _et seq._

  Lord, Mary, portrait, 52-53.

  Lotteries, to support schools, 68.

  Lovell, Master, 197.

  Lybbet, 196.

  Lynde, Dorothy, sampler of, 333.

  _Lytill Children's Lytill Boke_, 215.

  Madison, Dolly, 57.

  Maine, ink made in, 154.

  Majority, age of, 190.

  Mallow cheeses, 387.

  Maple, bark used for ink, 155;
    sugar from, 311.

  Maps, lack of, 78.

  Mara, the name, 14.

  Marbles, 374-375.

  Marie Antoinette, child's dress, 62.

  Marriages of children, 186 _et seq._

  Martin, G. W., quoted, 122.

  Marvel-of-Peru, wreaths of, 394.

  Masks, 56;
    of linen, 57.

  Massachusetts, school laws of, 64, 67-68, 70;
    ink made in, 154;
    schools in, 64, 68.

  Mather, Cotton, quoted, 12, 67, 131, 134, 172, 223, 225, 236;
    family of, 12;
    character of, 209, 233-234;
    book by, 250.

  Mather, Increase, as school committee, 67;
    quoted, 109.

  Mather, Nathaniel, 239, 254.

  Mather, Samuel, quoted, 234.

  Mather, Samuel, Sr., 239-240.

  Mather Papers, 156.

  May apples, as playthings, 397.

  McMaster, Mr., cited, 78.

  Medford, Mass., boarding-school at, 114.

  Medicine, astrology in, 6;
    sympathetical, 6;
    secret, 6;
    ingredients of, 7;
    revolt against, 10-11.

  Meigs, Return Jonathan, 17.

  _Memoirs of an American Lady_, 94.

  Mertensia, playthings of, 384.

  _Merry Tales of the Wise Men of Gotham_, 266, 267, 275.

  Meteorology, 6.

  _Microcosmographië_, 112.

  Middletown, Conn., school at, 96.

  Midway Church, Dorchester, Ga., 165-166.

  Milkweed, playthings of, 392.

  Ministers, families of, 12;
    as school committee, 67;
    as teachers, 83.

  Mintsticks, name of rods, 204.

  Minturn, Anne R., hornbook of, 119.

  Mirror of Compliments, 221.

  Miss, the term, 223.

  Mission, quoted, 17; 354.

  Mithridate, 7.

  Mittens, of Gov. Bradford, 35;
    of lace, 36;
    of nankeen, 36.

  "Money in both Pockets," 397.

  Monitorial system, 97.

  Monkshood, playthings of, 398.

  Morning-glory, 389.

  _Morse's Geography_, 147 _et seq._

  Mother, sayings of a, 64.

  _Mother Goose's Melodies_, 174, 286 _et seq._

  Mountfort, Jonathan, portrait of, 49;
    romantic marriage of, 49.

  Mourning pieces, 325.

  Mulberries, planting of, 310;
    leaves of, 311.

  "Multiplication is vexation," 143.

  Murder, of servant, 205.

  Music, love of, 112;
    simplicity of, 112;
    in colleges, 211.

  _My Mother_, imitations of, 298.

  Names, curious, 14-17;
    biblical, 15;
    double, 17.

  Nankeen, 60.

  _Narratives of Conversion_, 251.

  Necklace, anodyne, 9;
    of berries, 10;
    of fawn's teeth, 10;
    of wolf fangs, 11.

  Necromancy, 5-6.

  Negro servant, funeral of, 205.

  Nero, medicine of, 7.

  _New Academy of Compliments_, 221.

  New Amsterdam, first teacher in, 74;
    schools in, 74-75;
    discipline in, 201-202.

  Newbery, John, life of, 266;
    publications of, 267, 287;
    advertising of, 268-269.

  New England, schools in, 64;
    traits of children, 67;
    controlled by ministers, 67;
    perambulating the bounds in, 314.

  _New England Primer_, vast number of, 128;
    nickname of, 128;
    description of, 128 _et seq._

  New Hampshire, school-feast in, 77.

  New Jersey, school in, 77.

  _New Lottery Book_, 274-275.

  News, lack of, 213-214.

  Newspapers, in school, 97.

  New York, schools of, 74 _et seq._;
    education of girls in, 94-95.

  Nicknames, 199.

  "Nigger heads," 382.

  North, Francis, Baron Guildford, letter about, 41-42;
    on commonplacing, 172-173.

  Northfield, Mass., school in, 98.

  Norton, J. W., hornbook of, 119.

  Note-taking, of Puritan women, 164.

  Nott, Eliphalet, cited, 197.

  _Nurse Truelove's Christmas Box_, 277-278.

  _Nurse Truelove's New Years Gift_, advertisement of, 268;
    title-page of, 276.

  Nut-gathering, 309.

  Oglethorpe, ship-stores of, 28.

  Old-field school, 65.

  Onion-tying, 309.

  Oracles, flower, 380-381.

  Oranges, 32.

  Ordination balls, 110.

  Orne, R. T., petticoat of, 335.

  Orpine. See Live-forever.

  Osprey bone, 10.

  Ox-eye daisy, 380, 382.

  _Pages and Pictures from Forgotten Children's Books_, 386.

  Pall bearers, boys, 242;
    girls, 243.

  Pansies, children's notions about, 383.

  Paper, oiled, for windows, 76;
    scarcity of, 79;
    flowered, 301.

  Parables, books of, 258;
    definition of, 230.

  _Parable against Persecution_, 291.

  _Parent's Assistant_, 295.

  Parkman, Dr., diary of, 164.

  Parley, Peter, books of, 303-304.

  _Passing of the Stall-Fed Ox and the Farmer's Boy_, 308.

  Paston, Agnes, quoted, 192.

  Paston Letters, cited, 83.

  Patillo, Henry, 148.

  Patriotism, teaching of, 171;
    juvenile marks of, 172.

  Payne, Dolly, dress of, 57.

  Peaked block, 197.

  Pedlers, of birch rods, 196.

  Peleg, the name, 15.

  Pemberton, Samuel, portrait of, 51.

  Pencils, use of, 78.

  Penmanship, how taught, 150;
    of adult colonists, 150, 151;
    of school children, 151;
    of Abigail Earle, 151;
    of Anna Green Winslow, 151;
    of Governor Bradford, 151;
    of John Winthrop, 150;
    of Anna Reynolds, 152.

  Pennoyer, Frances, quoted, 207.

  Pennsylvania, schools in, 71-72; schoolhouses in, 75;
    barring out, 77;
    teachers in, 204.

  _Pennsylvania Farmer_, 72.

  Pens, of olden times, 154.

  Penwiper, not used, 153-154.

  Peonies, playthings of, 398.

  Pepperell children, portrait, 52.

  Pepperell, Sir William, order of, 57.

  Pepys, Samuel, on bathing, 27;
    friend of Cocker, 142;
    cited, 206, 313.

  Perambulating the bounds. See Bounds.

  Perry, Reverend Joseph, medicine of, 7-8.

  Petticoats, embroidered, 335.

  Philadelphia, schools of, 71.

  Phips, Sir William, family of, 11.

  Phlox, wreaths of, 394.

  Pierpont, John, quoted, 390.

  Pigeons, shooting of, 317 _et seq._

  Pike, Nicholas, arithmetic of, 144-145.

  _Pilgrim's Progress_, 254-255, 265, 312.

  Pillory, 200.

  Pin-a-sights, 400.

  Pinckney, Charles C., education of, 180-183.

  Pinckney, Eliza L., quoted, 180-183.

  Pincushion, gift of, 18-19.

  Pine-needles, playthings of, 394.

  _Pious Motions and Devout Exercises_, etc., 251.

  Pitch and hustle, 347.

  Pitkin, Jerusha, embroidery of, 324-325.

  Pitman, John, precocity of, 185-186.

  _Plaine Mans Pathway to Heaven_, 248, 249.

  Plays, in schools, 115 _et seq._

  Plum trees, gum from, 387.

  Plummets, use of, 79;
    manufacture of, 79.

  Points, 313.

  Poison, 345.

  Pokeberries, dye from, 398.

  _Poor Robin's Almanack_, 18, 21.

  Pope, quoted, 148.

  Pops, 389.

  Poppies, playthings of, 384, 386.

  "Poppy-show," 400.

  Porter, Dr., cited, 247.

  Portulaca, as playthings, 388.

  Post, Cathalina, 47.

  Potash saved for treat, 77.

  Potation-penny, 77.

  Prating, 317.

  Prayer, "Now I lay me," etc., 130.

  Present, in address, 157.

  _Pretty Little Pocket Book_, 346, 354, 374.

  Primer, defined, 128.

  Primroses, children's interest in, 402.

  Prince Library, 156.

  Prior, quoted, 124.

  Processioning. See Bounds.

  Proctor, Master, 153.

  _Prodigal Daughter_, 256.

  Profanity, punished, 203.

  Prophecy of a child, 2-3.

  Prosperity of settlers, 3.

  Providence, R. I., education of girls in, 95-96.

  Provisions on shipboard, 28.

  Pumpkins, seeds, 386;
    trombones of, 390;
    lettering of, 396;
    lanterns of, 396.

  Puncheon floors, 75.

  Punishments of scholars. See Discipline and Schools.

  Puppets. See Dolls.

  Quakers, schools of, 71.

  Quills. See Goosequills.

  Quilts, 21;
    piecing of, 339.

  Quincy, Dorothy, 107-108.

  Quincy, Elizabeth, 108-109.

  Quincy, Elizabeth Morton, 115-116, 202.

  Quincy, John, portrait of, 40-43.

  Quincy, Josiah, rearing of, 25-26;
    school life of, 83, 134.

  Rabelais, on abridgments, 300.

  Raisins of the sun, 32.

  Raritan, N. J., schoolhouse at, 76.

  Rattlesnakes, bounties on, 316.

  Ravenel, Daniel, portrait, 48.

  Rawhide, 204.

  Rawson, Susannah, 113.

  Rawson, William, family of, 12.

  Reading-boards, 126.

  _Reading-made-easies_, 136.

  _Record's Arithmetic_, 140.

  Redemptioners, as teachers, 72.

  _Reformed Virginian Silk Worm_, 310.

  _Religio Medici_, 176.

  Ribbon-grass, 390.

  Richards, Mary, sampler of, 338.

  Rickets, new disease, 7;
    treatment of, 7-8.

  Riddles, in commonplace book, 174;
    old-time esteem of, 275.

  Riding for the goose, 352.

  Rhyme, grammar in, 135-136;
    arithmetic in, 141, 142.

  Robinson Crusoe, 265.

  Rock, for spinning, 305.

  Rock candy, 32.

  Roelantsen, Adam, 74.

  Rogers, Ezekiel, quoted, 235.

  Rogers, John, burning of, 130.

  Roll, for hair, 59.

  Ropes, Seeth, 15.

  Rose-hips, as playthings, 386, 397, 400.

  Rosy-cakes, 401.

  Rubila, 7.

  Ruskin, quoted, 342.

  Sailors, interest in, 319 _et seq._

  Salem, laws in, 68;
    curious custom in, 69;
    schools in, 68;
    punishments in, 199;
    seating boys in, 246.

  Salem Gibraltars, 32.

  Saltonstall, Elizabeth, letter of, 100-101.

  Sampler, derivation of, 327;
    description, 328;
    verses of, 328 _et seq._;
    age of, 329.

  _Sanford and Merton_, 295, 297.

  Sanitation, unknown, 4-5.

  Sarah, the name, 16.

  Sargent, L. M., quoted, 242.

  Satten, 397.

  _Schole of Vertue_, 215, 222, 352.

  Schools, grammar, old-field, 65;
    attended by Washington, 65-66;
    free, 65;
    fires in, 69-70;
    furniture of, 78 _et seq._;
    for boarders, 113 _et seq._;
    treats in, 77;
    fare in, 83;
    mode of study in, 134.

  School feasts, 77.

  School fields, 68.

  Schoolhouse, building of, 75;
    descriptions of, 75, 76;
    furnishings of, 75-76;
    discomforts of, 76;
    windows of, 76;
    in Raritan, 77.

  School-meadows, 68.

  School-teachers, character of, 72;
    Scotch, 73;
    contract with, 74-75;
    Dutch, 73-74;
    women, 97;
    pay of, 68, 96-97, 103;
    English, 192;
    cruelty of, 204.

  School-treats, 77.

  School wood, 69-70.

  _School of Manners_, 219, 222.

  Scotch-hoppers. See Hop-scotch.

  Scottow, Joshua, quoted, 2;
    his daughter, 86.

  Scribbling in books, 161 _et seq._

  Seaborn, the name, 15.

  Seating the meeting, 223, 247.

  Seats in school, 75.

  Seeth, the name, 15.

  Servants, discipline of, 204 _et seq._

  Sewall, Elizabeth, 237, 238.

  Sewall, Joseph, hornbook of, 122;
    original sin of, 208.

  Sewall, Rebeka, 223.

  Sewall, Samuel, quoted, 4, 15, 16, 32, 44, 122, 208, 237, 238, 351;
    diary of, 164, 205;
    tenderness of, 208;
    servant of, 205;
    at funerals, 242.

  Shakespeare, first sold in Boston, 180;
    songs from, 287.

  Shepherd, Thomas, funeral of, 242.

  Sheriff, standing of, 283.

  Sherman, John, family of, 12.

  Shippack, Pa., school at, 202 _et seq._

  Shirts, of infants, 34-35.

  Shoes, 57-58.

  Shoe-pegs, 359.

  _Shorter Catechism_, 130-131.

  Shovel board, 351.

  Silk culture, 310-311.

  Silsbee, Mrs., cited, 225.

  _Sir Charles Grandison_, 300.

  Skating, 371 _et seq._

  Slander, law-suits for, 213.

  Slates, use of, 80, 81.

  Sleeves, virago, 43;
    hanging, 43-44.

  Slide-groat, 351.

  Small-pox, 4.

  Smibert, portraits by, 37, 48, 107.

  Smith, John, quoted, 319.

  Smith, William, cited, 94-95.

  Snails, rhyme to, 399.

  Snail-water, 6.

  Snake-grass, 396.

  Snuff-taking, by children, 77.

  Spelling, variety of, 136;
    of _Paradise Lost_, 137;
   teaching of, 137.

  Spelling-books, 136 _et seq._

  Spending-money, 308 _et seq._

  Spinets, 112.

  Spiderwort, ink from, 398.

  Spinning, for children, 305 _et seq._

  _Spiritual Milk for Babes_, 130.

  Sports of the Innyards, 351.

  Squawks, 390.

  Squirrels, bounties on, 316.

  Stalking head, 316.

  Standing-stool, 23.

  Standish, Lora, sampler of, 328.

  Stays, 56-57, 58;
    of tin, 58;
    for boys, 58.

  Stitches, old time, 337-338.

  Stool-ball, 354.

  Storer, Elizabeth, 107.

  Stuart, Gilbert, 37.

  Stubbes, Phillip, quoted, 356.

  Suckets, 31.

  Sum-books, 138 _et seq._

  Sumner, Mary Osgood, 166 _et seq._;
    monitor of, 167 _et seq._

  Sumptuary laws, 45.

  Sunday, observance of, 243 _et seq._

  Sunday-school books, 304.

  Sunflower seeds, 386.

  Superstition, 240-241.

  Sweetmeats, 30.

  Swimming, prohibited, 244.

  Syllabarium, 128.

  Tag, various games of, 344 _et seq._

  Tambour-work, 341.

  Tape-weaving, 305.

  Tattling stick, 197.

  Taws, 204.

  Taylor, Ann, 298.

  Taylor, Bayard, quoted, 72.

  Taylor, John, quoted, 337-338.

  Teachers. See School-teachers.

  Teething, death by, 10.

  Ten Broeck, John, letter of, 80-81.

  Ten Broeck, Katherine, portrait of, 47.

  Thayer, Mrs. Sarah, family of, 13.

  Thimble, first, 338.

  Thimell-pie, 198.

  "Thirty days hath September," etc., 143.

  Thistles, playthings of, 392.

  Thomas, Gabriel, quoted, 11.

  Thomas, Isaiah, books printed by, 219, 220, 221, 269, 273, 275,
      287, 300;
    character of, 269.

  Thornton, Alice, her bathing, 28.

  _Thoughts Concerning Education_, 117.

  _Thumb Bible_, 258.

  Tick-tack, 350.

  Tileston, Johnny, 153-154.

  school-houses, duties of, 244-245.

  Title-page lore, 161 _et seq._

  Todd, John, discipline of, 204.

  _Token for Children_, etc., 249.

  _Tommy Trip's History of Beasts and Birds_, 273.

  _Tom Thumb's Play Book_, 270

  Tops, 343.

  Torrey Papers, 156.

  Toss-about, 284, 290.

  Town, S., on slates, 80.

  Townes cradle, 21.

  Toys, home-made, 367, 371;
    of tin, 367;
    Chinese, 368;
    ancient, 371.

  Tree of life, embroidered, 326.

  Trock, 350.

  Trombones, of leaf-stalks, 390.

  Trouncing, 197.

  _True Relation of the Flourishing State of Philadelphia_, 71.

  Trumbull, portraits by, 37, 53.

  Tryon, Governor, child of, 57.

  Tuer, Andrew W., 125, 385.

  Tunkers' aversion to education, 72.

  Turell, Jane. See Jane Colemen.

  Turkeys, trapping of, 317.

  _Tutor's Guide_, 143.

  Twitch-up, 318.

  Tylor, cited, 385.

  Unipod, 199.

  Vails, 18.

  Valentines, of flowers, 393.

  Van Cortlandt family names, 46.

  Van Cortlandt, Mrs., quoted, 338-339.

  Venice treacle, 7.

  Vermin-hunting, 316.

  Vermont, ink made in, 154.

  Verney, Sir Ralph, on girls' education, 91.

  Verney, memoirs, cited, 28, 83.

  Verstile, Wm., portrait of, 53;
    letter about, 53-54;
    instruction of, 54-55.

  Vice in its proper shape, 302.

  _Village School_, 226.

  Vinegar, as disinfectant, 4.

  Violets, fighting, 382.

  Vipers, in medicine, 7.

  Virginals, 112.

  Virginia, schools in, 64, 65, 66;
    plantations scattered, 66;
    girls' education in, 95;
    religious observance in, 232-233;
    processioning in, 314.

  Virtues, as names, 16.

  Vogelweide, W. von der, quoted, 381.

  Wadsworth, portrait, 53.

  Washington, George, purchase order of, 56;
    schooling of, 65-66;
    manuscript books of, 66;
    designs relating to, 325-326.

  Water, cold, bathing in, 26-28;
    ancient aversion to, 28, 102.

  Watts, Dr., hymns of, 260.

  Waxwork, 336.

  Weaving, by children, 306.

  Webster, Noah, Jr., quoted, 80;
    books of, 136, 144.

  Weld, Reverend Abijah, family of, 12;
    thrift of, 12.

  Welsh, Charles, book of, 266;
    quoted, 273.

  Wendell, Elizabeth. See Elizabeth Quincy.

  Wentworth, John, 103.

  Wentworth, William, 104.

  Wesley, Samuel, quoted, 258.

  West Hartford, Conn., schools in, 70.

  Whispering sticks, 198.

  Whistles, of willow, 390;
    of grass, 390.

  White Bible, 162.

  White, Peregrine, cradle of, 20.

  White, Thomas, quoted, 248-249;
    book of, 254.

  White House Doll, 367.

  White-weed. See Daisy.

  _Who Killed Cock Robin_, quoted, 291-292.

  Wicker cradle, 20-21.

  Wig-wearing of children, 51.

  Wigglesworth, Michael, 252.

  Willard, Samuel, family of, 12.

  _William and Amelia_, 293.

  Williams, Ephraim, quoted on writing, 158-159.

  Windows, of greased paper, 76.

  Windsor, Conn., schools in, 69;
    boys' pews in, 247.

  Wine-drinking, of children, 102.

  Wingate's Arithmetic, 145.

  Winslow, Edward, portraits of, 38 _et seq._

  Winslow, Anna Green, handwriting of, quoted, 17, 19, 58, 59, 307;
    dress of, 58-59;
    letter to, 99;
    diary of, 164, 165;
    books of, 301.

  Winslow family, arithmetic of, 145.

  Winthrop, John, history of, 2, 164;
    medicine of, 7;
    quoted, 90;
    handwriting of, 150;
    early marriage of, 190.

  Winthrop, Waitstill, 122.

  Witchcraft, 241 _et seq._

  Woburn, school in, 97.

  Wolcott, J., letter of, 84-85.

  Wolves, hunting of, 315.

  Wood, for school fires, 69-70;
    farm-work on, 308.

  Woodbridge, Wm., 96.

  Worde, Wynkyn de, 193.

  Wordsworth, quoted, 163.

  _Worthy Tenant_, 294.

  Writing. See Penmanship.

  Writing-masters, esteem for, 150, 152;
    in Boston, 153;
    funeral notice of, 152.

  Writing-paper, 156.

  Wynter, John, quoted, 206.

  Yoking as punishment, 198, 203.

  _Young Lady's Accidence_, 96, 135.

  _Youth's Behaviour_, 27-28, 219.

  _Youth's Instructor in English Tongue_, 159.

  Zurishaddai, the name, 16.

Home Life in Colonial Days


Cloth. 12mo. $2.50

=Boston Herald=:

"A good many books have been written about the lives and customs
of our ancestors of colonial times, and especially about the
differences between their lives and ours and the primitive and
picturesque utensils which they employed in their households. These
have been partly the outcome and partly the prompting agency of the
rage for antiques. Various writers have unearthed a large amount
of curious lore, which is not all of equal value, though almost
every hint that has come through their pages goes to recreate the
atmosphere and reveal the conditions pertaining to the earliest
pioneers in North America. Mrs. Alice Morse Earle has done a great
deal of good work in this field. Probably it is quite within bounds
to say that she possesses a larger fund of vivacious and interesting
knowledge about the lives and the works, the occupations and
makeshifts, the industries and enjoyments, of the Puritans and the
other early colonists than any other student in this rich domain."

=Philadelphia Evening Telegraph=:

"Mrs. Earle, as many readers have discovered, is one of the most
painstaking and agreeable of antiquarians. The present book is one
of her best."

=Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester=:

"Touches a most fascinating phase of American history.... The story,
which has been patiently gathered from many sources and historical
records, is told in a graphic and charming manner, and is pictured
by nearly 200 illustrations ... certainly a contribution to our
history of very high value."

=The Herald, Boston=:

"Full of new information and description of surprisingly fresh
interest ... no other single volume with which we happen to be
acquainted constructs with such completeness, fairness, and
suggestiveness, the atmosphere of colonial homes."

=Buffalo Commercial=:

"One of the handsomest books that we have received."




Each Crown 8vo. Cloth, $1.50


=TALES OF 1812=


Illustrated by R. F. ZOGBAUM and C. T. CHAPMAN.

     "Mr. Barnes knows how to tell a story as well as how to write
     history. His style is terse and full of movement; his book one
     that old and young may read with zest."--_Detroit Free Press._



_Author of "A Rebel's Recollections," etc., etc._

Illustrated by R. F. ZOGBAUM.

     "Faithfully told stories, bearing every evidence of absolute
     truth.... One's pulses quicken as he becomes acquainted with the
     heroic deeds of those brave Americans, who were on the losing
     side, fighting an impossible cause; he sorrows with those who
     felt the tragedy of it all. It is a volume which every boy or
     girl, as well as every man and woman in America, may read with
     profitable interest."--_The St. Louis Globe Democrat._

     "Such capital reading that no one can fail to enjoy them."--_New
     Orleans Picayune._



_Author of "Young Folks' History of the United States," "Malbone,"
"Cheerful Yesterdays," etc._

Illustrated by ALBERT HERTER.

Legends with which the people of Europe were for many centuries fed
in regard to the countries beyond the seas now known as America. "No
national history has been less prosaic in its earlier traditions,"
says Colonel Higginson, who relates in a manner which shows strong
sympathy and learned research, these wonderful stories which for a
thousand years were told of a mysterious island in the Atlantic.



_Author of "Rudder Grange," etc., etc._

Illustrated by G. VARIAN and B. W. CLINEDINST.

Stories of the rise and decline of buccaneering and piracy in
our West Indian waters. Spanish exactions grew so monstrous in
the seventeenth century that English, French, and Dutch combined
against their excesses. The buccaneers who were the result of the
combination became later pirates for private gain. Mr. Stockton's
quaint humor brightens the stories of their dark deeds in
characteristic style. The book is unique.


=A Tale of the Cherokees and the Pioneers of Tennessee, 1760=


_Author of "Where the Battle Was Fought," etc., "The Prophet of the
Great Smoky Mountain."_

Illustrated by E. C. PEIXOTTO.

A narrative of the life of the pioneers of Tennessee and their
fortunes at the hands of the Cherokees in the uprising of 1760. The
brilliant Tennessee landscape and the old frontier fort serve as a
background to this picture of Indian craft and guile and pioneer
hardships and pleasures.



Adown a shallow stream we sent our leafy boats with swelling sail,
and floating pennant of striped grass. Freighted with flowers
beloved of children, the laughing pansies,--for thoughts,--we thrust
them heedlessly forth with never a care whether boat or crew e'er
reached a harbor.

Out into the world on the stream of the fast-hurrying century I
send this paper boat--my book--laden with thoughts of children's
lives. Grown careful with years, I crave for it a safe journey
and sheltered harbor. Perhaps the craft may bear to some reader a
memory of his own childhood, as well as stories of the children of
an ancient day; a day so gray and sad as seen through the haze of
centuries that the only cheerful light is found in the faces of the

[Illustration: leafy boats]

       *       *       *       *       *

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been
retained as printed.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up
paragraphs, thus the page number of the illustration might not
match the page number in the List of Illustrations.

Mismatched quotes are not fixed if it's not sufficiently clear
where the missing quote should be placed.

The transcriber has changed hyphenation in the index to match the
book in the following cases:

cornstalk to corn-stalk
lawsuit to law-suits
playhouses to  play-houses
tithingman to tithing-man

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Child Life in Colonial Days" ***

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