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The first book used in teaching the rudiments of learning in the English Colonies in America was doubtless the contemporary Primer of the mother country. The earliest notice we have met with of an indigenous production for this purpose, is in “ An Almanack for the year of the Christian Empire, 1691," by “ Henry Newman, Philomath," in which Benjamin Harris, at the London Coffee Hlouse, Boston, announces that
“There is now in the Press, and will suddenly be extant, a Second Impression of the New England Primer enlarged, to which is added, more Directions for Spelling : the Prayer of K. Edward the 6th, and Verses made by Mr. Rogers the Martyr, left as a Legacy to his Children."
The “ New England Primer Englarged,” the Second Impression of which became suddenly extant "in or about 1691, gradually passed into the "New EngLAND PRIMER IMPROVED, for the more easy attaining the true Reading of English.” Printed and Sold by William M'Alpine about Mid-way between the Governor's and Dr. Gardiner's in Marlborough Street, 1770."
At what date “The Young Infant's or Child's Morning, and Evening Prayer" from Dr. Watts, together with his Cradle Hymn, or the “Spiritual Milk for American Babes, Drawn out of the Breasts of both Testaments for their Souls Nourishment, By John Cotton," were first introduced, all of which are in the edition of 1770, now before us, we have no information. The most noticeable feature in this copy is the Illustrated Alphabet, of which we give a few specimens
The original designs, together with the inimitable rhymes, are copied from "A Guide for the Child and Youth. By T. H.” Printed in London by J. & J. Marsh, in 1761.
To this “Guide," and the “New Englangdar Primer Improved," we shall return in a future number. We conclude this article by a few pages on the methods of teaching the alphabet.
EARLY ILLUSTRATED SCHOOL BOOKS.
We shall avail ourselves of recent applications of Photography to transferring engravings to electrotypes, ready to be used in ordinary type printing, to give our readers exact impressions from the illustrations of some of the earliest school books. We have before us a little book of about the size of the “New England Primer Improved," with the following title,
"A GUIDE FOR THE CHILD AND YOUTH, IN Two Parts. The first for Children : containing plain and pleasant directions to read ENGLISH; with Prayers, Graces, and Instructions, fitted for the capacity. The second for Youth : Teaching to write, Cast Accounts, and Read more perfectly; with several other Varieties, both pleasant and profitable. By T. H., M. A., Teacher of a private school. London: 1762.”
In his Address“ to the Parents, or others," Mr. T. H., says:“When I consider how Ignorance of late had prevailed amongst the Vulgar, and how those who never learned anything themselves, will yet pretend to teach others; I was almost at a loss whether I should proceed in this small but useful Tract. But since a blessed Sunshine hath appeared in our Horizon, I resolved to publish it for the use and Benefit of Children, and those of riper years." This is followed by “ The Capital Roman Letters ;” “The Small Roman Letters ;" “The Vowels ;" "The Consonants ;" "Double Letters ;” “The Great · Italick Letters ;" "The Small Italick ;” “Syllables, ab, eb, ib, ob, ub, and ba, be, bi, bo, bu, by, dc.;” which is followed by a page of “The Dutiful Child's Promises,” viz. :
"I will fear God and honour my King.
I will forgive my Enemies, and pray to God for them." Then follows the illustrated Alphabet for “The Child's Guide," which is again introduced as “The Youth's Guide,” with extracts mainly from the Bible. We combine the two in the following pages. The illustrations, as well as the rhymes, were either copied from, or suggested by “The New England Primer Improved," or else introduced into the latter from “The Guide," or else both were copied or suggested from an earlier original, which we have not the facilities at hand for determining. The illustrations were copied for this Journal by the American Phototype Company, whose office is in Leroy Place, Bleeker Street, New York.
The Youth's Guide.
The Child's Guide
W. Whales in the Sea God's Voice obey.
God created great Whales, and every living thing that moveth.
The King's heart is in the
hand of the Lord, as the Xer.ces the Great did die,
Rivers of Water, he turneth And so must you and I.
it whithersoever he will. Y.
Wherewithal shall a young
man cleanse his way? by Youth's forward slips
taking heed thereto accordDeath soonest nips.
ing to thy Word.
There was a rich Man
among the Publicans named Zacheus, he
Zacheus; the same sought to Did climb the Tree
see Jesus, but could not for His Lord to see.
the press, because he was low. So he ran and climbed
into a Sycamore-tree. THE CHILD'S BEHAVIOUR FROM MORNING TO NIGHT. First in the Morning when thou dost Be meek in thy Carriage, stare none in awake,
the Face; To God for his Grace thy Petition make. First hold up your Hands, and then say Some heavenly Prayer use daily to say, thy Grace. And the God of Heaven will bless thee The Grace being said, if able thou be alway.
To serve at the Table, it will become Child, after thou hast prayed to God for
thee. his Assistance, observe these following
If thou canst not wait, presume in no case, Rules.
But in sitting down, to your Betters give
| place. Down from thy Chamber when as thou Suffer each Man first served to be; shalt go,
For it is a point of great courtesie. Thy Parents salute & the household also.
Let not thy Tongue at the Table walk; Thy Hands see thou wash, thy Head also And of no matter either jangle or talk; comb;
For Cato doth say that in old and in Keep clean thy apparel both abroad and
young, at home.
The first step to Virtue is to bridle the
In the Church.
When unto the Church thou shalt take Thy Hat put off, salute those you meet.
thy way, When to the School thou shalt resort,
Kneeling or standing to God humbly Salute thy Master, I do thee exhort:
pray. Thy fellows also, in token of Love,
A contrite Heart he will not despise, Lest of unkindness they thee reprove :
But doth account it a sweet Sacrifice. Learn then in thy youth, for it is too true,
Unto him thy Sins Shew and confess, It will be too late when Age doth ensue.'|
Asking for them Pardon and ForgiveIf thou doubt any thing, desire to be told;
ness. It is no shame to learn, be thou never so
Then ask thou in Faith, not doubting to old.
have, When from School you shall take your
And thou shalt receive that which thon way,
dost crave, Make haste to your home, and stay not
More merciful he is than Tongue can exto play :
press, The House then entering, in the Parents
The Author and Giver of Grace and presence,
Goodness. Humbly Salute them, with due reverence.
In the Church comely thy self well be
have; At the Table.
Sober in carriage, with countenape When down to the Table thy Parents grave. shall sit,
The Lord doth call it the House of Prayer. In place be ready for purpose most fit. It must not be used as a Market or Fair