Public Domain Books
Of her School, her Ushers, or Assistants, and her Manner of Teaching.
We have already informed the Reader, that the School where she taught, was that which was before kept by Mrs. Williams, whose Character you may find in my New Year’s Gift. The Room was large, and as she knew, that Nature intended Children should be always in Action, she placed her different Letters, or Alphabets, all round the School, so that every one was obliged to get up to fetch a Letter, or to spell a Word, when it came to their Turn; which not only kept them in Health, but fixed the Letters and Points firmly in their Minds.
She had the following Assistants or Ushers to help her, and I will tell you how she came by them. Mrs. Margery, you must know, was very humane and compassionate; and her Tenderness extended not only to all Mankind, but even to all Animals that were not noxious; as your’s ought to do, if you would be happy here, and go to Heaven hereafter. These are GOD Almighty’s Creatures as well as we. He made both them and us; and for wise Purposes, best known to himself, placed them in this World to live among us; so that they are our fellow Tenants of the Globe. How then can People dare to torture and wantonly destroy GOD Almighty’s Creatures? They as well as you are capable of feeling Pain, and of receiving Pleasure, and how can you, who want to be made happy yourself, delight in making your fellow Creatures miserable? Do you think the poor Birds, whose Nest and young ones that wicked Boy Dick Wilson ran away with Yesterday, do not feel as much Pain, as your Father and Mother would have felt, had any one pulled down their House and ran away with you? To be sure they do. Mrs. Two-Shoes used to speak of those Things, and of naughty Boys throwing at Cocks, torturing Flies, and whipping Horses and Dogs, with Tears in her Eyes, and would never suffer any one to come to her School who did so.
One Day, as she was going through the next Village, she met with some wicked Boys who had got a young Raven, which they were going to throw at, she wanted to get the poor Creature out of their cruel Hands, and therefore gave them a Penny for him, and brought him home. She called his Name Ralph, and a fine Bird he is. Do look at him and remember what Solomon says, The Eye that despiseth his Father, and regardeth not the Distress of his Mother, the Ravens of the Valley shall peck it out, and the young Eagles eat it. Now this Bird she taught to speak, to spell and to read; and as he was particularly fond of playing with the large Letters, the Children used to call this Ralph’a Alphabet.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
He always sat at her Elbow, as you see in the first Picture, and when any of the Children were wrong, she used to call out, Put them right Ralph, and a fine bird he is. Do look at him.
Some Days after she had met with the Raven, as she was walking in the Fields, she saw some naughty Boys, who had taken a Pidgeon, and tied a String to its Leg, in order to let it fly, and draw it back again when they pleased; and by this Means they tortured the poor Animal with the Hopes of Liberty and repeated Disappointment. This Pidgeon she also bought, and taught him how to spell and read, though not to talk, and he performed all those extraordinary Things which are recorded of the famous Bird, that was some Time since advertised in the Haymarket, and visited by most of the great People in the Kingdom. This Pidgeon was a very pretty Fellow, and she called him Tom. See here he is.
And as the Raven Ralph was fond of the large Letters, Tom the Pidgeon took Care of the small ones, of which he composed this Alphabet.
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z.
The Neighbours knowing that Mrs. Two Shoes was very good, as to be sure nobody was better, made her a Present of a little Sky-lark, and a fine Bird he is.
Now as many People, even at that Time had learned to lie in Bed long in the Morning, she thought the Lark might be of Use to her and her Pupils, and tell them when to get up.
For be that is fond of his Bed, and lays ’till Noon, lives but half his Days, the rest being lost in Sleep, which is a Kind of Death.
Some Time after this a poor Lamb had lost its Dam, and the Farmer being about to kill it, she bought it of him, and brought it home with her to play with the Children, and teach them when to go to Bed; for it was a Rule with the wise Men of that Age (and a very good one, let me tell you) to
Rise with the Lark, and lie down with the Lamb. This Lamb she called Will, and a pretty Fellow he is; do, look at him.
No sooner was Tippy the Lark and Will the Ba-lamb brought into the School, but that sensible Rogue Ralph, the Raven, composed the following Verse, which every little good Boy and Girl should get by Heart.
Early to Bed, and early to rise; Is the Way to be healthy, and wealthy, and wise.
A sly Rogue; but it is true enough; for those who do not go to Bed early cannot rise early; and those who do not rise early cannot do much Business. Pray, let this be told at the Court, and to People who have Routs and Rackets.
Soon after this, a Present was made to Mrs. Margery of little Dog Jumper, and a pretty Dog he is. Pray, look at him.
Jumper, Jumper, Jumper! He is always in a good Humour, and playing and jumping about, and therefore he was called Jumper. The Place assigned for Jumper was that of keeping the Door, so that he may be called the Porter of the College, for he would let nobody go out, or any one come in, without the Leave of his Mistress. See how he sits, a saucy Rogue.
Billy the Ba-lamb was a chearful Fellow, and all the Children were fond of him, wherefore Mrs. Two-Shoes made it a Rule, that those who behaved best should have Will home with them at Night to carry their Satchel or Basket at his Back, and bring it in the Morning. See what a fine Fellow he is, and how he trudges along.