The Nursery, August 1877, Vol. XXII, No. 2 - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers
Author: Various
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A Monthly Magazine




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by JOHN L. SHOREY, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.



PAGE A Day at the Beach 33 Buttercup and Daisy 37 Aunt Mary's Bullfinch 38 The poor Man's Well 43 Spitfire 45 Drawing-Lesson 49 "Great I and little you" 50 Our Dog Tasso 53 My Pets 56 Drilling the Troops 59 The Picture-Book 60


PAGE Bumble-Bee 36 King Drake 40 The Cosset-Calf 48 Primer and Slate 48 Making Cheeses 54 A Blacksmith's Song 62 Madam Quack (with music) 64


HERE are few of the little readers of "The Nursery" who could not tell of pleasant days spent among green fields and woods, or on the seashore. But in almost every large city, there are many children who have never been out of sight of brick walls.

Their homes are in close rooms in narrow streets, and there they live from one year's end to the other. In winter they are often pinched with cold. In summer they suffer even more from the heat. You may see them at windows and doors, or on hot sidewalks, trying to get a breath of fresh air. It is not pure air, but the best they can get.

What I am going to tell you is about two of those poor children. One is a little girl, nine years old, whom we will call Jane. The other, who is only eight years old, is her brother George.

Both children go to a Sunday school, and have for their teacher a kind lady, who takes great interest in them. One warm summer day, to their great delight, this lady, whom we will name Miss White, called for them to go with her on a trip to the seashore.

Dressed in the best clothes they could muster, they were soon on board the steamboat. Here every thing was new to them. As the boat steamed down the harbor, it would have been joy to anybody only to watch the happy expression on their faces.

By and by the boat neared the land; and there the children saw a wonderful sight. What do you suppose it was? It was a cow quietly feeding on the shore. They had never seen a cow before.

Then Jane got sight of an apple-tree, and George spied a man raking hay. Here was another new sensation. While they were feasting their eyes on green fields, and inhaling the sweet country air, the boat stopped at the wharf.

A few steps brought them to the beach; and there, stretched before them, was the great wide ocean, with the surf rolling in, and a cool sea-breeze blowing. Then their joy knew no bounds. Miss White did not try to restrain them; for she meant to give them at least one day of perfect freedom.

So they roamed at will. How they dug wells in the sand, how they flung stones into the water, how they picked up shells and sea-weed, how they scrambled over the rocks, it would take too much space to tell.

When they were well tired out, and began to be hungry, Miss White opened a luncheon-box in a shady place among the rocks, and gave them such a dinner as they had never had before. Then their bliss was complete.

The day passed away almost too quickly, and the time came to go back to the city. That seemed rather hard to Jane and George. But they have the promise of another excursion before the summer is over.



THE smartest of dandies is young Mr. Bee, Who is known by the name of Bumble; His life is a short one, but merry and free: They're mistaken who call him "Humble." Clad in black velvet, with trimmings of yellow, He knows well enough he's a fine-looking fellow; And, hiding away a sharp little dagger, He dashes about with a confident swagger, While to show he's at ease, and to tell of his coming, A tune he is always carelessly humming. Eating or drinking, or looking for pleasure Fit for the tastes of a person of leisure, Down where the meadow is sunny and breezy, In the red clover, he takes the world easy; Or, feeling the need of a little diversion, He makes to the garden a pleasant excursion, And into a lily or hollyhock dodging With quiet assurance he takes up his lodging. With a snug little fortune invested in honey, Young Bumble Bee lives like a prince, on his money, And, scorning some plodding relations of his, he Leaves hard labor to them,—his cousins named "Busy."



Dear little Readers of "The Nursery:"—I would like to tell you a story about my little brother Clinton and myself. We each have a nice little calf down at our grandpa's farm in the country. One is a pure Alderney, grandpa says, and is of a beautiful fawn color: the other is red and white. Grandpa let us name them: so we called them Buttercup and Daisy. Clinton's is Buttercup, and mine is Daisy.

They are both very kind and gentle. Both have cunning little horns, just coming out of their heads; but they do not hook little brother or me. In the picture you will see them eating corn out of our hands.

At first we were afraid of their damp noses and rough tongues; but we soon got over that, and now feed them every time we go to the farm.

Papa tried to have the little Alderney give us a ride on its back; but, as soon as we were well on, the calf kicked up its heels and ran away, saying, "Bah!" and leaving brother and me on our backs on the soft turf. We were not hurt at all, but had a good laugh.

Buttercup soon came back for more corn; and uncle said, "Give it to her in the ear;" but I said I thought her mouth was the best place to put it in. Then uncle laughed, and said that was a joke. Do you know what he meant?



"NOW be sure and not frighten it, children," said Aunt Mary as she left the room.

John and Lucy lifted the handkerchief from the cage, while Paul and Richard, with anxious eyes, stood by to get a sight of the piping bullfinch, of which they had heard so much.

This little bird had been presented to Aunt Mary by a German lady to whom she had been kind. It could whistle two or three tunes in a way to surprise all hearers. While the children were looking at it, it began to pipe.

"I know that tune," cried Richard. "It is 'Coming through the rye!'"

"And now the tune changes to 'Merrily every bosom boundeth,'" said Lucy. "What a wonderful little bird!"

"But how did it learn to whistle these tunes?" asked Paul.

Aunt Mary, coming in at that moment, explained to the children that in some of the small towns of Germany are persons who teach these little birds. It takes about a year for a bullfinch to learn a tune. But some of them learn more quickly than others: so it is with some children.

The birds are at first kept in a dark room; and when they are fed, a tune is played or whistled. They associate this tune with the act of feeding; and gradually seem to find out what is wanted of them.

The price of a bird that can pipe a tune in good style is from fifty to one hundred dollars. A good deal of time and trouble has to be spent in teaching the birds. Sometimes a child is employed to play a tune on a little hand-organ; and this the little bird learns after hearing it many times.

When the bullfinch learns well, he is praised and petted, and this he seems to enjoy very much. Even birds, you see, like to be praised and petted.



"I'M king of the rock," said a silly old drake; "And no one must dare my claim to partake. I shall punish severely whoever comes near Without my permission: let all the world hear!"

But out of the water, on the rock as he stands, Comes up, as if praying, what seemed like two hands. "Ah! here is a subject already for me! Come, my son, and fear nothing, I'll spare you," said he.

But his majesty starts as if from a shock, When he sees a big lobster make a bow on the rock. "That is well," said the king; "but consider, my son, This rock is my throne, and is only for one."

The lobster, however, is slow to obey; He spreads himself out; he will not go away. "Are you deaf?" cries King Drake, "go, pigmy! Get down! How dare you thus brave a drake of renown?"

But the lobster, at this, nips King Drake in the leg. "Oh, loosen your claw! Let go! Oh! I beg." Tighter pinches the claw: "Rebellion! help! hear! King Drake is in trouble: is nobody near?"

In vain are his kicks; his cries are in vain: The lobster clings fast, in spite of the pain; Nor lets go his hold till they get to the bank: Then the king waddles home, giving up throne and rank.



AMONG the Azores, is situated the beautiful Island of Fayal, with its orange-groves and profusion of flowers. But, notwithstanding the fruit and flowers, there is one thing which Americans who live there miss sadly, and that is fresh, cool water. There are no lakes or ponds, such as we have here; and so the people have to use rain-water, which they save in large tanks or cisterns.

There are a few wells on the island, which, as the water rises and falls in them twice in every twenty-four hours, are called "tide-wells." But there was a time, many years ago, when the people had neither cisterns nor wells, and were obliged to get water from hollows in the rocks. And this is the story of the first well.

The year 1699 was a year when scarcely any rain fell. The grain did not grow, the cows and sheep died from thirst, and many of the poor people also. Now there was a very rich man on the island, who had come here to live many years before, from another part of the world.

Though he was so rich, and might have done much good with his money, he was so stingy and so hard, that the people did not love him at all. But his bags of silver and gold did not buy him water; and at last the thought came to him, "Why! I will dig a well, as people used to do in my country. I will dig it on my own land, and no one shall have a drop of the water but myself."

So he hired men to come and dig the well; but he paid them only a little money, and was very unkind to them. They dug and they dug; but no water came. At last they said they would work no longer unless their master would promise them some of the water, and he promised them the use of the well for half of every day.

Now they dug with more patience; and one morning, as early as six o'clock, they suddenly found water. They claimed the privilege of using the well for the first six hours; and the master dared not refuse. As they were drawing the water, they noticed that it began to grow lower and lower in the well; and at twelve o'clock, the master's hour, none was left.

He was very, very angry, and said he would never give the men any work again. However, at six o'clock that night, they again demanded the use of the well. He mockingly asked them if they expected the water would come for them, and not for him. Nevertheless they went to the well; and, to the master's awe and wonder, it was full of water.

At midnight, the master again tried to get water from the well, and, as before, found it empty. He now felt afraid, believing that some divine power controlled the action of the water. He went to the church and vowed, before God, that if the water should come again next morning, he would dedicate it to the poor forever.

In the morning, when the men visited the well, there was the fresh water awaiting them. The master kept his vow, and thus the well became "The Poor Man's Well." To this day the water rises and falls in it twice in every twenty-four hours. I give you here a picture of the well, and should you ever go to Fayal you may see the original.

K. H. S.


CAN you guess what she was? She was a little black kitten; and I must tell you all about her, and why we gave her such a funny name. Teddikins had a great mouse-colored cat called Maltie, and she had three little kitties,—Spitfire, Miss Tittens, and Cuddle. Spitfire was all black, just as black as a lump of coal, while Miss Tittens was gray, and Cuddle was gray and white.

The first time Teddikins and I looked into the box where Maltie and her kitties were, they were very, very little, and their eyes were not open. The black kitty was lying on top of the others; and Teddikins put in his little fat hand and picked her up. What do you suppose she did? She said, "Sptss!" and she kept on saying, "Sptss" until Teddikins put her down again; and so we called her Spitfire.

Just as soon as she could see out of her funny little gray eyes, she began to try to get out of the box. She wanted to see what there was outside, where Maltie went. She would climb up a little way, and then tumble back on Miss Tittens and Cuddle, which would make them say, "Mew," and make Teddikins laugh; but Spitfire always said, "Sptss!" and would try again.

At last, one day we heard a thump; and we looked around, and there was Spitfire on the floor. She had climbed to the top of the box, and tumbled over the edge, and there she stood, with her tail straight in the air, and her legs wide apart, looking at us, and saying, "Sptss!"

Maltie was very proud of her kitties, and used to take Cuddle and Miss Tittens in her mouth, and carry them into the dining-room when we were eating our breakfast, to show them to us. But Spitfire would not let her mamma carry her. She would walk in all alone, tumbling over on her little nose very often (for her legs were not yet strong), but carrying her little black tail just as straight as little boys carry sticks when they call them guns.

One morning, Teddikins put a saucer of milk on the floor and what do you suppose that little Spitfire did? Why, she looked at it very hard, and then she said, "Sptss," and walked right into the milk, and out the other side of the saucer, with Tittens and Cuddle after her. The floor was covered with the funny white prints of their little paws.

One day a mouse ran across the kitchen; and Cuddle and Tittens were very much frightened; but Spitfire humped up her back, and made her tail very big, and said "Sptss!" very hard, and then cantered off sideways staring at the mouse, and saying, "Sptss!" all the time.

You know how kitties like to go to sleep, all cuddled up together. But Spitfire would not lie down with the others: she always tried to get on top of them.

When the little kitties were quite strong, they used to play a funny sort of game. There was a round foot-stool, covered with carpet, and Spitfire used to sit up on it, and then Cuddle and Miss Tittens would try to climb up the sides. Then Spitfire would say, "Sptss!" and pat them on the heads with her little paws until they rolled down again. Sometimes, when she was busy driving one off, another would get up behind her, and drive her off too; but she always worked hard until she was up again.

Do you not think she was a funny kitty? She always went first, and took the lead, and used to box the ears of Cuddle and Tittens when they did not mind her. Now she is a big black cat, with a red collar around her neck, and she catches rats and mice, and is very good and useful. She only says, "Sptss!" when strange cats come into her yard; but we still call her Spitfire.

E. F.


WHEN I was quite a little girl I had a cosset-calf, And, when it ran about the fields, It always made me laugh.

It seemed as gentle as a lamb, And from my hand was fed; And how I grieved when first I felt The horns upon its head!

It always answered to my call, And thrust its wet nose through The bars, and tried its very best To say, "How do you do?"

I left it in the early fall, And kissed my pet with tears; For to a little child the months Stretch out as long as years.

And when the summer came again, I never shall forget With what dismay I gazed upon My former little pet.

I was afraid of those great horns, So crooked on its brow, Nor would believe my little calf Was that enormous cow!

But soon I learned to know its face And conquered my alarm, And thought there was no nicer cow On any other farm.

And oh the rich sweet milk she gave! Why, just to make me laugh, My mother used to call me then Her little cosset-calf!



PRIMER and slate, primer and slate! Hurry up, mother! I fear I am late. A, B, C, D, and 1, 2, 3, 4, Must be studied, so I can recite them once more. Primer and slate, primer and slate, Must be carefully conned if we hope to be great: A man cannot hope much of a man to be, Unless, when a boy, he has learned A, B, C.



"HOW do you like that little new neighbor of yours?" asked Herbert Greene's big brother, who had seen the two little boys playing together in the yard.

"Oh, you must mean Georgie Worthman," said Herbie. "Why, I don't know. I like him, and I don't like him."

Wallace laughed. "Then you quarrel a little sometimes," said he. "Is that it?"

"No, we don't quarrel," said Herbie. "I don't let him know when I'm mad with him."

"What does he do to make you mad with him?" asked Wallace.

"Oh, he says things," said Herbie.

"Such as what?"

"Well, he looks at my marbles, and says, 'Is that all you've got? I have five times as many as that,—splendid ones, too. They'd knock those all to smash.'"

"Ah, I see!" said Wallace. "It is a clear case of 'great I and little you.'"

"What do you mean by that?" said Herbie.

"Well, if you don't find out by Saturday night, I'll tell you," said Wallace. This was on Monday.

On Wednesday afternoon Herbie was out at play, and presently Georgie Worthman came out. Wallace was in his room, reading, with the windows open, and could hear all that was said.

Georgie brought his kite with him, and asked Herbie if he would go to the common with him to fly his kite.

"Oh, yes! if mother is willing," said Herbie. "But where did you get that kite?—made it yourself, didn't you? I've got one ever so much bigger than that, with yards and yards of tail, and, when we let it out, it goes out of sight quick,—now, I tell you!"

"This isn't the best I can make," said Georgie; "but if I had a bigger one I couldn't pitch it, or hold it after it was up."

"Pooh! I could hold one that pulled like ten horses," said Herbie; and he ran in to ask his mother if he could go with Georgie to the common.

His mother was willing if Wallace would go too; and so, after a little good-natured bothering, and pretending he did not want to go, Wallace took his hat, and Herbie got his kite and twine, and the three boys set off for the common.

Georgie's kite was pitched first, and went up in fine style. Then Herbie's went off, and soon passed it, for it had a longer string; and both were far up in the dazzling blue of the sky.

"There now!" said Herbie, "didn't I tell you my kite would beat yours all to nothing? I bet there isn't another kite in town that will begin to be a match for it!"

"How is this? How is this?" said Wallace. "Seems to me 'great I and little you' are around here pretty thick."

"What do you mean by that?" said both the little boys.

"Why, when a fellow says that he has got the best marbles, and the best kite, and the swiftest sled, and the handsomest velocipede, and the most knowing dog, anywhere in town, we say his talk is all 'great I and little you.' That is, we mean he is always bragging; and a braggart is a very disagreeable person," said Wallace.

Herbie looked at Georgie, and both blushed a little. The boys had great fun with their kites; and when they got home, and Wallace and Herbie went up stairs to put away the kite, Herbie said, "Well, my kite did beat Georgie's, just as I told him it would."

"That is true," said Wallace; "but you said the other day that you liked Georgie, and didn't like him, because he was always telling how much bigger and better his things were than yours; and now, to-day, you were making yourself disagreeable to him by bragging about your kite. Now, if you want the boys to like you, my lad, you must give up talking 'great I and little you,' for it is not sensible nor kind."

So Herbie found out what Wallace meant, and he said to himself, "I don't mean to let the fellows hear me talking, 'great I and little you' any more."

H. W.


TASSO is a big black dog. His back comes up almost to the top of a dining-table. He does not look as though he could ever have been carried about in a handkerchief; but, when he was a puppy, he was brought home in that way by a young lady as a present to her brothers.

Tasso seems to take delight in making himself useful. When there is work to be done, he always wants to do his part. He brings in wood, stick by stick, and puts it in the wood-box, never stopping till the box is full. While he is carrying in the wood, the boys fill the chip-basket; and then Tasso takes that in his mouth, and puts it in its place beside the wood-box.

If any of the family has a basket or a bag to take to the station, Tasso always insists on taking it. One rainy day, we sent him to the station with three umbrellas, and he delivered them all safely. One day his master went out to the barn without his hat. Tasso did not think this was proper: so he took the hat in his mouth and carried it out to him.

I could tell you many other amusing things about Tasso. He is always attentive and obedient, and every one who knows him loves him and trusts him.

F. A. S.


"DOES the little fairy Work in a dairy? I hear her talk about making cheese,— She with her locks the color of money, Hanging long and crinkled and sunny Down to her waist,—a golden fleece."

Oh, such a laughter As rings out after My words, is the sweetest sound I know! Sparkle the eyes that had been dreaming:— "Aunty dear, if you want to see me, I'll show you how to make one,—so!"

Soon as she utters This, out she flutters, Her full fresh frock as white as the snows; Round she whirls, and then in a minute Sits down quick, and the air within it Puffs it out like a full-blown rose.

That's what she pleases To call "making cheeses." I'm sure I could give it a better name. Call it playing at daffy-down-dilly, Call it playing at white day-lily: Either will suit me just the same.

Lily for brightness She is, and for whiteness; A golden centre her long locks grow! And isn't that head, so shimmering, sunny, Daffy-down-dilly-like, yellow as money?— Rogue she is anyway, that I know.



I AM a little girl seven years old. I live way up in the woods of Maine, in the little town of Howland, forty miles from anywhere. Now you may wonder how I can amuse myself, so far away from the world: so I am going to tell you.

I live on a great farm, with grandpapa, Aunt Peeps, and Nan, and Will. I have a pair of top-boots, so I can play out doors in wet weather. I was glad when grandpapa brought them home; and the first thing I did was to find a good large mud-puddle, and oh! didn't I have fun, splashing right through it!

I drive old Frank whenever I please; and then, when we get home, I feed him on apples and bread. He is twenty years old, and has no teeth to eat hay with, and grandpapa says he would starve to death if it were not for me.

We let him go wherever he likes, and in hot weather he stays on the barn-floor, out of the reach of the flies, most of the time. He lets me card him, and he never kicks me. One day last summer, Emma and I got old Frank upon a haymow, about four feet from the floor, and there he lay down on his side, and took a nap. Then I brought out a pan of meal and water, and fed it to him with an iron spoon.

I have an old pet sheep too. It will run out from the flock any time when it sees me coming, and follow me to the house. One day I heard a noise against the kitchen-door, and, when I opened it, my sheep came in, and followed me right into the dining-room, and would not go out till I gave it some potatoes.

Major and Velvet Paw are my pet cats, and Peep is my German canary-bird; and I had a pet chicken, but grandpapa stepped on it one day. He says he would rather have lost the best cow in the barn than have killed my chicken. William says he will give me four eggs in the spring, and then, perhaps, I can have four chickens instead of one.

I have a bear,—a black, fierce-eyed bear, that gnashes his teeth, and growls, and stands up and shakes his paws at me; but he is not a real live bear. He has to be wound up with a key before he will growl. We have live bears here in the woods, though: they come right into our yard, and eat our sheep. We set a trap for one last fall, close to the house, and a bear was caught in it.

I have a wax doll almost as large as a real baby. I have named it Gretchen. Cousin Mary brought it to me from Germany. It has flaxen curls, and six of the prettiest little pearl teeth, and it goes to sleep, and says papa and mamma, and whines, and cries. I wonder if any of you little girls have such a beautiful dolly.

My doll, Rosie Deben, is six years old, and almost as large as I am. I wash her whenever I like, and about once a year Auntie Peeps paints her face over. I like Rosie for an every-day doll, because I can wash her hands and face, and undress her, and if she tumbles out of her wagon it only bumps her head, and bruises her nose. She has tumbled down stairs ever so many times.

I have no little girls to play with; but there is a little boy who comes to see me sometimes: his name is Percy, and we go fishing down at the brook, and we catch little bits of fish with pin hooks.

I went to school last summer, and read in my "Nursery," and Nan said I learned nicely. There were only four scholars,—one for each corner of the room; and we had a little rocking-chair to sit in.

Nan thinks I have told you enough about my pets this time, and I will bid you good-by.



HERE is Corporal Hans drilling a squad under the eye of his superior officer, Captain Ernest. The corporal is a brave soldier. Anybody could tell that by his looks. But he does not give his orders quite sternly enough to suit the captain, who is teaching him how to do it.

It makes a man of peace shudder to see the corporal stand so calmly right at the mouth of a cannon. What if the cannon should go off! But these military men get used to such things. I don't suppose now that one of that whole squad could be frightened into running away. They will not move till they hear the word of command.



IN the book that Mary likes so much to look at, there is a nice picture of a horse. Here it is.

The horse has a very long tail and also a long thick mane. He stands very quietly in his stall, turning his head around, as if he were in want of some more hay. If he should ask for it, what would he say? Little Mary says he would say, "Neigh!"

The next picture shows us two donkeys,—an old one and a young one. They have very long ears, and look as if they might hear all that we say.

The worst we can say of them or their race is that they are homely, and not so fleet as the horse. But they are very tough and strong and patient.

If the donkey should hear this, perhaps he would open his mouth and say, "Bray!"

A. B. C.


CLANG, cling, clang, cling! Bellows, you must roar, and anvil, you must ring; Hammer, you and I must work—for ding, dong, ding Must dress my Kate and baby, and bread for us must bring. So dong, ding, dong, ding! Anvil, to my hammer make music while I sing,— Clang, cling, clang, cling!

Clang, cling, clang, cling! Oh, well I love my smithy when the birds in spring-time sing, And the pleasant sun comes streaming in, the sun that loves to bring Its gladness to me, working, and to hear my anvil ring. Dong, ding, dong, ding! And to see my iron glowing, and the sparks in showers spring,— Clang, cling, clang, cling!

Blow, blow, blow, blow! Bellows, you must work till the furnace is aglow. Snug is my old smithy when, without, comes down the snow, When sooty wall and rafter in the blaze are all aglow. Blow, blow, blow, blow! What care I if the storm, then, without, be high or low? Blow, blow, blow, blow!

Clang, cling, clang, cling! Merrily the hours fly that hear my anvil ring; And quick my evening chair and my evening meal they bring; Then, while Kate works beside me, I'm as happy as a king. Clang, cling, clang, cling! God give me always health and strength to make my anvil ring: Clang, cling, clang, cling!



Words from "The Nursery." Music by T. CRAMPTON.

1. Good-Day! Madam Quack with your young in your track, Quite early they're out, What are they about— Those bright little things With their short downy wings? I'm glad of your luck, you're a good mother duck! And if young folks did know half the joy they bestow When attentive and good—they would try all they could.

2. You know sir, I see what young ducklings should be; Your taste I commend, My civil young friend; They're beauties you see and obedient to me. In ponds they can paddle, On land they can waddle, They dive and they flutter, Quack, quack, they can utter: I'm glad they can learn, and great fame they will earn.

* * * * *

Transcriber's Notes:

The July edition of the Nursery had a table of contents for the next six issues of the year. This table was divided to cover each specific issue. A title page copied from this same July edition was also used for this number and the issue number added after the Volume number.

Page 38, closing single quotation mark added to text. (through the rye!'")


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