These young ladies--not supposed to have been actually christened by the names applied to them, though always so called in the family from the places of their birth in barracks--are respectively employed on three-legged stools, the younger (some five or six years old) in learning her letters out of a penny primer
, the elder
Now, William Dobbin, from an incapacity to acquire the rudiments of the above language, as they are propounded in that wonderful book the Eton Latin Grammar, was compelled to remain among the very last of Doctor Swishtail's scholars, and was "taken down" continually by little fellows with pink faces and pinafores when he marched up with the lower form, a giant amongst them, with his downcast, stupefied look, his dog's-eared primer
, and his tight corduroys.
Then, there are the Prodromus whales of the old Scotch Sibbald, and Jonah's whale, as depicted in the prints of old Bibles and the cuts of old primers
. What shall be said of these?
Among these were many for little children--picture books, primers
, readers--for they had known that their little child would be old enough for such before they might hope to return to England.
He coaxed in schoolmistress fashion, as to a congregation of boys with primers
. His talk was an endless repetition.
A man, any man, will go considerably out of his way to pick up a silver dollar; but here are golden words, which the wisest men of antiquity have uttered, and whose worth the wise of every succeeding age have assured us of; -- and yet we learn to read only as far as Easy Reading, the primers
and class-books, and when we leave school, the "Little Reading," and story-books, which are for boys and beginners; and our reading, our conversation and thinking, are all on a very low level, worthy only of pygmies and manikins.
But there is no literary public in England for anything except newspapers, primers
, and encyclopaedias.
The Book of Common Prayer, now used in the English Church coordinately with Bible and Psalter, took shape out of previous primers
of private devotion, litanies, and hymns, mainly as the work of Archbishop Cranmer during the reign of Edward VI.
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