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Title: Aunt Ann's Lesson-Book, for Very Young Children. In Words of One and Two Syllables.
Author: Anonymous ["by a friend to little children"]
Illustrator: Anonymous
Date of first publication: 1822
Date first posted: 5 April 2010
Date last updated: 30 March 2014
Faded Page eBook #20100402

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Carla Foust & the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

This file was produced from images generously made available by the Internet Archive/American Libraries

Transcriber's note

Minor changes have been made to punctuation.

Some of the illustrations have been moved beside the relevant section of the text.

[Pg 3]

[Pg 2]

[Pg 1]









Price 1s. 6d. coloured.

[Pg 5][Pg 4]


A good boy will rise early in the morning, and wash his face and hands very clean, and thank God for his breakfast.

A good boy will then take his book, and try to learn to read. Will you try to be a good boy, George? Then spell your words, and mind your [Pg 6]stops; and when you can read well, I will teach you to write.


Mary, my dear, why do you not work? You will never finish that doll's frock, if you lay it by so often. Always finish what you begin.

Suppose a builder were building a house, and when he had got half way, he were to stop and say, "I am tired, and will leave off," we should have no houses to live in. Or, suppose a ploughman in a field were to say, "I am tired of ploughing and sowing corn," we should have no bread to eat.

So, Mary, go on with your work, and finish your frock, that your doll may be dressed.

[Pg 7]

Mary did as was bid, and her doll looked very nicely in her new frock.


Henry and Frank had each a sixpence given to them, and they did not know at first how to spend it.

I will buy a plum-cake, said Frank; and he bought a cake and eat it, and the cake was gone.

I will buy a pretty book, said Henry, and he did so; and the next day he had his book, and the next day, and the next. A whole year after, he still had his book. Indeed, I believe he has his pretty book at this moment.



How cold it is! I have been running in the snow and making snow-balls; and[Pg 8] breaking the ice in the pond, that the ducks might get into the pond and swim. I am very cold.

Then go to the room where there is a fire; but do not stand too near it. How bright the coals burn!

How good it is of God to give us FIRE to warm us, and to dress our food!


I will run over the hill among the sheep and lambs. The wind is very high, but it is not cold: the wind makes my cheeks red, and blows my clothes about.

We could not live if we had not air. If we had not air, we should not have any birds, or flowers, or trees, or any pretty things.[Pg 9]

How good it is of God to give us AIR, that we may breathe and keep alive.


My little rose-tree is dead! Why is it dead? Because you did not plant it in the earth a week ago, as the man told you to do. You left your rose-tree on the gravel-walk, and it is dead: I put my rose-tree into a hole in the fresh earth, and you see mine is alive.

All trees, and plants, and flowers, grow in the earth.

God is very good to give us EARTH, to produce for us many good things.[Pg 10]


See! how clear this water is. How it sparkles in the sun, as it falls down from the rocks high over our heads; and the water runs along the ground, and across the field, and into the river. And then the river runs into the sea; and a great large sea is called an ocean.

A great many fishes live in the water, and in the sea.

God made the sea, and all the fishes in it.


Fanny had a pretty little dog, and she loved it very much; and the little dog loved Fanny. It was a white dog,[Pg 13][Pg 12][Pg 11] and she called it Lily. One day her brother Frank, who was a wild and a naughty boy, caught Lily, and blacked him all over: I do not know how.

Poor Fanny cried sadly, and thought her dog was lost; for she did not know him again in his black coat. But when the called him, he knew her voice, and ran to him, barking for joy.

Papa was very angry with Frank, and made him wash Lily himself, and he was a white dog again.


Poor horse! he is in the pound, because he broke into a field that did not belong to his master.

Little Tom was passing that way, and was very sorry for the poor horse, and[Pg 14] went and gathered him some grass from the hedge, because the horse could not get to it himself; and he fed him through the rails.

Soon after, the owner of the horse came to take him out of the pound; and when he saw little Tom feeding the poor dumb beast, he said, "You are a kind little boy, and I will give you a ride home on horseback." So the man took him before him, and little Tom had a fine ride home.


What a large picture that is! What is the name of that great beast with a great head?

It is a lion.

He looks very angry. I would rather see a lion in a picture, than a real lion.[Pg 15]

What a pretty picture is here! It is like mamma; but I would rather see my real mamma, than mamma in a picture.


Will George have some bread and honey?

Yes, nurse; pray give me some. It is very good. Oh! go away, you great ugly fly.

You may thank that ugly fly, George, for your honey. That fly is a bee. Take care that he does not sting you.

Will he eat some of my honey?

No, George; but I will open the window and let him fly out. There he goes to a bed of flowers. He will suck the juice out of the flowers, and make himself some honey.[Pg 16]


Come, little Robin, and I will give you your breakfast. There are some crumbs of bread for you.

Have you done? Now sing me a song.

The robin flew back out at the window, and perched on an apple-tree, and sung a sweet song.

Come hither, Emma, said mamma, and I will give you your breakfast. There are some bread and milk for you.

Have you done? Then learn your lesson. But Emma was sulky, and did not obey.

The robin did as he was bid, and was a good bird. But Emma was a naughty girl. At last she was ashamed of herself, and did learn her lesson.[Pg 17]


Oh! pretty white flowers upon the tree. Do, papa, pull down the boughs, and gather me a nosegay. Gather all the flowers upon the tree.

If I do, said papa, you will have no cherries. Those flowers are called blossoms, and will, in time, turn into cherries.

A few weeks after, little William looked up at the tree, and all the white flowers were turned into fine red cherries. Papa pulled down a bough gently, and picked him some, which made the little boy very happy.[Pg 18]


Look at the pretty lambs, how fast they run! There they go; one, two, three, four, five, six, all running up and down the green hillock. I believe they are running a race. Now they stop to play, and they butt with their little heads.

Hark! the sheep bleat; and each little lamb runs to his own mother, and takes a suck of milk from her. The lamb comes when he is called. It would be a good thing if little boys and girls would always come when they are called, and mind their mother's voice.[Pg 19]


Charles had a watch. It cost a shilling; but though the hands moved round, it did not tell the hour, because it had no wheels inside. It was only a play-thing.

If little children do not mind their learning, they will be of no more service in the world than Charles's watch. Though they may look pretty outside, and be finely dressed, they will be of no service to themselves or other people.

A real watch that is good, goes well; and a clever boy that is good, will make a good man.[Pg 20]



A fly was caught in a spider's web. "Poor fly!" said Frank, "you shall not be eat by that cruel spider." So Frank broke the spider's web, and the fly got away and flew about again.

The same day Frank saw a bird's nest in a hawthorn-bush. I believe it was a goldfinch which built the nest; but Frank took it and broke all the eggs.

"You are worse than the spider, Frank," said his father: "he caught the fly for food; and you took the nest and broke the eggs for mischief. You are a bad boy, Frank."[Pg 23][Pg 22][Pg 21]


"I think I will cover my old work-box with this pretty blue paper," said Lucy. "Pray, Sally, make me some paste. What is paste made of?"

"Paste is made of flour and water, boiled and stirred until it is very smooth."

Lucy covered her box very neatly, and laid it by to dry: "And now," said Lucy, "I will fill my flower-glasses with fresh water."

"Do so," said mamma; "but first, Lucy, wash your hands."

"No, mamma, I will fill my glasses first."

Lucy's hands were dirty with the paste. The glass slipped from her hand: it broke: she cut her hand, and spoiled her box.[Pg 24]



A man was leading a red cow across a common, and he saw a poor woman with a little baby and two small children, sitting on a bank by the wayside. It was in summer, and the day was very hot.

"Do pray give me a halfpenny," said the poor woman.

"I have no money about me, not even a halfpenny, or you should have it, my good woman; but if you have a cup in your wallet, I will give you and your children a draught of milk."

She gave him a cup, and he milked the cow; and the poor woman and children drank the milk, and thanked the good man very kindly.[Pg 25]


"Oh, how pretty! Look! look! George, at these fine gold fishes. How they swim about in this glass of water! May I feed them, mamma? What do they eat?"

"You may give them some crumbs of bread; but do not try to catch them, or frighten them by tapping with your finger at the glass."

Their scales are all gold, and silver, and purple. How beautiful are the works of God.



Charlotte talked a great deal: she was always talking; and every one in[Pg 26] the house was glad when she was gone to bed, that they might have peace.

Charlotte one day took a walk to see her aunt, who had a parrot in a fine gold cage. The little girl wished to speak to her aunt and cousins; but the parrot made such a noise, they could not hear a word she said.

When Charlotte came home, she complained of the noisy parrot; and her mamma said to her, "Well, Charlotte, when you chatter too much, and too loud, think of the parrot."


The sun is rising in the east. Come, George, and see the fine sight. How thankful should we be to God, who made the sun, and gave us eyes to see it.[Pg 27]

"Where has the sun been? and why did he leave us last evening?"

The sun did not leave us, but we left the sun. The people who live on the other side of the world, and under our feet, had the sun all last night, when it was quite dark with us. But you are too young to know what I mean: when you are older, and have read a good many clever books, you will know more about the sun.


What is that thin, bright cloud, like a bow in the sky?

It is the moon.

The moon! nonsense! The moon is round, for I have seen it very often.

Yes; but the moon is only round[Pg 28] when at the full: that silver bow in the sky is the same moon; and every day it will look larger and larger, until it is quite round; and then every day it will look smaller and smaller, until it becomes a small bow, as it is now. When you can read, you will know more about the moon; but now it is time to go home.



"Do throw away those ugly onions," said Robert: "they shall not be planted in my garden."

"They are not onions fit to eat, master," said the man: "they are the roots of a fine flower; so let them alone until June, when you will see how gay your garden will look."[Pg 29]

But Robert was a wilful lad; and the next day he dug up all the onions, as he chose to call them, and threw them over the wall upon the common.

A poor little girl was passing by, to gather mushrooms to sell; and she picked up the roots and took them home. Her mother knew what they were, and planted them in her little garden; and she had fine tulips, which she sold in the market, and bought a pair of shoes.


Little Emma was very ill with the measles, and quite blind for many days. She did not know any one who came near her bed-side; but it pleased God to save her life, and she began to get well.[Pg 30]

The first person she saw was her own good mamma, who had never left her a moment, all through her illness. When Emma thanked her for her kindness, she said, "I will always do as you bid me, mamma; and when I am as old as you are, I will try also to be a good mamma to my sick little girl."


Papa was an honest grocer, and he had long talked of buying a handsome horse to ride upon, with saddle and bridle, all very pretty; but he put it off from day to day, and a whole year passed, and no fine horse was bought.

At last on new-year's day, Frank said, "Father, why not buy a horse, as you said you would: it would[Pg 33][Pg 32][Pg 31] only cost fifty pounds; and I saw you counting fifty pounds in bank notes this morning."

"So you did, Frank," said his father; "but it is all gone now. I have just paid your schooling for one year, and I cannot afford to buy a horse yet; for it is better that you should learn to read, than that I should ride about."



George was promised by his uncle to go upon the water in a boat, if he would behave very well.

Uncle got into the boat, and so did George, and so did his sister Jane; and for a little time George behaved very well; but, at last, he would not sit still. He got up, and jumped from side to side[Pg 34] in the boat, and stooped over the edge, and would have fallen over and been drowned, had not sister Jane caught him by his frock.

Children should sit still in a boat, and do as they are bid by older folks.


The same little boy was sitting in the parlour, on a stool near the window; and sister Jane was sitting on another stool, too near the fire, I am sorry to say; as a spark flew out of the fire upon her frock, and she might have been burned.

Brother George saw the spark; and though he was a very little child, he had a great deal of courage; (as all boys ought to have;) and he got up and ran to where Jane was sitting, and stamped[Pg 35] upon the fire that had caught her frock, and put it out.

Children ought not to sit too near the fire.


"What is that black beast, with tiny legs and long claws?" said Frank.

"It is a shell-fish, and is called a lobster."

"That it is not," said Frank, very boldly: "it is not a lobster. I have seen a great many lobsters in my lifetime, and eat the claw of one or two; and I say lobsters are red, and this is black."

"Yes, they turn red when they are boiled. So do shrimps, and crabs, and cray-fish. But this lobster is alive, and therefore is black."[Pg 36]

Lobsters are caught in the sea, in baskets with small holes at the top, through which they can get in, but cannot get out again.


"Well, I would rather starve than have dirty hands, and naked arms, and a face all over smoke and soot," said John Bold, as he was driving with mamma, in her carriage, past a blacksmith's shop.

The honest man was at his work, shoeing a horse.

When the carriage returned, it was dark; and it rained and snowed, and the roads were very rough, and they were very much jolted. Soon after, the linch-pin of the wheel, which keeps it[Pg 39][Pg 38][Pg 37] on, came out; and they were in great distress, and could not get on.

Then one of the servants went and got the blacksmith to make another linch-pin. So we see, though it is a dirty business, yet it is a very useful one.


Look at this brown field of earth. The men are going to plough it. Then they will harrow it and break the clods of earth; then they will sow the seed; and with sun and rain, and God's blessing, the corn will grow. What comes next?

Then comes weeding and reaping, and binding, and casting, and stacking, and thrashing, and grinding, and winnowing,[Pg 40] and kneading, and baking nice large loaves of bread.

Then, all that little children have to do, is to eat the bread, with grateful hearts, and give some to little children poorer than themselves.


Look at the lark! How high he flies, and how loud he sings! His little wings flutter in the sun. The wind blows strong, but it does not blow him away. He is soaring over his nest, which he has built on the ground among the corn. I wonder how many little ones are in his nest. We need not try to find it, for we must not tread down the corn.

Now the lark is coming down. There[Pg 41] he comes: there he drops. And now all is silent.


Indeed, Puss, you are very wicked to torment that poor harmless mouse. If the mouse is your food, and you are hungry, why not eat it up at once, and not keep teasing it so?

Edward could talk very kindly about Puss and the mouse; but the next day he caught a cock-chafer, which he said he would spin. His father took it from him, and let it go again, and said, "Puss knows no better when she torments a mouse; but you do, and know it is very cruel to torment insects of any kind."[Pg 42]



"Let that gun alone, Charles; do not touch it."

"Why, it is not loaded," said Charles; "for I saw Tom fire it off before he came in."

"No matter," said Mary: "let it alone, Master Charles. You have been often told how many persons have been killed by children playing with guns, and pointing them at their brothers and sisters in play."

It was well that Charles did as Mary the maid told him, for the gun was loaded; and had he handled it, he might have shot himself or Mary.[Pg 45][Pg 44][Pg 43]


What a number of crows flying through the air. Some of them are smaller than the rest. They are young ones. Their parents are teaching them to fly.

If they could talk, they could tell us where they had been, and what they have seen all this morning; but I dare say, though we cannot know what they are cawing about, they know themselves.

Some of them are very busy among those high trees. I think they are going to build their nests. The old crows will teach the young ones.


A barn is a large place, and very useful. It holds all our wheat, and oats, and barley, and hay, and straw.[Pg 46]

And we can put up a swing in it; and, in the cold and frost, we can let the poor gipsies, who have no houses of their own, come and sleep in it.

They never steal our poultry, or ducks, or geese, or pigs, or sheep; but they make us pretty baskets, and mats, and nets, and matches. In summer they live in tents on the common; and in winter we let than come and sleep in our barn.


The deep blue sky is full of bright clouds. The sun is going down in the west; and the clouds are all gold, and silver, and purple, and red, and yellow, and crimson. And there is the moon and the bright star near it. How they[Pg 47] shine upon the sea! and how calm the sea is! Look at the hills, how green they are! and how ripe the corn looks! The little birds are singing sweetly, and the hedges are full of roses and sweet flowers.

The sun is gone: the clouds fade away: the birds are gone to sleep. Good night, little boys and girls.




Printed by Harvey, Darton, and Co,
Gracechurch-Street, London.

[End of Aunt Ann's Lesson-Book by Anonymous]