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RHYMES OF THE NURSERY. Writing on the subject of nursery rhymes more than half a century ago, the late Dr. Robert Chambers expressed regret because, as he said, "Nothing had of late been revolutionised so much as the nursery." But harking back on the period of his own childhood, he was able to say, with a feeling of satisfaction, that the young mind was then "cradled amidst the simplicities of the uninstructed intellect; and she was held to be... more...

MASTER WILLIE. There was once a little boy called Willie. I never knew his other name, and as he lived far off behind the mountain, we cannot go to inquire. He had fair hair and blue eyes, and there was something in his face that, when you had looked at him, made you feel quite happy and rested, and think of all the things you meant to do by-and-by when you were wiser and stronger. He lived all alone with the tall aunt, who was very rich, in the... more...

TRADITIONAL NURSERY SONGS. A diller, a dollar,A ten o'clock scholar,What makes you come so soon?You used to come at ten o'clock,And now you come at noon. A long tailed pig, or a short tailed pig,Or a pig without a tail,A sow pig, or a boar pig,Or a pig with a curly tail. As I was going up Pippen hill,Pippen hill was dirty;There I met a pretty Miss,And she dropt me a curtsey. Little Miss, pretty Miss,Blessings light upon... more...

THE THREE JOVIAL HUNTSMEN.               It's of three jovial huntsmen, an' a hunting they did go;An' they hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' they blew their horns alsoLook ye there!   An' one said, "Mind yo'r e'en, an' keep yo'r noses reet i' th' wind   An' then, by scent or seet, we'll leet o' summat to our mind."Look ye there!             They hunted,... more...

PRINCESS BELLE-ETOILE. Once upon a time there were three Princesses, named Roussette, Brunette, and Blondine, who lived in retirement with their mother, a Princess who had lost all her former grandeur. One day an old woman called and asked for a dinner, as this Princess was an excellent cook. After the meal was over, the old woman, who was a fairy, promised that their kindness should be rewarded, and immediately disappeared. Shortly after, the... more...


THE OLD WOMAN AND HER PIG.   A little old woman, who lived in a house, Too small for a giant, too big for a mouse,— Was sweeping her chambers, (though she had not many,) When she found, by good fortune, a bright silver penny! [2] Delighted she seized it, and, dancing a jig, Exclaim’d, “With this money I’ll purchase a pig.” So saying, away to the market she went, And the fruits of her fortunate... more...

PETER PATTER told them to me,All the little rimes,Whispered them among the bushesHalf a hundred times.Peter lives upon a mountainPretty near the sun,Knows the bears and birds and rabbitsNearly every one;Has a home among the alders,Bed of cedar bark,Walks alone beneath the pine treesEven when it’s dark.Squirrels tell him everythingThat happens in the trees,Cricket in the gander-grassSings of all he sees;Rimes from bats and... more...

COME LASSES AND LADS   Come Lasses and Lads, get leave of your Dads,   And away to the May-pole hey:   For every heHas got him a she,with a minstrel standing by.     For Willy has gotten his Jill,And Johnny has got his Jone,To jigg it, jigg it, jigg it, jigg it,Jigg it up and down.   "Strike up," says Watt; "Agreed," says Kate,"And I prithee, Fiddler, play;""Content," says Hodge, and so says... more...

by Unknown
Mr. Editor:—Your correspondent, N.B.S., has so decisively given a quietus to the question as to the birthplace of Cotton Mather, that there is no danger of its ever being revived again. But there is another question of equal importance to many, to the literary world in particular, which should in like manner be put to rest. Who was Mother Goose? and when were her melodies first given to the world? These are questions which have been often... more...

The editor of the new edition of Mother Goose's Melodies knows much more about the curious history of the Boston edition than I do. And the reader will not need, even in these lines of mine, any light on the curious question about Madam Vergoose, or her son-in-law Mr. Fleet, or the Contes de Ma Mere l'Oye, which are so carefully discussed in the preface. All this is admirably discussed also in Mr. William Whitmore's paper published in Albany in... more...