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Mamma's verses, or, Lines for little Londoners online

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Mamma's Stories; Dick, the Day Scholar, fyc.








: \y\rf.

THE first idea of the following- Trifles was
suggested by reading- the " Original Poems for
Infant Minds/' a work exhibiting- such excellence
of principle, and such an agreeable variety of
subjects, that it would seem to make any similar
attempt equally hopeless and useless. But in
that, and in nearly all the Juvenile Works of most
merit and celebrity, the scenes are laid in the
Country, and the Children of those numerous
families who constantly inhabit London and other
great Cities, must content themselves with reading 1
descriptions of pleasures which they cannot taste,
a 3


and in some instances, injunctions to duties which
they cannot perform. For such little readers then,
as may have felt tantalized even while they were
amused by some of the Juvenile Eclogues to
which we allude, the following 1 Verses are penned.
If they succeed in affording any pleasure, the
writer's satisfaction will exceed that of the reader ;
but the only merit which is positively claimed for
them is, the humble yet indispensable one that
they can do no mischief.


Romping- Mary; or, " Whatever is, is best."., 5

Little Maurice ; or Conceit reproved 9

Edward; or, Rambling reasoned on 11

A True Story of Two Dogs 17

The School Dinner; or, Daintiness Disap-
pointed ......, 23

The Little Spendthrift 26

Sam's Complaint; or, " Let each One Mend

One." 29

Louisa, Part I. or, Usefulness Abroad and at

Home 35

Louisa, Part II. or, The Gift of Gratitude 43

a 4


Little Dick , 47

Little Willy and the Beggar Boy 51

The Watch; or, "Waste not, Want not."... 56
The Mistake ; or, A Dinner with Duke Hum-
phrey 59

Frederic ; or, Deceit brings its own Punish-
ment..... 61

Harry; or, The First Latin Lesson 65

Grandpapa's Birth-Day Presents ; or, the Right
Use of Riches. 71




* I WISH,' said romping- Mary,
' That I had beeo a boy !'

' Why so, my little fairy!
' And where would be the joy ?'

' Oh, then I'd learn to climb,
' To swim, and .play at cricket ;

' To throw the ball in time,
' And so knock down the wicket.

* I'd go with Charles to school,
' And club to make a feast ;

4 If wine was out of rule,
' With lolly-pops at least.

1 But girls are kept so quiet,
' While boys are always rude:
I long to make a riot,
' Instead of being good.'

' Ah, Mary ! few are skilful
' In what is for their good;

* By children who are wilful,
' 'Tis never understood.

' If climbing you would master,

' Or even learn to swim,
* Suppose some sad disaster

' Should cause a broken limb :

' How then would you endure
' The nights and days of pain

' That must precede your cure,
' And yet from tears refrain ?

' A boy must suffer all thing's
* Without a coward tear ;

' But you would weep at small thin
' And shew your craven fear.

' Nor would the feasting- lore
' Be all you need be pat in,

' For school-boys long- must pore
' On heathen Greek and Latin.
A 4


' You think it now a trouble
* French nouns and verbs to seek ;

* But Latin would be double,
' And harder still is Greek.

4 Then cease in idle pining
' Your fancies to unfurl ;

' Your proper station shine in,
' A good and happy Girl.'



ONE day, in the Park,

As gay as a lark,
Little Maurice ran by his father's side ;

He held in his hand

A penny, quite grand,
Which soon a poor old beggar espied.


He held put his hat,
Maurice put it in that,
And ran to his father with look demure ;
' Do you think/ said he,
* My cousin, like me,

* Would part with his penny to feed the poor?'

He asked him twice,
And he jog-g-ed him thrice,
But still not a word his father replied ;
At last he looked down,
And said 'yes,' with a frown;

* But wou'd have said nothing about it beside.'




; PAPA/ said little Ned,
' Let's take a journey, pray;

{ Such charming- thing's I've read
' That travellers see and say.


' The Country is delightful,
' So full of pleasant sights ;

' But London is quite frightful,
' And smelling of gas lights.

' You wish me to be clever,
' And have a mind well stored;

' Then should we not endeavour
' To make a tour abroad?

< My cousins are in Paris,

And Julia crossed the Rhine ;

* While here our household tarries,

And I for knowledge pine.'

' Ah, Edward! 'tis a pity

' To cross the sea and roam
1 To any fdreign city,

'Till all is learned at home.


This London, you are tirM of,
' Can sights and wonders shew,

' Which you have never heard of,
' And older boys don't know,

' In Westminster, the Abbey
' With heroes tombs is filled ;

' Abroad 'twould look quite shabby
' In these to be unskilled,

s St. Paul's stupendous church
' You'd think upon with shame,

' If left so in the lurch,
1 To visit Notre Dame,

' The pictures in the Louvre

' Display their bright perfections ;

' But we should first manoeuvre
[ To see some home collections,


' The Bank, the Mint, the Houses
' Of Commons and of Lords,

' Attest what London now is,
* What sights she still affords.

' The Royal Institution

' Gives knowledge, taste, and skill;:
( And change without confusion

' Attends its lectures still.

1 Some folks have wished to be
' Whole years in the Museum ;

* So much there is to see,
' No fear it should ennui 'em.

' Each animal that dwells

' On earth, there stands in order,
' And minerals, fossils, shells,

' The vast apartments border.


' Within those Walls are treasured

* The sculptured forms of grace,
' Whose value can't be measur'd,

' So perfect's every trace.

' Egyptian mummies there,

' With granite Gods are found *

* Whose sight should render dear

' Our place on Christian ground.

' Now, Edward, can you say

' What mummies are, and granite ;

* Where, Egypt lies, I pray,

' And Greece, if find you can, it?

' Next, prithee name the classes

' In which each creature fits,
' From lions dawn to asses,

* From eagles to torn-tits ?


' For this and other lore
' At home should be acquir'd,

* If France you would explore,
' Or are with England tir'd.

' Else all you'd learn in France
' Would be some parley vous,

1 Or stepping in a dance

( Which school boys hate to do.

' To travel unprepared
1 Is merely waste of time

' And money, better spar'd,
4 Than spent in foreign clime/




WITHIN a cobbler's stall

Two dogs in friendship dwelt;

Their master's means were small,
And hunger oft they felt.


Yet neither tried to snap
A morsel from the other ;

But shared each scanty scrap,
Like sister and like brother.

The beauties of the mind
They equally possessed ;

But charms of other kind
Stood but in one confessed.

A Poodle was the beauty,
With white and curling coat * r

The Terrier did his duty,
But had no curjs to. note.

At last the cobbler sold
The Poodle for a guinea;

To keep her, he was told,
Was acting like a Ninny ..


The gentleman who bought her
Had prom is' d to be kind ;

And many tricks he taught her,
To keep his word in mind.

She learnt to fetch and carry
Her master's hat and stick ;

Would neither pause nor tarry,
But run and bring them quick.

And when he took a ride
She trotted like a groom j

And never left his side

Till they were safely home.

Or if he stopped to pay

A visit to a friend,
On her the duty lay,

His palfrey to attend. .
C <2


She took him by the bridle,
And held it in her mouth ;

Nor suffered him to idle,

But led him North and South.

Her master was delighted
By such ingenious ways ;

And saw her well requited
With pudding and with praise.

But still she grew no fatter
With all her dainty food ;

And bones upon her platter
Did never do her good.

She carried every bone
To bury in the garden ;

And when she was alone,
She dug, and ftuck it hard in.


He feared this clever Poodle,
Whose merits all could tell ;

Was nothing but a noodle,
And so he watched her well.

And early every morning*
He saw her Terrier friend ;

Tke housemaid's anger scorning-,
His footsteps thither bend.

The Poodle always led him

To all her garden store ;
And while her savings fed him

She scratched and dug- for more.

( Such generous friendship !' cried
Her master, quite astonished;

' May shame my human pride,
' And make me stand admonished,
C 3


4 And since she thus can cherish
' A comrade that's distrest;

' The Terrier shall not perish,
' But be my frequent guest/

The better to reward her
He bought the Terrier too,

That he might thus afford her
A friend in constant view.



A BOY I could name,

If 'twould add to his fame,
Who daily enjoyed a luxurious dinner ;

Two courses appeared,

And when they were cleared,
Such pastry and fruit, that it scarcely looked thinner,
C 4


His father was able

To keep such a table,
And our little hero enjoyed it right well ;

He knew the best slices,

And twenty devices
That none but the dainty and greedy can tell.

At last he was moved

From the home that he loved,

To a private academy school it in fact is ;
To learn from a tutor,
Past, present, and future,

Declensions and pronouns, prosodia, syntaxis.

The day he arrived,

He had not contrived
To dine on his dainties before he set out;

And at the school dinner

Was, like a beginner,
Surprized to see pudding first handed about.


' I'll wait, if you please/

Said the lad at his ease,
Expecting the soup, and the patties, andl fish :

When nothing* was put on

But turnips and mutton,
He found the remove did not answer his wish.

The poor little glutton,

Detesting boiled mutton,
Repeated his speech, and declared he would wait :

His tutor in vain

Desir'd he'd explain,
And kindly advised him to hold out his plate.

The meat went away,

But the cloth did not stay;
And nothing succeeded, but saying a grace:

He found to his sorrow

He'd wait 'till to-morrow,
Before a new dinner appeared in its place.


' YOUR mother gave you half-a-crown,

' Now tell me, Jack, how you employed it?'

* A famous whip I bought in Town,
' Indeed, Papa, I quite enjoy'd it.'

' Five shillings too, I know you had,
' If they are gone, pray tell me how ; J

< Some went in fruit that was but bad ;
' I paid the rest to see a show.'


'Two shillings, since you came from school,
' I gave you for your weekly pay:

v I hope you have npt played the fool,
' And thrown that money too, away/ -

< I tossed up, heads or tails, with Nurse,
' And lost the first, but never fretted^

' The other bought a leather purse
' To hold more money when I get it.'

' And so, upon your idle self

' You squandered all that you possessed:;
' Forgetting that your worldly pelf

' Should feed and succour the distressed.

* How many a poor and hungry mouth
' Tha-t nine and sixpence would have fed ;

' While all around us, north and south,
' Are fellow-creatures wanting 1 bread !


1 1 do not mean to make you spend
' In charity your all^ unwilling ;

1 But some assistance you should tend,
' And give a part of every shilling-.

i So, till I find that you discover
* The real use to make of plenty,

' Your week's allowance must stand over,.
' And still the leather purse be empty. 5





DEAR aunt/ said little Sam,
' How very strange it strikes me,
: But yet quite sure 1 am,
' Your servants do not like me.


< I see it in their faces,
' A nasty grumbling set ;

' I wish you'd change their places,
' Or all new servants get.

' At least, with all their spite,
' One comfort I've in store ;

* That whether wrong or right
' I like myself the more/

His aunt now gently tried
To speak a word in season ;

'My dear,' she softly cried,
' I'll put it to your reason.

' Say, which is soonest done,
' And most within your reach-.

' To mend the faults of One,
'Or half a dozen teach?



' That One is always present,
/ And when a fault you find,

' His looks will still be pleasant,
' Nor deemed unkind..

' Indeed I'm very sure
* That if you but desire

' His evil ways to cure,

' He'll be what you require/

c Now, aunt, 1 see you're joking-,
' And think that I'm to blame ;

' But surely 'tis provoking,
' And you would say the same,

' If you could see their look,
' And hear their cross replies ;

* When I would chat with Cook,
' And see her make her pies,.


' And if I ring the bell,

' And try to make them fear me,
' The footman seems to swell,

' And scarce will stay to hear me.'

' My dear, I still must say,
' If others you're for mending,

* The best and easiest way
' Is, to yourself attending-.

' Your visits to the kitchen

' Have but a greedy look ;
1 For fruit that she is rich in,

' They think you coax the Cook.

: And when the minute after

' You try to play the man ;
1 You only raise their laughter,

' Their fears you never can.


' But if you fret and teaze them
' With foolish haughty airs,

' In vain you try to please them
' By gossiping down stairs.

' Be gentle and be kind,
' But never make too free ;

' I'm sure you then will find
They like both you and me/

The sequel of my story

Is settled in a trice,
For Samuel, to his glory,

Obeyed his aunt's advice.

He tried to speak politely,
And give but little trouble ;

And found she augured rightly,
Their zeal and care were double.


For servants lore to wait
On children who are good ;

But boys who scold and prate,.
Make all around them rude.




THE fire was stirred, the tea prepar'd,
But not a child the banquet shared ;
For expectation led them all
From parlour windows to the hall ;
To every knock and ring- they listened,
At every sound their bright eyes glistened:

D a.


And e'en Mamma, with anxious look,

A share in all their watchings took.

At last a louder knock was heard,

A chariot on the pavement stirred ;

And soon, to quiet all alarms,

Their sister clasped them in her arms.

With rapture welcomed, young LOUISA

Sees every eye intent to please her :

The seat they loved, ' next their mother's

Is first assigned her hy her brothers.

The babies tjien, whose joy is stuffing,

Supply her well with cake and muffin ;

And all so many questions ask,

That answering is no easy task.

' Louisa, dear, you're come at last!

' We thought a month would ne'er be past.

' Fint tell us how you liked your visit:

The Country's not like Brook-Street, is it?


' You wrote about the garden flowers,
' Would any of them grow in ours ?
' Would flower-pots ranged on the leads
' Look like my uncle's violet beds ?
' What could you play at, all alone ?

* Poor girl, how tired you must have grown !
' How glad you must have been to-day,

* On travelling the London way!*
Louisa looked around and smiled
On every fond, caressing child ;

* I do indeed/ she said, ' rejoice

' To hear each kind, familiar voice;

* My dear Mamma again to see,

* Again with you at home to be.
' But as for play, I had it there,

' A child, I think, plays every where ;
( And little chance of being tired
'In scenes so new and so admired;
D 3

- 38

' The garden walks, the fields, the river,

' I think I could have loved for ever.

' As soon as we were conic down stairs,

' The bell was rung- for morning- prayers,

' A chapter then my uncle read,

' And words of explanation said,

' Advising 1 us, throng-lie ut the day

' To think on what the Scriptures say ;

' By them to measure good and ill,

' And learn to do Our Saviour's will.

' Then breakfast came ; then all my lessons,

' My aunt allowed of no transgressions,

' Because, the way to shew my love

' For dear Mamma, was, to improve.

* The lessons over, aunt and I

' Walked to the village, when 'twas dry,

' On purpose at the school to call;

' And this I liked the best of all.

( The reading classes brought their books,
' And we put on our stately looks ;
' The elder ones my aunt instructed;
' But I a little class conducted,
' For we had scholars in such plenty,
' My share alone was nearly twenty.
' We heard them read, and made them spell,
' Rewarding those who did it well
' Wi|h copy-books my aunt had brought,
( For she and I tbe writing taught ;
' While those who wrote the very best,
* Were still distinguished from the rest
' By cyphering lessons, for a treat,
' To make their learning quite complete.
' One day, you would have been delighted,
' The scholars then were all invited
' To dine with us on beef and pudding ;
' Be sure my aunt put what was good in.
D 4


' The tables, ranged upon the lawn,

' It was my province to adorn :

' I decked them out in rural state

' With nosegays laid on every plate.

' My uncle carved, when grace was said,

' I handed round the plates and bread ;

' And when the feast was cleared away,

' They sang a hymn, then went to play.

' Ah! dear Mamma, how much I wish *

f Papa and you were very rich,

' That we a country-house might take,

* Such scholars and such feasts to make !

' I know you blame all idle wishes,

' But not from motives such as this is ;

' I long the privilege to gain

' Of having lived not quite in vain :

' And should we not our dwelling choose

' Where we can be of greatest use V


' My dear/ her Mother said, ' the choice
' Of dwelling" hangs not on your voice ;
' And you mispend your time and care
' By building 1 school-rooms in the air.
' On this you may rely as truth,
' No station falls, to age or youth,
' But gives the means, well understood,
' Of serving God, and doing good.

* For instance, though no public school
' Is here committed to your rule ;

' Yet private scholars need not fail,
' Within your own domestic pale ;
' And it should always be your care
' To make your first exertions there.

* Suppose you now attempt to teach

' Our young ones here the parts of speech.
' Or Sarah Brown, the nursery maid,

* Who would not be of you afraid ;


* If she could once the Bible read,

* 'T would be a useful work indeed !

' Or, if she could, through your assistance,
' Address her mother at a distance,
' And duteous letters learn to write,
' Think what would be their fond delight!'
' Oh ! yes, dear Mother/ cried Louisa/
As new-formed hope began to seize her,
' I'll try to make poor Sarah Brown
' The brightest nursery-maid in Town ;
' And not to lose a single day,

* She shall to-night her letters say ;

' Her copy-book I'll buy to-morrow:

* And kiss you, now you've cured my sorrow !'




LOUISA kept her promise truly,
Tutored her little brothers duly,
And taught the nursery-maid to spell,
And even write extremely well.
Besides these daily occupations,
Her studies, lessons, recreations,


Engrossed her time, nor left a void

That was not usefully employed.

But still she managed every day,

For half an hour to steal away,

And slily in her room to paint,

In colours neither dull nor faint,

A gay portfolio she had made,

With purple ribbons overlaid :

At length the work was quite complete,.

She packed it up in papers neat,

And duly to her aunt directed,

Then brought it down to be inspected.

' My dear Mamma/ she cried, ' you know

' My aunt will scarce a smile bestow

' On any gift her nieces send,

* If other hands assistance lend ;

' And so, in hopes to give her pleasure,.

' I've laboured in my little measure,


c And made, and trimmed, and ornamented

* A paper case that I invented/
So saying-, she display'd the case,
Whose border painted roses grace ;
But in the centre of the work,
She figured an enormous Stork:
' My dear, I like your border well,

' But why the Stork, I cannot tell/
' Mamma, the Stork is meant to shew
' The love and gratitude I owe.
' From place to place his sire he brings,
1 When age benumbs his father's wings,
' And so my wishes and my will

* Would lead me to attend you still:
< The female Stork, as Writers say,

* Contrives her hostess to repay,

' And where she builds for years together,
' The first year she throws down a feather .;


' The next a portion of her eggs,

' The third, a bird upon its legs.

' And so my little paper case

' May serve to take the feather's place,

' And shew my aunt a thankful feeling,

' 'Tis all a little girl can deal in.

' But when my powers with years augment.

' If she permit and you consent,

' I hope to give a worthy token

' Of all the love of which I've spoken,

' And do some useful work or other,

( For her, and you, my dearest mother.:'



< MAMMA/ said Little Dick,
' Pray answer me a question ;.

1 Folks say I make them sick,
' And shew me no affection.

' Now tell me what's the reason.

' Of all this fuss and fright ;
' And why, at every season,

' They seem to shcm my sight?


; I do not think I'm cross

' In studying or playing,
r Nor do I mind a loss,

' Or tell what they are saying-/

f My dear/ replied his mother,
' I know your heart is kind;

f Nor can I name another
In whom more truth I find:

< Good sense^ is also your's,
' And love for all around you ;

' Yet none your love endures,
' Of playmates I have found you.

' Now listen while Pm telling-
' The cause of this dislike ;

' And why in any dwelling 1 ,
' Your presence none can like:


' Your hands are always dirty ;

' Your hair is never brushed;
' You seem to think 'twould hurt ye

' To be with towel touched.

' Your shoes the carpets soil,
' Your fingers stain the books ;

' And every thing- you spoil,
' That neat or pretty looks.

s At dinner none can bear

' That you should sit too near them ;
* Because you tilt your chair,

' And so with soup besmear them.

< I know you would not lose
' A book or toy you borrow ;

( Yet all your friends refuse,
' Or lend them you with sorrow: N


' Because, when you return them,

' Their beauty is defaced ;
' And tidy people spurn them,

* By dirty hands disgraced.

' E'en I, who love you dearly,
' Can't take you for a walk ;
' You're such a sloven really,

* That people stare and talk.

But try, my little Dick,

* To be more neat and careful,
4 To mend your manners quick,

* And make your mother chearful.

* You need not then complain

' That all your playmates scorn you ;
' Their love will come again,

* When tidy ways adorn you/




ON Willy's fifth birth-day he changed, as a treat,
His frocks for a jacket and trowsers complete ;.
And strutting- about in his novel attire,
He called on his sisters to see and admire.
Each gave him a sixpence to pat in his pocket,
But Willy preferred with good halfpence to stock it ;


So changing his silver as soon as he could,

He., ran to the window in frolicsome mood,

And held out his pence in a box without lid,

That neither such dress nor such wealth might be hid :

Some passengers smiled, and he saw them look in too,

He hoped he should pass for a man at the window ;

He thought they might even suppose from his dress,

That he was Papa, only grown rather less ;

But while he indulged in these fanciful notions,

A poor beggar boy was observing his motions,

And coming up close to the window he said,

' Pray give me a penny to buy me some bread.'

* Take some, then/ cried Willy, and kindly held out

His box to the beggar, who, standing in doubt,

At last took a halfpenny, making a bow,

And said, This will buy me a roll, master, now.'

Then Willy's Papa, who had seen the transaction,

And noticed the poor beggar-boy's modest action,


Exclaimed, ' I am sure you're a good little boy;
' But why don't you seek to obtain some employ ?'
' Ah,. Sir/ he replied, ' while I'd crossing's to sweep,
' I managed myself and my mother to keep;


Online LibraryVictor von RichterMamma's verses, or, Lines for little Londoners → online text (page 1 of 2)