The Baldwin Library
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OLD MERRY TALES for YOUNG MERRY HEARTS,
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ENCOURAGE KINDLY FEELINGS; inculcated in the
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SHIPWRECK and ADVENTURES of J. P. TWINING
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27 DEAN AND SON, II. LUDGATE HILl.. LONDON.
AN EASY GUIDE TO GEOGRAPHY: Foa Tns UEi or
SCHOOLS AND PRIVATE INSTRUCTORS. BY CHARLES BUiLER.
A new, pleasing, and concise description of the Five great divisions of
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PAPA AND MAMMA'S EASY LESSONS IN GEOGRA.
PHY; OR, ELEMENTS OF GEOGRAPHY, IN A NEW AND AT-
By ANNA MANIA SAMORANV, Author of Bible Geography, Tales of
the Reformation, &c Embellished with many Illustrations: and
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PAPA AND MAMMA'S EASY LESSONS IN ARITH-
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PAPA and MAMMA'S EASY LESSONS IN GEOGRAPHY.
Price Is. stiff cover, or Is. 6d. cloth.
THE PLAY GRAMMAR; or, TAH EI.EMRNTS OF GRAMMAR
EXPLAINED IN SHORT AND EASY GAMES.
By Miss CORNER. Is. 6d. cloth lettered, with richly coloured
frontispiece, and numerous engravings on wood; or, Is.
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SMissCorner's Play Grammaris, beyond all coniarison. the best contrivance
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One of the prettiest and cheapest of children's books, and at the same
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mar that we have seen."-Watchman.
SCRIPTURE NATURAL HISTORY; BY THE RIv. J.
YOUNG, A.M. A ple"singdescription of the nature and habits of the
most ateresting and wonderful of the Works of God, as exhibited in
Crem ton, and recorded in Scripture.
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This Is in all respects an admirable book for the young. The engrsvingf
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an altuKether, the hook. cnomhlnln' an cleginrt ail)earance with a well choser
and ably treated subject, is one of 'rie heat o t cat ."--ass.''CArl~ t WI'ls.
'It .l t I \l'IIlt llkid M iJM #IV iiF Jil .
Samuel informing Eli of the death of his Sons.
SUNDAYS WITH NAMMA; Short Stories, from the
BI1l.E, explanatory of the COMMANDMENTS, and well calculated to
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COUSIN MINNIE's TALES for YOUNG CHRISTIANS.
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HAPPY SUNDAY BOOK OF PAINTED PICTURES;
containing upwards of fifty large coloured engravings, illustrative of
the leading events set eorth in Scripture, two in each page, with verses
to each picture, by James Bishop, descriptive of the incident represented.
Half bound in boards, with fancy cover, price 3s. Gd.
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THE ELEMENTS @F
OMN tAY CAMES.
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EIGHTTEENTH EDITION,.ENLARGED AND IMPROVED.
DEAN AND SON, 11, LUDGATE HILL,
EDUCATIONAL BOOK WAREBOUnS.
A KNOWLEDGE of the first principles of
Grammar may be communicated to children
at a very early age, if pains be taken to
render the subject amusing and agreeable
The same lesson may be repeated a dozen
times, by rote, without much benefit; but
only create an interest in the subject, and
a motive for desiring to understand it, and
the object will speedily be gained.
The first and most important work in
laying the foundation of any branch of
education, is to induce the child to THINK;
and, for this purpose, no plan has been
found more successful than to convert
study into pastime, which affords enter-
tainment while it conveys instruction.
Such is the design of the "PLAY
GRAMMAR," and although little beyond
the mere rudiments are attempted to be
given in this form, still, an intimate ac-
quaintance with these, is a material step
gained, and smoothes the way to more
I OH MAMMA," said
Little Fanny, one morning,
I after breakfast, will you tell
Herbert and me how to play
W)I.1 7 the game you spoke of last
"night, and which you called the
Play Grammar ?"
Do, mamma!" exclaimed Her-
bert. I should like to know
more about it."
"And so should I," repeated Fanny;
for my birth-day will soon be here,
and our cousins are coming to spend the
day, you know; so we could amuse them
with it, and puzzle them, as you puzzled
us, last night. Julia is fond of puzzles and
"Well, my dears," said their mamma
" I have not the least objection; so, if you
like, we will begin, now."
The Play Grammar was brought, and the
two children sat down at the table with
their mamma, who asked Fanny how many
days would elapse before her birth-day.
The little girl counted the days with her
fingers, and found there would be twelve.
"Then you will just have time to get
through our Play Grammar," said her
mamma, "for it is in ten divisions, and we
will take one of them each day."
"Will this game teach us grammar?"
"Yes, my dear, it will teach you some-
thing of grammar; in the same way that
your puzzle-maps teach you something of
"Oh! that will be capital," said Her-
bert; "because we shall learn, and be
amused too. I am impatient to begin."
'VOW then, Herbert," said his mamma
" Do you know how many parts of speech
there are ?"
Herbert could not answer this question;
and Fanny asked if the parts of speech
were not very difficult to learn.
Not at all," said her mamma, smiling;
"every word you make use of is a part of
Is it, indeed!" exclaimed the little girl;
" I thought parts of speech were all very
What is speech, Fanny?"
"Speech, mamma ?-Why, speech is
"Very well; and talking is saying a
great many words, is it not?"
"And one word is a part of this talk
ing; therefore, one word must be a part
"But can we tell how many there are:"
said Herbert; we cannot even count all
the words we say."
"True, Herbert; but, although every
word we say is a part of speech, there are
only nine parts of speech, after all."
Oh mamma, you must be jesting,"
exclaimed both the children.
"No, I do not jest, I assure you; we
indeed say a great many more words than
could be counted, still those words are but
of nine kinds, and each kind has a name
which, in grammar, is called a part of
speech. For instance, the names of things
that we can see, are called nouns; and the
names of all things that we can do, are
"Oh, that is easily understood," said
Fanny, "all the things we can see, are
nouns:-" then a chair is a noun, and the
carpet is a noun, and the table is a noun,
and this book is a noun, and all the things
in this room are nouns;-but my doll is not
a noun, I suppose."
"Why not, my dear?"
"Because I cannot see her, mamma;
she is up stairs."
"Could you see her, if she were here,
"Yes, mamma; you know I could,"
replied Fanny, laughing.
"Well, then, she is just as much a noun
as if you had her in your arms."
"Is she?" said Fanny, "then I suppose
all things are nouns that we could see, if
they were here."
"Yes, my dear; NOUN means NAME,
and doll is a name. Things we cannot see
have names also; as joy, happiness, grief;
and these are all nouns, for they can be
"Dear me, how easy?" exclaimed the
little girl. Now, I think I know all about
"So do I," said Herbert, "and mamma,
what was it you said about the things that
we can do?"
"I said, that a word meaning any thing
we can do, or that is done, is a verb;
Fanny has cleverly named several nouns;-
can you tell me any words that are verbs?"
"I can," said Herbert. "We can read,
so to read is a verb; and we can play, so
to play is a verb."
"Yes," said Fanny, "and we can talk,
and laugh, and skip, and sing, and many,
many things we can do. What a number
of verbs there must be?"
"Yes, there are a great number, and a
great number of nouns, too; and as you
seem to know these two of the nine parts
of speech, you may try the first game in the
book, by pointing out each noun and verb
in some of the sentences; and whoever
misses one, is to pay a forfeit."
"But how should we know, mamma, if
we were playing by ourselves, and had no
one to tell us when we missed?" enquired
', You would find out by looking at the
Play Grammar," replied his mamma.
"I am longing to begin," said Herbert,
" and I wonder which of us will have to
pay the greater number of forfeits."
"I shall, I dare say, because I am
younger than you are," said Fanny.
"Well, Herbert, you may begin," said
their mamma; read a sentence, then point
out each noun and verb.
"Herbert, smiling, read as follows:-
"Here we see three little girls in an
arbour. See is a verb," said he, for it
is something we do; and girls is a noun,
for we can see girls."
"But there is another noun," said Fanny,
"and that as arbour: for we could see an
arbour; so pay a forfeit, master Herbert."
"No, no, Fanny, I had not done; I was
going to say arbour, therefore, you were
"I think I was," said the little girl.
"Now it is my turn,-but, mamma, are
there any more nouns or verbs in that
No, my dear."
Fanny read-" The shepherd sits under
a tree, and
plays tunes on __
his pipe, while .
the little lambs frisk '
around their mothers on the cool grass."
"I will say the nouns first," said Fanny,
" and then the verbs,-Shepherd is a noun,
for I could see a shepherd;-tree is a noun;
-tunes is a noun, and one of the nouns we
cannot see; and pipe, lambs, and grass, are
"You have missed one, Fanny."
"Have I, mamma,-what can that be?"
"I see which it is," cried Herbert,
"it is mothers. The lambs' mothers are
the sheep, and we could see them."
So we could," said Fanny, then I must
pay a forfeit,-here is my domino-box."
Her mamma took the box, the first for-
feit, and, putting it aside, told Fanny to
point out the verbs.
"Verbs are things that we can do," said
Fanny. "The shepherd sits,-sits is a
verb,-under a tree,-and plays,-plays is
a verb,-on his pipe, while the little lambs
frisk,-frisk is a verb,-around their mo-
thers on the cool grass; there are no more
verbs, I think, mamma."
"No, there are no more verbs. Now
Herbert, it is your turn.
swim in the
and the wil-
bends its long branches, to shade them
from the hot sun."
"Now, for the nouns," said Herbert;
"ducks, pond, willow, branches, and sun."
"Very well, Herbert, those are all the
Yes, mamma, and the verbs are swim;
I can swim, you know; so that must be a
verb; but I don't see any more."
"Then I am afraid you will have to pay
me a forfeit, Herbert, for there are two
Bends is a verb," said Fanny; we can
bend any thing; I can bend my needle, and
you can bend your cane, Herbert."
Herbert had, indeed, not considered this
as a verb, but neither he nor Fanny could
find out the other. Their mamma told
them it was to shade; but they both said,
that to shade was not any thing they could
"Not exactly," said mamma, "nor can
you fly, and yet to fly is a verb,-a bird
flies, and a tree shades, therefore they are
both things that are done."
Then you have two forfeits to pay,
Herbert," said Fanny, clapping her hands;
" where are they ?"
Herbert gave his pen-knife and pencil-
case. which were put with Fanny's box.
Fanny then took the book and read the
next sentence; which ran thus:-
"The sun shines brightly, and the birds
sing in the trees."
"The sun is a noun," said she, "and the
thirds and the trees, are nouns, for I can see
them all; and shines is a verb, for that is
what the sun does; and sing is a verb, for
that is what the birds do, and what I can
Very well, Fanny; you have made no
mistake this time. We will leave off now;
and in the evening, papa will be good
enough to say how your forfeits may be re-
"Yes," said Fanny; "and papa will be
sure to make some fun." This point being
settled, the children ran off to play, quite
convinced that grammar was the most
amusing study in the world.
THE next day, when Fanny
and Herbert had finished
their usual lessons, they
asked if they might have
another game at grammar,
and their kind mamma as-
senting, the amusement was
In the first place," said
Smamma, "you are each to
mention three verbs and three
That we can easily do,-
and I will begin," said'Herbert.
"Let me see,-three verbs-
is, three things that I can do,-walk, eat,
and drink. And three things that I can
see,-chair, table, book."
"Very well, Herbert; no forfeit for you
"Yes, mamma, I have thought of three
words,-jump, dance, and run."
"Quite right, my dear; now tell me
"Three nouns," repeated Fanny, looking
at the fire-place;-" three things that I
can see:-the poker, the tongs, and the
shovel. I can see them."
"Very well, Fanny, no forfeit yet; but
you say, the shovel; now, which of those
two words is the noun ?"
"S ovel, to be sure, mamma; that is
what I can see,-the is nothing; it is only
a little word of no consequence."
But it is of great consequence, I assure
you, for it is one of the nine parts of
"Is it? What, that little tiny word?"
"Yes; that, and another little tiny word,
are called articles; and an article is one of
the parts of speech."
"What is the other word?" asked Her-
"The other is a very little word indeed,'"
replied his mamma, "it is the letter a.
We can either say, the book, or a book;
the table, or a table; and these two little
words, the and a, are called articles; there-
fore, you see, although there are many
nouns and many verbs, there are but two
"How very droll, mamma," said Fanny,
"that two such very little words should
make of themselves one of the parts of
"It is droll, Fanny; but a is sometimes
too little of itself; and when that is the case
we give it a companion, or helper."
"How is that, mamma?" said Herbert.
"It needs the other letter, my dear, when
a by itself would sound awkwardly;-for
instance, we should not say a orange, we
should say an orange, because it sounds
Yes, so it does," said Fanny; but can
we always know by the sound whether we
ought to say a or an?"
"You may usually tell by the sound, my
dear; but the surer way is to remember
that the article a is allowed the help of the
letter n only before words that begin with
a vowel:-you know which letters are
vowels, do you not?"
"Yes, mamma,- a e i o u; the others
"Now think of five nouns, each begin-
ning with a different vowel, and see whe-
ther you would put a or an before it."
Fanny thought of apple, egg, ink-stand.
ox, uncle; and she found it sounded far
better to say, an apple, an egg, an ink-
stand, an ox, an uncle; than to say a
apple, a egg, a inkstand, a ox, a uncle.
"Now, try some nouns beginning with a
consonant," said her mamma.
"I will;-it is my turn," said Herbert,
"b, c, and d, are consonants,-box, coat,
and doll, are nouns beginning with conso-
nants; we should say, a box, a coat, a doll;
not an box, an coat, an doll."
But you will understand, my dears, that
although a is changed to an before a vowel.
it does not make three articles."
"Yes, mamma, we see that."
"I shall now tell you about adjectives,
and then you will be able to play the next
"That will be capital!" cried Herbert,
"I like the games."
"How fond you are of saying capital,
Herbert;" said Fanny.
"Well, it's a very good word," replied
her brother; is it not, mamma?"
"It suits the occasion, Herbert, because
it happens to be an adjective."
Is it, indeed? how very curious'"
"Not very curious, my dear; for we
scarcely ever speak of any thing without
saying some words that are adjectives."
"Do I say any adjectives when I talk
about things?" asked Fanny.
Suppose you try," replied her mamma;
" say something about baby."
"Baby, mamma; Oh' he is a dear, good
"There, Fanny, you have said three
adjectives in that short sentence."
Have I, indeed! which are they?"
"If I tell you the meaning of an adjec-
tive, perhaps you may be clever enough to
distinguish them yourself."
I shall like to try, mamma."
You said your brother was a dear, good
little boy;-what part of speech is boy?"
A noun, mamma;-we can see a boy."
"Yes, that's right;-but if you were to
tell me that you had seen a boy, I should
not know whether he was a big boy, or a
little boy, or what sort of boy he was.
The noun is the thing we speak of, and the
use of an adjective is to tell us what sort
of thing the noun is; so now try if you can
find out the three adjectives you used
when you spoke of baby."
"I think I can," said Fanny;-" dear,-
good,-little;-they are the words that tell
us what sort of boy he is."
"Exactly; I am glad to find you under-
stand me. Now we may begin the game.
Here are two pictures, and all the
words beneath them are either articles,
nouns, verbs, or adjectives;.you are to tell
me of what parts of speech each sentence
I will begin," said Fanny. "Oh, here's
a pretty picture;
and the words
it are -__-
A little white mouse eating the cheese.
"A, is an article; little, is an adjective;
white is a noun; mouse,-
"Stop, Fanny, not quite so fast; white
is not a noun."
"Not a noun, mamma -I can see white."
"You can see that the mouse is white;
but were you to tell me that you had seen
a white, I should not understand you, and
should say, 'a white what?' my dear."
This appeared so droll to both the chil-
dren, that they laughed heartily. Their
mamma explained, telling them that no
words were nouns unless they meant some-
thing by themselves, without any other
word joined to them.
"Besides," she continued, "the word
white is used in this sentence to tell us
what kind of mouse it is that is eating the
cheese; so that if we did not see the pic-
ture, we should know that it was a white
mouse, not a brown one."
"Ah, so we should," said Fanny; I see
now, mamma, that white is an adjective."
"Yes, my dear; the name of any colour
is an adjective and not a noun, as it does
not express the thing itself, but merely the
colour of it."
"Your forfeit, Fanny?" said Herbert.
Here it is," replied Fanny, giving her
ball; and now let me finish my sentence.
Mouse, is, a noun; eating,-thatis what it
is doing, so eating must be a verb: the is
an article; and cheese is a noun."
Now, Herbert, here is your picture;
and the words,-
here he is; ,
Herbert took the book, and went through
his sentence, without the least hesitation,
explaining it thus-
A is an article; little, an adjective;
boy, a noun; riding, a verb; the, an arti-
cle; grey, an adjective; and pony is a
"Well done, Herbert; I think I may
borrow your favourite word, and say, cap-
ital! But we must leave off now, my dear
children; for here comes nurse to say your
dinner is ready."
"Oh dear! and Herbert has not had to
pay a forfeit?" exclaimed Fanny.
"No; because I did not call gre9 a
noun;" said Herbert, looking slily.
Nor should I have called white a noun,"
replied his sister, "if I had heard, before I
read my sentence, that all words meaning
colours, are adjectives."
"Well, I dare say you would not," said
Herbert, good-naturedly, "so do not oe
Fanny smiled, and they both ran up
stairs, with merry hearts and cheerful
faces, to dine with the younger children in
S the baby
he can go by
himself all across the nursery."
Such was Fanny's joyful ex-
clamation on entering the room
where her mamma and brother
were waiting for her.
"I was just going to
journeys," said mam-
ma; "but you have
come in time, Fanny,
to receive the pleasure
S of being the first to
) give him the agreeable
Herbert's countenance showed
Plainly that he was inclined to
go to the nursery and see baby's
performance; but his desire to
proceed with the Play Grammar checked
him: and he said. after a little hesitation,
"Come, Fanny, let us begin our game."
But Fanny could not instantly abandon
the delightful thought of baby's new at-
traction; and, with increased earnestness,
said "Does he not run nicely, mamma?"
"Yes, my dear, he does, indeed, for
such a little fellow; and his cleverness,
Fanny, I think may help you in this new
"Why, he cannot speak; how can he
help us "
"You will see, presently, Fanny. Did
you not say he could run nicely?"
"And what part of speech is to run ?"
"To run, is a verb, mamma; it is some-
thing we can do."
Certainly; to run is a verb. But can
you tell me what part of speech nicely is "
"It is an adverb,-and the next game is
about adverbs, is it not, Herbert:"
"Yes, it is, mamma; here, you see;-
'Game of adverbs.'"
"Before you begin," said their mamma.
"I must explain to you what adverbs are."
"But I want to know how baby is to
help us," said Fanny.
"We shall come to that directly," re-
plied her mamma; first try if you can tell
me what an adjective is, Fanny."
"Oh, yes, I remember, mamma; when
we speak of any thing, we put an adjective
to it, to tell what sort of thing it is."
"Yes, my dear; an adjective is used
with a noun for that purpose; and an ad-
verb is used in the same way with a verb,
to tell us in what manner any thing is
done; therefore, when you say baby can
run nicely, run is the verb that tells what
he can do, and nicely is the adverb that
tells how he can do it; so now I believe
baby has been the means of making you
understand what an adverb is."
Fanny laughed, and said that he had;
she saw now what her mamma meant by
saying, that baby might help her in the
Is there any thing more to tell us about
adverbs, mamma ?" asked Herbert.
Yes, my dear, the words that are used
to tell us when as well as how a thing is
done, are also adverbs; for instance, we
may say we dine early or late; that we
mean to go into the country soon; and I
may remind you, Fanny, of an adverb that
you are rather too fond of using. Can you
guess what it is "
Why, my dear, you are very apt to say
'I will do it presently, mamma,' when it
would be much better to use another ad-
verb, and say I will do it now, mamma."
Fanny blushed, and said she would en-
deavour to recollect for the future.
The Grammar game now proceeded, the
exercises being on adverbs, and displaying
a number of little pictures, under each of
which was a sentence wanting one word
to complete it, and that word was to be an
adverb. The players were to consider, in
turns, what these words ought to be."
The first picture represented an old
cobbler at work in his stall, and beneath
it was written:
This old cobbler mends shoes-
Now, Fanny," said her mamma, "you
must put in some adverb that will inform
us how he mended shoes."
"I dare say he mended them neatly,"
said Fanny, "for he looks like a very tidy
cobbler. Is neatly an adverb, mamma?"
"Yes, my dear; but perhaps it is not
the right one; I must look at the place
where the word is named."
She looked, and found it was not the
right word, so Fanny had to ,pay a forfeit.
Herbert thought that the adverb ought
to be clumsily; for I am sure it looks like
a thick clumsy shoe," said he. But clum-
sily not being the word, Herbert had to
Is it well, mamma?"
Yes, Fanny; you are right now. This
old cobbler mends shoes well."
The next picture was that of a village
The bells are ringing---
It is my turn to guess," cried Herbert;
"the bells are ringing noisily."
"Guessing will not serve you, Herbert;
noisily is not the word; we must find some
Herbert paid his forfeit; and Fanny,
having thought an instant, said "merrily,"
-which was right.
There were many more pictures, so that
Herbert and Fanny amused themselves all
the rest of the morning with selectifig
adverbs, sometimes one being right, and
sometimes the other.
At two o'clock their mamma said it was
time to leave off, and count the forfeits,
when, to Fanny's great delight, she found
that Herbert had paid two more than she
had. They were put awaytAill the evening,
as Fanny said no one could cry forfeits so
well as papa. For papa, therefore, the
task was reserved.
Play Grammar, to day, is
about pronouns, mamma;
will you be so good as to
tell us what they are?"
"Yes, Herbert, I will do
so most willingly. They
are the nouns' servants,
that work while their masters
Oh! mamma," said
Fanny, "you are
Indeed, it is so,
my dear; look out of the win-
dow. Do you not see some
one playing in the field?"
/ "Yes, mamma; it is a boy."
"What part of speech is
S boy, Fanny?"
"A noun. mamma." o
"Yes, certainly; boy is a
noun: and now tell me what
that boy is doing."
"He is tossing a ball."
"Whom do you mean, when
you say he?"
"I mean the boy, mamma."
"Exactly so; you made use of the word
he instead of the word boy; that is,-the
pronoun worked while the noun rested."
"Ah, I understand," said Fanny, "but
the nouns must work a little, or the pro-
nouns would be of no use."
"Yes," replied her mamma, "as in this
instance; for if I did not see the boy, and
you were to say-' mamma, he is tossing a
ball,' how should I know what you meant?
but if you were to say there is a boy in the
field, and he is tossing a ball,' then I should
know that he meant the boy. It is necessary
to mention the person first, that it may be
known who is meant by the word he or she;
for suppose I should say to you-' she is
ng next week,' should you know who
"But if I were to say, 'I have heard
from your Aunt: she is coming next week,
then you would understand whom I meant
"Yes, of course,; you would mean my
"And what part of speech is aunt?"
"Aunt is a noun, mamma."
"Then, I .suppose," said Herbert, she
is a pronoun, because it is used instead of
Yes, Herbert, you are quite right."
"But we might do without pronouns,
"Perhaps we might, but we should not
like to hear the noun repeated for want of
a pronoun. How do you think it would
sound to say-' Papa went out this morn-
ing, but papa will be home to tea, and then
papa will let us redeem our forfeits?'"
Both the children laughed, and Herbert
said he could not have thought it would
sound so oddly.
"Now, let us try the same sentence,
using the pronouns," said his mamma.
" Papa went out this morning, but he will
be home to tea, and then he will let us
redeem our forefeits.'"
"Ah! that sounds a great deal better,"
said Herbert; we could not do very well
without pronouns, I see."
"No, Herbert; our language would be
very imperfect without them."
"Are there any more besides he and she,
mamma:" enquired Fanny.
"Yes, my dear; if you were speaking of
yourself, you would say I; and if you were
speaking of a chair, or a table, or any
other thing, what pronoun should you make
"Is there a pronoun for chairs and
tables?" said Herbert.
"I think," replied his mamma, "you
would find it sound quite as awkwardly to
talk of chairs and tables without a pro-
noun, as you did about your papa. Sup-
pose you try, Herbert,-say something
about this table."
"It is round," said Herbert.
"Why do you say it is round, instead of
the table is round?"
"Oh, I see, mamma; ;
it is the pronoun that
we use instead of saying
table over again."
"Yes, Herbert; and
you must remember that the pronouns we
are now speaking of are called personal
pronouns, for there are some other kinds
as we shall see presently; but I must first
teach you the numbers and persons."
The numbers!" exclaimed Fanny; "are
they grammar? What-one, two, three,
four, five, six. I know all the numbers up
to a hundred."
"But those are not the numbers that
are meant," said mamma, smiling; "in
grammar, there are only two numbers,
Fanny. They are called the singular and
the plural, and every noun we mention
is either one or the other."
"How are we to know which?" said
"Very easily, my dear. A noun is in the
singular number, when it means only one
thing; and when it means more than one,
it is in the plural number. For instance,
if I say a needle, that is a noun in the sin-
gular number; if I say, some needles, then
I speak of a noun in the plural number."
Oh, that is quite a different thing from
counting," said Fanny.
"Quite," replied her mamma; and pro-
nouns may be of different numbers as well
as nouns. When we say, he, she, or it, we
mean only one person or thing; but if we
speak of more than one, what do we say
"We say they," replied Herbert; "and
that must be the plural number, mamma."
"It is, my dear; and as I see you
understand about the numbers, we will
now talk of the persons. There are three
persons in grammar.
"The first person is always one's self,
Fanny. When you say, 'I did so and so,' I
is a pronoun of the first person; and it is
in the singular number, because it means
only one. The plural of I is we, because
when you say we, you are still speaking of
yourself, as well as of somebody else;
therefore the pronoun we is called the
first person plural, as it means more than
"What is the second person, mammal"
"The second person is the person or
persons we are speaking to. I am speak-
ing to you; therefore, the second person is
you, and it is used both for the singular
and the plural, although, in grammar, it is
always called plural."
How do you mean, mamma?" said
"I mean, my dear, that the pronoun
you, may signify either one person or more
than one; thus-if I were speaking to you
alone, and said 'you may go out, Fanny,'
you would mean one person only; but if I
said to you and your brother, 'you may go
out, my dears,' then you would mean two
persons. Do you understand?"
"Oh, yes, mamma; it all seems easy to
understand when you explain it to us.
But I wonder why the second person should
not be different as well as the first."
It was so formerly," replied her mam-
ma; "people used to say thou, when
speaking of one person; but the word thou
has been long discontinued in conversation;
and it would sound very formal to say thou,
although it would be strictly correct. Re..
member, however, that you is always called
plural in grammar, whether it refers to one
person or many."+
But you said there were three persons,
mamma," said Herbert: "you have told us
of two; what is the third person."
The third is the person or thing we are
speaking of, Herbert; and we say he, she,
or it, according to what we may happen to
be talking about. These three pronouns
are all of the singular number; the third
person of the plural number is they."
"Thank you, mamma," said Herbert.
"Are those all the pronouns?"
"Those are all the personal pronouns,
my dear; but there are several other kinds,
as for instance, the possessive pronouns,
which are used to show whose property
any thing is; that is, to whom it belongs.
If I say, this is my book,' my, a possessive
pronoun, shows that the book belongs to
me; and in the same manner we say, his
book, her book, our book, your book, and
And they are all possessive pronouns,
mamma, are they?" said Fanny.
"They are; because they show that the
person mentioned possesses something;-
for instance-if I say, this is your book,' it
shows that you possess a book."
"Ah, so it does," said Herbert; "I
think possessive is a very good name for
those pronouns, mamma:-but are some
of them singular, and some plural, like the
"Yes, certainly; for if you say, this is
my book,' it is evident the book belongs to
one person only; but if you say, this is our
book,' we understand that it belongs to
more persons than one; therefore, my is
singular, and our is plural."
"Thank you, mamma; now, may we
begin the game?"
"Yes, my dear; each of you select
one of of these pictures, and read what is
underneath it. Then picking out all the
pronouns, write them on a slate, describing
the person and number of each."
"Let me choose mine," said Herbert,
" Oh, here, I will have this horse-race."
"And I," said Fanny, "will have this
balloon; so now, Herbert, read your's
"Here is a gay scene It is a horse-
race. See what fine horses they are; I
wonder which will win the race. We shall
soon see, for they are just going to start.
The jockey in the scarlet jacket looks the
best; but perhaps he may not be the best
rider. Now they are going to begin."
"Mind what you are about, Herbert,"
said Fanny, "for papa will give a prize to
whichever of us has no forfeits."
"Yes; and mine is to be a new pencil,"
"And mine a pair of doll's shoes," said
Fanny; I will have blue kid."
You must win them first, Fanny," said
her mamma, laughing.
"Yes; I know that, mamma. I mean
if I should win them."
I have written down all the pronouns,"
said Herbert; at least, I think so. Look
mamma, if you please, and see if I have
He then read the words he had written
on his slate, which were these:-' It, they,
I, we, they, he, they."
"These are quite right, Herbert; now
write under each pronoun, whether it is
first, second, or third person, and also
whether it is singular or plural; and in the
meantime, Fanny can look out her pro-
Herbert set to work in the full hope of
earning a new pencil; while Fanny read as
"What are all those people doing
there? They are looking at the
balloon; we will stop and look too.
How steadily it is ascending to-
wards the clouds; through this
glass you may see a lady in it; she is
waving her handkerchief to the people
When Fanny had read this, she took
her slate, and reading the words again, to
find out the pronouns, wrote them down
as she came to them, thus;-They, we, it
you, it, she. "Are these all right, mamma.-"
"Yes, my dear; perfectly right. Now,
you may put the numbers and persons to
them, while I attend to Herbert, who, I
see, has his slate ready."
Herbert gave the slate to his mamma,
who read that which he had written, as
it, they, I,
third person, third person, first person,
singular. plural. singular.
we, they, he,
first person, third person, third person,
plural. plural. singular.
There's a god boy," said his mamma;
"you have fairly won the pencil."
"I thought I should," said Herbert, joy-
fully:-" and here is Fanny, with her
slate;-I hope she will get a prize, too."
"I am almost sure that I have made no
mistakes," said Fanny.
Joy beamed on the faces of the two
,children when, having looked over Fanny's
slate, their mamma told her the words were
correctly marked. You are a very good
attentive little girl, and it gives me plea-
sure to declare you are fully entitled to the
Before we leave off, I wish you to repeat
the personal pronouns in this manner;-
"First person singular-I.
Second person singular-thou.
Third person singular-he, she, tt.
First Person plural-we.
Second Person plural-you.
Third person plural-they."
They repeated this little lesson very
readily; and then the slates were put by
to show to their papa, who said that he
would much rather give prizes than cry
forfeits; and that same evening he took
Herbert and Fanny out to buy the pencil
and the doll's shoes.
THE subject of the
grammar game for the fol-
lowing day, was the Prepositions,
which Herbert and Fanny agreed
in thinking a very difficult word
to remember; but their mamma
said that they would not find it
so when they knew its meaning.
Then tell us what it means,
if you please," said Fanny.
Position means the manner
in which any thing is placed;
Sand when we want to tell the
position of a thing, or wherea-
bout it is, we make use of a
preposition for that purpose; so
that if I tell you the footstool
is under the table, under is a pre-
position, because it is the word
that denotes the position of the
"Will you say some little sentence,
mamma, with a preposition in it, and let
me try if I can find out which it is?"
"With all my heart, Herbert. Suppose
I say, 'my thimble is in my work-box, and
my work-box is upon the table,'-now, how
many prepositions have I said?"
"Two, mamma, I think; one to tell me
where the thimble is, and the other where
the work-box is."
"Very well, my dear; and which is the
first of those two words?"
"The word in, I think mamma," replied
Herbert; but there are three words to tell
us where the thimble is, one word by itself
would not do."
"Certainly not, my dear; a preposition
can never be used by itself, it would make
no sense; still it is the word that lets us
know the position of the thimble in that
sentence you have just repeated; for you
might have said behind the work-box, or
upon the work-box."
"I see," replied Herbert; "in is the
"And which is the other word?"
"Let me tell that," said Fanny; "you
said the work-box is upon the table;-upon
is the preposition."
That is right, Fanny; I must, however
inform you that there are a great many
words that do not exactly point out the
place of things, and yet are prepositions."
"Are there, mamma; how are we t
"I shall explain that to you, Fanny.
We often talk about him, and me, and us;
for instance, I might say to you, 'come to
me;' or if baby were here, I might say,
'look at him;' or, you and Herbert might
say to me, 'will you go out with us?'
Now, any word that can be put before
him, or me, or us, must either be a prepo-
sition or a verb; and as you know how tr
tell which are verbs, you will easily fin,
out which are prepositions."
"Yes; that will not be difficult to do,'
said Fanny. "Whbn you say, 'Look a
him,' at is a preposition, because it comet
before the word him." E
"That is not exactly the reason why it is
a preposition, Fanny; for it is a preposition
just the same when it comes before any
other word; still you may generally know
if a word is a preposition or not, by trying
whether you could put it before either of
the pronouns, him, me, or us."
Those are pronouns, mamma, I remem-
"Yes, my dear; they are the personal
pronouns used in a different form, which
is called the objective case. Me is the
same as I; only, we do not say I after a
preposition; you would not say 'look at I,'
you would say, 'look at me.' So we is
altered into us, after a preposition, as
'look at us,' not look at we.' You may
now begin the game, the subject for which
is a ship."
"Here it is," said Herbert; "a ship in
full sail, and some verses under it. How
are we to practice with this, mamma?"
"You are each to read a verse in turn.
and tell me all the prepositions in it."
"Look at this gallant vessel, now,
With all her sails unfurled;
Her freight is tea, from China sent
To this part of the world.
Boldly she sails around the globe-
Her highway is the sea;
Before her prow the sparkling waves
Are dashed right gallantly.
Now she is homeward bound, her crew
Upon the deck all stand;
They think of loved ones,-friends,-of home,-
Of England's happy land.
Above them flies the British flag,
The waves are green below.
Speed on, brave ship, with swelling sails-
How steadily you go."
When Herbert had finished these verses,
he read over the first four lines again, and,
after considering for some time, said-the
prepositions were-at, with, from, to, and
"And how do you think I found them
out, mamma?" said he.
"I shall be glad to hear, Herbert," re-
plied his mamma.
Well, then, I tried which words I could
put me after, and I found it would not do
after any words but those I have told you,
and so I concluded that they were the
Fanny tried the next verse, by the same
rule, and found two prepositions, and those
were-around, and before.
Herbert then read the third verse, and
mentioned these words as prepositions-
upon, and of.
No forfeits yet!" cried Fanny. "You
will have another prize, Herbert."
"And so will you, Fanny, if you mind
what you are about."
"I shall mind," said the little girl; and
having read the last verse, she said-" The
prepositions are-on and with."
You have missed two, Fanny;" said her
mamma. "Go over the verse again."
"Oh, dear! mamma, I see;-we could
say-' above me' and below me;' so above
and below are prepositions."
"To be sure, my dear; and if you had
taken a little more time to consider, you
might have known that the words above
and below denote position or place."
"Yes, mamma; I shall not make the
On, dear! oh, dear!" exclaimed
Fanny, as she limped into the par-
lour, I have struck my toe against
a stair, and can hardly walk."
"I hope you are not much hurt, my
"No mamma; but it is provoking to
lose time, when I am in a hurry to renew
the grammar game."
It is so, I confess; and it is quite time
to begin. Herbert has been studying by
himself for the last ten minutes."
"And I find," said Herbert, "that we
have but two more parts of speech to
learn; the Conjunction and the Interjec-
There is no game for them," continued
Herbert, but there are some funny verses
to learn about all the parts of speech, and
the last verse is about conjunctions and
"Oh! let me look," said Fanny; "are
we to learn these verses, mamma?"
"Yes, my dear."
"But will you not tell us, first, some-
thing about conjunctions and interjections,
mamma?" said Herbert.
His mamma replied that she would do so
most willingly; and accordingly explained
that conjunctions are words used chiefly to
connect sentences together, that is, to make
two or three sentences into one, as-
"I went out; but I did not stay long."
"Here are, in reality," she said, "two
distinct sentences. 'I went out,'-' I did
not stay long.' The meaning would be just
mne same without the word but, which is
of no other use than to join the two sen-
tences together, and thus avoid the dis-
agreeable effect that is produced by a
short, abrupt manner of speaking. Con-
junctions also join single words together,
as, you and I; this or that; and in such
cases they have a different meaning; for if
we say, you and I, we mean both of us;
but if we say, you or I, we mean only one
of us. There are many conjunctions, which
you will learn by degrees."
"And now pray tell us what interjec-
tions are, mamma?"
"When you came into the room, a little
while ago, crying Oh, dear! oh, dear." that
was an interjection, Fanny. They were
mere exclamations of distress. I have
heard you say, when any thing has sur-
prised you, 'La! papa,'-now if any one
were to ask you what you meant by 'la'
papa,'-you would be puzzled to tell your
meaning; and, in fact, such expressions
have no meaning, but are only sounds that
Show the state of our feelings at the mo-
ment. All such sounds are interjections."
"Thank you, mamma; now we know all
the parts of speech."
"Can you repeat them, Fanny."
"Yes, 1 think I can, mamma; I will
count on my fingers.
"Article, one, Pronoun, five,
Noun, two, Adverb, six,
Verb, three, Preposition, seven,
Adjective, four, Conjunction, eight,
and Interjection, nine."
"Very well, indeed, my good little girl;
it is a pleasure to teach children who are
attentive and do not forget what they
learn. Now, Herbert, suppose you read
"A Noun is the thing about which we converse;
And some nouns we can see,-such as these:-
Boy, river, hill, table, baby, and nurse;
And some are not seen, as fame, pain, and breeze.
The Adjective has its own place pointed out,
Where, if it is needful to know
What sort of a noun we are talking about,
Sws, 'tis handsome, or mean, good, high, or low.
The Articles arc but two odd little words,
A and the-as a father, a mother,
The beef, or the pudding, the children, the birds,
An uncle, an aunt, and a brother.
A Verb is an action, or what we can do;
We can eat, we can drink, sing a song;
And the state in which we may be, it means, too;-*
I'm awake,-I am bruised,-I am strong.
An Adverb informs us how most things are done,
So a tell-tale it is, I must say;
It tells how you walk, and tells how you run,
How you read, how you work, how you play.
The Pronouns pop in,-as you cannot forget,
Taking place of the nouns, as they may;-
The singular these-I, thou, he, she, and it;
The plural are-we, you, and they.
Prepositions show how things are placed, and
Put before certain pronouns, as thus-
Before them, after you, against him, under me,
Over her, beyond it, between us.
Conjunctions join phrases together, you'll see,
If you profit by what these games teach;
Interjections cry Oh! bless my heart! or, dear me.
And these are the Nine Parts of Speech."
HERBERT and FANNY were
now acquainted with all the
parts of speech, and were
anxious to know what the
next game in the Play Gram-
mar would be about.
My attentive little pu-
pils," said their mamma,"the
/ next game is called
But, of course, neither of them
knew the meaning of genders,
until their mamma explained it
to them, thus:
"A gender means a certain
kind. All things that have life,
(I mean, people and animals of all sorts,)
are either of the male kind, or of the female
kind; those that we call he, are male;
those that we call she, are female."
I knew that, mamma," said Fanny.
"You and I are females, and nurse is a
Yes, my dear; and your papa and your
brothers are males. Therefore, all persons
and animals of the male kind are of the
masculine gender, and all of the female
kind are of the feminine gender."
"Then I am of the masculine gender,
and Fanny is of the feminine gender," said
Exactly so, my dear; but as every noun
has a gender, things that have no life, and
consequently are neither male nor female,
are of the neuter gender. Now, can you
tell me how many genders there are?"
"Three," replied Herbert; "the mascu-
line, the feminine, and the neuter."
"Very well. What is the gender of this
"The neuter gender, mamma."
"And of our dog, Pompey?'
He is of the masculine gender."
"And of Fanny's little kitten."'
She is of the feminine gender, mamma."
"Just so; I see you understand the dif-
ference of gender; but before you begin
this game, I must tell you a little more
about nouns; therefore, first say, Herbert,
what you understand by a noun?"
It is any thing we can see, mamma."
True, my dear; but, as is said in
the verses you repeated, there are also
many nouns which signify things that can-
not be seen, such as truth, wisdom, folly
gratitude. All these words are nouns."
"Oh, dear! mamma," exclaimed Fanny,
"I fear it will be very difficult to distin-
"No, my love; with the assistance of
the articles, you may always ascertain
them; for if you are in doubt as to whe-
ther a word is a noun, or not, you have
only to try if you can put an article before
it without making nonsense. Let us see
if we could not put an article before any
of the words I mentioned just now; I
think we might say, the truth, the wisdom,
the folly, the gratitude."
"But, mamma," said Herbert, "I think
I could put an article before a word that is
not a noun."
"Suppose you try, Herbert; it will sur-
prise me very much if it can be done gram-
"Why, I was just thinking that this is a
capital knife; and you know a is an article,
and capital is not a noun."
"No, my dear; it is an adjective, and
it makes no sense without some other word
added. You could not say, a capital, it
would mean nothing; but you could say,
"Yes; I see the difference now," said
Herbert. I think I shall know what
words are nouns, and what are not."
"And so shall I," said Fanny; "and the
genders of them, to."
"I dare say you will, in a general way,
my dear; and that is all we expect from
beginners. Now, you may commence the
game, which is to point out all the nouns,
with their numbers and genders, that is,
you must say whether they are masculine
or feminine, singular or plural."
Herbert had already opened the book,
and was studying his part, which ran thus:
"Here is an old man sitting by the stile,
holding out his hat to beg. He holds his
dog by a string, so I suppose he is blind.
The lady has sent her little girl to give
him some half-pence, and the poor old
man appears to be thanking her for the
"Now, mamma, shall I tell you the
nouns?" said Herbert.
"Yes, my dear; first mention the word,
then its number, then its gender."
"Man, is the first," said he; "it is the
singular number, and masculine gender."
"Yes; that is right.-Go on."
The next is stile, it is singular number,
and neuter gender. Is that right, mamma?"
"Yes, my dear; you may go on without
asking me: if you make any mistake, I will
"Thank you; hat, is a noun, singular
number, neuter gender; dog, is a noun,
singular number, musculine gender; string
is a noun, singular number, neuter gender."
"Very well, Herbert; but it will take
less time if you merely say the word, and
singular or plural, masculine or feminine,
without repeating noun, gender, and num-
"What, in this way, mamma? lady, sin-
"Yes, my dear."
Herbert proceeded-" girl, singular, fe-
minine; half-pence, plural, for it is more
than one half-penny, and neuter; man,
singular, masculine. Is kindness a noun,
"Herbert, I should like you to, think for
"Why, I think it is-we could say, the
"Yes, certainly; and besides that, kind-
ness is a quality we can talk about, which
proves that it is a noun; for nothing but
nouns can be made the subjects of conver-
And, mamma," said Fanny, the verses
Herbert read tell us that A noun is the
thing about which we converse;' I shall
remember that line."
"I dare say you will, Fanny; and also
that a word which is not a noun, means
nothing that can be talked about."
"Thank you, mamma; I think I under
stand; now, may I read my part?"
Mamma said "Yes," and Fanny read as
"There is a fine carriage. It belongs to
the master of those mills. He is a rich
and good man, who does many acts of
charity. He is kind to the poor, for he
remembers that his own father and mother
were poor people, and that he was himself
brought up in poverty. But he had great
talents, and has gained all his wealth by
"Now, mamma, I am going to say the
"Take care you make no mistake, said
Herbert; for I think some of yours are
"Do you?" said Fanny; "well, I shall
take all the care I can; carriage is a noun,
and mills is a noun,-and-"
"Stop, Fanny; not quite so fast;" said
her mamma. "You have not said the
number and gender of carriage."
"Oh, dear, no; I forgot;" replied the
little girl; "it is singular number and
"Very well, but you missed one noun."
"Did I, mamma? oh! I see now,-the
master is a noun, singular number, mascn
"Yes; but you must pay a forfeit for
the omission; and now go on, leaving out
the words noun, number, and gender, as
I will, mamma; mills, plural, neuter;
man, singular, masculine; charity-charity
is a noun, I think, for we can talk about
charity as we can about kindness."
"Yes, Fanny, charity is a noun; but you
have missed another."
Have I? what can that be?"
"I know what it is," said Herbert; "it
is acts,-we can say the acts, and we can
talk about good acts and bad acts."
"Oh, la! another forfeit!" cried Fanny;
" acts, a noun, plural number, neuter gen-
der; charity, singular, neuter; the poor-
poor must be a noun, for there is an article
before it, and it is singular."
"No, Fanny, it cannot be singular, for
it does not mean one poor person only,
but it means poor people in general."
"Then it must be plural, mamma; but I
do not see how it can be masculine or fe-
minine, because there are both poor men
and poor women."
"Very true, Fanny; therefore, we can-
not give a gender to this word, which is,
in fact, an adjective used as a noun; for
when we say the poor, we mean the poor
people; and if we said so, the word poor
would then be an adjective '
"Can all adjectives be used as nouns ?"
No, my dear; only a few, and they are
chiefly words that imply some particular
class of people, as, the rich-that is, all
rich people; the wise-that is, all wise
people. Rich and wise are properly ad-
jectives; but when they are used in the
manner I have just mentioned, they be-
come nouns, and express in a single word
both the adjective and noun. When we
read of the rich, we all understand that it
ineans the rich people."
"Thank you, mamma," said Herbert;
"I understand now."
"So do I," said Fanny; now I will
"Father is the next noun, and it is sin-
gular, and musculine; mother is singular
and feminine; poor-I do not think poor is
a noun here, because it says, poor people."
No, Fanny; it is an adjective there."
"I thought so, mamma; people is a
noun, plural, and it cannot be any parti-
cular gender, because it includes both
"Very well, my dear; we will leave out
I think poverty is a noun," said Fanny,
after considering for some time; "for we
can talk about poverty."
Her mamma said "Yes."
"Then, said she, "it must be singular
and neuter; talents is a noun, plural and
neuter; wealth, singular and neuter; in-
dustry, singular and neuter."
"Very well indeed, Fanny; I see that
you will be an excellent grammarian by
..... .. .
WHY, here's another
game about Adjectives," said Her-
bert. "Comparing adjectives:-
What does that mean, mammal"
First tell me, Herbert, what
an adjective is."
It is a word added to a noun,
to tell what sort of thing the
Yes," said Fanny; you
know we are told so in the
verses we learned."
1 "Give me an example, Her-
bert; that is, think of some sen-
tence with an adjective in it, and
say it to me."
I will," said Herbert; this
is a good slate: good is an adjec-.
"Very well; you say it is a
good slate; but it is not the best slate that
ever was made, is it ?"
"Oh, dear, no! that it is not," said
Fanny; "for cousin Tom's is a much bet-
ter one; and Julia's music slate is the best
of all, for we compared them all three
together; and Tom said that Herbert's was
a very good one, but that his was a better,
and Julia's was the best."
Well said, Fanny; I think you will
not find much difficulty in comparing ad-
jectives, for you have just done so without
Have I, mamma? how did I do it?"
You said, one slate was good; another,
better; and a third one, the best;-better,
means more excellent than that which is
good; and the best, means most excellent
of the three."
"There, Herbert," exclaimed Fanny,-
"am I not clever ?-good, better, best; but
have I any thing more to learn about these
Yes, my love; it will be useful to re-
member that they are called the degrees
of comparison, because they are used to
compare things that differ in quality; and
you will also remember that every adjec-
tive may be expressed in these three ways:
but I see your brother is in haste to say
something; what is it, Herbert?"
George says that Grammar is very
easily learned; so this morning I took a
peep into his book, to see if I could learn
from it; and I read a little bit where I
opened it, and learnt that the degrees of
comparison are called, the positive, the
comparative, and the superlative."
"Correctly remembered, Herbert," said
mamma; "I declare it is difficult to decide
which exhibits the greater attention, this
morning, you or Fanny."
Herbert looked at Fanny with an ex-
pression of countenance which said, "am
I not clever also ?"
Fanny seemed to comprehend him, and,
smiling, nodded her reply. She then
begged of their mamma to mention what-
ever else they ought to know about the
Your request pleases me," said her
mamma.-" It remains for me to say that
the positive is the simple adjective that ex-
presses the quality of any thing; the com-
parative, expresses more of the same
quality; and the superlative, the most of
it-as if I were to say, 'my tea is sweet,
your's is sweeter, but Herbert's is the
sweetest:' I should then be comparing three
cups of tea, all possessing the same quality
of sweetness, but in different degrees."
The young folks wished to know if ad-
jectives of the contrary kind, as, bad, or
cold, were subject to the same rule.
To which inquiry their mamma answered
by saying they were, thus:-bad, worse,
worst;-cold, colder, coldest;-and the way
to compare an adjective is this,-positive,
cold; comparative, colder; and, superla-
"Now, let me try one," said Fanny.
"With all my heart, Fanny; let me hear
you compare the adjective agreeable."
"Yes, mamma :-positive, agreeable;
No, my dear; we do not say agreea-
bler, and agreeablest; but more agreeable,
and most agreeable. When the adjective
is a long word, it sounds better to put more
or most before it, instead of adding er or
est, as we do to short words."
"Then," said Fanny; "I am to say,-
comparative, more agreeable; superlative,
Exactly so. Now, Herbert, you trn
Yes, mamma; shall it be a long one or
a short one?"
"Which you please, my dear; choose
one for yourself."
"'Very well; then I will choose from
these pictures; see, they each represent
three things of a sort. Here are three
dancing men; I think they are as droll as
any. The word, of course, isfunny,-Posi-
ive, funny; comparative, funnier; super-
FUNNY FUNNIER FUNNIEST.
That is quite right, Herbert; so now,
I suppose, you would like to begin the
"What shall we play for ?" said Fanny.
"You may play for the hoop you asked
me for yesterday, and I will give a stick
into the bargain."
"Thank you, mamma. Now let us
"Well, here are three kites. What ad-
jective could you use in speaking of them,
They are big ones, mamma."
"Big is not the word, my dear. What
do you say, Fanny?"
Large ones, mamma."
"That is right; now compare the adjec-
Fanny repeated it thus-
POSITIVE, COMPARATIVE, SUPERLATIVE,
LARGE. LARGER. LARGEST."
Her mamma gave her a counter, and
went on to the second picture-of three
plum puddings, which Herbert said, im-
mediately, were hot. For just look at the
steam rising from them," said he; "and yet
HOT. HOTTER. HOTTEST.
they are not all hot alike; for you see
there is more steam from this than that.
and not so much from this one as from the
other two, so I should say,-hot, hotter,
The answer was right, and Herbert
received a counter.
The next picture represented three
young pigs. Fanny supposed that they
were fat, but that was not the right ad-
Herbert said "greedy;" but greedy was
not the word.
Little pigs," said Fanny; and, to her
great joy, little was right. "But how
shall I compare it?" said she; "must I
say-Positive, little; comparative, bigger?"
"Oh, dear, no, Fanny; bigger is the
comparative of big, not of little. If one
thing is little, another may be less; may it
not ? and a third may be the least."
"Oh! yes; little, less, least; then, I sup-
pose, I may not have a counter, mamma?"
Not this time, Fanny; now, let us see
what the next picture is. Three poplar
trees of different heights. What can you
say about them, Herbert ?"
They are high trees, mamma."
They are high trees, certainly; but that
is not the word required now."
"Is it tall said Fanny, eagerly
"Yes, it is tall, my dear."
VALL. TALLbR. TALLEBt.
"Now I shall get my other counter,"
taid she; "for I shall say this properly,-
Positive, tall; comparative, taller; super-
Three butterflies were the next objects of
attention; and Herbert said, "The yellow
one was pretty, the brown, prettier, and
trie blue-and-black, the prettiest of them
PRETTY. PRETTIER. PRETTIEST.
Herbert received a counter, so that he
and Fanny had now two each, and as the
next picture was the last of the six, a nam-
ing and rightly comparing the adjective, in
respect to it, would, of course decide the
victory. It was Fanny's turn to try first.
"Here are three flowers," said she; "a
convolvulus, a tulip, and a rose.-Let me
see,-flowers are, what? why, they are
No doubt they are sweet," replied her
mamma; "but that is not the right word,
"They are gay," said Herbert.
Some flowers are, my dear; but we
could scarcely call a rose gay, although the
word might apply to a tulip."
Fanny then thought it might be charm-
ing; and Herbert, lovely; but neither was
"They are beautiful," said Fanny.
"Yes, beautiful is the word, Fanny
What is the comparative degree ?"
More beautiful, mamma."
"And the superlative?"
Most beautiful; so, I suppose it means
that the convolvulus is beautiful, the tulip
more beautiful, and the rose the most beau-
BEAUTIFUL. MORE BEAUTIFUL MOST BEAUTIFUL.
Yes;" replied her mamma. "Here it
is, you see, exactly in those words."
Fanny now claimed the hoop as her
prize, and went out with Herbert into the
garden, to bowl it up and down the long
-^ the Play
about the Cases of Nouns and
Herbert and Fanny knew what
dressing-cases or pencil-cases were,
but expressed themselves quite at
a loss in understanding
meant by cases
of nouns and pronouns.
"What did people
Essay, Fanny," asked her
mamma, when Wil-
liam, the carrier, lost a
parcel, and was obliged
to borrow the money to
pay the owner the value of it?"
They said, mamma, that Wil-
- liam's was a hard case; and papa
said so too, and, you know, gave
William part of the money."
"I remember he did:-but of William's
case:-you can understand that it was not
a covering, or case to hold something;-it
was William's condition or state that was
called his hard case;-so, nouns and pro-
nouns are in one or other of three cases, or
positions, according to the meaning of what
is said about them; and these are called
the nominative case, the objective case, and
the possessive case."
Finding that the little pupils compre-
hended her meaning, thus far, their mamma
continued: Nouns or pronouns are in
the nominative case when they come before
a verb; they are in the objective case when
they come after a verb, or preposition; and
they are in the possessive case when they
imply the possession of property. But I
will endeavour to make this clearer.
"' Your cousin writes,' and 'some one writes
to your cousin,' are sentences of different
meanings, placing the noun, cousin, in two
different positions, or cases;-can either of
you say what causes the difference?"
A rather long silence followed the ques-
tion; and neither of the children seemed
willing to venture a reply. At last, Fanny,
as talking to herself in an under tone, was
heard to say something about nouns and
pronouns coming before verbs. Her mam-
ma, observing which, said, "I fancy you
are thinking rightly, my dear, so let Her-
bert and me have the benefit of your
Thus encouraged, Fanny spoke out bold-
ly:-" The noun, cousin, in the first sen-
tence, comes before the verb, and it is that
which causes it to be in the nominative
case;-in the other sentence, 'some one
writes to your cousin,' the noun, cousin,
comes after the verb and a preposition, and
therefore it is in the objective case."
Prettily explained," said mamma;
"and, in addition,-were the pronouns
used instead of the nouns,-in the first
sentence it would be she,-in the second,
"When I say the sun shines;' shines, a
verb, following the noun sun, places the
sun in the nominative case.
"Or, when I say, 'the clouds hide the
sun;' the noun, sun, coming after the verb
hide, places it in the objective case.
"The possessive case you will know by
its implying the possession of something
by a noun or pronoun, as,-' this is my
book;' 'the success is yours; 'the misfor-
tune is William's.'"
"Well," said Fanny, "I did not think it
could be made so plain to understand as
I have no doubt that you will soon
comprehend the difference of cases; I will
ask you a question or two before you begin
If I say-' we bought some flowers this
morning;'-which is the verb in that sen-
"And the nominative is we," said Her-
"Yes, my dear; we is a pronoun in the
nominative case. Now, Herbert, tell me
what part of speech flowers is."
A noun, mamma, plural number."
And what case?"
"The objective case, I think, mamma."
It is; because it comes after the verb,
and is the object of the action. The flow
ers were the things that were bought; and
we were the persons who performed the
action of buying them."
"I think I understand the difference,
mamma," said Herbert.
I think I do, too," said Fanny.
Their mamma said they would soon see,
as they might now begin the game; add-
ing that, as they were not likely to mistake
the possessive case, the game might be con-
fined to the nominative and objective cases.
"Tell me the case of every noun and
pronoun in these sentences; and for every
one you say correctly I shall give you a
counter. The winner of the greater num-
ber of counters may also have the pleasure
of giving this sixpence to poor old Dame
The children were delighted at this pro-
mise, for nothing pleased them more than
being able to assist this poor woman, who
was blind, and had very little other means
of support than knitting shoes for infants,
by which she could earn but a very scanty
"I will b;-in," said Fanny.
"The man has shot a hare." Man is a
noun in the nominative case, because it
comes before the verb, shot. Here he is,
you see, in the picture, with his gun; and
here is the poor hare- lying dead."
"A piteous sight, indeed, Fanny," said
her mamma; "I think we might say that
the hare was in a very unlucky case; but
as there is no such case as that in gram-
mar, we must find another name for it."
Fanny laughed and said, "I know what
case it is, though; it is a noun in the objec-
tive case; for the hare was the object that
the man shot, and comes after the verb."
"Very well, my dear; you are entitled to
The.next was, The ducks are swimming
in the pond."
"Ducks is a noun in the nominative