Front Cover
 Title Page
 Back Cover

Title: Idle Ann, or, The dunce reclaimed
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027076/00001
 Material Information
Title: Idle Ann, or, The dunce reclaimed
Alternate Title: Dunce reclaimed
Physical Description: 36 p., 3 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 14 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Elliott, Mary, b. ca. 1792
Darton, William, 1781-1854 ( Publisher )
Publisher: William Darton
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: ca. 1825
Copyright Date: 1825
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Students -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1825   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1825   ( local )
Bldn -- 1825
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Citation/Reference: Moon, M. Children's books of Mary Belson Elliott,
General Note: Date of issue from Moon; Osborne Coll., I, 250 dates ca. 1820.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements on p. 4 of wrapper.
General Note: Illustrations are hand-colored.
Statement of Responsibility: by Mary Elliott ; illustrated by copper-plates.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027076
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - ALK2387
oclc - 48926444
alephbibnum - 002250640

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 12a
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 24a
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Back Cover
        Page 37
        Page 38
Full Text


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Yalk with me, (said ennv) and Iwill explain, for my mother heard the reasons from takly Oakes own momth7 _Ann
made no reply: but took the arm of her friend, from whom she learieI thal the sdd rj p- r 9k 3-.
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TH EREwas a little girl, named
Ann, whose friends did all in
their power to make her good
and clever. They were not
rich folks, who could afford
to engage masters for music,
drawing, and other showy
branches of instruction, but
they wished her to know
many other things that would
give her a properknowledge


of the world, and render her
a useful woman; and for this
purpose her father kept close
to his trade, that he might
pay for her schooling, and
rear her in a proper manner.
Ann did not want sense,
for she possessed a mind that
might have acquired all that
was needful for a little girl to
learn, but, alas, she was idle,
and could not bear the trou-
ble of being a scholar.
How any child could think
learning a trouble will, no
doubt, puzzle all who read
this story, for they will have
.i Li IjifS^

sipped at the fountain of
knowledge, and therefore
know that it offers a draught
of never-ending sweetness.
Ann would listen to what was
told her, and always kept in
mind what she heard ex-
plained; but if asked to seek
truth herself, she shrank from
the task, as though a book
contained some evil that must
fall to her share, if she opened
it. Her parents sent her to
a good school, where much
pains were taken to instruct
her; but the name of a lesson,
or the sight of a book, at
A 3

once put her out of sorts,
and she would fret and cry,
until her health was quite
Once, she brought on a sad
complaint in her eyes, by
weeping over her tasks, and
was obliged to wear a green
shade over her eyes for many
days; and then, when getting
better, her friends were afraid
of pressing her to learn, lest
it should cause her to fret
again, and renew the disease.
Ann did not like pain, yet
so strong was her dislike of
learning that she did not la-


ment being confined to the
house, while it was the cause
of her being idle.
As this young dunce was
really a good-tempered child,
and free to share her fruit
and cakes with her play-
mates, many of them came to
see her at this time, and tried
to amuse and cheer her, but
there was not one whose pre-
sence gave her so much plea-
sure as Jenny Bell, a gentle
and clever little girl, who
lived in the same street, and
never missed calling as she
returned from school.


From Jenny, Ann heard
all that was passing, and
could amuse her, and she also
heard many pretty books
read,. with the contents of
which she was much pleased,
though she had not the pro-
per pride to wish she could
herself read them.
Jenny was fond of her, and
would not pain her feelings,
or else she might have re-
peated the ill-natured, but
just remarks made by the
young scholars, on the long
absence of Ann from school,
the more so from her being


so far behind many much
younger than herself; and
therefore, as they said, having
no time to lose.
One day when Jenny had
been reading an account of
Joseph and his Brethren, Ann
expressed great delight with
the story, and wished she
could have read it-as well.
"And why do you not?
(said Jenny;) I am sure, my
dear Ann, you are much more
clever than I, and, if you
would but try, might soon
outstrip us all."
Ann smiled and shook her


head; but she said, that when
her eyes were quite well, she
would indeed take to her
Well, her eyes did get
quite well, and her mother
spoke of a return to school;
but Ann, whose learned fit
"had long passed by, begged
to wait a little longer, that
she might look into her books
and pick up something of
what she had lost.
This seemed a fair request,
and her fond mother believed
would be followed by proper
conduct, but day after day


went on, and still Ann sought
farther delay.
Jenny was kind enough to
offer her help in bringing the
last lessons to mind, and Ann
did not refuse the offer, yet
no sooner were they seated,
and the book opened, than
the silly girl began to yawn,
-and fancy the print hurt her
eyes, and then she would re-
quest Jenny would read to
her, and put off the teaching
until the next day. In vain
Jenny pointed out that it was
best to begin at once, as every
day would bring her more


forward. Ann was the same
idle girl, and at length her
parents finding her resolves
were so weak, would not
wait any longer, but obliged
her to return to school.
And how did she return?
why with streaming eyes and
pale cheeks. The youngest
child present smiled to see
how foolish she looked; and
as they conned their lessons
-aloud, kept looking at the
dunce, as much as to say,
"-- When will you learn as
It may be supposed that




"Do not (said her father do not say you love and
respect me, when you will not even improve yourself
to give me pleasure; yet Iam never idle on your account,
and, t te Py of Ge3.
at the Rlpertorv of Gemtss L. m gilt.

Ann's parents were sadly
grieved by her conduct, and
tixed her with a want of
duty towards them. "Do
hot (said her father), do not
say you love and respect me,
when you will not even im-
prove yourself, to give me
pleasure; yet I am never idle
on your account, and, if I
could but see my child takE
pleasure in her learning, I
should not mind any fatigue
of bu,.iness, for labour would
be sweet if it answered such
a purpose. Arin listened to
this reproof, and thought she'


was sorry to cause it, but her
feeling of regret passed away
as soon as her father quitted
the room. She did take up her
spelling-book for a few mi-
nutes, but how could she
make out such hard words,
unless she were to study day
and night, and for certain
that would make her eyes
worse than ever; indeed it
was unkind in her parents to
expect her to pore over a
book, when they had seen
what a bad effect former
study had upon her poor

But here Ann made a great
mistake, for it was not study,
but childish fretting at being
told to study, that brought
on the complaint.
Ann was a very pleasing
looking child, and therefore
often noticed by strangers,
who judged she was as good
as she looked.
One day a lady came into
her father's shop, and seeing
the smiling Ann behind the
counter, inquired if she were
the daughter of Mr. Ward,
and, learning she was so, be-
gan to converse with her.

Ann's answers proved she
was not a stupid girl, and the
lady had no doubt she must
be a bright scholar; so she
asked many things about
school and books, such as
she thought suited her little
friend's age. To all these
questions Ann was dumb, but
she blushed deeply, which
made the stranger believe her
silence was occasioned by
bashfulness; and then she
questioned Ann's mother.
It was most painful to this
tender parent to betray her
daughter's failings, but she


could not in conscience speak
an untruth, and therefore,
against her will, owned, that
her little girl did not profit by
teaching, as she ought to do.
The lady was shocked, and
after hearing that Ann was
almost seven years' old, de-
clared she should be ashamed
to have such a dunce belong
to her.
Ann crept in the room be-
hind the shop, much hurt by
this censure, and when her
mother spake on the subject
to her at night, she really felt

On going to school the
next day, Ann said her lesson
much better than usual, and
even took pains with her
reading-lesson, so that it was
whispered about that she was
improved; but when she re-
turned home and sat down
to learn the task newly
marked for her, the words
looked so many, and hard
to pronounce, that she was
sure she could never get
through so long a lesson; and
thus knowledge was again
Some days after this, while

playing with Jenny and
others in a field at the back
of the town, a gentleman
crossed the path, who seemed
pleased by their happy looks,
and youthful mirth; he stop-
ped to view their sports, and
at length addressed them.
Jenny being the tallest, he
took her for the eldest, and
asked some questions suited
to youth; her answers were
modest as proper, and he said
she was a clever little girl;
from Jenny he turned to the
younger ones, and promised
each a penny if they could
spell certain words.

Such a noble reward in-
duced all to take pains, and
not one lost the penny.
While this was going for-
ward, Ann hung back from
the smiling party, lest she too
should be asked to spell.
At first the stranger did
not perceive her, but, when
his eye caught her plea-
sing features, he observed, so
gentle a looking girl must do
her duty and obey those who
were kind enough to teach
her, and therefore he doubt-
ed not she was a good scho-
How Ann looked during

this speech, need not be de-
scribed, for every child of
feeling and common sense
may guess, and guess rightly;
but, if her cheeks were red,
and her eyes downcast, she
looked yet more guilty and
silly, when he told her his
name, and required her to
spell the same. Ann blun-
dered out two or three let-
ters, but they were each mis-
placed. Still the gentleman
could not believe she was so
great a dunce as not tpj be
able to spell a simple word,
and, thinking she wanted

courage to speak, he kindly
bade her take time and think
before she spake; but he
soon found that waiting did
not mend the matter, so
taking a card from his pocket,
he asked her to read it. The
print of this card was plain
and simple, no flourish of
words, nor change in the
type, yet Ann only read one
word, and that was-butter.
Poor child, (said the
stranger,) I suppose she has
no parents to send her to
Ann, though a dunce, was

happy to say she had the best
of parents, and when obliged
to own their name, the gen-
tleman quite started, for he
knew her father to be a wor-
thy man, and clever in trade.
Alas! said he, how I pity
him, to have but one child,
and that one not wise enough
to read the name of her next
door neighbour, for the card
I shewed you has the name
and trade of John Watson,
whose shop joins your fa-
ther's. Ann stood crying
and holding down her head,
but her reprover expressed


no pity fof her, because there
was no excuse for her failing.
At parting, he promised
the children a treat of cher-
ries the next time he passed
that way, and told Jenny he
should bring her a book of
hymns, as he was certain
such a present would please
her better than sweets for the
Grateful as the kind Jenny
was for this notice, she felt
much for her friend Ann,
and tears came into hei eyes
as she listened to her loud

I I'

"She was one day sitting at work bLv the side of her
mother, when Jenxy came in haste to tell great and
"good news, : r page ?.

ZondmonWiiam Dartoniat the Repertory ojS fdTmdill.

Ann never told an untruth,
so that, had her friends asked
the cause of her weeping, she
would have explained; but,
although they perceived her
eyes were red, yet supposing
school to be the trouble, they
only sighed, and were silent.
"The stranger kept his word,
the children had their treat
of cherries, and Jenny a
Hymn book; but she was too
thoughtful to make a show of
it before Aun, and therefore
did not mention it to her;
but the little ones were not
silent, they made quite a

boast of the present; the
more so, when they heard
the stranger was a rich and
good man, who had come to
live in a fine house near the
From this day Ann looked
into her books more than she
had ever done; but, having
been a. dunce so long, it was
no easy matter to conquer
her idle habits, and when she
found how slowly she got on,
her spirits sank, and she de-
spaired of being a scholar.
At this time Jenny came
to see her; and seeing how

she was employed, felt quite
rejoiced, and assured her she
was much improved, and in
a little time would not think
there was a hard word in the
Spelling-book. Ann, pleased
to hear her say so, began to
take heart.
For two days her lesson
was said without a blunder,
and the praises of her school-
mistress gave her sincere
On the second day she
came home, her face beamed
with joy, nor were her pa-
rents less pleased; they kissed,


and blessed their child, as if
she had conferred a great
favour upon them; while
Ann, proud of their thanks,
felt so happy, that she re-
solved not to neglect her
learning in future.
She was one day sitting at
work by the side of her mo-
ther, when Jenny came in
haste to tell great and good
Ann, eager to learn the
nature of such news, put
aside her sewing, and begged
her friend to tell it quickly.
"6 Why, you shall hear,

(cried Jenny,) Lady Oakes
has come from London to
her country-seat, and means
to give a feast to all the
children in the town and her
own village. My brothers
and self are asked, and so will
you be; for she said she was
going to your parents for the
Ann thought this was re-
ally good news, for the lady
was one of the best women
in the country, and her house
and park so lovely, that it
was a treat to behold then.
Before night Ann was

numbered among the guests,
and with them most anxious
for the day which promised
so much pleasure.
Lady Oakes said, it would
take a week to prepare the
tent she meant to have raised
on the lawn, and to make the
nice pies and cakes, so that if
the youthful party thought
the holiday long coming, still
they flattered themselves the
joys it would bring, would
fully make up for the delay.
Ann's parents were too
wise to think of dressing her
in gay clothes, as if she, too,

were a great lady; they knew
that to be clean and neat was
enough for a child in her
station of life, and the surest
way of gaining respect them-
selves; and, to do Annjustice,
she had no silly notions of
pride; and, therefore, desired
no more than a plain frock
and new shoes.
Each day brought some
fresh account of the things
prepared for the fete. One
had seen the top of the white
tent under which they were
to dine: a second little news-
monger had heard there


would be twenty currant-
tarts, and plenty of roast
veal; in short, all knew or
fancied they had guessed
something of what was to
take place, and every little
head in the village was turned
with joy.
Tuesday arrived, and then
there was but one day more
ere the wished-for day came.
Ann, who was now really
giving her mind to her book,
learned her lesson for the
next day, and then went into
the play-field to join her


Singing and jumping, she
reached the well-known spot,
but was greatly surprised to
see a circle of grave faces, in-
stead of merry ones. Before
she could express the surprise
she felt, Harry Jones cried
out, 0! Ann, here is sad
news, no treat at Oak Park, no
merry making on Thursday;
all our fine treat done away."
"" Done away, (said Ann,) in a
mournful tone! how is this?"
Walk with me, (said
Jenny,) and I will explain,
for my mother heard the
reasons from Lady Oakes'
own mouth."


Ann made no reply, but
took the arm of her friend,
from whom she learned that
the sudden illness of the good
old lady's son had called her
to town in great haste, but
that should he get well again,
she would not forget her
promise; and I hope, (added
Jenny,) that he will get well
for her sake, who is so kind
to the poor and to us chil-
Ann wished it too, but was
sorry they must wait for their
holiday. Yet, (said Jenny,)
I am almost glad that it is de-


played, on your account." Ann
stared. Yes, my dear Ann,
on your account, for Lady
Oakes meant to hear us elder
ones read and spell, and also
question us on what we had
learned; and those who did
well were to receive hand-
some prizes. Now you have
not taken much pains with
your book until lately, and
perhaps might not read so
well as you would wish, and
it would grieve me to see you
thrown back, and not get a
prize; but I am sure, when
our good friend comes back


next month you will be so
much improved, that there
will be no fear for your suc-
cess, and when I hear you
praised it will give me great
joy." Ann kissed the warm-
hearted Jenny, and assured
her she would study closely
every day, until she might
appear at the treat with
hopes of success, if not to
gain a prize, at least to shew
she was no longer an idle

W. DA.RTN, S8, Hiolborn Hill,

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