An Illustrated history & description Of Schools in the 18th & 19th Centurys.

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The New England Primer                 77
n the first series reproduced, notice the apple tree n the garden of Eden. It is all there, and you can plainly see the apples among the leaves. The tree that Zaccheus did climb is also shown practically entire; and. how effectively Noah's Ark is brought out sailing on the flooded world while in the back­ground the forked lightning plays in the black clouds. Then there are Felix and Paul with the judgment as distinct before them as if it was in the same room ; and opposite the letter T, how horrid sin is made to appear ! — no wonder that young Timothy flies !
This rhyming method of teaching the alphabet is much older than The New England Primer, but the little book gave the old idea fresh expression. The primer rhymes are thought to have originated with the Boston printer Harris, as the poetry he was in the habit of manufacturing had much the same character. They were always being changed, however, sometimes merely in wording, sometimes in subject, and the only one of the twenty-four that remained unaltered was —
In Adam's Fall We finned all.
That seemed to find general acceptance as a desirable fact to promulgate in exactly those words. The new features in the jingles were in part casual changes made by the printers, and in part were a result of the feeling that many of the rhymes earlier adopted were too earthy in their sentiment.
The Cat doth play, And after flay,
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