178 Old-time Schools and School-books
One feature that appears rather queer in an elementary school-book is a lesson of " Precepts concerning the Social Relations." In this the "young man, seeking for a partner for life," is advised to " Be not in haste to marry," and the young women to —
Be cautious in listening to the addresses of men. Is thy suitor addicted to low vices ? is he profane ? is he a gambler ? a tippler ? a spendthrift ? a haunter of taverns ? and, above all, is he a scoffer at religion ?—Banish such a man from thy presence, his heart is false, and his hand would lead thee to wretchedness and ruin.
Then for married people there are suggestions of this sort: —
Art thou a husband? Treat thy wife with tenderness; reprove her faults with gentleness.
Art thou a wife ? Respect thy husband; oppose him not unreasonably, but yield thy will to his, and thou shalt be blest with peace and concord; study to make him respectable; hide his faults.
The reading which appealed most forcibly to the students who conned " The Old Blue-back' was undoubtedly a series of eight short fables, each with an illustration. One of the fables in particular made a profound impression, and no child ever forgot it or its picturesque telling. This was the story —
Of the Boy that stole Apples.
An old Man found a rude Boy upon one of his trees stealing Apples, and desired him to come down; but the young Sauce-box told him plainly he would not. Won't