Imágenes de páginas


[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

SHE great encouragement which has

been given by the public to the previous editions of this little work, satisfactorily proves that, notwithstanding the extension of serious education to all but the very earliest periods of life, there still exists an undying love for the popular remnants of the ancient Scandinavian nursery literature. The infants and children of the nineteenth century have not, then, deserted the rhymes chanted so many ages since by the mothers of the North. This is a “great nursery fact”a proof that there is contained in some of these traditional nonsense-rhymes a meaning and a romance, possibly intelligible only to very young minds, that exercise an influence on the fancy of children. It is obvious there must exist something of this kind; for no modern compositions are found to supply altogether the place of the ancient doggrel.

The nursery rhyme is the novel and light reading of the infant scholar. It occupies, with respect to the A B C, the position of a romance which relieves the mind from the cares of a riper age. The absurdity and frivolity of a rhyme may naturally be its chief attractions to the very young; and there will be something lost from the imagination of that child, whose parents insist so much on matters of fact, that the “cow must be made, in compliance with the rules of their educational code, to jump under" instead of “over the moon;" while of course the little dog must be considered as “barking," not “ laughing” at the circumstance.

These, or any such objections,—for it seems there are others of about equal weight, —are, it appears to me, more silly than the worst nursery rhyme the little readers will meet with in the following pages. I am quite willing to leave the question to their decision, feeling assured the catering for them has not been in vain, and that these cullings from the high-ways and bye-waysthey have been collected from nearly every county in England—will be to them real flowers, soothing the misery of many an hour of infantine adversity.


December, 1853.

Lately published, in one vol. 12mo, cloth, 4s. 6d.

[blocks in formation]

This volume on the Traditional Literature of England, is divided into Nursery Antiquities, Fireside Nursery Stories, Game Rhymes, Alphabet Rhymes, Riddle Rhymes, Nature Songs, Proverb Rhymes, Places, and Families, Superstition Rhymes, Custom Rhymes and Nursery Songs; a large number are here printed for the first time. It may be considered a sequel to the present work.

« AnteriorContinuar »