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of the stove, and another to take charge of the and many other things, and Sophie had all she sink, and gave to each of the other girls, including could do to arrange everything in the cupboard Sophie, one of the little cupboards under the table. in its place. When everything was ready, the
“The first thing we do,” said the teacher, “is girls of the class stood at the table before their to open and put away the stores. Sadie Tompkins cupboards. On the table before each girl lay may open the bundles, and Sophie Conner may put three potatoes and an onion. away the things in the cupboard, and Jane French “The class will find knives and pans in their may fold up the paper bags and tie up the strings. desks,” said the teacher. “Each girl can pare her Mary Tyler may give three potatoes and one onion potatoes, and then slice them in the pan, and cover
to each of the class. Our lesson to-day is Fish them with cold water. Miss Jones, if you are not Chowder."
busy at the sink now, you can cut up the fish, and Sophie had never seen such a jolly school. The place the head and bones in a pot, with cold water, girl at the stove started a fire, and made a blunder to boil on the stove. Then you can give to each the very first thing, so the teacher at once gave of the class two pounds of the fish." them a lesson in managing the drafts.
Sophie Conner listened to the teacher in a sort “We boil the head and bones of the fish first,” of merry wonder. What a queer lesson ! The said the teacher ; "and you must turn the heat to lady made it so very plain, and the things were the top of the stove away from the oven."
all so new and neat that it was quite a pleasure to Sophie decided she would remember this, in case slice the white potatoes into delicate flakes. She she ever had to help her mother at home. How good looked sharply about to see just how the others the things looked. There was a big fresh codfish, cut the onions, and when the teacher corrected and potatoes and onions and crackers and milk one girl for paring a potato wastefully, Sophie resolved that she, for one, would not have a bad make a chowder. Six chowders in operation at lesson in so delightful a school. When the pota- once ! The lesson grew exciting. No time for toes were ready, the pupils took their frying-pans talk or laughter now. Who would have the best from their cupboards, the teacher lighted the little chowder ? Each scholar had full directions printed gas-stoves, and presently the entire class was mer- on a card and followed these exactly,-half a
teaspoonful of salt, a quarter-spoonful of pepper, half a teaspoonful of butter, three crackers, and a pint of milk. Delightful odors began to fill the air. Visitors came in to look on while the singular lesson was carried out, and all too soon the noonbell rang, the exciting lesson came to an end, and the six chowders were done at the same moment. The teacher tasted of every one, and said they all were excellent. She then said the six chowders were for sale ; and to Sophie's surprise, she found that a whole troop of girls with kettles was at the door of the schoolroom, waiting to purchase the entire lesson and carry it home!
The next day was Saturday, and there was no school. Sophie spent the morning trying to transfer a geranium to a napkin, and in helping her
mother make a chowder according to the lesson at the Starr King School. Mrs. Conner declared she had never made chowder without tomato, but at Sophie's earnest request, she followed the school rule exactly, and at dinner the chowder was proDounced the best ever eaten by the Conners.
On Monday morn
ing, again the eager Sophie was at the Starr King School. Would it be cooking, or embroidery, or dressmaking, or carpentry? Quite wonderful to tell, it was tablesetting. Here was a new teacher and a new class of nine girls, including Sophie. This was the queerest lesson of all. When the school began, there were only a bare table in the middle of the room, and five chairs along the wall. The teacher sat before the empty table. Then from two cupboards the class took knives, and plates, and cups, and tea-things, napkins, and table-cloths, and set the table for breakfast in proper order, beginning with the piece of Canton flannel laid under
the table-cloth and ending with placing the rily frying bits of salt pork in the most scholarly chairs at the table. Then several of the girls way possible. Six frying-pans at once made a seated themselves at the table, like a family, and lively performance, and when each girl added the one girl pretended to be guest, who sat at the bits of onion, and fried them to a lovely brown, the “mother's " right, and two or three girls in turn entire class felt that this really was the greatest fun played the maid, who waited on the table. Under ever seen in vacation-time. Then each girl had direction from the teacher, they went through all a kettle, and with two pounds of fish prepared to the motions of a real breakfast, and then they put
back the chairs and cleared away the table and left common flower from nature, transfer it to a handonly the white Canton Aannel cover, which they kerchief, and embroider it in colored silk. She covered with a red cloth. All this time the teacher could even drive nails and make a box, and as for explained everything,— who should be helped first, setting a table or waiting upon it, she could do that where the sugar-bowl and coffee-pot should stand, perfectly. Her dolls all appeared in new dresses, and all other details, just as if it were the most made by herself; and on the last day of school, she regular and orderly family in the world.
completed at home a new frock with a Watteau Then they set the table for dinner in another pleat behind, which she wore the next day on a
style, and once Sophie personated a gentleman trip with her father and mother to Nantasket Beach. guest, and a very gentlemanly guest she was. There they ordered a fish chowder, but the entire And though there was really nothing to eat, family declared it did n't compare with the chowbut only make-believe, Sophie could n't exactly der Sophie had made at home only the week tell whether she had been to school or to a very before. fine breakfast.
But the school at last closed, and Sophie went So the weeks flew away. About once a week back to the Grammar School, wondering perhaps she spent a morning in each of the classes, and why vacation-schools are not open every day in before the vacation was over she could draw any the year, in every town in the land.
WONDERS OF THE ALPHABET.
BY HENRY ECKFORD.
OUR TRIP TO TAFFY's.
must see it. Then off home we go, but by
another road. It is getting late and dark. The TO KEEP me from fretting, when I was very rain begins to fall. We lose our way, and find little, my elders used to play with me a quiet little ourselves in a bog. All of a sudden, down we go game with pencil and paper called “Going to into a deep mud-hole, and only scramble out to Taffy's.” Perhaps there are other ways, but this fall into another. Going on smoothly after this for was mine. First, as to the origin of the name. some time, down we tumble again, and still a fourth You have heard, have you not? the old rhyme time. Then we scramble out and see at the top about Taffy :
of a long hill the lights in our new house. Soon Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief,
we are there, and, entering by the back door, we Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef. warm ourselves and agree never to go to Taffy's I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was n't home;
again, at least not by that road. Taffy came to my house and stole a mutton-bone.
Every time this little game was played, which This was composed several hundred years ago, some of you probably think very silly, because when hatred existed between the English who you are too old for it, I was always very much deoccupy the richest land in Great Britain and the
lighted to find that I had Welsh who live in the mountainous part to the
drawn an ugly beast I called westward. The English farmers complained that
an ox. I have often thought the poor Welshmen would come slyly by night, or
since, that perhaps this is openly by day, with weapons in their hands and
the way the wild Indians feel carry off their sheep and cattle. And so, to make
when they draw, on skins or fun of any Welshman under whose nose it might
bark, the queer pictures that be sung, they made this ditty. [“Taffy" is a way of
are their only way of writsaying Davy, which, as you know, means David, a ing. The chief, the medicine man, or the prophet favorite name among the Welsh, who had a great does not think he is doing an ordinary thing. He saint of that name. And the reason it is Taffy thinks he is doing something almost supernatural, and not Davy is that the uneducated among the and is deeply in earnest. Welsh do not distinguish so clearly as the English Now suppose that some old nation of Asia, after between D and T, and between F and V. They having for ages drawn an ox when they wished to speak among themselves a very different language recall an ox, began at last to draw the picture called Kymric, and, though most of them learn of an ox also whenever it was needful to write English also, the peculiar pronunciation that be- about plowing. Then instead of an ox it would longs to Kymric often sticks to their tongues convey an idea relating to an ox, and would when they speak English.] Now, this is the way be what is called a symbol. After a while some we used to make our visit to poor Taffy. one would say to himself: What is the use of Here is our house, just built.
drawing all of the ox when the head alone, see, we have put two windows, and a low which every one will know from its shape and its wide door; and because our heathen ancestors horns, gives just the same thought? Now suppose used to place on their houses the horns of wild this ox-head gradually gets to mean the sound of ox animals, let us crown ours with a big pair. Now in all words of the language wherein that syllable that our house is built, we set out for Taffy's to see occurs, as the name of the river Ox-us. Then what can be done about those oxen and sheep. We the ox-head would appear in words having nothing go along over the downs, higher or lower, until whatever to do with cattle or plowing. Then it is we come to a deep valley. Half-way down is called a piece of sound-writing, because it does not Taffy's cabin. But he has seen us coming and recall a certain given thing, but a sound. Soundthinks it more prudent to slip off to the hills, writing is thus an improved kind of picture-writing. and there he hides till he sees us go away. So You all know sound-writing, and have probably we come to his cabin, and as there is no sign of composed sentences in it, but you know it under him, we take the mutton-bone and write on it, another name. Hardly a magazine for young peo“Taffy, steal no more — or the Bogey will eat ple is printed in which you will not find rebuses. you,” and thrust it out of the window, where he Well, many rebuses are nothing but sound-writ
In it, you
ings. And — is it not curious ?— many, many thousand years ago our ancestors had no other kind of writing. So, when you make a rebus in fun, you are doing what our forefathers did in deep earnest, because they had no better way. Think how very tiresome it would be to write letters and essays and books, if we had to use rebuses !
And the next step onward from sound-writing was syllable-writing. Remember that people who had reached that stage thought of a sign or symbol as representing one syllable at the least. Suppose the ox-head was called aleph. It would soon be found more convenient to employ it in all words where there was the sound or syllable of al. And this was the process with as many other letters as there were in such early writing. We will call this the syllabary stage, because signs stood for syllables, and so distinguish it from the alphabet that came later.
The next advance would be to take the little picture for the sound a alone, and thus begin to use a real alphabet. But the use of a syllabary always made this onward step hard, because it became fixed in the mind that each of the consonants (of which people already began to form some idea) carried along with it a vowel. In other words, they could not think of B otherwise than as Ba, or of T than as at. To break the consonants away from the vowels was as difficult a feat as we can imagine. But time works wonders. It was felt that a great increase of quickness and certainty would ensue, if from the many signs of a
syllabary those were selected which had grad- used in combinations. People who had the habit ually lost their full sounds by being continually of pronouncing “ba-at”—bat, saw at last that