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About the two birds that sat on a stone, on the “All-Alone Stone,” you can read in a book called “The Water-Babies.”
Concerning the Frog that lived in a well, and how he married a King's daughter and was changed into a beautiful Prince, there is a fairy tale which an industrious child ought to read. The frog in the rhyme is not nearly so lucky.
After these rhymes there come a number of riddles, of which the answers are given. Then there are charms, which people used to think would help in butter-making or would cure diseases. It is not generally thought now that they are of much use, but there can be no harm in trying. Nobody will be burned now for saying these charms, like the poor old witches long ago. The Queen Anne mentioned on page 172 was the sister of the other Princess who married the Prince of Orange, and she was Charley's aunt. She had seventeen children, and only one lived to be as old as ten years. He was a nice boy, and had a regiment of boy-soldiers,
“Hickory Dickory Dock” is a rhyme for counting out a lot of children. The child on whom the last word falls has to run after the others in the game of “Tig” or “ Chevy.” There is another of the same kind :
Most of the rhymes in this part of the book are sung in games and dances by children, and are very pretty to see and hear. They are very old, too, and in an old book of travels in England by a Danish gentleman, he gives onę which he heard sung by
children when Charles II. was king. They still sing it in the North of Scotland.
In this collection there are nonsense songs to sing to babies to make them fall asleep.
Bessy Bell and Mary Gray, on page 207, were two young ladies in Scotland long ago. The plague came to Perth, where they lived, so they built a bower in a wood, far off the town. But their lovers came to see them in the bower, and brought the infection of the plague, and they both died. There is a little churchyard and a ruined church in Scotland, where the people who died of the plague, more than two hundred years ago, were buried, and we used to believe that if the ground was stirred, the plague would fly out again, like a yellow cloud, and kill everybody.
There is a French rhyme like “Blue - Eye Beauty”
« Les yeux bleus
Vont aux cieux.
None of the other rhymes seem to be anything but nonsense, and nonsense is a very good thing in its way, especially with pictures. Any child who likes can get Mrs. Markham's “History of England,” and read about the Jims, and Georges, and Charleys, but I scarcely think that such children are very common. However, the facts about these famous people are told here shortly, and if there is any more to be said about Jack and Jill, I am sure I don't know what it is, or where the hill they sat on is to be found in the geography books