1, What is a simile? Give an example.
2. Tell me about the inside of a colonial schoolroom.
3. What is a dame school?
Sampler images from The Sampler Guild, UK
2. Ferrule or Ferule
A ferrule (a corruption of Latin viriola "small bracelet," under the influence of ferrum "iron.") is a name for types of metal objects, generally used for fastening, joining, or reinforcement. They are often narrow circular rings of metal, or less commonly, plastic.
Ferrule, also spelled ferrel, is the ring or cup used to strengthen the end of a walking-stick or umbrella, and is derived from Latin ferrum meaning 'iron'. A ferule, also spelt ferula, is a flat implement formerly used for beating schoolchildren, and is derived from Latin ferula meaning 'giant fennel'.
Punishment for misbehavior in those days was much more severe than today's standards.
In addition to the traditional "dunce cap," teachers carried hickory sticks or ferrules, which are long sticks that produced a loud crack when slammed against the desk to get students attention. The ferrules were also used to spank a student who was breaking the rules.
Aren't you glad we don't use
those ferrules in school today?!!
The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long horizontal lenticels, and often separates into thin papery plates, especially upon the Paper Birch. It is practically imperishable, due to the resinous oil which it contains. Its decided color gives the common names gray, white, black, silver and yellow birch to different species. wikipedia
Uses in colonial America:
American poet Robert Frost:
“I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
Children of the 14th through 18th centuries used a hornbook to learn their alphabet.
“When little children first
are brought to schoole
A Horne-booke is a necessarie toole.”
— Nicholas Breton, 1612
“A hornbook consists of a piece of parchment or paper lesson pasted onto a paddle-shaped piece of wood. The name derives from the leaf of horn, made from sheep and goat horn that was softened and then boiled in water to produce true horn that could be pressed and cut into sheets, that was attached to the board by a brass or latten border by minute tacks. Hornbooks generally presented the alphabet above arabic numerals and the Lord’s Prayer. This evidence of rudimentary letter-learning and the hardiness of the hornbook itself speaks to the very young audience the hornbook aimed to please and more importantly indicates a tradition of reading material for the very young that dates back to the Middle Ages.”
-The Victorian Web.
Some curious facts about hornbooks:
“To protect it from grubby fingers the sheet was mounted on a frame and was protected by a thin sheet of transparent cow’s horn – hence the name. The frame was usually made from wood, often oak, but occasionally more costly materials, such as silver or even ivory, were used. Wooden hornbooks were often covered in leather. Although the text itself was not illustrated, a picture was often engraved or embossed on the back of the frame. For the sake of utility, hornbooks often had a handle with a hole in the end, allowing them to be hung from a child’s belt or girdle.”
_ Probably the most popular hornbooks among the youngsters themselves were the occasional ones made out of gingerbread. That's right, gingerbread, with letters made of icing. This hornbook was larger and thicker than the ordinary ones, highly prized and rapidly consumed. When the student learned a letter, he was allowed to eat it. The producers of these hornbooks, you might say, inspired in young scholars a genuine taste for learning.
Matthew Prior (1664–1721), in his poem Alma, describing gingerbread hornbooks sold at fairs:
To Master John the English maid
A Hornbook gives of Gingerbread:
And that the Child may learn the better,
As he can name, he eats the Letter:
Proceeding thus with vast Delight,
He spells, and gnaws, from left to right.
Millions of hornbooks were made and sold both in Great Britain and the American colonies, but by 1800, as tri-fold booklets with pictures became available, the demand for them diminished rapidly. By the end of the 19th century, hornbooks had not only gone out of style, but most of them had been physically destroyed. Andrew Tuer, who wrote a history of the hornbook in 1897, mourned its fate. "In its later days," he writes, "the humble hornbook was treated with the full measure of contempt lavished on a thing which has served its purpose. 'Destroy and forget,' said everybody, and alas! Everybody did." (Tuer, p. 6)
Tuer, Andrew W., History of the Horn-Book, London: Leadenhall Press, 1897.
5. Dame School
_In North America, "dame school" is a broad term for a private school with a female teacher during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
_Both young girls and boys attended dame school where they learned to read and write. The schools were often in the teacher's kitchens. Children would use a book called a hornbook to help them learn. When they learned their hornbook they were ready to graduate.
None but imprison’d children now
Are seen, where dames with angry brow
Threaten each younker to his seat,
Who through the window, eyes the street;
Or from his horn-book turns away,
To mourn for liberty and play.
John Clare, The Shephard’s Calendar (1827)
One day was allowed the child wherein to learn his letters; and each of them did in that time know all its letters, great and small, except Molly and Nancy, who were a day and a half before they knew them perfectly, for which I thought them very dull, but since I have observed how long many children are learning the horn-book I have changed my opinion.
Letter from Susannah Wesley to her son, John Wesley, from 24th July 1732