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Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 132.djvu/451

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THE OLD-FASHIONED CHILDREN'S PICTURES.

strangled her and hastened with her to the oven.

Tupa had his feast that day, and looked forward to the morrow. But on the morrow, while he was out hiding some of his provisions in an extemporized storehouse in the bole of a hollow chestnut-tree, Rao's two brothers strolled over to see her, and the sister-in-law, unable to forgive her brother for depriving her of Rao's companionship and kindly attendance, told the story of Tupa's dinner. The brothers hastened to their home for their spears, tracked Tupa to his chestnut-tree, rushed together upon him with a mighty shout, and in one moment he lay dead at their feet. They cooked him in his own oven under the chestnut-trees by his gate, the oven which, still seen near the ruined homestead, bears Rao's name. He had laid the fire ready to light that day to re-cook some of his wife. What was left of Rao was duly anointed with aromatic oil and, shrouded in breadfruit-cloth, solemnly lowered into the great chasm where the dead of her tribe were placed to rest under the guardianship of the gods.

Grisild is dead, and eke her pacience.

The missionaries have taught the Rarotongan women that it is their duty not to be eaten even by their husbands.




From The Spectator.

THE OLD-FASHIONED CHILDREN'S PICTURES.

That little friend of Lord Granville's who, on finding that the illustrations in his present to her were poorly executed, dropped her book, with a curtsy, into the waste-paper basket, had, he thinks, obviously been aesthetically educated by the highly-finished drawings and engravings produced for the children of the present day. But none the less, we doubt very much whether the children of the present day, with all their finely-executed picture-books, are really as well off in this respect as our great and great-great grandfathers and grandmothers, with their "Marshall's Universal Battledore" and "Universal Shuttlecock," price 2d.; "Jacky Dandy's Delight," price 1d.; "The Good Child's Delight," price 4d.; and all the other "fine gilt-books," which, as it is stated in the history of "Billy Freeman and Tommy Truelove," were bought by that excellent, though somewhat shapeless gentleman, Squire Martin, "from Mr. Marshall, No, 17 Queen Street, Cheapside, and No 4 Aldermary Churchyard, Bow Lane" [was he, we wonder, the prehistoric form of Simpkin and Marshall?] to give to "such little good Girls and Boys" as he (Squire Martin) should find worthy of them. It cannot be denied, indeed, that the art, as well as the literature, of those old days (say, from the end of the seventeenth to the end of the eighteenth centuries) abounded in fictitious assumptions. When Billy Freeman gets attacked by the turkey-cocks in Farmer Kilbacon's yard, and when Squire Martin rescues him from their clamor, and asks him what is the matter, and Billy replies in much agitation, "Si-si-si-sir, I, I, wa-was going to p-p-play in the farmer's yard, and the turkies hissed me out; and that is not all, the great dog barked at me, and pulled me into the hog-trough," — the benevolent Squire Martin rejoins with this audacious fiction, "'Pho-pho, I am sure both the dog and the turkies are good-natured to all boys and girls who learn their Book, and are dutiful to their parents. But now I talk of books, let me hear how you can read;' so sitting down on a bench, he took Billy between his knees, and pulling out one of 'Marshall's Universal Battledores,' asked him the letters," — whereon, of course, it appears that Billy knew none of them, and so verified the violent hypothesis of the Jesuitical Squire as to the relation between the tyranny of turkeys and the penalties of ignorance. And "that bold fiction of the late Mr. Marshall's benevolent customer is, in fact, a very good illustration of the pious frauds, not only of the teachers, but of the artists of the day. When Billy Freeman and Tommy Truelove knock up a friendship at school, and we are told that they had "become the delight of all the ladies and gentlemen in the country," the artist who delineates them is most anxious to possess all who see his work with the fiction that the whole creation recognizes their merits. He presents them to us with their ruffled hands clasped in each other, their extensive bag-waistcoasts extending over very well-nourished bellies nearly to their knees, their legs, clad in small-clothes, standing very wide apart, so that all animate things might get a peep of the world under either triumphal arch, while the demure faces under their cocked hats express in the most legible characters for all the gentry of the neighborhood their dutiful satisfaction in that marvellous brotherly love for which they have become so renowned. The artists of the olden days were evidently as anxious as the