Sugar and Spice

Excerpts from the essays of 19th-century schoolboys, from Caroline Bigelow Le Row’s English as She Is Taught, 1887:

“Girls are very stuckup and dignefied in their maner and behaveyour. They think more of dress than anything and like to play with dowls and rags. They cry if they see a cow in afar distance and are afraid of guns. They stay at home all the time and go to Church every Sunday. They are al-ways sick. They are al-ways funy and making fun of boys hands and they say how dirty. They cant play marbels. I pity them poor things. They make fun of boys and then turn round and love them. I dont beleave they ever kiled a cat or any thing. They look out every nite and say oh ant the moon lovely. Thir is one thing I have not told and that is they always now their lessons bettern boys.”

“Timidity is a disease very prevelent among our American women. It is thought by them to be an ornament to their charms. How many young women faint by the sudden appearance of a rat from its hideing place! Oh! they do declare it’s impossible to live where these dreadful creatures make their homes they ask Ma cant she and wont she please to try to secure some remedy so they can be destroyed. You will see the young ladies leap up over stones and steps of great height so as to escape the barks of the dog, if they are walking with a friend of the male kind they will cling to the masculine arm and beseach him to walk so that she might loose sight of that horrible creature known as a dog.”