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Exhibition Items : The youth's moral pilot, or, Old proverbs and sayings : illustrated with nine coloured engravings, historical tales, anecdotes,...

Exhibition Items

<p style='text-align: justify;'>If it was aimed at children, this brightly coloured volume was clearly written for those of a high social status. Priced at one shilling – twelve times the cost of the one-penny 'Anecdotes for good children' – it deconstructs the meanings of various well-known proverbs and their linguistic origins, translating each into French. The preface sets out its purpose by suggesting 'How many evils might be avoided – how many advantages obtained…were our youth led to study with attention, and treasure in their memories the morals, the sentiments…of the philosophers and wise men of every civilized nation on the globe'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This little volume includes the proverbs 'Cut your coat according to your cloth' (with the catchphrase 'Out of debt, out of danger'), illustrated by the individual in purple trousers in the foreground of the frontispiece, and 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush', illustrated by the man in the blue jacket holding a goose. Hans, as he is known in the story, is given a piece of silver 'bigger than his head' by his master upon completing his apprenticeship. He exchanges it first for a horse, because the silver was too heavy to carry, then a cow that gave him no milk, and eventually ends up with a stone before realising his mistake.</p>

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