"Alfred Poole" not only glorifies its young subject, it provides him--and other young readers of Robert Merry's Museum--with an etiquette code and with incentive to do well in school.


ALFRED POOLE (from Robert Merry's Museum, May 1845, p. 184)

      When Alfred Poole
      First went to school,
He was but scarcely seven;
      Yet knew as well
      To read and spell
As most boys of eleven.

      He took his seat,
      And wrote quite neat,
Nor ever idly acted;
      And then, beside,
      He multiplied,
Divided, and subtracted.

      The master said,
      And stroked his head,
"If thus you persevere,
      My little friend,
      You may depend
Upon a prize next year."

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