t For Death prepared be."
When the younger members of the family are otherwise mentioned in the Judge's diary, it is perhaps to note the parents' pride in the eighteen-months-old infant's knowledge of the catechism, an acquirement rewarded by the gift of a red apple, but which suggests the reason for many funerals. Or, again, difficulties with the alphabet are sorrowfully put down; and also deliquencies at the age of four in attending family prayer, with a full account of punishments meted out to the culprit. Such details are, indeed, but natural, for under the stern conditions imposed by Cotton and the Mathers, religion looms large in the foreground of any sketch of family life handed down from the first century of the Massachusetts colony. Perhaps the very earliest picture in which a colonial child with a book occupies the centre of the canvas is that given in a letter of Samuel Sewall's. In sixteen hundred and seventy-one he wrote with pride to a friend of "little Betty, who though Reading passing w
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