A Golden Rule For Back To School!

Illustration:  In School and Out.  Funny Stories About Funny People.  Illustrations by J. G. Francis, J. C. Shepherd, F. J. Merrill, Palmer Cox, George F. Barnes and Others.  National Publishing Company: Philadelphia. Ca 1905.


 When Jumbo was young and went to school

He soon found out this golden rule,

“Work when you work – play when you play,

That is always the wisest way!”


For if you play in school, mayhap,

You’ll have to wear a dunce’s cap;

And he who can’t his lessons say

Will have to work while others play!


So Jumbo first his lessons learned,

And then went out, his playtime earned,

And if an Elephant can be so wise

I’m sure a small boy can if he tries.


Funny Stories About Funny People.

Illustrations by J. G. Francis, J. C. Shepherd, F. J. Merrill, Palmer Cox, George F. Barnes and Others.

National Publishing Company: Philadelphia. Ca 1905.

18 thoughts on “A Golden Rule For Back To School!

  1. Hello Elephant and thank you for yet another super post. Your is rapidly becoming my favorite blog, I love it!
    This one above is a case in point; beautiful illustration, and the poem is great too.

    In fact, I’m almost tempted to copy it (the poem) out and distribute it as a photocopy to my (English language) students.
    Doubt if they would thank me, though, most of them are university stage ! Still a charming verse however.

    By the way, I was looking at the picture, and trying to work out, if its a woodcut; an engraving or some piece of magic with pen and ink? I’m just curious. Any insights on that, on the medium i mean?
    very best regards- Arran.

    1. I think it is a drawing.

      You should copy the post with the illustration and give it to your students. It will lighten the mood!

      Thank you for your kind words!


    2. To reply more fully (I was in a rush) – I think it is a pen and ink drawing. This book has illustrations from many people in it. There are other drawings by the same artist – I will try to figure out more from the book if I can.

      A woodcut usually goes with the grain a bit. Here the hatching (which isn’t really hatching, but you get the idea) goes very different directions and the lines look similar (they would be a bit more frayed if it was a woodcut).

      I am so happy that you like my blog. It really was very nice of you to tell me – just wanted to give you more of an answer and a better thank you!


      1. Yes, I am sure you are right, at least I’m sure now you’re right its not a woodcut, as it’s quite true what you say, that the lines there tend to be more ragged.
        I just keep looking at it, mostly just because so beautiful, and partly to try and work out more. I wonder could it be a lino or engraving (?). But, even though I did some print-making in art school, I just don’t know enough about the whole area to judge with any confidence. Whatever it is, it’s a virtuoso piece of work. The way the lines don’t just describe the shape and mass of the elephants bodies, but even manage to describe how the light is falling on them: amazing really- superlatively good. Thank you for your kind replies, and for the lovely posts. Please keep them coming, they are one of the treats of my week! Arran. 🙂

  2. Elephant, I think you’re correct about it being pen and ink- the wonderful way that the shading follows the contours of the elephants’ bodies could never be achieved in a woodcut- the only other possibility is etching (or lino print?).

    This illustration though has that lovely variation in line thickness that comes from the pen’s speed of travel across the page.

    A great rhyme too- thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    1. Now we have the opinion of an expert to rely on!

      Naturally, I agree with killkaties. Thank you sir for your input and your kind words. It is a pleasure to be me today!



            1. Well if it is like school or work – a task you must get done to meet a “have to” – then I would call it work. If you are doing it for fun and it turned out to be a a pain, then it is play gone unfun!


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