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The alphabet - book, which was a thin board of oak about nine inches long and five or six wide, on which was printed the alphabet, the nine digits, and sometimes the Lord’s Prayer. It had a handle, and was covered in front with a sheet of thin horn to prevent its being soiled; the back-board was ornamented with a rude sketch of St. George and the Dragon. The board and its horn cover were held together by a narrow frame or border of brass. (See Crisscross Row.)


“Thee will I sing, in comely wainscoat bound,

And golden verge inclosing thee around;

The faithful horn before, from age to age

Preserving thy invulnerable page;

Behind, thy patron saint in armour shines,

With sword and lance to guard the sacred lines

Thʹ instructive handle’s at the bottom fixed,

Lest wrangling critics should pervert the text.”

Tickell: The Horn Book.

“Their books of stature small they took in hand

Which with pellucid horn securëd are,

To save from finger wet the letters fair.”

Shenstone: Schoolmistress.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Hope-on-High Bomby
Hopkins (Matthew)
Hopping Giles
Horatian Metre (An)
Horn, Horns
Horn of Fidelity
Horn of Plenty [Cornu-copia]
Horn of Power
Horn of the Son of Oil (The) (Isa. v. 1)
Horn with Horn or Horn under Horn
Horns of a Dilemma
Horns of Moses Face
Horns of the Altar (To the)

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