In this busy reward, two cupids with symbols of the arts and sciences join the American eagle and two laughing baby Bacchuses, Minerva with her eagle, and a female figure—possibly Hebe, goddess of youth and early cup-bearer to the gods—pouring from a jug into a cup and perhaps representing learning being “poured” into the student.
The flowery border includes a skep with bees and a shepherd boy reading to an attentive dog, all framing a stanza from a popular poem:
Here's a lesson all should heed—try, try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed—try, try, try again.
Let your courage well appear,
If you only persevere,
You will conquer—never fear—try try again.
This appropriate image of a book nestled in flowers contains two bits of Biblical advice:
Honor thy mother and thy father in the days of thy youth.
A cupid lurks in a flowery wreath, emphasizing the image in the following poem:
How lovely, how charming the sight,
When children their teacher obey;
The angels look down with delight,
This beautiful scene to survey.
A boy and a girl enjoy a book together, surrounded by flowers and attended by two doves. Portions are printed in tan, and accents are hand colored.
In purple, two goddesses flank a shield inscribed “Excelsior,” on which perches an eagle; a border printed in green encircles them. The edges of the card are scalloped. The green-printed text extolls 19th-century virtues: