Brewer's: Chriss-cross Row
(row to rhyme with low). The alphabet in a horn-book, which had a cross at the beginning and end.
Philosophy is all the go, And science quite the fashion; Our grandams learnt the Chriss-cross Row, L-d, how their daughters dash on.
Anon. in the Eaglet.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894