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Child Life in Prose   By:

Child Life in Prose by Various

First Page:

Transcriber's Notes:

1. Passages in italics are surrounded by underscores ; " in bold are surrounded by =equals=. " in bold Gothic font are surrounded by ==double equals==.

2. Illustrations falling within the middle of a paragraph have been relocated to the beginning or end of the paragraph.

3. Footnotes, (two) have been placed immediately below the paragraph containing their anchor marker.

4. A detailed list of corrections and other transcription notes appears at the end of this e text.






BOSTON: HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY. ==The Riverside Press, Cambridge.==

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, BY JAMES R. OSGOOD & CO., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington,



"We behold a child. Who is it? Whose is it? What is it? It is in the centre of fantastic light, and only a dim revealed form appears. It is God's own child, as all children are. The blood of Adam and Eve, through how many soever channels diverging, runs in its veins; and the spirit of the Eternal, which blows everywhere, has animated it. It opens its eyes upon us, stretches out its hands to us as all children do. Can you love it? It may be heir of a throne, does it interest you? Or of a milking stool, do not despise it. It is a miracle of the All working; it is endowed by the All gifted. Smile upon it, it will a smile give back again; prick it, it will cry. Where does it belong? In what zone or climate? It may have been born on the Thames or the Amazon, the Hoang ho or the Mississippi. It is God's child still, and its mother's. It is curiously and wonderfully made. The inspiration of the Almighty hath given it understanding. It will look after God by how many soever names he may be called; it will seek to know; it will long to be loved; it will sin and be miserable; if it has none to care for it, it will die."

JUDD'S Margaret .


The unexpectedly favorable reception of the poetical compilation entitled "Child Life" has induced its publishers to call for the preparation of a companion volume of prose stories and sketches, gathered, like the former, from the literature of widely separated nationalities and periods. Illness, preoccupation, and the inertia of unelastic years would have deterred me from the undertaking, but for the assistance which I have had from the lady whose services are acknowledged in the preface to "Child Life." I beg my young readers, therefore, to understand that I claim little credit for my share in the work, since whatever merit it may have is largely due to her taste and judgment. It may be well to admit, in the outset, that the book is as much for child lovers, who have not outgrown their child heartedness in becoming mere men and women, as for children themselves; that it is as much about childhood, as for it. If not the wisest, it appears to me that the happiest people in the world are those who still retain something of the child's creative faculty of imagination, which makes atmosphere and color, sun and shadow, and boundless horizons, out of what seems to prosaic wisdom most inadequate material, a tuft of grass, a mossy rock, the rain pools of a passing shower, a glimpse of sky and cloud, a waft of west wind, a bird's flutter and song. For the child is always something of a poet; if he cannot analyze, like Wordsworth and Tennyson, the emotions which expand his being, even as the fulness of life bursts open the petals of a flower, he finds with them all Nature plastic to his eye and hand. The soul of genius and the heart of childhood are one.

Not irreverently has Jean Paul said, "I love God and little children. Ye stand nearest to Him, ye little ones... Continue reading book >>

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