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ventures, Aunt Judy's Magazine and Chatterbox. The former was edited by Mrs. Alfred Gatty, the author of Parables from Nature, and other works intended to bring children into sympathy with the marvels of nature. The magazine was afterwards controlled by Mrs. J. H. Ewing and her sister, and came to an end with the much lamented death of the former lady in 1885. Though ostensibly started for little children, it frequently took up a position far above the nursery. Its main feature was fiction, which often assumed the form of an allegorical or parabolic' tale, pointing some moral truth.' Chatterbox was nearer the mark of the nursery than Aunt Judy. No undue sentimentality characterises this as it characterises so many children's magazines, and its editor has adhered firmly to the irreproachable principles which he set forth in his first number.

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As there are tears as well as smiles on the cheeks even of children, so, in spite of its lightsome name, this Chatterbox will from week to week whisper a few words about the solemn lessons we must learn, and the duties we must try to do to God and to those around us, if we would be happy here and happy in the Great ForEver.

Little Wide-Awake first saw the light in 1875, and has always been ably conducted by Mrs. Sale Barker. Little Folks is one of the very few English children's magazines which at all approach in beauty and general merit the American St. Nicholas, or Harper's Young People. Some of the cleverest pens are employed in the writing of stories and drawing pictures for this periodical. Many other children's magazines, such as Bo-Peep, The Rosebud, Sunshine, and The Child's Pictorial, appeal with more or less well-deserved success to the jealously guarded precincts of the nursery, but their features are so similar and their number is so large that to mention their names even would be profitless if it were not out of the question.

To form any reliable opinion as to the influence of this everexpanding literature for the little ones is rendered almost impossible by the difficulty of ascertaining the precise working of a child's mind. We know, as has been admitted, the infinite potentiality centred in a baby brain; precisely the effect any given action may have it is beyond us to determine. Who shall say whether an acquaintance with Cinderella or Red Riding Hood has operated beneficially in the mental development of children? What have The Arabian Nights, some portions of which figure in the first reading of almost all children, done for them? Have the daydreams consequent upon intimacy with Sindbad or Ali Baba been useful or otherwise? To the mind of a boy of fifteen we know what a bane Ned Kelly is calculated to prove. With the child of eight will a perusal of Cinderella mean more considerateness towards her weaker sister, or vain longing for the good time when she can revenge herself for petty wrongs? Or, on the other hand, have

these stories any abiding effect at all? Is not the moral of any particular narrative lost to children in the interest which the adventures of their small heroes awaken ? These considerations, always probably weighty, are enhanced in the light of the circumstances of the moment. The good or bad in one book is largely neutralised by the rapidity with which the consumption of another is undertaken. The plethora of children's stories, in other words, under which the market is labouring is destructive of permanent influence or any tendency to steady application. As their parents read the latest three volumes and throw them aside, so children read the latest story book and cast it off, probably for ever. One young lady of my acquaintance, who has attained the great age of nine, has read, for pleasure, some two dozen books, including several by Mrs. Ewing, Miss Hesba Stretton, Mrs. Walton, and A. L. O. E., and reads some half-dozen monthly magazines. Mrs. Molesworth reminds us in Carrots that children never think of reading a book twice over in these days. Years ago Evenings at Home and Sandford and Merton were practically the focus of their literary resources.

'You think, I daresay,' says Mrs. Molesworth, addressing her small reader, 'that it must have been very stupid and tiresome to have so little variety; but I think you are in some ways mistaken. Children really read their books in those days; they put more of themselves into their reading, so that, stupid as these quaint old stories might seem to you nowadays, they never seemed so then. What was wanting in them the children filled up out of their own fresh hearts and fancies, and however often they read and re-read them, they always found something new. They got to know the characters in their favourite stories like real friends, and would talk them over with their companions, and compare their opinions about them in a way that made each book as good, or better, than a dozen.'

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The outcome of the present régime is that children forget stories almost as quickly as they read them, and Mrs. Molesworth is hardly consistent when she makes Auntie, in Tell Me a Story, explain, after commenting on the piles of clever story-books now written, Why, it will be the children telling stories to amuse papas and mammas and aunties next' instead of the latter telling stories to amuse children. To know his fairy tale,' or any other tale, accurately, to have perfect joy or awe in the conception of it, as if it were real,' as Mr. Ruskin desiderates, is not possible while children are practically allowed to run loose among the wares of the juvenile bookseller, and graze off every fresh work brought out. The reading of children half a century ago may have tended to narrowness; the reading of children to-day tends to breadth and shallowness.

Fiction for the babes, as the foregoing pages have shown, divides itself into two distinct departments: the fairy tale and the story of life. Whatever there may have been in his own time, there is not at this period much truth in Dr. Johnson's remark that 'Babies do

not like to hear stories of babies like themselves. They require to have their imaginations raised by tales of giants and fairies and castles and enchantments.' Miss Edgeworth objected to this statement, and her own writings were in fact directed against the reign of the fairies. To an idealist like Mr. Ruskin, of course, the wisdom of permitting children to read fairy stories cannot be questioned. Fairies are to children largely what ghosts are to adults, and are in some sort disturbers of childhood's peace. They exaggerate natural phenomena; they lack all considerations of proportion in matter; they are destructive of selfreliance. A child who is accustomed to see everything done by the wave of a wand may not unnaturally look to the fairy to support him in one of the crises of his own little life. The important question is: do children believe fairy stories? I do not think they do: and chiefly for this reason. If some one tells them of an extraordinary incident in life, they clap their hands in their delight and cry, 'It sounds like a story taken out of a book!' This is strong testimony to their want of faith in fairies and hobgoblins and the other fanciful figures of their literary world. Provided therefore the fairy story is healthy in tone, and, as Mr. Ruskin would wish, in sympathy with the fields and woods, rather than school-rooms and drawing-rooms,' children can come by little harm in reading them. And if it relieves the dulness of their lives, without destroying their trust in parents, or the sweetness of their as yet unworldly heart, to allow the baby mind to toss itself on the imaginative seas provided by fairy narratives, like a cork upon the sun-reflecting ripples of a river, is good.

Of stories of real life, it may at once be said that they should inculcate one grand absorbing principle-the principle of love love of beauty and of goodness, as well as of parent and friend. Their character should be ideal rather than real. I can conceive of no story so likely to be both beneficial and interesting as that which treats every-day facts in a light fairy-like manner-a blend of the two kinds of fiction, in short, in which the real is merged in the ideal, and as the real should only be concerned with the good, goodness would secure the advantage of ideal elevation. On this ground it may be asked whether it is wise to write for children precisely as children speak? Would not Mrs. Molesworth's works serve a more useful end if her children said 'dreadful ' instead of dedful,' or Mrs. Meade's if her little 'autocrat' said understand' instead of 'underland'? Though this would deprive the works of writers for children of their most humorous side and their full realistic charm, those works would gain in educational value as well as in lucidity to the audience for which they are intended. The real should give way to the ideal, the imperfect to the perfect, when it is in the interests of the little reader to do so.


In the rearing of their children, no question perplexes the c scientious parent more than the choice of books-no matter whet they be story books or picture books. No hard and fast rule can laid down for their guidance. No list of books however worthy prove of the least avail. Experience is the only safe guide. Pare study the composition of a particular meal intended for the b stomach; but they seldom devote more than a passing thought the likes or dislikes of the baby mind. Readers of biography frequently reminded of the effect which a certain piece of lite ture exercised upon the mental development of the subject of memoir. Nothing seems more certain than that if the mot and father were to watch the feelings aroused in a child by t different sorts of books first placed in its hands, they would able to give it literature of a kind which would help to mould mind into a graceful whole and give strength to its weaker par Thus, they ought to be able to counteract a disposition to sentimen ality or pessimism by vigorous and optimistic narrative; optimis or feverish nervous energy might find healthy qualification in stori of a mildly philosophic character. The emotions of which a child capable are so ingenuously evinced that nothing ought to be easi than for parents to determine the sort of fiction likely to be mo useful. Let a child read stories of whatever character it likes. experience shows that a particular kind of fiction is calculated do harm, do not fly to its antithesis for a remedy. Compromi the matter by giving the little one a story similar in subject matte but so modified in tone as to prove innocuous. Parents may take for certain that, if they adopt proper measures at the outset, they wi deprive reading of the great danger which it possesses for the youn Start the child on the road of honour and truth, and prepare i mind for the inception and comprehension of sound principle That is what it is necessary to do in these days of high pressure an sensationalism. The period of adolescence has its risks, but the risks will be small or great in proportion as their source is wisely unwisely dealt with.


THE readers of the interesting sketch of the late Metaphysical Society which Mr. Hutton contributed two years ago to this Review will not be surprised that I should have read with peculiar interest two remarkable articles lately contributed to it by Mr. Mivart, entitled respectively, 'Modern Catholics and Scientific Freedom,' and "The Catholic Church and Biblical Criticism," but no personal grounds are necessary to entitle anyone who is interested in the subject to make the observations which these articles suggest.

A person who has no liking for, or connection with, the Roman Catholic Church is ill fitted to judge of the degree of importance which, within its borders, may attach to Mr. Mivart's writings.

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They cannot, however, be wholly unimportant. That he is an able and accomplished man is obvious to everyone, that his views can hardly have escaped the attention of the principal Roman Catholic dignitaries in England is certain. He tells us himself, in his second article, that certain persons earnestly solicited his condemnation' for the first article, and that up to the present time' he has not received even a private hint of disapprobation from any ecclesiastical authority.' He publishes part of a grateful and highly eulogistic letter on his first article from a most esteemed superior of one of the medieval religious orders,' and upon the whole he says, 'from the evidence I have now obtained it is abundantly clear to me that all danger of conflict between the Church and biology is for ever at an end.' Encouraged by this triumphant result he proceeds in his second article to carry matters a long step further. Historical science and biblical criticism, he considers, are to be accepted by Roman Catholics as fully and unreservedly as biology, and he gives specimens of the results to which his attention has been directed, and which he is ready to accept as far as the principle which they involve is concerned. He does not, of course, pledge himself to details, but he thinks the method by which many known critical and historical results have been reached is sound, and they can, he thinks, be held by the most genuine Catholics consistently with their faith.

1 Nineteenth Century, July 1885, July 1887. In the notes I refer to them as I, and II.

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