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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by
TICKNOR AND FIELDS,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
PSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: STEREOTYPED BY H. O. HOUGHTON.
Fern Forests of the Carboniferous Period, The Prof. Louis Agassiz..
Hancock House, The, and its Founder..
...M. D. Conway..
..Arthur Gilman ...Gail Hamilton..
Human Wheel, The, Its Spokes and Felloes.. O. W. Holmes....
Lamb's, Charles, Uncollected Writings
Member from Foxden, The..
No Failure for the North..
Only an Irish Girl!.....
Pericles and President Lincoln..
Preacher's Trial, The ..
..J. E. Babson
Grenville M. Weeks, U. S. N..
.Prof. Louis Agassiz..
George Wm. Curtis...
Weak Lungs, and How to Make them Strong Dio Lewis, M. D...
Promise of the Dawn, The
Recollections of a Gifted Woman
Reply to the Address of the Women of England, A..Harriet Beecher Stowe...
.Author of “Recreations of a Country Parson
.Author of “Life in the Iron-Mills".
D. A. Wasson.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Benet's Treatise on Military Law and the Practice of Courts-Martial..
Brooks's Translation of Richter's Titan ...
Choate, Rufus, The Works and Memoir of, by Prof. S. G. Brown..
Parsons's Treatise on the Law of Promissory Notes and Bills of Exchange.
Rejoinder to Mrs. Stowe's Reply to the Address of the Women of England
A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.
VOL. XI.—JANUARY, 1863.—NO. LXIII.
LONG ago, when you were a little boy or a little girl,—perhaps not so very long ago, either, were you never interrupted in your play by being called in to have your face washed, your hair combed, and your soiled apron exchanged for a clean one, preparatory to an introduction to Mrs. Smith, or Dr. Jones, or Aunt Judkins, your mother's carly friend? And after being ushered in to that august presence, and made to face a battery of questions which were either above or below your capacity, and which you consequently despised as trash or resented as insult, did you not, as you were gleefully vanishing, hear a soft sigh breathed out upon the air,-"Dear child, he is seeing his happiest days"? In the concrete, it was Mrs. Smith or Dr. Jones speaking of you. But going back to general principles, it was Commonplacedom expressing its opinion of childhood.
There never was a greater piece of absurdity in the world. I thought so when I was a child, and now I know it; and I desire here to brand it as at once
a platitude and a falsehood. How ever the idea gained currency that childhood is the happiest period of life, I cannot conceive. How ever, once started, it kept afloat is equally incomprehensible. I should have supposed that the experience of every sane person would have given the lie to it. I should have supposed that every soul, as it burst into flower, would have hurled off the vile imputation. I can only account for it by recurring to Lady Mary Wortley Montague's statistics, and concluding that the fools are three out of four in every person's acquaintance.
I for one lift up my voice emphatically against the assertion, and do affirm that I think childhood is the most mean and miserable portion of human life, and I am thankful to be well out of it. I look upon it as no better than a mitigated form of slavery. There is not a child in the land that can call his soul, or his body, or his jacket his own. A little soft lump of clay he comes into the world, and is moulded into a vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor long before he can put in a word
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.