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The Parent's Assistant, Or, Stories for Children

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Pages: 132

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Maria Edgeworth

Excerpt from book: xiii Dr. Johnson says, that " Babies do not like " to hear stories of babies like themselves: " that they require to have their imaginations ' raised by tales of giants and fairies, and " castles and enchantments."—The fact remains to b proved : but supposing that they do prefer such tales, is this a reason why they should be indulged in reading them ? It may he said that a little experience in life would soon convince them, that fairies, giants, and enchanters, are not to be met with in the world. But why should the mind be filled with fantastic visions, instead of useful knowledge ? Why should so much valuable time be lost? Why should we vitiate their taste, and spoil their appetite, by suffering them to feed upon sweetmeats ? It is to be hoped, that the magic of Dr. Johnson's name will not have power to restore the reign of fairies. But even when the improbability of fairy tales .is avoided, care should be taken to keep objects in their just proportions, when we attempt an imitation of real life. " Love, hatred, fear, and anger, are to be" raised in the soul," says an eminent poet, " by showing their objects out of their true " proportion, either greater than the life or " less: but instruction is to be given, by " showing them what they really are." And surely a writer, who sincerely wishes to increase the happiness of mankind, will find it easy to give up the fame that might be acquired by eloquence, when it is injurious to the cause of truth. chapter{Section 4LAZY LAWRENCE. In Ihe pleasant valley of Ashton there lived an elderly woman of the name of Preston : she had a small neat cottage, and there was not a weed to be seen in her garden. It was upon her garden that she chiefly depended for support : it consisted of strawberry-beds, and one small border for...  

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