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[217]

XLIII. the humor of children.

That is a surprising remark lately made by one who is usually a very acute observer, Mr. C. D. Warner, to the effect that children under twelve have commonly no sense of humor. No doubt these young things vary, like their elders, in temperament. Some of them are, from the cradle, as devoid of all capacity for fun as a travelling Englishman; but if there is one quality which I should attribute, in normal cases, to very young children, it is the sense of humor. You presuppose it inevitably in your very first elementary game with your baby, when you alternately hide your face and show it, with the cry “Peep-bo!” The child knows perfectly well that you are not in two places at once; the sense of surprise is what tickles; and very soon it catches the trick itself, and enjoys the humor of pretending to be in one place and presently bobbing up in another. One of the most familiar expressions in the eye of a child, I should say, is the twinkle of humor; and every parent knows that one of the best ways of overcoming a fit of anger or distress is to appeal

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