previous next
[218] to this instinct. Fancy Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain postponing the development of humor until twelve ears old! Their mothers — from whom they perhaps inherited the gift-knew better.

Of course many of the droll sayings we quote from children are not droll to those who said them; but there are more which are so, and we can distinguish them by watching for the twinkle. The little girl who rebelled against the bathing-tub, and said, indignantly, to her mother, “Don't wash me; wash 'at baby,” pointing to the naked child in Knaus's Madonna on the wall, evidently enjoyed the flavor of her own remark. She knew that the proposed scapegoat of her punishment was but a flat surface, for she had often examined it with eye and finger, but the humor of the defiance pleased her very soul. Again, where the mistakes and whims of very young children are not humorous to themselves at the time, they usually become so very soon after. Any child of five will be entertained by your narrative of what it said and did at two or three years, nor will it miss a single good point in the retrospect. In a family of children, all under twelve, each will commonly appreciate the unconscious drolleries of the next younger; Susy quotes what Prudy has said, and Prudy again ,cites with delight the unexpected remarks of Dotty Dimple. How does this happen unless children have humor in themselves? If there

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Mark Twain (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
Dotty Dimple (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: