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[219] is any faculty not transferable at second-hand it is this. No maternal assurances that a thing is amusing will ever make it such to a child, unless the child has a sense of humor.

The games of young children, and, above all, their play with dolls, are a scene of genuine humor from the beginning. The doll is not merely loved and kissed, but is rebuked, scolded, put on probation, punished; a child will do this alone, or two or three will do it together, and with a zest which certainly comes by nature, not by instruction. You might as well say that there is no instinct in the way a kitten plays with its first mouse as to deny the instinct of humor to the child when she first “makes believe” that her doll Arabella is naughty. No matter how red Arabella's checks are, how flossy her hair, how blue her winking eyes, she is liable at any moment to be dethroned from power and put in the darkest of dark closets for a purely imaginary sin; while plain Jane, armless, legless, and featureless, is enthroned in her stead. The doll really appeals to the child's whole nature, not merely to the affectional part of it; land a doll's house with no sense of humor brought to bear on it would be a blighted home. It was in the full appreciation of what she said that a little girl remarked to me, many years ago, holding up a doll of her own sex whose legs had wholly vanished, “See! he's broke both his ”

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Arabella (2)
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