[EDITOR'S NOTE: This item has not been previously republished elsewhere. It is included in this collection because of its potential to be the work of Clemens and is deserving of further research and consideration.]
Let the children cut paper, and praise them for it, and it will give them pleasure. Let them make lamp-lighters, and as sure as they feel that they are helping some one they will be happy.
- California Youths' Companion.
Oh, certainly, that is all very well; but you give them a chance at a jar of raspberry jam, and let them feel that they are helping themselves, and they will be infinitely more happy. What is the tame amusement of cutting paper and making lamp-lighters compared to the exhilerating recreation of exterminating raspberry jam? Satyr to Hyperion! a sapling to a sawlog! a "deucefull" to four aces! You don't know anything about conferring happiness on children. If you'd have them feel that life is not in vain, let them tear their clothes; let them sling mud; let them hang the cat; let them slide on the cellar door; let them swing on the cellar door; let them make mud pies; let them embark in commerce and trade "un-sight, un-seein';" let them throw rocks at the Chinamen; let them build dams in the gutter; let them swap Sunday school books for shoemaker's wax to chew; let them "play hookey;" "let them break things; let the girls suck the paint off their dolls; let the boys carry strings, jews-harps, fishhooks, "white-alleys," tops, chewing gum, apple-cores, chalk, charcoal, "red keel," barlow knives, pea-nuts, frogs, tadpoles, grasshoppers, glass, corks, door-knobs, and any other trifles they may come in possession of, in their pockets; let them play soldier, circus, firemen, painted savage; let them have guns and tin swords, and go to war; let them indulge in drums and other things that will afford them cheerful noise; let them fall down stairs; let them stub their toes; let them wipe their noses on their jacket sleeves; let them -- . Well, let them enjoy even the few innocent amusements we have mentioned and they will be truly happy. But -- cut paper and make lamp-lighters? -- such utterly flat and insipid entertainments as that for staving, tearing, high-blooded children? -- Oh, come now, you're sick.
[transcribed from microfilm]
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