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"a sign of recognition now applied to inside it, or, to put it in another way, strangers.” Here, again, our experi- two words and two ideas are run toence supports Mr. Buckman. The gether, and a compound, which is also child will often apply it the instant a a new word, is produced. For exstranger enters upon an afternoon call, ample, a girl of under three was lately waving a small hand to enforce its dis- told that she was going abroad, and missal of the intruder.
also that she was going to reach forBut we cannot follow Mr. Buck- eign parts by going on board ship. A man's vocabulary any further, or in- mere grown-up person
would have quire how far "ach" or "ah" is or is plodded on, using the two phrases side not, “a general conversational word,” by side. But at two and three-quaror “kah” “a strong sign of displeasure ters the mind is too alert for these dull at anything nasty to the taste.” Again, ways, and a portmanteau word was “ba-ha” must remain undiscussed, nor soon produced. “When am I going can we debate the examples furnished abroadships?” became half-hourly of Isabel's talk at two and a lialf years question. How much more expressive old or at three and a half, of Ella's at and how much less long than “When three or of George's at four or five, ex- am I going abroad on board ship?”' cept to say that we have not of recent Both the new and important ideas of years met any children whose lan- foreign travel and sea-voyage are covguage was so simple and primitive. ered over by that “one narrow word,” What surprises one with children of "abroadships.” There is, of course, three or four nowadays, is to find a nothing the least remarkable in such young lady or gentleman who does not a compound. Every nursery can furtalk with an entire plainness of utter- nish examples of new words which ance, and employ the syllogism with a often display far more euphony and complete mastery of its uses. We re- also far better logic than the dreadful call how a small boy of four listened words produced by the men of science to the talk about a new house, and as labels for their new discoveries in when he thought that the night nurs- the regions of applied chemistry. The ery had been omitted, struck in with, speech of children shows also a won“I must have a night nursery—the derful quickness and resource in the evenings will come to the new house matter of supplying the language with just the same.” Every one must have direct phrases and forms of speech. met examples of the logical case often While the grown-ups are content to put against going to bed at a slightly walk round, the child takes a verbal different hour, or under slightly dif- shortcut. Children are
very seldom ferent conditions. "Nurse always content with such round-about devices comes to fetch me to go to bed. Nurse as “Had not I better" do this or that. hasn't come to fetch me. I won't go "Bettern't I” is the much more direct to bed.” The baby who assumes this and much more expressive form kind of attitude and enforces it in per- adopted in almost all nurseries. fectly clear and well-cut sentences, is Take, again, the word "whobody” to apparently unknown to Mr. Buckman. match with "anybody” and “someAnother category of infant speech is body.” When the facetious parent reas little known to him. He mentions marks, “Somebody's been walking on the child's habit of decapitating and this flower-bed,” he may, if his offdecaudating its words—“'have" for spring is inclined to ingenuities of lanbehave, or “pram” for perambulator, guage, be answered by the interrogabut he says comparatively little about tion “Whobody?” These portmanteau the power shown by children to make words and short-cut phrases show that what the author of "Alice in Wonder- if children could only be induced to land” so happily calls portmanteau keep up the verbal habits prevalent words. A portmanteau word is from two to five our language might word which has another word packed be indefinitely enriched. Unfortu
nately after five or six the language of lowed to butter the slices of cake and children is apt to become pedantically then had whole-strawberry jam on the conventional and correct. The child top.” If the speech of children of ten of ten, indeed, seems often to be train is restricted in the matter of commening himself for
a fauteuil in Mr. datory adjectives, it is equally Stead's proposed academy. He stops stricted in the way of adjectival dewhat he considers a new or unauthor- nunciation. Every one a boy dislikes ized word like a suspected person. or does not understand is “quite mad." Every phrase is challenged and in- Of course things in general of a disspected, and the parent or uncle who agreeable kind are always "beastly" or makes a slip in grammar or pronunci- “vile;” and why he should not be alation, or steps outside the conventional lowed to use these epithets where rut, is pounced upon and corrected they are clearly applicable passes his with all the primness of a pedagogue. comprehension. Obviously the lanThe boy of ten, no doubt, has the com- guage of the schoolboy is not a fleximand of a certain amount of slang, ble instrument. Gestures and
low but it is of a limited and defined kind. whistles and clicks and winks may A special vocabulary is in use at his stimulate it into a certain vividness school, but outside this vocabulary the and picturesqueness, but per se the schoolboy does not think it good form language of the schoolroom is not half to travel. The language of children at as full of imagination and resource as this stage is, indeed, exceedingly the language of the nursery. Literary amusing on account of its
cast-iron gentlemen on the lookout for new colstrictness. For months, nay, years, to- ors for the verbal palette may get gether one word of commendation is
some startling effects out of the baby, considered sufficient for all needs. but from Master Jack they will learn Ask a boy of ten to describe his chief little or nothing. Meantime, we adfriend to you,-to tell you, that is, vise the men of science to be careful what kind of a boy he is. Almost cer- how they build their theories on the tainly you will get as your answer, “mas," "bas,” and “das" of knee-high “He's a very decent chap.” There is infants. We have a strong belief ourno idea of depreciation. It merely selves that baby language is a purely happens that “decent” is the word of artificial product of the nurses and the hour for expressing all good mothers,-a tradition handed down by things. Asked what he would like his them, and not by the babies. If this friends to think of him, Jack will re- is so, the nurses and mothers could ply, “A decent chap, of course, father.” change it if they would, and nothing In the same way Jack brings you his is more likely than that they would do favorite book and asks, “Don't you so if they saw the prattle of the cradle think, father, that this is an awfully set forth in printed books. They decent story?-all about fighting would never believe that it was
all sharks under water with those rotten done for science, but would conclude rays or whatever they are, and a boy that they and their precious charges pirate who ran off with a torpedo-boat were being laughed at by rude men and caught two archbishops; only its who know nothing about children. sickening rot at the end, all about his Just to prove these rude men wrong being in love with a little fool of a they would invent a new vocabulary, Greek girl, called Hydrant, or Haidee, and turn the laugh against the books or something." A new pistol is “a by making them obviously incorrect. frightfully decent
one, don't you The nurses would only have to put think ?” because it fires eight peas at their heads together to make “tatta" once; and the tea at a tea-party was
"good morning” everywhere “very decent,” because "we were als from Chicago to Aberdeen.
No. 2766—July 10, 1897.
CHILDHOOD AND MARRIAGE. By Jane
Thus I feigned him to sing; but he intent
on his labor High on the crest of the upland a ploughman stands with his horses,
Wasted no word on song, nor spoke exFigures of sculptured bronze they appear cept to his horses. on the saffron skyline;
Now at the close of day he stands erect Low is the sun in the west, but a magical
on the upland, shimmer of sunlight
Modelled against the sky, a figure of
labor triumphant Sprinkles with dust of gold the rich brown earth of the furrows.
Over the subject earth, and scans the Morn and noon had I watched him pa
field he has conquered.
All the fair hillside is ribbed with his tiently guiding the ploughshare,
long, straight furrows; Straining muscle and nerve as he urged his team to their labors;
Soon shall it break into green, pierced by
a million corn-shoots; Once when a cuckoo sang he laughed and
Soon! too soon! shall it wave with full jingled his money; Once when a bicycle passed, like a flash
ears ripe for the reaping. on the dusty highway,
Aye! though the day was hard and his
frame is weary with toiling, Turned with a look of envy; then cracked
Surely his heart is glad, and the spirit his whip at the horses.
within him rejoices. Musical were the heavens above and the hedgerows around him;
R. H. LAW. Silver chiming of skylarks, fluting of
thrushes and blackbirds Canopied earth with delight, curtained
her chambers with sweetness. Mingied with other notes was the voice of an emulous starling,
THE VILLA EMILIA. Vain of his bad imitation of more original minstrels.
Gates that I never entered, under the Then in the joy of his heart the plough
shadow of treesman whistled a chorus,
Gates with the garden discreet behind the Whereto I fashioned a song in praise of wall; ploughing and reaping:
Is it here, Ogarden discreet; is it here,
after all, "Hail to the plough and the oxen! Hail Here and behind your gates, to the Lord of the ploughshare!
That the love of my life awaits Hail to the tamer of Earth! Hail to the In a golden sleep, the dawn of my coming, builders of Home!
under the trees? Huntsmen of old were our sires, or herdsmen seeking for pasture,
Under the quiet of trees the garden sleeps Hither and thither they fared to and fro
in the sunin the land;
Sleeps, and awaits one day a wakening Tever the summer found them where the
hand; winter had left them,
Is it I, O garden discreet; is it I shall Hardly their tents were pitched ere, stand
struck once more, they were gone. One day at the gate and claim But with the plough there came an end of Your princess in my name? their pitiful wand'rings,
For she sleeps, and awaits the appointed For with the plough there came clearing coming-sleeps in the sun.
of forest and fen; Cottage and hamlet and village arose for Gates that I never entered, gates of my fixed habitations,
villa of dreams, Binding with cords of love man to the Is there a princess at all that your place of his birth.
shadows keep There they had played as children, there For her lover, O garden discreet, in a they had courted and wedded;
golden sleep? Dear was each well-known field, dear An, if behind your gates each familiar tree.
Only a shadow awaits There were the graves of their fathers, The shadowy love that I lay at your porthere should their own receive them
tals, villa of dreams! Back to the earth they loved, when they might till it no more.”
From Cosmopolis. habit of tyrannical shyness, from makCURRENT FRENCH LITERATURE. ing any investigation of its people. It might have been expected that, as Knowing the scenes so familiarly, EnSwitzerland is thronged every year glish readers will follow with unusual with English people, the first Swiss intelligence a cicerone who can take them novel would come from an English pen. from châlet to châlet, and expose before But it has been left for an eminent them the hopes and desires of those French novelist to seize the dramatic human beings whom they have hithelements which have so long been offer- erto, unconsciously, regarded as poring themselves in vain in the upper tions of the landscape. The subjectvalleys of the Alps. It is doubtful, in- matter, too, of “Là-Haut" should be deed, whether any Englishman living peculiarly interesting to our race, since could have written the admirable study it is we, more than any other people, of Alpine life which M. Edouard Rod who have led to its development. M. has given us in “Là-Haut" (Perrin et Rod (whose early Genevan experiences, Cie). No persons, probably, have fuller doubtless, arm him with exact impresknowledge of the physical conforma- sions of Swiss sentiment) paints the tion of the mountains than the large struggle between the old life in a mounand intelligent section of English pro- tain village-with its small inns, its fessional society which every summer warm local movement, its jealousy, its make the Alps their playground. But individuality-and the new life of monwe English have an extraordinary way ster hotels, casinos, rack-and-pinion of carrying about with us an imper- railways, and complete devotion to the meable crystal armor, which permits complex speculative system of modern the penetration of visual phenomena Switzerland. It is a very curious crisis and excludes all relation of ideas. We in social existence which M. Rod has travel in Switzerland in large numbers, chosen to portray, and one on the outand we display every variety of gusto skirts of which we are almost as much and intrepidity; what there is to do and at home as in a hamlet of Sussex or to see, the English climber sees and East Lothian, but of which the majority does. But we form, as M. Rod has ob- of us have been densely unappreciative. served, an independent and tyrannical A young man, Julien Sterny, who has colony, "qui s'empare du salon pour passed in public through a painful emodanser les soirs de pluie et chanter des tional experience, desires to hide his cantiques le dimanche;" we are "fort head for awhile, until the wounds of his aimables d'ailleurs (oh! this cruel spirit are healed. Driven by his agitouch!) “pourvu qu'on ne nous gênat tated nerves from spot to spot, he takes pas.” But it never occurs to us-it refuge at last in the high Alpine village would be foreign to our whole attitude of Vallanches in the Bas Valais. and manners—to consider as civilized (Where is this village? It has somebeings the inhabitants of the valleys we thing of Orsières, something of Evolena. invade, or to speculate as to their am- They are all of one likeness, these bitions or peculiarities. If our hotel- brown hamlets of the Valais, that look keepers are civil, our guides competent so Japanese from the cornices of the and steady, we ask no more; we make peaks above them.) Vallanches — all the Oberland a temporary English this is some ten or fifteen years ago—is county.
still known only to a group who visit it, It is, therefore, more than probable affectionately and loyally, year after that this new story of M. Rod's (the year. Its modest hotels preserve their most delightful, in my judgment, that ancient aspect, great châlets transhe has yet produced) will be read with formed within to decently comfortable peculiar pleasure by English men and and clean, but not luxurious, lodgingwomen who are familiar with the houses. Its inhabitants, a sturdy clan, physical aspect of the High Alps, but . are bound together by ancient obseryhave been prevented, by the national ances and cultivate a simple patriotism.