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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

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40                           CHILD'S PLAY

such a point, the child can understand, .But.if you merely
ask him of his past behaviour, as to who threw such a
stone, for instance, or struck such and such a match; or
whether he had looked into a parcel or gone by a for-
bidden path,—why, he can see no moment in the inquiry,
and it is ten to one, he has already half forgotten and half
bemused himself with subsequent imaginings.

It would be easy to leave them in their native cloud-
land, where they figure so prettily—pretty like flowers
and innocent like dogs. They will come out of their
gardens soon enough, and have to go into offices and the
witness-box. Spare them yet a while, 0 conscientious
parent! Let them doze among their playthings yet a
little ! for who knows what a rough, warfaring existence
lies before them in the future ?