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more perfect clockwork. But a snake
made of a single spiral shaving of horn,
with a solid head of the same material,
which was capable of being extended to
a considerable length, and which, when
pressed together, was packed in a small
cylindrical box, has fled beyond the limits
of my observation. A fault in this mimic
reptile was the ridiculously extreme
delicacy of its constitution. The vertebral
column, of which alone its body was
composed, was always getting some unfortunate
twist, and an attempt to repair the
misfortune was generally followed by a very
compound fracture. Equally fragile were
those little hollow wax dolls, which are
now furnished by shops of the humblest
kind, where the bottle which contains them
is ranged with other bottles, scantily stocked
with sugar-plums, brandy-balls, and other
old-fashioned dainties. Like many specimens
of the great toy, Man, the little
hollow doll had its social status once,
though it is now in lowly places. I
recollect very well the attempt of a young
lady in her teens to dress such a doll.
She worked with fairy fingers, but the
attempt to put a sash round the waist had a
result like that which is said to arise from
the bite of a huge shark, and which is
described in the pathetic ballad Bryan and
Pirene. Destined to perpetual destruction,
the little wax doll had its avenger in the
sturdy Dutch mannikin, which is utterly
indestructible, save in its hair, and which,
seated on a table, had a knack of bobbing
forward, and assailing its proprietor with
its hard, sharply-pointed nose. The hollow
doll's successor is the little china doll of
the present day, which, always connected
with a small bath, seems to have been
created for the purpose of perpetual
ablution. Be it borne in mind that, in the
olden times, every doll was a miniature of
a grown-up person. The doll representing
infancy is a modern invention, and in the
French vocabulary has a name to itself,
being called a "bébé," whereas the other
doll takes the generic name " poupée."

The hideous demon, made of furry
material, which, by means of a worm-spring
within its body, jumps out of a cubical box,
continues its ugly existence; but the dainty
little sentinel, who lived in a cylinder, and
whose worm-spring was under his feet
the only veritable Jack-in-the-boxhas
receded. Gone, too, is the wooden apple,
which, opened, revealed another apple,
which, opened, revealed a third, which,
opened, revealed a fourth, and so on, till
we came to a tiny fruit, which contained two
tiny spoons, guaranteed to be of pure silver.
Both the Jack-in-the-box and the apple
plunged into bad company, and that is,
perhaps, the cause of their downfall. For many
years they were used as prizes at the ignoble
game of " cock-shy," and were set upon
slim poles to be knocked down by cunning
marksmen. The apple, I suspect, was of
Oriental origin. At least, dainty boxes,
constructed on the same principle, but
made out of the choicest woods, and
elaborately ornamented, are to be found in every
cabinet stocked with articles of Indian virtù.

When there were fairs in the vicinity of
London, and children yearned for
"fairings" a word fading out of our language
one of the most conspicuous articles in
the toy-stalls was a human nutcracker.
Sometimes he was a soldier, with gay
regimentals, sometimes a Turk; but whatever
his costume, he was always provided
with a coat-tail, which, being pulled, caused
his mouth to open. A nut having been placed
in the aperture, the coat-tail was pressed, the
mouth closed, and the shell was cracked.

As I have shown, toys have greatly
changed within the last half-century; but
a certain principle has remained. The
children of fifty years ago, as the children
now, always liked the coarsest and cheapest
playthings better than those which were
most elegant and costly. They preferred the
clumsy wooden doll, even after it had lost
its wig, to the smiling young lady of wax,
with all her luxuriance of flaxen curls, and
at the present day the gay bird, which dances
at the end of an " elastic," and is sold in the
street for a penny, gives more pleasure than
the most elaborate zoological garden.

To end, as we began, with our Peregrine.
Hoffmann tells us that Peregrine reached
the age of four without ever having been
heard to talk or laugh. In vain did his
rich relatives bring him loads of expensive
toys; his gravity was imperturbable. At
last a poor cousin bought him a very cheap
and very ugly harlequin, and he yelled with
delight. No wonder that Peregrine was a
child at the age of thirty-six, when he so
accurately represented the children of all time.


      BECAUSE old Time's a rover
      Need young Love change his home?
      Ah, how that summer's over,
      Old Time, and winter come,
      Teach young Love to discover,
      Where'er thou roamest, some
      New ways whereby to love her,
      If Love with thee must roam