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WHERE WE STOPPED GROWING.

FEW people who have been much in the
society of children, are likely to be ignorant
of the sorrowful feeling sometimes awakened
in the mind by the idea of a favorite child's
"growing up." This is intelligible enough.
Childhood is usually so beautiful and
engaging, that, setting aside the many subjects
of profound interest which it offers to an
ordinarily thoughtful observer; and even
setting aside, too, the natural caprices of
strong affection and prepossession; there is a
mournful shadow of the common lot, in the
notion of its changing and fading into
anything else. The sentiment is unreasoning
and vague, and does not shape itself into a
wish. To consider what the dependent little
creature would do without us, or in the
course of how few years it would be in as
bad a condition as those terrible immortals
upon earth, engendered in the gloom of
SWIFT'S wise fancy, is not within the range
of so fleeting a thought. Neither does the
imagination then enter into such details as the
picturing of childhood come to old age, or of old
age carried back to childhood, or of the pretty
baby boy arrived at that perplexing state of
Immaturity when MR. CARLYLE, in mercy to
society, would put him under a barrel for six
years. The regret is transitory, natural to a
short-lived creature in a world of change,
has no hold in the judgment, and so comes
and passes away.

But we, the writer, having been conscious of
the sensation the other nightfor, at this
present season most of us are much in childish
company, and we among the restwere led
to consider whether there were any things as
to "which this individual We actually did stop
growing when we were a child. We had a
fear that the list would be very short; but,
on writing it out as follows, were glad to find
it longer than we had expected.

We have never grown the thousandth part
of an inch out of Robinson Crusoe. He fits
us just as well, and in exactly the same way,
as when we were among the smallest of the
small. We have never grown out of his
parrot, or his dog, or his fowling-piece, or the
horrible old staring goat he came upon in the
cave, or his rusty money, or his cap, or
umbrella. There has been no change in the
manufacture of telescopes, since that blessed
ship's spy-glass was made, through which, lying
on his breast at the top of his fortification,
with the ladder drawn up after him and all
made safe, he saw the black figures of those
Cannibals moving round the fire on the sea-
sand, as the monsters danced themselves into
an appetite for dinner. We have never grown
out of Friday, or the excellent old father he
was so glad to see, or the grave and gentlemanly
Spaniard, or the reprobate Will
Atkins, or the knowing way in which he and
those other mutineers were lured up into the
Island when they came ashore there, and
their boat was stove. We have got no nearer
Heaven by the altitude of an atom, in respect
of the tragi-comic bear whom Friday caused to
to dance upon a tree, or the awful array
of howling wolves in the dismal weather, who
were mad to make good entertainment of man
and beast, and who were received with trains
of gunpowder laid on fallen trees, and fired
by the snapping of pistols; and who ran
blazing into the forest darkness, or were
blown up famously. Never sail we, idle, in a
little boat, and hear the rippling water at the
prow, and look upon the land, but we know
that our boat-growth stopped for ever, when
Robinson Crusoe sailed round the Island, and,
having been nearly lost, was so affectionately
awakened out of his sleep at home again by
that immortal parrot, great progenitor of all
the parrots we have ever known.

Our growth stopped, when the great Haroun
Alraschid spelt his name so, and when
nobody had ever heard of a Jin. When
the Sultan of the Indies was a mighty personage,
to be approached respectfully even on
the stage; and when all the dazzling wonders
of those many nights held far too high a
place in the imagination to be burlesqued
and parodied. When Blue Beard,
condescending to come out of book at all, came
over mountains, to the music of his own
march, on an elephant, and knew no more
of slang than of Sanscrit. Our growth
stopped, when Don Quixote might have been
right after all in going about to succour the
distressed, and when the priest and the
barber were no more justified in burning his
books than they would have been in making
a bonfire of our own two bed-room shelves.
When Gil Blas had a heart, and was, somehow

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