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A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys

Page: 2

Half-Title: A WONDER BOOK FOR GIRLS & BOYS

BELLEROPHON ON PEGASVS

title page

A WONDER
BOOK FOR
GIRLS & BOYS

BY NATHANIEL
HAWTHORNE

WITH 60 DESIGNS
BY WALTER CRANE

BOSTON: HOUGHTON
MIFFLIN COMPANY


COPYRIGHT, 1851, BY NATHANIEL
HAWTHORNE

COPYRIGHT, 1879, BY ROSE HAWTHORNE
LATHROP

COPYRIGHT, 1883 AND 1892, BY
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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PREFACE

THE author has long been of opinion that many of the classical myths were capable of being rendered into very capital reading for children. In the little volume here offered to the public, he has worked up half a dozen of them, with this end in view. A great freedom of treatment was necessary to his plan; but it will be observed by every one who attempts to render these legends malleable in his intellectual furnace, that they are marvellously independent of all temporary modes and circumstances. They remain essentially the same, after changes that would affect the identity of almost anything else.

He does not, therefore, plead guilty to a sacrilege, in having sometimes shaped anew, as his fancy dictated, the forms that have been hallowed by an antiquity of two or three thousand years. No epoch of time can claim a copyright in these immortal fables. They seem never to have been made; and certainly, so long as man exists, they can never perish; but, by their indestructibility itself, they are legitimate subjects for every age to clothe with its own garniture of manners and sentiment, and to imbue with its own morality. Intailpiece


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CONTENTS

PAGE
LIST OF DESIGNS

Half-Titlei
Frontispiece—Bellerophon on Pegasus.
Titleiii
Prefacev
Tailpiecevi
Contentsvii
List of Designsix
Tailpiecex
Headpiece—Tanglewood Porch1
tailpiece


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THE <strong><a href=GORGON'S HEAD, TANGLEWOOD PORCH" title="THE GORGON'S HEAD, TANGLEWOOD PORCH"> B

INTRODUCTORY TO
THE GORGON’S HEAD

ENEATH the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood, one fine autumnal morning, was assembled a merry party of little folks, with a tall youth in the midst of them. They had planned a nutting expedition, and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes, and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures, and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and comfortable world. As yet, however, the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley, above which, on a gently sloping eminence, the mansion stood.

This body of white vapor extended to within less than a hundred yards of the house. It completely hid everything beyond that distance, except a few ruddy or yellow tree-tops, which here-2- and there emerged, and were glorified by the early sunshine, as was likewise the broad surface of the mist. Four or five miles off to the southward rose the summit of Monument Mountain, and seemed to be floating on a cloud. Some fifteen miles farther away, in the same direction, appeared the loftier Dome of Taconic, looking blue and indistinct, and hardly so substantial as the vapory sea that almost rolled over it. The nearer hills, which bordered the valley, were half submerged, and were specked with little cloud-wreaths all the way to their tops. On the whole, there was so much cloud, and so little solid earth, that it had the effect of a vision.


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