Author's note: "I bless God," says the charmingly maternal Mary Howitt, "that he has so stored the world with flowers and little children." And may God bless her (and he will) for the saying, which is as sweet as her own heart. "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid then not," said the divine Jesus, "for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." And I can verily believe it. For myself, I have had more than enough of men, and almost enough even of women; but with a little boy or girl at my side or in my arms, the world still for the time, seems fresh and loveable; life has yet a laughing spirit of gladness, and a green spot upon its rough road side; and even full-grown, fate-hackneyed human nature (even my own) as it then appears to me, has gathered something back into itself of the 'original brightness' and transparency of the angel. Yet there is often, upon reflexion, a touch of ominous sadness in the very joy that little children give me : for a few years hence, and they will have to drive the hard bargain of the world amongst needy and grasping men and women - even such perhaps, as I myself am in daily competition with, and who are as constantly stinging or shaming me into a state of feeling with regard to them, which were indeed, but for this child-lovingness, very like misanthropy.
The touch in the text about the double-lobed button, may appear at first sight a 'simile unlike,' as Pope has it, But let the reader recur to it for a moment, and try to bethink him of anything more thoroughly resemblant to a healthy child's mouth, when held up and put into right kissing order, that a full red button grooved horizontally across the centre. I, at least, cannot fancy anything more so.