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Madam How and Lady Why - Charles Kingsley

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My dear boys,--When I was your age, there were no such children's
books as there are now.  Those which we had were few and dull, and
the pictures in them ugly and mean:  while you have your choice of
books without number, clear, amusing, and pretty, as well as
really instructive, on subjects which were only talked of fifty
years ago by a few learned men, and very little understood even by
them.  So if mere reading of books would make wise men, you ought
to grow up much wiser than us old fellows.  But mere reading of
wise books will not make you wise men:  you must use for
yourselves the tools with which books are made wise; and that is--
your eyes, and ears, and common sense.

Now, among those very stupid old-fashioned boys' books was one
which taught me that; and therefore I am more grateful to it than
if it had been as full of wonderful pictures as all the natural
history books you ever saw.  Its name was Evenings at Home; and in
it was a story called "Eyes and no Eyes;" a regular old-fashioned,
prim, sententious story; and it began thus:-

"Well, Robert, where have you been walking this afternoon?" said
Mr. Andrews to one of his pupils at the close of a holiday.
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