Child! do not throw this book about!
Refrain from the unholy pleasure
Of cutting all the pictures out!
Preserve it as your chiefest treasure.
Child, have you never heard it said
That you are heir to all the ages?
Why, then, your hands were never made
To tear these beautiful thick pages!
Your little hands were made to take
The better things and leave the worse ones:
They also may be used to shake
The Massive Paws of Elder Persons.
And when your prayers complete the day,
Darling, your little tiny hands
Were also made, I think, to pray
For men that lose their fairylands.
(Alexander, 8, chooses his own books. He loaned three illustrated titles to me: a group of short stories by Washington Irving; Walls, a book of poetry; and Exploring the Elements, a Complete Guide to the Periodic Table.)
When asked by a heckler during a campaign speech if he was a papist, Belloc (1870-1953) withdrew a rosary from his pocket and responded, “Gentlemen, I am a Catholic. As far as possible, I go to Mass every day. This is a rosary. As far as possible, I kneel down and tell these beads every day. If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative.”