oldest fairy stories constitute a fascinating introduction to the book
of modern science, curiously predicting its discoveries, its uncovering
of the resources of the earth and air, its growing control of the
forces which work in earth and air. It is significant that the recent
of science is steadily toward what our ancestors would have considered
fairy land; for in all the imaginings of the childhood of the race
was nothing more marvelous or more audaciously improbable than the
of accents and modulations of familiar voices through long distances,
the power of communication across leagues of sea without mechanical
of any kind.
fairy tale belongs to the child and ought always to be within his
not only because it is his special literary form and his nature craves
it, but because it is one of the most vital of the textbooks offered to
him in the school of life. In ultimate importance it outranks the
the grammar, the geography, the manuals of science; for without the aid
of the imagination none of these books is really comprehensible.