Wings and the Child: The Building of Magic Cities
When this book first came to my mind it came as a history and theory of the building of Magic Cities on tables, with bricks and toys and little things such as a child may find and use. But as I kept the thought by me it grew and changed, as thoughts will do, until at last it took shape as an attempt to contribute something, however small and unworthy, to the science of building a magic city in the soul of a child, a city built of all things pure and fine and beautiful. As you read, it will, I hope, seem to you that something of what I say is true—in much, no doubt, it will seem to you that I am mistaken; but however you may disagree with me, you will, I trust, at least have faith in the honesty of my purpose. If I seem to you to be too dogmatic, to lay down the law too much as though I were the teacher and you the learner, I beg you to believe that it is in no such spirit that I have written. Rather it is as though you and I, spending a quiet evening[viii] by your fire, talked together of the things that matter, and as though I laid before you all the things that were in my heart—not stopping at every turn to say "Do you not think so too?" and "I hope you agree with me?" but telling you, straight from the heart, what I have felt and thought and, I humbly say, known about children and the needs of children. I have talked to you as to a friend, without the reservations and apologies which we use with strangers. And if, in anything, I shall have offended you, I entreat you to extend to me the forgiveness and the forbearance which you would exercise towards a friend who had offended you, not meaning to offend, and to believe that I have spoken to you as frankly and plainly as I would wish you to speak to me, were you the writer and I the reader.