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- noun Plural form of
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Bacon shared in what may he called, without a sneer, the childishnesses of his time, childishnesses often combined with mature powers and profound thought.
It would have been part of the joy, three months ago, to talk over his loving perception of Imogen's little foibles and childishnesses, to laugh, with
Democracy exhibits the vanity of Louis XIV, the savagery of Peter of Russia, the nepotism and provinciality of Napoleon, the fickleness of Catherine II: in short, all the childishnesses of all the despots without any of the qualities that enabled the greatest of them to fascinate and dominate their contemporaries.
In such childishnesses did Peking indulge when a great disaster was preparing.
Flaubert was, as has been said, a Romantic, but he was born late enough to avoid the extravagances and the childishnesses of _mil-huit-cent-trente_ while retaining its inspiration, its _diable au corps_, its priceless recovery of inheritances from history.
It is no delight, indeed, to see the shyness of children, or anything that is theirs, conquered and beaten; but their poor little slowness is so distinctively their own, and must needs be physiologically so proper to their years, so much a natural condition of the age of their brain, that of all childishnesses it is the one that the world should have the patience to attend upon, the humanity to foster, and the intelligence to understand.