"What is a Darling?" describes the ideal late-19th-century innocent--who may be a bit hyperactive for modern tastes. The cheery little elf was a new model for children in works other than Robert Merry's Museum.


http://www.merrycoz.org/museum/DARLING.HTM

WHAT IS A DARLING? (from Robert Merry's Museum, October 1862, p. 111)

It is the dear, little, beaming girl who meets one on the doorstep, who flings her fair arms around one's neck, and kisses one with her whole soul of love; who seizes one's hat, who relieves one of one's coat, and hands the tea and toast so prettily; who places her elfish form at the piano, and warbles forth, unsolicited, such delicious songs; who casts herself at one's footstool, and clasps one's hand, and asks eager, unheard-of questions with such bright eyes and flushing face; and on whose light, flossy curls one places one's hand and breathes "God bless her!" as the fairy form departs.


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