#1 - 00 - Foreword
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"Mäzli" may be pronounced the most natural and one of the most entertaining of Madame Spyri's creations. The atmosphere is created by an old Swiss castle and by the romantic associations of the noble family who lived there. Plot interest is supplied in abundance by the children of the Bergmann family with varying characters and interests. A more charming group of young people and a more wise and affectionate mother would be hard to find. Every figure is individual and true to life, with his or her special virtues and foibles, so that any grown person who picks up the volume will find it a world in miniature and will watch eagerly for the special characteristics of each child to reappear. Naturalness, generosity, and forbearance are shown throughout not by precept but by example. The story is at once entertaining, healthy, and, in the best sense of a word often misused, sweet. Insipid books do no one any good, but few readers of whatever age they may be will fail to enjoy and be the better for Mäzli. (Summary from the Foreword, written by Charles Wharton Stork)
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