Maezli, p.1
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       Maezli, p.1
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           Johanna Spyri
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Maezli


  Produced by Suzanne Shell, Gwidon Naskrent, Tom Allen and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team.

  MAEZLI

  A STORY OF THE SWISS VALLEYS

  BY

  JOHANNA SPYRI

  AUTHOR OF "HEIDI, CORNELLI", ETC.

  TRANSLATED BY

  ELISABETH P. STORK

  1921

  FOREWORD

  The present story is the third by Madame Spyri to appear in this series.For many years the author was known almost entirely for her Alpineclassic, "Heidi". The publication of a second story, "Cornelli", duringthe past year was so favorably received as to assure success for afurther venture.

  "Maezli" may be pronounced the most natural and one of the mostentertaining of Madame Spyri's creations. The atmosphere is created byan old Swiss castle and by the romantic associations of the noble familywho lived there. Plot interest is supplied in abundance by the childrenof the Bergmann family with varying characters and interests. A morecharming group of young people and a more wise and affectionate motherwould be hard to find. Every figure is individual and true to life, withhis or her special virtues and foibles, so that any grown person whopicks up the volume will find it a world in miniature and will watcheagerly for the special characteristics of each child to reappear.Naturalness, generosity, and forbearance are shown throughout not byprecept but by example. The story is at once entertaining, healthy, and,in the best sense of a word often misused, sweet. Insipid books do noone any good, but few readers of whatever age they may be will fail toenjoy and be the better for Maezli.

  It may save trouble to give here a summary of the Bergmann household.The mother is sometimes called Mrs. Rector, on account of her being thewidow of a former rector of the parish, and sometimes Mrs. Maxa, toavoid confusion with the wife of the present rector. It is as if therewere two Mrs. John Smiths, one of whom is called Mrs. Helen; Maxabeing, of course, a feminine Christian name. Of the five children theeldest is the high-spirited, impulsive Bruno, who is just of an age to goaway to a city school. Next comes his sister Mea, whose fault is thatshe is too submissive and confiding. Kurt, the second boy, is the mostenterprising and humorous of the family; whereas, Lippo, another boy, isthe soul of obedience and formality. Most original of all is Maezli,probably not over six, as she is too young to go to school.

  The writer of this preface knows of one family--not his own,either--which is waiting eagerly for another book by the author of"Heidi" and "Cornelli." To this and all families desirous of a storyfull of genuine fun and genuine feeling the present volume may berecommended without qualification.

  CHARLES WHARTON STORK

  CONTENTS

  I. IN NOLLA II. DIVERS WORRIES III. CASTLE WILDENSTEIN IV. AN UNEXPECTED APPARITION V. OPPRESSIVE AIR VI. NEW FRIENDS VII. THE MOTHER'S ABSENCE HAS CONSEQUENCES VIII. MAeZLI PAYS VISITS IX. IN THE CASTLE

  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

  "I can shout very loud, just listen: 'Mr. Castle-Steward'!"

  "No, I won't do it," said Lippo again, after scrutinizing the unusualperformance.

  She went with folded hands from one bed to the other.

  Before following her brother she wanted to see exactly what the Knightlooked like.

  He shook the little girl's hand with all his might.

  "Can you guess why I am taking you up there?"

  A head was raised up and two sharp eyes were directed towards her.

  It seemed to crown all the preceding pleasures to roam without restraintin the woods and meadows.

 
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