The First Laugh

By Reuben F. Place

In the life of every baby there is a continuous succession of first impressions and adventures. The first tooth, the first crawl, the first step, the first word, each mark a milestone in the child's career. But more interesting than any of these is the first laugh—the first genuine, sustained, prolonged, whole-hearted laugh. If it is a tinkling, bubbling, echoing laugh, it sends its merry waves in all directions—the kind that brings smiles to sober faces.

What hope springs up in the parents' breasts at the sound of that first laugh! How thoroughly it denotes the future!

A hearty laugh or no laugh in later years may mean the difference between fame and obscurity, fortune and poverty, friends and enemies.

"How much lies in laughter: the cipher key, wherewith we decipher the whole man!" wrote Carlyle.

A good laugh is a charming, invaluable attribute. It saves the day, maintains the health, makes friends, soothes injured feelings, and saves big situations.

Laughter is a distinguishing mark between man and beast. It is the sign of character and the mirror in which is reflected disposition.

To laugh is to live.

The babe's first laugh is a precious family memory. A load of responsibility goes with it. It should be guarded and guided and cultivated until it becomes "Laughter that opens the lips and heart, that shows at the same time pearls and the soul."