The omniscient narrator jokingly refers to Jim and Della as \"two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrifice for each other the greatest treasures of their house.\" In fact the narrator quickly recants this admission saying, \"let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest.\" \"The Gift of the Magi\" analysis can be made from both of these statements. Jim and Della feel foolish because they cannot use their new presents, but they are not foolish. Though their gifts to one another are now useless, the sacrifice that each made for the other shows that they were wise in their gift giving because there is no greater gift than a gift of one's self. Jim and Della are the true magi, or wise ones, because they know that a gift only has meaning if the giver has given it with the true intention of love.
See Leonard Beck's article entitled, Things Magical in the Collections of the Rare Book Division, from The Quarterly Journal, Library of Congress, v. 31, October 1974, p. 208-234. This essay highlights many of the books made available in this presentation.
Numerous editions of books entitled with some variation on Hocus Pocus, or, the Whole Art of Legerdemain emerged in the 18th century. They owe the bulk of their content to Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), the influencial book that exposed witchcraft as merely the stuff of magic and conjuring.
Few biblical stories are as well known, yet so clouded by myth and tradition, as that of the magi, or wise men, mentioned by Matthew. During the Middle Ages legend developed that they were kings, that they were three in number, and that their names were Casper, Balthazar, and Melchior. Because they were thought to represent the three sons of Noah, one of them is often pictured as an Ethiopian. A twelfth-century bishop of Cologne even claimed to have found their skulls.
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