When I was a little girl

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Material Information

Title:
When I was a little girl stories for children
Physical Description:
vi, 4, 249, 2 p., 7 leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Tabor, Eliza
Frølich, Lorenz, 1820-1908 ( Illustrator )
Combe, Thomas, 1797-1872 ( Printer )
Gardner, E. B ( Printer )
Hall, E. Pickard ( Printer )
Stacy, J. H ( Printer )
Macmillan & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Macmillan and Co.
Place of Publication:
London
Manufacturer:
T. Combe ; E.B. Gardner ; E.P. Hall ; J.H. Stacy
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cousins -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Aunts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pets -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Country life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1872   ( local )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1872   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1872
Genre:
Family stories   ( local )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
England -- Oxford

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by the author of "St. Olaves" ; illustrated by L. Frølich.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002237822
notis - ALH8315
oclc - 58526161
System ID:
UF00026271:00001


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Full Text
f/ir,Trv.,4 svy


The Baldwin Librar^^^^^^^^ ^*>^_


I mr- _\III tTHE FOUNTAIN, Fron ispiece.


WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL.fraits for C1tbertBY THE AUTHOR OF 'ST. OLAVES.' Like music playedToo far off for the tune. And yet it's fineTo listen.'ILLUSTRATED BY L. FROLICH.FOURTH EDITION.o&n anrMACMILLAN AND CO.1872[ A/1 r5'/s recserved ]


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a0 mY $at4ra anr jWtjer.


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INTRODUCTION.IN winter afternoons, before the lamps are lighted,and when the red flames make many a flickeringshadow upon the curtained windows, the childrengather round me, and ask me to tell them stories ofthe time when I was a little girl.That time is far off now, but I remember it verywell. Nay, sometimes I think the farther it slipsaway into the past, the more entirely is its memorygiven into my keeping, the more freshly and clearlydo those early days stand out beyond the alreadydimmed and fading pictures of later years.Perhaps other little girls besides these who gatherround me on winter afternoons,-little girls whosefaces I shall never see, whose hands I shall never holdin mine, whose names I shall never know,--may liketo hear of a childhood made bright by the samesimple pleasures which delight their own, watchedover and cared for by the same quiet love. So I havegathered these stories together and made them intob2


vi INTRODUCTION.a book, and now I send the little venture forth, aschildren in holiday afternoons launch their paperboats on some swiftly-running mountain stream,not knowing how they shall fare, or whither wend.This I hope, that such cargo of interest and amuse-ment as I have been able to gather into my tinycraft, may win safely to the haven of some pleasantEnglish home, and in the storehouse of its children'smemories be lodged, side by side with many anotherbetter and wealthier freight, which in days goneby has been unladen and welcomed there.For the children only have I filled my hold thistime, and spread my sails, and hoisted my colours.And towards the Fortunate Isle of their good-willmay fair winds and favourable tides speed thislittle Christmas ship!CousIN ALICE.


CONTENTS.PAGEINTRODUCTION .. VCHAP.. 1. THE OLD HOME .I. 2. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS 20S 3. MY )OLLS .. 33S4. OUR PUDDING . 53,, 5. PUFF . . 70, 6. GOING TO TIHE SEA-SIDE 91, 7. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY 13S8. THE CHLD)REN'S TREAT . 30,, 9. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY 149, 10. SKINNY . . 171S11. MY NEW SISTER. . 192,12. THE CHRISTMAS-TREE . 209S13. GOING HOME .. 225S14. THE END OF ALL .. . 238


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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.PAGEThe Fountain-Frontispiece.She was looking so seriously out of her great eyes .34She climbed up to the top of a high-backed chair 72And waddled off as orderly as could be to thepoultry-house . . . 123Aunt Mary stood quite still. . . 67And then to tumble about on the carpet 200She was lying very quietly . 234


OXFORD:PRINTED BY T. COMBE, M.A., E. B. GARDNER, E. P. HALL, AND J. H. STACY,PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.


WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL.CHAPTER I.THE OLD HOME.WHEN I was a little girl we lived in a veryfunny, old-fashioned house, which had been builtin the time of Queen Elizabeth. I think it musthave been a little castle once, for the walls wereso thick that closets almost as large as rooms werebuilt in them, and on one side of the house wasa low round tower with a winding staircase up themiddle of it, lighted by arrow slits. This towerwas a capital place for playing at hide-and-seekin, there were so many little recesses and doorwaysand cupboards in it, and however loud you shoutedno one could tell where you were, because your voiceechoed all over so.Outside, the house was covered with ivy, beau-tiful, dark-green, glossy ivy. It ran about over theB


2 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.stone mouldings, and climbed to the tops of thecrooked chimneys, and crept along under the eaves,and twisted round the tall pointed gables, and evenhad the impertinence to peep in at us through thelattice casements and queer little dormer windowswhich were stuck about all over, wherever there wasa convenient place for them. I daresay it wouldhave liked to come quite into our rooms and see whatwe were doing there, but of course we could notallow that; and so, when it had played all the pranksthat it could -play outside, it stole away behind acrumbling old balustrade on the terrace-walk, downto a ruined fountain in the corner of the garden,and there amused itself by covering the arms andlegs of three very fat little stone boys, who for asmany centuries had been holding up a large moss-grown urn amongst them. In very wet weatherthis urn filled with water, which came splashingover into a basin underneath, amongst a lot of flagflowers and forget-me-nots. It ought to have stayedthere, but it never did, for there was a crack in thebasin which let it run through. I wish it hadstayed, because then I could have sailed my boats init, instead of launching .them in the nursery bath,


I. THE OLD HOME. 3which sometimes toppled over and inconveniencedme very much.Our parlour, a large, low room, where I used toplay when lessons were over, had no pretty colouredpaper on the walls. Instead, it was covered withsquare panels of very dark oak, and in each panelthere was a portrait of a lady or gentleman. Theymust have been very funny people if they were atall like their portraits. Most of the gentlemen hadshort trousers on, very tight, which only came downto their knees, leaving plenty of room to show theirwhite silk stockings and buckled shoes. You seecoachmen dressed in that way sometimes now, or foot-men, and so I once asked mamma if all my greatuncles and grandpapas had been gentlemen's servants;she was very much amused. One was quite differentto all the rest; he had a suit of steel armour on, whichmade him look exactly like a tall coffee-pot, with ahead on the top of it. The ladies were rather better-looking, but I did not care much even for them, theywere all so very untidy. I am sure mamma would havebeen quite displeased with me if I had worn my hairall in a mess over my face, like theirs, or if I hadcome downstairs in a morning holding my frock andB2


4 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.petticoats on with both hands, as they seemed to bedoing, because all the buttons had come off. I won-dered, being grown-up people, that they had nottaken the trouble to stitch their buttons on beforethey had their portraits taken; but mamma told meit was the fashion for people to dress in that waythen. It was a very stupid fashion, and that is all Ican say about it.I had no brothers and sisters, only a cousin namedMontem, who lived with us and went to the Abbots-bury Grammar-school. Abbotsbury was the name ofthe place where we lived. Montem was a great dealolder than myself, and so he took very little noticeof me, for he said I was only a girl, and girls weresuch useless things. Sometimes, though, on half holi-days, if he was in a very good humour, he would takeme out fishing with him to a pretty little shallowstream about a mile away, and I used to take care ofhis boots whilst he waded into the water after cray-fish, or I stood over his basket and rod to watch thatno one meddled with them whilst he hunted butterfliesin a copse close by the stream. It was not very greatfun, standing by the basket and the rod. I wouldrather have gone into the copse myself and hunted


I. THE OLD HOME. 5for butterflies, or pulled off my own shoes and stock-ings and waded after cray-fish; but still I was outwith Montem, and that made me feel very important,because he was such a great boy, almost a man.Besides Montem, who, being a boy, was not muchuse to me, except to make me feel important now andthen, I had two other companions, Puff and Lucy"Walters. Puff was my kitten. She will have achapter all to herself a little farther on, so I neednot say any more about her just now. Lucy Walterswas about six months older than myself, and livedwith her grandmamma in the house whose gardenjoined ours. We had made a hole in the hedge, so thatwe could creep in and out to each other as often as weliked. She came to have tea. with me every Saturdayafternoon, and I went to have tea with her every"Wednesday. Those were our regular visits, when weused to go in at the front door and let everyone knowthat we had come. When we wanted to see each otheroftener, we crept through the hole in the hedge.I remember once tearing a great hole in my muslinfrock as I was creeping through that hedge. Montemwas in our garden at the time, and he told me a blackdog was running after me. Oh! how frightened I


6 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.was; and I rushed through in a great bustle, and myfrock caught on one of the twigs. Nurse scolded mevery much at night, when she found out the tear, butI thought Montem ought to have had the scolding, asI had had the fright, which was bad enough. How-ever, he got nothing at all except a hearty laugh atme.Lucy's grandmother, Mrs. Walters, was a verydear old lady, so kind and gentle and loving. Iwonder if she ever knew how much happiness she putinto my life, or how very much I enjoyed going tosee her. She always wore a white muslin cap with afrill under the chin, a rather short black satin dresswith elbow ruffles and silk mittens, a net kerchieffastened with a diamond pin, and very high-heeledshoes with satin bows in the front. She walked with.a silver-headed stick, too, for she was very infirm.I scarcely ever see an old lady dressed in that waynow, but whenever I do, I want to put my armsround her neck and kiss her; she reminds me somuch of Mrs. Walters, who used to be so good to me.How delightful it was to go and see her! Howglad I used to be when mamma came to me some-times, with a nosegay of our choicest flowers, or a


I. THE OLD HOME.. 7basket of Watson's early strawberries, or a bunch ofgrapes covered with vine-leaves, and said,-'Alice, dear, will you run across with these toMrs. Walters, and ask how she is, and give them toher with mamma's love ?'I never needed twice asking to do tkat. Off Istarted like a little rabbit, away over the grass-plot,down the laurel walk and past the old ruined foun-tain to the shady path which led to Mrs. Walters'back garden. I never stayed very long, because, youknow, she was so very old, and mamma thought shemight not like to have a little girl like me chatteringto her all the time. So, when I had given her mymessage, and told her how papa and mamma were,and asked if her rheumatism was better-which itnever was-I began to get ready to come away. Assoon as I began to get ready to come away, Mrs.Walters always said,-"Stay, my dear, just one moment.'I felt very glad then, for I knew what was goingto be done. When Mrs. Walters had said 'Stay,my dear, just one moment,' she rose from her tall,straight-backed chair, and took her silver-headedstick, and walked very slowly indeed-for you must


8 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CI.remember she was more than eighty years old-to acupboard on one side of the fireplace, and took out alittle white china plate. Then she shut the doorcarefully and locked it, and went to another cupboardon the other side of the fireplace, and unlocked that,and opened a japanned tin box, and put two roundsugar biscuits on the plate and gave them to me. Ittook a long time to get them out,-Mrs. Walterswalked so slowly and her hand trembled so; but Iused to feel so happy all the time, because I knewthe biscuits would be so nice when I did have them.I wonder how it is that biscuits don't taste so nicenow as they did when we were little girls. Some-times I go to call upon ladies, and they offer me some,and I really don't care whether I take them or not.It was never so when I went to Mrs. Walters. Inever said, 'No, thank you,' when she brought thelittle white plate to me with the two sugar biscuitsupon it. For she smiled down upon me so kindly,and sometimes, when I had taken them, laid hertrembling hands on my head and said,-' Bless you, my dear little girl !'I believe she said that to me because she lovedmamma so very much. You must not think, though,


I. THE OLD HOME. 9that I liked to go and see Mrs. Walters only becauseshe gave me something to eat. I should have lovedher just as much,-no, I don't think I should haveloved her just as much, but I should have loved hervery much indeed,-if she had never given me any-thing at all; she was so gentle and kind, and alwaysmade me feel as if I had been saying my prayers.Still, you know, the sugar biscuits were very good.When I went to have tea with Lucy on Wednesdayafternoons, Mrs. Walters used to read us stories outof the Bible. She had a very large Bible, the largestI have ever seen, with a great many pictures in it,and we sat close up to her, one on each side, so thatwe could look at them whilst she was reading to us.Sometimes we had to read ourselves, one verse at atime. When the story was finished, Mrs. Waltersused to ask us questions about it, and for eachquestion that we answered correctly we had a littlewhite counter out of a box which stood on the table.When we had won ten of these white counters each,they were changed for one red one, and then wewere allowed to look into the Indian cabinet.That was a great treat. The Indian cabinet wasthe funniest old box you ever saw, made of dark


10 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.brown wood, covered all over with gold marks andfigures. There were two large doors in front, andwhen these were opened you saw twenty-four littledrawers inside. We were allowed to take thesedrawers out one by one and look at all the things inthem. There were Chinese paintings on rice paper,pictures of birds and fishes and flowers, and verywonderful ladies with long eyes and scarcely any feetat all, bowing and smiling to gentlemen with tails totheir hair and little buttons on the tops of their heads.There were flowers made of the tiniest, daintiestwhite shells, and other flowers made of humming-birds' feathers, and others again made of spun glass,like silk. There were bags of Japanese embroidery,covered all over with stitches so small that you couldnot see them properly without a magnifying-glass;and pieces of coral, red, pink and white, which Lucy'ssailor papa had brought from the South Seas, andshells of all the colours of the rainbow, and little carsdrawn by elephants, cut out of a single piece ofivory. There were idols, too, made of gold and silver,and models of heathen temples, and pagodas withbells hanging to their roofs, and many, many othercurious things which I cannot tell you about just now.


I. THE OLD HOME. IIOh! how we did enjoy looking into that cabinet, andhow eagerly we answered our questions until we hadwon the red counter which opened its doors to us.When Lucy came to tea with me on Saturday after-noons, we used to amuse ourselves quite differently.We had no Indian cabinets at our house, but mammaused to give us things to make a feast of, which wasquite as good. We generally had a piece of seedcake, and a handful of raisins, and a few lumps ofsugar, and some rice and a little tea. Sometimes wekept house with it, and sometimes we played athaving a shop. I did not like shop very much,because Lucy always wanted me to be the shopkeeper,and she bought the things. We had no money, onlygrains of rice which counted for pennies, and whenI had wrapped my things neatly up in little parcelsand laid them out in rows upon the chair which wasour shop window, it did not somehow seem right tome that at the end of the afternoon Lucy shouldhave bought all the groceries and carried them awayand eaten them, whilst I had only a few grains ofrice in a pill-box to show as my share of the transac-tion. Besides, when I was wrapping up the parcels,Lucy never would let me put a plum or a raisin into


12 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.my mouth; she said real shopkeepers did not do so;and she always expected me to make a curtsey andsay I was much obliged when she paid me the grainsof rice, though really I did not feel obliged at all,because I thought she was having the best of it.Don't you think she was, too ?So, when I could have my own way, we played atkeeping house, and sometimes Lucy was mistress,and sometimes I was. In the parlour I have toldyou about, where the portraits hung, there was anoriel window, so large and broad and deep that whenwe drew the curtains across, it was just like a littleroom. So that used to be our house, and we dividedit into two parts, one for the parlour and another forthe kitchen. It was very convenient, for when thecurtains were drawn, no one could see us, and wecould do just as we liked. I wish people had orielwindows in their parlours now, but they never have;at least, I scarcely ever see any. Perhaps if theyhad, though, we should not be allowed to draw thecurtains across and do as we liked any more, and sothe windows would be no use. Some day I shall tellyou about a wonderful pudding which Lucy and Ionce made in that little house of ours, but not just


I. THE OLD HOME. 13yet, for we did not make it until I was seven yearsold, and many other things happened before then.I think, however, the greatest treat of all, greatereven than looking at the Indian cabinet, or keepinghouse with Lucy in the oriel window, was havingaunt Mary come to stay with us.Aunt Mary was mamma's sister, but she was agreat deal younger than mamma, so that she wasmore like a sort of cousin than an aunt. She gene-rally came in the summer, and then she used to takeLucy and me out for our holidays. Before I finishthis book I shall tell you of some very, very pleasantvisits which we had with aunt Mary in the country.Sometimes, however, she used to stay at home withme whilst papa and mamma went away, for mammawas very delicate, and often had to go abroad toplaces too far off for a little girl like me to go withher. But I never murmured at being left behind, ifonly I could have aunt Mary to take care of me.Everybody loved her. She was not very pretty,and she was neither rich, nor clever, nor accom-plished, nor anything of that sort, yet she had almostmore friends than she knew what to do with. Theyused to cluster round her as bees cluster, not round


14 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.flowers which are brightest and gayest and showiest,but round those which, like the sweet wild thyme orpurple heather, have most honey inside them. Ithink unselfishness was the honey which made everyone cluster round aunt Mary. She never seemed tothink about herself, or expect that other peopleshould make a fuss over her, and so she was alwayscheerful and happy and contented. And althoughwhen I was a little girl I did not half know howgood she was, yet, since I have grown older andwiser, I have learned many a lesson from the re-membrance of aunt Mary's example, the noble,generous way in which she tried to put happinessinto the lives of every one around her, without evercalculating whether they were likely to repay her forit or not. If I were you, little girls, I would lay upa good store of that sweet honey of unselfishness, andthen see whether friends won't cluster round you, likebees round the wild thyme or purple heather.One little room in our house was called auntMary's room, because, when she was staying withus, she always went there if she wished to bealone. It was very pretty and tasteful. Indeed,everything about aunt Mary was pretty and


I. THE OLD HOME. 15tasteful, because she always knew how to makethe best of things. This room looked out over themossy old fountain urn. It had a green carpetand green curtains, and ivy leaves clustered allround the lattice window, and on the panelledoak walls there were many sweet pictures of forestglades and mountain streams, and little bits ofEnglish landscape done by mamma and papa,who could both of them paint very nicely. Therewas a work-table with a deep drawer in it, fullof odds and ends, coloured silk and ribbons, andfancy cards, and patches and wools, out of whichI was sometimes allowed to choose a little parcel formyself; and there were two brackets for flowers, andan easy chair and a footstool, and a tiny table, justbig enough for a couple of people to sit at.My greatest delight was to have tea with auntMary in this room of hers. She always invitedme just as if I had been a grown-up person,which made it ever so much better. The house-maid used to bring me a little note in a pinkenvelope, and say she was to wait for an answer. Iknew well enough what the little note in the pinkenvelope meant. It meant that aunt Mary had


16 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.invited me to tea in her room that same after-noon. You may be sure I never 'begged to beexcused '-never had much pleasure in regret-ting that I was unable to accept Miss Mary's politeinvitation.' Not I! I jumped and capered roundtwo or three times, and told the housemaid Ishould be all ready to come; and then, oh! howslowly the hours went until tea-time arrived.As soon as dinner was over, I used to begin todress myself. Mamma lent me some of herthings, or, if she were not at home, papa let mego to her wardrobe and take them,-a long skirtand an apron and a pair of mittens, and a lacecap with a flower in it, for you know a greatpart of the fun of having tea with aunt Marywas that she behaved to me as if I had been agrown-up lady, and not a little girl at all.At five o'clock (for an early hour was alwaysmentioned) I tripped away to my engagement,feeling as grand as could be in my long petti-coat, and knocked at the door of the little room.When aunt Mary opened it, she used to shakehands with me, just, you know, as if I had comefrom a long way off, instead of only from the


I. THE OLD HOME. 17nursery upstairs, and give me a chair, and askafter my health, and say how glad she was tosee me, just as mamma used to do when ladiescame to have tea with her. And then I used toshake out my pocket-handkerchief, and fan myself,and use a smelling-bottle, which I had takenout of mamma's dressing-case, and begin to talkabout the weather, and the fashions, and. thenew curate, and the difficulty of getting good.servants, and the extravagant price of lace, andthe best shops for jewelry and millinery, andvarious other topics which ladies are generallysupposed to enlarge upon when they go out totea. I never talked scandal, though, because Ididn't know what it meant, then. Aunt Marylooked as grave as could be, although sometimesshe made rather a funny noise behind her pocket-handkerchief, but she never laughed, for thatwould have spoiled all the fun.Then came tea, which was always arrangedready on the little table by the window. Ienjoyed the cake and bread and butter and straw-berry preserve so much, though I often had justthe same things in the nursery upstairs. It wasc


18 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.being with aunt Mary, you know, that madethem taste better. Sometimes, when tea wasready, she would make believe to have a head-ache, and then I used to pour out the tea andhand it to her and wait upon her, and talk in alow, quiet little voice, just as I had heard her talkto mamma, when mamma had one of her very badheadaches. I liked being mistress and pouringout the tea very much, and, as aunt Mary's head-ache was not a real one, it made no differenceto my enjoyment.After tea, we always gave over pretending. Iused to jump up and pull off my long petticoat,and climb on her knee and say,-'Now, aunt Mary, I am going to be a littlegirl again.'And then, after we had tumbled each otherabout for a long time, and had a great deal offun, ever so much more, I think, than grown-uppeople have when they go out to tea in a quietway, she would begin to tell me tales, oh! suchdelightful tales. Some day I should like to tellyou a few of them, for I remember them as wellas can be, even now. I had heard them all many


I. THE OLD HOME. 19times before, but that did not make any differ-ence, except that they were pleasanter everytime I listened to them. I did not like her toalter them at all. If she did, I always stoppedher, and asked her to say them over again injust the old way; they were so much nicer injust the old way.As soon as the clock struck eight, nurse cameto take me to bed. Oh! that going to bed, whata nuisance it was, to be sure. I wonder if youdislike it as much as I did. I wonder if youwere ever taken to bed without wishing you couldstay up ever so much longer. I know I neverwas. I wanted the clocks to forget striking, andthen I thought perhaps nurse would forget tocome for me. I never want them to forgetstriking now; indeed; sometimes I should liketo push the time on a little faster, but thenbeing a little girl makes such a difference.I shall have to tell you a great deal moreabout aunt Mary before I have finished, and Ihope you will learn to love her very much. Thenext chapter will be about a very stupid, foolishthing which I did when I was five years old.C2


CHAPTER II.THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS.You know what an allegory is,-a story with ameaning wrapped up inside it, a meaning which youdon't find out just at first; indeed, you don't expectthat there is going to be any meaning at all; butby-and-by, when you are only thinking about thestory, wondering what will become of the little boysand girls in it, how they will be punished for thenaughty things they do, or rewarded for the goodones, or brought safely out of all their scrapes anddifficulties, and made to live happily ever afterwards,it-I mean the story-breaks open, and somethingwhich you never expected drops out. An allegoryis very much like one of those pretty boxes whichyou have sometimes seen in toy-shop windows, shapedlike an egg and painted all over with coloured pic-tures or devices. It does not look as if it hadanything at all in it, there is no place for it to openat, it seems just outside, nothing else. But whilst


THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 21you are holding it in your hand, turning it over andover, feeling how heavy it is, admiring the gaycolours and the bright gilding, suddenly the eggbreaks open and a shower of sweatmeats falls intoyour lap, or a tiny doll, or a little dancing soldier,or a harlequin with a feather in his cap, or a thimbleand a pair of scissors, or at any rate something whichyou never expected to find inside what at first lookedonly like a painted egg.Well, this chapter is going to be rather like oneof these painted eggs. Something will perhaps dropout of it which you did not expect to find; not adoll, or a harlequin, or a dancing soldier, or a pairof scissors, but a little bit of advice which had beenlying wrapped up inside the story as comfortablyas could be. There is this difference, however, be-tween what I am going to tell you and an allegory.When people are going to make an allegory,they wrap up their meaning first, and then paintthe story outside it, to hide what is underneath;but I made this story first-at least, it made itself,for it is quite true-and then, when it was finished,I found out that it meant a great deal more thanI thought it did; and as perhaps you might not find


22 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.out the meaning by yourselves, I have made a placefor it to tell itself, a kind of little hole in the eggfor the bit of advice to drop out when you areready for it.You remember the oriel window I told you about,where Lucy Walters and I used to play at keepinghouse on Saturday afternoons. Close to this orielwindow was a door leading up a narrow stone stair-case into a room which was hung all round withvery ugly, faded, worn-out tapestry. The tapestryrepresented the meeting of Isaac and Rebekah; butRebekah was not 'fair to look upon,' by any means,and Isaac was quite frightful. I am sure I don'twonder that the poor maiden put on her veil whenshe was going to be introduced to him. If you liftedup one corner of this tapestry, you found a doorwaywith no door to it, and this opened into a queerlittle closet, cut out in the wall, and lighted by anarrow slit, through which the sunlight came some-times like a golden ribbon. People said the closethad once been used as a prison, because there wereiron rings in the wall to which chains could befastened. We never kept any prisoners in it, though,except two great iron-bound oaken chests, into one


II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 23of which, every year, as soon as the warm weathercame, my woollen frocks and things were put away,because I should not want them any more untilnext winter.Now, next winter seemed much farther away fromme then-for I was only five years old-than the nextworld does now. Indeed, I never thought about it atall, never looked forward to it, never made any arrange-ments for it. When I saw my woollen frocks,petticoats, comforters, tippets, hoods and stockings,gathered together into a large heap, mended, sprinkledwith pepper to keep the moths from them, carefullyfolded up and put into that oaken chest, with theunderstanding that neither they nor the chest wereto be disturbed until the cold weather came again,I considered them as quite banished out of my life.So much must happen,-the currants, gooseberries,raspberries and strawberries had to ripen, be gatheredand made into preserve; the apricots and peacheson our south wall, which were only like green woollyballs when my warm frocks were put away, had togrow large and yellow and soft and sweet; mamma'sbirthday, and papa's, and aunt Mary's and minehad to come; the hay had to be cut down and


24 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.tumbled about in, and made up into stacks; thebeautiful flowers to bloom and fade and be clearedaway, and the golden-cheeked apples to fall, full ripeand mellow and juicy under the orchard-trees-beforenext winter had its turn, that it seemed to me quiteimpossible such a time should ever come at all. There-fore the opening of the chest and the revealing of any-thing that might have been hidden in it, appearedas far off to me, as dim and uncertain, as, to manyeven grown-up people, appears that solemn, surely-coming day when God will ask us about our pastlives and what we have put into them.So a bright idea suggested itself, as to the uses towhich that old iron-bound chest behind the tapestrymight be applied. I would put my crusts intoit. I had a piece of bread and butter for myluncheon every morning, and the crust of it was oftena serious incumbrance to me. Because, whatevermammas and aunt Marys and governesses and nurse-maids may say to the contrary, bread crusts are notnice things, and never were, and never will be. Youmay put butter on them, or you may put sugaron them, or you may even put strawberry jam ormarmalade upon them, to make them go down more


II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 25pleasantly; still, they are only bread crusts after all,and I don't believe the best little boys and little girlsin the world ever enjoy eating them, except froma sense of duty. I know I didn't like mine, andI am sure you don't like yours, and I don't blameyou one bit if you feel as if you very often wantedto put them out of the way somewhere.Mind, I should blame you very much if you everdid put them out of the way anywhere; but feelingas if you wanted to do so, is quite natural and proper,besides affording you an opportunity of resistingtemptation, which is always valuable. You wouldnot be a real little girl at all, if you pretended to callbread crusts anything but necessary evils, and youwould not be an honourable little girl if you didnot eat them resolutely, after you had enjoyed thecrumb which belongs to them. You know therecan't be crust without crumb, and there can't becrumb either without crust; for things that arepleasant and things that are not pleasant always gotogether in this world. You will have to eat crusts,in some form or other, all through your life; the onlydifference being, that when you are grown up youwill not be able to cover them with sugar or butter


26 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.or strawberry jam, to make them go down morepleasantly.I daresay you will wonder, though, why I shouldsay so much about the duty of eating your crusts,when I have just been confessing to you that I putmy own out of the way, without eating them atall. You will find out about that by-and-by. I amtelling you this story as a warning, not as an example.Before you come to the end of it, you will find thatit is much wiser to do as I say, than to do as I did.If I had my time to come over again, wouldn't I eatevery scrap of crust like a little heroine! Yes, that Iwould.But I wasn't a heroine in those early days, nothingof the sort, only a very stupid little girl. And soevery morning, when I had finished my piece ofbread and butter, at least the nice part of it, I usedto tuck the rest snugly up under my pinafore, andtrot away up those narrow stone stairs, and creepthrough the doorway behind the tapestry, and openthe heavy, iron-bound chest and pop my crust in,pushing it down as far as ever my arm would reach,under the frocks and petticoats and comforters, andthen come back into the oriel room, trying to look


II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 27as if nothing was the matter. Indeed I did feelquite safe, for I knew the chest would not be openeduntil next winter; and for me, next winter wasnowhere.It came, though, and with it the necessity ofopening out all my warm clothes; and then, in acomfortable corner, quite down at the bottom of thechest, hard, dry, mouldy, like little bits of brownbrick, were my crusts, which morning after morning,for nearly four months, I had been hiding there.Wasn't it disagreeable for me? I will not tellyou how ashamed I felt when mamma, who alwaysopened out my winter things, sent for me to askwhat the little bits of brown stuff meant, and Iwas obliged to confess that they were my luncheoncrusts. I have no doubt you will be fully able toimagine my discomfiture, if, like most other littlepeople, you have at one time or another had unplea-sant transactions relative to dry bread. I think Ifelt a great deal more ashamed, too, because mammadid not scold me very much. She only looked sadand grieved, to think that her little girl, the onlylittle girl she had, should ever have tried to hideanything from her, and should have done it, too,


28 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CII.not once or twice, but day after day, for nearly fourmonths. To see her looking at me in that grievedway, made me feel dreadfully uncomfortable. I couldnot say a single word. I could not cry. I could noteven tell her I was sorry. I could only just standthere over my mouldy little bits of crust, holdingmy head down, and twisting my fingers about, andwishing very much that I could run away somewhereout of sight.After that day I never put anything more intothe chest. It stood there in the cupboard, behindthe tapestry as usual, but no crusts of mine went intoit again, and I asked mamma if she would keep thelid of it always standing wide open, so that every-body could see what was in it; then, you know, itwas impossible for things to be hidden. But for along time I could not feel quite comfortable again.If ever I heard papa and mamma talking togetherin a low tone, I was almost sure they were sayingsomething about me and my crusts, and I could noteven enjoy my luncheon in a morning, because, assoon as nurse brought it to me, I was reminded ofthe little bits of brown brick, and I knew she wasreminded of them too, and that made my face all


II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 29over hot, just as if I had been sitting too long bythe fire. Oh! how stupid it was.Now, don't you see the egg-shell breaking openjust a little bit, and something peeping through it,ready to fall out? Cannot you see a meaningwrapped up in this story of what happened when Iwas a child? Don't you know that a great, greatmany little boys and girls, and even grown-up peopletoo, who ought to know better, hide their crusts inthe cupboard behind the tapestry ? They have a chestsomewhere, into which they thrust the memory ofnaughty things which they have done, thrust it quitedown as far as ever they can, and then come away,as I did, trying to look as if nothing was the matter.Indeed, they think it is of no consequence, becausethe chest will not be opened for such a long time,not until the day when God will want to know allabout everything that we have done. And that dayseems as far off to them as 'next winter' onceseemed to me.Have you such a chest anywhere, and do you slipquietly away sometimes to put your naughty memoriesinto it? It is no use doing so. It only makes you


30 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.ever so uncomfortable. All that bright, beautifulsummer-time, whilst the gooseberries and currantswere ripening, and the peaches growing rosy-sweeton our south wall, and the golden-cheeked applesgetting ready to drop, one by one, into the longgrass, and I was trotting away,- morning after morn-ing, to hide my crusts in the great chest, I neverfelt quite happy,-I mean not quite so happy as ifI had had nothing to be afraid of. Of course some-times I forgot all about it, and was as merry as acricket; but at other times, when I was playing withmy dolls, or romping with Puff, or even having teawith aunt Mary in that dear little room of hers, asudden sharp pain used to spring up inside me. Itwas the voice of conscience, saying,-' Some day that chest will be opened, and thenwhat will you do?'You see conscience was quite right,-it always is.The chest was opened, and then, oh! how uncom-fortable I felt. I would rather have eaten my crusts,at the proper time, over and over and over again;nay, I would rather have gathered them all up, hard,dry, mouldy as they were when they came out of thechest, and munched patiently at them until the last


II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 31bit had disappeared, than have had mamma look atme so sadly, with the tears standing in her eyes.But it was too late then. I was obliged to take thedisgrace which was so much worse than the eating ofa whole chest-full of crusts would have been, and bearit as well as I could.So now, if you ever put your crusts into the old chest;if you ever do things that you ought not to do,things that you know very well you ought not to do,and then, instead of telling papa and mamma, saynothing at all about it, hide it right down under alot of other things, and come away looking as ifnothing was the matter, I want you to promise menot to do so again. It is no use. Next winter willcome, however much you may determine not to thinkabout it. The chest will be opened, and the crustswill be found, and you will be so sorry and soashamed, and you will wish ever so much, when it istoo late, that you had not been such a stupid, foolishlittle girl.Don't do as I did. Don't wait for the chest to beopened. Open it yourself and take everything out,and let papa and mamma and your Father-God knowabout all that you do. Then you will never fear next


32 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL.winter or any other winter, and as you play in themerry sunshine, no sharp thoughts will sting you,and if you hear people talking in a low voice you willnot be afraid that they are saying something aboutyou; and, best of all, your mother's eyes will neverneed to look upon you with sad tears in them, andthe pain which hurts so hard and lasts so long andspoils so many summer days, will never come to you.This is the little bit of advice which was wrappedup in the egg. Now shut it up again, and look atthe pretty painted figures on the outside, before youput it away.


CHAPTER III.MY DOLLS.ONE pleasant summer morning, since I have beenbusy gathering up these stories and making theminto a book for the little girls to read, I went to seean exhibition of paintings. A great many ladies andgentlemen were there, and, if they had plenty ofmoney, they could buy any picture they liked.What a fine thing it must be to have plenty ofmoney!There was one picture that I looked at for a verylong time, and I do wish I could have bought it, butunfortunately I have not a great deal of money, andso I was obliged to come away without it. Youwould wonder if I told you how much it cost; moregolden sovereigns than you could count, if they wereall laid out in a row before you; for the painter hadspent much time and trouble over it, and made it verybeautiful indeed, and almost every one who went tothe exhibition stopped a long time to look at it.D


34 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.It was a picture of a little baby girl, about twoyears old, sitting up in her small cot. She waslooking so seriously out of her great eyes, and holdingup one of her fat little fingers, just as mamma orthe nurse holds up her finger when baby is goingto sleep and she wants you to be very quiet. Onthe coverlid round her were four dolls of differentsizes, dressed in nice white night-gowns. The littlegirl thought they Were going to sleep, and that waswhy she was holding up her finger to keep you frommaking a noise, but they were doing nothing of thesort, not they. Their round black eyes were wideopen, staring up to the top of the cot, and their armswere sticking about here and there and everywhere ina most disorderly manner. Those eyes and arms hadno sleep in them, not a bit, any more than your eyesand arms have when nurse seizes upon you in themiddle of a game of play and hurries you off to bed,though the sun is shining and the birds are singing,and everything is as wide awake as possible. Howsorry I did feel for that poor little girl! I knew shewould be so very tired before the four wooden babieswent to sleep.The picture was called, She had so many children


Il'1Ni( tIii~SIA Iif40L!jf ',,.-t ,, 7ia Rogmw"3 .~I "I7 jj-SI u~ nokii. so s e, iosly out of her Areat eyec. },3


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III. MY DOLLS. 35she didn't know what to do.' It reminded me somuch of the time when Lucy Walters and I used toplay with our dolls on Wednesday and Saturdayafternoons; and I think, before I tell you anythingelse about the days when I was a little girl, I willtell you about those dolls. I must tell you first,though, about old Watson, our gardener, who nearlyalways bought them for me.Watson must have been about sixty years old whenfirst I remember him. He had a nose that pointeddown very much, and a chin that pointed up verymuch, so that both nearly met in front of his tooth-less mouth, and made him look rather like the funnyold man on the title-page of Punch. He used to gohome to dinner every day at twelve o'clock, and on hisway he passed a little shop, where they sold woodendolls with jointed arms and legs, and paintedfaces. The very large ones, big enough to be papaand mamma dolls, were twopence each, those thatwould do for little boys and girls were a penny, andthe babies were two for three-halfpence.Although Watson was a very ugly old man,-atleast, he seemed ugly to me, for I had never seen anyone with a face like that before; I don't think ID 2


36 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.should call him ugly now,-he had very good taste indolls, and always bought me those which had thebluest eyes and rosiest cheeks, and the most natural-looking curls painted on their foreheads. He wasvery kind, too, and would sometimes give me a half-penny towards a couple of babies, when my ownmoney ran short, as it very often did; for I had onlytwopence a week, and you know twopence goes verysoon, when you have cakes and sweets and dolls andeverything to buy out of it.I never had any of those grand dolls, such asmost little girls have now, with eyes that open andshut, and real hair done up in curls or ckignons, andwax faces and arms, and fine clothes which arestitched on to their bodies in a most cruel andunfeeling way. Indeed, if I had had any of thatsort, I should not have known what to do withthem. I could not have washed them every nightin my little tin bath with the real soap-tray andtowels; I could not have cut scratches on theirarms to make believe they had fallen down andhurt themselves; I could not have coloured theirfaces with red paint out of Montem's box and thenpretended they had taken scarlatina; I could not


III. MY DOLLS. 37have tumbled them, clothes and everything, intothe water-tub in the back yard, and punished themand sent them to bed in disgrace, just as I had beensent when I tumbled in there myself. Indeed, theywould not have been of the slightest domestic valueto me, for I could not have'put them through anyof the experiences which I went through myself,and so they would only have been like lifeless blocks,not real little boys and girls at all.I think it is very foolish to have such fine lady-dolls. I went to see a little girl the other day, andshe brought me hers to look at. Her mamma hadsent for it all the way from Paris, and it cost fiveand twenty shillings, -five and twenty large,round, silver shillings, as much money as wouldhave bought three hundred of my nice penny dollswith wooden arms and painted faces. Fancyhaving three hundred penny dolls, wouldn't itbe delightful? I don't think any one could quitefancy it, it must be so delicious. I know what Ishould have done, though, when I was a little girl,if I had had three hundred penny dolls. Ishould have turned my nursery into a church, andmade a congregation of them. I would have


38 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.dressed some very grandly indeed, and put them inthe front seats, and I would have dressed some veryshabbily and put them at the back, just as they doin real churches, though I don't think it is a rightthing to do, at all; and I would have had ever somany little boys and girls for Sunday-school chil-dren, and they should have sat upon benches withno backs to them; and then I would have had aclergyman,-how funny a clergyman-doll wouldhave looked,-and he should have preached such niceshort sermons that the children should not have wantedto go to sleep, nor the gentlemen to yawn behindtheir kid gloves, nor the ladies to look at eachothers' bonnets, nor the people in the back seats tostroll out before the benediction. Only I could nothave had the beautiful organ music, nor the sweetvoices of the chorister-boys, nor the softly-chantedPsalms, which were always by far the best part ofchurch to me.This Paris doll that I was telling you about,was dressed as if she was going to a party. Shehad a pink silk dress on, with black lace over it,and pink roses and a white feather in her hair,and a necklace and bracelets, and a fan and bouquet,


HI. MY DOLLS. 39and lace pocket-handkerchief, and everything elsethat grown-up ladies have when they want to bevery grand indeed. She looked so splendid that Ialmost felt at first as if I ought to get up and makea curtsey to her. You know when we see people,or dolls either, so very fine, we do naturally feeljust at first as if we ought to be rather respectfulto them, until we find out what they are made ofunderneath-; then sometimes we don't feel respectfulat all. I did not feel respectful at all to this dollwhen I found that its things were all put togetherand stuck on with paste and glue, and that it hadno petticoats worth mentioning, and very, veryclumsy stockings, which fitted as badly as possible.But worse than that,-it had to be hung up by itsarms in a cupboard when it was done with, andthe little girl to whom it belonged was only allowedto play with it when she had her best frock on.As for kissing it, she never dare do that at all, forfear of rubbing the paint off its cheeks, and shecould not put her arms round its neck and squeezeit, as you like to squeeze dolls that you are veryfond of, for fear of spoiling its pink silk frock; andall the time she was holding it, her mamma had


40 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.to keep looking at her, to see that she did notflatten its chignon, or pull its curls out of shape.Wasn't it stupid work, having a doll like that?- a doll that you could neither tease, nor kiss,nor scold, nor caress, nor tumble up and down; adoll that had to be hung up by its arms in a cup-board when you had done with it, and that alwayslooked as if it was going out to a party with itsbest of possible things on.Well, well, I hope Dolly enjoyed having her bestof possible things on, that is all. I know I neverenjoyed having mine on. How well I rememberbeing dressed and going to a party when I was avery little girl! What a weariness it was! Thered morocco shoes pinched my feet so tight, andthe rough inside edges of the stiff new muslin frockchafed my poor little bare shoulders so, and myhead ached because nurse had tied my hair up tightwith red ribbons, to make me look as smart as theother little girls who were to be there. And theparty was no pleasure to me, after all, for no onetook any notice of me, not even Lucy Walters,who was dancing all the evening with a very curly-headed little boy in a blue velvet coat with silver


III. MY DOLLS. 41buttons. She looked at me now and then, andnodded to me, and said what a pleasant eveningwe were having, but that was all.I don't think I should have cared, though, fornot being taken any notice of, whilst the dancingand the games were going on, because I was ableto amuse myself by listening to the merry dance-music and beating time to it, which was pleasantenough. But the worst of it was that nobody tookany notice of me when supper-time came, and Ireally did feel that a great trouble, because I washungry and wanted something to eat. I sat atthe top of the table, quite close to the mistress ofthe house, almost hidden amongst her frills andflounces, and I suppose I was so small that shenever knew I was there. She kept passing cake,and biscuits, and tarts, and jellies, and oranges,and figs, and almonds and raisins, and sweetmeats,backwards and forwards before me, so close to methat I could have reached out my hands andtouched them, but not a single crumb was everoffered to me, or a taste of anything, and I wastoo shy to ask for it. Now, was not that an un-comfortable state of things? And, if you had been


42 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.placed in such a situation, should you not havefelt rather disappointed, and perhaps rather cross,too?To make matters worse, when supper was over,when the servants had cleared every plate, dish,glass, and custard-cup away, and nothing was leftupon the table but a very white cloth and a verybeautiful vase of flowers, the lady of the house turnedround to me and said with a pleasant smile-oh!suck a pleasant smile,-" Well, my dear little girl, I hope you have enjoyedyourself very much, and had a very good supper.'I don't remember what I said. Most likely Iturned very red and held my head down, and beganto crumple up my new muslin frock in both myhands, and the lady would think what an ill-behavedlittle girl I was. Just fancy being asked whetheryou had enjoyed 'yourself,' when nothing else hadbeen given you to enjoy.. I wanted to enjoy thesupper, not to enjoy 'myself' at all. But the ladydid not do it on purpose. I am quite sure shedid not do it on purpose. She had been so busywaiting upon everybody else that she had quite for-gotten the little girl hidden away under her flounces,


III. MY DOLLS. 43and I daresay she thought I had had as much supperas the rest. I was very glad to go home, and I criedall the way there, and I asked mamma never to letme go out to supper again.And so, oh! you fine Paris dolly, with your pinksilk and flowers and feathers, with your laces andyour jewelry, and your fan and your bouquet, andall the rest of your things, I do hope, when you goto that party which you are everlastingly dressedfor, it will be a satisfying portion to you, muchmore so than mine was to me. I hope at any rateyou will have spirit enough to speak up bravely foryourself, and reach out your white-gloved hand andmake sure of at least one solid wedge of cake beforeall the supper is cleared away, so that those prettyred lips of yours need not hesitate between smilingand crying, when, at the end of the feast, its lady-superintendent asks you in the blandest tones if youhave had enough.' Don't sit still, pretty Paris dolly,and let somebody else eat all the supper, even ifyou do sit still and let somebody else do all thedancing. And now, having listened to this very sen-sible homily, you may go back and be hung up byyour arms in the cupboard, until you are wanted again


44 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.No, no; when I was a little girl I did not carefor dolls of society, fine ladies in feathers and flowers,so I had my nursery full of good, useful, serviceablewooden children at a penny each, and the very smallones two for three-halfpence. I think at one timemy family numbered more than twenty, includinga papa and mamma, an aunt Mary, a cousin Montem,a Lucy Walters, some servants, and any number ofchildren. When I was very busy learning mylessons, playing with Puff, keeping house with LucyWalters, fishing with Montem, writing down thelengths of the principal rivers in Europe, and soon, my people all lived together indiscriminately inthe bottom drawer of a large chest which stood inthe nursery; but when I had plenty of time to spare,I used to arrange them in the smaller drawers ofanother empty chest, four stories high, which madea capital dolls' house, quite as neat and commodiousas any of the 'family mansions replete with everyrequisite inconvenience,' which one sees advertisedso abundantly in the morning papers.I never had a proper dolls' house bought forme. Mamma always liked me to invent my ownamusements and contrive my own playthings, and


III. MY DOLLS. 45then she said they both lasted longer and I enjoyedthem more. I believe she was quite right, for Ihad the fun of inventing, and the still greater funof seeing how the invention turned out. I don'tthink the little girls of the present day, with theirminiature dinner-parties, and real moulds of blanc-mange, and soups and open tarts which have beenmade for them in the kitchen by a proper cook, haveany idea how Lucy and I enjoyed keeping houseupon two lumps of sugar and a piece of seed-cakein that dear old oriel window, with pieces of writing-paper twisted up at the corners for dishes, and nut-shells for cups and saucers. I wonder if they knowhow good crumbs of bread taste when you makebelieve they are pieces of roast beef, or how much su-perior liquorice soup is, made as Lucy and I alwaysmade ours, with a bit of Spanish juice as big as the endof your finger, shaken up in a bottle of water, tothe most elaborate ox-tail or vermicelli which hasbeen cooked in the ordinary way over a real kitchenfire. There isn't half the enjoyment in having thingsmade for you, that there is in making them foryourselves. I am sure Lucy Walters and I got agreat deal more satisfaction, real, lasting, solid satis-


46 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.faction, out of our four-story chest of drawers, withpapa's old cigar-boxes for beds, and acorn-cups fortoilet services, and half a dozen empty pill-boxes forstools, and square pieces of wood supported on cottonreels for tables, and little round bits of cardboardfor plates and dishes, than children get now fromtheir toy-shop dining-rooms and drawing-rooms andbed-rooms, with real furniture and sets of propercrockery, and things that are always getting brokenand spoilt.As I have told you, some of my dolls were babies.They used to .sleep in cradles made of lozenge-boxes.Aunt Mary or mamma helped me to make them.They were just like real little cradles, frilled roundwith white muslin and something over the top forcurtains. Others of my dolls were little boys andgirls. Of course they had to learn lessons, so I hada governess for them, and I made one of my drawersinto a schoolroom; and every morning, when I hadtime, before I went to my own lessons, I used toput them on little benches made of long pieces ofwood, and they had books cut out of writing-paperon their knees, and the governess sat at the tablewith a cane before her to rap their knuckles if they


III. MY DOLLS. 47made too much noise. Sometimes when my ownlessons were over and Puff came to ask me to playwith her, I used quite to forget my little boys andgirls, and they had to keep on being at school allday long, which must have been very tedious; butthey never made any complaint about being treatedin that way, and when I came to attend to them, Ialways found them studying as diligently as ever.Sometimes my children used to be ill, and then avery tall doll, that had cost threepence, dressed like adoctor, came to see them. I remember once, afterMontem and I had had the measles, I painted allmy little boys' and girls' faces with pink spots tomake believe they had had measles too, and I madethem lie in bed all day long and take a great dealof medicine. I think all that sort of thing wasmuch better fun than if I had had one or two veryfine dolls, and had been obliged to hang them up bytheir shoulders when I had done with them.Once mamma gave me a penny for pulling up allthe weeds in one of the flower-beds. I had beenwanting for a long time to have a doll that woulddo to be Lucy Walters, but none of my little girlswere pretty enough, for I had washed them and


48 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.scratched them and spotted them and scrubbed themuntil they had scarcely any complexions at all; itwould have been quite an insult to rosy-cheekedLucy to have named one of them after her. So, whenmamma gave me the penny, I ran to Watson, who wasjust going home to his dinner, and asked him to bringme a little girl-doll. I told him it must be a verypretty one, because I wanted to call it Lucy Walters.Watson nodded his old head and hobbled away."What a long time it seemed until he came back!I was very anxious for my doll, because I had a halfholiday that afternoon, and mamma had given me abit of blue muslin to make a frock of, and of courseI could not begin to make the frock until I knewexactly how tall the little girl was going to bethat I had to make it for. At last I heard Watson'sstep in the back yard, and away I ran.' Well, Watson,' I said, where is it ?'Watson did not seem to hear me. He was makinga great rattle with his empty watering-cans.'My doll, Watson, my little girl-doll, where is it,please? I have got some blue muslin to make a frockfor it, and I can't begin until I know how tall it is.'Watson turned round, and I saw directly by the


III. MY DOLLS. 49look upon his face that something was the matter.He fumbled in the back pockets of his coat forawhile, and then brought out a couple of legs; thenhe fumbled again and brought out an arm; thenhe fumbled a third time and brought out a body,with just a single arm sticking to it.'I'm very sorry, Miss Alice,' he said, I'm sureI'm very sorry, but you see I just turned into thepublic-house to get a sup of beer, and I clean forgotabout the little doll, and I sat down on her andsmashed her as she was wrapped up in one of myback pockets. I was real vexed when I heard hergo scrunch, for I'd picked out the prettiest I couldlight on.'And so he had. Oh! what a pretty little creatureit was, that poor, legless, one-armed, penny woodendoll. Its eyes were not quite wide open, like myother dolls' eyes, but rather shut, as if it wanted togo to sleep. Its cheeks had only a faint touch ofpink in them, and its hair, instead of being paintedround its face in hard black curls, was a soft lightbrown, parted in the middle and smoothed down oneach side. I had never had such a nice-looking dollin my life. It had such a patient, gentle expressionE


50 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.in its face, as if it knew it had lost both legs andone arm, but would try to bear the loss as meeklyas possible. I felt so sorry for it. I could almosthave cried, not for my own disappointment, but forthe sad, still little face that looked up to me fromWatson's rough hand.I wrapped the poor thing, with its two brokenlegs and its smashed arm, in my pocket-handkerchiefand took it into the house to mamma. Mamma saidshe had a very pretty face indeed, it was a greatpity Watson had sat upon her and smashed her so.And she said she reminded her of a little girl sheonce knew, who was not able to walk at all, but hadto lie in bed all day, and every one was kind to herbecause she was so patient and gentle.That was a bright idea. My pretty little brokendoll should be a cripple and lie in bed all day, andevery one should be kind to her. So I set to workdirectly. Mamma gave me an empty lozenge-box,and aunt Mary helped me to make a cradle of itwith the blue muslin which was to have been a frock;and then Jessie, as I called the new doll, was dressedin a white cambric night-gown and laid in thecradle upon a bed of cotton wool, with fine flannel


III. MY DOLLS. 51blankets over her and a quilt which had once beena crochet d'oyley. She did look so pretty. "I usedto make the other little boy and girl dolls sit byher and read to her, and take her some breakfastevery morning on a little cardboard tray, and some-times the tall doll dressed like a doctor used tocome and see her.I had her for a long time, and I was never tired oflooking at her sweet pretty face, with its half-shuteyes and soft brown hair; but poor Jessie came to asad end at last. I used to take her some supper everyevening, and once I begged a little bit of cheese,because I thought it would be a treat for her. Iexpect some of the crumbs had fallen into her cradleand the mice had smelt them; for next morn-ing when I went to look at her, all her face wasnibbled away, and a great deal of her night-gown,and there was nothing left of her to look prettyany more.Of course I could not love her when she had noface. I made a paper coffin for her and put rose-leaves into it, and buried her in my dolls' cemetery inone corner of the garden, and planted a root of violetson her grave. I think I should have mourned overE2


52 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL.her very much, but only the day after the mice hadnibbled her to pieces something happened which quitetook my thoughts away from the loss which my littledomestic establishment had sustained. I will tell youabout it in the next chapter.


CHAPTER IV.OUR PUDDING.I WAS seven years old, and Lucy was helping me tokeep my birthday. She had brought me for a presenta pincushion, made of pink silk, with a forget-me-noton each side, worked in beads. Papa had given me aslate and pencil, and mamma a box with six paintsand two brushes inside. Montem said he meant tohave given me half-a-dozen little spoons to keep housewith, but only the day before he had lost a pennythrough a hole in the school-room floor, and so hecould not afford to buy me them. I was very sorry,for the only spoons I had were made of cardboard, andthey always began to melt away when I put theminto the tea. I had to have a fresh set nearly everytime Lucy and I played at keeping house, and it wasa great deal of trouble to cut them out nicely.However, mamma said, as I had been disappointedabout the spoons, we should have something extra tomake a feast of. So in addition to our usual allow-ance of seed-cake and currants, and raisins and sugar,


54 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.we had a couple of sweet biscuits and half a cupfulof real ginger wine.Now the ginger wine was an addition greatly to berejoiced over, since it enabled us to accomplish whatfor weeks we had been striving after in vain, namely,the mixing up of a pudding. Because in a generalway we were not allowed to have anything that wecould slop about with, and of course without liquid ofsome sort we could scarcely make a pudding, exceptby the aid of more imagination than either of uspossessed. But with half a cupful of real gingerwine, and liberty to do just as we liked with it, whatwas there in the cookery line that Lucy and I couldnot manage ?Accordingly we set to work in the oriel window,having first divided it into parlour and kitchen, anddrawn the curtain so that no one could see us.Lucy crumbled the cake and biscuits; I grated thesugar, and then we began to stone the raisins, eatingone for every six that we stoned, which was the usualallowance. For always when I helped mamma to stonethe raisins at Christmas, she used to give me one forevery six. It is very stupid work, stoning raisins, un-less you can put one in your mouth now and then.


IV. OUR PUDDING. 55Montem was sitting in papa's easy chair, readingThe Boy's Own Book. As I have said before, hedid not often take any notice of us when we werekeeping house, except to laugh at our funny littlecontrivances; but this afternoon he put his bookdown and strolled up to the oriel window and pulledthe curtain aside, and stood looking at us for a verylong time as we proceeded with our operations.' What are you children doing there ?' he said atlast. Montem always called Lucy and me 'children,'though we did not like it at all.' Making a pudding,' said Lucy, very confidently.'And what have you got to make it with? Any-thing worth eating?'This question was to me.'Sugar, and raisins, and currants, and biscuit,and seed-cake, and real ginger wine,' I replied,pointing to each article with my finger as I mentionedit. C We're going to make it as nice as ever we can,and have'it for dinner.'Montem went away. Presently he came back.He really was paying us a great deal of attentionthat afternoon. We felt quite flattered.'Are your hands clean ?' he said.


56 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CIH.'Of course they are,' we both replied at once.'Let me look at them.'We held out four little paws, which, though verysticky with raisin pulp, were in no other way to becomplained of.'Are you going to put all that wine into yourpudding ?'I nodded.'You're a couple of clever little cooks. I don'tthink I should mind dining with you myself.'And then Montem went away again, with hishands in his pockets.A bright idea flashed into my mind. I am sureit was a bright idea, although the results of it werenot quite what I intended. Drawing Lucy up intothe corner of the window, I suggested to her in aconfidential whisper, that, as Montem was takingso much notice of us, and had called us clever littlecooks, and had even said that he should not minddining with us himself, we should invite him to beour master, and let him sit in our parlour, and wewould lay the cloth for him, and take in our puddingwhen we had made it. Because, I said, it wouldbe so much more like real housekeeping if we had


IV. OUR PUDDING. 57a master; and besides, there would be so much moreenjoyment in making the pudding when we hadsome one to help us to eat it.Lucy did not appear. to see the subject exactlyin that light. She thought we could enjoy thepudding quite sufficiently without having any one tohelp us. At the same time, she was fully alive tothe additional importance which we should gain bythe possession of a master of the house. It certainlywould be more like grown-up people, and perhapsMontem would not take more than just a spoonful,perhaps he would only pretend to taste. So at lastwe decided that he should be asked, and, after havingpeeped through the curtain to see whether he lookedgood-tempered enough, I went up to him, andmeekly offered my request.'Please, Montem, we want to know if you wouldlike to be our master; because, if you would, youshall sit in our parlour, and we will lay the clothfor you, and wait upon you, and bring you ourpudding that we are making.oI was half afraid of my own boldness when I hadsaid this, for it seemed such a very great favour toask. However, to my infinite delight, Montem did


58 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.not seem at all offended. He laughed quite good-humouredly, and said,' All right, little woman, Idon't care if I do,' in a very pleasant manner, andthrowing down his book he walked straight awayto our parlour, which we had made at one end of theoriel with chairs and cushions and a high stoolcovered with a serviette for a table. Then he puton a pair of spectacles and began to read the news-paper, just as papa used to do when he came in fromthe office, whilst we two little maidens trotted con-tentedly back to our kitchen and our pudding, feelingever so much more like real people now that we hada master to wait upon and work for.And what a pudding that was, to be sure, and howwe did enjoy mixing it up I don't think any grown-up cook or housekeeper, with a whole storehousefull of groceries at her command, and no end ofcleverness and experience, ever produced anything sobrilliantly successful as that compound of seed-cake,sweet biscuit, sugar, raisins and currants, made upwith half a cupful of real ginger wine out of mamma'sown decanter. When it was done we put it into alittle pan and hung it upon one of the curtain-hooks;pretending that it was being boiled.


IV. OUR PUDDING. 59'Doesn't it look good ?' said Lucy.I nodded. I never could give expression to myfeelings when anything stirred them so profoundlyas that pudding did."Don't you think we ought to taste it?' saidLucy again; 'grandmamma's cook always tastes thepuddings after she has made them, to see if theyare all right. You know sometimes they want alittle more sugar.'" But we haven't any more, if it did,' I replied.' We have put every bit of everything into it.''Never mind. I think we ought to taste it, allthe same. I should like to know what it is going tobe like.'And Lucy picked out two raisins, one for each ofus. Tiey were all over sugar and sweet biscuit, andthey did taste so good. They made us feel as if weshould like to have some more.' Don't you almost wish,' said Lucy, after a solemnpause, during which we had been munching our raisinsand watching our pudding swing to and fro in thelittle tin pan,-' don't you almost wish we hadn'tasked Montem to be the master ?'I shook my head, and whispered indignantly,-


60 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.'No. It's a great deal nicer to make things whenyou don't make them all for yourself. And besides, weare just like grown-up people, now.''Perhaps we are,' said Lucy doubtfully. 'Onlythere would have been more for ourselves if we hadn'thad a master.''I don't care,' I said; 'I think it's better to have amaster, even if there isn't quite so much left for our-selves. And then, you know, he will very likely onlyplay at eating it. Boys don't care for girls' puddings.He didn't come to be our master because he wantedour pudding, but only to please us. He doesn't careabout the pudding at all.'Lucy said no more; but she looked very wistfullyat our pudding, which kept swinging about in thelittle tin pan. I believe she was afraid, that whateverMontem might think of girls' performances in ageneral way, he would never be able to resist two, oreven three, servings of that special one. Most likelyhe heard us whispering, for just then he threw downhis newspaper and said,-' What are the servants doing ? When will dinnerbe ready ? Make haste, for I must be at the office atthree o'clock.'


IV. OUR PUDDING. 61That made us feel as if everything was quite real,for papa used to talk just in that way whenever hewas kept waiting a very long time for his dinner.We bustled about, pretended to put on our aprons,turned the pudding out of the tin pan into a littleplate which served as a dish, carried it in triumph tothe parlour, and ,there we both of us stayed, for wecould not bear to have that pudding out of our sight,even for a moment.' You must go away,' said Montem. 'I don't wantany one to wait upon me but a footman. Gentlemendon't eat their dinner whilst the cooks are looking atthem.'That was only too true. Rather disappointed, weturned away and came back to our kitchen end ofthe oriel, there to wait until Montem's bell rangfor us to clear away and enjoy our share of the feast.It did seem such a long time. Lucy said shethought we ought to have made the pudding intotwo, and kept one part for ourselves, and then wecould have been going on with it whilst the masterwas eating his. I did not much care, though, forhaving our pudding settled upon us in that way. Ithought it was much better to leave our share of it


62 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CIH.to the master's honour, though events certainly didprove that a settlement would have been wiser. Wewere very tired of waiting. We tried to peepthrough the partition which we had made withshawls and chairs between the kitchen and parlour,but Montem was sitting exactly between us and ourprecious pudding, and we could not tell how much of ithe was eating. Only we were afraid, as he sat such along time over his dinner, that there could not bevery much left for us.'If there should be nothing but a little at thebottom of the dish,' suggested Lucy, in rather adisconsolate whisper, after we had been waiting, as itseemed to both of us, an interminably long time.' Oh! there will be a great deal more than that,' Isaid. "I am sure there will be a great deal morethan that. Montem knows that we had all thetrouble of making the pudding, and that we wantvery much to try how it tastes, and he will be sureonly to take a very little piece. Perhaps all thistime he is only pretending to eat. You know heought to be rather a long time over his dinner;grown-up people always are. It will be sure to be allright when he rings the bell for us to clear away.'


IV. OUR PUDDING. 63But I said this more to comfort Lucy than becauseI was quite sure that it would be all right. ForMontem made a noise as if he really was eating, andhe had been making it such a long time, too, that Ibegan to be seriously afraid. However, there wasone comfort,-we had a master, and therefore we werelike grown-up people. For you know Lucy's happi-ness and mine, when we were little girls, consisted inhaving things like grown-up people. I think nowour happiness, if we could choose it, would consist inhaving things as grown-up people do not have them.At last, to our intense relief, the bell rang. Witheager excitement we sprang up, both of us at once,upsetting chairs, tables, and shawls in our hurry, andrushed into our master's domain to clear away.Alas there was nothing to clear.I am obliged to state the fact in this way, with ablank space above it, and another blank space belowit, or I don't think you could ever realise the feelingswith which Lucy and I gazed upon that empty dish.Whether Montem was really very hungry, or whetherhe did it to tease us, or whether our cookery wasmore irresistible than he had expected, I cannot tell.


64 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.This only I know, that not a single scrap, not onesolitary crumb, or fragment, or vestige remained ofthat pudding wherein Lucy's hopes and mine werecentred, in whose preparation so much toil had beenspent, and from the eating of which we had promisedourselves such unbounded satisfaction.I believe a sense of dignity as well as of bitterdisappointment kept me from saying anything.Mamma had always taught me not to cry when Iwas hurt, for it only made the hurt worse. I don'tthink I could have spoken a word, though, even if Ihad been ever so wishful to do so. If I had swallowedthe whole of our pudding at one mouthful, I couldnot have been more nearly choking than at thatmoment. Of course you know I might have consoledmyself with moral reflections. I might have re-membered that it is better to receive an injury thanto commit one, better to have your own puddingeaten than disgrace yourself by eating some one else's;but children don't always think of moral reflectionsat the right time. I only knew that our pudding wasgone,-gone from us beyond hope of return, and theknowledge of that terrible loss struck me quitedumb.


IV. OUR PUDDING. 65Lucy, however, found words to express a littleof her indignation.'Oh, Montem! you greedy, greedy, greedy boy!How could you, how could you do it? And youhave not even left us a little at the bottom of thedish.'Montem laughed, but it was not a comfortablelaugh,-I mean, it was not comfortable for himself." Well, I was the master; you wanted me to be themaster, and the master has a right to eat everything,if he likes. You should have remembered that whenyou asked me.''But, Montem,' and. Lucy's tone changed fromanger to expostulation, we had put all our stuff intoit,--we had not kept a bit out for ourselves.'Montem thrust his hands into his pockets andwent away, whistling as he went. He did not comeback again all that afternoon; he did not even comeback to tea, or to the wine and nuts which we hadfor supper. I think he felt rather ashamed.'I do wish we hadn't had a master,' said Lucy,wiping the tears out of her eyes as we took ourempty dish away and washed it up and put it backagain into the cupboard. 'It's ever so stupid havingF


66 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.a master. I'm sure I won't have one any more, willyou ?'I could not quite agree to that, for I felt it wasmore like real housekeeping to have a master, but Idid wish that, having had him, he had left us a littlepudding at the bottom of the dish.'I wish we hadn't had him at all,' sobbed Lucy.'We'll never make a pudding for him again, or if wedo, we'll keep ever such a lot of the things out of itfor ourselves. We won't make it half so nice.'I told her I didn't think that would be any use.All the good of having a master was that we shouldgive him the best we had. It would only be likeplaying at having one, if we kept all the best thingsout for ourselves. However, we both of us agreedthat the next time we wanted to choose a master, wewould look at him very carefully first, and find outwhether he would be likely to eat all the pudding.Of course we could not play any longer after that,for there was nothing to play with; so we gave uphousekeeping, drew the curtains back, put our chairsaway, made the oriel tidy again, and ran to auntMary to ask her for a story. But we did not sayanything to her about what had happened.


IV. OUR PUDDING. 67Next morning after school-time, when I wasshowing Lucy the grave which I had made for mylittle cripple-doll, Montem came running up to us andthrust something into my hand. Then he said veryquickly indeed, so quickly that we could scarcelyunderstand him,--SI tell you what,-I think I was no end of a donkeyto eat up all your pudding, but I don't mean to do itagain, and so you needn't be afraid to ask me to playwith you next time.'Then he set off away from us as fast as ever hecould, and, almost before we had time to say a word,he was out of sight, down the road which led to thegrammar-school.When we had opened the box which he thrust intomy hand, we found the prettiest little set of tea-things, a coffee-pot and tea-pot, and four cups andsaucers, and half a dozen tea-spoons. We wanted togo and kiss him for them, but he had gone too faraway. Oh! how glad we were then that we hadnot told aunt Mary about his eating the pudding.Because, if we had, we should have felt so dreadfullyuncomfortable when he told us, of his own accord,that he was sorry for taking it all; and we shouldF 2


68 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.never have been able to use our pretty tea-thingswith the least bit of pleasure. Do you think youcould be glad to have anything when you rememberedthat you had been telling tales of the person whogave it to you, even if he had been doing somethingthat was rather wrong ?We got on a great deal better with Montem afterthat. We often had him for our master when wewere keeping house, and he always left us plenty atthe bottom of the dish, so that there was no needfor us to keep any of our nice things out forourselves.He is a grown-up man now, very clever and kindand good. He is a barrister; but I will not tell youhis other name, nor what circuit he is on, lest someday, if you met him, you might ask him about thisstory of the pudding, and I do not think he wouldlike to be reminded of it. But I often talk about itwhen he comes to see ,me, and we both of us havegreat fun over it. He says he remembers as well ascan be, how Lucy and I looked when we came in toclear away and saw the empty dish; and how healways liked us ever so much better, and determinedhe would never vex us in that way again, when he


IV. OUR PUDDING. 69found that, instead of running away to tell of him,we had borne our disappointment quietly. Lucyand I have the tea-things yet which he gave us.We divided them between us. They were worthmore to both of us than if they had been made ofgold or silver, because they taught us what a goodthing it is not to tell tales of any one who vexesyou.There is something inside this story too. It islike the painted egg-boxes I was telling you aboutbefore. But I don't think you will be able to openit just yet, or to care for the meaning which is readyto tumble out, if you happen to press just in theright place. If you learn from the outside of thebox not to tell tales when you are hurt, that isquite enough. But I hope you will learn as much asthat.


CHAPTER V.PUFF.PUFF was the roundest, whitest, downiest littlekitten that ever ran after a cotton-ball or learnedto lap cream out of a silver tea-spoon. We called herPuff because she was so round and white and downy.Mrs. Puff, the mamma, was a tolerably good-lookingcat, but by no means equal to her merry, mischievous,amusing little youngest daughter, whose beauty,brightness, restlessness, and inquisitiveness werealternately the pride and plague of the parentalheart.Besides Puff's personal attractions, she was a verysensible kitten. Of course I never thought abouther sensibleness when I was amusing myself withher funny capers, or watching the endless tricks andjokes which she used to play with her patientmamma; but since I have grown up into a woman,and accustomed myself to take notice of the ways oflittle boys and girls, I have thought that they mightlearn many useful lessons from the example of Miss


PUFF. 71Puff, though she never went to school, or had a nurseor a governess or anything of that sort, as mostother children have.I forgot, though; she had her mamma to teachher, and I don't believe you have any idea how wellkittens understand what their mammas say to them.Very often Miss Puff would lie quite still for fiveminutes at a time on the great fleecy hearth-rug infront of the dining-room fire, whilst Mrs. Puff purredand mewed and nodded and winked at her with thegreatest gravity. I have no doubt Miss Puff washaving morning lessons then. I don't mean to saythat she was learning multiplication-table, or columnsof spelling, or the lengths of the principal rivers inEurope, or the chief towns of all the counties inEngland, or anything of that sort; but her mammawas teaching her how to behave properly, how to geton in life, how to scent new milk, how to catch mice.how to feed and wash and take care of herself, how tokeep out of harm's way and do her duty in that stationof life in which it had pleased Providence to place her,-things which are much more important to kittens,and perhaps to little boys and girls also, than thesizes, populations, and productions of the chief towns


72 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.in England, or the lengths of all the rivers in Europe,Asia, Africa, and America, put together.At any rate, Puff's mamma soon taught her onelesson,-not to cry when she was hurt, if the hurt washer own fault. I wish your mammas could teachyou that. What a great deal of noise and trouble itwould save! Of course Puff cried out when peopledid not behave properly to her. Kittens have aright to do that, and so have little boys and girls,in a general way; though sometimes, you know, asin that case when Montem forgot himself and ate allour pudding, it is wiser, even when people do notbehave properly to you, to be quiet about it. Thingswill be sure to come right by-and-by, if you keep ondoing what is right yourself. But if Puff did whatshe had been distinctly told not to do, and came tagrief in consequence, she never made a noise about it.She knew she had done wrong, and no one was toblame but herself.One day, when she was a very small childindeed, she climbed up to the top of a high-backed chair in the oriel window. She was veryfond of climbing; most kittens are. Her mammahad often told her it was a dangerous amuse-


SI NT \riI .fiS pe phShe climbed up to the top of a bigh backed chair. 1). ?


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v. PUFF. 73ment, and that, if she did not take care, shewould one day have a fall, and perhaps breaktwo or three of her legs, or at any rate hurtherself very much. But Puff, like many otherlittle girls, did not pay sufficient attention towhat her mamma said. It was so nice to stickher sharp little claws into the velvet cushion of thehigh-backed chair, and drag herself up, bit by bit,until she had got to the very top, where she couldstand quite safely on the narrow ledge, and reachthe tassels which hung down on each side, andpat them with her soft paws, and make themwag about in a most amusing manner. Hermamma used to look at her as she did this, andshake her old head, as much as to say,-'Take care, Puff; you will fall if you don'tmind.'But Puff only wagged her little tail and gavethe tassels a fresh pat, and laughed merrily enoughin her way when they began to shake about.She had never had a fall yet, why should shetake care? And it really was such capital funto watch the red tassel-balls knocking their headstogether. It was the best sport she had ever


74 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.had in all her life; and for mamma to lookso serious about it, made it better still. So shewent on just the same as if she had never beenspoken to.But one day she was balanced on the top ofthe chair as usual, tapping the tassels with herpaw to make them wag about, when a suddengust of wind caused the door to shut suddenly,with a great noise which so startled poor littlePuff that she lost her footing and fell all in alump on the floor.It was a long way to fall, especially for sucha tiny kitten as Puff, and I am sure it hurt hervery much, for she knocked her pretty pink noseagainst the leg of the chair and made it quitered, besides bruising all her soft little paws. Youwould have cried if you had had such a fall, andso should I when I was a little girl, and youwould have called out for cake, or sugar or kisses,to make you forget how much you had hurtyourself.Puff did nothing of the sort. She knew shehad no business to be climbing up there. Hermamma had told her over and over again that


V. PUFF. 75it was dangerous, and that, if she did not takecare, she would one day have a terrible fall.She felt that she was served quite right fordoing what she had been advised not to do;and so, instead of crying out and letting everyone know that she had been foolish enough toget into trouble, she rubbed her nose once or twicewith her little white paw, trotted quietly back toher mamma, who was asleep on the hearth-rug, laidher head upon Mrs. Puff's shoulder, and aftercrying for a little while,-for you know she reallyhad hurt herself very much,-she went to sleep, andwoke up by-and-by, as cheerful and good-temperedas ever. Now don't you think, if I told you nothingelse about Puff, this one story is enough to provethat she was a brave, sensible little person? Nexttime you happen to hurt yourself, try to be as braveand sensible.But Puff showed her superiority in many otherways. When she was beginning to be rathergrown up, about as old, I should say, as littlegirls are when they are seven or eight, we hadsome shrimps for breakfast. Puff always hada newspaper spread on the floor at breakfast-


76 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.time for a table-cloth. When she saw the cupsand saucers on the table, and heard the cracklingof the paper, she used to come running up asfast as her four little legs could carry her; butif she heard the crackling of paper at any othertime, when there were no cups and saucers orplates on the table, she never took any notice ofit,-she knew it did not mean anything then.Well, the first morning that we had shrimps,papa dropped one on Puff's table-cloth. Puffhad never seen shrimps before. She did notknow that there were such things in the world.There was nothing about them in Puff's editionof the Child's Guide to Knowledge,' and perhaps,as it was yet very early in the season, her mammahad not told her that possibly some day she mighttaste them. She was very much startled whenpapa dropped the queer-looking thing close toher tail, and she jumped away as if she had beenshot. After awhile she came slowly back to lookat it, and when she found that it was not goingto do her any harm, she patted it gently with herpaw, and began to play with it. Then she puther little nose to it, and oh! how delighted she


V. PUFF. 77was when she found it was something to eat.You know a shrimp was just as good to Puff,just as much of a treat, as plum-pudding, ortoffee, or spice-cake is to you. She ate it all veryquickly, very quickly indeed, rather more quickly,I think, than such a carefully brought-up kittenought to have done, and then she looked up aseagerly as could be into papa's face to ask forsome more, and she jumped on his knee, andthrust her head into his hand, and tried to pawdown some of the shrimps from his plate, andmewed so prettily, as much as to say-' I reallymust have one more. Do just give me one more,please.'Papa was so amused with her funny ways thathe gave her another, and then another, and thenanother, until I think she had had nearly a dozen.Then the servant came in to clear away, or Ithink she would have been quite ready for somemore. When she saw that everything was gone,and when her newspaper table-cloth was takenaway too, she went and lay down on the lawn inthe sunshine to lick her lips.That was all very well for a little while. I daresay


78 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.Puff enjoyed licking her lips, and so recalling thedelicate flavour of the shrimps, as much as any stoutCity alderman enjoys feasting over again in memoryupon the game and fish and wine which he hasbeen despatching at some grand Corporation banquet.But by-and-by she began to feel very poorly, just asyou feel sometimes when you have been having agreat many good things,-too many, in fact. Hereyes were very heavy, and her paws seemed to haveno spring in them at All, they were like little lumps oflead. She did not know what was the matter with her.She had never been poorly in her life before. Shetried to skip about and amuse herself by catching afew bits of down which were floating in the breeze,but she was obliged to give over very soon, skippingonly made her feel a great deal worse, so she justhad to lie still with her poor little legs stretched out,and feeling very uncomfortable indeed. At last shethought, as she got no better but worse; she mustreally go and ask her mamma what was the matterwith her.Mrs. Puff inquired what her little girl had beeneating, and how much of it. Puff told her about theshrimps. Her mamma said she was very foolish to eat


V. PUFF. 79so many; but, as they certainly were very good, andshe had never tasted any before, and therefore couldnot be expected to know that they would do her anyharm, she should not punish her for it that time.She must have some medicine, however, or there wasno knowing what might happen. So Mrs. Puff tookthe little invalid to the old stone sun-dial, wherethere was plenty of long grass, and made her eat twoor three stalks of it. They were very bitter, and Puffwould a great deal rather not have meddled withthem, but her mamma stood over her until she hadhad as much as was proper, and then told her shemust lie down on the hearth-rug and go to sleep, andnot have any dinner, or she would be poorly again.Puff did not like going without her dinner, but therewas no help for it. She was obliged to do as hermamma told her. So she lay down and went to sleep,and when she woke in the afternoon she felt so muchbetter that she was able to skip about almost asmerrily as usual.At tea-time we had shrimps again. I spread Puff'snewspaper, and, as soon as she heard the sound, shecame scampering up in a great bustle, for her longfast had made her appetite very good indeed. She


80 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.lapped her milk out of the white saucer, and ate thelittle bits of bread which we laid down for her, andseemed to enjoy her tea more than usual. At lastpapa dropped a shrimp on her table-cloth, thinkingit would be a delicate morsel for her to finish with.But as soon as Puff smelt it, she shook her littlehead, and looked up so wisely into papa's face, andsaid, in her funny pussy language-' No, thank you,I don't mean to have any more of that. I tried itonce, and it did me no good. I won't be such asimpleton again.'Then she trotted demurely back to her mamma onthe hearth-rug, and, though we often tried, we couldnever make her eat another shrimp all that season.Was she not a great deal wiser than half the littleboys and girls that you know ? Nay, was she not agreat deal wiser than you are yourself? I daresay, if Iknew all about you, I should find out that you havedone over and over again what Puff did only once,-you have eaten too many good things, and then hadto suffer for your folly. But have you done as Puffdid, next time the good things were offered to you?Have you shaken your head, and turned away, andsaid,-


V. PUFF. 81'No, thank you, no more of tUat for me. I triedit once, and it did me no good. I won't be such asimpleton again.'I don't think you have. I am afraid, next timethe plum pudding, or the spice cake, or the jam tartcame in your way, you took it just as if it was themost innocent thing in the world, and forgot allabout the being poorly afterwards, and the bittermedicine, and the going to bed in the middle of theday, and the other disagreeable things which followwhen you have been having too many good things.You are not half so wise as Puff, for you need a greatmany lessons to teach you what' she learned in onlyone. And though when the pain comes, and thebitter medicine, and the tiresome going to bed, youdetermine that you will never be such a little sim-pleton again, your resolution only lasts until nexttime the good things are offered, and then you takethem just as eagerly as if you had never proved whatunpleasant results have to follow upon the eating ofthem.Ah! well, it certainly is very foolish; but I willnot scold you. I have done just the same thingmyself, over and over again, and I shall do it again,G


82 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH.I know I shall; for grown-up people, as well aslittle boys and girls, often take what is not good forthem, and then have to suffer for it,-suffer long, sufferbitterly, in a way that is much worse than taking alittle medicine, or going to bed in the middle of theday. And we say to ourselves, when the sufferingand the bitterness come, 'I will not be such a simple-ton again; I will not take the good things next timethey are offered to me;' but when next time' comes,we are not a bit wiser. We take the plum pudding,or the spice cake, or the jam tart that has deceived usso many times, and we eat it as eagerly as ever,forgetting all about the consequences; and then wehave to scold ourselves, if nobody else does the scold-ing for us, and we have to feel ever so vexed andashamed. Oh, dear me! I think we are all of usnothing better than foolish little boys and girls, nothalf so wise as kittens, who never do twice what hasinjured them once."When Puff grew a little older, she became veryclever in learning tricks. She knew a great many,but I will only tell you one of them. Papa taughther to run after a little ball of twisted paper, andcatch it, and then bring it back again to him in her


V. PUFF. 83mouth. I never saw a kitten do that before, didyou? She used to crouch at his feet, quivering allover to the very end of her tail, and looking as eagerand excited as possible, whilst he twisted the paperinto a ball and prepared to throw it into the farthestcorner of the room. She used to be so impatientuntil it had gone, and then away she darted after it,almost like lightning; wherever it went, over thetable, amongst the curtains, under the fender, intomamma's work-basket, was no consequence. Offshe set, rooted it out, sprang upon it, stuck her littleteeth into it and brought it back to papa, as slowlyand demurely as if she knew that she was doingsomething very important. When she reached papa'schair she shook it out of her mouth, and crouched athis feet, waiting for him to throw it again.Sometimes, just to tease her, he would wait rathera long time before he threw it, and then Puff usedto get very impatient. She would shake herself,and wag her tail, and paw about upon his boots, andlook up into his face, and, if he still kept her waiting,she would give a sharp little growl, as much as tosay,-'Now, then, how much longer do you mean toG 2


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11 2 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. I sometimes think I could almost brave the grip of that grim old woman-fish, and dive under the waves with her, and feel her fins flapping round me again for a little while, say five seconds, if it really was only five seconds, if all the rest could come back too, the brightness and the freshness and the springiness of those old long-ago days. Never to be tired, never to be out of sorts, never to want the cool dark night to come, or the sun to stay a little longer before he peeps under your eyelids in the early morning,-how pleasant all that must be; but it goes away, and never comes back again any more. No, no, no! I have been thinking it all carefully over, and I have quite made up my mind now. I would not go under the water with the bathing-woman again every morning, even to buy back the privilege of never being tired at night. For there is something better in life, after all, than being a little girl, and I hope you will find that out for yourselves, some day.



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The Baldwin Librar ^^^^^^^^ ^*>^_



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8 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CI. remember she was more than eighty years old-to a cupboard on one side of the fireplace, and took out a little white china plate. Then she shut the door carefully and locked it, and went to another cupboard on the other side of the fireplace, and unlocked that, and opened a japanned tin box, and put two round sugar biscuits on the plate and gave them to me. It took a long time to get them out,-Mrs. Walters walked so slowly and her hand trembled so; but I used to feel so happy all the time, because I knew the biscuits would be so nice when I did have them. I wonder how it is that biscuits don't taste so nice now as they did when we were little girls. Sometimes I go to call upon ladies, and they offer me some, and I really don't care whether I take them or not. It was never so when I went to Mrs. Walters. I never said, 'No, thank you,' when she brought the little white plate to me with the two sugar biscuits upon it. For she smiled down upon me so kindly, and sometimes, when I had taken them, laid her trembling hands on my head and said,' Bless you, my dear little girl !' I believe she said that to me because she loved mamma so very much. You must not think, though,



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188 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. Poor Skinny was sitting by herself in the nearly empty room, looking so pale and miserable. She had loved her mother very much, and now she thought there was no one left to care for her at all. When aunt Mary opened the parcel and showed her the things, she tried to look up into our faces and smile a little, but it was no use. Her throat began to swell and her lip to tremble, and she covered her face and cried as if she never could give over any more. Lucy and I both began to cry too, we were so very sorry for her, but we did not say anything. We did not know what to say. After awhile, aunt Mary said we had better go home, and she would stay behind to talk to Skinny. So we turned back, crying all the way. We had never felt so sorry about anything in our lives. When we got to the farm-house, Tommy Tubbs was sitting in the front garden with a great flat box full of birds' eggs. He asked us if we would like to look at them. We were very glad of anything to amuse us, so we sat down on the grass beside him, and he took them out, one by one, and told us the names of them all. They



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I32 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. rabbits made of white fur with pink beads for eyes, and gingerbread horses, and papers of candy and such things. On the boys' stall there were tops, and cricket-balls, and whistles, and balls of string, and hammers, and pocket-knives, and bags -of marbles, and popguns, and other things that boys are fond of, so you may be sure that Tommy Tubbs was looking forward eagerly enough to the school treat. The boy or girl who had the greatest number of good marks was allowed to go up to the stall first and choose, and then the others in succession according to the number of their marks, so those who had the fewest marks had to take what the others left. The tea was to be at half-past three. It was a funny time to have tea, was it not ? but Mrs. Aidel liked the children to have plenty of time to play in the field afterwards, and go home early. Aunt Mary and Lucy and I went to the Rectory about a quarter of an hour before tea. There were some other little children who had come to see the treat, sitting on benches on the terrace in front of the drawing-room window. Lucy and I felt rather shy at first, because we saw so very few people at home, but by-and-by one dear little girl called Pansie Aidel came and put her hand into mine



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54 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. we had a couple of sweet biscuits and half a cupful of real ginger wine. Now the ginger wine was an addition greatly to be rejoiced over, since it enabled us to accomplish what for weeks we had been striving after in vain, namely, the mixing up of a pudding. Because in a general way we were not allowed to have anything that we could slop about with, and of course without liquid of some sort we could scarcely make a pudding, except by the aid of more imagination than either of us possessed. But with half a cupful of real ginger wine, and liberty to do just as we liked with it, what was there in the cookery line that Lucy and I could not manage ? Accordingly we set to work in the oriel window, having first divided it into parlour and kitchen, and drawn the curtain so that no one could see us. Lucy crumbled the cake and biscuits; I grated the sugar, and then we began to stone the raisins, eating one for every six that we stoned, which was the usual allowance. For always when I helped mamma to stone the raisins at Christmas, she used to give me one for every six. It is very stupid work, stoning raisins, unless you can put one in your mouth now and then.



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I. THE OLD HOME. 9 that I liked to go and see Mrs. Walters only because she gave me something to eat. I should have loved her just as much,-no, I don't think I should have loved her just as much, but I should have loved her very much indeed,-if she had never given me anything at all; she was so gentle and kind, and always made me feel as if I had been saying my prayers. Still, you know, the sugar biscuits were very good. When I went to have tea with Lucy on Wednesday afternoons, Mrs. Walters used to read us stories out of the Bible. She had a very large Bible, the largest I have ever seen, with a great many pictures in it, and we sat close up to her, one on each side, so that we could look at them whilst she was reading to us. Sometimes we had to read ourselves, one verse at a time. When the story was finished, Mrs. Walters used to ask us questions about it, and for each question that we answered correctly we had a little white counter out of a box which stood on the table. When we had won ten of these white counters each, they were changed for one red one, and then we were allowed to look into the Indian cabinet. That was a great treat. The Indian cabinet was the funniest old box you ever saw, made of dark



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50 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. in its face, as if it knew it had lost both legs and one arm, but would try to bear the loss as meekly as possible. I felt so sorry for it. I could almost have cried, not for my own disappointment, but for the sad, still little face that looked up to me from Watson's rough hand. I wrapped the poor thing, with its two broken legs and its smashed arm, in my pocket-handkerchief and took it into the house to mamma. Mamma said she had a very pretty face indeed, it was a great pity Watson had sat upon her and smashed her so. And she said she reminded her of a little girl she once knew, who was not able to walk at all, but had to lie in bed all day, and every one was kind to her because she was so patient and gentle. That was a bright idea. My pretty little broken doll should be a cripple and lie in bed all day, and every one should be kind to her. So I set to work directly. Mamma gave me an empty lozenge-box, and aunt Mary helped me to make a cradle of it with the blue muslin which was to have been a frock; and then Jessie, as I called the new doll, was dressed in a white cambric night-gown and laid in the cradle upon a bed of cotton wool, with fine flannel



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190 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. We were so pleased, looking at the eggs and hearing Tommy's stories of how he got them, that we almost forgot about Skinny, until aunt Mary came home. She said she had told the poor little girl all about coming to live with us, and asked her if she should like to do so, and learn to be a servant, instead of going to the workhouse. Skinny was so glad. She said she would try to be a very good girl indeed, and learn as quickly as ever she could, and not give any trouble at all, more than she could help. So it was all settled that she was to go back with us when we returned home. Poor Mrs. Brown was buried next day, in the same grave with her husband. Aunt Mary went with Skinny to the funeral, and brought her to the farm-house for a little while afterwards, and then took her to a neighbour, who was to have a few shillings a week for boarding and lodging her until we were ready to go home. Now, don't you think it was a very fortunate thing indeed that we happened to go to the children's treat that day, and sit close to the churchyard wall, and hear poor little Skinny crying





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1 I8 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. of our parlour window, where they amused themselves until evening, when she fetched them back again to their supper and their stable. They were as fond of play as kittens. It was so funny to see them running after each other with their heads down, and their little bits of stringy tails twisting up in the air. I found whilst we were at Linwick that other people besides Lucy and I did not like to go to bed early. The three calves never would come back to their stable quietly, if they could help it. Indeed, if I had been in their places I would not have done so either, for Mrs. Tubbs always expected them to say 'good night' at six o'clock, and that is very early for little merry calves to leave the fresh green fields, and be shut up in a close, stuffy stable, where scarcely a beam of sunshine or a mouthful of sweet air can get in. I don't wonder they rebelled a little. Miss Smith especially was fond of sitting up late. She knew as well as could be what Mrs. Tubbs meant when she came after tea with a large stick in her hand, and set the field gate wide open. She meant driving the three calves to bed in the stuffy stable, of course, and Miss Smith had no intention of going to bed in the stuffy stable for another half hour at any rate. So



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6 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. was; and I rushed through in a great bustle, and my frock caught on one of the twigs. Nurse scolded me very much at night, when she found out the tear, but I thought Montem ought to have had the scolding, as I had had the fright, which was bad enough. However, he got nothing at all except a hearty laugh at me. Lucy's grandmother, Mrs. Walters, was a very dear old lady, so kind and gentle and loving. I wonder if she ever knew how much happiness she put into my life, or how very much I enjoyed going to see her. She always wore a white muslin cap with a frill under the chin, a rather short black satin dress with elbow ruffles and silk mittens, a net kerchief fastened with a diamond pin, and very high-heeled shoes with satin bows in the front. She walked with. a silver-headed stick, too, for she was very infirm. I scarcely ever see an old lady dressed in that way now, but whenever I do, I want to put my arms round her neck and kiss her; she reminds me so much of Mrs. Walters, who used to be so good to me. How delightful it was to go and see her! How glad I used to be when mamma came to me sometimes, with a nosegay of our choicest flowers, or a



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172 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. We had no trouble in finding the cottage. Mrs. Tubbs knew where it was, and described it to us. It looked very pretty outside, like the pictures you see in story-books or young ladies' albums. It was only one story high, and it had very low thick walls, and a thatched roof, and a funny square chimney at one end, with a bit of tree growing out at the side of it. The thatch was covered all over with pieces of moss and lichen and houseleek, with a patch of wall-flower here and there, which made it look almost like a garden, and the walls were as thickly covered with ivy as those of our own house at home. But oh! what a miserable place it was when you went inside. There was only one room, with a closet opening out of it no bigger than Mrs.Tubbs's pantry. The floor was made of rough bricks, with cracks in them big enough for you to put your hand through. The plaster was hanging loose from the walls; in one place the roof was tumbling down and had to be propped up with the stump of an old tree. I had never seen such a place before. It was scarcely so comfortable as the shed where Mrs. Tubbs's three calves used to live. There was nothing in the room except a square



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IX. AUNT MARYfS BIRTHDAY. 16I it, to sweep away all the leaves which we had knocked down and scattered about. He never stopped until the house was quite finished, and as neat and clean and pretty as could be. He did look so kind and good-tempered, and asked us a great many questions about ,aunt Mary, but when we told him the house was to be a secret until her birthday, he promised he would not say anything about it. When he had done all he could to help us, and had put some stones down nicely and firmly to make a path over the beck, he took two silver threepenny pieces out of his pocket and gave one to each of us, to help to buy something for a feast. Then he jumped over to the other side, and was out of sight directly. Oh! how delighted we were. I think we were two of the happiest little girls in the world. We did not know at all who the gentleman was, nor where he had come from; but that was not a bit of consequence. He had been very kind to us, and we were sure he must be good, because he liked our dear aunt Mary, and had been glad to work for her. Lucy said she thought she had M



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I. THE OLD HOME. II Oh! how we did enjoy looking into that cabinet, and how eagerly we answered our questions until we had won the red counter which opened its doors to us. When Lucy came to tea with me on Saturday afternoons, we used to amuse ourselves quite differently. We had no Indian cabinets at our house, but mamma used to give us things to make a feast of, which was quite as good. We generally had a piece of seed cake, and a handful of raisins, and a few lumps of sugar, and some rice and a little tea. Sometimes we kept house with it, and sometimes we played at having a shop. I did not like shop very much, because Lucy always wanted me to be the shopkeeper, and she bought the things. We had no money, only grains of rice which counted for pennies, and when I had wrapped my things neatly up in little parcels and laid them out in rows upon the chair which was our shop window, it did not somehow seem right to me that at the end of the afternoon Lucy should have bought all the groceries and carried them away and eaten them, whilst I had only a few grains of rice in a pill-box to show as my share of the transaction. Besides, when I was wrapping up the parcels, Lucy never would let me put a plum or a raisin into



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38 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. dressed some very grandly indeed, and put them in the front seats, and I would have dressed some very shabbily and put them at the back, just as they do in real churches, though I don't think it is a right thing to do, at all; and I would have had ever so many little boys and girls for Sunday-school children, and they should have sat upon benches with no backs to them; and then I would have had a clergyman,-how funny a clergyman-doll would have looked,-and he should have preached such nice short sermons that the children should not have wanted to go to sleep, nor the gentlemen to yawn behind their kid gloves, nor the ladies to look at each others' bonnets, nor the people in the back seats to stroll out before the benediction. Only I could not have had the beautiful organ music, nor the sweet voices of the chorister-boys, nor the softly-chanted Psalms, which were always by far the best part of church to me. This Paris doll that I was telling you about, was dressed as if she was going to a party. She had a pink silk dress on, with black lace over it, and pink roses and a white feather in her hair, and a necklace and bracelets, and a fan and bouquet,



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220 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. Mary had made. Oh! how the children did dance and jump and caper, but none so merrily as Callie, who thought all the things had grown there, just as apples and pears and plums grow on the orchardtrees. Then the servants came in, and Watson and Skinny; and papa took down the presents one by one, and read the names on them, and gave them to the people to whom they belonged. Pansie's brother got a dancing dragoon, and Pansie a little black doll with red lips and woolly hair, and Lucy a workbox, and I a bag full of coloured silks and ribbons, and aunt Mary a ring with a ruby in it. Callie was very pleased with her pussy-cat; she hugged it so close to her, and laid her fat little cheek upon its soft fur; but oh! how surprised she was when pussy's head tumbled off, and she saw all the pretty bon-bons inside. She looked very grave, just at first, for she thought pussy was quite spoiled, but when I stuck the head on again, and told her she could pull it off and take a bon-bon whenever she liked, she was satisfied. Then we began to dance. Aunt Mary played for us. I daresay grown-up people would have laughed at what we called dancing, but we enjoyed



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THE CHILDREN'S TREAT. 1 I square-built little lad, and when he came into -our parlour the night before the treat to show us his finery, aunt Mary said he looked just like a travelling trunk out for a holiday. After tea was over the children were to go into the clergyman's field and have games, and then little presents were to be given to those who had good marks from their teachers. Mrs. Aidel and Miss Aidel, who was about the same age as aunt Mary, used to spend many of their winter evenings in preparing these presents, and at the treat they were laid out on two stalls, one for the boys and another for the girls. On the girls' stall there were pincushions and needle-books and dolls, very little wooden dolls, about as big as those which I had for babies at home, and bags of blue, and white, and green, and pink, and purple print, just large enough to hold a Bible and Prayerbook; and book-markers of all shapes and sizes, with texts and anchors and crosses marked upon them with gay-coloured silks. For the very little children there were soft balls of worsted, that they could throw about without doing themselves any harm, and purses made of net and filled with comfits, and card-board men that danced when you pulled a string, and dogs and K2



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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. PAGE The Fountain-Frontispiece. She was looking so seriously out of her great eyes ..34 She climbed up to the top of a high-backed chair ...72 And waddled off as orderly as could be to the poultry-house ..............123 Aunt Mary stood quite still. ..........67 And then to tumble about on the carpet ....200 She was lying very quietly ........234



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INTRODUCTION. IN winter afternoons, before the lamps are lighted, and when the red flames make many a flickering shadow upon the curtained windows, the children gather round me, and ask me to tell them stories of the time when I was a little girl. That time is far off now, but I remember it very well. Nay, sometimes I think the farther it slips away into the past, the more entirely is its memory given into my keeping, the more freshly and clearly do those early days stand out beyond the already dimmed and fading pictures of later years. Perhaps other little girls besides these who gather round me on winter afternoons,-little girls whose faces I shall never see, whose hands I shall never hold in mine, whose names I shall never know,--may like to hear of a childhood made bright by the same simple pleasures which delight their own, watched over and cared for by the same quiet love. So I have gathered these stories together and made them into b2



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CHAPTER VII. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. I HOPED we should have gone to the sea-side again the summer after that visit which I told you about in the last chapter; but Montem's schoolmates, Frank and Percy Wayland, were to spend their holidays at Linwick, a village not far away from our house, and they wanted Montem to join them, and papa thought we might as well all go together, and aunt Mary would take care of us as usual. Lucy Walters was to go too, of course. We nearly always went together for our holidays, for she had no other companions, and I had none either, and we should very soon have been tired if we had not had each other to play with. I was very much disappointed when papa said we were to go into the country. I did so want to go to Scarboro' again, for we had enjoyed it so much the year before. It would have been so pleasant to see those lovely rock-pools again, and pull off our sh a I



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CHAPTER X. SKINNY. NEXT morning aunt Mary said she was going to see the poor woman who was ill, and we might go too, if we liked. We ran away directly to get ready, for we were always very glad to go anywhere with aunt Mary. Before we started she packed up several things in a little basket; a parcel of tea, and another of sugar, and some biscuits, and a small bottle of wine. We asked if the things were for Skinny to make a feast of, because they were just the same as mamma used to give us when Lucy and I kept house together on Saturday afternoons in the oriel window at home; but aunt Mary said, no, they were for Skinny's mother, who was so ill now that she could not eat dry bread any longer. Then we asked if we might save the pieces of currant-bun which we were going to have for our lunch and take them to the little girl. Aunt Mary said we might; so we wrapped them up in paper, and then set out into the village.



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CHAPTER XIV. THE END OF ALL. I HAVE no more to tell you, now. After Callie went away from us, I quite gave over being a little girl, and the 'thinking' which old Watson had told me about, began in sad earnest. We gathered up her playthings, one by one, and the dresses she had worn, and the picture-books she had been so fond of, and laid them away in a drawer by themselves; only mamma let me keep the little white kitten, because I had made it for Callie myself, and it was the last thing she had ever played with. We never had a Christmas-tree after that, and never another children's party. When the holidays were over, Lucy Walters went away to school somewhere a long way off. I missed her so much, because then I had no one to play with at all. It was always arranged that when she went to school I was to go too, so that we might keep together, but papa and mamma said I must stay at home now that Callie had left us. Montem began to



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VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREAT. 135 all the other children were so nice and clean. Mrs. Aidel stopped her at the gate, and said she could not be allowed to come to the treat in that way. It was one of the rules that all the boys and girls should have clean hands and faces, and, if possible, clean dresses too, so she must go home and make herself tidy before she could join the rest. She was obliged to turn away, though she had come inside the gate, quite close to the tea and bread and butter, and oh! how cross she did look about it. She frowned and muttered and pouted her lips, and her face grew angry-red, even through all the dirt; but it was no use, she must go. Mrs. Aidel said, if she came back nice and clean she might come in then, but she would have to be very quick indeed, because no one could be admitted after the children had sung their grace. She set off running as fast as ever she could. We did not feel a bit sorry for her, because it was all her own fault. Little girls who are unfortunate enough to have untidy mammas may be obliged sometimes to wear dirty frocks, but they are never obliged to wear dirty faces-they can always keep those clean, if they will only take the trouble.



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I. THE OLD HOME. 5 for butterflies, or pulled off my own shoes and stockings and waded after cray-fish; but still I was out with Montem, and that made me feel very important, because he was such a great boy, almost a man. Besides Montem, who, being a boy, was not much use to me, except to make me feel important now and then, I had two other companions, Puff and Lucy "Walters. Puff was my kitten. She will have a chapter all to herself a little farther on, so I need not say any more about her just now. Lucy Walters was about six months older than myself, and lived with her grandmamma in the house whose garden joined ours. We had made a hole in the hedge, so that we could creep in and out to each other as often as we liked. She came to have tea. with me every Saturday afternoon, and I went to have tea with her every "Wednesday. Those were our regular visits, when we used to go in at the front door and let everyone know that we had come. When we wanted to see each other oftener, we crept through the hole in the hedge. I remember once tearing a great hole in my muslin frock as I was creeping through that hedge. Montem was in our garden at the time, and he told me a black dog was running after me. Oh! how frightened I



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CHAPTER II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. You know what an allegory is,-a story with a meaning wrapped up inside it, a meaning which you don't find out just at first; indeed, you don't expect that there is going to be any meaning at all; but by-and-by, when you are only thinking about the story, wondering what will become of the little boys and girls in it, how they will be punished for the naughty things they do, or rewarded for the good ones, or brought safely out of all their scrapes and difficulties, and made to live happily ever afterwards, it-I mean the story-breaks open, and something which you never expected drops out. An allegory is very much like one of those pretty boxes which you have sometimes seen in toy-shop windows, shaped like an egg and painted all over with coloured pictures or devices. It does not look as if it had anything at all in it, there is no place for it to open at, it seems just outside, nothing else. But whilst



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IV. OUR PUDDING. 57 a master; and besides, there would be so much more enjoyment in making the pudding when we had some one to help us to eat it. Lucy did not appear. to see the subject exactly in that light. She thought we could enjoy the pudding quite sufficiently without having any one to help us. At the same time, she was fully alive to the additional importance which we should gain by the possession of a master of the house. It certainly would be more like grown-up people, and perhaps Montem would not take more than just a spoonful, perhaps he would only pretend to taste. So at last we decided that he should be asked, and, after having peeped through the curtain to see whether he looked good-tempered enough, I went up to him, and meekly offered my request. 'Please, Montem, we want to know if you would like to be our master; because, if you would, you shall sit in our parlour, and we will lay the cloth for you, and wait upon you, and bring you our pudding that we are making.o I was half afraid of my own boldness when I had said this, for it seemed such a very great favour to ask. However, to my infinite delight, Montem did



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12 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. my mouth; she said real shopkeepers did not do so; and she always expected me to make a curtsey and say I was much obliged when she paid me the grains of rice, though really I did not feel obliged at all, because I thought she was having the best of it. Don't you think she was, too ? So, when I could have my own way, we played at keeping house, and sometimes Lucy was mistress, and sometimes I was. In the parlour I have told you about, where the portraits hung, there was an oriel window, so large and broad and deep that when we drew the curtains across, it was just like a little room. So that used to be our house, and we divided it into two parts, one for the parlour and another for the kitchen. It was very convenient, for when the curtains were drawn, no one could see us, and we could do just as we liked. I wish people had oriel windows in their parlours now, but they never have; at least, I scarcely ever see any. Perhaps if they had, though, we should not be allowed to draw the curtains across and do as we liked any more, and so the windows would be no use. Some day I shall tell you about a wonderful pudding which Lucy and I once made in that little house of ours, but not just



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Il' 1N i ( tI ii~ SIA I i f 40L !j f ', ,.-t ,, 7 ia Rogmw "3 .~ I "I 7 jjSI u~ nokii. so s e, iosly out of her Areat eyec. },3



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IV. OUR PUDDING. 61 That made us feel as if everything was quite real, for papa used to talk just in that way whenever he was kept waiting a very long time for his dinner. We bustled about, pretended to put on our aprons, turned the pudding out of the tin pan into a little plate which served as a dish, carried it in triumph to the parlour, and ,there we both of us stayed, for we could not bear to have that pudding out of our sight, even for a moment. You must go away,' said Montem. 'I don't want any one to wait upon me but a footman. Gentlemen don't eat their dinner whilst the cooks are looking at them.' That was only too true. Rather disappointed, we turned away and came back to our kitchen end of the oriel, there to wait until Montem's bell rang for us to clear away and enjoy our share of the feast. It did seem such a long time. Lucy said she thought we ought to have made the pudding into two, and kept one part for ourselves, and then we could have been going on with it whilst the master was eating his. I did not much care, though, for having our pudding settled upon us in that way. I thought it was much better to leave our share of it



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WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CHAPTER I. THE OLD HOME. WHEN I was a little girl we lived in a very funny, old-fashioned house, which had been built in the time of Queen Elizabeth. I think it must have been a little castle once, for the walls were so thick that closets almost as large as rooms were built in them, and on one side of the house was a low round tower with a winding staircase up the middle of it, lighted by arrow slits. This tower was a capital place for playing at hide-and-seek in, there were so many little recesses and doorways and cupboards in it, and however loud you shouted no one could tell where you were, because your voice echoed all over so. Outside, the house was covered with ivy, beautiful, dark-green, glossy ivy. It ran about over the B



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178 WHEN I' WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. hadn't done it wrong, and father said he had, and then Jim sauced his father a deal, for his spirit was up, and father took his stick and pulled Jim out into the front garden, and gave him a beating there. It was a hard beating too, and mother and me was very frightened. 'Jim said he wouldn't stand that, no, not for nobody, and, instead of coming back into the house, he set off down the Abbotsbury-road. I don't think he cared for the beating, but one of the neighbours was passing by and saw father do it, and Jim was such a proud lad; mother always said he was the proudest lad in the village, was our Jim. 'Father come in and set down to his tea, and we thought Jim would be back after a bit, but he wasn't, and it got dark, and I asked if I might wait while he came in to say good-night to him, for Jim was always very good to me. It got later and later, and I had to go to bed after all, and next morning, when I got up, Jim hadn't come back either, and mother was crying, and father was looking very white and quiet. He had been walking about all night, looking for Jim. He kept going to the beck, and to the mill-stream, and to Tubbs's pond, for he thought he might have slipped in somewhere in the dark; and when it got about in the







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232 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. Christingles were hanging there still, with the raisins drooping from them; but I did not care to eat them now, or even to look at them. What a difference it made in everything, Callie being so ill! What a long, long time it seemed since our party last night, and how different I felt, standing on the threshold of that faded, disordered room, to the little girl who had been so happy then, who had danced and played and frolicked about, and seized the glistening rings and diamonds from the old man's hamper, and scampered so gaily after the crackers which he threw down. All the crackers in the world could not have made me scamper gaily after them now. When we were on our way into town, I asked Skinny if she could tell me what was the matter with Callie. She said she had had an attack of croup in the night. Then I asked her if croup was a very bad thing, and she said yes, it was very bad indeed, very dangerous, but it never lasted long. I was glad to hear her say that, because I thought Callie must soon be better, if croup never lasted very long. You see I did not remember then that there are two ways in which most things may end. Skinny seemed tired and sad, and did not tell me stories



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98 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. At last, she rang the bell for the servant to clear away, and we put on our hats and went out. We walked to the top of the long gravelled terrace in front of the houses, the bit of blue paper which Lucy said was the great sea, growing bigger and bigger at every step we took, but still it only looked like a very large piece of writing-paper after all. Then we crossed into a large open place where a band of musicians was playing, and ladies and gentlemen were sitting on benches, under the trees, and little boys and girls, dressed more grandly than I had ever seen little boys and girls dressed before, with ribbons and feathers and flowers and streamers, were skipping about in time to the music. I could not help staring at them, they looked so very grand, and I wondered what they thought about Lucy and me, for we only had holland frocks on, and brown straw hats with no feathers in them. Then we turned and began to go down a great many steps, and just then the music stopped, and I could hear a strange sound like the wind blowing very hard a long way off, only it could not be wind, for not a leaf was stirring. Auit Mary told me it was the sea. Sometimes she said it made a great deal more noise than that, but



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XIV. THE END OF ALL. 243 I ran away to mamma, to tell her that Skinny's brother had come back, and that he looked quite like a gentleman, and I wanted her to come and see him directly; but mamma said no, she would not go just yet, and I must not go into the room again, either, for she was quite sure if it really was Jim, Skinny would have so much to tell him, and they would want to be a long time quite by themselves. She said, when people were very happy like that, they did not want any one else to see them, or talk to them; and she would not even go into the room to bring out a piece of work which she had left there in a little basket on the table. At last, when they must have been by themselves for nearly two hours, mamma said I might go in and ask Skinny's brother if he would not have some dinner. So I.went and knocked at the door. Papa told me to do that before I opened it. Jim was sitting on the sofa, and Skinny close up to him. He had his arm round her, and she was holding both his hands fast in hers. He looked very, very sad, a great deal sadder than even when I had told him about her funny name. His eye were quite full of tears this time. I daresay Skinny BR





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II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 23 of which, every year, as soon as the warm weather came, my woollen frocks and things were put away, because I should not want them any more until next winter. Now, next winter seemed much farther away from me then-for I was only five years old-than the next world does now. Indeed, I never thought about it at all, never looked forward to it, never made any arrangements for it. When I saw my woollen frocks, petticoats, comforters, tippets, hoods and stockings, gathered together into a large heap, mended, sprinkled with pepper to keep the moths from them, carefully folded up and put into that oaken chest, with the understanding that neither they nor the chest were to be disturbed until the cold weather came again, I considered them as quite banished out of my life. So much must happen,-the currants, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries had to ripen, be gathered and made into preserve; the apricots and peaches on our south wall, which were only like green woolly balls when my warm frocks were put away, had to grow large and yellow and soft and sweet; mamma's birthday, and papa's, and aunt Mary's and mine had to come; the hay had to be cut down and



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XIII. GOING HOME. 233 or talk to me much, but it might only be because she was thinking about her own mother, who had been ill such a very long time. She did not tell me that she had been up all night, waiting upon Callie. It was late in the afternoon before we came home, for the chemist was a long time making up the prescription, and papa had told Skinny to be sure and bring it with her. She was not to trust to any one sending it. When we did get back, the house somehow seemed different. Such a strange hush and stillness had fallen upon it. The servants were not going about, the rooms downstairs were empty and deserted, nothing looked as it was accustomed to. look when we were all well and happy together. I was going back again to mamma's dressing-room door, for that was the only place where I could bear to stay, when aunt Mary came and told me, in a very low voice, that she would take me to see Callie, just for one moment, not more than that. I was running away directly, as fast as I could, but she took hold of my hand and said I must go quietly, I must not make any noise at all. So we went upstairs, treading softly, stealthily, just as



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136 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. Aunt Mary said this reminded her of the story of the wedding-feast, which we had been reading that morning in our Testaments. I daresay you remember it. Jesus told the people that a king once made a very great supper when his son was married, and every one who liked might come to it. The only condition the king made was that the people who came should have proper dresses on. You may be sure the tables were very full, because the supper was given for nothing; but one man was so rude and careless, that, though he wanted to taste the good things, he would not take the trouble to put on the dress which the king said every one must wear who came to the supper. So he sat down just as he was, in his dirty coat, which was a great insult, both to the master and all the other guests. He was punished for it, though, for just as the supper was handed round, the king came in to look at the people, and when he saw this man in his dirty coat, he ordered him to be turned out directly, and I don't think any one would be sorry for him. Was it not very much like what happened to this little girl, who had neither a wedding face nor



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vi INTRODUCTION. a book, and now I send the little venture forth, as children in holiday afternoons launch their paper boats on some swiftly-running mountain stream, not knowing how they shall fare, or whither wend. This I hope, that such cargo of interest and amusement as I have been able to gather into my tiny craft, may win safely to the haven of some pleasant English home, and in the storehouse of its children's memories be lodged, side by side with many another better and wealthier freight, which in days gone by has been unladen and welcomed there. For the children only have I filled my hold this time, and spread my sails, and hoisted my colours. And towards the Fortunate Isle of their good-will may fair winds and favourable tides speed this little Christmas ship! CousIN ALICE.



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140 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. little rustic chair, near to the lilac-bush where she stood, was a plate of bread and butter and pieces of cake-crust which perhaps had been forgotten, as that was rather an out-of-the-way corner; so, whilst Mrs. and Miss Aidel and all the rest of the grown-up people were as busy as possible amongst the children, this naughty girl took the opportunity of stealing what was on the plate and putting it in her pocket. I saw her put ever so many pieces in, but I did not like to say anything. I daresay she was very glad that her dirty face had kept her from standing in the ring with the rest of the children, and most likely she was saying to herself that next year shewould contrive to be sent away again, and then slip in behind and help herself to cake and bread and butter. It seemed better to have a dirty face than a clean one, because if she had had a clean one she would have stood in the ring with the others, and there would have been no forgotten plate for her to fill her pockets from. However, she found out her mistake before long; but I will tell you about that after. When tea was quite over, the children sang a grace again and gave three cheers for Mr. and Mrs. Aidel, and then they went out as they had come in, two and



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CONTENTS. PAGE INTRODUCTION .. ....V CHAP.. 1. THE OLD HOME .....I .2. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS ...20 S 3. MY )OLLS ..... 33 S4. OUR PUDDING .......53 ,, 5. PUFF ...........70 6. GOING TO TIHE SEA-SIDE ...91 7. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY ...13 S8. THE CHLD)REN'S TREAT ....30 ,, 9. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY ...149 10. SKINNY ..........171 S11. MY NEW SISTER. ....192 ,12. THE CHRISTMAS-TREE ......209 S13. GOING HOME ....... 225 S14. THE END OF ALL ... ....238



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160 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. very hard work indeed, because the branches would not keep down in their places. 'Oh! if that is all,' said the gentleman, 'I can soon set it right. I will come over and help you. But why do you work so hard ? I have been watching you a long time, and you look quite tired. You ought to rest a little while.' 'Oh!' said Lucy, we can't rest, we haven't time to rest. To-morrow is aunt Mary's birthday, and we want to have our house finished for her to have a feast in it.' Aunt Mary's birthday, is it ?' said the gentleman, looking more kind and pleasant than ever; Sthen I am sure I will help you, for I like aunt Mary very much, and we will make the house as pretty as ever we can for her.' And with that he jumped over the brook, and began to draw down the branches and tie them quite fast. He did as much in a quarter of an hour as we had been doing all the afternoon and evening. When he had made a nice thick roof for us, he cut off the broken ends and all the loose bits of string with his knife, and then he gathered a great handful of bracken and made a besom of



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24 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. tumbled about in, and made up into stacks; the beautiful flowers to bloom and fade and be cleared away, and the golden-cheeked apples to fall, full ripe and mellow and juicy under the orchard-trees-before next winter had its turn, that it seemed to me quite impossible such a time should ever come at all. Therefore the opening of the chest and the revealing of anything that might have been hidden in it, appeared as far off to me, as dim and uncertain, as, to many even grown-up people, appears that solemn, surelycoming day when God will ask us about our past lives and what we have put into them. So a bright idea suggested itself, as to the uses to which that old iron-bound chest behind the tapestry might be applied. I would put my crusts into it. I had a piece of bread and butter for my luncheon every morning, and the crust of it was often a serious incumbrance to me. Because, whatever mammas and aunt Marys and governesses and nursemaids may say to the contrary, bread crusts are not nice things, and never were, and never will be. You may put butter on them, or you may put sugar on them, or you may even put strawberry jam or marmalade upon them, to make them go down more



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XIII. GOING HOME. 227 both her hands, as if she was afraid that any one should take it from her whilst she was sleeping. How glad I was that I had thought of making it for her, for she seemed to like it better than any plaything she had ever had. As I stooped down to kiss her, she just opened her big brown eyes and turned her face to me, and said,'Callie good girl, love Allie.' But the words had scarcely bubbled over her weary little lips when her eyelids fell and she was asleep again. So I kissed her once more and went away. I was so tired. I should think you are, too, when you have been having a party. It is very nice to have a lot of little boys and girls come to see you, and to have a Christmas-tree with no end of pretty things upon it, and then, almost before you have done looking at that, to have an old man come in with a hamper full of sugared apricots and peaches and lemons and oranges cut out in stars and diamonds and all sorts of shapes, and then, when you have eaten as many of them as you like, for him to throw a pocket-full of crackers about the room and tell you to run after them. But oh! I don't like the Q2a



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CHAPTER IV. OUR PUDDING. I WAS seven years old, and Lucy was helping me to keep my birthday. She had brought me for a present a pincushion, made of pink silk, with a forget-me-not on each side, worked in beads. Papa had given me a slate and pencil, and mamma a box with six paints and two brushes inside. Montem said he meant to have given me half-a-dozen little spoons to keep house with, but only the day before he had lost a penny through a hole in the school-room floor, and so he could not afford to buy me them. I was very sorry, for the only spoons I had were made of cardboard, and they always began to melt away when I put them into the tea. I had to have a fresh set nearly every time Lucy and I played at keeping house, and it was a great deal of trouble to cut them out nicely. However, mamma said, as I had been disappointed about the spoons, we should have something extra to make a feast of. So in addition to our usual allowance of seed-cake and currants, and raisins and sugar,



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I34 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CII. of the classes in the Sunday-school, I am sure, but who thought they should like to join in the treat nevertheless, hopped upon the tray of bread and butter and began pecking away with all their might. Then they hopped into the sugar-bag and tasted that, and then on to the edge of the pail of milk; but, before they had been able to take more than a drop or two, Mrs. Aidel turned round and saw them, and clapped her hands for them to go away. Pansie was rather sorry, for they seemed to be enjoying it so much, but her mamma said there would be plenty of crumbs left for them when the children had had their tea, if they could only wait a little longer. I don't think they had ever tasted bread and butter before, they made so much chuckling over it. When all was ready, a bell rang, and the children came from the school-house just beyond the church. They walked two and two, some of them carrying flags,-the girls first, the boys afterwards. There was little Tommy Tubbs in his new pinafore, looking as bright as could be, with his mouth wide open ready for the bread and butter to be put into it. One little girl had such a dirty face, and a dirty frock too. She looked very bad indeed, for



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164 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. SOh hush, hush,' cried Lucy, putting her hand over my mouth,' aunt Mary will find out. You are telling her all about it. Promise you won't ask any questions, aunt Mary.' Aunt Mary laughed and promised, and then said she thought we had better go to bed, or we should not be able to keep our secret any longer. So she went with us to our little room and helped us to undress, and heard us say our prayers, and gave us our goodnight kiss. As soon as she had gone away, we got out of bed again, for it was still quite light, and found a pencil and paper, and began to write our note of invitation to aunt Mary. We intended to ask Montem, too, but next morning would do for that,-there was no need to write a note to him. Perhaps you will like to know exactly what the note said. I made it up, and Lucy wrote it. Lucy could write very neatly, but she had very great difficulty in thinking of anything to say. I could make up notes by the dozen, but when it came to the writing out of them, I used to get into a dreadful mess. This is what we said :'Please, dear aunt Mary, we wish you many happy



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IX. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 167 for cups and plates. Then we set the chair for aunt Mary, and in front of it, on the table, we laid a nosegay of flowers, with the book-mark that I had made and a pincushion that Lucy had made, on each side of it. When everything was quite ready, we ran away to the farm-house and washed our hands and faces, and brushed our hair, and went into the parlour to fetch aunt Mary. We told her she must shut her eyes, for we did not want her to know where she was going. So she shut them up quite fast, and Lucy and I took hold of her hands, one on each side, to lead her. We kept dancing about so, and jumping up and down, that I think we must almost have shaken her arms off. Sometimes I had to let her hand go and skip round and round and round, for I was so happy I. could not walk quietly at all, and Lucy was obliged to do the same. When we both danced away at once, aunt Mary stood quite still with her eyes shut, until we came back to her. She never opened them at all, for she had promised not. When we were close to the little stream just opposite our summer-house, we said,'Now, aunt Mary, you may open your eyes.'



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32 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. winter or any other winter, and as you play in the merry sunshine, no sharp thoughts will sting you, and if you hear people talking in a low voice you will not be afraid that they are saying something about you; and, best of all, your mother's eyes will never need to look upon you with sad tears in them, and the pain which hurts so hard and lasts so long and spoils so many summer days, will never come to you. This is the little bit of advice which was wrapped up in the egg. Now shut it up again, and look at the pretty painted figures on the outside, before you put it away.



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V. PUFF. 87 days, and her bones were almost coming through her torn, rough fur. Just think how that cruel trap must have hurt her all the time, and how hungry she must have been. Papa had to take the poor little paw off, because it would never have healed again. We tied her leg up as well as we could, and kept putting warm milk into her mouth. But Puff seemed to get worse and worse. She could not stand up, she could scarcely open her once so bright, merry little eyes, and, if we moved her, she mewed so piteously. At last, papa said he thought we ought to kill her,-it was only cruel to let her suffer so much, and he was afraid she would never get well again. I begged him to let me nurse her one day longer, only one day. I gave her fresh cream and nice little bits of meat, and stroked her so gently. I did so want her to get well again, but it was no use. The poor thing lay with her eyes shut, and had not even strength to mew. Next morning papa was going away, not to come back until night. He looked at poor Puff before he set off, and shook his head, and said we would wait till evening, and then-then, if she was no better,-



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XII. THE CHRISTMAS-TREE. 211 thing to do with you by-and-by, see if it won't. We've all of us got to do a good bit of thinking before we're many steps on our way. Folks is a deal better, Miss Alice, for doing a bit of thinking at the fore end of the day. Now there's your aunt, Miss Mary-' How stupid of him to talk about aunt Mary! She wasn't a little girl at all. 'Oh Watson,' I said, 'aunt Mary is grown up, and grown-up people are obliged to think. I shall think too, some day, but not yet, for a very long time. What's the use of beginning now ?' Well, then,' continued Watson, slowly sorting out his little bits of box and putting them in the trenches which he had prepared for them, C if your aunt, Miss Mary, is over-much grown up, yonder's Skinny; she hasn't many more years to her back than what you have.' That reminds me, I have not told you anything about Skinny for a long time. I think she liked being with us; and she did love Callie so much, she was never tired of waiting upon her and doing things for her. Skinny did not suit her name at all now, though we never called her anything else. She was P2



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64 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. This only I know, that not a single scrap, not one solitary crumb, or fragment, or vestige remained of that pudding wherein Lucy's hopes and mine were centred, in whose preparation so much toil had been spent, and from the eating of which we had promised ourselves such unbounded satisfaction. I believe a sense of dignity as well as of bitter disappointment kept me from saying anything. Mamma had always taught me not to cry when I was hurt, for it only made the hurt worse. I don't think I could have spoken a word, though, even if I had been ever so wishful to do so. If I had swallowed the whole of our pudding at one mouthful, I could not have been more nearly choking than at that moment. Of course you know I might have consoled myself with moral reflections. I might have remembered that it is better to receive an injury than to commit one, better to have your own pudding eaten than disgrace yourself by eating some one else's; but children don't always think of moral reflections at the right time. I only knew that our pudding was gone,-gone from us beyond hope of return, and the knowledge of that terrible loss struck me quite dumb.



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VII. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. I27 like to know what became of the remaining one, who was the first to suggest that they should stop and have a game after bed-time. When Mrs. Tubbs found that one was still missing, she walked all round the pond, and looked into the reed-beds, and stirred the flagleaves, and beat about the orchard-hedge with her long stick, and thrust her arm down into a hollow root by the bank side, and called 'diddle, diddle' as loud as she could. When she could see nothing of the stray duckling she went. home, thinking that most likely it would come of its own accord, and creep under the door of the poultry-house, and that she should find it all right in the morning. But the stray duckling never did come home. After the whole six had been playing very merrily together for some time, this one left the rest, and set off across the field to have a little chat with some other ducklings, who lived at the next farm. It had no business to do that. Its own mamma, a very grave, sensible duck, had often cautioned it against going to the other side of the field, because the farmer's men used to set snares there for



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V. PUFF. 77 was when she found it was something to eat. You know a shrimp was just as good to Puff, just as much of a treat, as plum-pudding, or toffee, or spice-cake is to you. She ate it all very quickly, very quickly indeed, rather more quickly, I think, than such a carefully brought-up kitten ought to have done, and then she looked up as eagerly as could be into papa's face to ask for some more, and she jumped on his knee, and thrust her head into his hand, and tried to paw down some of the shrimps from his plate, and mewed so prettily, as much as to say-' I really must have one more. Do just give me one more, please.' Papa was so amused with her funny ways that he gave her another, and then another, and then another, until I think she had had nearly a dozen. Then the servant came in to clear away, or I think she would have been quite ready for some more. When she saw that everything was gone, and when her newspaper table-cloth was taken away too, she went and lay down on the lawn in the sunshine to lick her lips. That was all very well for a little while. I daresay



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94 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. my life, except some in a bucket once, which the bricklayers made their mortar with when they were building a rabbit-house for Montem in the back-yard. It was such fun to take it up in both my hands and let it run through my fingers, it felt so nice and soft, and so clean too. But sand enough to dig in, and tumble about in, and bury oneself in, and make bridges and wells and castles in,-bright, soft, yellow, shining sand,--that would be glorious indeed. I could understand a little about that, though everything else seemed very strange and wonderful. It was one pleasant July afternoon when aunt Mary and Lucy and nurse and I set off by the train to Scarboro'. It was not a very long journey, only three hours, but it seemed very, very long to me. I was so impatient to see the great sea, and the ships sailing about, and the high cliffs, and the shining yellow sands. I kept asking aunt Mary and Lucy when we should be there, until they were quite tired; but at last I fell asleep, and I daresay they were both very glad. I did not wake until the train stopped. Aunt Mary was gathering up our cloaks, and nurse was tying our wooden spades and pails and sand-boots



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144 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. come over the wall and have some tea. Mrs. Aidel asked her a few questions, and then said she was to come, because it was not her fault that she had been late for the treat. Oh! how glad we were. Aunt Mary lifted Skinny over the wall, and set her on the bench between Pansie and me; then Lucy took her little tin mug and filled it with tea, and we put ever such a lot of sugar and milk in, and Pansie ran into the house to fetch bread and butter and cake. The children had eaten all that was provided for the treat, but there was plenty more, Pansie said, in the pantry. Skinny's eyes did brighten when she saw such a heap of bread and butter and cake. When we told her it was all for her, she asked if she might have a piece to put in her pocket and take home to her mother. They scarcely ever had butter to their bread at home, she said, and they never, never tasted cake. Pansie said she need not save any of that, she should have some fresh for her mother, so she ran back again to the house and soon brought a nice square piece, and aunt Mary wrapped it up neatly in paper and slipped a shilling inside, and gave it to the little girl to take to her mother.



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VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREAT. 141 two, the clergyman standing at the gate to give them tickets for the games in the field. No child was allowed to go into the field who had not a ticket from Mr. Aidel. They were to go home with their mugs, though, and rest for a little while before the games began. Several times whilst the tea was going on, Lucy had pulled my sleeve and said she believed she heard some one crying; and we had looked about, but we could not see any one. After the clothes-basket had been uncovered and the children had hurrahed for the cake, we both of us heard the sound again, only louder this time. We were quite sure, then, somebody was crying. The bench where we sat was close to the low, ivy-covered wall which separated the Rectory garden from the churchyard, and as the crying seemed to come from there, Lucy and I peeped over and saw a little girl sitting on one of the graves, just under the wall, crying as if her heart would break. We did not know what to do ourselves, so we asked aunt Mary to speak to her. She did not make a great deal of noise, but the tears came falling so thick and fast. She was evidently a very poor little girl, for her frock was



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THE END OF ALL. 239 go to college, that same Christmas, so that our old house seemed very empty indeed. I could not play about or be merry in it for a long time, it was so quiet. The spring after Lucy Walters went to school, aunt Mary was married to Mr. Hugh Ballantyne, the gentleman who had been 'so kind to us at Linwick. I was her little bridesmaid. It was very nice, for I had as much cake and sugar and almond as ever I wanted, and a pretty new muslin frock, and a beautiful nosegay with lace paper all round it; and when the breakfast was over, we went into the woods for a pic-nic, and had some dancing at night. But oh! how much pleasanter it would have been if we had had little Callie with us! Before I quite give over, though, I must tell you one very important thing which happened about two years after aunt Mary was married. I was practising my music lesson in the oriel room one morning, when a gentleman came in. I had never seen him before. He had a very long beard and a very brown face, and very bright brown eyes. He looked rather different to the gentlemen who generally came to see papa, but still he spoke to me



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CHAPTER IX. AUNT MARY S BIRTHDAY. THE day after the treat aunt Mary went over to Abbotsbury-that was the name of the town where we lived-to buy a great many things that we wanted; for Linwick was a very little village, a very little village indeed, with scarcely any shops in it but a baker's and a butcher's. The first day that we came to the village, Mrs. Tubbs told aunt Mary very gravely that we should get the best of possible meat in Linwick, because. the butcher killed himself every week. She meant that he bought sheep and bullocks and fed them on his own pastures, and then killed them, instead of going to the next town to buy his meat as many village butchers do; but it sounded very much as if he chopped himself up and sold himself out in joints to the people once a week. Aunt Mary looked very funny when she heard this, but Mrs. Tubbs did not seem to see any fun in it at all. So we were left to take care of ourselves for a



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XIII. GOING HOME. 235 So I went to my own room and sat there by the casement, looking out into the cold and dark. All seemed strange to me. It was the first time in my life that I had felt really unhappy, except for doing wrong. The Minster clock struck eight. Last night, when it struck eight, how different everything had been! But then last night was such a long time ago. I felt ever so much older and sadder and more thoughtful. I wondered if I should ever feel like a real little girl again, and romp and play about with Callie. And yet Callie had not seemed so very ill. Her face was not half so much changed as mamma's. Skinny came to tell me it was time to go to bed. I asked if mamma was not coming to hear me say my prayers. Though I was eleven years old, I used always to say my prayers aloud, by mamma's side, or if she could not hear me say them, aunt Mary used to come. I never said them by myself at all. Skinny said she thought I should have to do so to-night, but I said I would lie awake until mamma came. By-and-by a stream of moonlight poured in through the ivy leaves about my casement window, and lay



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78 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. Puff enjoyed licking her lips, and so recalling the delicate flavour of the shrimps, as much as any stout City alderman enjoys feasting over again in memory upon the game and fish and wine which he has been despatching at some grand Corporation banquet. But by-and-by she began to feel very poorly, just as you feel sometimes when you have been having a great many good things,-too many, in fact. Her eyes were very heavy, and her paws seemed to have no spring in them at All, they were like little lumps of lead. She did not know what was the matter with her. She had never been poorly in her life before. She tried to skip about and amuse herself by catching a few bits of down which were floating in the breeze, but she was obliged to give over very soon, skipping only made her feel a great deal worse, so she just had to lie still with her poor little legs stretched out, and feeling very uncomfortable indeed. At last she thought, as she got no better but worse; she must really go and ask her mamma what was the matter with her. Mrs. Puff inquired what her little girl had been eating, and how much of it. Puff told her about the shrimps. Her mamma said she was very foolish to eat



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80 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. lapped her milk out of the white saucer, and ate the little bits of bread which we laid down for her, and seemed to enjoy her tea more than usual. At last papa dropped a shrimp on her table-cloth, thinking it would be a delicate morsel for her to finish with. But as soon as Puff smelt it, she shook her little head, and looked up so wisely into papa's face, and said, in her funny pussy language-' No, thank you, I don't mean to have any more of that. I tried it once, and it did me no good. I won't be such a simpleton again.' Then she trotted demurely back to her mamma on the hearth-rug, and, though we often tried, we could never make her eat another shrimp all that season. Was she not a great deal wiser than half the little boys and girls that you know ? Nay, was she not a great deal wiser than you are yourself? I daresay, if I knew all about you, I should find out that you have done over and over again what Puff did only once,you have eaten too many good things, and then had to suffer for your folly. But have you done as Puff did, next time the good things were offered to you? Have you shaken your head, and turned away, and said,-



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CHAPTER VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREAT. I THINK we had been at Linwick about a fortnight when Mrs. Aidel, the clergyman's wife, came to ask aunt Mary if we should all like to go and see the school-children have tea on the lawn in front of the Rectory. They always had a treat in June, and another in December. At the winter treat there was a sort of examination, and prizes were given away to the children; but in summer it was only tea and games, there was no examination. We were very much delighted at the prospect of going to the Rectory, for we had heard about this school treat ever since we came to the village. Indeed, little Tommy Tubbs had talked of nothing else for the last week, and he had told his mother that he should not eat any dinner on the day of the treat, in order that he might enjoy his tea more. Mrs. Tubbs had made him a new pinafore for the occasion, of holland wrapping, faced with scarlet braid. Tommy was a short, thick,



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72 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. in England, or the lengths of all the rivers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, put together. At any rate, Puff's mamma soon taught her one lesson,-not to cry when she was hurt, if the hurt was her own fault. I wish your mammas could teach you that. What a great deal of noise and trouble it would save! Of course Puff cried out when people did not behave properly to her. Kittens have a right to do that, and so have little boys and girls, in a general way; though sometimes, you know, as in that case when Montem forgot himself and ate all our pudding, it is wiser, even when people do not behave properly to you, to be quiet about it. Things will be sure to come right by-and-by, if you keep on doing what is right yourself. But if Puff did what she had been distinctly told not to do, and came ta grief in consequence, she never made a noise about it. She knew she had done wrong, and no one was to blame but herself. One day, when she was a very small child indeed, she climbed up to the top of a highbacked chair in the oriel window. She was very fond of climbing; most kittens are. Her mamma had often told her it was a dangerous amuse-



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I 10 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. we; we never knew what it was to be tired; there was no such word for us in the long bright summer days of that July fortnight. Sleepy ? we never wanted to shut up our little eyelids until the sun shut up his, and when he opened them next morning we were ready to open ours too. Hungry? well, yes, I should rather think we were hungry, but then there is nothing in the world so nice as being hungry when you know there is plenty for you to eat as soon as dinnertime comes, and we always knew that, as I hope you will always know it too. Unless you go to Scarboro', though, you can never know how good rice pudding tastes there, nor how quickly the thickest slices of bread and butter disappear when you have climbed all the way up those rocky cliffs to have them given to you, nor how pleasantly even luncheon-crusts go down when the sea air is blowing the roses to your cheeks and the light to your eyes and the smile of goodtemper to your lips. Oh! how I wish I could be a little girl again, and have a holland pinafore and a pail and a wooden spade, and go to Scarboro' and dabble in the water as Lucy Walters and I used to dabble so many years ago. I went there only last year, but it



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34 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. It was a picture of a little baby girl, about two years old, sitting up in her small cot. She was looking so seriously out of her great eyes, and holding up one of her fat little fingers, just as mamma or the nurse holds up her finger when baby is going to sleep and she wants you to be very quiet. On the coverlid round her were four dolls of different sizes, dressed in nice white night-gowns. The little girl thought they Were going to sleep, and that was why she was holding up her finger to keep you from making a noise, but they were doing nothing of the sort, not they. Their round black eyes were wide open, staring up to the top of the cot, and their arms were sticking about here and there and everywhere in a most disorderly manner. Those eyes and arms had no sleep in them, not a bit, any more than your eyes and arms have when nurse seizes upon you in the middle of a game of play and hurries you off to bed, though the sun is shining and the birds are singing, and everything is as wide awake as possible. How sorry I did feel for that poor little girl! I knew she would be so very tired before the four wooden babies went to sleep. The picture was called, She had so many children



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I. THE OLD HOME. 13 yet, for we did not make it until I was seven years old, and many other things happened before then. I think, however, the greatest treat of all, greater even than looking at the Indian cabinet, or keeping house with Lucy in the oriel window, was having aunt Mary come to stay with us. Aunt Mary was mamma's sister, but she was a great deal younger than mamma, so that she was more like a sort of cousin than an aunt. She generally came in the summer, and then she used to take Lucy and me out for our holidays. Before I finish this book I shall tell you of some very, very pleasant visits which we had with aunt Mary in the country. Sometimes, however, she used to stay at home with me whilst papa and mamma went away, for mamma was very delicate, and often had to go abroad to places too far off for a little girl like me to go with her. But I never murmured at being left behind, if only I could have aunt Mary to take care of me. Everybody loved her. She was not very pretty, and she was neither rich, nor clever, nor accomplished, nor anything of that sort, yet she had almost more friends than she knew what to do with. They used to cluster round her as bees cluster, not round



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154 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. 'Oh! Alice, I have thought of something. Wouldn't it be nice if we could make it to-night and get it all finished, and ask aunt Mary'Lucy always said 'aunt Mary' too, just the same as I did,and ask aunt Mary to have a feast with us on her birthday, to-morrow? We won't say anything about it, but let it be a surprise for her.' That was beautiful. I had been very busy for a whole week, making a book-mark for aunt Mary's birthday, but this idea of building a little house and inviting her to have a feast in it, was ten thousand times better. In my delight at Lucy's happy thought, I jumped quite out of the water, and hurt my bare feet very much by coming down again with a great thump on the pebbles, but that was not a bit of consequence. It would be such fun to do everything quite by ourselves, not even telling Montem or his schoolmates anything about it, but keeping it a very great secret until next morning, when we would write a little note to aunt Mary, wishing her many happy returns of the day, and asking her to come and have a feast with us in our new house. How surprised she would be, and how she would wonder what house we meant!



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X. SKINNY. 85 better behaved than their neighbours; and then she flapped her apron and frightened all the little turkeys away, and set off back to the house, looking very cross indeed. She seemed quite vexed that any one should take the trouble to be kind to Skinny. Aunt Mary came back in the afternoon. She brought very good news for us. She had been talking to mamma about Skinny, and mamma said she would take her into the house and teach her to be a servant. For the first year she should have nice clothes given her, but no money, because she would have so much to learn; but after that, she should have regular wages, just like a proper servant. We were so glad. We thought the poor little girl would like going to our home so much better than living in the workhouse, and besides, we should keep her with us, and she was such a quiet, patient little thing, that already we had learned to love her very much. Besides the good news, aunt Mary had brought a great parcel of clothes to alter for Skinny. There was a black merino dress, which would make a frock and jacket for her, and some of our calico



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X. SKINNY. 191 because she was too late for the good bread and butter ? We should never have found out anything about her if we had not gone there, and then, you know, she must have lived in the workhouse after her mother died, which 'would have been so very uncomfortable for her.



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III. MY DOLLS. 43 and I daresay she thought I had had as much supper as the rest. I was very glad to go home, and I cried all the way there, and I asked mamma never to let me go out to supper again. And so, oh! you fine Paris dolly, with your pink silk and flowers and feathers, with your laces and your jewelry, and your fan and your bouquet, and all the rest of your things, I do hope, when you go to that party which you are everlastingly dressed for, it will be a satisfying portion to you, much more so than mine was to me. I hope at any rate you will have spirit enough to speak up bravely for yourself, and reach out your white-gloved hand and make sure of at least one solid wedge of cake before all the supper is cleared away, so that those pretty red lips of yours need not hesitate between smiling and crying, when, at the end of the feast, its ladysuperintendent asks you in the blandest tones if you have had enough.' Don't sit still, pretty Paris dolly, and let somebody else eat all the supper, even if you do sit still and let somebody else do all the dancing. And now, having listened to this very sensible homily, you may go back and be hung up by your arms in the cupboard, until you are wanted again



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248 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. grave. He has had the long rank grass cleared away from it, and flowers planted, and a neat stone cross placed at its head. It looks very pretty now. There is not a prettier grave in all Linwick churchyard. Ah! if he could cover the sad memory of his parents' suffering and their death, as he covers their grave with flowers;-if he could hide that bitter, bitter past, as he hides that turfy mound with spring's sweet violets and snowdrops;-if one precious word of forgiveness, one single message of love, could come to him from his father or his mother now, to say that all is well;-if the care he gives to the living could atone for the pain he gave to the dead, Phebe's brother need not look so sad as he stands by the stone cross in Linwick churchyard. But the past never changes; no flowers can cover it, no repentance blot it out. Hard words cannot unsay themselves, nor scornful thoughts be taken back, and Jim Brown, though brave and good and useful, can never be a quite happy man now. Dear children, be loving and dutiful always to your parents, and then the fair flowers that you plant, when parting has come, upon their graves, will tell of hope and not of regret; and the holy



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176 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. hands and knees and began to scour the floor again. She seemed to do it just as cleverly as a grown-up person would have done. Oh! how sharp her little elbows were, and how the bones seemed to stick out about her bare ancles, and what deep hollows there were in her neck and cheeks. She told us a great deal about herself whilst we were sitting on the door-step, waiting for aunt Mary. She said she was thirteen years old, though I am sure, if it had not been for her serious face and quiet, old-fashioned ways, no one would have thought her more than ten or eleven. She was so very small, scarcely so big as Lucy or myself. I suppose it was having so much to do and so little to eat, which made her look like that. She said they used to be a great deal better off before her father died. He was head forester to the Squire of Linwick, not the Squire who lived at the Hall now, but the one before him, who had let the place and gone to live abroad somewhere. Skinny said, if the old Squire knew how poor her mother was, he would do something for her, for he always thought a great deal about his head forester. They used to live in a nice little cottage then, near to the Rectory, a very nice little cottage, with four rooms, and a garden front and



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j96 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CI. now. She said it was prettier even than a kitten, and I must make another guess. Oh! dear me, what could it be ? What was there now, that I wanted so very, very, very much; not perforated card; not a fire-grate with shovel and poker and tongs; not a kitten, either. A doll. A baby doll; yes, that was it. I had guessed right at last; a very little tiny baby doll, made all of wax, with blue eyes, and pretty yellow hair curling under its cap, and a long frock on, and a little wee pinafore. I really did want that, very much. Aunt Mary shook her head again; but she said I was coming very, very near, and she thought next time I should quite guess what it was. Not a dollbaby that lay quite still, and could not open and shut its eyes, or laugh or cry or do anything at all; butbut-but'Oh !' I screamed out, "I do quite know what you mean now,' and up I jumped from my stool, and down went the cotton, all in a tangle on the floor. 'It is the little baby sister that I have been waiting for such a long time. Oh! I am so glad, I am so glad, I am so glad;' and I got hold of both aunt Mary's



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. III wasn't half so nice. There were the rock-pools, clear, bright, transparent as ever; but being grownup, I could not wade about in them any more. There was the soft shining yellow sand; but people would have laughed at me if I had gone and made a moat in it, though I am sure I felt as if I should very much have liked to do so. There were the pretty little machines, blue and white and red and green, standing in long lines under the cliffs, or dotted about just axle-deep amongst the playful lapping waves, and there were the ugly bathingwomen with their flapping fins and dripping woollen tails, wading along and dipping frightened little children into the water, just as one of them once dipped me. Oh! you little children, I am better off in one thing at any rate than you are. If I can't dabble in the rock-pools, or dig moats in the sand, or poke about under the seaweed for crabs and shrimps, I am too big now to be seized upon by a horrible blue-and-black mermaid, and carried, shrieking, and striving and struggling, down to the very bottom of the sea. And isn't that something to be thankful for ? I don't know, I am not quite sure about it, but



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i ir



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122 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. bird's-nest in the orchard, and as we were going through the yard where the stacks were, I thought I saw something moving under a heap of straw. Byand-by a little white nose came poking out, and then a little brown head, and then a pair of brown legs, and, when we pushed the rest of the straw away, there was Damsel rubbing the sleep out of her eyes as innocently as possible. At least she would have been rubbing the sleep out of her eyes if her fingers had not been all hoofs. The poor little thing had felt rather tired, I daresay, with capering about so much, and so she had crept under the straw-stack to rest, and the wind had blown the loose straw over her until she was quite covered up. Mrs. Tubbs gave each of us a glass of new milk for bringing Damsel safe to the stable-door, and she did not even scold her, for she was so glad to see her back again. The farmer's wife had a great many things to look after. I don't wonder she was rather sharp-tempered sometimes. Besides the calves and the pigs and the chickens and the cows and the guinea-fowls and the turkeys and the geese, there were six-and-twenty little ducklings, who were old enough to leave their papas and mammas, but not quite wise enough to take



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V. PUFF. 85 down her newspaper table-cloth, but Puff did not make her appearance. Papa went into the garden and twisted up a paper ball, for he was quite sure, if she was anywhere within hearing, she would come scampering up for a game of play; but no quickfooted little Puff sprahg out and darted after it as it shot over the grass-plot. All that day and the next I looked for her in vain. I asked Montem and Lucy and old Mrs. Walters, and the servants went round to ask the neighbours if they had seen anything of a little white kitten, but it was no use. Papa said he was afraid some one had stolen her, and we should never see our dear downy pet again. Oh! how sorry I was. How I did miss her, for she was better to me than my dolls or any of my other playthings. And then, you know, besides losing her, there was the uncomfortable feeling, that perhaps some one might have picked her up who would not be kind to her. Perhaps she might not have enough to eat, or children might beat and tease her, or she might go into some place where there was a dog, and he might worry her. When papa said he did not think we should see her any more, I cried very much, for I had loved her so. Montem was



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III. MY DOLLS. 47 made too much noise. Sometimes when my own lessons were over and Puff came to ask me to play with her, I used quite to forget my little boys and girls, and they had to keep on being at school all day long, which must have been very tedious; but they never made any complaint about being treated in that way, and when I came to attend to them, I always found them studying as diligently as ever. Sometimes my children used to be ill, and then a very tall doll, that had cost threepence, dressed like a doctor, came to see them. I remember once, after Montem and I had had the measles, I painted all my little boys' and girls' faces with pink spots to make believe they had had measles too, and I made them lie in bed all day long and take a great deal of medicine. I think all that sort of thing was much better fun than if I had had one or two very fine dolls, and had been obliged to hang them up by their shoulders when I had done with them. Once mamma gave me a penny for pulling up all the weeds in one of the flower-beds. I had been wanting for a long time to have a doll that would do to be Lucy Walters, but none of my little girls were pretty enough, for I had washed them and



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214 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. "No, Miss Alice, there isn't; but they don't take a deal of cutting down, don't them little ones. They're like my seedling balsams or them bonnie pink geraniums as your Ma sets such store by. A frosty night does it all, and when you come to them in a morning, their little heads is drooping, and their colours faded, and you can't do nothing no more for 'em.' Give over, Watson,' I said, quite sharply; I don't like to hear you talk like that.' 'Don't you, miss?' said Watson; 'then I won't say no more.' And with his long, lean, wiry fingers he gathered together some more little sprigs of box, and stuck them down in the trenches, and then filled the earth in and padded it down with his spade, just as I had seen the old man pad down the graves in the churchyard at Linwick. I had another romp with Callie, and another race with her to the bottom of the garden, she running forwards and I backwards. Then I gave her ever so many kisses, and came into the house to help aunt Mary to make the things for our Christmastree. For we were to have a children's party the next week, and a Christmas-tree. Papa and mamma had



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222 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. and so were his boots, and he had a great flapping hat, which was all over snow too. He had an immense hamper under his arm, like those which you see railway porters carrying about at Christmastime, and he let it tumble down on the carpet, and then he sat down by it. Was he not a curious person to come into a room where every one else was nicely dressed? He told us, in a very gruff, grumpy voice, that we might go and open the hamper, if we liked, but we none of us liked to go, for we were rather afraid of him; he looked such a funny man. We wondered if he was tipsy. At last Georgie Aidel said, if I would go with him, he would go. So we went and lifted up the lid of the hamper. We were rather afraid the old man would reach out and catch hold of us, but he did not, and what do you think we found? The hamper was lined with green leaves, and filled with crystallised fruits, lemons, oranges, greengages, apricots, pears, cherries, cut in halves and quarters and covered with sugar, which looked just like frost and snow upon them. Others were cut into stars and diamonds and rings and flowers. The old man took one of the rings and threw it to aunt



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VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREA T. 147 wanted, she sneaked away down a narrow back walk, for of course, when her pockets were stuffed out with cake, she dare not come into the front; and so she got safely home, nobody being any wiser for her naughty tricks. In the evening she came to the field with the other children to join in the games, but as she had no ticket the keeper of the gate would not let her in. She screamed and made such a noise about it-for you know the games and the presents were almost the best part of the treat-that Mr. Aidel came to see what was the matter. He asked her why she had not gone out of the Rectory garden with the others, and then she would have had a ticket given her. Of course she could not tell him why, without confessing about the cake and bread and butter, and she was ashamed to do that, so she had to tell ever so many falsehoods to cover it up and make everything seem right. And, after all, everything did not seem right, for when Mr. Aidel saw her turn red and look awkward and uncomfortable, as little girls generally do look when they are saying what is not true, he was sure something was amiss, and he said she must not come into the field. Oh! she was so L2



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30 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. ever so uncomfortable. All that bright, beautiful summer-time, whilst the gooseberries and currants were ripening, and the peaches growing rosy-sweet on our south wall, and the golden-cheeked apples getting ready to drop, one by one, into the long grass, and I was trotting away,morning after morning, to hide my crusts in the great chest, I never felt quite happy,-I mean not quite so happy as if I had had nothing to be afraid of. Of course sometimes I forgot all about it, and was as merry as a cricket; but at other times, when I was playing with my dolls, or romping with Puff, or even having tea with aunt Mary in that dear little room of hers, a sudden sharp pain used to spring up inside me. It was the voice of conscience, saying,' Some day that chest will be opened, and then what will you do?' You see conscience was quite right,-it always is. The chest was opened, and then, oh! how uncomfortable I felt. I would rather have eaten my crusts, at the proper time, over and over and over again; nay, I would rather have gathered them all up, hard, dry, mouldy as they were when they came out of the chest, and munched patiently at them until the last



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III. MY DOLLS. 37 have tumbled them, clothes and everything, into the water-tub in the back yard, and punished them and sent them to bed in disgrace, just as I had been sent when I tumbled in there myself. Indeed, they would not have been of the slightest domestic value to me, for I could not have'put them through any of the experiences which I went through myself, and so they would only have been like lifeless blocks, not real little boys and girls at all. I think it is very foolish to have such fine ladydolls. I went to see a little girl the other day, and she brought me hers to look at. Her mamma had sent for it all the way from Paris, and it cost five and twenty shillings, -five and twenty large, round, silver shillings, as much money as would have bought three hundred of my nice penny dolls with wooden arms and painted faces. Fancy having three hundred penny dolls, wouldn't it be delightful? I don't think any one could quite fancy it, it must be so delicious. I know what I should have done, though, when I was a little girl, if I had had three hundred penny dolls. I should have turned my nursery into a church, and made a congregation of them. I would have





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102 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. After that first evening, Lucy and I had many a happy day upon the Scarboro' sands. We used to pull off our shoes and stockings, and aunt Mary, who sat on a grassy bit of cliff with her books and work, took care of them for us whilst we went and paddled about in the rock-pools. We found star-fishes in them sometimes, yellow, purple, brown and pink; and crimson sea anemones, with a fringe of fingers all round them, like the long petals of a daisy. It was so funny to touch these fingers one after another, and see them shrink up into nothing. I used to wonder whatever the creature did with them, and I am not quite sure now. If we waited and watched long enough, they used to come out again, very slowly, one by one, until they were all spread round as beautifully as ever. Sometimes we saw crabs, but they would never let us catch them. Indeed, I don't think we dare have touched them, though they were very little ones. They seemed to have no end of legs; but for all they had so many they could not walk properly with them, they were always tumbling and picking themselves up again. Puff, who only had three and a half, could walk better than a crab.



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90 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. near Montem again for a long time, though he tried to coax her with cream and bits of meat, and for weeks after that she always ran away and hid herself when he came home from school. Puff gave over being a kitten after her accident, and soon became a steady, grown-up cat, so I have no more funny stories to tell you about her; but I think you have heard enough already to convince you that she was a very brave, wise, sensible little person, and I hope you will try to follow her example by never crying when your own folly hurts you, and never doing a second time what has made you suffer once. That is Puff's lesson to all little boys and girls.



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10 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. brown wood, covered all over with gold marks and figures. There were two large doors in front, and when these were opened you saw twenty-four little drawers inside. We were allowed to take these drawers out one by one and look at all the things in them. There were Chinese paintings on rice paper, pictures of birds and fishes and flowers, and very wonderful ladies with long eyes and scarcely any feet at all, bowing and smiling to gentlemen with tails to their hair and little buttons on the tops of their heads. There were flowers made of the tiniest, daintiest white shells, and other flowers made of hummingbirds' feathers, and others again made of spun glass, like silk. There were bags of Japanese embroidery, covered all over with stitches so small that you could not see them properly without a magnifying-glass; and pieces of coral, red, pink and white, which Lucy's sailor papa had brought from the South Seas, and shells of all the colours of the rainbow, and little cars drawn by elephants, cut out of a single piece of ivory. There were idols, too, made of gold and silver, and models of heathen temples, and pagodas with bells hanging to their roofs, and many, many other curious things which I cannot tell you about just now.



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IX. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 157 did not tell him what we were going to do, though, for that would have spoiled all the fun. He unwound nearly half his ball, and sold it to us for the halfpenny, and he lent us his knife to cut it into proper lengths, and we came back to our hollow bank and our old elm-tree, feeling as happy as two little queens. We told each other we must work very hard, for the house had to be finished that night, and there was only a couple of hours now before tea-time. We found our task a great deal more difficult than we had expected. I believe the elm-tree branches knew we wanted to tie them down, just as the three calves knew when Mrs. Tubbs wanted to drive them home to bed, and they determined to give us as much trouble as they could. We had to fetch a rake to drag them low enough, and just when we thought we had got fairly.hold of them, and Lucy was standing with the piece of string to fasten round them, up they would spring into the air with a caper and a flourish, and we had all the trouble over again. We were obliged to do everything by ourselves, too. We could not ask Tommy to help us, for if we had asked him he would have told Montem, and Montem would have told Mrs. Tubbs, and Mrs. Tubbs would have told aunt



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I. THE OLD HOME. 17 nursery upstairs, and give me a chair, and ask after my health, and say how glad she was to see me, just as mamma used to do when ladies came to have tea with her. And then I used to shake out my pocket-handkerchief, and fan myself, and use a smelling-bottle, which I had taken out of mamma's dressing-case, and begin to talk about the weather, and the fashions, and. the new curate, and the difficulty of getting good. servants, and the extravagant price of lace, and the best shops for jewelry and millinery, and various other topics which ladies are generally supposed to enlarge upon when they go out to tea. I never talked scandal, though, because I didn't know what it meant, then. Aunt Mary looked as grave as could be, although sometimes she made rather a funny noise behind her pockethandkerchief, but she never laughed, for that would have spoiled all the fun. Then came tea, which was always arranged ready on the little table by the window. I enjoyed the cake and bread and butter and strawberry preserve so much, though I often had just the same things in the nursery upstairs. It was c



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II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 27 as if nothing was the matter. Indeed I did feel quite safe, for I knew the chest would not be opened until next winter; and for me, next winter was nowhere. It came, though, and with it the necessity of opening out all my warm clothes; and then, in a comfortable corner, quite down at the bottom of the chest, hard, dry, mouldy, like little bits of brown brick, were my crusts, which morning after morning, for nearly four months, I had been hiding there. Wasn't it disagreeable for me? I will not tell you how ashamed I felt when mamma, who always opened out my winter things, sent for me to ask what the little bits of brown stuff meant, and I was obliged to confess that they were my luncheon crusts. I have no doubt you will be fully able to imagine my discomfiture, if, like most other little people, you have at one time or another had unpleasant transactions relative to dry bread. I think I felt a great deal more ashamed, too, because mamma did not scold me very much. She only looked sad and grieved, to think that her little girl, the only little girl she had, should ever have tried to hide anything from her, and should have done it, too,



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XIV. THE END OF ALL. 241 The funny look went out of his face as soon as ever I told him that; his bright brown eyes seemed to grow quite dim, and he said, in such a different voice,'Will you please tell Skinny, then, that I should like to speak to her ?' I went away into the room which used to be the nursery. We did not want it for a nursery now that there was no Callie to be taken care of and played with. Skinny was sitting by the window, sewing. She was very clever indeed with her needle, and mamma was having her taught dress-making, in order that she might be a ladies'-maid some day. She was not strong enough to do housework, or carry children about much, and mamma thought she would be able to earn her living as a ladies'-maid better than in any other way. Skinny always said, though, that she would never leave us to go into any other situation, but still she was very pleased to learn dressmaking, because then she thought she should be able to save mamma so much trouble in cutting out and sewing things for me. I told her a gentleman wanted to see her, and we both went down together to the oriel room. I should tell you that Skinny was very nice-looking now, pale, but slight and elegant, and R



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210 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. sunshine than was good for me was being poured into my childish days. He need not have been afraid. It was not going to last so very long, after all. And besides, he might have remembered that One a great deal wiser than himself gave me all that I had. 'You're such a little girl for play, Miss Alice,' he said one day, when, after a romp with Callie on the frosty terrace-walk, I came to a stand-still in front of a very uncomfortable-looking flower-bed, all black and rough and dug-up, which he was marking out with box edging,-' you're such a little girl for play.' 'Well, Watson,' I replied,' play is a very nice thing, isn't it? Why shouldn't I have plenty of it? I don't think it does me any harm.' 'No, Miss Alice,' said Watson, shaking his old grey head very slowly, 'may be it don't, just yet a bit. But then there's the thinking. You'll have to do the thinking some day, Miss Alice.' Oh never mind the thinking, Watson;' and I skipped over the black flower-bed two or three times and then came back to him again, 'I've nothing to do with thinking just now.' 'No, Miss Alice, you haven't, but it'll have some-



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IX. A UNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 165 returns of the day, and we want you to come and have a feast with us in our new house, which we have made for you. If you will only say yes, we will come and fetch you at ten o'clock, for you do not know where our house is.-Your loving little girls, LucY AND ALICE.' I daresay you will wonder how I can remember so exactly what there was in the note, when so many years have passed since we wrote it. I should have quite forgotten about it, but only a few months ago I went to see aunt Mary, and she showed me the little note itself, which she had taken care of since her birthday at Linwick. Lucy and I never thought, when we made it up and wrote it, that it would last half so long. First thing after breakfast next morning we gave it to Tommy Tubbs, to give to aunt Mary. We stood behind the kitchen door, waiting for him to come back. We heard him knock at the parlour door and say he had brought a note for the lady, and was to wait for an answer; and then, after what seemed to us a very, very long time, he came back with a little pink envelope, addressed to both of us. Aunt Mary said that she should be very



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66 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. a master. I'm sure I won't have one any more, will you ?' I could not quite agree to that, for I felt it was more like real housekeeping to have a master, but I did wish that, having had him, he had left us a little pudding at the bottom of the dish. 'I wish we hadn't had him at all,' sobbed Lucy. 'We'll never make a pudding for him again, or if we do, we'll keep ever such a lot of the things out of it for ourselves. We won't make it half so nice.' I told her I didn't think that would be any use. All the good of having a master was that we should give him the best we had. It would only be like playing at having one, if we kept all the best things out for ourselves. However, we both of us agreed that the next time we wanted to choose a master, we would look at him very carefully first, and find out whether he would be likely to eat all the pudding. Of course we could not play any longer after that, for there was nothing to play with; so we gave up housekeeping, drew the curtains back, put our chairs away, made the oriel tidy again, and ran to aunt Mary to ask her for a story. But we did not say anything to her about what had happened.



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26 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. or strawberry jam, to make them go down more pleasantly. I daresay you will wonder, though, why I should say so much about the duty of eating your crusts, when I have just been confessing to you that I put my own out of the way, without eating them at all. You will find out about that by-and-by. I am telling you this story as a warning, not as an example. Before you come to the end of it, you will find that it is much wiser to do as I say, than to do as I did. If I had my time to come over again, wouldn't I eat every scrap of crust like a little heroine! Yes, that I would. But I wasn't a heroine in those early days, nothing of the sort, only a very stupid little girl. And so every morning, when I had finished my piece of bread and butter, at least the nice part of it, I used to tuck the rest snugly up under my pinafore, and trot away up those narrow stone stairs, and creep through the doorway behind the tapestry, and open the heavy, iron-bound chest and pop my crust in, pushing it down as far as ever my arm would reach, under the frocks and petticoats and comforters, and then come back into the oriel room, trying to look





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XIII. GOING HOME. 237 me have them for a long time to take care of me. And bless my dear little 'No, darling, not now.' And I felt the heavy tears falling like rain-drops on my clasped hands. So, then, it was over. Our little Callie had gone home to God. She would never come back to us any more-never any more at all.



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XI. MY NEW SISTER. 197 hands, and made her dance round the room with me ever so many times. I was obliged to do something, for I was so very, very happy. How could I sit still on that stool, with my two arms stretched out, and a skein of cotton nearly a yard long upon them, when I knew that my little sister had come, and I should see her in one week, and have her to love and kiss and toss about and play with, always ? Aunt Mary picked up the skein of cotton and said we would finish it another time, and then I rushed off into the field to tell Lucy and Skinny about my new sister. They were both of them very glad. Skinny said she knew how to take care of little babies. She had sometimes minded Mrs. Aidel's baby for a couple of hours when the nurse went out, and it never cried nor made any commotion at all; and, if my mamma would let her, she thought she should be able to take care of my little sister. She was quite sure she should be strong enough and steady enough, too. Then I went to tell Mrs. Tubbs about it. She was washing blankets, and that made her as cross as could be, but I felt as if I must tell everybody how happy I was. She was in such a bad temper. Indeed, she had been in a bad temper for a very long time, ever since



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I. THE OLD HOME.. 7 basket of Watson's early strawberries, or a bunch of grapes covered with vine-leaves, and said,'Alice, dear, will you run across with these to Mrs. Walters, and ask how she is, and give them to her with mamma's love ?' I never needed twice asking to do tkat. Off I started like a little rabbit, away over the grass-plot, down the laurel walk and past the old ruined fountain to the shady path which led to Mrs. Walters' back garden. I never stayed very long, because, you know, she was so very old, and mamma thought she might not like to have a little girl like me chattering to her all the time. So, when I had given her my message, and told her how papa and mamma were, and asked if her rheumatism was better-which it never was-I began to get ready to come away. As soon as I began to get ready to come away, Mrs. Walters always said,"Stay, my dear, just one moment.' I felt very glad then, for I knew what was going to be done. When Mrs. Walters had said 'Stay, my dear, just one moment,' she rose from her tall, straight-backed chair, and took her silver-headed stick, and walked very slowly indeed-for you must



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60 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. 'No. It's a great deal nicer to make things when you don't make them all for yourself. And besides, we are just like grown-up people, now.' 'Perhaps we are,' said Lucy doubtfully. 'Only there would have been more for ourselves if we hadn't had a master.' 'I don't care,' I said; 'I think it's better to have a master, even if there isn't quite so much left for ourselves. And then, you know, he will very likely only play at eating it. Boys don't care for girls' puddings. He didn't come to be our master because he wanted our pudding, but only to please us. He doesn't care about the pudding at all.' Lucy said no more; but she looked very wistfully at our pudding, which kept swinging about in the little tin pan. I believe she was afraid, that whatever Montem might think of girls' performances in a general way, he would never be able to resist two, or even three, servings of that special one. Most likely he heard us whispering, for just then he threw down his newspaper and said,' What are the servants doing ? When will dinner be ready ? Make haste, for I must be at the office at three o'clock.'



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58 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. not seem at all offended. He laughed quite goodhumouredly, and said,' All right, little woman, I don't care if I do,' in a very pleasant manner, and throwing down his book he walked straight away to our parlour, which we had made at one end of the oriel with chairs and cushions and a high stool covered with a serviette for a table. Then he put on a pair of spectacles and began to read the newspaper, just as papa used to do when he came in from the office, whilst we two little maidens trotted contentedly back to our kitchen and our pudding, feeling ever so much more like real people now that we had a master to wait upon and work for. And what a pudding that was, to be sure, and how we did enjoy mixing it up I don't think any grownup cook or housekeeper, with a whole storehouse full of groceries at her command, and no end of cleverness and experience, ever produced anything so brilliantly successful as that compound of seed-cake, sweet biscuit, sugar, raisins and currants, made up with half a cupful of real ginger wine out of mamma's own decanter. When it was done we put it into a little pan and hung it upon one of the curtain-hooks; pretending that it was being boiled.



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SCO WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CI. of bricks, but they were not so at all. They were like great mountains which had been rolled down from somewhere a long way off, and stopped just in time to keep from tumbling into the sea. There were rifts and chasms in them, covered with grass and wild-flowers, and places where steps were cut out for you to go up and down, and caves that you could go into ever so far and play at hide-and-seek. And I thought the sea would have been quite flat and clear and quiet, just like our river at home, only a great deal larger; but, instead of that, it was covered with little waves which kept flashing up and down and sparkling and tumbling over each other, and then running away back again into the deep blue water, which seemed to stretch such a long, long way, so far that I could not see where it ended and the sky began. But the sands! they were the best of all. When I had given over being the least little bit afraid, I went to Lucy, who was building a castle just out of reach of the water, and when we had made the castle as big .as we could, we dug a moat round it and let the water come in, and then we ran away to where the sand was quite dry and soft and yellow,



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XI. MY NEW SISTER. 205 I always used to go on again after that, it was so funny to hear her say it. I think, when Skinny was taking her for a walk in the garden, she must sometimes have complained that she was tired, and Skinny had said to her, 'Oh never mind, it'll do you good,' and so she learned to frame the quaint little speech which amused us so much. She never used it unless we said that we were tired, and then it was sure to come out, so archly, so prettily," It a do dee good.' I must just tell you one more anecdote about Callie. I had been having a little bit of a quarrel one day with Montem. Since Montem had given over going to the grammar-school and begun to study with a private tutor, preparatory to going to college, he had become rather consequential. He used to patronise Lucy and me a great deal more than we liked, and give himself airs, and call us 'the children,' which vexed us very much, because we wanted to be grown-up just as much as he did. I daresay when he left school and began to wear a long coat and stand-up collars, he thought he was quite a man, and he was very indignant with the servants if they called him CMaster Montem' instead of' Sir.'



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IV. OUR PUDDING. 59 'Doesn't it look good ?' said Lucy. I nodded. I never could give expression to my feelings when anything stirred them so profoundly as that pudding did. "Don't you think we ought to taste it?' said Lucy again; 'grandmamma's cook always tastes the puddings after she has made them, to see if they are all right. You know sometimes they want a little more sugar.' But we haven't any more, if it did,' I replied. We have put every bit of everything into it.' 'Never mind. I think we ought to taste it, all the same. I should like to know what it is going to be like.' And Lucy picked out two raisins, one for each of us. Tiey were all over sugar and sweet biscuit, and they did taste so good. They made us feel as if we should like to have some more. Don't you almost wish,' said Lucy, after a solemn pause, during which we had been munching our raisins and watching our pudding swing to and fro in the little tin pan,-' don't you almost wish we hadn't asked Montem to be the master ?' I shook my head, and whispered indignantly,-



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234 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. we used to do when Callie was a very little baby and had gone to sleep, into mamma's room. How well I remember everything, even now! It seems to be only yesterday, and not years and years ago, that aunt Mary led me into the curtained, silent chamber, where I scarcely dared breathe, all was so solemn and so still. Mamma was sitting in a great easy chair before the fire, with Callie on her lap; papa was there too, standing at the window, but he never turned round or took any notice of me this time, and I could not see his face. Mamma looked very grave, almost stern. I had never seen that look in her eyes before. It frightened me, and made me feel as if I had been doing something naughty. She scarcely seemed to know that I had come into the room. It was aunt Mary who moved the shawl aside that I might see Callie's face. She was lying very quietly and peacefully, with her little hands folded on her breast. She might have been only sleeping, but then mamma need not have looked so grave. I wanted to stay a long time, but aunt Mary drew me gently away. When I looked up to her, she was crying. Mamma did not cry at all, nor speak a single word.



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184 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. to go with them, so we did not have him at all now. We went and played for a little while in our new house under the elm-tree, and we paddled about in the water and tried to enjoy ourselves as much as usual, but we could not help thinking a great deal about Skinny, who was left quite alone now, no papa or mamma or brother or sister to take care of her, and no place but the workhouse to go to. It made us cry whenever we thought about it. When Mrs. Tubbs came out to feed the turkeys, she asked us why we were wandering about, taking hold of each other's hands like a couple of babes in the wood. We told her we were thinking about poor Skinny, who would have to go and live at the workhouse when her mother was buried. Mrs. Tubbs tossed her head, and said there was no need to waste pity on the like of them. Skinny Brown was a stuck-up hussy, and so was her mother, and if they had humbled themselves and come to the parish for half-a-crown a week, like other folks who couldn't earn their own living, they needn't have been fast for a bite of bread. She said she hadn't patience with people who set up to be



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VII. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. 119 down went her little head and up went her little tail, and off she used to scamper to Bell and Damsel at the other end of the field, and say to them,"Yonder is the farmer's wife. She has come to take us to bed, but I don't mean to go, do you?' Then Bell and Damsel used to toss their heads. No; they did not mean to go to bed just yet, nothing of the sort, going to bed was such a nuisance. The idea of being fastened up in that dark stable with scarcely any room to caper about, whilst they were all three of them as wide awake as could be. It was simply ridiculous. They would have another turn round the field, and then begin to think about going to bed. So off they all set as fast as they could go, flinging out their heels and whisking their tails and jumping over each other like tumblers, whilst Mrs. Tubbs stamped and shouted and shook her fist and brandished her stick, and scolded them just as she used to scold us when we came into her kitchen with dirty feet. But they didn't mind it, not a bit. They only laughed at her for being so stupid as to want them to go to bed at six o'clock. Sometimes they would stand quite still, so as to let Mrs. Tubbs come nearly up to them, and then, just as she was reaching out her stick to give



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88 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. I began to cry, for I knew what he meant. So he went away. But what do you think? About noon, Puff opened her eyes wider than she had opened them ever since she came back to us, and when I put some cream into her mouth she actually licked her lips, and looked at me as if she wanted some more, and then she tried to stand up. Of course she soon tumbled down again, but she must have felt better, or you know she would not even have tried to stand. I sat by her all day feeding her, and at night, when papa came home, he said he believed she would get well again. And so she did. She was always lame, and had to run about on three legs, in a very funny limping way, which made me laugh, even though I was so sorry for her; but I don't think her lame leg hurt her at all, because she very soon began to play again almost as merrily as ever. She was still very fond of running after the paper ball and bringing it back in her teeth, but she could not catch it so quickly as she used to do, for, only having three legs to stand upon, she could not spare one of them to poke about amongst the curtains, or under the fender, or in mamma's work-



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36 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. should call him ugly now,-he had very good taste in dolls, and always bought me those which had the bluest eyes and rosiest cheeks, and the most naturallooking curls painted on their foreheads. He was very kind, too, and would sometimes give me a halfpenny towards a couple of babies, when my own money ran short, as it very often did; for I had only twopence a week, and you know twopence goes very soon, when you have cakes and sweets and dolls and everything to buy out of it. I never had any of those grand dolls, such as most little girls have now, with eyes that open and shut, and real hair done up in curls or ckignons, and wax faces and arms, and fine clothes which are stitched on to their bodies in a most cruel and unfeeling way. Indeed, if I had had any of that sort, I should not have known what to do with them. I could not have washed them every night in my little tin bath with the real soap-tray and towels; I could not have cut scratches on their arms to make believe they had fallen down and hurt themselves; I could not have coloured their faces with red paint out of Montem's box and then pretended they had taken scarlatina; I could not



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28 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CII. not once or twice, but day after day, for nearly four months. To see her looking at me in that grieved way, made me feel dreadfully uncomfortable. I could not say a single word. I could not cry. I could not even tell her I was sorry. I could only just stand there over my mouldy little bits of crust, holding my head down, and twisting my fingers about, and wishing very much that I could run away somewhere out of sight. After that day I never put anything more into the chest. It stood there in the cupboard, behind the tapestry as usual, but no crusts of mine went into it again, and I asked mamma if she would keep the lid of it always standing wide open, so that everybody could see what was in it; then, you know, it was impossible for things to be hidden. But for a long time I could not feel quite comfortable again. If ever I heard papa and mamma talking together in a low tone, I was almost sure they were saying something about me and my crusts, and I could not even enjoy my luncheon in a morning, because, as soon as nurse brought it to me, I was reminded of the little bits of brown brick, and I knew she was reminded of them too, and that made my face all



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. 103 I was rather disappointed about the shells. When Lucy told me I could pick up as many as ever I liked upon the sands, I thought they would be like those very beautiful ones which Mrs. Walters had in her Indian cabinet, pearly and silvery, and shining with all the colours of the rainbow. But instead, they were only little round, flat, pink things, most of them, about as big as a sixpence, not silvery at all, or pearly, or anything of the sort. Aunt Mary told me those very large, beautiful shells were only found in foreign countries, so I gave over looking for them on the Scarboro' sands. How nice it would have been, ifwe could have picked them up there, and brought home as many as we wanted! Perhaps if we had, though, we should soon have tired of looking at them, because, you know, they would not have been locked up in Mrs. Walters' Indian cabinet, and we need not have earned a red counter before the doors were opened. I think it was answering the questions and earning the red counter which made us like so much to look at Mrs. Walters' shells. If we could have looked at them for nothing, we should not have cared a bit about it.



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168 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. The first thing she did when she looked across and saw how busy we had been, was to put her arms round both of us together, and give us ever so many kisses, and squeeze us quite close up to her for a long time,-she seemed so pleased. And really our little house did look very pretty. The morning sun was shining down, darting glancing lights and shadows through the leaves upon the floor, and making the brook as it rippled along look like netted silver threads, all sparkling and glistening. And the flowers that grew in the mossy sides of the hollow seemed to know that it was somebody's birthday, for they had come out in all their bravery of pink and purple and gold, harebells, wild geraniums, speedwells, daisies, meadow sweet; and nearer to the water's edge the rich yellow spikes of the wild iris, which might have been sceptres for a fairy queen, so proudly they held themselves aloft over the flag-leaves and forgetme-nots. We took aunt Mary over the bridge, and made her sit down in the chair of state. Then she found the nosegay and the pincushion and the bookmarker which we had made for her birthday, and



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I, /. 11' 1j I .il r 1r, 'IIT ii; K\ 4) ~V f V! P ii I I liit' All" 11 "1~b ~ I ( yIF ii ;~,~a~ll IIU~~Y~ Wr~U~ l~i ~IW'AtliI 8BI _______________________ ,,, II ji kk F. I: P tiJill I/ / -WIct I Ill;z --_ C----__ -_-~~P U-If -rI(: i_~ She was lyingb very quaietly. P. 234.



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228 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. time which comes when the party is over, when you have said good-bye to each other, and heard the last cab drive away, and nurse comes to take you to bed, and you are so tired and you can't go to sleep at all, and you keep going over everything that has happened, until you get into such a tangle and confusion, and everybody is mixed up with everybody else, and your thoughts are just like the crabs in the Scarboro' rock-pools, they seem to have any number of legs, and they are always running over each other in all directions, but they never know where they want to go to, and you can't catch them, try as you will. Oh! I don't at all like that little bit-sometimes it is a very long bit -between the ending of a party and the falling asleep in such a stupid, miserable muddle of memories and mistakes. But when I did go to sleep, I slept so soundly. I never woke at all until the sun was shining as brightly as could be into my window next morning, and I knew it must be very late indeed. I wondered Skinny had not come to call me. She generally came at eight o'clock, but I was sure eight o'clock had gone past a long time ago.



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IO8 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. not more than three-quarters of a yard deep just there, which makes all the difference. Nurse began to rub us both with a great rough bath-towel, and she said we should soon be as warm as toasts. We were nothing of the sort; we both of us looked a great deal more like little pale-faced onions. Lucy had not been dipped, for she knew what the bathing-woman meant, and she ran up the steps and got fast hold of nurse's arm before the horrible creature came near her, but still she was very frightened and trembling too, and though nurse rubbed ys as hard as ever she could, we neither of us felt anything like toast, unless it might be toast-andwater. When we came home, looking so starved and miserable, aunt Mary said we must not bathe any more-it would not do us any good. Oh! how glad we were to hear her say that. All the rock-pools and sea anemones and shining yellow sands in the world would not have been worth the price of going under the water every morning with that great blueand-black woman-fish, even though she might never mean to do us any harm. But when once the bathing was safely disposed of, everything else was very



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X. SKINNY. 179 village that Jim was missing, the neighbours went far and near after him, for they all liked him, he was so merry and good-looking. But he never came back no more, and mother says he's dead long ago, or we should have heard tell of him.' Poor little Skinny's lip had often trembled whilst she was telling us this sad story, and now ever so many tears came splashing down into the pail of water, but she went on scrubbing and scouring as diligently as ever. 'Father was always different after that,' she said. 'I often heard mother say he didn't want people to know what a deal he thought about Jim, and so he never would ask no questions, nor make as if he was very unhappy about him; but many's the night, mother says, he never slept a wink, and always after dark, if he heard a step on the walk, his hand would shake, and he would go all over trembling. He didn't live very long after that, though. One day he went to the woods as us'l, to see the men cut some timber down, and a big branch fell on him, and he was brought home with his leg broke and some of his ribs forced in. The Squire paid for a doctor, and mother she nursed him night and day, but he died just a N2



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I. THE OLD HOME. 19 times before, but that did not make any difference, except that they were pleasanter every time I listened to them. I did not like her to alter them at all. If she did, I always stopped her, and asked her to say them over again in just the old way; they were so much nicer in just the old way. As soon as the clock struck eight, nurse came to take me to bed. Oh! that going to bed, what a nuisance it was, to be sure. I wonder if you dislike it as much as I did. I wonder if you were ever taken to bed without wishing you could stay up ever so much longer. I know I never was. I wanted the clocks to forget striking, and then I thought perhaps nurse would forget to come for me. I never want them to forget striking now; indeed; sometimes I should like to push the time on a little faster, but then being a little girl makes such a difference. I shall have to tell you a great deal more about aunt Mary before I have finished, and I hope you will learn to love her very much. The next chapter will be about a very stupid, foolish thing which I did when I was five years old. C2



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242 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. always so tasteful in her dress. She had large, soft eyes, and a gentle expression of face, and her manners were a great deal sweeter and prettier than those of many very grand ladies that I have met. She made a low curtsey to the gentleman, and stood at the door, waiting for him to speak to her. She looked rather frightened, but then she was always a very timid, nervous girl. He came up and shook hands with her, after first looking at her very hard, so hard that she looked more frightened than ever, and then he said,'Don't you know me, Phebe ?' "No, sir,' said Skinny, very meekly, and she made another curtsey, unless-unless--' And then she turned very white, and began to tremble all over. I think she had a sort of idea who the gentleman was. 'I'm your brother Jim, Phebe. I've come back to you, and I don't mean to leave you any more now. Skinny trembled worse than ever, and I do believe she would quite have fallen down, if the gentleman had not put his arms round her and held her fast.



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III. MY DOLLS. 41 buttons. She looked at me now and then, and nodded to me, and said what a pleasant evening we were having, but that was all. I don't think I should have cared, though, for not being taken any notice of, whilst the dancing and the games were going on, because I was able to amuse myself by listening to the merry dancemusic and beating time to it, which was pleasant enough. But the worst of it was that nobody took any notice of me when supper-time came, and I really did feel that a great trouble, because I was hungry and wanted something to eat. I sat at the top of the table, quite close to the mistress of the house, almost hidden amongst her frills and flounces, and I suppose I was so small that she never knew I was there. She kept passing cake, and biscuits, and tarts, and jellies, and oranges, and figs, and almonds and raisins, and sweetmeats, backwards and forwards before me, so close to me that I could have reached out my hands and touched them, but not a single crumb was ever offered to me, or a taste of anything, and I was too shy to ask for it. Now, was not that an uncomfortable state of things? And, if you had been



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XI. MY NEW SISTER. 195 great deal better than that. It would last a great deal longer, too. Was it a little fire-grate, and poker and tongs and fire-shovel, then, for my dolls' dining-room ? I had been wanting them also a very long time. I had had to cut a fire-grate and all the rest of the things out of stiff paper, and paint them black with Indian ink, and they did not look real at all. Was it a firegrate ? Aunt Mary laughed. Oh! how she did laugh. I "think I had never seen her laugh so much before. She said it was something as different as could be from a fire-grate. Oh, then I knew what it was! It was another kitten like Puff, just as round and white and soft and downy as Puff was when first she came to us. Montem had often said he would try to find me another kitten, for Puff had quite given over being funny now, and walked about the house as steadily as all the rest of the grown-up people. How stupid I had been to guess a fire-grate, instead of a dear, downy little kitten! No; I was wrong again. It was not a kitten, though aunt Mary said I was coming a little nearer, 02



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48 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. scratched them and spotted them and scrubbed them until they had scarcely any complexions at all; it would have been quite an insult to rosy-cheeked Lucy to have named one of them after her. So, when mamma gave me the penny, I ran to Watson, who was just going home to his dinner, and asked him to bring me a little girl-doll. I told him it must be a very pretty one, because I wanted to call it Lucy Walters. Watson nodded his old head and hobbled away. "What a long time it seemed until he came back! I was very anxious for my doll, because I had a half holiday that afternoon, and mamma had given me a bit of blue muslin to make a frock of, and of course I could not begin to make the frock until I knew exactly how tall the little girl was going to be that I had to make it for. At last I heard Watson's step in the back yard, and away I ran. Well, Watson,' I said, where is it ?' Watson did not seem to hear me. He was making a great rattle with his empty watering-cans. 'My doll, Watson, my little girl-doll, where is it, please? I have got some blue muslin to make a frock for it, and I can't begin until I know how tall it is.' Watson turned round, and I saw directly by the



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X. SKINNY. 177 back, and they had plenty of clothes, and went to church regularly, and her father sang in the choir; but Mr. Aidel was not the clergyman then; he had only come to the village about two years ago. We asked her if she had any brothers and sisters, but she said 'No, not now,' and then she began to look very sad. Not now, miss,'--I will try to tell you the rest of her story as she told it to us, to Lucy and me, that summer morning,-' not now. I had a brother once, but he went away a long time ago, and we've never heard no tell of him since. I was a very little girl, only six years old, when he went away, and he was a great deal older than me, he was over fifteen then. He had had a deal of schooling, and he was very clever, and father looked for him to be head forester, or maybe under-steward to the Squire some day, which would be a grand thing for us all. He was a bit fierce in his temper was Jim, and father was a bit fierce too, and mother often had to stand between them to keep things quiet, but they always made it up again and was good friends afterwards, until one day when father scolded Jim very bad for measuring some wood wrong. Jim said he N



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VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREAT. 145 Poor Skinny began to cry again, but it was for joy this time and not for disappointment. Pansie put up her fat little hand to wipe the tears away, and said, so prettily," Don't cry, don't cry. You are a good little girl, and I will give you ever so much more cake.' And off she trotted for a fresh supply from the pantry. Pansie thought everything could be cured by plenty of cake. But Skinny did not eat a very great deal, after all, not half so much as we kept bringing for her. She seemed as if she was almost too happy to eat when she had the shilling to take home to her mother. Whilst we were still talking to her and asking her questions, and filling her mug with very sweet tea, and trying to make her eat more bread and butter, the church clock struck four, and she jumped up as if a cannon had been fired close to her. I daresay she had never thought how the time was going, for she was so glad to have a treat, after all. She told us she must go home directly, for the neighbour who had come to sit with her mother could not stay later than four o'clock, and she was so afraid her mother would want something if she was left alone in the house. L



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IV. OUR PUDDING. 65 Lucy, however, found words to express a little of her indignation. 'Oh, Montem! you greedy, greedy, greedy boy! How could you, how could you do it? And you have not even left us a little at the bottom of the dish.' Montem laughed, but it was not a comfortable laugh,-I mean, it was not comfortable for himself. Well, I was the master; you wanted me to be the master, and the master has a right to eat everything, if he likes. You should have remembered that when you asked me.' 'But, Montem,' and. Lucy's tone changed from anger to expostulation, we had put all our stuff into it,--we had not kept a bit out for ourselves.' Montem thrust his hands into his pockets and went away, whistling as he went. He did not come back again all that afternoon; he did not even come back to tea, or to the wine and nuts which we had for supper. I think he felt rather ashamed. 'I do wish we hadn't had a master,' said Lucy, wiping the tears out of her eyes as we took our empty dish away and washed it up and put it back again into the cupboard. 'It's ever so stupid having F



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WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. fraits for C1tbert BY THE AUTHOR OF 'ST. OLAVES. Like music played Too far off for the tune. And yet it's fine To listen.' ILLUSTRATED BY L. FROLICH. FOURTH EDITION. o&n anr MACMILLAN AND CO. 1872 [ A/1 r5'/s recserved ]



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126 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. shut up in the poultry-house all next day whilst every one else was playing in the sunshine, or perhaps transport them to the back kitchen-yard, where there were nothing but rough pebbles to scratch about on, and a washing-tub half full of water to splash in, instead of this beautiful, reedy, flag-fringed, frog-haunted pond. However, there was no help for it. Out they must come, for .Mrs. Tubbs was standing on the bank calling 'diddle, diddle' in a voice of thunder, and shaking her fist at them in a manner calculated to arouse their most serious fears. So they tumbled up the shelving, slippery side of the pond one after another, shook themselves, and waddled home with their heads and tails hanging down, very discomfited and humiliated indeed, whilst Mrs. Tubbs drove them along and scolded them, and flapped her apron at them so as almost to frighten them into fits. They got no supper that night, and they had to spend the whole of the next day shut up in the poultry-house by themselves. But six little ducklings stayed behind in the pond, and only five came home. I daresay you will



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18 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. being with aunt Mary, you know, that made them taste better. Sometimes, when tea was ready, she would make believe to have a headache, and then I used to pour out the tea and hand it to her and wait upon her, and talk in a low, quiet little voice, just as I had heard her talk to mamma, when mamma had one of her very bad headaches. I liked being mistress and pouring out the tea very much, and, as aunt Mary's headache was not a real one, it made no difference to my enjoyment. After tea, we always gave over pretending. I used to jump up and pull off my long petticoat, and climb on her knee and say,'Now, aunt Mary, I am going to be a little girl again.' And then, after we had tumbled each other about for a long time, and had a great deal of fun, ever so much more, I think, than grown-up people have when they go out to tea in a quiet way, she would begin to tell me tales, oh! such delightful tales. Some day I should like to tell you a few of them, for I remember them as well as can be, even now. I had heard them all many



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68 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. never have been able to use our pretty tea-things with the least bit of pleasure. Do you think you could be glad to have anything when you remembered that you had been telling tales of the person who gave it to you, even if he had been doing something that was rather wrong ? We got on a great deal better with Montem after that. We often had him for our master when we were keeping house, and he always left us plenty at the bottom of the dish, so that there was no need for us to keep any of our nice things out for ourselves. He is a grown-up man now, very clever and kind and good. He is a barrister; but I will not tell you his other name, nor what circuit he is on, lest some day, if you met him, you might ask him about this story of the pudding, and I do not think he would like to be reminded of it. But I often talk about it when he comes to see ,me, and we both of us have great fun over it. He says he remembers as well as can be, how Lucy and I looked when we came in to clear away and saw the empty dish; and how he always liked us ever so much better, and determined he would never vex us in that way again, when he



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X. SKINNY. 173 box which had once been a tea-chest, and a chair which served as a table, and another chair which had no seat to it, but stood up with its back to the wall for a sort of ornament. It was not much of an ornament, though. Skinny told us that her mother had had some very nice things once, before her father died; a chest of drawers with brass handles, and a clock that told the day of the month, and some bright candlesticks which used to stand upon the chimneypiece; but since things had gone so badly with them, and father had died, and mother had taken to her bed, and she had been so busy nursing her and minding the house that she could not earn any money herself, she had been obliged to sell the furniture, bit by bit, to buy food and fire. She could not do that much longer, though, she said, for there was nothing left to sell now, except one chair and the bed that her mother lay on. The neighbours had told them they had a great deal better go into the workhouse at Abbotsbury, they would be well done to there, and wholesomely fed; but mother said she would die on the bed father had died on before her, and be buried with him in his grave in Linwick churchyard, even if she had to starve for it.



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VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREA T. 133 and gave me a kiss, and then she did the same to Lucy, so after that we felt all right. Mrs. Aidel and the grown-up Miss Aidel were cutting bread and butter under a sycamore-tree. Oh! what a great deal they did cut, to be sure. I thought all the Sunday-school children in Linwick would never be able to eat it. Near to the table where they were cutting it was a curious thing like a churn, full of tea, and a large paper bag of sugar, and a pail of new milk, and ever so many white jugs to pour the tea into when it was quite ready, and a clothesbasket very full of something, but I could not see what the something was, for the basket was covered all over with a cloth. When I asked Pansie what was inside it, she tucked up her little mouth and looked very wise, but would not tell me. I should like to have peeped underneath, but I remembered reading a story about a meddlesome little girl who was left alone in a room where the table was set for dinner, and she lifted up one of the covers and a little mouse popped out, and she broke a great many things in trying to catch it and put it back again. "Whilst Mrs. Aidel was talking to some ladies, three brown chickens who did not belong to any



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2 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. stone mouldings, and climbed to the tops of the crooked chimneys, and crept along under the eaves, and twisted round the tall pointed gables, and even had the impertinence to peep in at us through the lattice casements and queer little dormer windows which were stuck about all over, wherever there was a convenient place for them. I daresay it would have liked to come quite into our rooms and see what we were doing there, but of course we could not allow that; and so, when it had played all the pranks that it could -play outside, it stole away behind a crumbling old balustrade on the terrace-walk, down to a ruined fountain in the corner of the garden, and there amused itself by covering the arms and legs of three very fat little stone boys, who for as many centuries had been holding up a large mossgrown urn amongst them. In very wet weather this urn filled with water, which came splashing over into a basin underneath, amongst a lot of flag flowers and forget-me-nots. It ought to have stayed there, but it never did, for there was a crack in the basin which let it run through. I wish it had stayed, because then I could have sailed my boats in it, instead of launching .them in the nursery bath,



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XII. THE CHRISTMAS-TREE. 219 Christmas-tree, and then amuse ourselves with dancing and games until nine, when every one was to go home and to bed, because mamma did not like us to sit up late. I asked her to be quite sure that all the little girls did have plenty of supper, because, you know, I remembered going to a party once myself, and sitting quite close to the mistress, and having nothing at all to eat, not even a biscuit or a raisin. I was so afraid anything of that sort should happen at our party, that I took a large piece of tipsy-cake and an apricot tart to Pansie Aidel, who was sitting under mamma's elbow, and then some macaroons, and then some figs, and then some almonds and raisins, so that I do believe she had more supper than any one else. I did not want her to go home crying, as I had gone home crying from that stupid party, where nobody gave me anything to eat. At eight o'clock we all went into the next room. The curtains of the oriel window, where Lucy and I used to play at keeping house, were drawn aside, and between them was our beautiful Christmas-tree, sparkling with many-coloured tapers, and hung all over with the pretty things which mamma and aunt



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82 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. I know I shall; for grown-up people, as well as little boys and girls, often take what is not good for them, and then have to suffer for it,-suffer long, suffer bitterly, in a way that is much worse than taking a little medicine, or going to bed in the middle of the day. And we say to ourselves, when the suffering and the bitterness come, 'I will not be such a simpleton again; I will not take the good things next time they are offered to me;' but when next time' comes, we are not a bit wiser. We take the plum pudding, or the spice cake, or the jam tart that has deceived us so many times, and we eat it as eagerly as ever, forgetting all about the consequences; and then we have to scold ourselves, if nobody else does the scolding for us, and we have to feel ever so vexed and ashamed. Oh, dear me! I think we are all of us nothing better than foolish little boys and girls, not half so wise as kittens, who never do twice what has injured them once. "When Puff grew a little older, she became very clever in learning tricks. She knew a great many, but I will only tell you one of them. Papa taught her to run after a little ball of twisted paper, and catch it, and then bring it back again to him in her



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236 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. silver-white upon the pillow where Callie's head had so often rested. Last month when the moon was at the full, we had both of us lain awake to watch it, and she had dabbled her little hands in its light, and tried to.catch the shimmering rays as they quivered round her, amongst her golden hair, and shouted with joy as the great yellow face peered slowly out upon us from behind the Minster tower, then dipped into a black cloud, then came up again, round, bright, silent as ever. It was creeping out from behind the Minster tower now, and a great black cloud was waiting to catch it, but no Callie laughed to see it any more, and no soft little fingers dabbled in its light, and the sheen of its silver whiteness rested on no bonnie golden locks this time. But the black cloud kept rising higher and higher, until the moon was quite hidden, and all was shadow, but not darkness. The door was opened. Some one came quietly in. I could not see, but I felt it was mamma, who had come to hear me say my prayers. Without a word she knelt beside me. I clasped my hands. She laid hers upon them, and bent her head very low. 'Pray God, bless dear papa and mamma, and let



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84 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. keep me here ? Don't you see I am quite ready? Do be quick, and throw the ball somewhere.' Puff was so fond of playing in this way, that at last, when she heard papa twisting up a bit of paper anywhere, she used to come scampering up to him, thinking of course he must be making a ball for her to play with. Once he took some bank notes out of his pocket and began to fold them up. Puff heard the sound, and jumped up directly and crouched at his feet, looking as keen as a little tiger. She seemed so disappointed when he put the notes into his writing-table, instead of throwing them amongst the curtains for her to bring back to him. When she found there was no chance of a game, she walked away rather sulkily. You know it is very humiliating, when we fancy people are going to pay us attention and amuse us, to find that we are mistaken,--that they have not been thinking about us at all. It makes even grown-up persons bad tempered sometimes. At last a very sad accident happened to poor little Puff,-we almost thought it would have killed her. One morning, when the bell rung for breakfast, no kitten was to be seen anywhere. We laid



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IX. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 153 the place to put his flower-pots in, or something was sure to happen to bring our plans to an untimely end. But all that we wanted now was to get hold of the branches and tie them safely down; then our house would be complete. The shelving pebbly ground for a floor, the beautiful flower-hung banks for walls, and the elm-tree boughs for roof, what more could we desire ? Lucy said she thought it would be very nice indeed, only we must have some stepping-stones across to it, for the brook was rather too wide just there for us to jump over, and it would not do to have to pull off our shoes and stockings every time we wanted to go into our house. But then stepping-stones could be put down in almost no time. We would set to work, and fetch some at once. We did so, and in a quarter of an hour had a little bridge across the stream. It was a great deal pleasanter, though, to wade across, for the water did not come over our ancles. Whilst we were looking at the hollow place in the bank and considering how we might best make it into a convenient habitation, Lucy suddenly turned to me and said,--



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IX. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 155 I kissed Lucy ever so many times, and we both of us capered about in the water until our pinafores were quite wet, before we could settle down to talk seriously of what we were going to do. First of all, however, we should want a great deal of string. We could not tie the branches down without string, and how were we to get it? Mrs. Tubbs was the only person we could think of at first, as likely to help us, and so we went to ask her for some. Unfortunately, this was the washing-day. Mrs. Tubbs was never remarkably good-tempered, as I daresay you will have found out already, but on washing-days she was just as cross as ever she could be. She used to scold everybody and everything, from Mr. Tubbs down to the geese, who sometimes stretched out their long necks and pulled her clothes off the hedges where they were hanging to dry. So we went to her in much fear and trembling, scarcely daring to hope that she would lend a favourable ear to our modest request for a few bits of string. I am sure we asked her as nicely as we could, and said 'if you please' ever so many times over, but she only scowled at us as she stood with a very red face over her washing-tub in the back-yard, and told



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244 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CII. had been telling him about the terrible accident which had killed their father, and of their having to leave the pretty little cottage, with the front sitting-room, and then of their mother's suffering, and want, and illness, and death; and perhaps he was thinking, that if he had not gone away, things might not have been so bad. Quite on to the end of his life, Jim will be very sorry to remember that his last word to his father was an angry word, and that his mother died in hunger and need, when he, her only son, who should have been her shelter from both, was far away, doing nothing for her. After mamma and papa came in, Jim told us all about what he had been doing for the last thirteen years, since he ran away from home. He said he had gone on board a ship and worked his passage out to Alexandria. There he had got a situation in some engineering works which were going on in the neighbourhood. He had very little money at first, but when the master saw that he meant to stick to his work, he kept raising his wages until he was able to lay something by. Jim said he had always been fond of mechanics, and had learned as much as he could about that sort of thing at school,



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ir i .. isN And then to tumble about on' the carpet. P. 200



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174 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. Skinny told us all this in such a quiet, patient, uncomplaining little voice, as Lucy and I were sitting on the door-step, waiting for aunt Mary to come out of the inner room, where she had gone to speak to poor Mrs. Brown. She went on with her work whilst she was telling us it, because she said she had such a great deal to do. She was on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor when we went in. She had no frock on at all, and no shoes and stockings, only a brown stuff petticoat that had had a piece of a different colour joined to it all the way round the bottom, to make it longer and warmer, She said she could not afford to wear a frock and shoes and stockings, except when she went out of doors. But still she looked tidy, for her face was quite clean, and her hair was well brushed and tied neatly up with bits of string; you know she could not afford to buy ribbon for it. After a while we took out our pieces of bun and gave them to Skinny; we thought she had very likely had no breakfast that morning. She seemed very pleased, veiy pleased indeed, but did not offer to eat them; and when we asked her why she did not begin, she said she should like to save them for her



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106 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. very long way, too. At last the fish, or dragon, or ogress, or mermaid, or whatever she was, brought me up again and cast me out of her slimy grip upon the steps of the little house. I did not wait a moment, not I, to see what she was like or what became of her after that, but I scrambled up the steps as fast as ever I could, and got fast hold of nurse's knees, thankful enough to be safe out of the water. It was running in little streams from my eyes and mouth and ears and nose, and pouring from my hair, which was just like so many stalks of slippery brown seaweed; and oh! I was so horribly wet and cold, and frightened and uncomfortable. As soon as I had recovered breath enough to be able to talk, I told nurse what a terrible thing had happened to me; how a fish, or a mermaid, or something with great blue flapping fins, had got hold of me and carried me ever so far down under the waves, and how I had screamed and kicked and struggled, but it was no use, she only wrapped her nasty fins closer round me, and went farther and farther down amongst the sea-weeds and fishes, until at last, when I was very nearly drowned, and quite full of salt water, she brought me up again and left me on





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XI. MY NEW SISTER. 201 down to the gate to meet papa when he came home, and tell him that baby could walk by herself now. I was never tired of playing with her. I wanted neither dolls nor kittens any more, nothing but my own dear little sister Calla. She had such funny ways, and she used to make us laugh so when she began to try to talk. She could say 'pa' and 'ma' and 'Allie' very soon, and she used to call aunt Mary, Mamie.' Aunt Mary lived with us always after my little sister came, and she used to teach Lucy and me, which was a great deal nicer than having a governess, because she never got out of temper with us. Baby used to be very fond of tumbling about in the garden. The summer that she was two years old, she was nearly always toddling up and down the lawn, where she made quite a pretty ornament with her little blossom-like face, and her fair hair glistening like gold in the sunshine. One day I was playing with her, and she fell right into the middle of a great cluster of bracken which grew by the sun-dial. The tall green leaves closed over her until she was nearly buried, and when I went to pick her up I could only just see a bit of pink where



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224 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. thought it was quite time we were all in bed, for we had been laughing and dancing and jumping and shouting ever since six o'clock. I am sure I did not want the party to give over,-I was so happy; and besides, the tapers on the Christmas-tree had not burned out, and so we could not have our raisins and oranges. Aunt Mary said, however, that she would take care of them for us, and we should have them another day. We did not know then how much was going to happen.before another day. But I must tell you about that in the next chapter, for I do not want to make you sad just when you have been hearing about our merry Christmas gathering.



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40 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. to keep looking at her, to see that she did not flatten its chignon, or pull its curls out of shape. Wasn't it stupid work, having a doll like that? -a doll that you could neither tease, nor kiss, nor scold, nor caress, nor tumble up and down; a doll that had to be hung up by its arms in a cupboard when you had done with it, and that always looked as if it was going out to a party with its best of possible things on. Well, well, I hope Dolly enjoyed having her best of possible things on, that is all. I know I never enjoyed having mine on. How well I remember being dressed and going to a party when I was a very little girl! What a weariness it was! The red morocco shoes pinched my feet so tight, and the rough inside edges of the stiff new muslin frock chafed my poor little bare shoulders so, and my head ached because nurse had tied my hair up tight with red ribbons, to make me look as smart as the other little girls who were to be there. And the party was no pleasure to me, after all, for no one took any notice of me, not even Lucy Walters, who was dancing all the evening with a very curlyheaded little boy in a blue velvet coat with silver



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. 107 the steps from which she had taken me ever so long ago. Nurse seemed neither shocked nor alarmed. She only burst out laughing, and laughed so loud and long that I thought she never meant to give over. Then she told me that the fish with the blue flapping fins was nothing but a bathing-woman, that she was paid sixpence to come and take me up from the steps in that way, and that I had not been under the water more than a quarter of a minute altogether, indeed not a quarter of a minute, not five seconds. Five seconds ? such nonsense! As if we could go all that way down and hear all that rush and roar and noise and tumult of waves in one, two, three, four, five seconds! It was a great deal more like five hours than five seconds. I am sure it was long enough to have gone all the way down to the bottom of the sea and come up again. Five seconds, indeed I didn't believe nurse one bit when she told me that, and I am not quite sure about it now, though when we are in such a horrible state of mind as I was just then, the time certainly does seem very long. I firmly believe to this day that I went down to the very bottom of the sea. But then, you know, the sea was



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156 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. us to get out of her road, and called us the 'marraclousest children ever was,' and said she wasn't going to leave her starch things to get string even for the Squire himself, let alone a couple of little plagues who would make nothing but mischief with it. We did not stay to hear any more, or I daresay she would have gone on scolding us for half an hour longer. We turned away, feeling very frightened and disappointed, and went to aunt Mary's workbasket to see if we could find any string there. Of course we could not. There was nothing but reels of black and white cotton, not nearly strong enough to tie down the branches of the elm-tree. We were nearly giving up our house in despair, when another happy thought came into Lucy's head. I am sure it was quite wonderful how the happy thoughts turned up just when we wanted them. Tommy Tubbs had brought home a ball of string as his prize from the little boys' stall at the school treat, the evening before. I had a halfpenny left from my last week's allowance, why should we not go to him and buy as much as ever we wanted ? So off we set to Tommy, who was 'tenting' sheep on the common, and told him what we wanted. We



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I80 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. week after. He was in a sort of faint all the time, and mother thought he didn't know us, he was always asking for Jim. Mother and me had to leave the cottage then. It was a deal too big for us, when father and Jim was both gone. Father owed a good bit of money, too, and they came upon mother for it, and the clock had to be sold that told the day of the month, and the best set of drawers with the brass handles, and we went to a little cottage with two rooms, where Mr. Tubbs' shepherd lives now, and mother tried to make something by doing a bit of sewing for the quality. But things didn't go well with us, and she never looked up no more after father and Jim went. She often said she would a deal sooner have died, if it hadn't been she had me to do for and bring up. After a bit, she got very bad, and couldn't do any more plain sewing, and we had to sell some more things and come to this place, because with mother not earning anything we were very poor, and often and often we hadn't a bite of anything in the house. But mother never would let me tell any one how badly we were off, because of its being like begging, and she couldn't bear the village to think we had come to that. So



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II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 25 pleasantly; still, they are only bread crusts after all, and I don't believe the best little boys and little girls in the world ever enjoy eating them, except from a sense of duty. I know I didn't like mine, and I am sure you don't like yours, and I don't blame you one bit if you feel as if you very often wanted to put them out of the way somewhere. Mind, I should blame you very much if you ever did put them out of the way anywhere; but feeling as if you wanted to do so, is quite natural and proper, besides affording you an opportunity of resisting temptation, which is always valuable. You would not be a real little girl at all, if you pretended to call bread crusts anything but necessary evils, and you would not be an honourable little girl if you did not eat them resolutely, after you had enjoyed the crumb which belongs to them. You know there can't be crust without crumb, and there can't be crumb either without crust; for things that are pleasant and things that are not pleasant always go together in this world. You will have to eat crusts, in some form or other, all through your life; the only difference being, that when you are grown up you will not be able to cover them with sugar or butter



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I. THE OLD HOME. 3 which sometimes toppled over and inconvenienced me very much. Our parlour, a large, low room, where I used to play when lessons were over, had no pretty coloured paper on the walls. Instead, it was covered with square panels of very dark oak, and in each panel there was a portrait of a lady or gentleman. They must have been very funny people if they were at all like their portraits. Most of the gentlemen had short trousers on, very tight, which only came down to their knees, leaving plenty of room to show their white silk stockings and buckled shoes. You see coachmen dressed in that way sometimes now, or footmen, and so I once asked mamma if all my great uncles and grandpapas had been gentlemen's servants; she was very much amused. One was quite different to all the rest; he had a suit of steel armour on, which made him look exactly like a tall coffee-pot, with a head on the top of it. The ladies were rather betterlooking, but I did not care much even for them, they were all so very untidy. I am sure mamma would have been quite displeased with me if I had worn my hair all in a mess over my face, like theirs, or if I had come downstairs in a morning holding my frock and B2



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170 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. to examine our nosegay and the presents we had made for her, and to look at the flowers which were growing out of the mossy rifts in the walls of our little house. After a while she said she thought it was time for the feast to begin,. so Lucy served the biscuits and I served the strawberries3 and we enjoyed ourselves very much. We did not quite finish everything, but left a few strawberries and a biscuit for Tommy Tubbs, who had helped us to carry the stools out. He was a very fat boy, and was very fond of anything to eat. I could tell you a great deal more about what we did on aunt Mary's birthday, but this book is growing larger already than I meant it to be at first, and I have not nearly come to the end of my stories. I am in a hurry, too, to tell you more about poor little Skinny, the little girl who was so very near not having anything to eat at the children's treat, because she could not leave her poor sick mother.



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22 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. out the meaning by yourselves, I have made a place for it to tell itself, a kind of little hole in the egg for the bit of advice to drop out when you are ready for it. You remember the oriel window I told you about, where Lucy Walters and I used to play at keeping house on Saturday afternoons. Close to this oriel window was a door leading up a narrow stone staircase into a room which was hung all round with very ugly, faded, worn-out tapestry. The tapestry represented the meeting of Isaac and Rebekah; but Rebekah was not 'fair to look upon,' by any means, and Isaac was quite frightful. I am sure I don't wonder that the poor maiden put on her veil when she was going to be introduced to him. If you lifted up one corner of this tapestry, you found a doorway with no door to it, and this opened into a queer little closet, cut out in the wall, and lighted by an arrow slit, through which the sunlight came sometimes like a golden ribbon. People said the closet had once been used as a prison, because there were iron rings in the wall to which chains could be fastened. We never kept any prisoners in it, though, except two great iron-bound oaken chests, into one



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226 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. her standing there by the open window. She said it was so dangerous for her to be in a current of cold air after she had been heated with running and skipping about so much. She wrapped her up in a shawl directly, and carried her away, and sat by the fire with her, and she seemed quite glad when all the children had gone away, so that we could be quiet again. Callie generally slept with me in my little room, but to-night mamma said she should like to have her in her own room, and then, if anything was the matter, she could attend to her at once. It was rather late when we went to bed. Pansie Aidel and Georgie had to wait such a long time; the cabman had forgotten to come for them, and when at last he did come he was so tipsy that papa would not let them go with him, and so they had to stay until another man could be sent for. When I went into mamma's room to say goodnight to Callie, she was asleep. She did look so pretty, with her curly hair tossing about, and her round rosy cheeks showing rosier still upon the white pillow. She had taken the little fur pussycat to bed with her, and was holding it fast in



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XIV. THE END OF ALL. 247 and told us how much he thanked us for taking care of Skinny all these years, instead of letting her go to the workhouse and be a pauper there. They come to see us nearly every year now. Skinny says Jim is as good as gold, and Jim says there is nobody in the world like his own little sister Phebe. They don't want anybody but each other, and they are quite content. It is when Jim takes his yearly holiday that he comes to see us. He hopes some day to be able to have holiday almost whenever he likes; at any rate, a great deal oftener than once a year. Something has been said about taking him as junior partner into the firm where he has been employed now for such a long time. And papa thinks, as he is so steady and well-conducted, his employers cannot do better than give him a little share in the business. Skinny is just as quiet and simple and modest as when she used to take care of Callie, or cut out frocks for me in the nursery upstairs. When Jim comes to Abbotsbury, he always goes over to Linwick for a day, to walk round the old place, and see the little cottage with its garden front and back, and stand by his father's and mother's



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IX. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 151 where the poultry scratched about and Mrs. Tubbs dried her clothes on the washing-day. At the bottom of this field, quite out of sight of the house, because the field swelled up into a sort of hillock in the middle, was a shallow stream, or beck, as the country people called it, just narrow enough in some parts for Lucy and me to jump over. In other places it was a great deal wider than that, and, if we wanted to go across, we had to put great pieces of stone in the water and step over them very carefully. Lucy and I often used to go and play there because it was so quiet and still, quite out of reach of Mrs. Tubbs and her scolding. On the other side of the stream was a beautiful overhanging bank, with wild flowers clustering upon it, and plumes of meadow-sweet fringing the edges, and tufts of fern and moss springing out of the shady rifts. In one place this bank had been worn away into a hollow almost as large as a little room, and just over the hollow an old elmtree grew, whose lower branches made a sort of roof. At least, if they had come a little lower down, they would have made a very nice roof indeed. When the sun was shining as brightly as could be



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V. PUFF. 81 'No, thank you, no more of tUat for me. I tried it once, and it did me no good. I won't be such a simpleton again.' I don't think you have. I am afraid, next time the plum pudding, or the spice cake, or the jam tart came in your way, you took it just as if it was the most innocent thing in the world, and forgot all about the being poorly afterwards, and the bitter medicine, and the going to bed in the middle of the day, and the other disagreeable things which follow when you have been having too many good things. You are not half so wise as Puff, for you need a great many lessons to teach you what' she learned in only one. And though when the pain comes, and the bitter medicine, and the tiresome going to bed, you determine that you will never be such a little simpleton again, your resolution only lasts until next time the good things are offered, and then you take them just as eagerly as if you had never proved what unpleasant results have to follow upon the eating of them. Ah! well, it certainly is very foolish; but I will not scold you. I have done just the same thing myself, over and over again, and I shall do it again, G



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216 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. drooped all round like a fountain. Then he put a little green or crimson wax-taper into the middle of the quill, and put the quill into an orange, and lighted the taper. It did look so pretty. Of course, when the taper had burnt out, we were to eat the raisins and the orange. Then he cut the funniest little men and women out of cardboard, and painted them and fastened strings to their arms and legs, so that they danced about like the tumblers in the market-place. And he made harlequins out of corks, and put silk jerkins on them, and caps with red feathers, and set them upon wires, and they turned head over heels and did all sorts of antics, just as if they had been alive. Aunt Mary dressed dolls and made sweetmeat purses, and papa sent for a case of toys all the way from London, and mamma made us some beautiful ornaments of coloured paper, so that we expected our tree to look very pretty indeed. We all of us were to give presents to each other. My present to Callie was a little white kitten whose head came off, and the inside was full of bon-bons. I thought she would like it better if it was covered with something soft, instead of the hard white leather outside, so mamma gave me some swansdown,



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V. PUFF. 75 it was dangerous, and that, if she did not take care, she would one day have a terrible fall. She felt that she was served quite right for doing what she had been advised not to do; and so, instead of crying out and letting every one know that she had been foolish enough to get into trouble, she rubbed her nose once or twice with her little white paw, trotted quietly back to her mamma, who was asleep on the hearth-rug, laid her head upon Mrs. Puff's shoulder, and after crying for a little while,-for you know she really had hurt herself very much,-she went to sleep, and woke up by-and-by, as cheerful and good-tempered as ever. Now don't you think, if I told you nothing else about Puff, this one story is enough to prove that she was a brave, sensible little person? Next time you happen to hurt yourself, try to be as brave and sensible. But Puff showed her superiority in many other ways. When she was beginning to be rather grown up, about as old, I should say, as little girls are when they are seven or eight, we had some shrimps for breakfast. Puff always had a newspaper spread on the floor at breakfast-



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f/ir, Trv .,4 s vy



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. 97 weeds, no tall cliffs, no anything but just that long, flat piece of blue writing-paper. Isn't there any more of it than that?' I said, and I felt as if Lucy had been telling me a great many stories. SOh yes!' and Lucy laughed at me again; there is a great deal more than that. Aunt Mary says we are to go down to the shore after tea, and then we shall see everything.' 'But what is the shore?' I asked; for you know I had never heard such a word, and did not know what it meant, at all. Lucy said I was a little stupid, I must wait until after tea, and then I should find out. I think she was rather tired of having so many questions asked. Aunt Mary was helping nurse to unpack the things, so I could not ask her, and I was obliged to wait. You may be sure I was very anxious to have tea and see everything. We didn't feel a bit hungry, because Lucy and I had been eating biscuits nearly all the time in the train, except when we went to sleep, but I did feel so disappointed every time aunt Mary took a fresh piece of bread and butter, because I knew we could not set off to the shore until she had finished it. 1E



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IX. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 169 they brought down another shower of kisses, and Lucy and I were so happy that we had to skip over to the other side of the bank again and caper about there, for there was not room enough in the little house. Aunt Mary asked if we had done it all ourselves. We said that we had meant to do it all, but it was a great deal harder work than we expected, and we were very nearly thinking we should never be able to manage it, but a gentleman happened to be going past, and asked us what we were doing; and when he found we were making a summerhouse for aunt Mary, he said he would come across and help us. 'Wasn't it funny, aunt Mary,' said Lucy, 'that he should just happen to come past, then? I don't know who he was, but I think we saw him at the children's treat, and he said he knew you very well. I wonder who it could be. I am sure he must have been very good, though, because he spoke so nicely about you.' Aunt Mary did not say anything, but a rosy colour came into her face which made her look prettier than ever, and she stooped down very low



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46 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. faction, out of our four-story chest of drawers, with papa's old cigar-boxes for beds, and acorn-cups for toilet services, and half a dozen empty pill-boxes for stools, and square pieces of wood supported on cotton reels for tables, and little round bits of cardboard for plates and dishes, than children get now from their toy-shop dining-rooms and drawing-rooms and bed-rooms, with real furniture and sets of proper crockery, and things that are always getting broken and spoilt. As I have told you, some of my dolls were babies. They used to .sleep in cradles made of lozenge-boxes. Aunt Mary or mamma helped me to make them. They were just like real little cradles, frilled round with white muslin and something over the top for curtains. Others of my dolls were little boys and girls. Of course they had to learn lessons, so I had a governess for them, and I made one of my drawers into a schoolroom; and every morning, when I had time, before I went to my own lessons, I used to put them on little benches made of long pieces of wood, and they had books cut out of writing-paper on their knees, and the governess sat at the table with a cane before her to rap their knuckles if they



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II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 29 over hot, just as if I had been sitting too long by the fire. Oh! how stupid it was. Now, don't you see the egg-shell breaking open just a little bit, and something peeping through it, ready to fall out? Cannot you see a meaning wrapped up in this story of what happened when I was a child? Don't you know that a great, great many little boys and girls, and even grown-up people too, who ought to know better, hide their crusts in the cupboard behind the tapestry ? They have a chest somewhere, into which they thrust the memory of naughty things which they have done, thrust it quite down as far as ever they can, and then come away, as I did, trying to look as if nothing was the matter. Indeed, they think it is of no consequence, because the chest will not be opened for such a long time, not until the day when God will want to know all about everything that we have done. And that day seems as far off to them as 'next winter' once seemed to me. Have you such a chest anywhere, and do you slip quietly away sometimes to put your naughty memories into it? It is no use doing so. It only makes you



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CHAPTER VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. THE summer that I was seven years old, mamma was very poorly. Papa had to go with her to Wiesbaden, where they both of them stayed for a long time. Aunt Mary came to be with us whilst they were away, and she took Lucy Walters and me to Scarboro' for a fortnight. Montem did not go with us. Two of his schoolmates were spending their holidays in the country, and had asked him to join them, and papa thought that would be pleasanter for him than only having girls to play with for a whole fortnight. We were rather sorry for him not to go, but he did not seem to care about it himself. He expected to have a very fine time with Percy and Frank Wayland in the country, where they were to build a little house, and make a moat round it, and a bridge, and all sorts of things. I had never been to the sea-side before, but Lucy had, twice, and so she was able to tell me a great deal about it. I was very curious to know what the sea



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III. MY DOLLS. 45 then she said they both lasted longer and I enjoyed them more. I believe she was quite right, for I had the fun of inventing, and the still greater fun of seeing how the invention turned out. I don't think the little girls of the present day, with their miniature dinner-parties, and real moulds of blancmange, and soups and open tarts which have been made for them in the kitchen by a proper cook, have any idea how Lucy and I enjoyed keeping house upon two lumps of sugar and a piece of seed-cake in that dear old oriel window, with pieces of writingpaper twisted up at the corners for dishes, and nutshells for cups and saucers. I wonder if they know how good crumbs of bread taste when you make believe they are pieces of roast beef, or how much superior liquorice soup is, made as Lucy and I always made ours, with a bit of Spanish juice as big as the end of your finger, shaken up in a bottle of water, to the most elaborate ox-tail or vermicelli which has been cooked in the ordinary way over a real kitchen fire. There isn't half the enjoyment in having things made for you, that there is in making them for yourselves. I am sure Lucy Walters and I got a great deal more satisfaction, real, lasting, solid satis-



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II. THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 31 bit had disappeared, than have had mamma look at me so sadly, with the tears standing in her eyes. But it was too late then. I was obliged to take the disgrace which was so much worse than the eating of a whole chest-full of crusts would have been, and bear it as well as I could. So now, if you ever put your crusts into the old chest; if you ever do things that you ought not to do, things that you know very well you ought not to do, and then, instead of telling papa and mamma, say nothing at all about it, hide it right down under a lot of other things, and come away looking as if nothing was the matter, I want you to promise me not to do so again. It is no use. Next winter will come, however much you may determine not to think about it. The chest will be opened, and the crusts will be found, and you will be so sorry and so ashamed, and you will wish ever so much, when it is too late, that you had not been such a stupid, foolish little girl. Don't do as I did. Don't wait for the chest to be opened. Open it yourself and take everything out, and let papa and mamma and your Father-God know about all that you do. Then you will never fear next



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Books for the Young. ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. By LEWIS CARROLL. With Forty-two Illustrations by Tenniel. Twenty-fourth Thousand. Crown 8vo., cloth, gilt edges, 68. A German and French Translation of the same, price 6s. each. THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: AND WHAT ALICE FOUND THERE. By LEWIS CARROLL. With Illustrations by Tenniel. [In the press. THE HEROES: Greek Fairy Tales for My Children. By CANON KINGSLEY. New Edition, with Coloured Illustrations. Extra fcap. 8vo., 4s. 6d. THE FIVE DAYS' ENTERTAINMENTS AT WENTWORTH GRANGE: a Child's Christmas Book. By FRANCIS TURNER PALGRAVE. Illustrated by Arthur Hughes. Small 4to., 6s. THE WATER BABIES: a Fairy Tale for a Land Baby. By CANON KINGSLEY. With Illustrations by Sir Noel Paton and P. Skelton. New Edition. Crown 8vo, with additional Illustrations, 6s. CAST UP BY THE SEA. By SIR SAMUEL W. BAKER. Tenth Thousand. Illustrated by Huard. Crown 8vo. cloth, gilt, 7s. 6d. TALES OF OLD TRAVEL. Re-narrated by HENRY KINGSLEY, F.R.G.S. With Vignette Title and Eight Fullpage Illustrations by Huard. Third Edition. Extra fcap. 8vo., cloth, extra gilt, 68. MACMILLAN AND CO., LONDON.



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IV. OUR PUDDING. 69 found that, instead of running away to tell of him, we had borne our disappointment quietly. Lucy and I have the tea-things yet which he gave us. We divided them between us. They were worth more to both of us than if they had been made of gold or silver, because they taught us what a good thing it is not to tell tales of any one who vexes you. There is something inside this story too. It is like the painted egg-boxes I was telling you about before. But I don't think you will be able to open it just yet, or to care for the meaning which is ready to tumble out, if you happen to press just in the right place. If you learn from the outside of the box not to tell tales when you are hurt, that is quite enough. But I hope you will learn as much as that.



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96. WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. large windows and balconies and verandahs with shades to them, where grandly-dressed ladies were walking up and down, or sitting still, reading. The cab drove up to one of them, and aunt Mary said that was where we were going to live for a fortnight. I was rather frightened, for it was so different to our pretty old house at home, and the ladies on the verandahs all stared at us so; but Lucy did not seem a bit afraid, she had been there before, and knew all about it. She caught hold of me, and ran into the hall with me, and upstairs, and into a room which seemed all doors and windows, and then pulling me out on the balcony, she pointed far away and said,'There, Alice, that's the sea!' Where ?' I said; 'which is it? I don't see anything.' "Oh! you little stupid,' Lucy said, 'just over there, beyond those green palisades. Can't you see it?' I looked again, and saw a great flat piece of something blue, very much like the paper which papa used to write his foreign letters upon; no ships, no sands, no rock-pools, no people walking about, no sea-



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V. PUFF. 79 so many; but, as they certainly were very good, and she had never tasted any before, and therefore could not be expected to know that they would do her any harm, she should not punish her for it that time. She must have some medicine, however, or there was no knowing what might happen. So Mrs. Puff took the little invalid to the old stone sun-dial, where there was plenty of long grass, and made her eat two or three stalks of it. They were very bitter, and Puff would a great deal rather not have meddled with them, but her mamma stood over her until she had had as much as was proper, and then told her she must lie down on the hearth-rug and go to sleep, and not have any dinner, or she would be poorly again. Puff did not like going without her dinner, but there was no help for it. She was obliged to do as her mamma told her. So she lay down and went to sleep, and when she woke in the afternoon she felt so much better that she was able to skip about almost as merrily as usual. At tea-time we had shrimps again. I spread Puff's newspaper, and, as soon as she heard the sound, she came scampering up in a great bustle, for her long fast had made her appetite very good indeed. She



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XIV. THE END OF ALL. 249 cross which casts its shadow there, shall cast it upon no bitter tears of yours. I think I have told you quite everything now, so I will bid you all a kind 'good night.' What shall I give you for a farewell wish? This,-that when you come to the end of the 'long walk,' its early steps may shine for you in a light as sweet and precious as that which-thank God !-memory still keeps for me, as I think of the long-ago days 'when I was a little girl.' 8



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148 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. angry. She did wish then that she had not stolen the bread and butter. You see it is never any use for children to do things that they are ashamed of. I don't know whether Mr. and Mrs. Aidel ever found out about the plate which had been left under the lilac-bushes. Most likely not, for we never heard anything about it, and I thought I had better not tell. However, it is the doing of a naughty thing, and not the having it found out when it is done, that makes the real shame; and I think, for a very long time after that children's treat Miss Naughty must have felt terribly hot and uncomfortable whenever she met the good clergyman and his wife. What do you think about it ?



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X. SKINNY. 189 were laid upon cotton wool, and some of them were in little nests,-such pretty nests, lined with moss and hay and feathers: I am sure they must have taken a very long time making. Some of the eggs were white, some blue, some grey, some speckled, some a beautiful sea-green, some olivebrown, some white with little pink spots on them. We asked Tommy if he had any robins' eggs, but he looked quite shocked, and said,' Oh! no; we never take robins' eggs, it would be a sin.' We asked him why it was a sin to take robins' eggs any more than other eggs; and then he told us, that when the babes in the wood died, robins brought the leaves to cover them, and since then no one has ever robbed a robin's nest. Would it not have been a very good thing if a bird of each sort had helped to bring the leaves, one sparrow, and one lark, and one linnet, and one thrush, and one blackbird, and one bullfinch, and one yellowhammer, and one pink, and one tom-tit, and one swallow? Then their nests would have been safe ever after, as the robins' nests are now. Oh! wouldn't they have done it, if they could only have known!



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XII. THE CHRISTMAS-TREE. 217 and I covered it all over with that, except just its little pink nose and eyes; then I tied a bit of paper round its neck and wrote Callie' upon it, and put the kitten safely away until our tree was ready. Papa let us have a tall, beautiful young fir out of the garden. It was set in a great pot and put in the oriel window, and mamma and aunt Mary and Mr. Ballantyne and I were busy all the morning of the party hanging the things upon it, whilst Skinny took care of Callie, and kept her safely out of the way. Poor little Callie! she could not think why she had to stay up in the nursery all the morning, and she asked Skinny, in such a pitiful voice, where everybody had gone to. She did not know what a treat was in store for her. Our tree did look so beautiful when it was quite finished. Some of the branches were lightly sprinkled with salt, to look like snow, and Christingles were put up ready for lighting, and the toys and presents, which we had made, suspended by gay-coloured ribbons. Everybody had something,-Skinny and Watson too. Watson's present was a leather pouch full of tobacco, with a five-shilling piece stuffed in amongst it; and Skinny's was a linsey frock,



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XIII. GOING HOME. 231 dinner-time. I thought perhaps he was not going to do any work because this was Christmas week. When he saw me sitting there, he stooped down and gave me a kiss, but he did not say anything. "What a very long, dreary morning it felt! After dinner, Skinny told me I might go into the town with her to get a prescription made up. As I went to put my hat on, I met two gentlemen on the stairs. One of them was the doctor that always came when any of us were ill. I did not know who the other was, but he looked very kindly at me, and took hold of my hand, and said,'Poor little girl! she will be very lonely.' As we went past the open door of the oriel room, everything was just as we had left it the night before. The servants had been so busy, Skinny said, going backwards and forwards with messages, and preparing hot baths, that they had not been able to make it tidy. Our Christmas-tree, which had looked so pretty only a few hours before, was quite faded and spoiled now. The presents were gone, and the tapers had burned out, and most of the coloured paper ornaments which mamma had taken so much trouble to make, were fallen on the floor. Only the



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CHAPTER V. PUFF. PUFF was the roundest, whitest, downiest little kitten that ever ran after a cotton-ball or learned to lap cream out of a silver tea-spoon. We called her Puff because she was so round and white and downy. Mrs. Puff, the mamma, was a tolerably good-looking cat, but by no means equal to her merry, mischievous, amusing little youngest daughter, whose beauty, brightness, restlessness, and inquisitiveness were alternately the pride and plague of the parental heart. Besides Puff's personal attractions, she was a very sensible kitten. Of course I never thought about her sensibleness when I was amusing myself with her funny capers, or watching the endless tricks and jokes which she used to play with her patient mamma; but since I have grown up into a woman, and accustomed myself to take notice of the ways of little boys and girls, I have thought that they might learn many useful lessons from the example of Miss



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v. PUFF. 73 ment, and that, if she did not take care, she would one day have a fall, and perhaps break two or three of her legs, or at any rate hurt herself very much. But Puff, like many other little girls, did not pay sufficient attention to what her mamma said. It was so nice to stick her sharp little claws into the velvet cushion of the high-backed chair, and drag herself up, bit by bit, until she had got to the very top, where she could stand quite safely on the narrow ledge, and reach the tassels which hung down on each side, and pat them with her soft paws, and make them wag about in a most amusing manner. Her mamma used to look at her as she did this, and shake her old head, as much as to say,'Take care, Puff; you will fall if you don't mind.' But Puff only wagged her little tail and gave the tassels a fresh pat, and laughed merrily enough in her way when they began to shake about. She had never had a fall yet, why should she take care? And it really was such capital fun to watch the red tassel-balls knocking their heads together. It was the best sport she had ever



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V. PUFF. 83 mouth. I never saw a kitten do that before, did you? She used to crouch at his feet, quivering all over to the very end of her tail, and looking as eager and excited as possible, whilst he twisted the paper into a ball and prepared to throw it into the farthest corner of the room. She used to be so impatient until it had gone, and then away she darted after it, almost like lightning; wherever it went, over the table, amongst the curtains, under the fender, into mamma's work-basket, was no consequence. Off she set, rooted it out, sprang upon it, stuck her little teeth into it and brought it back to papa, as slowly and demurely as if she knew that she was doing something very important. When she reached papa's chair she shook it out of her mouth, and crouched at his feet, waiting for him to throw it again. Sometimes, just to tease her, he would wait rather a long time before he threw it, and then Puff used to get very impatient. She would shake herself, and wag her tail, and paw about upon his boots, and look up into his face, and, if he still kept her waiting, she would give a sharp little growl, as much as to say,'Now, then, how much longer do you mean to G 2



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86 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CIH. very good, and said he would try to get me another; but, even if he did, I was sure it could not be half so pretty and soft and round as my own dear little Puff. At last, after we had lost her for four days, Puff came back; but oh! what a miserable plight the poor darling was in. Mamma was passing the hall door one morning, and thought she heard a faint sound like mewing. She opened the door immediately, and there was our Puff, so thin, so wretched, so dirty, with one of her front paws just hanging on by a little bit of skin. Oh! how sad it was to see her! The poor little thing had strayed away and got caught in a trap, which had nearly cut her foot off, and I suppose, after being there for four days, some one had let her out, and she had just strength enough left to crawl home and fall down on the door-step. Mamma lifted her up very tenderly, and we made a little bed for her on a cushion by the parlour fire. We gave her some warm milk, but she had not strength enough to take it; we were obliged to open her mouth and pour the milk in. You know the poor thing had had no food for four



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IV. OUR PUDDING. 63 But I said this more to comfort Lucy than because I was quite sure that it would be all right. For Montem made a noise as if he really was eating, and he had been making it such a long time, too, that I began to be seriously afraid. However, there was one comfort,-we had a master, and therefore we were like grown-up people. For you know Lucy's happiness and mine, when we were little girls, consisted in having things like grown-up people. I think now our happiness, if we could choose it, would consist in having things as grown-up people do not have them. At last, to our intense relief, the bell rang. With eager excitement we sprang up, both of us at once, upsetting chairs, tables, and shawls in our hurry, and rushed into our master's domain to clear away. Alas there was nothing to clear. I am obliged to state the fact in this way, with a blank space above it, and another blank space below it, or I don't think you could ever realise the feelings with which Lucy and I gazed upon that empty dish. Whether Montem was really very hungry, or whether he did it to tease us, or whether our cookery was more irresistible than he had expected, I cannot tell.



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VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREAT. 139 The basket was full of plum-cake, cut in large slices. The children had never had plum-cake before at the summer treat, only bread and butter, and when they saw what was in the basket they began to shout and hurrah, so that I think you might have heard them a mile away. Mrs. Aidel and Jack handed the cake round. There was a large slice for every one, and then enough left for all the little ones under nine years old to have half a slice more, so you see there must have been a very large basket full at first. Lucy and I had half a slice each, and we thought it was very good indeed. I forgot to tell you, that just as the children were beginning to sing their grace, the little girl who had been sent away to make herself clean, came back, looking a great deal more respectable. There was no room for her in the ring where the other children were standing, and so she had to go a little way back, close to a clump of lilac-bushes. Mrs. Aidel filled her mug with tea, and Jack handed her the bread and butter. She took two pieces at once, and began to eat as if she had been a little pig. Her cheeks were round and fat and red, or I should have thought she was half starving, she seemed so ravenous. On a



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240 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. very nicely and kindly, and I felt as if I could soon be friends with him. He asked me if any one named Phebe Brown lived at our house. I said, no; we did not know the name at all. He looked very much surprised then, and said he had just come from Linwick, and the clergyman there had told him that she lived at our house. Oh I said directly,' I know who you mean. You mean Skinny. Yes; she has lived here for a very long time.' You see, I had quite forgotten that her proper name was Phebe Brown, because we never called her anything but Skinny. The gentleman looked so funny, and laughed all over his face, and said,'Why in the world have you given her such an ugly name as that? It's just like a cat's name. Did she ever do anything to vex you?' I told him she had not vexed us at all, we all loved her very much; but when first we knew her, the people in the village called her Skinny, because she was all skin and bone. She had to work so hard, and she did not get enough to eat, and she said she should like us to call her Skinny too, because it seemed to belong to her more than her own name.



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VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREAT. 137 a wedding garment when she came to share the good things?' She was better off than the man, though, after all, for the king did not give him the chance of coming back again, when he had changed his coat; but Mrs. Aidel did tell the little girl she might join the treat when she had washed her hands and face. Well, the children all came in, two and two, two and two, until there were a hundred and twenty of them in the garden.They stood in a double ring on the lawn, the girls inside, the boys outside. It took rather a long time to get them all arranged, because there were so many of them. "When they were nicely placed, the boys took off their caps and the girls folded their hands, and they all sang a grace which seemed very sweet and pretty in that beautiful garden. Then they squatted down on the smooth grass, and Mrs. Aidel and the grown-up Miss Aidel and the schoolmaster came round with the white jugs full of tea and poured it into the children's mugs; you know the children brought their own mugs, because the clergyman had not plenty of cups and saucers for so many. Mrs. Aidel and Jack and Georgie Aidel



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IV. OUR PUDDING. 55 Montem was sitting in papa's easy chair, reading The Boy's Own Book. As I have said before, he did not often take any notice of us when we were keeping house, except to laugh at our funny little contrivances; but this afternoon he put his book down and strolled up to the oriel window and pulled the curtain aside, and stood looking at us for a very long time as we proceeded with our operations. What are you children doing there ?' he said at last. Montem always called Lucy and me 'children,' though we did not like it at all. Making a pudding,' said Lucy, very confidently. 'And what have you got to make it with? Anything worth eating?' This question was to me. 'Sugar, and raisins, and currants, and biscuit, and seed-cake, and real ginger wine,' I replied, pointing to each article with my finger as I mentioned it. C We're going to make it as nice as ever we can, and have'it for dinner.' Montem went away. Presently he came back. He really was paying us a great deal of attention that afternoon. We felt quite flattered. 'Are your hands clean ?' he said.



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VII. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. 23 So she set off to the pond, with a very red face and a very long stick, and there saw five of the little truants sailing about as merrily as could be, playing at hide-and-seek amongst the reed-beds, and bobbing up and down under the broad green lily leaves. They were having a fine time, for they did not think any one would come to look after them so soon; and they were just getting ready for a bit of fresh fun by racing after a great frog who had come down with a flop into the water, when one of them happened to look round and there was Mrs. Tubbs standing at the very edge of the pond, with her red face and her long. stick, and the most awful frown they had ever beheld upon her countenance. What was to be done? It was no use swimming away under the banks, for the farmer's wife would be sure to hunt them out with her long stick. They knew they had no business to be playing at that time of night, when all the other ducklings were tucked up in bed, fast asleep and snoring. They expected Mrs. Tubbs would do something very dreadful to them, perhaps make them go to bed without any supper, or keep them



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104 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CII. Far up on the shore, close under the shadow of the cliffs, vere long rows of the funniest little houses, painted blue and green and red and white, just like the cottages in my German village toy-box. I thought at first that the fishermen lived in them, but I found out afterwards, sadly to my cost, that they were bathing-machines. Oh! that bathing, it was horrible. It was worse than eating crusts, or learning any quantity of lessons, or being sent to bed whilst the sun was shining, or listening to ever such a long sermon at church. Aunt Mary said we ought to bathe, it would do us so much good. Of course I did not know what it was. I thought it would be like dabbling about in the rock-pools, only better fun, because the water would be so much deeper, and we should not have to think about wetting our frocks. So one pleasant morning, when we had been at Scarboro' about a couple of days, we went down to the shore and got into one of the prettiest of the little red houses that stood upon wheels under the cliff. Then nurse took off our things, and by-and-by a boy came with a horse, which he fastened to our house, and drew us ever so far into the water. Then nurse opened the door



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VII. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. 2 I that she would not have hidden herself for mischief. The farmer and his wife were very anxious about her. There was a pond at the bottom of the field, and we thought that poor Damsel might have fallen in, but when we looked we saw nothing of her amongst the mud and reeds. We searched the plantation and the stackyards and the orchard and the garden and the pastures all over, but no Damsel was to be found anywhere. Then we were afraid some one must have stolen her, or that she had wandered away. So the farmer saddled his horse and trotted down the road to see if she had strayed there, and the labourer went in another direction, and little Tommy Tubbs was sent to the next farm to inquire if anything had been seen of a strange calf there. We were all very sorry, for she was such a pretty little thing. Bell and Miss Smith had their supper as usual and went to bed. Damsel's disappearance did not seem to trouble them much. Perhaps they knew all the time where she was, and would not tell us. The farmer and the labourer and Tommy came back after a while to say that they could not find her, and we made up our minds that we should never see her again. Just before supper, Lucy and I set off to look at a



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194 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. up into her face as usual, waiting for her to begin. She was smiling very brightly indeed, very brightly; her face was all over smiles, so that I thought the story must be going to be a very nice one. 'What is it, aunt Mary?' I said; I am quite ready. Do begin directly, please.' 'It is not going to be a story at all, Alice,' aunt Mary said, looking brighter than ever. It is something a great deal better than a story, for it is quite true. We are going back to papa and mamma a week to-morrow, and when you get home you will find something that you have been wanting to have for a very long -time. Now you must guess what it is.' And aunt Mary began to wind the cotton. Well, you know, there were so many things that I had been wanting to have for a very long time. In the first place, I had been wanting some perforated cardboard to make a book-marker for the new Bible which Mrs. Aidel had given to Skinny, and some coloured ribbon to line it with, and some silk to make the letters. Was it cardboard and ribbon and silk ? Aunt Mary shook her head. No; it was not cardboard and ribbon and silk; it was something a



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CHAPTER III. MY DOLLS. ONE pleasant summer morning, since I have been busy gathering up these stories and making them into a book for the little girls to read, I went to see an exhibition of paintings. A great many ladies and gentlemen were there, and, if they had plenty of money, they could buy any picture they liked. What a fine thing it must be to have plenty of money! There was one picture that I looked at for a very long time, and I do wish I could have bought it, but unfortunately I have not a great deal of money, and so I was obliged to come away without it. You would wonder if I told you how much it cost; more golden sovereigns than you could count, if they were all laid out in a row before you; for the painter had spent much time and trouble over it, and made it very beautiful indeed, and almost every one who went to the exhibition stopped a long time to look at it. D



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V. PUFF. 89 basket, or wherever the ball happened to go. And I don't think she ever caught any birds except very little young ones, who were not wise enough to keep out of her way. Puff never went out of the garden-gate after her accident. Her friends from the neighbouring houses came to see her sometimes, but she preferred staying at home to going into company. Perhaps she was afraid of being laughed at because she limped about in such a funny way, for cats are sometimes vulgar and ill-natured and disagreeable, just like other people, and make sport of those who are maimed or crippled, instead of being kind to them, and trying to make them forget their misfortunes. One day Montem came home with an iron trap, which one of the grammar-school boys had given him. I am sure he did not mean to frighten poor Puff, for he was always very kind to her; but, as soon as she saw the trap, she scampered away in such a wonderful hurry, and never stopped until she had reached the farthest corner .of the garden, where she stood quite still, with her back set up and her tail as thick as papa's clothes'-brush. We were quite sure then how she had lost her paw. She would not come



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52 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. her very much, but only the day after the mice had nibbled her to pieces something happened which quite took my thoughts away from the loss which my little domestic establishment had sustained. I will tell you about it in the next chapter.



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XI. MY NEW SISTER. 207 I did not dislike being alone in my room for the first five or ten minutes. I was able to comfort myself for as long as that, by thinking how I would behave ten times worse to. Montem next time I had the chance. But after the first five or ten minutes it was very dull work being up there by myself. I had no book to read, and I was too honourable to steal downstairs unnoticed and bring one up. I thought, after all, perhaps I had better not be saucy to Montem again; and when I had been sitting on the end of my bed for half an hour, dangling my feet backwards and forwards, I was quite sure of it. Just then I heard little pattering steps on the stairs, and then the sound of soft little fingers on my door, and when I opened it, there was Callie, the darling, with her red lips trembling and tears in her brown eyes. SI so solly,' she said, 'I come to stay wiv oo.' And she trotted into the room and climbed up to me on the bed, and laid her face against my cheek, and got as close to me as she could. Of course I was not a bit lonely then. By-and-by the room became very dark, and I thought she



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MY NEW SISTER. I93 industriously, a great tear would come splashing down on her work. But she was very fond of us all, and often said what a good girl she would try to be, and how glad she was that she was going back with us, to learn to be a servant, instead of going to the workhouse, which was the only other place for her. One morning she had come as usual to help us, but when we had been sitting a little while, she turned so pale that aunt Mary said Lucy had better take her out into the field for half an hour; the fresh air would do her good. And I was to stay behind, to hold a skein of cotton. Now, I liked holding skeins of cotton for aunt Mary very much, because she always told me pretty stories 'whilst I was holding them. I hope your mammas and aunt Marys always tell you stories whilst you are holding skeins of cotton. It makes them go on so much more pleasantly, just as eating a raisin now and then whilst you are stoning them makes the stoning of the raisins quite an agreeable employment. I had brought my stool close up in front of aunt Mary, and we had got the end of the skein unfastened, and a bit of paper ready to wind it upon, and I looked 0



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Books for the Young. THE STORY OF WANDERING WILLIE. By the Author of 'Effie's Friends,' etc. With a Frontispiece by Sir Noel Paton. Second Edition. Crown 8vo., 6s. STORIES FOR MY CHILDREN. By EDWARD H. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN, M.P. With Illustrations. Second Edition. Extra fcap. 8vo., 6s. 6d. CRACKERS FOR CHRISTMAS. By EDWARD H. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN, M.P. With Illustrations by J. Jellicoe and A. Elwes. Extra fcap. 8vo. STORIES ABOUT:-By LADY BARKER. MonkeysJamaica -Horses -Camp Life -Dogs -Boys, etc. With Illustrations. Extra fcap. 8vo. THE HEROES OF ASGARD. Stories from Scandinavian Mythology. By MISS KEARY. With Illustrations by Huard. Extra fcap. 8vo. THE FAIRY BOOK. The best Popular Fairy Stories, selected and rendered anew by the Author of' John Halifax, Gentleman.' With Coloured Illustrations and Borders byJ. E. Rogers, Author of Ridicula Ridiviva.' Crown 8vo. TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS. With Sixty Illustrations by Arthur Hughes and Sydney Hall, and Portrait of the Author. Square cloth, extra gilt, 10s. 6d. Golden Treasury Edition 4s. 6d. Popular Edition 2s. MACMILLAN AND CO., LONDON.



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246 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. sitting among the sheds out yonder in Egypt, for I remembered that tree trunk and the girth and the height and all about it, as I shall never remember anything else as long as I live, and I always said to myself I'd tell father he didn't do right by me, though I was a wicked lad to sauce him, and I'd give all that ever I've earned, ay, that I would, if I could only take my angry words back. I can't ask him to forgive me; but, please God, Phebe, I'll make it up to you, and, if you'll go back and live with me up there in Glasgow, I'll try and have things for you so that you shall be comfortable. I don't like the thought of your working any more, when I've got a good pair of hands to work for you.' So it was settled that Skinny was to go back with her brother in a week. We were very sorry to lose her, and she was very sorry to leave us, for we loved each other very much, and she had been so good to our dear little Callie. But mamma said it was the best thing for her to live with her brother, and make a home for him. We all gave her something to remember us by, and she cried very much when she went away, and Jim almost shook our hands off when he said good-bye to us,



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XII. THE CHRISTMAS-TREE. 223 Mary, which made her turn very red. Perhaps she thought it was rather rude of him to do so. He told us we might take as much of the fruit as we liked, and we did, too, until it was nearly all gone. Georgie Aidel asked him where he came from, but he would not tell us, he only looked very queerly at us out of his great green spectacles. By-and-by, when we had eaten most of the fruit, the old man took off his great flapping hat, and then his white wig, and then his beard, and then his long chin, and then his green spectacles, and then his pointed nose, and we found out it was Montem, my cousin Montem. We all sprang upon him, to pull him about, but he put his hands into his pockets and took out a lot of crackers and threw them all over the room, and whilst we were running after them, he shut up his hamper and went away. Then it was time for the party to break up, for the clock on the chimney-piece had struck nine a long time ago, and there were I don't know how many cabs waiting to take the little boys and girls home. They did not seem as if they wanted to go at all, and some of them asked if they might not stay and have another dance; but mamma said she



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92 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. was like, and what I should find on the sands, and what sort of creatures they were which lived in the caves and rock-pools that I had read about in Wonders of Land and Water, my morning lesson-book. I asked Lucy if the sea was a very great deal larger than the Luthen, the river which ran close by the bottom of our garden, for that was the only piece of water I had ever seen in my life. She laughed at me very much when I asked that, and she said the sea at Scarboro' was so wide that you could not see to the other side of it, and so deep that people could not make a rope long enough to reach to the bottom of it in many places. I told her then that I should be afraid of falling over into it and being drowned, but she laughed at me again, and said there was no danger of that. The sea was not a bit like our river at home, which went deep down all at once, and had grassy banks which people sat upon and sometimes slipped over, if they were not careful. Just at first, she said, where the sea touched the sand, there was so little of it that you could walk in for ever so far, and the water would not reach to your knees; but after that it got deeper and deeper, until people could swim in it; and then deeper and deeper, so that great



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PUFF. 71 Puff, though she never went to school, or had a nurse or a governess or anything of that sort, as most other children have. I forgot, though; she had her mamma to teach her, and I don't believe you have any idea how well kittens understand what their mammas say to them. Very often Miss Puff would lie quite still for five minutes at a time on the great fleecy hearth-rug in front of the dining-room fire, whilst Mrs. Puff purred and mewed and nodded and winked at her with the greatest gravity. I have no doubt Miss Puff was having morning lessons then. I don't mean to say that she was learning multiplication-table, or columns of spelling, or the lengths of the principal rivers in Europe, or the chief towns of all the counties in England, or anything of that sort; but her mamma was teaching her how to behave properly, how to get on in life, how to scent new milk, how to catch mice. how to feed and wash and take care of herself, how to keep out of harm's way and do her duty in that station of life in which it had pleased Providence to place her, -things which are much more important to kittens, and perhaps to little boys and girls also, than the sizes, populations, and productions of the chief towns



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VIII. THE CHILDREN'S TREAT. 143 away and gone into the churchyard, and was watching the treat through a little gap in the wall. Was not that an uncomfortable way of watching it? And when, too, if the neighbour had only come in time, she might have been standing in the ring with the other little girls, enjoying the bread and butter and cake as much as any of them. More than a great many of them, I daresay, for she did look so thin and hungry. She said she had only had a bit of bread for breakfast that morning, and nothing at all for dinner, so it must have been a very, very sad disappointment to her to miss the tea. I don't wonder she cried so much about it. I am quite sure she never got enough to eat at home, or she would not have looked so white and wan. We asked her name, and she told us it was Phebe Brown, but the neighbours never called her anything else but Skinny, because they said she was all skin and bone. She said she was so accustomed to be, called Skinny that she had almost forgotten she had any other name. I had never heard of a little girl being called Skinny before, but I am sure it fitted her exactly. Just then Mrs. Aidel came up, and aunt Mary told her all about it, and asked if poor Skinny might



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XIII. GOING HOME. 229 The first thing I heard was a carriage stopping just under my window. I thought somebody was coming to stay with us. We often had people come to stay with us about Christmas-time, and sometimes we had skating parties, which were very good fun. I hoped we were going to have a skating party again. As Skinny seemed to have forgotten all about me, I got up and began to dress myself, and then ran away to look for aunt Mary, and ask her who had come to stay with us. Aunt Mary said no one had come to stay. It was the doctor. Callie had been taken ill, and papa had gone for him in the night. This was already the third time he had called. I thought directly about what Watson had been saying only a few days before, and such a strange, uncomfortable feeling came over me. I asked if I might go to Callie; but aunt Mary said no, she must be kept very quiet. Then I asked if she would not want some one to play with her and amuse her. Always if she had a cold and stayed up in the nursery I used to sit with her and show her pictures, and I thought she would be so very dull by herself in mamma's room. Aunt Mary said she was not



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. 101 and we tossed it up with our hands and rolled about in it and almost buried ourselves under it. How glad I was then that Lucy and I only had holland frocks on, instead of being grandly dressed like the little girls on the terrace at the top of the cliff. We could not have had a bit of fun if we had been like them, for we should have been afraid of tossing the sand over our feathers and flowers. Then Lucy began to run after the little waves as they broke in long lines of surf upon the shore and rolled away back to the great waters. I tried too, but I was not so clever as Lucy. It was very nice running after the waves when they were going away, but when their turn came and they began to run after me, it was quite a different thing. I had no idea how fast such little waves could run when once they broke and came spreading up along the sands. I scampered away, but they were soon up to me, and round my feet, and over my shoes, and up to my ancles, and I began to scream, for I thought I should never get out of them. I was afraid aunt Mary would be vexed with me for getting my feet wet, but she said the salt water would not do me any harm, and so I was all right.



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158 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. Mary, and then the house would have been no surprise at all. We worked on very resolutely; but we seemed to have done scarcely anything when Mrs. Tubbs shouted for us to come in to tea. I almost began to be afraid we should never be able to finish it. Sometimes we broke the boughs in pulling them down, and then they looked so miserable and untidy, and even when we had pulled them down without breaking them and had succeeded in tying them, as we thought, fast together, they would slip back and spring away farther than ever out of our reach. It was very provoking. If we had not been working for aunt Mary, we should have sat down and cried. We came in to tea, and Mrs. Tubbs scolded us for being so hot and red and dirty. I am sure she was just the same herself, and cross too, so she need not have said anything. I don't believe some grown-up people ever remember that it is possible for children to be tired and disappointed like themselves, or they would not speak so sharply to them when things go wrong. As soon as tea was over-and we finished it as quickly as ever we could-we went back to our house, taking our little wooden stools with us to stand



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III. MY DOLLS. 49 look upon his face that something was the matter. He fumbled in the back pockets of his coat for awhile, and then brought out a couple of legs; then he fumbled again and brought out an arm; then he fumbled a third time and brought out a body, with just a single arm sticking to it. 'I'm very sorry, Miss Alice,' he said, I'm sure I'm very sorry, but you see I just turned into the public-house to get a sup of beer, and I clean forgot about the little doll, and I sat down on her and smashed her as she was wrapped up in one of my back pockets. I was real vexed when I heard her go scrunch, for I'd picked out the prettiest I could light on.' And so he had. Oh! what a pretty little creature it was, that poor, legless, one-armed, penny wooden doll. Its eyes were not quite wide open, like my other dolls' eyes, but rather shut, as if it wanted to go to sleep. Its cheeks had only a faint touch of pink in them, and its hair, instead of being painted round its face in hard black curls, was a soft light brown, parted in the middle and smoothed down on each side. I had never had such a nice-looking doll in my life. It had such a patient, gentle expression E



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I16 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. held their heads down so, and came so very near us before they were able to satisfy their curiosity. Sometimes they stretched out their long necks and got hold of our frocks in a manner that was very alarming. Mrs. Tubbs said they did not want to hurt us, it was only their way. Perhaps she was right; but still it would have been pleasanter if the ways of the geese, as well as the ways of Mrs. Tubbs herself, had been different. Close by the field where these geese of such an uncomfortably curious disposition took their daily airing, was a shed where three little calves lived. Their names were Bell, Damsel, and Miss Smith. Bell was all white, Damsel was all brown, and Miss Smith, who appeared to think herself the prettiest of the three, was what they call strawberry colour. All of them had to be fed every morning and every evening with oatmeal and milk. It was great fun to see them take their breakfast and supper. Each one had a pail to herself; but they were fond of drinking out of each other's pails, and Mrs. Tubbs had to give them a sharp tap on the head sometimes, to make them keep to their own portions. Bell in particular was very troublesome at her meals. She would toss up her



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114 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. and stockings to wade in the shallow water, and hunt for crabs and shrimps and star-fishes amongst the slippery sea-weed. I am sorry to say I felt very bad-tempered about it, and showed my temper by sulking for two or three days. It was very foolish, and I have often been sorry for it since, because, though I was only eight years old then, I ought to have known better; and it would have served me quite right if, when papa saw the ugly face I put on, he had said I should not go away at all, but stay at home and spend all my holidays by myself. We went to a farm-house at Linwick. The name of the farmer's wife was Mrs. Tubbs. She was a short fat woman, with very thick arms and a very red face, and the loudest voice I have ever heard. Indeed, when she was scolding her little boy, Tommy Tubbs, for doing anything wrong, we could hear her all over the house. She was very polite to us at first, but after we had been there for a day or two she began to scold us too, particularly if we chased the chickens or came into the kitchen with dirty feet. When she was in a very bad temper indeed, or we had been very naughty indeed, she used to shake her fist at us and call us 'the marraclousest children ever was.' We did 4



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x. SKINNY. 181 we've just gone on as well as we could, until now we've only a bed and a chair left, and I don't see how they can stop with us much longer. I shouldn't care about anything else, though, if mother could get better, for I'm a big girl now, and I could earn a little with plain sewing, or going out to tend children. I used to tend Mrs. Aidel's baby sometimes, before mother was so bad, but I don't think she'll ever look up again now. She don't talk about any body else, only Jim.' We felt so sorry for poor Skinny. We both of us kept crying, and so did she, whilst she was telling us her story. Lucy whispered to me, as we sat together on the door-step, that when she got her weekly twopence next day, she would give it all to Skinny, and I said I would do the same. That would buy a good lot of bread, at any rate, and we would bring her our lunch too, for we could do very well without it. Just as Skinny had finished her story, aunt Mary came out of the little room. She looked rather sad, almost as if she had been crying too. I don't know if she had. She said she should come again in the evening, and then we all went back to Mrs. Tubbs'.



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CHAPTER XII. THE CHRISTMASTREE. You remember Watson, the old gardener who used to buy my dolls for me. He never bought any for me now, because I had Callie to play with, and she was better than all the dolls in the world. But still, though I had no business transactions with him in little boys and girls at a penny each, and babies at two for three-halfpence, I used very often, when I had nothing else to amuse me, to go and talk to him for half an hour as he raked his flower-beds, or potted his seedlings and cuttings. He looked funnier and funnier every year. His nose and chin kept coming closer and closer together, until I do believe, if you could have got hold of them both and given them a little push, they would quite have touched each other. He was very fond of giving me good advice when I went to talk to him. Sometimes it was almost like having a sermon. Perhaps he thought my life was rather too happy after Callie came, that I was getting things too much my own way, and that more P



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XI. MY NEW SISTER. 203 kept shut up in a large box, and only used when papa wanted to play at chess. Callie was so pleased with them. She kept stroking them and holding them up to mamma, and saying to herself,'I are glad I got these nice 'ittle toys. I are glad I got these nice 'ittle toys.' But by-and-by she dropped asleep with her head on mamma's shoulder, and was carried away to bed. Next morning, as soon as she was dressed, she bustled downstairs and into the oriel room, and up to the table where she had been playing with the chessmen the night before, fully expecting, of course, that she would find them there again. It was so amusing to see her look of blank astonishment when she found the table empty, and to hear her say in an undertone of wondering disappointment,'Where can 'em be ? Where can 'em be ?' I have learned since then how often grown-up people have to say of the pretty things which once they prized so much--' Where can 'em be ?' and I do not smile any more at the memory of Callie's childish words. She was a very obedient little girl. When mamma or papa had once told her not to do a thing, she



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206 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. But I did not think he was a man at all, yet; and, though I liked him very much, I did not want to be so wonderfully respectful to him. So one day we had a quarrel. I think it was because he had taken my place in the oriel window, and I said something very saucy to him, and he went'and told papa. Papa had not time to come and inquire into the affair, but he knew I had been saucy to my cousin once or twice before, and he had no doubt I was in the wrong this time, too, and he sent a message back, that I might either make an apology to Montem, or go and stay in my own room for an hour. Now, I hate apologising. I always did, and I always shall do. Apologising is the stupidest thing in the world, especially when you are not a bit sorry for what you have done. Of course if you are, it makes all the difference. I was not a bit sorry for what I had said to Montem, and, to show him that I was not, I said it all over again to him, in just the very same words, as nearly as I could remember them, when he came to me with his message from papa. And having thus patted my pride on the head, I marched off upstairs, feeling as grand as an empress.



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124 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. by-and-by twenty little yellow ducklings came out one by one, and, after shaking themselves, set off home to the poultry-house, where there was a nice warm bed for them on the floor, just under the perches where the hens used to roost. Neither Tommy nor I were very clever at counting them, for they ran in and out amongst each other so, I am sure there seemed to be a great many of them. Tommy said there could not be fewer than six-and-twenty, and, as we walked all round the pond and looked into all the reed-beds and no more came out, we thought they were all right. Mrs. Tubbs, however, was not to be cheated so easily as we were. She went to the poultry-house to count them, and found there were only twenty. Six of them had played truant, and gone and hidden themselves amongst the flag-leaves, or paddled out into the orchard to steal a game of play after the others had come to bed. I daresay they thought it was very fine fun, but Mrs. Tubbs would soon make them think differently. Ske had enough to do and enough to look after, without having her time wasted by hunting up runaway ducklings.



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198 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. Skinny began to come to us, but the blankets made her worse than ever. She just looked up from her washing-tub, and stripped the suds off her arms, and said I needn't have run so fast to tell her that. Baby sisters and baby brothers, too, were plenty enough, and maybe I shouldn't be so keen by-and-by to tell people what a treasure I had got, for I should have my nose put of joint now, see if I shouldn't. And then she gave a great rude laugh, and began to splash about amongst her suds again. I felt my nose, but it was just the same as usual; however, I thought I had better go and ask aunt Mary if anything was going to be the matter with it. She asked me who I had been talking to, and what had been said to me, and when I told her about Mrs. Tubbs, she looked very much displeased. I think I had never seen her so displeased before, and she said I was never to go and talk to Mrs. Tubbs again, whilst we remained at the farm-house, and, if ever she began to speak to me about my little sister, I was to go away directly. And I noticed after that, she was always very quiet and dignified when she had occasion to say anything to the ill-tempered woman.



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204 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CIH. never did it again, unless she forgot; of course she could not help forgetting, sometimes. She was very fond of setting her little feet on the box edgings of the flower-beds, and feeling the leaves crush under them, and mamma told her she must not do so,-it was naughty to tread on the box. So next day she came running into the room in a state of great indignation, and caught hold of mamma's dress and pulled her to the window, and said,(Naughty 'parrow! Tarrow tedd'n a box.' A little sparrow had hopped on the box edging, and Callie thought, if it was naughty for her to tread on it, it was naughty for him too. Oh! how we did laugh at her. She used to like me to dance with her very much. Always before she went to bed, aunt Mary used to play a tune for us, and I jumped her about the room in time to it. Her eyes would brighten then, and her cheeks flush, and she did look so pretty. Whenever I stopped, she said, 'Pease go on;' and if I said, 'Oh Callie, I'm so tired!' she used to put her little head on one side, and look up into my face, and say, so coaxingly,-'Never mind; it a do dee good.'



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146 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. So she dropped a very low curtsey to aunt Mary, and Pansie and Lucy and I put our arms round her neck and kissed her poor little hollow cheeks, which made her begin to cry again, though I am sure we did not mean that at all. Then she went away home, having first told us where she lived, for aunt Mary said she should like to go and see her mother. Before I finish these stories I shall tell you more about Skinny, so I need not say anything else just now. We had a great deal to do with her after that first afternoon at the school treat, and she is mixed up with nearly everything that I remember until I gave over being a little girl. But I must tell you about the naughty child who stole the bread and butter. After the finishing grace had been sung, the children, as they passed through the garden gate, had tickets given them for the games. But Miss Naughty-I do not know her proper name-slipped back as soon as grace was over into her snug corner behind the lilac-bushes, and was so busy stuffing her pockets with cake crusts that she did not see which way the children went, nor Mr. Aidel giving them the tickets. When she had got as much as she



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56 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CIH. 'Of course they are,' we both replied at once. 'Let me look at them.' We held out four little paws, which, though very sticky with raisin pulp, were in no other way to be complained of. 'Are you going to put all that wine into your pudding ?' I nodded. 'You're a couple of clever little cooks. I don't think I should mind dining with you myself.' And then Montem went away again, with his hands in his pockets. A bright idea flashed into my mind. I am sure it was a bright idea, although the results of it were not quite what I intended. Drawing Lucy up into the corner of the window, I suggested to her in a confidential whisper, that, as Montem was taking so much notice of us, and had called us clever little cooks, and had even said that he should not mind dining with us himself, we should invite him to be our master, and let him sit in our parlour, and we would lay the cloth for him, and take in our pudding when we had made it. Because, I said, it would be so much more like real housekeeping if we had



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212 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. not stout, but she was a very comely, well-grown girl, quite six inches taller than when she came to us three years and a half before. Her elbows were not sharp any longer, nor her fingers like skewers, and there were no hollow places in her neck and cheeks. I don't know about her ancles, for they were always covered up with nice clean stockings, but I have no doubt they were all right too. She was generally cheerful and pleasant, but never merry. Sometimes she looked thoughtful, almost sad, particularly when she came into the oriel-room after tea to fetch Callie to bed, and found us having a good romp with papa and mamma upon the floor. Perhaps she might be thinking what a pity it was that she had no one to belong to, no father or mother or sister or brother to care for her and be kind to her always; no one but us, and you know we might have gone away somewhere else, and then what would she have done ? But I must go on about Watson. He was pointing to Skinny as she played with Callie on the gravel walk, amongst the tall shining laurel-bushes. How pretty Callie did look! It was Christmas-time then, frosty but sunshiny, and she was wrapped up very warmly, for she soon took cold. I remember she had a little scarlet hood on,



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XII. THE CHRISTMAS-TREE. 215 promised us one as soon as Callie was able to enjoy it, and, as she was three years and a half old now, we thought we might have it; but of course she was not to know anything about what we were doing until the night of the party. It was to be a surprise for her. The gentleman who had helped us to make our little summer-house under the elm-tree was living at Abbotsbury now, and very often came to see us. Aunt Mary always seemed very pleased to see him, but I did not wonder at that, for he was so nice and kind to everybody. His name was Mr. Hugh Ballantyne, and he was Mrs. Aidel's brother. I think he was the manager of the Abbotsbury bank, but I am not quite sure. When he knew that we were going to have a Christmas-tree, he said he would help us, for he had been in Germany, and he knew what sorts of toys the little boys and girls there had for their Christmas-trees. He made us some very pretty ornaments, Christingles, I think he called them, to hang to the branches. He got a thick quill and cut it down into very thin strips, and on the end of each strip he stuck a raisin, so when you held the quill up, they



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218 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. very nicely made and trimmed; but we put that at the back of the tree, because it would not have looked pretty in the front, amongst the toys. We had about a dozen little boys and girls at our party. Of course Lucy Walters was there, and a cousin just as old as herself, who was staying with her, and the doctor's little boy, and Pansie Aidel and her brother, and several other children, whose names I have forgotten now. They were all very nicely dressed, but I thought no one looked so pretty as our own little Callie. She had a clear white muslin frock on, with a broad blue ribbon sash, and blue ribbon in her long fair hair, and white shoes with blue rosettes on them, and her cheeks were so rosy and her eyes so bright. At first she was very shy, for she had never seen so many children together before, and she kept very close to mamma, but she soon felt all right again and made friends with most of the children, especially Pansie, who was such a dear, kind little thing, that every one loved her. The children came at six, and we were to have supper in the morning-room at seven, and at eight we were to go into the oriel room, and see the



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VII. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. 129 for that would have been better than lying in the snare, which was beginning to cut his fluffy little neck and hurt him very much. He tried once more to struggle out, but it was no use; he could only lie there and pant and tremble, expecting every moment that a fox, or a weasel, or a rat, or some other fearful creature would come and eat him up. Oh! how he wished that he had never played truant. Oh! how he wished that he had come like a good obedient little duck, when Tommy Tubbs called them all to bed. He would never be so naughty again, never, never. The sun went down and the shadows crept up, and the cold, cold dews began to fall, and then all was dark and still. Not a sound was heard but the croaking of the frogs in the pond, and the sharp rush of the wind through the reed-beds, and now and then a rustle in the plantation where a hedgehog was crawling over the grass to crush the eggs in a partridge's nest. Next morning, when the farmer went across the field to count his sheep in the sevenacre lot, he found the little duckling lying cold and stiff among the snaring strings. It had been starved to death in the night. K



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16 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. invited me to tea in her room that same afternoon. You may be sure I never 'begged to be excused '-never had much pleasure in regretting that I was unable to accept Miss Mary's polite invitation.' Not I! I jumped and capered round two or three times, and told the housemaid I should be all ready to come; and then, oh! how slowly the hours went until tea-time arrived. As soon as dinner was over, I used to begin to dress myself. Mamma lent me some of her things, or, if she were not at home, papa let me go to her wardrobe and take them,-a long skirt and an apron and a pair of mittens, and a lace cap with a flower in it, for you know a great part of the fun of having tea with aunt Mary was that she behaved to me as if I had been a grown-up lady, and not a little girl at all. At five o'clock (for an early hour was always mentioned) I tripped away to my engagement, feeling as grand as could be in my long petticoat, and knocked at the door of the little room. When aunt Mary opened it, she used to shake hands with me, just, you know, as if I had come from a long way off, instead of only from the





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202 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. one of her fat little hands was sticking out. She did not cry or seem at all frightened, but lay quite still in her leafy nest, and when she saw me coming to her, she said so quaintly and seriously,'Where the baby now ? where the baby now ?' I daresay she wondered very much where she was. One night, a few months after that, she was very restless and could not go to sleep. She had been poorly all day and had a cough, and mamma was afraid she was going to have croup, which is a very terrible thing for little children to have; so she was wrapped in a great shawl and brought downstairs into.the oriel room, where she sat on mamma's knee and watched everything that was going on. Papa and aunt Mary had just given over playing at chess. We had a very beautiful set of chessmen which Lucy's papa had brought from China. They were carved out of ivory. The kings had crowns and robes on, the castles were elephants with towers on their backs, the knights were men on horseback, and the pawns like little sepoys. They were lying about on the table when Callie was brought down, and mamma let her play with them. She had never seen them before, because they were nearly always





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CHAPTER XL MY NEW SISTER. AFTER Mrs. Brown was buried, Skinny used to come to us for a couple of hours every morning, to help us to make the clothes which aunt Mary had brought for her from home. You know we had just made in a great hurry what she wanted for the funeral, but she would want many more things than those before she could be a tidy little servant anywhere. She could sew very neatly, and mend, and knit, and she could read nicely, too, and write a little, and do division sums. I think her mother must have taken a great deal of pains to teach her; only lately, since she had been left so much to herself, she had learned to talk in rather a funny way, just as the other village children talked. But aunt Mary said she would soon learn to speak properly again. Poor little girl! She was always very quiet and still, and sometimes, as she sat stitching away so



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200 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. way at all, at all. But she would let Skinny hold her for any length of time. She said she knew as soon as ever Skinny took her, that the child was a born nurse, she was so quiet and steady and trusty, and she told mamma that it would be a great deal better if, instead of sending Skinny down into the kitchen amongst the other servants, she kept her upstairs and let her be our nursery-maid. I was very glad of that, for I liked poor Skinny a great deal better than the servant who used to take care of me before. But oh! what a dear little thing the baby grew by-and-by. She was called Calla, because a beautiful white lily of the Nile, mamma's favourite flower, was coming into bloom just when we wanted a name for her. She was not a bit like a lily, though, for she had such a rosy colour in her cheeks, and she was so fat and round, and her hair was as yellow as gold, and her eyes so large and soft and brown. She soon learned to laugh and crow at us, and then to tumble about on the carpet, and then to hold upright by a chair, and at last she made us all very glad by walking across the room alone. Oh! how pleased we were, and how mamma ran all the way



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4 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. petticoats on with both hands, as they seemed to be doing, because all the buttons had come off. I wondered, being grown-up people, that they had not taken the trouble to stitch their buttons on before they had their portraits taken; but mamma told me it was the fashion for people to dress in that way then. It was a very stupid fashion, and that is all I can say about it. I had no brothers and sisters, only a cousin named Montem, who lived with us and went to the Abbotsbury Grammar-school. Abbotsbury was the name of the place where we lived. Montem was a great deal older than myself, and so he took very little notice of me, for he said I was only a girl, and girls were such useless things. Sometimes, though, on half holidays, if he was in a very good humour, he would take me out fishing with him to a pretty little shallow stream about a mile away, and I used to take care of his boots whilst he waded into the water after crayfish, or I stood over his basket and rod to watch that no one meddled with them whilst he hunted butterflies in a copse close by the stream. It was not very great fun, standing by the basket and the rod. I would rather have gone into the copse myself and hunted



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74 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. had in all her life; and for mamma to look so serious about it, made it better still. So she went on just the same as if she had never been spoken to. But one day she was balanced on the top of the chair as usual, tapping the tassels with her paw to make them wag about, when a sudden gust of wind caused the door to shut suddenly, with a great noise which so startled poor little Puff that she lost her footing and fell all in a lump on the floor. It was a long way to fall, especially for such a tiny kitten as Puff, and I am sure it hurt her very much, for she knocked her pretty pink nose against the leg of the chair and made it quite red, besides bruising all her soft little paws. You would have cried if you had had such a fall, and so should I when I was a little girl, and you would have called out for cake, or sugar or kisses, to make you forget how much you had hurt yourself. Puff did nothing of the sort. She knew she had no business to be climbing up there. Her mamma had told her over and over again that



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III. MY DOLLS. 51 blankets over her and a quilt which had once been a crochet d'oyley. She did look so pretty. "I used to make the other little boy and girl dolls sit by her and read to her, and take her some breakfast every morning on a little cardboard tray, and sometimes the tall doll dressed like a doctor used to come and see her. I had her for a long time, and I was never tired of looking at her sweet pretty face, with its half-shut eyes and soft brown hair; but poor Jessie came to a sad end at last. I used to take her some supper every evening, and once I begged a little bit of cheese, because I thought it would be a treat for her. I expect some of the crumbs had fallen into her cradle and the mice had smelt them; for next morning when I went to look at her, all her face was nibbled away, and a great deal of her night-gown, and there was nothing left of her to look pretty any more. Of course I could not love her when she had no face. I made a paper coffin for her and put roseleaves into it, and buried her in my dolls' cemetery in one corner of the garden, and planted a root of violets on her grave. I think I should have mourned over E2



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120 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CII. them a thump, away they ran again, capering up and down as if they had been made of India-rubber. Oh! how vexed the good woman was, and how her always red face grew redder still as she stamped and scolded and shouted and raced after them. She always mastered them at last, though, and drove them in triumph to the stable, where I daresay they had another bit of sport on their own account before they went to sleep. But you must not think, because I have told you all this about the calves, that I mean to encourage you in similar behaviour when your Mrs. Tubbs comes to tell you it is bed-time. You are not to toss your heads and scamper round your play-room, and give Mrs. Tubbs ever so much trouble in catching you. Because, you know, it really is a great deal better for both calves and little boys and girls to go to bed early, though they never think so themselves at the time. It is like eating luncheon-crusts and learning lessons, an unpleasant but very wholesome part of the discipline of life. So, as soon as ever Mrs. Tubbs calls you, say 'yes,' like good children. One day when bed-time came, Damsel could not be found anywhere. She was a very quiet, inoffensive little creature in a general way, and we were quite sure



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X. SKINNY. 187 fell underneath, out of sight. Of course, you know, I ought to have tucked them all down, but I never thought about that; it was such fun to make believe that they were little boys and girls. When I took the work to our governess, she was so cross, and she said I was a very naughty, careless child, and she made me undo it all, and tuck in every, single, separate end quite neatly. They were all naughty boys and girls then, and my seam was no fun at all. But Lucy and I did enjoy making those things for Skinny. We asked aunt Mary if we might take them to her directly, we were so impatient to see if they would fit, but she said no, we had better wait a little while until the frock was ready, and then, the night before her mother was buried, we would take them to her and she should try them on. We made her an entire suit of clothes, frock, jacket, petticoat and everything, and aunt Mary trimmed a black straw hat for her with some pieces of crape. Then everything was made into a parcel, and we took it to the cottage on Saturday night. We had worked very hard, for aunt Mary only bought the things on Friday, and the funeral was to be on Sunday afternoon.



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VII. A, MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. 117 head as scornfully as possible when Mrs. Tubbs put down the pail of milk to her, and would not touch it at all. Instead, she used to go and thrust her nose into Damsel's or Miss Smith's pail, and work away at that just as if it belonged to herself. The only way of making her keep to her own pail was for one of the others to go and drink out of it. Bell came back directly then, and drove the intruder away, and finished her own allowance. You see she did not care to take it until she saw that some one else wanted it, and then, rather than let that some one else have it, she would drink it herself. I have seen little boys and girls do just the same when they have had good things shared amongst them. They are discontented with their own portion until they see that another little boy or girl wants it, and then, just to keep that other little boy or girl from having it, they will eat it up themselves, though all the time they don't care very much about it. I almost think that grown-up people too, who ought to know better, do the same sort of thing sometimes. After the calves had had their breakfast, Mrs. Tubbs used to drive them out into a large field just in front



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62 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CIH. to the master's honour, though events certainly did prove that a settlement would have been wiser. We were very tired of waiting. We tried to peep through the partition which we had made with shawls and chairs between the kitchen and parlour, but Montem was sitting exactly between us and our precious pudding, and we could not tell how much of it he was eating. Only we were afraid, as he sat such a long time over his dinner, that there could not be very much left for us. 'If there should be nothing but a little at the bottom of the dish,' suggested Lucy, in rather a disconsolate whisper, after we had been waiting, as it seemed to both of us, an interminably long time. Oh! there will be a great deal more than that,' I said. "I am sure there will be a great deal more than that. Montem knows that we had all the trouble of making the pudding, and that we want very much to try how it tastes, and he will be sure only to take a very little piece. Perhaps all this time he is only pretending to eat. You know he ought to be rather a long time over his dinner; grown-up people always are. It will be sure to be all right when he rings the bell for us to clear away.'



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IX. AUNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 163 the parcel, we found twelve of those delicious little sugar biscuits that I told you about, a long time ago. I whispered to Lucy that we would keep. them until next morning, and Lucy nodded her head. We had our supper as soon as we reached the house,-gooseberry-pie and milk. That was what we had every night at Mrs. Tubbs'. Aunt Mary asked us, when we had finished the pie, if we would not like to have one of our biscuits, but we both said 'no, thank you,' and turned very red indeed. She looked rather surprised, because she knew that we were so very fond of Mrs. Walters' biscuits; so I said,'Please, aunt Mary, we've got a secret. We have been making something, and we don't want you to know.' 'Yes,' said Lucy, 'it is about a house, but you are not to ask any questions. Aunt Mary mustn't ask any questions at all, must she, Alice ?' 'No, not one,' I said, 'because it's such a very great secret. Lucy and I both said we wouldn't tell you anything about it, nor about our beautiful feast, that we are going-' M2



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CHAPTER XIII. GOING HOME. WHEN we began to say good-night to each other, and the children's presents were being wrapped up for them to take home, we missed Callie. So the party turned into a game of hide-and-seek, and for some time we could not see anything of our little runaway. At last I found her in the farthest corner of the oriel window. I daresay she had felt hot and tired after the dancing, and the excitement of that queer old man coming in with his hamper, and so, without saying anything to anybody, she had just crept away behind the curtains to be quiet. One of the lower casements of the window was set wide open, to cool the room, and Callie was standing close by it, stretching out her hands to catch the falling snow, and whispering to herself 'pitty, pitty,' as the delicate feathery flakes settled on her fat little fingers and then melted away. I did not know there was any harm in it, but mamma seemed very much afraid when we found Q



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I. THE OLD HOME. 15 tasteful, because she always knew how to make the best of things. This room looked out over the mossy old fountain urn. It had a green carpet and green curtains, and ivy leaves clustered all round the lattice window, and on the panelled oak walls there were many sweet pictures of forest glades and mountain streams, and little bits of English landscape done by mamma and papa, who could both of them paint very nicely. There was a work-table with a deep drawer in it, full of odds and ends, coloured silk and ribbons, and fancy cards, and patches and wools, out of which I was sometimes allowed to choose a little parcel for myself; and there were two brackets for flowers, and an easy chair and a footstool, and a tiny table, just big enough for a couple of people to sit at. My greatest delight was to have tea with aunt Mary in this room of hers. She always invited me just as if I had been a grown-up person, which made it ever so much better. The housemaid used to bring me a little note in a pink envelope, and say she was to wait for an answer. I knew well enough what the little note in the pink envelope meant. It meant that aunt Mary had



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230 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. by herself,-mamma was taking care of her. She had been lying on mamma's knee ever since one o'clock in the morning, except when she was lifted off sometimes to be put into a warm bath. And it was no use my going to amuse her, for she was too ill to be amused. Then aunt Mary went quietly away, and I was left alone. I wished they would have let me go to her, even if I could not do her any good. I thought she must be very ill indeed if she did not want me to play with her. I had been poorly sometimes, and so had Montem, but we had always liked to look at picture-books and have stories told to us. Indeed, it seemed almost a pity to get well again, for it used to be so nice sitting close up by mamma and papa, and having no lessons to. learn, and eating sweet biscuits, and drinking sago with wine in it; we never wanted to get well in a hurry. Was Callie worse than ever we had been then? I felt as if I must be near her, so I went and sat on the mat at the door of mamma's dressing-room. By-and-by papa came out of it. I wondered why he had not gone out as usual. He always went out in the middle of the morning, and now it was just



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. I05 and let us climb down the steps and jump and splash about as much as we liked, Lucy said it was fine fun; and so it was for a little while, until an immense blue-and-black creature, with fins flapping about on each side of her, came wading towards us from another of the little houses. I had never seen anything of the kind before. I was quite sure she was a shark, or a mermaid, or one of those scaly dragons I had read about in fairy tales, and I was dreadfully frightened. I tried to run back into our little house ; but, before I could reach the steps, she had got fast hold of me with her great blue fins, and with a horrible laugh she had dragged me down under the water, and was swimming with me to the bottom of the sea. At least I thought she was, and of course that was just the same. I screamed and fought and struggled, but it was no use. Her wet slippery fins were wrapped tightly round me. Down we went, down, down, down, the great waves rushing and roaring round us, the sea-weeds floating over us, the fishes darting past us, the water pouring into my mouth and nose until I was nearly choking. I don't know how far we went into the sea, nor how long we stayed, but I am quite sure it must have been a very long time, and a



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142 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. patched all over, and she scarcely seemed to have anything on underneath it; but she was quite clean and tidy, except where the tears had stained her face. We felt very sorry for her, because she was crying so patiently, not as if she was angry or in a passion, like the little girl who had been sent away from the treat. Aunt Mary stooped down and asked her what she was crying for. She began to sob worse than ever then, and said it was because she was too late for the treat. No one was allowed to come in after grace had been sung. Her mother was very ill in bed, she told us, and there was no one in the house but herself to wait upon her. One of the neighbours had said she would come in and stay for an hour whilst the children were having their tea, so the little girl had washed herself and got ready to come, but the neighbour had forgotten her promise until quite half-past three, and the little girl did not like to leave her mother alone, she said. As soon as she could be spared she set off and ran all the way to the Rectory garden, but it was too late. The gates were shut, and the servant who kept them would not open them again, for it was against the rules for any one to be admitted after grace was sung. So she had turned



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IV. OUR PUDDING. 67 Next morning after school-time, when I was showing Lucy the grave which I had made for my little cripple-doll, Montem came running up to us and thrust something into my hand. Then he said very quickly indeed, so quickly that we could scarcely understand him,-SI tell you what,-I think I was no end of a donkey to eat up all your pudding, but I don't mean to do it again, and so you needn't be afraid to ask me to play with you next time.' Then he set off away from us as fast as ever he could, and, almost before we had time to say a word, he was out of sight, down the road which led to the grammar-school. When we had opened the box which he thrust into my hand, we found the prettiest little set of teathings, a coffee-pot and tea-pot, and four cups and saucers, and half a dozen tea-spoons. We wanted to go and kiss him for them, but he had gone too far away. Oh! how glad we were then that we had not told aunt Mary about his eating the pudding. Because, if we had, we should have felt so dreadfully uncomfortable when he told us, of his own accord, that he was sorry for taking it all; and we should F 2



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. 95 together, to carry them more easily. When Lucy told me we were at Scarboro', I jumped out of the carriage as quickly as ever I could, and looked all round about me. I expected I should have seen the sea and the ships and the sands and the rock-pools and the green sea-weeds and the great tall cliffs that Lucy had told me so much about; but instead, I only saw a railway station just like our railway station at home, with a great many ladies and gentlemen running after their luggage, and porters with loaded trucks shouting to them to get out of the way, and cabmen touching their hats and asking where they wanted to go; and as I looked through a great gate into a street beyond, I saw houses and shops and carriages, and crowds of people moving about, but no sea and no ships, at which I was so disappointed that I almost began to cry. Aunt Mary took hold of my hand, and said I should see everything by-and-by. A porter fetched a cab for us; all our things were stuffed in, boxes, cloaks, umbrellas, pails, spades, sand-boots and everything, and we rattled along through the streets until we came to a long row of houses, oh! such a very long row, all the houses just the same, with very



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208 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. would be tired, and I asked her if she would not like to go down to papa and mamma; but she only shook her curly hair and nestled more closely up to me, and tucked her little fat hand farther into mine, and said,C I not go 'way. I so solly. I stay wiv oo.' And the dear little creature did stay with me all the time. She would not leave me until the church clock, striking seven, gave notice that my term of banishment was expired. I think, if it had not been for vexing papa-and I could not bear to vex him, for he was so loving to me-I could with the greatest satisfaction have been saucy to Montem every day, and then come upstairs into my room as a punishment for it, if only Callie would have come trotting up too to keep me company. It was well worth a whole long hour of solitude and gloom to hear that sweet little voice, whispering as the rosy mouth was laid against my own,'I so solly. I stay wiv oo.' Oh Callie, Callie! my little sister that I loved so much, why could it not indeed be so? Why could you not stay with us, always, always ?



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162 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. seen him at the school treat, the day before; he was talking to Mrs. Aidel and aunt Mary for a long time. I did not remember him at all, though. It was half-past seven when the house was finished,-nearly an hour past our bed-time; but aunt Mary had said we might sit up until she came home, and she would not come home before eight. So we sat down on the bank just opposite to our house, and admired it all over, and kept crossing backwards and forwards over the bridge, and looking at it from different positions. And then we took out our silver threepenny pieces and considered how we should spend them. We decided at last that we would buy five pennyworth of strawberries and a pennyworth of new milk for our feast. Whilst we were wondering how many strawberries there would be in five pennyworth, aunt Mary came home. We saw her in the lane, just across the bank, and ran to meet her, and help her to carry some of the parcels to the house. One of them was addressed to us from Lucy's grandmamma. She might have known that we were going to have a feast, for, when we. opened



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A



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. 93 vessels, larger than any that ever came up our river, sailed upon it; and then deeper and deeper still, until no one could find the bottom of it. She told me, too, that the sands were very nice to play on. We could dig holes in them with our little wooden spades, and sink wells, and make walls and bridges and mountains, without ever getting our pinafores dirty, as we should have done if we were digging in earth or clay; and we should see a great many pretty shells lying about, and bits of cornelian and agate and all sorts of beautiful stones. And she said that where the sands ended, the cliffs began,-great rocky cliffs, higher than our house, or St. Mary's church, or even the Minster itself, so high that when you were standing on the top of them, the people walking about on the sands beneath looked no bigger than dolls, or very little boys and girls. I listened. It all seemed very wonderful to me. I tried to picture to myself what everything would be like, but it was no use. I could not imagine cliffs as high as our beautiful Minster, or water so wide that you could not see to the other side of it, or pieces of sand so large and deep that we could dig holes and sink wells in them. Indeed, I had never seen sand in



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150 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. whole afternoon. Montem had gone with Frank and Percy fishing somewhere, and aunt Mary said we could amuse ourselves just as we liked, so long as we did not get into mischief. I think children like to be let alone sometimes. I am sure we loved aunt Mary very much, but yet Lucy and I were as pleased as could be when we found that we were going to be left to ourselves for a whole afternoon and evening, with nobody to look after us, or ask us what we were doing. It was almost like being grown-up, and being grown-up was the greatest happiness we could picture then. What a pity it is that we don't like it so much when it really does come to us! I can't tell how many times I have heard grownup people say they wish they could be children again. But then they forget the lessons and the crusts and the going to bed by daylight, and a great many other little privations which children have to submit to. Lucy proposed that we should spend our afternoon at the beck. You don't know what the beck was, so I must tell you. In front of the kitchen window was a large field,



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... -.... -....-. LA --s-i -s 2ziI --~1~------_ -SW-g -f~ 4~A fit '5~' -I _________ I i,____._______/_....___-_ ,----' .--, 1 -_-""d Mi 'I F t~-~ t Auad wacddled off a~s orderly as could be LO the poiiltry house, pI 123



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i86 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. petticoats, which mamma and Mrs. Walters had sent, and ever so much cotton to knit stockings. Aunt Mary began directly to cut out the petticoats, and Lucy and I helped her. We could not do much with the frock, for we were neither of us very clever with our needles, but we could sew the long seams and manage the hems of the petticoats very well. I don't think we ever had any sewing that we liked so much. Both Lucy and I generally hated the sight of a needle and thread. Oh! how we did grumble over those immense long seams which the governess-Lucy and I both had the same governess-used to make us do whilst she was reading aloud to us. They were so horribly tedious. How well I remember, when I was a very little girl, having an unbleached calico night-gown to make for a poor blind woman. The long seams were cut crosswise, and the calico was very coarse, so that a great many ends stuck up over the edge when it was fixed ready for me. To amuse myself, I made believe that these ends were little boys and girls, and those that were good I left standing up, and those that were naughty I tucked down into the



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XII. THE CHRISTMASTREE. 221 it very much, a great deal more, I think, than they enjoy their balls and quadrille parties. Callie was almost wild with excitement. She spun round and round with every one in the room, and then came to me and asked me to dance again. I said, 'Oh! Callie, I'm so tired!' but she only tucked her little hand into mine, and put her head on one side, and looked up at me so prettily and said,'Never mind, it a do dee good.' So I put my arms round her, and off we set again, to one of aunt Mary's merriest tunes. Whilst we were all enjoying ourselves very much, the door suddenly flew open, and such a funnylooking old man came in. The music and dancing stopped directly. Some of the little girls were quite frightened, and ran and hid themselves behind the curtains, but aunt Mary said she did not think he would do us any harm. He was a very old man, as old as Watson. Indeed, I thought at first he was Watson, but he could not have been, because Watson himself was standing at the door. This man had a very red face, and a pair of green spectacles, and a pointed nose, and a long chin, and a white beard, and white hair, and his coat was covered with snow,



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XII. THE CHRISTMAS-TREE. 213 with white fur all round it, and a scarlet frock too, and a white pinafore. She looked just like a flower, or a bright crested humming-bird, or gay butterfly skimming about when all the rest of the beautiful summer things had quite gone away, frightened by the frost and the' snow and the cold. "There's Skinny yonder, Miss Alice. She's only a little girl, not a deal bigger than what you are, and yet she's learned to think, a long time ago. She's as good as a woman for the thinking, is Skinny.' Oh! but,' I said, Skinny has had a great trouble, and that makes all the difference. People can't help learning to think when they have so much trouble, even if they are only little girls.' 'Then maybe, Miss Alice,' old Watson said, 'if you don't learn it in no other way, you'll have a great trouble too, to teach you, same as poor little Skinny has had. Your Ma might be took, or maybe bonnie Miss Callie there; I've known a many younger than what she is, sicken for death, in my time.' 'Oh, Watson !' and I turned away from him, feeling so angry and impatient, 'how stupid of you to talk in that way! Callie couldn't die. There's not a bit of anything the matter with her.'



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VII. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. I15 not know at all what she meant then, and I am not certain even now, but, as she always looked so angry when she was saying it, it must have meant something very terrible indeed. We did not like her at all, and so we kept out of her way as much as possible. Frank and Percy were not staying at the farmhouse with us. They had lodgings at a cottage a little farther off, and a holiday tutor took care of them, for they were great boys, older even than Montem, and were quite too big to have a nurse. Montem used to go to them always first thing after breakfast, and stay the rest of the day, except when aunt Mary had arranged a picnic for us, and then Percy and Frank and the tutor used to come to our house instead, and we had a lot of things packed up in a basket, and we set off to the woods, or to a beautiful park about a mile away, and had a real good time. Lucy and I did not care, though, about being left. to ourselves, because there were so many things on the farm that we had never seen before. Just at first we were a little bit frightened, especially of the geese, who were always coming to look at our ancles I think they must have been short-sighted, for they 12





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76 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. time for a table-cloth. When she saw the cups and saucers on the table, and heard the crackling of the paper, she used to come running up as fast as her four little legs could carry her; but if she heard the crackling of paper at any other time, when there were no cups and saucers or plates on the table, she never took any notice of it,-she knew it did not mean anything then. Well, the first morning that we had shrimps, papa dropped one on Puff's table-cloth. Puff had never seen shrimps before. She did not know that there were such things in the world. There was nothing about them in Puff's edition of the Child's Guide to Knowledge,' and perhaps, as it was yet very early in the season, her mamma had not told her that possibly some day she might taste them. She was very much startled when papa dropped the queer-looking thing close to her tail, and she jumped away as if she had been shot. After awhile she came slowly back to look at it, and when she found that it was not going to do her any harm, she patted it gently with her paw, and began to play with it. Then she put her little nose to it, and oh! how delighted she



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OXFORD: PRINTED BY T. COMBE, M.A., E. B. GARDNER, E. P. HALL, AND J. H. STACY, PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.



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44 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. No, no; when I was a little girl I did not care for dolls of society, fine ladies in feathers and flowers, so I had my nursery full of good, useful, serviceable wooden children at a penny each, and the very small ones two for three-halfpence. I think at one time my family numbered more than twenty, including a papa and mamma, an aunt Mary, a cousin Montem, a Lucy Walters, some servants, and any number of children. When I was very busy learning my lessons, playing with Puff, keeping house with Lucy Walters, fishing with Montem, writing down the lengths of the principal rivers in Europe, and so on, my people all lived together indiscriminately in the bottom drawer of a large chest which stood in the nursery; but when I had plenty of time to spare, I used to arrange them in the smaller drawers of another empty chest, four stories high, which made a capital dolls' house, quite as neat and commodious as any of the 'family mansions replete with every requisite inconvenience,' which one sees advertised so abundantly in the morning papers. I never had a proper dolls' house bought for me. Mamma always liked me to invent my own amusements and contrive my own playthings, and



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152 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. over the rest of the field, and making the prettiest sparkles of light in the running water, there was always plenty of shadow and coolness under the old elm-tree, and always a pleasant breeze coming and going through the thick leafy covert of its boughs. So we went there, Lucy and I, after aunt Mary had gone to Abbotsbury, and pulled off our shoes and stockings and began to wade about in the water. It was almost as convenient for wading as the rock-pools at Scarboro', except that we never found crabs and shrimps, only sticklebacks, which would never let us catch them. Whilst we were splashing about and enjoying ourselves very much in front of the old elm-tree, I said to Lucy what a beautiful little house we might make in the bit of hollow bank, if only we could reach the branches and tie them down for a roof. We had often tried to make little houses at home, amongst the shrubs and bushes in the garden, but they never used to turn out nicely. The branches did not fit properly, or we could not get leaves enough to make a shade, or we found earwigs creeping about, and then we never liked to go in again, or old Watson wanted



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III. MY DOLLS. 35 she didn't know what to do.' It reminded me so much of the time when Lucy Walters and I used to play with our dolls on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons; and I think, before I tell you anything else about the days when I was a little girl, I will tell you about those dolls. I must tell you first, though, about old Watson, our gardener, who nearly always bought them for me. Watson must have been about sixty years old when first I remember him. He had a nose that pointed down very much, and a chin that pointed up very much, so that both nearly met in front of his toothless mouth, and made him look rather like the funny old man on the title-page of Punch. He used to go home to dinner every day at twelve o'clock, and on his way he passed a little shop, where they sold wooden dolls with jointed arms and legs, and painted faces. The very large ones, big enough to be papa and mamma dolls, were twopence each, those that would do for little boys and girls were a penny, and the babies were two for three-halfpence. Although Watson was a very ugly old man,-at least, he seemed ugly to me, for I had never seen any one with a face like that before; I don't think I D 2



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X. SKINNY. 183 they would be quite large enough for her. We both thought it was such a pity that she should only be able to wear a frock when she went out of doors. Aunt Mary did not come home until nearly our bed-time. She said Skinny's mother was dead, and that the poor little girl was crying very much. The neighbour who lived at the next cottage was taking care of her for a few days, but she would most likely have to go to the workhouse when her mother was buried. Oh! how sorry we were; and aunt Mary was very sorry too, and said she would go home to mamma next day, and ask if something could not be done to help Skinny. She thought she would make a very nice little servant for some one, if only she had some clothes, and that would be a great deal better than going into the workhouse. Aunt Mary went quite early next day, and we were left to ourselves again to do just as we liked. I should tell you that Montem's schoolmates, Percy and Frank, had gone away with their tutor to stay at a village a little farther on, where there was good fishing, and they had asked Montem



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XIV. THE END OF ALL. 245 which made him able to get on better out there. When the works were completed, most of the hands were paid off, but Jim had been kept on until a year ago, when his master gave him a recommendation to an engineering firm in Glasgow, and he was in a very good situation there now. He said he had determined not to come home until he could show them that he had made a man of himself, after all, and was able to do something for them, if they needed it. He had been living in lodgings in Glasgow, but, as soon as he knew that he was likely to stay in his situation, he had come to Linwick to ask his father and mother and Phebe to go back and live with him; and, if they would, he would take a house, and they would all be comfortable together. Skinny began to sob then, and Jim's bright brown eyes got all over mist again. There was no being 'all comfortable together' any more, for that once happy little family. "But I didn't measure the wood wrong, Phebe,' Jim said, brushing the tears away with his sunburnt hand; 'no, that I didn't. I've figured it out to myself many and many a time, when I've been



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I m r_ \ II I t THE FOUNTAIN, Fron ispiece.



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128 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. rabbits, and it might get caught in one of them. But when once little ducklings, or little children either, begin to do wrong, there is no telling how far they may go. This naughty truant thought that, as he was out on his own account, he might as well have a good time of it, and, even if the worst came, he could but go home and sleep under some sacks in the waggon-shed,-they would do very well just for one night; and then in the morning, as soon as Mrs. Tubbs opened the poultry-house door, "he would slip in amongst all the other ducklings, and she would never know which of them it was that had been staying out so long. So he set out on his journey to have a little gossip at the next farm. But, before he got half way across the field, he caught his foot in a snare which one of the men had set, and then he fell 'down and got his head caught in it too. He struggled for a long time, but the more he struggled the more the snare twisted round him, until at last he was so weak and tired that he was obliged to be quite still. He heard Mrs. Tubbs shouting to the other ducklings and scolding them as they came up one by one out of the pond, and he almost wished he could have had some of the scolding,



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. 99 this evening the great waves, which talked so very loud, had all gone away somewhere, and only the little baby waves were chattering to each other. They would keep on chattering like that until the great waves came back, and then the great ones would make so much noise that we should not be able to hear the little ones any more. We went down and down, the strip of blue paper growing broader and broader, but now I could see little bits of white like handfuls of soap-suds flashing about all over it, and boats with brown sails were toppling up and down upon it, not sailing straight along, as they did on our river at home. I thought sometimes they would turn over, but they never did. At last we got quite to the bottom of the steps which had been leading us down the cliff all this time, and then aunt Mary told me I was on the shore. For a little while I kept very close to her, very close indeed. I don't think I was frightened, but everything was so grand and wonderful that I felt as if I wanted to be near somebody. It was so different to what I had expected. I thought the cliffs would have been quite straight up, like high walls built of pieces of rock instead H 2



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VII. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY. 123 care of themselves, and come home without being fetched. They used to play all day in a beautiful reedy pond at the bottom of one of the fields, and at night they were brought up and taken into the poultryhouse. They did not like being shut up so early, any more than Lucy and I or the calves did, and they used to give Mrs. Tubbs a great deal of trouble sometimes before she got them safely packed away. She used to go to the pond every evening at seven, as soon as the calves were fastened up for the night, and call out in a curious singing voice, Diddle, diddle, diddle.' When the ducks heard her, those who were good and obedient came out of the pond and waddled off as orderly as could be to the poultry-house, though how in the world they knew that 'diddle, diddle, diddle' meant 'bed-time, bed-time, bed-time,' I cannot tell. The naughty ones that wanted more play, used to paddle out of sight and hide themselves amongst the reeds, and keep Mrs. Tubbs waiting ever so long before they would go to bed. On the night that Damsel was lost, every one was very busy, so Mrs. Tubbs sent Tommy and me to fetch the ducklings to bed. We went to the top of the pond, and called out to them, and



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14 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. flowers which are brightest and gayest and showiest, but round those which, like the sweet wild thyme or purple heather, have most honey inside them. I think unselfishness was the honey which made every one cluster round aunt Mary. She never seemed to think about herself, or expect that other people should make a fuss over her, and so she was always cheerful and happy and contented. And although when I was a little girl I did not half know how good she was, yet, since I have grown older and wiser, I have learned many a lesson from the remembrance of aunt Mary's example, the noble, generous way in which she tried to put happiness into the lives of every one around her, without ever calculating whether they were likely to repay her for it or not. If I were you, little girls, I would lay up a good store of that sweet honey of unselfishness, and then see whether friends won't cluster round you, like bees round the wild thyme or purple heather. One little room in our house was called aunt Mary's room, because, when she was staying with us, she always went there if she wished to be alone. It was very pretty and tasteful. Indeed, everything about aunt Mary was pretty and



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X. SKINNY. 175 mother, who had been obliged to have dry bread for her breakfast that morning. She said she spent sixpence of the shilling which aunt Mary had given her, in buying some brandy for her mother; the doctor said her mother would never get better unless she had plenty of brandy, so a neighbour who was going to Abbotsbury had brought her sixpennyworth, and the other sixpence she had spent in some biscuits. Her mother had enjoyed the biscuits so much, Skinny said, but they only made the dry bread seem worse when they were all done. We were very glad to be able to tell her that she need not save her pieces of bun, for that aunt Mary had brought some things in a basket which would be a' great deal better for her mother than stale bun; tea and sugar and biscuits and some real wine. Skinny's face brightened all over when she heard that, and she began to eat her bun directly. She would only eat one piece of it, though, and she put the other away in the old wooden box which she called her pantry. She said it would do so nicely for her when hungry time came to-morrow morning. When she had finished it, she went down on her



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XI. MY NEW SISTER. 199 You may be sure I was very anxious to go home and see my new little sister. I could talk about nothing else, and Lucy was as pleased as I was. At last, Friday came, and all our things were packed up, and we said good-bye to Mrs. Tubbs, and Tommy, and our new house by the brook side, and the calves, and the ducklings, and the geese, and the pigs, and everything else, and set off home-aunt Mary, Lucy, Skinny and I,--home to papa and mamma, and Mrs. Walters, and Watson, and, best of all, to the dear little baby who was to be my pet and plaything always now. I was rather disappointed at first, because she would neither laugh nor talk nor play, nor indeed do anything but cry and knock her hands and feet about. Mamma said I should only have to wait a little while, though, and she would be able to do everything that I wanted. Nurse would not let me take hold of her at all, for fear I should .let her fall, and though I promised I would hold her as fast as could be, and clutched one of the sofa cushions tight round with both my arms, to show how fast I could hold, she only laughed and said baby would not like being nursed in that



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166 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. glad indeed to have a feast with us, and she would be quite ready at ten o'clock. Then we asked Montem if he would come too; but he told us he was going out fishing with Frank and Percy, or he should have been very glad to have joined us. I don't think we were much disappointed about his not coming, because, although he had been kinder to us ever since that affair of the pudding, still he was rather fond of teasing us, and would very likely have made fun of our little house. Aunt Mary never made fun of anything that we did. So now we only had to make our feast ready. We bought five pennyworth of strawberries and a pennyworth of new milk from Mrs. Tubbs, who was always obligingenough to people who paid her money. She lent us a high stool and a tray and a chair, which Tommy carried down to the little house, and we had our own wooden stools besides. We spread a clean cloth over the tray and put it on the high stool, and we put our strawberries on some large vine-leaves in the middle, and a little pile of biscuits on each side, and the milk in a white jug, and we had Lucy's little china tea-service



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THE LUNCHEON CRUSTS. 21 you are holding it in your hand, turning it over and over, feeling how heavy it is, admiring the gay colours and the bright gilding, suddenly the egg breaks open and a shower of sweatmeats falls into your lap, or a tiny doll, or a little dancing soldier, or a harlequin with a feather in his cap, or a thimble and a pair of scissors, or at any rate something which you never expected to find inside what at first looked only like a painted egg. Well, this chapter is going to be rather like one of these painted eggs. Something will perhaps drop out of it which you did not expect to find; not a doll, or a harlequin, or a dancing soldier, or a pair of scissors, but a little bit of advice which had been lying wrapped up inside the story as comfortably as could be. There is this difference, however, between what I am going to tell you and an allegory. When people are going to make an allegory, they wrap up their meaning first, and then paint the story outside it, to hide what is underneath; but I made this story first-at least, it made itself, for it is quite true-and then, when it was finished, I found out that it meant a great deal more than I thought it did; and as perhaps you might not find



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HI. MY DOLLS. 39 and lace pocket-handkerchief, and everything else that grown-up ladies have when they want to be very grand indeed. She looked so splendid that I almost felt at first as if I ought to get up and make a curtsey to her. You know when we see people, or dolls either, so very fine, we do naturally feel just at first as if we ought to be rather respectful to them, until we find out what they are made of underneath-; then sometimes we don't feel respectful at all. I did not feel respectful at all to this doll when I found that its things were all put together and stuck on with paste and glue, and that it had no petticoats worth mentioning, and very, very clumsy stockings, which fitted as badly as possible. But worse than that,-it had to be hung up by its arms in a cupboard when it was done with, and the little girl to whom it belonged was only allowed to play with it when she had her best frock on. As for kissing it, she never dare do that at all, for fear of rubbing the paint off its cheeks, and she could not put her arms round its neck and squeeze it, as you like to squeeze dolls that you are very fond of, for fear of spoiling its pink silk frock; and all the time she was holding it, her mamma had



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VI. GOING TO THE SEA-SIDE. 109 delightful. Lucy and I used to go every morning with our pails and spades to the shore, and pulling off our shoes and socks dabble about to our hearts' content in the shallow little lakes from whose shining rocky sides the sea-weeds, purple, olive, crimson, orange, brown and yellow, hung in such long waving tresses, and on whose pebbly floors the star-fishes floated themselves along with their thousand feelers. Oh! how pleasant it was being at Scarboro' all through that July fortnight. How delicious to wake up in the morning, Lucy and I, fresh as daisies, tumble out of our little beds and tumble into our little pinafores, then say our prayers and scamper down to our bath in the cool, sparkling rock-pools, and run after the waves and let them run after us, and catch a star-fish or two, and hunt a crab or start a shrimp from his cover amongst the olive-brown plumes of bladder-weed; then back up the cliffs, clambering over rock and grass to our breakfast of bread and milk; then off and away with our spades and pails to the shore to dig moats and build castles, and bury each other shoulder-deep in the smooth, soft, shining sand, and roll and caper and frolic until nurse told us it was time to go home to dinner. Tired? not



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42 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. placed in such a situation, should you not have felt rather disappointed, and perhaps rather cross, too? To make matters worse, when supper was over, when the servants had cleared every plate, dish, glass, and custard-cup away, and nothing was left upon the table but a very white cloth and a very beautiful vase of flowers, the lady of the house turned round to me and said with a pleasant smile-oh! suck a pleasant smile," Well, my dear little girl, I hope you have enjoyed yourself very much, and had a very good supper.' I don't remember what I said. Most likely I turned very red and held my head down, and began to crumple up my new muslin frock in both my hands, and the lady would think what an ill-behaved little girl I was. Just fancy being asked whether you had enjoyed 'yourself,' when nothing else had been given you to enjoy.. I wanted to enjoy the supper, not to enjoy 'myself' at all. But the lady did not do it on purpose. I am quite sure she did not do it on purpose. She had been so busy waiting upon everybody else that she had quite forgotten the little girl hidden away under her flounces,



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SI NT \ri I fi S pe ph She climbed up to the top of a bigh backed chair. 1). ?



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138 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CH. came round with the bread .and butter. Oh! how quickly the children did eat it up, to be sure. I think they must all of them have gone without their dinner like Tommy Tubbs, or they could not have eaten so much, and eaten it so fast, too. Tommy had five mugs full of tea, and more pieces of bread and butter than I could count; whenever I looked at him, he was beginning a fresh piece. One girl was so greedy I felt quite ashamed for her. Whenever she saw the tray of bread and butter being brought near her, she pushed out her arm as far as ever she could reach to get hold of some, and once she pushed so roughly that she knocked against the little girl next her and spilt all her tea over the poor child's clean print frock. She was punished, too, for only a few minutes after, one of the boys in the ring behind her let his mug fall, and the hot tea poured all over Miss Greedy's smart new pink sash. We thought she was served quite right. When the bread and butter had been eaten, Mrs. Aidel took the cover off the clothes-basket, and little Pansie, looking up in my face, said," Now, you see.'



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182 WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. CII. Somehow we could not dance and skip about as we had done only the day before. We kept thinking of the poor little girl with her white face and her sharp elbows and her hollow cheeks and her hungry eyes, and we wondered why God should have made us such a great deal happier than she was, and why we had plenty of everything that we wanted, and nothing to do but play and amuse ourselves, whilst she was half starved to death, and had not time to play at all. It seemed so very strange. We had never thought about it before. In the evening aunt Mary went out again. She said we had better not go with her, for perhaps she should stay a long time. She had asked Tommy Tubbs to take some coals to the cottage, and a kettle full of clean water, and she was going to get some tea ready for the poor woman. Lucy and I took hold of each other's hands, and walked about in the field nearly all the evening. We wondered if mamma and Mrs. Walters would let us spare some of our clothes for little Skinny. We were quite sure we could do without them, and though she was so much older than ourselves,



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IX. A UNT MARY'S BIRTHDAY. 159 upon and reach the branches. We did not succeed much better, though, than in the afternoon, for we were beginning to be very tired, and our arms had scarcely any more spring in them. However, we said we would go on trying until bed-time, and then, if we could not make our house, we would let it alone. Lucy was standing on one of the little wooden stools, tying a piece of string round a branch of the elm-tree, and I was close by with my feet in the water, holding the knife and the rake, when happening to turn round, I saw a gentleman on the other side of the bank, watching us. I felt very much ashamed, for I had no shoes and stockings on, and Lucy had none either, and our hair had tumbled down over our shoulders, and our pinafores were very wet and dirty. We were red enough before, but I should think we turned redder still when we found that a strange gentleman was watching us. What are you doing, little girls?' he said, very kindly and pleasantly. I hung down my head without speaking a word. Even when I was dressed quite neatly and properly, I never liked to talk with people I did not know. Lucy told him we were making a house, and it was