WHAT SHE SAW THROUGH THEM.
THE AUTHOR OF "A TRAP TO CATCH A SUNBEAM."
Uit tolanub illustations.
CASSELL, BETTER, AND GALPIN;
AND )6, BROADWAY, NEW YORK
THE Stories contained in the following pages
appeared first in the columns of THn
QUIvER," a Magazine by the same Publishers,
and are now presented in a complete form for
circulation amongst Sunday and other Schools
as a Prize Book.
MADE THE MAGPIE 27
CYRIL THE CARELESS 47
PHILIP THE PEEVISH 66
DORA THE DAINTY 8
FRANK THE FIDGET .16
SHOULD like to break
them, I should!"
Oh, Miss Edith! break
Break the nasty spectacles."
What! your dear grandmamma's
glasses, do you mean ?"
Yes I do!" answered the little
lady, sharply. "She says she uses
10 Grany's Spectacles.
them because they make things grow
bigger, and I know that's why my
faults look so big to her; all the little,
littlest things I do-ever so little-
grow as big as big through granny's
The servant in whose ears this
grievance was volubly poured forth
by the little girl, smiled as she an-
swered: Then you must ask grand-
mamma to take them off when you
are going to do some of those very
naughty little things."
"That would be no good; for if I
had time to think of that, I should
have time to think it was naughty,
and I shouldn't do it."
Then you do not like coming
to stay with grandmamma, I sup-
"Yes I do, because she's very kind
when I'm good; and I like the country
so much better than London; I always
feel well here, and have not got to
take nasty physic, as I have at
"Well, we can't have everything
we like in this world, missy, can we ? "
said Hannah; "so, when you come
in the country, you must put up with
granny's spectacles, mustn't you ?"
and Hannah gave the finishing touch
to the glossy hair she had been ar-
ranging, and sent the little girl down
12 Granny's Spectaes.
to the drawing-room, to await the
announcement of dinner.
Grandmamma was not in the room
when she entered, so she seated her-
self on a settee, in the large bow-
window which looked out into the
loveliest of gardens, and began try-
ing to think how she could manage
to overcome the only thing that
marred the pleasure of her visit to
In this lovely and retired village
Mrs. Everley had lived for years,
beloved by all who knew her; a per-
fect English lady, bearing her years-
now numbering some seventy winters
-bravely, with all her intellects un-
impaired, inspiring respect in every
one who saw her, by the gentle
dignity, and yet unvarying cheer-
fulness of her manners.
Edith Everley, the child of her
eldest son, was her most frequent
visitor, perhaps, for her mother had
an idea that she could not well fulfil
her duty without constantly dosing
her little ones. Thus poor Edith,
though naturally a sturdy, healthy
child, so frequently presented a sickly
white face from this pernicious system,
that she was obliged to be continually
sent to grandmamma for change of
air. There, in the sweet country
she so loved, continually out enjoy-
14 Granny's Spectacles.
ing the exercise and air, so necessary
for her, she soon regained her natural
colour, and astonished them at home
so much by her healthful appearance,
that they deemed Monksford the
most miraculous place in the world.
And dearly Edith loved a visit
there, but for this one exception we
have related the unhappy knack
Granny had of thinking things so
very wrong, in which Edith could see
no harm !
She was pondering, as I have said,
coiled up on the large settee, her head
resting against the side of the open
window, and her bright golden hair
mingling with the jessamine leaves and
blossoms, when grandmamma entered
Well, little one, very hungry ? "
she asked. -
No, grandmamma; not very."
I have something pleasant to tell
you. Mrs. Drayson has a syllabub
and hay-party this afternoon at the
farm, and has asked you. You
would like to go, would you not?"
Oh, yes, grandmamma," answered
the little girl.
"Oh, yes, grandmamma," echoed
the old lady. "Why, thagL not the
tone in which my little Edith usually
receives invitations. What's the mat-
ter ? "
16 Grantys Spectacles.
Edith blushed as she answered, I
was thinking of something else."
May I know what it was? It must
have been something very serious to
prevent your springing off the settee,
and endangering the safety of my
little cups and saucers on this table,
at the thought of a syllabub-party.'"
I was thinking about-about your
My dear child 1-my spectacles-
what of them ? "
Why, they-they make everything
so big," said the child, hesitatingly.
"Of course, love, they do; for my
eyes have been active servants to me
for many years, and are weak and
weary now, so I need the help of
glasses to enable me to see to work
"Yes, I know; but- "
"But what, Edith, love ? There
is some mystery about these glasses.
What is it ? You have not been
trying them on, and broken them ? "
said the old lady, with a sudden
thought, looking in the basket where
she usually kept them.
"Oh I no, granny dear; I have not
Then, what is it ? Tell me like a
"Well, I think you put them on
whenever I do any little, little thing
18 Granny's Spectacls.
that you call naughty; and it makes
it seem such a big thing!"
Mrs. Everley laughed heartily, as
she drew the child tenderly towards
her, and said-
"Your father, oddly enough, used
to say the same thing. He declared,
when he was a little boy, I always
used to put on spectacles to look at
his faults, and in those days, you
know, I did not need spectacles; but
he felt, as you feel, darling, that I
'magnified little faults into great sins.
The fact is, that small faults unepr-
rected become sins, and with "my
mental glasses I could see them as
they might be, if neglected; and so
now, deary, I see your faults just as
I saw my own children's, and am as
anxious to make you, as I tried to
make them, as perfect as it is pos-
sible for me to me to make them.
But here is Sibley, announcing dinner,
so we must go. Some day I will tell
you, as a little moral lesson, what I
saw through my glasses when your
papa and uncles and aunts were little,
As soon as dinner was over, Edith
said, Will you come and tell me now,
granny dear, about papa, and all of
them, when they were little ? it will
be such fun!"
"Why, no, love, I cannot to-day;
20 Granny's Spcctces.
you aregoing to the farm, you know,
and you have only time to get dressed,
and reach the house, as the little folks
are all asked at five."
"Oh dear, how tiresome!" said
Tiresome! then do you not want
to go ? "
"No!" answered Edith, with a
little angry flounce.
"Shall I write a note to Mrs. Dray-
son, and say my little girl feels so out
oftemper that she cannot join her party
to-day?" said Mrs. Everley, mildly.
Edith made no answer; but her
pretty, rosy lips were pouted out, her
brow knit, and her handkerchief was
twisted into a rope by the little angry
fingers, which seemed as though they
must vent their anger on some-
Grandmamma took from the basket
her spectacles, and putting them on,
looked for some moments fixedly at
the child; and then she said-
"Edith, I will tell you what I see
now through my glasses. I see a
little fair face, disfigured by an angry,
petulant temper; a little heart, in
which God has placed the sweet
spirits of Love, and Trust, and
Hope, admitting as guests the evil
spirits of Self-will, Passion, and Per-
versity, which in time will drive out
22 Granny's Spectacles.
those gentler spirits, and make their
abode in that poor little heart, to the
endless wretchedness of its little
owner. Do not let them do so, my
child; go and be dressed, and then
come and kiss granny; and take to
your party the little bright face I am
accustomed to see."
Ashamed of her ill-humour, and yet
feeling some difficulty in overcoming
it, Edith ran out of the room without
a word, and went up into her own.
Hannah was there waiting to dress her.
Surprised at the flushed and angry
face of the little girl, she asked what
was the matter.
Nothing," said Edith, flinging her-
self into a chair, but I don't want to
go to the party; I hate parties, I hate
syllabub. What's one got to do there
but to sit on the stupid old hay, and
be smothered in it by a lot of rough
boys? I hate it!"
Not like parties not like romping
in the hay! Oh, Miss Edith! which
of them enjoyed themselves as much
as you last time ? "
"I did not-I did not, Hannah!"
"Oh, Miss Edie, dear Miss Edie!
if grandmamma's spectacles were on
now, what would she see? "
"She has had them on-the nasty
things! and that made me crosser. I
wasn't half cross, till she said she
24 Grann's Spcclac/cs.
could see all sorts of nasty things
through them! I hate them, I do!"
and rushing to the bed, she was about
to hide her face amongst the clothes,
as was her custom in her little fits of
anger, when she caught sight of the
sweetest little hat laid beside her
dress and jacket, ready for her to
She stopped suddenly, and looked
at Hannah, who was smilingly watch-
"Where did that come from ?" she
"Grandmamma saw through her
spectacles that your hat was too
shabby for a party, missy," said
Hannah, "so she has bought you
"Oh, how nice! I must run and
"Wait, and let me dress you
Edith was about to say, No,"
but she thought better of it; let
Hannah dress her quietly, and then
flew down-stairs, to kiss and thank
"Ah! that is well, my darling,"
said Mrs. Everley; now go and
join your party, making a resolution
to govern that temper, which my
troublesome glasses," she added,
smiling, "magnify into an evil pas-
26 Granny's Spectacles.
sion, which may wreck my little
grandchild's happiness here and here-
after; and to-morrow I will tell you
about my children when they were
Away went the little girl, after
again affectionately kissing her grand-
mamma, and in an hour she* was
amongst the gayest of the gay at the
party, rolling in the hay, dancing,
laughing, and singing, forgetting the
little cloud which had passed over
her, and looking forward to the tales
grandmamma was to tell her with as
much pleasure as, I trust, my little
readers may experience in perusing.
MADE THE MAGPIE.
.E r L I n the shadow of a
.' i .." ash-tree, one soft
:' ,., afternoon, sat an
.11 ii I, with a child on
the ground at her feet, looking
with earnest blue eyes full of eager-
ness, and parted lips, preparing to
listen with breathless interest to a
tale that was about to be told 'her,
which she had been long promised to
23 Grany's Spectaces.
hear-a tale that had, to the childish
mind, that intense delight of being
true, and about people whom the
little girl knew.
Edith Everley was about to hear
from grandmamma what she saw
through her glasses when Aunt
Maude was a little girl; ready to
sympathize deeply with the aggrava-
tion "dear auntie" must have felt,
as her little, cherished failings were
constantly magnified by those wretched
spectacles into a great sin.
Now, begin, granny, I'm quite
ready," said the little girl, settling
herself on the stool.
"Well, then, Edie," said grand-
Ma/de the Magpie. 29
mamma, Aunt Maude was once a
"I suppose so, granny," interrupted
"And a very nice little girl, too,"
continued Mrs. Everley, and a great
favourite with every one."
"She's a darling now," said Edith;
"so funny, oh! she does make me
"Yes, I believe she is still a
favourite with everyone; but had
I not put on my mental glasses,
Edith, she would not have been, I
"What did she do, grandmamma ?"
Well, she talked too much, Edith.'
30 Granny's Spectacls.
But that is not wicked, is it ?"
"No, my dear, not wicked-the
simple fact of talking; but trouble-
some when carried to an excess, and
leading, like most little faults, to
serious sins. Persons who are fond
of talking, generally give themselves
little time to think; and by speaking
unadvisedlyy with their lips,' they run
into the sad danger of making mis-
chief. And poor Aunt Maude, one
day, found the danger of her love of
talking, and wished she had believed
me, and sooner broken herself of the
foolish habit. I had seen the fault
growing bigger and bigger, and con-
tinually warned her. She had been
MAaudte fte Magpi. 31
called many a mocking name by her
brothers and sisters, till the one of
'Magpie' became her common ap-
pellation. But she was merry and
good-tempered, and only laughed, and
thought, as she often said, 'Mamma
makes such a fuss about little things;
it's just as Philip says, she puts
spectacles on to look at our faults;
and she does, I'm sure.' And so
she went on, making no effort to re-
strain the unruly member.
"One day the elder children were
all invited to a little party at the
house of an old gentleman who was
a great favourite with all little folks.
He was a bachelor of great wealth,
32 Granny's Spectacls.
which he spent chiefly on others, little
or nothing on himself, for his tastes
were simple and inexpensive, and he
indulged himself in no luxuries at all.
He kept a horse to ride for himself,
and a carriage for his friends. This
carriage was always sent to fetch the
children whom he invited to his
parties, which he gave regularly twice
a year-one in the winter, one in the
summer. He was called Uncle
Roger' by every one, and to be with
him was considered a greater treat
than anything else on earth. He
knew the birthdays of all his little
friends, and so soon as the morning
came, came a parcel, with some funny
Maude tIc Magpie. 33
inscription on it, purporting to come,
sometimes from Humguffin,' some-
times from Ugly Mug,' and now and
then from the Welsh giant, Blunder-
bore.' He really was a Welshman,
and might almost be termed a giant,
for he was a large, tall man, and
remarkably strong. You may sup-
pose, therefore, with what delight the
children looked forward to his party.
Before they started, I warned Maude
of her prevailing fault, and begged
her to control her tongue, and not be
tempted to talk of what did not con-
cern her. I again repeated the in-
junction I had so often given her,
and which was a rule for all little
34 Granny's Spectacles.
people to follow, never to speak unless
spoken to; but still, with an anxious
heart, I dismissed her, for I could
see I had made but little impression;
and my glasses, Edith, revealed to
me a mischievous, chattering person,
dreaded by all, through that endless
talking, which had become uncon-
trollable from habit.
"Well, they all went off in high
spirits, and I thought much of them
in their absence, hoping they would
all behave as I should wish them;
for it is a grievous thing, Edith, for
children who are carefully brought up
to conduct themselves in a way which
does little credit to the mother who
Mawd the eMagpi. 35
prays for them and loves them, and
who deserves the reward of all her
care, the only reward she covets, that
her children should grow up in favour
with- God and man.
"They came home at the hour I
sent for them, for on that subject I
was very particular, and bright and
happy they seemed, all talking at
once, until I could not understand
one bit of the news they so eagerly
wished to impart. I asked no ques-
tions as to their individual behaviour,
but hoped they had all been good;
and they said, Yes, very, at least,
Uncle Roger said so.' They all had
presents. Uncle Roger had told them
36 Grauny's Sp~Ltacl,.
they were to play at being robbers;
each child, in turn, was to pick his
pockets, and see what he could find.
Every child was to have one thing,
'and, oh! it was fun, mamma!' said
Maude. He had hid them in such
wonderful places-in his coat-sleeves,
in his neckerchief, and Philip's beauti-
ful pen was behind his ear. The last
little girl couldn't find anything for a
long time; and, at last, where do you
think her parcel was?' Where do
you think, Edith ?" said grand-
mamma, smiling at the little eager
face turned up to hers.
I don't know, granny, I'm sure."
Well, I could not guess either,
1alude the Magpic 37
Edith, and so they told me-in his
boot! for, in those days, they wore
long boots that reached up the leg,
and in one he had stuffed the
"He must have been a funny man,
granny. I should like to have seen
him-is he dead ?" asked Edith.
Oh yes, he has been dead many
years; but we shall never forget him,
any of us. But I must get on with my
story, or tea will be ready before we
have done. After they had told me
all they could think of, I asked if
any grown people were there, and I
fancied I noticed an odd look in
Maude's face, when Philip said, 'Miss
38 Gatfny's Spectacles.
Russell and her niece;' but I only
thought of it afterwards, when the
events which followed recalled to me
the expression I had noticed. A day
or two passed on; and, one morning,
after our customary reading of the
daily lessons, Maude asked me if she
might speak to me by myself. I
smilingly consented, only supposing it
was some little childish secret she was
going to impart; but I was greatly
surprised, the moment we were alone,
by her bursting into tears, and ex-
claiming, 'Oh, mamma, mamma! my
unhappy tongue 1'
What is the matter ?' I eagerly
Made ite Magpie. 39
"'I have been so unhappy ever
since I was at Uncle Roger's, and
I've wanted so to tell you, but I did
not like; but I must-I must, for I
can't be happy!' Then the poor child,
through her sobs and tears, told me
that, during supper, Miss Russell had
asked Mr. Roger if he knew anything
of a Mr. Prescott, a new resident in
the place, and that he had said, No ;'
and then Maude said, without think-
ing, her papa knew him, and thought
he was no good; he had heard some-
thing of him in the City he did not
like at all. 'And, oh mamma she
continued, 'the moment I said it, I
knew it was wrong, and remembered
40 Granny's Spectacles.
how often you had bid us never repeat
what you and ppap said ; and I fear
it's done some harm, for Miss Russell
looked at her niece so oddly, and poor
Margaret got so red, and I think,
perhaps, she was fond of him; and
I am so miserable!' and again her
tears burst forth.
"I could offer her no consolation,
for I was sadly annoyed. We were
generally most cautious of speak-
ing ill of any one, especially before
the children or servants; but I well
remembered your grandfather say-
ing to me that he hoped the Mr.
Prescott, our neighbour, was not
the man he heard of in the City,
.coude the Maipie. 41
as he had not got a good character
Maude was a singularly intelligent
and observant child, and always
noticed and remembered any conver-
sation that went on before her. She
had heard it mentioned, too, that
Margaret Russell had known Mr.
Prescott before, and that they were
likely to be married; but, as usual,
giving herself no time to think before
she spoke, she had uttered what
she had no business to repeat, and
what she now felt might cause great
unhappiness to a girl who was a great
favourite of hers.
Margaret Russell was very pretty,
42 Granny's Spectacles.
and very kind to children, although
given to be a little silly and romantic;
and I knew that the aunt with whom
she lived-for she, poor girl, was an
orphan-was most anxious to prevent
her engaging herself too young, or
forming an attachment injudiciously.
Whilst I was talking to Maude, show-
ing her how unwise she had been not
sooner to have taken my advice, the
servant announced 'Miss Russell!'
and you can fancy your poor Aunt
Maude's state of mind whilst I was
gone to her. She was a very proud
old maiden lady, with a cold precise
manner, and, as soon as I was seated,
Maude the Magpie. 43
"'I have come, Mrs. Everley, on
a most important business. The fact
is, I have been over-persuaded to con-
sent to an engagement, subject to
certain conditions, between my niece
Margaret and Mr. Prescott; but, on
Wednesday, at Mr. Roger's juvenile
party, a remark was made by your
eldest daughter, which has unsettled
all my arrangements; and I have
forbidden further communication be-
tween the young people until such
time as I can discover the truth or
falsity of the statement.'
"'Dear Miss Russell,' I began, 'on
the testimony of a mere child---
"' My dear madam,' interrupted
44 Granny's Spcdadces.
Miss Russell, 'she quoted her papa,
and as I have never quite approved
of Mr. Prescott, I am inclined to
believe anything to his discredit. I
should feel greatly obliged to Mr.
Everley if he can substantiate any-
thing against Mr. Prescott.'
"' I am sure, Miss Russell, he can-
not, nor would he interfere in the
matter; he spoke inadvertently, and
Maude was a very naughty girl for
repeating what she heard. She is to
be punished for it, but the conscious-
ness of the mischief she has caused
will be the severest she can have.' I
would say no more, and Miss Russell
left me, saying hoe should certainly
Made i Magpic. 45
act on what she had heard Maude
say, and at once take her niece abroad,
away from all intercourse with Mr.
Prescott. Of course, that same
evening, Mr. Prescott himself came,
and the trouble that this foolish
little long tongue of Maude's gave
was excessive; but although Mr.
Prescott proved beyond a doubt
he was not the person your grand-
father had heard evil spoken of,
the obstinate old lady refused to
hear anything, and carried off the
unfortunate Margaret, who wrote a
wild, distracted letter to Maude, ac-
cusing her of having made her
miserable for life."
46 Granny's Spectacles.
Oh, grandmamma, and did they
never marry ?" asked Edith.
I never heard that they did. We
left the place soon after; but Maude
never forgot those few days of sincere
distress she had passed. Of course,
the habit of chattering was difficult
to overcome, but the name of Mar-
garet' acted as a talisman, whenever
we wished to remind her that, 'A
still tongue makes a wise head.'"
r CYRIL THE CARELESS.
S CAN quite think that Uncle
Cyril deserved to be called
'the Careless,' grandmamma,"
S said Edith Everley, taking
her customary seat beside her grand-
mamma, to listen to the tale; "for
when he comes to see us now,
mamma does scold him, and tells him
she shall pity his wife when he has
48 Grannt,'s Spectacls.
"Yes, love," answered grand-
mamma; I fear he has never mas-
tered his prevailing sin. No childish
punishment had ever power to make
him remember for more than a
moment; and all the evil I saw
through my glasses when he was only
a child has come to pass in his man-
hood. A short time ago he lost an
excellent appointment through his
carelessness. But with his present
life we have nothing now to do: I
am going to tell you of his childhood.
He is buying now dearly his own
experience, and wishing, as too many
do, he had listened to his mother's
Cyril the Caress. 49
"He was naturally from his birth
destructive and careless. He broke
more toys and destroyed more clothes
than all the nursery put together, and
was more often in mischief and
punishment. The nurse, who, as I
have told you, almost worshipped
your papa, was sadly plagued when
this new inmate of her nursery began
to run about. She dared put nothing
out of her hand, but his busy, restless"
fingers were into it. He was as in-
quisitive as a raven; and not only
did he want to see things, but he had
a desire to taste them also. Every-
thing went into his mouth; till, as
poor nurse said, he was never safe,
50 Grann'Js Spectacles.
and she was never easy about him,
until he was in bed and asleep, and
that sleep was generally not effected
until he had disturbed the little tidy
cot in which he had been laid, and
precipitated pillow, blankets, sheets,
and quilt on to the floor, and had
flung himself, with his head at the
foot of the cot, on the bare sacking,
busily talking to himself in his own
baby language, whilst he made this
novel arrangement for a night's
rest; and having accomplished it,
after many scuffles with the under-
nurse, who came to put him tidy
at least a dozen times, he finally,
with a sigh of relief, would say,
Cyril the Careless. 51
'There!' and be asleep in a mo-
"His dislike to wearing apparel
was as great as to bed-clothes, for he
never would keep on his shoes and
socks, or his hat; and poor nurse has
often cried when, having dressed him
in his best, and sat him down for a
moment to dress herself, she has found
the cockade torn from his hat, in an
effort to get the hat off, and the but-
tons off one or both of his shoes, by
pulling at them to disembarrass his
feet of those encumbrances.
He was a fine, strong, handsome
child, and could carry things which
many children of his age could scarcely
<" Granny's Spectacles.
lift; and fancy nurse's terror one day
when, expecting visitors, she had
dressed him nicely in a spotless white
frock, to see him coming along the
nursery, carrying the large black tea-
kettle, which he deposited on the
carpet at her feet, with that trium-
phant 'There!' which was the word
he always used, with an accent of
perfect satisfaction, at the termina-
tion of his mischievous performances.
These traits of disposition in his baby-
days led me to expect he would
always be, what nurse declared he
was-'a handful;' and he certainly
As he grew older, and had pre-
Cyril the Careless. 53
sents of books and toys, like the other
children, his were always at once lost
or destroyed. He would stamp on a
thing on the ground, rather than pick
it up; and the loss or destruction of
even his most valued possession never
appeared to affect him in the least.
He would borrow what he wanted
from the others, and then lose it, con-
soling the Aildren with the assurance
that he would pay them when he had
any money, which he certainly did,
even to the last penny he had. He
was as reckless and indifferent about
money as about everything else. He
only valued it as far as it procured
him any present indulgence, and he
54 Grannfys Spectacles.
spent it all the moment he had it, if he
did not first lose it.
One thing I must do him the jus-
tice to say: he spent his money with
equal lavishness on others as on him-
self. He delighted in giving presents,
and was thoroughly good-natured, as
he still is. Since he has been grown
up, he has given away a handsome
gun, a present from his godfather, to
a young friend; and when I remon-
strated with him, he only answered,
'Well, the poor chap had not one,
and was'asked to shoot in the moors.
I shall get another some day, I dare
say, and I can always borrow dad's.'
That which tired my patience with
Cyril the Careless. 55
him more than anything, was his losing
everything. He was very fond of
drawing, and, glad to encourage him
in any useful, quiet occupation, I set
him up with pencils, india-rubber,
paper, and everything I thought he
would want. Only a few days after
I had brought a book into the school-
room to read aloud to the children
whilst they drew and worked; but I
was continually interrupted by a
whispered request from Cyril to his
brother Philip. At length I inquired
what it was he so continually asked for.
My india-rubber, mamma,' an-
swered Philip, and he never passes
it back again ; it is such a bore.'
56 Granny's Spectacls.
"'Where is your own, Cyril?' I
"'I don't know, mamma; Maude
had it last.'
"Of course this was indignantly
denied, and a war of words would
have succeeded, had I not stopped it
by desiring Cyril to leave off drawing
until the india-rubber was found; but
as he hated the trouble of search-
ing for anything, I gained little
peace by this suggestion; for he
only wandered about the room, up-
setting things, and causing exclama-
tions of dismay from his sisters at
an overturned work-box or paint-
box, so that I was obliged to order
Cyril the Careless. 57
him to sit still, and do nothing.
Before the work was ended, every-
thing I had so carefully provided for
his amusement was lost or destroyed,
and the missing india-rubber, which
he so persisted was last in Maude's
possession, was returned by the laun-
dress, who had found it in his pocket.
He was never, by any chance, fit to be
seen; his laces had always lost their
tags, and were hanging about his
heels; the buttons off his waistcoat;
his knees through his trousers; and
the brim off his hat, so that it was
impossible to take him anywhere with
me, without having him re-dressed
from top to toe.
58 Granny's Spectacles.
"There came, one day, to the
neighboring town a grand circus,
which had been for some time adver-
tised as about to appear, and the
children all hoped to be allowed to go
and see it; but no promise had been
given them that they should, and they
had, I believe, nearly forgotten it;
when one morning, soon after break-
fast, Uncle Roger arrived in his
carriage, and said that all little ones
wanting to see the circus were to jump
into the carriage at once, and come off
with him. All the children were at
play in the garden, and I ran out to
tell them they were to come just as
they were. Uncle Roger said he
Cyril the Careless. 59
could not wait for any dressing, as he
had to run up to London on business,
and he should go to the station from
the show, and send them home in the
carriage. My heart misgave me about
Cyril, and my worst fears were con-
firmed when I saw him; at each- knee
hung a festoon of cloth; the peak of
his cap hung over his left ear, where
he had pushed it that it should not
interfere with his sight; one elbow
was clean through the jacket; and his
hands and face were caked with mud;
he had been constructing a mud-hut,
he said. However, it was hopeless
thinking of his going to the circus,
and the other children went without
60 Granny's Spectacles.
him, leaving him, poor child, with his
muddy knuckles rubbing the tears out
of his eyes. I was very sorry for
him; but I hoped the lesson might be
of service. Alas, no! his sorrow
over, he forgot it and its cause, and
was the same untidy, dirty boy the
"A more serious misfortune, how-
ever, soon followed on this, and did, I
think, make more impression. It was
during holiday-time-he was a big
boy, between eleven and twelve-his
father had forgotten to pay a small
sum into the bank, to a fund of which
he was treasurer, and without con-
sulting me, or I should have told him
Cyril the Careless. 61
it was dangerous, he bid Cyril take
it. It was sealed up in a small packet,
which he tossed to the boy, telling
him to run off with it, and tell the
manager who sent it, and he would
know all about it. Away went Cyril,
whistling to his dog to follow him, and
we could see him, as he crossed the
fields, throwing sticks for Nip to fetch,
and peering up into the trees and
hedges for birds' nests, which he de-
lighted, like a boy, to capture. I saw
him from my window, but did not
know what errand he was on; he
often went across the fields into the
town to buy something for himself.
Finding him back in the school-room
62 Granny's Spectacles.
at tea-time, I asked no questions, until
I noticed his eyes were very red, and
that his sister Maude kept whispering
something very earnestly to him. I
then asked what was the matter; but
he turned away his face, and did not
answer; and then Maude said-
"' I don't care, Cyril, I'll tell mamma,
if you won't; for something must be
"'Be quiet, Maude; you shan't,'
he said, springing forward and putting
his hand before her mouth.
"' Nonsense, Cyril,' I said. What
is it ? Tell me directly. Who ought
to know your troubles, if not your
mother ?' With all his faults, poor
Cyril the Careless. 63
boy, he loved me dearly; and, pas-
sionately excited as he was, these
words calmed him.
"' I'll tell you myself, then; Maude
"' I don't wish to, Cyril,' she said,
'if you, will. But, mamma dear, you
won't let papa be angry with him ?'
Dreading, yet longing, to hear
what he had done, I entreated for an
explanation. And then he told me he
had lost the money. He wanted to
buy a stick for his dog, and had put
the parcel in his pocket, and, as a
matter of course, the pocket was torn.
He had gone back every step of the
way he came; but in vain; it was not
64 Granny's Spectacles.
to be found. At once I sent out the
garden-boy to help him in a fresh
search, but it was fruitless; and on his
father's return, there was no help but
to tell him. He was very angry, of
course; sent him supperless to bed;
and stopped his weekly allowance
until the money was paid, which of
course kept him without pocket-money
all the next half at school. At first
he was very penitent; but that feel-
ing soon wore off; and he only con-
tinued to say he could not help having
a hole in his:pocket."
"Poor Uncle Cyril!" said Edith;
"how frightened he must have been
when he got to the bank and found
Cyril the CardCss. 65
the money was gone. I wonder it
did not make him for ever afterwards
as tidy-as tidy: if it was in a story-
book it would say so, wouldn't it
"Well, perhaps it might, my dear;
but I must own it had but small effect
on my poor boy, and that he is still
Cyril the Careless."
PHILIP THE PEEVISH.
DON'T like that; it isn't half
so nice as the one I had be-
Sfore," said Edith Everley, in a
Shining voice, throwing down
on the table a little sofa, intended for
a doll's house.
Grandmamma entered the room at
the moment, and putting her hand on
Edith's shoulder, said: "Why, Edith,
I thought papa had come back a little
Phiip the Peevish. 67
boy to me; that was just his voice,
when I used to call him Philip the
Peevish.' Aunt Maude had a name
given her, and I thought he deserved
one as much. Come and hear about
him, and forget this small annoyance,
whatever it is."
"Yes, grandmamma," answered
Edith, though still turning about the
little toy with a dissatisfied air.
"What is it that has disturbed my
little girl ?" said Mrs. Everley, kindly.
"Why, Hannah stamped on my
little sofa I bought to carry home for
my drawing-room in the doll's house;
and she's bought this in place of it,
and it isn't half so nice."
68 Granny's Specacles.
"Perhaps not, love; but as it was
quite right of Hannah to try to re-
place what she destroyed, and as her
means are not very large, you can but
thank her graciously, and make the
best of the little toy; which is, after
all, better than none. Whining over
and grumbling at the one won't bring
back the other. What is not to be
remedied it is wisest and best to
bear cheerfully. So come now, and
bring your stool beneath the ash, and
hear about papa."
Nothing could more readily have
dispersed the clouds from Edith's face
than this suggestion; and leaving the
little sofa to take care of itself, or
Phihp t/h Parvisk. 69
share the fate of its predecessor,
Edith went off into the garden with
"Then this is to be 'Philip the
Peevish,'" she said, settling herself
comfortably on her stool. Will you
name them all, grandma? It reminds
me of the kings, William the Lion,
and Philip the Fair, and so on."
"Their names must come with
their histories; we must be getting on
with our story of to-day, or we shall
not have time to finish it."
"All right, granny; I'm listening.
'Philip the Peevish.'"
"Well, Philip had the misfortune to
have a nurse who loved him too
70 Granny's Spectaces.
much; she came to him when he was
a poor little sickly baby, and nursed
him so tenderly and lovingly, that she
was the earthly means, no doubt, of
saving his life. Of course, this en-
deared him greatly to her; and none
of the other children, though she loved
them all very much, could ever com-
pare in her mind with this darling boy.
An affront to him was one to her; and
much as she loved me too, she never
could forgive me if I ventured to
punish or find fault with this idolised
I soon saw the nice harvest she
was sowing for herself, and also how
she was making my boy the fretful,
Philip the Pceish. 71
peevish child he became, and warned
her incessantly. I really believe she
tried to do as I wished her, and
flattered herself she did not spoil the
child; but his tears broke down every
resolve, and made her give way to
him directly. He soon saw this, and
became a perfect tyrant to her. If it
had not been for the counteracting
influence of myself and his father, he
would have been quite ruined; but I,
Edith, saw through my spectacles the
wretched, discontented, fretful spirit
which would come of this pandering
to his whims; how the little, com-
plaining, whining voice, so often heard
in the nursery, would soon grow
72 Granny Spectacles.
habitual, and that as he grew older,
the impossibility to procure all he
desired would render him, not only
miserable, but lead to breaking the
commandment which bids us not
covet or desire other men's goods.
What was to be done ? To part with
nurse, whom we all loved and re-
spected, and who was a second mother
to the children, was not to be thought
of; to take the boy from her care,
equally impossible; he was too young
for school, and she would have broken
her heart to see any one else have
the care of him. It was the subject
of much thought and anxiety to me;
but I could only come to the conclu-
Phihip the Pevish. 73
sion of having him as much as possible
with me, to which arrangement she
never objected, as she delighted in
having him noticed, and taken down-
stairs. At first he thought it a great
treat; but soon finding each little
peevish whim was not attended to,
he wanted to return again to the
nursery, and I had hard battles to
fight to keep him with me. In vain
I reasoned with him: the miserable,
'I want this;' 'I don't like that;'
'I'm tired of this toy;' 'I want
Nursey,' was for ever sounding in
one's ears. At length I thought of
an expedient to break him of this
wretched trick. Remember, he was
74 Granny's Spectacles.
very little at the time, and by no
means a sharp child of his age, or
my plan might not have succeeded
as well as it did."
"Oh, granny, what did you do ? "
said Edith, rubbing her hands with
delight. "Go on."
"Well, Edith, one day when poor
little Philip had been, as usual, very
fretful, I said: Philip, I have tried
in vain to break you of your foolish,
fretful ways-of that peevish manner
of asking for things, and crying for
what you cannot have. Now I have
heard of a person who undertakes
to cure little people of their faults;
I fear you will not like her way so
Philip the Peevish. 75
well as mine; and, moreover, Philip,
she has the most enormous spectacles,
through which the faults she sees are
so magnified-made so much bigger,
you know-that she punishes them
severely, according to the size they
seem to her. I have sent for her to-
day that you may see her, and judge
for yourself whether you would like
to have her always with you, in-
stead'Of dear Nursey. This naughty
peevishness is the result of poor
nurse's over kindness, and it is an
ungrateful return to her. I must see.
I shall ring now, and desire Mrs.
Whipwell to come up. Accordingly,
I rang the bell, and desired the ser-
76 Graty's Spectacles.
vant to show up Mrs. Whipwell, if
she had come.
"'Yes,' the maid said, 'she had
been waiting some time.'
"With wide-open eyes, the tears
still wet on his cheek from a fit of
crying for something I had refused
him, Philip waited, I have no doubt,
with mingled anxiety and curiosity, for
the entrance of the terrific Mrs. Whip-
well. A heavy tread was soon heard
outside, and the door opening, ad-
mitted a gigantic woman, carrying in
one hand a rod, in the other a coil
of rope, and from a leather bag
hanging on her arm, there peeped a
number of books, which looked like
Phiip tke Peereish. 77
school-books. Her bonnet was of
black silk, in which was bright scarlet
flowers; her shawl was scarlet and
black; her gown was black; and her
hair, or rather wig, as it appeared,
was black, done in large formal curls;
and on her nose rested the largest
pair of spectacles I ever beheld.
"'Be seated, Mrs. Whipwell,' I
said; 'this is the little boy about
whom I have told you.'
"In a deep, harsh voice, Mrs.
Whipwell answered, I see him,
ma'am; he is big enough to know
better than to cry, as he has just
been doing, for what he was not al-
lowed to have.'
78 Granny's Spectacles.
Poor little Philip drew near to me,
and took hold of my hand.
"'He appears but a little fellow to
us, Mrs. Whipwell,' I said, but I have
no doubt through your wonderful
glasses he seems big enough to suffer
the punishment due to the faults which
also seem big to you, and which cer-
tainly are very annoying to us. I
have merely troubled you to come to-
day to see him, and tell me if you can
see what his faults are, and if ypu can
cure them, supposing I am obliged to
call on you.'
"'Certainly,' replied Mrs. Whip-
well; and staring hard at him, she
said, 'I can see a peevish, discontented
Philip the Peevish. 79
child, growing up into a snarling,
fretful man, who will be shunned by
all; but I can see that if he begins at
once to try, it is possible to overcome
these naughty ways himself.'
"' And do you think that if we fail
in correcting him, you could break
him, Mrs. Whipwell ?' I asked, smiling
to myself, as the poor child drew closer
and closer to me.
"'Yes, ma'am, I believe I could;
this rod, or this rope, has seldom failed
to master very obstinate cases; these
books, which are very excellent ones,
on geography, grammar, history,
botany, chronology, ornithology,' geo-
logy, conchology, keep them employed
80 Granny's Spectacles.
during the intervals of whipping; and
I assure you, madam, at the end of
a week, I have known a thoroughly
fretful, discontented, peevish child,
pleased with the commonest toys;
happy and cheerful if only permitted
to pursue the simplest amusement,
which before he had thought dull
and stupid. Oh yes, ma'am, I could
cure him; I could cure him, I make
"'Well, then,' I said, I have your
address, and I will write and fix the
day for you to come. I think we
might give the little boy a week's
"'Yes, ma'am, certainly; in a week
Philip the Peevish. 81
we cannot expect him to cure himself
entirely; but we can see whether he
is trying to do so. You will certainly
be able by that time to judge whether
you will require my services or not.
Tuesday next, ma'am, then, I may
expect to hear from you,' continued
Mrs. Whipwell, rising. And re-
member, if you please,' she said, in a
deep, clear voice, 'no person-no
nurse, no mother-must interfere with
me. When once I have the charge of
him, he is mine altogether.
"'Oh, decidedly, Mrs. Whipwell.
Good day. I shall be sure to write.'
And, with a majestic bow, Mrs. Whip-
well left the room.
82 Granny's Spectaes.
"'Oh! mamma, mamma cried
poor little Philip, 'I will-i will be
good. Don't, pray, let that horrid
woman come. I won't cry or be
peevish, indeed, mamma.'
"'Well, my boy,' I said, kissing
him, I should be very sorry to have
her for you, and if I see you really try-
ing, she shall not come; but you must
make up your mind really to try.'"
"And did he try, granny ?" eagerly
He did, Edith, and succeeded so
well that, at the end of the week, we
were able to promise him he should
not be given up to Mrs. Whipwell's
Philip the Peevish. 83
But, granny, she wasn't real, was
Real, dear !" said granny, laugh-
ing; "yes, of course; real substantial
flesh and blood."
Ah but I mean it was somebody
"Well, perhaps it was. Can you
guess who ?"
"Oh dear no; she was a little
woman, this was a gigantic person.
Oh, I know, I know; that funny
man that called himself Humguffin."
"Quite right, Edie; it was Uncle
84 Grany's Spectacles.
Roger, and, through his so kindly
helping me in my scheme, papa lost
all claim to the title of Philip the
DORA THE DAINTY.
DARE say, deary," said
grandmamma to little Edith
Everley, one afternoon, you
are very much disappointed
Emmy cannot come to tea."
"Yes, I am disappointed, granny
dear, I must own; I should so like to
have her; she is such a dear little
"She is a very nice child, Edie
86 Grann s Spectacles.
dear, and I am quite sorry, too, she
cannot come. What do you think if,
by way of consoling ourselves, we ask
Sibley to put us tea out on the lawn,
and I tell you the fifth story ? There
will be very few more such days as
this, and only one more story to
"Oh, granny, dear granny, I am so
sorry I I wish you had twenty children
to tell about."
Thank you very much, Edie dear,"
said granny, laughing, but I am glad
you have not got the fairy wishing-
cap, to make such a wish come true.
Dearly as I loved my children, I
found five quite plenty. But do
Dora the Dainty. 87
you like my idea of tea on the
"Very-very much, granny. Shall
I run and tell Sibley ?"
"Yes, please, love."
"And I will get your lounging-chair
and my stool, and we will be cosy;"
and away flew the child, quite consoled
for her disappointment by this fresh
idea. She helped Sibley eagerly to lay
the tea, getting permission to gather
fruit and flowers to decorate the
table, and was delighted to hear her
tasty arrangements admired by granny,
and to be assured she had not en-
joyed a meal so much for a long
88 Grannys Spectacles.
The tea cleared, granny thus com-
menced her story: "I don't think,
Edith, you have ever seen your Aunt
Dora. I am punished for loving her
the best of all my children, I suppose,
by her being separated from me. She
has been in Australia for many years,
and though she keeps telling me in
every letter they talk of coming home
soon, I dare not hope to be permitted
to see her again."
Something very like tears glistened
in poor granny's eyes; and little Edith,
not knowing what to say to her, by
way of consolation, kissed the thin,
white hand which was resting on
Dora the Dainty. 89
Mrs. Everley seemed to understand
the action, for she smiled at the child,
and said: I have got you to love and
keep me company, have I not, dar-
ling ? and what is more, you are very
like Aunt Dora, exactly what she was
at your age. Well," she continued,
"this little loving pet, who was my
constant companion, was rather deli-
cate-the most delicate of all-which
may account for my feeling rather
more for her than the others, and as
my nurse was the most indulgent of
human beings, so my little Dora be-
came humoured in every fancy, and
was on the high road to being spoilt,
like her brother Philip. At every
90 Granny's Spectacles.
meal some new whim was evidenced,
till at last it became difficult, if not
impossible, to order anything she
would be sure to like. At one time
she would eagerly eat rice, and the
next shudder at it; some days an
excellent dinner was made on cold
meat, and sometimes, on hot; and I
have known five or six different things
brought up for her little ladyship at
one meal, while dear nurse coaxed her
with every inducement and bribe she
could think of to eat something. I
believe she was never more angry with
me than when I insisted, one day, on
the child having no dinner at all, if
she would not at once eat what I had
Dora the Dainty. 91
provided, and which only a few days
before she had liked excessively. She
cried, and assured me when the child
was dead I should be sorry for my
cruelty; but-4-id not think so: I
knew, Edie, I was doing what was
right for the dear child, that I should
never reproach myself if she was taken
from me, and that she would thank
me if she lived.
At that time I had an old maiden
aunt living-a dear, kind old body,
who had a small income, and lived in
a pretty little cottage in a quiet seaside
village in Hampshire. A little gem
of a place it was. I had passed many,
many happy days there before I was
92 Granny's Spectacles.
married. The cottage, so homely, yet
so clean and picturesque, was on a
breezy, healthy common, on which you
would have supposed yourself miles
from the sea, but a steep, shady lane
brought you suddenly on to a romantic
beach, where for hours I had run races
with the waves, whilst the dear old
lady sat with her book beneath the
shadow of a cliff. Well, she came to
stay a few days with me, just at the
time when this sad daintiness of
Dora's was giving me so much
"'I tell you what, my dear,' she
. said, 'let her come back with me; my
sweet pure air will make her feel
Dora the Daity. 93
strong, and I think I can promise to
send her home cured of this tiresome
fault. Barbara '-that was an old
servant of hers-' delights in children,
and will like nothing better than the
charge of her. The memory of your
own childish visits to me will render
you easy as to her happiness.'
"Though to part from my little
darling was a great trial, I would
not for worlds have allowed any
selfish feelings of my own to inter-
fere with what was so much for her
"Through my glasses, Edie, I could
see the mischief which would come of
this fanciful daintiness, in after years,
94 Granny's Spectacfls
if not corrected now. Already the
evil was spreading; she was getting
as foolish and fussy about her clothes,
her bed-in short, nothing was ever
quite right for her. Her clothes were
too tight or too loose for her, or they
smelt of 'nasty soap,' or they were
dirty; her bed was too hard or too
soft, the blankets too heavy or too
light, and she was beginning to tire
the patience of those who loved her
most. And so, though with a heavy
*feeling at my heart, and eyes dim
with tears, I watched my little, fairy-
like, fragile girl go off with Aunt
The child herself seemed de-
Dora the Dainty. 95
lighted to go. It had been one of
her favourite stories, as she called it,
to listen to what I used to do at
Stoneleigh; and she thought it some-
thing wonderful to be going to the
same place, to sleep in the same little
bed, to see the same old china and
stuffed birds, and to be waited on by
the same old servants. She should
fancy she was mamma when she was
little, and do everything she did. Of
course, it was a great consolation to
me to see her so pleased to go;
but I looked anxiously for the first
It came, with the information that
they had arrived quite safely; that
96 Granny's Spectacles.
Dora was in an ecstasy of delight
with everything, and had eaten an
excellent tea without making any
complaint. 'She had a tiny loaf all
to herself,' wrote my aunt, and a
bantam egg, and the little cup and
saucer to drink out of that you used
to have; and it would have done your
heart good to see her thorough en-
I read this to nurse, but she only
sighed, and said, 'Yes, that is as I
always say, she is so very delicate.
The change has done her good.
After she's been there a day or two,
she'll be just the same as she is at
home, poor'lamb; and if Miss Ray-
Dora the Dainty. 97
mond goes to punish her to make her
eat, she'll be sorry for it, as sure as
she's alive, for she'll have the child
"'There's no fear of punishment
there, nurse,' I answered; Miss Ray-
mond is the kindest creature in the
My aunt had promised to write
often to me, and so she did, and in
all her letters she continued to say
Dora was quite happy, but they had
had one or two failures with the
meals; but I was to make myself quite
easy, as the child was looking very
well, and is none the worse,' said the
letter, for my strict discipline. Tell