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"It was a glorious night. The moon was rising round and large out of the. mist, and
dark against its brightness I could see the figure of the Old Squire pacing the pathway over
Mary's Meadow."-Page 14.
Letters from a. Little Garden.
JULIANA HORATIA EWING,
AUTHOR OF JACKANAPESS," "DADDY DARWIN'S DOVECOT," "THE STORY OF A SHORT.LIFE,"
"LOB LIE- B-THE-FIRE; OR, THE LUCK OF LINGBOROUGH," ETC., ETC.
ILLUSTRATED BY GORDON BROWNE,
ENGRAVED AND PRINTED BY EDMUND EVANS.
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,
NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, CARING CROSS, W.C.;
43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.;
26, ST. GEORGE'S PLACE, HYDE PARK CORNER, S.W.
BRIGHTON: 133, NORTH STREET.
NEW YORi: E. & J.- B. YOUNG & CO.
"MARY'S MEADOW first appeared in the numbers of Aunt Judy's Magazine from
November 1883, to March 1884. It was the last serial story which Mrs. EWING
wrote, and I believe the subject of it arose from 'the fact that in 1883, after having
spent several years in moving from place to place, she went to live at Villa
Ponente, Taunton, where she had a settled home with a garden, and was able to
revert to the practical cultivation of flowers, which had been one of the favourite
pursuits of her girlhood.
The Game of the Earthly Paradise was received with great delight by the readers
of the story; one family of children adopted the word "Mary-meadowing" to
describe the work which they did towards beautifying hedges and bare places ; and
my sister received many letters of enquiry about the various plants mentioned in her
tale. These she answered in the Correpondence columns of the Magazine, and in
July 1884, it was suggested that a Parkinson Society" should be formed, whose
objects were "to search out and cultivate old garden flowers which have become
scarce; to exchange seeds and plants; to plant waste places with hardy flowers ; to
circulate books on gardening amongst the Members; and further, "to try to prevent
the extermination of rare wild flowers, as well as of garden treasures."
Reports of the Society, with correspondence on the exchanges of plants and
books, and quaint local names of flowers, were given in the Magazine until it was
brought to a close after Mrs. EWING'S death; but I am glad to say that the Society
itself is still in existence, and any one who wishes to procure a copy of its Rules can
do so by sending a stamped envelope to the Secretary, Miss Alice Sargant, 7, Belsize
Grove, N. W. Miss SARGANT was the originator of the scheme, so its management
remains in the best possible hands, and Professor OLIVER, of Kew Gardens, has
consented to become President in Mrs. EWING'S place. She owed to him her first
introduction to Paradisi in sole Paradisus terrestris, as well as many other kind acts
of help on flower subjects.
The Letters from a Little Garden were published in Aunt Yudy's Magazine
between November 1884, and February 1885, and as they, as well as "Mary's
Meadow," were due to the interest which my sister was taking in the tending of
her own Earthly Paradise,-they are inserted in this volume, although they were
left unfinished when the writer was called away to be-
"Fast in Thy Paradise, where no flower can wither !"
HORATIA K. F. GATTY.
NOTE.-If any readers of "Mary's Meadow have been as completely puzzled
as the writer was by the title of John Parkinson's old book, it may interest them to
know that the question has been raised and answered in Votes and Queries.
I first saw the Paradisi in sole Paradisuzs terrestris at Kew,- some years ago, and
was much bewitched by its quaint charm. I grieve to say that I do not possess it;
but an old friend and florist-the Rev. H. T. Ellacombe-was good enough to lend
me his copy for reference, and to him I wrote for the meaning of the title. But his
scholarship, and that of other learned friends, was quite at fault. My old friend's
youthful energies (he will permit me to say that he is ninety-four) were not satisfied to
rust in ignorance, and he wrote to Notes and Queries on the subject, and has been
twice answered. It is an absurd play upon words, after the fashion of John Parkin-
son's day. Paradise, as AUNT JUDY's readers may know, is originally an Eastern
word, meaning a park, or pleasure ground. I am ashamed to say that the knowledge
of this fact did not help me to the pan. Paradisi in sole raradisus terrestris means
Park-in-son's Earthly Paradise!
J. H. E., Fibruary, I884.
How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are Thy returns ev'n as the flowers in spring;
To.which, besides their own demean,
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.
Grief melts away
Like snow in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.
Who would have thought my shrivel'd heart
Could have recovered greenness? It was gone
Quite under ground; as flowers depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown;
Where they together
All the hard weather,
Dead to the world, keep house unknown.
O that I once past changing were,
Fast in Thy Paradise, where no flower can wither!
Many a spring I shoot up fair,
Offering at heaven, growing and groaning thither;
Nor doth my flower
Want a spring-shower,
My sins and I joining together.
These are Thy wonders, Lord of love,
To make us see we are but flowers that glide :
Which when we once can find and prove,
Thou hast a garden for us, where to bide.
Who would be more,
Swelling through store,
Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.
OTHER is always trying
to make us love our
neighbours as ourselves.
She does so despise
us for greediness, or
'l, Ngrudging, or snatching,
S or not sharing what we
have got, or taking the
best and leaving the
Surest, or helping our-
/ selves first, or pushing
forward, or praising
Number One, or being
Dogs in the Manger, or
h anything selfish. And
we cannot bear her to
We despise being selfish, too; but very often we forget. Besides, it
is sometimes rather difficult to love your neighbour as yourself when
you want a thing very much; and Arthur says he believes it is par-
ticularly difficult if it is your next-door-neighbour, and that that is why
Father and the Old Squire quarrelled about the footpath through
The Old Squire is not really his name, but that is what people call
him. He is very rich. His place comes next to ours, and it is much
bigger, and he has quantities of fields, and Father has only got a few;
but there are two fields beyond Mary's Meadow which belong to Father,
though the Old Squire wanted to buy them. Father would not sell
them, and he says he has a right of way through Mary's Meadow to go
to his fields, but the Old Squire says he has nothing of the kind, and
that is what they quarrelled about.
Arthur says if you quarrel, and .are too grown-up to punch each
other's heads, you go to law; and if going to law doesn't make it up, you
appeal. They went to law,. I know, for Mother cried about it; and I
suppose it did not make it up, for the Old Squire appealed.
12 THE ZQUIRE AND THE WALNUTS.
After that he used to ride about all day on his grey horse, with
Saxon, his yellow bull-dog, following him, to see that we did not trespass
on Mary's Meadow. I think he thought that if we children were there,
Saxon would frighten us, for I do not suppose he knew that we knew
him. But Saxon used often to come with the Old Squire's Scotch
Gardener to see our gardener, and when they were looking at the wall
fruit, Saxon used to come snuffing after us.
He is the nicest dog I know. He looks very savage, but he is only
very funny. His lower jaw sticks out, which makes him grin, and some
people think he is gnashing his teeth with rage. We think it looks as if
he were laughing-like Mother Hubbard's dog, when she brought home
his coffin, and he wasn't dead-but it really is only the shape of his jaw.
I loved Saxon the first day I saw him, and he likes me, and licks my
face. But what he likes best of all are Bath Oliver Biscuits.
One day the Scotch Gardener saw me feeding him, and he pulled
his red beard, and said, "Ye do weel to mak hay while the sun shines,
Saxon, my man. There's sma' sight o' young leddies and sweet cakes
at hame for ye !" And Saxon grinned, and wagged his tail, and the
Scotch Gardener touched his hat to me, and took him away.
The Old Squire's Weeding Woman is our nursery-maid's aunt. She
is not very old, but she looks so, because she has lost her teeth, and is
bent nearly double. She wears a large hood, and carries a big basket,
which she puts down outside the nursery door when she comes to tea
with Bessy. If it is a fine afternoon, and we are gardening, she lets us
borrow the basket, and then we play at being weeding women in each
She tells Bessy about the Old Squire. She says-"He do be a real
old skinflint, the Old Zquire a be !" But she thinks it-" zim as if
'twas having ne'er a wife nor child for to keep the natur in 'un, so his
heart do zim to shrivel, like they walnuts Butler tells us of as a zets
down for desert. The Old Zquire he mostly eats ne'er a one now's
teeth be so bad. But a counts them every night when's desert's done.
And a keeps 'em till the karnels be mowldy, and a keeps 'em till they
be dry, and a keeps 'em till they be dust; and when the karnels is dust,
a cracks aal the lot of 'em when desert's done, zo's no one mayn't have
no good of they walnuts, since they be no good to he."
Arthur can imitate the Weeding Woman exactly, and he can imitate
the Scotch Gardener, too. Chris (that is Christopher, our youngest
brother), is very fond of "The Zquire and the Walnuts." He gets nuts,
THOU LIGHT-WINGED DRYAD OF THE TREES, 13
or anything, like shells or bits of flower-pots, that will break, and some-
thing to hit with, and when Arthur comes to "The karnels is dust," Chris
smashes everything before him, shouting, A cracks aal the lot of 'em,"
and then he throws the bits all over the place, with They be no good to he."
Father laughed very much when he heard Arthur do the Weeding
Woman, and Mother could not help laughing, too; but she did not like
it, because she does not like us to repeat servants' gossip.
The Weeding Woman is a great gossip. She gossips all the time
she is having her tea, and it is generally about the Old Squire. She used
to tell Bessy that his flowers bloomed themselves to death, and the fruit
rotted on the walls, because he would let nothing be picked, and gave
nothing away, except now and then a grand present of fruit to Lady
Catherine, for which the old lady returned no thanks, but only a rude
message to say that his peaches were over-ripe, and he had better have
sent the grapes to the Infirmary. Adela asked-" Why is the Old Squire
so kind to Lady Catheriie ?" and Father said-"Because we are so fond
of Lords and Ladies in this part of the country." I thought he meant
the lords and ladies in the hedges, for we are very fond of them. But
he didn't. He meant real lords and ladies.
There are splendid lords and ladies in the hedges of Mary's
Meadow. I never can make up my mind when I like them best. In
April and May, when they have smooth plum-coloured coats and pale
green cowls, and push up out of last year's dry leaves, or in August
and September, when their hoods have fallen away, and their red berries
shine through the dusty grass and nettles that have been growing up
round them all the summer out of the ditch.
Flowers were one reason for our wanting to go to Mary's Meadow.
Another reason was the nightingale. There was one that used always
to sing there, and Mother had made us a story about it.
We are very fond of fairy books, and one of our greatest favourites
is Bechstein's "As Pretty as Seven." It has very nice pictures, and we
particularly like "The Man in the Moon, and How He Came There;"
but the story doesn't end well, for he came there by gathering sticks on
Sunday, and then scoffing about it, and he has been there ever since.
But Mother made us a new fairy tale about the nightingale in Mary's
Meadow b;pg the naughty woodcutter's only child, who was turned into
a little brown bird that lives on in the woods, and sits on a tree on
summer nights, and sings to its father up in the moon.
But after our Father and the Old Squire went to law, Mother told
14 SINGEST OF SUMMER IN FULL-THROATED EASE.
us we must be content with hearing the nightingale from a distance. We
did not really know about the lawsuit then, we only understood that the
Old Squire was rather crosser than usual; and we rather resented being
warned not to go into Mary's Meadow, especially as Father kept saying
we had a perfect right so to do. I thought that Mother was probably
afraid of Saxon being set at us, and of course I had no fears about him.
Indeed, I used to wish that it could happen that the Old Squire, riding
after me as full of fury as King Padella in the "Rose and the Ring,"
might set Saxon on me, as the lions were let loose to eat the Princess
Rosalba. Instead of devouring her with their great.teeth, it was with
kisses they gobbled her up. They licked her pretty feet, they nuzzled
their noses in her lap," and she put her arms round their tawny necks
and kissed them." Saxon gobbles us with kisses, and nuzzles his nose,
and we put our arms round his tawny neck. What a surprise it would be
to the Old Squire to see him And then I wondered if my feet were as
pretty as Rosalba's, and I thought they were, and I wondered if Saxon
would lick them, supposing that by any possibility it could ever happen
that I should be barefoot in Mary's Meadow at the mercy of the Old
Squire and his bull-dog.
One does not, as a rule, begin to go to bed by letting down one's
hair, and taking off one's shoes, and stockings. But one night I was
silly enough to do this, just to see if I looked (in the mirror) at all
like the picture of Rosalba in the "Rose and the Ring." I was trying
to see my feet as well as my hair, when I heard Authur jumping the
three steps in the middle of the passage between his room and mine. I
had only just.time to spring into the window seat, and tuck my feet under
me, when he gave a hasty knock, and bounced in with his telescope in
"Oh, Mary," he cried, "I want you to see the Old Squire, with a
great-coat over his evening clothes, and a squosh hat, marching up and
down Mary's Meadow."
And he pulled up my blind, and threw open the window, and
arranged the telescope for me.
It was a glorious night. The moon was rising round and large out
of the mist, and dark against its brightness I couldsee the figure of the
Old Squire pacing the pathway over Mary's Meadow.
Saxon was not there; but on a slender branch of a tree in the
hedgerow sat the nightingale, singing to comfort the poor, lonely old
Man in the Moon.
ADY CATHERINE is Mother's aunt
by marriage, and Mother is one of the
few people she is not rude to.
She is very rude, and yet she is very
kind, especially to the poor. But she
S does kind things so rudely, that people
now and then wish that she would mind
Aher own business instead. Father says
so, though Mother would say that that is
gossip. But I think sometimes that
Mother is thinking of Aunt Catherine
When she tells us that in kindness it is
jynot enough to be good to others, one
Should also learn to be gracious.
Mother thought she was very rude
to her once, when she said, quite out
loud, that Father is very ill-tempered, and that, if Mother had
not the temper of an 'angel, the house could never hold together.
Mother was very angry, but Father did not mind. He says our house
will hold together much longer than most houses, because he swore at
the workmen, and went to law with the builder for using dirt instead
of mortar, so the builder had to pull down what was done wrong, and
do it right; and Father says he knows he has a bad temper, but he
does not mean to pull the house over our heads at present, unless he
has to get bricks out to heave at Lady Catherine if she becomes quite
We do not like dear Father to be called bad-tempered. He comes
home cross sometimes, and then we have to be very quiet, and keep
out of the way; and sometimes he goes out rather cross, but not
always. It was what Chris'said about that that pleased Lady Catherine
16 DO ALL YOU CAN TO BE GOOD,
It was one day when Father came home cross, and was very much
vexed to find us playing about the house. Arthur had got a new
adventure book, and he had been reading to us about the West Coast
of Africa, and niggers, and tom-toms, and "going Fantee;" and James
gave him a lot of old corks out of the pantry, and let him burn them
in a candle. It rained, and we could not go out; so we all blacked
our faces with burnt cork, and played at the West Coast in one of the
back passages, and at James being the captain of a slave ship, because
he tried to catch us when we beat the tom-toms too near him when he
was cleaning the plate, to make him give us rouge and whitening to
Dear Father came home rather earlier than we expected, and
rather cross. Chris did not hear the front door, because his ears were
pinched up with tying curtain rings on to them, and just at that minute
he shouted, "I go Fantee!" and tore his pinafore right up the middle,
and burst into the front hall with it hanging in two pieces by the arm-
holes, his eyes shut, and a good grab of James's rouge powder smudged
on his nose, yelling and playing the tom-tom on what is left of Arthur's
Father was very angry indeed, and Chris was sent to bed, and not
allowed to go down to dessert; and Lady Catherine was dining at our
house, so he missed her.
Next time she called, and saw Chris, she asked him why he had
not been at dessert that night. Mother looked at Chris, and said, "Why
was it, Chris? Tell Aunt Catherine." Mother thought he would say,
" Because I tore my pinafore, and made a noise in the front hall." But
he smiled, the grave way Chris does, and said, Because Father came
home cross." And Lady Catherine was pleased, but Mother was vexed.
I am quite sure Chris meant no harm, but he does say very funny
things. Perhaps it is because his head is rather large for his body,
with some water having got into his brain when he was very little, so
that we have to take great care of him. And though he does say very
odd things, very slowly, I do not think any one of us tries harder to be
I remember once Mother had been trying to make us forgive each
other's trespasses, and Arthur would say that you cannot make yourself
feel kindly to them that trespass against you; and Mother said if you
make yourself do right, then at last you get to feel right; and it was
very soon after this that Harry and Christopher quarrelled, and would
AND YOU'LL BE SO. 17
not forgive each other's trespasses in the least, in spite of all that I
could do to try and make peace between them.
Chris went off in the sulks, but after a long time I came upon him
in the toy-cupboard, looking rather pale and very large-headed, and
winding up his new American top, and talking to himself.
When he talks to himself he mutters, so I could only just hear
what he was saying, and he said it over and over again :
"Dos first and feels afterwards."
What are you doing, Chris ?" I asked.
I'm getting ready my new top to give to Harry. Dos first and
Well," I said, Christopher, you are a good boy."
"I should like to punch his head," said Chris-and he said it in
just the same sing-song tone--"but I'm getting the top ready. Dos
first and feels afterwards."
And he went On winding and muttering.
Afterwards he told me that the "feels" came sooner than he
expected. Harry wouldn't take his top, and they made up their quarrel.
Christopher is very simple, but sometimes we think he is also a
little sly. He can make very wily excuses about things he does not
He does not like Nurse to hold back his head and wash his face;
and at last one day she let him go downstairs with a dirty face, and
then complained to Mother. So Mother asked Chris why he was so
naughty about having his face washed, and he said, quite gravely, "I
do think it would be such pity if the water got into my head again by
accident." Mother did not know he had ever heard about it, but she
said, "Oh, Chris Chris! that's one of your excuses." And he said,
"It's not my 'scusis. She lets a good deal get in-at my ears-and
But, with all his whimsical ways, Lady Catherine is devoted to
Christopher. She likes him far better than any one of us, and he is
very fond of her; and they say quite rude things to each other all
along. And Father says it is very lucky, for if she had not been so
fond of Chris, and so ready to take him too, Mother would never have
been persuaded to leave us when Aunt Catherine took them to the
South of France.
Mother had been very unwell for a long time. She has so many
worries, and Dr. Solomon said she ought to avoid worry, and Aunt
18 DEPARTURES AND SUBSTITUTES.
Catherine said worries were killing her, and Father said "Pshaw!'"
and Aunt Catherine said Care killed the cat," and that a cat has nine
lives, and a woman has only one; and then Mother got worse, and
Aunt Catherine wanted to take her abroad, and she wouldn't go; and
then Christopher was ill, and Aunt Catherine said she would take him
too, if only Mother would go with her; and Dr. Solomon said it might
be the turning-point of his health, and Father said, "the turning-point
which way?" but he thanked Lady Catherine, and they didn't quarrel;
and so Mother yielded, and it was settled that they should go.
Before they went, Mother spoke to me, and told me I must be a
Little Mother to the others whilst she was away. She hoped we should
all try to please Father, and to be unselfish with each other; but she
expected me to try far harder than the others, and never to think of
myself at all, so that I might fill her place whilst she was away. So I
promised to try, and I did.
We missed Christopher sadly. And Saxon missed him. The first
time Saxon came to see us after Mother and Chris went away, we told
him all about it, and he looked very sorry. Then we said that he
should be our brother in Christopher's stead, whilst Chris was away;
and he looked very much pleased, and wagged his tail, and licked our
faces all round. So we told him to come and see us very often.
He did not, but we do not think it was his fault. He is chained up
One day Arthur and I were walking down the road outside the
Old Squire's stables, and Saxon smelt us, and we could hear him run
and rattle his chain, and he gave deep, soft barks.
Arthur laughed. He said, "Do you hear Saxon, Mary? Now I
dare say the Old Squire thinks he smells tramps and wants to bite them.
He doesn't know that Saxon smells his new sister and brother, and
wishes he could go out walking with them in Mary's Meadow."
us so much whilst
Mother and Chris were
', _away as being
allowed to play
s'-v t in the Library.
p e a We were not
to be there so
-often, but when
Slwe asked Father
he gave us leave
to amuse our-
selves there at the time when Mother would have had us with her,
provided that we did not bother him or hurt the books. We did not
hurt the books, and in the end we were allowed to go there as much as
We have plenty of books of our own, and we have new ones verjr
often: on birthdays and at Christmas. Sometimes they are interesting,
and sometimes they are disappointing. Most of them have pretty
pictures. It was because we had been rather unlucky for some time,
and had had disappointing ones on our birthdays, that Arthur said to
me, "Look here, Mary, I'm not going to read any books now but
grown-up ones, unless it is an Adventure Book. I'm. sick of books for
young people, there's so much stuff in them."
We call it stuff when there seems to be going to be a story and it
comes to nothing but talk; and we call it stuff when there is a very
interesting picture, and you read to see what it is about, and the reading
does not tell you, or tells you wrong.
Both Arthur and Christopher had had disappointments in their
books on their birthdays.
Arthur jumped at his book at first, because there were Japanese
pictures in it, and Uncle Charley had just been staying with us, and
had brought beautiful Japanese pictures with him, and had told us
Japanese fairy tales, and they were as good as Bechstein. So Arthur
was full of Japan.
The most beautiful picture of all was of a stork, high up in a tall
tall pine tree, and the branches of the pine tree, and the cones, and the
pine needles were most beautifully drawn; and there was a nest with
young storks in it, and behind the stork and the nest and the tall pine
the sun was blazing with all his rays. And Uncle Charley told us the
story to it, and it was called "the Nest of the Stork."
So when Arthur saw a stork standing among pine needles in his
new book he shouted with delight, though the pine needles were rather
badly done, with thick strokes. But presently he said, It's not nearly
so good a stork as Uncle Charley's. And where's the stem of the pine?
It looks as if the stork were on the ground and on the top of the pine
tree too, and there's no nest. And there's no sun. And, oh! Mary,
what do you think is written under it ? Crane and Water-reeds.'
Well, I do call that a sell !"
Christopher's disappointment was quite as bad. Mother gave him
a book with very nice pictures, particularly of beasts. The chief reason
she got it for him was that there was such a very good picture of a
toad, and Chris is so fond of toads. For months he made friends
with one in the garden. It used to crawl away from him, ahd he used
to creep after it, talking to it, and then it used to half begin to crawl up
the garden wall, and stand so, on its hind legs, and let Chris rub its
wrinkled back. The toad in the picture was exactly like Christopher's
toad, and he ran about the house with the book in his arms begging us
to read him the story about Dear Toady.
We were all busy but Arthur, and he said, I want to go on with
my water-wheel." But Mother said, "Don't be selfish, Arthur." And
he said, "I forgot. All right, Chris; bring me the book." So they
went and sat in the conservatory, not to disturb anyone. But very soon
they came back, Chris crying, and saying, It couldn't be the right one,
Arthur;" and Arthur frowning, and saying, "It is the right story; but
it's stuff. I'll tell you what that book's good for, Chris. To paint the
pictures. And you've got a new paint-box." So Mother said, What's
the matter?" And Arthur said, "Chris thinks I haven't read him the
right story to his Toad Picture. But I have, and what do you think it's
about? It's about the silliest little girl you can imagine-a regular
mawk of a girl-and a Frog. Not a toad, but a F. R. O. G. frog I
A regular hop, skip, jumping frog !"
Arthur hopped round the room, but Chris cried bitterly. So Arthur
ran up to him and kissed him, and said, Don't cry, old chap. I'll tell
you what I'll do. You get Mary to cut out a lot of the leaves of your
book that have no pictures,, and that will make it like a real scrap-book;
and then I'll give you a lot of my scraps and pictures to paste over
what's left of the stories, and you'll have such a painting-book as you
never had in all your life before."
So we did. And Arthur was very good, for he gave Chris pictures
that I know he prized, because Chris liked them. But the very-first
picture he gave him was the "Crane and Water-reeds."
I thought it so good of Arthur to be so nice with Chris that I
wished I could have helped him over his water-wheel. He had put
Japan out of his head since the disappointment, and spent all his play-
time in making mills and machinery. He did grind some corn into
flour once, but it was not at all white. He said that was because the
bran was left in. But it was not only bran in Arthur's flour. There
was a good deal of sand too, from his millstones being made of sand-
stone, which he thought would not matter. But it grinds off.
Down in the valley, below .Mary's Meadow, runs the Ladybrook,
which turns the old water-wheel of Mary's Mill. It is a very picturesque
old mill, and Mother has made beautiful sketches of it. She caught the
last cold she got before going abroad with sketching it-the day we
had a most delightful picnic there, and went about in the punt. And
from that afternoon Arthur made up his mind that his next mill should
be a water mill.
The reason I am no good at helping Arthur about his mills is that
I am stupid about machinery; and I was so vexed not to help him, that
when I saw a book in the library which I thought would do so, I did
not stop to take it out, for it was in four very large volumes, but ran off
at once to tell Arthur.
He said, "What is the matter, Mary?"
I said, Oh, Arthur I've found a book that will tell you all about
mills; and it is the nicest smelling book in the Library."
"The nicest smelling ? What's that got to do with mills?"
"Nothing, of course. But it's bound in russia, and I am so fond
of the smell of russia. But that's nothing. It's a Miller's Dictionary,
and it is in four huge volumes,' with plates.' I should think you could
look out all about every kind of mill there ever was a miller to."
"If the plates give sections and diagrams "-Arthur began, but I
did not hear the rest, for he started off for the library at once, and I ran
But when we got Miller's Dictionary on the floor, how he did
22 WONDROUS INDEED IS THE VIRTUE OF A TRUE BOOK !
tease me For there was nothing about mills or millers in it. It was
a Gardener's and Botanist's Dictionary, by Philip Miller; and the
plates were plates of flowers, very truly drawn, like the pine tree in
Uncle Charley's Jap. picture. There were some sections too, but they
were sections of greenhouses, not of any kinds of mills or machinery.
The odd thing was that it turned out a kind of help to Arthur after
all. For we got so much interested in it that it roused us up about our
gardens. We are all very fond of flowers, I most of all. And at last
Arthur said he thought that miniature mills were really rather hum-
bugging things, and it would be much easier and more useful to build a
cold frame to keep choice auriculas and half-hardies in.
When we took up our gardens so hotly, Harry and Adela took up
theirs, and we did a great deal, for the weather was fine.
We were surprised to find that the Old Squire's Scotch Gardener
knew Miller's Gardener's Dictionary quite well. He said, It's a gran'
wurrk!" (Arthur can say it just like him.)
One day he wished he could see it, and smell the russia binding;
he said he liked to feel a nice smell. Father was away, and we were
by ourselves, so we invited him into the library. Saxon wanted to come
in too, but the gardener was very cross with him, and sent him out;
and he sat on the mat outside and dribbled with longing to get in, and
thudded his stiff tail whenever he saw anyone through the doorway.
The Scotch Gardener enjoyed himself very much, and he explained
a lot of things to Arthur, and helped us to put away the Dictionary
when we had done with it.
When he took up his hat to go, he gave one long look all round
the library. Then he turned to Arthur (and Saxon took advantage of
this to wag his way in and join the party), and said, "It's a rare privilege,.
the free entry of a book chamber like this. I'm hoping, young gentle-
man, that you're not insensible of it?"
Then he caught sight of Saxon, and beat him out- of the room with
But he came back himself to say, that it might just happen that he
would be glad now and again to hear what was said about this or that
plant (of which he would write down the botanical name) in these noble
So we told him that if he would bring Saxon to see us pretty often,
we would look out anything he wanted to know about in Miller's
----- - -
The Scotch Gardener enjoyed himself very much, and he explained a lot of things to
Arthur, and helped us to put away the Dictionary when we had done with it."-Page 22.
," 'l OOKING round the library one day,
to see if I could see any more books
about gardening, I found the Book of
S- It is a -very old book,
and very queer. It has a
Brown leather back not
russia and stiff little gold
Flowers and ornaments all the
way down, where Miller's
s Dictionary has gold swans in
crowns, and ornaments.
There are a good many
old books in the library, but
they are not generally very
interesting at least not to
us. So when I found that
S though this one had a Latin
name on the title page, it was
written in English, and that
though it seemed to be about
S< Paradise, it was really about
a garden, and quite common
flowers, I was delighted, for I
always have cared more for
gardening and flowers than for any other amusement, long before we
found Miller's Gardener's Dictionary. And the Book of Paradise is
much smaller than the dictionary, and easier to hold. And I like
old, queer things, and it-is very old and queer.
The Latin name is Paradisi in sole,, Paradisus terrestris," which
we do not any of us understand, though we are all learning Latin; so
we call it the Book of Paradise. But the English name is-" Or a
GOD ALMIGHTY FIRST PLANTED A GARDEN; 25
Garden of all sorts of pleasant flowers which our English ayre will
permit to be noursed up;" and on the top of every page is written
"The Garden of Pleasant Flowers," and it says-" Collected by John
Parkinson, Apothecary of London, and the King's Herbarist, 1620."
I had to think a minute to remember who was the king then, and
it was King Charles I.; so then I knew that it was Queen Henrietta to
whom the book was dedicated. This was the dedication :-
"To THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
"Madame,-Knowing your Majesty so much delighted with all the fair flowers
of a Garden, and furnished with them as far beyond others as you are eminent before
them; this my Work of a Garden long before this intended to be published, and but
now only finished, seemed as it were destined to be first offered into your Highness's
hands as of right, challenging the propriety of Patronage from all others. Accept, I
beseech your Majesty, this speaking Garden, that may inform you in all the particulars
of your store as well as wants, when you cannot see any of them fresh upon the
ground: and it shall further encourage him to accomplish the remainder; who in
praying that your Highness may enjoy. the heavenly Paradise, after many years'
fruition of this earthly, submitteth to be your Majesties,
"In all humble devotion,
We like queer old things like this, they are so funny I liked the
Dedication, and I wondered if the Queen's Garden really was an Earthly
Paradise, and whether she did enjoy reading John Parkinson's book
about flowers in the winter time, when her own flowers were no longer
"fresh upon the ground." And then I wondered what flowers she had,
and I looked out a great many of our chief favourites, and she had
several kinds of them.
We are particular fond of Daffodils, and she had several kinds of
Daffodils, from the "Primrose Peerlesse,"* "of a sweet but stuffing
scent," to "the least Daffodil of all,"t which the book says "was
brought to us by a Frenchman called Francis le Vean, the honestest
root-gatherer that ever came over to us."
The Queen had Cowslips too, though our gardener despised them
when he saw them in my garden. I dug mine up in Mary's Meadow
Narcissus medio lutens vulgaris.
t Narcissus minimus, Parkinson. N. minor, 'Miller.
26 AND IT IS THE PUREST OF HUMAN PLEASURES.
before Father and the Old Squire went to law; but they were only
common Cowslips, with one Oxlip, by good luck. In the Earthly
Paradise there were double Cowslips, one within another." And they
were called Hose-in-Hose. I wished I had Hose-in-Hose.
Arthur was quite as much delighted with the Book of Paradise
as I. He said, "Isn't it funny to think of Queen Henrietta Maria
gardening. I wonder if she went trailing up and down the walks
looking like that picture of her we saw when you and I were in London
with Mother about our teeth, and went to see the Loan Collection of
Old Masters. I wonder if the Dwarf picked the flowers for her. I do
wonder what Apothecary John Parkinson looked like when he offered
his Speaking Garden into her Highnesses' hands. And what beautiful
hands she had! Do you remember the picture, Mary? It was by
I remembered it quite well.
That afternoon the others could not amuse themselves, and wanted
me to tell them a story. They do not like old stories too often, and it
is rather difficult to invent new ones. Sometimes we do it by turns.
We sit in a circle and one of us begins, and the next must add some-
thing, and so we go on. But that way does not make a good plot.
My head was so full of the Book of Paradise that afternoon that I
could not think of a story, but I said I would begin one. So I began:
Once upon a time there was a Queen-"
"How was she dressed?" asked Adela, who thinks a good deal
"She had a beautiful dark-blue satin robe."
"Princesse shape ?" inquired Adela.
"No; Queen's shape," said Arthur. "Drive on, Mary."
"And lace ruffles falling back from her Highness' hands-"
"Sweet! murmured Adela.
"And a high hat, with plumes, on her head, and-
"A very low dwarf at her heels," added Arthur.
"Was there really a dwarf, Mary ? asked Harry.
"There was," said I.
"Had he a hump, or was he only a plain dwarf ?"
"He was a very plain dwarf," said Arthur.
"Does Arthur know the story, Mary? "
"No, Harry, he doesn't; and he oughtn't to interfere till I come to
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
"Beg pardon, Mary. Drive on."
"The Queen was very much delighted with all fair flowers, and she
had a garden so full of them that it was called the Earthly Paradise."
There was a long-drawn and general Oh !" of admiration.
But though she was a Queen, she couldn't have flowers in the
winter, not even in an Earthly Paradise."
"Don't you suppose she had a greenhouse, by-the-bye, Mary?"
Oh, Arthur," cried Harry, I do wish you'd be quiet: when you
know it's a fairy story, and that Queens of that sort never had green-
houses or anything like we have now."
"And so the King's Apothecary and Herbarist, whose name was
"I shouldn't have thought he would have had a common name
like that," said Harry.
"Bessy's name is Parkinson," said Adela.
"Well, I can't help it; his name was John Parkinson."
"Drive on, Mary !" said Arthur.
"And he made her a book, called the Book of Paradise, in which
there were pictures and written accounts of her flowers, so that when
she could not see any of them fresh upon the ground, she could read
about them, and think about them, and count up how many she had."
"Ah, but she couldn't tell. Some of them might have died in the
winter," said Adela.
"Ah, but some of the others might have got little ones at their
roots," said Harry. "So that would make up."
I said nothing. I was glad of the diversion, for I could not think
how to go on with the story. Before I quite gave in, Harry luckily
asked, "Was there a Weeding Woman in the Earthly Paradise ?"
"There was," said I.
"How was she dressed?" asked Adela.
"She had a dress the colour of common earth."
Princesse shape?" inquired Arthur.
"No; Weeding Woman shape. Arthur, I wish you wouldn't-"
"All right, Mary. Drive on."
"And a little shawl, that had partly the colour of grass, and partly
the colour of hay."
"Hay, dear!" interpolated Arthur; exactly imitating a well-known
sigh peculiar to Bessy's aunt.
28 ONE MAN PICKED OUT OF TEN THOUSAND.
"Was her bonnet like our weeding woman's bonnet?" asked
Adela, in a disappointed tone.
Much larger," said I, "and the colour of a Marigold."
Adela looked happier. "Strings the same ?" she asked.
No. One string canary-colour, and the other white."
"And a basket?" asked Harry.
"Yes, a basket, of course. Well, the Queen had all sorts of flowers
in her garden. Some of them were natives of the country, and some of
them were brought to her from countries far away, by men called Root-
gatherers. There were very beautiful Daffodils in the Earthly Paradise,
but the smallest of all the Daffodils-"
"A Dwarf, like the Hunchback ?" said Harry.
"The Dwarf Daffodil of all was brought to her by a man called
Francis le Vean."
"That was a much nicer name than John Parkinson," said Harry.
"And he was the honestest Root-gatherer that ever brought foreign
flowers into the Earthly Paradise."
"Then I love him !" said Harry.
SNE sometimes thinks it is very easy to
be good, and then there comes something
which makes it very hard.
I liked being a Little Mother to the
others, and almost enjoyed giving way to
them. "Others first, Little Mothers after-
awards," as we used to say-till the day I
made up that story for them out of the Book
The idea of it took our fancy com-
pletely, the others as well as mine, and
though the story was constantly interrupted,
S and never came to any real plot or end,
there were no Queens, or dwarfs, or charac-
ters of any kind in all Bechstein's fairy tales, or even in Grimm, more
popular than the Queen of the Blue Robe and her Dwarf, and the
Honest Root-gatherer, and John Parkinson, King's Apothecary and
Herbarist, and the Weeding Woman of the Earthly Paradise.
When I said, "Wouldn't it be a good new game to have an Earthly
Paradise in our gardens, and to have a King's Apothecary and Herbarist
to gather things and make medicine of them, and an Honest,.Root-
gatherer to divide the polyanthus plants and the bulbs when we take them
up, and divide them fairly, and a Weeding Woman to work and make
things tidy, and a Queen in a blue dress, and Saxon for the Dwarf "-
the others set up such a shout of approbation that Father sent James to
inquire if we imagined that he was going to allow his house to be turned
into a bear-garden.
And Arthur said, No. Tell him we're only turning it into a Speak-
ing Garden, and we're going to turn our own gardens into an Earthly
But I said, "Oh, James! please don't say anything of the kind.
Say we're very sorry, and we will be quite quiet."
30 A NEW GAME.
And James said, "Trust me, Miss. It would be a deal more than
my place is worth to carry Master Arthur's messages to his Pa."
"I'll be the Honestest Root-gatherer," said Harry. "I'll take
up Dandelion roots to the very bottom, and sell them to the King's
Apothecary to make Dandelion tea of."
"That's a good idea of yours, Harry," said Arthur. "I shall be
"My name is Francis le Vean," said Harry.
"King's Apothecary and Herbarist," continued Arthur disdaining
the interruption. And I'll bet you my Cloth of Gold Pansy to your
Black Prince that Bessy's aunt takes three bottles of my dandelion and
chamomile mixture for 'the swimmings' bathes her eyes every morning
with my elder flower lotion to strengthen the sight, and sleeps every
night on my herb pillow (if Mary'll make me a flannel bag) before the
"I could make you a flannel bag," said Adela, "if Mary will make
me a bonnet, so that I can be the Weeding Woman. You could make
it of tissue paper, with stiff paper inside, like all those caps you made
for us last Christmas, Mary, dear, couldn't you ? And there is some
lovely orange-coloured paper, I know, and pale yellow, and white. The
bonnet was Marygold colour, was it not? And one string canary-
coloured and one white. I couldn't tie them, of course, being paper;
but Bessy's aunt doesn't tie her bonnet. She wears it like a helmet, to
shade her eyes. I shall wear mine so too. It will be all Marygold,
won't it, dear? Front and crown; and the white string going back
over one shoulder and the canary string over the other. They might
be pinned together behind, perhaps, if they were in my way. Don't you
I said "Yes," because if one does not say something, Adela never
stbps saying whatever it is she is saying, even if she has to say it two or
three times over.
But I felt so cross and so selfish, that if Mother could have known
she would have despised me !
For the truth was, I had set my heart upon being the Weeding
Woman. I thought Adela would want to be the Queen, because of the
blue dress, and the plumed hat, and 'the lace ruffles. Besides, she likes
picking flowers, but she never liked grubbing. She would not really like
the Weeding Woman's work; it was the bonnet that had caught her
fancy, and I found it hard to smother the vexing thought that if I had
GIVE UNTO ME, MADE LOWLY WISE, 31
gone on dressing the Weeding Woman of the Earthly Paradise like
Bessy's aunt, instead of trying to make the story more interesting by
inventing a marygold bonnet with yellow and white strings for her, I
might have had the part I wished to play in our new game (which
certainly was of my devising), and Adela would have been better pleased
to be the Queen than to be anything else.
As it was, I knew that if I asked her she would give up the Weed-
ing Woman. Adela is very good, and she is very good-natured. And I
knew, too, that it would not have cost her much. She would have given
a sigh about the bonnet, and then have turned her whole attention to a
blue robe, and how to manage the ruffles.
But even whilst I.was thinking about it, Arthur said: "Of course,
Mary must be the Queen, unless we could think of something else-very
good-for her. If we could have thought of something, Mary, I was
thinking how jolly it would be, when Mother comes home, to have had
her for the Queen, with Chris for her Dwarf, and to give her flowers out
of our Earthly Paradise."
"She would look just like a Queen," said Harry.
"In her navy blue nun's cloth and Russian lace," said Adela.
That settled the question. Nothing could be so nice as to have
Mother in the game, and the plan provided for Christopher also. I had
no wish to be Queen, as far as that went. Dressing up, and walking
about the garden would be no fun for me. I really had looked forward
to clearing away big baskets full of weeds and rubbish, and keeping our
five gardens and the paths between them so tidy as they had never been
kept before. And I knew the weeds would have a fine time of it with
Adela, as Weeding Woman, in a tissue paper bonnet!
But one thing was more important than tidy gardens-not to be
I had been left as Little Mother to the others, and I had been lucky
enough to think of a game that pleased them. If I turned selfish now,
it would spoil everything.
So I said that Arthur's idea was excellent; that I had no wish to be
Queen, that I thought I might, perhaps, devise another character for
myself by-and-by; and that if the others would leave me alone, I Would
think about it whilst I was making Adela's bonnet.
The others were quite satisfied. Father says people always are
satisfied with things in general, when they've got what they want for them-
selves, and I think that is true.
32 THE SPIRIT OF SELF-SACRIFICE.
I got the tissue paper and the gum; resisted Adela's extreme desire
to be with me and talk about the bonnet, and shut myself up in the
I got out the Book of Paradise too, and propped it up in an arm-
chair, and sat on a footstool in front of it, so that I could read in between
whiles of making the bonnet. There is an index, so that you can look
out the flowers you want to read about. It was no use our looking out
flowers, except common ones, such as Harry would be allowed to get
bits of out of the big garden to plant in our little gardens, when he
became our Honest Root-gatherer.
I looked at the Cowslips again. I am very fond of them, and so
they say, are nightingales; which is, perhaps, why that nightingale we
know lives in Mary's Meadow, for it is full of cowslips.
The Queen had a great many kinds, and there are pictures of most
of them. She had the Common Field Cowslip, the Primrose Cowslip,
the Single Green Cowslip, Curled Cowslips, or Galligaskins, Double
Cowslips, or Hose-in-Hose, and the Franticke or Foolish Cowslip, or
Jackanapes on Horsebacke.
I did not know one of them except the Common Cowslip, but I
remembered that Bessy's aunt once told me that she had a double
cowslip. It was the day I was planting common ones in my garden,
when our gardener despised them. Bessy's aunt despised them too, and
she said the double ones were only fit for a cottage garden. I laughed
so much that I tore the canary-coloured string as I was gumming it on to
the bonnet, to think how I could tell her now that cowslips are Queen's
flowers, the common ones as well as the Hose-in-Hose.
Then I looked out the Honeysuckle, it was page 404, and there
were no pictures. I began at the beginning of the chapter; this was it,
and it was as funnily spelt as the preface, but I could read it.
"Chap. cv. Periclymemum. Honeysuckles.
"The Honisucle that growth wilde in euery hedge, although it be
very sweete, yet doe I not bring it into my garden, but let it rest in his
owne place, to serue their senses that trauell by it, or haue no garden."
I had got so far when James came in. He said-" Letters, miss."
It was the second post, and there was a letter for me, and a book
parcel; both from Mother.
Mother's letters are always delightful; and, like things she says,
they often seem to come in answer to something you have been thinking
about, and which you would never imagine she could know,. unless she
WHAT NO ONE WITH ME .SHARES, 33
was a witch. This was the knowing bit in that letter:-" Your dear
father's note this morning did me more good than bottles of tonic. It is
due to you, my trustworthy little daughter, to tell you of the bit that pleased
me most. He says-' The children seem to me to be behaving unusually
well, and I must say, I believe the credit belongs to Mary. She seems to
have a genius for keeping them amused, which luckily means keeping them
out of mischief.' Now, good Little Mother, I wonder how you yourself
are being entertained ? I hope the others are not presuming on your
unselfshness ? Anyhow, I send you a book for your own amusement when
they leave you a bit of peace and quiet. I have long been fond of it in
French, and I have found an English translation with nice little pictures,
and send it to you. I know you will enjoy it, because you are so fond of
Oh, how glad I was that I had let Adela be the Weeding Woman
with a good grace, and could open my book parcel with a clear
I put the old book away and buried myself in the new one.
I never had a nicer. It was called "A Tour Round my Garden,"
and some of the little stories in it-like the Tulip Rebecca, and the
Discomfited Florists-were very amusing indeed; and some were sad
and pretty, like the Yellow Roses; and there were delicious bits, like
the Enriched Woodman and the Connoisseur Deceived; but there was
no stuff" in it at all.
Some chapters were duller than others, and at last I got into a very
dull one, about the vine, and it had a good deal of Greek in it, and we
have not begun Greek.
But after the Greek, and the part about Bacchus and Anacreon
(I did not care about them; they were not in the least like the Dis-
comfited Florists, or the Enriched Woodman !) there came this, and I
liked it the best of. all:-
"At the extremity of my garden the vine extends in long porticoes,
through the arcades of which may be seen trees of all sorts, and foliage
of all colours. There is an azerolier (a small medlar) which is covered
in autumn with little apples, producing the richest effect. I have given
away several grafts of this; far from deriving pleasure from the privation
of others, I do my utmost to spread and render common and vulgar all
the trees and plants that I prefer; it is as if I multiplied the pleasure
and the chances of beholding them of all who, like me, really love
flowers for their splendour, their grace, and their perfume. Those who,
34 SEEMS SCARCE MY OWN.
on the contrary, are jealous of their plants, and only esteem them in
proportion with their conviction that no one else possesses them, do
not love flowers; and be assured that it is either chance or poverty
which has made them collectors of flowers, instead of being collectors
of pictures, cameos, medals, or any other thing that might serve as an
excuse for indulging in all the joys of possession, seasoned with the
idea that others do not possess.
"I have even carried the vulgarisation of beautiful flowers farther
I ramble about the country near my dwelling, and seek the widest
and least frequented spots. In these, after clearing and preparing a few
inches of ground, I scatter the seeds of my most favourite plants, which
re-sow themselves, perpetuate themselves, and multiply themselves. At
this moment, whilst the fields display nothing but the common red
poppy, strollers find with surprise in certain wild nooks of our country,
the most beautiful double poppies, with their white, red, pink, carnation,
and variegated blossoms.
"At the foot of an isolated tree, instead of the little bindweed
with its white flower, may sometimes be found the beautifully climbing
convolvulus major, of all the lovely colours that can be imagined.
"Sweet peas fasten their tendrils to the bushes, and cover them
with the deliciously-scented white, rose-colour, or white and violet
"It affords me immense pleasure to fix upon a wild-rose in a
hedge, and graft upon it red and white cultivated roses, sometimes
single roses of a magnificent golden yellow, then large Provence roses,
or others variegated with red and white.
"The rivulets in our neighbourhood do not produce on their
banks these forget-me-nots, with their blue flowers, with which the
rivulet of my garden is adorned; I mean to save the seed, and scatter
it in my walks.
I have observed two young wild quince trees in the nearest wood;
next spring I will engraft upon them two of the best kinds of pears.
"And then, how I enjoy beforehand and in imagination, the plea-
sure and surprise which the solitary stroller will experience when he
meets in his rambles with those beautiful flowers and these delicious
"This fancy of mine may, one day or another, cause some learned
botanist who is herborising in these parts a hundred years hence, to
THE PLACE WHERE THE DEAD PEOPLE WAIT TILL GOD CALL. 35
print a stupid and startling system. All these beautiful flowers will
have become common in the country, and will give it an aspect peculiar
to itself; and, perhaps, chance or the wind will cast a few of the seeds
or some of them amidst the grass which shall cover my forgotten
This was the end of the chapter, and then there was a vignette, a
very pretty one, of a cross-marked, grass-bound grave.
Some books, generally grown-up ones, put things into your head
with a sort of rush, and now it suddenly rushed into mine-" Tha's
what I'll be! I can think of a name hereafter-but that's what I'll do.
I'll take seeds and cuttings, and off-shoots from our garden, and set
them in waste-places, and hedges, and fields, and I'll make an Earthly
Paradise of Mary's Meadow."
HE only difficulty about my part
was to find a name for it. I might
.have taken the name of the
man who wrote the book-
it is Alphonse Karr,-just
Sas Arthur was going to be
called John Parkinson. But
I am a girl, so it seemed
silly to take a man's name.
And I wanted some kind
of title, too, like King's
Apothecary and Herbarist,
or Weeding Woman, and
.' Alphonse Karr _does not
seem to have had any by-
name of that sort.
I had put Adela's
bonnet on my head to
/carry it safely, and was
still sitting thinking, when
the others burst into the
Arthur was first, waving
a sheet of paper; but when Adela saw the bonnet, she caught hold
of his arm and pushed forward.
"Oh, it's sweet! Mary, dear, you're an angel. You couldn't be
better if you were a real milliner and lived in Paris. I'm sure you
"Mary," said Arthur, "remove that bonnet, which by no means
becomes you, and let Adela take it into a corner and gibber over it to
herself. I want you to hear this."
THE QUEEN OF THE BLUE ROBE. 37
"You generally do want the platform," I said, laughing. "Adela,
I am very glad you like it. To-morrow, if I can find a bit of pink
tissue-paper, I think I could gum on little pleats round the edge of the
strings as a finish."
I did not mind how gaudily I dressed the part of Weeding Woman
"You are good, Mary. It will make it simply perfect; and, kilts
don't you think? Not box pleats ?"
"You shall have which you like, dear. Now, Arthur, what is it?"
Arthur shook out his paper, gave it a flap with the back of his
hand, as you do with letters when you are acting, and said-" It's to
Mother, and when she gets it, she'll be a good deal astonished, I fancy."
When I had heard the letter, I thought so too.
"To THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAIESTIE-
My Dear Ivother,-This is to tell you that we have made you Queen of the
Blue Robe, and that your son Christopher is a dwarf, and we think you'll both be
- very much pleased when you hear it. He can do as he likes about having a hump
back. When you come home we shall give faire flowers into your Highnesse hands-
that is if you'll do what I'm going to ask you, for nobody can grow flowers out of
nothing. I want you to write to John-write straight to him, don't put it in your
letter to Father-and tell him that you have given us leave to have some of the seed-
lings out of the frames, and that he's to dig us up a good big clump of daffodils out of
the shrubbery-and we'll divide them fairly, for Harry is the Honestest Root-gatherer
that ever came over to us. We have turned the whole of our gardens into a Paradisi
in sole Paradisus terrestris, if you can construe that; but we must have something to
make a start. He's got no end of bedding things over-that are doing nothing in the
Kitchen Garden and might just as well be in our Earthly Paradise. And please tell
him to keep us a tiny pinch of seed at the bottom of every paper when he is sowing
the annuals. A little goes a long way, particularly of poppies. And .you might give
him a hint to let us have a flower-pot or two now and then (I'm sure he takes ours if
he finds any of our dead window plants lying about), and that he needn't be so mighty
mean about the good earth in the potting shed, or the labels either, they're dirt cheap.
Mind you write straight. If only you let John know that the gardens don't entirely
belong to him, you'll see that what's spare from the big garden would more than set
us going; and it shall further encourage him to accomplish the remainder, who in
praying that your Highnesse may enjoy the heavenly Paradise after the many years
fruition of this earthly,
"Submitteth to be, Your Maiestie's, in all humble devotion, &
King's Apothecary and Herbarist.
"P. S.--It was Mary's idea."
38 THE WEEDING WOMAN AND HER BONNET.
My dear Arthur !" said I.
"Well, I know it's not very well mixed," said Arthur. Not half
so well as I intended at first. I meant to write it all in the Parkinson
style. But then, I thought, if I put the part about John in queer
language and old spelling, she mightn't understand what we want. But
every word of the end comes out of the Dedication; I copied it the
other day, and I think she'll find it a puzzlewig when she comes
After which Arthur folded his paper and put it into an envelope
which he licked copiously, and closed the letter with a great deal of
display. But then his industry coming to an abrupt end, as it often did,
he tossed it to me, saying, "You can address it, Mary; so I enclosed it
in my own letter to thank Mother for the book, and I fancy she did
write to our gardener, for he gave us a good lot of things, and was
much more good-natured than usual.
After Arthur had tossed his letter to me, he clasped his hands over
his head and walked up and down thinking. I thought he was calcula-
ting what he should be able to get out of John, for when you are
planning about a garden, you seem to have to do somuch calculating.
Suddenly he stopped in front of me and threw down his arms. "Mary,"
he said, "if Mother were at home, she would despise us for selfishness,
wouldn't she just ?"
"I don't think its selfish to want spare things for our gardens, if
she gives us leave," said I.
"I'm not thinking of that," said Arthur; "and you're not selfish,
you never are; but she would despise me, and Adela, and Harry, be-.
cause we've taken your game, and got our parts, and you've made that
preposterous bonnet for Adela to be the Weeding Woman in- much
she'll weed "
"I shall weed," said Adela.
"Oh, yes! You'll weed,-Groundsel!-and leave Mary to get up
the docks and dandelions, and clear away the heap. But, never mind.
Here we've taken Mary's game, and she hasn't even got a part."
"Yes," said I, "I have; I have got a capital part. I have only
to think of a name.
How shall you be dressed ?" asked Adela.
"I don't know yet," said I. "I have only just thought of the
"Are you sure it's a good-enough one?" asked Harry, with a grave
THEY ALSO SERVE 39
and remorseful air; "because, if not, you must take Francis le Vean.
Girls are called Frances sometimes."
I explained, and I read aloud the bit that had struck my fancy.
Arthur got restless half-way through, and took out the Book of
Paradise.' His letter was on his mind, But Adela was truly delighted.:
"Oh, Mary," she said. "It is lovely. And it just suits you. It
suits you much better than being a Queen.
"Much better," said I.
"You'll be exactly the reverse of me," said Harry. "When I'm
digging up, you'll be putting in."
"Mary," said Arthur, from the corer where he was sitting with the
Book of Paradise in his lap, "what have you put a mark in the place
about honeysuckle for?"
"Oh, only because I was just reading there when James brought
"John Parkinson can't have been quite so nice a man as Alphonse
Karr," said Adela; "not so unselfish. He took care of the Queen's
Gardens, but he didn't think of making the lanes and hedges nice for
I was in the rocking-chair, and I rocked harder to shake up some-
thing that was coming into my head. Then I remembered.
"Yes, Adela, he did-a little. He wouldn't root up the honey-
suckle out of the hedges (and I suppose he wouldn't let his root
gatherers grub it up, either); he didn't put it in the Queen's Gardens,
but left it wild outside--"
"To serve their senses that travel by it, or have no garden," inter-
rupted Arthur, reading from the book, "and, oh, Mary! that reminds
me-travel-travellers. I've got a name for your part just coming into
my head. But it dodges out again like a wire worm through a three
pronged fork. Travel-traveller-travellers-what's the common name
for the-oh, dear! the what's his name that scrambles about in the
hedges. A flower-you know?"
"Deadly Nightshade?" said Harry.
"Deadly fiddlestick !- "
"Bryony?" I suggested.
"Oh, no; it begins with C."
"Clematis?" said Adela.
"Clematis. Right you are, Adela. And the common name for
Clematis is Traveller's Joy. And that's the name for you, Mary,
40 WHO ONLY STAND AND WAIT.
because you're going to serve their senses that travel by hedges and
ditches and perhaps have no garden."
"Traveller's Joy," said Harry. "Hooray !"
"Hooray!" said Adela, and she waved the Weeding Woman's
It was a charming name, but it was too good for me, and I said so.
Arthur jumped on the rockers, and rocked me to stop my talking.
When I was far back, he took the point of my chin in his two hands
and lifted up my. cheeks to be ]i;ed, saying in his very kindest way,
" It's not a bit too good for you-it's you all over."
Then he jumped off as suddenly as he had jumped on, and as
I went back with a bounce he cried, "Oh, Mary! give me back
that letter. I must put another postscript and another puzzlewig.
P.P.S-Excellent Majesty: Mary will still be our Little Mother on all
common occasions, as you wished, but in the Earthly Paradise we call
her Traveller's Joy."
HERE are two or three reasons why the part
of T'riellcr's Joy suited me very well. In
f the Tf'st place it required a good deal of
trouble, and I like taking trouble. Then
John was willing to let me do many things
S he would not have allowed the others to do,
Because he could trust me to be careful and
i I to mind what he said.
IOn each side of the long walk in the
kitchen garden there are flowers between you
-and the vegetables, herbaceous borders, with
nice big clumps of things that have suckers,
and off-shoots and seedlings at their feet.
A "The Long Walk's the place to steal
S from if I wasn't an honest Root-gatherer,"
John had lovely poppies there that
summer. When I read about the poppies
S Alphonse Karr sowed in the wild nooks of
his native country, it made me think of John's French poppies, and
pweony poppies, and ranunculus poppies, and carnation poppies, some
very large, some quite small, some round and neat, some full and ragged
like Japanese chrysanthemums, but all of such beautiful shades of red,
rose, crimson, pink, pale blush, and white, that if they had but smelt
like carnations instead of smelling like laudanum when you have the
toothache, they would have been quite perfect.
In one way they are nicer than carnations. They have such lots of
seed, and it is so easy to get. I asked John to let me have some of the
heads. He could not possibly want them all, for each head has enough
in it to sow two or three yards of a border. He said I might have
what seeds I liked, if I used scissors, and did not drag things out of
the ground by pulling. But I was not to let the young gentlemen go
seed gathering. "Boys be so destructive," John said.
42 KINDNESS COMES 0' WILL.
After a time, however, I persuaded him to let Harry transplant
seedlings of the things that sow themselves and come up in the autumn,
if they came up a certain distance from the parent plants. Harry got
a lot of things for our Paradise in this way; indeed he would not have
got much otherwise, except wild flowers; and, as he said, "How can I
be your Honest Root-gatherer if I mayn't gather anything up by the
I can't help laughing sometimes ,think of the morning when he
left off being our Honest Root-gather He .d look so funny, and so
like Chris. W
A day or two before, the Scotch Ga4ener had brought Saxon to
see us, and a new kind of mouldiness that had got into his grape vines
to show to John.
He was very cross with Saxon for walking on my garden. (And I
am sure I quite forgave him, for I am so fond of him, and he knew no
better, poor dear !) But, though he kicked Saxon, the Scotch Gardener
was kind to us. He told us that the reason our gardens do not do so
well as the big garden, and that my Jules Margottin has not such big
roses as John's Jules fMargottin is because we have never renewed the
Arthur and Harry got very much excited about this. They made
the Scotch Gardener tell them what good soil ought to be made of, and
all the rest of the day they talked of nothing but compost. Indeed
Arthur would come into my room and talk about compost after I had
gone to bed.
Father's farming man was always much more good-natured to us
than John ever was. He would give us anything we wanted. Warm
milk when the cows were milked, or sweet pea-sticks, or bran to stuff
the dolls' pillows. I've known him take his hedging bill, in his dinner
hour, and cut fuel for our beacon-fire, when we were playing at a French
Invasion. Nothing could be kinder.
Perhaps we do not tease him so much as we tease John. But
when I say that Arthur says, "Now, Mary, that's just how you explain
away things. The real difference between John and Michael is, that
Michael is good-natured and John is not. Catch John showing me
the duck's nest by the pond, or letting you into the cow-house to kiss
the new calf between the eyes-if he were farm man instead of
And the night Arthur sat in my room; talking about compost, he
said, "I shall get some good stuff out of Michael, I know; and Harry
and I see our way to road scrapings if we can't get sand ; and we mean
to take precious good care John doesn't have all the old leaves to him-
self. It's the top spit that puzzles us, and loam is the most important
thing of all."
"What is top spit ?" I asked.
"It's the earth you get when you dig up squares of grass out of a
field like the paddock. The ne earth that's just underneath. I expect
John got a lot when h .urfc: li new piece by the pond, but I don't
believe he'd spare us a'- we-r-pot full to save his life."
"Don't quarrel ith johni, Arthur. It's no good."
"I won't quarrel with him if he behaves himself," said Arthur,
"but we mean to have some top-spit somehow."
If you aggravate him he'll only complain of us to Father."
"I know," said Arthur hotly, "and beastly mean of him, too, when
he knows what Father is about this sort of thing."
I know it's mean. But what's the good of fighting when you'll
caly get the worst of it ?"
"Why to show that you're in the right, and that you know you
are," said Arthur. "Good night, Mary. We'll have a compost heap of
our own this autumn, mark my words."
Next day, in spite of my remonstrances, Arthur and Harry came
to open war with John, and loudly and long did they rehearse their
grievances, when we were out of Father's hearing.
Have we ever swept our own walks, except that once, long ago,
when the German women came round with threepenny brooms?"
asked Arthur, throwing out his right arm, as if he were making a speech.
"And think of all the years John has been getting leaf mould for him-
self out of our copper beech leaves and now refuses us a barrow load
The next. morning but one Harry was late for breakfast, and
then it seemed that he was not dressing; he had gone out,-very early,
one of the servants said. It frightened me, and I went out to look for
When I came upon him in our gardens, it was he who was
"Oh, dear," he exclaimed, I thought you were John."
I have often seen Harry dirty-very dirty,-but from the mud on
his boots to the marks on his face where he had pushed the hair out of
44 TOP SPIT.
his eyes with earthy fingers, I never saw him quite so grubby before.
And if there had been a clean place left in any part of his clothes well
away from the ground, that spot must have been soiled by a huge and
very dirty sack, under the weight of which his poor little shoulders were
bent nearly to his knees.
"What are you doing, Honest Root-gatherer?" I asked; "are
you turning yourself into a hump-backed dwarf?"
"I'm not honest, and I'm not a Root-gatherer just now," said Harry,
when he had got breath after .-ttingAbm his load. He spoke shyly
and a little surlily, like Chris when he is in misief.
"Harry, what's that?" "
"It's a sack I borrowed from Michael. It won't hurt it, it's had
mangel-wurzels in already."
"What have you got in it now? It looks dreadfully heavy."
"It is heavy, I can tell you," said Harry, with one more rub of his
dirty fingers over his face.
"You look half dead. What is it ?"
"It's top spit;" and Harry began to discharge his load on to the
"Oh Harry; where did you get it?"
"Out of the paddock. I've been digging up turfs and getting this
out, and putting the turfs back, and stamping them down not to show,
ever since six o'clock. It was hard work; and I was so afraid of John
coming. Mary, you won't tell tales ?"
No, Harry. But I don't think you ought to have taken it without
"I don't think you can call it stealing," said Harry.. "Fields are
a kind of wild places anyhow, and the paddock belongs to Father, and
it certainly doesn't belong to John."
"No," said I, doubtfully.
"I won't get any more; it's dreadfully hard work," said Harry,
but as he shook the sack out and folded it tip, he added (in rather a
satisfied tone), I've got a good deal."
I helped him to wash himself for breakfast, and half way through
he suddenly smiled and said, "John Parkinson will be glad when he
sees you-know-what, Mary, whatever the other John thinks of it."
But Harry did not cut any more turfs without leave, for he told me
that he had a horrid dream that night of waking up in prison with a
warder looking at him through a hole in the door of his cell, and finding
^ ^ .. .
". 'm not honest, and 'm not a Root-gatherer just now, said Harry. He spoke
shyly and a little surlily, like Chris when he is in mischief."-Page 44.
~~~5~ .. _.__ -
.-:: -- -
"' I'm not honest, and I'm not a Root-gatherer just now,' said Harry .... He spoke
shyly and a little surlily, like Chris when he is in mischief."--Pge (44,
46 A CONSCIENCE THAT MOULDETH GOBLINS.
out that he was in penal servitude for stealing top spit from the bottom
of the paddock, and Father would not take him out of prison, and that
Mother did not know about it.
However, he and Arthur made a lot of compost. They said we
couldn't possibly have a Paradise without it.
It made them very impatient. We always want the spring and
summer and autumn and winter to get along faster than they do. But
this year Arthur and Harry were very'impatient with summer.
They were nearly caught one day by Father coming home just as
they had got through the gates with Michael's old sack full of road-
scrapings, instead of sand (we have not any sand growing near us, and
silver sand is rather dear), but we did get leaves together and stacked
them to rot into leaf mould.
Leaf mould is splendid stuff, but it takes a long time for the leaves
to get mouldy, and it takes a great many too. Arthur is rather impatient,
and he used to say-" I never saw leaves stick on to branches in such a
way. I mean to get into some of these old trees and give them a good
shaking to remind them what time of year it is. If I don't we shan't
have anything like enough leaves for our compost."
OTHER was very much sur-
prised by Arthur's letter, but
not so much puzzled as he ex-
pected. She knew Parkinson's
Paradisus quite well, and only
wrote to me to ask; "What
are the boys after with the
oldbooks? Does your Father
But when I told her that
he had given us leave to be
Sin the library, and that we
took great care of the books,
and how much we enjoyed
the ones about gardening,
and all that we were going to do, she was very kind indeed, and
promised to put on a blue dress and lace ruffles and be Queen of our
Earthly Paradise as soon as she came home.
When she did come home she was much better, and so was Chris.
He was delighted to be our Dwarf, but he wanted to have a hump, and
he would have such a big one that it would not keep in its place, and
kept slipping under his arm and into all sorts of queer positions.
Not one of us enjoyed our new game more than Chris did, and he
was always teasing me to tell him the story I had told the others, and
to read out the names of the flowers which "the real Queen" had in
her "real paradise." He made Mother promise to try to get him a bulb
of the real Dwarf Daffodil as his next birthday present, to put in his
"And I'll give you some compost," said Arthur. "It'll be ever so
much better than a stupid book with 'stuff' in it"
48 NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT,
Chris did seem much stronger. He had colour in his cheeks, and
his head did not look so large. But he seemed to puzzle over things in
it as much as ever, and he was just as odd and quaint.
One warm day I had taken the "Tour round my Garden" and was
sitting near the bush in the little wood behind our house, when Chris
came after me with a Japanese fan in his hand, and sat down cross-
legged at my feet. As I was reading, and Mother has taught us not to
interrupt people when they are reading, he said nothing, but there he sat.
"What is it, Chris?" said I.
"I am discontented," said Chris.
"I'm very sorry," said I.
"I don't think I'm selfish, particularly, but I'm discontented."
"Oh, Mary, I do wish I had not been away when you invented
Paradise, then I should have had a name in the game."
You've got a name, Chris. You're the Dwarf."
"Ah, but what was the Dwarfs name?"
"I don't know," I admitted.
"No; that's just it. I've only one name, and Arthur and Harry
have two. Arthur is a Pothecary" (Chris could never be induced to
accept Apothecary as one word), "and he's John Parkinson as well.
Harry is Honest Root-gather, and he is Francis le Vean. If I'd not
been away I should have had two names."
"You can easily have two names," said I. We'll call the Dwarf
Chris shook his big head.
"No, no. That wasn't his name; I know it wasn't. It's only stuff.
I want another name out of the old book."
I dared not tell him that the dwarf was not in the old book. I
"My dear. Chris, you really are discontented;. we can't all have
double names. Adela has only one name, she is Weeding. Woman and
nothing else; and I have only one name, I'm Traveller's Joy, and that's
"But you and Adela are girls," said Chris, complacently. "The
boys have two names."
I suppressed some resentment, for Christopher's eyes were begin-
ning to look weary, and said:
"Shall I read to you for a bit?"
One warm day I had taken the 'Tour round my Garden,' and was sitting near the bush in
the little wood behind our house, when Chris came after me with a Japanese fan in his hand,.and
sat down cross-legged at my feet."-Page 48
50 MADE GLORIOUS SUMMER.
"No, don't read. Tell me things out of the old book. Tell me
about the Queen's flowers. Don't tell me about daffodils, they make
me think what a long way off my birthday is, and I'm quite discontented
And Chris sighed, and lay down on the grass, with one arm under
his head, and his fan in his hand; and, as well as I could remember,
I told him all about the different varieties of Cowslips, down to the
Franticke, or Foolish Cowslip, and he became quite happy.
Dear Father is rather short sighted, but he can hold a round glass
in his eye without cutting himself. It was the other eye which was next
to Chris at prayers the following morning; but-he saw his legs, and the
servants had hardly got out of the hall before he shouted "Pull up your
stockings, Chris !"-and then to Mother, "Why do you keep that sloven
-of a girl Bessy, if she can't dress the children decently? But I can't
conceive what made you put that child into knickerbockers, he can't
keep his stockings up."
"Yes I can," said Christopher, calmly, looking at his legs.
"Then.what have you got 'em down for?" shouted Father.
"They're not all down," said Chris, his head still bent over his
knees, till. I began to fear he would have a fit.
"One of 'em is, anyhow. I saw it at prayers. Pull it up."
"Two of them are," said Christopher, never lifting his admiring
gaze from hisstockings. "Two of them are down, and two of them are
up, quite up, quite tidy."
Dear Father rubbed his glass and put it back into his eye.
"Why, how many stockings have you got on?"
"Four," said Chris, smiling serenely at his legs; "and it isn't
Bessy's fault. I put 'em all on myself, everyone of them."
At this minute James brought in the papers, and Father only
laughed, and said, "I never saw such a chap," and began to read. He
is very fond of Christopher, and Chris is never afraid of him.
I was going out of the room, and Chris followed me into the hall,
and drew my attention to his legs, which were clothed in four stock-
ings; one pair, as he said, being drawn tidily up over his knees, the
other pair turned down with some neatness in folds a little above his
Mary," he said, I'm contented now."
I'm very glad, Chris. But do leave off staring at your legs. All
the blood will run into your head."
"I wish things wouldn't always get into my head, and nobody
else's," said Chris, peevishly, as he raised it; but when he looked back
at his stockings, they seemed to comfort him again.
"Mary, I've found another name for myself."
"Dear Chris I'm so glad."
"It's a real one, out of the old book. I thought of it entirely by
"Good Dwarf. What is your name?"
"Hfose-in-Hose," said Christopher, still smiling down upon his
LAS for the hose-m-hose!
I laughed over Chris-
topher and his double
stockings, and I danced
for joy when Bessy's Aunt
-, .-... ". -------:- told me that she had got
; me a fine lot of roots of
double cowslips. I never
guessed what misery I
was about to suffer, be-
4 cause of the hose-in-hose.
'4 4 .I had almost forgotten
that Bessy's Aunt knew
S double cowslips. After
-_ .. I became Traveller's Joy
I was so busy with way-
side planting that I had thought less of my own garden than usual, and
had allowed Arthur to do what he liked with it as part of the Earthly
Paradise (and he was always changing his plans), but Bessy's Aunt had
not forgotten about it, which was very good of her.
The Squire's Weeding Woman is old enough to be Bessy's Aunt,
but she has an aunt of her own, who lives seven miles on the other side
of the Moor, and the Weeding Woman does not get to see her very
often. It is a very out-of-the-way village, and she has to wait for
chances of a cart and team coming and going from one of the farms,
and so get a lift.
It was the Weeding Woman's Aunt who sent me the hose-in-hose.
The Weeding Woman told me-" Aunt be mortal fond of her
flowers, but she've no notions of gardening, not in the ways of a
gentleman's garden. But she be after 'em all along, so well as the
roomatiz in her back do let her, with an old shovel and a bit of stuff to
keep the frost out, one time, and the old shovel and a bit of stuff to
THE VERY FLOWERS ARE SACRED TO THE POOR. 53
keep 'em moistened from the drought, another time; cuddling of 'em
like Christians. Ee zee, Miss, Aunt be advanced in years; her family
be off her mind, zum married, zum buried; and it zim as if her flowers
be like new childern for her, spoilt childern, too, as I zay, and most fuss
about they that be least worth it, zickly uns and contrary uns, as
parents will. Many's time I do say to she-' Th' old Zquire's garden,
now, wouldd zim strange to thee, sartinly wouldl! How would
'ee feel to see Gardener zowing's spring plants by the hunderd, and
a-throwing of 'em away by the score when beds be vull, and turning
of un out for bedding plants, and throwing they away when he'eve
made his cuttings?' And she 'low she couldn't abear it, no more'n
see Herod a mass-sakering of the Innocents. But if 'ee come to Bible,
I do say Aunt put me in mind of the par'ble of the talents, she do, for
what you give her she make ten of, while other folks be losing what
they got. And 'tis well too, for if 'twas not for givin' of un away,
seeing's she lose nothing and can't abear to destroy nothing and never
takes un up but to set un again, six in place of one, as I say, with such
a mossel of a garden, 'Aunt, where would you be?' And she 'low she
can't tell, but the Lard would provide. Thank He,' I says, 'you be so
out o' way, and 'ee back so bad, and past travelling, zo there be no
chance of 'ee ever seeing' Old Zquire's Gardener's houses and they stove
plants;' for if Gardener give un a pot, sure's death her'd set it in the
chimbly nook on frosty nights, and put bed-quilt over un, and any cold
corer would do for she."
At this point the Weeding Woman became short of breath, and I
managed to protest against taking so many plants of the hose-in-hose.
"Take un and welcome, my dear, take un and welcome," replied
Bessy's Aunt. "I did say to Aunt to keep two or dree, but 'One be aal
I want,' her says, I'll have so many aging in a few years, dividin' of un
in autumn,'. her says. 'Thee've one foot in grave Aunt,' says I, 'it don't
altogether become 'ee to forecast autumns,' I says, 'when next may be
your latter end, 's like as not.' 'Niece,' her says, 'I be no ways pre-
suming. His will be done,' her says, 'but if I'm spared I'll rear
un, and if I'm took, 'twill be where I sha'n't want un. Zo let young
lady have un,' her says. And there a be "
SWhen I first saw the nice little plants, I did think of my own
garden, but not for long. My next and final thought was-" Mary's
Since I became Traveller's Joy, I had chiefly been busy in the
54 SWEET WAGGING COWSLIPS, THEY BEND AND THEY BOW.
hedge-rows by the high-roads, and in waste places, like the old quarry,
and very bare and trampled bits, where there seemed to be no flowers
You cannot say that of Mary's Meadow. Not to be a garden, it is
one of the most flowery places I know. I did once begin a list of all
that grows in it, but it was in one of Arthur's old exercise books, which
he had "thrown in," in a bargain we had, and,there were very few blank
pages left. I had thought a couple of pages would be more than
enough, so I began with rather full accounts of the flowers, but I used
up the book long before I had written out one-half of what blossoms
in Mary's Meadow.
Wild roses, and white bramble, and hawthorn, and dogwood, with
its curious red flowers; and nuts, and maple, and privet, and all sorts
of bushes in the hedge, far more than one would think ; and ferns, and
the stinking iris, which has such splendid berries, in the ditch-the
ditch on the lower side where it is damp, and where I meant to sow
forget-me-nots, like Alphonse Karr, for there are none there as it
happens. On the other side, at the top of the field, it is dry, and blue
succory grows, and grows out on the road beyond. The most beautiful
blue possible, but so hard to pick. And there are Lent lilies, and lords
and ladies, and ground ivy, which smells herby when you find it, trailing
about and turning the colour of Mother's "aurora" wool in green
winters; and sweet white violets, and blue dog violets, and primroses,
of course, and two or three kinds of orchis, and all over the field cow-
slips, cowslips, cowslips-to please the nightingale.
And I wondered if the nightingale would find out the hose-in-hose,
when I had planted six of them in the sunniest, cosiest corner of Mary's
For this was what I resolved to do, though I kept my resolve to
myself, for-which I was afterwards very glad. I did not tell the others
because I thought that Arthur might want some of the plants for our
Earthly Paradise, and I wanted to put them all in Mary's Meadow. I
said to myself, like Bessy's great-aunt, that "if I was spared I would
go next year and divide the roots of the six, and bring some off-sets to
our gardens, but I would keep none back now. The nightingale should
have them all.
We had been busy in our gardens, and in the roads and bye-lanes,
and I had not been in Mary's Meadow for a long time before.the after-
noon when I put my little trowel, and a bottle of water, and the six
PASSIONATE MEN, LIKE FLEET HOUNDS, 55
hose-in-hose into a basket, and was glad to get off quietly and alone to
plant them. The highways and hedges were very dusty, but there it was
very green. The nightingale had long been silent, I do not know where
he was, but the rooks were not at all silent; they had been holding a
parliament at the upper end of the field this morning, and were now
all talking at once, and flapping about the tops of the big elms which
were turning bright yellow, whilst down below a flight of starlings had
taken their place, and sat in the prettiest circles ; and groups of hedge-
sparrows flew and mimicked them. And in the fields round about the
sheep baaed, and the air, which was very sweet, was so quiet that these
country noises were the only sounds to be heard, and they could be
heard from very far away.
I had found the exact spot I wanted, and had planted four of the
hose-in-hose, and watered them from the bottle, and had the fifth in
my hand, and the sixth still in the basket, when all these nice noises
were drowned by a loud harsh shout which made me start, and sent the
flight of starlings into the next field, and made the hedge-sparrows jump
into the hedge.
And when I looked up I saw the Old Squire coming towards me,
and storming and shaking his fist at me as he came. But with the other
hand he held Saxon by the collar, who was struggling to get away from
him and to go to me.
I had so entirely forgotten about Father's quarrel with the Squire,
that when the sight of the old gentleman in a rage suddenly reminded
me, I was greatly stupefied and confused, and really did not at first hear
what he said. But when I understood that he was accusing me of
digging cowslips out of his field, I said at once (and pretty loud, for he
was deaf) that I was not digging up anything, but was planting double
cowslips to grow up and spread amongst the common ones.
I suppose it did sound rather unlikely, as the Old Squire knew
Nothing about our game, but a thing .being unlikely is no reason for
calling truthful people liars, and that was what the Old Squire called
It choked me, and when he said I was shameless, and that he had
caught me with the plants upon me, and yelled to me to empty my
basket, I threw away the fifth and sixth hose-in-hose as if they had been
adders, but I could not speak again. He must have been beside himself
with rage, for he called me all sort of names, and said I was my father's
own child, a liar and a thief. Whilst he was talking about sending me
I saw the Old Squire coming towards me, and storming and shaking his fist at me as he
came. But with the other hand he held Saxon by the collar, who was struggling to get away from
him and to go to me."-Page 55.
ARE APT TO OVER-RUN THE SCENT. 57
to prison (and I thought of Harry's dream, and turned cold with fear),
Saxon was tugging to get to me, and at last he got away and came
Now I knew that the Old Squire was holding Saxon back because
he thought Saxon wanted to worry me.as a trespasser, but I don't know
whether he let Saxon go at last, because he thought I deserved to be
worried, or whether Saxon got away of himself. When his paws were
almost on me the Old Squire left off abusing me, and yelled to the
dog, who at last; very unwillingly, went back to him, but when he just
got to the Squire's feet he stopped, and pawed the ground in the funny
way he sometimes does, and looked up at. his master as much as to say,
"You see it's only play," and then turned round and raced back to me
as hard as he could lay legs to ground. This time he reached me, and
jumped to lick my face, and I threw my arms round his neck and burst
When you are crying and kissing at the same time, you cannot hear
anything else, so what more the Old Squire said I do not know.
I picked up my basket and trowel at once, and fled homewards as
fast as I could go, which was not very fast, so breathless was I with tears
and shame and fright.
When I was safe in our grounds I paused and looked back. The
Old Squire was still there, shouting and gesticulating, and Saxon was at
his heels, and over the hedge two cows were looking at him; but the
rooks and the starlings were far off in distant trees and fields.
And I sobbed afresh when I remembered that I had been called a
T* liar and a thief, and had lost every one of my hose-in-hose; and this
was all that had come of trying to make an Earthly Paradise of Mary's
Meadow, and of taking upon myself the name of Traveller's Joy.
TOLD no one. It was bad enough to think of by
myself. I could not have talked about it. But every
day I expected that the Old Squire would send a
letter or a policeman, or come himself, and rage and
storm, and tell Father.
He never did; and no one seemed to suspect
that anything had gone wrong, except that Mother
fidgetted because I looked ill, and would show me
to Dr. Solomon. It is a good thing doctors tell you
what they think is the matter, and don't ask you what
you think, for I could not have told him about the
Squire. He said I was below par, and that it was
our abominable English climate, and he sent me a
bottle of tonic. And when I had taken half the
bottle, and had begun to leave off watching for the
policeman, I looked quite well again. So I took the
rest, not to waste it, and thought myself very lucky.
My only fear now was that Bessy's aunt might ask
after the hose-in-hose. But she never did.
I had one more fright, where I least expected it.
It had never occurred to me that Lady Catherine
would take an interest in our game, and want to know
what we had done, and what we were doing, and
what we were going to do, or I should have been far more afraid
of her than of Bessy's aunt. For the Weeding Woman has a good
deal of delicacy, and often begs pardon for taking liberties; but if
Aunt Catherine takes an interest, and wants to know, she asks one
question after another, and does not think whether you like to answer
She took an interest in our game after one of Christopher's
luncheons with her.
She often asks Chris to go there to luncheon, all by himself
HEARTS MAY AGREE, THOUGH HEADS DIFFER. 59
Father is not very fond of his going, chiefly, I fancy, because he is so
fond of Chris, and misses him. Sometimes, in the middle of luncheon,
he looks at Christopher's empty place, and says, "I wonder what those
two are talking about over their pudding. They are the queerest pair
of friends." If we ask Chris what they have talked about, he wags his
head, and looks very well pleased with himself, and says, "Lots of
things. I tell her things, and she tells me things." And that is all we
can get out of him.
A few weeks afterwards, after I lost the hose-in-hose, Chris went to
have luncheon with Aunt Catherine, and he came back rather later than
"You must have been telling each other a good deal to-day, Chris,"
"I told her lots," said Chris, complacently. "She didn't tell me
nothing, hardly. But I told her lots. My apple fritter got cold whilst
I was telling it. She sent it away, and had two hot ones, new, on
purpose for me."
What did you tell her?"
"I told her your story; she liked it very much. And I told her
Daffodils, and about my birthday; and I told her Cowslips-all of
them. Oh, I told her lots. She didn't tell me nothing."
A few days later, Aunt Catherine asked us to tea-all of us-me,
Arthur, Adela, Harry, and Chris. And she asked us all about our game,
When Harry said, "I dig up, but Mary plants-not in our garden, but
in wild places, and woods, and hedges, and fields," Lady Catherine blew
her nose very loud, and said, "I should think you don't do much
digging and planting in that field your Father went to law about?" and
my teeth chattered so with fright that I think Lady Catherine would have
heard them if she hadn't been blowing her nose. But, luckily for me,
Arthur said, "Oh, we never go near Mary's Meadow now, we're so busy."
And then Aunt Catherine asked what made us think of my name, and
I repeated most of the bit from Alphonse Karr, for I knew it by heart
now; and Arthur repeated what John Parkinson says about the Honi-
suckle that growth wild in every hedge," and how he left it there, to
serve their senses that travel by it, or have no garden;" and then he
said, So Mary is called Traveller's Joy, because she plants flowers in
the hedges, to serve their senses that travel by them."
"And who serves them that have no garden?" asked Aunt
Catherine, sticking her gold glasses over her nose, and looking at us.
60 FIND OUT MEN'S WANTS AND WILL,
None of us do," said Arthur, after thinking for a minute.
"Humph !" said Aunt Catherine.
Next time Chris was asked to luncheon, I was asked too. Father
laughed at me, and teased me, but I went.
I was very much amused by the airs which Chris gave himself at
table. He was perfectly well behaved, but, in his quiet old-fashioned
way, he certainly gave himself airs. We have only one man indoors-
James ; but Aunt Catherine has three-a butler, a footman, and a
second footman. The second footman kept near Christopher, who sat
opposite Aunt Catherine, (she made me sit on one side), and seemed
to watch to attend upon him; but if Christopher did want anything, he
always ignored this man, and asked the butler for it, and called him by
After a bit, Aunt Catherine began to talk about the game again.
Have you got anyone to serve them that have no garden, yet ?"
Christopher shook his head, and said No."
"Humph," said Aunt Catherine; "better take me into the game."
Could you be of any use?" asked Christopher. "Toast and
The butler nodded, as majestically as Chris himself, to the second
footman, who flew to replenish the silver mug, which had been Lady
Catherine's when she was a little girl. When Christopher had drained
it (he is a very thirsty boy), he repeated the question.
Do you think you could be of any use ? "
Mr. Chambers, the butler, never seems to hear anything that people
say, except when they ask for something to eat or drink; and he does
not often hear that, because he watches to see what you want, and gives
it of himself, or sends it by the footman. He looks just as if he was
having his photograph taken, staring at a point on the wall and thinking
of nothing; but when Christopher repeated his question I saw Chambers
frown. I believe he thinks Christopher presumes on Lady Catherine's
kindness, and does not approve of it.
It is quite the other way with Aunt Catherine. Just when you
would think she must turn angry, and scold Chris for being rude, she
only begins to laugh, and shakes like a jelly (she is very stout) and
encourages him. She said,
"Take care all that toast and water doesn't get into your head,
AND MEET THEM THERE. 61
She said that to vex him, because, ever since he heard that he had
water on the brain, Chris is very easily affronted about his head. IHe
was affronted now, and began to eat his bread-and-butter pudding in
silence, Lady Catherine still shaking and laughing. Then she wiped
her eyes, and said,
Never mind, old man, I'm going to tell you something. Put the
sugar and cream on the table, Chambers, and you needn't wait."
The men went out very quietly, and Aunt Catherine went on:
Where do you think I was yesterday ? In the new barracks-a
place I set my face against ever since they began to build it, and spoil
one of my best peeps from the Rhododendron Walk. I went to see a
young cousin of mine, who was fool enough to marry a poor officer,
and have a lot of little boys and girls, no handsomer than you, Chris."
"Are they as handsome?" said Chris,. who had recovered himself,
and was selecting currants from his pudding, and laying them aside for
a final bonne boucle.
"Humph! Perhaps not. But they eat so much pudding, and wear
out so many boots, that they are all too poor to live anywhere except in
Christopher laid down his spoon, and looked as he always looks
when he is hearing a sad story.
Is barracks like the workhouse, Aunt Catherine ?" he asked.
"A good deal like the workhouse," said Aunt Catherine. Then
she went on-" I told her Mother I could not begin calling at the
barracks. There are some very low streets close by, and my coachman
said he couldn't answer for his horses with bugles, and perhaps guns,
going off when you least expect them. I told her I would ask them to
dinner; and I did, but they were engaged. Well, yesterday I changed
my mind, and I told Harness that I meant to go to the barracks, and
the horses would have to take me. So we started. When we were
going along the upper road, between the high hedges, what do you
think I saw ?"
Chris had been going on with his pudding again, but he paused to
make a guess.
A large cannon, just going off?"
No. If I'd seen that, you wouldn't have seen any more of me.
I saw masses of wild clematis scrambling everywhere, so that the hedge
looked as if somebody had been dressing it up in tufts of feathers."
As she said this, Lady Catherine held out her hand to me across
62 ALL WORLDLY JOYES GO LESSE
the table very kindly. She has a fat hand, covered with rings, and I
put my hand into it.
"And what do you think came into my head ?" she asked.
"Toast and water," said Chris, maliciously.
"No, you monkey. I began to think of hedge-flowers, and
travellers, and Traveller's Joy."
Aunt Catherine shook my hand here, and dropped it.
"And you thought how nice it was for the poor travellers to have
such nice flowers," said Chris, smiling, and wagging his head up and
Nothing of the kind," said Aunt Catherine, brusquely. "I
thought what lots of flowers the travellers had already, without Mary
planting any more; and- I thought not one traveller in a dozen paid
much attention to them-begging John Parkinson's pardon-and how
mulch more in want of flowers people "that have no garden are; and
then I thought of that poor girl in those bare barracks, whose old home
was one of the prettiest places, with the loveliest garden, in all Berk-
"Was it an Earthly Paradise? asked Chris.
It was, indeed. Well, when I thought of her inside those brick
walls, looking out on one of those yards they march about in, now
they've cut down all the trees, and planted sentry boxes, I put my best
bonnet out of the window, which always spoils the feather, and told
Harness to turn his horses' heads, and drive home again."
What for ?" said Chris, as brusquely as Lady Catherine.
I sent for Hobbs."
"Hobbs the Gardener? said Chris.
Hobbs the Gardener; and I told Chambers to give him the
basket from the second peg, and then I sent him into the conservatory
to fill it. Mary, my dear, I am very particular about my baskets. If
ever I lend you my diamonds, and you lose them, I. may forgive you-
I shall know that was an accident; but if I lend you a basket, and you
don't return it, don't look me in the face again. I always write my name
on them, so there's no excuse. And I don't know a greater piece of
impudence-and people are wonderfully impudent now-a-days-than to
think that because a thing only cost fourpence, you need not be at the
trouble of keeping it clean and dry, and of sending it back."
"Some more toast and water please," said Chris.
Aunt Catherine helped him, and continued-" Hobbs is a careful
TO THE ONE JOY OF DOING KINDNESSES. 63
man-he has been with me ten years-he doesn't cut flowers recklessly
as a rule, but when I saw that basket I said, Hobbs, you've been very
extravagant.' He looked ashamed of himself, but he said, 'I under-
stood they was for Miss Kitty, m'm. She's been used to nice gardens,
m'm.' Hobbs lived with them in Berkshire before he came to me."
"It was very nice of Hobbs," said Chris, emphatically.
"Humph!" said Aunt Catherine, "the flowers were mine."
Did you ever get to the barracks ?" asked Chris, "and what was
they like when you did? "
"They were about as unlike Kitty's old home as anything could
Well be. She has made her rooms pretty enough, but it was easy to see
she is hard up for flowers. She's got an old rose-coloured Sevres
bowl that was my Grandmother's, and there it was, filled with bramble
leaves and Traveller's Joy (which she calls Old Man's Beard; Kitty
always would differ from her elders!) and a soup-plate full of forget-
me-nots. She said two of the children had half-drowned themselves,
and lost a good straw hat in getting them for her. Just like their
mother, as I told her."
"What did she say when you brought out the basket?" asked
Chris, disposing of his reserve of currants at one mouthful, and laying
down his spoon.
"She said, Oh oh! oh !' till 1 told her to say something more
amusing, and then she said, 'I could cry for joy!' and, 'Tell Hobbs he
remembers all my favourites."
Christopher here bent his head over his empty plate, and said grace
(Chris is very particular about his grace), and then got down from his
chair and went up to Lady Catherine, and threw his arms round her as
far as they would go, saying, You are good. And I love you. I
should think she thinked you was a fairy godmother."
After they had hugged each other, Aunt Catherine said, "Will you
take me into the game, if I serve them that have no garden ?"
Chris and I said Yes with one voice.
Then come into the drawing-room," said Aunt Catherine, getting
up and giving a hand to each of us. "And Chris shall give me a
Chris pondered a long time on this subject, and seemed a good
deal disturbed in his mind. Presently he said, "I won't be selfish. You
shall have it."
"Shall have what, you oddity?"
I'm not a oddity, and I'm going to give you the name I invented
for myself. But you'll have to wear four stockings, two up and two
"Then you may keep that name to yourself," said Aunt Catherine.
Christopher looked relieved.
"Perhaps you'd not like to be called Old Man's Beard ?"
Certainly not !" said Aunt Catherine.
"It is more of a boy's name," said Chris. "You might be the
Franticke or Foolish Cowslip, but it is Jack an Apes on Horseback too,
and that's a boy's name. You shall be a Daffodil, not a dwarf daffodil,
but a big one, because you are big. Wait a minute-I know which you
shall be. You shall be Nonsuch. It's a very big'one, and it means
none like it. So you shall be Nonsuch, for there's no one like you."
On which Christopher and Lady Catherine hugged each other
*-K- -* 4- *
"Who told most to-day?" asked Father when we got home.
"Oh, Aunt Catherine. Much most," said Christopher.
HE height of our game was in
Autumn. It is such a good
S time for digging up, and
..,_ planting, and dividing, and
making cuttings, and gather-
S ing seeds, and sowing them
too. But it went by very
S. quickly, and when the leaves
began to fall they fell very
quickly, and Arthur never had
to go up the trees and shake
L;- ~After the first hard frost
we quite gave up playing at
the Earthly Paradise; first, because there was nothing we could do, and,
secondly, because a lot of snow fell, and Arthur had a grand idea of
making snow statues all along the terrace, so that Mother could see
them from the drawing-room windows. We worked very hard, and it
was very difficult to manage legs without breaking; so we made most
of them Romans in togas, and they looked very well from a distance,
and lasted a long time, because the frost lasted.
And, by degrees, I almost forgot that terrible afternoon in Mary's
Meadow. Only when Saxon came to see us I told him that I was
very glad that no one understood his bark, so that he could not let out
what had become of the hose-in-hose.
But when the winter was-past, and the snowdrops came out in the
shrubbery, and there were catkins on the nut trees, and the missel-
thrush we had been feeding in the. frost sat out on mild days and sang
to us, we all of us began to think of our gardens again, and to go
poking about "with our noses in the borders," as Arthur said, "as if we
were dogs snuffing after truffles." What we really were "snuffing after"
were the plants we had planted in autumn, and which were poking and
sprouting, and coming up in all directions.
Arthur and Harry did real gardening in the Easter holidays, and
they captured Adela now and then, and made her weed. But Chris-
topher's delight was to go with me to the waste places and hedges,
where I had planted things as Traveller's Joy, and to get me to show
them to him where they had begun to make a spring start, and to help
him to make up rambling stories, which he called "Supposings," of
what the flowers would be like, and what this or that traveller would
say when he saw them. One of his favourite supposings was-" Sup-
posing a very poor man was coming along the road, with his dinner in
a handkerchief; and supposing he sat down under the hedge to eat it;
and supposing it was cold beef, and he had no mustard; and supposing
there was a seed on your nasturtium plants, and he knew it wouldn't
poison him ; and supposing he ate it with his beef, and it tasted nice
and hot, like a pickle, wouldn't he wonder how it got there ?"
But when the primroses had been out a long time, and the cowslips
were coming into bloom, to my horror Christopher began supposing"
that we should find hose-in-hose in some of the fields, and all my efforts
to put this idea out of his head, and to divert him from the search, were
utterly in vain.
Whether it had anything to do with his having had water on the
brain I do not know, but when once an idea got into Christopher's
head there was no dislodging it. He now talked of hose-in-hose con-
stantly. One day he announced that he was "discontented" once
more, and should remain so till he had "found a hose-in-hose." I
enticed him to a field where I knew it was possible to secure an occa-
sional oxlip, but he only looked pale, shook his head distressingly, and
said, "I don't think nothing' of Oxlips." Coloured primroses would not
comfort him. He professed to disbelieve in the time-honoured prescrip-
tion, Plant a primrose upside down, and it will come up a polyanthus,"
and refused to help me to make the experiment. At last the worst
came. He suddenly spoke, with smiles-" I know where we'll find
hose-in-hose! In Mary's Meadow. It's the fullest field of cowslips
there is. Hurrah Supposing we find hose-in-hose, and supposing we
find green cowslips, and supposing we fine curled cowslips or galli-
gaskins, and supposing- "
But I could not bear it. I fairly ran away from him, and shut
myself up in my room and cried. I knew it was silly, and yet I could
not bear the thought of having to satisfy everybody's curiosity, and
describe that scene in Mary's Meadow, which had wounded me so
bitterly, and explain why I had not told of it before.
I cried, too, for another reason. Mary's Meadow had been dear to
us all, ever since I could remember. It was always our favourite field.
We had coaxed our nurses there, when we could induce them to leave
the high road, or when, luckily for us, on account of an epidemic, or
for some reason or another, they were forbidden to go gossiping into
the town. ,We had "pretended fairies in the nooks of the delightfully
neglected hedges, and we had found fairy-rings to prove our pretending
true. We went there for flowers ; we went there for mushrooms and
puff-balls; we went there to hear the nightingale. What cowslip balls,
and what cowslip tea-parties it had afforded us. It is fair to the Old
Squire to say that we were sad trespassers, before he and Father
quarrelled and went to law. For Mary's Meadow was a field with every
quality to recommend it to childish affections.
And now I was banished from it, not only by the quarrel, of which
we had really not heard much, or realized it as fully, but by my own
bitter memories. I cried afresh to think I should never go again to the
corner where I always found the earliest violets; and then I cried to
think that the nightingale would soon be back, and how that very.
morning, when I opened my window, I had heard the cuckoo, and
could tell that he was calling from just about Mary's Meadow.
I cried my eyes into such a state, that I was obliged to turn my
attention to making them fit to be seen; and I had spent quite half an
hour in bathing them and breathing on my handkerchief, and dabbing
them, which is more soothing, when I heard Mother calling me. I
winked hard, drew a few long breaths, rubbed my cheeks, which were
so white they showed up my red eyes, and ran down-stairs. Mother
was coming to meet me. She said-" Where is Christopher ?"
It startled me. I said, He was with me in the garden, about-
oh, about an hour ago; have you lost him? I'll go and look for him."
And I snatched up a garden hat, which shaded my swollen eyelids,
and ran out. I could not find him anywhere, and becoming frightened,
I ran down the drive, calling him as I went, and through the gate, and
out into the road.
A few yards farther on I met him.
That child is most extraordinary. One minute he looks like a
ghost; an hour later his face is beaming with a radiance that seems
absolutely to fatten him under your eyes. That was how he looked
just then as he came towards me, smiling in an effulgent sort of way, as
if he were the noonday sun-no less, and carrying a small nosegay in
When he came within hearing he boasted, as if he had been Cesar
"I went; I found it. I've got them."
And as he held his hand up, and waved the nosegay-I knew all.
He had been to Mary's Meadow, and the flowers between his fingers
WON'T be selfish, Mary," Christo-
pher said. "You invented the game,
S .. and you told me about them. You
shall have them in water on your
dressing-table; they might get lost
in the nursery. Bessy is always
throwing things out. To-morrow I
shall go and look for galligaskins."
I was too glad to keep them
from Bessy's observation, as well as
her unparalleled powers of destruc-
tion, which I knew well. I put
them into a slim glass on my table,
and looked stupidly at them, and
then out of the window at Mary's
So they had lived-and grown
-and settled there-and were now
in bloom. Afy plants.
Next morning I was sitting,
\ drawing, in the schoolroom window,
when I saw the Old Squire coming
up the drive. There is no mistaking him when you can see him at all.
He is a big, handsome old man, with white whiskers, and a white hat,
and white gaiters, and he generally wears a light coat, and a flower in
his button-hole. TLe flower he wore this morning looked like- but
I was angry with myself for thinking of it, and went on drawing again,
as well as I could, for I could not help wondering why he was coming
to our house. Then it struck me he might have seen Chris trespassing,
and he might be coming at last to lay a formal complaint.
Twenty minutes later James came to tell me that Father wished to
see me in the library, and when I got there, Father was just settling his
70 PARDONS AND PLEASANTNESS
Seye-glass in his eye, and the Old Squire was standing on the hearthrug,
with a big piece of paper in his hand. And then I saw that I was
right, and that the flowers in his button-hole were hose-in-hose.
As I came in he laid down the paper, took the hose-in-hose out of
his button-hole in his left hand, and held out his right hand to me,
saying: "I'm more accustomed to public speaking than to private
speaking, Miss Mary. But- will you be friends with me?"
In Mary's Meadow my head had got all confused, because I was
frightened. I was not frightened to-day, and I saw the whole matter
in a moment. He had found the double cowslips, and he knew
now that I was neither a liar nor a thief. I was glad, but I could
not feel very friendly to him. I said, "You can speak when you are
Though he was behind me, I could feel Father coming nearer, and
I knew somehow that he had taken out his glass again to rub it and put
it back, as he does when he is rather surprised or amused. I was afraid
he meant to laugh at me afterwards, and he can tease terribly, but I
could not have helped saying what came into my head that morning if
I had tried. When you have suffered a great deal about anything, you
cannot sham, not even politeness.
The Old Squire got rather red. Then he said, I am afraid I am
very hasty, my dear, and say very unjustifiable things. But I am very
sorry, and I beg your pardon. Will you forgive me ?"
I said, "Of course, if you're sorry, I forgive you, but you have
been a very long time in repenting."
Which was true. If I had been cross with one of the others, and
had borne malice for five months, I should have thought myself very
wicked. But when I had said it, I felt sorry, for the old gentleman
made no answer. Father did not speak either, and I began to feel very
miserable. I touched the flowers, and the Old Squire gave them to
me in silence. I thanked him very much, and then I said-
"I am very glad you know about it now. I'm very glad
they lived. I hope you like them? I hope, if you
do like them, that they'll grow and spread all over your field."
The Old Squire spoke at last. He said, "It is not my field any
I said, "Oh, why?"
"I have given it away; I have been a long time in repenting, but
when I did repent I punished myself. I have given it away."
ARE GREAT REVENGES OF SLANDERS. 71
It overwhelmed me, and when he took up the big paper again, I
thought he was going, and I tried to stop him, for I was sorry I had
spoken unkindly to him, and I wanted to be friends.
"Please don't go," I said. "Please stop and be friends. And oh,
please, please don't give Mary's Meadow away. You mustn't punish
yourself. There's nothing to punish yourself for. I forgive you with
all my heart, and I'm sorry I spoke crossly. I have been so very
miserable, and I was so vexed at wasting the hose-in-hose, because
Bessy's great aunt gave them to me, and I've none left. Oh, the
unkindest thing you could do to me now would be to give away Mary's
The Old Squire had taken both my hands in his, and now he asked
very kindly-" Why, my dear, why don't you want me to give away
"Because we are so fond of it. And because I was beginning to
hope that now we're friends, and you know we -don't want to steal your
things, or to hurt your field, perhaps you would let us play in it some-
times, and perhaps have Saxon to play with us there. We are so very
fond of him too."
"You are fond of Mary's Meadow ?" said the Old Squire.
"Yes, yes We have been fond of it all our lives. We don't
think there is any field like it, and I don't believe there can be. Don't
give it away. You'll never get one with such flowers in it again. And
now there are hose-in-hose, and they are not at all common. Bessy's
aunts' aunt has only got one left, and she's taking care of it with a
shovel. And if you'll let us in we'll plant a lot of things, and do no
harm, we will indeed. And the nightingale will be here directly. Oh,
don't give it away !"
My head was whirling now with the difficulty of persuading him,
and I did not hear what he said across me to my-father. But I heard
Father's reply-" Tell her yourself, sir."
On which the Old Squire stuffed the big paper into my arms, and
put his hand on my head and patted it.
"I told you I was a bad hand at talking, my dear," he said, "but
Mary's Meadow is given away, and that's the Deed of Gift which you've
got in your arms, drawn up as tight as any rascal of a lawyer can do it,
and that's not so tight, I believe, but what some other rascal of a lawyer
could undo it. However, they may let you alone. For I've given it to
you, my dear, and it is yours. So you can plant, and play, and do what
72 HER VERY OWN.
you please there. 'You, and your heirs and assigns, for ever,' as the
It was my turn now to be speechless. But as I stared blankly in
front of me, I saw that Father had come round, and was looking at me
through his eye-glass. He nodded to me, and said, "Yes, Mary, the
Squire has given Mary's Meadow to you, and it is yours."
Nothing would induce the Old Squire to take it back, so I had to
have it, for my very own. He said he had always been sorry he had
spoken so roughly to me, but he could not say so, as he and Father
were not on speaking terms. Just lately he was dining with Lady
Catherine, to meet her cousins from the Barracks, and she was telling
people after dinner about our game (rather mean of her, I think, to let
out our secrets at a dinner party), and when he heard about my planting
things in the hedges, he remembered what I had said. And next day
he went to the place to look, and there were the hose-in-hose.
Oh, how delighted the others were when they heard that Mary's
Meadow belonged to me.
"It's like having an Earthly Paradise given to you, straight off!"
"And one that doesn't want weeding," said Adela.
"And oh, Mary, Mary !" cried Arthur. "Think of the yards and
yards of top-spit. It does rejoice me to think I can go to you now when
I'm making compost, and need not be beholden to that old sell-up-your-
grandfather John for as much as would fill Adela's weeding basket, and
that's about as small an article as anyone can make-believe with."
It's very heavy when it's full," said Adela.
"Is everything hers?" asked Christopher. "Is the grass hers, and
the trees hers, and the hedges hers,'and the rooks hers, and the starling
hers, and will the nightingale be hers when he comes home, and if she
could dig through to the other side of the world, would there be a field
the same size in Australia that would be hers, and are the sheep hers,
"For mercy's sake stop that catalogue, Chris," said Father. "Of
course the sheep are not hers; they were moved yesterday. By-the-bye,
Mary, I don't know what you propose to do with your property, but if
you like to let it to me, I'll turn some sheep in to-morrow, and I'll pay
FRIENDS 'ARE LIKE FIDDLE-STRINGS, 7
you so much a year, which I advise you to put into the Post Office
I couldn't fancy Mary's Meadow always without sheep, so I was too
thankful; though at first I could not see that it was fair that dear Father
should let me have his sheep to look pretty in my field for nothing, and
pay me, too. He is always teasing me about my field, and he teases me
a good deal about the Squire, too. He says we have set up another
queer friendship in the family, and that the Old Squire and I are as odd
a pair as Aunt Catherine and Chris.
I am very fond of the Old Squire now, and he is very kind to me.
He wants to give me Saxon, but I will not accept him. It would be
selfish. But the Old Squire says I had better take him, for we have
quite spoilt him for a yard dog by petting him, till he has not a bit of
savageness left in him. We do not believe Saxon ever was savage ; but
I aren't say so to the Old Squire, for he does not like you to think you
know better than he does about anything. There is one other subject
on which he expects to be humoured, and I am careful .not to offend
him. He cannot tolerate the idea that he might be supposed to have
yielded to Father the point about which they went to law, in giving
Mary's Meadow to me. He is always lecturing me on encroachments,
and the abuse of privileges, and warning me to be very strict about
trespassers on the path through Mary's Meadow; and now that the field
is mine, nothing will induce him to walk in it without asking my leave.
That is his protest against the decision from which he meant to appeal.
Though I have not accepted Saxon, he spends most of his time
with us. He likes to come for the night, because he sleeps on the floor
of my room, instead of in a kennel, which must be horrid, I am sure.
Yesterday, the Old Squire said, "One of these fine days, when Master
Saxon does not come home till morning, he'll find a big mastiff in his
kennel, and will have to seek a home for himself where he can."
Chris has been rather whimsical lately. Father says Lady Catherine
spoils him. One day he came to me, looking very peevish, and said,
"Mary, it a hedgehog should come and live in one of your hedges,
Michael says he would be yours, he's sure. If Michael finds him, will
you give him to me?"
"Yes, Chris; but what do you want with a hedgehog?"
"I want him to sleep by my bed," said Chris. "You have Saxon
by your bed; I want something by mine. I want a hedgehog. I feel
discontented without a hedgehog. I think I might have something the
74 THEY MUST NOT BE SCREWED TOO TIGHT.
matter with my brain if I didn't get a hedgehog pretty soon. Can I go
with Michael and look for him this afternoon?" and he put his hand to
"Chris, Chris !" I said, "you should not be so sly. You're a real
slyboots. Double-stockings and slyboots." And I took him on my lap.
Chris put his arms round my neck, and buried his cheek against
"I won't be sly, Mary," he whispered; and then, hugging me as he
hugs Lady Catherine, he added, "For I do love you; for you are a
darling, and I do really think it always was yours."
"If not," said Chris, "why was it always called MARY'S MEADOW?"
LETTERS FROM A LITTLE GARDEN.
All is fine that is fit."- Old Proverb.
EAR LITTLE FRIEND,
WHEN, with the touching confidence
of youth that your elders have made-up as
well as grown-up minds on all subjects, you
asked my opinion on Ribbon-gardening, the
above proverb came into my head, to the
relief of its natural tendency to see
an inconvenient number of sides to
every question. The more I reflect
upon it, the more I am convinced
it is a comfortably compact con-
fession of my faith on all matters
decorative, and thence on the decoration of gardens.
I take some credit to myself for having the courage of my modera-
tion, since you obviously expect a more sweeping reply. The bedding-
out system is in bad odour just now; and you ask, "Wasn't it hideous?"
and "Wasn't it hateful?" and Will it ever come into fashion again, to
the re-extermination of the dear old-fashioned flowers which we are
now slowly, and with pains, recalling from banishment?"
To discover one's own deliberate opinion upon a subject is not
always easy-prophetic opinions one must refuse to offer. But I feel
no doubt whatever that the good lady who shall coddle this little garden
at some distant date after me will be quite as fond of her borders as I
am of mine; and I suspect that these will be about as like each other
as our respective best bonnets.
TEMPUS EDAX RERUM. 77
The annals of Fashion must always be full of funny stories. I
know two of the best amateur gardeners of the day; they are father
and son. The father, living andgardening still (he sent me a specimen
lily lately by parcel post, and is beholden to no one for help, either with
packing or addressing, in his constant use of this new convenience), is
making good way between ninety and a hundred years of age. What
we call old-fashioned flowers were the pets of his youth. About the
time when ribbon-bordering "came in," he changed his residence, and,
in the garden where he had cultivated countless kinds of perennials, his
son reigned in his stead. The horticultural taste proved hereditary, but
in the younger man it took the impress of the fashion of his day. Away
went the "herbaceous stuff" on to rubbish heaps, and the borders were
soon gay with geraniums, and kaleidoscopic with calceolarias. But "the
whirligig of Time brings in his revenges," and, perhaps, a real love for
flowers could never, in the nature of things, have been finally satisfied by
the dozen or by the score; so it came to pass that the garden is once more
herbaceous, and far-famed as such. The father-a perennial gardener
in more senses than one, long may he flourish!-has told me, chuckling,
of many a penitential pilgrimage to the rubbish-heaps, if haply frag-
ments could be found of the herbaceous treasures which had been so
rashly cast away.
Doubtless there were many restorations. Abandoned "bedding
stuff" soon perishes, but uprooted clumps of "herbaceous stuff" linger
long in shady corners, and will sometimes flower pathetically on the
heap where they have been thrown to rot.
I once saw a fine Queen Anne country house-an old one; not
a modern imitation. Chippendale had made the furniture. He had
worked in the house. Whether the chairs and tables were beautiful or
not is a matter of taste, but they were well made and seasoned; so, like
the herbaceous stuff, they were hardy. The next generation decided
that they were ugly. New chairs and tables were bought, and the
Chippendale "stuff" was sent up into the maids' bedrooms, and down
to the men's. It drifted into the farmhouses and cottages on the estate.
No doubt, a good deal was destroyed. The caprices of fashion are
not confined to one class, and the lower classes are the more prodigal
and destructive. I have seen the remains of Elizabethan bedsteads
under hay-ricks, and untold old oak" has fed the cottage fire. I once
asked a village maiden why the people. made firewood of carved arm-
chairs, when painted pinewood, upholstered in American cloth, is, if
78 ONE PLANT IS THERE WITH CROWN BEDIGHT, THE REST ABOVE.
lovelier, not so lasting. Her reply was-" They get stalled on* 'em."
And she added: "Maybe a man '11 look at an old arm chair that's
stood on t' hearth-place as long as he can remember, and he'll say-
' I'm fair sick o' t' seet o' yon. We mun have a new 'un for t' Feast.
I'll chop thee oop/'"
Possibly some of the Chippendale chairs also fell to the hatchet
and fed the flames, but most of them bore neglect as well as hardy
perennials, and when Queen Anne houses and old Chips came into
fashion again, there was routing and rummaging from attic to cellar, in
farmhouse and cottage, and the banished furniture went triumphantly
back to its own place.
I first saw single dahlias in some "little gardens" in Cheshire, five
or six years ago. No others had ever been cultivated there. In these
quiet nooks the double dahlia was still a new-fangled flower. If the
single dahlias yet hold their own, those little gardens must now find
themselves in the height of the floral fashion, with the unusual luck of
the conservative old woman who ".wore her bonnet till the fashions
came round again."
It is such little gardens which have kept for us the Blue Primrose,
the highly fragrant Summer Roses (including Rose de Meaux, and the
red and copper Briar), countless beautiful varieties of Daffy-down-dillies,
and all the host of sweet, various and hardy flowers which are now
returning, like the Chippendale chairs, from the village to the hall
It is still in cottage gardens chiefly that the Crown Imperial hangs
its royal head. One may buy small sheaves of it in the Taunton
market-place on early summer Saturdays. What a stately flower it is!
and, in the paler variety, of what an exquisite yellow I always fancy
Fritillaria Imperialis flava to be dressed in silk from the Flowery Land
-that robe of imperial yellow which only General Gordon and the
blood royal of China are entitled to wear !
"All is fine that is fit." And is the "bedding-out" system-
Ribbon-gardening--ever fit, and therefore ever fine? My little friend,
I-am inclined to think that it sometimes is. For long straight borders
in parks and public promenades, for some terrace gardens on a large
scale, viewed perhaps from windows at a considerable distance, and, in
Stalled on = tired of. T' least" = the village feast, an annual festival
and fair, for which most houses in that district are cleaned within and whitewashed
ALL WORLDLY HAPPINESS 79
a general way, for pleasure grounds ordered by professional skill, and
not by an amateur gardener (which, mark you, being interpreted, is
gardenerfor love!), the bedding-out style is good for general effect, and
I think it is capable of prettier ingenuities than one often sees employed
in its use. I think that, if I ever gardened in this expensive and
mechanical style, I should make "arrangements," a la Whistler, with
flowers of various shades of the same colour. But harmony and
gradation of colour always give me more pleasure than contrast.
Then, besides the fitness of the gardening -to the garden, there is
the fitness of the garden to its owner; and the owner must be considered
from two points of view, his taste and his means. Indeed, I think it
would be fair to add a third, his leisure.
Now, there are owners of big gardens and little gardens, who like
to have a garden (what Englishman does not ?), and like to see it gay
and tidy, but who don't know one flower from the rest. On the other
hand, some scientists are acquainted with botany and learned in horti-
culture. They know every plant and its value, but they care little about
tidiness. Cut flowers are feminine frivolities in their eyes, and they
count nosegays as childish gauds, like daisy chains and cowslips balls.
They are not curious in colours, and do not know which flowers are
fragrant and which are scentless. For them every garden is a botanical
garden. Then, many persons fully appreciate the beauty and the scent
of flowers, and enjoy selecting and arranging them for a room, who
can't abide to handle a fork or meddle with mother earth. Others again,
amongst whom I number myself, love not only the lore of flowers, and the
sight of them, and the fragrance of them, and the growing of them, and
the picking of them, and the arranging of them, but also inherit from
Father Adam a natural relish for tilling the ground from whence they
were taken and to which they shall return.
With little persons in little gardens, having also little strength and
little leisure, this husbandry may not exceed the small uses of fork and
trowel, but the earth-love is there, all the same. I remember once,
coming among some family papers, upon an old letter from my grand-
mother to my grandfather. She was a clever girl (she did not outlive
youth), and the letter was natural and full of energy and point. My
grandfather seems to have apologized to his bride for the disorderly
state of the garden to which she was about to go home, and in reply
she quaintly and vehemently congratulates herself upon this unpromising
Fact. For- I do so dearly love grubbing." This touches another
So CONSISTS IN OPINION.
point. She was a botanist, and painted a little. So were most of the
lady gardeners of her youth. The education of wonien was, as a rule,
poor enough in those days; but a study of "the Linnean system was
among the elegant accomplishments held to "become a young woman";
and one may feel pretty sure that even a smattering of botanical know-
ledge, and the observation needed for third or fourth-rate flower-
painting, would tend to a love of variety in beds' and borders which
Ribbon-gardening would by no means satisfy. Lobelia erinms speciosa
does make a wonderfully smooth blue stripe in sufficient quantities, but
that would not console any one who knew or had painted Lobelia
cardinalis, and fulgens for the banishment of these from the garden.
I think we may dismiss Ribbon-gardening as unfit for a botanist,
or for any one who happens to like grabbing, or tending his flowers.
Is it ever fit" in a little garden?
Well, if the owner has either no taste for gardening, or no time, it
may be the shortest and brightest plan to get some nurseryman near to
fill the little beds and borders with spring bedding plants for spring (and
let me note that this spring bedding, which is of later date than the first
rage for ribbon-borders, had to draw its supplies very largely from
"herbaceous stuff" myosotis, viola, aubretia, iberis, &c., and may have
paved the way for the return of hardy perennials into favour), and with
Tom Thumb Geranium, Blue Lobelia, aud Yellow Calceolaria for the
summer and autumn. These latter are most charming plants. They
are very gay and persistent whilst they last, and it is not their fault
that they cannot stand our winters. They are no invalids till frost
comes. With my personal predilections, I like even "bedding stuff"
best in variety. The varieties of what we call geraniums are many and
most beautiful. I should always prefer a group of individual specimens
to a band of one. And never have I seen the canary yellow of calceo-
larias to such advantage as in an "old-fashioned" rectory-garden in
Yorkshire, where they were cunningly used as points of brilliancy at
corners of beds mostly filled with hardy herbaceous stuff."
But there, again, one begins to spend time and taste Let us
admit that, if a little garden must be made gay by the neighboring
nurseryman, it will look very bright, on the "ribbon" system, at a
minimum cost of time and trouble-but not of money!
Even for a little garden, bedding plants are very expensive. For
you must either use plenty, or leave it alone. A ragged ribbon-border
can have no admirers.
NON SIBI SED TOTI. 8I
If time and money are both lacking, and horticulture is not a
hobby, divide what sum you are prepared to spend on your little garden
in two. Lay out half in making good soil, and spend the rest on a
limited range of hardy plants. If mother earth is well fed, and if you
have got her deep down, and not a surface layer of half a foot on a
substratum of builder's rubbish, she will take care of every plant you
commit to her hold. I should give up the back of the borders (if the
aspect is east, or south) to a few very good "perpetual" roses to cut
from; dwarfs, not standards; and for the line of colour in front it will
be no great trouble to arrange roughly to have red, white, blue, and
One of the best cheap bedders is Pink Catchfly (Silene pendula).
Its rosy cushions are as neat and as lasting as Blue Lobelia. It is a
hardy annual, but the plants should be autumn sown of the year before.
It flowers early and long, and its place might be taken for the autumn
by scarlet dwarf nasturtiums, or clumps of geranium.. Pink Catchfly,
Blue Forget-me-not, White Arabis, and Yellow Viola would make gay
any spring border. Then to show, to last, and to cut from, few flowers
rival the self-coloured pansies (Viola class). Blue, white, purple, and
yellow alternately, they are charming, and if in good soil, well-watered
in drought, and constantly cut from, they bloom the whole summer
long. And some of them are very fragrant. The secret of success
with these is never to leave, a flower to go to seed. They are not cut
off by autumnal frosts. On the contrary, you can take them up, and
divide, and reset, and send a portion to other little gardens where they
All mine (and they have been very gay this year and very sweet)
I owe to the bounty of friends who garden non sibi sedtoti.
Lastly, if there is even a very little taste and time. to spare, surely
nothing can be so satisfactory as a garden full of such flowers as (in the
words of John Parkinson) "our English ayre will permit to be noursed
up." Bearing in mind these counsels:
Make a wise selection of hardy plants. Grow only good sorts,
and of these choose what suit your soil and climate. Give them space
and good feeding. Disturb the roots as little as possible, and cut the
flowers constantly. Then they will be fine as well as fit.
Good-bye, Little Friend,
"The tropics may have their delights; but they have not turf, and the world
without turf is a dreary desert. The original Garden of Eden could not have had
such turf as one sees in England.
Woman always did, from the first, make a muss in a garden.
"Nevertheless; what a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge
Pusley; or, My Summer in a Garden.-C. D. WARNER.
DEAR LITTLE FRIEND,
S0 you know the little book
from which these sayings
w ~ are quoted? It is one you
can laugh over by your-
self, again and again. A
very good specimen of that
curious, new-world kind of
s/ wit- American humour;
and also full of the truest
sense of natural beauty
and of gardening delights.
Mr. Warner is not
complimentary to woman's
work in the garden, though
he displays all the graceful
deference of his countrymen to the weaker sex. In. the charming
dedication to his wife, whilst desiring "to acknowledge- an influence
which has lent half the charm to my labour," he adds : If I were in a
court of justice, or injustice, under oath, I should not like to say that,
either in the wooing days of spring, or under the suns of the summer
solstice, you had been, either with hoe, rake, or miniature spade, of the
least use in the garden." Perhaps our fair cousins on the other side of
the Atlantic do not grub so energetically as we do. Certainly, with
us it is very common for the ladies of the family to- be the practical
TO SPARE THEE NOW IS PAST MY POWER, 83
gardeners, the master of the house caring chiefly for a good general
effect, with tidy walks and grassplots, and displaying less of that almost
maternal solicitude which does bring flowers to perfection.
I have sometimes thought that it would be a good division 9f
labour in a Little Garden, if, where Joan coddles the roses and rears the
seedlings, Darby would devote some of his leisure to the walks and.
Few things in one's garden are pleasanter to one's own eye, or gain
more admiration from others, than well-kept turf. Green grass is one
of the charms of the British Isles, which are emerald isles throughout,
though Ireland is so par excellence. It is so much a matter of course
to us that we hardly realize this till we hear or read what foreigners say
about it, and also our own American and colonial cousins. We go
abroad and revel in real sunshine, and come home with glowing
memories to abuse our own cloudy skies; but they come from burnt-up
landscapes to refresh their eyes with our perpetual green.
Even -little grassplot well repays pains and care. If you have to
make it, never use cheap seed. Buy the very best from seedsmen of
repute, or you' will get a conglomeration of weeds instead of a green-
sward of fine grasses and white clover. Trench the ground to an even
depth, tread it firm,'and have light, finely-sifted soil uppermost. Sow
thickly early in April, cover lightly, and protect from birds. If the soil
is good,-and the seed first-rate, your sward will be green the first season.
Turfs make a lawn somewhat quicker than seed. The best are
cut from the road-side, but it is a hateful despoiling of one of the
fairest of travellers' joys. Those who commit this highway robbery
should reckon themselves in honour bound to sow the bare places they
leave behind. Some people cut the pieces eighteen inches square,
some about a yard long and twelve -inches wide. Cut thin, roll up like
thin bread and butter. When they are laid down, fit close together, like
bits of a puzzle, and roll well after laying. If they gape with shrinking,
fill in between with finely sifted soil, and roll again and again.
Strictly speaking, a grassplot should be all grass, grass and a little
white clover. Soldiers (of the plantain type) are not to be tolerated
on a lawn, but I have a weak corner for .dog-daisies. I once owned a
little garden in Canada, but never a dog-daisy grew there. A lady I
knew had one-in a pot-sent from "Home." But even if you have a
sentimental fondness for "the pretty things" (as their botanical name
signifies), and like to see their little white faces peeping out-of the grass,
84 THOU BONNIE GEM.
this must not be carried too far. In some soils dog-daisies will soon
devour the whole lawn.
How are they, and "soldiers," and other weeds to be extirpated ?
There are many nostrums, but none so effectual as a patient digging up
(with a long "daisy fork ") of plant after plant by the roots. The whole
family party and any chance visitors will not be too many for the work,
and, if each labourer is provided with a cast-iron back with a hinge in
it, so much the better. A writer in the Garden seems to have been
very successful with salt, used early in the season and with great care.
He says: "After the first cutting in the spring put as much salt on
each weed, through the palm of the hand, as will distinctly cover it. In
two or three days, depending on the weather, they will turn brown.
Those weeds that have escaped can be distinctly seen, and the opera-
tion should be repeated. The weeds thus treated die, and in about
three weeks the grass will have grown, and there will not be a vestige of
disturbance left. Two years ago I converted a rough pasture into a
tennis-ground for six courts. Naturally the turf was a mass of rough
weeds. It took three days to salt them, and the result was curiously
Another prescription is to cut off the crowns of the offending
plants, and dose them with a few drops of carbolic acid.
Grass will only grow dense by constant cutting and moisture. The
scythe works best when the grass is wet, and the machine when it is
dry. Sweep it and roll it during the winter. Pick off stones, sticks, or
anything that "has no business" on it, as you would pick "bits" off a
If grass grows rank and coarse, a dressing of sand will improve it;
if it is poor and easily burned up, give it a sprinkling of soot, or guano,
or wood ashes (or all three mixed) before rain. Slops are as welcome
to parched grass as to half-starved flowers. If the weather is hot and
the soil light, it is well occasionally to leave the short clippings of one
mowing upon, the lawn to protect the roots.
I do not know if- it becomes unmanageable, but, in moderation, I
think camomile a very charming intruder on a lawn, and the aromatic
scent which it yields to one's tread to, be very grateful in the open air.
It is pleasant, too, to have a knoll or a bank somewhere, where thyme
can grow among the grass.. But the subject of flowers that grow well
through grass is a large one. It is one also 'on which the members of
our Parkinson Society would do kindly to give us any exceptional expe-
ALL FISH ARE NOT CAUGHT WITH FLIES. 85
xiences, especially in reference to flowers which not only flourish among
grass, but do not resent being mown down. The lovely blue windflower
( I'. I:, .. Apennina) is, I believe, one of these.
There is no'doubt that now and then plants prefer to meet with a
little resistance, and despise a bed that is made too comfortable. Self-
sown ones often come up much more vigorously through the hard path
than when the seed has fallen within the border. The way to grow the
parsley fern is sald to be to clap a good big stone on his crown very
early in the spring, and let him struggle out at all corners from under-
neath it. It is undoubtedly a comfort to rock-plants and creeping
things to be planted with a stone over their feet to keep them cool!
Which reminds me of stones for bordering. I think they make
the best of all edgings for a Little Garden. Box-edgings are the
prettiest, but they are expensive, require good keeping, and harbour
slugs. For that matter, most things seem to harbour slugs in any but a
very dry climate, and there are even more prescriptions for their destruc-
tion than that of lawn weeds. I don't think lime does much, nor soot.
Wet soon slakes them. Thick slices of turnip are attractive. Slugs
really do seem to like them, even better than one's favourite seedlings.
Little heaps of bran also, and young lettuces. My slugs do not care
for cabbage leaves, and they are very untidy. Put thick slices of turnip
near your auriculas, favourite primroses and polyanthuses, and Christmas
roses, and near anything tender and not well established, and overhaul
them early in the morning. "You can't get up too early, if you have a
garden," says Mr. Warner; and he adds: "Things appear to go on in
the night in the garden uncommonly. It would be less trouble to- stay
up than it is to get up so early!"
To return to stone, edgings. When quite newly laid, like miniature
ropkwork, they are, perhaps, the least bit cockneyfied, and suggestive of
something between oyster-shell borderings and mock ruins. But this
effect very rapidly disappears as they bury themselves in cushions of
pink catch-fly (v. compacta, or low-growing pinks, tiny campanulas,
yellow viola, London pride, and the vast variety of rock-plants, "alpines,"
and low-growing herbaceous stuff," which delight in squeezing up to a
big cool stone that will keep a little moisture for their rootlets in hot
summer weather. This is a much more interesting kind of edging than
any one kind of plant can make, I think, and in a Little Garden it is
like an additional border, leaving the other free for bigger plants.. If
one kind is preferred, for a light soil there is nothing like thrift. And
86 THE OLD ADAM.
the white thrift is very silvery and more beautiful than the pink. There
is a large thrift, too, which is handsome. But I prefer stones, and I like
varieties of colour-bits of grey boulder, and red and yellow sandstone.
I like warm colour also on the walks. I should always have red
walks if I could afford them. There is a.red material, the result of some
process of burning, which we used to get in the iron and coal districts
of Yorkshire, which I used to think very pretty, but I do not know
what it is called.
Good walks are a great luxury. It is a wise economy to go round
your walks after rain and look for little puddles; make a note of where
the water lodges and fill it up. Keep gratings swept. If the grating is
free and there is an overflow not to be accounted for, it is very possible
that a drain-pipe somewhere is choke-full of the roots of some tree.
Some people advise hacking up your walks from time to time, and
other people advise you not. Some people say there is nothing like salt
to destroy walk weeds and moss, and brighten the gravel, and some
people say that salt in the long run feeds the ground and the weeds.
I am disposed to think that, in a Little Garden, there is nothing like a
weeding woman with an old knife and a little salt afterwards. It is also
advisable to be your own weeding woman, that you may be sure that
the weeds come up by the roots! Next -to the cast-iron back before
mentioned, I recommend a housemaid's kneeling mat (such as is used
for scrubbing floors), as a gardener's comfort.
I hope, if you-have been bulb planting, that you got them all in by
Lord Mayor's Day. Whether bulbs should be planted deep or shallow
is another "vexed question." In a Little Garden, where you don't
want to disturb them, and may like to plant out some small rooted
annuals on the top of them later on, I should plant deep.
If you are planting roses, remember that two or three, carefully
planted in good stuff that goes deep, will pay you better than six times
the number stuck into a hole in cold clay or sand or builders' rubbish,
and left to push their rootlets as best they can, or perish in the attempt.
Spread out these rootlets very tenderly when planting. You will reap
the reward of your gentleness in flowers. Rose roots don't like being
squeezed, like a Chinese lady's feet. I was taught this by one who
Sknows,-Ile has a good name for the briar suckers and sprouts which
I hope you carefully cut off from your grafted roses,-He calls it "the
A good rule
Is a good tool.
DEAR LITTLE FRIEND,
iII/ ANUARY is not a month
/ in which you are likely to
/ be doing much in your little
S/ / garden. Possibly a wet
0 blanket of snow lies thick
and white over all its hopes
'yf; --- and anxieties. No doubt
you made all tidy, and
some things warm, for the
S- winter, in the delicious
S opportunities of S. Luke's
and S. Martin's little summers, and, like the amusing American I told
you of, turned away writing resurgam on the gate-post."
I write resurgam on labels, and put them wherever bulbs lie buried,
or such herbaceous treasures as die down, and are, in consequence, too
often treated as mere mortal remains of the departed, by the undis-
criminating hand of the jobbing gardener.
Winter is a good time to make plans, and to put them down in
your Garden-book. Have you a Garden-book? A note-book, I mean;
devoted to garden memoranda. It is a very useful kind of common-
place book, and soon becomes as fascinating as autumn and spring
One has to learn to manage even a Little Garden chiefly by.
experience, which is slow teaching, if sure. Books and gardeners are
helpful; but; like other doctors, they differ. I think one is often slower
to learn anything than one need be, from not making at once for first
88 FIRST PRINCIPLES.
principles. If one knew more of these, it would be easier to apply
one's own experience, and to decide amid conflicting advice.
Here are a few rough and ready "first principles for you.
Hardy flowers in hedges and ditches are partly fed, and are also
covered from coldA and heat, and winds, and drought, by fallen leaves and
refuse. Hardy flowers in gardens have all this tidied away from them,
and, being left somewhat hungry and naked in proportion, are all the
better for an occasional top-dressing and mulching, especially in autumn.
It is not absolutely necessary to turn a flower border upside down and
dig it over every year. It may (for some years at any rate), if you find
this more convenient, be treated on the hedge system, and fed from the
top; thinning big clumps, pulling up weeds, moving and removing in
Concentrated strength means large blooms. If a plant is ripening seed,
some strength goes to 'that; if bursting into many blooms, some goes
to each of them; if it is trying to hold up against blustering winds,
or to thrive on exhausted ground, or to straighten out cramped and o
clogged roots, these struggles also demand strength. Moral: Plant
carefully, support your tall plants, keep all your plants in easy circum-
stances, don't put them to the trouble of ripening seed (unless you
specially want it). To this end cut off fading flowers, and also cut off
buds in places where they would not show well when they came out, and
all this economized strength will go into the blossoms that remain.
You cannot grow everything. Grow what suits your soil and climate,
and the best kinds of these, as well as you can. You may make soil to suit
a plant, but you cannot make the climate to suit it, and some flowers are
more fastidious about the air they breathe than about the soil they feed
upon. There are, however, scores of sturdy, handsome flowers, as hardy
as highlanders, which will thrive in almost any soil, and under all the
variations of climate of the British Isles. Some will even endure the
smoke-laden atmosphere of towns and town suburbs; which, sooner or
later, is certain death to so many. It is a pity that small florists and
greengrocers in London do not know more about this; and it would be
a great act of kindness to them and to their customers to instruct them.
Then, instead of encouraging the ruthless slaughter of primroses, scores
and hundreds of plants of which are torn up and then sold in a smoky
atmosphere to which they never adapt themselves, these small shop-
keepers might offer plants of the many beautiful varieties of poppies,
from the grand Orientalis onwards, chrysanthemums, stocks, wall-flowers,
JACK FROST-AND MR. MOULD. 89
Canterbury bells, salvias, cenotheras, snapdragons, perennial lobelias, iris,
and other plants which are known to be very patient under a long course
of soot. Most of the hardy Californian annuals bear town life well.
Perhaps because they have only to bear it for a year. Convolvulus
r:,.-.r--the Morning Glory, as our American cousins so prettily call it-
flourishes on a smutty wall as generously as the Virginian creeper.
North borders are safest in winter. They are free from the dangerous
alternation of sunshine and frost. Put things of doubtful hardihood
under a north wall, with plenty of sandy soil or ashes over their roots,
some cinders on that, and perhaps a little light protection, like bracken,
in front of them, and their chances will not be bad. Apropos to tender
things, if your little garden is in a cold part of the British Isles, and has
ungenial conditions of soil and aspect, don't try to keep tender things
out of doors in winter; but, if it is in the south or west of the British
Isles, I should be tempted to very wide experiments with lots of plants
not commonly reckoned hardy." Where laurels flower freely you will
probably be successful eight years out of ten. Most fuchsias, and
tender things which die down, may be kept.
Very little will keep Jack Frost out, if he has not yet been in, either
in the garden or the house. A "hot bottle will keep frost out of a
small room where one has stored geraniums, &c., so will a small paraffin
lamp (which-N.B.-will also keep water-pipes from catastrophe.) How
I have toiled, in my young days, with these same hot water bottles in a
cupboard off the nursery, which was my nearest approach to a green-
house! And how sadly I have experienced that where Mr. Frost goes
out Mr. Mould is apt to slink in! Truly, as Mr. Warner says, "the
gardener needs all the consolations of a high philosophy!"
It is a great satisfaction if things will live out of doors. And in a
little garden a good deal of coddling may be done. I am going to get
some round fruit hampers to turn over certain tender pets this winter.
When one has one's flowers by the specimen and not by the score, such
cossetting is possible. Ashes and cinders are excellent protection for
the roots, and for plants-like roses-which do not die back to the
earth level, and which sometimes require a screen as well as a quilt;
bracken, fir branches, a few pea sticks, and matting or straw are all
handy helps. The old gentleman who ran out-without his dressing
gown-to fling his own bed-quilt over some plants endangered by an
unexpected frost, came very near to having a fine show of bloom and
not'being there to see it; but, short .of this excessive zeal, when one's
90 OLD SAWS AND OLD HABITS.
garden is a little one, and close to one's threshold, one may catch Jack
Frost on the surface of many bits of rough and ready fencing on very
In drought, one good soaking with tepid water is worth six sprink-
lings. Watering is very fatiguing, but it is unskilled labour, and one
ought to be able to hire strong arms to do it at a small rate. But I
never met the hired person yet who could be persuaded that it was
needful to do more than make the surface of the ground look as if it
had been raining.
There is a "first principle" of which some gardeners are very fond,
but in which I do not believe, that if you begin to water you must go
on, and that too few waterings do harm. What I don't believe is that
they do harm, nor did I ever meet with a gardener who complained of
an odd shower, even if the skies did not follow it up. An odd sprink-
ling does next to no good, but an odd soaking may- save the lives of
your plants. In very hot weather don't grudge a few waterings to
your polyanthuses and primroses. If they are planted in open sunny
borders with no shade or hedge-mulching, they suffer greatly from
Flowers, like human beings, are, to some extent, creatures of habit.
They get used to many things which they can't at all abide once in a
way. If your little garden (like mine) is part of a wandering establish-
ment, here to-day and there to-morrow, you may get even your roses
into very good habits of moving good-humouredly, and making them-
selves quickly at home.. If plants from the first are accustomed to
being moved about,-every year, or two years,-they do not greatly
resent it. A real "old resident," who has pushed his rootlets far and
wide, and never tried any other soil or aspect, is very slow to settle else-
where, even if he does not die of nostalgia and -nervous shock! In
making cuttings, consider the habits and customs of the parent plant.
If it has been grown in heat, the cuttings will require heat to start
them. And so on, as to dry soil or moist, &c. If somebodygives you
"a root" in hot weather, or a bad time for moving, when you have
made your hole pour water in very freely. Saturate the ground below,
"puddle in" your plants with plenty more, and you will probably save
it, especially if you turn a pot or basket over it in the heat of the day.
In warm weather plant in the evening, the new-comers then have a
round of the clock in dews and restfulness before the sun is fierce
enough to make them flag. In cold weather move in the morning, and
GOOD LUCK g9
for the same period they will -be safe from possible frost. Little, if any,
watering is needed for late autumn plantings.
Those parts of a plant which are not accustomed to exposure are
those which sufferfrom it. You may garden bare-handed in a cold wind
and not be the worse for it, but, if both your arms were bared to the
shoulders, the consequences would probably be very different. A
bundle of rose-trees or shrubs will bear a good deal on their leaves and
branches, but for every moment you leave their roots exposed to drying
and chilling blasts they suffer. When a plant is out of the ground, pro-
tect its crown and its roots at once. If a plant is moved quickly, it is
advantageous, of course, to take it up with as much earth as possible, if
the roots remain undisturbed in their little plat. Otherwise, earth is no
better than any other protection; and-in sending plants by post, &c.
(when soil weighs very heavily), it is better to wash every bit of soil out
of the roots, and then thoroughly wrap them in moss, and outside that
in hay or tow, or cotton wool. Then, if the roots are comfortably
spread in nice mould at the other end of the journey, all should go
I reserve a sneaking credulity about "lucky fingers." Or rather, I
should say, a belief that some people have a strange power (or tact) in
dealing with the vegetable world," as others have in controlling and
It is a vivid memory of my childhood that (amongst the box-edged
.gardens of a family of eight), that of my eldest brother was almost
inconvenienced by the luck 6f his fingers. Survival of the fittest" (if
hardiest does mean fittest!) kept the others within bounds; but what.
he begged, borrowed, and stole, survived, all of it, conglomerate around
the "double velvet" rose, which formed the centrepiece. We used to
say -that when the top layer was pared off, a buried crop came up.
An old friend with lucky fingers visited my Little Garden this
autumn.- He wanders all over the world, and has no garden of his
own except window-boxes in London, where he seems to grow what he
pleases. He is constantly doing kindnesses, and likes to do them his
own way. He christened a border (out of which I had not then turned
the builders' rubbish) Desolation Border, with more candour than com-
pliment. He said it wanted flowers, and he meant to sow some. I
suggested that, sown at that period of the summer, they would not
flower this season. He said they would. (They did.) None of my
suggestions met with favour, so I became gratefully passive, and watched
92 IS BETTER THAN GOLD.
the lucky fingers from a distance, fluttering small papers, and making
mystic deposits here and there, through the length and breadth of the
garden. I only begged him to avoid my labels. The seeds he sowed
ranged from three (rather old) seeds of bottle gourd to a packet of mixed
Virginian stock. They all came up. He said, "I shall put them in
where I think it is desirable, and when they come up you'll see where
they are." I did.
For some days after his departure, on other country visits, I
received plants by post. Not in tins, or boxes, but in envelopes with
little or no packing. In this way came sea lavender in full bloom,
crimson monkey plant from the London window box, and cuttings of
mesembryanthemum. They are al alive and thriving!
The bottle gourd and the annuals have had their day, and it is
over; but in the most unexpected places there still rise,' like ghosts,
certain plants which completely puzzle me.* They have not blossomed,
but they grow on in spite of frost. Some of them are nearly as tall as
myself. They almost alarm me when I am dividing violas, and trifling
with Alpines. They stand over me (without sticks) and seem to say,
"We are up, you see where we are! We shall grow as long as we
think it desirable."
Farewell for the present, Little Friend,
When fully grown these plants proved to be the Tree-Mallow, Lavatera
zrborea, the seeds were gathered from specimens on the shores of the Mediterranean.
When Candlemas Day is come and gone,
The snow lies on a hot stone.-Old Saw.
DEAR LITTLE FRIEND,
I MONG all the changes and
i /chances of'human life which
S / go to make up fiction as well
as fact, there is one change
i %w which has never chanced to
any man; and yet the
Side has been found
Iso fascinating by all
Smen that it appears in
the literature of every
country. Most other
ations are recorded as
facts somewhere in
S.the history of our
race. Poor men have
become rich, the
A beggar has sat among
princes, the sick have
been made whole, the
S'dead have been raised,
the neglected man has
awoke to find himself
-famous, rough and
kindly beasts have
been charmed by
lovely ladies into very
passable Princes, and
it would be hard to
say that the ugly have
not seen themselves beautiful in the mirror of friendly eyes; but the old
have never become young. The elixir of youth has intoxicated the
imagination of many, but no drop of it has ever passed human lips.
94 I WONDERED AT THE BOUNTEOUS HOURS,
If we ever do just taste anything of the vital, hopeful rapture, the
elastic delight of the old man of a fairy tale, who leaves his cares, his
crutches, and his chimney-corner, to go forth again young amongst the
young,-it is when the winter is ended and the spring is come. Some
people may feel this rising of the sap of life within them more than others,
but there are probably very few persons whom the first mild airs and
bursting buds and pushing flower-crowns do not slightly intoxicate with
a sort of triumphant pleasure.
What then, dear little friend, must be the February feelings of the
owner of a Little Garden? Knowing, as we do, every plant and its
place,-having taken just pride in its summer bloom,-having preserved
this by cares and trimmings and proppings to a picturesque and florid
autumn, though wild flowers have long been shrivelled and shapeless,-
having tidied it up and put a little something comforting round it wheli
bloom and outline were absolutely no more: what must we feel when
we first detect the ruddy young shoots of our favourite pceonies, or
perceive that the brown old hepaticas have become green and young
again and are full of flower-buds?
The process of strolling, with bent back and peering eyes, by the
side of the still frosty borders is so deeply interesting, and a very little
sunshine on a broad band of crocuses has such a summer-like effect, that
one is apt to forget that it is one of the cheapest ways of catching cold.
The last days of the gardening year not unfrequently lead from the
flower-bed to the sick-bed. But though there is for susceptible folk a
noxious influence in the decaying vegetation of autumn, from which
spring is free, there is bitter treachery in many a spring wind, and the
damp of the ground seems to reek with the exuding chill of all the
frosts that have bound it in mid-winter.
I often wonder that, for some exigencies of weather, the outdoor
red-flannel knickerbockers which one wears in Canada are not more in
use here. The very small children have all their clothes stuffed into
them, and tumble safely about in the snow like little Dutchman. Older
wearers of petticoats cram all in except the outermost skirt. It is a
very simple garment made of three pieces,-two (straight) legs and a
large square. The square is folded like a kerchief, and the leg pieces
attached to the two sloping sides. A broad elastic and small openings-
on each side and at the top enable these very baggy knickerbockers to
be easily pulled on for going out (where they effectually exclude cold
exhalations from snow or damp ground), and pulled off on coming in.
THE SLOW RESULT OF WINTER SHOWERS: 95
Short of such coddling as this, I strongly urge fleecy cork' socks
inside your garden boots; and I may add that if you've never tried
them, you can have no idea of the warmth and comfort of a pair of
boy's common yellow-leather leggings, but the buttons will require some
Of course, very robust gardeners are independent of these trouble-
some considerations; but the gardening members of a family, whether
young or old, are very often not those vigorous people who can enjoy
their fresh air at unlimited tennis or a real good stretching walk over
the hills. They are oftener those weaker vessels who have to be content
with strolls, and drives, and sketching, and potteringg about the garden."
Now, pottering about the garden in spring and autumn has many
risks for feeble vitalities, and yet these are just the seasons when every-
thing requires doing, and there is a good hour's work in every yard of a
pet border any day. So verbum sap. One has to "pay with one's
person for most of one's pleasures, if one is delicate; but it is possible
to do a great deal of equinoctial grubbing with safety and even benefit,
if one is very warmly protected, especially about the feet and legs.
These details are very tedious for young people, but not so tedious as
being kept indoors by a cold.
And not only must delicate gardeners be cossetted with little
advantages at these uncertain seasons, the less robust of the flowers
gain equally by timely care. Jack Frost comes and goes, and leaves
many plants (especially those planted the previous autumn) half jumped
out of the ground. Look out for this, and tread them firmly in again.
A shovel-full of cinder-siftings is a most timely attention round the
young shoots of such as are poking up their noses a little too early, and
seem likely to get them frost-bitten. Most alpines and low-growing
stuff will bear light rolling after the frost has unsettled them. This is
done is large gardens, but in a Little Garden they can be attended to
individually. Give a little protection to what is too forward in growth,
or badly placed, or of doubtful hardihood, or newly planted. Roses
and hardy perennials can be planted in open weather.
But you will'not really be very busy outside till March, and we are
not concerning ourselves with what has to be done "in heat," where a
good deal is going on.
Still, in mild climates or seasons (and one must always remember
how greatly the British Isles vary in parts, as to climate), the idea of
seedlings and cuttings will begin to stir our souls, when February "fills
96 YOU SCARCE COULD SEE THE GRASS FOR FLOWERS.
dike," if it is "with black and not with white," i.e., with rain and not
snow. So I will just say that for a Little Garden, and a mixed garden,
demanding patches, not scores of things, you can raise a wonderfully
sufficient number of half-hardy things in an ordinary room, with one or
two bell-glasses to give the moist atmosphere in which sitting-rooms are
wanting. A common tumbler will cover a dozen seedlings," and there
you have two nice little clumps of half a dozen plants each, when they
are put out. (And mind you leave them space to spread.) A lot of
little cuttings can be rooted in wet sand. 'Hard-wooded cuttings may
grow along slowly in cool places; little juicy soft ones need warmth,
damp, and quick pushing-forward. The very tips of fuchsias grow very
easily struck early in wet sand, and will flower the same year. Kind
friends will give you these, and if they will also give you "tips" of
white, yellow, and blue Marguerites (this last is Agathea celestis), these
strike as easily as chrysanthemums, and are delightful afterwards to cut
from. They are not very tender, though not quite hardy.
For the few pots and pans and boxes of cuttings and seedlings
which you require, it is well worth while to get a small stock of good
compost from a nursery gardener; leaf mould, peat, and sand, whether
for seedlings or cuttings. Always sink your pot in a second covering.
Either have your pots sunk in a box of sand, which you can keep damp,
or have small pots sunk in larger ones. A great coat to prevent evapora-
tion, in some shape, is invaluable.
J. H. E.
?- I.. i
r.1 gl.mrL;F-- _g