Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 Chapter X
 Chapter XI
 Chapter XII
 Back Cover

Title: The professor's children
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086591/00001
 Material Information
Title: The professor's children
Physical Description: 4, 254, 1 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Fowler, Edith Henrietta, 1865-1944
Burgess, Ethel Kate ( Illustrator )
Longmans, Green, and Co ( Publisher )
Aberdeen University Press ( Printer )
Publisher: Longmans, Green and Co.
Place of Publication: London ;
New York
Manufacturer: Aberdeen University Press
Publication Date: 1897
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Tales -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Parent and child -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Nurses -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Home schooling -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
College teachers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Interpersonal relations -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imagination -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Love -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- London (England)   ( lcsh )
Folk tales -- 1897   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature -- 1897   ( rbgenr )
Family stories -- 1897   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1897
Genre: Folk tales   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
Family stories   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
Scotland -- Aberdeen
Statement of Responsibility: by Edith Henrietta Fowler ; with twenty-four illustrations by Ethel Kate Burgess.
General Note: Pictorial front cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086591
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002229924
notis - ALH0264
oclc - 15505476

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Title Page
        Title Page
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Chapter II
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Chapter III
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Chapter IV
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    Chapter V
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Chapter VI
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Chapter VII
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
    Chapter VIII
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
    Chapter IX
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
    Chapter X
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    Chapter XI
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
    Chapter XII
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text







With 12 Illustrations by Philip Burne-Jones.




[See page 155.






All rights reserved


" Now, my loves, and how do you all do ?" exclaimed Mrs. Oakley Fronlispiece
Oliver was standing in his favourite attitude resting his hands on his knees 5
" Once upon a time there was a woodcutter" 9
" My scrap-book is importanter than yours" .25
" I'se not Oliver, ... I'se pretending I'se a little boy what doesn't ring
bells .....36
" It's werry big-and werry stern," he said softly .48
Cook found Roger fast asleep in the study armchair 70
"Will he bite?" .. 77
" The spring is commencing,)82
It is, it is"
Jack, who had just arrived home from school .96
" I only got into one rattling old row last term," began Jack .oo
"And Mike went walking a vedy long way .. 120
"They'se vedy unbedient," said Mike impressively. 126
So the three children set off in a great hurry 134
" This flower won't pick," remarked Oliver 140
Great was the love lavished on rats and rabbits. 157
And there was the donkey too 163
" Mike upsetted it and a vedy great spill came running out" 175
" It seems a werry big pity not to finish doing what you have begun" 183
Roger was waiting for the tooth-glass 196
" I do like sourness werry much," he observed thickly 20
"I'se on'y sitting, pleaded the baby meekly 222
" I do love my sea werry much! exclaimed Oliver 238
" Oh don't let her yove me so much! begged Mike 250



THEY lived in a wonderful world of their own, far
away up the steep stairs of a narrow London
house. A little shabby nursery with small, high
windows, through which a glimpse of the sky
could be seen up between the chimney-pots, as
well as a peep into the dark, dull street below.
But we, who only saw the chairs and table, the
worn old ottoman and capacious toy-box, had little
idea of the possibilities of play which the children
found within those four dingy walls.
If it wasn't for lessons and bed-time and nurse
and being washed, and horrid things like that, we
might have time to get on with our playing pro-
perly," said Peggy sadly, as she was dragged out
from under the sofa, where she and Roger had just
decided to spend the rest of their lives, pretending
they were rabbits in a hole. Only nurse always
was so interfering just when the games were most
interesting, and she never could understand how
trying it is to the temper to be washed more often


than is absolutely necessary, even if the floor is
a little dirty or the window-ledge covered with
There were four of them altogether, counting
the baby, but then, as the others would always tell
you, the baby did not count properly. He was
only two years old, and could not join in many
of the games or understand the real pretending.
Still he was useful sometimes in taking unimpor-
tant parts in the plays,-such as an invading army,
or a herd of wild elephants, or a bloodthirsty
robber; and "perhaps," as Roger said with
thoughtful condescension, "he might count as a
half until he's big enough not to be always going
to sleep, or crying, or tumbling down ".
Peggy was the eldest, and she was eight and a
half. Then came Roger of seven, and they were
both a great deal older than Oliver, who was barely
Peggy! exclaimed Roger eagerly, one foggy
winter's afternoon as they were learning their
lessons, "don't you think we might play now till
tea-time ? "
His sister was curled up on the window seat
poring over a book to catch the last gleams of
the fading light. In the toy-box corner of the
room the baby sat cheerfully contemplating the
beloved countenance of an india-rubber lamb,
whose squeak had long ago been squeezed out


of him by Mike's practical demonstrations of
"It is too dark to read any more by the out-
side light," assented Peggy, getting down, and
the fire isn't big enough to make reading light,
so we might pretend we are Red Indians."
"Oh, yes!" cried Roger, "and we'll live in a
wigwam, which can be the dirty clothes-basket,
while nurse is downstairs."
"I'se R'indyan," observed the baby, beaming all
over, an' I bite!"
Red Indians don't bite," corrected Peggy;
you'd better be a bear."
They do their food," interrupted Oliver, who
was always ready for an argument. He was a
very slow, solemn boy, and dreadfully obstinate
about arguing, which is a most irritating thing to
other people, as Roger and Peggy well knew.
But nobody ever convinced Oliver against his
will. Even his father, who was a professor,
would give it up, baffled-and nurse, whose
temper was inclined to be short, would be obliged
to put him to bed in disgrace as the only way of
ending the discussion.
"I don't yike bears," the baby whimpered,
but then Roger interfered :-
Peggy and I will be Red Indians and Oliver
and Mike hostile tribes who live in the night-
nursery and they must invade"


"An' I bite," repeated the baby.
"You can't bite," persisted Peggy. "I told
you Red Indians don't. And he mustn't, must
he?" appealing to Roger.
He can his food," said Oliver, with an obsti-
nate look on his face.
"Oh, he's too little to play properly," said
Roger loftily, let him bite if he wants to."
Mike uttered a shriek of temper, and his face
flushed scarlet.
"I'se not too yittle. I'se vedy big boy. An'
I bite!" he added more calmly. For the baby
was a person of one idea.
Oliver took his hand.
"You shall bite, baby," he said soothingly;
"but come on!" And the "hostile tribes"
trotted obediently into the night-nursery and
crept under nurse's bed.
I will go hunting," continued Roger, "and
the dolls shall be the people we kill and
Just then a piercing scream from the night-
nursery indicated that there was a civil war
among the hostile tribes.
Oliver was standing in his favourite attitude
resting his hands on his knees, and the baby
was kneeling down with his head on the ground,
which was his usual way of being offended.
That is my ball," Oliver was repeating de-


liberately, "and you can't play with it ever any
The baby had not thought about the ball until
thus challenged.
You must not tease Mike," exclaimed Peggy


reproachfully, or I shall have to tell nurse what
a naughty little boy you are."
When any of the others were naughty it
always made Peggy a little managing and strict,


but that came of being the eldest and the only
" Red Indians do bite their food," observed
Oliver, "'cause if they didn't they'd never grow
up, like the boy what wouldn't bite his potatoes
nurse told us about."
Peggy and Roger did not always quite believe
nurse's stories, still sometimes they seemed so
true that they could not help making the children
a little thoughtful if not exactly frightened.
"Peggy, come quick! shouted Roger from
the day-nursery, "an awfully exciting thing has
happened. The littlest china doll has tumbled
into the coal-box and I am pretending it is a
real coal-pit, and am going to let down a rope
with the toy crane."
The other children rushed in, and they all had
a delightful time playing with the coal-box. The
baby so entered into the spirit of the game that
he flung his cherished lamb into its grimy depths.
In fact it was one of those delightful games that
never would have palled if nurse had not suddenly
come upstairs, and spoiled everything by her un-
reasonable interference.
I never did see such children in all my life!"
she exclaimed wrathfully. Such naughtiness
and such daring too! My back only turned for
five minutes "-nurse's five minutes were longer
than any one else's-" and you to get in such a


mess. You'll come into the night-nursery this
minute, and," with increased severity, "be well
washed-all of you."
Mike hastily removed a gutta-percha ring, which
he was in the habit of incessantly sucking, from
his dirty little mouth to make way for a scream,
and Oliver began to whimper. He did so hate
the feeling of soap and water.
I think it's very wrong to wash your face be-
tween meals," muttered Peggy.
But they all had to submit to such a scrubbing
as nurse thought fit, both from a personal and a
punitive point of view. Then they were marched
back into the nursery, and nurse dared them in
her severest voice to do anything except behave
themselves while she went downstairs to get the
Having their faces washed in the middle of the
afternoon naturally made the children feel very
serious. Indeed Oliver was positively sorrowful
as he sat nursing an old woollen shawl with a
piece of string tied round its waist, which he
invariably called "his brother," though its real
name was Week.
Let's tell tales," suggested Peggy; "it'll be
cleaner than playing."
"I'm werry clean," said Oliver, gloomily look-
ing at his fingers.
My yamb vedy clean, too," echoed the baby,


smiling, for nurse had also given it a scrub: it
tastes yike soap when I bite it."
I have thought of a new story," said Roger,
beginning to jump about. Roger always jumped
about wildly during his flights of imagination,
which made him a little difficult to hear at times
owing to his breathlessness.
Once upon a time there was a woodcutter," he
began, and he was very poor."
Peggy sat clasping her legs and resting her chin
on her knees, and the baby lay flat on his back
and waved his boots in the air.
Werry poor ?" asked Oliver.
"Awfully poor. His name was Mr. Jenkins,
and he suffered many things because of his poor-
How werry poor was he ?" persisted Oliver,
who always would sift the matter thoroughly, and
there was no possibility of putting him off.
So poor that he never had anything to eat,"
continued Roger, standing still for a moment to
get his breath.
How horrid I" Peggy softly observed.
"And he lived in a wood 'cause of being a
woodcutter. One day the cat -- "
What cat? Oliver wanted to know.
The Jenkins' cat of course,-jumped into the
larder and quickly ate up all the food that was



"A bitin' cat!" remarked the baby, suddenly
sitting upright and listening attentively.
And Mr. Jenkins began to beat the cat, and
he beat it and beat it till all its bones was broken!
When suddenly "-here Roger paused and his
small pale face fairly glowed with excitement-
"the wolf rushed in and killed Mr. and Mrs.
Jenkins quite dead and ate them all up in a
"He bited them!" murmured the baby.
"After Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins was dead and
buried "
"But the wolf swallowed them, you know,"
corrected Peggy, "so they couldn't be buried as
It's my story, and they was buried," said
Roger with dignity. In course the wolf didn't
swallow quite all of them. So their heads, and
their boots, and," reverting to his own toilet,
" their braces was buried, and when the funeral
was finished the cat married the wolf."
"But the Jenkins was werry poor-too poor
to have things to eat-so why was there any food
in the larder?" began Oliver, who had been
meditating on the opening part of the story.
Don't bother so!" said Peggy impatiently.
But I want to know," persisted her little
brother. If they was too poor to have any food
they was too poor to have a larder to keep it in."


"And soon the wolf ate up all the cat's
friends," continued Roger excitedly.
It was silly of the cat to marry the wolf,"
Peggy thought.
No it wasn't," argued Roger. It was quite
Not if it ate up all its friends. I can't think
how a good cat could be so silly."
Was it a big larder or a werry little one? "
asked Oliver, but the others could not attend to
him. He would go on asking questions about
that larder for a week.
"It wasn't silly," answered Roger, getting
rather cross. The cat loved the wolf so very
But the wolf couldn't have loved the cat or it
wouldn't have eaten all its friends !"
Roger thought for a moment before answering:-
"The wolf did not love the cat".
Then why did he marry her?" asked Peggy
"He married her in a fit of good nature,"
announced the historian slowly. And there was
not another word to be said on the subject,
especially as at that moment nurse appeared in
the doorway with the tea-tray.
"My brother wants his tea werry bad," said
Oliver, looking lovingly at the old woollen shawl,
" and I may have him in my chair during tea,


mayn't I, Nanny dear ?" And Oliver smiled his
rare smile that seemed to come curling over his
sober, round face.
That was another rather remarkable thing about
Oliver. He was so fond of nurse. She was
really a very good person in spite of being so
strict, but nobody would ever have thought of
calling her "dear" except Oliver. And being
put in the corner or even sent to bed by her, never
made Oliver love her a bit the less; but that was
perhaps because he never changed his mind about
I wish it wasn't tea-time," said Peggy sadly,
"'cause the tale was getting so exciting, and I'm
not a bit hungry. Are you, Roger?"
I'm not quite bread-and-butter hungry,"
answered the boy; "but we can pretend things
to make it nicer."
Let's pretend," suggested Oliver, that we're
eating slugs and snails."
Me too," cried Mike ; let me have s'ugs
and snails too."
"I am pretending that my bread is a snow
heap," said Roger, "and my tea rain puddles."
Tea is like rain puddles-just the colour of
the puddles in the street," exclaimed Peggy.
Why is the rain like water on the window and
like tea in the street ? asked Oliver thoughtfully.
Because the dry mud is like tea in the caddy,


and the mixing changes the colour," answered
It's fun pretending it is puddles," said Roger
with a little laugh. And I'm pretending I'm a
sparrow drinking it."
"Then hold your head back till it drops down
your throat," commanded his sister. "That's how
birds drink, you know."
Instantly Oliver and the baby adopted this sug-
gestion, which ended in such violent choking all
round that nurse interfered, and the sparrow pre-
tence was forbidden.
We couldn't have done it properly," observed
Roger, "'cause birds never choke."
Now then, finish your teas like good children.
And why you can't eat your meals properly with-
out all this pretending rubbish I can't imagine,"
added nurse crossly. And that was just one of
the simple things that nurse never did understand.
She could not see that eating proper things is so
dull, while if only you pretend they are such un-
usual things as mud and puddles, or slugs and
snails, it makes it so interesting and appetizing.
After tea there were lessons to be learned.
Both Peggy and Roger had quite long ones to
prepare for Mademoiselle, and even Oliver fetched
out a book and began to practise his reading.
"B for bread and butter, R for Roger, I for
ink-pot, T for toast-rack, I for ink-pot again, S


for slugs and snails, H for hansom-what does
that spell ?" he asked wonderingly.
"I don't know," said Peggy; "your way of
spelling is so muddling."
"It isn't! argued Oliver; "it is werry un-
muddling. D for donkey, 0 for Oliver, G for
gentleman, spells dog, you know."
I can only tell by looking," persisted Peggy;
but do be quiet and don't bother. I never shall
learn these verbs," and she began rocking herself
to and fro as if to catch their rhythm.
My spelling is werry unmuddling," repeated
Oliver, and then, as he was generally an obliging
little boy, but I won't bother you. I will sit
in the window-seat and play with Week. An' he
won't talk nor disturve you," he added, climbing
up and clasping the woollen shawl tightly in his
Shall I tell you a story, my dear ? he asked
it softly. And as silence proverbially gives con-
sent, he began in whispered tones :-" Once upon
a time there was a great big giant what had no
little children 'cause he eated them all up. An'
his whiskers was so werry long that he traded on
them walking up the stairs, and tumbled down and
was killed quite dead. An' father's friend, what
stuffed the eagle, stuffed the giant and took him
to the Museum in a cab. Peggy, may I play with
Sundial Sampson if I'm werry careful ?"


His sister good-naturedly lent him a dilapidated
I didn't know both her eyes has tumbled back-
wards inside," he observed sorrowfully.
That's the wretched thing about real eyes,"
said Peggy; they will tumble inside."
Real eyes don't always tumble backwards,"
Roger joined in. Ours don't, you see."
"They might," argued Oliver; "and I 'spect
they will too."
Now, Master Oliver, come to bed," exclaimed
nurse, making her appearance after the baby had
been safely disposed of. And for a while there
was profound silence in the nursery.
Let's pretend I'm father making a lecture,"
cried Roger as he slammed the last lesson book
on the table and climbed on to the window seat,
"and it shall be about a ph'los'pher killing a
"And I'll be students," assented Peggy eagerly.
"Father always has students when he makes
Ladies and gentlemen," began Roger grandly.
It's only ladies now," interrupted his sister.
" What a pity nurse couldn't let the gentlemen
sit up any longer! Oliver does so well for
Oh, bother! get some dolls for gentlemen-
there must be some, you know."


"They're all ladies too. We must only pre-
tend gentlemen."
"All right. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a
lecture, and once upon a time a ph'los'pher went
hunting in the jungle--"
Now, children," said nurse, come to bed!"
"Oh, nurse," cried Peggy, "and the lecture
hasn't even got to the tiger, which is the most
exciting part."
I can't help that. And it's my opinion you
children tell too many exciting tales, especially
just before going to bed."
But, nurse," argued Roger, father likes us to
tell them. He's always dreadfully interested in
the tales we make up, and writes pieces of them
down in his note-book."
Master Oliver couldn't sleep the other night
for some giant rubbish," observed nurse.
That's because he's so little," Roger said dis-
dainfully. I think about giants and wild beasts
and battles all night long, and they all get mixed
up with lessons in my dreams."
Shall we do a drawing-lesson with father
in bed to-night ?" asked Peggy.
The master has not come in yet," answered
When the children were all safely in bed nurse
went downstairs. The door was open between
the little boys' room and its dressing-room, which


was Peggy's, so that a conversation could easily
be held. The baby's cot was in nurse's room at
the back.
I are awake," said Oliver, "only we must
talk a werry great lot 'cause I are sleepy."
"And you must be awake when father
comes up, you know," commanded Peggy
Of course you must," added Roger. I'm not
sleepy. I'd tell you a story if I could run and
jump about, only it's too cold. Oliver," he
suddenly shouted, "don't lie down like that or
you'll be sure to go off!"
Oliver lifted his heavy little head from the
pillow, and opened wide his big grey eyes.
"I aren't werry sleepy," he asserted bravely,
but in a far-away voice.
"You are! you are!" cried Peggy, "I can
hear it in the way you speak."
"And it does vex father with a great disap-
pointment to come up and find you asleep,"
chimed in Roger reproachfully.
Tell me a story then-a werry exciting one-
'cause that will make me more wide-awaker."
Once upon a time," began Roger in a great
hurry, bouncing up and down till his bed fairly
rattled, "there was a great hunter who shot his
wife quite dead in the night."
"Why did he?" asked Oliver sitting up.


"He did not mean to shoot her," explained
Roger; he mistook her for a mouse. But when
he came before the judge there was not time to
explain about the mouse, and so the judge did not
understand it was only a mistake, but he hanged
the hunter quite dead."
"And what happened to the mouse?" Oliver
wanted to know.
It escaped in great safety," explained Roger.
" You don't feel sleepy again, I hope?"
Not werry sleepy-on'y I do wish father would
come quicklier."
I hear him! I hear him !" shouted Peggy.
"Father, father!" called three little eager
voices; "we are all quite awake!"
The professor had been hard at work all day.
So deep was he in the solution of certain problems
that he forgot to put on his overcoat, and it only
struck him as he entered his own home that he
was very cold and thoroughly wet. The house
was very gloomy downstairs. It had been so
ever since the children's mother went away one
night and left Baby Mike in her place. He
fumbled about for a match and lighted the gas,
which showed a small, shabby room littered all
over with papers and books, and with only a
handful of fire in the grate, for coal was expensive
that winter in London. A friendly lamp-post
gleamed in through the uncurtained window, and


winked its eye in the blasts of wind at the doleful
prospect within.
The professor picked up one of the books on
the table and stood looking into it, forgetful of
his wet clothes or the evening meal, which was
already overdue.
But happily the servants never waited for the
bell to be rung in that house. They settled what
food was suitable for their master, and one of
them stood over him until he had duly disposed of
it. So a little while after the click of the latch-
key had been heard in the door, nurse appeared
together with a loaded tray, and insisted on the
professor's putting on dry clothes before he sat
down to it. It was therefore later than usual
when the children heard their father's footstep on
the stairs.
I are awake, father !" said Oliver triumphantly.
What shall we draw to-night? asked Peggy,
eagerly jumping on to the end of the boys' bed,
and tucking her toes up under her little red
The professor was deeply interested in the
development of the aesthetic aptitudes in child-life.
He believed that every child properly educated in
that direction would be, in different degrees, an
artist, and this was one of the many experiments
which he intended to try on the little people who
belonged to him. It was really the greatest


advantage, the professor thought, to be able to
prove his theories by such intensely interesting
illustrations as his own children.
Suppose you each draw me a cruel man," sug-
gested their father. He knew how they would,
after their own fashion, design a man ; but the
term cruel would be more difficult to express.
For some time there was profound silence, the
children's heads being bent low over their work,
and then Oliver looked up with a more solemn
expression even than usual.
How do you draw cruelness? he asked.
You must draw it as you think best," answered
the professor, smiling for the first time that day.
I've done mine," called Roger, triumphantly
displaying a huge-headed figure with fewer fea-
tures than is customary.
That is a man," said his father; but I told
you a cruel man."
"He is a cruel man," explained Roger; "he
shot his wife dead. I telled a tale about him."
But how do you know from the drawing that
he is cruel ? asked the professor.
Oh, I pretended that," answered his son coolly.
And then Peggy produced the picture of a man in
which her father detected a really unfavourable
expression by means of a very drawn-down mouth
and narrow, slanting eyes.
He looks rather cruel, doesn't he, father?"


Me, now!" observed Oliver. And his man
was very quaint and unformed, with a little
scribble up at the top of the paper.
That is the man," he explained slowly ; and
that," pointing to the scribble, is the cruelness."
Very good, very good," said the professor,
"you have all done nicely. Now I must say
And he left three very wide-awake, excited little
people upstairs when he went down to write in his
note-book the psychological conclusions of the last


THE trouble began with its being the day for clean
clothes, which, as everybody knows, are very
prickly and irritating things. Then Roger would
argue about his shirt and say it was too tight
round the neck, and he pulled the button off,-
on purpose, nurse said. Anyhow it put her into
a thoroughly bad temper so that she brushed
Peggy's hair very severely and kept catching the
tangles in the teeth of the comb. But nobody
was really naughty before breakfast except the
baby, who was having his bath when nurse had to
leave him while she stitched the button on for
Roger. Now Mike loved soap, and would always
try to eat as much as he could of it when nurse
was not looking; so directly she went away he
picked up the cake of brown Windsor and began
to suck it eagerly. Unfortunately nurse looked
round at that very moment, and as she could not
leave the button she said quite sternly :--
Put down the soap directly, you naughty boy.
And you are not to suck it again !"
The baby looked up solemnly for a minute, and


then he deliberately took another large bite before
it was too late.
Of course, for such dreadful disobedience as
this, Mike had to be punished by several wet slaps,
which made him scream and cry all during the
process of washing and dressing, and nurse said
"she hoped it would be a warning to the
others not to be so naughty themselves".
Which altogether made it very gloomy in the
Being Saturday there were no lessons, and Peggy
was in a very irritable mood all the morning. A
perfectly clean pinafore and a head rather sore
from having a lot of tangles combed out of your
hair do rather upset the temper. And Roger
turned out so aggravating over pasting things in
the scrap-book that it made it worse.
Give me the brush," she said impatiently, for
they had only a pot of paste and one brush
between them.
I've not done with it yet," answered Roger.
" I must finish my picture."
"Oh, bother! I do wish you wouldn't always
paste when I do."
My scrap-book is importanter than yours "-
Roger was becoming a little put out too-" and
the brush is most mine."
"No, it isn't! It's most mine 'cause I'm the




You're not the eldest of father. And father
gave me half the brush."
Let me have it," cried Peggy, stamping her
foot; "this is the morning I settled for pasting.
There! you have spilled it. Your book will be all
spoiled and horrid."
Roger began to cry angrily.
No, it won't!" he screamed ; "yours is spoil-
eder and horrider much. And you shan't have
the brush-you shan't-you shan't!" as Peggy
attempted to snatch it from him. In the middle
of which skirmish the pot of paste was upset, and
the noise brought in nurse from her bedroom in
great wrath.
So Peggy and Roger were put in different cor-
ners, and the atmosphere was gloomier than ever.
Oliver only appeared to enjoy it; and, looking
up from his play, he remarked in a self-satisfied
manner which the others found extremely
irritating :-
I are good-werry good! "
Me dood too, now," echoed the baby.
Peggy could not help giving vent to her feel-
ings in a surreptitious kick out at Oliver when
she thought he seemed to be within reach. For
nurse never would allow any looking round while
the children were standing in a corner.
In the afternoon, having all been made ready
for their weekly treat of tea downstairs with their


father, they climbed up on the window-seat to get
the first glimpse of him on his return home.
I do wish father wasn't quite so much of a
professor," said Peggy, flattening her nose against
the window-pane. It takes up all his time."
Let's pretend he isn't," suggested Oliver.
Oh, yes let's pretend he is a fairy prince, and
that when he goes out it is to fight the great
battles of his kingdom," exclaimed Roger.
"And that this is his palace," added Peggy.
I will be the soldiers of the fairy prince. And
will you be a white cat, Oliver? Ma'mselle told
me a story about a fairy prince and a white cat."
I don't like catching mice," objected Oliver.
Nor me don't yike mice," echoed the baby.
"Would you mind much if they were kind
mice? asked Peggy.
"I wouldn't like a mouse so big as it couldn't
come in through the door," said Oliver thought-
Oh, no But the sort of mice that are made
out of sugar with string tails ?"
"Werry well. And a cat needn't be always
catching mice. Our black one never does."
"And s'pose we pretend nurse is a witch,"
continued Roger--"a very wicked one."
My Nanny is not a wicked witch," said Oliver
with a very determined expression. "She is
werry good, and I love her."


"I yove her," repeated Mike, removing the
india-rubber ring and putting the lamb's head in
his mouth, by way of a change of diet.
What other people shall we pretend about? "
Roger wanted to know.
We don't know no others," answered Peggy.
Oh, we do! There's cook, and the policeman
at the end of the street, and ma'mselle, and the
man at the museum, and the bootshop woman.
We know hundreds of people."
I knewed a conductor in an omdibus once,"
interrupted Oliver. He had a big match-box
round his neck with a bell in it."
"We know the Sampsons," said Peggy, allud-
ing to a dearly-beloved imaginary family who were
supposed by the children to reside in the boot
You see, Sundial Sampson was out walking
one day," began Oliver, "and she met a kind
lion what was dressed in a petticoat, an' he say
to her: 'Come on, my dear, I going shooting'.
And they shooted a werry wicked mouse, and a
cruel mongoose, and a naughty boy what was a
thief. They did!" impressively.
I'm awful glad to-day is Saturday, 'cause
father will be home early and we'll have tea
downstairs," cried Roger suddenly.
P'etending tea or live tea ?" asked the baby


"I thought to-morrow was Saturday-nurse
said yesterday it was," observed Oliver.
To-day is Saturday," snapped Peggy.
Then is to-day to-morrow ? "
"Oh you silly!" began Peggy, but just then
the top of their father's hat was visible, and
soon afterwards nurse appeared to conduct the
children downstairs in safety.
The professor was sitting smoking and a
stranger was with him.
"How do you do?" said Roger, going up to
him instantly with outstretched hand. For
though Peggy was much more managing in
the nursery, when there were strangers down-
stairs Roger seemed to take the lead.
"This is my eldest son," said the. professor
proudly, laying his hand on Roger's curly head,
"and a child of unusually developed faculties.
Indeed the artistic temperament is already so
abnormally conspicuous that I am hopeful of
germs of genius behind it."
"And this is our eldest daughter," re-
marked Roger, drawing Peggy forward by her
We've been pretending you are a fairy prince,
father," said the little girl, hanging on to his
The professor caught sight of his own reflection
in the looking-glass-the pale, thought-lined face,


the stooping shoulders, the threadbare clothes and
dishevelled hair-and he smiled half sadly.
"The imagination of a child is absolutely
creative," he said slowly. "Ours is apt to be
built on some foundation of fact or idealism, but
theirs rests solely on wings."
Which develops earlier, the boy or the girl
mind ?" asked the stranger, peering at the children
through his spectacles.
AccQrding to ordinary platitudes the girl's,
but from my own observation I have found in
Roger the more active thoughtfulness of the two.
But perhaps he is the exception rather than the
rule. The little ones will prove it."
Me's hundry," observed the baby emphatically
-the nourishment provided by the gutta-percha
ring suddenly failing.
Roger had been listening to his father with his
head on one side like an eager bird.
How do I be the exception-rather-than-the-
rule? he asked quickly. Tell me, father, how
do I?"
"There, you see," said the professor triumph-
antly, "the boy's mind is so quick to pick up an
The reasoning faculty is stirring strongly,"
added the stranger. At what age did you first
notice it ?"
The kettle is purring werry loud. It'll spit


soon," said Oliver, who was standing with his
hands on his knees steadily regarding it. There,
I said it would!" as a sudden fizz on the hob
indicated that the water was boiling aggressively.
"Oh, yes! I forgot all about tea," answered
the professor; "perhaps we had better have
How do I be it, father?" persisted Roger.
Be what, my son ?"
What you said."
It is unconsciously owing to the structure of
your mind. Did you say sugar, Carson ?"
"Me say sudar!" echoed the baby. Two, free,
nine, sixteen pieces."
I don't understand," said Roger, wrinkling up
his forehead. I do wish there wasn't quite so
many puzzling things."
"The conscience develops earlier in a girl,"
continued the professor. "In fact I noticed
Peggy's sense of right and wrong and general
sensitiveness to the moral law were apparent at
a very early age. But the children's nurse, who
is in all other respects a most valuable and ex-
cellent person, is apt to injure my observations in
this matter by the introduction of most absurd
punishments. And this penal system blunts,
even if it does not entirely destroy, the develop-
ment of the innate sense of right and wrong,
which I specially desire to notify."


That is a deeply interesting point," said Dr.
Carson, and it is a pity to have it in any way
interfered with by these paltry punishments."
Here Oliver put down his cup, over the rim of
which he had been steadily regarding his father's
friend for some time. The other children always
wondered how Oliver could take quite such long
drinks out of a small cup of milk.
"Peggy and Roger was werry naughty this
morning; and Mike was too in his bath. On'y
me was quite good," he said slowly.
We weren't exactly very," argued Roger,
" but only corner-naughty."
Nurse is so hardened," observed Peggy sadly.
"There you see," said the professor, "some
ridiculous nonsense about a corner is made to de-
termine their limits of wrong-doing. I want to
see the working of their untrammelled minds con-
cerning the question of right and wrong itself. I
really must forbid these senseless punishments."
A slight diversion was then caused by the
baby's putting both his feet on the table.
Don't be naughty, Mike," said Peggy
It is not naughty," corrected the professor;
" only a little unusual. By the way, that is an in-
teresting point. How early in child-life do laws
of custom predominate ? "
Some way between your daughter and your


youngest son apparently," answered Dr. Carson.
" The exact time is unknown to me."
We might prove it," continued the professor,
rubbing his hands. Roger, you can draw a
pattern with treacle on the table-cloth."
Really, father? asked the boy incredulously.
"Ah, there you have him, Maxwell! It is
below that age."
No, not you, Roger. But you can, Oliver."
Shall I draw a cruel man again ?" asked the
child, deliberately lifting the spoon so that a thin
line of treacle was at his command.
What fun !" screamed Peggy. And may I
upset my tea, father? "
You see her enjoyment springs from the viola-
tion of the law," continued the professor. "That
is a very old point, and a very new one, too. Eh,
Carson ? "
It was more than boy nature could stand to see
a mess and be out of it, so Roger hastily threw
a loaf into the air as he had no tea left to play
Dear me," exclaimed their father in a helpless,
puzzled way; how quickly children become excit-
able It makes it so difficult to demonstrate with
them effectively. There, there, you had better all
get down. But the age we wanted is certainly
between Roger's and Oliver's. Shall we say six
years old ? "


I don't yike this uggy table-cloth," whimpered
Mike; "it makes me tired."
"Do you take note of that?" asked the pro-
fessor delightedly. For some physical reason
the child suddenly feels an unusual exhaustion,
and fails to connect the effect with the cause.
Still he unconsciously knows that effect must be
the result of cause, and attributes what he feels to
such an absurd fact as the pattern of a table-cloth.
The instinct is true, but the reasoning impos-
When did you first notice his instincts ?"
I had a fine collie dog when Roger was a
baby," continued the professor, while the tea went
cold; "and it was an interesting experiment to
compare the instincts of the child and the dog.
Up to eight months old the dog was distinctly in
advance, to fourteen months they ran an equal
race, and after that the child gained ground
rapidly: the human characteristics then beginning
to assert themselves."
By this time the two elder children had dragged
a favourite old natural-history book out of the
shelf, and were poring over its well-worn pages.
The baby was dipping his lamb's head in the
treacle and then sucking it, and Oliver was stand-
ing solemnly on the hearth-rug.
Light your pipe again, Carson. Why, there
are no matches here. Oliver, ring the bell," said


the professor, pushing his chair back from the
The boy stood still, a sudden look of obstinacy
sweeping over his small, round face.
I'se not Oliver," he said slowly. I'se pre-
tending I'se a little boy what doesn't ring bells."


Now that is ingenious!" exclaimed Dr.
Yet I think it portrays a sense of moral re-
sponsibility, in so much as it required an assumed


change of identity to shift the responsibility,"
observed the professor. I think I will make a
note of that," and he rang the bell on his way to
the writing-table.
"Please, sir, cook bought these oranges as a treat
for the children," said nurse when she appeared
with the matches.
Wild delight instantly followed, for there were
not many treats in this grim, grey house in
"Oranges are splendidly interesting things,"
said Roger; "the taste is so interesting, and the
peel 'cause of making a pig and a set of false
teeth, and the pips can be planted, and you can
play at ball with it before eating. There is only
one bad thing about oranges."
"What is that?" asked Dr. Carson.
They make your pocket-handkerchief smell
so nasty for several days. You see orange
smell isn't nearly so jolly as orange taste, and
you get a little tired of it every time you blow
your nose.
I should say," began the professor, looking
up from his note-book, that the conscientious
and the affectionate faculties develop earlier in a
girl-the reasoning and ambitious ones in a boy."
"And continue the strongest all through life,"
added his friend.
The little boys had been running round the


table, but a piercing shriek from the baby indi-
cated that the game had come to an abrupt
He can't be my horse any more," said Oliver,
looking down calmly at Mike.
"Why not?" asked his father, and the baby
stopped in the middle of a scream to hear the
He has so many sudden sits," explained
Oliver, ."and in course it spoils my driving."
"A child's expression of its ideas is a very
interesting study," said Dr. Carson, but the baby's
renewed crying stopped the conversation.
"Me don't have so many sudden sits," he
sobbed. Me on'y tummel down a vedy few
"Dear me!" exclaimed his father looking at
the pitiable little object on the hearth-rug, the
child seems inclined to be fretful this evening. I
wish nurse would come for him."
Shall I ring for her? suggested his friend.
"Yes, yes, do. That is a very good idea.
Nurse," as she appeared in the doorway, "will
you take the baby? He seems a little tired and
irritable. Perhaps he is not quite well."
He has caught cold, sir, I'm afraid," she said
as she carried him off.
Now, I was speaking," continued the pro-
fessor, about the heart and head qualities of the


boy and girl. Let me give you an illustration.
You will imagine that the donor of the oranges
finds equal favour in the eyes of these two. Look
here, children," he added speaking directly to the
two on the floor, cook has had her nose knocked
Our own cook? exclaimed Peggy in tones of
intense anxiety.
"How was it knocked off?" asked Roger in
deepest interest. Did she fall on something or
did something fall on her?"
Where did she put it after?" Oliver wanted
to know. In the kitchen drawer ?"
There, you see," said the professor, turning to
his friend, "the affectionate faculty in the girl-
the reasoning in the boy."
Where is it now?" repeated Oliver.
"And about the conscientious faculty? You
were saying that that is more strongly marked in
the girl," continued Dr. Carson.
"It was apparent earlier at any rate. I must
observe its intensity later. Oh, here comes nurse
again-how fortunate! I will ask her. Nurse,
will you tell me which is the naughtier, Peggy or
Nurse brightened up wonderfully.
"Indeed, sir, I did not like to trouble you,
especially before a visitor, but both Miss Peggy
and Master Roger's been that contrary all day,


though for real naughtiness Miss Peggy was the
one as began it."
"The old story," observed Dr. Carson softly,
"dating from Eve herself."
"And I do hope, sir, that you will speak to
them yourself."
"I speak to them!" exclaimed the professor;
whatever about ? It is not by speaking to
them, Carson, but by observing them silently
that one learns most."
It would make them less naughty, sir, I'm
sure,- if you would," pleaded nurse.
But, my good woman, I don't want them to
be less naughty. I want them to be .more so.
The natural tendencies which I am observing will
then be more definite."
Nurse wrung her hands in despair. Her master
was at times almost more than she could civilly
endure; but her sense of duty and decorum
triumphed, and she sadly observed that it was
past Master Oliver's bed-time.
I will tell you a werry nice story now," said
the child persuasively, laying his head on his
father's knee.
"Oh, yes! let us have it," exclaimed Dr.
So nurse was told to wait for a few minutes,
and Oliver sat down on the hearth-rug with his
legs sticking straight out in front of him.


"Once 'pon a time," he began deliberately, so
as to postpone bed-time, there was a werry kind
lady what was named Mrs. Sampson, an' she had
no children, only grandchildren."
That was a singular case," observed the pro-
Oliver lifted his solemn eyes to his father's
It was a werry sing'lar case," he repeated
impressively. "And one day Mrs. Sampson
went riding on a tiger to see the beautifullest
princess. And the princess was dressed in an
emerald dress and a diamond petticoat."
There, there, Master Oliver," interrupted
nurse. We don't talk about ladies' petticoats in
the dining-room."
Oliver regarded her with an amount of scorn.
In course I shouldn't talk 'bout just a common
flannel petticoat like you wear, but a diamond
petticoat is werry grand, isn't it, father ? "
I should imagine its grandeur would outweigh
its utility," remarked the professor.
If you please, sir, Master Oliver must come
to bed now," pleaded nurse in the last stage of
Dear me, how unfortunate! I do wish, nurse,
you would alter the children's bed-time," exclaimed
the professor impatiently.
And then as she disappeared with her prey:-


"Shall we hear Roger now? I am making
some rather elaborate notes on the development
of a child's power of narrative, and I get a good
two years between these two styles. Look here,
my boy, I want you to tell us a story now."
Rogerjumped with alacrity from the engrossing
natural-history book and began to run about the
Shall it be a bloodsheddy story?" he asked
eagerly. They are my favourites."
Yes, yes ; just what you like."
Well, once there was a man, called Mr. Shelley,
and he was put in Newgate prison 'cause he was
the prime minister."
Notice the local colouring of the last history
lesson," whispered the professor.
Why was he in prison ?" asked Dr. Carson;
" your present reason seems hardly adequate."
One of his friends told him to pass a law-bill
before the queen, and she said : 'I'll pass it into
parliament'. But what should happen to the bill,
but it passed through the prime minister's pocket
through a hole, and was lost! So the queen
popped him in prison."
And then? queried his father.
"He suicide himself," said Roger, "and
there was a gunpowder treason against Queen
A very historical style," said Dr. Carson.


The wicked treason-people shoved the queen
down the coal-cellar, and stifled her with sealing-
wax," continued the boy, clapping his hands.
"So was that the end of Elizabeth?" asked
the professor.
"No; it was not," cried Roger delightedly.
" She escaped suddenly. And the wicked people
said she was such a fiery queen, that they would
prepare a fiery dinner to aggravate her, and a fiery
plum-pudding. So Queen Elizabeth's mouth was
set on fire, which was put out with great difficulty,
and required a great operation made."
Here nurse appeared again, observing resign-
edly that it was nearly nine o'clock.
I have not done with the children yet," said
the professor. Really, Carson, if that woman
had her way I should have no time for verifying
my observations. She is always bothering about
their bed-time or some such nonsense."
"I do love Saturdays!" exclaimed Peggy;
" 'cause I can have such lovely, long, peaceful
"She is much fonder of reading than the
others," explained her father. "A book will
always keep her quiet and happy. But the child-
imagination is thereby somewhat swamped. She
does not tell tales like the others, though she
learns her lessons more quickly."
Mike can tell tales too," observed Roger;


"though, of course, they have to be three years
shorter even than Oliver's, 'cause he's on'y two."
I should have liked to have heard one of his
also," said Dr. Carson, for the subject of child-
imagination is of special interest to me both in its
dawn and its development."
Shall I fetch him? Do let me, father," cried
Peggy eagerly.
Not if he is asleep," said the professor thought-
fully; a sudden awakening would confuse his
faculties. And, Peggy, see that he is wrapped up
warmly," he called, as the little girl was already on
her way upstairs.
"Baby, baby! she shouted, rushing into the
bedroom, "you aren't asleep, are you ? 'cause father
wants you downstairs to tell a story. Come on !"
Mike sat up in the sudden fright of waking.
Is it morning' or a giant?" he asked confusedly.
And then nurse came in and wrathfully interfered.
"Father wants him," repeated Peggy, "and
he's to be sure and put on warm things. Oh! here
is father coming upstairs, and father's friend."
I forgot he had a little cold," the professor
had explained to Dr. Carson; "if you don't mind
the trouble I think we had better go to him
The baby began to scream and cry.
His cold seems turning a little croupy," said
nurse severely.


Me dot two yittle pussies in here," wailed the
baby, pointing to his wheezing chest, "and they
Ah, that is good Did you hear him, Carson ?
A child's comparisons, in order to express his
feelings satisfactorily, are most original. I am
very sorry he cannot tell us a tale now. I am
afraid we must give it up for to-night. The child
seems a little upset. It is unfortunate just the
night you are here. Put the children to sleep
now, please, nurse. I shall not require them any
more. And, Carson, I want you to read and give
me your opinion on the last observations I have
entered in my note-book. My next series of psy-
chological lectures will be based on them," he
added, as they went downstairs.


THE baby's cold was a very severe one indeed; then
Oliver and Peggy caught it, and they gave it to
Roger, so that altogether they had a rather rough
time of it. And when all the sneezing and sniffing
and coughing were over, the children looked so
thin and white that nurse marched off to the
chemist's, and returned with a huge bottle of cod-
liver oil with which to restore them to their usual
Now neither Peggy nor Roger disliked the
taste of cod-liver oil.
It might have been senna, you know," said
the little girl solemnly. And they resigned them-
selves thankfully to the inevitable. Nor did the
baby object to these daily doses. In fact, he had
never been known to object to eating or drinking
anything, and would apparently relish sucking
whatever came in his way, such as a Noah's ark
animal or nurse's prayer-book. But with Oliver
it was different. The first spoonful he slowly
rolled round in his mouth in spite of nurse's admo-
nition to swallow it quickly, and then he made up



his mind that he would have no more of it. From
which day there was trouble in the nursery.
The mere sight of nurse and a spoon would
clench Oliver's teeth with a pressure which it was
a wonder such little comfit-like teeth could pos-
sibly stand; and then there would follow scream-
ing and crying that could be heard all over the
house, for nurse was a person of practical resource.
So after a few struggles, in which Oliver was
worsted, a desperate resolve took possession of his
small soul. He determined to break the bottle.
It happened one day when Peggy and Roger
had gone out again with mademoiselle, and the
baby was having his mid-day sleep, nurse being
safely engaged with clean clothes downstairs, that
Oliver decided that the hour had arrived for the
execution of this terrible design.
The bottle was safely put away on a high shelf,
so there was no hope of knocking it over by acci-
dent, but when Oliver had climbed on to a chair
he found he could quite easily reach his enemy.
For a long time he stood up there trying to
muster courage to do the dreadful deed. For
Oliver was not really a naughty little boy on the
whole-only very determined and obstinate about
his opinions.
It's werry big-and werry stern," he said
softly, "an' it looks a bit like nurse too. I don't
think I can quite break it. But I will spit out


the next spoonful," he added as he finally aban-
doned the attempt. Just then he heard a footstep
outside, and in turning round quickly to get off
the chair, his big pinafore sleeve caught the
bottle, knocked it over, and the deed was
Oliver burst out into frightened tears, and
nurse seeing the spilled oil immediately suspected
him of the mischief.
Did you knock the bottle over on purpose ?"
she asked severely.
"No! Yes!" cried the child.
"Come now, no and yes can't both be true,"
continued nurse crossly, and giving him a little
shake. You tell me the truth this minute."
But Oliver only cried the harder, and nurse,
remembering her master's recent order that he
would deal with the next case of evil-doing in the
nursery, carried the screaming child downstairs
into the dining-room, where the professor was
writing out a lecture and eating a sandwich dinner
at the same time.
If you please, sir, you told me to come to you
the next time one of the children was naughty.
And here's Master Oliver has broke the cod-liver
oil bottle on purpose, and is telling stories about
it after like anything." And nurse deposited the
weeping culprit on the floor.
I didn't! I didn't! he wailed.


Dear. me! This is unfortunate, for I am very
busy," said the professor, wrinkling his forehead.
"Well, sir, those were your orders!" observed
nurse rather huffily, "and he deserves to be well
Yes, yes! of course," answered the professor
hurriedly. "And besides," with a sudden brighten-
ing of his face, it will be a good opportunity for
the opening of my chapter on the Primitive Atti-
tude towards the Moral Law. You did quite right,
nurse. Leave Master Oliver to me."
The professor eagerly fetched out his note-book
and then looked at the pitiable little object on the
I wish the child would not keep on crying,"
he said half to himself, "it gets on my nerves.
Only perhaps that is part of the attitude."
"What was it she said you did, my boy?" he
asked presently, pencil in hand.
Breaked the cod-liver oil bottle on the pur-
pose," explained Oliver through his tears; "on'y
I didn't."
You did not break it then ?" asked his father,
fearing that the case was falling through.
"Yes I did. I don't know! gasped the cul-
prit with another big sob.
Dear me, how strange! the child's memory
seems defective." And the professor made a note
in the book. The fact is," he thought to himself,


" I believe all this crying confuses the faculties.
I must cheer him up a little, and finish my notes
when he is calmer. Look here, my boy," he said,
holding out his hand, I don't want you to cry
any more. Will you leave off to please
I might if I eated a sandwich," said Oliver
A capital idea," said the professor delightedly,
"the mental is wonderfully dependent on the
physical. But it is remarkable for such a mere
infant to have fathomed that. I wonder how he
arrived at the conclusion ? Are you happy, Oliver,
when you are hungry ?"
No!" in a voice muffled with sandwich.
Are you good when you are hungry ?"
What are you then ?"
Werry empty," explained Oliver, helping him-
self to another sandwich, while the professor began
writing again in his note-book.
At last when the sandwiches were finished and
Oliver's usual cheerfulness was fully established,
his father returned to the subject of the cod-liver
oil bottle.
Did you knock it over, my child? "
"Yes, I knocked it over."
And did you mean to knock it over? "
Oliver thought for a long time.


I meant to knock it over while I didn't, and
then I meant not to and I did."
Stop, stop! that is good !" cried the professor,
picking up his pencil. Then after a considerable
pause, during which Oliver employed himself in
burying a disused pen in the salt-cellar, he con-
tinued :-
"And why did you mean to knock it over? "
"That," explained the culprit solemnly, "was
the naughtiness. I climbed on to the chair to do
it, on'y then I was frightened 'cause the bottle
looked so stern. And when I was jumping down
in a hurry it fell over and breaked."
The child touches the mainspring of the
delinquency from the most subtle moral view,"
murmured the professor; "that is an intensely
interesting point, and a most valuable observation.
Perhaps it was your conscience, little one ?" he
added aloud.
P'r'aps it was my conscience, but p'r'apser it
was my elbow," admitted Oliver truthfully.
The professor wrote on for a few moments and
then looked at his watch.
I had no idea it was so late!" he exclaimed,
jumping up. Run to nurse now, my child, for
I must be off immediately. I am almost afraid
now that I shall be late." And he was half way
down the street before Oliver quite realized that
he had gone.


When the little boy went upstairs again he found
Peggy and Roger full of interest in his adventure.
Nurse had told them in her severest tones that
she had taken Oliver to his father to be punished,
and they were almost breathless with excitement
when the victim himself appeared at the top of
the stairs.
"Was father angry?" asked Peggy in an awe-
stricken voice.
"I don't know;" said Oliver after a few moments'
reflection. I forget."
What did he do to you ?" Roger wanted to
He gived me a sandwich and writed a lot."
But did he punish you?" persisted Roger.
I don't know."
What did he say ? continued Peggy.
Oliver stood still with a puzzled look on his
round face.
I can't remember," he owned at last.
But had he a stern face ?"
Oh no! but he had a werry writing' face. An'
I like sandwiches for my dinner better'n pota-
I expect he forgived you ?" suggested Roger.
Oliver shook his head.
I don't remember," he repeated doubtfully.
But somehow even the cod-liver oil did not
seem to make the children quite well again. It


was so cold and foggy out of doors, and so stuffy
in the little nursery with the gas lighted nearly all
day, and the thick yellow air creeping in from out-
side. Only the baby kept rosy and fat during the
winter, but the other three drooped as flowers will,
shut in from the light and air. Roger especially
felt the strain of the long days full of lessons, and
his curly head grew heavy with the burden of
knowledge that was being continually crammed
into it.
I do hate jography," sighed Peggy, and the
trade-winds are the horridest part of all."
I don't hate jography," argued Oliver. I
like Turkey in Greece."
"You mean Turkey and Greece," corrected
Peggy, tossing back her heavy hair from her
flushed little face.
No I don't," said Oliver, with an obstinate
look. It's in Greece, and I like it werry much."
You know nothing at all about it," snapped
his sister. She was so tired, and there were so
many lessons to be learned, and really it was very
irritating of Oliver to argue about things of which
she knew he was ignorant.
"Turkey is werry nice in Greece," he repeated
"Where's the turkey?" asked Mike suddenly,
joining the fray.
"There is no turkey, baby," said Peggy.


My Turkey is in Greece," persisted Oliver.
The baby solemnly peeped up the chimney.
Me see ole Mr. Turkey sitting on his nest,"
he said confidently, nodding his head.
Oliver crept under the sofa.
I are pretending to be Turkey in Greece," he
stated; and the interest of the game kept him
absorbed for quite ten minutes.
All this time Roger had been toiling at his
sums. Nobody was watching the boy, and one
by one the big tears fell splash on to his smudged
"I can't remember! I can't! I can't!" he
suddenly cried, and Peggy looked up in surprise.
What's the matter?" she asked with interest.
I don't know," said Roger with a sob. It's
my lessons. I can't do them. It's all such a
muddle. I've lost something!" he added with a
frightened cry.
What ? demanded his sister.
"Oh, I don't know! Something that makes
me know how to do things. Why can't I remem-
ber? he exclaimed hopelessly.
Isn't it disgustin' when dolls' shoes and stock-
ings are on'y painted and won't take off?" remarked
Oliver from under the sofa, where he had acci-
dentally met with a doll of Peggy's.
"I understood it all this morning," continued
Roger, and it was so easy then !"


"Never mind," said Peggy soothingly, I will
show you how."
Ma'mselle will give you a .bad mark I 'spect,"
observed Oliver, creeping out of his hiding-place in
order to more thoroughly understand what was
going on; p'r'aps sixteen ones," he added cheer-
I don't care! I don't care! cried Roger ex-
citedly, only why can't I do it ? Why can't I ?"
You forgetted like I did always L-for-looking-
glass when I was little."
Never mind," repeated Peggy, leaving her
unfinished geography, I'll do it for you, dear."
The elder sister's responsibility and motherli-
ness always came to the rescue when her brothers
were in real trouble.
"Your crying makes pools on the slate," she
continued cheerfully; you make rivers joining
them, and I'll use my slate 'cause one side is
"I've found Turkey in Greece," observed Oliver,
gazing intently at the atlas; but Peggy deigned no
reply this time. She was too much engrossed in
Roger's sums.
At last the lessons were finished.
Let's pretend we are in a hay-field making
hay like the children in the picture," she suggested.
And instantly there was a rush for the two dirty
antimacassars, which did very well for hay.


And the sun was shining, and the sky blue all
over, 'stead of strips up between the houses, and
the fairies were all helping to hay-make," shouted
Roger, jumping on to the arm of the old horse-
hair sofa, and gazing round the dingy room as if
indeed he saw the scene he was picturing.
"An' it was awfully lovely and warm," cried
"An' there was quenty turkeys eatin' up the
hay-make, an' one ole bunny rabbit," added the
baby, sitting down rather suddenly on an imagi-
nary hay-cock.
Oh, father!" they all shrieked as the pro-
fessor opened the door; "we're having such a
splendid pretending!"
This is hay-making !" explained Roger, point-
ing to the torn antimacassars.
And I'm buried in it," said Peggy, whose face
was covered.
"Would you like to hay-make too, father?"
asked Oliver.
But the professor was in a hurry to get down-
stairs to his note-book, in which he wrote :
The power of a child's imagination is limitless.
Two dirty antimacassars can create all the beauty
of a genuine hay-making-blue sky, sunshine,
field and all. Are the two antimacassars the in-
spiration or the incidents of such an imagination ?"
And he never saw the wet slate that told of


Roger's trouble, nor would he have understood
why nurse, on coming into the room directly after-
wards, watched the children's play with something
of a sigh, and then sprinkled a bit of brown sugar
on their bread and butter for supper.
Mademoiselle," called the professor, as the
children's French governess passed the study
door next morning, I want you to specially
devote your time to Roger's creative faculties.
Teach the boy to derive his pleasure, indeed I
might say his whole intellectual life, from that
which is drawn out of him, not that which is put
into him. Encourage his delight in telling tales
instead of allowing him to depend for mental ex-
hilaration on those which others may read to
And Peggy, too, is of a wonderful intelligence,
monsieur-so quick and bright."
Ah but there you are confusing the types.
I was afraid of this. Peggy, as you say, has any
amount of talent; but in Roger I suspect the ex-
istence of a germ of genius, and the two kinds
require perfectly different treatment. I want your
attention directed to the education, in the literal
sense of the word, of the boy's thought-power.
Make him think rather than learn, and express
his ideas rather than repeat his lessons. You
understand me? I am making a very close study
of Roger."


"Oui, oui, monsieur. I will observe your
Oh, ma'mselle!" cried Roger as she entered
the schoolroom, "what shall I do? I have a
great lump of tiredness in my mind that makes all
my lessons puzzling, and all my stories muddled
up. And yet I have so many to tell that I can't
make them up in words quick enough, and they
are all tumbling about together in my head."
He was too tired to do his sums, so I did,"
added Peggy.
"An' I found Turkey in Greece in the atlas,"
remarked Oliver very slowly, and glancing side-
ways at Peggy.
"Do read me quite a new something," begged
Roger, so that I might only just listen. A quite
new history-battle would do."
Yes, do!" pleaded the other children.
The boy and his father do not wish the same,
but we must obey monsieur the professor," said
mademoiselle a little sadly.
Lesson-time however flagged in a manner most
unusual with Roger; and day by day a listlessness
of mind seemed to be creeping over him, and his
flashes of interest and excitement became gradually
"The child is over-tired," mademoiselle de-
cided ; so she trotted downstairs one day when the
professor was at home and told him her opinion.


Tired of what ? asked his father.
All the lessons, and thinking, and being kept
in the house for the cold and bad weather. I do
think Roger needs a diversion."
Why, the boy's life is full of diversion. If you
had studied him as closely as I have, you would
know in what a wide and varied world of imagina-
tion he lives."
Ah, well, monsieur! I only make the sugges-
tion of a little treat to cheer him up."
"A treat!" repeated the professor; "what an
old-fashioned word! It makes me feel as if I were
a boy again myself. I had forgotten about such
things. It is a very good idea of yours, ma'm-
selle; the children would enjoy a treat, I feel sure."
And you will remember it, monsieur?" pleaded
the kind-hearted little Frenchwoman.
I will indeed," he answered, smiling his rare
smile. And thank you sincerely for your care of
my little ones."
Children!" he called up the stairs after the
governess had gone home, and immediately there
was a rush from the nursery at the unexpected
"I am going to give you a great treat," con-
tinued their father, looking lovingly at their up-
turned faces.
"A real treat!" exclaimed Peggy, hanging on
to his sleeve.


"What kind of a treat?" Roger wanted to
know. And Oliver stood listening silently with
wide-open eyes.
I will take you out with me on Friday night.
I am going to a most interesting lecture, and there
will be big magic-lantern pictures."
One of your lectures, father, and shall we be
students ?" asked Peggy.
No, child. A lecture by the greatest man I
know-in fact one of the greatest men in the
whole world ; truly a giant among his fellow-
men I shall be a student myself."
How splendid!" screamed the children.
And looking at their bright eyes and flushed
faces the professor came to the conclusion that
mademoiselle was mistaken.
"Still it is a good idea, and prompted by
thorough kindness. And I daresay they will be
all the brighter for a treat, although I never saw
Roger looking more eagerly intelligent than he
does at this moment," thought the professor to
Until Friday came, nothing was talked of by the
children but the one absorbing topic of the lecture.
I shouldn't have thought he'd be a real giant,
only father said truly," observed Peggy eagerly;
" but there are giants sometimes at circuses, nurse
says. Only I didn't know lectures and circuses
were the same."


The greatest man in the world, father said "
exclaimed Roger. Why, it will have to be a
enormouss great circus to hold him."
How big'll he be ?" asked Oliver ; as big as
an omdibus ?"
"Oh! bigger than that," laughed Peggy, who
had begun to pretend an adventure with the giant;
" I expect he'll be as big as Blundebore himself."
"Will he be as fat as a omdibus too ?" repeated
He might be as big as a church steeple," Roger
thought; "'cause you see you have to be a good
bit bigger than anybody would imagine when you
are the biggest man in the whole world."
You aren't going to the circus, baby," said
Oliver soothingly to Mike, who stood listening,
sucking his india-rubber lamb.
I are I are!" shrieked the baby. "Aren't me
goin' too ? appealing to Peggy.
Oh, Oliver, how naughty you are to tease
Mike !" said his sister severely.
"But he isn't going, you know," persisted Oliver
in that determined way which really was extremely
Here the baby's tears had to be dealt with by
nurse ; and nothing but the pleasure of licking his
soapy hands in the bath succeeded in cheering him
up again.
Will there be anything else 'cept the giant at


the circus? asked Roger with a vague hope of
wild animals.
Only the lecture," Peggy thought.
There's one uncertain thing about giants," ob-
served Roger gravely; "they always might eat
little children."
Oh, not when their fathers are with them!
Eating us would be a thing father would never
"A giant as big as an omdibus could swallow
lots of little children,"added Oliver rather gloomily;
" and I shall take my brother," clasping his be-
loved woollen shawl, "to see the circus."
Will the lecture be about the giant, or just
fairy stories ?" Peggy wondered.
"It will be about all the great deeds of the
wonderful giant," cried Roger, racing up and down
the room, and the battles that he conquered, and
the wicked people that he ate. And his mouth
will be as big as a cave," continued the boy, his
imagination on fire, and his nose like a mountain.
Oh! I wish it was time to start! "
Taking the children out at this time of night,
and their colds only just better What next, I do
wonder, to be sure!" sighed nurse as she closed
the front door.
It was tremendously exciting in the omnibus
because the gas was lighted. Peggy and Roger
were by this time past speech; they sat silent in


utter abandonment to the joy of looking forward.
Oliver was muffled up in a comforter, and was
holding his woollen brother" so tightly that he
could not talk much either, but his great eyes
simply glowed with the excitement of the excur-
When they arrived at the hall, the professor
established the children on three chairs in one of
the front rows, and then went off behind the
scenes to have a word with the great lecturer.
It seems almost too wonderful and splendid
that we should really see the giant to-night!"
whispered Roger.
What a great enormouss counterpane Oliver
exclaimed, pointing to the magic-lantern sheet.
It is the giant's counterpane, of course, so you
see how big his bed is," said Peggy triumphantly.
I hopes father will come afore the giant does,"
observed Oliver.
Perhaps he will come standing on the giant's
hand. Look, Peggy, behind. What hundreds of
millions of people! "
"Almost all the people in the world, I expect,
'cept nurse and cook. Oh here is father."
"We are enjoying the lecture awful much,
father! exclaimed Roger.
Why, it has not begun yet, my boy. Now
you must not whisper, for the lecturer is


"The giant!" murmured the children in sub-
dued tones of rapture.
And a little man in spectacles and with longish
hair brushed back over his ears walked on to the
Where's the giant?" whispered Peggy, and
Roger pulled his father's coat sleeve in an agony
of apprehension.
The giant-where is he ? he asked in sharp,
anxious tones, for the smart of a great disappoint-
ment was stinging him.
Hush, hush!" answered the professor a little
impatiently, for he was engrossed in the lecturer's
opening remarks.
He's on'y as big as a p'rambulator," said
Oliver scornfully ; not a bit as big as the littlest
Hush! repeated his father almost sharply.
The children looked at one another in dismay.
Peggy's eyes were full of tears, and Roger's lips
were perceptibly quivering, when the lights were
suddenly turned out, and a great, incomprehensible
moon appeared on the magic-lantern sheet; so
their grief stood still in the midst of this new
That is the moon," explained the professor
in low tones.
No it isn't," said Oliver decidedly, "'cause I
saw the moon up in the sky as we camed."


It's all full of nothingness," whispered Roger,
"and it's got no light in it!"
It isn't the moon," repeated Oliver, "and I
don't like these big ugly pictures, and I don't
want the room to be all full of darkness."
"Oh look!" whispered Peggy, "if you turn
backward you can see a long sunbeam coming
out of a little box right up at the end of the
"You must not talk, children," said the pro-
So Peggy fought the lump in her throat in
silence, and Roger gave himself up to the con-
templation of the wonderful sunbeam which he
imagined came straight down from fairyland, and
down which he waited to see the fairies sliding.
Oliver, overcome with sleep, leaned his head
against his father's arm, and was soon beyond
the reach of disappointment.
At the end of the lecture, the professor took the
children with him, when he went to speak to the
Rather young students," said the great man,
smiling at their tired little faces; and then-" I
forgot to mention the man in the moon, my dears.
There is one, you know."
Oliver looked steadily at him.
You are dreadfully little for a man what isn't
a giant," he began. But his father hurried him


off; and by the time they had found the right
omnibus he was half asleep again.
The next morning everything seemed rather
gloomy in the nursery.
Roger," said Peggy sadly, "I don't like treats.
Do you?"
Not much," answered her brother doubtfully;
"they seem a little too long when they last all
night, as the lecture did."
I don't like big dark lectures," whimpered
Oliver, who was decidedly peevish and poorly,
"and father telled stories 'bout the moon."
Oh, Oliver! said Peggy reprovingly, "it is
very naughty to say father tells stories. Even if
he does, you know," she added thoughtfully, as she
remembered a certain discrepancy between the
statement he made about the giant and the dis-
appointing reality.
"And the great man; did he speak to you? "
asked mademoiselle, when they told her all about
"He isn't great," corrected Roger; "he is
quite little, almost as little as you."
He on'y telled us one thing, and that was a
thing we knewed before," said Oliver.
"That was a pity," observed mademoiselle
smiling, "considering the many things he knows
and the few ones you do."
"And such an easy old thing too," chimed in


Peggy disdainfully, "about the man in the moon
that we have always known ever since we were
quite little."
"We don't none of us like treats," added
Oliver; "they make us werry tired."
"They are much nicer to imagine about be-
fore," Roger decided.
"I've got sticks coming in my throat," an-
nounced Oliver, resting his heavy little head on
the table; "I 'spect they dropped out of the
That night there was consternation upstairs.
Peggy had to put the baby to bed, and Roger was
sent downstairs with an important message.
Father," he began as he opened the door,
"nurse told me to--- Oh! what's that you're
drawing? Is it a spider? "
It is a psychological chart, my boy. You will
understand it when you are older."
Couldn't I understand it now if you 'splained
it properly ?"
Hardly, I'm afraid. These lines denote ten-
Let me draw one too. I know I could. It
looks quite easy."
"Ah, my boy, things that look easy are not
always easy to do. What do I mean by that ?"
I know, I know," cried Roger excitedly after
a moment's thought. It looks quite easy to fly


like a sparrow, but it's awfully difficult really. I
know because I tried to fly off the table the other
day, and Oliver did. Oh, I say, I forgot nurse
told me to tell you Oliver's got the croup."
His father was drawing a very important line
just then, and could not look up.


Poor little fellow!" he said somewhat ab-
"And nurse said if you didn't send for the
doctor soon she thought he might very likely die.
Oh, father, what a crooked line "


The professor jumped up in a great hurry and
rushed out of the room.
I will try to draw one my own self," murmured
Roger; "father won't mind."
And for a long while the boy sat engrossed by
his pencil and paper. He hardly noticed the
noise of the doctor's arrival, nor the fact that
everybody in the house seemed to have forgotten
his own existence. It was so delightful being
allowed to sit up late and play without prohibition
in his father's study, that Roger enjoyed himself
very much. He was only sorry that Peggy had
missed the fun by having to stay with Mike while
nurse was so busy; and it was vexing that he him-
self could not help feeling a little sleepy after a
time, though he tried manfully to beat down the
unwelcome sensation which spoiled his pleasure.
And upstairs Oliver was fighting breath by
breath for his life.
It was after eleven o'clock when the doctor
assured the distressed father that his little son had
won the battle, and cook found Roger fast asleep
in the study armchair.


THE next interesting thing that happened was the
freezing of the pipes during a long and severe
Oliver had soon recovered from his dangerous
attack; the only thing left by it being a slight
weakness, which made him more inclined to be
cross than was at all necessary, and ready to cry
about things directly he began to argue. Even
nurse noticed it; because he never used to be a
crying boy, only very determined and obstinate.
I think Master Oliver needs a tonic, sir," she
said one night to his father; for he seems that
cross and peevish since the croup that there is no
doing anything with him."
The professor looked up with quick interest.
"A new development," he said thoughtfully;
"I must observe this, and examine these fresh
tendencies to, what did you say, nurse? "
"The child is always crying, sir, and seems so
quickly put out in one way or the other."
Doubtless it is the dawn of the influence of
conflicting impulses in his raw, untrained nature.


The inclination to follow the wrong, and the con-
sciousness of the opposing right, would create a
ruffled state of mind that might easily come under
the term peevishness."
I'm sure I don't know, sir," remarked nurse;
only it is my opinion the doctor might give him
something strengthening."
The doctor, did you say ? I hardly think it is
a case for him. But I am just writing a chapter
on the Initial Stages of Wrong-doing in Child-life,
and their effect on the general moral condition, the
theories of which will be a great help in Oliver's
case. For I am inclined to think that this is the
cause of that of which you complain," continued
the professor musingly.
I thought it my duty to mention it, sir," said
nurse rather grimly.
You are quite right-quite right," he repeated;
and then half to himself: "Otherwise I might
have been inclined to overlook this practical illus-
tration of the contending forces which are dis-
cernible even at such an early age ".
So the professor returned to his note-book, and
nurse, on her own responsibility, wrote a letter
asking the doctor to call round the next day.
Father!" cried Roger, rushing in through the
door, and followed by Peggy leading Oliver, who
was in tears, by the hand, we've been telling
Oliver the story of Joseph in the pit, 'cause it's


Sunday, you know, and he will keep on crying.
Do 'splain to him."
I don't want Joseph to be put in that werry
nasty pit," he sobbed.
"How extremely unfortunate!" said the pro-
fessor helplessly ; "for that matter was settled a
considerable number of years ago."
But perhaps he didn't mind, did he, father?"
chimed in Peggy. I've kept saying he didn't
mind, but Oliver will keep on thinking he did."
"That is a good idea," said the professor ad-
miringly. Really, Peggy, you have an intelli-
gence rich in resource. Don't cry, my child," he
continued, "for, as your sister happily suggests,
I dare say Joseph did not mind it at all."
"But do you really think he enjoyed it?"
asked Oliver, checking his tears.
Possibly he enjoyed it," repeated the pro-
fessor, lifting Oliver on to his knee; and then he
added to himself: For one can never accurately
gauge the boy-mind, and at that time Joseph was
probably a boy".
If he enjoyed it I won't cry no more," Oliver
"Was it a pit in the pavement for the coals? "
Roger wanted to know.
"It was the kind of pit a boy would enjoy
most," answered his father quickly, watching
Oliver's showery face.


"Not a dark one?" the little boy asked
Certainly not!" the professor hastily assured
him, "a most light and cheerful pit."
So Oliver's woe was assuaged, and the pro-
fessor wrote down in his note-book:-
The sentiment of pity in the child-mind is
more easily evoked by narrative than by visible
suffering. My son, aged nearly five years, cried
bitterly with sympathy over the story of Joseph
in the pit, but regards the sight of a funeral as a
most interesting and diverting entertainment, tell-
ing me afterwards with a delighted laugh-'An'
we saw a grown-up woman crying quite properly
with a real pocket handkerchief!'"
But this happened a week or so before the
pipes froze, and it was fortunate that, thanks to
the doctor's tonic, Oliver was quite himself again
and able to enjoy with the other children this
tremendously interesting state of affairs.
It seemed a pity that nurse did not derive
equal pleasure from the circumstance; it was just
one of those things which she might have enjoyed
so much, but never did. Having the sweeps was
another of them,-but nurse was a difficult person
to understand. The children had given her up
long ago, for any one who will always sit on a
chair instead of the floor, who prefers regular
meals to feasts and picnics, and chooses to go for


a straightforward walk instead of playing about,
is surely in a hopeless case. At least so the
children thought.
"I do love the plumber!" exclaimed Peggy,
clasping her hands, "and I wish the pipes would
freeze every day."
"An' I do!" added Roger. "He let me stir
the white lead this morning, and hold the screw-
He's got a werry nice smile," said Oliver.
Vedy nice 'mile," echoed the baby.
I mean to be a plumber when I'm a man,"
Roger decided on the spot.
I thought you were going to be a ph'los'pher,"
said Peggy, "and that you and father had settled
"I was," answered Roger impressively, "but I
have changed my mind."
"I wish there could be a lady-plumber," and
Peggy sighed, "'cause it's just what I should like
to grow into. It seems such a kind thing to be!"
Children, I want you," called the professor;
I have a new friend come to spend a few days
here, and he is a poet."
"Will he bite?" asked Mike suddenly as he
was going downstairs step by step.
Not more than is absolutely necessary for pur-
poses of mastication. I think you will all like


And their father was right. The poet turned
out to be a most delightful man who knew endless
fairy stories which the children had not heard
before, and also he kept acid-drops in his waistcoat
pocket. Before the evening was over both Peggy
and Roger had decided to be poets.
"You are sure girls can be it too?" asked


Peggy a little anxiously, as they were making their
final plans.
Certainly, my dear. And now I propose that
we all begin to be poets this very night."
It's frightfully exciting turning out to be what
you never expected," cried Roger, jumping wildly
up and down on the sofa. Oliver and Mike did
not care for poets much, as poets ; though any one
who dispensed acid-drops found favour in their


sight. Moreover they had been carried off to
bed quite early by nurse.
You can't begin to be one, because you are
one, you see," said Peggy.
No, I can only finish being one now," answered
the poet. But you and Roger have a great step
before you. Suppose you each make up your
mind to write a poem during my visit here? It
would be a good beginning."
It seems to me," said Roger, pausing to take
breath, "that being a poet is more exciting even
than telling and imagining stories."
I have not found it the most exciting of
callings, but then it is the only one I have tried,
so I am hardly a fair judge."
Does being a poet make you so very under-
standing to talk to, and not laugh when there's
nothing funny being said, like lots of grown-ups
do ?" asked Peggy lucidly.
I believe it does," answered the poet gravely;
"at any rate it ought to."
Then," concluded Peggy, I shall be a poet
more particularly when I'm grown-up even than
I would," replied her friend.
I think it would help us a good lot in writing
poetry if we hadn't only one lead pencil between
us all four," said Roger persuasively to his


"And that'll only write just after a suck," ex-
plained Peggy; we take it in turns, you know."
To write with or to suck? asked the poet.
Both," said Peggy simply.
I can hardly imagine being a poet myself
under the circumstances, so I will stand two new
And the children felt that the millennium was at
Good-morning, big poet," said Roger, appear-
ing downstairs at a most unusual hour a day or
two afterwards.
Good-morning, little poet," replied his friend.
Ma'mselle is waiting, but I wanted to ask
you whether you generally say 'to begin' or 'to
I usually prefer 'begin' myself."
"But 'spose it was in poetry and 'begin'
wouldn't rhyme?"
Ah that is a different matter."
And 'spose 'commence' seemed almost as
good a word to say what you want, I mean, as
if it hadn't to be poetry at all ?" continued Roger.
I should be guided by inspiration."
"Oh!" said the boy doubtfully; and then
brightening up a little, "I think I will ask
I would if I were you," agreed the poet.
On Thursday the three elder children were in-


vited down to tea, and afterwards Peggy and
Roger produced a somewhat soiled piece of exer-
cise paper as the fruits of a week's labour.
There's one very awkward thing happened,"
began Roger solemnly; we're both only one
poet, you see."
"How is that?" asked the poet. The pro-
fessor was dreadfully busy writing out lectures,
so that he could not attend to the children quite
as much as usual, but he looked up from his desk
and laid his open note-book on the table to await
Roger's explanation.
Could two children be one poet ?" asked
Peggy anxiously.
"What is almost invariably can be," remarked
the professor.
"Well, you see, it's like this," continued Roger,
Peggy and me both wanted the same. rhymes,
and that made us inclined to quarrel."
And there didn't seem quite enough rhymes
for both of us," Peggy chimed in, so we thought
it would be better to be one poet between us."
"'Specially as nurse was rather cross, and said
she would take both the pencils away if we didn't
give over squabbling," added Roger.
They was werry naughty," Oliver observed,
"and Roger called nurse 'an ole goose'."
Oh, Oliver!" said Peggy reproachfully, "how
can you ? He only just whispered it very softly,"



she explained, "and nurse was aggravatinger than
So one half of me is going to be a poet with
Peggy, and the half that's over shall be a plum-
ber," was Roger's decision.
"A very good arrangement," observed the
poet, lighting his pipe. And now, let us hear
the poem."
Peggy shook back her hair and cleared her
throat, then she read all in one breath, while
Roger's lips moved silently with the rhythm :

The spring is commencing,
It is, it is;
And green is the fencing,
It is, it is;
The thrushes are singing,
They are, they are;
And the bluebells are ringing,
They are, they are.
The summer was boiling,
It was, it was;
The flowers were spoiling,
They was, they was;
The dusty road thirsted,
It did, it did;
And all the buds bursted,
They did, they did.
The dead leaves want raking,
They do, they do;
The corn-crakes stop cracking,
They do, they do.


It's time for the reapers,
It is, it is,
To open their peepers,
It is, it is.
The cold winds are wheezing,
They are, they are;
The pipes they are freezing,
They are, they are.
There's plenty of plumbing,
There is, there is;
And Christmas is coming,
It is, it is."

"It's werry silly," remarked Oliver, who had
been listening with a most bored expression.
It isn't, is it ?" cried Peggy, appealing both to
her father and the poet.
It is just splendid," exclaimed the latter; I
must shake hands with such a poet immediately,"
and he took both their hands in his.
You see now it had to be 'commencing,' said
Roger, jumping up and down with excitement;
" and besides, cook said she thought it sounded
more genteel."
"It is perfect!" the poet assured them. "I
congratulate you both."
I shan't be a poet when I'm growed up," an-
nounced Oliver. I shall be a sweep."
"And what are your reasons, my boy, for
choosing such a profession ?" asked his father.
What say ? interrupted Oliver.


Why do you want to be a sweep ?"
"'Cause he's never washed," replied Oliver
It strikes me," suggested the poet, that even
the poetic genius would be all the better for a
little excursion in the fresh air. Suppose we all
go as far as the park to-morrow ?"
Roger and Peggy clapped their hands.
I can't spare time to go," said the professor;
but, not being a poet, perhaps I am not wanted."
Oh, father, you are !" cried Peggy loyally;
and we shan't be quite all poets, 'cause of the
plumber-half of Roger."
Yes, make time for once, Maxwell," urged his
friend; you are paler even than the children, and
need a breath of fresh air quite as much. These
stuffy streets don't count for air."
During this conversation Oliver's face had been
gradually growing redder, he was also blink-
ing a good deal more than usual, and his mouth
was not quite steady.
"I aren't a poet," he said gloomily, "nor I
shan't be when I'm growed up, but-but--"
and he looked up very piteously at his father.
"Could not an embryo sweep be included?"
asked the professor.
Certainly," agreed the poet; "we will not be
too exclusive. So we'll have your father and
Oliver, won't we, children ? "


We will, we will!" they shouted, capering
about wildly.
Most fortunately the following day was a lovely
one, with a bright blue sky and a tingling taste of
frost in the air.
We will all sit still in the train," suggested the
poet as they entered the underground station ; it
is the custom, you know."
I would rather like to be an engine-driver if
I wasn't a poet," said Roger thoughtfully.
And when we get to St. James's Park we will
walk across to Hyde Park. I am greedy of grass
in London."
I'm greedy of jam," announced Oliver. Mike
is greedy of everything."
"I am very anxious about this new book of
mine," said the professor to his friend, for I feel
that few students of the psychological aspects of
childhood have to their hand such practical illus-
trations as I have in my children. I can watch
and follow closely each new development, and
their varied characteristics make the study more
Poor little psychological problems !" murmured
the poet softly.
The professor wrinkled his forehead.
They are not at all poor problems I can assure
you. You make a mistake in supposing that. But
of course an outside observer only might think so.


You can have no idea of the depth and intricacy
of these child-problems."
"I'm beginning to feel," said Oliver slowly,
that I've sat still just as long as ever I can. If
we don't get out soon I must begin to move
Fortunately the next station is ours," the poet
assured him.
They had a lovely walk through the park and
over the bridge, though, as the professor sug-
gested, it might have been more appropriate to
have gone round by Westminster as they were
such a distinguished company.
And seen Poets' Corner," added his friend
Is that where naughty poets are put?" Roger
asked with great interest.
Occasionally good ones too."
How unfair!" exclaimed Peggy indignantly.
I do hate corners! "
There's a horrider thing even than corners,"
continued Roger; "I mean bed during the
"You seem to have a wide and varied ex-
perience of the penal system. Is it your nurse,
or your governess, or your father, who is so
strict ? "
Oh, not father! laughed the children; he's
the spoilingest of them all! "


Our nurse very quickly punishes," Peggy ex-
"I don't think she can help it, poor thing!"
added Roger kindly.
No, poor thing!" echoed Oliver, "but she's
dreadful when the clothes is clean, only I do love
her werry much."
Nurse says it's worse than heathens to have
clean clothes on Saturdays, but ours have to go
to the wash then," said Peggy.
"Which day do you have clean clothes?"
Roger asked the poet. We ought to know,
'cause of us being a poet now."
I am afraid I cannot tell you."
Father," whispered Oliver, might I go close
up to that big enormouss soldier-man and look at
him ? "
They were passing the Knightsbridge Bar-
Certainly, if you like."
So the little boy went up to the tall, still senti-
nel, and regarded him solemnly for a few seconds.
Then he laid his small hand on the soldier's tunic,
but the man took no notice.
He's dead. I thought he was!" said Oliver
When they reached the Albert Memorial great
was the children's delight. Oliver dreadfully
wanted to have the golden man to take home


with him, and his father's refusal of so simple a
little request made him very obstinate.
"Why mayn't I have it?" he kept repeating.
The professor was delighted with a new obser-
"You see," he said slowly, as he wrote down
something on the back of an envelope, "the
child-mind is unconscious of size. It is absolutely
lacking in the element of proportion."
I want the golden man," persisted Oliver.
The poets were amusing themselves by seeing
how many steps they could jump down at
I propose," said the big poet, when they were
at last torn away from this entrancing amusement,
" that we go into a confectioner's and have some
buns, on our way home."
The children clapped their hands with delight.
I wish I could have all my meals in a shop! "
cried Peggy enthusiastically; don't you ? "
"I have a preference myself for a club," re-
plied the poet.
I've never been to a club. I s'pose it's as
jolly as a shop ?"
Pretty much the same thing."
The professor suggested tea, but Roger had
caught sight of ginger-beer bottles; and every-
body can guess how much more of a treat ginger-
beer would be for tea on a cold winter's afternoon.


The poet gave a little shiver and ordered three
bottles to be opened.
"It makes my face flash!" exclaimed Oliver
with a startled expression.
"They must be awfully rich people," said
Peggy to her father, "to have even their com-
mon tables made of marble! "
Retail trade is a lucrative calling," observed
the professor drily.
I wish I could eat just another bun!" sighed
Roger ; 'cause it's such a splendid chance. But
I can't," he added sorrowfully.
It was a pity such a perfect afternoon was
obliged to come to an end; and that home and
bed-time followed on so closely. But when the
nursery was reached, the children were still full of
delight and excitement, in which the baby joined;
for his father had remembered to buy a small
paper bag full of farthing buns for his particular
consumption. And Mike did not mind a bit the
fact that the professor, having then forgotten all
about them, had crushed them quite flat in his
coat pocket.
It has been a lovely time lately cried Peggy,
dancing about in her little petticoat during the
process of undressing; "what with the pipes
freezing, and the darling plumber, and this splen-
did going-out to-day !"
"And the poet coming, and us being poets,


too !" added Roger, wriggling out of nurse's
"I would have liked the golden man in my
bath said Oliver in an injured tone.
And the jolly tea of ginger-beer and buns in
the shop !" continued Peggy ; "wasn't it lovely,
nurse ?"
But nurse did not agree with Peggy. She
would actually rather have dull tea, and bread and
butter, in a warm room during the winter, than
ginger-beer and buns on a marble table in a shop.
The children pitied her profoundly ; and it did
seem unfortunate that grown-up people who might
continually enjoy themselves in such glorious ways,
should be too stupid to do so.
When I'm a man, I shall live on ginger-beer
and buns, and jump down the Memorial steps all
day," was Roger's final decision before going to


THEN came the whooping-cough. A horrid thing
which lasted for weeks and weeks, and tired all
the children so much that they felt they could never
again enjoy rushing up and down stairs for hours
at a time, pretending they were wild deer on a
mountain, or having a pillow fight when nurse had
gone down to her supper, or any pleasures of that
kind. And when the whooping-cough had ex-
hausted itself, and its little victims into the bar-
gain, the hot weather began-such glaring, baking
sunshine beating down upon the houses and stone
pavement, and heating seven times hotter the
stuffy, airless streets.
The professor had, moreover, arrived at the con-
clusion that the children ought to be learning
German as well as French; so what made things
worse was the advent of a new, dull, strict Fraulein
in the place of dear little Mademoiselle, whom the
children all loved very much.
I do hate whooping-cough and German!"
sighed Peggy, looking up from a hot, sticky exer-
cise, and resting her tired head on her little inky


Fraulein's werry cross and ugly added Oliver
solemnly; and she talks nonsense too."
It isn't nonsense; it's German," said Roger
languidly. Oh, I'm so hot! "
My dinner's sore! remarked the baby, with
rather a red face.
Did you swallow the stones?" asked Oliver
with interest. I wanted to, on'y nurse wouldn't
let me."
Not let me too," said the baby sadly.
But just when the children were most tired and
overdone-when the weather seemed at its hottest
and the professor was fullest of work-a really
wonderful and unexpected thing happened. The
postman brought a letter from a far-away and
almost unknown Uncle Robert, saying that he and
his wife would be so glad if the professor and the
four children and nurse would come down and
spend the rest of the summer at his country
rectory. And there was a dear little letter en-
closed from their Aunt Isabel, telling them how
much she wanted to have them now she was
settled down at home again after being between
two and three years abroad.
It's very kind of Robert, I'm sure," murmured
the professor, thinking what a lifetime it seemed
since he had last met his wife's brother. But of
course we cannot go."
"Oh, father!" cried Peggy with a gasp, for this

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