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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
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Aunt Mai's Budget

by Mrs. Francis F. Steinthal.
Volume 7, 1896, pgs. 303-310


My Dear Children,--Last month I had the happiness of meeting several nieces in London. I think they were as delighted to see each other as I was to see them. It was such a delight to really meet cousins whose names are so familiar in our Budget. How pleasant it would be to see all my nieces together! The August Budget is going to be your Budget. The tales will be written by you, and I wish you to send me this month, the name of your favourite book, and why you like it so much; you must send an outline sketch of it, and the best written papers will also appear in August.

Owing to a mistake made by one of the writers, the tales on "Discontent" have not been sent round the writing circle, so the prize has not yet been awareded.

Your loving
Auntie Mai.

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Competitions.
"My Dollie's Wardrobe."

These are open to all the children of readers of the Parents' Review. There is no entrance fee, but stamps must be sent for return postage. Each article must have a label on it, with name, address and age clearly written. "My Dollie's Wardrobe" (see Advt.) will be used for patterns, and the clothes when made fit a doll 26 inches long. In June, the sailor skirt will be taken. To be sent before the 30th to Aunt Mai, Wharfemead, Ilkley.

Class I. Age 11 to 15. Isabel Kathleen Bird has won a book. Emily Mackintosh (11), Mary Parsons (11), Freda Hollis (14), Violet Mackintosh (14), and Dorothy Sayer (11) have sent very dainty petticoats.

Class II. Age 10 and under. Ethel le Brawn (10) and Esmé Lane (10) have won prizes. Madgie Crook (9), Mary Priestman (10), Katherine Metcalfe (8), Marion Lander, Cicely Wicksteed (9), Muriel Mackintosh (8), Agatha Tibbits (10), Ellie Hollis (10), Sybil B. Baker (9) and Rosamund Wicksteed (8) have sent good work.

Little Worker's Society.
Founder: Mrs. Edmund Strode.

The work to be sent before June 30th, is a print dress for a little child who is known to the worker. Marks are given for sewing, neatness, and button-holes. An older class has been formed this year for nieces who are over ten years of age.

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Dorcas Society.

In this Society, older girls, who have dressed a doll, make a garment each month for a baby or little child they know personally. In June make the top petticoat. Margaret Kendall (14), has won a book. Useful knickers have been sent by Dorothy Senior, Joan Newmann (12), Winifred Tibbits (12), Eva Mackintosh (15), Lucy Scott Moncrieff (15), and Rhoda Goddard (11).

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Our Art Club.

No new members can be received unless they pay a fee of 10--for the year.

The following members have sent paintings of their favourite flowers, and illustrations of the "Pied Piper":--

Frank Osler, Lucy Scott Moncrieff, Meggie Scott Moncrieff, Daisie and Nina Johnstone Douglas, Phœbe Rennell, Muriel, Archie and Eric Bentley Baumann, Mary and Frances Anson, Madgie and Wilfred Crook, Cicely Cholomondeley, Katherine Marriott, Dorothy Ker, Phyllis, Joyce and Mary Sayer, Eleanor and Margaret Simon, Evelyn Powys, Marjory and Gladys Rimmington, Maud Bowyer, Dorothy Rope, Freda Rope, Brian Crichton, Dorothy Senior, Marguerite Dowding, Dorothy Ker, Cecile, Katie, and Tom Parke, Dorothea, Telford, Eric and Paul Steinthal, Vera Dawson, May Lewis, Elsie Buller, Gabrielle Lomas, Rachel Barclay, Marion Broadwood, Grace and Lorna L. Lawrence, Margery Webb,

The rules of the club are as follow:--
1.--That all drawings must be sent flat, and not rolled.
2.--That no drawing must exceed 12 by 12.
3.--That all illustrations must be coloured.
4.--That the illustrations must be entirely original.

Subjects for June:--

I. In Brush-drawing--Your favourite toy or ornament.
II. One Illustration of
See saw, Margery Daw,
Jack shall have a new master,
He shall have but a penny a day
Because he can't go any faster.

To be sent to Aunt Mai before the 30th.

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Queens of England.

Margaret Hollings wins a silver thimble for Eleanor of Castile. Rhoda Goddard has also sent Her Majesty.

In June dress Elizabeth of York.

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"Jack and Jill" Club.

Very few of our members have answered the questions this month, but those who have sent in papers have gained marks as follows:--

Div. I.--Susan Venables (6), Winifred Grice (6), Kathleen Bird (6), Bernard Ward (6), Madeline Graham Watson (6), Joan Campion (6), Elsie Alexander (6).

Div. II.--Janet Brooke (6), Cecily Foster (6), Eva Hudson (5), Dorothy Senior (4), Rhoda Goddard (5), Eva Dixon (3), Hawthorne Robertson, for two papers (12), Pearl Borrer (6).

Div. III.--Helen Duff (5), Ethelwyn Robertson, for two papers (2), Kenneth Yeo (5), Dorothy Yeo, Hampstead (3).

Answers to be sent, as usual, before the 28th of June, to Miss Phœbe Allen, Ileden, Bonchurch, I.W.

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The Tortoise.

The tortoise is a most harmless pet, and very interesting to watch. Those imported to this country in ship loads are bought from the islands and countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and are therefore delicate and sensitive to cold. The common European tortoise measures from six to eight inches, and when full grown weighs about five pounds. The shell is very beautifully marked, and colored in shades of brown and yellow.

Though so hard that it is almost impossible to break it, the shell is said to be very sensitive, and if the tortoise should by any chance be caught in a shower, you may see the odd little creature crawling along at his utmost speed, to avoid the heavy drops of rain.

The tortoise is supposed to attain a very great age, one hundred years and more. There is no difficulty in providing food for this pet. In summer turn it out on the lawn and it will find plenty of food. It is particularly fond of lettuces and dandelions and will become so tame that it will eat blades of grass or leaves out of his owner's hand. As soon as cold weather comes the tortoise if left to his own devices, will burrow a hole for himself where he will sleep comfortably till warm weather returns, when he will come out of his hole and crawl about as before.

A saucer of bread and milk or cold water should be given in hot weather. Tortoises and turtles in the Pacific Islands grow to a very great size, and require several men to lift them. They are excellent eating made into steaks and soup. The eggs roasted in ashes are a great delicacy, as many of our poor shipwrecked sailors can testify.

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Our Little Cooks.

I. Cup Puddings.
One egg
The weight of an egg of butter
" " " " white castor sugar
" " " " flour

Rub the butter with a wooden spoon to cream, then add the sugar and mix it well into the butter, then the flour, and when all these are well mixed together add the egg, and beat all well for about ten minutes. Have ready some well buttered little tins or cups, put about a dessert-spoonful of the mixture into the cups and bake in a moderately hot oven for 20 minutes. When done turn them out into a hair sieve, and then place them daintily on a dish and serve.

II. Young Carrots.--Young carrots should be simply washed before boiling, then rubbed with a clean cloth. After preparing the carrots throw them into plenty of boiling water with a tiny bit of salt and let them boil till tender. Quite young carrots will be done enough in about twenty minutes. When tender drain them, and put them into another stewpan with enough stock to barely cover them, a lump of sugar, a piece of butter the size of a large walnut. Boil the sauce quickly with the lid off the pan till it is thick and coats the carrots. Shake them in the sauce and serve in a hot dish, a little finely chopped parsley may be added if liked.

Helena Steinthal.

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The Cockroach's Birthday Party.

"I shall be old to-morrow," observed the Cockroach, rather vaguely.

"How old?" inquired the Earwig, who had a mathematical mind. "It's just as well to be exact, I think."

"I don't know how old," admitted the Cockroach. "But I was born in the year that they re-whitewashed the pantry, if that will help you. However, the main thing is that it's my birthday to-morrow, and that I'm going to give a party to celebrate it."

The Ant came slowly by, hauling along with him a plump grain of wheat. He pulled up panting in front of the Cockroach.

"Did I hear you say that you were going to give a party?" he asked. "That's not thrifty--far from it. If you have a party to spare, you ought to sell it, and put the proceeds of the transaction by for a rainy day."

"Oh, but rainy days don't affect me," explained the Cockroach. "I live indoors, you see, and it never rains in the kitchen."

The Ant desired to continue his lecture on economy, but the Earwig interposed.

"We are wandering from the subject," he said irritably to the Cockroach. "What about this party of yours?"

"Well, you're invited to it for one."

"For seven, you mean," responded the Earwig. "If you won't let me bring my wife and young family, I shan't come. I'm reputed to be an excellent parent, and I really can't afford to play with my reputation in these censorious times, when gardeners do all they can to take away one's character."

"I shall be pleased to see you with your wife and family," politely rejoined the Cockroach. "The more the merrier, of course."

"That includes me, I suppose," chirped the Cricket from an adjacent crevice. "Who's as merry as a cricket?"

"We shall all be as merry as crickets to-morrow night, I hope," answered the Cockroach.

By this time the Ant had moved off again with his grain of wheat, but the Cockroach shouted after him that he would be expected at the party, and as he couldn't resist the temptation to save his community the cost of his supper, he eagerly accepted the invitation.

The festivities commenced brilliantly. The Cockroach had asked nearly everybody, and the guests were of many sorts and sizes. But not one of them was too big to crawl through the crack under the back-kitchen door except the Stag Beetle.

He stuck for a while, but the Wood Weevil obligingly constructed a tunnel under him in the timber of the threshold, and eventually, after falling into the excavation and breaking the tip off his left antler, he managed to squeeze in.

Quite a dozen Glow-worms--engaged by the hour--sat in a row on the edge of the dresser, with their tails in the air, and shone with so much enthusiasm that the apartment couldn't have been better illuminated if it had been lit by a halfpenny candle. A few lively embers which happened to remain in the grate--it had been washing-day--imparted a genial warmth to the atmosphere. As the evening wore along, indeed, the Hairy Caterpillar was heard to express a wish that his overcoat was constructed to take off.

Naturally there was dancing, and everybody joined in save the Stag Beetle, who persisted in moping in a corner with his injured antler tied up in a dahlia-petal wrap which had been kindly lent him by the Earwig's wife, whose sympathetic heart was touched by his melancholy appearance. He really looked, in his black clothing, as if he had recently come away from a funeral.

The Earthworm wriggled through a quadrille with a grace and agility which excited universal admiration; but when the Ant attempted to waltz, he had to apologise to his partner for the stiffness of his legs. He had, he explained, been very busy gleaning for the last fortnight.

"If I'd known before that you were an agricultural labourer, I wouldn't have danced with you," crossly declared his partner, a delicate little Clothes Moth. "I'm afraid this is a very mixed affair!"

Presently the Cricket and his three brothers, who were officiating as orchestra, struck up a squeaky polka, which was the signal for the Earwig to take the floor with his five children and his wife; but as all the other dancers kept falling over the nippers of the family, and bruising themselves by their tumbles, the Cockroach judged it expedient to propose a forfeit game, just to fill in the interval before supper.

"Excuse my interference, but what game did I hear you mention?" buzzed the Bluebottle in loud tones.

"I said a forfeit game," replied the Cockroach mildly.

"But I've got six feet, and the House Spider here has eight feet," objected the Bluebottle, who was exceedingly obstinate and unreasonable when once he had taken a notion into his head. "I venture to doubt if there's anybody in the company with four feet, and it seems to follow that we can't rationally be expected to play that game of yours."

"You don't comprehend," protested the Cockroach. "A game of forfeits"--

"Would be a highly amusing pastime for an assemblage of quadrupeds, I daresay," blustered the Bluebottle. "This, however, is an insect party, and consequently I'm at a loss to perceive how it's going to take part in any game of four feets."

"Hear, hear!" shouted the Stag Beetle. He had arrived at the conclusion that he was disfigured for life, and was therefore inclined to make himself as disagreeable as possible.

The Cockroach tried to smile in a superior manner.

"Well, of all the stu"--he began.

He was about to utter something cutting about "stupid people," when the Wood Weevil excitedly interrupted him.

"Shall we have some for supper?" cried the Wood Weevil.

"I've never tasted any."

"Any what?"

"Any stew," said the Wood Weevil. "You made an allusion to 'all the stew,' didn't you? I wonder if it's more nourishing than saw-dust."

"I trust that the supper isn't to be entirely stew," observed the Earthworm. "For my own part, I should prefer some good rich garden mould."

"And I'm partial to the pulp of a ripe apricot," said the Earwig.

"Give me a cabbage leaf with plenty of juice in it," exclaimed the Hairy Caterpillar.

"My special weakness is a bit of beef-steak, rather 'high,' " hummed the Bluebottle.

The Cockroach passed one claw through his antennæ in apparent bewilderment.

"Supper is laid in the dust-pan," he murmured confusedly. "It's tea-leaves. There's nothing, to my mind, so refreshing after a dance as tea-leaves, and I want you all to eat my health in tea leaves, but of course if you don't like tea-leaves"--

"Who likes tea-leaves?" inquired the Earwig in contemptuous accents.

"Nobody!" answered the Ant, with emphasis. "There's such a thing as being too economical."

"Hear, hear!" rudely interjected the Stag Beetle.

At this juncture a soft pattering on the stairs became audible, and the Cockroach began scuttling hither and thither in a high state of nervousness.

"Is-is it fire?" asked the Bluebottle, turning grey, for he was a bit of a coward at bottom, for all his bluster.

"Cat!" answered the Cockroach in a whisper. "She's not likely to eat us, because we're not mice, but she has a horrid habit of pawing respectable persons about in order to see them kick. I don't relish making such an inhospitable suggestion, but-but nevertheless I fancy you'd better clear out, the lot of you."

Great was the stampede which ensued! A wild rush took place to the crack under the door, through which, in his alarm, even the Stag Beetle succeeded in forcing himself without an instant's delay. In less time than it takes to write it down, the guests had flown, and only the trembling Cockroach remained behind, carefully hidden under the dust-pan which contained his supper.

And it's rumoured by those who profess to be well informed that he won't give another birthday party in a hurry!

Felix Leigh.