The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

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

by Mrs. Francis Steinthal
Volume 7, 1896, pgs. 1-12

[Emeline Petrie Steinthal, 1855-1921, was a sculptor, painter, and co-founder of the P.N.E.U. with Charlotte Mason. She was married to Francis Steinthal. They had four children: Paul Telford, Dorothea, Francis, and Paul Cuthbert, who all lived well into adulthood.]

MY DEAR CHILDREN,--You have now settled down to lessons again, and are probably wondering what work you intend to do in the winter months. I trust you will first write your tales and poetry and games for the Christmas Magazine, so that our second number may be more brilliant than the first. All children can write tales. If you doubt this, just think how often you imagine incidents, and how sometimes you seem to know a fairy or a brave knight, and go with them through most exciting scenes, rescuing lost children and distressed animals on the way. When I was a little girl I lived in imagination with one family every night before going to sleep for a whole year. Children, of course, tell aunts many secrets, and several have confided to me that they do just the same. So now I am hoping that fifty nieces, at least, will write down some of their fancies, and let us share them. Every tale must be type-written, on paper 8 by 10 inches, and must be send to me by November 30th.
Your loving

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These competitions are open to all the children readers of the Parents' Review. Stamps must be sent for return postage. Each article must have a label on it, with child's name, address and age clearly marked on it. "My Dollie's Wardrobe" (see Advt.) will be used for patterns, which fit a doll 26 inches long.

All work in this and in other competitions to be sent before the 30th to Aunt Mai, Wharfmead, Ilkley.

In August no work was given.

In October, make a nightgown case and brush and comb bag. The pattern is not in the box, so must be cut out to individual taste.

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During the year the members of this class undertake to make two garments for a child who is known to them. Before November 30th, a warm cloak or top covering to be made. Marks are given for neatness, sewing and button-holes.

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This month, make a cloak or cape.

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Landscapes and seascapes have been sent by--
A.J. Thompson, Marion Thompson, Dorothy Senior, Phyllis Sayer, Joyce Sayer, Mary Sayer, Phoebe Rennell, Evelyn Powys, Marjorie Powys, Frank Osler, Katharine Marriott, Grace Lawrence, Lorna Lawrence, Willie Harvey, Winifred Grice, Sidney Franklin, Madge Franklin, Daisy Johnstone Douglas, Marguerite Dowding, Marjorie Dunthorne, Madge Crook, Cecily Cholmondeley, Rachel Barclay, Muriel Bentley Baumann, Archie Bentley Baumann, Eric Bentley Baumann, Mar Anson, Frances Anson, Mary Lewis, Gabrielle Lomas, Ethel Lomas, Gladys Rimmington, Marjory Rimmington.

Subjects for October:--
I. Two different seeds of trees.
II. One illustration to "The Sleeping Beauty."

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Dress Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I.

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"Miss Kate Marsden, who is working among the lepers in Siberia, is the bravest woman."

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Last month we considered how to prepare and stock a fresh water aquarium, to-day we are going to get our salt water aquarium ready. The tank or vessel such as we had for fresh water animals will do well. Only when young people are only at the sea-side for a short time, they may be glad to know than an ordinary earthenware milk pan or large basin will answer the purpose just as well as anything more elaborate.

In your tank first of all place a layer of sea sand with some stones or bits of rock, then pour in the water which should be dipped up as clean as possible, and never where any fresh water or drainage is likely to be. Next for sea-weeds, for fish must have food. Do not use brown or olive weeds, they want too much space,--what is commonly called sea lettuce and the many greens, greys and reds. Never tear the sea-weeds off, but with a chisel chip off the bit of rock to which they adhere. After a day or two when sand and plants have settled, get a wide-mouthed glass bottle such as sweets are kept in, and go for a prowl in the pools and under the rocks; fill your bottle with water and pick up any tiny crabs, common periwinkles, muscles, hermit or solider crabs with his house on his back, also some of the burrowing bi-valves or razor shells (Those you may have to dig for), scallops or clams, barnacles, such as adhere to rocks or old shells. Most beautiful of all are the sea anemones which cling to stones, from which you must try to detach them by slipping your finger or a blunt knife under. For fish--small dabs, flounders, eels, sticklebacks, shrimps, etc. Fishermen often catch curious animals in their nets, and if you are friendly with them will help you in many ways. Should the water become white and thick, be sure some animal is dead, and you must at once see what is the matter and begin to empty your tank and refill with clean water. The water may be kept wholesome for months if each day you dip out a little in a jug and let it drop down slowly into the tank again from a height. This produces fresh air, without which there is no life. Salt water can be bought or even made from following receipt of Mr. Gosse:--Common table salt, 2 1/2ozs.; Epsom salts, 1/4oz.; chloride of magnesium, 200 grains troy; chloride potassium, 40 grains troy; add to a gallon of pure water and mix thoroughly.

["The Annual of Scientific Discovery, Or, Year-book of Facts in Science and Art for 1855" pg 366 says, "Mr. Gosse took Schweitzer's analysis of sea-water for his guide. In one thousand grains of sea-water taken off Brighton, it gave: Water, 964.744; chloride of sodium, 27.059; chloride of magnesium, 3.666; chloride of potassium, 0.765; bromide of magnesium, 0.029; sulphate of magnesia, 2.295; sulphate of lime, 1.407; carbonate of lime, 0.033. Total, 999.998 . . . The component parts were thus reduced to four, which he used in the following quantities: Common table salt, 3½ ounces; Epsom salts, ¼ ounce; chloride of magnesium, 200 grains troy; chloride of potassium, 40 grains troy. To these four quarts of water were added. The cost was about 5¼d. per gallon; but if large quamtities were made, it would be reduced to a maximum of 5d. per gallon." Troy is defined by Definitions from Oxford Languages: "a system of weights used mainly for precious metals and gems, with a pound of 12 ounces or 5,760 grains." Wikipedia says Philip Henry Gosse, 1810-1888, was "virtually the inventor of the seawater aquarium."]

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I. Real Dutch Sauce.--Take two yolks of eggs, one tablespoon of cream, one ounce of butter, a grate of nutmeg and a little salt; put all into a gallipot. This must be put into a saucepan half full of cold water, and placed over a gentle fire; whisk gently with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to thicken and looks like rich cream, when it should be taken off the fire, and a little lemon juice to taste stirred into it. The sauce should be taken from the fire as soon as it is thick, and heated gently, or it will curdle. This will only make a small quantity. Four yolks of eggs, two tablespoonfuls of cream, and two ounces of butter will make a better quantity. This is a nice sauce to serve with boiled fish.

[Gallipot: "a small pot made from glazed earthenware or metal, used by pharmacists to hold medicines or ointments." Oxford Languages]

II. French Pancakes.--Beat two ounces butter to a cream, and beat two eggs until they are light; mix these with two ounces of flour and the same weight of castor sugar; add milk very gradually till the mixture is as thick as cream, bake for fifteen minutes in a quick oven. The plates should be well buttered before pouring the mixture on them. Half the quantities can be used for children's cooking.


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Answers have been received from the following members, and marks have been awarded accordingly:--

Div. I. Kathleen Bird (5), Elisie Alexander (6), Joan Campion (5), Grace Laurence (3), Clare Pelly for two papers (12), Alexander Colles (4), Susan Venables (6), Bernard Ward (5), Winifried Grice (6).

Div. II. Hawthorne Robertson (6), Kathleen Sandbach (5), Eva Hudson (6), Jaet Brooke (5), Cicely Foster (6), Dorothy Senior (4). Div. III. Hester Sandbach (5), Lorna Laurence (5), Ethelwyn Robertson (6).

Answers to be sent to Miss Phoebe Allen, Ileden, Bonchurch, I.W., not later than the 30th of October.

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(From the German).

Once upon a time an old man and his son lived in a little cottage placed half-way up the side of a big mountain, and about a quarter of an hour's walk from the other houses in the village. The son's name was George, and between them they possessed enough land to provide them with all the necessaries of life, and even a few of its luxuries, so they existed free from care.

Immediately behind the house was a forest of oaks and beeches; they were so old that at the time I speak of, the grandchildren of those who had planted them had been dead for hundreds of years. On the edge of the wood lay an old broken millstone, nobody knew who had put it there, but if you sat down on it you got a wonderful view of the valley, and of the river which flowed through it, and of the mountains which rose high on either side of the river.

When his field work was over, George would sit here of an evening dreaming for hours together, his head in his hands, his elbows resting on his knees, and because he mixed little with his neighbors, going his own way quietly, absorbed in himself like a person who has much to think about, the villages called him in derision George o' Dreams, which did not trouble him in the slightest. The older he grew, the more reserved he was, and at last when his father died, and he had buried him under an old oak, George o' Dreams left off talking to his neighbours altogether.

As he sat on the broken millstone, which he did even more frequently now, he looked out over the lovely valley and watched the evening mist as it rose and floated upwards towards the mountain tops; the twilight deepened and darkened until the moon and the stars rose in their full splendor, and as he looked, his heart was filled with wonderful feelings. For then the river whispered, softly at first but louder by degrees, until it was easy to hear what its ripple sang: they sang of the mountains whence they came, of the sea whither they were hurrying, of the Nixies who dwelt in their translucent depths. Then, too, the forest awoke and murmured, telling marvelous tales which no other forests could know. The old oak, under which George's father lay buried, knew more than all the other trees out together. And as they listened to all these wonderful things, the stars, although they hung so high above, yearned to sink into the cool green woods on the grassy blue waters of the river, and twinkled and shimmered with eagerness. But the angels, who stand one behind each star, held them fast and said: "Stars, stars, do not be so foolish! You are far too old for nay such pranks! When one is a thousand years old and more, people should stay in their own places and behave themselves soberly."

So you see it was a wonderful valley. But George o' Dreams was the only person who said or heard all these things. The villagers knew nothing of them, for they were quite ordinary and commonplace folk. Now and again they cut down one of the forest giants, split and saw it into logs, and when they had piled them up into a big stack they would say, "Now we shall have hot coffee for many days to come." They washed their clothes in the river, and found it mightily convenient, and when the stars glittered brightly overhead, they only said, "It will be a cold night; let us hope that the potatoes will not be frost-bitten."

If George o' Dreams tried to tell them some of the things he saw and heard they simply laughed at him, for they were quite ordinary, every-day folk.

One day, as he sat on the old millstone thinking how lonely he was, he fell asleep and dreamt that he saw a golden swing hanging from the sky by silver ropes which were fastened to two stars. On the swing sat the most charming princess, swinging herself so high that she flew from earth to heaven to earth each time. Every time she touched the earth she clapped her hands with delight and flung a rose to George o' Dreams. Suddenly the silver cord snapped and swing and princess shot high into the sky, far, far away, further and further, until at last she disappeared entirely. He awoke, and looking round him, saw a great bunch of roses lying on the old millstone by his side.

The next day he fell asleep in the same place and dreamt the same dream again. When he awoke he again found a bunch of roses by his side. Every day that week this happened, so at last he began to think his dream must have some meaning in it. He locked up his cottage and set off into the world, determined to find his princess. After walking for many days he perceived in the distance a spot where the clouds hung so low that they rested on the earth. He walked onwards in that direction, but found himself unexpectedly in a big wood. Suddenly he heard cries and groans, and hurrying towards the place where the noise was, he saw a venerable-looking old man, with silvery hair, lying stretched upon the ground. Two hideous and ferocious looking scoundrels, quite naked, were doing their best to strangle him. George o' Dreams looked round for a weapon of some sort, but, seeing none, broke off a gigantic branch from a tree. The branch transformed itself instantaneously into a mighty halberd, with which he ran the rogues through the body, and they immediately ran off uttering howls of pain as they went.

George raised the old man from the ground, and having soothed and restored him, asked him why those two naked wretches wished to take his life. The old man replied that he was the King of Fancies, and, having mistaken his road, had inadvertently wandered into the kingdom of his bitterest enemy, the King of Facts. No sooner did the latter discover his presence than he sent off two of his subjects with orders to kill him.

"Had you injured the King of Facts in any way?" inquired George o' Dreams.

"Certainly not," said the King of Fancies. "But he quarrels with everybody, it is his peculiarity, and, moreover, he hates me like sin."

"Those servants, that he sent to kill you, were quite naked: why is that?"

"Yes," replied the King, "they were stark staring naked. That is the fashion in the Land of Facts, everybody there goes about naked, even the King, and they are not in the least ashamed of it. Disgusting people, I call them. But come with me now, and, as a reward for saving my life, I will show you my kingdom. It is the most lovely country in the whole world, and all dreams are my subjects." So the King of Fancies walked on, followed by George o' Dreams, until they reached the spot where the clouds touched the earth. The King then pointed out a trap-door, so closely concealed amongst the bushes that it would have been impossible to find it without knowing its whereabouts beforehand. He lifted it up and led his companion down a staircase consisting of five hundred steps, into a brilliantly lighted cave, extending as far as one could see, and which was indescribably beautiful. Here were castles built on islands in the centre of lovely lakes, and the islands floated on the water like ships. If you wanted to enter one of the castles, you stood on the shore of the lake and said--

    "Castle, Castle, swim my way
    For I must enter thee to-day."

Upon which the castle would float up to you of its own accord. Further away were castles built on clouds floating about in the air, and if you said to them--

    "Castle in the air float down my way,
    For I must enter thy doors to-day,"

They came floating down towards you so that you might go in. Besides these, there were gardens filled with marvelous flowers that scented the air by day, and were aglow with light by night; birds of wonderful plumage which related fabulous tales, and many other entrancing objects. George o' Dreams was so overcome with wonder and admiration that he was quite speechless.

"Now I will show you my subjects, the Dreams," said the King. "There are three different kinds of them: good Dreams for good people, bad Dreams for bad people, and the Dream Kobolds, commonly called Nightmares. These play practical jokes for me sometimes, for even a King must have a little fun occasionally." The King then conducted George o' Dreams into one of the floating castles, which was built in such a crooked kind of way that it looked quite comical.

"This is where the Kobolds live," remarked the King, "They are little roguish people full of tricks and fond of teasing, but they are quite harmless. Come here, little one," he continued, addressing one of the kobolds standing by, "and try to be serious for a moment." Turning to George o' Dreams, he said, "Do you what this rogue does when I allow him as a special favour to visit the earth? He runs to the nearest house, picks up the first person he finds who is in a sound sleep, carries him to the top of the nearest church steeple, and throws him down head first. He then rushes down the steps so as to reach the ground before the man does, picks him up, carries him home and flings him into bed so violently that the whole bedstead creaks and groans and the man wakes up, rubbing his eyes, and looking round surprised, he says: 'Goodness gracious! I felt exactly as if I had fallen from the top of the church steeple. It's a good thing it was only a nightmare.'"

"Is that the little wretch?" cried George o' Dreams. "He came to me once: if he comes again, and I catch him, he will get the worst of it." While he spoke, another nightmare sprang from under a table: he looked just like a little dog, for he wore a shaggy hairy waistcoat, and his tongue hung out of his mouth.

"This fellow is not much better," said the King of Fancies. "He howls like a dog and is as strong as a giant. If people dream that they are very frightened, he holds their arms and legs, so that they cannot run away." "I have had him too," said George o' Dreams. "If you want to run away, you feel as if you were stark and stiff like a log of wood: you want to move your arms and you can't, you want to move your leg and you can't do that either. But it is not always a dog that frightens one: sometimes it is a bear, or a robber or something else equally dreadful."

"Well, I promise you he shall never come to you again," said the King. "But come with me now and have a look at the Bad Dreams. You need not be afraid of their hurting you, they only injure bad men." They entered an enormous enclosure, surrounded on all sides by a high wall with a mighty iron door, as the only means of exit and entrance. In this place were swarms of the most hideous creatures and terrible monsters. Some were like men, some were half men and half beasts, others wholly beasts. George o' Dreams shrank back terrified to the door. The King encouraged him and said, "Do come a little closer and examine the things that bad men dream of." And he beckoned to one of the Bad Dreams who stood near: it was a horrible giant with a mill wheel under each arm.

"Tell us what you are going to do to-night," said the King. The monster poked his head down between his shoulders, opened his mouth right up to his ears, shook himself with delight as a dog wags his tail, and said with a grimace: "I am going to the rich man who let his father die of hunger. One day when the old man went to his son's house and sat on the stone steps of the door praying for bread, the son came out and said to his servants: 'Drive away this old bag of bones.' So to-night I shall go to him and grind his body between two mill wheels until all his bones are ground up into little bits. When he is quite limp and soft, I shall take him by the collar, shake him and say: 'How nicely you dangle your bag of bones.' The he will awake with his teeth chattering and will say: 'Wife, I am so cold, get me another blanket.' When he is asleep, I shall begin again from the beginning."

When George o' Dreams heard this, he rushed to the door, dragging the King after him and crying: "I will not stay a moment longer with these horrible Bad Dreams, it is too frightful."

So the King took him away to a magnificent garden, where the walks were made of silver, the flower beds of gold, and the flowers of polished jewels. Here the Good Dreams took their daily walks. The first one they saw a pale young woman with a Noah's Ark under one arm and a box of bricks under the other. "Who is that?" asked George o' Dreams.

"That is a Dream who goes every evening to a little sick boy whose mother is dead. He is alone all day, and has no one to look after him. But towards evening the Dream goes to him, plays with him and stays all night. He falls asleep very early, so she has to start very soon. The other Dreams start much later. But now come on, for if you want to see everything we must hurry." So they walked on further in the garden amongst the Good Dreams. There were men, women, children, and quite old men with sweet and good faces and dressed in the most beautiful clothes. In their hands they carried every possible thing a man could wish for. Suddenly George o' Dreams stood still and gave such a loud cry that all the Dreams turned round to look at him.

"What is the matter?" asked the King.

"There is my Princess, who has been to me so often and gave me the roses," answered George with delight.

"Yes, it is she," said the King. "Now you see what a lovely Dream I always send you. She is the prettiest Dream I have."

George o' Dreams ran up to the princess, who was sitting in her golden swing and swinging herself to and fro. When she saw him coming, she jumped off her swing and ran straight into his arms. He took her hand and led her to a golden bench, where they both sat down and told each other unceasingly how glad they were to meet again. In the meanwhile the King of Fancies walked up and down the big path in the middle of the garden with his hands behind his back, and occasionally looking at his watch. However, when he saw how late it was getting, and how utterly oblivious of the time both George o' Dreams and the Princess were, he at last went up to them and said: "Now, children, you have had talking enough for one day, and as you, George, have a long way to go before you reach home, you had better start. I can't keep you here for the night, as there are no beds in the place; as the Dreams are all away on earth with mankind at night naturally they do not sleep. Princess, you must get ready to go too. Dress yourself in pink, and then come to me so that I may tell you where to go and what you must say."

When George o' Dreams heard this his heart sank with grief, but standing up he said bravely to the King, "My Lord King, I do not mean ever to leave my Princess again. Wither you will have to keep me here or you must let the Princess come away with me. I love her so much that I cannot live without her." And as he spoke two tears as bug as hazel nuts dropped from his eyes. "But George, George," cried the King in despair, "How can I possibly do that? She is the prettiest Dream in my kingdom. However, as you saved my life, I suppose I shall have to allow it. Take your Princess and go back to earth with her. When you get to the top of the steps, take the silver veil off her head and throw it down to her through the trap-door. Then your Princess will change to flesh and blood like any ordinary mortal; for at present she is only a Dream."

George o' Dreams thanked him heartily and said, "Dear King, your generosity emboldens me to ask another favour. It is true you have given me a Princess, but so far I have no kingdom for her to reign over; and it is quite impossible for a Princess to exist without a kingdom. Could you not manage to give me one; no matter how small a one?"

The King replied, "George, a visible kingdom I cannot give you, for over such I have no power whatever, but I can give you an invisible one, and I will do so; it shall be the largest and most splendid one I have."

George o' Dreams inquired what good an invisible kingdom would be to him. The King replied that he would soon find that out when he got it, and would be quite surprised to discover how magnificent and altogether satisfactory an invisible kingdom could be.

"For," said the King, "In an ordinary kingdom things do not always work quite smoothly. For instance, suppose you were King of a visible kingdom; one fine morning early the Prime Minister comes to you and says, 'Your Majesty, I require a thousand pounds immediately for State purposes.' You open the State treasure chest, and behold, you have not got a farthing in it. What will happen then? Or suppose that you made war with somebody and were conquered; your conquerors might carry off your Princess and shut you up in a dungeon for the rest of your life. No disagreeableness of that sort could happen with an invisible kingdom."

"But," said George o' Dreams, who was rather puzzled, "What is the good of having a kingdom if you cannot see it?"

"What a funny man you are," said the King, holding his forefinger to his forehead, "You and your princess will be able to see it; you will see the castles and gardens, the meadows and forests contained in your kingdom. You will live in it, take your walks in it, and do anything you like with it; it is only other people who will not be able to see it."

(To be continued).

Proofread by LNL, Apr. 2021