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. 25-36

[This follows vol 7 pg 13 (as evidenced by the errors corrected from the last issue), but neither this one nor that one are actually those pages in volume 7. Maybe there was a section in the back of the volume with those page numbers for all the Aunt Mai sections?]

[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,--I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a very happy one. I am quite certain that every child who has tried to make the day happier to another little one who is not so fortunate as themselves, and perhaps has not such kind good parents, will thoroughly enjoy the bright, glad Christmas time.

I want those who can write little tales to help me next year. I have promised to write in a magazine every month for cottage children, and they love tales as much as you do, so will you send me some that you think they will like? If I hear of a little boy or girl who cannot walk about, but has to lie down, and feel ill and in pain very often, I shall ask some of my nieces to "mother" them, and write little letters occasionally to them.

This month, as you are all very busy getting presents ready, I shall give you no competitions, but will tell you what we all intend to do next year.
Your loving

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All competitions are open to the children of readers of the Parents' Review. Stamps must be sent for return postage, and in January each competitor is requested to send 1 shilling (s.), which will enable her to compete in any competition during the year. Each article must have a label on it, with child's name, address and age clearly marked on it.

All work must be sent before the 30th to Aunt Mai, Wharfemead, Ilkley.

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The children have dressed girl-dolls for three years, so it will probably please many if the patterns are changed. A very clever lady, who is an examiner in needlework, has prepared special patterns for this class, which will fit a doll as large as a small baby. They are so good that every child can learn how to cut out. Next month all particulars and price will be given.

Class I. Age 11 to 15.--As it is the last month, three prizes are given - Freda and Ellie Hollis and Mary Parsons. Good work has been sent by Marian Lander, Esmé Lane, Dorothy Sayer and Emily Mackenzie.

Class II. Age 10 and under.--Eleanor Chance and Madgie B. Crook win prizes. The following have worked well:--Muriel B. Baumann, Agatha Tibbits, Effie E. Brawn, Katherine Metcalfe, Cicely Wicksteed, Irene and Ethel Walker, and Rosamund Wicksteed.

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The work will not be sent in time to allow the names of the sewers to appear in this number. The list will be given in January.

Each member of this class undertakes to make two garments a year for a poor child. The next will be a pinafore, to be sent before June 30th.

Marks are given for neatness, hemming, trimming and button-holes.

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This month there will be no work to do.

Winifred Tibbits and Vera Simpson have won prizes: but they are closely followed by Margaret Kendall, Dorothy Senior, Eva Mackintosh, and Mary Priestman.

Next year it is hoped that other nieces will make a garment each month for a poor child, which can be presented to her at Christmas.

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Next month children will be asked to dress a Swiss peasant. Doll to be not longer than five inches. Those who dress a doll each month in the various national costumes will have a dainty and delightful addition to their museums.

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Brush drawings and illustrations of "The Sleeping Beauty" have been received from--

Evelyn and Marjorie Powys, Joan Abbay, Muriel, Archie and Eric B. Baumann, Mary and Frances Anson, Marguerite Hume, Daisy and Mordaunt Betts, Dorothy Ker, Phyllis and Joyce Sayer, A.J. and Mary Thompson, Rachel Barclay, Marion and Eveline Thompson, Dorothy and Freda Rope, Norah Pearse, Nina and Daisy Johnstone Douglas, Ethel and Gabrielle Lomas, May and Clinton Lewis, Marjory and Gladys Rimmington, Maud Bowyer, Frank Osler, Willie Harvey, Marjory Webb, Cecile and Tom Parke, Madgie and Wilfred Crook, Elsie Buller, Winifred Grice, Marjorie Franklin, Sybil Edmondson, Dorothy Senior, Lucy Wilson, Grace and Lorna Lawrence, Vera Dawson, Dorothea, Telford, Eric and Paul Steinthal; fifty-one hard-working artists in all.

This month, send one representation of Christmas.

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Cecily Cholmondeley, Keyham Hall, Leicester, sends 10s. earned as follows:--

For dressing quickly, 6 pence (d.); for lessons properly learned in the morning, 1s.; for eating porridge without sugar, 24 times, 1s.; for playing pieces, 2s. 3d.; for knitting comforter, 2s.; for a second, 2s. 6d.; for pair of cuffs, 9d.

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I. Christmas Chocolate Buns.

Take 4 oz. of castor sugar
4 oz. of butter
4 oz. of good Vanilla chocolate
2 1/2 oz. of flour
3 eggs

Grate the chocolate and put it into the oven for a minute or two, just to get well heated. Beat the butter and sugar to a cream, add the chocolate and the yolks of the eggs, sift in the flour, and, lastly, add the whites of the eggs well beaten to a froth; stir the mixture well together, butter small patty-tins, fill each with a little of the mixture, and bake for about 25 minutes in a quick oven.

II. Orange Salad.--Peel some nice juicy sweet oranges, take off all the white skin, then cut the oranges into thin slices, take out all the pips and put the slices into a glass dish, sprinkle castor sugar over each layer of oranges, and let the salad stand for a couple of hours; then serve. This is a nice dish for children's parties or ball suppers.


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The following members have sent answers and received marks accordingly, viz.:-

DIV. I.--Joan Campion (6), Elsie Alexander (6), Pearl Borrer for two papers (9), Susan Venables (6), Winifred Grice (5), Kathleen Bird (6), Bernard Ward (6), Grace Laurence (6), Honora Sneyd (6), Madeline Graham Watson (6).

DIV II.--Eva Hudson (6), Janet Brooke (6), Rhoda Goddard for two papers (10), Cicely Foster (6), Lorna Laurence (5), Hawthorne Robertson (6), Esmé Graham Watson (6), Hester Sandbach for two papers (12).

DIV III.--Kathleen Sandbach for two papers (11), Ethelwyn Robertson (6).

Answers to be sent to Miss Phoebe Allen, Ileden, Bonchurch, I.W.

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By Aunt Mai.

Mr. And Mrs. Elephantus were a very charming old lady and gentlemen. All their lives they had been very kind and amiable to their neighbors and friends, and were in consequence much loved by them, as all kind people are sure to be. It seemed, therefore, very curious that their only unhappiness in life was caused by the mischievous tendencies and bad conduct of their only child, Jumbo. Now Jumbo you may imagine was a little boy like yourself, but nothing of the sort--he was a young elephant who lived with his parents in the heart of a thick wood in India. He was always playing practical jokes on his friends, which often made his poor father and mother lift up their trunks in dismay. His father sometimes said, sadly, "Jumbo, you'll have a terrible lesson some day; I wash my feet of you." Jumbo would look serious for five minutes, and promise to be a better boy, when he would suddenly remember that a friend was coming home late that night, and away he would trot to pull up a tree by its roots and lay it across the path, so that his friend would at least bump his knees against it in the dark. He enjoyed teasing the monkeys more than anybody else, and you shall hear how they served him out, and cured Master Jumbo of playing practical jokes.

One day the oldest and most aristocratic family of monkeys gave a big party, when their youngest son came of age. Everybody in good society went to it. The squirrels and foxes had their tails well brushed and curled for the occasion; the tigers prepared lovely ball dresses of yellow and brown; in fact, everybody was invited but Jumbo. For, as the hostess said, "If Jumbo comes he will spoil everything. He is sure to get into mischief, and I am determined our dance shall be a success." Papa monkey quite agreed with her, as he always did. Jumbo was furious when he found he was left out; it was so very disagreeable to be constantly asked, "Are you going to the dance too, Jumbo?" So he hid in the jungle and wondered what he could do to spoil the evening. At last an idea struck him, and going down to the river, filled his trunk with water, and coming back as quietly as possible, suddenly poured it all on to the assembled guests, who were in the middle of a Highland schottische, which a monkey had seen danced by a Scotch regiment near those parts. The greatest excitement reigned. The ladies fainted, and the gentlemen, as quickly as possible, led them to a retired spot where they fanned them back to consciousness.

As soon as the ladies began to weep over the loss of their dresses, their protectors left them to consult what punishment must be dealt out to Jumbo. A squirrel had seen him running away, and at once told Mr. Tiger, who was a great gossip.

"I know what to do," said Mr. Reynard.

"What? What?" cried the guests.

"Well, the King has issued a big reward for a white elephant, and I know that several men are already out in the woods trying to find one. You know my grandfather was the President of the Foxes' Academy and that painting is in my family. Now, I propose that after Jumbo goes to sleep this evening that I paint him white, and in the morning he is certain to be taken prisoner, and will be punished for the trick he has played on us."

"Hear, hear," cried all the rest. So Mr. Reynard was told to be quite ready, and two or three agreed that they would watch for the right moment to begin painting. The other guests then went to their homes laughing and wondering what would be the end of Jumbo's lesson.

Jumbo quickly went to sleep that night, and as soon as he had snored once Mr. Reynard quietly crept up to him with palette and brushes and a big maulstick. He very soon finished one side, his brushes were so big, as an old fox had lent him the tails of his grandfather and great-aunt for the operation. Then he wanted Jumbo to turn over, and in trying to manage this his maulstick slipped and went into his left eye, which made Jumbo open it, and poor Mr. Reynard had only just time to run out of the room with his paint-box under his arm, and he was so nervous after this sudden shock that he dare not return to finish, although Jumbo soon turned over and fell asleep, lying on his painted side.

The next morning Mrs. Elephantus was preparing the family breakfast when, looking up, she caught sight of a strange white elephant who came towards her. She screamed loudly, "Oh! Elephantus, come quickly; there's a stranger in the house." Mr. Elephantus, who was enjoying his morning bath, rushed to his wife's assistance with his trunk in the air. Jumbo was very much astonished, he could not at all understand why his father and mother should object to him coming into their house. Poor Jumbo, in one of his mischievous moods, had broken the only looking-glass, so he could not see what had happened to him. "Mother, don't you know me?" he said in a faint voice.

"Oh!" exclaimed his mother, "It is Jumbo's voice. This monster must have killed him and is trying to imitate his dear, sweet voice," and poor Mrs. Elelphantus fainted right away, and her fall shook the earth to such an extent that two little squirrels who had crept up to listen ran away in a great fright and never moved out of their home again all that day. Mr. Elephantus became more enraged when he saw his wife fall, and seizing a small tree rushed on the intruder. Poor Jumbo turned and ran, hungry and breakfastless, into the woods. As he disappeared he turned to see if his cruel parents showed no signs of grief, and then for the first time his father saw his grey side:

"Why, bless me! There's Jumbo running away before he has had his breakfast. I don't see that white rascal anywhere; where can he have gone to?" An he would have gone to the door, and called to Jumbo to come to breakfast, but Mrs. Elephantus' head lay on his trunk, and he was obliged to fan her with his tail.

So poor Jumbo, feeling that he was utterly cast off, went sadly into the heart of the forest, where he would run very little risk of meeting with any former friends.

Now it happened that this was the first day the hunters were going to search for a white elephant. A party of six left the city very early in the morning, carrying strong ropes and small guns, in case the elephant showed signs of fighting; but they had received strict orders that no fatal shot was to be fired. They walked a long distance, and were becoming so disheartened that they were on the point of giving the hunt up for that day, when suddenly as they stood on a small hill, one of the number exclaimed, "There it is! I see it by that tree."

Down the hill they rushed helter-skelter, head over heels, for the first man who captured the prize was to have a chocolate as big as an hen's egg given to him. Soon they arrived breathless, and in a state of greatest excitement. The elephant, they knew, must be on the other side of the tree. They walked on tip-toes, three round one side and three round the other, so as to secure their prey from both sides. When they got round, what met their astonished eyes: Only a common grey elephant quietly eating his evening meal; but who, when he saw them, quickly fled. As soon as the disgusted hunters could speak, they began to accuse the man who had said he had seen a white elephant, and from using very cross words, they began to fight, and after beating the poor man so that he was black and blue all over, they turned on each other, and fought like Kilkenny cats. Just when the fight was at the height, one man cried out, "There it is! I really see a white elephant." They all turned, and sure enough, they all saw it this time, so again they rushed forward, only to find for the second time, when they got to the spot, that there was no such thing; but only a little grey animal.

The men were worn out, and thoroughly vexed and tired, and determined to return home without lose of time, as some magic dust must have got into their eyes.

But one of the men, the one who was black and blue all over, made up his mind that if he had really seen the white elephant it must still be in the woods, and that if he slipped away from his comrades, and spent the night in the woods, the chances were two to one that he might find it again, and so win the big chocolate.

No sooner thought of than done. He slipped behind, and as it was getting dusky, his absence was not noticed by the others. He soon found a nice shady tree up which he climbed, and fell asleep on a big bough, lulled by the rustling of the leaves and the swaying of the tree. When daylight again appeared, he awoke, and eagerly scanned the land around him. Turning his eyes to the foot of the tree on which he had been sleeping, he could scarcely trust his sight, for there--on the very ground under him, was lying a real white lovely elephant.

He had taken great care to keep a rope, in case of need, also a big piece of sacking to cover the elephant up with. He cautiously and quietly clambered down the tree, and before Jumbo could open his eyes, his captor had fastened a rope round his neck, and thrown a cover over him. Resistance was useless; Jumbo felt that at once, as the sacking prevented him taking any long strides, so he trotted sadly by the side of the hunter, wondering what would be the end of his curious adventures, and longing to see his father and mother again. When he thought of them two big tears as large as oranges ran down his cheeks.

At last they arrived at the gate of the city, and after much knocking and shouting, the sleeping sentry awoke, and enquired:

"Who's there?"

"Let me in at once," cried the huntsman, "I've got a prize for the Rajah and must see him at once."

Now it was only seven o'clock in the morning; but Kings and Rajahs, you know, require a great deal of sleep, probably because their crowns are so heavy, and tire their heads. And this Rajah never rose before ten o'clock, so when Jumbo and his captor arrived in the courtyard and demanded instant audience with him the attendants were terrified, and one and all declared that they dare not disturb his Highness's slumbers. The man was, however, so persistent, that at last one servant ventured to waken the Rajah's favourite little daughter, who at once ran to her father's bedside and wakened him with a kiss on his royal moustache. The Rajah rolled over, and opened one eye and then the other, and looked with astonishment and anger at the disturber of his peace. When he saw his favourite, he half smiled, and gruffly asked, "Why have you wakened me? You shan't have any porridge for breakfast."

"Father, there's a white elephant in the courtyard," exclaimed the child.

"What! What? A white elephant? Why didn't you waken me before?" And the Rajah sat up in bed, looking very funny with his nightcap all on one side. He called to one man to wash him, another to shave him, another to curl his hair, and another to put his slippers on. He wouldn't wait to be dressed, so had a dressing gown put over his royal night garments, and as soon as his carpet slippers were on, he rose up, and insisted on going downstairs to inspect the treasure, before he even took any breakfast. As he was particularly fond of eating, such an event had never occurred before, so you can imagine how excited and delighted he was. He was soon seated on his state throne, and all his attendants stood behind and around him.

The Jumbo was led forward, stepping to slow music, and all the people stretched out their necks as though they were telescopes, to see the wonderful elephant who was going to head the procession. His captor looked round with a smile of satisfaction; he had a vision of the chocolate as big as a plum pudding before his eyes. Slowly, slowly the cloth which covered Jumbo was let down, and there, before the astonished eyes of half the astonished multitude stood--only a little grey elephant.

The Rajah was speechless with rage; he felt that a practical joke had been played on him, and of the three hours' sleep he had been robbed of.

"Take that man to prison, and make him play leap-frog for a day and a night without stopping." at last he thundered forth.

He would have torn his dressing gown in his temper; but his wife, who had just darned a large hole in it, was so afraid of having another to do, that she slipped forward, and told him his hot buttered toast was just ready, so he at once calmed down, and led her to the breakfast table.

The offender was seized, and quickly led away to prison, and amid tears and protestations, was compelled to play at leap-frog, until the soldiers' back ached with stooping, so they agreed to get a petition signed by all the inhabitants of the town, asking the Rajah to modify the sentence.

Jumbo, in the meantime, quietly slipped out of the courtyard, and made off as quickly as he could toward the city gate. Just as he approached it, who should he meet but his father and mother, who were coming to the city to see if they could hear anything of their poor lost son. When they came face to face they at once saw the division down the front of his face,--that one side was white and the other grey,--and having been told by the monkeys of the way he had been punished, they at once knew their own boy and fell on his neck and kissed him. Jumbo was so penitent, and promised to be such a good boy in the future, that they told him how and why he had had such a lesson.

Jumbo sobbed, "Mother, I'll never tease anybody again."

"That's right, Jumbo," said his father. "You see now what comes of playing practical jokes."

After these events Jumbo became the kindest and most unselfish elephant in the jungle, and other parents to this day always said to their sons, "My dear boys, imitate Jumbo; he's a perfect pattern."

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Mr. Andrew Lang has written a delightful book, suitable for a Christmas present, [The Animal Story Book, by Andrew Lang (Longman & Co)] which we hope some of our readers will enjoy. This is one of the stories:--


Now there was living at Rome, under the Emperors Vespasian and Titus (A.D. 69-81) a man called Pliny, who gave up his life to the study of animals and plants. He not only watched their habits for himself, but he listened eagerly to all that travelers would tell him, and sometimes happened to believe too much, and wrote in his book things that were not true. Still there were a great many facts which he had found out for himself, and the stories he tells about animals are of interest to everyone, partly because it seems strange to think that dogs and horses and other creatures were just the same then as they are now.

The dogs that Pliny writes about lived in all parts of the Roman Empire, and were as faithful and devoted to their masters as our dogs are to us. One dog called Hyrcanus, belonging to King Lysimachus, one of the successors of Alexander the Great, jumped upon the funeral pyre on which lay burning the dead body of his master. And so did another dog at the burial of Hiero, of Syracuse. But during the lifetime of Pliny himself a dog's devotion in the heart of Rome had touched even the Roman citizens, ashamed though they generally were of showing their feelings. It had happened that a plot against the life of Nero had been discovered, and the chief conspirator, Titus Sabinus by name, was put to death, together with some of his servants. One of these men had a dog of which he was very fond. And from the moment the man was thrown into prison the dog could not be persuaded to move from the door. At last there came a day when the man suffered the cruel death common in Rome for such offences, and was thrown down a steep flight of stairs, where he broke his neck. A crowd of Romans had gathered round the place of execution, in order to see the sight, and in the midst of them all the dog managed to reach his master's side, and lay there, howling piteously. Then one of the crowd, moved with pity, threw the dog a piece of meat, but he only took it and laid it across his master's mouth. By-and-bye the men came for the body in order to throw it into the river Tiber, and even then the dog followed and swum after it, and held it up and tried to bring it to land, till the people came out in multitudes from the houses round about, to see what it was to be faithful unto death--and beyond it.

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Little children raise your voices,
Sing your carols blithe and clear,
All the world with you rejoices,
Sing your songs of Christmas cheer.
Little children,
Christmas-day again is here.

Sing of love, of Christ our Saviour,
Sing of peace, a Christmas lay,
Praise Him for the love that gave Him
To the earth on Christmas-day.
Little children,
Nothing can that love repay.

Wonderful His name, and holy,
Jesus is the children's King,
Mighty God, yet loving Father,
To Him song and praise we bring.
Little children,
He has bade the children sing.

Therefore raise your happy voices,
Sing your carols blithe and clear,
All the world with you rejoices,
To your King your songs are dear.
Little children,
Christmas-day, your day, is here.


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Erratum.--Owing to stress of work, Aunt Mai regrets to say that she did not revise her proofs last month as carefully as usual. For "Stephenson" read "Stevenson"; "Britonneart," "Britomart"; "Jam," "Jane." She is always grateful to readers who point out any mistakes.

Proofread by LNL, Apr. 2021