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 F. Steinthal
Volume 7, 1896, pgs. 218-227

[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 much regret that illness has again kept me from calling on Miss Stansfield, at the St. Chad's Home for Waifs and Strays. As this was quite impossible, Miss Stansfield has sent me a letter to you all, which I hope you will read and think over.

On the 6th of this month I hope to meet my nieces and nephews who live in or near London, at Mrs. Franklin's. No special invitations are being sent; but both Mrs. Franklin and I hope that all will come. I will show them drawings, garments, and tales, made and written by their numerous cousins, whom I sincerely wish we could also have with us. Will you each send me this month the name of the bravest woman who has lived? I will afterwards give you the list, with the number of marks that each one gets.

Your loving
Auntie Mai.

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"My Dollie's Wardrobe."

These competitions 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 May, the sailor blouse will be taken. To be sent before the 30th to Aunt Mai, Wharfemead, Ilkley.

Class I. Age 11 to 15.--Mary Parsons (11) has won the prize. Emily B. Mackenzie (11), Freda Hollis (14), Dorothy Sayer (11), Violet Mackintosh (14), and Isabel Kathleen Bird (13) have done good work.

Class II. Age 10 and under.--Marian Lander (10) has won a prize. Good work has been sent by Mary Priestman (9), Cicely Wicksteed (9), Rosamund Wicksteed (8), Ruth Gabain (8) Madgie Crook (9), Muriel Bentley Baumann, Sybil B. Baker (9), Agatha Tibbits (9), Muriel Mackintosh (8) Katharine Metcalfe (8), Esmé Lane (10), and Judy Henderson (10).

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Little Workers' Society.

Founder: Mrs. Edmund Strode.

More members than ever have joined this society. It is evidently a most popular one. A print dress, made for a little child known to the worker, must be sent before June 30th, to Aunt Mai. Marks are given for sewing, neatness and button-holes. An older class has been formed for girls over ten years of age.

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Dorcas Society.

Twelve members have joined the first month, and have sent most dainty vests for their live dolls. Each worker makes a garment a month for a poor little child she knows. Half of the vests are knitted and the others are made of flannel and flannelette, so a prize has been given to the best in each set.

Eva Mackintosh (15) and Millicent Paxton (13) have won prizes. Dorothy Senior (11), Margaret Kendall (14), Rhoda Goddard (11), Ruth Neumann (10) Margaret King (9), Joan Newman (12), Cecilia Coote (12), Winifred Tibbits (12), and Lucy Scott Moncrieff (15) have sent good work.

This month make a flannel petticoat.

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Our Art Club.

The rules of the club are as follows:--

    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 original.

Subjects for May:--
I. In Brush-drawing--A design for a plate.
II. One Illustration to the "Enchanted Spider."
To be sent to Aunt Mai before the 30th.

The January portfolio returned just as the March number was being sent off. It was easy to see how, even in the short space of time, the artists have improved. It must be a great help to each to see the work of others. I have decided, as the class is so big, to divide it into two, and in one portfolio put the drawings of artists under ten, and the older children's work into the other. Both will then be seen during the month. This time there are thirty addresses given, and forty-nine artists.

The following have sent drawings and illustrations:--
Lucy Scott Moncrieff, Meggie Scott Moncrieff, Maud Bowyer, Marjorie Rimmington, Gladys Rimmington, Tom Parke, Cecile Parke, Kathie Parke, Willie Harvey, Isabel K. Bird, Frank Osler, Phœbe Rennell, Muriel Bentley Baumann, Eric B. Baumann, Archie Baumann, Lucy Wilson, Dorothy Senior, Marion A. F. Broadwood, Madge Franklin, Winifred Grice, Dorothy Rope, Freda Rope, Madgie B. Crook, May Hardwicke Lewis, Ethel Lomas, Gabrielle Lomas, Clinton Lewis, Mary Dowding, Lorna Lawrence, Grace Lawrence, Phyllis Sayer, Mary Sayer, Daisy Joyce Sayer, Marjorie Powys, Evelyn Powys, Margery Webb, Brian Crichton, Dorothy M. Ker, Rachel Barclay, Dorothea Steinthal, Eric Steinthal, Nina Johnstone Douglas, Daisy Johnstone Douglas, Mary Anson, Emmeline Paxton, Willie Berry Robertson, Katie Marriott, Margaret Hume, Cicely Cholmondeley.

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Queens of England.

Rhoda Goddard wins the prize.
In May, dress Margaret of Anjou.

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"Jack and Jill."

Owing to Miss Allen's sad illness, very few children sent in papers in March.

The following members have sent answers and received marks accordingly:--
Div. I.--Madeline Graham Watson (6), Joan Campion (6), Clare Pelly (6).
Div. II.--Esmé Graham Watson (6), Cicely Foster (6).
Div. III.--Hester Sandbach (6), Kathleen Sandbach (6).

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Twelve tales have been sent on the subject of "Discontent." They are being sent round to the writers, who will each give a mark to the one whose tale they consider the best. It must interest all to read the tales sent in by others.

Will Dorothy Forbes kindly forward her address to Aunt Mai?

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"My Dear Children,--At the Home for "Waifs and Strays," S. Chad's, Far Headingley, Leeds, there are many crippled girls and children, and attached to the Home there is a tiny Hospital, in which there are eight beds, nearly always full of suffering ones.

The children who read Aunt Judy's Magazine years ago did so much for the Children's Hospital, Great Ormond Street; the children who read a little paper called Brothers and Sisters entirely support a Cripple's Home, which has in it sixty children. Now I want to ask you--Will you try to help the little Hospital at S. Chad's? to think of it as your very own? and to do little by little what I tell you it needs?

First of all, there are four beds still waiting to be endowed, ten guineas each. Who will help me to do this, before we think of anything else? Send me any little sums that you can save, and if you want to know how to get up Nursery or School-room Bazaars, write to "The Hon. Matron, S. Chad's Home," enclosing two stamps, and she will send you a little book called "Our Copper Bazaar."

Now I must tell you a little about the beds. They are chain bedsteads, with wool mattress, bolster and pillow, two pairs of blankets, two pairs of sheets, pillow cases, a nice white quilt, and a bright red blanket for winter use, belonging to each; at the head there is a brass plate with an inscription on it. What shall we put on ours?

Will you help to keep the Wards bright during the summer by sending flowers, moss, ivy? Direct them to "The Children of the Hospital," S. Chad's House, Far Headingley. A postcard will be sent to you by the Nurse, thanking you for them: we must not ask her to write letters, for it takes nearly all her day to tend the sick children.

There are two girls always in the Hospital--Nanny and Jessie.

Nanny is quite a big girl--she has never been able to walk in her life. Just think what it would be if you could not walk and run and play! yet she always has a smile for everyone, and is so patient, and does try so hard to be good. She says little, but she smiles much, and it may be that smiles add as much to the sunshine of the world as words.

Jessie, poor child, is in consumption; but she may live for a long time yet. She has only one leg; she is half Welsh, and sings such funny Welsh songs to amuse the other children. Send her, if you can, some fresh eggs, or any little thing that will help to strengthen her.

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Our Little Cooks.

I. To boil an Egg.--Place an egg gently with a spoon in water almost but not quite boiling. Let it simmer steadily for three and a half minutes. A small egg is sufficiently cooked in three minutes; a new-laid egg takes four minutes. To boil an egg hard let it simmer for ten minutes; dip it into cold water, to prevent the white discolouring. When required remove the shell.

II. Poor Knights.--1/2 lb. slices of stale bread, 1 egg, 1 oz. soft sugar, 1/2 inch stick cinnamon, 1/4 pint milk, fat for frying. Cut some stale bread into slices about half an inch thick. Put the milk, sugar, cinnamon, and egg, beaten with a fork to mix the yolk and white, into a bowl; dip each piece of bread several times into this mixture till saturated, but not broken. Put the fat into a frying-pan; when hot put the pieces of bread into it; fry till a light brown on both sides. Take them out with a fork and put them on a clean cloth, to absorb the fat. Dish them on a hot plate, with a little jam on each piece.

Helena Steinthal.

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In bee-keeping you have an almost endless source of interest, amusement and, we hope, of profit as well. After you are set up with hive and stock of bees, there is little trouble and comparatively little expense attending the keeping of bees. In fine summer weather they find their own food.

As to the material and style of hive. The old-fashioned straw hives are the most picturesque and cheapest, answering the purpose well; but to keep them thoroughly dry it is necessary to place the hive on a bench with a peat house, to keep off rain and snow. The newer and cleaner bee hives are houses made of wood, painted, and are thoroughly water-tight. Hives should be placed at a short distance from their dwelling-house, that the bees may get used to and know their owner's voice and presence, and yet not near enough for the bees to be annoyed by much noise or bustle. As for situation, any sheltered and sunny spot will do, and as near as possible to the feeding ground. Plant a variety of honey-bearing flowers near the hives. Sweet alyssum, thyme, sunflower are all favourites; lime trees and horse chestnuts also; and if you happen to live near a moor where furze and heather abound, or in the neighbourhood of clover or sainfoin fields, you will do well.

If the weather should be cold or stormy after the bees have swarmed, they will require a little feeding of syrup made of white sugar and water; place it in a shallow pan by the side of the hive. Bees like plenty of fresh water, but the pan ought not to be deep or steep, else the bees get drowned; flat chips of wood placed in the pan serve as rafts for the bees to light on. The taking the honey, and placing fresh sections for the bees to fill with honey, is now almost universally done by "Experts," and in most counties there is a "Beekeepers' Association," which it is well to join, for by paying a small yearly subscription, hives are looked to, honey taken, and advice given as well as help when required, by really properly qualified persons. It is so much easier to learn from seeing a thing done than from any amount of reading.

The Enchanted Spider.
By Norley Chester.

The spider I am going to tell you about was quite unlike the spiders who love to dwell in dusty corners, and who make cobwebs which shut out the sunshine and air, and become choked up with dirt. He lived far away on the side of a most beautiful mountain, and his home looked just like a piece of fairy gossamer thrown down on the grass. All around it grew dear tiny flowers, forming quite a mosaic of colour. There was the cream-coloured eyebright with its funny little face, and the tiny deep blue gentian with a white spot in its centre, and the pale pink primula, and many more. Far away rose a belt of dark pine trees, and beyond it, if the spider had cared to look so far (which I am afraid he never did) he might have seen some peaks covered winter and summer with snow of a dazzling whiteness. But it is not about the spider's home that I am going to tell you, but about himself, because he was an Enchanted Spider, and had the most curious experience that, so far as I know, has ever befallen a spider yet. In a wood not far from the home where he was born lived a very wicked fairy whose name was Malvoglia (which means Evil Will), and she made up her mind that the spider should belong to her, and should grow up to do her service. So one day when the spider's mother had turned her back for a minute, Malvoglia entered the house, cast an evil spell over the baby spider, and hurried away again before anyone had time to see her. The spider's mother never knew what had happened to her son, but as soon as he began to grow up he showed the most evil disposition. He quarrelled with his parents and with his brothers and sisters, and with everyone else that he came across, and he seemed to always try to do as much harm and mischief as he could, and all the time he grew as ugly as he was bad, till his mother was quite frightened at his wicked expression. Perhaps you will wonder at this, so let me remind you that though you might not be able to see the expression on the face of a spider, their eyes are suited to their surroundings and can see many things which ours cannot.

At last one day the spider said that he hated everybody, and that he should leave home and go out into the world by himself, and he had really made himself so disagreeable that no one tried to prevent him. He ran a long way and by-and-by he found himself in a wood with rocks lying scattered about and great trees rising above them on every side, and here, as he was very tired, he found a quiet corner where he settled down and was soon fast asleep. When he awoke he had a most curious sensation, all his old feelings of anger and discontent seemed to have vanished, and he was conscious of something very sweet and beautiful around him, though he could not imagine what it might be. But while he was still wondering, a soft voice spoke to him, and then he saw that a most beautiful fairy was standing by his side. She was clothed in trailing skirts of a brilliant green, and above them was a vision of pure creamy white and the palest greens and yellows.

"My name is Lily of the Valley," she said, "and you have come to stay with me, have you not?"

Her voice was like the music of tiny bells, and with it came the sweetest and most delicate perfume. But the spider began to feel more like his old self now that he was properly awake, and he roused himself and tried to feel very angry.

"I have not come to do anything of the sort," he said crossly, "I have come to see the world, and I am going on at once," and as he spoke he started a few steps. But a peal of silvery laughter made him pause.

"Oh, no, you are not," said the fairy, "come back this minute."

And wonderful to relate the spider immediately obeyed, though whether the sweet scent from the fairy had a magic effect on him, or whether it was the music of her voice, I must leave you to try and find out for yourselves.

"Why did you make me come back?" said the spider sullenly, "I did not mean to."

"Because," said Lily of the Valley, "I really could not let you go like that. It was so dreadfully rude that I am sure you would have felt sorry afterwards. Besides, before you go I must tell you your story. Poor little spider! I see you don't know it yet."

Then she told him all about the Fairy Malvoglia, and how he was under an evil spell, but the worst part of it, she said, was that as soon as Malvoglia should discover that he had left home, she would start pursuit, and if she found him, she would claim him and take him as her slave for ever.

The spider felt quite frightened when he had heard all this, and he asked the fairy how he must escape from Malvoglia, for he did not at all like the idea of spending the rest of his life as her slave. And the fairy told him that, though the spell of Malvoglia was strong, she had one more powerful still, and that if he stayed with her, he would be safe.

So the spider no longer wanted to go away, and he stayed with Lily of the Valley and every day he loved her more and more, and his old bad feelings grew fainter and fainter until he had almost forgotten them. He waited on Lily of the Valley and went her messages, and fetched her the purest drops of dew, and drove away the bees and butterflies who wanted to take her honey, and, strange to say, a wonderful transformation was taking place in him all the time, and every day his old appearance changed more and more, and he grew more and more like Lily of the Valley herself.

So all went on smoothly until at last one day they heard that Malvoglia had discovered the spider's disappearance from home, and was starting in a great rage to find him. A breeze who was hurrying through the wood whispered the news to Lily of the Valley, and then passed on with a chuckle of amusement, leaving both her and the spider trembling at what he had said. Then Lily of the Valley told the spider to come closer to her than ever, and to fear nothing and all would be well.

Soon after they saw Malvoglia come driving through the wood. She was clothed in last year's beech leaves, and her coach was drawn by twelve fierce-looking horned beetles, and four lizard footmen ran by its side.

When she came to Lily of the Valley she stopped the coach and began to look for the spider, for she had her suspicions that he might be hiding there, but though she looked straight at him, the spell of Lily of the Valley had made him grow so like her that Malvoglia never saw him at all. So she drove on again in fury, and the breeze, who was on the lookout for her, came behind and pushed her coach over a precipice of a hundred feet, and she fell right to the bottom; and if she has ever got up again I do not know, for I have never heard of her since.

As for the spider, he loved Lily of the Valley more than ever now that he saw from how evil a fate she had saved him, and he continued to live with her and never wished to leave her again. And one day as I sat in the wood I saw him myself. He was clinging to Lily of the Valley, and at first I really thought he was part of her, and he was so beautiful that I could hardly believe he was a spider until I knew that he was enchanted. His body was a brilliant green, and his legs the most delicate yellow, shading into creamy white, and he looked so good and happy. And as I watched him and wondered, a Fairy told me this story, so I think it must be true, don't you?

Proofread by LNL, Apr. 2021