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. 374-381

[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--Have you ever had a picnic in a thinderstorm? Thirteen cousins, who met for the first time, have just gone through this experience, and one and all declared they had enjoyed it immensely. We started about two o'clock, to walk through shady green lanes to a farmhouse near the moor. We gathered water avon, buttercups, lady's mantle, eye bright, veitch, wood sorrel, hemlock, penipemel, campion, bluebells, bird's-eye clover, as well as branches of hawthorn and larch, with its pretty coloured cones. We should have gathered more if we could have lingered on the way, but as a thunderstorm was evidently coming on, we thought it best to hurry on to the farm, where we were to have tea. The clouds had not broken when we arrived, so we sat down on the grass in a circle round a friend who knows many of Dame Nature's secrets, and who loves to tell them again to children. She had only just begun to tell us about some of the flowers we had gathered, when suddenly a vivid flash of lightning, followed by a terrific peal of thunder, made us all jump to our feet. The little seven-year-olds fled into the house as fast as their legs would carry them, and the grown-ups followed scarcely less deliberately. Then the rain came down, and we were prisoners in a long room. What was to be done? First it was suggested that we should have tea, as it was ready we sat down and quite forgot the thunder and lightning, which seemed never to stop an instant. After tea we had original natural history games, which other children would probably like to play. A circle was formed, and the clever Nature-lady stood in the middle and asked easy questions on botany, such as, What tree has black fruit? How do hops climb? What plant bears cones? etc. Some of them were so easy that everybody wanted to answer at once, so they were asked in turn, and whoever answered first went to the top. The little ones were delighted to find themselves at the top occasionally. When they grew tired of that, an animal or an insect was thought of. Six questions could be asked about it, such as, Does it live on land? Has it wings? Has it a shell? and then the children guessed in turn. One answer was very funny. The children got to know that it has only one foot and lived in the water. "I know," said one excited youngster; "it's a mermaid." The thunder had rolled away, and the storm was almost spent by this time, and we all went home, many of the nieces and nephews declaring that it couldn't have been nicer if it had been quite fine.
Your loving
Auntie Mai.



"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 or drawing must have a label on it, with child's name, address and ag clearly marked on it. 'My Dollie's Wardrobe" (see Advt.) will be used for patterns, which fit a doll 26 inches long. To be sent before the 30th to Aunt Mai, Wharfemead, Ilkley.

In July a hat must be made. There is no pattern in "My Dollie's Wardrobe," so every competitor must choose her own shape. As Dollie wil probably need a little sea air in August, I would suggest that a sailor hat or cap be made, to match the dress.

Class I. Age 11 to 15.--Mary Parson (11) and Dorothy Sayer (11) get prizes. Freda Hollis and Emily MacKenzie have also sent very pretty blouses.

Class II. Age 10 and under.--Katharine Metcalfe (8) and Sybil Baker (9) win prizes. Madgie Cook (10), Ellie Hollis (10), Eleanor Chance (7), Cicely Wicksteed (9), Marian Lander (10), Esé Lane (10), Muriel Baumann, Mary Priestman (10), and Agatha Tibbits have sent good work.


Little Workers' Society

Founder: Mrs. Edmund Strode.

During the year the members of this class undertake to make two garments for a child. In June they sent little print dresses. Names and prize winners will be given in August.

A warm cloak or top covering to be made and sent to Aunt Mai before November 30th.

A class has been formed for workers over ten years of age. Marks will be given for sewing, neatness, and button-holes.


Dorcas Guild.

Eight nieces have sent flannel petticoats for little children. They are all beautifully made, and will be a great joy to the wearers and their mothers.

Rhoda W. Goddard (11) has won a book; but this month she has been so closely run by all the others that it never was so difficult to be just in one's decision. Margaret Kendall (14), Joan Newman (12), Cecilia Coote, Lucy Scott Moncrieff (15), Ruth Newman (10), Eva Mackintosh, Dorothy Senior (11), and Winifred Tibbits (12) have sent work.

Each competitor makes a garmet a month which will fit a child, who will thus receive a complete outfit at Christmas.


Our Art Club.

This grows in numbers, and promises to be the most popular of all our competitions. The drawings will be kept until Christmas, and returned next January to the artists.

No new member can be received without a fee of 10/- for the year.

The following children have sent designs for plates and illustrations of "The Enchanted Spider:"--

Mary Anson, Daisy and Mordaunt Betts, Maud Bowyer, Marjorie and Gladys Rimmington, Rachel Barclay, Muriel, Archie, and Eric Baumann, Cicely Cholmondeley, Madgie and Wilfie Crook, Marguerite Dowding, Nina and Daisy Johnstone Douglas, Madge and Sidney Franklin, Winifred Grice, Willie Harvey, Margaret Hume (who has sent no address), Dorothy Ker, May and Clinton Lewis, Lorna Lawrence, Lucy and Meggie Scott Moncrieff, Frank Osler, Evelyn and Marjory Powys, Cecile and Tom Parke, Phoebe Kennell, Dorothy and Freda Rope, Phyllis, Joyce, and Mary Sayer, Eleanor and Margaret Simon, Dorothy and Marjorie Storey, Dorothy Senior, Marian Thompson, Margery Webb, Kate Marriott, Elsie Buller, Gabrielle Lomas, Vera Dawson, Dorothea and Eric Steinthal.

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 entirely original.

Subjects for July:--
I. A summer flower.
II. One illustration of "Wynken and Blynken and Nod."

    Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
         Sailed off in a wooden shoe,--
    Sailed on a river of crystal light
         Into a sea of dew.
    "Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
         The old moon asked the three.
    "We have come to fish for the herring-fish
         That live in this beautiful sea;
         Nets of silver and gold have we,"
              And Nod.

    The old moon laughed and sang a song,
         As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
    And the wind that sped them all night long
         Ruffled the waves of dew;
    The little stars were the herring-fish
         That lived in the beautiful sea.
    "Now cast your nets wherever you wish,--
         Never afraid are we!"
         So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
              And Nod.

    All night long their nets they threw
         To the stars in the twinkling foam,--
    Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
         Bringing the fishermen home:
    'Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
         As if it could not be;
    And some folk thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
         Of sailing that beautiful sea;
         But I shall name you the fishermen three:
              And Nod.

    Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
         And Nod is a little head,
    And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
         Is a wee one's trundle-bed;
    So shut your eyes while Mother sings
         Of wonderful sights that be,
    And you shall see the beautiful things
         As you rock in the misty sea
         Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:--
              And Nod.
                        EUGENE FIELD.

Drawings to be sent to Aunt Mai before the 30th.


Several children have written to say that dressing the Queens is too difficult for them. Next year we will therefore form a class for nieces who will dress dolls in the various European costumes.

Marjory Dunthorn wins a prize this month. Margery Hollings has dressed a stately Queen.

In July dress Anne Boleyn.


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

Div. I.--H. Bernard Ward (6), Honora Sneyd (5), Clare Pelly (6), Susan Venables (5), Madeleine Graham Watson (6), Elsie Alexander (4), Kathleen Bird (6), Pearl Borrer (4), Winifred Grice (6).

Div. II.--Eva Hudson (6), Cicely Foster (5), R. Goddard (5), Kathleen Hosking (6), Esmé Graham Watson, two papers (12), Janet Brooke (6), Hawthorne Robertson (6), Dorothy Senior (5).

Div. III.--Kathleen Sandbach, two papers (12), Hester Sandbach, two papers (12), Dorothy Yeo, Hampstead (4), Kenneth Yeo (4), Ethelwyn Robertson (6), Helen Duff (5).

Answers for next month's papers to be send to Miss Phoebe Allen, Ileden, Bonchurch, LW.


The following have sent in the name of the bravest woman in their opinion:--
"I think Boadicea was the bravest woman because she had not Christianity to help her as others had." WINIFRED TIBBITS.
"I think the bravest woman was Grace Darling." MADGIE CROOK.
"I think Joan of Arc." WILFIE CROOK
"Catharine Douglas." LUCY SCOTT MONCCRIEFF.
"Grace Darling." MADGE FRANKLIN.


1. Purple Foxglove--Digitalis Purpurea
2. Sweet Woodruff--Asperula Odorata
3. Blackberry--Rubus Fruticosus
4. Lesser Spear-wort--Ranunculus Felmmula
5. Honeysuckle--Loncera Periclymenum
6. Purple Clove--Trifolium pretense
7. Hair-bell--Campanula Rotundifolia
8. Ragged Robin--Lychnis Flos-Cuculi
9. Campion--Lychnis diurnal
10. Common Daisy--Bellis perennis
11. White Ox-eye--Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum
12. Corn Feverfew--Matricaria Inodora
13. Nettled-leaved Bell-flower--Campanula Trachelium
14. Common Ragwort--Senecio Jacoboea
15. Ling--Calluna Vu
16. Cross Leaved Heath--Erica Tetralix
17. Field Bindweed--Convolvulus arvensis
18. Common Yellow Cow-wheat--Melampyrum pretense
19. Common Eye-bright--Euphrasia Officinalis
20. Great Mullein--Verbascum Thapsus
21. Wild Thyme--Thymus Scrpyllum
22. Hedge Wound-wort--Stachys Sylvatica
23. Wood Betony--Betonica Officinalis
24. Common Cow-parsnip--Heracloeum Sphondylium
25. Common Elder--Sumbricus Nigra
26. Germander Speedwell--Veronica Chamoedrys
27. St. John's Wort--Hypericum Perforatum
28. Wild Mustard--Sinapis Arvensis
29. Common Agrimony--Agrimonia Eupatoria
30. Lesser Willow Herb--
31. Tufted Vetch--Vicia Cracca
32. Meadow Vetchling--Lathyrus Pratensis
33. Meadow-sweet--Sproea Ulmaria
34. Spotted Orchis--Orchis Masculata
35. Herb Robert--Geralium Robertianum
36. Cathartic Flax--Linum Catharticame

Can any children add to this list on the 12th July this year?


Though now-a-days every one wears silk in some form or another, yet few think of the trouble and cost of the manufacture of the material, and the many processes to be gone through before the silk is ready for use.

In this country, silk worms are not cultivated for profit, only for amusement. Most of the silk worm culture is carried on in China, Italy, and the South of France, where the climate is favourable, and mulberry trees abound.

That the silk worm was cultivated in Egypt thousands of years ago we know, for in Genesis we read that Pharoah clothed Joseph in vesture of silk. As about 40,000 silk worms' eggs weigh an ounce, you may calculate how very small quantity will be required to start on. While the eggs are being hatched they must be kept warm and dry. The time for hatching is when the mulberry trees burst into leaf. Procure shallow paste board trays, place a few eggs in each, and cover over with coarse white muslin. Take some mulberry leaves cut up fine, and as soon as the grubs are hatched place the shreds on the outside of the muslin, the tiny worms will creep through and feed. Never give wet leaves. Day by day move the earliest hatched grubs into a fresh box. Do not touch the worm, but move with a piece of cardboard together with the leaf it is feeding on. Date all the boxes. In five weeks from hatching, the grub becomes a spinner. At this stage they will need plenty of food, four or five times daily. No longer cut up the leaves. When the grubs become transparent white and wander about as if looking for something to climb on, the want must be supplied in the form of small twigs or stalks of heather with the leaves removed, enough for all to spin on separately. If not convenient to wind off the silk at once, the cocoons should be placed in a basket or flannel bag and steamed for half an hour to kill the chrysalis, which would otherwise eat its way out. The cocoons take ten days to make.

Silk worms will live on lettuce leaves, but are never so fine as when fed on mulberry leaves. After starting on mulberry leaves, they will not eat lettuce.


I. Cherry Jelly.--1 lb. Cherries, 1 oz. gelatine, 1/4 lb. lump sugar. Soak the gelatine in a cup full of water for an hour. Remove the stalks and stones from the cherries. Boil the sugar in half a pint of water for ten minutes, throw in the cherries and let them boil for ten minutes. Dissolve the gelatine in a little of the syrup and add it to the cherries. Put the preparation into a damp mould, and turn into a glass dish when quite cold. Cream or custard (see Parent's Review, November, 1895) can be served with this dish.

II. Green Peas.--Peas are best when quite young and freshly shelled. Put plenty of water with a pinch of salt into a saucepan. When it is quite boiling put in the shelled peas and let them boil till almost tender. The lid must not on any account be placed on the saucepan. The peas will be done enough in about twenty minutes if young and tender. When done, drain them well, and put them into another pan with a slice of butter the size of a walnut. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over them, and shake them over the fire to coat them with the butter. Turn them into a dish and serve very hot.



BY MRS. J. MILTON POLLITT, Author of "Dorothy Penrose."

 A little pea was once blown by the wind into a dark corner, and lay there for a long time quite forgotten. It was not at all a nice corner to lie in, for it was dull and damp; no sun ever reached it, and though it was really in the wall of a fine old city with spires and roofs that rose high towards the sky, yet in this corner, as nothing could be seen of it, it mattered nothing to those who lived there. Not much did live there excepting some plantains, and the place was so dull that even these which had once been a rather numerous family, had nearly all died off, being now reduced to two little plants, which grew side by side quite close to the wall. These having nothing higher than themselves to look at, had naturally got a very false opinion of their own stature.

But one morning, the little pea which had been lying for a long time in a heavy sleep, awoke, and began to get up from the earth on which she was lying. The plantains were much surprised (for they had never seen a pea) and regarded the waking efforts of the slender little plant with much interest.

"Who are you?" asked one.

"Shall I help you to get up?" inquired the other.

"Oh, dear!" sighed the little pea when she had lifted her head fairly above the group, "what a dull place!"

"You are a very bad disposed little thing!' cried the first plantain, "don't you know that it is the duty of every plant to be contented?

"Besides," continued the other, "what more can you possibly want than this nice corner?"

"We live here, so I'm sure it is all right."

"And our parents were here before us," chimed in the other, "and perhaps their parents, too--we are quite an old family and most respectable; pray don't say such a thing again!"

So the little pea, quite abashed, held her peace, and inly resolved to try and be more like her neighbours.

But in a little while, something began to call to the little pea and looking up, she saw, right above her head a long, long, way off, a sight so beautiful that her heart leaped for joy. It was something blue, deep, lovely, blue; and the heart of the little pea began to beat violently, and she became so restless that she could not keep still, so she put out her hand which was long and slender, and caught hold of a bit of mortar in the wall. To her surprise she found her hand was much longer than she expected, for without much trouble she reached another bit of mortar, and then another, and her little brain felt giddy with delight.

"I am going up!" sobbed the little pea, for pleasure had taken away her breath, "Oh! oh! -- I'm gong higher! Higher! Perhaps I can get to that blue!" -- and she put forth all her strength and went on past ever so many more bricks. The plantains were astonished--

"Where are you going?" cried one.

"It's very unbecoming to stretch your arms out in that fashion," cried the other.

The little pea bent her head which had now grown so high that she could only see her companions by looking down.

"I'm only going a little higher, " she said apologetically, "there's--there's something up here I want to get to."

"The sky!" said the pea, "the sun!"

"Well!" retorted the plantain, "what's the sky? And the sun's no great matter, I can tell you. For my part I've never seen him, and I don't want to do."

"But," hesitated the pea, "I'm growing, I can't help it."

"Then you should have more sense," said the plantain, "if you'd a proper feeling of duty you'd remain as you were. Look at me. I don't grow!"

"But," asked the pea, "wouldn't you like to grow?"

"No," said the plantain virtuously, "I wouldn't like to be a bit taller than I am. I'm exactly right."

"And we are quite contented too," added the other, " for we know that there's nothing nicer in the world than what we can see here." By the time the plantains had finished speaking, however, it really did not matter much what they said, for their voices were getting quite faint, the fact being that the pea had now got so high that she was almost out of hearing, and was still going up. It was getting lighter too, the air was sweeter, and oh! What was this? a sudden glory had touched her! a warm brilliant light! and quite dazzled, the pea threw her arms over the top of the wall and her eyes filled with tears.

"The sun! the sun!" she sobbed, "Oh! the sun!" and she bent down her head feeling wonderfully happy. She was changing, growing more and more beautiful, sweet blossoms white, pink and purple, began to creep from her delicate leaves, and hang like garlands on her bosom, her green tendrils shone like emeralds in the sun, the fresh morning dew was on her heart. "How happy I am!" cried the pea, "how good it is to live!" and she bent her head still further over the wall and remained there quite tranquil and happy. She knew not how long, for life was now so joyous that she forgot to count its hours.

But one day some people passed the wall carrying baskets full of flowers. "Oh, see!" said one, "that sweet pea! what a beautiful garland!" and to the poor pea's dismay, he stopped, and reaching up the wall, tore the whole of her beautiful life away, and putting her in his basket, carried her off. "For awhile the pea was filled with grief and disappointment, but with her life, her wisdom had grown too, and she soon reflected that whatever is perfect or beautiful in the world is of some value, so she dried her tears, checked her sobs, and waited patiently to know the end.

When she was taken from the basket, she was no longer in the free blue air she had breathed on the top of the wall. She was in a great Cathedral. The air was heavy with incense, solemn music streamed slowly down the vast aisles, and the sun shone through gorgeously painted windows. Great crowds of people filled the building.

Before the altar was a richly decorated bier, and on this bier lay a dead warrior, with his sword and shield beside him. He looked like marble, he was so pale and still. All around him hung garlands of flowers, and among these garlands the sweet pea was now placed. She was quite content. Her life was over, but it had not ended in darkness behind the wall. She could not, of course, understand all she saw, but she knew that she was in the presence of something mightier than she could ever know, and that a life must have been wonderful indeed to have so glorious an end!

So she bent her head meekly to the sun, unfolded her flowers in gratitude to its solemn light, and filled the air with her sweet breath.

In the meantime the stems which had supported her while she climbed the wall had fallen back and withered to the ground.

The plantains were still there. The saw her fall and their little hearts exalted.

"It serves her right!" said one, "she should not have gone so high!"

"I don't see what else she could expect," said the other.

What did the plantains know of the sun and the wild blue air? of the Cathedral and the dead warrior? of the spirit and the fame that could never die?

Proofread by LNL, Nov. 2020