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. 462-473

[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--This is always your special month. You are having your holidays, and everybody is trying to make them as happy as possible. I must, therefore, do my share, and please you by letting the tales be written by nieces. Phoebe Rennel has won the prize offered by Mrs. Sayer, and the other two tales were also written for the same competition. (The other tales appear next month.) I should like you all to begin to think of our next Christmas Magazine. I want illustrated tales, pictures, poetry, games, riddles, etc. This year I wish every tale to be type-written, on paper 8 by 10. It will probably not cost each of you more than eighteen-pence, and the Magazine will be so much easier to read. You can leave space for the drawings. All contributions must be sent before November 30th to me. Volume I. gave us all such pleasure, that I feel sure you will all do your very best to make Volume II. even more delightful. That you may all have a happy holiday time is the wish of
Your loving



These competitions are open to all the children of readers of the Parent's Review. There is no entrance fee, but 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 other competitions to be sent before the 30th to Aunt Mai, Wharfemead, Ilkley. In August, owing to the holidays, no work is given; but on September 30th the nightgown must be sent to Aunt Mai, who would suggest that on wet days, even in the holidays, it would be pleasant work.

Class I. Age 11 to 15.--Emily Mackenzie (12) wins a book. Freda Hollis (14), Mary Parsons (11), and Dorothy Sayer (11) send very pretty skirts.

Class II. Ages 10 and under.--Eleanor Chance (7) and Muriel Baumann (10) win books. Sybil Baker (9), Judy Henderson (10), Madgie Crook (10), Cicely Wicksteed (9), Esmé Lane (10), Ethel c. Brawn (10), Rosamund Wicksteed (8), Marian Lander (10), Agatha Tibbits (9), and Ellie Hollis (10) also send good work. There is not a careless worker in either of these classes.


During the year, the members of this class undertake to make two garments for a child who is known to them. This month, print dresses have been sent in. As each dress is beautifully made, it is most difficult to award prizes. Marks are given for sewing, neatness and button-holes, the maximum for each being ten. When these are added up, the two highest in each class win books.

Before November 30th, a warm cloak or top covering to be made and sent to Aunt Mai. Workers over ten years of age can now join.

The following marks were gained. All the children whose names are in brackets receive books:--

Class I. Age 11 and upwards.--Leila Kennett Barrington (30), Joan Tindall (30)], Dorothy Sayer (29), Grace L. Lawrence (28), Phyllis Sayer (28), Christina Ashwell (28), Katharine Marriott (28), Rhoda Goddard (28), Vera Dawson (28), Dorothea Steinthal (28).

Class II. Age 9 and 10.--Cicely Cholmondely (30), Elaine Ashwell (30), Dorothy Yeo (30), Margaret Buxton (30), Kathleen Procter (30)], Daisy Joyce Sayer (28), Rose Alice Larken (28), Dorothy Joseph (28), Janie Wood (28), Elsie Pope (27), Mary Dorothea Schultz (27), Nancy Head, (27).

Class III.--Erica Tindall (30), Alys Hubbard (29), Cecile Parke (29)], Julien Robertson (28), Mary Sayer (28), Lucy Wilson (27), Mary Prideaux Naish (25), Averil Paget (30), Dorothy Tabor (18), Kathie Parke (18). The two last, through a misunderstanding, did not make button-holes, which accounts for the low marks. Their sewing was good.

Class IV. Age 6--Iva Tindall (29), Amy Cheshire (28), both of whom get prizes. Two pink check smocked dresses were sent without names or addresses. Both will gain prizes, if their owners will kindly claim them.


Eight nieces have sent top petticoats. Winifred Tibbits (12), Ruth and Joan Newmann have won books. Florence Paxton, Eva Mackintosh, Margaret Kendall and Dorothy Senior have also sent good work. In August you are all allowed to take a holiday.
In September make a dress.

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


The drawings will be kept until Christmas, and returned next January to the artists. No new member can be received without a fee of 5s, for the five months. The following artists have sent brush drawings of their favourite toy or ornament, and illustrations of "See-saw Marjory Daw"--May Lewis, Phoebe Rennel, Marjorie Rimmington, Joyce Sayer, Evelyn Powys, Marjorie Powys, Phyllis Sayer, Mary Sayer, Marion Thompson, Marion Broadwood, Cicely Chomondeley, Eric B. Baumann, Frank Osler, Archie B. Baumann, Muriel B. Baumann, Wilfred Crook, Marjery Webb, Madgie B. Crook, Lorna L. Lawrence, Kathie Park, Cecile and Tom Parke, Marguerite Hume, Katharine Marriott, Rachel Barclay, Daisy Johnstone Douglas, Nina Johnstone Douglas, Dorothy Senior, Lucy Wilson, Mary and Frances Anson, Maud Bowyer, Dorothy and Freda Rope, Elsie Buller, Clinton Lewis, Marjorie Franklin, Sydney Franklin, Daisy and Mordaunt Betts, Vera Dawson, Dorthea, Telford, Eric and Paul Steinthal.

Great attention must be paid to the rule that the Portfolio only remains one day with each family. There are so many members that the unfortunate artists whose names begin with letters at the end of the alphabet cannot see it during the month unless this rule is kept.

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

Subject for August:--

A landscape or seascape from Nature.
To be sent before August 30th.

In August, as so many will be away from home, the Portfolio will not be sent round; but will start again in September, containing the two months' work.


Prizes are sent to Daisy and Mordaunt Betts, for Elizabeth of York. She wears a long pale blue velvet train, embroidered with red and white roses, and looks very regal.

No Queen will be given this month.


Mrs. Sayer kindly offered a prize to the writer of the best tale on "Discontent." Twelve tales were sent in and were sent round to each writer to judge. The result is that Phoebe Rennell has four marks and gains the book. Marjory Dunthorne (2), Lucy Scott Moncrieff (2), Katharine L. Osler (1), Marjorie Skinner (1), Isabel Kathleen Bird (1), Cicely Chomondeley, Dorothy Forbes, Ida Honey, Helen L. Lawrence, Josephine Scruby and Mabel J. Hobson also sent in good tales.


"I think Grace Darling was the bravest woman who ever lived."

"I think Joan D'Arc was the bravest woman who has ever lived."

This list ought to be a much bigger one. Will more nieces and nephews please send in the name of the bravest woman in their opinion?


In June, nieces were asked to send in the names of their favourite books, and to write an outline of each. The following are the best:--


"The Carved Lions" [Mary Louisa Molesworth] is my favourite book. The chapters I like best are "All Settled," "Nobody--Nobody," and "Good News." Why I like it so is because it is a true story, everything is so natural, and the illustrations are so pretty. I think Mrs. Molesworth's books are all so pretty. "Sheila's Mystery" also is a favourite book of mine.

MY DEAR AUNTIE MAI,--My favourite book is the "Pilgrim's Progress," by John Bunyan. I like it because everything in it means something. It is about a man named Christian, who went out to seek the City Beautiful, and after many difficulties found it. I send my love, your loving
MADGE FRANKLIN (age 8 1/2 years).

My favourite book is "The Prince and the Pauper," by Mark Twain. It is about a pauper, (Tom Canty), who wanted to be a prince, and when he met the Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward VI., he wanted to be a pauper, they changed clothes, and they were so much alike that they all thought the pauper a mad prince, and were very sorry, but the Canty family did not care at all. Tom was made king. It ended that after many adventures Edward got his rights again, just before the coronation.
Yours faithfully,
SYDNEY FRANKLIN (age 9 3/4 years).


There are such lots of books that I like very much that to pick out a favourite has been difficult, but I think "Rob Roy" is the most interesting of all. No piece of rather dull description breaks the thread of the story, the dialogue is, of course, splendid, while Bailie Nicol Jarvie, doing the right and disregarding what folk will say, is one of the very nicest of Scott's characters, and, of all his heroines, Die Vernon is the most fascinating. None of Sir Walter Scott's heroes lack personal bravery, but the taste for poetry common to most of them is strong in Frank Osbaldistone, and his conceit causes him to make a goose of himself by taking Die Vernon's hint, that he might employ his time better than by translating "Orlando Furioso," to mean by spending it in original composition, when nothing could have been further from her thoughts. With his brother heroes, Francis shares a lack of decision which is, really, the main-spring of the whole tale, for, if he had chosen at once between the desk and the pen, his father, a prosperous merchant, would not have sent him to Northumberland, and Rashleigh would have had no opportunity of ruining his uncle. Frank's father, the eldest son of a north country squire, had been disinherited on account of his religion and political opinions, and his brother had succeeded to both title and estate. This Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone had six sons, and from among these one was to be chosen to take Frank's place in the counting house in Crane Alley. As five of these youths were brainless and gambling jockies, the youngest, endowed with more than enough brains to make up for his brothers' deficiencies,--also an ugly exterior and a most melodious voice--was chosen, and, to his brothers' unconcealed joy and Die Vernon's relief, left the north for London.

Die Vernon was Sir Hildebrand's niece, and a certain family compact bound her to marry one of his sons or else take the veil--for the family was Roman Catholic. A price had been set on her father's head, whom all but Diana and her uncle thought dead, but this man (a staunch Jacobite), under the name of Father Vaughan, visited many of the northern houses as confessor. Rashleigh, the youngest cousin, who had been educated for the church, found the secret out, and being a fiend incarnate used his knowledge as a means of power over Diana with whom he was in love, in spite of the fact that Thorncliff, his elder brother, was her intended husband. This, however, is not known till the last chapters of the book, when it also comes out that the robbery of a certain government official--Morris,--who had been Frank's traveling companion of the road to the north, had been committed by him and Rob Roy, though it had been imputed to the indignant Frank, when, had not Die Vernon come to the rescue, the consequences would have been serious.

Rashleigh (in need of money for the Jacobite rising he was plotting to bring about) robbed his uncle of so much while he was away in Holland that there was danger of the great house of Osbaldistone and Tresham being declared insolvent if it were not regained in a very short time. To do this, the head clerk, Owen (who, owing to the interception of Frank's letters, had been quite unwarned), followed the thief to Glasgow, and was sent to prison by a creditor there from whom the unlucky "man of arithmetic" had expected help. Francis also went to Glasgow accompanied by Andrew Fairservice, and by the help of Rob Roy was admitted to the tollbooth at midnight. Another creditor, of a different stamp from Mr. Mac Vittie, also chose that hour to visit Owen--for Bailie Nichol Jarvie was too strict a Presbyterian to work on Sunday, and too interested and kindhearted to work a minute longer than needful. He, luckily, was a kinsman to the Mac Gregor, else "his craig and a hempen necktie" would soon have become acquainted. As it was, however, the outlaw left the prison in safety, made an appointment with Francis and his cousin (how many times removed is difficult to remember) to meet him at the Clachan of Aberfoil, and promised--it seemed chiefly because of a letter from Die Vernon--to try and make Rashleigh give up his prize. The next day, accompanied by the garrulous Andrew, the Bailie and Francis set off to meet Rob Roy. The adventures they met with were alarming. At the little inn where they had expected to find the MacGregor, some Highlanders disputed their entrance, and the Bailie, finding his weapon unwilling to quit the sheath it had never left since his "father the deacon" drew it at Bothwell Brigg, was reduced to fighting with a firebrand. They were mistaken for Father Vaughan and his daughter and taken prisoners by English soldiers, then these, fighting some gillies under Helen Mac Gregor, were defeated, and the unlucky weaver of Glasgow, in his endeavours to get from the battle-field, was caught by a bough and suspended in the air like the sign of the Golden Fleece; next Hamish and Robin Oig arrived with the news of their father's capture, which happened thus:--Morris brought a message supposed to be from Francis Osbaldistone, but really from Rashleigh (who had turned traitor both to the Stewards and to his own family), appointing another meeting-place to which Rob Roy went unattended and was taken prisoner, and Morris, whom the Mac Gregors had kept as a hostage, was drowned by Helen's command.

The end of this book could hardly be called happy, for though Rob Roy escaped, the money was regained and Frank Osbaldistone married Die and conformed to his father's wishes with regards to his profession, the jolly hunting squire and his five sons all died, three by their folly, but the others fighting in the '15, and Rashleigh caused the deaths of two people as well as his own in an attempt to drive his cousin from the estate which lawfully belonged to him.

Elsie Buller has written an excellent epitome of "Little Men," which will appear in September, owning to want of space this month.


Perhaps some of the young people will be amused at the idea of having a hedgehog for a pet, but it is indeed a useful one and easily tamed. In London houses, infested as so many are, with vermin in the form of rats, mice and black beetles, a hedgehog is invaluable; he will soon clear the lower regions of these trials to housekeepers. Some people say if you once make a hedgehog drunk, he will be friendly ever after, but I think the best plan is for one person to give him a good meal daily at one o'clock, plenty of bread and milk, with now and then a little raw meat. A bone with a little meat on it is a great treat.

At first sight of a stranger, the hedgehog will curl himself up into a ball, showing nothing save the prickly spines; in time, the shyness passes off, and he will run about and make himself at home, even allowing his back to be stroken down. It is said that hedgehogs can drink poison without any inconvenience, nothing in the shape of food and drink comes amiss to him, being even partial to beer!

Ignorant people accuse hedgehogs of milking cows, but this is simply impossible; still hedgehogs frequent milking sheds where they greedily lap up any milk that may be spilt. They have been supposed guilty of robbing orchards, as remains of apples are sometimes found sticking on the spines, so have dry leaves; the fact is, when the hedgehog rolls himself up in a ball, all manner of strange things stick on the prickles. When hungry they utter a most curious grunting bark. When I first heard this at night, I wondered what it could be, never dreaming so small an animal could make so much noise. They sleep most of the winter snugly rolled up in a nest of hay in the hollow of a tree's roots, or rabbit burrow; the latter being the favourite, for alas, master hedgehog dearly loves a tiny bunny; snakes and worms also vanish surprisingly down his throat. Hedgehogs can be bought in Leadenhall Market, London, for a small sum.


I. Stewed Chicken with Tomatoes and Mushrooms.--Draw a small young chicken, and cut it into neat pieces. Take a saucepan and melt a good slice of fresh butter in it. Cut up a small onion very finely, scrape a small carrot, stir all these over the fire for a few minutes. Put in the pieces of chicken, with a little salt and pepper, and fry them in the butter, moving them now and then to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Add a pint and a half of stock, then cut three small tomatoes into halves and mix a teaspoonful of cornflour with a little cold water; add these to the stock, stir the sauce till it boils, draw it from the fire and let it simmer gently for half an hour. Take three or four mushrooms, cut them into thin slices, add them to the chicken and simmer all again for a quarter of an hour. Serve, nicely arranged, on a hot dish.

II. Ginger Snaps--Take a teacupful of sugar, one of treacle and one of butter, one teaspoonful of ginger, a little lemon juice, half teaspoonful of soda dissolved in one tablespoonful of hot water, add enough flour to make a soft dough. Take a small piece of the dough the size of a walnut, roll round and flat in the hand, place on buttered tins, and bake in a moderately hot oven.


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

Div. I--Pearl Borrer (4), Kathleen Bird (6), Bernard Ward (6), Madeleine Graham Watson (6), Winifred Grice (5), Joan Campion two papers (6), Honora Sneyd (5), Alexander Colles (4), Susan Venables (5).

Div. II.--Rhoda Goddard (6), Cicely Foster (6), Esmé Graham Watson (6), Dorothy Senior (5), Clare Pelly (6), Eva Hudson (5), Kathleen Sandbach (6), Janet Brooke (5), Kathleen Hosking (5), Hawthorne Robertson (6).

Div. III.--Joyce Reid (6), Kathleen Colles (5), Hester Sandbach (6), Ethelwyn Robertson (6).

Answers for August paper to be sent to Miss Phoebe Allen, Ileden, Bonchurch, L.W., by the 28th of August.


One evening, as the sun was setting in banks of red and gold clouds, a wee maiden, with eyes as blue as the summer sky, and hair as bright and golden as the sunbeams, was running along in the outskirts of the forest, towards an open meadow. She was generally a very pretty little girl, but now her brow was puckered and her lips pouting, and there was a restless, almost angry look in her eyes. As soon as she reached the meadow she flung herself down on the grass, saying, for she was a silly little girl,--

"There! I don't think I'll ever go back any more! I don't want to learn any lessons, and I don't see why I should, and I'm not going to; and if they try to teach me, I'll run away, so there! And I don't see why I can't do as I like; and I won't sleep in that room, I like the other, and if I can't have it I'll not have any! I won't be contented with it,--never!"

The fact was, this little maid's mother had said that now her Norah was old enough, and as they had a dear little baby brother, Norah should sleep in a room with her big sister Lilly, and not in her little cot by Mamma's bed any more; and silly little Norah took it into her head not to like the room where she was sleeping, and when she asked to be taken back to Mamma's room, nurse had said no. So little Miss Norah was very discontented and angry. She had also begun to learn short, easy lessons, and this, too, made her indignant.

As she stopped speaking, her eye caught sight of something as bright as a sunbeam, which was flitting hither and thither in the long green grass: suddenly it approached her, and as it came nearer she saw it was a slim graceful figure, hardly six inches high, with wings which, as it moved them, flashed different colours. It was dressed in long shimmering robes, that looked as if they were woven of moonbeams. It bore in one hand a wand, at the end of which glittered a pearly dew-drop.

"Little girl," it said in a silvery voice, "I come from the Queen of the Fairies. Her Most Gracious Majesty has sent me to say, that if you choose to come to this meadow at this time tomorrow evening, you may see a sight that no mortal has ever seen."

And having said this the fairy (for Norah rightly guessed it was one) flitted high into the air and out of sight.

Norah got up, and saying to herself, "well, I'll go home this time and come again tomorrow," she began to trot home.

That night, and next morning, she was as naughty as ever she could be. When told to go to bed, she was sulky and would not say good-night. When she woke up in the morning, she screamed and said she was tired; she would not eat her breakfast, nor learn her lessons; she tore her book, knocked over her glass of water at dinner, spilt gravy down her dress, broke her best doll, and, in short, made everybody (herself included) miserable.

But when the evening came, she set off for the meadow.

As soon as the sun had set, the air suddenly became filled with fairies, all dressed like the one she had seen on the evening before. One of them had three stars in her hair, and this was the queen. As they flitted about her, flashing and glimmering in the dusky twilight, Norah found that she was moving through the air. Suddenly the fairies divided, and hovered in the shape of a crescent, while Norah and the queen sank slowly to the ground in front of a pool, perfectly round, and shining like liquid silver.

Then the queen said, "My child, advance with me to yon pool; you are the first who has looked on its waters; mark well what you seek, and remember!"

So saying, she took Norah's hand, and led her to the pool. She gazed at the sparkling waters, and as she gazed the brightness collected in one spot and formed a robe, such as the fairies wore. "Behold in that robe," said the queen, "the emblem of thy life."

"Is my life so bright and pure?" enquired Norah.

"It was, my child," and the voice grew graver, "but watch."

Norah looked. From one side came a group of imps, each with a lance it would seem, with a white streamer attached to it, with their names written on them in black letters. First came Discontent, then Passion, Idleness, Hatred, and all other evils; while Misery brought up the rear. Each, as it passed, touched the robe with its lance, and a black spot, as of ink, appeared.

"Behold, my child, the fruits of Discontent."

It was the queen who spoke.

"Is there no way--no way that I can clean the robe--my life? O! tell me!" cried Norah.

"Watch!" said the queen.

A train of spirits, dressed in pure white robes, followed, and they held bright sunbeams in their hands, and on gold streamers their names were written in letters of dazzling whiteness. First came Contentment, then Love, Industry, and all other good qualities followed, Happiness last. Each touched with its sunbeam a black spot, which instantly became golden.

"Thy question is answered."

It was the queen's voice.

Norah turned towards her, but she was gone. She turned to the pool, but it also was nowhere to be seen. Why, where was she? In the meadow, to be sure, and it was time she was she? In the meadow, to be sure, and it was time she was going home too, for the sun had set and it was nearly dark.

From that day Norah changed the spots on her life's robe, from black to sparkling gold.

Proofread by LNL, Oct. 2020