It seemed to me a very good plan. You know there's no sound to represent it--any more than there is for a question.

Suppose you have said to your friend "You are better to-day," and that you want him to understand that you are asking him a question, what can be simpler than just to make a "?". in the air with your finger? He would understand you in a moment!

[Image...'Those aged one waxed gay']

"'And are not these the Fish,' the Eldest sighed, 'Whose Mother dwells beneath the foam' 'They are the Fish!' the Second one replied. 'And they have left their home!' 'Oh wicked Fish,' the Youngest Badger cried, 'To roam, yea, roam, and roam!' "Gently the Badgers trotted to the shore The sandy shore that fringed the bay: Each in his mouth a living Herring bore-- Those aged ones waxed gay: Clear rang their voices through the ocean's roar, 'Hooray, hooray, hooray!'"

"So they all got safe home again," Bruno said, after waiting a minute to see if I had anything to say: he evidently felt that some remark ought to be made. And I couldn't help wishing there were some such rule in Society, at the conclusion of a song--that the singer herself should say the right thing, and not leave it to the audience. Suppose a young lady has just been warbling ('with a grating and uncertain sound') Shelley's exquisite lyric 'I arise from dreams of thee': how much nicer it would be, instead of your having to say "Oh, thank you, thank you!" for the young lady herself to remark, as she draws on her gloves, while the impassioned words 'Oh, press it to thine own, or it will break at last!' are still ringing in your ears, "--but she wouldn't do it, you know. So it did break at last."

"And I knew it would!" she added quietly, as I started at the sudden crash of broken glass. "You've been holding it sideways for the last minute, and letting all the champagne run out! Were you asleep, I wonder? I'm so sorry my singing has such a narcotic effect!"

CHAPTER 18.

QUEER STREET, NUMBER FORTY.

Lady Muriel was the speaker. And, for the moment, that was the only fact I could clearly realise. But how she came to be there and how I came to be there--and how the glass of champagne came to be there--all these were questions which I felt it better to think out in silence, and not commit myself to any statement till I understood things a little more clearly.

'First accumulate a mass of Facts: and then construct a Theory.' That, I believe, is the true Scientific Method. I sat up, rubbed my eves, and began to accumulate Facts.

A smooth grassy slope, bounded, at the upper end, by venerable ruins half buried in ivy, at the lower, by a stream seen through arching trees--a dozen gaily-dressed people, seated in little groups here and there--some open hampers--the debris of a picnic--such were the Facts accumulated by the Scientific Researcher. And now, what deep, far-reaching Theory was he to construct from them? The Researcher found himself at fault. Yet stay! One Fact had escaped his notice. While all the rest were grouped in twos and in threes, Arthur was alone: while all tongues were talking, his was silent: while all faces were gay, his was gloomy and despondent. Here was a Fact indeed! The Researcher felt that a Theory must be constructed without delay.

Lady Muriel had just risen and left the party. Could that be the cause of his despondency? The Theory hardly rose to the dignity of a Working Hypothesis. Clearly more Facts were needed.

The Researcher looked round him once more: and now the Facts accumulated in such bewildering profusion, that the Theory was lost among them. For Lady Muriel had gone to meet a strange gentleman, just visible in the distance: and now she was returning with him, both of them talking eagerly and joyfully, like old friends who have been long parted: and now she was moving from group to group, introducing the new hero of the hour: and he, young, tall, and handsome, moved gracefully at her side, with the erect bearing and firm tread of a soldier. Verily, the Theory looked gloomy for Arthur! His eye caught mine, and he crossed to me.

Sylvie and Bruno Page 54

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