‘I knew,’ said he, ‘your frugal ways:

So, that I might not wound your pride

By bringing strangers in to gaze,

I’ve left my legal friend outside!

‘You well remember, I am sure,

When first your wealth began to go,

And people sneered at one so poor,

I never used my Peter so!

And when you’d lost your little all,

And found yourself a thing despised,

I need not ask you to recall

How tenderly I sympathised!

‘Then the advice I’ve poured on you,

So full of wisdom and of wit:

All given gratis, though ’tis true

I might have fairly charged for it!

But I refrain from mentioning

Full many a deed I might relate

For boasting is a kind of thing

That I particularly hate.

[Image…’I will lend you fifty more!’]

‘How vast the total sum appears

Of all the kindnesses I’ve done,

From Childhood’s half-forgotten years

Down to that Loan of April One!

That Fifty Pounds! You little guessed

How deep it drained my slender store:

But there’s a heart within this breast,


‘Not so,’ was Peter’s mild reply,

His cheeks all wet with grateful tears;

No man recalls, so well as I,

Your services in bygone years:

And this new offer, I admit,

Is very very kindly meant–

Still, to avail myself of it

Would not be quite convenient!’

You’ll see in a moment what the difference is between ‘convenient’ and

‘inconvenient.’ You quite understand it now, don’t you?” he added,

looking kindly at Bruno, who was sitting, at Sylvie’s side, on the


“Yes,” said Bruno, very quietly. Such a short speech was very unusual,

for him: but just then he seemed, I fancied, a little exhausted.

In fact, he climbed up into Sylvie’s lap as he spoke, and rested his

head against her shoulder. “What a many verses it was!” he whispered.



The Other Professor regarded him with some anxiety. “The smaller

animal ought to go to bed at once,” he said with an air of authority.

“Why at once?” said the Professor.

“Because he can’t go at twice,” said the Other Professor.

The Professor gently clapped his hands. ‘Isn’t he wonderful!” he said

to Sylvie. “Nobody else could have thought of the reason, so quick.

Why, of course he ca’n’t go at twice! It would hurt him to be divided.”

This remark woke up Bruno, suddenly and completely.

“I don’t want to be divided,” he said decisively.

“It does very well on a diagram,” said the Other Professor.

“I could show it you in a minute, only the chalk’s a little blunt.”

“Take care!” Sylvie anxiously exclaimed, as he began, rather clumsily,

to point it. “You’ll cut your finger off, if you hold the knife so!”

“If oo cuts it off, will oo give it to me, please? Bruno thoughtfully


“It’s like this,” said the Other Professor, hastily drawing a long line

upon the black board, and marking the letters ‘A,’ ‘B,’ at the two ends,

and ‘C’ in the middle: “let me explain it to you. If AB were to be

divided into two parts at C–”

“It would be drownded,” Bruno pronounced confidently.

The Other Professor gasped. “What would be drownded?”

“Why the bumble-bee, of course!” said Bruno. “And the two bits would

sink down in the sea!”

Here the Professor interfered, as the Other Professor was evidently too

much puzzled to go on with his diagram.

“When I said it would hurt him, I was merely referring to the action of

the nerves–”

The Other Professor brightened up in a moment. “The action of the

nerves,” he began eagerly, “is curiously slow in some people.

I had a friend, once, that, if you burnt him with a red-hot poker,

it would take years and years before he felt it!”

“And if you only pinched him?” queried Sylvie.

“Then it would take ever so much longer, of course. In fact, I doubt

if the man himself would ever feel it, at all. His grandchildren might.”

“I wouldn’t like to be the grandchild of a pinched grandfather, would

you, Mister Sir?” Bruno whispered. “It might come just when you wanted

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Categories: Carroll, Lewis