RECORD: Darwin, Bernard. [1933.] Introduction [with reminiscence of his grandmother Emma Darwin]. In Gertrude Jekyll, Children and Gardens. 2nd edition. London: Country Life Ltd.; New York: Scribners.
REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, OCRed and corrected by John van Wyhe 8.2007. RN1
I am reminded of my own grandmother [Emma Darwin] by
whom I was to a great extent brought up. Nobody could have been firmer on what she deemed to be matters of principle, and the most bold-faced child could never have taken a liberty with her; but she had a wide-minded sense of proportion, and in what she deemed immaterial things she believed in corruption rather than coercion. By way of example, I was for a short while devoted to sketching (it is, alas! a taste long since atrophied) and sat during one whole morning of blazing sunshine on a monticle at the end of the lawn painting a picture of the house. My grandmother feared, as I suppose, lest I should get sunstroke, but she did not depress my artistic ardour by telling me to come in; she bribed me in with a penny. Another and less defensible instance was the offer of a penny if I would eat the pie-crust of my apple tart. I earned the penny for the time being, but I have never learned to like pie-crust, and I have never understood why my grandmother thought it essential that I should. Perhaps she held it to be unnatural that anyone should not like it and did not want me to be original at the cost of missing so much pleasure in life.
…I have myself tender memories of two clayey, chalky pits with big flints in them that lurked beautifully in a little wood. There was a little digging to be done in them, and some roasting of potatoes, and the clay mixed with water provided a fine rich substance with which to paint the lime trees red; but it is idle to pretend that it compared with a sand-pit, and mine was not a sandy country.
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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
File last updated 2 July, 2012