But, at times, Leonard seemed oppressed and bewildered, after listening intent, with grave and wondering eyes, to the conversation around him; at others, the bright animal life shone forth radiant, and no three months' kitten--no foal, suddenly tossing up its heels by the side of its sedate dam, and careering around the pasture in pure mad enjoyment--no young creature of any kind, could show more merriment and gladness of heart.
"For ever in mischief," was Sally's account of him at such times; but it was not intentional mischief; and Sally herself would have been the first to scold any one else who had used the same words in reference to her darling. Indeed, she was once nearly giving warning, because she thought the boy was being ill-used. The occasion was this: Leonard had for some time shown a strange, odd disregard of truth; he invented stories, and told them with so grave a face, that unless there was some internal evidence of their incorrectness (such as describing a cow with a bonnet on) he was generally believed, and his statements, which were given with the full appearance of relating a real occurrence, had once or twice led to awkward results. All the three, whose hearts were pained by this apparent unconsciousness of the difference between truth and falsehood, were unaccustomed to children, or they would have recognised this as a stage through which most infants, who would have lively imaginations, pass; and, accordingly, there was a consultation in Mr. Benson's study one morning. Ruth was there, quiet, very pale, and with compressed lips, sick at heart as she heard Miss Benson's arguments for the necessity of whipping, in order to cure Leonard of his story-telling. Mr. Benson looked unhappy and uncomfortable. Education was but a series of experiments to them all, and they all had a secret dread of spoiling the noble boy, who was the darling of their hearts. And, perhaps, this very intensity of love begot an impatient, unnecessary anxiety, and made them resolve on sterner measures than the parent of a large family (where love was more spread abroad) would have dared to use. At any rate, the vote for whipping carried the day; and even Ruth, trembling and cold, agreed that it must be done; only she asked, in a meek, sad voice, if she need be present (Mr. Benson was to be the executioner--the scene, the study), and, being instantly told that she had better not, she went slowly and languidly up to her room, and kneeling down, she closed her ears, and prayed.
Miss Benson, having carried her point, was very sorry for the child, and would have begged him off; but Mr. Benson had listened more to her arguments than now to her pleadings, and, only answered, "If it is right, it shall be done!" He went into the garden, and deliberately, almost as if he wished to gain time, chose and cut off a little switch from the laburnum-tree. Then he returned through the kitchen, and gravely taking the awed and wondering little fellow by the hand, he led him silently into the study, and placing him before him, began an admonition on the importance of truthfulness, meaning to conclude with what he believed to be the moral of all punishment: "As you cannot remember this of yourself, I must give you a little pain to make you remember it. I am sorry it is necessary, and that you cannot recollect without my doing so." small finger vibrator
But before he had reached this very proper and desirable conclusion, and while he was yet working his way, his heart aching with the terrified look of the child at the solemnly sad face and words of upbraiding, Sally burst in--
"And what may ye be going to do with that fine switch I saw ye gathering, Master Thurstan?" asked she, her eyes gleaming with anger at the answer she knew must come, if answer she had at all. small finger vibrator
"Go away, Sally," said Mr. Benson, annoyed at the fresh difficulty in his path. fetish kits
"I'll not stir never a step till you give me that switch, as you've got for some mischief, I'll be bound." bondage sex shop
"Sally! remember where it is said, 'He that spareth the rod, spoileth the child,'" said Mr. Benson austerely.
"Ay, I remember; and I remember a bit more than you want me to remember, I reckon. It were King Solomon as spoke them words, and it were King Solomon's son that were King Rehoboam, and no great shakes either. I can remember what is said on him, 2 Chronicles, xii. chapter, 14th v.: 'And he'--that's King Rehoboam, the lad that tasted the rod--'did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.' I've not been reading my chapters every night for fifty year to be caught napping by a Dissenter, neither!" said she triumphantly. "Come along, Leonard." She stretched out her hand to the child, thinking that she had conquered.
But Leonard did not stir. He looked wistfully at Mr. Benson. "Come!" said she impatiently. The boy's mouth quivered.